CR IP TI ON BS SU 150 FILS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 www.kuwaittimes.net RABI ALTHANI 26, 1436 AH 40 PAGES NO: 16434 ‘Largest’ US brigade in region heads to Kuwait Force is well armed, well trained and well experienced Over 2,000 Kuwaiti passports forged for KD 4,000 each 2 expats arrested By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Well-informed security sources said two Arab expats working for the passports department for 20 years have been arrested for forging Kuwaiti passports, charging KD 4,000 per passport. The sources explained that the two suspects, who are currently in custody at the central prison pending trial, used to save the information of applicants renewing their passports and then forged other passports with the same information for different persons. The sources said one of the suspects had KD 80,000 in his bank account, while the other had KD 18,000, which they had collected from forging over 2,000 passports during their 20 years in service. The sources explained that such forgery had been creating problems due to the presence of two different people holding passports with the same information. KUWAIT: Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi flags off the sixth ‘Friends of Hearts’ marathon organized by the Chest Diseases Hospital yesterday. —KUNA (See Page 5) News i n KUWAIT: The Kuwait Municipality will launch online health and ad license renewal services today, Minister of Communications and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Essa Al-Kandari said yesterday. The move came at the behest of the political leadership’s directives for creating an online government and translating the municipality’s computerized service strategy into reality, the minister said in a press statement. The municipality’s service improvement efforts are part of the country’s current development drive, Kandari added, noting that the municipality is eager to make use of modern technologies in removing obstacles and streamlining services. Central Bank offers master’s scholarships KUWAIT: The Central Bank of Kuwait will offer master’s degree scholarships for Kuwaiti students to pursue their education in business, finance, accounting and management, Governor Dr Mohammad Al Hashel said yesterday. Hashel told KUNA that the Central Bank, in cooperation with the Institute of Banking Studies and several banks, has provided this offering as a step to support students seeking higher degrees. A Central Bank committee will look into applications and will choose students according to their credentials, said Hashel, adding that the scholarship graduates will not necessary have to work within the banking sector after completing their studies, and will have full freedom to further seek education or work in any public or private sector entity. KPC signs flurry of big oil deals KUWAIT: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s (KPC) has made a deal with a major international company to supply it with 200,000 barrels per day for the next three years, revealed KPC Managing Director for International Marketing Nasser Bader Al-Mudhaf. He said in remarks to KUNA yesterday that the deal was the “surprise he had promised for the Kuwaiti people” during his participation last week in the annual international petroleum conference. The amount of crude to be delivered to the company according to the agreement constitutes up to 10 percent of Kuwait’s daily oil output. KPC’s marketing sector also succeeded in gaining a foothold in the Spanish market, where a major company would be supplied with Kuwaiti crude, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas, he said. KPC will soon venture into Portugal too, Mudhaf disclosed. The KPC delegation also succeeded in signing instant deals with Italian and Thai companies, he added. 2 FORT CARSON, Colorado: More than 4,000 Fort Carson soldiers are heading to Kuwait, where they will take over as one of America’s largest ground forces in the region after US President Barack Obama asked Congress to authorize military action against terrorists who are cutting a large swathe across the Middle East. Obama ruled out large-scale US ground combat operations similar to those in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he asked for the option to use military force against Islamic State fighters for three years. The fight could be extended to any “closely related successor entity” to the Islamic State organization that has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria, imposed an extreme form of religious law and killed several hostages it has taken, Americans among them. The US Army has kept a brigade in Kuwait since the end of the Iraq war in 2011. Those soldiers, including two units from Fort Carson, have worked to train local troops from throughout the Middle East. In its most recent deployment to Kuwait, a combat team from Fort Carson conducted training missions with allies including Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which have joined the coalition against Islamic State fighters. The unit headed to Kuwait is Fort Carson’s heaviest force, armed with tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Many of its soldiers are veterans of one or more of the brigade’s previous combat tours in Iraq. “We’re no strangers to deployment,” said the brigade’s commander, Col Greg Sierra. The brigade has trained more than a year for the Kuwait mission. Continued on Page 13 b r i e f Municipality launches online license services Gulf foreign ministers hold emergency Yemen talks Min 08º Max 24º High Tide 09:42 & 19:40 Low Tide 06:59 & 18:40 S&P maintains Kuwait’s stable outlook KUWAIT: In view of the sharp fall in international oil prices in recent months, Standard and Poor’s has significantly revised down its oil price assumptions for 2015-18, affirming Kuwait’s AA/A-1+ rating. “We are therefore affirming our ‘AA/A1+’ long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Kuwait,” the credit rating agency said in its report on Friday. The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Kuwait’s fiscal and external positions will remain strong, backed by a significant stock of financial assets. “We expect these strengths to offset risks related to the current volatile oil price, Kuwait’s undiversified oil economy, and what we assess as a volatile and unpredictable political system, in addition to geopolitical tensions in the region,” according to the report. “Prices of crude oil in spot and futures markets have fallen by around 50 percent since June 2014, leading us to revise down our oil price assumptions significantly. When we last reviewed Kuwait on August 15, 2014, we expected Brent oil prices to average $105 per barrel in 2015 and $98 per barrel in 2015-18,” it said. “We now assume an average Brent oil price of $55 per barrel in 2015 and $70 per barrel in 2015-18; Kuwait Crude (KEC) trades at a five-dollar discount to Brent. Consequently, we have also revised our forecasts for Kuwait, particularly of its fiscal and current account positions. Despite the sharp fall in the oil price, our ratings on Kuwait remain unchanged. The ratings continue to be supported by the sovereign’s high levels of accumulated wealth and very strong external and fiscal asset (stock) positions,” the report added. The Kuwaiti government, via the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), has accumulated substantial assets through oil and gas production over the years. It has also saved its oil wealth in what “we consider to be a prudent manner”. “The government’s large net asset position, which we estimate at over 2.8x GDP at the end of 2014 is a significant ratings strength providing a substantial buffer to lower oil prices. Continued on Page 13 WASHINGTON: A student from Georgetown University makes the call to prayer as a group of Muslims and their supporters prepare for Friday prayers outside the White House on Friday in the wake of the murder of three young North Carolina Muslims. The gathering was in memory of the Chapel Hill shooting victims, and to press federal authorities for a hate crime investigation. — AP High-tech lenses OIC concerned over zoom with wink Islamophobia in US Apple working on car SAN JOSE: Swiss researchers are developing contact lenses that contain tiny telescopes to boost vision and zoom in and out with the wink of an eye, optic specialists said Friday. The latest advances in vision aids - some of which could potentially help the 285 million people worldwide with some form of vision impairment were discussed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in California. The new contact contains an extremely thin, reflective telescope, which is activated by winks and embedded inside a 1.55 millimeter-thick lens. First released in 2013 and fine-tuned since then, the prototype was unveiled by Delhi’s new chief minister vows to wipe out corruption 11 Eric Tremblay from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. The lenses come with smart glasses that respond to the wearer’s winks - but not blinks - so that the user can switch almost effortlessly from normal to magnified vision and back. The wearer winks with the right eye to activate the telescope, and with the left eye to deactivate it. “We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration,” a vision disorder that affects older people, Tremblay said. “At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AMD.” Continued on Page 13 Bahrain police fire tear gas as protests mark uprising 13 Obama denounces ‘murders’ JEDDAH: A pan-Muslim body condemned yesterday the murders of three Muslim students in the United States by a neighbour who espoused anti-religious views, voicing concerns over what it said was increased “Islamophobia” in the country. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan, 19, were shot dead on Tuesday in the North Carolina university town of Chapel Hill. A 46-year-old neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, has been charged with three counts of murder over the killings, which sparked outrage among Muslims worldwide. Police said they are investigating what may have been a parking dispute gone wrong, but have not ruled out a hate-based crime. Relatives of the victims say they are convinced they were targeted because of their faith. “This gruesome crime has left Muslims worldwide in a state of shock and has raised concerns of the growing feelings of hatred towards Muslims and the increase of acts linked to Islamophobia in the United States,” said Iyad Madani, secretary general of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic cooperation. Continued on Page 13 Australia, New Zealand lay down World Cup markers 17 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 LOCAL Crime R e p o r t Girls die in house fire By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Two Kuwaiti girls (aged 6 and 9) died when a fire broke out in their family house in Mangaf, said security sources. Further investigations are in progress to determine the cause of the fire. Money transport driver escapes with large sum The lawyer of a money transportation company informed Jahra security forces that the driver of an armored money transport vehicle escaped with the vehicle after collecting KD 58,397, said security sources. According to the lawyer, on a money collecting tour, the driver, an Indian man, dropped his partner, an Egyptian national, to collect money from a telecom company in Jahra. After doing so, the Egyptian security man found out that his partner had left the scene and immediately reported the matter to the company, the lawyer said. The vehicle was found abandoned and empty two hours later near Jahra Industrial Area. The absconding driver did not respond to phone calls but is officially still in the country, stressed security sources expressing fears that he might have managed to leave using a fake passport. Further investigations are still in progress. Citizen acquitted in major liquor trading case By A Saleh KUWAIT: The appeals court acquitted two citizens and an expat who had been sentenced to one year in jail with labor in a case filed against them for possessing 107 cardboard boxes of Red Label whiskey. The defendants’ lawyer, Mohammed Ahmed Taleb, argued that the arrest procedures were illegal and accused the officer in charge of framing his client. He also refuted deceives’ report that they found 10 boxes in his client’s car trunk, noting that it was not big enough to hold 10 boxes. Govt to empower Audit Bureau The parliament will refer a law on authorizing the Audit Bureau to refer violations to the prosecution to the government today, said informed sources, noting that the Cabinet would have its legal committee study the law so that it could make its final decision within two weeks. Informed sources said that out of its keenness on reform and fighting corruption, the government will accept and pass the law as it is. Conscription law on agenda The parliamentary interior and defense committee is due to vote next week on the conscription law, pending referral to the parliament to be listed on the agenda and passed on March 10. Committee chairman MP Abdullah Maayouf said that the committee added an article about citizens dispatched abroad on special assignments and how they could be summoned back home for enlistment. Maayouf added that the law would apply to all male citizens reaching the age of 18 and that the service can be postponed till the age of 35. He added that total service would be 10 years including one year in actual service and nine years in reserve. CMA amendments The parliamentary financial committee is due to meet today to discuss the amendments suggested by the government to the Capital Markets Authority law. The meeting will be attended by Deputy PM and Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdulmohsen Al-Mudej, CMA officials, investment companies’ union and Kuwaiti banks’ representatives. Informed sources stressed that the committee will pass the government’s amendments in March without considering any changes because they had been made after consulting various relevant authorities. Kandari slams Omair MP Faisal Al-Kandari rejected Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair’s efforts to promote the idea of applying the strategic payroll alternative in the oil sector with the excuse of following the state’s policy to cut down expenses. In a press release, Kandari stressed that this would mean excluding national labor and handing these lifeblood facilities over to non-Kuwaitis after Kuwaitization had succeeded in reaching 88 percent in the oil sector. “This is unacceptable, especially in view of demands to increase daily production to 3.6 million barrels a day by 2020,” he warned. RIYADH: First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah heads Kuwait’s delegation at the meeting. —KUNA GCC calls for end to ‘illegitimate measures’ in Yemen Extraordinary meeting held in Riyadh RIYADH: Qatari Foreign Minister Dr Khaled Al-Attiyah called on the international community, particularly the UN Security Council (UNSC), to live up to their responsibilities to put an end to the “illegitimate measures” that took place in Yemen. The will of the Yemeni people should be honored in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative and its executive mechanism, as well as recommendations of the national dialogue, said Attiyah, who is the rotating chairman of the GCC council. “Yemen was facing the most dangerous challenge since the 2011 revolution,” Attiyah said in a statement distributed to the press on sidelines of an extraordinary meeting of GCC foreign ministers yesterday. This dangerous challenge, he added, “imposes responsibilities upon us, which require rapid action to help the Yemeni people in order to prevent the country from sliding into chaos or internal fighting, and threatening its unity and territorial safety.” All parties in Yemen should realize that lack of legitimacy and rule of law, as well as rejectionist policy, will pave way for violence levels to intensify thus undermine stability and security of the region and the world, he said. The legitimate authorities in Yemen should be supported to restore order nationwide, said Attiyah. The extraordinary meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial Council on the developments in Yemen kicked off in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia yesterday. First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah headed the Kuwaiti delegation at the meeting. The delegation included Director of Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled’s office Ambassador Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al- Mohammad Al-Sabah and Director of the GCC Affairs Department Ambassador Nasser Hajji Al-Muzain. It also contained Kuwait’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Thamer Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad AlSabah and a number of Foreign Ministry’s officials. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled was received upon arrival to Riyadh by Saudi Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince AbdulAziz bin Abdullah, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, Kuwait ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a number of the Kuwaiti embassy officials. — KUNA Committee plays crucial role in resolving housing issue KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s Housing Committee has played a key role in amending some relevant laws, thus paving way for resolving the housing issue. The parliament, in a report released yesterday, noted that the committee has also helped in tackling other related problems, such as long-time waiting duration for citizens eligible to possess housing units. Moreover, the Public Authority for Housing has been given substantial jurisdictions to build on state plots of lands or take possession of lands and properties for public usage, in necessary cases. It furthermore indicated using the allotted plots, namely those located in investment and commercial zones, for sale to the private sector in auctioning. The commission has sought to adopt a law that compels the municipality to prepare plots of lands for housing purposes and setting up a financial portfolio at the Savings and Credit Bank, the state public lender, for financing expansion and repairing private houses. Key issues In 1993, the National Assembly decided to form an interim committee to handle housing issues. It later embarked on diverse key issues, such as forming the housing authority and amending several relevant legislations. It indicated at a fresh proposal essentially stating that if a married man gets a housing loan, and he later sells the house and repays the loan in full to the bank, provided that he has not obtained another loan, he is entitled to apply at the housing authority for a residence. Committee member Faisal AlKanderi confirmed that the commission had tackled a pile of laws and bills, such as the law that allows the loan recipient to obtain all construction materials, valued no more than KD 30,000. Law No 113 (2014), for example, along with Law No 27 (1995) allows the private sector to build on empty state lands for housing purposes. Currently, the committee is examining a series of bills; one allows inheritors of a demised father to get possession of a government house or a plot. KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti parliament has given top priority to resolving the country’s housing shortage crisis.— KUNA photo Kanderi acknowledged that laws concerning Kuwaiti women married to nonKuwaitis, divorcees and widows would remain intact. Long queues of citizens await- ing their turn to get housing is, certainly, to be shortened, with plans to hike distributed units from 2,500 per year to 12,700 to those qualified for housing. —KUNA Fuel shortage? KNPC recently began a one month development process at Ahmadi refinery, which has a capacity of 442,000 barrels a day, said informed sources, noting that the refinery would be back to full capacity in March and that this might cause a shortage in petrol products. Arab-African committee convenes in Cairo CAIRO: The seventh meeting of the Arab-African partnership coordination committee convened in Cairo, Egypt yesterday at the level of senior officials under chairmanship of the State of Kuwait. The Arab side of the committee consists of Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt, while the African side consists of Zimbabwe, Chad and Mauritania. The conferees mainly discussed a host of key issues pertinent to Arab-African partnership issues, Azeez Al-Daihani, Kuwait’s permanent representative, said on the sidelines of the meeting. The agenda primarily involves resolutions adopted by the Arab-African Summit held in Kuwait in November 2013, chiefly a brief report on the implementation of initiatives launched by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on investment and development in African countries, he said. During the meeting, the conferees highly appreciated His Highness the Amir’s humanitarian efforts, and development and investment initiatives for African countries, he added. In this context, the Kuwaiti diplomat pointed to coordination between concerned agencies in Kuwait on the one hand and the African Union (AU) and the Arab League on the other hand over the implementation of development projects in African countries. Kuwait has sent messages to Arab and African countries asking about the appropriate vision and mechanism for the execution of Arab-funded development and investment projects in African countries in a way that would surely benefit the people of Africa, Daihani added. Since His Highness the Amir’s development initiatives for Africa were launched, Kuwait has provided African countries with easy loans worth $2 billion over five years and $1 billion investments, in addition to a $1 million prize for African development research, a senior Kuwaiti official said.—KUNA Activity held to promote environmental awareness KUWAIT: Kuwait Dive Team, affiliated with the Environmental Voluntary Foundation (EVF), organized a day of environmental awareness activities at Al-Kout beach south of Kuwait City. Female students took part in the activity, during which “shaem” fish were released into the sea waters, as a symbolic act for protecting marine species living in the territorial waters of Kuwait. Walid Al-Fadhel, the head of the divers’ team, said that the foundation has “achieved real environmental partnership with public schools, through such voluntary and awareness promotion activities to protect the marine life.” The activity aims to inculcate among the youth motivation for environmental voluntary works to protect the environment, he said. The foundation is one of several national bodies involved in diverse activities aimed at protecting the environment, such as lifting waste on the ground and at the sea, saving marine species including endangered turtles, and safeguarding coral reefs; a key habitat for diverse species in the national waters. — KUNA KUWAIT: Staff Brigadier Faleh Shuja’a Faleh, Acting Military Training Commander at the Kuwait National Guard, attended the final training for the advanced ground force course, held at the Kazma camp recently. The training evaluates officers’ level of preparation to face different tactical and security conditions, Staff Brigadier Falah said. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 LOCAL Special Report Is 2015 the year of foreign investment in Kuwait? By Sonia A Salah O n 14 December 2014, Kuwait issued the Executive Regulations of Law No 116 of 2013 regarding the Promotion of Direct Investment in the State of Kuwait (the “Executive Regulations”). This was a highly anticipated and long awaited event as the regulations were expected to clarify certain issues necessary for the effective implementation of Law No 116 of 2013 regarding the Promotion of Direct Investment (the “Direct Investment Law”). During the past year, we Sonia Salah have received regular inquiries from numerous foreign clients seeking more information about the Direct Investment Law and whether Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (“KDIPA”), the relevant authority whose main function is to attract and encourage foreign and local direct investment within the State of Kuwait, was accepting investment license applications (the “Applications”). The Executive Regulations are composed of 45 articles divided into nine chapters. What follows is a summary of its main provisions: 1. One-Stop Shop One of the most exciting aspects of the Direct Investment Law is the “One-Stop Shop”. The Direct Investment Law provides that KDIPA will have a “One-Stop Shop” which is a specialized unit comprising of all relevant officials from the various relevant government departments in coordination with KDIPA which will assist with the establishment and licensing for such entities. The Executive Regulations expand on this to specify that in addition to the One Stop Shop unit being responsible for transactions relating to an investor’s establishment of an investment entity, the One Stop Shop unit will also be responsible for preparing introductory guidelines setting out relevant requirements and responding to any inquiries raised in connection with such guides. These guides will likely prove to be useful for investors and specialized companies who are currently unfamiliar with the new Applications. In addition to the above, the Executive Regulations state that KDIPA will prepare a list of specialized companies, firms and offices that are prequalified and approved to submit and follow-up on Applications in the name and on behalf of an investor. Such measures appear to be taken in order to encourage more foreign investment by easing the process for foreign investors to submit investment license applications and establishment of investment entities. This should hopefully reduce ‘red tape’ for foreign investors and assist investors to navigate the procedures and requirements of the Direct Investment Law and its Executive Regulations. 2. Investment Entity Pursuant to Article 12 of the Direct Investment Law, an investment license may be sought for (i) all company forms, as outlined under Law No 25 of 2012 (the “Companies Law”), (ii) branch offices of a foreign company licensed to operate within Kuwait, and/or (iii) a representative office whose main purpose is limited to the study of markets and production. Similarly, Article 8 of the Executive Regulations confirms Article 12 of the Direct Investment Law but clarifies that a foreign investor may obtain an investment license to own 100% of the capital of a company with limited liability, a joint stock company or single-person company. In addition to the Executive Regulations, Director General Decision No 35 of 2014 on Principles, Rules and Procedures for Licensing Branches and Representative Offices of Foreign Companies in the State of Kuwait was also issued to identify the requirements for obtaining an investment license from KDIPA to open a branch of a foreign company or a representative office in Kuwait. 3. General Submissions to KDIPA When the Direct Investment Law was issued, we noted that Article 13 indicated that its executive regulations would establish the principles, rules and procedures for the submission and registration of Applications to obtain an investment license as permitted by the Direct Investment Law. Chapter IV of the Executive Regulations state that KDIPA will prepare application forms for various types of requests including (i) licensing of an investment entity; (ii) granting of incentives and exemptions; (iii) amendments to the name, address, purpose, capital or domicile of an investment entity; or (iv) amendments to the percentage of shareholders’ equity in an investment entity. Further, Article 10 of the Executive Regulations states that submission of applications, papers and documents to KDIPA by an investor or his representative may be made by any means specified by KDIPA including in person, by registered mail or e-mail. Upon submission of an Application, KDIPA will provide a receipt evidencing acceptance of such Application and will record the Application in its internal application register. Ministerial Decision No 503 of 2014 (Regarding the Issuance of Stated Fees Schedule for Services Rendered by KDIPA), which was issued at the same time as the Executive Regulations, specifies KDIPA service fees ranging from KD 10 for a certificate of record in the investment register, KD 50 for issuance of an investment license, and KD 100 for submission of an Application. 4. License Applications Chapter V of the Executive Regulations further sets out the information and statements that must be contained in, or attached to the Application and the conditions to be met by the applicant, the appropriate methods of notice and notification and the fees for the issuance of the investment license as undertaken in Article 13 of the Direct Investment Law. Pursuant to Article 14 of the Executive Regulations, the Application for establishment of a Kuwaiti company must be accompanied by an ini- tial study which is to include certain information including but not limited to the type of proposed activity or project, the size of the investment and the economic and environmental impact of such investment. In addition to the above, the Executive Regulations also identify the requirements for the licensing of a branch of a foreign company as well as a representative office. The Direct Investment Law states that KDIPA must respond to an Application within 30 days of receipt of a complete Application. The Executive Regulations reiterate this in Article 17, which provides that KDIPA “shall decide on the merits of the Application within 30 days as of the fulfillment of all conditions, data, papers and documents required by KIDPA and the competent authorities.” Therefore, foreign investors with strict timelines should be able to obtain a response on whether or not establishment through the Direct Investment Law is possible within a relatively short amount of time subject to when required documents are submitted to KDIPA. The Executive Regulations provide that the investor will be notified of KDIPA’s acceptance (in which case the establishment of the investment entity and issuance of the commercial license will proceed) or rejection of the Application. In the event an Application is rejected, KDIPA will provide written notice of such rejection including reasons for the same. The investment entity must obtain the necessary approvals to commence preliminary procedures and activities (prior to full operation by the investment entity) within one year from the date of issuance of the license, unless KDIPA provides for a longer period. Furthermore, the investor is required to notify KDIPA of the actual date of commencement of operations within thirty days from such date. 5. Incentives and Exemptions Chapter VI of the Executive Regulations discusses the procedures for obtaining incentives and exemptions including, but not limited to, tax exemptions, customs exemptions and allotment of land and real estate. In addition, Chapter VI also details the procedures for conversion of an investment entity. 6. Grievance Procedures The Executive Regulations also include an important feature in Chapter VII - a grievance procedure which permits stakeholders to submit grievances relating to decisions issued by KDIPA. This grievance procedure provides investors with an opportunity to attend a hearing before a committee formed by the Board of Directors of KDIPA to discuss such grievance. The grievance committee’s deliberations shall be confidential, passed by majority and issued within thirty days from the date of its registration. 7. Supervisory Officers Chapter VIII of the Executive Regulations reveals that the Minister of Commerce and Industry will appoint certain employees to act as judicial officers in order to monitor whether investment entities are complying with the Direct Investment Law, the Executive Regulations, any implementing decisions or instructions issued by KDIPA. The role of these judicial officers is important as it will allow KDIPA to ensure that any licenses, incentives or exemptions issued are not being misused. 8. Negative List The first question that is commonly raised by potential foreign investors is the list of sectors which are excluded from direct investment within the scope of the Direct Investment Law (the “Negative List”). Ministerial Resolution No 75 of 2015 (Specifying a List of the Direct Investments which are not subject to the Provisions of Law 116 of 2013) was issued on 26 January 2015 and published in the Official Gazette - Issue No1211 dated 01 February 2015. Prior to the issuance of Resolution 75, KDIPA accepted Applications for investment licenses and the determination of whether a company was eligible to obtain an investment license was made by KDIPA on a case by case basis upon submission of an Application. Article 1 of Resolution 75 now sets out the Negative List which includes ten different sectors which are not eligible for an investment license including any companies in the crude oil or natural gas extraction sector. Conclusion The Executive Regulations greatly improve how the Direct Investment Law works. We are hopeful that the Direct Investment Law will prove effective in attracting direct investment, whether foreign or local, to the Kuwaiti market in order to meet the objectives of Kuwait’s 2035 Plan “to transform Kuwait into a world class financial and commercial centre, with the private sector leading economic activities, fostering competitiveness, increasing productivity, supported by viable public institutions, while maintaining the deep rooted values and national identity, towards achieving balanced economic and human development, supported by adequate infrastructure, legal framework, and enabling business environment.” Although the Executive Regulations were recently issued, we are aware that several applications have already been submitted to KDIPA and we anticipate numerous more applications will be submitted based on the number of inquiries we receive from our clients on a daily basis. If you have any further questions about the Direct Investment Law, please feel free to contact our Kuwait office. About Al Tamimi & Company Al Tamimi & Company was established in 1989 and is the largest regional law firm, with twelve fully-owned offices or through partners in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and employs 305 fee earners, 49 partners and 565 staff members. The Kuwait office offers full legal service in Kuwait through a joint venture with Kuwait lawyer Yaqoub Yousef Al Munayae. EQUATE holds bi-annual management forum KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company, Kuwait’s first international petrochemical joint-venture, held its bi-annual Management Forum (MF) that included discussing several topics relevant to the company and the industrial sector as a whole, locally and globally. During the MF, EQUATE Management and Leaders reviewed a number of topics regarding sustainability, continuous development, petrochemical markets, the company’s performance, human resources, the industr y ’s development, manufacturing operations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other subjects. EQUATE President and CEO Mohammad Husain said, “The petrochemical sector is not limited to plants, production and industrial operations, it is an integrated system that includes a number of elements that complement each other. Naturally, the most important competent of sustainability in this long-term industry are our human resources, especially nationals who have suit- able skills, capabilities and competencies.” Husain added, “Applying our tagline of ‘Partners in Success’ requires considering all aspects pertaining to our industry, such as areas of improvement and international standards in all fields, including human resources, environment, health, safety, industrial operations and others. The ability to tackle challenges, as well as adapting to various local and global developments, are also a part of our success.” The forum included hosting Inter ventional Cardiology Consultant Dr Ibrahim Al-Rashdan, a Kuwaiti international authority and patent holder in cardiac medicine, as a keynote speaker who addressed cardiac health, diseases, identifying symptoms and treatment. With the attendance of nearly 100 members of senior and middle management members, the MF is part of EQUATE’s transparent comprehensive communication initiatives, which advocate and stimulate discussion and open-dialogue between all functions at the company. 70 world oil experts to address safety conference KUWAIT: Some world oil experts are expected to partake in the Kuwait International Health, Safety Environment (KIHSE) Conference Exhibition due in Kuwait from the 16th to the 17th of February 2015. In their speeches during the conference, they will expound on useful and fruitful experiences in the development of oil facilities, the head of the organizing committee, Dr Fatema Al-Dhatti said in a statement yesterday. The agenda of the two-day event includes three key aspects: health, safety and environment, and covers major issues bearing on the development of sustainable culture of health, safety and environment, she added. The two-day KIHSE Conference Exhibition will be held under the patronage of Minister of Oil and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Ali Saleh Al-Omair and under the theme: “ We Can Make a Difference to Our World”. The KIHSE Conference and Exhibition will provide an excellent opportunity for professionals from the oil and gas industry to share experiences and build fruitful relationships with stakeholders, she said. The KIHSE will examine current practices and identify areas of improvement and world-leading solutions that can be implemented to move forward into a better future, she noted. — KUNA SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 LOCAL In Brief Diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia cancel celebrations RIYADH: Kuwait’s diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia will not hold national celebrations this year as a gesture of respect to the recent passing of late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Sheikh Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said yesterday. The Kuwaiti embassy in Riyadh and the General Consulate in Jeddah will not be holding celebrations to commemorate Kuwait’s 54th Independence Day and 24th liberation anniversary, Sheikh Thamer noted.—KUNA Forum on small enterprises today $150,000 aid offered to Syrians in Jordan KUWAIT: A forum on small-sized enterprises due today will mainly thrash out the concepts and expertise of projects and young people’s awareness as well as promising investment openings, an official said yesterday. The forum will be held under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the manager of the forum, Salem Hamada said. The conferees will elaborate on governmental facilities to youth-run projects and joint work mechanisms with civil society organizations, he added.— KUNA AMMAN: Al-Rahma International Charity distributed relief aid worth $150,000 to Syrian refugees in Jordan. The aid campaign was headed by the organization’s chief Dr Jassim Al-Yaseen and some of his staff. It consisted of a group of young Kuwaiti and Saudi girls, ages 14-16, who generated KD 27,000 (approximately $90,000) to help out the Syrian refugees in their crisis. The girls got a chance to visit the refugees in their different camps where they handed over the donation themselves and listened to stories of hardships and sufferings first hand. —KUNA Photo o f t h e d a y KUWAIT: A teddy bear sits between roses inside a flower shop in Kuwait. Local flower shops make special preparations every year for Valentine’s Day - which has become an annual occasion to make good profit. Valentine’s Day is fast becoming popular in Kuwait, as more people buy gifts for their loved ones. — Photo by Joseph Shagra KIB visits anti-addiction organization KUWAIT: A delegation from Kuwait International Bank has visited The Bashayer Al-Khair Committee, a nongovernmental organization which fights drug addiction using Islamic methods, as part of the bank’s social responsibility program aimed at supporting all segments of society. The delegation consisted of KIB’s Manager of Corporate Communications, Nawaf Najia and Senior Public Relations Officer, Fahad Al-Sarhan, who met with The Bashayer Al-Khair Committee’s Assembly Director, Sami Al-Wohabe and its Head of Public Relations, Mansour Khashti, along with a group of the Committee’s members. “KIB remains steadfast in supporting non-profit organizations out of our duty as a leading Islamic financial institution to benefit society at large,” explained Najia. In turn, Khashti expressed his gratitude towards KIB’s distinguished role in raising awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and addiction. KEPS organizes program on water usage rationalization KUWAIT: The Kuwait Environment Protection Society (KEPS) underscored the significance of the water consumption rationalization program that is part of the society’s efforts aimed at raising people’s awareness toward the environmental issues. The program organized by the society in collaboration with Issa Ahmad Al-Hamad’s secondary school included lectures, presentations and exhibitions that have positive impacts for students, Wejdan Al-Oqab, KEPS’s Secretary General, said in a statement issued yesterday. The events contributed to helping students know how to preserve environment, she said, noting the society developed several programs to raise students’ awareness on environmental issues. She added that some students made their presentations on the rationalization of water consumption. An experiment conducted by Yusuf Al-Ramzi, a KEPS’s member, on the process of rationalization at houses was also presented during the events, she said. For his part, Oqail Al-Mehanna, school’s senior official, underlined the importance of school’s keenness on developing the talents of students and organizing several events to make use of these talents. He said that the Kuwaiti National Committee for Education, Science and Culture, the sponsor of program, as well as representatives of Ministry of Electricity and Water lauded the idea of the program. He added they look forward to implementing the idea at several schools to help students be aware of issues relating to environment, health and public services. — KUNA KUWAIT: Wejdan Al-Oqab, KEPS’s Secretary General, in a group photo with the school’s administration and students. — KUNA SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 LOCAL Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi participates in the marathon. Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi speaks to reporters on the sidelines on the event. Local Spotlight KUWAIT: Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi and ministry officials at the start of the marathon. —KUNA photos Kuwait and tourism By Muna Al-Fuzai [email protected] T he national and liberation day holidays are around the corner, and many people have already begun preparing to travel. What is missing for Kuwait to be a tourist destination? Most Kuwaitis and expats take advantage of any leave granted to them, even if it is for two or three days, to travel abroad for a chance to enjoy the beautiful touristic atmosphere provided by other places such as Dubai, Oman, etc. These nearby places are not cheap, yet desired by everyone, especially families. I don’t blame them and I encourage them to go there even for a weekend. For Kuwait, it’s hard to be a tourist country in the absence of the right infrastructure unlike the UAE or Qatar. Those countries took a decision in this matter years ago and supported the private sector to take a leading role, but Kuwait unfortunately lacks such support. There are several obstacles that stand against the advancement of the tourism industry in Kuwait. Tourism does not occur by coincidence and is not linked to a desire of a few individuals, but is a collective effort. Tourism today is an industry and a source of income, so the infrastructure of the state and its policies must be geared to this goal. There’s no law regulating the tourism sector in Kuwait and establishment of development projects, coupled with a lack of land for companies to set up tourism projects. Every day I see more new empty hotels, and I wonder why they are building new hotels because this will not make the country a tourist spot in the absence of even a suitable international airport! A local study confirmed that in the year 2014, Kuwaitis spent two billion dinars ($7 billion) on tourism abroad. The average spending of a Kuwaiti per day is almost around $3,000 (KD 840), and according to the study, this is one of the highest global rates of spending! Attracting tourists from outside Kuwait is not only difficult but impossible to achieve in the presence of many options available for tourists in nearly all countries in the region. We are losing tons of money, and focusing on the tourism industry would contribute to the revitalization of the national economy and create new jobs for young graduates, which will eliminate unemployment and provide a decent life for many citizens and expatriates, including businessmen and owners of shops and restaurants. This should be associated with facilitating tourist visas. I understand security precautions, but this should not be a reason to shut down the country. Another major obstacle is the absence of an independent government body for tourism for cooperating with specialized local and international media firms and channels. I don’t recall that I have witnessed a serious call by the National Assembly or the government for such a body. I don’t mean nice media talk, but serious efforts with a substantial budget. Tourism needs a political decision. It is an integral part of the national economy. For those who are making their travel arrangements, I wish you a happy holiday! Jordanian Minister lauds Kuwait’s support AMMAN: The Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Al-Nasser praised Kuwait’s generous and continuous support to the development projects in the Hashemite Kingdom, especially the water projects. He emphasized the significant role of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) in financing water projects in Jordan. The remarks were made by Al-Nasser during his reception of the KFAED’s Economic Advisor Mohammad Ibrahim Sadiqi. The Minister awarded the Sadiqi, on behalf of KFAED, the Ministry’s Shield of honor in recognition of its support to the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve sustainable development. —KUNA KUWAIT: Iranian Ambassador to Kuwait Ali Reza Enayati hosted a reception recently to mark the Islamic Revolution’s anniversary. Kuwaiti officials, led by Khaled Al-Jarallah, Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, diplomats and media personnel attended the event. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat ‘Friends of Hearts’ marathon to combat obesity-related diseases KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health’s role is not only based on treating patients, but also on raising people’s awareness about health problems, Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi said. While inaugurating the sixth marathon of ‘Friends of Hearts’ organized yesterday by the Chest Diseases Hospital, Obaidi noted that the event is part of the ministry’s program to educate people about important health issues. He said that the marathon aims at strengthening relations between patients and staff at the ministry, which is tasked with offering better services for people. Such activities promote the concept of overall heath, which includes many axes that guarantee good health, the minister added. He noted that the ministry seeks to enhance also the concept of health culture among citizens. Organizing health exhibition on the sidelines of the marathon comes in line with the ministry’s strategy toward the prevention of breast cancer and non-communicable diseases, he said. Sports’ significance For his part, Dr Nader Al-Awadhi, Director of Chest Diseases Hospital, said that the marathon underlines the significance of sports. He voiced his gratitude to Minister Obaidi and the organizing committee’s members for their effort and support to such events. Meanwhile, Dr Hani Al-Mutairi, Deputy Director of the hospital, said that the event was considered an opportunity to raise people’s awareness on risks of heart diseases and to give them tips for a healthy diet. —KUNA SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 Fr om the Arabic press Spice: New drug spreads among youth Crime R e p o r t Drug made of non-criminalized herbs, chemicals Wife’s lover escapes KUWAIT: Criminal detectives are currently working on solving the mystery of a Sri Lankan man who suddenly disappeared, according to his wife’s report, said security sources. Case papers indicate that a Sri Lankan living in Andalus reported that her husband had gone out to get a new cooking gas cylinder but never returned home. She added that on calling his mobile phone, it was out of the coverage area. Detectives’ investigations showed that the wife had been having an affair with a compatriot of hers and on checking on the paramour, the airport systems showed that he had shortly and unexpectedly left the country. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress. KUWAIT: Many areas around Kuwait have been plagued by a new drug commonly known locally as ‘Spice’ or ‘Chemical’, that is beginning to spread amongst youth and teenagers, especially since it is not so far listed as a drug and is available at herbal vendors. Informed security sources warned parents and urged them to monitor their teenage children’ behavior noting that if their sleeping hours decrease, if they start to be so itchy, irritated, disobedient, trouble-making and picking fights, if they lose interest in study and tend to act irresponsibly, this would mean they might be using the new drug that is easily obtainable. The sources warned that the danger of the new drug is that it is not classified or listed as a drug and therefore, not incriminated by law. “The new drug is rapidly spreading in schools and amongst teens,” warned the sources noting that 700 cases have been discovered so far. In addition, the sources stressed that the danger of this drug lies in the fact that it can be easily smoked on shisha (hookah), especially that it has fruity flavors. “What is even worse is that the drug is being locally manufactured, as it contains herbal mixtures available at all herbs or spice dealers. The herb is mixed with some aromatic substances to change the taste and some Attorney General in Switzerland on investigation Man in woman’s clothing A GCC male national was recently arrested in Jahra for impersonating as a woman and carrying a ladies’ purse that included a wig and some cosmetics. He was referred to the proper authorities for further action. Zigzag race ends sadly A citizen was arrested in Jahra while driving his vehicle in a slalom race, said security sources noting that the young man was heavily drugged and had some ICE with him. A case was filed. Scammers caught Two citizens were arrested at a routine checkpoint at Jahra. The citizens had been wanted for financial claims of KD 75,000 and KD 30,000. Accident on Salmi Road Three citizens and a Sudanese were injured when they lost control over their vehicle which turned over near the Public Heritage village along Al-Salmi Highway, said security sources. The injured were rushed to Jahra Hospital for treatment. Mother insulted by father A female citizen reported that on picking her kids from school, she found her divorcee waiting outside the school where he insulted and assaulted her in front of other parents, school staff and the pupils, said security sources. The women filed a complaint and brought a medical report of her injuries. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress. Wanted criminal found A Syrian was arrested for swindling a GCC national out of KD 2,100, said security sources. Case papers indicate that on stopping him at a checkpoint along the Gulf Road, the suspect seemed nervous and confused. On checking on him, it was discovered that he was wanted for a fraud case. chemicals to give esthetic effects,” he explained. He pointed out that a small bag would cost KD 30-40 for the locally manufactured kind, and KD 70-100 for imported drugs. Moreover, the sources stressed that some neighboring countries have already incriminated spice, and that a high-ranking security delegation including members from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Customs General Department had paid two visits to that country to exchange information and make use of their experience in dealing with this new drug pending listing it as a drug in Kuwait. —Al-Rai 10m passengers in 2014 against 7m capacity KUWAIT: The total number of passengers using Kuwait International Airport in 2014 was 10.2 million with a record increase of 9.6 percent, compared to 2013 and previous years. According to the 2015-2020 development plan, passenger traffic increased 13 percent between 2010 and 2013, taking into consideration that the airport’s annual capacity is only 7 million passengers. This means that passengers using the airport last year were 46 percent higher than its maximum capacity. The plan added that the major challenge air aviation faces is to increase the capacity through building terminal two as quickly as possible. Notably, a tender for building the new terminal was cancelled a few days ago. —Al-Qabas Ministers, MPs, spouses banned from privatization process, projects KUWAIT: The Privatization Law executive regulations pertaining with regulating privatization state that the privatization technical apparatus would allocate a special committee to apply unified regulations on evaluating all projects to be privatized. In addition, articles 12 and 13 of the law lay emphasis on the categories of who would be banned from taking part in any privatization process and the privatized projects. The banned parties include ministers, lawmakers, their spouses and first degree relatives. The regulation also defined that their ban would be for five years after leaving their posts in order to prevent contradiction of interests, sources said. The regulations also stipulate that, in order to ensure transparency, the government would announce in various media its intention to privatize a certain project so that interested investors could take part. The law also stressed companies providing inaccurate information would be fined KD 50,000 in addition to dissolving their boards of directors. —Al-Anbaa KUWAIT: Well-informed sources said that a high-ranking judiciary delegation left for Switzerland to meet Swiss authorities and resume investigation on the case filed against the former social security chief Fahad Al-Rajan. The sources added that the delegation was headed by Attorney General Chancellor Dherar Al-Assoussi and that it would continue reviewing Al-Rajan’s bank accounts after a Swiss court ordered allowing Kuwait’s public prosecution access to and freeze those accounts. Notably, following the Swiss court order to expose and freeze Al-Rajan’s bank accounts, an arrest warrant was made to the Interpol to arrest and bring Raajan in the country in addition to freezing all his, his wife’s and his daughters’ assets and cash. —Al-Jarida Attorney General Dherar Al-Assoussi Historical reconciliation between Naibari, Roumi Naibari accepts apology from assassin KUWAIT: In a historic and unconventional event, for- attempt to assassinate Hamad Al-Jouan, this was the mer MP Abdullah Al-Naibari pardoned Salman Al- third ordeal he experienced during his lifetime. Roumi apologized to Naibari and Feryal Al-Fraih Shamlan Al-Roumi, who attempted to assassinate him in 1997. Speaking during a reconciliation session for what he did and thanked HH the Amir and everyheld at his diwaniya in Abdullah Al-Salem, Naibari body who made this reconciliation possible. “I was stressed that there had not been any pressure on him released on November 13, and ever since, I have to accept any kind of compromise. He added that he been looking forward to meeting my brother had only wanted to know the real instigator behind Abdullah Al-Naibari and beg for pardon,” he said. “I was very embarrassed by the warm his attempted murder. The meeting welcome at the Al-Naibari diwan,” he was attended by Amiri Diwan added. “Have you forgiven me?” Advisor Yousif Al-Nisf, former MP Salman asked Naibari, who replied Abdullah Al-Roumi and a number of that his forgiveness was sent in an offiother former lawmakers. cial letter to HH the Amir, sources said. Naibari also stressed that the Kuwait University Political Science phone call he received from HH the Professor Dr Ghanem Al-Najjar said Amir in this regard was simple advice both the assassination attempt and which he accepted in order to the reconciliation were historic. “We enhance tolerance amongst fellow are making history with this session,” Kuwaitis. “I have never held any he stressed, emphasizing the signifigrudge for brother Salman,” he cance of tolerance and forgiveness underlined. He also pointed out that along with the occupation and the Abdullah Al-Naibari amongst fellow citizens. —Al-Jarida Closed domestic office opens A Filipina was recently arrested for reopening a domestic labor office that had been closed down by the municipality for not having a license. Security sources noted that on finding the office open and the clerk working inside, she was arrested and stressed that she was just following her boss’ orders. The sponsor is being summoned though he did not answer his phone. Al-Jarida Fixing the problem... Salman’s apology, Abdullah’s acceptance By Ghanem Al-Najjar Drug chase A well-built citizen was recently arrested in Salmiya with the possession of drugs after a long chase from Bayan through Hawally to Salmiya, said security sources. Case papers specify that a police patrol suspected a car parked in Bayan and on approaching to inquire about the wrong parking the driver drove off and was chased for two hours through Hawalli and then finally into Salmiya where he stepped off and tried to escape on foot. After arresting him detectives found three bars of Hashish, a bag of ICE and some pills. Meanwhile, three citizens were arrested in Jahra Industrial Area with the possession of 8 packets of ICE and 26 pills, said security sources. F Noisemakers caught Five Indians were recently arrested at a cinema for making noise and spoiling other viewers’ pleasure time while watching the movie, said security sources. Al-Anbaa Al-Jarida Photoshop Al-Qabas The other half By Salah Al-Sayer A photo was recently posted all over the Web showing a masked IS fighter with a US army division tattoo on one of his arms. Some used that photo to prove that IS is US-made and that the man in it was actually a US soldier. However, later on, the photo appeared of the same person but without the tattoo, to indicate that the first one was fake and that the tattoo had been added by means of the famous Photoshop software! Well, the story is not over yet. A third opinion admitted that Photoshop had been used but wondered which photo had been manipulated. Was Photoshop used to add the US tattoo to the first photo and prove that the US supports IS, or was it used in the second photo to remove the tattoo to prove the Americans innocent? Accordingly, Photoshop managed to get Arabs into the endless query of what comes first - the chicken or the egg! One can use Photoshop to portray a living being with a snake’s head, horse’s heels, octopus arms and a butterfly’s wings. This product, Photoshop, actually matches and suits Arab mentality that was culturally created by a ‘cut and paste’ history as if it had been written using Photoshop by historians who sound more like novelists or authors writing stories created by their own imaginations. This can be easily proved by the fact that a single historic event might have one thousand versions in our history books! By Ahmad Al-Sarraf T he woman suffered oppression all along the human history, and she still suffers a lot nearly in all countries of the world! The reasons behind this oppression are many but they are mostly social or religious and the latter are difficult to change especially in countries where religion plays an integral role. The history of the woman’s liberation tells us how she got her rights in many countries, and became equal with man. It also tells us how our Arab countries are still standing alone with their opposition of this liberation, and their continued refusal to sign the World Human Rights declaration because some of their articles related to treatment of women do not agree with our government’s views towards them. There is not an area that woman’s rights are violated and stripped on daily basis and inhumanly more than in courts that one time they are referred to as Sharia-based and other times as family court. The personal affairs laws in the majority of our countries are unfair and extremely oppressive towards women especially in regards to practices of violence against the wife, or alimony, or custody of children in addition to the right of divorce apart from other rights. The executive authorities avoid interfering in the procedures of the Sharia courts and leave them to issue whatever they want in rulings, by clergymen and gradu- ates. Most of them are unfair, hard and deprive the woman of her simplest of rights. The issue becomes more complicated when it comes to mixed marriage, when the couple belongs to different sects, where we always find the woman on the weaker side. The best example is the story of a Kuwaiti doctor, who, despite all opposition, married a Jordanian doctor and went to live with him in his country. Then after some years and having three children, her father forgave her and asked her to return to Kuwait, and here was the surprise that awaited her, because the religious teaching followed in Kuwait disagrees with her being married without her guardian’s approval, and here where a ruling annulling her marriage was awaiting her. We do not forget here that the man has the right to divorce his wife, while the wife mostly does not have the same right, even if he was not spending on her or if he lived with other woman in another country. The right of the woman of her child’s custody is always tied with a very limited time period, and even this right will be lost as soon as she marries another man or even if her divorced husband claims that she does not raise his son or daughter in the proper religious way. Our society has its half not having its deserved dignity. The other half cannot demand its rights. The halves are unable to reclaim what was stolen from them! orgiveness is much harder that revenge and apology is much harder than obstinacy and stubbornness. Unfortunately, people have been opting to the ease of hatred and encouraging revenge. They have been denouncing forgiveness, tolerance and apology. However, what happened last Sunday was something different! At 8:00 pm on February 8, 2015, we had a historic appointment at the Diwaniya of Abdullah Al-Naibari in Abdullah Al-Salem. We had been quietly planning for that nice evening for two months and so, it was one of a kind. Well, the story dates back to 1997 when an assassination attempt took place against the prominent politician, Naibari and his wife, Feryal Al-Fraih on their way back from their chalet. They were both injured but managed to survive. Abdullah was subjected to several long surgeries locally and overseas. The culprits were arrested and most of them were sentenced to life. But four months ago, HH the Amir pardoned the prime suspect, Salman Al-Shamlan after he had already done 17 years in jail. HH the Amir confirmed Naibari’s approval to issue the pardon, which he had reported to the Amir in written form. Highly appreciating were the efforts exerted by Dr Yousif Al-Ibrahim and Yousif Al-Nisf in this regard. Naibairi stressed that he had not been forced nor intimidated to forgive his shooter. “It was out of my strong belief in tolerance and forgiveness that I did so,” he underlined. The meeting held last Sunday was a real attempt to revive the concept of tolerance and forgiveness instead of the currently spreading hatred and grudges amongst fellow-citizens. This phenomenal clemency took three main elements to make it come true and declare it to the public. The first element started by HH the Amir who, despite being constitutionally authorized to pardon Salman, insisted on Naibari’s approval to issue the pardon because of the sensitivity of the case. The second element was Naibari and his wife, Fraih themselves, who transcended above their pain and sorrows and declared an unprecedented pardon. The third one was Salman himself who, ever since his release, has been trying to apologize as if he wanted to remove a heavy painful burden off his shoulders. However, all his attempts had failed for one reason or another despite the efforts of many people. Those three elements combined together helped create the beautiful event we witnessed last Sunday. The whole idea was reviving past attempts and turning them from passivity into a positive power driven by apology and clemency. It required some planning and experience in spreading peace amongst people in addition to lots of patience, honesty and commitment. In order to have a stable society, we have to stop the prevailing speech of hatred, no matter what its motives were and exclude extremists. This will never be possible unless we had real life examples of clemency, apology and accepting it. Thanks be to Allah, in this example, we managed to turn negative life-hating feelings into positive ones and pushing towards optimism in such a time of waste. Therefore, I wish to thank those who formed the three elements starting with HH the Amir, the Naibari couple all the way to Shamlan and all those contributors of peace! SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 Ukraine fighting kills 28 as clock ticks to ceasefire UAE and Spain close embassies in Yemen Page 8 Page 10 IS group poses gravest threat to US Jihadists seize Iraq town near US forces WASHINGTON: Americans believe the Islamic State group poses the most serious threat to the United States in the next decade, according to a poll released Friday. Eighty-four percent of those quizzed by Gallup said IS jihadists, who have grabbed large areas of Iraq and Syria in a brutal onslaught, and terrorism in general presented a “critical threat.” Respondents put the possible development of nuclear weapons by Iran-which says its nuclear aims are peaceful-as the next most serious danger, followed by the “military power of North Korea.” Despite its alleged backing of rebels in the conflict in Ukraine, only 49 percent of those polled said the military power of Russia was the gravest threat to the US, and 44 percent were worried about the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “In a winter that has seen acts of unspeakable terrorism, with Obama seeking authorization for military action against the Islamic State, Americans are clearly concerned about Islamic militants and terrorists,” Gallup said. “The conflict in Ukraine may not worry Americans as much because they see it as more of a threat to Europe than to the US.” The results were based on telephone interviews conducted from Sunday to Wednesday, with a random sample of 837 adults, across the United States. IS captures western town Islamic State jihadists have captured the western Iraqi town of Al-Baghdadi, putting them within striking distance of an air base where American troops are training Iraqi forces, the US military said Friday. The fall of the town, which the Pentagon played down as a minor setback, came as IS extremists launched an unsuccessful assault involving suicide bombers on the nearby AlAsad air base.”We do assess that right now they have control of Al-Baghdadi,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference, adding IS took hold of the town “in the past several days.” The town is located in Anbar province, about five miles from the Asad air base, where about 300 US Marines are stationed to assist Iraqi government troops. Iraqi soldiers repelled the IS group’s assault on the base on Friday which involved several suicide bombers, officials said. A group of 20-25 IS fighters, most of them wearing Iraqi army uniforms, carried out the failed attack, which appeared designed to have been an initial wave of suicide bombings followed by gunmen storming in, Kirby said. All of the militants were killed or died when detonating suicide bombs. Under pressure Kirby said that “at no time were US troops anywhere near the fighting,” which was about two miles away from where the Americans were working at the sprawling complex. American surveillance aircraft tracking the IS extremists assisted the Iraqi army forces and Apache attack helicopters were sent in but did open fire, officials said. US-led coalition aircraft carried out five air strikes in the area over the past 24 hours, roughly 15 kilometers from the Asad base, but those were not related to the brief firefight with the IS militants at Asad, officials said. “There were no aircraft involved in beating back this,” Kirby said. “The Iraqi security forces AL-DARBASSIYAH: A Kurdish female fighter of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) looks on at a training camp in Al-Qahtaniyah, known to Kurds as Al-Darbassiyah, near the Syrian-Turkish border. — AFP did this on their own.” An Iraqi army colonel and a defense ministry official said the botched attack involved at least seven would-be suicide bombers using a military vehicle. Al-Baghdadi had been under growing pressure for months and was one of the few towns that had remained under the Iraqi government’s control in the predominantly Sunni province. But the Pentagon said the capture of the town did not represent a major setback in the war effort against the Islamists who have overrun large areas of Iraq and Syria. “This is arguably the first in at least a couple of months, if not more, where they (IS) have had any success at all at taking any new ground,” Kirby said. “So this is an enemy that we still assess to be in a defensive posture.” He added: “It’s one town. It’s not all of Anbar. It’s not all of Iraq. “We need to keep it in perspective.” US officials have said it will take some time before Iraqi troops are trained and ready to stage a major counter-offensive in Anbar province, where much of the Sunni population has become alienated from the Shiite-led leadership in Baghdad — Agencies Canadian police foil ‘Valentine Day plot’ MONTREAL: Canadian police said they had foiled a plot that would have seen an armed duo carry out a shooting spree in the city of Halifax on Valentine’s Day before killing themselves. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia said a 19-year-old man from the rural town of Timberlea had plotted with a 23-year-old woman from the US city of Geneva, Illinois to open fire somewhere in Halifax yesterday. Two others were also allegedly involved. It was not thought to be terror related. They “had access to firearms and it was their intention to go to a public venue in the Halifax region on February 14th with a goal of opening fire to kill citizens, and then them- selves,” the RCMP said in a statement. Police said the Timberlea man was found dead in a home early Friday morning. The American woman was arrested shortly afteralong with a 20-year-old man-without incident at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Police arrested a fourth suspect, a 17-year-old boy from nearby Cole Harbour, at a home later on Friday. “It’s a group of individuals that were of the same... mind to commit a heinous event and then take their own lives,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan told a news conference. Brennan told the press that the plot was not considered to be related to terrorism. He added that the attack was planned for a venue where a significant loss of life would have been possible, but declined to name an exact location. The CBC reported that police had warned one venue of the threat. “We believe we have apprehended all known individuals in this matter and eliminated the threat,” the RCMP statement read. “We are not seeking any further suspects at this time in relation to this investigation.” The RCMP indicated that firearms had been seized as well as money. ‘We acted quickly’ Police said they first received word of a “potential significant weapons-related threat” on Thursday morning. “We became aware, we acted quickly and intercepted a threat,” the RCMP said. The region’s Serious Incident Response Team was investigating the death of the Timberlea man. Timberlea is a small town on the outskirts of Halifax in the rugged and remote Atlantic province of Nova Scotia. Steven Blaney, the minister for public safety, praised the police operation to thwart the attack. “These arrests are a great example of the fine work they do on a daily basis to help keep Canadians safe,” he said in remarks reported by the CBC. “We support our law enforcement agencies who work tirelessly to ensure our communities are safe places to live, work and raise families,” he said. All three suspects were being kept in police custody. Police called on Canadians to be vigilant and report anything suspect to authorities. — AFP p8_Layout 1 2/14/15 7:57 PM Page 1 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 I N T E R N AT I O N A L Egypt government ends US arms ‘monopoly’ France, Egypt to seal jet fighter deal CAIRO: Egypt’s decision to buy 24 Rafale jet fighters from France underscores its determination to diversify its sources of weapons and reduce its dependence on the United States, experts said. The 5.2-billion-euro ($5.9 billion) deal is a historic first foreign sale of the Rafale for France, which is set to sign the contract in the Egyptian capital tomorrow. Rights group Amnesty International has criticized the sale of the jets and a frigate to a nation that it has accused of “alarming” human rights abuses. The United States-a long-time strategic partner of Egypt, to which it gives about $1.5 billion in aid each year including roughly $1.3 billion in military assistance-has played down the impact of the sale. “Egypt is a sovereign country,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday. “We have our own security relationship, so I wouldn’t say there’s a concern from this end.” USEgyptian relations have been strained since the military deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and launched a brutal crackdown on his supporters. Morsi, the country’s first freely elected head of state, was toppled by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi following massive protests against his controversial one-year rule. Sisi was elected president in May 2014 with 96.91 percent of the vote. More than 1,400 people have died in the crackdown on Morsi supporters. Thousands have been imprisoned and hundreds sentenced to death, while Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has been branded a “terrorist” organization and banned. The brutal repression of Morsi supporters prompted Washington to freeze part of its aid to Cairo in October 2013 and demand that Egypt implement democratic reforms. “ The contract (with France) is an implicit message to the United States signifying that Egypt will no longer count exclusively on US weapon supplies,” said retired Egyptian army general Mohammed Mujahid Al-Zayyat. Egypt no longer wants to be “blackmailed” in its relations with the United States, said Zayyat, an expert with the Cairo-based National Centre for Middle East Studies. US officials “have their own views as to how the Egyptian army should be rebuilt and reject the army’s belief that Israel is its key enemy,” he added. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 but relations between the two neighbors have never been fully developed and remain frosty over Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. The Russian connection Washington has tried to balance its defense relationship with criticism of alleged human rights violations by the Egyptian government. It recently delivered to Cairo a shipment of Apache helicopter gunships, supposedly for use in counterterrorism operations, while also denouncing mass convictions of Sisi’s opponents. Military expert and retired army officer Ahmed Abdel Halim said Egypt was being held “hostage” by Washington because of its human rights record, and needed to diversify its sources of weaponry. “The diversification of the supply of weapons and technology is aimed at dissuading any country from exercising a monopoly over Egypt or of trying to A Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by Dassault Aviation, fly over the desert in Egypt as pyramids are pictured in the background. France said it will sell 24 Rafale fighters plus a frigate to Egypt in a 5.2 billion euro ($5.9 billion) deal that marks the first foreign contract for the multi-role combat jet. — AFP two leaders agreed a deal for Moscow to build Egypt’s first ever nuclear power plant to produce electricity. They also agreed on “further military cooperation between our two countries given the current circumstances” in Egypt, said Sisi, who visited Russia twice last year to discuss Russian weapon supplies. Egypt is fighting an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and also blackmail it,” he said. Abdel Halim, a former president of the national security commission at the Egyptian senate, said Egypt would continue to import weapons from the United States, as well as France and “maybe even China”. Russia, he said, could be another key supplier. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key non-Arab backer of Sisi, paid a landmark visit to Cairo this week. The fears that the chaos in neighboring Libya, where powerful militias are battling for territory, could spread across the border. “Egypt will continue to buy weapons from the Americans but it will also buy them from Russia, and this was clear during Putin’s visit to Cairo,” said Arab affairs expert Mathieu Guidere. That “will put Egypt in a better position vis-a-vis the Americans,” he said.—AFP UAE and Spain close embassies in Yemen Clashes leave 26 dead BEIRUT: Lebanese Druze leader and Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) chairman Walid Jumblatt (right) places a rose on the burial place of slain former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in downtown Beirut yesterday, to mark a decade following his assassination. — AFP Hariri returns for father’s assassination anniversary BEIRUT: Lebanon’s former prime minister Saad Al-Hariri arrived back in the country overnight on a rare visit and to mark the 10th anniversary of his father Rafiq’s assassination, Lebanese media said. He will speak at a ceremony dedicated to his father in central Beirut, state news agency NNA and pro-Hariri newspaper AlMustaqbal said. Special forces officers patrolled streets near the venue in the capital yesterday and blocked off traffic. Rafiq Al-Hariri was killed in a 2005 Beirut waterfront bombing that brought the country back to the brink of civil war. Yesterday scores of Lebanese queued to lay white and red flowers at his grave next to the central Mohammad Al-Amin mosque in the capital, some breaking down in tears and others posing for photographs beside large posters of the late statesman. Five members of Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah have been indicted over his killing by an international tribunal in The Hague, which is being closely watched in Lebanon. The trial in absentia began in January 2014 and Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the killing. The assassination pushed Hariri’s son Saad into political life. He remains Lebanon’s most influential Sunni politician, despite leaving the country in 2011 after his government was toppled by a coalition including Hezbollah. He splits his time between Saudi Arabia and France, who support him. Despite the animosity between the two groups, Hariri’s Future Movement is now working with Hezbollah to contain sectarian tensions back in Lebanon that have been exacerbated by the war in Syria. The four-year-old Syrian conflict involves overwhelmingly Sunni insurgents who oppose President Bashar AlAssad, a member of the Shiite-derived Alawite minority, and allied Shiite groups including Hezbollah. US Secretary of State John Kerry commemorated Hariri in a statement late on Friday, saying the man known as “Mr Lebanon” had given his country hope during its “darkest days.” “He stood for peaceful change and the resolution of differences through conversations - not carnage,” Kerry said. “Ten years ago today, he was assassinated because some feared he might succeed.” The bomb that killed him, packed in a Mitsubishi van filled with the equivalent of 2.5 tons of high explosive, was detonated by a still unidentified suicide bomber. It killed 21 others and wounded more than 200 as it ripped through a busy street. Saad, who blames Hezbollah ally Assad for the murder, visited Lebanon for the first time in three years in August. Politicians and public figures expressed hope that his return would help stabilize Lebanon, which is plagued by violence and caught in political deadlock, unable to elect a new president after several attempts.—Reuters ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates and Spain said yesterday they had suspended operations at their embassies in Yemen following a Shiite militia takeover that has prompted an exodus of foreign diplomats. The Houthi militiamen dissolved Yemen’s government and parliament on February 6 after seizing the presidential palace and key government buildings, sparking growing security concerns. The UAE foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency that it “has suspended embassy operations in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and evacuated all staff. “This decision comes in light of the increasingly deteriorating political and security situation” and the “unfortunate events with the Houthis undermining legitimate authority in the country,” it said. The move came a day after Sunni-dominated regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia announced it had also evacuated all its staff from the embassy in Sanaa. The United States, France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the Netherlands have also closed their embassies in Yemen and pulled out staff because of security fears. Spain said it was suspending embassy activity in Yemen “in light of the current situation of insecurity and instability in Sanaa”. “Spain trusts that the causes of this decision will be resolved shortly and that the embassy can soon resume its duties normally,” the foreign ministry said. “The government reiterates its support for a process of democratic transition in Yemen that leads to the forming of an inclusive government that can meet the desires for freedom, democracy and prosperity of the Yemeni people.” It said that the embassy had contacted all members of the “small Spanish community in Yemen” and advised them to “temporarily” leave the Arabian Peninsula countr y. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said this week that Yemen was “collapsing before our eyes” and called for Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to be restored to power. Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council were to meet later on Saturday in Riyadh for expected talks on the Yemen crisis. Last week the GCC denounced the action by the Houthis-who are accused of receiving backing from Shiite-dominated Iranas a coup. Clashes kill 26 Meanwhile, clashes between Shiite Houthi militiamen and Sunni tribesmen fighting alongside Al-Qaeda militants killed 26 people in Yemen, local officials said. Heavy fighting was ongoing in the southern mountainous province of Al-Bayda, leading to the death of 16 Houthi rebels along with 10 Sunni tribesmen and militants, security officials and tribal sources told Reuters. The state faces collapse in Yemen two weeks after the Houthi group took formal control of the country and continued an armed push southward.— Agencies Italians urged to leave Libya ROME: Italy’s foreign ministry has advised against travelling to Libya and suggested that its nationals already should leave, adding that it stands ready to participate in any UN intervention in the country. “We reiterate our invitation to our nationals to not travel to Libya and for those already there to provisionally leave the country,” the foreign ministry said on its website. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told the SkyTg24 television channel that the question of a response from the kind by the United Nations would arise if the fighting in Libya doesn’t stop. Delegates from Libya’s rival parliaments held indirect talks this week aimed at ending months of instability in the violence-plagued country. The talks, the first of their kind involving Libya’s internationally recognized government and the rival General National Congress (GNC), were held in the southern oasis town of Ghadames. Libya, still awash with weapons and armed factions following the toppling and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed 2011 uprising, has two rival governments and parliaments. At the same time, rival militias are also battling for control of its cities and oil wealth. The Italian foreign minister stressed the danger of a conflict on the other side of the Mediterranean, adding that Italy was “ready to fight” if international intervention was properly approved. “We can’t accept that just a few hours sailing away lies a terrorist threat,” said Gentiloni. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano spoke of the possibility of an Islamic caliphate “at our door”. Hundreds of Africans have left Libya aboard rubber dinghies, just days after more than 300 perished in a similar attempt to reach Italy, Italian coastguard officials said Friday. — AFP BENGHAZI: Smoke rises from the port of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi yesterday during clashes between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government and Islamist militias. Powerful militias, backing rival governments and parliaments, have been battling for control of key cities and the country’s oil riches since the uprising four years ago. —AFP In battle for Kobane, US crews recount bombing WASHINGTON: American pilots call it “going Winchester.” That’s when a warplane drops every bomb on board. And air crews for the B-1 bomber told AFP it was not uncommon in the battle for the Syrian town of Kobane, recaptured by Kurdish forces last month. The airmen, recently returned from a six-month stint flying combat missions over Syria and Iraq, recounted how American aircraft relentlessly pounded Islamic State jihadists fighting the Kurds in Kobane. The heavy bombing, not seen since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, helped the Kurds hold and eventually recapture the northern border town last month, a symbolic blow to the extremists who appeared on the verge of seizing Kobane in October. “When you went to Kobane, you could almost guarantee you were going to release a weapon that day,” said Captain Todd Saksa, a B-1 weapons systems officer. The 31-year-old Saksa had flown other missions in Afghanistan but what was different this time was “the sheer number of weapons dropped,” he said by phone from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. B-1 pilot Major Brandon Miller, 38, has been deployed five times in warzones, but he had never before dropped as many bombs as during the battle for Kobane. “I personally went Winchester three times,” he said. Before that, he had never emptied his weapons bay. In previous six-month tours over Afghanistan, it was typical for his squadron to unload 15 to 20 bombs. But in their last deployment, the squadron dropped more than 2,000 bombs and hit more than 1,700 targets, he said. The B-1B Lancer was built in the 1980s during the Cold War to fly low and fast into Soviet air space. But the supersonic plane became a “workhorse” for the American-led air campaign in Kobane, delivering much of the firepower that took out IS fighters and vehicles, US Air Force officers said. Unlike fighter jets, the bomber-dubbed “the Bone” by air crews-is able to linger for hours over a target thanks to a large fuel tank and can hold a much larger payload of weapons, with roughly two dozen bombs of different sizes. 8 hours over Kobane In a six-month period, the B-1 flew 18 percent of all strike flights against IS and accounted for 43 percent of the total tonnage of munitions dropped in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said. The airmen with the 9th Bomb Squadron had deployed to the Middle East in July preparing for missions over Afghanistan, where a small US force rarely if ever would call in a bombing raid. But one night in August, a B-1 was ordered to hold on the runway. Instead of Afghanistan, the four-man crew was told they would be heading to northern Iraq to escort planes dropping supplies to encircled Yazidis on Mount Sinjar. By October, the bombers were frequently flying to aid the embattled Kurds in Kobane, staying eight hours overhead-with one mid-air refueling at the four-hour mark-looking for IS fighters who were often in plain sight. The targets were either spotted by the crews or relayed by Kurdish fighters, whose requests would be passed to America’s air operations center in Qatar. Without US forward air controllers near the front line, approval for a strike could take up to 45 minutes, officers said. The IS fighters, unaccustomed to being hunted from the air, took a pummeling-until they learned to conceal their movements. The bombers were often joined by two or more F-15 or F-16 fighter jets, ensuring that “we had air power overhead almost 24 hours a day in Kobane,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ed Sumangil, 40, commander of the squadron. And unlike the past decade of US wars where insurgents often relied on roadside bombs and ambushes, there was a clear front line in Kobane, a conventional battle between two forces and no civilians nearby.—AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 I N T E R N AT I O N A L At root of Argentina spy intrigue: a deal with Iran ‘The Secret Argentina’ on the intelligence community BUENOS AIRES: President Cristina Fernandez has portrayed Argentina’s spy agency as sinister, accountable to no one, and possibly responsible for the mysterious death of a prominent prosecutor in his Buenos Aires apartment. As a result, Fernandez declared last week, the Intelligence Secretariat needs to be totally shut down - and a new agency built from scratch. “You can’t extort me. You can’t intimidate me. I’m not afraid of you,” she said, speaking directly to the agency’s leaders, in a nationally televised address on Monday. But the underlying story of the dispute, sources close to both the agency and Fernandez’s leftist government tell Reuters, is more complicated, with roots in Iran and a terrorist attack two decades ago that has never been fully solved. They say Fernandez has been in open conflict with her own spy agency for two years, following a deal in which she enlisted Iran’s help to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. Fernandez has portrayed the agreement as the only way to confirm whether Iran’s government was behind the attack, as Argentine prosecutors have alleged. Without Tehran’s cooperation, the investigation would have remained stalled and it would have been impossible to question Iranian suspects, Fernandez has said. Iran has vigorously denied any role in the bombing. However, some of the spy agency’s leaders felt betrayed by the deal, a source with knowledge of the agency’s affairs said on condition of anonymity. They had spent many years helping prosecutors build the case against Iran, and saw Fernandez’s agreement as an attempt to whitewash their investigation. “It was like she switched sides ... and was suddenly friends with Iran,” the source said. “That’s what this (dispute) is all about.” A government official confirmed the Iran deal was the origin of the conflict, which he described as a grave threat to Fernandez. “When (the spy agency) stops supporting you, you’re screwed,” the official said. Repeated efforts to contact the Intelligence Secretariat, or SI, were unsuccessful. No one answered a doorbell this week at the mirrored entrance to its headquarters in a stately building across the street from Fernandez’s palace in Buenos Aires. Argentines horrified The conflict exploded into public view on Jan 18, when Alberto Nisman, the chief prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, or AMIA, was found dead in his bathroom with a bullet in his head. Nisman had been due the next day to present new findings to Congress regarding Fernandez’s deal with Iran. His death horrified many Argentines, as well as Jewish groups around the world, denting Fernandez’s popularity at a time when she is already dealing with an economy on the verge of recession and a long-running battle Money already paving the way to 2016 White House WASHINGTON: A year remains before party primaries for the US presidential election-and 21 months until the vote itself-but potential candidates are already cranking on a core task: raising cash. Jeb Bush, for example, has yet to lay out his vision for America. That hasn’t stopped executives, consultants and wealthy donors from seeking access to the would-be candidate at closed-door meetings and swish receptions. US media reports reveal how Bush, the likely Republican frontrunner, may dominate potential rivals in the money stakes. Politico reported that the son and brother of two presidents this week travelled to New York, where admissions to a Bush event hosted by private equity mogul Henry Kravis sold for a staggering $100,000 apiece. BUENOS AIRES: Combo picture shows Argentine President Cristina Kirchner (left) and of Argentina’s deceased Public Prosecutor Alberto Nisman taken. Nisman, who on January 14, 2015 accused President Cristina Kirchner of obstructing a probe into a 1994 Jewish center bombing, was found shot dead on January 19, 2015, just hours before he was due to testify at a congressional hearing. — AFP with foreign creditors over defaulted debt. Fernandez has said she believes Nisman was murdered, although she has not detailed how, and no one has been arrested in connection with the case. Officials admit privately the truth may never be known. Meanwhile, the depth and complexity of her dispute with the spy agency suggests the case could drag on for months or longer, with unpredictable consequences for all parties. “This will go on and on and on, and we won’t stop asking questions, no matter who is involved,” Patricia Bullrich, an opposition legislator who was Nisman’s main contact in Congress, said in an interview. “The roots are very deep.” Dirty war The SI and its 3,000 or so employees report, in theory, to the president. But in practice, it has long operated in a murky world of its own, critics say. The agency played an important role in the military government’s “dirty war” against suspected leftists in the 1970s. As many as 30,000 died at the hands of the state during the dictatorship, human rights groups say. Many of the agency’s junior officers then are its leaders now, according to Gerardo Young, a journalist who wrote a book titled “The Secret Argentina” on the intelligence community. Today, the agency still enjoys “unacceptable autonomy” and has continued to spy on politicians, leaders of social movements and oth- ers in recent years while resisting attempts at greater oversight, according to a recent report by the Association for Civil Law, a local non-profit group. Nonetheless, Fernandez once believed she could use the SI in constructive fashion. When her late husband Nestor Kirchner became president in 2003, he ordered the agency to help prosecutors uncover who bombed the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, or AMIA, the worst attack on a Jewish institution since World War Two. The collaboration produced results. With the SI’s help, Nisman published a report in 2006 saying Hezbollah agents had carried out the attack with financial and logistical support from Iran. Nisman cited witness testimony, information from wire taps and the bank records of Iranians, and a photo that allegedly showed a then-official at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires looking for the kind of truck eventually used in the bombing. In 2007, at Argentina’s request, Interpol put five Iranians and a Lebanese national on its most-wanted list in connection with the bombing. Many in Argentina’s Jewish community, Latin America’s largest, believed that justice was finally at hand. “It seemed like the government was finally on our side,” said Eliana Hoel, 43, at an event to commemorate AMIA victims this week. “ There was so much hope in those years.”—Reuters Shadow of Clinton’s war vote hangs over 2016 contenders WASHINGTON: In 2002, Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton cast a vote in favor of the Iraq war that would later come to haunt her presidential campaign. Now, a new crop of senators eying the White House - Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas - will face a similar choice over authorizing military action in the Middle East. A vote in favor of President Barack Obama’s use -of-force resolution would give the potential candidates a share of the responsibility for the outcome of military action in a combustible region. And as Clinton learned well, the public’s support for a military campaign can quickly fade, making the long-term implications of the vote difficult to predict. Obama asked lawmakers this week to approve a three-year offensive against the Islamic State group and affiliated forces. His request includes no constraints on geographical boundaries but would bar “enduring offensive combat” - intentionally vague language that some lawmakers fear leaves open the prospect of a USled ground war. So far, most of the 2016 hopefuls currently in Congress have sidestepped questions about how they would vote on Obama’s measure, which could be amended before they have to say yes or no. Among Republicans, Rubio has been perhaps the most specific in outlining his views, saying he opposes the president putting constraints on his ability to use military force against an enemy. “What we need to be authorizing the president to do is to destroy them and to defeat them, and allow the commander in chief - both the one we have now and the one who will follow - to put in place the tactics, the military tactics, necessary to destroy and defeat ISIL,” Rubio said, using a common acronym for the Islamic State group. A spokesman for Paul said Friday that the senator is reviewing the legislation but has not decided how he would vote. Cruz has called for Congress to “strengthen” the legislation by making sure the president is committed to clear objectives. He also has suggested the authorization should include a provision to directly arm the Iraqi Kurds, but it is unclear what other changes he wants to see. Despite Americans’ war weariness, there is public support for formally authorizing the mission. An NBC News/Marist poll released Friday showed that 54 percent of respondents want their member of Congress to vote for Obama’s request. Clinton, who is laying the groundwork for another presidential run, will also be pressed to take a position. But this time around, she will have the advantage of weighing in from the outside, without the pressure of voting. “You can talk about the subject without actually being pinned down on a particular vote that you’re going to have to defend for years to come,” said Jim Manley, a longtime aide to the late HILLSBORO: In this file photo, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown waits to shake Hillary Clinton’s hand as she enters Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Ore. —AP Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who worked to get Clinton and other Democrats to vote against the 2002 war authorization. Clinton has made no public comments since Obama sent lawmakers the draft legislation earlier this week, and her spokesman did not respond to a fresh request for her position Friday. The former secretary of state has previously called the fight against the Islamic State a “long term struggle” and has said military action is essential to prevent the group from making further advances. The military campaign against the Islamic State militants began six months ago, and Obama is, in effect, seeking Congress’ approval retroactively. He has said the current mission is legally justified under the 2002 authorization President George W Bush used to start the Iraq war - the resolution Clinton voted for. By the time Obama and Clinton faced off in the 2008 Democratic primary, the Iraq war was deeply unpopular. Obama saw Clinton’s vote for the military conflict as a way to draw a distinction with his better-known rival, arguing that while he was not in the Senate in 2002, he would have voted against giving Bush the war powers. The 2002 vote and its political implications have continued to shadow the way lawmakers have responded to war-power requests. In 2013, Congress balked at Obama’s request to authorize strikes in Syria and never held a vote. And while congressional leaders pushed the president for months to seek authorization for the Islamic State campaign, lawmakers insisted Obama be the one to actually draft a resolution. As with Obama’s current request, there was public support for Bush’s Iraq resolution in 2002. A Gallup Poll a few weeks before the high-stakes vote found that 57 percent of Americans said Congress should “pass a resolution to support sending American ground troops to the Persian Gulf in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.” About 38 percent said it should not. As the Iraq war dragged on, and the death toll and financial costs mounted, the conflict became deeply unpopular. By the time Clinton and Obama were facing off for the Democratic nomination, sur veys showed a majority of Americans believed going into Iraq was the wrong decision - a warning for potential 2016 candidates trying to read the tea leaves ahead of their own war powers vote.—AP Billionaires’ influence For America’s billionaires, a potential candidate’s line is always open. Several in the top tier of the ultra wealthy are aggressively courted: industry titans Charles and David Koch; casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; hedge fund bosses Robert Mercer and Paul Singer; billionaire investor Tom Steyer, and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. These elites are not expected to be satisfied with pumping a few hundred thousand dollars into a favorite candidate’s campaign; often they seek broader influence on election results up and down the ballot. The Koch brothers, through a network of organizations they control, are trying to raise $889 million-more than the Democratic and Republican national committees spent between them in 2012 - to help elect as many libertarianleaning Republicans as possible. Their reach is long. Three ambitious senatorsTed Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubioparticipated in a January debate organized by the Koch-affiliated Freedom Partners and conducted before hundreds of donors and entrepreneurs. How much for a president? Mounting a successful 21st century US presidential campaign requires spectacular financial reserves, and each check written by a Koch or Adelson or Steyer can equate to the contributions of hundreds of thousands of individual donors. In 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a grand total of $2.6 billion was spent on the race that saw President Barack Obama stave off Republican challenger Mitt Romney. About $1.1 billion of that was raised directly by candidates. Such donations are capped and tightly regulated, with only individuals allowed to make them. Another billion was raised through socalled outside organizations that are officially independent from candidates. Such contributions have been helped by a wave of campaign finance de-regulation, including a 2010 Supreme Court decision that lifted restrictions on political election spending by corporations. For outside groups like these, there is no limit on donations, which can include direct corporate contributions. And some organizations are allowed to shield donors’ names, leading to the cynical term for their contributions: “dark money.” Funding limits? The coming election will be marked by unstoppable growth in contributions from non-institutional sources, money that will likely be used to saturate broadcast and online screens with political adver tising. Strict regulations adopted in the 1970s-and again in 2002 after corruption scandals in the 1990shave rapidly eroded, said Paul Ryan, an election finance exper t at The Campaign Legal Center, which exposes campaign finance abuse. “The candidate contribution limit that has been on the books for decades, which in this cycle is $2,700 per donor, will largely be rendered meaningless,” he said. “Post2010, we really see a re-creation of the corrupting, unlimited money in politics that we had in the late 1990s” and earlier. Many critics see the shift as deeply unsettling, but White House hopefuls are in no position to ignore the money train. The New York Times recently reported that Hillary Clinton, as of now still a non-candidate for 2016, was appointing a trusted aide, Dennis Cheng, as a key fundraiser.— AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 I N T E R N AT I O N A L Nigeria faces critical six weeks to polling day LAGOS: Nigerians had been due to elect a new president yesterday until the electoral commission delayed the vote by six weeks, citing fears about security and the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency. The country will now go to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections on March 28, with gubernatorial and state house assembly polls two weeks later on April 11. The delay has triggered widespread debate about what happens next, particularly if no significant progress is made in tackling the Islamist insurgency raging in the north and there is a further postponement. Amid fears of widespread violence, the coming weeks are seen as among the most important since civilian rule was restored in 1999. “The next six weeks are laden with difficult struggles to protect Nigeria’s hard-won democracy,” the International Crisis Group’s Nigeria researcher Nnamdi Obasi wrote. Political argument Much of the discussion in the last week has centered on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s acceptance of advice from the country’s security chief and its impact on the political campaign. The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate Muhammadu Buhari were seen as mounting the first serious opposition challenge to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The result was even predicted to be close to call, with the prospect of the PDP being dumped out of power for the first time in 16 years. Buhari, a former military ruler, called the election delay “a crude and fraudulent attempt to subvert the electoral process”, while the APC has alleged that the PDP used the military for political ends. Jonathan’s campaign spokesman Femi Fani-Kayode described the APC as having “paranoid delusions” and “far-fetched and childish conspiracy theories” about the date shift. The distribution of voter identity cards, which is not yet complete, and the ability to ensure security were “legitimate and gen- uine concerns” for a free, fair and credible election, the spokesman said. Legal action Should elections go ahead on March 28, they would be within the timeframe under electoral laws that stipulate voting cannot be held later than 30 days before the handover of power. Jonathan, whose term of office expires on April 30, has twice described the May 29 date for the transfer of power as “sacrosanct”. But should he and his party not gain any advantage from the prolonged campaign and stall the APC’s momentum, the vote is likely to remain close-and could even lead to a re-run. Legal action is a real possibility, particularly if the militar y is unable to secure and stabilize the restive northeast, allowing hundreds of thousands of displaced people to vote. The APC has already said the integrity of the overall result would be in doubt if voters are disenfranchised in its stronghold in the violence -wracked nor theast. Cour t action could equally come from the PDP if there are further problems in issuing all voter cards to the 68.8 million registered electors or if there are claims from either side of voter fraud. A key question will be whether any disputes can be resolved before the handover, particularly if there is a repeat of the deadly post-poll violence that killed some 1,000 people in 2011. Further delay National security advisor Sambo Dasuki has said the vote will not be rescheduled again but many believe his six-week deadline to effectively crush Boko Haram is unrealistic. “Despite the recent interventions by Chadian and Cameroonian forces, Boko Haram has proved its continued ability to disrupt,” wrote Obasi, noting that a wider regional force has yet to deploy. A slight delay after March 28 would still fall within the 30-day limit before May 29. But Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo warned: “Any further postponement beyond the 30 days to the May 29 handover date will be a recourse to civil disobedience and unrest.” Violence “may prompt the military to seize power and truncate the current democratic dispensation”, he added. Political risk consultants Verisk Maplecroft said unrest could at worst inflame tensions between the largely Christian south and Muslim-majority north. It warned of a “post-election crisissimilar to Cote d’Ivoire in 2010/2011 or Kenya in 2007/2008 - potentially even escalating as far as civil war”. The APC and others have recalled the political turmoil after military ruler Ibrahim Babangida cancelled elections in June 1993, when the business tycoon Moshood Abiola was set to win. But Nigeria’s Attorney General Mohammed Bello Adoke dismissed talk of a military “interim national government”, saying there was no provision in the constitution implemented in 1999. —AFP Boko Haram invades restive city of Gombe Islamists take fight into Chad KANO: Hundreds of Boko Haram Islamists yesterday invaded the restive northeast Nigerian city of Gombe, firing heavy guns and throwing leaflets calling on residents to boycott upcoming general elections, locals said. “The Boko Haram gunmen are now at the A Nigerian fighter jet encircled the city but made no attempt to attack the insurgents, said witness Kabiru Na-Gwandu. He said the residents had been warned to evacuate Gombe, which has been attacked by the insurgents previously. “I received calls from friends in The Boko Haram fighters appealed to residents to boycott the elections which had originally been planned to take place yesterday before they were postponed until March 28. Gombe has been repeatedly hit by suicide attacks and other bombings blamed on NOUGBOUA: A picture shows the village Nougboua after it was attacked by Nigeria’s Boko Haram rebels. Nigeria’s Boko Haram rebels carried out their first attack inside neighboring Chad, targeting a village on the shores of Lake Chad as part of a widening insurgency that has sucked in four countries. —AFP Jeka-da-Fari roundabout in the centre of the city, firing indiscriminately and throwing pamphlets calling on people not to participate in the elections,” resident Ali Dahiru said. Other witnesses said the extremists stormed the city around 9:00 am (0800 GMT) and advanced without any resistance from the security forces. Kwadam, which is five kilometers away, warning me to leave because Boko Haram were on their way,” said Na-Gwandu, who lives near the military base in the city. “I evacuated my house along with my family before they arrived in the city and I’m happy that I did because from information I’m receiving they have taken over the military barracks,” he said. the Islamists in the six-year insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast. Two weeks ago, two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a stadium, just minutes after President Goodluck Jonathan had left the venue where he had given a campaign speech. Many people were injured. In February 2012, Boko Haram launched its first offensive on the city, killing 14 people in a bomb attack on a police station. Soldiers repelled another attack on a nearby prison. Locals said prior to yesterday’s invasion, the militants had camped at Hani village, 36 kilometers from Gombe, where they preached to locals and informed them they were on their way to take over the governor’s office in the city. “They came around 6:00 am (0500GMT) and took over the military checkpoint that was curiously abandoned by soldiers on Thursday,” resident Mustapha Baba told AFP. Ongoing offensive He said the insurgents had fled from the Galda forest in neighboring Yobe state following ongoing offensive on their camps by Nigerian troops. The Nigerian military last week launched a ground and aerial offensive on Boko Haram camps in the Galda forest, from where the Islamists are believed to be planning attacks in the area. In the past few weeks, the group has stepped up its offensive both within Nigeria and against border towns of neighboring countries, forcing Nigerian general elections that were scheduled for yesterday to be postponed by six weeks. On Friday, Boko Haram fighters attacked Chad for the first time, targeting a village on the shores of Lake Chad. The attack marked a new escalation in the group’s bloody six-year campaign to establish a hardline Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria, which borders Cameroon, Chad and Niger, a campaign that has killed some 13,000 people since 2009. Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger this month launched an unprecedented joint effort to crush the Islamists, raising hopes that the insurgentswho have outgunned Nigeria’s national army-might finally have met their match. —AFP Ukraine fighting kills 28 as clock ticks to ceasefire DONETSK: Fighting raged in Ukraine yesterday, throwing doubts on a ceasefire deal due to take effect over the weekend, as the US said Russia was still deploying heavy arms and Kiev warned that shelling of civilians had intensified. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the continuing bombardment of civilians in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatist rebels was already undermining the peace plan reached in Minsk on Thursday. At least 28 civilians and soldiers were reported killed in the latest upsurge in fighting. “Unfortunately after the Minsk agreement, Russia’s offensive has significantly increased. We still think that the DONETSK: The body of a dead pro-Russian separatist lies on a sidewalk after a shell exploded in central part of the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk yesterday. —AFP agreement is in great danger,” Poroshenko said during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “After what we concluded in Minsk, these are not only attacks against civilians but also against the Minsk agreement,” he added, referring to the shelling of the town of Artemivsk that killed three people including a seven-yearold. The ceasefire, due to take effect from 2200 GMT Saturday, will be the first test of the commitment by Kiev and pro-Russian separatists to the freshly-inked peace plan. But with separatists fighting to conquer more territory ahead of the truce and Kiev forces digging in, there are fears over whether anyone will observe the truce, considered vital to the success of the peace roadmap. Fresh fighting The United States said it believed Russia was continuing to deploy heavy weapons ahead of the ceasefire. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States had received reports of heavy weapons being moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia over the past few days, and more apparently on the way. “This is clearly not in the spirit of this week’s agreement,” Psaki told reporters. She said the Russian military had deployed large amounts of artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems and was using them to shell Ukrainian positions. “We are confident that these are Russian military, not separatist systems,” she said, adding that Russian troops along the border were preparing a large shipment of supplies to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Friday’s fresh fighting came after rebels and Kiev agreed to the wide-ranging plan on Thursday following marathon talks in the Belarusian between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Russia that the EU, which has already slapped Moscow with sanctions over the crisis, is not ruling out further measures if the truce fails. —AFP VATICAN CITY: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (right) greets Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican yesterday. Pope Francis welcomed 20 new cardinals yesterday into the elite club of churchmen who will elect his successor and immediately delivered a tough- love message to them, telling them to put aside their pride, jealousy, self-interests and anger and instead exercise perfect charity. _AP Pope to new cardinals: Put aside pride, jealousy, anger VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis welcomed 20 new cardinals yesterday into the elite club of churchmen who will elect his successor and immediately delivered a tough-love message to them, telling them to put aside their pride, jealousy and self-interests and instead exercise perfect charity. Francis issued the marching orders during the ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica to elevate the new “princes of the church” into the College of Cardinals and give them their new red hats. Retired Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the ceremony, sitting off to the side in the front row of the basilica, in a unique blending of popes past, present and future. Francis embraced him at the start and end of the service and a cluster of cardinals lined up to greet him before processing out. Many of the new cardinals hail from farflung, often overlooked dioceses where Catholics are a distinct minority - a reflection of Francis’ insistence that the church look to the peripheries and reflect them in its governance. Several are pastors who, like Francis, have focused their ministries on the poor and disenfranchised. In his homily, Francis reminded his newest collaborators that being a cardinal isn’t a prize or fancy entitlement, but rather a way to serve the church better in humility and tenderness. He warned them that not even churchmen are immune from the temptation to be jealous, angry or proud, or to pursue their own self-interests, even when “cloaked in noble appearances.” “Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us,” he said. “Above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smoldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the church.” In some ways, his tough words were a toned-down version of the blistering critique he delivered right before Christmas to Vatican bureaucrats. Then, he ticked off 15 ailments including “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and the “terrorism of gossip,” that can afflict men of the church even at its highest levels. This is Francis’ second consistory creating new cardinals and once again he looked to the “peripheries” to give greater geographic representation to the Europe-centric College of Cardinals. His choices, though, also reflect his vision for what the church should be: One that looks out for the poor and most marginalized, guided by shepherds who have what he has called the “smell” of their sheep. They include Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, a tiny island state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the front lines of global warming. Another is Cardinal Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento, Sicily, whose church - which extends to the island of Lampedusa - has coped with the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants over the years. And there’s the archbishop of David, Panama, Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, who works with indigenous peoples to protect them from mining interests. While cardinals are called on to advise the pope, their primary job is to elect a new one. Only those under age 80 can participate in a conclave and with Saturday’s additions, their number stands at 125 - five over the traditional cap, though four of them will turn 80 this year. The college as a whole numbers 227. In addition to naming 15 voting-age cardinals, Francis also made five elderly churchmen cardinals to honor their service to the church. One of them, Colombian Cardinal JosÈ de Jes˙s Pimiento Rodriguez, wasn’t able to make the trip to Rome for the ceremony because of his age: He turns 96 next week and will have his red hat delivered to him.—AP In Russia, battle for university places deflates Crimea euphoria MOSCOW: Alexandra Kartokhina always dreamed of studying in a big city. She even went to a Russian school in her native Crimea to help her achieve her ambition of studying in St Petersburg. But now that dream has been tainted. After winning a place at a university in Russia’s second city on an equal footing with other students, she has to deal with “the eternal squabbles” over accusations that Crimeans are stealing “Russian” places. Nearly a year after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine, Alexandra’s experiences point to some of the first signs of resentment among Russians, potentially complicating President Vladimir Putin’s calculation over Ukraine. Trying to get places in Russia’s dwindling number of good universities is competitive and often expensive. Trying to get a “budget place”, or free tuition, is even more challenging, with parents often spending huge sums on tutoring their children to get the required grades or number of points. With the economy heading for recession and education targeted by budget cuts, the stream of students from Crimea is adding to simmering anger over how much Russians are having to pay for annexing the peninsula from Ukraine in March last year. “In many universities where I was going to apply, they’ve reduced the number of budget places because of Crimean students and now there’s no chance of getting one,” Katya, an applicant from Moscow, told a local magazine, echoing several people who did not want to be quoted for fear of being seen as unpatriotic. For Kartokhina, the criticism is unjust, especially after she studied for, and passed Russia’s unified state exam to gain entry to the university of her choice - unlike most other students in Crimea who were schooled in the Ukrainian system. She says Crimean students’ special status will be short-lived and was necessary to allow school-leavers to go to universities without having to repeat years to take the exam. “As for these eternal squabbles that students from Crimea are taking university places from Russians, I can say only that it’s completely absurd,” said Kartokhina, pointing out that the places for Crimean students were in addition to, rather than part of, those places set aside for Russians. “And let me say that they have only allocated budgeted places for Crimean students to some universities and in some specialisms, which are often not the best. In some universities, questions about quotas are met with a shrug and a puzzled look.” —Reuers SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 I N T E R N AT I O N A L Pakistan arrests cyber criminals wanted by FBI, Interpol Pakistan judge survives bomb attack KARACHI: Pakistani officials yesterday arrested two men wanted for cyber crimes by Interpol and the FBI for defrauding several companies and individuals of over 50 million dollars. Mir Mazhar Jabbar, a senior official with Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, told AFP his team had arrested Noor Aziz and Farhan Arshad from the northern part Karachi, the country’s largest city and commercial hub. “They were on the most wanted list of the FBI and we have successfully arrested them,” Jabbar said. The FIA team also arrested three others who are all part of the same extended family, Jabbar said. The FBI on its website said that Arshad and Uddin were wanted for their alleged involvement in an international communication scheme and hacking venture that defrauded individuals, telecom companies and government entities in the United States and elsewhere in the world. They cost their targets more than 50 million dollars. Arshad and Uddin gained access to business telephones systems and used the systems to place long distance telephone calls to premium rate numbers as part of a scheme known as international revenue share fraud, according to the US agency. “Arshad and Uddin are part of an international criminal ring that the FBI believes extends into Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia and other locations,” the FBI said in late 2013. The FBI-which had the pair on their “cyber most wanted” list-had also offered a reward of up to $50,000 each for information that led to their arrest. He said the chief justice escaped unhurt, but one of the paramilitary Frontier Corps vehicles that was escorting his car was slightly damaged. The top local administration official Qambar Dashti also confirmed the incident. Nobody has claimed responsibility from the attack but the area where is occurred is one of the most unstable parts of the violence-torn province. Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest but least developed and most sparsely populated province and has been racked for decades by a separatist insurgency that was revived in 2004. PESHAWAR: Pakistani Shiite Muslims chant slogans in front of the coffin of a victim of a Taleban militants attack during his funeral in Peshawar yesterday. The death toll in a militant attack on a Shiite mosque in northwest Pakistan rose to 21 after an injured person died of his wounds. — AFP Bomb attack In another development, a top high court judge in southwest Pakistan survived a bomb attack on his convoy yesterday, officials said. The incident happened in Naushki district of southwestern Baluchistan province as the chief justice of the Baluchistan high court Noor Muhammad Muskanzai was travelling back to provincial capital Quetta from his home town in Kharan district. “An improvised explosive device planted underneath a bridge in Naushki exploded after chief justice’s convoy crossed it,” provincial home secretary Akbar Durrani said. Gunmen attack polio worker Also, gunmen killed a driver and wounded a polio worker yesterday in a northwestern tribal region of Pakistan as another vaccination team went missing ahead of a nationwide vaccination drive, authorities said. The shooting happened in Pakistan’s Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan, said Manzoor Khan, a government official. In the country’s southwestern Baluchistan province, two male anti-polio volunteers, two guards and a driver went missing Friday after carrying out a vaccination campaign in a remote area of the province’s Zhob district, said Nazar Mohammad Kethran, a top government official. He said authorities were trying to find the missing team. Tahir Hotak, the head of the paramedic staff association in Zhob district, said intelligence suggested the team was abducted by group of armed men. He said members of the paramedic association blocked a main highway to protest and demanded the immediate recovery of the team members.— Agencies UN asks Mexico govt to probe ‘disappearances’ GENEVA: A United Nations watchdog called on Mexico on Friday to probe and prosecute alleged complicity of state forces in thousands of “disappearances”, including a notorious case of 43 students believed murdered last year. Mexico’s delegation told the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances at a review last week that 11,300 people were unaccounted for. Amnesty International said in a statement that more than 22,600 had gone missing in the past eight years amid “a huge problem of impunity”. In their findings, the committee’s 10 independent experts said they had received information that “illustrates a context of generalized disappearances in a great part of the territory (of Mexico), many of which could be qualified as enforced disappearances”. “Enforced disappearances” are those linked to detention or abduction by state agents such as police or security forces, or their allies, who conceal the victim’s fate. “The state has informed us that in contrast to the thousands of enforced disappearances that we assume ... there are exactly six persons put to trial and sentenced for this crime,” committee member Rainer Huhle told a news briefing. The panel urged Mexico to establish a special prose- cutor’s office to lead investigations and prosecutions. It said Mexican authorities should step up searches for all missing, including migrants from Central America who have vanished on their way to the United States, and share DNA samples from unidentified bodies. In a statement, Mexico’s government said it was fully committed to improving the way the country handles disappearances. Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo has said there is no doubt that the 43 students were murdered last September and their remains incinerated and dumped into a river in the nearby town of Cocula. Officials say they were abducted by corrupt police officers, who handed them over to a local drug gang. The former mayor of the southwestern town of Iguala has been arrested. Parents of the students met the UN panel to appeal for help in seeking justice, saying they had no faith in the government’s ability to investigate the crime. “The grave case of the 43 students subjected to enforced disappearance in September 2014 in the state of Guerrero illustrates the serious challenges Mexico is facing in terms of the prevention, investigation and punishment for enforced disappearances and searching for the disappeared,” the UN panel said.— Reuters Sri Lankan leader courts India on first foreign trip COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s new president heads to India this weekend on his first foreign trip in office, seeking to rebuild ties hit by tensions over growing Chinese influence on the strategically located island. Maithripala Sirisena swept to power last month, ending a decade of rule by former president Mahinda Rajapakse, whose close alliance with Beijing had sparked serious concerns in New Delhi. China ploughed huge sums into Sri Lankan infrastructure projects, becoming the country’s biggest foreign financier and enjoying significant political and even military influence on the island under Rajapakse. India has long considered Sri Lanka to be within its strategic sphere of influence, sending troops to the island in 1987 to enforce a New Delhi-brokered peace accord between Colombo and separatist Tamil rebels. New Delhi was reported to have been furious at the brief appearance last year of two Chinese submarines in Sri Lankan waters. Sri Lankan officials said Sirisena, whose administration last week reversed approval for a controversial $1.4 billion Chinese project, would aim to allay Indian fears when he meets Prime Minister Modi on Monday. “Our relations with India had nosedived,” said Plantations Minister Lakshman Kiriella. “We want to have a new beginning with India. If we have any relations with China, that will not be to the detriment of India.” Beijing has been accused of seeking to develop facilities around the Indian Ocean in a “string of pearls” strategy to counter the rise of its Asian rival India and secure its own economic inter- ests. Sirisena is also expected to try to secure greater Indian investment in Sri Lanka, which said this week it was seeking an international bail-out of more than $4.0 billion. The new government has accused Rajapakse’s administration of understating the country’s debts and is also seeking to restructure expensive Chinese loans. ‘Tightrope walk’ However, one foreign policy expert sounded a note of caution, saying India’s pockets were not deep enough to take over China’s role as Sri Lanka’s chief financier. “India does not have the economic might to steer China away from Sri Lanka,” Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan of India’s Observer Research Foundation said. “Basically, Sri Lanka’s policy with India is a tightrope walk. It will be quite difficult to keep everyone happy and balance everything out.” China provided $141.9 million in loans in the first four months of 2014 - the latest official figures available-making it the island’s largest financier. India loaned $53.7 million. Beijing has made clear it wants the relationship to continue and Sirisena, who has said he wants to maintain a “middle path” in foreign relations, is due to travel to there next month. Shortly after Sirisena took office, China’s foreign ministry said it hoped the new administration would “carry on the friendly policies towards China and lend their support to relevant projects”. China has already funded two ports and an airport, including a $500 million mega container terminal which is the largest in South Asia.—AFP COLOMBO: In this file photograph, Sri Lanka’s newly-elected president Maithripala Sirisena gestures after being sworn in at Independence Square in Colombo. Sri Lanka’s new president heads to India today on his first foreign trip in office, seeking to rebuild ties hit by tensions over growing Chinese influence on the strategically located island. — AFP NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) president Arvind Kejriwal (second right) and fellow AAP ministers Asim Ahmed Khan (left), Satyendra Jain (second left) and Manish Sisodia greet supporters during Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony as Delhi chief minister in New Delhi yesterday. — AFP Kejriwal vows to end ‘VIP culture’ New chief to make Delhi first corruption-free state NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal promised to make Delhi India’s first corruption-free state and end what he called its “VIP culture” as he was sworn in as chief minister yesterday in front of a huge crowd of cheering supporters. The veteran antigraft campaigner also pledged to stick out his five-year term and said he would not succumb to arrogance af ter his upstart Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP) won one of the biggest election victories the Indian capital has ever seen. Kejriwal dealt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party its first major defeat since last year’s general elec tion af ter pledges to tack le entrenched corruption and lower utility bills won over legions of working-class voters willing to give him a second chance. The 46-year-old former civil servant’s first term as chief minister lasted just 49 days and ended in chaos when he quit exactly a year ago. Despite that, his party took all but three of the 70 state parliament seats in elec tions last Saturday, a remarkable turnaround for the politician most pundits had written off after a poor performance in the general election. In his inauguration speech, Kejriwal admitted he had been over-ambitious, and promised to focus on running the capital. “I have decided that for the next five years we will only focus on Delhi. I will serve Delhi with all my heart,” he told the gathered crowd at the open-air ceremony. “I will make Delhi corruption-free within five years,” he said, promising to push through an anti-corruption bill. ‘End VIP culture’ Corruption is a huge problem in Delhi, where many citizens complain that they need to pay bribes even for something as basic as getting a driver’s licence, and the city saw the emergence of a huge anti-graft movement in 2011. Kejriwal also said his government would eschew the trappings of power, including the red beacons that allow senior politicians to glide through traffic in the gridlocked city. “In developed countries, even PMs wait at bus stands. Why can’t the same happen here?” he said. “We want to end the VIP culture in this country.” Kejriwal also said people of all faiths should live in harmony in the Indian capital, which has suffered a recent spate of attacks on churches, promising “strong action” against acts of religious hatred. Some analysts have attributed the Hindu nationalist BJP’s poor performance in the Delhi polls to a failure to address religious extremism in India. Kejriwal, whose supporters range from domestic servants to teachers to business entrepreneurs, based his election campaign around pledges to deliver cheaper water and electricity as well as a promise to counter corruption. Yesterday he said that both the BJP and the Congress party, which ruled Delhi for over a decade before suffering a humiliating defeat at the polls, had paid the price for being “arrogant”. “We must not let our victory go to our heads,” he said. The new chief minister was dressed simply in a navy sweater and trademark white paper cap bearing the words “complete self-rule”-a reference to his ambition to secure greater autonomy for Delhi. The central government retains greater powers in Delhi than in most states, including controlling the police. Tens of thousands turned out for the open-air ceremony at the Ramlila ground where Kejriwal also chose to have his first inauguration, in a break from the tradition of taking the oath in the state assembly. Many carried Indian flags and wore the white paper hats printed with the words ‘common man’ in Hindi for which the AAP party is known. During his last brief tenure as chief minister, Kejriwal famously declared himself an anarchist and staged several street protests outside government offices. Before last Saturday’s election he apologized for leaving voters without an elected government for a year, telling the Times of India daily that he and his party had “evolved”. Kejriwal appears eager to project a more grown-up image this time around. He arrived at yesterday’s swearing-in by car, after famously travelling by metro to his first inauguration. Posters at the site showed him dressed soberly in a shirt and jacket and without the trademark woolly scar f that earned him the nickname “Muffler Man”. Kejriwal quit his comfortable and highly sought-after government job in 2001 and embarked on a career as an anticorruption campaigner that led to national fame. The taxman-turned-politician came to prominence as an adviser to elderly social activist Anna Hazare, whose 2011 anti-graft drive galvanized India. His cabinet was also sworn in yesterday, and held its first meeting behind closed doors later in the day. — AFP Mexico bus-train collision kills 16 MONTERREY: At least 16 people were killed and 30 were injured when a freight train slammed into a packed passenger bus in northeastern Mexico on Friday, authorities said, warning the death toll could rise. The collision happened when the bus was attempting to cross rail tracks in the city of Anahuac, Nuevo Leon, state civil protection chief Jorge Camacho said. The accident occurred just after 5:00 pm (2300 GMT) at Camarones station, near the border with the United States. Two children were among the 16 dead, said Mayor Desiderio Urteaga, although other local officials warned that the final toll could be nearer to at least 20 because some passengers were trapped after the crash. Images broadcast by local media showed the bus smashed open and split in half by the force of the train. Nine women and five men were identified among the dead, in addition to the two children, Camacho said. Of the 30 people injured, 22 were taken to hospitals in the nearby border town of Nuevo Laredo, around 60 kilometers away. The bus, which normally transports around 40 people, was traveling with 60 passengers, as it made its way from Nuevo Laredo to the nor thern city of Nueva Rosita. Camacho said an investigation was underway to determine whether the bus driver was trying to beat the train when the vehicle was struck. But prosecutors would determine the cause of the accident who was responsible, he added. There was no fog or rain in the area at the time, he said. Prosecutors were already at the scene. — AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 I N T E R N AT I O N A L Rare anti-coup protest in Thailand BANGKOK: Demonstrators hold roses and fake ballot boxes outside the Art and Cultural centre during a rally in Bangkok yesterday. Dozens of anti-coup activists held a demonstration in central Bangkok yesterday, handing out roses and copies of George Orwell’s “1984”-a rare expression of public dissent in a nation still under strict martial law. —AFP BANGKOK: Dozens of anti-coup activists held a demonstration in central Bangkok yesterday, handing out roses and copies of George Orwell’s “1984”-a rare expression of public dissent in a nation still under strict martial law. The demonstrators, a collection of pro-democracy groups including students, made no secret of their Valentine’s Day protest plans, advertising them on Facebook. In response the authorities put up a series of barriers to stop demonstrators accessing a plaza opposite a mall in the city’s downtown Siam shopping district. But dozens of activists nonetheless managed to gather on the streets and pedestrian walkways in the late afternoon, watched by a similar number of police officers. Festooning the walkways and streets with roses, some erected cardboard ballot boxes and put up mock voting tables-a criticism of Thailand’s generals who seized power in a May coup following the ousting of Yingluck Shinawatra’s democratically elected government. Several of the most vocal protesters were seen being led away by police. “I am here to protest against the coup,” Pat Lertkeerstikul, an office worker said. “It’s almost a year since they stole the last election. We want our democracy back,” she added. Others protesters handed out copies of Orwell’s anti-authoritarian novel “1984” and flashed the three-fingered salute from the popular Hollywood franchise “The Hunger Games”. Symbolic public readings of “1984” and the salute have both become symbols of opposition since the military’s takeover-but making such gestures frequently courts arrest. Since Army Chief-turned-Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha declared martial law and seized power, sweeping curbs have been placed on freedoms. The military have banned political gatherings, censored the media, arrested and detained opponents and ramped up prosecutions under the country’s controversial lese majeste laws. The junta says it will hold fresh elections in early 2016 once reforms to tackle corruption and curb the power of political parties are codified in a new constitution. Some analysts and Shinawatra supporters fear those constitutional changes are designed to ensure the family is politically neutralized in any upcoming election. Thailand’s decade-long political conflict broadly pits a Bangkok-based middle class and royalist elite-backed by parts of the military and judiciary-against urban working-class voters and farmers from the country’s north, many of whom are part of the ‘Red Shirt’ movement. —AFP When fake news goes viral, blame the media ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet’ WASHINGTON: It’s true. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. In fact, according to a study by media researchers, many news organizations fail to do enough to separate fact from fiction, and often help unverified rumors and reports to go viral online. “Rather than acting as a source of accurate information, online media frequently promote misinformation in an attempt to drive traffic and social engagement,” said the study led by Craig Silverman, a research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. While news organizations have always dealt with unverified information, practices at some websites may accelerate the dissemination of fake news, said the report, “Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content.” “Many news sites apply little or no basic verification to the claims they pass on. Instead, they rely on linking-out to other media reports, which themselves often only cite other media reports as well,” the study concluded. Fake stories are often sexier or more interesting than the real ones, and as such get wider dissemination, Silverman said. “The extent to which a fake news article can get traction was surprising to me,” Silverman said. Examples cited in the study were rumors spread on Facebook and Twitter that an Ebola patient had been identified in Britain, and another that the disease had been found in Richmond, Virginia. Both reports were untrue. ‘Rehana, ISIS slayer’ In another case, a story about a Kurdish woman dubbed “Rehana the ISIS slayer,” or the “Angel of Kohane” purported to have killed 100 Islamic fighters, turned out to have no basis in fact even though reports about her spread for weeks last October. The researchers traced the story to a tweet from Indian journalist and activist Parwan Durani, who published the woman’s picture on Twitter and asked people to retweet it. Stories of her exploits-and reports of her death-were picked up widely by news outlets “but seemed entirely based on falsities,” Silverman’s report said. “The simple story of the attractive Kurd who killed dozens of ISIS fighters is a powerful wish rumor. Add in a compelling image and it’s perfect for propagation on social networks. The result is that most of us will never know the woman’s true story-and the press bears a level of responsibility for that.” Silverman said that even if much of the fake news is spread by “new media” or tabloid journals, the traditional or “quality” journalism outlets often sit by, allowing rumors to gain traction. “When (fake) information is out there and websites are covering it, there is an imperative on the part of news organizations to look at it, flag it for readers and tell them what we know and what we don’t know,” Silverman said. “If we remain silent, the ones who win are the mindless propagators.” And many news organizations fail to follow up when a false report is debunked, the report said: “The explosive claim that ISIS fighters had been apprehended at the US-Mexico border was refuted within 24 hours and yet only 20 percent of news organizations that wrote an initial story came back to it.” A ‘disturbing trend’ The findings show “a very disturbing trend,” said Bill Adair, a Duke University journalism professor who in 2007 founded the fact-checking website PolitiFact. “It’s particularly disturbing when journalists pass along things without knowing whether they are true or not.” Because of the fast-moving nature of Twitter an other social media, Adair said that “many people including journalists feel that if it’s tweeted, it’s out there and it’s fair game. But news organizations have always had an obligation to check out what they pass on.” Sometimes the sheer number of repetitions of false information makes people believe something is true, the researchers said. One example of this is the oft-repeated claim that the Obamacare health plan includes “death panels” which decide whether a person can receive treatment. “Anyone who repeated it-even when trying to debunk it-further implanted it and its negative connotations in people’s minds,” the report said. Nikki Usher, a George Washington University professor specializing in new media, said previous research has shown that repeating false information makes it more believable, “but what is different now is the speed with which rumors can unfold.” The Internet’s “crowdsourcing” ability can often bring the truth out, but cannot entirely correct the problem, said Silverman, who also operates the @emergentdotinfo Twitter feed that tracks online rumors. “Over time the truth emerges, but the corrections don’t tend to be as viral or get as widely distributed. And they don’t always reach the same people,” he said. “I am a believer in the value of the crowd, but the truth is often far less interesting and shareable than the lie.” —AFP Hong Kong captain found guilty of manslaughter over ferry tragedy HONG KONG: A Hong Kong ferry captain was yesterday found guilty of manslaughter over the deaths of 39 people in a 2012 boat collision, the city’s worst maritime disaster in nearly four decades. Sea Smooth skipper Lai Sai-ming, 56, was also convicted of one count of endangering the safety of others at sea by a Hong Kong court over the accident between his highspeed ferry and a pleasure boat near Lamma Island. The captain of the other boat, Chow Chi-wai, 58, was acquitted of all manslaughter charges but found guilty of one count of endangering the safety of others at sea. Lai looked solemn as he heard the “guilty” verdicts for all charges against him read out in court, which could see him sentenced to life in prison. The nine member jury found him guilty by a majority of seven-to-two. “Mr Lai will be sentenced on Monday,” his lawyer Audrey CampbellMoffat told press outside the city’s high court, while refusing to comment on the judgment. Chow, 58, who was at the helm of the Lamma IV pleasure boat when it crashed with more than 120 people on board on October 1, 2012, faces a maximum sentence of HK$200,000 ($25,787) and four years’ imprisonment. Chow’s lawyer, Gerard McCoy, did not comment on the verdict. The pair had both pleaded not guilty to the 39 counts each of manslaughter and have been remanded in custody until sentencing. ‘Litany of errors’ The jury deliberated for almost four days before coming to a decision yesterday afternoon. Before the verdicts were read out after 60 days of court hearings, deputy High Court judge Brian Keith called for the packed courtroom to remain still, saying “these are moments of high PATTAYA: Couples take part in an event promoted as the world’s longest dance marathon contest in the Thai city of Pattaya. The winners of the dance marathon, who will need to dance non-stop without changing partners for at least 35 hours to break the record, will receive prizes totaling more than $9,400 and a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records. —AFP Couples in Thailand dance their way to world record PATTAYA: Nine couples danced their way to victory yesterday, breaking the record for the longest dance marathon in the world in the seaside town of Pattaya, southeast of Thailand’s capital Bangkok. The couples broke the World’s Longest Dance Marathon record by dancing for 35 hours, one minute and one second, gaining a spot in the Guinness World Records. The previous record was set by a Mexican couple in 2008 who danced for 35 hours. Thailand’s dance marathon began on Friday with ten couples, including one couple from Canada. Only one pair left the competition before it ended. Under the contest’s rules, participants, wearing pink T-shirts and flowers in their hair, had to move their feet continuously in three different dance rhythms - the waltz, cha cha and rumba - until a change of song every few minutes when they were given a 30second break to stretch their limbs. They were also given a five-minute break every hour to go to go to the toilet, said organizers. Natsiya Noorak, 37, one of the winners, said there were times she felt like giving up and took her frustration out on her dance partner. “There were times we fought with each other because of fatigue but we made up and pushed through to the end,” she said. The worldrecord win, which took place at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! entertainment complex in the popular tourist town of Pattaya, comes just in time for Valentine’s Day - a popular Western import in touristfriendly Thailand. The winners will share a 200,000 baht cash prize and were each awarded a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records. —Reuters Abbott pleads with Indonesia over Australians on death row HONG KONG: This file picture shows the bow of the Lamma IV boat partially submerged during rescue operations the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry. A Hong Kong boat captain has been found guilty of the manslaughter of 39 people in the 2012 ferry collision, the city’s worst maritime disaster in nearly four decades. —AFP tension”. “The lives of the 39 people cannot be compensated by this judgment,” an emotional Irene Cheng who lost her 24year-old son in the boat collision told reporters after the judgment. Cheng, however, said she accepted the jury’s decision. Hong Kong’s justice department will decide this month whether to prosecute several marine department officials for the incident as well, a spokeswoman said. The pleasure boat was filled with staff from a Hong Kong electricity provider and their families who were going to watch a holiday fireworks display when the collision occurred. Scores of people were thrown into the sea when the Lamma’s left rear side was torn open by the impact. Others were trapped inside as the boat sank in just two minutes, leaving only its bow protruding from the water. The fatal accident raised questions over safety in the waters of Hong Kong one of the world’s busiest ports-after an independent commission found a “litany of errors” had contributed to the disaster. Victims could have had vital extra minutes to escape if the Lamma IV had been equipped with a watertight door, while several were actually left trapped when seats fell on top of them, the inquiry found. —AFP SYDNEY: Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday pleaded with Indonesia to heed Australia’s call for clemency for two death row convicts, and warned that Canberra would make its displeasure known should the executions go ahead. No date for the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has been released but an Indonesian official said governments with death row prisoners had been invited to a meeting with the foreign ministry tomorrow. Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, are facing execution by firing squad as ring leaders of the socalled Bali Nine group trafficking heroin from Indonesia’s island of Bali into Australia. “Millions of Australians are feeling very, very upset about what may soon happen to two Australians in Indonesia,” Abbott told reporters in Sydney. “And my plea, even at this late stage, is for Indonesia to be as responsive to us as it expects other countries to be to them when they plead for the life of their citizens on death row overseas.” Australian media reported that there are 360 Indonesians on death row around the world, including in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with 230 of these on drugs charges. Abbott, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, also noted that Australia had stood by close neighbor Indonesia in times of need, particularly after the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami. “We abhor the death penalty, we regard it as barbaric,” he told the paper. Asked whether Canberra would withdraw Australian officials if the executions go ahead, Abbott said: “We will find ways of making our displeasure known.” “We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we would very much appreciate an act of magnanimity in this case,” he added. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned Jakarta against underestimating the strength of public feeling for the pair, sentenced to death in 2006 for attempting to mastermind the trafficking of more than eight kilograms of heroin out of Bali into Australia the previous year. She said travelers could choose to boycott Indonesia, whose Bali island is an extremely popular holiday spot with Australians. Australian politicians are united in opposing the execution of Chan and Sukumaran, who have worked to rehabilitate themselves in their decade behind bars. But both have lost their appeals for clemency to new President Joko Widodo whose government recently executed six convicted drug smugglers. Widodo has been a vocal supporter of capital punishment and has vowed a tough approach to ending what he has called Indonesia’s “drug emergency”. An Indonesian foreign affairs spokesman said yesterday that representatives of several countries had been invited to a meeting on Monday to explain the notification process after a clemency is rejected. “The embassies of the convicts which have their clemency rejected will be in the meeting,” Arrmanatha Nasir said. “I don’t know yet whether the ministry is the one who will notify the embassy on the date (of execution) because the attorney-general office might notify it directly to the convicts who will later tell their family and embassy.” The uncertainty is wearing on Sukumaran said friend, Australian artist Ben Quilty, who said his final goodbye to the convict just days ago. Quilty said Sukumaran was unable to sleep for fear that “in the middle of the night there will be knock at the door” by prison officials to take him to his death. “I think he’s pretty resolved for what is going to happen to him and it’s obvious they’re making preparations inside the prison for him to move out,” Quilty told broadcaster ABC. —AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 NEWS US cops slam down Indian ‘black guy’ MADISON, Alabama: A grandfather from India who was slammed to the ground by a police officer in a northern Alabama suburb had been singled out by police after a caller said a “skinny black guy” with a toboggan hat was walking in the neighborhood and peering into garages, recordings show. The man, Sureshbhai Patel, 57, doesn’t speak English and was slammed to the ground face-first by an officer when he didn’t respond to commands. But he had committed no crime, the Madison police chief said. Officer Eric Parker was arrested and is being fired. He has not commented publicly, and court records were not available Friday to show whether he has a lawyer. Patel filed a lawsuit Thursday over the Feb. 6 incident in Madison, where he was visiting his son’s family. His injuries include partial paralysis but he hopes for a full recovery, according to the lawsuit and Patel’s lawyer. The lawsuit says Patel’s civil rights were violated. It seeks an unspecified amount of money. The Indian government is taking the incident seriously and is “extremely disturbed” by the treatment of Patel, a spokesman said Friday. “This is a matter of concern for us, and India and the US as open pluralist societies need to address these issues and find ways in a mature manner so that these are aberrations and are not the norm,” said Syed Akbaruddin, India’s foreign ministry spokesman. Embassy of India spokesman Sridharan Madhusudhanan said in an emailed statement that the office has been in touch with Patel’s family, the doctors who are caring for him and the US Embassy in Delhi. “Our understanding of the situation is that while there has been some progress, the medical condition of Mr Sureshbhai Patel is still a matter of concern,” Madhusudhanan said. The incident began when a man called police complaining that an unfamiliar man was wandering about his neighborhood and peering toward garages. He said the man had been seen wandering the day before as well. “He’s a skinny black guy. He’s got a toboggan on,” said the caller, who isn’t identified. Police arrived in patrol cars within minutes and found Patel walking in his son’s neighborhood in Madison, a Huntsville suburb of about 46,000 people near high-tech businesses, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Video shot from inside one of the cruisers shows two officers walking toward the man on the sidewalk and attempting to talk to him. “What’s going on, sir?” asks one of the officers. “You’re what? India?” Police pepper the man with questions about what he is doing and where he is going, but answers are inaudible and someone on the recording is heard saying, “no English”. Patel appears to try to walk away and one of the officers warns: “Do not jerk away from me again.” One of the officers, neither of whom is identified, restrains Patel by pulling his arms behind his back and then slams him face-first into the ground less than 90 seconds after the confrontation began. “He don’t speak a lick of English,” one of the officers says as another officer arrives. Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey said the officer’s actions weren’t justified. “I found that Officer Eric Parker’s actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department,” Muncey said. Chirag Patel has told local news media that his father has only been to America once before and is visiting to help care for his grandson. Attorney Hank Sherrod says the man was stopped and hurt at least partly because of his brown skin. “I think skin color made him more likely to be a victim of police power,” Sherrod said Friday. Mohammed Miran, a volunteer with the local cultural organization AshaKiran, said many neighbors consider the encounter an anomaly and the organization has been working to train law enforcement how to work with immigrant communities. Local law enforcement has a positive relationship with the community, Miran said, but there are still concerns over the encounter involving Patel. “People are really, really upset about what happened because if that could happen to one person, it could happen to the other people as well,” he said. AshaKiran plans to ask local law enforcement to call their 24-hour hotline in case an interpreter is needed in the future, Miran said. As word of Patel’s treatment and injuries spread, a site established on gofundme.com to help cover medical and other expenses generated more than $104,000 in donations by Friday night. Sherrod said Patel has no insurance. — AP High-tech lenses zoom with wink Continued from Page 1 The device magnifies objects 2.8 times, meaning AMD patients can read more easily and recognize faces and objects. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the lenses were meant to serve as a form of bionic vision for soldiers. “Small mirrors within bounce light around, expanding the perceived size of objects and magnifying the view, so it’s like looking through low magnification binoculars,” the researchers said in a statement. Tremblay was careful to stress that the device was still at the research stage, though it could eventually become a “real option” for people with AMD. “It’s very important and hard to strike a balance between function and the social costs of wearing any kind of bulky visual device,” he said. “There is a strong need for something more integrated, and a contact lens is an attractive direction.” The contacts are made using large, rigid “scleral lenses,” unlike the soft contacts most people wear, but are nonetheless safe and comfortable, Tremblay said. Several precision-cut pieces of plastic, aluminum mirrors and polarizing thin films form the lens, along with biologically safe glues. Because the eye needs a steady supply of oxygen, the scientists have worked on making the device more breathable, using tiny air channels that are approximately 0.1 millimeter wide within the lens. Daniel Palanker of Stanford University said researchers have so far been able to restore visual acuity to half the normal level in blind rats. Separately, Apple Inc has a secret lab working on the creation of an Apple-branded electric car, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. The project has designed a vehicle that looks like a minivan, the newspaper quoted one person as saying. It would take years to finish the project, and it is not certain if Apple will eventually build a car, the Journal said. The news signals that Apple is sharply raising its ambitions for automotive technology, which has become a prime area of interest for Silicon Valley companies ranging from Google Inc to ride-sharing firm Uber to electric car-maker Tesla Motors Inc. The connected car, or vehicles with a full range of Internet and software services beyond mere navigation and communications, is considered one of the ripest areas for expansion for technology companies. Last March, Apple unveiled CarPlay, which lets drivers access contacts on their iPhones, make calls or listen to voicemails without taking their hands off the steering wheel. Now, the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development unit, Johann Jungwirth, has defected to Apple, according to a LinkedIn profile, which said his title was head of Mac Systems Engineering. Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The Financial Times reported earlier that Apple had created the secret lab and that Jungwirth had joined the new research team. Two sources told Reuters that Apple has recently tried to recruit from the automotive industry in fields such as robotics. The research lab was set up late last year, soon after Apple revealed its forthcoming smart watch and latest iPhones, the Financial Times said. The Wall Street Journal said that the Apple project, code-named “Titan,” employed several hundred people working a few miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple executives have met with contract manufacturers including Magna Steyr, a unit of Magna International Inc. A Magna spokeswoman declined to comment. Google is working on plans for a self-driving car, but that is not part of Apple’s plan, the Journal said. — Agencies PIJ, India: Indian resident Shakuntlaben Sureshbhai Patel, 57, poses for a photograph holding an image of her husband Sureshbhai Patel at her home in this village near Nadiad, some 65 km from Ahmedabad yesterday, after her husband was allegedly assaulted while visiting relatives in the United States. — AFP Bahrain police fire tear gas at protesters DUBAI: Bahraini police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Shiite protesters who took to the streets for yesterday’s fourth anniversary of an uprising that deeply divided the key US ally. Amnesty International urged Bahrain to “rein in” its security forces and “seize the opportunity of the fourth anniversary of the uprising to announce genuine and long overdue reforms”. Police deployed heavily as men and women carrying Bahrain’s red and white flag and portraits of detained activists chanted slogans, burned tyres and blocked roads. The police fired teargas and sound bombs after boosting security around several villages and along major roads to prevent protesters advancing towards central Manama, witnesses said. The opposition said on Twitter that the police also fired buckshot, and posted pictures of wounded protesters, saying several activists were arrested. The main opposition bloc Al-Wefaq, in a statement issued in English, urged protesters “to stick to the non-violent movement and... refrain from putting lives and private and public properties under threat”. “The calls for violence acts do not relate to the Bahraini people’s peaceful movement for democracy,” it said, condemning “the excessive use of force by security forces and which has resulted in serious casualties among the peaceful citizens”. It gave a toll of 13 people wounded. Bahrain’s Saudi-backed Sunni authorities crushed protests led by its majority Shiites shortly after they erupted on Feb 14, 2011, taking their cue from Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Yesterday was also the anniversary of a 2001 referendum in which Bahrainis approved a national charter for reform which restored a parliament dissolved in 1975. In Feb 2002, Bahrain became a kingdom ruled by a constitutional monarchy. The radical February 14 Coalition, a cyber youth group described as by authorities as “terrorist”, had called for demonstrations and strikes across the kingdom to mark the anniversary. But the public security chief, Maj-Gen Tariq Al-Hassan, issued a stern warning. “Action will be taken against those who spread terror among citizens or residents, put the safety of others at risk or try to disrupt the nation’s security and stability,” he said. Amnesty said in a statement that “fundamental freedoms have increasingly been curtailed” in Bahrain. The London-based rights watchdog urged the kingdom to release detained activists, allow demonstrations and “hold to account all those responsible for human rights abuses”. Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, sits across the Gulf from Shiite-dominated Iran. It is also one of several Arab states backing US-led air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, making it a vital Western ally. The sectarian divide is deepening in Bahrain with a growing gap between the Sunni minority government and its mainly Shiite opponents. The opposition is demanding a “real” constitutional monarchy with an elected prime minister independent of the ruling royal family, but the Al-Khalifa dynasty has refused to yield. Al-Wefaq leader Sheikh Ali Salman has been behind bars since Dec 28 for allegedly trying to overthrow the regime. Attacks targeting the security forces have increased. “The movement has reached its four years with the situation only getting worse and deteriorating with citizens threatened by losing their nationalities any minute,” AlWefaq said. Bahrain has revoked the citizenships of scores of activists over the past few years. In October, a court banned Al-Wefaq for three months for violating a law on associations. “There looks like little hope of progress in Bahrain. The opposition is barely legal,” said Neil Partrick, analyst at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. — AFP S&P maintains Kuwait’s stable outlook Continued from Page 1 Our base-case scenario assumes that, despite the sharp fall in the oil price, OPEC will chose to broadly maintain its current oil production levels and, consequently, Kuwaiti oil output will remain at around 2.7 million barrels per day out to 2018,” the report said. “There may be some upside if OPEC increases production quotas, and if Kuwait’s planned investment in the sector comes to fruition. The general government budget has averaged a surplus of around 35 percent of GDP for the past decade, if we include investment income. This has contributed to the net general government (and external) asset stocks. “If, in our forecasts, we include our estimate of the government’s income from its vast investments, the Kuwaiti government will continue to run (lower) surpluses of around 16 percent of GDP for the budget years 2015-18, despite lower oil prices,” it said. The 2015-16 proposed budget has a reduced spending plan of KD 19 billion, compared to a planned allocation of KD 23.2 billion in 2014-15. Kuwait typically spends well below its proposed budgetary allocations and with the lower oil price will generate significant savings on the fuel subsidy bill. In addition, some large oneoff costs incurred in 2014-15, such as social security fund top-ups, are unlikely to be repeated. Strong oil exports led to current account surpluses averaging more than 37 percent of GDP in 2008-14, according to SP estimates. “We forecast these surpluses will fall to an average of 19 percent in 2015-18,” it said. Given the government’s policy of investing a large portion of its surplus abroad, we estimate Kuwait had a net external asset position of more than 400 percent of current account receipts (CARs) in 2014. “We believe this will continue to rise in nominal terms and as a percentage of CARs - owing to ongoing external surpluses and reinvestment - but we note a distortion in the ratio due to a sharply declining denominator (current account receipts). At the same time, we project that gross external financing needs will remain relatively low, averaging around 67 percent of CARs plus usable reserves in the next four years.” Kuwait increased its annual contributions to the Future Generations Fund to 25 percent of total revenues in the fiscal year ending in March 2013, from 10 percent in previous years, because higher oil prices had produced strong revenues. Now that oil prices are lower, “we expect transfers to the fund to fall significantly. The fund will still continue to grow on reinvested earnings and continued, albeit lower, contributions. Disclosure about the size and structure of the KIA’s assets is limited but the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute estimates it at $550 billion in 2014”. “We estimate real GDP growth to average about two percent in 2015-18, but GDP per capita growth to contract by about one percent annually, partly because of high population growth. We estimate GDP per capita at $44,100 in 2015.” Kuwait’s exchange rate is pegged to an undisclosed basket of currencies, with a likely bias to the US dollar, which constrains its monetary flexibility. “We view its monetary flexibility as limited although we acknowledge that the exchange rate regime is consistent with Kuwait’s reliance on US dollar-based oil revenues and that Kuwait has sufficient resources to defend the peg,” the report noted. “Kuwait’s financial system remains fairly stable, in our view; its banks operate in a reasonably strong regulatory environment and have healthy capital levels. The ratings are constrained by the country’s heavy reliance on oil, political risks, and regional geopolitical tensions. We could raise the ratings if political reforms were to enhance institutional effectiveness and improve longterm economic diversification, if geopolitical risks fade significantly, and prospects for the oil sector improve,” the report concluded. — KUNA ‘Largest’ US brigade in region heads... Continued from Page 1 The soldiers practiced combat skills last used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. The brigade’s training regimen readied soldiers for a range of missions from humanitarian relief to nonstop combat, Sierra said. Sierra told soldiers and their families that if his brigade tangles with Islamic State fighters, the outcome won’t be in doubt. “In the end, if we do get into fights, we win decisively,” he said. —AP MANAMA: Bahraini anti-government protesters haul what one said was a fake bomb into a street to divert police attention during clashes yesterday in this suburb of the capital. — AP OIC concerned over Islamophobia in US Continued from Page 1 In a statement on the official news agency of Saudi Arabia, where the OIC is based, he urged the US government to take measures to protect society there from “negative images, discrimination, and stereotyping that contradict the core values of the American society”. Madani also called for international cooperation to fight “extremism, violence, and religious intolerance, as well as hate crimes and (acts) that incite them.” On Friday, US President Barack Obama described the deaths of the three young Muslims as “brutal and outrageous murders” and said no one in the United States should be targeted for their religion. The president’s statement came as the US Justice Department said it would join the FBI’s preliminary inquiry to determine whether the man accused in the Chapel Hill shooting on Tuesday broke any federal laws, including hate crime laws. “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” Obama said in a statement, offering his condolences to the victims’ families. The families had called on Obama to insist that federal authorities investigate whether Hicks was motivated by hatred toward the victims because they were Muslim. Police seized more than a dozen firearms and a large amount of ammunition from his home, according to search warrants filed on Friday, WRAL-TV reported. According to the warrants, a friend of the victims’ stopped police and directed them to the condo, where authorities found Barakat dead and bleeding from his head in the front doorway, the television station report- ed. One of the sisters was found in the kitchen and the other in its doorway, according WRAL-TV. On Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized Obama and other US leaders for their silence about the incident, which has garnered international attention and left some U.S. Muslims feeling concerned about their safety. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised the three victims, who were all involved in humanitarian aid work, as representing the best values of global citizenship and said he was deeply moved by scenes of thousands of people mourning their deaths. A Justice Department spokeswoman said its Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina would participate in the FBI inquiry announced in the case Thursday evening. Muslim advocates on Friday called the inquiries a key first step towards the full federal investigation they are seeking. In a separate investigation, local police have cited a parking dispute as Hicks’ motive but said they were also looking into whether religious hatred played a role. Neighbors said Hicks, who posted anti-religion messages and a photo of a gun he said belonged to him on his Facebook page, was known in the condo community as someone prone to grow angry over parking troubles and noise. Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the two female victims, told CNN that his daughter Yusor had said Hicks made her feel uncomfortable after she moved into a neighboring condo where her new husband lived. “Daddy, I think he hates us for who we are,” Abu-Salha said his daughter told him, according to CNN. — Agencies SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 ANALYSIS THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF ESTABLISHED 1961 Founder and Publisher YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL :[email protected] Website: www.kuwaittimes.net Focus Rare ray of hope in UN climate talks By Mariette Le Roux T he detente achieved at UN talks that concluded Friday with a framework for a world climate pact is only temporary, achieved by kicking the difficult decisions down the road, parties and observers say. But it also generated a degree of optimism rarely observed in the tense process - a sense of common purpose which many hope will bolster negotiators in the months to come. “I think this has been a very important meeting from a process point of view and a psychological point of view,” said Union of Concerned Scientists analyst Alden Meyer. He pointed to broad consultations held with country representatives by the talks’ joint chairmen ahead of the sixday session in Geneva - one of four official meetings this year to prepare for the December conference in Paris that must adopt a universal climate pact. “That has paid off. People felt consulted, they felt listened to, they understood the process,” he added. “This is the parties’ text, they own it now.” An official framework text prepared for the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, which failed to produce an agreement, had exceeded 300 pages and was challenged by a number of alternative drafts. The 86-page Geneva blueprint, the product of years of negotiations, seems manageable by comparison, and represents the firstever proposal with buy-in from all the world’s nations. “At this early stage, the palpable positive spirit coming out of Geneva is a much better measure of progress than the current length of the negotiating text,” said Jennifer Morgan, climate director at the World Resources Institute think-tank. The document lists a variety of alternative approaches on most issues - often reflecting country positions that diametrically oppose one another. It more than doubled from a 37-page draft compiled at a conference in Lima last December, with parties allowed to add items until they were satisfied all their views were represented. “It’s a bit unwieldy in the sense that they accepted every proposal that was made with no discussion or vetting or criteria, but that’s what they had to do to assure parties that every idea that they wanted in the draft legal text that’s going to be the basis for Paris was in there,” said Meyer. This, in turn, was taken to indicate a desire by all countries to be party to the final pact, though its form and content have yet to be determined and a lot of difficult editing now lies ahead. “After years of false starts and broken promises, restoring ownership and trust in the process is no small achievement and I think we have come a long way toward doing that,” said Ahmed Sareer, an envoy of the Alliance of Small Island States at highest risk of climate changeinduced sea level rise. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, who oversees the negotiations, described such “trust-building” as the most valuable resource in the process to draft a plan for limiting manmade global warming. “Optimism, trust, good mood is much more conducive to coming to terms with complicated issues,” she said of the road ahead. Spirit of Geneva The Like-Minded Developing Countries group, which includes China, India, Saudi Arabia, several African, Asian and South American nations, said the talks had been “open, transparent and party-driven” and welcomed the result. Europe said it would have wanted more progress on streamlining the text, but agreed the week had been “an important and necessary step for securing a negotiating text,” according to EU delegation head Elina Bardram. There had been “useful conversations with our partners in the corridors, in the margins, that will enhance common understanding,” she added. Parties will need all the goodwill they can muster for the last 10 months of negotiations for a universal pact seeking to limit warming to two degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels. Christian Aid’s senior climate adviser Mohamed Adow noted: “The tone of the negotiations here have been very optimistic but that’s because we were only putting things in. “The real fights will come when we start to take things out.” At the very core of the intended pact, countries remain deeply divided on the issue of “differentiation” - how to share responsibility for emissions cuts between rich and poor nations. Developing countries also want their developed counterparts to commit to long-term climate financing, and compensation for climate change-induced loss and damage. Yet co-chairman Daniel Reifsnyder closed the meeting on a hopeful tone. “May the Spirit of Geneva remain with you and guide you all on the road to Paris,” he told delegates. —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. NATO expansion at heart of Ukraine crisis By Steven R Hurst T he Cold War didn’t end. It just took on a 24-year pause. The East-West showdown over Ukraine makes that clear. As the non-Russian republics broke free in the Soviet collapse and Eastern European Soviet satellite countries snapped the chains of Moscow’s dominion, common wisdom held that the Cold War was over. The victors: The United States and its European allies, bound together in the NATO alliance to block further Soviet expansion in Europe after World War II. Since the Soviet collapse - as Moscow had feared - that alliance has spread eastward, expanding along a line from Estonia in the north to Romania and Bulgaria in the south. The Kremlin claims it had Western assurances that would not happen. Now, Moscow’s only buffers to a complete NATO encirclement on its western border are Finland, Belarus and Ukraine. The Kremlin would not have to be paranoid to look at that map with concern. And Russia reacted dramatically early last year. US-Russian relations have fallen back into the dangerous nuclear and political standoff of the Cold War years before the Soviet collapse It began with prolonged pro-Western demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital. The upheaval caused corrupt, Russiafriendly President Viktor Yanukovych to flee to Moscow nearly a year ago. The political turmoil broke out after Yanukovych - contrary to an agreement with the European Union for closer trade and political ties with the pan-European political and trading bloc - backed out and accepted Russian guarantees of billions of dollars in financial aid. When a new, pro-Western government took power in Ukraine, Russia reacted by seizing the Crimean Peninsula and making it once again a part of Russia. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred the strategic region from Russian federation control to the Ukraine republic in 1954. Crimea remained base to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, and ethnic Russians are a majority of the population. Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine - along the Russian border began agitating, then fighting to break free of Kiev’s control, variously demanding autonomy, independence or to become a part of Russia. As Russianbacked fighters - the West claims they have been given Russian heavy arms and are backed by Russian forces - pushed deeper into Ukraine, a September peace conference drew up plans for a cease-fire and eventual steps toward a political resolution. The cease-fire never held and the fighting between Ukrainian forces and the separatist grew more intense. The separatists accumulated considerable ground in the fighting, which the United Nations reports has claimed 5,300 lives. Now there’s a new peace plan. Hammered out in all-night negotiations earlier this week, it calls for a ceasefire to take effect today. But since the deal was announced, fighting has only increased, as Ukrainian forces battle to hold a major rail hub in Debaltseve. It controls transport between the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Those regions are home to major heavy industrial complexes, many of which produce weapons for Russia’s military. As part of the deal that calls for an end to fighting, both sides are to draw back heavy weapons from the conflict line. Kiev is to write a new constitution that would reflect the autonomy demands of the separatists. Ukraine would retake control of its border with Russia. Moscow views the deal as a guarantee Ukraine will not join NATO. The deal was heralded as a new chance for peace by French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arranged the new peace deal at negotiations that involved Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rebel leaders also signed on. The administration of President Barack Obama, which has led a tough sanctions drive against Moscow over its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, has taken a wait-and-see attitude. “The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia,” the White House said in a statement. American officials are skeptical the deal will hold. Secretary of State John Kerry put it bluntly: “Actions will be what matter now. We will judge the commitment of Russia and the separatists by their actions, not their words.” In the meantime, the administration has put off a decision on sending lethal weapons to Ukraine and additional sanctions on Russia. Putin, who so far has proven impervious to Western sanctions and crashing oil prices that threaten his entire economy, is a step closer to his goal of making certain there won’t be yet another NATO member along his Western frontier. —AP Washington Watch Obama: Sound theology, smart politics By Dr James J Zogby U S President Obama’s remarks, last week, at the annual National Prayer Breakfast were theologically sound and politically smart. In spite of this, his comments set off a storm of criticism from conservative critics who took him to task for both his theology and his politics. While I cannot read their hearts, their rhetoric was so predictable and so harsh, that I suspect some were prompted by a mixture of blind ideology and anti-Muslim animus, coupled with a tinge of racism. More to the point, the President’s critics are just plain wrong - theologically and politically. What President Obama said was so profound, it bears repeating: “...[we] see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge - or, even worse, sometimes as a weapon...We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism...claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions. “Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ... “So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency, that can pervert and distort our faith... “...we should [therefore] start with some basic humility...Our job is not to ask that God respond to our notion of truth...[And] we have to speak up against those who would misuse His name to justify oppression, or violence, or hatred with that fierce certainty.” The president was unwavering in his condemnation of IS, while at the same time recognizing that at the root of their evil ideology is the sin of blind certainty, through which this group, and those like it, attempt to validate their actions by, in effect, imposing their will on God. The antidote is humility, coupled with an understanding of our own failings - lest we, too, fall into the trap of arrogant certainty. Theologically, all of this is quite sound. But latter-day Pharisees were outraged at the president’s call for humility and his acknowledgment of the times we have failed to live up to the ideals of our faith. In response, one Republican leader termed Obama’s remarks “the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime...He has offended every believing Christian in the United States...Mr Obama does not believe in America and the values we all share.” A Southern Baptist leader termed the president’s words “an unfortunate attempt at wrongheaded moral comparison” suggesting that instead of meddling in theology what the president should do is provide “a moral framework...and a clear strategy for defeating IS”. He continued: “The evil actions he mentioned were clearly outside the moral parameter of Christianity and were met with overwhelming moral opposition from Christians”. These criticisms were but a rehash of the GOP’s talking points that were used after President Obama’s Cairo speech. Then, too, he was accused of creating what his detractors called “a false moral equivalency between our enemies and us” and “insulting America”, with not too subtle reminders that he “was not like us”. The president has not been without his defenders, especially those who supported his theological view. But as much as I appreciated his understanding of importance of grounding our faith in humility, the president is not “theologian in chief”. He is, above all, a political leader whose role is to defend the national interest of the United States. And it is on this basis, and not on theological grounds, that I found the way President Obama framed his remarks to be not only wholly supportable, but vitally important. Diplomacy The mention of the Crusades and the Inquisition was not an historical “throwaway line”. Nor was it directed solely at an American audience that feels no responsibility for these ancient actions. Since these events define part of Islam’s encounter with Western Christianity, acknowledging them is an important way to begin the discussion with Muslims. Just as in earlier speeches when the president noted other times when we have failed to live up to our ideals - as in our use of torture, or Guantanamo, or the crimes of Abu Ghraib - it is a way of saying to Muslims “I am hearing you, now listen to me”. This is diplomacy, at its best. Preaching at Muslims about their failings and countering this with the pretense of our perfection is not a way to begin or have a conversation or to create alliances. If we listen carefully to the discourse taking place in the Muslim world, we learn that they scoff at our claims of “upholding our values”. They ask, “exactly which values do you mean”: backing Israel’s displacement and oppression of Palestinians; the war on Iraq; the abuses of prisoners; supporting violators of human rights when it serves your “national interests”? If we want to have an honest discussion of how we work together to address a common threat - in this case, the danger posed by IS - is it not best that we begin by removing the obstacles to that discussion? For those who don’t get that simple point, it’s called good politics or sound diplomacy. On the other hand, if we surrender to the president’s critics, we can act like the Pharisees arrogantly feigning perfection. We can sit atop the pedestal we build for ourselves damning others, while praising ourselves. We’ve tried that before and found that when we did we were speaking to no one but ourselves. We may have felt self-validated, but we were very alone in a world our actions had made more dangerous. NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute p15_Layout 1 2/14/15 8:46 PM Page 1 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 S P ORTS Bolt to hang up spikes Rugby trial for Hawk-Eye Racing Club stumble LONDON: Multiple world record-holder and six-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt will retire after the 2017 World Championships in London, the Jamaican told British newspaper The Daily Mail. The 28-year had previously hinted the 2016 Rio Olympics would be his last competition but sponsorship commitments dictated he will continue until 2017 where he will focus solely on the 100 metres. “That was the initial plan (to sign off after Rio),” he told the Daily Mail yesterday. “But my sponsor has asked me to go on for another year, to 2017 and London. But I’ll be doing one event, the 100. “I’ve already discussed it with my coach. I can concentrate on that, and on retiring on a winning note.” Bolt holds the world records for the 100 metres, 9.58 seconds, the 200 meters, 19.19 seconds, and the 4x100 meters relay, 36.84 seconds, and talked of his drive to beat those times in 2015. His 2015 season culminates at the World Championships in Beijing from Aug. 22 - Aug. 30 where he will attempt to add to his eight world golds and beat the 100 meters record he set in Berlin in 2009.—Reuters LONDON: World Rugby will trial a new Hawk-Eye system to protect player welfare and aid decision making and may adopt it at the 2015 World Cup in England and Wales, the sport’s governing body said. The new system will be tested in selected Pro12 fixtures from next week in a bid to improve and enhance the accuracy of existing television match official (TMO) systems. Referee’s will still direct queries to the TMO but they will have access to an enhanced Hawk-Eye ‘SMART Replay’ technology which affords them simultaneous angles in slow motion. The Hawk-Eye system has already been successfully utilised in other sports such as tennis, cricket, athletics and football. “Technology is an important component of the rugby performance and fan engagement environments and Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to showcase innovation and performance to a record global audience,” World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said in a statement. “Central to our sport is the integrity of player welfare and the match official decision making process and we are delighted to be collaborating with Hawk-Eye and ITV as well as PRO12 Rugby and Sky to determine how we can enhance speed and accuracy in these critical areas.—Reuters BUENOS AIRES: Racing Club made a false start to the defence of their Argentine league title but South American champions San Lorenzo will be looking for a better opening result to the 30-team championship yesterday. A mistake by goalkeeper Sebastian Saja, who had gone six matches unbeaten in the run-in to the title last year, handed Rosario Central a 1-0 win at Racing’s Cilindro on Friday. Saja’s poor clearance in the fourth minute, 38 seconds after setting a club record 578 without a goal against, fell to young midfielder Frano Cervi who lobbed him from outside the box. “Better to have taken this slap now,” said Racing coach Diego Cocca. “We suffered a goal from a mistake, afterwards Central had one more (chance) that Sebastian closed down. We also had one, the difference was they found a goal without effort,” he told reporters.—Reuters NHL standings Western Conference Pacific Division W L OTL GF GA Anaheim 35 14 7 166 155 PTS 77 San Jose 29 20 8 162 160 66 Vancouver 31 20 3 153 142 65 Calgary 30 22 3 159 142 63 Los Angeles 24 18 12 149 147 60 Arizona 20 29 7 128 184 47 Edmonton 16 31 9 129 184 41 Nashville 37 12 6 167 130 80 St. Louis 36 15 4 176 136 76 Chicago 34 18 4 170 130 72 Central Division Winnipeg 28 19 10 155 149 66 Minnesota 27 20 7 147 146 61 Dallas 26 21 8 174 175 60 Colorado 22 22 11 140 158 55 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Montreal 35 15 4 146 122 74 Tampa Bay 34 17 6 184 154 74 Detroit 31 13 9 156 134 71 Boston 28 20 7 144 141 63 Florida 24 19 11 134 151 59 Ottawa 21 22 10 145 150 52 Toronto 23 29 4 159 173 50 Buffalo 16 36 3 103 191 35 NY Islanders 36 Metropolitan Division 18 1 173 153 73 Pittsburgh 32 15 8 160 139 72 NY Rangers 32 16 5 163 130 69 Washington 29 16 10 162 139 68 Philadelphia 23 22 10 149 161 56 Columbus 24 26 3 139 164 51 New Jersey 21 25 9 123 151 51 Carolina 19 27 7 117 141 45 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings CHICAGO: Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) is checked to the ice by New Jersey Devils defenseman Peter Harrold (10) as Eric Gelinas (22) skates by during the second period of an NHL hockey game. —AP Blackhawks rally for victory CHICAGO: Marian Hossa scored his seventh goal in four games, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied for a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Hossa also had an assist on Jonathan Toews’ tiebreaking goal in the third as the Blackhawks rebounded from a pair of losses at the start of an eight-game homestand. Kris Versteeg tacked on an empty-net goal, and Corey Crawford made 25 saves. Peter Harrold scored in the first for New Jersey, which has dropped three in a row. Cory Schneider had 32 stops. BLUE JACKETS 4, FLYERS 3 Artem Anisimov scored 2:17 into overtime to lift the Blue Jackets to a come-from-behind win. The Blue Jackets had been winless when trailing after two periods (0-20-0) and the Flyers had not lost in regulation when ahead going into the third period (13-0-2). Flyers goalie Ray Emery stopped James Wisniewski’s one-timer, but Anisimov jumped on the short rebound and shifted the puck to his forehand to beat Emery. Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist, Cam Atkinson scored, and Jared Boll found the net for the first time in 64 games for the Blue Jackets. Curtis McElhinney had 22 saves. Wayne Simmonds had two goals and an assist and Sean Couturier also scored for the Flyers, who had a seven-game points streak (5-0-2) end. Emery finished with 29 saves. STARS 2, PANTHERS 0 Kari Lehtonen shut out the Florida Panthers, making 37 saves. But Dallas lost three players to injuries. Lehtonen made the Stars’ two first-period goals hold up for their third straight win. The Panthers have lost on consecutive nights. Jamie Benn scored Dallas’ third short-handed goal in two games; the Stars lead the NHL with nine shorthanded goals. Jason Spezza scored for the 2-0 lead. Tyler Seguin, Dallas’ leader with 29 goals and 59 points, was helped off the ice after being checked in the lower leg by defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the third period. Patrick Eaves followed Seguin to the locker room 51 seconds later after teammate John Klingberg’s wrist shot hit Eaves in the head. A third Stars forward, Ales Hemsky, left in the first period with a lower body injury. Florida goalie Al Montoya had 26 saves. SHARKS 4, COYOTES 2 Joe Pavelski scored three goals, Antti Niemi stopped 32 shots and the Sharks ended a three-game losing streak. San Jose tightened up after falling into a 2-0 hole in the first period. Pavelski scored twice in the second to reach the 30-goal mark for the third time in his career. He added an empty-net goal for his fourth career hat trick. Barclay Goodrow also scored to help Sharks coach Todd McLellan reach 300 wins in 515 career games. Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau is the only coach in NHL history to reach the milestone faster, 496 games. Mark Arcobello had a goal in his Arizona debut to become the second player in NHL history with a point with four teams in the same season, joining Dennis O’Brien in 1977-78. Martin Erat also scored for the Coyotes. CANUCKS 5, BRUINS 2 Shawn Matthias scored the first hat trick of his career with two goals in the opening period and one in the third. Radim Vrbata and Jannik Hansen, into an empty net, had the other goals for Vancouver, while Zack Kassian added two assists. Ryan Miller made 21 saves to get the win in his 600th NHL game. Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly replied for Boston, which got 20 saves from Tuukka Rask. Matthias had scored two goals in a game six times before Friday. —AP Hirscher falls to ‘Birds of Prey’ BEAVER CREEK: Austrian slalom maestro Marcel Hirscher was left purring with admiration after being outperformed by defending champion Ted Ligety in the giant slalom at the alpine ski world championships on Friday. Though Hirscher led after the opening leg and produced “a pretty awesome run” in the afternoon, he was beaten into second place by Birds of Prey specialist Ligety, who the Austrian described as outstanding. Ligety has now won five consecutive giant slalom races on the plunging layout and threetimes overall World Cup champion Hirscher had to settle for silver, his third medal at these world championships. “Ted is skiing just brilliant, especially here at Beaver Creek down the Birds of Prey,” Hirscher said after finishing 0.45 seconds behind the American in the two-run technical event. “If you can win five times in a row giant slalom races (here), then you definitely feel at home on this course. I am super happy. I gave my personal 100 percent and I even can’t ski one-hundredths of a second faster.” Hirscher had been the favourite heading into the giant slalom after winning four of five World Cup races this season and finishing third in the other. He led Ligety by 0.24 seconds after the morning leg, then watched from the start hut as the American scorched down the piste in the afternoon with a sizzling run of one minute, 18.74 seconds that no one else came within a half second of matching. “For me, it was really important to know that Ted had an outstanding run so it was definitely easier for me to make a decision in the starting hut,” said the 25-year-old Austrian. “I talked to myself and I thought, ‘Two chances-no medal or go for it 100 percent.’ I skied definitely 100 percent and gave everything. I had a pretty awesome run but Ted’s run was definitely outstanding.” Hirscher, who earlier won gold in the super combined and team events at the 2015 worlds, will go into Sunday’s concluding slalom as the pre-race favourite and the reigning champion from Schladming two years ago. “I have been training and racing at this altitude for two weeks and that takes a lot of energy,” he said. “But I have been fighting very hard, and I think I will be able to keep fighting hard for the slalom today.” —Reuters BEAVER CREEK: United States’ Ted Ligety races down the course during the men’s giant slalom competition at the alpine skiing world championships. —AP and are not included in the loss column (L) Giant win puts Ligety in league of his own BEAVER CREEK: Ted Ligety does not have a headline grabbing relationship like Lindsey Vonn nor does he court controversy like showman Bode Miller. But he does have more alpine world championship medals than any American skier after a breath-taking giant slalom win on Friday. Overshadowed by his more flamboyant team mates off the piste, Ligety again proved he takes a backseat to no one on the mountain by coming to the rescue in electrifying but familiar fashion to end a US gold medal drought at the posh Colorado resort. The world championships had not unfolded as planned for the US on home snow as Vonn, the headliner at Beaver Creek and most successful women’s skier of all time, exited with a bronze and Miller crashed out early in his opening race. Heading into the final weekend the only hardware American ski fans had to celebrate were a silver from Travis Ganong in the downhill and a pair of third-place finishes from Ligety and Vonn, who was cheered on by her golfer boyfriend, Tiger Woods. But Ligety got the weekend party started early up and down the Vail Valley with a jaw-dropping second-leg charge down the plunging Birds of Prey track that carried him to the top of the podium ahead of first leg leader and three-time overall World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher of Austria. Ligety has long believed there is no such thing as a perfect run but, for the thousands of American ski fans who packed the finish area grandstands on a sun-kissed afternoon, the 30year-old American’s second leg was about as good as it gets. “One of the cool things about ski racing is there is never a perfect run so it’s hard to be satisfied in that sense, you can always go that extra step,” Ligety told Reuters at the end of an autograph session for one of his sponsors, GoPro. “I don’t think any of us have the realistic goal of having the perfect run. Ski racing is the most variable sport out there, conditions change run-to-run, we only get one chance at it and the margin for error is tiny. “This is a tough sport because there are so many factors. It is really hard to have those factors converge and have that perfect run.” LIGETY A TARGET Ligety arrived in Beaver Creek with a target on his back, having recorded a gold medal hat-trick at the 2013 world championships in Schladming by taking top spot in the Super-G, super combined and giant slalom. Humbled on their home snow two years ago, the Austrians had already gained a good measure of revenge at Beaver Creek with Hannes Reichelt taking Ligety’s Super-G crown and Hirscher the combined title. Known as ‘Mr. GS’ for his domination of the discipline, Ligety had seen his reign challenged this season with Hirscher stepping into the American’s territory by winning four-of-five World Cup giant slaloms. Ligety, who has owned the giant slalom crown since the 2011 worlds, has 39 World Cup GS podiums and 23 wins.—Reuters p16_Layout 1 2/14/15 9:40 PM Page 1 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 S P ORTS Nishikori storms into Memphis semis MEMPHIS: Top seed Kei Nishikori kept his bid for a third straight ATP Memphis title alive on Friday with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 quarter-final win over Austin Krajicek. The 25-year-old Japanese star, ranked fifth in the world, needed two hours and 10 minutes to subdue the American qualifier, ranked 156th. Nishikori seized control in the third set with an early break for a 2-0 lead. Krajicek broke to level the set at 4-4, but Nishikori immedi- ately broke back to avert the danger and served out the match. “Obviously I didn’t play my best tennis, but I won today, that’s meaningful,” said Nishikori, last year’s US Open runner-up and a quarter-finalist at this year’s Australian open. “I think it’s a very good win today because he was playing good tennis... He was hitting a lot of aces that I wasn’t really expecting.” Nishikori, who saved Serena out of Dubai Open DUBAI: Serena Williams, who captured her 19th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month while struggling with a persistent virus, has withdrawn from the Dubai Open, apparently suffering from the same ailment. Williams’ achievement in those difficult circumstances in Melbourne was particularly remarkable, but the cost may be high and has been causing concern about the 33-year-old’s long-term health. She has been suffering from a nagging cough since that triumph and was forced to sit out the second day of the United States’ 4-1 Fed Cup win over Argentina in Buenos Aires last weekend. The world number one made it clear at the start of the year that she must restrict her schedule if she is to have a chance of winning the three more Grand Slam titles needed to reach Steffi Graf ’s open era record of 22 - and her Dubai pull-out underlines her determination to do this. It is, however, the second time in three years that Williams has pulled out of the popular and lucrative Middle East tournament, something which may not help the American’s image in this region, especially as she has also failed to win it in four attempts. It may, though, give her a better chance of doing well at her next tournament, Indian Wells, early in March, something of unusual significance for her and for her sister Venus Williams. It will be the first time either Williams sister has returned to Indian Wells since they boycotted the tournament after their hostile treatment by the crowd 14 years ago. Serena’s absence in Dubai allows Venus to squeeze into the top eight seeds, something which may help her defence of a title which made her the tournament’s first unseeded champion. “Serena’s doing what’s best for her,” said Venus. “She’s been sick for a while and all the travelling can have an affect on you. There comes a time when you need to do something about it.” “I know what it can be like (to be unwell),” added Venus, who has had chronic health problems in recent seasons. “It builds character - and I have had to build a lot of character in the last few years.” She could have a quarter-final with Ana Ivanovic, the fourth-seeded former French Open champion, and if she were to survive that, a semi-final with Petra Kvitova, the second-seeded Wimbledon champion, would be a possibility. “Happily I’m feeling good right now, I’ve only lost once this year,” the 34-year-old champion said. “I’ve been playing well and I’m looking forward to playing even better.” The player stepping into Serena’s shoes as top seed is Simona Halep, the French Open runner-up from Rumania, and among the other frontline contenders are Caroline Wozniacki, the third-seeded Dane, and Agnieszka Radwanska, the fifth-seeded Pole, both of whom are former winners of the Dubai title. Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, a wildcard entry, has also withdrawn, with an arm injury. Top eight seeds: 1, Simona Halep (ROM), 2, Petra Kvtiova (CZE), 3, Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), 4, Ana Ivanovic (SRB), 5, Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 6, Ekaterina Makarova (RUS), 7, Angelique Kerber (GER), 8, Venus Williams (USA). —AFP eight of the 10 break points he faced, next faces American Sam Querrey, who toppled third-seeded compatriot John Isner 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/2). Krajicek said Nishikori played better on the important points.”Kei, obviously he’s one of the best players in the sport, so he comes up with it when it matters,” said the 24-year-old American, who saved two match points in a first-round win over Mikhail Kukushkin then downed fifth-seeded Ivo Karlovic in the second. “I gave myself an opportunity and thought I played well. It was a really fun match and the atmosphere was great-I enjoyed myself.” Second-seeded South African Kevin Anderson also advanced, downing American Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4. Anderson fired 16 aces and saved all three break points he faced in the 65minute contest. He’ll take on American Donald Young, who defeated Australian Bernard Tomic 7-6 (10/8), 4-6, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals. “I got a little nervous there at the end, but I was happy to come through,” said Young, who reached the fourth ATP Tour semi-final of his career. “Anytime you make the weekend, you’re playing well. I made the weekend. It hasn’t happened too often in my career, so when it happens I’m very excited.” —AFP Berdych routs Simon ROTTERDAM: Holder Tomas Berdych followed his game plan to the letter and reached his second consecutive final at the ATP Rotterdam World Tennis event yesterday with a crushing 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Gilles Simon. The rout, which took the Czech third seed into Sunday’s final, lasted just 56 minutes. Berdych now meets the winner of the other semi-final between Switerland’s Stan Wawrinka and Canadian second seed Milos Raonic. The Czech, now coached by Andy Murray cast-off Dani Vallverdu, said that he and his Venezuelan coach have been concentrating on strategy. “We are focusing a lot more on game plans than I have done in other years,” said Berdych, who has never defended an ATP title. “We’ve only had a few weeks together, but we have been able to implement a lot into my game.” Berdych stayed in total control as he swept to his ninth straight Rotterdam victory, losing only one point on first serve. He kept Simon on the back foot throughout the brief contest, with the eighth seed barely recognisable as the man who upset top seed Murray 24 hours earlier. “It’s good not to find anything wrong with your game,” said a satisfied Berdych. “It was a really good match, solid from the beginning. “And it all started with the right game plan. I felt very good on court, it was all positive for me. I was able to add something to to my game. “I want to keep doing that for one more match here,” said Berdych, who ended with 14 winners and breaks on four of five chances. Berdych, who trailed Simon 3-6 coming into the match, said: “I did many things differently today compared to our last matches, this result is clear proof.”I’m happy with how I handled it, with just the right amount of patience and choosing the right shots in the right moment. “I created the moments for myself and got the situation to my liking.” Berdych won the opening set in 32 minutes with two breaks of Simon’s serve and then picked up the pace as he hurtled to victory, advancing to the final on the first of three match points. —AFP ROTTERDAM: Czech player Tomas Berdych returns the ball to French player Gilles Simon during their semi-final tennis match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. —AFP ‘Salwa Cup’ concludes today KUWAIT: The Kuwait International Table Tennis Tournament “Salwa Cup” comes to a conclusion today evening at the Late Khalid Yousuf Al-Marzouq in Salwa Sports Club, Qurain as winners in the Men’s, Ladies and Juniors will be crowned. The rounds of 32 and 16 saw the champion of Salwa Cup in 2008 Belorussia’s Alexander Samsonov exit from the men’s singles and doubles making him the first among the top ranked to leave. Jordan’s Mohammad Salama defeated Egypt ’s Shihab Mohammad in the singles event by 4-1. The U-21 singles and doubles competition was concluded yesterday with Chinese dominance with European attempts to penetrate the Chinese steel wall to no avail as Russia’s Elaina and Germany’s W Sabin failed. Kuwait had attempts through the women’s singles by Menwah Al-Shimmary who faced Japan’s Youki Noonaka but lost 4-0. Fajer Al-Hamad lost to Yuwi Hamamoto 4-0 and Mariam Abdelrahim lost to Shiho Matusudayra 4-0. Egypt’s Sarah Hassan defeated Taiwan’s Huwi Chialin 4-3 while Qatar’s Maha Ramzi lost to Russia’s Yana Noskova 4-0 In the ladies’ doubles Russia’s Elaina Troshnaiva and Olga Paranova defeated Egypt ’s Nadeen Al-Dawalty and Dina Mishrif 3-1 as Kuwait’s Minwa Al-Shimmari and Nour Salem lost to Qatar ’s Maha Faramzi and Ayah Mohammad 3-0. Maryam Abdelrahim and Fajer Al-Hamad lost to Turkey ’s Melik Ho and Sanim Shahieen 3-0. The finals and semi finals of the men’s and ladies started yesterday as, the finals in all groups will take place today. In the men’s doubles Egypt’s Khalid Usor and Omar Usor defeated Hungary’s team 3-2, while the Kuwaiti team lost to their Singapore counterparts 3-0. p17 2_Layout 1 2/14/15 10:33 PM Page 1 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 World Cup glory beckons, arise ‘Sir’ Jadeja NEW DELHI: In his sprawling farmhouse at Jamnagar in the west Indian state of Gujarat, Ravindra Jadeja is often seen riding one of his four horses without even a saddle. The 26-year-old all-rounder brings the same insouciance into the cricket fieldwhether he is bowling, batting or running backwards chasing a skier. He wears it like an amulet, a protective shield against a condescending world that laughed at his achievements, almost resenting them. Though classified as an all-rounder, the Saurashtra southpaw is no Garfield Sobers. At best, he is a utility player with skills tailor-made for limited over cricket but inadequate for sustained success at test level. Born in a warrior-ruler family but without the affluence, the son of a security guard and a nurse has found acceptability incredibly difficult to come by. His three triple centuries in domestic cricket are cited only to lament the dearth of quality bowlers in India; his left-arm spin is perceived as innocuous; and his nonchalance has prompted those on social media to dub him ‘Sir Jadeja’. This after Australian spin great Shane Warne, Jadeja’s then captain in the Rajasthan team in Indian Premier League, had nicknamed him “Rockstar” for his brimming self-confidence. Cast into the Chuck Norris template, ‘Sir Jadeja’ has been the subject of numerous Twitter jokes, some in good humour by his team mates, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “Sir jadeja once wanted to make a silt mountain to play as a kid, now v all call it mt. Everest,” Dhoni tweeted of the allrounder, who has been a permanent fixture in the Indian captain’s limited over team that will begin their World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Adelaide on Sunday. Jadeja has also proved he can take the gentle ribbing. “I think it is a joke and we are enjoying. Nothing serious,” he said of his new-found prefix in 2013. “I am not seriously thinking about the title ‘Sir’ and all that. It’s okay as everybody is enjoying it in the team and it’s fine,” he said. ‘SIR’ JADEJA Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not resist the temptation of mentioning it while wishing the cricketer well ahead of the World Cup. “Who is not a fan of Sir Jadeja? We all look forward to seeing your all round performances take India to victory!” Modi posted on Twitter. Modi, however, is unlikely to have caused any embarrassment to Jadeja, whose nonchalance has surfaced every time he faced the press. Once asked whether he considers himself a true all-rounder, Jadeja deadpanned: “Yes. I think when everyone tags me as an all-rounder then it is not for nothing that they call me so.” Former Australia pacer Andy Bichel has no doubt Jadeja can make a big impact at the World Cup. “What a talent this Indian all-rounder is in the right conditions,” Bichel wrote on his column for the International Cricket Council. “With the ball he is very hard to work away so his pace on the ball will be important here in this World Cup. His batting is getting better by the day and he is starting to be more consistent in recent times.” —Reuters CHRISTCHURCH: Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews dives to avoid a run out against New Zealand during the opening match of the Cricket World Cup. —AP NZ trounce Sri Lanka in World Cup opener CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand made the perfect start to the World Cup when a swashbuckling Brendon McCullum led his side to a 98-run win over Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. McCullum’s quickfire 65 set New Zealand up for an imposing 331-6, with Kane Williamson adding 57 in the middle of the innings and Corey Anderson blasting 75 off 46 at the tail. Sri Lanka made a steady start in reply and were 124-1 in the 22nd over, setting themselves up for a big finish. But on a grey Christchurch day, where the temperature hovered around 13 degrees Celsius, they were soon to feel the heat as New Zealand mounted a triple strike and they were all out for 233 with nearly four overs remaining. In the space of 12 balls Trent Boult and Daniel Vettori combined to take three wickets for five runs to reduce Sri Lanka to 129-4. Premier batsmen Lahiru Thirimanne (65), Kumar Sangakkara (39) and Mahela Jayawardene (0) were back in the hutch as the batting collapse, a familiar part of Sri Lanka’s pre World Cup per formances, reappeared. Sangakkara had the consolation of passing former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as the second highest run-maker in one-day international history. Adam Milne then removed Dimuth Karunaratne (14) and Jeevan Mendis (4) to have Sri Lanka at 168-6, facing a run rate of nearly 10, and New Zealand firmly in command. New Zealand’s dominance underscored their rising status as serious contenders in a tournament where they have never previously gone further than the semi-finals. In heavily overcast conditions and with a little drizzle in the air that delayed the start by a few minutes, Sri Lanka won the toss and put New Zealand into bat in conditions ripe for swing bowling. But it was the New Zealand batsmen who took control with McCullum setting the tournament alight in a 111-run opening partnership off 95 deliveries with Martin Guptill. McCullum, at his destructive best in a 49-ball stay, smacked one six and 10 fours, including three boundaries off the first four balls he faced, to the delight of the partisan New Zealand crowd. He was particularly harsh on Sri Lanka’s bowling ace Lasith Malinga who was quickly removed from the attack when McCullum peppered the boundary for a lusty 22 off his fourth over. McCullum, Guptill (49) and Williamson led New Zealand to 183-2 in the 34th over when Mendis dismissed Williamson and Ross Taylor in consecutive balls. But any hopes Sri Lanka had that the tide was turning were quickly dashed with the arrival of Anderson at the crease and the former holder of the fastest ODI century record mercilessly launched into the bowling. His partnerships with Grant Elliott and then Luke Ronchi produced 102 runs in the last 10 overs. Mendis took two wickets for five for Sri Lanka, but only bowled two overs while Suranga Lakmal took two for 62 off 10. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thirimanne put on 67 for the first wicket in Sri Lanka’s reply before being parted by Vettori. The 36-year-old, who relies more on guile than spin, baffled Dilshan on 24 with a subtle change of pace and was rewarded with a simple return catch. Thirimanne and Sangakkara added 57 for the second wicket before the innings fell apart. For New Zealand, Vettori, Southee, Boult, Milne and Anderson took two wickets each.—AFP SCOREBOARD CHRISTCHURCH: Completed scoreboar in the World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on yesterday. New Zealand M. Guptill c Sangakkara b Lakmal 49 B. McCullum c Mendis b Herath 65 K. Williamson c Karunaratne b Mendis 57 R. Taylor st Sangakkara b Mendis 14 G. Elliott c Thirimanne b Lakmal 29 C. Anderson c Lakmal b Kulasekara 75 L. Ronchi not out 29 Extras (lb2, w8, nb3) 13 Total (for 6 wickets, 50) 331 Did not bat: D. Vettori, T. Southee, A. Milne, T. Boult Fall of wickets: 1-111 (McCullum), 2-136 (Guptill), 3-193 ( Williamson), 4-193 ( Taylor), 5-258 (Elliott), 6-331 (Anderson) Bowling: Kulasekara 8-0-78-1 (3w), Malinga 10-0-84-0 (3w, 3nb), Mathews 6-0-28-0, Herath 9-0-37-1 (1w), Dilshan 5-0-35-0 (1w), Lakmal 10-0-62-2, Mendis 2-0-5-2 Sri Lanka L. Thirimanne b Boult 65 T. Dilshan c & b Vettori 24 K. Sangakkara lbw b Boult 39 M. Jayawardene c Ronchi b Vettori 0 D. Karunaratne b Milne 14 A. Mathews c Vettori b Southee 46 J. Mendis c Ronchi b Milne 4 N. Kulasekara c Elliott b Anderson 10 R. Herath c Milne b Anderson 13 S. Malinga c Ronchi b Southee 0 S. Lakmal not out 7 Extras (w10, nb1) 11 Total (10 wickets, 46.1 overs) 233 Fall of wickets: 1-67 (Dilshan), 2-124 (Thirimanne), 3-125 (Jayawardene), 4-129 (Sangakkara), 5-163 (Karunaratne), 6-168 (Mendis), 7-196 (Kulasekara), 8-216 (Mathews), 9-217 (Malinga), 10-233 (Herath) Bowling: Southee 10-1-43-2 (2w), Boult 10-0-64-2, Milne 10-0-572 (3w, 1nb), Vettori 10-0-34-2 (2w), Elliott 2-0-11-0, Williamson 1-0-7-0, Anderson 3.1-0-18-2 (2w). Preview Zimbabwe unfazed by facing big teams AUSTRALIA: The days have long passed when Zimbabwe were just happy to be at the World Cup. This year, the Africans are making their ninth straight appearance at cricket’s greatest spectacle. They may still be regarded as one of the big underdogs but that’s not how they view themselves, and have the results over a long time to prove it. Before the end of the 1990s, Zimbabwe had beaten every major cricket playing country at least once in a one-day International. In 1999 and 2003 they made it to the Super Six stage of the World Cup. They beat Australia last year and in their final warm-up before the World Cup they upset Sri Lanka. “It gives us a lot of confidence. It gives us a lot of the belief that we do need as a team, that it’s possible to beat a big team,” said Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura. “We’re looking forward to the main games now, and hopefully the guys who performed well will carry on with their form and hopefully finish on the better side.” Zimbabwe’s first match is against South Africa in Hamilton on Sunday. Zimbabwe have only beaten their African neighbours twice in 37 clashes but Chigumbura remains unfazed. “Obviously playing a big team is challenging, but at the same time for us, it’s also a good opportunity to express ourselves and try and play our best cricket,” he said. “If we stick to our game plans and our processes right, at the end of the day it’s about the team that plays the best cricket on the day.” Zimbabwe are not without any chance of progressing in the tournament. Drawn in Pool B with South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Ireland and United Arab Emirates, they will probably have to win three games to reach the quarter-finals. They will start as clear favourites to beat the UAE and slight favourites to beat Ireland, with the West Indies looming as perhaps the key match. “Looking at the results before, people can call us small team but I believe this tournament, if we play our best cricket, the tables will change,” Chigumbura said. “Looking at the games that we have played recently, they are good signs. Guys are believing that they belong here, so now it’s obviously about the main games, we just don’t have to panic.” —Reuters WAIKATO: South Africa’s Hashim Amla plays football during training at Seddon Park, Hamilton ahead of their first Pool B 2015 Cricket World Cup match. —AFP Only World Cup win will end SA tag as chokers HAMILTON: A meticulous planner, the South African captain AB de Villiers has prepared himself for everything at the World Cup. Like every South African, de Villiers needs no reminding that the Proteas have never won the World Cup and carry the label of chokers courtesy of their previous near misses. South Africa will open their latest World Cup campaign against Zimbabwe at Hamilton yesterday. On the eve of the match, de Villiers attended the mandatory pre-match news conference and was prepared for when the inevitable question came up about his country’s World Cup record. “Those past happenings and the chokers and all of that, that’s still very much part of our system,” he told reporters. “There’s no doubt about it. We’re going to have to win to take that away, and we know that. “But like I said before, it’s a great opportunity for all of us. The guys being here can make history, and just want to slow things down. That’s the main message for this tournament.” South Africa have been among the favorites to win every World Cup they’ve contested since 1992 but have come up short each time, losing in the semi-finals in 1992, 1999 and 2007 and the quarter-finals in 1996 and 2011. While de Villiers conceded that the only thing way South Africa could shed their chokers’ tag is by winning the World Cup, he also said it was important they don’t get too fixated on the title. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we’re not thinking about the trophy at the moment,” he said. “We know we can win, there’s no doubt about it, but we know there are lots of obstacles along the way that we’re going to have to overcome.” South Africa are again one of the favourites to win the World Cup and for good reason. They have a strong bowling attack and a powerful batting lineup, led but de Villiers, who is ranked as the world’s best One Day International batsman. Zimbabwe are one of the tournament long shots, though an improving team capable of testing anyone on their day, and de Villiers was sticking to the sportsman’s mantra of talking up his opponents. “They beat Australia not long ago. They’re a dangerous side,” he said. “They’ve come a long way and think they’re under good leadership at the moment from the captain and the coach, so definitely a side to be reckoned with. “We’ve got our plans in place, but we know we’ll have to take them up seriously tomorrow. It’s a big start for both teams.” —Reuters SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 Fans gear up for India-Pakistan grudge match World Cup results and standings Pool A At Christchurch New Zealand 331-6 v Sri Lanka 233 all out New Zealand won by 98 runs At Melbourne Australia 342-9 v England 231 all out Australia won by 111 runs Australia New Zealand Sri Lanka England Afghanistan Bangladesh Scotland Played 1 1 1 1 - won 1 1 0 0 - lost 0 0 1 1 - tied, 0 0 0 0 - N/R, 0 0 0 0 - points 2 2 0 0 - run rate +2.220 +1.960 -1.960 -2.220 - ISLAMABAD: Big screens are going up, T V sales are booming and even the Taliban are getting their transistor radios ready for the biggest grudge match in cricket: Pakistan against India. From the beaches of Kerala to the snowy Himalayas, from the deserts of Baluchistan to the tea plantations of Assam, hundreds of millions of fans will be glued to the action as the two sides clash in the World Cup today. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Friday to wish his team luck in their opening match at the Adelaide Oval, while Sharif issued a statement bidding his side a success. “The whole nation is praying for the success of the team and expects the boys to do their level best in this crucial fixture,” the statement said. The time difference with Australia means the match will start around breakfast time in the subcontinent, but that is unlikely to deter legions of supporters for whom a win over the old enemy is almost as important as winning the tournament. In the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, big screen TVs are selling fast, with many restaurants installing the latest LED screens to lure in punters today. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in temporary accommodation around northwest Pakistan after being forced to flee the restive tribal areas on the Afghan border by a major anti-Taliban military operation. Many of the displaced are hoping their bighitting hero Shahid Afridi, who hails from Khyber tribal district, will bring them some cheer on Sunday. Ajab Khan, 60, was forced to abandon his his flatscreen T V when he fled Nor th Waziristan, but said he had used government aid to get a replacement. “We saved from our relief package money and bought a 17 inch television for the World true that bookies have disappeared,” Mumbai police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni, told AFP. “We are cracking down on illegal cricket betting in Mumbai before the World Cup begins this weekend.” Restaurants are also gearing up for the event, hosting cricketthemed breakfasts and lunches. At the Underdogs Sports Bar and Grill in Delhi, manager Digamber Singh said a whopping 24 televisions were going up to make sure diners did not miss a ball. But fans in Indian-administered Kashmir, the disputed territory where many suppor t Pak istan over India, will not be allowed to gather for public screenings, banned by police for fear of unrest in the volatile region. MUMBAI: An Indian man with his face painted in the colors of the Indian national flag. —AP ‘THIS IS LIKE THE FINAL’ Prime Minister Modi may have offered sporting good wishes, but some of his countrymen have been less charitable. The broadcaster Star Sports has been keen to remind Pakistanis of India’s World Cup dominance over them-India have beaten Pakistan in every one of their World Cup clashes since 1992, five in all. A Star Sports advert for the match this week focused on a Pakistani fan settling down excitedly for each of the matches over the years, getting older with each one, only to be disappointed every time. Back in Karachi, 25-year-old software engineer Fahad Asghar summed up the mood of a subcontinent. “The World Cup is definitely a big event,” he told AFP. “But for us the match with India is like the final.” —AFP Cup,” Khan told AFP. “We want Afridi to score sixes against India as it is most thrilling and entertaining part of any match.” The ongoing militar y operation has also disrupted the Taliban’s plans to watch the match, but the militants said they would still try to tune in. Across the border in India, Mumbai police have launched a crackdown on illegal bookmakers who are set to take a windfall from thousands of gambling-mad punters. Although gambling is mostly banned in India, betting on cricket matches thrives through networks of underground bookies. “Yes it is Aussies hammer England Finch, Marsh star AUSTRALIA: England’s James Taylor (right) gestures as umpire Aleem Dar gives him out lbw during the Pool A 2015 Cricket World Cup match against Australia. —AFP ICC admit umpire error in England’s final wicket MELBOURNE: The International Cricket Council said the match umpires had made a mistake after reviewing England’s final dismissal in the World Cup against Australia yesterday which potentially cost James Taylor a century. While England were well beaten by 111 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, there was some debate about whether the final dismissal should have been termed a “dead ball” and as a consequence James Anderson should not have been given run out. Anderson’s dismissal after a leg before wicket appeal on Taylor was overturned by the video umpire, meant that Taylor lost his opportunity to score a century as he was left stranded on 98. The Australians had appealed for a run out on Anderson at the non-striker’s end as he scampered back to regain his ground and umpire Kumar Dharmasena made a referral to the third umpire, who gave Anderson out. The ICC released a statement after the match, which read: “Following Australia’s 111-run victory over England in the Group A ICC Cricket World Cup clash at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday night, the Playing Control Team (PCT) met and reviewed the final ball of the game which resulted in James Anderson being given run out. “Article 3.6a of Appendix 6 of the Decision Review System (DRS) Playing Conditions states that the ball should have been deemed dead when the batsman (James Taylor) was given out leg before wicket (lbw). No further runs or dismissals were possible. “The PCT spoke to the England team management and acknowledges that the game ended incorrectly and an error was made.” —AFP India, Pakistan set for blockbuster ADELAIDE: Cricket’s version of a gladiatorial street fight will play out today when defending champions India take on arch-rivals Pakistan in a high-voltage World Cup clash at the Adelaide Oval. Millions of passionate fans across the world will follow the Pool B match which organisers said was sold out in 20 minutes despite an uninspiring build up by both teams. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India start their campaign desperate to bounce back after a miserable bilateral tour of Australia where they were beaten 2-0 in the Tests and did not win a match in the subsequent tri-series. Pakistan have had their bowling attack decimated due to injuries and the reluctance to rush back one-day cricket’s number one bowler Saeed Ajmal despite the off-spinner being cleared of a suspect action. With seamers Umar Gul and Junaid Khan sidelined with injuries, Pakistan suffered a severe blow when the seasoned Mohammad Hafeez was ruled out of the tournament with a calf injury. Lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan-the tallest man to ever play international cricket at 7 feet, one inch-will lead the bowling attack that includes leg-spinners Yasir Shah and Shahid Afridi. With India in disarray, Pakistan will seek to end their winless World Cup streak against the neighbours-five successive defeats since 1992 — with renewed hope. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq, who like Afridi will quit one-day cricket after the tournament, will be inspired by Pakistan’s title under Imran Khan when the World Cup was played Down Under in 1992.—AFP MELBOURNE: Mitchell Marsh proved the unlikely bowling star and Aaron Finch blasted the first ton of the World Cup as Australia crushed England by 111 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. The tournament favourites ruthlessly swept to victory in their opening Pool A match by posting their highest-ever one-day international total against England of 342 for nine. They then dismissed their hapless arch-rivals for 231 with more than eight overs to spare. Allrounder Marsh, making his World Cup debut, claimed five for 33 as Australia latched on to their catches with Steve Smith’s mid-air screamer to dismiss Jos Buttler the best of the highlight reel. It was a comprehensive victory that signalled Australia as the team to beat as they bid to win their fifth World Cup and their first at home since going out in the semi-finals to England when they last hosted the event in 1992. “I don’t think we’ve made any secret about it, we’re here to win the World Cup like 13 other teams are,” Finch said. “I suppose what was great was that everyone contributed either with bat, ball or in the field, so from a team point of view it’s really good to see everyone playing well and peaking at the right time.” It was a grim night for England, who only narrowly avoided their heaviest World Cup defeat-in terms of runs-following a 122 run-thrashing by South Africa at The Oval in 1999. And apart from their bowlers getting flogged and dropped catches, England skipper Eoin Morgan was out for his fourth duck in his last seven innings. “Probably the most frustrating thing was that we were making errors that we haven’t made this trip and again Australia played well but we had opportunties to take the game to them and we didn’t,” Morgan said. “They certainly were the better team and they outplayed us in every department right fromm the start which is disappointing.” TAYLOR DEFIANCE James Taylor’s face-saving unbeaten knock of 98 not out was the lone bright spot, with England now having won just two of their last 16 ODI encounters Down Under. Opener Finch punished England for Chris Woakes putting him down at mid-wicket on the fifth ball of the innings off James Anderson before the batsman had scored. Finch thrilled his massive 84,336 home-town crowd with three sixes and 12 fours before he was finally run out by Morgan’s brilliant direct hit in the 37th over. Finch’s knock was the second highest against England at the World Cup after West Indies great Vivian Richards’s 138 not out in the 1979 final. All-rounder Glenn Maxwell showed off his improvised shotmaking in his all-action knock of 66 off 40 balls and skipper George Bailey contributed 55. England made early inroads before Finch and Bailey restored the home side’s position from 70 for three to put on a stand of 146 runs off 156 balls after Stuart Broad took two wickets in two balls to remove the dangerous David Warner (22) and Shane Watson, caught behind for a first-ball duck. Woakes followed up with the prized wicket of Smith for five to have the Aussies wobbling at 70 for three. England’s fielding became ragged and Maxwell smashed seamer Steven Finn for four consecutive fours to bring up his 50 off just 30 balls on his way to 66 while Brad Haddin slammed 31 off 14 balls. Finn took the 2015 World Cup’s first hat-trick with the last three balls of the innings but Australia had already compiled a huge total. England, who had never before chased down more than 306 to win an ODI, soon crumbled under aggressive bowling and tight fielding with Marsh on a hat-trick after dismissing Ian Bell (36) and Joe Root (5) with successive balls. Morgan’s woes continued when he tried to pull Marsh but instead got an under-edge that was superbly held, one-handed, by diving wicketkeeper Haddin. Buttler fell to a sensational airborne catch by Smith for 10 at short cover. Woakes and Taylor held up Australia’s victory charge for with a 92-run stand for the seventh wicket. Mitchell Starc bowled Broad MELBOURNE: Australia’s David Warner (second bottom) slips on the pitch as teammate Aaron Finch (top) and England’s Stuart Broad (second top) and Ian Bell (bottom) watch on during the Pool A 2015 CricketWorld Cup match. —AFP for a duck, Finn was caught and bowled by Mitchell Johnson for one. England didn’t even have the consolation of seeing the gutsy Taylor get to a maiden ODI hundred when the match ended in confusion. Taylor was adjudged lbw but overturned the decision on review. However, Anderson was given run out for eight as he went for a single with Taylor’s protestations that the ball was dead when he was initially given out failing to impress the umpires. Offcials later admitted that the umpires got the decision wrong.—AFP SCOREBOARD MELBOURNE: Scoreboard in the World Cup Pool A match between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. Australia D. Warner b Broad 22 A. Finch run out (Morgan) 135 S. Watson c Buttler b Broad 0 S. Smith b Woakes 5 G. Bailey b Finn 55 G. Maxwell c Root b Finn 66 M. Marsh c Root b Finn 23 B. Haddin c Broad b Finn 31 M. Johnson c Anderson b Finn 0 M. Starc not out 0 Extras (lb2, w3) 5 Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 342 Did not bat: J Hazlewood Fall of wickets: 1-57 (Warner), 2-57 (Watson), 3-70 (Smith), 4-216 (Finch), 5-228 (Bailey), 6-281 (Marsh), 7-342 (Haddin), 8-342 (Maxwell), 9-342 (Johnson) Bowling: Anderson 10-0-67-0 (1w); Broad 10-0-66-2 (1w); Woakes 10-0-65-1; Finn 10-0-71-5 (1w); Ali 9-060-0; Root 1-0-11-0 England M. Ali c Bailey b Starc 10 I. Bell c Starc b Marsh 36 G. Ballance c Finch b Marsh 10 J. Root c Haddin b Marsh 5 E. Morgan c Haddin b Marsh 0 J. Taylor not out 98 J. Buttler c Smith b Marsh 10 C. Woakes c Smith b Johnson 37 S. Broad b Starc 0 S. Finn c and b Johnson 1 J. Anderson run out (Maxwell) 8 Extras (lb5, w11) 16 Total (all out, 41.5 overs) 231 Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Ali), 2-49 (Ballance), 3-66 (Bell), 4-66 (Root), 5-73 (Morgan), 6-92 (Buttler), 7-184 ( Woakes), 8-194 (Broad), 9-195 (Finn), 10-231 (Anderson) Bowling: Starc 9-1-47-2, Hazlewood 6.5-0-45-0 (3w), Johnson 8-0-36-2 (7w), Marsh 9-0-33-5, Watson 3-013-0, Maxwell 4-0-33-0 (1w), Smith 2-0-19-0 Result: Australia won by 111 runs. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 S P ORTS Qatar World Cup head protests of ‘clear bias’ DOHA: The Qatar 2022 World Cup head has complained of “clear bias” against Doha following the Garcia Report into alleged corruption in the bidding process to host football’s biggest tournament. In his first interview since publication of the report’s summary last year, Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of the World Cup 2022 Committee, said Qatar was not the only bid being investigated. But the spotlight has fallen only on the Gulf country and not on Russia, which is hosting the 2018 World Cup, or the other countries with failed bids, he said. “I can’t say if there is a prejudice against Qatar but what I can say is there is a clear bias,” Al-Thawadi said in the interview to be aired late yesterday on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television. “All the reporting on Michael Garcia, the description was, the focus was on us, on Qatar, and that was inaccurate. The simple fact was the investigation was on all bidding nations, 2018 along with 2022.” He added: “And yet nevertheless, somehow, the focus still seems to be on us and I think that, if nothing else, clearly shows there is a bias.” The Garcia Report looked into allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cup to be hosted by Russia as well as the tournament being held in Qatar four years later. Qatar’s bid has been mired in controversy, facing allegations over corruption and lack of workers’ rights, and this has been compounded by events surrounding the Garcia Report. American lawyer Michael Garcia, FIFA’s ethics investigator, quit his job in disgust after an “erroneous” summary of his 430-page report was published in November, which effectively cleared Qatar and Russia. Al-Thawadi also told Al-Jazeera that Qatar could still host the tournament in the summer despite concerns over the country’s climate. Temperatures top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Qatar at the time when the tournament is traditionally played in June-July. But Qatar has long argued it has the technology for the games to be played in stadiums with cooling technology. “Since the first days of the bid we’ve always said a summer World Cup is feasible in Qatar, but whatever the football community decides, we will fulfill it,” said Al-Thawadi. Qatari officials are to meet with bosses of football’s world governing body FIFA later this month in Doha to finalise a date, with many believing the tournament will instead take place in the winter. On workers’ rights, Al-Thawadi said reforms to protect tens of thousands of migrants helping build facilities for the 2022 World Cup would require “time to be implemented”. However, a Human Rights Watch report earlier this month accused Qatar of not moving “far or fast enough” on labor reform.—AFP Celtic go clear of pack GLASGOW: Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to six points as they held off a late comeback to secure a 2-1 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. The Hoops made what is fast becoming a trademark explosive start when they took just 35 seconds to breach the St Johnstone defence as Leigh Griffiths fired past ‘keeper Alan Mannus. The Scotland international then spurned three chances to add to his tally as Mannus kept him at bay before he produced an excellent save to stop Gary Mackay-Steven. However, the ‘keeper couldn’t do anything to stop Celtic from increasing their lead in the 52nd minute when Stefan Johansen showed great skill to finish a well-executed move. The Scottish champions appeared to be strolling to a comfortable victory before Michael O’Halloran fired past Craig Gordon in the 72nd minute to reduce the deficit as Celtic conceded a goal for the first time in 816 minutes of football. Celtic had ‘keeper Craig Gordon to thank with two late superb saves as the Hoops held on to secure their eighth victory in a row before they head into Thursday’s crucial Europa League last 32 clash with Italian giants Inter Milan. “I think the players worked hard for 90 minutes and at 2-0 it seemed quite comfortable,” Celtic manager Ronny Deila said. “Then we conceded a goal and everything turned around. They were very aggressive and direct and we needed to defend well in the end.” St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright picked the positives from his players’ performance. “Celtic had a lot of chances in the game but you’ve always got a chance and it was a tremendous double save from Gordon that probably denies us a point,” Wright said. “I thought, particularly in the second half, we played extremely well against them and I’m proud of the players and how they responded.” Celtic had needed just 38 seconds to open the scoring against Partick Thistle on Wednesday and made a similar quick-fire start in Perth. Griffiths was the only change from the midweek win and the Scottish striker made an instant impact when he netted after 35 seconds. Nir Bitton’s long-ball from the Celtic half split the St Johnstone defence and Griffiths nipped in to stroke the ball past Mannus. The striker had a chance for a second minutes later when Virgil van Dijk’s downward header from a corner came off his knee but Mannus snuffed out the danger. Chris Kane headed just wide from O’Halloran’s cross in a rare St Johnstone chance before Johansen’s excellent through ball released Griffiths for another effort but ‘keeper Mannus stuck out a foot to keep out his effort. The St Johnstone ‘keeper was the hero again when he stuck out a hand to palm away an angled shot from Griffiths moments later after he was set up by Mackay-Steven. St Johnstone managed an effort on target shortly afterwards through a Steven Anderson header before Mannus produced a finger-tip save to keep a ferocious 20-yard strike from Mackay-Steven making its way into the top left-hand corner. The Hoops got the second goal their dominance deserved in the 52nd minute with a superb strike from Johansen. Griffiths headed Stuart Armstrong’s lofted pass into the path of the Norwegian mid- fielder who juggled the ball superbly before lashing it beyond the helpless Mannus. Out of nowhere St Johnstone managed to haul themselves back into the match through O’Halloran. Celtic stopper Gordon blocked Kane’s shot from Brian Easton’s cross but the rebound fell to O’Halloran who expertly rifled it into the roof of the net. Only an incredible double save from Gordon kept Celtic in front. The ‘keeper made a one-handed save to stop Brian Graham’s header before he managed to push Dave Mackay’s close-range volleyed rebound over the bar.—AFP Matches on TV (Local Timings) England FA Cup Aston Villa v Leicester beIN SPORTS 1 HD beIN SPORTS 11 HD Arsenal v Middlesbrough beIN SPORTS 1 HD beIN SPORTS 11 HD beIN Sports Max 4 15:30 19:00 Spanish League Malaga v Espanyol beIN SPORTS 2 HD beIN SPORTS 14 HD beIN SPORTS 2 HD Valencia v Getafe beIN SPORTS 2 HD Barcelona v Levante beIN SPORTS 2 HD beIN SPORTS 14 HD Rayo v Villarreal beIN SPORTS 9 HD beIN SPORTS 14 HD beIN SPORTS 2 HD Celta v Atletico beIN SPORTS 2 HD beIN SPORTS 14 HD 0:00 14:00 19:00 21:00 23:00 Italian Calcio League AC Milan v Empoli beIN SPORTS 3 HD beIN SPORTS 14 HD beIN SPORTS 2 HD Udinese v Lazio beIN SPORTS 5 HD Torino FC v Cagliari beIN SPORTS 6 HD Atalanta v Inter beIN SPORTS 7 HD beIN SPORTS 14 HD beIN SPORTS 2 HD AS Roma v Parma beIN SPORTS 3 HD Genoa v Hellas beIN SPORTS 8 HD Chievo v Sampdoria beIN SPORTS 3 HD Cesena v Juventus beIN SPORTS 3 HD beIN SPORTS 13 HD beIN SPORTS 1 HD 14:30 17:00 17:00 17:00 17:00 17:00 20:00 22:45 GERMANY: Bayern’s Thomas Mueller (center), Hamburg’s Johan Djourou from Switzerland (left) and Hamburg’s goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny from the Czech Republic challenge for the ball during the German First Division Bundesliga soccer match. —AP Bayern thrash Hamburg 8-0 BERLIN: Bayern Munich claimed the biggest Bundesliga win for 30 years to warm up for their Champions League away match to Shakhtar Donetsk with yesterday ’s 8-0 thrashing of Hamburg. Stars Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller and Mario Goetze all netted twice as Bayern ran riot at Munich’s Allianz Arena before Tuesday’s last16, first-leg clash against Shakhtar in Lviv. Just over two years after their 9-2 drubbing at Munich’s Allianz Arena, Hamburg were again made to suffer having also been drubbed 3-1, 50 and 6-0 on their last four visits to Bavaria. Bayern stay eight points clear after racing into a 2-0 lead with 23 minutes gone as Mueller slotted a penalty, then his Germany team-mate Goetze added a second. Arjen Robben danced through their defence, then curled home a 36thminute goal to claim their third. Hamburg’s luck had clearly deserted them as replays showed Goetze had briefly touched the ball at the start of the move. Robben grabbed his second after 47 minutes as the game became little more than a shooting session as the hosts ran riot. Mueller then curled home a superb shot after a run by his captain Bastian Schweinsteiger on 55 minutes. Lewandowski got on the scoresheet to make it 6-0 barely a minute later when Robben’s pass found Mueller, who had all the time in the world to roll his pass to the Polish striker’s feet. France winger Franck Ribery came off the bench to add to Jaroslav Drobny’s misery in the Hamburg goal on 69 minutes before Goetze claimed his side’s eighth two minute from time. Having gone 3-0 up away, Wolfsburg survived a spirited fight-back to win 5-4 at Bayer Leverkusen, for whom Son Heung-Min scored a hat-trick while Wolves’ Bas Dost claimed four goals. Leverkusen finished with ten men after Bosnia defender Emir Spahic was sent off late on for a second yellow card. With Wolves 3-0 up, the match exploded in ten crazy second-half minutes as Son claimed a hat-trick to make it 4-3 with 67 minutes gone just after Dost had also hit his third. Germany winger Karim Bellarai then put hosts Leverkusen level at 4-4 at the BayArena before Dost grabbed the 94th-minute winner. The result leaves Wolfsburg both eight points ahead of third- placed Borussia Moenchengladbach and eight points behind leaders Bayern. Gladbach claimed a 1-0 win at Cologne as Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka headed their 91stminute winner. Werder Bremen’s remarkable run continues as they picked up their fifth straight win which has taken them from bottom of the table to eighth and the verge of a European place. Ex-Chelsea and Wigan striker Franco di Santo netted a penalty to leave him with four goals in three league games in their 3-2 win at Augsburg, who drop to fifth. VfB Stuttgart stay bottom of the table after their 2-1 defeat at Hoffenheim, thanks for Sebastian Rudy’s 93rd-minute winning goal. Late yesterday, Schalke 04 host Eintracht Frankfurt in the Royal Blues final warm-up before hosting holders Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16, first-leg, tie. Strugglers Hertha Berlin host second-from bottom Freiburg in a basement battle today. On Friday, Borussia Dortmund move out of the relegation zone with a 4-2 home victory over Mainz as Germamy winger Marco Reus got on the scoresheet after committing to Dortmund until 2019.—AFP German Bundesliga Hertha v Freiburg beIN SPORTS 4 HD Hannover v Paderborn beIN SPORTS 4 HD 17:30 19:30 French League Girondins v Etienne beIN SPORTS 2 HD beIN SPORTS 13 HD beIN SPORTS 1 HD FC Metz v Guingamp beIN SPORTS 5 HD beIN SPORTS 13 HD beIN SPORTS 1 HD Lorient v Lyonnais beIN SPORTS 5 HD 16:00 19:00 PSG suffer injury nightmare PARIS: French champions Paris Saint-Germain were hit by an injury crisis yesterday as they not only saw four players break down but also threw away a 2-0 lead over Caen in a dramatic Ligue 1 2-2 draw. It was the worst possible preparation for the French champi- ons who await Premier League leaders Chelsea at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 matchup. Following midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who limped off in the 16th minute, coach Laurent Blanc looked on in horror as Brazilian defender Marquinhos, Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier and Brazilian playmaker Lucas all suffered injuries and had to leave the match. The late injuries, to newly crowned African champion Aurier and Lucas, meant PSG finished the 23:00 Sherwood appointed Aston Villa manager LONDON: Former Tottenham Hotspur head coach Tim Sherwood has been appointed as the new manager of Aston Villa on a threeyear contract, the Premier League club announced yesterday. Sherwood, 46, succeeds Paul Lambert, who was sacked on Wednesday after a run of 10 games without victory that saw Villa slide into the relegation zone. “Aston Villa Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Sherwood as our new manager,” Villa announced on their official website. “Tim, 46, joins after a long and successful coaching career with Tottenham, culminating (in) a short but successful period as manager, and has agreed a contract that will see him take charge until the end of season 2017-18. “The club are excited to have secured the services of one of English football’s most highly sought after managers.” Sherwood has been out of work since he was sacked by Tottenham in May 2014, five months after taking up his first managerial role.”It is a great honour to manage one of the biggest clubs in English football,” said Sherwood, who won the Premier League as captain of Blackburn Rovers in 1995. “I can’t wait to get started and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.” Sherwood is expected to take up his role after Villa’s FA Cup fifth-round game at home to Leicester City on Sunday, for which first-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall have been put in charge. Villa recently went 11 hours without scoring a Premier League goal and fell into the bottom three for the first time this season following a 2-0 loss at fellow strugglers Hull City on Tuesday. With only two wins from 21 league games, the 1982 European champions are now at risk of a first relegation since 1987. But chief executive Tom Fox expressed confidence that in Sherwood, he and owner Randy Lerner had found the right man to turn the situation around and take the team forward. “Tim had a fantastic career at Tottenham, not only in his brief spell as first-team manager but, just as importantly, in the role he played in developing young talent,” Fox said. “We are determined to build a football operation with a long-term vision and a commitment to youth development. “We strongly believe Tim has the qualities to get the best out of our current squad and help us build and develop for the future.”—AFP FRANCE: Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura (right) vies with Caen’s French Beninese defender Emmanuel Imoroue during the French L1 football match. —AFP match with nine men after Blanc had used all of his three substitutes. The freak scenario in front of a stunned home crowd at the Parc des Princes went from bad to worse when Caen miraculously salvaged a point with two late goals. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi gave PSG what appeared to be a winning advantage after first half goals but Caen, who began the day four points above the relegation zone, were given a lifeline on 89 minutes when Emiliano Sala scrambled home from inside the box. Then deep into injury time, following a foul by Ibrahimovic, Herve Blazile curled a left-foot free kick into the top corner leaving PSG and their watching faithful in shock. Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side are enjoying a weekend off, after being knocked out of the FA Cup in the previous round, but will have looked on with great interest at what was happening on a rainy Saturday in Paris. The teams also met last season when PSG won 3-1 at the Parc des Princes in the first match only to be eliminated when Demba Ba gave Chelsea a late 2-0 victory in the second leg, sending the Londoners through on away goals. The point against Caen keeps the capital club level with Marseille, who drew 2-2 on Friday at home to Reims, while leaders Lyon can extend their one point advantage at the top when they travel to Lorient as one of three Sunday fixtures. There is also a busy slate later on Saturday including Monaco at home to Montpellier, Toulouse host Rennes in a key tie at the bottom and Lille entertain Nice. —AFP Aussies hammer England Berdych routs Simon 18 16 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 Qatar World Cup head protests of ‘clear bias’ Page 19 SPAIN: Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema (right) controls the ball past Deportivo’s defender Alberto Lopo during the Spanish League football match. —AFP Real ease pain of derby drubbing MADRID: Real Madrid bounced back from their 4-0 derby humiliation by Atletico Madrid last weekend with a 2-0 victory over Deportivo la Coruna to move four points clear at the top of La Liga yesterday. The hosts started nervously, but could have been well in front at the break as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale struck the bar before Isco’s curling effort opened the scoring. Deportivo had their chances to level early in the second-half with Celso Borges hitting the post, but Karim Benzema put the result beyond any doubt with Madrid’s second 17 minutes from time. Barcelona can move back to within a point of the leaders when they host Levante today. With the European champions still plagued by injuries, coach Carlo Ancelotti made just three changes to the side that started against Atletico. However, Real made another slow start as Iker Casillas blocked from Isaac Cuenca before the for- mer Barcelona winger fired just over after he had been gifted possession by Bale. Madrid slowly began to take control as the firsthalf wore on and Ronaldo nearly answered his critics for hosting his 30th birthday party hours after the Atletico defeat in style with a dipping effort that struck the underside of the bar. Bale then did likewise as his thunderous strike on his favored left foot also came back off the woodwork with Fabricio in the Depor goal beaten. Benzema saw a deflected effort from Bale’s clever cut-back fly just wide as the pressure mounted, and it finally told on 23 minutes when Isco collected Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross and curled the ball inside the far post for his fifth goal of the season. Ronaldo’s frustration in front of goal continued when he headed over from another purposeful Bale run and cross just before the break. However, Ancelotti’s men were very fortunate not to be pegged back at the start of the second period when Costa Rican international Celso Borges volleyed off the post and Casillas came to his side’s rescue again moments later to parry Oriol Riera’s header to safety. Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva made his Madrid debut when he replaced Asier Illarramendi 20 minutes from time as Ancelotti looked to make the game safe. And the Italian could finally relax three minutes later when Ronaldo poked the ball through for Benzema to chip past the onrushing Fabricio to double his side’s lead. Earlier, Sevilla leapfrogged Valencia to move into fourth with a comfortable 3-0 win over Cordoba. Grzegorz Krychowiak and Carlos Bacca put the hosts in the driving seat in the first-half before both sides were reduced to 10 men as firstly Patrick Ekeng and then Krychowiak were shown straight red cards. Vicente Iborra rounded off the scoring to move the Andalusians a point ahead of Valencia, who host Getafe today. Meanwhile, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed criticism of Cristiano Ronaldo and some of his team mates over the Portugal captain’s 30th birthday party thrown hours after last weekend’s 4-0 La Liga drubbing at Atletico. Ronaldo and players including James Rodriguez, Pepe, Marcelo and Sami Khedira were widely condemned after photographs from the festivities leaked into the media. Ancelotti said the players’ professionalism could not be questioned and he was confident the La Liga leaders would soon return to top form starting with Saturday’s game at home to Deportivo La Coruna. “The party issue for me is not an issue,” Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday. “I have never given an opinion on players’ pri- vate lives and I am not going to start today,” added the Italian. “The problem is that some think this might affect the professionalism and seriousness of the players. “In that sense, I would note that this squad and these players have demonstrated their professionalism many times. “My job is to evaluate the professionalism of the players and about that I have no doubt. There is no lack of motivation.” Ancelotti acknowledged that the world and European champions had lost some intensity and focus since their Spanish record 22-match winning streak came to an end with last month’s defeat at Valencia in La Liga. He said there was plenty of time for the players to turn things around and he expected to see an improvement against Deportivo and in Wednesday’s Champions League last 16, first leg at Bundesliga side Schalke 04. —Agencies King slays Stoke, Ideye lifts Albion THE HAWTHORNS: West Hamís Morgan Amalfitano (left) is consoled by West Brom’s James Morrison after being sent off during the FA Cup fifth round soccer match. —AP LONDON: Norway striker Josh King scored a hat-trick as secondtier Blackburn Rovers reached the FA Cup quarter-finals by coming from behind to beat 10-man Stoke City 4-1 yesterday. Stoke manager Mark Hughes saw his side take a 10th-minute lead against his former club at Ewood Park when Peter Crouch volleyed home at a corner, only for King to head in an equaliser in the 36th minute. After Geoff Cameron was sent off for holding King back, Rudy Gestede put Blackburn in front with a penalty on the stroke of half-time before King completed his treble with quick-fire goals early in the second period. Asked if his side could go on and claim a first FA Cup trophy since 1928, victorious manager Gary Bowyer joked: “Do me a favour, I’ve just finished this game! “We are just delighted to be in the next round. We would love another home tie and then we will go from there.” Earlier, Brown Ideye continued his fine recent form by scoring twice as West Bromwich Albion beat a woeful West Ham United 4-0 at The Hawthorns to also reach the last eight. The Nigeria striker, West Brom’s £10 million ($15.2 million, 13.4 million euros) record signing, scored either side of a 25-yard strike from James Morrison to take his tally to four goals in three games. West Ham substitute Morgan Amalfitano was sent off after shoving Chris Brunt in the face and Saido Berahino added a fourth to rubber-stamp West Brom’s progress to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2008. “It was a good performance and we’re very pleased, but there’s still a long way to go in the league and we need that bit of luck with the next draw,” West Brom manager Tony Pulis told BT Sport. “Brown Ideye was fantastic. He is scoring goals and that takes the weight off your shoulders, and he looks a good player.” Five-time winners West Brom have now won five of the eight matches since Alan Irvine was succeeded as manager by Pulis, who is bidding to emulate his achievement of guiding Stoke City to the final in 2011. Blackburn and West Brom were joined in the quarter-finals by Reading, who won 2-1 at fellow Championship side Derby County courtesy of a late strike by former Portsmouth, LONDON: Blackburn’s Luke Varney (left) tangles with Stoke’s Steven NíZonzi during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match. —AP Middlesbrough and Everton striker Yakubu. giant-killers Bradford City, conquerors of Premier League leaders Liverpool tackle Crystal Palace later on Saturday, when Chelsea in round four, take on Sunderland at Valley Parade. Brendan Rodgers’s side will attempt to arrest a run of six games Manchester United face a third consecutive tie against lowerwithout victory at Selhurst Park. league opposition tomorrow when they visit third-division Holders Arsenal host Middlesbrough today, while third-tier Preston North End. —AFP Venezuelans scratch heads over complex devaluation Business Page 23 Address structural disorders in Development Plan: Report SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 Page 25 Mercedes-Benz Museum loans Classic Cars to Kuwait Concours d’Elegance Page 26 NBK highlights changes in British taxation rules Page 22 ROME: People hold a banner reading “Against austerity, Greece change, Europe change” yesterday in Rome during a demonstration to support new hard-left Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Syriza) during his talks in Brussels and to protest against austerity. — AFP Greek talks begin before ‘make-or-break’ meeting US urges negotiators to ‘set aside rhetoric’ BRUSSELS: Greek and EU officials met for talks yesterday ahead of a high-stakes showdown over Athens’ demands for a radical restructuring of its massive international bailout program. “It is not a negotiation but an exchange of views to better understand each other’s position,” an EU official said of the final huddle before next week’s crunch meeting. “The talks are ongoing and the institutions are expected to report at the Eurogroup on Monday,” the official said, without giving further details. No discussions are scheduled for today, with the parties reporting back to their governments to complete preparations for tomorrow’s meeting of the 19 euro-zone finance ministers at 1400 GMT. The consultations began Friday after new hard-left Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras laid out his plans to his peers, including Europe’s skeptical paymaster German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at his first European Union summit. Merkel recognized the need for compromise on all sides, but also called for Greece to respect the conditions of the bailout-a position that neatly encapsulated both sides in the stand-off. Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Friday he was “pessimistic” of any quick deal. “The Greeks have sky-high ambitions. The possibilities, given the state of the Greek economy, are limited,” Dijsselbloem said in describing the difficulties in finding common ground. “I don’t know if we’ll get there by Monday,” he added. The EU and the International Monetary Fund bailed Greece out in 2010, and then again in 2012 to the tune of some 240 billion euros, plus a debt write-down worth more than 100 billion euros ($113 billion). The rescue may have kept Greece in the euro-zone, but it also left Athens with a mountain of debt worth about 315 billion euros that most analysts do not believe will ever be fully repaid. In return for the bailouts, the then centre-right Greek government agreed to a series of stinging austerity measures, and the much-resented oversight by the EU, IMF and European Central Bank ‘troika’ to make sure Greece stuck to the terms. Tsipras campaigned and won elections last month on promises to ditch the program, which he said had wrecked the economy, not helped it, and sent the jobless rate soaring. In a more conciliatory move, however, Athens also said it could live with 70 percent of the current program, but that Greece must be allowed leeway on the rest so it can do more to boost the economy, including through additional spending. Time is pressing to resolve the impasse amid fears that failure could force Greece out of the euro-zone, with potentially disastrous consequences for all concerned. The country’s current debt rescue expires at the end of this month, and the ECB has signalled it is unwilling to offer Greece the cheap funding to keep its banking system afloat if there is no new arrangement between Athens and its creditors. End rhetoric Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Friday all sides in Greece debt talks to focus on finding a solution to the Venezuela currency devaluation set to hurt US firms’ profits BOSTON: A massive effective devaluation of Venezuela’s bolivar currency will likely badly dent 2015 earnings at a swath of major US companies. The decision, announced late on Thursday, would almost wipe out the $7.1 billion of Venezuelan monetary assets currently held on the books of 10 large American companies. At the new exchange rate of about 170 bolivars to the dollar, the value of those assets would drop by 93 percent to just $421 million, according to a Reuters analysis of regulatory filings. Currently those assets are valued based on the main official rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar, or a second rate at 12 bolivars. However, the Venezuelan authorities only allow a limited amount of business to be done at those rates as the country suffers from a shortage of available dollars. Some companies, such as diapers and tissue maker Kimberly-Clark Corp, had recently taken big charges after valuing their assets at a third exchange rate of about 50 bolivars to the dollar, rather than the 6 or 12. However, that part of the system has now been replaced with the new freefloating rate, which was last quoted on Friday at 174 (even weaker than 170 on Thursday). That puts even the companies who had started to use 50 in a position where they may have to take another hit. The move represents an effective devaluation of more than 70 percent. The currency move is part of President Nicolas Maduro’s effor ts to shore up the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Expor ting Countries) member’s coffers amid tumbling crude oil prices, an annual inflation rate of around 64 percent, and a shortage of many goods in the shops. Official rate ‘ludicrous’ Among the companies still using the 6.3 rate still are household products maker Procter & Gamble, oil services group Halliburton Co, and drug companies Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc. The drug companies may have a better argument for using this rate than most because Venezuela does allow it to be used for the purchases of some critical goods, such as medicines. Others use the 12 rate. PepsiCo recently started valuing some of its assets in Venezuela at that rate, after being unable to repatriate money at the 6.3 rate for years. But with this week’s further devaluation of Venezuela’s currency, even the 12 rate seems increasingly imaginary. “6.3 is ludicrous in my view for most companies,” said Ali Dibadji, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co Inc. The introduction of the new rate may help ease market concerns about a possible debt default and boost supplies of dollars to a currency-starved economy. But some investors see the effective devaluation as cosmetic. There continues to be the reality of runaway inflation and swelling supermarket lines. “For the most part, the market’s view is that things will be horrendous in Venezuela for quite a while,” said David Whiston, a senior equity analyst at Morningstar Inc. The new Simadi exchange rate is close to Venezuela’s black market rate of 188 bolivars per dollar, which finance industry leaders described as a sign the government is willing to allow supply and demand to set prices. PepsiCo has one of the largest stated exposures to Venezuela with assets there valued at $1.13 billion using the 12 bolivars exchange rate, company filings show. Those assets would be worth only $79.1 million at the 170 rate. The company said earlier this week in its annual results filing that re-measuring its Venezuela assets at a 50 bolivars rate would trigger a net charge against earnings of about $400 million. It did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. — Reuters crisis that risks pushing the euro-zone country into default. Lew spoke by phone Friday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to discuss the latest developments, a day after Tsipras laid out his plans to European leaders in Brussels to overhaul the country’s international bailout. Lew “urged all parties to set aside rhetoric and focus on reaching a pragmatic path forward,” the Treasury said in a statement. The US Treasury chief told Tsipras that he looked forward to working with the new Greek government “as it proceeds to articulate a concrete and comprehensive reform agenda in partnership with Europe and international institutions.” He welcomed the fact that Greece and its partners were engaged in technical discussions, the department said. — AFP French lawmakers back Sunday shopping zones PARIS: French lawmakers voted late Friday in favor of proposals to introduce “international tourist zones” where shops would be open every today and until midnight every night. Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said the special zones, part of a controversial package of reforms designed to rejuvenate France’s sclerotic economy, would cover the famous Champs-Elysees avenue and other key Parisian shopping districts, as well as parts of Nice, Cannes and Deauville. The zones, bringing the French capital more in line with London’s longer shopping hours, are “important for French growth and activity”, Macron said. Working the new Sunday and late shifts would be voluntary and staff would be compensated for doing so, the extra benefits varying depending on the job. Employees working between 9.00 pm and midnight would earn double wages, with companies to pick up the tab for childcare and the journey home. Macron’s reforms aim to shake up Europe’s second-biggest economy as it battles with stubbornly high unemployment and near-zero growth, but the package has been hugely controversial, sparking enormous demonstrations last year. The youthful economy minister’s plan to extend the number of Sundays that shops nationwide can open their doors-from five a year at present to a maximum of 12 — is one of the most controversial planks of the package, in a country where the maximum working week is fixed at 35 hours and leisure time is sacrosanct. The planned “tourist zones” have proved particularly divisive. Macron’s proposals also include opening up previously heavily regulated professions, throwing open inter-city bus routes to competition, and privatizing the airports of Nice and Lyon. — AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 BUSINESS Bayt.com weekly report Five sentences that may be getting in the way of your success O NBK highlights changes in British taxation rules Bank hosts seminar on London’s residential property LONDON: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) organized a seminar for its customers to highlight the taxation changes of UK residential properties for non-UK residents and the outlook for the residential real estate market in London. The seminar, titled “London Residential Property: Important Taxation changes and outlook”, hosted Robert Blower, a senior partner at the leading London Law Firm Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Tom Bill, Head of London Residential Research at Knight Frank, one of Europe’s leading real estate firms, and Fawzi Al-Dajani, NBK-London General Manager. Isam Al-Sager, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “NBK is keen to present to its customers the latest economic and financial developments in the world. This seminar aims to provide our customers with an insight on London’s residential properties market as well as the recent taxation changes in the UK from two of Europe’s leading firms in their field.” Al-Dajani shed the light on the various real estate services that NBK offers to customers in London. “NBK’s real estate services allow customers to easily own, rent and lease properties with legal consultations in London,” he said. “In a simple and straightforward procedure, NBK customers can buy and sell, lease or rent, settle bills, receive real estate assessments and many other services with competitive prices.” Changes to the taxation Blower made a presentation on the new changes to the taxation of UK Residential Property. “The new rules are simpler than before, more certain and generally allow a person to spend more time in the UK without being considered resident there,” Blower said. Blower noted that the new rules, which are effective on 6th April 2015, focused on three points; Firstly, the tax rates for Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’) that have increased overall for higher value properties above £1M. Progressive rates of SDLT now apply with tiered rates ranging from 0 percent for lower values up to 12 percent on values in excess of £1.5M Secondly, Capital Gains Tax (‘CGT’) will apply on gains made when residential properties are sold after 5 April 2015, but only to increases in value after that date. The rate of CGT for individuals will be 28 percent. The rates of CGT for companies are 28 percent for residential properties occupied by owners and 20 percent for residential properties which are commercially let to 3rd parties. The third key point stressed on residential properties owned by companies, announcing that the rates of the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (‘ATED’) will increase by 50 percent after 1 April 2015. Blower highlighted as well other taxation rules that haven’t seen any change as the UK taxation of commercial property investments, including offices and shops, owned by non-UK residents. Commenting on these changes, Blower said that UK residential and commercial properties still represent a good investment opportunity for non-UK residents. Despite these increases, investors are subject to favorable taxation rates compared to those of other countries. “Historically, investment in UK properties has provided opportunities for capital gain over the longer term and the impact of taxation can be mitigated with careful planning,” he said. Blower saw that the combination of the recent taxation changes coupled with a UK election in 2015 are likely to have an impact on investor sentiment in the short term, particularly amongst international investors in the London property market. Blower noted that although gains in the London property market over the next two years are unlikely to be at the high levels of recent years, the UK property market still pro- vides a good opportunity for longer term investment within a stable and developed economy. Trends and outlook On the other hand, Bill presented the latest developments and the outlook of the residential property market in London. Bill said that Prime Central London properties had been considered as safe haven after Lehman Brothers crash. Prices grew by 53 percent between 2009 and 2012. The strong growth achieved at that time is still having its impact on the market today. Bill noted that starting from 2013 till mid-2014, the growth rate eased as normality returned and UK economy strengthened, though the safe haven effect didn’t completely disappear. Bill added that the political uncertainty has replaced economic uncertainty. “Growing uncertainty has caused demand to become more subdued in the prime London market. As high-value property comes under political focus in the short-term, the grounds for longer-term optimism remain strong,” said Bill. However he stressed that the long-term rewards outweigh the short-term risks. Demand will still outpace supply. The prices of the Prime Central London properties will continue growing in the coming years, though at a less spectacular pace. Prime Central London is expected to achieve a 22.1 percent cumulative growth, while prime outer London could reach 25.8 percent. “Prime London property remained an attractive proposition for investors in 2014, with total returns in prime central and prime outer London markedly higher than other asset classes,” Bill noted. • • • • • • • • • • NBK’s Real Estate Services in London Buying and Selling Real Estate: find the right real estate or a suitable offer to sell your current real estate with competitive prices due to the solid business relationship with trust worthy real estate agencies. Leasing or Renting: through trust worthy business relationships in London, NBK can find the most suitable real estate or tenant. Real Estate Assessment: a number of certified real estate experts to help evaluate the proposed real estate whether for buying or selling. Legal Consultations: find a proper lawyer to execute all legal procedures related to proposed real estate buying or selling. Real Estate and Property Insurance: preserve rights and properties saving time, effort, and expenses. Bill Settlement Service: includes on time settlement of all periodical bills such as electricity, water, gas, telephone line. Saving Your Property Contracts: all property documents related to your real estate are properly saved. Real Estate Expenses Report: provide a detailed real estate expense report when needed allowing follow up expenses Free Property Ownership or Extending Ownership Contract: assigning a real estate lawyer to supervise and finalize all the steps and procedures to buy the right of free ownership or extend the ownership or even add or cancel an individual from real estate ownership register Offshore Services: to establish and manage companies offshore and own real estate ne of the most dangerous mistakes you can make at work is unknowingly getting in the way of your own success through self-defeating thought patterns. These can manifest themselves through detrimental work attitudes, inappropriate expectations, poor self-esteem or misplaced preconceptions that lead to misjudging people and situations. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but once you accept that you may be unwittingly hindering your own growth, you can choose to break the pattern and thrive. Here, the career experts at Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site, list five sentences you tell yourself that may be getting in the way of your success: 1. It’s not in my job description A job description is there as a guide and framework for your daily activities, not as a limitation on growth, exploration and innovation. If you are presented with opportunities to innovate and improve things outside of your actual job description and if you find you can solve problems and increase productivity in ways that benefit the whole organization, even though these are not literally spelled out in your job description, then by all means get the support and buy in of your manager and adapt your activities accordingly. The Bayt.com ‘Innovation in the MENA’ poll, January 2014, shows that 78 percent of respondents agree that their organization encourages new ideas to be tried out. 2. I didn’t receive the right training Successful professionals have taken it upon themselves to ask for and get the kind of training they need. How? In today’s networked world it has never been easier to learn and expand know-how and ideas, whether it is by formal or informal classes, courses by institutes and training providers, online courses, independent reading, proactively sought mentorship, aggressive networking, and active participation on online forums and industry boards. Continuous learning is the one factor that is non-negotiable if you aim for lifelong success! 3. I won’t put in the extra effort Whether it’s extra hours or extra effort to learn, produce and grow, you need to be willing to do what it takes to reach targets and achieve your goals. In fact, 34 percent of professionals in the MENA region aspire to become more effective at their job, as revealed in the Bayt.com Career Aspirations in the MENA survey, January 2015.We all know professionals with amazing “can-do” attitudes who put in the sweat and extra hours when needed without complaining. And the last thing any organization wants is team members with a poor work ethic or contagious negative attitudes to dull their fire and extinguish their spark. 4. I don’t like to work with that kind of person In today’s workplace you will in all likelihood be working with an international set of peers, managers, clients and suppliers, so it’s essential you put any prejudices and preferences aside and learn how to work effectively with different personality types. There is no excuse for personal baggage in the workplace, so approach all relationships in a purely professional context and at all times show respect and decorum and attention to the organization’s business objectives and goals. 5. I don’t have the right resources The old adage of “a bad workman blames his tools” is still rather apt today. The Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll, April 2014, shows that 65 percent of professionals in the MENA believe they have everything they need to do a good job. So instead of hiding behind dated tools and budgets, why not try to successfully make a well-thought-out and well-defined business case for changing that resource pool? Resources invariably go to people who show the best plan to optimize them and have a track record of success with meeting ROI and growth targets. 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 Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal/for 1000 Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira/for 1000 Syrian Lira Morocco Dirham ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.490 4.750 2.927 2.221 2.973 221.410 38.009 3.768 6.577 8.979 61.555 121.740 GCC COUNTRIES 78.618 80.995 766.050 783.050 80.289 ARAB COUNTRIES 41.517 41.132 1.370 156.380 414.370 1.978 2.101 32.278 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 294.700 Euro 350.100 Sterling Pound 448.240 Canadian dollar 247.340 Turkish lira 129.000 Swiss Franc 291.350 Australian Dollar 241.950 US Dollar Buying 293.500 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 232.53 249.90 293.82 350.75 294.90 449.01 2.53 3.778 4.746 2.227 2.964 2.926 80.14 782.70 41.12 419.01 764.77 81.21 78.55 SELL CASH 229.53 250.90 291.82 351.75 297.90 451.01 2.55 4.048 5.046 2.662 3.499 2.790 80.60 784.77 41.72 424.66 772.07 81.76 78.95 Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit Chinese Yuan Renminbi Thai Bhat Turkish Lira Bahrain Exchange Company CURRENCY 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 2.710 3.945 87.645 48.035 9.885 131.225 Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar BUY Europe 0.007677 0.439910 0.004327 0.042869 0.342978 0.034122 0.084531 0.008649 0.032541 0.283655 0.127301 SELL 0.008677 0.448910 0.016327 0.047869 0.350978 0.039322 0.084531 0.018649 0.037541 0.293855 0.134301 Australasia 0.232286 0.222732 0.243786 0.232232 Philippine Peso Sierra Leone Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee Taiwan Thai Baht 0.006518 0.000065 0.217588 0.019592 0.001861 0.009151 0.008641 0.006798 0.000071 0.223588 0.028092 0.002441 0.009331 0.009191 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 0.775237 0.038222 0.000082 0.000195 0.411598 1.000000 0.000146 0.024074 0.001199 0.759434 0.080236 0.077950 0.001748 0.153277 0.127301 0.079254 0.001331 0.783237 0.041322 0.000083 0.000255 0.419098 1.000000 0.000246 0.048074 0.001834 0.765114 0.081449 0.078650 0.001968 0.161277 0.131301 0.080403 0.001411 Al Mulla Exchange 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 America 0.241272 0.290600 0.291100 0.249772 0.295300 0.295300 Asia 0.003454 0.046034 0.035911 0.004404 0.000019 0.002417 0.003278 0.000263 0.079761 0.003012 0.002739 0.004054 0.049534 0.038661 0.004805 0.000025 0.002597 0.003268 0.000278 0.085761 0.003182 0.003019 Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 293.950 Euro 351.450 Pound Sterlng 447.150 Canadian Dollar 249.900 Indian Rupee 4.650 Egyptian Pound 41.095 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.223 Bangladesh Taka 3.749 Philippines Peso 6.528 Pakistan Rupee 2.920 Bahraini Dinar 782.700 UAE Dirham 80.050 Saudi Riyal 78.500 *Rates are subject to change SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 BUSINESS News i n b r i e f Kuwaiti crude price rises to $53.90pb KUWAIT: Kuwaiti crude oil price rose on Friday by $3.06 to settle at $53.90pb as opposed to $50.84 pb on Thursday, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said yesterday. In London, the Brent crude, for the April delivery, rose $2.24, some four percent, reaching $61.52 pb. In the New York commercial market, the American crude futures climbed $1.57pb, some three percent, to the level of $52.78pb. SABIC CEO named to defense industries post DUBAI: New Saudi King Salman appointed SABIC CEO Mohamed Al-Mady as the president of the country’s military industries corporation, a royal decree published on the state news agency SPA said yesterday. The statement did not make immediately clear whether Al-Mady would be leaving his post at Saudi Basic Industries Corp. Kenya cuts fuel prices, cites lower costs NAIROBI: Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission slashed yesterday the maximum retail prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene, citing lower import prices. Since 2010, Kenya has set a cap on prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene to protect consumers from what the regulator has said were unfairly high prices. But consumers have questioned the system in recent months, saying local prices do not reflect falling global prices. The ERC cut the price of a litre of petrol in the capital Nairobi by 8.17 shillings to 84.71 shillings. It also cut the price per litre of diesel by 7.83 shillings to 75.52 shilling and that of kerosene by 13.19 shillings to 52.40 shillings. Fuel prices are a key component in the basket of goods used to measure inflation. The price changes take effect on Feb. 15 and will be in force for a month. Venezuelans scratch heads over complex devaluation CARACAS: Venezuelans puzzled over the impact of a complicated currency devaluation and fretted that dire product shortages in the OPEC nation’s recession-hit economy would not go away. President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government this week launched a 70 percent devaluation via a new “free floating” currency system known as Simadi, the third of three-tier exchange controls created by his predecessor Hugo Chavez. “They’re doing this because they don’t have any money,” said a man who gave his name only as Felix, and who said he was 83. “This is not going to solve the problem,” said Felix as he stood in a senior citizens’ line with about 50 other people to buy rice and coffee at a Caracas supermarket. “We’re going to keep waiting in line to buy anything we need.” The Simadi system on Friday posted an exchange rate of 174 bolivars per dollar, but state officials insist most of the country’s foreign exchange will be sold at two preferential rates: 6.3 for essential goods such as food staples, and 12 for other sectors. The country’s central bank administers dollars at those two rates, but importers complain that allocations are limited, often delayed and require overwhelming paperwork. Dollars on the black market fetch 190 bolivars. The two preferential exchange rates of 6.3 and 12 can help keep prices down for food and medicine, but businesses consistently struggle to obtain dollars at the rate, which means they cannot bring in raw materials or machine parts. As a result, there are shortages of basic consumption goods ranging from chicken to laundry detergent, leading to occasional scuffles for scarce products. The scarcities and lines have contributed to a dip in Maduro’s approval rating - to 22 percent according to one pollster - and give opponents hope of wresting control of parliament from the ruling Socialist Party in a vote later this year. Maduro says the country is a victim of an “economic war,” and argues that Venezuelans today are generally better off and better fed than they were before Chavez took office in 1999. Impact on corporate accounts The devaluation is likely to ripple across the balance sheets of foreign corporations with significant exposure to Venezuela, ranging from household products maker Kimberly-Clark Corp to oil services company Schlumberger NV. Venezuelan bonds were up on Friday after the release of the exchange rate, as devaluations tend to reduce the cost of imports and free up more hard currency to pay debt. The benchmark Global 2027 was up 0.603 point to a price of 41.570 and a yield of 24.261 percent. Economists believe the benefits of devaluing are muted because the new Simadi system will receive only a fraction of the dollars that the government sells, with the vast majority being sold at preferential rates. Essentially, those who cannot obtain dollars at the other two rates will try to get the Simadi rate. “We remain skeptical about the impact this three-tiered FX system will have on an already stagflationary economy,” wrote UBS economists in a research note. “We believe that Simadi will, at most, remain a rather marginal FX allocation system.” Venezuela’s bonds are trading at distressed levels on concerns that the rout in oil prices could prompt a default, and on average pay 26 percentage points more than comparable US Treasury bills. Maduro dismisses default talk as ill-intentioned rumor mongering.—Reuters US eases import curbs from private Cubans Unclear if Cuban govt will permit such exports HAVANA/WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday eased restrictions on imports of goods and services from private Cuban entrepreneurs as part of Washington’s rapprochement with Havana after more than half a century of enmity. However, the State Department said many goods were excluded from the liberalization, including tobacco, vegetable products and some textiles, and it was unclear whether Cuba would relax its own rules to permit Cubans to export to the United States. The U.S. State Department said the import of all goods was now allowed except in certain broad categories, including live animals, vehicles, mineral products, machinery and some base metals. Exports of all services are permitted. It was not immediately clear, however, what Cuban goods would find their way to the US market. One sanctions expert suggested that these could include such items as artisanal soap, pottery and jewelry. Of greater significance may be the opening up for services, which could allow Cuban graphic designers, computer programmers, market researchers or party planners to acquire US clients. The move is the latest step toward normalization after the United States and Cuba agreed on Dec. 17 to begin the process of restoring diplomatic ties and US President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. both houses of Congress and who oppose normal relations with the Communist-run island. However, Obama said he was ending what he called a rigid and outdated policy of isolating Cuba that had failed to achieve change on the Communist-led island. His administration’s policy shift includes allowing use of US credit and debit cards, increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cubans and allowing export of telecommunications devices and services. Beyond securing permission from their own authorities, another problem for potential Cuban exporters may be coming up with “documentary evidence” that will satisfy the US government that they are indeed private entrepreneurs. “The problem is going to be proving that it is in fact a private-sector exporter,” said Cari Stinebower, a partner with the law firm Crowell & Moring. Nelson Espinosa, 31, a street merchant in Havana who sells carved wood artifacts, including old Cuban cars and miniature drums sets, said he was pleased by the idea of exporting to the United States but would prefer American visitors to Cuba. “It’s good news if now we can sell to the US market,” he said adding. “It’s not really our goal. What we really want are the American tourists. That would be much easier for us than all the hassles of getting licenses to export through the airport.” — Reuters From ‘Haircut’ to ‘Dirty Exit’: Greek bailout buzz words ATHENS: The Greek bailout drama has given rise to a series of buzz words that so rile Athens they have become no-go areas for those attempting to broker a deal. Here is a list of the offending words: “ Troika”-the nickname for Greece’s creditors, the European Union, International Monetar y Fund and European Central Bank-all of whom keep tabs on Athens to ensure they’re getting enough reforms for their buck. For many Greeks, the troika is made up of faceless bureaucrats, despised “men in black” with no democratic legitimacy, who lurk around the ministry of finance or gleefully order Athens around by email-the utmost insult. “Memorandum”-this is the deal Greece signed with its creditors in 2010 and again in 2012, which comes to an end on Februar y 28 unless Athens asks to extend it. In exchange for billions of euros in aid, Greece was obliged to implement a slew of unpopular reforms-termed “barbaric” by the new Greek government-which included public sector lay-offs, pushing back the retirement age and raising taxes. “Germany”-the byword on the streets of Greece for a ruthless and interfering austerity policy, which claims to be a remedy for the euro-zone debt crisis but is squeezing ordinary Greeks dry. Angela Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble are frequently caricatured-sometimes in Nazi uniform-in newspaper cartoons depicting Greece as a German colony. It can also be a catchword for money due, after Athens renewed claims that Berlin owes it around 162 billion euros ($183 billion) — or around half the country’s public debt-in reparations and an unreturned war loan. “Extension” and “Bridge”-The EU says Greece must prolong its bailout or risk defaulting on its debts and crashing out of the euro-zone. The Greek government insists it wants a “bridge program” instead, which would tie it over while it negotiates a new deal. Cartoons in Greece’s dailies have had a field day with this, with Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis depicted enthusiastically building bridges, only to find in one case that his unfinished wooden creation was about to be felled by a saw-wielding Merkel. “Grexit” and “Dirty Exit”-A Greek default would likely mean its exit from the euro-zone, but the knock-on effect on its European neighbors feared in 2011 and 2012 may be avoided. After the diplomatic efforts scrambled across the EU to keep Athens in the zone, however, a failure to clinch a deal before the bailout expires at the end of the month would lead to a “dirty exit”-a term flung about by analysts but strictly avoided by politicians. “Haircut”-Ruling radical left party Syriza wants Greece’s creditors to write off part of the money it owes. Faced with EU resistance, the government appears open to settling for an extended deadline for debt repayment and lower interest rates-which Varoufakis has termed essentially a haircut with another name. “Structural reforms”-This is the watchword of the central banks, from Mario Draghi of the ECB to Jens Weidmann of the Bundesbank, who never miss an occasion to remind the Greek government, and other European countries, that it’s the key to their future growth. Their biggest fear? That concessions to Greece would weaken the resolve of others such as Italy and Portugal to implement reforms. “ELA”-This is the Emergency Liquidity Assistance granted by the Bank of Greece under the European Central Bank’s approval, and is the life-jacket keeping the country’s banks afloat since the ECB cut off a key funding avenue last week. Critics worry the ELA is only serving to keep the Greek banks alive artificially and have called for strict criteria to govern access. — AFP China’s Minsheng to invest 1bn pounds in new London project SHANGHAI: China Minsheng Investment Co Ltd (CMI), the country’s largest private investment fund, said on Saturday it would invest 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in a Chinese-led project to develop a new financial district in London. The project is one of the largest Chinese investments in the United Kingdom in recent years and one of the most significant for Minsheng, which launched last August with registered capital of 50 billion yuan. The private equity firm said it would become the majority investor in the project, which was unveiled in 2013 by Chinese developer Advanced Business Park (ABP) and Mayor Boris Johnson and touted as potentially London’s third financial centre after the City and Canary Wharf. ABP, headed by little-known Beijing businessman Xu Weiping, wants to develop a 14-hectare sliver of land at the historic Royal Albert Dock in east London into 400,000 square metres of offices and shops. Headed by Gong Wenbiao, the former chairman of state-owned Minsheng Bank Corp, Minsheng Investment claims no formal relationship with the bank or the Chinese government despite the name. In January, the fund’s international advisory committee, a “They are changing the thrust of US policy to allow the private sector in Cuba to blossom,” said Pedro Freyre, chair of law firm Akerman LLP’s international practice. “Of course there are two ends to this. We are still waiting to see how it is going to play out in Cuba.” Under Cuban law, private sector entrepreneurs cannot independently import and export products or services without a government license. However, artists are allowed to sell their work to foreigners, and there is also an exotic bird cooperative that obtained a license in 2013. Philip Peters, president of the Cuba Research Center in Alexandria, Virginia, said the step put the ball in Cuba’s court to see how it would react to opening up the private sector. “It’s a very important barrier that’s been broken. We’ll see how the Cuban government reacts,” he said, saying Obama was opening up trade in broad categories. “He’s not micro-managing. President Obama is leaving it to the imagination of both sides.” After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a Dec. 17 phone call on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the formal reopening of embassies and an easing of some restrictions on commerce. Obama’s call for an end to the economic embargo drew resistance from Republicans who in January took control of panel that includes former European prime ministers, Asian tycoons and a Nobel laureate, assembled at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing for the first time to discuss its globalization strategy. The fund has said it would invest broadly in areas ranging from sustainable energy to real estate to business jet services. The Chinese developers and London officials have envisioned attracting growing Asian companies to establish their European headquarters at their business park, which is close to the London City airport. “After the project is completed, it will be the international platform and foundation for Chinese companies and capital to enter the European market,” Minsheng president Li Huaizhen told reporters in Shanghai on Saturday, hours after striking a deal with the UK finance ministry. As China’s economy cools, its businesses are ploughing money into projects overseas at such a pace that China’s outbound investment will soon overtake inbound flows. China’s outbound direct investment surged 14.1 percent to a new high of $102.9 billion last year, according to the commerce ministry. — Reuters ROME: A woman shows a flag of Greek party Syriza yesterday in Rome during a demonstration to support new hard-left Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Syriza) during his talks in Brussels and to protest against austerity. — AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 BUSINESS KSE shares mixed amid profit booking BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week with mixed performance. The Price Index closed at 6,695.89 points, down by 0.06 percent from the week before closing, the Weighted Index increased by 0.47 percent after closing at 449.88 points, whereas the KSX15 Index closed at 1,094.87 points up by 0.83 percent. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover decreased by 29.20 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 23.37 million, whereas trading volume average was 228.64 million shares, recording an decrease of 15.34 percent. The stock market indicators closed with mixed performance in light of the traders’ different directions, among a decreased trading activity when compared to a week before, for both the volume and the value, as some traders turned for the sale for profit operations, ignoring the positive results announced by some companies during the last week, which negatively affected the Price Index performance to end the week in the red zone; whereas most of the purchasing operations concentrated on the blue-chip stocks, that had positive impact on the Weighted and KSX-15 Indices to realize gains for the second consecutive week. By the end of last week, the number of companies that disclosed its 2014 financial results reached 31 company, with approximately KD756.65 million, and 5.47 percent increase for the same companies for the same period of year 2013. On the other hand, the market capital for the 192 listed companies reached KD 28.75 billion, with an increase of 0.53 percent from a week before, which was KD 28.60 billion. Moreover, the stock market initiated the week’s session with good gains for the three indicators, supported by the strong purchasing operations witnessed by most of the traded stocks of different sectors, among a general state of optimism for the listed companies 2014 results. However, the stock market indicators witnessed a mixed performance in the next session, whereas the quick profit collection operations that concentrated on the small-cap stocks, pushed the Price Index to record a limited loss by the end of the session, whilst the Weighted and KSX-15 indices continued recording gains as an effect of the purchasing operations executed on some large-cap stocks. On Tuesday’s session, the stock market indicators performed in a stable environment, however with a downward trend, as the Price Index and KSX-15 Index recorded light losses, whilst the Weighted Index was able to continue to increase, recording a limited growth by the end of the session. On Wednesday session, all the stock market indicators recorded losses, affected by the strong selling operations witnessed by the market during the same session, which included many large-cap and small-cap stocks. In addition, the stock market returned by the end of the week’s session to vary in performance once again, as the Weighted and KSX-15 indices were able to increase by the end of the session, supported by the return of the random purchasing operations executed on some large-cap stocks, while the Price Index continued its decline to lose all its gains realized since the beginning of the week. For the annual performance, the price index ended last week recording 2.45 percent annual gain compared to its closing in 2014, while the weighted index increased by 2.51 percent, and the KSX-15 recorded 3.29 percent growth. Sectors’ indices Five of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone, while the other seven recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the Technology sector, achieving 2.04 percent growth rate as its index closed at 929.65 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Industrial sector’s index closed at 1,136.40 points recording 0.74 percent increase. The Consumer Services sector came in third as its index achieved 0.68 percent growth, ending the week at 1,094.60 points. On the other hand, the Consumer Goods sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 2.01 percent to end the week’s activity at 1,208.55 points. The Real Estate sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 0.69 percent, closing at 1,154.63 points, followed by the Telecommunications sector, as its index closed at 621.37 points at a loss of 0.38 percent. Sectors’ activity The Financial Services sector dominated a total trade volume of 469.25 million shares changing hands during last week, representing 41.05 percent of the total mar- ket trading volume. The Real Estate sector was second in terms of trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 25.35 percent of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 289.85 million shares. On the other hand, the Banks sector’s stocks were the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 30.85 million or 26.41 percent of last week’s total market trading value. The Financial Services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover was KD 24.27 million represented 20.77 percent of the total market trading value. — Prepared by the Studies & Research Department US stocks up as oil rises, overseas fears abate WALL STREET WEEKLY REPORT NEW YORK: American flags fly in front of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Stocks rose yesterday as energy and technology stocks climbed. —AP Fitch cuts Ukraine credit rating WASHINGTON: Fitch downgraded Ukraine’s credit rating a notch deeper in junk territory on Friday, citing an increased probability that the conflict-hit country would default. The rating firm lowered Ukraine to “CC” from “CCC”, saying that the new International Monetary Fund aid program announced Thursday would be inadequate to meet its financing needs and private debt restructuring looked “increasingly probable.” Ukraine agreed to a $17.5 billion four-year bailout from the IMF in exchange for undertaking economic reforms. The loan replaces a previous two-year, $17 billion program announced in April that has proven inadequate to stabilize Ukraine’s finances, as the country fights a pro-Russia insurgency in the industrialized east. “The new IMF program... will help to close Ukraine’s financing gap, but an associated restructuring of privately held external debt appears increasingly probable,” Fitch said in a statement. “Sovereign creditworthiness has deteriorated.” Fitch said the country’s fiscal deficit, including losses of state energy company Naftogaz, reached 13 percent of gross domestic product in 2014. It estimated that direct and guaranteed debt rose to 72 percent of GDP in 2014. “The escalation of the conflict with rebels in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk has severely affected the economy,” Fitch said. A ceasefire between the government and the pro-Russia rebels was due to take effect today in Ukraine, but fighting continued to rage on Friday. — AFP NEW YORK: US stocks pushed higher for a second week running as investor relief at higher oil prices and greater confidence over Greek debt talks and Ukraine peace prospects lifted the market. The broad-based S&P 500 finished the week with a flourish, closing at its first record of 2015 at 2,096.99 after adding 41.52 points (2.02 percent). The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed its own threshold, breaching 18,000 for the first time this year to end at 18,019.35, up 195.06 (1.09 percent). The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 149.44 (3.15 percent) at 4,893.84. “While investors recognize the market may be expensive, I don’t think too many people are calling for the next crisis around the corner,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. The gains came despite some disappointing US data, especially a January retail sales report that showed a drop of 0.8 percent compared with the prior month. That dulled some of the luster from last week’s surprisingly robust US jobs report. Yet, investors largely shrugged off the data, focusing instead on the pickup in the oil market, with US prices finishing above $50 a barrel for the second week in a row. Investors took an optimistic view of a cease-fire roadmap unveiled Thursday between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels. Ukraine officials continued to speak cautiously of the deal as fighting raged on Friday. They also saw reason to be optimistic about ongoing talks between Greece and the euro-zone over Athens’s demand for a new bailout deal, taking cues from European markets, which rose Friday in part due to expectations that an agreement will be reached to avoid a Greek sovereign debt default. Ablin said investors still do not know what to expect from Greece, but have become less rattled by a potential Greek departure from the currency bloc. “Investors increasingly believe that if Greece were to leave the eurozone, it wouldn’t be the end of the world,” he said. “In fact, it could catalyze growth.” Apple soars, AmEx sinks Among corporate news stories, Apple stole more headlines when it became the first public company to reach a market value of $700 billion. The jump followed an upbeat appraisal of the company’s iPhone and soon-to-arrive smartwatch prospects by chief executive Tim Cook at a technology conference. The technology giant rose 6.9 percent for the week, ending with a market capitalization above $740 billion. The week’s most dramatic merger was US online travel operator Expedia’s announcement that it will buy rival Orbitz Worldwide for about $1.6 billion. The deal is the latest move to consolidate the online travel industry and comes less than a month after Expedia announced the purchase of rival Travelocity in a $280 million deal. Dow component American Express took a hit when it announced that its venture to provide exclusive credit cards at Costco Wholesale stores would end in March 2016. American Express sought to extend the venture, but said it was “unable to reach terms that would have made economic sense for our Company and shareholders.” Shares fell 8.2 percent for the week. Shareholder activists continued to pressure big companies, with Nelson Peltz’s firm Trian Fund Management amplifying its call for the election of four activist-backed board members at DuPont and Harry Wilson, a corporate reorganization specialist who worked on the Obama administration’s auto task force, publicly calling for General Motors to buy back at least $8 billion in shares. Next week’s earnings calendar includes Wal-Mart Stores, one of the first big retailers to report results for the critical holiday-shopping period. The calendar also includes data on the housing market, inflation and industrial production and the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January monetary policy meeting. — AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 BUSINESS Address structural disorders in Development Plan: Report AL-SHALL WEEKLY ECONOMIC REPORT KUWAIT: In our report in the week before last, we stated that the trend towards cutting expenditures is a right move though it is just a step on a long road. The starting point is to guarantee the principle of sustainability for the volume of public expenditures; more importantly is their distribution in such a way as to serve development goals that guarantee sustainability in the long term. Boasting about value of projects that are expected to execute is meaningless unless it is linked to the number of job opportunities to be created for the Kuwait’s nationals. It is also meaningless unless it is linked to what serves the support of Kuwait’s competitive position in its transformation to a trade and finance center. Cuts in the draft budget were about KD 4.1 billion below estimates of the current budget, or 17.7 percent, which is positive. However, about KD 3.2 billion were taken from the subsidies and salaries chapter, and KD 2 billion out of KD 5.8 billion, or 35 percent, were from subsidies. The salaries share from the cuts was KD 1.2 billion, or 11 percent. This raises a legitimate question regarding these substantial cuts in inflexible chapters and items, without having impact. The logical explanation is that they are either imprecise, inflated or contain irrelevant expenses. In all cases, although the cuts give comfort, they generate concern with all budget chapters and items. We firmly believe that we are owed a convincing explanation for this inquiry from the financial authorities. As for allocation of expenditures, their volume at KD19.1 billion remains quite high. Within the likely flow of nationals to the labor market, requirements of horizontal housing, not to mention health and education services, remain at unsustainable level even with a $70 per barrel scenario. There are direct and indirect means for more compression of public expenditures. However, this compression has a certain limit that helps buy time, or a step along the long road. The real challenge is creating economic activities capable of creating genuine jobs that are transformable later on to tax vessels that secure sustained income flow. On April 1, 2015, the new budget becomes effective and so do the 5-year development plan and the financial policy, both expenditures and general revenues, which is one of the main tools to achieving the Plan’s objectives, but without any connection between the two until now. Early indicators unfortunately foretell that the fate of this is the same as its predecessor with the measurement tool for its execution success or failure, which is the volume of cash contractual commitment for the contemplated projects without qualitative and quantitative linkage with the gaps or structural disorders that are bridged, most important of which are the labor market disorders and the imbalance of financing the structure of public finance, and without connection with the positive goals, or what projects accomplish in enhancing Kuwait’s competitiveness as a financial and trade hub. This necessitates linking the educational policy and utilizing the foreign policy to their service and even with the description of the infra-structure which serves the goal. Certainly, the change affecting the oil market and weakening it is a long term development. Prior to that development, the State’s institutions were operating like autonomous cantons, which was bad but possible during high financial surpluses. The main objective of the financial policies during such surpluses was distributional and not developmental. The policy rule was to take care of urgent matters. The situation now is different and the only thing that saves the country is the compulsory commitment to a clear and unified vision, and the indicators so far are not promising. Financial administration accounts In its monthly follow-up report for the state’s financial accounts (as published on its website) until December 2014, the Ministry of Finance indicates a continued rise the revenues. Until 31/12/2014, i.e. nine months of the current fiscal year 2014/2015, total collected revenues amounted to approximately KD 21.202 billion, higher by 5.6 percent than the total estimated revenues for the entire current fiscal year at approximately KD20.069 billion, a noticeable decline by -11.6 percent below the total received revenues during the same period of last fiscal year 2013/2014 in the amount of KD 23.984 billion. In details, the bulletin estimates actual oil revenues until 31/12/2014 by about KD 19.406 billion, higher by 3.2 percent than the estimated oil revenues for the entire current fiscal year in the amount of about KD 18.806 billion, or about 91.5 percent of total received revenues. Therefore, received oil revenues during the first nine months of the current fiscal year were less by about KD 2.791 billion, about -12.6 percent below its counterpart value during the same period of last fiscal year. An amount of KD 1.796 billion was collected from non-oil revenues during the same period, at a monthly average of about KD 199.575 million, while the non-oil revenues estimated for the entire current fis- cal year were about KD 1.263 billion. This means the realized amount will be more for the entire fiscal year by about KD 1.132 billion than the estimate. Expenditures allocations for the current fiscal year were estimated at about KD 23.212 billion, of which an amount of KD 10.574 billion was actually spent -according to the bulletin- until 31/12/2014, a monthly average of spending by KD 1.175 billion. We, however, recommend not to rely on this figure because there are expenses which have become due but have not been actually spent. In addition, spending will be higher when settlements in the last month of the fiscal year and consequently in the final account. Although the bulletin concludes that the budget surplus in the end of the first nine months of the current fiscal year scored about KD 10.627 billion, we publish it without recommending its endorsement as we believe that the actual surplus figure of the budget will be less than the published figures when the final account is issued. In reality, the current fiscal year will prove to be essentially different than those experienced in recent years, and unfortunately it will be a negative change. The average price per barrel of Kuwaiti crude oil was $42.3 for January 2015, and it is expected to creep up further during February and March. However, the price is also expected to remain significantly lower than the average for the first half of the current fiscal year, and it presents severe difficulties for the current budget. Financial and monetary statistics The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) stated in its monthly monetary statistics bulletin for December 2014, published on its website, that the balance of total public debt instruments has increased by KD 60 million to KD 1.587 billion at the end of December 2014 (KD 1.527 billion at the end of December 2013). Public debt instruments consist of Treasury bonds, longer-term, with a balance by KD 1.587 billion (KD 1.527 billion at the end of December 2013), and the Treasury bills with “zero balance”. Average interest rate on Treasury bonds, for one year term, was 1 percent. Local banks capture about 98.4 percent of total public debt instruments (around 98.4 percent at the end of December 2013). Thus, total local public debt scored about KD 1.587 billion, or about 3.2 percent of the nominal GDP for 2013, of about KD 49.863 billion. The Central Bank of Kuwait bulletin indicates that total credit facilities to residents offered from local banks amounted to approximately KD 30.751 billion, approximately 55.4 percent of total assets of local banks, an increase by about KD 1.790 billion from its amount at the end of December 2013. This value represents a growth rate of about 6.2 percent in 2014. The growth rates of credit facilities in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 scored approximately 19.9 percent, 26.3 percent, 34.9 percent, 17.5 percent, 6.1 percent, 0.4 percent, 1.6 percent, 5 percent and 8.1 percent respectively. Total personal facilities scored about KD 12.462 billion, or about 40.5 percent of total credit facilities (approximately KD 11.282 billion at the end of December 2013), a growth rate by approximately 10.5 percent. As issue that requires observation and supervision. Value of installed loans scored about KD 8.112 billion, or 65.1 percent of total personal facilities, for purchase of securities about KD 2.827 billion, or 22.7 percent of total personal facilities, and KD 1.199 billion for consumer loans. Credit facilities for real estate sector scored approximately KD 7.889 billion, or 25.7 percent of the total (about KD 7.601 billion at the end of December 2013), of which two-third were attributed to personal and real estate facilities. For trade sector they scored about KD 2.838 billion, or 9.2 percent, (about KD 2.744 billion at the end of December 2013). About KD 1.906 billion went for the construction sector, 6.2 percent, (KD 1.917 billion at the end of December 2013), KD 1.743 billion went for industry sector, 5.7 percent, (KD 1.774 billion at the end of December 2013), and for financial institutions -excluding banks- KD 1.412 billion, or 4.6 percent, (KD 1.612 billion at the end of December 2013). The bulletin also notes that total deposits in local banks scored some KD 37.625 billion, representing approximately 67.8 percent of total local banks liabilities, with an increase by about KD 1.182 billion, from what its amount at the end of December 2013, a growth rate of approximately 3.2 percent. Of these deposits, KD 32.339 billion, 86 percent, in the comprehensive definition, including major institutions like the Public Institution of Social Securities -excluding the government- belong to the private sector clients, with KD 29.447 billion, or 91.1 percent, deposits for private sector’s clients and the equivalent of KD 2.891 billion in foreign currencies for private sector’s clients, too. The average interest rates on customers time deposits, in both the Kuwaiti dinar and the US dollar, compared to the end of December 2013, the bulletin states the dif- ference in the average interest rates on customers time deposits is still in favor of the Kuwaiti dinar, in the end of the two periods. It scored approximately 0.449 points, for 1month deposits, about 0.519 for 3-month deposits, 0.591 for 6-month deposits, and 0.614 for 12-month deposits. But that difference at the end of December 2013 was 0.407 points for 1-month deposits, 0.460 points for 3-month deposits, 0.528 points for 6-month deposits, and 0.509 points for 12-month deposits. The monthly average of the Kuwaiti dinar ’s exchange rate for December 2014 against the dollar was at 291.893 fils, a decrease of about -3.3 percent vis-a-vis 282.393 fils per one dollar for December 2013 average. Gulf Bank financial results The Gulf Bank announced its results for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2014 which indicate that the bank achieved profits, after deducting due taxes, by KD 35.5 million (KD 32.2 million for 2013), up by KD 3.3 million, or by 10.3 percent. The bank achieved operating profit before provisions/impairment losses by KD 106.8 million, down by KD 2.7 million versus KD 109.4 million. The bank’s total operational incomes scored KD 162.8 million, a drop by KD 4.2 million, or by 2.5 percent, below KD 167 million for last year. This was due to the drop in the item of net gains from dealing in foreign currencies and derivatives by KD 5 million to KD 8.6 million vis-a-vis KD 13.6 million in 2013. Item of net interest income also dropped by KD 3.7 million or by 3.1 percent, and scored KD 117.7 million (KD 121.4 million for the same period 2013) due to decrease in interest income by 0.2 percent compared with increase in interests expense by 7.6 percent. Item of realized gains from disposal of investments available-for-sale increased by KD 3.8 million to KD 6.1 million versus KD 2.3 million in the end of 2013. Total operational expenses dropped by KD 1.5 million, 2.6 percent, and scored KD 56 million versus KD 57.5 million in the end of 2013, due to the drop in the other expenses items by KD 3.1 million to KD 8.5 million (KD 11.6 million). Item of staff expenses increased by KD 1.7 million to KD 41.3 million versus KD 39.5 million. Analysis of the bank’s financial statements indicates clearly that the main reason for the bank’s profits resulted from the retreat in total provisions which scored KD 69.5 million (KD 75.6 million in 2013). As such, net profit margin of the bank rose to 21.3 percent (19.3 percent in 2013). The bank’s financial statements show its total assets increased by KD 266.1 million, or by 5.3 percent, to KD 5.331 billion vis-a-vis KD 5.065 billion in 2013. Item of loans and advances to customers increased by 6.6 percent, about KD 221.9 million putting their total at KD 3.583 billion (67.2 percent of total assets) versus KD 3.361 billion (66.4 percent of total assets) in December 2013. Item of cash and cash equivalents increased by KD 73.9 million, or by 13.9 percent, to KD 607.4 million (11.4 percent of total assets) compared with KD 533.4 million (10.5 percent of total assets) due to the rise in deposits with banks and other financial institutions maturing within 30 days by about 26.9 percent, (which represent 40.2 percent of total cash and cash equivalents in 2014). Figures indicate that the Bank’s liabilities (without calculating total equity) increased by KD 237.9 million, or by 5.2 percent, to KD 4.820 billion (KD 4.582 billion in the end of 2013). This resulted from increased customers’ deposits by KD 335.5 million, or by 10.1 percent, to KD 3.662 billion (76 percent of total liabilities) compared with KD 3.326 billion (72.6 percent of total liabilities). Item of deposits from financial institutions declined by KD 81.1 million, or by 10.7 percent, to KD 678.7 million (14.1 percent of total liabilities) compared with KD 759.8 million (16.6 percent of total liabilities). Results of analyzing financial statements indicate that all bank profitability indexes increased compared with 2013. Return on average capital (ROC) increased to 12.5 percent (11.9 percent). Return on average equities (ROE) increased to 7.1 percent (6.9 percent). Return on average assets (ROA), increased slightly, to 0.7 percent (0.6 percent). The bank announced intentions to distribute 5 percent bonus shares, the same as in last year. (EPS) increased to 13 fils (11 fils). (P/E) scored 22.3 times (34.1 times). (P/B) scored 1.6 times (2.1 times) in 2013. Weekly performance of KSE The per formance of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) for the last week was mixed, where the indices of the trade value, the trade volume, and number of transactions show a decrease, while the general index shows an increase. Al-Shall Index (value index) closed at 451.3 points at the closing of last Thursday, showing an increase of about 3.4 points or about 0.8 percent compared with its level last week and it’s an increase by 7.3 points or about 1.6 percent compared with the end of 2014. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 BUSINESS Mercedes-Benz Museum loans Classic Cars to Kuwait Concours d’Elegance KUWAIT: The Mercedes-Benz Museum of Stuttgart, Germany, is loaning two of its prized motor vehicles to the Kuwait Historical, Vintage and Classic Car Museum to be displayed at the upcoming Concours d’Elegance. A R Albisher & Z Alkazemi Co, authorized general distributors of Mercedes-Benz have confirmed the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut CoupÈ as the most valuable car in the Mercedes-Benz collection, and the iconic MercedesBenz 500 K Luxus Roadster is flown to Kuwait especially for the event from 11 February to the 18 February. Showcasing the extensive history of Mercedes-Benz and its associated brands, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is home to over 160 classic cars dating back to the earliest days of motoring history, and includes every great model ever produced by the German titan. From Carl Benz’s pioneering of the modern car to the latest feats in automotive advancement, the museum holds an unprecedented collection of car models documenting the rich involvement the MercedesBenz name has with the history of the automobile. Closer to home, the Kuwait Historical, Vintage and Classic Car Museum is dedicated to the careful preservation and display of a big collection of classic cars, representing more than a century of motor history and connecting future generations with a fascinating automotive past. “The decision for the Mercedes-Benz Museum of Stuttgart to loan two of its exceptional models to Kuwait for Concours d’Elegance is a significant one and testament to Kuwait’s leading position in Middle Eastern classic car community. We are delighted to give car enthusiasts the opportunity to admire these amazing examples of automotive history first hand,” said Michael Ruehle, CEO, Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Company. Dating back to 1936, the Mercedes-Benz 500 K was the answer to growing customer demand for greater luxury and performance. Succeeding the Mercedes-Benz 380, it offered a larger, more powerful 5-litre straight eight 160hp engine that weighed a substantial 600kg, and reached a speed of 160km/h. With opulent paintwork, fenders mimicking a tidal appearance, steel disk and spoke wheels with two rear mounted spare wheels and a shorter wheelbase, the luxury roadster made for a highly impressionable vehicle that is currently one of the most sought after vintage models. With impeccable interior design, a beautifully streamlined body and a promise of long-distance travel comfort, the 500 K was to the 1930s what the S-Class Coupe is to today. A highly prized heritage piece rarely seen due to its limited production of 342 pieces, it was the first of many models that have helped elevate the Mercedes-Benz name to what it is today. the sports car World Championship in 1955. Characterised by its elongated bonnet and a distinctive swelling over the passenger side of the hood, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut’s front-mid engine angles to the right to reduce the profile and allow for maximum aerodynamics. The striking exterior offers sidemounted exhaust pipes, air vents and wire-spoke wheels, all of which are complemented by the vehicle’s distinctive gullwing doors. Concours d’Elegance is renowned for bringing together The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut, the road-legal version of the iconic two-seat racer that took competitive racing by storm in the 1950s, is indisputably the most valuable model ever manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. A total of ten 300 SLR sports cars were built in 1955, only two of which were fitted with coupÈ bodies. Derived from the MercedesBenz W196 Formula One racer, the three-litre water-cooled straight eight thoroughbred weighed in the vicinity of 1,000kg and reached maximum speeds of 280km/h. The fastest road-legal closed car in the world, the 300 SLR won true motoring aficionados to admire, compare and ultimately judge a selection of the most unique and well maintained vintage cars from around the world. Taking place at Marina Crescent from 11 - 18 February, the 2015 edition will feature over 60 historical cars. A.R.Albisher & Z.Alkazemi Co. is also premiering the two new models from Mercedes-Benz - the Mercedes-AMG GT and Mercedes-Maybach S-Class at this year’s Concours d’Elegance. These vehicles will be shown for the first time in Kuwait at this event. Gulf Bank announces winners of Al-Danah daily draws KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its Al-Danah daily draws on February 8, 2015, announcing the names of its winners for the week of February 1 to February 5. The Al-Danah daily draws include draws each working day for two prizes of KD1000 per winner. The winners are: (Sunday 1/2): Fahad Mohsen Hamed, Sulaiman Ahmed Mohammed Al-Rowdhan (Monday 2/2): Mubarak Shehab Khalaf Al-Enezi, Rana Snoubar Sayed Ishfaq (Tuesday 3/2): Shareefa Lafta Abdullah, Zahra Hassan Mohammed Ali (Wednesday 4/2): Mani Parakunnel Joseph, Adel Mohammed Hussain Al-Musaed (Thursday 5/2): Fatma Al-Sayed Bunayan Taher, Abeer Fouzi Khoulaif Al-Thefiri Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah 2015 draw lineup includes daily draws (2 winners per working day each receive KD1000). Al-Danah’s 1st quarterly draw will be held on 26 March (KD200,000, KD125,000, and KD25,000), 2nd quarter - 25 June (KD250,000, KD125,000, and KD25,000), 3rd Quarter - 17 September (KD500,000, KD125,000, and KD25,000). The final Al-danah draw for the million dinars will be held on 7 January, 2016 whereby the Al-Danah millionaire will be announced alongside winners of KD250,000 and KD50,000. Al-Danah allows customers to win cash prizes and simultaneously encourages them to save. Each KD100 gives the customer 1 chance daily which accumulates day by day. The more money saved and the longer it is in the account, the more chances individuals stand to win. Every Al-Danah prize draws will automatically be deposited into the winner’s account within two working days. Open an account and Deposit now to Win Big, Live big, with Al-Danah 2015. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al-Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al-Danah winner. Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah account is open to Kuwaitis and all residents of Kuwait. Customers who open an account and/ or deposit more will enter the draw within two days. To take part in the Al-Danah 2015 upcoming yearly draw, customers must have an Al-Danah account containing at least KD 200. To be part of the Al-Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 59 branches, transfer on line, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to www.e-gulfbank.com/aldanahwinners, to find out more about Al-Danah and who the winners are. Qualitative leaps in higher education in Bahrain RCSI Bahrain Perspectives Zain’s new roaming package for KD4 only KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, launched yesterday its newest roaming package to provide customers with more international talk time at a more attractive price during their travels. Customers can now enjoy 60 minutes of international talk time for only KD 4 per month, as the package was specially designed to enhance the customer’s travel experience by giving them peace of mind and convenience. As a leading company, Zain has a deep understanding of customers’ telecommunication needs when travelling, and it is constantly introducing offers and services that are tailored to match customers’ expectations and needs during their travels, and to keep them connected to their families and businesses. Zain’s introduction of this latest roaming package at a competitive price is in line with the company’s commitment to enriching customers’ experience wherever they may be. The Royal College of Surgeons In Ireland - Bahrain (RCSI Bahrain) welcomes the recent inauguration by the Higher Education Council (HEC) under its general secretary Professor Riyadh Hamzah, and for the first time in Bahrain, of two national strategies launched simultaneously in higher education and research for the next ten years. This development was a major milestone in shaping the future direction of higher education in this country and its predicted impact on the economy, public sector and society. The two strategies produce an in-depth analysis of the current situation in higher education and research in Bahrain and the Gulf region, whilst reflecting the extensive deliberations and discussions that were held with different public and private stakeholders. The launch of both strategies highlights the reciprocal and integrative nature of higher education and research. The strategies will serve as a road map for development and will signal a new era of opportunity for expansion, internationalization and growth in Bahrain. The expressed vision in the strategy documents is to create a high quality sector which fuels the economy, and through knowledgeable, skilled and work ready graduates exiting from Universities, will promote excellence in the public and private sectors. In summary, creating a SMART Bahrain and SMART economy. The HEC, in its approach to implementing a new strategic direction, acknowledges the many challenges exist in resourcing the necessary reforms and in capacity building, both at national and institutional levels. The National higher education strategy sets out a series of high level objectives and themes which underpin economic growth, investment and innovation. The guiding themes relate to quality enhancement; skills for the future; strategic access; becoming a regional hub for higher education; technology in education and entrepreneurship. Such aspirations for higher education are noble and sit comfortably with similar strategies from other countries across the world, reflecting the common issues faced globally. The National Research strategy recognizes the centrality of research in a knowledge based economy and its role in defining a strong university system which supports a culture of knowledge, evidence and innovation. The expressed vision for building a research-based economy will lead to enduring economic and social benefits through innovation and commercialization. One of the themes of the National Higher Education strategy is to promote Bahrain as a regional hub for quality higher institutions with a strong quality brand. RCSI Bahrain, this year, celebrates ten years of its existence as a University in Bahrain. Drawing on a secure academic reputation built over the last 230 years by RCSI in Dublin, RCSI Bahrain is well positioned in addressing the challenges presented in the new strategic documents. The RCSI Bahrain Strategic Plan for 2012 - 2017 includes three pillars; Education; Research; and Community Engagement, and sets out a challenging agenda for University growth and development. At RCSI Bahrain there has been exponential growth in student numbers and as well as higher education opportunities for students from Bahrain, the University is a great attraction for international and regional students and currently there are over 35 nationalities from the Gulf, USA, Canada and Europe among the student population. Recently, the university after been inspected by the Irish medical council, received a recognition for 5 years. In promoting the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for students in Bahrain, the HEC have been innovative and fully understand the potential benefits to all students, employers and society of enterprise education. RCSI Bahrain welcomes the development by the HEC of a credit bearing module in entrepreneurship that will be made available to all students regardless of their program of study. The value of entrepreneurial education is clear as it promotes creativity, innovation, showing initiative and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects. Allied to entrepreneurship is the development of a Technology Enhanced Learning strategy (TEL). RCSI Bahrain has a strategic objective to enhance its TEL capabilities with a goal of empowering faculty and students to embrace new pedagogies and research methodologies. Entrepreneurship and innovation are productive when they are underpinned by an inter-disciplinary approach in education and research in addition to a fully integrated ecosystem including industry. RCSI Bahrain is working on a policy that engages the students in an inter-professional education and training approach, with innovative plans to pilot a project that brings medical and nursing students together for learning. The main objective of such plans is to prepare students for the reality of the work environment, which requires professionals to work as a team. There is an opportunity for our medical and nursing students to work as a team on carefully selected health scenarios designed to be conducted in the clinical simulation center. To date, most notably, selected students avail of international opportunities to work together on charity projects in Lesotho, Vietnam and this year in India. The RCSI Bahrain medical and nursing curriculum already deliver on all six of the HEC’s “Expected Key Outcomes by 2024” for Higher Education Institutes. In keeping with these expected outcomes, the University has recently added new learning experiences for undergraduates which are specifically focused on improving both hard and soft skills of future graduates, to be “work ready” for the work environment. A pilot sub-internship (SUB-I) has been introduced into one of our affiliated teaching hospitals, King Hamad University Hospital. The SUB-I program is delivered to all students in their final medical year. The aim of the SUB-I is to prepare the student for the demanding experience of internship in the hospital after graduation. Through the Research pillar of its Strategic Plan, RCSI Bahrain has worked tenaciously towards understanding disease processes, healthcare interventions and health services within Bahrain. Such actions are consistent with the Bahrain Research Strategy of enhancing the application of global health research to the unique medical needs of Bahraini citizens. This year, in celebration of its 10 year anniversary, RCSI Bahrain will offer the DILMUN Research Fellowships of six fully funded PhD scholarships. The supervision arrangements will afford Bahraini students the opportunity to spend time in Dublin and Bahrain. Such awards will provide research opportunities to health professionals, ensure international evaluation and strengthen research capacity in the health services of Bahrain. Central to the HEC strategic documents is the pursuit for excellence through quality teaching and leading edge curriculum. This presents an opportunity to reconsider the autonomy of Universities, which meet the criteria of the HEC and may also have international recognition levels. Autonomy for a University is an honor to be earned though the pursuance of excellence and reputation, incorporating models of governance, accountability and transparency. Our 10th anniversary celebrations are a major focus for the university this year and we will be running a number of events throughout the year that will carry this theme. As a medical university, fitness and wellbeing are very important theme to promote and core to our values. RCSI Bahrain recently announced a $700,000 investment in its Sports and Recreation facilities. The funding has been used to construct a FIFA approved all-weather floodlit football pitch and a refit of the existing Sports and Recreation facility, which includes new flooring for the basketball courts, and a number of other works. We are also looking to host our first major alumni event in 2015, which will hopefully bring together our ever expanding group of alumnus. RCSI Bahrain education and research activities are benchmarked against internationally recognised standards of excellence in teaching and research and the University looks forward to enhancing its role in contributing to the education and research objectives detailed in the new HEC strategies for higher education and research in Bahrain. The strategic goal was, still is, and will continue to be a full commitment to excellence in education and to a brighter future for Bahrain. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 technology 5 ways unmanned drones could affect American food supply WASHINGTON: Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal’s temperature. Applying pesticides. When it comes to drones, “your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible,” says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. This month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued the first permit for agricultural use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Steven Edgar, president and CEO of ADAVSO, says his Idaho-based business will use a lightweight, fixed-wing drone to survey fields of crops. Drone technology, already used in other countries, can make farmers more efficient by helping them locate problem spots in vast fields or ranchlands. Increased efficiency could mean lower costs for consumers and less impact on the environment if farmers used fewer chemicals because drones showed them exactly where to spray. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group, says agriculture could account for 80 percent of all commercial drone use, once government regulations allow it. That could be a while. The Federal Aviation Administration has been working for years on rules that would balance the desire for commercial flights of small drones with the need to prevent collisions involving manned aircraft. Five ways drones could affect the food supply: Scouting farms The first agriculture drones are looking at massive fields of crops to scout out where crops are too wet, too dry, too diseased or too infested with pests. They can help farmers count plants or measure their height. Farmers can now use satellite technology, but it’s slower and less detailed than images from low-flying drone. “This is about getting the most productivity from every square inch of a farm,” says ADAVSO’s Edgar. Alabama farmer Don Glenn said he would buy a drone or use a service that provides drone surveillance on his farm of corn, wheat, soybeans and canola. It’s hard to survey corn fields when they are 8 feet to 10 feet tall, he says. Drones can carry different tools, including high-resolution cameras, infrared sensors and thermal sensors. Ground-penetrating radar could even measure soil conditions. Applying chemicals Once the land is surveyed, farmers could use that data to narrow the areas that need treatment. If a plot of farmland is infested with weeds, for example, a farmer could spray a small amount of herbicide just in that area, instead of an entire field, to kill them. Farmers hope that they eventually could use drones to do the spraying. Kevin Price of the Iowabased drone company RoboFlight Systems says that kind of precision would put farmers at a huge advantage, helping them reduce the costs of chemicals and their application. Playing cowboy The National Farmers Union’s Johnson says his father used to fly a plane over his ranch and his neighbors’ to spot escaped cattle when he was growing up in North Dakota. That’s something a drone could do with far less money and effort. Lia Reich of the UAV manufacturer PrecisionHawk says the company’s drones can use thermal sensors to take the temperature of cattle. The data comes back as bands of color, and “if all of the cattle look green and one looks dark purple then that one has a higher temperature,” she said. Drones could help ranchers count cattle, disturb pests that are aggravating livestock or even apply insecticide to an animal. Finding fish A University of Maryland project is developing drone technology to monitor fish in the Chesapeake Bay. Matt Scassero, the project director, says the idea is that a laser-based sensor mounted on a drone would allow scientists to see through the water and measure the size of a school of fish. Researchers could ascertain the conditions of the water, too. Some drones can land on water, making it possible to measure water quality, as well.—AP Obama brings tech firms into cybersecurity push SAN FRANCISCO: US President Barack Obama called Friday on Silicon Valley to put aside distrust of the government and become allies in defending cyberspace from terrorists, hackers and spies. Obama’s call came at a California summit, where he signed an executive order aimed at spurring better and faster sharing of cyber threats between the private sector and government. “This has to be a shared mission,” Obama said at a White House summit on cybersecurity at Stanford University, considered the birthplace of Google, Yahoo, and other technology titans. “So much of our computer networks and critical infrastructure are in the private sector, which means government cannot do this alone. But the fact is that the private sector can’t do it alone either, because it’s government that often has the latest information on new threats.” He likened the Internet to the “wild, wild West” and said that the government was expected to be the sheriff. Apple chief executive Tim Cook endorsed the effort as he addressed the packed conference prior to Obama. Improving cybersecurity “is an enormous task, and no single company can accomplish it on its own,” Cook said, while pressing the case for improved privacy protection as well. “We believe we can bring about a future that fully embraces both privacy and security; we must get this right,” Cook said. Sony, Snowden in focus The summit comes amid increased concerns over cybersecurity following a major intrusion last year into the network of Sony Pictures blamed on North Korea, and data breaches exposing the personal data of tens of millions of Americans. Part of the reason the White House held the summit in Silicon Valley is to close a rift opened when a massive US online surveillance program was exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Many tech firms and civil liberties activists have said they would back a cybersecurity plan only if accompanied by reforms of NSA surveillance. “Grappling how government protects the American people from adverse events, while at the same time making sure that government itself is not abusing its capabilities, is hard,” Obama said before signing the executive order. “When people go online, we shouldn’t have to forfeit the basic privacy we are entitled to as Americans.” During his remarks, Cook cautioned that history has shown sacrificing privacy can have dire conse quences. “Too many people do not feel free to practice their religion, or express their opinion or love who they choose,” Cook said. “In a world in which that information can make the difference between life and death, if those of us in positions of responsibility fail to do everything in our power to protect the right to privacy, we risk something far more valuable than money; we risk our way of life.” Seeing classified info Rapid information sharing is considered an essential element of effective cybersecurity, because it enables companies to work together to respond to threats and thwart the spread of attacks. Obama’s executive order lays out a framework for expanded information sharing designed to help companies work together, and work with the federal government, to quickly identify and protect against cyber threats. The new measure goes beyond a similar order signed by Obama last February, by allowing for cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and private sector entities aimed at sharing data on threats. It also makes it easier for private sector firms to gain access to classified threat information to step up cyber defenses. In January, the White House made a renewed push for a new cybersecurity law, asking the new Congress to revive an initiative stalled over the past few years. A White House statement said the order “paves the way for new legislation” by establishing a framework for private sector information sharing networks. “Information sharing doesn’t sound very threatening unless it is your information that others want to share,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Lee Tien. “The new executive order may encourage information sharing, but it’s unclear whether it will further the public’s interest in accountable information sharing or in the privacy of their personal information, given the roles of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.”—AFP GIRONDE: Technicians work on the assembly chain of French Rafale fighter aircrafts at the Dassault Aviation plant in Merignac, near Bordeaux. —AFP Scientists try to unravel global warming impact on jet stream Researcher studies ‘very messy’ changes MONTREAL: A winter of strange weather and turbulent transatlantic flights has scientists asking: Has a predicted climate imbalance of the jet stream begun? The Arctic is warming faster than other parts of the world, and scientists believe that is having a dramatic impact on the jet stream, which may be responsible for the unusual weather and stronger upper atmospheric winds of late. On January 8, thousands of Britons were left without electricity in the aftermath of the most violent storms to hit the isles in more than a century. British Airways Flight 114 carried by strong winds journeyed from New York to London in a record five hours and 16 minutes. Several jetliners flying from Europe to North America in recent weeks faced powerful headwinds, which forced them to make unscheduled mid-flight stops to refuel. Canada’s easternmost Goose Bay airport on the shores of Labrador in December and January welcomed several large passenger jets that had spent all of their fuel fighting winds. Some days, the tiny, remote airport’s tarmac has been lined with as many as a dozen Airbus or Boeing jetliners waiting to refuel, airport operations chief Goronwy Price said. “When the weather patterns are not right, we have a constant stream of jets coming in for gas. When things are good, you don’t see them,” said Price. The jet stream-a narrow, variable band of westerly air currents miles above the Earth-is strongest in winter, when boundaries between hot tropical and cold polar air masses are most pronounced. Currents can be even more turbulent at high altitudes flown in by jetliners some 10 kilometers above the Earth, where winds can reach 300 kilometers per hour. ‘Chaotic atmosphere’ Since 2012, researcher Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University in New Jersey has been trying to develop new scientific tools to study these “very messy” changes in the jet stream. She revealed her preliminary findings to the Royal Society of Britain last fall. “Last winter and this winter the jet stream has been unusually strong,” she said, adding that scientists expect more of the same in coming years. “The Arctic melting,” she explained, “is happening very rapidly and it must be having an impact on the jet stream.” But not every expert feels the same way. Climate expert James Screen of the University of Exeter, who recently co-authored an as yet unpublished paper on the impact of Arctic warming on the jet stream, is skeptical of any direct link between the dramatic retreat of Arctic sea ice and more turbulent air travel. “I have not seen any evidence to suggest a trend in the speed of the jet stream over the past few decades,” he said in an email. He added, however: “That is not to say that climate change may not impact the jet stream in the future.” The jet stream changes from year to year due to natural climate variability, Screen explained, so it is difficult to detect “robust trends.” Reading University climatologist Paul Williams told AFP that “equator-to-pole temperature difference is decreasing in the bottom few kilometers of the atmosphere because of rapid Arctic warming.” Research shows “evidence that the lower part of the jet stream is weakening as a consequence,” Williams said. But planes cruise at higher altitudes, where wind shears are believed to be strengthening. More study is needed, he said, but the impacts on aviation in the coming decades “could be more clear-air turbulence, resulting in a bumpier ride for passengers.”—AFP Argentine youth long for pricey high-tech gadgets SAN FRANCISCO: A Marine Osprey flies past the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as part of a convoy carrying President Barack Obama from San Francisco to Palo Alto, Calif for a summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection at Stanford University. —AP CALIFORNIA: A man checks out his iPhone 6 Plus outside the Apple store in Pasadena, California. Kill switches that render stolen smartphones useless have credited with stifling robberies and thefts in London, New York City, and San Francisco. In London, the number of reports of smartphones being stolen from people dropped 40 percent last year, after kill switches were introduced there, according to officials. San Francisco last year recorded a 27 percent decrease in overall mobile phone robberies, and a 40 percent plunge in robberies targeting iPhones, according to the district attorney here. —AFP BUENOS AIRES: Ten-year-old Cloe Barrios spent a year saving for an iPod, a struggle shared by many Argentine youth scrambling to keep up with technology despite economic woes that make such gadgets exorbitantly pricey. The third-largest economy in Latin America, Argentina was one of the most plugged-in countries in the 1990s. But its high inflation, devalued currency and exchange controls have produced infrastructure failures and a dearth of technological gadgetry today. Cloe, who bought her iPod with help from her mother and an aunt in France, is one of her generation’s lucky ones, possessing a “toy” with the coveted Apple label. “There are only four of us in the class who have iPods,” she told AFP. “Six have cell phones and one has an iPhone but only because their mom lends it,” she said of her class of 28. Her particular iPod came from Chile, the Latin American country where technology is most readily available today. Workers in Argentina, which still has no 4G network, must earn far more than people in the region’s other countries-except for Venezuela-to be able to buy the same technological products, according to Marco Marketing Consultants. A notebook computer costs 2.2 times the average monthly salary in Argentina, while in Chile it costs 0.96 times below the average. The consulting firm’s report, published at the end of 2014, argued that “the difference between the average wages needed in Argentina and Chile to buy an average notebook computer is 129 percent. But if high-end notebooks are compared, the gap rises to 166 percent.” “This means that for mid-range products, the comparative situation in Argentina is better, if still poor.” ‘Everyone reads newspapers’ While Cloe attends public school, Candelaria Zapata lives in the upper-middleclass Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo and goes to private school. She loves her cell phone: “It’s my best chum, it takes my selfies, supplies my music videos and connects me,” the 11-year-old said. Although Argentina’s middle and upper classes often complain that it’s “a shame” that there is not a larger supply of Apple products, a fetish among the country’s youth, Candelaria does not stress. She boasts of having a Samsung “that was made in Tierra del Fuego,” the archipelago at the southern tip of South America, where the South Korean tech giant was drawn by generous tax breaks. iPhones are not sold in Argentina. Stores authorized by Apple can sell other products from the company at prices tied to the dollar, with an exchange rate of 8.60 Argentine pesos to the dollar-or anywhere from 12-13.60 pesos per greenback on the black market. That makes Apple products an expensive purchase even for a middle-class American. An iPad is 12,599 pesos or $1,465, compared to $499 in New York or Miami. The most basic MacBook Air-which costs $999 in Chile, Mexico and the United States-costs $2,813 (24,199 pesos) in Buenos Aires. “This explains why everyone reads printed newspapers, that’s what impressed me the most when I came to Argentina,” Mike Snow, an American who arrived in the country last April said. ‘Connect Equality’ Since 2010, the government has delivered 4.7 million netbooks under its Connect Equality plan, which made the country the leader in computer distribution in public schools. But a lack of teacher training and the technological smartphone gap are still big issues. Argentine technology analyst Enrique Carrier told AFP the plan was “very valuable at a national level, because in some ways it’s giving a first tool that will help people understand network access, especially in distant areas.” But he acknowledged that smartphones are the tool to bridge the digital divide. In Argentina, a country of 42 million people where 47.5 percent of households have Internet access, “everyone buys a multifunctional cell phone, and most have access to social networks,” according to consulting firm Infolatam, using data from the World Bank. As Candelaria’s mother put it: “Here we are like Cubans. We may lack things, but we always manage.”—AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 H E A LT H & S C I E N C E US approves first biotech apple that resists browning NEW YORK: US regulators on Friday approved what would be the first commercialized biotech apple, rejecting efforts by the organic industry and other GMO critics to block the new fruit. The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved two genetically engineered apple varieties designed to resist browning that have been developed by the Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. Okanagan plans to market the apples as Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden, and says the apples are identical to their conventional counterparts except the flesh of the fruit will retain a fresh appearance even after it is sliced or bruised. Okanagan President Neal Carter called the USDA approval “a monumental occasion.” “It is the biggest milestone yet for us, and we can’t wait until they’re available for consumers,” he said in a statement. Carter said Arctic apples will first be available in late 2016 in small quantities, and it will take many years before the apples are widely distributed. The new Okanagan apples have drawn broad opposition. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), which petitioned the USDA to deny approval, says the genetic changes that prevent browning could be harmful to human health, and pesticide levels on the apples could be excessive. The OCA will be pressuring food companies and retail outlets not to make use of the apples, said OCA Director Ronnie Cummins. “This whole thing is just another big experiment on humans for no good reason,” he said. USDA said it had determined the apples were “unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agriculture” and they are “not likely to have a significant impact on the human environment.” The law only allows the agency’s decision to be based on its analysis of the plant pest risk to agriculture or other plants in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration, which has no mandatory review process for genetically engineered foods, is looking at the new apples through a voluntary consul- tation with Okanagan. Several science, environmental and consumer groups said they worry the genetic changes could have unintended consequences on insects, animals and humans. “We think there are some possible risks that were not adequately considered,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, a plant pathologist and senior scientist with the Center for Food Safety non-profit group. Okanagan said in a statement its apples have undergone “rigorous review,” and are “likely the most tested apples on the planet.” —Reuters As sign-up deadline nears, a new risk for Obama health law PHOENIX: Caylyn Otto stands next to her son, Oliver, at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix on Friday. Born nearly seven weeks early, the baby is one of the youngest heart transplant recipients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Doctors say Oliver, who was due Feb. 20, has been doing remarkably well post-transplant. At background left is his father, Chris Crawford. —AP Environmental groups sue predator control agency Federal agency in 2013 killed 200,000 animals BOISE: Five conservation groups that contend federal officials in Idaho are violating environmental laws by killing wolves, coyotes and other wildlife to protect livestock and crops have filed a federal lawsuit. The Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project and four other groups filed the 40-page lawsuit Wednesday in US District Court against the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The lawsuit seeks to have Wildlife Services adopt nonlethal methods and replace existing studies with a more rigorous and time-consuming Environmental Impact Statement to better understand the effects of the agency’s killing of wildlife, which the groups say could be harming federally protected grizzly bears, Canada lynx and bull trout. “ Without a comprehensive analysis of Wildlife Service’s wildlife-killing activities across the state, it’s impossible to know whether it’s leading to widespread damage to other species like grizzly bears,” Andrea Santarsiere, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. The lawsuit notes that the federal agency in 2013 killed more than 200,000 animals, much of that number representing the killing of birds that can pose problems on cattle feedlots or dairies. The agency in 2013 also killed 2,739 coyotes and 79 wolves. Wyn Hornbuckle, a deputy director with the US Department of Justice, said Friday that the federal agency was reviewing the lawsuit and had no comment. Stan Boyd, executive director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association, said Wildlife Services plays an important role in the state and members of the association are always advised to call the federal agency if they have problems with wildlife. “If you did away with Wildlife Services, I guarantee you people would not stand by and let their property be destroyed,” Boyd said Friday. “They’d try to do it themselves. That’s when things really get messy.” Specifically, the lawsuit contends that Wildlife Ser vices is violating the National Environmental Policy Act by not analyzing sufficiently its activities and disclosing its work to the public. The lawsuit said the agency has never prepared an Environmental Impact Statement to assess wildlife damage management in Idaho, but instead has relied on an outdated model that the groups say runs contrary to modern understanding of the effects of killing wildlife. That includes, the groups said, a better under- standing of the role of carnivores in ecosystems and the harm caused by removing them. Caught in traps The US Fish and Wildlife Service is named in the lawsuit because the groups say that agency is failing in its responsibility when it comes to enforcing protections required by the Endangered Species Act. The groups say Fish and Wildlife is illegally allowing Wildlife Services to carry out its operations without fully understanding the consequences. The lawsuit notes that of the four Canada lynx sighted in the state in recent years, three were accidentally caught in traps. When it comes to protected bull trout, the lawsuit said Wildlife Services has removed 104 beaver dams in the past five years, with at least 54 of them in bull trout habitat. The lawsuit noted the federal agency has killed more than 420 beavers in Idaho since 2006. The lawsuit also contained a photo taken by a Wildlife Service employee in 2012 showing his dogs attacking a coyote caught in a leg-hold trap. The lawsuit said the same employee failed to check traps for up to 69 days at a time, leaving trapped animals to a slow death. The lawsuit said the federal agency didn’t fire or discipline the employee. —AP WASHINGTON: Thousands of people signing up for health insurance this weekend may not realize it, but their coverage under President Barack Obama’s law could be short-lived. The 2015 enrollment season, which ends today, has avoided last year’s website meltdown so far. But a Supreme Court case could result in millions of consumers losing financial assistance for their premiums later in the year. The Affordable Care Act still sits on shifting political sands. “This would be devastating,” said Nita Carter, who oversees statewide enrollment efforts for UHCAN Ohio, a health care advocacy group. “Without the subsidy, health insurance will be unaffordable for many. If it is unaffordable, then it is not accessible.” The Supreme Court case, called King v. Burwell, is the talk of Washington policy experts. But a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that more than half of Americans have heard “nothing at all” about it and another 30 percent “only a little.” The health care law offers subsidized private coverage to people who don’t have access to it on the job. However, “Obamacare” opponents who brought the lawsuit argue that the law’s literal wording allows the federal government to pay those subsidies only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges. Most haven’t. The administration and Democratic lawmakers who wrote the law say Congress’ clear intent was to provide subsidies to people in every state. No one knows how the court will rule. But if the plaintiffs succeed, beneficiaries living in the 37 states where the federal government is running the markets would lose their subsidies. Two independent estimates say about 8 million people would drop coverage in a chain reaction that would also send premiums zooming for self-pay customers buying individual policies outside of the exchanges. Self-pay and subsidized consumers are in the same insurance pool. Without the subsidies, the healthiest might bail out. Major challenge Oil worker Nassir Al Sawafi renewed his coverage this week at an Austin, Texas, center run by Foundation Communities, a social service agency. But he was unaware that the health care law faces another major challenge. More than 800,000 people have subsidized coverage in Texas, where the federal government runs the exchange because former GOP Gov. Rick Perry refused to. Sawafi said he was recently laid off from his job operating and maintaining drilling equipment, a consequence of the oil industry slowdown. But because his income has dropped drastically, he was able to get a much bigger federal subsidy for his family’s health plan. That cut his share of the monthly premium to $14, from $570. “When I have the money, I pay. But when I have no money, they pay for me, so I feel very safe,” said Sawafi, an immigrant from Iraq. He’s not sure of his options if the subsidies go away. Oral arguments in the Supreme Court are set for March 4. The legal issues revolve around the leeway federal agencies have when interpreting and applying complex legislation. It’s an arcane subject, but the consequences will be easy enough to grasp if the administration loses. Benefits While predicting victory at the court, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has refused to discuss what backup plans the administration has, if any. Individuals’ coverage losses would be concentrated in Republican-led states like Texas, which have resisted the law. Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan and New Jersey are also among the states whose subsidized customers would have much to lose. Residents of Democratic-dominated states that are running their own markets, including California and New York, would continue to receive benefits. Yet blue-state residents could also be affected if Obama is forced into a negotiation with the Republican-led Congress and agrees to major changes. Because a Supreme Court decision against the White House would rearrange health care politics, “you don’t know what could come out of that process,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer coalition. The ruling is expected in late June. If the court agrees with the law’s opponents, it would leave little time for the federal government and states to act. The health law’s 2016 sign-up season would be only months away. And most state legislatures are not in session during the summer. There’s speculation that the White House could quickly roll out an administrative fix, but Obama could also toss the whole mess into the lap of the GOP-led Congress. Technically, a few tweaks from Congress would fix the problem. But after years of voting to repeal “Obamacare,” Republicans are unlikely to come to its rescue. With the mechanics of sign-up season working relatively well, the administration seems on track to meet its target of 9.1 million people signed up and paying premiums. But with the Supreme Court case hanging over everything, big questions remain. —AP Scientists warn of ‘mega drought’ risk in western US SAN JOS: Long-lasting megadroughts could occur with increasing frequenc y in the western United States later this century if no action is taken to rein in climate change by curbing fossil fuel use, researchers said Thursday. Mega-drought is defined as any drought as bad as the worst already seen in the 20th century, but lasting much longer, for 35 years or more. The study is the first to predict that the coming intense dry spells could exceed the decades-long mega-droughts that occurred centuries ago and are blamed for the demise of certain civilizations in the late 13th century. “I was honestly surprised at just how dry the future is likely to be,” said co-author Toby Ault, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. “I look at these future megadroughts like a slow moving natural disaster. We have to put megadroughts into the same category as other natural disasters that can be dealt with through risk management.” The risks and dangers are worse today because of the larger population and greater dependence on water resources, scientists warned. “We are the first to do this kind of quantitative comparison between the projections and the distant past, and the story is a bit bleak,” said Jason Smerdon, a coauthor and climate scientist at the Lamont-Doher ty Ear th Obser vator y, par t of the Ear th Institute at Columbia University. “Even when selecting for the worst mega-drought-dominated period, the 21st century projections make the mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden.” ‘Unfavorable’ forecast Researchers applied 17 different climate models to analyze the future impact of rising temperatures on regions from Mexico to the United States and Canada. They also projected a continued rise in emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, and looked at a scenario in which actions were taken to cut back on greenhouse gases resulting in lower emissions. Both approaches raised concern for the future. “ The results... are extremely unfavorable for the continuation of agricultural and water resource management as they are currently practiced in the Great Plains and southwestern United States,” said David Stahle, professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas who was not involved in the study. Currently the western United States has been experiencing a drought for about 11 of the past 14 years. The dry area spans California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma and other parts of the region, directly affects more than 64 million people. “Natural droughts like the 1930s Dust Bowl and the current drought in the Southwest have historically lasted maybe a decade or a little less,” said Benjamin Cook of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “What these results are saying is we’re going to get a drought similar to those events, but it is probably going to last at least 30 to 35 years.” —AFP MALTA: In this Jan. 29, 2015 photo, Rhonda Birnie, a regional mathematics specialist with the Idaho Regional Mathematics Centers, demonstrates deeper mathematical thinking for students in a fifthgrade class at Raft River Elementary School in Malta, Idaho. The Legislature provided $1.6 million in fiscal 2014-15 for the centers, a program now in its second year, to forward work begun with the Idaho Math Initiativeís professional development for teachers in their classrooms. —AP Obama signs veterans suicide prevention bill WASHINGTON: Acknowledging the struggles of the nation’s veterans, President Barack Obama on Thursday signed legislation intended to reduce a military suicide epidemic that is claiming lives by the day. “If you are hurting, know this. You are not forgotten,” Obama said, addressing soldiers and veterans as he prepared to affix his signature to the law. The law requires the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans. It also offers financial incentives to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who agree to work for the VA and assist military members as they transition from active duty to veteran status. “Too many of our troops and veterans are still struggling,” Obama said. “They are recovering from injuries; they are mourning fallen comrades; they’re trying to reconnect with family and friends who can never fully understand what they went through in war theater. “For many of them, the war goes on in the flashbacks that come rushing forward, and the nightmares that don’t go away,” Obama said. —AP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 H E A LT H & S C I E N C E Mumbai slum holds art biennale Aiming to promote health through creativity MUMBAI: The Mumbai neighbourhood made famous by the film “Slumdog Millionaire” is set to host its first “biennale”, aiming to promote health through creativity, although it will be very different to some of the world’s grander art fairs. The three -week festival, opening today, will showcase works created by residents of Dharavi, the densely populated settlement in the heart of India’s financial capital that is known as one of Asia’s biggest slums. From hand-painted pots arranged to show how sexually transmitted diseases spread, to a quilted map marking known locations of domestic violence, the Dharavi Biennale is designed to raise Study ties more deaths, types of disease, to smoking NEW YORK: Breast cancer, prostate cancer, and even routine infections. A new report ties these and other maladies to smoking and says an additional 60,000 to 120,000 deaths each year in the United States are probably due to tobacco use. The study by the American Cancer Society and several universities, published in Thursday ’s New England Journal of Medicine, looks beyond lung cancer, heart disease and other conditions already tied to smoking, and the 480,000 US deaths attributed to them each year. “Smokers die, on average, more than a decade before nonsmokers,” and in the U.S., smoking accounts for one of every five deaths, Dr. Graham Colditz, an epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis wrote in a commentary in the journal. The report shows that current estimates “have substantially underestimated the burden of smoking on society,” he wrote. About 18 percent of US adults smoke. More about the report. WHERE DO THE NUMBERS COME FROM? Researchers looked at nearly 1 million Americans 55 and older taking part in five studies, including the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, since 2000. They tracked the participants’ health for about 10 years and compared deaths from various causes among smokers, never smokers and former smokers, taking into account other things that can influence risk such as alcohol use. THE BIG PICTURE Death rates were two to three times higher among current smokers than among people who never smoked. Most of the excess deaths in smokers were due to 21 diseases already tied to smoking, including 12 types of cancer, heart disease and stroke. But researchers also saw death rates in smokers were twice as high from other conditions such as kidney failure, infections, liver cirrhosis and some respiratory diseases not previously tied to smoking. WHAT ABOUT BREAST AND PROSTATE CANCER? The report strengthens evidence tying them to smoking. It finds that female smokers’ risk of dying of breast cancer is 30 percent greater than for nonsmokers. Male smokers have a 40 percent greater risk of dying of prostate cancer than nonsmokers do, the researchers found. HOW DO THEY KNOW SMOKING WAS THE CAUSE? One strong sign is that the risk of dying of these other conditions declined among people who quit smoking. The longer ago they stopped, the greater the drop in risk as time went on. —AP PHILADELPHIA: This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo shows the tobacco in cigarettes in Philadelphia. A study ties a host of new diseases to smoking, and says an additional 60,000 to 120,000 deaths each year in the United States are probably due to tobacco use. The study by the American Cancer Society and several universities is published in the Thursday edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. It looks beyond lung cancer, heart disease and other conditions already tied to smoking and adds breast cancer, prostate cancer and even routine infections to the list. —AP awareness without being “preachy”, say the organisers. But they also want to celebrate the neighbourhood itself, home to an estimated 750,000 people from all over India, which has been held up over the years as a symbol of both grimy destitution and flourishing industry. “What we see is that Dharavi is sitting on a lot of wealth and a lot of talent and art that gets missed out when you want to show squalor and slum,” said festival co-director Nayreen Daruwalla. Britain’s Prince Charles in 2010 cited Dharavi as a role model for sustainable living, praising its habit of recycling waste and the “order and harmony” of the community, in contrast to Western countries’ “fragmented” housing estates. Guided tours around Dharavi’s mini-factories-producing all manner of goods from clothes to pottery-are now a popular tourist attraction, while initiatives such as the SlumGods, a group of hip-hop street dancers, have challenged outsiders’ negative perceptions. But the difficulties facing the community remain stark, and “there is a danger of going to the other side and romanticising”, said Daruwalla, pointing out the cramped conditions, poor ventilation and lack of toilets. With such issues in mind, the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA) held an exhibition in Dharavi two years ago called “Dekha Undekha” (“Seen Unseen”), aiming to foster discussion, through art, about themes such as sanitation and maternal health. Its success led SNEHA to develop the biennale, a more ambitious project funded by the British charity Wellcome Trust, which culminates in the exhibitions and events this month at various locations across Dharavi’s maze of alleyways. Different spirit Aside from being held every other year, the festival has little in common with some of the world’s better known art fairs, said co-director David Osrin, who in a presentation this month described the name as “slightly a joke, and slightly ideological”. “The spirit and the way that our biennale is structured is very, very different,” he told AFP. While other festivals simply ask artists to submit works, the focus in Mumbai has been on participation with Dharavi residents, particularly through workshops led by “mentor” artists. The results include the “Immunity Wall”, a depiction of the body’s immune system using recycled materials and everyday items: red hair bobbles for red cells, scouring pads for B cells and flexi bracelets as antibodies. Another exhibit uses traditional blockprints on cloth to illustrate the various levels of depression, a problem thought to be widespread but under-diagnosed in Mumbai’s slums. Thousands are expected to attend the exhibitions over the coming weeks, but social scientists will be conducting surveys to try and assess the festival’s qualitative impact as well as footfall. “It’s quite an ambitious thing to try to MUMBAI: Project co-director, Professor David Osrin (2R) speaks on his phone as workers discuss outside the “Colour Box”, one of the venues of the Dharavi biennale starting today, in Mumbai. It’s a long way from the glamour of Venice, but India’s most famous slum Dharavi is hosting a biennale this week, aiming to use art as a tool to raise awareness about health and sanitation. —AFP develop artworks that speak to a health agenda without being preachy, and we think we’ve achieved it, but it would be very interesting to know what people actually think about that synthesis,” Osrin said. A festival on this scale has proved a logistical challenge, be it finding space to display art amid the crowded dwellings or financing projects in the cash-based informal economy. Sticking to sustainable, pro-health agendas while creating the exhibits also proved tough, said urban gardener Adrienne Thadani, who worked on the project “Growing Fresh Air in Dharavi” promoting the use of plants indoors to stay healthy. “By using locally crafted clay pots to create easily replicable home gardens, we were working with kilns fired with synthetic scraps and used oil rags, which was polluting the area further,” she said. However much it raises health awareness, the biennale appears to be boosting morale among Dharavi’s residents, such as student Saraswati Bhandare, 21, who helped to create giant puppets for the opening show about tuberculosis. “People think this is just a slum area where we aren’t educated, but the truth is that it’s a place where so many talents come together. We’re proud to be from Dharavi,” she said. —AFP MUMBAI: Foreign volunteers set up the “Colour Box”, one of the venues of the Dharavi biennale starting today in Mumbai. —AFP SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 W H AT ’ S O N My Small World holds Patriotism Day By Faten Omar M y Small World organized National Day festival (Patriotism Day) for families and children on Friday at Discovery Mall. The festival was attended by Sheikh Duaij Khalifa Al-Sabah and a large crowd of families and young people. Alaa Marefi, Manger of Small World Group, said that the aim of the program is to support the youth skills and to make families spend their time together. The entertainment shows included heritage shows, an exhibition of old classics and workshops and plays for children. The governmental bodies also participated in the festival. Marefi stressed that the festival also aimed to grow the national identity in every young Kuwaiti through the Kuwaiti heritage shows that display the history of Kuwait. The Patriotism Day festival combines the past and originality in modern Kuwait. “The festival comes from our belief in the role of supporting the national spirit and the development of skills and abilities that every Kuwait family has,” she said. The Patriotism Day festival was in Discovery Mall’s park, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. The ceremony and the shows officially began in the presence of Sheikh Duaij Khalifa AlSabah after the Friday prayers. The event was full of a variety of amazing activities such as a play for kids, stories as well as competitions for all participants of all ages and a host of activities for children with gifts for winners. Anti Alcoholism Movement concludes medical camp A nti Alcoholism Movement, a Spiritual and charitable Organization of St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, Kuwait, had successfully conducted its sixth Free Medical Camp in association with IDF (Indian Doctor’s Forum), Indian Dentists’ Alliance, Kuwait Heart Foundation and Kuwait Medical Association on Friday 6th February, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Integrated Indian School, Abbassiya. The Medical Camp was inaugurated by Dr Vivek Vani, Vice President of Indian Doctor’s Forum. He emphasized on the need of the hour to support the needy people from the community. He promised the IDF’s commitment to support AAM in its future ventures. In addition to Dr Vani’s inaugural speech, Dr Sunil Yadev (Secretary, IDF), Dr Subu Thomas (IDA), Abu Kamal (Kuwait Heart Foundation), Mathai T Varghese (Vice President, Anti Alcoholism Movement), Ebey Samuel (Medical Camp Coordinator) and Ajish Thomas (Ex Officio, AAM) delivered felicitation speeches during the inaugural function. More than 50 doctors from various specialties like General Medicine, Neurology, Pediatric, Gynecology, Oncology, Dental, Skin, Cardiology, Ortho, ENT, ANNOUNCEMENT Indian Embassy notice The Indian Embassy would like to inform that the EdCIL (India) Limited, a Government of India Enterprise, formerly known as Educational Consultants India Limited (Ed.CIL), has been designated as the “Nodal Agency” to promote Indian education abroad. EdCIL has been assisting NRIs, PIOs and foreign nationals for pursuing Under-graduate courses, PostGraduate Courses and Doctoral Programs in Indian Institutions. Details of assistance provided by EdCIL to Indian Diaspora as well as foreign nationals are available on their website ‘www.edcilindia.co.in’. Those interested may please contact Dr Shaik Suleman, Head, Placement and Secondment, EdCIL (India) Ltd, EdCIL House-18-A, Sector-16-A, NOIDA - 201301, UP (Tel 0091-120-2515281, Fax: 0091-120-2515372, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]), for further information. 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] Ophthalmology, Gastrology, 40 plus Nurses and 35 volunteers from AAM joined hands together to make this camp a grand success. Various medical diagnosis like Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, ECG, Ultra Sound Scan, Dental checkup and Eye testing were provided at free of cost in this camp. More than 500 people from various nationalities attended the Medical Camp. The successful conduct of Medical Camp 2015 has reiterated AAM’s commitment to social responsibility, to help and support the needy people from the society. Anti Alcoholism Movement has accom- plished a successful year 2014 with a wide list of activities being conducted. Health awareness campaigns, where the participants were briefed on the lifestyle diseases and measures to tackle them. How to effectively manage the health and the importance of a balanced diet and maintain a healthy life cycle? Seminars for young families; where necessary guidance was given for a successful parenthood. 21st century parents lack the grooming and guidance on how to bring up their children in the right way. The over influence of social media and internet has actually spoiled the young generation. Mukundan critiques Keralites By Sunil Cherian C elebrated writer M Mukundan is writing a novel on the evolution of Malayalis, the Keralite community now spread across the globe. “Post-independence, our progress as a generation is on the decrease. However, we have a new breed, the second and third generations of Malayalis who settled elsewhere, who don’t necessarily identify themselves as Keralites despite their roots,” said Mukundan, 70, in a speech at the Youth India Kuwait program held at Integrated Indian School, Abbassiya on Friday. The new face of the Malayali is that of the young lady in the US who prays early in the morning in front of the picture of Parasinikkadavu Muthappan, a local deity in Kannur, north Kerala, whose offering is alcohol and dry fish, and drives off to the airport to take the morning flight to Philadelphia for work, the feted novelist said. We had a ship in us which made us explorers, said Mukundan, remising Kumaran, the character in his award-winning novel Pravasam (Exile). Kumaran, one of the first Keralites to leave Kerala for then Burma, had a mind of an explorer. Later Kumarans, Mukundan’s gener- ation, had a train in them, leaving them in several cities in India. Train gave way to airplane making a large number of people fortune seekers in the Gulf in the ‘70s. Now we may have rockets in us which might French embassy, shared an incident to illustrate how shallow we have become. “Only in a godless community we find a child and his parents approaching me to write a foreword for the collection of English poetry make us space explorers, the writer said with a wink, to thunderous applause from the audience on Friday. On our way to the money making, we left god somewhere, lamented Mukundan. It is high time we retrieve god back. The writer, also an orator after his retirement from the the child has written,” Mukundan said. “The poems are crap. Their only intention is fame,” he said. Mukundan is busy now writing a movie script based on his book Haridwaril Mani Muzhangumpol (When the Bell Tolls in Haridwar). The film, directed by Rajeev Menon, will be released in Tamil and Malayalam. These seminars paved ways for moving the children to the right track. Drug awareness Seminars for Students; which was aimed at building awareness among students on the negative effects of drugs and abuse. Today’s children are vulnerable to drugs and alcohol. These sessions helped building moral values in Children and help them to grow ethically. Visits to Labor Camps to guide and support the needy with regards to their medical needs etc are the few of the activities to mention. AAM look forward to another successful year with its commitment to social responsibility. The thrilling Tulu Koota Kuwait family picnic is here again T ime has come to put on your sporty gears and showcase your togetherness of the much awaited day that rolls in as TTK takes privilege and feel proud to announce the much awaited “Family Picnic” being scheduled on Friday 27th February 2015 at Mishref Garden from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. A fun filled day with your family, lots of breathtaking games and many ardent sport performances will mark the highlight for the day. Plan your day ahead and don’t miss this perfect opportunity to participate and applaud the enthusiastic members as they strive to show excellence on the ground. It’s a refreshing time to exhibit your sporty talent Children can rejuvenate their skills and be ready to compete with all their peer groups in a variety of games, while ladies, men and couple can show their aptitude and fitness as they compete with each other. What’s more, the exhilarating team games like Kabaddi, volleyball and throw ball will keep the audience glued to the venue. To ensure participation, register your team games well in advance with the TKK Sports Secretary Paustine Pinto Tel: 66614622 and for membership renewal, please contact TKK PRO Srikrishna Rao Tel: 99562593 For more details please contact 97875789 or check on the website: www.tulukootakuwait.org or you can even email us at: [email protected] SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 W H AT ’ S O N Lu&Lu opens new hypermarket in Salmiya L u&Lu Hypermarket, the leading retailer in Kuwait, inaugurated their latest branch in the country at the Al Salam Mall in Salmiya on 12 February at 11:00 am. The latest hypermarket was inaugurated by Abdullah S Alenezi, Undersecretary - Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the presence of Sheikh Malik Homoud Al-Sabah, Royal family member, Yusuff Ali MA, the MD of Lulu Group, Saifee T Rupawala, CEO, Ashraf Ali MA, Executive Director and Mohammed Haris, Director of Kuwait region. Prominent businessmen, government officials and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion along with a large gathering of shoppers’ well-wishers and media personnel. The Al Salam Mall branch of Lu&Lu Hypermarket, located in popular upmarket retail area of Salmiya, is destined to increase the popularity of the brand. The new branch is the fifth outlet of the brand in Kuwait and the 113th branch in the region. Recognized recently as among the top 250 retailers in the world, the Lu&Lu brand has transcended borders and cultures to become a dominant name in the regional retail arena with its popularity gaining new heights with each new branch opening. In line with all branches of the brand, the latest outlet in Salmiya offers an ultra-modern shopping ambiance in a spacious area that offers shoppers high-quality products at very competitive prices. The 120,000 sq. ft. hypermarket will showcase a fresh food section comprising fruit, vegetables, dairy products; meat, fish and hot and cold ready-to eat food. A major highlight of the newly opened store is that it has an exclusive section for all ‘free from worry” food range that offer extensive import line of Gluten-free, Lactose free, Dairy free, Yeast free, Wheat free, Vegan, Organic, Fat free, nut free, soy free, salt free, GM free, egg free, free range, no sugar, no additives, no preserva- tives, no hydrogenated fat and other specialty food imported from around the world. In addition, and in true tradition of Lu&Lu Hypermarkets the new branch will feature the widest choice of world-class brands at the fairest prices and also offers a whole world of shopping with a good selection of brands and product lines under one roof. Lu&lu’s winning formula of value for money quality shopping will be a matter of delight for the residents of Salmiya and nearby areas, who will cherish the pleasurable shopping experience and the economy it offers. “We are very clear in our approach to expansion and I am very confident about the economic situation of the Kuwait and have full trust in the visions of High Highness the Amir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and we are fully committed to continuing our forward march,” said Yusuff Ali MA after the inauguration. He added that new hypermarkets will be opened at Fintas, Egalia by the end of the year and another two will be opened in 2016 in Jahara and Fahaheel. Since its inception, Lu&Lu Hypermarket has become the top retail destination for discerning shoppers in the country, welcoming more than a million customers a year to experience the distinctive Lu&Lu shopping experience. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 TV PROGRAMS 23:05 Alaska: The Last Frontier 23:55 Dive Wars Australia 00:50 Bite Of The Living Dead 01:45 After The Attack 02:40 Shamwari: A Wild Life 03:05 Shamwari: A Wild Life 03:35 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 04:00 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 04:25 Tanked 05:15 Treehouse Masters International 06:02 Shamwari: A Wild Life 06:25 Shamwari: A Wild Life 06:49 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 07:12 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 07:36 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 08:00 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 08:25 Treehouse Masters International 09:15 Treehouse Masters: Bionic Treehouse 10:10 Treehouse Masters: Boxtrolls Special 11:05 Treehouse Masters: View From Above 12:00 Treehouse Masters 12:55 Prehistoric Elephant 13:50 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 14:20 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 14:45 Deadly Islands 15:40 Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan 16:35 Wildest Middle East 17:30 Call Of The Wildman 18:00 Call Of The Wildman 18:25 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 18:55 The Wild Life Of Tim Faulkner 19:20 Deadly Islands 20:15 Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan 21:10 Megalodon: The New Evidence 22:05 Tanked 23:00 Treehouse Masters 23:55 Prehistoric Elephant 00:30 Mars 01:30 02:20 02:50 03:20 03:45 04:15 05:00 05:25 05:45 06:05 06:15 06:40 07:00 07:15 08:00 08:45 Mars 09:45 10:15 10:45 11:15 11:45 12:25 Mars 13:25 13:55 14:25 14:50 15:20 15:50 16:35 17:20 18:15 19:05 20:00 20:50 21:40 22:25 23:55 Doctor Who: The Waters Of Live At The Apollo Watson & Oliver Him & Her Moone Boy The Omid Djalili Show The Weakest Link The Green Balloon Club Mr Bloom’s Nursery Me Too! Garth And Bev The Green Balloon Club Mr Bloom’s Nursery Gigglebiz The Weakest Link Sinbad Doctor Who: The Waters Of As Time Goes By My Family Dad’s Army Being Eileen Sinbad Doctor Who: The Waters Of Doctors Doctors Doctors Doctors Doctors Call The Midwife Call The Midwife Call The Midwife Call The Midwife Call The Midwife Frankie Whitechapel Scott & Bailey Zen The Omid Djalili Show 00:25 Masterchef: The Professionals 01:15 Phil Spencer: Secret Agent 02:05 The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best 02:55 Delicious Iceland 03:20 Antiques Roadshow 04:15 Antiques Roadshow 05:10 Bargain Hunt 05:55 Bargain Hunt 06:40 Bargain Hunt 07:25 The Roux Legacy 08:00 Come Dine With Me 08:25 Come Dine With Me 11:50 Masterchef: The Professionals 15:45 Come Dine With Me 17:50 Bargain Hunt 18:30 Bargain Hunt 19:15 Antiques Roadshow 20:10 Come Dine With Me 20:55 Food Glorious Food 21:40 The Roux Legacy 22:15 Homes Under The Hammer 23:10 Homes Under The Hammer 00:45 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:40 04:05 04:30 05:00 05:30 06:00 06:50 07:40 08:30 09:20 10:10 11:00 11:50 12:40 13:05 13:30 13:55 14:20 14:45 15:10 15:35 16:00 16:25 16:50 17:15 17:40 18:05 18:30 18:55 19:20 19:45 20:35 21:25 22:15 Hellriders How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made Overhaulin’ Kindig Customs Fantomworks Gold Rush Gold Divers: Under The Ice Alaska: The Last Frontier Street Outlaws Street Outlaws How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made How It’s Made Auction Hunters Auction Hunters Auction Hunters Auction Hunters Auction Hunters The Carbonaro Effect The Carbonaro Effect The Big Brain Theory You Have Been Warned Gold Rush Gold Divers: Under The Ice 00:00 Violetta 00:45 The Hive 00:50 Art Attack 01:15 Art Attack 01:40 Jungle Junction 01:50 Jungle Junction 02:05 Jungle Junction 02:15 Jungle Junction 02:30 Violetta 03:10 The Hive 03:20 Art Attack 03:45 Art Attack 04:10 Jungle Junction 04:20 Jungle Junction 04:35 Jungle Junction 04:45 Jungle Junction 05:00 Art Attack 05:25 Art Attack 05:50 Mouk 06:00 Kim Possible 06:25 Liv And Maddie 06:50 Girl Meets World 07:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 07:40 Jessie 08:05 High School Musical 2 09:45 Girl Meets World 10:10 Gravity Falls 10:35 Jessie 11:00 Austin & Ally 11:25 Kim Possible 11:50 Liv And Maddie 12:15 Dog With A Blog 12:40 Good Luck Charlie 13:05 Good Luck Charlie 13:30 Good Luck Charlie 13:55 Good Luck Charlie 14:20 Sabrina: Secrets Of A Teenage Witch 15:00 Austin & Ally 15:20 Austin & Ally 15:45 Jessie 16:10 Austin & Ally 16:35 Girl Meets World 17:00 Liv And Maddie 17:25 I Didn’t Do It 17:50 Dog With A Blog 18:15 Good Luck Charlie 18:40 Austin & Ally 19:05 Austin & Ally 19:30 Binny And The Ghost 19:55 Gravity Falls 20:20 Kim Possible 20:45 Spooksville 21:10 I Didn’t Do It 21:35 Gravity Falls 22:00 Suite Life On Deck 22:25 A.N.T. Farm 22:50 Shake It Up 23:10 Wolfblood 23:35 Wolfblood 00:30 Fashion Bloggers 00:55 Fashion Bloggers 01:25 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills 01:50 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills 02:20 E! News 03:15 Eric And Jessie: Game On 03:40 Eric And Jessie: Game On 04:10 The E! True Hollywood Story 05:05 E!ES 06:00 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 06:55 Kourtney And Kim Take Miami 07:50 Style Star 08:20 E! News 09:15 Fashion Police 09:45 Christina Milian Turned Up 10:15 House Of DVF 11:10 Fashion Bloggers 11:35 Fashion Bloggers 12:05 E! News 13:05 THS 14:05 Kourtney And Khloe Take The Hamptons 15:00 Kourtney And Khloe Take The Hamptons 16:00 Giuliana & Bill 17:00 Giuliana & Bill 18:00 E! News 19:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On 19:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On 20:00 Kourtney And Khloe Take The Hamptons 21:00 Kourtney And Khloe Take The Hamptons 22:00 Christina Milian Turned Up 22:30 Christina Milian Turned Up 23:00 Fashion Police 00:05 Coronation Street 00:30 Coronation Street 00:55 Coronation Street 01:15 The Chase 02:00 Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs 02:25 Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs 02:55 Emmerdale 03:20 Emmerdale 03:55 Emmerdale 04:20 Emmerdale 04:45 Emmerdale 05:00 The Jonathan Ross Show 05:55 Get Your Act Together 07:05 James Nesbitt’s Ireland 07:35 Sunday Night At The Palladium 08:25 Murdoch Mysteries 09:10 Murdoch Mysteries 09:55 Murdoch Mysteries 10:35 Murdoch Mysteries 11:20 Murdoch Mysteries 12:30 Midsomer Murders 14:05 Who’s Doing The Dishes 15:00 Sunday Night At The Palladium 15:55 The Chase: Celebrity Specials 16:50 The Jonathan Ross Show 17:45 Who’s Doing The Dishes 18:30 Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs 19:00 Sunday Night At The Palladium 19:55 The Chase: Celebrity Specials 20:50 The Jonathan Ross Show 21:45 Who’s Doing The Dishes 22:30 The Chase 23:15 The Chase 00:00 Mad Scientists 00:30 Mad Scientists 01:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 02:00 Perilous Journeys 03:00 Secrets Of The Great Escape Revealed 04:00 Wild Australia 05:00 Animal Autopsy 06:00 Car SOS 07:00 Street Genius 07:30 Street Genius 08:00 Mad Scientists 08:30 Mad Scientists 09:00 Big, Bigger, Biggest 10:00 Perilous Journeys 11:00 Crime Lab 12:00 Sea Patrol 13:00 Dangerous Encounters 14:00 Live Free Or Die 15:00 Air Crash Investigation 16:00 The Living Edens 17:00 Swamp Men 18:00 Ultimate Airport Dubai 19:00 Air Crash Investigation 20:00 The Living Edens 21:00 Swamp Men 22:00 Ultimate Airport Dubai 23:00 Crime Lab 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 Modern Family 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 South Park 03:00 Enlisted 03:30 How I Met Your Mother 04:00 Men At Work 04:30 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 05:30 My Boys 06:00 The Goldbergs 06:30 Better Off Ted 07:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers 08:00 Men At Work 08:30 My Boys 09:00 Enlisted 09:30 2 Broke Girls 10:00 Cougar Town 10:30 Better Off Ted 11:00 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 12:00 The Goldbergs 12:30 Men At Work 13:00 My Boys 13:30 Better Off Ted 14:00 How I Met Your Mother 14:30 2 Broke Girls 15:00 Cougar Town 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 Modern Family 16:30 The Goldbergs 17:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers 18:00 Enlisted 18:30 The Michael J. Fox Show 19:00 Community 19:30 Hot In Cleveland 20:00 The Mindy Project 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 Modern Family 22:00 Girls 22:30 Girls 23:00 Girls 23:30 The Mindy Project 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 12:30 Covert Affairs The Strain Salem Grimm The Blacklist Graceland Covert Affairs Witches Of East End Parenthood Graceland The Blacklist Witches Of East End Emmerdale Coronation Street 14:00 Parenthood 15:00 Covert Affairs 16:00 Emmerdale 16:30 Coronation Street 18:00 Parenthood 19:00 Castle 20:00 How To Get Away With Murder 22:00 Better Call Saul 23:00 Grimm 02:00 06:00 10:00 10:30 16:00 19:00 20:00 Good Morning America Good Morning America Emmerdale Coronation Street Live Good Morning America Drop Dead Diva Royal Pains 00:00 01:45 04:00 05:30 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 Babylon A.D Jarhead Prisoners Of The Sun The Lone Ranger Olympus Has Fallen Tactical Force Hellboy: Blood & Iron Babylon A.D Olympus Has Fallen Into The Blue Tactical Force Summoned 02:00 03:30 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 Prisoners Of The Sun-PG15 The Lone Ranger-PG15 Olympus Has Fallen-PG15 Tactical Force-PG15 Hellboy: Blood & Iron-PG15 Babylon A.D-PG15 Olympus Has Fallen-PG15 Into The Blue-PG15 Tactical Force-PG15 Summoned-PG15 Lockout-PG15 00:00 01:45 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:15 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 Along Came Polly-PG15 Keeping The Faith-PG15 Austenland-PG15 Never Been Kissed-PG15 Timer-PG15 Keeping The Faith-PG15 The Addams Family-PG 10 Years-PG15 Timer-PG15 RV-PG LOL-PG15 Fatal Instinct-PG15 01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00 Stuck In Love-PG15 Safe Haven-PG15 Won’t Back Down-PG15 Girl In Progress-PG15 Playing For Keeps-PG15 Won’t Back Down-PG15 Safe Haven-PG15 Heaven’s Door-PG Playing For Keeps-PG15 Empire State-PG15 Citizen Gangster-PG15 End Of Watch-18 01:00 03:30 05:30 07:30 09:45 11:30 13:15 15:45 18:00 20:00 22:45 Into The Wild-18 Spiderwick Chronicles-PG Salinger-PG15 The Past-PG15 Son Of Rambow-PG Buried-PG15 As Good As It Gets-PG15 I Am Sam-PG15 Promised Land-PG15 Ray-PG15 Little Miss Sunshine-18 01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:15 13:00 14:45 16:30 18:45 21:00 23:00 Deadfall-PG15 Everything Must Go-PG15 Endless Love-PG15 The Nut Job-FAM Great Expectations-PG15 Endless Love-PG15 Epic-PG A Family Reunion-PG15 Great Expectations-PG15 Saving Mr. Banks-PG15 Ashes-PG15 Seven Psychopaths-18 01:00 Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia 02:45 Barbie As Rapunzel 04:30 Pacific Pirates 06:00 Tristan And Isolde 08:00 Niko 2: Little Brother, Big Trouble 10:00 Barbie Magic Of The Rainbow 11:30 Princess And The Pea 13:00 Barbie As Rapunzel 14:30 The Apple & The Worm 16:00 Soccer Dog: European Cup 18:00 Barbie Magic Of The Rainbow 20:00 A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape From Paradise 22:00 The Apple & The Worm 23:30 Soccer Dog: European Cup 00:15 02:00 04:15 05:45 08:00 10:00 11:30 13:45 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 Bullet To The Head-18 Chinese Zodiac-PG15 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film 21-PG15 Ender’s Game-PG15 Death Clique-PG15 The Book Thief-PG15 Red Tails-PG15 Ender’s Game-PG15 The Legend Of Hercules Escape Plan-PG15 The Conjuring-18 03:00 Total Rugby 03:30 ICC Cricket 360 04:00 Live ICC Cricket World Cup 12:00 ICC Cricket 360 12:30 Inside The PGA Tour 13:00 Champions Tour 15:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 16:30 IRB Sevens World Series 19:30 Sevens World Series Highlights 20:00 Live IRB Sevens World Series 08:00 Live Super Rugby 17:00 Super Rugby 21:00 Live PGA Tour 02:00 04:00 07:30 08:30 13:00 21:00 23:30 Super Rugby Super Rugby Golfing World Live PGA European Tour Super Rugby Super Rugby PGA European Tour TACTICAL FORCE ON OSN MOVIES ACTION HD 01:00 03:00 07:00 08:00 12:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 NHL Live NHL WWE Vintage WWE Smackdown NHL NHL WWE Smackdown WWE NXT 06:30 Live ICC World Cup: IND v PAK 16:30 ICC World Cup H/L: SA v ZIM 17:30 ICC World Cup H/L: IND v PAK 00:45 Love 01:35 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:40 04:05 05:00 06:00 06:25 07:15 07:40 08:05 08:55 09:45 10:10 10:35 11:00 11:50 12:40 13:30 13:55 14:20 15:10 15:35 16:00 16:50 17:15 17:40 18:05 18:30 19:20 19:45 20:10 21:00 Alaskan Women Looking For Body Bizarre Extreme Couponing Extreme Couponing Extreme Couponing Extreme Couponing What Not To Wear What Not To Wear 17 Kids And Counting Super Soul Sunday Say Yes To The Dress Little People, Big World Bakery Boss Mormon Half Love Cake Boss Sister Wives Sister Wives What Not To Wear Oprah’s Master Class Super Soul Sunday Brides Of Beverly Hills Brides Of Beverly Hills Sister Wives Cake Boss Little People, Big World Hoarding: Buried Alive Say Yes To The Dress 17 Kids And Counting Sister Wives Sister Wives What Not To Wear Cake Boss Cake Boss Super Soul Sunday Cake Boss LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE ON OSN FESTIVAL HD 21:50 22:40 23:05 23:55 Bakery Boss Extreme Couponing My 600lb Life Cake Boss 00:40 Magic Of Science 01:05 Mind Control Freaks 01:30 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 02:20 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 03:10 How Do They Do It? 03:35 How Do They Do It? 04:00 Magic Of Science 04:24 Mind Control Freaks 04:48 Magic Of Science 05:12 Mind Control Freaks 05:36 Magic Of Science 06:00 Mind Control Freaks 06:24 Magic Of Science 06:48 Mind Control Freaks 07:12 Magic Of Science 07:36 Mind Control Freaks 08:00 Food Factory 08:25 Food Factory 08:50 Food Factory 09:15 Food Factory 09:40 Food Factory 10:05 Food Factory 10:30 How Do They Do It? 10:55 How Do They Do It? 11:20 How Do They Do It? 11:45 How Do They Do It? 12:10 How Do They Do It? 12:35 How Do They Do It? 13:00 How It’s Made 13:25 How It’s Made 13:50 How It’s Made 14:15 How It’s Made 14:40 How It’s Made 15:05 How It’s Made 15:30 Curiosity: How Does Life Begin? 16:20 Magic Of Science 16:45 Mind Control Freaks 17:10 Magic Of Science 17:35 Mind Control Freaks 18:00 Magic Of Science 18:25 Mind Control Freaks 18:50 Magic Of Science 19:15 Mind Control Freaks 19:40 Magic Of Science 20:05 Mind Control Freaks 20:30 Deadliest Space Weather 20:55 NASA’s Unexplained Files 21:45 Alien Mysteries 22:35 Close Encounters 23:00 Long March Into Space 23:50 How The Universe Works 00:40 Deadly Affairs 01:30 Serial Killers 02:20 Reel Crime/Real Story 03:10 True CSI 04:00 The First Kill 04:45 Deadly Sins 05:30 Serial Killers 06:20 Fatal Encounters 07:10 Fatal Encounters 08:00 Deadly Affairs 08:50 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 09:40 Real Emergency Calls 10:05 Real Emergency Calls 10:30 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 11:20 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 11:45 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 12:10 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 13:00 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 13:50 Nightmare Next Door 14:40 Deadly Affairs 15:30 Deadly Affairs 16:20 Disappeared 17:10 Real Emergency Calls 17:35 Real Emergency Calls 18:00 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 18:25 Stalked: Someone’s Watching 18:50 I Was Murdered 19:15 I Was Murdered 19:40 Forensic Detectives 20:30 Forensic Detectives 21:20 Forensic Detectives 22:10 Forensic Detectives 23:00 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 23:25 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 23:50 Blood Relatives 00:10 Zou 00:25 Mouk 00:35 Jungle Junction 00:50 Art Attack 01:15 Julius Jr. 01:25 Calimero 01:40 Henry Hugglemonster 01:50 Zou 02:05 Mouk 02:15 Jungle Junction 02:25 Art Attack 02:50 Julius Jr. 03:00 Calimero 03:15 Henry Hugglemonster 03:25 Zou 03:40 Mouk 03:50 Jungle Junction 04:00 Art Attack 04:25 Julius Jr. 04:35 Calimero 04:50 Henry Hugglemonster 05:00 Zou 05:15 Mouk 05:25 Jungle Junction 05:35 Art Attack 06:00 Julius Jr. 06:10 Calimero 06:25 Henry Hugglemonster 06:35 Zou 06:50 Mouk 07:00 Jungle Junction 07:10 Art Attack 07:35 Julius Jr. 07:45 Calimero 08:00 Jungle Junction 08:10 Zou 08:25 Henry Hugglemonster 08:35 Julius Jr. 08:50 Mouk 09:00 Calimero 09:15 Art Attack 09:40 Henry Hugglemonster 09:50 Doc McStuffins 10:05 Zou 10:15 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West 10:30 Minnie’s Bow-Toons 10:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:00 Sofia The First 11:25 Doc McStuffins 11:50 Calimero 12:05 Jake And The Never Land Pirates 12:30 Doc McStuffins 12:55 Doc McStuffins 13:20 Doc McStuffins 13:45 Doc McStuffins 14:10 Doc McStuffins 14:35 Henry Hugglemonster 14:45 Zou 15:00 Jake And The Never Land Pirates 15:10 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West 15:25 Calimero 15:40 Julius Jr. 15:55 Handy Manny 16:05 Justin Time 16:20 Sofia The First 16:45 Minnie’s Bow-Toons 16:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:15 Lilo & Stitch 17:40 Adventures Of The Gummi Bears 18:05 Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers 18:30 Ducktales 18:55 Art Attack 19:20 Sofia The First 19:45 Calimero 20:00 Doc McStuffins 20:10 Jake And The Never Land Pirates 20:25 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West 20:35 Zou 20:50 Minnie’s Bow-Toons 20:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 21:20 Sofia The First 21:45 Adventures Of The Gummi Bears 22:10 Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers 22:35 Ducktales 23:00 Minnie’s Bow-Toons 23:05 Art Attack 23:30 Julius Jr. 23:40 Calimero 23:55 Henry Hugglemonster DISNEY XD 00:00 Programmes Start At 7:00am KSA 07:00 Dude, That’s My Ghost 07:25 Zeke & Luther 07:50 Star Wars Rebels 08:15 Supa Strikas 08:40 The 7D 09:05 Phineas And Ferb 09:30 Supa Strikas Classifieds SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (12/02/2015 TO 18/02/2015) SHARQIA-1 JUPITER ASCENDING STONEHEARST ASYLUM JUPITER ASCENDING STONEHEARST ASYLUM JUPITER ASCENDING STONEHEARST ASYLUM 12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM SHARQIA-2 KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 11:30 AM 2:00 PM 4:30 PM 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 12:05 AM SHARQIA-3 BIG EYES BIG EYES YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD TESTAMENT OF YOUTH BIG EYES BIG EYES 11:30 AM 1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM MUHALAB-1 STONEHEARST ASYLUM STONEHEARST ASYLUM ROY (HINDI) TEMPER (Telugu) ROY (HINDI) TEMPER (Telugu) TEMPER (Telugu) STONEHEARST ASYLUM STONEHEARST ASYLUM 11:30 AM 1:45 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 10:00 PM 10:00 PM 1:00 AM MUHALAB-2 TEMPER (Telugu) JUPITER ASCENDING YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD BIG EYES JUPITER ASCENDING BIG EYES 1:30 PM 12:45 PM 3:30 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:15 AM MUHALAB-3 KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 12:15 PM 2:45 PM 5:15 PM 7:45 PM 10:15 PM 12:45 AM FANAR-1 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH Plan B (ARABIC) Plan B (ARABIC) TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH FANAR-2 JUPITER ASCENDING JUPITER ASCENDING AMERICAN SNIPER JUPITER ASCENDING Plan (ARABIC) JUPITER ASCENDING FANAR-3 STONEHEARST ASYLUM BIG EYES YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD BIG EYES STONEHEARST ASYLUM BIG EYES FANAR-4 KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 12:15 PM 2:45 PM 5:15 PM 7:15 PM 9:15 PM 11:45 PM 11:30 AM 2:15 PM 4:45 PM 7:15 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM 11:45 AM 2:00 PM 4:15 PM 6:15 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM 12:00 PM 2:30 PM 5:00 PM KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM FANAR-5 TAKEN 3 SHAMITABH (HINDI) TEMPER (Telugu) SHAMITABH (HINDI) TEMPER (Telugu) TEMPER (Telugu) TAKEN 3 1:00 PM 3:30 PM 3:30 PM 6:30 PM 6:30 PM 9:30 PM 12:30 AM MARINA-1 YELLOWBIRD BIG EYES STONEHEARST ASYLUM BIG EYES STONEHEARST ASYLUM BIG EYES STONEHEARST ASYLUM 11:30 AM 1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM MARINA-2 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH YELLOWBIRD TESTAMENT OF YOUTH YELLOWBIRD TESTAMENT OF YOUTH JUPITER ASCENDING JUPITER ASCENDING 12:15 PM 1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM MARINA-3 KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 11:30 AM 2:00 PM 4:30 PM 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 12:05 AM AVENUES-1 YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD Plan B (ARABIC) Plan B (ARABIC) THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE 11:45 AM 2:00 PM 4:15 PM 6:30 PM 8:45 PM 11:00 PM 1:15 AM AVENUES-2 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH 12:00 PM 2:45 PM 5:30 PM 8:15 PM 11:15 PM AVENUES-3 JUPITER ASCENDING JUPITER ASCENDING Plan B (ARABIC) JUPITER ASCENDING JUPITER ASCENDING 12:30 PM 3:15 PM 6:15 PM 8:45 PM 11:30 PM AVENUES-4 BIG EYES TAKEN 3 AMERICAN SNIPER TAKEN 3 BIG EYES AMERICAN SNIPER 12:15 PM 2:30 PM 4:45 PM 7:15 PM 9:45 PM 12:15 AM 360º- 1 BIG EYES BIG EYES BIG EYES BIG EYES BIG EYES BIG EYES 12:00 PM 2:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 9:00 PM 11:15 PM 360º- 2 SON OF A GUN THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE SON OF A GUN 11:45 AM 2:00 PM 4:15 PM THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE SON OF A GUN THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE SON OF A GUN TEMPER (Telugu) TEMPER (Telugu) TEMPER (Telugu) SON OF A GUN 6:30 PM 8:45 PM 11:00 PM 1:15 AM 3:30 PM 6:30 PM 9:30 PM 12:30 PM 360º- 3 YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD THE GAMBLER THE GAMBLER 12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM AL-KOUT.1 KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 12:00 PM 2:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 12:30 AM AL-KOUT.2 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD Plan B (ARABIC) TESTAMENT OF YOUTH TESTAMENT OF YOUTH 1:00 PM 1:30 PM 3:30 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 9:30 PM 12:05 AM AL-KOUT.3 JUPITER ASCENDING STONEHEARST ASYLUM JUPITER ASCENDING STONEHEARST ASYLUM JUPITER ASCENDING STONEHEARST ASYLUM 12:30 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:45 AM AL-KOUT.4 BIG EYES KINGSMAN: The Secret Service BIG EYES BIG EYES BIG EYES KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 11:30 AM 1:45 PM 4:30 PM 7:00 PM 9:15 PM 11:45 PM BAIRAQ-1 KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 11:30 AM 2:00 PM 4:30 PM 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 12:00 AM BAIRAQ-2 YELLOWBIRD YELLOWBIRD JUPITER ASCENDING YELLOWBIRD JUPITER ASCENDING AMERICAN SNIPER 12:30 PM 2:45 PM 4:45 PM 7:15 PM 9:15 PM 11:45 PM BAIRAQ-3 STONEHEARST ASYLUM BIG EYES STONEHEARST ASYLUM BIG EYES STONEHEARST ASYLUM KINGSMAN: The Secret Service 1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM PLAZA YELLOWBIRD THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE KINGSMAN: The Secret Service ANEGAN (Tamil) KINGSMAN: The Secret Service TUITION Arabic teacher for nonnative. Arabic teacher for diplomats & non-native speakers. All levels beginners and advanced - GCSE & IGCSE A1 and A2 - you will speak fluent Arabic through 20 lesson - KD 10for an hour - free books contact Mr Khaled 99619998 email [email protected] (C 4927) 11-2-2015 SITUATION WANTED Need job for a Bachelor degree holder with computer diploma with 8 years experience in Kuwait looking for job as Admin/ Sales executive (Indian license only). Please contact: 66894543, (C 4916) 14-2-2015 For sale or Partnership Low voltage switchgear Factory Industrial License Equipped with full processing. Tel: 67630254 CHANGE OF NAME I, Vidya Sam, holder of Indian Passport No. F3899195, Malayatoor House, Kozhencherry P.O., Pathanamthitta Dist., Kerala, India, hereby change my name to Vidya Thomas. (C 4928) 15-2-2015 THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 Prayer timings 3:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:15 PM 7:45 PM 10:45 PM Fajr: 05:07 Shorook 06:328 Duhr: 12:02 Asr: 15:13 Maghrib: 17:37 Isha: 18:55 Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw) Airlines KAC JAI JZR JZR JZR THY FDB QTR RJA PGT ETH GFA UAE JAI FDB MSR ETD CEB KKK OMA QTR MSC JZR THY DHX QTR BAW KAC KAC FDB QTR SVA KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE KAC KAC ABY ETD FDB QTR GFA GFA IRA UAE SYR MSC JZR MEA UAE MSR KAC IRC BDR JZR KAC KAC Flt 504 574 239 267 539 772 069 1084 642 858 620 211 853 526 067 612 305 7694 6507 643 1076 401 555 770 170 8632 157 544 412 053 1086 512 352 302 206 332 855 362 284 125 301 055 1070 943 213 665 873 341 405 165 404 871 610 514 528 601 561 382 672 Arrival Flights on Sunday 15/2/2015 Route Beirut Mumbai Amman Beirut Cairo Istanbul Dubai Doha Amman Istanbul Addis Ababa Bahrain Dubai Chennai/Abu Dhabi Dubai Cairo Abu Dhabi Manila Istanbul Muscat Doha Alexandria Alexandria Istanbul Bahrain Doha London Cairo Manila/Bangkok Dubai Doha Riyadh Kochi Mumbai Islamabad Trivandrum Dubai Colombo Dhaka Sharjah Abu Dhabi Dubai Doha Bahrain Bahrain Shiraz Dubai Latakia Sohag Dubai Beirut Dubai Cairo Tehran Ahwaz KSL Sohag Delhi Dubai Time 00:05 00:10 00:25 00:30 00:40 00:45 00:55 01:00 01:05 01:35 01:45 02:30 02:35 02:50 02:55 03:10 03:10 03:10 03:20 03:25 03:45 04:05 04:25 05:35 05:40 06:25 06:40 06:40 07:10 07:45 07:50 07:55 08:10 08:20 08:25 08:30 08:40 08:45 08:50 09:00 09:20 09:40 10:00 10:15 10:40 10:50 11:00 11:10 11:25 11:30 11:55 12:50 13:00 13:10 13:15 13:30 13:45 13:45 13:55 QTR KNE SVA FDB IRC GFA KAC OMA UAE ABY FDB JZR KAC JZR RJA ETD SVA GFA KAC GFA JZR UAL UAE JZR KAC ABY FDB KAC QTR KAC AXB KAC GFA JZR KAC KAC KAC JAI KAC OMA FDB MSR DLH ALK MEA ETD FDB UAE GFA QTR JZR KLM ETD KAC FDB AIC UAL BBC JZR THY PIA FDB 1078 472 500 057 6507 221 788 645 857 127 051 535 562 787 640 303 510 215 742 944 777 982 875 177 542 121 063 786 1080 618 393 674 217 483 166 502 102 572 774 647 061 606 636 229 402 307 073 859 219 1074 135 417 309 172 059 981 981 043 185 764 205 071 Doha Jeddah Jeddah Dubai Shiraz Bahrain Jeddah Muscat Dubai Sharjah Dubai Cairo Amman Riyadh Amman Abu Dhabi Riyadh Bahrain Dammam LCA Jeddah IAD Dubai Dubai Cairo Sharjah Dubai Jeddah Doha Doha Kozhikode Dubai Bahrain Istanbul Paris/Rome Beirut New York/London Mumbai Riyadh Muscat Dubai Luxor Frankfurt Colombo Beirut Abu Dhabi Dubai Dubai Bahrain Doha Bahrain Amsterdam Abu Dhabi Frankfurt Dubai Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad Bahrain Dhaka Dubai Istanbul Lahore Dubai 14:05 14:25 14:30 14:30 14:50 15:00 15:10 15:25 15:45 15:45 16:00 16:10 16:20 16:25 16:55 16:55 17:15 17:30 17:45 17:50 17:55 17:55 18:00 18:20 18:25 18:40 18:40 18:45 18:50 19:15 19:15 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:40 19:50 19:55 20:00 20:00 20:20 20:20 20:45 20:50 21:10 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:40 21:45 21:55 22:05 22:15 22:15 22:20 22:30 22:30 23:10 23:10 23:15 23:35 23:40 23:45 Airlines AIC AGY FDB UAL JAI DLH ETH THY PGT KAC UAE FDB ETD MSR KKK OMA QTR CEB MSC QTR THY FDB JAI JZR RJA JZR GFA THY QTR FDB BAW QTR SVA KAC KAC JZR KAC KAC ABY UAE KAC ETD KAC FDB JZR QTR GFA KAC GFA IRA KAC SYR KAC JZR MSC UAE MEA KAC JZR Departure Flights on Sunday 15/2/2015 Flt Route 976 Goa/Chennai 681 Alexandria 072 Dubai 981 IAD 573 Mumbai 635 Frankfurt 621 Addis Ababa 773 Istanbul 859 Istanbul 381 Delhi 854 Dubai 068 Dubai 306 Abu Dhabi 613 Cairo 6508 Istanbul 644 Muscat 1085 Doha 7695 Manila 406 Sohag 1077 Doha 765 Istanbul 070 Dubai 525 Abu Dhabi/Chennai 164 Dubai 643 Amman 560 Sohag 212 Bahrain 771 Istanbul 8632 Doha 054 Dubai 156 London 1087 Doha 513 Riyadh 513 Tehran 171 Frankfurt 534 Cairo 787 Jeddah 671 Dubai 126 Sharjah 856 Dubai 117 New York 302 Abu Dhabi 561 Amman 056 Dubai 482 Istanbul 1071 Doha 943 LCA 541 Cairo 214 Bahrain 664 Shiraz 501 Beirut 342 Latakia 103 London 776 Jeddah 402 Alexandria 874 Dubai 405 Beirut 785 Jeddah 786 Riyadh DIAL161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION Time 00:05 00:15 00:45 00:55 01:10 02:15 02:45 02:55 03:25 03:40 03:50 03:55 04:05 04:10 04:10 04:25 04:30 04:40 05:05 05:15 05:40 06:30 06:35 06:55 07:05 07:10 07:15 07:30 07:55 08:25 08:45 08:50 08:55 08:55 09:05 09:15 09:25 09:25 09:40 09:55 10:05 10:20 10:25 10:35 10:35 11:00 11:00 11:05 11:25 11:50 12:00 12:10 12:20 12:20 12:25 12:30 12:55 13:00 13:10 JZR MSR UAE IRC KAC KAC KAC QTR FDB KNE SVA GFA IRC KAC OMA ABY FDB JZR UAE JZR ETD RJA SVA GFA BDR GFA JZR JZR JZR UAL ABY UAE QTR FDB AXB GFA KAC KAC KAC JAI KAC FDB OMA DLH MSR DHX ALK KAC ETD MEA FDB GFA UAE KAC ETD QTR JZR KLM KAC KAC FDB 176 611 872 529 741 617 673 1079 058 473 503 222 6508 773 646 128 052 266 858 538 304 641 511 216 602 944 184 238 134 982 122 876 1081 064 393 218 361 281 343 571 351 062 648 636 619 171 230 301 308 403 074 220 860 205 310 1075 502 417 415 411 060 Dubai Cairo Dubai Ahwaz Dammam Doha Dubai Doha Dubai Jeddah Jeddah/Madinah Bahrain Shiraz Riyadh Muscat Sharjah Dubai Beirut Dubai Cairo Abu Dhabi Amman Riyadh Bahrain KRT Bahrain Dubai Amman Bahrain Bahrain Sharjah Dubai Doha Dubai Kozhikode Bahrain Colombo Dhaka Chennai Mumbai Kochi Dubai Muscat Dammam Alexandria Bahrain Colombo Mumbai Abu Dhabi Beirut Dubai Bahrain Dubai Islamabad Abu Dhabi Doha Luxor Dammam/Amsterdam Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Bangkok/Manila Dubai 13:45 14:00 14:15 14:15 14:45 15:00 15:00 15:05 15:10 15:20 15:45 15:45 15:50 16:20 16:25 16:25 17:00 17:05 17:45 17:45 17:50 17:55 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:50 19:10 19:15 19:20 19:40 19:50 19:55 20:15 20:15 20:50 20:55 20:55 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:20 21:35 21:45 21:50 22:10 22:15 22:15 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:50 22:55 23:00 23:05 23:05 23:15 23:25 23:30 23:55 34 stars SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 CROSSWORD 816 STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) This is the time of the year when much of the world is under a blanket of drizzle in one form or another-snow, sleet, rain, etc. Let yourself dream today. These days do not come too often-do not ignore this opportunity to let your imagination loose. Perhaps a good book or movie will take on that more-than-real dimension. Consider the stars. This could be a long and dreamy time when you find it easy to lose yourself in one flight of fancy or another, often at the expense of rational thinking. Family and security are things that rattle your chain more than ever. Now is a good time to do repair jobs inside the house-pipes perhaps. When the last nail is hammered down, consider some fun time with the kids or other family members-cards, charades, etc. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Restlessness today may have you exercising out-of-doors. You have too much energy to stay indoors. Neighbors and friends that visit early are included in your afternoon activities. You may enjoy some form of group competition today. Speak less and listen more, because today you will win friends and influence people. Connections with people on a grand scale-for example, at a distance or en masse-play a bigger part in your life now, perhaps by communication with people through the computer. Education, advertising and travel could play a part in this. Law and philosophy and perhaps religion have much potential to impact your lifestyle. This is certainly a time when you may feel that you are in harmony with others. Gemini (May 21-June 20) ACROSS 1. Characteristic of a mob. 4. The fourth compartment of the stomach of a ruminant. 12. Electronic warfare undertaken under direct control of an operational commander to locate sources of radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition. 15. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 16. Pronounce with a lowered velum. 17. The cry made by sheep. 18. Having leadership guidance. 19. Abnormally high acidity (excess hydrogen-ion concentration) of the blood and other body tissues. 20. Any of various units of capacity. 21. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 23. United States composer of musical comedies (1885-1945). 24. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 26. Before noon. 27. Offensively bold. 28. A state in the Rocky Mountains. 30. A rounded thickly curled hairdo. 33. Conforming to truth. 35. The father of your father or mother. 37. Twist or braid together, interlace. 40. Concerning those not members of the clergy. 41. Flightless New Zealand birds similar to gallinules. 45. A guided missile fired from shipboard against an airborne target. 46. (prefix) Opposite or opposing or neutralizing. 48. North American water snakes. 50. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 51. Small tropical American tree bearing edible plumlike fruit. 53. Lower in esteem. 54. Medium-sized tree having glossy lanceolate leaves. 56. A state in northwestern North America. 57. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 59. A primeval personification of air and breath. 60. A material effigy that is worshipped as a god. 62. The battle in 202 BC in which Scipio decisively defeated Hannibal at the end of the second Punic War. 64. A geographical area and former kingdom in northeastern India in the Himalaya Mountains between Nepal and Bhutan. 70. Fiddler crabs. 71. Stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings. 74. Used especially of fruits. 75. A diagrammatic representation of the earth's surface (or part of it). 76. Relating to or located near the organ that produces tears. 78. A long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head. 79. Hawaiian dish of taro root pounded to a paste and often allowed to ferment. 80. A wild and exciting undertaking (not necessarily lawful). 81. (astronomy) A measure of time defined by Earth's orbital motion. DOWN 1. A master's degree in library science. 2. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 3. English monk and scholar (672-735). 4. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 5. (rock music) A loud steady beat. 6. Flexible twig of a willow tree. 7. A state in southeastern India on the Bay of Bengal (south of Andhra Pradesh). 8. Cuban dancer and choreographer (born in 1921). 9. A female person who has the same parents as another person. 10. A type of submachine gun that is designed and manufactured in Israel. 11. A woman of mixed racial ancestry (especially mixed European and Native American ancestry). 12. A gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number). 13. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 14. A port in southern Sweden. 22. An unbroken or imperfectly broken mustang. 25. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 29. Acute lung injury characterized by coughing and rales. 31. United States physicist (born in Germany) who with Gustav Hertz performed an electron scattering experiment that proved the existence of the stationary energy states postulated by Niels Bohr (1882-1964). 32. An Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices. 34. A kind of sideboard or buffet. 36. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 38. Very slow in tempo and broad in manner n. 39. (computer science) A system of worldwide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that is generated at the recipient's terminal when he logs in. 42. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 43. The biblical name for ancient Syria. 44. Socks and stockings and tights collectively (the British include underwear as hosiery). 47. Any small spherical group of cells containing a cavity. 49. Of the appetites and passions of the body. 52. A metal cleat on the bottom front of a horseshoe to prevent slipping. 55. Not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course. 58. Chipmunks of eastern North America. 61. Similar to the giraffe but smaller with much shorter neck and stripe on the legs. 63. The space between two lines or planes that intersect. 65. The United Nations agency concerned with civil aviation. 66. A metal frame or container holding cartridges. 67. God of the Underworld. 68. Made agreeably cold (especially by ice). 69. The state of owing money. 72. Being one hundred more than two hundred. 73. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 77. A public promotion of some product or service. A community program may call for your negotiation expertise. Others enjoy being around you and you know just what to say and how to help. If you want to have some time to yourself today, you may enjoy a walk. You and a friend may also find that some time at a nearby gym is rejuvenating! Of course, exercise of this sort can help your stamina. An instinctive urge to get serious about taking care of you at many levels is emphasized now. Diet, exercise and work somehow mean more to you: you want to feel good about the way you do things. This evening is a good time to write letters and make phone calls. It may get warmer before it gets cold again but for now . . . Heat up that fireplace, warm up a cup of cider and enjoy your surroundings. Cancer (June 21-July 22) You may find yourself working by choice today, but it is likely to be inside your home. If you negotiate, you could be on the phone. If you create proposals or make sales, you will probably be using some high tech equipment. Ambitious schemes and the pursuit of success take on a high priority. This brings a focus on the practical and successful. You may be looking for a new computer to help you seek out new sales possibilities-perhaps you want to create a site on the internet for yourself. Rain, cold, snow and all sorts of reasons to stay inside could create friction if too many people share the same space. Take time for a one-on-one and take time for yourself-perhaps some private reading or earphones for listening to beautiful music or intelligent words. Leo (July 23-August 22) You may make it a point to be alone most of this day-your energies seem to be in need of rest. You may find yourself shopping, not necessarily to purchase items, but to investigate the new technical items on the market at this time. Later this afternoon, you will feel more like being with others and perhaps, talking about all those new high tech products you saw this morning. Ideas and technologies that change the way people live-not just one person, but many-are a major new focus in your life just now. Uphold any obligations such as promises, errands, chores, etc. Someone is really depending on you to come through with a special promise. Although your finances will look better later this year, it would be a good idea to lighten your spending trend. Virgo (August 23-September 22) Watch, take notes, play it cool and ask questions this morning. Although your energies are high, now is not the time to make yourself heard. Allow others to speak first and when they are completely finished you can state your views simply. You may find yourself in a renters’ or homeowners’ meeting later today. This is a good time to speak up for the benefit of the group. You seem to take unexpected events in your stride. Today may be a particularly interesting day in this regard. It is good that your attitude is to be prepared for just about any unexpected event that might happen. This is a time when your path of expression becomes more and more defined-making it easy to help others. You are the center of attraction at a party this evening. WORD SEARCH PUZZLE Libra (September 23-October 22) Seeking employment, taking a vacation and obtaining a loan are favorable activities now, even if it is a Sunday. You seem more interested in cleaning up or finishing things left undone from another time. Perhaps you will go into work this morning for a few hours. Friends encourage you to play this afternoon. After tending to a few chores, you may decide to join your friends in a game of hockey or racquetball, roller lading, wall climbing, etc. Proper gear for these activities is very important and will assure you the enjoyment of a safe and fun afternoon. Pay attention to the family members this evening-it seems everyone has a story to share. You encourage positive, open communications. Hugs are easy to find; give them freely. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A change of residence is possible this weekend-perhaps a long-distance relocation. Educational plans may need changing: you now realize that they do not suit you as well as you would like. Anything connected with publishing, advertising or broadcasting requires reexamination. A change of plans or perspective will give you the upper hand for your future financial security. This is an exciting time that is full of opportunities for you to fulfill your wishes and plan your successes. A fun adventure today may include a camping trip, a special date, being invited to a party, etc. Today is the first day of more exciting times to come. Good feelings come from friends and family members. Consider keeping a dream diary. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Unexpected strange behavior from a family member or friend may find you jumping in to lend a listening ear. Perhaps you can suggest a physical checkup. Exercising your initiative opens doors for you, as well as others-your charm wins the support of others. Energies will return to a more balanced and positive position soonyou will feel you have truly made a positive difference. This afternoon is a good time to gather your friends to trade reading material, organize a closet or play board games. The quality of the energies around you is upbeat and an attitude of gratitude takes hold. You may get into discussions such as near death experiences, or educational or spiritual journeys. You could tweak your imagination. Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Learning what makes people tick interests you. If you did not study psychology in school, you might enjoy reading about the mind. You may find yourself in a mall, a theater, a play, a class, anywhere that a lot of people gather. Being the observer today is fun and may present several ideas for a book, a poem or some photography. Some kind of healing process is at work in your life these days: you will find positive results from isolating what doesn’t work, eliminating it and going on from there. In other words, you are embarking on new adventures. All through this day you will find that your common sense, efficiency and practicality serve you well. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You have learned your lessons well and are happy to be helping others to learn. You may find that you enjoy teaching or administering aid in some way. The service industry loves you, the financial industry could learn a lot from you and the medical services beg for your help. Wow! With all those talents that are available for your expression, now is a good time to plot your path into your future. No matter what you do in life and how your choices culminate, you will be able to teach and guide others now or in the latter years of your life. All in all, there are plenty of opportunities for you to mold your desires; now is the time to decide what you enjoy the most and where you want to shine. Have a camera ready this evening. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your desires are strong and you will want to enjoy yourself today. Spending is very possible. There is a basic drive to appreciate and taste life. You may cease to waste time acquiring that which is worthless and may develop an eye for that which is lasting and worthwhile. If someone is trying to change your plans-stop! Stay on your defined path for now, especially if changes would cause you to rush or go into areas unknown. If you are driving today, leave early and do not rush. You may receive a new pet or take care of a friend’s pet today-enjoy, this could be an unusually entertaining animal. Expecting company this evening may have you rushing around to pick up and clean up-of course, this does not seem necessary-company will enjoy their visit. Yesterday’s Solution Yesterday’s Solution Daily SuDoku Yesterday’s Solution THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 i n f o r m at i o n For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 INTERNATIONAL CALLS GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital 24812000 Amiri Hospital 22450005 Maternity Hospital 24843100 Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital 25312700 Chest Hospital 24849400 Farwaniya Hospital 24892010 Adan Hospital 23940620 Ibn Sina Hospital 24840300 PHARMACY Ahmadi Jahra Capital Al-Razi Hospital Physiotherapy Hospital Farwaniya Hawally 24846000 24874330/9 Kaizen center 25716707 Rawda 22517733 ADDRESS PHONE Afghanistan 0093 Luxembourg 00352 Albania 00355 Macau 00853 Algeria 00213 Macedonia 00389 Andorra 00376 Madagascar 00261 Angola 00244 Majorca 0034 Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd 23915883 23715414 23726558 Anguilla 001264 Malawi 00265 Modern Jahra Madina Munawara Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92 24575518 24566622 Antiga 001268 Malaysia 0060 Argentina 0054 Maldives 00960 Armenia 00374 Mali 00223 Australia 0061 Malta 00356 Austria 0043 Marshall Islands 00692 Bahamas 001242 Martinique 00596 Bahrain 00973 Mauritania 00222 Bangladesh 00880 Mauritius 00230 Barbados 001246 Mayotte 00269 Belarus 00375 Mexico 0052 Belgium 0032 Micronesia 00691 Belize 00501 Moldova 00373 Benin 00229 Monaco 00377 Bermuda 001441 Mongolia 00976 Bhutan 00975 Montserrat 001664 Bolivia 00591 Morocco 00212 Bosnia 00387 Mozambique 00258 Ahlam Khaldiya Coop Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop 22436184 24833967 New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11 24734000 24881201 24726638 Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop 25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241 Adaliya 22517144 Botswana 00267 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Khaldiya 24848075 Brazil 0055 Namibia 00264 Brunei 00673 Nepal 00977 Kaifan 24849807 Bulgaria 00359 Netherlands 0031 Shamiya 24848913 Burkina 00226 Netherlands Antilles 00599 Burundi 00257 New Caledonia Cambodia 00855 New Zealand 0064 Cameroon 00237 Nicaragua 00505 Canada 001 Nigar 00227 Cape Verde 00238 Nigeria 00234 Cayman Islands 001345 Niue 00683 Central African 00236 Norfolk Island 00672 Chad 00235 N. Ireland (UK) 0044 Shuwaikh 24814507 Abdullah Salem 22549134 Nuzha 22526804 Industrial Shuwaikh 24814764 00687 Qadsiya 22515088 Dasmah 22532265 Chile 0056 North Korea 00850 Bneid Al-Gar 22531908 China 0086 Norway 0047 Colombia 0057 Oman 00968 Shaab 22518752 Comoros 00269 Pakistan 0092 Qibla 22459381 Congo 00242 Palau 00680 Cook Islands 00682 Panama 00507 22451082 Costa Rica 00506 Papua New Guinea 00675 22456536 Croatia 00385 Paraguay 00595 Cuba 0053 Peru 0051 Cyprus 00357 Philippines 0063 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Poland 0048 Czech Republic 00420 Portugal 00351 Denmark 0045 Puerto Rico 001787 Diego Garcia 00246 Qatar 00974 Djibouti 00253 Romania 0040 Dominica 001767 Russian Federation 007 Ayoun Al-Qibla Mirqab Sharq 22465401 Salmiya 25746401 Jabriya 25316254 Maidan Hawally 25623444 Bayan 25388462 Mishref 25381200 Dominican Republic 001809 Rwanda 00250 22630786 Ecuador 00593 Saint Helena 00290 Egypt 0020 Saint Kitts 001869 24810221 El Salvador 00503 Saint Lucia 001758 Jahra 24770319 England (UK) 0044 Saint Pierre 00508 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Saint Vincent 001784 New Jahra 24575755 Eritrea 00291 Samoa US 00684 West Jahra 24772608 Estonia 00372 Samoa West 00685 South Jahra 24775066 Ethiopia 00251 San Marino 00378 Falkland Islands 00500 Sao Tone 00239 North Jahra 24775992 Faroe Islands 00298 Saudi Arabia 00966 North Jleeb 24311795 Fiji 00679 Scotland (UK) 0044 Finland 00358 Senegal 00221 Ardhiya 24884079 France 0033 Seychelles 00284 French Guiana 00594 Sierra Leone 00232 French Polynesia 00689 Singapore 0065 W Hawally Sabah Firdous 24892674 Omariya 24719048 Gabon 00241 Slovakia 00421 N Khaitan 24710044 Gambia 00220 Slovenia 00386 Georgia 00995 Solomon Islands 00677 Germany 0049 Somalia 00252 Ghana 00233 South Africa 0027 Gibraltar 00350 South Korea 0082 Greece 0030 Spain 0034 Greenland 00299 Sri Lanka 0094 Grenada 001473 Sudan 00249 Guadeloupe 00590 Suriname 00597 Guam 001671 Swaziland 00268 Guatemala 00502 Sweden 0046 Guinea 00224 Switzerland 0041 Guyana 00592 Syria 00963 Haiti 00509 Serbia 00381 Fintas 23900322 PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 25622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 25752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 25321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 25739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 25757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 25732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 25732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Dr. Leons Joseph 66703427 Psychologists /Psychotherapists Paediatricians Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272 Dr. Khaled Hamadi Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari 22617700 Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed Dr. Abdel Quttainah 25625030/60 Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581 Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan Dr. Zahra Qabazard DrAdrian arbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 25340300 25710444 Dr. Sohail Qamar 22621099 Dr. Snaa Maaroof 25713514 Dr. Pradip Gujare 23713100 Dr. Zacharias Mathew 24334282 Dermatology 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians Endocrinologist 25665898 Dr. Mohammed Salam Bern University 23845955 Dentists Dr Anil Thomas Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Shamah Al-Matar 22641071/2 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed 22562226 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer 22561444 Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan 22619557 Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash 22525888 Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan 25653755 Dr. Bader Al-Ansari 25620111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148 Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25728004 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3 Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 [email protected] www.soorcenter.com Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 22666288 Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 22655539 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan General Surgeons Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25330060 3729596/3729581 Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan 25345875 Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman 22636464 Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali 22633135 Kaizen center 25716707 Noor Clinic 23845955 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290 Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital 25339667 Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123 2611555-2622555 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677 Holland (Netherlands) 0031 Taiwan 00886 Honduras 00504 Tanzania 00255 Hong Kong 00852 Thailand 0066 Hungary 0036 Toga 00228 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Tonga 00676 Iceland 00354 Tokelau 00690 India 0091 Trinidad 001868 Indian Ocean 00873 Tunisia 00216 Indonesia 0062 Turkey 0090 Iran 0098 Tuvalu 00688 Iraq 00964 Uganda 00256 Ireland 00353 Ukraine 00380 Italy 0039 United Arab Emirates 00976 Ivory Coast 00225 United Kingdom 0044 Jamaica 001876 Uruguay 00598 Japan 0081 USA 001 Jordan 00962 Uzbekistan 00998 Kazakhstan 007 Vanuatu 00678 Kenya 00254 Venezuela 00582 Kiribati 00686 Vietnam 0084 Kuwait 00965 Virgin Islands UK 001284 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Virgin Islands US 001340 Laos 00856 Wales (UK) 0044 Latvia 00371 Yemen 00967 Lebanon 00961 Yugoslavia 00381 Liberia 00231 Zambia 00260 Libya 00218 Zimbabwe 00263 Lithuania 00370 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 lifestyle G o s s i p Sienna Miller is an ‘optimistic’ person T he ‘American Sniper’ actress - who has twoyear-old daughter, Marlowe, with her fiancÈ Tom Sturridge - knows her life isn’t perfect but never gets too upset when things go wrong. She said: “I’ve always been an optimistic person. Of course not everything is perfect in my life. But if things doesn’t work out, my reaction about that is not negative. I don’t let myself go down that easily. I’m a real tumbler.” The 33-year-old actress feels lucky to have a “child-friendly” job which allows her to take Marlowe to work with her. She said: “I take her with me [to work]. On set is like at a big family, everyone takes care of the kids of the others. When I’m shooting my daughter is in my trailer playing. My job is actually quite child-friendly.” Before falling pregnant, Sienna who has previously been engaged to Jude Law and also dated Rhys Ifans - took a step out of the spotlight because she felt her personal life was overshadowing her work. She explained to German’s Myself magazine: “There was I point when I had that feeling, that the media is doing more reports about my private life than about my work. This is why for a while I have withdrawn. I wanted to bring my life back on the right track. Then I got pregnant. It was perfect timing.” Neil Patrick Harris practiced saying Benedict Cumberbatch’s name ‘2,086 times’ T he 41-year-old actor, who is set to present the prestigious awards ceremony in Los Angeles on February 22, has been putting the hours in to make sure he doesn’t mispronounce a nominee or performer’s name. He said: “I’ve always been keen on diction. And inflection. And pitch. And pace. We reveal a lot about ourselves by the way we communicate verbally. So there’s quite a bit of vocal warming up.” Asked how many times he has said ‘Cumberbatch’ in front of the mirror, he replied: “2,086 times.” The former ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star also doesn’t want to offend anyone with his jokes at the ceremony. He said: “I don’t like to be mean. It’s such a celebration for everyone; I think it should stay positive and buoyant. Why, after getting nominated for a friggin’ Oscar, would you want to get heckles? Not my thing.” Neil is thrilled that his ‘Gone Girl’ costar Rosamund Pike is nominated for Best Actress and can’t wait to see what she wears to the event. He added to PEOPLE magazine: “She is one of the most stunning women I’ve ever seen, so I’ll probably be drooling. Lady Pike can do no wrong in my book.” David Cassidy files for bankruptcy Oprah Winfrey doesn’t watch TV T he 64-year-old singer has begun proceedings by filing papers in Florida which show he has assets worth £6.5 million, but almost an equal amount in debt. In a statement, he said: “I am going through bankruptcy proceedings.” Although the former The Partridge Family star has sold over 30 million records worldwide, he explained the process is “necessary” following a split from his third wife of 22 years, Sue Shifrin, and their subsequent divorce which is still ongoing. He continued: “This is necessary for practical reasons to reorganise my life as I go through divorce and to restructure my finances.” The news comes just a year after the ‘How Can I Be Sure’ hitmaker was forced to enter rehab after committing a string of drink driving offences, shortly before the breakdown of his marriage. In papers filed by the musician - who is the father of ‘Gossip Girl’ actress Katie Cassidy - the breakdown of the money he owes indicates he has £190,000 worth of debts on his property, £85,000 in legal and medical fees, while also owing £25,000 on credit cards. T Katy Perry suffering from chronic knee pain T he ‘Roar’ singer - who recently performed her ballad ‘By the Grace of God’ at the Grammy Awards - has revealed her constant performing has taken its toll on her body and she has resorted to multiple sessions of acupuncture each week in a desperate bid to save her knees. She admitted: “My knees are giving out on me now. I do acupuncture every two or three days.” The singer-songwriter - who turned 30 last year explained why she thinks her body is suffering, blaming it on her energetic stage performances which tire her out because they make her exercise like an Olympian. She told The Sun newspaper: “I tour with a stage that goes from the front of the house to the back of the house with a triangle thrust that is a moving treadmill, like I think I’m some kind of Olympic athlete.” However, the state of her joints isn’t the star’s only worry, as she has been busy threatening to sue a New York company after they began producing figurines of the dancing sharks which accompanied her during her record breaking Super Bowl half-time performance. Attorneys representing the ‘Prism’ maker sent a cease and desist letter to the 3D printing service Shapeways last week after it was discovered they were selling 6.9 centimetre models of the uncoordinated characters, with the company now halting production and offering customers refunds. he media mogul may have her own network, OWN, but she doesn’t watch programmes or listen to the radio at home because she finds background noise affects her “energy”. She said: “Nothing keeps me awake at night. I don’t watch news before bed. I have a very sensitive spirit - I absorb other people’s feelings and empathise with them. “I have to measure the energy that comes from my private space. I’m never in the house with noise - other than dogs yapping. I don’t leave the TV or radio on. I don’t have energy coming into my sphere that I’m not consciously inviting in.” The ‘Selma’ star also believes it is important to “clean her spirit” every night by writing in her “gratitude journal” five things she is thankful for that day. She explained to Psychologies magazine: “I write in a gratitude journal every night before I go to bed. It cleans my spirit for the day and sets me up for the next day. “I go through life looking for five things I can be grateful for and that changes my personal vibration as I’m looking for positive things to happen during my day.” Eddie Redmayne loves being married T he ‘Theory of Everything’ star, who tied the knot with long-term girlfriend Hannah Bagshawe in December, insists he doesn’t miss being a bachelor. The 33year-old actor said: “New marriage is pretty wonderful, pretty extraordinary. I’m very happy.” The British heartthrob is planning to whisk his new wife off to a tropical island after the Oscars in Los Angeles on February 22. He told Us Weekly magazine: “The plan is to go sit on a beach somewhere with Hannah, as she certainly deserves it.” The couple were forced to cut short their original honeymoon to attend the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month after tying the knot on December 15, and Eddie is not expecting to come back with a suntan. He joked: “I’ll get a few more freckles.” The ‘Les Miserable’ star previously admitted he is looking forward to reading a “trashy book” on the beach. He said: “When you’re an actor, there’s always something you have to read for work, so you always have to either be reading a script or researching a script. That moment where you get to choose a book that you want to read just for pleasure is that rare thing.” John Lennon hit his son Julian A statement written by The Beatles’ star’s former domestic worker Dorothy Jarlett about John’s behaviour during his split from first wife Cynthia Powell has been unearthed following her death last year, and suggests the musician was violent towards his son, born in 1963. In the five-page document - written in 1968 Dorothy explained how the late rocker, who was shot at the age of 40 in 1980, was “too severe” with the couple’s son when he was a youngster which frequently led to explosive arguments. She wrote: “When Mr Lennon was at home there were often rows during meals when John seemed to be too severe with Julian and criticised the way he behaved at table. “Julian, who was a very sensitive child at the time, would become upset and Mrs Lennon would argue with Mr Lennon about this. As a result there would be an argument about the way Julian was being brought up. “Mr Lennon would say Mrs Lennon was too soft with him. I think he was probably not enough with his son owing to his profession to know how to handle him.” A line at the end of the document which was then crossed out reads, “As a result he would often smack him.” The statement was written for John’s divorce solicitors when he was seeking a separation from Cynthia in order to marry his mistress, Yoko Ono, who he wed the following year and had a second son, Sean, with. The document is set to be auctioned off next month and is expected to receive bids of up to £5,000. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 lifestyle Benedict Cumberbatch set to marry Sophie Hunter T he couple, who announced their engagement in November shortly before confirming they are expecting their first child, have planned an extra special Valentine’s Day and will exchange vows in front of family and close friends, including Keira Knightley, during a church ceremony on the Isle of Wight, England. The 38year-old actor’s ‘Sherlock’ co-star Martin Freeman, 43, is expected to serve as his best man, according to The Sun newspaper. The ‘Imitation Game’ star and the theatre director, 36, were first spotted looking at venues on the island last month and marquees were erected in the gardens of their reception venue on Thursday. Vans supplying food, sculptures and flowers were seen making deliveries on Friday. All roads close to the church have also been closed off for the occasion and security guards are on patrol. The couple are expected to postponed their honeymoon until after the Oscars in Los Angeles on February 22, as Benedict is nominated for Best Actor at the prestigious event. But the newlyweds will fly back to the US shortly after tying the knot so the actor can appear on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on Monday (16.02.15). A source recently revealed the duo, who met on the set of ‘Burlesque Fairytales’ in 2009 but only started dating last year, were eager to get married before welcoming their baby into the world this summer. Sarah Jessica Parker spending Valentine’s Day with babysitter T he former ‘Sex and the City’ star, who has been married for 18 years, admits she isn’t doing anything romantic to celebrate the occasion with husband Matthew Broderick yester because he is working. Asked if she has any special plans, the 49-year-old actress, who has son James Wilkie, 11, and five-year-old twins daughters, Tabitha and Marion, with the actor, told E! News: “Well I’m actually going to be with my children because my husband’s working, so I’m going to be with my children, but I think that’s kind of nice. And actually I’ll be with our babysitter too. I keep making fun of her, I’m like, ‘We’re spending Valentine’s Day together Anna,’ and she’s like, ‘Yeah, great.’ “ Matthew, 52, is currently starring in the Broadway comedy, ‘It’s Only A Play,’ alongside Martin Short in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City, and has two performances scheduled for today. The actor recently revealed that his long-lasting marriage to Sarah is based on “talking a lot”. He said: “We really are friends beyond everything else and we talk a lot. “Keep talking I guess, I know how clichÈ that is. Too much silence is definitely not a good idea.” Taylor Swift worried about falling in love again T he ‘Blank Space’ hitmaker, who has been single since splitting from Harry Styles in December 2013, admits she deliberately took a step back from dating to focus on her career and friendships, but fears people will see it as a “weakness” if she opens herself up to love in the future. The 25-year-old singer, who also previously dated Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer, explained: “I wasn’t going to sit next to somebody and flirt with them for five minutes, because I know the next day he’ll be rumoured to be my boyfriend. I just kind of took the narrative back. It’s unfortunate I had to do that. And it’s unfortunate that now I have this feeling like if I were to open myself up to love, that would be a career weakness.” But the blonde beauty claims she has changed a lot recently and insists she no longer really cares what people think about her. She told the US March issue of Vogue: “This last year has felt very different than any other year of my life. I’ve felt more settled and unapologetic about who I am and what I stand for. I think that might be one of those symptoms of growing up and becoming your own person, and depending less on other people’s opinions of you. I just hope that keeps going-because I’m liking it.” Angelina Jolie passion for acting grew after death of her mother T he 39-year-old star, who recently revealed she wants to focus on directing and her humanitarian work in the future, admits she only realised her passions lay elsewhere after Marcheline Bertrand passed away from ovarian cancer in 2007. Asked why she is planning to retire from the big screen, the ‘Unbroken’ director said: “It’s somewhat personal. When my mother died, I realised how much my being an actress was linked to her desire to be an actress herself, and especially what satisfaction it brought her when she saw me onscreen. Once she was gone, I didn’t feel the same attraction for it.” The brunette beauty insists the idea of becoming less famous doesn’t bother her. The Oscar winner told France’s Dandy magazine: “What I Kristin Cavallari scared about leaving her kids with babysitter T he former ‘The Hills’ star, who has two sons, Camden, two, and eight-month-old Jaxon with her Chicago Bears player husband, Jay Cutler, admits she feels uneasy about going out on a date with him tonight because he has asked one of his best friends to take care of their children. Asked about their plans for the romantic holiday, the blonde beauty said: “Jay just told me that he made really great dinner reservations, and he has one of his best friends babysitting, which is a little scary. It’s like, ‘Oh, that’s who is babysitting? okay...’ But it is one of his good friends, so it’ll be pretty hilarious.” The shoe designer, 28, recently started lifting weights because she “can look really skinny” if she isn’t careful, and admits is very competitive with NFL star Jay, 31, in the gym. She told E! News: “I’m right there with him, if not a little bit more. “I work my butt off in the gym, I do a lot of weight training with a trainer and I try to eat real, whole foods rather than all the processed c**p.” really like is to be behind the camera, to put others into the light. Being in the spotlight’s shine doesn’t interest me. I prefer to have my head almost under water ...” Meanwhile, Angelina, who married Brad Pitt last August, admits she waited a long time to find a “real man.” The ‘Maleficent’ star, who was previously married to Johnny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, explained: “At 20, we’re all looking for Prince Charming, the big handsome hunk, only we’re generally disappointed because of his instability. At 40, you know what you want: a real man.” SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 lifestyle Wu offers ‘grown-up’ clothes; Rosie in red NY FASHION WEEK E veryone always asks Adam Selman about “that” dress, and no wonder: The designer’s totally sheer, crystalencrusted gown for Rihanna at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards last June made global headlines. “It was a game-changer,” he said on Friday before his runway show in a Chelsea gallery. “It definitely put me on a worldwide scale. It’s February, and people are still talking about that dress. I knew it was going to make a big splash but I didn’t expect for people to still be talking about it now!” Why the huge reaction? “I think it was just shocking, and it was just interesting to see a woman feel so confident that she didn’t need to be all nipped and tucked,” Selman said. “She was just so natural, and there was no retouching - that was her.” For his runway show this time, Selman, whose background is in costume design, said he was inspired by the “bad-girl” characters in the 1974 movie “Female Trouble,” starring Divine. His runway featured fencing, as in a schoolyard, and the ground was littered with crushed soda cans and wrinkled wrappers. The models hung onto the fences and chatted, or looked in compact mirrors to check their makeup. As for the clothes, they were a colorful, playful mix of schoolgirl gingham and more body-hugging fabrics. Selman said he also wanted to infuse his fashions with an arts-andcrafts theme, so he covered many of his garments with cute little bows as appliques. Colors were evocative of a schoolyard, too: Bubblegum and bottle green were two of Selman’s favorites. Front-row guests included pop singer Ke$ha and Disney Channel star Zendaya. Jocelyn Noveck CLOTHES FOR THE CRAZY WEATHER The weather has been sobering indeed for the opening of Fashion Week - a deep chill settled in on Friday, with worse to come - and Jason Wu says he was thinking about such things when he designed his collection. “What’s new here is that a lot of outerwear pieces are interchangeable,” he said Friday after his runway show in downtown Manhattan. A number dresses or coats, for example, were accompanied by removable fur pieces. “The fur can come off, so you can wear the wool coat by itself,” Wu said. “It’s the idea of addressing the weather changes, all the time. It’s simply realistic.” Wu, who became famous by designing not one, but both of first lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural gowns, called his new collection “a grown-up collection for me,” with colors that were darker and more sultry. He favored an olive green, an ash gray, and black - with a pop of bright red in the middle, “for sex appeal,” he said. Wu was tight-lipped about whether he’s dressing any famous actresses for the Oscars on Feb. 22; Last year, a pregnant Kerry Washington wore a gown of his in a plum-violet shade. “You never know,” he said. “It’s about the right girl and the right dress. I hate to name names.” He did agree, though, to reveal the name of someone he aspires to dress one day: last year’s best actress winner. “I’d love to work with Cate Blanchett,” he said. Jocelyn Noveck ROSIE IN RED Rosie O’Donnell opened with a wry quip: “I had a lot of stress today, I don’t know if you heard.” Hours after ending her second stint as a host of ABC’s “The View,” O’Donnell was on a fashion runway - a strange place for her to be, she said - introducing the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” Red Dress Collection, an annual fashion show featuring entertainment personalities modeling bright red designer dresses to promote awareness of heart disease. O’Donnell donned a red jacket and black pants to open the show Thursday night, but she wasn’t hazarding a walk down the runway (and back) teetering on stilettos. That job fell to some 20 women of all ages, culminating in a much-cheered appearance by actress Barbara Eden, the 83-year -old former star of the 1960s series “I Dream of Jeannie,” who even did her trademark fold-the-arms-and-blink move for the cameras. Eden wore a lacy Carmen Marc Valvo gown. Others at the show, which was presented by Macy’s, included TV personality Star Jones in a B. Michael gown, who brought along her tiny white dog on a leash (the dog appeared to be a real pro, hardly flinching in the hot lights and loud music). Some of the biggest cheers were awarded to Laverne Cox, a star of TV’s “Orange is the New Black” and the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy. Cox twirled at the top of the runway in her gauzy Donna Karan number. The show ended with a song from the girl group Fifth Harmony - all clad in red, of course. Jocelyn Noveck MUSIC MEETS FASHION Most of the time when you hear a Bon Jovi song in a store, it’s playing over a loudspeaker. But Thursday night, around 100 lucky fans were treated to seeing the New Jersey-born rocker perform a bunch of his hits during an intimate acoustic set inside of a Kenneth Cole store in Soho. The performance, as New York Fashion Week began, was part of Common Thread, an initiative the musician started with Cole that provides a platform for the new creators of today and tomorrow to help them find an audience. The initiative benefits both young designers and musicians, something Cole said the pair spent a lot of time discussing. Before the show, the 52-year old musician expressed his feeling that while the technology for making music has gotten simpler, he sees no substitute for raw performance as the true measure of talent. “You can have all the bells and whistles of production these days, and these guys that are out there singing on the Grammys with auto-tune,” Jon Bon Jovi said. “I always used to say, ‘I’m going to hand you my guitar, sing me something, and I want to see you play it.’” — AP Steve Madden unveils a stylish Spring Summer ’15 collection For dangerously stylish woman and the urbane man G et into the swing of the new season with the Steve Madden Spring Summer 2015 Collection for men and women. The Steve Madden girl is cool, confident, and always on the go, dressed to impress at all times, her outfits make a statement from the ground up. For Spring 2015, Steve Madden has filled her closet with prints and embellishments, ranging from espadrilles and flat sandals to sneakers and party heels. No delicate floral prints for our girl; bold, punchy florals are more her speed. Steve Madden has created incredibly graphic floral patterns ideal for any occasion. The SANDDY is the perfect flat sandal for our daring city girl. Its edgy zipper detail along the sole adds sophistication to the floral upper. Still casual for her daytime shopping trip on Broadway, the STEFANO features an eye-catching floral print on a white platform block heel. When evening falls and she wants to channel her inner vixen, our girl turns to the VARCITY Y and STECY, both single-sole heeled styles that will have her turning heads and breaking hearts. When the sun goes down this Spring, show stopping styles like the FRINGLY, with its ankle-to-toe suede fringe, take the magnificent silhouette to the next level. With such beauties at her feet, it is absolutely impossible to not have admirable looks. The espadrille is a timeless spring and summer staple. This season, however, our girl is a risk taker; Steve Madden has elevated the espadrille trend with patterns and embellishments sure to turn heads. The GARRDEN wedge provides serious height and sparkle. The Steve Madden girl is modern and understands fashion; she loves heels and wedges, but gets just as excited over gorgeous flats and kicks. Slip on sneakers like the BUHBA and ECENTRCQ boast metallic finishes, as well as shredded leather and quilting details. The DONDDI flat sandal also flaunts a metallic finish that immediately dresses up a casual look. Who doesn’t love a good dose of sparkle? Our girl rocks gems, glitter, and shine day and night, and does it just right. With its multicolored gemencrusted straps, the BLAZZZED is the way our girl injects fabulous into her day wear. As she enjoys an iced latte on her suite balcony, she admires the bejeweled straps of the ZSAZA sandal. When the sun sets, she puts on her red lipstick and glamorous CAGGED heels. She’s an absolute knockout, with a smile almost as blinding as the shoes on her feet. A great pair of shoes deserves an equally great bag, and for Spring 2015, Steve Madden has provided our girl with the collection of luxe handbags she’s seeking. BTOTALLY, available in arresting embossed snake skin and metal hardware, come in classic shapes for everyday wear. The Steve Madden man is effortlessly stylish and never looks out of place, no matter the occasion. For Spring 2015, his looks are urbane, yet possess a bit of rebelliousness. The Steve Madden guy is anything but standard, and he wears chukka boots to reflect that taste. His closet contains an abundance of casual and cool styles, appropriate for an afternoon stroll downtown with his girl. The sneaker bottoms FARSIDE lend an athletic touch, while the leather and suede details give a gentle flair. The HALLOWAY in camouflage adds zest to the classic silhouette, while the leather detail at the heel adds refinement. The Steve Madden guy has mastered the art of style; he’s never overdressed or underdressed, but ready for every occasion on his social agenda. The DROGO, with its leather know detail and white sole; give another spin on the versatile driving moccasin. The SOJOURN is a casual take on the oxford style, but the white sole and suede upper make it eyecatching. Even when he needs to dress more formal, the Steve Madden man always makes a statement. The HIGHBALL elevates the driving moccasin by adding tassels and seams. All eyes are on him as the sun sets over the city, and his girl can’t help but admire her arm candy. Practically polished and sensibly fashionable; the all new Steve Madden Spring Summer 2015 Collection is out in stores now! Available at The Avenues SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 lifestyle Women look at heart-shaped boxes containing Valentine’s Day chocolates on sale at a store in Tokyo. In Japan, women buy chocolates for men on Valentine’s Day, not vice versa. Ten killjoys hold a banner saying “Smash Valentine’s Day” march during a demonstration around the Shibuya shopping district in Tokyo yesterday. Japan killjoys protest Valentine’s ‘love capitalists’ A s Japan celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday a group of killjoys marched through Tokyo protesting what it called the “passion-based capitalism” of the annual celebration of romance. Members of ‘Kakuhido’, which translates as the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive and claims on its website that “public smooching is terrorism”, walked through the busy Shibuya district waving banners with buzzkill slogans demanding an end to Valentine’s Day. However, the spoil-sport group was met by bemused looks from passers-by as the grumpy comrades, numbering just 10 in total, chanted: “Don’t be duped by the conspiracy of chocolate makers!” “In Japan, women give men chocolate (on Valentine’s Day) to show their affection,” Kakuhido chairman Mark Waters told AFP. “Society is addicted to capitalism. People are profiting from it and we are here today to demonstrate our resistance to the love capitalists.” Dressed in a white helmet and sunglasses with a pink scarf covering his mouth, the Japanese protester added: “The name of our organisation is a parody but it does have a serious message.” In previous protests, members denounced “housewives who control Japan’s future” as their hapless husbands work all hours at the office. But the group’s “Smash Valentine’s Day” rally, whick took aim at commercialism, fell flat as they set off along the streets, largely drowned out by Shibuya’s wall of sound, after Waters reminded marchers of police guidelines, including the banning of hate speech. “The blood-soaked conspiracy of Valentine’s Day, driven by the oppressive chocolate capitalists, has arrived once again,” Kakuhido said on its website in a bellicose attack on all that is warm and fuzzy about Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day in Japan is a huge money-spinner for the confectionary business as women are traditionally expected to buy chocolates for the men in their lives-from partners to work colleagues and bosses. Men reciprocate a month later on White Day, a Japanese marketing brainwave dreamed up by confectioners in the 1980s to keep the cash tills ringing. “We will also be protesting White Day,” insisted Waters, cheerlessly. “And Christmas.” Kakuhido was founded in 2006 by Katsuhiro Furusawa, who began reading the Communist Manifesto after being dumped by his girlfriend and came to the conclusion that being unpopular with the opposite sex was a class issue, fuelling his anti-Valentine message. Japan is experiencing a loss of mojo with couples apparently too stressed or busy to have sex, frustrating government efforts to raise the birthrate as policymakers struggle to cope with a shrinking population. Despite the Marxist rhetoric, Furusawa has since stepped down as head of the group, posting distinctly un-Marxist photographs of his new set of wheels, boasting “thanks to our actions I purchased a Mercedes” as a parting shot. — AFP Afghan resident Khujesta, 18, leaves a shop selling flowers to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Shar-e-Naw area of Kabul yesterday. In conservative Afghanistan, many Afghans are unaware of or don’t mark Valentine’s Day, but younger generations in urban areas are celebrating the day despite restrictions. An Afghan vendor decorates the area around his shop with flowers to be sold to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Shar-eNaw area of Kabul yesterday. — AP/ AFP photos A Palestinian girl holds flowers infront of a shop displaying red teddy bears on Valentine’s day in Gaza yesterday. Women, not men, buy P Valentine’s Day sweets erusing the Valentine’s Day chocolate selection during my lunch break made me stand out in the crowd in Tokyo: I was the only male in the Godiva store. In Japan, women buy chocolates for men on Valentine’s Day, not vice versa. And not just for their boyfriend or partner, but also for co-workers, friends of both sexes and even themselves these days. It’s a big business: the Godiva store had shelves of specially boxed assortments rising to its high ceiling, while competing chocolate makers went head-to-head at temporary counters set up at a commuter rail station. OSN to launch wwe network in the Middle East O SN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and WWE(r) (NYSE: WWE) today announced a five-year partnership to distribute WWE Network as a premium, linear channel in time for WrestleMania(r)on Sunday, March 29, exclusively on OSN. The agreement will run concurrent with WWE and OSN’s existing partnership to air WWE’s flagship programming, Raw(r) and SmackDown(r), as well as NXT(r), Superstarsand more in the region. OSN subscribers can access the premium linear network via their set top boxes, and anytime, anywhere on multiple devices via OSN Play and through authenticated access via WWE Network apps. WWE Network will also be offered in the region on a direct-to-consumer basis through the WWE app, available on GO by OSN. “OSN has a long-standing relationship with WWE and we are very excited to be expanding that relationship further with the exclusive carriage of the WWE Network,” said Andy Warkman OSN’s VP, Sport and Production “We will be cobranding the linear channel OSN WWE Network HD and following on from our enhanced TV deal renewal last year. This is great news for WWE fans in the Middle East & North Africa region. We are looking forward to launching the Network in the coming weeks and cementing our position as the Home of WWE in the region.” “OSN is the leader in pay television in the Middle East and North Africa, and we are excited to expand our partnership and further our reach within the region by adding WWE Network as a premium, linear channel,” said Gerrit Meier, WWE Executive Vice President, International. “WWE is committed to growing our brand globally and this agreement illustrates the flexibility we have in rolling out WWE Network around the world, offering our fans an extraordinary experience.” WWE Network is available in more than 170 countries and territories and recently surpassed 1 million subscribers just 11 months after launch, making it the fastest-growing digital subscription service. WWE Network’s one-of-akind programming includes all 12 WWE pay-perview events LIVE at no additional charge plus groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and nearly 3,000 hours of video-on-demand content. WWE Superstar John Cena with OSN CEO David Butorac. Two female co-workers brightened our office Friday by handing out chocolates to everyone else: a handful of Hershey kisses from one, a minibag of M&Ms from the other. Women get their just “desserts” one month later. Marketers have created “White Day” on March 14, when men are supposed to reciprocate with gifts for women. — AP Japan killjoys protest Valentine’s ‘love capitalists’ SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015 39 Revelers of the Nene de Vila Matilde samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Anhembi Sambadrome in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Friday. — AFP Party time! Carnival opens in Rio C Revelers of the Nene de Vila Matilde samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Anhembi Sambadrome in Sao Paulo. — AFP Revelers of the Rosas de Ouro samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade. asting aside its economic woes, corruption scandals and recent humiliation on the football pitch, Brazil opened five days of non-stop partying Friday as Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival officially opened. “King Momo,” the portly partier who presides over Carnival, gave the official green light for the lavish festivities to begin, after arriving in a limousine flanked by the carnival queen and two princesses. “For the second straight year I receive the key to the city and declare Rio carnival open,” said this year’s “Momo,” 28year-old Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, before busting some samba moves as revellers showered him with confetti. Although his princesses were resplendent in long sequinned dresses-albeit one of them largely transparent-carnival is a chance for both sexes to bare maximum flesh in an outbreak of rampant and unashamed hedonism. Momo himself urged revelers to “enjoy yourselves-but be responsible.” In a nod to the latter plea Brazilian authorities said they were distributing more than 100 million condoms to push a safe sex message. Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes joked that he was happy to relinquish symbolic control of the sprawling city and its “traffic snarl-ups” to Momo for a few days, noting: “I’ll be back at work from Ash Wednesday.” A dozen samba schools, each with thousands of performers, compete Sunday and Monday in the Special Parade, which will draw around 70,000 spectators to the city’s fabled Sambadrome. The non-elite schools were having their taste of the limelight Friday night. Tennis champion Rafael Nadal will be only one of a clutch of celebrities attending-he plans to join a weekend sambadrome parade before looking to defend his Rio ATP title next week. For three weeks already, Rio and other major Brazilian cities have been awash with hundreds of pre-carnival colorful street parades, known as blocos, each seeking to out-do one another in volume and visual outrageousness, with garish garb and cross-dressing de rigueur. The countless street groups, whose traditions date back to the early 18th century, will be led by the Cordao da Bola Preta, Rio’s oldest group, founded in 1918, which will gather an estimated 1.8 million people. Tourist throng Around a million tourists-most of them Brazilian-will descend on Rio, cramming the city for the dizzying and decibel-defying spectacle. City hall officials hope visitors will spend around $500 million during the event. Hotels in Rio will be at 78 percent capacity during Carnival week, according to the Brazilian Association of Rio Hotels. The five-day party will unfold under tight security — 15,000 military police will be on hand, 6,000 more than last year. Rio’s main thoroughfares will be closed to traffic from Friday night. Near the Sambadrome, 65 surveillance cameras have been set up to monitor activity in the crowded stands. The samba teams, led by reigning champions Unidos da Tijuca, have spent months putting the finishing touches to giant colorful floats and glittering costumes with bold headdresses-and not much fabric. This year, the festivities will extend beyond Carnival’s official end owing to Rio’s 450th birthday on March 1. The city is also looking forward to next year’s Summer Olympic Games, the first ever for South America. Partygoers will be looking to forget the current context of economic malaise and a massive corruption scandal at stateowned oil giant Petrobras. Two Japanese visitors to Friday’s festivities as the noise level steadily rose said they were fulfilling a lifetime ambition to see the event unfold with their own eyes. “It’s completely crazy-but very exciting. I can’t believe I am actually here,” said Shota Oniki, a 22-year-old language student. “We’ve been playing samba drums at our university, the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, for the past four years. They have a Brazilian music club,” Oniki explained to AFP. “It’s just so huge when you’re used to the samba carnivals they have in Tokyo,” he added, wide-eyed at the growing crowds. — AFP Revelers of the Mancha Verde samba school. Revelers of the Rosas de Ouro samba school perform.