Exemptions possible on GCC VAT

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1 basketball Page 41 THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY IN FREE KUWAIT Established in 1977 / MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017 / JUMADA AL THANI 15, 1438 AH emergency number 112 NO PAGES 150 FILS MINISTRY TO ENSURE TAX NOT EXPLOITED FOR PRICING Exemptions possible on GCC VAT Zain towers sale near Ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye waves to her supporters from her vehicle upon her arrival at her private home in Seoul, South Korea on March 12. (AP) Opinion Return Syrians to their country By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times AFTER six years of war in Syria, negotiations continue to wobble while killings and destruction are worsening. The first meeting concerning the Syrian crisis was held in Geneva, which was followed by the second, third and fourth. However, none of these meetings managed to reach any tangible agreement. Eventually, the negotiations were relocated to Astana, where the first and the second meetings failed to produce any significant results. The third Astana meeting is soon to be cancelled. The Syrians outside their country have no idea what this new Astana meeting could bring to them, especially since major countries are gathering their soldiers on the Syrian land. It is like hundreds of militias and factions from almost every corner of the world were not sufficient for achieving the objective. Hence, Iran, Russia, USA, Poland and Turkey came with full representation to aggravate the ongoing misery of displacement, killings and destruction. Amid all of that, no one paid any concern to the Syrian immigrants who are widely spread in various parts of the world, sleeping on grounds and looking at the skies, while at the same time, they are being harassed by European border security forces. Then there are those in Lebanon and Jordan where they are living in tents that are totally unsuitable for living in. The number of Syrian refugees has reached 12 million. They have started raising their voices in demand for their return to their homes, which have been reduced to rubbles, or to tents that are on their land. This was the response received during an opinion poll conducted by Al-Arabia satellite TV channel. The response of 56 percent of the Syrian refugees was that they wanted to return home. This in itself is an honest answer representing millions of displaced Syrians who are stuck between the dungeons of negotiations that are sponsored by countries in accordance to their interests and not the interests of the Syrian people. Continued on Page 37 Follow me on: Newswatch KUWAIT CITY, March 12, (RTRS): Kuwaiti telecommunications group Zain has reached the final stages of selling its mobile transmitter towers in the country, the company s vice chairman Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi said on Sunday. The company is awaiting approval from the telecommunications regulator, Al-Kharafi said at a shareholder meeting. He did not give details of the planned sale. Sources told Reuters in See Page 15 Continued on Page 37 TEHRAN: Iran s semi-official Fars news agency is reporting that the country has unveiled a domestically manufactured tank and has launched a mass-production line. The Sunday report quotes Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan as saying: The tank has the capability to fire missiles and precisely guide them. Fars says the tank named Karrar is equipped with an electrooptical fire control system and laser range-finder and is capable of firing at both stable and mobile targets day or night. Dehghan also says the tank can compete with the most advanced tanks in the world in the three main areas of power, precision and mobility. Iran has been producing its own weapons and military equipment, including missiles, fighter jets and submarines, for more than two decades. (AP) DUBAI: A wanted person has been fatally wounded during an operation by Saudi security forces in eastern Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry said on Sunday, in the second incident of its kind since Friday. Residents said that a 16-year-old youth died in the raid on Saturday morning targeting wanted people in Awamiya, a restive town in the Qatif district, where many of the country s Shi ite Muslim minority live. The interior ministry said security forces came under fire while pursuing wanted men who had been hiding in houses vacated by inhabitants to pave the way for a development project intended to revamp the area. (RTRS) DUBAI: A former White House spokesman during the Obama administration said Sunday he believes more will come to light regarding ties between Russia and aides to President Donald Trump. Josh Earnest pointed in part to political consultant Roger Stone s communication with an individual involved in hacking Democratic National Committee s. And when asked about Trump s claim, made without evidence on Twitter, that Obama ordered a wiretap on him, Earnest simply said: The bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet. Continued on Page 37 By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said his ministry will study the possibility of exempting some sectors from valued added tax (VAT) because of their importance, when setting up the local tax Vote on retirement delayed law. In reply to a query from MP Safa Al-Hashem, Al-Saleh said the GCC will adopt a common list of goods and services that will be exempted from the tax and that will include a large number of food commodities and basic necessities. He explained the tax will be imposed on all institutions and individuals engaged in business activities and whose total turnout is more than KD 30,000 sales annually (unless exempted by legal text). He explained the tax will be imposed on all goods and services except what is excluded by law as noted above and that a study will be prepared by the Ministry to determine which sectors are exempted and which are not. On the ministry s procedures and coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to exercise control on goods in case of taxation to reduce the cost of living, Al-Saleh stressed his ministry will take necessary action in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry before the implementation of VAT in order to develop a mechanism to ensure this tax is not exploited to hike the prices of commodities unreasonably. He said there is no official data distributed on the basis of income categories with comprehensive statistics system in Kuwait because of the absence of direct taxation on income and lack of tax approvals. However, what s available is data on household income and expenditure based on samples that have been collected. He added these statistics are published by the Central Administration for Statistics, which are derived from the results of field surveys of family income and expenditure. The last time the data was collected was in 2013 through a field survey which was the sixth of its kind. The 2013 survey included 4,000 Kuwaiti and non-kuwaiti families. Meanwhile, the parliamentary Finance Committee has postponed voting on proposals to reduce the retirement age, and amend the law on establishing Kuwaiti companies for implementing and building electric power and water desalination stations. The committee s Rapporteur, Safa Al-Hashem told reporters at the National Assembly that the Ministry of Electricity has informed the committee about the Al-Zour power plant which began commercial operation on Nov 16, 2016 and that the Public-Private Partnership Authority has pointed to unclear articles regarding citizens contribution. She said the committee demanded to discuss all the articles especially those related to citizens subscription of 50% of the shares, and to extend the deadline for the citizens for his inaction in shares to 20 years instead of 10. She noted the extension would give chance for benefit from revenues and profits for long period and shun attempts at manipulation by the investor. She indicated the committee has postponed voting on the proposals citing further study. Hashem expressed fears of the proposals to reduce the retirement age which included several different categories. Continued on Page 37 This aerial view shows the Chicago River dyed green Saturday morning on March 11, in honor of St Patrick s Day. (AP) Third of west Mosul recaptured MOSUL, Iraq, March 12, (RTRS): Iraqi forces have retaken around 30 percent of west Mosul from Islamic State militants, a commander of the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) said on Sunday, as soldiers pushed further into the jihadists territory. Federal police and Rapid Response units said they had entered the Bab al-tob area of the Old City, where the fight is expected to be toughest due to narrow alleyways through which armoured vehicles cannot pass. The militants are vastly outnumbered and outgunned by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition and are defending their last major stronghold in Iraq using suicide car bombs, snipers and mortars. As many as 600,000 civilians are trapped with the militants inside the city which Iraqi forces have effectively sealed off from the remaining territory that Islamic State controls in Syria and Iraq. CTS troops stormed the al-jadida and al-aghawat districts on Sunday, Major General Maan al-saadi told reporters in Mosul, saying the militants were showing signs of weakness despite initial fierce resistance. The enemy has lost its fighting power and its resolve has weakened. It has begun to lose command and control, he said, adding that around 17 out of 40 western districts had been retaken. Saadi said he expected it would take less time to recapture the western half of the city than the east, which was cleared in January after 100 days of fighting. More than 200,000 Mosul residents have been displaced since the start of the campaign in October, of which more than 65,000 fled their homes in the past two weeks alone, according to the International Organisation for Migration. In the Mansour district, from which Islamic State was driven several days ago, residents collected aid brought by volunteers from east Mosul while helicopters circled overhead, firing heavy machine guns and missiles at targets in the city. It is three weeks since Iraqi forces launched a campaign to recapture districts west of the Tigris River that bisects Mosul. A federal police spokesman said his forces along with the Rapid Response division, an elite Interior Ministry unit, were now around 300 metres (yards) from the Old Bridge one of five that connected west Mosul to east. The southernmost two are already controlled by Iraqi forces. Losing Mosul would be a major blow to Islamic State. It is Continued on Page 37 US$/KD /55 Euro/KD Yen/KD British /KD KSE pts at closing Mar 12 See Page 35 Dow pts at closing Mar 10 Nasdaq pts at closing Mar 10 FTSE pts at closing Mar 10 Nikkei pts at closing Mar 10 Gold $1, per oz (London) NYMEX crude $48.38 pb Brent crude $51.31 pb 3-month $ LIBOR rate %

2 LOCAL 2 From left: HH the Crown Prince with Speaker Al-Ghanim, HH the Prime Minister and FM Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled. From left: HH the Crown Prince with Defense Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled, Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah and Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah. His Highness the Crown Prince receives top officials His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met at Bayan Palace on Sunday National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim. His Highness the Crown Prince also received His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. His Highness also met separately with First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah. Moreover, His Highness the Crown Prince received Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Al- Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh. (KUNA) Inhumane suggestions put dent on image of Kuwaitis Blame govt for increase in expat numbers: Dr Khaja KUWAIT CITY, March 12: A number of Kuwaiti doctors expressed rejection over the parliamentary proposal to force expatriates to buy medicines from state pharmacies, reports Al-Rai daily. Vice-President of Kuwait Teachers Society and Psychiatric Consultant in the Faculty of Medicine at Kuwait University Dr Sulaiman Al- Khodari said Kuwait is limited by the international agreements concerning the human rights that it signed, insisting that differentiating citizens and expatriates over health and educational services is unaccepted. He said the private sector employers must be obligated to pay for the health insurance of their expatriate employees. KU team members that participated in the summit in Bahrain. KU takes part in 4th GPCA Research & Innovation summit Fourth GPCA Research and Innovation Summit on Managing Technology for Growth and Profi t- ability at the GCC level took place in the Kingdom of Bahrain from March 8-9. Several reputable international companies and research institutions participated in the event alongside Kuwait University repre- 600 employees to benefit Oil set to disburse excellent performance bonus of fi scal 16/17 to Kuwaiti employees KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Ministry of Oil will disburse excellent performance bonuses of the fiscal year 2016/2017 to Kuwaiti employees of the ministry at the end of this month, reports Al-Anba daily quoting reliable sources. They said the leaders of the ministry will receive excellent performance bonus of up to KD 1,500, managers KD 1,200, supervisors KD 1,000, heads of departments KD 750, employees of grades five to eight KD 450 and assistant technical and administrative employees KD 300. The sources revealed that bonuses will be disbursed to more than 600 employees of Ministry of Oil based on their annual performance appraisal results by April or May. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti government has agreed to pump millions of dollars to build an oil pipeline from the south to north Pakistan to enhance transportation of oil and its derivatives from Karachi Port to Punjab City- the main consumer, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily said Pakistani officials in a recent tour of Kuwait called on Kuwaiti officials to construct a refinery and lay down oil pipelines in Balochistan. The request was met by a prompt response from the Kuwaiti side with a high profile delegation visiting Pakistan to discuss the dual projects. Kuwait is regarded a major oil Dr Al-Khodari said it is unreasonable for a patient to receive treatment at a hospital after paying the fees and then asking him to pay for his medicines also. He wondered why expatriates are asked to pay the medical fees, bear the health insurance cost and then pay again for medicines. Dr Al-Khodari criticized the way the blame for the demographic problem is being placed on the weakest ring of the chain, which is the expatriates, in order to gain some publicity. Meanwhile, Dr Fatima Khaja said, The insistence of MP Saafa Al-Hashim to increase the financial burden of expatriates is very strange. She said Al-Hashim s view for solving the economic problems of the country is limited to increasing the burden of expatriates, regardless of the humanitarian values, stressing that Al-Hashim has been calling for forcing expatriates to pay for medicines even though many medicines are currently not provided for expatriates. Dr Khaja said, If the problem is with the increasing number of expatriates, then it is the government s fault as it did not implement a strict method for bringing expatriates to Kuwait based on real needs without the involvement of beneficiaries. In this regard, Dr Fawaz Farhan also rejected the parliamentary suggestion, insisted that a large sector of expatriates cannot bear the cost of medical services. Obligates He stressed the need for a law that obligates employers to bear their employees health insurance costs in order to avoid the dangerous consequences of the spread of chronic diseases among a large number of expatriates which will reflect on the entire society. Dr Farhan said the solution lies in increasing the capacity of hospitals, stressing that any type of racist solution will be rejected. Also, Dr Adel Redha said such a suggestion from the parliament takes the problem to a wrong place that is far from serious solutions. He indicated the fact that expatriates are legal residents in Kuwait and the country is in need of them, adding that the solution lies in the implementation of the international quality sented by Vice President for Planning Dr Adel Al-Husseinan, Deputy criteria. Director of Construction Program Meanwhile, Diabetes Consultant Dr Anwar Al-Ibrahim and academic and Endocrinologist at Mubarak Alstaff of the College of Science. Kabeer Hospital Dr Anwar Hayati stressed that the parliamentary suggestion has to be fictional and cannot be enforced, affirming that it will be rejected over humanitarian and professional reasons. Dr Hayati urged the MPs to stop giving such inhumane suggestions that defame the reputation of Kuwaiti people. Also, Dr Mohammad Al-Sanafi stressed that the suggestion is rejected because it creates disputes exporter to Pakistan, and it s currently making use of oil pipelines He revealed that doctors are between expatriates and citizens. owned by Arab-Pakistani Oil touched by the suffering of some expatriates when they are obligated to Pipelines Company Limited. The pipelines currently carry diesel pay high fees for certain medical services, adding that he wonders what to the central regions of Pakistan where almost 60 percent of the oil the situation will be when expatriates are also asked to pay for their medicines. is consumed. There have been cases of stolen Al-Sanafi insisted the need for Kuwait to remain as the land of toler- oil tanker valued at around $200 million, which usually occur ance, charity and humanity. while the oil is being transported In addition, Dr Hamad Al-Ansari in tankers. The drivers are suspected to be neck deep involved be guaranteed for all both citizens said medical services are supposed to in the criminal acts, and constructing the pipelines will save He stressed that blaming expatri- and expatriates. ates for the demographic problem in Kuwait millions of dollar. the country is a racist behavior that The daily said there will not be is unacceptable, adding that solutions must take into consideration any need for using tankers, indicating it will be directly done the political, social and humanitarian through pipelines. values. KUNA photos HH the Crown Prince with Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Al-Sabeeh. Kuwait Today Prayer Timings Fajr... 04:42 Sunrise... 06:01 Zohr... 11:58 Asr...15:22 Maghrib... 17:55 Isha... 19:11 Weather Expected weather for the next 24 hours: By Night: Clouds will increase gradually with light to moderate freshening gradually south easterly wind, with speed of km/h with a chance for scattered rain later on. By Day: Hazy with light to moderate freshening gradually at times south easterly wind, with speed of km/h. Station Max Min Exp Rec Kuwait City Kuwait Airport Abdaly Bubyan Jahra Failaka Island Salmiyah Ahmadi Nuwaisib Wafra Salmy days forecast - Weather Monday, March 13 Expected weather...unstable Max Temp... 30C Min Temp... 20C Wind Direction... SE-NW Wind Speed km/h Tuesday, March 14 Expected weather...sunny Max Temp... 26C Min Temp... 18C Wind Direction... NW-VRB Wind Speed km/h Wednesday, March 15 Expected weather...sunny + scattered clouds Max Temp... 27C Min Temp... 17C Wind Direction...VRB-SE Wind Speed km/h Thursday, March 16 Expected weather... Sunny + chance for dust Max Temp... 27C Min Temp... 17C Wind Direction... SE Wind Speed km/h Marine Forecast Station Max Min Sea Today s Rec Exp Surf Waves Ht Dirn South Dolphin ft SE Umm Mudayrah ft SE Beacon M ft SE Beacon N ft SE Qaruh Island ft SE Umm Al-Maradim ft SE Sea Island Buo Salmiyah ft SE 4 days forecast - Marine Monday, March 13 Expected weather...unstable Sea state...moderate to rough Wave height ft Max Temp... 30C Min Temp... 20C Wind Direction... SE-NW Wind Speed km/h Tuesday, March 14 Expected weather...sunny Sea state...slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp... 26C Min Temp... 18C Wind Direction... NW-VRB Wind Speed km/h Wednesday, March 15 Expected weather...sunny + scattered clouds Sea state...slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp... 27C Min Temp... 17C Wind Direction...VRB-SE Wind Speed km/h Thursday, March 16 Expected weather... Sunny + chance for dust Sea state...slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp... 27C Min Temp... 17C Wind Direction... SE Wind Speed km/h Tide times at Shuwaikh Port 1st high tide:... 12:36 2nd high tide:... 00:04 1st low tide:... 06:25 2nd low tide:... 18:21 Sunrise:... 06:02 Sunset:... 17:54 Recorded yesterday at Kuwait Airport Max temp... 27C Min temp... 20C Max Rh...65% Min Rh...22% Max Wind... SE 64 km/h Total Rainfall in 24 hrs... 0 mm Recorded yesterday at South Dolphin Min/Max/ Air Temp... 18/25C Min/Max Rel Hum...42/87% Wind Direction/Wind Speed...S/63 km/h Prev Wave Dir/Max Wave Ht... N/1 ft Min/Max Sea Surface Temp... -/- C Sea Current... Upwelling Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Dept. deaths Hamad Abdullah Mohammad Al Mutai, 22 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: (Men) Salam, Block 6, Street 610, House 3, Tel: (Women) Hiteen, Block 3, Street 310, House 33, Tel: ; Saud Mohammad Al Jammi Al Azemi, 50 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: (Men) Mishref, Block 3, Street 1, House 27, Tel: (Women) Abdullah Al Mubarak, Block 5, Street 514, House 8, Tel: ; Abdullah Deyai Farhan Al Musaaei, 21 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: Shamiya, Block 4, Street 45, House 3, Tel: ; Badriya Yousef Abdullah Al Qatan, 82 years old, widow of Yousef Sulaiman Al Hadad, buried on Sunday. Condolences: (Men) Adailiya, Block 1, Street 11, House 5, Tel: (Women) Surra, Block 4, Street 17, House 34, Opp Pedestrian Lane, Tel: ; Falak Said Al Mahairi, 68 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: (Men) Salwa, Block 11, Street 1, House 20, Tel: (Women) Jabriya, Block 10, Street 112, House 31, Tel: ; Nussra Musa Haji Al Ghaiss, 92 years old, widow of Hamad Saleh Abdul Rahman Al Banai, buried on Sunday. Condolences: (Men) at the cemetery only, Tel: (Women) Sabah Al Salem, Block 5, Street 1, Avenue 10, House 14; Zahra Mohammad Al Matroud, 98 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: (Men) Da iya, Huseiniyat Boualyan, Tel: (Women) Bnied Al Gar, Huseiniyat Ashour, Tel: ; Nasser Saleh Nasser Al Sadra, 75 years old, to be buried on Monday after Asr prayers. Condolences: (Men) Qortuba, Block 3, Street 5, Avenue 2, House 25, Tel: (Women) Salmiya, Block 12, Abu Horaira Street, Avenue 3, House 8, Tel: ; Abdullah Bajad Khwaitem Al Dehani, 76 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: Sabah Al Salem, Block 9, Street 1, Avenue 3, House 151, Opp Industrial Institute, Tel: ; Kayed Manei Husein Al Enzi, 92 years old, buried on Sunday. Condolences: Dahiyat Abdullah Al Mubarak, Block 9, Street 14, House 40, Opp 7th Ring Road, Tel: ; Mohammad Abdullah Fahad Al Ajmi, 43 years old, to be buried on Monday after Asr prayers. Condolences: Ferdous, Block 7, Street 1, Avenue 8, House 37, Tel: March 12, 2017

3 LOCAL 3 legal clinic PRO BONO LEGAL ADVICE I am working as a nurse under a private contract with a monthly salary of KD 300 and at present staying in company accommodation. My wife is in Kuwait under her father s residence. Is it possible for me to transfer her residency to mine? Will I get family residence since my salary is below KD 450? What is the procedure to be followed for the residence transfer of my wife? Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Name withheld Answer: We answered a similar question like this two weeks ago but for the purpose of emphasis we will oblige you with another answer as you pointed out, your salary is below the KD 450 cap. This means that you are not qualified to transfer your wife s residence to your sponsorship. In addition we must point out that Kuwait law prevents a father from continuing to sponsor a daughter who contracts marriage. Visa for Pakistanis I am a Kuwait born Pakistani citizen and my father served Kuwait Air Force for more than 25 years. We came to Pakistan in 1999 due to higher education of me and my siblings. Meanwhile, Kuwait imposed visa ban for Pakistanis. Now I m an engineering graduate and have been working in IT industry for more then three years. I want to visit Kuwait so I may get a chance to work there. Is there any way that I can get a visa for the aforementioned reason? Your prompt response is awaited and will be highly appreciated. Name withheld Answer: The fact that you were born in Kuwait and the fact that your father served in the Kuwait Air Force for more than 25 years mean little or nothing with regard to a Pakistani citizen seeking any form of visa to Kuwait. The refrain, as we keep pointing out has been that the government says there is no ban but some restrictions on the issuance of visas to Pakistanis. Under these restrictions visa applicants must go through the security authorities for security clearance. Though, not entirely ruled out, it is very rare for Pakistanis to get this clearance. In short, we will not be off the mark to hazzard that you will not be able to get a visa to Kuwait. Please advise whether the below news is genuine or not. General Department for Residency Affairs has issued a decision to prohibit residency transfer from Article No. 22 (family visa) to Article No 18 (private sector work visa) for expatriate women. The decision also stipulates cancellation of residency of expatriate women in case of divorce, after which they should exit the country. Name withheld Answer: A clarification was made two days after the said news item was published both in the English and Arabic newspapers. The clarification had it that there was no fundamental change in the transfer of Article 22 to Article 18 for expatriate women. However, the clarification added that in the case of a divorce the woman could not transfer her 22 to 18 but would have her residence cancelled and return to home country. Dependent visa I have been working here since December My basic salary is KD 400. I am working here on a Civil Foreman Visa. Now I want to bring my wife and children on dependent visa. Is it possible for me to bring them? Name withheld Answer: No, you cannot bring your wife and kids on dependent visas since you are earning a salary below the KD 450 salary cap under the current sponsorship regulations. Project visa transfer I am writing for the purpose of getting a clear understanding and guide from you very end. I was hired abroad under a government project visa. I have been working for almost 3 years now here in Kuwait. My company notified me that my contract project is already finished. Now, they asked me to transfer to another government visa project and pay all the fees needed amounting to KD 360. I want to ask if it is possible for me to transfer to my husband s visa as dependent. His salary is only KD 350. If it is possible, how much fees needed for me to be able to process the transfer? Hoping for a favorable response from you. Name withheld Answer: Under the current and other decisions, it is permissible to transfer only to another government project of the same sponsor, or another government project of a different sponsor if the current project is done with, or to the general file of the current sponsor. Under these decisions therefore you cannot transfer to your husband s sponsorship. Even if room was made for you to transfer to your husband s sponsorship, it would still not be possible since your husband s salary is below the KD 450 salary cap. If you therefore want to keep the job it would be safer for you to pay the KD 360 for transfer to another government project. It will not however be out of place to demand to know the breakdown of the amount quoted for the transfer to be made. For your information there is a KD 300 fee for transfer from one government project, on its completion, to another government with a different sponsor. However, to transfer to another government project of the same sponsor the fee is KD 200. There is another possibility which you can take advantage of. Under this arrangement you pay KD 350 to transfer your permit to the main file of the same sponsor. For the avoidance of doubt you should check from your sponsor to know under which of the above scenarios your transfer will take place that is if you make up your mind on the offer made. Indemnity I had an inquiry regarding indemnity calculation but unfortunately I did not receive a reply for my previous mail. My question was as follows: I have been working with my company since Dec 10, 2012 and I placed my resignation in Dec 2016 and the company accepted and gave me a notice period till 12th March, My salary now is KD 390, and I have almost 35 days annual leave left as of February I have decided to stay till the last date of my notice period 12th March, Kindly advise as to how much indemnity I will receive. Awaiting your reply and thanks in advance. Name withheld Answer: Your indemnity will be calculated as follows: By the end of the 3-month notice period you should have put in a total of 4.25 years. Your indemnity calculation will therefore be as follows: You get 15 days pay for each of the 4.25 years which is equal to 63:75. You then divide this 63:75 by 26 (working days in a month) which is equal to 2.45 months pay. You multiply 2.45 by your monthly salary of KD 390. This will give you KD but since you are resigning without putting in 5 years or more you are entitled to only half of this amount which is equal to KD For the balance of leave which is 35 days you have to divide this by 26 (working days in a month). This will give you 1.34 months pay which is multiplied by your salary of KD 390 = KD Your total settlement will therefore be KD x KD = KD 1, Visa for Pakistanis I would like to ask about the news on lifting ban on issuing Kuwaiti visas to Pakistanis, as announced recently during the meeting of Pakistani prime minister and Kuwaiti officials. Moreover, I would like to know when it will be official? As I am curious about its implementation. Because, I want to apply for family visa for my wife, my job designation is Sales Manager, and my monthly salary is KD 650. Name withheld Answer: This news item was premised on the recent official visit to Kuwait by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Even if there is some truth in it nothing official has been announced. For now, the news on lifting the ban or what the Kuwait government describes as restrictions is nothing but a rumour and should be considered as such. Even though you are more than qualified to apply for a family visa, your chances of having the application approved is near to zilch if you make a try at it. For now it will be better to wait and pray that a favourable decision is taken in favour of all qualified Pakistanis. The Arab Times invites questions on all aspects of Kuwaiti law. If you face a problem, or need specific advice on any legal matter, from commercial and investment law to divorce and labour, send questions to the Managing Editor, Arab Times, P.O. Box 2270, Safat, Kuwait, or Fax to From left: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim. KUNA photos From left: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah and FM Sheikh Sabah Khaled Hamad Al-Sabah. His Highness the Amir receives senior officials His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received on Sunday at Bayan Palace His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. His Highness the Amir also received National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim. His Highness the Amir received His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Hamad Al-Sabah. The Amir also received First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Hamad Al-Sabah. (KUNA) Middle East witnessing daunting future full of challenges: official KUWAIT CITY, March 12, (KUNA): Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah said Sunday that the Middle East region is witnessing a daunting future full of challenges, calling on the international community to exert more efforts to confront it. In a lecture at the Australian National University (ANU), Sheikh Dr Mohammad said when it comes to understanding populism s impact on national security, it is important to both look at the height of international relations but also the plains-of convulsions in people s lives. The lecture under the title Regional security in unstable world, a GCC vision highlighted various areas in the region. Speeches are often difficult to get right. At best they are funny, uplifting, or thoughtful. Since this is a conversation about recent developments in the Middle East, it is hard to promise anything but the last. There was nothing funny or uplifting about the political convulsions, that gripped the world last year and that continue to roil our region. Today we share a feeling of sadness and mutual condolences, as we see innocent civilian victims, falling in Berlin, in Amman, in Aleppo, and just a few days ago, in Istanbul. Killed To be sure, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the Middle East, while millions of refugees now roam the world. Terrorism has reached its pinnacle, and metastasized into the so-called (IS) Da esh. Key states in the region are now fighting for their very existence. Old global powers, United States, United Kingdom, and France that have shaped the 20th century Middle East, are nowhere to be seen. The new actors, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are now the ones calling the shots. In fact, one consequence of the political dynamics in the Middle East today is the surge in nationalist, sectarian, and populist rhetoric in key states across the world. The surprise of Brexit and Trump, an escalation of the Syrian refugee crisis, and the resurgence of the far-right in Europe-all herald a crisis of the established order in the West. This year, elections will be held in four of the six founding members of the European Union, and populist forces are on the march in each one. Everything is at stake. Peace and prosperity, knotted together by trade and financial globalization, underpinned by a security alliance led by the United States, could all unravel. Ladies and gentlemen, we are truly in dangerous times. Harvard professor Graham Allison warned us about Thucydides Trap. A condition by which a rising power (Russia) rivals and challenges a ruling power (United States), resulting in a catastrophic Former FM Sheikh Dr Mohammad delivers lecture at ANU Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah delivers the lecture at Australian National University. GCD to allow import of fresh or frozen shrimps war and mayhem. This can t be more evident than in Europe and the Middle East. In addition to that, the rise of populist movements, which is not simply a European or North American phenomenon, will have profound effects on the very foundation of global peace, that was built after the 2nd World War. What are the Security Implications of these developments, Sheikh Dr Mohammad asked. He added first, it will likely mean that the politics of the United States and Europe will turn inward and tend towards isolationism. Sheikh Dr Mohammad said that is because populism emerges out of a reaction to failed foreign engagements, and is often xenophobic in nature. In poll after poll, most Americans say that it would be better if the United States simply dealt with its own problems, and let other countries deal with theirs. To be sure, the consequence of American ambivalence towards globalism means they are potentially less reliable partners in a crisis. Following 8 years of weakened American engagement in the our region, which many feel has created a disconcerting vacuum, it looks like we have to wait a little bit longer, until the contours of president Trump s approach to our region, becomes clearer. Second, it is clear that populists will push for beggar thy neighbor kind of policies, that aim for national selfinterests and threaten to undermine historic treaties. The Bretton Woods Agreement-the foundation for a free and fair international monetary systemis in peril due to populist forces bucking against globalization and a discontent about migration. This populist movement is inherently anti-free trade, and will add to an already uncertain and nervous global market. We have learnt all too well that aggressive non-market policies in support of populist forces will always fail; populist economic policies simply don t work. What are the Implications on GCC Security? Turning to our region, we in the GCC feel directly the reverberations of these alarming trends. It has manifested itself in several ways across the region, from the failed states in Yemen and Libya to the ongoing crisis in Syria. Crisis The international community can no longer merely manage crisis in the Middle East. Our focus must shift to resolution. Failure to take early action may inarguably lead to disastrous consequences, and will impose a heavy economic and humanitarian toll. Such inaction insures that crises will inevitably produce their own set of sub crises. The Palestinian Israeli conflict vividly demonstrates what happens when we fail to make the difficult choices. For over 60 years Palestinian issue has been a source of regional instability extremism and numerous wars, to be sure- it has tested the regional and international order. Even though the political solution is within reach, there is still a lack of political will to take the necessary steps required. In Yemen and Libya, despite all the difficulties there are positive mechanisms in place and roadmaps for a political solution. we must work col- KUNA photo Decision issued to ban shrimp fishing until Sept 1 KUWAIT CITY, March 12: General Customs Department (GCD) has issued instructions to ban shrimp fishing in the Kuwaiti territorial waters until Sept 1, 2017, reports Al-Shahed daily. Based on these instructions, the department will allow import of fresh or frozen shrimps via air and land ports with the permission of Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) and in accordance with the applicable conditions and regulations. The department stressed the need for all fishing ships and boats to abide by these instructions and obtain necessary permit from PAAAFR. lectively to realize these solutions. The GCC is actively working to support these processes. In Yemen, the GCC roadmap provides a realistic path out of the current crisis. The international community now needs to use all of its available leverage to ensure that all Yemeni actors accept and implement this road map. We understand the path ahead is not an easy one but surely it is preferable to continued confrontation. In Libya the way out of the current chaos is through the Libyan political agreement signed in Sakhairat. What is needed are greater efforts to facilitate the dialogue between the Libyan parties to overcome outstanding issues and insure the full and fair implementation of the agreement. In Syria the region and the world cannot afford to walk away from their responsibilities. We must double our efforts and find a constructive solution to the conflict. Unfortunately, prospects are not encouraging and the Syrian crisis continues to tear apart the Syrian people and their society. The geopolitics of the crisis and the regime s believe that it can secure a military victory, are obstructing the constructive and serious political engagement required, to embark on the road towards resolving the crisis. Interlinked with our effort to ending conflicts in the region is the GCC s absolute commitment to combat and overcome extremism and terrorism. The link between extremist ideology and terrorist acts is a clear one. We cannot face off with one without considering the other. Furthermore, we believe that confronting extremism and terrorism is a long drawn out and extend challenge.

4 LOCAL 4 Group photo from the event Grand Cinemas welcomes celebrities, media and platinum guests Kuwait hosts COMICON for the first time By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 12: For the very first time in Kuwait, the biggest Pop-Culture event in the world COMICON has finally taken place, making Kuwait the third GCC country to host such a prestigious and yearly anticipated convention following Saudi Arabia who hosted it just last month, and of course Dubai. Inaugurated by the Japanese Ambassador to Kuwait. Takashit Ashiki, the convention stretched throughout the whole weekend at the Kuwait International Fair Grounds, which was made possible by YHK, an event and expos organizing company in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy. COMICON Kuwait 2017 witnessed flocks of video game and anime fans swarming in as gates opened on the first day, hoping they do not miss any of the special guests that COMICON has brought for them. Special guests included the voice actors Jonny Cruz and Gaku Space who played Lucio and Genji, characters in the game that steamrolled the industry and was given the Game of the Year award Overwatch. History Another unsuspected guest was Anthony Daniels, the actor who brought life to the world renowned humanoid robot C-3PO in the original Star Wars films. Furthermore, comic book fans were not forgotten as comic book artists and writers who have contributed to the rich history of both the Marvel and DC universes were present, such as Jae Lee, June Chung, Marv Wolfman and Josef Rubinstein. Considering this industry is not exclusive to the English or Japanese language and a lot of old Anime s were translated to Arabic in both speech and soundtracks, COMICON Kuwait also hosted Tareq Al-Arabi Tourqan, the composer of the soundtracks for Captain Tsubasa also known in Arabic as Captain Majed and Detective Conan, alongside the creator of Captain Tsubasa himself Yoichi Takahashi. Bringing an event such as COMICON to Kuwait, by itself promises to be a herculean job, but this does not prevent the more critical of fans to voice their disappointment, for it should compete with what COMICON has done in other countries around the world and specifically COMICON Dubai. Although the majority of those who attended the event were overjoyed and could not stop expressing their excitement for COMICON Kuwait 2018, there are some who were a little bit disappointed when it came to the guests who starred at the event. Moreover, since the Grand Cinemas were one of COMICON Kuwait s sponsors, it received the celebrities, media and platinum guests for a friendly mixer and lunch at one of its lounges in Al-Hamra Tower Saturday afternoon just before the gates opened for the last day of COMICON Kuwait. Photos from the event Photos by Bassam Abu Shanab

5 LOCAL 5 Faculty of Public Health at KU organizes second annual seminar Faculty of Public Health at Kuwait University organized its second annual seminar on Diseases and injuries in Kuwait can we avoid them? The event was held under the sponsorship and attendance of KU President Professor Hussain Al-Ansari, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Above: Some photos from the seminar. KUNA photos Health in the Ministry of Education Dr Majeda Al-Qattan, Vice President for Medical Affairs Professor Adel Al-Awadhi, deans of the colleges and faculty staff. Professor Al-Ansari was proud hosting the important scientific event, especially at a time when the university is celebrating its golden jubilee. He added the college was established in response to challenges facing health and safety in the country. Kuwait calls for closer Gulf co-op in humanitarian field Int l child novels contest with motivating rewards launched Al-Jarallah receives credentials of newly-appointed ambassador of Cameroon. KUNA photos Al-Jarallah receives credentials of newly-appointed ambassador of Norway. Deputy FM receives credentials of new envoys Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah received on Sunday credentials of the newly appointed ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to Kuwait. Al-Jarallah received credentials of the newly appointed ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Kuwait. The ceremonies were attended by Assistant Foreign Minister for Protocol Affairs, Ambassador Dhari Ajran Al- Ajran and Assistant Foreign Minister, Director of the Office of the Deputy Minister, Ambassador Ayham Abdulatif Al-Omar. (KUNA) Forum addresses host of topics Communication centers key for overhauling sector: official KUWAIT CITY, March 12, (KUNA): Chairman of the Public Authority for Communications and Information Technology Salem Al-Uthaina on Sunday affirmed vital role of communication centers and masterminding latest innovations in the field. Al-Uthaina, in a statement he made on sidelines of Kuwait First Communication Centers Forum, which kicked off earlier today, indicated that such centers are necessary to improve communication services. The daylong forum addresses a host of topics namely service quality at communication centers, upgrading services via such centers and latest technology as well as experience of building such centers by local establishments. Fatma Al-Ali, supervisor of insurance services at the Public Institution for Social Security, said the institution advocates necessity of developing the communication centers and affirmed support for efforts aimed at filling the gap in this key and emerging sector. Ihab Al-Sayed, director of business development at Advantage for Marketing, the forum organizer, said the communication centers, at the local and international levels, witnessed great development, with respect of their roles and applied techniques, over the past years. The forum tackles marketing and sales at the communication centers, customer service and observation of quality of the communication services, technology installed at these centers and other issues. MANAMA, March 12, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait Sunday called for promoting and bolstering cooperation and coordination among GCC Red Crescent societies in the humanitarian domain. The call was made by Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) Anwar Al-Hasawi during a preparatory meeting of senior officials of GCC Red Crescent societies. He emphasized that joint work would certainly produce strong and excellent projects and could even lead to providing easy aid access to violence-hit areas. He added that chairmen of GCC Red Crescent societies will meet in Manama on Tuesday, focusing on ways of promoting and cementing cooperation in the humanitarian area. Speaking to KUNA following the meeting, Al-Hasawi said the officials had set Oct 23 as a GCC Red Crescent Day to be marked every year. He elaborated that this day was chosen for that purpose on the basis that it was the day when the first meeting of GCC Red Crescent societies was held in the UAE capital of Abdu Dhabi in This day will feature workshops, visits to social care facilities, hospitals and schools, as well as exhibitions showing GCC Red Crescent societies activities, he pointed out. Kuwait launched on Sunday the International Competition for Composing Children Novels inviting youngsters with intellectual skills from all over the world to participate and earn handsomely. The competition aims at implanting in the minds of the children concepts such as dedication to voluntary, waqf (endowments) and philanthropic activities, said Sagr Al-Sijari, the acting secretary general of the Awqaf General Secretariat, at a news conference for publicizing launch of the contest third round. The competition, previously held in 2013 and 2015, is also designed to motivate children embrace religious, moralistic and patriotic values as well encouraging them to be creative story-tellers. Al-Roudhan draws curtain on Adasa Festival II KUWAIT CITY, March 12, (KUNA): Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan said Saturday the Ministry of Youth spares no effort in fostering the talents of creative youth. Addressing the closing ceremony of Adasa (Lens) Festival II this evening, the minister said the Kuwaiti youths have great potentials and strong resolve as shown in their hobbies. The ceremony, held at the theater of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center, saw the honoring of participants and a concert; the festival was held under auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah. The Ministry of State is there to help the creative youths overcome any challenges or disappointments they might face while trying to assert themselves, he stressed. Al-Roudhan added that the festival showed the rich and creative talents of Kuwait s resourceful youths in such areas as arts, cinema, filming and photography. Meanwhile, Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah said her ministry puts its potentials at the disposal of talented youths with a view to supporting their initiatives. Youth who represent 72 percent of the Kuwaiti society have a key role to play in the socio-economic development, she told reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony. The Ministry supports the youth in such areas as technology and sciences and makes its website available for youth to display their projects and initiatives, Sheikha Al-Zaid said. News in Brief Kuwait to host confab on child protection: The Ministry of Interior said Monday it will hold a regional conference on the protection of children from social media hazards between March The conference, the first of its kind in Kuwait, will be held under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Ministry of Interior said in a press release. The event will be attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, along with a constellation of scholars and specialists, it added. The conference will feature several workshops that aim to raise public awareness about social media perils, and to look into the effective ways of protecting children from relevant risks and instilling noble values into their minds, the ministry noted. (KUNA) PAI okayed 2-year contract: Acting Director General of Public Authority for Industry (PAI) Abdulkarim Taqqi announced that the sector has approved a two-year contract to begin the construction of Al-Shadadiya Industrial Area, reports Al-Rai daily. In a statement, Taqqi noted PAI received the structural plan from the Municipal Council about a month ago.

6 LOCAL 6 DIWANIYA A DIGEST OF PUBLIC OPINION KUNA photo His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah met visiting Speaker of the Bosnian House of Representatives Sefik Dzaferovic at Bayan Palace on Sunday. The meeting was attended by Chief of the Mission of Honor MP Ali Salem Al-Deqbasi and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Nasser Al- Mutairi. (KUNA) San Marino, Kuwait seek boost in relations: minister Investors welcomed for business News in Brief Officers reinstated: Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah in response to a petition filed by 16 retired officers to return to work, has issued a decision to reinstate them, reports Al-Rai daily quoting a knowledgeable source. The source pointed out Al- Jarrah took the decision to benefit from the experiences and expertise of the officers, particularly those who had not taken the advantage of the decision to receive monetary benefits offered to officers if they retired from the army, police, National Guard and Fire Service Directorate in Technology eyed: Institute of Strategic Security Studies at the National Security College concluded a meeting with officers of the central command on the role of technology in improving security performance. The meeting, which was slated for March 5-7, took place under the patronage of the Assistant Undersecretary for Training Affairs in the ministry of Interior Lieutenant general Faisal Al-Nawaf ROME, March 12, (KUNA): Minister of Foreign Affairs and Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of San Marino Nicola Renzi reaffirmed the desire of his government on upgrading the relations with Kuwait in the economic and investment fields. The deep-rooted friendship and cooperation on the bilateral and multilateral levels are expected to bear fruit in the near future for the benefit of both sides, he said in statements to KUNA in the presence of San Marino Ambassador in Rome Daniela Rotondaro. Renzi recalled that he received, in his former capacity as Captain Regent or Co-Head of State, the credentials of Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Sabah as Kuwait s first Ambassador-at-Large to San Marino early last year. He appreciated the great diplomatic efforts made by Sheikh Ali to strengthen the ties in various fields. He welcomed the Kuwaiti investors willing to do business in his country. Kuwaiti investors have long experience and successful expansions on the global scale which could contribute to his country s strategy for economic growth in the run-up to the launching of a special partnership with the European Union, Renzi pointed out. He promised that his government would facilitate the Kuwaiti investments and offer the necessary information relating to banking system and tourist sector to Kuwaiti investors. The government of San Marino has worked out a comprehensive program for reviving the banking system this June, including steps for launching new high-value financial instruments that could meet the aspirations of the Kuwaiti investors, he went on. Renzi also welcomed the Kuwaiti students willing to enroll for academic courses at the colleges in his country, saying that these colleges are on par with the Italian and other European peers. On tourism in San Marino, he said the country, located on the Italian Peninsula on the northeastern side of the Apennine Mountains, is one of the world s main tourist destinations. Besides finances, industry and services, tourism is a main pillar of the economy of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, Renzi said, noting that his government designated a list Al-Sabah with the participation of several high security officials. MEW store fire: Fire teams managed to control a fire that engulfed the warehouse of Ministry of Electricity located on 8,000 square/meters area in Subhan, and prevented it from spreading, says Al-Seyassah. The fire, which covered about 250 square/meters, was contained by fire teams dispatched to the scene alongside paramedics and security operatives by the Operations Room of the Interior Ministry. A huge material loss was recorded without human casualties. High ranking fire officials supervised the operation. 4 hurt in mishap: Two boats collided at Belajat beach and resulted in injuries to four individuals, says Al-Seyassah. They were handed over to paramedics by Marine Rescue Men who went to their rescue after the Operations Room of the Interior Ministry had been notified about the incident. A case was registered to determine the cause of accident. of sites as tourist resorts that will be available to international investors. Renzi expressed best wishes for His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Aabah and the government and people of Kuwait on the occasion of the national days. San Marino claims to be the oldest extant sovereign state and the oldest constitutional republic with a constitution dating back to late 16th century. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP, and has a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. Hackers not to be feared only Home gadgets could be spies IT LOOKS like the well-known Wikileaks agency is specialized in revealing millions of documents exposing the method that has been followed by the United States of America s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) concerning spying and wiretapping on individuals, institutions and the governments, columnist, the Dean of the Technological Studies College at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) and the Deputy Chairman of the Islamic Heritage Revival Society (IHRS) Dr Wael Al-Hassawi wrote for Al-Rai daily. In this connection, we say the Wikileaks has managed to leak a lot of documents exposing the CIA s methods of eavesdropping and spying. The site has hinted that CIA is capable of deciphering the applications of various communication outlets including the WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal because of the security gaps in the Android and Apple systems although these systems are immune to any type of breakthroughs. Wikileaks has also announced its intention to work with major technological firms to bridge the gaps that may enable the CIA to spy on the users. In this context, we say the statement that has been attributed to founder of Wikileaks agency Julian Assange said he will cooperate with the various technological companies to provide the latter with all available tools and instruments that are being used to penetrate the personal telephones, PCs and even the smart TV systems. As a matter of fact, Wikileaks has published only a small part of the documents and the data which is currently in its possession. In this context, we say the reports which were published recently say smart apparatuses used by people everywhere such as the smart telephones and the smart TVs can be used for spying on the users. It will be possible to eavesdrop or wiretap conversations inside the rooms or at any place and eventually convey the same to a third party and this has resulted in some commentators describing the phones and TVs as espionage gadgets not smart anymore. Al-Hassawi For its part, the Samsung Company counsels the users of its apparatuses to close down the service of personal orders and use the remote control apparatuses to control the smart TVs, particularly when it comes to some personal information or important data. The company has also warned that the TV continues recording the voices even if the users have stopped the use of this technology that had been designed to identify the voices. On the other hand, the Russian newspaper The Verge warned the smart TVs produced by LG Company has been equipped with the necessary technology through which these TVs can spy on the users and this can be realized through these TVs capability to record and collect important data preferably by the users including the programs, movies and an electronic websites. However, anyone who enters into the realm of the Internet, will find a lot of advertisements promoting programs that shall allow the person to spy on his wife and children through the smart telephones, WhatsApp and smart TVs. Given the above, we conclude that we are actually living in a world where our homes and even our bedrooms are subjected to spying and knowing the secrets of what is happening behind closed doors. In other words, we no longer fear only the hackers who break into our personal accounts but we have begun to fear the appliances which we are using in our homes because they are capable of penetrating our personal affairs and secrets. It is a strange world indeed. Also: As a matter of fact, the UN Security Council represents the millstone in terms of dealing with and managing the global politics, because this Council is internationally authorized to issue binding resolutions on all countries and the member nations are expected to abide by them, columnist and former MP Abdulmohsen Yusuf Jamal wrote for Al-Qabas daily. However, based on the UN charter, any nation that has the veto power in the Security Council reserves the right to use this right to impede and nullifying any resolution that may contravene their interests. In this context, we refer to US, the UK and France the countries which have resorted to cast the veto individually or jointly. But during the recent past, both Russia and China have used the veto either individually or jointly against any resolution of the UN Security Council on the issue of Syria and this represents a new political behavior for both Moscow and Beijing. This reflects an unprecedented harmony between them in terms of defending the government of an Arab country which is currently facing a fierce attack supported by the Western governments. But the question is, why these two countries Russia and China are supporting the Syrian government although they have political and commercial relations with all Arab states including those which are currently against the Syrian government and are striving to topple this regime by all means. However, some observers say Russia and China are striving to encounter the US influence in their geopolitical spheres. These observers say Russia is currently encountering the US in many European countries, while China encounters the US influence in Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Hence, both Russia and China are in harmony in terms of their policy to encounter the US influence in Syria, particularly if Washington hastens to exert any attempt to topple the regime because the latter at the moment is a strong ally of Russia and China. Given the above, we understand the nature of cooperation of both Russia and China with Iran and because the latter encounters the US influence in the Arabian Gulf. Such being the case, this harmony among the three countries Russia, China and Iran with Syria has created some kind of joint background among them to encounter the US expansion in the Levant and foil Washington s attempts to topple a regime that can be classified as a friend of the three countries. In the meantime, we have observed that supporting this regime, has created some kind of power that resulted in encouraging both Russia and China to reinforce their efforts and this was evident through the usage of the veto power in the UN Security Council to foil any Western resolution to weaken the Syrian regime. As a matter of fact, we suggest the Arab countries must at the moment close their ranks and put in place a new policy of reunification among the Arab decision-making process which currently is shared between the two great powers, Washington and Moscow, while the latter is striving to strength their own interests even at the expense of the Arabs. In conclusion, we wonder, will the Arabs realize this fact or will they go ahead and allow others to exploit this disunity among the Arab countries in a prelude to create a stronghold for them in the Arab territories due to various grounds. At the moment we are living in the era of the Gulf Vision which we hope will help achieve a quantum leap in the quality of lifestyle, economy and culture of the Gulf countries, columnist Abdulaziz Muhammad Al-Anjari wrote for Al Seyassah daily. Kuwait is seeking to be an international commercial and financial hub by 2035, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has put up an ambitious vision for radical transformation of the economy by Qatar has a similar vision. There is no doubt these visions need more than just projects and plans. It needs legislations and laws that go along with the rapid changes in economic relations around the world especially with regard to the opening of markets for investment. Quality education is a key player in addition to guarantees given to investors. Above all we need to enable the society to adjust and embrace the radical rapid changes that will occur. In theory everything is possible, but when it comes to practical implementation, the obstacles appear especially when it comes to the Gulf countries that solely depend on oil as a source of income. The oil has lost its value over the past years and we saw the imposition of austerity policies that are negatively affecting this vision. The expected taxes will scare off investors and use of local financial capital. It s possible for the Gulf countries to confront these obstacles through legislative initiatives and rectifying the negativities but from today until 2035 the situation in the world will not remain like it is today. The question the Gulf countries did not take into consideration is What if the vision fails, what are the alternative plans? Those overwhelmed by the Western culture among our people, who live in a state of psychological defeat, always urge us to copy the West without differentiating between what is appropriate and contradictory to our religious beliefs, Abdulaziz Sabah Al-Fadhli wrote for Al-Rai daily. While we mark the International Women Day on March 8 of every year, we see many Arabs and Muslims agitating for the restoration of their lost and denied rights, as they claim, which makes the Western women unique compared to Arab women. The situation has reached a stage where some of them are clamoring for equality between men and women in everything including inheritance! This means the agitators want distribution of inheritance done in a manner contrary to the tenet of Islam. There is no doubt that a reasonable Muslim will never make such a call. There is no other religion that honors women like Islam and preserves their prestige, position and rights, irrespective of whether she is a daughter, wife or sister. There is no doubt that the users of social media are currently leading a fierce battle against corruption. Thanks to them, the massive corruption nestled inside governmental departments has been exposed, Mansour Mubarak wrote for Aljarida daily. With absolutely no exaggeration, the size of corruption widespread currently is unprecedented in all levels. Remarkable steps are being taken by brave people who are ringing the alarm to fight the collapse of moral values everywhere around us. Corruption has destroyed all ethical virtues, and broken civilian ties as well as national unity and democratic development. It has also destroyed the level of achieved transparency and the sympathy felt towards weaker categories. The distinguished efforts exerted by the corruption fighters have contributed in raising societal awareness concerning the corruption issue and creating clearer vision for Kuwaiti public opinion about the seriousness of the lesion caused by corruption. We can clearly notice the apparent superiority and influence of the corrupt people compared to public and semi-government institutions, which indicate the inability to eliminate corruption and limit its effects. Even though Kuwait is teeming with skilled minds that are able to record achievements and success, it is suffering from the lack of scientific and research centers to attract such mentalities and offer necessary scientific and physical facilities to support them in an adequate manner so that their requirements can be met, Abdulrahman Al-Awwad wrote for Al-Sabah daily. Everyday we hear or read news about a new invention or some medical or scientific discovery by Kuwaiti citizens who are loyal to their homeland and work. However, these innovations and scientific discoveries lack suitable support. For instance, the Kuwaiti medical team in Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital affiliated to Ministry of Health succeeded in removing kidney stones in an Asian patient in Kuwait by melting them using a new and unique technique. This helped in decreasing the length of the recovery period and restoring the patient s health quickly. Without the diligence and tremendous efforts exerted by the sons of Kuwait, this technique would not have seen light. In short, any individual efforts exerted by scholars, scientists and inventors in Kuwait should be met with moral and physical support in order to help the inventors and innovators with their inventions and ensure a suitable atmosphere for encouraging them to produce more creations. We should not just focus on two or three centers but we must build more research centers in all governorates that can provide necessary support to the inventors and innovators in order to serve their research projects as well as their homeland. Compiled by Zaki Taleb

7 LOCAL 7 Other Voices 2 held with drugs: Hawally security operatives arrested a Kuwaiti and an expatriate in possession of drugs, says Al-Seyassah. The officers were on a tour of the area when they spotted the two individuals in a confused state. They conducted a search on them and found illicit drugs with its paraphernalia. They were referred to concerned authorities. Meanwhile, State Security police are looking for an unidentified person for writing graffiti abusing the government on a power transformer in Rumaithiya, reports Al-Rai daily. The graffiti was seen by a police patrol on routine duty. The State Security police rushed to the spot and removed the graffiti. Car set alight: Police are looking for an unidentified young man for stealing a car and setting fire to it, reports Al-Anba daily. Acting on information the Jahra From rags to riches Happens only in Kuwait By Ahmad Al-Sarraf This is a story about what happens nowhere in the world whose wide world but in Kuwait and there are not many like it. It is a story of a man who was born in a modest family of an Arab father and a Kuwaiti mother. When he was young, he was very ambitious and had an overwhelming desire to achieve something in life and ultimately he ended up with a group of religious people. As he prepared his way forward he added something to his name, the word ibn which means son of. He then grew his beard, started wearing short dishdashas and wore a red head cover (ghutra), after getting rid of trousers and oqal. He indulged himself in the practice of religious quackery to earn money and fame, allegedly began to treat people who were suffering from incurable diseases. He also specialized in allegedly casting away evil spirits from people suffering from psychiatric problems until he made a fatal mistake a stupid attempt to drive away an evil spirit from the body of a Kuwaiti. He reportedly beat the man severely and as a result, the man died making his wife widow and making the children orphan. He was sentenced to imprisonment but religious people threw their support behind him, his jail term was reduced and some or the other way succeeded in getting the Kuwaiti citizenship like many of us. This is in spite of his bad record, notorious reputation and forging his family name. A television channel hosted him and made him a star and ended up having an army of followers and supporters. He began to issue fatwas, and fabricated historical facts and spoke about these facts on TV channels. He was not only satisfied with destroying the minds of a few university students but also the collective minds of hundreds of thousands of viewers, who were ignorant. Motivated by fake enthusiasm, the News in Brief Car sold for KD 100 KUWAIT CITY, March 12: The Interior Ministry last Wednesday sold in a public auction vehicles which were seized by the General Traffic Department at the Public Transport Authority in Shuwaikh, reports Al-Anba daily. The auction witnessed a big presence of buyers dealers, auto offices and citizens. One of the vehicles was sold for just KD 100. success he had achieved, the money he had earned, and the support of the local, regional and religious forces, he forgot his roots as to who he is, where he came from and his actual size. He became more ambitious and using the TV to his advantage, he not only became a star but a well-known preacher. He joined politics when doors were thrown wide open for him. He began to denounce decisions taken by the government and forgot the grace and the blessings that were bestowed on him by making moves hostile to the government. He also began supporting people who were hostile to the State, the military and the religious movements and started denouncing the government decisions and supporting those who were hostile to the State and supported the call for jihad. As time passed by he drifted towards the socalled opposition, the Al-Sarraf movement that aspired to bring the Arab Spring to Kuwait. Suddenly, the government pulled the carpet from under the feet of the media that was his shelter. He was now in the open and there was no roof over his head. He continued to err and the consequences were severe because it resulted in the revoking of his nationality which he had obtained illegally. He was finally cut down to size. He did not care much about the decision that had stripped him off the Kuwaiti nationality. He did not even bother to protest, compared to others whose nationalities had been withdrawn. This is perhaps because he knows very well that he did not deserve it in the first place and because he had already made a good fortune through his preaching and so now nothing really mattered. There is talk that his citizenship may be reinstated although earlier he had spoken ill about a Kuwaiti family. If this is true, it will be a big tragedy. It will be something that can happen only in a country like Kuwait and nowhere else. firefighters rushed to an area between Al-Naseem and Taima and put out the fire to the car. According to reports the thief used the car in making stunts and then set fire to it. Meanwhile, police are looking for unidentified thieves for stealing large quantities of limestone bricks from a company site in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily added, the bricks were in trucks and parked in an open ground. Police are investigating. Police also interrogating the drivers, why the trucks were left on an open ground unattended and where were the drivers at the time of theft. Parlor items stolen: A Kuwaiti has filed a complaint with the Ali Sabah Al-Salem Police Station accusing a Syrian beautician working for his beauty parlor salon of stealing the contents of the salon, reports Al-Rai daily. Police are looking for the beautician. Child dies as invasion-era bomb wrecks family home By Meshal Al-Sanousi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies KUWAIT CITY, March 12: An unknown individual molested a Filipina woman while she was climbing the stairs of her building in Farwaniya area. According to security sources, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information from the caretaker of a building who revealed that a female tenant of the building was sexually harassed, securitymen rushed to the location. They were told that the woman was climbing the stairway to her flat when a man dressed in casual attire approached her and tried to talk to her. When she refused to respond, he then touched her inappropriately and tried to kiss her. She then shouted for help and screamed Devil! Thief!. The suspect managed to run away without getting caught. Using the information provided by the victim, securitymen have launched investigations to find and arrest the suspect. A case was registered. Blast kills child: A child perished and his brother sustained serious injury when a cluster bomb they were playing with exploded in the family house in Qusour area Saturday. The family house went up in flames following the explosion of cluster bomb (BLU61) believed to be a remnant from the Iraqi invasion. Public Relations and Security Media Department stated the concerned security authority dispatched a team from Explosives Department to the scene upon receiving information about the incident. Initial investigation revealed the two children accompanied by another family member had gone outside and returned home with two strange objects in the form of stones, indicating the object went off while the children were playing and killed the first child instantly, causing serious injury to the other. Ministry of Interior extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and appealed to parents to monitor the activities of their kids whenever they go to the desert areas in particular, in order to protect them against harm. Awareness campaigns have been launched to educate the public on the dangers of mines left over by the Iraqi aggressors by keeping away from strange objects. Drunk man in uniform: Security operatives arrested and referred a Kuwaiti employee of the Interior Ministry while in uniform to concerned authority for abusing liquor and dancing on Al-Ta awon Street, reports Al-Seyassah daily. Apparently, the officers were on a round of Hawalli when they spotted a person in military uniform dancing on the road. As the officers approached him for questioning, they discovered he was high in liquor. Filipina molested in building stairway Kuwait declares start of 3rd GCC Traffic Week The Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday inaugurating the Third GCC Traffic Week, themed your life is a liability, scheduled to proceed till March 18. The week-long activity has alrea dy begun with police patrols distributing leaflets of guidance to motorists at road intersections. Members of the participating GCC delegation have visited the operation and control rooms, They confiscated a bottle of liquor in his possession and referred him to Salwa police station for further investigation. Meanwhile, patrolmen arrested a Bedoun with a Kuwaiti citizen for drunk driving and seized with a sachet of local alcohol from them. The suspects were seen in a moving vehicle drinking and driving in a reckless manner. They were referred to concerned authorities. Human peddler held: Nepali police have arrested a man for his alleged involvement in human trafficking and rescued four women, reports Al-Rai daily. The women were held captive in a room rented by the suspect who had allegedly assured them lucrative jobs in Kuwait. A police source said the arrest Top and above: Pictures taken at the start of GCC Traffic Week. inspecting the traffic personnel task performance, ensuring smooth flow on the road via smart visual equipment. The ministry s statement said the GCC Week activity is aimed at gearing up all possible efforts to limit accidents, spare lives and swap expertise among the Council member states. The traffic department holds exhibitions at the Avenues and came after a woman, who was sent overseas for work by the suspect, returned from Oman and filed a complaint against him. In her complaint, the woman accused the suspect of sending her to Oman on the pretext of foreign employment and she discovered it was a pure case of human trafficking. A preliminary police investigation revealed the suspect was targeting gullible women and sending them to the Gulf countries without acquiring labor permits over the past two years. The suspect has been referred to the concerned authorities for further investigation. Mental status test: The Ministry of Interior has written to the Ministry of Health to examine domestic workers wishing to work in Kuwait to be KUNA photos 360 malls during the week, with participation of medical teams, staff from various traffic departments, the information systems department and the general director of relations and security information. During the exhibition, motorists with grave penalties will be given the chance to re-examine and get softer punitive measure except for very grave cases. (KUNA) tested for mental illnesses at the approved medical centers in their countries before they are allowed to work in Kuwait, reports Al-Anba daily. The Interior Ministry said this step is taken to ensure domestic workers do not suffer from psychological or mental illnesses before they are given work permits due to the sensitivity and gravity of the situation and the nature of the work. The Interior Ministry said this is necessitated following a change in behavior of domestic workers since a huge number of them suffer from psychological problems. The Interior Ministry said the psychiatrists have confirmed some of the domestic workers who came to Kuwait to work in households has a history of the disease before they entered country.

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9 LOCAL/GULF 9 Third Kuwaiti awarded membership in Arab Women Council 2 Kuwaiti women honored by Arab festival in Lebanon BEIRUT, March 12, (KUNA): The Arab woman festival 2017 Saturday honored in Lebanon two Kuwaiti women for their great efforts in education and business, and celebrated a third Kuwaiti for being awarded membership of Arab Women Council. Talking to KUNA on the sidelines of the festival, Kuwait s Ambassador to Lebanon Abul-Aal Al-Qenai, expressed hope that Arab women in general, and Kuwaitis in particular would rise to the highest posts and ranks in all fields. Al-Qinai expressed pleasure over the honoring of many Arab and Kuwaiti figures during the festival, organized by the Arab Women s Council, the Arab organization for Social Responsibility and the Sagesse University. These activities that take place on the level of the Arab World leave such positive effect on women and the entire society, chairperson of the Kuwaiti National Society for Protection of Children Seham Al-Furaih, told KUNA. Al-Furaih was honored by the festival for her efforts in the field of education and teaching. She referred to women s vital role in the Arab old as well as modern societies. Al-Furaih stressed the significance of men s support to women to realize success. On her part, Kuwait s Fatima Al- Aqroqa, who joined the Arab Women s Council, told KUNA that the festival is an elevated occasion to honor successful women in the academic and social spheres. Kuwaiti women have achieved success and shown competence in various fields, she said. Founder of the Safira Company for Social Responsibility Maha Albaghli told KUNA that she was proud of being honored by the Arab festival. It is an honoring for all Kuwait, she said. Albaghli, who was honored by the Arab Women s Council in Jordan in 2015, emphasized keenness by all Kuwaitis on social responsibility. The third festival was patronized by the Lebanese Minister of Women s Affairs Jean Ogasapian who addressed the event and stressed that of women should be a basic partner in decision making. Saudi women hope green light A scene from the Kuwaiti drama series Zekrayat La Tamout MBC 1 to broadcast Kuwaiti drama For the first time, the Kuwaiti social drama series Zekrayat La Tamout (Memories do not die) will be broadcasted exclusively on MBC 1 TV channel, reports Al- Seyassah daily. Several stars are part of this series including Somoud, Fatima Al-Saifi, Mariam, Amal Al-Awadi, Buthian Al-Raeisi, Intisar Al-Sharrah, Meshari Al-Balaam, Yacoub Abdullah, Hussein Al-Mahdi and Abdulmohsen Al-Qaffas. It was written by Anfal Al-Duwaisan and directed by Muneer Al-Za abi. Writer Anfal Al-Duwaisan said the series is focused on the pains and memories of the past, and the hopes and aspirations for the future of some Kuwaiti families. The signing of MoU which leads to integration of Expo s successful apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship program with Jafza Dubai Expo to offer Emirati youths training opportunities News in Brief KBC holds assembly: Kuwait Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates held its General Assembly on Saturday, and members approved the 2016 and 2017 budgets. The council, in a statement, said the members discussed financial and administrative performance since establishment until end of the fiscal year. They reviewed a report about diversification of revenues in order to support the council s activities for a whole year, it said. The council said main objective of its activities was to boost presence of Kuwaiti business community in Dubai, as well as exploring further trade and investment opportunities. The council, a non-profit organization established in Dubai in May 2016, aims at promoting expertise and trade relations of Kuwaiti businessmen and companies in Dubai DUBAI, March 12: Expo 2020 Dubai s successful Apprenticeship Programme is being integrated with a corresponding scheme at Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) to give even more young Emiratis the chance to take a positive first step on the career ladder. The Memorandum of Understanding means the tried and tested structure and content of the Expo programme will be absorbed into the existing Tumoohi ( My Ambition in Arabic) scheme run by Jafza, the UAE s flagship trade and logistics hub The aim is to provide an enhanced programme of more apprenticeship options that can boost the careers of increasing numbers of UAE graduates by combining knowledge and expertise from the on-the-job training they receive at the companies they join. Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: Expo 2020 Dubai is about collaborative thinking Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and we can help achieve this by working with the key stakeholders who share our ambition and empowering our youth with the skills that will help them shape a wonderful future for themselves. Benefit This will benefit not only the young people involved, but also our country as we move to an increasingly diversified, knowledge-based economy here in the UAE. Youth are our future and we need to equip them with world-class skills. Based on international best practice, the Expo 2020 Apprenticeship Programme has included a series of intensive and varied learning modules, as well as onthe-job experience at Expo 2020 Dubai departments, including commercial, communications, events, procurement and real estate development. Apprentices have also benefited from expert mentorship and leadership coaching from members of the Expo 2020 Dubai team. Jafza s Tumoohi scheme follows a similar model, offering Emirati graduates in-house training and job placements within the free zone s vast network of companies. A signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Expo and Jafza was attended by Al Hashimy and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World Group, which is the parent company of Jebel Ali Free Zone and one of Expo 2020 Dubai s Premier Partners. As part of the agreement, a number of Tumoohi trainees will complete job placements at Expo 2020 Dubai, working alongside industry experts from across the world in various departments. This initiative underlines Expo 2020 Dubai s ambition to work closely with all its partners in this case DP World Group beyond the purely commercial terms of their agreements. Sultan Bin Sulayem said: This is a significant step towards realising the- Tumoohi scheme. We want to create a large talent pool of young nationals with the right technical skills and experience to meet the diverse needs of the UAE across the private and public sectors. So I am delighted that the collaboration with our colleagues at Expo 2020 Dubai offers our trainees there a once-ina-lifetime opportunity to work on a global project of such diversity and scale. We share the same objectives in creating lasting value for all our stakeholders and building a positive legacy for future generations. The skills and experience they pick up at Expo should stand them in very good stead for their future careers. Najeeb Al-Ali, Executive Director, Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai added: We are proud and happy to see the way the current team of Expo apprentices has developed, both personally and professionally, and they continue to make a meaningful impact on the work that is taking place behind the scenes at our offices. We look forward to welcoming Tumoohi trainees, seeing not only how we can support them in their development, but also the valuable contributions they can make to the first World s Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. and northern Emirates. (KUNA) Omani FM, US official meet: Visiting US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Ambassador Stuart E. Jones met on Sunday with Omani Minister in Charge of Foreign Affairs Yousef Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah. During the meeting, the two officials discussed issues of mutual concern and bilateral relation, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported. The US official also met with Head of the Sultanate s Bureau Lt General Sultan bin Mohammed Al- Nomani in which they discussed a number of issues in various fields, in addition to regional and international issues that concern both nations. The US official arrived in Muscat earlier on Saturday for a two-day visit. (KUNA) to hit the gym will improve lives RIYADH, March 12, (RTRS): Pounding on a cross-trainer in a Riyadh gym, Heelah Abdulaziz is one of many Saudi women hoping the licensing of female-only gyms from next month is another step towards improving the lives of women in the conservative Islamic kingdom. In one of the world s most gender-segregated countries, women cannot exercise with men and there are no public sports facilities for women as many of the conservative Muslim clerics consider sport for females as immodest. But gyms for women are being encouraged for the first time due to US-raised Princess Reema bint Bandar who became head of a new women s unit at the General Authority of Sports last year. Unveiling the licensing last month, Princess Reema said this was about opening the doors for our girls to live a healthy lifestyle, sidestepping the sensitive women s rights debate. A spokeswoman from the Sports Authority told the Reuters that licences would be granted from April to boost the sports economy which does not just impact physical activity but also employment and business opportunities. For Abdulaziz, 39, allowing gyms for women although they are still banned from competitive sports made sense with around 44 percent of women classified as obese in Saudi which has some of the world s highest rates of obesity and diabetes. We ll get a lot more gyms, they ll compete and get cheaper so more women can come, she said at a NuYu fitness centre dressed in colourful workout gear rather than the headto-toe black garment women must wear in public, including foreigners. I didn t have sport at school but I got interested after having children and wanting to lose weight. I tried to exercise at home, said Abdulaziz, who lost 15 kilos (33 pounds) in a year due to exercising. Until now the only gyms accessible to women were found in women s centres that would only get licenses if their main purpose was not exercise but as a spa or a retail operation. Any centres found breaching that rule were closed down. This left commercially run gyms catering to privately run women s sports teams or middle class women able to pay $200 monthly membership operating in a legal limbo for years. Expand Susan Turner, chief executive of the NuYu chain set up by the Saudi crown prince s daughter Princess Sara Mohammad Al Saud in 2012 as the kingdom s first chain of female fitness centres, said the licensing will lower costs, fuel expansion and improve standards. NuYu now has 5 centres, set to expand to 8 this year. But Turner said a major drawback was the ability to get staff locally as sport is not mandatory in girls schools and physical education is not a career choice for Saudi women. At the moment we have to bring Western trainers to Saudi but if we can train local women this will bring costs down and help staff more gyms, Turner told the Reuters, adding NuYu planned to set up an academy for this. It is amazing that we get Female-only gyms to be introduced next month KUNA photos Kuwait Beside You group officials distributing relief aid to displaced people in Yemen s Lahj governorate. Kuwait Beside You distributes aid to Yemen s Lahj The Kuwait Beside You campaign has handed out the second batch of shelter kits allocated to Yemen s Lahj Governorate. In a statement issued Saturday, the Kuwaiti-Yemeni relief body said the kits, including blankets, and hygiene and kitchen kits, targeted more than 646 displaced families. Ibrahim Al-Qurashi, a body member, stressed that the campaign will continue distributing this Kuwait s emergency aid to women coming in here in their 30s who have never moved their bodies on purpose... and this is a culture that is very fast food driven. The licensing for women s gyms comes as changes are slowly emerging for women in Saudi, the only country where women are not allowed to drive, live under supervision of a male guardian, and where gender segregation of non-relatives is enforced. But all changes from greater female participation in the workforce to allowing women to compete in the Olympics for the first time in 2012 are argued along the lines of benefiting the economy or health, not women s empowerment. needy people in Yemen. He said that the campaign distributed aid to more than 450 displaced families in some areas in the same governorate. It handed out food baskets and health supplies, and carried out several water projects in Lahj, he added. He voiced his happiness for dispersing these supplies which seek to make these families happy and to alleviate their suffering as they have been displaced This is in line with the government s Vision 2030 released last year that argues the need for a healthier society and economy more inclusive of women to reduce its reliance on oil and tiptoes around the conservatives traditional view of women. In a break from lifting weights, Rahaf Naasani, 27, said women needed gyms in Saudi Arabia to be healthy and fit. There s nowhere to work out outside and the main activity otherwise revolves around food, said Naasani, a mother of six-year twins, who moved to Riyadh from Syria seven years ago. Human Rights Watch, which has criticised Saudi s refusal to grant women sporting rights, said the gym licences were a from their homes. Meanwhile, Saleh Mahmoud, a senior official in Lahj, said the support provided to displaced families contributes to mitigating their suffering. He added that we have worked on removing difficulties facing the displaced families. The campaign works in Yemen in emergency relief field through five sectors; food, water, education, shelters and health. (KUNA) leap forward but the change would mainly impact an elite group. You still have to be wealthy to afford gym membership and a driver to get you there and a male guardian to agree, said Minky Worden, HRW director of global initiatives. She stressed the need for mandatory sport for girls in schools to make exercise a way of life and career choice. This is a missed economic opportunity for Saudi as, rather than rely on foreign gym operators, women should be able to open their own gyms, hire local trainers, and create jobs for women who could be the next generation of entrepreneurs, she said.

10 INTERNATIONAL 10 World News Roundup A group of women hold signs during a meeting called The Resistance Training hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union on March 11, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP) Politics Americans disheartened Many work to fi ght incivility NEW YORK, March 12, (AP): In state capitals, lawmakers attend workshops on how to avoid demonizing their opponents. On a college campus, students re-enact hard-fought debates that led to great compromises at the country s founding. Even a summer camp is aiming to give children the tools to show respect in the face of disagreement. Americans alarmed and disheartened by a coarsened culture and incivility in politics especially following a brutal presidential campaign season that bared new lows in both are fighting back with a range of initiatives around the US to restore some semblance of decorum. It s incumbent on us to be the adults who push back against what we re getting in the popular culture and the political rhetoric, said, who directs the Evins American Democracy Project for Civil Learning at Middle Tennessee State University. That s where students have staged classroom role-plays of compromises from the 1787 Constitutional Convention, assuming the parts of the Founding Fathers to act out the give-and-take required to reach agreement on crucial but difficult decisions, such as how large and small states would share power. There s so many people with a difference of opinion, said Brendon Holloway, who participated in various Democracy Project initiatives at Middle Tennessee State, including voter registration drives. It s really important to bridge the gap. Disciplines The school is training faculty to incorporate civic learning across disciplines, holding a lecture series on rhetoric, and hosting former members of Congress to talk about respectful dialogue. Evins says it s all part of addressing not just college and career, but citizenship. If we do not address that third C, then we have shamed ourselves, she said, we have walked away. Even as polls find Americans say a civil tone in candidates is an important factor in how they vote, surveys have also shown people more accepting of personal attacks in politics. A poll by Zogby commissioned by Allegheny College in October found in the six years since its previous survey, significantly more people viewed it as acceptable to interrupt, shout over, belittle, insult, personally attack, or question the patriotism of those with differing opinions. Respondents also have grown more accepting of commenting on another s sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. Fewer people even believe elected officials should pursue friendships with members of other parties: 56 percent in the more recent survey compared with 85 percent in If this incivility continues, we re going to lose a generation to politics, said Jim Mullen, president of Allegheny, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. And that s a very dangerous thing for our democracy. Behavior Allegheny created the Prize for Civility in Public Life in 2011 to highlight public figures who demonstrate respectful behavior and inspire students to consider elected service. Last year, it went to Sen John McCain and Vice- President Joe Biden, who hugged onstage as they received the honor. Organized attempts to stir civil discourse have sprouted for at least a decade in response to the continuing degeneration of public debate and increased animosity between Democrats and Republicans. But they ve gained new steam following the 2016 campaign and the ascension to the presidency of Donald Trump, with his unrestrained, often caustic commentary. Interest has surged in programs offered by the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which was founded at the University of Arizona after the 2011 shooting that left six dead and then-rep Gabby Giffords and others badly injured. Its civility-boosting efforts around the country include sessions in state legislatures that bring lawmakers from opposing parties together in hopes they see one another as people and try to understand what has shaped their opinions. I don t think there s any question that this is a national crisis at this point, said Carolyn Lukensmeyer, the institute s executive director. This is kind of a dangerous moment. At Unity College in Maine, one of several civility initiatives aims to improve discourse at the person-to-person level. America Protest, resistance training: The American Civil Liberties Union staged a nationwide training event Saturday to make sure people are aware of their rights as protesters and urge organized, public resistance by those opposed to policies of President Donald Trump. Organizers said the event at a sports arena on the University of Miami campus was livestreamed to locations in all 50 states. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said 200,000 people had signed up to attend one of an estimated 2,000 local events. The event, staged in town hall style, was aimed at capitalizing on numerous demonstrations since Trump s election in November and to make sure people know their rights to protest, Romero said. He Lakshmi said priority issues are immigration, the First Amendment free speech and religious freedom rights, civil and reproductive rights and rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people. The ACLU also launched a new grassroots online organizing platform called PeoplePower.org. It s billed as a way for people considering a local protest or rally to connect and coordinate with others around the country with similar intentions, and to provide details of ACLU initiatives. Another plan is creation of freedom cities around the country that would encourage local officials to pass laws resisting Trump policies such as stepped-up deportations of people living in the country illegally, said Faiz Shakir, ACLU national political director. Other parts of Saturday s event detailed the rules for demonstrations on streets, sidewalks and in public parks, and the rights people have when arrested such as the right to remain silent. ACLU attorney Lee Rowland said large demonstrations generally require a local permit, but government can t typically shut down protesters in public places without good reason. Also speaking at the event was Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-born cookbook author, actress, model and television host. She said she emigrated to the US at age four and said the nation appears to be retreating from its welcoming ways. Lately I ve started to feel like an outsider, she said. What makes America great is our culture of inclusion. We must not tolerate the intolerance. (AP)

11 INTERNATIONAL 11 Politics I was fired Defiant Bharara proud of absolute independence NEW YORK, March 12, (AP): A defiant Manhattan federal prosecutor, in announcing his firing after he refused to resign, says absolute independence was his touchstone for over seven years as he battled public corruption. Preet Bharara, 48, revealed his firing Saturday on his personal Twitter account. Several hours later, it was learned President Donald Trump had reached out through a secretary on his staff to Bharara on Thursday but the two men never spoke. The attempted contact described by a person told about the conversations who requested anonymity continued the unusual dynamic between Trump and the high profile prosecutor that stretched to Nov 30, when Bharara emerged from a Bharara Trump Tower meeting with Trump to say the then-president-elect had asked him to stay on the job. The person who requested anonymity because of the talks private nature said the secretary late Thursday left a voic asking Bharara to call back. Bharara reported the call to Attorney General Jeff Sessions chief of staff, Joseph Jody Hunt, who agreed it was best that Bharara not speak directly with Trump, the person said. Bharara then called the White House, telling the secretary he had spoken to the Justice Department and it was agreed he and Trump should not speak. Bharara was informed he was fired by Dana Boente, the acting deputy attorney general, shortly after it became widely known Saturday that he did not intend to step down in response to Sessions request that leftover appointees of former President Barack Obama quit. I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired, Bharara said in a tweet. In a statement later, he said: Serving my country as US Attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live. One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served. He said current Deputy US Attorney Joon H. Kim will serve as acting US attorney. Confirmed The Justice Department late Saturday confirmed Bharara was no longer US attorney but declined to expound. Meanwhile, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee s top Democrat, requested Saturday that the committee receive a summary of probes linked to Trump, whether they touch on his administration, transition, campaign and organization, so that we can understand the full implications of this weekend s firings. He said he suspected Bharara could be reviewing a range of potential improper activity emanating from Trump Tower and the Trump campaign, as well as entities with financial ties to the president or the Trump organization. Bharara was appointed by former President Barack Obama in In frequent public appearances, Bharara has decried public corruption after successfully prosecuting over a dozen state lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike. Sessions decision to include Bharara s name on the list of 46 resignations of holdovers from the Obama administration surprised Manhattan prosecutors. While it is customary for a new president to replace virtually all of the 93 US attorneys, it often occurs at a slower pace. Sessions lost his position as US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama in a similar sweep by then-attorney General Janet Reno in Robert Morgenthau, a Democratic US attorney in Manhattan, famously held out for nearly a year after Republican President Richard Nixon s 1969 inauguration, saying he needed to see some important cases through. He ultimately left in January 1970, after the White House declared he was being replaced and announced a nominee. Learn New York Sen Charles Schumer, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday that he was troubled to learn of the resignation demands, particularly of Bharara, since Trump called him in November and assured him he wanted Bharara to remain in place. Bharara met Trump Nov 30, saying afterward he d been asked to remain in the job. Bharara, once lauded on the cover of Time magazine as the man who is busting Wall Street after successfully prosecuting dozens of insider traders, has in recent years gone after over a dozen state officeholders, including New York s two most powerful lawmakers. It also recently was revealed that his office is investigating the financial terms of settlements of sexual-harassment claims against Fox News by its employees. The request from Sessions came as Bharara s office is prosecuting former associates of Democratic Gov Andrew M. Cuomo in a bribery case. Also, prosecutors recently interviewed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as part of a probe into his fundraising. The mayor s press secretary has said the mayor is cooperating and that he and his staff had acted appropriately. The request for resignations came after Trump last weekend claimed Obama tapped his telephones during last year s election. FBI Director James Comey privately asked the Justice Department to dispute the claim because he believed the allegations were false. Bharara worked for Comey when he was US attorney in Manhattan under President George W. Bush. Annemarie McAvoy, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor, said it was not surprising Trump might want Bharara gone since there s a good chance any subpoena seeking information about Trump campaign links to Russians would go through his office. She said it was also possible Trump wanted to take out as many people as they can in the prior administration given the leaks and problems that they re having. Vice-President Mike Pence speaks at the Trans Parts and Distribution Center on March 11, in Louisville, Ky. Pence said that the so-called Obamacare law had failed the nation and the Trump administration would need the backing of rank-and-file Republicans to pass their health care overhaul. (AP) US Rep Darrell Issa speaks as people hold up signs during a town hall meeting at the Junior Seau Beach Community Center in Oceanside, Calif on March 11. Issa held the meetings to discuss health care reform with constituents from his district, which straddles Orange County and San Diego County. (AP) Trump America Obama Wiretap evidence sought: The House intelligence committee is asking the Trump administration for evidence that the phones at Trump Tower were tapped during the campaign as its namesake has charged. US President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet last week: Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! He continued the allegation against former president Barack Obama in other tweets but offered no evidence. On Saturday a senior congressional aide said the request for evidence by Monday was made in a letter sent by the committee chairman, Rep Devin Nunes, R-Calif, and the panel s ranking Democrat, Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif, according to the aide, who wasn t authorized to discuss the request by name and requested anonymity. Obama s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has said that nothing matching Trump s claims had taken place, but that has not quelled speculation that Trump s communications were monitored by the Obama administration. Trump has asked Congress to investigate. Early this past week, Schiff said the committee would answer the president s call to investigate the claim. He also said that he would ask FBI Director James Comey directly when he appears later this month before the full committee, which is investigating Russian activities during the election. We should be able to determine in fairly short order whether this allegation is true or false, Schiff told reporters Tuesday evening at the Capitol. Nunes has said that so far he has not seen any evidence to back up Trump s claim and has suggested the news media were taking the president s weekend tweets too literally. The president is a neophyte to politics he s been doing this a little over a year, Nunes told reporters earlier this week. (AP) Trump praises arrest: US President Donald Trump on Saturday praised the US Secret Service for doing a fantastic job apprehending a troubled person who climbed a fence and was approaching a south entrance to the White House while Trump was inside the executive mansion. It was the first known security breach at the White House since Trump took office nearly two months ago. Washington, DC, police identified the intruder as Jonathan Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California. HealthCare Pence appeals for GOP support Health law s woes drive repeal call When approached by a Secret Service officer on the south grounds about 11:38 pm Friday and asked whether he had a pass authorizing him to be in the restricted WASHINGTON, March 12, (Agencies): President Donald Trump and Republican leaders say drastic action is needed because the Obama-era healthcare overhaul is a disaster, with soaring premiums and insurers bailing out. It s true that major parts of the 2010 law are clearly troubled, but others are working fairly well. The risk is that the GOP s rescue mission will inflict collateral damage on what s working and cause new problems. Or that promised solutions might disappoint. The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, expanded coverage in two main ways. It offered subsidized private health insurance through online markets such as HealthCare.gov that cater to people without workplace coverage. It also allowed states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more low-income adults. Together, those features have helped push the nation s uninsured rate below 9 percent, a historic law. A look at some of the law s major elements, their current status, and how they might be affected by the repeal and replace legislation advancing in the House: Medicaid Status: Thirty-one states have expanded Medicaid under the health law. The federal-state healthcare program for low-income people now covers about 1 in 5 people in the United States, from newborns to elderly nursing home residents. About half of the expansion states have Republican governors. Gov John Kasich, R-Ohio, says it has allowed his state to offer a stable source of care for the working poor, the drugaddicted, and the mentally ill. Although Medicaid is a notoriously stingy payer, hospitals have strongly supported the expansion as preferable to treating uninsured patients. Impact: The House bill would repeal the Medicaid expansion, which now covers about 11 million people. Currently the federal government offers a generous matching payment to states that expand their programs. Starting in 2020, that payment would only be available for beneficiaries already enrolled under the expansion, not for any new ones. In an even bigger change, the bill would end Medicaid s open-ended entitlement status, moving to a system of limited federal financing. Washington would pay the states a fixed amount per beneficiary, based on Medicaid spending in each state, adjusted annually for medical inflation. Supporters say the change would bring needed fiscal discipline and encourage states to innovate. Critics say it will ultimately harm the poor and goes far beyond addressing issues with the ACA. Individual health insurance Status: The health law was meant to expand and stabilize the market for individual health insurance, through which roughly 20 million people get coverage. It s been a roller-coaster ride instead. As sicker, costlier customers came into the market, premiums and deductibles shot up. Consumers eligible for the law s income-related financial assistance were cushioned, but millions who still pay their own way are in shock. Former President Bill Clinton, in a candid moment, called it a crazy system. Recently, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini pronounced the ACA s health insurance markets in a death spiral. Bill Impact: The House bill would rework the ACA s tax credit subsidies and loosen some of its major requirements on insurers. It would allow people to set aside more money in taxsheltered health savings accounts. More people would be eligible for the GOP subsidies, but the assistance may not go far enough for those with modest incomes. The GOP tax credits are not designed to keep pace with rising premiums, as the Obama subsidies do. Insurers would be able to experiment with redesigned plans that hold the promise of lower premiums. The pros and cons will become clearer as more detail and analysis emerges. Online insurance markets Status: HealthCare.gov froze up the day it was launched in 2013, an episode that embarrassed the Obama White House and prompted a high-tech repair job lasting weeks. Since then, the federal website has improved, now serving as the backbone of a system that insures about 12 million people nationwide. Several states operate similar websites. Impact: The GOP bill does not repeal area, Tran replied, No, I am a friend of the president. I have an appointment, the police report said. Asked how he got there, he said he President Donald Trump (back right), meets (from left, clockwise), Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, Shulkin s wife, Merle Bari, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and his wife Hilary Geary, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his fi ancee Scottish actress Louise Linton, together with other members of his cabinet and the White House staff on March 11, at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. (AP) the provisions that created HealthCare. gov and its state counterparts, but their future is unclear nonetheless. The federal and state marketplaces would likely shrink, said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. With smaller tax credits, there wouldn t be as many customers. The GOP bill allows consumers to use their tax credits for coverage purchased outside the government markets as well. Meanwhile, Health Secretary Tom Price says he firmly believes that nobody will be worse off financially under the health care overhaul the Trump administration and congressional Republicans envision replacing President Barack Obama s law. Price tells NBC s Meet the Press that people will have choices as they select the kind of coverage they want as opposed to what the government forces them to buy. Price says success would mean more people covered and at an average lower cost than now. In related news, Vice-President Mike Pence appealed for total GOP congressional support for a White Housebacked health overhaul during a brief visit Saturday to Kentucky, where the Republican governor and junior senator are among the plan s skeptics. This is going to be a battle in Washington, D.C. And for us to seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all, we need every Republican in Congress, and we re counting on Kentucky, Pence said at an energy company where business leaders had gathered. He said President Donald Trump would lean on House Republicans including two Kentucky lawmakers in the audience, Reps. Andy Barr and Brett Guthrie to vote to replace former President Barack Obama s law. Pence s trip was part of an effort to reassure conservatives who have raised objections to the House plan. In a sign of the high stakes, Pence s motorcade passed a long line of demonstrators who chanted, Save our care. Almost at the time Pence landed in Louisville, Trump tweeted: We are making great progress with health care. ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse. Republicans coming together to get job done! jumped the fence. The Secret Service said in a statement that the intruder, whom it did not identify, had climbed an outer perimeter fence near the Treasury Department and East Executive Avenue. He was arrested without further incident, the agency said. Authorities found two cans of Mace on Tran, including one inside his jacket pocket, according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court. Tran was also carrying a US passport, an Apple laptop computer, a book written by Trump and a letter he had written to the president, the complaint said. Secret Service did a fantastic job last night, Trump said Saturday from his golf club in Northern Virginia. He described the intruder as a troubled person and the situation as very sad. Trump was briefed on the matter Friday night, said his spokesman, Sean Spicer. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was also briefed on the incident, the Secret Service said. Kelly was among several Cabinet secretaries and senior White House staff members who attended a working lunch with the president at the Trump National Golf Club. In the letter found on Tran, he mentioned Russian hackers and said he had information of relevance, according to the criminal complaint. He alleged that he had been followed, that his phone and communications had been read by third parties, and that he has been called schizophrenic. (AP)

12 INTERNATIONAL 12 World News Roundup History Mass grave exposed Amateur historian opens locked doors Corless TUAM, Ireland, March 12, (RTRS): Catherine Corless has been haunted all her life by childhood memories of the skinny children from the local Catholic home for unmarried mothers and their babies in the small cathedral town of Tuam in the west of Ireland. Known locally as the home babies, the children lived in secrecy behind the dark, high walls of the home run by nuns from the Bon Secours order. Some of them attended the same school as Corless, but they were kept apart from the other children. Once, egged on by classmates, Corless played a trick on one of the home babies, handing over what looked like a sweet but was in fact only an empty wrapper. I m so sorry for that. It s stuck me with, that memory. It was only later I thought that poor child never got a sweet, they would have loved a sweet, Corless told Reuters in an interview at her home in the countryside outside Tuam. Now a grandmother and amateur local historian, Corless has spent years painstakingly researching records to discover what happened behind those high walls, where unmarried pregnant women were sent to have their babies in secret. Alone, often met with silence and obstruction from Church and state bureaucracies that held longforgotten records, Corless eventually exposed the existence of a mass grave of babies and toddlers in a sewer on the grounds of the home. The discovery, confirmed last week by the results of archaeological excavations, has horrified Ireland and caused a new wave of soul-searching about how women and children were treated at Catholic institutions in the past. The recent horrifying revelations of a mass grave of babies in Tuam, discovered as a result of the relentless work of local historian Catherine Corless, often impeded, rarely assisted, is another necessary step in blowing open the locked doors of a hidden Ireland, said President Michael D. Higgins on Wednesday. Research Born in 1954, Corless grew up on a farm near Tuam, worked as a typist-receptionist as a young woman, then married and raised her four children at home. In the 1990s, she became interested in local history and took a part-time course on how to conduct historical research using primary sources. In 2012, she offered to write an article for a local journal on the mother-and-baby home about which very little was known. At first she tried archival newspapers, but all she could find were advertisements tendering for childsized coffins for the home. There were precise size specifications and the coffins were required to have brass handles and a brass crucifix on top. That got me thinking, there must have been a lot of deaths in the home if they were putting out tenders for coffins every six months, said Corless. The breakthrough came when she obtained the death certificates of all the children who died at the home. She had no idea how many there would be. When the answer came, she was stunned: in the 36 years the home was open, from , 796 children died. It was like a bolt of lightning. It just went through me. Is that possible? said Corless, describing that moment. There was no trace of those children in any of the local cemeteries, and no written records of their places of burial. Government records show that in the 1930s-1950s more than one in four babies born out of wedlock in Ireland died, a rate more than five times that of children born to married parents. Mortality The records do not show how many children were living in the Tuam home at any given time, but suggest mortality rates that were even higher. In 1947, 49 babies were born in the home and 30 more admitted under the age of one. Forty-six children died there, most before their first birthday; the oldest was three. The vacant home was demolished in the 1970s. A housing estate was built in its place, with a large playground tucked away behind some of the back yards. It had long been rumoured locally that there was an unmarked children s graveyard on the site, and a grassy corner near the playground had been tended for years by residents who installed a small grotto with a statuette of the Virgin Mary. By comparing old and new maps of the site, Corless established that the mysterious, informal children s graveyard was located in the same place as a very old sewage tank. Her research was published locally, and eventually made national and international headlines in 2014, causing widespread revulsion and prompting the government to set up a commission of inquiry into the Tuam home and 17 other mother-and-baby homes. So far, there have been two test excavations at Tuam and only a sample of remains were recovered for analysis. They were found to range from 35-week-old foetuses to three-year-old children. It s only the start. They have to find out. Are they all there? said Corless. They have to be counted if it s possible, because if they re not all there the question remains: where are they? Since her research became public, Corless has been contacted by more than 100 people with connections to the home, and has helped some of them locate long lost relatives or the graves of mothers who were forced to part from them when they left the home. I m here for them. I m happy I can help them. A lot of the time it s just a grave I find for them, a mother s grave. My work continues. I have a box of files of people who are looking for help, said Corless. She said many of the siblings of the lost babies wanted them re-interred in a consecrated graveyard. They want a place to come to visit. It s hard for them to come in there and stand over a patch of ground in the middle of a housing estate and pay their respects. Belgium s King Philippe (left), walks with his children (from right), Princess Eleonore, Prince Emmanuel and Prince Gabriel during a visit to Train World in Brussels on March 11. (AP) Belgium s King Philippe (right), watches as his son Prince Gabriel works the controls in a train simulator during a visit to Train World in Brussels on March 11. (AP) A woman walks her dogs through a colourful carpet of over 100,000 crocuses at Wallington Hall near Morpeth in northeastern England, on March 9. The hall and estate, home to generations of the Trevelyan family, is now under the care of the National Trust. (AP) Britain Russian hacking threat : A British intelligence agency has told political parties to protect themselves against potential cyber attacks, citing allegations that Russian hackers tried to influence last year s US presidential election. Britain s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of the GCHQ spying agency, said it had written to the leaders of political parties offering to help strengthen their network security, confirming a report in the Sunday Times. You will be aware of the coverage of events in the United States, Germany and elsewhere reminding us of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system, a letter from NCSC head Ciaran Martin said, according to the Times. Attacks against our democratic processes go beyond (political parties) and can include attacks on parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups and individuals accounts, it said. The NCSC told Reuters it had written to parties on the matter, although it did not confirm that the main cybersecurity risk was Russia. Asked about the report, foreign minister Boris Johnson said: We have no evidence that the Russians are actually involved in trying to undermine our democratic processes at the moment. But what we do have is plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that. And there is no doubt that they ve been up to all sorts of dirty tricks, he told ITV television s Peston on Sunday. (RTRS) Russia, UK prepare ground: Russia and Britain discussed relations between the two countries and preparations for a visit by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Moscow, Russia s foreign ministry said on Saturday. Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov met Britain s Minister for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan on Friday to discuss bilateral relations which had significantly deteriorated in recent years, the ministry said in a statement. The two had talked about the situation in Ukraine, Syria, fighting international terrorism and other issues, it added. Martin Brexit The Russian foreign ministry statement did not say when Johnson would visit Moscow. (RTRS) Foster may step aside: The senior Protestant politician in Northern Ireland left the door open Sunday for stepping Don t delay Brexit: minister UK has backup plan LONDON, March 12, (Agencies): Britain is drawing up contingency plans for the unlikely event it has to walk away from divorce talks with the European Union without a deal, Brexit minister David Davis said on Sunday. Prime Minister Theresa May is set to begin exit talks by the end of the month, kicking off Britain s most complex set of negotiations since the end of World War Two. The outcome will shape Britain s political and economic future. Ahead of the start of negotiations, which could be triggered as early as Tuesday, a committee of lawmakers warned it would be a serious dereliction of duty if the government failed to plan for the possibility of not reaching an exit deal. I don t think, firstly, that is remotely likely, Davis told the BBC s Andrew Marr Show, responding to the report. It s in absolutely everybody s interest that we get a good outcome. Parliament s Foreign Affairs committee warned that a breakdown in negotiations would be a very destructive outcome, causing economic harm to both sides as well as creating uncertainty and legal confusion for individuals and businesses. The simple truth is we have been planning for the contingency - all the various outcomes, all the possible outcomes of the negotiations, Davis said. One of the reasons we don t talk about the contingency plan too much is that we don t want people to think Oh, this is what we re trying to do. Asked when May would trigger talks, Davis declined to name a specific date. Each date has different implications in terms of when it could be responded to by the (European) council... I m not going to get into the details why, but there s politics in terms Johnson of achieving success. Before May can begin negotiations, she must finish passing the legislation that gives her the right to formally notify the EU of Britain s intention to leave and start a two-year negotiating period as set out in the EU s Lisbon treaty. The laws are expected to be finalised in a series of votes early next week, which will test May s authority over her Conservative Party as she seeks to overturn changes made to the draft bill by parliament s upper chamber. For more on when May could trigger exit talks, see: The government suffered two heavy defeats in parliament during the legislative process, inserting conditions into the bill saying May must guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in Britain and give lawmakers more powers to reject the final terms she reaches with the EU. Facing a possible rebellion from Conservatives who want to vote on the final Brexit terms, Davis urged lawmakers to back May s Brexit strategy and overturn those changes because they would tie the government s hands in the negotiations. What we can t have is either house of parliament reversing the decision of the British people they haven t got a veto, Davis said. In related news, Britain s top minister for leaving the European Union said Sunday that lawmakers should let May get on with the job of quitting the bloc, and the main opposition Brexit spokesman said he expects the divorce papers to be filed this week. Davis said lawmakers should pass a bill authorizing exit talks on Monday without amendments so the government can enter EU negotiations with no strings attached. aside as part of a potential deal to revive the British territory s unity government with Catholics. Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster said she asserted no personal claim to be first minister, the top post that she held before January s collapse of powersharing. Foster has been under pressure to quit since her pro-british party nearly lost its No. 1 position in politics to the Irish nationalists of Sinn Fein. In a Belfast interview with Sky News, Foster insisted she would not quit as party leader but could allow another leading Democratic Unionist to be nominated in her place as first minister if her colleagues want to back an alternative. It is up to our party to decide who our nominee will be, she said. Sinn Fein has demanded that concession for months, citing Foster s disparaging comments on Irish nationalist issues and her past oversight of a green energy program that could cost taxpayers tens of millions in recklessly uncapped subsidies. Sinn Fein s surprise January withdrawal from power-sharing ended its nearly decade-old partnership with the Democratic Unionists, forced Foster out as first minister and precipitating March 2 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Power-sharing was the central goal of a 1998 peace accord that sought to end the decades of conflict over Northern Ireland that has claimed 3,700 lives since Overtly campaigning for Foster s ouster, Sinn Fein surged to within a whisker of overtaking the Democratic Unionists a surprise that left many Protestants calling for Foster s removal, too. The new 90-member Assembly has 28 Foster Democratic Unionists and 27 Sinn Fein lawmakers. (AP) France not work-shy : France sets out to dispel a national stereotype in its latest advertising push to lure financial companies from Britain, with the slogan: You think we don t work much? We just like to be effective. Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and other European centres are keen to persuade London-based banks to shift some of their business abroad in order to continue to be able to offer services throughout the EU after Britain leaves the bloc. The French capital started an advertising campaign in London last summer with the catch phrase Tired of fog? Try the frogs! Since then, only HSBC, which already has a subsidiary in Paris, has said it will move significant business to France. It plans to relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris. French officials have acknowledged France s strict labour laws can put off businesses, while bankers say high employers payroll charges and a frequently changing tax system put Paris at a disadvantage. The new advertising campaign, launched in London this week by the Ile-de-France region that includes Paris, seeks to dispel some of these concerns. You think we live in a fiscal frenzy? We are just tax-imaginative in the right way, it says. A person involved in coordinating the Paris campaign acknowledged that another deterrent for the British firms is uncertainty over the outcome of the French presidential election in April and May. (RTRS) White men endangered species : The chairman of Britain s biggest retailer Tesco has said he was joking after telling an audience of aspiring non-executive directors (NED) that white men were an endangered species in UK boardrooms. John Allan, who became Tesco chairman in 2015, told the Retail Week Live conference earlier this week that women and people from an ethnic background were in an extremely propitious period when it came to getting top jobs in business. For a thousand years, men have got most of these jobs, the pendulum has swung very significantly the other way now and will do for the foreseeable future, I think, British newspapers quoted Allan as saying. If you are a white male, tough. You are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard. Allan later told the Guardian his comments, made the day after International Women s Day, were not meant to be taken at face value and that they had amused his mainly female audience. It was intended to be humorous, a bit hyperbolic. Clearly, white men are not literally an endangered species, but I was actually wanting the make the reverse point, which is that it is a great time for women and people of ethnic minorities who want to get on in business. In a statement on Saturday, Allan said he was a strong advocate of greater diversity and regretted if his remarks had given the opposite impression. (RTRS) Reports tip of the iceberg : More than 1,400 cases of forced marriage were reported in Britain last year, a small increase on 2015, according to data released on Thursday, but campaigners said the number was the tip of the iceberg as the practice remains largely hidden. Britain s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) recorded 1,428 cases in 2016 through its public helpline and service, up from 1,220 the year before. The unit also said it had received the highest number of calls to its helpline since Around a quarter of cases in 2016 involved children under 18, but most victims were between 18 and 24 years old. Activists said they were encouraged by the rise in recorded cases, saying it was likely due to more people reporting the crime because of greater awareness. When you get figures like this, the first reaction is, this is absolutely horrendous. But the positive thing is people feel that they re able to report it, said Aneeta Prem, founder of Freedom Charity, which campaigns on forced marriage. Forced marriage is illegal under British law, even if carried out abroad. Many cases involve girls from South Asian backgrounds, but the FMU said it had handled cases involving more than 90 countries since Pakistan accounted for 612 cases handled, Bangladesh (121), India (79), Somalia (47), Afghanistan (39) and Saudi Arabia (16). Only 157 of cases involved potential or actual forced marriage happening in Britain. Campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera, chief executive of Karma Nirvana, a charity which supports survivors of forced marriage, said despite the increase in recorded cases, the practice remains a hugely underreported issue. The victims are extremely isolated and the people who are abusing them are their nearest and dearest family members. So you can imagine how difficult it is to report it in that environment, said Sanghera, who escaped from a forced marriage as a teenager. We re all dealing with the tip of the iceberg because (forced marriage) is completely under-reported and we have got a lot to do, she said. (RTRS)

13 INTERNATIONAL 13 Diplomacy Trade, defense on agenda Merkel meets Trump in clash of substance BERLIN, March 12, (RTRS): She is controlled and cautious, a physicist from East Germany who takes her time making decisions and has never relished the attention that comes from being Europe s most powerful leader. He is a wealthy real estate magnate from New York who shoots from the hip and enjoys the spotlight. It is hard to imagine two leaders more different, in style or substance, than Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Donald Trump, the new president of the United States. For months, they have been engaged in an uneasy long-distance skirmish over policy and values. On Tuesday, they meet for the first time a highstakes encounter that will be watched by governments around the world for clues about the future of the transatlantic alliance, a partnership that has helped shape the global order since World War Two but which Trump is threatening to upend. Do I think they are going to become good friends? Probably not. They are very different personalities, said Charles Kupchan, who advised Merkel Trump s predecessor Barack Obama on European policy as a member of the National Security Council. But I do think they have a strong interest, both politically and strategically, in learning how to work together. It is arguably the most important meeting with a foreign leader of Trump s presidency. German officials say the detail-oriented Merkel, 62, has been preparing assiduously for her trip to Washington. She has watched Trump s speeches and poured over his interviews, including a lengthy Q&A with Playboy magazine from 1990 in which he floats many of the controversial ideas he is now trying to implement as president, they say. Analysed Members of her entourage have also analysed Trump s encounters with other leaders including Britain s Theresa May, Japan s Shinzo Abe and Canada s Justin Trudeau and have had exchanges with some of their counterparts on how to handle the unpredictable former reality-tv star, the officials added. We have to be prepared for the fact that he does not like to listen for long, that he prefers clear positions and does not want to delve into details, said one senior German official. On both economic and foreign policy, the divide between the two leaders appears vast. Trump, 70, has called Merkel s decision to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into Germany a catastrophic mistake. He has threatened to impose tariffs on German carmakers that import into the US market. And he has criticised Berlin for not spending more on defence, a longstanding US complaint that Merkel has promised to address. Another source of tension is Germany s 50 billion euro trade surplus with the United States. Trump adviser Peter Navarro has accused Germany of gaining unfair trade advantages through a weak euro. Merkel and her ministers have pointed out that the European Central Bank and not Berlin controls the fate of Europe s single currency. Russia will also be on the agenda. White House officials have said Trump will seek advice from Merkel on how to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin. For her part, Merkel has been critical of Trump s travel ban targeting the citizens of several mainly Muslim countries. In a phone call in January, she explained to Trump that the Geneva Convention obliges signatories, including the United States, to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds. Decision Merkel is also concerned that Trump, who has repeatedly praised Britain s decision to leave the European Union, might continue to undermine the bloc with his rhetoric at a time of deep crisis triggered by the rise of anti-eu populist parties. Europe is in a very fragile, precarious state and Germany is trying to ensure that the European integration project holds together. I suspect the chancellor will want to make this clear to the president, said Anthony Gardner, who served as US ambassador to the European Union until January. This is an opportunity to sketch out areas of common interest, to define a positive agenda, he added. But one meeting won t change the atmosphere on its own. Trump is the third US president that Merkel, Europe s longest-serving leader, has worked with. She established a good rapport with George W. Bush, who was keen to repair ties with Germany after his clash with Merkel s predecessor Gerhard Schroeder over the Iraq war. And although relations with Obama got off to an awkward start when Merkel rebuffed his request to speak at the Brandenburg Gate during the 2008 presidential campaign, the two grew close over time, cooperating on sanctions against Russia and launching negotiations on a transatlantic free-trade deal. The parting is hard for me, Merkel acknowledged when Obama visited Berlin in November, a week after Trump s victory. The German leader will be walking a fine line in Washington. With an election looming at home in September, she must avoid offering her political opponents ammunition by cozying up to Trump. Neither can she afford an open confrontation that might damage German interests. One of the biggest concerns in the chancellor s camp before the visit is the potential for surprises. Japan s Abe had an awkward 19-second handshake with Trump, while May was criticised in some sections of the British media for holding hands with Trump during a stroll at the White House, apparently after he reached out to steady himself. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Trump last month, he and his team spent the day before running through endless scenarios, lines of questioning and role-plays to ensure they were prepared for any scenario. But in the end, they were still taken aback when Trump spoke off the cuff at their news conference on the sensitive issues of settlements and a future Palestinian state. Merkel has admitted to being so uncomfortable with surprises as a child that she drew up her Christmas wish-list months in advance to avoid being caught off-guard by an unexpected gift. With Trump, she might have to expect the unexpected. A protester holds a lit fl are during clashes with riot police during a demonstration against the visit of the leader of the Northern League party Matteo Salvini, in Naples, Italy on March 11. Riot police moved in Saturday to quell violent protests in Naples sparked by the fi rst major rally in the southern city by the anti-immigrant Northern League leader. (AP) Police guard near the shopping mall Centro in Oberhausen, Germany on March 11. Police in the area have increased security measures after police have ordered a shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open Saturday after receiving credible tips for an imminent attack. (AP) Fillon Europe Putin Fillon s party apologises: Francois Fillon s party has apologised for tweeting a caricature of Emmanuel Macron, his main rival in the race to be France s next president, that Fillon himself admitted was anti-semitic. Fillon s conservative The Republicans tweeted an image of the independent centrist Macron with a hooked nose, wearing a top hat and carrying a red sickle with which he was cutting a cigar. The image resembled anti-semitic propaganda from World War Two when France s Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis and their deportation and extermination of Jews. Macron is not Jewish but the cartoon appeared to refer to his past as a Rothschild investment banker. A day after the tweet was posted and subsequently deleted Fillon called the image unacceptable and said he understood the outrage it had caused because it evoked the images of a dark period of our history and exploited an ideology that I have always fought against. (RTRS) German police question man: German police said on Sunday they were questioning a man in his early 20s who was detained after an overnight operation in the southwestern town of Offenburg following a security threat. Germany is on high alert following deadly militant attacks in France and Belgium and after a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December, killing 12 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack. Police said they believed one target of a potential attack was a night club. They added that no weapons were found during the operation and a second man who was arrested was later released. Federal and local police officers stepped up security in Offenburg s town centre and on public transport. Offenburg lies in the state of Baden- Wuerttemberg close to the French border. French police were involved in the operation. Separately, on Saturday, police in the city of Essen closed a shopping mall after security agencies warned of a possible attack. (RTRS) When will dialogue start? : The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin is expressing frustration with the inconclusive first two months of relations between Moscow and the Donald Trump administration. The election of Trump, who had spoken admiringly of Putin and called for Netherlands Tight security reaction to death threats Dutch lawmaker fans fl ames THE HAGUE, Netherlands, March 12, (AP): With his flamboyant shock of blonde-dyed hair and fiery anti-islam rhetoric, Dutch politician Geert Wilders comes across a man who doesn t mind the limelight. Yet for the past dozen years, the right-wing populist has spent much of his time holed up in anonymous safe houses or in a heavily guarded wing of Parliament. Tight security surrounds Wilders night and day, and he hardly ventures outdoors. For his handful of campaign events ahead of a March 15 election, he traveled in convoys of armored cars. It s a total lack of freedom. That s how I would say it, Wilders, who leads the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, told The Associated Press in a recent interview. The elaborate protection apparatus that surrounds him is a reaction to death threats from extremists enraged by his fierce criticism of Islam. Wilders has made headlines and drawn condemnation for more than a decade for his anti-islam rhetoric. At the same time, support for his party has grown in fits and starts, mirroring what he calls a Patriotic Spring sweeping Europe. Despite slipping in the polls recently, the Party for Freedom remains on track to become one of the biggest parties in the 150-seat lower house. Compared He also is regularly compared to President Donald Trump, for his policies and also his penchant for communicating via Twitter. As protests and riots unfolded this weekend in Rotterdam over a Dutch government decision to block the visits of two Turkish ministers, Wilders fired off regular incendiary tweets. Go away and never come back... and take all your Turkish fans from improved US-Russia relations, had raised hopes in the Kremlin. But Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says there are no signs of progress yet. Peskov said in a CNN interview broadcast Sunday: Unfortunately, we don t have a better understanding of when this dialogue can begin. Trump s campaign statements on Russia had led to speculation that the United States would drop sanctions imposed on Russia for its interference in Ukraine. According to a transcript of his CNN interview, Peskov said: Russia will never initiate putting this issue on the agenda. (AP) Poland to play rough with EU: Poland will start obstructing European Union business and play a rough game in Brussels after the bloc angered Warsaw by reappointing Donald Tusk as head of the European Council, the foreign minister said. Tusk, Poland s former prime minister and a long-standing rival of current Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, won a second term as chairman of EU summit meetings with Poland the only country to vote against his extension. Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said in comments published on Saturday that his government will respond to the vote by blocking other initiatives, to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte talks to a Somali migrant during a campaign stop in Breda, Netherlands on March 11. (AP) The Netherlands with you please. #byebye, he said in one as Turkey s family affairs minister was at the center of a tense standoff at the Turkish consulate. His one-page election manifesto is light on economic policy and heavy on pledges to de-islamize the Netherlands, a nation of 17 million where an estimated 5 percent of the adult population is Muslim. But he has alienated so much of the political mainstream that even if he wins the popular vote he is considered unlikely to be able to form a ruling coalition in a nation where no single party has ever ruled alone. Crucially, Prime Minister Rutte has ruled out working together after the election. Polls show Rutte s center-right People s Party for Freedom and Democracy with the most voter support in the days leading up to Wednesday s election. Rejects Rutte rejects Wilders polarizing rhetoric, but also harbors hard feelings over Wilders decision to effectively torpedo Rutte s first minority government in After weeks of negotiations on a tough austerity package, Wilders, who pledged to prop up the government by marshaling party lawmakers for key votes, backed out, forcing fresh elections. We know they walk away when the going gets tough, that they make problems bigger not smaller, Rutte said of the Party for Freedom. Even so, Wilders message has found strong support in a nation known for its long history of religious tolerance and personal freedoms. Wilders opposition to Islam dates back to the days when he could still move freely around the world. In his youth he lived in Israel, which he saw as a democratic oasis surrounded by oppressive regimes in the Middle East. After working for a Dutch government welfare organization, Wilders gravitated into politics and joined the party now led by Rutte. But he quit in 2004 over his opposition bringing Turkey into the European Union. Two years later, he formally established the PVV, the Dutch acronym for the Party for Freedom. Wilders set up his party so that he is its only member, allowing him to keep a tight rein on its message and lawmakers. Wilders rules his kingdom like an emperor, brother Paul Wilders said in a recent interview with Dutch broadcaster RTL. Whoever contradicts him is finished, family or not. The extraordinary security measures that surround him were put in place after an Islamic extremist murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam street in November Wilders, already an outspoken critic of Islam, was whisked with his wife, Krisztina, into a netherworld of heavily guarded safe houses due to fears that he could become the next victim. He says he misses the routines of a conventional life. Not being able to do all the things normal people can do from... emptying your own mail box, to doing some shopping or walking freely or driving my own car, Wilders said. It s all impossible, and there is always that threat that people might do something. The circumstances haven t caused Wilders to hold his tongue. He was acquitted of hate speech charges in 2011, but found guilty in a separate trial last year of insulting and inciting discrimination against Moroccans. He is appealing the conviction. Just last month, he blamed what he called Moroccan scum for street crime. play a very rough game in the European Union. One has to state it openly: EU policy turned out to be a policy of double standards and cheating, Waszczykowski told tabloid Super Express. (RTRS) EU opposes peace deal: European Union member states have rejected Turkey s demand that its citizens be granted the freedom to relocate and transfer money, services and goods to EU member Cyprus under any deal reunifying the ethnically divided island, the Cypriot president said Saturday. Nicos Anastasiades said all EU leaders consider it a bad precedent for Cyprus or any other country to breach bloc rules and grant such key freedoms to third-country citizens. This matter concerns the whole of the European Union, not just Cyprus, Anastasiades said. Turkey said in January that any Cyprus peace deal should incorporate such a condition. But Greek Cypriot officials fear such a development would enable Turkey to overwhelm the small island of 1.1 million people economically, demographically or otherwise. Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of uniting Cyprus with Greece. Although the island joined the EU in 2004, only the internationally recognized south enjoys full membership benefits. A Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey, which maintains 35,000 troops in the breakaway north. Turkey s demand further complicated difficult negotiations that stalled last month amid Turkish Cypriot anger over legislation to commemorate in Greek Cypriot schools a 1950 referendum calling for Cyprus union with Greece. (AP)

14 INTERNATIONAL 14 World News Roundup Libya All-out conflict Libyan powers battle to control oil terminals CAIRO, March 12, (AP): Hundreds if not thousands of armed men are converging on Libya s main oil shipping terminals, which the rival powers in the country s east and west are fighting to control in a battle being watched by global oil markets. The struggle for the Ras Lanuf refinery and nearby Sidr depot threatens to spiral into an all-out conflict between east and west. Already, it has seen the bloodiest fighting yet between the two camps: Around 40 troops from the east were killed over four days as militias backed by western factions stormed the area last Friday, losing a handful of casualties. Now forces from the east loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar are massing nearby, threatening a new assault to wrest back the facilities, which are nominally in the hands of the Tripoli government. In another worrying step, the eastern parliament on Tuesday voted to withdraw support from the United Nations peace deal that created the Tripoli government in January 2016 in hopes of ending years of chaos in the North African country. The withdrawal of support further undermines the government, which has had difficulty Haftar asserting authority even in Tripoli. The following is a look at the Libyan players, the oil terminals at the center of the fight and what could happen next: The East Haftar, an army general, former CIA asset and US citizen who lived nearly 20 years in American exile, is the most powerful figure in the east, touting himself as the champion against Islamic militants in Libya though his enemies accuse him of aiming to become a new dictator like Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown and killed in the country s 2011 Arab Spring revolt. He has talked of marching to take Tripoli to unite the country, hinting that he aims to rule. He opposed the government set up by the UN peace deal because it would have pushed him out as head of the military. The general is backed by Egypt and Russia, but Washington under the Obama administration kept him at arm s length. One key question in his future will be whether the US warms up to him under President Donald Trump, who has sounded more favorable to Egypt and more open to dealing with regional strongmen. He commands a collection of militias and eastern tribal forces as well as the remnants of the Libyan National Army, including Gaddafi-era officers. Haftar is also allied to the eastern-based parliament, which was the last legislature to be elected in Libya and had to flee east when opponents took over the west in Haftar s forces seized the oil facilities last year. The Obama administration had joined the UN in calling on him to hand them over to the Tripoli government. Haftar had seemed more inclined to use them as a bargaining chip to force a rewriting of the peace accord. The West The Tripoli government was created under the UN deal in hopes of ending the east-west split. Instead, it has become just another player in that divide, reliant on its militia allies to have any authority. Chief among those allies are the militias of the neighboring city of Misrata, the strongest and most cohesive fighting force in the west. The Misrata militias provide security for the Tripoli government and it was they who earlier this year captured the Islamic State group s main stronghold, Sirte, effectively defeating for now the extremists attempt to extend their caliphate to Libya. The international community has tried to bolster the Tripoli government particularly Italy, which is heavily invested in Libya s oil sector and has a military presence in the capital in the form of an army hospital that treated Misrata fighters during the battle against IS. It was a newly formed militia that retook the oil facilities at Ras Lanouf and Sidr. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, as it is called, depicts itself as an easternbased force, made up of former rebels and Islamic militants recently defeated by Haftar s forces in the eastern city of Benghazi. But it is clearly linked to the west, with some Misrata fighters in its ranks and its commanders recently held a press conference in Misrata. The Brigades handed the oil facilities over to the control of the Tripoli government, which has ordered its National Petroleum Guards under Brig. Gen. Idris Abukhamada the official guard force for oil infrastructure to deploy at the sites. Oil Impact Oil prices have dropped over the past week because of growing US supplies, frustrating OPEC attempts to bolster the price by curbing production. While the supply glut is the biggest factor dominating the market, the Libya fighting has potential to put some upward pressure on prices. It did so when the Brigades took Ras Lanouf and Sidr last week, forcing the shutdown of the maritime export terminals there, Libya s largest. That spooked the markets, causing a brief blip of higher prices. The facilities remain closed, causing some reduction in Libya s production, which in February had reached 700,000 barrels a day. Oil is Libya s only real source of revenue, and it has been trying to rebuild the industry, though it remains but a shadow of the 1.6 billion barrels a day produced in While the oil facilities have changed hands several times over the past years, the revenues have continued to flow into the central bank based in Tripoli, an arrangement accepted by all parties that for the moment is not in doubt. Heavier fighting at the facilities could further scare traders, especially if infrastructure is damaged. What could happen next The ball appears to be in Haftar s court. His forces could face only weak opposition if they stormed Ras Lanouf and Sidr, protected only by the official oil guard units. But the impact could be much wider. Until now, the powers in east and west have largely avoided fighting directly, instead battling through proxies. Storming the oil facilities would be a direct assault by Haftar on the internationally backed Tripoli government since it officially holds them now. Haftar would likely be seen as flouting the United Nations and European countries, which have called for a cease-fire. That opens the door to further possible escalations. How far Haftar goes depends on whether he finds international supporters, but he could try to carry out his threats to move against Tripoli, pitting him against Misrata s powerful fighters. Protesters wave fl ags outside the Dutch consulate in central Istanbul s Istiklal Avenue, the main shopping road of Istanbul, early Sunday, March 12. The escalating dispute between Turkey and the Netherlands spilled over into Sunday, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, Turkey s Minister of Family Affairs, who was escorted back to the German border after a long standoff outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, speaks to the media at Ataturk Airport after her return to Turkey, in Islanbul on March 12. (AP) Daqamseh Mideast King Hussein Jordan killer freed: A Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in a 1997 shooting rampage was released Sunday, after serving 20 years in prison. Ahmed Daqamseh opened fire on the eighth graders while they were on a class trip to the scenic Island of Peace border post, killing seven girls and wounding seven others. A Jordanian court later deemed Daqamseh mentally unstable and sentenced him to life in prison, rather than imposing the death penalty. Daqamseh arrived before dawn Sunday in his home village of Ibdir in northern Jordan. Amateur video posted online showed him being surrounded by singing and dancing men, some kissing him on the cheek. Jordan had announced several days ago that Daqamseh would be released this week, after completing his term. In Jordan, life terms are not open-ended, and prisoners can be released after 20 years. There was no immediate Israeli government reaction Sunday. In 2011, Israel had summoned Jordan s ambassador to express anger after the kingdom s then-justice minister called for Daqamseh s early release. Yisrael Fatihi, whose 13-year-old daughter Sivan was killed in the attack, told Israel Radio on Sunday that he had been informed by the Israeli embassy in Jordan last week that Daqamseh s release was imminent. It is unfortunate, but this is the situation, Fatihi said. After the shooting, Jordan s King Hussein the late father of the current king, Abdullah II rushed to Israel and paid condolence visits to the girls families, a gesture that touched many Israelis at the time. The girls were from the town of Beit Shemesh in central Israel. Fatihi recalled Hussein s condolence visit, saying he and his family had been sitting on the floor in mourning at the time and that the monarch knelt down next to them. We told him we really appreciated his visit, Fatihi said. (AP) Policeman killed in Tunis attack: Islamist militants attacked a checkpoint in a town in southwest Tunisia early on Sunday, killing a policeman and wounding three others, security officials said. Two militants were also killed in an exchange of fire during the attack in Turkey with a Turkish minister unable to enter her consulate after the authorities there had already blocked a visit by the foreign minister, prompting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to call the Dutch fascists. (AP) Dutch PM seeks to de-escalate tensions Ankara pledges harsh retaliations ANKARA/ROTTERDAM, March 12, (Agencies): Turkey told the Netherlands on Sunday that it would retaliate in the harshest ways after Turkish ministers were barred from speaking in Rotterdam, as a row over Ankara s political campaigning among Turkish immigrants escalated. President Tayyip Erdogan labeled the Netherlands a Nazi remnant after it became the latest European country worried about political tensions inside Turkey spilling beyond its borders to prevent Turkish politicians from holding rallies. The Dutch government on Saturday first barred Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying to Rotterdam and later stopped Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in the port city, before escorting her out of the country to Germany. Dutch police used dogs and water canon early on Sunday to disperse hundreds of protesters outside the consulate in Rotterdam who were waving Turkish flags and throwing bottles and stones. Several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons, a Reuters witness said. Officers carried out charges on horseback. The Dutch government, which stands to lose heavily to the anti-islam party of Geert Wilders in elections next week, said the ministers visits were undesirable and that it would not cooperate in the political campaigning of Turkish ministers in the Netherlands. In a statement issued early on Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey would retaliate in the harshest ways and respond in kind to this unacceptable behaviour. Protesters also gathered outside the Dutch embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul, throwing eggs and stones at the buildings. Turkish authorities had earlier sealed off the premises in apparent retaliation. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he would do everything to deescalate the diplomatic confrontation, which he described as the worst the Netherlands had experienced in years. For a short period, the Turkish flag Kebili, which lies on the edge of Tunisia s southern desert region, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. The attackers opened fire on a police patrol that had set up a checkpoint at a roundabout in the town, one security official said. Security forces were combing the area to search for militants who may have escaped following the attack, a second official said. File photo shows an anti-government rebel sits with an anti-aircraft weapon in front an oil refinery in Ras Lanouf, eastern Libya. The fi ght for Libya s Ras Lanuf refinery and nearby Sidr depot threatens to spiral into open confl ict between rival factions vying for power from east and west. With both sides claiming the facilities as their own but control unclear, decisive days lie ahead. (AP) flew outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul. Sources inside the Turkish presidency said the flags had been changed by Dutch consulate officials and that there had been no outside interference. Ahead of his planned trip, Cavusoglu had threatened tough economic and political sanctions against the Netherlands if it refused him entry. Supporting Rutte s decision to ban the visits, the Dutch government said there was a risk of Turkish political divisions flowing over into its own Turkish minority, which has both pro- and anti-erdogan camps. It cited public order and security worries in withdrawing landing rights for Cavusoglu s flight. Turkey fired back saying the Dutch ambassador to Ankara should not return from leave for some time. Erdogan is looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to help secure victory next month in a referendum that would give the presidency sweeping new powers. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will do all she can to prevent Turkey s domestic tensions spreading onto German territory. Austria and Switzerland have also cancelled Turkish rallies due to the escalating dispute. Pressure The diplomatic row comes in the run-up to the coming week s Dutch election in which the mainstream parties are under strong pressure from the far-right party of Geert Wilders. After Kaya, the Turkish family minister, was escorted out of the country, Wilders told her on Twitter go away and never come back. Erdogan s spokesman responded by saying the Netherlands had bowed to anti-islam sentiment. Shame on the Dutch government for succumbing to anti-islam racists and fascists, and damaging long-standing Turkey-NL relations, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter. Erdogan had earlier reacted to The Netherlands actions by saying: You can cancel our foreign minister s flight as much as you want, but let s see how your flights will come to Turkey now. They don t know diplomacy or politics. They are Nazi remnants. They are fascists. In a sign the row could spread further, the owner of a venue in Sweden where a senior official from Turkey s ruling party had been due to hold a rally on Sunday cancelled the rental contract, Turkey s private Dogan news agency reported. The news agency said the owner had not given a reason for their decision. Cavusoglu also decided against traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, for an event on Sunday after failing to find a suitable venue. Zurich s security authorities had unsuccessfully lobbied the federal government in Bern to ban Cavusoglu s appearance. Rutte said it was important for his government not to bow to Turkish pressure, especially, he said, after Ankara threatened sanctions if the Dutch kept its ministers out. Turkey is a proud nation; the Netherlands is a proud nation. We can never do business under those sorts of threats and blackmail, said Rutte. Still, added the prime minister, his government will keep working to deescalate where we can. If the Turks choose to escalate, we will have to react, but we will do everything we can to de-escalate. After a tense standoff outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday night, Turkey s family and social policies minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, was escorted back to the German border. Police in Rotterdam said they arrested 12 people as a demonstration outside the Turkish consulate in the city devolved into rioting. Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said the arrests, made for alleged violence and public order offenses, came as protesters pelted police with bottles and rocks early Sunday. Police responded with baton charges and a water cannon. Wessels says seven people were injured in the brief explosion of violence, including one police officer who suffered a broken hand. Tunisia has been trying to tackle a jihadist threat after suffering major attacks by Islamist militants in 2015 and early 2016, including deadly assaults on tourists at a museum in Tunis and on a beach in Sousse. (RTRS) Cairo s population set to grow: Cairo s population is set to grow by 500,000 this year, more than any other city in the world, adding to the pressure on an Egyptian economy struggling to recover from six years of political turmoil. Greater Cairo, a metropolitan area including Cairo and parts of the Giza and Qalyubia provinces, is home to some 22.8 million people and will gain another half a million in 2017, a Euromonitor International report released last week shows. That represents a quarter of Egypt s 92 million. The national natural population growth of 2.4 percent per year is double the average of other developing countries, said Mohamed Abdelgalil, adviser to official statistics agency CAPMAS. Stinging poverty in southern Egypt leads many families to have several children in the hope they can become sources of income. Those children eventually migrate to larger cities for job opportunities scarce in their hometowns. In rural areas, and in the south in particular, poor families have many children because they see these children as a safety net, Maysa Shawky, the head of the National Population Council, told Reuters in an interview. (RTRS)

15 INTERNATIONAL 15 A vehicle (front left), carrying ousted South Korea s former president Park Geun-hye (inset) (center in the car), leaves from the presidential Blue House to her private home in Seoul, South Korea on March 12. Park left the presidential palace on Sunday evening, two days after the country s Constitutional Court removed her from office over a massive corruption scandal. (AP) China South Korea China praises courts Party officials harden their rhetoric on Islam BEIJING, March 12, (Agencies): China s ruling Communist Party is hardening its rhetoric about Islam, with top officials making repeated warnings this past week about the specter of global religious extremism seeping into the country. Shaerheti Ahan, a top political and legal affairs party official in Xinjiang, became the latest official from a predominantly Muslim region to warn political leaders gathered in Beijing about China becoming destabilized by the international anti-terror situation. Over the past year, President Xi Jinping has directed the party to Sinicize the country s ethnic and religious minorities, while regional leaders in Xinjiang, home to the Uighur (WEE-gur) ethnic minority, have ramped up policing amid an uptick in violence. The government s hardening rhetoric has coincided with new security measures that activists say exacerbate a cycle of repression, radicalization and violence. Meanwhile, the convictions of a prominent defense attorney and his associates were among the country s top legal achievements last year, China s chief justice said Sunday, highlighting a case that has been criticized by Western governments and rights groups. Xi In a report to the national legislature, Zhou Qiang also said that China, which is believed to execute more people than the rest of the world combined, gave the death penalty to an extremely small number of criminals for extremely serious offenses in the past 10 years. The actual number of executions in China is a state secret. A 2007 decision that all death sentences must be reviewed by the Supreme People s Court is believed to have reduced the number of executions dramatically. Zhou praised courts for severely punishing crimes against state security and violent terrorism, and said the trend will continue in order to resolutely safeguard the country s political security. The only case of subverting state power he highlighted was that of Zhou Shifeng, director of a law firm that used to be one of the country s bestknown advocates for human rights. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in August for attempting to manipulate public opinion and harm national security. Rights groups and Western governments including the U.S. had urged China to release Zhou and other activists and lawyers detained in a sweeping crackdown that began in Critics say it s about the ruling Communist Party silencing opponents. In a related news, China is doing a poor job at political education for university students because the classes are outdated and unfashionable, the education minister said on Sunday in a rare admission of the difficulties faced enforcing a key government policy. Values Beijing has campaigned against the spread of Western values at universities, and the ruling Communist Party s anti-corruption watchdog last year sent inspectors to monitor teachers for improper remarks in class. In December, President Xi Jinping called for allegiance to the party from colleges and universities, the latest effort by China to tighten its hold on education. Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament, Education Minister Chen Baosheng said Xi had made important comments on political education for students in December, but that there were problems on the ground. When we go and investigate at colleges and universities, attention levels at thought and political theory classes are not high. People are there in body but not in spirit, Chen said. Why is this? The contents do not suit their needs. Perhaps mainly the formula is rather outdated, the tools are rather crude and the packaging is not that fashionable, he added. Students need to be led by the core values of Chinese socialism to ensure their healthy moral growth, and they should also study traditional Chinese culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture, Chen said. That is the best way to get students ready to shoulder their responsibilities to society, he added. Crackdowns on what academics and students can say and should think are nothing new in China. A pair of delegates in ethnic minority dress pause while walking towards the Great Hall of the People to attend a plenary session of the National People s Congress (NPC) in Beijing on March 12. China s top leadership as well as thousands of delegates from around the country are gathered at the Chinese capital for the annual legislature meetings. (AP) Asia PM Abe s support slips: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe s support rate slipped six points to just under 56 percent, an opinion poll showed on Sunday, after weeks of questions in parliament about a murky land deal by a school operator to whom his wife had links. Abe has said neither he nor his wife, Akie, was involved in the sweetheart deal for state-owned land purchased by Moritomo Gakuen, an educational body in the western city of Osaka that also runs a kindergarten promoting patriotism. But opposition parties are pressing for parliament to call the school principal, who resigned his post on Friday, and others to answer questions about the deal, a demand Abe s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is resisting. Support for Abe s cabinet dropped to 55.7 percent, down six points from the previous month, Kyodo said. Nearly 75 percent of those responding said the former principal, Yasunori Kagoike, should be summoned to parliament to get to the bottom of the deal, which 86.5 percent said was done at an inappropriately low price. (RTRS) 315 North Koreans left : Malaysia s deputy prime minister said Sunday that 315 North Koreans are in the country and barred from leaving amid a diplomatic dispute over the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un s estranged half brother. The figure is lower than an estimate previously given by a government official, who had told The Associated Press that some 1,000 North Koreans were believed to be in Malaysia. Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam died after two women smeared his face with the banned VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur s airport on Feb 13, but North Korea which is widely suspected to be behind the attack rejects the findings. Relations have steadily deteriorated, with each country expelling the other s ambassador. On Tuesday, North Korea blocked all Malaysians from leaving the country until a fair settlement of the case was reached. Malaysia then barred North Koreans from exiting its soil. Both countries have also scrapped visafree travel for each other s citizens. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told local media on Sunday that 2,453 North Koreans came to Malaysia from 2014 to 2017, but that the latest record showed only 315 remained. (AP) S poreans protest H2O price hike: More than 100 people gathered in Singapore s Speakers Corner on Saturday for a rare protest against a government plan to hike water prices that has stirred discontent over sluggish economic growth and rising unemployment in the city-state. Singapore s government enjoys strong popular support but is also known for having little tolerance for dissent. Residents Park says truth will be revealed Disgraced leader leaves Blue House are only allowed to air their grievances in a small downtown park if they comply with defamation laws and avoid fanning ethnic and religious tensions. Although laying out a much more generous budget than expected, the government last month announced a two-step, 30 percent increase in water prices, sweetening it with tax rebates to help lower-income households pay their bills. It will be the first increase in water South Korea mulls constitutional overhaul following Park s ouster SEOUL, South Korea, March 12, (AP): South Korean politicians want to ensure that the country never again sees a leader like Park Geun-hye, who was booted from office over an explosive corruption scandal. But they are far apart on whether doing so would require rewriting the country s 3-decade-old constitution, a treasured symbol of the bloody transition from dictatorship to democracy. Several parties, including conservatives scrambling to distance themselves from Park, say South Koreans should vote in a new constitution in addition to a new president in early May. They say the shocking downfall of Park, who may face criminal charges over extortion and bribery, shows that the constitution places too much power that is easily abused and often goes unchecked into the hands of the president. Their proposal for a new constitution is based on power-sharing, where the president is limited to handling foreign affairs and national security and leaves domestic affairs to a prime minister picked by parliament. However, the party of liberal Moon Jae-in, who opinion polls show as the clear favorite to become South Korea s next leader, opposes a quick constitutional revision and accuses rival parties of plotting a short-cut to power. The discussions about rewriting the constitution are ironic in that they come after a historic effort to protect it. Lawmakers voted to impeach Park in December on grounds that she gravely violated the constitution written in 1987, after the government of military strongman Chun Doo-hwan caved in to months of massive protests and accepted demands for presidential elections. The debate also raises a fundamental question for South Koreans as they mull a new political SEOUL, March 12, (RTRS): Disgraced South Korean leader Park Geun-hye left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, two days after a court dismissed her over a corruption scandal, facing life as a private citizen and the possibility of jail. Park struck a defiant tone upon arriving at her private home in the Gangnam district of the capital, Seoul, after leaving the Blue House compound in a motorcade of fast-driving black cars, flanked by police motorbikes. I feel sorry that I could not finish the mandate given to me as president, a spokesman for Park, member of parliament Min Kyung-wook, quoted her as saying. It will take time, but I believe the truth will be revealed, Park said in her first public comments since her dismissal. She accepted responsibility for the events that culminated in the Constitutional Court on Friday upholding a parliamentary impeachment vote over an influence-peddling scandal that has shaken the political and business elite. I take responsibility for the outcome of all this, Min quoted her as saying. Park, 65, is South Korea s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. A snap presidential election will be held by May 9. Her dismissal followed months of political paralysis and turmoil over the scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in jail and facing trial. The crisis has coincided with rising tension with North Korea and anger from China over the deployment in South Korea of a US missile-defence system. Throngs of flag-waving supporters crowded the street outside Park s home as she arrived there about 30 minutes after leaving the presidential palace. She waved through her car s tinted window as it inched its way down the street, with security men in suits walking alongside. She stepped out smiling, the public s first glimpse of her since her dismissal, and greeted supporters. Park s ouster marked a dramatic fall from grace for South Korea s first woman president and daughter of Cold War military dictator Park Chung-hee. It was not the first time she has had to leave the Blue House compound of traditional-style buildings at the foot of a hill in Seoul. In 1979, after a nine-day funeral following the assassination of her father, the young Park left the Blue House with her siblings for a family home. She had been acting first lady after her mother was shot and killed in an earlier failed assassination attempt on her father. Now, having lost presidential immunity, she could face criminal charges over bribery, extortion and abuse of power in connection with allegations of conspiring with her friend, Choi Soonsil. Both women denied wrongdoing. The liberal politician likely to become the next president, Moon Jae-in, promised to work for justice and common sense. We still have a long way to go. We have to make this a country of justice, of common sense through regime change, Moon, who advocates reconciliation with North Korea, told a news conference. Moon is leading in opinion polls, which show South Koreans are likely to throw out the conservatives after nearly a decade in power and turn to a liberal leader. Moon called on Park to publicly accept the court ruling. Park s dismissal has exposed fault lines in a society long divided by Cold War politics. Abe Jong Nam landscape following Park s demise: Was it a flawed, imperious presidential system that allowed Park to abuse her powers, or a culture that long treated elected heads of states like kings? The future of the constitution has instantly emerged as a major political topic after the Constitutional Court removed Park on Friday and triggered a two-month presidential race. Kweon Seong Dong, a lawmaker from the conservative Bareun party and chief prosecutor in Park s impeachment trial, touted his party s line immediately after the ruling. We need a constitutional revision based on power-sharing, Kweon said. Absolute power absolutely corrupts. Critics refuse to see the court s decision to uphold Park s impeachment as proof that the constitution works as it is. They include none other than one of the court s justices, Ahn Changho. In a supplementary opinion written into Park s ruling, Ahn found the constitution responsible for an imperial presidency that breeds deplorable political customs, such as abuse of power and corruptive ties with the country s biggest companies, which have a tradition of bribing politicians for business favors. Ahn said the president simply has too much power over the appointment of government officials, making of laws and policies, budget planning and other decisions, which lawmakers find difficult to check for most of the single fiveyear term. Our country has a winner-takesit-all representative system where those who win an election, even by just one vote, obtain imperial political power and those who don t get swept to the side and are neglected, Ahn wrote. A constitutional change would need the support of two-thirds of the 300-seat parliament and then pass a national referendum. Thousands of Park s jubilant opponents celebrated in Seoul on Saturday, where they have been gathering every weekend for months, and demanded that she be arrested. The former president s conservative supporters also took to the streets not far away, though fewer in number. Police were out in force but there was no trouble. On Friday, two Park supporters were killed as they tried to break through police lines outside the court, shortly after the verdict. One was believed to have had a heart attack and the other died as the Park supporters attacked police buses. A third, a man aged 74, suffered a heart attack and died on Saturday. prices for nearly two decades, but some Singaporeans say rebates proposed by the government will not be enough. If they give us more rebate but increase the prices, it s still the same. For a big family, you need to use a lot of water, said Afad, 28, a delivery worker with three children. He said he earned less than S$2,000 (about $1,415) per month and was expecting another child. (RTRS)

16 INTERNATIONAL 16 World News Roundup Africa A Hindu devotees pray inside Banke Bihari temple during Holi festival celebrations in Vrindavan, India on March 10. The temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, hosts weeklong Holi celebrations and during these days, idol of Krishna is dressed up in white colored clothes and it is brought closer to his devotees to play Holi with colored water and gulal, a form of color made using organic substances and flowers. Holi also known as the festival of colors is celebrated across India marks the arrival of spring. (AP) Philippines Broader cease-fire Govt, rebels agree to resume talks, truce MANILA, Philippines, March 12, (Agencies): The Philippine government and communist rebels have agreed to resume peace talks and restore separate cease-fires after an escalation of deadly clashes, officials said Sunday. Government and rebel negotiators will resume talks early next month and discuss the terms of a broader cease-fire, presidential adviser Jesus Dureza said. Norway, which has been brokering the negotiations, hosted two days of informal talks in the Netherlands that led to a decision to resume the negotiations on ending one of Asia s longest-running rebellions. Just three days ago, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to unleash an all-out war against the New People s Army guerrillas after they killed four policemen and wounded another in an ambush in southern Davao del Sur province. I m ready for all-out war, another 50 years, Duterte said Thursday at the policemen s wake. I can assure you that the armed forces and the Philippine National Police would respond. This time I m using everything... rockets and bombs. Duterte did not mention the talks resumption in his speech Duterte at the annual graduation of cadets at the Philippine Military Academy Sunday in northern Baguio city, where he instead condoled with the families of government troops who died in combat. He promised better and more weapons for soldiers and thanked those who risked their lives and limbs to defend this country s sovereignty as well as those who continue to offer their sweat and blood to fortify the pillars of a great nation that we are presently trying to build. The military welcomed news of the breakthrough but said it would await formal notice from government negotiators and Duterte s instructions. Pending this, all military operations will continue and remain at current state, the military said in a statement. The Maoist guerrillas said they would remain vigilant because of continuing military and police counterinsurgency operations but added they were optimistic with the talks resumption. Lives Instead of putting the lives of millions of people in harm s way, such as Duterte s all-out-war declaration, better yet we try to settle our differences on the negotiating table, said the rebels Melito Glor command, which has a presence in the mountainous provinces south of Manila. Founded in 1968, the rural-based guerrilla group has unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with five Philippine presidents before Duterte. Battle setbacks, surrenders and infighting have weakened the rebel group, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and remains a major Philippine security threat. The rebels and the government declared separate cease-fires last year as they resumed peace talks. That allowed the government to withdraw troops from battlefields to focus on an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf and other Muslim extremist groups in the country s south. In a joint statement with the rebels, the Philippines also agreed to release a rebel consultant to the talks and reinstate immunities from arrest for other guerrilla consultants. It pledged to release soon four other consultants and 19 detainees the guerrillas regard as political prisoners. The firebrand leader scrapped peace talks last month due to the New People s Army s increasing attacks in the countryside, a violation of its own unilateral truce. He said he would only agree to resume talks if rebels stopped the attacks and extortion activities on mines and plantations. In Baguio City, a mountain resort city north of Manila, the president said the government will reciprocate the valor and courage of soldiers by providing them with modern weapons and financial benefits. In the next two to three years, the Armed Forces of the Philippines will have flight simulators, fast boats, radars, assault vehicles, as well as new surveillance and fighter aircraft so you can patrol our borders and seas, he said. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is garlanded during a reception at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters a day after the party s landslide victories in key state legislature elections in New Delhi, India on March 12. Leaders from Modi s Bharatiya Janata Party said the party s victory in Uttar Pradesh, India s largest state, would boost Modi s chances of winning another term as India s prime minister in 2019 elections. (AP) Asia Nationalists shunned in poll: The rapid resurgence of nationalist politics in Australia was abruptly halted on Saturday after Pauline Hanson s One Nation party drew less than 5 percent of the vote and was set to win just one seat in a state poll. The election in mineral-rich Western Australia was won convincingly by the centre-left Labor party, leaving Hanson s right wing, anti-immigration party trailing far behind. The vote was the first major test of popularity for Hanson since winning a place in the federal parliament last year, when she rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment similar to that seen in the United States and Europe. With two-thirds of the votes counted the Australian Broadcasting Corporation forecast that One Nation would win one seat, confounding expectations that it could gain enough to influence legislation in the new state parliament. Before the vote, the governing Liberal party ditched its traditional allies to strike a deal with Hanson s party to swap preferences - a measure in Australia s voting system designed to help both parties increase their presence in the new parliament. The election result has ended plans for several asset sales that Labor campaigned against, including a proposal to sell a majority stake in the A$15 billion ($11.3 billion) Western Power electricity grid through a public float along with privatisation of the $1.5 billion Fremantle Port. Labor has won the vote decisively by an anticipated 40 seats to the Liberals 19, and will govern without needing a coalition partner. The result will also see mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton escape a state tax on their iron ore businesses proposed by the rural-centric National Party, which fell short of obtaining the influence to force such a measure. Outgoing Liberal Premier Colin Barnett was the country s longest serving political leader, having seen four changes of Prime Minister during his tenure. His federal counterpart, Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, rejected suggestions his own performance had contributed to the election defeat. (RTRS) Tattooed devotees transform: Deep in trances, devotees of a Thai temple charged through gathered crowds on India US Christian charity out Win vindicates Modi Saturday mimicking the beasts on their tattoos. Some had their hands curled into tiger claws, some became crocodiles, some were transformed into Hanuman, the monkey god. The annual tattoo festival at Wat Bang Hanson Barnett NEW DELHI, March 12, (RTRS): Sensing his party s drive for votes in India s most politically prized state had stalled, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared his schedule and thrust himself into the heart of the battle. Our election campaign has hit a roadblock, Modi told campaign managers and two federal ministers in Delhi last month, a week before the sixth of seven phases of voting was to begin in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. I don t want to feel that I could have pushed myself a little more, Modi was quoted as saying by a close aide who attended the meeting. For three full days the leader of the world s largest democracy camped out in the holy city of Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, walking the ancient streets and stopping at Hindu temples to seek blessings, despite warnings from aides about his security and the risk to his reputation had his party come up short. On Saturday the gamble paid off: Modi s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scored a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh, home to one in six Indians, winning the biggest majority in the state for any party since The triumph vindicates Modi s decision to turn the campaign into a referendum on his own performance after his shock decision last November to abolish high-denomination banknotes, a move he framed as a fight for the poor against the corrupt rich. We were always nervous that overexposing the prime minister in the final stages of the election could make us look desperate, said Keshav Prasad Maurya, the BJP s state leader in Uttar Pradesh. As it turned out, Modi s victory confounded even the most bullish voter surveys. The BJP won 312 of the 403 seats in the state assembly and, with 39.7 percent of the vote, almost matched its showing in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 general election, when it claimed the biggest parliamentary majority in three decades. Modi s magic has destroyed the opposition and silenced sceptics in the party, Maurya told Reuters on Saturday, as the scale of the victory became clear. A Colorado-based Christian charity said on Friday it was ending its almost half-a-century-long operations in India after authorities restricted its funding channels over suspicions it supported religious conversions in the Hindumajority country. Compassion International (CI) is one of thousands of charities in India whose ability to receive or donate foreign funds has been impaired since Prime Minister Narendra Modi s right-wing nationalist party took power almost three years ago. Authorities accuse the charities of violations ranging from not disclosing where donations are being spent to engaging in anti-national activities. The charities say the crackdown is aimed at stifling dissent and curbing minority freedoms. CI s Media Relations Officer Becca Bishop said Indian officials did not formally give any reason for restricting funds for its child poverty alleviation work, but believed it was being targeted for being a Christian organisation. We do believe that Compassion and other Christian charities are being singled out because of our faith, and that the Indian government is trying to limit the expansion of Christianity in India, said Bishop. India will more than double maternity leave, allow work from home and require employers to have crèches to improve maternal and child health and boost a declining female workforce. A bill approved by parliament increases fully paid leave to 26 weeks from 12 weeks, provides leave for adoptive mothers for 12 weeks, and facilitates a work from home option for nursing mothers. It also mandates organisations with more than 50 employees to provide crèche facilities and allow the mother at least four crèche visits daily to look after and feed her child. The maternity bill is a historic step as it puts us in the top countries in the world that care for new mothers, Maneka Gandhi, minister for women and children, said on Friday. With 26 weeks to care for their newborns, both mother and child will be healthier, she said in a video on the ministry s Facebook page. India has high rates of child malnutrition, yet only 55 percent of mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, compared with 70 percent in neighbouring Nepal and 76 percent in Sri Lanka. Female participation in the workforce in India has been declining in recent years, with only 22 percent of women in working in the formal economy, well below the global average of 47 percent, according to UN Women. Phra, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok, draws thousands of devotees every year who come to recharge the power of sacred Sak Yant tattoos. The tattoos are inked by Buddhist monks using sharpened bamboo sticks or long metal needles. Originally etched for warriors needing protection in battle, they are also believed to bring luck and give strength. But every year, their magic power needs to be restored at the festival, where thousands of devotees pay their respects to the temple s master tattooist. Not everyone goes into a trance. Those who do take on the characteristics of their tattoos. They try to charge towards the temple, but are held back by a wall of temple guards and soldiers. (RTRS) Indians abducted Over 40 killed in dump landslide ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 12, (Agencies): A mountain of trash gave way in a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia s capital, killing at least 46 people and leaving several dozen missing, residents said, as officials vowed to relocate those who called the landfill home. Addis Ababa city spokeswoman Dagmawit Moges said most of the 46 dead were women and children, and more bodies Kuma were expected to be found in the coming hours. It was not immediately clear what caused Saturday night s collapse at the Koshe Garbage Landfill, which buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings. The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital s garbage for more than 50 years. About 150 people were there when the landslide occurred, resident Assefa Teklemahimanot told The Associated Press. Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment. Dagmawit said two had serious injuries. Many people at the landfill had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live there because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive. An AP reporter saw four bodies taken away by ambulances after being pulled from the debris. Elderly women cried, and others stood anxiously waiting for news of loved ones. Six excavators dug through the ruins. Two Indians abducted: South Sudan s armed opposition says it has abducted two Indian engineers and accused them of working with the government. It was not clear when the abduction in oil-rich Upper Nile state occurred. The East African country has been devastated by three years of civil war, and its oil industry is a key source of income. Opposition spokesman William Gatjiath Deng said Saturday the two Indian nationals would be held until a decision is made by opposition leader Riek Machar, who is in exile in South Africa. Another opposition spokesman, Mabior Garang, says ransom or other demands are unlikely because they would be would be inconsistent with our objectives. Spokesmen for South Sudan s army were not immediately available for comment. The Indian Embassy in South Sudan had no immediate comment. 2 shot dead in Nigeria: Police in Nigeria say two teenage female suicide bombers have been shot dead by troops as they tried to sneak into the northeastern city of Maiduguri. Borno State police spokesman Victor Isuku says the two were wearing explosive vests under their clothes when they were shot dead Saturday night. The vests were later detonated safely by police. No one else was harmed. Extremist group Boko Haram has been using more and more teenage suicide bombers in the past couple of years. Maiduguri is the birthplace of the Islamic insurgency and the base for Nigerian military efforts to combat it. ANC vows to end graft: South Africa s ruling African National Congress (ANC) needs to end corruption and party divisions, and deliver on promises to tackle poverty if it is to halt declining voter support, a new policy document said on Sunday. The ANC has been under pressure to adjust its policies after losing votes at elections last year to the left wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a party that proposes radical redistribution of the economy and land to the black majority. The ANC faces declining fortunes, said the strategy paper, released ahead of a party conference on June 30. Internal squabbles, money politics, corruption and poor performance in government all conspire to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the broader public. Somalia media worker wounded: A journalist says a technician with his television station has been wounded in a car bomb blast in Somalia s capital. Abdiaziz Ibrahim, a Somali journalist with London-based Universal TV, says technician Abdihamid Karzai was seriously injured when a bomb planted in his car exploded in a market in Mogadishu s Hamarweyne district. He says Karzai, who had been heading to work Sunday morning, is being treated at a local hospital. Police Capt Mohamed Hussein confirms the incident and says the authorities are investigating.

17 INTERNATIONAL 17 Lat/Am Preval Final farewell for Preval: Thousands of Haitians gathered on Saturday to say an emotional final farewell to former president Rene Preval, 74, the country s first democratically elected leader to peacefully transfer power to his successors. In two hours of religious and civil ceremonies, bishops and family members remembered the soft-spoken former agronomist as a man of simplicity who held the country s farmers in high regard. Many people have said that my father did not like to speak too much. In effect, that is true, said Patricia Preval, his diminutive daughter. Rene Preval, who died last Friday, had an understated style, a marked contrast to the fiery oration of his one-time friend, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, or the showmanship of his final successor, Michel Martelly. Preval will be best remembered internationally for leading Haiti in the immediate aftermath of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 200,000 people. His daughter also said that, despite serving as a prime minister and later a popular two-time president, politics did not even interest him. Politics was a means to development, (that) was what he loved, she said during a speech in which her voice occasionally cracked with emotion. (RTRS) Police officers stand vigil over the coffi n containing the remains of former president Rene Preval during funeral services in Port-au- Prince, Haiti on March 11. Thousands of people from around Haiti gathered at a city park Saturday for Preval s state funeral capping six days of mourning for the man who led the country during a devastating January 2010 earthquake and its chaotic aftermath. (AP) ing illegally into the United States, saying it was something that shouldn t be happening in the 21st century. Speaking to foreign media on Thursday, Kuczynski also reiterated that he told US President Donald Trump in a White House meeting last month that he opposed Trump s proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. Earlier this week, the Trump administration confirmed a Reuters report it was considering separating parents and children who enter illegally from Mexico in a bid to deter the dangerous journey. I don t want to provoke controversy but for me separating families is something that shouldn t be happening in the 21st century, and the wall either, Kuczynski said in Spanish. I told the US president that. Kuczynski, a former US citizen and an ardent defender of open economies, has been one of the few leaders of Washington s traditional allies in Latin America to openly oppose Trump s stance on immigration and trade. Kuczynski previously compared Trump s proposed border wall to the Berlin Wall and joked he would sever ties with the United States if Trump, a Republican, won last year s election. He has since praised the Peru-US relationship under Trump and said the US president Peru criticizes US proposal: Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski criticized a proposal being considered by the Trump administration to separate women and children crosshad helped firm up global prices for copper, zinc and other minerals that Peru exports. (RTRS) Mexico nabs Italian mafioso: Mexican forces have detained a high-level member of the Italian mafia in Mexico wanted for drug trafficking, the federal attorney general said on Friday. Giulio Perrone, 64, who is on Italy s most wanted list, was arrested in Ciudad Madero, in the state of Tamaulipas, which is on the US-Mexico border and is one of the country s most violent areas, the attorney general (PGR) said in a statement. Perrone was a fugitive from Italy for more than a decade after a court in Naples sentenced him to nearly 21 years in prison, the PGR said. He was turned over to Italian authorities, the PGR said. There were some coordinated operations between Mexican traffickers and groups in the Italian mafia, said Antonio Mazzitelli, the UN representative on drugs and crime in Mexico.... It is normal in the criminal world for criminal organizations to collaborate on trafficking. (RTRS) Chile CDP picks senator: Chile s center-left Christian Democratic Party, one of the nation s largest, nominated Senator Carolina Goic on Saturday as its flag bearer for the November presidential election, adding one more candidate to an increasingly crowded field. Goic, like the Christian Democratic Party writ large, is generally center-left on economic issues and center-right to conservative on social issues. While the 44-year-old senator tends to vote with center-left President Michelle Bachelet, parts of her party have dissented at times on issues such as strengthening labor laws and liberalizing Chile s strict abortion ban. It must be us, those who are in politics, who find a way to reconnect with the people, so that the people return to trusting, Goic told cheering supporters at the party s annual meeting in downtown Santiago. (RTRS)

18 INTERNATIONAL 18 World News Roundup In this photo provided by Antonio Rosas, Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC, shows work in the Tunnel of Bones cave, where 12 Neanderthal specimens dating around 49,000 years ago have been recovered. Scientists got a sneak peek into the kitchen and medicine cabinets of three Neanderthals by examining the DNA of the stuff stuck on and between their teeth. What they found smashes a common Environment meaty misconception of the caveman diet and hints that one sickly Neanderthal had found what may be primitive versions of penicillin and aspirin to help him with his pain. (Inset): This drawing provided by Abel Grau Guerrero shows mostly vegetarian Spanish Neanderthals munched on mushrooms, pine nuts and moss. (AP) Technology 2 convicted of conspiracy Tillerson recused self from pipeline issues WASHINGTON, March 12, (Agencies): US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recused himself from issues related to TransCanada Corp s application for a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department has said in a letter last week to the environmental group Greenpeace. He has not worked on that matter at the Department of State, and will play no role in the deliberations or ultimate resolution of TransCanada s application, said the letter from Katherine McManus, the State Department s deputy legal adviser. McManus letter came after Greenpeace wrote to officials at the State Department and the Office of Government Ethics, urging Tillerson recuse himself from any decisions on the multibillion-dollar pipeline, given his former role as chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp. Greenpeace argued in its letter that Exxon Mobil would directly and predictably benefit from the approval of Keystone XL because the firm has investments in Canadian oil sands. Tillerson Tillerson recused himself from the matter in early February, McManus wrote. TransCanada tried for more than five years to build the 1,179-mile (1,897-km) pipeline, until President Barack Obama rejected it in TransCanada resubmitted its application for the Keystone project in January, after Obama s White House successor, Donald Trump, signed an order smoothing its path. The line is designed to link existing pipeline networks in Canada and the United States to bring crude from Alberta and North Dakota to refineries in Illinois en route to the Gulf of Mexico. Exxon has a majority stake in Imperial Oil, a Calgary, -Alberta-based company that operates the Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta. Exxon Mobil could benefit from the approval of the pipeline if it has specific contracts or agreements with TransCanada either to transport their Canadian tar sands production, or to receive such shipments at their US refineries, Greenpeace wrote in its letter on Wednesday. Also: PORTLAND, Oregon: A jury last week convicted two men of conspiracy to impede federal officers during last year s high-profile armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon in a protest over control of Western lands. They face possible sentences of years in federal prison. The verdict handed prosecutors some measure of redemption after they failed to convict occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy and five other occupiers in a trial last fall involving the takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federally owned remote bird sanctuary about 290 miles southeast of Portland. Dozens of people, including some government informants, occupied the refuge from Jan 2 to Feb 11, They were allowed to come and go for several weeks as authorities tried to avoid bloodshed seen in past standoffs at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The Bundys and other key figures were arrested in a Jan 26, 2016 traffic stop outside the refuge that ended with police fatally shooting occupation spokesman Robert LaVoy Finicum. After the verdict, assistant US attorneys Ethan Knight and Geoffrey Barrow said they tried to do a better job of explaining to jurors why the FBI took and hands-off approach and how the standoff impacted refuge employees. A child poses for a picture past a recently discovered statue in a Cairo slum that may be of Pharaoh Ramses II, in Cairo, Egypt, March 10. Archeologists in Egypt have discovered a massive statue that may be of Pharaoh Ramses II, one of the country s most famous ancient rulers. The colossus, whose head was pulled from mud and groundwater by a bulldozer on Thursday, is around eight meters (yards) tall and was discovered by a German-Egyptian team. (AP) Discovery Elephant-man conflict: A social media campaign is drawing attention to the growing conflict between elephants and humans in eastern India, as the struggle for land intensifies in a rapidly urbanising country. #GiantRefugees, launched on Twitter two weeks ago, features a video clip of a herd of elephants being harassed by a group of men in Odisha state as the animals attempt to cross a stretch of open ground. Armed with sticks and stones, more than 200 men shout and swear at the herd of about 25 elephants, and chase them back into the forest. It was such a horrific situation, said Cara Tejpal, a Delhi-based conservationist who witnessed the scene in December. Sadly, elephants are becoming refugees in our country in the rush for development, and man-elephant conflict is reaching boiling point, she said. Elephants in India, numbering about 30,000 in the wild, are an endangered species as unplanned development and encroachments led to fragmentation of forests and loss of habitat. While revered as a cultural and religious icon, elephants are also hounded and killed when they wander into human settlements, damaging crops and homes. Across India, more than 300 people are killed every year by elephants, while scores of elephants die from poaching, road and train accidents, electrocution and poisoning, the forest department estimates. The elephants Tejpal filmed once belonged to the a wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of capital city Bhubaneswar. (RTRS) Treat droughts like hurricanes : It s a major natural disaster that slowly grows in one place and then moves across a region, gaining intensity and size. As it spreads, it destroys land, ruins agriculture, tears apart communities, and can kill people. No, it s not a hurricane. It s a drought. Researchers are just beginning to view droughts as this type of dynamic force, and some hope that soon they will be monitored similarly to hurricanes - with scientists able to predict their development and forecast their paths, helping to protect Tech can t always substitute human support Disaster response goes digital NEW ORLEANS, March 12, (RTRS): What do you do if you are a disaster manager in a coastal city when a powerful earthquake hits offshore? You start tweeting life-saving updates and safety information to the public, alert your volunteers via SMS and set up a helpline. You host a conference call for rescue workers using open-source tools and provide them with access to key documents via an online file-sharing service before reaching out to emergency accommodation providers through lodgings websites. At a conference on resilience in New Orleans this week, technology companies outlined the increasingly sophisticated tools they are offering on an altruistic basis to help people cope better when disasters strike. They are also collaborating to advance the speed and efficacy with which those tools can be deployed, said Kellie Bentz, head of global disaster response and relief for online accommodation marketplace Airbnb. In this space, we don t believe there is any room for competition we should all be working together; there is just too much to do, she said. Tech firms, including Google and Facebook, have a very informal charter to talk to each other so they can work better with governments and aid groups, she added. And it s not just in natural disasters like earthquakes and floods that tech companies are offering help. Later this year Airbnb plans to launch a new community of socially minded hosts that want to put up for free people in need, from refugees to aid workers and the homeless, said Bentz. The company already enables its 3 million hosts to offer shelter to people hit by emergencies and those who assist them a service that has been activated in some 55 disasters globally since 2013, with more than 2,000 nights accommodation donated. Cloud communications platform Twilio.org, meanwhile, is partnering with the International Rescue Committee charity so that refugees in Greece can find out the date of their asylum appointment in their own language via a phone-based voice response system. Tom Tarantino, Twitter s public policy manager, said the company aims to weaponise Twitter in a disas- those living in their path. Some 10 percent of droughts travel between 1,400 to 3,100 kms from where they begin, according to a recent study. The study, which analysed 1,420 droughts between 1979 and 2009, identified hotspots around the world and common directions in which droughts move. Some droughts in the southwest United States, for example, tend to move from south to north. In Argentina, they usually Water-saving tech, gardens grow hope in the Dry Zone of Myanmar PAKOKKU, Myanmar, March 12, (RTRS): Myo Myint fondly remembers when his one-acre farm regularly produced 100 baskets of rice. But as rainfall became erratic in this arid region, he started growing betel leaves, a less thirsty cash crop. This summer, the 50-year-old is considering leaving fallow his land in Myanmar s central Dry Zone because when the stream behind his house dries up in March, the cost of irrigation outstrips the income from any crop. A 2016 drought followed by heavy rains already battered his farm. Water is becoming more scarce every year. I want to keep growing the crops but there s not much I can do without water, he said, sitting beneath the ground floor of his stilt house. His village of Myay Ni Twin, in Pakokku township, is around two hours drive from Bagan, Myanmar s top tourist destination known for its ancient Buddhist temples. When I was growing up, the stream didn t go dry. Now there s less rain, and it s very hard to plant things, he said. ter by helping users make the most of different features from dedicated hashtags to Twitter handle lists, adverts and live video to get vital information to those affected as quickly as possible. If communications go down or are overloaded in a disaster, an SMS version of Twitter can be activated, or Twilio can use its connections to find out which data networks are still on and figure out when others will be up and running, the experts said. Yet while these companies are seeking innovative ways to assist in disasters, they acknowledged technology cannot always substitute for human support, and some of those affected may be reluctant to try out new things in tough circumstances. To overcome this issue, Airbnb sends employees and volunteers to disaster zones to help people use the online platform, Bentz said. Tejpal Julio Myanmar recently emerged from decades of military dictatorship only to face a bigger existential threat. The Southeast Asian nation of 50 million people is the world s second most vulnerable country to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index from research group Germanwatch. Studies have shown the onset of the monsoon is becoming more variable, increasing the risk of drought. The Dry Zone, an area comprising 58 townships in Mandalay, Magwe and Sagaing, is home to around 10 million people, who mostly rely on rain-fed agriculture. It suffers from year-round water shortages. A recent assessment by the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance (MCCA), an initiative funded by the European Union and United Nations, predicted a temperature increase of up to 3 degrees Celsius and a shorter monsoon in Pakokku by Farmers like Myo Myint already struggling to make ends meet will bear the brunt of those changes. Not all digital solutions are right to solve human problems, said Erika Murdock Balbuena, head of strategic initiatives with Twilio.org. In a crisis, people may not want to have to sign up for something on a web page but just be reassured they will have a safe place to sleep, she added. In a separate discussion at the conference, government officials highlighted the difficulties of using vast amounts of information pouring in via social media to make good decisions. From an emergency management perspective, it s a huge mess, said Sara Estes White, deputy chief information officer for New Orleans. How do you take it and make it useful? Mark Dix of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said agencies must become clever in how we manipulate, use, sort and filter that data to answer the right questions. migrate the opposite direction. In Central Africa, droughts tend to go southeastern toward the coast. It can start somewhere, move throughout the continent, and obviously cause harm throughout its way, Julio Herrera-Estrada, a PhD candidate at Princeton University and leader of the study, said on Thursday. Droughts that travel are usually the largest and most disastrous, the scientists found. (RTRS)

19 Film Esposito s latest a dark social satire This is Your Death treats suicide as convenient device By Peter Debruge Would you watch a reality show in which contestants killed themselves live on air? The screenwriters of This Is Your Death think you would, and they re deeply disappointed in you. And so, out of deep concern for both your entertainment and enlightenment, they have written a dark social satire serviceably directed by Breaking Bad baddie Giancarlo Esposito in which they can have their cake, while you eat it, too. That means theatrical audiences (of whom there will be few) will have the chance to tsk-tsk as real people drown, shoot, electrocute, and otherwise off themselves, only to have the movie turn around and tsk-tsk them back for watching. Those old enough to have lived through the first Golden Age of Television will recognize the pun in the film s title a riff on 1950s spirit-lifter This Is Your Life while also remembering a time when even standard small-screen programming boasted more authenticity and respect for the common man than today s so-called reality TV shows. This Is Your Death begins with a sinister spin on the state of such programming today, as the moment of truth on The Bachelor -esque elimination series Married to a Millionaire ends with the jilted runner-up grabbing a gun and shooting the man who rejected her, before turning the weapon on herself. For Adam Rogers (a hair-gelled Josh Duhamel, looking his Ryan Seacrestiest), the moment is a wake-up call, and the next day, still shaken, he delivers a truth-to-power rant to porcelain-smiled James Franco on Morning Show USA. It s a promising beginning, albeit one that skips over the niceties of narrative to lead with an I m as mad as hell, and I m not going to take this anymore monologue clearly cribbed from Paddy Chayefsky s infinitely superior Network script (it s saying something that the film needn t bother to establish its disillusion with the state of modern media, but instead feels comfortable assuming everyone in the audience is already on the same page). Surprised Called in by boss Ilana Katz (Famke Janssen, ruthless) to face the network suits, Adam is surprised to discover that, instead of being fired, he s being paired with a goody-goody producer (Caitlin FitzGerald) to host a new show, in which poor folks with suicidal intentions are encouraged to do the deed on live TV. According to the lawyer, the network can t be held responsible, so long as they can prove they did nothing to aid and abet the suicide victims except, that s pretty much exactly what they would be doing by providing loaded weapons, carbon monoxide-spewing cars, and bathtubs (plus the promise of cash prizes) to their despondent participants. Though Noah Pink and Kenny Yakkel s brazen, on-the-nose script implores audiences to be more empathetic to their fellow human beings, This Is Your Death deeply misunderstands depression, treating suicide as a convenient device for its pea-brained premise. I don t want to do a show that affirms death, Adam tells Ilana in another pique of self-righteousness. I want people to die for a higher purpose. That s all well and good when said deaths are abstract, as they are in Noah Pink and Kenny Yakkel s script, but how are moviegoers supposed to interpret the reality of this reality TV critique? Certainly not by reading the cues of Duhamel, a Ken doll-like actor with all the gravitas of a daytime TV star. While he looks the part of a reality-show host, the part demands a series of implausible ethical about-faces Duhamel simply can t sell: Would this guy really jump in front of a gun in the opening scene? Could he so easily be swayed into hosting a snuff-themed game show? And once he tastes the sweet feel of ratings, would he be so quick to compromise his values? Though all the network characters read like two-dimensional phonies, and the sea-of-faces studio audiences come across even flatter (shouldn t someone among them object to this crass sensationalism?), the movie supplies two supporting roles intended to disrupt the show s bloodthirsty spell. First is Adam s sister (Sarah Wayne Callies, acting her heart out), who works as a nurse, but battles depression. The movie has a plan for her, though it s almost criminal that even this predictable twist can t shatter the movie s illusions about suicide. The other is a man named Mason (played by Esposito himself), who can t provide for his family, despite working two jobs, but gets to have it both ways: a spectacular death and the film s most self-important speech. The best that can be said about This Is Your Death is that it makes you think, though it seems to harbor the illusion that its petty provocations are something new, when so many sci-fi movies (from Series 7 to The Running Man ) have tackled similar themes as relatively edgy, pulse-quickening thrillers. (RTRS) Variety Features MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017 LOS ANGELES: Kong: Skull Island is king of the Friday box office. The monster movie from Warner Bros and Legendary Entertainment picked up $20.2 million in receipts after Friday viewings were counted, on its way to a $54 million opening weekend from 3,846 locations. With Kong standing alone as the only major release this weekend, Logan landed in second, earning $10 million from 4,071 spots. Fox s Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman was expected to put the pressure on Kong, but now looks to land solidly in second with an additional $36 million or so by the end of the weekend. Universal and Blumhouse s Get Out earned a strong $6 million in its third weekend on the way to $21 million from 3,143 theaters. The horror-thriller written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele should easily round out the weekend s top three. Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman make up the core cast of Kong. Jordan Vogt- Roberts directed the movie based on a script by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly with story assistance from John Gatins. The franchise reboot currently holds a certified fresh 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Overseas, Kong earned $15.5 million on Friday after opening in 20 additional markets. Currently screening in 65 international markets total, the movie has made $27.5 million abroad. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: The Miami International Film Festival announced the winners of its 34th edition on Saturday. Cristian Jimenez and Alicia Scherson s Family Life took the Knight Competition grand jury prize and Nely Reguera s Maria (And Everybody Else) won the HBO Ibero-American feature film prize. The 2017 festival took place from March 3 through 12, and is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university. Best Film Grand Prize: Family Life (Vide de Familia) directed by Cristian Jimenez and Alicia Scherson. Best Director: Daniel Hendler for The Candidate Best Performance: Lola Amores and Eduardo Martinez for Santa & This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Hugh Jackman from the film Logan which earned $10mn on Friday Box Offi ce in the US. (AP) Andres (Jury: Michel Franco, Bahia Ramos and Grainne Humphreys) HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Competition: Best Film: Maria (And Everybody Else) directed by Nely Reguera (Jury: Hector Medina, Leslie Cohen, Shrihari Sathe) (RTRS) Film Song to Song opens SXSW with Gosling, Fassbender Malick hits crescendo with Song By Peter Debruge After making Days of Heaven in 1978, director Terrence Malick took a two-decade break from cinema, retreating to Austin, Texas, where his latest movie is set (bits of The Tree of Life also filmed there). During his absence, Malick was sorely missed: Here was a master filmmaker who had created one of the most visually stunning movies of all time, only to disappear, J.D. Salinger-esque, from the medium upon which he had so profoundly left his imprint. And then, practically out of the blue, Malick resurfaced with The Thin Red Line, after which, the man who d been silent so long could scarcely shut up, unleashing a creative torrent that reaches its crescendo with Song to Song. It pains me to say it, but Malick might want to consider another lengthy hiatus. Rushed into production mere months after his nearly-self-parodic, Hollywoodset Knight of Cups, Song to Song finds the maestro in broken-record mode, rehashing more or less the same themes against the backdrop of the Austin music scene merely the latest borderline-awful Malick movie that risks to undermine the genius and mystery of his best work. Song to Song presents a sprawling yet shallow love story in which Rooney Mara finds herself caught between two men, one a high-powered producer played by Michael Fassbender, the other his latest musical discovery, a singer-songwriter who looks like a slightly younger version of La La Land s Ryan Gosling (which he is, in fact, since the adorable ex-mouseketeer made Malick s movie first, back in late 2012). Complicating the triangle are three additional roles for actresses capable of so much more: Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Bond girl Berenice Marlohe ( Skyfall ). Like Gosling, Mara also plays a young songwriter, although the only way you d know that is to read the press notes. In the elliptical movie itself, which is so scrambled that the only continuity is DP Emmanuel Lubezki s punch-drunk wide-angle photography, she s more of an opportunistic hanger-on, a house-sitter and dog-walker whose idea of paying her dues is to sleep with the most powerful man she can find in this case, Fassbender s character (whose name, revealed in the end credits, is Cook). Jackson And then one day, at one of Cook s wild parties which are more or less interchangeable with the Hollywood shindigs seen in Knight of Cups Faye meets BV, and they fall in love. Love, as we know from previous Malick movies, is a state of emotional ticklishness, in which beautiful actors flash spontaneous smiles while rolling in the grass, or pressing themselves against windows, or tickling each other while driving, and it can strike whether the car in question is an old beater or a sparking red Ferrari. Malickian love makes grown people behave like children, which is the unspoken goal of nearly all of his films: to reach that state of grace where one forgets the cruel complexity of the adult world, regressing to a sort of childish naivete. For anyone who has been following Malick s career (and this film could prove tortuous for those who don t fall into that camp), it s a by-now-familiar shtick: We never once hear this stunningly beautiful couple discuss something of substance or common interest not even music but know by their awkwardly pantomimed grins that they are at the heights of happiness. Oh, would that Faye and BV could go on like this forever, buying antique umbrellas and playing airplane in bed, but there is a rather massive complication: Faye never broke things off with Cook, and is probably too worried about how that might affect her still-non-existent music career to do so. We thought we could just roll and tumble, live from song to song, kiss to kiss, Faye says early on via voiceover (a motif in all of Malick s films, as seemingly free-associative fragments of thought spackle the loose storyline). And yet, that line betrays a maturity and degree of perspective that Mara never really depicts on screen, despite giving so much of herself to the performance. This epiphany belongs not to the character so much as it does to the director, who disapproves of the almost nihilistic abandon with which Faye (and her contemporaries) mistake a lack of restrictions in their relationships as freedom. Untangle The precise chronology of events proves virtually impossible to untangle, given the film s aggressively nonlinear structure heightened by how frequently Mara s Hiddleston LOS ANGELES: Switzerland s Rita Productions and France s Blue Spirit Productions and Gebeka Films took the European Producer of the Year plaudit for My Life as a Courgette at the 2017 edition of Cartoon Movie, which closed Friday in Bordeaux, France. Switzerland s Claude Barras, character changes hairstyles, from pageboy to ponytail, severe-looking redhead to short blonde wig. Add to that the way characters flit between multiple homes, forcing us to reorient ourselves every time the film jump-cuts from, say, Cook s sprawling Hill Country compound outside Austin to the posh flat he keeps in a downtown skyscraper (to say nothing of the hotel rooms rented, planes chartered, and Mexican vacations indulged), and the film starts to feel like a daunting Chinese brain-teaser. No matter how confusing, the result represents a virtuoso four-year feat for the film s three credited editors (and backup team of five), who have created a sense of crystalline complexity from what must surely have been a straightforward and rather slender storyline to the extent that Song to Song ultimately feels like a remix of itself. This is decidedly not the way human thought or memory actually functions, but rather a format unique to Malick, who has drifted daringly far from conventional storytelling traditions, even in this, his most narrative feature since Days of Heaven. Also: LOS ANGELES: Terrence Malick typically heads to Europe when he s ready to unveil his tour-de-force dramas his recent movies have debuted at film festivals in Venice, Cannes, and Berlin. But on Friday night, the reclusive director stayed close to home in Austin for SXSW s opening night premiere of his romantic dramedy Song to Song. The movie was shot in Austin, where the city shines as brightly as its cast. Ryan Gosling, who was met with shrieks as he snaked inside the Paramount Theatre, joined Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender for a brief introduction on stage. The film follows a music executive (Fassbender) who quarrels with his business partner (Gosling) as they both embark on a series of tortured romantic affairs. It s intense, Fassbender said of working with Malick. It s challenging. It s rewarding. It s fun. Scary. Essentially, he never stops writing. True to industry lore, the actors learned new lines as they were about to shoot their scenes, cut in a streamof-consciousness style that s become the trademark to Malick s work. (RTRS) the director of Courgette, was also honored with European Director of the Year. The two awards at Europe s top dedicated European movie animation co-meet add to a highprofile kudos collection for the stop-motion dramedy which sets it apart as, in prizes and nominations at least, as the most successful European animated feature of the last 12 months. Awards recognition takes in a nomination for both the 2017 Academy Awards and Golden Globes, Cesar Awards in France for Best Animated Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Cristal Award for Best Feature and Audience Award at the 2016 Annecy Intl Animated Film Festival in (RTRS)

20 NEWS/FEATURES 20 People & Places Film Movies that matter The Post may start new wave of fi lms Hanks By Owen Gleiberman got a shiver of anticipation when I read the announcement on Monday that Steven Spielberg I would direct The Post, a drama about The Washington Post s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers, starring Tom Hanks as the fabled Post editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as publisher Katharine Graham. Set in 1971, the movie will center on the paper s war with the White House over whether the Post had the right to publish the top-secret military documents first leaked to The New York Times by Daniel Ellsberg that charted the escalation and futility of the Vietnam War. I have no idea if Spielberg has been mulling this movie over for a while (the rights were bought by producer Amy Pascal last fall), but everything about the timing suggests that it s no coincidence the announcement was made 45 days after the inauguration of Donald Trump. The Post is clearly a film that Spielberg wants to make because he sees it as a parable of today: a highstakes political drama of secrecy, lies, and leaks, and the rights and responsibilities of a free press. The parallels could hardly by more incendiary. That s why it s a fast-track movie. The Post is scheduled to begin shooting in May and to be released later on this year, even as Spielberg is in the midst of post-production on his dystopian climate-change sci-fi epic, Ready Player One, and has had to push back another project he s already at work on, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (starring Oscar Isaac and Mark Rylance). Spielberg has a pattern of turning into a master juggler when he takes on a drama of historical import. He completed Jurassic Park the same year 1993 that he shot, edited, and released Schindler s List, and he repeated the pattern, in 2005, with The War of the Worlds and Munich. It s fascinating to think that Spielberg makes his topical-urgency movies on such a breakneck schedule, because that s probably part of what gives them their history-writtenwith-lightning quality. At the same time, it s worth noting that it took quite a while for Spielberg to make Lincoln, because he had trouble lining up the financing for it. That marked a sad and, in its way, signature shift in American cinema: Steven Spielberg wants to direct a movie about Abraham Lincoln...and no one will back it! When the film came out, it was, of course, a huge success (domestic gross: $182 million), and it deserved to be, but you couldn t help but wonder what was going on in the minds of the financiers and executives who would no longer pony up $65 million for a movie like Lincoln but would think nothing of paying twice that for a blockbuster about a car chase on Mars. Served Actually, we know what s going on in their minds: They re reading the marketplace. Which is, on a basic level, what they re supposed to be doing. As long as you regard making movies as nothing more or less than a business, the decisions that go into them may not always be smart, but they tend to have an iron-clad logic, and it is this: Week after week, around the world, the popcorn beast must be served! Movies about subjects like the Pentagon Papers are now routinely thought of as elite end-of-the-year awards-bait stuff. That s the economics of the market as it now exists, and those economics come from two places at once: from the bottom up (what the audience wants) and from the top down (the executives looking to serve that audience). Unless there s a change in those priorities, movies will more or less go on as they are. But that s the reason I got that tingle. Spielberg, a unique figure in Hollywood, still has the power to make the films he wants to make, and the fact that he s now teaming up with two of Hollywood s greatest and most famously liberal actors, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, to tell the story of a 46-year-old event in American political and journalistic history isn t, in itself, anything revolutionary. (The Pentagon Papers is part of the liberal catechism.) What has changed is the context. A year ago, a movie like The Post or Spotlight, or Zero Dark Thirty, or Erin Brockovich would have been thought of in that category called Movies That Matter. Which is to say: Movies that the liberal media establishment likes, that take on crucial themes of truth and corruption, and that have a fairly specific audience. That s the way it s been for ages. My question is: Could that audience, for the first time in a long while, evolve and expand? Is it possible that we could return to a period when movies aren t just slotted into a category called Movies That Matter? That we could return to an age when they actually do matter? The legendary Hollywood renaissance of the 1970s happened because America, at the time, was mired in social upheaval, in the earthquakes brought about by the new youth culture and by the corruptions and scandals of Vietnam and Watergate; the desire to see all that reflected back at us as drama was a timely, organic phenomenon. The defining motion pictures of the age, from Midnight Cowboy to M*A*S*H to The French Connection to Chinatown to The Last Detail to All the President s Men, weren t things you went to see because they were good for you. They were films that made the darkness enthralling, because they let you go into the darkness and come out the other side. They were slices of reality that were also extraordinary pieces of entertainment, and the audience was hungry for them because there was a sense, all around you, that the stakes were so high. Support That, I think, is what has begun to sink in over the last 50 days. Here s something that those who support Donald Trump and those who despise him can probably agree upon: that we ve arrived, in America, at a fork-in-the-road moment, when we re going to decide (and by we, I mean the people) what kind of a society we really want a society that helps to take care of its citizens, or one that lets its citizens fend for themselves. That, beneath the policy debates, is the question, and it has never hung in the balance at any point in the last half century as seismically as it does now. These issues are weighing on everyone. That s why reading the news each day has taken on a different quality than it had before. It feels like the very soul of America is up for grabs. The last time it probably felt like this way was in the late 60s and early 70s. Here s a hope that is also a prediction: The more that people feel how high the stakes are, the more they ll want to see those stakes reflected in the movies they go to. Wishful thinking? (RTRS) Fireworks from Pyro 2000 Fireworks company of Britain, light up the sky on the fi fth weekend of the 8th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition on March 11 by the Manila Bay at the Mall of Asia in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. Various fi reworks from eight countries as France, Germany, China, Canada, Britain, Australia and Philippines have been showcasing their skills in pyrotechnics for six consecutive weekends. (AP) Jon Hamm (left), and director Edgar Wright arrive at the world premiere of Baby Driver at the Paramount Theatre during the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 11, in Austin, Texas. (AP) Gere Variety Kerouac JERUSALEM: Richard Gere has lashed out at Israel over its settlements in territory that Palestinians want for a state. The Pretty Woman star came to Jerusalem for the local premiere of a new film by Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar in which he stars. A story in Sunday s Haaretz newspaper quoted the actor as saying settlements are such an absurd provocation... and they are certainly not part of the program of someone who wants a genuine peace process. The international community mostly views settlements as an obstacle to creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel in territory it captured in the 1967 war. Israel says settlements along with other core issues like security should be resolved in peace talks. (AP) LOS ANGELES: Terrence Malick spent 40 days filming his latest drama Song to Song throughout Austin, in his trademark style, without a completed script. The days were long -- starting in the morning, with only a 30-minute break for lunch. The actors were even shot in the car, moving from one location to the next, just in case it turned into something. With new cameras, you can quickly accumulate a lot of footage, Malick said at a rare public Q&A at SXSW on a rainy Saturday morning. We had an eight-hour first cut. We thought, Is this a mini-series? It really could have been. It took a long time to cut it down to a manageable length. (RTRS) LOWELL, Mass: Fans of Jack Kerouac are celebrating what would have been the Beat Generation writer s 95th birthday in his hometown. The On the Road author was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on March 12, The city is throwing him a party Saturday, the day before his actual birthday. Things kick off at noon with a public tour of Pollard Library, which is said to have played a pivotal role in shaping the young Kerouac s literary consciousness and ambitions. That will be followed at 1 pm with a presentation and discussion of some of Film A rowdy heist movie-cum-romance Baby Driver a high-speed caper By Peter Debruge With Baby Driver, Edgar Wright believes he has made a movie about music, about the way that some people absolutely, positively require music in their lives. But Baby Driver is actually a movie about obsession a rowdy heist movie-cum-romance, to be precise about a guy named Baby who has different ipods depending on his mood, who hardly ever takes his earbuds out, whose favorite singer was his mother (now deceased), and who falls in love with a diner waitress who reminds him of dear old mom. Like all Edgar Wright movies, Baby Driver is a blast, featuring wall-to-wall music and a surfeit of inspired ideas. But it s also something of a mess, blaring pop tunes of every sort as it lurches between rip-roaring car chases, colorful pre-caper banter, and a twee young-love subplot to the extent that the movie will resonate most with audiences that skew young, hip, and, like its helmer and its hero (the latter played by baby-faced The Fault in Our Stars star Ansel Elgort), more than a little obsessive. In real life, obsession can be an unflattering trait. On movie characters, however, it s golden, resulting in singleminded protagonists who are crystal clear about what they want, leaving little room for conflict or contradiction to distract from their goals. Baby s a lot like rabid B-movie connoisseur Clarence Worley in the Quentin Tarantino-scripted True Romance, or fellow Elvis devotee Sailor Ripley in David Lynch s Wild at Heart : Such obsessive characters prove intensely passionate, slightly crazy, and as committed to their women as they are to the quirks that preoccupy them the rest of the time. For Baby, that would be music and cars though it s anyone s guess how he came to be such an expert on either. Wright introduces Baby behind the wheel of a souped-up red Subaru. In a likely nod to Robert Altman s Thieves Like Us, during the first bank hit, Wright remains parked outside with the kid, listening to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion s Bellbottoms while the Kerouac s more obscure works. The festivities conclude at 7:30 pm with a Happy Birthday Jack! concert at Zorba s Music Hall featuring the Neverly rest of the team (Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and Eiza Gonzalez) rob the joint. When the gang come running back to the car, Baby cranks up the volume and peels off for one of the most satisfying chase sequences in recent memory. Like a slightly mellower version of Ryan Gosling s stoic Drive driver, Elgort proves adorably awkward around women, especially Lily Collins character, Debora (ladies just love a damagedgoods guy like Baby, with his childhood trauma, mommy issues, and bad-boy streak). Prone to singing Carla Thomas B-A-B-Y while she works, Debora complains that there are no good ballads written for girls with her name, and he introduces her to an exception by T. Rex. Still, you have us all beat, she tells Baby. Every song is about you. That may be true, but because Baby is now thoroughly, obsessively in love, every song may as well be about her in his mind. Though he can t hear, the deaf old black man who serves as Baby s foster dad (played by CJ Jones) instantly picks up on the shift in Baby s playlist. And yet, on account of some longstanding debt to a smartalecky criminal named Doc (Kevin Spacey), Baby isn t free to drive off into the sunset with Debora to head west... in a car I can t afford with a plan I don t have at least, not yet. Handle Baby still has one last heist to handle for Doc, and this gig is complicated by a loose cannon who calls himself Bats (Jamie Foxx). Technically, all of Doc s foot soldiers are in some way unhinged, and Wright exploits their unpredictability to suggest that even a small snafu on one of Baby s runs could end badly for any and everyone involved. And so the heist half of Baby Driver plays like one of those wildly eccentric 90s-era crime movies, a la Doug Liman s Go or pretty much anything from Tarantino at that time. Baby comes across borderline autistic is most social situations, but put him behind the wheel of a car, and he s a nimble, fast-acting pilot, steering his manual-transmission getaway vehicle Brothers band. (AP) (From left), actors Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D Cruz, Athiya Shetty and Anil Kapoor pose for photographers during a photocall to promote the fi lm Mubarakan in London on March 11. (AP) out of nearly any bind. Once the backbone of any decent drive-in experience, car chases have all but disappeared from action movies these days, leaving a wide-open niche for Baby Driver to fill and fill it Wright does, to the brink of bursting and then some, with a mostly clever collection of jokes, sudden narrative U-turns, and aptly picked songs (including the Simon and Garfunkel track that gives the film its name). But is that enough? As in Wright s adaptation of the video-game-themed graphic novel Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, this explosively entertaining lark occasionally feels like someone smoking in a fireworks factory, where all that potential could go horribly awry as Wright gets carried away with his own ingenuity. By the time the film s final heist rolls around, both Baby and the audience are ready to move on, rooting more for his romance with Debora than whatever happens with Doc s latest scheme, this one to relieve the Post Office of a few million dollars in money-order slips. For this unexpectedly dangerous job, Doc pairs Baby with Hamm and Foxx s characters, obliging them to buy fresh weapons from a shady gun runner played by pint-sized songwriter Paul Williams and before you know it, the entire job is off on the wrong foot, and accelerating fast in a potentially disastrous direction. Previously, there had never really been stakes to any of Baby s outings, but now that Debora has entered the picture, Wright has given us something to root for. Now, instead of simply being a weird kid with a savant-like sense for music, he s a modern-day Romeo, a watereddown version of the one Leonardo DiCaprio played two decades back. And much as Baz Luhrmann did in that contemporary retelling, by setting this wacky genre-straddling exercise to music songs that either accentuate or ironically subvert the expected tone of any given scene Wright manages to stitch together wildly inventive, yet otherwise incongruous scenes that wouldn t otherwise have any business appearing in the same movie. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to Gabe Klinger s romance drama Porto, starring the late Anton Yelchin and Lucie Lucas. Porto, written by Klinger and Larry Gross, will hold its North American premiere on Sunday at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The film, shot on Super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm in the Portuguese city, had its world premiere last fall in the New Directors competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Kino Lorber is planning a fall theatrical release, with a commitment to screen the film both on 35mm and DCP, before a VOD release during the winter. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: Two-time Oscar-winning La La Land composer Justin Hurwitz and the cast of American are among those stopping by at the Lionsgate Lounge this weekend in Austin, Texas. The lounge features a series of events, including fireside chats, musical interludes, and VR demos from March 11 to March 13. On Sunday evening, attendees can join Hurwitz for An Evening of La La Land Music, during which he will sit pianoside to discuss one of the most acclaimed movies of the year. Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood will moderate the chat before the event turns into a cocktail reception with La La Land -inspired music. (RTRS)

21 NEWS/FEATURES 21 Kevin Hart reacts from being slimed after accepting the award for favorite villain for The Secret Life of Pets at the Kids Choice Awards at the Galen Center on March 11, in Los Angeles. (AP) Candace Cameron-Bure (center), and the cast of Fuller House accept the award for favorite family TV show. (AP) Gwen Stefani presents the award for favorite animated movie. (AP) Nick Cannon competes in a dance battle. (AP) Host John Cena (left), and Nikki Bella speak at the Kids Choice Awards. (AP) Ellen DeGeneres accepts the award for favorite animated movie for Finding Dory. (AP) Mariah Carey (second left), Nick Cannon (right), and (from left), their children Moroccan and Monroe. (AP) Jesy Nelson (from left), Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix. (AP) Machine Gun Kelly (left), and Camila Cabello perform Bad Things. (AP) Zendaya accepts the award for favorite female TV star for K.C. Undercover. (AP) Film Awards Engrossing period drama Loyalty, redemption & betrayal in Ballad By Joe Leydon Imagine a Western in which Walter Brennan goes gunning for the varmints who bushwhacked John Wayne. That s pretty much the logline for The Ballad of Lefty Brown, writer-director Jared Moshe s solidly entertaining period drama, which can be enjoyed as both a straight-shooting homage to crotchety sidekicks and shoot- em-up conventions, and a well-crafted movie about loyalty, betrayal, and redemption that dutifully acknowledges, without slavishly mimicking, the classic oaters that introduced those sidekicks, and established those conventions. Even as Moshe respectfully tips his Stetson to a variety of cinematic forebearers masterworks by John Ford and Howard Hawks, revisionist 70s horse operas, Clint Eastwood s down-and-dirty Unforgiven he rides clear of wink-wink pastiche, and sets his sights on making something that can stand on its own merits as a worthy addition to the genre. Bill Pullman gets in touch with his inner Gabby Hayes a rather more serious Gabby Hayes, mind you, but a Gabby Hayes nonetheless in the Pullman title role of Lefty Brown, the longtime confederate of Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda), a Wild West legend who, as the rain-soaked opening scene indicates, has been known to smudge the line between lawman and outlaw while dispensing rough justice in his corner of late-1880s Montana. Indeed, there are subtle hints that both Eddie and his faithful sidekick haven t always stuck to the straightand-narrow path. But never mind: Eddie has been elected Senator from Montana, so he s ready to hang up his guns and move to Washington, DC. During his extended absence, he plans to place Lefty in charge of his ranch despite the misgivings of Eddie s wife, Laura (Kathy Baker), who doesn t sound entirely unreasonable when she questions whether an illiterate sixtysomething galoot with no discernable leadership qualities is capable of leading much younger hired hands in maintaining their spread. Much as he did in his Dead Man s Burden (2012), an appreciably darker sagebrush saga, Moshe depicts violence in a sudden and shocking fashion, without reliance on slo-mo mayhem or lingering closeup. This is especially true of the inciting incident that propels the narrative: While Eddie and Lefty are conversing during their pursuit of rustlers, Eddie is fatally shot by one of the men they re tracking, and Lefty is left to bring his friend s body back to Laura. Lefty vows to hunt down Eddie s killer, but his noble gesture fails to impress Laura. And when two men who used to ride with Eddie and Lefty James Bierce (Jim Caviezel), now the governor of Montana, and Tom Harrah (Tommy Flanagan), a US Marshal arrive at the ranch to pay their condolences, they, too, think Lefty has bitten off way more than he can chew. Tom rides out to bring Lefty home, whether he wants to return or not. But Lefty isn t so easily diverted from his self-appointed task. Blac Chyna arrives at the Kids Choice Awards. (AP) Variety NEW YORK: Joni Sledge, who with her sisters recorded the enduring dance anthem We Are Family, has died, the band s representative said Saturday. She was 60. Sledge was found dead in her home by a friend in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, the band s publicist, Biff Warren, said. A cause of death has not been determined. He said she had not been ill. On yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin, read a family statement. Sledge and her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy formed the Sister Sledge in 1971 in Philadelphia, their hometown, but struggled for years before success came. (AP) LOS ANGELES: Wonder Woman has a new poster courtesy of star Gal Gadot. The star took to Twitter on Friday and tweeted Believe in Wonder. Here it is, the new poster for #WonderWoman! The poster shows the hero kneeling on a beach possibly Themyscira, the island home of the Amazon princess. Sun soaks the landscape as she crouches with sword and shield in hand. The film will be the third film in DC s growing cinematic universe after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad last year. It will be the second time Gadot will suit up as Wonder Woman after appearing in BvS. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: Give or take a Snow White and the Huntsman or so, Kristen Stewart has largely stuck to the art-house realm since finishing her obligations to the Twilight franchise five years ago. But at a special screening of her new film, Personal Shopper, presented by Ruffino, Air France and UniFrance Thursday night at New York s Metrograph, Stewart insisted that she hasn t been intentionally pivoting away from mainstream fare. It s been coincidental. It s never been a strategic plan to do smaller things to offset the bigger ones. But the bigger ones make the smaller things possible, she said, noting that in a few weeks she will start Fuller House named favorite family TV show Ghostbusters, Hart win big at KCA LOS ANGELES, March 12, (Agencies): Kevin Hart and the bad bunny he plays in The Secret Life of Pets were both winners at the Kids Choice Awards on Saturday night. Hart was named favorite villain for voicing Snowball, who claimed the prize for most wanted pet at the fan-voted show in Los Angeles. Hart also shared the BFF award with Dwayne Johnson, his co-star in Central Intelligence. The Ghostbusters remake was a multiple winner, claiming the favorite movie award and acting honors for Chris Hemsworth and Melissa Mc- Carthy. Finding Dory was named favorite animated movie, and star Ellen DeGeneres was the favorite voice from an animated film. Wrestler-turned-actor John Cena hosted the ceremony at the Galen Center on the University of Southern California campus. Other winners at the Saturday ceremony: TV show (kids): Henry Danger. TV show (family): Fuller House. Reality show: America s Got Talent. Cartoon: SpongeBob SquarePants. Favorite frenemies: Ginnifer Goodwin & Jason Bateman in Zootopia. Video game: Just Dance Music group: Fifth Harmony. Male singer: Shawn Mendes. Female singer: Selena Gomez. Soundtrack: Suicide Squad. Nickelodeon debuted updated network branding during the 2017 Kids Choice Awards Friday night. Created with Buenos Aires-based agency Superestudio, the new branding includes nearly 300 deliverables bumpers, IDs, promo toolkits, and graphic developments, and is set to be introduced first on the network s US linear channel, with roll-out on digital and social media platforms to follow. We really wanted to highlight how much surprise and fun is a part of kids everyday lives, so we took as our inspiration the surreal nature of GIFs, production on the big budget disaster film Underwater. She continued, But I never feel like there s an exchange. I ve only ever done larger projects that I think are worth it, and mean something, and affect me. (RTRS) CHERRY HILL, NJ: Student actors at a New Jersey high school have launched performances of the musical Ragtime that includes scenes where they utter racial Frozen Dead Guy Days breathes life into sleepy Colorado town NEDERLAND, Colo, March 12, (RTRS): Every March the cryogenically frozen corpse of a Norwegian man breathes fresh life into sleepy Nederland, Colorado, where throngs of fun-lovers fi ll the streets for Frozen Dead Guy Days, a festival in honor of the town s most famous resident. The annual three-day festival is the brainchild of a local businesswoman who came up with the whimsical idea 16 years ago as a way to attract visitors to Nederland, where the man s body has laid in repose in a shed since The event topped her wildest expectations: From a modest crowd of about 1,000 the fi rst year, the festival now draws about 20,000 visitors. Many of them dress in Halloween costumes as they revel in such quirky events as a polar plunge, a frozen salmon toss, musical acts and a costume ball. We never imagined it would be so well-received and grow so large - you could say I created a monster, said Teresa Crush-Warren, credited with hatching the idea when she was president of the local chamber of commerce. memes and emoticons and created an entire new visual vocabulary, says Michael Waldron, senior vice president and creative director art and design for Nickelodeon Group and Using a mix of real kids and on-air talent, the refresh looks through the lens of how kids see things the unpredictable, extraordinary and joyful nature of a child s imagination. Superestudio was the right company for this refresh because they use a great mix of Sledge Gadot This year s festivities began with a parade of a dozen hearses, followed by a coffi n race through the streets of the Rocky Mountain town, where temperatures hovered just above the freezing mark. Sam Baggall, 20, a student at the University of Colorado, stood next to the makeshift coffin she and her fi ve teammates fashioned out of cardboard. Our plan is to get out quick and be agile, she said. The annual bash honors Bredo Morstoel, who died and was cryogenically frozen in his native Norway in 1989 with the hope that low temperatures will allow him to be resuscitated sometime in the future. After a four-year stint at a California facility, his grandson moved him in 1993 to his property outside of Nederland, 17 miles (27 km) west of Boulder. Six years ago, the chamber sold the festival to Amanda MacDonald, an event planner for the chamber. The festival itself is a break-even endeavor, MacDonald said by telephone, but it is a boon for local businesses in the hamlet of about 1,500 full-time residents. different techniques, and they brought a fresh viewpoint that had just the right amount of quirk and whimsy. The new look will combine images of real kids with 2D and 3D graphics related to Nickelodeon properties and characters. The classic orange Nickelodeon logo will be set against an updated color palette including purple, light blue, lime and cream. On-air messaging will incorporate the modern sans-serif font Galano Grotesque Black. slurs. Cherry Hill school district officials initially planned to remove instances where characters said the slur and disparaging lines that targeted various ethnic groups. But they later decided to allow the students to perform the musical as written after their decision was met with resistance by students and community members of all races who said it would be wrong to sanitize the show. (AP)

22 22 Art Book focuses on Ohio communities Glass House explores economic and social trends in US By Andrew Welsh-Huggins book that examines the history A of a longtime glass manufacturing company and the corresponding changes of an American city is the latest best-seller to explore economic and social trends in the country through the lens of Ohio communities. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All- American Town focuses on Lancaster in central Ohio and the glass company most residents still refer to as Anchor Hocking. Journalist author Brian Alexander, who grew up in the city, explores what happened after outside firms took over Anchor Hocking and chipped away at its local roots. The company s headquarters was closed in 1987 after Newell Corporation bought the company, and This book cover image released by St Martin s Press shows Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town by Brian Alexander. (AP) 300 office workers were fired. A core group of Lancaster s leadership class, and their allimportant spouses, were swept away, ripping a huge hole in the social fabric of the town, Alexander writes. Dubbing Alexander, 57, remembers an idyllic childhood in a town where kids roamed freely and safely, jobs were plentiful and families intact. In the 1940s, Forbes magazine devoted much of its 30th anniversary issue to Lancaster, dubbing it the epitome of the all-american town. On a 2008 trip back home with his mother, who had since retired to Florida, Alexander realized the city wasn t the one he d grown up in. Lancaster Glass, where his father worked, had just shut down. More and more people were commuting up the road to Columbus for work. The opioid epidemic had hit hard, as elsewhere in the state. Even the city s better neighborhoods seemed to be fraying at the edges. About 1 in 5 people in the city of 39,000 now live in poverty, according to the most recent US Census data. Per capita and household incomes are below the state level. The city school district got a D for achievement on the most recent state report card. A few years later, reading about changes at Anchor Hocking, Alexander realized that threads for a book he d been contemplating on trends in America were right in front of him. The book is not about Lancaster. It s really about the United States of America and a hundred other towns, Alexander said in an interview. Lancaster is really just an avatar for what s been happening to things like employment, the social contract, capitalism and what we want capitalism to do for us. Epidemic Glass House follows Dreamland by Sam Quinones, a history of the opioid epidemic with chapters on Portsmouth and Columbus, and Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, his memoir and working class study based on growing up in Middletown as an Appalachian transplant. Alexander s book has ruffled a few feathers in Lancaster, where leaders boast of the city s annual music festival, well-maintained historic homes and a variety of other employers besides the glass industry. Lancaster Mayor Dave Smith appreciated the in-depth history of Anchor Hocking in Glass House. He doesn t dispute that the company no longer supports the community the way it did before private equity firms got involved. But Smith disagrees with the book s suggestion that the city has fallen on hard times, though it s worth noting his predecessor resigned two months after being sentenced to 90 days house arrest after pleading guilty to failing to file state tax returns for two years. It s not our whole history and it s not everything happening in Lancaster, and we have a lot of other good assets, Smith said. (AP) click Alcoholics Anonymous: If you know someone who can t stop drinking and would like to help them please check us out and we promise to try to help at There are no fees. This is a genuine public service. Drinking problem?: Friends of Bill W. are available to help. Totally confidential. Narcotics Anonymous: NA can help with addiction problems. Totally confidential: English/Arabic. Cancer online support group: If you are Cancer patient or family member fighting with this deadly disease, come join our online support group. Best way of dealing with this disease is providing support and share our experience with each other. There are lot of things which even doctors can t tell so be member of this website and start sharing your experiences which may help others. October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). The primary purpose is to promote self examination and screening mammography as the most effective way to save lives by detecting breast cancer at early stage. For more information visit: fightingwithcancer.webs.com/ In this photo taken on March 9, Svetlana Shuvaeva s work It s OK to Change Your Mind, is displayed at the Triennale in the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. (AP) Garage show aims to energize art scene Russian Triennale striking in its diversity MOSCOW, March 12, (AP): The contemporary art museum Garage opened its first Triennale on Friday with works from across Russia s 11 time zones, and they were striking in their diversity perhaps surprisingly in today s political context. Garage sent curators to gather works for the ambitious show aimed both at energizing the art scene at home and establishing Russia abroad. The exhibit by nearly 70 artists encompasses painting, sculpture, video, installation and conceptual works, mostly after 2012, and is a dizzying montage of the different cultures from within Russia s borders. Works by artists from Siberia, the Far East and Chechnya sit beside those from Moscow, with obvious differences. And that s exactly the point, said Dasha Zhukova, who along with her husband, tycoon Roman Abramovich, founded the Garage in The pair mingled with artists and Russia s cultural elite in the sleek, modern gallery in Gorky Park. Abramovich might still be close to the Kremlin, which keeps careful control of Russian culture, but Zhukova rejects a singular vision, saying she wants the Triennale to offer a platform for different voices to agree and disagree. Among the 68 artists with work on display through May 14 were some first-time exhibitors in Moscow; others are rising stars on a global scale. Irina Korina s massive installation, The Tail Wags the Comet, dominated the atrium. A labyrinth of stairs and walkways, dotted with tiny shrines, leads to a space hung with boiler suits, or a lighted chamber where people s shadows inhabit a rocket-shaped window, seen from outside. Trained as a theater designer, the 40-yearold Korina has exhibited in New York, London and Europe. She said her work is strongly linked to Russia. It is the reality around me, and this reality is my raw material, she said. For Taus Makhacheva, her native Dagestan exerts a strong pull and her work, The Way of an Object (2013), references its history with reimagined museum objects. Exhibits Makhacheva, 34, trained in London and exhibits in Europe but said she always ends up going back to Dagestan s thriving arts scene, despite violence from an Islamic insurgency in the region. Aslan Gaimov said coming from Chechnya does not define him as an artist. His work, Numbers, arrayed house numbers from prewar Grozny across a wall. He uses the history of Chechnya in his work, but told The Associated Press: It s about broader themes of what is history, memory, war. Svetlana Shuvaeva said she thinks of herself as an artist first and foremost a Russian, if you must, but also international. Lean and high in essential fatty acids It doesn t make any difference, just as the age of an artist doesn t make any difference an artist is an artist, she said. The Moscow-based Shuvaeva s installation, It s OK to Change Your Mind ( ), uses 150 painted canvases of images found in daily life to suggest an ornamental reality that conceals nothing underneath. Roxana Marcoci, senior curator from New York s Museum of Modern Art, said it s a show full of energy and new discoveries. The exhibit maps Russia today as a place grounded in multiple cultures, Marcoci said. It may be disjointed, uneven and possibly chaotic, she added, but art should be disruptive. Is it disruptive enough to carve out its own place on the international art stage? Russia is a very young place. It s undiscovered territory, said critic Arie Amaya-Akkermans, who points to the isolation of Soviet era art. There was a disconnect for a very long time, and only now it s slowly catching up, he said. Eskimo village aims to serve up reindeer meat far and wide ANCHORAGE, Alaska, March 12, (AP): A remote Eskimo village on a tundra-covered island in western Alaska is hoping to counter its steep unemployment rate and achieve greater self-sufficiency through one of its few resources: reindeer meat. Mekoryuk s tribal government is expanding its commercial reindeer venture with a herd introduced a century ago to Nunivak Island, 40 miles off the coast in the Bering Sea. The endeavor includes plans to build a new slaughterhouse with $1.8 million in federal grants and offer reindeer steaks and roasts for sale in urban parts of Alaska such as Anchorage and ultimately the lower 48. The Cup ig Eskimo community of 200 had a similar operation in the past, with a regulated slaughterhouse that allowed it to sell reindeer meat to a broad market that included high-end Denver restaurants. The idea behind this was to try to reestablish that market and the whole process here, said Dale Smith, the tribe s operations director. The earlier operation went downhill after the villager who was considered its driving force died in a 1996 helicopter crash while surveying the island s far-ranging reindeer. The slaughterhouse fell into disrepair, eventually forcing locals to do their slaughtering out on the tundra and limiting where the meat could be sold. Reindeer meat is lean and high in essential fatty acids, and it s considered by some to be superior in taste to its wild migrating cousin, the caribou. The tribe s reindeer are among several major herds in greater western Alaska, including the Seward Peninsula, a region farther north that s home to an estimated 10,000 animals. The herd on Nunivak, which is slightly bigger than Rhode Island, is estimated at up to 2,500 animals. It is the largest source of reindeer meat sold commercially in the state, said ecologist Greg Finstad, manager of the University of Alaska Fairbanks reindeer research program. Construction of the new slaughterhouse is slated to begin by summer in the effort funded by grants from the federal Economic Development Administration. A regional nonprofit, the Coastal Villages Region Fund, is footing some of the cost of four new snowmobiles for herding the animals. The slaughterhouse is expected to meet rigorous inspection standards, Finstad said. This will allow residents to greatly expand their market, selling to restaurants and sausage companies. They also will be able to process the meat into steaks, roasts and the like. Currently, field-dressed reindeer meat from Nunivak is sold under certain restrictions to locals as well as some rural grocery stores. The expansion is expected to bring additional revenue for the tribe s commercial reindeer subsidiary, Nuniwarmiut Reindeer and Seafood Products, while creating as many as 20 seasonal winter jobs for locals. Like other remote communities, Mekoryuk, the island s only town, has limited jobs opportunities. It had an average unemployment rate of nearly 28 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the latest data available. Residents work for the tribal and local governments, the village store, clinic and school, and a handful of other entities. For much of their food, they rely on subsistence activities, such as harvesting reindeer, hunting seals and fishing for salmon. For a time, there was a small halibut processing plant operated by the Coastal Villages Region Fund, but it shut down a few years ago after proving unprofitable, leaving reindeer as the community s main economic driver. That was a good reason to invest in Mekoryuk, said Shirley Kelly, an official with the federal economic development agency in Anchorage. It s going to help them build economic resiliency, she said. Alaska Commercial Co., which has stores in nearly three dozen remote communities in the state, carries Nunivak s reindeer meat at 20 of its northernmost stores, including in the commercial hub town of Bethel, 150 miles east of Mekoryuk. The reindeer carcasses are sent in halves to Anchorage, where they are processed into cuts and packaged by AC workers, AC general manager Walter Pickett said. Right now, our demand exceeds the supply, he said, adding the chain would like to buy more reindeer as the supply increases. Finstad said he applauds the village s efforts to become less reliant on government. Latest Chinese Embassy notice: Documents issued in Kuwait and to be used in China mainland shall first be notarized and legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait, and then be legalised by Chinese Embassy in Kuwait. Specific requirements and information for document legalisation, please refer to the website of Chinese Embassy in Kuwait. For documents issued by member countries of the Apostille Convention*, after getting Apostilles from the competent authorities, they can be used in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR of China directly. *Refer to the Convention of Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents Invitation to Grand Mosque: The Visits Department is pleased to invite you to visit the Grand Mosque, which is one of Kuwait s most treasured religious and cultural landmarks to discover the beauty of Islamic arts and architecture. Free guided tours are available all year round on official working days between (9-11 am) and (5-7 pm), within a special tour program designed to cater to the needs of different age groups. The program is as follows: Reception; Auditorium show; (according to age group); Touring the Mosque; Q & A; Art workshops; (according to age group between 5 and 18 years old); Snack break; Distribution of the Grand Mosque publications and souvenirs; End of tour. According to these age groups: Age group: 5 to 9 years old: Morning: 60 visitors max; Evening: 20; 10 to 15 years: Morning: 100 visitors max; Evening: 45; 16 and above: Morning: 140 visitors max, Evening: 105: Tour language: Arabic- English- French; Arabic (English upon prior request); Arabic- English- French; Arabic (English upon prior request); Arabic- English- French: Arabic (English upon prior request) Rules and Regulations: Please arrive in time for your visit. All visitors are kindly required to abide by the mosque s dress code. Male visitors should wear long pants. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not allowed. Female visitors: should wear head cover and long loose clothing (available at the mosque). Foods and drinks are not allowed inside the prayer halls. For school visits, teachers are responsible for their students and are required to cooperate with the staff members of the Grand Mosque. Photography is allowed inside the Grand Mosque (please note that disrespectful poses are strictly prohibited). If you would like to book a tour, please contact us: Tel: / / Fax: Chinese Embassy notice: Please be noted that effective starting today, the photo used in a Chinese visa application must meet the requirements (For details, please visit the website of Chinese embassy eng/). Application with non-compliant photos will not be processed. Thank you for your attention and cooperation. IEI Kuwait Chapter membership: The Institution of Engineers (India), Kuwait chapter invites all its members to update their membership information for the year and actively participate in the chapter activities. Indian engineers residing in Kuwait are welcome to join the pool of more than 700,000 engineers by becoming corporate or non-corporate members of The Institution of Engineers (India). IEI, Kuwait Chapter conducts many technical events for the benefit of its members. Please watch for the upcoming events in your registered or announcement in the media. The chapter has Continued on Page 23

23 23 A flyer of the event. A flyer of the event. Tickets are on sale at the BAIA box office, Salwa, Block 1, St 1 (opposite The Sunshine Kindergarten) from 7 am - 4 pm Sunday through Thursday and 9 am - 2 pm Saturday. Prof Sibaji Raha to be chief guest at the event Science Int l Forum Kuwait announces Science Gala 2017 KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Science International Forum (SIF), Kuwait in association with Kuwait National Exchange Co announced Annual Science Gala for the year The prestigious Annual Gala is scheduled to be held on March 31, 2017, at American International School, Hawally, at 5 pm. The chief guests for the evening will be Prof Sibaji Raha, internationally reputed physicist, professor and former Director of prestigious Bose Institute, Kolkata and Manish Jain, one of India s best science communicator. The key note address by Prof Sibaji Raha will be a motivational session for the aspiring students who dream to pursue science as career. Manish Jain will be addressing the students on the theme Play with Science. Audience will be given chance to interact with the guests. The winners and outstanding performers of Sastra Prathibha Contest and Kuwait Children s A flyer of the event. Science Congress 2016 will be honoured at the function. The esteemed Acharya J.C. Bose Sastra Puraskar for the year , entitled for the best performing school will be awarded to Indian Educational school (Bhavans), Kuwait. Other eminent academic and scientific personalities from India and Kuwait will also attend the function. The Sastra Prathibha title winners will get an exclusive opportunity for a personal interaction with the guests at a separate session scheduled on March 31, 2017 at 9.30 am at IBIS Hotel, Salmiya. A full day workshop led by Manish Jain is organized for the teachers from various Indian Schools on April 1, Sibaji Raha has worked with renowned scientists like Feynman John Miller. He has contributed greatly in the field of nuclear physics and has been elected as the first chairman of the Joint Scientific Council of the GSI and the upcoming FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research Germany) for exploring the nature of matter and the evolution of the universe. Manish Jain currently works at the IUCAA Science Center in Pune making short films on interesting research, designing toys and activities, conducting workshops and teacher trainings, and making popular science films. He is also working with IIM Ahmadabad. He spends time these days looking at the science behind the simple toys and firmly believes this approach can revolutionize learning since toys speak the language that child understands. Science gala, is a yearly program, organized SIF-Kuwait with an aim to provide experience, appreciation, motivation and knowledge for student community in Kuwait. It has proved to be the life time opportunity for students, parents and teachers in Kuwait to listen to the top academic and scientific brains of India. click Latest Continued from Page 22 science club activities for member s children, and ladies wing activities for the member s family. IEI, Kuwait chapter has facility to register student members for AMIE Examination for those interested in pursuing career enrichment. For more information and on chapter membership, kindly contact IEI, Kuwait chapter office on extn. 314 between 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Sunday through Thursday) or through to You may also contact Engr Ashok Kumar ( ) or Engr Karthikeyan ( ) for any further clarification. Share your story with Amricani: Do you or any of your family members, acquaintances or friends happen to have a story with the American Missionary hospital in Kuwait (Mustashfa Lemraicani) during the years from , the official period of offering medical services in Kuwait? Please share with us your story or your memory during those old days by writing the event and sending it to the following address: Notes: 1. Please send your story only to the above mentioned . Story shared in Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will not be considered. 2. Please write your story or memory and sign it with your full name, and your contact number. 3. It will be great if you send us your personal photos or those of the place related to the story (optional). Your story will be part of a new book to be published by DAI. I am confident that your contributions will be an essential part of the history of Amricani. Share with us! March 13 Indian Embassy closure: The Embassy of India shall remain closed on Monday, March 13, 2017 on the occasion of the festival of Holi. However, emergency consular services will be rendered by the Mission. March 17 Open Children s Day: Al Sadu Society is delighted to invite you to Turathi, an Open Children s Day, on Friday March 17, 10 am to 5 pm at Sadu House (Gulf Road, next to the National Library). We will offer a variety of compelling and engaging activities throughout one day. The activities would range from reading, traditional stories and cooking a traditional dish to participating in various textile workshops, playing traditional games and making memories at photo corner. We expect up to 300 children to go through activities during the Open day. Our aim is to positively influence the children and youth and ignite their creative potential. We devotedly work on reinforcing cultural identity in Kuwait. We feel that one Continued on Page 24

24 24 Homes Tech improvements, broad-based appeal help boost sales NY Toy Fair was stuffed with plush playthings By Kim Cook The recent industry show Toy Fair New York featured a variety of huggable plush Toys for everyone, from silky, infant comfort objects to cheeky stuffed novelties for grownups. Sales in the plush category are surging, thanks to technical improvements in materials, broad-based appeal and collectability, said Isabel Carrion-Lopez, spokeswoman for the Toy Industry Association. Pop culture plush The venerable Gund company, maker of plush toys for over 100 years, is now social-media savvy. If you re on Facebook, you may be familiar with Pusheen, the cute comic cat tag. At the Toy Fair last month, Gund put Pusheen front and center at their booth, offering a collection of big and little cats as keychain and backpack clips, handheld toys, huggable pillows, and zippered cases, all covered in the tabby s signature gray stripe. A series of mystery-box toys called Places Cats Sit features Pusheen on cat-friendly perches such as a shopping bag, laptop or towel. Buyers don t know where their cat will be until they open the box and take off her Mylar wrap. Gund also has licensing deals with Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, producer of the movies My Neighbor Totoro and Howl s Moving Castle ; there are plush versions of the films characters. And Gund has developed a line with DC Comics: superheroes like Wonder Woman and Batman as kid-huggable plush toys. Curious George is also here, dressed as a From left: This undated photo provided by Gund and Pusheen shows Sparx the dragon, which has plush fur embossed with realistic scales; this undated photo provided by Mary Meyer shows a soft owl-themed mat which makes a comfy nap and play spot; this undated photo provided by Gund and Pusheen shows Pusheen eating sushi. (AP) firefighter, police officer, doctor and pirate. Then there are the Giant Microbes: a booth full of human micro-organisms, including organ cells and bacteria, rendered in handsize fuzzy plush, with little faces. Company president Andrew Klein pointed to a veritable hazmat lab of gnarly things like plague microbes, viruses and gross-outs of the science world. He says the toys are popular with educators, public health organizations, and science and history museums. Baby soft Today s plush toys have come a long way even compared to a few decades ago, when the material was stiffer and more rug-like. Improvements in fine microfiber production have resulted in a silky, squishable material. Stuffings are also soft polyester. That makes them great for babies toys. Two collections are super-popular with new moms, said Linda Colson, vice president of the company Mary Meyer, pointing out several families of neutral-hued, silky furred animals in her fair booth, and shelves full of small plush creatures with pacifiers attached. Today s new mom wants her baby s gear to reflect her own aesthetic. If she decorates with a certain color palette, she doesn t want the baby s room to clash, Colson said. So the Putty Collection features puppies, elephants, bears, and bunnies in gentle hues of cream, blush, gray and mocha. The pacifier/toy is a Wubbanub, which Colson says was invented by a mom who kept losing her baby s soother until she came up with the idea of sewing it to a small stuffed animal. Some books such as Nancy Tillman s storybooks On the Night You Were Born and You re Here for a Reason are available as a soft book and plush animal set. Apple Park, a San Francisco-based children s gear company, featured an Organic Luxury line made from 100 percent organic cotton. The collection includes plush booties, play blankets, and toys in gentle prints and hues. At Nat & Jules, creative director Julie Puntch picked up a Cozies Rattle Blankie, saying, Moms buy these two at a time. They keep them handy in the stroller, car seat and crib. The velvety-soft plush pets and wild animals have flat bodies, and a clip for a pacifier. Animal Kingdom Also at Nat & Jules was a plush puppet family of cows, unicorns, foxes, and lions, ready for storytelling. Toy designers are looking beyond the familiar animal world for inspiration, and a new world of wild is now available in plush form. At Aurora s booth, there were Rockhopper and Emperor penguins, orangutans, lynx, crocodiles and meerkats. Rays, seals and aquarium fish were next to mammoths and pandas. Gund had sloths and peacocks, as well as a fox with lustrous, life-like fur, and a dragon covered with plush fabric printed with a scale pattern, that somehow managed to look fierce and feel fuzzy. Talk to the animals A smartphone app guides the new Teddy Ruxpin from Wicked Cool Toys to interact with kids and tell stories from his 4GB hard drive; LED technology helps Teddy s eyes move realistically. At Gund, Flappy the Elephant plays peek-aboo with his ears while singing Do Your Ears Hang Low. And Storytime Cub moves its body and mouth as it reads a funny version of the classic Three Bears folktale. (AP) BSK March 31 FOCUS to conduct TIPS 2017: FOCUS International Kuwait has been conducting TIPS for the past four years with the support of a students organization based in Kerala. TIPS was established in 2010 with venues at a few nominated centers. To date TIPS is the only model entrance examination recognized with centralized valuation and centers within and outside the country. TIPS model entrance aims at providing hands on experience for students attending various competitive exams to professional courses. The test will follow the pattern of NEET/JEEmedicalclick Latest Continued from Page 23 of the best ways to secure the protection of cultural heritage is to make it appealing and understandable to children. By strengthening their cultural identity from the early age, we invest in their future as cultural consumers. Turathi is organized within the Youth festival and under patronage of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters. For any inquires please contact us on or call March 24 IMA family desert picnic: Indian Muslim Association is organizing a Family Picnic 2017 on Friday, March 24, 2017 in a desert camp at the outskirts of Kuwait City under the theme Enter into Islam Completely (02:208). As usual it provides a unique opportunity for the entire family to rejoice in a fun filled interludes and educational discourses. Activities include variety of sports for children and elders alike, cultural event, skit, literary session (Mushaira) and prize distribution ceremony at the end. All basic amenities shall be provided for a comfortable stay for elders & children. Picnic event kicks off with the breakfast at am followed by Sports and other varied activities to keep you engrossed until 5.00 pm. Friday Sermon as well as sumptuous Lunch will also be arranged in the same tent. Ladies are provided with separate adjacent tent to have enough privacy and segregated activities like Sports, Mehendi, Calligraphy, 1 minute games etc. For convenience bookstall and emergency medical services are made available during the occasion. Picnic spot is located at 85.5 Milestone on Road No. 30 or 40 towards Nuwaiseb. Free Bus Services are arranged to reach the location from Kuwait City, Salmiyah, Jaleeb al-shoyukh/ Abbasiya, Khaitan and Mangaf / Fahaheel. All are cordially invited to attend this joyous occasion. For entry passes and for further details please contact below numbers: Kuwait City ; Khaitan ; Abu Halifa ; Fahaheel ; Salmiya ; Abbasiya ; Youth Wing ; Ladies Wing (Sisters Only). March 25 DAI Experience Science: Scientists from the Islamic world helped build the foundation of today s science. In biology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, optics, and math, Muslim scholars like Ibn Haythem, Ibn Hayyan, Al- Fazari, and others, made significant contributions to their fields. Experience Science is a special programme led by Dr B (Dr Bahareh Azizi), who s planned some pretty cool experiments that include strawberry DNA, Oreo moon phases, and bending light! Designed for children ages 10-13, each Experience Science 90 minute session (3:30-5 pm), which will be held at the Yarmouk Cultural Centre, includes a look at the role of Muslim scientists in a specific field, what s happening in that field today and a couple of hands-on experiments. Week One (25 March): Human Biology and DNA Week Two (1 April): Astronomy Week Three (8 April): Chemistry and Alchemy Week Four (15 April): Optics and Physics Week Five (22 April): Math Week Six (29 April): Family Day To register your year-old for this programme, please visit the museum shop at either the Yarmouk or Amricani cultural centres. Spaces are limited; to register, BSK celebrates Pirate Day engineering entrance exams and shall be conducted in as many as 50 centers across Kerala, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and every gulf country. Hoping to arm the students with an experience that would help them to assess and prepare themselves, the examination is evaluated in a centralized manner. The test should foster self-confidence as well as decrease the fear of competitive exams in aspiring students. TIPS certify the experience of the real competitive examination. TIPS help the students with landfills to sort the examination and preparation in an easy process. To do so, TIPS publishes answer keys along with all possible methods of solutions, on the day of exam itself. Heeding to popular demand and appreciation from both parents as well aspiring students we have decided to conduct TIPS 2017 on March 31. We request you to share this news in your esteemed media. For more details contact , , Website: General KIFF anti-drugs campaign: As part of the Fraternity fest, Kuwait India Fraternity Forum Photos from the event (KIFF) is conducting Anti-Drugs Campaign among Indians living in Kuwait. According to the available statistics of Indian Embassy, 60% of the convicted Indians in Kuwaiti Jails are arrested on drug-related cases. The recent cases of death and captives of Indian drug abusers is a threatening news. To defend and to campaign against such social crisis by protecting individuals as well as the society has become obligatory. In this current situation, Kuwait India Fraternity Forum is conducting campaign by distributing handouts, conducting counseling, seminars etc. to educate the Indians living in Kuwait informed President Saifudheen Nalakath in a press release. For more details contact: or at NYF offers free yoga classes: NYF Kuwait offers free yoga, breathing, meditation and reiki classes by a well-experienced female yoga teacher for all age groups. Classes are given on the basis of different health problems, stress and other problems by different techniques. Contact: Leadership Excellence Course: The To celebrate the conclusion of The British School of Kuwait (BSK) A hoy Matey topic, Reception children took part in a Pirate Day. The children were invited to come dressed as swashbuckling pirates. The children took part in a variety of pirate themed activities. Pirate adventures in Literacy included making messages in bottles and letter formation using cutlasses. In Mathematics the children were ordering pirate ships by size and sharing out treasure equally which supports early division. Children were given the opportunity to investigate sinking and floating; they had great fun designing and making their own pirate ships and testing if they would float or sink. The day was topped off with a surprise visit from Pirate Pete! Leadership Excellence Course (LEC) is a course modeled on the Seerah of Rasoolullah who is the best model of leadership for all mankind. The LEC focuses on the lessons that we can learn from the Seerah of Rasoolullah and see how we can apply them in our lives to become winners in this world and the next. The objectives of the course are 1. Understand what leadership is from the Seerah of Rasoolullah and how to apply it in our lives today 2. Understand the purpose of our lives and learn to live that purpose with confidence 3. Understand the importance of connecting to Allah and learn how to do it 4. Understand how to leverage your strengths and overcome weaknesses 5. Understand how to articulate your life goal and create a road map to achieve it. For more information please visit or call / AWL registration: If you would like to join the American Women s League (AWL), please call or or All American women and wives of Americans are welcomed. Ugandans register with UIK: Are you a Ugandan living and working in Kuwait? Would you like to get in touch with other Ugandans in Kuwait both socially and professionally? Then please get in touch with us. We would like to invite you to register with the Ugandans in Kuwait (UIK) association, an informal organization of Ugandans living and working in Kuwait. The purpose of this exercise is to get together as Ugandans and to consider taking the first steps to establishing a more formal organisation. This association is voluntary. It is designed to create a forum for Ugandans in Kuwait to foster a sense of community, to communicate more effectively with each other and to encourage Ugandans out here to work together. We are also planning a celebration to mark 50 years of Ugandan s Independence this year. If you have any questions regarding this association or if you are interested in registering, then please send us an at We hope to hear from you soon. Free drum music classes: Free professional drum music classes are available at Salmiya for all age groups from beginners to advanced by a well experienced drum teacher. For more details: Indian Embassy SPDC notice: Attention of all Indian associations/indian schools in Kuwait is once again drawn to Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) which was introduced by Government of India in the academic year with the objective to make higher education in India accessible to the children of overseas Indians and promote India as a centre for higher studies. Under the scheme, 100 PIO/NRI students were awarded scholarship of up to US$ 4,000 per annum for undergraduate courses in Engineering, Technology, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and some other courses. The scheme is open to NRIs/PIOs from over 40 countries (including Kuwait) having substantial Indian Diaspora population. The Scheme was revamped and launched in July Under the revamped Scheme, number of scholarships has been enhanced from 100 to 150 with introduction of 50 scholarships for children of Indian workers employed in the Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries. The Scheme is now applicable to four categories of applicants: (i) Persons of Indian Origin (ii) Non-Resident Indians (iii) Children of Indian workers working in ECR countries (including Kuwait). (iv) Children of Indian workers in ECR countries - studying in India The institutions that are covered under this Scheme are: (i) NITs, IIITs, Schools of Planning and Architecture (ii) A Grade institutions accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and recognised by University Grants Commission (UGC). (iii) Other institutions covered under Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme. Income criteria will be applicable to all four categories. Applicants will seek scholarships after they obtain admission in the approved list of educational institutions. Applications are required to be submitted online at SPDC portal - in/login/index.php. Last date for submission of applications was extended till Oct 14, Nodal officer for SPDC is P. Bharadwaj, Deputy Secretary (OIA-II), Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, Tel: , Scrabble sessions are back: Scrabble sessions are back for all to come, learn and play with us at Better Books, Salmiyah, Bldg 19, next to Badur Travel, opposite the Ministry of Private Education, on Friday afternoons from 2:30-5:30 pm. Inviting all kids aged 8 and above to join me and play competitively with me Rohaina. Classes are held every Saturday from pm. Bknelled, Euphuize, Waqf, Zooeae are some of the lovely words and there are 200,000 more you can learn with us. But the fun part is playing this wonderful game competitively. So come and see us and call Rohaina Tanweer. TIES Center classes: TIES Center is conducting a series of classes about some of Continued on Page 25

25 25 High note Cezary s Picks Europe sees boom of concert halls Hamburg and Paris: let music flow along rivers By Cezary Owerkowicz Special to the Arab Times Over the past few years the world witnessed a boom in the construction of concert halls in a few European capitals and major cities. If this meant the popularity of music had reached its peak and that the concerned authorities and the societies had dug themselves in, I would be only extremely happy. However, if there was a competition between cities it would build something more special, even phenomenal just like a year or a few months ago. This is a reward for music, for music lovers, for musicians and development of culture in societies. Since everybody likes to be unique and some projects even work on parallel ideas I was excited about one such project the one built in Paris. Nobody had expected Paris with its rich history for music suffering from the shortage of concert halls. However, finally we saw the construction of two halls; one is the Philharmonie de Paris which was Owerkowicz completed in 2015 with a capacity of 1,900 seats, a large music museum, etc, in the North District, near the City Centre but the anxiety of music lovers could do harm to the frequency. The sound of music of the opening season had hardly died down; and we were awaiting the opening of another concert hall La Seine Musicale, built on the Seguin Island, west of Paris. Built It is being built in place of the old Renault car factory, where at one time 23,000 people worked for 63 years. It looks like an egg shaped ship on the river but with industrial reminiscences. The auditorium has a 1,150 seats capacity in addition to 6,000 seats for fans of pop and rock. There are also recording studios, exhibition halls and shops. The construction cost is believed to be around 170 million Euros and built by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and Frenchman Jean de Gastines. The manager of the project, is Jean-Luc Choplin (name sounds symbolically like Chopin+Joplin, isn t it?) says every kind of music from Handel to Jimmy Hendrix will be presented there. Nobody will be excluded. All treated equally. Simultaneously Hamburg, in Germany saw the construction of the world icon and national architecture Elbphilharmonie also built on the River Elbe. The Germans lovingly call it Elphie. The project to everyone s expectations has exceeded time and the cost factor. The completion was delayed by seven years and has reportedly cost 886 (instead of 50) million Euros. This is how it all began. At the end of 20th century the city authorities decided to transform Speicherstadt, the largest warehouse district in the world which has been awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 into a modern habitableoffice district Hafen City. In an attempt to revitalize the inner city area, the Hamburg government initiated the development of the Hafen City area, for example with the construction of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall. Today in the modernized area there are the most expensive apartments in the whole town. On the West corner of the peninsula there is the huge Caesar Granary red brick block storage for cocoa, tobacco and tea. The giant storage facility would have been turned into a corporation office but for New Yorker, architect and developer, Alexander Gerard and Austrian historian of art, Jana Marko it got transformed it into a concert hall. At first their idea was rejected as too much extravagant. However, the project took off on the recommendation of Swiss Winners of Pritzker Prize (architectonic Nobel!), Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, authors of Allianz Arena in Munich and Olympic Stadium in Beijing. Herzog took the Granary picture and scribbled something on the roof, looking like a lie detector graph. The project is 110 meters high glass skyscraper in the port, with the shape of huge sails or waves built on the old red block conquered the mind of Lord Mayor who convinced the city parliament. The project started in 2007 and the plan was to complete it in 2010 but at that time only the sketch was ready. Then there was the difficulty of building it, because it is covered on three sides by river extension. There were huge expectations to have everything the best, most unique, exceptional so it cost much time and money. One window which can withstand 600 C cost 20,000 Euros. The edifice takes the appearance of a chameleon. In the morning it changes to blue color which it derives from the morning blue sky. In the evening it looks orange to go with the dusk and in the night it is bright taking the effect of the interior lighting. The acoustic of the concert hall is in the shape of vineyard and was built by the famous Japanese Yasuhisa Toyota. Yasuhisa is known for creating such masterpieces masterpieces such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, the abovementioned Paris Philharmonic and Concert Hall of National Symphonic Orchestra of Radio and TV in Katowice, Poland. I was there for the opening ceremony and I ve personally met the guru of the modern acoustic. He covered the walls with white leather and 11,000 irregular panels costing 15 million Euros instead the original 3.5 million. The effect is so great that it is impossible to prevent people from gossiping with the neighbors. Everything what is said is contrary to the truth about the huge hall. Seven years after the idea was born, the project was completed in No wonder: the new Berlin Airport is still under construction for the past 11 years, not to mention the legendary cathedral of Antonio Gaudi and Sagrada Familia in my favorite Barcelona which is being continuously renovated since Even the escalators are the longest in Western Europe 82 meters long (it takes 2 minutes 37 seconds) to reach from one end to the other. This is in addition to the 10,000 white silver aluminum panels (one by one meter long) which forms the wave-like roof. The main Concert Hall has 2,100 seats, in addition to the chamber halls, rehearsals rooms, hotel, luxury apartments, restaurants, parking lots and shops. Because of its really unique character and combining all world records this is the most expected concert hall in Europe. This season all the tickets for the concerts have been sold out. The Desperados try to buy tickets on the black market: tickets for one of the inauguration concerts piano recital by Chinese star and world pianist, Lang Lang has shot up to 3,240 Euros each (data from tickets auction). The tickets were put up for sale on Feb 15 for 2017/2018 season. The demand has increased a few times more. When the press Director Christoph Lieben-Seutter asked When do you expect to have the first concert the tickets for which have not been sold yet, the answer was prompt, In Spring A crowd of Hamburg citizens and tourists are trying to buy tickets even for the Plaza. This is the point connecting the granary with the new building an exceptional place the same like the philharmonic reception hall, hotel s lobby, restaurant and open terrace from where it is possible to see the controversial St Pauli District and people walking on the Elbe river boulevards. Crash test One of the inauguration concerts was performed by the ensemble of a German legend of alternative scene, Einsturzende Neubauten, a pioneer of industrial rock, playing on historical instruments. They were the first performers out of the classical music stars who were invited for the opening gala. (NB: They had to repeat the concert the same day by public demand!) The next day the Hamburger Morgenpost daily wrote jokingly with much pride: Elphie passed the test! The Philharmonic Director commented: I suggested to myself to invite for the first concerts the ensemble which takes the name Crashed New Buildings (this exactly is the translation of the name of ensemble). Let the music flow along all the rivers not only in Paris, Hamburg and other part of old Europe. Music and rivers have something in common always flowing, once slow and once rough but always different even at the same... Just like life. Editor s Note: Cezary Owerkowicz is the chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Philharmonia and talented pianist. He regularly organises concerts by well-known musicians for the benefit of music lovers and to widen the knowledge of music in Kuwait. His address is: yahoo.com and Pioneers of Kuwait Cynomorium coccineum blossoms, a sign on the start of Spring season. Sheikh Sabah convinces Amir to leave Kuwait (KUNA Ahmad Srour) Invasion of Kuwait shocks the world This is the 13th in a series of articles on His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah, the pioneer of the political development of modern Kuwait and 15th ruler of Kuwait. Editor By Lidia Qattan Special to the Arab Times As the hours drift, the silence of the night took Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad back to the time when the Kuwait-Iraq saga just began; that was in 1934, when the discovery of oil at Bahra gave the promise of some rich oil fields to be discovered in Kuwait. From that year Kuwait began suffering from Iraqi intrigues, which his father, HH the Amir, Sheikh Hamad Al Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah had to be on constant alert and use all his political shrewdness to avoid trouble while maintaining friendly relations for the sake of Kuwaiti interests in Iraq. Sheikh Sabah was a little boy then, but what he was hearing in his father s diwanya and the sequence of events that befell Kuwait from that year (1934), and the near miss of an Iraqi showdown with Kuwait in 1938, when a rich oil field was discovered, influenced his ways of thinking ever since. Alert After Kuwait became an independent country and he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, when dealing with the mercurial nature of the Iraqi regime in solving the chronic issue of frontier, he stood for ever on the alert of such a regime. The first time Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad met Saddam Hussein was in Baghdad in Saddam was then vice-president of Iraq his courteous manners and elegant bearing; impressed him, but when he spoke, he revealed his character. When Saddam proposed that Kuwait should release the two islands, Warba and Boubyan to Iraq, and allow Iraqi oil pipelines to be extended through Kuwait territory to the waters of the Gulf, Sheikh Sabah remembered a similar suggestion made to his father in the thirties by a previous Iraqi regime. At that time the issue was the water of Shat Al Arab to be piped to Kuwait and engage Iraqi farmers to work the land; his father declined the offer because he could not trust that regime! Incidentally the Iraqi proposal in 1972, was not only to pipe oil to the Gulf through Kuwaiti territory, it also included establishing oil refinery click General Continued from Page 24 the Prophets and Messengers of stations along the way including a port and an airport, the whole free of taxation! Baffled by such a suggestion Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad refused to release an inch of Kuwait territory, or to allow the oil-pipeline project to be carried out. Though Saddam Hussein conducted himself with studied courtesy, the Sheikh was not fooled by the appearance. Sooner than he expected Saddam retaliated attacking two border posts in March 1973; at Samta Iraqi troops penetrated five km into Kuwait territory. Incidentally this attack coincided with Saddam s plan of establish a naval base in the Gulf with the help of the Soviet Union! When the matter was brought before the UN Security Council, Saddam sought council in Moscow. At his return he suggested that both the Kuwaiti and the Iraqi governments should withdraw their forces 10 km behind the disputed boundary, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad refused because not only it shrank Kuwait territory, sooner or later Iraq would expand to that area as it did at Um Qaser which was part of Kuwait territory before a second demarcation of frontier took place. Hence he presented the case before the Council of the Arab League, which passed a resolution for Iraq to withdraw its troops beyond the border line, but Iraq only complied after receiving a large loan from Kuwait. Soon, however, the Iraqi regime changed tactic, suggesting to settle the demarcation of frontier in exchange of the two island Warba and Boubyan. Obviously such a suggestion was rejected. During the dispute of Iran and Iraq over the Shat Al Arab, which was concluded with the Algiers agreement in 1975, Kuwait was requested to pay the bill of the agreement with renting half of Boubyan island to Iraq for 99 years and give up Warba. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad refused because Lidia Qattan such a request undermined Kuwait s sovereignty over its islands. The Sheikh was deep in thought over the sequence of events culminating in the latest crisis, his telephone rang; the call came from the G.One ( the government main headquarter in Shuwaikh). God who strove very hard to spread monotheism and teach their respective peoples how to worship God. Their message was not only spiritual; they also taught people how to conduct their daily lives and develop the living conditions on earth. In this series, we will focus on the following prophets: Adam, Nouh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Ayoub (Job), Yousuf (Joseph), Mousa Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah Hearing that the Iraqi troops had crossed the frontier and were rapidly moving south towards Kuwait City he jumped out of bed and driving through the deserted streets of town he reached the headquarters in no time. HH Sheikh Sa ad Al Abdullah Al Salem and his brother Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad, other members of the Royal Family and the entire higher command were all there monitoring the situation. The repeated attempts by HH Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah to contact the Iraqi authorities on the hot line were useless; this didn t surprise Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad, but what amazed him was the rapidity with which the invading army was advancing. Situation Sooner than anyone expected the Iraqis were on the outskirts of Kuwait City itself! While the Supreme Command was moving to Sabhan headquarters to monitor the situation from there, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad began contacting his colleagues of the GCC for an urgent meeting. Some time later when he heard that the Amir s residence had been attacked by a special air-born Iraqi contingent, he remembered the visit of Yasser Arafat late that evening to make certain that the Amir and the Prime Minister would be captured for the full success of Saddam s plan. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait shocked the world causing an immediate reaction. Incidentally that was about the time the Super Powers of the East and the West solved their differences, the Berlin wall dividing Germany was demolished and a new world order safeguarding the oil was implemented. In the Arab world the GCC countries were the first in condemning the Iraqi aggression in an unanimous response, calling for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of the Iraqi (Moses), and Eisa (Jesus) - may peace, mercy and blessings of Allah (to Whom all might and majesty is ascribed) be upon them all. We will not only focus on historical facts, but will also deduce some important lessons whose application in our daily interactions and chores determine our success and salvation. Join us every Thursday at 7 pm to troops. The same condemnation of the Iraqi aggression echoing far and wide through the world, assured Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad that Kuwait was not alone in its moment of need. In the meantime the world news agencies were presenting a terrible scenario of what was actually happening in Kuwait during the first phase of the invasion, effectively belying the Iraqi propaganda, which had been trying to make the invasion of Kuwait appear as a friendly intervention on behalf of the people suffering from a corrupt government. What the CNN and other world news agencies were showing to the world hardly justified what was happening as a friendly intervention! There were buses full of workers hit by rockets and set on fire; a flood of terrorized refugees fleeing for their life crowding at the Saudi frontier; fighting was going on in some districts of the capital; buildings were on fire and Iraqi troops were firing on defenseless women demonstrators. Such evidence evoked a reaction that prompted even China and the Soviet Union, on whose support the Iraqi regime had been counting, but stood with the rest of the world in condemning the Iraqi aggression. The Soviet Union and China also supported every resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council throughout the various stages in the development of the crisis, which finally culminated in the Gulf War that set Kuwait free. During the first hours of the invasion, as the Iraqi army was rapidly reaching the outskirts of Kuwait City, on leaving the G-One and moving on to the next Government headquarters at Sabhan, the Prime Minister instructed his driver to speed towards the Amir s residence, at the same time he contacted the Amir urging him to get ready. At his arrival the Amir was refusing to leave, but when Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah warned HH that Kuwait would be lost if the Head of State were captured, but if gone abroad and form a new government there would be a chance of redeeming the country, HH listened. HH the Amir, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah barely left the premises when a few minutes later the Amir residence was stormed by a special air-borne contingent to capture the Amir. To be continued learn about the life and times of those messengers of firm resolve. The TIES Center is the social and educational hub for English Speaking Muslims in Kuwait. For more information, please call or or visit Continued on Page 26

26 26 Warbah to enable airline to realise 58pc seat capacity increase Fifth B ER aircraft joins Kuwait Airways fleet KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Kuwait Airways, the official national carrier of the State of Kuwait, has this weekend welcomed the fifth of 10 Boeing ER aircraft into its expanding, new look fleet; signalling the halfway point in an order for the extendedrange aircraft and second-largest passenger jet in the sky today. Following the theme of naming the new fleet after place names, in Kuwait, the fifth Boeing ER has been called Warbah the Kuwaiti island that sits at the mouth of the Euphrates River. After entering commercial service, Warbah will be a key factor in enabling the airline to increase its seat capacity on Kuwait Airways long-haul routes, during the Summer Season, to destinations like Frankfurt, Bangkok and Manila. While, during the Summer Season, Frankfurt (4), Bangkok (7) and Manila (7) maintained the same number of Chairperson Mme Rasha Al Roumi arriving on KAC ER weekly flights as the Winter Schedule, the seat capacity increases that the introduction of the Boeing ER fleet will make on these routes, will be close to 60 per cent. As we stand at the midway point of the delivery order of 10 Boeing ER aircraft, we already recognise the importance these new planes have had in improving the product offering we provide to many of our long-haul customers on core routes within our network, said Rasha Al Roumi, Chairperson and CEO of Kuwait Airways. Boeing KAC ER Warbah In just a short period of time, since the first Boeing ER delivery in December 2016, these aircraft have increased our seat capacity, increased the numbers in our operational fleet, and allowed Kuwait Airways to boost flight frequencies to key destinations in line with demand. The new aircraft are also the canvass upon which we showcase our new look livery to the world, Al Roumi added. In addition to this, the Boeing ER fleet has also enhanced Kuwait Airways on-board product offering, including one of the most spacious economy seat configurations in the world, a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system [Panasonic ex3], and the introduction of new menus that cater to the widest range of palettes and specialist requests, she concluded. Later into the Summer Season, which starts 26th March, Kuwait Airways will exclusively deploy Boeing ER aircraft on its Bangkok, Manila, Dhaka, and Frankfurt routes. Dates for the full transfer of these aircraft onto several other long-haul routes will be announced shortly. Encouraging young designers, entrepreneurs Gulf Bank supports Benchmark Forum Hessah Al-Sabe & Abdullah Al-Omani from VIVA Small firms exhibition VIVA platinum sponsor of Marj KUWAIT CITY, March 12: VIVA, Kuwait s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, sponsored Marj Exhibition for Kuwaiti Small Businesses held on March 12 at Murouj Center, organized by Attention Company. Mr. Abdelrazzaq Bader Al-Essa, Corporate Communications Director at VIVA stated: VIVA s platinum sponsorship for this significant exhibition that focuses on small businesses, proves that VIVA s strategy always revolve on embracing the Kuwait Small businesses and the Creative Kuwaiti Youth at different aspects, and Marj exhibition was a great opportunity to highlight these projects and grant its owners the chance to engage through displaying their products and innovations. Ms Hessah Salem Al-Sabe from Corporate Communications at VIVA was presented at VIVA s booth and a professional team offered to the visitors the latest prepaid and postpaid packages, products and services including more platform launched recently. The exhibition featured entertainment and competitions, kids games, in addition to a show for the biggest owl in the world. Winners received valuable prizes at the end of the event and enjoyed songs and music. Al Tijari announces winners of Al Najma account draw KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al Najma Account daily draw on 12th March The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Abdulaziz Ashkanani. The winners of KD 7,000 Al Najma daily draw are: Maher Mohammad Saleem, Malak Salman Al Qalaf, Ali Abdullah AlBaghli, Mariano Simplicio Furtado and Ali Ahmad Abdulhakeem. Al Najma awards are now brighter and bigger than ever. With the revamped Al Najma account, all your dreams will be turned to reality. On top of offering the highest daily prize in Kuwait for KD 7,000, now our Mega prize draws got bigger to reach KD 250,000. The new prizes scheme for Al Najma account are daily draw to win KD 7,000, quarterly draws to win great prizes that would start from KD 100,000 to KD 250,000. 1st quarter KD 100,000, 2nd quarter KD 150,000, 3rd quarter KD 200,000 and 4th quarter KD 250,000. With Al Najma you have more chances to win greater prizes. Each KD 25 kept in your account gives you one chance to win Each KD 25 kept in your account for one week will give you a chance to enter the daily draw. Each KD 25 kept in your account for 3 months will give you chance to enter the quarterly draw. Additional features ATM card Issue a credit card against your account Obtain all CBK banking services You deserve to win! Open an account now with just KD 500 and you will enter all draws. Burgan Bank announces names of Yawmi account daily draw winners KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Burgan Bank, the second largest in terms of assets, announced today the names of the daily draw winners of its Yawmi account draw, each taking home a cash-prize of KD 5,000. The lucky winners are: Basel Matar Koubal Al Otaibi; Fotouh Hamad Mohammed Al Dalali; Fajer Ahmad Mohammad Hajeyah; Mohammad Abdullah Ali; Awadh Ghayadh Obaid Al Enezi. In addition to the daily draw, Burgan Bank also offers a Quarterly Draw with more chances to win higher rewards, offering the chance to one lucky customer to win KD 125,000 every three months. The Yawmi Account offers Daily and Quarterly Draws, wherein the Quarterly Draw requires customers to maintain a minimum amount of KD 500 in their account for two months prior to the draw date. Additionally, every KD 10 in the account will entitle customers to one chance of winning. If the account balance is KD 500 and above, the account holder will be qualified for both the quarterly and daily draws. Burgan Bank encourages everyone to open a Yawmi account and/or increase their deposit to maximize their chances of becoming a winner. The higher the level of the deposit, the higher the likelihood to win. For more information on opening a Yawmi account, the new quarterly draw or on any of the bank s products and services, customers are urged to visit their nearest Burgan Bank branch, or simply call the bank s Call Center at Customers can also log on to Burgan Bank s for further information. KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Gulf Bank is proud to have participated, as a sponsor, in the Benchmark Forum 2017, the 4th Annual Design Entrepreneurship Forum. Organized by youraok, the Benchmark Forum took place on March 3 & 4, in Dar Al Athar Al Islamiya, Yarmouk. Benchmark Forum brings together innovative business minds and creative designers to share their experience and inspire young entrepreneurs and to provide them with the mentorship that may guide them down the road towards development and success. Commenting on this occasion, Khaled Al Otaibi, Manager of External Relations at Gulf Bank said: Gulf Bank has always placed entrepreneurship and youth at the core of its CSR strategy. We are proud to sponsor the Fourth Benchmark Forum as we are strongly committed to giving back to the Kuwaiti community by focusing on youth, education, health and fitness, helping the underprivileged, women s empowerment, as well as promoting Kuwait s heritage and culture. Objective With regards to the objective of the event, Ms Ruba Al- Saleh, Co-founder and Managing Director of YourAOK stated: We aim to bridge the gap between passion and profession to aid young designers in creating efficient, long term businesses for themselves and to aid in enhancing Kuwait s economy. The event convened professionals from their respective fields, Kuwaiti and Arab designers and entrepreneurs who gave talks and lectures over two consecutive days. Additionally, the forum included an exhibition of design works and arts, on-the-spot consultation by incubators, and outdoor activities. Free of charge, Benchmark is a non-profit event that aims to educate designers and creative professionals by providing them with a merging skill-set between design and business. It is the only Design Entrepreneurship Forum in the MENA region, with a focus on creativity and innovation as tools to become a better designer and entrepreneur. YourAOK is a networking platform bringing together creative professionals, design firms and product suppliers together. It offers them a multimedia platform with digital portfolios allowing clients to easily browse through profiles and visual works to hire artists, photographers or designers. Gulf Bank is strongly committed to supporting youth initiatives and entrepreneurs and empower them to lead the next generation. To find out more about Gulf Bank, please see the bank s bilingual website at call the Customer Contact Center on , visit one of Gulf Bank s 56 branches in Kuwait, or see its social media channel on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. click General Continued from Page 25 Experience Science for Adults: Registration is now open for Experience Science for Adults. Why should kids have all the fun?! The five week programme will be held on Saturday from 10:00 am- 11:30 am at the Yarmouk Cultural Centre. Registration is limited to 16. You may register at either the Amricani Cultural Centre, Sunday to Thursday 10:00-3:00 or the Yarmouk Cultural Centre, Sunday to Thursday 10:00-6:00. For more information, please Bridge game: Bridge tournament is being held every Sunday and Wednesday at 20:00 hours, played at the Graduates Club, next to Kuwait Engineering Society. Interested Bridge pairs or individual players please contact Mohammed Merchant, Tel: Continued on Page 27 Omniaty organises Open Day for cancer kids On the occasion of National Day & Liberation Day celebrations, Omniaty held an open day for kids with cancer and their parents in cooperation with Al Sayer Group Holding and KACCH members. A large group of kids from National Bank Hospital for Kids and BACCH participated in the celebrations where First Step Team for Disease Prevention presented several entertainment shows, contests, games and gift distribution. The children also enjoyed national songs and raised the flags of Kuwait expressing their joy in this occasion with the participation of cartoon characters and face painting with the colors of Kuwait flag. Omniaty extends its gratitude and appreciation to the team of volunteers from BACCH under the leadership of Mrs Mary Dembsi Coordination Manager for their participation in organizing the celebration and ensuring their full cooperation and coordination with Omniaty team in order to bring happiness to the kids in this occasion. It is worth mentioning that Omniaty is the first national, non-profit project whose aim is to grant wishes to children who are less fortunate with terminal, and deteriorating Illnesses aged between 3-18 years old according to the terms and conditions. On this occasion Mona Al Shetan CEO of Omniaty Project declared that: Since establishment in 2011, we at Omniaty were able to draw a smile on the faces of more than 370 child with deteriorating Illnesses. We have seen the impact of this charitable work on kids and their families, in addition that many institutions welcoming the idea of this project and its work as a type of corporate social responsibility contribution. I can only extend my gratitude to our founder partners, project board of directors: Al-Sayer Group Tamdeen Real Estate Co Al Homaizi Group Rai Medi Group Abdulrazaq al Sane & sons Group FASTelco Al-Ghanim Industries Easa Husain Al-Yousifi Sons Co Al-Maousherji Group AlMarkaz National Bank of Kuwait. Helping young grads carve successful path Ooredoo diamond sponsor of GUST Career Fair KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Ooredoo, Kuwait s fastest network, is participating in the Gulf University of Science and Technology s 19th Career Fair as platinum sponsor. The fair, which was inaugurated yesterday, will continue to receive students today until 3:00 pm. Ooredoo s Human Resources team will be available to answer queries of students form all majors and specialties regarding job and internship opportunities at Ooredoo. In a statement to the press, Ooredoo Chief Human Resources and Administration Services Officer Omar A photo from the event A photo from the event A photo from the event Al-Bassam said, We believe in the major role youth play in the future of our country, and our support for youth is deep-rooted within our strategy across the organization in Ooredoo. This is not the first time that Ooredoo has taken part in a job fair; we have successfully participated in several job fairs in the past. Our aim is to open new horizons for the ambitious youth by giving them an opportunity to apply their educational knowledge to the professional world. Ooredoo Kuwait s Human Resources representatives will be present at Ooredoo s booth to brief students about the benefits of working for Ooredoo and the different career growth opportunities provided by the company, as well as internship opportunities. Ooredoo boasts a dynamic and fresh corporate culture where new ideas are nurtured and everyone is given a fair chance to grow and maximize their potential. Ooredoo employees are always given opportunities to develop their skills and enhance their knowledge through extensive training programs along with new challenges to develop their interests.

27 27 h o r o s c o p e By Jacqueline Bigar Happy birthday for Monday, March 13, 2017: This year you encounter people who seem more upbeat in general, at least in your personal life. You are determined to succeed, and others see how strong your efforts are. Your ability to get past a problem remains high. If you are single, you will long for an intimate long-term relationship. You are likely to meet a potential suitor within the next year. If you are attached, the two of you plan and want special time together. As a couple, you discover a newfound closeness. LIBRA knows how to charm you into supporting him or her. The Stars Show the Kind of Day You ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult Capricorn - (Dec 22 - Jan 19) **** Someone who has influence over you might be observing you right now. Trying to do your best adds an element of stress; just be yourself. As it stands, you do an excellent job without upping the ante. You have the poise and confidence to impress anyone. Tonight: Out late. Aquarius - (Jan 20 - Feb 18) ***** You might want to detach and observe what is happening around you. As a result, you will gain more information and also be a better listener. You ll learn a lot by asking the right questions -- the result of your detachment. Tonight: Kick back, and take an overview. Pisces - (Feb 19 - Mar 20) **** You will need to make time for an important person in your life, as you could be both emotionally and financially involved. Don t hesitate to ask for more of what you want, but remember to do so with charm. You ll be pleased with the results. Tonight: Dinner for two. Aries - (Mar 21 - Apr 19) **** Your ability to make waves is heightened today. Prior to the late afternoon, you might want to exaggerate an issue so that the other parties involved have no choice but to hear you and respond. Extremes mark your behavior. Be nice. Tonight: Say yes to a dinner invitation. Taurus - (Apr 20 - May 20) **** Others might question the point of a last-minute discussion, especially if it requires a disruptive attitude to get through to someone. By the late afternoon, you will discover how in sync you are with a partner. Tonight: You can say yes to nearly anything right now. Gemini - (May 21 - June 20) **** You might want to continue flattering a loved one or dear friend. A meeting could be much more significant than you realize. The discussion that takes place is likely to give you some insight. You tend to go to extremes and overindulge. Tonight: Let the fun begin. Cancer - (June 21 - July 22) **** You can be a take-charge type of person, but the conditions have to be right. Exchanged concepts could have unusual depth to them. Just because something sounds strange does not mean it won t work. Embrace an idea s potential. Tonight: Curb a need to go overboard. Leo - (July 23 - Aug 22) ***** You can be found where the action is. You could be overthinking a situation and seeing more problems as a result. Do yourself a favor and detach; drop the topic for a while. You will feel much better and also will gain some perspective. Tonight: Make it easy, and be more upbeat. Virgo - (Aug 23 - Sept 22): **** One-on-one relating offers a new perspective on an important relationship. The exchange of information is heightened beyond what you originally thought was possible. Be more direct than you usually are. Evading the other party won t be beneficial. Tonight: Make it your treat. Libra - (Sept 23 - Oct 22) **** You feel unstoppable in many ways. Count on someone tripping you up somewhere along the line. You ll give this person the benefit of the doubt, and you ll still be realistic about what you hear. You might feel as if you are trying too hard. Tonight: Note the attention you are getting. Scorpio - (Oct 23 - Nov 21) *** If your intuition says to play it low-key, then do so. In fact, the less said right now, the better. Should you want to try something different, postpone it for a few days. Try to stay away from crowds, and you will be a lot happier with the results. Tonight: Not to be found. Sagittarius - (Nov 22 - Dec 21) ***** You could feel as if your friends are circling you. You ll have more support than you had expected, especially in a meeting. Your imagination takes you down one path, but your support system might prefer that you head in a different direction. Tonight: Where loved ones are. Born today: Actor William H. Macy (1950), actor Noel Fisher (1984), actress Annabeth Gish (1971) home decor indoor gardening beauty tips taste buds upper gallery asparagus fern tips to manage curly, dry hair chicken masala Create a gallery of frames above a large window or along the soffit above kitchen cabinets. Use matching frames for your collection and fill with favorite snapshots and fun prints. If you have a colorful space, try a collection of black-and-white images. Or if your space leans more neutral, like this breakfast nook, opt for an assortment of colorful artwork. Dear Abby This subtropical relative of edible garden asparagus is in the lily family, but its needlelike foliage give it an appearance resembling a fern. Its stems shoot up and outward, making it an excellent plant for hanging baskets. Give asparagus fern medium to bright indoor light and keep the soil uniformly moist. Plants sometimes develop small red berries, which are poisonous, so keep the berries away from children and pets. Height: 18 inches to 3 feet tall. Width: 18 inches to 3 feet wide. Special Features: Attractive foliage, easy to grow. If your hair is dry, it s best to introduce a conditioning and moisturising mask into your routine. Try it once a week and you will start to see a difference in your hair. Also, when using a number of different products in your hair, it s advisable to detox the hair once a week to ensure there is no product build-up. Using mild shampoos and conditioners can also help reduce the dryness. Also, avoiding the use of styling products and accessories too often can calm down the frizz and dryness. Another tip is to get a trim every 2 months. This will make your hair more manageable and prevent split ends. Ingredients: 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick, 4 tbsp butter, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup Masala sauce, 1/4 cup cooking sherry Method: In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture. In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in sauce and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Mom has just cause to ignore dead baby s dad By Abigail Van Buren Dear Abby: My son Jake was born last June. His father was a good friend who I thought I loved and that he loved me. The day I told him I was pregnant, he disappeared. Our baby boy just passed away from SIDS. I m struggling with Jake s loss and planning his funeral while taking care of my 5-year-old son. Jake s father had his mother call and threaten me. She said, His name better not be listed anywhere in the obituary! I m at a loss about how to deal with both of them. I did not list the father s name anywhere, but it was my choice. After the funeral I m not sure if I want to see either one of them ever again. Any advice? Grieving in Colorado Dear grieving: I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy. Yes, I do have a word of advice. Even in the midst of your grief, you are thinking clearly. Why you would ever want contact with either of those despicable individuals again is beyond me. Feel free Abigail Van Buren to write them off and go on with your life. Dear Abby: My co-worker and I have been seeing each other for a while now. We are both married. I am separated my husband moved out while Chip is still at home with his wife and kids. He says he loves me and plans on leaving his family. I have decided I don t want him after all. I have told him to stay with his wife, but Chip keeps wanting to talk. We see each other at work every day. It s uncomfortable around co-workers. I ve been looking for another job (for other reasons). I feel ashamed, and I don t want to be the other woman. I don t know whether to wait for him or just walk out. Lost in Arizona Dear lost: Chip knows you are ambivalent, which is why he wants to keep talking to you. If you meant what you wrote, that you do not want to be the other woman, then end the affair once and for all and as you put it just walk out. Dear Abby: I have worked in various retail places for many years. I am surprised at how some parents allow their children to run amok in stores and fail to teach them how to behave in public places. When this happens, and there s a danger of them running into tables and customers (I have seen it happen), should the employees say something to the children? Or should they notify the manager about the disruptive children, and let the manager talk to the parents or the children? Should it be announced over the intercom that children need to stay with their parents? What s the best way to handle this common problem? A place of business is not a playground. Dignified paying customers who are there to support the business are offended by the lack of discipline some children are allowed to display. Paying customer Dear paying customer: If you take it upon yourself to correct the inattentive parent, the person is sure to become defensive. A better way to handle it would be to point it out to the manager of the establishment and let him or her deal with it, because if someone were to be hurt on the premises, there could be legal implications. P.S. If the children are running around a restaurant, they could trip a server carrying food to a table and cause not only a mess but real harm. Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA (Source: Universal Uclick) what s on today emergency Site for checking travel ban TIES Center events: TIES Center announces following events Tajweed and Recitation: Learn and practice the art of reciting the Holy Quran (tajweed). The instructor will also answer questions related to the meaning of the Arabic words and verses. Every Sunday & 10 11:30am; every 5-6:30pm. The TIES Center is the social and educational hub for English Speaking expats in Kuwait. For more information, please call or or visit Football coaching workshops: Interested in Coaching/professional development? This weekend Everton Academy, Bayan will be welcoming three top coaches from Glasgow Celtic F.C., the Scottish Premier League Champions, including their International Academy Manager, Tony Massie. They will be delivering a certifi ed Celtic Coach Education program on Saturday, 6-8pm, Sunday, 6-8pm and Monday, pm. Certificates will click General Continued from Page , , Sports Chess Round Robin Challenge: A flyer of the event. only be awarded to coaches attending all 3 sessions. Places are limited - register at Bayan office any evening 5-8pm. El Shaddai weekly fellowship: The El Shaddai DWXI-PPFI Kuwait Chapter invites all the Filipino in our weekly fellowship. Every Monday, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm St Joseph Hall (Basement), Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City. Happy third birthday Shamim, our precious gift from Almighty Allah. May Allah bless you with good health, wealth, love and happiness forever. Wishes from lovely Abba, Amma, Dada s, Dadi s, Nana, Nani, Chacha s, Chachi, Phupu s, Mamu, Khala, Sherif and Fawzi. Every Friday (except 1st Friday), 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Sacred Heart Hall, Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City. For more information please call any of the following nos: , , , , and BBBC weekly services: Bible Believers Baptist Church (BBBC) in Mangaf invites you to visit us for our weekly services in English. Friday morning Bible teaching starts at 10:30 am. The Sermon and Children s Church begins at noon. On Monday evening we hold our prayer meeting and Bible study at 7 pm. For more details, please call or gmail.com Enlightenment into Islam course: Enlightenment into Islam would like to announce the courses on Tawhid is Salvation And Shirk is Destruction. Every Monday from 5 7 pm in Qurtuba. For details contact: , , A flyer of the event. number 112 Civil ID info: com. Father s Love Int l Ministries: Have you had a challenging week? Want to hear something different for a change? Something positive and energizing? At FLIM, you will find all this and much more... Love, laugher, life and liberty. You will find a community of God-loving believers, who come every Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to praise and worship together. There always a word of blessing and edification for everyone who comes to the Father s House. So, don t be left out! Come join the family! You will be restored, received, renewed and greatly rewarded! Father s Love Encounter Service on Friday at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm African service on Saturday at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Empowerment Services on Monday at 6:30 pm 8:30 pm Tamil Service on Wednesday at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Please call , , Registrations are open for chess coaching and the Annual Round Robin Challenger Series. Send your name, Civil ID No., mobile number, age, rating to com with CCR in the subject. No entry fee. Kwt-Brits football supporters: A new football supporters website for British expats living and working in Kuwait has been set up by an Everton supporter, Trevor Powell. The Kuwait Brits Football Supporters Association (KBFSA) site aims to provide contact information for supporters of each others whereabouts and also in the future hopes to organise social events such as quizzes and even five-a-side matches on a home international teams basis. We need expats to register their support and hence we can then start to cast around for a suitable meeting venue. The site can be accessed at Free fitness classes: Free fitness classes at B.FIT studio in Salmiya! Classes include Zumba, Masala Bhangra workout, aerobics, Continued on Page 28

28 28 Emotional experience in Diaries series finale Baldwin returns as US President Trump on SNL LOS ANGELES, March 12, (RTRS): Alec Baldwin reprised his popular portrayal of President Donald Trump on NBC s Saturday Night Live. Baldwin s Trump was shown leading a last-ditch effort by US armed forces to repeal a 2018 horde of invading aliens, but proved unable to move past the usual coterie of grudges and reliance on dubious news sources when planning strategy. The skit showed the US President suggesting aliens had already embedded themselves in the population, and indicated they were African Americans among the fighters at his command. Scarlett Johansson hosted the episode, while Lorde served as the musical guest. Spoiler alert: Do not read ahead if you have not watched the series finale of The Vampire Diaries, which aired on Friday, March 10. Executive producer Julie Plec promised an emotional experience in The Vampire Diaries series finale, and that s exactly what we got. Picking up where the penultimate episode left off, I Was Feeling Epic begins with Stefan (Paul Wesley) attempting to resuscitate Bonnie (Kat Graham) after an especially draining bit of magic. While Bonnie s unconscious, she reunites with her best friend Elena (Nina Dobrev), who s been stuck in a mystical coma since the season six finale. But it s Elena who realizes something s wrong she and Bonnie s lives are linked, so Elena can only wake once Bonnie is dead for good, no loopholes and she tells Bonnie it s not her time. Not yet. She still has a full life to live, even though Bonnie is more than willing to die to be with the recently deceased love of her life, Enzo (Michael Malarkey). But even Enzo s spirit refuses to let Bonnie give up, and with that, Bonnie wakes up, letting her friends know: I saw Elena. Meanwhile, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is trying to stop dead as a doornail Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell) from doing Katherine s (also Nina Dobrev) bidding, ringing the Maxwell Bell 12 times (every five minutes) and bringing literal hellfire to Mystic Falls. Unfortunately, neither throwing her out a window nor snapping her neck incapacitates Vicki for good, and she truly is a woman on a mission it s either this or going back to Hell, and the prospect of no longer existing at all is so much better than going back. So Damon puts Vicki s brother Matt (Zach Roerig) in charge of trying to talk his big sister down. Since he doesn t believe Matt will actually be able to stop her though (neither does Matt, which is why he incites one last gas leak protocol for town evacuation), he goes back home with Stefan to regroup and Couch slouch figure out a way to stop Katherine and save their town. It s there where they see the coffin they keep Elena in is empty and she s awake. Obviously, Bonnie s momentary death must have triggered it... but there are no loopholes. No, this is Katherine pretending to be Elena and messing with Damon s head for old time s sake. She s come to gloat, naturally, as she s now the Queen of Hell and has bested the Salvatore brothers and their circle of friends once and for all. It s hard not to gloat she apparently had the Devil himself under her Katherine Pierce spell from the second she stepped foot in Hell. Hate the player, not the game. As for Elena, her body is hidden away in the boiler room of Mystic Falls High School. Unfortunately, before he got stuck in a Spin Doctors prison world, Kai (Chris Wood) spelled the boiler room for Katherine so Elena can t be taken out. As for ways to stop Katherine, it turns out that a dagger forged from her bones (like they did with Cade) isn t the long-term solution, as she only wakes up and talks them to death even more. In fact, we can t be sure Damon isn t in Hell already, with the way he keeps having to stab Katherine only to get more grief from her. I have everything I want, Damon, she tells him. Or I m about to. Once that last bell rings, this stupid town will go up and flames and everybody will go poof. Well, they ll burn alive first. But then their ashes will go poof. Damon tries to get her back by pointing out she s still so jealous over how he and Stefan would both choose Elena over her, every time, but she throws back that Elena would always choose Stefan over him every time, as well. Because I would. Any woman would. Stefan is the better man. Luckily, Bonnie figures out a long-term Katherine solution from Alaric s research: Let the hellfire come and then send it back to Hell. The thing is, Katherine needs to be back in Hell. And someone needs to make sure she goes there. Which is what leaves us with the Salvatore brothers arguing over who will be the one to take Katherine back to Hell. Specifically, who will be the one to end their life to save the day? As Katherine said, Stefan is the better man, but it s Damon who steps up, wanting to be the good big brother he never was. And Stefan acknowledges that he very much is in this moment: In nearly the two centuries since I made you become a vampire, I have fought to turn you into the man who deserves the happiness that s out there right now. But Damon is still a vampire, and Stefan no longer is, so Damon uses the vampire advantage and compels Stefan to leave and not to stop until Damon s death break the compulsion. Because I am the big brother. I m sorry I wasn t better at it until now. tv highlights click Sports Continued from Page 27 toning & much more. Contact for further information. Hurry and enroll now! FBC tournament: Filipino Badminton Committee (FBC) is inviting all badminton enthusiast in Kuwait to join their regular badminton tournament being held every Friday from 8 am to 7 pm at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, Bin Khaldoun Hawalli. Over 10 badminton courts are now available for badminton practices and tournament and it is open for all nationalities and from different badminton organizations. Exclusive-private court are also available on per hour rental. For more information, please A flyer of the event. contact Dr Chie Umandap Arnis/Eskrima training: Eskrimador- Kuwait a member of Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation now opens a new batch of training. Learn the Philippine national sports, which is Arnis/Eskrima with the authentic style and techniques. Training schedule will be every Friday from 11:00 am to 1:00 Kaifan Sports Complex-Karate Gym. Text or call # Herms. Free IFRA coaching classes: Indian Football Referees Association (IFRA) will be starting free refresher/coaching classes for existing referees, new recruits, those aspiring to be referees and even those who would like to learn about the laws of the game at IEAS Salmiya (Don Bosco). Classes will be from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm every Friday. Those interested may call or get in touch with any IFRA member for registration. Courses Islamic and Arabic courses: Islamic and Arabic courses are being offered at the Enlightenment into Islam Center starting from 5:00-7:00 pm. Registrations can be done at the main office Women s Committee in Qurtoba. For more information contact: , , and Islamic classes in French: The Enlightenment into Islam is offering Islamic Classes in French for ladies. Timings 4:30 to 7 pm. Every Wednesday. Please register at the office (Women s Section), 2nd floor. For more information please contact us. Telephone , , , Fax (attention Enlightenment into Islam) IPC Islamic Courses: Say: O my Lord, let me grow in knowledge. IPC is offering Islamic courses in English (for ladies only). Muslims and non-muslims are welcome. 1. Tilawa Surah Ar-Rad and Surah Ibrahim Sundays at 5:30-7:00 pm; 2. Principles of Tafsir (part 2) - Sundays at 7:00-8:30 pm; 3. Tajweed 3 - Tuesday, at 5:30-7:00 pm; 4. Jesus in Surah Mariam (part 2) - Tuesdays at 7:00-8:30 pm. Instructor: Sr Zeinab Hassan Ashry Place: IPC - Women Section Al-Rawdah, Area 3, Street 30, House 12, opp 4th Ring Road. Telephone: Embassies Indian Embassy notice: India has further liberalized grant of visas to nationals of USA, Canada and Japan. Fee structure is as below: 1. Visa fee for USA nationals: (a) Tourist visa: Multiple Entry of ten years duration KD 36; (b) Business visa: Multiple Entry of one year duration KD 51; (c) Business visa: Multiple Entry of ten years duration KD Visa fee for Canadian and Japanese nationals: (a) Tourist visa: Multiple Entry of six months duration KD 14; (b) Tourist visa: Multiple Entry of one year duration KD 22; (c) Tourist visa: Multiple Entry of ten years duration KD 42; (d) Business visa: Multiple Entry of one year duration KD 39; (e) Business visa: Multiple Entry of ten years duration KD Visa fee for Kuwaiti nationals: (a) Tourist visa: Multiple Entry of six months duration KD 14; (b) Business visa: Multiple Entry of One year duration KD 39; (c) Business visa: Multiple Entry of Five years duration KD 64. All applicants may visit Passport and Visa Centres of CKGS at (a) 17 Floor, Behbehani Building, Sharq, Kuwait : Tel. No ( or ; (b) Complex Kais Alghanim, 4 Floor, Mecca Street, in front of Annod Complex, Fahaheel, Kuwait: Tel. No ( indiavisa. (c) Jleeb Al Shuyoukh (Abbasiya) 2nd Floor, Jleeb Al Shuyoukh Block 1, Street 1, Xcite Building, Kuwait Tel. No ) ( ckgs.com). CKGS s website is kw.ckgs.in. In emergency cases, Indian Embassy accepts visa applications directly at its Visa Wing from applicants. Cinema Cinema programme from Thursday 09/03/2017 to Wednesday 15/03/2017 Logan Sharqia 1 11:45 (No Fri) Sharqia 3 13:30, 16:15, 19:00, 21:45, 00:30 Muhalab 2 13:00 (No Fri) 15:45, 18:30, 21:15, 00:05 Fanar 4 12:30 (No Fri) 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30 Marina 1 15:15 Marina 3 13:15 (No Fri) 16:00, 18:45, 21:30, 00:15 Avenues 4 14:00, 18:30, 23:15 Avenues 6 13:15 (No Fri) 16:00, 18:45, 21:30, 00: :30 (No Fri) 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23: :15 (No Fri) 15:00, 19:30, 00: :30, 16:15, 19:00, 21:45, 00: :00 Al-Kout 2 14:00, 16:45, 19:30, 22:15 Al-Kout 4 23:30 Bairaq 3 13:15 (No Fri, Sat) 16:00, 21:30, 00:15 Laila 22:30 Grand Hamra 1 14:00, 16:45, 19:30, 22:15 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Hamra 5 14:45, 17:30 Grand Gate 2 14:00, 16:30, 19:15, 21:45 00:30 (Thu, Fri) A Dog s Purpose Grand Gate 6 14:30, 16:30, 18:30, 20:30, 22:30 Kung-Fu Yoga Grand Gate 7 14:00, 16:15, 18:30, 20:45, 23:00 Hamah (Kuwaiti Film) Sharqia 1 14:30, 16:00, 17:45, 19:15, 20:45, 22:15 Sharqia 2 12:15 (No Fri) Muhalab 1 13:30 (Fri) 17:30, 22:00 Muhalab 2 Fanar 1 Marina 1 Marina 3 Avenues 4 Avenues 8 Avenues 10 14:15 (Fri) 11:30, 13:00 (No Fri) 14:30, 16:00, 19:30, 21:00, 22:30, 00:05 13:30 (Fri) 18:00, 19:30 14:30 (Fri) 12:15 (No Fri) 16:45, 21:30 11:45 (No Fri) 12:30 (No Fri) 14:15, 16:00, 17:45, 19:30, 21:15, 22:45, 00: :45 (No Fri) :15 (No Fri) 13:30 (Fri) 15:00, 16:45, 18:30, 20:15, 22:00, 23: :45, 22: :00 (Fri) Al-Kout 2 12:15 (No Fri) Al-Kout 4 15:30, 17:00, 18:45, 20:30, 22:00 Bairaq 2 15:00, 16:30, 18:00, 19:30, 21:15, 22:45 Laila 18:30 Grand Hamra 3 15:00, 17:15, 18:45, 21:00 23:00 (Thu, Fri) Kong: Skull Island Sharqia 1 00:15 Sharqia 2 13:45, 16:15, 18:45, 21:15, 23:45 Muhalab 1 12:30 (No Fri) 15:00, 23:30 Muhalab 3 12:00 (No Fri) 14:30, 17:00, 19:30, 22:00, 00:30 Fanar 3 13:00 (No Fri, Sat) 15:30, 18:00, 20:30, 23:00 Fanar 5 11:45 (No Fri) 14:15, 16:45, 19:15, 21:45, 00:15 Marina 1 12:45 (No Fri) 21:00, 23:30 Marina 2 12:00 (No Fri) 14:45, 17:15, 19:45, 22:15, 00:45 Avenues 2 13:30, 16:00, 18:30, 21:00, 23:30 Avenues 5 12:00 (No Fri) 14:30, 17:00, 19:30, 22:00, 00:30 Avenues 7 13:00 (No Fri) 15:30, 18:00 Avenues 9 12:15 (No Fri) 14:45, 17:15, 19:45, 22:15, 00:45 Avenues 11 11:30 (No Fri) 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 00: :30, 16:00, 18:30, 21:00, 23: :00 (No Fri) 14:30, 17: :00 (No Fri) 15:30, 18:00, 20:30, 23: :30 (No Fri) 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30, 01: :30 (No Fri) 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 00: :00 (No Fri) Al-Kout 1 14:30, 17:00, 19:30, 00:45 11:30 (No Fri) 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30, 00:05 Al-Kout 4 12:45 (No Fri) Bairaq 1 13:30, 16:00, 18:30, 21:00, 23:30 Bairaq 2 12:30 (No Fri) 00:30 Laila 16:00, 20:00 Ajial 3 17:00, 19:30, 22:00 Grand Hamra 5 20:00, 22:30 Grand Hamra 6 14:15, 17:00, 19:45, 22:15 00:45 (Thu, Fri) Grand Hamra GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 1 14:15, 16:45, 19:30, 22:00 00:45 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Badrinath Ki Dulhania (Hindi Film) Muhalab 1 19: :15 (No Thu, Fri) 21:15 Bairaq 3 18:45 Plaza 16:00 (No Fri) 21:30 Ajial 1 16:15, 19:00, 21:45 Grand Hamra 4 14:30, 17:15, 20:15, 22:30 Grand Gate 5 14:30, 17:00, 19:30, 22:00, 00:15 Rings Grand Gate 8 14:15, 16:45, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00 The Hollow Point Fanar 1 17:30 Fanar 2 15:00, 19:00, 22:45 Avenues 3 11:30 (No Fri) 13:30, 15:45, 18:00, 20:15, 22:30, 00: :30 (No Fri) 14:45, 17:00, 19:15, 21:30, 23:45 Al-Kout 3 12:30 (No Fri) 16:30, 20:45, 00:45 The Devil s Dolls Fanar 2 12:45 (No Fri) Avenues 1 How to find us 17:00, 21:00, 00:45 13:00 (No Thu, Fri, Sat) 15:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00, 01: :00 (No Fri) 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, 00:05 Al-Kout 2 01:00 Al-Kout 3 14:30, 18:30, 22:45 Kikoriki, Legend Of The Golden Dragon Fanar 3 13:45 (Fri, Sat) Avenues 1 13:00 (Thu, Sat) 17: :15 (Thu, Fri, Sat) 16:15 Bairaq 3 14:15 (Fri, Sat) Don t Knock Twice Grand Hamra 7 14:30, 16:30, 18:30, 20:30, 22:30 00:30 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 3 14:45, 17:15, 19:15, 21:15, 23: Zahra a Area, South Surra, 6th Ring Road, corner of King Faisal Highway 2. Ajial Ajial Complex, Fahaheel 3. Al Bairaq Between Jaber Al Ali East & Al Agalia West 4. Al Fanar Al Fanar Complex, Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya 5. Al Kout Al-Kout Complex, at the end of the Coastal Road, Fahaheel 6. Al Muhalab Al Muhalab Complex, Behind Hawally Clinic, Hawally 7. Al Sharqiya Arabian Gulf Street, Souq Sharq, near the Amiri Hospital 8. Laila Gallery Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya 9. Marina Marina Mall, Between Salem Al Mubarak Street & Arabian Gulf Street, Salmiya 10. Metro Metro Complex, Farwaniya, near Crowne Plaza Hotel & Farwaniya Garden 11. Plaza Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya 12. The Avenues The Avenues Mall, Al Reggai near Al Rai, 5th Ring Road & Ghazali Road Intersection NB: Friday no show before 1:30 pm Regular show KD3:000; 3D-Digital KD3.500; VIP show KD On Monday, price is KD1.500 except Digital movies. Cinescape cinema movies inquiries and Fax Back hotline The Scientific Center IMAX Opp Holiday Inn, Salmiya, Gulf Road 14. Grand Al-Hamra Grand Al-Hamra, tel: , cinemas.com 15. Grand Gate Grand Gate, tel: , John Wick: Chapter 2 Avenues 6 13:30 (Fri) Avenues 8 16:15, 23: :00 (No Thu) 22:30, 01:00 Eloise Avenues 7 20:30, 22: :30, 23:30 Split Avenues 7 00: :30 (No Fri) 13:45 (No Thu, Fri, Sat) 00:15 Grand Hamra 8 14:15, 17:00, 19:30, 22:00 Hidden Figures Avenues 8 13:30, 18: :15 (No Fri) 15:00, 17:45, 20:30, 23:15 Grand Hamra 2 14:00, 16:45, 19:15, 21:45 Mercury Plains Avenues 8 21:30 Angamaly Diaries (Malayalam Film) :15 (Thu, Fri) Plaza 16:00 (Fri) 18:45 Ajial 4 16:15, 19:00, 21:45 El Qerd Beyetkalim (Arabic Film) :30 The Lego Batman Movie :15 (Sat) 15:30, 17:45 (No Mon) Grand Gate 4 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:15, 22:15 Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol (Malayalam Film) Ajial 2 15:30, 18:30, 21:30 IMAX Imax film programme at The Scientific Center Sunday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Flying Monsters 3D 10:30 am 07:30 pm A Beautiful Planet 3D 11:30 am 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 12:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 05:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 08:30 pm Monday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am A Beautiful Planet 3D 10:30 am 05:30 pm, 07:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 11:30 am 09:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 12:30 pm, 06:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 08:30 pm Tuesday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Journey to Space 3D 10:30 am Flying Monsters 3D 11:30 am 09:30 pm A Beautiful Planet 3D 12:30 pm, 05:30 pm, 08:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 06:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 07:30 pm Wednesday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Flying Monsters 3D 10:30 am 05:30 pm A Beautiful Planet 3D 11:30 am 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 12:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 07:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 08:30 pm Thursday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am A Beautiful Planet 3D 10:30 am 07:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 11:30 am 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 12:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 05:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 08:30 pm Friday A Beautiful Planet 3D 02:30 pm, 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 03:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 04:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 05:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 07:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 08:30 pm Saturday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Flying Monsters 3D 10:30 am 05:30 pm, 07:30 pm A Beautiful Planet 3D 11:30 am 03:30 pm, 08:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 12:30 pm, 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Humpback Whales 3D 01:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 02:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 04:30 pm Notes: All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. Film schedule is subject to changes without notice. For information call or visit

29 HEALTH 29 Boxes help reduce sudden unexpected infant deaths Cardboard boxes as cribs? Safety sleep program expands TRENTON, NJ, March 12, (AP): Cardboard boxes certainly aren t new technology. But when they re linked to a practice that started in Finland decades ago to help babies sleep safely, they re taking on a new purpose as socalled baby boxes make their way to the US. Parents are beginning to take baby boxes home from hospitals along with their newborns. A Los Angeles-based company has partnered with health officials to give the boxes away for free and an online initiative offers advice aimed at reducing sudden unexpected infant deaths. New Jersey and Ohio were the first to participate statewide in the program. To new moms: (SUID) was one of my biggest fears and then it happened, said 35-year-old Chauntia Williams, of Maple Heights, Ohio. Williams is an advocate for safe sleeping and the boxes after she unexpectedly lost her 33-day-old daughter Aaliyah nine years ago. Williams said her daughter went to sleep in a crib with cushiony bumpers, stuffed animals and an added blanket beneath the fitted sheet and never woke up. She said the coroner determined the bedding caused the death. She now uses a box with her son, Bryce, though he s getting a little too big for it. Her message to new parents: Educate yourselves on safe sleep habits. Open your mouth and say I m concerned about this so you can get the assistance, Williams said. Death Sudden unexpected infant death is a broad category that includes sudden infant death syndrome and accidental suffocation and strangulation that could come from overcrowded bassinets or cribs. The boxes aren t the only option for safe sleeping, of course, but health officials say they re a useful part of a broader safe-sleep education program. Ohio on Wednesday joined New Jersey in Fungal toxin linked to cancer Trojan horse molecule to fight crop fungus ROME, March 12, (RTRS): Scientists said on Friday they had developed a new method to neutralise a dangerous fungal toxin affecting crops that can lead to cancer, childhood stunting and other health threats. Researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) said they had created a genetically modified maize plant that is edible even when infected with a mould that produces aflatoxin, a carcinogenic substance. About 16 million tons of maize, equivalent to almost the total output of South Africa, is thrown out each year worldwide due to contamination, as even small amounts can make an entire harvest unsafe for consumption. In developed countries, commercial crops are screened for aflatoxin. But in many parts of the developing world contaminated food often ends up on the plate, as crops are not tested and small farmers depend on what they harvest to eat, the researchers said. People are unfortunately consuming unknown and dangerous levels of these toxins pretty much on a daily basis, said Monica Schmidt, assistant professor at UA s School of Plant Sciences. The problem is heightened during offering the cardboard boxes, which double as bassinets, for free. Each box comes filled with a mattress, fitted sheet, onesie and diapers. The Baby Box Co is also handing out the boxes in Minneapolis, Phoenix and San Francisco, with the goal of expanding to all 50 states. The for-profit company also operates in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Baby Box University, Baby Box Co. s droughts whose frequency is expected to increase with climate change as the fungus spreads more easily among stressed crops, she said. In a study published in the journal Science Advances, Schmidt and her team said they had created a genetically engineered maize plant, which produces a Trojan horse molecule that jumps onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production. Schmidt said the method should be transferable to other crops prone to aflatoxin contamination, like rice, soy and peanuts, as it exploits a naturally occurring biological mechanism known as RNA interference. The method also has an advantage over other practices currently used to fight aflatoxin, like vacuum-sealed storage bags, as it tackles the fungus in the field rather than after harvest, Schmidt told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone. She said initial analysis suggested the modified corn should not have any side-effect for consumers, but extensive field tests still needed to be conducted. The toxin has been linked to stunted growth in children, increased risk of liver cancer, and higher susceptibility to HIV and malaria. educational platform, maintains a website that coordinates the educational component of the program. The idea for baby boxes started in Finland in the 1930s, and is tied to a sharp drop in sudden infant deaths, according to Dr Kathryn McCans, a pediatrician who chairs New Jersey s Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board. The boxes provide a clutter-free sleep space that has been shown to reduce Dolores Peterson and her three-month-old daughter Ariabella pose for a photograph at their home in Camden, NJ. (AP) accidental and unexpected deaths, she said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the U.S. rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths has been declining since the 1990s when public health officials began recommending parents put infants to sleep on their backs. About 3,700 sudden unexpected infant deaths were reported in the country in The boxes are a new idea for many Americans. The thought of putting the baby in a box, I was like wow that s weird, said Dolores Peterson, of Camden, New Jersey, who became a first-time mom recently and was among the first to bring home a box. Peterson s daughter, Ariabella, just turned 3 months old. She said the program was eye-opening for how much information she learned about how to prevent sudden unexpected infant death. McCans says the complimentary items like diapers and onesies are nice, but the more important objective behind the boxes is bringing down infant deaths and grounding parents on safe sleep practices: Place babies on their backs to sleep; Don t use bumpers in cribs; Keep stuffed animals and blankets out of infants sleep spaces; Avoid sleeping in the same bed as infants. No one brings their baby into bed with them because they want their baby to die, she said. They do it because they want to be nurturing and they are, but it s not safe. To get the boxes, prospective moms can register through babyboxuniversity. com, watch a handful of videos on sleep safety and pass a quiz. Parents can then take their digital or printed-out certificates to a participating hospital for their boxes. The boxes can also be sent in the mail, if a nearby hospital is not designated as a distribution center. Also: SAO PAULO: Rio de Janeiro state plans to vaccinate its entire population against yellow fever as a precaution amid Brazil s largest outbreak of the disease in years. The Health Ministry has confirmed more than 300 cases of yellow fever so far during Brazil s summer rainy season. Over 100 of them died. Much of Brazil is considered at risk for the mosquito-borne disease and people in those areas are supposed to be vaccinated. Rio state was not in that at-risk area for this outbreak and it has not had any cases. But the World Health Organization expanded its vaccination recommendation to include parts of the state in January. The state said Saturday it expects to reach a 90 percent vaccination rate this year. It will need 12 million vaccine doses to do that.

30 Hyundai Eng in $3.2 bln Iran deal CRA suspends some online services due to threat An Iranian investment fund signed a deal with Korea s Hyundai Engineering Co on Sunday for a 3 billion euro ($3.2 billion) petrochemical project, which is awaiting fi - nancing by Korean banks, the oil ministry s website SHANA said. A subsidiary of the Oil Pension Fund Investment Company signed the agreement which covers the construction of the second phase of the Kangan Petro Refi ning Company, SHANA reported. The fi nancing of this project will be fi nalised within nine months at the rate of 95 percent... by South Korean banks, said Asghar Arefi, the Iranian official who signed the accord, according to SHANA. Arefi said the fi rst phase of the Kangan project was 30 percent completed with an investment of nearly 120 million euros. Despite the lifting of international sanctions against Iran in January 2016, Iranian officials have complained that remaining US sanctions have frightened away trade partners and robbed Iran of the benefits it was promised under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. (RTRS) Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has suspended some of its online services, including tax fi ling options, as a precautionary measure due to a security threat, though it assured users that no data has been lost. Upon becoming aware of an internet vulnerability... we took down our online services, including electronic fi ling, and are taking steps to ensure that all information and systems remain safe, said a notice posted on the CRA website. CRA said took the step after it became aware of an internet vulnerability affecting some computer servers used by websites worldwide on March 10. At this time, we are not aware that any personal information has been affected; however, we continue to assess and remedy the situation, the notice added. The services will remain suspended until CRA determines that there is no longer a security vulnerability, a CRA spokesman told Reuters in an ed statement. Canadians have up to May 1 to fi le their income tax returns and benefits, which makes this period busy with online users. CRA couldn t immediately comment on the seriousness of the threat or whether this was the fi rst time its services had been taken off line due to security concerns. (RTRS) Market Movements Change Closing pts JAPAN - Nikkei , GERMANY - DAX , FRANCE - CAC , EUROPE - Euro Stoxx , PHILIPPINES - All Shares , INDIA - Sensex , Change Closing pts AUSTRALIA - All Ordinaries , S. KOREA - KRX , HONG KONG - Hang Seng , Business global and GCC financial markets report Kuwait Finance and Investment Co. MSCI World index up 2.6 pct; Gulf stock markets slip Kuwait Finance and Investment Company (KFIC) clarified in its financial report for February; that the Global equity markets rallied in February as represented by the MSCI World index which climbed +2.6%. US equities were the top performing market from a global perspective: Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by +4.8% and the S&P 500 gained +3.7%. A mixture of economic-related and politic driven events contributed to the rise in the US markets, as President Trump has pledged to boost annual economic growth to +4% through a mix of infrastructure spending, sweeping tax cuts and deregulation. According to Reuters, the economy grew +1.6% for all of 2016, its worst performance since 2011, after expanding +2.6% in Economists polled by Reuters had expected fourth-quarter GDP would be revised up to a +2.1%. According to Bloomberg, the March Fed Rate hike probability has jumped to +80% from +30% in January, with 3 expected rate hikes to be made in In Europe, markets rallied on the backbone of Trump s proposal to have USD 1 trillion infrastructure spending plan which would benefit many European companies. Germany s DAX +1.1% to close around USD 56.5/bbl. year starting on April 1, as mentioned show total credit facilities surged 12% GCC equities as indicated by the DFM index dropped -0.3% mainly due index rose by +2.6%, UK s FTSE Oil prices steadied as OPEC members by finance minister Anas al-saleh. to QAR839bn from QAR748bn a year MSCI GCC IMI index fell by -0.9%. to Real Estate falling -1.6% and Insurance dropping -0.9%. Positive perfor- 100, France s CAC 40 index both rose have been complying with the suggested cuts to its oil output indicating the of 10 % of revenues to the sovereign the real estate sector. Bahrain s BB index and the worst permance was witnessed in Investment That forecast is after a contribution ago, driven largely by fresh lending in The top performing GCC index was +2.3%. Activity in the Eurozone s manufacturing sector picked up in second month of strong compliance wealth fund, and conservatively assumes an average oil price during the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has index. Saudi Arabia s Tadawul index +4.5% and Banks climbed +0.8%. Qa- In Bahrain, the governor of the forming was Saudi Arabia s Tadawul & Financial Services which gained February, but at a slower pace than from the countries which are part of the previously estimated. IHS Markit said original deal. In precious commodities, year of USD 45/bbl. Spending is projected at KWD 19.9bn next fiscal year for 2017, saying the country has man- coming mainly from Media -14.8%, primarily due to strong performance forecast 3.5% non-oil GDP growth fell -1.8% with negative contribution tar s QE All Share index rose +1.9% its Purchasing Managers Index rose to Gold prices rose by +3.1% and Silver 55.4 compared with a preliminary estimate of In Asia, China s Shang- appetite for risk due to statements from timeframe for the international sovties. However, he admitted that rating -4.1%. Positive contribution came als +3.0% and Banking rose +2.1%. rose +4.3% driven mostly by investor and revenues at KWD 13.3bn. The aged to adapt to new economic reali- Consumer Services -7.5%, and Banks from Real Estate by +3.4%, Industrihai Composite rose +2.6% as Reuters President Trump regarding China s ereign bond has yet to be determined agencies downgrading of Bahrain to from REITs +12.6% and Utilities Oman s MSM 30 index closed flat at suggested that risk appetites were currency manipulation tactics. but is expected to be launched during junk status last year was concerning. Standard & Poor s, Fitch Ratings by -0.8% mainly due to sharp declines Industrials +4.2% and Banking gained +7.1%. Kuwait s Weighted Index fell +0.1% with positive performance from improved on hopes for big flows into In Saudi Arabia, King Salman starts stock markets from pension funds. month-long Asian tour visiting Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China in an Malaysia as the jurisdiction with the to BB or BB+ in 2016, giving the -4.4%%, and Telecom -2.8%. Posi- Bahrain s BSE Index, the top perform- In UAE, Dubai has overtaken and Moody s all downgraded Bahrain in Real Estate -5.2%, Industrials +2.7%, while Services dropped -0.5%. Japan s Nikkei 225 closed flat at +0.4% as a lack of clarity over US economic policies under President Donvestment opportunities, including Aracording to a Citi report. Dubai is the status. In Oman, the government an- which climbed +1.2% and Consumer contributed from Industries +4.8% and attempt to build ties and promote in- highest volume of sukuk issuance, ac- sovereign junk or non-investment tive performance was seen from Banks ing GCC index, rose +3.5% mainly ald Trump and political uncertainty mco IPO. Officials say King Salman largest issuer of sukuk with 23% of the nounced that it aims to conduct a large Services +1.4%. Abu Dhabi ADSM Banking +3.3%. in Europe weighed on sentiment. Oil will be accompanied by a 1,500-strong market, closely followed by Malaysia, US dollar bond sale that could exceed index closed flat at +0.1% as Banks prices were in positive territory during entourage including 10 ministers. In with 21.4% of issuances. Global sukuk USD 2bn, and also plans to issue dollar sukuk over the next few months to +1.8%. Negative performance came ters, S&P, Moody s, Bloomberg, climbed +2.5% and Insurance rose Sources: KFIC Research, Reu- the month with WTI rising +1.1% to Kuwait, Kuwait s government has projected a budget deficit of KWD 7.9bn according to Fitch Ratings. In Qatar, plug a budget deficit caused by low oil from Energy which dropped -13.0% The Guardian, CNBC, SAMA. issuance in 2016 stood at USD 65bn, close at USD 54.0/bbl and Brent prices increased by a similar amount by (USD 25.9 billion) in the new fiscal fresh data from the Qatar Central Bank prices. and Consumer Staples -6.6%. Dubai s Zawya. Zain holds OGM, approves 35 fils cash dividend New BoD appoints Mohannad Al-Kharafi as Chairman and Bader Al-Kharafi as Vice-Chairman and CEO of Group KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa announces holding its annual Ordinary General Assembly at the company s headquarters in Shuwaikh, Kuwait today, and after satisfying the legal quorum requirements with 66.79%, approved the distribution of a cash dividend of 35 fils ($0.11) per share for the financial year ended 31 December, Additionally, after passing a number of items on its agenda, the meeting saw the election of the Group Board of Directors for the next three years. The incoming Board members now constitute the following: Mohannad Mohammad Al- Kharafi; Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi; Ahmed Tahous Al-Tahous (the representative of the Kuwait Investment Authority); the corporate entities: Fajer Al Nasim for selling and buying stocks represented by Houssam Fawzi Al-Kharafi; Nasim Al-Delta for selling and buying stocks represented by Khaled Ali Al-Ghanim; Abeer Al-Shorouq for selling and buying stocks represented by Talal Jassem Al-Kharafi; Jawharat Gibla for selling and buying stocks represented by Faisal Nizar Al-Nusif; and Dana Al Qebla for selling and buying stocks represented by Khaled Waleed Al-Falah. The newly elected board of directors met immediately after the election and appointed Mohannad Mohammed Al-Kharafi as the Chairman of Zain Group, Bader Nasser Al- Kharafi as Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zain Group, and appointed Scott Gegenheimer in a new role as Chief Executive Officer of Operations. During the General Assembly, Zain Group reported an increase in net profit by 2% year-on-year to reach KWD 157 million ($519 million), reflecting earnings per share of 40 fils ($0.13). Total annual consolidated revenue for the year amounted to KWD 1.1 billion ($3.6 billion), while EBITDA grew 3% to KWD 512 million ($ 1.7 billion). Zain Group s customer base grew by 3% during the year, reaching more than 47 million customers. Also during the General Assembly, Chairman Asaad Ahmed Al Banwan Photo from the Zain General Assembly 2017 explained that Zain s financial results were affected by social unrest and security risks in several of the company s markets, along with fluctuations in currency exchange rates and monetary policies that were imposed in some markets. For the full-year 2016, foreign currency translation impact, driven by the 60% currency devaluation in Sudan from 6.4 to 15.9 (SDG /USD) at the beginning of November 2016, cost Zain Group $92 million in revenue, and $38 million in EBITDA. Most notably, net income was affected by $140 million due to currency variance loss in The Chairman commented, The Group continued its strategy to diversify its business amid large shifts in the telecommunications industry. We also made tremendous progress in focusing on the operational efficiency, strengthening our plans to rationalize costs and capital expenditures. With respect to total capital expenditure, this totaled $635 million for the year (excluding Zain Saudi Arabia). Al Banwan continued, Zain has succeeded in building a solid foundation for its strategic business initiatives, ensuring all of our strategic investments are geared towards maximizing shareholder wealth. During the annual General Assembly, the Vice Chairman, Bader Al Kharafi said, The result of several factors beyond our control negatively impacted our overall operational performance in 2016, as we witnessed worsening social economic developments affecting Zain operations in Iraq and Sudan. Al Kharafi continued, Amidst these difficult circumstances, Zain still made strategic and operational progress, and in Saudi Arabia, for example, the decision from the Communications and Information Technology Commission to extend Zain Saudi Arabia s license for an additional 15 years was a significant boost to the operation there. This decision will have a positive impact on the financial and operational performance of Zain Saudi Arabia, which will contribute in reducing the amortization license charges estimated at approximately SAR 433 million ($115 million) a year. Al Kharafi explained that Zain Iraq succeeded in reaching a negotiated settlement with the country s Finance Ministry related to an imposition of a capital gains tax on its acquisition of Iraqna in This resulted in the lifting of restrictions on the trading of Zain Iraq s shares, access to the company s bank deposits, and the waiving of penalties and interest on taxes. The Vice Chairman revealed that the Group currently enjoys a strong presence geographically, with a balanced range of markets that are at different stages of growth. Zain continues to be a market leader with respect to market share in five of its eight markets of operation. Al Kharafi added, Zain Group continues to focus on innovation in digital services, and to invest in the business sector, and we expect our investment program to drive us in new areas as we collaborate with innovative technology players. Zain has identified service provision in the smart cities space and in B2B/enterprise sector as significant growth areas and has been investing accordingly. Such developments fall under the Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) business strategy, a unit that was established in 2014, and charged with launching Zain into the digital space with the view to growing the company through new innovative business streams, which add to its financial viability and market capitalization. Al Kharafi concluded, We are committed to our strategy to leverage our strengths, including our people, brand, customer experience, cutting edge technology innovations, and geographic coverage in our bid to become a diversified and innovative digital lifestyle operator. The company s 2016 Annual Report can be downloaded in Arabic and English from this link: fi nancial-reports/

31 BUSINESS 31 Swiss propose making foreigners sell homes Tunisia s union, industry agree wage hike The Swiss government proposed on Friday making non-eu foreigners sell their homes when they leave the country, prompting resistance from the real estate sector. More than three decades after Switzerland liberalised property purchases for foreigners, and amid concern that foreign demand helps drive up prices, the cabinet said it was time to update the law to close loopholes and improve enforcement. It suggested requiring citizens from countries outside the European Union plus Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway to get permission to buy main residences in Switzerland. Permits should always be linked to the duty to sell the home again as soon as residence in Switzerland is relinquished, the government said, as it opened a period of public comment before sending draft legislation to parliament. It also proposed tightening rules covering other types of property investment by foreigners. A real-estate lobbying group called Lex Koller Remains Modern, a reference to the original law that opened the property market to foreigners, blasted the proposals as a nonsensical tightening of the rules. These measures, if adopted, would pose unacceptable disadvantages for property owners while exacerbating the situation on housing markets it said in a statement, adding that parliament had already opposed similar changes in (RTRS) Tunisia s main labour union and largest industry association agreed on Friday to raise wages for about 1.5 million private sector workers, a step aimed at reducing social tension, restoring investor confidence and reviving the economy. The announcement of the 6 percent increase came at a ceremony at the Prime Minister s office, after weeks of talks between the private business industry group and the UGTT, a powerful labor union that since the 2011 revolution has on occasion intervened in political matters. Wided Bouchamoui, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry known by its French acronym UTICA, said the wage hike came at a delicate time for many local companies looking to increase growth after Islamist militant attacks in 2015 that have hit the economy hard. Our role has been to keep an atmosphere of social peace. Today, we need to raise production rates, she said. The government has imposed an extra corporate tax on all companies of 7.5 percent as part of plans to raise revenue and reduce its budget deficit, which will reach 4.9 percent this year. Noureddine Tabboubi, the head of the UGTT union, said that this agreement will help to drive production at a time when the government is looking to revive the economy, which is forecast to grow by 2.5 percent in 2017 from 1 percent in (RTRS) White House pledges to scale back financial regulations President Trump meets with US community bankers WASHINGTON, March 12, (RTRS): President Donald Trump promised in a meeting with community bankers to strip away some Dodd-Frank financial regulations and ensure they can continue giving small businesses access to capital. Trump, joined by National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, said community banks play a vital role in the US economy. Nearly half of all private sector workers are employed by small businesses. We must ensure access to capital to small businesses and for small businesses to grow. Community banks are the backbone of small business in America, Trump said at the beginning of the meeting. The session was set up to help the Trump administration craft a legislative plan to ease the regulatory burdens on small banks to try to unlock more small business lending and fuel economic growth, a senior White House official told Reuters. Representing the industry were chief executives of nine community banks with assets of around $1 billion or less and the heads of the American Bankers Association, and the Independent Community Bankers of America. Bankers who attended the 45-minute meeting said they discussed the role community banks play in rural areas and provided realworld examples about the difficulties smaller banking institutions face. US President Donald Trump, accompanied by Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank CEO Dorothy Savarese, speaks during a meeting with leaders from small community banks on March 9, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP) They were very receptive to our concepts; they were listening to the details, Dorothy Savarese, head of Cape Cod Five Mutual Company, told reporters after the meeting. ICBA, one of the industry groups in attendance, has advocated for a tiered system of regulations that tailor regulations to a bank s size, business model, complexity and risk. Trump promised his February executive order on reducing regulation was very powerful and would apply to the community-banking sector. The Trump White House largely shares the view that current onesize-fits-all regulations make it very hard to remain competitive for small banks, the White House of- In 1st budget, Trump to push conservative view of government ficial said. The type of regulation that you need for a $700 million bank and the risks they present are very different than those for a $200 billion bank or a $1 trillion bank, the White House official said. Larger banks are able to spread their higher compliance costs over much bigger asset and employee bases, while smaller banks struggle with high costs and workloads. One of the institutions represented WASHINGTON, March 12, (AP): President Donald Trump sends Congress a proposed budget this week that will sharply test Republicans ability to keep long-standing promises to bolster the military, making politically painful cuts to a lengthy list of popular domestic programs. The Republican president will ask his adopted political party, which runs Capitol Hill, to cut domestic agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, along with grants to state and local governments and community development projects. The spending plan, set for release Thursday, would make the Pentagon the big winner with a $54 billion boost to defense spending Ṫrump has promised to do a lot more with less, but his blueprint faces a reality test with Republicans, many of whom are already protesting. Republicans have groused about some of the preliminary plans, including elimination of the $3 billion community development block grant program that s popular among local GOP officials, a 25 percent cut to the EPA and elimination of 3,000 jobs, and essentially scuttling a $300 million per-year program to clean up the Great Lakes. Sen Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is joining with Democrats to push back on that last proposed reduction. Cuts to the Coast Guard are meeting Republican resistance. Trump s plan to eliminate community development block grants was dismissed on Capitol Hill by those who remember how a modest cut to the program sank a spending bill not long ago. The money has to come from someplace, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said on the Hugh Hewitt Show. The question is this: What s more important? What s more important defending the border, defending the country or doing those things? Democrats are unlikely to support the cuts, and Republican defections in the meeting, Standard Financial Corp of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, has just nine branches with $488 million in assets and earnings of $559,000 in the quarter ended December 31, It plans to merge with a rival in southwestern Pennsylvania in a deal that will roughly double its size. Trump officials cited a dearth of applications to form new community banks and around a 30 percent drop in the number of small US banks raise the possibility of a congressional train wreck and a potential government shutdown when the 2018 budget year begins Oct 1. Preliminary reports on the budget show some domestic Cabinet agencies, such as the departments of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, would see increases, including $3 billion for Trump s promised wall on the US-Mexico border. Trump said repeatedly during the campaign that Mexico would pay for that project, but Mexico has said no. Those intended spending increases, however, would mean deeper cuts elsewhere. People familiar with the budget who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the public release say the White House is seeking a 30 percent cut from an Energy Department office that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy. The office has funded research on projects such as LED light bulbs, electric trucks, advanced batteries and biofuels. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is targeted for at least $700 million in cuts from its current $2.1 billion budget, said Scott Sklar, chairman of the steering committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition. The Energy Department could see steep cuts for its 17 national laboratories, which conduct cutting-edge research on topics from nuclear power to advanced materials for energy generation, storage and use. Trump s preliminary budget, delivered in secret to agencies last month, proposes a 37 percent cut to the State Department and foreign aid budgets. Those cuts and others were subject to revision in the back and forth that the White House had with agencies leading up to the coming release this week. Trump s submission won t tell the complete story. It will be limited to the discretionary, $1 trillion-plus portion of the $4 trillion annual federal budget that pays for Cabinet agencies and departments. since Mnuchin, the former CEO of OneWest bank, a regional lender in Southern California, said at his confirmation hearing in January that onerous regulations are killing community banks. He pledged to ease those burdens while maintaining proper regulation, so that we don t end up with a world where we only have four big banks in this country. The bankers were expected to highlight compliance costs associated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new regulator created under the Dodd- Frank law enacted after the financial crisis. The CFPB is a perennial target for Republicans, who want to shift its funding from the Federal Reserve to annual appropriations by Congress and shift its management, now concentrated in a powerful chairman, to a multi-person commission structure. Oil majors take Canada hit US shale producers lift their reserve estimates NEW YORK, March 12, (RTRS): Top shale oil producers are lifting their crude and gas reserve estimates for the first time in two years even as many major oil companies are cutting the same projections and taking write downs on more expensive fields. Rising confidence in the growth prospects of the US shale patch is in striking contrast to the retreat of the world s top oil firms from the high-cost oil sands of Canada. The increase in reported shale reserves is driven by new drilling efficiencies, leaner operations and improved well completion techniques, industry experts said. Many wells that were not profitable a year ago have become profitable because those advances have cut the cost of producing from shale, said Per Magnus Nysveen, a senior partner at consultancy Rystad Energy. The top 20 US shale firms a group that includes Pioneer Natural Resources Co and Chesapeake Energy Corp, hiked their proved oil reserves by nearly 7 percent on average in 2016, according to a Reuters review of year-end financial filings. While shale producers reap the benefits of technological advances, oil majors that bet billions of dollars on giant long-term projects in Canada have taken a hit. On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell plc became the latest energy giant to quit on oil sands. Shell said it would remove 2 billion barrels of oil from its reserves and take a $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion after-tax impairment in a retreat from most of its Canadian oil sands operations. Projects Exxon Mobil Corp and Conoco- Phillips last month reported total reductions of nearly 5 billion barrels of proved reserves from oil sands projects after deciding they could not be pumped at current prices. Overall, the 10 US oil companies with the largest holdings in conventional oil fields reduced their reserves by 13.4 percent in 2016, according to a Reuters analysis of year-end regulatory filings. In 2015, the same shale firms, a group which do not operate in conventional oil fields, reported that proved reserves had fallen by 13 percent on average as low oil prices made many fields unprofitable. Firms operating in shale oil fields use hydraulic fracturing to tap oil in rock formations that cannot be accessed by conventional drilling methods. The reserves reflect oil and gas that can be profitably tapped in the next five years and are valued by investors as a measure of future revenue growth. Greater reserves also can give the companies more borrowing power. The 2016 shale reserve gains, while modest, came as conventional drillers were paring back their own estimates as oil prices remain below the levels needed to make output from higher cost fields profitable. The cost of pumping a barrel of oil from Canada s oil sands is much higher than the cost of producing oil from shale. The reported 2016 increases in shale reserves are based on US Securities and Exchange Commission rules and use an average West Texas Intermediate oil price of $42.75 per barrel in The oil price on Thursday fell below $50 per barrel amid worries about growing crude inventories, especially from shale producers. Shale producers reported natural gas reserves were based on a $2.49 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) average price in 2016, down from $2.58 a year earlier. Rattled Recent production increases from US shale fields have rattled OPEC producers aiming to pare global crude inventories. In remarks to industry executives at an energy conference in Houston this week, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-falih warned that OPEC won t accept shale oil rivals getting free rides from its production cutbacks. The implied threat was that OPEC could reverse the output cuts, which took effect in January, and flood the world market with oil, kicking off another price war. The curbs have boosted oil prices and in turn revived the shale industry in the United States after a twoyear downturn. The technological improvements in shale fields include the ability to drill further into the earth, both vertically and horizontally, creating more underground sites in each well for hydraulic fracturing. Reserve growth really comes down to better well design, said Michael Dynan, vice president for portfolio and strategic development at Schramm, a manufacturer of drilling rigs. Such changes are helping oil firms tap more oil and gas while keeping spending low. Continental Resources Inc says it found twice the reserves per dollar spent in 2016 than in More recently, producers have also embraced big data analysis techniques that are providing a lot of insight into how best to drill a well, where to locate a well and the fracking techniques to use, said Binu Mathew, who heads digital products at GE Oil & Gas, which is merging with Baker Hughes Inc. Such advances are only the beginning of the shale oil industry s efforts to wring more oil from wells for less money, said Stephen Ingram, southern region director of Halliburton Co s completion and production business. UAE wants closer trade ties with Asia and Africa: official Rich Gulf states looking at ways to diversify their economies DUBAI, March 12, (RTRS): The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East s largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia s two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst sub-saharan Africa is forecast to expand by 2.8 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). There are huge opportunities in China and India but also in Singapore and Indonesia, al-saleh said. In 2015, the UAE s non-oil trade with Asia was worth 450 billion dirhams ($122.5 billion), according to al-saleh. Two-thirds of its trade with Asia is with six markets; China, India, Japan, Iran, South Korea and Hong Kong. The UAE wants to see free trade agreements between the Gulf Coop- It s basically an extension of college Techies fi nd communal living a solution for high rents SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, (RTRS): Zander Dejah, 25, pays $1,900 a month rent to live in a downtown San Francisco house with at least 40 other people, many of whom sleep in bunk beds. Dejah is a resident of The Negev, a communal living space that styles itself as a home for millennial tech workers to brainstorm ideas, write code and create apps, even if they have to share toilets and bathrooms with dozens of others. Houses like The Negev, located in a neighborhood known as SoMa or South of Market, have cropped up around San Francisco as an influx of young professionals, many of whom are tech workers, have faced the city s notoriously high rents and apartment shortages. It has three floors and roughly 50 rooms, filled with bunk beds, beer bottles and laptops, according to residents. Energy minister cites maintenance activities in March, April UAE to cut output by more than 139K bpd DUBAI, March 12, (RTRS): The United Arabic Emirates (UAE) will comply fully with its OPEC commitment to reduce oil production by more than 139,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March and April, the Gulf OPEC member s energy minister Suhail said on Thursday. UAE production cut for March and April will be more than 139,000 bpd due to the maintenance activities, which means more than 100 percent compliance, Suhail al- Mazrouei wrote on his Twitter account. (The) UAE is committed to its share of the production cut agreed with OPEC. The UAE, among the core Gulf OPEC group that traditionally shows high compliance with output agreements, has focused on expanding its production capacity in the last few years. Dejah, born and raised in New York, graduated last year with a degree in computer science and math from McGill University. Unemployed, he moved to California six months ago and found his room at The Negev on Craigslist. I thought New York was expensive, said Dejah, who quickly landed a job as a virtual reality engineer at consulting firm moback. It s basically an extension of college. We sort of live in a frat house. The home is certainly filled with parties on weekends, but the residents make sure to sit down every Sunday for a communal dinner, akin to a traditional family gathering. While some say communal housing provides a solution for many first-time workers fresh out of college, such housing also has created its share of controversy. Housing advocates have complained that this new The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pledged to curb its production by about 1.2 million bpd from Jan 1, the fi rst cut in eight years, to boost prices and get rid of a supply glut. Compliance with output restrictions has often been a problem for OPEC in the past but this time the group delivered reductions amounting to as much as 90 percent of the target in the first month alone. The UAE has delivered a smaller portion of its pledged reduction, based on its own fi gures and OPEC output estimates by government agencies, consultants and industry media. Under the OPEC deal, the UAE was to cut production to million bpd. It told OPEC it produced 3.06 million bpd in January, and a Reuters survey estimated its output at 2.98 million bpd. eration Council (GCC) and China, India, Australia and New Zealand to be a priority, al-saleh said. However the political and economic bloc comprised of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman has made little material progress on free trade negotiations despite talks being open with around a dozen different countries and groups. Hopefully... in near future we see more agreements, al-saleh said. Economic ties with China and India have deepened since Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed al-nahyan visited the two countries in 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to al-saleh, with UAE companies now having better access to the markets. Though already having close ties to North Africa in part through shared culture, language and religion, the UAE is looking for deeper ties with sub-saharan Africa. The latest reforms in some of African countries are very attractive for dorm-like style of living has pushed up rents and forced longtime residents to move out. Alon Gutman, who co-founded a company called The Negev and began leasing the building on Sixth street in 2014, said, We have never made somebody move out of that building, adding that his tenants pay 30 percent to 50 percent less than others in the neighborhood. We are trying to solve the housing crisis and increase density in a positive way. The Negev company runs nine communal properties, three of which are in San Francisco. The others are in Austin, Texas, and Oakland, California. The Negev properties, generally in run-down, low-income neighborhoods, are restructured to accommodate a large number of tenants, Gutman explained. Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer, executive Still, offi cials and industry sources say the UAE will try to move closer to its target in the coming months, improving average compliance during the six-month duration of the supply cut rather than focusing on month-by-month performance. Oilfield maintenance could help to push compliance higher. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (AD- NOC) has work planned at oilfi elds in March and May, people familiar with the matter said. ADNOC said on Thursday it had informed customers of cuts in crude allocations for March and April. In March, only Upper Zakum crude grade will be cut by 5 percent, while in April both the Murban and Das grades will be reduced by 5 percent, and Upper Zakum by 3 percent, it said in a letter to customers dated March 6 and received by Reuters on Thursday. us, al-saleh said. There is potential for greater trade and investments in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique, he said, and whilst Nigeria, Africa s largest economy, is going through a period of instability it cannot be ignored either. The growth is there in these markets and there is big demand for services and goods, al-saleh said. What we need to do is connect our business community with business communities in these countries. director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, said housing problems have arisen because occupants leave buildings being converted to communal homes and cannot afford to move back in or the space is no longer suitable for them. The Negev house takes affordable housing and makes it unaffordable, said Sherburn-Zimmer. All they ve done is take away housing from people who had it and loved it and pushed them out to make a quick buck. Kumar Srikantappa, 31, who also pays $1,900 a month for a single room at The Negev, said he chose the house because of the social experience. After eight months there, the software engineer for Oracle Corp said he would soon be ready to live elsewhere. I met a bunch of friends, and I just want to move on to another location and into a bigger place, he said. It s time.

32 BUSINESS 32 in wake of fed raids, Caterpillar denies skirting tax laws JD Wetherspoon sees slower sales, warns on taxes Caterpillar, a week after its headquarters and other facilities were raided by a number of federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, denied that it had broken any federal tax laws. The IRS has challenged Caterpillar s taxes for years , the company said Friday. We disagree with the IRS position, have cooperated for requests for information, and believe that we are compliant with tax laws and stand by our financial reporting. Caterpillar has been challenged for some time by federal agencies in regard to its accounting practices and last week the company said that the raids may have been related to a Swiss business, called CSARL. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, Caterpillar said that the IRS had informed the company that it owed $2 billion in additional taxes for the years 2010 to 2012 because of profits from that Swiss unit. Caterpillar takes very seriously its obligation to follow tax law and pay what it owes, the company said Friday. The raids came two days after the New York Times cited a report by Dartmouth College accounting professor Leslie A. Robinson, which stated that Caterpillar did not comply with either US tax law or US financial reporting rules. (AP) British pubs operator JD Wetherspoon reported its slowest sales growth in at least seven years on Friday and warned higher taxes would squeeze future results. Wetherspoon said revenue rose 1.4 percent to million pounds ($975 million) for the half year to January 22, down from growth of 6.2 percent a year earlier. For the six weeks ended 5 March revenue fell 0.2 percent, it said, after posting a gain of 5.7 percent for the same period a year earlier. In January, Wetherspoon warned of lower like-forlike sales and higher costs in the next six months. Following the British government s 2017 budget announced on March 8, the company, which is already grappling with higher costs, said it faced an increase in taxes and duties of at least 20 million pounds next year. Wednesday s budget will weigh far more heavily on pubs than supermarkets, especially since wage costs per pint or meal are approximately 10 times higher in pubs, J D Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin said in a statement. Wetherspoon is seemingly the most exposed of Britain s managed pub operators to any economic slowdown and the company can no longer use space for growth, Berenberg analysts said in a note. (RTRS) Role of Islamic banks in global economy and overcoming global crisis among issues discussed KFH-Bahrain hosts delegation of Bangladeshi Islamic bankers MANAMA, March 12: Kuwait Finance House Bahrain CKFH-Bahrain recently hosted a delegation from the People s Republic of Bangladesh which included a number of officials from leading Islamic banks and financial institutions in the period during the Feb 26th to 2nd March The delegation was headed by AKM Nurul Fazul Bulbul, Director CEO of Axim Exchange Company. Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat, the Managing Director and CEO and various Executive and Senior Managers of Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain have greeted and welcomed the Bangladeshi delegation in the Bank s headquarters at the World Trade Center in Manama. The two sides exchanged cordial talks and expertise in the banking industry. The visit was arranged in collaboration with the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance and a number of Islamic banks in the Kingdom. The aim was to educate the delegation on the basics of banking transactions compliant with Islamic Shari a law. During the reception, AlKhayyat confirmed the distinguished bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of Bangladesh. He welcomed the delegation in Group picture of the Bangladeshi delegation with KFH-Bahrain officials. collaboration with distinguished guests to enhance strategic partnerships and relationships and provide support to the Islamic banking industry in their organizations. During a meeting, discussions were held about the role of Islamic banks in the global economy, how to overcome the global financial crisis successfully and how it became a successful model to the economic experts around the world. The delegation s visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain included Half a century of highly dynamic driving performance the appointments to the headquarters of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the offices of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions in Bahrain, Al Baraka Bank and other places around the Kingdom. Berlin s airport workers to strike BERLIN, March 12, (RTRS): Ground staff at Berlin s two airports will start a 25-hour strike on Monday, the Verdi union said on Sunday, stepping up action in a pay dispute that has already caused the cancellation of around 1,000 flights. Workers at Berlin s Tegel and Schoenefeld airports will walk out at 4 am local time (0300 GMT) on Monday and end the action on Tuesday morning at about 5 am local time (0400 GMT), said Verdi in a statement. Lufthansa said it would cancel all flights on Monday from Frankfurt and Munich to Berlin, and from Germany s capital to those cities. It did not say how many flights that involved. The union wants an increase in pay for ground staff to 12 euros ($12.80) an hour from about 11 euros as part of a one-year collective agreement. The employer is offering about 10 cents more an hour over four years. As well as Lufthansa, carriers including Air Berlin, easyjet and Ryanair serve the two airports. Ground staff jobs include checking in passengers, loading and unloading planes and directing aircraft on the tarmac. Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in Berlin on Friday as the last strike by ground staff led to the cancellation of nearly 700 flights. Celebrating 50 years of Mercedes-AMG success KUWAIT CITY, March 12: AMG worldwide these three letters stand for supreme automotive performance, exclusivity, efficiency and highly dynamic driving pleasure. In 2017, the company founded by Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher celebrates its 50th anniversary. During the course of this half-century, Mercedes-AMG has recorded numerous successes, both in motor sport and through the development of unique road-going vehicles, thereby repeatedly underlining its position as a highly successful sports car and performance brand and today this is truer than ever. A flying start AMG - the names behind these three letters are at the starting point of the lightning development from a two-man operation into the global Mercedes-AMG Performance brand. The AMG letters stand for the names of the engineers and the birthplace of engineer Aufrecht A as in Aufrecht, M as in Melcher and G as in Gross-Aspach. Their story began in the 1960s: Engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher worked on the 300 SE racing engine in the development department at Daimler-Benz until the company ceased all motor sports activities. In 1967, they founded the Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach Engineering Bureau, Design and Testing for the Development of Racing Engines, based in a former mill in the neighbouring village of Burgstall. The engines reworked there quickly became some of the most sought after for private racing teams. In 1971, the 24-hour race of Spa went down in the company s annals as its first sporting milestone: Class victory and second place in the overall ranking for the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8. The heavy luxury saloon duped the lighter-weight racing car competitors a perfect sensation, and the name AMG travelled the world. From the 70s until the end of the 90s AMG built upon their exceptional reputation in the field of sports cars, and from there followed years of growth, in which AMG equipped more and more Mercedes models with performance technology. Consistent evolution In 1990 a cooperation contract with DaimlerChrysler AG was signed, followed by the acquisition in 1999 of a 51 percent majority shareholding in AMG, before finally becoming sole owner in Today, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has a staff of over 1100 in Affalterbach. The endeavour to reach top performance, precision and efficiency is part of the professional self-conception of AMG. Every AMG High-Performance car promises exceptional performance, fascinating driving enjoyment and the highest level of quality right down to the last detail. In the framework of the AMG Performance 50 strategy, every new Mercedes-AMG brands AMG model aspires to be the market leader in terms of fuel consumption and emission levels. Many AMG vehicles are already today best in class in terms of fuel consumption, emissions, top power output and torque. The latest generation of AMG models available in Kuwait include: Mercedes-AMG A 45 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupé Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Coupé Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 Coupé Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 S Coupé Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Mercedes-AMG S 63 Mercedes-AMG S 65 GLC has passed 20 million members across its four airline frequent flyer programmes: Etihad Guest (used by Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional), JetPrivilege (Jet Airways), MilleMiglia (Alitalia), and topbonus (airberlin and NIKI). Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé Mercedes-AMG S 65 Coupé Mercedes-AMG GT Mercedes-AMG GT S Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 Coupé Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupé Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupé Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Mercedes-AMG G 63 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Cabriolet Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Cabriolet Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet Mercedes-AMG SL 63 Mercedes-AMG SL 65 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 Top: Mercedes-AMG marks its 50th anniversary; (above), AMG 300 SEL 6.8 at the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps. India boasts highest number of members with 5 million GLC surpasses 20 million members ABU DHABI, UAE, March 12: Global Loyalty Company (GLC), the specialist loyalty business of Etihad Airways Group, today announced that it had passed the milestone of 20 million members across its four airline frequent flyer programmes: Etihad Guest (used by Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional), JetPrivilege (Jet Airways), MilleMiglia (Alitalia), and topbonus (airberlin and NIKI). Collectively, the programmes have members in 150 countries around the world. India boasts the highest number of members with five million members, followed by Italy with 3.5 million members and Germany at more than three million. The US and UK make up another two million members, while Antarctica, Pitcairn Island and Liberia are amongst the countries and territories which have just one member each. GLC was launched in 2013 and offers an extensive range of exclusive benefits across its programmes, including priority check-in, lounge access, priority boarding and bonus tier miles. Members can earn and use their miles across the eight Etihad Airways Partner airlines, with topbonus members also able to earn and redeem on all oneworld partner airlines; whilst MilleMiglia members can do the same across all SkyTeam partner airlines. Overall, this covers more than 3,000 destinations worldwide. In addition, members can earn miles with around 300 lifestyle partners worldwide including, Amex Membership Rewards USA, Kaligo and Rentalcars.com; Porsche (Ali & Sons) in the UAE; Booking.com, Conde Nast and HDFC Bank in India; Damiani, Yoox and Boggi in Italy; Postbank, Wüstenrot Bank, Enterprise car rental and over 500 online shopping partners in Germany. Darren Peisley, Managing Director of Hala Group, said: This is a significant milestone for GLC, and one which we are very proud to have achieved just four years after embarking on our journey to change the landscape of airline loyalty. At the heart of our success has been a relentless focus on applying the right data, insights, technology, marketing science and creative thinking to build strong and mutually beneficial relationships with members, and our family of airline and lifestyle brand partners. Relationships that continue to deliver real value for both frequent flyers and non-frequent flyers.

33 BUSINESS 33 Japan s min sees risk in building new coal-fired plant Mexico cranks up antitrust rules against America Movil Chugoku Electric Power Co and JFE Steel may need to rethink plans for a new coal-fired power plant if they cannot present clear measures to address climate change concerns, Japan s environment minister suggested. Minister Koichi Yamamoto, in an opinion statement over the companies plan for a 1.07 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired power plant, flagged a business risk and suggested the companies should consider all options including scrapping the plan. JFE Steel is a unit of JFE Holdings Inc. It is important for the companies to recognise severe business risk surrounding coal-fired power stations and think about all possible options including reconsidering the plan if no clear path to cut emissions by 2030 and later is available, Yamamoto said in a statement which was submitted to the industry minister. Japan ratified the 2015 Paris agreement to curb to curb carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and The companies plan to build a power station in Chiba, near Tokyo, aiming to start operation in Government approval for a power plant project in Japan is based on an examination of its effects on the surrounding environment. (RTRS) Billionaire Carlos Slim s America Movil said on Wednesday that the Mexican telecommunications regulator had stepped up antitrust rules against the company, including ordering it to separate out part of its fixed-line infrastructure. America Movil, controlled by the family of Slim, has been subject to tougher regulations since 2014 as part of a sweeping sector reform aimed at making the market more competitive. It said the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) ordered the company to create an independent entity from fixed-line unit Telmex to offer competitors access to infrastructure, confirming a Reuters report from February that the change was being considered. An IFT spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The functional separation would be based on a plan presented by Telmex to the IFT for its approval, America Movil said in a statement to the Mexican stock exchange. After describing what the resolution requires, the company criticized it, said it was analyzing it and that it will challenge the decision. (RTRS) China s economy set for steady growth Zero tolerance for fake data BEIJING, March 12, (RTRS): The risk of a steep slide in China s economy has reduced, the head of a government research centre said on Sunday, adding the country had moved through an L-shaped pattern of slowing to now horizontal growth. China s economy grew 6.7 percent last year, according to the government, the slowest pace in 26 years. The country met its growth target with support from record bank loans, a speculative housing boom and billions in government investment. But as Beijing moves to cool the housing market, slow new credit and tighten its purse strings, China will have to depend more on domestic consumption and private investment. The government last week trimmed its economic growth target to about 6.5 percent for this year. Li Wei, the director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, China s cabinet, said many positive economic signs We re not being granted anything we didn t have before: Trump Organization official Mexico OKs Trump trademarks for hotels and tourism industry MEXICO CITY, March 12, (AP): On Feb 19, 2016, at a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a stump speech in which he railed against American jobs moving to Mexico: We lose our jobs, we close our factories, Mexico gets all of the work, he said. We get nothing. That same day a law firm in Mexico City quietly filed on behalf of his company for trademarks on his name that would authorize the Trump brand, should it choose, to set up shop in a country with which he has sparred over trade, migration and the planned border wall. The Trump trademarks have now been granted by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, or IMPI for its initials in Spanish. Records show the last three were approved Feb 21, just over a month after Trump took office, and a fourth was granted last Oct 6, about a month before the US election. Trump s company has notched several trademark wins recently. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Chinese government recently granted preliminary approval for 38 trademarks to Trump and a related company. That sparked outrage from some Democratic senators and critics, who have been pushing Trump to sever financial ties with his global businesses to avoid potential violations of the emoluments clause of the US Constitution, which bars federal officials from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless approved by Congress. Operations The Mexican trademarks cover a broad range of business operations that can roughly be broken down into construction; construction materials; hotels, hospitality and tourism; and real estate, financial services and insurance. They are all valid through The same four trademarks were previously held in the name of Donald J. Trump and expired in 2015, a year before the new applications. The new approvals list the trademark owner as the company DTTM Operations LLC, with an address in the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York. As president Trump has handed management of his business to his two adult sons and vowed to strike no new deals abroad while he is in office. However critics say questions remain about possible conflicts of interest, noting that foreigners could still seek to influence Trump by helping his existing foreign operations or by easing the way for future ones after he leaves the Oval Office. Trump Organization General Counsel Alan Garten said the Mexican government s decision was not a special favor to the president. We re not being granted anything we didn t have before, he said. The original trademarks came years before (Trump) even announced his candidacy. Garten said the Mexican trademarks originally had two purposes: laying the ground for possible new ventures and keeping other people from using Trump s name for their own businesses. He said the trademarks are wholly defensive now. Circumstances have changed, Garten said. He s been elected and were emerging domestically and internationally, and the risk of a large slide in economic growth had clearly lowered. China s economic development has gone from a downward stroke in the L-shape to the horizontal stroke, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing Li s comments on the sidelines of China s annual session of parliament. The horizontal trend points to long-term steady development, but does not eliminate the possibility of short-term fluctuations, or mean the economic transformation is complete, Li said. Our economy still has many difficulties to resolve, so we must prepare to respond to the emergence of possibly relatively large risks, Li said. Earlier on Sunday, a vice chairman of the state economic planner said China s industrial output grew more than 6 percent in January and February, and that the surveybased unemployment rate in 31 major cities was about 5 percent for the two months. National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe gave the approximations, which were in line with expectations for official we agreed not to do foreign deals. Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, said the Mexican grants are in an ethical gray area: defensive in nature now, perhaps, but setting the president up to profit when he leaves office. To what extent is this appropriate? I don t know, Painter said. We never had Obama running around the world locking up his name, or Bush. Intellectual property lawyer Enrique Alberto Diaz Mucharraz is listed on the trademark filings. A junior partner at the Mexico City law firm Goodrich Riquelme y Asociados, he declined to comment citing client confidentiality rules. Phones rang unanswered at the public relations office of IMPI, and there was no response to an ed request for comment on a list of questions. Trademarks can prove enormously valuable to companies, especially in countries with a growing number of middle class consumers who recognize the brand, said Ashwinpaul C. Sondhi of A.C. Sondhi & Associates, an investment consultancy in Safety Harbor, Florida. Mexican political analyst Alejandro Hope said IMPI is generally considered to be apolitical and the trademark concession was most likely a technical decision. More remarkable, Hope said, was China-US trade war would only cause pain commerce min BEIJING, March 12, (RTRS): A trade war between China and the United States would only cause pain, China s commerce minister said on Saturday, as analysts say the spectre of deteriorating US-China ties is likely to weigh on confidence of exporters and investors worldwide. A trade war would not benefit either country or either country s people, you could say it would have no advantage whatsoever, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told reporters on the sidelines of the annual parliament session in Beijing. Many American and western data set to be issued on Tuesday. Fixed asset investment growth kept pace with the final few months of last year, Ning said. China s economic growth still mainly relies on domestic demand, he said. January and February data will be released together in a bid to smooth out seasonal factors caused by the timing of the long Lunar New Year holidays, which began in late January this year but fell in February last year. China unexpectedly posted its first trade gap in three years in February as a construction boom This file photo shows a Trump Ocean Resort Baja highway billboard with a photo of Donald Trump that advertises condos for sale on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico. Last decade Trump and his children promoted a luxury hotel and condo development with the Trump name on it that was planned for the northern Baja California coast. But the Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico project collapsed, and dozens of buyers who had lost their 30 percent deposits sued in March (AP) Canada gearing up for NAFTA changes HOUSTON, March 12, (RTRS): Canada s Natural Resources minister said on Thursday night his government is ready to discuss changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico. Minister Jim Carr said Ottawa s view is that trade agreements every now and then should be refreshed, responding to questions about the trade pact at a media briefing in Houston. US President Donald Trump has said he wants to renegotiate the more than two decade old agreement. Carr also said Canada would be prepared to respond to the US administration s border tax proposal, but said executives attending the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston don t see the need for a tax on energy imports. They want a free movement of goods and services. We have to do a better job as Canadians of reminding our Americans friends how integrated this relationship is, Carr said. that the application was filed during a heated campaign when he had already started using Mexico as a pinata for political purposes. What I find striking is that these guys were thinking about doing business in Mexico while they were trashing Mexico on the campaign trail, Hope added. Trump has a spotty business past in the country. Last decade he and his children aggressively promoted a luxury hotel and condo development with the Trump name on it that was planned for the northern Baja California coast, near Tijuana. In December 2006, 188 units were sold for $122 million during an event at a hotel in San Diego. But the Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico project collapsed, and dozens of buyers who had lost their 30 percent deposits sued in March Trump settled out of court in November 2013 for an undisclosed sum; in a separate settlement the previous year, developer Irongate, which had licensed the Trump name, agreed to pay the buyers $7.25 million. On the Caribbean island of Cozumel, near Cancun, Trump tried in 2007 to purchase land for a luxury resort complete with an airstrip and golf course, according to Mexican media reports. It met with local and environmental opposition, and never went anywhere. friends think that China can t live without the United States but that s only half true. At the same time, the United States can t live without China, Zhong said, adding that in the past ten years, the growth of US exports to China has outpaced the growth of Chinese exports to the United States. Zhong said that he looked forward to meeting his US counterpart Wilbur Ross. Billionaire investor Ross was sworn in as US commerce secretary in February after helping shape President Donald Trump s opposition to multilateral trade deals. pushed imports much higher than expected. That upbeat import reading reinforced the growing view that economic activity in China picked up in the first two months of the year. Meanwhile, China s top statistician said on Sunday anyone caught falsifying economic data would face zero tolerance and be punished under the law. There has long been scepticism about the reliability of Chinese data, especially as the government has sought to reduce expectations of a protracted slowdown in the world s second-largest China likely to lead talks after US drops out Paths open to new trade pact, post-tpp: Chile SANTIAGO, March 12, (RTRS): Countries that signed up for the failed trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will meet in Chile next week, seeking a way forward on a possible future regional deal, Chile s head of international trade told Reuters. Representatives from the 12 countries that formed the TPP, plus China and South Korea, will meet for the first time since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out the TPP in January, effectively killing the accord in its current form. The Chile meeting is a sign efforts to find an alternative Asia- Pacific trade pact are moving ahead, with China now likely leading the talks after the United States dropped out. Chile has accomplished its first goal of getting everyone together and will now seek commitments for further meetings to evaluate economy. In January, the rustbelt northeastern province of Liaoning said in its annual work report it had falsified reporting of fiscal data from 2011 to Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament, Ning Jizhe, head of the National Statistics Bureau, said violations would be investigated and punished. As soon as there are statistical cases that break the law or faked, it will be voted down, there will be zero tolerance, no appeasement, said Ning, who is also Vice alternatives, Paulina Nazal told Reuters in an interview in Santiago on Wednesday evening. The objective is to confirm if the strategy of growth and openness of recent years is what we believe to be correct, she said. Do we need to include other issues? Do we need to implement policies that complement the opening of trade or not? It was still premature to say what the future roadmap would look like, she added. What we have seen from the various delegations is that it s too open still, said Nazal. This is going to be the first meeting on how we go forward. Likely options could be to build on the base of pre-existing agreements such as Latin America s four-country Pacific Alliance, or the proposed Southeast Asianbacked Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) she said. He is expected to start work on renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico. I am aware that Mr. Ross is an outstanding businessman and an experienced negotiator, an excellent person Zhong told reporters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the country s parliament. I am willing to deal with excellent people because excellent people play the long game and think strategically. China s foreign trade outlook faces lots of risk and uncertainty, Zhong added. China s exports for January and February combined rose 4.0 percent from the same period last year, while imports surged 26.4 percent, suggesting solid improvement in demand domestically and abroad. But the export outlook for China and other trade-reliant economists is being clouded by fears of growing US protectionism. Zhong also spoke about China s growing outbound investment, noting that a small number of Chinese companies had invested overseas blindly and irrationally in ways China did not encourage. He said the government would step up regulation around such investments. Chairman of the planning body the National Development and Reform Commission. The combined economic output of China s provinces has long exceeded national output measured by the National Bureau of Statistics, raising suspicions that local officials were overstating performance. The gap has been narrowing, but the discrepancy between provincial GDP and the national figure was still 2.76 trillion yuan ($ billion) last year, roughly equal to the GDP of Thailand, according to a Reuters calculation. An employee of a BP gas station attends to a customer on the outskirts of Mexico City on March 11. Mexicans were lining up at the first private gasoline station operated by a foreign firm. Until last year, all Mexican gas stations operated under the brand of the state-owned petroleum company Pemex. Now Pemex has competition from BP, whose first station opened this week. (AP) Mexicans line up at first foreign-owned gas station Mexicans are lining up at the first private gasoline station operated by a foreign firm. Until last year, all Mexican gas stations operated under the brand of the state-owned petroleum company Pemex. Now Pemex has competition from BP, whose first station opened this week on the outskirts of Mexico City. Customers were drawn by what BP calls its Active technology, apparently a gasoline additive. The opening of the retail sector to competition was part of energy reforms passed in Two private Mexican companies opened three gas stations under their own brands in June. Mexico s oil industry was nationalized in 1938, but recent reforms aim to attract private investment to bolster the country s falling crude production. (AP) Countries including Australia, New Zealand and Canada had a similar commercial approach to the Pacific Alliance and had signalled an interest in joining or negotiating as a bloc, said Nazal. Others evidently feel more comfortable with the RCEP model and they could open a door to let others in. China, which is part of RCEP talks, has argued the TPP was too complex and political rather than purely trade-based. Critics of the RCEP including the former Obama administration warned it would not include strong protections for workers, the environment or intellectual property. With the election of Trump and the demise of the TPP, eyes have been on Beijing to take the lead on future trade talks. The Chinese want to be the leaders, the benchmark, said Nazal. That was not like that before.

34 BUSINESS 34 Southwest shares fall Southwest is giving a surprisingly weak revenue forecast, the latest sign that airfares aren t rising as quickly as airlines expected. Shares of Southwest Airlines Co fell 56 cents, or 1 percent, to $55.80 in Friday afternoon trading. Average fares fell in 2015 and 2016 as competition increased from discount airlines including Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines. Trends in recent months have pointed to higher fares this year, but Southwest s pullback follows cautious outlooks from American and Delta. (AP) Name: Kuwait Sharia Compatible Indices Providers: Al Madar Finance & Investment Co. Description: Index of Sharia compatible companies traded on the KSE Website: Bloomberg Today s Today s closing Prev closing % 1-week 3-month YTD 12-month 24-month Index name ticker value as of value value change change change change change change Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Composite AMIC March 12, % -1.26% 10.47% 10.30% 18.51% -5.63% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Kuwait Only AMIC March 12, % -1.16% 9.51% 9.59% 15.97% -8.26% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Active AMIC March 12, % -5.53% 23.68% 20.26% 40.51% -1.58% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Banking Sector AMIC March 12, % -1.36% 12.98% 11.56% 15.41% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Investment Sector AMIC March 12, % -4.05% 24.93% 20.41% 27.70% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Insurance Sector AMIC March 12, % 1.15% 47.88% 48.77% 51.98% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Real Estate Sector AMIC March 12, % -0.83% 9.82% 9.22% 11.44% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Industrial Sector AMIC March 12, % 0.27% 24.84% 24.27% 26.52% 3.06% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Services Sector AMIC March 12, % -1.46% 3.90% 5.63% 17.82% -6.43% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Food Sector AMIC March 12, % -0.90% -0.16% 0.61% 2.82% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Islamic Sector AMIC March 12, % -1.84% 15.56% 13.81% 23.48% -4.08% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Non Kuwaiti Sector AMIC March 12, % -2.83% 29.94% 23.84% 89.90% % Kuwait Stock Exchange Index - Price KWSEIDX March 12, , , % -0.92% 19.60% 17.29% 27.57% 3.50% S&P 500 SPX March 11, , , % -0.44% 5.00% 5.97% 17.33% 16.29% DJ Islamic Index. DJIM March 11, , , % 0.03% 5.97% 6.47% 14.01% 7.23% weekly report on FX markets Expectations blur with rate decisions ahead Report prepared by Ahmed Shibley Despite a remarkably robust set of economic data that included strong February payrolls and a rise in rate expectations to the point of certainty that the Fed will hike Wednesday, the Dollar lost ground this past week. It isn t that there is some hidden element to the scheduled event risk that makes it ultimately disappointing. Rather, speculation has reached well beyond the bounds of reasonable objective, and further that it s most important counterparts may be gaining ground on its seemingly unassailable fundamental perch. This is how good news can be met with disappointing response. This past week, we were offered fundamental support that just seemed indulgent against the already hard fought speculation the Dollar built upon over the past three years. The top event risk for the period were the February labor statistics, which offered roaring support for the economy and plenty of motivation for the Fed. The net payrolls offered a hearty beat for the third straight month, the jobless rate ticked lower to anchor to the multiyear low, wage growth picked back up to its most hearty pace in years and underlying figures showed better foundation to this general theme. As encouraging as that may be economically, traders say little additional opportunity to draw from that information. They had already leveraged their forecast for a rate hike at the March 15 FOMC meeting to 100 percent (via Fed Fund futures) after Wednesday s ADP private payroll report. Markets are forward looking and speculatively motivated. This is where the buy the rumor, sell the news saying originates. We should consider this heavy skew heading into the new trading week. We may consider the Fed decision a far more influential event relative to the NFPs, but financial media prominence does not change the interpretation the market will make of the news. A rate hike alone is already expected. Furthermore, we can tell from rates markets that there is considerable speculation of a further two to three hikes through the rest of the year. While it is possible to further shift expectations towards four hikes in 2017 which is not fully appreciated the need for conviction is high and the traction it would offer is comparably marginal. The more remarkable impact via US monetary policy would be if the Fed disappointed and that is easier to do. A hold on rates would certainly qualify; and while the Dollar is still in a more hawkish bearing than its major counterparts, the speculative saturation would likely lead to significantly fallout. Yet, even in more favorable scenarios, the currency may find struggle. Given the market s implicit assumption of an accelerated pace of hikes, the likely reiteration of gradual for future pace simply to ensure speculative appetites don t run roughshod over the economy could nevertheless translate into slow against such a fast backdrop. Perhaps more remarkable in positioning disappointment in the Dollar s favorable bearings is the improvement of the currency s major counterparts. This is a relative market and one of the Greenback s strongest qualities over the past five years has been the weaker assessment and forecast for its most liquid counterparts. That best of the worst title is no longer appropriate however. Growth has returned to the world s largest developed economies. Despite unique risks for most of them, stability has prevailed. And, now, it even seems that the promise of rates is starting to return. The reasonable ends of extreme dovish monetary policy was generally shaped over the past few years, but that would precede an actual turn to normalization to close the gap with the Dollar and Fed. A tangible step was offered through the end of this past week when it was reported the ECB discussed the possibility of hiking rates before QE purchases ended at the close of Where the Dollar still has the advantage on growth and yield potential, its premium doesn t seem to be growing. It may in fact be shrinking. Unless full-scale risk aversion revives the USD s appeal as an absolute haven, its unchallenged bull trend may be challenged. The Euro was easily the top performer last week, as the combination of a more optimistic European Central Bank and the odds of a Marine Le Pen victory in the French presidential elections falling have proven to knock down fundamental obstacles to further Euro gains. EUR/NZD was the top performing EUR-cross, gaining +2.01%, while EUR/GBP added +1.15%, and EUR/USD, the laggard, added +0.48%. Starting with the ECB, it seems that they ve taken notice of the generally improving economic conditions in the region, as we ve discussed in this note for each of the past few weeks. ECB President Mario Draghi said that risks of deflation have largely disappeared, and that the balance of risk regarding growth has improved. In turn, the ECB upgraded their inflation and GDP forecasts for the region: its inflation forecasts improved for 2017 (+1.8% from +1.3% in December) and 2018 (+1.7% from +1.6% in December); and it increased its GDP forecasts for 2017 (+1.8% from +1.7% in December) and 2018 (+1.7% from +1.6% in December). While the ECB did announce that it would continue as planned with its QE taper, down to 60 billion euros per month for the remainder of 2017 (which will add over half a trillion of government debt to its balance sheet), there was a comment in Draghi s press conference that was rather illuminating. When asked about the language around interest rate levels, he said that the Governing Council had a cursory discussion about whether to remove the word lower from the forward guidance. This refers to the opening salvo of the ECB s policy statement, We continue to expect them to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of our net asset purchases. While the ECB isn t going to hike rates while its continuing to expand its balance sheet, this word choice indicates that the ECB is slowly but surely moving to a less dovish policy stance. The steepening of yield curves across Europe, mainly in Germany and in France, as well as the Euro strength around the press conference, suggest that markets understood this cautiously optimistic, dovish-yet-slightlyhawkish tone seriously. To underscore how confident the ECB s Governing Council are on Swiss International Financial Brokerage Co the improvement in conditions in the Euro-Zone, they decided not to extend another TLTRO (targeted longer-term refinancing operation), noting that no member of the Governing Council felt the need to discuss a new TLTRO. Backing away from such an extraordinary policy tool is a sign that the ECB feels the worst of the Euro-Zone debt crisis is in the rearview mirror. The British Pound has been bogged down by fears of economic weakness, Brexit uncertainty, and of recent, the strength of the US Dollar and the Euro. Rising Fed rate hike expectations for March and a less dovish ECB are doing the Sterling no favors, as the BOE remains in an ultra-accommodative policy stance. The British Pound closed out the week dropping for a sixth day versus the Euro, its worse run since August, and had a second straight week of declines against the Greenback. UK data have disappointed of late, highlighting fears that the negative effect of the Brexit decision is beginning to bite. House price data this week show that buyer demand growth stalled in February. Before that, on Tuesday, UK retail sales softened in February, according to data from the British Retail Consortium, with non-food sales falling on an annual basis for the first time since 2011 in the three months to the end of February: more evidence that the hit to consumer spending growth from higher inflation caused by Sterling s Brexit-related slump is starting to be felt on the British high street. Wednesday s budget statement did little to alter the headwinds facing the UK economy. Data on Friday revealed the UK s industrial production and manufacturing output contracted in January, as expected, after the broader industrial measure hit a six-year high at the end of last year. Overall, the Citi Economic Surprise Index for the UK has slipped from on February 15 to +80 by the week s end. In the coming quarters, the fall in the manufacturing PMI to 54.6 in February from 55.7 in January suggests that the strong growth in manufacturing in Q4 16 is unlikely to be repeated, with some economists warning that the UK is entering stagflation, a period where the economy faces high inflation and low growth, a veritable policy nightmare. With that said, the labor market is holding up well, and for now any slowdown in activity looks modest. We ll get more info on that front next week with the release of labor market data Wednesday. Apart from the jobless claims figures, next week there s little in the way of fundamental data that could help prop up the ailing Pound. The Bank of England has its March policy meeting on Thursday, but it is highly unlikely to alter its ultraaccommodative policy stance and forecast to keep rates at 0.25%. Brexit discussions can also be expected to weigh further on Sterling. The UK government plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March, and the lack of any further details from PM Theresa May and Brexit Minister David Davis continues to weigh. The House of Lords vote to ensure Parliament has the final say on any UK-EU agreement has subtly increased the chances of a hard Brexit once the two-year negotiating window closes; the May government is expected to trigger Article 50 by the end of this month. Piggybacking on the Brexit headlines, news emerged this past week that there could also be the prospect of another Scottish referendum. Scotland s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claims autumn 2018, just months before the UK is expected to leave the EU, would be a common sense time to hold another independence vote. Scotland voted 62% in favor of Remain, while the UK on the whole 52% in favor of Leave. The outlook for the British Pound appears to remain quite gloomy for the foreseeable future. Gold prices fell for the second consecutive week with the precious metal down 2.67% to trade at 1201 ahead of the New York close on Friday. Bullion is down more than 5% off the yearly high and has been fueled by expectations for higher borrowing costs from the Fed. Heading into next week, the quarterly FOMC policy meeting will be central focus with gold approaching key near-term support targets of interest. US Non-Farm Payrolls released on Friday topped expectations with a print of 235K as the unemployment rate fell to 4.7%. The move was accompanied by an uptick in the broader labor force participation rate, a welcomed shift the central bank will likely consider heading into next week s critical rate decision. With a 25 basis point rate-hike already priced-in for March, market participants will be focused on adjustments in the interest rate dotplot as the central bank appears to be on course to further normalize monetary policy in Officials have noted three or even four ratehikes could be appropriate this year as the Fed closes in on its dual mandate. As long as the Fed stays on course, gold prices remain vulnerable to further losses- that said, the broader technical outlook remains tilted to the downside with near-term rebounds to offer potential short-entries. Crude oil prices have broken to the downside over the past few days, finally reflecting the ongoing imbalance between plentiful supply and limited demand. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped at one point to its lowest level since November 30, the day the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel agreed to cut output for the first time since 2008 after a meeting in Vienna. Brent crude fell to its weakest level since December 1and there are few signs so far that a recovery is likely in the week to come. The drops came after data from the US Energy Information Administration showed US crude inventories surging to a record high, increasing concerns that a global oil glut could persist despite OPEC s efforts to prop up prices with output curbs. The EIA figures inevitably prompted worries about the balance between supply and demand as US shale extraction capacity grows. With a lower breakeven price than many other sources of oil, fears that US output will flood the markets sent them into a spin, along with energy stocks and the currencies of oil-producing countries like Norway, Russia and Canada. For more information please visit investment funds Funds Fund Manager Valuation Valued date Currency Net Asset Prev NAV Prev NAV Dated Value (NAV) National Bank of Kuwait Money Market Funds Watani KD Money Market Fund II NBK Capital Weekly Jan 17, 2017 KD Nov 29, 2016 Watani USD Money Market Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Jan 17, 2017 USD Nov 22, 2016 Watani KD Money Market Fund (Acc to Islamic Shariah principles) II NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Jan 17, 2017 KD Nov 22, 2016 Gulf Bank Al Basha er GCC Equity Fund Kwt. Fin. & Inv. Co. & Gulf Fin. House Monthly Jan 31, 2017 USD Dec 30, 2016 Coast Fund Coast Investment & Dev. Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Dec 30, 2016 Sanaya Dow Jones Kuwait Index Fund Industrial & Financial Investment Co. Weekly Dec 29, 2016 KD Nov 24, 2016 Markaz Capital Preservation Program 1 Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Markaz Capital Preservation Program 2 Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Markaz Gulf Real Estate Fund Bi-annual Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Al Ahli Bank Al Ahli Gulf Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Al Ahli Kuwaiti Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Burgan Bank Burgan Equity Fund Burgan Bank Monthly Feb 26, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Boubyan Bank Boubyan KD Money Market Fund Boubyan Bank Weekly Feb 28, 2017 KD Feb 21, 2017 Boubyan KD Money Market Fund II Boubyan Bank Weekly Feb 28, 2017 KD Feb 21, 2017 Boubyan Capital Investment Co. Boubyan USD Liquidity Fund Boubyan Capital Investment Co Feb 28, 2017 USD Feb 21, 2017 Boubyan Multi-Asset Holding Fund Boubyan Bank Feb 28, 2017 USD Jan 31, 2017 Kuwait Investment Co. Local Fund Al Raed Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly March 2, 2017 KD Feb 28, 2017 Kuwait Investment Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Al Hilal Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Feb 13, 2017 Al Atheer Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 International Global Bond Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 22, 2017 USD Feb 8, 2017 Diversified Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly March 1, 2017 USD Feb 22, 2017 European Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2017 Euro Dec 30, 2016 Pacific Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 22, 2017 USD Feb 8, 2017 North American Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Tw. Monthly Jan 31, 2017 USD Dec 30, 2016 National Investment Co. (NIC) Al-Wataniya Fund NIC Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Al-Darij Fund NIC Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Mawarid Fund NIC Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Zajil Fund NIC Monthly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Al Mada Investment Fund NIC Weekly Feb 28, 2017 USD Jan 31, 2017 Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) Mumtaz Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 23, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 MIDAF Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 23, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 23, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Markaz Arabian Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 10, 2016 KD Nov 3, 2016 FORSA Financial Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Real Estate Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Oct 31, 2016 Markaz Fixed Income Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Feb 23, 2017 USD Dec 31, 2016 Mawazeen International Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 27, 2017 USD Dec 31, 2016 Markaz MENA Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Jan 31, 2017 USD Dec 31, 2016 Kuwait & Middle East Financial & Inv. Co. Al Rou yah Fund KMEFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Dec 31, 2016 Gulf Gate Fund KMEFIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Global Investment House Index Funds GCC Large Cap Index Fund Global Weekly Feb 23, 2017 KD Feb 16, 2017 Funds Fund Manager Valuation Valued date Currency Net Asset Prev NAV Prev NAV Dated Value (NAV) Equity Funds Al-Mamoun Fund A Global Weekly Feb 23, 2017 KD Feb 16, 2017 Al-Mamoun Fund B Global Weekly Feb 23, 2017 KD Feb 16, 2017 GCC Large Cap Fund Global Bi-weekly Feb 21, 2017 USD Feb 14, 2017 Al-Noor Fund Global Bi-weekly Jan 31, 2017 SAR Jan 24, 2017 Global Saudi Equity Fund Global Bi-weekly Feb 21, 2017 SAR Feb 14, 2017 Money Market Funds Global Money Market Fund Global Weekly Nov 20, 2016 USD Sectoral Funds EPADI Fund Global Weekly Feb 21, 2017 USD Feb 14, 2017 Islamic Funds Global GCC Islamic Fund Global Weekly Feb 21, 2017 USD Feb 7, 2017 Al-Durra Islamic Fund Global Monthly Feb 23, 2017 KD Feb 16, 2017 Kuwait Finance & Investment Co (KFIC) Al Wasm Fund KFIC Weekly Feb 15, 2017 KD Jan 18, 2017 Al Basha er GCC Equity Fund KFIC Monthly Dec 31, 2016 USD Nov 30, 2016 KAMCO KAMCO Investment Fund KAMCO Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2016 KAMCO GCC Opportunities Fund KAMCO Monthly July 31, 2016 USD Feb 29, 2016 KAMCO MENA Plus Fixed Income Fund KAMCO Jan 31, 2017 USD Dec 31, 2016 KAMCO Real Estate Yield Fund KAMCO Jan 31, 2017 USD Dec 30, 2016 Kuwait Education Fund KAMCO Quartely Sept 30, 2016 KD Wafra International Investment Co. Wafra Equity Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Jan 1, 2017 Wafra Bond Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Jan 1, 2017 Masaref Investment Fund ISKAN Weekly Jan 31, 2017 KD Jan 1, 2017 Fajir Islamic Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2017 KD Jan 1, 2017 Shuaa Capital Co. Emirates Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Weekly Feb 7, 2017 AED Jan 31, 2017 The Arab Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Weekly Feb 7, 2017 USD Jan 31, 2017 Al Aman Investment Al Aman Islamic Fund Al Aman Investment Weekly Dec 31, 2016 KD Nov 1, 2016 Tharwa Investment Co. Tharwa Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Weekly Nov 10, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Tharwa Arab Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Bi-weekly July 31, 2016 USD June 30, 2016 Tharwa World Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly March 31, 2016 USD March 15, 2016 Tharwa Islamic Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly Dec 31, 2016 KD Nov 10, 2016 Bank Al-Bilad Al Seef Fund Bank Al-Bilad Daily March 1, 2017 KD Feb 26, 2017 Commercial International Bank CIB Money Market Fund (Osoul) CI Asset Management Weekly March 12, 2017 EGP March 8, 2017 CIB II Equity (Isthethmar) CI Asset Management Weekly March 9, 2017 EGP March 8, 2017 CIB and Faisal Islamic Al Aman CI Asset Management Weekly March 9, 2017 EGP March 8, 2017 Hemaya CI Asset Management Weekly March 1, 2017 EGP Feb 1, 2017 Thabat CI Asset Management Weekly March 12, 2017 EGP March 8, 2017 Takamol CI Asset Management Weekly March 12, 2017 EGP March 8, 2017 Misr El Mostakbel CI Asset Management Weekly March 12, 2017 EGP March 6, 2017 Noor Financial Investment Co. Noor Islamic Fund Noor Financial Investment Co Monthly Feb 29, 2016 KD Dec 31, 2015 Al Zumorroda Investment Co. Zumorroda GCC Fund Al Zumorroda Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2016 KD Dec 31, 2015 KFH Capital Investment Co. Muthanna Islamic Index Fund (MUDX) KFH Capital Investment Company Daily Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Muthanna GCC Islamic Banks Fund KFH Capital Investment Company Daily Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 Baitak GCC Fund KFH Capital Investment Company Weekly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017 CapCorp Investment Co. CapCorp Local Fund CapCorp Investment Company Weekly Feb 28, 2017 KD Jan 31, 2017

35 BUSINESS 35 Nigeria cbank governor defends policy Hard currency curbs imposed by Nigeria s central bank have helped boost local food production, central bank governor Godwin Emefiele was quoted as saying by two newspapers on Sunday. Entrepreneurs have criticized a halt to hard currency allocations by the central bank for the import of almost 700 goods to prop up the naira hammered by a fall in oil revenues and boost local food production. This policy was basically borne out of necessity to conserve foreign exchange, Emefiele said in a speech, referring to the import ban, according to Vanguard newspaper. This policy needs to be supported not just in response to the pressure on the naira but as an opportunity to change the economy s structure, resuscitate local manufacturing and expand job creation for our citizens, he added. Emefiele also said Egypt s experience with a free float of its currency did not convince him Nigeria should follow suit as it might increase inflation. I have heard commentators suggest we should follow Egypt s example and free the naira, Emefiele said, according to THISDAY newspaper. What they do not tell you is that following their currency adjustments inflation today in Egypt is over 30 percent. Is that what we want in Nigeria? he said. (RTRS) Kuwait kicks off week with a modest upswing UPAC gains 40 fi ls; Zain drops By John Mathews Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 12 : Kuwait stocks headed north on Sunday as it kicked off the week on a strong footing. The price index climbed pts in volatile trade to 6, points helped by speculative buying in some of the small caps even as the heavyweights mostly sagged. The KSX 15 benchmark dropped pts to 9,56.55 points taking the month s losses to 8 pts while weighted index edged 1.87 points lower. The volume turnover meanwhile was little changed after scaling month s highest level in the last session. 422 million shares changed hands a marginal 1.35 pct drop from Thursday. The sectors closed mixed. Financial services outshone the rest with 1,27 pct gain whereas basic materials shed 1 pct, the worst performer of the day. In terms of volume, financial services accounted for the highest market share of pct and real estate stood close behind with percent contribution. In the individual shares, National Bank of Kuwait dropped 20 fils to 730 fils after trading over 2 million shares and Commercial Bank followed suit to wind up at 440 fils. KIPCO slipped 5 fils to 490 fils whereas Mabanee Co rose 10 fils on back of over 1 million shares. Zain dropped 10 fils to 475 fils whereas Wataniya Telecom (Ooredoo) jumped 40 fils to KD Kuwait Telecomm-unications Co (VIVA) closed 10 fils lower at 810 fils and Agility followed suit. Burgan Bank fell 5 fils and Kuwait Finance House was unchanged at 610 fils off early highs. KFH has registered a fourth quarter net profit of KD million and KD million during the 2016 fiscal year The board has recommended a cash dividend of 17% or 17 fils per share. The market opened flat and slipped into red in early trade. The price index traded choppy briefly and plumbed the day s lowest level of 6, pts before rebounding into green amid fresh buying. It peaked at points in the second half and closed with modest gains. Top gainer of the day, Amwal rallied 9.43 pct to 58 fils and Equipment Holding Co climbed 8.16 percent to stand next. KBMMC slid 8.3 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and Ithmaar Bank topped the volume with over 69 million shares. Reflecting the day s upswing, the winners outnumbered the losers. 66 stocks advanced whereas 45 closed lower. Of the 142 counters active on Sunday, 31 closed flat deals worth KD 31.5 million were transacted a 19.8 pct fall in value from the day before. National Industries Group dropped 8 fils after trading over 2 million shares whereas Gulf Cable gained 10 fils. UPAC soared 40 fils to 920 fils and NAPESCO shed 20 fils. Kuwait Portland Cement was flat at KD whereas Shuaiba Paper Industries dipped 25 fils to 350 fils. Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Co paused at 216 fils. Climbed Jazeera Airways slid 30 fils to 570 fils and ALAFCO stood pat at 244 fils. Humansoft Holding climbed 20 fils with thin volume and Contracting and Marine Services Co closed flat. ACICO Industries and Boubyan Petrochemical Co were unchanged at 305 fils and 570 fils respectively while Metal and Recylcing Co clipped 1 fil. Hilal Cement Co rose 10 fils to 206 fils and Al Qurain Petrochemical Co shed 10 fils. Zimah Holding Co inched 1 fil into green and Mezzan Holding gave up 10 fils. The company s net profits attributable to shareholders jumped 23.1 pct to to KD 4.0 mln in Q4 of 2016 while profits for the full year 2016 profit slipped 11.6 pct to KD 17.1 million. Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co took in 1 fil while KGL Logistica stood pat at 70 fils. Independent Petroleum Group slipped 10 fils and Al Rai Media Group Co gave up 2 fils before settling at 174 fils. In the banking sector, Gulf Bank rose 2 fils to 246 fils extending last session s gains and Ahli United Bank was up 5 fils at 445 fils. Al Ahli Bank was not traded during the session. Kuwait International Bank gained 4 fils on back of 242 fils and Boubyan Bank held ground at 420 fils. Warba Bank stood pat at 260 fils after vacillating narrowly earlier in the day. KIPCO fell 5 fils to 490 fils whereas National Investment Co dialed up 2 fils on back of 2.5 million shares. Kuwait Investment Co eased 1fil and International Financial Advisors closed 2.5 fils higher. Coast Investment Co took in 1 fil. KAMCO fell 2 fils to 85 fils while Unicap and Sokouk Holding added 2 fils each. Noor Financial Investment Co rose 4 fils to 56 fils whereas Tamdeen Investment Co shed 5 fils. Al Mal Investment Co eased 1.5 fils to 22 fils. Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) was unchanged at 99 fils and KFIC slipped 2.5 fils to 45 fils. Securities House Co took in 1 fil on back of 4.8 million shares and Securities Group Co slipped 4 fils. Bayan Investment Co dialed up 1 fil with a volume of 46 fils. National Real Estate Co and Salhiya Real Estate Co were unchanged at 104 fils and 380 fils respectively whereas Argan slipped 10 fils to 164 fils. Mazaya Holding Co clipped 2 fils before closing at 126 fils. The market was largely weak during last week. The main index closed lower in three of the five sessions and shed 34 pts week-onweek. It has dropped 41 points from start of the month and is trading pct higher year-to-date. KSE, with 208 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Al Mazaya Holding net profits soared 31.7 pct to KD 2.59 million in last quarter of 2016 while profits rose 10 pct to KD million during the fiscal year of The board has recommended an annual cash dividend of 8% or 8 fls per share Gulf Glass Manufacturing Co s fourth quarter net profit dipped o 64% in KD 14,000 from KD 39,000 in same period last year. During the fiscal year of 2016, profits was down 48 percent to KD 1.21 million from KD 2.34 mln in the previous year. Al Mowasat Health Care has posted KD 1.8 million profits during the fourth quarter of 2016 and for the fiscal year of 2016, earnings rose 35.3 pct to KD 4.52 million from the year before. The board of directors has recommended a dividend payout of 20% or 20 fils per share. Injazzat Real Estate Development has posted a net profit of KD 550,000 in the last quarter of 2016 and during the fiscal year of 2016, the bank earned KD 3.2 million. Ajial Real Estate Entertainment Company (AREEC) net losses narrowed by 22.7 pct to KD 888,620 from KD 1.15 million in Q4 of The annual profits in 2016 clocked KD 1.5 million and the board has recommended the distribution of cash dividends at 5% of capital. Mideast Stocks Dubai dips to fresh 3-month low Oil price slide hits Saudi shares DUBAI, March 12, (RTRS): Major Gulf stock market indexes mostly closed lower on Sunday after oil prices plunged at the end of last week to a three-month low, but shares in Dubai s Shuaa Capital and Saudi Arabia s Bank Aljazira surged in response to company-specific news. Saudi Arabia s index dropped 1.2 percent as the share prices of all 14 listed petrochemical makers declined, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical falling 3.1 percent. Banque Saudi Fransi lost 2.1 percent after Credit Agricole, which owns 31 percent, said it was satisfied with the performance of the business and would not try to prevent rumours about the sale of its stake from circulating.. Last week Reuters reported that the French bank has hired JP Morgan to advise it on a potential sale of the stake, valued at around $2.4 billion. Meanhile the share price of Bank Aljazira jumped by its 10 percent daily limit after proposing a threefor-10 bonus share issue. Insurance industry shares were mostly weak after a small player, Sanad Cooperative Insurance, said it was planning a voluntary liquidation after its accumulated losses reached 88 percent of its capital. When its shares last traded in 2014 it had a market capitalisation of 302 million riyals ($80 million), Thomson Reuters data showed. Dubai s index fell 1.1 percent to 3,481 points, a fresh three-month low. The index is down almost 7 percent since this year s peak on Feb 9. orders accelerated in the final hour with Dubai Investments sinking 6.5 percent. But Shuaa Capital jumped by its 15 percent daily limit after saying it had agreed to acquire Integrated Capital and Abu-Dhabi based brokerage Integrated Securities. The two targets are controlled by Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), which last November bought percent of Shuaa. Also, local news provider MEED quoted ADFG chief executive Jassim Alseddiqi as saying Shuaa was in talks with a larger regional financial institution for a potential merger in a deal that could be worth billions of dirhams. He did not name the institution or give details; Shuaa and ADFG officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In Kuwait, National Bank of Kuwait fell 2.7 percent as trading in the shares went ex-dividend. However, the main market index firmed in the final hour of trade to close 0.5 percent higher. Egypt s index added 0.5 percent in its eighth straight session of gains, mainly because of a 2.9 percent climb in the largest listed lender, Commercial International Bank ; losing stocks in the index outnumbered gainers 20 to eight. Juhayna Food Industries tumbled 8.2 percent after reporting at the end of last week an 81 percent drop in full- year net profit to 53.7 million Egyptian pounds ($3.1 million). Analysts at Cairo-based Prime Research said direct costs increased by 28.7 percent in 2016, faster than revenue growth of 18 percent, and net financing costs surged 73 percent because of currency factors. Saudi Arabia The index fell 1.2 percent to 6,834 points. Dubai The index declined 1.1 percent to 3,481 points. Abu Dhabi The index edged down 0.5 percent to 4,436 points. Qatar The index added 0.2 percent to 10,491 points. Kuwait The index rose 0.5 percent to 6,742 points. Egypt The index gained 0.5 percent to 12,920 points. Oman The index lost 0.9 percent to 5,741 points. Bahrain The index added 0.9 percent to 1,366 points.

36 BUSINESS 36 UK builder Bovis in talks with Galliford Try after rejecting bids British homebuilder Bovis has rejected a bid approach from rival Galliford Try but remains in talks about a possible deal, the company said on Sunday, adding it had also rejected a proposal from another suitor, Redrow. A tie up between Galliford and Bovis would see the country s sixth- and eighth-biggest housebuilders combine in search of economies of scale in an industry which has reported rising profits in recent years and so far shown little vulnerability to Britain s exit from the European Union. Bovis, whose CEO quit in January following a profi t warning, said in February it would slow construction this year and focus on improving the quality of its homes after complaints from some buyers. Discussions with Galliford Try are ongoing, a Bovis statement said. It said an initial all-share offer had been rejected, alongside a share and cash bid from Redrow because neither reflected the underlying value of the firm. Galliford confirmed it was in talks over a possible purchase, saying it had made an offer that would value the entire issued equity of Bovis at 1.19 billion pounds ($1.45 billion), or 886 pence per share. Bovis shares closed at 828 pence on Friday. Galliford said a merger could create a new major housebuilder with national scale and geographic coverage as well as delivering synergies from combining the two fi rms operational structures, sourcing and operating practices. Its offer proposed an equity split in the combined group of percent to Galliford shareholders and percent to Bovis shareholders. Redrow said it had approached Bovis with a proposal worth a total of 814 pence per Bovis share, made up of cash, new Redrow shares and a dividend payment. Bovis said it had terminated discussions with Redrow after the fi rm indicated it was not willing to improve its offer. The board also concluded that the Redrow proposal was not in the interests of Bovis shareholders as the cash element of the offer would require shareholders to crystallise value at the current Bovis valuation, the Bovis statement said. Redrow said it continued to believe a merger had benefits but there was no certainty a fi rm offer would be made. Earlier this year, Bovis said it saw little logic in a merger with another rival, Berkeley, after a media report said an infl uential Bovis shareholder wrote to Berkeley asking it to consider such a step. (RTRS) Share volatile after IPO Millennials love for Snap extends to the stock too NEW YORK, March 12, (RTRS): For some millennial investors, loyalty to one of their favorite apps matters more than financial details in the case of Snap Inc. The stock of Snapchat s parent company has been on a rollercoaster ride since its market debut last week, surging more than 70 percent from the initial public offering price in the first two days of trading and plunging back down by a quarter since. Some seasoned investors have been wary of the volatile, relatively high-priced stock of a company that has yet to report a profit. But novice investors said their deep affinity with the disappearingmessage app prompted them to jump in. I bought it even when I was pretty positive I would not make a profit in the short run, but just because I am a fan of the product, said Chris Roh, a 25-year-old software engineer in San Francisco, who has only been trading stocks for about a month on Robinhood, a mobile trading app popular among millennials. Snap sold shares at $17 a piece in its IPO on March 1. The day after, on the first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the stock popped as high as $ Roh said he bought the stock on that first trading day at $25 a share. Trading activity on Robinhood jumped by 50 percent on the day of Snap s debut, with more than 40 percent of those who traded that day buying Snap shares. The median age of Snap shareholders on the platform were 26, the same age as Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel, according to Robinhood. Snap s surge extended into the second day of trading, March 3, when its stock went as high as $ It has sunk 25 percent since, closing on Friday at $ Consultant Kaleana Markley, a 29-year-old human resources consultant in San Francisco, bought Snap shares as her first stock market investment. Snap just felt like the IPO of my time and seeing where Facebook and Amazon are now, I really think Snap has the potential to grow (like them), said Markley, who bought the shares through Stockpile, another online brokerage aimed at millennials, generally defined as people reaching young adulthood in the early part of this century. Markley said she bought some shares in Snap on the first day of trading and some more on the second day, when the stock hit the highest level of its short lifetime. There are a lot of companies I don t know or recognize, but Snap, I use the product, and know everyone my friends, my co-workers, even my parents uses it. Although some more experienced investors have avoided lossmaking Snap, millennials were not alone in their hunger for shares of the company, which now has a market value of more than $25 billion. Many sophisticated institutional money managers were also intent on getting a piece of the hottest tech IPO in years, despite concerns about the company s slowing user growth and lack of voting rights for new shareholders. Snap declined to comment on trading in its shares. Companies with especially enthusiastic customer bases, such as action-camera maker GoPro Inc, social games company Zynga Inc and English soccer club Manchester United Plc, have in the past attracted fans to dabble in their IPOs. Active But the wildly popular Snapchat with an average of about 158 million daily active users appears to be taking the enthusiasm to another level, some analysts and brokers said. One of the non-fundamental reasons driving the stock is that many millennials purchased Snap shares at inflated levels due to their preference for the product, said Shebly Seyrafi, managing director at FBN Securities. That is, not due to a real understanding of the number or valuation. Snapchat s users, mostly in the age range coveted by advertisers, spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app and visit it more than 18 times a day, according to the company, making it more visited than any other social media platform. Snap is tapping into the pride of ownership (for millennials) which we don t see often in the stock market, said Dan Schatt, chief commercial officer at Stockpile. Snap s IPO gave Stockpile its biggest single day since it launched in 2015, nearly 10 times the service s daily average in transaction and sales. Snap is offering the comfort of buying something that you know so well, understand and use it every day, which is what these young investors want, said Schatt, whose teenaged daughter and son also bought Snap shares with his approval on Stockpile. On StockTwits, a Twitter-like platform for sharing trading ideas, where 40 percent of users are between the ages of 18 and 34, Snap has been the most talked-about stock for days. There are concerns about slowing user growth and competition from Facebook Inc. The overall sentiment on the stock is now 44 percent bullish and 56 percent bearish, compared to early February when bullish sentiment was 100 percent, according to StockTwits. That has not deterred Tiffany Dun, a San Francisco-based mortgage consultant in her late 20s who purchased 125 shares in Snap on the first day of trading at about $22 a share. Greenback bounces against majors; investors continue to shun pound By National Bank of Kuwait United States This week s strong employment report cemented next week s hike now priced as a certain probability. For the skeptical, other than registering solid job gains in most sectors, unemployment rate dropped, participation rate climbed, and the annual growth rate in average hourly earnings bounced back after January s drop. The other very positive news out of the report was the participation rate edging higher to 63% and the unemployment rate falling from 4.8% to 4.7%. The participation increase accompanied by a drop in unemployment rate is always a melody to Fed members prior to a FOMC interest rate decision. The only caveat in the report was the fact that February was the warmest ever recorded and the effects showed up in the construction sector where payrolls jumped up by 58,000, the largest monthly increase since Another sector that seems to have seen the light in the wake of the Trump election is the Factory payrolls increasing by 28,000. Back to Europe, ECB President Draghi maintained a status quo on the back of encouraging economic data rebound across the Euro zone without signaling any tapering needs for now. If growth momentum continues in the second half of the year following a positive election result in France, then the ECB press conference can recuperate its volatile status as the ECB monetary policy will most likely need to shift to a tapering stance. For now, all eyes turn to the Netherlands on March 15 and France May 7 in order to see if the block can be saved and no major political risk can materialize. On the currency front, the US dollar index was well bid throughout the week but couldn t break the 102 level again. Although the ECB press conference was a non-event as Draghi did not want to rock the boat prior to the French elections, the currency bounced back higher by the end of Friday to end the week at Investors continue to shun the Sterling Pound this week. As the currency moved slightly higher following the trade deficit figures release, other economic data did not help as industrial and manufacturing production were also released giving back about half of their prior months gains. In the commodities space, gold remained under pressure this week on the back of the strong economic data. The metal closed Friday around the $1,200 level. Oil prices tumbled by the most in more than a year on Wednesday, after the EIA reported that US crude oil inventories had climbed for a ninth consecutive week. Brent crude ended the day down 5.3%, while crude fell by 5.8%. Prices recovered slightly on Gold under pressure on back of strong economic data Thursday and Friday, but remained low even with the strong US Job report. In an interview given this week, Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve was on a pretty good track as it prepares to raise interest rates next week and gradually thereafter. They want to move enough to make sure that inflation does remain under control, which it is giving every indication of being. He also added that Fed officials are communicating that they intend to move next week and intend to continue to gradually normalize interest rates afterward so long as the economic outlook remains strong, unemployment keeps falling and wage increases pick up. So far it seems they re on a pretty good path, he said. Finally, he also mentioned that he expects the Fed to begin reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet about another year or so from now after it has raised rates further away from the so-called zero lower bound. He endorsed Yellen s strategy of shrinking the balance sheet by allowing the Fed s bond holdings to roll off as they mature and not using it as an active tool of monetary policy. On the validity of the Trump s administration promises, he advocated a little bit of caution as a number of the elements of the Trump program are questionable in terms of their legislative prospects and advocated not to expect at some point both a reduction in the corporate tax rate and the income-tax rate. He also said he was somewhat skeptical that Congress would pass a big infrastructure program given the opposition of some Republican lawmakers to larger budget deficits. According to the ADP employment change report, businesses added 298,000 private-sector jobs in February, significantly above the 189,000 consensus. Goods-producing industries have been a great source of strength to the ADP in recent months. In February, they recorded a 105k rise and in January a 55k rise, up from monthly averages of 7k in Q4, 9k in Q3, and -2k in Q2 of last year. Construction payrolls have also accounted for 60% of the acceleration between Q4 and Q manufacturing accounted for 33%; and energy 8%. The data indicate that the U.S. job market remains robust in the beginning of Job growth increased more than expected in February and wages rose steadily, giving the Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates next week. Indeed, nonfarm payrolls rose by 235,000 jobs last month as the construction sector recorded its largest gain in nearly 10 years due to unseasonably warm weather. The economy created 9,000 more jobs in December and January than previously reported. With the labor market near full employment, wage growth could speed up as companies are forced to raise compensation to retain employees and attract skilled workers. According to economists, wage growth of between 3% and 3.5% is needed to lift inflation to the Fed s 2% target. Europe & UK This week was the ECB s turn to signal a status quo, by reiterating its commitment to a substantial degree of monetary accommodation, while at the same time tweaking its language to acknowledge good data and reduced downside risk. Markets took it as a sign that Draghi successfully managed a delicate balancing act by maintaining their interest rate easing bias, without extending the long term financing operations. Despite the fact that the ECB s new staff projections contain higher forecasts for growth and inflation, the ECB prefers to wait for the French elections results to potentially change their language during the June 8th meeting. The final reading of Europe s GDP came as expected in the fourth quarter of Overall 2016 growth came in at 1.7%, on the back of a strong momentum according to rising business output and higher consumer sentiment. Indeed, household spending has been powering the Euro zone s economies over the last year and rose by 0.4% in the quarter, while investments were up by 0.6%. The only laggard was the usual Greece contracting by a worse than expected 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Exports were up 1.5%, while imports climbed 2% from a 0.1% decline in Q3. UK Brexit Set for a Nasty Fight In the wake of the article 50 trigger, the German government told ministry staff this week that its primary aim in the upcoming Brexit negotiations is to stop the U.K. from dividing the European Union. According to the document drafted by the German Foreign Ministry, Germany s foremost priority during and after the negotiations with the U.K. is the continued unity of the 27 remaining EU nations. Adding to May s headache, after repeatedly threatening to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, the tone in Scotland has hardened in recent weeks. Brexit could Rates - 12 March, 2017 Currencies Open Low High Close Minimum Maximum Forward EUR GBP JPY CHF represent a great opportunity for Nicola Sturgeon to hold another vote on independence before the UK leaves the EU. Clearly if this case materializes, it is likely to add uncertainties to the UK economy and the Sterling Pound. Asia China s inflation rose by 0.8% over the year in February against expectations of +1.7%, and fell by 0.2% on a monthly basis against expectations of +0.6%. Food prices were down by 4.3% mainly due to the timing of the Lunar New Year end of festivities. The Product Price index increased on the other hand by 7.8% over the year in February, ahead of the +7.7% market estimate and the fastest of growth since September 2008 On the currency front, PBoC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said that as the Chinese economy stabilizes and becomes healthier, and the nation makes achievements in the supplyside reforms, and global investors become more confident in China s economy, the yuan s exchange rate will naturally be on a trend to stabilize. At the same time, we don t have major changes to our related policies but we will be more precise when implementing and regulating the market. Therefore, under such circumstances, the yuan s exchange rate will be relatively stable. Japan fourth quarter GDP was revised up to 1.2% on a yearly basis and +0.3% on a quarterly basis, but missed estimates of +1.6% and +0.4%. The increase was driven by the capital expenditure component of GDP, which rose by 2.0% over the quarter, the fastest pace of growth since Q Against expectations, Japan also reported a current account surplus of JPY65.5 billion in January, below the median forecast for a surplus of JPY239.0 billion, which seems to be omen of good news towards the export driven economy. BoJ`s Board member Takako Masai said that the BoJ will maintain highly accommodative financial conditions, with a view to achieving the price stability target of 2%, and ensure the overcoming of deflation. The Bank s assessment is that Japan s economy is expected to turn to a moderate expansion The RBA left its cash rate as expected unchanged at 1.5% this week. In its statement, the central bank said that the improvement in global growth has led to higher commodity prices which in turn is providing a significant boost to Australia s national income. Regarding the exchange rate, the RBA noted that an appreciating exchange rate would complicate the transition following the end of the mining investment boom. Kuwait Kuwaiti Dinar at The USDKWD opened at on Sunday morning. BEC Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK KFH KBE BEC Muzaini Dollarco Commercial Bank Gulf Bank NBK Burgan Bank ABK KFH KBE BEC Muzaini Dollarco Gulf Bank ABK KFH KBE exchange rates March 12 Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy US dollar Danish krone Cyprus pound Sterling pound Indian rupee Yemeni riyal travellers cheques US dollar Sterling Euro local gold BEC Commercial Bank Gulf Bank Al-Ahli Bank BEC Muzaini Exchange Euro Pakistani rupee Thai baht Japanese yen Sri Lanka rupee South African rand Swiss franc Bangladesh taka Korean won Gold 999 kg 12, Canadian dollar Philippine peso Syrian pound Gold tola 1, Gold ounce Swedish krona Australian dollar Iranian Riyal Gold gm 22k Saudi riyal Gold gm 21k Hong Kong dollar Lebanese pound Gold gm 18k UAE dirham Singapore dollar Malaysian ringgit gm Bahraini dinar gm Jordanian dinar Indonesian rupiah Omani riyal Egyptian pound New Zealand dollar All rates in KD per unit of foreign currency

37 INTERNATIONAL 37 WikiLeaks release gives rise to multiple theories Who and why, twin mysteries behind leak of CIA s cybertools WASHINGTON, March 12, (AP): It s not just who did it, but why. WikiLeaks release of nearly 8,000 documents that purportedly reveal secrets about the CIA s tools for breaking into targeted computers, cellphones and even smart TVs has given rise to multiple theories about who stole the documents and for what reason. Perhaps it was a US spy or contractor who felt jilted. Maybe the CIA was exposed by a foreign country that wanted to embarrass US intelligence. Could it have been a CIA insider worried about Americans privacy rights? Some possible motives behind last week s disclosure: From the source In a statement released with the documents, the anti-secrecy group launched by Julian Assange in 2006 said the source told the organization that there are policy questions in urgent need of public debate Among them were whether the CIA s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The CIA, while not confirming that the documents are authentic, isn t necessarily buying that explanation. As we ve said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity, CIA spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said. She said the CIA s work would continue despite the efforts of Assange and his ilk. Robert Chesney, a national security law expert from the University of Texas School of Law, said WikiLeaks could have put the material online to damage the reputation of US intelligence agencies. Julian Assange is in the business of trying to reduce American power. That s just fact, he said. It s about giving the CIA s reputation a black eye, he said. I think they are trying to induce panic and make people even more skeptical of the intelligence agencies. Assange said during an online news conference Thursday that it was not true that WikiLeaks was focused on the United States. He cited recent publications dealing with Germany and Turkey and numerous references to Russia and China throughout WikiLeaks previous releases. People raise this for distracting reasons, to try to question the messenger because the content itself is so powerful, he said. Jilted contractor Spies go rogue for many reasons: money, a quest for fame, ego, they are coerced or compromised. WikiLeaks said the material came from an isolated high-security network inside the CIA s Center for Cyber Intelligence. The group said the material appears to have been circulated among former US government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner and that one of them gave WikiLeaks part of this cache. Assange suggested that spies, former intelligence officials and contractors had been sharing the material, potentially to feed a growing for-profit market in electronic espionage tools. He said it appeared that not only was it being spread among contractors and former American computer hackers for hire, but now may be in the black market. Traditionally, money has been a key motive. But Frank Cilluffo, who directs the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University, thinks leakers might leak for different reasons today. If they were doing it to make money, why would they go to WikiLeaks? he asked. He said Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked classified material exposing US government surveillance programs, was not motivated by money. Likewise, Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking many thousands of classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, said she did it not for money but to raise awareness about the war s impact on innocent civilians. Foreign meddler It s not impossible to imagine an insider walking out of the CIA with the data, said Bob Ayers, a retired US intelligence officer currently working as an international security analyst based in England. But Ayers, who appeared opposite Assange in a debate over whistleblowers in London several years ago, said his instincts are that a foreign country is involved. I think the Russians are behind it, I really do, he said. James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, also suspects a sleight of hand by the Kremlin, which he says has used WikiLeaks in the past. He pointed to WikiLeaks statement about receiving the material from a source who thinks there needs to be a debate about whether the CIA s hacking exceeds its mandated powers. Lewis said the source who believed that the CIA had gained too much power probably lives in Moscow. There is a long-term campaign by the Russians to damage the US and the intelligence community, he said. It s too early to tell if this is another part of that although it fits that pattern. I think the biggest concern is that we are in a new kind of fight with Russia and we are losing. Return Syrians Continued from Page 1 A question that begs to be asked is Isn t it better for the countries, which are gathering their armies and spending billions, to save that money and souls, and instead work on helping the displaced Syrians return to their country? By doing so, wouldn t it be of more benefit for these countries because they will be pushing the wheel of economy forward through their participation in the rebuilding process? After six years of war, not a single party involved has achieved any of its objectives. The factions which revolted have not toppled the regime or even agreed on an alternative which will receive the Syrian consensus or at least get the support of a majority. Instead, the war helped in the establishment of terrorist groups such as DAESH, Nusra Front and Hezbollah, which have committed crimes against humanity in different ways. They openly declared that they are striving to topple all the regimes in the region and establish their own state. It reached the stage where their crimes were extended to the Western countries and they managed to pull about 60 countries into the war. From the beginning, we have been insisting that the solution is for the 12 million Syrian refugees to return to their homes. They are the only ones to decide on the type of regime they want after rebuilding the country. If the war continues, its scope is bound to expand and its fire will burn other nations. In fact, the gathering of military forces of Russia, Iran, USA and Turkey threatens the expansion of the crisis into becoming a world war. Is this what the major countries want? Exemptions possible Continued from Page 1 She noted the committee has agreed on the importance of employee s presence in his job long enough to benefit from his experience. She stressed the committee will carefully revise the articles, as it can t vote collectively on all different proposals, and therefore the decision was to postpone deliberations to a future meeting. She said there are cases of female employees who are not married but take care of their families. She wondered why they are obliged to work until the age of 55. She added the proposals considers the retirement age for women 45 while it is 50 for men but and does not agree with this view. She said the Public Institution for Social Security stated that the retirement age in neighboring countries including GCC is 55 for women and 65 for men. She noted she had forwarded a query to the Institution about the impact of adopting such amendments for early retirement. She noted the response she received was that this impact is a financial burden on the Pension Fund and the actuarial deficit. She expressed her agreement with the opinion of the institution. Zain towers Continued from Page 1 March last year that Zain was narrowing the field of potential bidders for its towers in Kuwait. In addition, Zain s affiliate Zain Saudi said in December that it was in talks to sell its towers to a consortium comprising TASC SAL and ACWA Holding. The Saudi sale would fetch over $500 million, a top executive said. Third of west Continued from Page 1 by far the largest city Islamic State has held since the group s leader Abu Bakr al-baghdadi proclaimed a caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria from a mosque in Mosul in the summer of The group is expected to pose a continuing threat, reverting to insurgent tactics such as bombings. As an array of forces dismantle Islamic State s self-proclaimed caliphate across Iraq and Syria, more evidence is emerging of the war crimes committed by the Sunni Islamist militants, who targeted Shi ite Muslims and religious minorities as well as opponents from their own sect. The remains of hundreds of mainly Shi ite inmates killed by Islamic State militants when they overran a prison in northern Iraq more than two years ago have been unearthed by forces retaking the area from the group, a spokesman Qaeda-linked group claims deadly attack in Damascus BEIRUT, March 12, (Agencies): An al-qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility Sunday for twin blasts near holy shrines frequented by Shiites in the Syrian capital Damascus that killed at least 40 people as a suspected airstrike by the US-led coalition killed at least 17 in northern Syria, activists said. The Levant Liberation Committee said in a statement that the attack was carried out by two of its suicide attackers, claiming that they targeted pro-iranian and progovernment militiamen. It identified the suicide attackers as Abu Omar and Abu Aisha. The Syrian government maintains that the attacks killed 40 people. However the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights increased its estimated death toll on Sunday to 74. Conflicting casualty estimates are common in the aftermath of violence in Syria. The attacks in Damascus show that Syrian militant groups can still strike deep inside the capital where security is tight, with scores of checkpoints that search cars and ask people for identity cards. The claim of responsibility comes at a time when al-qaeda s branch in Syria known as the Fatah al-sham Front is trying to market itself as the only effective force against Assad and the main defender of the country s majority Sunnis. Fatah al-sham is opposed to peace talks between the opposition and the government that have taken place recently in Geneva and the Kazakh capital of Astana. Fatah al-sham as well as the Islamic State group have been excluded from a cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey that went into effect on Dec 30. Saturday s attack also wounded over a hundred, most of them Iraqis, according to Syrian and Iraqi officials. The al-qaeda-linked group said the blasts were a message to Iran a main backer of Assad. Iran and its militias have, from the start of the revolution, supported the tyrannical and criminal regime and have been killing and displacing our people, the statement said. This is a message to Iran and its militias that the right will not go wasted. The Levant Liberation Committee is a coalition of several militant groups dominated by Fatah al-sham. The attacks came two weeks after members of the same group stormed two different security offices in the central city of Homs, killing and wounding scores of people, including a top Syrian security official. In northern Syria, opposition activists said a suspected US-led coalition airstrike hit a school in the village of Kasrat just south of the city of Raqqa, killing at least 17 people. The airstrike came amid an offensive by US-backed Kurdish-led fighters against the Islamic State group in the northern province of Raqqa that is home to the extremists de facto capital. The Observatory said Sunday s early airstrike killed 19 people, including eight who fled violence in the nearby province of Aleppo. The activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said the airstrike killed 17. On Thursday, at least 20 civilians, including some children, were killed in suspected US-coalition airstrikes on a village east of Raqqa. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-assad said US forces in Syria were invaders and he had yet to see anything concrete emerge from US President Donald Trump s vow to prioritise the fight against Islamic State. Assad has said he saw promise in Trump s statements emphasising the battle against Islamic State in Syria, said. An Iraqi Shi ite paramilitary group made the discovery after driving the militants from the Badush area where the prison is located, as part of a wider US-backed campaign to dislodge Islamic State from the city of Mosul. As an array of forces dismantle Islamic State s self-proclaimed caliphate Suspected coalition strike kills 17 Ancient artifacts are seen inside a tunnel, under the rubble of the destroyed Mosque of The Prophet Younis, or Jonah, in Mosul, Iraq on March 11. (AP) across Iraq and Syria, more evidence is emerging of the war crimes committed by the Sunni Islamist militants, who targeted Shi ite Muslims and religious minorities as well as opponents from their own sect. Initial checks of part of the mass grave revealed remains with prison uniforms and lined up in a way that inwhere US policy under President Barack Obama had backed some of the rebels fighting Assad and shunned him as an illegitimate leader. We haven t seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric, Assad said in an interview with Chinese TV station Phoenix. We have hopes that this administration in the United States is going to implement what we have heard, he said. The United States is leading a coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In Syria, it is working with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias. Their current focus is to encircle and ultimately capture Raqqa Islamic State s base of operations in Syria. This week, the US-led coalition announced that around 400 additional US forces had deployed to Syria to Ancient palace revealed under destroyed shrine Scars of looting at Mosul museum MOSUL, Iraq, March 12, (Agencies): After two and a half years under Islamic State control, all that is left in Mosul s museum are the traces of looting and destruction. Inside the rubble-strewn building, where militants filmed themselves destroying ancient artifacts, the large stone wing of a statue of lamassu an Assyrian winged bull deity lies on the dusty floor among other broken remnants of the past. A block engraved with Arabic Islamic calligraphy lies close by, and some Islamic manuscripts have been left undamaged. But almost everything else has gone. What they didn t loot they destroyed, said Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Amir al-mohammedawi, of Iraq s elite Rapid Response units, who captured the museum building from Islamic State just days ago. The battle against the militants still raged nearby on Saturday, however, as a Reuters cameraman visited the site with Iraqi troops. Dozens of Assyrian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Persian and Roman artifacts that the ransacked museum held have all been stolen or damaged. Some were smuggled out of Iraq, Mohammedawi said. Islamic State militants filmed themselves smashing some of the building s contents including priceless statues with sledgehammers in 2015, as part of their highly publicised campaign to erase any cultural history that contravenes their extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam. But they have also used the antiquities as a source of income. Excavations under an ancient mosque elsewhere in Mosul, recently discovered after the militants retreated, showed that they took care of artifacts for loot. The efforts to avoid damaging some antiquities contrast with the destruction of ancient sites across Islamic State s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, from the desert city of Palmyra to the Assyrian capital of Nimrud, south of Mosul. The United States has said the looting and smuggling of artifacts has been a significant source of income for the militants. In July 2015, US authorities handed Iraq a hoard of antiquities it said it had seized from Islamic State in Syria. A US-backed Iraqi campaign dislodged Islamic State from most Iraqi cities captured in 2014 and The militant group is now fighting in its last major urban stronghold, in the western part of Mosul, where the museum is located. The outside of the building, which features Roman-style columns, is blackened from shell or rocket blasts and peppered with bullet holes. help with the Raqqa campaign and to prevent any clash between Turkey and Washington-allied Syrian militias that Ankara sees as a threat. Asked about a deployment of US forces near the northern city of Manbij, Assad said: Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation... are invaders. We don t think this is going to help. Around 500 US forces are already in Syria in support of the campaign against Islamic State. Assad said that in theory he still saw scope for cooperation with Trump, though practically nothing had happened in this regard. He dismissed the US-backed military campaign against Islamic State in Syria as only a few raids, and said a more comprehensive dicates they were shot dead in groups, said Karim Nouri, spokesman for the Hashid Shaabi, a state-run umbrella for Shi ite paramilitary groups. One of those groups the Abbas Division is fighting alongside the regular Iraqi army, which in recent days jointly completed the encirclement of Mosul, about 10 kms (6 miles) A Chaldean Catholic church next to it has also been mostly gutted, its altar cracked down the middle. The body of an Islamic State fighter lay just outside the church on Saturday, days after the fighting had moved further forward. Iraqi troops dusted off some of the historical stone slabs lying on the floor in the museum, which lies just outside Mosul s old city one of the final Islamic State strongholds in Mosul. Also: MOSUL: Iraqi archaeologists think that tunnels dug by Islamic State militants under a destroyed shrine in Mosul have revealed the palace of an ancient Assyrian king who ruled some 2,700 years ago. IS fighters blew up the shrine of the biblical Jonah s tomb in 2014 after taking control of the city. They started digging tunnels into the side of the hill under the shrine, leading to the discovery. Ancient inscriptions and winged bulls and lions were found deep in the tunnels, thought to be part of the palace of King Esarhaddon, who ruled the Neo-Assyrian empire in the 7th century B.C. The militants may have been looking for artifacts to loot. IS was pushed out of eastern Mosul by Iraqi forces in January. The battle continues for western Mosul. approach was needed. The US-led coalition is currently backing a campaign by its Syrian militia allies to encircle and ultimately capture Raqqa, Islamic State s base of operations in Syria. Assad noted that the Russian-backed Syrian army was now very close to Raqqa city after advancing to the western banks of the Euphrates River this week a rapid gain that has brought it to the frontier of areas held by the US-backed forces. He said Raqqa was a priority for us, but indicated that there could also be a parallel army attack towards Deir al-zor in the east, near the Iraqi border. Deir al-zor province is almost completely controlled by Islamic State, also known as ISIS. southeast of Badush. The militants used the prison to hold their own captives including thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority, but blew it up some time before Iraqi forces drew near. Human Rights Watch said in a report that as many as 600 people were killed in the Badush prison massacre, which took place on the same day that Islamic State militants captured Mosul in June The militants corralled the inmates, who had been serving sentences for a range of crimes from murder and assaults to nonviolent offences onto trucks and drove them to an isolated stretch of desert about 2 km (1 miles) from the prison, HRW said. There, they separated a few Sunni and Christian inmates from the rest, who were overwhelmingly Shi ite, before forcing them to form one long line along the edge of a ravine and machine-gunning them down. The report was based on the testimony of more than a dozen men who survived by playing dead or because they were shielded by the bodies of other prisoners who fell on top of them. We are waiting for forensic teams and human rights officials to begin unearthing the grave to uncover the whole story of how the ruthless criminal Daesh (Islamic State) killed them in cold blood only because they were from a certain sect, Nouri said. In other news, an Iraqi Yazidi woman held as a sex slave by Islamic State militants says her advocacy for other victims has left her completely exhausted and frustrated that her captors have not faced justice. Nadia Murad and her attorney Amal Clooney appeared at a United Nations event on Thursday to ask that the crimes of Islamic State militants be investigated and prosecuted, and they criticized the international body for inaction. Murad, who turned 24 on Friday, was among thousands of women and girls abducted, tortured and sexually abused by militant fighters in northwest Iraq in She first spoke before the UN Security Council in 2015 and has become an advocate for the Yazidi, speaking to governments and appealing to the international community to act. It is very hard to come here every time, and nothing tangible takes place, Murad told the Thomson Reuters Foundation after her appearance at the United Nations. It s very hard for the victims as well to hear there is no progress. Murad said she was abducted from her village in Iraq and taken to the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. She was tortured and repeatedly raped before she escaped three months later. Newswatch Continued from Page 1 It s undeniable that there s a lot of really good unanswered questions about why senior Trump officials are, at best, not being forthcoming about their interactions with Russians, Earnest told The Associated Press. Stone is somebody that we know, that President Trump has acknowledged, that he relies on for political advice. (RTRS) RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says US President Donald Trump has assured him of his commitment to Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Abbas on Sunday spoke about what he described as a constructive phone call with Trump two days earlier. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Abbas as saying that Trump asserted his full commitment to the peace process. (AP) ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday called on international organisations to impose sanctions on the Netherlands, as a diplomatic row over Ankara s political campaigning among Turkish immigrants in Europe continues to simmer. Speaking at an event in Kocaeli province, near Istanbul, Erdogan said the Netherlands was acting like a banana republic, and criticised European countries for failing to voice criticism for the Netherlands treatment of Turkish ministers. (RTRS) PORT-AU-PRINCE: At least 34 people were killed and 17 injured in northern Haiti late on Saturday after a bus crashed into a parade of pedestrians, the country s civil protection authorities said on Sunday. The bus, which was coming from Cap Haitien to the capital Port-au-Prince, crashed into a rara parade in the town of Gonaives in the northern part of the country, authorities said. Rara parades are groupings of musicians playing traditional instruments who are often joined by passers-by. (RTRS)

38 LEISURE Sherman s Lagoon By J.P. Toomey N E W Y O R K T I M E S CROSSWORD 38 Mutts By Patrick McDonnell Hagar The Horrible By Chris Browne Beetle Bailey By Mort Walker Garfield By Jim Davis Baby Blues By Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott Conceptis Sudoku The grid must be so completed that every row, column and 3x3 box has every digit from 1 to 9 inclusive Answer to yesterday s puzzle Challenger DIRECTIONS: Fill each square with a number, one through nine. Horizontal squares should add to totals on right. Vertical squares should add to totals on bottom. Diagonal squares through center should add to total in upper and lower right. THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE SOLUTION. Today s Challenge Time 10 Minutes 5 Seconds Your Working Time Minutes Seconds Word by Word Yesterday s solution A little dog sits in a meadow with crocuses at the banks of river Rhine in Duesseldorf, Germany on March 10. Weather forecasts predict spring-like weather in some parts of Germany over the weekend. (AP) contract bridge By Steve Becker Scratch pad odds n ends NEW YORK: The brazen killing of a rhinoceros at a wildlife park near Paris by assailants who removed a horn valued at nearly triple the price of gold has put zookeepers on notice that poaching could be spreading beyond the killing fields of Africa and Asia. Demand for the horns is skyrocketing in Asia, where they are ground into a powder and used for medicinal purposes by some who believe it cures everything from cancer to hangovers. More than 90 zoos in the United States housing rhinoceros adhere to rigorous security requirements and comply with regular inspections for accreditation, said Dan Ashe, president and chief executive of the Maryland-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums. But he conceded Friday: Nobody is insulated from this potential; we have made sure our members are aware of what occurred in Paris and they are quite vigilant. Everybody is sobered. Jacques-Olivier Barthes, a spokesman for the World Wildlife Fund in France, said zoos in Europe may have to change their security procedures in light of the attack. He said there are 300 rhinoceros in Europe, including 111 in Great Britain. If there is a change of criminal strategy and a swing from robbery in museums to crude crime of animals, it will also imply a change of means of protection for the zoos and African reserves which are in Europe, he said. Offi cials in France said Tuesday that a 5-year-old white rhinoceros named Vince was shot three times in the head by poachers who broke into the Thoiry Zoo. They used a chain saw to remove the rhino s horn. Imagine an animal running around with a big gold horn, said Ashe, who said some estimate the horns could sell for as much as $3,000 an ounce, or between $500,000 and $1 million. The value is extraordinary, and unfortunately there are criminals out there that will take a risk. (AP) BERLIN: A brown bear broke out of its cage at a zoo in northern Germany on Saturday and was shot dead by a zoo keeper after shocked visitors were led to safety, police said. Nord West Media TV said the bear escaped through a hole in its cage and that staff at the zoo in Osnabrueck took visitors into the monkey house to shelter. Numerous police officers rushed to the zoo... together with staff at the zoo, the whole area was evacuated, a police spokeswoman said, adding that a second bear had been found safe inside its pen. No one was hurt in the incident. (RTRS) Familiarity Olfa Familiarity breeds contempt. Al olfa majlabah lealestikhfaf. Numbers 7502 Seven thousand five hundred two Sabat alaf wa khamso maah wa ethnan

39 SPORTS 39 SAILING SAP Extreme Sailing Team clinch overall victory Strong start for Oman Air in thrilling season opener MUSCAT, March 12: Team Oman Air got their bid for Extreme Sailing Series glory off to a solid start claiming third place in the season opener on their home waters. The prize giving ceremony, held at al Mouj Golf, was attended by His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Nasser Al Harrasi Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and Television, Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi Oman Sail Chairwoman and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, and Oman Sail CEO, David Graham. The crew, now with $1 million World Match Racing Tour winner Phil Robertson at the helm, scored 16 podium finishes in 27 races including four wins as the nine Extreme Sailing Series crews went head to head for the first time this year. A wet and wild final day saw Oman Air s foiling GC32 catamaran blasting round the stadium racecourse off Almouj Golf at blistering speeds of more than 28 knots in pursuit of the first spoils of the season. But they had to settle for third place after being bested by Danish crew SAP Extreme Sailing Team and 2016 Extreme Sailing Series champions Alinghi, from Switzerland. Oman Air s podium finish follows on from their victory last week in the inaugural GC32 Championship that saw 11 crews from the Extreme Sailing Series and the GC32 Racing Tour compete in Muscat. A tricky opening day to the Act saw Oman Air struggle to find their trademark speed as the fleet did battle to the backdrop of Muscat s old town of Muttrah. A masterclass in consistency opposite Muscat s Almouj Golf then saw them overhaul early leaders SAP Extreme Sailing Team to go top of the leaderboard. In an epic penultimate day, Oman Air traded places at the top of the table with SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi on numerous occasions over nine intense races. The three heavyweight teams went into the final double points-scoring race each capable of taking the overall win. SAP Extreme Sailing Team clinched overall victory crossing the line in second, and in order to secure the runner-up spot Oman Air had to finish within one place of Alinghi. But in a last-minute blow to their hopes Tawera Racing got between them right before the finish line and Oman Air were relegated to third. Skipper Robertson admitted to being slightly disappointed but said the newlook crew on Team Oman Air had much to take from their first Extreme Sailing Series outing. We are a bit gutted to end up third, he said. We were in some strong positions and just managed to slip in the last race, but that s yacht racing. It s a long season and there are some really positive signs for the team. We ve had a pretty good two events here in Muscat with a first place in the GC32 Championship and now a third in the Extreme Sailing Series. If you d told us before the season that s what we d get we would have taken it. Oman Air s long-serving bowman Nasser Al Mashari said the team would come back stronger in the remaining seven Acts as they attempt to better their second-place overall finish in It was a very tough final day here in Muscat, he said. We tried to do our best to hold on to our podium position and I think third is not too bad seeing as it s only the beginning of the season. We will get better for the rest of the events but so far so good. It is the seventh year that Muscat has featured on the Extreme Sailing Series calendar and it is routinely described by the sailors as one of their favourite venues. Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series is the latest high-profile event to be hosted by Oman Sail, the national initiative to HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received the players and members of Alqarya Alolya sports club from the Eastern region, chaired by Hayef Aldowish, at KHC headquarters. Prince Alwaleed awards SR 250,000 including a bus to Alqarya Alolya sports club reignite the maritime heritage of Oman, cementing Oman s reputation as a world class venue. The event attracted extensive international coverage this year including one day of live coverage on Oman TV with Arabic commentary as well as 14 other broadcasters around the world. Oman TV also facilitated free access to the live streaming of the racing to international broadcasters for two days, supporting Oman Sail to gain increased exposure HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud received the players and members of Alqarya Alolya sports club from the Eastern region, chaired by Hayef Aldowish, at KHC headquarters. Prince Alwaleed met with Aldowish who was accompanied by the club delegation. The latest updates of the club and its achievements were discussed at the meeting. Prince Alwaleed stressed the need to support sports and the athletes as well as the development of for the Sultanate. The Extreme Sailing Series will resume with Act 2 in Qingdao, China, from April 28 to May 1. Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 results: 1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 286 points 2nd Alinghi (SUI) 270 points 3rd Oman Air (OMA) 270 points 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) sports clubs in Saudi Arabia and to encourage the young generation to hone its athletic skills and invest their time in useful activities. As a form of encouragement, Prince Alwaleed awarded the club a total of SR250,000 in support 247 points 5th Team Tilt (SUI) 235 points 6th Team ENGIE (FRA) 199 points 7th Tawera Racing (NZL) 195 points 8th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 173 points 9th NZL Sailing Team (NZL) 142 points Extreme Sailing Series 2017 overall standings of the club members, players, the club s budget and in addition a bus. In conclusion, to the event Aldowish thanked Prince Alwaleed for his support and his constant encouragement to clubs and sport federations in Saudi Arabia. 1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 12 points 2nd Alinghi (SUI) 11 points 3rd Oman Air (OMA) 10 points 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 9 points 5th Tawera Racing (NZL) 8 points 6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 7 points 6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 7 points Flames shutout Jets as Senators top Avalanche Kempe s fi rst NHL goal propels Kings past slumping Caps NFL Roundup Free plans to retire Panthers sign free agent DE Peppers WASHINGTON, March 12, (RTRS): The Carolina Panthers signed unrestricted free agent defensive end Julius Peppers to a one-year contract on Saturday. The Panthers also announced the signing of free agent cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to a four-year contract as they return both players. Peppers will receive $3.5 million with incentives that could pay up to $4.25 million, according to ESPN. Munnerlyn s deal is worth a reported $21 million, with $10.5 million guaranteed, including a $6 million signing bonus. University of Washington cornerback Sidney Jones, a projected first-round pick and the number 22 overall rated player by NFLScout.com, suffered a lower left leg injury during his Pro Day workout Saturday and was carted out of the Huskies Dempsey Center. The Cowboys lost their second offensive lineman in as many days with right tackle Doug Free announcing he plans to retire. The move came one day after guard Ronald Leary signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent. Free, 33, has been an ironman for the Cowboys, starting all 16 games in six of the last seven seasons. The Cleveland Browns may have traded for quarterback Brock Osweiler with his $16 million guaranteed salary on the first day of free agency, but he is expected to be dealt again or released. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Browns are shopping the 26-year-old Osweiler after they acquired him Thursday in a trade with the Houston Texans. Closing ceremony of Extreme Sailing Series Muscat. Oliphant 2nd, Pereira 3rd in second race of round 5 Cullen extends Championship lead MANAMA, Bahrain, March 12: Ireland s Ryan Cullen has secured back to back race wins in the penultimate round of Season 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) to extend his lead in the drivers championship. Cullen crossed the line seconds ahead of Britain s Tom Oliphant in second and third placed Dylan Pereira of Luxemburg. The win is monumental for the Irishman. It sees Cullen take a sizable step forward and potentially unstoppable momentum towards claiming his first driver title in the region s most professional and competitive series. With only two races of Round 6 remaining Cullen (238 pts) is now 33 points clear of closest rival Frijns (205 pts) in second and CAR RACING Oliphant (198 pts) in third, 40 points behind the leader. For Cullen the textbook double victory has set up the mouth-watering prospect of clinching a maiden title on the ultimate stage as the final round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will support the showpiece Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, April 15-16th Speaking after the race win Cullen said: That was one of the closest races this season. It was a good clean race and I definitely enjoyed the win. I managed to open up a small gap early on but started to make a few mistakes. Fortunately they weren t big ones and each time Tom Oliphant put the pressure on behind me, I pushed even more and managed to keep the gap in front. I don t know where this leaves me on points after this weekend but that doesn t mean anything to me, I want to keep pushing and aim Ireland s Ryan Cullen celebrates victory in Round 5 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Bahrain International Circuit. to finish my season with two race wins next round! On a second successive day of racing the drivers were met with untypical overcast and blustery conditions but it did little to dampen the excitement or speed as drivers took to the shortened Oasis configuration circuit measuring 2.55KM. Again qualifying proved critical and a massive factor in the overall race result as Cullen took full advantage of his pole position. The opening race of Round 5 had highlighted that the short technical circuit offered few genuine opportunities for overtaking so drivers were fully committed in the qualifying session. Two days in a row Cullen had to immediately turn his attacking exploits in qualifying into defence from literally the first corner of the race. Oliphant who was desperately seeking his first win relentlessly pursued the Irishman and exerted as much pressure as possible from the first lap to the last. But to no avail. Over 20 laps of racing on the limit the front two could not be separated with Cullen edging it. The gap remained under a second throughout in a perfect advertisement for the Porsche series. It was a similar theme across the field as no driver could pull away from those in front or behind. Second placed Oliphant added: There hasn t been much between myself and Cullen all weekend. I knew after qualifying today that it was going to be hard to get past him but I think I put him under enough pressure, tried to force a mistake but he defended well and I couldn t find the right opportunity to get past. It was a tough race and there wasn t ever any more than a couple of tenths of a second between us, overall it s a good result for me and a great end to the weekend. From the very start of the season we have had our issues and things we have had to work on but we came over here to the Middle East to learn and improve, and this has definitely been the case and now I feel like I am really on the pace as I head back to Europe to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain Championship. I now have lots of confidence going back to Brands Hatch in the UK at the end of the month. The tussle between Pereira who finished in third and Charlie Frijns in fourth was equally enthralling, with Pereira just holding onto his slim lead having benefitted from a better start than the Qatarbased driver. The top six places were completed by rookie driver from Oman Al Faisal Al Zubair in fifth and Saudi Arabia s Bandar Alesayi sixth. The duo will now continue their battle for the silver category into the final round with only a point between them. The final round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East takes place on Saturday April 15 and Sunday April 16 in Bahrain as part of the official weekend line-up for the. race. WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 12, (AP): Brian Elliott made 31 saves for his second consecutive shutout as the Calgary Flames extended their winning streak to nine games with a 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik each scored on the power play as the victory also gave Calgary points in 11 straight games. The Flames also jumped in the NHL standings. Their 80 points tied them with Anaheim, but Calgary moves into second place in the Pacific Division because they have three more wins than the idle Ducks. Alex Chiasson also scored, while Frolik added one assist and Dougie Hamilton, a game-time decision, had ICE HOCKEY three assists. Senators 4, Avalanche 2 In Denver, Craig Anderson made 14 saves to set the franchise wins mark as Ottawa defeated Colorado for its sixth consecutive victory. Alex Burrows and Mike Hoffman each had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which tied Montreal atop the Atlantic Division with 84 points. Anderson earned win No. 147 with Ottawa and passed Patrick Lalime for the top spot. Fredrik Claesson and Ryan Dzingel also had goals for the Senators. Calvin Pickard stopped 27 shots and Matt Nieto and Sven Andrighetto scored for the Avalanche. Kings 4, Capitals 2 In Los Angeles, Adrian Kempe scored his first NHL goal with 11:14 to play and captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in Los Angeles victory over NHL-leading Washington. Marian Gaborik also scored and Jonathan Quick made 17 saves in a big win for the Kings, who have won three of four as they fight to stay in the playoff race. Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal as Los Angeles won back-to-back games for the first time since early February. Penguins 3, Canucks 0 NHL Results/Standings WASHINGTON, March 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NHL games on Saturday: Los Angeles 4 Washington 2 Pittsburgh 3 Vancouver 0 Arizona 5 New Jersey 4 St Louis 4 NY Islanders 3 Ottawa 4 Colorado 2 Calgary 3 Winnipeg 0 Western Conference Central Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Minnesota Chicago Nashville St Louis Winnipeg Dallas Colorado Pacific Division W L OTL GF GA PTS San Jose Calgary Anaheim Edmonton Los Angeles Vancouver Arizona Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) tries to get a shot past Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, March 11, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP) In Vancouver, British Columbia, Matt Murray made 27 saves as Pittsburgh beat Vancouver. Jake Guentzel, Ian Cole and Conor Sheary scored for the Penguins, who have won five straight and are in sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division ahead of Columbus. The Canucks took another hit to their already bleak playoff outlook, slipping 10 points back for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Bruins 2, Flyers 1 In Boston, Drew Stafford scored with 5.6 seconds left in the third period when his dump-in shot tipped off Philadelphia defenseman Brandon Manning s stick, lifting Boston to the win. David Pastrnak had a power-play goal, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for Boston, which improved to 10-3 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, who replaced fired Claude Julien on Feb.7. Predators 3, Sharks 1 In San Jose, California, Ryan Johansen and James Neal scored goals to help Nashville snap a four-game losing streak with a victory over San Jose. After starting their California swing with a shootout loss in Anaheim and an overtime defeat in Los Angeles, the Predators head home on a high note by beating the defending Western Conference champions. Backup goalie Juuse Saros made 25 saves for the win. Paul Martin scored the lone goal for the first-place Sharks, who lost for just the second time in seven games. Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 2, OT In Raleigh, North Carolina, Morgan Rielly scored 2:13 into overtime to lift Toronto over the Carolina. Rielly s wrist shot past Cam Ward gave Toronto its third straight victory and moved them one point ahead of the New York Islanders for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Mitch Marner and James van Riemsdyk also scored for Toronto and Frederik Andersen made 36 saves. Sabres 5, Blue Jackets 3 In Buffalo, New York, Evander Kane scored a power-play goal with 2:29 remaining as Buffalo rallied from a threegoal deficit to beat Columbus. Sam Reinhart, Matt Moulson and Jake McCabe scored to tie it and Jack Eichel added an empty-netter for Buffalo. Robin Lehner stopped all 24 shots he faced after taking over for Anders Nilsson to start the second period. Nilsson was yanked after giving up three goals on 12 shots. Lightning 3, Panthers 2 In Tampa, Florida, Ondrej Palat scored with 2:23 left to give Tampa Bay a victory over Florida. Palat redirected Andrej Sustr s shot to complete Tampa Bay s comeback from a two-goal deficit. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves and Nikita Kucherov and Yanni Gourde also scored for the Lightning. Coyotes 5, Devils 4 In Glendale, Arizona, Tobias Reider and Anthony DeAngelo each had a goal and an assist as Arizona handed New Jersey its 10th consecutive loss. The Coyotes led 4-0 early in the second period but needed the goal from the rookie DeAngelo with 6:29 to play for what proved to be the winning margin. DeAngelo s goal, a patient shot through traffic from the slot, put Arizona up 5-3 before John Moore s backhanded upper shelf shot past goalie Mike Smith cut it to 5-4 with 4:58 remaining. Blues 4, Islanders 3 In St Louis, Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice to lead St. Louis over New York. Alexander Steen and Patrik Berglund also scored as the Blues won their fourth straight game. Carter Hutton stopped 21 of 24 shots. Buffalo 5 Columbus 3 Tampa Bay 3 Florida 2 Toronto 3 Carolina (OT) 2 Nashville 3 San Jose 1 Boston 2 Philadelphia 1 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Ottawa Montreal Boston Toronto Tampa Bay Florida Buffalo Detroit Metropolitan Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Washington Pittsburgh Columbus NY Rangers NY Islanders Philadelphia Carolina New Jersey Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

40 SPORTS 40 Left to right: Participating team pose for a group photo during the IGC s 3rd annual Volleyball tournament. EWF crowned champions, defeating KST in 2 straight sets IGC holds 3rd Annual Volleyball Tournament KUWAIT CITY, March 12: Islamic Guidance Center (IGC) Kuwait organized successfully its 3rd Annual volleyball tournament. IGC announced its 3rd Volley Ball Tournament that was conducted on 3rd and March 10, 2016 at Block 2, Abu Halifa. A total of 12 teams registered for the tournament with teams representing various Associations including IGC Islamic Guidance Center KIFF Kuwait India Fraternity Forum NAF Net Achievers Forum K-Tic Kuwait Tamil Islamic Committee KST Koonimedu Sports Team EWF Engineers Welfare Federation IIC Iqra Islamic Committee MSCP Muhamedian Sports Club Pudu Athur Salmiya SPIKERS Abuhalifa champions JMC Jamal Mohamed College Alumni Kuwait Chapter MISK Majlis Ihya Sunnah Kuwait IGC Volleyball organizing Committee invited the Captains from the participating teams for a meeting on Tuesday (1st March) for teams introduction and tournament guidelines briefing. As an outcome of the meeting, groups were formed and tournament fixtures with timing was announced. IGC s President Janab. Syed Hussain, Vice- President Mohamed Salih, Dy. Gen. Secretary Br Rafiq and Sports Committee Members Dr Sadiq, Br Abdul Basheed, Br Yusuf and Br Thahir inaugurated the 3rd Volleyball tournament on March 03, The opening ceremony was followed by league matches, were the teams competed with other teams in the same group to reach the top of the group. At the end of first day of the tournament, top 2 teams from each group advanced into the Quarterfinals. Quarter-Finals: As the stage was set for highly competitive knock-out matches on day 2, every team came with full preparation and determination to reach the finals and win the prestigious IGC s tournament Trophy. It was anybody s tournament as it was difficult to find a favorite Champion at Winners celebrate after winning the IGC s 3rd annual Volleyball tournament. this point. First quarterfinal match was won by KST team against JMC and gained a spot in the Semifinal berth. Quarterfinal-2 match between MSCP and KTIC was one of highlight matches of the tournament which was played at high standards and went down to the wire where Israel improve to 4-0 at WBC TOKYO, March 12, (AP): Israel took advantage of timely hits and solid pitching on Sunday to beat Cuba 4-1 and improve to 4-0 in the World Baseball Classic. Alfredo Despaigne put Cuba up 1-0 with a solo home run in the second inning at Tokyo Dome but Israel tied the game in the fourth on a double by Ryan Lavarnway that scored Ike Davis from first. Team Israel took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Zach Borenstein singled to right scoring Ty Kelly from second base. Blake Gailen made it 3-1 with a two-out double to right that scored Nate Freiman. Israel tacked on another run in the eighth on a sacrifice bunt by Gailen that scored Borenstein from third. Starter Jason Marquis gave up one run on four hits over 5-2/3 innings. Zach Thornton picked up the win after coming on in the sixth and recording four outs. Josh Zeid pitched out of a basesloaded jam in the eighth when he got Willian Saavedra to ground out to third with two out and finished the game for the save. Israel will face the Netherlands on Monday looking to maintain its perfect record. In their previous game in the first round in Seoul, Israel beat the Netherlands 4-2. Japan faces the Netherlands later Sunday. The top two teams in the second round advance to the March championship round Lindor homers twice as Puerto Rico rout Mexico 9-4 Israel s Blake Gailen hits an RBI double off Cuba s pitcher Jose Angel Garcia during the sixth inning of their second round game of the World Baseball Classic at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 12. (AP) at Dodger Stadium. Israel s team is made up almost entirely of Jewish-American players who have major and minor league experience. The team has created a stir in the WBC but manager Jerry Weinstein was quick to put things in perspective. In Guadalajara, Mexico, Francisco Lindor hit two home runs, Jorge Lopez pitched 4-1/3 solid innings and Puerto Rico inched closer to the second round of the World Baseball Classic with a 9-4 win over Mexico on Saturday night. Lindor hit a two-run shot in the first inning and added a solo homer in the seventh. The Cleveland shortstop had three hits and three RBIs. There was some concern in the stands in the eighth inning, when a fight broke out among some fans. Players from Puerto Rico came out of the dugout because many of their families were seated close to the area. Javier Baez even attempted to jump the fence to make sure his family was OK. Lopez allowed two hits and one run while striking out five. Baez hit a three-run homer in the ninth to secure the win for Puerto Rico, which lost in the WBC final four years ago. The Puerto Ricans lead Group D with a 2-0 record, while Italy and Venezuela are both 1-1 and Mexico is 0-2. The Puerto Ricans can qualify for the next round with a win over Italy on Sunday. The top two teams from the group will advance. Chicago White Sox pitcher Miguel Gonzalez took the loss, allowing four hits and four runs in four innings. Mexico is still in contention, but needs a win over Venezuela and a loss by Italy against Puerto Rico. In Miami, with their team playing the United States in a frenzied atmosphere at the World Baseball Classic, Dominican rooters spent much of the game on their feet while honking horns, pounding drums and rattling noisemakers. Eventually they rattled the Americans. Nelson Cruz hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Andrew Miller in the eighth inning, Starling Marte added a solo shot off the All-Star reliever and the defending champion Dominicans overcame a five-run deficit to beat the United States 7-5 Saturday night. The US fell to 1-1 and is in jeopardy of being eliminated in the first round. The Americans, who play Canada on Sunday, failed to reach the finals of the three previous WBCs. The Dominicans improved to 10-0 in the past two Classics, including 2-0 this year. They can clinch first place in Pool C and advance to the second round by beating Colombia on Sunday. Meanwhile, Julio Teheran threw five solid innings to help Colombia beat Canada 4-1 in its second World Baseball Classic pool game Saturday afternoon. Teheran settled down after surrendering Atlanta Braves teammate Freddie Freeman s RBI single in the first that gave Canada a 1-0 lead. Teheran allowed one run and two hits and retired the final 13 hitters he faced after Freeman s single. Donovan Solano s second runscoring single drove in Tito Polo in the fifth to give Colombia a 2-1 lead. Polo reached on a two-out single, stole second and scored on Solano s sinking line drive to center off Canada reliever and losing pitcher Ryan Kellog. Yohan Pino relieved Teheran and pitched three scoreless innings and Dayan Diaz struck out the side around two singles in the ninth for the save. KTIC team kept its nerve till the final set to win the match and advanced into semifinals. NAF played an aggressive game against IIC team but failed to defeat the pumped up IIC team who then advanced to the Semis. Final Quarter final match was between EWF and Salmiya Spikers. With high expectation on Salmiya spikers team, EWF remained composed to win the match and became semi-finalist 4. Semifinals: As clock ticked past 9 AM, the tournament was well poised with four of the best teams in the tournament KST, KTIC, IIC and EWF which advanced into the semifinals round. With a nail-biting quarterfinal win, KTIC became a highly anticipated team to reach the finals and they met against KST team which had the tournament s most valuable player Rizwan. This was also a match with some spectacular plays from both teams and went into the decider set after both teams winning one set each. KST proved to be the best of the two by winning the decider set and clinched the Finalist-1 spot. IIC and EWF played the second semi-final match. A determined IIC team gave an aggressive competition to EWF team but EWF seemed unshakable and became a worthy Finalist-2. Championship Match: The most awaited match of the tournament, a match that would crown the tournament Champions began with KST and EWF playing in the Final. EWF displayed a well-constructed strategy which devised by observing all the KST matches. Dawood setting up almost every play, Zainul and Kashif captivated on them which earned EWF quick points. On the other hand, many forced error by KST team couldn t help Rizwan to put up a strong fight in the final. EWF became the Champions of IGC s 3rd Volleyball tournament by defeating KST team in two straight sets. Award Ceremony: Most Improved Team Award KTIC Most Cooperative Team Award NAF Fair play Award EWF Most Sportive Team Award IIC and JMC Match poised for exciting finish NZ vs SAfrica 1st Test ends in draw after final day wash-out WELLINGTON, March 12, (RTRS): The first Test between New Zealand and South Africa ended in a draw on Sunday after heavy rain washed out the fifth and final day s play in Dunedin, leaving both sides frustrated at losing the chance to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The match had been delicately poised entering the final day with South Africa 224 for six in the second innings, a lead of 191 runs, with captain Faf du Plessis on 56 and Vernon Philander on one at University Oval. Heavy rain that began early on Sunday, however, ensured a delayed start and after the scheduled lunch break was taken at 1 pm (0000 GMT), umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Bruce Oxenford decided there was no chance of any play. I think the game was shaping up quite nicely for all three results, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. The game was certainly in the balance and it s just a shame not to get any play today. But it s nice going into the second match with both teams having played some good cricket. New Zealand will enter the second match at Wellington s Basin Reserve without batting stalwart Ross Taylor, who tore his calf muscle during the first innings, while left arm pace bowler Trent Boult is under an injury cloud. (Trent) does have a little niggle but we don t know how serious it is yet. He will travel with us to Wellington and hopefully he will recover. He is a big player for us. Du Plessis felt his side could also have won the game had they set New Zealand a target of about 250 runs in 60 overs. It was set up to be a great finish, du Plessis said. We were looking to get about another 50 or 60 runs and on this wicket the ball is turning nicely and (left-arm spinner) Keshav (Maharaj) got five in the first innings. South Africa s opening batsman Dean Elgar, who scored 140 in the first innings and 89 in the second, was named man of the match. The second game in Wellington starts on March 16, before the third match at Seddon Park in Hamilton begins on March 25. Scoreboard SOUTH AFRICA 1st innings 308 (D. Elgar 140, T. Bavuma 64, F. du Plessis 52; T. Boult 4-64) NEW ZEALAND 1st innings 341 (K. Williamson 130, J. Raval 52, B. Watling 50; K. Maharaj 5-94) SOUTH AFRICA 2nd innings (Overnight: 224-6) S. Cook c Watling b Boult... 0 D. Elgar c Williamson b Patel H. Amla c sub b Wagner J. Duminy lbw b Wagner F. du Plessis not out T. Bavuma b Santner... 6 Q. de Kock b Patel... 4 V. Philander not out... 1 Extras (b-1 lb-3 w-1)... 5 Total (for 6 wickets, 102 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-0 S. Cook, 2-39 H. Amla, J. Duminy, D. Elgar, T. Bavuma, Q. de Kock To bat: K. Maharaj, M. Morkel, K. Rabada Bowling T. Boult ; N. Wagner (w-1); M. Santner ; J. Patel ; J. Neesham Referees Umpire: Kumar Dharmasena Umpire: Bruce Oxenford TV umpire: Rod Tucker Match referee: David Boon National Bank of Kuwait is committed to rewarding its customers with the best exclusive services NBK and MasterCard offer cardholders opportunity to attend UEFA CL Final 2017 KUWAIT CITY, March 12: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has launched its annual campaign to reward NBK MasterCard Credit Cardholders by offering them four chances to win two tickets to the semi-final and final matches of UEFA Champions League Final Cardiff 2017 held in Whales. As the official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, MasterCard will be sponsoring the tickets provided to winners. The campaign, which runs through April 30, 2017, provides NBK MasterCard Credit Cardholders with the chance to be a part of the most popular sporting event in the world, with two winners getting the opportunity to attend the Semi-finals, and two winners attending the Final to be held on June 3, The fully-paid trips, which include a roundtrip airline ticket, hotel accommodation and game tickets, in addition to roundtrip transportation to and from the stadium, are all offered by MasterCard. NBK Assistant General Manager- Consumer Banking Group, Hanadi Khazal, said that NBK is always keen on rewarding its customers by presenting them with the best exclusive and innovative services and products, and through its collaborations with the most prominent and leading companies worldwide. NBK is the only bank in Kuwait to run such a campaign for its cardholders. Khazal added that this campaign is extremely popular in Kuwait and there is an ever-growing interest to follow its uniquely enthusiastic games. Thanks to our exclusive collaboration with MasterCard, football fans will have an exclusive chance to attend the most sought-after final games of the UEFA Champions League, directly on the stadium s grass field. Pankaj Kathuria, Area Business Head, Northern Gulf, MasterCard, said: MasterCard has a rich history of supporting globally renowned football events, and we have always endeavored to bring cardholders unique experiences that take BASEBALL them to the heart of their favorite games. We are excited to offer our cardholders rewarding incentives that give them the opportunity to embark on exceptional and priceless experiences. NBK MasterCard credit cardholders will be entitled to one entry into the draw for every KD 1 spent using their Hamadi Khazal VOLLEYBALL credit cards locally, and three chances when they use their cards abroad during their travels outside of Kuwait or when they make a purchase online. Cardholders can boost their chances of winning by increasing the usage of their credit card during the length of the campaign. NBK firmly establishes its leadership in the credit card domain in Kuwait through its continuous dedication to providing more preferential services and benefits to NBK Credit Cardholders, and its constant keenness for innovation and presenting rewarding offers that meet the expectations and aspirations of its clients. NBK credit cards have a worldwide global acceptance, as they are considered the most convenient method of payment, while providing numerous distinctive benefits, discounts, and rewards. For more information, contact NBK Call Center at , or visit our website at nbk.com or NBK social media pages on and on CRICKET Williamson NBK UEFA campaign

41 SPORTS 41 Spurs roll to victory over Warriors BIRMINGHAM, England, March 12, (AP): Top-ranked Lee Chong Wei won his fourth All England Open crown on Sunday and changed his mind about it being his 13th and last visit to badminton s oldest championship. After swatting aside first-time finalist Shi Yuqi of China 21-12, 21-10, Chong Wei said he will return to defend the title of his favorite tournament. Every year I come here I feel like I am playing at home, the Malaysian said. Before the event, he said this would be his last All England, then almost didn t make it. He tore a cruciate ligament in his left knee on Feb. 4 when he slipped on court mats in training, and wasn t cleared until nine days before the tournament. He still played in pain and with the knee heavily strapped and yet, despite all the pre-tournament drama, sliced through his draw dropping just one game. No. 10-ranked Shi knocked out Chong Wei s great nemesis, Lin Dan, in the semifinals. He won his maiden Superseries final in Paris in October. But he d been well beaten in his two previous matches with Chong Wei and never looked like hurting the Malaysian in this final. Chong Wei outmaneuvered Shi, made him scramble, and smashed winners to his left and right. He was behind only once, by a point early. He won five straight points for and an air of inevitability enveloped the final. Late in the second, Shi earned a net kill to trail but rolled right over his right ankle and needed strapping. Two OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif, March 12, (AP): Mikaela Shiffrin shook her head after a final run that featured plenty of mistakes followed by some remarkable recoveries. She left the door open, she feared. Turns out, not so much. Not the way she s racing. The American standout clinched her fourth slalom title in five seasons before she took her first run and then capped off an electric day with the win at a World Cup race in Squaw Valley on a warm Saturday. I m not proud of my skiing, I think it was very scrappy and I m proud of the fight, Shiffrin said. But it s not my best skiing. To fight my way to the finish and come away with another win today, sometimes it s better to do that than to feel like I skied unbelievable. Trailing going into the final run, Shiffrin overcame some early slip-ups to turn in a combined time of 1 minute, seconds. Then, she anxiously waited to see if it was good enough. First-run leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was the last racer of the day and took some chances before crashing out near the finish line to give Shiffrin her 31st career World Cup victory. Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic was second, 1.03 seconds back, and Bernadette Schild of Austria Wizards pick up controversial road win No. 10 ranked Shi knocked out Lee wins 4th All England title BADMINTON Malaysia s Lee Chong Wei poses for the photographers holding his trophy following the medal ceremony after winning the men s singles fi nal against China s Shi Yuqi at the All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, England, March 12. (AP) unforced errors gave Chong Wei match point, and the latter took it with a smash winner to Shi s forehand. His fourth All England title tied him with countrymen Wong Peng Soon and Eddy Choong, who won theirs in the 1950s when the All England was the unofficial world championship. Chong Wei didn t retire after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where he won a third straight silver medal, to fulfil his dream of a world championship with his Olympic chance gone. He d suggested the worlds in Glasgow in August would be his swansong, but at 34 and on a lessthan-perfect knee, he remains a formidable opponent who will play on next year. Strachova 2nd, Schild 3rd Shiffrin clinches slalom title, wins World Cup race at Squaw Mikaela Shiffrin competes during the fi rst run in the women s World Cup slalom competition on March 11, in Olympic Valley, Calif. (AP) NBA Results/Standings finished third. Shiffrin, who turns 22 on Monday, completed the Squaw Valley sweep, winning the giant slalom Friday as the World Cup returned to hill for the first time since Exhausted, she fed off the crowd s energy. It was amazing to hear them screaming, said Shiffrin, who s from Eagle-Vail, Colorado. An incredible crowd, so happy to be competing in front of them. She now leads the race for the overall title by a commanding 378 points over Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia heading into the final four competitions at the World Cup Finals in Aspen. That doesn t give Shiffrin any sense of added comfort, though, in her bid to join Phil Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn as the only Americans to win the overall crown. It s something I feel like I haven t quite earned yet, even if I have it almost on paper, Shiffrin said. It adds a little bit of pressure almost. Shiffrin wrapped up the season-long slalom title when her closest competitor, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia, wiped out right before Shiffrin took her first turn through the challenging course. Shiffrin wound up the morning session in second place, 0.02 seconds behind Holdener. This is what I want and now I have to go for it, Holdener said about her strategy going into run No. 2. Holdener went for it all right, but skied out with just a few slalom gates remaining. I didn t necessarily take the win from her, Shiffrin said. Sometimes, that happens. Sometimes, you fall. She was going for it. It s really amazing to compete with someone like her on the World Cup.... She has so much aggression. It s really cool to have someone push me like that. Her celebration plans are modest a well-earned nap. The only thing want to do after winning a race is sleep, Shiffrin joked. It s the only thing I ever want to do at all. WASHINGTON, March 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NBA games on Saturday. Denver 105 Sacramento 92 Washington 125 Portland (OT) 124 Atlanta 107 Memphis 90 Phoenix 100 Dallas 98 San Antonio 107 Golden State 85 Milwaukee 102 Minnesota 95 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Boston Toronto NY Knicks Philadelphia /2 Brooklyn Central Division W L PCT GB Cleveland Indiana /2 Detroit Milwaukee /2 Chicago /2 Southeast Division W L PCT GB Washington Atlanta /2 Miami /2 Charlotte /2 Orlando SKIING Miami 104 Toronto 89 New Orleans 125 Charlotte (OT) 122 Cleveland 116 Orlando 104 Detroit 112 NY Knicks 92 LA Clippers 112 Philadelphia 100 Oklahoma City 112 Utah 104 Western Conference Northwest Division W L PCT GB Utah Oklahoma City Denver Portland Minnesota /2 Pacific Division W L PCT GB Golden State LA Clippers Sacramento Phoenix LA Lakers /2 Southwest Division W L PCT GB San Antonio Houston /2 Memphis /2 Dallas New Orleans /2 SAN ANTONIO, March 12, (AP): Patty Mills had 21 points as the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in a game short on star power to pull within a half-game of the NBA s top record. The big showdown between the league s top two teams turned into a huge letdown with both teams missing their star players. Already without Kevin Durant due to a knee injury, Golden State opted to rest Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Wizards 125, Trail Blazers 124, OT In Portland, Oregon, John Wall scored 39 points as the Wizards picked up a controversial road win. It looked as if Markieff Morris stepped out of bounds before making a go-ahead baseline jumper with 0.4 seconds left in overtime. The crowd at the Moda Center howled in protest and the players pointed to the video replay to no avail. Heat 104, Raptors 89 In Miami, Dion Waiters scored 20 points while Tyler Johnson added 16 as the Heat improved to 21-4 over their last 25 games. Goran Dragic scored 15 and Hassan Whiteside added 12 points and 14 rebounds for Miami. Dragic played only 41 seconds in the second half, leaving after taking an elbow from Toronto s Cory Joseph. Thunder 112, Jazz 104 In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook had 33 points, 14 assists and 11 BASKETBALL rebounds for his 32nd triple-double of the season, leading Oklahoma City to the victory. Westbrook broke a tie with Wilt Chamberlain ( ) for the secondmost triple-doubles in a season. Oscar Robertson set the record of 41 in Pelicans 125, Hornets 122, OT In Charlotte, North Carolina, Anthony Davis had 46 points and 21 rebounds as the Pelicans defeated the Hornets with DeMarcus Cousins sitting on the bench during crunch time. Davis had 15 points in the fourth quarter and nine more in overtime, including a three-point play on an offensive rebound to put the Pelicans ahead for good with 1:11 left. Cavaliers 116, Magic 104 In Orlando, Florida, LeBron James had 24 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds as Cleveland stopped a threegame losing streak. Kyrie Irving scored 22 points and Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers, who had dropped four of five overall. The Magic played them close for much of the game, but couldn t match shots with James and the defending NBA champions down the stretch. Bucks 102, Timberwolves 95 In Milwaukee, Tony Snell scored 19 points while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 as the Bucks earned their season-high sixth consecutive victory. Milwaukee had seven players score in double figures. Matthew Dellavedova scored 16 points and Greg Monroe finished with 12. Suns 100, Mavericks 98 In Dallas, Devin Booker hit a 19-footer with 1.4 seconds left to lift Phoenix to the road win. Booker scored 25 of his 36 points in the second half. He scored the Suns final eight points, twice making tying baskets. After the Mavericks Wesley Matthews missed a 3-point attempt, Booker hit the winner. The Mavericks failed to get off a shot before time expired. Clippers 112, 76ers 100 In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored 30 points and DeAndre Jordan had 19 points and 20 rebounds, helping the Clippers to their fourth win in five games. Paul also had seven assists and Blake Griffin added 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Clippers trailed after three quarters but opened the final period with a 10-0 run. Los Angeles has beaten Philadelphia in 10 of their last 11 meetings. Hawks 107, Grizzlies 90 In Memphis, Tennessee, Taurean Prince scored a career-high 17 points as the Hawks handed the Grizzlies their fifth straight loss. Prince had three of Atlanta s 15 3-pointers. Paul Millsap had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, and Dennis Schroder finished with 16 San Antonio Spurs forward Kyle Anderson (left), attempts to shoot against Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee during the second half of an NBA basketball game, on March 11, in San Antonio. (AP) Yousef Al-Sabah (center), celebrates on podium with 2nd place Aisha Al-Qaoud and 3rd place Abdulrahman Al- Fazee with the organisers. Yousef Al-Sabah claims 4th Horse Jumping champ ship title The title and the grand prize of the Fourth Horse Jumping Championship, which was sponsored by the Public Authority of Sports and organized by the Hunting and Equestrian Club, was won by Yousef Al-Sabah after his horse Fimki managed to jump 140 cm in two rounds without any mistakes. In second place was Aisha Al- Qaoud with the horse Aronta, while Abdulrahman Al-Fazee with the horse Adeer Yo took third place. The winners were awarded their prizes by the Secretary General of the Hunting and Equestrian Club Ahmad Abul, and a board member of the club Ayed Al-Mutawa. In the 130cm category, Ali Al- Kharafi took first place with the horse Nautalis, followed by Abdulrahman Al-Fazee with the horse De Boshka, and Bavel Franco with the horse Dorameed in second and third places Kerber sails, Venus outlasts Jankovic at Indian Wells Pospisil sends Murray packing Best of the Rest Andrade takes WBA title: Dem-etrius Andrade defeated Jack Culcay by split decision to take the Ecuadorian-born German s WBA super welterweight title on Saturday. The unbeaten American started well but allowed Culcay to grow in confidence before recovering to convince two of the judges to score it in his favor. The other had it for Culcay. (AP) Kraft wins ski jump WC: Austria s Stefan Kraft soared to victory in Sunday s round of the ski jumping World Cup and took the overall lead as his main title rival Kamil Stoch underperformed. Kraft destroyed the rest of the field with a 132-meter secondround jump that lifted him into first place with a total score of points on the Holmenkollbakken hill. (AP) Bergsma wins WC trophy: Hea-ther Bergsma of the United States won the overall speed skating World Cup title Sunday after a convincing victory in a 1,500-meter race. As well as the overall win, Bergsma won by over half a second to snatch the 1,500 discipline title from standings leader Marrit Leenstra and add it to the 1,000 title she won on Saturday. (AP) Hendry wins NZ Open: Michael Hendry won a three-way playoff Sunday to capture the New Zealand Open, becoming the first homegrown winner of the tournament since The 37-year-old Hendry claimed his sixth professional title, and his third on the PGA Tour of Australasia, when he made par on the first playoff hole, the par-3 18th, while his rivals Brad Kennedy of Australia and Ben Campbell of New Zealand both put their tee shots into a greenside pond. (AP) points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Nuggets 105, Kings 92 In Sacramento, California, Jamal Murray scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as Denver held on for the road win. Gary Harris had 24 points and Nikola Jokic added 20 points and 14 rebounds as the Nuggets beat the Kings for the second time in six days to even the season series. Pistons 112, Knicks 92 In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Tobias Harris scored 23 of his 28 points in the first half, leading Detroit to the victory. The Pistons have had some issues with slow starts lately, but they raced out to an 18-point lead in the first quarter against New York. Harris finished the period with 11 points in what was an encouraging effort by Detroit, which was coming off an emotional win over Cleveland on Thursday night. INDIAN WELLS, California, March 12, (RTRS): World number one Andy Murray was sent packing from the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday after losing (5) to Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil. Pospisil delivered the knockout punch in style, whipping a crosscourt winner on his fourth match point in front of the near capacity crowd at Indian Wells that included former boxing champion Mike Tyson. Pospisil, ranked 129th in the world, was rewarded for his aggressive approach, rushing the net whenever the opportunity arose and pouncing on Murray s second serve. I knew I was a long shot. I ve played Andy four times and didn t win a set, the 26-year-old told Tennis Channel. I felt like I had the ability to (win) but to actually go through is a whole new thing. I tried to bring different tactics... versus the other times I played him. I didn t want to give him the same look each time. I wanted to put pressure coming into the net, using my strength, which is my ability at the net and serving well. Pospisil joked that his lowly current world ranking was due to a mid-life crisis that saw him endure a lean 2016, Vasek Pospisil, of Canada, returns a shot to Andy Murray, of Great Britain, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, on March 11, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska, March 12, (AP): A father and son held the lead early Sunday in Alaska s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Mitch Seavey, a two-time Iditarod champion, was the first musher to leave the checkpoint in the village of Kaltag. His son, current Iditarod champ Dallas Seavey, was close behind. Mitch Seavey departed Kaltag at 4:40 am, and Dallas Seavey left five minutes later. Each arrived with 13 dogs and left with 12. Dallas Seavey has won four of the past five races. According to the Iditarod s website, he is a third generation musher who grew up helping his dad train his racing teams. The third competitor out of Kaltag respectively. In 115cm category, Abdulaziz Al-Meijel with the horse Ambori took first place followed by Bavel Franco in second place with the horse Dondi while the third place was taken by Suleiman Al-Tannan. In the 105cm category, Tawan Al-Hirdan with the horse Aramsos came first, followed by Sojo Babi with the horse Sandy in second place, and Ahmad Al-Majid with the horse Alberto in third place. TENNIS after he had made the Wimbledon quarter-finals in Earlier, Italian Fabi Fognini won a battle of expectant fathers when he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4) Unseeded Fognini survived a firstset tiebreak and a tense final set before upsetting the seventh-seeded Frenchman in a match that stretched nearly two hours and 30 minutes in the blazing afternoon sun. I am happy about my performance. It s a good victory for sure, Fognini told Tennis Channel after beating Tsonga for the first time in five career meetings. Today was really hot so the ball was bouncing a lot. I love playing with sun and good weather. Fognini considered himself fortunate even to make it to the second round. The Italian dropped the first set to love and was down 5-2 in the second set of his first-round encounter with Russian Konstantin Kravchuk, before roaring back to win It is a crazy sport, Fognini said. Fognini s wife, 2015 US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, is expecting a child in late May, while Tsonga is also set to become a father next month. In another upset on Saturday, Japanese world number 70 Yoshihito Nishioka beat Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic , but seeds Dominic Thiem, David Goffin and Tomas Berdych won their matches to advance. Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber, who will reclaim the world number one ranking on Monday, breezed to a second-round victory over fellow German Andrea Petkovic at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. Second-seed Kerber broke Petkovic to open the match and needed only 58 minutes to claim the victory in glaring sunshine in the California desert. It was not so easy (playing Petkovic), said Kerber after the match. We ve known each other forever. It s always tough to play against a friend. Father, son take the lead in Iditarod race across Alaska was veteran musher Wade Marrs of Alaska, who left at 5:28 am. Next was Nicolas Petit, a native of France who lives just south of Anchorage. Petit departed at 6:35 am. Rounding out the top five was Joar Leifseth Ulsom of Norway, who left Kaltag at 6:50 am. The Iditarod crosses nearly 1,000 miles of grueling Alaska wilderness. This year s race started March 6 in Fairbanks. The winner is expected early this week in the town of Nome, along Alaska s frozen Bering Sea coast. The Kaltag checkpoint offers a brief respite before the trail heads overland to the wind-whipped coast of Norton Sound, the Iditarod website says.

42 SPORTS 42 Masr Al-Mahrousa holds sports event The association of the Egyptian Community in Kuwait known as Masr Al-Mahrousa held a sports event as part of its annual activities along with social and cultural activities. The football matches continued for the second consecutive week. From the first group, Majdi Food Team reached the quarter finals after defeating Al-Ahli team, thereby obtaining six points like the Mona Holding Team, which defeated Al- Masrawiya Team with a score of 3-0. In the second group, Al-Nojoom Team reached the quarter-finals along with Sabab Dairout Team after obtaining six points each. In the third group, Al-Qarasena Team is leading with six points after defeating the Nojoom Al- Farwaniya Team. The Samba Team came second after defeating Chelsea Team with a score of 2-0. In the fourth group, the Cooker Team is leading followed by Al-Ahlam Team. Own goal hands Red Bulls win over Colorado In the junior category, the Dolphin Academy Team defeated the Dream Team with a score of 3-2. The Cuba Academy defeated the Talent Academy with a score of 1-0. The Pharaoh Academy Team defeated the Golden Boy Academy Team by 1-0. The organizing committee thanked the referees and expressed their satisfaction over the advanced level of the performance of participating teams. Miura breaks own record as J-League oldest scorer TOKYO, March 12, (AP): Kazuyoshi Miura scored his first goal of the season on Sunday to break his own record as the J-League s oldest scorer at the age of 50. Miura, who plays for second division side Yokohama FC, scored the only goal in the 40th minute of his team s 1-0 win over Thespa Kusatsu. I m glad to contribute to a win, Miura said. I m always looking to score but had a good feeling about today s game. Miura took control of a deflected ball and fired an angled shot past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Keiki Shimizu. Last Sunday, Miura, who turned 50 on Feb. 26, played in a match at the age of 50 years and 7 days to beat former England international Stanley Matthews longevity record. Matthews set the previous record when he played for Stoke City against Fulham at the age of 50 years and 5 days in The record for the oldest goal scorer in the J-League s top division belongs to Brazilian Zico who scored at the age of 41 years, 3 months, 12 days for Kashima Antlers. Miura is playing in his 32nd season. He played for Brazil s Santos and Italy s Genoa early in his career, and represented Japan 89 times, scoring 55 goals, but never played at the World Cup. Colorado conceded an own goal on the stroke of halftime in a 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls on Saturday. Colorado defender Eric Miller deflected a Sal Zizzo past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard into his own net for the only goal of the match. Sounders 2, Impact 2 Will Bruin scored in stoppage Top and above: Photos taken from the event time as the defending MLS champions came from two goals down to draw with Montreal. The Impact led 2-0 after Matteo Mancosu and Ignacio Piatti scored either side of halftime before Nicolas Lodeiro scored from the penalty seven minutes from time then Bruin equalized. Toronto FC 2, Union 2 Substitute striker C.J. Sapong scored midway through the second half to secure a draw for Philadelphia against Toronto after Alejandro Bedoya missed a penalty. Jay Simpson put Philadelphia ahead after just 11 minutes before a rib injury forced to him to leave the pitch. Bedoya missed the chance to extend the Union s lead when he hit the crossbar from the spot then saw his team fall behind when Jozy Altidore converted a penalty in first half stoppage time and Justin Morrow scored in the 71st minute. SOCCER Sapong, who had come on for Simpson, saved his team s blushes when he cancelled out Morrow s goal in the 73rd minute. Dallas 0, Sporting Kansas City 0 Dallas and Kansas maintained their unbeaten starts to the new season with a share of the points in a scoreless draw. Dallas moved to four points after taking all three in last week s win over LA Galaxy while Sporting Kansas recorded a second straight 0-0 result. Dynamo 3, Crew 1 Romell Quioto scored after just 67 seconds as Houston cruised to Kazuyoshi Miura of the Yokohama FC celebrates after scoring his first goal of the season during a J- League match against the Thespa Kusatsu in Yokohama near Tokyo on March 12. Miura s goal on Sunday broke his own record as the J- League s oldest scorer at the age of 50. Last Sunday, Miura, who turned 50 on Feb 26, played in a match at the age of 50 years and 7 days to beat former England international Stanley Matthews longevity record. (AP) victory against Columbus. Quioto pounced on a sloppy pass from Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen to open the scoring in the 2nd minute. Alberth Elis doubled the lead when he scored 10 minutes before halftime. Erick Torres made it 3-0 in the 65th before Ola Kamara scored a consolation goal for the Crew in stoppage time. Fire 2, Real Salt Lake 0 Chicago scored twice in the opening 15 minutes then held on to beat Salt Lake. Nemanja Nikolic broke the deadlock in the 11th minute then Arturo Alvarez banged in a second four minutes later. Second-placed Panionios beat visiting Larissa 1-0 in the Greek league to close within three points of front-runner Olympiakos on Saturday. Striker El Fardou Ben Nabouhane scored in the first half with a close-range shot after an exchange with Masoud Shojaei that split Larissa s defense. Olympiakos, which has lost its last three games, can widen its lead if it beats, or draws against, visiting Atromitos on Sunday. Larissa is in 12th place. Also, Iraklis snatched a 1-1 draw from visiting Panathinaikos, while Giannena and Panetolikos were held to a scoreless draw. Nice s French title chances took another blow when midfielder Wylan Cyprien was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Cyprien was injured when he landed awkwardly on Friday during the 2-2 home draw against Caen. Medical tests revealed a cruciate ligament injury, the club said on Saturday. Nice is in second place in the league, and Cyprien has been one of its most influential players. He has eight league goals and impressed with his range of passing, setting up three goals, and his free kicks. Nice is already without injured top-scorer Alassane Plea for the rest of the season. Sagan sprints to 2nd stage victory Henao survives Contador onslaught to win Paris-Nice NICE, France, March 12, (Agencies): Sergio Henao survived yet another Alberto Contador onslaught to win Paris- Nice, giving under-pressure Team Sky their fifth title in six years in the Race to the Sun. The Colombian won by just two seconds, salvaging his yellow jersey in the final stage after Spaniard Contador (Trek Segafredo) pulled away 50km from the finish. Contador picked up two seconds in time bonuses at the intermediate sprint and another six by taking second place in the eighth stage behind compatriot David De La Cruz (Quick Step Floors). Henao, who started the day with a 31-second advantage over Contador, crossed the line 21 seconds after his rival. I m happy with my performance. It was not easy because everybody knew that I would attack. However, it was a beautiful day of cycling, Contador told reporters. Last year, Team Sky s Geraint Thomas beat Contador by four seconds to win Paris- Nice. Sky have come Henao under fire for failing to prove what was in a medical package ordered by a team doctor and delivered to Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine. Team Sky and British Cycling have both been subject of an investigation by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) into allegations of wrongdoing in the sport. Both have denied any doping violations. I dedicate this victory to the team, the staff... I am proud to be part of this team, Henao told reporters. Contador, who says he d rather be remembered as a beautiful loser than an ugly winner, was true to his swashbuckling style, launching a long-range attack in the penultimate climb of the day. Henao was quickly dropped and Contador s lead grew past the minute. But in the final descent and on the flat ride to the finish in Nice, Henao received help from some Bahrein-Merida riders as he managed to reduce the gap. Contador was beaten in a two-man sprint by De La Cruz, which cost him four seconds in time bonuses, and eventually the overall win. I panicked a little bit at first, but then I just thought I had to ride like in a time trial, said Henao. We were all thinking about what happened last year when Geraint won. I was confident but obviously it was a close call. It was a sweet victory for Henao, who had been voluntarily withdrawn from racing by Sky for three months in March 2014 after their own monitoring of his blood values and his out-of-competition tests showed some irregularities during his winter training block at high altitude in Colombia. He was withdrawn again in 2016 after concerns re-surfaced about his CYCLING biological data before being cleared by the UCI. Asked about the affair on Sunday, Henao said he had no problem making his file public. World champion Peter Sagan sprinted to another victory in the Tirreno- Adriatico race, while Nairo Quintana retained the overall lead after the fifth stage on Sunday. Sagan, who was also fastest on Friday, edged out Thibaut Pinot and Primoz Roglic on the narrow, cobbled climb to the finish of the 210-km (130- mile) ride from Rieti to Fermo. Bora-Hansgrohe s Sagan worked his way back up to the front bunch with 2 kms left and easily won out of a group made up largely of riders targeting overall victory. It was crazy. It looked like there was no tomorrow. The peloton went so fast, Sagan said. I m very happy with my win today. It wouldn t have happened without (Rafal) Majka, who pulled a lot. After the climbers attacked, luckily there was a bit of flat road that allowed me to come across and sprint for the win. Montreal Impact s Matteo Mancosu (right), challenges Seattle Sounders Roman Torres during the first half of a MLS soccer game on March 11 in Montreal. (AP)

43 SPORTS 43 Kuwait Shooting Club shooters dominate Championship Some of the winners display their trophies. KUNA photo The Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah Shooting Championship concluded on Saturday, March 11 at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Olympic Shooting Complex with the crowning of the winners of the Resilient Liverpool maintain top 4 push LIVERPOOL, March 12, (RTRS): Liverpool kept their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League on course as Emre Can thundered home a second-half winner to complete a hard-earned 2-1 comeback win over Burnley at a relieved Anfield on Sunday. Juergen Klopp s side were again out of sorts but he was pleased with the way they won ugly to earn their first back-to-back league wins this year and keep up the pressure on the league s leading trio. While nowhere near their scintillating best, typifying the Merseysiders uneven form of 2017, Liverpool displayed real character to strike back after going behind to an Ashley Barnes goal after seven minutes. With the league s worst travellers Burnley dreaming of their first away win of the season, the out-of-sorts Reds were grateful to equalise just before halftime through their first shot on target from Georginio Wijnaldum. Liverpool looked short of ideas before German international Can produced what Klopp called a wonderful goal from seemingly nowhere just after the hour mark, bending his low 25-metre strike into the bottom corner past a despairing Tom Heaton. The victory gives Liverpool 55 points, a point behind second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann catches a penalty during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Augsburg in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on March 12. (AP) Schalke end 3-game winless league run BERLIN, March 12, (AP): Guido Burgstaller scored twice as Schalke ended its three-game winless run in the Bundesliga with a comfortable 3-0 win over Augsburg on Sunday. Winter signing Burgstaller got the home side off to a flying start in the fourth minute and claimed his second in the 29th. The normally reliable Paul Verhaegh then missed a penalty for Augsburg before Daniel Caligiuri scored at the other end. The visitors poor afternoon continued when striker Raul Bobadilla had to go off with an injury sustained in the challenge from Benedikt Hoewedes that led to the penalty. The second half proved just a formality. Max Meyer might have made it 4-0 before Hoewedes missed another good chance for the home side. Schalke jumped two points above Augsburg into 11th place, while the visitors stayed just four points above the relegation zone. tournament. The championship consisted of skeet, trap and double trap shooting in men, women and junior categories. In the men s category, Salah Can sinks Burnley third and 11 adrift of leaders Chelsea. The top three all have a game in hand over the Reds, who now lead fifth-placed Arsenal by five points albeit having played two games more than Arsene Wenger s side. The result is massive for us it s the first ugly game we have won, a delighted Klopp told Sky Sports. It was intense and we had to fight. It is clear we have to do a few things better. We were not at our absolute best but we fought. I liked it. It is this kind of game we haven t won until now. Liverpool followed a handsome home win over Arsenal with a dismal first-half display that left Anfield strangely quiet, especially when Barnes stretched to finish superbly with the outside of his right foot from Matt Lowton s defence-slicing through ball. Liverpool levelled with their first shot on target during first-half stoppage time, a coolly converted volley from Wijnaldum after the ball sat up for him as Burnley s rearguard failed to deal with a cross from the left. Klopp brought off playmaker Philippe Coutinho just before Can delivered his piece of inspiration when given room to shoot from distance. We had some moments... it was a wonderful goal from Emre Can, Klopp enthused. Still, Liverpool had to hold on a mite nervously towards the finish as the home crowd feared that, as has become a bit of a habit, they might slip up against a side they were expected SOCCER to beat comfortably. Burnley never gave up, seeking to earn only their third point away from home all season, and manager Sean Dyche looked agonised when Lowton blazed a late chance over the bar. Standings P W D L GF GA Pts Chelsea Spurs Man City Liverpool Arsenal Man United Everton West Brom Stoke Southampton West Ham Burnley Watford Bournemouth Leicester Swansea Crystal Palace Hull Middlesbrough Sunderland Note: Standings read as played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against and points. Meanwhile, Craig Shakespeare has been appointed as Leicester City s manager for the rest of the season, the Premier League champions announced. Shakespeare has been acting as Leicester s caretaker boss since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri last month during which time they have won their two Premier League matches and eased clear of the relegation zone. On Tuesday, Shakespeare will lead the Foxes into action in the Champions League last-16 tie second leg at home to Sevilla, seeking to overturn a 2-1 deficit. On their official website ( Leicester announced that Shakespeare would continue to be supported Can by first team coach and goalkeeping coach Mike Stowell and the club s existing team of backroom staff for the rest of the campaign. Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha told the website: Craig s skills as a coach and the high regard in which he is held by everyone at the Club were well known to us. We always knew the team would be in good hands when we asked him to take charge a fortnight ago. He has initiated the type of positive response that we hoped change would bring, showing great leadership qualities and composure under considerable pressure to produce two very important results. Al-Mutairi came first in the skeet shooting, Khaled Al-Mudaf came fi rst in the trap shooting and Ahmad Al-Afasi came first in the double trap shooting. These three sharpshooters are from Kuwait Burnley s Ashley Barnes (left), and Liverpool s Joel Matip battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match at Anfield, Liverpool, England on March 12. (AP) Icardi, Banega net trebles in 7-1 rout Inter move above Atalanta MILAN, March 12, (AP): It was supposed to be a battle for Europe. In the end it was over by the 26th minute and Inter Milan romped to a 7-1 victory over Atalanta in Serie A on Sunday. Mauro Icardi and Ever Banega both scored hat tricks as Inter moved above Atalanta and into fourth place, a point above Lazio, which hosts Torino on Monday. It remains six points below the Champions League spots. We are all doing very well, I m continuing to do my work, Icardi said. I m happy with my assists, with the help I m giving the team, with my work with the team. At the end what matters is that the team wins, not only my goals. Since (coach Stefano) Pioli arrived there s been a great change in everyone, in our mentality, in the way in which we work. Icardi netted his hat trick in nine first-half minutes to take his tally to 20 for the season. He is now second in the goalscoring charts, two behind Torino forward Andrea Belotti. The Inter captain was again ignored by Edgardo Bauza this week when the Argentina coach named his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers. I don t have his number, but I m working with my team, then if the call from the national team comes it will be a reward for my work, said Icardi, who has made just one seven-minute appearance for his country, back in Icardi opened the scoring in the 17th when Ever Banega s free kick ricocheted off the wall and into his path to fire home. SOCCER Shooting Club. In the women s category, Sara Al-Hawal won the trap shooting and Iman Al-Shama came first in the skeet shooting. The duo is also from Kuwait Shooting Club. Icardi had won that free kick and he earned a penalty minutes later when he was felled by Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha. He coolly chipped the spot kick into the net. The 24-year-old completed his hat trick in the 26th, heading in Banega s cross. Atalanta was shell-shocked and it swiftly got worse as Banega scored twice both from Antonio Candreva s crosses shortly after the half-hour. The visitors got one back three minutes before the break when Remo Freuler was allowed to dribble unchallenged toward the area and he placed his effort into the far bottom corner. Roberto Gagliardini, who moved from Atalanta in January, got in on the act seven minutes after the break, smashing Banega s cross under the crossbar. Banega completed his hat trick in the 67th with a free kick. It s a huge lesson, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said. We will see in the upcoming weeks if we manage to get back to how we were doing before today. At San Siro we learned a lesson which forces us to give our maximum in the next few weeks: In the junior men s category, Hamad Al-Abelani took first position in skeet shooting, while the fi rst position in trap shooting went to Bader Al-Adwani. They both are from Kuwait Shooting Club. there are 10 matches left and we will give our all. We are competing with the big teams and that is not usual for us, but we are in this position and we will fight for it until the end. Napoli 3, Crotone 0 There was no Champions League hangover for Napoli as it maintained its push to get into next year s competition. Napoli, which was eliminated by Real Madrid midweek, moved second, a point above Roma ahead of the capital side s match at Palermo later. After surviving a couple of early scares, Napoli broke the deadlock in the 32nd when Mario Sampirisi pushed over Lorenzo Insigne and he dusted himself off to slot the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner. Crotone went close to equalizing at the start of the second half but Napoli doubled its lead in the 66th with another penalty converted by Dries Mertens, who had just come off the bench, after Marek Hamsik was tripped by Noe Dussenne. Insigne doubled his tally four minutes later, controlling Jorginho s ball over the top and slotting it past Alex Cordaz. Other matches Nikola Kalinic s stoppage-time goal secured Fiorentina a vital 1-0 win over Cagliari and kept its hopes of qualifying for the Europa League alive. Fiorentina remained eighth, five points behind AC Milan, which lost 2-1 at Juventus on Friday. Elsewhere, Chievo Verona beat Empoli 4-0, Udinese won 3-1 at Pescara and Bologna held on for a 1-0 victory at Sassuolo. During the closing ceremony, the winners were honored by the sponsoring family of the tournament and a number of offi cials from Kuwait Shooting Club. (KUNA) R&F maintain winning start BEIJING, March 12, (RTRS): Dragan Stojkovic s Guangzhou R&F beat Changchun Yatai 1-0 on Sunday to join Shanghai SIPG and Shandong Luneng as the only teams with maximum points after two rounds of matches in the Chinese Super League. Brazilian striker Junior Urso scored the only goal of the game as R&F notched a second straight win after defeating Tianjin Quanjian on the opening day of the season. Today was a very, very tough game, said former Yugoslavia midfielder Stojkovic. It was very tight. The field was less than great, but our players fought very hard. We had a strong desire to win and we achieved it. What matters most is that we got three points. Former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas s big spending SIPG continued their impressive start to the season on Friday, when they won their fifth SOCCER game in a row in all competitions with a 2-0 victory over Yanbian Funde with goals from Lu Wenjun and Wu Lei. Villas-Boas s side are top of the early standings on goal difference thanks to an emphatic 5-1 win over Changchun Yatai to kick off their campaign last week. SIPG have also won their first three games in the Asian Champions League this season. It was a hard game, said Villas-Boas. Yanbian s players made up their mind to defend from the start and it was hard for my players to find space at first. It wasn t a very high quality game, but it s always good to win three points. Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande slipped to their first loss of the season against Felix Magath s Shandong, who came back from going a goal down through Huang Bowen to win 2-1 thanks to second-half efforts from Brazilian duo Gil and Diego Tardelli. Shanghai Shenhua claimed a point despite playing most of Saturday s encounter with Tianjin Quanjian with 10 men after Qin Sheng was sent off in the 24th minute for a stamp on Axel Witsel, with captain Giovanni Moreno giving Shenhua an unlikely lead with 15 minutes remaining. Belgium international Witsel levelled five minutes from fulltime and former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato missed a penalty three minutes later that would have given Fabio Cannavaro s side their first win of the season. Chongqing Lifan held Hebei China Fortune, coached by former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, to a 1-1 draw while Beijing Guoan also had to share the points with Guihou Zhicheng. We tried very hard to push the ball into their half and had a lot of desire to win the game, said Pellegrini. If this is our fighting spirit and performance in away games, our home games will be definitely better. We had three more chances but unfortunately we missed them. But I m very satisfied with my team today and quite confident for the upcoming games. Jiangsu Suning, runners-up last year in both the Chinese Super League and the Chinese FA Cup, picked up their first point of the campaign as Choi Yong-soo s team shared a goalless draw with Tianjin Teda while Liaoning Whowin were held to a 1-1 draw by Henan Jianye. Inter Milan s Geoffrey Kondogbia (left), challenges for the ball with Atalanta s Jasmin Kurtic during the Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Atalanta at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy on March 12. (AP)

44 44 PRIME TIME monday (all times are kuwait local) 07:30 celta vs villarreal/soccer.. bein sports 3 hd 09:45 madrid vs betis/soccer... bein sports 3 hd 11:00 liverpool vs burnley/soccer... bein sports 2 hd 12:00 malaga vs deportivo/soccer bein sports 3 hd 13:45 sassuolo vs bologna/soccer.. bein sports 4 hd 15:00 schalke vs augsburg/soccer bein sports 5 hd 17:45 granada vs atletico/soccer. bein sports 3 hd 20:00 inter vs atalanta/soccer.. bein sports 4 hd Sports Latest sports scores at Barca stunned by defeat at Depor Bergantinos the hero Malameh holds off Azayem for title The camel Malameh owned by Majid Al-Thufairi won the trophy of the 5km race for young female camels which was held as part of the 23rd Camel Racing Club Competition. Malameh won following a tight contest with the camel Azayem owned by Abdullah Al-Ajmi which took second place, while the camel Al-Dhabi owned by Abdullah Al-Qahtani came third. Secretary General of the Camel A winner is presented with a trophy during the awarding ceremony. Racing Club Rabah Faraj Al-Ajmi presented the trophy to Majid Al- Thufairi and congratulated the winner. He expressed delight over the success of this heritage sport as well as the concerted efforts exerted by the organizers. In other competitions, the camel Al-Admali owned by Mansour Khamees won the second round of the Qa adan race, while the camel Al- Anoud owned by Riyadh Al-Qahtani won the third round of the same category. The camel Hadaf owned by Ali Al-Shelahi won the fourth round and the camel Habibah owned by Abdulhadi Al-Ajmi won the fifth round. The camel Al-Raked owned by Hamad Al-Morry was declared winner of the sixth round. In the seventh round of the race, the camel Raghad owned by Shenar Al-Ajmi beat other camels to take the first place. The camel Serab owned by Mansour Al-Ajmi excelled to win the eighth round. The camel Shahed owned by Khalid Al-Shatti beat the other camels to win the ninth round. The camel Met ab owned by Mansour Al-Ajmi came first in the tenth round, and the camel Al-Kayedah owned by Hamad Al-Hajri turned out to be the best in the eleventh round of the race. BARCELONA, March 12, (RTRS): Barcelona were in danger of being toppled from the top of La Liga standings on Sunday after they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Deportivo La Coruna. Four days after their heroic 6-1 Champions League win over Paris St Germain, Luis Enrique s men could end the weekend knocked off their lofty perch by secondplaced Real Madrid, who trail Barca by a point. Former Real Madrid youth trainee Joselu gave Deportivo a deserved lead in the 40th minute after an error from Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen although Luis Suarez restored parity in the 46th with a powerful drilled effort. Depor defender Alex Bergantinos headed Deportivo back in front in the 74th minute and Barca, who were without Neymar through a thigh injury and clearly missed the Brazilian s creative impetus, failed to react. Suarez was denied a second equaliser by a brilliant save from Deportivo goalkeeper German Lux and suffered a first defeat in 20 league games since they were beaten 4-3 at Celta Vigo, also in Galicia, on Oct 2. Barca top of the standings with 60 points. Real also have an extra game in hand on Barca. Depor went into the game one place above the relegation zone but are on the rise under new coach Pepe Mel, who has now taken eight points in four games since succeeding the sacked Gaizka Garitano last month. The Galicians were far from intimidated by Barca s recent run of scoring 17 goals in their previous three outings, and did not allow the champions to settle. Joselu fired a venomous shot at goal in the first real attempt for either side, forcing an outstanding save from Ter Stegen to SOCCER force a corner. The German let himself down a minute later, though, letting the ball slip out of his hands from a tame shot and Joselu gobbled it up to score from close range. Barca made the ideal start to the second half as Suarez instinctively drilled a loose ball under Lux to pull level, but they could not faze the home side, who soon set about restoring their lead. Barcelona s Sergi Roberto (center), drives the ball past Deportivo s Raul Albentosa during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Deportivo and Barcelona at the Riazor Stadium in A Coruna, Spain, on March 12. (AP) Farewell to Cup competition at The Lane Kane injury mars Spurs 6-goal stroll LONDON, March 12, (RTRS): Tottenham Hotspur booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals but an injury to Harry Kane marred the party as they marked their last tie at their White Hart Lane home with a 6-0 thrashing of third-tier London rivals Millwall on Sunday. England international Kane, the Premier League s joint top scorer, had to hobble off after falling awkwardly and suffering an ankle injury in a sixth minute challenge during their sixth round tie. Yet his absence was not missed on the day as Son Heung-min hammered a brilliant hat-trick and Kane s replacement Christian Eriksen also scored a beauty before Dele Alli and crashed home a thunderous left-foot strike 10 minutes later. The Korean then struck a sweet first-time, right-foot volley from Kieran Trippier s through ball in the 54th minute before Alli netted his 16th of the season in all competitions, a tap-in after a well-crafted move, in the 72nd. The icing on the cake for Spurs was a first goal from open play in the 79th minute for their under-achieving Dutch striker Janssen, who may yet be needed in their title challenge if Kane is out of action for long. Son s third came in stoppage time, a volley that slipped through the clutches of hapless Millwall keeper Tom King. The array of glorious goals, particularly from man-of-the-match Son and Eriksen, was a fitting way for Spurs to say farewell to Cup competition at White Hart Lane. The semi-final will be at Wembley Stadium, where the plan is for them to play their home games next season before moving into their new 800 million pound ($972 million), 61,000- seat stadium next door to The Lane in Chelsea vs Man U bein SPORTS 2 HD, 11 HD 22:45 local substitute Vincent Janssen got in on the act. It all made for an emotional occasion at Spurs storied 118-year-old ground which they will leave at the end of the season. Third-tier side Millwall had beaten three top-flight teams en route to the sixth round but Premier League title chasers Spurs dominated them from the outset at the grand old ground where they have not lost all season. Eriksen made the key breakthrough with a brilliant snap shot on the turn on the half-hour mark before Son Millwall s Shaun Williams (left), fights for the ball with Tottenham s Dele Alli during the English FA Cup quarter-final soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Millwall FC at White Hart Lane Stadium in London, on March 12. (AP) Leaders Celtic held by Rangers GLASGOW, Scotland, March 12, (AP): Runaway Scottish leader Celtic dropped points for only the second time in their title defense when Rangers snatched a 1-1 draw in the Old Firm derby on Sunday. It was an encouraging welcome for new Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha, who watched from the stands as Clint Hill canceled out Stuart Armstrong s first-half strike for Celtic to clinch a point for his thirdplaced team. Unbeaten Celtic, which have only drawn one other game this season, moved 25 points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Rangers are eight points further back in third in its first season back in the top-flight after a four-year absence. THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY IN FREE KUWAIT Published by: Arab Times Publishing House Editor-in-Chief AHMED AL JARALLAH Editorial Office: Airport Road, Shuwaikh P.O. Box 2270, Safat, Kuwait Telephone: & Fax: Advertising: Tel: Ext: 175 Fax: Annual Subscriptions: Individuals KD 45/- Companies and Official Departments KD 75 Airmail charges extra for overseas Tel: Fax:

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