Implement ceasefire: Kuwait

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1 golf Page 33 THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY IN FREE KUWAIT Established in 1977 / FRIDAY-SATURDAY, MARCH 2-3, 2018 / JUMADA AL THANI 14-15, 1439 AH emergency number 112 NO PAGES 150 FILS KUWAIT LIKELY TO SEEK EXTRADITION OF JOANNA MURDER SUSPECTS Accord may allow Filipinos to hold passports Kuwait Interior team to travel to Manila KUWAIT CITY, March 1, (Agencies): The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has apprehended the suspect killers of the Filipina maid, whose corpse was found in a freezer in Kuwait last month, a foreign ministry official announced Thursday. INTERPOL informed the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry about capturing the fugitives in cooperation with Lebanese security bodies, Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs Sami Al-Hamad, said in a press statement. Kuwait security authorities have immediately submitted a request to extradite the arrested suspect murderers; a Lebanese husband and his Syrian wife who allegedly killed Joanna Demafelis and stuffed her body inside a freezer in their rented apartment in Salmiya area, Al-Hamad added. The arrest is part of Kuwait s efforts to bring perpetrators of this crime to justice, he said, noting that the INTERPOL-branch in Kuwait had circulated the arrest order internationally following discovery of the crime and fleeing of the suspects. The Kuwaiti official expressed his desire for a close cooperation with the Lebanese security authorities on this matter, adding that the perpetrators of such a gruesome crime will receive their punishment in accordance with the law. Kuwait and the Philippines are expected to sign an agreement to streamline labor regulations particularly for domestic workers, according to gdnonline. com. Under the draft deal the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) may keep their passports, have a weekly day off and work for a fixed number of hours. The Philippines Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro called the talks with Kuwait s Foreign Ministry officials positive. A delegation from Kuwait s Interior Ministry is expected to travel to Manila in the second half of this month to sign the deal with the Philippines Labor Ministry. He said that Kuwait has given a nod to most of the demands concerning the OFWs in Kuwait. However, Any decision to allow expatriates to return to Kuwait or fix a date for the Philippines president s visit will be taken after signing the agreement, said the ambassador. Meanwhile, rappler.com quoting the Philippine labor officials who were in Kuwait for talks announced (today) March 1, their counterparts from Kuwait will arrive in Manila next week to finalize the bilateral agreement which will also allow the OFWs to give their consent or clearance from the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in cases of transfer of workers to another employer and prevent employers with a record of abuse from hiring Filipino workers. In a press briefing Labor Undersecretary Claro Arellano, head of the negotiating team, said the Kuwaiti government had agreed that the bilateral meeting be held in Manila and will cover all Household Service Workers (HSWs) and skilled workers in Kuwait. Continued on Page 8 Newswatch KUWAIT CITY: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Thursday sent a cable of condolences to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el- Sisi over the victims of a train accident in Beheira Governorate, which left scores of passengers dead or injured. In the cable, His Highness the Amir prayed Allah Almighty to have mercy and solace upon the victims, bestow patience upon their families and grant swift recovery of the wounded. Two more cables of similar sentiments were sent to the Egyptian president by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. (KUNA) DOHA: Qatar s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and US President Donald Trump expressed keenness Wednesday to boost cooperation in various fields between the two countries, namely fighting terrorism. Qatari news agency (QNA) said the two leaders who spoke on the phone also discussed regional developments, and memo signed between the two nations in the past. The two sides also discussed opportunities to further enhance the American- Qatari partnership on a range of security and economic issues. QNA added that the US leader invited the Qatari Amir to visit the US next April, and Sheikh Tamim accepted the invitation. (KUNA) MANAMA: King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa reiterated on Wednesday Bahrain s keenness on bolstering aspects of cooperation with the UN agencies towards consolidating the march of development in Bahrain. Bahrain news agency (BNA) said the Bahraini king hailed solid cooperation binding the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations, particularly in the environment field. The Bahraini leader made his remarks as he received the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Erik Solheim, who conveyed greetings from UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres, who wished the people of Bahrain further progress and prosperity. Continued on Page 8 US$/KD /25 Euro/KD Yen/KD British /KD KSE pts at closing March 1 See Page 29 Dow pts at 21:20 March 1 See Page 30 Nasdaq pts at 21:20 March 1 FTSE pts at closing March 1 Nikkei pts at closing March 1 Gold $1, per oz (London) NYMEX crude $61.28 pb Brent crude $64.13 pb 3-month $ LIBOR rate % Implement ceasefire: Kuwait Aid to Afrin NEW YORK, March 1, (Agencies): Four days after its unanimous adoption, the UN Security Council resolution No which called for a 30-day humanitarian truce in Syria have not been implemented even partially, Kuwait s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Mansour Al- Otaibi has lamented. The resolution was only a first step toward improving the humanitarian situation in Syria, Al-Otaibi said at a UN Security Council session on Syria Wednesday. He underlined the need for doing all in power to ensure full and immediate implementation of the resolution without day to alleviate the suffering of our brothers in Syria and protect civilians. He called on all parties of the conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and to comply with the provisions of resolution 2401, which aimed at easing the daily suffering of the Syrian people. He urged UNSC member states to press warring parties in Syria to implement the UN resolution. He vowed to follow-up to the implementation of the resolution and demanded a briefing from the United Nations Secretariat on the warring parties adherence to the resolution 15 days after its adoption. On Feb 24, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution presented by Kuwait and Sweden for a 30-day humanitarian truce in Syria. Aid convoy in Afrin An aid convoy entered Afrin in northwestern Syria on Thursday for the first time since Turkish-led fighters launched an assault on the Kurdish enclave in January, the Red Cross said. The humanitarian supplies would benefit 50,000 people in the area bordering Turkey, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. This is our first convoy to Afrin since the start of the offensive on the area, said the ICRC spokeswoman for Syria, Ingy Sedky. The 29-truck convoy included 7,450 food parcels, water purification materials and medical supplies, she said, as well as diapers, mattresses, blankets and winter clothes. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said on Twitter that the trucks had reached the main urban area of Afrin and the town of Tal Rifaat. Turkey-led Syrian rebels on January 20 launched a battle against the US-backed People s Protection Units (YPG) militia in Afrin. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, says more than 140 civilians have been killed in Turkish bombardment of the area. Ankara however denies the claim, insisting the Turkish army is taking the utmost Photo by Rizalde Cayanan, courtesy of DAI Photo shows a Dar al-athar al-islamiyyah-sponsored Oriental Music Night dubbed Arab Stars performed by Marwa Hamdi. Marwa, a former goalkeeper of Egyptian women soccer team, has been singing for the last ten years after quitting soccer and embracing music and singing. The concert, which included the music of Baleegh Hamdi, Muhammad Abdulwahab, Riyadh Alsenbati and Ahmad Mishari Aladwani, was held at the Yarmouk Cultural Center Wednesday evening. Senators bid to pull US from Yemen war WASHINGTON, March 1, (Agencies): US lawmakers on Wednesday launched a bipartisan effort to end American involvement in Saudi Arabia s conflict with Yemen, an extraordinary attempt to force a vote on whether to over-rule presidential military authorization. The United Nations has described Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, as the world s largest humanitarian disaster. More than 9,200 people have been killed and tens of thousands wounded in Yemen s three-year-old war, which is seen as both a civil conflict and a proxy war between regional titans Saudi Arabia and Iran. Since 2015 Washington has provided weapons, intelligence and aerial refueling for a Saudi-led coalition which has conducted air strikes against Houthi rebels. Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee and Chris Murphy said in a joint statement that their resolution would force the first-ever vote in the Senate to withdraw US armed forces from an unauthorized war. We believe that, as Congress has not declared war or authorized military force in this conflict, the United States involvement in Yemen is unconstitutional and unauthorized, and US military support of the Saudi coalition must end, said Sanders, who is an independent but ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in President Donald Trump s top military and diplomatic advisors said last October that the administration was not seeking Continued on Page 8 Continued on Page 8 Iraq MPs demand timetable for foreign troop withdrawal BAGHDAD, March 1, (RTRS): Iraq s parliament demanded on Thursday that the government set a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign troops stationed in the country to help fight Islamic State (IS) insurgents, a ruling coalition lawmaker said. A US-led coalition was formed in 2014 and with thousands of troops and air support helped Iraqi security forces and a Kurdishled Syrian militia roll back IS across large swathes of Iraq and Syria and destroy the cross-border caliphate set up by the jihadists. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-abadi declared victory over IS in December. IS has since reverted to a guerrilla-style insurgency and continues to carry out attacks on selected targets. The Iraqi parliament s demand underscores the balancing act Abadi must conduct between the United States and Iran, his two biggest military allies who are themselves arch-adversaries. There are no Iranian regular forces in Iraq but there are Iranian-backed Shi ite militia allied with Abadi s government. Parliament voted for a decision to thank friendly nations for their support in defeating Islamic State and at the same time to demand the government set a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign troops, lawmaker Husham al-suhail told Reuters. It is up to the government to decide how long we need them here - one year, two years, it s up to them. Thursday s vote, backed by all but a handful of the 177 lawmakers present, was sponsored by lawmakers from the ruling Continued on Page 8 A seagull squawks at Galata Tower early in the morning near snow-covered rooftops in Istanbul on March 1. Fresh heavy snowfalls and icy blizzards were expected to lash Europe on Thursday as the region shivers in a deadly deep-freeze that has gripped countries from the far north to the Mediterranean south. (AFP) Rights MPs to visit prison By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 1: The parliamentary Human Rights Committee met Thursday during which its members decided to visit the Central Prison on Monday. Committee Chairman MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi revealed they discussed the poor conditions in prisons and violations against prisoners. Talking about the Bedoun who attempted to commit suicide by burning himself in front of Jahra Court, Al- Damkhi said the committee will ask the National Assembly to grant it permission to investigate this matter and previous burning incidents involving some Bedouns. He affirmed the attempts of Bedouns to burn themselves will not go unnoticed and the committee will discuss this issue with a team from the Interior Ministry headed by the minister on March 8, 2018; in addition to the security restrictions file. Meanwhile, MP Osama Al-Shaheen said he met with MPs Jamaan Al- Harbash, Mohammed Hayef, Adel Al- Damakhi, Nayef Al-Mirdas, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Omar Al-Tabtabaei and Abdel-Wahab Al-Babtain in his office to discuss the reform draft laws that will be presented as matters of urgency such as the general amnesty and freedom bills in preparation for holding a session to ratify them. He added, We look forward to the adoption of the draft law on conflict of interests. We will also focus on bills regarding freedoms and cancellation of imprisonment as punishment for those Continued on Page 8

2 LOCAL 2 Global Investment House owns a good capital structure with zero debt Kuwaiti bank, investment company express interest in buying Global KUWAIT CITY, March 1: A Kuwaiti bank and a major investment company have expressed interest in buying Global Investment House (Global), reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources clarified the bank and the company took separate steps towards this direction as manifested in meetings with the owners of Global but they did not reach the point of offering prices for the intended deal. Sources hinted the deal includes buying 70 percent of the shares owned by banks, disclosing both the bank and investment company recently started checking and reviewing the data of Global. Sources said the factors that encouraged the bank and investment company to express interest in the deal include the gains of Global in 2017 as it earned KD 10.3 million while the value of assets it manages on behalf of clients or shareholders reached KD 910 million. Sources affirmed these gains are considered the highest among local investment companies. Sources added Global recently expanded its client base and enhanced the list of services it provides. Sources disclosed Global owns a good capital structure with zero debt Excessive centralization in MoE jeopardizing work Al-Qahtani Proposal to bring forward examination dates facing hurdles which motivates investment bodies to buy it. It is worth mentioning that Global recorded a profit of KD 2.5 million in 2017 and its total revenues reached KD 14.1 million. Meanwhile, the real-estate committee of Ministry of Commerce and Industry has submitted a proposal to add legal experts as members of the committee prior to carrying out its work in March, reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting informed sources. They said the committee should include legal and judicial experts to study the legal situations of real-estate companies and determine its eligibility to participate in real-estate exhibitions. The sources indicated that the committee will also review memos and proposals that were received recently from some organizations and companies that are related to the real-estate sector. They revealed that the committee will work on finding real solutions by coordinating with the consultancy and administrative authorities, and will prepare studies and detailed researches to improve the current processes in the real-estate sector and solve the pending problems. Kuwait Embassy officials in Djibouti pose for a photo during National and Liberation Days celebrations Kuwait Embassy officials in China celebrates National and Liberation Days Kuwait Embassy in Bhutan organized a ceremony to celebrate National and Liberation Days Kuwaiti missions continue to celebrate National Days The Kuwaiti embassies in Bhutan and Mexico celebrated the 57th National Day and the 27th Liberation Day, and the 12th anniversary of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ascension of office. The embassies in both countries organized events displaying Kuwait s history and culture. A large crowd of Arab and foreign dignitaries attended the celebrations held by both embassies on the advent of Kuwait s national days. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti diplomatic KUNA photos Kuwait Embassy in Cuba organized a ceremony to celebrate National and Liberation Days. Kuwait nat l rally championship s 4th round starts today KUWAIT CITY, March 1, (KUNA): The 2018 Kuwait National Rally Championship s fourth round will start today Friday with the participation of drivers from Kuwait and other countries. Director of Rally Committee at Sheikh Basel Salem Al-Sabah Motor Racing Club, Meshari Al-Sabti, told KUNA the rally would start from Sea Shell Hotel in Julai a, road 245 south of Kuwait, at 08:00 am local-time 05:00 GMT. Al-Sabti thanked the Public Authority for Sport (PAS) for supporting the club s activities, saying the two sides were cooperating in a constructive and effective manner. He said the club and the authority sought to allow the people who love the motor sport to exercise this sport in a safe way. Public Authority for Disabled Affairs has taken a series of administrative decisions and procedures which will come into effect within a few days, reports missions throughout the globe have remained preoccupied with festivities marking the State of Kuwait national days the 57th National Day, the 27th Liberation Day and the 12th anniversary marking His Highness the Amir assumption of the top post. The State of Kuwait Ambassador to Russia, Abdulaziz Al-Adwani, expressed felicitations on these occasions to His Highness the Amir and their Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister. This year s celebrations coincided with the 55th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Russia, he said, lauding the sound status of these ties, based on mutual respect and non-intervention in each country s internal affairs. In Cuba, the Kuwaiti embassy held a ceremony, attended by local leaders and ambassadors of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The embassy in Djibouti also held an identical gathering, attended by officials, diplomats and dignitaries. (KUNA) Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources. They explained that these procedures and decisions include reshuffling and transfers within the level of departments and sectors. The Deputy Director for Educational Affairs Majed Al-Saleh will take on the position of Deputy Director for Financial and Administrative Affairs, replacing Anwar Al-Ansari who will take the position of Deputy Director of Educational Affairs. KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Head of Educational Management and Planning Department at College of Education in Kuwait University Dr Abdulmohsen Al-Qahtani says excessive centralization in Ministry of Education has been jeopardizing the ministry works, reports Al-Qabas daily. Dr Al-Qahtani clarified that the process of educational planning in the country is registering both successes and failures just like any other activities due to excessive centralization in the ministry. He said his department is calling for intensifying educational planning at the level of educational zones, stressing that the ministry can put forth the main and general guidelines but the actual implementation should be the responsibility of educational zones. Dr Al-Qahtani affirmed that the role of educational zones has become more of a link than an effective administrative one, clarifying that schools address the ministry through educational zones and the ministry responds through them, which in turn has been creating problems in planning. He said, The ministry plans without knowing the details of the educational zones although there is no great difference between the educational zones. Those on the ground have visions and plans closer to the community, and they are better off than the plans and visions put forth by those on top of the organizational pyramid. Meanwhile, the proposal to bring forward the examination dates of grades 10 and 11 in an attempt to separate them from the examinations of grade 12 is facing hurdles, as it cannot be implemented without affecting the concerned students, reports Aljarida daily. The educational and technical guides sent reports to the Public Education Sector of Ministry of Health in support of the proposal. However, educational sources revealed that the proposal clashes with time schedule of the set syllabuses which are scheduled to be completed by April 27, two weeks after the time schedule of the proposal. They also said, if the proposal is approved, it is very likely that various topics and lessons will be hastily taken in one period or they will be cancelled from the examinations. Furthermore, Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Hamed Al-Azmi declared that the World Teachers Day for the year 2016/2017 will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 25 under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, reports Al-Qabas daily. He revealed that the event will be held in the auditorium of Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) in Shuwaikh at 10 am, indicating that a number of senior state officials particularly from Ministry of Education will attend the event. Dr Al-Azmi stressed that about 350 teachers from public and private schools, schools for special needs and religious institutions as well as 50 distinguished schools from different educational zones will be honored during the event. He affirmed that the event represents the keenness of the leadership of Kuwait to take care of teachers and appreciate their important role in the field of education. Al-Qahtani KUNA photos Kuwait Red Crescent Society volunteer distributing food parcels to Syrians in East Ghouta. KRCS delivers aid to besieged Syrians Kuwait Red Crescent Society has delivered food parcels to besieged Syrians in East Ghouta, said KRCS Secretary-General Maha Al-Barjas on Wednesday. The ongoing Kuwaiti relief operation, carried out in coordination with the Turkish Relief Association, will be expanded to secure other necessities such as medical aid for the civilians in the encircled region located on outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, she said in a statement to KUNA. The humanitarian supplies have been secured with donations from Kuwaiti citizens and non-kuwaitis living in the country, who have been generously contributing to the society efforts to relieve the stricken Syrians. Donors, citizens and expatriates, can deliver their contributions during day and night times at the KRCS headquarters and via its internet website. (KUNA) Amiri Diwan petitioned for 91,260 sqm Municipality approves request to build flagpole, island in the sea News in Brief Al-Sisi congratulates Kuwait: Egypt s President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi on Wednesday wished Kuwait well as the country celebrates its 57th Independence Day and 27th Liberation Day. Al-Sisi s greetings were relayed by his advisor Hossam Zaatar, during his meeting with Kuwait s ambassador to Cairo Mohammad Al-Thuwaikh. Zaatar conveyed well wishes to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on behalf of the Egyptian President, the Kuwaiti envoy told KUNA. Al-Thuwaikh went on to say that the gesture was a testament to the historic camaraderie between the Kuwaiti people and their Egyptian brethren. (KUNA) 70 mosques built in Pak, B desh: Director of Salwa Zakat Committee affiliated to Al-Najat Charity Organization Mohammad Al-Houli disclosed that the committee has built 70 mosques in Bangladesh and Pakistan in 2017, reports Al-Anba daily. KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Kuwait Municipality has approved a request from Diwan Amiri to allocate the beach opposite Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center to build the tallest flagpole and an artificial industrial island in the sea, reports Al-Anba daily. In a letter to the interim committee in charge of Municipal Council activities, acting Municipality Director General Engineer Abdullah Emadi said the Amiri Diwan petitioned for the allocation of 91,260 square/meters area along the Arabian Gulf Road in Shuwaikh for the above-mentioned purposes. The diwan promised to preserve all existing structures within the area to make entry and exit movements easy. He said almost 1,415 square/meters space will be dedicated for an Amiri Hall that used to be a part of the former Al-Salaam Beach in the current Shuwaikh. He explained content of the request from the Diwan Amiri shows design of the beach will include necessary beautification structures, sidewalks, meeting areas, kiddy games areas, as well as event centers and services for guests and beach goers. He disclosed that special consideration will be given to handicaps with physical disabilities and sight impairment as per international standard. Even though more than 15 days have passed since the elections of the syndicate of Ministry of Information on Feb 13 followed by the announcement of the election results on the same day which no one doubted, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has not issued a certificate of proclamation to give the syndicate the green light to carry out its work in accordance with the laws and regulations, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to sources, the syndicate s work is still suspended because of lack of action from Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor even though the elections were held under the direct supervision and approval of the ministry. He said this is considered as a major achievement for the committee whose projects vary between relief, Da awah and development. Al-Houli affirmed that the mosques were built using the donations of benefactors who took part in selecting the areas that were in urgent need for mosques due to the population density and shortage of mosques. Air-conditioning gas hiked banned: Any increase in the prices of airconditioning gas is prohibited this was what was decided during a meeting between Environment Public Authority (EPA) represented by the Ozone Division, and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, reports Al-Qabas daily. Important points concerning refrigerant and air-conditioning gases as well as the current market conditions were discussed during the meeting. The attendees unanimously agreed to ban any increase in price of the gases by companies.

3 LOCAL Kuwait Today Prayer Timings Fajr... 04:54 Sunrise... 06:13 Dohr... 12:00 Asr... 15:19 Maghrib... 17:48 Isha... 19:05 Weather Expected weather for the next 24 hours: By Night: Cool with light variable wind to light to moderate northwesterly wind, with speed of km/h with a chance for light fog forming over some areas. By Day: Partly cloudy with light variable wind, with speed of km/h with a chance for light rain. Station Max Min Exp Rec Kuwait City Kuwait Airport Abdaly Bubyan - - Jahra Failaka Island Salmiyah Ahmadi Nuwaisib Wafra Salmy days forecast - Weather Friday, March 2 Expected weather...mostly sunny and some scattered clouds will appear Max Temp...25C Min Temp...13C Wind Direction...VRB-VRB Wind Speed km/h Saturday, March 3 Expected weather...warm and some scattered clouds will appear later on Max Temp...28C Min Temp...14C Wind Direction...VRB-S Wind Speed km/h Sunday, March 4 Expected weather...warm and clouds will with a chance for scattered rain later on Max Temp...30C Min Temp...15C Wind Direction...SW-SE Wind Speed km/h Monday, March 5 Expected weather...partly cloudy to cloudy with a chance for rain that might be thundery at times Max Temp...31C Min Temp...18C Wind Direction...S-SE Wind Speed km/h Marine Forecast Station Max Min Sea Today s Exp Rec Surf Waves Ht Dirn South Dolphin ft.se Umm Mudayrah ft.se Beacon M ft.se deaths March 1, 2018 Sheikha Marayem to sponsor docu series on life of Holy Prophet Arnoud s Love for the Prophet By Abdul-Nasser Al-Aslami Al-Seyassah Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Sheikha Marayem Al-Khair, the wife of Sheikh Ali Sabah Al-Nasser, announced her sponsorship for the production of a global documentary series on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entitled Arnoud s Love for the Prophet. The documentary series will be reproduced in various languages, the most important of which is the Arabic language. It will be produced in conjunction with Salsabeel Celebrity Company which will supervise the production and reproduction stages. The documentary will focus on enhancement of humanitarian, moral and social values in the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and it will be broadcast with well-studied messages to the western society in a bid to raise awareness on the real Islam. In a press statement, Sheikha Marayem Al-Khair explained the idea of producing a documentary series on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came about after the visit of former vice president of the ruling Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) Arnoud van Doorn to the Palace Diwaniya of Sheikh Ali Al-Sabah. Sheikha Marayem said Arnoud van Doorn narrated his story on becoming a Muslim and what he went through after he made the infamous film Sedition funded by the European Zionist lobby as it offended Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). She said she is following in the footsteps of her late husband Sheikh Ali Sabah Al-Nasser who was famous for his charitable and humanitarian support for the impoverished and the needy in many disaster stricken countries. The making of a documentary series on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will be added to his record of achievements and charitable works which elevates the honor of Islam and Muslims, she added. Sheikha Marayem stated that Kuwait was and continues to be one of the sources for promoting the glory of Islam and Muslims, as it made its first film impression in honoring our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through the production of the film, The Message, which was produced Evening to be cool: Al-Bloushi Mostly sunny weather on Friday by internationally renowned film producer Mustafa Al-Aqaad. She said this impression is being renewed through the funding of the first global documentary series on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which will be reproduced in Arabic and different foreign languages. The documentary series will be entitled, Arnoud s Love for the Prophet. It will be reproduced under the supervision of filmmaker and former vice president of the ruling Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) Arnoud van Doorn, who previously offended the best of mankind in his production of the film Sedition (Fitna) which was funded by the Zionist lobby in Europe. However, after he converted to Islam and performed Hajj (pilgrimage) and Umra, Arnoud did not allow this offensive work to be the highlight of his career so he decided, with funds received from Khair Al-Kuwait Organization, to make a new and positive film which glorifies Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). On the other hand, former vice president of the ruling Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) Arnoud van Doorn expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the people of Kuwait and the hospitality he received from them. Arnoud revealed he is preparing to study the most famous and important books ever published in foreign languages about the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in order to adopt vital items contained therein. He said the information gathered from these books will be transformed into a film material that introduces Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his achievements in spreading the call of Islam, indicating the documentary film will target European and American societies. He also pointed out that the actual start of correcting the image and misconceptions about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the West will be through dialogues promoted by others, listening to them and responding to questions in a convincing and rational manner, backed with the most compelling evidence which will be his methodology in making the documentary film. Furthermore, Board Chairperson of Salsabeel Celebrity Company Ahmad Al-Farsi expressed his gladness over the KUWAIT CITY, March 1, (KUNA): The weather in Kuwait on Friday would be mostly sunny with light variable wind and light to moderate northwesterly wind at speeds of km/h. The maximum expected temperatures would be between degrees Celsius, says Meteorologist Yasser Al-Bloushi on Thursday. The state of sea will be light to moderate, and waves between one to three feet. During the evening, the weather will be cool with light to moderate northwesterly winds between 8-20 km/h. The minimum temperature expected is between degrees Celsius. The sea state will be slight with waves at one to two feet. On Saturday, weather will be sunny, the expected maximum temperatures between degrees Celsius. During the night, weather would be cool, with the minimum temperature expected between degrees Celsius and the sea state is light with waves from one to three feet. Beacon N ft.se Qaruh Island ft.se Umm Al-Maradim ft.se Sea Island Buo Salmiyah ft.se 4 days forecast - Marine Friday, March 2 Expected weather...mostly sunny and some scattered clou...slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp... 25C Min Temp... 13C Wind Direction...VRB-NW Wind Speed km/h Saturday, March 3 Expected weather...warm and some scattered clouds will appear later Sea state...slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp... 28C Min Temp... 14C Wind Direction...VRB-S Wind Speed km/h Sunday, March 4 Expected weather...warm and clouds will increase gradually with a chance for scattered rain later on Sea state...slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp... 30C Min Temp... 15C Wind Direction...SW-SE Wind Speed km/h Monday, March 5 Expected weather Partly cloudy to cloudy with a chance for rain that might be thundery at times Sea state Moderate to rough Wave height ft Max Temp... 31C Min Temp C Wind Direction... S-SE Wind Speed km/h Tide times at Shuwaikh Port 1st high tide:... 12:18 2nd high tide:... 23:16 1st low tide:... 17:42 2nd low tide:... 06:39 Sunrise:... 06:14 Sunset:... 17:47 Recorded yesterday at Kuwait Airport Max temp c Min temp c Max Rh % Min Rh % Max Wind...NE 57 km/h Total Rainfall in 24 hrs mm Total Rainfall in 24 hrs... 0mm Recorded yesterday at South Dolphin Min/Max/ Air Temp...16/22C Min/Max Rel Hum....56/93% Wind Direction/Wind Speed...E/59 km/h Prev Wave Dir/Max Wave Ht...N/- ft Min/Max Sea Surface Temp /- C Sea Current...Upwelling -- Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Dept. Sheikha Al-Jazi Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, 86 years old, widow of Late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, buried on Thursday. Condolences: (Men) Shaab, Diwan of Late Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Arabian Gulf Street, Tel: (Women) Shaab, Palace of late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Arabian Gulf Street. Mishal Saad Thalab Al-Kharazah, 34 years old, buried on Thursday. Condolences: (Men) Rabiya, Block 4, Street 5, House 6, Tel: / (Women) Mubarak Al Kabeer, Block 6, Street 21, House 17, Tel: Marzook Eid Al-Salem, 92 years old, buried on Thursday. Condolences: (Men) Riqqa, Block 2, Main Street, House 477, Tel: (Women) Mangaf, Block 1, Street 141, House 24, Tel: Hissah Thaar Saad Al-Qahtani, 92 years old, widow of Mohammad Hadi Al-Qahtani, buried on Thursday. Condolences: (Men) Sabahiya, Block 4, Street 6, House 589, Tel: / Mai Kathem Al-Bahrani, 38 years old, wife of Bader Yousef Al-Salman, buried on Thursday. Condolences: (Men) Mansouriya, Al Huseiniya Al Sabahiya, Block 2, Tel: (Women) Rawda, Block 2, Street 22, House 3. Abbas Fahad Abdullah Taqi, 88 years old, buried on Thursday. Condolences: (Men) Dai ya, Huseiniyat Boualyan, Tel: (Women) Rumaithiya, Block 10, Maath Bin Jabal Street, Avenue 105, House 11. Salem Al-Abdul Latif Al-Saleh Al-Mesalam, 82 years old, to be buried on Friday after Asr Prayers. Condolences: (Men) Shuwaikh P., Diwan Al Qanaat, Tel: (Women) Shaab, Block 2, Street 24, House 2. sponsorship of Sheikh Marayeem Al-Khair for the documentary on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), confirming that the formation of a comprehensive task force has kicked off. He said this task force consists of international experts who will Above: Some photos from the event Terrorism has no religion, color or race: Ambassador Al-Ghunaim UN honors Kuwait for maritime transport GENEVA, March 1, (KUNA): Kuwait on Thursday stressed to the UN Human Rights Council that terrorism was not linked to a certain religion, race, ethnicity, or region, affirming that it was the greatest threat to international peace and security. This came in a speech delivered by Kuwait s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Jamal Al- Ghunaim in the 37th Session of the interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Top and above: Some photos from the National Days celebration. College of Science at KU marks National Days Under the auspices and in the presence of the Dean of College of Science at Kuwait University Prof. Hussain Al-Awadhi, the college organized its annual ceremony to mark Kuwait s National and Liberation Days. According to a press release issued by the university, the ceremony witnessed the presence of closely supervise the preparation, casting and reproduction stages of the documentary. He added the production and finishing stages of the vice deans, faculty staff, employees of the college and multitude of students among invited guests who graced the occasion to show their endless love for Kuwait. Everyone enjoyed the activities tailored for the occasion including the national and cultural activities and competitions. 3 Photos by Iehab Qurtal film about the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will be done in an advanced, exciting and impressive manner. Terrorism is not only a threat to individuals and communities, it is a major obstacle to the protection and promotion of human rights, he said. Al-Ghunaim added that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals required a concentrated international effort to tackle the root causes of terrorism and extremism, in order to achieve stability in countries and societies. Al-Ghunaim stressed Kuwait s keenness to combat terrorism in all its forms through its active participation with the international community to eradicate this scourge. He pointed out that the State of Kuwait has already implemented a law 85/2013, which abides by Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/ CFT) program, adding that Kuwait recently hosted the international ministerial meeting for the coalition to fight the so-called Islamic State (IS). At the same time, Ambassador Al-Ghunaim welcomed the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism and the information presented therein. He reiterated Kuwait s firm stand by rejecting all forms of terrorism and extremism regardless of their causes, motives and sources. The 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council is being held from February 26 to March 23 to discuss UN human rights experts reports on human rights issues. Meanwhile, the UN-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) has honored Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) for its accomplishments in maritime transport. IMO s Secretary-General Kitack Lim awarded the honorary shield to KOTC s CEO Sheikh Talal Al- Khaled Al-Sabah during a ceremony held on the sidelines of the ninth Offshore Arabia Conference and Exhibition in Dubai. KOTC was honored for its several achievements and effective contributions to the maritime transport industry, and commitment to IMO s laws and requirements that emphasize enhancing maritime safety and security and preventing maritime pollution, the company said in a press statement Thursday. The Kuwaiti-based oil company received recently the ISO Standard certificate from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for energy management, in addition to saving 536 refugees near Italy s coasts in 2017, added the statement. Some 50 companies from 40 countries are currently taking part in the ninth edition of Offshore Arabia Conference and Exhibition, a platform to meet and discuss the future of offshore environment, oil and gas, marine, and renewable energy in the Middle East and North Africa regions. Founded in 1957, KOTC, a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Cooperation (KPC), is the first company in the Gulf region specialized in transporting oil and gas.

4 LOCAL 4 Kuwait improves in World Bank s Ease of Doing Business Index for 2018 Classification of Kuwait likely to fall if bills are delayed KUWAIT CITY, March 1: The World Bank has confirmed to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that the classification of Kuwait is likely to decline if the necessary economic bills are delayed, reports Al-Rai daily. At the forefront of necessary reforms are three insolvency bills, which include voluntary restructuring of debts, rehabilitation and liquidation of commercial enterprises, and the guarantees of movable property, the World Bank indicated. The daily quoting a source added Kuwait has recorded a positive improvement in the World Bank s Ease of Doing Business Index for 2018, which is based on 10 sub-components on different aspects of business. He noted the country s level improved by 6 points, ranking 96 out of 190 countries in the current index compared with its 102nd ranking in 2017, and eighth ranking in the Arab world. Kuwait has also succeeded in implementing a set of reform measures in its business environment, including the establishment of One Window and the launch of its online version (Kuwait Business Kuwait can earn $3,000 per barrel if oil industry upgraded: Ex-KOC chief Initiative could open job opportunities for citizens Center) to disseminate online applications in transactions and accelerate the procedures for establishing and registering companies, the source said. What is required of Kuwait does not end with reforms measures taken by the ministries and concerned agencies to resolve insolvency and improve the business environment and enhance competitiveness or even maintain the gains made in the ease of business index; thus further delay of the necessary economic bills could have negative effects on the classification of the State, the source reiterated. KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Kuwait could gain roughly $3,000 from a barrel of crude oil instead of the current $50 if its oil industries are upgraded, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting Oil Expert, former chairman of the Board of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and Executive Director of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Explorations Company (KUFPEC) Ahmed Al-Erbeed. This was a part of a speech Al-Erbeed delivered at the diwaniya of Faisal Al-Omar, the Board Chairman of Real Estate Group Company. He noted several experts have presented integrated initiatives to develop Kuwait s oil industries with the aim of generating new sources of income, indicating crude oil has over 300,000 derivatives if exploited. Research confirms that one of the 300,000 derivatives of crude oil alone is enough to rectify the deficit in state budget within the first year of operation, he added. He stressed the initiative could open job opportunities for citizens and transform Kuwait to the world oil capital if oil industries are developed. He explained the 20-year initiative will be implemented in two phases, with each phase covering 10 years. He added the first phase will focus on the development of oil industry and construction of the relevant infrastructure, while targeting distinguished products in the second phase to transform Kuwait to a global oil capital. Oil will remain the main source of energy, although many countries have resorted to natural gas, Al-Erbeed stressed, reiterating Kuwait does not have free gas at the moment but extracts gas from other liquid sources for production a process considered too costing. He pointed out that Kuwait has three options in gas production; the first option is to extract gas from Al-Dorra gas field shared by Saudi and Iran. The second option is to expand explorations in Kuwait, and the third option is to continue extracting gas from other liquids as done at present. The savings of the public funds due to increase in gasoline prices in the last 16 months are estimated to be about $670 million (KD 200 million), reports Al-Nahar daily quoting sources. They said the annual savings from the hike in gasoline prices is estimated at half a billion dollars with the assumption that the average price of a barrel of oil is $50 per barrel. In related news, the sources said Kuwait intends to keep the gasoline prices as they are in March 85 fils for Premium 91 Octane, 105 fils for Super 95 Octane and 165 fils for Ultra 98 Octane. They affirmed that these prices will make Kuwait among the GCC countries with lowest gasoline prices compared to the countries that have implemented hike in gasoline prices. A health official has affirmed significance of the quality accreditation granted to the nuclear medical center of Kuwait Cancer Control Center by the American Radiology College. Dr Kholoud Al-Ali, director of the center for combating cancer, said in a statement the certificate is one of the most prestigious ones at the global level. The center has recently earned an identical accreditation from Europe. Meanwhile, Dr Farida Al-Kandari, head of the radiology center, said the center had acquired all the specifications required by the international certificate of high quality. KUNA photo Hind Al-Sabeeh and Kuwaiti delegation with Sudanese ministers during a news conference. Kuwait, Sudan eye closer ties Kuwait and Sudan have agreed to promote and develop bilateral cooperation in the fields of social affairs and labor, as well as expertise transfer. This was announced by visiting Kuwaiti Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh and Sudanese Minister of Labor and Administrative Reform Dr Ahmed Babiker during a joint news conference here on Thursday. Al-Sabeeh, who doubles as minister of state for economic affairs, called for cementing inter-arab cooperation in order to address challenges bearing on the implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She said Arab and Muslim countries should work together in order to fulfill their people s different needs by means of expertise transfer. On his part, the Sudanese minister said what has been agreed with the Kuwaiti side reflects amity, respect and understanding between both Arab nations. During her stay in Khartoum, the Kuwaiti minister has also met with Sudanese Minister of Welfare and Social Security, Mashaer Al-Dawalab. (KUNA) Department of Information Science at the College of Computer Engineering- Kuwait University- hosted academic accreditation program consultant Professor Joseph Turner from February at Adailiya Campus. The international consultant on accreditation delivered a lecture on the latest development in the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as regards computer program. He also talked about plans by ABET to approve a criterion recommended for cyber security program. Move to improve security Kuwait seeks 15 fast patrol boats for $100mln from US KUWAIT CITY, March 1: The government of Kuwait has requested the United States of America for the supply of 15 fast patrol boats worth $100 million, reports navaltechnology.com. As per the deal, these fast patrol boats are to be attached with 36 units of 0.50-calibre machine guns and two additional guns installed in each vessel along with six spares. It is intended to enhance Kuwait s security capabilities, as well as to improve Kuwait Navy s patrol, interdiction and maritime protection abilities and strengthen the navy s self-defense capability. Following the approval of Kuwait s request by the US State Department, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress about the possible foreign military sale of the fast patrol boats to Kuwait. The possible deal also includes engineering, training, technical and logistical support services from the US government and contracting company. Also, three contractor representatives are required to support the project in Kuwait for a period of two years. They along with personnel of the US government will be required to provide technical reviews, training and maintenance support to Kuwait during this 24-month period in order to ensure proper implementation of the deal. In this regard, Vigor subsidiary Kvichak, which is based in Kent, Washington, has been appointed as the principal contractor for the sale. (Source naval-technology.com) News in Brief Speaker congrats Bosnia: Kuwaiti National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim on Thursday sent a couple of congratulatory cables to the Bosnian parliament speaker and senate president on their country s National Day. (KUNA) IMC holds gathering: The International Mercy Committee (IMC) affiliated to Social Reform Society held a religious education gathering for more than 60 adopted students at the city of Hayadi in south of Thailand. On this occasion, the head of the office of the International Mercy committee in Thailand Abdullah Al-Ajmi said the aim of the gathering was to remind the attendees about the values of Islam and the relation between a Muslim and his creator. It also highlighted the importance of a balance between performing religious rituals and carrying out good deeds. Al-Humaidi replaces Al-Khait: Former finance minister Badr Al-Humaidi has been chosen as Board Chairman of the Economy and Business Group, replacing former Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohamed Aba Al-Khait, reports Al-Qabas daily. The board consists of Ne ama Te ama, Tawfik Khory, Mohammad Al-Za atari, Khalid Abu Ismael, Dr Nizar Yunus, Abdullah Bahmdan, Rubber Sarsaq and Raouf Abou Zaki. Chief Executive Officer of the group Raouf Abou Zaki welcomes this nomination due to the developmental vision and distinctive relations of Al-Huwaidi in the Arab world, contributing to efforts to achieve the group s objectives in the next phase. PAHW completes 4 pct works: The Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has announced four percent completion of the first contract for the maintenance of infrastructure and roads in Al-Metla a City housing project reports Al-Anba daily quoting a knowledgeable source.

5 LOCAL 5 Bid to facilitate procedures for certification of documents of concerned persons Plan to open notary offi ce at new terminal of Kuwait airport KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Director of Notary Department at Ministry of Justice Tariq Al-Asfour says there are plans proposed to be executed in the coming phase to open a notary office at the new terminal of Kuwait International Airport, reports Aljarida daily. He explained that these plans are in line with the ministry s strategic plan to facilitate procedures for certification of documents of concerned persons, considering the strategic position of the airport to have such services. This will also make it easy for some people with special cases that require completion of their transactions round the clock like travelers on transit or those who are deported from the country at night. Al-Asfour went on to explain that the department sometimes faces an influx of visitors in a single batch. For example, there are some companies whose workers exceed hundreds and they opt to hire lawyers to file or withdraw lawsuits or to testify. The time-factor problem is being rectified through distribution of huge numbers of people to various offices affiliated to the department and service centers which are present in various governorates. He affirmed that the department is not suffering from a shortage of notaries, as it has 345 notaries who work sincerely to serve citizens and residents. Kuwait, China eyeing co-op on Al-Harir City, islands projects Embassy celebrates National Days in Beijing A Syrian child congratulates Kuwait on the occasion of National Days. Medical campaign organized by the society in Gaza to mark the National Days. Society holds charity activities to mark nat l days Secretary General of International Mercy Committee of Social Reform Society Fahad Al-Shimmari revealed that the committee held a number of charitable activities in the countries where the committee works such as Ghana and Niger, with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti embassies in those countries. He explained that these activities were organized to mark the National Days of Kuwait. Arrangements were made for orphans adopted by the committee to visit the Kuwaiti embassies where activities were held to provide information about the history of Kuwait. One such visit arranged for the orphans was to the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bangladesh Adel Hayat. Kuwaiti singers to perform in Bahrain Actress Aml Abbas reassures fans about her health condition KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Actress Aml Abbas reassured her fans about her health condition after she was taken to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital as she experienced chest pains, reports Al-Rai daily. Abbas revealed Abbas the doctors removed 50 percent of the water in her stomach because of the battery in her heart, praising the efforts exerted by the doctors and nurses during her treatment. She made the statement when artiste Tariq Al-Alai visited her and took a video of her reassuring her fans about her condition. She is still in the hospital as of press time to continue the treatment. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti singers Abdullah Rewashed and Nabeel Shuail will perform in a concert which will be organized by Rotana Company, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The concert is part of the 13th Spring Festival in Bahrain and it will be held at 8:30 pm on March 9, 2018 in Bayt Bahrain. In the meantime, fans of Kuwaiti actress Hayat Al-Fahad got worried when she appeared on a wheelchair at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reports Al-Shahid daily. Al-Fahad traveled to Riyadh to participate in the program, Sabah Al-Saoudiya, which was broadcast on Saudi TV Channel in celebration of Kuwait s National and Liberation days. The actress appeared in good health in the program and she is now recovering from her recent illness. KUWAIT CITY, March 1, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait and the People s Republic of China are both eager to collaborate on Al-Harir City and the five Kuwaiti Islands development projects, said Kuwait s Ambassador to China Sameeh Johar Hayat late Wednesday. Hayat s statement came on the sideline of the Kuwaiti embassy s celebration of the 57th National Day, the 27th Liberation Anniversary, and the 12th occasion of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah s ascension of office. The festivities were held in the capital Beijing. After meeting with the Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong on the sideline of the celebrations, Hayat said that both countries were eager to develop relations on various platforms especially within the energy sector, infrastructural development, and mass communication. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti ambassador delivered a speech during the celebration, welcoming all those who took part in the festivities. Kuwait, which established diplomatic ties with China in 1971, is amongst the first Arab countries to sign the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative aimed at the economic prosperity of Eurasia countries, said the ambassador who affirmed that this step was reflective of his country s keenness on developing ties with China. Hayat took the chance to thank the Chinese government and people on their stance during the Iraqi invasion in 1990 and the subsequent liberation of Kuwait in Kuwait and China are eager to pursue more cooperation in the near future in order to achieve the aspiration of both the Kuwaiti and Chinese people, he affirmed. The Kuwaiti ambassador took the chance to congratulate His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the Kuwaiti people on the advent of the national celebrations, wishing his country further progress and development. Kuwait Union of Hajj Caravan Owners has urged Municipal Council to license headquarters of Hajj caravans in private and investment residential houses, reports Al-Anba daily. The union said the operations of the Hajj caravans are seasonal and limited to only four months a year, due to which it requested Municipal Council to approve the use of private and investment residential houses as headquarters of Hajj caravans similar to law firms, engineering offices and nurseries. However, Municipal sources explained that it is not allowed to establish offices of Hajj caravans in private houses. It will be very difficult to sanction their establishment in residential areas. However, the municipality allows the establishment of such offices on the first floor of investment residential buildings only. KCCI set to host Pak trade team KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) will host a business delegation from Pakistan s Board of Investment on Monday, March 5. According to a press release issued by KCCI, its meeting with the delegation will focus on discussions concerning ways to bolster economic ties between the two friendly nations, identify various opportunities available in different fields and encourage Kuwaiti companies to enter commercial and investment partnerships with their Pakistani counterparts. The 24-member delegation will include representatives of various sectors such as energy, infrastructure, health, tourism, transportation, agriculture, and food industries. On this occasion, KCCI invites members to participate in the meeting as it is a golden opportunity to open new economic horizons between Kuwait and Pakistan. KUNA photo Kuwait s Ambassador Sameeh Johar Hayat in a group photo during the National Days celebration in Beijing. KUNA photo Undersecretary of Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Eng. Farid Amadi and his accompanying delegation met the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr Ahmed el-tayeb in Cairo. The two sides discussed ways to bolster support for efforts to counter extremist ideologies by providing educational and advocacy support to highlight the true principles of Islam such as those demonstrated in Al-Azhar s approach. MoE plans to cut its KD 2.2b budget by 20 pc Speaker congratulates Dr Al-Refai on new post KUWAIT CITY, March 1, (Agencies): National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim on Wednesday sent a congratulatory cable to Dr Waddah Hashim Al-Refai, head of oncology surgery department at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and senior surgeon at Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the cable, Al-Ghanim expressed his sincere congratulations to Al-Refai on the appointment as regional president of oncology surgery at Georgetown Hospital in Washington and vice-president of the surgical research center. Al-Ghanim lauded Al-Refai accomplishments and successes in oncology surgery, local news service Al-Dostor said. Al-Refai is one of the most outstanding Kuwaiti people who made successes in various fields. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education intends to reduce its KD2.2 billion budget by 20 percent, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources. Sources pointed out this will negatively affect the ministry s projects, especially the new schools in all educational districts; in addition to the educational and technological projects. Sources disclosed there is an intense educational sector effort to stop the reduction but the ministry has not made any official statement until now. In the meantime, Ministry of Education Undersecretary Dr Haitham Al-Athari set Thursday as the deadline for submitting efficiency reports for 2017 to the executives at the ministry, reports Al-Rai daily. Al-Athari requested for inclusion of the names of employees who took long holidays and ensure adoption of periodical, medical and emergency leaves for the evaluation of the staff by their direct supervisors and for the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to apply the Fourth Article concerning long leave days. He also stressed the need to present list of delegated employees in departments to the Administrative Sector, in addition to the employees who did not complete 100 days. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has started taking steps to address the student population density crisis, reports Al-Rai daily. The ministry has asked Kuwait Municipality to transform five public schools in Farwaniya into the headquarters of private schools, probably Arabic schools which are about vanish in some areas.

6 LOCAL 6 DIWANIYA A DIGEST OF PUBLIC OPINION KUNA photos Top: Head of the delegation at the inauguration ceremony. Above: The team visits the center. Kuwait sponsors new Aden training center Campaign for Yemeni pupils RIYADH, March 1, (KUNA): The Kuwait by your side campaign has inaugurated Kuwait training center in Aden, the temporary capital of Yemen. Jamal Al-Nouri, executive director of Kuwait Relief Society, and his accompanying delegation paid a tour to the center s facilities to care for innovations and inventions by Yemeni pupils, the campaign said in a press statement on Wednesday. The delegation also visited some Kuwaiti projects carried out in that city like Al-Baihani secondary school, it added. The campaign handed over a drinking water project in Al Buraqiyyah district in Aden, in the presence of some senior Yemeni officials, it said, adding that the project worth $600,000 benefits about 40,000 people in several areas. The delegation was briefed on the project s mechanism action, which included the installation of pumps, pipes to carry water and maintenance of the network. The campaign s projects serve Yemeni citizens and help them overcome obstacles amid the conditions facing the country, the statement quoted Al-Nouri as saying. The campaign also is paying attention to some key sectors in Yemen like education, healthcare, food and others, it made clear. For his part, head of Al-Buraqiyyah distrcit Hani Al-Yazidi extolled in a statement the delegation s visit and the delivery of the water project, which has a great role in serving citizens. He affirmed that this is based on Kuwait s brotherly spirit and its good efforts in Yemen. The visit is part of Kuwait s care for projects carried out over the last period. Mother of disabled expires KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Kuwait, lost recently one of the most prominent citizens the mother of the disabled Moudhi Sultan Al-Issa, reports Al-Qabas daily. The late Al-Issa, who passed away at the age of 100, was a pioneer of volunteer and humanitarian work in Kuwait and the Arab world. She was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in She began the volunteer work at the age of 9. She sewed clothes and sold for profit, part of which she handed over for charity work. She also distributed Zakat aid with her father to the needy families. In collaboration with Munira Al-Qatami and Munira Al-Mutawa, she formed an association in 1962 to care for the disabled which was officially recognized in The late Al-Issa spent her entire life in serving the disabled to provide them education, a decent life and helped them integrate into society. Nations laud Amir s diplomacy Kuwait policies win global acclaim THERE is no doubt that the Kuwaiti diplomacy has become a model in the world of foreign policy, and the achievements of this policy are not strange. It is no longer an emergency matter, rather it is the product of a wise foreign policy adopted by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, columnist Fares Al-Noun wrote for Al-Qabas daily. His Highness is one of the wisest, most experienced and longest serving foreign ministers in the entire world who has seen the ups and downs for more than half a century during which he has played a significant role to heal the rifts and settle the conflicts in several countries, particularly in the Arab world. A testimony of this is that these countries have always sought the help of Kuwait for mediation the mediation that was always blessed with a happy ending. In other words, these countries have put their full trust in the State of Kuwait and its leaders. The role played by Kuwait persists from the day HH Sheikh Sabah took over this position as a result of which Kuwait has harvested gains for the country in the realm of diplomacy. The diplomacy of His Highness has been cemented through humanitarian aid given in the name of the State of Kuwait to many people either through his Al-Noun personal initiatives or through international conferences hosted by Kuwait either for the relief of refugees and the needy through charity institutions because of which many countries have benefited thus transforming the humanitarian action into a Kuwaiti industry. In this context, the UN Security Council Resolution 2401 that was drafted by the State of Kuwait on the war in Syria just a few days ago declared truce to stop the war proves to the entire world that Kuwait, although small in size compared to the area and population is big in its foreign policy. This is worth of its title as the Center of Humanitarian Action bestowed on the country by the world community whose Amir, the Leader of Humanity, has devoted all his potentials to serve humanity and uphold human values. Meanwhile, we have observed that the State of Kuwait occupied its seat in the United National Security Council and in just a few days only managed to adopt a humanitarian position that will be recorded by history in gold letters for bringing truce in the war-torn Syria. This development is likely to end the war in the sisterly country of Syria which has been destroyed because of struggles over the past years. In light of the above, we send greetings to the Leader of Humanity, who guided, advised our active Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled and our distinguished Ambassador to the United Nations, our brother Mansour Al- Otaibi, and his team, whose political and diplomatic efforts culminated in truce among the warring parties in Syria. This success made Kuwait more joyous because it coincided with our national holidays. Personally speaking, I believe this resolution brings hopes to the State of Kuwait during the forthcoming period, particularly during its membership in the UN Security Council, and I am positive it is the State of Kuwait which shall remain always committed to its pledges to meet the satisfaction of those who attach hopes on our country. We pray to Almighty God to save Kuwait from all evil and hatred, and help its great rulers and men and their people to offer to mankind all benefits. Also: They die naked, after the napalm bombs burn their clothes and they are stacked in shelters, some of them resting on the stomachs of others mitigating the pangs of their hunger. There is crying, and weeping, some beating their chests in sorrow while others digging the ground with their bare hands and removing the debris from the chest of a woman who lies beneath. This is the treachery of the Arab nation, columnist Abdulmohsen Juma a wrote for Al-Jarida daily. Not just that, under the feet of a female child lie all the decorations and military medals and ranks of lieutenant general, field marshal and general who represent symbols of treachery which some of the Arab leaders decorate them in their uniforms. This happens while the senseless aggressors in Tehran and Moscow still talk about the Al-Ghouta terrorists and some criminals in the Arab world still support them and applaud the criminal Bashar Al-Assad. Sunni Arabs are facing genocide in Syria because of an international agreement between Washington, Paris, Moscow and London, and the complicity of some Arabs, although some have shown otherwise. At the same time, there are Arabs who dance and celebrate in an unbelievable scene. They see children stacked in their coffins in eastern Ghouta and religious sheikhs who are unashamed of what is currently happening to the people of Syria because of the interference of these sheikhs in their revolution which has been exploited by the enemies of the nation to intervene in the Syrian civil revolution, to turn Syria into their backyard to settle their accounts with the Arabs and Sunni Muslims. Many disagreed with some of the approaches and style of the rule of the former Egyptian president Jamal Abdel Nasser I am one of them but the nation did not witness in the modern era a shield and servant of its interests as it was in the era of Abdel Nasser. The Arabs were defeated in 1948 because of Arab betrayals, but in 1956, in 1958, he defended the Muslims of Lebanon and the Algerian Revolution. He liberated Yemen from ignorance and backwardness. He also prevented Iraq from committing a crime similar to the invasion of Kuwait by Abdul Karim Qasim in He established an African alliance to protect the sources of the River Nile. However, due to excessive confidence in his comrades, Egypt suffered a setback in June 1967 and in spite of that stood at the top of Khartoum in September 1967 to declare that he would fight. Following this summit, he launched the war of attrition against Israel and pushed the Palestinian armed commando revolution and began rebuilding the Egyptian army that fought the October 1973 war but due to the betrayal of the Arabs and the betrayal of its comrades its heart stopped in September 1970 and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat who benefitted from his efforts and abandoned his path and adopted the consumer openness, from which Egypt harvested nothing except more economic and social problems. MP Safa Al-Hashim has emerged on all social networking websites to talk about expatriates, to increase the charges imposed on them and the need to reduce their numbers in Kuwait, Dr Hind Al-Shoumar wrote for Al- Anba daily. All these talks about expatriates are being repeated. However, do we agree with what she says? No one can intervene in matters related to livelihood and sustenance as this is only in the hands of Allah. Everyone has the right to secure their livelihood irrespective of whether they live in Kuwait or any other country. Human beings should not interfere in matters related to livelihood of others. Human rights are ethical principles and social standards of human behavior. It is deep-rooted and guaranteed to all human beings. No one can mess with human rights irrespective of their nationality, place of origin, gender, religion or language. Every human being should be granted their rights without any discrimination. No country in this world has only their own citizens living there. There are people who travel to those countries for either study or medical treatment purposes. There are many who are married to people who are not of the same nationality. Safiya Zaghloul wife of former Egyptian president Sa ad Zaghloul during the revolution of 1919 organized a public procession of Egyptian women against the British, Dr Wael Al-Hassawi wrote for Al-Rai daily. She led the women in a procession against British rule in Egypt during which some women removed their veils. Mohammad Qatb commented on that incident, saying: If those women had really endangered their lives to protest against British colonialism, what prompted them to remove their veils thereafter? Did the British impose the veil on them? The wave of removing veils still prevails in Egypt to date. We witnessed processions by women after the Arab Spring incidents where they were urged to remove their veils. They rained curses on Islamists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood as if they re the ones that imposed the veil on women! Iranians followed suit many weeks ago when some of their women took to the streets and removed their veils amid unrests in Iran where people were protesting against high cost of living. Our real fear for women is their deliberate distortion of the Islamic veil, which they confuse with Western models in vogue. The new ideology completely contradicts the objective of veil and obliterates the preserved image of a Muslim woman. Talks about privatization keep resurfacing each and every time the prices of oil plummet. However, when the oil prices reach their highest levels, we do not hear about either privatization or taxes, Mishref Aqab wrote for Al-Shahed daily. Privatization can be defined as transfer of ownership of a governmental institution, company or administration from the public sector to the private sector. This can happen through two methods sale of government s assets to the private sector or suspension by the government in offering logistic services to citizens and leaving the private sector to invest in those services. The suggestions and proposals being raised in this country about privatization projects under the current scenario in state institutions amid the prevalent bureaucracy and corruption is close to impossible. The philosophy followed in most countries around the world is that the sectors that are related to policy and sovereignty of the state are not subjected to privatization because the state should be keen to take up responsibility of major important matters like policy, administration, security and economy. When oil continues to be our only source of income since the inception of oil production, and when there is no sound plan to put in place alternative sources of income since more than 50 years, then we should not privatize any of the oil sectors because they are the most important veins of this country. Compiled by Zaki Taleb News in Brief Amir congratulates Bosnia: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent Thursday a cable of congratulations to the Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina s Presidency Dragan Covic on the national day of his country. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables. (KUNA) Saudi envoy replaced: Prince Sultan bin Saad bin Khalid has been appointed as Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Kuwait, replacing Ambassador Abdulaziz Al- Fayez, reports Al-Rai daily. Prince Sultan expressed happiness over the trust bestowed on him by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques who issued a Royal Decree on his appointment. He is wishing for success and luck in serving his religion, country and his second homeland Kuwait. It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Cabinet approved in January the promotion of Prince Sultan to plenipotentiary minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Action against stray dogs: Deputy Director General of the Animal Affairs Department in the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) Dr Ali Al-Qattan said the authority is taking all the necessary measures to stop the spread of stray dogs in residential areas, particularly in the new districts, reports Al-Jarida daily. Speaking to the daily, Al-Qattan pointed out the spread of stray dogs in residential areas pose danger to residents; hence, the need for quick action. He explained the stray dogs that are caught are categorized into two untreatable and treatable. He said the untreatable dogs are referred for euthanasia and those treatable are sent to centers and other countries to benefit from them. Audit review of co-op: The Cooperative Sector in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has formed a committee tasked to review the works and audit accounts of Abdullah Al-Mubarak Cooperative Society, reports Al-Qabas daily. This decision is based on the memo issued by the Cooperative Inspection and Control Department.

7 LOCAL 7 Court Cases By Jaber Al-Hamoud Al-Seyassah Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 1: The Criminal Court acquitted a Kuwaiti woman who was accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition, and ordered a Kuwaiti man, with whom the woman had a quarrel, to pay a fine of KD 1,000. According to the report of the arresting officer, a fight broke out between a Kuwaiti woman and a Kuwaiti man. She revealed to the officer that the man had threatened to harm her with a firearm. When the officer asked the man, he denied possessing the firearm and said she was the one who produced the firearm during their fight. Based on this report, the Public Prosecution had charged both suspects with possession of an automatic gun and 34 bullets without permit. Representing the woman was Lawyer Ahmad Al-Failakawi Youth absolved in drugs case Kuwaiti woman acquitted of carrying gun and ammo Al-Failakawi who affirmed that his client had denied the charges from the start of the investigations. He stressed that his client has no connection whatsoever with the weapon, highlighting that she was the one who reported the incident to the police. Lawyer Al-Failakawi said he wondered why his client would report about the gun if she was the one who possessed it illegally. He requested the court for the acquittal of his client based on the evidence that the weapon belonged to the man. The court ruled in favor of Lawyer Al-Failakawi and decided to impose a fine of KD 1,000 on the first defendant, the Kuwaiti man. Youth in drug case: The Criminal Court acquitted a 20-year old Kuwaiti citizen who was accused of consuming drugs and causing a traffic accident on Arabian Gulf Road late night. The Public Prosecution had charged the young man of possessing brain intoxicants without a license. The charges were based on the investigation report of the arresting officer. According to this report, the officer, after receiving information about a traffic accident, went to the site and discovered that the suspect s vehicle had collided with another. Upon searching the suspect s vehicle prior to removing The Asian washing a patrol car. Car wash at police station? The Interior Ministry is interrogating a policeman who allowed an Asian to wash patrols cars using the water hose in front of one of the police stations, reports Al-Rai daily. According to sources, someone made a clip and posted it on the social media to highlight the incident which is violation of a decision issued by the Ministry of Electricity and Water to rationalize water. News in Brief Decision upheld: The Administrative Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by Dr Muhammad Al-Wetyan against Dr Mansour Al-Fadli, says Al-Seyassah. The court upheld the decision to promote Al-Fadli to professor position and appoint him as head of the Insurance and Banks Department at the Faculty of Commercial Studies in the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET). Al-Fadli expressed his gratitude to the judiciary, stressing he is proud of the court verdict that dismissed the accusations against him which affected his academic career. He added he will take legal action to protect his rights and reputation. Drifter stolen car: Ahmadi securitymen arrested five reckless drivers and seized their vehicles during a campaign launched against reckless drivers, says Al-Seyassah. They also discovered a vehicle which was reported as stolen in Sabahiya area after the individual who was performing stunts with it ran away, leaving the vehicle behind. According to sources, securitymen launched the campaign after receiving information that a group of youths were performing stunts with their vehicles at a roundabout. The arrested youths were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal it from the road, he discovered a suspicious cigarette that was thrown on the floor of the car. When he confronted the suspect about it, the latter said he was smoking it. Upon further search, the officer found a black packet that contained hashish, which the suspect, when asked about it, said it was intended for his consumption. However, the defense counsel Lawyer Enam Haidar stressed the invalidation of the arrest and search procedures, as they were not sanctioned by the Public Prosecution. She affirmed that these procedures contravened article No. 80 of the Penal Code, highlighting the lack of incriminating evidences against her client. Verdict overturned: The Civil Circuit of the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict issued by the Court of First Instance which ordered a Kuwaiti woman to pay KD 53,000 based on a promissory note she signed. According to the plaintiff s statement, the woman owes him KD 53,000 based on the promissory note she signed, and she refused to repay the money despite his friendly attempts to convince her to do so. He obtained a payment order but the payment order was dismissed. He then decided to resort to the court to get back his money. During the court session, the defense counsel Lawyer Hassan Al-Ajmi urged the court to revoke the verdict of the Court of First Instance, insisting that the verdict was based on wrong interpretation of the relevant law. Lawyer Al-Ajmi said the note acquires its power from confirming the signature is correct and the reason it was signed for is legal, but if the debtor claims the reason behind the signed document is fake, he must present evidence to prove the reason is fake. Decision nullified: The Misdemeanor Court of Cassation chaired by Consultant Najeeb Al-Mulla ruled that cyber crime cases fall within the jurisdiction of the Misdemeanor Circuit, and thereby nullified the decision issued by Appeals Court s some months ago referring cyber crime cases to the Criminal Court. The court reasoned that judgment was premised on the stipulation of Article 6 of cyber crime law that specifies penalties and prohibitions for print and publication law but the same article does not stipulate Criminal Court as its jurisdiction. This means the general rule can be used to specify the jurisdiction of penal cases. Al-Rai photo A video clip shows the Asian washing the patrol cars in front of the Adan Police Station. Legal action will be taken against the policeman and the Asian. It is noteworthy to mention here the Ministry of Electricity and Water has recently issued citations against citizens who were caught wash their vehicles at their own homes using water directly from the source with the help of water hose. action. Egyptian nabbed: Immigration officers at the Kuwait International Airport have seized an unidentified Egyptian because he had been sentenced in absentia to three weeks imprisonment for violating the Environment Protection Law, reports Al-Rai daily. The Egyptian was caught dumping hazardous biological waste in a desert. Meanwhile, the Khaitan police have arrested a 28-year-old Kuwaiti who was wanted by law in 11 financial cases worth more than KD 86,000, reports Al-Anba daily. The man has been handed over to the Sentences Enforcement Department. He was caught on suspicion in Khaitan. Police hoodwinked: When someone posted a clip of a motorist which showed the vehicle had overturned due to reckless driving, police rushed to the stop but found nothing, reports Al-Anba daily. The clip, which was presumably old, went viral on the social media and police later issued a statement saying the cause of the accident was brake failure and not related to reckless driving. Meanwhile, a person wanted for breach of trust in a case involving KD 3,000 was arrested by patrolmen on a round of Farwaniya governorate and referred to the sentences execution department. A Western Reef Heron spotted in Jahra Pools Natures Reserve. (Omar Aldakhaeel KUNA) Asian woman screams, foils rape bid; man gets kill threat By Meshal Al-Sanousi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Two Kuwaiti citizens sustained injuries during a quarrel between them in Jahra area. According to security sources, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information about the quarrel between two citizens in Jahra area, securitymen and paramedics rushed to the location and discovered that a number of passersby settled the quarrel. The suspects, who sustained injuries throughout their bodies, were referred to Jahra Hospital. Necessary legal actions have been taken against the two suspects. Meanwhile, an Asian expatriate lodged a complaint at Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Police Station against an Egyptian expatriate, accusing the latter of hitting him on the shoulder with a stick and threatening to kill him. Securitymen arrested the Egyptian expatriate and took necessary legal action. Furthermore, an unknown individual tried to rape an Asian woman in a residential building in Farwaniya area. He managed to escape after the victim shouted for help from the caretaker and residents of the building. Securitymen have launched investigations to find and arrest the suspect. In addition, a Kuwaiti woman lodged a complaint at Fahaheel Police Station against the driver of a 4x4 vehicle, accusing him of stalking her to give her his mobile number and then threatening to crash into her car. Using the description of the vehicle provided by the woman, securitymen managed to identify the owner of the vehicle. They have launched necessary procedures to arrest him. Bedoun in suicide bid: A Bedoun youth tried to commit suicide by pouring petrol on his body and setting fire to himself in front of Jahra Court. Securitymen, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the location after the Operations Unit in the Interior Ministry received information on the incident. They found the Bedoun lying on the ground and passersby managed to put the fire under control. Paramedics rushed the Bedoun to Jahra Hospital and then he was transferred to Babtain Hospital later. Passersby, who initially put the fire under control, disclosed that 70 percent of the Bedoun s body got burned. Gang robs guards: A gang of three unknown individuals stole money and cell phones from the guards of two livestock pens in Kabad area in two separate incidents in less than an hour, reports Al-Anba daily. According to a security source, the Bangladeshi guard of one of the livestock pens lodged a complaint at Kabad Police Station, explaining to securitymen that three individuals climbed the fence of the livestock pen at dawn, threatened him with sharp objects and stole his cell phone and KD 177 cash in his possession. Less than an hour later, another Bangladeshi guard lodged a similar complaint, revealing that three thieves robbed him of his cell phone and KD 60 cash. Securitymen have launched investigations to find and arrest the three suspects. Drugs seized: A Lebanese national was nailed by officers from the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Security Directorate in possession of rolls of hashish and drug paraphernalia. Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti man and an Egyptian national were apprehended and handed over to relevant authorities for possessing a bag of heroin, Bedoun attempts self-immolation near Jahra court A construction worker sustained injuries when he fell from an under construction building while working in Farwaniya, reports Other Voices Goebbels and Al-Siraj Al-Munir By Ahmad Al Sarraf The Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany Paul Joseph Goebbels during the time of Hitler became famous for saying that whenever he heard the word of an intellectual he put his hand on his pistol, when he heard the Egyptian drivers in Cairo saying Don t worry, Sir, he tightened his seat belt and he became frightened, when a religious man or a cleric of any religion tell parents not to worry about their children (boys and girls), he felt worried. When the Muslim Brotherhood took control of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs they came out with many ideas that helped their followers gain large sums of money and enabled them to employ hundreds of their followers in permanent jobs or on wage against work contracts. Among these ideas was the Center of Moderation, and one of its officials is recently accused of acquiring land from the Islamic charity organization and disposed it for his own interest, knowing that the center cost the state tens of millions of dinars before the ministry decided to cancel his idea, due to problems in the State budget. The senior officials in the Awqaf crystal Meth and tools for administering the contraband. And, Farwaniya security personnel arrested a Jordanian and an Egyptian who were caught with two sachets of heroin and related tools. All suspects were referred to Drug Prosecution Car broken into: An unknown individual stole a Kuwaiti citizen s wallet from his car which was parked near a clinic. According to security sources, the citizen went to Dai ya Police Station and lodged a complaint about the theft of his wallet, informing securitymen that he went to a clinic after parking his vehicle in its parking lot. When Al-Seyassah daily. Firefighting, medical emergency and rescue teams rushed to the location and rushed the victim to the nearest then came up with the idea of establishing a semi-independent entity, which was called Al-Siraj Al-Munir center with the task of attracting boys and girls of ages between 7 and 13 years old and to educate them on Islam, and instill in them the morals and virtues of this religion and prepare them to be good to their nation, their homeland and religion. But no one in the last 10 years is aware of what is happening at this center which is exempt from evaluation and most of Al-Sarraf what is taught is logically consistent with the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine. With the increase of budget allocated to this center, hundreds of Brotherhood members found work in about 30 branches all over the country. Its activities have become a source of livelihood for many and a center to broadcast specific religious propaganda without being subjected to any control, although the usefulness and the feasibility of this center he returned, he was shocked to notice that the glass of his vehicle was broken and his wallet, which contained some money, was missing. Securitymen have launched investigations to find and arrest the thief. Lives endangered: Police have arrested two Kuwaitis, aged 35, 25, for reckless driving and endangering the lives of other road users and attempting to run over policemen in a failed bid to escape, reports Al-Anba daily. A security source said, upon information a police patrol was sent to the suburb of Al-Salam and the patrolmen saw the suspects driving recklessly. When the man behind the wheel KFSD photo hospital. A case was registered and investigations are ongoing to determine circumstances leading to the worker s fall. have never been assessed. The center was established specially for the material benefits of its officials. The large number of participants in its programs does not mean anything, because the financial temptations and valuable prizes offered to all participants in the sessions and activities of the center may be the catalyst, according to the center s official who said it in a radio interview. I had the honor to hear this interview. What is really suspicious is the keenness of most of those who are in-charge of this backward center whose officials stick to their chairs, despite the two reports issued by the Audit Bureau and the Fatwa and Legislation Department criticizing the continued employment of one of the officials. Why the ministry officials ignore the reports of the Audit Bureau and the Fatwa and Legislation Department? Those who look at the publications of Al-Siraj Al-Munir will find them asking the parents to encourage their children to join the center and not to worry, but I tell them it is time they have to worry about their children. was told to pull over, he not only disobeyed but attempted to run over police. Police then shot in the air and at the wheel of the pickup truck of the suspects, but the bullet missed the target and hit the vehicle. However, they were chased and forced to stop. Colleague assaulted : Police have arrested an unidentified policeman for assaulting a traffic police officer, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily added, the suspect works for the Special Task Force and when the traffic police officer issued him a citation for violating a traffic law, the suspect got annoyed and assaulted his colleague.

8 LOCAL 8 Urgent moves to tackle environmental problems Accord may Continued from Page 1 The agreement comes in the face of 196 deaths of Filipino workers in Kuwait since This figure is on top of 6,000 cases of abuse, sexual harassment and rape filed with the Philippine embassy in 2017 as recorded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Arellano added, after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the protection OFWs, guidelines will be drafted and made public late March or early April. But this would not automatically lead to the lifting of the ban on deployment to Kuwait unless the death of Demafelis is resolved first. Without that, I am not recommending the lifting of the ban, he said. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had issued the total ban on deployment to Kuwait after the body of Filipina domestic helper Joanna Demafelis was discovered in a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait, according to news.abs-cbn. com. Bello said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has added 7 labor personnel in Kuwait to look after the concerns of OFWs. OWWA Deputy Administrator Arnell Ignacio, Sabah Al-Ahmad City targetted KUWAIT CITY, March 1, (KUNA): A host of government agencies have been tasked with implementing urgent measures to face the environment situation in the Sabah Al-Ahmad City, said Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of State for Service Affairs Jinan Boushehri Thursday. The Ministry of Health will be contacted to take urgent steps to face the insect aggregations that spread in the city, for protecting Kuwaitis health, the minister said in a press statement after a meeting at the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW). The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) has been ordered to close water wells south of the City in a week s time, and to rapidly revive the tree-belt surrounding the city. It will also transfer recycled and rain water to the tree-belt areas to lower the level inside the gutter. A cabinet security commission will offer help to the PAAAFR in the water-transfer, Boushehri noted. The Environment Public Authority (EPA) will coordinate with relevant official agencies to refill the existing lake in the city. The minister noted that a government team will follow up on a daily basis the measures taken to improve the environment situation in the City. Boushehri and the Minister of Public Works will pay a field visit to inspect work there. Today s meeting, convened by Boushehri, was attended by Minister of Public Works and directors of the meanwhile, has been designated acting labor attaché in Kuwait pending the arrival of the new appointee to the post, an assistant labor attaché and a welfare officer. DOLE had earlier recalled those holding the three positions as a result of the case of Demafelis, whose family had complained of the lack of government help when they lost contact with the OFW sometime in Bello said aside from Kuwait, he also received reports of high incidence of sexual molestation in Saudi Arabia, based on written reports from the DOLE-OWWA Rapid Reaction Team which visited the two countries. He said they are now in the process of reviewing all existing bilateral agreements with other countries to provide maximum protection to OFWs. During Thursday s press conference, Bello also presented Marissa Ansaji Mohammad, the one who allegedly processed job papers for Demafelis in But in her defense, Mohammad said she was only a trainee at the Mt Carmel Recruitment Agency, the firm that processed the employment papers of Demafelis and could not even recall the name of Joanna but was familiar with her photo. The NBI does not consider Mohammad a suspect but a person of interest. Bello said the authorities are looking PAAAFR, the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation, EPA, and PAHW, as well as senior officials in these agencies. In a related development, Environment Public Authority (EPA), in coordination with Ministry of Interior, arrested three persons for hunting inside Jahra Park after receiving a tip-off from an employee of the park, reports Al-Qabas daily. EPA revealed that the three suspects were issued with citations and necessary measures will be taken against them. It indicated that they will either be imposed a fine exceeding KD 50,000 or they will be put in jail. In related news, the Environment Police has arrested an Arab expatriate at Kuwait International Airport for throwing dangerous litter in an undesignated place. He was taken into custody and faces a jail term of ten years. at 2 to 3 other persons of interest connected with the recruitment agency but refused to release their names. In the meantime, the Al-Anba daily reported a humanitarian gesture in which an unidentified Kuwaiti is said to have repatriated his Filipino domestic worker, who is reportedly suffering from cancer. The daily said when the Kuwaiti realized she was in the last stages he gave her KD 2,600 and one month s salary and a return ticket although she had worked for less than a month. He also requested the concerned authorities to pursue the Domestic Workers Recruiting Office accusing it of fraud for failing to detect the sickness. gdnonline.com, rappler.com, news.abs-cbn.com Rights MPs Continued from Page 1 involved in opinion cases. In a related issue, MP Saleh Ashour criticized the verdicts against some bloggers who merely expressed their points of view while the concerned authorities turn a blind eye to bloggers in neighboring countries who offended His Highness the Amir without being held accountable as they were just asked to sign a pledge not to repeat the offense. In a press conference at the National Assembly on Thursday, Ashour called for reciprocity regarding bloggers who stand trial for expressing their opinions. He also urged the ministers to stop referring such offenders to the Public Prosecution. On the issue of Bedouns, Ashour claimed the government displaced Bedouns instead of solving the issue by granting them social and civil rights, as well as naturalizing the deserving among them. Within a short period, two Bedouns tried to commit suicide by burning themselves. Instead of finding the cause, the Interior Ministry defamed them although there is no final court ruling against them, he added. He pointed out the psychological pressure on Bedouns made them behave this way, while emphasizing the need to address the problems of Bedouns. He asserted, It is unreasonable for the interior minister to describe those who tried to commit suicide by burning themselves as people with criminal records especially since no court verdict has been issued against them. Implement ceasefire: Continued from Page 1 care to avoid civilian casualties. Thousands of civilians have fled their homes since the start of the assault, either to the town of Afrin or to adjacent regime-controlled areas. On Thursday, fighting continued on several fronts in Afrin between the Turkish-backed rebels and the YPG supported by a small number of regime forces. But a YPG spokesman insisted the Turkish-led assault would not succeed. They won t be able to remain in any part of our region, Birusk Hasakeh said. On Wednesday, Amnesty International warned of indiscriminate shelling allegedly carried out by both sides in the areas of Afrin and Azaz. Reports of shelling of villages and residential areas in cities are deeply troubling, said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International s Middle East research director. Ankara says the YPG are terrorist extensions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a threedecade insurgency against the Turkish state. The YPG have been a key component of a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance that has been fighting the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria. Turkey has criticised its NATO allies France and the United States for arguing that a UN Security Councilagreed nationwide ceasefire in Syria should include Afrin. Regime strikes Syrian and Russian forces kept up military pressure on rebel-held Eastern Ghouta Thursday as their controversial unilateral truce failed to yield a humanitarian breakthrough. More than 40 trucks loaded with aid were unable to reach the 400,000 people living in the battered enclave, prompting fresh calls for a UN ceasefire to be implemented. A five-hour daily pause announced by Moscow on Monday has led to a reduction in the bombardment that killed hundreds in only a few days and sparked global outrage last month. But the humanitarian corridor offered by Russia for civilians to flee remained ostensibly empty for a third day running, with distrust running high on both sides. The only civilians to leave Eastern Ghouta this week were a septuagenarian Pakistani man who moved to Syria 44 years ago and his wife, according to the local Red Crescent. Syrian aircraft carried out strikes Thursday before the 9:00 am start of the truce, killing seven civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor. Ground battles were also taking place in Al-Shaifuniyah which lies in the enclave s northeastern region and has been extensively destroyed in recent days. A spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defence volunteer rescuers, known as the White Helmets, said access to the area had been very difficult. There is hardly any life there. It is completely destroyed and there are people under the rubble, Siraj Mahmud told AFP. Air strikes have eased compared with last week when the joint Syrian and Russian aerial campaign against Eastern Ghouta killed up to 100 civilians a day. But the death toll for the assault launched on Feb 18 continued to mount even after Russia s humanitarian pause kicked in, as rescuers found bodies they had been unable to access. In the town of Hazeh, rescuers working with rudimentary equipment were painstakingly hoisting buckets of gravel from a basement where they feared up to 21 were buried alive by a strike on February 20. They have only retrieved six bodies so far. I left my daughter in the basement with her husband and his family, said 60-year-old Abu Mohamed. I came back the next morning. I found the building collapsed and until now I haven t found my daughter nor her husband s family, he said. According to the United Nations, three quarters of all private housing in Eastern Ghouta have been damaged and hundreds of civilian need life-saving medical evacuations. The Russian daily pause falls far short of a 30-day ceasefire voted for by the United Nations Security Council on Saturday and yet to be implemented. UN agencies and aid organisations have argued that the five-hour window was too short for aid deliveries. When will your resolution be implemented? top UN relief official Mark Lowcock asked Wednesday, staring fixedly at Security Council members who listened in complete silence. Russia and its allies in Syrian President Bashar al-assad s regime have blamed the humanitarian deadlock on the armed groups controlling Eastern Ghouta. Syrian state media and military sources accused anti-regime forces in Eastern Ghouta of deliberately shelling the designated safe passages to prevent civilians from leaving and keep them as human shields. A spokesman for the Russian Centre for Reconciliation in Syria, a body supervising humanitarian efforts, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that many civilians were trying to leave. The number of Ghouta residents asking for assistance and help in getting evacuated from territory controlled by the fighters has increased exponentially over the past 24 hours, Major General Vladimir Zolotukin said. AFP reporters at the Wafideen checkpoint through which civilians were asked to evacuate the enclave said strictly no movement was reported however. The only civilians believed to have fled the enclave since the pause took effect are an elderly Pakistani couple who had remained in Ghouta throughout the seven-year conflict but decided to leave when the violence increased. Mohammad Fadhl Akram, 73, moved to Syria in He and his wife, who left on Wednesday and were given shelter at the Pakistani embassy in Damascus, leave two sons, three daughters and 12 grandchildren behind. I hope God protects them, said Akram, who wore a warm hat and sported a trimmed white beard, when he spoke to an AFP reporter in the main eastern Ghouta town of Douma this week. I don t want anything else, he said. The Russian plan for a five-hour pause in fighting in Syria s eastern Ghouta needs to be expanded to allow aid deliveries to enter and civilians and medical cases to leave, United Nations officials said on Thursday. Senators bid Iraq MPs Continued from Page 1 new authority for conducting military operations in the world s hot spots. Congress first passed an authorization to use military force, or AUMF, on Sept 14, 2001 three days after the devastating attacks on New York and Washington by al-qaeda hijackers Ṡince then, presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump have relied on the order s authority, along with a subsequent AUMF in 2002, as they launched operations against armed Islamist groups in farflung battle zones around the world. Several Democrats, and some Republicans, have warned that the 15-year-old authorities are licenses for endless US military engagement. Lee, a conservative Republican, said the measure can help Congress reassert its power over foreign policy decisionmaking. It can authorize or decline to authorize military engagement and define US national interests, Lee said. The four-page measure notes that according to the 1973 War Powers Resolution, if US forces are engaged in hostilities outside the country absent a declaration of war, such forces shall be removed by the president if the Congress so directs. The measure is invoking the provisions of a little-known bill that can force a Senate floor vote on such a privileged resolution. A similar effort, introduced last year in the House by two Democrats and two Republicans, has 50 cosponsors. Ambassadors and military attaches of the pro-legitimacy in Yemen Coalition held their fourth meeting in Riyadh Wednesday. Chaired by the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber, the meeting discussed the successes achieved by the coalition in the political, military and humanitarian fields in Yemen. It also deliberated the efforts needed to ensure the continuity of achieving the goals and extend the legitimate government s control over all Yemeni territory to bring about security, stability and safety to Yemenis. The meeting also reviewed the overall situation and took the relevant recommendations. The meeting was attended by representatives of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Pakistan, Djibouti, Sudan, Egypt, Senegal, Kuwait, Morocco, Malaysia and Yemen in addition to representatives of the Coalition Forces and the Joint Accident Assessment Team. Continued from Page 1 Shi ite Muslim bloc in parliament. The timing of the vote, right before the election, is a message from pro-iran parties that they do not want American troops in Iraq forever, said political analyst Ahmed Younis. They are achieving two things - pressure on Abadi s government to expel foreign troops, as well as scoring political points before the election. Abadi is seeking a second term in parliamentary elections scheduled for May. A spokesman for the coalition told Reuters the presence of its troops hinged on Iraqi government approval. Our continued presence in Iraq will be conditions-based, proportional to need, in coordination with and by the approval of the Iraqi government, said US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon. The coalition says it has begun a transition from focusing on retaking territory to consolidating gains. It has trained 125,000 members of the Iraqi security forces, 22,000 of which were regional Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, and helped retake almost a third of Iraq from Islamic State through air and logistical support. The coalition has drawn criticism, however, for the number of civilian casualties resulting from air strikes. At least 841 civilians were killed this way as of January It says it goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. Iraqi authorities are forcing thousands of displaced people to return to their home areas too soon despite the risk of death from booby-traps or acts of vigilantism, a report by refugee aid groups said on Wednesday. Managing more than 2 million Iraqis displaced by the war against Islamic State is one of the Baghdad government s most daunting tasks after it declared victory against the militant group in December. Delays in moving people back to their home areas could force a postponement of Iraq s May 12 parliamentary election as the refugee camps are not fit to host polling stations.... it is clear that many of the returns taking place are premature and do not meet international standards of safety, dignity, and voluntariness, three refugee aid groups said in a joint report. At least 8,700 displaced Iraqis in predominantly Sunni Muslim Anbar province were forced to return from camps to their areas of origin in the final six weeks of 2017, it said. In two of five camps the aid groups collectively oversee, 84 percent of displaced Iraqis said they felt safer in the camp than in their area of origin. More than half said their houses were damaged or totally destroyed and only 1 percent said they knew for sure their houses were available for return. One in five people who left a third camp came back later after facing retribution and threats in their areas of origin. It s tragic to think that people feel safer in camps than in their homes when this conflict has supposedly ended, said Petr Kostohryz, Iraq country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the aid groups that compiled the report. There can be no hope for peace in Iraq if the authorities cannot guarantee that people can go back home safely. The government s spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on the report, which the International Rescue Committee and the Danish Refugee Council also helped to compile. Prime Minister Haider al-abadi said this month that some forced returns may have taken place but that they were individual cases and the result of decisions by specific provincial governors as opposed to federal government policy. Newswatch Continued from Page 1 The King also extended his greetings to Guterres, wishing him success in his efforts to achieve the UN goals. King Hamad lauded standing cooperation between the Supreme Council for the Environment and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), hailing Bahrain s economic, development, educational and environmental achievements. (KUNA) BERLIN: European and US officials are planning to meet in Berlin in March for talks on Iran s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a German Foreign Ministry source said on Wednesday. Another European diplomat said the meeting would take place on March 15. (RTRS) BEIRUT: A hotly-debated new law aimed at protecting women in Morocco against domestic violence does not go far enough, said women s rights activists who have campaigned for reform for years. The law passed in the Muslim country earlier this month criminalises harassment, aggression, sexual exploitation or ill treatment of women, according to the women s ministry. (RTRS) TEHRAN: Iran s vice president for women s affairs insisted Wednesday the government opposed using force to ensure women wear the hijab, after a spate of protests stirred debate over the mandatory headscarf. Massoumeh Ebtekar told a press conference in Tehran that every country has a dress code: There is no city in the world where you can walk naked in the streets and you won t be approached by a particular regulatory body. (AFP) RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Egypt on Sunday for his first foreign tour as heir to the throne, a government source told AFP. The powerful crown prince is expected in Britain next Wednesday for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and in the United States from March 19 to 22. (AFP) CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-sisi said on Thursday that any insult by a media organization of the army or police is defamation of the country and treason, rather than freedom of opinion. Criticism of security institutions is considered off-limits in Egypt. (RTRS)

9 INTERNATIONAL 9 World News Roundup Guns 21 minimum age: Walmart Trump stuns, embraces gun control measures PARKLAND, United States, March 1, (Agencies): President Donald Trump has surprised lawmakers by embracing gun control measures that are tougher than usually supported by his party, as students returned to the site of America s latest horrific school shooting. We have to do something about it. We have to act, Trump said, voicing support for expanded background checks, more secure schools, curbs on the ability of the mentally ill to buy firearms and raising to 21 the age for buying certain guns. We can t wait and play games and nothing gets done, Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers from both parties. At one point, he turned to a Republican senator and said: You re afraid of the NRA, referring to the National Rifle Association, the premier and powerful US gun lobby. He surprised me, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy later told AFP. He committed very forcefully and very clearly Trump to comprehensive background checks, raising the age on purchase of assault weapons, and protective orders. With tears, fears and defiance, students also made an emotional return Wednesday to their Florida high school where a former classmate went on a shooting rampage two weeks ago, killing 17 people. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland were greeted by heavy security and scores of well-wishers as they returned to classes. US retail giant Walmart announced Wednesday that it was raising to 21 its minimum age to buy firearms and ammunition, the latest US company to recalibrate its stance on weapons after a deadly Florida school shooting. In light of recent events, we ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age, it said in a statement. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change. The retailer said it was also removing from its website items resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys but that it would continue to serve sportsmen and hunters in a responsible way. Annabel Claprood, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School touches one of the roses at the Pulse night club, on Feb 28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. Parents and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made a stop at the site of the nightclub attack on their way back home from Tallahassee. Students returned to class at the high school, Wednesday, following the Feb 14 mass shooting that killed several students and teachers. (AP) America Teacher fires gun: A social studies teacher barricaded himself inside a classroom at a Georgia high school on Wednesday and fired a handgun, sending students running outside or hunkering down in darkened gym locker rooms, authorities said. No Dalton High School students were in the classroom when the teacher fired the weapon, and despite the chaotic lockdown and evacuation, the only injury was a student who hurt her ankle running away. It wasn t immediately clear why the teacher, 53-year-old Jesse Randal Davidson, had the gun. Under questioning by detectives, he refused to discuss what led to the shooting. The gunfire erupted with a nation on edge two weeks after a Florida school shooting left 17 students and faculty dead and ignited a new debate over gun control in America. Within minutes of the Dalton shooting, students there took to social media, calling for restricting gun rights. In the afternoon, President Donald Trump, who has advocated for arming teachers, convened a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House to address gun violence. (AP) Storm to bring snow to Calif: Motorists were warned to stay off Northern California mountain roads as a major winter storm was expected to bring heavy snowfall, powerful winds and torrential rains at lower elevations Thursday. Meanwhile predictions of widespread showers across the southern end of the state raised concern about flash flooding near Davidson Al-Baluchi wildfire burn scars later in the week. A blizzard warning was issued for parts of the Sierra Nevada, where winds could gust up to 125 mph (200 kph) on the ridges and 40 to 60 mph (65 kph to 95 kph) in some valleys, the National Weather Service said. The blizzard would help the snowpack, which is vital to the state s water supply and is only about a quarter its normal size for this time of winter. Totals will be measured in feet and mountain travel will become dangerous, the National Weather Service tweeted. Travel is highly discouraged. (AP) Pak detention no legal basis : A Pakistani man held at the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention facility since 2006 should be released immediately and given a right to compensation, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said on Wednesday. The detention of Ammar al-baluchi is arbitrary, breaches international human rights law and has no legal basis, according to a written opinion by the group of five independent experts, who report to the UN Human Rights Council. The United States has said al-baluchi s detention is lawful. (RTRS) Teachers await Senate action: A public school strike in West Virginia entered its second week as teachers balked at returning to the classroom in all 55 counties. Instead, they went back to the state Capitol on Thursday to monitor the Legislature s progress on a 5 percent pay raise for them. The state Senate was expected to consider Gov Jim Justice s proposed Justice raise that passed the House of Delegates 98-1 Wednesday. Senate President Mitch Carmichael expressed skepticism about the governor s suddenly higher projected tax revenues that would pay for the pay boosts but said that chamber would review it. So teachers turned out in force to let their frustrations out with chants and signs that included the hashtag 55strong. Jacob Staggers, a sixth grade teacher at South Middle School in Morgantown, said Thursday outside the state Senate chambers that if Carmichael isn t sure about the pay raise bill s chances, how do they expect us to go back into the classroom when that s the communication coming from the leader of the Senate? We don t trust the Senate, he said. (AP) Stop spreading IS threat : The United States warned judicial and law enforcement officials from around the world of the dangers posed by an increasingly decentralized Islamic State group spreading to new regions. At a two-day conference in Washington that concluded Wednesday, the US State Department designated seven IS-linked groups as terrorist threats -- underlining the reach of the network. The IS group s former stronghold in its so-called caliphate in eastern Syria and northern Iraq has been all but destroyed by US-backed military operations, but the jihadists are adapting. (AFP) NY to pay settlements: The city of New York has agreed to pay $180,000 to three Muslim women forced by police to remove their headscarves to have mug shots taken, officials said Wednesday. Each of the women is to receive $60,000 after the settlements were finalized in a Brooklyn federal court earlier this week, their lawyer Tahanie Aboushi said. (AFP) Two of the them were arrested in 2015

10 INTERNATIONAL 9 World News Roundup Guns 21 minimum age: Walmart Trump stuns, embraces gun control measures PARKLAND, United States, March 1, (Agencies): President Donald Trump has surprised lawmakers by embracing gun control measures that are tougher than usually supported by his party, as students returned to the site of America s latest horrific school shooting. We have to do something about it. We have to act, Trump said, voicing support for expanded background checks, more secure schools, curbs on the ability of the mentally ill to buy firearms and raising to 21 the age for buying certain guns. We can t wait and play games and nothing gets done, Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers from both parties. At one point, he turned to a Republican senator and said: You re afraid of the NRA, referring to the National Rifle Association, the premier and powerful US gun lobby. He surprised me, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy later told AFP. He committed very forcefully and very clearly Trump to comprehensive background checks, raising the age on purchase of assault weapons, and protective orders. With tears, fears and defiance, students also made an emotional return Wednesday to their Florida high school where a former classmate went on a shooting rampage two weeks ago, killing 17 people. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland were greeted by heavy security and scores of well-wishers as they returned to classes. US retail giant Walmart announced Wednesday that it was raising to 21 its minimum age to buy firearms and ammunition, the latest US company to recalibrate its stance on weapons after a deadly Florida school shooting. In light of recent events, we ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age, it said in a statement. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change. The retailer said it was also removing from its website items resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys but that it would continue to serve sportsmen and hunters in a responsible way. Annabel Claprood, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School touches one of the roses at the Pulse night club, on Feb 28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. Parents and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made a stop at the site of the nightclub attack on their way back home from Tallahassee. Students returned to class at the high school, Wednesday, following the Feb 14 mass shooting that killed several students and teachers. (AP) America Teacher fires gun: A social studies teacher barricaded himself inside a classroom at a Georgia high school on Wednesday and fired a handgun, sending students running outside or hunkering down in darkened gym locker rooms, authorities said. No Dalton High School students were in the classroom when the teacher fired the weapon, and despite the chaotic lockdown and evacuation, the only injury was a student who hurt her ankle running away. It wasn t immediately clear why the teacher, 53-year-old Jesse Randal Davidson, had the gun. Under questioning by detectives, he refused to discuss what led to the shooting. The gunfire erupted with a nation on edge two weeks after a Florida school shooting left 17 students and faculty dead and ignited a new debate over gun control in America. Within minutes of the Dalton shooting, students there took to social media, calling for restricting gun rights. In the afternoon, President Donald Trump, who has advocated for arming teachers, convened a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House to address gun violence. (AP) Storm to bring snow to Calif: Motorists were warned to stay off Northern California mountain roads as a major winter storm was expected to bring heavy snowfall, powerful winds and torrential rains at lower elevations Thursday. Meanwhile predictions of widespread showers across the southern end of the state raised concern about flash flooding near Davidson Al-Baluchi wildfire burn scars later in the week. A blizzard warning was issued for parts of the Sierra Nevada, where winds could gust up to 125 mph (200 kph) on the ridges and 40 to 60 mph (65 kph to 95 kph) in some valleys, the National Weather Service said. The blizzard would help the snowpack, which is vital to the state s water supply and is only about a quarter its normal size for this time of winter. Totals will be measured in feet and mountain travel will become dangerous, the National Weather Service tweeted. Travel is highly discouraged. (AP) Pak detention no legal basis : A Pakistani man held at the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention facility since 2006 should be released immediately and given a right to compensation, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said on Wednesday. The detention of Ammar al-baluchi is arbitrary, breaches international human rights law and has no legal basis, according to a written opinion by the group of five independent experts, who report to the UN Human Rights Council. The United States has said al-baluchi s detention is lawful. (RTRS) Teachers await Senate action: A public school strike in West Virginia entered its second week as teachers balked at returning to the classroom in all 55 counties. Instead, they went back to the state Capitol on Thursday to monitor the Legislature s progress on a 5 percent pay raise for them. The state Senate was expected to consider Gov Jim Justice s proposed Justice raise that passed the House of Delegates 98-1 Wednesday. Senate President Mitch Carmichael expressed skepticism about the governor s suddenly higher projected tax revenues that would pay for the pay boosts but said that chamber would review it. So teachers turned out in force to let their frustrations out with chants and signs that included the hashtag 55strong. Jacob Staggers, a sixth grade teacher at South Middle School in Morgantown, said Thursday outside the state Senate chambers that if Carmichael isn t sure about the pay raise bill s chances, how do they expect us to go back into the classroom when that s the communication coming from the leader of the Senate? We don t trust the Senate, he said. (AP) Stop spreading IS threat : The United States warned judicial and law enforcement officials from around the world of the dangers posed by an increasingly decentralized Islamic State group spreading to new regions. At a two-day conference in Washington that concluded Wednesday, the US State Department designated seven IS-linked groups as terrorist threats -- underlining the reach of the network. The IS group s former stronghold in its so-called caliphate in eastern Syria and northern Iraq has been all but destroyed by US-backed military operations, but the jihadists are adapting. (AFP) NY to pay settlements: The city of New York has agreed to pay $180,000 to three Muslim women forced by police to remove their headscarves to have mug shots taken, officials said Wednesday. Each of the women is to receive $60,000 after the settlements were finalized in a Brooklyn federal court earlier this week, their lawyer Tahanie Aboushi said. (AFP) Two of the them were arrested in 2015

11 INTERNATIONAL 11 Britain William to tour ME UK sets out proposals for EU citizens rights LONDON, March 2, (Agencies): Britain set out new proposals Wednesday for the rights of EU citizens who settle there during a post-brexit transition period, seeking to bridge the divide with Brussels over the issue. Europeans will maintain the right to move to Britain to live, study and work after withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019 until the end of the transition, which the bloc has said should last around 21 months. Like those who arrive before Brexit, these EU citizens and their relatives will be able to apply for the right to stay indefinitely after five years of continuous residence, and stay for as long as they need to accrue this. However, they will have to register with the authorities if they stay more than three months unlike those who are already in the country. And relatives who want to join them after the transition will have no special status, instead being subject to normal British immigration rules, including a minimum income requirement. The EU and Britain agreed a deal in December on the rights of around three million EU citizens living in Britain and their relatives. But Prime Minister Theresa May rejected the EU s request May for these rights to be extended to those arriving during the transition period. London is hoping that an agreement can be reached by March on the transition, but EU negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that differences on citizens rights could delay it. Bid to kill Queen revealed: A mentally disturbed teenager tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a 1981 visit to New Zealand and police covered up the botched attempt, according to official documents released Thursday. Christopher Lewis fired a single shot towards the Queen s car as she toured the South Island city of Dunedin, the documents from New Zealand s Security Intelligence Service (SIS) spy agency revealed. No one was hurt and police reportedly assured members of the royal party who asked about a gunshot that they had simply heard a firework exploding. Lewis, 17 at the time, was picked up soon after on an unrelated armed robbery charge and made a rambling confession about his attempt on the monarch s life. While police said he was delusional and lives in a dream world they found a.22 rifle and spent cartridge in the building where he said the attempt took place. He claimed to be a member of a right-wing organisation called the National Imperial Guerilla Army, which police concluded had only three members. Officers at the time decided against charging him with treason over the October 1981 assassination attempt but pursued firearms and robbery charges. The SIS documents, released publicly in response to a media request and seen by AFP, show police were concerned the incident would become public and conspired to keep it secret. The New Zealand Herald said authorities were worried it might jeopardise future royal visits to the former British colony. Lewis did indeed originally intend to assassinate the Queen, the documents say. However (he) did not have a suitable vantage point from which to fire, nor a sufficiently high-powered rifle for the range from the target. Lewis had a string of serious criminal convictions and was in jail for murder when he killed himself in Prince william to visit ME: Queen Elizabeth s grandson Prince William will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this summer, his office announced on Thursday, the first official visit by a senior member of Britain s royal family. Both Israeli and Palestinian officials welcomed the trip, which also includes Jordan, on behalf of the British government by William, second-in-line to the British throne. We welcome the announcement that Prince William will be coming to Israel. It is a historic visit, the first of its kind, and he will be received here with great enthusiasm, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas s office said it was an important visit which we hope will contribute to strengthening ties of friendship between the two peoples. No further details of the visit were given by William s office but he is likely to make the trip alone as his wife is due to give birth to the couple s third child in April. Queen Elizabeth s cousins the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Gloucester visited Israel in 1998 and 2007, while William s father Prince Charles attended the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in held over Leicester blast: Police investigating a deadly explosion in the British city of Leicester said they had arrested three men on suspicion of manslaughter on Wednesday. The trio, all aged in their 30s and from the East Anglia, East Midlands and North West regions of England, are being questioned by detectives, Leicestershire Police said. It asked people to resist speculating about the identities of those arrested, the circumstances that may have led to their arrest and the cause of the explosion. No further details will be released about these individuals at this stage, the statement added. The blast in the central English city on Sunday evening demolished a supermarket and a two-storey flat above, killing five people. Police stressed again Wednesday that there was no evidence the incident was related to terrorism. Mary Ragoobeer, 46, and her sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, are officially listed as missing but are feared dead. Shane s girlfriend Leah Beth Reek, 18, and 22-yearold shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva are also unaccounted for. Human remains were recovered from the rubble, after debris was thrown across four lanes of traffic by force of the explosion. UK abandons law: The British government on Thursday abandoned measures drawn up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal to punish newspapers that refuse to join a government-approved press regulator. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock told parliament that the government will seek to repeal legislation forcing news organisations that didn t sign up to pay all the costs of libel and privacy suits against them, even if they won. A man cycles past the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its cathedral in Piazza dei Miracoli Square, during a snowfall, in Pisa, Italy on March 1. Persistent snow and freezing conditions from a Siberian cold snap are causing delays in many parts of mainland Europe, with roads and train services hit particularly hard. (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin (center), gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, on March 1. (AP) Britain s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrives at 10 Downing Street for a special cabinet meeting on March 1, in London. (AFP) Europe Blizzards disrupt air travels: Heavy snowfall and deadly blizzards lashed Europe Thursday, forcing airports to cancel or delay flights around the continent, as a deep freeze gripped countries from the far north to the Mediterranean beaches in the south. The snowstorms, unusual for much of Europe at this time of year, left roads blocked, thousands of drivers stranded and schools shut, with weather agencies predicting the biting cold would continue in parts of the region at least through Thursday evening. The death toll Europe-wide continued to climb to more than 50, as another three people perished in Poland, taking the number of victims there to 21, most of them rough sleepers. There have also been six deaths in the Czech Republic in recent days, five in Lithuania, four each in France and Slovakia, three in Spain, two each in Italy, Serbia, Romania and Slovenia, and one each in Britain and the Netherlands. One of the Spanish victims was a 39-year-old homeless man who had been sleeping in an abandoned truck. Meanwhile, the snowstorm sweeping across Europe forced the cancellation of all flights in and out of Dublin airport on Thursday with most services not resuming until Saturday at the earliest. (AFP) Cyberattack ongoing : A cyberattack targeting Germany s government IT network is ongoing, the parliamentary committee on intelligence issues said Thursday, without confirming a media report that Russian hackers were behind the assault. It is a real cyberattack on part of the government system. It s an ongoing process, an ongoing attack, said Armin Schuster, chairman of the committee, adding that no further details would be given to avoid passing crucial information on to the attackers. Quoting unnamed security sources, German news agency DPA reported Wednesday that Russian hackers had infiltrated government networks including those of the foreign and interior ministries. It said the hacker group known as APT28 which has been linked to Russia s GRU military intelligence agency and accused of attacks on Hillary Clinton s Russia Listen to us now: Putin Invincible weapons MOSCOW, March 1, (AFP): President Vladimir Putin boasted Russia has developed a new generation of invincible weapons in his state of the nation address on Thursday, warning global powers they must now reckon with Moscow s military might. Putin used the address to outline economic, and social policy ahead of his widely expected return to the Kremlin in the March 18 election, but nearly half the speech was dedicated to Russia s top-notch weaponry. The president usually delivers the annual speech in the Kremlin but this year spoke from a nearby exhibition centre -- allowing him to show a series of high-tech video montages of missiles manoeuvring across mountains and oceans, and heading over the Atlantic. Putin quoted a speech he gave back in 2004, saying that Russia would develop a new generation of weaponry, a promise that he said has now been fulfilled. No one really wanted to talk to us basically. No one listened to us then. Listen to us now, Putin said, prompting a standing ovation from the audience of top officials, lawmakers and celebrities. Putin showed tests of a new missile system that he said could fly at 20 times the speed of sound and manoeuvre up and down, and is not owned by any other country. This makes it absolutely invincible for any forms of air and missile defence, he boasted, calling it an ideal weapon. In addition, Russia has developed unmanned underwater devices that move much faster than submarines and torpedoes and can carry nuclear warheads, Putin said, adding: It s just fantastic! He also praised a new generation of young scientists working on such weaponry, calling them the heroes of our time. Putin, who has led Russia for almost two decades and is seeking a historic fourth Kremlin term that would extend his rule to 2024, also laid out a number of social, economic Schuster Macron and environmental measures. In the absence of any programme and with Putin having refused to take part in TV debates with other candidates, the address suggested cutting poverty and improving the environment would be top goals for his expected new six-year term. The 65-year-old said he aimed to cut the country s unacceptable poverty rate in half over the next six years, but said 22 million fewer Russians were now living below the poverty line than when he was first elected president in The wellbeing of Russia and the well-being of our citizens must be the foundation of everything, and it is in this area that we must make a breakthrough, Putin said. He also promised further regulations for businesses in order to reduce industrial emissions, as he spoke of millions of people forced to drink water that does not meet standards and black snow in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. People in industrial hubs can go for weeks without seeing the sun because of smog, he said. Putin, who coughed throughout the speech and was forced to pause to drink from a cup, was given an ecstatic reception in the hall during the televised address but some online comments were less enthusiastic. The old man only perked up when he was talking about how he can destroy the world. A moment of truth! said political analyst and former Kremlin advisor Gleb Pavlovsky on social media. Despite campaign promises when Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012 after four years as prime minister, his last term was marked by a fall in living standards and Russia s international isolation, critics say. Boosted by a slavish domestic media and foreign interventions, including the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, his approval rating remains sky-high and official polls suggest he is likely to take 70 percent of the vote presidential campaign managed to plant malware in the ministries networks for possibly as long as a year. (AFP) Knife attacker gets life: A Palestinian jihadist who killed one man and wounded six other people in a German supermarket knife rampage last year was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison. Ahmad Alhaw, 27, had admitted to the murder and assaults in the river port city of Hamburg. In delivering the sentence, the judge noted the particular severity of the crime, lowering Alhaw s chances of obtaining early release on parole. Justice Norbert Sakuth said Alhaw, with his unstable personality, had acted alone after falling prey to the propaganda of the so-called Islamic State jihadist group, adding that in this way the IS succeeded. (AFP) Le Pen charged over IS tweets: French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was charged on Thursday for posting on Twitter gruesome images of purported atrocities by Islamic State jihadists, prosecutors said. The move by a judge in Nanterre, just outside Paris, came after the National Assembly voted in Le Pen November to strip the National Front chief of her parliamentary immunity over the three photos of IS violence posted in Le Pen, who lost to Emmanuel Macron in last year s presidential vote, is facing charges of circulating violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity and that can be viewed by a minor. The crime is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros ($91,000). The pictures were posted just a few weeks after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015 in which 130 people were killed. One of the pictures showed the body of James Foley, an American journalist beheaded by the Sunni extremists. The others showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being driven over by a tank and a man being burned alive in a cage. Daesh is this! Le Pen wrote in a caption, using an Arabic acronym for IS, in response to a TV journalist drawing a comparison between the extremists and the French far-right. (AFP) Italy left guessing over: Italians are used to living with political uncertainty thanks to the over 60 governments it has piled through since the republic was established after the Second World War. The country heads to the polls on March 4 to elect its representatives in the lower house Chamber of Deputies and upper house Senate. But with a fragmented political landscape and a complicated new electoral law in place that mixes proportional representation with first-past-the-post, the country could wake up on Monday to any one of a variety of scenarios. It is unlikely that any of the three main contenders will be able to obtain a majority, but there is only one that can, and it s the right, says Roberto D Alimonte, Director of the Political Science Department of Rome s Luiss University. The right-wing coalition brings together four parties, the biggest of which are Silvio Berlusconi s centre-right Forza Italia (FI) and the far-right League. (AFP) Slovak police hold Italian suspects: Slovak police said they detained on Thursday several Italian businessmen named by murdered journalist Jan Kuciak as having mafia connections in an explosive investigative report on alleged high-level corruption. I can confirm that these raids and detentions are being carried out in several places, police commander Tibor Gaspar told reporters. He said those taken into custody during raids in the eastern town of Michalovice were persons mentioned by Kuciak in connection with the Italian track. Slovak media reported that among those held was businessman Antonino Vadala, the owner of several companies, and several relatives, alleged by Kuciak to have links to Italy s notorious Ndrangheta crime syndicate and contacts in the Slovak government. Physical evidence and individuals are being detained, they will be interrogated, Gaspar said. (AFP) Tsipras replaces migration min: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday replaced migration minister Yannis Mouzalas, who oversaw Athens response to the migrant crisis of Mouzalas, 62, was a regular critic of the European Union s migration policy after hundreds of thousands of migrants crossed from Turkey, putting further financial strain on Greece s debt-laden economy. This is a small change to the government team, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopolous said, adding that Tsipras warmly thanked Mouzalas for his contribution. Replacing Mouzalas in the politically sensitive role will be Dimitris Vitsas, former deputy defence minister and a member of Tspiras left-wing Syriza party. The reshuffle followed the dismissal of junior labour minister Rania Antonopoulos and the resignation of her husband, economy minister Dimitri Papadimitriou, after they were accused of accepting a lodging stipend of more than 1,000 euros ($1,200) a month for two years despite their personal wealth. (AFP) Poland to demote generals: Poland s right-wing government has paved the way for stripping the nation s last communist leader, the late Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, and other communist-era officers of their rank, calling it an act of restoring moral order. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki argued that the draft law adopted Thursday takes the side of the victims of more than four decades of communism in Poland. Under the law, which still needs parliamentary and presidential approval, the high-ranking communist-era officers would be demoted to the rank of privates for their role since 1944 in the oppressive Moscowimposed regime and in the anti-freedom 1981 martial law clampdown. (AP) It would affect army and secret security officers, including Jaruzelski and former interior minister Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak as well as Poland s only cosmonaut, Gen Miroslaw Hermaszewski, who is still alive. (AP)

12 INTERNATIONAL 12 World News Roundup Asia South Korean President Moon Jae-in (center left), and his wife Kim Jung-sook give three cheers for the country during a ceremony to celebrate the March First Independence Movement Day, the anniversary of the 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule, in front of the Independence Gate in Seoul, South Korea on March 1. (AP) China Not legally binding, violates one China principle US-Taiwan travel bill angers China BEIJING/WASHINGTON, March 1, (Agencies): China expressed anger on Thursday after the US Senate passed a bill promoting closer US ties with Taiwan, but the step drew praise from the self-ruled island which pledged to deepen cooperation. The move adds to tensions between China and the United States, already at loggerheads over trade, with President Xi Jinping s close economic advisor Liu He in Washington this week to try and avert a trade war. Several top US steel and aluminium executives have been invited to the White House later on Thursday for what could be a major trade announcement, according to two people familiar with the meeting. US President Donald Trump has vowed to take steps to crack down on imports of steel and aluminium and has been considering imposing hefty tariffs on imports of the metals from China and other countries. Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of one China, ineligible for state-to-state relations, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said though the bill was not legally binding and seriously violates the one China principle. China is strongly dissatisfied with this and resolutely opposes it, and has already lodged stern representations with the US side, she told a daily news briefing. The one China principle is the foundation for China-US ties, Hua added. China urges the United States to cease official exchanges with Taiwan and prudently and appropriately handle issues related to Taiwan to avoid seriously interfering with and damaging China-US relations, she said. The Senate passed the Taiwan Travel Act by unanimous consent. It passed the House of Representatives in January, also without opposition. The legislation only needs Trump s signature to become law. The bill says it should be US policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States under respectful conditions and meet with US officials, and encourage Taiwanese economic and cultural representatives to conduct business in the United States. Planned White House officials did not immediately respond when asked if Trump planned to sign the legislation. It would be unusual for a president to veto a measure that passed unanimously. Taiwan s Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for the unanimous support for the bill and for the US government s increasingly friendly and open attitude towards Taiwan. The Foreign Ministry will keep developing an even more substantive cooperative relationship with the United States, to promote both sides joint values and mutuallybeneficial interests, it said. Taiwan s Presidential Office said the United States was its most important international ally, and that it would discuss the matter with the United States and further strengthen relations. A US-based Uighur journalist is accusing the Chinese authorities of seizig about 20 of her relatives in Xinjiang, apparently to pressure her to cease her critical reporting about the turbulent northwestern region. Gulchehra Hoja, who has worked or US government-funded Radio Free Asia in Washington for 17 years, said on Facebook that her mother, father, brother and other relatives were imprisoned because of her work as a reporter. Amnesty International said Thursday at least eight of Hoja s cousins are being held due to their relation to the journalist. Hoja s decision to take her allegation public is a rare move at a time when many overseas Uighurs fear speaking openly or using their real names in discussing the situation in Xinjiang. That s because of the very high likelihood of government retribution against their relatives still in China. Her disclosure comes amid rising concerns over the Chinese government s campaign to send tens of thousands of Uighurs to a network of extrajudicial detention camps in the name of national security. China suspects radicals among the Turkic Muslim ethnic group of plotting a violent campaign for independence from Beijing and characterizes the detentions as prolonged study sessions where they study patriotism and the dangers of Islamic extremism. But rights groups and foreign academics say the shadowy system is ethnically discriminatory, rife with abuse and has resulted in a significant portion of the Uighur population locked up. A 2017 Associated Press report found that Xinjiang s Uighurs live under intense physical and digital surveillance and are sometimes whisked away for ostensible crimes such as speaking to overseas relatives. No help for UN probe: Duterte Philippines wants Sea energy deals with Chinese companies MANILA, March 1, (Agencies): Any potential deals between Manila and Beijing on energy exploration in the South China Sea should be agreed with a company and not the Chinese government, a senior Philippine official said on Thursday. China claims most of the South China Sea, a key trade route and home to areas that are believed to hold large quantities of oil and natural gas. Along with China, parts of the South China Sea are subject to competing claims Duterte from Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. We might enter into an agreement with a Chinese-owned corporation, not the Chinese state itself, Harry Roque, the spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, told ANC news channel. Duterte denies help for UN: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he would not cooperate with UN investigators looking into extrajudicial killings under his rule, telling police and soldiers not to cooperate with any probe. Duterte s angry reaction came after his government said it was willing to accept a visit from a UN Special Rapporteur to look into the rash of killings under Duterte s deadly antidrug war. When the human rights or whoever is that rapporteur arrives, my order to you is, do not answer... Who are they and who are you to interfere in the way I would run my country? he told a gathering of police and military. Australia amnesty nets arms: More than 57,000 illegal firearms including a rocket launcher and machine guns were handed in during a recent Australian amnesty in which gun owners could surrender such weapons without penalty. The government and some gun policy analysts were surprised by the large number of weapons that were surrendered in the first nationwide amnesty since 1996, when a lone gunman killed 35 people in Tasmania state and galvanized popular support for tough national gun controls. Man gets 44 years jail: A man who supplied a radicalised teenager with a gun to shoot dead an Australian police employee made an Islamic State group salute as he was jailed for 44 years Thursday. Raban Alou admitted obtaining and giving a handgun to 15-year-old Farhad Mohammad at a Sydney mosque in The teenager then shot Curtis Cheng in the back of the head outside the New South Wales police headquarters. Women wants to tell story: A Belarusian woman jailed in Thailand for offering sex lessons without a work permit says she has a story to tell involving the Kremlin, Russian billionaires and even the president of the United States. Anastasia Vashukevich, whose extraordinary claims and racy selfies have propelled her to internet fame in recent weeks, told The Associated Press from a police van Wednesday that she fears for her life, and wants to exchange information on alleged Russian ties to Donald Trump s campaign for her own personal safety. But she refused for now to offer any such evidence, and it s not clear if she has any. Asia Japan PM scraps key policy: Japan s prime minister was forced into an embarrassing climbdown over a key plank of his economic policy Thursday after data he put forward to support it were discovered to be riddled with errors. A red-faced Shinzo Abe apologised to parliament and accepted there were mistakes in statistics used to support the bill, a key part of his Abenomics strategy to rekindle Asia s former economic powerhouse. He had proposed expanding the socalled discretionary work system, under which employees receive benefits for a fixed amount of overtime hours, regardless of how much they actually work. This was part of efforts to reduce Japan s notoriously long working hours, Abe as well as a bid to boost productivity in the world s third-largest economy. Opposition lawmakers and unions had criticised the plan, saying employees would not be compensated for additional work beyond the fixed overtime limit. (AFP) Japan s volcano likely to erupt: A volcano in southwestern Japan is likely to have erupted again on Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, less than five months after its last eruption. The apparent eruption of Mt. Shinmoe on Kyushu island, about 900 km southwest Tokyo, occurred at 11:00 am (03:00 GMT) and volcanic ash was reported falling at the foot of the mountain, the agency said, adding that volcanic quakes have increased since this morning. Conditions of fumes are not visible due to the bad weather, it said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, according to police. (KUNA) No pay rise for ministers : Singapore government ministers were told Thursday their salaries will stay frozen despite a recommendation for a hike, but there was little sympathy in the city-state for the world s best-paid politicians. Ministerial salaries in the financial hub are the highest on Earth, with an entry-level minister paid Sg$1.1 million ($830,000) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earning an eye-watering Sg$2.2 million. The government has argued the huge pay packets are necessary to attract top-calibre talent and prevent the corruption that afflicts other Asian countries. (AFP)

13 INTERNATIONAL 13 Subcontinent Lat/Am German advisor to Taleban held India okays historic law to jail traffickers for life CHENNAI, India, March 1, (Agencies): India s cabinet approved a tough new law which could jail human traffickers for life on Wednesday, giving a boost to efforts to crack down on the fast-growing crime. The Trafficking of Persons Bill, which will go to parliament for approval after it reconvenes in March, aims to prioritise survivors needs and prevent victims, Satyarthi such as women and girls found in brothel raids, from being jailed. It s a victory of the 1.2 million people who participated in 11,000 km long Bharat Yatra (India March) for this demand, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said in a statement, referring to a month-long march he organised last year. Repatriation delays: The death of Indian actress Sridevi in Dubai has highlighted a rarely-discussed issue affecting the families of deceased migrant workers in Gulf countries - long delays in repatriating their bodies. The 54-year-old, who was widely regarded as India s first female superstar, died by accidental drowning in her hotel bathtub on Feb 24. Sridevi s body was flown from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to India on Feb 27, and her funeral was held the following day. In contrast, it has been nearly a month since migrant worker Bhojanna Arepally died of an unspecified illness in Muscat, the capital of Oman, according to migrant rights campaigner Bhim Reddy. Arepally s body is expected to be flown to the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on March 1, said Reddy, who has been coordinating with authorities on repatriation. NAG missiles tested: India successfully test-fired industriously developed third generation anti-tank NAG missiles from the desert of North Indian state of Rajasthan. Anti-Tank Guided Missiles NAG were successfully flighttested in desert conditions against two tank targets at different ranges and timings, the Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Today s flight tests have proved capability of the NAG to hit intended targets. German held in Helmand: A German national believed to be a military advisor to the Taleban in Afghanistan has been arrested in the insurgencyracked province of Helmand, officials told AFP late Wednesday. A man with a long beard, wearing a black turban who identified himself as a German citizen and speaks Dutch, was taken along with three other suspected Taleban on Monday night in Gereshk district of Helmand province, said Omar Zwak, the provincial governor s spokesman. Gereshk police chief Ismail Khplwak said the man -- who was detained by Afghan Special Forces during a night raid -- was the military adviser of Mullah Nasir, commander of the Taleban s elite Red Unit in Helmand. Jordan s King Abdullah II (center), holds hand with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind (left), and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ceremonial reception at the presidential palace in New Delhi, India, on March 1. Jordan s King is on a three day s official visit to India. (AP) Africa Erdogan visits Mauritania: Recep Tayyip Erdogan landed in Mauritania on Wednesday flanked by businessmen and primed to sign several cooperation deals in the first visit by a Turkish president to Nouakchott. He is undertaking a four-nation African tour to ramp up Turkey s growing influence throughout the continent, where it is heavily involved in energy and construction. The Turkish leader, who arrived from Algeria, was met at the airport by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and was expected to seal the accords at the West African leader s palace. The agreements are expected to incorporate the fishing, tourism, agriculture and energy sectors. He was to leave Wednesday evening for Senegal, Mauritania s more liberal and more populous neighbour, before heading to Mali on Friday. (AFP) Bashir names military chief: Sudanese President Omar al-bashir has reshuffled his military command, naming a new chief of staff, as well as leaders of the ground, naval and air forces. His decree, carried by the state-run SUNA news agency late Tuesday, says Lt Gen Kamal Abdul Maroof Al Mahi is replacing Lt Gen Imad Eddin Mustafa Adawi as Sudan s new chief of staff. Al-Bashir also appointed Lt Gen Abdel Fatah al-burhan to head the ground forces and Lt Gen Salah Eddin Abdel Khalig as chief of the air force. The new chief of staff had served as Sudan s military attaché in China, and a non-resident attaché in South Korea, North Korea and Vietnam. The military spokesman Ahmed Khalifa al-shami was quoted as saying the reshuffle comes within the framework of routine work. (AP) Buhari passes vote: The national executive committee of Nigeria s ruling party has passed a vote of confidence in its leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari, it said on Wednesday. The committee, whose decisions determine the direction of the president s All Progressives Congress (APC) party, held a one-day meeting which concluded late on Tuesday. In an ed statement it said the body had approved a one-year extension for party executives, including Buhari. By this decision, all affected officers will continue in acting capacity for another period of 12 months after Erdogan Buhari the expiration of their current term, it said in the statement. (RTRS) 4 killed from Bangladesh: Four UN peacekeepers killed by a roadside bomb in central Mali on Wednesday were from Bangladesh, as were four peacekeepers seriously wounded in the blast, the United Nations said. The incident occurred in the central Mopti region, where attacks by Islamist militants have surged in recent months, although UN officials did not say who was responsible for the blast. Six Malian soldiers were killed nearby a day earlier when their vehicle struck a landmine. The Secretary-General conveys his condolences to the Governments of Bangladesh and Mali and his profound sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. (RTRS) Blast in Mogadishu: Somalia s Islamist group al Shebab set off a suicide car bomb at a security checkpoint about 15 kms (nine miles) outside the capital Mogadishu on Thursday, the group s spokesman and a police official told Reuters. The blast has caused casualties, police officer Major Abdullahi Nur said without elaborating on their severity. A witness Mohamed Farah, who lives in an area near the blast, told Reuters he heard a huge explosion, gunfire and then saw large clouds of smoke rise up from the scene of the attack. Nur said many vehicles were parked at the Sinka Dheer checkpoint for inspection when the blast occurred. (RTRS) US backs UN graft body : US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales on Wednesday that Washington supports a UN-backed anti-graft body and its commissioner, who Morales has tried to oust after investigators targeted him. Haley said during a visit to Guatemala City Morales had not asked her for help to remove the head of the decade-old International Commission against Impunity (CICIG), Ivan Velasquez, a veteran Colombian prosecutor. I told him that we supported CICIG and supported the Haley commissioner, Haley told two reporters traveling with her in the poor, violent Central American country. (RTRS) Colombian senator jailed: An influential Colombian senator was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison Wednesday for his role in a corruption scandal which has ensnared politicians throughout Latin America. The Supreme Court of Justice said Bernardo Miguel Elias was guilty of bribery and influence peddling. Elias, from the ruling Social Party of National Unity, was convicted of accepting bribes from Odebrecht to win public works contracts in the country. (AFP) Lobo s wife arrested: Honduras former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo, wife of Porfirio Lobo who was president from 2010 to 2014, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of embezzling millions of dollars of public funds, authorities said. The 51-year-old was apprehended in the couple s home in the east of the capital Tegucigalpa, a spokesman for the country s supreme court, Melvin Duarte, told AFP. She was implicated in an investigation showing the equivalent of $500,000 had allegedly been siphoned off into her personal account six days before her husband stepped down as president on Jan 27, 2014, Duarte said. (AFP) 7 killed in border clash: Seven suspected Colombian paramilitaries were killed in a confrontation with Venezuelan security forces in Tachira state on the border, an official said Wednesday. The incident in La Cabrera which borders the Colombian department of Norte de Santander involved the Colombian Los Pelusos paramilitary group, said Freddy Bernal, Venezuela s urban agriculture minister said. (AFP)

14 INTERNATIONAL 14 World News Roundup Scientists walk at sunset on Fildes peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica on Jan 31, Glaciers that melt before your eyes, marine species that appear in areas where they previously didn t exist: in Antarctica, climate change already has visible consequences for which scientists are trying to fi nd a response and perhaps solutions for the changes that the rest of the planet can expect. (Inset): Blocks of ice drift on the water off the coast of Collins glacier on King George Island, Antarctica on Feb 1, (AFP) Space Climate Heartbeat after Big Bang Signal of Universe s first stars detected Bowman PARIS, March 1, (AFP): A signal from the Universe s first stars, born a cosmic heartbeat after the Big Bang, has been detected for the first time, astronomers said Wednesday, setting the science world aflutter. The observation came after a decade-long quest, years earlier than expected, and was described by one excited observer as the biggest astronomical breakthrough since the Nobel-capped detection of gravitational waves in The findings have to be confirmed by other experiments. Crucially, it is hoped the discovery will shed light on dark matter an invisible, mysterious substance thought to make up a large share of the Universe. Finding this miniscule signal has opened a new window on the early Universe, said Arizona State University astronomer Judd Bowman, the project s lead investigator. Telescopes cannot see far enough to directly image such ancient stars, but we ve seen when they turned on that is, sparked to life in radio waves arriving from space. Fingerprints of the stars, already active 13.6 billion years ago a mere 180 million years after the Big Bang gave rise to the Universe were picked up by a dining table-sized radio spectrometer in the Australian desert. Such evidence had been expected, but not for years to come. To everyone s surprise, and delight, the signal contained something curious. The early Universe, the data showed, appears to have been twice as cold as previously estimated, at minus 270 degrees Celsius (-454 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the study in Nature. Theme Some suggested a role for dark matter the theme of an accompanying science paper published by the same journal. The author of that study, Rennan Barkana of Tel Aviv University, said the freeze might be explained by ordinary matter interacting with, and losing energy to, dark matter. If Barkana s idea is confirmed then we ve learnt something new and fundamental about the mysterious dark matter that makes up 85 percent of the matter in the Universe, providing the first glimpse of physics beyond the Standard Model, said Bowman. Data from the Planck satellite showed in 2013 that ordinary matter which makes up everything we can touch and see comprises a mere 4.9 precent of the Universe, and dark matter 26.8 percent. The other 68.3 percent is dark energy. Invisible to telescopes, dark matter is perceived through its gravitational pull on other objects in the cosmos. But its existence is not explained by the Standard Model of physics the mainstream theory of the fundamental particles that make up matter and the forces that govern them. Finding dark matter particles could require updating the Standard Model with futuristic theories such as supersymmetry, which postulates the existence of a heavier sibling for every particle in the Universe, or extra dimensions. Expert observers reactions ranged from a truly amazing result, and wow!, to advising caution. This handout photo released by Nature on Feb 28, 2018 shows an artist s rendering of how the fi rst stars in the universe may have looked. A signal from the Universe s fi rst stars, born a cosmic heartbeat after the Big Bang, have been detected for the fi rst time, astronomers reported on Feb 28, setting the science world aflutter. (AFP) Trump Discovery Putin Trump s plan riles Californians: California officials, schoolchildren and at least one billionaire denounced the Trump administration s (led by US President Donald Trump) plan to scrap Obama-era limits on emissions from power plants in blistering comments Wednesday to US officials visiting a state that s helping lead the fight against climate change. Hundreds spoke in defense of the Clean Power Plan at a hearing in San Francisco, the latest in a series of nationwide listening sessions by the US Environmental Protection Agency on its effort to repeal the restrictions. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has described them as part of former president Barack Obama s war on coal. Resistance to the rollback was a given in California, where switching to more renewable sources of electricity is mandated under Democratic Gov Jerry Brown. But officials from California, Washington state and Oregon turned out to make clear the extent of their opposition. (AP) Environment priority Putin: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said improving the environment in the country would be a priority in the next few years, speaking ahead of polls this month expected to extend his Kremlin term to It is hard to talk about a long and healthy life when to this day millions of people are forced to drink water that does not meet standards, he said during a state of the nation address. This was also the case if black snow is falling, like in Krasnoyarsk, when people in industrial hubs can go for weeks without seeing the sun because of smog, he told lawmakers, top government officials and celebrities. We have toughened the environmental requirements for enterprises in order to reduce industrial emissions, he added, mentioning new measures set to come into Evidence of warming now visible to naked eye Antarctica climate change laboratory ÎLE DU ROI-GEORGE, Antarctique, March 1, (AFP): A decade ago, a thick layer of ice covered the Collins Glacier on Antarctica s King George Island. Now, the rocky landscape is visible to the naked eye, in a region that is both a victim of and a laboratory for climate change. I had the opportunity to come here over a 15-year period, and even within a human s lifetime, you can already see the changes brought about by climate change, the director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), Marcelo Leppe, told AFP. Observers can now see rocks that we weren t seeing five or 10 years ago, and that is direct evidence of the shrinking of these glaciers and loss of mass, he said. But even as these melting glaciers worry the scientific world, the presence in Antarctica of plants proving resistant to extreme conditions has also sparked hope for a warming planet. Chile is one of some 20 countries with scientific bases on the cold continent. Its Professor Julio Escudero complex on King George Island is where dozens of researchers are measuring the effects of climate change on native flora and fauna. We need to quantify the change to predict what could happen in the near future, Leppe said. Measurements taken last year by Chilean scientists on Doumer Island in Antarctica s Palmer Archipelago force in 2019 and (AFP) Lebanon finds radioactive cylinder: A metal cylinder containing a radioactive substance has been found next to a beach showed water temperature had risen to 2.5 degrees Celsius (36.5 degrees Fahrenheit), up from its normal range of between 0 and 1.5 degrees. And at a depth of 40 meters (130 feet), it was still at 2.0 degrees. The warming waters have attracted species previously unseen in the Antarctic, such as a spider crab normally found south of Chile. There is also a blooming of green algae which is vital for the local ecosystem, especially for crustaceans. Even though they re really small, the algae and the micro-algae are really important for balance in the food chain, said Nelson Valdivia, a professor at Austral University of Chile. Important They supply nutrients to the rest of the ecosystem, and we know that the number of species in the same ecosystem is a very important factor in terms of it remaining in good health. But over a longer term, this flourishing of algae could unsettle the ecological balance. The worry is losing species that we don t even yet know exist, Valdivia said. Scientists also fear the effect of warmer temperatures on the rest of the world. According to NASA monitoring, between 2002 and 2016, Antarctica lost 125 gigatonnes of ice per year, causing sea levels worldwide to rise by 0.35 millimeters annually. on Beirut s outskirts, Lebanese authorities said on Wednesday, ruling out any danger to the public. The Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission (LAEC) said the cylinder was discovered on Tuesday at Ouzai just south Students yell and hold up signs at a rally for clean energy in San Francisco on Feb 28, California stands in complete opposition to a Trump administration plan to scrap a policy slashing climate-changing emissions from power plants, its top air official said Wednesday at a US hearing in a state helping lead the fight against global warming. (AP) Antarctica holds 62 percent of the planet s freshwater reserves, so the melting there could have far-reaching consequences, not least by diminishing the salinity of the seas, which could prove fatal for many marine species. However, the white continent also may hold the key to plant and animal life adapting to changing temperatures. Already, Antarctic plants which are resistant to ultraviolet radiation and extreme conditions are being used in biotechnology to give us sun protection lotion, antioxidants and natural sugars. To survive the rigorous conditions, vegetation here hoards sugar to survive the harsh winter months buried under the snow. In some mini-greenhouses, Marisol Pizarro, a biotechnology researcher from the University of Santiago, studies how Antarctic plants react to temperatures artificially raised by one or two degrees Celsius. Her finding is that mosses survive the change quite well an advantage that could serve other vegetation in the future. We could transfer a gene linked to this tolerance for dry conditions to a common plant, such as lettuce or rice, to give that plant the ability to tolerate drought, she said. As a result, it would be less affected by the adverse, unfavorable conditions due to diminished water in its environment, she said. of the capital, adding none of the substance escaped from the object. Tests conducted in the field showed the radioactive substance was still isolated in the cylinder and did not cause any radioactive pollution in the area it was found, the LAEC said in a statement. The cylinder bore the inscription USA DOT 7A TYPE A RADIOACTIVE MATE- RIAL. It was transported by the LAEC and the Lebanese army before being stored according to international safety standards, the organisation said. Currently we do not have any information on the origin of this cylinder, said Lebanese Environment Minister Tarek el-khatib. (AFP) Bachelet unveils marine parks: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has unveiled protections for a huge oceanic area home to incredibly diverse marine life, in a move to boost her legacy two weeks before leaving power. Bachelet signed Tuesday a law creating the Rapa Nui marine park around Easter Island and the southern town of Tortel, another around the Juan Fernandez Islands and a third around Chile s southernmost point, the Diego Ramirez Islands. In all, protections added during her fouryear term cover some 1.3 million square kilometers (509,000 square miles) of ocean. The Rapa Nui area alone accounts for some 720,000 square kilometers home to at least 142 species of marine life found nowhere else, of which 27 are threatened or in danger of extinction. (AFP)

15 Film Last Men in Aleppo producer gets visa to attend Oscars World s first hand-painted film vies for an Oscar GDANSK, Pologne, March 1, (Agencies): Vying for an Oscar, Loving Vincent is the world s first animated feature film painted by hand all 65,000 frames in the distinct style of Vincent van Gogh. Centred on a probe into his untimely death, the film was shot on a shoestring budget of $5.5 million (4.5 million euros). That is 30 times less than Disney s Coco, one of the film s four Oscar rivals. For director Dorota Kobiela, Loving Vincent has been a seven-year labour of love combining her twin passions of cinema and painting. Van Gogh s style was perfect for the project; his paintings show all the details of his life, his day-to-day habits, his house, his room, his friends, Kobiela told AFP ahead of Sunday s Oscar ceremonies in Los Angeles. Kobiela and co-director Hugh Welchman already have one Oscar under their belt; their BreakThru Productions film company won an Academy Award in 2008 for the animated short Peter and the Wolf, based on the story and music by Sergei Prokofiev. We are the underdogs! In our category it s normally dominated by Disney and Pixar but I have a feeling we might be one of the big upsets this year, Welchman, who is also Kobiela s husband, told AFP. After five years of pre-production, it took another two years for 125 artists from around the globe to bring the opus to life under Kobiela s watchful eye. Working in a massive studio in Poland s Baltic port city of Gdansk, they based their oil paintings on scenes initially shot on film with actors. The film includes representations of van Gogh s most famous paintings such as The Starry Night. Project Van Gogh, known for his bold colours and rough, vibrant painting style, is considered one of the most revolutionary painters of the 19th century. Painting the 93-minute-long movie was a painstaking task. The pace of work was very slow, averaging a quarter of a second of the film a day, said Kobiela, who spent seven years on the project. A single second of the film represents an average of 12 hand-painted frames. Each artist completed an average of six paintings a day, amounting to a half-second of the film for simple scenes. But according to Kobiela, the quality of the hand-painted frames surpasses digital animation, making them well worth the extra effort. Often in animation, we have the problem that facial expressions are limited. But in oil painting, we can show even greater expression if the portrait is painted properly, she told AFP. Loving Vincent explores both van Gogh s works and his death, widely regarded as a suicide, from a gunshot wound. Based on an original script by Pole Jacek Dehnel, the film follows Armand Roulin, the son of the postman from Arles who was the subject of several of van Gogh s paintings. Doubting van Gogh committed suicide, Armand travels to Paris to find out more about his death. The artist was only 37 when he died after suffering frequent bouts of mental illness including the infamous episode in which he sliced off part of his left ear. Five million people have already seen Loving Vincent in cinemas across the globe. Its makers are already thinking about their next project, which could be a horror film based on the disturbing canvases of Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Also: LOS ANGELES: Kareem Abeed, producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppo, has been granted a travel visa that will allow him to attend the Oscars after all, after an appeal was made to the State Department, a spokesman for the movie said on Wednesday. Abeed, who initially had been denied a visa to travel to the United States last month, is expected to attend, the spokesman said. Abeed holds a Syrian passport and is currently living in Turkey. According to a letter from the US consulate in Istanbul, his application was rejected under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. President Donald Trump placed a travel ban on eight countries, including Syria. But Feras Fayyad, the director of the movie, said on Twitter that Abeed was able to obtain a travel visa. Thanks for everyone involved to helping this process and thanks for all the solidarity and the effort from the American friends for facing Trump ban to help us to be with our film, Fayyad said. Variety Features FRIDAY-SATURDAY, MARCH 2-3, 2018 LOS ANGELES: Oscar-winning British actress Tilda Swinton ( Michael Clayton, We Need to Talk about Kevin ) has joined the lineup of star talent who will act as mentors for the Doha Film Institute s Qumra Masters program. The fourth edition of Qumra Masters, an industry forum that focuses on first- and second-time filmmakers, will be held March Swinton joins British costume designer Sandy Powell, Oscar winner for Shakespeare in Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria, American director Bennett Miller, Oscar nominated for Capote and Foxcatcher, Russian director-writer Andrey Zvyagintsev, Oscar nominated for Leviathan and Loveless, Cannes Palme d Or winning Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul ( Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives ), and the only documentary director to win the Berlinale Golden Bear, Italian director Gianfranco Rosi ( Fire at Sea ) as mentors with Qumra Masters. (RTRS) PARIS/NEW YORK: A few months shy of her 90th birthday, French film director Agnes Varda is in the running for a second Oscar in a year, thanks to an unlikely partnership with street artist JR in a documentary spotlighting everyday life in small-town France. Varda - a leading light of the French New Wave cinema of the 1950s and 1960s and a contemporary of Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard - won an honorary Oscar last November for her career, which includes Cleo from 5 to 7 and The Gleaners and I. With Faces Places, the director has now been jointly nominated with 35-year-old JR for best feature documentary. If it takes the prize, she will be the oldest person to win an Oscar in a competitive category. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: Wes Studi will take the stage at Sunday s Oscars to present an award. But the actor, In this image released by Twentieth Century Fox, Jennifer Lawrence appears in a scene from Red Sparrow, which hits the theaters in the US on March 2. (AP) among the few Native Americans included in the ceremony s 90- year history, has reason to feel like a winner. Exciting News! the veteran actor tweeted when he and Gal Gadot, Mark Hamill, Eva Marie Saint and others were announced as presenters for ABC s 8 pm EST telecast hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Film Night s final moment should be one of high drama Oscars: An unprecedented nail biter By Jake Coyle Even supposing the right envelope is read at the end of Sunday night s Oscars, the night s final moment should be one of high drama. Usually by now, a consensus favorite has emerged after months of guild and critics groups awards or at least a front-runner along with one or two potential underdogs. But not this year. Five films have a legitimate shot at the night s top award: The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Get Out, Dunkirk and Lady Bird. Rarely, if ever, has the Academy Awards seen such an open field of contenders for its top award. A year after Barry Jenkins Moonlight shattered the overwhelming projection that La La Land would win along with many traditional ideas about what Oscar bait looks like pundits are wary of making an emphatic best-picture prediction. It s very, very, very unpredictable, says Sasha Stone, the longtime Oscar blogger who runs Awards Daily. This would be one year I wish I could just opt out of the whole thing. I have no idea what s going to win. Most of the other major awards appear to be all sown up. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards) all look like locks in the acting categories. Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water) is expected to win best director. But in the night s top category, chaos reigns. Reasons for the pervasive uncertainly run from the statistical to the instinctual. But behind them all is the same development: No one really knows what an Oscar movie is anymore. The Oscars, in their 90th year, may look much the same on the outside. But under the surface, everything is shifting. In just last two years, the film academy has added about a fifth of its membership, ushering in an influx of people of color, women and international voters. Swinton Varda I see it as an acceptance of my participation in the business over a number of years, Studi said this week from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It s like being invited to the party. (AP) TUNIS: Tunisia s ministry of culture has banned the Oscarnominated film Call Me By Your At the same time, the person most responsible for tailoring the modern Oscar campaign and catering to the tastes of the academy Harvey Weinstein has been exiled from the institution he was once synonymous with. The voters are different. Some of the major players are different. And the movies, too, are different. It s a year of unconventional kinds of movies being in contention, says Scott Feinberg, the Hollywood Reporter s awards pundit. You do have a few of the kinds of movies that are much more in the mold of movies that won years ago. Darkest Hour and The Post are traditional Oscar bait. But now the academy is not the same academy that used to go for those kinds of movies. And you ve got movies that wouldn t have even been nominated, I don t think, in the past because they would have been dismissed as genre movies Shape of Water and Get Out. Del Toro s The Shape of Water has the most sterling resume, with wins from both the producers and directors guilds, and it comes in with a leading 13 nominations. Yet it lacks a crucial ingredient. Despite an impressive cast that garnered three individual acting nods (Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins), Shape of Water failed to land a best ensemble nomination from the Screen Actors Guild something every best picture winner in the last 22 years has won. Even the historic upset of Moonlight over La La Land confirmed the predictive sway of the SAG ensemble nomination: Moonlight had it, La La Land didn t. Choice Actors are easily the largest branch of the academy and their choice this year appears to be Martin McDonagh s Three Billboards, which won best ensemble from SAG and best film bestowed at the British film academy awards, the BAFTAs. Still, Three Billboards has suffered the most severe backlash of the nominees, and McDonagh s omission from the directing category suggests for some a fatal weakness. But the underdogs are no more statistically sound. Jordan Peele s Get Out and Greta Gerwig s Lady Bird are both first-feature films that could make history for either African Americans or women. Yet neither earned a craft nomination, and they usually lost to either Shape of Water or Three Billboards in precursor awards. Christopher Nolan s Dunkirk is an even odder sort of underdog despite being easily the biggest budget and highest grossing entry of the bunch. It aims to be the first film in 85 years to win best picture without receiving a screenplay or acting nomination. So with a pack of flawed favorites, what s an Oscar prognosticator to do? I just think you have to put it all in the same stew and not let one ingredient overpower, says Kristopher Tapley, Variety s awards correspondent. Put it all in there, don t lean too heavily on there not being a SAG nomination there, a director nomination there. I think Dunkirk is very much in this race. These stats are there until they re not there. Still, Tapley favors The Shape of Water since it simply ticks the most boxes. I m not trying to be coy, he says. I wouldn t be shocked if it lost, though. What most bedevils the increasingly round-theclock awards-season prediction machine is the preferential ballot reinstituted eight years ago when the best picture category expanded from five to up to ten nominees. By ranking all nine films, voters no longer simply choose a favorite. As a result, the most broadly liked film can often triumph over the most passionately loved one. There you have it. The closest, most unpredictable Academy Awards race in recent history could come down to how academy voters feel about the lovemaking of a fish-man. So when the last envelope is read Sunday, be sure to hold your breath. (AP) Name, a love story between two men, one of its main distributors said on Wednesday. The feature film was due to be screened on Wednesday night in the capital Tunis but the venue announced on Facebook that the event had been cancelled. It was banned, the distributor Lassaad Goubantini told AFP, denouncing the decision as an attack on liberties motivated by the subject of the film. A story of love between a 17-year-old and an older man, Call Me By Your Name has been nominated for best picture at the 90th Academy Awards to be handed out on Sunday. AFP was unable to reach the culture ministry to confirm the reported ban on Wednesday. (AFP)

16 NEWS/FEATURES 16 People & Places Film Super Bowl of sparkle Composers get their rare moment on stage LOS ANGELES, March 1, (AP): It s not often that a composer is asked to provide musical accompaniment to a woman having sex with a fish monster. It s almost as rare that a composer is asked to conduct a big-city symphony in a performance of his movie score the same week he s expected to win an Oscar for it. Alexandre Desplat, whose music gave voice to the emotions of the mute couple at the center of The Shape of Water, embraced both tasks. He was one of five Academy Award nominees whose scores the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed Wednesday night at Walt Disney Concert Hall in a show designed to give usually secluded composers a rare moment in the spotlight. It was just the second such concert in the history of the academy, which celebrates its 90th anniversary with Sunday s Oscar ceremony. It s a fantastic moment for a composer to be able to come out of your studio and share the emotion, Desplat, 56, told The Associated Press shortly before taking the stage. It s a great reward, especially here, with this orchestra. Del Toro Guillermo Del Toro, who directed the film, was in attendance Wednesday night and spoke briefly to introduce Desplat to the crowd. When Del Toro presented him with the amphibious and very adult love story, Desplat said his thought was: Give me more scenes. And he knew what approach he wanted to take: as pure, sweeping and romantic as he would give to any passionate relationship. I haven t scored that many love stories, Desplat said. It s one of my rare opportunities. There are not so many movies that are love stories anymore. He set aside the conductor s baton and used only his hands to lead the orchestra in a transfixing performance of his score, a classic movie-romance with an occasional accordion that evoked his native Paris, and just the slightest nod to the movie s supernatural themes. While he has spent his entire career in movies, and won an Oscar for 2014 s Grand Budapest Hotel, he has also occasionally led an orchestra in concert. Carter Burwell hasn t. Concert The composer for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, has had a storied three-decade career in movie music, but had never before taken the concert stage to conduct. Oh it s completely new, said Burwell, showing no sign of nerves before the show. He was resplendent in a tux and slightly oversized white tie when he led the orchestra in his spaghettiwestern-style soundtrack to Three Billboards, giving no indication that he was a rookie. Jonny Greenwood, the Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist who scored Phantom Thread, was the lone no-show nominee, though his work was played in his absence. The night had a rock star anyway in 86-year-old John Williams, who was welcomed with whoops and cheers more common in arenas than concert halls. Williams Oscar nomination for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is his 51st. Williams was introduced by Rian Johnson, the Last Jedi director who said it s impossible to present Williams to an audience without sounding too grandiose, like I m dedicating a national park. On this night, however, Williams focused only on material that was new and unique to Last Jedi, and stayed away from the soul-stirring Star Wars melodies. The last of the composers, Hans Zimmer, wasn t happy Wednesday night. The 11-time nominee was certainly glad the Academy was giving added attention to composers. But he really wished they hadn t done it in a year when his entry, the score for Dunkirk, was designed to make an audience feel edgy and claustrophobic, instead of, say, 1995, when he won an Oscar for his crowd-pleasing work on The Lion King. The Academy Awards are the Super Bowl of sparkle, at least to the jewelers vying to adorn all those famous ears, necks and wrists. Martin Katz, who has outfitted Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet and hundreds of other stars with bling for more than 25 years, said the process used to be more about personal connections. In the early days, through the 90s and even mid- 2000s, we had a much more direct contact with the celebrity. They would come in personally, most of them. We would work together, choose things. Today it is morphed into the stylists. They control that, he said in a recent interview. So how does it all work when so many of the world s top jewelry companies are in the game? Stylists often choose four or six different looks per gown picked for a celebrity client. That can mean they ve collected hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, worth of jewels. Protected Security is part of the process, said Forevermark Diamonds Kristen Trustey. Our diamonds are wellprotected from the time that stylists are visiting the suite to when we are doing drops to celebrities homes or hotels with armored trucks and guards, and of course insurance. But it s a waiting game as to what jewels are actually worn. On average, Katz said, most A-listers wear between $200,000 to $1 million worth of jewelry each for big red carpets. But a star may exceed that in a single piece, wearing a $5 million diamond necklace, for instance. As a rule, Katz said he doesn t go over $1 million in borrowed gems. At the Oscars, the biggest risk is that a piece of jewelry were to fall off a celebrity unnoticed, he said. Maybe a bracelet becomes unhinged, falls on the red carpet, gets kicked, or an earring falls off and gets kicked and nobody notices. They don t notice until later it s gone. We hold our breaths until all the babies come home the next day. Celebrity branding is a huge business bump overall for jewelers, and red carpets are a huge part of that. Aside from the customary media coverage, stars bring attention to the jewelry they wear on their social media accounts. A celebrity s reach there can bring in millions of views, leading some companies to pay the famous to borrow jewels for social media purposes alone. But not Martin Katz. As a small independent jeweler without stores all over the world, it doesn t make sense for him to build that expense into his advertising budget. This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Sally Hawkins (left), and Doug Jones in a scene from the film The Shape of Water, which is nominated for an Oscar for best picture. (AP) This cover image released by Bobolink/Razor & Tie Records shows Whistle Down The Wind, by Joan Baez. (AP) Variety LOS ANGELES: Brad Pitt is joining Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino s upcoming Manson movie, which will be titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino, who is writing and directing, describes the project as a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. DiCaprio will play Rick Dalton, former star of a western TV series, while Pitt will be his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth. Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor...sharon Tate, Tarantino added. I ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was 7 years old, Tarantino said in a statement. I m very excited to tell this story of an LA, and a Hollywood that don t exist anymore. And I couldn t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio & Pitt as Rick & Cliff. (RTRS) PARIS: Marjane Satrapi, the Franco- Iranian director best known for her Oscar-nominated animated film Persepolis, has begun shooting a biopic of the scientist Marie Curie, her producers said Wednesday. Radioactive has British actress Rosamund Pike of Gone Girl and Bond fame in the lead role. Fellow Brit Sam Riley who made his name playing Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in the film Control portrays Curie s French husband Pierre, producers Studio Canal and Amazon Studios said. (AP) LOS ANGELES: Warner Bros looks to have found Diana Prince s next big-screen adversary. Sources tell Variety that Kristen Wiig is the top choice to play the villain role of Cheetah in the Wonder Woman sequel opposite Gal Gadot. Warner Bros had no comment on the potential casting. Variety first reported that Patty Jenkins would be returning to write, direct, and produce the pic after landing a new contract in the high eight-figure range. Following the news that the studio has slated the movie for Nov 1, 2019, finding this key role became a top priority. Insiders indicate that Wiig was always high on Jenkins list for the part and had let Wiig know about her interest before Jenkins left to location scout for the project. While it is currently unknown if Wiig is completely on board for the role, a recent meeting between Wiig and top execs began to move things in the right direction. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: Tony Cavalero, who starred in the TV series School of Rock, has signed to play rocker Ozzy Osbourne in Netflix s Motley Crue biopic, The Dirt. Jeff Tremaine is directing the project based on the 2001 autobiography The Dirt: Confessions of the World s Most Notorious Rock Band by band members Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, and Nikki Sixx, along with author Neil Strauss. Rich Wilkes, Tom Kapinos, and Amanda Adelson adapted the script. Osbourne broke out in the 1970s as the Music Veteran singer muses on Trump... and Hitler Baez s talent intact on new album lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, which fired him in He then became an even bigger star in the 1980s when Motley Crue emerged. The band was formed in LA and released its first album, Too Fast for Love, in Motley Crue combined hard rock, heavy metal, and glam rock, going on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide. (RTRS) The Dirt will star Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Pitt Rhett collects 6 nominations Stapleton leads ACMs noms LOS ANGELES, March 1, (RTRS): Chris Stapleton leads in nominations for the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards, airing live on CBS on April 15. The singer and songwriter is up for eight awards in five categories including Entertainer of the Year, Stapleton s first time vying for the penultimate prize of the night. Reba McEntire will host the show, which is held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, returning to emcee the ACMs for the first time since 2012, when she appeared alongside Blake Shelton. Thomas Rhett, who won Male Vocalist of the Year in 2017, collected six nominations, including another for the title he currently holds. Keith Urban follows in five categories, including his eighth time as a contender for Entertainer of the Year, along with songwriter Shane McAnally, whose credits include Sam Hunt s Body Like A Back Road and Keith Urban s Female, Old Dominion s Happy Endings and Midland s Drinkin Problems. Not far behind in the nomination tally is Miranda Lambert, ACM s reigning Female Vocalist of the Year, with four nominations. She has collected 29 ACM awards since emerging onto the scene in Newcomer also received Maren Morris received four nominations, including her second in the Female Vocalist of the Year category. Among country groups, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum and Midland collected nods as did Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, their first as a duo. List of nominations Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean; Garth Brooks; Luke Bryan; Chris Stapleton; Keith Urban. Female Vocalist of the Year Kelsea Ballerini; Miranda Lambert; Reba McEntire; Maren Morris; Carrie Underwood. Male Vocalist of the Year Jason Aldean; Thomas Rhett; Chris Stapleton; Keith Urban; Chris Young. Vocal Duo of the Year By Pablo Gorondi oan Baez, Whistle Down the JWind (Bobolink/Razor & Tie) Nearly 10 years on from her last studio album, Joan Baez delivers another pearl, 10 deeply felt interpretations about the human condition and the state of the world. Baez s voice is in fine form and if her range now is, unsurprisingly, more earth angel than angelic, it serves to enhance her expressiveness, the depth of the lyrics and the strength of the melodies. Some of the songwriters, like Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan and Eliza Gilkyson, also contributed to Day After Tomorrow, the 2008 album produced by Steve Earle that s like a soul mate of this one, shepherded by Joe Henry. The Waits/Brennan title track and their Last Leaf are typically full of captivating images and a few lines, like one about Dwight Eisenhower, provide some moments of comic relief. Baez can be mischievously funny in interviews, but not here. Another World, from Anohni, is one of the most disconsolate tracks I need another world/this one s nearly gone while The President Sang Amazing Grace, Zoe Mulford s reflection on the 2015 Charleston church shooting, is one of the most moving. Henry s own Civil War seems both personal and universal while Mary Chapin Carpenter s The Things That We Are Made Of is deeply poetic with a glimmer of hope. Silver Blade, one of Josh Ritter s two contributions, is a self-defense murder ballad where, unlike the motherly protection provided in Silver Dagger from Baez s 1960 debut, the protagonist can take care of herself. Baez will be presenting Whistle Down the Wind on what s meant to be her last extended tour. It s a strong album for a farewell, as representative of her talents as of the times. Joan Baez is musing about Donald Trump and even Hitler and what she believes is their shared lack of empathy. Most of the weird ones have their pets, she told AFP, referring to Hitler s German Shepherd, Blondi. But I don t think Trump could even have a dog. I don t think there is any feeling for anybody but himself and his money. I mean Hitler wanted to rule the world. Trump wants to make money. The legendary 1960s protest singer may be on what she insists is her final tour, Fare Thee Well, but she has no intention of going quietly. Although she spends more time these days painting than on music, her retirement may be more theoretical than real. If somebody calls me to do 20 minutes at a folk festival... or to do something that supports the resistance to evil because of the political climate we re in, then I ll do it, said the 77-year-old. Baez said that standing up to Trump is far more difficult than the more straightforward battles her generation had to face. For us it was easy... There was Vietnam and civil rights. Now there DiCaprio Brothers Osborne; Dan & Shay; Florida Georgia Line; LOCASH; Tim McGraw & Faith Hill. Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum; LANCO; Little Big Town; Midland; Old Dominion. New Female Vocalist of the Year Lauren Alaina; Danielle Bradbery; Carly Pearce; Raelynn. New Male Vocalist of the Year Kane Brown; Luke Combs; Devin Dawson; Russell Dickerson; Brett Young. New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year High Valley; LANCO; LOCASH; Midland; Runaway June. Album of the Year Breaker Little Big Town; California Sunrise Jon Pardi; From A Room Vol. 1 Chris Stapleton; Happy Endings Old Dominion; Life Changes Thomas Rhett. Single Record of the Year Better Man Little Big Town; Body Like A Back Road Sam Hunt; Broken Halos Chris Stapleton; Drinkin Problem Midland; I ll Name The Dogs Blake Shelton. Song of the Year Body Like a Back Road Sam Hunt; Female Keith Urban; Tin Man Miranda Lambert; Whiskey And You Chris Stapleton. Video of the Year Black Dierks Bentley; It Ain t My Fault Brothers Osborne; Legends Kelsea Ballerini; Marry Me Thomas Rhett; We Should Be Friends Miranda Lambert. Songwriter of the Year Rhett Akins; Ashley Gorley; Hillary Lindsey; Shane McAnally; Josh Osborne. Vocal Event of the Year Craving You Thomas Rhett Featuring Maren Morris; Dear Hate Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill; Funny (How Time Slips Away) Glen Campbell And Willie Nelson; The Fighter Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood; What Ifs Kane Brown Featuring Lauren Alaina. are 50 Vietnams going on in the world and there is this insane narcissistic crazy person creating a situation we could not have invented, she said. But the singer was cheered by the courage of teenage survivors of the Florida high school shooting taking on the US president and the gun lobby. (Agencies) Daniel Webber as Vince Neil and rapper Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee. Julie Yorn, Erik Olsen, and Allen Kovac are producing. (RTRS) Motley Crue played its final concert on New Year s Eve 2015 at Los Angeles Staples Center. The project had been in development at Paramount more than a decade ago with Larry Charles attached to direct. Netflix bought the rights to the project last year. (RTRS)

17 NEWS/FEATURES 17 Dries Van Noten Lanvin Fashion Dries Van Noten PARIS: Paris Fashion Week is continuing in the French capital. Themes from the natural world, to the Roaring Twenties to the era of Glam Rock have been channeled on Day 2 of the shows. Here are some of the fall-winter 2018 highlights: Lanvin For his sophomore outing, designer Olivier Lapidus continued to lead Lanvin down its newer, more commercial path. Lanvin is the oldest couture house in continuous existence and as such it holds an almost sacred place in the fashion firmament. Reports last year that the relativelyunknown Lapidus (the house s third designer in as many years) planned to make Lanvin into a French Michael Kors were greeted by fashion insiders with snooty indignation. Many criticized last year s debut show. Wednesday s was a compromise. It towed the line between some more salable color-blocking looks with the generous couture that has (until now) defined the house. Bright hues such as a yellow cadmium satin split dress and fitted ultramarine pants provided an eyecatching reference to the 80s. In a nice touch, the pure color was so high-key it often looked fluorescent, but its impact was diminished by being used on otherwise conventional silhouettes. Belts with large square jewel encrustations were sometimes just distracting. The best looks came when Lapidus stuck to the house DNA. A frothy, black pleated tulle couture gown hung down in a diamond from the bust. The material was so diaphanous it created myriad layers of transparency, and the pleats evoked almost the shell of an insect. Lacoste Nature was the creative starting point for Felipe Oliveira Baptista at Lacoste. Guests slurped ecocoffee at the morning show in the northern reaches of Paris and sat down underneath the shade of a giant (fake) tree that had been impressively erected inside the venue in the center of the catwalk. It was a nod to a major forest creation project the house had done during World War II as the collection itself delved into that the age-old maison s past in its associations with trees and with outdoors golf. Large green leaf motifs were woven into loose gray sweaters and skirts with a rough knit surface, or in blue down a poncho alongside black Wellington boots. A loose silken cardigan with a sports feel shimmered in golden brown as if kissed by the autumnal sun. Alongside the arboreal referencing were looks that evoked what Rene Lacoste would wear on the gold course. It spawned a chic Argyle knit dress, but elsewhere plaid patterns that ap- A b o v e and below: Models display creations by Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Rochas, Lacoste and Lemaire during the 2018/2019 Fall/ Winter Collection Fashion Show on Feb 28, 2018 in Paris. (AFP) Rochas peared on hats and down sporty jackets fared less well. Dries Van Noten Graphic glam meets artful were the words Belgian designer Dries Van Noten used to describe the concept of his complex fall-winter show that swirled with lines and prints. Dries Van Noten But encyclopedic fashion check list might have been a better suggestion for the ambitious and stylish collection. Dries Van Noten Geometric shapes that referenced the 1930s Art Deco movement were used with flair on a broad, round-shouldered coat. Lacoste Lanvin PARIS Lemaire The metallic grooves in its pattern evoked an artist s etching. Elsewhere, the Twenties were evoked, continuing the heady era s revival on the Paris Fashion Week runway. (The house of Poiret whose heyday was in that decade is being revived in Paris this season.) Here, those styles were captured in silvery skirts with a pointed hem and on soft, loose silhouettes that did away with the body. Bold glam rock looks completed the fall-winter collection. One gargantuan ultramarine coat Lanvin captured the bold exuberance of the early Seventies with a beautifully generous cut. Also: PARIS: What do Rihanna, Che Guevara nostalgics, and the Kardashian clan all have in common? They are all bonkers about berets. The Frenchest of hats is now also the hippest, with makers struggling to keep up with demand from everyone from pop stars to the crowned heads of Europe. S i n c e Lacoste Dior s Maria Grazia Chiuri sent out every one of her 68 models wearing one in her first autumn winter show last March, the humble Pyrenean shepherd s hat has become the epitome of cool. I love berets because they re the T-shirt of hats, said Stephen Jones, the British master milliner who helped create the cult Dior line for Chiuri. LONDON: Luxury British fashion house Burberry on Thursday announced the appointment of Riccardo Tisci, formerly of Givenchy, as its new chief creative officer to replace Christopher Bailey. The 43-year-old Italian, who was creative director at the famed French fashion house from 2005 to 2017, will take over the reins at Burberry on March 12. He is credited with reviving Givenchy by cultivating links with celebrities, including by designing stage outfits for the tours of Madonna, Beyonce and Rihanna, and directing the artwork for an album by Jay Z and Kanye West. Tisci will be based in London and direct all Burberry s collections, presenting his first in September, the company said. (Agencies)

18 18 odds n ends WINSTON-SALEM, NC: The judges, deputies and clerks showed up for court, but one key element was missing: No one had invited any jurors. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that North Carolina s fourth-largest county failed to mail notices to the 1,700 or so prospective jurors needed to hear cases this week. After no one showed up for jury duty Monday, Forsyth County officials made a plea through local television station WXII for any volunteers willing to fulfill their civic duty. But only 19 people showed up Tuesday. One judge in the county of 370,000 residents even sent deputies to a mall to seek volunteers, but found no other takers. We don t have enough jurors, Judge Stuart Albright said in court Tuesday afternoon before dismissing the few who had shown up. New notices were sent asking hundreds of prospective jurors to be there Thursday, while other trials were postponed until next week. Normally, a county printing office makes the notices and sends them. That happens after a jury clerk determines how many prospective panelists are needed and uses a system to select them at random, Forsyth County Clerk of Court Susan Frye said in an . But this time, the notices weren t mailed because of an error by someone in the county print shop, said Kirby Robinson, the county s property manager. It s an unfortunate thing, and we sincerely apologize to the people who were inconvenienced, he told the newspaper. (AP) THE HAGUE, Netherlands: This really is state of the art research. Experts at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague are using the latest technology to take a long, hard look at one of their most prized paintings, Johannes Vermeer s Girl with a Pearl Earring, and they are inviting the public in to watch. For two weeks starting Monday, experts are pointing a battery of high-tech machines at the 17th-century masterpiece of a young woman whose enigmatic gaze has earned her the nickname of the Dutch Mona Lisa. The iconic painting was last studied in 1994 during a conservation project. In those days, they took paint samples from the priceless work to examine. Since then, technology has made such advances that the museum says scanners and X-ray machines that don t even touch the surface of the canvas can provide new insights into how Vermeer painted the girl and the materials he used. The first machine on deck was an X- Ray Fluorescent Spectrometry scanner that uses a thin beam of X-rays to examine the distribution of pigments below the surface of the painting. An XRF scan really shows what blobs of paint on the pallet of Vermeer s studio ended up where exactly and in what intensity on this painting, said Prof. Joris Dik of the Delft University of Technology that developed the scanner. So it s a way of let s say looking over the shoulders of Vermeer and watching him paint the painting and see him make choices. Museum Director Emilie Gordenker said that data collected in the coming two weeks will provide answers to many questions she has about the girl. How did Vermeer actually build up the surface of the painting? Where did he start? What s underneath that paint layer? she said. What kind of paints did he use? Where did they come from? (AP) OKLAHOMA CITY: Oklahoma City, meet the Great Lakes. A weather event known as lake effect snow that s common in the upper Midwest and northeastern US, made a rare appearance at Oklahoma City s Lake Hefner on Wednesday. Meteorologist Ryan Barnes with the National Weather Service in Norman said an area south of the lake received lake effect snow last Wednesday. The weather event can produce heavy snow in the Great Lakes, but Barnes said it resulted in only a dusting in Oklahoma City. Lake effect snow occurs when cold air moves over warmer, moist air of a body of water. Barnes said conditions that determine whether an area will get lake effect snow include wind direction, orientation of the lake and temperatures both above the storm and at ground level. (AP) Conceptis Sudoku The grid must be so completed that every row, column and 3x3 box has every digit from 1 to 9 inclusive contract bridge Sunday: By Steve Becker Challenger Eugene Sheffer Crossword Answer to yesterday s puzzle 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. Yesterday s solution Word by Word THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE SOLUTION. Today s Challenge Time 6 Minutes 0 Seconds Your Working Time Minutes Seconds Dog A living dog is better than a dead lion. Al kalb al hair khair men al asad al mayet. Numbers 7800 Seven thousand eight hundred Kalb Sabat alaf wa thaman maaha

19 19 Kuwait traditional dance Dr Eng Akram Al Najjar, JBA General Manager & Owner Army show by Grade 3A Presentation on Kuwait culture by Grade 1B Dr Oana Al Najjar (JBA Principal) with some of the army show students Jahra Bilingual Academy celebrates Kuwait glorious anniversaries JBA parents and students enjoying the event Jahra Bilingual Academy (JBA) celebrated Kuwait National and Liberation days last week at its premises. The audience was comprised by parents and school administration. It began with the fl ag salutation, Kuwait anthem, and Quran recitation, all performed by JBA students. The Principal of JBA, Dr Oana Al Najjar welcomed the guests to the school s National and Liberation celebration on behalf of Jahra Bilingual Academy and its owner, Dr Eng Akram Al Najjar. In her speech, she highlighted the importance of the two glorious anniversaries, as well as how Kuwait has been steadily achieving much in terms of development and progress for the Kuwaiti people as well as citizens welfare under the wise leadership of the Al-Sabah family since independence. The artistic program followed with a plethora of wonderful presentations on Kuwait landmarks (grade 7A), Kuwait acronyms (grade 4A), culture of Kuwait (grade 1A), life in Kuwait before oil (grade 1B), traditional Kuwaiti dance (grade 2A), army show (grade 3A), girls traditional dance (grade 5A & 6A), as well as poem recitations and singing in Arabic. The celebration was wrapped up by the traditional Kuwaiti food and sweets sharing which brought together all the students, parents, and teachers to enjoy delicious flavors of the Kuwaiti cuisine. In partnership with students, parents, and community, Jahra Bilingual Academy (JBA) creates an exciting challenging education that has value and meaning for each student, encouraging them to become responsible contributing members of society. Our education system at JBA offers an instructional setting that encourages children to be problem solvers, decision- makers, and socially responsible people. FAIPS-DPS celebrates Hala February with pride and gusto A photo from the event FAIPS-DPS celebrated Hala February-Kuwait National & Liberation Day on Feb 20, 2018 with a lot of exuberance and ardour. It is an annual event celebrated in the spring season every year. The Special Assembly was ushered in by the recital of Holy Quran followed by the Kuwait National Anthem. Principal, Mrs Anju Dheman made a humble beginning by a warm and heartfelt speech commemorating the Liberation of Kuwait. Students of classes VI-VIII and IG rendered patriotic song and enthralled the audience. The eloquent anchors led the audience through the programme accompanied with lots of applause. The foot-tapping numbers of students dressed in colourful attire, mesmerized everyone present there. A Special prayer for Kuwait was held highlighting the blend of culture and events. The graceful and synchronized movements of the students in a well-choreographed dance left the audience spellbound. The programme ended in a beautiful resonance lingering in the minds of everyone.

20 20 KUWAIT CITY, March 1: In today s world, armed with a mobile device, anyone can become a photographer, recording their life and capturing every worthy moment. And the age of social networks, where hundreds of millions of photographs are uploaded and shared across the world, mobile phone phototography is replacing portable digital cameras as one of the most effective mediums of communicating information. Camera is indeed one of the influential element that defines a premium smartphone and it is one of the most significant key selling points for consumers. We have seen that innovations in smartphone photography were focused on clarity and speed of the pictures. Consumer preference has now shifted beyond the usual megapixel count where higher quality of focus, better perspective, and more visible depth of field is not just nice-to-have, but a prerequisite. Reinventing smartphone photography Redefining the limits between Film with Leica takes dual camera technology to next level Huawei revolutionizes smartphone photography: a world of firsts professional and amateur photography, Huawei s partnership with premium camera manufacturer Leica offers new and improved dual-lens camera technology that sets a new standard in smartphone photography. By leveraging the unrivalled capabilities of Leica, the leader in the world of imaging for more than 100 years, users of the Huawei smartphones can now enjoy more accurate colors, more refined interaction between light and shadow, and more life-like pictures. Huawei has taken dual camera technology to the next level. During the past couple of years, Huawei has built a strong competitive advantage in smartphone photography through the core technology, improvements in image quality thanks to its exceptional partnership with the photography giant Leica, and the adoption of AI technology, substantially enhancing its overall photography experience. Leica s Film Style, which depicts the visual sense of an oil painting, first came true on a smartphone with the model P9. The Leica Style brings high color saturation but a natural look with no overflow effect. The overall hue makes the photo look like an oil painting. The transition of the color is natural, the image is sharp and the details of the lowlights part are well taken care of. Breakthrough in smartphone portrait photography The P10, focuses on portrait photography, creating portrait mode, introducing precise 3D facial detection, dynamic illumination and natural portrait enhancements to produce stunning artistic portrait shots. It s been a revolutionary step in the field of portrait photography, making smartphone photography more humanistic. The Huawei P series has always been committed to the pursuit of excellence in artistic expression. P10 made a breakthrough by bringing Leica s portrait mode, which continues to build a system of skills including blurring, monochrome, color and zoom to deliver the best portrait. These skills give each portrait photo rich expression and emotion. Through 3D detection technology we can fully understand basic feature information of faces, calculate the face contour information and implement intelligent additional light, so that the nose looks to have real depth and the forehead and cheekbone look more realistic and rounded. A skin enhancement solution designed by Huawei Aesthetics Research Center in France is also applied to improve the skin tones of different ethnicities. From smart photography to intelligent photography The latest Huawei product coengineered with Leica is the Mate 10 series. Built with the world s first AI processor for smartphones, the Kirin 970 chipset, the Mate 10 series delivers the ultimate intelligent experience in smartphone photography. It features an AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and Real-Time Auto Settings allow the camera to automatically adjust and choose settings to help users capture better photographs in a range of different environments. It also features AI-powered Bokeh Effect for a more natural and detailed transition between the background and subject and AI-powered Digital Zoom brings far-off text into clearer focus. Combining a 12-megapixel RGB sensor with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, the Huawei Mate 10 new dual cameras co-engineered with Leica features 2x lossless zoom, optical image stabilization, and lenses boasting the world s largest aperture of f/1.6. The Mate 10 series also has 4K video recording. This is the first intelligent photography smartphone that truly turns every shot into a perfect memory. The collaboration of the fastest growing smartphone company, Huawei and most legendary brand in the history of photography, Leica is providing smartphones with not only professionalism, but opening doors for more possibilities into the future. A photo from the event Best retail bank in Kuwait NBK wins 7th consecutive Service Hero Award 2017 KUWAIT CITY, March 1: National Bank of Kuwait has won the prestigious Service Hero Award for Best Retail Bank in Kuwait for This is NBK s seventh consecutive win in the category and reaffirms the bank s lasting commitment to its customercentric approach. NBK strives to provide the best customer service and being awarded the Best Retail Bank in Kuwait for the seventh time in a row acknowledges the dedication of our staff who work with passion and commitment to offer the best customer service to our clients, said Acting General Manager of Consumer Banking Group, National Bank of Kuwait Mohammed Al Othman. NBK is once again the leader in the Retail Banks category in the Service Hero 2017 Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Kuwait. The award is based upon a 100% customer assessment of 300 companies in Kuwait. Service dimensions evaluated include: reliability, speed, product quality, value, location, staff quality, call center and website. The Index also rates overall satisfaction, loyalty and comparison to an ideal. Customers are encouraged to vote on the Service Hero website as well as A photo from the event Burgan Bank sponsors College of law National, Liberation Day celebrations KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Burgan Bank, one of the leading supporters of education, recently sponsored Kuwait University s National and Liberation day celebrations that took place at the College of Law. The bank had placed a booth at the university whereby it had showcased its Youth Account, students were keen to learn more of the accounts benefits and features and its current offerings. The five day event consisted of several contests and prizes organised by the student faculty at the College of Law in addition to the distribution of the banks giveaways to the students. A mural with positive messages of nationalism and gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the occasion of the celebrations was also designed by the students placed in to post feedback on hundreds of brands in Kuwait. Service Hero then compiles and measures customer satisfaction via an index score. It is the Arab World s only 100% consumer powered customer satisfaction index. Service Hero partners with the American Customer Satisfaction Index, is a member of ESOMAR and is backed by an independent advisory council to ensure all results are impartial, objective and accurately reflect the voice of the customer. A leading brand in Kuwait and the region, NBK is known for its commitment to understanding and anticipating customer needs. Products and services are designed with a customer-centric approach, ensuring customer satisfaction at every level. NBK s leadership team works handin-hand with staff to provide the support and professional development opportunities needed to guarantee consistent best-in-class customer service. The leadership teams considers staff true partners in generating ideas about how to continually improve customer service delivery. It is through the hard work, dedication and efforts of NBK staff that the bank continues to score top honors in service and banking across industry standards. the lobby area and, in remembrance of the brave martyrs and countries that defended Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion, a special exhibition was shared to illustrate the historical aspects of the period, followed by a student operetta where children performed plays through music of their homeland. Burgan Bank s support of this initiative falls under its dynamic full-fledged community program entitled ENGAGE Together to be the change. This program sheds light on important aspects affecting every segment of the society by promoting social welfare through educational, cultural and health driven initiatives. Burgan Bank s approach to EN- GAGE begins with a vital principle that as a leading Kuwaiti financial institution, its conduct and policies should be aligned with the needs and interests of the community. Kick off spring-summer season in style Centrepoint brings eclectic selection of fashion KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Get inspired and blossom this season with Centrepoint s Spring/Summer collection. Featuring an eclectic selection of the latest fashion musthaves, there are many choices to choose from designed to suit all tastes. Stylish/spring summer looks for women You can scream and shout while you re out and about: Think Pink! It s all about girly girls and looking pretty in pink. Other fashion colours that are also prominent this season are pastels such as Lilac, Melon, Mint Green, complemented by the likes of Red, Black, White, Blue and Sand. This season, Splash s collection sees a return of the corsets with a neo-twist and colourful stripes seen in both an optical re-arrangement and classic nautical style. You better Woman Up, because Splash is making a splash with statement tees, power sleeves, and corset lace-ups. This season, you can be the Bohemian rocker, or try your luck with something urban-primitive. Whether you ve unleashed your inner girl power or if you would like to feel ultra-feminine, Splash also has you covered with tied bow straps, cascades, ruffles, sheer layering, cold shoulders, and tiers. Shoemart brings you the trendiest accessories and footwear for women, from basic brown and nude pink footwear to psychotropic and glitzy glamour purses to brighten up your season. Stylish/spring summer looks for men If you missed out on the opportunity to relive the 90s, you re in luck as they are set to make their return with Splash s Reworked 90s theme a modern infusion like no other. For basic boys, get ready to get back to basics with Splash s Minimalist collection. On the other hand, for those that are in awe of other cultures and have an affinity towards the new and different, but are also proud of who they are and where they come from, then the Glo-Cult Mix or Glocal Mix is just what the doctor ordered. The theme will be found prevalent in coloured sets, taped tees, badged sets, embroidered polos and ringer tees. This colourful season invites you to show off all different kinds of garments that include Tye and Dye, Bleach Splatter Denim, Coloured Truckers, Wide Leg Denim and Glitch Tee. Shoemart gives you the coolest footwear for men, from basic brown and yellow to electric blue and green footwear to give you a bright look. Spring summer styles for trendy tots & teens Babyshop is taking little kids for a fun ride this spring. It s all about having fun with colour scoops, fun graphics like ice-creams and fruits, polka and neon inks for spring blooms. Additionally, this collection includes gingham check, stripes, floral patterns, lace, ruffle and embroidery for all little girls to feel like princesses this season. Even young girls get to have fun with cultural dresses, like the Moroccan-inspired collection from Babyshop. Girls can be retro or modern because this season Babyshop has it all from denim to tie-dye. Spring fiesta celebrates the start of spring with pretty colour and floaty silhouettes, as well as glam and fashion forward dance vibes for every Barbie girl to enjoy Barbie charm. It s never too early to be a Barbie fashionista. Pastels, muted and bright colours are dominating this season for boys and girls for spring warmth and brightness. Finally, Boys go Roar! Get ready to have safari fun with Babyshop with African animals, safari Aztec prints and funny animals in group shots. The deep jungle tones, leaves Kuwait s Champ to take part in Arnold Fencing Classic KUWAIT CITY, March 1: As one of the highest contributors to society and a dedicated sponsor to one of Kuwait s most celebrated athletes, Tareq Al-Qallaf, Burgan Bank extends its best wishes to the globally acclaimed player for the upcoming contest taking place in Columbus, Ohio, USA between March 2 March 4, Competing in several competitions this year, Al-Qallaf is now poised to represent Kuwait at the Arnold Fencing Classic, a part of the Arnold Sports Festival which is the largest multi-sport festival in the world. Sponsoring for four consecutive years, Burgan Bank remains committed to the growth and success of the home grown Fencing titleholder as he prepares to compete in the fifteenth Arnold Fencing Classic followed by the Pennsylvania Championship at the World Club in May, and birds, detailed flora and avian graphics compliment silhouettes for a trendy artistic look. Aside from forest animals and jungle fever, denim class incorporates collage style artworks with bold retro numbers, while colours centre around traditional red, white and blue with a pop of yellow and green. Spring summer collection from lifestyle Lifestyle brings you a selection of tasteful and elegant products from Fiorelli, Deborah Milano, and Lifestyle. Centrepoint s spring-summer collection Burgan Bank wishes Tareq Al-Qallaf success Kuwait s World Wheelchair Fencing Champion Tareq Al-Qallaf. the US Open in September and New Jersey Copa in October. Held for 3 days, the prestigious Fiorelli will present its brand-new collection consisting of basic nude and black stylish Spring/Summer bags complemented with very edgy purses that are a mix of jet-black and electric-blue. Furthermore, Deborah Milano is having a large range of nail polishes to be combined with fashion accessories and clothes reflecting a mash-up of different cultures and traditions coming up from all over the world. The new collection is bursting with an explosion of colours, designed to suit any vibrant Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival will be featuring over 50 sports and events with an expected 180,000 spectators, and 19,000 athletes. Considered a unique event with medals unlike other contests in the world of fencing, 2018 brings the return of Wheelchair fencing to the Arnold Fencing Classic. Burgan Bank s support of this initiative falls under its dynamic full-fledged community program entitled ENGAGE Together to be the change. This program sheds light on important aspects affecting every segment of the society by promoting social welfare through educational, cultural and health driven initiatives. Burgan Bank s approach to EN- GAGE begins with a vital principle that as a leading Kuwaiti financial institution, its conduct and policies should be aligned with the needs and interests of the community. cocktail party among many other occasions. Create a phenomenal and super cultural picture with silky, blossomy hues of Jolly Green, Rose Violet, Coral Bush, Fiery Red, Azure Blue and Antique Moss. In addition to Golden Mustard, Uncompromising Red and Pretty Pastels. The Centrepoint Spring/Summer collection is now available across all stores located at Al Rai, Avenues, Salmiya, Fintas, Jahra, Fahaheel, Sulaibhikhat, Kuwait City, Khaitan and Hawally.

21 21 Not all interactions in social media are equally good for people Facebook jobs service spreading to more countries NEW YORK, March 1, (Agencies): Facebook on Wednesday announced that its year-old job-hunting service is expanding to dozens more countries, aiming to connect members with local work. Facebook vice-president Alex Himel described the move into more than 40 countries as a new stage of the diversification of the social network. Since adding a local jobs posting feature early last year in Canada and the US, Facebook has enhanced it to handle tasks such as managing applications, scheduling interviews, and getting alerts when desired types of positions are listed. We do feel really good about how that s worked out in the US, with room for improvement of course, Himel said. Jobs can be listed, or applied for, at a dashboard devoted to the purpose in Facebook applications. Use of the basic service is free, but businesses can pay to boost posts and more strongly target candidates, according to the Silicon Valley-based social network. Job posts appear in several locations at the social network, including business pages, Marketplace, and in News Feed. Speaking with AFP on the sidelines of a presentation in New York, Himel declined to specify how many job postings were listed with Facebook. He said an internal study revealed that one-in-four Facebook members in the US had used the social network to seek jobs. According to Statistic.com, the Facebook audience in the US tallied about 214 million people, meaning that roughly 53 million people there sought jobs at the social network. With more than two billion users around the world, Facebook promises strong potential for connecting people seeking work with jobs in need of filling, especially mediumor low-skill jobs in local enterprises. A lot of these businesses who aren t able to fill their positions elsewhere, they re seeing success on Facebook, Himel said. Facebook s job service wades into the terrain of career-focused social network LinkedIn, which Microsoft bought two years ago in a deal valued at $26 billion. But LinkedIn is seen as an online venue for professionals to cultivate connections and opportunities whereas Facebook s job service appeared crafted for positions requiring less schooling or specialized training. Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook decided to change its News Feed to favor more meaningful connections, after looking at research showing that some kinds of usage of social networks have negative effects. What the data shows is not all interactions in social media are equally good for people in terms of their psychological well-being, said Sandberg, Facebook s chief operating officer, speaking at Morgan Stanley s 2018 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday. CFO David Wehner, also speaking at the conference, said that Facebook s News Feed changes will not dramatically affect advertising revenue. I don t think the impact on the business is really that profound, he said. He said that by improving the overall experience for Facebook users, that would benefit advertisers as well over time by delivering a higher-quality product. Facebook in January announced changes to the algorithm it uses to show posts in users News Feeds to favor content from friends and family, rather than posts from thirdparty publishers. The company has previously acknowledged studies indicating high levels of usage of social media can lead to depression and feelings isolation. Sandberg admitted that 2017 was a challenging year that feels like a bit of an understatement and she said that 2018 feels like it will be too. The world is very polarized... There s a lot of deep-seated worry about the state of the world, she said. Critics have blasted Facebook for playing a part in the spread of false and misleading news stories, particularly during the 2016 US presidential election. The company also has come under fire for selling ads to a Russia-linked group aimed at sowing political discord among Americans. According to Sandberg, Facebook continues to take steps to address issues related to minimize the distribution of fake news and curtail bad actors who try to manipulate the platform. She said false news is mostly motivated by economics, not political ideology, so the most important thing we can do is go after economic incentives. Regarding Facebook Watch, the video initiative it rolled out starting last summer, Sandberg said it was designed to provide an organized destination for users to discover and view longer-form content. About 40% of video viewing on Facebook is generated by sharing, Sandberg noted, so it has a particular focus on bringing content to Watch that will be social and engaging. Facebook had to stock the shelves in Watch, so it paid for some of the programming, Sandberg said. But it s still the case that more of the content has been provided by others, not funded by us, and that s definitely the model going forward, she said. click Latest Drinking problem?: Friends of Bill W. are available to help. Totally confidential. gmail.com 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/ General Q8BBall Season 13: Q8BBall is beginning our 13th season with Boys U13 (ages 10-13) and U17 (ages 14-17). We train three times a week and play regular games throughout the year with schools and clubs. In June 2018, we plan to travel for camp and tournaments in the US. Contact Coach T for information. 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: 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: darmuseum.org.kw Notes: 1. Please send your story only to the above mentioned . Story shared in Instagram, Facebook LONDON, March 1, (AFP): From Alice teetering on the edge of Wonderland to Charles Darwin mumbling into his beard, London s National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting a rare selection of works by four pioneering Victorian photographers. Lewis Carroll was not only a mathematician and children s author but also a ground-breaking photographer. The Victorian Giants show displays some of the photographs he took of young Alice Liddell, the muse behind his fantastical novel Alice s Adventures in Wonderland, along with her brothers and sister. Carroll was friends with three other Victorian giants, who inspired each other to push the boundaries of the latest art form to produce sublime portraits. Mysterious Swede Oscar Rejlander acted as mentor to the group, which also included highsociety ladies Julia Cameron and Clementina Hawarden. The exhibition brings together the four artists for the first time, with some photographs never seen before by the public. Curator Phillip Prodger said the photographs distinctive style represented the birth of the art of photography. The photographs explore a broad range of subjects. Children symbols of purity and innocence at the time and celebrated beauties such as Julia Jackson, mother of writer Virginia Woolf, mingle with noted men of the age, including father of evolution Charles Darwin. Darwin even brought the developing art to bear on science, commissioning Rejlander to produce a series of self-portraits for a book he was preparing on the emotions of humans and animals. When people think of Victorian photography, they sometimes think of stiff, fusty portraits of women in crinoline dresses, and men in bowler hats, said Prodger, head of the museum s photography department. But Victorian Giants is anything but. The quartet forever changed thinking about photography and its expressive power, he added. The great photographers of the Victorian era were the first to explore the psychological depth of their subjects, Prodger 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! KIFF anti-drugs campaign: As part of the Fraternity fest, Kuwait India Fraternity Forum (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 explained. Here visitors can see the birth of psychological expressiveness. Photography was an art-form highly prized by Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. The royal tradition continues, with Prince William s wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, selecting and commenting on some photos in the new exhibition. She visited the exhibition on Wednesday, the day before it opened to the public. It will run until May 20. Also: HONG KONG: An extremely rare Qing Dynasty bowl one of only three known to exist is expected to fetch US$25.6 million and could even break the record for Chinese ceramics, auction house Sotheby s said Thursday. Measuring 14.7 cm (just under six inches) in diameter, the dainty pink bowl is decorated with falangcai (painted enamels combining Chinese and Western techniques) and flowers, including daffodils which are not typically depicted on Chinese porcelain. Hong Kong s auction houses have seen frenzied bidding among Asian buyers in recent years, with sales of diamonds, handbags and ancient ceramics An extremely rare Qing Dynastyt bowl one of only three known to exist shown during a media preview at auction house Sotheby s in Hong Kong on March 1. (AFP) shattering world records. Sotheby s Hong Kong expects the Qing Dynasty bowl, used by the Kangxi Emperor in the 1720s, to make history again in an upcoming sale on April 3. LONDON: A Pablo Picasso portrait of his muse Marie- Therese Walter with future lover Dora Maar emerging from the shadows fetched 50 million (57 million euros, $69 million) at a London sale Wednesday, a European auction record for a painting. The 1937 Femme au Beret et a la Robe Quadrillee (Marie- Therese Walter) beat expectations it would sell for 36 million (41 million euros, $50 million) at the sale of impressionist, surrealist and modern art at auction house Sotheby s. It was the first time the oil on canvas had emerged on the international art market and headlined the auctioneer s first major sale of the year, it said. ICSK Amman joined Kuwait in celebrating the National Day and Liberation Day celebration of the foster country. Pre Primary children reported to school in Kuwait traditional attire and presented a beautiful assembly depicting the culture and art forms of Kuwait. The assembly was organized to make children aware of the significance of the day and to know more about the country. Principal Rajesh Nair in his address explained to the children the significance of the occasion and reminded the children to be thankful to the foster country. It was indeed a memorable occasion to the students of ICSK Amman. art In this file photo taken on Feb 22, Gallery assistants hold an artwork by Spanish artist Paolo Picasso entitled Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee (Marie-Therese Walter), during a photocall at Sotheby s in central London. (AFP) 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 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 Continued on Page 24

22 22 h o r o s c o p e By Jacqueline Bigar Happy birthday for Friday, March 2, 2018: This year you relate more intensely to certain individuals in your life. Your temper could be unusually explosive, as you barely get enough feedback or time to process your feelings. If you are single, many people fear that they don t have the stamina necessary to relate to you. When the right person comes along, you ll want to slow down and get to know him or her better. If you are attached, the two of you strengthen your bond by learning to enjoy each other s social interests more. Make sure you schedule enough time to be alone together, too. VIRGO often surprises you with his or her penchant for fun. 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) **** You could have a strong reaction to what you are hearing. You might want to take a walk to clear your head. You will feel much better as a result, and will be able to make the right decision. Express your playfulness with a loved one. Tonight: Wherever you can hear great music. Aquarius - (Jan 20 - Feb 18) **** You relate best on a one-on-one level. You might want to avoid getting involved in a group happening. Speak up, and know that you can stay at home or make new plans, depending on your mood. Discussions need to be on an individual level. Tonight: Be a duo. Pisces - (Feb 19 - Mar 20) **** Defer to a partner or loved one. Though you do not always see eye to eye on certain issues, you have quite a few opportunities that will appeal to both of you. Learn to work together, and try to give in to this person s desires more often. Tonight: Listen to a request from a higher-up. Aries - (Mar 21 - Apr 19) **** You can do only so much to avoid a misunderstanding. If you swallow your anger too much, you could become explosive later. Experiment with the middle road for solutions. Many ideas and different styles of relating could come forward. Tonight: Go along with the moment. Taurus - (Apr 20 - May 20) ***** You could be in a position where you need to have a serious discussion with a child or loved one. Know that clearing the air sufficiently will take talent and smart planning. Goodwill and smiles mark the end of this day. Reach out to a friend. Tonight: Only with a favorite person. Gemini - (May 21 - June 20) **** You might notice that your inner tension is mounting and that you need an outlet. How you decide to direct your energy is your choice, but many of you will focus on your home or personal life. A disagreement or a significant change could be in the offing. Tonight: Happiest at home. Cancer - (June 21 - July 22) **** A friend or loved one reaches out to you. A conflict could arise from out of nowhere. Do your best to understand what is bothering the other party. Initiate a conversation by expressing your concerns. Your compassion helps smooth out any ruffled feathers. Tonight: Clear the air. Leo - (July 23 - Aug 22) ** Be aware of the costs of proceeding as you have been. You could find that if you don t slow down or stick to a tighter budget, you could cause yourself a problem. Be aware and take action before you create a problem for yourself. Tonight: Clear out errands on the way home. Virgo - (Aug 23 - Sept 22): **** A loved one might act up because he or she wants more say in the interactions that take place between you. You need to decide what your objective is when relating to this person. Don t worry you will know what course of action feels appropriate. Tonight: Let go of a hassle. Libra - (Sept 23 - Oct 22) *** You will want to maintain a low profile right now, no matter what happens. Use caution with anyone you meet today, as some people might not be everything they claim to be. If you can, refuse to take action for the time being. Be more observant. Tonight: Play it low-key. Scorpio - (Oct 23 - Nov 21) *** You could be more in tune with what is occurring. Follow through on a friend s invitation. This person sees a situation differently from how you do, and offers some helpful feedback. You might need to sit back and consider your alternatives. Tonight: Hang out with your friends. Sagittarius - (Nov 22 - Dec 21) **** You might feel as if you must openly express your interest in a professional or community issue. All eyes will be on you in anticipation of a response. Listen to your sixth sense, and follow through on what needs to happen. Do this, and you will land well. Tonight: Till the wee hours. Born today: Singer/songwriter Chris Martin (1977), actress Bryce Dallas Howard (1981), singer Karen Carpenter (1950) home decor indoor gardening beauty tips taste buds clean greasy exhaust fans bulbophyllum facetum vitamins for skin paprika chicken Turn off the switch and power supply to avoid injury. Remove the attached exhaust fan from its place. Open the blades and detach them from the fan. Soak them in hot water with detergent for minutes. Rub with a soft brush or scoring pad to clean the blades. If the oil layer doesn t go after using hot water then, use an unsharpened knife to scratch off the layer. Don t exert much pressure to prevent the blades from bending. Use lemon juice to clean kitchen exhaust fan. This is an easy way to remove oil stains from the fan blades. Add ammonia and baking soda to hot water and soak the blades for minutes. Use a brush to remove oil stains. To remove oil from the mesh/filter of the exhaust fan, spray or put some water mixed with ammonia. Leave it for an hour and then use a scoring pad to clean the filter. You can also use vinegar as a way to clean kitchen exhaust fan. Mix vinegar and hot water and rub the mixture on the fan. Use a soft brush to scratch the dirty grease. Dear Abby Happy couple seeks best way to support their friends By Abigail Van Buren Dear Abby: Occasionally, married friends will come to my husband and/or me venting about their marital problems. We have been through a few rough patches during our 12 years of marriage, and during those times, we sought help from family, friends and counselors. Today I can honestly say we are happier than ever and willing to stick through the ups and downs. We try to pass along the things that helped us, but a lot of times we ll see one spouse wanting to work on improving the marriage and the other one oblivious or unwilling to do anything about it. I think our experience could help the spouses of our troubled friends see that things can work out by doing something about it, but I never know if or how to approach the subject with them. Should we keep our mouths shut and just be there for the unhappy friend, or is there a proper way to reach out to their spouse with an offer of support Abigail Van Buren in situations like this? Truly wanting to help Dear truly wanting: My advice would be to stay out of the line of fire. If you reach out to the unhappy spouse, who may be unaware that his or her marital problems were revealed to you, it will be regarded as intrusive. By all means tell the person asking your advice what worked for you, but leave it up to that person to convey it to his or her spouse. Dear Abby: What is the etiquette when eating at a restaurant where a piano player is performing? I don t mean the bar scene -type piano player who wants the crowd to sing along, but more of a mid- to upscale type of place. There s a restaurant like this in my town the only one with a piano. On one special occasion when we were there, the piano player was playing Misty and a woman sitting nearby with her party wanted to make herself heard over him. She began talking very loudly to her group while he was playing the song. I thought it was tacky, and if I had been sitting near her, I would have shushed her up. Isn t it polite to wait until the piano player is finished before talking loudly at your table? Whatever happened to behaving with a little class in restaurants? Deanna in Oklahoma Dear Deanna: The musician in that restaurant was there to provide mood music for the diners. If they chose to talk while he was playing, it was their privilege. The woman may have raised her voice because someone in her party had a hearing problem. For you to have taken it upon yourself to shush her up would have been rude, and for your sake, I m glad you refrained from doing it. Dear Abby: Am I overreacting to my husband s request that I take down photos of my mom and grandparents when his mom visits? They are displayed in our guest bedroom. I think his request was rude. I wonder if his mother even cares or if he just feels guilty. It s my house, too. Reluctant in Texas Dear reluctant: Rather than remove your family photos, why not compromise by adding a couple of pictures of your husband s mother, too? I m sure she would be pleased to see them. Problem solved. 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) Bulbophyllum facetum is endemic to the mountains of central Luzon in the Philippines, with persistent basal bristles, pseudobulbs carrying a single oblong to elliptic, leathery leaf that blooms on a single bracted inflorescence carrying a single flower that opens in the morning and closes by early afternoon only to reopen the next day. The flowers each morning reopen and then close at midday to repeat the process again mostly for four days. Site: Partial shade. Temperature: This species is best grown in hot to warm temperatures. Water: The plant grows well given ample water and fertilizer. Vitamin E: 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one capsule of Vitamin E. Pierce the capsule into the baking soda making a paste. Apply it to the lips, leave it on a minute or two. Take a warm washcloth and hold it on the lips for a minute, then scrub off. Vitamin B: is good for dry skin and cracked lips. Take one 50 mg daily and your skin will improve. Vitamin C: This antioxidant vitamin stimulates your skin s production of collagen and elastin fibers, making it firmer and more elastic. Vitamin A: Derivatives of vitamin A known as retinoids may be the only reliable wrinkle-fighter on the skin care market. Retinoids also help repair sun damage and prevent the development of actinic keratosis, a type of precancerous skin growth. what s on today emergency Site for checking travel ban St Paul s Church weekly activities: English worship services on Fridays at am and on Sundays at 6.30 pm. The Friday English service has separate sessions for children and youth. A Mandarin language speaking congregations meets separately on Fridays at am in the Youth Centre at St Paul s. A combined service with the English and Mandarin language congregations is held on the first Friday of every month. A family service is held on the second Friday of every month with presentations from different organs of the church. The Church of Pakistan has services in English every Thursday at St Paul s at 5.35 pm and for Urdu language speaking members every Friday at Diwaniya of the NECK Centre, Kuwait City at 5.45 pm. Please contact Fr Michael Mbona on mobile or call at Church house on or to or For Mandarin speaking congregation contact Revd Zhu Peijin on and her address is Contact person: Fr Michael Mbona Mobile: gmail.com 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. Happy birthday to Nafisa F. Raja on your 3rd birthday today. Greetings from Burhan F. Raja (Dad) and Fatima F. Raja (Mom) Shabbir Hussain F. Raja (grand-papa) and Fatima F. Raja (grandma) brothers Hatim and Mohammed, sisters Sakina, Zenab, Tasneem Alefiya and Sherabanu. 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 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 pm A flyer of the Kaifan Sports Complex-Karate Gym. Text or call # Herms. Tagalog Khutba for Filipinos: The Ministry of Awqaf, Islam Presentation Committee, & Kuwait Philippine Cultural Center (KPC Center) invites all Filipino Muslim & Muslima to hear Khutba (Sermon) in Tagalog every Friday at Marzouq Al-Badr Mosque, Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq St (at the back of Ambassador Supermarket and SM Supermarket, near Salhiya Police Station & Kuwait Airways Bldg) in Kuwait City. There will be a community started and lunch after Friday prayers at KPC Center in Farwaniya. For further information, please call KPC Center, Tel IPC Arabic Course: IPC Rawdah Ladies Section will commence the Arabic Conversation Course. The students Ingredients: lb chicken 3 tbsp flour 2 tbsp salt 1 cup diced red bell pepper 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper 1/4 tsp pepper 4 tbsp chicken fat or margarine 1-1/2 cups sliced onion 1 tbsp paprika 1 cup boiling water Procedure: Cut up chicken and season with flour, salt and pepper. Brown chicken in the fat (or margarine). Remove chicken and brown onions, red bell pepper and green pepper in remaining fat (or margarine). Return chicken to the pan, sprinkle with paprika and add water. Cover and cook over low heat for 1-1/2 hours or until chicken is tender. number 112 Civil ID info: Items for the What s On page can be sent directly to the Arab Times, P.O. Box 2270, 13023, Safat or faxed to or to arabtimesonline.com. All items on this page are published as a courtesy to the public. These announcements can include birthday greetings, weddings, social functions or any other non-commercial events. Photographs of all events are welcome. must have successfully completed at least 3 levels of Arabic. Placement test will be taken by those who took Arabic class outside IPC. Class is every Friday from 9-11 am. IPC Rawdah Redeemed Christian Church: The Redeemed Christian Church of God (HOD Parish) worship in English. Celebration Service: Friday 9 am 11 am; Divine encounter: Sunday, 6:30 pm 8:30 pm; Digging Deep (Bible studies): Tuesday, 6:30 pm 8:30 pm; Night vigil every last Friday of the month from 10 pm. Venue: New Mishref. For more information and direction please call , ENK s worship service: Every Nation Kuwait (ENK) invites you to our Worship Service every Friday, 9 am at Royal King Palace Restaurant, Kuwait City. Pls contact: for more details. J.I.L Worship Services: J.I.L Kuwait invites everyone on their worship service every Friday 10:30 am at the Villa located at Gharnada. For more info please call or SATURDAY PGMK service: Praise God Ministry of Kuwait (PGMK) holds services in Telugu and English in the NECK Compound, Lighthouse Church. Fridays and Saturdays to 1:00 pm in English / 1:15 to 3:00 pm in Telugu. Sundays services in the Hall of Hope from 3.30 to 5 pm and then in Lighthouse Church from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. KTCC activities: Children Bible School Teacher s Prayer 1st Saturday 7 to 9 pm. Welcome to all Tamil known people to participate in our regular activities to worship the Lord in our own mother tongue and be blessed! For details or for any prayer needs contact Tel No: /

23 23 Elderly care tech industry sees rapid growth Sensors help smartphones keep eye on solo seniors BARCELONA, March 1, (AFP): Looking after an elderly relative who lives alone can be a huge source of worry. But what if your smartphone could automatically alert you if your mother has stayed in bed all morning or suffered a fall? Small sensors that monitor home activity and can send alerts to smartphones are marking it easier to keep an eye on seniors from a distance, helping them to live independently for longer instead of going to a nursing home. The products on display at the Mobile World Congress, the world s largest mobile phone fair in Barcelona, are part of the rapidly growing elderly care tech industry. This is expected to be worth $20 billion (16 billion euros) in the United States alone by 2020, according to Laurie Orlov, an industry analyst. For the past couple of years the tech industry has become more interested in this area because they see an ageing population. Baby boomers represent a large market segment, said Orlov, who began the Aging in Place Technology Watch blog in Sensors have also come down in price, making their commercial use for home monitoring of seniors more viable, she added. London-based startup Voltaware unveiled a system that uses a sensor installed in the home s main fuse box, which transmits data on electricity con- Europe s 1st sciatic nerve transplant in Poland Gun injuries drop during NRA annual meetings WASHINGTON, March 1, (Agencies): Gun injuries in the United States drop by about 20 percent whenever the powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA) holds its big annual convention, US researchers said Wednesday. The study in the New England Journal of Medicine was observational in nature and stopped short of being able to prove any causeand-effect. But researchers hypothesize that the decline they witnessed was due to the brief period of gun abstinence during such conventions. The findings also counter the widely held belief that accidents and injuries are more common among people who are inexperienced with guns. Fewer people using guns means sumption via wi-fi to a cloud-based server where it is analysed. If a senior does not get up in the morning and turn on the coffee machine as usual, the system detects the lack of fewer gun injuries, which in some ways is not surprising, said senior author Anupam Jena, associate professor of health care policy at Harvard University Medical School. But the drop in gun injuries during these large meetings attended by thousands of well-trained gun owners seems to refute the idea that gun injuries stem solely from lack of experience and training in gun use. The study examined nearly 76 million medical insurance claims for emergency department visits and hospitalizations related to firearm injuries between 2007 and Researchers compared how many gun injuries occurred during NRA convention dates to the number of injuries that took place on identical days in the three weeks before and the three weeks after. activity and the person s carer is warned by text message. The service is being offered on a trial basis by two electrical companies in Britain and one in Italy. With cameras you would need several to see the whole picture, so it is expensive. Our stuff is very inexpensive because it s just one per household, said Voltaware chairman Sergey Gun injuries on nonconvention days occurred at a rate of 1.5 per 100,000 people, compared with 1.25 on convention dates a 20 percent difference, said the report. NRA meetings tend to attract 80,000 or more people from across the United States. The biggest reductions in injuries during convention dates were among men in states in the South and West that have the country s highest rates of gun ownership, and among individuals residing in the state hosting the convention, all of which support the notion that the reduction in injury rates is related to attendance at the conventions, said the report. Researchers were unable to measure whether convention dates also coincided with a decline in gun-related deaths, since gun-related homicides, suicides and fatal accidents are relatively rare. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 65,000 intentional firearm injuries in the United States and nearly 16,000 unintentional firearm injuries in 2014, the latest year studied. Also: WARSAW, Poland: Doctors in Poland say they have successfully completed Europe s first transplant of a sciatic nerve from a deceased donor. The recipient is officer from an anti-terrorism police unit. Jacek Martynkiewicz of the University Hospital in Wroclaw, southwest Poland, said Wednesday the transplant was done Feb 8 and the 30-year-old patient s condition had improved noticeably. Ogorodnov. Israeli 3D imaging company Vayyar presented a new sensor that uses radio waves to map where people are in a room. It can also tell if they are sitting, standing, or laying down and if they are breathing. If somebody stops breathing or has fallen down, their caregiver is sent a text alert. Only a single sensor placed in a central location is needed because it relies on radio waves, which can see through walls to detect what is happening in other rooms. Concerns have been raised that home monitoring systems can violate privacy but the sensor makers argue that in most cases it is the elderly themselves who request the system and they can turn it off when they want. Also, sensors do not record images like camera based monitoring systems so they are better suited to personal spaces like bathrooms, said Vayyar director of marketing Malcolm Berman. Sensors enable you to do really sophisticated monitoring without any of those privacy concerns, he said. The need for tech products that help seniors stay at home longer is expected to grow sharply, given the the world s ageing population. Globally, the number of people aged 60 or more is predicted to more than triple to 3.1 billion by 2100, according to United Nations estimates. Swedish telecoms firm Doro, the market leader in easy-to-use mobile devices for seniors, unveiled a sensorsbased home monitoring system for the elderly which can send a text warning that they have fallen or even left the fridge open.

24 24 Fox sets Graham docu debut date Marvel s Jessica Jones personifies female rage By Sonia Saraiya Strangely, in the almost three years since Marvel s Jessica Jones debuted, the number of leading Marvel frontwomen has shrunk, not grown. ABC s Agent Carter, which was airing when Jessica Jones debuted in 2015, was canceled in 2016 after two seasons; the rumored Black Widow movie, which was overdue even back then, has only now been assigned a writer. The Captain Marvel movie, which was ostensibly the reason that the show doesn t feature Carol Danvers from the comic books, is slated to debut almost exactly a year from now, and Evangeline Lilly s the Wasp, the first female Marvel hero to get her name in the title of a Marvel film, comes secondary to Paul Rudd s hero in this summer s forthcoming The Ant-Man and the Wasp. Perhaps it is no surprise that leather-jacketclad Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is still angry, with a smoldering rage that expresses itself both through her fists capable of punching a hole through a car hood and her look, which marries a sultry, smoky eye and berry-stained pout with ripped jeans, a wifebeater, and combat boots. That her anger is part of her aesthetic is not an observation I make to trivialize Jessica, but rather to underscore how fully it is a part of her persona; her superhero costume is like some combination of heartbreakingly vulnerable, fiercely defiant, half-asleep and pissed-off. Attempt Jessica Jones is not just Marvel s only female frontwoman, but the franchise s personification of female rage a force that has become so potent, in the years since her first appearance, that half a million people marched on Washington, Oprah flirted with running for president, and rapists, abusers, and harassers have been dragged out of the highest halls of power and privilege, practically kicking and screaming as they go. Creator Melissa Rosenberg s interpretation of Brian Michael Bendis comic-book heroine could not have been more prescient, given that the first season laid out one stubborn, damaged woman s journey to confronting and finally neutralizing a man whom she both loved and was victimized by, Kilgrave (David Tennant). Jessica s arc required a reflexive reckoning with her own self-loathing, including an attempt to grapple with consent that went far beyond what was outlined in the graphic novels. Part of the series timeliness is in locating how Jessica who, like many women today, is powerful, independent, and doesn t take any s-t could still be violated. Season 2 of Marvel s Jessica Jones does all it needs to which is to say, it brings Ritter s fantastic interpretation of Jessica Jones back to TV, with every ounce of shadowed malice and explosive desire on display. Ritter s Jessica is a gender-bending mishmash of noir character traits femme fatale and hardboiled detective rolled into one, with the dank PI office and effortless smudged eyeliner to prove it. Reinterpreting these roles and making them undeniably romantic, as befits the jazzy theme music that wafts into each episode is not particularly easy; with each scene, Ritter has to sell a character that is an inherent ball of contradictions as a recognizable, appealing whole. She makes it a breeze, playing Jessica with a contained, slouching energy that belies her readiness to snap. In the second season, Jessica is not quite as close to the breaking point as she was in the first; instead, she s exhausted, in a way that draws down every feature of her face. On the whole, things are fine: Destabilizing ex Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is out of her life, neighbor Couch slouch Malcolm (Eka Darville) is an assistant she can rely on, and the worst, arguably, is behind her. But on the other side of Kilgrave s hold on her, Jessica finds herself struggling. She s still drinking, still afraid of what intimacy might bring into her life, still traumatized. In the first scene, back to hustling for private clients, she learns a woman s boyfriend is cheating on her. The woman sobs. Jessica waits, embarrassed and impassive, as if the notion of crying over the untrustworthiness of a man has never entered her mind. She looks utterly worn out by the world, nearly crushed by its petty grievances. So when the woman asks her to kill the cheater, Jessica s response is quick but confused, as if she has no idea who she s convincing: I don t kill people. Because I m not a murderer. With alacrity, Season 2 drops Jessica into her next plot arc: figuring out what happened to her after the accident, when she was in a coma and the shadowy group named IGH had a grip on her. She s egged on by her best friend Trish (Rachael Taylor), a media personality with a growing fanbase, who is more interesting as a stand-in for feminist media narratives than as a character in her own right. In Season 1, Trish often felt superfluous; here, as a radio journalist striving for a big scoop, she s both more central and more uniquely frustrating to the infinitely secretive Jessica. The friendship between the two is real, even if the gulf between their personalities sometimes challenges reality. Murders And though Season 2 starts off most of its storytelling rather ungracefully a spate of murders, Trish s ambitions, and Jessica s courtordered anger management class set the plot spinning before the audience has time to reacquaint itself with the characters its thematics are on point. Jessica is still a case study in trauma, and as the story widens beyond the first season s offering of how she experienced that trauma, it touches on many different women and the way they carry their fury in their own lives. Viewers learn more about Trish s backstory, discover another side to Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), and find more people affected by IGH s experimentation, including a new character played by the great Janet McTeer. Without quite ever saying Me too, the series mouths it. Marvel s Jessica Jones also expands to explore addiction and dysfunction as side effects of superpowers. Quips one character not long for this world, With great power comes great mental illness. Marvel s Jessica Jones is never not a Marvel TV show, with all of what that implies mushy plotting, convenient characterization, a slew of side characters with bizarrely complex biographies, and a preponderance of mysteriously vast and endlessly complex science-y conspiracies. Also: LOS ANGELES: Fox will premiere the documentary Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Journey on Sunday at 7:00 pm ET/PT. The documentary delves into the life of the American evangelist, who died Feb 21. From his start as a dairy farmer s son to his involvement in the civil rights movement, the documentary highlights milestones throughout Graham s personal and professional life. The ninth season of Archer, titled Archer: Danger Island, will premiere April 25 at 10:00 pm ET/PT on FXX. The latest season will pickup with its title character, a lush seaplane pilot, as he navigates the dangers of mysterious Mitimotu island in Archer: Danger Island features the voices of H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Aisha Tyler, and Judy Greer. (RTRS) tv highlights Cinema A flyer of the event. A flyer of the event. Cinema programme from Thursday 1/3/2018 to Wednesday 7/3/2018 AUK Lecture THE Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE) at the American University of Kuwait, and the Embassy of the United States of America in Kuwait would like to invite you to a lecture entitled Dare to Do Mighty Things: Hitting the Road on Mars By Nagin Cox, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a Mission Lead on the operations team for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) NASA s Mars Curiosity Rover that landed in August of 2012 and been exploring Mars ever since. Mrs Cox will shed light in her lecture on stories of NASA s Journey to Mars from the early rovers to our newest rover on Mars the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover. Her exploration of Mars symbolizes all that humankind can do when we work together as a team. The lecture will take place on Sunday March 4, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Auditorium at the American University of Kuwait. click General Continued from Page 21 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 www. leckuwait.com 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 com. 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: 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 Black Butterfly :20, 16:15, 20:20 (Daily Exc Mon) 16:15, 20:20 (Fri) Avenues 13:00, 17:00, 23:15 (Daily Exc Mon) 17:00, 23:15 (Fri) Black Panther :15, 16:00, 18:45, 21:30, 00:15, 12:00, 13:30, 14:45, 16:15, 17:30, 19:00, 20:15, 21:45, 23:00, 00:30, 12:30, 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:30, 14:45, 16:15, 17:30, 19:00, 20:15, 21:45, 23:00, 00:30, 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30, 16:00, 18:45, 21:30, 00:15 (Fri) Ajial 19:30 Bairaq 13:45, 16:30, 21:15, 00:05 Fanar 12:30, 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30 (Daily Exc Mon) 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30 (Fri) Sharqia 11:35, 14:15, 19:00, 21:45, 00:30 (Daily Exc Thu, Mon, Sat) 14:15, 19:00, 21:45, 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat) Avenues 13:30, 16:15, 19:00, 21:45, 00:30 12:30, 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30, 12:45, 15:30, 18:15, 21:00, 23:45 (Daily Exc Mon) 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23:30, 15:30, 18:15, 21:00, 23:45 (Fri) Laila 18:00 Marina 11:30, 14:15, 17:00, 19:45 (Daily Exc Mon) 14:15, 17:00, 19:45 (Fri) Grand Hamra 1 14:00, 17:00, 19:45, 22:30 Grand Hamra 5 17:30, 22:15 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 2 14:15, 17:00, 19:45, 22:30 Black Water :55, 13:40, 14:15, 15:45, 16:20, 19:55, 20:50, 22:55, 00:05, 01:00 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:40, 14:15, 15:45, 16:20, 19:55, 20:50, 22:55, 00:05, 01:00 (Fri) Bairaq 11:45, 19:10 (Daily Exc Mon) 19:10 (Fri) Fanar 11:30, 13:35, 15:40, 17:45 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:35, 15:40, 17:45 (Fri) Sharqia 18:15 Avenues 11:45, 13:50, 14:50, 17:05, 18:20, 21:35, 22:35, 23:40 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:50, 14:50, 17:05, 18:20, 21:35, 22:35, 23:40 (Fri) Marina 17:30, 19:30 Grand Hamra 3 15:00, 17:45, 20:00, 22:15 Grand Gate 3 19:45, 22:00 00:30 (Thu, Fri) Death Wish :30, 13:40, 20:10, 22:35, 00:55 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:40, 20:10, 22:35, 00:55 (Fri) Bairaq 11:45, 22:15, 00:30 (Daily Exc Thu, Mon, Sat) 22:15, 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat) Fanar 13:00, 19:30, 21:45, 00:05 (Daily Exc Thu, Mon, Sat) 19:30, 21:45, 00:05 (Thu, Fri, Sat) Sharqia 13:40, 22:30, 00:45 Avenues 12:50, 15:05, 21:50, 00:05 (Daily Exc Mon) 15:05, 21:50, 00:05 (Fri) Laila 22:45 Marina 22:25, 00:45 Grand Hamra 6 14:30, 16:45, 19:15, 22:00 00:30 (Thu, Fri) Grand Hamra GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 1 14:00, 16:15, 18:30, 20:45, 23:00 Grand Gate GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Etlaoly Barah (Arabic Film) :10, 20:35, 22:30 Bairaq 20:00 Avenues 21:25 Ferdinand :55 Game Night :30, 20:55, 23:10 Fanar 16:15, 23:00, 01:00 Avenues 19:35, 23:20 Grand Hamra 2 14:15, 16:30, 19:00, 21:15 00:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 7 14:30, 16:45, 19:00, 21:15 23:30 (Thu, Fri) Gaza Surf Club (Arabic Film) :55 (Daily Exc Mon) Gnome Alone :45, 14:40, 16:30, 18:20 (Daily Exc Mon) 14:40, 16:30, 18:20 (Fri) Bairaq 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 (Daily Exc Thu, Sat) 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 (Thu, Sat) Fanar 15:30, 17:30 (Daily Exc Thu, Sat) 11:30, 15:30, 17:30 (Thu, Sat) Sharqia 17:00 (Daily Exc Thu, Sat) 12:15, 17:00 (Thu, Sat) Avenues 11:30, 13:25, 15:25, 17:30, 19:30 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:30 15:25, 17:30, 19:30 (Fri) Marina 14:30, 18:15 (Daily Exc Thu, Sat) 12:30, 14:30, 18:15 (Thu, Sat) Grand Hamra 4 14:15, 16:15 Grand Gate 3 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 I, Tonya :05, 21:15, 23:35 (Daily Exc Mon, Sat) 14:30, 19:05, 21:15, 23:35 (Fri) 12:05, 14:30, 19:05, 21:15, 23:35 (Sat) Fanar 20:00 Avenues 13:45, 16:05, 18:30, 20:55 Marina 21:45 Journey s End :10, 19:10, 21:25, 23:40 Fanar 11:45, 14:00, 18:30, 20:40 (Daily Exc Mon) 14:00, 18:30, 20:40 (Fri) Sharqia 11:30, 15:50, 20:20 (Daily Exc Mon) 15:50, 20:20 (Fri) Avenues 12:10, 16:10, 20:15, 22:30, 00:40 (Daily Exc Mon) 16:10, 20:15, 22:30, 00:40 (Fri) Marina 12:45, 15:15, 00:05 (Daily Exc Mon) 15:15, 00:05 (Fri) Grand Hamra 8 20:00, 22:30 Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle :45, 16:10 (Daily Exc Mon) 16:10 (Fri) Avenues 12:25, 19:10 (Daily Exc Mon) 19:10 (Fri) Grand Gate 5 14:15, 16:45, 19:15, 21:45 Mission Kathmandu: The Adventures of Nelly & Simon :20, 17:20 (Daily Exc Mon) 17:20 (Fri) Bairaq 15:00, 19:00 Fanar 13:30 (Thu, Fri, Sat) Avenues 14:25, 18:25 Marina 16:30 Okdat El Khawaga (Arabic Film) :35 Avenues 18:05 Serbi Haamam (Swarm Of Doves) Kuwaiti Film :30, 11:35, 13:00, 15:05, 17:10, 17:50, 19:15, 21:20, 22:00, 23:25, 00:25 (Daily Exc Mon) 15:05, 17:10, 17:50, 19:15, 21:20, 22:00, 23:25, 00:25 (Fri) Ajial 15:30, 17:30, 22:15 Bairaq 13:00, 17:00, 21:00, 23:00, 01:00 (Daily Exc Mon) 17:00, 21:00, 23:00, 01:00 (Fri) Fanar 12:15, 14:30, 16:30, 18:30, 20:30, 22:45, 00:45 (Daily Exc Mon) 14:30, 16:30, 18:30, 20:30, 22:45, 00:45 (Fri) Sharqia 11:45, 13:45, 16:00, 18:00, 22:00 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:45, 16:00, 18:00, 22:00 (Fri) Avenues 11:50, 13:55, 15:55, 16:00, 20:10, 20:30, 22:15, 00:20, 00:45 (Daily Exc Mon) 13:55, 15:55, 16:00, 20:10, 20:30, 22:15, 00:20, 00:45 (Fri) Laila 16:00, 20:45 Marina 12:30, 20:10, 22:15, 00:15 (Daily Exc Thu, Mon, Sat) 20:10, 22:15, 00:15 (Thu, Fri, Sat) The Greatest Showman :15 The Midnight Man :20, 22:15, 00:10 Fanar 22:30, 00:30 Sharqia 20:00, 00:05 Avenues 15:00, 21:20, 23:25, 01:10 Grand Hamra 7 15:30, 17:30, 19:30, 21:30 23:30 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 6 14:45, 17:15, 19:30, 21:30 23:45 (Thu, Fri) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri :15, 19:35 Avenues 19:05 War Commanders: China Salesman :00, 21:55 (Daily Exc Thu) 21:55 (Thu) Avenues 11:30 (Daily Exc Mon) Wolf Warrior :10 (Daily Exc Sat) 13:30 (Fri) 12:35, 00:10 (Sat) Wonder :25 Aadhi (Malayalam Film) Ajial 19:00 Captain (Malayalam Film) Ajial 15:30, 18:30, 21:30 Plaza 15:30, 21:30 Mayaanadhi (Malayalam Film) Ajial 16:15, 22:00 Plaza 18:45 Veerey Ki Wedding (Hindi Film) Ajial 15:45, 18:45, 21:45 Coco Avenues 17:20 Den Of Thieves Grand Hamra 4 18:15, 21:45 Early Man Grand Hamra 5 14:45, 17:15 Grand Hamra 8 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 Grand Gate 4 14:15, 16:15, 18:15 Slumber Grand Gate 4 20:15, 22:15 00:15 (Thu, Fri) Braven Grand Gate 8 14:30, 17:00, 19:15, 21:30 00:00 (Thu, Fri)

25 El Al seeks int l help to access Saudi airspace Exxon withdraws from Russia deal due to sanctions Israel s flag carrier El Al has asked an airline industry lobby group to help it access Saudi Arabian airspace, so it can compete with Air India s planned route between India and Israel. The request came in a letter on Wednesday from El Al s chief executive to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in which he said he has also approached Israel s prime minister. Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel though there has been a thawing of the relationship between the US allies, with a shared concern over Iranian influence in the region. Granting an Israeli airline access to its air space by lifting a 70-year-old ban, however, would mark a dramatic diplomatic shift. The appeal is a response to plans revealed by Air India last month to begin direct flights to Tel Aviv which pass through Saudi airspace, a shorter route so far off-limits to all Israel-bound commercial planes. There has been no official announcement whether Air India has received permission to fly over Saudi soil for its proposed thrice-weekly flights. El Al s CEO has now turned to the head of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac, saying he understood no such permission would be granted to Israeli jetliners and asking Juniac to step in to prevent an uneven playing field. (RTRS) US oil company Exxon Mobil says it will withdraw from its joint venture with Russia s state-controlled Rosneft due to US and European sanctions against the country. Exxon Mobil had signed a deal with Rosneft, Russia s biggest oil producer, in 2011 that aimed to drill in diffi cult terrain, like Russia s Arctic waters. It combined Exxon s high level of technology with Rosneft s access to the area. The deal came under strain, however, after the US sanctioned Russia in 2014 over the invasion of Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula. The sanctions did not affect existing deals in the energy sector, but prohibited any business with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, an infl uential oligarch in Russia. That created a series of hurdles for the partnership. Exxon has applied for a waiver but without success. Last year, the US Treasury fi ned Exxon $2 million for signing new deals with Sechin in Exxon sued the US government to stop the fine. The deal has come under extra scrutiny because Rex Tillerson, the current secretary of state, was the Exxon CEO who had struck the deal and has had reportedly good personal ties with Sechin. (AP) Market Movements Change Closing pts HONG KONG - Hang Seng , Change Closing pts INDIA - Sensex , AUSTRALIA - All Ordinaries , PHILIPPINES - All Shares , JAPAN - Nikkei , S. KOREA - KRX , GERMANY - DAX , FRANCE - CAC , Business Move to boost global growth, risks overheating economy and problematic rise in debt IMF chief sees positive and negative effects from US tax cuts YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, March 1, (RTRS): International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she saw positive and negative effects from a complicated US tax overhaul, including a near-term growth bump that risks overheating the US economy and a problematic rise in debt. Lagarde told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that tax cuts can lift the US growth rate by about 1.2 percentage points over the three years through 2020, which should help boost global growth and trade for at least a few years. To the extent that growth is higher in the US and because the US is a very open economy, it will probably increase the demand from the US to the other economies around the world, and that s also a positive, Lagarde said during a week-long trip to Indonesia. The massive tax overhaul, which cuts the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and simplifies many provisions, met some of the IMF s advice that Washington adopt a simpler, more efficient business tax code. But Lagarde warned the plan threatened to stoke inflation. Because of the stimulus impact that it will have on growth, and because the US economy is already growing at full capacity, it might very well have an overheating impact on the economy, which could in turn increase wages - good - increase inflation and entail a tightening of monetary policy, with interest rates rising, Lagarde said. New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told US lawmakers on Wednesday that he was sticking to a gradual approach to interest rate hikes this year. The higher rates would nonetheless cause some capital outflows from emerging markets, Lagarde said. Sudden and massive outflows two decades ago prompted IMF bailouts and painful austerity for some southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia. Lagarde said Indonesia was wellprepared to handle the effects of higher US rates because of much stronger central bank tools that were tested during the 2013 taper tantrum, during which bond yields rose sharply as the Fed Hawk or dove? signaled it was ready to slow its bond purchases. These tools were put to use again on Thursday as Indonesia entered the foreign exchange market to support the rupiah currency after it touched its lowest level in more than two years, about 13,800 to the dollar. But Lagarde said a bigger concern was the increase in US budget deficits and debt that she said would begin to cut the growth rate starting in A fiscal watchdog group, the Center For a Responsible Federal Budget, has estimated the deficit could top $1 trillion as early as 2019 between the tax cuts and a spending increase passed in January. Trump administration officials maintain that increased growth prompted by the tax cuts would minimize revenue shortfalls. So, you combine reduced growth, reduced revenue and you end up with probably an increased fiscal deficit which will impact on the level of debt of the United States, Lagarde said. We have not advocated increasing debt nor increasing deficits. To the contrary, actually. Despite concerns that US President Donald Trump will impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum, Lagarde said she was encouraged by some recent trade developments, including a deal forged by 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and intensified talks between the European Union and Mercosur countries. There is really a trend towards not necessarily multilateralism but plurilateralism, which is here to stay I think, Lagarde said. She said that the international rules of trade should be respected, including those of the World Trade Organization, but they should be continually updated to reflect a constantly changing economy. She added that the WTO needs to have its appellate function fully restored. The United States has been blocking the appointment of WTO appellate judges it regards as unfavorable to US interests. And Lagarde has not wavered in her views that trade as an engine of growth, saying: Trade has more benefits than costs. Powell showed markets both sides in his debut WASHINGTON, March 1, (RTRS): Financial markets barely batted an eye on Tuesday when Jerome Powell s first public statement as Federal Reserve chief saw daylight, interpreting it as a steadyhanded commitment to the US central bank s policy of gradual interest rate increases. The calm evaporated about a couple of hours later, at 10:42 am EST (1542 GMT), when Powell, testifying before a US House of Representatives committee, struck a bullish, and personal, tone on the strength of the economy. US bond yields jumped as investors raised their bets for four rate increases this year, rather than the three that Fed policymakers projected in late December, and began asking one key question: Is a hawk or a dove now running the Fed? The message coming from the written portion of the testimony did not signal any change, analysts from Barclays wrote on Tuesday, drawing a contrast with Powell s live remarks that point to a risk of a steeper policy rate path. Fed policymakers consider their public statements an important tool in shaping public perceptions and, in doing so, making monetary policy more effective. Fed chiefs try to avoid off-thecuff remarks that cause impromptu repricing, preferring to hew close to their job of representing the views of the Fed s rate-setting committee and avoiding disclosing much about their personal opinions. Veteran Fed analysts were split over whether Powell had broken that unwritten rule in his remarks, which came just weeks after he took over from Janet Yellen. The tone of the testimony was definitely NOT hawkish, said Cornerstone Macro economist and former Fed staffer Roberto Perli, who emphasized Powell s written comments might be read as a willingness to allow the economy to run hot in order to boost inflation to the Fed s 2 percent target on a sustained basis. Powell more confident on growth, putting 2018 dots in play, is how JP Morgan s Michael Feroli summed up the day, referring to the quarterly dot plot of projected interest rates that Fed policymakers submit. Feroli argued that Powell s modestly hawkish appearance in Congress strengthened the chance that policymakers rate outlook would rise when the central bank issues its next set of economic projections next month. Traders in short-term interest rate futures were shading to the hawkish interpretation on Wednesday, betting squarely on rises in borrowing costs at the Fed s policy meetings in March, June, and September, and putting a high likelihood of a fourth increase sometime in The dollar rose to a five-week high on the prospect of tighter monetary policy. Before Powell s testimony, investors had seen the Fed as likely to wait until December before raising rates a third time, if indeed it chose to do so at all. The market moves, however, were hardly dramatic or unprecedented. Former Fed chief Ben Bernanke famously set off a global bond rout the taper tantrum in 2013 when he indicated the central bank was about to scale down the bond buying program it began to fight the financial crisis. In 2014, at her first press conference as Fed chief, Yellen jostled markets when she said the central bank could raise interest rates around six months after ending its bond-buying program. The Fed s first post-crisis rate increase came in December 2015, more than a year after it ended the bond-buying. Powell s comments on his personal outlook was basically like him saying, my dot is going up, said Tim Duy, an economics professor at the University of Oregon, in contrast to Bernanke and Yellen who felt they should never reveal their own dots. US inflation picks up; weekly jobless claims at 48-year low Consumer spending rises 0.2 pct; income up 0.4 pct In this fi le photo, workers assemble Ford trucks at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. On March 1, The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of manufacturing activity for February. (AP) Production retreated slightly in December US crude output hit record high in Nov NEW YORK, March 1, (RTRS): US crude oil production shattered a 47-year output record in November and retreated slightly in December, the US Energy Department said on Wednesday, as oil production from shale continued to upend global supply patterns. Oil output rose to million barrels per day (bpd) in November, a revision from earlier estimates, the EIA said. December production fell 108,000 bpd to million bpd, it said. November s figure exceeded the million barrels produced daily in November Output has surged in the last several years due to the shale boom, pushing the United States past Saudi Arabia among top producers. Only Russia now has greater daily oil output. The new record probably will not last. The US government forecasts production will hit 11 million barrels per day later this year. We ve got a lot more oil to produce and we ll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected, said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. The gains are primarily due to rising production in shale regions in Texas and North Dakota. Output there ramped up sharply at the beginning of the decade as new techniques involving hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, allowed drillers to extract vast quantities of crude from oil fields. The increase in crude output has cut US oil imports by a fifth over a decade, WASHINGTON, March 1, (AP): President Donald Trump on Thursday defended the US steel and aluminum industries as he faces deadlines on whether to impose tariffs or quotas on imports of both products. Increased foreign production, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt American producers. The Commerce Department calls the situation a national security threat. Trump tweeted that many US industaries, including steel and aluminum have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE! Trump has to make decisions on Tariff deadline nears Trump defends US steel and aluminium industries steel by April 11 and on aluminum by April 19. Industry officials have been invited to the White House on Thursday, but it remained unclear what Trump intends to announce and when. Any action to impose tariffs is likely to escalate simmering tensions with China and other US trading partners. Critics of such a move fear that other countries will retaliate or use national security as a pretext to impose trade penalties of their own. They also argue that sanctions on imports will drive up prices and hurt US automakers and other companies that use steel or aluminum. The Commerce Department is recommending tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports, higher tariffs on imports from specific countries or a quota on imports. Dubai tests autonomous pods in drive for smart city DUBAI, March 1, (RTRS): Dubai has begun testing autonomous pods in a trial run the Gulf s trade and tourism hub hopes will help its transformation into one of the smartest cities in the world. Officials from Dubai s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) displayed two cube-shaped vehicles built by USbased Next Future Transportation company in Italy as they spun around on a main street in Dubai. Passersby stopped to try out the sixseat vehicles and question the Italian engineers overseeing the test. RTA officials said they have allocated and boosted energy exports. Soaring US production kept a lid on oil prices this year, even though the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia have reduced output. In December, production pulled 1.5 million dirhams ($410,000) for further research and development of the vehicles, which Dubai hopes to use for local transportation under the city s 2030 Dubai Future Accelerators, which aims to make 25 percent of daily transportation self-driven. The goal is to develop these two research vehicles, Khaled al-awadhi, director of Automated Collection Systems at the RTA, said. These tests are aimed at developing the performance of these vehicles, he added, without giving details on the cost of the project. He said several projects were being WASHINGTON, March 1, (RTRS): US consumer prices increased in January, with a gauge of underlying inflation posting its largest gain in 12 months, bolstering views that price pressures will accelerate this year. Inflation is also likely to get a boost from a tightening labor market. Other data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in just over 48 years. A robust labor market and rising inflation could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates a bit more aggressively this year than currently anticipated to prevent the economy from overheating. The Fed has forecast three rate hikes in US financial markets have priced in a rate increase this month. The Commerce Department said consumer prices as measured by the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose 0.4 percent. That was the biggest increase since September and followed a 0.1 percent gain in December. In back after three consecutive increases, according to the EIA. The decline was driven by offshore Gulf of Mexico output, which dropped by 131,000 bpd in the month. Four Gulf of Mexico platforms were shuttered throughout the month after a fire. developed, including self-driving buses and a marine transportation system. The RTA says the autonomous pods would travel on pre-programmed routes in the first few years, but would eventually become accessible for pick up from home using a mobile telephone application. No date was provided for the start of either service. RTA officials said they hoped to have a more solid plan for the program by the end of 2018 or early The vehicles are powered by electricity and have a top speed of 80 kms (50 miles) per hour. the 12 months through January, the PCE price index rose 1.7 percent after a similar gain in December. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the PCE price index advanced 0.3 percent in January the largest gain since January The so-called core PCE price index rose 0.2 percent in December. Unfavorable base effects kept the annual increase in the core PCE price index at 1.5 percent in January. The inflation gains were in line with economists expectations. The core PCE index is the Fed s preferred inflation measure and has undershot the US central bank s 2 percent target since mid The dollar rose after the data while US Treasuries pared gains and stock index futures trimmed losses. Inflation is expected to breach its target this year as a tightening labor market boosts wage growth. Faster economic growth, spurred by a $1.5 trillion tax cut package and increased government spending, is also seen stoking inflation. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday offered an upbeat assessment of the economy, telling US lawmakers my personal outlook for the economy has strengthened since December. Powell also acknowledged that fiscal policy is becoming more stimulative. Those remarks prompted traders to raise their bets on four rate increases this year. Economists expect policymakers will revise up their interest rate projections at the March meeting. Higher inflation cut into consumer spending growth in January. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, gained 0.2 percent. That was the smallest increase since August and followed a 0.4 percent advance in December. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending fell 0.1 percent, declining for the first time since January The so-called real consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in December. The drop in real consumer spending in January suggests consumption will slow from the fourth-quarter s robust 3.8 percent annualized pace. It was also the latest indication that economic growth moderated at the start of the year after a 2.5 percent rate of expansion in the fourth quarter. Industrial production, home sales and core capital goods orders fell in January. But spending remains underpinned by a strong labor market. In a separate report on Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210,000 for the week ended Feb 24, the lowest level since December It was the 156th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller. Fed officials consider the labor market to be near or a little beyond full employment. The jobless rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. Consumer spending could also get a lift from the tax cuts, which boosted wages and savings in January. Personal income rose 0.4 percent after increasing by the same margin in December. The Commerce Department s Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the tax package reduced personal income taxes by $115.5 billion at an annual rate. Wages increased 0.5 percent in January, bolstered by one-off bonuses that businesses gave workers as part of the tax-cut windfall. Wages rose 0.4 percent in December. Savings increased to $464.4 billion in January from $363.2 billion in the prior month. The saving rate jumped to 3.2 percent from 2.5 percent in December.

26 BUSINESS 26 Daimler takes sole control of Car2Go Europe Dyson shifts up a gear with electric car hub German auto giant Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, said Thursday it will take full ownership of car-sharing service Car2Go Europe, buying out its long-standing joint venture partner, Europcar. Daimler, which already owns 75 percent of Car2Go Europe, said in a statement it would buy the 25 percent held by Europcar since the joint venture was set up in The deal must still receive regulatory approval and Daimler did not say when it expected the transaction to be completed. But the move mirrors a similar one made by rival BMW which took full control of a competing service, DriveNow, in January. Over the course of the last several months, we have intensified our investments in mobility services, said division chief, Joerg Lamparter. Taking into account its North American and Chinese operations, as well as Europe, the Car2Go group claims more than three million users in 26 cities worldwide, with a fleet of 14,000 vehicles mostly Daimler s ultra-compact Smart cars. Daimler said it plans to further expand its mobility portfolio, which already includes Car2Go, transport booking app Moovel and taxi hailing service mytaxi. (AFP) James Dyson, the Brexit-backing billionaire behind the vacuum cleaners that bear his name, is establishing a new UK research hub as he shifts up a gear in his drive into electric cars. Dyson, speaking to AFP as his company published soaring profi ts on booming Asian sales, outlined plans to open a second research and development centre in a former Royal Air Force airfi eld in Hullavington, southwest England. The entrepreneur, who owns 100 percent of the company he founded in the 1970s, has revolutionised household appliances with his bagless vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans and air purifi ers. Dyson now has Britain s air pollution concerns in his sights and expressed confi dence this week over the group s electric car ambitions. The company will shift its 400-strong automotive engineering team to the sprawling Hullavington facility in May, alongside workers from other divisions. The fi rst vehicle -- as yet unnamed -- will be available for orders from We will be taking orders. You can order one now, if you like, he joked in a telephone interview with AFP from nearby Malmesbury, where the group has its main base. The exact manufacturing location is still under discussion, he added, but indicated that it would either be in Britain or Asia.(AFP) Eurozone growth stays robust, UK factories stumble Japan, Taiwan activity slows, Korean exports weakest since 2016 LONDON/HONG KONG, March 1, (RTRS): Manufacturing data painted a mixed picture of economic activity across the globe, with stronger currencies hurting exporters, but the growth momentum demonstrated at the start of the year appears to have only dwindled slightly. The eurozone s boom has slowed a little further and Britain s factory activity slipped to its lowest in eight months, yet China surprisingly showed resilience amid fears tighter regulations may slow growth. Things came in a bit better than we expected. We are seeing pretty strong global growth and demand, said Jacqui Douglas, chief European macro strategist at TD Securities. Factories across the eurozone are still enjoying their best growth spell in almost two decades which, alongside price pressures at a near seven-year high, will be welcomed by policymakers at the European Central Bank as they move closer to unwinding their ultra-easy monetary policy. IHS Markit s final manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)for the eurozone fell to 58.6 in February from 59.6, just pipping an earlier flash estimate of 58.5 and comfortably above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. That robust growth came even though a sub-index measuring output prices rose to 58.4 from 58.0, its highest reading since April Despite a marked upturn in orders, Britain s factory PMI inched down to 55.2 in February, its second-lowest reading since June 2016 s Brexit vote though a shade above the average forecast of 55.0 in a Reuters poll. Taken at face value, the figures suggest British factory output growth so far this year has slowed to a three-monthly rate of 0.4 percent compared with a robust 1.3 percent in the last three months of 2017, IHS Markit said. Recovery Growth in the manufacturing sector is moderating, now that the recovery in the eurozone has started to lose a little pace and more than 18 months have elapsed since sterling s huge depreciation, said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Surveys from the United States later on Thursday are expected to confirm the strong momentum in global trade. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell, in his first public appearance since talking the helm at the US central bank, said this week he aimed to prevent the economy from overheating, cementing market expectations for three or four interest rate increases this year. Other central banks such as the Bank of England and Bank of Canada have already raised interest rates and the ECB is widely expected to shut down its money printing presses by the end of However, chances for rate hikes in Asia are far lower. Bank of Japan board member Goushi Kataoka warned on Thursday against a premature exit from the BoJ s ultra-loose monetary policy and called for a ramping up of the bank s massive stimulus programme. Also, the full impact of China s crackdown on risky financing probably has yet to be seen. A private survey showed factory growth at a six-month high, but the findings were largely at odds with downbeat official activity readings on Wednesday, which raised concerns that tighter regulations may lead to a sharper slowdown in the world s second biggest economy. State-owned firms service China s domestic demand more and their weaker showing may point to weakness stemming from property-cooling measures, higher interest rates and tougher rules against risky financing, factors expected to weigh throughout the year. Government measures to reduce pollution over the winter have also led to cuts in production, economists said, while the Lunar New Year holidays disrupted activity, suggesting the slowdown in some of the economies could be temporary. Slowdown These numbers imply that the low reading is likely driven by holiday effects, rather than by any underlying slowdown in coming manufacturing activity, said Iris Pang, Greater China economist at ING. Manufacturing was a relative bright spot for Britain s economy late last year but growth in overseas orders slowed to its weakest in four months in February. Japanese manufacturing expanded at a slightly slower pace in February as a stronger yen weighed on new export orders and Taiwan s factory growth was the slowest in four months, although both economies still posted relatively solid numbers. South Korea s export growth slowed in February to its weakest in more than a year. The Japanese yen is currently trading around its strongest in more than a year, the Korean won in more than three years and the Taiwanese dollar in more than five. For Asia, the strength of the currencies will have some impact but generally how growth in the G3 economies fares is more important, said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ. We should continue to see a strong momentum in exports going into the second half, when base effects come into play, Goh said, cautioning against reading to much into the holiday-distorted numbers. Pharma strike deals with tech firms Drugmakers want your health records to prove value of drugs LONDON, March 1, (RTRS): Drugmakers are racing to scoop up patient health records and strike deals with technology companies as big data analytics start to unlock a trove of information about how medicines perform in the real world. Studying such real-world evidence offers manufacturers a powerful tool to prove the value of their drugs - something Roche aims to leverage, for example, with last month s $2 billion purchase of Flatiron Health. Real-world evidence involves collecting data outside traditional randomised clinical trials, the current gold standard for judging medicines, and interest in the field is ballooning. Half of the world s 1,800 clinical studies involving real-world or real-life data since 2006 have been started in the last three years, with a record 300 last year, according to a Reuters analysis of the U.S. National Institutes of Health s clinicaltrials.gov website. Hot areas for such studies include cancer, heart disease and respiratory disorders. Historically, it has been hard to get a handle on how drugs work in routine clinical practice but the rise of electronic medical records, databases of insurance claims, fitness wearables and even social media now offers a wealth of new data. The ability to capture the experience of real-world patients, who represent a wider sample of society than the relatively narrow selection enrolled into traditional trials, is increasingly useful as medicine becomes more personalised. However it also opens a new front in the debate about corporate access to personal data at a time when tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google s parent Alphabet are seeking to carve out a healthcare niche. Privacy Some campaigners and academics worry such data will be used primarily as a commercial tool by drugmakers and may intrude upon patients privacy. Learning from the experience of millions of patients provides granularity and is especially important in a disease like cancer, where doctors want to know if there is a greater benefit from using a certain drug in patients with highly specific tumour characteristics. In the case of the Flatiron deal, Roche is acquiring a firm working with 265 U.S. community cancer clinics and six major academic research centres, making it a leading curator of oncology evidence. Roche, which already owns 12.6 percent of Flatiron, will pay $1.9 billion for the rest. But interest in such real-world data goes far beyond cancer. All the world s major drug companies now have departments focused on the use of real-world data across multiple diseases and several have completed scientific studies using the information to delve into key areas addressed by their drugs. They include diabetes studies by AstraZeneca and Sanofi, joint research by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb into stroke prevention, and a Takeda Pharmaceutical project in bowel disease. It s getting more expensive to do traditional clinical trial research, so industry is looking at ways it can achieve similar goals using routinely collected data, said Paul Taylor, a health informatics expert at University College London. The thing that has made all this possible is the increasing digitisation of health records. Significantly, the world s regulators are taking notice. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb - the gatekeeper to the world s biggest pharmaceutical market - believes more widespread use of real-world evidence (RWE) could cut drug development costs and help doctors make better medical choices. Under the 21st Century Cures Act, the FDA has been directed to evaluate the expanded use of RWE. As the breadth and reliability of RWE increases, so do opportunities for FDA to also make use of this information, Gottlieb said in a speech last September. The European Medicines Agency, too, is studying ways to use RWE in its decision making. Growth But the growth of real-world evidence also raises questions about data access and patient privacy, as Britain s National Health Service (NHS) - a uniquely comprehensive source of healthcare data - has found to its cost. An ambitious scheme to pool anonymised NHS patient data for both academic and commercial use had to be scrapped in 2016 after protests from both patients and doctors. And last year a British hospital trust was rapped by the Information Commissioner s Office for misusing data, after it passed on personal information of around 1.6 million patients to artificial-intelligence firm Google DeepMind. Sam Smith, a campaigner for medical data privacy at Britain s MedConfidential, is concerned drugmakers RWE studies are just a cover for marketing. How much of this is really for scientific discovery and how much is it about boosting profits by getting one product used instead of another? Some academics also worry RWE studies could be susceptible to data dredging, where multiple analyses are conducted until one gives the hoped-for result. AstraZeneca s head of innovative medicines Mene Pangalos, whose company has struck several deals with tech start-ups and patient groups to gather real-world data, acknowledges ensuring privacy and scientific rigour is a challenge. It s a real problem but I don t think it s insurmountable, he told Reuters. As people get more comfortable with real-world evidence studies I think it will be much more widely used. I would like to see a world where real-world data can be used to help change drug labels and be used much more aggressively than it is today. Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan believes data is the next frontier for drugmakers and he is betting that the Swiss group s leadership in both cancer medicine and diagnostics will put it in pole position. Europe s economic recovery remains on track Eurozone unemployment holds at 9-year low BRUSSELS, March 1, (AFP): Europe s economic recovery remains on track, with eurozone unemployment at its lowest level since December 2008, official figures showed Thursday. The EU s official statistics agency announced that the jobless rate in the single currency area stood at 8.6 percent in January, which was the same as a revised figure for the month before. Unemployment for the EU as a whole in January was unchanged at 7.3 percent -- the lowest since October 2008, Eurostat said. The data are in line with other recent statistics that suggest the European economy is growing at a healthy clip after years of weak recovery following the debt crisis. The steady decline in joblessness comes on the back of three years of massive support from the European Central Bank (ECB) to help the 19-country single currency zone survive the eurozone debt crisis crises. The ECB has bought more than two trillion euros worth of bonds during that time, helping trigger growth and lift prices out of deflation in Europe. The purchases, which the ECB is gradually scaling back, are set to run until the end of September amid expectations that the recovery will continue to gain momentum. But despite the economic upswing, inflation remains low and well below the central bank s two percent target, which may give ECB head Mario Draghi second thoughts about turning the stimulus off completely this year. Photos from the event Main goal is increasing health awareness KIB sponsors 4th cervical cancer campaign Telecoms operators support decision-making and planning by govts, NGOs Mobile phones help transform disaster relief BARCELONA, March 1, (AFP): Mobile phones are helping transform how relief agencies respond to humanitarian crises by enabling them to pin point where aid is needed most after hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters. At the same time, mobile apps that need just a few taps of the finger to make a donation are becoming an increasingly important source of funding to relief efforts, aid workers and tech specialists said at this week s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Telecoms operators can see where people are gathering after a disaster strikes by tracking cellphone location data, said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, the global mobile operators association that organises the world s largest mobile phone fair. By combining mobility data with other data sources, operators can support decision-making and planning by governments and NGOs, he said. GSMA is working with 20 major mobile operators that are present in over 100 countries to establish a standard framework on how to collect and analyse data from their networks for disaster relief. Unemployment remained high in Greece at 20.9 percent in November, the last month for which figures were available, Spain at 16.3 percent, and Italy up to 11.1 percent, ahead of Sunday elections. KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Under the umbrella of its strategic partnership with Safira CSR Company, Kuwait International Bank (KIB) recently sponsored the 4th national cervical cancer awareness campaign, which was organized by Safira in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Most recently, the national campaign featured the organization of an awareness event at the Mother and Baby Lounge in 360 Mall, in cooperation with the Business and Professional Women Network (BPWN). As part of the campaign, Dr Ebtehal Al-Habib, Family Medicine Consultant, presented an introductory meeting as well as an awareness lecture entitled Causes and Prevention. During her lecture, Dr Ebtehal shed light on the importance of preserving the triangle of good women s health, which includes physical, social and mental well-being. She noted that each component of this triangle is equally important when it comes to maintaining a healthy and effective professional and personal life. Speaking about the sponsorship, Manager of the Corporate Communications Unit at KIB, Nawaf Najia, said: KIB continuously seeks to be a part of events and activities that resonate with people within the local community, especially when it comes to issues of women s health. Women The UN s World Food Programme (WFP), the world s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, works with mobile operators to know where people go when fleeing from a disaster area or conflict zone, said Enrica Porcari, the agency s IT director. This is extremely important for us to understand where to position our assistance to make sure that it reaches people, she added at the conference. Relief agencies also sift through the thousands of pictures and posts which people share on social media after a disaster to get a view of conditions on the ground. Software has been developed that can mine tweets and other crowdsourced reports from crisis zones to find out what is happening where -- from mapping floods to identifying relief needs after a hurricane. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency s app even has a feature called Disaster Reporter which allows users to take pictures that are automatically geo-tagged and mapped, helping identify areas that need relief efforts. The agency also employs people, German unemployment remained super-low at 3.6 percent in January, with the Netherlands dropping to 4.2 percent. At the worst of the debt crisis in 2013, eurozone unemployment are not only the heart of the family unit but also of our society at large, therefore promoting greater awareness of women s health issues is a highly topical social concern. Cervical cancer in particular is one topic we need to shed more light on, given that a recent study by the Ministry of Health revealed that most women are not fully aware of the dangers of cervical cancer or the means to prevent it. On the other hand, Maha Al-Baghli, Founder and Managing Director of Safira CSR Company and manager of this health campaign, said: Women s health is one of our central areas of focus, and increasing health awareness continues to be one of our main goals. dubbed social listeners, to look at Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites during disasters to gather intelligence that complements the information gathered offline, through traditional means. Mobile phones have also become a key source of donations. The percentage of online donations made in the United States on a mobile device soared to 21 percent last year from just nine percent in 2014, according to the Blackbaud Institute s 2017 charitable giving report. The WFP launched in 2015 a mobile app that lets people around the world quickly donate as little as 50 US cents -- enough money to meet the nutritional needs of a child for one day. Over one million people have downloaded the ShareTheMeal app, which links to a credit card or PayPal account. They have donated over 20 million meals with it in some of the WFP s most critical operations such as wartorn Syria and Yemen. Users are able to share what they have given via social media, which can encourage their friends to do the same. reached a record 12.1 percent. Since then, the economic situation has slowly improved, but unemployment remains much higher than the average rate before the crisis, when it was 7.5 percent. A healthier female population inevitably translates to a healthier community overall. Additionally, Al-Baghli lauded KIB s sponsorship of the campaign, pointing out that cooperation between the private and public sectors is crucial when it comes to awareness campaigns and social responsibility initiatives such as this one, which ultimately seek to promote sustainable development in the country. It serves to note that KIB s always seeks to participate in and support worthy national healthcare campaigns and initiatives, as part of its dedicated social responsibility efforts to encourage social development in the longterm.

27 BUSINESS 27 Al-Shall Report Boursa Kuwait liquidity down 35.8 pct in Feb Oil revenues for FY 17/18 pegged at KD 14.2 bln Oil and Public Finance February 2018 By the end of February 2018, the 11th month of the current fiscal year 2017/2018 ended and the average Kuwaiti oil price for the past part of the current fiscal year scored US$ 53.8 per barrel and for February it scored US$ 62.1 per barrel, lower by US$ -3.6 per barrel, -5.5%, from January s average price of US$ 65.7 per barrel. It is higher by US$ 17.1 per barrel, 38%, than the budget hypothetical price of US$ 45 per barrel. It is also higher by US$ 8.3 per barrel than the average price for the past part of the current fiscal year. The last fiscal year 2016/2017 which ended on March 31, 2017 scored an average price for Kuwaiti oil by US$ 44.7 per barrel. The average price of oil for the past part of the current fiscal year is higher by 20.4% than the average price for the past fiscal year but it is lower by US$ per barrel than the parity price for the current budget at US$ 71 per barrel, according to the Ministry of Finance estimates after deducting the 10% for the Future Generations Fund, says Al-Shall Economic Report prepared by Al-Shall Consulting Co headed by Jassem Al-Saadoun. According to the monthly follow up report of the State s Financial Administration issued by the Ministry of Finance for January 2017/2018, actual oil revenues scored about KD billion until the end of last January. Kuwait is supposed to have achieved KD 1.4 billion in oil revenues during February. Therefore, Kuwait s total oil revenues would score an amount of KD 14.2 billion for the entire fiscal year, which is more by KD 2.5 billion than the budget estimate in the amount of KD 11.7 billion. An additional amount of KD billion has been collected in non-oil revenues in the same period. It would score KD 1.4 billion for the entire fiscal year. Therefore, projected budget total revenues would score KD 15.6 billion for the current fiscal year. Comparing this figure with KD 19.9 billion for expenditures, 2017/2018 budget would face a hypothetical deficit by KD 4.3 billion. Assuming 6.3% saving in total public expenditures as in last fiscal year, actual expenditures would drop to KD 18.6 billion, which is a mere estimate. If this happens, public budget then would score a KD 3 billion deficit. It could be less if oil prices hold in the last month of the current fiscal year. The Monthly Report of the State, Financial Administration Accounts January 2018 In its monthly follow-up report for the State s Financial Administration until January 2018 (published on its website), the Ministry of Finance indicates that total collected revenues in the end of the tenth month of the current fiscal year 2017/2018 amounted to approximately KD billion, about 95.3% of the total estimated revenues for the entire current fiscal year in the amount of approximately KD billion. In details, the bulletin estimates actual oil revenues until 31/01/2018 by about KD billion, i.e. 98.5% of estimated oil revenues for the entire current fiscal year in the amount of KD billion, or about 90.7% of total collected revenues. The average Kuwaiti oil price scored about US$ 53 per barrel for the past part of the current fiscal year 2017/2018. KD billion were collected from non-oil revenues during the same period, a monthly average by KD million versus, the total estimated amount for the entire current fiscal year by KD billion. This means the realized amount, if it continues, will be less for the entire current fiscal year by about Photo by Bassam Abo Shanab File photo shows traders at Boursa Kuwait floor. The price index closed higher on Thursday. KD million than the estimated. Expenditures allocations for the current fiscal year were estimated at about KD 19.9 billion, of which an amount of KD billion were actually spent according to the bulletin until 31/01/2018. An amount of KD billion were obligated and as if they were spent. Thus, total actual expenditures scored about KD billion. Monthly spending average scored KD billion or about KD 17 billion for the entire current fiscal year at this average. Although the bulletin concludes that the budget deficit in end of the first ten months of the current fiscal year scored about KD billion before deducting the 10% of revenues for the Future Generations Reserves, we publish it without recommending its endorsement. Deficit figure relies mainly on oil prices and its production quantity during the last two months of the current fiscal year. As for us, we expect the deficit will be around KD 3 billion when the final account will be issued if oil prices continue at their present level. Boursa Kuwait Performance February 2018 February performance was less active than January 2018 and indexes of value, volume, and the number of transactions decreased. Boursa trading value -liquidity- scored KD million, 35.8% drop, versus KD million trading value in January Daily average traded value of February (18 working days) scored KD 11.5 million which is 21.6% lower than January 2018 average and less by 74.8% than February 2017 average. Liquidity value in two months (40 working days) scored KD million. Daily average traded value scored KD 13.3 million and 0.6 times compared with the daily average traded value for 2017 and 0.3 times compared with the daily average traded value for the first two months of Liquidity trends still indicate that half of listed companies obtained 2.1% only of that liquidity, including 50 companies which captured only 0.5% of that liquidity and 5 companies remained without any trading. As for liquid companies, 15 companies of them whose market capitalization equals 2.1% only of listed companies value, captured 20% of the Boursa liquidity. This means that half of the listed companies are still deprived from liquidity and on the contrary it goes towards valueless companies. Distribution of liquidity among the 4 categories of companies was as follows: The Highest 10% In Liquidity: 16 listed companies and they captured about 73.7% of the Boursa liquidity in February and contributed by about 56.6% of the market capitalization for all listed companies, including 12 large companies, with market capitalization larger than KD 100 million that contribute by 56% of the Boursa total capitalization value. Their share was 89.7% of that category liquidity, which is logical, and 4 small companies that captured 10.3% of the liquidity of that category. Their market capitalization did not exceed 0.6% of all market capitalization. This involves a harmful speculative index which may be remedied after the market s reforms. The Highest 10% In Market Capitalization: That category captured about 55.6% of the Boursa liquidity and contributed by 69.6% of its market capitalization. However, there was obvious liquidity deviation for 9 companies which captured about 95.5% of that category s liquidity leaving approximately 4.5% of the category s liquidity for 7 other small companies. The Lowest 10% In Market Capitalization: This category captured 1.2% from the Boursa liquidity although its contribution to its capitalization does not exceed 0.3%. Within the category, 8 companies captured 93.4% of the liquidity of this category, while 8 other small companies got only 6.6% of that category s liquidity. That liquidity deviation within this category means that the discrimination in speculation is quite big and includes small companies, which may be partly justifiable. Liquidity of Boursa Sectors: There are 5 active sectors in the Boursa that contribute by about 89.7% to its value. They obtained 93.5% of February s liquidity suggesting consistence between liquidity and the weight of those sectors in the Boursa capitalization. There was a deviation in those sectors liquidity trends. The banking sector got 47.2% of Boursa liquidity versus 51.5% contribution to its capitalization. This means its share of liquidity is less than its contribution to capitalization. The financial services sector got 14.8% of Boursa liquidity, equivalent to about 1.8 times its contribution to its capitalization. The real estate sector got 9.7% of Boursa liquidity which equals 1.3 times its contribution to its capitalization. These two sectors are speculative ones. The remaining 7 sectors, liquid and non-liquid, all acquired Al-Shall Index Thu Thu Diff Close Diff Company Name 10/08/ /08/2017 % 2016 % 1 The National Bank Of Kuwait The Gulf Bank Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Al-Ahli Bank Of Kuwait Kuwait International Bank (0.4) Ahli United Bank (0.6) (3.2) 7 Burgan Bank (1.7) (6.0) 8 Kuwait Finance House Banking Sector Commercial Facilities Co International Financial Advisors (4.5) (5.8) 11 National Investments Kuwait Investment Projects (9.6) 13 Coast Investment & Development (1.6) 44.4 (1.6) Investment Sector (5.0) 14 Kuwait Insurance Company Gulf Insurance Company (15.7) 16 Al-Ahleia Insurance Company Warba Insurance Company Insurance Sector (4.3) 18 Kuwait Real Estate Company (3.7) 92.1 (5.5) 19 United Realty Company (7.5) liquidity ratios close to their contribution to the Boursa capitalization. The following graph illustrates market capitalization distribution as per sectors as of the end of February Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Financial Results FY 2017 The Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced results of its operations for the ending year of 2017, which indicate that the bank s net profits, after tax deductions, scored KD 55.5 million, rose by KD 5.1 million, or by 10.1% compared with KD 50.4 million in This rise in the net profit is mainly due to the decrease in total provisions by 4.9% and the rise in the operational profit by 3.1%, due to a rise in total operational income by higher value than the rise in operational expenses. The following graph displays development in the shareholders profit level during the period ( ): In details, total operational income increased by KD 10.6 million or by 7.6% and scored KD million compared with KD million in That resulted from rise in the item of net interest income by KD 8.8 million and scored KD 93.6 million compared with KD 84.8 million. Item of net gain from investment securities rose by KD 3.1 million and scored KD 4.3 million compared with KD 1.3 million. While, item of divided income declined by KD 1.4 million and scored KD 4.6 million compared with KD 6 million. Total operational expenses increased by lower value than the rise in operational income by KD 7.5 million and scored KD 46.6 million compared with KD 39.1 million in 2016, due to the rise in all expenses items by 19.1%. Total provisions decreased by KD 2.4 million, or by 4.9% as mentioned previously, and scored KD 46.3 million compared with KD 48.6 million. Therefore, the net profit margin increased to 36.8% compared with 35.9% for Total bank assets scored KD billion, a rise by 6.5%, compared with KD billion in Item of due from banks and other financial institutions increased by KD 97.2 million and scored KD million (13% of total assets) versus KD million (11.4% of total assets) in Item of investment securities rose by KD 65.4 million and scored KD million (10.4% of total assets) versus KD million (9.5% of total assets) in Item of loans and advances dropped by KD 13.9 million and scored KD billion (50.9% of total assets) compared with KD billion (54.6% of total assets) in Figures indicate that the bank s liabilities (without calculating total equity) increased by KD million, or by 6.2%, and scored KD billion compared with KD billion in the end of Percentage of total liabilities to total assets scored 85.1% compared with 85.4% in Percentage of loans and advances to the item of deposits and balances scored 63.3% compared with 66.4%. Analysis of the bank s financial statements indicates that all bank s indexes rose compared with Average return on equities relevant to bank shareholders (ROE) rose to 8.8% from about 8.6%. Likewise, the average return on the bank s assets (ROA) increased slightly to 1.3% compared with 1.2%. The average return on the bank s capital (ROC) increased to 35.3% versus 34.7%. (EPS) rose to 33.9 fils compared with 30.8 fils in (P/E) scored 11.8 times -improved- compared with 13.3 times, as a result of a rise in the (EPS) by 10.1% against a drop in the market share price by 2.4%. (P/B) remained at 1 time for the two years. The bank announced intentions to distribute cash dividends by 18% of the nominal share value which is equivalent to 18 fils and 10% as bonus shares. This means that the share achieved a cash yield of 4.5% on the closing price at 400 fils in the end of dividends scored 15 fils per share and 10% in bonus shares in This means the bank increased its distributions. The Weekly Performance of Boursa Kuwait The performance of Boursa Kuwait for the last week (3 working days due to the National Day and Liberation Day holiday) was more active compared to the previous one, where all indexes showed an increase, the traded value index, the traded volume index, number of transactions, and general index, AlShall Index (value weighted) closed at points at the closing of last Thursday, showing an increase of about 4.1 points or about 1% compared with its level last week, while increased by 13.6 points or about 3.5% compared with the end of The following tables summarize last week s performance of Boursa Kuwait Description Week 09 Week 08 Diff 01/03/ /02/2018 % Working days 3 5 AlShall index (34 Companies) % Boursa Kuwait index (price) 6, , % Value Trade (KD) 38,208,217 53,717,456 Daily average (KD) 12,736,072 10,743, % Volume Trade (Shares) 226,774, ,456,109 Daily average (Shares) 75,591,616 61,891, % Transactions 9,224 13,182 Daily average (Transactions) 3,075 2, % Most Active Sectors & Companies Description Value Traded % of Total Companies KD Market National Bank Of Kuwait 5,325, % Ahli United Bank B.U.C 4,374, % Mobile Teleco Co. K.S.C (ZAIN) 4,313, % Kuwait Finance House 4,064, % Gulf Bank of Kuwait 3,331, Total 21,408, % Description Value Traded % of Total Sectors KD Market Banks Sector 21,777, % Industrials Sector 5,062, % Telecommunications Sector 4,547, % Financial Services Sector 3,863, % Real Estate Sector 1,638, % Al Shall Index Week 09 Week 08 01/03/ /02/2018 Increased Value (# of Companies) Decreased Value (# of Companies) Unchanged Value (# of Companies) 7 2 Total Companies /12/ /12/2016 Change (Thousand KD) (Thousand KD) Value % Total Assets 4,394,586 4,125, , % Total Liabilities 3,739,566 3,521, , % Equity Attributable to the Shareholders of the Bank 654, ,079 51, % Total Operating Revenues 150, ,344 10, % Total Operating Expenses 46,574 39,110 7, % Provision 46,258 48,627 )2,369( -4.9% Taxation 2,616 2, % Net Income 55,500 50,402 5, % Ratios Return on Average Assets (ROA) 1.3% 1.2% Return on Average Equity Relevant to the Bank Shareholder (ROE) 8.8% 8.6% Return on Capital (ROC) 35.3% 34.7% Earnings Per Share (EPS) (Fils) % Closing Price (Fils) (10) -2.4% Price to Earnings Per Share Multiplies (P/E) Price to Book Value Multiplies (P/B) From Feb 22, 2018 to March 01, National Real Estate Company (2.4) 21 Salhiah Real Estate Company (0.3) (3.7) Real Estate Sector (4.0) 22 The National Industries (3.8) Refrigeration Industries Co (2.2) (5.3) 24 Gulf Cable & Electrical Industries (0.5) (0.2) Industrial Sector (2.3) (1.9) 25 Kuwait National Cinemas (3.2) (18.5) 26 The Public Warehousing Co Mobile Telecommunications Co (ZAIN) Safat Energy Co (8.7) Services Sector Livestock Transport & Trading Co (2.1) 30 Danah Aalsafat Foodstuff Company Kuwait Food Co (9.7) Food Sector (8.1) 32 Sharjah Cement Co (11.1) 33 Gulf Cement Co Umm Al-Qaiwain Cement Industries Non Kuwaiti Companies (1.0) General Index

28 BUSINESS 28 Fiat Chrysler sales fall 1% Fiat Chrysler is reporting that US sales fell 1 percent in February, a harbinger of what's expected to be a lackluster month for automakers. The Italian-American automaker said Thursday that sold just over 168,000 vehicles last month. It was led by the all-suv Jeep brand with sales up 12 percent. But the Ram truck brand fell 14 percent due largely to a drop in sales to large fleet buyers. Industry analysts expect February sales to tail off from a year ago as automakers ease up on cash discounts and other incentives that hit record highs last year. Most automakers report sales figures Thursday. (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 1, % 0.82% 3.05% 2.28% -7.69% 13.86% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Kuwait Only AMIC March 1, % 0.53% 3.01% 2.15% -5.81% 12.78% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Active AMIC March 1, % 0.31% -1.06% -0.58% % 15.59% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Banking Sector AMIC March 1, % 0.02% 7.58% 3.43% -3.27% 13.33% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Investment Sector AMIC March 1, % 1.41% -1.95% -2.77% % 12.59% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Insurance Sector AMIC March 1, % -1.04% -6.40% % % 7.80% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Real Estate Sector AMIC March 1, % -0.31% 9.06% 8.54% -2.78% 10.73% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Industrial Sector AMIC March 1, % -0.95% 1.39% 0.92% -2.36% 26.50% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Services Sector AMIC March 1, % 1.56% 1.20% 0.57% 5.00% 27.79% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Food Sector AMIC March 1, % 1.38% % -4.07% % % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Islamic Sector AMIC March 1, % 0.71% 7.13% 3.71% -6.40% 20.15% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Non Kuwaiti Sector AMIC March 1, % 8.94% -4.48% -3.69% % 43.99% Kuwait Stock Exchange Index - Price KWSEIDX March 1, , , % 0.76% 9.87% 6.24% 1.01% 30.74% S&P 500 SPX February 28, , , % 0.46% 2.50% 0.98% 14.82% 39.31% DJ Islamic Index. DJIM February 28, , , % 0.00% 2.10% 0.59% 18.86% 38.37% Reform process has been very sluggish Companies look to China s legislature for quicker reforms BEIJING, March 1, (AP): Businesspeople are looking to China's ceremonial legislature for assurance President Xi Jinping is speeding up reforms aimed at making the cooling economy more productive as he prepares the country for a return to one-man rule. Next week's annual session of the National People's Congress comes after the Communist Party's decision to end presidential term limits prompted hopes Xi, already China's most dominant figure since the 1980s, might feel more confident about embracing painful changes needed to curb surging debt, overhaul state industry and open the economy wider to private competitors. "China's reform process has been very sluggish. We need to watch whether reforms can accelerate," said Citigroup economist Li-Gang Liu. "If we continue to be disappointed, then sentiment on China will turn for the worse." A party statement Wednesday affirmed promises to give market forces the "decisive role" in allocating resources. But moves to centralize power in Xi's hands and give the party more control over business have fueled doubts about Beijing's commitment. The meeting of the full NPC does little lawmaking work. Instead, communist leaders use the gathering of 3,000-plus delegates as a platform to publicize new initiatives and set the tone for the year's development plans. The decision on term limits triggered complaints China is setting back market-oriented reform that requires impartial institutions. But some analysts suggested Xi might be more effective in the short term if officials who might resist change can no longer be sure when he will leave. The 64-year-old leader has tempered pledges to promote market forces by also affirming plans to build up state companies that control energy, telecoms and most other industries. The party's ambitious agenda includes nurturing more sustainable growth driven by domestic consumption instead of trade and investment and doubling incomes from 2010 levels by Last year's economic growth ticked up to 6.9 percent, among the world's strongest. But that is forecast to fall as regulators try to get rising debt under control by tightening controls to cool twin booms in bank lending and real estate sales. Xi has embraced changes including slashing more than 2 million jobs in an effort to streamline bloated coal and steel industries and has tightened financial regulation. But he faces criticism he has avoided fundamental challenges such as curbing the costly privileges of state companies, cutting bank lending that keeps some afloat and possibly allowing them to go bankrupt. A key indicator being closely watched by businesspeople and economists next week is the expected promotion of Liu He, a top Xi adviser who is believed to support freer markets. The Harvard-trained Liu is believed China investors dump HK stocks in droves to be in line for a sweeping role overseeing reform, possibly from a post as a vice premier while also serving as head of a new financial industry regulator or governor of the central bank. Giving one official such a broad portfolio would be a throwback to the 1990s and Zhu Rongji. As vice premier and then premier, Zhu overhauled state industry and the housing market, setting the stage for the following decade's explosive growth. Total debt has surged to 270 percent of annual economic output high for a developing country as regulators propped up growth with repeated infusions of credit after the 2008 crisis. That prompted the Moody's and Standard & Correction fears loom People walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, on March 1. Asian shares were mostly lower Thursday as sentiments got dragged down by a slide on Wall Street. (AP) Poor's ratings agencies last year to cut China's government credit rating. The party has declared reducing financial risk a priority, though Beijing has yet to make clear how far it will go in cutting lending if that threatens economic growth or elite companies. A promotion for Liu might suggest Beijing will clamp down harder on financial risks "because they can afford to take some of the pain early on, given that Xi Jinping and his closest advisers expect to be in power for quite a long time," said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics. Still, he said, Xi appears to favor a prominent economic role for the ruling party. SHANGHAI, March 1, (RTRS): Chinese investors dumped Hong Kong stocks for a second day on Wednesday, fearing that faster interest rate rises in the United States would kill the market s bull run. Mainland Chinese sold a net 1.2 billion yuan ($ million) of Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, after pulling out a record 2.9 billion yuan on Tuesday. The heavy selling pushed the benchmark Hang Seng index down 1.4 percent, capping its worst monthly fall in two years, while the China Enterprises Index skidded 2.1 percent. Unlike past years, the sharp correction in Hong Kong stocks has not yet drawn swarms of mainland bargain hunters, suggesting to some market watchers that a sharper slide may be on the cards. US policy tightening would reduce liquidity in Hong Kong, whose currency is pegged to the dollar. It s different now, said Zhu Haifeng, a once-bullish retail investor who slashed his Hong Kong equity holdings this week due to concerns of tighter liquidity. If the US raises rates three or four times this year, the US equity bubble would burst. Hong Kong stocks will be vulnerable, he said, referring to growing market fears that the Federal Reserve may have to act more aggressively to curb growing inflationary pressures. Those fears sparked a savage global equities rout in early February, from which many markets including Hong Kong were only beginning to recover. But markets tumbled anew on Wednesday, after new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell suggested more rate rises were possible this year. Chinese investors are also worried about the fallout from growing Sino-US trade frictions. US President Donald Trump is due to decide soon whether to impose much broader duties on steel and aluminium imports under a national security investigation. Zhu suspects the Hong Kong market, which is at unsustainable heights, has already seen its peak. Growing policy uncertainty in mainland China is also souring investor confidence in general. China s ruling Communist Party on Sunday set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, and analysts appear divided over what this means for deeper economic and financial market reforms. Modi s US firm seeking buyers PNB auditor conspired in $2bn fraud: Indian police MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, March 1, (RTRS): Federal police in India on Thursday told a court an internal auditor at a Mumbai branch of Punjab National Bank conspired with other officials to carry out a $2 billion fraud at the country's second-biggest state lender. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested auditor Mohinder Kumar Sharma, widening its probe into the biggest bank fraud in India's history. On Thursday it accused Sharma of conspiracy in a filing to a Mumbai court, which committed him to police custody until March 13. CBI has arrested at least 13 people, seven from the bank and six from companies owned by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, who owns Gitanjali Gems Ltd. Modi and Choksi have been accused of colluding with Punjab National Bank (PNB) officials to secure unauthorised loans between 2011 and 2017, mostly from the overseas branches of Indian state banks. They left India in January before the fraud was unearthed, but have denied the charges through letters and statements. Sharma was the internal chief auditor at the Brady House branch "who was supposed to verify the daily transactions, report the irregularities and ensure that the same are rectified to protect the interest of the bank," CBI Inspector D. Damodaran said in the court filing. But he, "in conspiracy with other co-accused persons, deliberately ignored to point out the issuance of illegal" letters of undertaking (LOUs) for companies owned by Modi and Choksi to raise loans from other banks, the inspector added. Sharma's lawyer Apoorv Vijay Singh told the court his client "had no opportunity to know about the messages" sent on international payments platform SWIFT by other bank officials as he did not have access to SWIFT. PNB has accused two low-level employees of the Brady House branch - where Sharma also worked - of issuing the LOUs without making corresponding entries in the bank's main software, helping the fraud go undetected for years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters on Thursday evening the cabinet has approved the establishment of an independent regulator for auditors in the country. The cabinet also decided to present a bill in parliament aimed at making it easier to seize properties of "fugitive economic offenders". "We can't allow people to make a mockery of the law," Jaitley said. A bankruptcy court filing in New York on Wednesday showed interest from potential buyers of a U.S. firm of Modi's that filed for creditor protection in the United States on Feb. 26, after the CBI seized assets of other companies owned by the jeweller. "Early expressions of interest in purchasing some or all of the debtors' business operations have been strong," Modi's Firestar Diamond Inc said in the filing. It has also told secured lenders it was in discussions with lenders for debtor-in-possession financing as it weighed options. Firestar Diamond and its affiliates had annual sales of around $90 million, it said, adding that the assets seized included factories in India that produced fine jewellery. Chinese oil baron hit by investigation: report BEIJING, March 1, (AFP): Shares of two firms linked to Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy tumbled Thursday after a report that its high-flying chairman was under investigation. Ye Jianming dubbed China's "newest oil baron" by Forbes magazine in 2016 quickly built CEFC China Energy into a global energy powerhouse, expanding into Eastern Europe, Africa and the Gulf States, and agreeing to buy 14 percent of Russian oil giant Rosneft last year. But Chinese financial news magazine Caixin, citing anonymous sources, reported that Ye has been put under investigation over links to a former Communist Party chief accused of graft. The CEFC China Energy conglomerate itself is not publicly listed. But following the report, shares in Shenzhen-listed subsidiary CEFC Anhui International Holding fell by as much as 9.85 percent before closing down 4.45 percent, while affiliate CEFC Hong Kong Financial Investment Company dropped by almost 23 percent on Hong Kong's Hang Seng. Both companies distanced themselves from Ye in separate stock filings. "Ye Jianming does not hold any position at (CEFC Anhui), there is no direct relationship with our company, and he is not the company's actual controller," the Shenzhenlisted unit of CEFC China Energy said in a stock filing prompted by the Caixin report. The Hong Kong company said its directors "noted there are press reports today about Ye Jianming" but stressed that he did not hold any directorship and is not involved in the management of the its operations. 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 Feb 27, 2018 KD Feb 20, 2018 Watani USD Money Market Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 27, 2018 USD Feb 20, 2018 Watani KD Money Market Fund (Acc to Islamic Shariah principles) II NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 27, 2018 KD Feb 20, 2018 Watani USD Money Market Fund (Acc to Islamic Shariah principles) II NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Feb 27, 2018 USD Feb 20, 2018 NBK Kuwait Equity Fund Watani Investment Co. Weekly Feb 22, 2018 KD Feb 15, 2018 Gulf Equity Investment Fund Watani Investment Co. Weekly Feb 22, 2018 USD Feb 15, 2018 Regional Bond and Sukuk Investment Fund NBK Capital Weekly Feb 22, 2018 USD Feb 15, 2018 Gulf Bank Al Basha er GCC Equity Fund Kwt. Fin. & Inv. Co. & Gulf Fin. House Monthly Jan 31, 2018 USD Dec 31, 2017 Coast Fund Coast Investment & Dev. Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Markaz Real Estate Fund Bi-annual Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Al Ahli Bank Al Ahli Gulf Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Al Ahli Kuwaiti Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Burgan Bank Burgan Equity Fund Burgan Bank Monthly Jan 2, 2018 KD Nov 26, 2017 Boubyan Bank Boubyan KD Money Market Fund Boubyan Bank Weekly Jan 30, 2018 KD Jan 16, 2018 Boubyan KD Money Market Fund II Boubyan Bank Weekly Jan 30, 2018 KD Jan 16, 2018 Boubyan Capital Investment Co. Boubyan USD Liquidity Fund Boubyan Capital Investment Co Jan 30, 2018 USD Jan 16, 2018 Boubyan Multi-Asset Holding Fund Boubyan Bank Jan 30, 2018 USD Sept 30, 2017 Kuwait Investment Co. Local Fund Al Raed Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 15, 2018 KD Jan 31, 2018 Kuwait Investment Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 28, 2017 Al Hilal Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Feb 19, 2018 KD Feb 5, 2018 Al Atheer Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Dec 30, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 International Global Bond Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 21, 2018 USD Jan 31, 2018 Diversified Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 21, 2018 USD Feb 14, 2018 European Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Jan 31, 2018 Euro Dec 29, 2017 Pacific Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Feb 21, 2018 USD Feb 14, 2018 North American Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Tw. Monthly Dec 29, 2017 USD Nov 30, 2017 National Investment Co. (NIC) Al-Wataniya Fund NIC Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Al-Darij Fund NIC Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Mawarid Fund NIC Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Zajil Fund NIC Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Al Mada Investment Fund NIC Weekly Dec 31, 2017 USD Nov 30, 2017 Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) Mumtaz Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 MIDAF Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 FORSA Financial Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Real Estate Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Markaz Fixed Income Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Feb 8, 2018 USD Jan 25, 2018 Markaz MENA Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Dec 31, 2017 USD Jan 15, 2018 Funds Fund Manager Valuation Valued date Currency Net Asset Prev NAV Prev NAV Dated Value (NAV) Kuwait & Middle East Financial & Inv. Co. Al Rou yah Fund KMEFIC Monthly Nov 30, 2017 KD Sept 30, 2017 Global Investment House Index Funds GCC Large Cap Index Fund Global Weekly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 Equity Funds Al-Mamoun Fund A Global Weekly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 Al-Mamoun Fund B Global Weekly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 GCC Large Cap Fund Global Bi-weekly Feb 6, 2018 USD Jan 23, 2018 Global Saudi Equity Fund Global Bi-weekly Feb 6, 2018 SAR Jan 23, 2018 Sectoral Funds EPADI Fund Global Weekly Feb 6, 2018 USD Jan 23, 2018 Islamic Funds Global GCC Islamic Fund Global Weekly Feb 6, 2018 USD Jan 23, 2018 Al-Durra Islamic Fund Global Monthly Feb 8, 2018 KD Jan 25, 2018 Kuwait Finance & Investment Co (KFIC) Al Wasm Fund KFIC Weekly Jan 31, 2018 KD Jan 10, 2018 Al Basha er GCC Equity Fund KFIC Monthly Jan 31, 2018 USD Dec 31, 2017 KAMCO KAMCO Investment Fund KAMCO Monthly Dec 31, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 KAMCO Real Estate Yield Fund KAMCO Jan 31, 2018 USD Dec 31, 2017 Wafra International Investment Co. Wafra Equity Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Wafra Bond Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Masaref Investment Fund ISKAN Weekly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Fajir Islamic Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Jan 31, 2018 KD Dec 31, 2017 Al Aman Investment Al Aman Islamic Fund Al Aman Investment Weekly Dec 30, 2017 KD Nov 30, 2017 Tharwa Investment Co. Tharwa Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Weekly Feb 1, 2018 KD Jan 18, 2018 Tharwa Islamic Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly Feb 1, 2018 KD Jan 18, 2018 Bank Al-Bilad Al Seef Fund Bank Al-Bilad Daily Feb 25, 2018 KD Feb 14, 2018 Commercial International Bank CIB Money Market Fund (Osoul) CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 28, 2018 EGP Feb 14, 2018 CIB II Equity (Isthethmar) CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 28, 2018 EGP Feb 14, 2018 CIB and Faisal Islamic Al Aman CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 28, 2018 EGP Feb 14, 2018 Hemaya CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 1, 2018 EGP Jan 2, 2018 Thabat CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 28, 2018 EGP Feb 19, 2018 Takamol CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 28, 2018 EGP Feb 19, 2018 Misr El Mostakbel CI Asset Management Weekly Feb 25, 2018 EGP Feb 19, 2018 KFH Capital Investment Co. Muthanna Islamic Index Fund (MUDX) KFH Capital Investment Co Daily Nov 30, 2017 KD Sept 30, 2017 Muthanna GCC Islamic banks Fund KFH Capital Investment Co Daily Nov 30, 2017 KD Sept 30, 2017 Baitak GCC Fund KFH Capital Investment Co Weekly June 29, 2017 KD Feb 28, 2017 Noor Financial Investment Co. Noor Islamic Fund Noor Financial Investment Co Monthly Nov 30, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2015 CapCorp Investment Co. CapCorp Local Fund CapCorp Investment Company Weekly Sept 28, 2017 KD Aug 30, 2017

29 BUSINESS 29 Jabal Omar to close merger deal in 2018 Jabal Omar Development Co, one of Saudi Arabia s largest listed property developers, expects to fi - nalise its merger deal with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction in 2018, a senior company executive told Reuters. The deal, announced in November, is key to strengthening Jabal Omar s presence in the real estate market of the Muslim holy city of Makkah beyond its fl agship project within walking distance of the Grand Mosque to help tap growth in tourism. A key objective of this deal is basically to add value to Makkahreal estate market, Faisal Shaker, chief investment and development offi cer, told Reuters in an interview. The size of King Abdulaziz road (which Umm Al Qura Co is developing) is over 6 million square meters (65 million square feet) of built-up area. We aim to close the merger with Umm Al Qura in 2018, he added. He said the company was currently working on a valuation for the deal with adviser Goldman Sachs. In November, local media estimated the merger would create a real estate business with 50 billion riyals ($13.3 billion) of investments. Pilgrimage to Islam s holiest sites in Makkah and Madina is the backbone of a plan to expand tourism under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman s economic reforms to diversify the economy away from oil. (RTRS) Kuwait equities start month on firm footing Humansoft Holding soars 109 fils; Zain slips By John Mathews Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, March 1: Kuwait stocks headed north on Thursday to end the holiday shortened week on a strong footing. The bourse climbed pts in choppy session to 6,807.9 points led by Humansoft Holding and Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co even as the overall sentiment remained mixed. The KSX 15 benchmark was little changed at 957 points after gaining 17 points during whole of February while weighted index edged 0.44 pt higher, The volume turnover meanwhile surged to a two-week high following Wednesday s pullback million shares changed hands a 21 pct jump from the day before. The sectors closed mixed. Industrials outshone the rest with 1.7 pct gain whereas telecommunications shed 2.8 percent, the worst performer of the day. Volume wise, industrials notched the highest market share of 37.5 pct and financial services trailed with 21 percent contribution. Among the notable gainers, Humansoft Holding soared 109 fils to KD recouping last session s slide while Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co rallied 17.9 fils. Al Mutahed rose 4 fils to 338 fils and Boubyan Bank added 3 fils. Zain fell 2 fils to 476 fils after trading over 1 million shares and Ooredoo dipped 24 fils to KD Kuwait Telecommunications Co slid 32 fils to 766 fils and Agility extended last session s modest rise with a 6 fils gain. Burgan Bank took in 2 fils and Kuwait Finance House ticked 1 fil higher. The bank has registered a 10 pct rise in profits to KD percent during Q4, 2017 compared to the same period in In fiscal year 2017, profits was up 11.5 pct yearon-year to KD million. The market opened on a flat note and moved sideways in early trading. The main index slipped to month s lowest level of 6,760 pts almost half way into session and pulled higher amid brisk buying in select counters and closed with firm gains. Top gainer of the day, Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co vaulted over 19 pct and Marakez climbed 10.3 pct to stand next. Al Mudon skidded 10.8 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and KGL Logistics topped the volume with 21.7 million shares. Despite the day s upswing, the market spread was even. 44 stocks advanced whereas 43 closed lower. Of the 112 counters active on Thursday, 25 closed flat. 3,309 deals worth over KD 11 million were transacted a 9 pct drop in value from the day before National Industries Group was unchanged at 154 fils while Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Co clipped 2 fils. Equipment Holding eased 1 fil to 36 fils and NICBM gave up 3 fils before closing at 194 fils. Jazeera Airways was flat at 599 fils and ALAFCO dropped 4 fils to 370 fils. Al Qurain Petrochemical Co erased most of last session s gains with a 8 fils drop to 335 fils and Boubyan Petrochemical Co trimmed 1 fil. Hilal Cement Co inched 1 fil into green. Slumped Kuwait National Cinema Co slumped 39 fils to KD and Safat Energy stood pat at 28 fils. Combined Group Contracting Co dialed up 1 fil while NAPESCO and OSOS paused at 810 fils and 101 fils respectively. Mezzan Holding clipped 2 fils and UPAC was unchanged at 710 fils. The company s fourth quarter profits rose 22.4 percent to KD 2.79 million from KD 2.28 million in the last quarter of During the fiscal year 2017, the earnings rose 11.4 pct to KD 9.65 million. Kuwait Cement Co dipped 15 fils to 445 fils and Kuwait Portland Cement Co held ground at KD 1,042. Kuwait Cable Vision Co trimmed 0.5 fil and Al Rai Media Group added 2 fils to close at 121 fils. Inovest slipped 4.5 fils to 70 fils. In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait took in 1 fil on back of over 3 million shares and Gulf Bank was down 4 fils at 257 fils. Commercial Bank edged 1 fil up to 454 fils. Kuwait International Bank was flat at 234 fils and Boubyan Bank rose 3 fils to 478 fils. Warba Bank took in 2 fils and Al Ahli Bank was not traded during the session. KMEFIC fell 1.4 fils to 27.4 fils whereas Kuwait Investment Co and National Investment Co paused at 142 fils and 99 fils. Coast Investment Co and KFIC trimmed 0.5 fil each while Securities House Co closed 1.1 fils in green. Bayan Investment Co and Al Mal Investment was unchanged at 42.3 fils and 24.4 fils whereas Unicap gave up 0.7 fil. Noor Financial Investment Co and Amwal Investment dialed up 1 fils each whereas Tamdeen Investment stalled at 242 fils. KIPCO was flat at 303 fils while Sokouk Holding fell 0.5 fil to 46.5 fils. Ektittab Holding gave up 0.3 fil before settling at 28.2 fils and Al Imtiaz paused at 142 fils. National Real Estate Co and Salhiya Real Estate Co took in 1 fil each whereas Mabanee Co shed 10 fils. Mazaya Holding and Aqar were flat at 110 fils and 75 fils respectively while Kuwait Real Estate eased 0.4 fil. The bourse trended higher during the week. The main index closed higher in all thee sessions and gained 51 pts week-on-week. It had climbed 85 points during whole of February and is trading 6.24 pct higher year-to-date. KSE, with 188 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, KAMCO profits during the fourth quarter of 2017 dropped 63.2 percent to KD 143,320 from nearly KD 389,590 in same period of During 2017 fiscal the earnings was down 10.9 percent to KD 1.14 million. The board has recommended a cash dividend of 5 percent or 5 fils per share for FY17. Aqar Real Estate Investments fourth quarter profits dropped by 14.7 pct from the same period last year to to KD 732,000. During fiscal year 2017, earnings saw a marginal year-on-year rise of 1.1 percent to KD 1.76 million. The board of directors has recommended cash dividend of 6 pct or 6 fils per share for FY17. Al Imtiaz Investment Group slipped into red in the fourth quarter of 2017 as it incurred KD 2.9 million in losses in the quarter against profit of KD 6.7 million in the yearago period. In the full-year 2017, it posted a profit of KD mln, up percent from previous year. The company attributed its higher annual profits to selling a part of its stake in an associate. Tijara and Real Estate Investment s has recorded a 94.6 pct jump in profits to KD 351,220 during the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. During FY 2017, the earnings dropped 12.8 pct in profits to KD 706,250. The board has recommended a cash dividend of 3 percent for FY Mideast Stocks Local institutions help lift Qatar Most regional markets retreat DUBAI, March 1, (RTRS): Major Middle Eastern stock markets mostly fell on Thursday after oil prices slipped more than two percent overnight and global bourses dropped, although buying by local institutions helped Qatar rebound slightly from its steep fall on Wednesday. The Qatari index, which had plunged 3.1 percent on Wednesday as several stocks went ex-dividend, recovered 0.9 percent. Exchange data showed foreigners were net sellers by a ratio of three to two. Industrial firm Aamal surged 3.9 percent after reporting an eight percent gain in annual net profit, while Vodafone Qatar climbed for a third straight day after announcing strong earnings and positive licensing news. It added 2.3 percent and was the market s most heavily traded stock. The ex-dividend stocks which led Wednesday s plunge were mixed. Barwa Real Estate rose 0.9 percent but Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan edged down 0.1 percent and Al Khaliji Bank was up 0.3 percent. Saudi Arabia s index fell 0.1 percent as nine of 12 banks dropped. The sector was soft throughout this week, partly because of concern about the government imposing retroactive Islamic tax liabilities on banks. Al Rajhi Bank, a major target of foreign funds flowing into Saudi Arabia over the last couple of months, rebounded 1.1 percent, however. National Shipping Co of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) gained 2.7 percent after reporting a 53 percent decline in annual net profit. In the first nine months, profit shrank 58 percent. Dubai s index fell 1.1 percent to a 15-month low, with Dubai Islamic Bank tumbling 7.6 percent as it went ex-dividend. But DA- MAC Properties, which had lost 5.7 percent on Wednesday to touch its lowest level since June 2017, rebounded 1.3 percent. The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.1 percent. Food company Agthia slipped as much as three percent during the day after the board cut its recommended annual cash dividend to 12.5 percent from 15 percent in the previous year, but the stock closed flat. Egypt s index slipped 0.2 percent but real estate developer SODIC gained 3.7 percent after reporting a 36 percent jump in annual, consolidated net profit. Saudi Arabia Index edged down 0.1 percent to 7,411 points. Dubai Index fell 1.1 percent to 3,209 points. Abu Dhabi Index edged down 0.1 percent to 4,595 points. Qatar The index rose 0.9 percent to 8,730 points. Egypt Index slipped 0.2 percent to 15,446 points. Kuwait Index gained 0.5 percent to 6,808 points. Bahrain Index rose 0.3 percent to 1,373 points. Oman Index added 0.2 percent to 5,012 points.

30 BUSINESS This file photo shows music streaming apps ) (clockwise from top left), Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and Google on an iphone in New York. Music-streaming pioneer Spotify will expand its financial arsenal with an initial public offering of stock. The first steps toward IPO were made in a confidential filing a few weeks ago, but the documents weren t released until on Feb 28. (AP) the bottomline Spotify files to go public, eying streaming growth despite losses Spotify on Wednesday announced a long-awaited public listing, voicing confi dence that its streaming model will keep reshaping the music industry but acknowledging that the company has yet to turn a profi t. In its fi ling with US regulators, the Swedish platform that over the course of a decade has helped make streaming the most popular way to listen to music in parts of the world estimated the company s value to be as much as $23.4 billion. In an unusual move, Spotify said it would list existing shares directly on the New York Stock Exchange rather than issue new shares, allowing its founders and investors to maintain control and avoiding the cost of hiring Wall Street underwriters. The fi ling said that Spotify had 159 million monthly users including 71 million paying subscribers twice that of closest rival Apple Music, which the tech giant launched in 2015 to win a slice of the growing streaming market. While streaming has changed the way many people access music, we believe there is an untapped global audience with significant growth potential, Spotify s 35-year-old CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek said in a statement. Ek cited the model of Facebook, which has about two billion users, and YouTube as proof internet companies can reach global scale. The streaming service is available in 61 countries or territories and has room to expand even in mature markets, Ek said, citing data showing the average American listens to music for 32 hours each week. (AFP) Stocks tumble, dollar gains 30 RICHFIELD: Best Buy is reporting surging sales at stores and it's topped Wall Street's profit and revenue expectations for the fourth quarter. Sales at comparable stores jumped 9 percent during the period that includes the critical holidays. The consumer electronics retailer on Thursday posted net income of $364 million, or $1.23 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $2.42 per share, blowing past the per-share projections from analysts of $2.05, according to Zacks Investment Research. Revenue for the Richfield, Minnesota, company was $15.36 billion, well above projections for $14.57 billion.(ap) CHICAGO: American Airlines said Wednesday that it's opposed to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's $8.5 billion O'Hare International Airport expansion plan because of what American called a "secret provision" that was inserted at the last minute to award more gates to United Airlines, which is based in the Windy City. "The United gate deal would undermine competition, allowing the largest airline at O'Hare to expand its size advantage for years into the future," American Airlines said in a statement. "Thus, the United gate deal creates a clear winner, United, and clear losers: namely, competition, Chicago travelers and American Airlines." (AP) MIRAMAR: Pilots for Spirit Airlines have ratified a five-year contract that will raise pay rates by an average 43 percent. The airline and the Air Line Pilots Association said Wednesday that 70 percent of pilots who voted favored the agreement. The union says the contract also includes double-digit contributions to pilots' retirement plans and job-protection provisions. CEO Robert Fornaro says the contract will improve efficiency and reliability. (AP) New York: Traditional television titans are bulking up in a battle with online streaming giants Netflix and Amazon as viewers take to binging on shows when and where they want. The latest evidence was the surprise move this week by US cable giant Comcast to outbid Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for pan-european satellite TV group Sky with an allcash offer valued at more than $31 billion (25 billion Euros). The twist comes after Britain's competition regulator provisionally ruled that Fox's offer was "not in the public interest". (AFP) LONDON: WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, said it would simplify its structure after it reported a 0.9 percent drop in 2017 net sales, its worst performance since the financial crisis, and forecast no growth for The British company has been hit by a reduction in spending from consumer goods giants like Unilever and increasing competition. Analysts had hoped it would join its peers Omnicom and IPG in sounding more upbeat about But the company, run by highprofile businessman Martin Sorrell, said the group's budgets for 2018 were being set on the basis it would see flat growth for revenue and net sales, with the headline operating margin also flat in constant currency. (RTRS) LONDON: Recruiter Robert Walters reported a record 44 percent jump in annual profit on Thursday, as overseas growth and its outsourcing business somewhat helped stave off the repercussions of Brexit, which severely challenged the UK's recruiting market. The company, which places people in finance, engineering, legal and marketing jobs, said pretax profit grew to 40.6 million pounds ($55.9 million) in the year ended Dec 31, from 28.1 million pounds a year earlier. Full-year net fee income - an important metric for staffing companies - grew 24 percent to million pounds, said the group that had raised its profit forecast three times last year. (RTRS) PARIS: Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi said Thursday they would deepen their alliance as they sought to cut costs and increase output and remain the world's top car manufacturing group. While the automakers have cooperated for some time in a number of areas, the latest initiative intends to move cooperation into product development, with joint teams in each market segment. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of the alliance, said each company will "continue to have total control on their product line-up" and work on their own designs. (AFP) PARIS: The French government announced plans Thursday to clamp down on Airbnb, saying it would fine the home-sharing giant for carrying ads from people who do not register their properties with local authorities. Paris -- the world's third-most visited city, according to a Mastercard ranking -- is one of Airbnb's top markets, with some 65,000 homes listed. Another 35,000 are available on rival platforms. Faced with complaints from hoteliers as well as locals who believe that holiday rentals are fuelling property speculation and pricing them out of the market, the city of Paris has already slapped restrictions on short-term rentals of apartments and rooms. (AFP) BRUSSELS: The EU on Tuesday approved the proposed merger between French lens-maker Essilor and Luxottica, the Italian eyewear company that produces Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses. The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm and regulator, said it found no evidence the tie-up would hurt competition after it carried out a survey of 4,000 opticians across Europe. "As the result of the market test did not support our initial concerns, we can let this merger go ahead unconditionally," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. (AFP) PARIS: French carmaker PSA Group says it made record profits and sales last year despite the costs of buying long-struggling Opel. PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, reported Thursday an 11.5 percent rise in net income to 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion). Sales grew over 20 percent to 65.2 billion euros, partly thanks to the addition of Opel. CEO Carlos Tavares gave an upbeat forecast for the year and said the group will keep focusing on turning Opel around after years of losses. PSA bought General Motors' Germanybased Opel and Britain-based Vauxhall brands last year. (AP) on Trump tarriff comments NEW YORK, March 1, (Agencies): A gauge of global equity performance tumbled and the dollar strengthened against the Canadian and Mexican currencies on Thursday after President Donald Trump said the United States would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports next week. The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso hit session lows after Trump vowed to rebuild American steel and aluminum industries at a meeting of US industry officials at the White House. US steelmakers jumped on the news, with AK Steel Holding up 9.7 percent, US Steel Corp gaining 7.1 percent and Nucor rising 2.85 percent. The administration has said duties would protect US companies, but critics say they would raise costs for industry and fail to deliver on a Trump campaign pledge to boost domestic jobs. Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia, called Trump s proposed tariffs a bombshell announcement that might help the steel and aluminum industry but ultimately hurt US stocks. Stocks on Wall Street had mostly traded lower before Trump s actions, weighed by remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to the Senate Banking Committee in Congress and New York Fed President William Dudley in Sao Paulo, Brazil. While Powell tried to temper remarks he made on Tuesday that raised concerns about the potential for four interest rate hikes this year rather than the Fed s forecast of three, Dudley was a bit more pointed and said four rate hikes would be gradual. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York, said tariffs have not worked historically and they cause retaliation. MSCI s gauge of stock performance in 47 countries shed 0.88 percent. The pan-european FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares lost 1.26 percent to close at 1, European markets had already closed by the time Trump s comments about tariffs was reported. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell points, or 1.06 percent, to 24, The S&P 500 lost points, or 0.79 percent, to 2, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped points, or 0.81 percent, to 7, The dollar index rose 0.07 percent, with the euro up 0.11 percent to $ The Japanese yen weakened 0.05 percent versus the greenback at per dollar. Oil slides on worries about crude supply, gold dips The Mexican peso lost 0.29 percent versus the US dollar at 18.89, while the Canadian dollar fell 0.39 percent versus the greenback at 1.29 per dollar. The gap between short-dated US borrowing costs and those in Germany was at its widest in over 20 years as the monetary policy outlooks by the Fed and European Central Bank for the two regions diverged. US benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last rose 9/32 in price to push yields lower to percent. US consumer prices increased in January as a gauge of underlying inflation posting its largest gain in 12 months, but a survey showed the euro zone s factory boom slowed a little further in February, pressuring euro zone yields lower. Oil fell more than 1 percent, hitting two-week lows on pressure from a strong dollar and worries that surging US crude output might thwart efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to drain global supply. US crude fell 51 cents to $61.13 per barrel and Brent was last at $63.95, down 78 cents on the day. US Wall Street's main indexes swung between gains and losses on Thursday after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the central bank does not see strong evidence of wage inflation. At 11:52 a.m. ET, the Dow was up 0.13 percent at 25,060.97, the S&P percent at 2, and the Nasdaq Composite 0.16 percent at 7, Data showed that consumer spending in January notched its smallest increase in five months and core inflation rose less than expected. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, gained 0.2 percent in January, while core PCE price index, the Federal Reserve's favored gauge on inflation, rose 0.2 percent compared with economists' expectation of a 0.3 percent rise. Earlier in the day, reports that U.S. President Donald Trump was planning to announce a decision on import tariffs on steel and aluminum pushed industrial stocks lower. Boeing and Caterpillar were among the biggest decliners on the Dow on fears that import tariffs could hit profits. Energy stocks were up 1.2 percent, led by a 5 percent gain in Range Resources and a 3 percent rise in Andeavor. Oil prices were still down about 0.8 percent. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,658 to 1,125. On the Nasdaq, 1,619 issues rose and 1,207 fell. Europe European shares slid on Thursday as a flurry of uninspiring earnings updates from retailer Carrefour and advertiser WPP kept the mood downbeat, while broader jitters over tightening monetary policy spilled over into a new month. The pan-european STOXX 600 index fell 1.4 percent to a two-week low, while Germany's DAX fell 2 percent and Britain's FTSE felt the weight of Brexit uncertainty with a 0.8 percent loss. Results were squarely in focus, with shares in French supermarket Carrefour dropping 6 percent after the group cut its dividend and gave a cautious 2018 profit outlook. Many retailers have struggled in the face of Amazon's rise and the need to adapt to a tech-led world. "If you're looking at companies like Amazon which are hoovering up market share... you have seen some weaker performers," Jasper Reimers, senior analyst at Vertex Capital Group, said. "On the whole, I would say it certainly hasn't been a bad (European) earnings season at all." Plans by fast-fashion company Zalando to expand into two new markets were not met well by the market, with its shares also falling 6.1 percent as investors assessed the impact of such heavy investment. Elsewhere, Britain's Carpetright slumped nearly 22 percent after saying that it was in talks with lenders about shoring up its balance sheet, following a profit warning at the end of January. Advertiser WPP's shares dropped 8.2 percent after it said that it would simplify its structure after posting its worst performance since the financial crisis as consumer goods firms cut their spending on advertising. On the positive side, shares in beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev jumped 2.2 percent after its fourth quarter profit beat expectations thanks to a rebound in Brazil and savings from its 2016 purchase of SABMiller. More broadly, equity markets continue to be dogged by concerns over higher bond yields, rising inflation and the potential for higher interest rates in the United States. Asia Asian markets welcomed in March with broad losses on Thursday, extending a global sell-off on US interest rate hike fears, with energy firms hurt by a plunge in oil prices. On Wall Street, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all ended sharply lower for a second successive day, and Asia again followed suit. Tokyo finished 1.6 percent lower, with a stronger yen hitting exporters, while Sydney and Singapore each shed 0.7 percent. Wellington, Taipei, and Kuala Lumpur were also well down. However, Hong Kong recovered initial losses to end up 0.7 percent having lost around two percent in the previous two sessions, while Shanghai also rose 0.4 percent. The markets were given support from a better-than-expected private reading on Chinese factory activity from financial news magazine Caixin, which came day after the official reading showed growth in manufacturing at its slowest pace in 19 months. The latest reading signalled the strongest improvement in operating conditions for six months, Caixin said. n Key figures around 0820 GMT. Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.6 percent at 21, (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 31, (close) Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 3, (close) Dollar/yen: DOWN at yen from yen Oil Oil fell for a third day on Thursday, dropping towards $64 a barrel as rising U.S. inventories, record output and a stronger dollar outweighed high OPEC compliance with its supply-cutting deal. A U.S. government report on Wednesday showed a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories and a rise in gasoline stocks. U.S. crude output reached a record in November, although it slipped in the last month of Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 51 cents at $64.22 a barrel at 1420 GMT. U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $ U.S. crude output hit an all-time high of million barrels per day (bpd) in November before falling slightly in December, the government said, but weekly data showed another record and further gains are expected. "Weekly figures suggest the upward trend will resume in January and February and the old records are likely to be smashed," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM. Gold Gold fell to a two-month low on Thursday, extending losses for a third day after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week shored up expectations for further increases in U.S. interest rates and held the dollar near a six-week peak. In his debut testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economic outlook and indicated the central bank would press ahead with further rate rises after three last year. Tightening monetary policy tends to weigh on gold because it increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets while boosting the dollar, in which the metal is priced. The second leg of Powell's testimony, an opportunity to clarify comments made on Tuesday, is due to begin at 1500 GMT. Spot gold was down 0.8 percent at $1, an ounce by 1453 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for April delivery were $9.60 lower at $1, Spot prices earlier hit their weakest since Jan. 2 at $1, 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 1 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

31 SPORTS 31 South Korean businesses join curling craze After Olympics, South Korea nulls reviving bulldozed forest JEONGSEON, South Korea, March 1, (AP): As hundreds of Olympic spectators flocked to a sparkling white ski slope cutting through the rugged mountains of Jeongseon, the marquee venue of this year s Winter Games, Cho Myung-hwan stepped back and looked up. He let out a sad chuckle. It s dreadful to watch, Cho, 62, a landscape photographer from Seoul, said as he examined the steep downhill course one day during the Olympics. Under all the cheers and fun, there are the screams of buzzed-off trees. OLYMPICS Cho has visited Mount Gariwang 16 times since 2006, including several trips after 2014 to document the construction of the slope, which was finished in late He pointed to a spot near the spectator stands where he said the last tree had stood a 24-meter (78 foot)-high Manchurian walnut tree with red and yellow ribbons wrapped around its trunk. Locals had come to the tree for generations to pray for good luck, health and childbirth. I came here wondering whether there was a slight chance that the sacred tree would still be there, he said. But it isn t. With the Pyeongchang Games just concluded, South Korea walks into a future with questions about the longterm environmental consequences of hosting an expensive sports event in In this Feb 23, 2018 file photo, a South Korea supporter holds a picture of South Korea s skip Kim Eunjung as she watches her team during a women s semifinal curling match against Japan at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. (AP) one of its poorest, oldest and most underpopulated areas. One major issue: the future of the scenic Jeongseon Alpine Center, which was built after some 60,000 trees were razed in a forest on the 1,560-meter (5,118 foot)-high Mount Gariwang. The area had been protected by the government in the past because of its old trees and botanical diversity. The course was supposed to be demolished after the Olympics and restored to its natural state. Fierce criticism by environmentalists over the venue being built on a pristine forest caused construction delays that nearly forced pre-olympic test events to be postponed. But Gangwon provincial officials Japan wrestling official accused of harassment WRESTLING TOKYO, March 1, (AP): A senior official of the Japan Wrestling Federation has been accused of harassing four-time Olympic wrestling champion Kaori Icho by interfering with her training. Kyodo news agency reported Thursday that a person close to the matter lodged a complaint against Kazuhito Sakae by submitting a letter to a Cabinet Office committee in January. now say they want to keep the course, or at least a significant part of it, as a future comprehensive leisure zone. They also say it would be difficult for the province to foot the bill for the restoration project, which experts say could cost $90 million over 20 years. A new hotel has already been built on the site; another is on the way. Regional officials talk of building mountain bike courses, sledding parks and concert halls to complement the ski course. It s too late to talk about the environmental damage over Mount Gariwang, Gangwon Province Gov Choi Munsun said. There s no way to restore the forest 100 percent, and parts of the area should be used for sports facilities. Whether Gangwon gets space to develop will be decided by the Korea Forest Service s central mountain management committee, which will determine the restoration s scale and method. The committee rejected a tentative reforestation plan that Gangwon was required to submit, calling for more specifics. Experts say it would be impossible to restore the forest entirely as it was. Meanwhile, in South Korea s sudden craze for curling, it really is all in a name. Free flights and baseball tickets are just some of the freebies South Korean companies are offering to anyone named Yeong-mi (yuhng-mee), the first name of the lead sweeper for the women s curling team that won an unexpected silver medal at the recently The complaint said the 57-year-old Sakae began harassing Icho in 2008 after she moved her training base to Tokyo against Sakae s will. It also alleges that Sakae banned Icho from using a Metropolitan Police Department training facility shortly before the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, where she became the first female athlete to win four consecutive Olympic titles in an individual event. Sakae has denied the allegation and the federation released a statement Thursday saying it had never obstructed or limited Icho s training. The Cabinet Office confirmed that it received the complaint in January and said it will investigate. completed Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The five-member team, from a remote province famous for its garlic, captured hearts in a country that hardly knew curling before. Dubbed the Garlic Girls, they have become soughtafter models for commercials and inspired countless online memes and catch-phrases. Among them is Yeong-mi ya, or Hey Yeong-mi, which the team s skip, or captain, repeatedly called out to give guidance to lead sweeper Kim Yeong-mi. Commentators dissected the skip s intentions based on how she called Kim s name or how many times she said Yeong-mi, a common first name. And so a marketing campaign was born. They don t trust him US Olympics chief resigns in wake of abuse scandal Lou favourite All eyes on Coleman at IAAF world indoors BIRMINGHAM, UK, March 1, (AFP): All eyes will be firmly set on Christian Coleman at the IAAF World Indoor Championships just seven months after the rising US star claimed world outdoor 100m silver ahead of the now-retired Usain Bolt. Coleman, 21, comes into the meet in Birmingham, England, having set a new world indoor record for the 60m, blasting to victory in an altitude-assisted 6.34sec at the US championships in Albuquerque last month. Coleman s time shaved 0.05sec off the existing world indoor record set by fellow American Maurice Greene in Madrid in The American was initially believed to have broken Greene s 60m record at a meeting in Clemson, South Carolina, on January 19, where he clocked 6.37sec. However that time was not ratified because the meeting at which took place was not using electronic starting blocks. A sure showing at the Birmingham Arena would confirm Coleman as the first sprint phenomenon of the post- Bolt era. Coleman s main rivals will include American teammates Ronnie Baker and Michael Rodgers, as well as ATHLETICS Coleman China s Su Bingtian, who set a 6.50 stadium record in Glasgow on Sunday, as well as Olympic 100m finalist Ben Youssef Meite of the Ivory Coast. The women s 60m sees Meite s compatriot Marie Josee Ta Lou as one of the big favourites following victories in Torun and Glasgow. The 29-year-old world outdoor 100m and 200m silver medallist has been in consistent fine form all winter and sped to a season s best of 7.07sec in Scotland last weekend. American Javianne Oliver, who leads the world rankings with 7.02sec, will push her all the way, while Jamaican Elaine Thompson, defending Olympic double sprint champion, has not come close to the 6.98sec she ran last indoor season. But after finishing third in Glasgow in 7.12sec, Thompson should be capable of providing a challenge for a podium placing. European hopes will likely rest on the shoulders of Germany s Tatjana Pinto and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, the two-time world outdoor 200m champion who won silver medal in One of the best fields to be assembled in Birmingham is in the men s pole vault, with no fewer than nine men owning season s bests of 5.88m or better. Seven vaulters cleared that height at the All Stars meeting in Clermont- Ferrand at the end of February which was won by American world outdoor champion Sam Kendricks (5.93m). France s world record-holder Renauld Lavillenie, Olympic champion in London in the 2012 Games, is the defending world indoor champion, having vaulted a championship record of 6.02m to take the title in Portland two years ago. LOS ANGELES, March 1, (AFP): Embattled United States Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun has stepped down following calls for his resignation in the wake of the USA gymnastics abuse scandal, it was confirmed on Wednesday. Blackmun, who faced stinging criticism for his handling of the case involving team doctor Larry Nassar which rocked the sport, departs after eight years in the role. The 60-year-old administrator had recently disclosed he was battling prostate cancer. Given Scott s current health situation, we have mutually agreed it is in the best interest of both Scott and the USOC that we identify new leadership so that we can immediately address the urgent initiatives ahead of us, USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in a statement. The USOC is at a critical point in its history. The important work that Scott started needs to continue and will require especially vigorous attention in light of Larry Nassar s decadeslong abuse of athletes affiliated with USA Gymnastics. OLYMPICS USOC said board member Susanne Lyons would replace Blackmun as interim chief executive as the hunt for a permanent successor got under way. Blackmun s departure comes after he had faced calls to resign for his alleged failure to act swiftly as the Nassar scandal unfolded, claims rejected by USOC. Multiple US senators had demanded his resignation after a Wall Street Journal report that said USOC was made aware of allegations surrounding Nassar in 2015 yet did nothing to intervene. USOC had defended Blackmun s handling of the case, with Probst telling reporters in Pyeongchang at the Winter Olympics this month that he did what he was supposed to do and he did the right thing at every turn. Probst had initially ruled out any changes in personnel until an investigation ordered by USOC had determined who knew what and when, stating that Blackmun had served USOC with distinction. However the progress of that investigation was confronted by an immediate roadblock after it emerged last week that several of Nassar s victims had vowed not to co-operate, citing mistrust of USOC and Blackmun. The Wall Street Journal reported that Olympic gymnasts including gold medallists Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, had said they would opt out of the investigation. The athletes don t want to participate, a lawyer for the gymnasts told the paper. They don t trust the USOC, and they don t trust (Blackmun). In this May 24, 2012 file photo, US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun speaks at the SportsAccord conference in Quebec City. (AP) In this Jan 13, 2016 file photo, a snowcat smooths the grade on the ski slope for the upcoming Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics at the Jeongseon Alpine Center in Jeongseon, South Korea. (AP) Chalmers and Campbell sweep 100m events at CGames trials Horton defends 400m freestyle crown GOLD COAST, Australia, March 1, (AFP): Australia s Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers beat a crack field in an outside lane to win the 100-metres freestyle and qualify for next month s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday. Chalmers, who scraped into the final in lane one, completed the m sprint double winning in seconds and will spearhead a strong Australia swim team for the home Games from April Chalmers It means the world to me, Chalmers said. It was a tough morning swim, backing up after last night s 200m freestyle and I hadn t had a lot of experience doing that. To get through the final, just, and then to swim my first national title in my main event means a lot to me. Chalmers edged out Jack Cartwright (48.60 from lane eight), Cameron McEvoy (48.62) and James Magnussen (48.79). Chalmers, who won the 100m gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics as an 18-year-old, was forced to withdraw from last year s world championships to have surgery to correct a heart problem. It s been a rollercoaster 12 months and last night s result really boosted my confidence to do a personal best in the 200m. And tonight I guess it again proves to me that I am again able to do it after the couple of years since the Rio Olympics and I look forward to competing at the Commonwealth Games. Former world record holder Cate Campbell beat her sister Bronte to win the women s 100m freestyle final in 52.37secs with Emma McKeon third. It continues her strong form since returning to the pool to recover from a disappointing Rio Olympics where she was the 100m gold medal favourite Rio but faded to sixth in the final. My time away from the pool has given me perspective, Campbell said. I am probably a bit more relaxed when it comes to racing now. Younger sister Bronte Campbell CGAMES finished second in 52.96sec and under Commonwealth Games qualifying time. Olympic champion Mack Horton defended his national 400m freestyle crown in 3:45.41 to claim gold, reeling in 1,500m specialist Jack McLoughlin over the last 50m. Looking ahead to Saturday s 1,500m event the 21-year-old warned he had plenty left in the tank. I want to go hard, he said. Tonight, I think I was feeling the 200m from last night it took away my easy speed. But I will just fine tune that and work on easier speed which should come in the next five weeks (at the Games). Rising star Ariarne Titmus lowered her own Australian record in the 400m freestyle final and completed the 200m-400m double at the trials. The 17-year-old won the final in 4:02.36, under the Commonwealth Games qualifying time. My training times, I know what I m going to race based off them, she said. World champ Bosse charged for his role in car-park brawl BORDEAUX, March 1, (AFP): France s 800m world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse has been charged for his role in an altercation last August during which he was wounded, prosecutors in Bordeaux said on Thursday. A man of 24 was charged on September 1 last year for attacking Bosse in a casino car park in Gujan- Mestras, in the southwest of France where the runner has trained since childhood. The injuries ended the athlete s season. The attacker in turn filed a complaint against Bosse, accusing him of provoking the brawl by throwing a beer can, leading to the widening of the investigation. Bosse was charged on February 26 In this file photo taken on Aug 8, 2017, France s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse celebrates after his victory in the final of the men s 800m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London. (AFP) in Bordeaux for violence with the use of, or the threatened use of, a weapon that did not cause injuries serious enough to render the victim incapable of work. The weapon in this case was the beer can, the prosecution indicated on Thursday, confirming a report in the regional daily Sud-Ouest. On August 30, Bosse, who is 25, announced on Facebook that he had been the victim of a violent aggression three days earlier, suffering impressive facial injuries. He said he almost lost an eye and was going to skip the one event he had left on his schedule, the DecaNation in the French city of Angers. ATHLETICS The alleged aggressor did not deny that he punched Bosse in the car park where the runner had been conducting an impromptu autograph and selfie session at 4 am. The accused lodged a complaint saying that the altercation started when the athlete threw a can at his head, which he managed to deflect with his arm -- leaving it bruised. Talking recently on French radio, Bosse said the incident occurred on the first night I was celebrating the medal won in London on Aug 8. These are things that happen at night, Bosse said. Apparently there are people who take alcohol very badly. I ve always found alcohol joyous. Bosse said he could not go into the details because the investigation was continuing but added that he found it extraordinary to be apparently the aggressor now.

32 SPORTS 32 Griezmann in top form ahead of decisive match Resurgent Atletico look to chase down perfect Barca BARCELONA, March 1, (Agencies): Atletico Madrid are in the same ferocious form that helped them win La Liga in 2014 and they return to the scene of that famous triumph on Sunday, needing to win at unbeaten table toppers Barcelona to boost their hopes of another title triumph. Diego Simeone s side have overcome a difficult start to the campaign, which saw them eliminated from the Champions League, by winning eight games in a row in all competitions. In their last two league outings, they thrashed Sevilla 5-2 and Leganes 4-0 and sit on 61 points after 26 games. That s the same points total at this stage of the season as when they rattled their far richer rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona to win the league four years ago, clinching the title with a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp. Atletico have not won away at Barca since 2006, however, and no team in La Liga or the Champions League has been able to beat Ernesto Villarreal vs Girona bein SPORTS 3HD 15:00 local (Saturday) Sevilla vs Bilbao bein SPORTS 3HD 18:15 local (Saturday) Deportivo vs Eibar bein SPORTS 3HD 20:30 local (Saturday) Real vs Getafe bein SPORTS 3HD 22:45 local (Saturday) Levante vs Espanyol bein SPORTS 3HD 14:00 local (Sunday) Barcelona vs Atletico bein SPORTS 3HD 18:15 local (Sunday) Sociedad vs Alaves bein SPORTS 3HD 20:30 local (Sunday) Valencia vs Betis bein SPORTS 3HD 22:45 local (Sunday) Celta vs Palmas bein SPORTS 3HD 23:00 local (Monday) Valverde s side this season. Atletico currently trail Barca by four points in the standings, although the Catalans can restore their advantage to seven if they beat Las Palmas. Victory against Diego Simeone s side too would give them a seemingly unassailable 10-point lead at the top with 11 games remaining. The Catalans blitzed a usually solid Girona side 6-1 in their last Liga outing as record signing Philippe Coutinho finally showed he can dovetail with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. That has set up a potentially thrilling duel between Barca and Atletico s attacks on Sunday. Messi and Suarez are the top two scorers in the league with 22 and 20 goals respectively but they have recently had competition from the free-scoring Antoine Griezmann and his new strike partner Diego Costa. Rivals aim to put squeeze on Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur s Argentinian defender Juan Foyth (left), vies with Rochdale s English midfielder Oliver Rathbone during the English FA Cup 5th round replay football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale at Wembley Stadium in London on Feb 28, (AFP) Liverpool, Spurs take on Newcastle and Huddersfield respectively LONDON, March 1, (RTRS): The fixture schedule has been kind on Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur this weekend with both clubs having the opportunity to put the squeeze on Chelsea in the battle to finish the season in the Premier League s top four. Antonio Conte s outgoing champions look vulnerable in fifth place and by the time they kick off against runaway leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday a worrying gap could have opened up immediately above them. Juergen Klopp s Liverpool take on Newcastle United on Saturday after fourth-placed Tottenham, in equally impressive form, host Huddersfield Town at Wembley. Should they both win Liverpool would have 60 points, temporarily going ahead of Manchester United France international Griezmann has scored seven goals in his last two games, hitting all four against Leganes and a hat-trick against Sevilla, roaring back to life after a quiet early campaign with the help of the aggression and power of Costa. Costa may have only scored three league goals since returning to Atletico in January but it is the former Chelsea man s persistent pressing and energy which has made him the perfect partner for Griezmann and helped his side to thrive. Costa doesn t just improve Griezmann, he improves the whole team because of everything he transmits, and that s what we re seeing now, Simeone told reporters after the win over Leganes. Griezmann has been at this level in previous seasons and now the whole team is helping him perform as he is now. Now we have to prepare in the best way possible to face Barcelona, who have won everything and still haven t lost a game. Also: ASUNCION, Paraguay: A young Lionel Messi dribbles a soccer ball or poses for a photograph with his grandmother. As an adult, he embraces his children, kisses his wife, or points two fingers to the sky in memory of his grandmother after scoring a goal with Argentina. into second, and Tottenham would have 58. Chelsea have 53. United are at injury-hit Crystal Palace on Monday when victory would give them 62 points. So the pressure could be on Chelsea when they take on a City side playing their second game in four days. Victory for City over an Arsenal side they outclassed in third gear in last week s League Cup final would restore their 16-point lead at the top of the table and leave the finishing line clearly in sight with 10 games remaining. With the Champions League title a huge target for City this season he will demand his players keep their foot firmly on the gas to sew up the domestic title as soon as possible, allowing them the luxury of concentrating on Europe in the Spring. Such has been the dominance of Pep Guardiola s side this season that the greater interest is now on which of the top six will be frozen out of the top four come May 13 and who will avoid the trapdoor at the other end of the table. It could well be that this is the hardest season ever, in terms of quality, to qualify for the Champions The hand-painted images on a pair of soccer boots by a young Paraguayan artist relive some of the most memorable moments in the personal life and career of the best player of his generation. Artist Lilian Cantero sent the boots to Messi as a gift to Barcelona, and he recently displayed them in a photo on a post that went viral on social media. Now, she is getting demands for her work from all over the world. League via the Premier League placings, former Chelsea player Pat Nevin told the club s website. It is still three from five. I think we accept that Man City might just get one of those top-four positions now! I will give Arsenal the benefit of the doubt in being in the chase but it is a long shot for them. So either United, Liverpool, Spurs or Chelsea will miss out. It is going to be Burnley vs Everton bein SPORTS 2HD, 11HD 15:30 local (Saturday) Spurs vs Huddersfield bein SPORTS 2HD, 11HD 18:00 local (Saturday) Watford vs West Brom bein SPORTS 7HD 18:00 local (Saturday) Swansea vs West Ham bein SPORTS 8HD 18:00 local (Saturday) Southampton vs Stoke bein SPORTS 9HD 18:00 local (Saturday) Liverpool vs Newcastle bein SPORTS 2HD, 11HD 20:30 local (Saturday) Brighton vs Arsenal bein SPORTS 2HD, 11HD 16:30 local (Sunday) Man City vs Chelsea bein SPORTS 2HD, 11HD 19:00 local (Sunday) Palace vs Man U bein SPORTS 2HD, 11HD 23:00 local (Monday) a monumental run-in, but Chelsea now have to go on a run, starting with something, even a point against Man City at the weekend. While Liverpool and Tottenham should have little trouble recording home wins the fact Newcastle and Huddersfield are fighting for their top-flight lives should not be taken lightly. Newcastle are on a four-match unbeaten run including a win over Manchester United while Huddersfield won their last two games to nudge out of the relegation zone. Leganes Argentinian defender Martin Mantovani (center), kicks the ball beside Atletico Madrid s French forward Antoine Griezmann (left), during the Spanish League football match Club Atletico de Madrid against Club Deportivo Leganes SAD at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Feb 28, (AFP) Nagelsmann facing first troubled Hoffenheim patch BERLIN, March 1, (RTRS): Julian Nagelsmann s two years at Hoffenheim have been one of the most remarkable success stories in the Bundesliga. The Bundesliga s youngest-ever coach when he was appointed at the age of 28, Nagelsmann has impressed with his innovative training methods, tactical nous and ability to revive the careers of players who had previously lost their way. A former defender whose own career was cut short by a knee injury at the age of 20, Nagelsmann immediately led the former village team to safety after they had been flirting with relegation. Last season, he led them to fourth place in the Bundesliga, their best-ever performance, notching their first-ever win over Bayern Munich along the way. Although they were beaten by Liverpool for a place in the Champions League group stage in August, Hoffenheim looked set to continue where they left off when they quickly rose to second in the Bundesliga early this season. But it hasn t quite worked out like M gladbach vs Bremen bein SPORTS 5HD 22:30 local Wolfsburg vs Leverkusen bein SPORTS 5HD 17:30 local (Saturday) Leipzig vs Dortmund bein SPORTS 5HD 20:30 local (Saturday) Cologne vs Stuttgart bein SPORTS 5HD 17:30 local (Sunday) Freiburg vs Bayern bein SPORTS 5HD 20:00 local (Sunday) that. Nagelsmann saw last year s team picked apart as defender Niklas Suele and midfielder Sebastian Rudy joined Bayern Munich and were followed by Sandro Wagner in January while rightback Jeremy Toljan joined Borussia Dortmund. AC Milan s midfielder from Italy Giacomo Bonaventura (left), fi ghts for the ball with Lazio s defender from Brazil Lucas Leiva during the Italian Tim Cup semifinal football match between Lazio and Milan at The Olympic Stadium in Rome on Feb 28, (AFP) I m not a great coach: Gattuso Fading Inter face surging Milan in derby MILAN, March 1, (Agencies): Two teams travelling in opposite directions in Serie A will meet on Sunday in the latest Milan derby. AC Milan, led by the perpetually angry Gennaro Gattuso, are unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions and are on the way up. Heading downwards, meanwhile, are neighbours Inter Milan who, under the increasingly perplexed Luciano Spalletti, have won only twice in the same number of games in what has been a remarkable change in fortunes. Back in early December, Inter were unbeaten after 16 league games and top of the Serie A table with 40 points, 16 more than their neighbours who had just fired Vincenzo Montella and hired Gattuso for his first Serie A coaching role. But, as they go into Sunday s match, that gap is down to seven. Milan, who at the worst point in their slump sunk to 11th place, are up to seventh and still climbing while Inter have dropped to fourth, 18 points behind leaders Napoli with any title pretensions having long since evaporated. Gattuso is credited with restoring Milan s self-belief which got another boost on Wednesday when they beat Lazio on penalties to reach the Coppa Italia final after grinding out a 0-0 draw over two legs of the semifinal. I haven t become a guru on the bench, I m not a great coach, said Gattuso, whose team s run began with a Cup win over Inter after Christmas. We don t concede goals because we all work to cover the spaces and the whole team does that. We need to become a team that excites the supporters, he added. I feel that I am a fortunate coach and I am trying to make the most of the chance which has been given to me. While Gattuso tries to explain his success, his opposite number Spalletti has been searching for the reasons behind Inter s slump. One possibility is the drop in form of leading scorer Mauro Icardi who scored the last of his 18 league goals this season nearly two months ago and recently missed three games with a muscle injury. Spalletti has also blamed the high expectations which were created by Inter s flying start to the season and said rumours about possible new signings during the January transfer window SPAL vs Bologna bein SPORTS 4HD 17:00 local (Saturday) Lazio vs Juventus bein SPORTS 4HD 20:00 local (Saturday) Napoli vs Roma bein SPORTS 4HD 22:45 local (Saturday) Genoa vs Cagliari bein SPORTS 4HD 14:30 local (Sunday) Atalanta vs Sampdoria bein SPORTS 4HD 17:00 local (Sunday) Torino vs Crotone bein SPORTS 8HD 17:00 local (Sunday) Milan vs Inter bein SPORTS 4HD 22:45 local (Sunday) Beijing Guoan confirm Bakambu signing may have unsettled his team. Inter Milan forward Antonio Candreva said the derby tended to throw the form book out of the window in any case and ridiculed suggestions of tension among the players. Milan are enthusiastic at the moment but they re still below us and we want to keep it that way, he said. The derby is a match of its own, the derby is different from other games. It makes us laugh when we read that there s tension between us in the dressing room, laughable things are being said and, at times it s malicious but we can t listen to external things, we can t be interested in them, he added. We are positive people, we want to reach our objective and the coach is right to say that it depends on us. Juventus s progress in the Champions League will be vital for the Italian champions coffers after a 40 percent drop in profits for the first half of the season was announced. The six-time successive Serie A winners recorded a profit of 43.3 million euros ($52.8m) for the first half of the season to December 31, 2017, compared to 72 million euros for the same period in 2016 a drop of 28.7 million euros. Club president Andrea Agnelli on Wednesday approved the figures with overall revenue dropping 7.8 percent to million euros ($354.7m). HONG KONG, March 1, (RTRS): Cedric Bakambu s protracted transfer from Spanish side Villarreal to Beijing Guoan was finally confirmed by the Chinese Super League (CSL) club on Thursday, just one day before the start of the new season. Bakambu has been training with the club since they paid his 40 million euro ($48.75 million) release clause but Beijing did not announce the Congolese forward s signing amid confusion over whether they had to pay a 100 percent levy on the transfer. Regulations put in place last year added the tax on transfers for foreign players at fees higher than 45 million yuan ($7.09 million) but several clubs have attempted to find ways of circumventing the rules. Loan periods and release clauses were viewed as possible loopholes until the Chinese Football Association moved to close them in mid-january, threatening clubs who sought to exploit any ambiguities with a 10-point penalty. It was not an easy decision for me to make, the 26-year-old Bakambu said of his move to the Chinese Super League in a statement released by the club. Now, I m finally here with my team and I will try my best to help them. After two months of spending time with the team, I want to thank everyone for helping me settle in. Now it is my turn to help the team.

33 SPORTS 33 Song leads Women s World Championship by 2 shots Former world No. 1 Ko struggles in Singapore SINGAPORE, March 1, (AFP): Former world number one Lydia Ko laboured to joint 27th place with a one-under 71 after the first round of the HSBC Women s World Championship in Singapore Thursday as the world s top players struggled to find control under Singapore s signature sultry conditions. Unheralded American Jennifer Song took the lead with a seven-under par 65 at the end of day one with China s world number one Feng Shanshan left five strokes behind on two-under par. American world number two Lexi Thompson GOLF never got hot on her way to a three-over 75 as the heavens threatened to open and then caused a more than two-hour break in play with the last three groups still out on the course. Song twiddled her thumbs in the clubhouse then finished off a day where there were no blotches and seven birdies on the 66th-ranked player s card at the death as she chased her first-ever win on the LPGA Tour. I m not really thinking about winning or anything, said Song. I just want to take it day by day. There s a lot of great players out here, so it s a golf course where a lot of players can shoot low numbers. So I just need to keep grinding and do the same thing. Looming with intent was American Michelle Wie, once arguably the most famous female player on the planet after turning pro aged 15 back in a move unheard of at the time. The now 28-year-old shot a first-round fiveunder 67 to sit tied for second with South Korea s Lydia Ko of New Zealand watches her shot during the round one of the HSBC Women s World Championship golf tournament in Singapore on March 1. (AFP) Ji Eun-hee. She took time to reflect on the flood of teenagers now involved in the game at the very top level, including 15-year-old Thai amateur sensation Atthaya Thitikul, who is also competing at the Sentosa Golf Club. They are doe-eyed and so full of hope in their eyes, everything is great. I m like: You. Just. Wait. A couple years, laughed Wie, who came under intense media and public pressure in her early years on Tour. But you know, it s great, Wie continued. It s Double Dutch delight on day one of world championships ADELDOORN, Netherland, March 1, (RTRS): Hosts the Netherlands enjoyed a stunning opening night at the UCI world track championships with two gold medals including beating Jason Kenny s British trio in the team sprint. Six-times Olympic champion Kenny was making his international return after taking a break from the sport following the 2016 Rio Games but could not mark it with another gold. The fl ying Dutch trio of Nils van t Hoenderdaal, Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland won the fi nal by half a second from Britain with France beating Russia for the bronze medal. Earlier in Apeldoorn velodrome, 35-yearold Kirsten Wild won the women s 10km scratch race ahead of Belgium s Jolien D Hoore to take her haul of world championship medals to seven. Denmark s Amelie Dideriksen was third. Wild chased down an early attack by Ireland s Lydia Gurley and went solo to the actually refreshing to see them full of just everything is new, and everything is untarnished. It s actually fun to watch that. The last event the American won was the 2014 US Open but there have been plenty of near misses in the years since, including a tied-third at last year s British Open. A bogey on the last -- when she shot a 40-foot birdie putt way wide to the right -- took the sheen line. It s really, really nice to win, for my own people, it s amazing, Wild said. It s the best riders of the world to compete and I can t believe that I won solo. My tactic was to stay really calm in the peloton and wait for the sprint, but it didn t go quite to my plan. The Dutch could not quite make it a clean CYCLING sweep of the golds on day one as they had to settle for silver in the women s team sprint won by the Kristina Vogel-powered German team. We did a very good job, and it is just incredible to win the gold medal and be world champions, said Vogel who won the individual sprint gold in Rio. It has been four years since we won the gold medal (in the team sprint) so it is very special. off an otherwise tidy day at the office and Wie said she had learnt, over the years, how to better live with life s disappointments. I think I do a lot less now, she said. I just chill. I m just really tired all the time, so I just sleep and I just eat and I just watch a lot of Netflix. I m really into Riverdale right now. Not too proud of it but it s really good. Bridge Results RESULTS OF the Bi-weekly Bridge Tournament played on Sunday evening Jan 14, Samuel Jacobs / Syed Imran; 2. Numan Al Turki / Mohd Towfi q; 3. Eser / Nevzat Pekoz; 4. Abdul Salam Ibrahim / Ahmed Ramadan; 5. Mihai Beciu / Ahmed Alruaweh; 6. Naela Abu Hantash / Rana Anabtawi. We conduct duplicate Bridge tournament every Sunday and Wednesday at 19:30 hours at The Graduates Club, next to Kuwait Engineering Society. Interested Bridge pairs or individual players please contact Mohammed Merchant. Tel # / / This year s Women s World Championship has attracted 19 of the world s top-20 players but any worries that Thitikul might be overawed were blown away when the young Thai -- who won last week s Women s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship to qualify for the event -- saved her round with four birdies before signing for a twounder 70. NFL Roundup Cousins a free agent for sure Steelers confi rm linebacker Shazier won t play in 2018 WASHINGTON, March 1, (RTRS): Linebacker Ryan Shazier will not play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in We know that, he knows that, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Recovering from surgery that followed a spinal injury he sustained in a December game, Shazier continues to progress and attack rehabilitation. Shazier said recently on teammate Roosevelt Nix s podcast the possibility of returning to the football field is driving him each day. Quarterback Kirk Cousins path to free agency is getting clearer. Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine, Washington Redskins senior vice-president of player personnel Doug Williams called Cousins a free agent for sure, though he wouldn t completely rule out the possibility of the team using the franchise tag on him a third time. That said, Williams quickly downplayed such. Andrew Luck is not yet throwing a football, but Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich said the quarterback will be with the team April 2 for the start of the offseason program. Reich said Luck is checking a lot of boxes in his rehab but is unsure when the QB will throw again. General manager Chris Ballard, who followed Reich to the podium at the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center, said it will absolutely help the team and Luck to have him back in the building. Ballard informed running back Frank Gore that the Colts plan to get younger at the position. I want to give Frank a chance to go see what s out there, Ballard said. He likes it when you re honest with him. Gore has 14,026 rushing yards in his career. He turns 35 in May and said at the end of the 2017 season he definitely plans to play in Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was informed that he will be released by the New York Jets. With the move and running back Matt Forte s retirement announcement, the Jets are projected to enter free agency with $94.75 million to invest under the 2018 salary cap. The Bears will release quarterback Mike Glennon when the new league year starts March 14, the team announced. Glennon was just one season into a three-year, $45 million contract signed last offseason after the team let Jay Cutler go. Glennon lost his starting job to rookie Mitchell Trubisky during the season. The Carolina Panthers released running back Jonathan Stewart, the franchise s all-time leading rusher. The Panthers selected Stewart, 30, with the 13th pick of the first round of 2008 NFL. He has 7,318 career rushing yards on 1,699 carries, also a franchise record. Stewart ran for 680 yards on a career-low 3.4 yards per attempt in the 2017 season. In this fi le photo taken on Jan 15, 2017, inside linebacker Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a play against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (AFP) Tyrann Mathieu keeps his head on a swivel, even in the offseason. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that no decision has been made on whether the team would retain Mathieu, a safety and linebacker hybrid in Arizona. General manager Dave Gettleman and new head coach Pat Shurmur doused any doubt the New York Giants are sticking with Eli Manning at quarterback in We believe that Eli Manning has got years left as a starting quarterback in this league, Shurmur said Wednesday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine. Limbo is the status quo for the Minnesota Vikings and their three quarterbacks. Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater all are expected to be unrestricted free agents on March 14. Bridgewater s contract status will be determined by the NFL because he sat out the entire 2016 season and most of the 2017 season recovering from a knee injury. Jadeveon Clowney took the proverbial next step in 2017, and the Texans intend to make sure his next performance happens in Houston. General manager Brian Gaine, in his first season with the franchise having replaced Rick Smith in January, said at the NFL Scouting Combine the Texans are setting Clowney s contract as a high priority. Clowney will make $13,846,000 next season, which is the fifth-year option value for the 2014 No. 1 overall pick. Before free agency starts in two weeks, the Cleveland Browns expect to know whether Joe Thomas will return at left tackle. Coming off of a season-ending triceps injury, Thomas has dropped significant weight and launched a popular podcast. But Browns head coach Hue Jackson believes there is more football left for Thomas. Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson is planning to approach the offseason the same way he tackled the 2017 season: In attack mode. The Eagles are facing key personnel decisions coming off of the franchise s first Super Bowl victory, not the least of which concerns the pecking order at quarterback. Pominville lifts Sabres past NHL-best Lightning 2-1 in OT TAMPA, Fla, March 1, (AP): Jason Pominville scored on a power play at 1:26 of overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 victory over the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. Pominville beat Andrei Vasilevskiy with a one-timer from the left circle to give the Sabres their second straight victory over the Lightning. Evan Rodrigues tied it for Buffalo in the third, and Chad Johnson stopped 21 shots. Cory Conacher scored for Tampa Bay, and Vasilevskiy made 32 saves. With a point in the standings for the overtime loss, the Lightning became the first team to reach 90 points this season. Canadiens 3, Islanders 1 In Montreal, Jonathan Drouin and ICE HOCKEY Nikita Scherbak scored in the second period and Montreal beat New York to extend its points streak to five games. Paul Byron also scored and Antti Niemi made 27 saves to help the Canadiens improve to in their last five. Mathew Barzal scored his 18th of the season for the Islanders. They are winless in last four games and in their last 14. Blues 2, Red Wings 1 In St Louis, Carter Hutton made 35 saves, Scottie Upshall and Alex Pietrangelo scored and St Louis beat Detroit to snap a seven-game losing streak. Hutton improved to in his last nine starts and overall, allowing only Andreas Athanasiou s goal with 1:45 left. Avalanche 4, Flames 2 In Denver, Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist in Colorado s victory over Calgary. Matt Nieto and Nikita Zadorov also scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves. The Avalanche have won 11 of 12 home games. Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik scored for Calgary. Rangers 6, Canucks 5, OT In Vancouver, British Columbia, John Gilmour scored from a sharp angle 1:22 into overtime and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high 50 saves to help the Rangers beat the Canucks. Vancouver s Brock Boeser forced overtime when he scored his second goal of the night with 45.9 seconds left. The Canucks had pulled their Habs top Isles 3-1 to extend points streak to 5 Undefeated heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder throws punches during a media workout on Feb 28, 2018 at the Barclays Center Atrium before his upcoming fight on March 3 against unbeaten contender Luis Ortiz. (AFP) Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning takes a shot on Chad Johnson #31 of the Buffalo Sabres during a game at Amalie Arena on Feb 28, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (AFP) NHL Results/Standings WASHINGTON, March 1, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NHL games on Wednesday. Montreal 3 NY Islanders 1 Buffalo 2 Tampa Bay (OT) 1 St Louis 2 Detroit 1 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Tampa Bay Toronto Boston Florida Detroit Montreal Ottawa Buffalo Metropolitan Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Washington Philadelphia Pittsburgh New Jersey Columbus Carolina NY Islanders NY Rangers Colorado 5 Calgary 2 NY Rangers 6 Vancouver (OT) 5 Western Conference Central Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Nashville Winnipeg Minnesota Dallas St Louis Colorado Chicago Pacific Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Las Vegas San Jose Los Angeles Anaheim Calgary Edmonton Vancouver Arizona Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L) goaltender for an extra attacker. Mika Zibanejad had given New York a 5-4 lead less than five minutes earlier. Kevin Hayes scored twice for the Rangers ( ), who snapped a seven-game losing streak. Vladislav Namestnikov, obtained in a multiplayer trade from Tampa Bay on Monday, had a goal and an assist. Jimmy Vesey had the other New York goal while Ryan Spooner had three assists. Wilder eager to prove he s the most dangerous heavyweight NEW YORK, March 1, (RTRS): WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder believes he is the most dangerous man in the division, saying that he could beat anybody at any time ahead of his title defence against Luis Ortiz on Saturday. BOXING Wilder, nicknamed the Bronze Bomber, has won all 39 of his professional fights, with only one of those victories being by a points decision. The 32-year-old has held his heavyweight title since The American is raring to take on WBA, IBF and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua, who has said former champion Tyson Fury was his biggest threat. Wilder, however, believes that the 28-year-old Joshua needs to think again. Everyone knows that Tyson Fury isn t the biggest threat in the heavyweight division. Everyone knows who is the man in the heavyweight division, hands down, Wilder told Sky Sports. Everybody knows who has the power to beat anyone at any given time, in the first round or 15 seconds into the 12th round. I have that ability to do anything I want. I am the most dangerous man in the division, hands down. Promoter Eddie Hearn said in November that talks were underway to arrange a fight between Wilder and Joshua in 2018 but the bout is yet to be confirmed with the Briton taking on WBO champion Joseph Parker on March 31 instead. Wilder played up his power, saying that opponents he had knocked out in previous bouts had failed to make a successful comeback to the ring. It s not just that I knock them out, it s the way I knock them out. It s how I knock them out, it s what they do after I knock them out that s what makes me unique... Wilder said. So if he (Joshua) says that, and he needs to keep that in his mind to feel confident because we know this fight will happen. If that gives him the confidence he needs to try and beat me, he is entitled to his own opinion. But I think the fact remains: I am the most dangerous man in the heavyweight division. I can t wait to prove it...

34 SPORTS 34 Blatter appeals for World Cup without VAR VAR gets frosty reception after shambolic Cup clash LONDON, March 1, (RTRS): As the snow obscured the Wembley grass and confusion reigned on and off the pitch during Tottenham Hotspur s FA Cup replay against Rochdale on Wednesday the words of former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly sprang to mind. It was the tough-talking Scot who once said football is a simple game, complicated by idiots. Fair to say had he been at the national stadium he might have turned the air blue with his pronouncements on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. It should have been a night for underdogs Rochdale to enjoy their moment to shine, or for Tottenham s Spanish striker Fernando Llorente to savour scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 win. Instead, the talk was of how VAR, which could be rolled out at the World Cup this year, left players, managers and fans cold. Tottenham left back Danny Rose called the tie shambolic. Former England full back Stuart Pearce, speaking on Sky Sports, said VAR does not work for football. There are so many grey areas in our game. Let the guy in the middle make the decision and respect that decision. Ex-England striker Alan Shearer said on Twitter:... VAR you were hopeless again. The video assistant was called into action at Wembley after seven minutes when Tottenham had a routine Erik Lamela goal disallowed when an official watching on the video screen flagged up to match referee Paul Tierney a tiny shirt-pull by Llorente. In the 22nd minute Tottenham s Lucas Moura was denied a penalty after Tierney, finger in ear, again consulted VAR. When Son Heung-min did fire Tottenham ahead a BBC Radio Five commentator said: There can be no argument about that one. Yet Tierney still went to the VAR to confirm the goal s legality. Minutes later Tottenham s Kieran Trippier was bundled over and Tierney awarded a free kick outside the area, only for VAR to intervene and, after a long delay in which fans were left bemused, upgrade it to a penalty. When Son stopped his run before scoring from the spot -- a breach of the rules -- Tierney again checked via VAR before disallowing the goal and booking Son. A chorus of boos erupted at halftime as fans braving a freezing night witnessed a sport being complicated to death, not knowing what they were watching. The time taken for the VAR decisions stripped all the raw SOCCER excitement from what was a great match. Celebrating a goal, whether as a player of a fan, has always been sacrosanct, yet five of the seven goals on the night were checked via VAR before Tierney awarded them. The referee was merely doing what was asked of him by those who have authorised the trial of VAR in some FA Cup and League Cup ties, but it opened the official to heavy criticism. Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino sympathised with Tierney, but said the first half was embarrassing. We love the game we know, football is about emotion but if we are going to kill emotion then people who love football will not be happy, he said. Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney said on Twitter: We ve got the best game in the world don t try to fix it if it s not broken. Just let us play. The talking points, controversy and human error is what makes it so special!! Video technology has worked well in tennis, while rugby also uses it. Respected Welsh rugby referee Nigel Owens warned that soccer must use VAR intelligently. The danger is that decisions can become too technical, he told radio station Talk- Sport. Referees must referee the game as if there is no technology there. Only rely on it for clear and obvious decisions. Meanwhile, banned former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday that the World Cup should not be used as an occasion to experiment with video replay technology. Thiem sets up showdown with Del Potro Tunisian wildcard Jaziri into Dubai semis DUBAI, March 1, (AFP): Tunisian outsider Malek Jaziri continued his surprise run at the Dubai Championships by beating Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday to reach the semifinals. The 34-year-old wildcard will next face third seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Croatian Borna Coric 7-6 (7/4), 6-4. Jaziri overcame a second-set blip to see off qualifier Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and reach the third semifinal of his career. Jaziri, who began his week by knocking out world number four Grigor Dimitrov in the first round, is the first Arab player to get this far in Dubai since Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui in 2002, who reached the final and lost to France s Fabrice Santoro. The world number 117 is now just one win away from reaching his firstever ATP Tour final. Bautista Agut overcame Coric, who made his name in Dubai three years ago when he knocked out three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray. The Spaniard, who won the Auckland title in January, broke the Croatian twice to ensure his eighth win of the season. I am happy, I played very good tennis, Bautista Agut said. It was not easy to beat Borna. He s very solid. He was playing very good serves. He Malek Jaziri of Tunisia celebrates after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (unseen) in the 2018 ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on March 1. Jaziri won 6-4, 3-6 and 6-3 to reach the semifinal. (AFP) NBA chief warns teams over tanking LOS ANGELES, March 1, (AFP): NBA commissioner Adam Silver has warned that teams will face harsh punishment for deliberately losing amid a reported tanking epidemic in the league s lower echelons, it was reported Wednesday. USA Today reported that Silver had sent a memo to the league s 30 clubs on Feb 21 warning them that any side suspected of throwing games would receive the harshest response possible. Teams at the foot of the NBA are often suspected of tanking in order to improve their chances of being given a favourable pick in the following season s draft. This season has seen an unusually large number of teams fall under suspicion. The last nine teams in the league have won three and lost 25 since the All- Star weekend. The tanking epidemic comes in the last year before the NBA reforms its rules over how draft picks are allocated. It also coincides with a 2018 draft class which is expected to feature several potential elite talents. Under the current system, the team with the worst record in the NBA has a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick in the draft lottery. Changes to the rules which take effect in 2019 will mean that those odds fall to 14 percent. Silver s warning came after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 (488,214 euros) by the NBA last week after comments in which he suggested his team should adopt losing as a strategy. was playing very aggressive -- it s my best match of the tournament. Third-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem powered into the quarter-finals of the Mexican Open in Acapulco with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov. Thiem, the 2016 champion in Acapulco, didn t face a break point in his 75 minutes on court against the 18-year-old Canadian as he set up a last-eight clash with former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro. Argentina s del Potro, the sixth seed, needed three sets to get past Spain s David Ferrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Second-seeded German Alexandr Zverev had to battle through the first set en route to a 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 victory over compatriot Peter Gojowczyk. South Korean Chung Hyeon, a surprise semifinalist at the Australian Open, didn t face a break point in his 6-3, 6-1 victory over 21-year-old American Ernesto Escobedo. Chung reached his fourth quarter-final of the season and will next face fifthseeded South African Kevin Anderson, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over France s Adrian Mannarino. In women s action, top seed Sloane Stephens saved a match point on the way to a 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0 victory over Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus. Rus had her chance at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker, but Stephens, the reigning US Open champion, belted a TENNIS forehand winner to make it 6-6, won the next point on her own serve then took the set when Rus dumped a forehand into the net. In Sao Paulo, second-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy beat Joao Domingues of Portugal 7-5, 6-1 to reach the Brazil Open quarter-finals. Fognini will face Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, a 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 winner over eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis of Argentina. Third-seeded defending champion Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and fifthseeded Leonardo Mayer of Argentina set up another quarter-final in the claycourt event. Cuevas beat Austria s Sebastian Ofner 6-4, 7-6 (4), and Mayer topped Argentine countryman Carlos Berlocq 7-5, 6-4. Swiss star Stan Wawrinka withdrew from this month s ATP Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami on Thursday, saying he needed more time to recuperate as he works his way back from knee surgery. The 32-year-old world number 12 sat out the second half of 2017 after a knee operation following a first-round exit at Wimbledon in June. The Swiss ace spent eight weeks on crutches following surgery to repair the damage. Soccer Roundup Donnarumma should leave Milan: agent New rules not new faces to dictate CSL battle Brazil s Flamengo s Everton Cardoso da Silva kicks the ball against Argentina s River Plate during their group stage Libertadores soccer match at Nilton Santos football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb 28, (AFP) HONG KONG, March 1, (Agencies): Yannick Carrasco and Nicolas Gaitan reignited interest by signing for Dalian Yifang just before the transfer window closed but it will be new rules rather than new arrivals that shape the outcome of this year s Chinese Super League. Newly-promoted Dalian claimed the headlines with the purchase of the Atletico Madrid duo along with Jose Fonte from West Ham United, splashing the cash in a manner not seen since Shanghai SIPG s capture of Oscar with an Asian record fee. Attempts to curb rampant spending since the Brazilian moved from Chelsea at the end of 2016 have largely been successful a 100 percent levy on transfers over 45 million yuan ($7.10 million) cooling a market that threatened to go into overdrive. It is another move by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) in December last year, however, that looks likely to prove more influential on the destiny of this year s league crown. In an attempt to develop players for the struggling national side, the CFA announced that clubs must start matches with the same number of Chinese players under the age of 23 as they do players from overseas. While undoubtedly popular with those ambitious for China to pull itself out of the international doldrums, the new rule has added an element of unpredictability to the new season. I didn t decide how to use our under 23 players until the morning of the match. Evergrande, winners of the last seven Chinese Super League titles, have prepared better than most for the new rules by signing Deng Hanwen, Yang Liyu and Tang Shi. The trio, who all represented China at the Asia under-23 championship in Jiangsu in January, have bolstered Cannavaro s squad as the Italian returns for a second stint at a club that fired him in 2015 after just six months at the helm. Cannavaro s chance for redemption at Tianhe Stadium comes after he steered Tianjin Quanjian to third place last season and the former defender takes over a Guangzhou side that will once again be the favourites for the title. Evergrande claimed last season s title ahead of SIPG but the club from southern China struggled at times, especially after the sale of influential midfielder Paulinho to Barcelona. Nemanja Gudelj has come in to replace the Brazilian and the Serbian will link up at the seven-times champions with stalwarts Zheng Zhi and Huang Bowen, both now into their thirties. SIPG, runners up in both the league and Chinese FA Cup last season, have replaced Andre Villas- Boas with another Portuguese coach in Vitor Pereira and gone for stability over further lavish spending. A third Portuguese, Paulo Sousa, has replaced Cannavaro at Tianjin, while a hundred kilometres up the Beijing road Manuel Pellegrini has been quietly preparing Hebei China Fortune for their run at the title. The Chilean added Javier Mascherano to the squad that finished fourth last year and, with no Asian Champions League campaign to distract them, Hebei could pose the most serious threat to Guangzhou s stranglehold on the title. Gianluigi Donnarumma should leave AC Milan, his agent said Thursday, a day after the teenage goalkeeper played a starring role in his team s advance to the Italian Cup final. The 19-year-old saved two penalties as AC Milan beat Lazio 5-4 in a shoot-out after the two-legged semifinal ended goalless to set up a rematch of their lost 2016 final against Juventus at Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Donnarumma s agent Mino Raiola s difficult relationship with AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli has led to speculation he could soon leave the club. Gigio made a choice and that was to stay at Milan. I respect that. If he told me he wanted to leave though I d start working immediately, because there are important offers, Raiola said in an interview with Italian broadcaster Rai. The new general managers of the men s and women s national teams will report to US Soccer Federation chief executive officer Dan Flynn and not new USSF president Carlos Cordeiro. The new positions were approved by the USSF board of directors in December and Flynn said understanding of the US leagues in a key attribute for candidates. The new men s GM likely will be hired first and will head the search for a new men s coach to replace Bruce Arena, who quit in October after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup. Flynn is on the search committee that will recommend the candidates for the new roles to the USSF board. He is joined on the committee by USSF board members Carlos Bocanegra and Angela Hucles, chief operating officer Jay Berhalter, director of sporting development Ryan Mooney and sport development programs director Nico Romeijn. Wellington Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic resigned Thursday after less than a year with the A-League cellar dwellers. The New Zealand-based club issued a brief statement on Kalezic s behalf announcing his departure at the end of the season. The parties were not able to find a mutual agreement on how to proceed forward and because of this have decided to move in separate directions, it said. Darije wishes the best for the club and fans in the seasons to come. Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey has extended his contract with Atletico Madrid until 2023, the Spanish club announced on Thursday. It is a one-year extension to his existing deal, which was due to expire in For me, it s an honour to play for this club, said the 24-year-old, who joined Atletico s youth set-up in 2011 before making his first-team debut in the season. He has gone on to make 82 topteam appearances for Diego Simeone s side, scoring nine goals.

35 SPORTS 35 Asia football boss wants Iraq back in full international fold FIFA boss says Saudi-Iran spat should keep out of football TEHRAN, March 1, (AFP): FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that a two-year diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran should not be allowed to get in the way of football. Saudi clubs have refused to play in Iran since the kingdom broke off relations in January 2016 forcing AFC Champions League fixtures with Iranian clubs to be played in neutral Oman. It s very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics, Infantino said at a joint news conference in Tehran with Iranian Sport Minister Massoud Soltanifar. There are of course political issues between countries all over the world but this should not have an impact on the football tournament. The solution is always just to play home and away like in every competition in every country. The FIFA chief acknowledged that Saudi Arabia had voiced security concerns after protesters angry at its execution of a top Shiite cleric attacked its embassy and a consulate in Iran, prompting it to cut ties. Obviously the guarantees must be there, the safety must be there, he Men in orange on red alert Dutch set sights on cricket WCup In this fi le photo taken on March 31, 2014, Netherlands batsmen Michael Swart (left), and Stephan Myburgh (right), run between the wickets during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament cricket match between the Netherlands and England at The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. (AFP) 2019 WC qualifier gets underway CRICKET Infantino HARARE, March 1, (AFP): Multi-millionaire and self-proclaimed Universe Boss Chris Gayle will rub shoulders with a battalion of teenage leg-spinners and a part-time bat designer when the 2019 World Cup qualifying tournament gets underway Sunday. It s the modern phenomenon of the globalisation of sport, although not in the manner that the likes of Gayle, and his estimated annual income of $7.5 million, would normally recognise. The West Indies, world champions back in 1975 and 1979, were the biggest casualties of the International Cricket Council s controversial decision to shrink next year s World Cup to just 10 nations. Sixteen teams took part the 2007 edition but just 14 graced the 2011 and 2015 tournaments. India, the sport s financial powerhouse, played just three games in the 2007 competition, a woeful performance mourned by millions of fans and legions of business executives across the subcontinent. Now, a differently-formatted 2019 and 2023 World Cup guarantees teams at least nine matches. However, only the top eight nations were guaranteed places in the 48-game, 47-day marathon in England and Wales next year. So the West Indies, no longer in the world s top 10, must rough it with newly-minted Test nations Afghanistan and Ireland as well as hosts Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Nepal in a three-week qualifier from which only two will make the finals. The ICC has long argued that a trimmed down World Cup with 10 of the best only two more than the first edition back in 1975 is the sensible way to grow the game. But not everyone is convinced. When the decision was announced Emotional Stokes reveals Ashes anguish WELLINGTON, March 1, (AFP): Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed his pain at missing England s Ashes campaign after being sidelined over an alleged fight outside a nightclub. The incident meant he was unable to join his teammates in Australia, but the 26-year-old hit form Wednesday with a man-of-the-match display in England s second ODI against New Zealand. Stokes took two wickets then smacked an unbeaten 63 in the sixwicket win, saying afterwards he was thrilled to be back in an England shirt after five months out. It was very satisfying for me. I was quite emotional walking off there at the said. The Iranian minister denied there were any legitimate security concerns. Iran is a totally safe country, he said, while welcoming FIFA s nonpolitical approach. We asked (Infantino) to insist on that so we can host games in the normal way from the next round and our clubs will not be forced to go to third countries to be able to play, Soltanifar said. Later on Thursday, Infantino also met President Hassan Rouhani who urged FIFA to ensure questions not SOCCER related to sport do not influence sport and that people are not deprived of watching competitions in their own stadiums. The FIFA president then went to watch a derby match between Tehran rivals Persepolis and Esteghlal. Meanwhile, the Asian Football Confederation head on Wednesday called for Iraq to be allowed to host competitive international matches, as FIFA gears up to decide on whether to lift a ban on the strife-torn nation. The time has come to end the three-decade-long ban, AFC chief Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa told a news conference at the stadium in the southern city of Basra ahead of an international friendly between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis made the cut for this year s World Cup finals in Russia, Disappearing world: West Indies, rivals scramble for 2019 lifeline three years ago, Sachin Tendulkar called it a backward step, even suggesting that the finals should feature up to 25 teams. Interestingly, 2019 s other global team tournament, the Rugby World Cup, will welcome 20 nations to its finals in Japan, from a starting base of 16 at its inaugural 1987 showpiece. The 2023 Rugby World Cup, to be staged in France, could see even more. To develop rugby we need a strong team in the USA, Russia and China, and emerging countries, to increase the capacity of rugby and to involve more people around the world, argued Claude Atcher, who led Gayle France s successful bid. The 10 teams gathered in Zimbabwe from Sunday until March 25 would envy similar enthusiasm from cricket s leaders. Far removed from the likes of Gayle will be Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer, a former English county player, who designs bats to top up his cricket income. His predecessor Preston Mommsen, who was captain at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, quit two years ago at the age of 29 to take up a job in the corporate world. On the field over the next three weeks in Zimbabwe, the 10 hopefuls are divided into two groups of five with the leading three in each pool making the second stage of Super Sixes from which the top two will seal passage to the 2019 finals. With Gayle and Marlon Samuels having buried the hatchet with the West Indies board, the Caribbean side should have an edge even if all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, spinner Sunil Narine and batsman Darren Bravo opted for the lucrative Pakistan Super League T20 instead. end, he said after his teammates gave him a standing ovation at the end of the match in Mount Maunganui. Even walking on the field the first time and walking off made me understand how much of a privilege it is to represent your country. Stokes joined England in New Zealand this month after pleading not guilty in a British court to a charge of affray. The case is ongoing. After his second match back, Stokes spoke for the first time about missing the Ashes, where his absence was sorely felt as England slumped to a 4-0 series loss. It was obviously frustrating to A picture obtained from Twitter account shows Brazilian superstar Neymar as he arrives at Rio de Janeiro after flying from Paris on March 1 ahead of an operation on his fractured foot. (AFP) while Iraq, who played many of their home games in Tehran, narrowly missed out. AFC chief Al-Khalifa says FIFA should come and see for themselves that Iraq is ready to host matches safely. We ask FIFA to take this decision and we invite FIFA s leaders to come and watch matches in Iraq, he said. Gianni Infantino who is president of world football s governing body FIFA THE HAGUE, March 1, (AFP): On a fine summer s day more than a century ago, a local and British sports team bowled what is widely believed to be one of the first-ever international overs in a cricket game in The Netherlands. Today, 136 years after the Dutch team lost by an innings and 56 runs against Uxbridge Cricket Club, the men in orange are setting their sights on competing in cricket s ultimate tournament next year s World Cup in England. The plucky Dutch are in Zimbabwe for the World Cup qualifying event starting Sunday which will give two teams who did not automatically make it like cricket giants Australia, India and South Africa, the chance to compete in the 2019 showpiece. There is a lot on the line in the shortterm, admitted Dutch coach Ryan Campbell, a former Australian national player who took over the reins of the Dutch national squad in April last year. Observers in The Netherlands agree, CRICKET saying that under Campbell s careful eye, working with the Royal Dutch Cricket Federation s (KNCB) high performance manager Roland Lefebvre, the national team has made impressive strides in less than a year. But the game of leather on willow has always seen its ebbs and flows in the low-lying Netherlands and the country s cricketing highs although the stuff of legends can be counted on one hand. And while Dutch cricket is again hoping to rise in the international arena, there are worrying signs for the sport at home. I won t deny that cricket is under pressure in The Netherlands, said top KNCB official Alex de la Mar. This is perhaps mainly because we have to compete more-and-more with football, he told AFP. Many cricket clubs share their fields with their football counterparts and recent measures have seen soccer being extended into summer, eating up much of the already desperately short cricket season. In the football-mad Netherlands youngsters who show talent in both sports are often forced to make a choice at a very young age as sports are not played in schools but at clubs, said former Dutch national player and international cricket coach Tim de Leede. Unfortunately many of them choose football, said De Leede, regarded as one of the country s greatest all-rounders and The Netherlands top World Cup wicket taker. The numbers tell a simple story: the KNCB counts some 5,500 members, the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB), over 1.2 million from a population of 17 million people. Fewer players mean less money, also internationally. While main cricket-playing countries like India, England and other Test nations get the lion s share of funding, The Netherlands and other International Cricket Council associate members get far less to see their teams play. It s very simple... it s money. I hate to say it but money changes everything, national coach Campbell told AFP. watch the Ashes, he said. I went through all the emotions as I would have done playing but there s not a lot I can change about that now. I ve been following all the cricket the lads have been playing but what I have to do now is focus on going forward. Stokes said he did not want to be eased into the team after his long layoff and was pleased captain Eoin Morgan threw him straight into the fray. I want to contribute every time I play for England, he said. When that opportunity came back round to represent England again I wasn t prepared to let anybody down. Neymar sidelined for up to 3 months with foot surgery RIO DE JANEIRO, March 1, (AFP): Brazilian superstar Neymar will be sidelined for up to three months perilously close to the eve of the World Cup after undergoing surgery on his broken foot, his doctor said Thursday. The worse than previously announced prognosis came minutes after the Paris Saint-Germain striker 26, arrived in Rio de Janeiro on an Air France fl ight from Paris for Saturday s operation. The (recovery) period will be around two and a half to three months, national team surgeon Rodrigo Lasmar, who fl ew with Neymar, said. The injury has not only ruled the world s most expensive player out of PSG s make-or-break Champions League clash with Real Madrid on March 6, but more worryingly for the football-mad public in Brazil, also threatens the much-fancied national was invited by Iraq s football authorities but did not travel to Basra for the match. FIFA is due to decide on March 16 whether to lift the ban preventing Iraq from hosting competitive international matches. The country has not played full internationals on home turf ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait that sparked an international embargo. The ban, covering all but domestic Australia s batsman Mitchell Marsh (right), plays a shot as South Africa s wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock looks on during day one of the fi rst cricket Test match between South Africa and Australia at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, South Africa on March 1. (AP) Australian batsmen kept in check in South Africa DURBAN, South Africa, March 1, (AFP): David Warner and Steve Smith hit half-centuries but Australia were unable to dominate South Africa s bowling attack on the first day of the first Test at Kingsmead on Thursday. Australia, who won the toss and batted on an easy-paced pitch, were 225 for five when bad light ended play four overs before the second new ball was due. With no assistance for the bowlers from a slow surface, South Africa bowled with discipline to keep the batsmen in check. Apart from a bright third-wicket CRICKET partnership of 56 off 92 balls between Warner (51) and Smith (56), it was largely attritional cricket between the second and third-ranked teams in Test cricket. Vernon Philander bowled with excellent control to take two for 36, while left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj took two for 69. It was an indication of the slowness of the pitch that Maharaj bowled 24 of the 76 overs sent down in the day. Smith made his fifth consecutive score of 50 or more as he continued the form he showed in the Ashes series against England in which he scored 687 runs at an average of The Australian captain gave a half-chance on 47 when AB De Villiers at second slip could not hold a sharp, low catch to his left off Philander. He faced 114 balls and hit 11 fours in his innings. He had made 24 off 44 balls in his partnership with Warner, who was caught at second slip off the last ball before lunch, but was re- side s build-up to the World Cup, starting in Russia on June 14. plasmar, who will lead the surgery at a hospital in Belo Horizonte, underlined that there is no quick fi x for the striker. It s not a simple fracture, but a fracture in an important bone in the middle of the foot, Lasmar said. Dressed in a black hoodie, a black baseball cap and wearing sunglasses, Neymar left the plane in a wheelchair. He smiled and took selfi es with other passengers, before leaving on a private jet to an undisclosed destination. The initial assessment did not appear quite as serious on Sunday, when Neymar was reported to have suffered a hairline fracture of the fi fth metatarsal, as well as a twisted ankle late in PSG s 3-0 win over Marseille in Ligue 1. On Tuesday, the Brazilian s father Neymar Senior had claimed the player would be out for at least six weeks. PSG coach Unai Emery had said matches, stayed in place after the USled invasion of 2003 that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. It was briefly lifted in 2012, but a power outage during an Iraq-Jordan match in the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil led FIFA to promptly reinstate it. Iraq in December declared victory over the Islamic State group and FIFA finally relaxed the ban, allowing international friendlies in Basra, Karbala, south of Baghdad, and in Erbil. Australia 225 for 5 wickets in first innings South Africa vs Australia Scoreboard stricted after the interval as the South African bowlers worked hard to force him to play on the off side instead of his favoured leg side. Smith showed some signs of South Africa bowler Theunis de Bruyn (right), is watched by Australian batsman Mitchell Marsh as he delivers a ball during play on the fi rst day of the fi rst Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at The Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on March 1. (AFP) earlier that there remained a small chance of getting him back in time to face Real. Lasmar s assessment painted a graver picture both in terms of the fracture and expectations for recovery. Yesterday we went back to the hospital (in Paris) and made new exams that left the seriousness of the fracture very clear, he told journalists in Rio. There was no doubt left regarding the treatment. We were unanimous in agreeing that it would have to be surgical treatment. More conservative treatment, without surgery, would present a far greater risk for refracture. We can t run that risk. The drama is a big personal setback for Neymar who has been at the centre of the world s footballing attention since his 222 million-euro ($264 million) move from Barcelona last August. Among the excited home supporters, several of them draped in the Iraqi flag and some carrying drums, Abbas Hakim, 20, said he travelled more than three hours with a group of friends to see the match. Iraq is playing a strong team... I must be here when we win, he said. Hossam Nasser covered the 500 kms (300 miles) from Baghdad. The whole world will be watching this match, said the 23-year-old student. DURBAN, South Africa, March 1, (AFP): Scores at close of play on the first day of the first Test between South Africa and Australia at Kingsmead on Thursday: AUSTRALIA, first innings C. Bancroft c De Kock b Philander... 5 D. Warner c De Villiers b Philander U. Khawaja c De Kock b Rabada S. Smith c De Villiers b Maharaj S. Marsh c De Villiers b Maharaj M. Marsh not out T. Paine not out Extras (b4, lb2)... 6 Total (5 wkts, 76 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Bancroft), 2-39 (Khawaja), 3-95 (Warner), (Smith), (S. Marsh) Bowling: Morkel , Philander , Maharaj , Rabada , Markram , De Bruyn To bat: P. Cummins, M. Starc, N. Lyon, J. Hazlewood South Africa: F. du Plessis, D. Elgar, A. Markram, H. Amla, A. de Villiers, Q. de Kock, T. de Bruyn, V. Philander, K. Maharaj, K. Rabada, M. Morkel Match situation: Australia are 225 for five wickets in the first innings. Toss: Australia Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Sunderam Ravi (IND) TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney (NZL) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL) frustration before he cut a ball from Maharaj which bounced off wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock s gloves to De Villiers at slip. Maharaj struck again when he switched ends after tea and with his fourth ball of a new spell had Shaun Marsh caught at slip for a patient 40. Marsh had a let-off on 19 when a yorker from Kagiso Rabada struck him low down and would have hit his leg stump, according to television replays. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena gave him not out. South Africa had used up both of their reviews -- also involving leg before wicket decisions by Dharmasena -- and could not challenge. South African hopes of pressing home their advantage were foiled by Mitchell Marsh and Tim Paine, who added an unbeaten 48 before the umpires took the players off the field. The home side claimed two early wickets, having Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja caught behind, but Warner and Smith batted brightly before Philander came back into the attack just prior to lunch and had Warner caught by De Villiers at second slip. Warner faced 79 balls and hit six fours.

36 PRIME TIME friday (all times are kuwait local) 07:00 atp 500 acapulco/tennis... bein sports 9hd 08:30 psg vs montpellier/handball... bein sports 7hd 11:34 sassuolo vs lazio/soccer... bein sports 4hd 13:30 76ers vs cavaliers/basketball... bein sports 8hd 18:00 adelaide vs hobart/cricket... bein sports 13hd 21:00 nice vs lille/soccer... bein sports 4hd 22:30 gladbach vs bremen/soccer... bein sports 5hd 22:45 monaco vs bordeaux/soccer... bein sports 6hd 36 Sports Latest sports scores at Rockets stretch win streak to 14 Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (left), and Houston Rockets center Nene, of Brazil, reach for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Feb 28, 2018 in Los Angeles. The Rockets won (AP) KD dazzles for Warriors WASHINGTON, March 1, (AP): A day after taking schoolkids to a museum instead of visiting President Donald Trump at the White House, the Golden State Warriors won for the seventh time in eight games by beating the Washington Wizards as Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Stephen Curry added 25, and Klay Thompson limited Bradley Beal to eight Wednesday night. Durant shot 12 for 20, Thompson scored 13, and Draymond Green contributed 11 points and 11 assists. Otto Porter Jr led Washington with 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Kelly Oubre Jr scored 17 on 4-of-16 shooting. Beal came in averaging a team-leading 23.7 points but he missed his first nine shots and had zero points at halftime. His first basket came with under 5-1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Wizards were again without All- Star point guard John Wall, who sat out his 14th game in a row after surgery on his left knee, but they trailed only after two quarters Wednesday. Golden State tends to dominate third quarters, though, and this evening was no exception: It opened that period with a 16-4 run that made it and was in control from there. Rockets 105, Clippers 92 In Los Angeles, James Harden scored 17 of his 25 points in Houston s dominant first quarter, and the Rockets rolled past Los Angeles for their 14th consecutive victory. The Rockets (48-13) matched their longest winning streak of the season and remained a half-game ahead of Golden State for the NBA s best record. Clint Capela and Eric Gordon each scored 22 points for the Rockets, who made 13 3-pointers. Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 24 points, with Montrezl Harrell added 22. Lou Williams and Milos Teodosic each scored 13. Pelicans 121, Spurs 116 In San Antonio, Anthony Davis had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and New Orleans rallied in the final two minutes to beat San Antonio, adding to the Spurs misery after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to an injury in the first half. New Orleans won its seventh straight after trailing by as many as 15 points. San Antonio, which has been without superstar forward Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games this season, lost Aldridge to a sprained right ankle late in the first half. Aldridge landed awkwardly while defending a driving hook shot by Davis with three minutes left in the second quarter. Celtics 134, Hornets 106 In Boston, Kyrie Irving scored 34 points in the first three quarters, and then sat out the fourth with the rest of Boston s starters as the Celtics routed Charlotte. Aron Baynes had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 15, including nine in the third quarter as the Celtics shot 60 percent and turned the game into a blowout. Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe scored 14 points apiece for the Celtics, who won their fourth straight and ended Charlotte s fivegame winning streak. Kemba Walker made his first eight Orlando Magic s Jonathon Simmons (left), and Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan go after a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Feb 28, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. Toronto won (AP) shots and led Charlotte with 23 points. Dwight Howard had 21 points for the Hornets, who were coming off a victory over Chicago on Tuesday night and couldn t keep up with the Celtics after halftime Ṗistons 110, Bucks 87 In Detroit, Andre Drummond had 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Detroit dominated inside in a victory over Milwaukee. The Pistons outscored Milwaukee in the paint and had 15 offensive rebounds in the first half alone. Blake Griffin had eight points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Detroit, which won for only the second time in eight games. Eric Bledsoe scored 19 points for the Bucks, who have lost three straight. Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo left with 10:08 remaining in the game with an apparent injury around his right eye. He eventually walked toward the locker room. Raptors 117, Magic 104 In Orlando, Fl., DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Kyle Lowry added 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to lead Toronto over Orlando. Pascal Siakam had 14 points, including 10 in the final five minutes as the Raptors pulled away for their 11th win in 13 games. Jakob Poeltl added 13 points and Fred Van Fleet had 12. Evan Fournier and Mario Hezonja BASKETBALL scored 17 apiece for Orlando, which has lost seven straight games. Nikola Vucevic added 14 points and Aaron Gordon had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic. Thunder 111, Mavericks 110, OT In Dallas, Russell Westbrook scored 30 points, including the go-ahead threepoint play in the final minute of overtime, and Oklahoma City beat Dallas. Westbrook, who had 11 rebounds and seven assists, drove for the tying layup and made the free throw with 38 seconds left in OT to help the playoffcontending Thunder salvage a fourgame split of the season series against a one-time postseason rival now among the NBA s worst teams. Dwight Powell forced overtime at 100-all with a follow shot at the buzzer to match his career high with 21 points. Hawks 107, Pacers 102 In Atlanta, Dennis Schroder scored seven of Atlanta s final eight points to Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) scramble for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Feb 28, 2018, in Dallas. (AP) finish with 14, and the Hawks held off a late Indiana comeback. John Collins had 16 points for the Hawks, who led by 23 before holding on late to end their four-game losing streak. Bojan Bogdanovic led Indiana with 26 points while making four 3-pointers in the final period. His third 3 of the period cut the Atlanta lead to A follow shot by Domantas Sabonis, who had 14 points, pulled the Pacers to Suns 110, Grizzlies 102 In Memphis, Tenn, Devin Booker scored 34 points, Josh Jackson added a career-best 29 and Phoenix snapped a 10-game losing streak by beating Memphis. Elfrid Payton had 19 points and 10 assists for Phoenix, which won for the first time since defeating the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 31. While the Suns snapped their losing streak, the misery continued for Memphis, which lost its 11th straight as the Grizzlies were winless in February. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Andrew Harrison scored 20 points. NBA Results/Standings WASHINGTON, March 1, (RTRS): Results from the NBA games on Wednesday: Detroit 110 Milwaukee 87 Toronto 117 Orlando 104 Atlanta 107 Indiana 102 Boston 134 Charlotte 106 Golden State 109 Washington 101 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Toronto Boston /2 Philadelphia /2 New York Brooklyn Central Division W L PCT GB Cleveland Indiana /2 Milwaukee /2 Detroit /2 Chicago /2 Southeast Division W L PCT GB Washington Miami /2 Charlotte Atlanta Orlando /2 Phoenix 110 Memphis 102 Oklahoma City 111 Dallas (OT) 110 New Orleans 121 San Antonio 116 Houston 105 LA Clippers 92 Western Conference Northwest Division W L PCT GB Minnesota Portland /2 Oklahoma City /2 Denver /2 Utah /2 Pacific Division W L PCT GB Golden State LA Clippers LA Lakers Phoenix /2 Sacramento /2 Southwest Division W L PCT GB Houston San Antonio /2 New Orleans Dallas /2 Memphis /2 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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