MPs lead sprint on packed agenda Al-Kandari charges government interference in panel elections

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1 football Pages 42 & 43 THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAILY IN FREE KUWAIT Established in 1977 / TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2016 / RABI AL AWWAL 14, 1438 AH emergency number 112 NO PAGES 150 FILS PILOTS, DNA, ECONOMIC AFFAIRS MINISTER LEAD CONCERNS MPs lead sprint on packed agenda Al-Kandari charges government interference in panel elections By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: MPs Khalaf Al-Enezi and Safa Al-Hashem were elected chairman and rapporteur respectively of the parliamentary Financial and Economic Status review of expatriate posts in Electricity-Water KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The Ministry of Electricity and Water intends to rectify the status of some experienced expatriate employees before the end of 2016, because it still needs their services, reports Al- Shahed daily quoting a reliable source. The source confirmed this step is in line with the replacement policy of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that is Newswatch KUWAIT CITY: The Supreme Committee for Sabah Al-Ahmad Heritage and Folklore Village has announced that the village will start receiving visitors citizens, other GCC nationals and expatriates on Dec 16, In a press statement, the committee urged all those who wish to participate in the heritage competitions in all categories to submit their applications. The competitions will begin Continued on Page 37 already enforced in all official bodies. He added the policy aims to reach satisfying rates of employees with certain specializations like legal researchers, accountants and administration. According to the source, the CSC had earlier asked the concerned minister not to renew the contracts of expatriate employees except those who work Continued on Page 37 Affairs Committee on Monday. In her statement after the committee meeting, Al-Hashem disclosed the committee will summon the concerned minister to discuss the decision to lay off some Kuwaiti employees and pilots in Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and transfer them to other entities. She went on to say the committee will open the economic reform document file on Wednesday, after looking into a number of files KNPC mandates 10 and reports in its agenda. She added, The concerned banks for $4bn loan government official must explain the functions of the State DUBAI, Dec 12, (RTRS): Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) has se- and the concept of these servic- Ministry for Services Affairs lected 10 international banks to provide es whether electricity or water for example, or if it means a loan facility of more than $4 billion to back its Clean Fuels project, banking the Customs Department and other bodies as we heard earlier. sources said. The loan, which has guarantees from She also demanded for clarifications on the functions of the various countries export credit agencies, is expected to include the participation of BBVA, BNP Paribas, Bank post entrusted to Hind Al-Sa- economic affairs minister a of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Mizuho, Natixis, questions in this regard. beh, indicating she will submit Continued on Page 37 Continued on Page 37 Ahli United Bank named Bank of The Year Details Page 30 US$/KD /45 Euro/KD Yen/KD British /KD KSE pts at closing Dec 12 See Page 35 Dow pts at 21:45 Dec 12 See Page 36 Nasdaq pts at 21:45 Dec 12 FTSE pts at closing Dec 12 Nikkei pts at closing Dec 12 Gold $1, per oz (London) NYMEX crude $53.19 per barrel Brent crude $56.04 per barrel 3-month $ LIBOR rate % CBK to warn on delinquent proof-of-purchase for loans KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), in the next phase, will send warnings to customers who have not submitted their invoices and bills for clarifying the purpose behind taking personal loans from local banks, reports Al-Shahed daily quoting informed sources. They revealed that CBK has renewed the demand from several banks to ensure their customers who took personal loans submit the invoices. The sources stressed that a large number of customers are not aware of the gravity of the situation and the punitive measures or sanctions the banks will impose on them if they do not comply with the terms after the end of the grace period. They indicated that the instructions should not be taken lightly especially since they are from the CBK, affirming that the failure in compliance to this instruction could force CBK to penalize the bank that has been taking the issue lightly. The sources stressed that this move is based on the regulations of the banking industry to follow up the use of loans and update customers information. Trump taps Kelly for Homeland NEW YORK, Dec 12, (Agencies): Donald Trump announced Monday he will nominate retired general John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, the third exmilitary man tapped for a top job in his presidential administration. General John Kelly s decades of military service and deep commitment to fighting the threat of terrorism inside our borders makes him the ideal choice to serve as our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Trump said in a statement. He is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders, streamlining TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and improving coordination between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Trump said. Kelly led the US Southern Command, covering US military operations in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including efforts to stem the flow of illegal drugs across the US southern border and end human trafficking. I am humbled and grateful to be nominated to serve in Presidentelect Trump s cabinet as Homeland Security Secretary, Kelly said in the statement issued by the president-elect. The American people voted in this election to stop terrorism, take back sovereignty at our borders, Continued on Page 37 Shiite fi ghters from the Hashed al-shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary forces advance towards the Iraqi town Shwah, west of Mosul, on Dec 11, during an ongoing operation against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. The Hashed al-shaabi forces have been fi ghting on a western front, in a campaign aimed at retaking the town of Tal Afar and cutting IS supply lines between Mosul and Syria. (AFP) The bodies of two children are pictured on a surgical table at a makeshift hospital following reported shelling by government forces in the rebel-held area of Daraa, in southern Syria on Dec 11. (AFP) Opinion Gulf openness tour By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times THE tour that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud made across the GCC countries and ended in Kuwait was a good omen for all GCC nationals and Saudis in particular. This is especially true in relation to the social and economic openness among citizens of the same region, as it contributes to concerted efforts towards the much-anticipated Gulf Confederation. The most significant news happened in the Kingdom of Bahrain when King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Bahraini King Hamad bin Essa bin Salman Al-Khalifa announced the Bridge of Love, linking both kingdoms with huge participation of the private sector. It is considered a major stage in improving trade exchanges within the Arabian Gulf. It indicates the level of the private sector s ability in terms of massive developmental accomplishments in GCC countries and its impact on our societies. This implies that the sector is the economic backbone of any country. It is impossible to actualize confederation without passing through the mandatory corridor the joint GCC market, which must be established based on common investments to increase the rate of openness among member-states. At the forefront of these countries is Saudi Arabia that is regarded as the engine room of Gulf economy considering its large market in the region. This is in addition to the enormous industrial base it possesses, which can make diversification of resources easy for GCC countries by opening doors of global markets to form safety cover for the region. Saudis and other GCC nationals are looking forward to interpreting all these through laws and regulations to ease the movement of capital and individuals. They desire freedom of ownership, public-private partnership projects, and encouraging GCC investors to participate actively in upgrading infrastructure and industrialization, especially in Saudi Arabia from where it will reflect on the rest of the region positively. Undoubtedly, the global recession that has been going on for eight years, as well as dwindling price of oil and its negative effects have changed viewpoint on the role of the State in the Gulf, because citizens are more convinced that it is impossible for continuity of absolute profit and dealing with countries like a cow from which citizens get milk without any pay back. Citizens are more enlightened about the need to perform their duties in return for rights obtained. The benefits include change in the mindset of those making noise by comparing the GCC housing system monopolized by the State to the rest of the world because there are no housing plans. Some banks are financing acquisition of suitable houses for everybody under strict laws, but it consumes a large percentage of our budget yet the problem remains complicated. Some GCC countries have started taking procedures to correct expenditures in a way that the State can continue playing expected roles while curbing excesses. Many citizens are comfortable with the idea since it guarantees their future, so other citizens should be positive towards it. However, we must admit that real success is attainable by Continued on Page 37 Follow me on:

2 LOCAL PM issues directive to refer all files of corruption to PAAC: min MoSAL mismanaged affairs of Kuwaiti women married to foreigners KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudan disclosed his determination to ease procedures for issuing licenses to improve the work environment, reports Al-Rai daily. He disclosed that HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Above: Some photos from the lecture. Three top Swedish academics moderate lecture Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah has issued a directive to refer all files of corruption to the Public Authority for Anti-Corruption (PAAC). He added the Prime Minister has also emphasized determination to push forward economic file. He stressed that uncountable number of files require attention but he ll focus more on issues related to small scale projects. He declared his status as a youth will enable him rub minds more GUST s Global Studies Center gives insight on Swedish perspective of the Middle East KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Gulf University for Science and Technology s (GUST) Global Studies Center (GSC) hosted a lecture this week titled Sustainebility, Youth Culture, and the Global Middle East An Interdisciplinary Perspective. The lecture was led by three leading Swedish academics from Lund University, and was open to the public at its campus in West Mishref. The speakers, Spyros Sofos, Anders Ackfeldt, and Dr Lina Eklund, discussed and explored different perspectives and perceptions of the Middle East, through topics such as sustainability, institutions and governance, and the presence and impact of the Middle East globally. The speakers also explained the prevalent stereotypes in Sweden and Western Europe of the Middle East, if so, how are they prevalent. Furthermore, the discussion explained how can research foster mutual understanding cooperation. Head of the Global Studies Center at GUST, Dr Martin Rosenstock, said, There are many preconceptions and stereotypes in European societies with regard to the Middle East. We hope that exploring these will equip our students to understand why they exist, and how to confront them. We, of course, also hope that the event will map out pathways to productive engagement and break mental barriers. The GSC was founded in 2015 in partnership with the National University of Singapore, and aims to conduct cutting-edge research on cross-national political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues of critical importance, as well as share research output and information regionally and globally. It seeks to foster public understanding of global issues and support the policy-making processes of concerned states. Previous events hosted by the GSC include a lecture by Dr Peter Sluglett, an expert on Middle Eastern history and Director of the Middle East Institute at NUS, entitled: An Improvement on Colonialism? The A Mandates and their Legacy in the Middle East, a lecture by Dr Daniel Brumberg, the Kuwait Program Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs, on US-Arab Relations in a Time of Crisis, also, a lecture by Dr Jan Claudius Voelkel, a lecturer in Euro-Mediterranean studies at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), entitled Brexit and the Future of the European Union, and a seminar by Prof. Eckart Woertz, a scientific advisor to the Kuwait Chair at Sciences Po in Paris, titled The Geopolitics of Food Security: New Players in Global Value Chains and what it Means for Food Importers in the Middle East. closely with citizens and to help them deal with problems. He pointed out that the strategy of his ministry will become more crystallized after meeting with senior officials of the ministry, indicating commitment to the strategy will begin afterward. Member of Kuwait Lawyers Society Mubarak Al-Khashab affirmed that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor mismanaged the affairs of Kuwaiti women married to non- Kuwaitis in the past through suspending social aid for the category after the issuance of regulations governing public support, reports Al-Seyassah daily. In a statement, Attorney Al-Khashab indicated the decision is unfair and has contributed to the loss of many families considered to be part of Kuwaiti society, adding accepting grievances to change clinical disability to financial disability is a positive step forward. He noted the step deserves applause, even though it s the right of the female citizen and the constitution guarantees several rights for all citizens from birth until death. Pointed He pointed out that it s unnecessary for disability to be physical for non-kuwaiti spouse to qualify the Kuwaiti woman to receive social aid, indicating circumstances that led Bedouns to miss the chance for naturalization is itself political disability. He praised the role of the Kuwaiti legislator who did not forget to protect Kuwaiti women married to non- Kuwaitis through preemptive measures against difficult circumstances and protecting the woman and her family from impoverishment by providing them peace and stability. Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has been evaluating offers presented by engineering offices bidding for the implementation of Kuwait International Center for Rare Manuscripts and Publications project, in addition to a letter referred to the Financial Affairs Department to respond to the design of Dar Al-Quran in Qairawan and handing over a booklet containing conditions of the procedure. Meanwhile, Central Tenders Committee (CTC) and the State Audit Bureau (SAB) approved some projects conceived by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. Notable among the proposed projects is the construction of Imam Al-Nassai Mosque in Fahaheel area, as well as four parcels of land belonging to the ministry in Qortuba, two in Surra and four others in Jabriya area. A recent report prepared by the Projects Department at the ministry indicated proposal to construct four other parcels of land in Jabriya, and the committee has also sent a letter to the Financial Affairs Department for further enquiries concerning Khabab Bin Al-Arth Mosque in Fahaheel and Al-Ayyar Mosque in Jahra. It is also expecting the outcome of review of bids from the contractors of Mohammad Al-Saqer Mosque project in Fintas and Yazed Bin Al-Harith Mosque in Salmiya to the concerned team at the Engineering Affairs Department. Hamad Saif Al-Harshani (Independent) Second Constituency HAMAD SAIF AL-HARSHANI was born in He holds a high school certificate and is a businessman. He served as chairman of Sulaibikhat Sports Club and member of Sports Union. He was a member of the annulled December 2012 Parliament while in the July 2013 election, he won sixth place in his constituency with 1,753 votes. In the 2016 elections, he secured fifth place with 2,341 votes ahead of his rival Mohammed Barrak Al-Mutair who obtained 2,172 votes. In the previous Parliament, Al-Harshani was elected chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee and member of Budget and Final Accounts as well as the Health and Social Affairs committees. He was also elected as most senior among the MPs to speak on behalf of the newly appointed lawmakers during the opening session of the 15th legislative term on Dec 11, During his speech on this occasion, he pointed out that applying laws and the Kuwaiti Constitution in addition to punishing those proven to have violated the law are vital in maintaining stability of the country. He went on to say, Fighting corruption is a must in order to overcome the current unstable economic conditions in Kuwait. He also stressed the need for immediate economic reforms to achieve development and the importance of full cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities to provide better conditions for citizens and to protect the law. He affirmed the important role played by the two authorities in determining Kuwait s international policy and ensuring cooperation among the Gulf countries. He asserted the current Assembly will exert tremendous efforts to face regional economic and security challenges that may affect Kuwait. Meanwhile, he talked about unresolved issues that Kuwaitis are facing including health services, development of education and housing grant applications. In the last term, he described the grilling request presented against former Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah as meaningless, personal and a conspiracy. He explained the interpellation against the minister does not reflect his actual work in the security area considering he dealt with these issues in a professional and transparent manner and the lawmakers said this during the previous closed-door session. On the other hand, Al-Harshani said he supports the grilling of former Minister of Oil Hani Hussein on the Dow Chemical issue. He stressed the need to debate the grilling without any postponement. He added, If the Oil Minister does not resign by mp profile getting to know you Al-Harshani Voting Record Consumer Protection (2015), approved Anti-Corruption (2015), approved Cyber Crime (2015), approved Surveillance Camera (2015), approved Military Service-Conscription (2015), approved Electricity and Water Tariffs (2016), approved Financial Controllers-Auditors (2016), approved Domestic Workers and Domestic Workers Recruitment (2015), approved Anti-Corruption (2015), approved DNA Law (2015), approved Granting 4,000 Bedouns Citizenship Bill (2013), absent Anti Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism Bill (2013), absent Writing off Loan Interests of Citizens Bill (2013), approved Unemployment Insurance Bill (2013), approved Small and Medium Enterprise Bill (2013), approved One Vote Decree Bill (2013), absent National Unity Decree Bill (2013), absent Amendment Decree of the Sport Law (2013), absent Anti Corruption and Financial Disclosure Decree (2013), absent Annual Plan 2011/2012, (2013), absent Foreign Agreements (2013), absent Amendment of Housing Care Law (2013), absent Privatization of Kuwait Airways Corporation Law (2013), approved Electronic Transaction Law (2012), absent Final Accounts of and (2013), absent Telecommunications and Information Technology Authority (2013), absent Amendment of Companies Law (2013), approved Amendment of Cooperative Societies Law (2013), approved Settlement Decree with Iraqi Airways (2013), approved May 28, 2013 then he must face the grillers and reveal the facts to citizens especially since the Dow Chemical penalties cost the State s treasury $2 billion. Statement On one occasion, Al-Harshani said that cooperation between authorities, which is stipulated by the Constitution, has become inevitable and necessary in facing various issues and subjects of interest to citizens, expressing hope that the government works as an integrated team in order to attain comprehensive and sustainable development for the Kuwaiti society by following implementation of the quartet development plan due to be accomplished by end of fiscal year and prepare for the next five-year plan. He mentioned that the Arab region is going through critical and important developments, adding that HH the Amir s wise policy and long experience in politics will be able to spare Kuwait and its people from any negative effects of the current events in the region. He praised HH the Amir s issuance of an Amiri decree pardoning all those convicted of offending the Amir. Kuwaiti-French Scientific Exhibition opens MILSET eyes increased expos to prop up education official KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): It is imperative to hold regular scientific exhibitions to ensure quality education for students, the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology s (MILSET) Asian office said on Monday. This statement was made during the opening of the 11th Kuwaiti-French Scientific Exhibition, themed Knowledge about Ants, collectively organized by MILSET, the French Embassy and the Ministry of Education. Moreover, speaking to KUNA, head of MILSET s Asian office Dawood Al-Ahmad noted a correlation between science and technology in efforts to better serve pupils. News in Brief Bid to better living conditions: The Executive Director of Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents Affairs Saleh Al-Fadhalah has affirmed Kuwait s keenness on improving the living conditions of illegal female residents in the country. Al-Fadhalah made his remarks in a press statement Monday while meeting with Kamala Chandrakirana, Vice- President of UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women, and her accompanying delegation at the apparatus headquarters. Facilitating matters and providing basic services for women of the illegal residents is part of the privileges and facilitations included in the resolution (409/2011) on providing facilitations for illegal residents in Kuwait, he said. He also displayed recent statistics on the number of female students of that category enrolled in primary and higher education, in addition to the latest job opportunities provided for illegal female residents in the state and private sectors in accordance with the apparatus employment procedures launched in The Kuwaiti law grants the citizenship to the wives of Kuwaiti citizens, he noted, pointing out another statistic on the number of illegal female residents who married Kuwaitis and received the Kuwaiti citizenship eventually. (KUNA) 2 He also spoke of the significance of scientific knowledge and the need to organize increased programs, lectures and other activities to boost knowledge, adding that around 120 schools have participated in the exhibition. Meanwhile, the French Ambassador to Kuwait Christian Nakhla said that he is elated to have opened the expo, which was the French diplomat s brainchild, as he credited MILSET s efforts to put together such events. Similarly, Ministry of Education official Fatma Boureki noted that the theme of this expo revolved around ant communities, which gave students the chance to get acquainted with scientific facts germane to the insects.

3 LOCAL 3 Kuwait s new Cabinet members in a group photo before the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday. Cabinet vows to spare no effort in bid to fulfill vision of HH Amir Bombings in Cairo, Istanbul denounced Photos from PM s Diwan HH the Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinet meeting Monday. Iraqi MPs hail Kuwait humanitarian role Kuwait, UK discuss training of diplomats KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): General Director of Saud Al-Nasser Al-Sabah Diplomatic Institute Ambassador Abdulaziz Al- Sharekh on Monday discussed with British Ambassador to Kuwait Matthew Lodge staff training cooperation with Oxford University. The institute said in a statement that Ambassador Al-Sharekh agreed with the British ambassador on acquiring the British expertise for training Kuwaiti diplomats. The two sides touched during the meeting on the recent GCC-British summit, hosted by Manama, Lodge where Ambassador Lodge affirmed London s deep satisfaction at tangible outcome of the top-level meeting. Ambassador Al-Sharekh affirmed that GCC quarters were also pleased with results of the summit which would pave way for a new chapter in the good GCC-British ties. News in Brief Nations dialogue vital : A visiting Kuwaiti official has affirmed necessity of states contributions to bolstering dialogue among the world s peoples and establishing an alliance of civilizations. Such an approach was underlined by Khlaif Muthayeb Al-Uthaina, the assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. He was speaking to KUNA after a meeting of an Arab team charged with following up on implementation of the unified strategy for the civilizations alliance, hosted by the Arab League. Kuwaiti and Qatari participants in the meeting presented documents on the projected Arab League award for the civilizations alliance, aimed at promoting most significant initiatives by Arab Iraqi members of parliament representing Nineveh province as well as members of Nineveh provincial Council expressed appreciation for Kuwait s humantarian role towards displaced pepole through provision of medical treatement for the wounded civilians fleeing Mosul. Nineveh s MPs expressed in a Thank You letter their gratitude on behalf of Nineveh s province and Iraqi people for Kuwait s continued provision of urgent humanitarian aid to the people in Mosul as part of the Kuwait By Your Side campaign. With the start of the operation to retake Mosul from the so-called Islamic State (IS), Kuwait has allocated tens of thousands of food parcels to the needy people in Nineve province, including villages of Nimrud south Mosul, in addition to prepartion of daily meals in the various camps. Kuwait also Built two hospitals for emergency cases to treat the displaced Iraqis. Meanwhile, Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) has announced the launch of a campaign to collect donations for Syrians at the society s headquarters on Tuesday. The five-day campaign aims to ease the suffering of Syrians affected by the ongoing war in Aleppo, especially in such extreme weather conditions, KRCS Deputy Chairman Anwar Al-Hasawi told KUNA on Monday. The number of displaced Syrians in Aleppo is rising, said Al-Hasawi, adding that the society aims to collect USD one million to cover food and winter clothing needs. Al-Hasawi called on the private sector and philanthropists to take part in aiding Syrians who are facing a humanitarian disaster. Donations will be received from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the KRCS headquarters, the official noted. He added that there will also be a donation booth at 360 Mall starting Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, as well as through the KRCS official website. NGOs in this respect. Such gatherings are also designed to promote new ideas by Arab researchers namely notions that bolster co-existence, respect among divergent communities, he said, also indicating that the award should be given to individuals or institutions once every two years. Al-Uthaina added that the meeting basically aimed at boosting dialogue among nations, shedding light on role of the Arab communities in foreign nations and examining co-existence experiences. It is also aimed at promoting the Arab culture and civilization, learning about other peoples cultures and examining ideas for a role that could be played by the Arab immigrants for boosting coexistence and nations interaction. (KUNA) KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): The Cabinet pledged on Monday to spare no effort to ensure that His Highness the Amir s grand plan of reforms is realized and development projects will come to fruition. The vow was made during the Cabinet s weekly meeting held at Seif Palace, presided over by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al- Sabah. In a speech to kick off the first session of Parliament s 15th legislative term on Sunday, His Highness the Amir highlighted the need to keep the nation s best interest at heart, at a time of mounting challenges and difficulties. Moreover, His Highness the Amir also spoke of the importance of slashing public spending and putting national resources to good use, as he underscored the private sector s crucial contributions to economic reforms, chiefly, efforts to stifle corruption. Meanwhile, at the onset of the meeting, the Cabinet looked over a letter sent to His Highness the Amir by the Second Deputy President of Burundi Dr. Joseph Butore, which heaped praise on Kuwait for its support of the East African nation. Furthermore, the Cabinet also reviewed His Highness the Prime Minister s speech on Sunday, where he spoke of His Highness the Amir s sage advice and the government s commitment to make substantial progress on development plans in order to fulfill the aspirations of the Kuwaiti people. Fruitful His Highness the Prime Minister also apprised the Cabinet of the fruitful outcome of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz s historic visit to the country, one that further reinforced deeprooted ties between the two Gulf neighbors. On a related note, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah informed the Cabinet of His Highness the Amir s participation in the 37th session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in Bahrain recently. The Cabinet reviewed the statement issued at the conclusion of the GCC summit, which cited the latest regional developments and further affirmed the concerted stance forged by GCC nations to safeguard their collective interests, which includes united efforts to fight terrorism and other threats. Meanwhile, Cabinet has vehemently denounced the recent bombing that targeted security forces in Egypt s Giza, along with Sunday s blast that hit a church in Cairo. The Cabinet deplored, in a statement following its routine weekly meeting, the bombings as terrorist acts that aim at disrupting Egypt s security and stability and intimidating its people. Meanwhile, the Cabinet sharply denounced the recent attacks that hit Turkey s Istanbul, which left dozens of people dead or injured. Photos by Bassam Abu Shanab Above: Some photos of well-wishers congratulating the new Education Minister Dr Al-Fares. Restoring confidence in educational institutions priority Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Mohammad Abdulatif Al-Fares on Monday said that restoring confi dence in the teaching institutions, highlighting achievements and development are major fi les he will focus on. In spite of the numerous achievements of the Ministry of Education, it was dealt with unjustly, as people have focused on the negative aspects more than positive ones, Al-Fares told well-wishers who visited him to congratulate the minister on being entrusted with the portfolio. Al-Fares vowed to shed light on the achievements and the positive sides of the ministry over the coming period, as well as reaffirming that the development process would carry on. The minister stated that prior attention will be paid to teachers, the cornerstone of the education process. He said he would do his best to have a teachers law issued. School curricula will also be given due care, together with the school environment. (KUNA)

4 LOCAL 4 Project part of We are on your side campaign Kuwait builds new school in Iraq s Ramadi BAGHDAD, Dec 12, (KUNA): A Kuwaiti-financed school of prefabricated units has been built in Al-Ramadi, the largest city in Al-Anbar governorate west of the Iraqi capital. The school, made of caravans, is part of the Kuwaiti humanitarian campaign in the nation, We are on your side. The Kuwaiti embassy in Iraq directly supervised the project. Kuwait, through opening this school in Al-Ramadi that has suffered extensive damage particularly in the teaching sector, manifests anew its sincere support for the brothers in Iraq, part of the efforts to enable them cope with the current crisis, said the Kuwaiti Ambassador Salem Ghesab Al-Zamanan, in a statement to KUNA. Ambassador Al-Zamanan said he was elated for accomplishing, properly, this important and vital project to accommodate a segment of the students in Al-Ramadi, some 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Baghdad. Up to 19 caravans have been brought in to establish the school, which will accommodate some 600 students, namely those who could not register in other schools in the province. It is the third school to be built in Al-Anbar with financing by the Kuwaiti Relief Society. As part of the Kuwaiti humanitarian campaign, We are on your side, a large number of food parcels, heaters and school bags have been distributed to those in need in various regions of the country. KFAS celebrates four decades of science, technological progress Opening ceremony at the new school in Ramadi. KUNA photo Foundation committed to dealing with major challenges Photos during the celebration at City Group Company HQ. Photos by Ahmed Al-Naqeeb New buses equipped with state of the art tech City Group renews Citybus fleet By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Keeping up with the commitment of service development and reduction of carbon emissions, the City Group Company celebrated the renewal of its Citybus fleet that is equipped with state of the art technology and Euro 3 engines. During the celebration at the company s headquarters Monday morning, Vice Chairman and CEO Nabil Al-Jeraisy stated that the company have invested KD 2.5 million on renewing 56 busses, which translates the company s commitment of implementing its strategy that is aimed at developing the services provided to clients in Kuwait. He said that these buses were on trial for the past two years, running Nabil Al-Jeraisy, Vice Chairman and CEO through Citybus s route networks, which concluded with positive results, including the noticeable reduction of carbon emissions, noting that this step is but the initial the phase of their fleet development program. Furthermore, Al-Jeraisy asserted that the new busses are equipped with the most advanced instruments, which includes GPS devices that provides accurate information to the control room, resulting in an enhanced level of quality for clients. This pursuit is also part of Citybus s initiative to push more road users into using public transport, which in turn will strongly contribute to the traffic issue that faces the country. In conclusion, Al-Jeraisy expressed his gratitude to the Traffic General Department for its efforts in facilitating Citybus operations, and highly regarded the awareness campaigns provided to Citybus drivers. KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) is marking its 40th anniversary as a non-profit organization that supports scientific progress in Kuwait in all fields. KFAS was established by an Amiri decree in 1976 with the aim of driving progress in all areas of science and technology while also inspiring a culture of progress and innovation, The mission of the foundation, chaired by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is to stimulate, support, and invest in initiatives and human resources that contribute to the building of a strong STI system and culture, while simultaneously fostering an enabling environment in which innovation can flourish. Since it was established, KFAS has been supporting scientific knowledge in Kuwait, to help all the relevant institutions achieve their goals, Director General Dr Adnan Shihab Eldin told KUNA. Role KFAS is working on disseminating scientific knowledge among all classes of the society, and its programs and activities have come to play a prominent role in the local scientific system, especially among the youth, besides to backing scientific creativity, Shihab Eldin said. KFAS achievements include establishing the Scientific Center, Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity (SACGC), the Dasman Diabetes Institute and Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Center for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, he noted. In addition, KFAS has also embarked on work at the Kuwait University digital project, to help the Arb youth willing to continue their education amid the limited capacity at traditional institutions. Meanwhile, Shihab Eldin said that KFAS is committed to dealing with the major challenges facing the country, making utmost benefit from scientific research for researches and programs on water security, clean and renewable energy and the environment. The foundation carefully selects the research projects that could help develop solutions or policies to address the country s urgent issues, together with providing advanced training programs for the private companies to enable them set new methods of work, thinking and behavior, besides enhancing the spirit of innovation, the director general said. Cooperation Referring to the KFAS new strategy that has been approved by the board of directors, Shihab Eldin said that it aims to consolidate cooperation with the local scientific institutions and to increase the spending on scientific research in Kuwait from 0.3 percent to 1 percent of GDP by Another major goal of the strategy is to speed up the steps for establishing a national council to be entrusted with identifying research priorities and financing them, as well as promoting people s awareness and spreading scientific culture. Shihab Eldin pointed to the challenge of innovation program KFAS offers for high-profile CEOs. Through the program, the CEOs take part in developing innovationbased projects through collective activities that lead to real change in their firms. Later, these projects will be submitted to leading world universities for a review. He also referred to the Open Enrolment professional development initiative for private sector companies. It emphasizes a hands-on approach to inspiring innovative thinking and creative problem solving. In 2015, KFAS financed 203 lots of land for research projects, including 76 donations for new researches, all totaling KD 1 million (about $3.3 million). KFAS has also financed all research programs at the Dasman Diabetes Institute and international agreements. In 2016, KFAS has financed 46 research projects with international scientific and research institutions with KD 1.5 million, he said. Moon Meteor shower Stars Meteor shower Tuesday evening Astronomical phenomena to be witnessed in Kuwait vkuwait CITY, Dec 12: Director of Astronomy and Space Science at the Scientific Club Bader Hamoud Al- Omairah disclosed that the country this week will witness several astronomical phenomena such as latency stars hiding behind the moon (Al-Debran), the process of observing full moon (Al- Bader), and the meteor showers (Altoomyat). Al-Omairah declared that Al-Debran will hide behind the Constellation Taurus at exactly 8:09 am on Tuesday. He described Al-Debran as a glossy red star called Alpha Bull, which is 65 light years from the earth equaling to around 616 trillion kilometers 80 times larger than the sun, although its temperature does not exceed 3000 degrees centigrade. He stressed it s the brightest star in the Constellation Taurus. He also said the moon on Wednesday will enter the phase of becoming News in Brief Amir congrats Ghana prez: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable Sunday to the presidentelect Nana Akufo-Addo on winning Ghana s presidential elections. 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) Amir congrats Kenyan prez: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable of congratulations Monday to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on his country s national day wishing him everlasting health and wellness. Their Highnesses the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahamd Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent cables of identical content to the Kenyan president. (KUNA). Amir condoles Buhari: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent full moon and completion, noting this full moon is the super type because it will move closer while rotating in its orbit around the Earth s distance of approximately 353 thousand kilometers. He said the country will have a date with other meteor showers this year, namely, Altoomyat from Tuesday evening until early Wednesday. It s called Altoomyat because it resembles the Twin Tower, he explained. According to Al-Omairah, Altoomyat is among the relatively slow meteors that leave a smoke trail extending a few seconds before its disappearance. He pointed out that the meteors are active from Dec 4-17 each year, and reaches its peak on the evening of 13th and the morning of 14th of the same month. The intensity of meteor shower is up to 120 average hourly flare. Thus presence of the full moon will make it difficult to be seen, he reiterated. a cable of condolences on Monday to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, expressing his deepest sympathies for the victims of a church collapse in the city of Uyo. In his cable, His Highness the Amir also wished those wounded in the church collapse a speedy recovery. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent cables of similar sentiments to the Nigerian President. (KUNA) Honorary elected member: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Board of Trustees has renewed the membership of Director General of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah Sheikha Hessa Al-Sabah for another five years until 2021, regarding her as honorary elected member, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The Board of Trustees consists of global academicians who are experts in museums, while the Metropolitan Museum of Art is considered one of the major and vital global museums because it serves as a cultural bridge between societies.

5 LOCAL 5 KISR completes study on effects of heavy crude refining at Al-Zour Refinery to enhance competitiveness of Kuwait petroleum products KUNA photo Ambassador of Kuwait to Sudan Bassam Mohammad Al-Qabandi handed a letter from the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abduallah Al-Sabah to Sudanese Minister of Human Resources Development Al-Sadiq Al-Hadi Abdel Rahman Al-Mahdi tackling means of enhancing bilateral ties. The diplomat told KUNA that he discussed during the meeting cooperation between both nations through boosting economic development and enhancing human resources development. They also tackled fi elds of joint work as well as exchanging visits and expertise.he recalled the recent visit to Sudan by officials of the Kuwaiti Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) where they discussed means of developing university graduates talents, besides training courses offered to the graduates.(kuna) KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) has completed a study on the effects of refining heavy crude oil at Al-Zour Refinery Project. This first study of its kind has been achieved as a joint project with the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), KISR added in a statement on Monday. The KNPC will refine different types of the Kuwaiti heavy crude at Al-Zour, said Research Scientist at KISR Dr Abdulazeem Al-Marafie, who is also director of the joint project. Al-Zour Refinery is a strategic project in Kuwait, with production capacity of 615,000 barrels daily, 300,000 barrels of which heavy crude oil, he added. No doubt that refining the heavy crude affects the different operational performance at the refinery, especially the units of distillation, diesel desulphurization and removal of sulfur from oil residue. The refinery has a strategic goal of supplying low sulfur fuel (less than 1% compared to current 4% sulfur fuel) to the local power plants. This will significantly reduce pollutant emissions and in that sense it constitutes a special importance to the environment. Al-Zour which will be one of the largest oil refining plants worldwide, will fulfill the downstream strategy of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. In addition to its domestic benefits as the prime supplier of feedstock to the power plants, the refinery will enhance competitiveness of Kuwait petroleum products on the world markets on the account of its ability to meet the stringent requirements of those markets. Eye Diseases and Surgery Consultant Dr Khalid Al-Sabti participated in the Focus 2016 seminar organized by Bayer Middle East Pharmaceutical Company in Dubai recently. Around 450 experts in eye diseases from 14 countries across the world participated in the seminar to discuss diabetic retina disorder. Dr Al-Sabti revealed that 38 percent of Kuwaitis are diabetic based on 2015 statistics. He added the Ministry of Health adopted the health survey conducted inside Kuwait in 2001 during which 25 machines donated by Kuwait Awqaf Public Administration were installed to test the retina of many people at the primary health centers. He pointed out that early test for retina problems plays a vital positive role in dealing with the disease and 30 percent of diabetic patients are not aware they have the disease. Call on audit agencies to promote transparency ABU DHABI, Dec 12, (KUNA): Participants in the 22nd International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions, INCOSAI, said Sunday audit agencies should support governments strengthen principles of transparency and fight against corruption. Dr. Hareb Al-Amimi, President of the UAE Audit Bureau, said congress members approved his bureau s recommendation regarding INCOSAI s strategy, as well as endorsing certificates of auditors and building capabilities of audit agencies. Al-Amimi, at a news conference following the approval of Abu Dhabi Declaration, said the congress members approved memberships of Seychelles and Palestine. He added that Russia would host the next Congress in Congress members, he said, discussed two major issues: allowing audit agencies to contribute to preparing reports over UN s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and how the INCOSAI could be an influential actor in international conferences. Abu Dhabi Declaration called, among other things, for boosting of auditing on public sector and exchange of expertise among INCOSAI members. Kuwait was represented by Adel Al-Sarawi, State Audit Bureau (SAB) Acting Chairman. Kuwait Today Prayer Timings Fajr... 05:08 Sunrise... 06:33 Dohr...11:42 Asr...14:33 Maghrib...16:51 Isha...18:13 Weather Expected weather for the next 24 hours: By Night: Cold with light to moderate north westerly to light variable wind, with speed of km/h. By Day: Sunny with light to moderate north westerly wind, with speed of km/h. Station Max Min Exp Rec Kuwait City Kuwait Airport Abdaly Bubyan Jahra Failaka Island Salmiyah Ahmadi Nuwaisib Wafra Salmy days forecast - Weather Tuesday, Dec 13 Expected weather.. Clouds to increase gradually Max Temp...21C Min Temp...06C Wind Direction...VRB Wind Speed km/h Wednesday, Dec 14 Expected weather...partly cloudy Max Temp...24C Min Temp...10C Wind Direction... SE Wind Speed km/h Thursday, Dec 15 Expected weather...temperature will decrease + raising dust Max Temp...18C Min Temp...12C Wind Direction... NW Wind Speed km/h Friday, Dec 16 Expected weather... Sunny Max Temp...16C Min Temp...07C Wind Direction... NW Wind Speed km/h Marine Forecast Station Max Min Sea Today s Exp Rec Surf Waves H Direction South Dolphin ft SE Umm Mudayrah ft SE Beacon M ft SE Beacon N ft SE Qaruh Island ft SE Umm Al-Maradim ft SE Sea Island Buo ft - Salmiyah ft SE 4 days forecast - Marine Tuesday, Dec 13 Expected weather.. Clouds to increase gradually Sea state... Slight Wave height ft Max Temp...21C Min Temp...06C Wind Direction...VRB Wind Speed km/h Wednesday, Dec 14 Expected weather...partly cloudy Sea state... Slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp...24C Min Temp...10C Wind Direction... SE Wind Speed km/h Thursday, Dec 15 Expected weather...temperature will decrease + raising dust Sea state...moderate to rough Wave height ft Max Temp...18C Min Temp...12C Wind Direction... NW Wind Speed km/h Friday, Dec 16 Expected weather... Sunny Sea state... Slight to moderate Wave height ft Max Temp...16C Min Temp...07C Wind Direction... NW Wind Speed km/h Tide times at Shuwaikh Port 1st high tide:... 10:55 2nd high tide:... 22:00 1st low tide:... 16:18 2nd low tide:... 05:23 Sunrise:... 06:33 Sunset:... 16:51 Recorded yesterday at Kuwait Airport Max temp...17c Min temp...01c Max Rh... 72% Min Rh... 16% Max Wind...N 28 km/h Total Rainfall in 24 hrs... 0 mm Recorded yesterday at South Dolphin Min/Max Air Temp...10/17C Min/Max Rel Hum... 22/57% Wind Direction/Wind Speed..N/36km/h Prev Wave Dir/Max Wave Ht... N/3- ft Min/Max Sea Surface Temp... 16/17 Sea Current...Upwelling Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Meteorological Dept. deaths Ali Mohammad Ali Fathel Al Meri, 24 years, buried on Monday. Condolences: Omariya, Block 2, St. 1, House 17 Tel Salwa Mohammad Ghloom Dashti, 51 years old. Condolence: (Men) Salwa, Huseiniyat Sayed Mohammad Tel (Women) Adan, Block 8, St. 21/12. Maryam Abdullah Al Beajan, widow of Abdulatif Abdullah Al Laifan, 84 years old, buried on Monday. Condolence: (Men) Faiha, Diwan Al Laifan, Block 6, Al Numan St. House 2 Tel (Women) Faiha, Block 6, Zahra St. House 5, OPP. Faiha Cooperative Society Tel Teeba Salm Al Hamdan, 75 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences : (Men) Fintas, Diwan Al Hamdan, Block 2 Tel (Women) Fintas, Block 2, St. 5, House 16 Tel Newayer Fehaid Zayed Al Amaar, widow of Ibrahim Hamaad Al Amaar, 83 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Salwa, Block 8, St. 6, House 136 Tel (Women) Salwa, Block 6, St. 8, House 21 Tel Ahmad Saadoun Yasin Abdullah, 51 years old, buried on Monday. Condolence: (Men) Mangaf, Block 1, St. 150, House 36 Tel (Women) Bayan, Block 9, St. 1, Avenue 7, House 10 Tel Tayeba Abdul Aziz Al Othman, widow of Ali Abdullah Al Haqan, 79 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Shaab, Dar Al Othman Tel (Women) Shaab Block 2, Manama St. House 3 Tel Narjes Abdullah Saad Al Fathli, 16 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: (Men) Nahda, behind petrol pump Tel (Women) Jaber Al Ahmad, Block 2, St. 244, House 402 Tel Sheikha Ahamad Abdul Rahman Al Kharaaz, wife of Jaber Mubarak Al Shati, 68 years old, to be buried on Tuesday after Asr prayers. Condolences: (Men) Qadisiya, Block 8, St. 84, House 3 Tel (Women) Zahra, Block 3, St. 305, House 38 Tel Sara Ibrahim Ali Haidar, 68 years old, buried on Monday. Condolences: Jabriya, Huseiniyat Al Balosh Tel Dec 12, 2016

6 LOCAL 6 DIWANIYA A DIGEST OF PUBLIC OPINION Photo by Mahmoud Jadeed US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman and other officials at the opening of the TechCamp. US embassy holds Gulf s first regional TechCamp Bid to counter violent extremism Photos by Mahmoud Jadeed Top and above: The US ambassador and guests speaking at the TechCamp. Team conducts 60 ops Kuwait medical help for Sudan KHARTOUM, Dec 12, (KUNA): The Kuwait-based Direct Aid charitable organization has concluded its eighth voluntary medical camp in the Sudanese capital. During the camp days, the medical team, which included 11 doctors of different specialties and a well-prepared nursing team, conducted 60 surgeries for patients in the Police Hospital in Khartoum, the team leader Hesham Bourezq told KUNA. He added that the team was keen on benefiting from their camp in Khartoum to offer training for several Sudanese doctors for the greater good of patients in Sudan. News in Brief On this occasion, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Sudan Bassam Al-Qabandi held a banquet in honor of the Kuwaiti medical team. Al-Qabandi has also visited the medical camp of the team in the Police Hospital. In a statement to KUNA, Al-Qabandi lauded the role of the Kuwaiti team in offering medical aid to Sudanese patients and in bolstering health cooperation between Kuwait and Sudan. This is the eighth medical camp organized by Direct Aid since the launching of its initiative in 2010 and the second to be held in Sudan Amiri condolences: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable of condolences on Sunday to President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, expressing his deepest sympathies over the death of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid bin Hamdan bin Mohammad Al-Nahyan. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent cables of similar sentiments to the President of the UAE. (KUNA) Congrats Burkina Faso: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable on Sunday to President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Kabore, congratulating him on his country s National Day. In his cable, His Highness the Amir wished the West African nation persistent peace and prosperity. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables to the Burkinabe President. (KUNA) Speaker pays tribute: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim eulogized Sunday former MP Falah Mutlaq Al-Sawwagh, who passed away last Oct 11. Al-Ghanim, in remarks in the opening of the first term of the 15th legislative term, cited the achievements of Al-Sawwagh when he was representing the Fifth Constituency. He said the deceased contributed to promotion of democracy within the parliament, as well as having many charitable contributions. (KUNA) Call for probe: The parliament on Sunday referred to the Legislative and Legal Committee a request to examine legality of election of deputy speaker, and to send its opinion back to the house. MP Essa Al-Kandari has been elected as Deputy National Assembly Speaker, edging out MP Jamaan Al-Harbash in the second round of voting with 32 to 31 votes, respectively. The parliament members also approved a recommendation that would oblidge the government to lift the international ban on sport, through changes to be made on relevant legislations. Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah, said whoever has the decision to lift the ban is the one who caused it on Kuwait. He said the recommendation was approved in order to allow Kuwait football team participate in international tournaments and we support this view. Sheikh Salman said there may be an initiative by the world football governing body, FIFA, to lift the ban on Kuwait. We are ready to sit with FIFA and the parliament members and any other body to discuss necessary proposals (to lift the ban) but on conditions not to undermine sovereignty of Kuwait nor violating the constitution, laws and public funds. (KUNA) By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: We will continue to come together with our regional partners to identify new ways to address the challenge of countering violent extremism. This is an undertaking that must be viewed and confronted from all possible angles, stated US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman on Monday during the opening of the two-day TechCamp dubbed Promoting Peace and Tolerance with Technology at the Yarmouk Cultural Centre. The TechCamp which is an initiative of the Bureau of International Information Programs at the United States Department of State is the first TechCamp in the Gulf region. The TechCamp focuses on using technology to counter violent extremism. As you know the effort to defeat violent extremism is partly done through security means. Violent extremists try to use social media and the electronic media to recruit and other things and this is really to get at the counter messaging part of the struggle to prevent terrorism and violent extremism, explained Silverman. He lauded Kuwait for being the partner of the US in its initiatives in countering terrorism and violent extremism. He also commended Kuwait for having tech savvy citizens with vast social media penetration. Efforts Kuwait has for now and several years been part of a larger effort to counter violent extremism and we ve seen that they have hosted other events before they are a part of the counter DAESH messaging -- part of larger counter DAESH coalition so it s very appropriate that this is being hosted in Kuwait. This is the first time being done in the region and we very pleased that Kuwait is taking the lead in organising and hosting this TechCamp, he pointed out. Deputy Assistant Secretary Nicole Chulick at the United States Department of State was also present during the opening of the TechCamp along with other US Embassy officials, guests from Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia as well as students and professors and representatives of various ministries in Kuwait. As we work together to counter online radicalisation, and the recruitment of youth by extremist groups, we welcome opportunities like this, to build capacity among organisations and groups working together to counter this key social challenge of our time, stressed Silverman. He added that this is a multipronged effort citing that this past May, for instance, the University of Southern California partnered with the US Department of State to organise a symposium at the Sunnylands Estate on entertainment and its relevance to television markets worldwide, with regard to the shared issues they face. Television professionals from the Middle East and South Asia met with American counterparts to discuss ways for popular entertainment to inform and inspire audiences to fight intolerance, bigotry, and sectarianism and counter violent extremism. Kuwait s Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs Sheikha Al Zain Al Sabah was a participant in that meeting who described the event as a gathering of mind and spirit that has left her both inspired and challenged. Real reform only can bring change Back to square one after poll SUDDENLY and without introduction, the government declared that the previous National Assembly would not be able to confront the challenges as stated in the decree of dissolution, and as also preceded by a statement made by the Speaker of the National Assembly who in a historical precedent called for the dissolution and for early elections, columnist Dr Badr Al-Daihani wrote for Al-Jarida daily. The National Assembly was dissolved in spite of frequent praises heaped on this institution for making unprecedented achievements, and good cooperation between the two authorities over a period of three years. In any case, the general elections were held under sectarian and factional polarization that sharply increased fragmentation of the nation s social fabric and in light of the political chaos itself, under the bad and unjust electoral system. What has changed after the election so that we can say we can now face internal and external challenges which had led to the dissolution of the previous National Assembly? Elections did not produce any political change in the balance of power or the political equation. The government has returned with its same political approach, the same plan, the same economic document, not to mention, as always, returned with the majority within the National Assembly because the ministers are ex-officio members, and have other powers provided by the Constitution, such as the rerun of laws which they disagree, raising the letter of non-cooperation with the National Assembly whenever the government wishes. In spite of the fact that most members of the National Assembly came as a result of popular discontent with the political situation in general, discontent with the National Assembly and the previous governments in particular, and after political and popular demands for political-democratic reform to get out of the circle of vacuum, this Assembly is, in fact, not different from previous Assemblies. It is not different in terms of low proportion of the popular representation of the total number of voters, which fell significantly due to the current election Al-Daihani law one-man one-vote. This National Assembly, as an institution, is unable to reform the political system, although it is one of its main parts. It is true that some members can provide draft laws but they will not see the light of day unless they have the green light from the government. It is also true that any member can ask what he wants inside the hall, under the dome of the Assembly but such questions remain just ink on paper. Interrogations (grilling) sometimes lead to the resignation of a minister in question, but, mostly, do not address the problems contained in the document. In some cases, pro-government members may use the interrogation tools to create a political crisis so that the government will exploit it as a pretext to dissolve the Assembly and then we go back to square one. Thus, the dissolution of the Assembly and reelection under the current facts and circumstances will not result in any political change. The results are known in advance, something that will not help us to face difficult and complex internal and external challenges. What is needed, as we have mentioned before, is a political breakthrough in paving the way for a national consensus to achieve a genuine democratic reform of the current political equation to complete the building of a modern democratic civil state based on equality and social justice for all. Also: Nobody can deny the fact that the Arab Spring that swept five or six Arab countries was designed for several gains not only to overthrow the regimes, columnist Hesham Al-Diwan wrote for Al-Shahed daily. The decisions of overthrowing ruling systems, whatever the reasons are, should have been and must remain internal decisions, and have several other ways other than those that were planned by foreign forces as is the case now. First and foremost, overthrowing regimes does not require occupying or destroying the country in question or provoking civil war. The countries that were targeted by the Arab Spring conspiracy were exposed to havoc and destruction, theft, and chaos and collapse of the State. We must stress here that the State is not the system. The State means safety, security, and public service, such as electricity, water, education, health, public transport, and the relationship with the world. How will we repair the conditions in Iraq, Syria and reconstruct the infrastructure, power-producing plants, hospitals, schools, universities and residential areas which have been turned into ruins, as well as roads, bridges, ports and airports? I will not go through other countries, Tunisia has come out of the bottleneck and Yemen s president and his government does not want to lose their posts in any solution to stop the war and bring life back to normal. Initial estimates indicate that the devastation in Iraq and Syria exceeds one trillion dollars, and human losses exceed this figure in terms of importance. Millions of people who fled from the two countries will never have the opportunity to return because their children will be accustomed to a new life and because the fear factor will remain lodged in the mind of the immigrants or fugitives. John Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) suggests that Syria will not be able to return to what it was before the start of the operations of the armed conflicts in several areas and cities of Syria under the logo of desire to reform while there are 97 armed factions bound falsely together under the name of religion that have nothing to do with what they have done or are doing. It is the same philosophy of Joe Biden, the current US Vice-President, who led Iraq to the current situation which resembles a de facto division. The plans for the war in Iraq and Syria are drawn by bodies that work in secrecy according to an agenda which has nothing to do with development of anything in the world. There is a global religious organization directed by the great powers and funded by them to destroy civilizations in the region and the world. There is a sectarian war in Iraq to establish a new entity that prevents the return of things to normal, so no one will be able to claim for damages or antiquities of for the return of the displaced and no one will hold responsibility for what is happening in Iraq and Syria after the next phase. The next phase will witness divisions and disagreements on the borders. People will seek revenge, ethnic and sectarian strife will be rife and everything in its path oil, water and land will be a victim. This scheme was drawn and designed by the United States and carried out by the US civilian administrator Paul Bremer during the occupation of Iraq in He was well-prepared for his mission which led to the current disaster that has plagued Iraq. Arabs are being killed but the meetings of the Arab League result in inconsequential outcomes. Thousands of Muslims were killed in Aleppo but the United Nations was watching and took no actions, Meshal Al-Faraj Al-Zufairi wrote for Al-Rai daily. The aforementioned scenario is not strange but the only concern is that it has become a norm in the international politics. However, the strange thing is that DAESH group has been out of action for some time now. Does that mean its role has ended? The blood of Muslims is now cheaper than a barrel of oil and women s dignity is not worth a pinch of soil. The situation of Muslims will not improve if we keep indulging in injustice associated with hypocrisy and impunity. It is not a hidden fact that Europe has suffered more serious fate in multiple folds, but its citizens embarked on revolution to restore their dignity, freedom and rights. After that, they did whatever they needed to do to the best of their abilities. In the Muslim world, some people organized revolutions for their rights and dignity, which they eventually got. However, it was shocking that they ended up dividing based on party and sectarian lines which started fighting with one another and led to emergence of other tyrants. Many citizens have complained about the loss of their medical reports in government clinics and hospitals, which is considered a new negative phenomenon in the country, Hamad Al-Saree wrote for Al-Anba daily. Many citizens suffering from chronic illness, may Allah cure them, keep their files with them for fear of losing them. They even discovered medical descriptions that do not belong to them in their medical reports. Medicines were prescribed and given to patients but they were registered under the name of other patients. Some doctors illegally give medicines, which are intended for citizens, to other people. Therefore, the Minister of Health should lay down a mechanism to stop misusage of expensive medicines. Owners of camping sites located in the southern part of the country have asked the Minister of Health to build a clinic in Beneidar which will also serve the nearby areas. Campers and watchmen might need medical assistance and it is very difficult to get public transport in the camping area, while watchmen cannot leave the camping sites for fear of theft. Governments in developed countries take the issue of unemployment, especially among youths, very seriously because it is a major indicator of economic performance, Dr Bader Al-Daihani wrote for Al Jarida daily. It also has strong links with the level of social employment of a country because the problems arising from it are social, economic and political in nature and instability prevails in such circumstances. Most importantly, the scary crisis of joblessness is set to surface because of the entry of 25,000 fresh graduates into the labor market annually. Where do we expect those youths to get jobs? Governmental plans and documents in that regard focus on the private sector as the major driving force for the development of the country, which means that the creation of job opportunities depends on the private sector. One of the most annoying issues in the country is the population structure. According to the latest statistics, the ratio of citizens and expatriates is 1:3.3, Nasser Khamees Al-Mutairi wrote for Annahar daily. The country lacks governmental strategies to narrow the gap between the number of citizens and expatriates. This problem has many faces and the most dangerous of these faces is the security aspect followed by the social and economic aspects. In order to realize the security threat imposed by the exaggerated number of expatriates, all we need to do is look at the statistics of the crimes committed by expatriates. The social threat is in the form of strange habits and practices that negatively impact the Kuwaiti society. Concerning the economic aspect, it is quite disappointing to every citizen who visits various offices to discover they are filled with expatriates and 80 percent of these expatriates have no specific professional skills that could add value to those offices but are merely administrative employees. The existence of such high number of expatriates in different authorities is a major reason behind the increasing unemployment rate among Kuwaiti citizens. Another dangerous issue is that the number of expatriates of a particular nationality is as much as the number of citizens in the country, which can lead to serious problems if the state does not pay sufficient attention to this issue. Actually, Kuwaiti citizens play a huge part in this problem because these expatriates are sponsored by companies that are owned by Kuwaiti citizens. These companies earn a lot of money through visa trading and human trafficking. The actions of the owners of these companies destroy the image of Kuwait internationally such that the country is portrayed as one that does not follow the legal labor laws. We therefore urge Kuwait Anti Corruption Authority to launch a campaign against visa traders. Compiled by Ahmed Al-Shazli

7 LOCAL undocumented OFWs repatriated to Philippines Govt, Philippine Embassy in joint efforts By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: A total of 152 undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait were repatriated on Monday to the Philippines on board the Philippine Airlines as part of the ongoing The repatriates waiting at the airport s departure lounge. KUNA photo The two Kuwaiti pilot officers with an unidentified official after the ceremony Kuwaiti cadets graduate from UAE The UAE s Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College (KBZAC) celebrated the graduation of a new batch of cadet pilot officers, including two Kuwaitis, in the 64th pilots training course on Monday. In a statement to KUNA, Kuwait s Assistant Military Attache in the UAE Lieutenant-General Nawaf Al-Shibani congratulated Kuwaiti cadets Abdulaziz Al-Anezi, who seized the first place among GCC Other Voices mass repatriation of overstaying Filipinos under the Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program (AVRP) by the Kuwait government in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. The Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program, a mutual agreement signed between the Kuwait government and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait seeks to address the rising number of illegal expatriates in Kuwait. Of the 152, 90 were facilitated by the Philippine Embassy while the other 62 were from the Philippine Overseas Labour Office and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) shelter. We would like to thank the Ministry of Interior, the Kuwait Immigration Department for this continuing program and for helping the embassy in implementing this Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program successfully, stated Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa who was at the Kuwait International Airport to see off the repatriates. Some of the 152 repatriates under the AVRP did not have to pass through the Talha or deportation centre but were transported from the embassy shelter in Al Siddeeq area directly to the airport where they were accompanied by the embassy s Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) team led by the newly assigned Vice-Consul to Kuwait Charleson Hermosura, Philippine Welfare Officer Nestor Burayag and Kuwait Immigration officials who assisted them at the airport check-in counter. Most of the undocumented OFWs worked as Household Service Workers (HSWs) who left their employers after experiencing various forms of maltreatment such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse, non-payment of salaries, lack of food and overwork. I m very happy to go home now to my family and be with them this Christmas, quipped Manang Lydia who has not gone home since Other repatriates were relieved after their cases were cleared with the help of the Kuwait Ministry of Interior and the ATNU at the embassy. The repatriates thanked the Kuwait government and the Philippine Embassy for processing all their travel documents. We would like to thank the embassy and POLO-OWWA for taking care of us at the shelter. We are going home with nothing but the most important thing is that we will spend Christmas with our family. This is the best Christmas gift, beamed Edna, a victim of physical abuse. The 152 undocumented OFWs were accompanied on their flight home by Philippine embassy ATNU Staff Jay Gaddi. The repatriation with no detention under the AVRP continues, hence, the Philippine Embassy urged all undocumented OFWs in Kuwait to take advantage of this and go home to the Philippines. All those who want to go home may enlist at the embassy shelter in Al Siddeeq area for the processing of their travel documents and clearance and we will do all our best to help them, stated Hermosura. Currently, there are 240 wards at the POLO-WWA shelter in Al Siddeeq area while over 140 wards are at the Kuwait government s Migrant Workers Shelter in Jleeb Al Shuyoukh who are awaiting repatriation to the Philippines. participants and Dawoud Al-Kandari on their great performance in the course. He said that joining the UAE s military schools is part of the efforts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Mohammad Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Mohammad Al-Khuder to boost military training cooperation with the Gulf countries. (KUNA) Temptations meaningless Kuwait ours despite all ills By Ahmad Al-Sarraf Kuwaitis over the past three decades have not stopped comparing their status with the citizens of Dubai in particular and in a subsequent period, with Qatar and others. The Economist, the discreet British newspaper published a report on Dec 3, saying these constant comparisons and criticism have created a kind of inferiority complex among the Kuwaitis a situation that is difficult to escape from, although they enjoy the highest per capita income in the region, and the fourth highest income in the world, but it is the government that has often lacked the dynamism enjoyed by the sisterly GCC states. The business climate in Kuwait is Al-Sarraf not attractive to international investments at a time when even the most conservative countries in the region have become more attractive for investments, easier to sign projects and business deals, and more attractive to foreign companies. Although Kuwaitis seem happy with their political system which is closest to democracy compared to other political systems of the region, there are some cases where the freedom of expression has been limited, and control over a majority of the vital appointments in the ministry and other government establishments. It could be argued that the National Assembly which is made up of 50 members elected by the people, including one female MP, would have a voice in the course of upcoming events, but there are those who oppose, overtly or covertly, or even hostile to the democratic system, and believe that this system is the main reason for impeding development and lagging behind other GCC states. They also feel that the Parliament had a role to play and block the approval of a lot of huge vital projects, such as the North Oilfield and the Dow Chemical project, not to mention the mechanism and almost random grilling of ministers, particularly ministers who are known to be powerful and honest. This became a crucial reason why so many ministers have refused to wear the shoes of a minister in terms of self-esteem. The Economist and the other external sources have clearly reported that there is an influential category that tends to put the responsibility for delay on the State, and the deterioration of our development in the area of education, on our system democratic. However, this does not hold water. But the truth is that, the governments have enjoyed periods of peaceful parliamentary atmosphere, particularly over the past three years and has been acting as if there is no parliament that can hold it accountable and watch their work. However, those were three lean years, filled with lack of achievement and a repeat failure! In spite of all that, I think if the Kuwaitis have a choice and I am not talking about the dual nationality although there are many of them between continuation of living in this country with all its disadvantages, the unhappiness, the destruction of its airport, and the weakness of some of the ministers, poor traffic system and, poor services, Kuwaitis will inevitably chose to live in their homeland, without hesitation. The claim to suspend democracy is like putting that smart Bedouin boy, who was offered a thousand dinars for his mind, refused the tempting offer, saying he was afraid of losing his mind for a few thousand dinars because he would anyways lose both but the important thing is he would lose his mind. Thus we are satisfied with our situation, and likeness of our democracy, and the inability of our government, we do not want to lose our freedoms, and our situation and our incomplete democracy and the weakness of our government. We do not want to lose our freedoms, so as not to remain without development, and neither progress nor democracy or freedom. UK & GCC eye trade ties boost MANAMA, Dec 12, (KUNA): Spokesperson for the UK government in the Middle East and North Africa Edwin Samuel said on Monday that the declaration of strategic partnership between the GCC countries and Britain, which was reached in Manama recently aims to boost the economy and achieve comprehensive development in the economy, education and culture domains. Samuel said in an exclusive interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the presence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May at the GCC summit in Manama has had an important connotation and shows her country s serious desire to strengthen relations with its allies in the region. He described the GCC-British relations as historic and deep-rooted, pointing out that the two sides share many common values based on mutual respect. He stressed that the announcement of the establishment of a great partnership between the United Kingdom and the GCC is not just a slogan, but it demonstrates the serious and genuine political desire. He said that the GCC countries have their longterm strategic vision, adding that Britain has a desire to be the preferred partner to apply this vision. Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa (4th from left), with the embassy staff and repatriates. Two injured, hospitalized in Jahra collision KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Two people, whose identities have not been disclosed, have been admitted to the Jahra Hospital with different types of injuries, reports Al-Anba daily. The men were injured following a Trio arrested ing sex boosters KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The Ahmadi police have arrested two bedoun and a Kuwaiti for trafficking in sex stimulants and a kind of a chemical drug, reports Al-Anba daily. The arrest came during routine patrolling along the coastal area of Fahaheel. When the police suspected the man behind the wheel, he asked him to pull over and seized from the three men the contraband. All the suspects are believed to be in their late 20s. They have been referred to the concerned authorities. Meanwhile, personnel from the Farwaniya Security Department have arrested a Kuwaiti for failing to pay KD 50,500 debt, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily added, the suspect was arrested at a check point in Riqqa. He has been handed over to the concerned authorities for legal action. Meanwhile, a Syrian who had failed to pay KD 2,731 debt and had been sentenced in absentia has been handed over to the Sentences Enforcement Department. dual car collision which occurred near the hospital. The daily added, upon impact one of the cars ran out of control and crashed into a lamppost on the side of the road. As soon as the Operations Room of the Interior Ministry received the information, traffic police rushed to the spot and organized the traffic movement. The victims were taken to the hospital by paramedics.

8 LOCAL 8 MoI restricts employees Bid to safeguard confidentiality of work Khalid Al-Jarrah Sulaiman Al-Fahad KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Based on directives from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, the Undersecretary Lieutenant General Sulaiman Fahad Al-Fahad, issued a decision against publishing certain information to protect the confidentiality of work. The decision is in line with provisions of law number 23/1968 concerning regulations of the Police Force, its amendments and Decree Number 15/1979, in addition to circulars issued regarding the ban on unauthorized publishing and protection of the ministry s work. For this reason, the ministry prohibits members of the Police Force, military personnel and civilians from doing the following: 1. Writing, issuing statements or publishing opinions, researches, articles, media interviews and social media publications without securing authorization. 2. Reporting or broadcasting information related to criminal arrests on social media without security authorization from the General Department of Public Relations and Media Security. 3. Providing the media with photos, documents and statements about cases or activities being carried out through channels other than the concerned authority (General Department of Public Relations and Media Security). 4. Inviting correspondences from media outfits to accompany them in the course of confidential security duties. General Department of Public Relations and Media Security will follow up the implementation of contents of the circular and provide written reports for necessary action whenever there is a violation in that regard. Asian selling driving permits names officer as his partner Duo held with bottles of liquor Boy fishing during sunset. (Ahmed Suroor KUNA) Other Voices World beware leader Birth of a new Sparta News in Brief Woman threatened: Police are looking for an unidentified person for threatening to kill a Kuwaiti woman for unidentified reasons when he was in a chalet south of the country, reports Al-Rai daily. When the woman called the Operations Room of the Ministry of Interior, police rushed to the spot but did not find the gunman. The woman has provided police the description of the suspect and his car. Professor guilty : The inquiry commission which was formed by the Kuwait University to look into the forgery of an unidentified professor has found the man guilty, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to reliable sources the academician presented papers to the KU that he had been assigned a job in a global organization, but when the university contacted the organization it was discovered there was no such assignment. The professor has been referred to the Public Prosecution. Officer penalized: The Interior Ministry has court martialed a Sergeant Major for leakage of security news to the media without permission, reports Al-Shahed daily. According to reliable sources the Ministry has taken a serious view of the By Marwan Salamah Kuwaiti Consultant The past few decades saw the birth of a new entity in in the world. Its name has not yet been revealed, but rumor has it to be New Sparta. The original Sparta was a smallish ancient Greek city state that was renowned for its military prowess, aggressiveness and viciousness. And, despite its relatively small population, it was able, with its military might, to conquer much larger neighbors, and either enslave them, or collect tribute from them. Spartans did not produce their food, clothing and household items, etc., but outsourced them to slaves (helots) or non-spartans. Instead, they concentrated on exercise, military training, and the development of sophisticated weapons and techniques the most famous being, the Spartan Phalanx. Sparta s outlook was hegemonic, and its strategy was to expand by conquering others and usurping their wealth. It repeatedly tried to enforce its hegemony over the many Greek city states, and sometimes won and sometimes lost. It made alliances, and broke them once it achieved its goals, or no longer needed them. Spartans general education was mediocre and very basic, and they paid little attention to quality arts and sciences. But their women enjoyed greater freedoms than other women in the ancient world, and had many more rights. The system of government was oligarchical in nature, run by two equal kings with limited authority, plus a senate-like council of elders. They all came from the rich elite families. At its peak, Sparta was the leader of the Greek alliance that vanquished the Persian attempt to conquer Greece and thence Europe. However, it soon turned on its allies, and many battles ensued, ending with the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C., which marked the first major battle defeat for Sparta in history. Thereafter, it was a long downhill path, ending with Roman conquest. Does the tale of Sparta remind us of someone at present? Someone who is excessively wealthy and powerful, has hegemonic designs on the world, is highly militarized and owns powerful weapons, makes and breaks alliances at will, outsources its basic needs to weaker and poorer people, has a different way of life and set of rules, that it prides itself on, and derides all those who don t adhere to them. No, it is not Israel, but a behemoth that is far bigger, heavier and scarier. New Sparta has just got itself a new leader, who, as all great leaders in history, sees himself as a super-hero that leads his nation to prosperity and safety. However, as all great Greek heroes, he seems to be carrying the standard classical hero baggage of Avarice, Gluttony, Hubris, Wrath, etc., all of which are a great booster for a leader, and provide him the initial acceleration to wherever he wants to go. However, as all Greek heroes, the weight of this baggage may eventually increase, leading to sad and tragic failings. Nevertheless, New Sparta s new leader is now gung-ho, and is excitedly drawing out his vision for the future. His first step was to maintain New Sparta s supremacy and power, as clearly indicated by his appointment of old seasoned warriors to his privy council. No doubt, military generals make the best privy counselors. They are loyal, dedicated, organized and natural leaders. However, they are also, aggressive by nature, belligerent by training, and are never cost conscious. The first sentence of the writing-on-the-wall seems to be crystal clear, more will definitely follow So, World beware! offence and according to a statement issued the Undersecretary of Interior Ministry Lieutenant Suleiman Al-Fahd, those who violate the instructions will be dealt with seriously. Fight at airport: Airport security operatives intervened in a quarrel that broke out between a retired Kuwaiti taxi owner and a policeman after the former had verbally abused the latter. He was referred to Jleeb Shuyoukh police station for necessary legal action. Stealing power cables: News regarding unknown persons stealing power cables from houses in Jleeb Shuyoukh went viral on social media, reports Al-Seyassah daily. A Kuwaiti citizen recorded the whole event, as he watched the suspects going from house to house to steal copper cables. Club seals stolen: Personnel from the Ahmadi Investigation Department are looking for unknown persons for stealing three seals from the Al-Sahel Sports Club, reports Al-Shahed daily. The director of the club has filed a complaint with the Abu Halifa Police Station. Personnel from Criminal Evidences Department have been summoned to lift the fingerprints. Farmers union proceedings cancelled Court annuls contract between investor, company By Mishal Al-Sanousi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Security operatives from Farwaniya Command apprehended two Asian expatriates in possession of 23 bottles of local brew. Apparently, patrolmen on a round of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area came across the suspects carrying black plastic bags. The suspects are said to have tried to run away on foot at the sight of the officers but they were chased and arrested in possession of the aforementioned items. They were referred to concerned authorities. Meanwhile, a drunken Indian expatriate was arrested by the officers. He was taken to the relevant authority. ing licenses: Security personnel have arrested a Bangladeshi for possessing learning licenses, car registration renewal documents and driving licences, and copies of passports, reports Al-Shahed daily. The suspect was arrested in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. The daily added, the suspect attempted to escape but he was caught and handed over to the authorities. During interrogation, he admitted to receiving KD 250 for completion of transactions pertaining to the driving license. He also gave the name of a police officer who was hand in gloves with him. Allegation refuted: An official source has refuted the allegation which have been spread by means of social media that Captain Rashid Al-Ajmi has acquired his Kuwaiti nationality by forging documents, reports Al-Shahed daily. The daily added, Al-Ajmi is a Kuwaiti and continues to work in his position at the Saad Al- Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences. The daily quoting security sources said those who spread false rumors in the social media, will be dealt with severely. The sources indicated these rumors will not only harm the reputation of Captain Al-Ajmi but will also offend his family. Car stolen: An unknown person stole a vehicle belonging to a Kuwaiti citizen while it was parked in front of his house in Ishbiliya area. The citizen narrated he was surprised when he came out of his house in the morning and found the vehicle missing. He then notified the Operations Room of the Interior Ministry about the incident before visiting the area police station to file a formal complaint. He provided details of the missing vehicle for circulation to security checkpoints. A case was registered. Meanwhile, an Indian expatriate lodged a complaint with officers at the Farwaniya police station against unknown person(s) that broke the glass of his vehicle. Criminal Evidences Men have since lifted fingerprint to trace the suspect(s). Absconders caught: Personnel from Private Tasks Department affiliated to General Security Directorate have arrested five Ethiopian domestic workers who were reported absconding by their employers, reports Al-Rai daily. The five women were arrested near to Adan Cooperative Society. According to reports the women had abandoned their sponsors in search of better jobs. They have been referred to the By Jaber Al-Hamoud Al-Seyassah Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The Commercial Section in the First Instance Court has instructed a Kuwaiti investor to cancel the investment contract between him and a commercial company. It also ordered the investor to vacate the property and hand it over to the company, obliging him as well to pay outstanding rent for the premises and the rent due until evacuation. Details of the case filed by Attorney Khawla Mubarak Al-Hassawi on behalf of the company revealed that the contract signed between the company and the accused states the latter will rent a space in the basement of a building in Dajeej on monthly rent payable at the beginning of each month but the accused breached the terms of the contract as he did not pay the rent as of the date of filing the lawsuit. After looking into the arguments and pieces of evidence presented by both parties, the court ruled in favor of the company. Proceedings cancelled: Civil Circuit at the Court of Cassation cancelled the entire course of invitation to the general assembly of Kuwait Farmers Association held Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior receiving well-wishers. We ll do our best to serve Kuwait, citizens Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al- Sabah chaired a meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Engineer Khaled Al-Jarrah Al- Sabah inside Nawaf Al-Ahmed building at the premises of Interior Ministry in Sabhan. The meeting conducted in the presence of Chief of Staff of the Kuwait Army Lieutenant General Muhammad Khaled Al-Khedr and the Undersecretary of Interior Lieutenant General Sulaiman Fahd Al-Fahd was in honor of Sheikh Muhammad and Sheikh Khaled. Other senior commanders of security and military authorities at the Interior and Defense ministries were present. In an address, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah expressed gratitude to HH the Amir for trust restored in them, and wished the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Engineer Police Station of the area. Kuwaiti robbed: A Kuwaiti born in 1984 and identified only as B.A., has filed a complaint with the Jabriya Police Station accusing an unidentified person of stealing KD 240, driving license, civil ID and bank credit card while he was at the Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital, reports Al-Anba daily. He said the theft occurred when he was admitted in Ward No 21 awaiting surgery. Police have requested to check the CCTV of the hospital to identify the thief. Woman assaulted: A Kuwaiti woman born in 1989 has filed a complaint with the Sabah Al- Salem Police Station accusing her brother of assaulting her and causing fracture in the finger, reports Al-Anba daily. The complainant has submitted on May 2, 2013 and its ensuing effects. The court cancelled certificate issued by the Undersecretary of Social Affairs and Labor dated July 15, 2013, and annulled the invitation for nominees attending the general assembly of the union held on Sept 4, 2013 and the outcome of entire proceedings. It also revoked all procedures and decisions taken at the general meetings of the Farmers Union since May 2, 2013 until date. Lawyer Zaid Al-Khabaz, counselor of the former Board Chairman of the Farmers Union stressed the court s decision came MoI photo Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al- Sabah the best in his endeavor. He also commended the level of collaboration between Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Engineer Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah also promised to do his best to serve citizens and Kuwait, while Undersecretary of Interior Lieutenant General Sulaiman Fahd Al-Fahd congratulated Sheikh Muhammad and Sheikh Khaled. a medical report which shows the woman will require 21 days to fully recover. Police will summon the brother for interrogation. Maid steals cash: A Kuwaiti has filed a complaint with the Saad Al- Abdullah Police Station accusing his Sri Lankan maid of stealing KD 60,000 and several other items from the bedroom safe with the help of her boyfriend, reports Al- Rai daily. The police are looking for the suspects. Meanwhile, personnel from the Farwaniya Security Directorate have arrested a 30-year-old Kuwaiti who had been sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison for committing thefts, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily added, the suspect was arrested on the Fifth Ring Road. He was initially ordered to pull over for violating traffic law. in his favor as he had referred many petitions to the Director of Public Authority for Manpower against issuance of certificates of (To whom It May Concern) in violation of certificate dated Oct 3, Meanwhile, The Criminal Court has acquitted a defendant whose identity has not been disclosed, citing lack of evidence, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily added, the suspect was arrested by the land border police and charged with possessing and smuggling 16 drug pills. The suspect has been referred to the Public Prosecution.

9 LOCAL/GULF 9 Rights groups blast sentence against Bahrain Shiite activist Bahrain upholds jail sentence for opposition chief DUBAI, Dec 12, (AFP): Bahrain s appeals court on Monday upheld a nineyear jail sentence against opposition chief Sheikh Ali Salman, a judicial source said, the latest move in a crackdown on the Shiite majority. The sentence against Salman, for inciting hatred and calling for regime change by force, had been overturned by the court of cassation in October. Salman, 51, is considered a moderate who has pushed for a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain, unlike hardline groups who have demanded the toppling of the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty. His arrest in December 2014, in connection with speeches he had given, sparked protests in Shiite-majority Bahrain. Human Rights Watch said he was arrested and charged despite the fact Salman renounced violence and called for peaceful protest in his speeches. The charismatic Shiite cleric was sentenced in July 2015 to four years in jail after being convicted of inciting hatred in the Gulf kingdom. But the appeals court in May more than doubled his jail term to nine years after reversing an earlier acquittal on charges of calling for regime change by force. The court of cassation overturned that sentence on Oct 17 and ordered a retrial before the appeals court. It also rejected a request to release the cleric. In July, a court ordered the dissolution of Salman s Al-Wefaq movement for harbouring terrorism, inciting violence and encouraging demonstrations which threatened to spark sectarian strife. The decision drew strong criticism from UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Bahrain s allies in Washington and London, and Shiite-dominated Iran. Al-Wefaq had the largest bloc in parliament before lawmakers walked out in February 2011 in protest over a deadly crackdown on Arab Springinspired protests. Bahrain has harshly cracked down over the past five years on dissent by the Shiite majority, which they accuse of being manipulated by Iran. The number of arrests and trials have spiralled. The kingdom stripped 31 Shiite activists of their nationality in October 2012 for breaching state security, and Human Rights Watch says most of them have been left stateless. Meanwhile, human rights groups are sharply criticizing a Bahraini appeal court s ruling upholding a nineyear prison sentence against the country s leading Shiite opposition figure. Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy were among the groups condemning Monday s verdict against Sheikh Ali Salman. He is secretary-general of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain s largest Shiite political group. Amnesty s Mideast Deputy Director of Campaigns Samah Hadid says the ruling shows Bahrain s flagrant disregard for the right to freedom of expression. Qatar abolishes Kafala system... new reforms to improve expat worker rights Greater flexibility, freedom and protection to workers guaranteed Kuwait Science Club members before leaving for Muscat. KSC team attends 4th Asian Scientific Forum Stevens at EY as VAT Implementation Leader GCC VAT expected to produce over $25b revenues per annual DUBAI, Dec 12: The adoption of value added tax (VAT) by the GCC countries represents a major shift in tax policy that will impact all segments of the economy and lead to a fundamental change in the way businesses operate across around the region. According to EY, the VAT of 5 percent is expected to produce revenues of over $25 billion per annum for the six GCC countries. This will allow them to amend the tax policy and other fees and charges and increase infrastructure investments. EY has appointed David Stevens as VAT Implementation Leader to help clients with the adoption of VAT. David s extensive global experience in VAT combined with his substantial experience in both the private and public sectors will help businesses ensure that their business operations and systems are fully prepared ahead of the Jan 1, 2018 as a target date to go-live. Sherif El-Kilany, MENA Tax Leader, EY, comments: The expected VAT laws are not business as usual and may require several months for companies to successfully integrate a VAT functionality into their systems. It is a unique and transformative time for the region and we are keen to ensure that clients have access to the tools to derive VAT best practices tailored to their needs. Furthermore, we are delighted to welcome David as our new VAT Implementation Leader. David brings with him a wealth of international experience and knowledge of VAT implementation in complex environments. David Stevens, VAT Implementation Leader, EY, says: While the introduction of a tax may seem daunting to consumers and businesses alike, the overall impact for consumers is less than the usual annual inflation rate. As businesses prepare to implement VAT across numerous sectors, they will need to invest in analyzing, redesigning, developing and implementing updated systems, processes, contracts and business arrangements to match the requirements of the new tax system. I am very excited to be working with EY, as a leading tax practice in News in Brief Saudi Dy CP meets British FM: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, received at his office in Riyadh on Sunday British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. They reviewed bilateral relations and ways of developing them in various fields, including the security, military, and economic one, in addition to the latest developments in the Middle East, Saudi Pres Agency (SPA) reported. The talks, which gathered a number of senior officials from both countries, also dealt with the efforts to achieve security and stability in the region. Earlier, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received Johnson who held talks and a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir later on. (KUNA) Saudi police detain woman: Saudi police detained a young woman for violating modesty rules after she removed her abaya, the A delegation of Kuwait Science Club (KSC) has left for Muscat, Oman to represent Kuwait in the Fourth Asian Scientific Forum being held there from Dec The participants are youths of the age group 9-25 years. Kuwait Science Club will present three scientific inventions at the forum including Quick Prying by Ahmad Anwar Rashed from the Chemistry Department, Mechanical Hand by Jarrah Yaqoub Al- Bakr from Robotic Department and Sweet Maker by Yousef Ismail Bujaber from the Fillings Department. The delegation is headed by Essa Abdul-Rahman Al-Nasrallah. Assistant Secretary General at the club Ali Kazim Al-Jumah stressed the significance in participating in such an auspicious competition among young researchers from Asia and other parts of the world for presenting scientific projects and creativities. He said the young ones will use this opportunity to exchange experiences, acquire skills and familiarize with the latest scientific innovations. David Stevens the region, during this time of economic progress. All GCC countries are working towards VAT implementation by Jan 1, 2018 to avoid transaction and sales issues that could arise from intra-gcc trade. Businesses that are not ready by the VAT go-live date may suffer fiscal consequences from the inability to pass on the underlying VAT to the end customer. All GCC countries are expected to have implemented VAT by the end of The priority for companies at the moment should be to secure the right accounting and IT talent that have previous VAT experience. As this is a new scheme, there is a limited pool of expertise that all GCC businesses are recruiting from. Additionally, the GCC ministries are building their tax administration systems almost from scratch and will require expansive teams to first develop the processes, and then monitor compliance after Jan 1, 2018, says David. Prior to joining EY, David advised on indirect tax regimes in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the GCC. He has previously advised governments and businesses across the Middle East on national economic and fiscal reforms, investment strategies and policy changes. loose-fitting, full-length robes women are required to wear, on a main street in the capital Riyadh, local media reported on Monday. The conservative Muslim country enforces a strict dress code for women in public, bans them from driving and prohibits the mixing of sexes. The Arabic-language al-sharq newspaper reported that the woman was detained after a complaint was filed by the religious police. Police officers have detained a girl who had removed her abaya on al- Tahliya street, implementing a challenge she announced on social media several days ago, the newspaper quoted Colonel Fawaz al-maiman, a Riyadh police spokesman, as saying. The news website said the unnamed woman had posted on Twitter that she would go out in public without her abaya. Both and another news website, alweeam., carried a picture of the woman wearing a black jacket over an ankle-length orange and pink dress. concealed the exposed parts of her body. (RTRS) DOHA, Dec 12, (Agencies): Today, Law No. 21 of 2015 comes into effect and introduces new provisions regulating the entry, exit and residency requirements for all workers in Qatar. The new measures come one year after Amir of Qatar, Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, signed the reforms into law. The law abolishes the Kafala system and guarantees greater flexibility, freedom and protection to Qatar s more than 2.1 million salaried workforce. Discussing the announcement at a press conference today, the Minister of Administrative Development Labour & Social Affairs Dr. Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi said: The State of Qatar is enormously grateful to the millions of workers who have come to Qatar to build our nation s infrastructure during this period of rapid change. The new law is the latest step towards improving and protecting the rights of every expatriate worker in Qatar. It replaces the Kafala system with a modernised, contract-based system that safeguards worker rights and increases job flexibility. We welcome any comment or constructive criticism, and will continue to do so in the future. However, we urge the international community not to draw any definitive conclusions until there has been time to see the new law in action. At its core, we are doing this because we believe it is the right thing to do and because it provides tangible new benefits to expatriate workers. This is why we will work diligently to ensure it is properly implemented, including increasing our monitoring capabilities and hiring more compliance inspectors to tighten the net on companies who violate the law. On the subject of enforcing the law, Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Atiq, Director General of the Department of Passport and Expatriates Affairs in the Ministry of Interior said: Enforcing Law No. 21 of 2015 is a government priority. Its success will be measured by how it is implemented in the weeks, months and years ahead. Under the new rules: Freedom of movement is explicitly guaranteed. Expats have the right to leave the country after notifying the employer, whether to take leave or for an emergency. Expats also have the right to permanently leave the country before or after completing the duration of their contract, after notifying the employer according to the terms of the contract. If the employer rejects a leave request, the migrant worker can appeal to the Exit Permit Grievances Committee, which has to respond to all requests within 3 days. The applicant will be able to leave the country unless he is wanted in connection to any active criminal proceedings, or has defaulted on any debt in Qatar that remains unsettled. Expats will no longer need approval from their existing employer to change jobs if they complete the length of a fixed-term contract. Individuals in open-ended contracts will also be able to change jobs without their existing employer s permission, provided that they complete a fiveyear service period. All prospective migrant workers will be able to see a copy of their job contract, prior to leaving their country of origin, as obtaining a work visa will now require the existence of a job contract approved by the Ministry. Employers found to have confiscated passports can be fined up to QR 25,000 per worker. When enacted, this will be the toughest financial penalty against passport confiscation within the region. Qatar touted the reforms as abolishing the Kafala system altogether. Rights groups say the changes fall far short of what is needed to protect the armies of mostly Asian low-wage workers transforming the tiny country. A statement released by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs said the changes are intended to ensure greater flexibility, freedom and protection to the more than 2.1 million workers in Qatar. The minister responsible for labor, Issa bin Saad al-jafali al-nuaimi, said Migrant workers sit at a restaurant in the Qatari capital Doha on Dec 6. Ever since being chosen as the 2022 World Cup host, Qatar s labour laws have been internationally condemned and Kafala has been at the heart of that criticism. (AFP) Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed al-nahyan (center left), UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, poses with guests during the international summit of women parliamentary speakers on Dec 12 in Abu Dhabi. (AFP) Biggest HSE event in GCC to be held Feb 15, 16 Global experts to participate in Second Kuwait Int l HSE Conference, Exhibition KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The second annual edition of the Kuwait International Health Safety and Environment Conference and Exhibition (2nd KIHSE-2017) is drawing an increased interest from local and international public and private sectors, and consolidating its position as the leading HSE event in the Arab Gulf region. The event, which is an initiative by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries, will take place from Feb 15-16, 2017 in the Regency Hotel and Conference Centre in Kuwait City. It will be held under the main theme, Meeting The Challenges Ahead. According to KPC, The 2nd KIHSE-2017 will be an official platform for exchanging ideas, developing new business and consolidating strategies, standards and policies for the future. It will be building on the success of the inaugural edition of the conference (KIHSE-2015) which was held in February 2015 and hosted more than 700 delegates from over 180 regional and international companies across 27 countries. The 2nd KIHSE-2017 has equally attracted a huge interest from the oil industry in Kuwait and the GCC region, as well as other business sectors. It has become a major drive for HSE awareness across all economic and social activities in the country, creating a culture of commitment to a healthy, safe and environment friendly society. On the other hand, the conference and exhibition is attracting a growing number of specialized companies and innovative businesses because of the opportunities it presents within the lucrative market of Kuwait, one of the biggest oil producers in the world. Strong participation: With real value, insight into the key areas and excellent business opportunities, 700 delegates and dozens of speakers from all over the world are expected to join the conference, along with a large number of exhibitors and sponsors. Hundreds of local, regional and international companies, government agencies and organizations, including major international oil companies (IOCs) will be represented. A large number of internationally renowned experts will gather to give their insight and support Kuwait s efforts to develop its resources. Leading the confirmed conference speakers are: H.E. Anas Al Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Kuwait Nizar M. Al-Adsani, Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation Mohammad Husain, President and CEO, EQUATE John Raine, Vice-President, QHSSE, Weatherford, Houston, USA Mohammad Ghazi Al Mutairi, Chief Executive Officer, KNPC, Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah, CEO, KUFPEC, Kuwait Brent Pasula, Senior Vice President, HSSE, Petrofac, Dubai, UAE Sergey Peresypkin, Director HSE, Baker Hughes, Dubai, UAE Eamonn Naughton, Group Head of Operational Risk, Process Safety Engineering & HSE, BP UK Justin Hughes, Managing Director, Mission Excellence, UK Steven Flynn, HSE Expert and Former Head of Group Safety & Operational Risk, BP, UK. Along with a long list of prominent experts in the oil and gas and HSE sectors. Solid programme and topics The conference programme includes three plenary sessions on the first day. On the second day, the conference will include three themed tracks for Health, Safety and Environment. The main objective is to provide an in depth coverage of the key topics related to the strategic and technical development of a sustainable HSE culture. The plenary sessions will focus on the HSE management practices and strategies in general and will provide a platform to discuss strategic topics like: HSE and Sustainability; Toward a cleaner and safer industry; Investing in HSE. The three other tracks will provide a set of sessions with highly strategic topics presented by major international experts in the HSE field. The sessions in the Safety track will cover: Compromised for cost optimization a practice to avoid; Ensuring an effective fire safety strategy; Fundamentals that define safety. Sessions in the Health track will discuss a number of occupational health and public health themes like: Investment in health for long-term sustainability; Increasing profitability through enhanced employee well being; Preparing for the worst, planning for the best. The Environment track will focus on the latest and most modern measures and practices used to promote awareness toward ecological issues like: COP21 and its impact on the oil and gas industry; Looking after our coasts; Managing water and waste water resources. Participants are expected to include, in addition to KPC and its subsidiaries, a large number of international and regional oil and gas companies, regional national oil companies, HSE consultants and suppliers; oil and gas service providers, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Additionally, the 2nd KIHSE conference, will be conducting several activities that aim to inform and educate students and younger members of the audience about the advantages of having proactive and forward-leaning HSE policies and effective management systems, according to KPC sources. An adjacent specialized exhibition will showcase the latest in HSE technologies and services. This exhibition will boast national, regional and international companies, providing them with the opportunity to present their latest products and services. The 2nd KIHSE-2017 is an initiative by KPC, and is organised in collaboration with Global Events Partners Ltd (GEP), a major UK-based event management company affiliated to the dmg::events network. Qatar welcomes constructive criticism and he urged outsiders to give the law time to take root before drawing any conclusions. He said the ministry is boosting its monitoring efforts and hiring more labor inspectors to enforce compliance. We are doing this because we believe it is the right thing to do and because it provides tangible new benefits to expatriate workers, al-nuaimi said. Although the statement suggested the policies take effect Monday, the government subsequently confirmed they would only become law on Tuesday a year after the ruling hereditary emir signed off on the change. Under the new law, workers will generally be free to leave Qatar so long as they inform their employer first. Employees whose bosses refuse can appeal to a government committee that must address requests within three days.

10 INTERNATIONAL 10 World News Roundup SAT College Board struggles New vision for SAT faces harsh realities NEW YORK, Dec 12, (RTRS): Shortly after taking over the College Board in 2012, new CEO David Coleman circulated an internal memo laying out what he called a beautiful vision. It was his 7,800-word plan for transforming the organization s signature product, the SAT college entrance exam. The path Coleman laid out was detailed, bold and idealistic a reflection of his personality, say those who know him. Literary passages for the new SAT should be memorable and often beautiful, he wrote, and students should be able to take the test by computer. Finishing Coleman the redesign quickly was essential. If the overhaul were ready by March 2015, he wrote in a later to senior employees, then the New York-based College Board could win new business and counter the most popular college entrance exam in America, the ACT. Perhaps the biggest change was the new test s focus on the Common Core, the controversial set of learning standards that Coleman himself helped create. The new SAT, he wrote, would show a striking alignment to the standards, which set expectations for what American students from kindergarten through high school should learn to prepare for college or a career. The standards have been fully adopted by 42 states and the District of Columbia and are changing how and what millions of children are taught. Redesigning the SAT to reflect the Common Core has solidified Coleman s influence as one of the most powerful figures in education. He has emerged as the arbiter of what America s children should know and be able to do, Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education for President George H.W. Bush, wrote in her blog. But Coleman s beautiful vision for remaking the exam soon met some harsh realities. Internal documents reviewed by Reuters show pitched battles over his timeline to create the new test and whether the push to meet the deadline could backfire. s The documents, which include memos, s and presentations, reveal persistent concerns that aligning the redesigned SAT with the Common Core would disadvantage students in states that rejected the standards or were slow to absorb them. The materials also indicate that Coleman s own decisions delayed the organization s effort to offer a digital version of the exam. Today, less than a year after the new SAT debuted, the College Board continues to struggle with the consequences of Coleman s crash course to remake the SAT and its companion, the PSAT, a junior version of the exam. It was a bad year, and I m sorry, Coleman said in September, at a conference of university admissions officers and high school counselors. It is no good to have vision if you don t deliver. As Reuters reported in March, the College Board has struggled to stop cheating rings in Asia that exploit security weaknesses in the SAT and enable some students to gain unfair advantages on the exam. A massive security breach earlier this year exposed about 400 questions for upcoming SATs. And College Board officials went forward with the redesigned test even though they knew it was overloaded with wordy math questions, a problem that handicaps non-native English speakers and reinforces race and income disparities that Coleman has vowed to diminish. Coleman has subsequently pledged to streamline the SAT s wordiest math questions and cut back on the reuse of tests, a practice that fuels cheating. The recent US presidential election, however, could make the coming years even more challenging. President-elect Donald Trump has called the Common Core a total disaster, saying education must be controlled locally. He has promised to dismantle the Common Core and has selected an opponent of the standards, Betsy DeVos, to serve as secretary of education. Such highlevel opposition could determine whether the course charted by Coleman helps or hurts the College Board. Several states already have backed away from the Common Core. And Ravitch, the former education official, worries that investing so much public trust in Coleman s vision for learning and testing is risky. All of these things were wrapped around the Common Core. That s all unraveling, Ravitch said in an interview. If the SAT becomes woefully out of line with what s happening in schools, then it s less valuable. Coleman, 47, declined requests to discuss his tenure. Asked what the Trump era and the selection of DeVos portend for the SAT and the College Board, Coleman sent Reuters a written statement: Betsy DeVos is a remarkable citizen leader. She believes fiercely in our founding principles of liberty and equality of opportunity. We can t wait to see what she does next as Secretary of Education. Coleman appears to have the support of his organization s Board of Trustees. Although none agreed to be interviewed for this article, the College Board released a short statement from Doug Christiansen, the chairman, lauding the CEO. David Coleman and his team are leading the College Board through a time of remarkable, positive change in serving students and educators, said Christiansen, who is also the dean of admissions at Vanderbilt University. Agenda Coleman s agenda is spelled out in his internal plan to redesign the SAT and illuminated in thousands of pages of other internal documents that Reuters examined. Those documents, and interviews with people who know Coleman, provide a detailed look at his efforts to remake the College Board, an organization that has a profound impact on the lives of millions of students, parents and educators. Since taking charge, Coleman has sought to improve access to higher education by using the vast resources of the not-forprofit College Board, which had about $77 million in annual profit and $834 million in net assets in The College Board offers test-fee waivers to poor students as well as free test-preparation services through a partnership with Khan Academy, a not-forprofit educational organization. The redesign of the SAT, however, was Coleman s most ambitious endeavor. The SAT and rival ACT are among the higheststakes tests in American education, yardsticks used by colleges to choose among some 2 million applicants each year. To Coleman, the SAT needed to be more than a tool for universities to do a good job of sorting people out, said Jeff Dolven, a friend and college classmate who s now a professor of poetry at Princeton University. I think that Dave wants, in a sense, to change the world, Dolven said. He sees the SAT as a means to change the fortunes of students who deserve an education. Coleman seemed aware of the challenges he faced. In 2012, the year he became College Board president, the ACT had just overtaken the SAT as the most popular college entrance exam in America. His problem wasn t just a matter of students preferring the ACT over the SAT. Some universities were turning against standardized testing itself. A growing number have made the tests optional for applicants. One was Bennington College in Vermont, a liberal arts school that concluded test scores were an overrated indicator of future academic performance. Bennington chose to go test optional in 2006 a decision made by Coleman s own mother, Elizabeth, who served 25 years as the college s president. Probably it s a good idea not to talk about this stuff, Elizabeth Coleman said when contacted by Reuters. I m his mother. One of the wise things for a mother to do is to stay out of it. A Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Yale, Oxford and Cambridge universities, David Coleman worked as a McKinsey & Co consultant. He went on to found an education technology company, which McGraw-Hill Education later acquired for millions of dollars, and started a nonprofit that developed the Common Core. Coleman had established himself as one of the most dynamic voices in education. Former US president Bill Clinton delivers the eulogy at a public memorial service honoring former attorney general Janet Reno, on Dec 11, in Miami. Reno died Nov 7 at age 78 from complications from Parkinson s disease. (AP) America Trump targets jet costs: US President-elect Donald Trump took aim at another major defense contractor on Monday, saying the cost of Lockheed Martin s F-35 fighter jet program was too high. The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after Jan 20, Trump said on Twitter. The aerospace giant s shares dropped 2.6 percent in premarket trade after Trump s tweet. A week before Trump won the Nov 8 presidential election, the US Defense Department and Lockheed Martin concluded negotiations on their ninth contract for F-35 fighter jets after 14 months of negotiations on the deal of more than $6.1 billion, the Pentagon said. Trump campaigned on a promise to cut waste in federal government. Last week, he also used Twitter to target Boeing Co for its out of control costs on a new fleet of Air Force One planes, urging the federal government to Cancel order! (RTRS) Suspect held over attack: A man has been arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime after police say he stabbed a worshipper near a Simi Valley mosque. Police said reports of people fighting sent them to a shopping center parking lot near the mosque around 11:15 pm Saturday. Officers separated the combatants and found that one person had been stabbed. The fight began after a man confronted a worshipper and got into a verbal dispute, police said. John Matteson, 29, was arrested nearby, police said. The victim had non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital in stable condition, police said. (AP) 2 police officers shot: Two central Georgia police officers were shot and wounded early Monday while serving a search warrant in Crawford County, an investigator said. Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said a multi-jurisdiction drug task force went around 2:30 am Monday to a home on state Highway 42. Byron officers knocked on the door and announced themselves, but no one answered. They knocked on the back door and announced their presence and that they were performing a search warrant, Ricketson said. No one responded so they gained entry by going through the back door. The White House South Portico is adorned with Christmas lights on Dec 11 in Washington. (AP) Politics Election hacking reports questioned Trump quizzes one China policy WASHINGTON, Dec 12, (Agencies): President-elect Donald Trump questioned in an interview broadcast Sunday whether the United States should continue its one China policy unless Beijing makes concessions on trade and other issues, threatening to upend decades of Sino-American diplomacy. I don t want China dictating to me, Trump said as he made a vehement defense of his recent phone conversation with the president of Taiwan. I don t know why we have to be bound by a one China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade, he added in the interview with Fox News Sunday. He was responding to a question about taking a call earlier this month from Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of Taiwan, a self-ruling island that Beijing considers a rogue province awaiting unification. It was a break from decades of US diplomatic tradition that recognizes Beijing as the sole representative of China, an understanding that has been a cornerstone of the relationship between the countries since Richard Nixon went to China in Trump also repeated earlier accusations that China is manipulating its currency, saying we re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation. He piled on the criticism in other hot-button areas: With taxing us at the borders when we don t tax them with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea which they shouldn t be doing. Patron Concerning nuclear weapons, Trump argued that China as North Korea s main patron could solve that problem. Frankly, they re not helping us at all with North Korea, he said. Trump said it would have been disrespectful not to take the call from Tsai, who he said wanted to congratulate him on his election win. The real estate magnate said he had just a couple hours notice that the call from Taiwan was coming, not weeks or longer as has been reported. It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can t take a call? Trump asked. Official reaction from Beijing has been muted so far, but state-controlled media have savaged the president-elect. Provoking friction and messing up China-US relations won t help make America great again, read a front-page opinion piece last week in the overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People s Daily. But Trump has also made moves to assuage Chinese ire by tapping Iowa Governor Terry Branstad who has links to Chinese President Xi Jinping dating back to the mid-1980s as ambassador to Beijing. Xi visited Branstad s state in 1985 as the leader of an agricultural research delegation, and the two men have stayed in touch as Xi ascended to the Chinese presidency. Branstad has overseen the growth of Iowa s farm exports to China, notably soybeans, soar into the billions. China called the governor an old friend after hearing reports of the nomination. Branstad will likely have to walk a fine line in his new role, experts said. It is difficult to imagine the United States not taking some sort of trade action against China in 2017, on currency or subsidies or cyber-theft of intellectual property, said Derek Scissors, a scholar at the Ameri- As the officers were entering inside the residence an occupant inside the residence fired at least one round. It may be more, he said. The officers returned fire, and the suspect was killed, he said. These officers returned fire after they were fired upon. I don t know how many rounds they fired. We will be determining that, he said. One subject was struck and he is actually deceased. Trump Smarr can Enterprise Institute and an expert on US-China relations. Even if such action is limited, Branstad would then need to smooth ruffled feathers, where his relationship with Xi should help, Scissors told AFP. Meanwhile, China s top diplomat, who recently met a senior adviser to US President-elect Donald Trump, is a high-flying former Chinese ambassador to Washington with a deep understanding of US politics, a country he has clashed with, too. State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks China s foreign minister, met Trump advisers, including his pick for national security adviser, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, during a transit in New York on his way to Latin America in recent days, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday. The spokesman gave few other details, other than that they exchanged views on China-US ties and other important issues. It s not clear exactly when the meeting happened, but Yang was scheduled to be in Mexico on Sunday and Monday. It s also not clear if Yang has been appointed a sort of special representative on China to deal with Trump. While Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by telephone shortly after Trump s election win, China had been coy about what contacts it has had with the Trump camp, saying only there has been communication. The Yang meeting is the first time China has publicly mentioned any face-to-face talks between the two sides. Yang, 66, is a career diplomat. Unlike Foreign Minister Wang Yi, he is a fluent English speaker, having studied at the London School of Economics in the 1970s before working as a translator for the foreign ministry. He was first posted to the United States from , and eventually rose to become ambassador, from He s spent a lot of time there. He understands things there well from all sides, said Ruan Zongze, a former Chinese diplomat now with the China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank affiliated with the Foreign Ministry. Also: WASHINGTON: US Republican President-elect Donald Trump on Monday renewed his questions about US intelligence reports that Russia intervened in the presidential election by targeting his rival. In two posts on Twitter, Trump also suggested that politics played a role in the news reports on the Russian hacking that emerged late last week. Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory! he wrote. A second tweet said, Unless you catch hackers in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn t this brought up before election? The US government did accuse Russia of trying to interfere with the election process a full month before the Nov 8 vote with a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations. A statement from the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security said the hacks could have been authorized only by Russia s senior-most officials. Trump had addressed the suspected Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee during a debate with rival Hillary Clinton by saying the intrusion also could have been carried out by China or somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. Most recently, two police officers were shot responding to a domestic dispute call at an apartment in rural Americus last weekend. Americus Officer Nicholas Smarr died Wednesday and fellow officer and lifelong friend Jody Smith died the following day. The suspected gunman was found later apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a home where he was hiding. (AP)


12 INTERNATIONAL 12 World News Roundup Britain Nazi group banned Police arrest six in anti-terrorism raids LONDON, Dec 12, (Agencies): British police said they had arrested six people in anti-terrorism raids across central England and London on Monday. Officers held four men from Derby and another in Burton on Trent in central England while a woman was also arrested in London on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism. We recognise that local people may have concerns as a result of these arrests and local officers will be out in the area as usual to speak to anyone who may have concerns, a statement from the North East Counter Terrorism Unit said. We would ask people to remain alert and vigilant but not to be alarmed and we are grateful for the assistance, support and understanding of people locally. There was no further detail about the allegations. Six properties were being searched as part of the investigation while the five Younger men, aged 22, 35, 36, and two 27-year-olds, and the 32-year-old woman, were in police custody. Britain is on its second highest threat level meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. Last week Britain s foreign intelligence chief Alex Younger said Islamic State militants were using turmoil in Syria to plot attacks against the United Kingdom and her allies. UK bans neo-nazi group: A British neo-nazi group will become the first of its kind to be banned under anti-terror laws, with Interior Minister Amber Rudd branding it Monday as racist, anti-semitic and homophobic. Britain s interior ministry said the far-right extremist group, National Action, was being banned under the Terrorism Act as it had been assessed to be concerned in terrorism. The move means that supporting or being a member of the organisation will be a criminal offence, carrying a potential 10-year prison sentence, the Home Office said in a statement. National Action is a racist, anti-semitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it, said Rudd, announcing the ban. It has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone. Lawmakers will debate the legislation on Wednesday and it will likely come into force two days later. The ban follows the conviction last month of far-right extremist Thomas Mair, who was jailed for life for murdering pro-europe lawmaker Jo Cox a week before Britain s referendum on membership of the EU. UK to adopt new anti-semitism definition: Britain said on Monday it would become one of the first countries to adopt an international definition of anti-semitism to clamp down on hate crime after an increase in the number of reported incidents targeting Jews. Adopting the definition formulated in May by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is meant to make it harder for people to get away with discriminatory or prejudiced behaviour due to unclear or differing definitions of what anti-semitism actually is. It means there will be one definition of anti- Semitism - in essence, language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews - and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it, Prime Minister Theresa May said in prereleased extracts from a speech she was due to deliver. No details were immediately available as to where the speech would be made. Johnson stresses friendship in Saudi visit: Britain s foreign secretary is emphasizing the depth of his country s friendship during a visit to Saudi Arabia as he tries to defuse controversy over comments seen as critical of the kingdom. Boris Johnson met Sunday with King Salman and other top officials in Riyadh days after The Guardian newspaper released a video of him saying Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in Mideast proxy wars. A Saudi-led coalition allied with Yemen s government is fighting Iranian-backed rebels in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 civilians. During a press conference with Foreign Minister Adel al-jubeir, Johnson offered assurances of Britain s friendship and stressed the importance of candor in their relationship. He expressed concern about civilian suffering in Yemen while noting security threats Saudi Arabia faces from the conflict. Man who dissolved cop in acid gets life: A judge in London has given a crystal meth addict a life term in prison for killing a police officer during a bondage sex session and then attempting to cook and eat his body parts. Judge Nicholas Hilliard sentenced Stefano Brizzi on Monday to life in prison with at least 24 years to serve for killing 59-year-old Gordon Semple, whose dissolving body was found in an acid bath. Brizzi, a former Morgan Stanley IT developer, met Semple on a gay dating app. The 50-year-old Brizzi arranged a meeting at his apartment near London s Tate Modern gallery on April 1 and later tried to cover up his tracks online. After his arrest, Brizzi had admitted killing and trying to dissolve the body because Satan told me to. In this Dec 11 photo, Britain s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson shakes hands with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP) Soviet-era dissident Vladimir Bukovsky is pushed in a wheelchair as he arrives at Cambridge Crown Court in Cambridge, east England, on Dec 12, Bukovsky pleaded not guilty to five counts of making indecent images of children, five of possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child, at an earlier hearing. Bukovsky, has lived in exile since 1976, was one of the first to detail the abuse of psychiatric institutions to punish political prisoners of the former Soviet Union, causing an international outcry. (AFP) Merkel Europe Reker Cologne ramps-up police presence: The German city of Cologne Monday announced a ramped-up police presence, more CCTV and a fireworks-free zone at upcoming New Year s Eve celebrations to avoid a repeat of last year s mass sexual assaults. Hundreds of women that night described being mugged and groped in a crowd of men of mainly Arab and north African appearance, incidents that shocked Germany and fuelled criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel s liberal refugee policy. Cologne police chief Juergen Mathies said 1,500 officers would be deployed on the streets of the western city this year, up from some 140 last year, when police came under fire for failing to properly respond to the chaotic events. Mathies told reporters he regretted that officers last year were not there for people when they needed the police. This must never happen again, he said at a presentation of the city s security plan for New Year s Eve. The city will also be stepping up its video surveillance, with hundreds more CCTV cameras and more officers wearing bodycams, Mathies said. Much of the increased security will focus on the square between the city s iconic Dom cathedral and the train station where most of the assaults took place. Cologne mayor Henriette Reker said access to the square this year would be tightly controlled, with no firecrackers or other pyrotechnics allowed in the safety zone. The square will also be flooded with light as part of a video and light installation by German artist Philipp Geist that will be projected onto the Dom. (AFP) Left-leaning parties meet: German lawmakers from the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and two smaller parties met on Sunday to explore the possibility of forming a coalition government to replace Brexit 6 months on, rift among Britons remains wide May sticks to Brexit timetable LONDON, Dec 12, (Agencies): British Prime Minister Theresa May is sticking to her timetable of triggering formal divorce talks with the European Union by the end of March despite further legal challenges, her spokeswoman said on Monday. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that campaigners were ready to take the government to the High Court to try to keep Britain in the EU s single market, while a group of British and Irish lawyers are also seeking to try to establish if Brexit can be reversed once divorce talks have been triggered. The prime minister is focused on making sure that the government is doing all the work to prepare for the negotiations and triggering Article 50 by the end of March, and that was backed by MPs (lawmakers) last week, the spokeswoman told reporters. Now we all need to get on and work to that timetable. One campaigned to leave the European Union, the other to stay. Now, nearly six months after Britain s shock referendum vote for Brexit, two thirty-somethings prove the debate is still very much alive, and just as painful. I m very, very excited about the future, says Chris Mendes, a 31-yearold software engineer who supports the anti-eu, anti-immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP), which helped drive the Leave vote. Future But Thomas Cole, a 33-year-old political analyst who used to work at the European Commission in Brussels, says the future is still up for play. Since the vote on June 23, many Britons have had to wrestle with some of the stark and unsettling realities of what leaving Europe actually means. And, for Cole and others who voted Remain, this jolt gives cause to stay in the fight. Just because the referendum has taken place doesn t mean you say, OK, I give up now, he says. Chancellor Angela Merkel next year. The SPD, environmentalist Greens and leftist Linke party already have more seats in parliament than Merkel s conservative bloc but divisions at federal level - especially on foreign policy - have prevented them from forming a national government. Merkel currently leads a right-left coalition of her conservatives - the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian CSU allies - and the smaller SPD. Outwardly similar, the two men are passionately divided on Brexit, reflecting the split that saw Britons vote 52 percent to leave the EU and 48 percent to stay. Introduced by AFP, they traded views at cafe in London s St Pancras station, the gateway for travellers arriving from and leaving to continental Europe. Mendes, sporting a brown T-shirt and a three-day-old beard, acknowledges there are challenges to leaving the EU, not least pro-european MPs seeking to delay or soften the divorce. Resistance There s obviously a clear resistance to Brexit, there s no question about that, but we expected that, he says. But Cole, wearing a smart jumper and striped scarf tied at the neck, argues that the referendum was legally not binding. He came home to campaign against Brexit and is a member of the pro-eu, centrist Liberal Democrats, who want a second referendum on the final terms of the exit deal. Cole suggests that if the exit negotiations become complicated, then the 2020 general election could be effectively run as a second referendum. I couldn t disagree more, chips in Mendes, accusing Cole of a morally bankrupt position. Cole hits back: You have to pass things through parliament, I think that s normal. Under pressure from members of her Conservative party and EU leaders, Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to begin formal exit talks by the end of March. But she is fighting a legal challenge against calls for MPs to take the final decision on triggering Brexit, amid concerns that parliament, which overwhelmingly wanted Britain to stay in the EU, will try to block it. Meanwhile the cabinet itself appears divided on the key issue of whether or Merkel, whose popularity slumped after Germany let in 890,000 migrants last year, will seek a fourth term in office in a national election due in autumn Sunday s meeting marked the second time the left-leaning lawmakers have held exploratory talks and came after Merkel s CDU moved to the right at a party conference last week, at which she called for a ban full-face Muslim veils. Axel Schaefer, deputy leader of the A couple moves a freshly sawn Christmas tree from a conifer tree plantage near the small Bavarian village of Tuerkenfeld, southern Germany on Dec 11, two weeks before Christmas. (AFP) not to stay in the single market. Remainers say quitting the world s biggest trade bloc will destroy swathes of British jobs. Brexit supporters say Britain will forge new trade deals with the rest of the world. For Mendes, a principle is at stake. We want to come out of the single market, we voted to take back control of our laws completely, we voted to take back control of our borders completely, he says. He reflects the government s outward confidence that it will get the best possible deal for Britain even if it has yet to set out how this will happen. Unsurprisingly, Cole says he would like to stay in the single market and would be unhappy with some of the proposed compromises. One option is for Britain to leave the market of 500 million consumers but continue to pay for access, while being unable to shape its rules. From a democratic point of view it s frankly terrible, he says. An upside of a clean break with Brussels is that you wouldn t have somebody else telling you what to do. Having said that, for the economy, would it be good? No. In an ideal scenario, I want things to be as they are, Cole admits, before he is cut off by Mendes, insisting: That s not going to happen. The discussion is lively but goodnatured, although elsewhere in Britain tensions are high, with reports of an increase in hate crime after the vote, and death threats against leading campaigners on both sides. Mendes says the national debate is very healthy, adding: We have not discussed these things for about 40 years and now, for the first time, we are. The natural consequence of that is an explosion, a massive clash, a violent clash, intellectually speaking, of ideas. Cole agrees, and notes the recent election of Donald Trump as US president. Ignoring people s concerns is essentially dangerous, he says. SPD s parliamentary group, said the three left-leaning parties were not yet aiming to nail down a specific policy programme. This is about the general direction of a progressive policy, he told reporters before the talks in the Bundestag. The meeting, at which the lawmakers planned to talk about employment and social justice, also came after the same three parties last week joined forces in a so-called Red-Red-Green, or R2G, coalition to take control of Berlin s city government. (RTRS) Couple decorate 100 Xmas trees: For one German couple, putting up the Christmas decorations takes eight long weeks. With around 16,000 baubles needed to be placed on over 100 Christmas trees, Thomas and Susanne Jeromin s annual winter wonderland at their house in the small German town of Rinteln has become a seasonal labour of love. We started off with a normal Christmas tree in the living room as you d expect and then we thought we could put one in the hallway, one in the kitchen, and over the last five years it s exploded, Thomas Jeromin told Reuters. The Christmas-obsessed couple began decorating the 105 square metres (1,130 square feet) of space in their home, 60 kms (37 miles) south west of Hannover, in early October, with lights, ornaments and Father Christmas decorations dotted throughout. The Jeromin s bedroom is the only festive-free zone. (RTRS)

13 INTERNATIONAL 13 Supporters of opposition party Social Democratic SDSM celebrate in front of the government building after parliamentary elections in Skopje on Dec 11. (AFP) Macedonia conservatives headed to slim electoral victory Nearly complete results in Macedonia s early general elections show the country s conservative coalition in a slim victory over its Social Democratic rivals, but with neither party winning enough parliamentary seats to form a government. Both sides have claimed victory. The election was called as part of a Western-brokered deal to defuse a deep two-year political crisis sparked by a massive wiretapping scandal, in which the leftwing opposition had blamed the conservative prime minister for an illegal wiretapping operation targeting more than 20,000 people. Results Monday from 99.7 percent of polling stations showed show the conservative coalition led by former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski s VMRO-DPMNE with percent of the vote, slightly ahead of the left-leaning coalition, headed by opposition leader Zoran Zaev s Social Democrats, which garnered percent. The electoral commission s website, which crashed for extended periods overnight, gave no seat projections. Without a parliamentary majority the winner will have to seek to form a governing coalition with a smaller party, likely from among the country s ethnic Albanian minority, where Sunday s election produced unexpected results. Political analyst Albert Musliu said the two main coalitions would now turn to the ethnic Albanian political bloc for negotiations. (AP) Serbia Italy Never forget, not forgive Eight Serbian suspects appear at massacre trial BELGRADE, Dec 12, (AFP): Eight Serbian men appeared Monday before a Belgrade court over their alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre, Europe s worst atrocity since World War II, in the first-ever such case to be handled by the country s judiciary. The suspects defence attorneys cited procedural issues, demanding notably the replacement of judges, and opening of the trial was postponed to Tuesday to review their request. The bloodbath the eight suspects are accused of unfolded over just one day in a warehouse in the town of Kravica. It was part of a string of mass killings in the east Bosnian enclave by Bosnian Serb forces commanded by General Ratko Mladic, who is currently on trial in The Hague. It is the first time Serbia is Mladic trying suspects involved in the Srebrenica massacre. Carried out by ethnic Serbs, the episode has long been a highly sensitive matter in Serbia, which was gripped by virulent nationalism and demands to protect Serbian minorities as Yugoslavia broke up. If found guilty, the suspects face up to 20 years in jail. This is a very important case as Serbia needs to face its past, Serbia s former war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told AFP. Without that there can be no catharsis, no reconciliation in the region. The Srebrenica massacre was ruled as genocide by two international courts although Serbia has persistently rejected the definition. But, the victims relatives do not expect much from the trial. Attending I don t expect anything from this trial, Munira Subasic, head of the Srebrenica Mothers association, told reporters on Monday in front of the Belgrade court before attending the hearing. Subasic lost 22 family members in the massacre, including her son. My son was killed in that warehouse, where I found two bones and buried them. I will never forget that, will not forgive, she said and added the suspects should have been tried at the site of the crime. The eight are suspected members of the Bosnian Serb Jahorina special police unit, a dozen of whose members have already been sentenced in Bosnia over the Kravica killings. All the defendants obtained Serbian citizenship after the war. One of those charged was the unit s commander, 58-year old Nedeljko Milidragovic, or Nedjo the Butcher. He is accused of having ordered the executions and saying nobody should get out alive, according to the indictment. After the war, Milidragovic became a successful businessman in Serbia, local media reported at the time of his arrest. Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed and their bodies dumped in mass graves during the massacre, which became a symbol of the horror of the 1990s Balkan wars that accompanied Yugoslavia s collapse. The Kravica victims were caught as they fled through a forest. Chinese community mourners lay flowers and candles to remember 20-year-old Chinese aspiring fashion designer, Zhang Yao, 20, arrived in the Italian capital from her homeland, China, in March to attend Rome s Academy of the Fine Arts, and found dead last Friday in the Tor Sapienza area of Rome, during a commemoration on Dec 11. (AP) Trump Europe Kurz Germany to stick to policy : Germany will not change its one China policy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, distancing herself from comments by US President-elect Donald Trump that the United States could reconsider its longheld policy that Taiwan is part of China. We still stand by a one China policy and we will not change our stance, Merkel told a news conference with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic when asked about Trump s remarks questioning nearly four decades of US policy. China said on Monday it was seriously concerned by Trump s comments, adding that cooperation was out of the question if Washington could not recognise Beijing s core interest on Taiwan. (RTRS) Bosnia preps for fighters return: Bosnian officials say they expect citizens who joined the Islamic State group will soon return home and pose a threat to the country or elsewhere in Europe. At a meeting in Banja Luka on Monday, Bosnian and Serbian security agencies discussed actions they will take to prevent terrorist attacks, organized crime and corruption. Bosnia will mobilize non-government organizations for de-radicalization projects and try to identify the motives that drive young people to embrace radical Islam. Dragan Mektic, Bosnia s minister for Renzi expects elections in June Gentiloni works on Italian govt ROME, Dec 12, (Agencies): Italy s prime minister designate Paolo Gentiloni met party leaders on Monday to finesse his cabinet team and seek guarantees that he has the backing in parliament to overcome a short-lived government crisis. Gentiloni, the outgoing foreign minister, was tasked by President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday with forming a new administration after Matteo Renzi quit following a heavy defeat in a Dec 4 referendum on constitutional reform. Gentiloni is expected to return to the head of state later in the day to say he has secured a majority in parliament and to present his list of ministers, which will include many members of the team that Renzi put together when he took office in Two sources said the one major change was almost certain to see Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, who is head of a small centre-right party, become foreign minister. A separate political source said Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who is trying to defuse a crisis in the banking sector, would stay put. It is 99 percent sure that he will remain where he is, the source said. Gentiloni is a loyal Renzi ally who is unlikely to beat an independent path in his new role or challenge his predecessor within the ruling Democratic Party (PD), which is riven with feuding in the wake of the referendum rout. One of his main tasks will be to help draw up a new electoral law that, if security, said 226 Bosnians are believed to have joined IS in Syria or Iraq, and that 65 have been killed and 46 have returned. (AP) done swiftly, could open the way to elections in the first half of 2017, a year ahead of schedule. Renzi was quoted as saying on Monday that he expected elections in June, however he signalled there might be resistance in parliament because lawmakers only qualify for pensions for the legislature from mid-september. Proportional The next elections, presumably in June, will be held with a proportional voting system, Renzi said in an interview with Italy currently has different electoral laws for its two chambers and the president has said the norms need to be harmonised to try to make sure that a coherent government can emerge from the next national ballot. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is pushing for a rapid reform and a vote as soon as possible. Renzi himself wants an early election, hoping to steam-roller critics within his PD and present himself as the party s prime ministerial candidate. The party leadership held a meeting on Monday at which their internal rifts were clearly visible. We need to recognise our errors and radically change course, and the PD needs to do it with a courage that sadly has been lacking up until now, said Roberto Speranza, a leading Renzi-critic within the centre-left party. Renzi said he expects there will be Freeze membership talks : Austria wants the European Union to freeze membership talks with Turkey over Ankara s massive crackdown following the failed coup. Police officers investigate on the highway where thieves rob an armored truck loaded with gold on Dec 12 in Dardilly, near Lyon, central France. French police say a manhunt is underway for four thieves who have stolen dozens of kilograms of gold from an armored truck before setting it ablaze on a major highway. (AP) early elections in June, according to an interview in which he wished his replacement, Paolo Gentiloni, good luck. The next elections, presumably in June, will be held with a proportional voting system, Renzi said in an interview with, though he said he expected parliamentarians to resist a vote before September because that is when they would qualify for their state pensions. Also: ROME: Sad and angry, the Chinese community in Rome on Sunday paid tribute to a student fatally hit by a train while pursuing muggers who had stolen her purse with her just-issued residency permit. An aspiring fashion designer, 20-year-old Zhang Yao arrived in the Italian capital from China in March to attend Rome s Academy of the Fine Arts. On Dec 5, Zhang had just left the police complex in the largely industrial Tor Sapienza neighborhood on Rome s outskirts which issues and renews residency permits to foreigners when three young men snatched her bag. Friends said she called them with her cellphone to report what had happened and plead for help while apparently trying to regain her documents. Media broadcast footage from an industrial company s surveillance camera that showed Zhang, looking dazed near tracks at the local train station. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Monday that the EU must at least freeze the accession negotiations. He said it is wrong to continue accession negotiations as if nothing negative has happened in Turkey in the last few months. Few EU states support Austria s stance. On Thursday, EU leaders will discuss the bloc s deal with Turkey to stop tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Europe. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to open border gates after the European Parliament called last month for a freeze on membership talks. (AP) Police destroy suspected bomb: Greek authorities have destroyed a time bomb placed overnight outside the Labor Ministry on a major thoroughfare in central Athens, after a warning telephone call was made to a newspaper, police said Monday. No injuries or damage were reported. A bomb disposal crew carried out three controlled explosions at about 4:30 am (02:30 GMT) Monday to destroy the device, which was found in a backpack placed in a plastic container at the building s entrance. Authorities were alerted following an anonymous call to a newspaper at about 1:00 am in which the caller said a bomb was to explode in 40 minutes. A bomb squad arrived and cordoned off the area, but the device did not detonate. (AP)

14 INTERNATIONAL 14 World News Roundup Egyptians shout slogans as they gather outside the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo s Abbasiya neighbourhood after it was targeted by a bomb explosion on Dec 11. The blast killed at least 25 worshippers during Sunday mass inside the Cairo church near the seat of the Coptic pope who heads Egypt s Christian minority, state media said. (Inset): Egyptian clergymen stand next to the coffins of the victims of a bomb explosion that targeted a Coptic Orthodox Church the previous day in Cairo, during their funeral in the Egyptian capital s Nasr City neighbourhood on Dec 12. (AFP) Israel Trump help sought Netanyahu resumes nuclear deal attacks JERUSALEM, Dec 12, (RTRS): Israel s Benjamin Netanyahu has resumed his attacks on a nuclear deal with Iran, seeking Donald Trump s help to smash a cornerstone of the Obama administration s foreign policy legacy. Following up on remarks he made this month to a Washington think tank, the conservative Israeli prime minister said on CBS s 60 Minutes on Sunday there are ways, various ways of undoing last year s accord. The Republican president-elect is also no fan of the deal between Iran and six world powers under which Tehran agreed to suspend a suspected drive to develop atomic weapons in return for a lifting of most sanctions against it. During the US election campaign, Trump called the pact - against which Netanyahu lobbied long and hard a disaster and the worst deal ever negotiated. But he has also said it would be hard to overturn an agreement enshrined in a UN resolution. Asked if he had any ideas on how to unravel the deal, Netanyahu said on the television programme: Yeah, I have about five things in my mind. Netanyahu Pressed for specifics, he said: I ll talk about it with President Trump. That discussion will likely take place soon after Trump s Jan 20 inauguration. Shortly after the election, Netanyahu said he and Trump had agreed to meet at the first opportunity. Scrapping the deal would, at the very least, be complicated. It s difficult to see the advantage for the US in abrogating the deal at this stage, said Jacob Parakilas, an expert on US foreign policy at Chatham House, a London-based think tank. Sanctions It would be nearly impossible to convince Europe, Russia and China to restore their sanctions on Iran in the absence of clear evidence of Iranian violations of the deal. So any sanctions the US restored would have much less impact on the Iranian economy, he said. Yair Lapid, an Israeli opposition leader, said he doubted whether the deal could be undone given the Chinese, Russians and Europeans are already in Iran signing deals, and he said any discussion on it should take place behind closed doors. In the run-up to Trump s inauguration, Netanyahu has been laying the groundwork for a closer relationship with Trump. The two met in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, when the Israeli leader also held talks with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A week after the election, Netanyahu sent his US ambassador, Ron Dermer, to see the president-elect and his transition team. Dermer hailed Trump as a true friend of Israel. Netanyahu has used similar language to describe Obama, but the superlatives have done little to mask a lack of personal chemistry and a relationship strained by policy differences over Iran and Jewish settlement on occupied land. In recent months, however, Netanyahu had largely refrained from attacking the Iran deal as Israel finalised a 10-year, $38 billion military aid package with the Obama administration. Nearly a year ago, the commander of Israel s armed forces, Lieutenant-General Gadi Eisenkot, offered a nuanced view of a deal that Netanyahu had dubbed a historic mistake. The agreement, Eisenkot said in a speech, presented many risks but also many opportunities. Family members, ministers and colleagues attend a memorial for police officers killed outside the Besiktas football club stadium Vodafone Arena late Saturday, in Istanbul on Dec 11. (AP) Mideast Palestinians gravely ill : An activist says two Palestinians held without charges by Israel are between life and death after 73 days on a hunger strike. Qadoura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Monday that 19-year-old Anas Shadid and 29-year-old Ahmad Abu Fara could die at any minute. The pair s lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, says the Israel Prison Authority unilaterally suspended the detention last month, but that her clients continued their hunger strike at an Israeli hospital, demanding release without conditions. The Israel Prison Service declined comment. Several Palestinians in recent years have staged prolonged hunger strikes to protest detentions without trial. (AP) Journo dies after strike: A British-Algerian journalist had died six months after staging a hunger strike in Algiers over his detention for publishing articles seen as offensive to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, prison authorities and his lawyer said. Rights groups called for an investigation into Mohamed Tamalt s death Reporters Without Borders said the news was a hammer blow to all those who defend freedom of information in Algeria. The 42-year-old blogger and freelance reporter succumbed to a lung infection in hospital in Algiers on Sunday, the prison service said in a statement. I can confirm the death of the journalist Mohamed Tamalt in Bab el-oued hospital after a hunger strike of more than three months and a three-month coma, lawyer Amine Sidhoum said on Facebook. Tamalt, who was based in London, was arrested in Algeria in June for posts he had shared on Facebook that were seen as critical of Algerian authorities. (RTRS) WB grants Jordan loan: Jordan signed a soft loan agreement worth USD 250 million with the World Bank on Sunday for supporting water and energy sectors across the Kingdom. The loan aims to improving financial feasibility of water and electricity sectors and increase gains, Jordan s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Blasts Suicide bomber behind attack: Sisi Egypt arrests 4 over church hit CAIRO, Dec 12, (Agencies): Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-sisi said on Monday that a suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed 24 people at Cairo s main cathedral and security forces had arrested three men and a woman in connection with the bombing. Speaking at a state funeral for the victims, Sisi identified the suicide bomber as 22-year-old Shafik Mahmoud Mohamed Mostafa. He said security forces were seeking another two fugitives believed to be involved in the attack. He called for tighter laws to help deter future attacks. Speaking to the Coptic Church s Pope, Tawadros II, during the funeral, Sisi said: We would not have been able to come to you today, your holiness, before getting some information. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt s population, have been previously targeted by jihadists. The health ministry on Monday released a new toll saying that 24 people were killed in the attack at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, one more fatality than reported the previous day. Most of the victims were women, authorities have said. The blast also wounded 45 people and 21 of them were still hospitalised, the ministry said. The attack occurred during Sunday service at the church adjacent to Saint Mark s Cathedral, the seat of Tawadros II. At Monday s service, the coffins of the victims were laid in front of the altar, with their names displayed on the side facing the congregation and on the church walls. Candles and large big crosses made of white roses stood next to the coffins. The spiritual leader of Egypt s Orthodox Christians, Pope Tawadros II, led the service. At one point, the visibly distraught pontiff leaned on his staff and quietly prayed in front of the coffins. He had cut short a visit to Greece and flew home on Sunday after the bombing. God, protect us and your people from the conspiracies of the evil ones, prayed the Coptic pope, who venerated the coffins with incense. In a sermon, he Imad Fakhoury said following the signing ceremony. This is the second loan provided by the WB within a year, he added, noting that the two loans totaled USD 500 million provided to the country which has been suffering from pressures on its infrastructure because of hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees. The loan granted today will support efforts of Jordan s government to meet needs of drinking water, concurrently with Turkey detains Kurds, attacks militants after twin bombings ANKARA, Dec 12, (AFP): Turkey detained over 200 people including dozens of officials from pro-kurdish parties and struck Kurdish militants in Iraq Monday in response to this weekend s twin bombings claimed by a radical Kurd separatist group. The toll from Saturday s attacks, which struck an Istanbul football stadium and a nearby park, rose to 44 on Monday, Health Minister Recep Akdag said 36 of them police officers. Turkish jets pounded targets in northern Iraq, with the military saying it had hit separatist terrorist organisation members, referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The armed forces said they struck targets in the Zap region of northern Iraq, destroying militant headquarters as well as nearby shelters and gun positions. In total, 235 people were detained in operations in 11 Turkish cities accused of acting on behalf of the PKK or producing propaganda for the group, some via social media, the interior ministry said. The ministry did not give specific numbers of how many pro-kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) officials and its sister Democratic Regions Party (DBP) were detained in early-morning raids. The actions are likely to raise said: It is the destiny of our church to offer martyrs and that is why we call it the Church of the Martyrs. We are in so much pain over the evil that surrendered all the humanity and feelings that God entrusted in man, said Tawadros. Those who take a life, which is a divine gift, will be granted eternal damnation. Only victims relatives were allowed to attend the service at the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius church in the eastern Cairo suburb of Nasr City. Some of them screamed out in grief or shouted out a victim s name, while the rest qui- Bouteflika Belhaj fears Ankara is going further in its crackdown and acting out of revenge against pro-kurdish politicians who stand accused of links to the PKK a charge that the HDP denies. The weekend s bloodshed was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), seen as a radical offshoot of the PKK which is itself regarded as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States. TAK has claimed three major strikes this year in Istanbul and Ankara, killing a total of at least 73 people. In the aftermath of the attacks a defi ant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to fi ght terror to the end. Since the collapse of a ceasefi re in July last year, Ankara has vowed to wipe out the PKK and has conducted several military operations against the group. There have been frequent clashes between security forces and PKK militants and almost daily attacks on the military carried out by the group s fi ghters in the southeast. On Monday, television showed Erdogan visiting the scene of the attacks with ministers. He later attended the funerals of some of the slain police officers, an AFP photographer said. etly sobbed or sat somberly during the service. Outside the church, scores scuffled with security forces when they were barred from attending the service. An unspecified number of arrests were made, several witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared for their safety. People have a volcano of anger inside their chests, said Nora Sedki, a Christian government employee who joined a demonstration of several hundred protesters outside the church. allocating a lot of treated wastewater for farmers and the industry sector so as to support economic growth and curb excess of groundwater. Meanwhile, World Bank Director for Middle East Ferid Belhaj stressed the bank s continued support for Jordan, affirming World Bank Group s commitment to constantly backing efforts of the international community aiming to alleviate repercussions of Syrian crisis on Jordan. (KUNA)

15 INTERNATIONAL 15 South Korea North Korea drill hit Interim Hwang in bid to calm anxiety SEOUL, Dec 12, (Agencies): South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn began getting official briefings from aides of President Park Geun-hye on Monday, after assuming presidential authority as a caretaker following Park s impeachment by parliament. Hwang has sought to calm anxiety over national security and to reassure financial markets while Park s presidency is in limbo pending the outcome of a Constitutional Court review of her impeachment, which may take up to 180 days. Until then, Park will remain in the presidential Blue House a few blocks north of the main government complex where Hwang s office is located. Eight of the Constitutional Court s nine judges met on Monday to discuss how to proceed with the case but has not set dates for public hearings, its spokesman, Bae Bo-yoon, Hwang told a briefing. The ninth was away from the country on business. At least six of the nine judges have to concur for the motion to be upheld. The court will next week decide on the date for the two sides lawyers to appear for a preliminary hearing, he said. Power Park, the daughter of a military ruler who held power for 18 years after a 1961 coup, has been accused of colluding with a friend and a former aide, both of whom have been indicted, to pressure big businesses to donate to foundations set up to back her policy initiatives. She has denied wrongdoing but apologised for carelessness in her ties with her friend, Choi Soon-sil. Park has yet to announce her defence team, which is expected to be made up of at least four lawyers, including an attorney she had retained last month. Park s term was set to end in February If the court upholds Friday s overwhelming parliament vote to impeach her, she will become the first elected South Korean leader to be forced from office in disgrace. If that were to happen, a new election would be held within 60 days to pick a successor who will serve a full five-year term. Briefings Hwang received briefings from senior presidential secretaries on Monday and he will get more on Tuesday, a Blue House official said. Since assuming presidential powers late on Friday, Hwang has also chaired a National Security Council meeting, met the cabinet twice and visited military headquarters. He was expected to keep Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho to ensure continuity of policy instead of replacing him with the head of the financial regulator, who Park last month had designated as his replacement, Yonhap news agency reported. South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who had a largely ceremonial job until Park impeachment last week, now must face off against North Korea and deal with edgy relations with Japan as the country s interim leader. Hwang visited the Joint Chiefs of Staff and told fellow Cabinet members on Monday that there are no unusual security or economic developments. But he will soon face a slew of thorny issues that will test his leadership while the Constitutional Court reviews whether to endorse Park s impeachment to formally end her rule. Here is a look at several major issues that lie ahead for Hwang: North Korea Hwang s first move as interim leader was to tell his defense minister to bolster readiness for any possible provocation by North Korea. North Korea hasn t made international headlines since its fifth and biggest-ever nuclear test in September. That could be in line with its nuclear development timetable, but given that Park and North Korea had terrible relations, the North might want to avoid doing anything that could unite conservatives in South Korea behind her. In a sign of the ongoing tensions, North Korea s state media on Sunday released photos of its smiling leader, Kim Jong Un, watching a practice attack on a replica of Park s presidential Blue House. A team of commandoes parachuted, shot at the Blue House model with rifles, leaving it engulfed in flames and black smoke. History textbooks It s probably the first major, hot-button issue that Hwang will face. Park s government had been pushing to require schools to use state-authored history textbooks starting next year, saying current textbooks published by private companies are too left-leaning and sympathize with North Korea. But in the wake of the massive anti-government protests touched off by a political scandal involving Park s longtime confidante, the government took a step back, saying it wants to hear various opinions by Dec. 23 before making a final decision. The liberal opposition is pressuring the government to scrap the textbook plan, calling it a move to beautify past authoritarian leaders, including Park s late father, Park Chung-hee. The elder Park is a deeply divisive figure, with critics calling him a horrible human rights abuser who imprisoned and tortured dissidents, while supporters call him a national hero who guided the country out of poverty. Hwang, a former justice minister, is a strong supporter of state-authored textbooks. But South Korean media say it could be difficult for him to stand up to opposition parties that have gained a greater say over state affairs after impeaching Park. Also: TOKYO: South Korea on Monday strongly condemned North Korea for raising tension on the divided peninsula by staging a military drill targeting the South Korean presidential office, Yonhap News Agency reported. North Korea s move seems to be aimed at showing that the regime remains firm in contrast to (political turmoil) in South Korea, Unification Ministry Spokesman Jeong Joon-hee was quoted as saying at a press briefing in Seoul. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has observed the military drill simulating attacks on a mock-up of the presidential office, Pyongyang s state media reported Sunday. This picture taken on Dec 11, shows an excavator near the Quba mosque which was damaged in an earthquake in Pidie Jaya, Aceh province. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced after a devastating earthquake in Indonesia killed more than 100 people, an official said on Dec 10, leaving communities in ruins as aid trickled into the disaster-stricken province. (AFP) New Zealand s new Prime Minister Bill English (right), poses with Governor General Patsy Reddy (center), and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett at Government House in Wellington on Dec 12. New Zealand s ruling National Party appointed the experienced English as the country s new prime minister on December 12 following last week s shock resignation of his popular predecessor John Key. (AFP) Suga Asia Turnbull China jet claim untrue : Japan has lashed out at China over claims its fighter jets obstructed Beijing s military aircraft, saying the allegation was clearly untrue. China s defence ministry said two Japanese F-15s launched decoy flares in international airspace over the East China Sea on Saturday, actions it called dangerous and unprofessional. Tokyo denied anything was fired during the encounter, and said it had protested to Beijing over the allegation. It is extremely regrettable that the Chinese defence ministry one-sidedly made a clearly untrue announcement, Japan s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Sunday. The two countries intermittently spar over claims of air and sea misconduct in and above the waters of the East China Sea, where they are engaged in a row over the ownership of uninhabited islands. China did not give details about its manoeuvres, but said its aircraft had been carrying out routine far seas training when they passed through the Miyako Strait in the Okinawan chain. The strait is a pinch point in Japan- China relations because it is one of the few egresses into the Pacific Ocean for Chinese ships and aircraft that avoid Japanese airspace. Beijing s growing military is keen to flex its muscles and push further afield as it develops a blue seas navy capable of operating far from home waters, but is hemmed in by the Japanese archipelago. (AFP) Philippines Abu Sayyaf militants free 2 Indonesians Duterte to accept China arms offer MANILA, Philippines, Dec 12, (Agencies): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he has decided to accept an arms deal being offered by China under concessional terms, in the latest sign of cozying relations between the once-hostile neighbors. Duterte said in a speech before troops that he ll ask his defense secretary to send military officials to China to receive the firearms, which will be payable over 25 years. He did not provide further details. China is pressing me on the firearms, which are already there. I ll accept them. They re rushing it, Duterte said. We don t need to ask from others because they re willing to give it, he said. This isn t free, but it s actually a grant payable in 25 years. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the military is also considering purchasing sniper rifles from Russia, adding that the Philippine army and marines would undertake a study to see whether a deal could be forged. Lorenzana visited Russia last week on Duterte s order to meet defense officials, the first-ever visit by a Philippine defense chief to Moscow since diplomatic ties were established in 1976, officials said. If their sniper rifles are superior as they claim, we may decide to acquire, Lorenzana told The Associated Press. The army and marines will conduct tests and determine how many they may require. Empress Michiko recovering: Japanese Empress Michiko, 82, who was diagnosed with acute bronchitis last week, has recovered sufficiently to resume official duties, an official at the Imperial Duterte reached out to China and Russia after taking office in June while taking a hostile stance with the Obama administration after the latter criticized his deadly war on drugs. The Philippines has heavily depended on the US, its treaty ally, for weapons, ships and aircraft for years, although it has turned to other countries for defense equipment as it struggled to modernize its underfunded military in recent years. Under Duterte s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, relations with China were strained over disputed South China Sea territories, especially after Aquino brought the disputes to international arbitration. China ignored the arbitration case and the eventual ruling handed in July, which invalidated China s sweeping territorial claims. Philippines President Duterte on Sunday rejected a demand by Maoistled rebels to free more prisoners as part of a ceasefire deal, saying he had made enough concessions and was willing to let peace talks collapse if necessary. For decades the government and the communists political arm, National Democratic Front, have held intermittent peace negotiations but without success. The release of political prisoners has proved a major stumbling block. Before the resumption of peace negotiations in Oslo in August, four years after the collapse of the last Household Agency said on Monday. The empress, who suffered a slight fever and cough, cancelled a planned appearance at a karate event on Sunday and rested at her residence in the Imperial Palace. This file photo taken on Sept 21, 2016 shows Hong Kong s Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah (right), gesturing as Hong Kong s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying writes notes during a press conference in the Central Government office in Hong Kong. Hong Kong s finance chief resigned on Dec 12, ahead of what is widely expected to be a tilt at the city leadership. Tsang nicknamed Mr Pringles by local media for his resemblance to the crisp brand s mascot is seen as a more moderate alternative to current leader Leung Chun-ying, who said on December 9 he would step down in July. (AFP) attempt, Duterte let 22 rebel leaders out on bail, including two senior guerrilla commanders. Last month, he also freed four elderly and sick prisoners on humanitarian grounds. But rebel leaders immediately demanded the release of 130 more rebels, a call Duterte has ignored until now. Since the rebellion erupted nearly five decades ago, it has killed about 40,000 people and stunted growth in resource-rich rural areas of the Philippines. The rebels armed wing, New People s Army, is active in almost all but the Muslim majority provinces, and are particularly strong in the mining areas in the southern island of Mindanao. Abu Sayyaf gunmen have freed two Indonesian tugboat crewmen kidnapped by the ransom-seeking militants six months ago and held in the jungles of the southern Philippines. Regional military spokesman Maj Filemon Tan said Monday the militants released Mohammad Nazer and Robin Peter to a rebel commander belonging to the Moro National Liberation Front near Sulu province s Indanan town amid pressure from military assaults. The Moro rebel front is engaged in peace talks with the government and often acts as an intermediary for the release of Abu Sayyaf hostages. It was not immediately clear if a ransom was paid. But she was able to take part in her official duties today, the official added. She has had a cough since November and had an X-ray examination this month, but no abnormality was found, media said. The spouse of reigning Emperor Akihito was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese imperial family, in (RTRS) Govt OKs, 2nd int l airport: The Australian government approved a second international airport for Sydney on Monday, opening the way for construction to begin in Australia s largest city on a project mired in political squabbling for 70 years. Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd has first right of refusal to build the A$5 billion ($3.7 billion) airport, which the government hopes will boost inbound air passenger numbers to Sydney by about a quarter, or 10 million people per year. The new airport is the centrepiece of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull s A$30 billion national public works drive designed to keep Australia s economy ticking over as a decade-long resources spending boom unwinds. Its location, at Badgery s Creek in Sydney s western outskirts, was first mooted in 1946 as the limits of the first airport hemmed in by suburbs and the sea in the city s east became clear. The project has been bogged down in partisan debate over aircraft noise, funding and alternative sites ever since. (RTRS)

16 INTERNATIONAL 16 World News Roundup Pakistan Africa Bomb kills young girl Taleban extortion raises Swat fears MINGORA, Pakistan, Dec 12, (Agencies): When Pakistani shopkeeper Abdur Rahim s phone rang in mid-october, he was shocked to hear the voice of a senior militant commander demanding protection money from him and his fellow traders in the Swat Valley. The menacing call was taken seriously in a northern pocket of the country where Pakistani Taleban insurgents took partial control in 2007, before being ousted two years later in a major military operation hailed as a telling blow against Islamist violence. Locals fear that recent threats of extortion and a spate of targeted killings earlier this year mark an attempt by the Taleban to regain a foothold in the picturesque, mountainous area they once ruled with an iron fist. Western powers, including the United States which has thousands of troops fighting Malala other militant groups across the nearby border in Afghanistan, want to see jihadi networks along the frontier crushed. During the Oct. 19 conversation, Mullah Akhtar, a commander close to Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah, ordered Rahim to collect money from 15,000 members of the Swat Traders Federation, of which he is president. Refused But in a tense exchange, Rahim refused to cooperate, and told Akhtar militants were not welcome in Swat. According to Rahim, Akhtar boiled over with rage: I will blow you up, so that even the doctors won t be able to find the pieces. Since the call, Rahim s life has changed. Speaking to Reuters in Swat s main town of Mingora, he stood flanked by two armed policemen, while plainclothed officers keep a watchful eye in the background. CCTV cameras monitor his home. Representatives of the militant movement could not be reached for comment on their tactics in Swat Valley; some residents believe demands for money and a rise in attacks in the first half of the year are signs of desperation. Attacks have been a part of life there since 2010, including the attempted assassination of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in 2012, but in recent months the murders have stopped after a series of arrests by police. The Taleban have also struggled to build ideological support after their bloody two-year rule that saw them impose a harsh version of Islamic law on the valley s 2 million residents. Active The group remains active elsewhere, however, particularly in southern Baluchistan province, where a faction of the Taleban and Islamic State have claimed responsibility for a series of bomb and gun attacks that have killed more than 180 people. The Pakistani military will be desperate to keep the Taleban out of Swat, the first sizeable region outside lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to fall to the militants. The army s publicity wing did not respond to requests for comment on the situation in the area. The military has been on alert for signs of a Taleban resurgence as it seeks to rebuild civilian institutions and win over the local population as a bulwark against radical ideology. Also: PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A nine-year-old girl was killed and three other children were wounded Monday when a bomb exploded near their school gate in a tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, officials said. The bombing took place outside a village school in the tense North Waziristan region where the Pakistani military has been battling Taleban militants since June A nine-year-old girl was killed and three other children between eight to 10 years old were wounded when explosives planted close to their school gate exploded when they opened it, a local government official told AFP. A local security official also confirmed the blast. The tribal areas are off-limits to journalists and it is impossible to independently verify incidents. PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for killing a counterterrorism police officer and wounding his young son in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. The militant group in a statement Sunday says its fighters carried out the shooting, but gives no further details. Riazul Islam was returning home with his son Saturday evening after prayers in a suburban mosque when gunmen fired several shots and escaped on a motorcycle. Islam had survived two bomb attacks in the past three years, one of which severely wounded him. Peshawar sits at the edge of Pakistan s tribal regions along the Afghan border and has been the scene of frequent militant bomb and gun attacks in recent years. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan s military has announced a major reshuffle in its senior posts, including appointing a new chief for the country s top spy agency. A statement late on Sunday said Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar will replace Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar as the Inter-Services Intelligence chief. ISI has often been criticized of cultivating ties with militant groups and interfering in domestic politics. The appointment comes days after Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa was named new army chief. His predecessor Gen Raheel Sharif retired on Nov 29. The reshuffle involves a total of 11 new appointments, including that of spymaster and Lt Gen Bilal Akbar who is taking over as chief of the army general staff. Kashmiri Muslims react as a priest displays a relic believed to be a hair from the beard of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet, at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar on Dec 12. Thousands of Kashmiri Muslims gathered at the shrine in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir to offer prayers on the Prophet s birth anniversary. (AFP) This Dec 11, NASA satellite image shows Tropical Cyclone Vardah (05B) approaching India. Vardah, currently over the Bay of Bengal will make landfall near Chennai on Dec 12, the weather office said on Sunday, as the coastal states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh brace to deal with it. (AFP) Subcontinent Kids march with leaders: Thousands of children gathered at India s Presidential Palace on Sunday to launch a global campaign mobilising better-off children to speak up for their disadvantaged counterparts. The campaign aims to build awareness, primarily through social media, of children s causes and encourage youth to petition governments and the international community to improve the plight of children. Led by President Pranab Mukherjee and prominent leaders such as Holland s Princess Laurentien and Nobel laureates from India, Yemen and Tunisia, more than 3,000 children marched at the palace to kick off the 100 Million for 100 Million campaign. Mukherjee called the campaign the beginning of a long overdue effort to further children s rights. Despite the progress the world has made in science and technology, economic development, and in other spheres of human endeavor, there are still over 100 million children who are out of school and are being denied their childhood and are facing exploitation in various ways, said Mukherjee. (RTRS) Pakistan grounds planes: Pakistan s national carrier Monday grounded its 10 ATR turboprop planes after a crash last week killed 47 people and a second aircraft reported technical issues shortly before it was supposed to take off overnight. Pakistan International Airlines flight 661 smashed into a hillside in the country s north while travelling from the city of Chitral to the capital Islamabad last Wednesday. The airline has said one of the plane s two turboprop engines failed. Another PIA ATR faced technical issues late Sunday just before it was set to take off from the central city of Multan on a flight to southern Karachi and was called back to its parking bay, though the airline denied media reports that one of the engines caught fire. The fleet would now undergo thorough testing after the two incidents, the airline said. In view of Civil Aviation Authority s decision of holding shakedown tests of PIA s entire ATR fleet, it has been decided India Demolition leaves hundreds in cold Land rights deaths triple MUMBAI, Dec 12, (RTRS): The battle over land and resources turned bloodier in the past year with treble the number of land rights defenders killed, according to a human rights group that fears the violence will get even worse. An average of nearly 16 farmers, indigenous people and advocates of land rights were killed every month through November worldwide, or three times the average in 2015, according to advocacy group PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP). From January to end-november, 171 people were killed in relation to land rights, PANAP s data showed. At least 118 were detained through November, compared with 82 last year, as conflicts with rural communities and indigenous people intensified. People s collective rights to own or control their land and resources for livelihood and cultural needs are wantonly being violated by corporations and governments, Sarojeni Rengam, PANAP s executive director, said in a statement. The sharp rise in the number of killings and the overall increase in human rights atrocities against poor rural communities embroiled in land conflicts underscores the impunity with which these killings and brutalities are being committed. In the fight for land and the environment - which UK-based watchdog Global Witness calls a new battleground for human rights - communities are locked in deadly struggles against governments, companies and criminal gangs exploiting land for products including timber, minerals and palm oil. Global Witness documented 185 murders in 16 countries last year, or more than three people a week being killed defending land, forests and rivers in the deadliest year on record. In Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia saw the most number of victims, while in Latin America, it was in Honduras, Bolivia and Peru, PANAP data showed. In Africa, the countries most affected were Ethiopia, Kenya and to keep all 10 ATR aircraft grounded till they are cleared after thorough examination, PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani said in a statement. (AFP) Thousands evacuated: India on Mukherjee Laurentien Sierra Leone, it said. Conflicts between rural communities and governments and corporations will intensify further, hurting and massively displacing farmers and indigenous people, according to PANAP. Massive infrastructure projects in China, and its hunger for resources are leading to the displacement of rural communities, both within the country and in the region, PANAP said. Harassment and killing of land rights defenders in India are also on the rise, as land is increasingly sought for industrial use in the world s fastest growing major economy. In Brazil, more than 20 land rights activists were killed as of August this year, according to watchdog the Pastoral Land Commission. But communities are fighting back, staging protests, stalling projects and seeking legal recourse. In Cambodia, for example, a group of farmers is at the centre of a landmark legal case that could change the way global corporations manage large-scale land acquisitions. Also: MUMBAI: City officials in New Delhi have demolished hundreds of shanties in the past week, leaving up to 1,500 people homeless for winter, in the latest of several such evictions this year across the country as officials race to upgrade cities. The demolition of the decade-old informal settlements happened with no notice, activists said, with residents unable to retrieve their belongings and not offered alternative accommodation. A city official said shanties were demolished with hundreds placed in temporary accommodation, but a local non-government organisation estimated 1,500 were left homeless. It is a matter of great concern when the government destroys homes that people have built... and renders them homeless without any recourse or access to remedy, especially in the winter, said Shivani Chaudhry, executive director of advocacy Housing and Land Rights Network. Monday started evacuating thousands of people from fishing villages as Cyclone Vardah barrelled towards its southeastern coast at speeds of more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour. Heavy rains accompanied by highvelocity winds pounded the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states, uprooting trees and disrupting power supply lines. A high alert was issued in several affected districts, with eight fishermen having so far been rescued from the sea in view of the very severe cyclonic storm. We have already moved over 9,400 persons in seven vulnerable mandals (blocks) to safety. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure safety of people, P Narayana, a minister in the Andhra Pradesh state government, told the Press Trust of India news agency. (AFP) Aged only 7 or 8 Young girls in suicide attack KANO, Nigeria, Dec 12, (Agencies): Two girls, thought to be only seven or eight years old, conducted a double suicide attack in a northeastern Nigerian market Sunday, killing one person and wounding 18, officials said. The attack in Maiduguri was not immediately claimed by Boko Haram but bore the hallmarks of the jihadist group which often uses women or girls in such operations especially in Borno state the epicentre of their insurgency. Borno state governor Kashim Shettima confirmed the toll to journalists while visiting victims in hospital. The girls were seven or eight, a militia member in Maiduguri, the capital of B o r n o, Abdulkarim Jabo, told AFP, recalling that he saw Shettima the attackers immediately before the first explosion. They got out of a rickshaw and walked right in front of me without showing the slightest sign of emotion, he said. I tried to speak with one of them, in Hausa and in English, but she didn t answer. I thought they were looking for their mother. Detonated She headed toward the poultry sellers, and then detonated her explosives belt. Governor Shettima said he would meet security agents, market officials and civilian vigilantes who are assisting the military to try and strengthen security at market places. The second explosion was apparently triggered slightly later as bystanders were helping the wounded. We removed 17 people with different degrees of injuries, said Bello Dambatta of the local emergency management agency. The mutilated bodies of the two suicide bombers were also evacuated. Boko Haram jihadists have laid waste to northeast Nigeria since they took up arms against the government in They are seeking to impose a hardline Islamic legal system on the country s mainly-muslim north. At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than twoand-a-half million more displaced by the unrest. But the Nigerian military s campaign against the jihadists is increasingly bogged down as it confronts suicide attacks, looting and indiscriminate slaughter. Rights groups say thousands of women and girls have been abducted by the group. In the most infamous incident more than 200 schoolgirls were taken from the remote town of Chibok in Abducted The jihadists have used abducted females as sex slaves and human bombs, while boys are enlisted to fight. Northeast Nigeria has been buffeted in recent weeks by a string of devastating attacks. On Friday at least 45 people died and 33 others were wounded in another double suicide attack carried out by female bombers, at a marketplace in the town of Madagali. In October another set of female suicide bombers killed 17 people at a station near a camp for internally displaced persons. In February 2015, Boko Haram used an eight-year-old to carry out a suicide attack in Potiskum, in Yobe state, and a 10- and 18-yearold pair were involved in a failed July 2014 attack in Funtua, in northwestern Katsina state. Also: UYO, Nigeria: At least 100 people were killed by the collapse of a church in southeastern Nigeria, a resident and photojournalist who visited a morgue said on Sunday, but officials put the death toll at just 27. At Uyo teaching hospital where I am now I could see over a hundred corpses, many are heaped on top off each other on the floor, said photojournalist Ini Samuel. Eye witnesses also said yesterday corpses were packed in four each bag. Gary Ubong, a resident, said the church s roof had collapsed on worshippers while a pastor was being consecrated as bishop in the presence of government officials. I saw more than 100 dead bodies brought out on loaders, said Ubong, who said he had rushed to the scene after the accident. I also went to two hospitals and saw heaps of dead bodies difficult to count.

17 INTERNATIONAL 17 Lat/Am EU, Cuba sign pact: The EU and Cuba on Monday signed a deal to normalise ties that had been blocked for decades by human rights concerns under revolutionary icon Fidel Castro. Cuba had been the only Latin American country that did not have a so-called dialogue and cooperation deal with the EU covering issues such as trade, human rights and migration. But EU ministers last week agreed to drop a policy in place since 1996 which stated that Cuba first had to improve its human rights standards before getting closer links with the bloc. The new agreement was signed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and representatives from the 28 EU member states at a Brussels ceremony capping years of difficult negotiations. Economic links with Europe will continue to be a priority for Cuba as we build a socialist economy, Parrilla said. Castro died last month after more than 50 years at the helm of a self-styled Socialist paradise reviled by the West, with Cuba gradually opening up to the world, including bitter foe Washington. (AFP) Mayor tied to illegal payments: A former executive at Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht SA told prosecutors that the company made illegal payments to help fund the campaign of Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, weekly magazine Veja reported. Leandro Azevedo, a top Rio de Janeiro executive at Odebrecht, which built several works related to Rio s Summer Olympics held in August, said the company paid several senior politicians in Rio in exchange for favors that would benefit the conglomerate, according to Veja. Paes 2012 campaign received 11.6 million reais ($3.4 million) in cash and $5.7 million in transfers to foreign bank accounts, Veja reported, without saying how it obtained the information. Paes was re-elected as mayor in A state court had frozen Paes assets on Friday on an unrelated probe over whether he improperly waived an environmental fee for a company that built the golf course used in the recent Olympics. (RTRS) Singer son shot dead: Rio de Janeiro authorities say the son of a popular Brazilian funk singer has been shot dead during a police raid in the City of slum. A police statement says 19-year-old Yuri Lourenco da Silva, the son of singer Tati Quebra Barraco, and another man were killed in the operation early Sunday. The singer blamed police for her son s death. She tweeted that they had taken away a piece of me that will never be replaced. The City of was made famous by the award-winning movie of the same name. It was one of the first slums where the Rio state government installed police pacification units in (AP)

18 INTERNATIONAL 18 World News Roundup Above & inset: French President Francois Hollande visits Lascaux 4, a new replica of the prehistoric paintings of the Lascaux cave, in Montignac, on Dec 10. (AFP) France s Hollande opens replica of Lascaux prehistoric art caves French President Francois Hollande on Saturday opened a new replica of the famous Lascaux caves where prehistoric hunters painted hundreds of images of animals like aurochs, horses and deer on the cave walls. Discovered by four teenagers in 1940, the rock displays in southwestern France are some of the richest collection of paintings from the Paleolithic era, and one of the most important archeological finds of the 20th century. The caves were closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the paintings. There have been several earlier replicas built, but smaller and with less detail. The new replica, which cost 66 million euros ($70 million), is housed in a new building at the foot of the hill in the Dordogne region where the original paintings are. Authorities expect some 400,000 visitors per year. This is more than a copy, it s a work of art! said Hollande as he visited the centre in Montignac, the village at the foot of the hills where the original cave complex is located. The new project dubbed Lascaux 4, which opens to the public on Thursday, aims to recreate the sensations experienced by the four teenage boys who found the cave on Sept 12, The last of the boys still alive is Simon Coencas, now 89, who was a special guest at Saturday s event. With World War II raging and the Nazis already in Paris, a friend of Coencas had enlisted him and the other boys to explore a hole in the ground in the hills above their village that his dog had found a few days earlier. One of the boys carved out a space with his knife so they could get into the cave and continue their search by the light of a paraffin lamp. With my pals, we climbed down to explore a hole, we advanced bit by bit and at some point we came up upon the chamber of the bulls, Coencas previously told AFP. (Agencies) Environment Climate Nature reserves in Cent Am Resilience area for Bering ecosystem ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec 12, (AP): President Barack Obama responded to appeals from Alaska Native villages and gave them more of a say in the federal management of marine resources of the Bering Sea. Obama signed an executive order Friday to create a Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area that will focus locally tailored protections on marine resources. The newly created resilience area covers 112,300 square miles and stretches from north of the Bering Strait to north of Bristol Bay. The order requires more focused federal consultation with Alaska tribes and 39 communities that line the west coast of Alaska, along with state officials. The area supports what may Obama be the world s largest annual marine mammal migration of bowhead and beluga whales, Pacific walrus, ice seals and migratory birds. The order also withdraws from federal petroleum leasing 40,300 square miles of Norton Basin and the offshore area around St Matthew Island, two places already recognized as important marine mammal hunting areas. Kawerak Inc, a regional non-profit corporation that provides social services to Alaska Native Villages along Alaska s west coast, and the Bering Sea Elders Group in June urged Obama to give villages more of a voice to promote self-determination in management of natural resources and habitat. Residents of coastal villages have seen dramatic changes brought on by climate change, mostly in the form of sea ice that forms later in the winter and disappears sooner in spring. Changes in ice have modified migration patterns of marine mammals, in some cases making hunting uncertain and more dangerous. Also: RIO DE JANEIRO: The creation of protected areas and parks in Central America aimed at conserving tropical forests has pushed indigenous people off the land they have nurtured for generations, researchers said on Friday. Protected areas are more effective when the rights of indigenous people living on the land are formally recognized, said the report released on the sidelines of a UN conservation conference in Cancun, Mexico. A lack of consultation between governments, environmental groups and indigenous communities hurts conservation efforts and leads to land conflicts, said researchers from Mexico, the United States and El Salvador which analyzed five conservation areas across Central America and Mexico. A wall has effectively grown up around many protected areas, shutting out the people who depend on the forests for their survival, said Andrew Davis, a researcher with the El Salvador-based Prisma Foundation and one of the study s authors. Chinese drone pilot retrieves his model T60 drone made by the Chinese JTT firm, maneuver an obstacle course during the International Drone Expo in Los Angeles, California on Dec 10. The two-day expo is open to the general public and aims to discuss how this technology can be safely utilized for business, health, public safety, urban planning, entertainment and other commercial purposes. (AFP) Glenn Discovery Inslee Candlelight vigil held for Glenn: John Glenn s hometown church in Ohio has held a candlelight vigil to celebrate the life and legacy of the hero-astronaut. People gathered Sunday night at Westminster Presbyterian Church in New Concord, where Glenn was a lifelong member. The Zanesville Times Recorder reports they said prayers, sang songs and shared stories of the man many of them knew and loved. Glenn became a national hero in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the Earth. He then spent 24 years as a Democrat from Ohio in the US Senate. He died Thursday at the age of 95. Glenn is expected to lie in state from noon to 8 pm on Friday in the Statehouse Rotunda. The event will be open to the public. (AP) Washington sues Monsanto: Washington has become the first US state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pervasive pollution from PCBs, the toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe Surging methane emissions imperil climate goals Warming threatens Xmas icon PARIS, Dec 12, (AFP): If Santa is recruiting helpers to haul Christmas presents around the world this year he had better take a few extra, said researchers Monday who warned that reindeer are shrinking. Over the past 16 years, the weight of adult reindeer in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic has dropped by 12 percent, likely due to global warming, said study findings presented to a meeting at the British Ecological Society (BES) in Liverpool. By the time they reached adulthood, reindeer born in 2010 weighed just over 48 kilogrammes (106 pounds), compared to 55 kg for those born in Twelve percent may not sound very much, but given how important body weight is to reproduction and survival, it s potentially huge, study leader Steve Albon of the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, told AFP. Previous research had shown that when the average adult weight in April is less than 50kg, the population as a whole declines, he added. Albon and his fellow researchers blame climate change for the shrinking reindeer. for decades. The company said the case lacks merit. Democratic Gov Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Scientists say land surface temperatures in the Arctic were about 2.8 degrees Celsius (five degrees Fahrenheit) higher last year than when records began a century earlier. Warmer winters mean more rain, which falls on snow and freezes, the BES explained in a statement. Starve The ice prevents reindeer from getting to the lichen which comprises the bulk of their winter diet and for which they usually forage in the snow. Lichen are complex organisms comprised of a fungus living in symbiosis with an alga or bacterium. The reindeer starve, aborting their calves or giving birth to much lighter young, said the BES. Reindeer numbers have increased over the past two decades, said the research team, so greater competition for food likely also contributed to their smaller size. This meant there could be more, but smaller reindeer in the Arctic in the decades to come, possibly at risk of catastrophic die-offs because of increased ice on the ground. the lawsuit at a news conference in downtown Seattle Thursday, saying they expect to win hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars from the New Concord Mayor Brett Essex reflects on the life of John Glenn during a memorial service commemorating Glenn s life at Westminster Presbyterian Church in New Concord, Ohio, on Dec 11. (AP) The team has tracked Arctic reindeer since 1994, catching, marking and measuring 10-month-old calves every winter and returning the following year to recapture and note the animals size and weight. A study earlier this year pointed to 61,000 reindeer starving to death on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia in the winter of due to a rain-on-snow event as described in the new research. Also: PARIS: A decade-long surge of the potent greenhouse gas methane threatens to make the fight against global warming even harder, top researchers warned Monday. Additional attention is urgently needed to quantify and reduce methane emissions, they wrote in the Environmental Research Letters journal, summarising the findings of a consortium of 81 scientists. After rising slowly from 2000 to 2006, the concentration of methane in the air climbed 10 times more quickly the following decade, according to that study, which was published in the peerreviewed Earth System Science Data. company. It is time to hold the sole US manufacturer of PCBs accountable for the significant harm they have caused to our state, Ferguson said, noting that the chemicals continue to imperil the health of protected salmon and orcas despite the tens of millions of dollars Washington has spent to clean up the pollution. Monsanto produced PCBs for decades while hiding what they knew about the toxic chemicals harm to human health and the environment. The suit arrives just days before Monsanto shareholders vote whether to accept a $57 billion buyout offer from Germany s Bayer. The extraordinary meeting of shareholders takes place just outside of St Louis on Tuesday. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were used in many industrial and commercial applications, including in paint, coolants, sealants and hydraulic fluids. Monsanto, based in St Louis, produced them from 1935 until Congress banned them in According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs have been shown to cause a variety of health problems, including cancer in animals as well as effects on the immune, nervous and reproductive systems. (AP)

19 Film Boutros film rooted in unpleasant history Solitaire brings Lebanon-Syria tensions on big screen DUBAI, Dec 12, (AFP): Therese is a Lebanese mother keen to meet her daughter s groom-to-be but she gets the shock of her life when she hears his Syrian accent. Solitaire, which premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival, reflects a history of animosity accumulated over years of Syrian military intervention in neighbouring Lebanon. It also highlights the mounting tension between Lebanon s small population and the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have fled their own country s devastating war since Therese s brother was killed in Syrian bombing during Lebanon s civil war. His portrait on the wall loomed large over Samer and his family as they sat in Therese s living room. Send them away to where they came from, she ordered her daughter Ghada, who met Samir in Dubai. Your future mother-in-law seems racist! followed the warning from the Syrian suitor s mother. For film director Sophie Boutros, the antagonism in her feature film is rooted in an unpleasant history between the Lebanese and the Syrians during Lebanon s war. Assassination Syria was the powerbroker in Lebanon where it deployed troops for decades until they had to withdraw following ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri s assassination in February 2005, despite its denial of any involvement. The conflict in Syria over the past five years has sent more than one million Syrians to seek shelter in Lebanon, where they now make up a quarter of the population. The film is an observation of something that is real and that we should shed a light on, Boutros told AFP on the red carpet. Lebanese and Syrian actors star in the 92-minute film, whose script was written jointly by Boutros and Jordan s Nadia Eliewat. The timing of the movie is good because of the current tension, said Lebanese actress Betty Taoutel, who plays the role of Ghada s aunt. People hate each other sometimes because of politics, despite the fact that we are all victims of these politics, she said. The movie comes to a climax when Ghada tells Samir he should be grateful that her mother has finally accepted their engagement despite (him) being Syrian. At that point, Samir walks out with his family. Television producer Elie Aramouni said Boutros has managed in her first movie to strike a balance in a very sensitive story. The best thing about Solitaire is that it does not preach. It introduces the problem as is, he said. Instead of focusing on the problems that distort relations, Solitaire tries to focus on the similarities between the two peoples, including cuisine and music. This film brings us closer to each other more than it pushes us apart, said a member of the audience, Zeina al-sayyed, as she left the theatre. Solitaire is scheduled for release in March in Lebanese cinemas, while the Dubai film festival, featuring 156 films from 55 countries, ends on Wednesday. Also: LOS ANGELES: The Arab film industry is starting up its first unified motion picture association and launching the Arab Film Awards, its version of the Oscars. The potentially game changing initiative, still in early stages, was announced on Sunday by a group of prominent Arab producers and industry execs during the 13th edition of the Dubai Film Festival, the world s leading Arab cinema platform, which is among its supporters. Plans are underway for the first edition of the Arab Film Awards to take place in Dubai in March 2018, with statuettes to be handed out in 19 categories. The nascent entity behind the initiative is a non-profit called the Arab Film Institute which will be headquartered in Dubai. The goal is to have at least 500 members next year, said Lebanese producer Paul Baboudjian, a former executive director of funding org. Screen Institute Beirut, who conceived and got the ball rolling on what is intended to become the Arab rough equivalent of the European Film Academy, or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the US. Being a witness and active member of the bright and rich Arab film scene, I felt we needed to bring together all this energy and exchange experiences and ideas as well as offer wider opportunities in a fastchanging world to our film community, Baboudjian said at a packed presser. The initial nucleus on the board of the institute behind the first pan-arab film prizes includes prominent Egyptian indie producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy ( Clash ); Tunisia s top arthouse producer Dora Bouchoucha ( Hedi ); the head of Jordan s Royal Film Commission George David; Moroccan filmmaker and producer Nabil Ayouch ( Much Loved ); Sheikha Al Zain Al-Sabah, who is Undersecretary of Kuwait s Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and also a film producer; and Jawaheer Abdulla Al Qassimi, who is director of Director of the UAE s Funn, Media Arts for Youth org and the Sharjah Children International Film Festival. Variety Features TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2016 LOS ANGELES: Disney s Moana has continued to sit pretty atop the box office for its third consecutive weekend, but Damien Chazelle s musical La La Land was what really had audiences singing this weekend. Playing in only five theaters, the lively and well-reviewed La La Land grossed a staggering $855,000 for Lionsgate, according to studio estimates Sunday. Its $171,000 per theater average is an all-time high for a five-theater release and for 2016 in general. According to exit polls, 52 percent of audiences were female and 53 percent were over age 30. We felt like we were going to have a strong opening, but I don t think anyone would have predicted a result this big, said David Spitz, Lionsgate s president of domestic theatrical distribution. The film cost a reported $30 million to make and has been gaining buzz throughout the fall since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and continued wowing critics and audiences at various other festivals. (AP) LOS ANGELES: With the moviegoing world holding its collective breath for Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them took advantage of the last Star Wars -less weekend for awhile to top the foreign box office. The fantasy adventure earned $33.1 million internationally on approximately 14,200 screens in 67 markets, pushing its global gross to $680 million. Fantastic Beasts is a spinoff of the Harry Potter series. Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, hopes there will be at least four sequels. In second place, Disney s Moana grossed $23.5 million. The animated fantasy is now screening in more than half of all foreign territories, and added Israel and Lebanon to its array of markets. Moana, the story of a princess who embarks on an Nicole Kidman presents the award for best actor at the 22nd annual Critics Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Dec 11, in Santa Monica, California. (AP) oceanic journey to lift a curse, has made $238.8 million globally. World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge nabbed third place, earning $15 million. The Mel Gibson film has grossed $98.1 million globally. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: Mel Gibson s Hacksaw Ridge opened brightly Film Affleck, Portman win top actor s honors La La Land rules Critics Choice LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (Agencies): La La Land, a musical love story of two struggling artists set in Los Angeles, on Sunday swept the top prizes at the Critics Choice Awards, taking Best Picture and Best Director for Damien Chazelle. The film won in eight of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, cementing its status as an early front-runner in the Hollywood awards season. Casey Affleck was named Best Actor for his role as the reluctant guardian of a 16-year-old nephew in Manchester by the Sea. Best Actress went to Natalie Portman for her portrayal of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie, which blends factual events with fiction in depicting the week after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Viola Davis reprisal of her Broadway role as a concerned mother and wife in the film adaptation of August Wilson s play Fences garnered her the Best Supporting Actress award. Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his depiction of a crack dealer in the drama Moonlight. Accolades were also given to the top television series and stars in several categories. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was recognised as the Best Movie Made For Television or Limited Series. The Critics Choice Awards are chosen by the more than 300 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA). Although its members are not usually part of the same guilds that pick nominees and winners for most of Hollywood s awards shows, the critics awards help to build the buzz for potential Oscar front-runners. Chazelle Movies Best Picture: La La Land Best Actor: Casey Affleck Manchester By The Sea Best Actress: Natalie Portman Jackie Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali Moonlight Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis Fences Best Young Actor/Actress: Lucas Hedges Manchester By The Sea Best Acting Ensemble: Moonlight Best Director: Damien Chazelle La La Land Best Original Screenplay: Damien Chazelle La La Land; Kenneth Lonergan Manchester By The Sea Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer Arrival Best Cinematography: Linus Sandgren La La Land Best Production Design: La La Land David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco Best Editing: Tom Cross La La Land Best Costume Design: Madeline Fontaine Jackie Best Hair & Makeup: Jackie Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book Best Animated Feature: Zootopia Best Action Movie: Hacksaw Ridge Best Actor In An Action Movie: Andrew Garfield Hacksaw Ridge Best Actress In An Action Movie: Margot Robbie Suicide Squad Best Comedy: Deadpool Best Actor In A Comedy: Ryan Reynolds Deadpool Best Actress In A Comedy: Meryl Streep Florence Foster Jenkins Gibson in China with over $16 million in four days at the Chinese box office. The film opened on Thursday in second place behind ongoing sensation, Japanese animation Your Name. It played through Friday and Saturday in the same spot and emerged in first place on Sunday. Over the Friday to Sunday Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie: Arrival Best Foreign Language Film: Elle Best Song: City Of Stars La La Land Best Score: Justin Hurwitz La La Land TV Best Drama Series: Game Of Thrones HBO Best Actor In A Drama Series: Bob Odenkirk Better Call Saul AMC Best Actress in a Drama Series: Evan Rachel Wood Westworld HBO Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: John Lithgow The Crown Netflix Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Thandie Newton Westworld HBO Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series: Jeffrey Dean Morgan The Walking Dead AMC Best Comedy Series: Silicon Valley HBO Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Kate Mckinnon Saturday Night Live NBC Best Actor In A Comedy Series: Donald Glover Atlanta FX Best Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series: Jane Krakowski Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Louie Anderson Baskets FX Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin Saturday Night Live NBC Best Animated Series: Bojack Horseman Netflix Best Reality Competition Series: The Voice NBC Best Structured Reality Series: Shark Tank ABC Best Unstructured Reality Series: Anthony Continued on Page 20 weekend Your Name clocked up $15.1 million, according to data from Ent Group. Hacksaw scored $14.2 million. The cumulative score for Hacksaw, including Thursday, was $16.7 million. After 10 days on release Your Name has amassed $71.0 million. New opener, Suddenly Seventeen arrived in third with $10.2 million. Starring Ni Ni and Wallace Huo, the film suggests that romance is not completely dead, though the much over used romance genre not the potent force it was previously. The top three films accounted for some 60% of business on Saturday, with Your Name on 25%, Hacksaw on 22% and Suddenly on 15%. (RTRS)

20 NEWS/FEATURES 20 People & Places Film Deadpool best comedy Thrones wins best drama series for TV Continued from Page 19 Bourdain: Parts Unknown CNN Best Talk Show: The Late Late Show With James Corden CBS Best Reality Show Host: Anthony Bourdain Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown CNN Best Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: The People V. O.J. Simpson FX Best Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Courtney B. Vance The People v. O.J. Simpson FX Best Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Sterling K. Brown The People V. O.J. Simpson FX Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Sarah Paulson The People v. O.J. Simpson FX Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Regina King American Crime ABC The Broadcast Film Critics Scorsese Assn. shifted the entire calendar for the annual Critics Choice Awards up a month this year in order to capitalize on being first out of the gate with a critical assessment of the year s filmmaking accomplishments. An early voting deadline in November meant the group could preempt the New York and Los Angeles film critics announcements, while a mid-december ceremony gave them a major jump on the Golden Globe Awards (the competition, as BFCA brass sees it). However, this also meant there was no time to screen Martin Scorsese s Silence, considered in some quarters one of the year s finest films, for the nationwide membership. Same for late-breaking blockbuster fare like Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which might have found a home in some of the BFCA s genre categories. The group is slightly embattled lately, on the heels of shoe-horning last year s Lucasfilm entry, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, into the best picture category after the fact, as well as key members of sister group the Broadcast Television Journalists Assn. resigning in protest to a partnership with Entertainment Weekly last month. Thankfully, there was no such move to insinuate Rogue One into the picture this time around. Meanwhile, requests to screen Silence for only a portion of the membership, in New York and Los Angeles, were declined out of fairness. So the scandals were more or less behind them as the BFCA/BTJA set out to honor the year s best film and TV at a Santa Monica ceremony Sunday night. Well...all but telecast host T.J. Miller s arrest for getting physical with a Trump-supporting Uber driver Friday. Surprise The big winner at the end of the night was Damien Chazelle s La La Land, and it s no surprise, given that the film is a consensus favorite this year primed for Academy Awards. In the world of Oscar prognostication, if the Critics Choice Awards are good for anything it s seeing how a broad group of people respond to the year in film; that s in part why their choices have so often lined up with the Academy s. Chazelle s film also won prizes for director, original screenplay (in a tie with Manchester by the Sea ), cinematography, editing, production design, song and score. That doesn t quite topple Mad Max: Fury Road s nine-trophy haul last year, but it s good enough to make La La Land the secondmost awarded film in Critics Choice history. As ever, a number of winners were announced as commercial bumpers, including the screenplay categories, which best actor winner Casey Affleck thought it worth pointing out. That seems like a funny thing to skip over considering none of us would be here without that, he said, adding: They probably would write some interesting speeches. But alas, you can only squeeze so much in when you re handing out film and television awards as well as a slew of genre prizes aimed at beefing up the celebrity profile of the show. However, it appeared some of those celebrities didn t bother to show. But the BFCA found extra star wattage in Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, who took the stage not once but three times: to accept the best actor in a comedy prize, to bask in the film s overall win in the comedy movie category (somehow edging out more critically acclaimed movies -- go figure) and to collect an Entertainment Weeklybranded Entertainer of the Year honor. Interesting On the TV side, it was interesting to note that Netflix s The Crown, FX s Atlanta, and HBO s Westworld all picked up their first-ever prizes, lest the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. seize upon their usual kingmaker status first. John Lithgow (best supporting actor), Donald Glover (best actor in a comedy series), and Evan Rachel Wood/Thandie Newton (best actress/supporting actress) won for each respective program. Given the mass defections, though, one wonders how the overall TV vote was affected. So indeed, congratulations to the Critics Choice Awards for being FIRST! The question with the early jump, however, is whether it will actually provide the exposure the group is hoping for, or if it will be too much too soon. The BFCA had a nice groove going for the handful of years the ceremony was held on the same day the Oscar nominations were announced. They ended up with dibs on the first red (er, blue) carpet walked by many newly minted nominees, as handlers were eager for their talent to attend and take the dive into phase two campaigning. But tomorrow s Golden Globe nominations will overwhelm all awards coverage, with the Screen Actors Guild announcing just two days later. Will Sunday night feel more like a distant rehearsal than early standard-setting when the season finally times out? Other prizes of note: The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Game of Thrones, and Silicon Valley won the top TV categories. Actor Lakeith Stanfield interrupted the the latter s presentation in what appeared to be a bit of a protest on behalf of his show Atlanta. Casey Affleck ( Manchester by the Sea ), Natalie Portman ( Jackie ), Bob Odenkirk ( Better Call Saul ), and Kate McKinnon ( Saturday Night Live ) won other top performance categories. Director Damien Chazelle (center), accepts the award for best picture for La La Land at the 22nd annual Critics Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Dec 11, in Santa Monica, California. Pictured on stage from left: Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz, Mary Zophres, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. (AP) Ryan Reynolds accepts the EW entertainer of the year award at the 22nd annual Critics Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Dec 11, in Santa Monica, California. (AP) Cook Variety Wheaton LOS ANGELES: The force is strong with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story according to early reactions from the film s premiere Saturday night in Los Angeles. Official reviews are under embargo until Tuesday morning in advance of the Dec 16 release, but the crowd at the Pantages Theater went wild with applause as the credits rolled and took to social media to express their delight in the Star Wars spinoff film about the rebels who steal the plans for the Death Star. It s set right before the events of the original 1977 Star Wars. Comedian Dane Cook suggested on Twitter that it might be the best Star Wars movie, while Rainn Wilson called it amazing. Actor Wil Wheaton said he hadn t loved a Star Wars movie as much since the original. Chris Taylor, author of the book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe wrote that the film was heart-stopping and dark. Like darker than Empire Strikes Back dark. There had been some hand-wringing from fans about the spinoff film when the public learned that the production was undergoing expensive reshoots and bringing in veteran scribe Tony Gilroy to help out which the script. (AP) LOS ANGELES: Local disaster blockbuster, Pandora debuted on top of the South Korean box office. Opening on Wednesday (Dec 7) in Korea, the Next Entertainment World picture earned $10.1 million from 1.46 million admissions over five days and accounted for 46% of total weekend box office revenue. Also opening on Wednesday, La La Land earned $4.19 million over five days. It is higher than the opening score of Whiplash, which made $2.25 million during its five-day opening. CJ s bromantic comedy, My Annoying Brother slipped to third from the previous week s first, earning $1.85 million between Friday and Sunday. It has made $17.9 million after three weekends. Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them dropped to fifth. Its total is $32.3 million after four weekends on release. Warner s animated Storks de- Film Egyptian director El Bendary talks on his Ali DFF director on helping Arab cinema LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (RTRS): Widely respected as a top Arab cinema expert, Dubai Film Festival artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali has been instrumental to creating the top platform for local pics in the Arab world. He spoke to Variety about how the event has helped foster a film industry from scratch in the Gulf and some of the main challenges faced by Arab cinema at large. Excerpts: Question: Why did you pick Miss Sloane as the opening movie? Answer: It s topical, it s recent. It talks about what s happening in the US and how this can affect the world. Also the female character is very strong. All of these elements played into it. We have lots of female directors in the Arab world, maybe more than in the West. This year for the first time we have three films from Qatar by female filmmakers. We also have three from Saudi Arabia. I just came from a press conference [for Lebanese film Solitaire ] where the only male on the panel was the moderator. So Miss Sloane connects with everything we are doing. Q: There are six Emirati feature films at the festival, which is a first. And there is also one ( Rashid & Rajab ) currently shooting in Dubai. How did the Gulf industry come such a long way? A: I think the festivals in the Gulf - especially the first festival I started in Abu Dhabi a while back just dedicated to Emirati directors started a movement. When Dubai began, in the first edition we had a small section with five shorts called Emerging Emiratis. Today we have the Muhr section dedicated to Emirati cinema which has feature films besides short films. I think festivals played a big role in helping the filmmakers find a way by creating an environment where we not only showcased films, but also pushed the industry with our funds and co-production market. Q: The biggest obstacle Arab cinema at large faces today is getting Arab movies to play on local screens. The Dubai Film Market has addressed this buted in fourth, earning $982,000 between Wednesday and Sunday. E.oni s mystery drama Missing dropped to sixth, earning $940,000 between by creating a distribution prize. But what else can be done? A: The Arab world doesn t have a system. It s all a bit chaotic. When it comes to distribution, there is really a missing link. The efforts [marketing and distribution company] Mad Solutions is doing [in micro distribution, driven by social media] can help. And there are also other new distributors doing a great job. Now there is now a plan to launch Arab film awards. But a lot remains to be fixed. Q: The awards you just mentioned and the new Arab Film Institute which will launch them, have just been announced. How do you feel about this initiative? A: We certainly need more industry initiatives, and something like this can help to provide more exposure for Arab cinema. The shuttering of the Abu Dhabi Film festival was a loss, and then subsequently losing their Sanad film fund was a further loss. We are doing new things to promote Arab cinema internationally. This year we started promoting two Arab films for Golden Globes consideration. Paradoxically when Arab movies do well outside the Arab world sometimes that provides the path for them to find a home in their own region. Q: What about the Oscars? In 2013 the Dubai Film Festival joined the ranks of festivals qualifying for the Oscar short film competition. But does the UAE have a national film entity that can submit an Emirati feature film for Oscar consideration? A: Not yet. But we are in the process of setting that up. Until recently we didn t have any movies to submit, but now we do. So we are working on establishing a national motion picture association. Busy director Sherif El Bendary took a break from shooting and editing Brotherhood (Al-Gama a), the controversial, multi-part drama series Friday and Sunday for a total of $6.93 million after two weekends. Distributed by CJ, Japanese animation, One Piece Film Gold earned $958,000 between Thursday Larry Karaszewski (foreground from left), Courtney B. Vance, Nina Jacobson, Cuba Gooding Jr, Ryan Murphy, John Travolta, Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Scott Alexander pose in the press room with the award for best movie made for television or limited series for The People v. O.J. Simpson at the 22nd annual Critics Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Dec 11, in Santa Monica, California. (AP) he is helming about the Muslim Brotherhood for Egyptian television, which is slated to air during the next Ramadan, to talk about Ali, The Goat And Ibrahim, his first feature, which world premiers in competition at this year s Dubai Film Festival. The two projects couldn t be more different; Ali is a whimsical, comic road movie featuring three unusual title characters, which claims the ground between independent and commercial cinema. El Bendary, an engineer turned filmmaker, notes, For me there are many things I don t like about independent cinema. It s low budget, not well-made technically, too intellectual, too dark, about ideas, not storytelling. But commercial is something else I don t want to do. Certainly, his characters are not commercial cinema types. Voluble Ali lives at home with his mother and loves a goat called Nada that goes with him almost everywhere. Ibrahim is a depressed sound engineer, driven to distraction by a familial curse: strange sounds that only he can hear. Together they travel to Alexandria and the Sinai. Their trip becomes a voyage of self-acceptance that seals their growing bond of friendship. But as a story of two outsiders that don t fit in and one without big name stars, Ali required considerable time to finance. It ultimately came together as a co-production between Egypt, UAE, France and Qatar and benefited from multiple funds and works-inprogress pitch programs. El Bendary says that having the project seen and awarded by juries of different nationalities gave him confidence that he was going in the right direction and that he had something universal. The film took five years from start to finish, during a time in which the Egyptian economy was unstable. Preproduction extended over three years, while the 30 days of shooting stretched over 11 months, from May 2015 to April Post also required a year. and Sunday. Representing a week-on-week slump of 86%, Lotte-distributed Jack Reacher: Never Go Back made $278,000 between in its second weekend for a total of $3.84 million. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: The Unforgettable Gala lived up to its name Saturday night, delivering memorable speeches and performances. The annual event now in its 15th year celebrated Asian-American trailblazers and their achievements in the entertainment industry. The gala was created by James Ryu, founder and publisher of the awardwinning magazines KoreAm Journal and Audrey Magazine, and now the website Kore (a subsidiary of London Trust Media). Star Trek actor George Takei joked on the red carpet about receiving the ICON Award. Well all the icons I know are dead, I m very much alive, he told Variety. I m going to redefine what they mean by icon. Indeed, not only is the veteran actor alive, he s had a career resurgence with his play Allegiance, cameos on Hawaii Five-0, and preparing for a revival of Stephen Sondheim s Pacific Overtures. But it s his political statements as a citizen who was forced into internment camps during World War II that have perhaps had the biggest impact this year. (RTRS)

21 NEWS/FEATURES 21 Music Hamilton beats Stones Yangon heavy metal crashes into the open YANGON, Dec 12, (AFP): Moshing and sweating, the crowd of headbangers scream their angst into the sultry Yangon night, a rare glimpse of a defiant musical subculture now crashing into the open though drugs and religion remain off the song sheet. Half a century of repressive military rule virtually silenced Myanmar s heavy metal scene and today its musicians are still shunned by most people in the conservative Buddhist country. But a growing coterie of die-hard metal-heads say the aggressive, rasping music gives them a unique release in a nation still struggling to come to terms with its own dark history. Listening to metal is the best feeling. It is like freedom, it s good for the soul, 21-year-old mobile phone repairman Thaw Di Yoo told AFP at a recent gig. It s different from other music, that s why I am only a fan of metal, he said, showing a tattoo depicting the logo of his local heroes Nightmare Metal Band on his arm. For A Phyu Yaung, a 30-year-old marketing manager, metal helps her escape Suu Kyi everyday life. I mostly listen to metal songs when I feel stressed, she said. It can help chill me out when I m feeling like that. For years metal bands were muzzled by strict censorship laws and dissident musicians were jailed and often tortured for supporting the opposition. Banned music was smuggled in on tapes and CDs and an underground scene of punks and headbangers began to grow up out of sight of Myanmar s notorious police in the 90s. Flourishing Today the arts are flourishing, but metal music is still sidelined in a country where most prefer sickly sweet pop, crooning love songs or Burmese covers of Western hip hop tracks. Like repressive socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia, Myanmar s junta feared the anarchist energy of heavy metal music. Censors banned anything they thought could prove a spark for revolution from too much red or black in artworks to the mention of roses in songs, seen as a reference to democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. While underground metal musicians managed to stay out of jails, their jarring sound and brooding political lyrics were publicly silenced. Metal is not the type of music that goes on about how much I love you and how much I miss you, guitar instructor Myo Min Thu told AFP in his teaching room, plastered with posters of US bands like Iron Cross and Metallica. Myanmar officially abolished censorship in 2012, the year after the junta handed power to a quasi-civilian regime. Freedom of expression blossomed and many musicians came out in support of Suu Kyi s NLD party as it campaigned for last year s election, the first free vote in a generation. Today Myanmar s heavy metal bands are still too coy to touch on topics like death considered taboo in conservative Myanmar in stark contrast to their peers in the West. Instead, they are using their new-found freedom to push for social and political change. In our new album, we mostly write about politics and the situation in the country, said Last Days of Beethoven guitarist Phoe Zaw, 32. We write against... violence against Muslim people and Buddhist people in Rakhine state, violence against ethnic people in (other) states. Still, hardcore metal remains a niche genre. While the number of bands has grown since the end of junta rule, there are still only a few dozen in Yangon and a handful in the rest of the country of more than 50 million. Not many venues will put on metal gigs and bands struggle to find sponsors who will pay for the highlevel sound systems they need, while few shops stock the rare albums that make it onto labels. There are only a few shows here. I can count on my fingers the number of shows in a year, said Phoe Zaw. Hold Very few people (organisers) want to hold underground shows, metal shows. But bands say the explosion of social media over the past few years has helped to bring them into the limelight. Now they post their music online instead of handing out CDs in teashops and on the street, and fans can share songs without having to wait for them to be formally released. For musicians who have struggled for years to be heard, the online revolution is offering a new hope. I think metal music is becoming more popular in Myanmar now, said Aung Myo Linn, from Nightmare Metal Band. Technology and the Internet is helping as we can share songs through social media like Facebook, You- Tube and others, even if we cannot produce albums. Also: NEW YORK: A compilation inspired by the Broadway smash hit Hamilton opened at number one Sunday on the US album sales chart, easily outpacing the first Rolling Stones album in a decade. The Hamilton Mixtape features interpretations of songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda s musical by top acts including Sia, John Legend and Wiz Khalifa. The compilation album sold 187,000 copies or their equivalent in downloads or streaming in the week through Thursday, monitoring service Nielsen Music said. Hamilton, a hip-hop reimagining of the US founding fathers, has been one of Broadway s hottest tickets in years. Hamilton recently returned to the news when US Vice-President-elect Mike Pence attended and the crew voiced concern to him over how the next administration would treat minorities, prompting an angry rebuke by President-elect Donald Trump. The Rolling Stones opened at number four on the Billboard chart with Blue and Lonesome, a cover album of Chicago blues standards that is the rock legends first studio release since Blue and Lonesome had opened at number one in Britain, the first for the Stones in their native country in more than 20 years. The Stones have not had a number one in the United States since 1981 s Tattoo You. English singer Sting performs during the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Telenor Arena in Oslo, Norway, on Dec 11. (AP) Anderson Cooper attends the 10th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Dec 11, in New York City. (AFP) Variety LOS ANGELES: It s bombs away in the action-packed first trailer for The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the Fast & Furious series, that debuted during Sunday Night Football. Charlize Theron makes her debut as the franchise s new villain in the trailer, appearing to taunt Vin Diesel s Dominic Toretto. You know what I like about you, Dom? You re a genuine outlaw. But your family is about to go up against the one thing they can t handle: you, she says. Did you ever think you would betray your family the way you did today? In the movie, Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, and the rest of the crew has been exonerated, finding a semblance of a normal life. But when Theron s character seduces Dom into a world of crime he can t seem to escape, the family will face a new set of trials. I don t know if the old Dom is in there, says Dwayne Johnson in the clip. I m taking you down, Toretto. Let s play. (RTRS) LOS ANGELES: A Los Angeles radio station says former Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen has been fired after she got into an online confrontation with openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting. LA Talk Radio announced on Friday that it will not tolerate hateful speech and that it has severed ties with the host. US Weekly reports Acord-Whiting criticized Olsen, the co-host of Two Chicks Talkin Politics, after he was a guest on the show. Olsen, 55, who played Cindy Brady in the TV show, posted on her Facebook page that Acord-Whiting blocked her before I could even get one hit in. Acord-Whiting later posted a screenshot of a Facebook message he says Olsen sent to him. (AP) SKOPJE: Esma Redzepova, one of the most powerful voices in the world of Gypsy music, has died in Macedonia s capital after a brief illness, according to local media. She was 73. Called the Queen of Gypsy music, Redzepova in 2010 was ranked among the 50 greatest voices in the world by National Public Radio. News website Sakam da kazam reported that she died Sunday, citing family members. She started singing in the early 1950s and was active almost to the end. Redzepova was the leading voice of her husband Stevo Teodosievski s ensemble, which performed Roma and Macedonian folk music. In 2013, she represented Macedonia at the Eurovision song contest. Redzepova and her husband had fostered 47 children. She was also known as an advocate for Roma women s rights. (AP) NEW YORK: John Glenn, depicted in Hidden Figures as a space trailblazer Film Moonlight bags six nominations La La Land tops Globes nods who also gave critical support to pioneering black women at NASA who helped him orbit the earth, was fondly remembered by the cast at the movie s premiere. He s a hero. John Glenn was always on the right side of history. During a time when these women, because of their gender and the color of their skin, were often times treated like second-class citizens, he extended his hand out, and he trusted women, and women of color, with his life, said LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (Agencies): La La Land, a musical ode to Los Angeles, topped the Golden Globe nominations on Monday, picking up seven nods. It was followed closely behind by Moonlight, a low-budget coming-ofage drama that received six nods. The two films have dominated awards season, along with Manchester by the Sea, which picked up five nominations on Monday, including a best drama nod. On the television front, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson was tops with five nods. The People vs O.J. Simpson is an acclaimed look at the football star s murder trial. It got Globes attention for the work of Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, and John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. FX backed the program. If Manchester, Moonlight, and La La Land were widely expected to be showered with Globes attention, there were nevertheless some big surprises. Nocturnal Animals, a noir-ish thriller, got several top nods for Tom Ford, who was honored for writing the screenplay and for writing the film. It was also a big morning for Hacksaw Ridge and its director Mel Gibson. The World War II drama was nominated for best drama, while Gibson was nominated for his directing. Gibson is a controversial figure in the industry. His career went into a tailspin after he was arrested for drug driving in 2006 and was caught on tape making anti-semitic remarks to his arresting officer. The Tonight Show s Jimmy Fallon will host the Globes broadcast, which is set to air on January 8 live from the Beverly Hilton. Fallon is the third person to emcee the program, following Ricky Gervais and the tag-team of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Segregate Unlike the Oscars, the Globes segregate comedies and musicals from dramatic films. They also do not award below-the-line categories such as film editing, cinematography, or makeup. The Globes unveiled its picks for best animated feature, a group that included box office smashes Moana and Zootopia, as well as Sing, an upcoming release about a music competition for animals. The group also recognized Kubo and and the Two Strings, a stop-motion fantasy action- adventure film, and My Life as a Zucchini, a lesser-known French-Swiss stop motion animated. Finding Dory, the year s biggest domestic hit, was shut out. The Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an intimate group of roughly 100 foreign journalists. The organization has been criticized in the past for being overly cozy with studios and for accepting gifts, but it has tried to tighten rules in recent years. It has also raised eyebrows over some of its selections, infamously handing out an award to Pia Zadora in the 1980 s as best newcomer and more recently recognizing The Tourist and Burlesque, two critically derided pictures from 2010 that got top nominations. But as television programming, the Globes gets high marks. American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson led the early Golden Globe Awards nominations on Monday, picking up five nods including for best TV movie or limited series. It was followed by The Night Manager, a John Le Carre adaptation that picked up four nominations in the early going. Moonlight, a coming-ofage drama, and The Night Of each picked up three nods. Don Cheadle, Laura Dern, and Anna Kendrick announced the initial nominations. The rest of the nominations, including most of the film categories, will be revealed at 5:37 am. List of nominees for the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards, announced Monday in Beverly Hills, California: Motion pictures Picture, Drama: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight. Picture, Musical or Comedy: 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street Actor, Drama: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea ; Joel Edgerton, Loving ; Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge ; Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic ; Denzel Washington, Fences. Actress, Drama: Amy Adams, Arrival ; Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane ; Isabelle Huppert, Elle ; Ruth Negga, Loving ; Natalie Portman, Jackie. Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land ; Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals ; Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge ; Barry Jenkins, Moonlight ; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea. Actor, Musical or Comedy: Colin Farrell, The Lobster ; Ryan Gosling, La La Land ; Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins ; Jonah Hill, War Dogs ; Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool. Actress, Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women ; Lily Collins, Rules Don t Apply ; Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen ; Emma Stone, La La Land ; Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins. Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight ; Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water ; Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins ; Dev Patel, Lion ; Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals. Supporting Actress, Motion Picture: Viola Davis, Fences ; Naomie Harris, Moonlight ; Nicole Kidman, Lion ; Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures ; Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea. Foreign Language: Divines, Elle, Neruda, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann. Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Sing, Zootopia. Theron Diesel Screenplay: Damien Chazelle, La La Land ; Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals ; Barry Jenkins, Moonlight ; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea ; Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water Original Score: Nicholas Britell, Moonlight : Justin Hurwitz, La La Land ; Johann Johannsson, Arrival ; Dustin O Halloran, Hauschka, Lion ; Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Benjamin Wallfisch, Hidden Figures. Original Song: Can t Stop the Feeling!, City of Stars, Faith, Gold, How Far I ll Go. TV list of nominees: Series, Drama: The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Westworld. Actress, Drama: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander ; Claire Foy, The Crown ; Keri Russell, The Americans ; Winona Ryder, Stranger Things ; Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld. Actor, Drama: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot ; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul ; Matthew Rhys, The Americans ; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan ; Billie Bob Thornton, Goliath. Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Riz Ahmed, The Night Of ; Bryan Cranston, All the Way ; Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager ; John Turturro, The Night Manager ; Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Series, Musical or Comedy: Atlanta, black-ish, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Veep. Supporting Actor, Series, Limited Series or Movie: Sterline K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ; Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager ; John Lithgow, The Crown ; Christian Slater, Mr. Robot ; John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Actress, Limited Series or Movie: Felicity Huffman, American Crime ; Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience ; Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ; Charlotte Rampling, London Spy ; Kerry Washington, Confirmation. Supporting Actress, Series, Limited Series or Movie: Olivia Colman, The Night Manager ; Lena Headey, Game of Thrones ; Chrissy Metz, This Is Us ; Mandy Moore, This Is Us ; Thandie Newton, Westworld. Limited Series or Movie: American Crime, The Dresser, The Night Manager, The Night Of, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Actress, Musical or Comedy: Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep ; Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce ; Issa Rae, Insecure ; Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin ; Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish. Actor, Musical or Comedy: Anthony Anderson, black-ish ; Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle ; Donald Glover, Atlanta ; Nick Nolte, Graves ; Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. Janelle Monae, one of the film s stars. Glenn, a former Democratic US Senator, died last week at the age of 95. Also a former US military pilot in World War II and the Korean War, he became a national hero in 1962 when he succeeded in circling Earth. Hidden Figures tells the story of a trio of African-American mathematicians, also called computers, at NASA in the early 1960s who helped get him there. (AP)

22 Events A flyer of the event. A flyer of the event. A flyer of the event. Proper exercise, balanced diet cornerstones of good health ASSE organises awareness program on nutrition for women KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Kuwait Chapter as part of its continuous efforts to bring the learning opportunities and latest HSE developments, organized an Awareness program on Nutrition for Women at Every Age on Nov 29, 2016 at Best Western Hotel, Mahboula, Kuwait. At every stage of women s lives, nutrition and regular exercise are the cornerstones of good health and optimal energy. The nutritional therapist Ms Omnia Nassar explained the best times to eat carbs, protein and fat, what your portion size should be and how to nourish yourself for optimum health. Alamgir, Vice-President of ASSE Kuwait Chapter welcomed everyone for the Session. Dr Shaikhah Al Fajjam, Head, WISE committee briefed about the program outline and introduced the speaker. The training program was presented by, Ms Omnia Nassar Abdelrahman, Nutritional Therapist Pharmacist Cairo University who is the Operations Manager at M/s MedcoGulf Company. During the presentation, Ms Omnia, A photo from the event. described about the importance of various nutrients for our body. She took the participants through the journey of stages in Woman life with different nutrients requirement at each stage. She stressed on importance of proper exercise, balance diet & regular internal check up for better life. The awareness session was very much interactive; it was followed by Question and Answer session. The winners were awarded with on the spot gifts sponsored by M/s MedcoGulf Company. As a token of appreciation, Dr Shaikhah Al Fajjam, Head, WISE Committee handed over memento to Ms Omnia Nasser Dr Shaikhah Al Fajjam in her closing remarks thanked Ms Omnia for her excellent presentation & also thanked all the ladies for attending the program. Around 30 women, including ASSE Kuwait Chapter member s spouses & ASSE Women members participated in the awareness program. Give away gifts sponsored by M/s MedcoGulf Company were distributed to all participates. The meet concluded with dinner. click Alcoholics Anonymous: If you know someone who can t stop drinking and would like to help them please check us out and we promise to try to help at There are no fees. This is a genuine public service. Drinking problem?: Friends of Bill W. are available to help. Totally confidential. Narcotics Anonymous: NA can help with addiction problems. Totally confidential: English/Arabic. Cancer online support group: If you are Cancer patient or family member fighting with this deadly disease, come join our online support group. Best way of dealing with this disease is providing support and share our experience with each other. There are lot of things which even doctors can t tell so be member of this website and start sharing your experiences which may help others. October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). The primary purpose is to promote self examination and screening mammography as the most effective way to save lives by detecting breast cancer at early stage. For more information visit: Latest Share your story with Amricani: Do you or any of your family members, acquaintances or friends happen to have a story with the American Missionary hospital in Kuwait (Mustashfa Lemraicani) during the years from , the official period of offering medical services in Kuwait? Please share with us your story or your memory during those old days by writing the event and sending it to the following address: Notes: 1. Please send your story only to the above mentioned . Story shared in Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will not be considered. 2. Please write your story or memory and sign it with your full name, and your contact number. 3. It will be great if you send us your personal photos or those of the place related to the story (optional). Your story will be part of a new book to be Continued on Page 24


24 24 It s like Katha won the lottery Myanmar town wants the secret out: Orwell slept here KATHA, Myanmar, Dec 12, (AP): In the 1990s, Nyo Ko Naing noticed that the handful of foreign tourists who made it to his remote hometown were carrying their own maps and looked like they were searching for something. Someone, it turns out, by the name of George Orwell. Katha was Eric Blair s last posting in the Imperial Police before he sailed back to England in 1927, adopted the nom de plume Orwell and launched a writing career that would produce powerful novels and commentary. Seven years after leaving the sleepy town on the Irrawaddy River, he immortalized it as the setting of his first novel, the vehemently anticolonial Burmese Days, though he called it not Katha but Kyauktada. The British Club, where much of the novel s scheming, fighting, drinking and sweating takes place, still stands, as do other sites mentioned including a tennis court, a pagoda and a prison. A house believed to have been Orwell s home in Katha remains in use. Nyo Ko Naing, a graphic designer and cartoonist, didn t know much about Burmese Days at first, but soon grasped how important it was to the future of the town. He has since become the town s preservationist, in-house historian, amateur Orwell scholar and literary tour guide, keen to market Katha as a tourist destination. He s helping to In this Nov 14, 2016 photo, amateur George Orwell scholar Nyo Ko Naing (center), leaves the house of the former British commissioner in Katha with the caretaker (right), and Kyal Ni, member of the local office of the National League for Democracy, in Katha, Myanmar. (AP) renovate the 19th-century house of the former British commissioner for use as a museum that is expected to open next year. It is not easy to get attention from the world, the 45-year-old said in a recent interview. So it s like Katha won the lottery. Orwell-related tourism has grown in Myanmar, also known as Burma, since a half-century of military rule ended in 2011, though numbers remain small. Nyo Ko Naing estimates that Katha sees 300 to 400 such visitors per month. In 2012, he founded the Katha Heritage Trust and mounted a campaign through the media to save the commissioner s house from a local businessman who wanted to turn the property into a skating rink. The first floor is now full of archival photos, including one of Orwell as a young policeman, and several portraits of the writer painted recently by local artists. We re collecting materials for the museum right now, such as photos, data and other heritage of Katha. And we re also renovating that house by maintaining its own original style. That s why it takes time, he said. Now we have spent 4 million kyats ($3,000) and some tourists have donated, he added. We will renovate more whenever we get money. The museum will also focus on Katha s history, with information about nearby battles during World War II and other aspects of the area deemed significant. Nyo Ko Naing hopes Orwell will be a magnet for foreign tourists who will linger for other attractions, such as Katha s traditional elephant camps, which the government is exploring turning into eco-tourism destinations amid a wide-ranging ban on logging. A 12-hour train ride from Mandalay, Katha is a small, idyllic town in the Sagaing region. The atmosphere is as tranquil as the flowing Irrawaddy. As the sun sets, visitors and families stroll along the promenade as mountains darken in the distance. Modernizing In the past five years, Myanmar has been rapidly modernizing, and Katha is no exception. There are shiny new bank branches and new hotels. Mobile phone shops proliferate. Many colonial buildings have been left alone, giving the place a timeless feel, though many structures are dilapidated. Both the tennis court and the prison are still in use. The British Club is now a local business cooperative. The Hotel Katha, which opened last year, has seized on the Orwell connection. Built to resemble a red-brick colonial home, it offers brochures at the front desk with maps guiding visitors to key sites from the novel. Guests can read copies of Burmese Days and Orwell s essays in the lobby or dine at the Kyauktada Cafe & Restaurant. Meeting rooms are named Flory, Elizabeth, and Macgregor, after three of the book s characters. I want visitors to feel like they are in the book, said the owner, Bran Aung, in a phone interview. I want to add more about Orwell. I am still collecting. Culture Foreign jockeys compete at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in the capital Riyadh on Nov 11. (AFP) Horse racing one of the few diversions in Saudi Arabia click Latest Continued from Page 22 published by DAI. I am confident that your contributions will be an essential part of the history of Amricani. Share with us! Dec 15 IMA Counselling program: Indian Muslim Association, as a part of its social services gesture, is conducting a free to all Counselling program on Investment Opportunities for Expats on Dec 15 at Indian Community School, Senior Branch, Salmiya from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Specialized experts from the field will provide orientation to the audience on below topics. 1. General Investment 2. Stock Market Trading for Beginners Fundamental Analysis 3. Stock Market Trading for Beginners Technical Analysis 4. Open Interaction with audience with Question and answer by panelists Please click the link below to register for the event. For more details, please contact , Dec 16 CAP Rooftop season starts: Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) invites you to the electronic-music performance and debut of musician Van Boom album BLVCK on Friday, Dec 16, at 7:00 pm at the Rooftop of Contemporary Art Platform. A dynamic 8 track album where the sonic shapes and frequencies of his personal narrative will be exhibited in a visual experience. Due to limited seating. Kindly register ahead by following this link: boom-one-night-experience-tickets #tickets For details contact: Tel: Bangladesh Embassy notice: The Embassy of the People s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will closed on Friday, Dec 16, 2016 on the occasion of Victory Day of Bangladesh. The Embassy will arrange the following program on Friday, Dec 16, 2016 at Chancery to observe the Victory Day of Bangladesh. Chancery Roof: 09:00 am Ceremonial hoisting of the National Flag. Multipurpose Hall: 09:15 am: Recitation from the Holy Quran. Continued on Page 26 Saudi passion parades at city track RIYADH, Dec 12, (AFP): Horses round the track in the soft light of an afternoon sun as Riyadh s best kept secret, the King Abdulaziz Racetrack, begins another weekend of action. The horses of wealthy Saudis have been major players at the world s biggest racing spectacles, from Royal Ascot to Longchamp and Melbourne. On home turf, Friday afternoon racing in the Saudi capital is a more low-key affair. Betting is banned and the buzz is somewhat muted early in the season, but race fans still crowd the rails for a glimpse of the passing thoroughbreds. The modern facility surrounded by greenery on the edge of Riyadh offers respite from the highways and urban sprawl of a city carved out of the desert. Unfortunately, it s the best kept secret, says track manager Robert Turman, who moved to Saudi Arabia after retiring from the racing business in the United States. We would love to have more people here because it s an amazing night out for entertainment, he says. Their goal here is really to achieve international standards and they re really doing a great job. Diversions Horse racing is one of the few diversions in Saudi Arabia, where alcohol, public cinemas and theatres are banned. Professional sport is otherwise limited to football, with women not allowed inside stadiums in a country where tradition prevents unrelated men and women from mixing. But such practices are not rigidly in force everywhere. At the track, men and women sit together in the open grandstand, where a sparse Friday crowd of dozens has gathered for a 10-race card. Single men get in free and families pay only 10 riyals ($2.67), a bargain in an economy whose collapsed oil revenues have led to widespread cutbacks. This is a beautiful place to be in a city that otherwise lacks excitement or charm, says Ben van der Klift, a Dutch financial director working in the kingdom. And if you bring your friends, you can have lunch... watch and have some fun, says the 57-year-old, who with neighbours has set up a picnic on tables between the grandstand and the track. For a more high-brow atmosphere, a glassed-in clubhouse allows horse owners and royals to watch races in cinema-style seats while being served traditional Arabic coffee. Among the guests is Prince Miteb bin Abdullah whose father, the late king Abdullah, kept his own horses and founded the Equestrian Club of Riyadh more than 50 years ago. Prince Miteb bin Abdullah whose father, the late King Abdullah, founded the Equestrian Club of Riyadh, sits at the clubhouse during a horse racing event at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in the capital Riyadh on Nov 11. (AFP) Saudi families watch a horse race at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in the capital Riyadh on Nov 11. (AFP) After he assumed the throne in 2005, the king ordered the construction of the current facility, which was named after the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, the club s website says. Horses have been central to Saudi life for centuries and the kingdom is famed for its strong desert-bred Arabians -- from which the thoroughbreds are descended. Racing is in the blood of Saudis like Faris al-thiyabe, 28, whose fondness for horses has translated into a job at the track. Thiyabe announces the races in English as they are replayed on a giant screen near the finish line, just moments after the live race call in Arabic ends with congratulations to the winner. My father had a stable, he says, explaining how he inherited his passion for horses. Standing in the concourse as mounted jockeys parade before the next race, the lively Thiyabe boasts that he is the youngest race caller in the world. Later, on a high floor inside the clubhouse, he holds a racing guide in one hand and shouts into his headset as the fourth race reaches a climax. Performance Indelible Ink on the outside. Indelible Ink is trying to make it. And Indelible Ink... wins it with a great performance. What a photo finish on the last stages! Between races, as Thiyabe catches his breath, water tankers spray the track s redbrown soil and tractors drag rakes to ready it for the next contest. This is a first-class facility, says Turman. The track itself is beautiful. The racing surface is the best that I ve ever worked with. It really has the best sand in the world, as you can imagine. Most of the horses are Saudi-bred. Their owners and trainers are from all walks of life, from princes to a normal guy with a family that s got a few horses, Turman says. One owner, Mamdouh Alarafshah, has spent the afternoon in the quiet clubhouse. His horse Alahmaaj was supposed to run in the day s first race -- a 1,200-metre event with a total purse of 70,000 riyals put up by a local petrochemicals firm -- but was scratched last minute. Alarafshah says he hopes the horse will be getting better soon, without adding why he was pulled from the race. Although there is no betting, race fans can make online picks for winners prior to the opening bell each race day. Only a few stand a chance at prizes, which range between 3,000 and 10,000 riyals. Riyadh s race season builds up towards the King Abdulaziz Cup, a Group One event over 1,600 metres with a purse of 600,000 riyals in late February. Some trainers also come from France, the United States or Britain, while jockeys include Saudis and foreigners. It s an opportunity for them to come and build up some wins and some experience in races with a large field of typically 18 horses, Turman says. In the absence of gambling, which boosts incomes in American and European racing, Turman says the Saudi sport is fuelled by something more fundamental. That s where the passion for the horse racing really comes in, he says, as jockeys ride their mounts towards the starting gate for another race in a long Saudi tradition of horsemanship.

25 25 Yarn, wovens make space feel warm, welcoming Furry, fuzzy, fluffy: holiday decor with a soft touch By Kim Cook This season, faux furs, wools and other softly textured materials are giving holiday decor a cozy, festive feel. The trend was prominent at this fall s Maison et Objet trade show in Paris. Booths were populated with winsome, appliqu felt people and animals. Glamorous, jewel-toned feather trees dressed up tabletops. There were furry pillows printed with wildlife photos or embellished with metallic threads, sequins and pearls. That natural, organic, homespun feeling was all over the runways and it s trending at home, too, says New York designer Elaine Griffin. For holiday, it manifests as an emphasis on bringing the outdoors in think stylish, simple-chic arrangements of branches, leaves, berries, pine cones and moss coupled with cozy, textured, wintry textiles like felt, faux fur and chenille. There s a lot of versatility in these materials because faux fur, brushed wool, hides, and even velvet or feathers can say winter cabin as easily as luxury suite. It s all in how you incorporate other style elements. Emily Henderson, host of HGTV s Secrets from a Stylist and a Target home-style expert, is also a fan. Yarn and wovens are two of my favourites they make a space feel extra warm and welcoming, which is what the holidays are all about, she says. Some examples from retailers: Little cone trees wrapped in cream-colored yarn, from Target s Threshold holiday collection, make a cozy tablescape. Here too are felted wool deer, bears and snowmen ready to create an arboreal winter woodland. A photoprinted stag on a soft, velvety throw pillow makes for a welcoming accessory. Restoration Hardware s felt stocking garland is a different take on the advent calendar. And there are plushy gift bags and stockings in faux mink, coyote or wolf fur. At Z Gallerie, long-haired faux fur runners, tree skirts and wine bags come in cream or grey. Frontgate has Christmas stockings crafted of sumptuous coral or burgundy velvet. And Grandin Road has a collection of hooked wool pillows with whimsical images of moose, cardinals, foxes and various canines sporting holiday garb. A faux fur throw that looks like pheasant feathers could be repurposed as a glamorous This undated photo provided by Restoration Hardware shows their charming wool felt advent calendar stocking garland, which is a clever way to count down the days to Christmas. (AP) tree skirt. Or get creative with 5 feet of chocolate-y brown faux fur trim, from New Orleans-based ribbon designer Donna Stevens. It could edge a mirror, wrap a gift or garland a tree, perhaps. Children and nature lovers might enjoy Pier 1 s whimsical stockings embroidered with owls or squirrels and embellished with a faux fur collar, wing and tail. Red and white felt snowflakes come in garland or placemat form. Another nice thing about this trend is that it isn t limited to Christmas; if you re celebrating Hanukkah, you can easily incorporate some blues and silvers. Or if you just want to celebrate winter, you re good to go. H&M Home has sets of white, faux-fur balls on gold ribbons, and black or white feathers nestled in clear glass ornaments on silvery loops. Cone trees cloaked in feathers make pretty evergreens with their long silky fringes. Grandin Road has a bright, emerald-green one, while AllModern offers a smoky grey version. Wisteria has a collection of fun, furry round pillows that look like giant snowballs; set a pile of them around an indoor evergreen or toss them in the playroom for faux snowball fights. A wreath studded with fuzzy cotton balls would complement a rustic display. Soft little snowballs festoon a wreath at CB2. A cozy, winter-white acrylic throw at Crate & Barrel is shot through with silvery threads. And there s an array of co-ordinating throw pillows to go with it. (AP) New Look Artist s work displays his intellectual depth, probing mind Asad conveys strong message thru his paintings This is the second and last in a series of articles on Asad Ahmad Salem Bunashi (1975), a vanguard creative artist, painter, writer and film director. The first part of article was carried on Nov 29th issue of Arab Times. Editor By Lidia Qattan Special to the Arab Times Nature provides the essential; it is the intellectual labor of the artist that imparts to his work a spiritual quality. Asad Bunashi is blessed with the power of molding his experiences into befitting symbols of clear articulation. His painting Out of Reality is the struggle of the human soul breaking away from the cultural and political ties that have been holding it in bondage for so long and is now being emancipated through the information revolution, which is opening the minds of people, making them aware of their basic human rights. We are essentially free spirits in a human body, but to live harmoniously in a society we must abide to social rules. Every social group has its own rules and precepts: culture. The purpose of culture is to harmoniously balance individual freedom with the freedom of everybody else in society. But life is never the same, constant readjustment must be made in the cultural variants to allow a harmonious interrelation of individuals within their society. Control This is easier said than done in human relations when social groups expand and develop into nations, for then a central governing body is needed to control them. However the longer a government remains in power the greater is the danger of becoming corrupted and incapable of functioning properly. As long as people are kept in the dark, ignorant of their rights, they are meek, resigned to their lot; but when Lidia Qattan they become aware of their rights no coercion or intimidation will stop them from trying to gain them back. The spreading of information is awaking the sleepy giant, which governments everywhere have to reckon with. The uprising we witness going on in the world are the direct result of an unprecedented phenomenon of people s awakening and their determination to redeem their right even if they have to fight and die in trying. Such is the message Asad communicates through his painting with an uncompromising directness in the powerful human figure bursting free from its fetters, the covered face suggest lingering old loyalties still holding him back, but they are no avail when a mass uprising bursts open. After the Out of Reality series, Asad held another exhibition in 2004, Moon Expectations, an intellectual journey through the multiple phases of the moon, an inspiring example of technical skill and imagination. The third exhibition Faces, held in 2007 was a psychological introspection of the human saga; in it, the red strip liking each image, symbolizes the blood-line connecting humanity, from the first human to the whole of the human race independent of color, place of origin or social status. Such works are not the result of mere intellectual discipline and practice, they are the fruit of applied knowledge and deep probing into the human drama, recreated with poetical rhythm into an experience that makes one ponder. Incidentally it is through his paintings that one can gain an insight into the personality of the artist: his intellectual depth and conscientious endeavor, his probing mind and his relative purpose as an artist. Asad Bunashi was born at the zenith of Kuwait cultural development, known as the Golden era of art and sport, whose humble beginning was in 1936, when the fine arts and sports were implemented for the first time in the school curriculum. With the opening of the schools for boys and girls in 1937, and encouraged by the yearly school festival in which every school was competing for the yearly Cup, both arts and sports slowly began to gain public acceptance. The founding of the Free Atelier in 1960, in which everything was provided free of charge, encouraging young artists to practice in it and develop their potentials, spurred the local movement to gain momentum, especially with the founding of the Kuwait Formative Arts Society (KFAS) in 1968, and the Kuwaiti Biennale established in 1969, by which it emerged with an international status quo. By the time Asad was growing up, the art movement had already been established; drama had already developed into a true art, even cinema had made its debut with the first Kuwaiti feature film Bes Yah Bahar (Cruel Sea) that caused a flare a national pride lasting for some time. Attracted by the glamour of the cinema, Asad became enthusiast in acting and making short movies with a group of friends using an 8 millimeter Cine-camera. Later his proficiency in computer science flared a passion for video-art, and when electronic gadgets and digital camera began flooding the market, he started making documentaries and short movies to be shown in schools and at the University. Asad became seriously involved in the art of movies in 2009 when the headmaster of the school in which he was teaching, commissioned him to make a movie with which to take part at the Khaleej Film Festival. For the project Asad wrote the script and scenario for the film, Seder Al Thaaban which he also directed. The film epitomizes the spreading of knowledge through the information revolution in the emblem of a fruit tree, the Seder. Awaken to the reality of their living conditions, people all over the world are rising against LookingOut on the World painting from Faces exhibition by Asad Bunashi. One of the paintings by Asad Bunashi the tyranny of their government, which has been ruling their country through fear and coercion, or corruption, epitomized by the snake in the tree. The choice of the main protagonist in the film: A girl, who has the guts to face the snake and kills it, while others are afraid to approach the tree, is itself interesting. For it points out to the fact that women are regaining their power, Asad Bunashi which was snatched away from them from the time the peaceful human settlements fell to the conquering nomads. The conquerors not only subjugated the vanquished, more importantly they enforced their religion on them and restructured society on ranking. The type of religious faith strongly affects people s ways of thinking and behavior. The replacement of the goddess worship, which was itself the incarnation of Mother Nature, with a male, authoritarian god, led to the subordination of women to men, and that affected all human relations. The most obvious development was the growing antagonism that led to the long repertoire of great human suffering, of bloody wars and revolutions, which have become more tragic and consequential with the discovery of ingenious new ways of killing. Nature itself has been subjugated to the unbridled wantonness of men by the industrial revolution, which, after destroying entire ecosystems, has brought mankind on to the brim of annihilation. At this crucial moment in human history in which humanity has to wise-up, or perish as a species, the spreading of knowledge and modern technology is enabling women to enter again in human relations as an important factor, by playing a more active role in the destiny of humanity. Through infiltrating work-zones previously excluded to men, including politics, women are regaining back their power to enforce decisions of great consequence in human development. This will become evident when more women will reach position of power. Holding a job is synonymous with financial independence, which in itself gives a sense of freedom to the individual. In the most advanced countries of the world women are no longer subjugated to men, this fact has been causing radical changes in the social structure, beginning with the family, which if based on mutual love and respect is the main factor in the healthy emotional and mental development of the young generation, which will lead to a more mentally mature and emotionally stable society. The symbol of the tree also emphasizes a sustainable economy based on recycling. With such a world economy wars and revolutions will be a phase of the past. When Asad presented his film at the Khaleej Film Festival, he got first prize out of 1000 entries of which ten were chosen. This success encouraged him to make another movie Al Amlak (The Giant) in which is reflected the salient problem in Kuwaiti society: the spreading of hypocrisy, which was practically unknown in the past. The moral of the story is straight-forwards. The giant is a character who tries to make himself important through fibs; he impresses and fool people with tall stories, but in the end he loses credibility and no one respects him. The novel Asad wrote: Tair Al Warqa, has been obviously inspired by his own experience with the KAA, when he was repeatedly refused membership because individuals in the committee were presuming that the works he presented to them were done by someone else, till he created three paintings in front of them. But even when he became a member, envies and jealousies continued to pursue him, till eventually he got tired of the harassment and resigned from the society like many others before him. In the novel Asad focuses on the question: What if the great Leonardo Da Vinci were born in Kuwait instead of Italy, a country of art and culture in which artists of genius were appreciated? Obviously The story obviously portrays Asad s own disappointment with the KAA and the thwarting of other artists who left for the same reason. In the novel the artist falls in love with a girl, whose portraits he paints many times, then with one of her portraits he travel to Paris where he loses the painting in a commotion. At his return to Kuwait, he is surprised to see in the world news on TV the painting he had lost, being acclaimed by critics as the best imitation of Leonardo s style. Grown old and weary the artist at long last has his ultimate satisfaction in the recognition of his genius. The message in the novel is obvious: outstanding individuals are rarely appreciated by their own people in their country! In 2007, Asad created a large painting The first panorama of Kuwait city, inspired by the research carried out by the historian, Dr Beshaer Khalifo on the old Kuwaiti town in 1756, at the time Sheikh Sabah Al Jaber, the founder of the Sabah Dynasty) was elected to rule the country. Asad s purpose for creating this painting was to remind his people of their roots, of the true Kuwaiti spirit that made the Kuwaitis renown throughout the Gulf for their resourcefulness, their reliability, their mutual solidarity all sharing their moment of sorrows and their moment of joy, supporting and helping one another. Indeed till the oil revenues entered the equation of their economy, their homes had none of the luxuries of modern living, but there was dignity, honesty and pride in them. With remarkable ingenuity the people built their town, using for building material what was available around them : mud, straws and coral rocks. Their humble houses were cool in summer and warm in winter; the town itself had character and dignity. There were no rubbish lying around because everything was recycled, nothing was wasted. In their simple, frugal life strengthened by their mutual solidarity the people were more contented and their lives more structured, than the life of many modern Kuwaitis surrounded by all the comfort of modern living. Basing his creation on historical facts, his message in the painting is clear. Concluded

26 26 Photos of the INN & Go Kuwait Plaza Hotel Celebrate Christmas and New Year at INN & Go Kuwait Plaza Hotel INN & Go Kuwait Plaza Hotel will be at the center of Kuwait Christmas and New Year celebrations this year, the hotel is offering a luxurious room package, festive menus, on New Year s Eve, it will host a stunning Countdown Party. Festive Celebrations packages Enjoy a rich buffet menu with special turkey in Christmas night for only KD 12 per person. Dine & celebrate with style for New Year s Eve for only KD 20 per person including: open seafood buffet, welcome drinks, live entertainment, hats, horns... or dine, celebrate and stay for only KD 70 includes a New Year s Eve gala dinner, deluxe room for 2 persons, breakfast and lunch at Al Dallah, early check in and late checkout. 15 percent discount for early bookings before 15 of December for booking kindly contact INN & Go Kuwait Plaza Hotel with a prime location in Kuwait s most established business district,. The hotel s 154 comfortable and modern rooms and suites are elegantly designed with classic inspiration and contemporary touches, and are the most spacious in the city. 2 restaurants will showcase innovative and superlative cuisine Al Dallah Oriental and Arirang Korean, together with 2 cafes triangle for shisha lovers and le café for quite break. In addition, the diverse meeting and event spaces will bring a level of sophistication and elegance to any occasion. American speaker McCarthy talks on Disrupt & Dominate through leadership Mefazec & Launch hold leadership seminar Sheikha Shaikha Al-Sabah thanking Ms Sahar Al Therban from ABK in the presence of Mrs Suad Al Faris (KSFIDP), Mrs Kholoud Al Ali (KSFIDP) & Ms Fajer Al Kandari (ABK). click Bank sponsors KSFIDP events ABK supports World Disabled Day Firm shares strategies, techniques Zain participates in PR and marketing discussion panel Latest Continued from Page 24 09:16 am: Observance of one minute silence. 09:17 am: Reading out the Messages. 09:30 am: Discussion on the Day KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Kuwait Society for the Follow-up Issues of Disabled People (KSFIDP) marked World Disabled Day on the 3rd December with a short season of different activities and events held over a period of six days. The whole season was sponsored by Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) as part of its program to support Kuwait s community and in line with the Bank s Corporate Social Responsibility focus on special needs. Under the theme of My Beloved Country, the events began with a welcome and grand opening ceremony at Bastaki Hotel, which was attended by members and guests of the KSFIDP and representatives from ABK. Other events, including lectures, open days, workshops and exhibitions followed daily. Events were held at a variety of centres across Kuwait, including Al Nada Nursery for Special Needs in Mansouriya and The Kharafi Center in Mishref. For more information about ABK please visit or contact an ABK customer service agent via Ahlan Ahli at Najla Al-Eisa during the discussion panel KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, participated in a Public Relations and Marketing discussion panel as part of the Advertising Creativity Award 2016 organized by the Arab Media Forum. The event came under the patronage of HE Sheikh Salman Al-Homoud Al-Sabah Minister of Information and Minster of State for Youth Affairs. Najla Al Eisa, Zain Kuwait s Marketing Communications Department Manager, represented Zain during the event that was held in Al Raya ballroom, alongside a number of prominent experts, academics, and specialists in the fields of public relations, marketing, and advertising. During her participation in the discussion panel, Al Eisa shared Zain s leading experience in public relations, marketing communications, advertising, and branding. Al Eisa also discussed Zain s strategies and techniques in communicating with the public via digital marketing channels, as well as provide a thorough explanation of the essentials of commercial advertising and branding identity. Zain s participation came as part of its distinguished advertising and media involvement, and it further showcases the company s role as a leading private sector company launching several advertising and marketing campaigns all year round. Zain will continue supporting this very important field which carries significant and informative messaging to the public at large and the communications world as a whole, whether through traditional or modern media tools. The Advertising Creativity Award 2016 is organized for the fourth year by the Arab Media Forum, which has proven itself to be one of the region s most prominent events that attend to Arab Media. The event brings together many ministers, media executives, journalists, academics, authors, actors, businessmen, and social figures from all around the Arab world. 10:00 am: Speech by HE the Ambassador This is for the information of all concerned. Dec 17 Sense-Sa-Tional Christmas: Making sense of Christmas through our 5 senses! Seasonal celebration with q8 SA brass band and praise band, carols, candles, drama, tambourines, skits, gifts and the children s nativity The Salvation Army Kuwait, Continued on Page 28 By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Mefazec and the Launch on Fire Podcast organised on Sunday a leadership seminar dubbed Disrupt & Dominate featuring acclaimed American speaker and consultant Tom McCarthy. The event held at the Mefazec headquarters in Al Hamra Tower was attended by entrepreneurs, executives of various companies and members of the local media. Mefazec Founder and Chairman Essa Al Essa and Khalid Al Zanki from Launch on Fire welcomed all the attendees to the leadership seminar aimed at developing everyone s leadership to effectively start and build their own businesses. We at Mefazec help start-ups to develop and expand in a nurturing environment. Our comprehensive range of services lead to the ultimate pillars of support; to mentor, to finance, and to network. Identified as the primary areas of potential weakness, we ve made them the pinnacle of our system. Our vision is to provide solutions for entrepreneurs and SMEs under one roof, while helping corporations connect with them, stated Al Essa. Informative McCarthy gave an electrifying and informative lecture on How to Disrupt & Dominate through Leadership. The lecture presented some advice on how to become a better leader in your company or within a company. Some of the great points discussed were How to surround yourself with winners and the mindset to control and elevate your employee s success. In his lecture, McCarthy outlined three important points that may serve as guideposts to upcoming and current entrepreneurs. First, you need a compelling story. Second, you surround yourself with engaged winners and third, mess with success which simply means that one should continue improving, innovating and never be afraid to try new things. On a final note, McCarthy concluded his lecture with a quote from the late Steve Jobs, the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc: We re here to put a dent in the universe. He encouraged all the attendees to be at the edge for it is only by staying at the edge that you will discover that you can fly and do things that you have never done before and make a big difference in your lifetime. Mefazec and Launch on Fire thanked all the attendees and was happy to host such a spectacular speaker. It s our mission to support entrepreneurs in their businesses and reduce their risk of failure. Tom was a great example of how Mefazec supports its community to offer the best advice on how to succeed in the business world. We all learned a great deal from Tom and hope to host him again in the near future, stated Al Essa. Mefazec Founder & Chairman Essa Al Essa Photos by Al Amjed Acclaimed American speaker and consultant Tom McCarthy delivers a talk to audience. A photo from the event Boulevard organizes Run for Change Marathon On Dec 10, 2016, Boulevard has organized its first jogging/ running Marathon Run for Change. A total of 250 participants enjoyed the fresh air, spacious greenery and amazing view in Boulevard in an exciting competitive environment. This Marathon was sponsored by Peak, Rauch, Biryt and Al Seef Hospital. It was aimed to increase health awareness and maintain a healthy life style by exercising. Joggers and runners went in a 6KM mini Marathon around Boulevard project and winners enjoyed valuable prizes and gifts. Mrs Rawan Adnan Marketing & Leasing Manager stated that Boulevard management is planning to organize such Marathons quarterly as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to support sport activities and encourage society members to follow a healthy life style. Chance to win KD 100 daily VIVA announces Week 7 more winners KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: VIVA, Kuwait s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, announced 7th week draw s winners of KD 100, of more prizes campaign for postpaid customers. The names of daily prize winners, KD 100, from Dec 1 until 10 December, were as follows: Mohammed Amin Mohammed, Fahad Nadhem Thamer Alhunaidi, Saadawi Saeed Samah Abdulhaleem, Mohammad B.H. Alqattan, Mohammad Bjad Hadi Alotaibi, Abdullah Mohammad Sagheer Alenezi, Ghannam T Gh Almutairi, Khaled Mohammad Ibrahim Alsayed, Joyce Lian Eden Gornez, Anwar Taraheeb Fayeh Almutairi. VIVA gives the customers a wonderful opportunity to win amazing cash prizes, KD 100 daily and KD 1,000 at the end of each month, once they pay their VIVA bills through Direct Debit, VIVA website, VIVA s Kiosks, VIVA App or by calling 102. Customers earn one chance for each KD 1. To find out more about VIVA s new campaign, visit one of the 72 VIVA branches, or the VIVA website at www., or call VIVA s 24-hour call center on 102. Al-Tijari credit cardholders get 40 pct off from Qatar Airways In addition, Boulevard has created special routes for joggers and runners as part of its dedication to create a healthier atmosphere for athletes and sport lovers. Mrs Rawan Adnan also added that Boulevard project provides commercial, entertainment and sports services to represent the perfect place for family and youth to spend their time and enjoy such unique events. The project facilitates a huge commercial mall that consist of 2 floors with famous international and local brands, coffee shops and restaurants in addition to a huge green area that occupies 90 percent of the project area. It provides a perfect environment for joggers to enjoy beautiful views of trees. In addition to the above, the project also contains 2 lakes, a river and sports fields for football, tennis, basketball and cricket. KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait is making air travel more affordable for credit cardholders to create a memorable experience, the bank has announced in partnership with MasterCard and Qatar Airways for a special discount of up to 40% to all credit and prepaid card holders on all Qatar Airways destinations. The offer s booking period is from Dec 7 to Dec 21, 2016, and the travelling period is from Dec 8, 2016 to Nov 30, For more details and coupon code customers are requested to visit the promotion page on the bank website The Commercial Bank of Kuwait is always keen on giving the best offers to its customers and chooses the finest partners to partner with in offering good deals that are beneficial and matches the client s demands and needs.

27 27 h o r o s c o p e By Jacqueline Bigar Happy birthday for Monday, Dec. 13, 2016: This year you open doors to new opportunities. Just when you think an issue has been resolved, the unexpected occurs, and you might find yourself back at square one. You can count on being energized by spontaneous events. If you are single, you could find that you fall madly in love with one person after another. Let a relationship build to a time period of a year before even considering making a serious commitment. If you are attached, the two of you experience an unusual intensity. Know that eventually you both will relax with this tempo. GEMINI knows how to be provocative. 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 be at your wits end when trying to deal with others. Try to get to the bottom of an issue that seems to be bothering you. Be more in touch with your day-to-day needs. You might need a break from the present tiring pace. Tonight: Put your feet up and relax. Aquarius - (Jan 20 - Feb 18) ***** Allow your creativity to flourish. Be more in touch with others expectations, especially if you don t want to experience a problem. Friends play an important role in determining what is going to happen. Unexpected news might force you to regroup. Tonight: Let your hair down. Pisces - (Feb 19 - Mar 20) *** Stay anchored. You might opt to stay close to home. You could discover how attached you are to a situation at home, and you are likely to take an unconventional approach. Be conservative when dealing with a financial matter. Tonight: Join friends at a favorite spot. Aries - (Mar 21 - Apr 19) **** What drops on your lap early on gets you going today. You might be surprised and delighted by another person s gesture of goodwill. Your spontaneous reaction will please him or her. You ll want to assess your current direction. Tonight: Hang out with a favorite friend. Taurus - (Apr 20 - May 20) **** Be aware of the impact that a money decision will have on you. Somehow, you feel more in control if you say little. A partner or associate would be delighted to receive your feedback. You ll gain insight through a sudden event. Tonight: Try not to spend. Keep your wallet closed. Gemini - (May 21 - June 20) ***** Your smile goes far in opening up a close friend who has been closed down. Others seem to act in ways you can t predict. You might be tenser than you realize, especially as this Full Moon hits you harder than most people. Work with the moment. Tonight: Do your thing. Cancer - (June 21 - July 22) ** Know when to vanish and not get involved with others. The Full Moon hits you in a spot where you are very vulnerable. Know what works for you and do just that, despite an older relative s demands. Do your best. Tonight: If you re tired, make it an early night. Leo - (July 23 - Aug 22) *** Zero in on your priorities and know when you have had enough of someone s flak. You might want to detach. As a result, you ll come to a better understanding of the dynamic of a situation around you. There might not be any need to do anything about it. Tonight: Lie low. Virgo - (Aug 23 - Sept 22): **** Stay on top of calls and meetings. You might have a lot on your mind and a lot to digest. You could hear contrary opinions about a situation; only you can decide what they mean to you. A partner or associate might act in a most unpredictable manner. Tonight: In the limelight. Libra - (Sept 23 - Oct 22) **** Reach out to someone at a distance whose opinion matters a lot to you. Know what is happening with yourself as well as with an associate. You ll find that a loved one or partner acts in a most unexpected manner. Fatigue could play into the day. Tonight: Be spontaneous. Scorpio - (Oct 23 - Nov 21) **** Deal with a partner or loved one directly. You initially might feel uptight and not want to share what is on your mind. By later in the afternoon, you will open up to someone else s ideas. This person might have a deeper perspective than you. Tonight: Go along with the moment. Sagittarius - (Nov 22 - Dec 21) **** You could be dealing with more emotions than you had anticipated. It might seem as if you are wading through feelings that are not necessarily yours. Try to find the answer while still maintaining your distance. Tonight: Listen to different opinions before making a decision. Born today: Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift (1989), actor Dick Van Dyke (1925), economist Ben Bernanke (1953) home decor indoor gardening beauty tips taste buds washing machine cleaning laurus bay tree nail restoration spiced roasted chickpeas Supply: Hot water; 1 quart of Clorox; 1 quart distilled white vinegar Instructions: Fill the washing machine with hot water. Add Clorox and let the machine agitate for a minute, then let it sit for one hour. After one hour, allow the washing machine to run through its longest wash and spin cycle. Immediately fill the washing machine with HOT water again and add vinegar. Let agitate for a minute, and again, let it sit for one hour. While it is soaking, dip a scrubber sponge in the vinegar water and clean all the nooks and crannies of your washer, including the knobs, the lid and the exterior. Let it go through washing cycle again. Using the bleach and vinegar will clean away bacteria, soap scum and mineral deposits from the wash basket and hoses. Laurus is a genus of evergreen trees belonging to the Laurel family. These compact evergreen shrubs or trees have dense, aromatic foliage. Can be espaliered on a wall or trellis, or left to grow into a bushy shape. They grow well in containers. The leaves fresh or dried have a spicy, aromatic flavoring; bay leaves are commonly used as flavoring and form an essential ingredient of the herb mix. Site: Brightly lit spot. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Temperature: Average warmth in summer minimum 55 F in winter. Water: Keep compost moist at all times but never waterlogged. Supply: Tea bags; Scissors; Nail glue; Orange wood stick; Nail buffer Instructions: Cut two tea bags to the size of the nail. Paint the nail with a thin layer of glue, and allow it to dry. Put another thin layer of glue on the nail, and then quickly lay the pre-cut tea bag over the nail and poke it in place with orange wood stick. Paint over the bag with yet another layer of glue, and try to remove any air bubbles with the stick again. When the first layer is dry, buff gently over the nail, and repeat the whole process again with another piece of tea bag. My final step was to buff over the nail once more, and add a final thin layer of glue to the nail. After this dried completely painted your nails as usual. Ingredients: One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 1 tbsp vegetable oil; 1/4 tsp ground cumin; 1/4 tsp ground coriander; 1/4 tsp ground ginger; 1/4 tsp ground hot paprika; 1/2 tsp kosher salt Method: Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss chickpeas with oil and spices until evenly coated. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking pan occasionally, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Dear Abby Daughter keeping her gabby mom at distance By Abigail Van Buren Dear Abby: My mother has a tight circle of friends she socializes with often. They are all retired with grown children and grandchildren and eager to share every bit of news of their lives. Mom talks nonstop about her friends children s parenting challenges, marital squabbles and medical issues. The challenge for me is that anything I tell her becomes fodder for their discussion, which then gets around our community. After hearing that the daughter of one of my mom s neighbors knew the results of my breast biopsy, I stopped sharing anything personal. This has damaged our relationship. She doesn t think mothers and daughters should keep secrets from each other, and I agree, but she also said she won t keep secrets from her friends. I miss being able to turn to her for support, but do not want the world to know my business. I understand that her friends are like Abigail Van Buren family to her, but they are not my family, and I think she has chosen gossip over our relationship. Is keeping her at arm s length my only choice here, or is there another path that I can t see? None Of Their Business Dear None Of Their Business: Your mother s judgment is terrible. Her friends may be like family to her, but they are not family. If you prefer not to have your personal business be fodder for lunchtime conversation, then your only choice is to carefully edit what you tell her. Dear Abby: I have an issue with my daughter marrying a man who has no job. She has been supporting him financially. He has had a few jobs, but he gets fired or quits within a few weeks or months. My daughter is 30 and never married. She s an assistant professor at a good university and a leader in her field of education. Her intended has no career and no prospects. He asked her to marry him without consulting me. Maybe I m old-fashioned, but I would have expressed my concern about his lack of career. I can t alienate my daughter by saying the wrong thing. But what if she can t work someday and he can t support a household? He has a million excuses. I don t think he s the man she thinks he is. My life lessons tell me he may never be the man she thinks he could be. I have come to the conclusion that marrying him would bring her only misery. What should I do? Very Worried Dad Dear Very Worried Dad: It would not be wrong if, without putting her fi ance down, you expressed to your daughter your concern about his employment record (or lack of one) and the impact it may have on their future. And when you do, raise the question of what she thinks might happen if for some reason she becomes unable to work, because it s a good one, and something she should carefully consider before tying the knot. After that, accept that at 30, your daughter is an adult who has the right to go forward with the marriage if she chooses, and keep your fi ngers crossed. Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA (Source: Universal Uclick) what s on today emergency Site for checking travel ban Still Departures exhibition: The Sultan Gallery will hold an exhibition titled Still Departures by artist George Awde. The exhibition opens on Dec 6 and continues through Jan 5. George Awde s first solo exhibition in Kuwait, chronicles the transitory existence of a group of young men and boys many of them migrant laborers, emigrants from Syria and Syrian Kurdistan living in the context of Beirut from This exhibition considers the embodiment of becoming men, while also appreciating issues of mobility and nationality as we each etch out our place in this world. Awde s photographs question the relationship between citizenship, masculinity, and the sense of belonging to a place as well as to one s own body. The work explores the scars of the flesh with those of the soil. As these men grow and change, the photographs capture physical marks in the form of tattoos and cuts giving hints of struggle and survival. The shape, role, and uses of the body change as these boys age filling out becoming men. Parallel to changing borders of manhood are those of physical mobility which widen, contract, and close in terrains of the changing geopolitical climate. The landscape allows us to consider our states of belonging, not just as a metonym, but a portrait of Beirut s physical terrain in which these processes occur on/through/in the bodies of individuals. Exhibition dates: Opening: Tuesday, Dec 6, 2016; 7-9 pm; Dec 7 - Jan 5, 2017; 10 am - 4 pm. Existence of Infinity exhibition: Dar Al Funoon announces an exhibition by Jean Marc Dallanegra The Existence of Infinity. The exhibition opens on Monday, Dec 5 at 7 pm in the presence of the artist. It continues through Dec 19, After crossing the Sahara from north to south, walking for hours and days and with a mind as barren as the desert he traversed, Jean Marc Dallanegra had a sudden and intense sensation of the energy of the Earth. It was at this moment that he wanted to resonate that which appears to be empty; a journey from one place to another where the road, the ground and the sky draw you in to the point of destination where everything conjoins at the horizon to become reality. As he says, What pleases me most is the existence of infinity. Jean Marc Dallanegra comes from a family of Italian artists: They moved to France in After his studies, he travelled extensively in the Sahara and along the west coast of the USA. Since 1994, Dallanegra has shown his work at numerous exhibitions in Europe, Lebanon and now, for the first time in Kuwait. Gallery hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10 am - 1 pm & 4-8 pm. Saturday: by appointment. Getting to the gallery: Al-Watiah, Behbehani Compound, House No 28. For further information call Precious Fragments expo at CAP: Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) is currently showcasing an exhibition titled Precious Fragments. The exhibition brings together the work of seven artists from Iran working in different media. The title of the exhibition is a scientific term used to describe involuntary memories experienced in everyday mental functioning, comprising the most common occurrences. They are characterized by their element of surprise, as they appear to come into conscious awareness spontaneously. They are the products of common every-day experiences involving our senses of sight, hearing, touch and taste; one experience using A flyer of the event. Abhilasha Godishala here s wishing you a very, very happy birthday and many more to come. Happy birthday to the love of my life. Hearty wishes from husband Suresh Godishala, daughter Mishita, son Hansith, father and mother Sammaiah Goud and Sujatha and brother Ashtosh Goud and all near and dear ones. that sense brings to mind a past experience of that sense. This exhibition held at CAP Kuwait will open on Nov 9 and continue through Dec 13. TIES Center events: TIES Center announces following events Tajweed and Recitation: Learn and practice the art of reciting the Holy Quran (tajweed). The instructor will also answer questions related to the meaning of the Arabic words 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 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. and verses. Every Sunday & 10 11:30am; every 5-6:30pm. The TIES Center is the social and educational hub for English Speaking expats in Kuwait. For more information, please call or net or visit IPC Islamic Courses registration: Say: O my Lord, let me grow in knowledge. IPC is offering Islamic courses in English (for ladies only). Muslims and non-muslims are welcome. 1. Tilawa Surah Ar-Rad and Surah Ibrahim Sundays at 5:30-7:00 pm; 2. Principles of Tafsir (part 2) - Sundays at 7:00-8:30 pm; 3. Tajweed 3 - Tuesday, at 5:30-7:00 pm; 4. Jesus in Surah Mariam (part 2) - Tuesdays at 7:00-8:30 pm. Instructor: Sr Zeinab Hassan Ashry Place: IPC - Women Section Al-Rawdah, Area 3, Street 30, House 12, opp 4th Ring Road. Telephone: 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 , Father s Love Int l Ministries: Have you had a challenging week? Want to hear something different for a change? Something positive and energizing? At FLIM, you will find all this and much more... Love, laugher, life and liberty. You will find a community of God-loving believers, who come every Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to praise and worship together. There always a word of blessing and edification for everyone who comes to the Father s House. So, don t be left out! Come join the family! You will be restored, received, renewed and greatly rewarded! Empowerment Services on Monday at 6:30 pm 8:30 pm Tamil Service on Wednesday at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Please call , ,

28 28 Dead cast talk midseason finale deaths Hearts Still Beating sets stage for war with Negan LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (RTRS): Spoiler alert: Do not read until you ve watched the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, titled Hearts Still Beating. Hugs. After eight episodes dedicated to introducing the most brutal and heartless villain in the show s history, the seventh season of The Walking Dead wrapped up its first half with a group embrace among most of those who ve survived. It was intended as an emotional moment, and it was certainly milked for every last drop of sentiment, with inspiring chords rising on the soundtrack as characters hugged and reunited and nodded at one another, joined in a tacit resolve to fight back against the tyranny of Negan and the Saviors. But after a drawn-out season in which episodes consistently ran over time to little apparent purpose the midseason finale itself dragged on for nearly 90 minutes including ad breaks the sequence felt comically overwrought. This is what we waited so long for, why we slogged through so many uninspired episodes with the various characters scattered to the wind, just so they could give each other a reassuring squeeze? It wasn t nearly worth the substantial wait, and the clunky crosscutting of Hearts Still Beating seemed to confirm that the show s writers had been just killing time rather than executing some complicated master plan. Negan added a couple unfortunate Alexandrians to his body count: Spencer made a fatal miscalculation when he tried to convince Negan to help him overthrow Rick, and ended up literally gutless, his belly slit open with a quick slash of Negan s knife. And poor Olivia, who spent several episodes cowering from the Saviors, finally met her end, randomly chosen for death as punishment for Rosita s attempt to put a bullet the only bullet she had, made from scratch by Eugene in Negan s skull. Instead, Rosita shot his bat, Lucille, who at this point is more engaging than many of the show s characters, and doesn t require nearly as much screen time. Conclusion On their own, Rosita, Michonne, Sasha, and Richard, Ezekiel s chief deputy in the Kingdom, all came to the same conclusion: Negan must die. It got so one half-expected the episode to end with them all turning up Couch slouch at the Saviors compound at the same time. You re here to kill Negan? No way! I m here to kill Negan! But instead, through a series of clunky plot turns and murky character motivations, they turned to each other instead of striking out alone, although the Kingdom s place in the puzzle will have to wait until the season s second half. After eight long episodes, it feels like this story is barely getting started, and the show won t be back for another two months. The Walking Dead has been good and it has been bad, but it has never been this lifeless, so reeked of going through the motions while it stalls to figure out what to do next. What s taken eight episodes could have been accomplished in half the time. If it had been, maybe the series wouldn t be experiencing record losses in viewership, although it may also be that the rise of a brutal, unpredictable authoritarian figure isn t something a little over half the country is inclined to find entertaining at this particular moment. Threatened Although Jeffrey Dean Morgan has done his best to make Negan more than a floating miasma of dread, the character has been terribly written all season long, reduced to inexhaustible dispenser of morbid, sub- Freddy Krueger quips handcuffed by the show s need to keep its characters threatened without doing any of the popular ones any real harm. It was implausible enough when Negan let Carl live after staging an assassination attempt; to do the same for Rosita reduces the show s anyone can die ethos to rubble. Even Aaron, who was pulled under water by a horde of zombies as he and Rick approached a boat loaded with a treasure trove of supplies, miraculously emerged unscathed, although he did take a beating back at Alexandria after forgetting to dispose of a mocking note left by the boat s former owner. (Those were, presumably, the boots of the note s author we saw stepping into frame as Aaron and Rick offloaded the boat s provisions, but we ll have to wait until next year to see this new character above the ankles.) Spencer and Olivia were established characters, sure, but killing them instead of Carl or Rosita reeked of narrative cowardice: The Walking Dead s writers want us to feel its main characters are in danger without actually endangering them. tv highlights TUESDAY, Dec 13, 2016 at 6.30 pm, the tenth Japanese Speech Contest will be held at Khaldiya campus of Kuwait University co-organized by Kuwait University and the Embassy of Japan. The contest aims to improve the speaking and presentation skills of non-japanese learners of the Japanese language, giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their ability. Most participants are Kuwaiti nationals who have learnt Japanese in various manners. The event is also a good occasion to encourage Kuwaitis for learning more the Japanese language. The contest is open for all audience. All the A flyer of the event Japanese Speech Contest media organizations are welcome to attend and cover the event. For inquiry, please contact the Cultural Section, Ms Dana on Details: Japanese Speech Contest Date: 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, Dec 13, 2016 Venue: Kuwait University, Khaldiya Campus, Gate 3, Hall 119. Inquiry: Ms Dana, Cultural Section, Embassy of Japan (Tel: ). This event is open for public audience. No registration is needed and all media are free and welcome to cover. click Latest Continued from Page 26 The Fellowship Hall National Evangelical Church Kuwait Arabia Gulf Road Saturday Dec 17, 6.45 pm for 7 pm For more info phone: (+965) / org Dec 22 STECI parish carol service: Christmas Carol service of St Thomas Evangelical Church of India Kuwait Parish will be held on Thursday, Dec 22, 2016 at 7.30 pm at Church and Parish Hall of NECK. Apart from Carol singing by the parish choir, Christmas Pageant of Sunday school children will also be conducted. The Carol service will be presided by the President Vicar Rev Saji Abraham and the Christmas message will be delivered by Rev Bobby Mathew, Vicar of St Thomas Marthoma Church Kuwait. Jan 1, 2017 Friday Forum elocution contest: Friday Forum is organizing its 11th Inter School Elocution Competition and aiming to bring forth the smartest to show their public speaking skills, on Jan 1, 2017 at Hotel Rajadhani Palace, Khaitan from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. Students from all Indian schools in Kuwait shall be participating in Junior and Senior categories. The topic for juniors is Islam and environmental protection and for seniors is Maintaining communal harmony a believer s responsibility. The event will be attended by dignitaries from various sociocultural arena, parents and teachers as well. For registration and more details you may please contact your school directly or contact us on or General 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 in Kuwait informed President Saifudheen Nalakath in a press release. For more details contact: or at The Last King Sharqia 1 12:00, 14:00 (No Fri) Sharqia 2 21:45, 00:05 Muhalab 3 13:30 (Fri) 22:15, 00:30 Fanar 3 11:30 (No Fri) 13:45, 16:00, 21:45, 00:05 Fanar 4 22:45, 01:00 Marina 2 11:30 (No Fri) 13:30, 15:30, 22:15, 00:30 Avenues 4 13:45 Avenues 5 22:30, 00:45 Avenues 8 11:30 (No Fri) 13:45, 16:00, 18:15, 20:30, 22:45, 01: :30, 01: :15 (No Fri) 14:45, 17:00, 19:15, 21:30, 23: :00 (Thu, Sat) Al-Kout 1 13:30 (Fri) 22:15, 00:30 Al-Kout 3 12:30 (No Fri) 14:45, 17:00 Bairaq 3 11:30 (No Fri) 13:45, 16:00, 21:15, 23:30 Laila 22:45 Dhruva (Telugu Film) Sharqia 1 15:30 (Fri) 18:30 (No Thu) 21:30 (Thu, Fri, Mon) Muhalab 1 16:00 (Fri, Mon) 19:00 (No Thu) 22:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Muhalab 2 13:45 (Fri) Fanar 5 15:30 (Fri) 18:30 (Fri, Sat, Mon) 21:30 (Thu, Fri, Mon) Avenues 3 13:30 (Fri) Avenues 9 16:00 (Fri, Mon) 19:00 (No Thu) 22:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat, Mon) Plaza 15:45 (Fri) 18:45 (No Thu) 21:45 Ajial 1 15:30, 18:30 (No Thu) 21:30 Ajial 4 16:00, 19:00 (Fri, Mon) 22:00 (Thu, Fri, Mon) Taht Al Tarabeza (Arabic Film) Sharqia 1 16:15 (No Fri) Sharqia 3 20:15 Muhalab 1 11:30 (No Fri) 13:45, 01:00 22:00 (Sun, Tue, Wed) Fanar 2 15:30, 19:45, 22:00 Marina 2 17:45, 20:00 Avenues 4 22:00 Avenues 10 12:45 (No Fri) 15:00, 17:15, 19:30, 21:45, 00: : :30 (No Fri) 13:45, 16:00, 18:15, 20:30, 22:45, 01: :45 Al-Kout 3 19:15, 21:30, 23:45 Bairaq 1 23:45 Bairaq 2 20:15 Hacksaw Ridge Grand Hamra 1 14:30, 17:00, 19:45, 22:30 Grand Hamra 5 20:00, 22:30 Grand Hamra GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 2 14:00, 16:30, 19:15, 22:00 00:45 (Thu, Fri) Dear Zindagi (Hindi Film) Sharqia 1 18:30 (Thu) Muhalab 1 16:00 (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun) 19:00 (Thu) Fanar 5 18:30 (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun) 21:30 (Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun) Avenues 1 12:30 (No Fri) 20:15 Avenues 4 19:00 Avenues 9 16:00 (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun) 19:00 (Thu) 22:00 (Sun, Tue, Wed) :30 (No Fri) 15:30, 18:30, 21: :00 Bairaq 3 18:15 Ajial 2 15:45, 18:45, 21:45 (Fri) Ajial 4 16:00 (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun) 22:00 (Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun) Grand Gate 6 14:00, 17:00, 20:00 23:00 (Thu, Fri) Wolves At The Door Sharqia 1 00:30 (Thu, Fri, Mon) 21:30, 23:15, 01:00 (Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun) Fanar 3 18:15, 20:00 Fanar 5 13:00, 15:00, 16:45 (No Fri) 00:30 Marina 3 22:00, 00:05 Avenues 3 12:15, 14:15 (No Fri) 16:30, 18:15, 20:15, 22:15, 00: :15 (No Fri) 15:15, 17:15, 19:15, 21:15, 23:15, 01: :30 Al-Kout 4 13:00 (No Fri) 15:00, 18:45, 22:30, 00:45 Grand Hamra 2 14:00, 16:45, 19:15, 21:45 00:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 3 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00 Moana Sharqia 2 12:45 (No Fri) 15:00, 17:15, 19:30 Muhalab 3 13:15 (No Fri) 15:30, 17:45, 20:00 Fanar 4 11:30 (No Fri) 13:45, 16:00, 18:15, 20:30 Marina 3 13:00 (No Fri) 15:15, 17:30, 19:45 Avenues 1 15:30, 18:00 Avenues 2 Avenues 4 Avenues 5 Avenues 11 12:00 (Thu, Sat) 14:30, 17:00, 19:30, 22:00 (Thu, Fri, Sat) 11:30 (No Fri) 12:30, 15:00 (No Thu) 11:45 (Thu) 17:30 (No Sun) 20:00 11:30 (No Fri) 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21: :30 (No Fri) 13:45, 16:15, 18:45, 21: :00 (No Fri) :30, 16:00, 18:30, 21: :30 (No Fri) 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22: :30 (No Fri) 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30 Al-Kout 1 Bairaq 1 Bairaq 2 13:15 (No Fri) 15:30, 17:45, 20:00 12:00 (No Fri) 14:15, 16:30, 18:45, 21:00 11:45 (No Fri) 18:00 Laila 16:15, 18:30 Grand Hamra 6 14:00, 17:15, 19:30, 22:00 00:30 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 1 14:30, 17:15, 19:30, 21:45 00:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate GC 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Incarnate Grand Hamra 3 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00 23:00 (Thu, Fri) Cinema Cinema programme from Thursday 08/12/2016 to Wednesday 14/12/2016 Grand Gate 7 14:30, 16:30, 18:30, 20:30, 22:30 00:30 (Thu, Fri) The Neighbor Sharqia 3 12:15 (No Fri) 14:15, 16:15, 18:15, 22:30, 00:30 Muhalab 2 11:45, 13:45, 15:45 (No Fri) 19:45, 21:45, 23:45 Fanar 1 13:15 (No Fri) 15:15, 17:15, 19:15, 21:15, 23:15, 01:15 Marina 1 12:45 (No Fri) 15:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00, 01:00 Avenues 4 00:15 Avenues 6 11:45 (No Fri) 13:45, 15:45, 17:45, 19:45, 21:45, 23: :45 (No Fri) 14:45, 16:45, 18:45, 20:45, 22:45, 00: : :30 (No Mon) 19:45, 21:45, 23:45 Al-Kout 2 How to find us 11:45 (No Fri) 13:45, 15:45, 17:45, 19:45, 21:45, 00:05 Bairaq 2 22:30, 00:30 Laila 20:45 Underworld: Blood Wars Muhalab 2 17:45 Fanar 2 11:30 (No Fri) 13:30, 17:45, 00:15 Avenues 9 12:00 (No Fri) 14:00, 01:00 Avenues 11 00: :15 (No Fri) 14:15, 16:15, 18:15, 20:15, 22:15, 00: : Zahra a Area, South Surra, 6th Ring Road, corner of King Faisal Highway 2. Ajial Ajial Complex, Fahaheel 3. Al Bairaq Between Jaber Al Ali East & Al Agalia West 4. Al Fanar Al Fanar Complex, Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya 5. Al Kout Al-Kout Complex, at the end of the Coastal Road, Fahaheel 6. Al Muhalab Al Muhalab Complex, Behind Hawally Clinic, Hawally 7. Al Sharqiya Arabian Gulf Street, Souq Sharq, near the Amiri Hospital 8. Laila Gallery Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya 9. Marina Marina Mall, Between Salem Al Mubarak Street & Arabian Gulf Street, Salmiya 10. Metro Metro Complex, Farwaniya, near Crowne Plaza Hotel & Farwaniya Garden 11. Plaza Salem Al Mubarak Street, near Sultan Center, Salmiya 12. The Avenues The Avenues Mall, Al Reggai near Al Rai, 5th Ring Road & Ghazali Road Intersection NB: Friday no show before 1:30 pm Regular show KD3:000; 3D-Digital KD3.500; VIP show KD On Monday, price is KD1.500 except Digital movies. Cinescape cinema movies inquiries and Fax Back hotline The Scientific Center IMAX Opp Holiday Inn, Salmiya, Gulf Road 14. Grand Al-Hamra Grand Al-Hamra, tel: , 15. Grand Gate Grand Gate, tel: , Al-Kout 4 16:45, 20:30 Grand Hamra 7 14:15, 16:15, 18:15, 20:15, 22:15 01:00 (Thu, Fri) Grand Gate 8 14:45, 17:15, 19:15, 21:15, 23:15 Trolls Marina 1 17:00 Avenues 7 17: :15, 16:30 Bairaq 2 14:00, 16:00 Grand Gate 5 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:15, 22:15 Allied Avenues 1 23:15 Avenues 7 00: :45 (No Fri) 21:00, 23:30 Grand Hamra 4 14:30, 17:15, 19:30, 22:00 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Aveneus 2 00:30 (Thu, Fri) Avenues 7 12:00 (No Fri) 21: :30, 19:00, 21:45, 00: :30 (No Fri) 15:15, 18:00, 20:45, 23: :05 Grand Hamra 5 14:45, 17:30 Grand Gate 4 14:45, 17:45, 20:45 23:30 (Thu, Fri) Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Hindi Film) Avenues 4 16:00 (No Thu) :45 Laf Wa Dawaran (Arabic Film) Avenues 7 14:45, 19: : :15 (No Mon) Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan (Malayalam Film) Plaza 15:45 (No Fri) 18:45 (Thu) Ajial 1 15:30, 18:30 (Thu) Ajial 3 21:30 Ajial 4 19:00 (Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back :30 Arrival Grand Hamra 8 14:15, 16:30, 18:45, 21:30 Chennai II: Second Innings (Tamil Film) Ajial 2 15:45, 18:45, 21:45 (No Thu) Kavi Uddheshichathu..? (Malayalam Film) Ajial 3 15:30, 18:30 IMAX Imax film programme at The Scientific Center Sunday Humpback Whales 3D 10:30 am, 07:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 11:30 am, 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 12:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 05:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 08:30 pm Monday Humpback Whales 3D 12:30 pm, 06:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 10:30 am, 05:30 pm, 08:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D Journey to Space 3D 09:30 pm 11:30 pm, 07:30 pm Tuesday Humpback Whales 3D 11:30 am 09:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 12:30 pm, 05:30 pm, 08:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 10:30 am Journey to Space 3D 06:30 pm Mysteries of the Unseen World 07:30 pm Wednesday Humpback Whales 3D 05:30 am Flying Monsters 3D 11:30 am 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 08:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 12:30 pm Mysteries of the Unseen World 10:30 am Secret Ocean 3D 07:30 pm Thursday Humpback Whales 3D 11:30 am 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 10:30 am 07:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 05:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 08:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 12:30 pm Friday Humpback Whales 3D 08:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 02:30 pm, 06:30 pm, 09:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 03:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 04:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 07:30 pm Mysteries of the Unseen World 05:30 am Saturday Showtime Available for Groups 09:30 am Humpback Whales 3D 10:30 am 07:30 pm Flying Monsters 3D 11:30 am, 02:30 pm, 05:30 pm, 08:30 pm Kenya: Animal Kingdom 3D 04:30 pm, 09:30 pm Journey to Space 3D 01:30 pm, 06:30 pm Secret Ocean 3D 03:30 pm Mysteries of the Unseen World 12:30 pm Notes: All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. Film schedule is subject to changes without notice. For information call or visit

29 HEALTH 29 Pneumonia No. 2 killer of babies, toddlers Massage gives infants breath of life in Ivory Coast ABIDJAN, Dec 12, (AFP): A mother from a working-class district of Abidjan watches fearfully while the physiotherapist presses down on the thorax and abdomen of her crying, struggling baby to help him breathe. Under the health worker s expert hands, the infant gradually expels the secretions clogging up his lungs through his nose and mouth. His mother looks astonished and the therapist keeps working until her child s airways are completely clear. Respiratory physiotherapy is critically needed in Ivory Coast where pneumonia is second only to malaria as a killer of babies and toddlers. The charity Agis (Association Graine d Ivoire et Sante), founded in 2010 by Aboubakar Sylla, a physiotherapist himself, trains volunteer staff in the massage techniques to serve the poorer neighbourhoods of the commercial capital and towns in the interior of the west African country. Their work is linked in with medical consultations and schools for mothers, where women are taught how to help keep their little ones safe from infection and to treat them if they fall sick. Respiratory The World Health Organisation reports that respiratory infections in 2015 claimed the lives of more than 900,000 children under the age of five around the globe. In Ivory Coast, such infections are estimated to have killed more than 11,000 youngsters in 2012, according to the latest available count. The Annual Report on the Health Situation (RASS) for 2014 and 2015 meanwhile showed that the number of acute respiratory infections rose to more than 202 cases per 1,000 children in 2015 from 165 per 1,000 in Respiratory infections are the second cause of hospitalisation in paediatric services. After Medical staff treat a child for breathing problems using physical therapy on March 17, 2016 during tests to diagnose pneumonia for children until age five in a health centre in the Attecoube neighborhood in Abidjan. (AFP) malaria, it s the second cause of mortality among Ivorian children under five, says Max Valere Itchi, a doctor at CHU of Cocody, one of the main hospitals in Abidjan. In the countryside the death toll has worsened due to a lack of funds and equipment. Children are usually taken to hospital only when their case is very serious and more difficult to cure, doctors say. This is particularly regrettable since many cases could have been avoided with a little prevention, says Sylla, taking part in his Agis association s campaign in the poor Koumassi district of Abidjan. In the courtyard of the city s general hospital, several dozen mothers show up early one morning to wait under tents put up to provide shelter from the rain Some are carrying their babies on their backs. Esthetician Monique Zabia has brought two children with her. Every day they have colds and they have runny noses, says Zabia, who is discovering the methods of the physiotherapists for the first time. She has a cold all the time and she coughs in Bid to track brain injuries in athletes Texas to launch concussion study spite medication, says another mother, Linda Akele, who brought her three-year-old daughter to experiment with the massage techniques. Treatments Three days later, a similar scene takes place in Attecoube, another low-income neighbourhood in Abidjan, where health staff give advice to women as well as treatments to the kids. Young mother Saly listened attentively to a AUSTIN, Texas, Dec 12, (AP): This week, Texas will launch what state officials say is the nation s largest effort to track brain injuries among young athletes. The University Interscholastic League, Texas governing body for public high school sports, is partnering with the O Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center for the project, from which they hope to gauge whether rules or equipment changes are improving player safety and what more can be done to protect athletes. A state as large as Texas, which has more than 800,000 public high school athletes, would be a key step in developing a national database of brain injuries in youths, officials say. Already, the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is seeking federal funding for such a database. Until we understand what the frequency of concussions is across the state, or a region of the state, we can t determine when rule changes, equipment changes or things like recovery programs are really being effective, said Dr. Munro Cullum, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and neurotherapeutics who will lead the study. All 50 states in recent years have passed rules or laws to address concussions in youth athletics from research to protocols for identifying concussions and setting rules for return to play. The CDC has estimated that up to 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities each year, but some experts wonder if those numbers underestimate total brain injuries, as some individuals may not seek treatment for mild or moderate symptoms. The Texas study will collect more concussion data than it has before, University Interscholastic League deputy director Jamey Harrison said. Currently, Texas requires only one school from each district report concussions as part of a weekly injury reporting system, though each school in the football playoffs is required to report concussions. Right now it s a sample that is just a snapshot. It s not scientific, Harrison said. We need to move beyond that. volunteer nurse while her 14-month-old baby sat calmly at her feet. Don t carry the child on your back to sweep the house or to light the fire. Otherwise the dust and the smoke are still going to give him colds, the nurse patiently tells the women. Sylla, who deploys one or more practising doctors to take part in each Agis operation, explains that the volunteers also teach the women how to give the massages themselves.

30 Qatar Airways wants to swap planes Airbus in Iran to finalise plane deal: official Qatar Airways is in talks with Airbus to convert its order for up to 80 A320neos to the larger A321neo, its chief executive said on Monday. The airline has refused to accept four A320neos so far this year over performance issues with the aircraft s engines, a spokeswoman told Reuters. We are in negotiations with Airbus about how we can continue our relationship and keep our order on track minus the ones that we cancelled, CEO Akbar al-baker told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference in Doha. He said the airline wanted to take delivery of the larger A321neo jets from 2018 and was considering swapping the engine order to CFM, a joint venture between General Electric Co and Safran SA of France. An Airbus spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Qatar Airways has refused to accept planes with engines made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, saying they required additional time to start under certain conditions. The airline said in May it was cutting frequencies on more than a dozen routes from its Doha hub because of delivery delays of new aircraft from Airbus. (RTRS) Airbus delegates have arrived in Tehran for talks aimed at finalising a deal to sell around 100 planes, an Iranian official said Monday. The representatives of the European aerospace giant arrived on Sunday just hours after national carrier Iran Air concluded a $16.6 billion deal with US firm Boeing to buy 80 planes. An Airbus delegation has arrived in Tehran, said Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, deputy minister for transport. We have started negotiations and if there are no problems, we will sign the agreement within a week for the purchase of around 100 planes, he told AFP. Meanwhile, some conservatives in Iran reacted angrily to news of the deal with Boeing, which comes at a time when lawmakers in Washington have recently voted for renewed sanctions on the country. Iran says the renewal of sanctions, which US President Barack Obama is expected to approve in the coming days, is a breach of the nuclear deal it signed with world powers last year. 60 trillion tomans: Iran s gift to the US for violating the JCPOA (nuclear deal), read Monday s headline on the hardline Javan newspaper. (AFP) Market Movements Change Closing pts AUSTRALIA - All Ordinaries , JAPAN - Nikkei , EUROPE - Euro Stoxx , Change Closing pts GERMANY - DAX , FRANCE - CAC , S. KOREA - KRX , PHILIPPINES - All Shares , INDIA - Sensex , HONG KONG - Hang Seng , Business US shale will be the primary beneficiary Oil prices surge after OPEC, non-opec agree on output cut By National Bank of Kuwait OPEC returns to supply management with the first coordinated production cut in 8 years. The relief was almost palpable. OPEC on Nov 30 agreed to cut its production for the first time in 8 years, sending oil prices surging by 9% on the day and delivering a stunning riposte to the sceptics opining that the group s days were numbered. Both Brent crude, the international benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US marker, recorded their biggest daily gain in 9 months on news of the deal, rallying to $50.5 per barrel (bbl) and $49.4/ bbl, respectively. Two trading sessions later and Brent had reached $54.5/bbl its highest level in more than 14 months and a rise of 17% since the announcement. The gains were not limited to oil prices, either: energy indices such as the S&P 500 Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Index, which is dominated by US shale firms, increased the DUBAI: Al Faisal Holding, a Qatari conglomerate, is considering alternative debt funding options after the idea of a US dollar sukuk issue received a lukewarm response from the market, sources familiar with the situation said. The conglomerate had approached banks earlier this year to discuss arranging a potential sukuk issue of around $200 million. The issue, which would have been the company s first international debt raising exercise, may now be replaced by a syndicated loan, the sources said. A spokesman for the company said in an ed response to Reuters that Al Faisal does not have any shortterm plans to issue sukuk. Al Faisal is always open to discussions about how best to fund its operations, the spokesman said. (RTRS) DUBAI: Bahrain LNG, the developer of the Gulf state s receiving and regasification terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), has closed a $741 million syndicated loan for the platform s construction, according to a company statement on Monday. The project is being developed to supplement local gas production in Bahrain and ensure capacity to meet peak seasonal gas demand and industrial growth, the statement said. While the Gulf region is known for its large oil reserves, countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have struggled to keep up with demand for gas and have been searching for a way to address the issue, which has crimped economic development. Standard Chartered, Arab Petroleum Investments Corp (APICORP), and Korea Development Bank were the institutions leading the limited recourse project financing, which was provided by nine international and regional lenders. (RTRS) MILAN: Italian energy company Eni will sell a 30 percent stake in its giant Egyptian offshore gas field Zohr to Russia s Rosneft for $1.575 billion, pressing ahead with asset sales to fund investments and offset weak oil prices. Eni, which owns 90 percent of the Shorouk concession containing Zohr, said Rosneft would pay $1.125 billion by 10.8% its best daily performance in 8 years. The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Energy Index also rose, by as much as 4.5 %, which is that index s biggest gain in 5 years. The announcement came after weeks of oil price volatility, with markets hanging on every word coming out of the OPEC camp, and often having to digest some very mixed signals from ministers and senior OPEC officials regarding the likelihood of a production cut. It also marks a reversal of the 2-year Saudi-led strategy of allowing market supply/demand dynamics to determine prices. In the end, though, OPEC, having tantalized the markets (and boosted prices) in Algiers with the prospect of a rare, coordinated production cut among its members, found its options were limited and the consequences of inaction even starker: failure to reach an agreement amid the worst supply glut in years would very likely have sent oil prices spiraling down to the $40 mark, possibly lower. It would have also sounded the death knell for an organization whose stock and credibility was perceived to be at an all-time low. According to the terms of the Nov 30 communique, the 13-member group would reduce its aggregate output by 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) to 32.5 mb/d for a period of 6 months, effective January All members, with the exception of Iran, Nigeria, Libya and Indonesia, whose membership was ultimately suspended just 12 months after rejoining the group, will be required to reduce output by 4.5% from October s reference production level. To that end, individual country quotas will be applied and a new committee, chaired by Kuwait, will be established to monitor compliance. This should add credibility to the agreement. While Saudi Arabia and its GCC neighbors were always expected to shoulder the bulk of the production cuts, somewhat surprisingly, Iran agreed to cap its own output at a level 0.2 mb/d short of its own oftmentioned target of 4.0 mb/d, a sticking point that had proved decisive in derailing the previous attempt by Saudi Arabia and Russia to orchestrate production cuts last April in Doha. Instead, Iran will be allowed to raise supplies by a further 90,000 b/d until it reaches its new level. Also significant this time around is the inclusion of non-opec Russia, Oman, Azerbaijan and others in the agreement; these countries just last weekend promised to bring production down by a combined 600,000 b/d. On the face of it, the agreement represents something of a coup for the Saudi-led group, not least in managing to secure Iran and Russia s buy-in after months of diplomatic wrangling. The challenges going forward should not be underestimated, however, as member countries have rarely adhered to their own production quotas, and Russia, for its part, has been notoriously unreliable as a partner in the past. Moreover, Nigeria and Libya are exempt from the agreement due to the fact that their oil industries are in a severely weakened state, thanks to sabotage and civil conflict. They could ramp up supplies quite significantly, thereby neutralizing a sizeable chunk of the cut. Warravaged Libya, for example, is producing far below potential; it could treble its current output of 500,000 b/d and still be below its pre-arab Spring production highs of around 1.7 mb/d. Should the deal unfold as intended, then the potential impact on global supply/demand balances and global crude stocks, which are well above their 5-year historical average, could be profound. The magnitude of the production cut, a theoretical 1.8 mb/d, assuming full compliance on both OPEC and non- OPEC sides, is more than enough to erase the global supply glut, which is currently hovering at around 0.7 mb/d in 4Q16 according to our estimates. US shale is a trickier customer, however. Arguably, it is the biggest beneficiary of the agreement as higher oil prices will likely provide a much needed boost for US energy companies that are struggling with negative cash flow and fragile balance sheets. This will be just the impetus for them to bring back online rigs that had been idled during the price downturn, pushing production back up again. Indeed, a recovery is already in evidence, with drilling rigs back up to 477 on Dec 2, a rise of 51% from a low of 316 in May, and crude production heading back up to 8.69 mb/d, an increase of 3% from its low this year. These are the realities of the new oil order and OPEC must adjust its position and strategy accordingly in order to retain its efficacy. The Nov 30 accord is only a start, but possibly a good start. Ahli United Bank named Bank of The Year Mideast by The Banker AUB receiving the prestigious award for second time KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Ahli United Bank (AUB) has been recognised as Bank of The Year Middle East 2016 by The Banker, the world s longest running international banking magazine and member of the Financial Times Group. This represents the second time that AUB has received this prestigious award. The announcement was made at the official Bank of the Year Awards 2016 gala event, held recently in London and attended by Ahli United Bank head office senior bankers from around the world. Aimed at rewarding and promoting industry wide excellence in the global banking community, the award s judging panel noted that AUB has made the most progress over the past 12 months; not only in terms of the bank s strong financials, but also in the wide range of initiatives which the bank undertook during this period. The Banker listed the launch of a new wholly owned AUB subsidiary bank in Dubai International Financial Centre, increasing ownership of its insurance joint venture to 100 percent, increasing the paid-up capital in AUB s Egyptian subsidiary and the full conversion of its Libyan affiliate to a Sharia-compliant bank despite a very challenging and operating environment as the key factors in winning the regional award. The Banker went on to say that this regional title is testament to the strong management, sound business model and strategy of AUB. Accepting the award on behalf of AUB, Group CEO & Managing Director Adel El-Labban said: We are honoured to receive this prestigious award from a leading authority such as The Banker for the second time. This repeat award is a fitting tribute to the continued loyalty and support of our shareholders and customers, to the dedication and professionalism of our team across the AUB Group and to our commitment to excellence in all our efforts to achieve our well defined business strategy and vision. El-Labban added: AUB is very proud to be selected by the industry as a leader in regionalization initiatives and for the recognition given to its various ongoing organic and inorganic business development initiatives across its home markets in the GCC and MENA countries. Turkish Q3 contraction due to lower inflows, tensions: Simsek Turkey rejigs GDP calculations as output falls first time since 2009 ISTANBUL/ANKARA, Dec 12, (Agencies): On paper at least, 79 million Turks got a near 20 percent boost to their average standard of living on Monday when the government rejigged GDP calculations, a change unlikely to stem frustration about an economy now in contraction. Turkey, which restated its gross domestic product (GDP) data to meet the standards of the European Union it aims to join, also said third quarter output fell a bigger-than-expected 1.8 percent year-on-year, the first decline in seven years. Once one of the world s most promising emerging markets, Turkey has been hit by security fears after a series of bombings, the most recent on Saturday, and a failed coup in July. Authorities have since detained, jailed or dismissed more than 100,000 people in a crackdown that has worried investors and sent the lira currency to a record low. These revisions make some of bottomline cash for the stake and would reimburse investments already carried out by Eni for around $450 million. The deal comes less than a month after Eni s sale of a 10 percent stake in Zohr to BP at the same implied price, bringing overall proceeds to around $2.1 billion. Eni, whose cash flow fell 19 percent in the third quarter due to low oil prices, pledged at the start of the year to sell 7 billion euros ($7.43 billion) worth of assets to billion euros in the first two years. (RTRS) DUBAI: Abu Dhabi has signed the United Arab Emirates second hyperloop feasibility study to build a futuristic high-speed transport system connecting the cities of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Abu Dhabi s Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT) and US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) announced the agreement, which follows a similar study signed in Dubai last month. Dubai s Road & Transport Authority (RTA) and US-based Hyperloop One, a rival to HyperloopTT, agreed on Nov 8 to explore routes between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A hyperloop uses magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the pods can shuttle people and freight at speeds of up to 750 miles (1,200 kms) per hour.(rtrs) MOSCOW: Rosneft oil giant on Monday won a court victory against a Russian independent media group but was awarded only a fraction of the $52 million in damages it had sought. The RBK media group said on its website that Moscow s commercial court ruled it must pay Rosneft 390,000 rubles ($6,391), while four journalists were ordered to pay 4,500 rubles each. Rosneft had sued RBK over damage caused to its business reputation by television coverage and an article published in April about alleged efforts by the company s managers to keep British oil major BP, the largest minority shareholder in Rosneft, from bidding for a 19.5 percent stake to be privatised in Rosneft. Rosneft said at the time that the allegations were groundless fantasies of journalists and their so-called sources. (AFP) Turkey s macroeconomic variables look healthier, William Jackson of Capital Economics in London said in ed comments. But these don t change anything on the ground: the lira has been one of the most vulnerable (emerging market) currencies to shocks and the economy still has a productivity problem. The Turkish Statistical Institute said that 2015 GDP stood at $861 billion, from $720 billion before the revision adding $141 billion to the size of the economy virtually overnight. Per capita income, often used as a proxy for standard of living, was estimated at $11,014 from $9,257 previously. That boost in paper wealth may mean little to Turks who have seen their buying power eroded by the lira s double-digit decline this year. However, it may come in handy for President Tayyip Erdogan as he campaigns for an executive presidential system, which is expected to go to a referendum by May. Erdogan and the AK Party he founded have long relied on their successful stewardship of the economy including years of rapid growth, new jobs and vast spending on airports, hospitals and housing to win voter loyalty. While that reputation could be threatened by recent economic weakness, the rejigged GDP numbers are undeniably positive for the AK Party. Analysts at BBVA noting that growth over the previous 17 years now averages 5.1 percent, rather than 3.9 percent. The 1.8 percent decline in thirdquarter GDP far outstripped the 0.5 percent drop forecast in a Reuters poll, which did not take into account the revisions. The economy weakened as a double-digit jump in public consumption failed to offset a decline in private domestic demand, the data showed. Still, analysts remain worried about the weakness in the lira, as Erdogan s drive for lower borrowing costs gives the central bank little room to hike. The lira has been in freefall since the end of September, the central bank s rate hikes have proved woefully ineffective and, perhaps most worryingly, the economy is now contracting sharply, fuelling populist and nationalist sentiment and making it very difficult for the central bank to raise rates, said Nicholas Spiro, of Lauressa Advisory in London. Meanwhile, Turkey s GDP contraction in the third quarter was caused by weaker global trade, lower capital inflows to emerging markets and geopolitical tensions, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Monday. GDP growth in the first nine months of the year was 2.2 percent. The economy shrank by a biggerthan-expected 1.8 percent in the third quarter, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed on Monday, marking the first year-onyear decline in quarterly economic growth since Turkish dollar debt prices fell sharply on Monday after data showed the first economic contraction since 2009, with the 2034 bond, one of the country s most traded issues, down 2.5 cents, according to Tradeweb data. Turkey s economy contracted 1.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, data showed, pushing the lira down more than 1 percent against the dollar. Data also showed the current account deficit as wider than expected, highlighting Turkey s vulnerability to global cost of capital. A deadly bomb attack in Istanbul on the weekend has also underscored the country s political fragility. The 2034 bond fell 2.5 cents while the 2036 issue was down 1.6 cents. Issues maturing 2045 and 2030 tumbled 1.9 cent and 1.0 cent respectively. The Turkish Statistics Office said gross domestic product (GDP) fell 1.8 percent compared with the same period in 2015 causing an immediate fall in the lira. The contraction follows weaker consumer spending which the office said decreased by 3.2 percent in the last quarter while exports of goods and services fell by 7.0 percent. The release is one of the strongest signs yet that political instability in the aftermath of the July 15 coup bid is affecting consumer confidence. This is the first set of numbers after the office said last week it would change the way it calculates GDP figures in line with European Union Regulations (ESA 2010). Thus the base year used is now changed from 1998 to 2009 and the changes mean in nominal terms, Turkey s GDP is now larger by 20 percent, Ozgur Altug at BGC Partners said in a note. The last time Turkey recorded negative growth was in 2009 when the country entered recession. Monday s figures also come as the country s tourism industry is under severe strain after multiple terror attacks blamed on Islamic State jihadists and Kurdish militants and the July 15 failed coup.

31 BUSINESS 31 Eni sells 30% supergiant field to Rosneft US top court rejects AIG ex-ceo s appeal Italian energy giant Eni on Monday announced the sale of 30 percent of its huge offshore gas field to Russian oil giant Rosneft. Valued at $1.125 billion, the deal reduces Eni s stake in the huge Mediterranean field, which lies in Egyptian territorial waters, to 60 percent. The agreement will also involve Rosneft paying back the investments already made by Eni, worth an estimated $450 million, a statement from the Italian firm said. It had already sold a 10 percent stake in its Shorouk Concession, where the vast Zohr field is located, to BP in November. The arrangement also gives Rosneft the option to buy an extra 5.0 percent under the same terms. BP was given the same option until the end of In August 2015, Eni announced the discovery of the supergiant Zohr field inside the Shorouk block which it said could hold a potential 30 trillion cubic feet (850 billion cubic metres) of gas. The find was billed as the largest ever offshore natural gas field in the Mediterranean. (AFP) The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected former American International Group CEO Maurice Hank Greenberg s bid to escape civil fraud charges in New York accusing him of orchestrating sham transactions at the insurer, even as his trial continues. The justices left in place a June ruling by the New York Court of Appeals that his trial on charges brought by the New York Attorney General s Office could proceed. The ongoing non-jury trial of Greenberg, 91, started in September. He has already testified in his own defense. Greenberg led the New Yorkbased insurance giant for four decades before he was ousted in The following year, AIG paid $1.64 billion to settle federal and state probes into its business practices. He has asserted that the case should have been over in 2013 when a $115 million settlement with AIG shareholders over improper accounting received court approval. New York was forced to drop its damages claims because of that decision. Justice Charles Ramos of New York state court in Manhattan is presiding over Greenberg s trial, and in September began directly questioning Greenberg. (RTRS) PARIS, Dec 12, (AP): International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde went on trial Monday in a Paris court, accused of negligence for allowing a huge handout to a well-connected businessman when she was in the French government. Poised and serious, Lagarde took notes as the judge summed up the years-long legal saga that led to charges against her charges she contests. A well-respected pioneer for women in leadership, Lagarde faces up to a year in prison if convicted. A lawyer for Lagarde, Patrick Maisonneuve, pleaded for a delay in the proceedings, arguing that it doesn t make sense for her to face trial while a separate investigation in the broader case is still underway. It is unclear whether the judges will decide Monday on the appeal or adjourn for deliberations. The case revolves around a 403 million-euro ($425 million) payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie in an arbitration deal in 2008 over the botched Lagarde faces up to a year in prison if convicted IMF chief Lagarde goes on trial over French payout case In this file photo, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks during a news conference in Washington. Lagarde is facing a negligence trial in France which opens on Dec 12, for her role in a 2008 arbitration ruling that handed 403 million euros ($425 million) to a French business magnate. (AP) sale of sportswear maker Adidas in the 1990s, when Lagarde was finance minister. The amount of the award prompted indignation in France. Investigators suspect that the whole process was rigged in favor of Tapie, a business magnate with close connections with political circles, including then-president Nicolas Sarkozy. Civil courts have since quashed the unusually generous award, declared the arbitration process and deal fraudulent and ordered Tapie to pay the money back. Lagarde is accused of serious negligence that allegedly allowed other people in the case to commit a suspected major misappropriation of public funds. Investigating judges say Lagarde committed a series of serious errors when she made the arbitration choice and also, later on, when she refused to challenge the deal, suggesting she may have been influenced by the political connections between Tapie and Sarkozy, according to court documents. Ms. Lagarde s behavior proceeds not only from a questionable carelessness and precipitation, but also from a conjunction of faults which, by their nature, number and seriousness, exceed the level of mere negligence, the judges wrote at the end of their investigation. At Monday s trial in the Court of Justice of the Republic, a special court for government ministers, Lagarde was asked to declare her identity, age, address, professional activity and salary. She answered: $450,000 a year. Maisonneuve said on Europe-1 radio that Lagarde, then a government minister, was just following instructions from her administration, and didn t have time to read all 15 years of legal files in the case. The trial is due to last until Dec. 20. Separately, a criminal investigation into the case is still ongoing. In that case, Tapie, his lawyer, one of the arbitrators and Lagarde s chief of staff at the ministry, Stephane Richard, now the CEO of the telecom company Orange, were given criminal charges of gang-related fraud, and police searched Lagarde s Paris home. Tapie later got another charge of misappropriation of funds. Lagarde s trial and possible conviction may raise concern about her ability to remain the head of the IMF. The Washington-based institution s credibility was already shaken when her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, also a French citizen, was forced to resign amid sexual assault allegations in The IMF s board has so far supported Lagarde at all stages of the French legal proceedings, which began the month after her appointment in July Lagarde, the first woman to become finance minister of a Group of Eight country and to be appointed IMF chief, has said she is taking time off her day job during her trial. Unusually, Lagarde was sent to trial by investigating judges even though prosecutors argued the case should be dropped. The prosecutors in her trial will be the same as those who made the dismissal plea, which will help Lagarde s lawyers in the upcoming proceedings. Earnings boosted by ruble slide For unlikely tech center in Russia, recession s boon VORONEZH, Russia, Dec 12, (AP): Russia s economy is in a quagmire thanks to sanctions and low oil prices, but it s a boom time for Mikhail Khorpyakov. The 32-year-old, who develops software for Russian and foreign clients, has seen his earnings rise over the last two years even as the country fell into recession and the national currency lost half its value. At the airy, well-lit office he shares with friends in a newly built block in the thriving provincial tech hub of Voronezh, Khorpyakov recalls his last workspace was in a basement, with noisy sewer pipes all around, before their earning power allowed them to aim higher. Khorpyakov and his friends are part of an unlikely tech revolution in Voronezh, a former Soviet industrial town where startups and online contract work are proving the only source of good jobs and escape from economic decline. In fact, the crisis has turned out to be the tech sector s biggest fortune. As Russia fell into recession, the ruble s nosedive to record lows made tech workers here much cheaper for foreign companies to hire or buy from letting them compete with traditional tech offshoring hubs like India and China. Even as officials in the United States and Europe warn about the threat posed by governmentbacked Russian hackers, tech workers in Voronezh say security concerns don t affect their international business relationships. Remote Ivan Grishaev, a 30-year-old software engineer, moved to Voronezh with his wife and son from Chita, a remote city in Eastern Siberia, in He chose Voronezh because it offered better career options, lower rent and warmer weather than traditional magnets for migrants such as Moscow or St Petersburg. First he worked for DataArt, a Russian software company with more than 800 employees in Voronezh. But when the ruble s value plunged, Grishaev struck out on his own, working directly for foreign clients. As well as financial benefits, the change also brought a more flexible work schedule, meaning he can collect his son from school. Now a self-employed IT specialist developing websites for a Swiss firm, Grishaev makes nearly twice as much as he used to thanks to the difference in local and European salaries, and in currency-exchange rates. A qualified remote IT services provider working for a Western firm can make $2,000-$3,000 per month. That is up to eight times the average salary for the local region, and double what IT specialists can earn working for Russian companies in Voronezh. We ve become less constrained financially, could afford to have a second child, and now go on vacations abroad, says Grishaev. Boasting several Soviet-era technology-focused universities, Voronezh serves as an outsourcing hub for many Russian and foreign companies. Reachable in six hours by car from Moscow comparatively close by the standards of the world s largest country office rent and salaries here are significantly lower than in the capital. Other rust-belt towns around the world, such as Pittsburgh in the US, have seen their local economies helped by a rise in tech companies taking advantage of cheap rents and educated workforces. But Voronezh stands out as an extreme example due to the enormous gains that the ruble s drop gives tech workers compared with the rest of the local economy. Revenue We produce games for the Russian-speaking CIS (former Soviet) countries, and make versions for Europe and the US, which bring us revenue in foreign currency. Thanks to the exchange rate, this revenue is even bigger in rubles, says Sergey Khatenkov, head of the Voronezh office of Mail.Ru Group, one of Russia s largest internet companies. In 2006, Mail.Ru opened its Voronezh office with five employees. Now it employs 200 people and almost entirely focuses on developing multiplayer online games. Some of the games developed by Mail.Ru in Voronezh, such as Allods Online, count tens of thousands of daily players globally and are one of the company s main sources of income. Thanks to the (cheap currency) we ve significantly increased benefits for our employees, says Andrey Shinkarenko, head of the Voronezh office at Murano Software, a US-Russian company whose business is entirely based on outsourcing. We ve expanded their medical insurance to the fullest, organized meals in the office, that kind of thing. With the lower cost, Russian IT software developers are now competing more effectively against their counterparts in India and China. According to TAdviser, an analytics company, software and IT services exports from Russia have been steadily growing since 2010 and hit $7 billion in That s still far from the $82 billion brought in by India s thriving tech sector, based largely on outsourcing, but Russia has only onesixth of India s population. A key problem for startups in Voronezh is a lack of investment to grow. Many locals with promising ideas eventually up sticks for Moscow or foreign countries. The Russian regions are almost dead in this sense everything revolves around Moscow at a great speed, so if you want to be noticed and newsworthy, you have to go to Moscow, said Vitaly Yagodkin, head of, a Voronezhbased online service which provides widgets for websites. He now spends time between the capital, where he holds business meetings to attract new clients, and Voronezh, where his team is based. Other startup founders head to countries like Germany or the US due to worries that Russia s legal system doesn t offer enough protection from predatory officials and investors seeking to seize control of small firms. Fed turns to Trump agenda with rate increase nearly in the bag PARIS, Dec 12, (AFP): World demand for coal will slow over the next five years as renewables and energy efficiency gain traction, the International Energy Agency predicted Monday. But much of Asia will remain hooked on coal which, while polluting, is also affordable and widely available, the Paris-based body said in a report. Because of the implications for air quality and carbon emissions, coal has come under fire in recent years, but it is too early to say that this is the end for coal, said Keisuke Sadamori, the director of the IEA s energy markets and security directorate, in a statement. By 2021, the share of coal in the world s power generation mix is projected to drop to 36 percent, compared with 41 percent in In 2015, global coal demand declined for the first time this Republican businessman inheriting a good economy WASHINGTON, Dec 12, (RTRS): The Federal Reserve inaugurates the Trump era this week with a near-certain interest rate increase and new economic forecasts providing a first glimpse into whether the US election has reshaped the central bank s growth and inflation outlook. Fed fund futures show a 97 percent probability that the Fed will lift In this photo taken on Nov 24, 2016, the Voronezh River flows in Voronezh, Russia. Boasting several Soviet-era technology-focused universities, Voronezh serves as an outsourcing hub for many Russian and foreign companies. Reachable in six hours by car from Moscow, office rent and salaries here are significantly lower than in the capital. (AP) Much of Asia will remain hooked on coal Coal demand to burn slower: IEA rates by a quarter of a percentage point at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, according to the CME Group. All 120 economists in a Reuters poll expect a rate hike in the wake of a string of solid US economic reports. More telling will be whether the stock market rally and jump in bond yields triggered by Trump s Nov 8 victory will push the Fed to an inflection point of its own and a higher projected pace of rate increases for 2017 and beyond. century. The big unknown in this scenario is China, which accounts for half of the world s demand for coal and almost half of its production, and more than any other country influences global coal prices. Power Coal-fired power generation in China dropped in 2015 due to sluggish power demand and a diversification policy that led to the development of new renewable and nuclear power generation capacity, the IEA said. But for emerging economies with growing populations everywhere coal will remain an affordable and secure energy source to power their economies. This is the contradiction of coal -- while it can provide essential new power generation, it can also lock-in large amounts of carbon emissions for decades to come, the IEA said. The IEA has detected a clear trend away from the fossil fuel in the United States where it is in competition with cheap natural gas and renewables, especially wind energy, and where emissions regulations have become stricter. This led to a 15 percent drop in American coal consumption in 2015, the largest annual fall ever, but further declines are expected to be much less steep as high gas prices prompt less coal-to-gas switching, the IEA said. Coal, however, has also become more expensive this year as China moved to cut capacity, curbing oversupply. Meanwhile, despite last year s Paris agreement to fight climate change, there is no major impetus to promote the development of carbon capture and storage technology, the report said. The Republican businessman is inheriting a good economy, one that grew by 3.2 percent in the third quarter, the fastest pace in two years. There are, however, concerns that his plan to reduce taxes, cut regulation and increase infrastructure spending could not just boost the economy but also fuel higher inflation. Since first published in 2012, the Fed s quarterly dot plot of projected interest rates has generally moved in one direction down and any post-election change will show whether policymakers expect Trump s policies to shake things up. As of September, Fed officials median projection was for two rate increases next year and a long run neutral level of 2.6 percent. A rate increase this week would be the first since last December and only the second since the financial crisis. Path Their path is going to move up faster and a little sooner, said Steve Rick, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group. He said the economy was running at its potential, and that was the Fed s cue to exit stage right and steadily move rates to normal. Fed officials have long hoped that other government policies would take the place of monetary engineering, which some believe may have lost its effectiveness in lifting economic growth. They have warned in recent weeks that any new government spending should specifically be designed to boost productivity in an economy that is already near full employment and facing a high public debt burden. The Fed s new forecasts will indicate if policymakers feel that the monetary-to-fiscal handover is on the horizon, or need more time for the Trump administration s plans to become more detailed and move through Congress. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:30 pm (1930 GMT) on Wednesday to elaborate on the economic outlook and policy statement. She ll have a broad set of issues to cover since her last press conference in September from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting itself, to the likelihood she will be replaced in early 2018 and the risks she foresees from the Trump agenda. Trump repeatedly attacked Yellen during the election campaign, accusing her of holding down rates to help his Democratic rival. Since the election, he has expressed his disapproval of corporate America, criticizing Boeing, and took credit for a deal to keep hundreds of jobs at an Indiana plant from being moved to Mexico. The president-elect also will be under scrutiny after this week s Fed meeting for clues about how he plans to handle his relationship with the central bank.

32 BUSINESS 32 Ooredoo visits FM 88.8 Q8 Pulse A group photo of Ooredoo officials visiting FM 88.8 Q8 Pulse Ooredoo, the fastest network in Kuwait in 2016, visited the studio of FM 88.8 Q8 Pulse last week. The visit comes as part of Ooredoo s ongoing efforts to fortify relations with prominent media channels. Corporate Communications Senior Director Mijbil Alayoub, Customer Care Senior Director Wael Sultan, and Public Relations and Internal Communications Senior Manager Fatemah Dashti visited the station s studio, where they met with the station s General Manager Talal Alyagout and radio hosts Khaeld Al- Ansari and Hanaa Abdulrahman. Commenting on the event, Mijbil Alayoub, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Ooredoo Kuwait said We re always happy to be meeting with prominent media channels, as they are our partners in getting closer to our audience. We re confident in FM 88.8 s position in the market and their ability to attract more people to their diverse programs. The frequency FM 88.8 was recently aquiried by Blue Agency for KD 5.6 billion. It includes a number of experienced radio personalities such as Khaled Al-Ansari, Oussama Fouda, Waleed Sarab, Homoud Adel, Hanaa Abdulrahman and DJ Bonita, with programs in both Arabic and English. Ooredoo s operations in Kuwait date back to December 1999 when it launched wireless services as the second operator. Mazaya Residence a valuable investment: CEO Eng Al Soqabi Al Mazaya wins contract to construct residential complex in Oman KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Al Mazaya Real Estate Company Oman, a subsidiary of Al Mazaya Holding Company, has awarded an OMR 5,691,000 contract to Al Hajiry Trading LLC for the construction, execution, delivery and maintenance of its Mazaya Residence, a residential and commercial development, strategically located in Al-Seeb Province, in the heart of Muscat. Spanning over a 6,614 square meters in area, the project has been awarded to the Omani company following a call for the best of the qualified bidders who can serve the company s interests in terms of quality and completion deadlines. Al Hajiry Trading is a pioneering, dynamic business with 2,500-strong work force, boasting more than 21 years of professional experience through 19 platforms of building and construction in the Omani market. The 22-month contract was signed by Ibrahim Al Soqabi, Group CEO Al Mazaya Holding and Jason Sam Varghese, Executive Director of Al Hajiry Trading Projects Division. The signing ceremony was attended by Rashid Yaqoub Al Nafisi, Al Mazaya Board Chairman; Nasser Khamis Al Hashar, Board Chairman of Al Hajiry Trading; Eng Salwa Malhas, Chief Business Development, Marketing & Sales Officer; Dr Abdulaziz Jarkas, Chief Projects Adeeb Ahamed honoured DUBAI, Dec 12: The inaugural Gulf Indian Excellence Awards were held at the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights on Sunday. The gala event recognized leading successful Indian Business Leaders in the region who have made a mark in their sectors and have shown exceptional ability in their areas of excellence. In recognition of his successful growth as a business leader across various sectors around the region, Adeeb Ahamed, Director, LuLu Exchange and MD, Twenty14 Holdings was honoured with the Global Business Leader Award. Other winners in this category includes M.A. Yusuff Ali, MD, LuLu Group International, B.R. Shetty, Chairman, NMC Healthcare, Thumbay Moideen, President, Thumbay Group, Mickey Jagtiani, Chairman, Landmark Group and Joy Alukkas, Chairman, Joy Alukkas, among others. Adeeb Ahamed is a multifaceted professional who began his journey in the region with the setting up of LuLu Exchange, a reputed financial services company. After successfully establishing LuLu Exchange with Development Officer and Sam Varghese the Managing Director of Al Hajiry Trading. Commenting on the development, Al Soqabi said, Al Mazaya Residences is the company s second investment in Oman. It is a Gulf Indian Excellence Awards held at Dubai s Hyatt Regency more than 130 branches across the globe within 7 years, Adeeb went on to setup Twenty14 Holdings, a hospitality investment firm which owns prestigious properties around the world including the Great Scotland Yard in London, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in Dubai and the Sheraton Oman Hotel in Muscat, among others. I am absolutely delighted and deeply honoured to be acknowledged with this award. This recognition will allow me to further strengthen our commitment towards setting up new benchmarks in the sectors we are involved in. This award also encourages me to further inspire those around me and make a lasting, positive impact on their lives and community, said Adeeb Ahamed. Other awards including Transformational Biz Leader, Strategic Innovators of the Year, Creative Entrepreneurs of the Year and Business Innovators were also given away during the event. The event also featured panel discussions, conversations with the award winners and active participation of the audience. Adeeb Ahamed honored with his Global Business Leader award. A group photo of Al Mazaya and Omani officials after signing the contract. well-integrated and distinguished residential oasis, providing apartments in modern, unique designs. We take care of the most delicate details, allowing its residents to enjoy a luxurious living environment, full of comfort and convenience. The project boasts 120 residential units, including one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom flats and 28 shops of various sizes with high-end amenities, landscaped areas and nature. The amenities include swimming pools, health clubs and tennis playgrounds along with a spacious underground car park sprawling beneath the entire space of the residential building. The project stands out as an attractive opportunity for residents looking for investment or housing. Al Soqabi added, Mazaya Residence apartments adhere to the highest design standards that include the best use of space, satisfying all modern life requirements. The residence offers a variety of designs with its 68 by 74 meter one-bedroom, 99 by 110 meter two-bedroom and 142 by 154 meter three-bedroom apartments. The project is protected 24/7 by a sophisticated surveillance system to suit the specific security needs of the residents. In addition, they are provided with best satellite and internet services in the area. Al Mazaya Holding is now developing a massive publicity campaign for launching the project in Oman first, which will be followed by another campaign to promote the project in other Gulf markets by early next year. According to Al Soqabi, the promotion campaign will be officially launched via print and social media in the presence of Omani dignitaries, company senior management, and media representatives. He noted that the project s residential units and shops will be offered at competitive prices and can be purchased through easy installments in order to draw the largest possible numbers of clients. Al Soqabi concluded that Al Mazaya Holding adopts a forwardthinking vision for the Omani market, expressing hope that upon the completion of the project, the company will continue its presence in the Omani market. LuxLeaks whistleblowers in tax scandal appeal sentences LUXEMBOURG, Dec 12, (AFP): Two whistleblowers and an investigative reporter in the LuxLeaks tax scandal return to court on Monday for leaking thousands of documents that exposed Luxembourg s huge tax breaks for major international companies. Protestors from across Europe are expected in Luxembourg as the three men begin the appeal to a verdict that saw two of the defendants receive jail sentences last June. The LuxLeaks scandal sparked a major global push against generous deals handed to multinationals that grew even stronger after the Panama Papers revelations earlier this year. Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet in June received 12-month and nine-month sentences, respectively. Journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted of all charges, but was added to the appeal after the Luxembourg prosecutor argued that his case was indelibly linked to the others. The re-trial, following an appeal by Deltour and Halet, is due to last from Monday until Dec 21. In his June ruling, Judge Marc Thill recognised the defendants undeniable contribution... to greater transparency on tax matters. But the two men were still found guilty, angering activists who have launched petitions and raised money for legal fees. The original sentences of Mr Deltour and Mr Halet were a total disgrace, and we want this injustice to stop, said Tove Ryding, a tax justice coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development. You shouldn t have to go to court for exposing the fact that multinational corporations are dodging taxes, she added. Thousands of Luxembourg firms huge tax breaks leaked The Kuwait Finance House KFH launches 2FA Campaign for e-payment Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has launched an awareness campaign for clients in order to educate them on the Two Factor Authentication 2FA service for electronic payment. 2FA is an extra layer of security by having the card owner receive a dynamic One Time Password (OTP) on their registered mobile number as an additional check when processing an online payment transaction through the payment gateway Kpay. The service has been launched and approved by K-Net to ensure further security on all ATM/Knet transactions. The 2FA campaign includes messages and illustration visuals on KFH channels on social media for KFH customers. 2FA process is effective Jan 1st where customers are requested to enter a passcode of 6 digits. The passcode will be sent upon conducting any no more than KD 25 purchasing transaction on the internet to customers phone numbers that is approved by KFH. The campaign targets shying KIB supports the Ahmadi School Program for Oral Health KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: : Kuwait International Bank (KIB) recently sponsored the Ahmadi School Program for Oral Health, an educational program organized by the dental unit at the School Health Department at the Ministry of Education. As part of its partnership with the program, KIB organized several field visits to a number of schools, helping to educate children about the importance of oral health and hygiene. The sponsorship came in line with KIB s ongoing efforts to support healthcare awareness initiatives which target all segments of the population, especially youth and children. KIB is keen on promoting the principles of health and wellness amongst children, enhancing their knowledge and understanding of important health issues through a comprehensive program of educational activities and awareness initiatives, said Nawaf Najia, Manager of the Corporate Communications Unit at KIB. This program in particular plays an important role in enhancing healthcare awareness amongst children starting from a very early age, as it aims to educate students about the importance of oral health as a specific area, as well as the importance of their overall health and hygiene in a more general sense. Najia also lauded the Ministry of Education s School Health Department for its efforts in organizing this program, which targets government schools that house permanent dental clinics. He further noted that KIB has been an ardent supporter of the Ahmadi School Program for Oral Health over the years, stemming from the Bank s belief in the importance of the program s goals and objectives. KIB s leading social responsibility program continuously strives to support healthcare awareness initiatives which specifically target youth and children. The Bank has always been a firm believer in the importance of promoting health and wellness amongst the younger segments of the population, in order to foster healthier future generations. away customers from any rejection or delay for their transactions when shopping online ahead of implementing this service at the beginning of next year. KFH urges customers to periodically update their data and information, mainly the mobile phone number for the sake of avoiding any disruptions or obstacles of the electronic payments. It is worth noting that only one phone number is approved to receive the passcode in a period of 4 minutes. Nawaf Najia

33 BUSINESS 33 China launches WTO case against US, EU China auto sales rise 17.2 pct in Nov China said on Monday it had launched a dispute resolution case at the World Trade Organisation over the surrogate country approach used by the United States and European Union to calculate anti-dumping measures against Chinese exports. When China joined the WTO in 2001, it agreed to let WTO members treat it as a non-market economy when assessing dumping duties for 15 years. That gave trade partners the advantage of using a third country s prices to gauge whether China was selling its goods below market value. But that clause expired on Dec 11, and China has demanded that countries abide by the agreement. US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in November the time was not ripe for the United States to change the way it evaluates whether China has achieved market economy status, and there was no international trade rules requiring changes in the way US anti-dumping duties are calculated. China s Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website that 15 years on, all WTO members had an obligation to stop using the surrogate country approach. (RTRS) China s explosive demand for SUVs helped boost auto sales 17.2 percent in November over a year ago, an industry group said Monday, as automakers prepared for the end of a key tax break and a potential slump in demand. Drivers in the world s biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold bought 2.6 million cars, minivans and SUVs, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, rose 16.5 percent to 2.9 million. The government helped shore up this year s demand by cutting the sales tax but that is due to end Dec. 31. Industry analysts expect sales growth to cool to mid-single digits unless that break is extended. Sales of SUVs jumped 41.5 percent in November over a year earlier to just over 1 million vehicles. For the fi rst 11 months of the year, passenger vehicle sales rose 15.6 percent over the same period last year to 21.7 million. The popularity of lower-priced models, a segment in which Chinese brands dominate, has helped domestic automakers claw back market share from bigger global rivals. (AP) Officials think global trade emerging from doldrums BoJ likely to upgrade economic view next week TOKYO, Dec 12, (RTRS): The Bank of Japan is likely to give a more upbeat view of the economy at next week s rate review, sources say, as a pick-up in emerging Asian demand and positive signs in private consumption improve prospects for a solid, export-driven recovery. Any upgrade would reinforce market expectations that the central bank, after failing to jolt Japan out of deflation with years of massive monetary easing, will hold off on expanding stimulus measures in the coming months. At the previous meeting on Nov 1, the BOJ said the economic trend was for moderate recovery, but slowing emerging market demand was weighing on exports and output. Since then, four sources familiar with the bank s thinking said BOJ officials were becoming increasingly confident that global trade was emerging from the doldrums, as factories across Asia and Europe ramped up activity in November. They also see initial signs of recovery in private consumption, a perennial weak spot in Japan s economy, with service-sector sentiment hitting a nearly three-year high. At the Dec meeting, the BOJ Japan rules out any deals with Russia that undermine sanctions TOKYO, Dec 12, (RTRS): Japan s trade minister on Monday ruled out any economic cooperation with Russia that would undermine Group of Seven (G7) unity on sanctions imposed after Russia s annexation of Ukraine s Crimea region in The minister, Hiroshige Seko, who holds the portfolio for economic cooperation with Russia, spelt out Japan s position ahead of summit meetings on Thursday and Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two leaders will meet in Japan to discuss will thus consider upgrading its language to signal that it is more confident the world s third-largest economy is headed for a steady recovery, the sources said. Global economic conditions are improving, and consumption appears to be picking up, said one of the sources. All in all, we re seeing more bright signs for the economy. Another source echoed that view, pointing out that recent economic indicators had been mostly positive. economic cooperation and a decades-old territorial dispute. We will never hurt G7 solidarity over the Ukraine issue. That s a prerequisite, Seko told a news conference. We are making sure each item in the current cooperation plan is not infringing on sanctions. The two sides have been working on about 30 projects, from medical technology to energy, but some Japanese companies have expressed concern about running afoul of the sanctions as well as Russia s uncertain investment environment. The United States, the European Union and The BOJ s nine-member board will reach a final decision after scrutinising its closely watched tankan quarterly business sentiment survey, due on Wednesday, the sources said. The meeting will not address GDP growth forecasts, which are currently 1 percent for the year ending March 2017, and 1.3 percent for the following year. Premier Shinzo Abe s Abenomics stimulus policies deployed in 2013 initially succeeded in brightening public sentiment and boosting exports, but growth petered out as soft global demand and stagnant wages weighed on exports and consumption. Though policymakers have topped up fiscal and monetary stimulus, growth and prices have remained stubbornly flat, and critics say the policies are storing up problems for the future. The BOJ has already revamped its policy framework in September, adopting an approach better suited to a longterm battle against deflation. Japan imposed the sanctions to punish Russia it after its 2014 annexation of Crimea, and some Western countries have been worried about Japan breaking ranks. With the Russian economy hit hard by low oil prices and the sanctions, Abe is betting the lure of Japanese investment and his close ties with Putin could help advance talks on a territorial row that has soured relations between Japan and Russia since the end of World War Two. The dispute over a string of windswept western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end It is likely to use a more positive view of the economy to justify standing pat on policy at next week s meeting. It may also offer a slightly brighter view on overseas economies and private consumption, the sources said. But BOJ officials are by no means complacent on the outlook. There is still a lot of uncertainties in global developments, with big elections in France and Germany coming up in 2017, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said last week. of the war, has precluded a formal peace treaty between the two countries. Officials on both sides, however, have recently played down expectations of a breakthrough on the dispute this week. Abe told a representative of elderly Japanese former residents of the islands on Monday that he was determined to resolve the issue. I will make an all-out effort to make progress on the territorial issue, even if it is just a step closer toward a solution, he added, according to Kyodo news agency. The BOJ is thus likely to reiterate that risks to the economic and price outlook were skewed to the downside, and warrant close attention, the sources said. Since the BOJ s previous policy meeting on Nov. 1, the yen has weakened roughly 12 percent against the dollar, and Tokyo s Nikkei stock average has gained more than 10 percent. Japanese manufacturers confidence rose to a 16-month high in December, a Reuters poll showed, as the weak yen brightened prospects for exporters. Most indebted of their peers in Asia How millennials changing the way China thinks about money SHANGHAI, Dec 12, (RTRS): Ma Yiqing, 24, is typical of China s younger generation he uses his credit card frequently and borrows from online platforms to fund his shopping habits. In a pinch, he is happy to fall back on a lender closer to home his mum and dad. Interviews with Ma, a singlechild, his mother and grandmother, show how rapidly attitudes towards credit are changing as the millennials generation roughly those aged between 18 and 35 embraces debt like never before. The frugal attitude of previous generations produced the bedrock of China s credit worthiness household savings equal to some 50 percent of GDP, one of the highest levels globally. Ma and his cohorts are changing that equation. Their willingness to borrow has driven up household lending the fastest growing area of China s debt. They are among the most indebted of their peers in Asia, taking on debt 18.5 times their income, significantly higher than their parents generation, a report from insurer Manulife shows. While their spending and borrowing is an opportunity for lenders, brands and economic growth, it is also a risk as they add to China s fastgrowing debt. Right now, Ma has a safety net well-heeled and doting parents who can pick up the tab. He lives in a one-bed flat in Lhasa, the capital of China s Tibet region. His parents are in nearby Shannan. I ll generally turn to mum and dad. They ve always been able to help me financially, said Ma. In May, he asked his parents for financial support to open a restaurant. I just need to ask and they ll give me (money). Unusual Parents paying off the credit card bills of their millennial children is not unusual in China, but it could have ramifications, said Rui Yao, an associate professor in personal finance at the University of Missouri. They don t see the consequences of not paying. The thinking is my mom has it covered, she said. They re not prepared for an economic downturn for sure. The next generations may not be so lucky either. They will have to support longer-living parents and potentially more children as China relaxes its one-child policy. China s ageing population is already shrinking, which means greater financial pressure on those working to support those who are not. Ma says he is more frugal than his friends. He uses his bank card and Ant Check Later, a popular online lending platform owned by tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. This is a far cry from his parents generation. Ma s mother, who is 49, only started using a credit card three years ago. Overdraft They couldn t spend on overdraft, so they really didn t squander any money, he said. The gap is clear: consumer credit is up nearly 300 percent over the last six years alone, hitting around 23.5 trillion yuan ($3.41 trillion) in October. This is set to more than double over the next five years to nearly 53 trillion yuan, according to consultancy Mintel. While mortgages are the lion s share of household debt, credit card and consumer loans have shot up from just 4.6 percent of household debt in 2015 to 16 percent now, BMI Research shows. The young generation today has a totally different attitude to my generation, said Ma s grandmother, Wei Chunyin, 76. She grew up in the 1960s and said she was in debt just once for 100 yuan, the equivalent today of $ We were very economical and hardworking, she said. Clothing was just to wear, and we wouldn t even really eat snacks, just food from our unit, she said, referring to her workplace. Ma s generation is the first in China s modern history to be raised in relative prosperity and social stability. Venezuela s Maduro orders to pull largest bill from circulation CARACAS, Dec 12, (RTRS): Venezuela, mired in an economic crisis and facing the world s highest inflation, will pull its largest bill, worth two US cents on the black market, from circulation this week ahead of introducing new higher-value notes, President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday. The surprise move, announced by Maduro during an hours-long speech, is likely to worsen a cash crunch in Venezuela. Maduro said the 100-bolivar bill will be taken out of circulation on Wednesday and Venezuelans will have 10 days after that to exchange those notes at the central bank. Critics slammed the move, which Maduro said was needed to combat contraband of the bills at the volatile Colombia-Venezuela border, as economically nonsensical, adding there would be no way to swap all the 100-bolivar bills in circulation in the time the president has allotted. Central bank data showed that in November, there were more than six billion 100-bolivar bills in circulation, 48 percent of all bills and coins. Authorities on Thursday are due to start releasing six new notes and three new coins, the largest of which will be worth 20,000 bolivars, less than $5 on the streets. No official inflation data is available for 2016 though many economists see it in triple digits. Economic consultancy Ecoanalitica estimates annual inflation this year at more than 500 percent. The oil-producing nation s bolivar currency has fallen 55 percent against the US dollar on the black market in the last month. When ineptitude governs! Who ould possibly think of doing something like this in December amid all our problems? two-time opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles wrote on Twitter, referring to the upcoming Christmas holiday. Maduro previously has said that organized crime networks at the Colombia-Venezuela border buy up Venezuelan notes to in turn buy subsidized Venezuelan goods and sell them for vast profits in Colombia. While smuggling of this sort is an issue at the border, it cannot account for nationwide shortages of the most basic goods from food to medicine, which have left millions hungry and doctors crying out for help. Chinese stocks sink to month low; Hong Kong slips on Trump US president-elect s one China policy rattles investors SHANGHAI, Dec 12, (RTRS): China stocks suffered their biggest drop since June to hit a one-month low on Monday, as fresh regulatory curbs were put on trading by insurance companies and worries about incoming US president Donald Trump s China policy rattled investors. Australia s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher (right), look at diagrams of the proposed second international airport in Sydney on Dec 12. Sydney is to get its second international airport after the Australian government approved plans on Dec 12, ending decades of indecision over a facility that will initially handle 10 million passengers a year. (AFP) Qantas to fly Australia-London non-stop 2nd Sydney airport cleared for takeoff SYDNEY, Dec 12, (AFP): Sydney is to get its second international airport after the Australian government approved plans Monday, ending decades of indecision over a facility that will initially handle 10 million passengers a year. Badgerys Creek in the city s western suburbs had already been selected as the site, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signing off on its long-awaited construction. It is scheduled to open in the mid- 2020s, easing pressure on Sydney s Kingsford Smith Airport, the main gateway into Australia which is reaching capacity. The need for an airport in western Sydney has been screamingly obvious for many years, said Turnbull, adding it would be a catalyst for investment in the area. We are getting on with the job, and this airport will be built. Tens of thousands of jobs will be created. It will transform the economic opportunities in western Sydney. The first stage will see one runway constructed, able to handle Airbus A380s and 10 million people each year, with a second expected to be needed by The important point is the airport is being planned for future capacity expansion, Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said. We are taking decisions that allow Sydney and Australia s aviation capacity needs to be met not just over the next 10 or 20 years but over the next 30, 40, 50 years and beyond. Kingsford Smith Airport, which is eight kilometres (around five miles) from the city centre, handled 39.7 million travellers in 2015 and is reaching its limit with passenger numbers through Sydney forecast to more than double in the next 20 years. It is also subject to flight restrictions between 11 pm-6 am, with Badgerys Creek, about 45 kilometres west of Sydney s central business district, expected to be curfew-free given that fewer people live nearby. Badgerys Creek has been a potential site since 1986 with the federal government buying about 1,800 hectares (4,446 acres) in the area and the surrounds kept largely free of development since then. But not everyone is happy, with local government body, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), saying the signing off on plans was premature. This is an airport being approved The downbeat mood spread to Hong Kong, where investors were already cautious ahead of a likely US interest rate increase this week. In mainland markets, analysts said investors were spooked by an announcement by the country s insurance regulator late on Friday that it had suspended Evergrande Life, the insurance arm of China Evergrande Group, from conducting stock market investments due to its speculative, frequent, high-volume trading. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 2.4 percent to 3, points, and the without flight paths, without commitment to a rail line and without a solid plan for jobs, said WSROC president Stephen Bali. WSROC has previously called for the government to secure a solid infrastructure plan for the airport, including a heavy rail link to the site from the start of operations. Fletcher insisted the environmental impact statement set out a series of indicative flight paths and that the airport would be rail ready, with improvements to road links also part of the plan. Meanwhile, Qantas plans to operate non-stop flights from Perth to London, the world s first regular passenger service linking Australia directly to Europe in a move hailed by tourism groups Monday. The airline will use a Boeing Dreamliner for the 17-hour journey, some 70 years after it first began flying to London on its Kangaroo Route which originally took four days and included nine stops. This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge, said chief executive Alan Joyce. Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.5 percent to 3, points. The market dropped because several insurers are not allowed to buy stocks. This has changed investors expectations, said David Dai, Shanghai-based investor director at Nanhai Fund Management Co. Also late on Friday, Foresea Life Insurance, a unit of Baoneng, said that it would not further boost its stake in Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai. Gree shares, which had surged by Forsea Life s aggressive stake-building, plummeted more than 6 percent on Monday. Other companies favoured by insurers, including China Vanke Co Ltd, China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd and Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd, also saw their shares tumble. US President-elect Donald Trump s rhetoric calling into question the United States long-standing position that Taiwan is part of one China and broader questions about his protectionist agenda were seen by some analysts as dragging down shares in Hong Kong. The benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 1.4 percent, to 22, points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.7 percent, to 9, points. Nervousness You can sense the nervousness... the big caps got hit quite early today, and I think it s related to Donald Trump, said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director at Ample Finance Group. Wong added that there was concern about retaliatory action from China, a major holder of US government debt. The bourse s large cap sub-index fell 1.5 percent on Monday, while the small cap and mid-cap sub-indexes both fell around 2 percent. Others said the Trump factor was not large. Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities Ltd, said Hong Kong stocks were pulled down by mainland markets. The market is awaiting new policies from Trump after he takes office, which makes investors more cautious. It s not easy to measure the influence now. I think the main reason for today was the slump in mainland peers, he said. Nearly all sectors lost ground in both China and Hong Kong. Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities in Shanghai, said year-end profit-taking was also a factor in the mainland markets. Energy suffered the least in China and Hong Kong, thanks to an oil price surge in the morning after OPEC and other producers reached their first deal since 2001 over the weekend to jointly reduce output.

34 BUSINESS 34 Saudi Arabia s main state grain importer, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), said on Monday it had bought 725,000 tonnes of hard wheat. A tender closed on Friday for 715,000 tonnes of wheat with 12.5 percent protein for delivery Feb 1 SAGO buys hard wheat to April 10. SAGO said the accepted origins were from the European Union, North and South America and Australia, at the seller s option. Traders said they expected part of the purchase to be sourced in the United States. (RTRS) 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 December 12, % 2.53% 12.32% 5.64% 4.48% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Kuwait Only AMIC December 12, % 2.59% 11.47% 3.94% 2.65% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Active AMIC December 12, % 3.03% 7.91% 6.14% 5.95% -8.72% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Banking Sector AMIC December 12, % 1.51% 10.54% -6.79% -7.40% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Investment Sector AMIC December 12, % 2.02% -3.37% -3.75% -4.53% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Insurance Sector AMIC December 12, % 1.34% 0.66% % % % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Real Estate Sector AMIC December 12, % 2.44% 6.34% -4.44% -3.22% -8.47% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Industrial Sector AMIC December 12, % 1.30% 5.02% -4.18% -3.85% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Services Sector AMIC December 12, % 4.68% 18.38% 16.90% 14.87% -9.02% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Food Sector AMIC December 12, % 0.09% 5.72% 27.23% 17.18% -4.14% Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Islamic Sector AMIC December 12, % 1.37% 12.44% -0.57% -1.04% % Kuwait Sharia Compatible Index - Non Kuwaiti Sector AMIC December 12, % 1.27% 33.64% 59.09% 64.41% 50.30% Kuwait Stock Exchange Index - Price KWSEIDX December 12, , , % 1.68% 3.82% 0.39% 0.07% % S&P 500 SPX December 11, , , % 3.08% 4.65% 9.51% 12.28% 11.02% DJ Islamic Index. DJIM December 11, , , % 2.26% -0.94% 3.52% 5.85% 2.66% report on global economic trends KAMCO Research Economic growth expected at 3.4 pct in 2017 Global economic growth is expected to bottom in 2016 and then 6.6% of GDP for the year. Debt levels 83% in 2016, with a current deficit of grow gradually for the next five years. in the GCC, especially for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait continue to re- In its latest update to World Economic Outlook, IMF pegged global growth main at marginal levels, as compared expectations at 3.1% for 2016, whereas growth in 2017 is expected to be at order to fund expected future deficits, to international standards. However, in 3.4% only to marginally increase to even these countries are increasingly 3.6% in Economic growth going tapping the international debt market, as forward is expected to remain subdued credit quality of GCC countries remains nevertheless, as global trade is yet to relatively robust, and would help in reducing the overall cost of issuing debt. see a revival, and as the real impact from unexpected events like the Brexit, US growth post elections results, the the negative territory for a majority of pected to be modest, into more uncer- Growth in oil exporting countries The growth story of a majority of ideal range for the whole of GCC coun- Inflation remains well within the slowdown in China, oil price and political uncertainty all introduce downside the European economies. NPLs (nonperforming loans) continue to remain pecting the possible impact on both the main muted for the near term whereas, as GDP growth bottomed in 2015 at increase higher than historical norms tain territory and analysts are now ex- in the MENA region is expected to re- the MENA economies remains intact tries. Although prices are expected to risks to future growth. On the brighter a looming issue for some European UK followed by other members of the those in the non-oil group is expected 2.1%, and is expected to increase to in 2016 by 3.6%, it is expected to decline to 2.6% in Private lending side, commodity prices that had hit banks. Easy monetary policy is expected to continue to provide support amount of uncertainty prevails with re- On one hand oil exporters are realign- in oil prices shows the volatility it can in the GCC remains high as banks con- European Union. In addition, a greater to outpace previous year expectations. 3.2% in 2016 and The decline historical lows over the past four years have started stabilizing. to economic growth in the Euro Area. spect to the elections that are expected ing their finances to move to a more cause on state finances, especially in tinue to roll out credit facilities with US High amount of debt, an impaired to be held in the several countries in stable economy by diversifying, while the case of oil exporters. This has once limited and country specific impact on In the US, positive indicators like banking balance sheet and Brexit impact on trade will however pose hurtions in Spain, Netherlands, France got, are being used to invest in produc- activities to spur growth in non-oil all geared to implement VAT starting Europe with general/presidential elec- the windfall gain that the oil importers again put the focus on diversification their liquidity. GCC governments are a decline in unemployment rates indicating a firm labor market, expanding payrolls and consumption growth Emerging Markets dles in future economic recovery. and finally Germany in Sept/Oct-17. ing sectors, to stabilize their economies. been on track by spending heavily on incrementally positive in our view. sectors. Although the government has from 2018, and the initiative is seen as In the US, the most important event provide adequate support to economic in the near term would be the probable Oil importers have a greater room improving living standards, creating GCC Economic Outlook growth, while investment in nonresidential sector continues to remain has waned, thanks to supportive do- and From the initial reaction to tors like infrastructure, health and proving the legal and financial system Talks over a hard landing in China rate hikes expected in December-2016 and flexibility to spend on key sec- job opportunities for the youth, im- Although economic growth rates weak. Moreover, a decline in energy mestic and monetary policies that have the election results on stock markets education. The large debt service to make fund raising a smooth process, and the fiscal balances of GCC oil sector capex has affected the already helped to keep domestic demand high. and bond yields, economic growth in cost continues to limit these efforts efficacy of implementation would be exporters have declined to never-seenbefore levels, KAMCO Research be- weak fixed business investment. However, the country faces continued the US is expected to get a boost from but the overall trend remains positive paramount this time. Nevertheless, with stock markets at risk from the real estate market, the local currency s exchange rate, informal infrastructure investment. However, to GDP ratio. The rest of the country oil importing countries that would need policies related to tax, subsidies and as seen in the decline in gross debt Unemployment remains a concern in lieves that this has led to initiatives and historical highs, encouraging jobs and efforts from individual countries, with inflation data, the US Fed is more likely to raise rates in December this year. rate debt. On the other hand, India is be in the pipeline, which would likely is set to see government gross debt the fiscal space to spend in social sec- banking system and significant corpo- some of the harsher decisions might group, which comprises oil exporters, to be tackled, as oil savings gives them inherent long term benefits. Divestment in non-oil related sectors are now Moreover, bond yields have firmed expected to post stronger growth going hit specific industries, including the rise as these countries make efforts to tors and job creation and create longterm opportunities. Moreover, external looked upon constantly as avenues for and stock markets have reached new forward, led by resilient domestic demand. Brazil is also seeing signs of an sectors. revenues. Official reserves of MENA trade continues to remain at depressed healthcare and the energy/oil and gas continue spending with the fall in oil future growth. Governments continue highs, as markets anticipate the new to pursue alternative energy schemes President s policies regarding tax cuts economic revival from the recession, On the brighter side, commodity prices that had hit historical lows USD 1.1 Trillion in 2016 with an adcovery in the Euro Area as well as the oil exporters is expected to decline to levels especially due to the slow re- due to its long term benefits. Energy and higher infrastructure and defense however, fiscal discipline would be related subsidy reduction and energy spending. These policy initiatives are key to long term growth. over the past four years have started ditional decline of USD 44 Bn in 2017, slowdown in China. Focus on core sectors like banking, construction and real consumption rationalization is now expected to result in faster inflation Currency Market stabilizing. Oil prices have firmed especially reacting to efforts relating to projects. estate would necessitate new policy as the countries tap it to spend on key being implemented at a much faster and stronger economic growth. rate, which would have otherwise been The belief that the economic policies Eurozone production curbs whereas other commodities have bottomed as well. Optipecially the oil exporters, are looking possibly new exchange rate policy. As expected, MENA countries, es- initiatives, tax and subsidy reforms and discarded keeping in mind appeasement. Projects being implemented are of the new US President elect including tax cuts and higher fiscal spending expedited, and are monitored to avoid After consistent efforts from the ECB and regional governments, economic growth in the European contimism is also high post the OPEC negotiations on an oil output cut. After issuing more debt to domestic or inter- to plug the budget shortfall by either would aid the US propelled the USD GCC Economies delays, while only key future projects to a 14-year high level against a basket GDP growth for the GCC region is are likely to go through. nent is seen improving. Employment several failed attempts talks reached a national investors, or liquidating some of currencies during November-16. In expected to bottom out in 2016 as the Taxes are being implemented on the growth, strong real wage and buoyant positive end when oil producers agreed of their offshore assets. Conventional response, Asian and some Emerging effects of the oil price decline would regional level in addition to some at the consumption along with accommodative macroeconomic policies have on a higher output cut than what was bond issuances in the MENA region market central banks were back in the be at its peak on state budgets and revenues. Revenues, both oil and non-oil transformation plans announced, as project level e.g. railways. Economic decided in September-16. That said, increased by 10% during YTD-2016, currency market to defend the decline pushed growth higher. Nevertheless, KAMCO research believes that the to USD Bn as compared to USD in their currencies. Malaysian Ringgit, Indonesian Rupiah, Indian Rupee, due to higher oil output as well as a 2030 vision and National Transforma- are expected to increase going forward seen from Saudi Arabia announcing its the real effect of Brexit is still uncertain with a negative bias on regional rising income inequalities and varying was slightly lower at 8.7% over the growing inward looking policies due to 92.8 Bn in The growth in 2015 Mexican Peso, all reached lows and dedicated focus on developing non-oil tion Program will provide a roadmap growth, with questions over trade cooperation within the region, especially to the US and a similar stance being declined during 2016, as the market resulted in slightly higher current actor growth in the GCC would decline, growth being reflected from the UK previous year. Sukuk issuance slightly levels not seen in several months. sector. The partial recovery in oil prices for future economic growth. Oil sec- with the UK, further giving rise to uncertainties. The UK referendum that led to productive and could result in slower tion of total fixed income issuances in as compared to previous expectations. on oil revenues would be minimal, and World Economic Outlook echoed in Europe, would be counter- continues to account for a small porcount balance to GDP ratio for 2016 however the impact of production cuts Unemployment rates which impacts Brexit has thrown the European economic growth once implemented. the region. Saudi Arabia would be the highest contributor to the deficit contributing about gains as a result of this is expected to be offset by the oil price the output gap, continues to remain in growth story, which was although ex- MENA Region MENA Economic Outlook decision. 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 NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Oct 4, 2016 KD Sept 27, 2016 Watani KD Money Market Fund II NBK Capital Weekly Nov 29, 2016 KD Nov 22, 2016 Watani KD Money Market Fund (Islamic) NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Oct 4, 2016 KD Sept 27, 2016 Watani Foreign Currency Money Mkt Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Oct 4, 2016 USD Sept 27, 2016 Watani Foreign Currency Money Mkt Fund (Euro) NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Oct 4, 2016 Euro Sept 27, 2016 Watani USD Money Market Fund (Acc to Islamic Shariah principles) NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Oct 4, 2016 USD Sept 27, 2016 Watani USD Money Market Fund (Acc to Islamic Shariah principles) II NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Oct 4, 2016 USD Sept 27, 2016 Watani USD Money Market Fund NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Nov 22, 2016 USD Oct 18, 2016 Watani KD Money Market Fund (Acc to Islamic Shariah principles) II NBK Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. Weekly Nov 22, 2016 KD Oct 18, 2016 Equity Funds NBK Gulf Equity Fund NBK Capital Weekly Oct 13, 2016 USD Oct 6, 2016 NBK Kuwait Equity Fund NBK Capital Weekly Nov 17, 2016 KD Oct 16, 2016 NBK Qatar Equity Fund NBK Capital Weekly Oct 13, 2016 USD Oct 6, 2016 Gulf Equity Investment Fund NBK Capital Weekly April 7, 2016 USD Ijara Fund Thahabi Ijara Fund VI Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly April 30, 2016 USD Feb 29, 2016 Thahabi Ijara Fund VII Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly April 30, 2016 USD Feb 29, 2016 Islamic KD Ijara Fund II Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly May 31, 2016 KD March 31, 2016 Islamic KD Ijara Fund III Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly May 31, 2016 KD Feb 29, 2016 Islamic KD Ijara Fund IV Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly May 31, 2016 KD March 31, 2016 Islamic KD Ijara Fund V Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly May 31, 2016 USD March 31, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund I Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly June 30, 2016 USD April 30, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund II Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly June 30, 2016 USD April 30, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund III Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly July 31, 2016 USD May 31, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund IV Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly June 30, 2016 USD May 31, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund V Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly July 31, 2016 USD May 31, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund VI Wafra Capital Partners L.P Cayman Islands Monthly July 31, 2016 USD May 31, 2016 Islamic Equipment Leasing Fund I Ltd Wafra Capital Partners L.P. Cayman Islands Monthly June 30, 2016 USD May 31, 2016 Multi Asset Funds Thahabi Multi Asset Fund Con Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly June 30, 2016 USD April 30, 2016 Thahabi Multi Asset Fund Mo Portfolio Frontier Capital Management (Jersey) Ltd Monthly June 30, 2016 USD April 30, 2016 Gulf Bank Al Basha er GCC Equity Fund Kwt. Fin. & Inv. Co. & Gulf Fin. House Monthly Oct 30, 2016 USD Sept 30, 2016 Coast Fund Coast Investment & Dev. Co. Monthly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 30, 2016 Sanaya Dow Jones Kuwait Index Fund Industrial & Financial Investment Co. Weekly Nov 24, 2016 KD Oct 27, 2016 Markaz Capital Preservation Program 1 Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Markaz Capital Preservation Program 2 Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Markaz Gulf Real Estate Fund Bi-annual Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Al Ahli Bank Al Ahli Gulf Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Al Ahli Kuwaiti Fund Al Ahli Bank Monthly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Burgan Bank Burgan Equity Fund Burgan Bank Monthly Oct 23, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Boubyan Bank Boubyan KD Money Market Fund Boubyan Bank Weekly Nov 29, 2016 KD Nov 1, 2016 Boubyan KD Money Market Fund II Boubyan Bank Weekly Nov 29, 2016 KD Nov 1, 2016 Boubyan Capital Investment Co. Boubyan USD Liquidity Fund Boubyan Capital Investment Co Nov 29, 2016 USD Nov 1, 2016 Boubyan Kuwait Real Estate Fund Boubyan Capital Investment Co Dec 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2015 Kuwait Investment Co. Local Fund Al Raed Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Nov 30, 2016 KD Nov 24, 2016 Kuwait Investment Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Al Hilal Fund Kuwait Investment Co Monthly Nov 30, 2016 KD Nov 21, 2016 Al Atheer Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 International Global Bond Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Nov 30, 2016 USD Oct 26, 2016 Diversified Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Nov 30, 2016 USD Nov 23, 2016 European Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Oct 31, 2016 Euro Sept 30, 2016 Pacific Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Weekly Nov 30, 2016 USD Nov 23, 2016 North American Equity Fund Kuwait Investment Co Tw. Monthly Oct 31, 2016 USD Sept 30, 2016 National Investment Co. (NIC) Al-Wataniya Fund NIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Al-Darij Fund NIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Mawarid Fund NIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Zajil Fund NIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Al Mada Investment Fund NIC Weekly Oct 31, 2016 USD Sept 30, 2016 Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) Mumtaz Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 17, 2016 KD Nov 10, 2016 MIDAF Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 17, 2016 KD Nov 10, 2016 Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 17, 2016 KD Nov 10, 2016 Markaz Arabian Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 10, 2016 KD Nov 3, 2016 Funds Fund Manager Valuation Valued date Currency Net Asset Prev NAV Prev NAV Dated Value (NAV) FORSA Financial Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Real Estate Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Markaz Fixed Income Fund Kuwait Financial Center Monthly Nov 17, 2016 USD Nov 10, 2016 Mawazeen International Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 20, 2016 USD Nov 13, 2016 Markaz MENA Islamic Fund Kuwait Financial Center Weekly Nov 15, 2016 USD Oct 31, 2016 Kuwait & Middle East Financial & Inv. Co. Al Rou yah Fund KMEFIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Gulf Gate Fund KMEFIC Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Global Investment House Index Funds GCC Large Cap Index Fund Global Weekly Dec 1, 2016 KD Nov 24, 2016 Equity Funds Al-Mamoun Fund A Global Weekly Dec 1, 2016 KD Nov 24, 2016 Al-Mamoun Fund B Global Weekly Dec 1, 2016 KD Nov 24, 2016 GCC Large Cap Fund Global Bi-weekly Nov 29, 2016 USD Nov 22, 2016 Al-Noor Fund Global Bi-weekly Nov 29, 2016 SAR Nov 22, 2016 Global Saudi Equity Fund Global Bi-weekly Nov 29, 2016 SAR Nov 22, 2016 Money Market Funds Global Money Market Fund Global Weekly Nov 20, 2016 USD Sectoral Funds EPADI Fund Global Weekly Nov 29, 2016 USD Nov 22, 2016 Islamic Funds Global GCC Islamic Fund Global Weekly Nov 29, 2016 USD Nov 22, 2016 Al-Durra Islamic Fund Global Monthly Dec 1, 2016 KD Nov 24, 2016 Kuwait Finance & Investment Co (KFIC) Al Wasm Fund KFIC Weekly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 12, 2016 Al Basha er GCC Equity Fund KFIC Monthly Sept 30, 2016 USD July 31, 2016 KAMCO KAMCO Investment Fund KAMCO Monthly Oct 30, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 KAMCO GCC Opportunities Fund KAMCO Monthly Feb 29, 2016 USD Dec 31, 2015 KAMCO MENA Plus Fixed Income Fund KAMCO Nov 30, 2016 USD Sept 30, 2016 KAMCO Real Estate Yield Fund KAMCO Oct 30, 2016 USD Sept 30, 2016 Kuwait Education Fund KAMCO Quartely Sept 30, 2016 KD Wafra International Investment Co. Wafra Equity Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Wafra Bond Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Sept 30, 2016 KD Aug 31, 2016 Masaref Investment Fund ISKAN Weekly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Fajir Islamic Fund Wafra Co. Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Shuaa Capital Co. Emirates Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Weekly Nov 29, 2016 AED Nov 22, 2016 The Arab Gateway Fund Shuaa Capital Weekly Nov 29, 2016 USD Nov 22, 2016 Al Aman Investment Al Aman Islamic Fund Al Aman Investment Weekly Oct 31, 2016 KD July 31, 2016 Tharwa Investment Co. Tharwa Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Weekly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Tharwa Arab Investment Fund Tharwa Investment Co Bi-weekly July 31, 2016 USD June 30, 2016 Tharwa World Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly March 31, 2016 USD March 15, 2016 Tharwa Islamic Fund Tharwa Investment Co Monthly Oct 31, 2016 KD Sept 30, 2016 Bank Al-Bilad Al Seef Fund Bank Al-Bilad Daily Nov 23, 2016 KD Nov 9, 2016 Commercial International Bank CIB Money Market Fund (Osoul) CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 5, 2016 CIB II Equity (Isthethmar) CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 5, 2016 CIB and Faisal Islamic Al Aman CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 5, 2016 Hemaya CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 1, 2016 Thabat CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 5, 2016 Takamol CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 5, 2016 Misr El Mostakbel CI Asset Management Weekly Dec 12, 2016 EGP Dec 5, 2016 Noor Financial Investment Co. Noor Islamic Fund Noor Financial Investment Co Monthly Feb 29, 2016 KD Dec 31, 2015 Al Zumorroda Investment Co. Zumorroda GCC Fund Al Zumorroda Investment Co Monthly Jan 31, 2016 KD Dec 31, 2015 KFH Capital Investment Co. Muthanna Islamic Index Fund (MUDX) KFH Capital Investment Company Daily Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Muthanna GCC Islamic Banks Fund KFH Capital Investment Company Daily Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 Baitak GCC Fund KFH Capital Investment Company Weekly Nov 30, 2016 KD Oct 31, 2016 CapCorp Investment Co. CapCorp Local Fund CapCorp Investment Company Weekly Sept 29, 2016 KD July 31, 2016

35 BUSINESS 35 Apicorp buys 30 pct of Bahrain s Falcon Cement Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) has bought 30 percent of Falcon Cement Co, Bahrain s largest cement producer, to help to drive economic growth in the region, the development bank said on Monday. The stake was bought from Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group, which said it would remain a strategic shareholder in Falcon. The companies did not disclose the purchase price, but GFH has previously valued Falcon at $120 million. Apicorp, a multilateral development bank established by the member states of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, will act as a strategic shareholder supporting expansion of Falcon. The cement company, which supplies big infrastructure projects in Bahrain, has production capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day and plans to raise that to 2,400 tonnes by the end of Integrated Capital, part of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group, owns 10 percent of Falcon, having bought into the business earlier this year. (RTRS) Kuwait index extends advance to fourth day KFH gains 10 fils; KIPCO flat By John Mathews Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Kuwait stocks headed north on Monday as it extended the gains to fourth consecutive session. The bourse climbed points in volatile session to 5, pts as sentiment remained buoyant over the output cut deal by the oil producers during the weekend. The KSX 15 benchmark rose 6.49 pts to points while weighted index edged 1.73 pts higher. The volume turnover meanwhile surged past the 200 million mark to hit a fresh multimonth high million shares changed hands a pct jump from Sunday. The sectors closed mostly in the green turf. Technology outpaced the rest with 2.33 pct gain whereas oil and gas slipped 0.31 percent, the biggest loser of the day. In terms of volume, technology garnered the highest market share of 42 percent while real estate trailed with 30.4 pct contribution. In the individual shares, Kuwait Finance House rose 10 fils on back of over 8 million shares to 530 fils whereas Commercial Bank of Kuwait was down 10 fils at 415 fils. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) pulled up from early lows to close at KD and National Bank of Kuwait ended flat. Zain was up 5 fils at 430 fils with a volume of 6.3 million whereas Kuwait Telecommunications Co ( VIVA) gained 10 fils. Logistics major Agility jumped 20 fils extending Sunday s strong gains and Wataniya Telecom (Ooredoo) was not traded during the session. Investment conglomerate Co KIPCO was flat at 510 fils and Sokouk Holding Co inched 1 fil into red. The company has incurred a net loss of KD 2.26 million and loss per share of 3.96 fils in the first nine months of The market opened on tame note and edged lower in early trade. The price index plumbed the day s lowest level of 5, points and bounced sharply amid brisk buying in select counters. It peaked at 5, points almost half way into the session and traded sideways briefly before heading south as profit taking kicked in. However it revved up in the final minutes and closed with modest gains. Top gainer of the day, Boubyan International Industries Holding Co rallied 11.9 pct to 23.5 fils while MENA climbed 10.5 percent to stand next. Jeeran Holding Co slid 8.9 pct, the steepest decliner of the day and International Investors Holding Co topped the volume with 29.8 million shares. Mirroring the day s gains, the winner outnumbered the losers. 55 stocks advanced whereas 34 closed lower. Of the 129 counters active on Monday, 40 closed flat. 129 deals worth KD 25.6 million were transacted a 50.5 pct surge in value from the day before. National Industries Group held steady at 128 fils after trading 4.4 million shares and Gulf Cable was up 5 fils to end at 385 fils. Contracting and Marine Services Co fell 5 fils while Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Co took in 2 fils. Jumped Jazeera Airways climbed 10 fils to 780 fils and UPAC jumped 20 fils to settle at 660 fils. ACICO Industries Co was flat at 270 fils and Boubyan Petrochemical Co followed suit. Equipment Holding Co eased 0.5 fil and Automated Systems Co paused at 242 fils. Zimah Holding Co added a marginal 0.5 fil whereas Mezzan Holding Co swung 10 fils into red. Jeeran Holding slipped 5 fils and Inovest Holding closed 3 fils lower at 72 fils. KCPC dialed up 2 fils and IFA Hotels and Resorts gave up 2 fils to end at 152 fils. Kuwait Cinema Co gained 10 fils and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Co stood pat at 228 fils. OSOS Holding added 6 fils and Alrai Media Group Co took in 2 fils. Salbookh Trading Co rose 4 fils to 58 fils and KCPC dialed up 2 fils before settling at 172 fils. Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co added 2 fils and KGL Logistics Co followed suit. AWJ Holding Co stalled at 66 fils. In the banking sector, Gulf Bank dialed up 2 fils on back of over 3 million shares and Ahli United Bank rose 5 fils to 400 fils. Kuwait International Bank was unchanged at 206 fils and Burgan Bank followed suit. Boubyan Bank was unchanged at 400 fils whereas Warba Bank took in2 fils to wind up at 218 fils. Al Ahli Bank was not traded during the session. Kuwait Investment Co and Coast Investment Co were flat at 81 fils and 38.5 fils respectively whereas Securities House Co nudged 0.5 fil into green. KMEFC inched 1 fil into green and National Investment Co eased 1 fil to 98 fils. Kuwait Financial Centre ( Markaz) was flat at 83 fils while Unicap and Al Deera Holding Co fell 0.5 fil each. KFIC stagnated at KD 36.5 fils and Al Madina For Finance and Investment Co too did not budge from its earlier close of 41.5 fils. Kuwait Insurance Co rose 4 fils to 61 fils whereas Kuwait Reinsurance Co dialed down 2 fils to settle at 182 fils. Bayan Investment Co inched 0.5 fil higher t fils. United Real Estate Co and National Real Estate Co took in 2 fils each whereas Kuwait Real Estate Co clipped 2 fils to close at 61 fils. Salhiya Real Estate Co added 5 fils and Mabanee Co stalled at 830 fils. The market has been upbeat so far during the week and has gained 47 points in last two sessions. It has climbed 82 points from the start of the month and is up 0.39 pct yearto-date. KSE, with 208 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Shuaiba Industrial Co has recorded a net profit of KD 1.66 million and earnings per share of fils in 2016, 9M up from net profit of KD 1.33 mln and earnings per share of fils in same period of Aqar Real Estate Investments Co. has registered a net profit of KD 923,223 and earnings per share of 4.34 fils in the January-September period down from net profit of KD 1.72 million and EPS of 7.63 fils in the 9M of Jeeran Holding Co. has logged a net profit of KD 431,750 and earnings per share of 3.17 fils in the first nine-month of 2016 up sharply from net profit of KD 177,518 and earnings per share of 1.30 fils in the 9M of Kuwait Building Materials Mfg. has registered a net profit of KD 159,204 and earnings per share of 5.3 fils in the January-September period as against net profit of KD 363,059 and earnings per share of 12 fils in the same period last year. Hilal Cement Company has logged a net loss of KD 3,709 and loss per share of 0.04 fils in the January- September period of 2016 narrowing from a net loss of KD 117,151 and LPS of 1.39 fils in same period in Mideast Stocks Saudi slips as investors focus on budget UAE, Qatar, Egypt gain on oil DUBAI, Dec 12, (RTRS): Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar jumped on Monday as crude oil prices shot to their highest since mid-2015, but the uptrend in Saudi Arabia lost steam as investors anticipated the state budget. Brent crude soared as high as $57.89 per barrel on Monday morning in response to the weekend deal between OPEC and non-opec producers to cut output. The index in Dubai, which was closed on Sunday for a public holiday, climbed 2.8 percent to 3,657 points, its highest finish this year, in the heaviest trade since March. It rose above technical resistance on its August peak of 3,624 points. Any clean break of that resistance a second straight daily close above it would be technically bullish, pointing up to the October 2015 peak of 3,740 points. Eighty percent of traded shares advanced with the largest listed real estate developer, Emaar Properties, gaining 5.1 percent. In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.7 percent with the main support coming from a 2.2 percent gain in the largest listed stock, Etisalat. Abu Dhabi National Energy jumped 5.7 percent. In Qatar the index added a further 1.4 percent to 10,329 points, closing for a second day above technical resistance on its 200-day average. Commercial Bank advanced 1.1 percent to rials. It said on Sunday it was offering 58.8 million new shares to rights holders at riyals each; rights trading will start on Wednesday and end two weeks later. In Saudi Arabia, the general market index slipped 0.5 percent in the heaviest trade since April. On Sunday, it had gained 1.1 percent on the oil-deal news; many institutional investors think the petrochemical sector is now fairly valued. The positive news with regards to OPEC and to the improving financial position of the government after the bond issuance in October has now been fully reflected in market prices. Now investors are repositioning portfolios in preparation for the state budget announcement before the end of the year, said Jassim Aljubran, analyst at Aljazira Capital. Another round of subsidy cuts is expected in the budget, Aljubran added, but he believes the worst for Saudi companies is now largely behind them. On Monday investors dumped most petrochemical shares with bellwether producer Saudi Basic Industries dropping 1.3 percent. The insurance sector, favoured by local retail investors, also sold off, declining 1.4 percent. The index in Egypt, also closed on Sunday for a holiday, rose 1.3 percent after two sessions of declines. Exchange data showed foreigners were net buyers by a very small margin; they have been buyers consistently since the Egyptian pound was floated on Nov 3. Orascom Telecom, the most heavily traded share, rebounded 2.6 percent after plunging last week on news that long-time chief executive Najuib Sawiris would step down next month and that it is winding down a North Korean bank affiliate. Ezz Steel surged 8.2 percent to Egyptian pounds, its highest close in 19 months. Investors are still chasing companies that may benefit from the currency float; according to a note by Prime Holding, Ezz Steel has been able to pass on its higher costs from a weaker pound to its end users. The market did not show any major reaction to the suicide bomb arrack at the weekend that killed 24 people at Cairo s main cathedral. Saudi Arabia The index fell 0.5 percent to 7,162 points. Egypt The index added 1.3 percent to 11,444 points. Dubai The index climbed 2.8 percent to 3,657 points. Abu Dhabi The index added 0.7 percent to 4,549 points. Qatar The index rose 1.4 percent to 10,329 points. Kuwait Kuwait s index rose 0.5 percent to 5,637 points. Bahrain The index slipped 0.1 percent to 1,191 points.

36 BUSINESS 36 Barclays sells French unit retailer ASOS to create 1,500 UK jobs over three years British bank Barclays on Monday announced the sale of its French retail division in a move which marks its exit from continental European retail banking. Barclays said in a statement that has signed an agreement to sell the unit to private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners for an undisclosed amount, having already revealed in April that the two groups were in exclusive talks. The French division comprises a network of 74 retail branches, a life insurance business, wealth and investment management, and brokerage operations. This is another positive step in reducing our non-core unit, creating a more focused, simpler Barclays, and thereby releasing the strong performance of our core business, said chief executive Jes Staley. (AFP) British online fashion retailer ASOS plans to add 1,500 new jobs at its London headquarters, the latest tech business to announce new investment in Britain despite the country s vote to leave the European Union. ASOS, which also sells to customers in the United States, mainland Europe and elsewhere, said it would increase its London workforce by 60 percent over the next three years from the current 2,500, and invest 40 million pounds ($50 million) to renovate its building in the trendy district of Camden. The new jobs in technology, marketing and retail follow announcements from Facebook and Google in the last month that they plan to invest in Britain. The planned hirings come despite warnings before the Brexit vote on June 23 that leaving the EU would make Britain a less attractive place for companies to invest. The chief executive of ASOS, which has annual sales of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion), said the Brexit vote had not featured in the company s thinking. The decision today is nothing to do with Brexit, Nick Beighton said in an interview on Monday. These plans had been put together pre-june 23. In recent months, Britain s tech sector has proved more resilient than other industries such as financial services, where banks including Goldman Sachs and Citi are said to be considering shifting some jobs abroad due to Brexit. For tech executives, London s talent pool and creative culture have convinced them of the city s importance whether Britain is in the EU or not. (RTRS) Abrupt turnaround by Redstones National Amusements backs off merger of CBS & Viacom LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (RTRS): National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, has instructed the two companies to scrap deliberations that could have led to a merger of the two large media conglomerates. Based on our assessments of the strengths, progress and future prospects of both companies, we are requesting that the boards discontinue their discussions at this time and focus instead on their independent paths forward, said Sumner and Shari Redstone, who control the movie-exhibition chain that holds majority investments in both companies, in a letter sent Monday. The maneuver represents an abrupt turnaround by the Redstone family, which has steadily prodded both companies to consider joining anew. The elder Redstone had merged CBS with Viacom in 2000, only to pull them apart six years later. In November, Shari Redstone made a case for the two companies to return to the altar. Speaking at a conference organized by The New York Times, she suggested scale, or the ability to reach audiences across a variety of media venues, had become more important to both consumers and advertisers. In an era of mergers between Comcast and NBCUniversal, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cabje, and AT&T and DirecTV, she argued, CBS and Viacom might have more leverage as as distribution companies gained more sway. She even hinted that she was not in favor of the decision to break up the companies approximately a decade ago and suggested she might have supported a potential tie-up between CBS and Time Warner, a prospect rumored to have been discussed in the recent past. The Redstones said in their letter that they had grown more confident in Viacom under the leadership of recently-installed chief Bob Bakish, the former head of the company s international operations. Bakish has in recent weeks articulated a strategy of turning around ratings declines at MTV and Comedy Central, a stronger focus on overseas businesses, and an improved pipeline at the company s Paramount movie studio. We know Viacom has tremendous assets that are currently undervalued, and we are confident that with this new strong management team, the value of these assets can be unleashed, the Redstones said. At the same time, CBS continues to perform exceptionally well under Les Moonves, and we have every reason to believe that momentum will continue on a standalone basis. The move is likely to renew investor scrutiny on Viacom, which has suffered greatly as younger viewers migrate away from linear TV and as Paramount suffers from a lackluster pipeline of movie releases. CBS, neanwhile, has proven more nimble. The company has launched new digital businesses, including a broadband-delivered CBS News product and subscription-based on-demand services for both the CBS broadcast network and the Showtime paycable service. ECB opens probe into leaks on Italian bank s deadline FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Dec 12, (AFP): The ECB said Monday it would open an inquiry after its refusal to extend a deadline for Italy s troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank (BMPS) was leaked to the media before the lender was formally notified of the decision. An internal inquiry will be launched, a spokesman for the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank told AFP, confirming Italian media reports. The spokesman declined to give further details. Shares in BMPS, the world s oldest bank, tumbled by more than 10 percent Friday on reports that the ECB s supervisory board had denied it more time to raise the cash it needs to avoid being wound down. The ECB had declined to comment on Friday, while BMPS itself said it had received no official communication on the matter. Saddled with bad debts, BMPS is trying to pull off a five billion euro ($5.38 billion) equity injection and had requested the extension of a deadline to find the money from the end of December to January 20. The ailing lender had argued that the political instability created by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi s resignation had left investors reluctant to commit funds. But according to media reports, citing unnamed sources, the ECB board ruled that the extra weeks would be of little use in turning around the historic bank. The ECB s decision has piled pressure on the Italian government to step in should BMPS fail to raise the necessary funds from private investors. Crude hits highest since mid-2015, investors await Fed policy meeting NEW YORK, Dec 12, (Agencies): Oil prices surged to their highest level since mid-2015 on Monday after the world s top crude producers agreed to the first joint output cut since 2001, sparking concerns about inflation which pushed up US Treasury yields to a more than twoyear peak. Yields also gained ahead of a two-day policy meeting of the Federal Reserve that starts on Tuesday, which is expected to raise interest rates for the only the second time since the global financial crisis. Following the weekend agreement between OPEC and key non-opec states that set the markets alive, Brent crude futures were up $1.97 at $56.30 per barrel, having hit a session peak of $57.89, the highest since July US crude futures were up $1.97 at $53.47 a barrel. The original OPEC deal pointed to a fairly lumpy 3 percent cut (in production), so this suggests there is a bit more upside for oil prices, said Neil Williams, chief economist at fund manager Hermes. There was particular surprise as Saudi Arabia, the world s number one producer, said it may cut its output even more than it had first suggested at an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting just over a week ago. Energy shares jumped, helping to lift the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 to record intraday highs in early trading, extending their recent string of records. This market has gone up without taking a breather and will enter a cautious trading day as it awaits the Fed, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York. Benchmark US bond yields topped 2.5 percent for the first time since October 2014, with analysts saying the OPEC agreement boosted reflation expectations. In late morning trading, US 10-year note prices were down 8/32, while the yield rose to percent from percent late on Friday. Earlier Monday, the yield struck percent, its highest since Sept 29, 2014, according to Reuters data. In the currency markets, the dollar fell against most major currencies on concerns the Fed could suggest in an upcoming policy statement that the greenback s gains had gone too far. Also, a rally in oil prices boosted commodity-linked currencies. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.45 Chinese stocks suffer biggest fall in six months percent at , easing from an earlier 1-1/2-week high of The dollar was last down 0.4 percent against the Canadian dollar at C$ after hitting C$1.3108, its lowest level against the Canadian dollar since Oct. 20. Overnight, Chinese stocks suffered their biggest fall in six months as blue chips were knocked by fresh regulatory curbs to rein in insurers aggressive stock investments and rising bond yields prompted profit-taking in equities. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 2.4 percent, to 3, points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.5 percent to 3, points. China s insurance regulator, which recently warned it would curb barbaric acquisitions by insurers, said late on Friday it had suspended the insurance arm of China s Evergrande Group from conducting stock market investment. Concerns were also rumbling about US-Sino relations after Donald Trump re-ignited controversy over Taiwan. US The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs on Monday, fueled by energy shares, while the Nasdaq was lower, dragged down by technology stocks, a day ahead of the Fed s twoday meeting. Oil prices gained as much as 6.5 percent to an 18-month high after OPEC and some of its rivals reached their first deal since 2001 to jointly reduce output to try to tackle global oversupply and boost prices. The S&P energy index was the top performing sector with a 1.7 percent rise. Oil major Exxon was up 2.54 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow and S&P. Chevron rose 2.2 percent. President-elect Donald Trump s expected agenda of economic stimulus and reduced taxes and regulations has fueled a market rally, with the benchmark S&P 500 rising 5.6 percent since Nov. 8 to Friday s close. The Dow has closed at record highs 14 times since the election. Market participants are keeping a close watch on the US Federal Reserve s last meeting for the year, beginning Tuesday, with a statement from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday. At 10:58 am ET (1558 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up points, or 0.17 percent, at 19,789.81, the S&P 500 was down 1.68 points, or percent, at 2, and the Nasdaq Composite was down points, or 0.57 percent, at 5, Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher. The consumer discretionary led the decliners with a 0.82 percent fall, weighed down by a 1.24 percent drop in Amazon s shares. The industrials sector was down 0.58 percent, dragged down by defense stocks. Lockheed Martin declined 3.9 percent at $ after Donald Trump tweeted that the company s F-35 program and costs were out of control. Other defense stocks, such as General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman, were down between percent. Viacom fell 8.5 percent to a twomonth low of $35.35 after Sumner Redstone s privately-held National Amusements withdrew its merger proposal for CBS and Viacom, according to a source familiar with the situation. CBS was down 2.7 percent. Ophthotech slumped 84.9 percent to a life-low of $5.85 after Novartis said a combination of its eye drug along with the company s did not produce better outcomes. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,793 to 1,058. On the Nasdaq, 1,808 issues fell and 887 advanced. The S&P 500 index showed 59 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 165 new highs and 16 new lows. Europe World oil prices jumped Monday after non-opec producers struck a deal to cut output, while Europe s main stock markets were subdued before a key Fed meeting this week. Indices in London, Frankfurt and Paris pulled back after soaring last week when the European Central Bank decided to extend its massive quantitative easing (QE) stimulus to December At the same time, markets are on tenterhooks before a widely-expected interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Oil prices surged over two dollars per barrel for much of the day after 11 non-opec countries agreed to huge cuts in crude production, while OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia also signalled a bigger reduction in output than previously agreed. It is a little surprising that investor sentiment is not more upbeat... given the latest leg higher in the oil price, noted XTB analyst David Cheetham. The main scheduled event that will be driving markets this week is the Fed meeting. There seems little room for doubt that the US central bank will raise the benchmark interest rate in the coming week for only the second time in a decade. With unemployment at a nine-year low, jobs being created at an average of 180,000 per month, the economy growing at better than three percent in the most recent quarter and some signs of a pickup in inflation, the writing is on the wall. The Dow held steady in opening trade on Monday, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both retreated from record closes set on Friday. Elsewhere, there is lingering uncertainty over the future of Italy s troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) bank. BMPS shares jumped 3.7 percent, after having fallen 10.5 percent on Friday when the ECB said it wouldn t give the bank an extension beyond the end of the month to put together a deal. The plight of the world s oldest bank has raised broader concerns over the eurozone s third-largest economy. Italy s main stocks index pushed higher, with sentiment boosted after Paolo Gentiloni was Sunday named Italy s new prime minister following Matteo Renzi s recent resignation. London FTSE 100: Down 0.9 percent at 6, points (close) Frankfurt DAX 30: Down 0.1 percent at 11, (close) Paris CAC 40: Down 0.07 at 4, (close) Milan FTSE Mib: Up 0.4 percent at 18, (close) EURO STOXX 50: Up 0.1 percent at 3, Asia Most energy firms in Asia jumped with a surge in oil prices Monday after 11 non-opec countries agreed to huge cuts in crude production, while Saudi Arabia also signalled a bigger reduction in output than previously agreed. The 11 nations, led by Russia, said they would pump more than half a million fewer barrels a day from next month in an effort to address a global supply glut that has scythed prices over the past two years. The cut will contribute to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries own initiative unveiled with Russia on November 30. Also at the weekend OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said it would slash production beyond what was previously agreed by OPEC last month, providing an additional boost for prices. This is a very powerful message that producers want to balance the market higher, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist in Melbourne at IG, told Bloomberg News. As a statement of intent, this is about as bullish as it gets. Both main contracts jumped almost five percent in early Asian trade on Monday, setting a fire under energy firms in the region, although early surges ran out of steam by the end of play. In Sydney Woodside Petroleum was up 2.9 percent and Japan Petroleum jumped 3.8 percent in Tokyo. Hong Kong-listed CNOOC closed down 0.4 percent while PetroChina added 0.6 percent. However Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, said: Even if we get full compliance in the deal, which is by no means a guarantee, US oil rigs are coming back online at a very fast rate up to 498 last week from the lows of 316 in May and output has been rising over the last month or two. In early European trade London rose 0.2 percent and Paris put on 0.1 percent while Frankfurt was flat. Tokyo Nikkei 225: Up 0.8 percent at 19, (close) Hong Kong Hang Seng: Down 1.4 percent at 22, (close) Shanghai Composite: Down 2.5 percent at 3, (close) 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 Dec 12 Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy US dollar Danish krone Cyprus pound Sterling pound Indian rupee Yemeni riyal travellers cheques US dollar Sterling Euro local gold BEC Commercial Bank Gulf Bank Al-Ahli Bank BEC Muzaini Exchange Euro Pakistani rupee Thai baht Japanese yen Sri Lanka rupee South African rand Swiss franc Bangladesh taka Korean won Gold 999 kg 11, Canadian dollar Philippine peso Syrian pound Gold tola 1, Gold ounce Swedish krona Australian dollar Iranian Riyal Gold gm 22k Saudi riyal Gold gm 21k Hong Kong dollar Lebanese pound Gold gm 18k UAE dirham Singapore dollar Malaysian ringgit gm Bahraini dinar gm Jordanian dinar Indonesian rupiah Omani riyal Egyptian pound New Zealand dollar All rates in KD per unit of foreign currency

37 INTERNATIONAL 37 Gulf openness Continued from Page 1 being more open to the private sector through series of encouraging investment laws. Therefore, GCC citizens have a strong belief that the determined and resolute King is working for the good of the entire region. His tour, which no doubt has amazing economic and political effects on GCC countries, is embedded with high hopes. This is exactly what we know about the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. MPs lead Continued from Page 1 On the other hand, committee member MP Ahmed Nabil Al-Fadel revealed that they have allocated two days every week for ordinary and extraordinary meetings. Meanwhile, MP Abdul Karim Al- Kandari criticized the government for allegedly interfering in the election of parliamentary committee members during the inaugural session. He also unveiled his plan to present proposals to form a temporary committee which will be tasked to review all laws enacted by the previous Parliament, reduce the pre-trial detention period, and postpone enforcement of the Juvenile Law until July. He stressed the need to amend the DNA Law through the legislative authority as he has put forward a proposal to repeal the flawed law passed by the previous Parliament, pointing out the vision of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will never be realized without legislative intervention. Status review Continued from Page 1 under contracts of companies such as data entry operators, cleaning laborers and security guards. On the experienced expatriate employees like legal consultants and main engineers, the source said a letter will be forwarded to the CSC detailing the job descriptions of these employees and determine the extent of the ministry s need for their services. KNPC mandates Continued from Page 1 Santander Group, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered, the sources said. The participation of Santander and BBVA is highly likely, but must still be made official, the sources said. KNPC was not immediately available to comment. The debt facility is a club loan, which means it will not be syndicated to other banks, said the sources. NBK Capital has been working with the Kuwaiti company as financial adviser, while HSBC has coordinated the loan. The state-owned refiner appointed the banks last week and completion of the financing is expected in the first quarter of The South Korean, Dutch, British and Italian export credit agencies will provide backing to the facility, KNPC s chief executive Mohammad Ghazi al-mutairi told Reuters in October. The Clean Fuels project will expand and upgrade two of Kuwait s largest refineries to produce diesel and kerosene for export. The project received a first tranche of financing in April this year, when it obtained a KD 1.2 billion ($3.9 billion) loan led by National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House. A group of 11 banks, including Islamic lenders, took part in that loan. Trump taps Continued from Page 1 and put a stop to political correctness that for too long has dictated our approach to national security. I will tackle those issues with a seriousness of purpose and a deep respect for our laws and Constitution. I am honored for the opportunity to be back in the service to our country, and our people. The third general chosen for Trump s cabinet, Kelly spent 45 years in the US Marines, holding a range of positions from field commands in Iraq to political liaison in Congress before finishing his career as commander of the US armed forces Southern Command. With 240,000 civil servants, Homeland Security includes the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, immigration and customs enforcement, and the agency that protects airports. It also has an intelligence arm and an office dedicated to preventing nuclear terrorism. Those functions would make Kelly a pivotal figure in carrying out Trump s election promises to build a wall on the Mexican border, deport undocumented immigrants and tighten legal immigration processes to screen out potential extremists. The blunt-talking Kelly is close to retired general James Mattis, Trump s nominee for Secretary of Defense. Kelly served as Mattis s top aide in the 2003 assault on Baghdad that crushed Saddam Hussein s army. He is also shaped by the experience of having his own son, also a Marine, die in battle. First Lieutenant Robert Michael Kelly was killed in action in Afghanistan in A native of Boston, Kelly, 66, enlisted in the Marines when he was 20, spent two years in an infantry company, and then left to go to university. After graduating he rejoined the Corps as a second lieutenant and rose Report criticizes lack of transparency in IS fight BAGHDAD, Dec 12, (Agencies): A report released Monday by Airwars, a London-based project aimed at tracking the USled coalition s air strikes targeting the Islamic State group, criticized the coalition s lack of transparency when assessing civilian casualties. Coalition airstrikes have been critical in the fight against IS in Iraq where Iraqi forces are currently trying to push the militant group out of Mosul. While US officials have acknowledged that 173 civilians have died in coalition airstrikes since the launch of the campaign against IS in the summer of 2014, the Airwars group says the number of civilian casualties is much greater: at least 1,500. The Airwars project said the discrepancy in the numbers of acknowledged civilian casualties is partially due to how civilian deaths are investigated, assessments carried out by the coalition are opaque, ad hoc, and significantly biased towards internal military reporting, the group said. The coalition has been repeatedly criticized for the slow pace of investigations into civilian casualties in the fight against IS. The coalition has carried out more than 16,500 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against IS targets since the fight against the militant group was launched more than two years ago. Several thousand Iraqi federal police are ready to join the assault against Islamic State in east Mosul, a spokesman said on Monday, reinforcing troops who have faced weeks of fierce counter-attacks from the militants. The extra forces are being deployed as the gruelling US-backed campaign to crush Islamic State in its Iraqi stronghold enters its ninth week. Elite army troops have retaken a quarter of the city, but their advance has been slow and punishing. The federal police units, around 4,000 strong, have been moved to an area southeast of the city, near where an army tank division last week made the deepest incursion into Mosul so far, briefly seizing a hospital used as a base by the militants. The troops were forced to pull back from the Salam hospital, less than a mile (about 1 km) from the Tigris river which runs through the centre of Mosul, when they were attacked by suicide car bombs, mortar volleys and machine gun fire. A spokesman for Iraq s federal police commander, Lieutenant-General Raed Shakir Jawdat, said the police units were near Qaraqosh, about 15 km (10 miles) from the southeast edge of Mosul, and were ready to mobilise. However, he said they were waiting for advances elsewhere on the eastern front, where elite Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) have made steady street-by-street progress, unlike last week s dramatic push by the armoured division towards the hospital. We are waiting for orders from the supreme commanders to start the offensive to defeat Daesh (Islamic State) and clear the eastern part (of Mosul), he said. The CTS forces said on Sunday they had captured another district of east Mosul, al-nour neighbourhood. Accounts from Mosul are difficult to confirm since authorities have increasingly restricted international media access to the battlefronts and areas retaken from Islamic State in and around the city. Prime Minister Haider al-abadi tried to play down concerns over the slow pace of progress, saying the recapture of cities such as Ramadi and Baiji from Islamic State had taken four times longer than the Mosul campaign so far. Visiting commanders near Mosul on Monday, a day after a trip by US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Abadi also said the United States and other allies must continue to support Iraq s battle against what he said was a global threat posed by the militants. Defeating Islamic State requires cooperation with all countries... and this is why we appeal to the new US presidency to take this into consideration, Abadi said. The prime minister, who spoke to Donald Trump last month, said the president-elect promised not just to continue American support but to increase it. steadily through a number of positions, including company and battalion commands. In the late 1990s, he was the Marine Corps commandant s liaison to Congress, the first of two such stints that exposed him to the political give-andtake between the military and legislators. In 1999, he began a two-year stint as special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. In , as a colonel and then brigadier general, Kelly returned to the 1st Marine Division, serving under then major general Mattis in the successful assault on Baghdad. Iraqi police ready to join Mosul assault Syrian pro-government forces patrol Aleppo s Sheikh Saeed district on Dec 12, after troops retook the area from rebel fighters. (AFP) Rebels on brink of defeat Aleppo offensive in final stages ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT, Dec 12, (Agencies): The Syrian army and its allies are in the final stages of recapturing Aleppo after a sudden advance that has pushed rebels to the brink of collapse in an evershrinking enclave, a Syrian general said on Monday. A Reuters journalist in the government-held zone said the bombardment of rebel areas of the city had continued non-stop overnight, and a civilian trapped there described the situation as resembling Doomsday. The battle in eastern Aleppo should end quickly. They (rebels) don t have much time. They either have to surrender or die, Lieutenant General Zaid al-saleh, head of the government s Aleppo security committee, told reporters in the recaptured Sheikh Saeed district of the city. Rebels withdrew from all districts on the east side of the Aleppo river after losing Sheikh Saeed in the south of their pocket in overnight fighting, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It meant their rapidly diminishing enclave had halved in only a few hours and Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman described the battle for Aleppo as having reached its end. The situation is extremely difficult today, said Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastaqim rebel group fighting in Aleppo. An official from Jabha Shamiya, a rebel faction that is also present in Aleppo, said the insurgents might make a new stand along the west bank of the river. It is expected there will be a new front line, said the official, who is based in Turkey. The rebels sudden retreat represented a big collapse in terrorist morale, a Syrian military source said. Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, backed by Russia, is now close to taking back full control of Aleppo, which was Syria s most populous city before the war and would be his greatest prize so far after nearly six years of conflict. The Russian Defence Ministry said that since the start of the Aleppo battle, more than 2,200 rebels had surrendered and 100,000 civilians had left areas of the city that Carter told reporters on Sunday the battle for Mosul hasn t been an easy fight (and) won t be an easy fight, but said it was going to plan. He was speaking to reporters after meeting US Lieutenant-General Steve Townsend, commander of the US-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces in Mosul, who said that more than 2,000 Islamic State fighters had been killed or badly wounded. The police and CTS troops are part of a 100,000-strong Iraqi alliance which launched the campaign to retake Mosul on Oct. 17. It includes soldiers, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and mainly Shi ite Popular Mobilisation forces. Defeating Islamic State in Mosul, the biggest city it controls in Iraq or Syria, would be a crushing blow to Five years later he was back in Iraq for the US occupation, holding two posts over the period. He earned his fourth star when he was named to head the US Southern Command in 2012, a position he held until retiring in January Meanwhile, Rick Perry, who proposed eliminating the US Energy Department during his unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has emerged as a leading candidate to head the agency under Trump, a transition official said on Sunday. Democratic US Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia also are in the were controlled by militants. People run from one shelling to another to escape death and just to save their souls... It s doomsday in Aleppo, yes doomsday in Aleppo, said Abu Amer Iqab, a former government employee in the Sukkari district in the heart of the rebel enclave. State television footage from Saliheen, one of the districts that had just fallen to the army, showed mounds of rubble and half-collapsed buildings, with bodies still lying on the ground and a few bewildered civilians carrying children or suitcases. While Aleppo s fall would deal a stunning blow to rebels trying to remove Assad from power, he would still be far from restoring control across Syria. Swathes of the country remain in rebel hands, and on Sunday Islamic State retook Palmyra. Tens of thousands of civilians remain in rebel-held areas, hemmed in by ever-changing front lines, pounded by air strikes and shelling, and without basic supplies, according to the Observatory, a British-based monitoring group. In the Sheikh Saeed district, an elderly couple stood lamenting their fate. May every son return to his mother. I have suffered that loss. May other women not endure the same, said the woman, her arms raised to the sky. I have lost my three children. Two died in battle and the third is kidnapped, she added, as an army officer attempted to calm her. Rebel groups in Aleppo received a US-Russian proposal on Sunday for a withdrawal of fighters and civilians from the city s opposition areas, but Moscow said no agreement had been reached yet in talks in Geneva to end the crisis peacefully. The rebel official blamed Russia for the lack of progress in talks, saying it had no incentive to compromise while Assad was gaining ground. The Russians are being evasive. They are looking at the military situation. Now they are advancing, he said. The US National Security Council also said, in a message passed on by the American mission in Geneva, that Moscow had rejected a ceasefire. We proposed an immediate cessation of hostilities to the self-styled caliphate it declared in large parts of both countries two years ago, and might see it revert to more covert militant operations in Iraq. Iraqi commanders say progress has been slowed by the fierce defence waged by the jihadists, who they say have used a network of tunnels under the eastern half of the city and exploited more than 1 million civilians as human shields. The fight in crowded residential areas has also restricted the use of heavy weapons and air strikes from the coalition. For weeks, commanders have talked about opening a new front in southwest Mosul to stretch Islamic State defences. But the despatch of the units to the southeast may delay that plan. The forces in Qaraqosh had been running for the job as Trump continues to fill key positions in his administration ahead of taking office on Jan. 20, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Perry served as governor of Texas, a leading oil-producing state, from 2000 when he succeeded President George W. Bush until In his two unsuccessful presidential runs, he touted his record of job creation in the secondmost-populous state. Perry s proposal to scrap the Energy Department caused what has become known as his oops moment during a November 2011 debate when he could not remember the departments he wanted to eliminate. allow for safe departures and the Russians so far have refused, it said in a statement. The Syrian army is backed by Russian war planes and Lebanese and Iraqi Shi ite militias supported by Iran. Its advances on Monday were aided by a militia of Palestinian refugees in Syria, the Liwa al-quds or Jerusalem Brigade, the general said. The mostly Sunni rebels include groups backed by the United States, Turkey and Gulf monarchies as well as hardline jihadists who are not supported by the West. A correspondent for Syria s official SANA news agency said the army had taken control of Sheikh Saeed, and more than 3,500 people had left at dawn. A Syrian official told Reuters: We managed to take full control of the Sheikh Saeed district. This area is very important because it facilitates access to al-amariya and allows us to secure a greater part of the Aleppo-Ramousah road. The road is the main entry point to the city from the south. The loss of Palmyra, an ancient desert city whose recapture from Islamic State in March was heralded by Damascus and Moscow as vindicating Russia s entry into the war, is an embarrassing setback to Assad. The Observatory reported that the jihadist group carried out eight executions of Syrian soldiers and allied militiamen in Palmyra on Monday while warplanes bombarded their positions around the city. Another four people, including two children, were shot dead while the jihadists cleared the city, it said. The Observatory said at least 34 people had died in air raids on an Islamic State-held village north of Palmyra, and that local officials said poison gas had been used. Islamic State accused Russia of the attack. Both Russia and Syria s military deny using chemical weapons. The Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday that 728 rebels had laid down their weapons over the previous 24 hours and relocated to western Aleppo. It said 13,346 civilians left rebel-controlled districts of Aleppo over the same period. due to join other police units who have reached within 3 or 4 km (2 or 3 miles) of the airport on Mosul s southwestern edge, and were expected to open the new front inside the city on the west bank of the Tigris. Nearly two months into the campaign, the United Nations says 91,000 people have been registered as displaced from Mosul and nearby towns and villages. That figure excludes thousands more forced as human shields back into Mosul by retreating militants. Most people though have stayed put, and 1 million are likely to be still living in remaining Islamic State-held areas of the city. With the militants largely sealed off, civilians are enduring increasingly siege-like conditions, with shortages of fuel, food and water as winter sets in. It s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone: commerce, education and the um, what s the third one there? Let s see, Perry said. His debate adversaries tried to prod his memory, but Perry ultimately gave up, saying, I can t. The third one, I can t. Sorry. Oops. It was the Energy Department, which is responsible for US energy policy and oversees the nation s nuclear weapons program. Perry also ran for the 2016 presidential nomination against Trump but dropped out in September 2015 after gaining little traction. Perry initially was a fierce critic of Trump but later endorsed Trump and called him the people s choice. Newswatch Continued from Page 1 on Jan 15, 2017 under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah. BEIRUT: The son of prominent Syrian philosopher and intellectual Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm says his father has passed away in Germany after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 82. Amr al-azm told The Associated Press via Skype on Monday that his father died the night before in Berlin, two months after his health sharply deteriorated. Al-Azm, who lectured at several universities around the world and held a PhD from Yale in Modern European Philosophy, left Syria a year before the country s crisis began in March (AP) HUDSON, Ohio: The United Arab Emirates US ambassador says he s spoken with Ohio Gov John Kasich about the police killing of a UAE citizen after a traffic accident. The UAE embassy issued a statement Monday saying the ambassador stressed to Kasich the importance of a thorough, transparent and timely investigation into the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Saif Nasser Mubarak Alameri earlier this month by an officer for the Hudson Police Department in northeast Ohio. Hudson police have said Alameri was killed by officer Ryan Doran during a struggle after Alameri flipped his car onto its roof on the Ohio Turnpike. (AP) ABU DHABI: The head of al- Azhar, Egypt s top Sunni authority, said on Monday that the Western concept of modernity is not the best example for Muslim women to follow. Islam has done justice to the Muslim woman and freed her from shackles and restrictions, said Al-Azhar s grand imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-tayeb. Muslim women were influenced more by tradition and customs than by the precepts of Islam, he told the Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliaments in Abu Dhabi. The sheikh said that in some ways the situation of women had deteriorated to a pre-islam state, in an apparent reference to the influence of radical Islamists. However he insisted that emulating life in the West was not the solution. (AFP) UNITED NATIONS: Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in Monday as Secretary-General of the United Nations, becoming the ninth UN chief in the body s 71-year history. The former UN refugee chief was elected to the top job by acclamation in the General Assembly in October. He takes over from Ban Ki-moon on Jan 1. Guterres, 67, performed well in answering questions before assembly members and his executive experience as prime minister and as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from propelled him to first place among 13 candidates vying for the job in informal polls in the Security Council. After the sixth poll, the council nominated him by acclamation and his name was sent to the assembly for final approval. We have every confidence he will lead our organization with wisdom and rectitude, said GA President John William Ashe. The swearing-in came after the 193 General Assembly members paid tribute to Ban, a tribute that ended with a standing ovation for the native South Korean. The swearing-in ceremony included the UN s top leaders and was attended by dignitaries including Myanmar politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP) NEW DELHI: Indian police on Monday said they were trying to track down a group of cyber criminals suspected of hacking high profile Twitter accounts amid allegations the breaches were politically motivated. The unknown group, Legion Crew, on Saturday targeted two Twitter accounts belonging to prominent television journalists, both seen as critics of the policies of the ruling Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We have received complaints from the journalists and have launched an investigation into the cyber crime, Anyesh Roy, head of the cyber security cell of Delhi Police, told AFP. The accounts of NDTV news network anchors Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar were breached late Saturday following which hackers posted profanities and threatened to leak huge stashes of confidential data. The latest hackings come two weeks after the group claimed to have hijacked the Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the opposition Congress party. The account of Vijay Mallya, a fugitive billionaire liquor baron who fled to Britain in March amid allegations of financial fraud, was hacked on Friday. The series of hackings has sparked accusations that the group was selectively targeting government opponents, with Congress saying the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) was behind the breaches as the BJP cannot handle criticism.. (AFP)

38 LEISURE Sherman s Lagoon By J.P. Toomey N E W Y O R K T I M E S CROSSWORD 38 Mutts By Patrick McDonnell Drink: prefi x Hagar The Horrible By Chris Browne Beetle Bailey By Mort Walker Garfield By Jim Davis Baby Blues By Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott FIFTEEN Conceptis Sudoku The grid must be so completed that every row, column and 3x3 box has every digit from 1 to 9 inclusive Answer to yesterday s puzzle Challenger DIRECTIONS: Fill each square with a number, one through nine. Horizontal squares should add to totals on right. Vertical squares should add to totals on bottom. Diagonal squares through center should add to total in upper and lower right. THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE SOLUTION. Today s Challenge Time 4 Minutes 3 Seconds Your Working Time Minutes Seconds Word by Word Yesterday s solution A picture shows a sea otter at the Oceanopolis centre in Brest, western France on Dec 9. Two sea otters arrived to the centre in France all the way from Alaska. (AFP) contract bridge By Steve Becker Scratch pad odds n ends TOKYO: Japanese have voted for gold as the Kanji character that best represents the year 2016, the results of a national poll published on Monday showed. Many respondents were inspired by the nation s haul of 12 gold medals at the Rio Summer Olympics, while others reflected on a string of fi nancial scandals this year, the Japanese Kanji Profi ciency Society, which organizes the annual poll, said. A smattering said it reminded them of US President-elect Donald Trump s hair, TV Osaka reported. At a ceremony thronged by tourists, Seihan Mori, the chief priest of the Kiyomizu temple in Japan s ancient capital of Kyoto, drew the character, which can also be used to signify money, in large brush strokes. Modern Japanese, despite being very different from Chinese, uses Chinese, or Kanji, characters in its written form. About 2,000 to 3,000 characters are believed to be in common use in Japan. (RTRS) SYDNEY: Sydney s famous New Year s Eve fireworks, which traditionally kick off the world s major celebrations, are set to be streamed live on Facebook for the fi rst time, offi cials said Monday. The visual extravaganza in Australia s biggest city is already watched by more than a million people at Sydney Harbour and a further one billion via a television audience. Organisers hope the live stream will be viewed by more than 10 million Facebook users around the world. The announcement marks the latest push by the US social media giant to tap into live video as it competes with similar offerings from Twitter and Tumblr. By making the most of digital technology only available this year, we can put Sydney s New Year s Eve fi reworks show in the palm of people s hands around the world right as it happens, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement. (AFP) COLOMBO: Cricket legend Arjuna Ranatunga announced Monday he was reviving his bid to build a record-breaking 100-metre tall Christmas tree in Sri Lanka s capital despite opposition from the Catholic church. Ranatunga, who is also a government minister, said the project was back on track after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Ranjith. The work resumed this morning after the prime minister s intervention with the archbishop, Ranatunga said in a statement to AFP. It will be ready for Christmas. (AFP) Bird Asfour A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Assfoor fe al yad yosawi ethnain fe alajama. Numbers 7424 Seven thousand four hundred twenty-four Sabat alaf wa arbai maah wa arbaah wa eshroon Tomorrow: The Rationale of Good Defense

39 SPORTS 39 9-day T20 tournament starts on Dec 14 in Sharjah Kuwait Women s Cricket team to participate in UAE tourney KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: Kuwait National Women s Cricket Team is going to participate in the first ever nine-day UAE International Women s T20 tournament from Dec 14 in Sharjah. Kuwait, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Qatar, Oman and host UAE among the participating teams. Inaugural event where the tournament s first pool games will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on December 14th. Pool games will then alternate between Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Ajman Cricket Council s Eden Ground through to the final. The final to be played on December 19th at the Sharjah Cricket Ground. This tournament is integral in Kuwait Cricket s efforts to develop and support women s CRICKET The Kuwait National Women s Cricket team, officials pose for a group photo. cricket in the Kuwait, which dovetails into the International Cricket Council s development program. This tournament will help improve cricketing standards among women in the Kuwait, the GCC countries. Group A includes: Kenya, Qatar, Malaysia and the UAE, with Group B showcasing Kuwait, Oman and Uganda. Kuwait Cricket recently announced the team that will represent the Kuwait at the tournament are as follows. Maryam Omar (Captain), Amna Sharif, Priyada Murli, Khadija Khalil, Varshini Suresh, Maryam Hayder, Maryam Ashraf, Maria Jasvi, Iqra Ishaq, Madeeha, Kala, Amina, Maryam Rashteen, Rida Zanab, Shaikha Al-Khasti. Reserves: Mahnoor Mahmood, Maryam Khalil. Coach: Tariq Rasool. Manager: Mehboob Khan Van der Burgh wins gold Park, Hosszu dazzle at at Short Course Worlds MONTREAL, Dec 12, (AFP): Katinka Hosszu brought the curtain down on a week of dominance at the Short Course World Swimming Championships on Sunday by clinching her seventh gold medal of the meet. The Hungarian swimming star, affectionately known as the Iron Lady surged to victory in the 100m butterfly to cap a superb campaign at the championships in Windsor, Ontario. Hosszu touched the wall sec, taking gold ahead of Kelsi Worrell of the United States (55.22) and Japan s Rikako Ikee The 27-year-old Hosszu had already stamped her class on the championships with wins in the 100m, 200m and 400m medley as well as the 200m butterfly and 100m and 200m backstrokes. Sunday s final win at the WFCU Centre completes a phenomenal 2016 for Hosszu, who also SWIMMING lit up the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with three gold medals. There was more gold too on Sunday for South Korea s Park Tae-Hwan, who added the 1,500m title to the 200m and 400m crowns won earlier in the week. The win ensured Park finishes the year on a triumphant note after a tumultuous season which saw him battle to compete in Rio after serving a drugs ban only to come away from Brazil emptyhanded. Park finished well clear of his rivals in 14:15.51, ahead of Italy s Gregorio Paltrinieri, who clocked 14:21.94 for silver and Poland s Wojciech Wojdak, who took bronze in 14: Elsewhere Sunday, South Africa s 2012 Olympics breaststroke champion, Cameron van der Burgh, won gold in the 50m discipline. Van der Burgh took the title in 25.64sec, finishing ahead of Peter Stevens of Slovenia (25.85) and Brazil s Felipe Lima (25.98). NEW ORLEANS, Dec 12, (AP): The man who fatally shot retired New Orleans Saints defensive leader Will Smith was convicted of manslaughter on Sunday night, ending a week-long trial in which the defendant insisted he only fired because the popular football star was drunk, violent and had grabbed a gun following a traffic crash on the night of April 9. Smith was part of the Saints team that lifted the stricken city s spirits in the years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, helping carry the team to a winning season in 2006 and a Super Bowl win four years later. His death at the hands of Cardell Hayes, 29, was stunning, even for a city where residents are accustomed to reports of multiple gunfire deaths every week. Hayes faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years in prison at his sentencing on Feb 17. Jurors opted for the lesser charge rather than second-degree murder, which would have carried a mandatory life sentence. This April 10, 2016 fi le photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff s Office shows Cardell Hayes. (AP) Taehwan Park of Korea celebrates his victory in the 1500m Freestyle fi nal on day six of the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) at the WFCU Centre on Dec 11, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (AFP) But there was more disappointment for US teenager Lilly King. King, one of the rising stars of US swimming who won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics, finished outside the medals in the 200m breaststroke. King, pipped for gold in the 100m breaststroke on Saturday, finished fourth in a race won by Britain s Molly Renshaw, who clocked 2: Canada s Lauren Wog took silver in 2:18.52 while another Briton, Chole Tutton, won bronze with a time of 2: Triple Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo meanwhile won gold in the 50m freestyle. Possible 40 yrs sentence for Hayes Manslaughter conviction in death of ex-nfl star Smith Hayes also was convicted of attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith s wife, Racquel Smith. Because of the upcoming sentencing hearing, in which Racquel will provide a victim impact statement, she does not feel it is appropriate to comment on the facts of the case at this time, her lawyer said in an ed news release. The main focus of Will Smith s family is to see Mr. Hayes justly sentenced for the murder he so callously committed. Hayes family members and friends exited the court without commenting. We respect the jury s verdict... we ll regroup tomorrow and see what the next approach is. We continue to pray for all families, Hayes lawyer John Fuller said to reporters. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said in a news release that he would have a news conference Monday. Saints coach Sean Payton arrived at the courthouse and was present for the late Sunday verdict. Earlier, former Saints safety Steve Gleason, battling Lou Gehrig s disease, watched hours of closing argu- FOOTBALL ments from his wheelchair in a center aisle of the courtroom. They were among a host of past and present Saints stars, including current quarterback Drew Brees and former running back Deuce McAllister, who attended proceedings at different points during the week. That was one reason Fuller had cautioned jurors Sunday against being starstruck by the NFL luminaries. Hayes defense lawyers said Smith s popularity led to a rush to judgment by police and prosecutors. Schenn, Stolarz lift Flyers over Red Wings; Oilers down Jets DETROIT, Dec 12, (AP): Brayden Schenn scored 2:44 into overtime and Anthony Stolarz got his first shutout in his second career start, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers over the Detroit Red Wings 1-0 on Sunday night for their ninth consecutive win. Stolarz made 28 saves, helping Philadelphia outlast Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings. Howard made 34 saves in his first start since Nov. 23. Schenn cut in from the left wing, skated across the top of the crease, faked a backhand shot and then slid the puck in for his eighth goal of the season and fourth in two games. Howard stopped Pierre-Edouard Bellemaire from the bottom inside edge of the right circle 1:53 into overtime. Oilers 3, Jets 2 In Edmonton, Alberta, Patrik Laine shot the puck into his own net midway through the third period, costing Winnipeg in a loss to Edmonton. Edmonton s Mark Letestu was credited ICE HOCKEY with his second goal of the game when Laine fired the rebound of Letestu s slap shot directly into his own wide-open goal. Captain Blake Wheeler put an arm around Laine to console him when the Finnish rookie returned to the bench. The 18-year-old ranks third in the NHL with 17 goals and is an early front-runner for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league s top rookie. Oscar Klefbom also scored and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the Oilers. Mathieu Perreault and Chris Thorburn had goals for the Jets, who have now lost four straight games. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots. Avalanche 3, Maple Leafs 1 In Toronto, Semyon Varlamov made 51 saves, helping Colorado rebound from a miserable loss with a victory over Toronto. The Avs lost 10-1 to Montreal on Saturday night but rebounded on the back of their Russian goaltender. Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Blake Comeau scored, helping last-place Colorado get its second win in nine games. Antoine Bibeau made 26 saves in his first NHL start, and Jake Gardiner scored for Toronto. The Leafs, who won 4-1 in Boston on Saturday, are now in the second half of back-to-backs this season. Rangers 5, Devils 0 In New York, J.T. Miller and Brady Skjei scored 3:50 apart late in the second period, Antti Raanta stopped 19 shots for his second straight shutout and New York beat New Jersey. Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, and Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Vesey also scored to give the Rangers their first three-game winning streak since Nov Raanta, starting for the third time in four nights and coming off a 1-0 overtime win against Chicago on Friday, got his sixth career shutout and improved to with a 1.65 goals-against average in 10 starts this season. Cory Schneider finished with 25 saves for New Jersey, which lost its third straight. The Devils had an early goal disallowed after a review and another didn t count because it came after a whistle. Blackhawks 3, Stars 1 In Chicago, Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin scored to lead Central Division-leading Chicago over Dallas. Chicago s Scott Darling made 23 saves Avalanche, Rangers win; Caps blank Canucks John Mitchell #7 of the Colorado Avalanche skates away with the puck from a checking Matt Hunwick #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on Dec 11, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (AFP) NHL Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Dec 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NHL games on Sunday. Edmonton 3 Winnipeg 2 Chicago 3 Dallas 1 Colorado 3 Toronto 1 NY Rangers 5 New Jersey 0 Western Conference Central Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Chicago St Louis Minnesota Winnipeg Nashville Dallas Colorado Pacific Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Anaheim Edmonton Calgary San Jose Los Angeles Vancouver Arizona in his fifth straight start while No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford recovers from an appendectomy. Darling has permitted just seven goals during the stretch, but the Blackhawks have scored only nine while going Devin Shore scored for Dallas, which lost its second straight and third in four. Dallas Kari Lehtonen blocked 24 shots while making his fifth straight start. The 37-year-old Hossa scored his teamleading 15th goal and has three in three games. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his ninth game and defenseman Brent Seabrook his second with upper-body injuries. Capitals 3, Canucks 0 In Washington, Alex Ovechkin scored a powerplay goal in the first period and Braden Holtby made it stand up, stopping 20 shots to help Washington beat weary Vancouver. Washington nursed a 1-0 lead until Ovechkin earned an assist on a goal Ovechkin by Justin Williams with just under 15 minutes left. Tom Wilson scored into an empty net with 52 seconds remaining to seal the Capitals fourth straight victory. Washington killed Minnesota 3 St Louis 1 Philadelphia 1 Detroit (OT) 0 Washington 3 Vancouver 0 Anaheim 5 Ottawa 1 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Montreal Ottawa Boston Tampa Bay Florida Detroit Toronto Buffalo Metropolitan Division W L OTL GF GA PTS NY Rangers Pittsburgh Philadelphia Columbus Washington New Jersey Carolina NY Islanders Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L) five Vancouver power plays to complete a two-game season sweep. Holtby was rarely tested in his 25th career shutout, the second this season. Wild 3, Blues 1 In St Paul, Minn, Matt Dumba, Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund scored, Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves and Minnesota held on to beat St. Louis for its fourth straight win. Dumba scored for the second straight game in the second period and Niederreiter got his eighth goal about seven minutes later. Granlund added an empty-net goal. Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 14th goal of the season for St. Louis. Jake Allen stopped 22 shots for the Blues, who had won five of their past seven games. Ducks 5, Senators 1 In Anaheim, Calif, Antoine Vermette and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist and Anaheim scored a season-high three powerplay goals to beat Ottawa. Joseph Cramarossa, Nick Ritchie and Sami Vatanen also scored, and John Gibson made 21 saves. Ryan Dzingel scored for the Senators, who lost their second straight game in Southern California. Mike Condon made 10 saves before being removed for Andrew Hammond in the second period. Hammond stopped 16 shots.

40 SPORTS 40 Westbrook s streak halted, Warriors rebound 76ers edge Pistons OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec 12, (AP): Russell Westbrook s triple-double streak ended at seven games, but he scored 23 of his 37 points in the second half to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. Westbrook had 12 rebounds, but just six assists. His triple-double run was the longest since Michael Jordan had seven straight in The NBA record is nine in a row by Philadelphia s Wilt Chamberlain in March Steven Adams scored 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting and Enes Kanter added 14 points for the Thunder, who have won seven of eight. Oklahoma City got away with making just 14 of 27 free throws. BASKETBALL Al Horford scored 19 points, and Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley each added 18 for the Celtics. Warriors 116, Timberwolves 108 In Minneapolis, Klay Thompson scored 30 points and Golden State roared back to beat Minnesota and avoid its first set of consecutive regular-season losses since Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, and the Warriors extended their NBA-record streak to 111 regular-season games without losing two in a row. They trailed by 10 to start the fourth quarter, but opened the period with a 25-4 avalanche to turn the tide. Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 18 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins scored 25 for the Timberwolves (6-18), who lost their fourth straight game. Kevin Durant had 22 points on 6-for-21 shooting, and Draymond Green scored 18 for Golden State. Zach LaVine scored 25 points and hit five 3s for the Wolves. The Warriors were coming off a 21-point loss Saturday to the Grizzlies and were playing their fourth game in five nights. 76ers 97, Pistons 79 In Auburn Hills, Mich, Robert Covington had 16 points and Philadelphia beat Detroit for its second consecutive road victory after going nearly a year without one. Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points for the 76ers, who had matched a franchise record by losing 23 straight games away from home before beating New Orleans last Thursday night. That was Philadelphia s first road win since Jan. 20 last season at Orlando. Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks blocks an attempt to score from D Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec 11 during their NBA match in Los Angeles, California. (AFP) Jahlil Okafor had 14 points and nine rebounds, and T.J. McConnell added 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the 76ers (6-18), who snapped a four-game losing streak against the Pistons and improved to 2-7 on the road this season. Pelicans 120, Suns 119, OT In Phoenix, Tim Frazier got his first career triple-double and New Orleans rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to beat Phoenix in overtime, snapping a five-game losing streak. The victory came despite a 4-for-17 shooting performance by NBA scoring leader Anthony Davis. He finished with 14 points, 16 below his average, but grabbed 12 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe scored 32 for the Suns. Tyson Chandler added 14 points and 21 rebounds, both season highs. Frazier, a third-year guard out of Penn State, had 14 points, a careerhigh 11 rebounds and 11 assists. He made one of two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to put the Pelicans up Jrue Holiday hit four free throws in the final 14.3 seconds and scored 23 points. Knicks 118, Lakers 112 In Los Angeles, Kristaps Porzingis had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Derrick Rose scored 25 in his return from injury and New York held off Los Angeles for its sixth win in seven games. Brandon Jennings scored 15 of his season high-tying 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks moved a season-best four games over.500 (14-10) with a dynamic effort in the final minutes, capped by Rose s jumper with 19.4 seconds left. Lou Williams scored 24 points in his latest big game off the bench for the sliding Lakers, who lost their sixth straight despite the return of D Angelo Russell and Nick Young. Rose went 12 for 16 after missing two games with a back injury. Porzingis has been feeling discomfort in his right knee, but the Latvian big man shook it off and blocked seven shots, tying his career high. NBA Results/Standings WASHINGTON, Dec 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NBA games on Sunday. NY Knicks 118 LA Lakers 112 New Orleans 120 Phoenix (OT) 119 Oklahoma City 99 Boston 96 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Toronto NY Knicks /2 Boston /2 Brooklyn /2 Philadelphia /2 Central Division W L PCT GB Cleveland Chicago /2 Detroit Indiana Milwaukee Southeast Division W L PCT GB Charlotte Atlanta Washington Orlando /2 Miami Golden State 116 Minnesota 108 Philadelphia 97 Detroit 79 Western Conference Northwest Division W L PCT GB Oklahoma City Utah /2 Portland /2 Denver Minnesota Pacific Division W L PCT GB Golden State LA Clippers /2 LA Lakers /2 Sacramento Phoenix /2 Southwest Division W L PCT GB San Antonio Houston Memphis /2 New Orleans /2 Dallas /2 Company integrates existing driver assistance features with LiDAR technology Hyundai reveals details of Ioniq autonomous concept vehicle Senior Officer Public Relations Hessa Al-Najadah with Champion Tareq Al-Qallaf. Sponsorship part of bank s CSR Burgan Bank supports Al Qallaf for US event KUWAIT CITY, Dect 12: After the successful sponsorships of Kuwait s world champion wheelchair fencer, Tariq Al Qallaf in October 2016, Burgan Bank announced today that it is proud to sponsor Al Qallaf again for the fourth time in a row, on his journey to the USA Fencing FENCING Championship. The championship will take place in Columbus City, Ohio from Jan The bank s sponsorship falls under its corporate social responsibility umbrella to supporting Kuwait s world titleholders in reaching greater heights and raising the Kuwaiti flag at worldwide arenas. Al Qallaf participated in more than 70 competitions across the region and the world over the past 30 years, bagging more than 43 gold medals. During his participation in the US Fencing Championship in October 2016, he won three gold medals along with the title of Best Fencing Champion. Burgan Bank s support to this initiative falls under its recently launched 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, social and health initiatives. Burgan Bank s approach to ENGAGE begins with a vital principle that as a Kuwaiti financial institution, its conduct and policies should be aligned with the needs and interests of the Kuwaiti society. KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21: Hyundai Motor Company is currently testing a driverless version of its Ioniq eco-car, as part of plans to build autonomous vehicles that ordinary consumers can afford. The carmaker announced the project publicly recently at Automobility LA the Los Angeles Auto Show. With a sleek design resembling the rest of the Ioniq lineup, the vehicle is one of the few self-driving cars in development to have a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper instead of on the roof, enabling it to look like any other car on the road and not a high school science project. The goal of the autonomous Ioniq concept was to keep the self-driving systems as simple as possible. This was accomplished by using the production car s Smart Cruise Control s forward-facing radar and Lane Keeping Assist cameras, which are integrated with LiDAR 3D sensor technology. Hyundai is also developing its own autonomous vehicle operating system, with the goal of using a lot less computing power. This will result in a low-cost platform, which can be installed in future Hyundai models the average consumer can afford. The greatest value of innovations such as autonomous vehicles is when they are available to everyone, said Mike Song, Hyundai s Head of Operations for Africa and the Middle East. We believe these advances will make a great contribution to safer roads, and will offer more efficient, convenient and less stressful transportation. The car s hidden LiDAR system also allows the Autonomous Ioniq to detect the absolute position of surrounding vehicles and objects. In addition, the Autonomous Ioniq features: Forward Facing Radar which detects the relative location and speed of objects in the vehicle s forward path to aid in route planning Ioniq autonomous vehicle A three camera array which detects pedestrian proximity, lane markings and traffic signals A GPS antenna to determine the precise location of each vehicle High definition mapping data from Hyundai MnSoft which delivers location accuracy, road grade/curvature, lane width and indication data A Blind Spot Detection radar to ensure even simple lane changes are executed safely These features build upon the capabilities of the production Ioniq, which offers Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Assist. Duval, Karavites win Challenge ORLANDO, Fla, Dec 12, (AP): David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites shot a 10-under 62 on Sunday to win the PNC Father/Son Challenge by a stroke. Duval and Karavites finished at 21-under 123 in the scramble event at Grande Lakes to hold off 2013 winners Stewart and Connor Cink, newcomers Retief and Leo Goosen, and Fred and Taylor Funk. This is as good as anything, Duval said. It truly is. I know it s not winning The Players or something like that, but this is what the progression of life is. To be able to come out in a professional event and win and have the whole family here, I ll never forget it.

41 SPORTS 41 Sparx, DBO, Curtorcares notch up victories Vaz nets hat-trick as AVC hammer 9-man UGC 7-1 KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: A fine hat-trick by Kevin Vaz helped AVC Sports & Cultural Association inched closer to the top eight on the points table as they hammered nine-man United Goans Centre 7-1 in the thirteenth round of J.P.D Mello trophy powered by Gulf Cable and Electrical Co K.S.C.P and played on Friday, Dec 9, In other matches, FC Sparx beat Goa Maroons 4-2, Don Bosco Oratory beat Skynet Miracles 3-1 and Curtorcares edged Kerala Challengers 1-0. Veteran Julio Cardoso the oldest registered player in the league pulled off a few fine saves SOCCER but could still not contain a rampant FC Sparx as Goa Maroons lost 2-4 in an exciting match played in chilly conditions. Goa Maroons in spite of missing several key players controlled the game for almost three fourth of the match and took the lead in the 15th minute of the second half through Conrad Pinto after a fine one two with Steven Rodrigues. However, FC Sparks came back strongly with Hussein, Ahmed, Hisham and Rajesh combining well and immediately Ahmed equalized. Skillful and diminutive Rajesh who always has a knack of remaining unmarked added a second and third with precision strikes and although debutant Ronny Fernandes gave Goa Maroons a glimmer of hope by scoring to reduce the deficit by a goal, Ahmed put the game beyond Maroons with a fine strike with just five minutes remaining. Man of the match was Rajesh of FC Sparx and he received his award from Peter D Souza. The center referee was Victor Andrade and he was assisted by Chris and Rafi on the lines. Agnelo Quadros of Don Bosco Oratory who has been phenomenal this season collected his 4th man of the match award and became the league s highest scorer with ten goals after scoring a brilliant hat-trick and helping his team win 3-1 against Skynet Miracles FC. The lone goal for Skynet was scored by Reagan Fernandes as Don Bosco Oratory remained second on the points table behind leaders Kuwait Goan Association after another clinical display. Agnelo received his man of the match award from popular local Konkani stage artist and ex-sports secretary of KIFF, Mario Carneiro. The center referee was Robert and he was assisted by Kochumon and Cletus on the lines. Kevin Vaz s hat-trick reminiscent of some glorious goals he has scored in the past earned him the man of the match as AVC Sports & Cultural Association easily beat United Goans Centre 7-1 in an one sided contest. With the holiday season nearing and many players having already traveled to India, UGC could only field nine players and AVC took full advantage scoring the other goals through Gleston Rodrigues Gladston Antao and a couple by Ivon Colaco. UGC scored a consolation goal towards the end of the match through James Rebello. Kevin received his man of the match award from Norman Noronha and the match was officiated by Jerry Mello and supported by Rosario and Sameer on the lines. In the last match of the day and also bringing to an end the first phase of the KIFF League, Curtorcares United beat Kerala Challengers 1-0, with man of the match Melwin Fernandes scoring the all-important goal in the first half. Melwin received his award from the hand of Nicholas Ramos and the match was officiated by Edward Dias and assisted by Jerry and Agnelo on the lines. Coming Friday, Dec 16, 2016 there will be a 7-a-side tournament for KIFF affiliates at Bayan Ground, starting at 6:45 am, organized by soccer Kerala. The Kuwait Olympics Committee (KOC) during a press conference. Kuwait Disabled Sports Club among participants KUNA photo KOC to hold nat l sports gala on Saturday KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): The Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) will be putting together a national sports day on Saturday, KOC Deputy President Duaij Al-Otaibi announced on Monday. Speaking in a press conference, Al-Otaibi, who is President of the Kuwaiti and Arab Shooting Federations and heads the organizing committee for this sporting extravaganza, said that the event at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium will feature participation of a myriad of sports clubs and federations. Moreover, he said that the event which is sponsored by Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, will give Kuwaiti youth the opportunity to compete to help propel the sports sector to new heights. On activities included in the event, he noted that the sports run the gamut from soccer and basketball to powerlifting and martial arts, adding that a number of governmental booths will be set up before festivities kick off at 7 PM Saturday. Meanwhile, Al-Otaibi also highlighted that the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club (KDSC), which has recently amassed several regional and international accolades, will be among the participants in the event as part of efforts to assimilate this segment of the population into society. He also commended officials from across the government spectrum for their diligent efforts to ensure that this sports event will go off without a hitch. Ashwin-led India demolish England to win Test series Action shot taken during one of the matches Kohli brilliant Man of the Match Agnelo of DBO receives his award from Mario Carneiro. Man of the Match Kevin Vaz of AVC receives his award from Norman Noronha. MUMBAI, Dec 12, (AFP): Ravichandran Ashwin tore through England s lower order in just half-an-hour on Monday as India won the fourth Test by an innings and 36 runs, clinching the series 3-0 with a game to spare. England started the final day at the Wankhede Stadium trailing by 49 runs with four wickets remaining, and needing something extraordinary to avoid defeat. But off-spinner Ashwin grabbed all four wickets to send England crashing to 195 all out and finish with figures of 6-55 in the innings, and 12 scalps in the match. Skipper Virat Kohli was named man of the match for his brilliant double century in a crushing win that confirms India as Test cricket s top side and avenges their two consecutive series defeats to England. CRICKET India captain Virat Kohli (left), celebrates with teammates during a victory lap after winning the fourth Test cricket match against England at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Dec 12. (AFP) Man of the Match Melwin of Curtorcares receives his award from Nicholas Ramos. Man of the Match Rajesh of F. C. Sparx receives his award from Peter D Souza. Chinese swimmer banned for doping BEIJING, Dec 12, (AFP): Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi has been banned from competition for two years, the swimming federation FINA announced, after she failed a doping test at the Rio Olympics. The 18-year-old tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, on Aug 8, the same day she took part in the women s 100m butterfly final, finishing fourth. She is banned from competing for two years, from Aug 11 this year to Aug 10, 2018, FINA said in an announcement Saturday. Diuretics increase urination rates and can be used as masking agents to hide the presence of performance-enhancing substances that are screened for in doping tests. Chen first made headlines when she won gold in the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle events at the 2014 Asian Games, with times that set championship records. She also won gold at the 2015 World Championships with the Chinese 4x100m medley relay team. This series win is probably the sweetest we have had in the last months, said Kohli, who took over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Test captain last year. England captain Alastair Cook, who has hinted he may step down after the series, admitted it was a mistake to pick only two specialist spinners in Mumbai s spin-friendly conditions. We would have liked another spinner but we had the opportunity to bowl India out for 400 and we did not take them, said Cook. Ashwin first dispatched Jonny Bairstow, who could only add one run to his overnight half-century, before clean-bowling Chris Woakes for nought. Adil Rashid was then caught in the deep by Lokesh Rahul for two, off Ashwin s bowling, to put England at 193 with just one wicket remaining. James Anderson was then caught to become Ashwin s sixth victim of the innings as England were all out for 195, failing to make India bat again. England posted 400 in their first innings before India put on a massive 631, including Kohli s double century and tons for Murali Vijay and Jayant Yadav. Kohli struck 235 runs for his third double century of the year, while Yadav s 104 marked his maiden Test hundred. England were already up against it going into the second innings and they slumped to by the end of day four. Opener Keaton Jennings was out for a golden duck while Cook could only make 18 as England s batsman failed to cope with India s spin attack. As well as Ashwin s 6-55, Ravindra Jadeja grabbed 2-63 as Kohli s side humbled the visitors. Scoreboard Scoreboard on the final day of the fourth Test between India and England in Mumbai on Monday: ENGLAND 1st innings 400 (K. Jennings 112, J. Buttler 76; R. Ashwin 6-112) INDIA 1st innings 631 (V. Kohli 235, M. Vijay 136; Rashid 4-192) ENGLAND 2nd innings 195 (J. Root 77; J Bairstow 51; R Ashwin 6-55) A. Cook lbw b Jadeja...18 K. Jennings lbw Kumar...0 J. Root lbw J. Yadav...77 M. Ali c Vijay b Jadeja...0 J. Bairstow lbw Ashwin...51 B. Stokes c Vijay b Ashwin...18 J. Ball c Patel b Ashwin...2 J. Buttler not out...6 C. Woakes b Ashiwn...0 A. Rashid c Rahul b Ashwin...2 J. Anderson C Yadav b Ashwin...2 Extras (b15, lb2, nb2)...19 Total (10 wickets, 55.3 overs) (Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Jennings), 2-43 (Cook), 3-49 (Ali), (Root), (Stokes), (Ball), (Bairstow), (Woakes), (Rashid), (Anderson) Bowling: Kumar , U. Yadav , Jadeja (1nb), Ashwin , J. Yadav (1nb) Result: India win by an innings and 36 runs Toss: England Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Marais Erasmus (RSA) TV umpire: C. Shamshuddin (IND) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL) Isinbayeva urges IAAF to reach compromise on Russia ban Latvia boycott world champ ships in Russia over doping RIGA, Dec 12, (Agencies): Latvia s powerful skeleton team will boycott the 2017 world championships in Sochi after Russia was accused of state-sponsored doping, saying on Sunday its giant neighbour had stolen the Olympic spirit. Latvia said that they want the Feb International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships to be switched from the Black Sea venue in Russia which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. We are not participating in the world championships in Sochi, Russia a place where the Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014, the Latvian skeleton federation said on Twitter in a statement under the hashtag #weboycott. Last week a second damning report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of hijacking international sport by using more than 1,000 athletes in an institutional conspiracy to dope at the Sochi and 2012 London Olympics and other global events. Enough time has passed since the first public WADA and IOC announcements regarding dirty athletes in our sport, said the Latvian federation. As members of the skeleton sport community we feel that more can still be done to make it right. Now we say enough is enough. The federation added: We will be glad to race in World Championships at any track of the world, but we are not participating in Sochi. Latvia finished second in the medals table in skeleton at the 2016 world championships. Olympic silver medallist Martins Dukurs defended his world title. He has also won seven successive overall World Cup titles. His brother Tomas was a bronze medal winner at the 2015 world championships. The Latvian bobsleigh team has yet to decide whether or not to take part in Sochi. In 2016 they won the four-man bobsleigh gold for the first time in their history. The decision by the Latvian skeleton team sparked immediate controversy inside the country. Meanwhile, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) must reinstate Russia as soon as possible to prevent the country s athletes from stagnating, Russian Anti-Doping Isinbayeva Agency (RUSADA) chair Yelena Isinbayeva has said. The Russian Athletics Federation was banned in November 2015 after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) study exposed widespread state-sponsored doping and the IAAF confirmed last week that the ban will run into next year. I want to believe soon they will find a compromise. We have done everything they asked we did it even before Rio 2016, the Russian former pole vaulter told, a sports website focused on the Olympic Movement. I hope soon that we can compete internationally otherwise we will have no chance to develop the sport in Russia, we lose visibility otherwise, the double Olympic champion and world record holder added. The suspension was upheld following an appeal earlier this year, ruling all but one Russian track and field athlete, long-jumper Darya Klishina, out of the Rio Olympics. We must find a solution as the worst thing has happened already we missed the Olympic Games. Russia must be allowed back, the 34-year-old Isinbayeva said. A line needs to be drawn under the situation, otherwise it could go on for years. In the latest blow to the country, an independent WADA report said on Friday that more than 1,000 Russian competitors across more than 30 sports were involved in an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests. Isinbayeva, who also won three world championship golds and set 28 world records, also lashed out at IAAF President Sebastian Coe and called for any doping investigations to be expanded globally.

42 SPORTS 42 Bell sets record, leads Steelers win over Bills Falcons too strong for Rams, Jets down 49ers in OT England s players celebrate their victory on Dec 11, in Cape Town. (AFP) Wasps, Toulon score Cup victories England win Cape Town Sevens CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Dec 12, (Agencies): England upset home favorite South Africa in the final to win the Cape Town Sevens on Sunday as the hosts missed a last-second conversion to force extra time. Werner Kok scored in the left corner as the final hooter sounded but Justin Geduld missed the kick from out wide the last act of the game and England celebrated. The teams scored three tries each, and the critical moment turned out to be England captain Tom Mitchell s conversion of Ruaridh McConnochie s try. That put England seven points ahead, leaving South Africa in need of a converted try to prolong the final. England fought back against the hotly-favored South Africans after falling behind early, and prevented South Africa, winners last weekend in Dubai, from clinching a second straight title to start the season. RUGBY Chris Dry scored first for South Africa in the fourth minute, snapping up a loose ball to outpace England s defense on the outside. Richard de Carpentier and Dan Norton replied for England, with de Carpentier charging down the middle for his try and speedster Norton finishing off a simple overlap on the right to push England ahead 12-5 at halftime. Meanwhile, Wasps went top of their European Champions Cup group on Sunday with a win over visiting Connacht while Montpellier saw off Castres to close in on Pool 4 leaders Leinster and Toulon edged Scarlets in Pool 3. Australian star Kurtley Beale was in the thick of things on his debut for Wasps as he scored a try after just seven minutes before being sin-binned for a high tackle on Niyi Adeolokun which brought a caution at Concussion deal challenge rejected WASHINGTON, Dec 12, (RTRS): The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge to the National Football League s estimated $1 billion settlement of concussion-related lawsuits with thousands of retired players brought by a small group of them who contend it is flawed. The justices rejected an appeal of a lower court ruling in April upholding the settlement, which resolved litigation brought by players who accused the NFL of covering up information that tied head trauma like that suffered playing football to permanent brain damage. The dozens of retired players challenging the settlement complained that it did not cover potential Skills test 5th round to be held on Dec 17 KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12, (KUNA): Basel Salem Al- Sabah Motor Racing Club has announced that it will organize the fi fth round of the skills test competition on Dec 17 on the racetracks of the club located on the Seventh Ring Road towards Jahra. Secretary of the club Fahd Al-Alaj said to KUNA that the competition will witness participation of the best competitors among the professionals and hobbyists in Kuwait. He commended the support provided by the Department of Sports For All at the Public Authority for Sports. Al-Alaj affirmed that the registration for the competition will be received until Dec 13 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the administration office of the club located in South Surra next to the Police Cooperative Society. the Ricoh Arena. Beale was coming off some six months on the sidelines nursing a knee injury suffered while still with Super Rugby outfit Waratahs. Sweeping up a maximum five points in sealing a bonus point, Wasps stung their rivals as No8 Nathan Hughes, skipper Joe Launchbury returning from a ban and wing Josh Bassett also went over while fly-half Jimmy Gopperth added two penalties and three conversions. Scrum-half Kieran Marmion and replacement Rory Parata scored tries for the Irish while fly-half Jack Carty converted both and added a penalty. victims of a degenerative brain disease that scientists have linked to repeated blows to the head. In upholding the settlement in April, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia wrote that those challenging it risk making the perfect the enemy of the good. Under the settlement, the NFL does not admit guilt. The deal was first approved in April 2015 by US District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia. The settlement calls for payments of up to $5 million each to former players diagnosed with certain neurological disorders, but it does not address chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition that has been linked to concussions. Continued from Page 44 Packers 38, Seahawks 10 In Green Bay, Wis, Aaron Rodgers passed for 246 yards and three touchdowns and Green Bay routed Seattle. Seattle s Russell Wilson threw a careerhigh five interceptions and the Packers (7-6) won their third straight game to keep their playoff hopes alive. They re two games back of first-place Detroit in the NFC North, but play division opponents in the last three weeks of the season. Green Bay gained more than 300 yards in the first game for the Seahawks (8-4-1) without former All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, who is out for the season with a broken leg. Redskins 27, Eagles 22 In Philadelphia, Chris Thompson s 25-yard touchdown run with 1:54 remaining lifted Washington. Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes, including an 80-yard toss to DeSean Jackson, and had a pick-6. The Eagles took a lead when Caleb Sturgis hit a 41-yard field goal with 4:59 left after holder Donnie Jones got the high snap from third-string long snapper Trey Burton down in time. Carson Wentz drove Philadelphia to the Redskins 14 in the final minute, but Ryan Kerrigan sacked him to force a fumble and seal the win for Washington (7-5-1), which remained in the middle of a jumbled playoff race. The Eagles (5-8) have lost four in a row and eight of 10 after a 3-0 start. Jackson made a twisting, overthe-shoulder catch and spun away from Leodis McKelvin before slowing down and jogging into the end zone to give the Redskins a lead in the third quarter. Steelers 27, Bills 20 In Orchard Park, NY, Le Veon Bell scored three times and set a franchise record with 236 yards rushing in finding traction on a slick, snow-covered field. The Steelers overcame three interceptions thrown by Ben Roethlisberger to win their fourth straight and improve to 8-5 and keep pace in the AFC playoff race. The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Bills (6-7) from contention, and puts them in jeopardy of extending the NFL s longest active playoff drought to 17 years the longest since New Orleans ended a 20-year drought by reaching the postseason for their first time in After scoring in the first half on 3- and 7-yard runs, Bell put the game away on the opening drive of the third quarter. He had nine rushes for 72 yards alone and capped the 82-yard drive by waltzing into the end zone from 5 yards. Falcons 42, Rams 14 In Los Angeles, Matt Ryan passed for 237 yards and three touchdowns and Atlanta forced five turnovers to beat the Los Angeles. Deion Jones returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown, and Vic Beasley forced a fumble by Jared Goff and returned it for another TD during Atlanta s comprehensive pummeling of the Rams (4-9), who have lost four straight and eight of nine in their increasingly miserable homecoming season. San Diego Chargers Antonio Gates (85) drops a two-point conversion pass attempt as Carolina Panthers Daryl Worley (26) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, North Carolina on Dec 11. (AP) Tevin Coleman caught a TD pass and rushed for another score for the Falcons (8-5), who opened up a 42-point lead in the third quarter and stayed atop the NFC South with their fourth win in six games. Vikings 25, Jaguars 16 In Jacksonville, Fla, Matt Asiata scored on a short touchdown run, Kai Forbath kicked four field goals and the Vikings won for just the second time in nine weeks. Asiata had a chance to score three times, but he was stopped on a fourth-andgoal run in the second quarter and fumbled at the goal line in the fourth. Those mistakes hardly hurt against the hapless Jaguars (2-11), who dropped their eighth consecutive game and fell to 0-6 at EverBank Field this season. FOOTBALL Minnesota (7-6) hadn t won on the road since Sept. 25 at Carolina. A loss to the Jaguars would have weakened their playoff chances. Sam Bradford completed 24 of 34 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown. His 3-yard TD toss to Kyle Rudolph with 2:13 remaining sealed the victory. Texans 22, Colts 17 In Indianapolis, Lamar Miller scored Houston s only touchdown and the Texans defense stopped Andrew Luck on Indy s final drive. Houston (7-6) retained a share of the AFC South lead with Tennessee by ending its three-game losing streak. The Texans won for the second straight year in Indy, have won nine straight against division foes and got their first sweep of the Colts in franchise history. Luck drove the Colts (6-7) to the Texans 42-yard line with 1:24 left. But on fourthand-1, a blitz forced an errant screen pass to Robert Turbin. Miller finished with 21 carries for 107 yards, while Brock Osweiler was 14 of 24 for 147 yards with one interception. Luck was 24 of 45 for 276 yards with two TD passes, two interceptions and one fumble. T.Y. Hilton had nine catches for 115 yards and a 35-yard TD catch that closed Indy s deficit to early in the fourth quarter. Panthers 28, Chargers 16 In Charlotte, NC, Carolina s defense forced five turnovers by Philip Rivers and had five sacks and a safety. Cam Newton was a pedestrian 10 of 27 for 160 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception for Carolina (5-8), which snapped a two-game losing streak and kept its slim playoff hopes alive. Jonathan Stewart ran for 66 yards and a touchdown and Graham Gano had four field goals. But it was Carolina s defense that set the tone early and later put the game away. Despite playing without middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and defensive end Charles Johnson, the Panthers had four sacks on Rivers and forced three turnovers in the first half to build a 23-7 lead. Dolphins 26, Cardinals 23 In Miami Gardens, Fla, Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes before being sidelined with a knee injury, and Andrew Franks kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired. Tannehill limped to the locker room late in the third quarter after being hit around the legs by defensive tackle Calais Campbell as he released a completion. The Dolphins led 21-9 when Tannehill departed, and backup Matt Moore failed to lead Miami to a first down in his first three series. The Cardinals mounted touchdown drives of 99 and 50 yards to tie the game, but Miami forced a punt to start at the Arizona 47 with 1:29 left. Moore threw a 12-yard completion to Kenny Stills for a first down, and then threw long to Stills for 29 yards to set up Franks winning kick. Lions 20, Bears 17 In Detroit, Matthew Stafford ran for a go-ahead, 7-yard touchdown with 3:17 left after throwing two interceptions in the fourth quarter, one that was returned for a score on the previous possession. Matt Barkley completed two passes that put the Bears in a position to at least attempt a tying field goal in the final minute, but both were negated by penalties, before Chicago turned over the ball on downs from the Detroit 44. The NFC North-leading Lions (9-4) have won five straight and eight of nine, moving them a step closer to winning a division title for the first time in 23 years. Chicago (3-10) has lost four of five. Jets 23, 49ers 17, OT In Santa Clara, Calif, Bilal Powell ran for 145 yards, including the game-ending 19-yard touchdown in overtime, to help Bryce Petty and New York rally from 14 points down. Petty threw an interception on his first pass of the game and the Jets (4-9) trailed 14-0 less than 5 minutes into the game. San Francisco (1-12) led 17-3 at halftime, but fell flat after that and lost a franchiseworst 12th straight game. Powell took over from there and scored his second TD of the game on New York s first possession of overtime after Petty s scramble and 26-yard pass to Robby Anderson put the Jets in field goal range.

43 SPORTS 43 Real draw Napoli, City given Monaco test in Champions League last 16 Arsenal get Bayern again, Barcelona return to PSG NYON, Switzerland, Dec 12, (AFP): Arsenal were once again drawn against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Monday, while Barcelona will also come up against familiar foes in the shape of Paris Saint-Germain. Arsene Wenger s side had hoped winning their group for the first time in five years would spare them a tie against one of the continent s giants in the first knockout round. But instead they must face Carlo Ancelotti s German champions, who came second in their section, with the first leg in Bavaria. Bayern eliminated Arsenal en route to winning the trophy in 2012/13 and repeated the feat a year later, while the teams also met in the group stage last season the Gunners won 2-0 in London but lost 5-1 at the Allianz Arena. It s an interesting and difficult draw. We know Arsenal from the last few years when we often played against them, twice already in the last 16, when we had a good experience and got through, said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Arsenal are a strong team and I rate them as stronger at the moment than in the last few years. PSG came second to Arsenal in Group A, leaving them more vulnerable to a tough draw and five-time winners Barcelona have eliminated the French club in the quarter-finals in two of the past four seasons, while the teams also met in the group stage in 2014/15. If I could have chosen another team, I would have done, admitted Paris director of football Patrick Kluivert, a former Barcelona striker. Barcelona vice president Jordi Mestre told bein Sports Spain: There is no guarantee but it does give you a certain confidence to have beaten them before. Every game is different and we will see what happens. Reigning European champions Real Madrid will face Napoli as they look to win the trophy for a record 12th time, while Pep Guardiola s Manchester City face a testing twolegged encounter against Monaco. City, currently struggling for form, cannot afford to take the principality side lightly they are the most prolific side in Europe s leading leagues this season and have beaten Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League in the past two years. We are happy to be here, and then we have avoided Real Madrid and Barcelona, City s director of football Txiki Begiristain told BT Sport. Monaco are playing probably the best football in France now. In a group with Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen they were top and they have young players and a lot of talent. Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said: Manchester City are looking to win the Champions League. We are not the favourites but we believe in our qualities. Premier League champions Leicester City will take on last season s Europa League winners Sevilla as a reward for topping their group in their debut appearance in the competition, with a visit to the Villarreal face Italian giants Roma, Gladbach meet Fiorentina Pogbas to clash as Manchester United draw Saint-Etienne Sanchez Pizjuan in the first leg. Leicester s European form an English record 5-0 defeat at Porto last week apart has provided a welcome tonic amid a poor defence of their domestic title, but Sevilla sporting director Monchi is wary of Claudio Ranieri s side. They are a team that last weekend scored four goals against Manchester City. They had a great group stage and I think they will be very difficult opponents, he said. Atletico Madrid, runners up to city rivals Real in two of the last three seasons, were drawn against Germany s Bayer Leverkusen in a repeat of their clash at the same stage in 2014/15. On that occasion, Atletico emerged victorious after a tense penalty shoot-out. Two-time winners Juventus were drawn against FC Porto, while Borussia Dortmund also face Portuguese opposition in the shape of Benfica. The first legs will be played on Feb 14, 15, 21 and 22 with the second legs on March 7, 8, 14 and 15. Nice back on top of Ligue 1 Arsenal travel to Everton, City host Watford Chelsea chase perfect 10 Cavani saves PSG PARIS, Dec 12, (RTRS): Nice reclaimed top spot in Ligue 1 with a 2-2 draw at champions Paris St Germain on Sunday as the title race remained wide open almost halfway through the season. Lucien Favre s Nice were 2-0 up at halftime with goals by Wylan Cyprien and Alassane Plea but Edinson Cavani struck twice as PSG avoided a first home league loss in almost nine months. Nice have 40 points from 17 games and lead Monaco, who had a 4-0 win at Girondins de Bordeaux on Saturday, by a point. SOCCER Third-placed PSG are four points off the pace. Olympique Lyonnais are fourth on 28 points after Mathieu Valbuena s first-half strike gave them a 1-0 home win against Stade Rennes, who had Rami Bensebaini sent off late on. PSG, whose previous Ligue 1 outing ended in an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Montpellier, had the first big chance when Layvin Kurzawa struck a powerful 20-metre shot that was tipped away by Yoan Cardinale at the end of a sharp counter attack. Nice were on the back foot as the hosts pressed high up the pitch, but there were no other clear opportunities for PSG. Nice went ahead after 32 minutes when Cyprien curled a superb 25-metre free kick past Alphonse Areola only the second league goal PSG had conceded at the Parc des Princes this season. Five minutes before the break, Cavani beat the offside trap to collect a superb cross from Marco Verratti but the Uruguay striker fluffed his halfvolley. Plea doubled the Nice tally on the stroke of halftime when he benefited from a misunderstanding between centre backs Marquinhos and Thiago Silva and beat Areola from close range. Ronaldo wins Continued from Page 44 the crown after a less-than-stellar year for club and country by his lofty standards. Never one to play down his achievements, Ronaldo was spotted midweek in training having dyed his hair gold in anticipation and several media outlets published a photo earlier on Monday appearing to confirm he was the winner, before France Football made the official announcement. Ronaldo is now one Ballon d Or behind last year s winner Messi. For me there is no debate. The Ballon will be for him, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said after his talisman s hat-trick saw off Atletico Madrid last month to underpin Real s domination in La Liga. He showed it last season and he shows it again and again. We expect a lot of him but he stands above everyone. Champs League Draw NYON, Switzerland, Dec 12, (AFP): Draw for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League made in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday: Benfi ca (POR) vs Borussia Dortmund (GER) Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) vs Barcelona (ESP) Real Madrid (ESP) vs Napoli (ITA) Bayern Munich (GER) vs Arsenal (ENG) Manchester City (ENG) vs Monaco (FRA) Bayer Leverkusen (GER) vs Atletico Madrid (ESP) FC Porto (POR) vs Juventus (ITA) Sevilla (ESP) vs Leicester City (ENG) NYON, Switzerland, Dec 12, (AFP): Manchester United will take on Saint- Etienne in the last 32 of the Europa League, with Jose Mourinho s side hosting the French club in the first leg, after Monday s draw. The tie will see United and France midfielder Paul Pogba, the world s most expensive player, come up against his elder brother Florentin, the Guinea international defender. That s a nice thing, said Mourinho at a press conference on Monday. Paul was already laughing about it and for sure his brother is also laughing. It has happened a few times in the history football and it s a nice thing. The teams met in the now defunct Cup Winners Cup first round in 1977, with United winning 3-1 on aggregate. On that occasion, United were forced to host the second leg in the southern English city of Plymouth, 450 kms away, following crowd trouble in the first leg in France. Mourinho s men finished second in Group A behind Fenerbahce of Turkey while Saint-Etienne topped Group C. After also having to go to Ukraine to face Zorya Luhansk in the group stage, United s Portuguese manager is Europa Draw ZURICH, Dec 12, (RTRS): Europa League last-32 draw made in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday. Athletic Bilbao vs APOEL Nicosia Legia Warsaw vs Ajax Amsterdam Anderlecht vs Zenit St Petersburg Astra vs Genk Manchester United vs St Etienne Villarreal vs AS Roma Ludogorets vs Copenhagen Celta Vigo vs Shakhtar Donetsk Olympiakos vs Osmanlispor Gent vs Tottenham Hotspur Rostov vs Sparta Prague Krasnodar vs Fenerbahce Borussia Moenchengladbach vs Fiorentina AZ Alkmaar vs Olympique Lyonnais Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Besiktas PAOK Salonika vs Schalke 04 pleased that there will be no long away trip this time. The good thing is the travel distance. We were very unlucky in the PSG s Blaise Matuidi (left), challenges for the ball with Nice s Arnaud Souquet, during their League One soccer match, at the Parc des Princes Stadium, in Paris, France, Dec 11. (AP) We are here to win Club World Cup Real hot shots ready for Japan test YOKOHAMA, Japan, Dec 12, (AFP): Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane looked frazzled after arriving in Japan on Monday but he has promised his side will be ready for the Club World Cup. The European champions, chasing a second world title in three years, worked out the kinks as night fell, talisman Cristiano Ronaldo leading the players in a gentle jog around a pitch in chilly Yokohama. We re very tired from the long flight of course, a bleary-eyed Zidane told AFP. But that s normal. We will untangle ourselves a bit and feel better after a good night s sleep. SOCCER The serious work starts tomorrow, added the Frenchman, whose side take on Mexico s Club America on Thursday for a place in the final. We are here to win the Club World Cup. It s an extremely important target for Real Madrid. Zidane s Spanish table-toppers, who have strung together a club record 35-game unbeaten run, swept into Tokyo before sunrise on Monday and were greeted at the airport by around 300 fans. Personally, I m knackered, said a smiling Zidane, who hoisted the Club World Cup s forerunner, the Intercontinental Cup, with Real in 2002 and Juventus in But the players will be ready. Real Madrid s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (left), and his teammates run during a training session at Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama on Dec 12, ahead of their Club World Cup football match against Club America of Mexico on Dec 15. (AFP) We re on a fantastic run and that s because we have a great bunch of players quality players, intelligent players who work their socks off every day in training to be as good as they are. We have played nine matches in three weeks but we want to keep this run going, added the former World Cup winner. Real will be without Gareth Bale as they look to be crowned the world s best team for a fifth time. The Welshman is recoveing from ankle surgery, but the Spanish giants have been boosted by the return of German Toni Kroos after a metatarsal fracture. We will stay up tonight to see if he s won, said Brazilian defender Marcelo. We re all nervous to see if Cristiano wins. He s a great player and he deserves to win. I have so much respect for him. Real president Florentino Perez has demanded the team complete a Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup treble. But Marcelo shrugged: This is Real Madrid we re obliged to win. We haven t had much time to sleep and it s a crazy schedule but it would be a dream for the players to win this title. Manchester United s French midfi elder Paul Pogba (left), speaks to Manchester United s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on Dec 11. (AFP) group phase, we had to go very far, it was very difficult to go to Turkey, Ukraine, he said. at struggling Sunderland LONDON, Dec 12, (Agencies): Sunderland manager David Moyes said after Saturday s 3-0 defeat at Swansea that he knows his side s limitations and they are likely to be just as apparent when Premier League leaders Chelsea visit on Wednesday. The evening match at the Stadium of Light pits the basement side against title-chasing opponents seeking their 10th successive win. Sunderland, who have lost 10 of their 15 matches, plunged back to the bottom after the Liberty Stadium trouncing and must now try and take something from opponents who have Bournemouth vs Leicester bein SPORTS 1HD 22:5 local Everton vs Arsenal bein SPORTS 2HD 22:45 local conceded only two goals in their last nine league games. We know our limitations, know what we ve got and we know it s going to be a tough job to see it through. We ve known that and not kidded anyone otherwise, said Moyes after Saturday s defeat ended a run of three wins in four games. We had a good run there, but we ll have to do that three or four times this season if we are to make sure we keep ourselves in this league. We re back on the bottom...but we aren t back at square one, he added. So we will brush ourselves down, and get on with what s next, which is a busy week. Second-placed Arsenal, three points behind Chelsea after Saturday s 3-1 win over Stoke City, can go top at least temporarily on Tuesday if they take three points from their trip to Everton. The Gunners are unbeaten in the league since their opening weekend 4-3 defeat to Everton s city rivals Liverpool but manager Arsene Wenger is taking nothing for granted against a side with only one win in 11 matches. At the moment, every game is like Now we go to France because the flight is easy and it s not an easy period, there are lots of games, so that is good. Saint-Etienne, 10-time French champions and European Cup runners-up in 1976, are currently eighth in Ligue 1. Saint-Etienne is an historic old club with lots of tradition. People of my generation will never forget that (Michel) Platini team and it will be difficult because every team now is a good team in the competition. For sure, Manchester United is one of the big names in the competition but we have two months without the Europa League, two months to forget it, then we will see. The other Premier League representative, Tottenham Hotspur, will face Gent of Belgium after being eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage. Villarreal of Spain will face Italian giants Roma in one of the standout ties, while Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach were drawn against Fiorentina of Italy. The first legs will be played on Thursday, Feb 16, with the return matches a week later. Chelsea s Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on Dec 11. (AFP) a cup final for everybody and we just came out of a game where we were 1-0 down, he told reporters on Monday. For the sixth time this season, we came back after being down so let s continue to focus on that, on our resilience and our motivation and we will see how far we can go. Third-placed Liverpool, who have scored more goals than anyone in the top flight, are at Middlesbrough on Wednesday. Manchester City, thrashed 4-2 by champions Leicester City and still without the suspended Sergio Aguero, host Watford in a match Pep Guardiola s fourth-placed side need to win after two successive defeats. Leicester travel to Bournemouth on Tuesday while Tottenham Hotspur are at home to Hull City on Wednesday and West Ham United host Burnley. Manchester United, who beat Spurs 1-0 on Sunday, are at Crystal Palace. Henrikh Mkhitaryan misses out with an ankle injury after scoring his first Premier League goal against Tottenham but there are plenty of alternatives for manager Jose Mourinho. Qatar says adios to Barcelona DOHA, Dec 12, (AFP): Barcelona play Saudi champions Al-Ahli in a friendly in Doha on Tuesday, the Spanish club s last major obligation of its four year shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways. Stars including Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luiz Suarez all of who have featured in Qatar Airways adverts are in Doha and are expected to play some, if not all of the match. It is an extremely rare chance for Gulf fans to see some of the biggest names in world football, at least before the 2022 World Cup, and brought about because of the Gulf carrier s sponsorship deal with Barcelona. It has been very successful for us, you know that we were part of Barcelona for the last three years, and this the fourth year, said Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker on Monday. Next June the club s sometimes turbulent sponsorship deal with the airline, worth around 35 million euros annually, ends. From next season the Blaugranas will play their football with Japanese online retailer Rakuten splashed across their shirts, in a deal worth at least 55 million euros ($59 million) a year. Noticeably, at a time when gas-rich Qatar is making spending adjustments due to lower energy prices, the nation s airline could not match the price of its Japanese competitors. We have lost it unfortunately because somebody had more cash than us, admitted Al-Baker. They may have also lost out because of another reason television. Barcelona may be a global brand but one thing holding back the commercial push of La Liga, especially in Asia, was kick-off times in the Spanish league. Traditionally they played late at night local time, which meant they lost the audience in Asia and possibly Asian sponsors. But now, either Barcelona or Real Madrid play every week at 4.15pm local time on a Saturday, meaning their matches can be watched in Asia. Vicente Casado, La Liga s managing director of international development, told a Doha conference earlier this month that the desire to build up worldwide audiences was behind the change in kick-off times. This is one of the big reasons, he said.

44 PRIME TIME tuesday (all times are kuwait local) 09:30 real vs deportivo/soccer... bein sports 3hd 11:00 barcelona vs palma/futsal... bein sports 7hd 11:00 ravens vs patriots/football... bein sports 12hd 12:30 squash british open final... bein sports 8hd 14:00 golfing world bein sports 12hd 15:30 sundowns vs antlers... bein sports 7hd 16:00 sweden vs france/handball... bein sports 10hd 18:45 exeter vs bordeaux... bein sports 13hd 44 Sports Latest sports scores at Broncos playoff push in peril after Titans loss NFL Results/Standings Giants corral Cowboys Bucs sink Saints EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, Dec 12, (AP): With a no-huddle offense and nofooling-around defense, the New York Giants snapped the Cowboys 11-game winning streak with a 10-7 victory Sunday night, preventing Dallas from clinching the NFC East. Dallas (11-2) hadn t lost since the season opener against the Giants (9-4), who solidified their position in the NFC playoff chase as the top-wild card team. New York still hopes to catch Dallas in the division, and it can thank a stingy, aggressive defense for still having that opportunity. Missing star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants couldn t stop rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott from rushing for 107 yards. But New York s pressure stymied the other Cowboys rookie standout, quarterback Dak Prescott, blanked receiver Dez Bryant until 2:13 remained he fumbled away the ball on that play and held Dallas to one conversion in 15 third-down attempts. The Giants had three sacks, continually made Prescott uncomfortable, and he threw two picks. New York s offense was unsightly much of the night, blanked at halftime with only 84 net yards. Then it switched to the no-huddle and put together a short drive to Robbie Gould s 39-yard field goal, making it 7-3. But Odell Beckham Jr., stepped up, as he often does, and sped through the Cowboys on a 61-yard touchdown play. Beckham caught Eli Manning s pass at the Giants 48 and raced all the way to the end zone for the lead the defense preserved. Manning was 17 for 28 for 193 yards, one TD, one interception and two fumbles. His main adversary was linebacker Sean Lee, who had 18 tackles. Prescott finished 17 for 37 for 165 yards and a touchdown. Bengals 23, Browns 10 In Cincinnati, Robert Griffin III returned from injury but couldn t keep Cleveland from falling closer to infamy as the Cincinnati Bengals built a big early lead and held off the winless Browns in the snow. Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Eifert as the Bengals Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ramik Wilson (53) tackles Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Missouri on Dec 8. (AP) San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) scores a touchdown against New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine, bottom, and outside linebacker Mike Catapano (53) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, California on Dec 11. (AP) (5-7-1) kept their playoff chances pulsating for another week. Griffin started for the first time since getting hurt in the opener. He couldn t produce a win for the Browns (0-13). RG3 did score on a 1-yard sneak in the third quarter, but the Browns lost their 16th straight dating to Dec. 13 last season. Cleveland has lost 23 of 24 and 31 of 34 since the end of The Browns have three games left to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the NFL s only 0-16 teams. They are making history with every loss. They are the seventh team since 1962 to start FOOTBALL 0-13, joining the 08 Lions, 1980 Saints, 1976 Buccaneers, 2011 Colts, 2007 Dolphins and 1962 Raiders. Griffin finished 12 of 28 for 104 yards. Isaiah Crowell was a bright spot for Cleveland, rushing for 113 yards on 10 carries. Dalton, who has had some of his best games against Cleveland, connected twice in the first half with Eifert as the Bengals bullied the NFL s worst team for 30 minutes. Buccaneers 16, Saints 11 In Tampa, Fla, streaking Tampa Bay bolstered its playoff hopes by building an early lead and holding off Drew Brees and New Orleans for its fifth straight victory. Doug Martin scored on a 1-yard run, Roberto Aguayo kicked three field goals and an improving defense intercepted Brees three times while holding the NFL passing leader without a touchdown pass. Brees began the day leading the league in completions, attempts, completion percentage, passing yards and TD passes, but failed to throw for a touchdown for the second straight week, the first time he s done that in consecutive games since Safety Keith Tandy picked off the quarterback s final pass on fourthand-1 from near midfield in the final minute. The Bucs (8-5) have won five straight for the first time since 2002, the season they went on to win their only Super Bowl. New Orleans (5-8) entered hoping to tighten the NFC South race, but instead dropped three games behind division co-leaders Atlanta and Tampa Bay. Titans 13, Broncos 10 In Nashville, Tenn, DeMarco Murray ran for 92 yards and a touchdown, and the Titans held on to and keep a piece of first place in the AFC South. With the win, the Titans (7-6) also climbed above.500 for the first time all season. The Broncos are now languishing in third spot in the AFC West and their hopes of a playoff berth now is in peril. The Titans came in with the NFL s third-best rushing offense and the AFC s top runner in Murray, and they ran right over a Denver defense that came in 28th in that category. By halftime, the Titans ran 26 times for 138 yards the second-most rushes by any team in the first half this season and most allowed in the first half by Denver since Tennessee then had to hold on as Trevor Siemian tried to rally Denver (8-5) despite a sprained left foot that kept him out last week. He threw a 3-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders with 9:58 left and drove the Broncos to first-and-goal at the Tennessee 7 before rookie Aaron Wallace sacked him. Continued on Page 42 WASHINGTON, Dec 12, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NFL games on Sunday. NY Giants 10 Dallas 7 Atlanta 42 Los Angeles 14 Green Bay 38 Seattle 10 Tampa Bay 16 New Orleans 11 NY Jets 23 San Francisco (OT) 17 Pittsburgh 27 Buffalo 20 Tennessee 13 Denver 10 Washington 27 Philadelphia 22 Miami 26 Arizona 23 Carolina 28 San Diego 16 Cincinnati 23 Cleveland 10 Detroit 20 Chicago 17 Houston 22 Indianapolis 17 Minnesota 25 Jacksonville 16 American Football Conference AFC East W L T OTL PF PA PCT New England Miami Buffalo NY Jets AFC North W L T OTL PF PA PCT Pittsburgh Baltimore Cincinnati Cleveland AFC South W L T OTL PF PA PCT Houston Tennessee Indianapolis Jacksonville AFC West W L T OTL PF PA PCT Kansas City Oakland Denver San Diego National Football Conference NFC East W L T OTL PF PA PCT Dallas NY Giants Washington Philadelphia NFC North W L T OTL PF PA PCT Detroit Minnesota Green Bay Chicago NFC South W L T OTL PF PA PCT Atlanta Tampa Bay New Orleans Carolina NFC West W L T OTL PF PA PCT Seattle Arizona Los Angeles San Francisco Ronaldo wins 4th Ballon d Or PARIS, Dec 12, (AFP): Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth Ballon d Or on Monday to get one over his nemesis Lionel Messi in their long-running duel for the title of best footballer on the planet. It was the perfect ending to another fantastic year for the Real Madrid star, who won the Champions League for the second time in three seasons and then led Portugal to their first major title at Euro albeit he went off early injured and in tears in the surprise win over France. As has been the case for almost a decade now, the 31-year-old s main rival was Messi -- but the Barcelona and Argentine maestro had to relinquish Continued on Page 43 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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