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                                                                                                First with the news and what’s behind it
 FRIDAY       JUNE 8, 2012                RAJAB 18, 1433                                    I Newsline I Nationline I Businessline I Lifeline I Sportsline                                                         VOL. 6 NO. 2104              QR 2

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     Newsline                                                                                                                                                                                         to $1.4 billion
 Vodafone Qatar loss narrows
 as users, revenues rise                                                                                                                                                                              QATAR’s budget surplus narrowed to 2.9
                                                                                                                                                                                                      percent of quarterly economic output in the
 VODAFONE Qatar reported a nar-                                                                                                                                                                       third quarter of its 2011-12 fiscal year, as rev-
 rowing fourth-quarter net loss on                                                                                                                                                                    enue dropped compared with the previous
 Thursday as its revenue and sub-                                                                                                                                                                     three months while spending took off, data
 scriber base rose. The telecoms                                                                                                                                                                      showed on Thursday.
 operator made a net loss of                                                                                                                                                                             The world’s top exporter of liquefied natu-
 QR126.6 million ($34.78 million)                                                                                                                                                                     ral gas booked a surplus of QR5.1 billion
 in the three months to March 31.                                                                                                                                                                     ($1.4 billion) in October-December 2011,
 This compares with a loss of                                                                                                                                                                         down from a hefty surplus of QR42.2 billion,
 QR143.9 million in the year-earli-                                                                                                                                                                   or 25.6 percent of gross domestic product, in
 er period. (PG 25)                                                                                                                                                                                   the previous quarter, preliminary estimates
                                                                                                                                                                                                      published by the central bank showed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         On a cumulative basis, the budget surplus
 QIIB mulls sale of Islamic                                                                                                                                                                           reached QR45.1 billion in the first three
 Bank of Britain                                                                                                                                                                                      quarters, or 7.1 percent of 2011 GDP, calcula-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      tions showed.
 QIIB, the parent company of Islamic                                                                                                                                                                     The government had targeted a surplus of
 Bank of Britain, is considering the                                                                                                                                                                  QR22.5 billion in the fiscal year, which ended
 sale of the UK’s only sharia-compli-                                                                                                                                                                 in March.
 ant retail lender. IBB confirmed it                                                                                                                                                                      Revenue dropped almost 10 percent to
 had received an approach by QIIB,                                                                                                                                                                    QR55.8 billion in October-December from a
 which currently owns a controlling                                                                                                                                                                   year earlier, bringing cumulative income for
 88.41% stake, to take over the                                                                                                                                                                       the first three fiscal quarters to 102 percent of
 remaining shares with a view to a                        Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani with French President Francois Hollande        the 2011-12 target. It fell 28 percent com-
 possible sale as it considers the                        (right) at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, on Thursday. (EPA)                                                                                  pared with July-September.
 future of the UK bank. (PG 25)                                                                                                                                                                          Government expenditures jumped 62 per-

 World food prices fell in May
 WORLD food prices dropped in
 May, hit by steep falls in dairy prod-
                                                          Speed up search for                                                                                                                         cent in the period from a year ago to QR50.7
                                                                                                                                                                                                      billion and met 87 percent of the full-year
                                                                                                                                                                                                      target on a cumulative basis, the data
                                                                                                                                                                                                      showed. Spending surged by 42 percent from
                                                                                                                                                                                                      the previous quarter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Qatar’s economy is expected to slow this

                                                          Syria solution: PM
 ucts, sugar and other commodities,                                                                                                                                                                   year from 14 percent in 2011 as the impact of
 and are likely to fall further, the FAO                                                                                                                                                              two decades of gas output expansion fades.
 said on Thursday. The FAO Food                                                                                                                                                                       But the government plans to boost spending
 Price Index, which measures                                                                                                                                                                          by 27 percent in the new 2012-13 fiscal year
 monthly price changes for a food                                                                                                                                                                     is likely to help keeping it in high single dig-
 basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy,                                                                                                                                                                  its.
 meat and sugar, averaged 204                                                                                                                                                                            In its 2011-12 budget, the country pencilled
 points in May, down from 213                                               AFP                        Annan’s peace plan.                           July 6 in Paris, the French foreign min-         in spending worth QR139.9 billion. But that
 points in April, the FAO said in its                                       PARIS                        “In the past the Syrian government          istry said on Thursday. The ministry             was before Qatar, which has avoided social
 monthly index update. (PG 12)                                                                         has always agreed with the proposals          confirmed the date after French                   turmoil in the Middle East, hiked basic
                                                          PRIME Minister and Minister of Foreign       that were made and then worked to             President Francois Hollande last month           salaries and social benefits for state employ-
                                                          Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin       make them fail,” he said.                     announced the next meeting of the                ees by 60 percent in September, while mili-
 14 killed in Quetta bombing                              Jabor al Thani urged the international         “We need Russia and China to agree”         group would take place in Paris.                 tary staff got 50-120 percent rises.
                                                          community on Thursday to speed up its        to a solution, he said, reiterating support      “The meeting of the Friends of Syria             The measures were expected to add an
 A BOMB exploded in the city of                           search for a solution bringing a “peaceful   for invoking Chapter Seven of the UN          will mobilise all states and organisations       estimated $1.6 billion to government expen-
 Quetta in Pakistan’s southwestern                        transfer of power” in Syria, as he met       Charter to back the Annan peace plan.         that want to support the Syrian people           diture in 2011-12, the International
 Baluchistan province, killing 14                         French President Francois Hollande.            The chapter authorises member states        as the humanitarian and security situa-          Monetary Fund said in January following
 people including three children on                         “We must speed up our search for a         to take “all necessary measures” to carry     tion worsens and repression continues,”          annual consultations.
 Thursday, police said. The bomb                          solution to maintain the country’s sta-      out specific UN Security Council deci-         French foreign ministry spokesman                   Qatar, which plans to boost infrastructure
 was fixed to a bicycle parked next                        bility and there must be a plan for a        sions and can be used in some cases to        Bernard Valero said.                             spending ahead of hosting the 2022 soccer
 to a madrassa, or religious school,                      peaceful transfer of power,” the PM said     authorise military action.                       The meeting will be the third such            World Cup, assumed an oil price of $55 per
 where students and parents had                           after the talks in Paris.                      “This does not mean that another            gathering after one in Tunis in February         barrel in its 2011/12 budget.
 gathered for a graduation ceremo-                          A peaceful transfer of power “is really    solution does not exist, but we must          and another on April 1 in Istanbul called           It has largely overspent its budget plan in
 ny. Officials said more than 40                           our preferred solution” he said as he        continue working to find a peaceful            for tougher action against the Assad             the previous three fiscal years. Its income has
 people were wounded in the                               condemned President Bashar al Assad’s        solution,” the PM said.                       regime.                                          also overshot targets due to conservative oil
 attack. (PG 10)                                          regime for failing to follow through on        Meanwhile, the next meeting of the                                                           price estimates.
                                                          United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi         Friends of Syria group will take place on                        SEE ALSO PAGE 20

QPO performs at UN, promotes equality of women
                    AP                                                                                                                                                      Bahrain, Finland, Germany,              UNGA President
              NEW YORK                                                                                                                                                      Iceland,       Ireland,      Israel,    Nasser Abdulaziz al
                                                                                                                                                                            Kazakhstan,      Kuwait,     Libya,     Nasser brought the
ACADEMY Award winners Nicole                                                                                                                                                Liechtenstein,       Luxembourg,        QPO to the UN and
Kidman and Mira Sorvino urged an                                                                                                                                            Monaco, the Netherlands, Oman,          dedicated the
end to violence against women at a                                                                                                                                          Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, and      concert to supporting
concert on Wednesday night to                                                                                                                                               Switzerland.                            UN Women
support the UN agency that pro-                                                                                                                                                But Michelle Bachelet, the for-
motes equality for women and an                                                                                                                                             mer Chilean president who heads        sexual and physical abuse brings.”
end to attacks against millions of                                                                                                                                          UN Women, said the fund can only         Kidman said in a video that until
women and girls.                                                                                                                                                            meet 5 percent of the more than $1     she became the goodwill ambassa-
  General Assembly President                                                                                                                                                billion requested to support life-     dor for UN Women, she had no
Nasser Abdulaziz al Nasser of                                                                                                                                               saving programmes around the           idea about “this gross violation of
Qatar      brought    the    Qatar                                                                                                                                          world.                                 women’s human rights.” She said
Philharmonic Orchestra to the UN                                                                                                                                               Sorvino, the UN goodwill ambas-     she has since met women who have
to celebrate his leadership of the                                                                                                                                          sador to combat human trafficking,      suffered horrific abuse.
193-member world body this year                                                                                                                                             told hundreds of concertgoers that       “Yet what has inspired me time
and dedicated the concert to sup-                   Nicole Kidman, goodwill ambassador     UN General Assembly President           Mira Sorvino, UN goodwill ambassa-       even in the “civilised” United         and again is how they set their
porting UN Women, which came                        for UN Women                           Nassir Abdulaziz al Nasser              dor for combating human trafficking       States, “one out of three women        goals to overcome the trauma and
into existence in 2010.                                                                                                                                                     will be raped or assaulted in her      help others,” she said. “My mes-
  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon                     lence in their lifetime – beatings,    have committed to raising $100            He announced that already this         lifetime – and I personally believe    sage today is your support counts.
told the crowd that “more than half                 sexual abuse, even murder.”            million by 2015 for its trust fund to   year “generous donations” have           this number to be conservative         Let survivors of violence know that
of all women will be victims of vio-                  Nasser said UN member states         combat violence against women.          been made by Australia, Austria,         because of the shame admitting to      they can count on you.”
02          Friday, June 8, 2012
                                                               GULF / MIDDLE EAST

  Mubarak’s health
  worsens after
                                                                       Over 80 massacred in Syria
                                                                                     DPA                                                                                                                                 They voiced “grave concern
                                                                                    BEIRUT                                                                                                                               over the growing threat” to

  life-term verdict                                                    MORE than 80 people, among
                                                                       them women and children,
                                                                       were killed late on Wednesday
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         regional      security       and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “deplored” countries that have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         given financial, diplomatic or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         military support to Damascus.
               AP                  held in a hospital in the Red       in what Syrian activists                                                                                                                            The US, European Union and
              CAIRO                Sea resort of Sharm el-             described as a”massacre” com-                                                                                                                     Arab states have all imposed
                                   Sheikh. Mubarak and his             mitted by the forces of presi-                                                                                                                    sanctions on Syria. But the
  HOSNI Mubarak’s condi-           two sons were acquitted of          dent Bashar al Assad in the                                                                                                                       sanctions have failed to stop
  tion has deteriorated so         corruption charges in               central province of Hama.                                                                                                                         the violence.Rebels fighting to
  much that doctors at the         Saturday’s mixed verdict.              The massacre took place in                                                                                                                     overthrow al Assad said this
  Cairo prison where he is         But they are being held in          the villages of al Qubair and                                                                                                                     week they were abandoning a
  serving a life sentence had to   prison on new charges of            Maarzaf, in Hama, where                                                                                                                           ceasefire announced by inter-
  constantly administer oxy-       insider trading, brought just       women and children were                                                                                                                           national envoy Kofi Annan on
  gen to him overnight, secu-      days before their acquittals        stabbed to death and at least 12                                                                                                                  April 12, blaming government
  rity officials said on            were announced in the sep-          bodies had been burned,                                                                                                                           forces for disregarding the
  Thursday.                        arate case with their father.       activists in the area reported.                                                                                                                   truce despite the presence of
     The officials at Cairo’s          The acquittals brought           Rami Abdel Rahaman, the                                                                                                                           UN observers.
  Torah prison said 84-year-       harsh criticism from the            spokesman of the London-                                                                                                                              Arab countries said on
  old Mubarak is suffering         Islamist-dominated parlia-          based Syrian Observatory for                                                                                                                      Tuesday they were losing hope
  breathing problems, high         ment and set off a new wave         Human Rights, said that the                                                                                                                       that Annan’s plan would
  blood pressure and depres-       of mass protests in Cairo’s         “new massacre” was commit-                                                                                                                        resolve the 15-month crisis.
  sion. He did not speak to his    Tahrir Square and other             ted by the regime Shabibha, or        Anti-Syrian regime protesters raise slogans during a protest against the massacre of Mazraat al Qubair,     “We have begun to lose hope in
  doctors or anyone else           cities. The turmoil erupted         thugs, after the area was heavi-      in the northern village of Hass, in Idlib province, Syria, on Thursday. (AP)                                the possibility of reaching a
  except for a few words to his    two weeks before Egypt’s            ly shelled during the day.                                                                                                                        solution ... within this frame-
                                   presidential runoff on June            “I can confirm that there are       UN General Assembly and the         and      credible     transition    the Syrian People.                  work,” Saudi Foreign Minister
    Security officials             16-17 pitting Mohammed              dozens of people dead, includ-        Security Council on the             process” to lead to a “demo-           “Strong sanctions, effectively   Saud al Faisal said late on
    say Mubarak’s                  Morsi of the Brotherhood            ing women and children,”              progress of his six-point peace     cratic, post al Assad Syria.        implemented and aggressively        Tuesday in the city of Jeddah.
    health has                     against Mubarak’s last              Abdel Rahman said. Footage            plan in Syria.                       “The conferees agreed to send      enforced, can help deprive the         He urged the UN Security
    deteriorated                   prime minister Ahmed                posted on opposition websites            The plan which calls for an      a representative to Istanbul on     Syrian regime of the resources      Council, where Russia and
    sharply since                  Shafiq in a presidential             showed bodies of children             immediate halt of violence has      June 15-16 to attend a meeting      it needs to sustain itself and to   China have vetoed Western-
    Saturday, when                 runoff vote.                        burned beyond recognition             so far failed to achieve a cease-   of Syrian opposition groups         continue its repression of the      and Arab-backed efforts to
    he and his ex-                    On Thursday, one of the          inside their homes.                   fire in the country. Hours           working on ousting al Assad.        Syrian people ... and strong        condemn al Assad’s crackdown
    security chief                 country’s top judicial offi-           According to the Dubai-based        before news of the massacre,         Earlier, US Treasury Secretary     sanctions can help hasten the       on the popular uprising, to
    were sentenced                 cials, chairman of the union        al Arabiya channel, only four         activists reported that violence    Timothy Geithner called for         day the Assad regime relin-         apply Chapter 7 of the
    to life in prison              of judges Ahmed el-Zind,            residents of al Qubair survived       across the country has killed       economic sanctions against the      quishes power.                      UNcharter        to    Annan’s
  son and one-time heir            responded to criticism from         the massacre. The alleged             42. The surge in violence came      Syrian government to force al          “With about 60 countries in      plan.Such a move could lead to
  apparent Gamal, who is           parliament with a scathing          killing comes two weeks after         as Western and Arab ministers       Assad to stop violence against      attendance, the international       authorising the use of military
  being held in the same           attack.                             Syrian troops killed 108 Syrian       and high-level envoys from 15       the Syrian people.                  working group on Syrian sanc-       force in Syria. That possibility
  prison and was at his               In a televised news con-         civilians in the central village of   countries as well as the              “As friends of the Syrian peo-    tions called for the world to       was also raised by German
  father’s side, said the offi-     ference, el-Zind said it was        Houla, sparking outrage               European Union met late on          ple, our task is to impose max-     “increase pressure on the           Foreign Minister Guido
  cials, who spoke on condi-       unacceptable to question            among the international com-          Wednesday in Istanbul to pro-       imum financial pressure on the       Assad regime” to comply with a      Westerwelle during a press
  tion of anonymity because        the integrity of judges and         munity and prompting many             vide support for the Syrian         Assad regime and its support-       UN-brokered peace plan, in a        conference in Abu Dhabi with
  they were not authorised to      accused lawmakers of abus-          to expel Syrian diplomats from        opposition.                         ers, as quickly as we can and as    statement issued by the US          UAE       Foreign      Minister
  speak to the media.              ing their immunity.                 their countries to denounce the          The meeting, which was           effectively as we can, to stop      Treasury Department. The            Abdullah bin Zayed.
     They said Mubarak was            “You did not inherit Egypt       killings. It also came a day          attended by US Secretary of         their violence,”Geithner said       group said the regime’s “ongo-        Russia, Syria’s main ally, said
  given oxygen throughout          from your mothers and               before international mediator         State Hillary Clinton, discussed    during      a     meeting     in    ing brutality” was the greatest     it would work with China to
  the night and until              fathers,” said el-Zind, whose       Kofi Annan, was to address the         coordination on an “effective       Washington of the Friends of        threat to the Syrian people.        ensure Annan’s plan works.
  Thursday morning.                attack appeared to be direct-
     Security officials say         ed against the Muslim
  Mubarak’s health has dete-       Brotherhood, a fundamen-
  riorated sharply since
  Saturday, when he and his
  ex-security chief were sen-
                                   talist group whose support-
                                   ers won just under half of
                                   the legislature’s seats. “We
                                                                       Israel to build 850                                                                           PLOUGHING WITH A CAMEL
                                                                                                                                                   Farmers guide a camel while ploughing farmland in the area of Bani Matar, outside the Yemeni

                                                                       homes in West Bank
  tenced to life in prison for     will never allow this legisla-                                                                                  capital Sanaa, on Thursday. (REUTERS)
  failing to prevent the killing   ture to be a thorn in Egypt’s
  of protesters during the         side,” he added.
  uprising that toppled him           El-Zind’s attack adds to
  last year.                       the      woes       of    the                      AP                     have legalised Ulpana and
     Mubarak had been held in      Brotherhood. The funda-                        JERUSALEM                  other settler outposts built
  military hospitals from his      mentalist group is at odds                                                illegally on privately held
  arrest in April last year up     with the ruling military            ISRAEL’S plans to build hun-          Palestinian land.
  until his sentencing. He did     council that took over from         dreds of new homes in Jewish             The international commu-
  not want to go to the Torah      Mubarak, in part over the           West Bank settlements have            nity condemns settlement
  prison hospital after the        selection of a 100-member           put Prime Minister Benjamin           construction,        and     the
  sentencing Saturday, plead-      panel to draft a new consti-        Netanyahu at odds again with          Palestinians have refused to
  ing with his escort to take      tution. The generals have           Washington          and      the      talk peace while Israel builds
  him back to the military         given the legislature a 48-         Palestinians, without appeas-         on land they claim for a future
  hospital east of Cairo where     hour ultimatum, which               ing settlers furious over the         state.
  he had stayed in a suite         expires later on Thursday, to       government’s plan to disman-             Netanyahu found himself
  since his trial began in         agree on a new selection            tle an illegally built enclave.       in the politically difficult posi-
  August. Before that, he was      process.                               Engineers,       meanwhile,        tion of having to carry out a
                                                                       questioned the government’s           Supreme Court ruling order-
                                                                       plan to physically uproot the         ing the 30 apartments in
                                                                       five apartment buildings that          Ulpana destroyed by July 1.
                                                                       make up the Ulpana enclave,           Knowing proposed legislation
                                                                       saying it would be a colossal         to preserve the outpost would
                                                                       waste of money and likely             not stand up to the court’s
                                                                       doomed to fail. Netanyahu,            scrutiny, he pressured coali-
                                                                       an ardent settlement champi-          tion lawmakers to vote it
                                                                       on, has proposed that plan to         down on Wednesday.
                                                                       avert the spectacle of settle-           To blunt the blow to set-
                                                                       ment homes being demol-               tlers, he vowed to build 300
                                                                       ished on his watch.                   more homes in the authorised
                                                                          On Wednesday, officials             settlement of Beit El, on
                                                                       announced the government              whose outskirts Ulpana lies.
                                                                       would build 850 apartments               Later, Housing Minister
                                                                       in various West Bank settle-          Ariel Attias announced that
  Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into              ments. This came after parlia-        an additional 551 apartments
  court, in Cairo, recently. (AP)                                      ment, at Netanyahu’s urging,          would be built elsewhere in
                                                                       voted down a bill that would          the West Bank.

Outrage in Libya over Cairo talks with Qadhafi remnants
             AFP                   claims to be acting on Abdel                                                                                  tling in Egypt, Tunisia,            symbols of the former regime.       Mohammed al-Harizi said
            TRIPOLI                Jalil’s orders, and Ahmed                                                                                     Jordan and Morocco.                   “There is no negotiation or       that Sallabi’s mission aimed
                                   Kadhaf Eddam, who is the                                                                                         News of the Cairo meeting        accommodation possible with         only to urge Libyan families
A MEETING in Cairo between         former dictator’s cousin and                                                                                  upset several Libyan person-        such figures. These people           who had taken shelter in
former officials of Moamer          an ex-official.                                                                                                alities including Akili, who        have to return to Libya to be       Egypt to come home and con-
Qadhafi’s regime and an                Sallabi told AFP that he was                                                                               slammed the move as “an             tried,” said NTC Vice               vey to elements wanted by the
envoy dispatched by Libya’s        tasked by Abdel Jalil to “hold                                                                                insult to the martyrs and the       Chairman Aknan Salem in             authorities that they will face
interim leader Mustafa Abdel       talks with Libyans of the for-                                                                                aims of the February 17 revo-       televised remarks.                  a fair trial.
Jalil has sparked widespread       mer regime to see how to...                                                                                   lution” which led to Qadhafi’s         “Sallabi represents only             NTC members have pub-
anger and demands for an           alleviate the suffering and                                                                                   ouster and killing in 2011.         himself,” he added.                 licly accused Harizi of water-
explanation.                       bring together Libyans in a                                                                                      “We will vigorously oppose         Meanwhile, 200 Libyan             ing down this week’s state-
   “Abdel Jalil must explain       state of justice, liberty, equal-                                                                             these negotiations and if they      personalities, including jour-      ment. Several sources said the
the motives that prompted          ity and law.”                                                                                                 are approved by the National        nalists and activists, issued a     initiative was begun by
him to take this initiative           He added that the discus-                                                                                  Transitional Council, I will        joint statement expressing          Kadhaf Eddam, an adviser
without consulting the coun-       sions centred on national rec-                                                                                immediately present my res-         their “extreme concern.”            and cousin to Qadhafi who
cil,” Intissar Al-Akili, a mem-    onciliation, reactivating the                                                                                 ignation,” she told AFP.              Reconciliation, they said,        was also in charge of Libya-
ber of the ruling National         judiciary, and the right of the                                                                                  She told local television the    should not include the mem-         Egypt ties.
Transitional Council (NTC),        relatives of ex-regime sup-                                                                                   NTC had held an extraordi-          bers of the former regime              He resigned several days
told AFP.                          porters abroad to access con-                                                                                 nary meeting on the issue.          who took part in the Cairo          after the start of the 2011
   She has even threatened to      sular services and participate                                                                                   The NTC has distanced            meeting, because they are at        revolt but made no major
resign over the issue.             in upcoming elections.                                                                                        itself from the initiative, issu-   the “forefront” of those            moves in favour of the upris-
   The May 27 meeting was             Thousands of supporters of                                                                                 ing a statement this week say-      accused of murder, corrup-          ing. Some former rebels have
part of a “national reconcilia-    the former regime fled Libya                                                                                   ing it had not commissioned         tion and terrorism under            questioned his defection and
tion” initiative headed by reli-   during and after the regime’s       Libya’s National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil        negotiations and that there         Qadhafi.                             accuse him of having enlisted
gious leader Ali Sallabi, who      fall, with the majority reset-      at a news conference, in Benghazi, recently. (REUTERS)                    would be no negotiation with          NTC              spokesman        pro-Qadhafi fighters.
                                                                                              GULF / MIDDLE EAST                                                                                                       Friday, June 8, 2012

‘P5 must accept Iran’s just enrichment rights’
              AFP                   powers involved in the                Ali Akbar Velayati,                enriched to give Iran a “break-     in Istanbul and Baghdad, have
            TEHRAN                  Moscow talks needed to adopt          Khamenei’s top                     out” capability to make atomic      left the talks with no break-
                                    a “realistic” approach on             adviser on foreign                 weapons. The United States, its     through. The next round, in
IRAN’S regime on Thursday           “Iran’s just rights”.                 policy, said in a                  allies Britain, France and          Moscow on June 18-19, is seen
underlined its message that           Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani,           that the world pow-                Germany, as well as Russia and      as crucial in determining
Western powers must recog-          a former president who now            ers involved in the                China, form the P5+1 group          whether any ground at all
nise Tehran’s “right” to urani-     chairs the Expediency Council         Moscow talks                       which is negotiating with Iran      exists for a diplomatic solution.
um enrichment if upcoming           that advises Khamenei, said,          needed to adopt a                  on the sensitive nuclear issue.        On Wednesday, Iranian
talks in Moscow are to              according to the Mehr news            ‘realistic’ approach                 All but Germany are perma-        President              Mahmoud
advance.                            agency: “The West must realise        on “Iran’s just                    nent members of the UN              Ahmadinejad accused the
  Two key officials with top         the path to success in talks is       enrichment rights”.                Security Council, which has         P5+1 of setting out to “waste
advisory positions to Iran’s        through acceptance of Iran’s          The language used by both          since 2006 issued a slew of res-    time” in the Moscow meeting,
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali       just (nuclear) right.”              men alluded to Iran’s enrich-        olutions demanding that Iran        while Iran’s top nuclear nego-
Khamenei, stressed that line in       Rafsanjani, seen as a prag-       ment of uranium, which               halt all enrichment.                tiator, Saeed Jalili, also said he
media reports a day after other     matic voice in the regime,          Tehran says is permitted under         They have imposed a raft of       doubted the willingness of
officials claimed that the West      added that the recurring use of     the nuclear Non-Proliferation        UN sanctions, which the             world powers to see the
was not showing enough will-        Western “threats, sanctions         Treaty to power nuclear energy       United States and the               Moscow talks succeed.
ingness to negotiate.               and pressure must also be           plants and to produce medical        European Union have added to           Iran’s envoy to the UN atom-
  Ali      Akbar        Velayati,   refrained from.”                    isotopes.                            with their own harsh measures       ic watchdog, Ali Asghar
Khamenei’s top adviser on for-        Those tactics, he said, were        Despite Tehran’s repeated          against Iran’s economy.             Soltanieh, said that “Iran will
eign policy, said in a Fars news    getting in the way of a “win-win    denials, Western powers sus-           But two rounds of largely         not for one second freeze              Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) with Chinese
agency report that the world        scenario” in Moscow.                pect the uranium is being            fruitless negotiations this year,   enrichment.”                           President Hu Jintao, in Beijing, on Thursday. (REUTERS)

                                         TALKING TOUGH ON IRAN
                                                                                                                                                 Pakistani man
                                                                                                                                                                                          Sectarian groups
                                                                                                                                                 for drug                                 may upturn Iraqi
                                                                                                                                                 in Saudi                                 PM’s applecart
                                                                                                                                                                AFP                                 REUTERS
                                                                                                                                                               RIYADH                               BAGHDAD

                                                                                                                                                 SAUDI Arabia on Thursday                 ASK Iraq’s Sunni, Kurdish
                                                                                                                                                 beheaded a Pakistani man con-            and even some Shi’ite lead-
                                                                                                                                                 victed of drug trafficking, the           ers these days what they
                                                                                                                                                 second execution in as many              think of Prime Minister Nuri
                                                                                                                                                 days, the interior ministry said.        al Maliki, and the rhetoric is
                                                                                                                                                    Zohur Hussein Mohammed                likely to be shrill: Many call
                                                                                                                                                 Sadeq had been found guilty of           him a dictator, autocrat or
                                                                                                                                                 smuggling heroin into Saudi              even a new “Saddam” who           Iraqi PM Nuri al Maliki
                                                                                                                                                 Arabia, the ministry said in a           needs to be voted from
                                                                                                                                                 statement carried by the offi-            office.                            be complications, because
                                                                                                                                                 cial SPA news agency.                       For the second time since      the blocs don’t have any dia-
                                                                                                                                                    The previous day the min-             American troops left last         logue,” veteran Kurdish law-
                                                                                                                                                 istry reported that a Saudi              December, Maliki is wading        maker Mahmoud Othman
                                                                                                                                                 had been executed after he               through a crisis with the         said. “Everyone uses their
                                                                                                                                                 was found guilty of murder-              Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish        cards against the other, so
                                                                                                                                                 ing a compatriot.                        blocs in his government at        the question will be asked in
                                                                                                                                                    The latest beheading brings           each others throats in a feud     an atmosphere of animosity,
                                                                                                                                                 to 31 the total number of exe-           that risks spilling from poli-    and it will not be easy.”
                                                                                                                                                 cutions in the ultra-conserva-           tics into sectarian violence.        The departure of the last
                                                                                                                                                 tive kingdom so far this year,              A wily political survivor,     American        troops      in
                                                                                                                                                 according to an AFP tally based          Maliki has so far emerged         December helped peel back
                                                                                                                                                 on official reports.                      unscathed from the unre-          the veneer over the deep
                                                                                                                                                    Under the AFP count, at               lenting melee since the gov-      splinters in Iraq’s cross-sec-
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a news conference during the ministerial meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum,           least 76 people were beheaded            ernment was formed 18             tarian government that took
in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday. (AP)                                                                                                           in 2011, while rights group              months ago. Now his foes          almost a year of backroom
                                                                                                                                                 Amnesty International put the            want to test his survival         haggling to cobble together

Iran must take steps on
                                                                                                                                                 number of executions last                skills to the limit with the      after contested 2010 elec-
                                                                                                                                                 year at 79.                              threat of a vote of no confi-      tions. Maliki was engulfed in
                                                                                                                                                    The death penalty in Saudi            dence. If this vote does come     crisis that threatened to
                                                                                                                                                 Arabia applies to a wide range           before parliament it will be      bring down his government
                                                                                                                                                 of offences including rape,              the most serious challenge        after a court sought to arrest

N-deadlock: Clinton
                                                                                                                                                 apostasy, armed robbery and              in Maliki’s six years in office,   Sunni vice president, Tareq
                                                                                                                                                 drug trafficking, as well as              potentially collapsing a frag-    al Hashemi, and lawmakers
                                                                                                                                                 murder, as stipulated by                 ile powersharing deal.            were told to dismiss Sunni
                                                                                                                                                 Islamic Sharia law.                         But even that outcome is       deputy prime minister Saleh
                                                                                                                                                    Sources say, you are judged           unclear: His foes agree they      al-Mutlaq who branded
                                                                                                                                                 according to the Shâri’a, the            dislike him, but they dis-        Maliki a dictator.
              AP                    making nuclear arms and that        West to roll back sanctions tar-     When negotiations resume            holy Islamic law; in the holy            agree on everything else, not        The quagmire around
           ISTANBUL                 its reactors are only for medical   geting Iran’s critical oil exports   later this month, both sides will   month of Ramadan a tradi-                least on who would replace        Maliki has only thickened
                                    and energy purposes.                and transactions with interna-       be groping for ways to keep the     tional moratorium of execu-              him. And in a country of          since. On one flank,
US SECRETARY of State                  “We want them to come pre-       tional banking networks.             dialogue alive.                     tions is observed.                       often fickle political loyal-      Hashemi’s Sunni-backed
Hillary Rodham Clinton said         pared to take concrete steps,”         Clinton said the two-track           It could be a clear challenge.      Death penalty is given for sex        ties, even some Maliki foes       Iraqiya bloc, though increas-
on Thursday that Iran must be       Clinton said of Iran at a news      policy of pressure and diplo-        Iran wants what the West            crimes, drug crimes, sabotage,           question whether they have        ingly splintered, is rustling
ready to take concrete action       conference. She was in Turkey       macy has yielded results             appears unwilling to give: eas-     corruption, witchcraft, masti-           the backing for a vote — or       up support from other blocs
when it discusses its nuclear       for a counterterrorism forum        because Iran has been left with      ing sanctions to push the talks     cation of qat, production/dis-           the stomach for its messy         for the no-confidence move
programme with world powers         and also held discussions with      no option but to negotiate or        forward. About the only strong      tribution/assumption of alco-            aftermath.                        against a prime minister
in Moscow later this month.         Western and Arab allies on          face isolation compounded by         force pushing them toward           hol. The execution are often                Those divisions hand the       they say is increasingly
  Clinton said one of the main      efforts to pressure Syrian          serious economic penalties. “I       common ground is the likeli-        after unfair trials, without any         embattled Shi’ite leader          authoritarian. To the north,
concerns is Iran’s 20 percent       President Bashar Assad to stop      am convinced that one of the         hood that failure would bring       security. The defendants can             more room to fight on for          Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish
enriched uranium, which the         his crackdown on a national         reasons that Iran came back to       fresh calls from Israel and else-   also have no defender lawyer,            now. Iraq’s crisis is watched     region is testing Maliki’s
West and others say is close to     uprising and leave power.           the negotiating table was            where for military action. The      and the confessions, even if             closely by neighbours,            mettle by cutting off its oil
being weapons-grade material,          Clinton said the six-nation      because of the success of our        chief of staff for Israel’s mili-   they are taken with torture, are         Turkey, Gulf Arab states          exports and hinting at a full-
and that the goal of the June       bloc negotiating with Iran, ‚ the   pressure strategy,” she said.        tary, Lt Gen Benny Gantz, said      accepted like valid evidence             Qatar and Saudi Arabia and        scale breakaway from
18-19 talks is to begin the work    five permanent UN Security              Incidentally, the most tangi-     on Tuesday that a “super-           and could also be the only evi-          their rival, Shi’ite power        Baghdad after accusing him
necessary for a diplomatic          Council       members        and    ble accomplishment from the          ready” military threat is need-     dence for the death sentence.            Iran, countries that have         of amassing power at the
solution.                           Germany, has a unified posi-         last meeting between Iran and        ed in tandem with diplomatic           Used methods are the                  often dipped into the coun-       expense of Kurds. Even
  Previous talks have yielded       tion and is prepared to take        world powers was simply an           initiatives. Gantz also hinted at   beheading with a sharp sword             try’s sectarian-tinged poli-      within his Shi’ite alliance,
few tangible results. Iran          steps of its own in response to     agreement to talk again about        other “disturbances” to Iran’s      for the men and the firing party          tics to back or urge on one       Maliki is under fire from
insists it has no intention of      Iranian steps. Iran wants the       Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.          nuclear programme.                  for the women.                           bloc or another. “There will      Moqtada al Sadr.

Signs of hope in Azamiyah–a former Baghdad killing field
              AP                    Fearful residents huddled at                                                                                 fidence in Azamiyah’s future.           accused of stoking sectarian        The neighbourhood is cut off
           BAGHDAD                  home. A US infantry company                                                                                     “The terrorists have failed,        tensions by sidelining Sunni        from the rest of Baghdad by a
                                    on patrol here lost 13 men to                                                                                and Baghdad is turning into a          and Kurdish coalition partners.     loop of the Tigris River and a
FOR residents of Azamiyah,          snipers and roadside bombs                                                                                   city of life instead of being a city     As a former stronghold of         12-foot-high (4-meter) wall of
once one of Baghdad’s most          during the bloodiest period of                                                                               of death,” said Umm Zaid, 45,          support for Saddam and a cen-       cement slabs erected by U.S.
violent neighbourhoods, the         2006 and 2007.                                                                                               browsing through the store             tre of Sunni pride, Azamiyah        troops in 2007.
opening of a department store         Now the glass-fronted five-                                                                                 with three children in tow. “It is     feels particularly exposed, said       Five years later, army check-
selling party dresses, imported     story MaxiMall department                                                                                    no longer a risk to take my kids       Daoud Mohammed, a local             points control movement in
men’s suits and designer label      store stays open as late as mid-                                                                             to the streets and shops.”             member of the Sunni local           and out of the neighbourhood,
perfumes is a sign that a better    night, and Sunnis and Shiites                                                                                   But many fear the calm              council. “Azamiyah will be a        with lines of cars backing up
future could lie ahead.             shop side by side.                                                                                           won’t last.                            target and will move back-          even in off-hours.
   Just five years ago,                Azamiyah is overwhelmingly                                                                                    Sunnis, though a minority in        ward” if sectarian violence            Coils of barbed wire and
Azamiyah was a terrifying           Sunni, but salespeople say they                                                                              Iraq, were the dominant group          resumes, he said. “But if the       large cement blocs close some
place. Bodies of Shiites and        get many customers from sur-        People shop at a department store, in Azamiya area of Baghdad,           under         toppled      dictator    political problem is solved,        streets. Soldiers in Humvees
Sunnis butchered in sectarian       rounding Shiite areas, drawn        recently. (AP)                                                           Saddam Hussein, a Sunni.               Azamiyah will witness a quick       monitor potential hotspots,
killings turned up almost daily,    by colourful displays and air                                                                                Now they feel vulnerable to the        development.”                       such as the Abu Hanifa
dumped on sidewalks or in           conditioning that offers a wel-       Multilevel shopping centres        the Turkish owners of               whims of the Shiite-dominated            The heavy presence of the         mosque, perhaps the most
trash piles, earning one street     come relief from Baghdad’s          are still rare in Baghdad, and       MaxiMall, which opened in           government of Prime Minister           Iraqi army is seen as a particu-    important Sunni shrine in Iraq
the name “Street of Death.”         dusty heat.                         the $3 million investment by         April, is seen as a show of con-    Nouri al-Maliki, who has been          lar provocation in Azamiyah.        and a past hub for insurgents.
04         Friday, June 8, 2012
                                                    PHILIPPINES / EAST ASIA

Malaysian PM                                                                                                                            ‘COAL DEMONS’
                                                                       Environmental activists from Greenpeace dressed as ‘coal demons’ protest, in Manila, on Thursday. The coal demons, painted black, called on the Asian

likely to call for
                                                                       Development Bank (ADB) to stop funding projects using coal in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. (AFP)

polls in October
          REUTERS                 could impact the trade-
        KUALA LUMPUR              dependent economy in the
                                  coming months, dampening
MALAYSIA is planning a            the feel-good factor generat-
fresh round of cash handouts      ed by handouts.
to poorer families in August,        Uncertainty over the tim-
Deputy Prime Minister             ing could also hit the econo-
Muhiyuddin Yassin said on         my as companies hold back
Thursday, a move seen aimed       on spending, while an overly
at shoring up support among       generous budget would
undecided voters.                 sharpen concerns over
   “I informed the prime min-     Malaysia’s chronic budget
ister that if we have the         deficit. “After September is
money, we should distribute       what we have been told for
a second time,” he said           the timing of the elections,” a
according to state news           senior official in the United
agency Bernama.                   Malay National Organisation
   Two senior officials earlier    (UMNO), which dominates
told Reuters the government       the Barisan Nasional (BN)
is considering giving out pay-    ruling coalition, told Reuters
ments to 5.2 million low-         on condition of anonymity.
income households ahead of           “We are on red alert but
a Muslim festival in August.      nothing is happening for
                                  now. The leadership is look-
                                  ing at an election budget to
  Fiscal sweeteners               sweeten the deal,” the source
  this year have                  added.
  included pay rises                 Fiscal sweeteners this year
  for civil servants              have included pay rises for
  and cash pay-
  ments for stu-
  dents, adding to
  strains on
                                  civil servants and cash pay-
                                  ments for students, adding to
                                  strains on finances. Cash
                                  handouts to low-income
                                                                    Aquino begins US visit amid                                                                                                               Philippine
                                                                    island dispute with China
                                  households earlier this year
                                  accounted for 2.6 billion
                                  ringgit ($821 million) alone.                                                                                                                                               wants
  Prime Minister Najib
Razak would then present a
                                     Fitch ratings agency said
                                  this year that Malaysia,                                                                                                                                                    Arroyo in jail
generous election budget in       which is heavily dependent                  REUTERS
September before announc-         on oil revenues and whose                  WASHINGTON                                                                                                                                   AFP
ing an election date, they        spending is bloated by food                                                                                                                                                            MANILA
said. Speculation has been        and fuel subsidies, needed        PHILIPPINES           President
swirling for a year over the      structural reforms to narrow      Benigno Aquino arrived in                                                                                                                 EX-PHILIPPINE presi-
timing of what is expected to     a budget deficit that hit about    the United States on                                                                                                                      dent Gloria Arroyo should
be a fiercely fought election,     5.4 percent last year.            Wednesday for a visit that will                                                                                                           be in a jail cell rather than
which Najib must call by next        The government had             highlight the Southeast Asian                                                                                                             a hospital room while
March as he seeks to improve      aimed to cut the deficit to 4.7    archipelago’s growing impor-                                                                                                              awaiting trial for alleged
on the ruling coalition’s dis-    percent this year, but that       tance in US strategic think-                                                                                                              vote-rigging and corrup-
mal showing at the polls four     looks tough to reach as eco-      ing, as the White House “piv-                                                                                                             tion, a spokesman for her
years ago.                        nomic growth slows to             ots” to Asia and both coun-                                                                                                               successor         said     on
  A June or July poll had         around 4 percent from last        tries worry about China’s                                                                                                                 Thursday.
been the favourite, but Najib     year’s 5.1 percent.               intentions.                                                                                                                                  President         Benigno
appears to have calculated           Najib aims to cut the budg-      Aquino, well-regarded by                                                                                                                Aquino’s         spokesman
that he needs more time —         et gap to about 3 percent by      the US government, not least                                                                                                              Edwin Lacierda ques-
and more handouts — to            2015. “If they continue dish-     for his battles against corrup-                                                                                                           tioned if Arroyo was really
maximise chances of regain-       ing out generous handouts,        tion, is being accorded a                                                                                                                 so ill that she should
ing the two-thirds parliamen-     I’m afraid this target will be    White House meeting on                                                                                                                    remain in the relative
tary majority that the govern-    delayed,” said Azrul Azwar        Friday with President Barack                                                                                                              comfort of a military hos-
ment lost in 2008.                Ahmad Tajudin, chief econo-       Obama.                                                                                                                                    pital, where she has been
  “The window for October         mist at Bank Islam.                 That meeting comes as                                                                                                                   confined for six months.
elections is wide open now.          Shaun        Levine,       a   Washington has begun help-                                                                                                                   “If everything is well
This is the next window after     Washington-based analyst at       ing Manila beef up its modest     Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (left) with Philippines President Benigno Aquino, in London,     with her, she should be
July,” said one senior govern-    political risk research firm       military capacities in the face   on Thursday. (AP)                                                                                       placed in a cell. Hospital
ment source who declined to       Eurasia Group, said Najib         of a confrontation with China                                                                                                             arrest should not be used
be identified.                     may be planning to offer          over contested South China           Aquino will also meet sen-     Washington saw Aquino as a         military bases in Japan and        as a basis to feign illness,”
  “This is a risky election and   budget goodies to be handed       Sea reefs.                        ior US lawmakers for “discus-     leader who is “trying to do the    South Korea that date back to      Lacierda told ABS-CBN
the prime minister does not       out only if the BN returns to       The United States, colonial     sions on our bilateral eco-       right thing” to tackle the cor-    the 1950s.                         television.
want to take any chances. He      power. That plan has shades       ruler of the Philippines from     nomic and defence coopera-        ruption, cronyism and red            The Obama policy has                Arroyo, who stepped
has to prove to the people        of Mahathir Mohamad,              1898-1946 and a treaty ally       tion, the shift in the focus of   tape that have held back the       focused on Southeast Asia          down in 2010 after nearly
that the government will be       Malaysia’s longest serving        with Manila since 1951, has       the United States toward the      economy of his nation of 93        and crafting flexible arrange-      a decade in office, was
there for them. So he has to      prime minister, who in 1999       embraced the Philippines as       Asia-Pacific and ways to revi-     million people.                    ments with other allies in         arrested late last year and
balance his reforms with          announced a generous budg-        part of a policy that makes the   talise our alliance,” the envoy     But the United States is         Asia, Australia and the            charged with allegedly
social economic help,” he         et and promptly called elec-      Asia-Pacific region the centre     said in a statement.              moving cautiously in solidify-     Philippines, and ship visits to    rigging the 2007 senatori-
said. Another government          tions that he won.                of U.S. security and economic        Washington’s “rebalanc-        ing defence ties with Manila.      Singapore and Vietnam.             al elections.
source said one of the sug-          “It is a big gamble for        strategy.      “The meeting       ing” of forces to the Asia-       The Philippines evicted the          No new US bases are envi-           She was later charged
gested dates for the election     Najib,” said Levine. “But I       between President Aquino          Pacific region, a post-Cold        US military from Naval             sioned under this scheme,          with corruption over a
was October 14, just two          think at the end of the day he    and President Obama will lay      War strategy two decades in       Station Subic Bay in 1992,         although 2,500 US troops will      cancelled deal with a
weeks after Najib, who is also    is looking at the lowest com-     the groundwork for the future     the making, has accelerated       and nationalist sentiment          rotate through and train in        Chinese firm to set up a
finance minister, presents         mon denominator, basically        of the strategic partnership      under the Obama administra-       remains high.                      Darwin, Australia.                 national Internet broad-
the 2013 budget in parlia-        writing off the larger            between the Philippines and       tion as a response to China’s       Even as it fought wars in          Any new arrangements             band network.
ment. The decision to delay       Chinese vote in favour of the     the United States,” said Jose     rapid military modernisation      Iraq and Afghanistan, the          with the Philippines would be         The separate trials are
the election carries risks. A     Indian and rural/lower class      Cuisia, the Philippines           and growing assertiveness in      United States kept more than       smaller than the Australian        yet to start, and the pro-
worsening global downturn         Malay votes.”                     ambassador in Washington.         that region. A US official said    70,000 troops in a network of      program, US officials say.          ceedings could drag on for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A court has denied
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Arroyo, 65, bail but

Troops open fire in                                                 Aceh to ban sale of tight clothing                                                                                                        allowed her to stay in hos-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              pital so that she could be
                                                                                                                                                                                                              treated for a rare spinal

Indonesia; 1 killed                                                              DPA
                                                                             BANDA ACEH
                                                                                                        “We will soon send letters
                                                                                                      to shop owners,” said
                                                                                                                                        larly carry out patrols to
                                                                                                                                        enforce the rule of Islamic
                                                                                                                                                                           ty card.
                                                                                                                                                                             “I’m outside because I’m
                                                                                                                                                                                                              disease. Lacierda called
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thursday for doctors to
                                                                                                                                                                                                              reassess her condition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Aquino, who won a
             AFP                  dents and setting a number of                                       Samsuddin, who like many          modesty and a ban on               going to buy some paint.”          landslide election victory
            TIMIKA                houses on fire,” national          SHOPS in Indonesia’s Aceh         Indonesians goes by one           unseemly contact between             Munawar said he agreed           in 2010 on an anti-graft
                                  police spokesman Saud             province,where Islamic law        name. “The newly elected          unmarried couples.                 with Islamic law but men           platform, has vowed to
ONE person was killed and 17      Usman Nasution said.              is in force, will soon be         governorvery much supports           Officers recorded the per-       should not be arrested for         pursue Arroyo and her
wounded when Indonesian             “The trouble then spread to     banned from selling tight-fit-     the enforcement of Islamic        sonal details of those behav-      wearing shorts.                    allies for alleged massive
soldiers opened fire on civil-     the city centre where a num-      ting clothes, an official said     law.”                             ing in an unseemly manner,           Under Aceh’s Islamic law,        corruption during her
ians after a deadly dispute       ber of shops and houses were      on Thursday.                                                        lectured them, and told them       the sale of alcohol is banned      years in power.
sparked by a road accident in     also damaged by gunshots,”          The announcement was              Arroyo, who                     they could be detained or          across the province and gam-          Arroyo has denied any
Papua province, police said       he told AFP.                      made after religious police in      stepped down in                 lashed if they were caught         blers are punished by caning.      wrongdoing.
on Thursday.                        Jhon Wetipo, in charge of       the provincial capital, Banda       2010 after nearly a             again.                               The law was imposed in              On Wednesday, the
   The shootings took place       the Jayawijaya district of        Aceh, stopped and repri-            decade in office,                  Samsuddin said his offi-         2001 as part of special            government ombuds-
late on Wednesday after resi-     which Wamena is the capital,      manded more than 50                 was arrested last               cers had netted 300 women          autonomy granted by te cen-        man filed corruption
dents, angry that two soldiers    said the soldiers shot one        women and three men for             year and charged                who violated the Islamic           tral government to pacify a        charges against Arroyo’s
on a motorcycle hit and           man dead and wounded 17           violating the Islamic dress         with allegedly rig-             dress code in the past two         clamour for independence in        husband, lawyer Jose
injured a child, stabbed one of   people, one of them critically.   code, including wearing tight       ging the 2007 sen-              months.                            the province on the northern       Miguel Arroyo, for
the troops to death and seri-       He said troops set 37 homes     clothing and shorts.                atorial elections.                 Munawar, one of the three       tip of Sumatra island.             allegedly selling two
ously injured the other in the    on fire, but that calm had           Samsuddin, the head of                                            men stopped for wearing              The separatist conflict           used helicopters to the
city of Wamena, police said.      been restored by Thursday         enforcement at the agency                                           shorts in Thursday’s opera-        killed an estimated 15,000         national police as new
   “Following the road acci-      morning.                          overseeing compliance with          Zaini Abdullah was due to       tion, pleaded for leniency.        people, mostly civilians,          aircraft in 2009. Two
dent soldiers from the local        The provincial military         Islamic law in Aceh, said his     be sworn in as Aceh’s new            “I’m a construction worker      before it ended with the sign-     weeks ago, the Philippine
military arrived in two trucks    spokesman denied that there       office would issue a circular      governor on June 26 after         and I’m laying bricks,” he         ing of a peace pact between        Senate removed a key
and took revenge by firing         had been a shooting or that       banning shops from selling        winning an election in April.     told a woman officer who            the government and the Free        Arroyo ally.
gunshots toward local resi-       troops had set fire to homes.      body-hugging fashion items.       Sharia police in Aceh regu-       asked him to show his identi-      Aceh Movement in 2005.
                                                                                                           UK / EUROPE                                                                                          Friday, June 8, 2012

  Osborne urges
                                                                       Merkel moots gradual
  of Spain’s banks
                                                                       political union in Europe
                                  talised banks for too long,”
             LONDON               he said.                                         BERLIN
                                     “Part of running a single
  THE Chancellor of the           currency ... is that you have        GERMAN Chancellor Angela
  Exchequer George Osborne        something more akin to a             Merkel is calling for countries
  called on Thursday for a        banking union or a finan-             to give up more powers to
  rapid recapitalisation of       cial union.                          Europe “step by step” as the
  Spain’s troubled banking           “So that, for example,            continent tries to claw its way
  sector using the eurozone’s     Spanish depositors have              out of the debt crisis and says
  rescue fund.                    confidence that they can              a “political union” is needed
    Osborne spoke ahead of        leave their money in the             as leaders prepare for a close-
  Prime Minister David            Spanish banks, so that, for          ly watched summit later this
  Cameron’s trip to Berlin,       example, there are com-              month.
  where the premier will          mon funds to re-capitalise              However, Merkel, who
  meet German Chancellor          banks, so ... in return for all      appeared on ARD public tele-
  Angela Merkel for key talks     that there is tougher pan-           vision’s breakfast show
  on the eurozone’s sovereign     eurozone supervision.”               Thursday amid pressure on
  debt crisis.                       The Chancellor added              Germany to defuse the crisis,
    “I think you would need       that Britain would need              downplayed prospects of
  to sort out immediately the     “safeguards” to protect its          reaching a big solution to
  situation in the Spanish        financial sector, in the              Europe’s troubles at the June
  banking system and resolve      event of a eurozone bank-            28-29 summit in Brussels.
  the uncertainty there, basi-    ing union.                           The troubles of Spain’s bank-
  cally put money into the           “There is no way Britain          ing system and concern over
                                  is going to be part of that          Greece’s future in the 17-
                                  banking union.                       country eurozone have gener-
    He said UK would                 “Britain will require, if         ated uncertainty over the con-
    need safeguards               there is a full blown bank-          tinent’s economic outlook.
    to protect its                ing union, certain safe-                “I don’t think that there is a
    financial sector,             guards.”                             single summit at which the
    in the event of                  He added: “There will             big design will appear,”
    a eurozone                    have to be conditions to             Merkel said, suggesting the
    banking union                 protect Britain’s most               meeting would be an oppor-
                                  important industry.”                 tunity to press forward with
  Spanish banking system to          Osborne also expressed            already established plans.          German Chancellor Angela Merkel (centre) with students from 16 countries at the chancellery, in Berlin, on Thursday.   (AP)
  recapitalise it without wors-   optimism that a solution                European officials in
  ening the Spanish sover-        would be found over the              Brussels and several fellow           Merkel      on    Thursday      means that we must, step by         points – above all, questions       Parliament. The opposition is
  eign debt situation,”           Spain’s problems — but he            eurozone countries are push-        repeated her motto for            step as things go forward, give     of competitiveness,” she said.      insisting on measures to fos-
  Osborne told BBC Radio 4.       warned that resolving                ing Germany to accept new           greater integration – “We         up powers to Europe as well.”          Merkel has championed a          ter growth and movement
    “Spain need to restruc-       them would not end the               measures, such as jointly           need more Europe” – but did         Merkel, who has faced criti-      budget-discipline agreement,        toward introducing a tax on
  ture their banking system,      eurozone’s long-running              issued eurobonds or a central       not offer details on how, or      cism for focusing on austerity      called the fiscal compact, in        financial transactions.
  they need resources to do       crisis.                              banking authority, that would       how quickly, she was willing      as a cure to Europe’s financial      hopes of securing Europe’s            On Thursday, negotiators
  that. How exactly that is          “I am optimistic that peo-        help defuse concerns about          to embrace new measures           woes, insisted anew that she        future financial solidity. Some      made progress toward an
  done must be a matter for       ple are working hard on a            excessive debt in weak coun-        other countries are asking her    is interested in growth, but        countries already have rati-        agreement on a transaction
  the Spanish government          solution and a solution, I           tries. But Berlin is against        to accept.                        that “budget consolidation          fied it, and Irish voters backed     tax, opposition Green party
  and the eurozone.”              think, is coming. They have          such steps in the near term,          “We need not just a curren-     and growth are two sides of         it in a referendum last week.       lawmaker Priska Hinz said.
    In reference to the euro-     identified the problem. I             worrying that they would            cy union; we also need a so-      one and the same coin.”                In Germany, her coalition        That would call for Germany
  zone bailout fund, he           know they are working very           lower incentives for weak           called fiscal union, more com-       “Without solid finances,           government is negotiating           to pursue a tax in Europe on a
  added: “We need to make         hard on an imminent solu-            states to fix the finances and        mon budget policies. And we       there is no growth, but solid       with the center-left opposi-        wide range of transactions,
  sure the mechanisms             tion,” he said.                      would cost German taxpayers         need above all a political        finances alone are not               tion to secure the necessary        even if not all 17 eurozone
  already put in place can be        “I think one of the mis-          more money.                         union,” she added. “That          enough; there are other             two-thirds      majority     in     countries participate.
  activated.”                     takes we have made over
    Osborne argued that           the last couple of years as a
  monetary union also             world is to assume that if
  required a banking union in
  the eurozone. However, he
  stressed this would not
  involve Britain, which is not
                                  you just get through the lat-
                                  est eurozone problem, the
                                  crisis is solved. It is not.
                                     “Just bringing some sta-
                                                                       EU eyes return of borders in visa-free area
  a member of the 17-nation       bility to the Spanish bank-
  single currency area.           ing system is not going to                         AFP                      Migration has emerged as                                                                               Somalia, the flow is forecast to
    “The banks have been          end the instability in euro.                   LUXEMBOURG                one of Europe’s most sensitive                                                                            increase.
  one of the weak links in all    There need to be more per-                                               political issues amid Europe’s                                                                               Responding to the rise in
  of this. The eurozone have      manent changes to make               A SURGE in illegal migrants         sovereign debt crisis, slow                                                                               anti-immigrant sentiment,
  tolerated weak, under-capi-     this currency work.”                 across the porous Greek-            growth and mounting unem-                                                                                 France and Germany in April
                                                                       Turkish frontier prompted           ployment.                                                                                                 sent Schengen counterparts a
                                                                       calls on Thursday for a tempo-         But going into the talks the                                                                           joint letter calling for drastic
                                                                       rary return of borders in the       EU’s home affairs commis-                                                                                 change.
                                                                       EU’s visa-free area despite stiff   sioner Cecilia Malmstroem                                                                                    But that was before the May
                                                                       opposition from Brussels.           said: “We cannot accept what                                                                              election of socialist President
                                                                          Under proposals mulled by        is on the table today.                                                                                    Francois Hollande, who
                                                                       home affairs ministers meet-           The commissioner has                                                                                   stepped into the shoes of con-
                                                                       ing in Luxembourg, the 26           repeatedly       argued    that    German Interior Minister Hans Peter Friedrich (right) and his French   servative Nicolas Sarkozy.
                                                                       countries in the travel-free        Schengen was never designed        counterpart Manuel Valls, in Luxembourg, on Thursday. (AFP)               The new French Interior
                                                                       Schengen area could be              to control migration but to                                                                               Minister Manuel Valls made
                                                                       allowed to restore border con-      ease freedom of movement.          by 35 percent in 2011.             spot was the border between         no statement on arriving for
                                                                       trols for up to a year under           “I am usually not quiet dur-       Numbers       rose     from     Greece and Turkey, which saw        the talks, but he is in a tight
                                                                       “exceptional circumstances”.        ing the discussion,” she added.    104,000 in 2010 to 141,000         55,000 detections last year.        spot. Should he reject the pre-
                                                                          Among those circum-                 The EU’s Frontex agency         the following year, largely due      With low-cost flights to           vious goverment’s stand, his
                                                                       stances, according to demands       that mans borders said in a        to     flows     across      the    Turkey on the increase as war,      Socialist party will face the ire
                                                                       made by France and Germany          report that registered illegal     Mediterranean from the Arab        chaos and poverty sends peo-        of the right just as the country
  Chancellor of the British Exchequer George Osborne                   earlier this year, are problems     crossings on the outer borders     Spring upheavals.                  ple fleeing hot-spots from           heads into parliamentary elec-
                                                                       related to illegal immigration.     of the Schengen area shot up          But the second biggest hot-     Afghanistan and Pakistan to         tions June 10 and 17.

Cracks show in Turkey’s military as junior officers protest
              AP                  of former and current non-                                                                                                                     Islamist prime minister. A          ian on obligatory military serv-
           ANKARA                 commissioned officers, or                                                                                                                       botched airstrike in December,      ice. There are nearly 95,000
                                  NCOs, are closer to home.                                                                                                                      aimed at Kurdish rebels,            non-commissioned officers in
THESE are unsettled times for     They want better compensa-                                                                                                                     instead killed 34 civilians and     Turkey’s 718,000-strong mili-
the Turkish military, once the    tion and an end to alleged dis-                                                                                                                further besmirched the mili-        tary.
nation’s arbiter. The civilian    crimination by their superiors.                                                                                                                tary’s reputation.                    The government responded
government gutted its political   It is the first such public protest                                                                                                                The non-commissioned offi-        to the campaign on social
power, hundreds of retired and    since a group of non-commis-                                                                                                                   cers are apparently embold-         media by passing a law in
active-duty officers are in jail   sioned officers marched with                                                                                                                    ened by a visible “meltdown in      Parliament last month that
on coup plot charges — and        their spouses in the 1970s.                                                                                                                    the military’s chain of com-        improves the salary scale for
now military dissenters are          “NCOs who say enough is                                                                                                                     mand,” said Nihat Ali Ozcan, a      non-commissioned officers
lobbying on Facebook and          enough,” is their slogan on                                                                                                                    political analyst at the            and shortens their obligatory
Twitter for better pay and ben-   Facebook, where the group has                                                                                                                  Economic               Research     service time within the military
efits.                             219,000 followers. Some                                                                                                                        Foundation of Turkey in             from 15 years to 10 years.
  The campaign on social          17,000 follow their Twitter                                                                                                                    Ankara.                               Ahmet Keser, president of
media provides a rare glimpse     campaign. Several people in                                                                                                                       “The rising voice of non-        Turkey’s Retired Non-com-
of dissatisfaction within the     the group declined to comment                                                                                                                  commissioned officers is proof       missioned              Officers’
armed forces of NATO’s            when contacted, citing military                                                                                                                that age-old values of absolute     Association, said the amend-
biggest Muslim member,            rules in a sign that they are not                                                                                                              obedience are becoming erod-        ment was “purely symbolic”
which battles Kurdish rebels      prepared to break ranks entire-                                                                                                                ed,” he said recently.              because the salaries would
and has troops in Afghanistan.    ly.                                                                                                                                               Non-commissioned officers         only rise by a small amount.
Turkey has talked about setting      In a separate Facebook cam-                                                                                                                 rise through enlisted ranks and     He said he was aware of a pro-
up a buffer zone along the bor-   paign, another group of sol-         Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the military top brass, in Isanbul, recently.            handle daily routines, includ-      posal by the military to
der with violence-torn Syria if   diers made similar demands,                                                                                                                    ing conscript training and the      increase non-commissioned
border security deteriorates,     saying they “want to become          shaken by arrests of dozens of      they allegedly deemed to have     generals have been jailed in a      maintenance of weapons sys-         officer salaries by 13 percent,
and the military would be key.    humans.”                             generals on charges of plotting     an Islamist agenda. Dozens of     separate case over their alleged    tems. Their highest-ranking is      but claimed that also falls
  Yet the concerns of hundreds       The military was already          to topple a government that         more active-duty and retired      role in the 1990s ousting of an     below a reserve officer, a civil-    short of needs.
06          Friday, June 8, 2012

                                        ESTABLISHED SEPTEMBER   3, 2006

                                                                           ADEL ALI BIN ALI
                                                                           MANAGING DIRECTOR
                                                                                                                  Why The Queen Matters
          DR HASSAN MOHAMMED AL ANSARI                                    AJIT KUMAR JHA
          EDITOR -IN-CHIEF                                                EDITOR                                      The Queen is not a political leader, but has led the politics of her age
                                   PRINTED AT ALI BIN ALI PRINTING PRESS

                                                                                                                          60-year reign: a span embracing                                          ALAN WATSON | NYT NEWS SERVICE
                                                                                                                          12 presidents, 6 popes, 12 British
                                                                                                                          prime ministers – starting with
                                        Eastside                                                                          Winston Churchill – the fall of
                                                                                                                          the Berlin Wall, the dissolution
                                                                                                                  of the Soviet Union, the formation of

                        Bragging Rights
                                                                                                                  the European Union, the end of the
                                                                                                                  British Empire and the growth of a mul-
                                                                                                                  tiracial Commonwealth.
                                                                                                                     But then Queen Elizabeth II has
        Aquino prides Philippines’ bright economic outlook                                                        reigned, not ruled: Hers is not a record
                                                                                                                  in government. The modern monarchy
                                                                                                                  does not begin wars or shape domestic

P   RESIDENT Aquino’s visit to the
    United States this week on the invita-
tion of US President Barack Obama will
                                                         be boasting of his country’s gains in its
                                                         fight against corruption and in its promis-
                                                         ing economy—factors that will draw in
                                                                                                                  policy. And so the inevitable questions,
                                                                                                                  as Britain and the Commonwealth cele-
                                                                                                                  brate her Diamond Jubilee, are now in
hopefully leave a different imprint on the               American investors without necessarily                   people’s minds. What, in fact, has she
collective mind of observers. Coming off a               being prodded by the White House.                        achieved? What difference has she
string of rousing successes on the domes-                   The issue of the territorial dispute in the           made? How are we to measure her
tic front, Aquino is not expected to be                  West Philippine Sea is expected to domi-                 years on the throne?
wholly on mendicant mode although he                     nate discussions between the Philippine                     For several decades of the queen’s
will be seeking security guarantees from                 and American Presidents given China’s                    reign, British governments saw them-
America in the face of China’s renewed                   growing assertiveness on the regional and                selves in the business of ‘managing
belligerence in the West Philippine Sea.                 world stages. But even in that aspect, the               decline’ – from empire and victory in
   There is, for one, the completion of the              Philippine government does not have to                   World War II to the status of middling       ly multiracial Commonwealth.                                    at least in a moral sense, already the
impeachment trial of Renato Corona and                   beg for America’s help. It should focus on               power. During this time the influence           The photo of her dancing with the                            country’s leader.
his removal from office as chief justice—                its shared interests with the United States              and the symbolism of the crown has           black president of Ghana, Kwame                                    Nor did she delay making a state visit
the first time such a democratic exercise                in blunting China’s aggressive moves in                  been all-pervasive. The queen has not        Nkrumah, at his country’s independ-                             to South Africa once he was elected in
was brought to a peaceful conclusion in                  the region.                                              opposed change or helped Britain avoid       ence celebration in 1961 outraged South                         1994 – congratulating the South African
this country. The importance of this                        Certain quarters may say that the                     change; what she has done instead is to      African whites. This was not a state-                           Parliament on the country’s transfor-
achievement cannot be overstated consid-                 Philippines needs the US Navy to wave the                enable change without despair.               ment of policy, but it spoke no less                            mation and Mandela on his role in
ering that the United States has in recent               Stars and Stripes around the neighbour-                     Her permanence has given the British      clearly     to    the     millions    of                        bringing it about. To make her admira-
years tied the amount of assistance it will              hood to give the Chinese Navy a moment’s                 the essential self-assurance they have       Commonwealth citizens: The queen                                tion and endorsement even more clear,
extend to the Philippines to its ability to              pause before running roughshod over our                  needed. The poet Philip Larkin caught it     would stand by them, regardless of race,                        she later awarded him the country’s
improve governance standards.                            two half-century-old Hamilton cutters. But               well:                                        ethnicity or nationality.                                       highest honour, the Order of Merit.
   For another, Aquino gained unexpected                 America needs the Philippines even more                     In times when nothing stood                                                                                  The same values that defined the
bragging rights last week after data
emerged showing that the Philippines
                                                         for its favourable geographic location.
                                                            So, a few days ahead of President
                                                                                                                     But worsened, or grew strange,
                                                                                                                     There was one constant good:
                                                                                                                                                                 The Queen has not                                             queen’s position on South Africa have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               also underpinned Britain’s ‘special rela-
grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of              Aquino’s visit to the United States, there is               She did not change.                         opposed change or                                             tionship’ with the United States. This
the year, making the country—believe it or               already favourable news to report: More                     That’s all well and good. But at 60                                                                       relationship is not an equal alliance of
not—the fastest growing economy in the                   than at any other time in history, the                   years, one asks for more. Are there
                                                                                                                                                                 helped Britain avoid                                          hard power, although there is a close
Asean region.                                            Philippine president will have some brag-                changes of which she has directly been        change; what she has                                           military and intelligence relationship.
   Aquino will be going to the United States             ging rights when setting foot on US soil and             the author?                                                                                                  Ultimately, it is an alliance of affinity:
in search of financial aid. But he will also             meeting with his American counterpart.                      When it comes to the modern monar-           done instead is to                                           Both countries are bound together by
                                                                                                                  chy, influence has been more dis-
                                                                                                                  cernible than action – but its power is
                                                                                                                                                                    enable change                                              shared beliefs in human rights, the rule
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               of law, democratic government, free
                                                                                                                  sometimes much longer lasting, partic-           without despair.                                            enterprise and diversity – all values that
                                       Westside                                                                   ularly in light of the transition from
                                                                                                                  colonial empire to cosmopolitan                 At other times the queen has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               the queen symbolises in a human as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               well as institutional manner.
                                                                                                                  Commonwealth. As Princess Elizabeth,         telegraphed her position in less public,                           When she went to Jamestown,

          Asthma By The Numbers
                                                                                                                  she visited Cape Town with her parents       but no less obvious ways. Few people                            Virginia, in 2007 for the 400th anniver-
                                                                                                                  in 1947, just before the empire fell apart   know, for example, what the queen says                          sary of the first permanent English
                                                                                                                  and      the     modern,      multiracial    in private weekly audiences with her                            colony in the New World, she celebrat-
                                                                                                                  Commonwealth arose. After her trip, in       prime ministers, or what they say to her                        ed the language we and the whole world
  The disease remains a significant health and economic burden                                                    a famous broadcast, she committed her
                                                                                                                  life ‘whether it be long or shor’ to the
                                                                                                                                                               – not even the cabinet knows. But there
                                                                                                                                                               was an undeniable difference between
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               now share which first found lodgment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               across the Atlantic at that moment. But
                                                                                                                  family of nations now known as the           her attitude and that of Margaret                               she also, with the greatest care, greeted

F  EDERAL health officials recently issued a
   gloomy report noting that the percentage
of Americans suffering from asthma
                                                         known law that limits idling in school zones
                                                         to one minute.
                                                           Asthma can be managed by those who
                                                                                                                     A year later, the Afrikaner National
                                                                                                                  Party swept to power and the years of
                                                                                                                                                               Thatcher on the question of apartheid.
                                                                                                                                                                  The prime minister opposed sanc-
                                                                                                                                                               tions against South Africa, and was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               the Indian chiefs representing the tribes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               that first met the English at the time – a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               step that only someone deeply sensitive
reached a record high of 8.4 percent in                  pay careful attention to symptoms and take               apartheid began. It is known that her        given an award by the South African                             to American history and deeply com-
2010, up from 7.3 percent in 2001. An esti-              medications promptly. The federal govern-                father, George VI, was, on this 1947         government, while the queen clearly                             mitted to multiracial democracy could
mated 25.7 million people had asthma in                  ment has been financing programmes for                   visit, appalled by the opposition of the     hoped that a multiracial South Africa                           have thought to take.
2010, including 18.7 million adults and                  more than a decade to help asthmatics get                authorities to his wish to decorate black    would rejoin the Commonwealth.                                     Her respect for the tribes and her
seven million children below the age of 18. It           the care and education they need. And some               (or in the parlance of the time, non-        Though the queen could not dictate                              affection for America and its people is
is a frightening disease in which sufferers              hospital systems have started programs to                white) South Africans for war service.       what Thatcher could do in office, her                           fundamental to the present and future
struggle to breathe. In severe attacks, vic-             monitor asthmatics and improve their                     Clearly, his daughter understood and         clear support for the antiapartheid                             of our relationship. It reflects quite
tims can die.                                            treatment.                                               agreed with his attitude.                    movement helped bracket, if not under-                          accurately the policy of government, but
   Experts don’t know for sure what causes                 The death rate from asthma has been                       That primary commitment to multira-       mine, the prime minister’s position in                          unlike statecraft it speaks from and to
asthma, but sounder public policy could                  declining for a number of years. But the dis-            cialism within the context of the emerg-     the eyes of the world.                                          the heart. The queen is not a political
help control some of the triggers. Stronger              ease remains a significant health and eco-               ing Commonwealth – rather than, say, a          At no time was that support more                             leader, but in profound ways, she has
regulations to reduce exposure to cigarette              nomic burden that sends victims to hospi-                revanchist attempt by whites to keep a       clear than her delight at Nelson                                led the politics of her age.
smoke and to control air pollution are espe-             tals and emergency rooms and causes chil-                firm racial hand in control of things –      Mandela’s release from prison in 1990.
cially important.                                        dren to miss school and adults to miss work.             has been clearly in her mind and heart       Three years before Mandela became                                      (Alan Watson, Baron Watson
   That is why New York City recently had a              The estimated $56 billion annual cost will               throughout her reign. There has been no      president, Queen Elizabeth II did not                                   of Richmond, is chairman of
two-week crackdown at elementary schools                 only rise as the number of sufferers grows.              ambiguity whatsoever in her contribu-        hesitate to invite him to a meeting of the                            the Council of Commonwealth
in neighbourhoods with high rates of asth-               Clearly, a lot more needs to be done to                  tion to the transformation of a some-        Commonwealth Heads of Government                                         Societies and a co-author of
ma to stop vehicles from violating a little-             reduce the triggers and manage this disease.             what racist British Empire into a robust-    group, signaling her belief that he was,                                    The Queen and the USA.)
                                     (Philippine Daily Inquirer / NYT)

                     Will Romney’s looks help him win?
                     Subliminally a candidate’s s appearance affects voting greatly. In this, Romney poses Obama a challenge

           HERE are plenty of substantive                       as great as that.                             LEONARD MLODINOW | GUARDIAN NEWS SERVICE     others don’t and instead ponder the data                         A pair of scientists at Princeton
           issues in the current US presiden-                      In the 2008 presidential debate Barack                                                  on both candidates before making a deci-                      University took that line of research from
           tial contest: jobs, foreign policy,                  Obama won handily over John McCain on                                                      sion. The studies suggest that although                       the laboratory to the real world. They
           gay marriage. There is also anoth-                   the ‘physical impressions’ front. Obama’s                                                  voters are usually unaware of factoring                       gathered black-and-white headshots of
           er factor about which few pundits                    deep voice, engaging hand gestures, and                                                    appearance into their decision, it may                        all the Democratic and Republican can-
    pontificate: the candidates’ physical                       habit of gazing on, intently, as McCain                                                    often be a deciding factor.                                   didates in dozens of US Senate and
    characteristics.                                            spoke, exuded a sense of charm, respect,                                                     In one experiment conducted at the                          gubernatorial races. They then recruited
      We all know that looks matter. The sur-                   and competence. McCain, with his obvi-                                                     University of California, researchers asked                   a group of volunteers to assess, in each
    prise in recent research is that a candi-                   ously forced grins and habit of rolling his                                                several groups of subjects to examine                         case, which candidate looked more ‘com-
    date’s appearance can lead to a far                         eyes at Obama’s words, appeared angry                                                      political flyers describing two candidates                    petent’. Finally, the scientists took a bold
    greater vote swing than even the cynics                     and unlikable. Meanwhile, McCain’s                                                         who were supposedly running in a nearby                       step: they predicted the outcome of each
    had imagined. Our judgment is greatly                       white hair, bad shoulder and slight limp                                                   congressional election. Each flyer includ-                    race based solely on the candidates’
    influenced by signals we perceive on a                      made him seem frail.                                                                       ed a candidate photo, but the researchers                     appearance. They were strikingly accu-
    subliminal level through an individual’s                       Obama’s opponent in the present elec-                                                   varied the photos shown to the different                      rate: the candidate voted as more compe-
    looks and body language, and even the                       tion, Mitt Romney, like David Cameron                                                      groups in order to study the effect of a                      tent-looking went on to win in 69 percent
    pitch and cadence of a candidate’s voice.                   in Britain, has a stiff posture and muted                                                  more-or-less-competent appearance.                            of the gubernatorial races and 72 percent
      Though it was always a factor, the issue                  body language that makes him appear                                                          The researchers found that the effect                       of the Senate races.
    of demeanour took on a new importance                       arrogant and posh. But Romney’s facial                                                     of a more competent look amounted to a                           There is a long way to go in the US
    in the 60s, when elections first became TV                  appearance works in his favour: he has a                                                   vote swing of 13 percent. What’s more,                        election race, and independent voters
    events. Anyone who has ever seen a replay                   solid square chin and, as one political                                                    when the subjects were later asked                            will be assessing both candidates’ back-
    of the 1960 US presidential debate cannot                   columnist put it, ‘chiselled-out-of-gran-                                                  about their reasons for voting as they                        grounds, beliefs and policies. But as vot-
    help but be struck by Richard Nixon’s                       ite’ features that radiate vigour and a       Romney has a stiff posture                   did, they denied having taken the candi-                      ers’ conscious brains weigh the cold
    nervous and haggard appearance, in con-                     sense of seriousness. This makes                                                           dates’ appearance into account. They                          data, their unconscious minds will be
    trast with the cool, dapper John Kennedy.                   Romney, in this regard, a far more formi-
                                                                                                              and muted body language                      may have consciously registered the                           weighing the candidates on a far more
    Many attributed Kennedy’s tiny margin of                    dable opponent than McCain.                    that makes him appear                       candidates’ appearance, but felt (wrong-                      emotional and instinctive level, and
    victory - less than one percentage point -                     The evidence that such factors carry          arrogant and posh.                        ly) that they could disregard that, and                       chiming in subliminally, and with great
    to the impression left by that debate. The                  great weight with the voting public comes                                                  make a purely rational decision based                         persuasive force. Regarding those latter
    surprise in recent scientific research is that              from a number of recent studies. Many             This makes him a                         solely on the substance of the candi-                         factors, Barack Obama now faces a far
    the effect of appearance may be 10 times                    people vote along party lines, but many         formidable opponent.                       dates’ positions.                                             greater challenge than he did in 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                 THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THE OPINION AND ANALYSIS PAGES ARE THE AUTHORS’ OWN. QATAR TRIBUNE BEARS NO RESPONSIBILITY.
                                                                                                        ANALYSIS                                                                             Friday, June 8, 2012
                                                                                                        Life has become better and more
      Health is                                                                                         secure. But the aversion to debt
                                                                                                        has diminished amid the
                                                                                                        progress. Credit card companies
      Wealth                                               The Way Forward
                                                           DAVID BROOKS | NYT NEWS SERVICE
                                                                                                        seduced people into borrowing
                                                                                                        more. Politicians found they could
                                                                                                        buy votes with borrowed money.
 MAUREEN SALAMON | NYT NEWS SERVICE                                                                                                                                             ALDO SVALDI | HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

                                                                                                                                                                                Saviour for
Space Letters
Apart To Help
With Dyslexia
                                                                  THE DEBT                                                                                                      Gaylord hotel
                                                                                                                                                                                project in Denver

S   IMPLY widening the space between letters
    in words markedly increases reading speed
and accuracy among children with dyslexia —
an easy fix with e-books and other forms of
technology that readily allow text manipula-
tion, new research suggests.
                                                                INDULGENCE                                                                                                      G   AYLORD Entertainment’s chances of find-
                                                                                                                                                                                    ing a deep-pocketed development partner
                                                                                                                                                                                to build a proposed convention hotel in
                                                                                                                                                                                Aurora, Colo, are slim at best, hotel industry
                                                                                                                                                                                insiders say.
                                                                                                                                                                                   ‘’I don’t think it is logical that any other
   Analyzing 34 Italian and 40 French dyslexic         US struggles with pension promises that should never have been made                                                      developer would step in at all,’’ said Rod
children between the ages of 8 and 14,                                                                                                                                          Brown, owner of Denver-based Hotel
researchers from the University of Padua in                                                                                                                                     Development Associates, which has been

Italy found that extra-wide letter spacing sped                VERY generation has an              argue about how quickly deficits     but if he is recalled that will send    building smaller hotels for two decades.
up the students’ reading by more than 20 per-                  incentive to borrow money           should be brought down. But          a broader message, with effects            The question isn’t whether a developer
cent and doubled the children’s text-reading                   from the future to spend            everybody knows debt has to be       far beyond Wisconsin. It will be a      might want to build the hotel – plenty could
accuracy.                                                      on itself. But until ours, no       restrained at some point. The        signal that voters are indeed           be interested. Rather, it is who would be will-
   “We were surprised by the magnitude of the                  generation of Americans             problem is that nobody has been      unwilling to tolerate tough deci-       ing and able to invest hundreds of millions in
spacing benefit,” said study author Marco              has done it to the same extent.             able to find a political way to do   sions to reduce debt. In                the project.
Zorzi, a professor of psychology and artificial        Why?                                        it.                                  Washington and in state capitals,          ‘’It is unrealistic to expect an angel to show
intelligence.                                          A huge reason is that earlier gen-          The common view among politi-        it will confirm the view that vot-      up out of nowhere to put the money down to
   The study is published June 5 in the journal        erations were insecure. They                cians is that pundits may rail       ers don’t really care about red         build a really large project,’’ said Maurice
PNAS.                                                  lived without modern medicine,              against debt, but voters don’t       ink. It will remove any hope this       Robinson, a hotel development consultant in
   Dyslexia, a language-based disability that          without modern technology and               actually care. Voters don’t want     country might have of avoiding a        Manhattan Beach, Calif.
causes difficulty in learning to recognize writ-       without modern welfare states.              to face the consequences of their    fiscal catastrophe.                        Nashville, Tenn.-based Gaylord said last
ten words, is thought to affect about 5 percent        They lived one illness, one                 spending demands. They’ll throw      On the other hand, if Walker            week that it would sell its brand and manage-
of the school-age population, study authors            drought and one recession away              you out of office if you make the    wins on Tuesday it will be a sign,      ment rights to its properties to Marriott
said, noting that a typical dyslexic child may         from catastrophe. They devel-               tough decisions required to cut      as pollster Scott Rasmussen has         International for $210 million. Gaylord will
read the same number of words in one year as           oped a moral abhorrence about               deficits. That’s why debt mounts     been arguing, that the voters are       convert to a real estate investment trust, or
a good reader does in two days.                        things like excessive debt, which           and mounts. Voters want it to.       ahead of the politicians. It will be    REIT, that owns its properties, and it is seek-
   The spacing manipulation is grounded in a           would further magnify their vul-            Until maybe Tuesday.                 a sign that voters do value deficit     ing a developer for the Aurora project.
phenomenon known as “visual crowding” in               nerability.                                                                      reduction and will vote for peo-           Gaylord said it won’t proceed with the $824
which a letter is more difficult to identify when      Recently, life has become better                                                 ple who accomplish it, even in a        million Aurora hotel as previously anticipated
it is closely surrounded by other letters.             and more secure. But the aver-               Over the past several               state that has voted Democratic         and will look at how it might be completed
   “What this is telling us is that spacing clearly    sion to debt has diminished amid              years, society has                 in every presidential election          with ‘’minimal financial commitment.’’
plays a role, but we’ve already known it plays a       the progress. Credit card compa-                                                 since 1984.                                Aurora officials said that they are working
role for all readers,” said Guinevere Eden,            nies seduced people into borrow-
                                                                                                    oscillated ever more                A vote to keep Walker won’t be          diligently to get the Gaylord project complet-
director of the Center for the Study of Learning       ing more. Politicians found they              wildly though three                an antiunion vote. It will be a         ed and that developers have come forward
and a professor of pediatrics at Georgetown            could buy votes with borrowed                debt-fueled bubbles.                vote against any special interest       expressing interest since last week’s
University in Washington, DC.                          money. People became more                                                        that seeks to preserve exorbitant       announcement.
   In the study, children read a text consisting       comfortable with red ink.                                                        middle class benefits at the               ‘’We are still very focused on making this
of 24 short, meaningful sentences that were            Today we are living in an era of            Tuesday, voters in Wisconsin go      expense of the public good. It          project happen,’’ said city spokeswoman
unrelated to each other to prevent the use of          indebtedness. Over the past sev-            to the polls to decide whether to    will tell the presidential candi-       Wendy Aiello. ‘’We are not looking at this as
contextual clues. The standard spacing                 eral years, society has oscillated          recall Gov. Scott Walker. I’m not    dates that it is safe to get specific   an impossible situation.’’
between letters was increased by 2.5 font sizes        ever more wildly though three               a complete fan of the way Walker     about what they will do this               But hotel consultant Kenneth Free said
in the “spaced text” version, and each child was       debt-fueled bubbles. First, there           went about reducing debt. In an      December, when hard deficit             financing likely stands in the way of building
asked to read the same text two weeks apart to         was the dot-com bubble. Then, in            age of tough choices, one            choices will have to be made.           the 1,500-room hotel, even with its commit-
gauge the differences in speed and accuracy.           2008, the mortgage-finance bub-             bedrock principle should be:         President Barack Obama has              ments from the state and Aurora for up to
   He and other experts contend that modern            ble. Now, we are living in the fis-         We’re all in this together. If you   hung back from the Wisconsin            $381 million in tax breaks.
technology — with e-books, reading tablets and         cal bubble.                                 are going to cut from the oppos-     race. I’m hoping that’s not crass          ‘’Hotel financing for new construction con-
smart phones — makes changing letter spacing           In this country, the federal gov-           ing party’s interest groups, you     political opportunism, but an           tinues to be quite difficult, even for the small-
a quick and easy matter.                               ernment has borrowed more                   should also cut from some of         acknowledgment that govern-             er ‘formulaic,’ limited-services hotels, which
   “The fact that textbooks, research documents        than $6 trillion in the past four           your own. That’s how you build       ments do have to confront their         are relatively low-risk propositions,’’ said
and novels are available digitally for reading on      years alone, trying to counteract           trust and sustain progress, one      unaffordable commitments. Mitt          Free, president of Straightline Advisors, the
electronic devices [makes it] likely this kind of      the effects of the previous two             administration to the next.          Romney has been more straight-          consulting arm of Straightline Hospitality
treatment strategy could quickly and easily be         bubbles. States struggle with               Walker didn’t do that. He just       forward, but even he hasn’t cam-        Corp. in California.
incorporated into e-readers,” said Dr Andrew           pension promises that should                sliced Democrats. But, in the real   paigned on the choices he would            Lenders have been burned by real estate
Adesman, chief of developmental and behav-             never have been made. Europe is             world, we don’t get to choose        make. If Walker wins, the presi-        projects that didn’t come through as prom-
ioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra             on the verge of collapse because            perfect test cases. And Walker       dential candidates would have to        ised, leaving them reluctant to put their necks
Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York            governments there can’t figure              did at least take on entrenched      be as clear before their election       out.
in New Hyde Park.                                      out how to deal with their debts.           interest groups. He did turn a       as Walker has been after his.              Private opportunity funds are among the
   Georgetown’s Eden, also the past president          Nations around the globe have               $3.6 billion deficit into a $150     The era of indebtedness began           few investors that might step in to help
of the International Dyslexia Association,             debt-to-GDP ratios at or                    million surplus, albeit with the     with a cultural shift. It will          finance a big hotel project, Robinson said. But
added: “Given the technology we have today to          approaching 90 percent – the                help of a tax collection surge. He   require a gradual popular shift to      the high-risk, high-return funds charge inter-
teach children to read, this is important infor-       point at which growth slows and             did make it possible for willing     reverse. Tuesday’s Wisconsin            est rates of 15 percent to 20 percent.
mation. Many schools with dyslexic students            prosperity stalls.                          school districts to save money on    vote might mark the moment                 Players in that area include Canyon Capital
are using handheld devices and technology to           It all goes back to the increase in         health insurance so they could       when the nation’s long debt             Realty Advisors, Blackstone and Goldman
change the print to make it more accommodat-           the tolerance for debt.                     spend it on students.                indulgence finally began to turn        Sachs’ Whitehall, he said.
ing to these students.”                                Democrats and Republicans                   Walker’s method was obnoxious,       around.                                    Higher financing costs, not to mention the
                                                                                                                                                                                profit margin that a developer would want,
                                                                                                                                                                                only add to the costs of a project that Gaylord
                                                                                                                                                                                struggled to complete in-house.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Marriott is known for managing properties,
                                                                                                                                                                                not building them, and wouldn’t take on that
                                                                                                                                                                                risk, analysts said. Marriott did not respond

       Have                                                                                                                                                                     to an interview request.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Gaylord’s new structure as a REIT and mar-
                                                                                                                                                                                ket conditions make it easier to buy rather

      your say                                              The little green farm
                                                      THIS is with reference to the story
                                                      ‘Indian expatriate’s small contribu-
                                                      tion to green day’ published in Qatar
                                                                                                         QC helps Syria
                                                                                                 THIS refers to the article ‘QC
                                                                                                 launches 3 new health projects for
                                                                                                 Syrian refugees’ published in
                                                                                                                                        “Looking forward to seeing
                                                                                                                                         Cirque du Soleil in Doha”
                                                                                                                                                     M. P ECES
                                                                                                                                                                                than build a hotel, but there aren’t many large
                                                                                                                                                                                convention hotel properties on the market.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Depending on location, existing hotel prop-
                                                                                                                                                                                erties are selling at discounts of 10 percent to
                                                                                                                                                                                30 percent or more below the cost of building
                                                      Tribune on May 6. As various               Qatar Tribune on June 6.                              D OHA                    new, Robinson said.
                                                      forums in the country marked the             Qatar Charity (QC) has                                                          Aurora has offered $300 million in incen-
     Is there an issue you feel                       World Environment Day on                   announced three new health proj-                                               tives, which represents a 36 percent discount.
     strongly about, or an article                    Tuesday with seminars and work-
                                                      shops, an Indian expatriate con-
                                                                                                 ects for Syrian refugees in
                                                                                                 Lebanon at a cost of up to QR2.1
                                                                                                                                                                                But building new entails more risk, one of the
                                                                                                                                                                                biggest being the ability to win over cus-
     you want to comment on? QT                       tributed to the green cause in his         million as part of a campaign                                                  tomers in a weak economy.
                                                      own way. Amanulla Vadkkangara is           ‘Syria cries for help’.                                                           One scenario that might save the project
     will carry your voice to the                     a social worker who has been culti-          One of the projects provides a                                               would be to scale it back until it reaches a size
     public and to places where it                    vating vegetables, fruits and utilizing
                                                      his space to the optimum. The
                                                                                                 stockpile of medicines and medical
                                                                                                 supplies for 2,000 sick and injured
                                                                                                                                                                                and cost that investors would support, say
                                                                                                                                                                                500 to 800 rooms.
     matters. Write to us at                          kitchen garden in his 200-sq-metre         people for two months. Another                                                    But that creates a Catch-22. The smaller the
                                                      compound includes vegetables com-          project treats the wounded and                                                 Aurora project gets, the more it has to com-
                                                      monly grown in south Indian states.        sick victims of Syria, covering                                                pete with other venues, making it less attrac-
                                                         It is praiseworthy because in this      medical expenses for 300 wound-                                                tive to the meeting planners that Gaylord and
                                                      way we can encourage the younger           ed and sick people. And in the                                                 Marriott are trying to win over.
                      ADDRESS                         generation to do more for the envi-        third project, Qatar Charity pro-                                                 ‘’The problem with going smaller for
                                                      ronment. His is a valuable contribu-       vides isolated operations like room     “Social Media used to be a             Gaylord is that it defeats their successful busi-
            PO Box 23493, Doha, Qatar                 tion to our planet.                        for inflammatory and soiled oper-                                              ness model, which is the mega-builds,’’ Free
                     TELEPHONE                           Besides, Qatar’s weather condi-         ations, and to deal with fracture         raindrop not a deluge.               said.
               +974.44422077                          tions have certain limitations in          and burn injuries.                      Services need to scale and                Gaylord owns four of the nine largest con-
                                                      maintaining a vegetable farm. The            It is a great initiative from this                                           vention hotels in the United States. Of the
                                                      basic requirement for nutritious edi-      organisation because Syria now
                                                                                                                                        help us filter so we don't get          others, three are in Las Vegas and two are in
               +974.44416790                          ble leaves is water, the quality of soil   needs huge help in every field.            soaked all the time.”               Orlando, Fla.
                       EMAIL                          is not much of an issue and seeds of       Qatar Charity serves as an exam-                   F ELICIA D AY                  At 800 rooms, an Aurora hotel would
                   such plant are common even in              ple for other organizations.                                                   be competing with dozens of other l
                                                      Doha.                                                                                                                     ocations. Hence, the smaller and more
                                                                              SARAH FRIEDMAN                         RAQUEL GONZALES                                            affordable the project becomes, the more
                                                                                        DOHA                                   DOHA                                             likely that investors and lenders would pass
                                                                                                                                                                                on it, Free said.
08         Friday, June 8, 2012
                                                                  UNITED STATES

  Romney widens                                                      Romney garners $17mn more
  support among
                                                                     poll fund than Obama in May
               AP                  a stream of contenders —
           WASHINGTON              Newt      Gingrich,       Rick    REPUBLICAN Mitt Romney
                                   Santorum and Ron Paul             has outraised President
  CONSERVATIVES at the             among them — told conser-         Barack Obama for the first
  core of the Republican Party     vatives that they presented       time in the White House race,
  are coalescing behind likely     sharper contrasts with            with the challenger raking in
  presidential nominee Mitt        Obama than Romney on              more than $76 million, cam-
  Romney faster than expect-       everything from abortion to       paign figures showed on
  ed after a punishing pri-        the top issue on voters’          Thursday.
  mary season in which they        minds, the economy.                  Obama, who proved himself
  loudly sought someone else          But Romney outlasted           a fundraising juggernaut dur-
  — almost anybody else — to       them and last week topped         ing his presidential run four
  carry the fight to President      the 1,144 delegates needed        years ago, raised “more than
  Barack Obama in the              to win the Republican nom-        $60 million” in May along
  November election.               ination at the party’s nation-    with the Democratic National
     “I’m going (to support        al convention in August.          Committee and local commit-
  him) because it’s my                Even before then, polling      tees, the campaign said in a
  responsibility and, frankly,     showed notable shifts             Twitter message.
  almost anything is going to      toward Romney among                  That’s a monthly record for
  be better than Obama,” said      three key voter groups.           the president’s 2012 re-elec-
  Steve Troxel, chairman of           More Republican women          tion bid, but the fact that
  the Lynchburg Republican         are choosing Romney, the          Romney shot past him on the
  Party in battleground state      research      suggests.      A    fundraising front suggests the
  Virginia.                        Washington         Post-ABC       dash for campaign cash over
     “There are some conser-       News poll conducted in            the coming months will be
  vatives who are not ready to     May found Romney’s                fiercely competitive ahead of
  trust Romney to do the right     favourability          among      November’s polls.
  thing, but they all trust        Republican women grew                It also shows Romney is
  President Obama to do the        from 59 percent favourable        unmistakably on a roll since
  wrong         thing,”     said   in April to 80 percent now.       becoming the all-but-certain
  Representative           Trent      Evangelicals, too, are         nominee more than one
  Franks.                          warming to Romney, who is         month ago.
     In interview after inter-     Mormon. White evangelical            Romney’s camp said he and
  view, conservative activists     Protestants           support     the Republican National            US President Barak Obama at a fundraiser at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, in California, on Wednesday.      (EPA)
  say they know the election       Romney 77 percent to 22           Committee raised $76.8 mil-
  will be close — and that         percent for Obama, accord-        lion in May, and they have            “It is clear that people aren’t   percent of the May donations       feed. The president raised $43       Experts     say    Romney
  Romney needs them to do          ing to the most recent            $107 million in cash on hand.      willing to buy into ‘hope &          — more than 297,000 of them        million in April, a drop from      appears to be benefiting more
  more than merely lay down        Washington         Post-ABC          It also was quick to suggest    change’ again,” he added,            — were of $250 or less, and        the $53 million he raised in       from the new rules, with
  their anger over his wobbles     News poll, on par with            Democrats might be turning         referring to an Obama cam-           came from all 50 states and        March, while Romney brought        wealthy conservatives fun-
  on abortion, government          2008 Republican nominee           on Obama and donating to           paign slogan from 2008.              the capital Washington. Those      in $40.1 million in April, near-   nelling huge sums into out-
  spending, health care and        John McCain’s 74 percent          Romney.                            “Voters are making an invest-        small donations raised $12         ing parity with Obama.             side groups that support his
  gay marriage. He needs           to 24 percent among that             “Whether (Romney donors)        ment because they believe that       million out of the total.            These monthly amounts do         agenda.
  them to campaign for him,        group. That’s up from             are Republican, Democrat,          it will benefit the country.”           Obama pulled in far more         not, however, take into              Fundraising is vital to US
  to contribute to him, to get     Romney’s 65 percent to 26         Independent, a first time polit-       Polls show a tight race, with     individual donors, however, at     account contributions from         presidential elections, when
  themselves and their friends     percent advantage among           ical donor or a former Obama       many putting Obama just a            572,000, with 98 percent of        political interest groups called   candidates criss-cross the
  to the polls November 6.         that group in April.              donor, this is not just a cam-     few percentage points ahead of       them donating less than $250.      “super-PACs,” which can raise      country for months and roll
     Many conservatives clear-        Romney has made multi-         paign; it’s an opportunity for     his challenger in national sur-        More than 2.2 million people     and spend unlimited funds to       out several advertising cam-
  ly are not there yet, but the    ple gestures of reconcilia-       the country,” Romney’s             veys, often within the margin        have donated to Obama’s re-        support candidates, although       paigns, spending hundreds of
  Republican base is shifting      tion to conservatives. At         finance chairman Spencer            of error.                            election bid, the campaign said    they cannot directly fund a        millions of dollars in the
  toward Romney, helped            evangelical            Liberty    Zwick said in a statement.            Romney’s campaign said 93         on Obama’s official Twitter         campaign.                          process.
  along by post-primary            University last month, he
  developments that could          spoke of values like faith
  escalate in their favour.        and family. When he’s in
     “The emerging consensus
  among conservatives is that
  the Republican House will
  lead the conservative charge
                                   Washington, he meets regu-
                                   larly with conservative
                                   groups       and
                                   Romney campaign aides
                                                         leaders.    Congress panel votes to penalise New York
                                                                                                        faces huge
                                                                     Russian officials for rights abuse hurricane
  and Romney will be in the        met last week with key
  White House to sign bills,       members of the Republican
  rather than advance his own      Study Committee, the most
  agenda,” said Republican
  consultant Matt Mackowiak.
  “Conservatives don’t univer-
                                   conservative members of
                                   the House, to see how the
                                   former Massachusetts gov-                   REUTERS
                                                                                                        require the United States to                                              Some US lawmakers are
  sally claim Romney as one of     ernor can better connect to                WASHINGTON                deny visas and freeze the                                               hoping to attach the                             REUTERS
  their own, but they appear to    the base.                                                            assets of Russians linked to                                            Magnitsky bill to a proposal                     NEW YORK
  have united behind him,             Romney’s outreach is           A COMMITTEE of the US              Magnitsky’s death. The                                                  to grant “permanent nor-
  perhaps reluctantly, but         possible, several of those        Congress       voted     on        Obama        administration                                             mal      trade     relations”      DATA analysis firm CoreLogic
  without question.”               interviewed said, because         Thursday      to    penalise       already has imposed visa                                                between the United States          said in a new report released
     It’s a stark shift from the   he never antagonised con-         Russian officials for human         restrictions     on     some                                            and Russia that the Obama          on Thursday that the US met-
  beginning of the year, when      servatives.                       rights abuses, adding to           Russians believed to have                                               administration is expected         ropolitan area at greatest risk
                                                                     tensions with Moscow and           been       involved         in                                          to ask Congress to approve         of hurricane damage, both in
                                                                     complicating White House           Magnitsky’s death, but kept                                             this year.                         the number of properties
                                                                     efforts to pass Russian            their names quiet.                                                        US business groups               affected and the potential
                                                                     trade legislation in coming           Russian officials have                                               oppose that step, and the          value of damage, was New
                                                                     months.                            warned repeatedly that pas-                                             White House says it prefers        York City. For the firm’s pur-
                                                                       The     House     Foreign        sage of the bill would harm                                             a “clean” trade bill.              poses, the area also includes
                                                                     Affairs          Committee         US-Russian relations. The                                                 Magnitsky was jailed in          Long Island and northern New
                                                                     approved on a voice vote           measure would make the                                                  2008 on charges of tax eva-        Jersey.
                                                                     the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule         list of alleged offenders                                               sion and fraud.                       “The summer of 2011 gave
                                                                     of Law Accountability Act,”        public, broaden it to include                                             His colleagues say these         us some startling insight into
                                                                     named for a 37-year-old            other abusers of human               Sergei Magnitsky                   were fabricated by police          the damage that even a weak
                                                                     anti-corruption lawyer who         rights in Russia and prohib-                                            investigators whom he had          storm can cause in the New
                                                                     worked for the equity fund         it them from doing their               Before it can get a vote of      accused of stealing $230           York City metro area,”
                                                                     Hermitage Capital.                 banking in US institutions.          the full House, two more           million from the state             CoreLogic vice president
                                                                       His 2009 death after a              Approval by the House             committees must either             through fraudulent tax             Howard Botts said.
                                                                     year in Russian jails              panel was the first step in           approve it or waive jurisdic-      returns.                              “Hurricane Irene was down-
                                                                     spooked investors and              advancing the bill by                tion.                                The      Kremlin’s     own       graded to a tropical storm as it
  Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during a cam-          blackened Russia’s image           Representative            Jim          The Senate has not acted         human rights council said          passed through New Jersey
  paign stop, in Texas, on Wednesday. (AP)                           abroad.                            McGovern, but its future             on a similar bill by Senator       in 2011 that he was proba-         and New York City, but the
                                                                       The measure would                remains uncertain.                   Ben Cardin.                        bly beaten to death.               impact of the storm was still
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   estimated at as much as $6 bil-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is much more likely that a

Claims for unemployment benefits fall 12,000                                                                                                                                                                       hurricane will make landfall in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Miami than New York. In
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2012, according to landfall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   tables from Colorado State
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   University, the odds are 5.3
           REUTERS                 in,” said Carl Riccadonna, an     its long-term historical aver-     and certainly leaves the door        rates, fuelling hopes of coordi-     Concerns over the course of      percent for Miami and 0.2 per-
          WASHINGTON               economist at Deutsche Bank        age.                               open for further action but it is    nated action to aid a flagging      US fiscal policy may also be        cent for New York City. Over
                                   in New York.                         Still, most of the recent       not a ringing bell that it           global economy.The last time       weighing.                          50 years, the odds rise to 95.5
THE number of Americans              The data comes ahead of         increases in new jobless           should take action right now,”       claims fell was in the week          A Labour Department offi-         percent for Miami and 6.6 per-
lining up for new jobless ben-     congressional        testimony    claims were marginal and the       said Peter Jankovskis, an            that ended April 28.               cial said no states estimated      cent for New York.
efits fell last week for the first   scheduled for later in the day                                       investment        officer      at       The four-week moving aver-       their data for last week.             Still, the risk is there, partic-
time since April, a hint that a    by Federal Reserve Chairman         Initial claims                   Oakbrook Investments in              age for new claims, a measure        The report showed the            ularly from flooding. While
slowdown in hiring last            Ben Bernanke, where he could        for state                        Lisle, Illinois.                     of Labour market trends,           number of people still receiv-     most people associate hurri-
month may only be tempo-           give clues about the likelihood     unemployment                       On Wednesday, Janet                increased 1,750 last week to       ing benefits under regular          cane damage with wind, the
rary.                              of further policy easing.           benefits dropped                 Yellen, Bernanke’s deputy and        377,750.                           state programs after an initial    storm surge from rising waters
   Initial claims for state          Prior to last week, claims        12,000 to a                      the vice chair of the Fed, laid        The Labour Department            week of aid rose 34,000 to         caused by cyclones has just as
unemployment           benefits     had risen in four consecutive       seasonally                       out the case for the US central      last week said job growth          3.29 million in the week           much impact, if not more.
dropped 12,000 to a seasonal-      weeks, adding to concerns           adjusted 377,000                 bank to provide more support         slowed in May for the fourth       ended May 26.                         By some estimates, such an
ly adjusted 377,000, the           over several months of lack-                                         to a fragile economy as finan-        straight month, heightening          A total of 5.97 million peo-     event could cause $100 billion
Labour Department said on          lustre hiring data.               overall level of claims has held   cial turmoil in Europe               concerns that the deepening        ple were claiming unemploy-        just in insured losses,
Thursday.                            While the country emerged       at levels consistent with a        mounts.                              debt crisis in Europe and a        ment benefits during the week          CoreLogic estimated the
   “The fact that the number       from a deep recession three       modest recovery in the               US stock futures rose after        slowdown in China were start-      ending May 19 under all pro-       property at risk in the New
didn’t back up is a strong sign    years ago, the jobless rate was   Labour market.                     the Chinese central bank cut         ing to dampen an already           grams, down 167,133 from the       York City area was worth some
that the economy is holding        8.2 percent in May, well above      “I think the Fed looks at it     bank lending and deposit             lacklustre US recovery.            prior week.                        $168 billion.
                                                                                                                  WORLD                                                                                        Friday, June 8, 2012
China, Russia reject army intervention in Syria
              AP                                                                                                                                                                                                    groups.”
             BEIJING                                                                                                                                                                                                  Annan, the joint UN-Arab
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    League envoy, will give his lat-
AHEAD of UN discussions on                                                                                                                                                                                          est assessment of the Syrian
Syria, a conference of Central                                                                                                                                                                                      conflict at an open meeting of
Asian nations on Thursday                                                                                                                                                                                           the UN. General Assembly on
rejected outside military inter-                                                                                                                                                                                    Thursday morning along with
vention to end the violence                                                                                                                                                                                         UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-
there and called for a domes-                                                                                                                                                                                       moon, Arab League chief
tic resolution.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Nabil Elaraby, and a represen-
   China and Russia, both                                                                                                                                                                                           tative of UN human rights
attending the Beijing summit,                                                                                                                                                                                       chief Navi Pillay. Annan will
have been seen as protecting                                                                                                                                                                                        then brief the UN Security
the regime of President                                                                                                                                                                                             Council behind closed doors
Bashar al-Assad, blamed for a                                                                                                                                                                                       on Thursday afternoon and
harsh crackdown on a 15-                                                                                                                                                                                            have dinner with ambassa-
month popular uprising.                                                                                                                                                                                             dors from the council’s five
   A joint statement from the                                                                                                                                                                                       permanent nations — the US,
6-nation             Shanghai                                                                                                                                                                                       Russia, China, Britain and
Cooperation Organisation                                                                                                                                                                                            France, a council diplomat
(SCO) said “all violent behav-                                                                                                                                                                                      said.
iour in Syria must stop” and                                                                                                                                                                                          Also at the summit, the SCO
said the group supports a                                                                                                                                                                                           granted Afghanistan observer
broad domestic dialogue that                                                                                                                                                                                        status in a move to consoli-
respects Syria’s sovereignty                                                                                                                                                                                        date ties with the war-torn
and independence. It said the                                                                                                                                                                                       nation before most foreign
SCO members oppose mili-                                                                                                                                                                                            combat troops depart by the
tary interference, unilateral                                                                                                                                                                                       end of 2014.
sanctions and the “forced                                                                                                                                                                                             Russia and China have long
transfer of power.”                                                                                                                                                                                                 seen the six-nation group as a
   Despite widespread inter-                                                                                                                                                                                        way to counter US influence in
national condemnation of its        (From left) Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon        Central Asia, and hope to play
actions, Syria’s government         and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, on Thursday. (REUTERS)             a     significant    role      in
has survived through a combi-                                                                                                                                                                                       Afghanistan’s future develop-
nation of brutal repression         One year after the revolt          propose tasking a group of           acceptable to Syria’s allies       growing crisis in Syria and        The government restricts          ment, especially in economic
and the political backing of        began, the UN put the toll at      world powers and key region-         Russia and China as well as        possible next steps, the diplo-    journalists from moving           reconstruction.
Moscow. Along with China,           9,000, but many hundreds           al players including Iran to         the US and its European            mats said, speaking on condi-      freely, making it nearly            Afghanistan, whose presi-
Russia has twice blocked UN         more have died since.              come up with a strategy to           allies, who insist Assad must      tion of anonymity because          impossible to independently       dent, Hamid Karzai, attend-
condemnations and punitive            The statement from the           end the conflict, UN diplo-           go, they said.                     consultations have been pri-       verify accounts. The opposi-      ed the summit, joins India,
actions against the regime.         SCO,      which     includes       mats said.                              There has also been talk        vate.                              tion blames government            Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan
   Activists say as many as         Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and           Annan will present the             about a meeting of key world         The violence in Syria has        forces and militias that sup-     as SCO observer states. The
13,000 people have died in          Kazakhstan and Tajikistan,         United Nations with a plan           leaders on the sidelines of the    worsened recently, and it is       port them known as shabihas,      group also admitted Turkey
Assad’s crackdown against the       comes as international envoy       for creating a “contact group”       G20 summit in Mexico later         not known who is to blame          while the government blames       as one of its three dialogue
anti-government uprising.           Kofi Annan on Thursday will         whose final proposal must be          this month to discuss the          for much of the bloodshed.         rebels and “armed terrorist       partners.

Probe into Chinese Foreigners to get visa-free entry to new N Korea zone
dissident’s death                                                                    AFP
                                                                                                            Wihwado zone on two

                                                                                                            islands in the estuary of the
                                                                                                                                               said Pyongyang’s official
                                                                                                                                               news agency.
                                                                                                                                                 The country normally
                                                                                                                                                                                  be levied on materials
                                                                                                                                                                                  brought into the zone for
                                                                                                                                                                                  processing, or on finished
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    invest about $3 billion in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    developing a free trade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    zone in the northeast,

demanded                                                               NORTH Korea announced
                                                                       on Thursday that foreign-
                                                                       ers would be allowed visa-
                                                                       free access to a new eco-
                                                                                                            Yalu river that marks their
                                                                                                            border. Ground was broken
                                                                                                            last December.
                                                                                                              “Foreigners and vehicles
                                                                                                                                               tightly restricts foreign vis-
                                                                                                                                                 A special law adopted
                                                                                                                                               earlier stipulates that
                                                                                                                                                                                  goods, it said.
                                                                                                                                                                                    The impoverished com-
                                                                                                                                                                                  munist country is striving
                                                                                                                                                                                  to revitalise its economy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    around the port of Rason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The North’s dependence

           REUTERS                  who called for an authorised       nomic zone near its west             may enter or leave the zone        investors will be given pref-      through foreign investment        on Beijing has grown as
             BEIJING                forensic investigation.            coast, along with tax                through the designated             erential treatment in pay-         in its economic zones.            international sanctions over
                                       Li had been one of the first     breaks.                              route without visa upon            ment of tariffs, tax and use         South Korea’s Yonhap            its missile and nuclear pro-
ONLINE petitioners stepped          Chinese activists to push for        North Korea and China              presentation of passports          of land, it said.                  news agency said in               grammes restricted access
up pressure on China on             independent labour unions          are jointly developing the           or other equivalent pass,”           Customs duties will not          February that China would         to international credit.
Thursday to investigate the         in China, but was punished
death in hospital of a labour       after the June 4, 1989, crack-
activist after spending more        down for his participation in
than 22 years in jail for his
role in the 1989 pro-democ-
                                    the pro-democracy move-
                                    ment.                                                          PROTEST AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER                                                                                    Boko Haram
racy protests in Beijing.
  Li Wangyang, who was
                                       The Information Centre
                                    for Human Rights &
                                                                          Some one hundred female activists protest in front of the prime minister’s official residence, in Tokyo, on Thursday. Japanese
                                                                          Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting on June 7 to discuss whether his government should approve restarting two                    claims role in
only released from prison
last year, was found dead in a
                                    Democracy said a number of
                                    rights activists, lawyers and
                                                                          nuclear reactors in western Japan. (AFP)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nigerian police
hospital ward in Shaoyang
city in Hunan province on
                                    citizens had arrived in
                                    Shaoyang to assist the family                                                                                                                                                   chief ’s murder
Wednesday, his neck tied            in its bid for justice, but
with a noose made from cot-         many were unreachable and                                                                                                                                                                    AFP
ton bandages. Authorities           had probably been detained                                                                                                                                                                   KANO
said it was suicide.                by authorities.
  He was being treated for             “It’s very difficult to accept                                                                                                                                                THE Islamist group Boko
deteriorating health, but           the official explanation of                                                                                                                                                      Haram has claimed responsi-
details were not available.         events,” said Wen Yunchao,                                                                                                                                                      bility for the killing of a for-
The group Human Rights in           a prominent Chinese blogger                                                                                                                                                     mer Nigerian deputy police
China said Li lost his sight        and journalist now based in                                                                                                                                                     chief in the northern city of
and hearing as a result of tor-     Hong Kong who helped initi-                                                                                                                                                     Kano and vowed more of such
ture during his years behind        ate the online petition.                                                                                                                                                        attacks.
bars.                                  Several dozen activists and                                                                                                                                                     “Yesterday God gave us vic-
  “We saw that his body was         lawmakers in Hong Kong                                                                                                                                                          tory and we succeeded in
still hanging by the window,        protested outside Beijing’s                                                                                                                                                     killing a former deputy
and his two feet were clearly       liaison office, carrying white                                                                                                                                                   inspector general in Kano
still standing on the ground.       flowers.                                                                                                                                                                         city,” the sect said in an email
But they (hospital staff) did          Just last week, Li had said                                                                                                                                                  statement to reporters on
not let us get near him. Then       in a television interview that                                                                                                                                                  Wednesday.
they dragged his body away,”        he’d never regretted his fight
Zhao Baozhu, Li’s brother-          for justice.                                                                                                                                                                      “Very soon top
in-law, was quoted as saying           “The souls of the martyrs                                                                                                                                                      government
by Human Rights in China.           deserve to finally find some                                                                                                                                                        officials will have
  As of Thursday afternoon,         peace,” said Li, referring to                                                                                                                                                     no peace as we
2,700 people had signed an          the Tiananmen Square                                                                                                                                                              will intensify
online petition, including          protests and the subsequent                                                                                                                                                       attacks on them
prominent Chinese artist            crackdown in which hun-                                                                                                                                                           wherever they
and activist Ai Weiwei,             dreds, if not thousands,                                                                                                                                                          are.”
scholars, lawyers and writers       were killed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The group also vowed to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    carry out more of such
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    killings of senior government

Top human trafficker fled Australia: Police
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “By God’s grace very soon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    top government officials will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    have no peace as we will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    intensify attacks on them
              AFP                   damning documentary about          given that Australia expected        departing Australia,” Negus        showed up there, but only if       the investigation of Emad and     wherever they are,” it said.
             SYDNEY                 him aired in Australia on          their help in tracking down          told reporters.                    Australia issued an arrest war-    his associates and there had        Two gunmen on a motorcy-
                                    Monday.                            people-smugglers.                      “This was despite the materi-    rant.                              been a raid on a home in          cle shot dead Abubakar Saleh
AUSTRALIAN police said on              Emad had travelled from           Negus took the rare step of        al recently aired in the Four        “We haven’t received any         Canberra late last year linked    Ningi, his driver and a body-
Thursday an alleged people-         Indonesia on a people-smug-        confirming on Thursday that           Corners programme being            information        from      the   to their alleged smuggling syn-   guard in Kano on Tuesday,
smuggling kingpin who was           gling boat in January 2010 and     Emad had been the focus of           thoroughly analysed by our         Australian police about this. If   dicate.                           where Boko Haram has car-
granted a refugee visa fled the      set up smuggling operations in     police inquiries for two years,      investigators.”                    the man has committed a              Emad was described as           ried out a wave of attacks.
country this week after a televi-   the national capital Canberra      given the significant public            Negus said police “have an       crime in Australia, Indonesian     the “head of the smugglers,         Ningi and other top police
sion expose, and they were          after being granted asylum         interest in the case, but said the   idea” where Emad had gone          police will take action once the   the head of the snake” by an      officers were relieved of duty
powerless to stop him.              under a false name, according      Iraqi-born man had since fled.        but were not prepared to share     Australians issue an arrest        informant who linked him          in January following coordi-
  Tony Negus, head of the           to the ABC Four Corners pro-         “There was an operational          that information in case it com-   warrant,” national police          to a powerful Indonesian          nated bomb and gun attacks
Australian Federal Police, said     gramme.                            decision made by investigators       promised future law-enforce-       spokesman Saud Usman               ring behind two ill-fated         in Kano, northern Nigeria’s
the accused smuggler known             The allegations angered         that he could not be detained        ment operations.                   Nasution said.                     boats which sank before           largest city and commercial
as Captain Emad flew out of          Jakarta, who described them        as the officers had no lawful           Indonesian police said they        Negus said there were con-       reaching Australia, killing       centre, that killed at least
Melbourne on Tuesday after a        as “disappointing and difficult”    basis to prevent him from            would arrest Emad if he            siderable resources allocated to   almost 150 people.                185 people.
10          Friday, June 8, 2012
                                                         PAKISTAN / SOUTH ASIA

                                                                                                                                                                                US warns
                                                                                                                                                                                Pakistan on
                                                                                                                                                                                              AFP                    he said.
                                                                                                                                                                                             KABUL                      “We have made that very
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     clear time and time again and
                                                                                                                                                                                DEFENCE Secretary Leon               we will continue to do that.
                                                                                                                                                                                Panetta warned Pakistan on           But as I said, we are reaching
                                                                                                                                                                                Thursday Washington is los-          the limits of our patience,” he
                                                                                                                                                                                ing patience over its failure to     added.
                                                                                                                                                                                eliminate safe havens for               The Afghan and US govern-
                                                                                                                                                                                insurgents who attack US             ments have suggested the war
                                                                                                                                                                                troops in neighbouring               in Afghanistan cannot be won
                                                                                                                                                                                Afghanistan.                         without safe havens in
                                                                                                                                                                                   Panetta lashed out at             Pakistan being dismantled.
                                                                                                                                                                                Pakistan and the Al Qaeda-              Analysts say Islamabad
                                                                                                                                                                                linked Haqqani network dur-          allows the Haqqanis to oper-
                                                                                                                                                                                ing a brief visit to Kabul over-     ate to hedge against any influ-
                                                                                                                                                                                shadowed by fury over a              ence by their arch-foe India in
                                                                                                                                                                                NATO air strike that allegedly       Afghanistan, while critics in
                                                                                                                                                                                killed 18 civilians, an issue        Pakistan       accuse       the
                                                                                                                                                                                that the Pentagon chief did          Americans of deflecting
                                                                                                                                                                                not address in public.               blame for the increasingly
                                                                                                                                                                                   Panetta left Kabul less           deadly war.
                                                                                                                                                                                than five hours after his                The Pentagon chief blamed
                                                                                                                                                                                arrival, as Afghan President         an attack last week on
                                                                                                                                                                                Hamid Karzai pledged to cut          Forward Operating Base
Pakistani troops at the site of a bomb blast, in Quetta, on Thursday. (EPA)                                                                                                     short a trip to Beijing and          Salerno,       in      eastern
                                                                                                                                                                                head home over the deaths of         Afghanistan, on the Haqqani

14 killed, 40 hurt in Quetta blast
                                                                                                                                                                                around 40 civilians on
                                                                                                                                                                                Wednesday in the air strike
                                                                                                                                                                                and a suicide bombing.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Panetta’s trip to Kabul to
                                                                                                                                                                                assess the state of the war and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The United States leads
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     130,000 NATO troops fight-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ing the Taliban insurgency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and is planning to withdraw
                                    violence between the major-         ered the whole area. People       line of the US-led war on Al       Islamabad’s refusal to do          plans to withdraw US combat          the bulk of combat forces
             QUETTA                 ity Sunni and minority              were crying. I don’t know         Qaeda and since July 2007          more to eliminate safe havens      troops by the end of 2014            from Afghanistan by the end
                                    Shiite Muslim sects and a           what happened afterwards —        has been gripped by a local        for insurgents who attack US       coincided with an increase in        of 2014, and hand responsi-
A BOMB attack killed at             separatist insurgency.              I fell unconscious,” he said.     Taliban-led insurgency, con-       troops fighting a 10-year war       violence.                            bility for security to the
least 14 people and wounded            Doctor Mohammad Haider              Quetta is the capital of       centrated largely in the north-    against the Taliban in                “Even though we are seeing        Afghans.
more than 40 others outside         at the state-run Civil Hospital     Baluchistan province, which       west. In the last five years,       Afghanistan.                       an uptick in violence in recent         But civilian casualties
a Pakistani madrasa in the          said three boys and five men         borders         Iran       and    attacks blamed on Islamist           Panetta made the strong          days, the overall level of vio-      caused by US and NATO air
troubled southwestern city          were killed. He said the chil-      Afghanistan.                      bombers have killed more           remarks after talks with           lence is down from past              strikes have been a frequent
of Quetta on Thursday,              dren were aged seven, nine             Baluch rebels rose up in the   than 5,000 people according        Afghan Defence Minister            years,” he said.                     source of tension between
police said.                        and 14. Police official Hamid        province in 2004, demanding       to an AFP tally.                   Abdul Rahim Wardak on the             The Haqqani group, a fac-         Karzai and the United States.
  The bomb was detonated            Shakeel confirmed the death          political autonomy and a             Its relations with the          latest leg of an Asian tour that   tion linked to the Taliban and          The Afghan president, who
outside the gates of the Sunni      toll and said that more than        greater share of profits from      United States are in disarray      has taken him to Pakistan’s        Al Qaeda that is believed to be      was attending a meeting of
Muslim seminary as a degree         20 people were wounded. “It         oil, gas and mineral resources    and for the last six months        arch-rival India, but not          based in Pakistan’s lawless          the Shanghai Cooperation
ceremony for students was           was a remote-controlled             in the region.                    Pakistan has imposed a             Islamabad in a sign of dire        tribal district of North             Organisation in Beijing,
being held inside, police told      bomb,” he told AFP.                    It is one of the most          blockade on NATO supplies          US-Pakistan relations.             Waziristan, is blamed for            issued a stinging rebuke of
reporters.                             Haji Khudai Nazar, 40, who       deprived regions of Pakistan      crossing      overland     into      He singled out the Haqqani       some of the deadliest attacks        NATO’s latest air strike.
  It was the deadliest attack       was wounded in the                  despite its wealth in             Afghanistan since US air           network, a Taliban and Al-         in Afghanistan’s 10-year war.           “Attacks by NATO that
in the city since a car bomb        abdomen, told AFP that he           resources, and human rights       strikes killed 24 Pakistani sol-   Qaeda-linked faction that has         “It’s an increasing concern       cause life and property losses
killed 15 people last               had come to attend the func-        activists have heavily con-       diers along the border.            bases in Pakistan’s lawless        that this safe haven exists and      to civilians under no circum-
December.                           tion as a guest.                    demned the military for sum-         On Thursday, US Defense         tribal district of North           that there are those like the        stances could be justified and
  There was no immediate               “I came with two friends to      mary arrests and executions       Secretary Leon Panetta             Waziristan and which has           Haqqanis who are making              are not acceptable,” Karzai
claim of responsibility, but        attend the event. As soon as        in its bid to put down the sep-   warned Pakistan that the           been blamed for some of the        use of that to attack our            said of the incident on
the city suffers from               we got out of the car, there        aratist insurgency.               United States was running          deadliest attacks of the 10-       forces,” Panetta told a news         Wednesday         in     Logar
Islamist attacks, sectarian         was a huge blast. Dust cov-            Pakistan sits on the front-    out of patience over               year war in Afghanistan.           conference with his Afghan           province, south of Kabul.
                                                                                                                                                                                counterpart, Abdul Rahim                Karzai “is deeply grieved”
                                                                                                                                                                                Wardak.                              over the deaths in Logar and
                                                                                                                                                                                   “We are reaching the limits       those from a Kandahar sui-
  800 pilgrims
  stranded on                       Myanmar opens probe into                                                                                                                    of our patience here,” he said.
                                                                                                                                                                                   “For that reason, it’s
                                                                                                                                                                                extremely important that
                                                                                                                                                                                Pakistan take action to pre-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     cide bombing on the same
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     day, and “will shorten his trip
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     to China and will very soon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     return to the country”, his

  Nepal-Tibet                                                                                                                                                                   vent this kind of safe haven,”       office said.

                                    Muslim killings, riots
          KATHMANDU                               AFP                   considered foreigners despite     rule of law in Rakhine state in    is also educating the people
                                                 YANGON                 a decades-long presence in        May and June,” said a state-       step-by-step to observe demo-
  HUNDREDS of Indian                                                    Myanmar, threaten to over-        ment on the front page of The      cratic practices.”
  pilgrims have been                MYANMAR’S reformist gov-            shadow reconciliation efforts     New Light of Myanmar, the            The probe will be headed by
  stranded in Nepal on their        ernment has launched an offi-        since political reforms last                                         Brigadier General Kyaw Zan
  way         to     Kailash-       cial probe into a flare-up of        year ended almost half a cen-                                        Myint, deputy minister at the
  Mansarovar in Tibet as            sectarian violence in the west      tury of military rule.
                                                                                                            Ten Muslims were                 Ministry of Home Affairs, the
  Chinese         authorities       of the country, state media           In a rare public response to
                                                                                                            killed on Sunday                 report said, adding that the
  stopped them at the bor-          said on Thursday, pledging to       civil unrest, the government
                                                                                                            in Rakhine state,                aim was to “expose the truth
  der entry point saying that       punish those responsible.           said it had established a
                                                                                                            which borders                    and take legal actions”.
  their vehicles did not have         Ten Muslims were killed on        committee to investigate the
                                                                                                            Bangladesh.                        The Muslims died after a
  route permit.                     Sunday in Rakhine state,            sectarian strife and expected                                        hundreds-strong           mob
    Around          700-800         which borders Bangladesh, by        to hear its findings by the        government’s mouthpiece.           attacked a bus on Sunday,
  Indian pilgrims, who were         a mob angered at the rape and       end of June.                        “The government is now           believing the perpetrators of
  on their way to Tibet to          murder of a local woman               “There occurred organised,      marching towards a new dem-        the rape and murder of the
  pay a visit to Kailash-           allegedly by three Muslim           lawless and anarchic acts that    ocratic society making politi-     Rakhine woman were on
  Mansarovar, a famous              men. The attacks on Muslims,        can harm peace, stability and     cal and economic reforms... it     board.                             US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta (centre), Kabul, on Thursday. (AP)
  Hindu and Buddhist pil-
  grimage site, have been
  stranded at Tatopani area
  around 125 km east of
  Kathmandu after Chinese
  officials stopped them at
  the border, Nepalese offi-
  cials said.
                                    Bangladesh unveils $23 billion annual budget
    “We have got the infor-                       AFP                   Gross Domestic Product            from the current double-           outgoing fiscal year slowed
  mation that hundreds of                        DHAKA                  (GDP) to be mainly financed        digit rate due to monetary         to a forecast 6.3 percent
  Indian tourists coming to                                             by borrowing from local           tightening.                        down from 6.7 percent in the
  Nepal on their way to             BANGLADESH unveiled its             banks and loans from devel-          But the budgetary goals         previous 12 months.
  Mansarovar have been              annual budget on Thursday,          opment lenders such as the        drew flak from economists              Impoverished Bangladesh,
  stopped at the Tibetan            drawing immediate criticism         World Bank.                       who see the key drivers of         which is dependent on gar-
  border by the Chinese             from some economists who               Finance Minister A M A         growth such as exports and         ment shipment to Western
  authorities,” Sudhir Shah,        said it was unrealistic just        Muhith said the budget tar-       manufacturing facing head-         markets, struck a deal with
  chief of Immigration              months after the country was        gets a 7.2 percent growth on      winds from cooling demand          the International Monetary
  Department here said.             bailed out by the IMF.              the world economy rebound-        in Europe and America.             Fund (IMF) in April for a 1.0-
    Some 700-800 Indian               The       1.92-trillion-taka      ing in 2013, with reforms            “I will be happy if we have     billion-dollar loan package.
  visitors stranded at              ($23.5-billion) plan for the        backed by the IMF boosting        6.5 percent growth in the             Under the IMF agreement,
  Tatopani border point             year beginning on July 1            investor confidence in             coming fiscal year,” said           the government has to hike
  and most of them have             forecasts a 20-percent hike         Bangladesh.                       economist Ahsan Mansur.            prices of oil, power and fer-
  now started to return to          in spending, with new                  “A 7.2 percent growth is          “We face huge challenges        tiliser to bolster the country’s
  Kathmandu. The Indian             investment earmarked for            not unrealistic or ambi-          due to the gloomy global out-      shaky balance of payments.
  pilgrims have visa, but the       the struggling transport and        tious,” he told parliament in     look and declining invest-         But the changes could enrage
  Chinese         authorities       power infrastructure.               his budget speech, adding         ment affected by political         poor farmers, who have
  stopped them.                       The budget sees an already        inflation would ease to 5 per-     instability and low demand.”       relied on deep subsidies for       View of a packed train of people returning home after the finance
                                    large deficit of five percent of      cent in the medium term              Economic expansion in the       decades.                           minister presented the new budget, in Dhaka, on Thursday. (AFP)
                                                                                                               INDIA                                                                                      Friday, June 8, 2012

Govt plans roadshows in five Gulf countries
          REUTERS                and Finance Minister Pranab       demand and investment                                                  years through March 2017, of      range, after last week’s GDP       data, despite a series of scan-
          NEW DELHI              Mukherjee hopes to attract        opportunities,” R Gopalan,                                             which it hopes to attract half    data.                              dals that slowed policymak-
                                 petro dollars to invest partic-   economic affairs secretary,           India recently                   from the private sector.            Officials hope declining          ing and scared off many
INDIA plans a roadshow next      ularly in the country’s infra-    told reporters on Thursday.           relaxed rules to                   Abheek Barua, chief econo-      commodity prices and policy        investors.
week in five Gulf countries to    structure.                          He will head a team from            allow foreign                    mist at HDFC Bank, said it        measures will ease pressure          BNP Paribas plans a con-
attract sovereign funds and        India recently relaxed rules    the finance ministry, the              retail investors to              made sense to tap the Middle      on a yawning fiscal deficit,         ference in Monaco later this
other investors to help revive   to allow foreign retail           Reserve Bank of India, the            invest in mutual                 East. “If you look at NRI         although New Delhi has been        month for its clients to invest
slowing growth in Asia’s third   investors to invest in mutual     market regulator and stock                                             (non-resident Indian) flows        unable to push through             in India.
largest economy.                 funds, stocks and corporate       exchanges on the trip to
                                                                                                         funds, stocks and                for the past few months, a        major reforms in recent              “We plan to hold such road
  A rapid pace of more than 9    bonds.                            Saudi Arabia, the United              corporate bonds.                 large part of it has come from    years.                             shows in major cities in the
percent expansion before the       “A lot of people are ill-       Arab Emirates, Oman,                                                   the Middle East,” he said.          Foreign direct investment        US and other countries once
2008 global financial crisis      informed about India’s            Bahrain and Kuwait.                                                      Economists have slashed         into India rose 88 percent to      we get a positive response in
has softened to just 5.3 per-    potential. We want to tell          The delegation is seeking         ture debt funds. India aims to     their growth forecasts for        a record $36.5 billion in the      the Gulf,” said Thomas
cent in the March quarter,       investors, look, it is a robust   investment including via cor-       invest up to $1 trillion in        India’s current fiscal year,       fiscal year that ended in           Mathew, a finance ministry
the weakest in nine years,       economy with high savings,        porate bonds and infrastruc-        infrastructure over the five        many to the low 6 percent         March, according to official        official.

CCS clears                                                                                      RESPITE FROM HEAT                                                                                                 Talwars
                                    Young girls play at a water park to get respite from the humid and hot atmosphere, in Bhopal, on Thursday. Heat wave has gripped various parts of the country in
agenda for                          the recent days. According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), monsoon hit the north-east on Wednesday. (EPA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  vow to nail
talks with                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aarushi
Pakistan                                                                                                                                                                                                          killers
             PTI                                                                                                                                                                                                            IANS
          NEW DELHI                                                                                                                                                                                                      NEW DELHI

INDIA is expected to stick to                                                                                                                                                                                     THE Supreme Court on
its stand on authentication                                                                                                                                                                                       Thursday ruled that
of troop positions at Siachen                                                                                                                                                                                     Rajesh and Nupur
at the upcoming talks with                                                                                                                                                                                        Talwar would have to
Pakistan.                                                                                                                                                                                                         face trial in the twin
   The issue was on Thursday                                                                                                                                                                                      murders       of     their
discussed by the Cabinet                                                                                                                                                                                          daughter Aarushi and
Committee on Security                                                                                                                                                                                             domestic help Hemraj,
(CCS), which cleared the                                                                                                                                                                                          prompting the “deeply
stand to be adopted by India                                                                                                                                                                                      disappointed” dentist
in this regard, sources said.                                                                                                                                                                                     couple to vow that they
   Defence Secretaries of the                                                                                                                                                                                     would nail the killers
two countries will meet in                                                                                                                                                                                        and that justice would
Islamabad on June 11 and 12                                                                                                                                                                                       one day prevail.
in a bid to find a solution to                                                                                                                                                                                       As the Supreme
the vexed issue which has                                                                                                                                                                                         Court bench of Justices
been hanging fire for over                                                                                                                                                                                         A K Patnaik and J S
two decades.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Khehar rejected Nupur
   Maintenance of troops in                                                                                                                                                                                       Talwar’s petition seek-
the glaciated mountainous                                                                                                                                                                                         ing review of the earlier
region ranging in the alti-                                                                                                                                                                                       order that she and her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  husband be tried for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the 2008 murders and
  Defence Minister A                                                                                                                                                                                              also turned down the
  K Antony had                                                                                                                                                                                                    plea for further investi-
  recently said in                                                                                                                                                                                                gation in the case, legal
  Parliament that no                                                                                                                                                                                              experts said proving
  one should expect                                                                                                                                                                                               innocence in court was
  any “dramatic”                                                                                                                                                                                                  now their only option.
  results from the                                                                                                                                                                                                  While Nupur Talwar
  Defence Secre-                                                                                                                                                                                                  is at the Dasna jail in
  taries’ talks.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ghaziabad,         Rajesh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Talwar is out on bail.

                                 Chidambaram to face trial,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The court cautioned
tude of above 15,000 ft is                                                                                                                                                                                        Nupur Talwar to desist
costing immensely to both                                                                                                                                                                                         from wasting the time
countries in terms of mone-                                                                                                                                                                                       of the court by chal-
tary and human resources.                                                                                                                                                                                         lenging every order of
  Commenting on the                                                                                                                                                                                               the lower court right up
upcoming talks, Defence
Minister A K Antony had
recently said in Parliament
that no one should expect
any “dramatic” results from
the defence secretaries’
                                 opposition demands ouster                                                                                                                                                        to apex court. The court
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  said that failure to do so
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  would invite exemplary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “As of now, I would
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  only seriously caution
talks.                                                                                                              IANS                     The court said he would face   and AIADMK general secre-             the petitioner from
  India and Pakistan have                                                                                    CHENNAI/NEW DELHI            the remaining 27 charges and      tary J Jayalalithaa said the          such behaviour in
held several rounds of talks                                                                                                              appear before the court when      prime minister should drop            future. After all, frivo-
to resolve the Siachen issue.                                                                          THE Madras High Court on           required. It asked the minister   Chidambaram from his cabi-            lous litigation takes up
  The two countries were                                                                               Thursday declined to dismiss       to “fully cooperate” during the   net if he did not resign on his       a large chunk of pre-
close to an agreement a few                                                                            a case against Home Minister       trial.                            own.                                  cious court time,”
years back on demilitaris-                                                                             P Chidambaram for allegedly           Chidambaram had sought            Accusing Chidambaram of            Justice Khehar said.
ing the region but it failed                                                                           manipulating the 2009 elec-        the dismissal of Kannappan’s      fradulently winning the polls,          The Talwars had
to fructify as Pakistan                                                                                tions in his Lok Sabha con-        petition and exemption from       she said: “As he has to face          challenged             the
refused to authenticate the                                                                            stituency, prompting the BJP       personal appearance.              criminal cases now, it will be        February 9, 2011 order
current military positions                                                                             and Tamil Nadu’s ruling               In the close contest,          blot on the country’s democ-          of a Ghaziabad magis-
of the two sides despite                                                                               AIADMK to demand his resig-        Chidambaram polled 334,348        racy if he continues in office.        trate rejecting the clo-
India pressing for it.                                                                                 nation.                            votes      and     Kannappan      Hence Chidambaram should              sure report filed by the
  During a visit to Siachen                                                                               In a clear setback to the       330,994 in 2009, giving the       resign.” The BJP agreed.              Central Bureau of
in 2005, Prime Minister                                                                                minister, the Madurai bench        former a narrow victory mar-         “We appeal to the prime            Investigation (CBI) in
Manmohan Singh had said                                                                                of the Madras High Court           gin of 3,354 votes.               minister to throw him out of          the case and taking cog-
that the two countries                                                                                 gave the ruling in response to        Kannappan has said that        the cabinet immediately,” BJP         nizance against the
should work to convert the                                                                             a     petition     challenging     around 1,400 votes polled by      president Nitin Gadkari said          dentist couple for the
highest battlefield into a                                                                             Chidambaram’s election from        him were credited to              in Delhi.                             double murder.
mountain of peace. Recently                                                                            Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu.           Chidambaram.                  G       “After manipulating the             The Talwars said in
Pakistan Army chief Gen                                                                                   Holding that Chidambaram        Saravanakumar, counsel for        results of the polls, and being       an emotive statement
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had                                                                               has to face the petition filed by   Kannappan, told IANS in           attached to corruption cases          soon after the setback
contended that India had                                                                               AIADMK’s Raja Kannappan,           Chennai: “The court has           one after the other, what more        in the apex court that
hardened its position on the                                                                           one of those who lost from         decided there is material fact    evidence does the prime min-          they were “deeply dis-
Siachen issue as compared                                                                              Sivaganga, the court struck        and substance on the corrupt      ister need against him?”              appointed” with the
to the 1989 stance it had                                                                              down two of the 29 charges -       electoral practices done on          The government rejected            rejection of their
adopted, saying that it                                                                                use of bank officials and banks     behalf of Chidambaram.”           the call for Chidambaram’s            review plea.
“takes two hands to clap”.       Home Minister P Chidambaram, in New Delhi, on Thursday. (AP)          to induce voters.                     Tamil Nadu Chief Minister      ouster.

Presidential polls: Pranab seems to gain support of allies
             PTI                 Congress President Sonia          the allies are willing to talk on   stituent, JD(U).                   Karunanidhi, whom Defence
         NEW DELHI               Gandhi has held discussions       the issue but informed                 Congress sources said           Minister A K Antony had met
                                 with allies in recent days.       sources said that the Union         Gandhi will continue her           last month as Sonia’s emis-
PRANAB Mukherjee appears           DMK leaders M K Stalin          Finance Minister appears to         consultations over the next        sary on the Presidential elec-
to be gaining support of         and T R Baalu met Gandhi          be getting the backing of the       few days before formally           tion, has already given back-
Congress allies for the          today, two days after RLD         allies consulted so far.            announcing a name for              ing to Mukherjee as UPA’s
President’s post with a for-     chief and Civil Aviation            Another          key       ally   Rashtrapati Bhawan.                Presidential candidate.
mal notification for the elec-    Minister Ajit Singh had           Samjawadi Party headed by              Stalin and Baalu, who met          “If he is the candidate of
tion expected next week.         called on her. Presidential       Mulayam Singh Yadav is also         Prime Minister Manmohan            the UPA coalition, the DMK
   Having been authorised by     election was the subject of       said to be in favour of             Singh in the morning, also         will not hesitate to back his
the     party’s     Working      discussions with all these        Mukherjee, who has had the          called on Mukherjee after          candidature,” DMK chief M
Committee to name the can-       leaders.                          open support of Lalu                their     discussions   with       Karunanidhi       had    told
didate for the high post,          Neither the Congress nor        Prasad’s RJD and NDA con-           Gandhi. DMK President              reporters then.                   Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in New Delhi, on Thursday. (PTI)
12          Friday, June 8, 2012
                                                                   THE LAST WORD

Fitch warns US of credit rating cut in 2013
           REUTERS                  time frame for a potential            Lower credit ratings typically                                       from stable after a special con-     debt as a percentage of GDP is     plus from AAA. It has held it
           NEW YORK
                                                                                                             Europe’s ongoing
                                    downgrade.                         lead to higher borrowing costs,       sovereign credit                  gressional committee failed to       expected to increase over the      with a negative outlook ever
                                       Europe’s ongoing sovereign      putting more strain on govern-        crisis undermines                 agree on at least $1.2 trillion in   next five or six years,” Parker     since. Moody’s Investors
FITCH Ratings reiterated on         credit crisis undermines           ment balance sheets already           already below-                    deficit-reduction measures.           said, referring to the United      Service has the United States
Thursday it would cut its sover-    already below-trend growth         straining to cut spending with-       trend growth seen                    At the time it said there was     States, Britain, Germany and       rated at Aaa, also with a nega-
eign credit rating for the          seen in the United States, the     out sending their economies           in the United                     a chance for a U.S. downgrade        France.                            tive outlook as of November
United States next year if          world’s biggest economy.           into a tailspin.                      States, the world’s               in 2013, saying the failure of         The US economy’s growth          last year.
Washington cannot come to              “The United States is the          Only in the last week have         biggest economy.                  the committee increases the          rate in the first quarter was          All three of the ratings agen-
grips with its deficits and create   only country (of four major        European leaders broached the                                           fiscal burden on the next             revised down last month to 1.9     cies have said they essentially
a “credible” fiscal consolidation    AAA-rated countries) which         prospect of closer economic         international supervision.          administration.                      percent from a prior estimate      do not expect much change in
plan. It also said it would         does not have a credible fiscal     and political ties to overcome         A voter backlash returned a         A change in an outlook sets a     of 2.2 percent as businesses       the U.S. budget situation or fis-
immediately cut the credit rat-     consolidation plan,” and its       the crisis which has forced         socialist government in             12-18 month time frame for           restocked shelves at a moder-      cal position until after the
ings on Cyprus, Ireland, Italy,     debt-to-GDP ratio, or how          severe austerity budgets on         France and boosted the              making a decision. A negative        ate pace and government            November presidential elec-
Spain and Portugal if Greece        much debt it has relative to the   Europe’s citizens. German and       chances for the same in Greece      outlook signifies there is a          spending declined sharply. It      tion. The negative outlook
were to exit the euro zone.         size of the economy, is expect-    European Union officials are         which could put its 130-billion-    greater than 50 percent chance       grew 3.0 percent in the fourth     from S&P gives it a six-to-24-
Additionally, all euro zone         ed to increase over the medium     looking into ways to rescue         euro international bailout plan     for a downgrade, and vice versa      quarter of 2011.                   month window for making a
nations would have their rat-       term, Ed Parker, sovereign rat-    Spain’s debt-stricken banks         in jeopardy. Fitch revised down     if the outlook is positive.            Standard & Poor’s made his-      decision while Moody’s defines
ings put on its negative ratings    ings analyst, told a Fitch con-    even though Madrid has not          its credit outlook for the United      “The US is the only one of the    tory in August 2011 when it cut    its time frame as 12 to 18
watch list, setting a six-month     ference in New York.               called for aid and resisted         States to negative in November      four largest economies whose         the U.S. credit rating to AA-      months.

25 Qaeda gunmen                                                                                                                                 COCA CELEBRATION IN SPAIN
                                                                                                               Five-year-old girls dance on the shoulders of women during the ‘Coca’ celebration at Redondela, in rural northeastern Spain, on
                                                                                                               Thursday. The tradition of dancing with daughters on the shoulders is taken from a legend, originating from the Middle Ages, about
                                                                                                               two women who were saved from a dragon by dancing in this manner. Kids are dressed in costumes called ‘Penlas.’ (REUTERS)

killed in Yemen
              AFP                   when the jihadists launched        on May 12 aimed at reclaim-
             ADEN                   an evening assault on Batis,       ing the Abyan provincial cap-
                                    using shells and machine-          ital Zinjibar and other towns
VIOLENCE in south Yemen             guns, causing more deaths,         and cities lost to Al Qaeda
on Thursday killed 30 peo-          sources said.                      during the past year.
ple, of whom 25 were Al-              “In all, 20 Al Qaeda mili-          Since the beginning of the
Qaeda fighters, including five        tants     were   killed  in        attack, 446 people have been
in an air strike by the Yemeni      Thursday’s military opera-         killed, according to an AFP
air force, officials said.           tions around Batis,” the           tally combined from different
   The air raid struck the east-                                       sources. This includes 333 Al
ern outskirts of Jaar, a town         The clashes                      Qaeda militants, 68 soldiers,
in Abyan province that is             erupted when                     26 local armed men, and 19
controlled by Al Qaeda, and                                            civilians.
also wounded militants, said
                                      the militants                       Meanwhile, in a separate
a local official.                      attempted to                     development, armed men
   Two other Al Qaeda fight-           return to the                    blew up an oil pipeline in the
ers were killed in fighting            village which                    eastern Yemeni province of
with militiamen belonging to          they had                         Marib on Thursday, the inte-
the Popular Resistance                controlled until                 rior ministry said without giv-
Committees, who are fighting           they were                        ing details on the damage.
alongside the army, in the vil-       chased out by                       The blast occurred in the
lage of Batis, north of Jaar,         the army last                    Al-Wadi area, the ministry
the official said.                     week.                            added, saying four suspects
   The clashes erupted when                                            were being sought.
the militants attempted to          deputy governor of Abyan,             Attacks on oil and gas
return to the village which         Ahmed Ghaleb al-Raghawi,           pipelines by Al Qaeda mili-
they had controlled until they      said. He added that a number       tants or tribesmen seeking to
were chased out by the army         of    Popular       Resistance     pressure the government into
last week.                          Committees militiamen were         meeting their demands are
   And five more jihadists           also killed but did not pro-       common.
were killed in an ambush            vide a specific toll.                  Al Qaeda’s branch in
near Batis, the official added.         The defence ministry con-       Yemen has exploited the
   The ambush by pro-army           firmed that a total of 20 Al        decline in central government
militiamen was led by a for-        Qaeda militants were killed        control that accompanied
mer Al Qaeda militant,              on Thursday in violence            Arab Spring-inspired protests
Abdullah al Sayed, who              around Batis alone, accord-        that eventually forced presi-
defected last year in protest at    ing to its website.      dent Ali Abdullah Saleh to
the presence of “foreigners” in        A local official told AFP,       cede power in February.
the ranks of the Islamists          meanwhile, that four militia-         Incidentally, Yemen pro-
group.                              men and a women were               duces only about 300,000
   After the ambush, fierce          killed in the fighting near         barrels of oil a day, most of
fighting erupted between             Batis.      Yemeni      forces     which is destined for export
militants and the militiamen        launched an all-out offensive      to other countries.
                                                                                                           Qatari fuel reaches, spells respite for Gaza
                                                                                                                         AFP                   the fuel delivery in a state-        week, after the Qatari ship-       tory after receiving a request
                                                                                                                       GAZA CITY               ment, adding that the fuel           ment was delayed once again.       from Egypt, an Israeli securi-
                                                                                                                                               supplies will continue to be            The plant was expected to       ty official said.
                                                                                                           THE first shipment of fuel           delivered for about three            resume operations soon, with         The power crisis was
                                                                                                           from Qatar arrived in the           months. The defence ministry         the rest of the 30-million-litre   sparked by a fall in supplies of
                                                                                                           Gaza Strip on Thursday, a           “agreed to a request from the        shipment scheduled for deliv-      fuel smuggled in from Egypt,
                                                                                                           border crossing official told        Egyptian government to               ery in coming days, after at       forcing the closure of the
                                                                                                           AFP, after repeated delays in       transfer diesel fuel to the          least four delays in the past      coastal territory’s sole power
                                                                                                           its delivery to the power-          Gaza Strip, at a rate of around      three weeks.                       plant and causing power cuts
                                                                                                           starved Palestinian territory.      30 million litres (about 10-15         The shipments are being          of up to 18 hours a day.
                                                                                                           “Five trucks carrying 155,000       containers daily),” the army         transported via Egypt to             The situation was eased
                                                                                                           litres (41,000 gallons) of          statement added.                     Israel and onto Gaza through       somewhat in April after a deal
                                                                                                           industrial fuel arrived on the         Gaza is in the grip of the        the Karam Abu Salim cross-         between Gaza’s Hamas gov-
                                                                                                           Palestinian side of the Karam       worst power crisis in living         ing, known as Kerem Shalom         ernment and the Palestinian
                                                                                                           Abu Salim crossing, and is on       memory, and its sole electric-       in Israel.                         Authority in the West Bank,
                                                                                                           its way to the Gaza electricity     ity plant has been forced to           Last month, Israel gave the      which agreed to supply Gaza
Yemeni Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed (left) inspects a blood-stained and bullet-riddled           plant,” Raed Futuh said.            shut down repeatedly because         green light for the fuel to be     with fuel purchased from
car of Al Qaeda militants, in the southern province of Abyan, recently. (EPA)                                 The Israeli army confirmed        of a lack of fuel, including this    transferred through its terri-     Israel.

Food prices drop in April and May: FAO
           REUTERS                  fallen since.                                                          hits competitiveness of dollar-     down just one percent, while
           NEW YORK                    Improvement in the security
                                                                         The FAO Food                      denominated commodities,            meat was broadly stable.
                                    of food supplies amid the eco-
                                                                         Price Index, which                and growing concerns about            The FAO raised its 2012
WORLD food prices dropped           nomic downturn was high on
                                                                         measures monthly                  Europe’s debt crisis pushed         world cereals output forecast to
in May for a second month in a      the agenda of a summit of lead-
                                                                         price changes for                 prices down. “We’re in a situa-     2.419 billion tonnes from a pre-
row, hit by steep falls in dairy    ers of the G8 industrial powers
                                                                         a food basket of                  tion where supplies have            vious estimate of 2.371 billion
products, sugar and other           last month.
                                                                         cereals, oilseeds,                improved and we’ve had quite        due to improved expectations
commodities, and are likely to         The FAO Food Price Index,
                                                                         dairy, meat and                   a big spillover from other mar-     for US corn production.
fall further in the coming          which measures monthly price
                                                                         sugar, averaged                   kets which were all down,”            Closely watched grain stocks
months, the United Nations’         changes for a food basket of
                                                                         204 points in May,                Abbassian said. The steep price     at the end of the 2012/13 sea-
Food      and      Agriculture      cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat
                                                                         down from 213                     drop in May meant that even if      son are expected to rise to 548
Organisation (FAO) said on          and sugar, averaged 204 points
                                                                         points in April                   further declines were seen in       million tonnes against a previ-
Thursday.                           in May, down from 213 points       make sharp downward adjust-         June, they would probably be        ous forecast of 524 million, the
   Food prices grabbed atten-       in April, the FAO said in its      ments,” Abdolreza Abbassian,        less marked, he added.              agency said.
tion of the world leaders after     monthly index update.              FAO’s senior economist and             The index was driven down          Abbassian said the improved
their spike to record highs in         “We were expecting a decline    grain analyst, told Reuters.        by a 12 percent fall in dairy       stocks meant that during the
February 2011 helped fuel the       in May, the surprise is the           In May, an improved out-         prices, a 9 percent drop in         upcoming harvesting period
protests known as the Arab          extent of it, which showed that    look for crops in some major        sugar and a 7 percent decline in    “any weather problem would
Spring in the Middle East and       markets for oils and fats, dairy   producing       countries,   a      oils and fats.                      have to be significant to make        FAO’s senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian: ‘We are expecting a
North Africa. Food prices have      products and sugar all had to      strengthening US dollar, which         The cereals price index was      any difference”.                     decline in world food prices in the next few months.’

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