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1 Q8 Needs You puts spotlight 4 on Kuwait issues Up to 50 refugees found 10 dead in lorry in Austria UEFA Champions 46 League draw FREE Min 33º Max 49º NO: Friday, August 28, 2015 New Weapons Cache Found Page 9

2 Local Local Spotlight Don t let it spoil! By Muna Al-Fuzai A day in the life of a public employee A model civil servant An expat friend asked me about the Let it Spoil campaign. He read about it in the paper and wondered what I think about it. I immediately said, Don t let it spoil! Sorry to say, but such events give the world an idea how we Arabs are setting our priorities today - the stomach first, the brain second! While the world is watching with anxiety the crazy fall in oil prices and is setting new rules to confront corruption and regulating the life of inhabitants, we are making a fuss due to the increase of prices of some kinds of fish. No one is asking who is behind this increase and its reasons. All we want is prices to drop so we can fill our bellies. The way I see this matter is that I don t have to eat salmon if I can t afford to buy it. I am sure there are many other kinds of fish one can afford to buy whose prices have not changed or increased. Some people like caviar and they can afford to buy it. Some cannot, but I have not seen a campaign to boycott caviar because of its steep price. Food in Kuwait is expensive in general, and there is nothing cheap when it comes to fresh foods, especially fish and meat, and for more than a year, some types of local fish are too expensive. For example, balol prices have increased to KD 10 per kilogram, The fishermen insist that the hike in prices of fish is due to the strict procedures implemented by the coastguard and other authorities in monitoring fishing boats that number 80 in total, which has reduced the availability of fish in the market to a large extent. subaiti KD 8 per kilo and hammour KD 7.5 per kilogram. No one said a thing, yet suddenly this issue is occupying headlines. Let s go in-depth and look at the reasons that need a solution. The fishermen insist that the hike in prices of fish is due to the strict procedures implemented by the coastguard and other authorities in monitoring fishing boats that number 80 in total, which has reduced the availability of fish in the market to a large extent. Some claim the reduced number of fishermen and difficulty in bringing fishermen from overseas and providing them with residency permits are some of the other reasons for the hike in the prices of fish. Another reason is the hike in the rent of the stalls selling fish. These are major obstacles that require a solution and many official parties are involved here, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Interior, Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, Kuwait Fishermen Union and possibly many others. Unless all these parties get together and come up with a plan, this campaign will be a partial success for a short time. I support the idea of community members holding social campaigns to call for reforms, combating corruption and community service in general, but this campaign will lead to a temporary solution and an artificial drop in prices, which will not last long. This is why I say don t let it spoil... By Nawara Fattahova Once, a patron came to the Passports and Nationality Department to get his passport, which wasn t ready yet. When I told him so, he got angry and started yelling, saying he wants to travel, although it wasn t my fault and I couldn t help him. Photo of the day Sarah Al Rashid KUWAIT: Public employees have a bad reputation in Kuwait. They are often viewed (by locals and expats alike) as lazy, incompetent or worse, corrupt. But not all reflect the negative stereotypes. Instead, there are many hardworking, ambition civil servants who are dedicated to their jobs and who perform all the required tasks in a timely manner and with a positive attitude. Kuwait Times spoke with one such civil servant, a young woman with high ambitions and a sunny disposition. Sarah Al Rashid is a civilian employee at the Ministry of Interior (MOI). She is responsible for issuing certificates and letters for Interior Ministry employees, both civilian and uniformed and handles dozens of requests each week. Sarah starts her work day at 8:00 am and stays at the office until 2:00 pm; rarely ever leaving earlier. Once I reach the office, I start my work with a cup of coffee. Then I m ready to welcome the patrons who come to be issued different certificates; I m never free as I always have work to do, Sarah told the Kuwait Times. If there are no patrons waiting, I don t play games on my mobile or chat with my colleagues. In my free time, I help in the volunteer groups that I m a member of. I make my time busy, not the other way around, she said. Sarah took up this role in 2008 but is working on earning a law degree and hopes to grow in her chosen field. After graduating from the Police Academy, I was appointed to this job which suits my degree. Currently I m studying law and after graduation, I may transfer to another job that will suit my new, higher education, Sarah explained. Though she has plans of transferring to another job, Sarah shared her fondness for her work and her colleagues. I like my work and enjoy doing it, especially because of the group that I m working with. In general I m satisfied, yet I like to grow and improve my career, Sarah revealed. At work, Sarah always meets people and different situations happen. She shares one of the funny situations she experienced: Once, a patron came to the Passports and Nationality Department to get his passport, which wasn t ready yet. When I told him so, he got angry and started yelling, saying he wants to travel, although it wasn t my fault and I couldn t help him. I also got mad and when I m mad, I smile. He didn t like it, so he threw water on me, leaving me wet, she recalled. Sarah doesn t remember facing any serious problems or conflicts at her work and is satisfied in general. Her colleagues helped her when she first joined and she now helps the new employees. I finish my work and leave happy. The most important thing about work is to like it and I do, so I m happy and I don t complain, Sarah concluded. KUWAIT: A girl with sweets waits near the shore for the young divers as they return from their pearl diving journey. Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat


4 Local Q8 Needs You campaign puts spotlight on Kuwait issues Everyone can help make Kuwait a better place by sharing pictures and videos of problems in the services and facilities of government agencies and associations whether it is about cleanliness, traffic issues or humanitarian issues. By Faten Omar We can tell a lot about a country from the condition of its streets, buildings and services, how well maintained they are, how well painted and signed. The streets tell a story about the economics, politics and culture of the country. Streets with countless pockmarks, streets flooded by open sewage or littered with broken sidewalks, not to mention dilapidated signboards, especially in the lower income expatriate areas, read of poverty, neglect and lack of community. Without a word, it tells visitors that the area is not looked after by the neighborhood itself nor by the government. This is the reason why four years ago, a group of volunteer citizens and residents started Q8 Needs You and decided to turn Kuwait into a better place. Kuwait needs you Abdullah Al-Shammari is the one in charge of the Q8 Needs You campaign. He sat down with Kuwait Times to talk about his campaign and his goals and vision for a better Kuwait. Many citizens and expats are working together in the campaign, said the 33-year-old Shammari. With the exception of our group that founded the campaign, we have more than 10,000 followers who are volunteering and helping us [in the campaign], he said. Call for action The non-profit campaign tries to encourage citizens and residents to contribute to the service of Kuwait and to aspire to monitor the negative phenomena and manifestations in the community and highlight them until they are solved and reduced. Shammari remarked their vision is that everyone can help make Kuwait a better place by sharing pictures and videos of problems or defects in the services and facilities of government agencies and associations whether it is about cleanliness, traffic issues or humanitarian issues. Q8 Needs You allows everyone to report issues with public services. The way it works is very simple: you snap a photo of the problem, specify what the issue is, along with its location, and then send it, he said. So after receiving the issues, we tag the competent ministry to solve the problem, he added. Shammari stressed that they also file all the reports they receive in person with the relevant ministry. Shammari said they aim to establish the concept of volunteer work, justice through the principle of the rule of law, as well as providing assistance and legal aid for humanitarian cases through advice and guidance, taking advantage of the professional competencies, monitoring and recording and documenting humanitarian cases in the form of daily reports and giving them to concerned authorities to solve. Shammari asserted they are trying their best to show the good side of the Kuwaiti society. Q8 Needs You held a meeting with the Minister of Municipality and Deputy General Manager assistants, Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic and Director of the Department Cleaning (Kuwait Ahmed Salem Municipality),

5 Local the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and his deputy assistants, Director General of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Director of Civil Aviation to discuss and exchange ideas and state the negatives attached to some of the topics. Fact checking The campaign is divided into groups of citizens and residents, where some are in charge of receiving the issues and publishing them through their laptops, smart phones or computers, while the others are in charge of checking if the issue is true or false. For example, if a needy family asked them to publish their problem, they will go first to their apartment to check what they really need. Humanitarian cases As for the humanitarian cases, Ahmed Salem Abu Moath is in charge in visiting those cases in person and said Q8 Needs You tries its best to bring the smile back in people s faces and let their suffering go away, especially for children that could not get back to school. We found 780 needy students were in KD 22,000 debt in one Abdullah Al-Shammari school. At first, the charity fund of the Ministry of Education responded to our requests to help those bedoon (stateless) children, but they could not help much because they had a limited budget and they cannot help everyone, he said. The campaign focused on the children of wars, Iraqi and Syrian children, especially the divorcees and widows who had no one to support them financially. So they started to help the outstanding students who always get a high mark, adding it would be a waste of time and money if they paid for someone who does not care about school. In an emotion0al moment, Moath shared one case that affected him deeply. One humanitarian situation that affected us was a family with no father. The mother had eight daughters with no single male to help them, he said. Moath disclosed every case they had affected them in some way. We always follow up on them. Our team is always prepared and ready to help anyone and to make sure that the person really needs our help and effort. He revealed some people they meet were not from poor families, but their circumstances forced them to. We even helped a man with his child school fees and he started to cry and we cried with him. He told us that this is his first time to ask someone for help since he cannot just stand without trying to help his kid, he said. Scholarships Q8 Needs You commits itself to providing scholarships to 40 students every year. One of the volunteers in Q8 Needs You is paying the school fees for some of those children. Follow the group on Relevant ministry gets tagged for action Two easy ways to pay your bill online Pay and collect points with VIVA Points Save time and pay your bill online from VIVA and take advantage of every bill with extra points in the VIVA Points rewards program. Use the VIVA App or our website page to complete all your transactions with greater ease and speed. For more information, please visit our website at or call our contact center at 102. Terms and conditions apply. Services


7 Local The next fire fatality By Kristine Nones Awoman receives a disturbing call from her sister s neighbor. She calls her sister, she doesn t answer. She calls again, still no answer. Alarmed, she goes to her sister s ground floor apartment and knocks on the door, there is no response. She turns on the doorknob, it is very hot. Concerned neighbors pitch in and break open the door, but it is too late. Their neighbors - a father, his wife and his three children are already dead. This sad fate of a five-member Egyptian family was all over front pages last week, stressing the severity of fire fatalities and highlighting fire safety concerns for both the fire department and residents. While intensive investigations about the incident are still being done, preliminary investigations showed that the victims died of suffocation. Last June, an Egyptian child suffered severe burn injuries in a fire at her family s apartment in Jabriya and in March, three Saudi children died of smoke inhalation after their Saad-Abdullah apartment caught fire. A month earlier, two children died due to suffocation after a fire burned their house into ashes in Subahiya. All the victims were children. The 2014 Statistical Report of Incidents by the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) revealed some important statistics on residential fire incidents: 1. Majority of fires are residential. There was an annual increase of about 4 percent in the number of residential fires in Notably, while there are more cases of residential fires, fires in non-residential areas grew at a faster rate of 34 percent in the same year. 2. Most fires occurred in Farwaniya governorate followed by Ahmadi and Hawally. 3. Short circuit, cooking gas and combustibles are the main causes of house fires. The most common cause of ignition in residential areas is short circuit, while youngsters playing with heat source or combustibles are the main cause in other areas. Other causes include electric overload, an unattended cooking utensil on a gas cooker, heat source used or placed too close to combustibles, and discarded cigarettes and other similar items. 4. It is crucial to have an emergency plan as most fires occurred in the short span of minutes. The next house fire may be in your home, thus the need for fire safety precautions. Moreover, the findings reveal that that being safe extends to just having a fire extinguisher, but to actually covering all safety areas, specifically the major ones that cause fires. Checking that your house has the safety features before buying and building it is likewise imperative. Lastly, an emergency plan, known to and practiced by all family members, may one day be your loved one s lifesaver. How to save a life: Fire safety precautions in the home Check electrical wirings Are electrical wirings properly installed? Use only high quality approved electrical devices, equipment and network. Are wirings insulated? Internal and external electrical network wires should be inserted in insulated pipes. Immediately repair any electrical fault. Check for deterioration of electrical cables and use of damaged sockets. Periodically maintain electrical wires and cables. It should not be exposed or installed under the carpets. Do not use unsecured electrical power. Do not use unsecured electrical apparatus or use it contrary to specifications. Do not clean electrical apparatus with wet hands without unplugging the device. This may expose the person to electrical shock. Overvoltage of electrical outlets, equipment Do not neglect the maintenance of electrical equipment, especially air-conditioners. Ensure your laptop is disconnected from the electrical current after using it and do not place on flammable fabric or material. Ensure unused electrical devices are not plugged-in. Exhaust fans Fire often breaks out in exhaust fans due to the sparks caused by the internal contact with lint, and also to cooking oil vapors gathering on the fan. The suitability, cleanliness and the appropriate connection of such equipment should always be checked. Exhaust fans should not be left working for hours. Gas Turn off the gas cylinder as soon as you finish using the cooker. Do not expose the gas cylinder to the sun or heat. Prevent children from playing with the cooker switches and warn them against playing with the cooker or the gas cylinder. Change the gas cylinder once empty with the help of a competent person. Use soap foam to check for gas leakage (if bubbles exist, that indicate there is leakage). Check gas cylinder and gas installations (pipes, hoses, valves) on a regular basis to ensure they are in good condition. Always check the gas hose is suitable for use. Check that the rubber pipe has no cracks and is of good quality, and its length is suitable enough to avoid formation of sharp bending. There should be a fire blanket, fire extinguisher, gas detector and smoke alarm in the kitchen. endanger the family and the house. Storage Some people store their domestic possessions at random inside the home. Since almost all of such belongings are flammable, the simple presence of a source of fire may set the whole place ablaze. A minimum distance of one meter should be kept between any source of fire or heat and flammable materials. Don t smoke. If unavoidable, refrain from smoking in bed and ensure that cigarette butts are fully extinguished before throwing it in the dust bin. Children Matches and lighters should be kept out of children s reach. Instruct children not to play with electrical equipment or sockets. Ensure all sockets children can reach are switched off. Always have an eye on children s movements while in the kitchen. Do not leave children in the kitchen without the presence of an adult. Preventing domestic fire Fire extinguishers The user of fire extinguisher must be perfectly acquainted with the use of such device and know which type to use depending on the fire. Kitchen and corridors should be provided with powder manual fire extinguishers to fight different types of fires, while CO2 fire extinguishers should be used for electrical device fires. The fire extinguisher should be within reach and placed in appropriate places near exits to avoid being surrounded by fire. Take into account that the extinguisher would be empty after eight seconds of use. Ascertain that the content of the extinguisher is sufficient to cover the fire area. Smoke detector The smoke detector warns against fire before it spreads. Make sure that it is installed in the appropriate place and maintain it periodically. Emergency exits Emergency exits are the way out to safety for you and your family when in danger. You must therefore keep this path clear so that you could reach it easily. What to do in case of fire? 1. Immediately evacuate residents from the house. 2. Remain calm and do not panic. This will help you deal with the situation. 3. Turn the gas and electrical power off, without exposing yourself to danger. 4. Immediately use the available extinguishing device to prevent the spread of flames. 5. If you are unable to extinguish the fire within the first minute, call the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) number 112 and immediately leave the place and warn your neighbors. 6. Put a wet handkerchief on the mouth and nose in case of exposure to heavy smoke. 7. Before opening the door, make sure there is no fire behind it by touching the handle of the door and the wall. If it is hot, look for another exit. 8. Close the door after leaving the room where the fire originated to prevent spreading the fire. 9. If the flames reach your clothes, do not run. Throw yourself on the ground and roll about or wrap yourself in a blanket to smother the fire. 10. In case of heavy smoke, crawl on your hands and knees since the air at ground level would help you breathe better. 11. Firemen have vehicles, ladders and the necessary equipment to save you: Try to stand near a window if you are unable to flee, so that firemen could help you. 12. Avoid crowding the area because this prevents the firemen from performing their duties and reduces the chance of rescue for others. Offer to help and execute their instructions and advices. 13. Avoid using the lift in case of fire in the building. Use the emergency stairway. - Cookers Never wear large clothes or clothes made of certain flammable materials (such as nylon) when cooking. Never leave flammable materials near to the cooker while cooking. Leaving cooking pots unsupervised when cooking may put the family and the house in danger due to the burning of food because of excess cooking time and boiling over of liquids that cause the extinction of flame, triggering a gas leakage. Stoves and burners must be checked to ensure their cleanness and there are no blockages in gas outlets. Flammable liquids The use of flammable liquids such as petrol inside the house for any reason is contrary to prevention and safety rules and may Emergency plan 1. Set safety plans for family members and maids, including steps to be taken during emergencies. Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) number 112 and your home address must be located in a prominent place in the house. 2. Assign some of the family members to evacuate the children, elderly and special needs people during fire emergency. 3. Conduct fire drills. Train family members, especially children, on how to evacuate safely during fire emergency. When building or buying a home Select an appropriate location, far away from the sources of pollution and industrial area. Select an appropriate design for the villa or apartment. -

8 Local Kuwait Airways plane returns to airport after bird crash KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways said its flight number 301 heading from Kuwait to Mumbai, India returned safely to Kuwait Airport due to a bird crashing into the plane s cockpit late Wednesday night. The plane returned to the airport and passengers were switched into an alternative plane to resume their flight, according to international aviation safety laws, said the company in a statement yesterday. Birds crashing into planes usually pose danger on safety, with some recorded yet rare incidents where such accidents had killed some people. However, 65 percent of bird crashing causes mild damage to the plane. The annual financial damage of these accidents is estimated at $400 million in the US and $1.2 billion around the world. KUNA Parking meters to be privatized KUWAIT: A ministerial source said the government will begin to privatize parking meters for cars in the country. He said the responsibilities of organizing public and private parking will be added to the duties of the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport. He said this move agrees with what was mentioned in the government s working program, to diversify the economic structure and non-oil revenues, and activate the role of the private sector in economic activities. He said the authority s board of directors will be formed soon. The source said, the privatization of the parking meters will represent a new income source for the general budget and will create new job opportunities for inspectors. Annahar Air ambulance to link power plants KUWAIT: The new aerial ambulance service to be launched between Al-Zour and Al-Sabiya electrical plants will be of great benefit for employees safety, according to officials in the Ministry of Electricity and Water. The Ministry of Heath agreed to launch the medical service between the two stations to provide workers with immediate medical care in case of emergencies, Assistant Undersecretary of power plants and distillation Fouad Al- Oun told journalists yesterday. People in these stations work in dangerous conditions due to the nature of their job, said the official, adding that the ministry of electricity aims to develop safety measures for its employees. The local air ambulance initiative was established by former servicemen, security veterans, and firefighters and went into service last January to transport patients and people hurt in accidents from the scenes to hospitals in a short time while avoiding traffic. KUNA Natural gas looked as alternative to petrol KUWAIT: Official oil sources said Kuwait is reconsidering the idea of transforming cars to start using natural gas instead of gasoline and diesel, in order to reduce subsidies and annual costs gradually. The source said that members of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation board of directors brought up the idea to discuss the means of its application, adding that Oil Minister for National Assembly Affairs Dr Ali Al-Omair gave instructions to the planning sector at KPC and KNPC to provide an in-depth study on the matter and submit it to the board of directors. The sources said there are higher instructions to complete the study as fast as possible and to determine the amount that will be saved if the plan is implemented, and decide which vehicles will benefit from it: Such as KPTC buses, trucks and taxies. Alanbaa Fiber optics network to link all schools KUWAIT: Education and Higher Education Minister Dr Bader Al-Essa said the ministry is about to complete development of the largest and most modern fiber optics network to link all schools together, adding that they have many ambitions through which they aim to develop the education process specially under the most modern technological advancement. The minister was answering a request by MP Abdelrahman Al-Jeeran who asked Al-Essa to develop the IT network at the education ministry, and get rid of the old system. Al-Essa lauded the role of the communications ministry in establishing this network and appreciated their efforts and cooperation with the education ministry in this regards. Meanwhile, high ranking sources at the education ministry said the ministry completed its preparations for the new year and implemented the tablet project. This project will distribute a high number of tablets to the secondary stage students at the start of the year. More than 80,000 tablets, priced at a value exceeding 26 million KD was signed with a specialized company to supply the tablets. Sources said the contract is to rent the system for three years, with continuous maintenance, adding that teachers will be enrolled in a training course to be oriented with the functionalities of the tablet. Alanbaa KUWAIT: Interior Assistant Undersecretary of the Citizenship and Passports Affairs, Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah received Philippines Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro. KUNA Kuwait ready to speed up deportation procedures KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior asserted yestereday its readiness to cooperate with the Embassy of the Philippines in Kuwait to speed up deportation procedures for Filipino laborers who violated residency laws, by coordinating with the General Department of Immigration Investigation. This came in a press release by the Security Media of Interior Ministry following a meeting between the Interior Assistant Undersecretary of the Citizenship and Passports Affairs, Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah and the Philippines Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro. Ambassador Pedro expressed his appreciation for the State of Kuwait for providing care for the Filipino community and the role of General Department of Immigration for the services presented to his nation s citizens. - Kuna

9 Local Let it spoil campaign to continue By Meshal Alsalama KUWAIT: Zubaidi fish price reached KD 7.5 to KD per kilo following the Let it spoil campaign, and people refrained from buying fish because of its high price. The boycott lasted six days and was successful in reducing fish price by 50 percent, as Zubaidi price was at KD 15. Although some reports indicated that some fish prices were climbing back up again on Thursday. The campaign will continue and may be extended to some vegetables and meat, especial that Eid Al-Adha is approaching. Prices of Nuaimi (Arabic) sheep may reach KD 130 and the imported Iranian KD 110, Australian KD 55 in Kuwait, but abroad prices will be normal. Detour near FTZ in Shuwaikh The traffic department said a detour will be opened within Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad bridge project between the free trade zone and Shuwaikh port (extension of Ghazali road) at dawn Saturday (29/8) the department asked motorists to be cautious and follow the traffic signs. Huge weapons cache, alleged traders arrested Marijuana busted at airport Airport customs officers arrested two Asians with eight kg of marijuana that were hidden in dried fish and meat. The suspects were sent to concerned authorities. Man freed from elevator By Hanan Al-Saadoun and Meshal Al-Salama KUWAIT: Firemen rescued a man who was stuck in the elevator of a house in Hitteen area. Firemen from the Mishreh Fire Station opened the elevators door and freed the man. In other incidents, a fire broke out in a Ardhiya home, and was fought by Ardhiya and Jleeb centers. A gas cylinder exploded in the kitchen of a house in Jaber Al-Ali area. Qurain and Mubarak Al-Kabeer centers responded and removed all the resulting materials from the explosion to prevent any further damage or injuries. Elsewhere, firemen were called to put out a fire that broke out in a container loaded with coal used to burn incense, at Shuwaikh port. No injuries were reported. By Meshal Al-Salama KUWAIT: State security arrested four citizens found to be in possession of a huge cache of firearms, weaponry and other ammunition. The men were allegedly trading in unlicensed weapons. Detectives found in their possession: Ammunition including 19 shotguns, nine AK-47, five MP5, two rifles, 17 pistols, two grenades and 29 boxes of shotgun cartridges in addition to 95 different types of magazines. Detectives with a warrant raided the house of the first suspect. He told police that the weapons were hidden inside a car in Ardhiya. He also confessed the names of others involved. A farm in Kabd was raided as the second suspect was arrested yesterday and he in turn told police about another cache of weapons. A third suspect was arrested in Sabahiya while attempting to escape. The fourth suspect was arrested in Adan area where a third, larger cache of weapons and ammunition was found in a Kirby store. The suspects were sent to concerned authorities. Detectives are working on arresting all those related to the case. The government has lately cracked down on weapons caches, illicit trading in weapons and other security-related matters following the discovery of three unrelated terrorist cells in Kuwait and the suicide bombing of the Imam Al Sadiq mosque in Kuwait City on June 26. Medical supplies confiscated Doha port customs officers confiscated a large amount of medical material that arrived from Iran. The material was thought to be unfit for human use. The head of Doha customs Khalid Al- Failakawi ordered the material be sent to the health ministry after finding in a polluted area, with high temperature. They said that they are waiting for the health ministry report to take the necessary action. Transvestites arrested KUWAIT: Two cross dressers were sent to the criminal investigation department after being arrested by a police patrol. The officers spotted a car with two girls inside but upon checking their IDs, discovered the two were actually males. Both were wearing makeup and women s clothing, which is a considered a criminal offense in Kuwait. Drug users, traders busted At Farwaniya patrol discovered a citizen in a car and upon checking the vehicle found various illicit narcotics and pills. In Jleeb, an expatriate was stopped by a police patrol for not wearing his seatbelt and when his car was searched more than 500 Tramadol tablets and KD 225 were found with him. In Andalus a liquor factory was raided, where an Asian and 106 bottles were found. The arrested were sent to DCGD. Fake detectives caught A citizen and a bedoon were arrested in possession of a military uniform and drugs in addition to other things that may have been stolen, while posing as detectives. Both were sent to the criminal investigation department. Kidnapping or not? Police received a call about the kidnapping of a woman in Abdallah Mubarak, so a hunt was launched and two men were found with the woman, who denied that she was kidnapped. Series of thefts Technicians from criminal evidence collected material and lifted finger prints from a pen where six sheep were stolen from Qashaniya area, as their owner complained to police. An Indian lady told Jabriya police that an unknown person stole jewelry from her flat worth KD While a citizen told Fahaheel police that his phone was stolen. Heroin smuggling attempt foiled Airport customs officers discovered 800g of heroin hidden in a sofa, at the free zone. A security source said while the customs officers were checking a furniture shipment, were surprised with capsules inside a sofa and discovered the heroin in it. Investigations are underway to find out the source of the illicit substance.

10 IS kills two Iraq 11 generals Jordan hospital treats worst of ME s war-wounded Memories, tears mark newscast after shootings Forensic investigators work as police vehicles are parked behind a refrigerated truck parked along a highway near Neusiedl am See, Austria, yesterday. AFP Bodies of 50 migrants found in truck in Austria Europe s migrant crisis rages as EU leaders meet VIENNA: The bodies of between 20 and 50 migrants were found in a truck in Austria yesterday, highlighting the dark side of Europe s migrant crisis as regional leaders struggle to stem the massive flow of people desperately trying to reach the EU. The gruesome discovery on a motorway near the Slovakia and Hungary borders was thought to be the worst tragedy on land in Europe s worst migrant crisis since Police said the vehicle-which had the markings of a Slovakian poultry company and bore Hungarian number plates-contained between 20 and 50 bodies. It was not yet clear how they had died. Today is a dark day... This tragedy affects us all deeply, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said at a press conference. She said Austria would tighten border controls and intensify police checks on international trains, and called on the other 27 EU member states to show zero tolerance for people smugglers. The deaths came a day after at least 55 migrants were found dead in stricken boats in the Mediterranean, adding to a toll of more than 2,300 people who have drowned while attempting to reach Europe by sea. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Balkan leaders, meeting in Vienna to discuss how to tackle the escalating crisis, reacted with shock to the Austrian tragedy. We were all shaken by the horrible news that up to 50 people lost their lives because they were in a situation where people-smugglers did not care about their lives, Merkel said. This is a warning to us to tackle this migrants issue quickly and in a European spirit, which means in a spirit of solidarity, and to find solutions. Western Balkans route European leaders have come under fire for failing to tackle the arrival of several hundred thousand migrants this year, many fleeing hotspots such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The western Balkans has become a major route for migrants and refugees trying to cross over into EU member state Hungary. Most then try to make it to wealthier European countries like Germany and Sweden. Speaking at the Vienna meeting, Serbia s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said outside money provided so far was insufficient to handle the large numbers. This is a problem of the European Union and we (the transit countries) are expected to come up with an action plan, Dacic said. I think the European Union has to come up with a plan first, he said. I have to be very direct here. Please understand, we are bearing the brunt of the problem. This was echoed by his counterpart from Macedonia, which last week declared a state of emergency and shut its border with Greece for three days after being unable to cope. Unless we have a European answer to this issue, none of us should be under any illusion that this will be solved, Nikola Poposki said. Reiterating his call for a reform of the Dublin Accords to distribute refugees fairly within the EU, Germany s Foreign Minister Frank Steinmeier said Berlin would contribute one million euros to help the Balkans cope with the migrants, as well as food and other supplies. But he also called on governments there to help manage the expectations of your citizens and provide them with a realistic picture of their virtually non-existent chances of being granted asylum in Germany. Almost 40 percent of asylum-seekers in Germany are from the western Balkan countries, Steinmeier said. Hungary barrier The daily number of people crossing into Hungary hit a record 3,000, including nearly 700 children, latest police figures showed. Lawmakers are set to debate next week whether to deploy troops to stem the influx, after violence erupted briefly at a refugee processing centre near the Hungarian border town of Rozke. Alarmed by the growing humanitarian disaster, UN chief Ban Kimoon has urged countries in Europe and elsewhere to prove their compassion and do much more to bring an end to the crisis. UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for the urgent creation of more so-called hotspots - processing centres to sort refugees fleeing war from economic migrants who are simply in search of a better life. Hamstrung by a lack of a coherent European response, governments have at times taken contradictory approaches to the problem. While Hungary s right-wing government is building a 175-kilometre (110-mile) razor-wire barrier to keep migrants out, a Czech minister has called for the passport-free Schengen zone to be closed with the help of NATO troops. Meanwhile Germany, which is preparing to receive a record 800,000 asylum-seekers this year, has eased the application procedure for Syrians fleeing the brutal civil war. AFP

11 11 I n t e r n a t i o n a l Saudi executes Pakistani for drug trafficking RIYADH: Saudi Arabia yesterday executed a Pakistani man convicted of smuggling drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said. It brought to 128 the number of executions so far this year in Saudi Arabia, compared with 87 for the whole of , a c c o r d i n g t o A F P t a l l i e s compiled from interior ministry s t a t e m e n t s. Z u l f i q a r A l i M o h a m m e d w a s c a u g h t w h i l e attempting to smuggle heroin found hidden in his stomach, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. M o s t p e o p l e s e n t e n c e d t o death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but sometimes firing squads are used. Amnesty International on Tuesday appealed for a morat o r i um o n e x e c utions i n Saudi Arabia, criticizing the kingdom s deeply flawed judicial system. Under Saudi Arabia s strict legal practices, murder, armed robbery, rape, drug trafficking and apostasy a r e a l l p u n i s h a b l e b y d e a t h. Amnesty says Saudi Arabia is one of the world s most prolific executioners, along with China, Iran, Iraq and the United States. AFP Iran may have built extension at disputed military site VIENNA: Iran appears to have built an extension to part of its Parchin military site since May, the UN nuclear watchdog said in a report on Thursday delving into a major part of its inquiry into possible military dimensions to Tehran s past atomic activity. A resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency s Parchin file, which includes a demand for fresh IAEA access to the site, is a symbolically important issue that could help make or break Tehran s July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers. The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said: Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building appears to have constructed. The changes were first observed last month, a senior diplomat familiar with the IAEA investigation said. The IAEA says any activities Iran has undertaken at Parchin since UN inspectors last visited in 2005 could jeopardize its ability to verify Western intelligence suggesting Tehran carried out tests there relevant to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. Iran has dismissed the intelligence as fabricated. Under a roadmap accord Iran reached with the IAEA parallel to its groundbreaking settlement with the global powers, the Islamic Republic is required to give the Vienna-based watchdog enough information about its past nuclear activity to allow it to write a report on the long vexed issue by year-end. Full and timely implementation of the relevant parts of the road-map is essential to clarify issues relating to this location at Parchin, the new IAEA report said. According to data given to the IAEA by some member states, Parchin might have housed hydrodynamic experiments to assess how specific materials react under high pressure, such as in a nuclear blast. We cannot know or speculate what s in the (extended) building. The building itself is not related to the most interesting building for us... It s something we will technically clarify over the course of the year, the senior diplomat said. Groundbreaking nuclear accord Under its Vienna accord with the powers, Iran must put verifiable limits on its uranium enrichment program to create confidence it will not be put to developing nuclear bombs, in exchange for a removal of sanctions crippling its oil-based economy. Iran has said it seeks only peaceful nuclear energy. Iran has for years been stonewalling the IAEA inquiry into possible military dimensions (PMD) to its nuclear project. But the Islamic Republic delivered on a pledge under the roadmap to turn over more information by Aug 15. The IAEA report said the ag ency was still reviewing the PMD information Iran provided. Agency Director- General Yukiya Amano said on Tuesday that the information was substantive but it was too early to say whether any of it was new. A second diplomat familiar with the Iran file said he did not expect any breakthrough from the documents provided by Iran. While sticking to its mandate of securing compliance with its non-proliferation mandate, diplomats see the IAEA as being keen not to imperil Iran s pact with the powers, who tout it as crucial to reducing conflict in the Middle East. The success of that deal will hinge on IAEA verification of Iranian compliance, but the agency must still issue reports that are technically sound. It s a question of how they will reflect this in a more or less elegant way, a third diplomat said. The IAEA has come under pressure, especially from US lawmakers who will hold a critical vote next month on whether to ratify the deal between Iran and the powers, for not publishing its roadmap agreement with Tehran. Reuters BAGHDAD: Iraqi honor guards escort the coffins of Maj Gen Abdul-Rahman Abu-Regheef, deputy chief of operations in Anbar and Brig Gen Sefeen Abdul-Maguid, commander of the 10th Army Division who was killed in Ramadi during fighting with Islamic State militants. AP IS kills two Iraq generals, jihadists advance in Syria BAGHDAD: A suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State group killed two Iraqi generals yesterday in the key battleground province of Anbar, as the jihadists made gains in northern Syria. IS overran large areas of Iraq in 2014 and seized Anbar capital Ramadi earlier this year. It also controls major territory in neighboring Syria, where it has thrived amid a bloody civil war. Military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said a suicide bomber in an explosives-rigged vehicle struck the Al-Jaraishi area north of Ramadi as Iraqi forces advanced. The attack killed the deputy head of the Anbar Operations Command, Staff Major General Abdulrahman Abu Raghif, and 10th Division commander Staff Brigadier General Safin Abdulmajid, Rasool said. IS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement online, but gave a different account of how it unfolded, saying it was carried out by four suicide bombers and two supporting gunmen who targeted the main command headquarters north of Ramadi. It said all six of the jihadists were killed. A statement from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command confirmed the deaths of the two officers along with an unspecified number of other heroic martyrs. The death or injury of senior Iraqi officers during battles against IS is a persistent problem for the country. Two heads of the Anbar Operations Command have been wounded this year, while the commanders of a division and a brigade were killed in Anbar in April. The province s governor was wounded in Senior army and police commanders have also been killed in other Iraqi provinces since IS launched its devastating offensive in June 2014, sweeping security forces aside. IS advances in Syria Baghdad s forces have managed to regain significant territory in two provinces north of the capital, but much of western Iraq, including Anbar, remains outside government control. In Syria, IS fighters seized five villages from rebel forces overnight in the northern province of Aleppo and entered the outskirts of a key opposition bastion there, the Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The jihadist group seized three villages near the town of Marea and entered its southern outskirts, and took another two villages further north in Aleppo province, near the border with Turkey, it said. Those two villages were previously controlled by Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda s Syrian affiliate, which withdrew from them after Turkey and the United States announced plans to cooperate on an IS-free zone in the area. Marea is one of the most significant rebel-held towns in northern Aleppo and lies on a key supply route running to the Turkish border. IS has targeted the town for months, seeking to expand westwards from territory it already holds in Aleppo province. The Observatory said there were reports of dozens of rebel casualties in the fighting, but it had no immediate toll. AFP BAGHDAD: Mourners grieve during the funeral procession of Maj Gen Abdul- Rahman Abu-Regheef, deputy chief of operations in Anbar and Brig Gen Sefeen Abdul-Maguid, commander of the 10th Army Division. AP

12 I n t e r n a t i o n a l NATO opens training centre in Georgia amid Russia tensions ATHENS: Popular Unity leader Panagiotis Lafazanis (left) gestures during a meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (center) at the Presidential Palace in Athens yesterday. AFP Greece names top judge as caretaker PM ahead of vote Crisis-hit country faces fifth election in 6 years ATHENS: Greece yesterday named its top judge as caretaker prime minister to organize early elections expected next month, the fifth in the crisis-hit country in six years. President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said he had chosen Vassiliki Thanou, the head of Greece s Supreme Court and the first woman to assume the post. Mother-of-three Thanou, 65, is known for firing off an emotional letter to European Commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker in February, protesting that austerity cuts were annihilating the Greek people. The people are not responsible for the waste of public money by past governments and for mistakes in tax policy, she wrote, adding that the austerity measures have failed as the recession continues as the rich continue to evade taxes. Thanou, who holds a degree in European law from France s Sorbonne university, will take her oath of office later yesterday and her administration will be sworn in on Friday, the president s office said. The date for Greece s general election is to be officially announced by the end of the week, but it is likely to be scheduled for September 20. Outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has ruled out forming a national unity government should he fail to win a outright majority in the snap elections triggered after he resigned last week. Tsipras called for the fresh vote on August 20 after suffering a major rebellion in his hard-left Syriza party over Greece s huge new international bailout, its third in five years. But on Wednesday, he dismissed suggestions he could work with the conservative opposition New Democracy, the Pasok socialists or the centre-right Potami if the election results were inconclusive. I will not become a prime minister who cooperates with New Democracy, Pasok or Potami, Tsipras said in an interview with the Alpha TV channel, his first since resigning. If we do not have a majority, I will not cooperate with (the parties that ran) previous governments. Bitterly divided Syriza stormed to election victory in January on a wave of popular anger over tough austerity measures demanded by Greece s creditors in exchange for two previous bailouts since But the party has been bitterly divided over Tsipras decision to accept more tough reforms in exchange for a new 86 billion euro ($96 billion) rescue package, with hard-left rebels accusing him of capitulating to blackmail by the creditors. On August 21, 25 Syriza rebels announced the formation of a new political grouping, Popular Unity, led by Panagiotis Lafazanis, a former senior Communist who has argued that Greece can happily exist without the euro. We are the true continuation of Syriza and its electoral pledges, Lafazanis said yesterday. Tsipras remains popular, although in the absence of recent opinion polls it is difficult to know whether he could win an absolute majority in the forthcoming poll. The 41-year-old leader s opponents had sought to delay the election, hoping that voters will be less likely to vote for Syriza once the new austerity measures begin to bite in the autumn. The EU has taken the snap ballot decision in its stride, and debt rating agency Moody s has even called Tsipras resignation credit positive, arguing that it could well create a more cohesive government. AFP TBILISI: NATO yesterday opened a training centre in Georgia as the ex-soviet country eyes closer partnership with the Western military alliance amid tensions with Russia. The establishment of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center, to be based just outside the capital Tbilisi, is aimed at buttressing the small ex-soviet country which fought a five-day war with Russia in There is more Georgia in NATO and more NATO in Georgia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint news conference alongside Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili before the opening ceremony. Stoltenberg, who arrived in Tbilisi on Wednesday, said the centre would train both Georgian and NATO troops. This centre will help Georgia to continue making its armed forces more modern and more capable of meeting 21st century challenges, Stontelberg said at the opening ceremony in the Krtsanisi National Training Center outside Tbilisi. It will be equally important in training Allied and partner troops, he said in the presence of Georgia s prime minister, president and top officials. Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili stressed for his part that the centre would increase regional stability and was not directed against any neighbouring countries. Georgia has long sought full NATO membership and hopes to be invited to join a Membership Action Plan (MAP), a formal step towards membership, at a NATO summit in Warsaw next year. But analysts doubt that NATO will grant Georgia MAP membership next year for fear of infuriating Russia amid heightened tensions over the Ukraine crisis. Stontelberg on Thursday sounded non-committal when asked about Georgia s chances to get the NATO membership plan at the Warsaw summit. He said that he cannot prejudge the conclusions and the decisions which are going to be taken at the NATO summit next year. What I can say is that Georgia already has the necessary tools to make progress towards membership, he said. I see that there is more work to do, but I am very inspired and encouraged by the progress we have seen. All the commitments we have made together are on track and on time and all these efforts help Georgia to move closer to your aspiration of NATO membership, he said. AFP TBILISI: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia training center outside Tbilisi yesterday. AP UK immigration hits record high, causing headache for Cameron LONDON: Long-term net migration to Britain has hit a record high, underscoring the challenge Prime Minister David Cameron faces to dispel voter fears that immigrants are straining public services such as housing, hospitals and schools. As an island nation off northwest Europe, Britain is far from the frontline of the EU-wide crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees pour into the bloc this year via countries like Italy, Greece and Hungary. The bigger problem for Cameron is his inability to limit immigration by European Union passport-holders, as freedom of movement is enshrined in the EU s founding treaties. Arrivals from countries like India and China are also on the rise. Official data yesterday showed a net 330,000 people moved to Britain in the year to March 2015, up 40 percent on the same period a year ago. A net 183,000 came from within the EU, up by 53,000. The quarterly figures have become a regular source of political embarrassment for Cameron, who has insisted he is still working towards a declared overall target of less than 100,000. Curbing migrants access to welfare benefits in order to deter them from coming to Britain is a key objective for the Conservative prime minister as he renegotiates the country s relationship with the EU before putting its continued membership to a public vote by the end of Immigration minister James Brokenshire said the latest data was deeply disappointing. While these figures underline the challenges we need to meet to reduce net migration, they should also act as a further wakeup call for the EU. Current flows of people across Europe are on a scale we haven t seen since the end of the Second World War, he said in a statement BORDERLESS BRITAIN Rising immigration has fuelled support for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) which wants to sever ties with the EU and impose much tighter entry rules. These figures reflect Borderless Britain and total impotence of the British government, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said, calling for Cameron to negotiate tighter border controls with the EU. The debate has intensified in recent months, with the huge influx into EU of migrants and refugees fleeing poverty and war in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. Images of thousands of migrants camped in the French port of Calais seeking illegal passage to Britain on board trains and lorries have led news bulletins for much of the summer. The data showed that asylum applications had risen by 10 percent but, at 25,771 in the year ending June 2015, remained low in comparison to other channels of migration and well below their 2002 peak of 84,132. A total of 11,600 people were granted asylum or an alternative form of protection. Reuters

13 I n t e r n a t i o n a l Jordan hospital treats worst of Mideast s war-wounded Hospital, unique in region to gather medical specialists AMMAN: They are among the most tragically wounded from the Middle East s multiple wars. A 14-year-old Syrian girl whose lower legs were torn off by a shell. A 15-year-old Iraqi boy who was severely burned in a car bomb explosion. To treat such patients, the international charity MÈdecins Sans FrontiËres (Doctors Without Borders) next month officially inaugurates its new reconstructive surgery hospital for war victims, which it says is unique in the region. The Amman hospital gathers together battletested surgeons, counselors and physiotherapists specialized in war victims. It will eventually offer 3-D printing for hand and face prostheses. The eight-story building is also envisioned as a learning center where surgeons from the region and the West can teach each other new skills. It s a very new approach of war surgery, says Marc Schakal, head of MSF in Jordan. The need for the facility is also testimony to how the region s conflicts become more horrific. MSF doctors began running a reconstructive surgery program in a wing of Jordan s Red Crescent facilities in At that time, the focus was on treating casualties from the Iraq war. Now, it s Iraq, the civil war in Syria and repeated Israel- Hamas conflicts in Gaza, all of which take a terrible toll on civilians. Associated Press journalists spent several days at the MSF Hospital for Specialized Reconstructive Surgery, which has been operating for the past five months on a test basis. Dr. Mukhalad Saud, a plastic surgeon, treats burn patients. There are many in his native Iraq. He says he can t allow himself to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of heart-breaking cases. As a surgeon, you have to have a AMMAN: Syrian girl Salam Rashid, 14, is prepared for surgery at MSF Hospital for Specialized Reconstructive Surgery, run by the international charity MÈdecins Sans FrontiËres (Doctors Without Borders) in Amman, Jordan. AP hard heart and a sharp knife, he told AP. On a recent morning, he saw one of his long-time patients, Ahmed Khalefeh. When a car bomb exploded outside a school in the Iraqi town of Kattoun in 2010, the fifth-grader suffered severe burns over much of his face and body. Now 15, Ahmed has undergone almost a dozen surgeries, Saud said. Ahmed has gone back and forth between Iraq and Jordan multiple times. Most recently, Saud implanted a balloon-like device near Ahmed s clavicle that is being expanded gradually to grow skin to replace Ahmed s scarred neck tissue. That will allow him to move his neck more easily and hopefully have the extra effect of straightening Ahmed s mouth, which droops on one side - but if it doesn t, Saud will do another procedure to fix that. But it will be at least another month before the neck surgery can be done, Saud tells Ahmed. Welcome distraction Ahmed says surgeries no longer faze him, but the waiting is hard. His latest stretch in Jordan has already lasted 14 months. He has years of schooling to catch up on. Ahmed and other patients and their caretakers - usually a relative - live at a nearby hotel, their travel and residency costs paid by MSF. They cook in a communal kitchen and gather around a TV in the evenings, especially to watch soccer matches. For Ahmed, football is a welcome distraction. Some evenings, he and other burn victims his age - all close friends - play on a lot across the street from the hotel. The boy exudes confidence, saying he can do almost everything he was able to do before the attack, except heavy lifting. It s just the appearance now, he says, smiling. Administrators and doctors meet once a week to decide which patients to admit from among the many referrals from MSF clinics in war zones around the region. Photos of patients and their medical reports flash on a screen as surgeons from different specialties - orthopedic, plastic, maxilla-facial - discuss the cases. Criteria are strict: Only patients whose abilities can be improved with surgery. Aesthetics are considered secondary. More than 8,200 surgeries have been performed as part of the program since The MSF hospital has a capacity of it s at 180 children and adults currently - and the need is immense. In Syria alone, more than 1 million have been wounded in the war since 2011, the World Health Organization recently estimated. Figures from Iraq and other conflicts are harder to come by. AP

14 14 International Stabbing suspect who killed officer was cop s cousin SUNSET, La: The man accused of stabbing two sisters and killing a Louisiana police officer with his own gun then barricading himself inside a convenience store was a cousin of the slain officer, officials said. Harrison Lee Riley Jr had stabbed the two women, who were trying to protect his wife during a domestic dispute, when Officer Henry Nelson responded to the call Wednesday in the small south Louisiana town of Sunset, authorities said. Nelson was shot and killed, apparently with his own weapon, before Riley crashed his car into the front of a convenience store a few blocks away and barricaded himself inside, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said. A SWAT team took Riley into custody after firing tear gas into the store and using hammers and fire axes to smash their way inside, Guidroz said. One of the sisters, Shameka Johnson, 40, died Wednesday. Shurlay Johnson, 34, remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday. Riley s wife, Courtney Jolivette Riley, was hospitalized in stable condition with stab wounds, authorities said. Harrison Riley was hospitalized following his arrest complaining of pain in his ribs, Guidroz said. Riley faces charges of firstdegree murder of a police officer, firstdegree murder and attempted firstdegree murder. The officer-involved charge carries a possible death penalty. Nelson, 51, was the second Louisiana police officer killed in four days and the fifth in four months. Louisiana State Police Trooper Steven Vincent died Monday, a day after being shot when he stopped to help a stranded motorist. Sunset Police Chief Luis Padilla said Nelson was outgoing and friendly. He was to be off starting Friday for a monthlong vacation with his teenage daughter, he said. Motiveless Nothing made him mad, Padilla said. He loved life. Came into work with a smile and left work with a smile. Riley and Nelson, who had been a member of Sunset s 14-person department since 2002, were cousins, Padilla said. Guidroz said the violence began at the house belonging to the Johnsons mother with an argument between Courtney and Harrison Riley. He began stabbing the Johnson sisters when they intervened to protect his wife, Guidroz said. Officer Nelson arrived, and a fight ensued. After shooting Nelson, investigators said Harrison Riley jumped into his car and soon crashed into the convenience store. Nini Truong, 15, said she was doing homework in the office of her parents store when the car barreled into the storefront. Everybody s freaking out, she said. People are trying to get out and I didn t know what to do. Truong said a bloodied man got out of the car and began pushing people around and demanding to know where her father was. AP AP sues over access to FBI records involving fake story Tactic described as proper and appropriate WASHINGTON: The Associated Press sued the US Department of Justice yesterday over the FBI s failure to provide public records related to the creation of a fake news story used to plant surveillance software on a suspect s computer. AP joined with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to file the lawsuit. At issue is a 2014 Freedom of Information request seeking documents related to the FBI s decision to send a web link to the fake article to a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats to a high school near Olympia, Washington. The link enabled the FBI to infect the suspect s computer with software that revealed its location and Internet address. AP strongly objected to the ruse, which was uncovered last year in documents obtained through a separate FOIA request made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FBI both misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press and created a situation where our credibility could have been undermined on a large scale, AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser said in a 2014 letter to then-attorney General Eric Holder. It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization, Kaiser wrote. The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation. In a November opinion piece in the New York Times, FBI Director James Comey revealed that an undercover FBI agent had also impersonated an AP reporter, asking the suspect if he would be willing to review a draft article about the bomb threats. Comey described the tactic as proper and appropriate under Justice Department guidelines in place at the time. He said such a ruse would likely require higher-level approvals now than it did in 2007, but that it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate. In a meeting with reporters the following month, Comey left open the possibility that an agent might again pose as a journalist, though he said such a tactic ought to be rare and done carefully with significant supervision, if it s going to be done. AP s records request also seeks an accounting of how many times since 2000 the FBI has impersonated media organizations to deliver malicious software. In a response to AP, the FBI indicated it might take nearly two years to find and copy the requested records. AP s lawsuit asks a federal judge to order the FBI to hand over the records. AP US President Barack Obama (left) departs the White House in Washington, DC, yesterday en route to New Orleans, Louisiana. President Obama will meet with residents and youth who have rebuilt their lives over the past 10 years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. AFP Argentine mom hopes pope will help get son off death row BUENOS AIRES: When Lidia Guerrero met with Pope Francis in Rome last year, the Argentine native told her he knew all about Guerrero s son, who has been on death row in Texas for 19 years. I ve prayed so much for that young man from Cordoba, she says Francis told her, referring to the hometown of Victor Hugo Saldano. The short meeting in February 2014 left Guerrero with more hope than she has felt in years about the future of her son, who she says is guilty of murder but has been driven to insanity on death row. Francis is a staunch critic of the death penalty, and like most countries in Latin America, his homeland of Argentina does not have capital punishment. Death penalty opponents are hoping that Francis pressures lawmakers to abolish it when he visits the United States next month, and Guerrero is praying that the pope intervenes on behalf of her son. Such pleas by popes or politicians from other countries often fall on deaf ears, and face particularly long odds in Texas, the US state that makes most use of the death penalty. Still, Pope John Paul II successfully won a reprieve in 1999 from Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan on behalf of a prisoner scheduled for execution who instead was ordered to serve life in prison without parole. I have no certainty that Francis will ask for clemency for my son, but I do have hope, said Guerrero, 67. That hope is based on several factors, from the papal meeting to the legal fight surrounding Saldano s original death sentence. In 2002, the US Supreme Court sent the sentence back to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to review because Saldano s Hispanic ethnicity was one of the criteria the jury considered when deciding between the death penalty and life in prison. In 2004, Saldano had a second sentencing trial that did not factor in ethnicity and was again given the death penalty. Two different juries have found that Saldano is a future danger and should die for his crime, wrote John R. Rolater, Jr., the assistant criminal district attorney in Collins County, where Saldano was convicted, in an response to questions from The Associated Press. Guerrero and her lawyer, Juan Carlos Vega, say they sent a letter to the Vatican about Saldano in December 2013, and were immediately invited to Rome. Since the meeting, Vega says he has provided Vatican officials documentation on the legal fight. This isn t just one more death penalty case, said Vega, who helped present the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Kenneth Hackett, US ambassador to the Holy See, told the AP that he wasn t aware of Saldano s case but that people with loved ones in US prisons frequently appeal to the pope. Hackett said Francis is very critical of the death penalty, and he may raise the issue while visiting a correctional center in Philadelphia. Odd jobs Guerrero says her son left home at 18, first going to Brazil, where his father was living, and then to several countries in South America. Saldano spent the next several years traveling and working odd jobs as he moved across Central America and Mexico. From the time he was a boy, he always talked about seeing the world, said Guerrero. In the early 1990s, Saldano entered the United States illegally via the Mexico-Texas border. After spending some time in New York City, he returned to Dallas and worked in a factory. AP

15 15 International US TV gunman warned he was human powder keg ROANOKE: The former television reporter who shot dead two journalists during a live US broadcast before killing himself warned he had been a human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM. The gunman-vester Lee Flanagan, 41, also known as Bryce Williams-posted chilling footage of Wednesday s shocking double murder online. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed at close range while conducting an on-air interview for WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of Washington. Friends, family and the community at large mourned the tragedy, which renewed calls for tougher gun laws in the United States. Flanagan was said to have bought his gun legally. It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents, President Barack Obama told an ABC affiliate in Philadelphia. The killing also raised questions about how the Internet provided a brief but unfiltered window on a horrific crime. We will, over time, heal from this, said a grief-stricken morning anchor, Kimberly McBroom, holding hands with two colleagues. Video of the shooting-apparently filmed by Flanagan himself-was posted on Twitter and Facebook. The footage was later removed. Parker was interviewing Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, at the lakeside Bridgewater Resort near Roanoke. Several shots were heard, as well as screams, as Ward s camera fell to the floor, capturing a fuzzy and chilling glimpse of the gunman and his handgun. Later, a video posted by Flanagan under the Twitter showed the shooter brandishing a weapon at Parker. Both she and Ward apparently did not see the gunman. Gardner, 62, was wounded in the back in the attack. She was reported in good condition yesterday after undergoing emergency surgery. In New York, ABC News said it received a 23-page manifesto from a man identifying himself as Bryce Williams nearly two hours after the shooting. In the rambling manifesto, Flanagan-an African American sacked in 2013 by WDBJ-said he was sent over the edge by the June mass shooting of black worshippers at a church in South Carolina. He described himself as a human powder keg... just waiting to go BOOM!!!! Flanagan also complained in what he called a Suicide Note for Friends and Family of racial discrimination and bullying for being a gay, black man. Jeffrey Marks, the station manager, said Flanagan was dismissed after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore. Speaking on WDBJ Thursday, he described the manifesto as nonsense. Love of my life AFP Slain US TV reporter, cameraman become local celebrities ROANOKE, Virginia: Alison Parker seemed destined for the anchor chair. Adam Ward was upbeat, the kind of cameraman everyone wanted to work with in the wee hours of the morning. The two young journalists were killed on live television Wednesday by a disgruntled former reporter they once worked with at WDBJ-TV. They were doing a routine story about local tourism when the gunman walked up to them and fired. The chilling images of Parker running away were captured on Ward s camera as he fell to the ground. Like young journalists everywhere, the pair was eager for a story, hungry to cover big news and active on social media. In Roanoke, the 67th largest U.S. media market, Parker and Ward were also something else: hometown kids who became local celebrities. They grew up in this area, Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said. They were part of our community. They were also part of a close-knit family of TV station employees who watched the killings unfold on the air and grieved publicly. And both had found love in the newsroom. Ward, 27, was engaged to producer Melissa Ott, who watched the shooting unfold from the control room. Her last day was supposed to be Wednesday because she had accepted a new job at a station in Charlotte, North Carolina. Parker, 24, was dating Chris Hurst, an anchor at the station. They had just moved in together. The couples attended sporting events and restaurants together, documenting their lives with photos and comments on social media. We re in this business, and it s a tough business. It s one that requires, I think, a sense of camaraderie, and I think we have that here, Hurst said. Parker and Ward worked as a team for the station s Mornin show, a time-slot where many broadcast journalists get their start. They covered everything from breaking news to stories about child abuse. Brother and sister They were like brother and sister because they worked so closely on the morning shift together, Hurst said. Parker graduated from James Madison University and interned at a few stations, including WDBJ. Parker was a highly motivated reporter who was described as being destined to be an anchor. She was wise beyond her years. She was just dedicated. She lived and breathed news. You don t find that every day, said Ashley Talley, who was assistant news director at WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Carolina, when she hired Parker right out of university. Ward was described as a happygo-lucky guy - even during the early morning hours. He was the kind of guy you wanted to be around, especially at three in the morning, said Jay Webb, a former meteorologist at WDBJ. On Wednesday, Parker brought in balloons and wine for Ward s fiancee in honor of her departure for a new job. They were going to have a party for her. This was supposed to be a very happy time for Alison and myself and for Adam and Melissa, and now it is just devastated everybody inside, Hurst said. I think that if she was in your situation, having to cover a story like this, she would probably want the people who knew her best to go on camera, so I ll do that for all of you guys, too. AP ROANOKE, Virginia: WDBJ TV weatherman Leo Hirshbrunner(C) views the makeshift memorial with members of the crew at the gate of WDBJ s television studios yesterday in Roanoke, Virginia. AFP Memories, tears mark newscast a day after on-air shootings Emotional crescendo of WDBJ-TV s Mornin show ROANOKE, Virginia: A day after two journalists were slain on live television, their colleagues at a Virginia morning newscast returned to the air with memories, tears and a determination to carry on the victims dedication to the news. The emotional crescendo of WDBJ-TV s Mornin show yesterday came when two anchors and a weatherman joined hands to mark a moment of silence at 6:45 am, 24 hours after the shooting. We are approaching a moment that none of us will ever forget, said anchor Kim McBroom, her voice faltering. Pictures of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were displayed while the show went silent. On-camera, the team kept their composure through tears. I don t know how to do the weather on a day like this, weatherman Leo Hirsbrunner said. McBroom told him: Good job, partner. We re going to get through this together. Visible struggle Their struggle was more visible inside the studio during commercial breaks. Hirsbrunner dabbed his eyes, tried to wave away tears and at one point bent down with his hands on his knees to gather himself offcamera. It s not easy, McBroom said during a break. Parker s boyfriend and WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst joined them for a short interview. As soon as we confirmed the news that she had died, I said that it was going to be important for us to share her story, he said. Still, he said he needs some time away from his anchor role. You won t be seeing me in my normal position for, who really knows how long. But hopefully not too long because Alison would want me back, he said. The show featured a series of news pieces on the shooting, as well as footage from Ward and Parker s assignments together. McBroom thanked an anchor and reporter from a sister station in Missouri for coming to help. They said that Ward s family wasn t ready to discuss the tragedy publicly, but the cameraman was warmly remembered by colleagues. Hirsbrunner told anecdotes about Ward s practical jokes around the office, including covertly placing candy wrappers on the weather desk that Hirsbrunner would see while delivering his segments. Hirsbrunner said he found one Thursday: I still have one over there this morning, so that kind of touches me here. Concern for the thousands of viewers who saw the shooting also was apparent. A grief expert appeared for a segment on coping with tragedy. Dr. Thomas Milam, a psychiatrist at the Carilion Clinic, said it s important to respect that people grieve in different ways and give them space. He also said it s important to comfort children who may have seen coverage or had their schools on lock down. A lot of people are grieving this morning, he said. After the two-hour show closed, McBroom and Hirsbrunner cried and hugged at length. McBroom then told a visitor, I hope that you got to know them a little better over the last two hours. That s all we could do, is share stories. AP

16 16 International India deploys army to stop violence in Gujarat AHMADABAD: Indian army soldiers conduct a flag march following two days of communal clashes in Ahmadabad yesterday. Authorities have imposed curfew in the city since Tuesday night after mobs attacked police with stones and sticks and burned vehicles. AP AHMEDABAD: The Indian army patrolled riothit areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi s home state of Gujarat yesterday after the death toll rose to seven in two days of casterelated violence. Clashes spread after police arrested a young leader of the influential Patel clan who led a huge rally on Tuesday to demand more government jobs and college places for members of his community. The breakdown of law and order revived memories of serious rioting in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, died. Modi, chief minister of Gujarat at the time, has faced criticism for doing too little to halt the bloodshed. Six protesters and a police officer have lost their lives and 18 people are critically injured, said Keshav Shah, a senior police officer in the state capital Gandhinagar. Schools, business and private offices will not open today. The mood is tense and no one should venture out, he said, adding that a curfew would remain in force. Modi has called for calm in the state that he ran for more than a decade before leading his nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in last year s general election. The Patels, or Patidar community, make up 14 percent of the population in Gujarat. A relatively affluent group of land- and businessowners, they had been a bulwark of support for Modi. Members of the Patel community said they will continue to demand changes to policies that, they argue, unfairly favour groups at the lower end of India s social order. We will not let the government suppress our demands. They can kill as many Patels as they want, said 21-year-old activist Hardik Patel. The young leader drew a crowd of half a million to a rally on Tuesday in the city of Ahmedabad. His detention there led to clashes between police and protesters across the state, forcing authorities to release him. Reuters In Afghanistan s Helmand, Taleban are talking war Hope of reviving second round of talks fade LASHKAR GAH: Soldiers from the US-led NATO coalition have joined combat to stop a Taleban advance in Afghanistan s Helmand province, where battlefield success has given the insurgents their biggest symbolic victory in years and made talking peace a fading hope. Nearly 14 years on from the US invasion that toppled the Islamist regime after the Sept attacks, the Taleban are undefeated and making gains since most foreign forces left last year, but are still far from their goal of retaking Kabul. A furious counter-assault led by the Afghan army is on in the Helmand district of Musa Qala that on Wednesday fell to the Taleban for the first time since The deputy defense minister is in Helmand right now and an operation is ongoing in full force to retake the district, said Gen Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman. NATO s Resolute Support coalition said US aircraft dropped bombs on Musa Qala nine times in the past 24 hours, and that foreign soldiers were also helping on the ground. Resolute Support service members are training, advising, and assisting elements of the ANDSF operating in Musa Qala, said spokesman Col. Brian Tribus. Incipient peace talks collapsed last month after it was announced that Taleban leader Mullah Omar had died two years before, triggering recriminations with Pakistan which Kabul accuses of hiding the truth and helping the insurgents. The announcement was followed by a series of fatal attacks in Kabul. Looking to consolidate his position, acting successor Mullah Mansour disavowed talks, while commanders in the field have responded with surging offensives across the country. Hopes for reviving a planned second round Soldiers kill four rebels in Kashmir SRINAGAR: Soldiers killed four suspected rebels and captured another during a day-long gun battle in Indian Kashmir near the border dividing the region between India and Pakistan, a defense spokesman said yesterday. Soldiers detected the group of militants in Uri, 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Indian Kashmir s main city of Srinagar, on Wednesday morning, triggering a firefight that ended yesterday afternoon. One terrorist was killed yesterday in Uri and three today in the contiguous forest area of Rafiabad, Indian defense spokesman Colonel N N Joshi said. One was captured alive during the operation, Joshi told AFP. It was not immediately clear if the militants had crossed over the de facto border called the Line of Control from Pakistan. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Since 1989 several rebel groups have been fighting hundreds of thousands of Indian forces deployed in the region, for independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan. Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have been killed in the fighting. India often accuses Pakistan of pushing armed militants into its administered portion of Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies saying it only provides diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri struggle for the right to self determination. Planned security talks between India and Pakistan at the weekend were cancelled at the last minute, after a row between the arch rivals over Islamabad s plan to meet Kashmir separatist leaders in New Delhi and a desire to broaden the scope of the talks. AFP of talks have faded in recent weeks, with Afghanistan government sources saying they are unwilling to let Pakistan act as a broker and with the Taliban on the offensive. If your enemy feels stronger day by day, it is hard to sit them down for peace negotiations, said Graeme Smith, a veteran Afghan analyst at International Crisis Group. If the government wants to get them to the negotiating table, it needs to stop them taking towns. The fall of Musa Qala comes shortly after the Taliban grabbed the neighboring district of Nawzad. Combined with a third district to the north, the Taliban now sit on a big chunk of Helmand, controlling lucrative opium production and major routes into Iran and Pakistan used to smuggle heroin to Europe. Musa Qala is of key importance. Hope (Afghan security forces) will move swiftly to regain full control, EU Ambassador Franz- Michael Mellbin posted on Twitter. Such gains in the province where British forces lost more than 400 men trying to defeat the Taliban, and where some 350 US Marines also died, are powerful propaganda for the insurgent group that is also fending off competition from Islamic State. Seeking to shore up acting leader Mansour s support with commanders to fend off a splinter group led by Omar s son challenging his position, the Taliban s media wing has released a series of slick videos of fighters pledging allegiance to Mansour after military victories including the fall of Nawzad. Another film this week showed a gathering of fighters in the north sitting atop US-supplied Humvees captured from Afghan forces. The insurgents also released a victory song on the website Soundcloud called Long live Musa Qala to commemorate the recapture of the town of 20,000 people they held for seven months until British and Afghan forces wrenched it back in The defence ministry said the fighting had killed or wounded 150 Taliban, with six soldiers killed and four wounded. In a statement, the Taleban claimed that up to 40 soldiers were killed when they overran police and army posts around Musa Qala town. Reuters Free meal for thousands in Delhi example of Sikh service NEW DELHI: Harjeet Singh can usually be found riding around New Delhi on his Harley Davidson Superlow, or helping foreign companies set up operations in India. At home, the businessman has staff to clean and cook for his family. But at the gurdwara where he worships alongside other Sikhs, he sweeps the floor, cleans dirty dishes and helps prepare meals for thousands not as fortunate as him. He cites Sikh scriptures: a tenth of your income and time should be dedicated to serving people. Working in the gurdwara twice a week also helps him purge his ego, he says. Service is one of the most integral traditions of gurdwaras. From cleaning to preparing tons of food every day there is plenty of work to be done. And there are plenty of sevadaars, or volunteers, to do it. Each day people from all walks of life pour in to assist. Others come for a free meal. The langar, which translates to community dinner, begins at noon in a large, high-ceilinged hall at the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara in New Delhi. Several rows of carpets are quickly occupied by people who swarm in and sit down to be served. They are from all religions, and reflect the spectrum of life in this crowded city. Some are desperately poor. Some work in nearby offices. Some simply like the food. More than a thousand dishes are laid out on the floor, and volunteers with buckets of lentils and Indian flat bread crouch over to fill the plates. The meal, which runs into the evening, feeds more than 10,000 people every day. On Sundays, the number doubles. Legend has it that a teenage Guru Nanak, who founded Sikhism in late 15th century, was given some money by his father and asked to turn a profit. But when Nanak went into town he saw a group of hungry men and used the money to buy groceries and asked them to cook it together and eat. While this made his father very angry, it is now a tradition followed by more than 30 million Sikhs worldwide. Nearly every gurdwara in the world, irrespective of size, has a kitchen and serves a langar. Men, women and children throng the kitchen at Bangla Sahib, one of the biggest gurdwaras in India, brewing soupy dishes in gigantic metal pots, rolling mounds of dough and flipping breads on mesh-topped stoves. AP KOLKATA: Police officials escort Sanjeev Khanna (face covered), the former husband of Indrani Mukerjea who is accused of murdering of her own daughter Sheena Bora on April 2012, to court in Kolkata yesterday. A former Indian media executive has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her daughter for having an affair with her stepson, Mumbai police said. AFP

17 17 International Australia eyes closer US security ties SYDNEY: Australia will seek to broaden and deepen its security alliance with the United States in the decades ahead as the rise of China and other Asia-Pacific powers risks fuelling instability in the region, Australia s defense minister said yesterday. Foreshadowing a strategic defense white paper due later this year, Kevin Andrews said world economic and military power was shifting to the Asia-Pacific. But growth in the region will be uneven and competition to exert more influence could generate instability, he told US and Australian business leaders in Canberra. Also competing claims for territory and natural resources in the South China Sea will continue to be a source of tension in the region. Combined with growth in military capability, this backdrop therefore has the potential to destabilize the region and threaten Australia s interests. China has been increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, reclaiming land on islands and reefs under its control. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims in the seas, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. US President Barack Obama unveiled a strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific in 2011, a move that was welcomed by Australia caused consternation in China, its top trading partner. Australia recognized that the US alliance will remain fundamental to our security and defense planning and the highest priority of our international cooperation, Andrews said. The defense white paper would also flesh out plans to purchase billions of dollars of weaponry, much of it from the United States. Reuters Japan struggles to woo Australia for $35bn submarine contract ADELAIDE: Japan s effort to charm Australian politicians and the public over its bid for a A$50 billion ($35.60 billion) submarine project appeared to stumble on Wednesday, with officials from Tokyo resisting pressure to commit to building the vessels in Australia. Japanese defence officials and executives from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries made their first major pitch to build 12 stealth submarines for Australia s navy during public briefings in Adelaide, a ship-building hub. Once seen as the frontrunner to win the contract, the Japanese bid has since come under scrutiny over whether Tokyo would build any of the submarines in Australia, where manufacturing jobs are a hot-button political issue. Rivals ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany and France s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS have both said they would build entirely in Australia, emphasizing the economic and political benefits of their proposals. The European firms have also courted the Australian defense industry and media in key cities. The Japanese delegation, led by retired Admiral Takahashi Saito, stressed Japan s cutting-edge technology, track record in manufacturing and strategic relationship with Australia during an open forum for local industry leaders. But two sources present at separate private meetings between Japanese and Australian officials said the Japanese did not seem to have much understanding of the political sensitivities and appeared to have lost ground to their rivals. They said the delegation gave few details about the Japanese proposal beyond reassurances they would adhere to the bidding rules. It seems like the (Australian) federal government just told them that they had to come down here and talk to us, one source told Reuters under the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. I think they re really struggling to connect to the public. It s just not in their DNA to speak publicly about defense issues. A defense industry source in Tokyo said the German bid was shaping up as the one to beat. There is some concern in the Japanese government, said another industry source in Tokyo familiar with the proposals. Both sources said Japanese defense ministry officials had informally asked US contractors with close ties to Japanese industry, including Raytheon Co and Lockheed Martin Corp, to advise Mitsubishi Heavy on managing its first ever bid to sell military equipment to an overseas government. NO SECRET DEAL Australian media has said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe privately agreed last year that Japan would get the contract, which also involves maintenance of the vessels. Both sides have denied such a deal. The issue dominated a news conference held by the Japanese delegation. The current situation has us a little bit perplexed and confused why such speculation is still being voiced, said Masaki Ishikawa, director general for acquisition reform at Japan s Ministry of Defense. Ishikawa declined to be drawn on whether Japan would build the submarines in Australia. Abbott has described Japan as Australia s closest friend in Asia. The United States is also keen to spur security cooperation between two key allies. Officials in Adelaide, capital of South Australia state, insisted on at least 70 percent local worker participation in the project. The French and the Germans have been out there in the public domain making their case and, look, that s understandable because this is an argument that will be determined in the court of public opinion, South Australia defense minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said in an interview. Reuters Muslim rebel front calls for revived talks with Thailand KUALA LUMPUR: A new umbrella group of Muslim rebels who are waging a bloody insurgency in southern Thailand called yesterday for a resumption of stalled peace talks but it was unclear whether the Thai military junta would recognize them. Representatives of Mara Pattani, which claims to speak for six of the insurgency s leading rebel organizations, said they met Thai officials during exploratory talks in Malaysia this week. Our principle is to find a solution through peaceful dialogue, Awang Jabat, the group s chairman, told reporters during a briefing on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. We hope we can bring the conflict to an end and promote a lasting peace. He said Thai representatives at this week s dialogue were noncommittal, saying they had to consult with junta leaders. But junta spokesman Werachon Sukhondhapatipak, in comments to AFP in Bangkok, appeared to cast doubt on a speedy resumption of peace talks. (The peace talks) are an issue for the security agencies. Don t give any importance to brand new organizations, he said. A decade-long insurgency has seen near-daily bombings, shootings and occasional beheadings in three southern Thai states including Pattani. Many people in the Muslim-majority border region have a greater cultural affinity to neighboring Malaysia, which also is predominantly Muslim. A range of shadowy groups are fighting for a level of autonomy from Thailand, which is mostly Buddhist. More than 6,400 people have been killed, the majority of them civilians. Rights organizations accuse Thai authorities of widespread human rights abuses including extra-judicial killings, and sweeping aside the area s distinct local culture. Malaysia hosted several rounds of peace talks in 2013 between one insurgent group and a previous Thai government. But the dialogue made little headway and was cut off by a Thai political crisis that culminated in a May 2014 army coup. Experts on the conflict say the peace effort has been hampered by divisions within insurgent groups and doubts over whether the rebel negotiators in the previous talks-from the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) truly represented fighters on the ground. Awang Jabat, however, said Mara Pattani includes the BRN along with five other factions. During their contacts with the Thai officials this week Mara Pattani asked for immunity for rebels over past violence as a condition for resuming talks. That proposal, however, has previously been met coolly by the junta, which has thus far shown an unwillingness to compromise, undercutting hopes of resuming full negotiations. The insurgents also said peace talks should be enshrined by the Thai parliament as a national objective, to avoid future negotiations being scuppered again by government changes in Bangkok. AFP TIANJIN: Smoke billowing behind rows of burnt out cars the morning after a series of explosions hit the city of Tianjin, northern China. Chinese police have arrested 12 people over giant explosions that killed at least 145 people and devastated a swathe of a Chinese port city, state media said yesterday as prosecutors probe 11 officials for neglecting their duties. AFP

18 International Search called off for foreign divers missing in Indonesia JAKARTA: Rescuers have called off the search for four foreign tourists who went missing while scuba diving off Indonesian Borneo more than 10 days ago, an official said yesterday. A full-scale air and sea search was launched to try and locate the three Italians and one Belgian but the effort was abandoned after no trace of the divers was found. The search should have been called off after seven days by law, but we decided to extend it by three more, East Kalimantan search and rescue chief, Hendra Sudirman, said. The missing Europeans were part of a group of six tourists-four divers and two snorkelers-who set off for Sangalaki island, a popular dive spot in East Kalimantan province, on August 15. After the four divers surfaced they asked their guide to swim to their boat and request the captain collect them from the water. But on the way he encountered trouble and blacked out, Sudirman said. He was plucked from the water by a passing boat and taken to a clinic on shore. The divers boat, having taken the two snorkelers back to shore, returned to the area to search for the divers after it became apparent they had not returned. When he (the motorboat driver) went back, the divers were gone, Sudirman said. He said there were strong currents and large waves in the area at the time. Representatives from both the Belgian and Italian embassies, as well as family members of the victims, were present throughout the search and agreed it should be called off, Sudirman added. AFP China denies rushing forces to border during Korean tensions BEIJING: China did not rush reinforcements to its border with North Korea following a rise in tensions between the two Koreas last week, China s Defense Ministry said yesterday, adding that its forces were in normal deployment. Pictures circulated on Chinese websites over the weekend, which were picked up by some overseas Chinese newspapers, appeared to show the People s Liberation Army bringing in additional tanks to Yanbian, a Chinese border city. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said those reports were untrue and completely hyped up. At present, the situation on the Chinese-North Korean border is generally stable, and Chinese border defense forces have all along maintained normal combat readiness and state of training, he told a monthly news briefing, without elaborating. North and South Korea agreed this week to end a military standoff that sparked an exchange of artillery fire and had ratcheted up tension on one of the world s most heavilyfortified borders. China is isolated North Korea s biggest trade partner and only significant ally, but a series of nuclear tests by Pyongyang has deeply angered Beijing. Reuters HONG KONG: Student protesters Joshua Wong (left) and Nathan Law (center) talk to the media outside the Wanchai police station in Hong Kong yesterday. The students reported to police for investigation into their participation in the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy movement. AFP BEIJING: Visitors to Tiananmen Square walk past decorations set up ahead of the Sept 3 massive military parade commemorating the end of World War II in Beijing yesterday. AP China conducts air, sea drills in East China Sea Philippines seeks real-time U.S. help in sea disput BEIJING: China conducted large-scale air and sea exercises in the East China Sea yesterday, state news agency Xinhua said, the third time in the last two months it has carried out such live-fire aritime drills. The training involved more than 100 ships, dozens of aircraft, information warfare units as well the firing of close to 100 missiles, Xinhua said. It did not specify where exactly the exercises took place. China and Japan are involved in an increasingly bitter dispute over ownership of a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku by Tokyo and Diaoyu by Beijing. China has in the last two months held similar exercises in the Yellow Sea, and also the disputed waters of the South China Sea. China claims most of the potentially energyrich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and rejects the rival claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. HONG KONG: Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong slammed police yesterday for what he called a political prosecution after he was charged over protests which led to last year s mass pro-democracy street rallies. Wong, 18, who became the face of the democracy movement, is already due in court Friday for separate charges of obstructing police at an earlier demonstration. The teenager and other activists have accused the authorities of a witch hunt against those at the forefront of the Umbrella Movement that brought parts of the city to a standstill for more than two months. Protesters called for fully free elections of the city s next leader, in the face of a contentious Beijing-backed political reform package in which candidates would have Separately, China s Defense Ministry said China will hold joint military drills next month with Malaysia in the strategic Strait of Malacca, and will also hold training exercises with Australia and the United States in Australia. China s rapidly modernizing armed forces have been increasing their global reach and carrying out exercises in ever more distant locations, as the government seeks to protect its interests around the world. But China has jangled nerves, especially in its territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas with a growing assertiveness. Manila plea The Philippines has sought help from the United States to monitor real-time developments in the South China Sea, providing surveillance and reconnaissance, a military spokesman said yesterday, amid China s rapid expansion in the area. Colonel Restituto Padilla said the defense been vetted by a loyalist committee. That bill was vetoed in June in an unprecedented rebuke to Beijing, leaving the city politically polarized.wong was charged yesterday with unlawful assembly, and inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly. The charges, which could result in a sentence of up to five years, relate to a student protest on September 26 last year during which some climbed into a square which is part of the city s government complex. Wong and other activists were arrested, sparking wider demonstrations which exploded two days later when police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Thousands more took to the streets in the wake of what they saw as heavy-handed policing. ministry had asked US Pacific Command chief, Admiral Harry Harris, to provide air cover to a Philippine civilian ship that regularly delivers supplies to Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed waters. We want the US military to watch over our ships, which China attempts to block every time we rotate troops and bring supplies to a ship that ran aground on Ayungin shoal, Padilla said. Harris was in Palawan yesterday to see first-hand the situation in the area near where China has built artificial islands. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, commander of military forces in Palawan, told journalists the US commander promised to help its oldest ally in the Asia-Pacific, but would also prevent conflict from erupting. Reuters HK student leader Wong charged over protests No regrets Today... is political prosecution, said Wong before he entered a police station Thursday in the central neighborhood of Wan Chai. Being involved in the civic square action is the best mission I have made in the four years I ve been involved in social student movements, he said. I will not regret it... even if I have to pay the price. When they emerged less than two hours later, Wong s lawyer Michael Vidler confirmed the teen had been charged. I think the whole rationale for proceeding at this stage, a year after the event, is totally flawed, Vidler said. In my view it s a clear abuse of process. Prominent student protester Alex Chow was also charged yesterday with taking part in an unlawful assembly. AFP

19 The Cipotegato climbs on the monument erected in his honour on the main square of Tarazona yesterday. Every year people wait for the Cipotegato, a hooded man dressed as an harlequin, to throw him tomatoes on the main square of Tarazona. The Cipotegato makes his way through the crowded streets while people throw tomatoes at each other. The route is known only for the Cipotegato, except that it ends at the Plaza Espana square. When the Cipotegato arrives there, he climbs on the monument erected in his honor, which marks the start of the main festivities of Tarazona. AFP

20 The Hot 8 Brass Band performs at the Howling Wolf in New Orleans, Louisiana as the city regains its vibrancy ten years after Hurricane Katrina. AFP New Orleans awash in music 10 years after Katrina The vibrant sounds of brass bands and buskers echo through the streets of New Orleans ten years after the birthplace of jazz was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. But while tourists may find themselves overwhelmed by choice, locals fear some of the Big Easy s spirit of creativity and improvisation may have been lost to the floodwaters. There had been a long line of older musicians passing a culture on to younger musicians, guitarist Jonathan Frelich told AFP. That got uprooted, and the way the city decided to invest in culture didn t have much to do with the way that it had existed before. The loss of neighborhood clubs and an increased emphasis on tourism has shaped the opportunities for musicians and the types of music they play, he said. It became the mode of desperation, and the only game in town, Frelich said. More than 1,800 people were killed across the US Gulf Coast-the vast majority in New Orleans-and over a million people were displaced when the Category 5 hurricane struck on August 29, The financial toll topped $150 billion. Katrina flooded 80 percent of New Orleans with water that rose as high as 20 feet (six meters) after the coastal city s poorly built levee system burst from the pressure of a massive storm surge. The city descended into chaos as increasingly desperate people with little food or clean water waited days for help to arrive. It was months before the Big Easy was habitable again and over 100,000 people still have not returned to their homes. When the waters receded, the future looked bleak. City leaders embraced the efforts of the tourism industry to package local culture as a catalyst of the recovery. Mixing it up It worked. The economy is booming, a whopping nine million tourists visited last year, and there are scores of new festivals and venues offering work to local musicians. But the cost of living has risen sharply as the city still works to rebuild its decimated housing stock. Many musicians find themselves struggling to get by with the cost of renting or owning a home up 30 to 45 percent from prestorm levels. Plenty of performers find themselves working for tips in the street or even in some of the bars serving tourists. Those who manage to get regular paying gigs find that their work isn t always valued. Some of the newer places aren t as concerned with the quality of music because there s so many people on the street, they re going to get bodies no matter what, said Meschiya Lake, a popular jazz singer who performs regularly on the bustling Frenchmen Street. In recent years, Frenchmen Street has transformed from the hipper alternative to Bourbon Street into a more tourist-friendly destination, where a well-lit outdoor market and a giant gourmet hot dog stand welcome visitors. Once known for its diverse, experimental vibe, the strip is now home to more cover bands and traditional jazz. While the hotels and bars catering to tourists may be quite tame, musicians still have places to cut loose. Many, though certainly not all, of the corner bars which helped make New Orleans an early hotbed of rhythm and blues, rock and funk have reopened. The social clubs that support the brass band led neighborhood parades known as second lines have also reformed. New Orleans music always sells, and musicians are skilled at meeting their audience s expectations, said Matt Sakakeeny, a musicologist at Tulane University who specializes in New Orleans brass bands. The system still rewards innovative musicians who know the formula and are mixing it up. I don t see any signs that they are in danger. Vibrancy, accidental magic Musicians said that while tourism had a homogenizing effect on the music, the city s changing demographics pose another threat to its penchant for improvisation. The black population has fallen by about 115,000 people, dropping from 68 percent of residents in 2000 to 60 percent in 2013, the latest census figures show. Plenty of white residents also found the emotional and financial cost of rebuilding to be too high, though their numbers are harder to measure. The post-katrina influx of new residents included homeowners who were less inclined to join street parades, and more willing to call the authorities. Recently proposed legislation to limit the volume of recorded and live music puzzled many locals accustomed to the late night blasts of trumpets. That s part of the vibrancy, that accidental magic, Lake told AFP. It s like going to France and telling them to stop speaking French. Tuba player Bennie Pete longs for pre-storm New Orleans. You always feel like you re missing something, he said. You re driving through a neighborhood looking for a certain house, and it s not there... the heart of it is what I m looking for. AFP Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany s top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said yesterday, drawing angry protests from Israel. Barenboim, 72, who is general music director of the German capital s flagship opera house, the State Opera, is in talks with Iran about a possible concert in Tehran by the Staatskapelle Berlin, the house said in an ed statement. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had agreed to take over the patronage of the concert as he supports Daniel Barenboim s dedication to making music accessible to all people, irrespective of national, religious or ethnic boundaries, the statement said. Further details of the concert would be announced once the negotiations have been concluded, the opera house said. Barenboim s plans drew an angry response from Israel. Israeli culture minister Miri Regev had said Wednesday that she intended to send a letter of protest to German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling on her to block the concert. In my letter I shall stress that Daniel Barenboim s appearance in Iran harms Israel s efforts to prevent the nuclear agreement and gives encouragement to de-legitimization of Israel, she wrote on her Hebrew Facebook page. Iran is a state which supports terror, is behind Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas and its leaders have blood on their hands. I believe that Germany would be acting rightly if it were to cancel the appearance of the orchestra and its conductor, Regev continued. She accused Barenboim-who founded a ground-breaking youth orchestra called the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999 that brings together Israeli, Egyptian, Iranian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Palestinian musicians-of using culture as a platform for his anti-israel political views. Barenboim, who has also taken honorary Palestinian citizenship, conducted the Divan Orchestra in a concert in Ramallah in He is Lifestyle Barenboim, Berlin orchestra confirm plans for Tehran concert Tobias Strebel Tobias Strebel, best known for a memorable appearance on Botched and for spending more than $100,000 to look like Justin Bieber, was found dead in a Motel 6 in North Hills, Calif, just a few days after being reported missing. He was 35. Strebel was found in the motel on Aug 21, according to TMZ. Police told the outlet that medications were found in the room he was staying in, but the cause of death is currently unknown. Strebel, who also went by the name Toby Sheldon, was last seen alive on Aug 18 in West Hollywood, Calif. Israeli-Argentinean born pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim during a press conference in Madrid. AFP also controversial in Israel for his efforts to have the music of Richard Wagner, the German composer adored by Adolf Hitler, performed in the Jewish state. Iran reached a deal with world powers last month which will see Western-led sanctions against Iran lifted in exchange for a new inspections regime and curbs on Tehran s atomic program. The prominent Jewish rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, also hit out at the concert plans. In a letter to Chancellor Merkel, a centre official, Shimon Samuels, expressed astonishment at the German leader s plan to visit Iran in October, reportedly to mark the signing of the nuclear deal, and at news that you are to be accompanied by the Berlin Staatskapelle, led by its musical director, Daniel Barenboim. Samuels urged Chancellor Merkel to reconsider the mission to Tehran and, above all, to cancel this embellishment-under the cover of musicof Iran s constantly declared nuclear genocidal design to destroy Israel. AFP Justin Bieber Strebel, Botched star and Bieber look-a-like, found dead In addition to E! s plastic surgery reality show Botched, Strebel also appeared on TLC s My Strange Addiction. What brought me to Bieber was the whole package: the full cheeks, the full temples, the bright open eyes, the full luscious lips, and special framing, he said on Botched in [He s] just extraordinarily beautiful. The reality TV personality was also an aspiring singer. Reuters

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