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Kuwait’s electoral campaigns get creative

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:43pm

KUWAIT: There is no doubt that the candidates for the National Assembly elections 2022 have the right to use all traditional, modern or advanced media and new technological methods in their election campaigns, as long as they are within the legal framework, to ensure the integrity of electoral campaigns aimed at attracting voters’ attention and to promote themselves. However, an observer of the current campaigns held ahead of the National Assembly Elections, which will be held on Thursday, noticed that media and propaganda campaigns are being created with various innovative and new technological methods that have changed the way Kuwaiti parliamentary election campaigns have been held previously and the way candidates interact with voters or engage in public opinion.

Speaking on the matter, Professor of Political Sociology at the College of Social Sciences at Kuwait University, Dr Marzouqa Al-Quwaidhi said that technologically advanced forms of communication were meant to address people’s minds with clear words and frank discussions about issues which reflected a positive and reliable electoral result. Al-Quwaidhi pointed out that technology-based media played a significant role in this year’s campaigning as it brought down the cost of campaigning and the electoral process as a whole.

“Given the wide area of the geographical constituencies amidst the five-circle system, the candidates relied on smart advertising means by managing them in a correct manner and according to a well-researched plan to influence his electoral bases.”

She also noted that enthusiastic videos and rhymes are being used in promotions to motivate voters and stimulate enthusiasm in order to vote for candidates as a form of publicity and advertisement. This type of propaganda carries a brief, clear and easy message that touches the aspirations and the conscience of voters, raises their interests, and shows the purpose and objective of the nomination.

Meanwhile, Professor of Media at the College of Arts at Kuwait University, Dr Khaled Al-Quhs, said that these technological means, whether through videos or tweets, made it easier to portray the candidates’ ideas and agendas to the public instead of having electoral seminars. He also mentioned innovative ways that can help candidates, such as paid podcast interviews, videos and pictures, which are circulated through different social media platforms. Al-Quhs also said that there is an innovative method to display candidates’ biography, history and plans through a barcode to be scanned and easily broadcasted.

On his part, Professor of Media at the College of Arts at Kuwait University, Dr Ahmad Al-Sharif told KUNA that modern technological media is a significant driver in influencing public opinions, as social media has become the most dominant method in electoral campaigns and is taking the lead, thanks to the society’s tendency to use it for being the fastest, easiest and less expensive. He added that the use of social media outlets has exceeded television usage, in terms of the number of views, and had a big effect in voter’s opinions. – KUNA

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Categorie: Kuwait

National Guard begins preparations for rainy season

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:42pm

KUWAIT: National Guard Undersecretary, Hashem Al-Refaei, accompanied by leaders, visited Al-Tahrir encampment, to inspect the strength of support units ahead of the rainy season. He listened to plans regarding the handling of rain related issues, starting October, which included technical squads being trained to use modern equipment to deal with flooding, plans to rescue trapped people and measures to facilitate road movement.

Al- Refaei also visited the fire and rescue branch to examine the preparation of the firefighting equipment to be utilized, to deal with the rainy season. He stressed on the importance of all safety procedures to support those in need.

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Categorie: Kuwait

Photo of the Day

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:38pm

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Categorie: Kuwait

Kuwait Times Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:38pm

Daily E- Paper – Kuwait Times


Click above icon to download full news paper


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Categorie: Kuwait

Kuwaiti economists: Legislations needed to boost economy

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:34pm

KUWAIT: With the 2022 National Assembly planned to be held on Sept 29, Thursday, Kuwaiti economists stressed the importance of choosing candidates eager to promote the sustainability of the national economy through laws and legislations. Speaking to KUNA, the economists shared a vision focused on diversifying income, cultivating a viable atmosphere for commerce and investment, as well as encouraging creativity and ingenuity in business. Continuing to make oil the sole source of income is a ‘dangerous matter’ due to the commodity being linked with the varying nature of global energy prices, said Dr Anwar Al-Shurai’an, a professor of economy at Kuwait University (KU).

Dr Al-Shurai’an indicated that the decline in price of oil during the COVID-19 was a great motivator to diversify the economy, a vision – which has been spoken about for 45 years. He noted that according to reports, the volume of Kuwait sovereign wealth fund had reached around $1 trillion, which indicates that its income was at around six percent equaling $80 per barrel of income made in current production estimates.

Al-Shurai’an called on parliamentary hopefuls and those involved in drafting laws and legislations to focus on a sustainable vision for the Kuwaiti economy. The legislative authority must have a role in promoting economic diversity and sustainability, noting that what occurred during the pandemic had highlighted the importance of such ventures. The private sector had been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and such emergencies required legislators to look into laws that protect private businesses and find ways to promote economic growth, he affirmed.

Providing his input, economic lecturer at Kuwait University (KU) Dr Riyad Al-Fares said that the executive authority, through the New Kuwait 2035 vision, had come up with plans to counter mishaps in the national economy. The state income had decreased tremendously during the coronavirus pandemic, putting the price of oil at $30 per barrel, he indicated, noting that the legislative authority should come up with laws to strengthen the input of the private sector in Kuwait and diversify income from a petroleum-based economy that represented around 95 percent of the GDP.

He pointed out that privatization was key to help the private sector flourish, adding that the National Assembly must focus on laws or amend legislations, which were aimed at economic diversification and improving the business environment. He noted that the government’s agenda for 2021 had nine economic drafts laws in need of legislative amendments. The parliament and government need to support projects such as the free-trade zone and Al-Harir City to promote the welfare of the state and citizens alike, he affirmed.

Meanwhile, assistant lecturer at Kuwait University’s (KU) the college of law, Dr Mohammad Al-Shubaib said that the upcoming election of the National Assembly had various challenges to tackle, namely the ones pertaining to budget and spending. He reiterated the importance of supporting the private sector and encouraging creativity and ingenuity in business to attract foreign investments and expand the state income. Al-Shubaib also said that having a strong economic base would allow Kuwait to maneuver against global economic crises and turn the country to a regional and international hub for commerce and finance. – KUNA

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Categorie: Kuwait

Interior minister inspects road traffic congestion

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:31pm

KUWAIT: Sheikh Talal Al-Sabah, the acting Minister of Interior has inspected, along with personnel from traffic and public works ministry, road congestions after the start of the new academic year, in order to reduce traffic congestion.

The team analyzed the roads in Kuwait, hoping to understand the reasons for the congestion and rated the road situation during rush hour, in order to decide on measures that would help attain the highest level of safety in the country.

Al-Sabah has also asked for a complete study to understand the reasons for the traffic congestion and one which would also suggest solutions that would solve the road problem as well as limit traffic congestions. The Minister also spoke about the significance of violators being handled gently, especially in areas where schools were located.


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Categorie: Kuwait

Spike in diabetes cases due to unhealthy lifestyle

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:29pm

KUWAIT: Dr Khaled Al-Saeed, Minister of Health, has said the Kuwait leads the list of countries, where patients undergo kidney transplants, adding that further initiatives are planned to develop liver and heart transplants in the country. Speaking on the sidelines of an event organized by the Kuwait Heart Society and Sabah Al-Ahmad Heart Center, to mark the ‘World day for heart’, Al-Saeed said that currently two kinds of transplants – organs and bone marrow- were being carried out in Kuwait, especially for children and said that the Health Ministry has also noticed an increase in cases of heart diseases in the country.

“Previously, some heart surgeries were available only in one hospital, but it is now conducted in four hospitals and it is also planned to have facilities to conduct such surgeries across all hospitals in Kuwait, as the number of doctors increase in the sector.”

He also said that the increase in the number of diabetic patients in Kuwait was primarily due to the unhealthy lifestyle choices practiced by people in the country which also led to an increase in heart and cholesterol-related diseases.

Dr Khaled Al-Saeed

Al-Saeed also appraised the role of the Kuwait Heart Society which has been serving patients for 40 years now and has been supporting efforts to treat heart disease in the country. Meanwhile, Dr Talal Al-Bahar, Head of Kuwait Heart Society expressed his appreciation in collaborating with the Ministry to execute training projects aimed at saving lives.

“The society is proud of its national and social duty in supporting medical research aimed at preventing heart diseases and in supporting researchers in making scientific studies and attending global medical conferences,” he said.

He added that the society conducted awareness events – for medical testing and to estimate body mass-to identify obesity and related issues and said that the society would continue to reach people through these awareness programs.


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Categorie: Kuwait

International media keen on covering Kuwait elections

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:20pm

KUWAIT: Officials representing international media outlets have expressed their enthusiasm in covering Kuwait’s upcoming parliamentary elections. Speaking to KUNA, Saad Al-Saeedi, Bureau Chief, Al-Jazeera Channel, said that international media has been covering the elections so far in a way that was reflective of the country’s democratic practices.

Saad Al-Saeedi

“Arab and foreign media outlets are quite keen to cover the upcoming parliamentary elections with its focus on transparency and democracy,” he said, adding that, “the Kuwait National Assembly is unique in the region and its public discussions have often attracted the attention of the Arab as well as the Western media.”

Al-Saeedi also said that the parliament in Kuwait represented political liberty, freedom of choice and the ability to ratify treatments and agreements – ideas that have not often been seen in other countries. He also highlighted the equal contribution played by the parliament and the government in running the affairs of the state, adding that, the participation of women, who represented more than 50 percent of voters, was an added value to the political scene.

Saad Al-Enezi

Saad Al-Enezi, Sky news Arabia bureau chief, said that the 60-year-old democratic experience in Kuwait was “unique and deeply-rooted in the Kuwaiti society.” “The National Assembly”, said Al-Enezi, “represented the democratic aspirations of the Kuwaiti people and the elections contributed to the political, economic and social interactions among the general public – a fact admired by other nations.” He noted that this year’s elections highlighted a new political reality with the Amiri address to the nation, which emphasized commitment to the constitution and non-interference in elections, in order to smoothen out the political road ahead in Kuwait.

Ahmad Al-Masri

Ahmad Al-Masri, German News Agency (DPA) correspondent in Kuwait, said that the National Assembly was “one of the best legislative institutions in the area due to its sound practices that have contributed to the development of Kuwait” and pointed out that “this is how assemblies have to function in democracies.” Al-Masri said that the entire country was mobilized to guarantee the success of the elections.

Shahad Al-Matrouk

Shahad Al-Matrouk, Al-Arabiya news reporter said that, “elections were a genuine part of a democracy where people selected their own destiny, through their 50 representatives.” She said that, “people were eagerly waiting for the outcome of the Sept 29 elections while, foreigners would have a chance to have a first-hand account of how democracy functions in Kuwait.” – KUNA

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Categorie: Kuwait

Boursa Kuwait hosts seminar to discuss role of market makers

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:07pm

KUWAIT: Boursa Kuwait organized a seminar for listed companies in an effort to shed light on the mechanism and performance of market makers and their role in enhancing security liquidity. The seminar focused on the importance of liquidity and the overall mechanisms to enhance it as well as the requirements of market makers and key factors to consider when dealing with them. The participants also discussed the willingness of companies that qualify for upgrade into the “Premier” Market to deal with market makers and the types of agreements between the listed companies and their market makers.

The seminar was moderated by Bader Al-Nesef, Assistant Director of Institutional Investor Affairs at Boursa Kuwait who was joined by panelists Fahad Al-Rushaid, the Vice President of MENA Equities at the Kuwait Financial Center “Markaz”, and Sulaiman Al-Musallam, Assistant Director -Market Maker Department in the Asset Management Sector in the Kuwait Investment Company.

The seminar falls in line with Boursa Kuwait’s commitment to raise awareness of the effective role of market makers in enhancing liquidity, which can lead to attracting more investors who wish to benefit from the investment environment of the Kuwaiti capital market.

Commenting on the seminar, which witnessed keen interaction from attendees, Bader Al-Nesef said: “We are currently witnessing an increasing interest from listed companies, specifically those that qualify for the “Premier” Market, in the market maker tool for its active role and ability to provide liquidity on securities.”

“Hosting this seminar comes within the framework of Boursa Kuwait’s efforts to raise the efficiency of the market and all its participants by raising awareness of the tools and products offered and encouraging their adoption. On behalf of Boursa Kuwait, I would like to thank the speakers and all participants for their valuable inputs, which undoubtedly enriched the seminar,” Al-Nesef added.

KUWAIT:(From left to right) Panelists Fahad Al-Rushaid, Sulaiman Al-Musallam and Bader Al-Nesef

Market makers contribute to the enhancement of security liquidity, improving market efficiency and supporting the overall adoption of all its tools. Market makers are also considered an integral part of stock market operations in developed and emerging markets, for their ability to provide liquidity to their registered security. In effect, market makers match buyers and sellers who want to trade the same security. In the Kuwaiti capital market, market makers are investors who ensure the availability of supply and demand for one or more security, according to such controls as may be issued or approved by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

Fahad Al-Rushaid, Assistant Manager – MENA Equities at Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” said “The demand on market makers is due to the role they play in providing liquidity for listed companies, due to the mechanism’s clear rules and obligations and listed companies being comfortable in dealing with them. All listed companies can utilize market makers, and market makers can trade treasury shares or shares from individual shareholders. Market makers can also work for a designated fee, or for an incentivized percentage of trades if trading volume gets to a certain point, options that undoubtedly give companies the flexibility to utilize this tool as they see fit. I would like to thank Boursa Kuwait for organizing this seminar and applaud the exchange’s overall efforts to raise awareness of the market maker tool.”

The Kuwait Financial Center “Markaz” received the license to operate as a market maker at the end of 2019 and is currently registered as a market maker for seven securities. Established in 1974, “Markaz” was listed on the Kuwaiti stock exchange in 1997.

Sulaiman Al-Musallam, Assistant Manager Market Maker Department, Asset Management Division at Kuwait Investment Company also commented on the occasion, saying: “I would like to thank Boursa Kuwait for hosting this seminar, which gave us an extraordinary opportunity to clarify several matters for market participants, sharing and exchanging viewpoints and promoting financial literacy. The market maker has become an invaluable tool for companies seeking to provide further liquidity for their shares. Investment companies that offer this service are keen to contribute to the development of the market, allowing them to record higher profits.”

The Kuwait Investment Company began operating as a market maker in 2021 and is currently registered as a market maker on three securities. The Kuwait Investment Company was established in 1961 as the first investment company in Kuwait and the region and was listed on Boursa Kuwait in 1984. Organizing seminars and training programs forms part of Boursa Kuwait’s efforts to create a lasting meaningful impact on the communities in which it operates as part of its Corporate Sustainability strategy as well as the company’s ongoing efforts to equip all market participants with an in-depth understanding of the functioning of capital markets and various tools and techniques required to make informed investment decisions and effectively meet investors’ needs.

Since its inception, Boursa Kuwait, a self-listed company and one of the government entities to successfully undergo privatization, has implemented many steps in accordance with international practices and standards to enhance the position of the exchange regionally and globally, as well as transform Kuwait into a regional and global investment destination, by focusing on creating an attractive issuer base and broadening its investor base, increasing the depth and breadth of its products, as well as upgrading its infrastructure and business environment to international standards.

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Categorie: Kuwait

Heavy floods ravage West Africa farmlands, rice plots

Kuwait Times - Mar, 27/09/2022 - 7:04pm

KANO: Nigeria rice farmer Adamu Garba squelched barefoot through his paddy fields, surveying damage from devastating floods that have destroyed farmland across the north of the country. Parts of West and central Africa have been battered by floods ravaging farms like Garba’s rice plots, wiping out crops and risking worsening food insecurity in a region already struggling with economic fallout from the Ukraine war.

Just in Nigeria, constant heavy rains caused the worst flooding in a decade, killing more than 300 people since the start of the rainy season and displacing at least 100,000, according to emergency officials. “It is devastating but there is nothing we can do, we just have to be strong,” Garba told AFP at his farm near the city of Kano, where he normally harvests 200 bags of rice. “Now in the condition we find ourselves we are not sure we will harvest half a bag here.”

Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman Manzo Ezekiel said flooding has been unprecedented due to continuous rainfall with 29 of the country’s 36 states affected. “Thousands of farmlands have also been destroyed. The figures will rise further because we are still experiencing torrential rains and flooding,” he said. Flood waters were made worse partly by neighboring Cameroon’s release of excess waters from a dam and by Nigeria releasing waters to ease pressure on its Kainji and Jebba dams, Ezekiel said.

However, an official with Eneo, operator of Cameroon’s Lagdo hydro-electricity plant, said excess waters released from the dam contributed only a small amount to flooding. Parts of Nigeria, from northern farmlands to the coastal economic capital Lagos, are prone to flooding in the rainy season, though NEMA says this year is the worst since 2012, when 363 people died and more than 2.1 million were displaced.

Climate change

The Niger river-West Africa’s main river-flows through northern Niger past Benin’s northern border into Nigeria before reaching in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic through southern Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Heavy rains falling in Niger since June and the severe floods have claimed 159 lives and affected more than 225,000 people, making this rainy season one of the deadliest in history, emergency officials said earlier this month.

“According to our studies, we can link these rains to climate change in general,” said Katiellou Gaptia Lawan, Director General of National Meteorology of Niger. “The rains are becoming more and more intense and the extreme precipitation is increasing.”

Rains in Niger this year have also totally destroyed or damaged more than 25,900 homes, and impacted farmland and cattle, authorities said. The June to September rainy season regularly kills people in Niger, including in the northern desert areas, but the toll is particularly heavy this year.

In 2021, 70 people died and 200,000 were affected.

In Chad, the UN said more than 622,500 people had been affected “at different levels” by flooding in more than half of the country, including the capital N’Djamena, with most impacted areas bordering the north of Cameroon. According to the United Nations, in 2021, 5.5 million Chadians, more than a third of the population of the landlocked country were already in need of emergency humanitarian aid, even before the floods.

In northern Nigeria, Kabiru Alassan, a 19-year old farmer, said flood waters washed sand from the roads and covered his rice fields. But he was trying to salvage what he could. “This is the little we have left by Allah’s grace which we are going to harvest,” he said. “The rains have never been this destructive. We pray never to experience such a nightmare.” – AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

Russia war cripples Ukrainian heavy industry

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 6:45pm

KYIV: Usually the engine-room of the Ukrainian economy, heavy industry has fallen victim to Russia’s invasion, with output ground down under the pressure of the war. In the gigantic ArcelorMittal steelworks and iron mine complex in Kryvyi Rih, three of the four blast furnaces have been shut down, while the mine lies dormant.

The last working blast furnace, a cathedral of metal surrounded by colossal pipes, was running on low gear when AFP visited. Much of the site which sprawls over 70 square kilometers-two-thirds the size of the city of Paris-and normally employs 22,000 people was running below normal operations. A handful of workers took turns tending a small river of glowing metal, while square steel beams clank along a treadmill in a cavernous hangar nearby. The complex in the southern city close to the frontline is considered a national jewel by Ukrainians.

Bought in 2005 by ArcelorMittal for nearly $5 billion, its products are sold internationally-including for the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, the tallest in the world. But after the invasion began in February, work halted for a month when Russian troops approached Kryvyi Rih. Production eventually restarted, but at a reduced tempo. By the end of August, output was “between 15 and 20 percent” of the corresponding period in 2021, according to Artem Filipiev, the site’s deputy director.

Logistical headaches

“We keep the site running, that’s our mission,” Filipiev told AFP. Some 2,000 of the site’s employees are currently fighting in the Ukrainian army, and 17 have been killed, so keeping the plant functional is “not just about profit…(but) social responsibility”, he said.

Among the myriad logistical headaches the war has caused for Ukraine’s industrial sector are how to maintain supplies, keep customers, and deliver products. Moscow now controls the major Black Sea ports of Mariupol and Berdiansk in southeast Ukraine. Ports in the southwest like Odesa and Chernomorsk remain in Ukrainian hands, although Russia-under strong international pressure-has only allowed their use for grain exports.

“The ports are closed, the metallurgical industries of Mariupol were among our main consumers of iron ore, clients in Zaporizhzhia have also slowed down their activity, our iron mines are at a standstill,” said Sergiy Milutin, deputy mayor of Kryvyi Rih. ArcelorMittal-which exports 85 percent of its products-says it now uses rail and river transport for deliveries, mainly via Poland and the Baltic Sea, as well as Romania. But the costs have “multiplied by two or three” for steel producers, Marina Bozkurt, an analyst with Rystad, told AFP.


The months-long shelling by Russia of Ukrainian troops entrenched in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol showed the resilience of such Soviet-era infrastructure-but ultimately the facility was left destroyed. By September, over 420 Ukrainian industries and companies had been damaged or destroyed by the war, comprising an estimated loss of $30 billion, according to the Kyiv School of Economics. Mining and manufacturing processing industries made up 17 percent of Ukraine’s GDP in 2021, and the sector “is part of the economic security” of the country, said Dmytro Goryunov, an economist with the Centre for Economic Strategy.

The importance of heavy industry for the economy explains why Russia pounds it, according to Anatoly Kovaliov, rector of the Odessa National University of Economics. “After three days of failed ‘blitzkrieg’, of absolute fiasco, the Russians understood that they would not take our country easily, so they decided to destroy it”, Kovaliov told AFP.

The Kremlin has an aim of “de-economization”, he said. Ukrainian GDP collapsed by 37 percent in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, according to Goryunov. According to Kovaliov, the country needs a good five to eight years of reconstruction once it wins the war, which he believes is a certainty. “We will need a Marshall Plan,” he said, referring to the US-devised giant economic rescue scheme to rebuild Europe after World War II. – AFP



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Categorie: Kuwait

Croatia, Netherlands cruise into semis; France survive relegation

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 6:41pm

LONDON: Croatia and the Netherlands booked their places in the last four of the Nations League as holders France needed a favor to avoid relegation from the top tier on Sunday. Les Bleus lost 2-0 in Denmark to finish with just one win from their six group games, but Croatia’s 3-1 win at Austria saved the world champions from the drop. Didier Deschamps will be hoping to have a number of key men back from injury by the time France’s defense of the World Cup begins against Australia on November 22.

“It was a young French team, which for the most part does not yet have experience of the highest level,” said Deschamps. “Tonight is a dose of reality and what will be waiting for us in two months.” France will also come up against the Danes in the group stage in Qatar and the Euro 2020 semi-finalists showed they are more than capable of causing more trouble in two months’ time.

Both goals came before half-time as Kasper Dolberg stretched to turn home Mikkel Damsgaard’s cross before Andreas Skov Olsen volleyed in from the edge of the area. France were without Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembele and Karim Benzema through injury. But the star trio of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe failed to find a way back into the game for France.

Denmark’s win meant Croatia needed to get all three points in Austria to top the group. Luka Modric got the 2018 World Cup finalists off to a flying start, but they were quickly pegged back by Christoph Baumgartner’s header. Two goals in three second-half minutes proved decisive as Marko Livaja and Dejan Lovren headed in at the far post. “Austria made our lives very hard, but in the end, the win was deserved,” said Modric. “I am very happy that we are in the top four.” Defeat relegated Austria to League B.

The Netherlands made sure of top spot in Group A4 with a 1-0 win over Belgium thanks to Virgil van Dijk’s header 17 minutes from time. The Dutch just needed to avoid defeat by a three-goal margin after winning 4-1 in Brussels earlier in the group. A Belgian revival never looked likely. Van Dijk settled the game when he was left completely unmarked to head in a corner inside the six-yard box.

In the same group, Wales were relegated after losing 1-0 at home to Poland. Karol Swiderski scored the only goal in Cardiff from Robert Lewandowski’s cushioned through ball. Turkey were already guaranteed promotion from League C, but were still embarrassed by a 2-1 defeat to the Faroe Islands. The Faroes led 2-0 through Viljormur Davidsen and Joan Edmundsson before Serdar Gurler’s late consolation for the side ranked 83 places higher in FIFA’s world rankings.

Price worth paying

Wales manager Rob Page said relegation from the top tier of the Nations League on Sunday is softened by the prospect of looking forward to his country’s first World Cup since 1958 in two months’ time. A 1-0 defeat to Poland in Cardiff condemned Page’s men to finishing bottom of a group also containing Belgium and the Netherlands.

Wales’ four Nations League games in June were split either side of a vital World Cup qualifying playoff against Ukraine, which forced Page to rest a number of key players for their 2-1 defeat in Poland to start the group. Despite the disappointment of dropping down a division, the Wales boss was happy to pay that price for having made it to Qatar.

“If you had said to me at the start of June that we would qualify for the World Cup and have it go down to one game to win to stay in League A, I would have taken that,” said Page. “The playoff final against Ukraine did have an impact on our games either side of it.” Page’s most pressing concern is recovering some of his best players in time for their opening game of the World Cup against the United States on November 21. Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen missed both the defeats, to Poland and to Belgium, on Thursday, due to injury.

“For us to compete at the top, top level we’re going to need every player fit and available and playing well,” added Page. “That’s nothing against the rest of the squad-they’re brilliant, to a man-but we need our best players on the pitch.” Gareth Bale was recalled to the starting line-up and lasted the full 96 minutes in a boost for Wales as his fitness is managed in the lead up to Qatar. But for once, Bale could not provide the spark for the hosts as they fell to just a second defeat in 22 games at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Lewandowski magic

Wales started the night three points behind the Poles, knowing victory would be enough to avoid relegation. Page’s men had the better chances before the break as Dan James fired too close to Wojciech Szczesny when one-on-one before Brennan Johnson’s goalbound effort was deflected behind by his own teammate James. “There are a lot of positives to take out of the performance. It’s just that final pass and final shot-that’s where we need to improve and get better,” added Page.

“We have to be ruthless with it as, against top teams, chances are few and far between. We’ve created a lot of chances tonight against a very good team but we haven’t been ruthless enough.” At the other end, Wales had done well to deny Robert Lewandowski any clear sights of goal but one moment of magic from the Barcelona striker swung the game. Lewandowski cushioned a bouncing ball into the path of Karol Swiderski who slotted under the onrushing Wayne Hennessey.

Wales laid siege to the Polish goal in the final half hour and were desperately unfortunate not to at least salvage a point. Szczesny produced brilliant saves to turn Johnson’s shot behind and prevent James’ intended cross finding the far corner. Bale came even closer in stoppage time, but his header cannoned back off the crossbar. Despite the win, Poland finished Group A4 in third place, behind Belgium and group winners the Netherlands, who progress to the semi-finals. – AFP

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Categorie: Kuwait

USA set basketball WCup record, demolish S Korea

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 6:39pm

SYDNEY: A rampant United States set a new all-time women’s basketball World Cup scoring record Monday with a 145-69 demolition of South Korea, while Belgium booked their place in the quarter-finals. Eight of the Americans’ 12-strong roster hit doubles figures, led by Brionna Jones with 24 points, eight rebounds and one assist in Sydney.

A’ja Wilson drilled 20 points and Breanna Stewart 18 as the three-time defending champions ran riot, with Shakira Austin netting a field goal with just seconds left to ensure the record. It was previously held by Brazil, who crushed Malaysia 143-50 in a group game at the 1990 tournament. “I thought we got off to a bit of a slower start than we wanted, but we had a group that came in that really changed things for us,” said USA coach Cheryl Reeve, whose team are gunning for an 11th title overall.

“We got more pressure and I think our size, the number of points we got in the paint was 90 or something. So our size was a problem for them and I thought we shared the ball well.” The United States, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals, were on another level both offensively and defensively, passing 30 or more points in all four frames against a Korean team that has struggled without marquee star Park Ji-su. Defeat left the Asian side facing a crunch Group A game on Tuesday against Puerto Rico with a quarter-final slot at stake.

“I try to focus on how we played rather than the result of the game. I wanted our players to show their best ability and confidence on the court,” said Korean coach Jung Sun-min. “Individually I think we played very hard and very well today.” Point guard Hind Ben Abdelkader poured in 18 points for Belgium as they ended Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tournament dreams. Aiming to better their fourth place in 2018, they swept home 85-55 to join the United States in the last eight from Group A.

Kyara Linskens and Julie Vanloo both chipped in with 13 points for their third straight win of the 10-day competition after an opening day loss to Reeve’s United States. Defeat ended any hope the Bosnians had in a hugely disappointing debut tournament, where they leaked 364 points over four consecutive defeats with Belgium successfully blunting the threat posed by dangerwoman Jonquel Jones. “We played a very good defense on Jones and as a team we were very focused,” said Belgium coach Valery Demory.

The top four teams from each of the two groups progress to the quarter-finals with China also qualifying from Pool A if they beat Puerto Rico later. Serbia kept their hopes alive in a tough Group B, beating Mali 81-68. Canada are already through and face hosts Australia later, who can also qualify if they win. France will join them if they overcome Japan, whose ball movement and relentless defense that defined their run to the Tokyo Olympics final last year have so far been largely absent. – AFP

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United States captures ninth consecutive Presidents Cup

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 6:37pm

CHARLOTTE: The United States won the Presidents Cup for a ninth consecutive time on Sunday with Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele delivering the clinching point in a 17.5-12.5 triumph over the Internationals. Schauffele never trailed in defeating Canada’s Corey Conners 1-up, sinking a three-foot par putt at the 18th hole to lift the US squad to 15.5 points and seal the overall triumph at Quail Hollow.

“It feels good to win,” Schauffele said. “It got pretty close there for a little bit. Winning is winning.” The Americans, who led 11-7 entering the 12 final singles matches, improved to 12-1-1 in the all-time rivalry and have never lost on home soil. “They played great,” US captain Davis Love said. “It was hard. They put in a lot of effort the last three weeks. They came in ready to go.”

Conners, winless for the week, missed a five-foot par putt at 17 to keep Schauffele 1-up. At 18, Schauffele dropped his third shot three feet from the hole and, after Conners missed his third from a bunker, rolled in the deciding putt to tie the hole, win the match and set off a US celebration. “I was handed the opportunity and I was able to take advantage of it,” Schauffele said. The Internationals couldn’t make the greatest last-day comeback in Presidents Cup history and haven’t lifted the trophy since 1998.

“We’re a little disappointed,” Internationals captain Trevor Immelman said. “We believed in ourselves. “We had an amazing week. They were fighting. These guys have massive hearts. I’ll go into battle with them any day.” With 10 of the world’s 16 top-ranked players, the US team was a heavy favorite over a global side that lost British Open champion Cam Smith and several other top players who jumped from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, making them ineligible. “Trevor and his guys did a great job of rising to the occasion,” Love said.

Tony Finau won five of the last nine holes to defeat Canada’s Taylor Pendrith 3&1 and lift the Americans within a point of clinching the Cup. “I fought as hard as I’ve ever fought in a match,” Finau said. “You just have to get the job done.” Jordan Spieth, winless in seven prior Ryder and Presidents Cup singles matches, became only the sixth player to go 5-0 in a single Presidents Cup, winning four holes in a row late to defeat Australia’s Cam Davis 4&3 for the first US point.

“I was extra nervous,” Spieth said. “I wanted to get that monkey off my back. They are looking for red on the board and it feels really good to finally provide that. “You can’t put a price on this. I did as much as I could this week.” Patrick Cantlay never trailed in beating Australia’s Adam Scott 3&2 for the second US point. Cantlay went 3-up after four holes and Scott, Cup-less in 10 tries, was never nearer than 2-down after that. Sam Burns finished the week winless but helped the US cause by tying Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.

Thomas, Scheffler lose

The global stars pulled off two early upsets to delay the US party. South Korea’s Kim Si-woo beat Justin Thomas 1-up, the American falling to 0-3 in career Presidents Cup singles. Thomas, who went 4-0 with Spieth in pairs, lost after Kim sank a 10-foot birdie putt at 18 and Thomas missed his from three inches closer. “I believed I could do it and I did it,” Kim said. “I’ve never (felt) this pressure. Real hard match. I kept the pressure to him and kept positive and that’s why it worked.” Thomas won the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow and his second major at this year’s PGA.

Colombian Sebastian Munoz beat top-ranked Scottie Scheffler 2&1, the Masters champion going 0-3-1 this week, worst mark of any world number one in a Presidents Cup. “It was tough,” Munoz said. “It was one of the best things I’ve ever achieved in my life. It took everything. I threw everything at him.” In post-clinch finishes, South Korea’s Im Sung-jae beat Cameron Young 1-up, Lee Kyoung-hoon downed Billy Horschel 3&1, Max Homa beat South Korea’s Kim Joo-hyung 1-up, Collin Morikawa defeated Chile’s Mito Pereira 3&2 and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout downed Kevin Kisner 2&1.

‘Team is no joke’

Meanwhile, defiant Internationals captain Trevor Immelman fired back Sunday at those who laughed off his Presidents Cup squad after they pushed the heavily favored Americans before losing for a ninth consecutive time. “This team is no joke,” Immelman said. “And we’ll fight ’til the end every single time.” The Internationals, whose roster was decimated by the defection of several top stars to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, which made them ineligible for the Cup, lost 17.5-12.5 to the United States at Quail Hollow.

The Americans own a 12-1-1 edge in the all-time rivalry, having never lost on home soil, but Immelman vows his team’s day is coming. “We’re going to win this event,” he said. “We’re here for the long run in this event. So we’ll keep building. We’ll keep fighting. At some point, we’re going to win.” The Americans went 6.5-5.5 in the 12 concluding singles matches, but each was tight deep into the back nine as the youngest-ever global squad tested a mighty US lineup with 10 of the world’s 16 top-ranked golfers.

“At some point this afternoon, I thought there was still a chance,” Immelman said. “When you consider that we were 8-2 down on Friday evening, this team is no joke, and I’m sick and tired of it being spoken of as a joke. “We love this event, we love our team and we cannot wait to run this back and have another shot.” British Open winner Cameron Smith of Australia, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Aussie Marc Leishman were among the top players who absence weakened the Internationals. – AFP


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Kuwait team set for AFC Asian Futsal Cup

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 6:34pm

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s football players are well prepared to partake in the AFC Asian Futsal Cup to kick off here Tuesday, team’s coach Hussein Habib said Sunday. Kuwait will meet Oman in the opener as part of Group A, he told KUNA on the sidelines of the team’s training held on Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex. Being hosted by Kuwait and in front of audience, the Kuwaiti players are eyeing for the tournament’s title, he stressed.

He noted that the players would compete in a high morale, as they are champions of the Gulf games and the Wets Asia tournament held earlier this year in Kuwait. Kuwait’s team started early their preparation for the championship, which has 16 best teams in the continent. The Kuwaitis played friendly matches with Hungary, Uzbekistan and Spain.

The championship, will continue until October 8, has four groups; Group A includes Kuwait, Oman, Thailand and Iraq while, Group B features Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Group C comprises Iran, Lebanon, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia, and Group D has Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea.

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Kuwait Equestrian team participate in Championship

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 6:01pm

KUWAIT: Kuwait Equestrian team participated in the International Women Tent Pegging Championship that was held in Petra with 28 riders representing 14 countries participating. The countries include; Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Russia, Belarus, UK, Kazakhstan, Norway, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and host country Jordan.

International referee Nabeela Al-Ali (from Kuwait) said Kuwait delegation includes; Amani Al-Enezi, Razan Kittanah and coach Hani Al-Fasam who also participated in the trainers course that was held on the sidelines of the competition. President of ITPF Mohammad Fairuz lauded the performance of Kuwait riders.

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Arab Union for Camel Racing holds meeting

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 5:59pm

KUWAIT: General Assembly of Arab Union for Camel Racing (AUCR) held its emergency meeting at the union premises in Kuwait on Saturday. The meeting was held with the required majority (10 members out of 13). The union amended the primary constitution so that any sports union cannot interfere in the independence of another union.

The General Assembly is the highest authority that can take decisions in relation to the concerned union. The extraordinary General Assembly discussed the activities of the union on the sidelines of World Cup – FIFA Qatar 2022. AUCR decided to participate in that sports event through a program to be announced in few days.


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Rihanna to headline Super Bowl halftime show

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 5:53pm

Superstar Rihanna will headline the Super Bowl halftime show in February, the main event sponsor Apple Music announced Sunday. The move marks a long-awaited return to performing for the singer, who had previously turned down the gig in protest. “IT’S ON. @rihanna will take the stage for the first ever Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show on 2.12.23,” Apple Music said in a tweet featuring a photo of the musician’s raised hand holding a football.

Rihanna, 34, and the NFL tweeted the same image. The Barbadian-born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in recent years has become a billionaire, parlaying her music achievements into successful makeup, lingerie and high-fashion brands. She made history by becoming the first Black woman to head a fashion house for the French powerhouse LVMH, which owns legacy brands including Fendi and Givenchy.

For the past few years, the singer behind the hits “Diamonds” and “Umbrella” has put music aside, at least publicly, to focus on her various businesses. In January, she and rapper A$AP Rocky, 33, announced they were expecting a child with a set of glamorous snow-dusted images taken in Harlem. They reportedly welcomed the baby, a boy, in May. No other details, including the child’s name, have been made public.

Return to music

Rihanna’s fierce fan base has been clamoring for her ninth album, “R9,” which she has said will be “reggae-infused” and has hinted since 2019 is nearly finished. Performing at the Super Bowl is an about-face for the singer, who in 2019 confirmed reports to Vogue that she had turned down the NFL’s offer to play the coveted halftime show in solidarity with former player Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017, began kneeling in protest of social injustice and racial inequality during pre-game renditions of the US national anthem six years ago.

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler,” she told the magazine in an interview. Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance will follow an impeccably choreographed 2022 halftime show that featured rap legends including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and Eminem. The 2021 halftime show featured Canadian artist The Weeknd, while Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed the year before.

The halftime show has since 2019 been produced by Roc Nation, founded by New York rapper-turned-businessman Jay-Z. Apple Music announced in September that it would be the main sponsor of the event, ousting Pepsi and reportedly paying $50 million for the privilege. The 2022 Super Bowl, in which the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, drew an average of 112.3 million viewers on television and streaming, according to NBC Sports. – AFP


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Iran Oscar-winning director urges ‘solidarity’ with protesters

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 5:50pm

Iran’s two-time Oscar winning director Asghar Farhadi on Sunday urged people worldwide to “stand in solidarity” with protesters following the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police. A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the death of 22-year-old Amini, and Farhadi praised the “progressive and courageous women leading protests for their human rights alongside men”.

“They are looking for simple yet fundamental rights that the state has denied them for years,” Farhadi said, in a video message on Instagram. “This society, especially these women, has travelled a harsh and painful path to this point, and now they have clearly reached a landmark.” At least 41 people have been killed, including members of the security forces, according to an official toll, although human rights groups say the real figure is far higher.

“I saw them closely these nights: most of them are very young, 17 years old, 20 years old,” Farhadi added. “I saw outrage and hope in their faces, and in the way they marched in the streets. I deeply respect their struggle for freedom and the right to choose their own destiny, despite all the brutality they are subjected to.”

Farhadi, known for films that tackle everyday challenges in people’s lives, won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film for “A Separation” in 2011 and “The Salesman” in 2016. “I invite all artists, filmmakers, intellectuals, civil rights activists from all over the world … everyone who believes in human dignity and freedom, to stand in solidarity with the powerful and brave women and men of Iran by making videos, in writing or any other way,” he said. – AFP


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Africa’s first post-pandemic Comic-Con festival draws thousands

Kuwait Times - Lun, 26/09/2022 - 5:47pm

In a makeshift changing room swathed with black fabric, South African Luke Andalis transforms into the burly Aratak, preparing to perform at Comic-Con Africa, the continent’s largest pop culture, fantasy and gaming festival. “There’s so much fur in my mouth,” the 32-year-old cosplayer Andalis chuckles to friends as he dons a stiff green pleather parka over his head and shoulders. This year he chose to cosplay Aratak, the middle-aged chieftain of the Banuk tribe in the popular video game Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wild.

After a two-year Covid hiatus, Comic-Con Africa’s return has been widely anticipated by cosplayers and fans. Clad in superhero capes, colorful masks, sci-fi costumes and eccentric wigs, thousands on Saturday flocked to a vast expo centre near the FNB Stadium, which hosted the FIFA 2010 World Cup final. Loud music welcomed the festival-goers to Stranger Things escape rooms, pop-up tattoo parlors and comic haven.

This year’s festivities are star-studded, hosting fan favorites including award-winning Stranger Things and Twilight actor, Jamie Campbell Bower among others. Africa’s third edition of the comic convention is being staged at the national recreation centre, south of the economic hub Johannesburg. The festival first hit African soil in 2018.

‘Very proud moment’

Andalis has been cosplaying for six years but says his 12 years as a film costume designer and maker made for a natural transition. During the pandemic when performances slammed to a halt, the Cape Town-raised artist shared tips on costume play and showing off his “builds”, a term used to describe a finished costume, racking up a large Instagram following. Shortly before stepping on stage, Andalis’s personality shifts slightly as he starts to get into character.

He complains about the stiffness of the costume, which perfectly imitates Aratak’s garb, a traditional attire used to protect the character from the frigid climate of his tribe’s territory. “It is a very proud moment. I’ve been working on this costume for eight months,” he says. Complete with stocky faux fur tussles that swing as he turns and a regal head garment atop a fake triangle shaped beard and thick sideburns, Andalis’s friend helps him put on the last component of the ensemble-armored quill braces. As he walks from the dimly-lit dresser, a crowd swarms around him marveling at the final product.

A cosplayer representing Midari Ikishima, a supporting character in the japanese Manga series Kakegurui, and the main protagonist of the spin-off series Kakegurui Midari.

The four-day pop culture festival has won praise for opening doors for cosplayers in a country where the industry is not yet as big as in more developed nations. It is the first time at Comic-Con for Johannesburg-based Thifhuriwi Nephawe. She is dressed as princess Neytiri of the alien Na’vi race, in the American science fiction film series Avatar.

“The character Neytiri is for me an African woman who’s very powerful and fighting for her village, for her tribe,” she tells AFP. “People from the outside are coming to try and take everything from them, so she’s trying to fight against that, that’s what I resonate with, just the power.” – AFP


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