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Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
FM receives envoys’ credentials
Emir holds talks
with Cyprus leader
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin
Hamad al-Thani held a telephone
conversation with Cyprus
President Nicos Anastasiades
yesterday. They reviewed
bilateral relations and means of
developing them.
Al-Attiyah meets
Japanese envoy
HE the Foreign Minister, Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, received the copies of credentials of Tariq Sadovic, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Engle Raymond Parchine, ambassador of Paraguay to
Qatar, yesterday. Al-Attiyah wished both ambassadors success in their missions.
Deputy PM reviews Darfur peace process
HE the Chairman of
Administrative Control and
Transparency Authority (ACTA)
Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah
met the Ambassador of Japan
to Qatar Shingo Tsuda in Doha
yesterday. They discussed topics
of common interest.
Extension of circular
bus services sought
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid
al-Mahmoud holding talks with the Head of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID) and AU-UN Joint Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas in Doha yesterday. They
reviewed the peace process in Darfur and the progress of the implementation of the Doha
Document for Peace in Darfur. Mohamed Ibn Chambas thanked Qatar for the co-operation he
Qatar Airways’ first A350 XWB
completes its maiden flight
he п¬Ѓrst customer A350900, which will be delivered to Qatar Airways,
has successfully completed its
maiden flight, Airbus has announced in a statement.
The flight was the first time an
A350 XWB configured for a customer has taken to the sky.
Following the successful
flight, Qatar’s A350 XWB will
continue its production phase
before delivery. This includes
cabin completion as well as fur-
ther ground and flight tests, according to the statement.
Qatar Airways will become the
п¬Ѓrst operator of the A350 XWB
when it takes delivery of its п¬Ѓrst
aircraft later this year. The airline has 80 A350s on order, including 43 A350-900 and 37 of
the larger A350-1000 models.
With a cross-section of 220
inches from armrest to armrest,
the A350’s cabin provides the
widest seats in its category, the
statement points out.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ allnew mid-size, long-range product line and the newest member
of the company’s leading widebody family.
The A350 XWB stands out in
its class thanks to its combination of passenger comfort, technological innovation and unique
industrial process, the statement adds.
At the end of September, the
A350 XWB had won 750 orders
from 39 customers worldwide.
us passengers want the
Mowasalat authorities to
extend circular services to
more areas in Qatar.
Some of them have also suggested that smaller buses be
used to run on certain routes as
such vehicles can help ease traffic congestion and also be a more
п¬Ѓnancially viable option than
large buses.
While seeking the intervention of the media in highlighting their woes, many commuters have urged the authorities to
improve and extend the services
of circular buses to areas that are
not covered at present.
One of the existing circular
services of Mowasalat runs on
routes 49 and 94, covering areas
that lie between Umm Ghuwailina and Rayyan Road before returning to Doha Bus Station (DBS)
through the Mannai interchange
and Arab Bank roundabout.
“Many city areas are not covered by the existing services.
So, we request the authorities
to explore the possibility of operating circular services covering places such as Airport Road,
Matar Qadeem, Ruweida, Barwa
Village, Hamad International
Airport, Corniche-Wakrah Road
before returning to the bus station through Ras Abu Aboud and
Umm Ghuwailina,” Deepak, an
A view of the crowded Doha Bus Station.
expatriate who uses buses regularly, told Gulf Times.
Appeals have also come from
passengers to consider covering
places such as Madinat Khalifa,
Hamad hospital and Bin Omran through the introduction of
another pair of circular services
from DBS.
This, say the passengers, will
help further improve the frequency of bus services to these
“Operating circular services
at 15-minute intervals is a good
way of reducing travel woes in
the peak hours,” said a resident
of Bin Omran, adding that small
buses could also be used on some
routes. “They can be a more
practical option than the larger
buses. Besides, they can help decongest city roads, particularly
during the peak hours.”
Similarly, commuters are also
seeking Doha-Wukair-Wakrah-
Doha circular services through
Al Muntaza Street, the Medical Commission signal, Woqod
petrol station and the Religious
Complex area, particularly on
weekends. Some of them have
suggested that the services can
also cover Barwa Village.
Meanwhile, a passenger said
the frequency of bus services to
the new airport should be increased both in the early hours of
the day and in the afternoon.
High security BMW vehicles to be showcased at Milipol expo
lfardan Automobiles and
the BMW Group will
showcase the BMW 7 Series High Security and X5 Security Plus vehicles at the Milipol
Qatar Exhibition 2014, taking
place from October 20 to 22 at
the Doha Exhibition Centre.
Offering protection from п¬Ѓrearms attack, robbery, kidnap and
carjacking, the BMW X5 Security Plus and 7 Series High Security vehicles have become the cars
of choice for heads of state, high
profile business people and celebrities throughout the world.
With the BMW 760Li High
Security and the BMW X5 Security Plus, the world’s leading
supplier of premium vehicles
fulfils the highest demands on
individual protection.
The BMW 760Li High Security - the vehicle of choice for
government and high profile
VIP’s - is certified in accordance
with the ballistic guideline BRV
2009. This High Security model
is classified in the new resistance
class VR7. It combines comfort,
superior drive technology and a
multitude of innovative equipment features and guarantees
supreme driving characteristics
at all times.
An exceptionally strong armouring made from special steel
and designed to suit the vehicle as well developed security
glass protect the passenger cell
in particular against different
kinds of attack. The armouring
completely covers the passenger
cell in the area of the doors, the
roof, the body pillars, the front
The BMW X5 Security Plus.
footwells as well as the divider
between the passenger and luggage compartments. Special
steel plates made incorporating a
special procedure adapt perfectly to п¬Ѓt the body contour. Critical
areas such as the door and body
gaps are additionally protected.
The underside of the High Security sedan is also п¬Ѓtted with a
special armouring, which was
exclusively designed for maximum protection against explosives. Due to its new structure,
the multi-layer, approximately
6cm thick laminated glass possesses a capability of resistance
that is unique in the automotive
The V12 engine in the BMW
760Li High Security develops its
superior power output of 544 hp
at 5,250 rpm, delivering maximum torque of 750 Nm at 1,500
rpm. Combined with an eightspeed automatic transmission,
the 6-litre twelve-cylinder
engine fascinates not only because of its unparalleled running
smoothness, but also through its
capability to transfer seemingly
inexhaustible power reserves
into supreme driving dynamics
at any time – spontaneously and
precisely controlled. The BMW
760Li High Security accelerates
from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.
The BMW X5 Security Plus
fulfils the requirements of protection level VR6 (BRV2009),
offering all-round protection
against violent assaults and organised crime.
The protection concept of
the BMW X5 Security Plus is
based on an armoured passenger cell constructed from highperformance steel mouldings
and panels and offering secure
protection for up to four occu-
The intercom and attack alarm panel in the BMW X5 Security Plus.
pants against assault from the
world’s most popular firearm,
the AK-47. To prevent bullet or
fragment penetration it features
sealed joints which provide protection specifically, for example,
in the critical areas around doors
or where panels adjoin body pillars. The security glass specially
developed for this protection
level is also resistant to attack by
blunt weapons.
The BMW X5 Security Plus is
also equipped with an intercom
system and an assault alarm,
which allows communication
with people outside of the vehicle without opening doors or
windows. If the assault alarm
is triggered, all doors and windows are locked automatically
and acoustic as well as visual
alarm signals are activated. The
alarm control elements are situ-
ated near the cup holders on the
centre console subtly concealed
below a flexible cover.
The BMW X5 Security Plus is
powered by a 450hp V8 petrol
engine with BMW TwinPower
Turbo technology and the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheeldrive system, enabling the vehicle to be manoeuvred safely even
in difficult situations, both on
and off surfaced roads.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Iran opposes
nuclear talks
ran’s foreign minister said
yesterday that Tehran opposes extending troubled
nuclear talks beyond a November
24 deadline, even though major
stumbling blocks remain in the
way of a deal.
“We only have 40 days left to
the deadline and... none of the
negotiators п¬Ѓnd (an) extension of
talks appropriate,” Mohamed Javad Zarif said in Vienna, a day after six hours of intense talks with
US Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We share this view... and we
think there is no need to even
think about it,” Zarif said in the
Austrian capital, quoted by the
state television’s website.
The comments echoed those
of a senior US State Department
official late Wednesday after the
talks between Kerry, Zarif and
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in a Vienna hotel
“Deadlines help people to make
hard decisions, and there are hard
decisions to be made here. And
we must,” the US official said on
condition of anonymity.
Kerry left Vienna yesterday after problems with his aircraft but Zarif remained for talks with
political directors from the US,
Russia, Britain, China, France
and Germany chaired by Ashton.
The deal being sought, after
more than a decade of rising tensions, is meant to ease concerns
that Iran might be able to develop
nuclear weapons under the guise
of its civilian programme.
To do this, the “P5+1” powers
want Iran to scale down dramatically the scope of its atomic activities, offering relief from painful sanctions in return, but Iran is
resisting this.
Iran denies seeking to build the
atomic bomb and says it wants to
expand its nuclear programme in
order to generate electricity and
treat cancer patients.
In months of discussions since
an interim agreement struck last
November took effect in January,
some progress has been made.
This includes possible changes
in the design of an unfinished reactor at Arak so that it produces less
weapons-grade plutonium, enhanced UN inspections, and alterations to the fortified Fordo facility.
The main bone of contention
remains Iran’s enrichment capacity, a process rendering uranium suitable for power generation but also, at high purities, for
a nuclear weapon.
Other thorny areas include
the pace of sanctions relief, the
timeframe that an accord would
cover, and a stymied UN probe
into past suspect “military dimensions” of Iran’s activities.
“Everyone has been working
incredibly hard... These are incredibly complex negotiations,
the detail is extraordinary,” the
senior US official said. “Until
everything is agreed, nothing is
agreed, and you can get 98% of
the way, and the last 2% may kill
the entire deal.”
Zarif told online news site Al
Monitor that the gaps were “narrowing, but we still have a long
way to go.” “It is reconcilable,
provided everyone makes the
tough decisions,” he said.
Many analysts have begun
to believe that the November
deadline might be extended, as
happened with an earlier target
date of July 20, maybe locking
in measures related to Arak and
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week
that the November deadline was
not “sacred”, in the strongest
suggestion yet from one of the
P5+1 powers.
Zarif himself said on Wednesday “more time might be needed” and President Hassan Rohani said on Monday that if the
parties are “not able to solve all
the problems, the two camps will
find a solution”.
Echoing Lavrov, Russia’s lead
negotiator Sergei Ryabkov, who
held bilateral talks with the Iranians yesterday, said that “the
result is more important than the
But quoted by RIA Novosti, he
added that with a further extension, “the risk of total failure also
Zarif and the Iranian delegation left Vienna yesterday afternoon although the six powers
remained for talks among themselves. It was unclear whether
there would be a п¬Ѓnal statement.
Zarif said he would see Kerry
again in “three or four weeks”
- leaving very little time until
November 24 - following expertlevel negotiations next week.
Shia Houthi militants man a checkpoint in Sanaa. The banner reads �Allah is the greatest. Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews, victory to Islam’.
Al Qaeda and Houthis
battle it out in Yemen
t least 10 people were killed in
п¬Ѓghting between Houthi tribesmen and militants linked to Al
Qaeda in central Yemen yesterday, witnesses said, part of a growing struggle
over territory and influence between the
two enemy sides.
The Shia Muslim Houthis established
themselves as Yemen’s new powerbrokers
last month, capturing Sanaa on September 21 to little resistance from residents
or from the weak administration of Presi-
dent Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Their ascendance has angered Al Qaeda, which views Shias as heretics and
Houthis as pawns of Iran.
Last week, the Yemeni group Al Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed
a suicide bombing on a Houthi gathering
that killed at least 47 people.
Houthi п¬Ѓghters have been making advances outside of Sanaa in recent days,
taking over cities and towns with the
apparent agreement of the authorities
there, but clashing with some Al Qaeda
linked militants in central Yemen.
Witnesses said yesterday a convoy of
Houthi п¬Ѓghters trying to reach the town
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hosts Palestine Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ramadan Abdullah Mohamed Shallah in Tehran.
Islamic Jihad chief hails Iran role in Gaza war
he head of Islamic Jihad,
a Palestinian militant
group, praised Iran for its
role in last summer’s Gaza conflict against Israel, during a visit
to Tehran yesterday.
“Definitely, the victory was
achieved with the assistance of
the Islamic republic,” Ramadan
Abdullah Shallah said at a meeting with Iran’s supreme guide,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, quoted
by Fars news agency.
“Without Iran’s strategic and
efficient help, resistance and
victory in Gaza would have been
impossible,” he said of the 50day war in which 2,200 Gazans
and 73 Israelis died and the Palestinian territory was devastated.
Iran, an arch-foe of Israel,
provides the technology for Palestinian п¬Ѓghters of Islamic Jihad
and Hamas, a larger Islamist
movement which controls the
Gaza Strip, to п¬Ѓre missiles at
towns in the Jewish state.
Khamenei, also quoted by
Fars, urged the militants to
“boost their preparedness day
by day and reinforce their resources” ahead of any further
Israeli assault on the territory.
The Islamic Jihad leader was
sceptical of the $5.4bn in international aid to rebuild Gaza that
was pledged at a donor conference in Cairo last Sunday.
“We do not pin much hope
on such promises and only rely
on God to compensate losses
inflicted on us by the Zionist regime,” said Shallah, referring to
Israel which launched its JulyAugust assault on Gaza with the
declared aim of halting rocket
п¬Ѓre on its towns.
of Radda in Al Bayda province, 130km
south east of Sanaa, was blocked by п¬Ѓghters from Ansar al-Shariah, the local arm
of AQAP.
“There are heavy clashes going on
there, with various weapons, including
RPGs,” one resident said. He estimated
that at least 10 Houthi п¬Ѓghters were
The п¬Ѓghting comes after clashes between Houthis and Ansar Al Shariah in
Radda on Tuesday in which at least 12
people were killed.
Another convoy of several cars carrying
Houthis was later seen on the outskirts of
Taiz, a city 50km south of Ibb.
Al Qaeda said in a statement issued
yesterday that its п¬Ѓghters had on the previous day stormed the town Odein, near
Ibb, killing three soldiers and holding
it for nine hours to prevent the Houthis
from taking over.
In the most recent advances outside
Sanaa, Houthis took control yesterday of
the small Red Sea port of Medi and al-Dawaymeh island, both near the border with
Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this week they took over the Red
Sea port of Hodeidah, the second largest
port in the Arabian peninsula nation after
Aden, with the apparent agreement of the
police, according to local officials.
�Sporadic’ Mers
cases in Saudi
36 die in Baghdad
Shia suburb attack
audi Arabia is seeing “sporadic” cases of
the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
coronavirus (Mers-CoV), which has killed
324 people in the country, the health ministry
said yesterday. The kingdom has been hardest
hit by Mers, which has also appeared in about 20
other nations.
The ministry said it has recorded “sporadic
cases of Mers-CoV around the kingdom” and
reiterated the need for precautions to help prevent the virus from spreading.
From June 2012, the ministry has recorded 763
people contracting Mers, 429 of which have recovered. Ten are listed as “active”.
Data reported on the ministry’s website show
only one Mers death from July 11 to September
24. Since then three Saudis have died, with the
latest reported on October 7.
Research by Saudi scientists indicates that
camels play a role in the transmission of the virus to humans.
In June, the World Health Organisation said
a surge in Mers cases had receded but countries
should remain vigilant ahead of pilgrimages to
Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom engaged thousands of health
workers to ensure the 2mn pilgrims who visited earlier this month for the annual Haj were
protected from Mers and another deadly virus,
On Tuesday the WHO said no new Mers cases
have been linked to the Haj. Acting Health Minister Adel Fakieh also has said the Haj was “free
of all epidemic diseases.”
The ministry stressed “the importance of
practises such as washing hands frequently,
avoiding contact with patients, avoiding the
touching of eyes or noses, using tissues to cover
mouths when coughing, avoiding contact with
camels that are demonstrating symptoms”.
our car bomb attacks and a mortar strike
on Shia Muslim parts of Baghdad killed 36
people and wounded 98 within a span of two
hours yesterday afternoon, police and medical officials said. An Iraqi Shia political figure said the
assaults, part of a surge of violence in Shia neighbourhoods in recent weeks, were revenge attacks
by Sunni Muslim militants Islamic State.
The Al Qaeda offshoot has been battling Shia
militias and soldiers loyal to the country’s Shialed government as it attempts to establish a crossborder caliphate covering land seized in Iraq and
neighbouring Syria.
A suicide car bomb hit an army checkpoint near
a restaurant in the northern district of Talibiya at
2.30pm (1130 GMT), killing nine people, said officials. Forty-п¬Ѓve minutes later, a pair of car bombs
exploded in the district of Al Dawlai in western
Baghdad, killing 16 people and wounding 35.
Minutes after that, п¬Ѓve mortar rounds hit the
neighbouring Shia district of Al Shaoula, killing
another п¬Ѓve and wounding 21 others.
A car bomb then exploded in the nearby Hurriya
district, leaving six dead and wounding 14 others.
“They (Islamic State) are making a statement
to the Shias п¬Ѓghting them... We can target you in
your household,” said Kareem al-Noori, from the
Badr Organization, a powerful Shia political party
with a militia wing.
Violence has increased in the city since late
September. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in
office for a month and still without a defence or
interior minister due to rifts among the country’s
main Shia and Sunni political parties, on Wednesday sought to soothe Baghdad’s jangled nerves.
“Baghdad is safe and the vicious terrorists can’t
and will not reach it,” Abadi said in a televised
speech at a military ceremony. “Our brave security forces have managed to secure Baghdad and
its perimeter.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Kobane Kurds
hold out month
into IS assault
acked by a flurry of US-led
air strikes, Kurdish п¬Ѓghters
were holding out yesterday
against jihadists in Kobane, as
an Islamic State offensive on the
Syrian border town entered its
second month.
The Kurds claimed to have
pushed IS back in parts of Kobane,
but the Pentagon warned the multinational strikes may not prevent
the town’s fall even though hundreds of jihadists are thought to
have been killed.
Mortar and heavy machinegun
п¬Ѓre rang out later as IS appeared
to have relaunched its bid to cut
the town off from the Turkish
border, said an AFP correspondent across the frontier.
Despite intensified strikes on
Kobane this week by the US and
its Arab allies, the Kurds are calling for increased п¬Ѓrepower in the
battle for the strategic town.
“We need more air strikes, as
well as weaponry and ammunition to fight them on the ground,”
said Idris Nassen, a Kurdish official in Kobane.
An estimated 200,000 mainly
Kurdish Syrians have fled the IS
onslaught for the relative safety
of Turkey.
A grocer who had escaped to
Turkey from Kobane offered insight yesterday into those п¬Ѓghting
for IS, saying that one they had
captured, an Azerbaijani in his
20s, had even asked to be killed.
“He begged us to kill him so
he could go to paradise and be
rewarded,” said Cuneyt Hemo,
adding that the jihadist was held
for a day and ultimately shot
dead by his captors.
IS is also battling to control
other parts of Syria, including
Hasakeh province, where Kurdish п¬Ѓghters killed 20 jihadists
yesterday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Kurdish forces have suffered
heavy losses since IS launched its
offensive on the Kurdish enclave
around Kobane in mid-September, but so too have the jihadists.
As of Wednesday, ground
clashes alone had killed 662 people since September 16, including 20 civilians, the Observatory
Refugees from IS get winter aid kits
housands of refugees in
Iraq and Syria, fleeing attacks by Islamic State,
will be given emergency winter
kits to help them cope with the
approach of cold, rainy weather,
an international aid agency said
The number of civilians forced
to leave their homes is still rising
as a result of IS attacks on Iraq’s
Anbar province and the Syrian
town of Kobani on the Turkish
border, the International Rescue
Committee said.
Thousands of families fleeing the violence and their fear of
IS control will be provided with
blankets, mattresses, plastic tarpaulin sheeting and warm clothing, it said.
New arrivals at refugee camps
showed “bewilderment, desperation, exhaustion, anger, fear of
an uncertain future,” an IRC official said.
The IRC-managed Arbat refugee camp in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq,
is home to 3,000 Syrian refugees, and is preparing to take in
a further 5,000 fleeing Kobani
this week, according to Anthony
Sinnott, IRC country director for
He said the IRC would help
people who had been “thrust into
primitive conditions of existence” to adapt to the severe winter conditions.
“For the newly arrived, there is
a mix of a sense of bewilderment,
desperation, exhaustion, anger,
and fear of an uncertain future,”
Sinnott told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“With the rainy, cold and
windy winter coming in the north
of Iraq, we are ramping efforts to
fulfil the immediate needs of the
refugees when they arrive, such
as food, water, clothing, shelter.”
Refugees who had settled into
life at camps often volunteered to
work alongside aid workers and
help the newcomers п¬Ѓnd their
way to shelter and understand
the various services on offer,
Sinnott said in a telephone interview.
“In a short time, these refugees
will look to п¬Ѓnd some means of
providing for themselves, securing an education for their children, and restoring their sense of
hope for the future,” he added.
The UNHCR said the recent IS
attack on Hit had triggered another wave of internal displacement in Iraq, with more than
1.8mn people having fled their
homes so far this year.
The IRC is a global humanitarian aid, relief and development
non-governmental organisation.
IS lost 374 of its militants,
while 268 people have been killed
п¬Ѓghting on the Kurdish side, according to the Britain-based
monitor, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.
In its latest update, US Central Command said American
warplanes struck 14 times near
Kobane on Wednesday and yesterday, including “successful”
raids on 19 IS-held buildings and
two command posts.
American-led forces have now
carried out more than 100 air
strikes near Kobane since September 27.
The Pentagon said the raids
had killed “several hundred” jihadist fighters. US military officials say Kobane may eventually fall but insist the town is not
Syrian refugee children, who fled from Kobane, shout slogans against Islamic State at a refugee camp
in Suruc, Turkey.
a “strategic” location and that
other areas carry more importance, particularly in western
Iraq and the suburbs of Baghdad.
But they privately acknowledge that intense media coverage,
with television cameras across
the border in Turkey relaying
footage of smoke rising from the
town, have turned Kobane into
an important symbol.
Nato member Turkey has stationed troops, tanks and artillery
just over the border - in some
cases only a few hundred metres
from the п¬Ѓghting - but has not
intervened. It has yet to allow
US jets to mount attacks from its
President Barack Obama told
military chiefs from more than
20 allies this week they are facing
a “long-term campaign” - now
dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve - against the Islamic State
Obama has expressed special
concern for Kobane and about
halting the IS advance in Iraq’s
western Anbar province.
IS in June declared a
“caliphate” straddling areas it
seized in Iraq and Syria, and has
committed widespread atrocities, including mass executions,
the beheading of Westerners and
forcing women into slavery.
The new UN human rights
chief told his first press briefing
yesterday that IS was the “antithesis of human rights”.
“It kills, it tortures, it rapes,”
said Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.
“It is a diabolical, potentially
genocidal movement, and the
way it has spread its tentacles
into other countries, employing
social media and the Internet to
brainwash and recruit people
from across the globe, reveals it
to be the product of a perverse
and lethal marriage of a new form
of nihilism with the digital age.”
Hussein also promised an
updated UN assessment of the
death toll in the more than threeyear-old conflict in Syria, saying
it would certainly be well over
Six children were among 14
people killed yesterday in air
raids carried out by the Syrian regime in Jisrin, east of Damascus,
and along the highway linking
the capital to the northern city of
Aleppo, said the Observatory.
Palestinian resolution on
occupation by month-end
Arab League chief to lead delegation to Gaza
he Palestinians will submit a draft
resolution to the UN Security Council
demanding the end of Israel’s occupation by the end of October, a senior official
said yesterday.
The Palestinians have been under intense pressure not to push forward with the
resolution - including with alleged threats
of cuts to US aid - but Palestine Liberation
Organisation secretary general Yasser Abed
Rabbo said a decision was taken late on
Wednesday to push ahead.
“The political council of the PLO decided
during its meeting last night... to go to the
UN Security Council with the aim of getting
a resolution passed to end the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories... by the
end of this month,” he said.
Voting could take place “two weeks or
more after the request is presented,” Abed
Rabbo told a news conference in the West
Bank city of Ramallah. “There is no excuse
for a delay.”
Since the collapse of US-led peace talks
with Israel in April, the Palestinians have
been pursuing a new diplomatic path to in-
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi will lead a
ministerial delegation to war-ravaged Gaza on
October 23, an official said yesterday. The delegation will include Kuwaiti Foreign Minister
Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah and Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ould Teguedi, the
League official told reporters in Cairo.
“The visit is in solidarity with the Gaza
Strip, which was subjected to comprehensive
destruction by the last Israeli aggression, and
to understand its needs,” the official said on
condition of anonymity.
Details of the itinerary were not immediately available.
The one-day visit comes after an international donors conference in Cairo hosted by
Egypt and Norway on Sunday pledged $ 5.4bn
to rebuild Gaza. Donations mainly included
$1bn from Qatar, $212mn from the US and
450mn euros from the European Union.
dependence via the UN and by joining international organisations.
The Palestinians won the status of UN
observer state in 2012.
A draft of the resolution obtained by AFP
earlier this month calls for the “full withdrawal of Israel, the occupying power, from
all of the Palestinian territory occupied
since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed
within a specified timeframe, not to exceed
November 2016.”
An initiative in the Security Council is
sure to meet opposition from the US, which
has repeatedly vetoed resolutions seen as
undermining Israel.
Abed Rabbo said he hoped the draft would
at least survive long enough to be debated by
the 15-member council, even if its chances
of being carried were slim.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon
on Monday that a Palestinian diplomatic
offensive would “undermine” peace efforts.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
said earlier this month that the Palestinians
are risking $700mn a year in US aid by pursuing the resolution.
He warned the Palestinians could also
seek to join the International Criminal
Court, where they could sue Israeli officials
over allegations of war crimes.
US democracy watchdog quits Egypt as politcal crackdown continues
US democracy watchdog The
Carter Centre has closed its Egypt
office and says it will no longer
monitor the country’s parliamentary elections due to an increasingly
restrictive political environment.
Egypt’s parliamentary elections
should be held within six months
of the presidential election but a
date for the polls has yet to be set.
Former army chief Abdel Fattah alSisi was elected as president in May.
The Carter Centre cited the mass
arrests of Muslim Brotherhood
supporters, the passage of a law
that severely curbs the freedom to
protest, and moves to tighten the
application of a law governing civil
society organisations.
“The current environment
in Egypt is not conducive to
genuine democratic elections and
civic participation,” former US
President Jimmy Carter said in a
statement late on Wednesday.
“I hope that Egyptian authorities will reverse recent steps that
limit the rights of association and
assembly and restrict operations
of Egyptian civil society groups.”
Thousands of Brotherhood
supporters have been arrested,
imprisoned or sentenced to
death. Liberal activists, many of
whom were leading lights in the
2011 uprising, also face trial.
But many Egyptians are satisfied with the relative stability and
slowly improving economy Sisi’s
administration has brought.
Islamists resist Benghazi raid
A child receives polio vaccination at an informal settlement of Syrian refugee at Zahle in the Bekaa valley.
25 Mursi backers get life sentences
n Egyptian court yesterday handed down life
sentences to 25 supporters of ousted Islamist president
Mohamed Mursi over violence in
a southern town in August 2013,
a judicial source said.
The authorities have cracked
down on supporters of Mursi since
his ouster by the military in July
2013, killing hundreds in street
clashes and arresting thousands.
A court in the southern province of Assuit yesterday sentenced 25 defendants to life in
prison, three were handed threeyear terms, and two others jailed
for two years, the source said. A
life sentence in Egypt amounts to
25 years behind bars.
Those convicted were found
guilty of torching police stations
and government buildings in the
town of Al Ghanaim on August
14 of last year, hours after police
brutally dispersed thousands of
Mursi supporters at two Cairo
squares, leaving hundreds dead.
Another 141 defendants, including an official from Mursi’s Muslim
Brotherhood, were acquitted, the
source said, while a police sergeant
was jailed for one year.
Those convicted have the right
to appeal.
slamist militias yesterday
held their ground in the face
of an assault by an ex-general backed by army units aimed at
retaking Libya’s second city of
Benghazi, military sources said.
Medics said at least 17 people
were killed in 24 hours of fighting since Khalifa Haftar’s forces
on Wednesday launched what
he called an operation to “liberate” the city.
Tanks spearheaded attacks on
an Islamist militia, the “February 17 Martyrs Brigade,” while
warplanes carried out raids on its
headquarters in a western suburb of the Mediterranean city.
The army and Haftar’s forces
said they captured the February 17 headquarters after several hours of clashes late on
But military sources said yesterday that pro-government
forces were later forced to withdraw from the former army base
under п¬Ѓre by Islamist п¬Ѓghters.
Several explosions and gunfire echoed throughout the
night, AFP correspondents said,
before the п¬Ѓghting eased yesterday as military aircraft swept
over the city.
Islamist militias have seized
control of large parts of turmoil-gripped Libya since a
2011 uprising against long-time
leader Muammar Gaddafi, with
the authorities struggling to
control them.
The army has this time publicly thrown its weight behind
Haftar, who launched a п¬Ѓrst,
unsuccessful, campaign against
the Islamists in May, dubbing it
�Operation Dignity’.
“The Libyan army claims
�Operation Dignity’” as one of
its own campaigns, spokesman
Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari
said Wednesday.
The Islamists include the
Ansar al-Shariah jihadist mili-
tia, which the US has branded a
“terrorist” organisation.
Since launching Operation
Dignity, Haftar and his forces
have been steadily beaten back
to a final redoubt at Benghazi’s
airport, which has come under
attack by Islamists since midSeptember.
Last week, more than 50 people were killed in п¬Ѓghting between the rival sides, according
to military and hospital sources.
Before their rapprochement
with Haftar, the authorities had
in May accused the Gaddafi-era
general - who spent years in exile before returning to join the
2011 revolution - of trying to
mount a coup.
But the internationally-recognised interim government
of Prime Minister Abdullah
al-Thinni “is now left with no
choice but to make things up
with Haftar, who portrays himself as Libya’s saviour,” said Libyan analyst Fradj Najm.
Oil-rich Libya has two com-
peting governments as well as a
host of rival armed militias jostling for influence in the largely
lawless country.
One parliament, elected in
June, is recognised by the international community but contested by the militia controlling
most of Tripoli and by the Islamists who dominate Benghazi.
Thani and the majority faction of that legislature decamped this summer to the far
eastern city of Tobruk because
of widespread insecurity, including in the capital, where a
rival administration has been
set up.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon made
a surprise visit to Tripoli last
Saturday to urge the warring
factions to end the turmoil.
Clashes between rival militias have driven an estimated
287,000 people from their
homes, including 100,000 who
have fled the outskirts of Tripoli, according to the UN refugee
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Pistorius has �to pay
for killing’ Steenkamp
The double-amputee
Olympic track star will be
committed to the hospital
wing of one of South Africa’s
toughest prisons if he is
sentenced to jail time
cousin of slain South
African model Reeva
Steenkamp made a tearful plea yesterday for Oscar Pistorius “to pay” for killing her, as
prosecutors sought at his sentencing hearing to see the Paralympic athlete sent to jail.
Battling tears and with her
voice trembling, Kim Martin told
the court in Pretoria that she was
“very fearful” of the amputee
sprinter and did not believe his
apology for killing Steenkamp at
his home last year was genuine.
“Pistorius needs to pay for
what he has done, for taking
Reeva’s life, for what he’s done
to my uncle, to my aunt and the
rest of my family,” she said.
“My family are not people who
are seeking revenge, we just feel
that to take someone’s life, to
shoot somebody behind a door,
that is unarmed, that is harmless, needs sufficient punishment.
“Everybody has suffered here,
and I really think we need to send
a message to society that you
can’t do this and get away with
Pistorius was found guilty last
month of culpable homicide,
or manslaughter, for shooting
29-year-old Steenkamp dead
on Valentine’s Day 2013. He was
acquitted of the heavier charge
of murder, to some controversy.
Ruling party
seen heading
for victory in
Pistorius embraces an unidentified woman in court on day four of sentencing procedures at the High Court in Pretoria yesterday.
Pistorius will be committed to
the hospital wing of one of South
Africa’s toughest prisons if the
double-amputee Olympic track
star is sentenced to jail time, the
head of the prison service said.
On the fourth day of Pistorius’ sentencing hearing, Zach
Modise, who has worked in the
prison service for 35 years, was
questioned by the defence about
conditions at the Pretoria Central Prison, Pistorius’ most likely
destination because of its disabled facilities.
The jail was the execution site
of dozens of black political activists by South Africa’s apartheid government, which handed
over power after the election of
Nelson Mandela in 1994.
It is also the home of apartheid death squad leader Eugene
de Kock, known as �Prime Evil’,
and is known for a vicious gang
culture. Beatings, male rape
and murder cases have been
reported there in South African
However, Modise said the reality of the prison was a long way
from the popular perception and
said Pistorius’ disability - his
lower legs were amputated as a
baby - would ensure he was kept
in a separate wing.
“The Department of Correctional Services is ready to admit
and detain people with disabilities,” said Modise, who was also
quizzed by defence lawyer Barry
Roux about the problem of tu-
berculosis among inmates at the
Pressed to give details about
the prison’s population and facilities for the disabled, Modise
conceded that there was only
one resident doctor for every
7,000 inmates.
Modise said Pistorius would
have access to a cell of his own
and that a suitability test would
be conducted to determine the
athlete’s particular needs.
On Tuesday probation officer
Annette Vergeer, testifying for
the defence, said prison would
“break” Pistorius because of
his disability and psychological
Throughout the sentencing
hearing, the defence has been
п¬Ѓghting to keep the 27-year-old
out of jail, citing his disability as
a reason.
On Monday, a social worker
recommended Pistorius be sentenced to three years of community service and house arrest at
his uncle’s Pretoria mansion.
He is likely to receive his sentence on Tuesday, according to a
source close to the state. But with
no mandatory minimum punishment, judge Thokozile Masipa
will have to decide whether he deserves to go to jail or remain free.
Both the prosecution and defence will give their closing arguments on Pistorius’s sentencing before court is adjourned
today for judge Masipa to make
her decision on the athlete’s fate.
ruling Frelimo party is
likely to sweep hardfought presidential and legislative elections, according to
п¬Ѓrst results and unofficial projections released yesterday.
A partial vote count and
projections by civil society
groups suggested Frelimo’s
Filipe Nyusi will become the
country’s new president,
winning around 60%, a huge
drop from the 75% won by the
party’s candidate in the 2009
With just over 8% of polling
stations reporting, Nyusi held
61% of the vote, according to
the official tally, which was in
line with the groups’ forecasts.
“Preliminary numbers and
projections indicate the Frelimo will win a landslide victory,” said a report by the Centre for Public Integrity and the
Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa.
The vote took place against
a backdrop of rising discontent
over vast income disparities,
despite a mineral resources
windfall in the southern African nation.
Rapid economic growth has
failed to benefit the bulk of a
population that is among the
world’s poorest.
Nyusi’s main opponent,
rebel turned opposition leader
Afonso Dhlakama of the Re-
namo party, was trailing in
second position with 31% of
votes, according to the projection.
The third and youngest of
the presidential candidates,
Daviz Simango, was in third
position with 8%, a similar
percentage to his tally in 2009.
Voting was largely peaceful
aside from sporadic clashes
between police and opposition activists who claim that
Frelimo, which has run Mozambique since it gained independence from Portugal
in 1975, tried to stuff ballot
Paulo Cuinica, spokesman for the national Electoral
Commission, said despite
several incidents the polls had
been “free and fair”.
He confirmed unrest in
several towns, including the
opposition strongholds of
Beira and Nampula where police п¬Ѓred teargas to disperse
“This was due to the desire
by the people to watch the
count but this is not allowed
by the law. Police had to act,”
he told reporters.
He said six people were arrested in the coal-rich northwestern Tete province where
“quite a number of polling
stations were destroyed and
material burnt.”
Four polling stations failed
to open in northwestern
Niassa province because there
were problems with the delivery of balloting material.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
UN’s $1bn Ebola fund gets just $100,000 so far
US health chiefs in
hot seat over Ebola
op US health officials faced
a grilling yesterday by
lawmakers infuriated over
the nation’s fumbling response to
the Ebola outbreak, as the Obama
administration scrambles to contain the disease’s spread.
Centres for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) director
Thomas Frieden has become the
most prominent target of the
criticism, which has mounted as
it emerged that a second Texas
healthcare worker infected with
the deadly disease was allowed to
board a commercial flight despite
reporting a low-grade fever.
Some lawmakers have demanded Frieden’s resignation
and others have accused President Barack Obama of a lack of
Congressional leaders meanwhile are urging a travel ban to
the United States on all citizens
of the three West African nations hardest hit by the epidemic:
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“The stakes in this battle
couldn’t be any higher,” Tim
Murphy, who chairs the House
Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight, told a
packed hearing with Frieden and
other health experts.
“The trust and credibility of
the administration and government are waning as the American
public loses confidence each day
with demonstrated failures of the
current strategy,” he added.
Murphy, echoing other senior
lawmakers like House Speaker
John Boehner and Senator Marco
Rubio, said he had “ongoing concern that administration officials
still refuse to consider any travel
restrictions” on people from
West Africa entering the US.
Frieden pauses during an answer as he and National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Disease director Anthony Fauci (right) testify
before a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations
Subcommittee hearing.
Some experts and lawmakers
warned that isolating West Africa could further strain its healthcare resources.
Frieden and other officials
acknowledged they still did not
know how two Dallas nurses who
treated a sick man contracted
the virus, highlighting concerns
about the government’s ability to
prevent its spread.
But Frieden insisted authorities could keep the haemorrhagic
virus at bay in America.
“We remain confident that
Ebola is not a significant public health threat to the United
States,” he told the panel. “It is
not transmitted easily, and it
does not spread from people who
are not ill.”
That statement offered little
consolation to worried lawmakers.
“People are scared. We need all
hands on deck. We need a strategy,” House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred
Upton warned. “People’s lives are
at stake, and the response so far
has been unacceptable.”
But some warned of the dangers of sparking hysteria among
the public.
“We need to put all of this
in perspective, and not panic,”
House Democrat Henry Waxman
told the panel.
The White House stressed that
Obama, who cancelled political
events on Wednesday and yesterday in order to co-ordinate the
US Ebola response, maintained
confidence in Frieden.
Nearly 4,500 people are known
to have died from Ebola – mainly
in West Africa – although Frieden
cautioned the toll “may be substantially under-reported”.
While legislators insist that
there is no margin for error,
mistakes in handling Ebola continued to crop up in the United
States after a Liberian Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, was
cared for in Texas.
“Unfortunately, in our initial
treatment of Mr Duncan, despite
US Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) holds a photo of Frieden
in protective gear in West Africa at the House Energy and Commerce
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing.
our best intentions and a highly
skilled medical team, we made
mistakes,” said Daniel Varga,
chief clinical officer of Texas
Health Resources which runs
the hospital where Duncan was
A nurse who treated one of the
sick caregivers accused Texas
Health Presbyterian Hospital of
failing to adequately prepare staff
for handling Ebola cases prior to
Duncan’s arrival.
“We never talked about Ebola
and we probably should have,”
nurse Brianna Aguirre told NBC’s
Today show.
“They gave us an optional
seminar to go to. Just informational, not hands on,” she added.
“We were never told what to look
Compounding concerns, the
CDC allowed a healthcare worker
who had been exposed to an Ebola patient to fly by commercial
plane after she reported a lowgrade fever.
Officials are now considering a
travel ban in such cases, a source
told AFP.
United States authorities began screening for Ebola yesterday
at the Washington area Dulles
airport, Chicago’s O’Hare, Newark and Atlanta airports, after
New York’s JFK began screening
last week.
Together, the airports receive
94% of travelers from the Ebolaaffected countries.
Frieden said that the two US
transmissions showed the need
“to strengthen the procedures
for infection-control protocols”.
“It’s like fighting a forest fire:
leave behind one burning ember,
one case undetected, and the epidemic could re-ignite,” he said.
Anthony Fauci, director of the
National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, said that the
п¬Ѓrst person to contract Ebola in
the United States, Nina Pham,
was “stable” and being transferred to the National Institutes
of Health in Maryland for treatment.
A United Nations trust fund, seeking $1bn to fight Ebola in West Africa,
has received a deposit of just $100,000 nearly a month after it was set
up to allow for rapid, flexible funding of the most urgent needs on the
As of yesterday, $365mn had been committed by at least 28 countries,
the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank, the African
Development Bank and several foundations and corporations, according
to UN records.
But nearly all that money was donated directly to UN agencies and
nonprofits working on the ground in the three worst affected countries
of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with just $100,000 paid into the fund
by Colombia, the records show.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Ban had created the Multi-Partner Trust
Fund to accept donations after the UN Office for the Co-ordination of
Humanitarian Affairs launched an appeal September 16 for $988mn to
tackle the deadly haemorrhagic fever over the next six months.
Dr David Nabarro, who is heading the UN response to the Ebola crisis,
told Reuters that the trust fund was intended to offer “flexibility in
responding to a crisis which every day brings new challenges; it allows
the areas of greatest need to be identified and funds to be directed accordingly”.
Erin Hohlfelder, policy director for global health for international campaign and advocacy group ONE, said the response to the UN appeal was
“pretty disappointing” and that it was important to co-ordinate contributions so “we don’t let aid resources go to waste”.
“We have enough speeches and enough rhetoric that it starts to feel
the case is solved,” she said. “We’re really concerned that until those
speeches and that rhetoric translate into real services on the ground,
we’re not doing much to ebb the flow of this crisis.”
The United Nations has established a special mission, known as UNMEER,
in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to co-ordinate efforts to contain
Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an
infected person.
“We are hopeful that in the coming days and weeks we will see more
countries investing in the Fund, using this mechanism to support the
coordinated UN response on the ground. There are critical funding needs
that must be met now,” Nabarro said.
US schools close in Ohio, Texas, over Ebola fears
Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed yesterday amid fears that
students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection
during an airline flight.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reached
out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected.
She had a low-grade fever and was not vomiting or experiencing
diarrhea on the trip from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, but she should
not have been allowed to board a commercial airline, CDC chief Tom
Frieden said.
Three schools in central Texas were closed because two students had
travelled on the same Frontier Airlines flight, according to a statement
posted online.
School superintendent Susan Kincannon said that North Belton Middle
School and Sparta Elementary – where the students attend – were closed,
as well as Belton Early Childhood School while health authorities evaluated the risk.
“I’m frustrated that we didn’t learn until late tonight that the CDC was
re-evaluating the health risk,” she wrote in the letter, posted late on
Wednesday. “The health and safety of our students is my first priority.”
Some schools in Ohio also closed, including Solon Middle School (SMS)
and Parkside Elementary, after a school employee was potentially on the
same plane but a different flight.
“We learned today that an SMS staff member travelled home from Dallas
on Frontier Airlines Tuesday on a different flight, but perhaps the same
aircraft, as the Texas nurse with Ebola,” said the school.
Officials at the schools said the closures were a precautionary measure,
and that building facilities would be thoroughly cleaned.
Venezuela, Spain, New Zealand win UN seats
United Nations
ngola, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Spain and Venezuela won coveted seats
at the UN Security Council yesterday, but Turkey suffered a
humbling defeat in its bid to join
the world’s “top table”.
The п¬Ѓve countries garnered
the required two-thirds support
from the 193 countries of the UN
General Assembly during three
rounds of voting that ended with
Turkey picking up only 60 votes.
Turkey had been competing
against New Zealand and Spain
for two seats and had dispatched
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on a high-profile mission
to New York this week to lobby
for votes.
Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela were assured to win as
their candidacies had been put
forward by their region and they
ran unopposed on their slates.
After New Zealand’s resounding victory in the first ballot,
Foreign Minister Murray McCully called the outcome a
“strong vote of confidence” in
his country, capping a 10-year
campaign for the ultimate diplomatic prize.
“To receive the success that
we have had this morning means
a lot to us and we will work very
hard to make sure we give good
service on the council,” McCully
told reporters at UN headquarters.
Venezuela won 181 votes
despite criticism from rights
groups and the United States
over its support for Iran, Syria
and other hardline regimes
that are at loggerheads with the
Venezuela’s President Nicolas
Maduro called the vote “a victory, a world record of support,
love and confidence. One hundred eight-one countries have
said here we are, we support
“We should feel happiness
and joy in our hearts that Venezuela is beloved country in the
world,” he added, speaking in
Caracas. “To those birds of ill
omen who say Venezuela is isolated in the world – who is isolated? The country that received
181 votes?”
US Ambassador Samantha
Power urged Venezuela to work
cooperatively on the council.
“Unfortunately, Venezuela’s
conduct at the UN has run counter to the spirit of the UN Charter and its violations of human
rights at home are at odds with
the Charter’s letter,” she said.
A photographer works in a booth as members of the United Nations General Assembly prepare to vote
in a secret ballot to fill five non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council yesterday in
New York.
Rights groups have pointed
to Venezuela’s record on the
UN Human Rights Council as a
cause for worry and diplomats
have also expressed concern
about its stance on the war in
Over the three rounds of voting, Turkey saw its support
dwindle from 109 votes to 73
and п¬Ѓnally 60, surprising many
who saw the regional player as a
strong contender.
Angola won 190 votes, Malay-
Kerry’s ageing Air Force plane grounded
lobe-trotting top US diplomat John Kerry was left
hoofing it back on a commercial flight from Vienna yesterday after his ageing Air Force
plane broke down for the fourth
time this year.
After marathon talks on Iran’s
nuclear programme in the Austrian capital on Wednesday, Kerry’s party of more than 40 State
Department staff and journalists
were checking out of their hotel rooms before dawn yesterday
when the news came that his
Boeing 757 needed unspecified
repairs – again.
Since taking up his post in February 2013, Kerry has flown some
566,000 miles (911,000km)
around the globe and visited 55
countries – many of them multiple times – spending some 249
days on the road.
He’s well on his way to overtaking his predecessor Hillary
Clinton who flew just short of
1mn miles in her four years in office, visiting a record 112 countries.
But despite a normally wellplanned, slick logistical operation to move Kerry and his posse
of staff, security agents and the
travelling press as he jumps from
country to country, he has been
beset this year by a frustrating
number of glitches.
In August, the US secretary of
state was forced to take a commercial nine-hour flight back to
Washington from Hawaii when
the plane suffered electrical
problems after a trip which had
seen him literally fly around the
Earlier this year, a new transponder had to be flown from the
United States to Switzerland
when in the middle of international talks on the Syrian conflict in January his aircraft was
Kerry: his plane has broken
down four times this year.
And in London in March, a
similar mechanical problem was
hastily fixed – after a few nervewrecking hours which saw his
party anxiously checking for
flights home.
sia picked up 187, New Zealand
145 and Spain 132.
The elections came at a busy
time for the council, which is
grappling with crises on many
fronts, from the jihadist offensive in Iraq and Syria, to the Eb-
ola outbreak in West Africa.
Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine, conflicts in Syria,
South Sudan and the Central
African Republic and the faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace
process are also at the top of the
council’s agenda.
A seat at the Security Council
raises a country’s profile several
notches, boosts influence and
provides knockoff benefits in bilateral ties.
The п¬Ѓve elected countries
to the 15-member council will
join the п¬Ѓve permanent powers
– Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – for a
two-year term.
Five other countries elected
last year are mid-way into their
term. These are Chad, Chile,
Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.
As the most powerful body of
the United Nations, the Security
Council can impose sanctions
on countries and individuals, refer suspects for war crimes prosecution, endorse peace accords
and authorize the use of force.
It also oversees 16 peacekeeping missions in the world, with a
budget of close to $8bn.
The п¬Ѓve elected countries will
replace Argentina, Australia,
Luxembourg, Rwanda and South
Korea, and begin their stint on
January 1.
Challenge accepted! Actor Neil
Patrick Harris to host 2015 Oscars
Award-winning US stage and screen actor Neil Patrick Harris
will host the next Oscars show, organisers announced on
The star, who has hosted both Broadway’s Tony and TV’s Emmy
awards shows in the past, will front the 87th Academy Awards
on February 22, said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
The high-profile hosting job is a prime gig in Hollywood, at
the climax of its annual awards season. Harris will follow Ellen
DeGeneres last year and a who’s who of showbiz over the
“It is truly an honour and a thrill to be asked to host this year’s
Academy Awards,” said the star of 2005’s How I Met Your
Mother, in an Academy statement.
Industry journal Variety noted that, with the Oscars job Harris
will have done three of the four so-called EGOT full house of
hosting duties – the Emmys, Oscars and Tonys, with only the
Grammys to go.
Harris, who hosted the Tony awards and the Emmys in 2009
and 2013, has been nominated for four Golden Globes and won
five Emmys, including four for hosting the Tonys.
spy agency
to get more
anada’s spy agency will
soon be permitted to
track potential Canadian
terrorists abroad and protect
the identity of sources, Public
Safety Minister Steven Blaney
announced yesterday.
The government, he said, will
provide the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service (CSIS)’s new
powers in legislation next week.
“Threats to our national security do not stop at our border,”
Blaney said in a statement. “The
Canadian Security Intelligence
Service must have the tools
it needs to investigate threats
(from abroad) to the security of
Ottawa has said it is aware of
at least 130 Canadians overseas
who are “suspected of terrorism-related activities”.
But the existing legal framework made it difficult for the Canadian security establishment to
aggressively pursue them.
The proposed amendment to
the 1984 CSIS Act is a response
to recent court rulings that invited clarification of the spy
agency’s rules of engagement.
A federal court slammed CSIS
for using its partners in the “Five
Eyes” spy network, which includes Australia, Britain, New
Zealand and the US, to follow
around Canadian citizens, saying it put Canadians at risk of
being detained on foreign soil.
The Supreme Court of Canada, meanwhile, ruled in a separate case that CSIS sources did
not have the sort of blanket protection that shields police informants’ identities when seeking authorisations for search
warrants or wiretaps.
As a result, CSIS has been
reluctant to share information
with federal police, fearing its
sources may be compelled to
testify at a trial.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
hold protest
march in
Kuala Lumpur
undreds of Malaysian
lawyers yesterday held
a protest march in the
capital to demand the repeal of
the country’s sedition law, which
they said impinges on freedom
of expression.
Nearly 1,000 members of
the Malaysian bar, some carrying placards and banners
printed with “Abolish Sedition
Act,” marched to the parliament
building in Kuala Lumpur to call
on legislators to abolish the British-era law.
Representatives of the group
handed their demands to representatives of Prime Minister
Najib Razak.
In recent months, several people have been charged under the
law, that criminalises speech
which could bring hatred or
contempt or disaffection against
the government.
Conviction carries a penalty
of up to three years imprisonment or a п¬Ѓne of 5,000 ringgit
(1,600 dollars) or both.
“The sedition act is a law specifically designed to shut you
up,” Christopher Leong, president of the Malaysian Bar, told
his colleagues.
“We have seen the unprecedented use of this act in the last
three months against students,
journalists, lawyers and academicians,” Leong said.
Najib promised to abolish the
Sedition Act as part of his reform
agenda, and replace it with a socalled National Harmony Bill.
Myanmar jails
journalists for
defaming state
ive Myanmar journalists
were handed two years in
prison each for reporting
on allegations that opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi and
other politicians had formed an
alternative government.
Two executive officers, two
editors and a senior reporter
from the Yangon-based Bi Mon
Te Nay weekly journal were convicted of violating article 505(b)
of the penal code, and defaming
the state of Myanmar.
They published an article in July
citing a report by activist group
the Myanmar Democratic Current Force (MDCF) that Suu Kyi
teamed up with a group of ethnic
leaders and formed an interim
government. The aim of the interim government was to oust the
ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, the report said.
Govt engineer among Malaysia IS arrests
Kuala Lumpur
alaysian police said 14
people arrested this
week for suspected
links to the Islamic State group
included a government engineer
and two others who used Facebook to recruit п¬Ѓghters for the
extremist group in Syria.
“Three of them are key players of a cell whose role was to
recruit, п¬Ѓnance and arrange
trips for Malaysians to join
terror groups in Syria,” national police chief Khalid Abu
Bakar said in a statement late
Those arrested ranged in age
from 14 to 48 years old and include two women, the statement
Khalid had been quoted
by Malaysian media earlier
Wednesday saying the arrests
were made Monday in a Kuala
Lumpur suburb.
Authorities in the Muslimmajority country — as well as
some of its Southeast Asian
neighbours — have expressed
mounting alarm over the extremist group’s efforts to lure recruits from Malaysia, which has
historically practiced moderate
Police have arrested a total of
three dozen people this year for
suspected IS-related activities,
and say that at least 40 Malaysians have left for Syria.
Khalid’s statement said this
week’s arrests include a 37-yearold recruiter who is a senior
government engineer with the
Ministry of Energy, Green Tech-
nology and Water.
He is believed to have funded
recruits’ travel to Syria, Khalid
Another suspect is a 34-yearold man who fought for the IS
group in Syria for four months
beginning in December 2013.
After he returned to Malaysia,
his role was to guide and motivate new recruits.
A 37-year-old man also arrested had used Facebook to
disseminate IS propaganda materials to lure new recruits, according to Khalid.
A family of five — including a
14-year-old child — was among
those arrested this week, and
books on jihad were seized from
their home, Khalid said, adding that the family had plans to
travel to Syria.
government has long kept a lid
on Islamic extremists, but conservative views have gained
increasing traction in recent
years as the regime’s controls
have loosened.
A range of Muslim groups that
espouse divisive religious rheto-
Fury as Thai PM joins
club of world leaders
Hundreds of students and
Thai exiles protested against
Thailand’s Prime Minsiter
Prayut Chan-O-Cha when he
arrived in Milan to attend the
ASEM summit
hai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha slipped
quietly into the club of
world leaders yesterday against
a backdrop of noisy protests
against the former general who
seized power in May.
Prayut’s first outing on the
global stage came at an ASEM
summit of European and Asian
leaders, which he was invited
to despite the European Union
having suspended official contacts in protest over his overthrow of an elected government
and subsequent stifling of dissent within the troubled southeast Asian state.
Smiling and waving for the
cameras, Prayut, 60, declined to
respond to a barrage of shouted
questions from reporters as he
arrived for the summit, the 10th
meeting of its kind since the
ASEM forum was launched in
Bangkok in 1996.
Across town, several hundred
students and Thai exiles brandished “Prayut is a criminal”
placards as they staged the kind
of march that is currently impossible in Thailand, where the
military-backed regime has introduced a ban on people gathering in groups of more than п¬Ѓve.
Exiled Thai Junya Yimprasert, who helped to organise the
protest, said she hoped it would
be the start of an international
campaign to put pressure on the
junta to restore basic freedoms.
“We may not be very many
here today but many more people are with us in spirit and we
know people in Thailand are
watching,” Junya said.
“This man should not be welcome in Europe.”
The activist said Western governments should not be duped
into accepting Prayut as a legitimate leader.
“There have been enough
military coups in Thailand
and enough deaths over the
years for the leadership of the
world to know that they have
to stand п¬Ѓrm in defence of civil
Prayut swapped his uniform
for a suit when he retired from
the military after a 40-year army
career at the end of last month.
He has said he plans to implement reforms and rid Thailand
of corruption before organising
October 2015 has been pencilled in as a date under his reform
“roadmap” but, in comments
before he left Bangkok for Milan,
he appeared to hint that this date
could slip, saying the timing of any
vote would depend on the progress
of work on a new constitution.
“The problem is can we implement roadmap?” he said.
Brad Adams, Asia Director for
Human Rights Watch, said the
EU should use the ASEM summit
to make it clear to the junta that
“there will be no return to business as usual until Thailand returns to democratic civilian rule
through free and fair elections.
“Thailand is in the grip of a
major crackdown on freedom
of expression, association and
public assembly that shows no
sign of ending,” he added.
The EU has been sharply critical of the military’s latest intervention in Thai politics.
The bloc suspended official
visits to and from Thailand after
the May coup and put a proposed
new cooperation agreement on
Despite the sanctions, EU
governments agreed last month
not to prevent Prayut from attending the ASEM summit.
Some of the protestors in Milan yesterday were there to demand justice for Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi, who
was shot dead by the Thai army
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha poses as he arrives for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in
Milan yesterday. Right: People demonstrate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha on the first day of
the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan.
during street clashes in May
The soldier who п¬Ѓred the
shot has never been identified
and Polenghi’s sister Arianna
describes the general as “an assassin who, along with others,
ordered the execution of my beloved brother Fabio”.
“Now he is being welcomed
to Italy as a legitimate head of
state... incredible,” Arianna Polenghi said in a statement posted
on her brother’s memorial website. P10
ric have been allowed to flourish
under current leader Najib Razak, prime minister since 2009,
worrying the multi-racial nation’s sizeable religious minorities.
Local media reported earlier
this year that 26-year-old Malaysian factory worker Ahmad
Tarmimi Maliki killed 25 elite
Iraqi soldiers in a suicide carbomb attack there in May.
Police also said in August
that 19 people arrested earlier
this year had planned a series of
bombings in the country.
man framed
for murder of
Brits: mother
he mother of one of the
Myanmar men accused
of murdering two British tourists in Thailand has said
her son is a “scapegoat”, the BBC
reported yesterday, in the latest
criticism of the Thai police investigation.
Migrant workers Zaw Lin and
Win Zaw Tun were charged with
the murder of David Miller, 24,
and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, after the
tourists’ battered bodies were
found on the southern island of
Koh Tao on September 15.
The arrests of the pair, both
in their early twenties, followed
intense scrutiny of Thai authorities, which had been accused
— in criticism led by the British
media — of bungling the investigation in the days after the crime.
“The case has been fixed, my
son is a scapegoat,” Zaw Lin’s
mother Phyu Shwe Nu told the
British broadcaster, adding he
“has never done anything violent before”.
Her comments come after Britain voiced concerns about the way
in which Thai police had handled
the probe so far and offered police
support to Thai authorities.
Myanmar President Thein
Sein has also asked for a “fair”
investigation, amid reports the
accused were tortured into confessing.
The mother of the second suspect — Win Zaw Tun — told the
BBC that news of her son’s arrest
had left her feeling suicidal.
“You know how much I love
you. Tell them the truth, you’re
not guilty,” said Myint Thein,
seen sobbing in the report.
Thailand has strongly rejected allegations of torture and
defended its probe of the grisly
double-murder, with junta chief
and premier Prayut Chan-OCha reiterating on Tuesday that
the case was “reliable”.
Earlier in the week Thai authorities agreed to accept British and Myanmar observers to
monitor the case but details of
what form this would take were
not provided.
Opposition reduced to song in post-coup Thailand
is trademark televised diatribes have given way to mistyeyed songs, but in Thailand’s
stifling post-coup climate, the firebrand leader of the once mighty “Red
Shirts” welcomes any chance to reach
his supporters.
Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of
the Red Shirt street movement which
backed the toppled government of
Yingluck Shinawatra, is back on the
small screen after the ruling junta lifted a ban on Thailand’s sharply polarised political channels.
For years his rabble-rousing rhetoric
on television was staple viewing in the
Red heartlands of northern Thailand
where Yingluck — and her billionaire
brother Thaksin Shinawatra — are
adored for their pro-poor policies.
Rebranded as �Peace TV’, Jatuporn
now espouses the virtues of love and
Buddhism in melancholic verses, a far
cry from the tirades against the �ammart’ — or Bangkok-based elite — and
its supporters who loathe the Shinawatra clan.
“The road is not strewn with roses,”
49-year-old Jatuporn croons in a prerecorded song between programmes.
“But we must continue to dream, no
matter how difficult it is.”
Tucked inside a multi-storey shopping centre in north Bangkok, the
channel is one of the few public outlets
available to opponents of the coup.
Anti-coup voices, including lawmakers from the former ruling Puea Thai
party, academics and students’ groups,
have been silenced after the army summoned dissenters, outlawed political
gatherings and censored the media.
For those attuned to the political
realities of a kingdom under military
rule, Jatuporn’s return to television
is symbolic — suggesting anti-coup
forces are dormant but not dead.
But even Jatuporn concedes these
days he can only meet fellow Red leaders at “funerals or weddings”.
Since grabbing power in May, coup
leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha has vowed
to heal Thailand’s caustic divide and
has muted all political discussions.
Prayut retired as army chief last
month, but remains head of the junta
and is also prime minister heading a
hand-picked military dominated government.
The Red Shirts, known officially
as the United Front for Democracy
Against Dictatorship (UDD), have seen
their leaders either renounce the cause,
flee into self-exile or — like Jatuporn —
Chairman of the Red Shirts movement Jatuporn Prompan during his live show on
Peace TV, the new incarnation of bolshier predecessor UDD TV – a mouthpiece
for the Red Shirts, officially known as the United Front for Democracy Against
agree to abandon politics.
Even Red Shirt funerals, including one taking place this week of core
leader Apiwan Wiriyachai, are tightly
monitored in case they morph into
a political meeting — banned under
strict martial laws.
Red Shirt leaders fear a repeat of
2010 when an army crackdown on rallies in the heart of Bangkok left more
than 90 people dead and hundreds
“We are moving cautiously,” said
Jatuporn, who is permitted to broad-
cast despite facing a terrorism charge
linked to those protests.
Even ex-premier Yingluck has
mostly stayed out of the public eye —
surfacing recently to sign a book of
get-well wishes for the hospitalised
Yet discontent with the coup lingers.
While any hint of dissent is swiftly
stamped down — including raids on
university seminars on democracy —
an overseas collection of Red Shirts,
ex-Puea Thai officials and academics have formed the �Free Thai’ exile
Some analysts predict an eventual
revival of the Red cause in a nation
where parties led-by or aligned-to the
Shinawatras have won every poll since
A “greater opposition will emerge
that combines Red Shirts, student
groups, independent academic groups,
and other pro-democracy” activists,
according to analyst David Streckfuss.
The junta has other ideas.
To his enemies Thaksin, who was toppled as premier in another coup in 2006,
has warped Thai society with massive
corruption and populist policies.
A junta-appointed reform council
bulging with anti-Thaksin members
is due to begin work next week on remoulding Thai politics.
“The 2006 coup was an attempt by a
royalist-led military to quickly replace
Thaksin, return to democracy and continue business as usual,” said Paul Chambers, director of research at the Institute
of Southeast Asian Affairs in Chiang Mai.
“The 2014 coup is different because the
military is fully in charge of everything...
(and) is likely to stay for a long time.”
The military’s reach into Thai politics is being driven by anxiety over what
happens once the six-decade reign of
the revered 86-year-old king Bhumibol
Adulyadej ends, say observers.
The king remains in a Bangkok hospital after being admitted on October 4
for a gall bladder operation. Discussion
of succession matters is restricted under a royal defamation law.
Prayut is on an extensive public relations campaign to extol the junta’s
work and prep the nation for major reforms ahead.
Every Friday he delivers a televised
address to the nation that opens with
a “returning happiness to Thailand”
song, penned by the leader.
In contrast, even after his Peace TV
broadcasts, Jatuporn remains coy over
the Red Shirts’ future.
“We accepted these restrictions,” he
“It was the only way to communicate with our supporters.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Lawyers appeal denial of
refugee status for infant
Weather cuts short search
for Japan volcano missing
Bomb squad at locked
down Aussie naval base
China eyes auditing of
military in graft battle
Abbott rejects national sex
offender website
Lawyers yesterday said they will urgently
appeal a court decision that a baby born in
Australia to asylum-seeker parents is not
entitled to refugee status. Federal Court Judge
Michael Jarrett on Wednesday ruled in favour
of the government that baby boy Ferouz was an
“unlawful maritime arrival”, despite being born
in Brisbane’s Mater Hospital last year. “All they
have continued to seek for Ferouz is a fair
go,” lawyer Murray Watt said of the baby’s
parents. “Ferouz was born in Brisbane and has
a Queensland birth certificate, and we remain
firmly of the view that he should have the right
to seek protection in Australia.”
Japan yesterday called off the search until
next year for seven hikers still missing on a
volcano, saying freezing conditions had made
the operation impossible. Troops, firefighters
and police have been scouring Mount Ontake
in central Japan for the missing climbers since
the volcano erupted on September 27, killing at
least 56 people. But officials said rescuers were
now battling brutal weather conditions as well
as the thick, sticky ash - up to half a metre deep
- that has made the search operation so difficult.
“We have decided to call off the operation for
the rest of this year,” said an official of Nagano
prefecture, where the volcano sits.
A naval base in the Australian state of Victoria
went into lockdown and a police bomb squad
was sent yesterday to the scene to investigate
unspecified “hazardous material”. An exclusion
zone of 400m was declared around a residential
apartment at HMAS Cerberus, a naval training
base on the Mornington Peninsula, 75km
southeast of Melbourne, Victorian police said.
The incident occurred after a routine inspection
at the base found the material in the apartment,
the Australian Defence Force said in a statement.
The material was not explosive and did not pose a
threat to the 2,600 people living at the base, local
media reported, quoting senior police officials.
China will toughen audits of its military and
target older officers to ensure that corrupt
individuals are denied promotion and cannot get
away with their crimes, the Defence Ministry said
yesterday. The new auditing rules are designed
to “strengthen the ability to investigate, and
banish, the phenomenon of corruption”, the
Defence Ministry said on its website. Officers
with responsibility for funds will fall squarely
within the scope of the audits. The buying and
selling of military positions has long been a
problem for China’s armed forces. Officers who
paid bribes to be promoted see corruption as a
way to earn a return on the investment.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said
yesterday his government is not considering a
national version of the Northern Territory’s public
sex offender website as he is “disinclined to single
out particular crimes”. The Northern Territory
announced Wednesday it is introducing legislation
for a publicly accessible serious sex offender
website that it plans to launch next year. Abbott
said he was “disinclined to pursue such a thing
nationally”. “We don’t have a national murders
register. We don’t have a national thieves register.
We don’t have a national white-collar criminals
register,” he told reporters. “I am disinclined to single
out particular crimes for particular public registers.”
Hong Kong’s top official
renews his offer of talks
Hong Kong
ong Kong’s embattled leader
made a dramatic u-turn yesterday, reopening his offer of
talks with student protesters a week
after the government abruptly pulled
out of discussions aimed at ending
more than a fortnight of mass democracy rallies.
The offer by chief executive Leung
Chun-ying came a day after video
footage of plainclothes officers beating
a handcuffed demonstrator as he lay on
the ground sparked widespread anger.
“Over the last few days... we expressed a wish to the students that we
would like to start a dialogue to discuss universal suffrage as soon as we
can and hopefully within the following week,” Leung told reporters.
But question marks remain other
whether fresh talks can make any substantive headway in the stalemate between the government and protesters.
Leung warned that Beijing had no
intention of rescinding its insistence
that his successor be vetted by a loyalist committee before standing for
election in 2017 - a core demand of
“Politics is the art of the possible
and we have to draw a line between
possibilities and impossibilities,” he
The Asian п¬Ѓnancial hub has been
rocked by mass rallies for nearly three
weeks calling both for full democracy
and Leung’s resignation.
Ongoing sit-ins at three major intersections have caused significant
disruption to a city usually known for
its stability.
Protesters have called Beijing’s proposal a “fake democracy” and have
vowed to remain on the streets until
their demands are met despite growing impatience among some Hong
Kongers and attacks by pro-government thugs.
City authorities pulled out of talks
with the Hong Kong Federation of
Students (HKFS) — one of the groups
leading the ongoing protests — last
Thursday plunging the city into a political stalemate it shows little sign of
emerging from.
The offer of new talks came after
Runners participate in a 5km run in support of pro-democracy protesters around a blocked area outside government headquarters in Hong Kong.
a two-day spike in violence between
police and protesters as they battled
over a series of barricades near the
government’s besieged headquarters.
Police said yesterday seven officers involved in the beating video were
now suspended pending an investigation. “If any individual officer is suspected of using excessive force, police
will investigate it in a just and impartial manner,” senior superintendent
Kong Man-keung told reporters.
The man who was beaten had been
arrested after he threw an unknown
liquid from a height onto multiple officers, Kong added.
Tensions soared after the video was
released on Wednesday with protesters saying they had lost all faith in the
Leung refused to be drawn on the
allegations against the officers, stat-
ing: “We should not politicise this
The incident has become another
public relations disaster for the police
who were severely criticised for п¬Ѓring
tear gas on umbrella-wielding protesters on September 28 in a move that
attracted worldwide attention.
Amnesty International and the US
both called for a swift investigation of
the officers.
Yesterday, Leung also refused to
rule out further barricade clearances
by police that led to the recent uptick
in clashes with protesters after two
weeks of comparative calm.
“We cannot allow the negative affect on Hong Kong to continue because of the blockage of these streets.
Police will use appropriate methods
at the appropriate time to handle this
problem,” he said.
After weeks of largely ceding control to protesters at three main sites,
police have begun probing demonstrator defences in the last few days,
tearing down some barricades, sparking running battles.
Renewed clashes between police
and protesters broke out early yesterday over a contested road near Leung’s
offices. Officers used pepper-spray
against defiant demonstrators who
shouted chants accusing the police of
links to criminal triad gangs - but the
flurry of violence was brief compared
to the night before which saw some
of the worst confrontations since the
protests began.
Leung, who has kept a low profile
throughout the last week, had been
due to attend a question and answer
session at the city’s parliament but
cancelled his appearance after “secu-
Xi calls for �no more weird architecture’ in China
A man fishes across the canal from the under-construction Circle building in Guangzhou,
southern China’s Guangdong province.
takably phallic tower - was so widely mocked
by Internet users last year that China’s censors
blocked the discussions.
Many web users welcomed Xi’s call.
“My understanding is that �no weird architecture’ targets the property owners rather
than the architects. Some unscrupulous owners
should indeed be reined in now,” said one user
on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo. “China is
not a foreigners’ test field,” added another.
Xi is not the п¬Ѓrst senior п¬Ѓgure to express
doubts over modern design - Britain’s Prince
Charles once described a proposed extension
to the National Gallery in London as a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved
and elegant friend”.
But some Weibo users questioned whether
Xi’s comments were appropriate, voicing concerns over their potential impact on creative
“The �weird architecture’ is voluntarily chosen by the owners and the designers,” said one,
asking: “Do you want to replace others’ aesthetic sense with your own?”
hinese villagers kidnapped construction workers, tied them up,
doused them in gasoline and set
it ablaze when a land dispute turned violent, the government said yesterday, providing grisly details of the latest bout of
rural unrest.
Eight people died in Tuesday’s unrest
when tension over a new trading and logistics centre boiled over in Jinning, a
suburb of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan
province in China’s southwest.
Six of the dead were workers and the
other two villagers, while 18 people were
injured, one of them seriously.
The Kunming government’s propaganda department said on its official microblog that residents of Fuyou village had
been upset for many months over compensation for the land being used in the
project, and had already forced building
to stop in May.
But, on Tuesday, thousands of workers
flooded back to the site to resume construction, it added. “On that day, eight
workers who were having breakfast in
Fuyou village were illegally detained by
villagers, their hands and legs tied up,
they were beaten, had gasoline poured on
them and were then taken to a road near
the building site,” the government said.
Later, hundreds of villagers raided the
construction site and fought with workers. “During the clash, villagers threw
home-made explosives into the crowd
and set the kidnapped workers alight,
while the workers fought the villagers
with their tools, causing serious injuries
and loss of life,” the government said in a
brief statement.
Police will severely punish those who
“organised, carried out and proactively
participated in illegal criminal activities,
no matter who they are”, the government
added, without giving details.
Land disputes are one of the main
causes of the tens of thousands of protests across China each year. Most go unreported, though some, such as a revolt
in the southern village of Wukan in 2011,
have attained a high profile and spurred
Beijing to promise action.
China’s slowing economy has reduced
tax revenues for local governments at a
time when the cooling property market
has also dampened land sales, an important source of government income.
The unrest in Yunnan comes as the ruling Communist Party meets next week for
a conclave to discuss how to strengthen
the rule of law, in hopes of damping instability that is greatly feared by the party.
Australia aims to end extinction
of native wildlife by decade-end
hinese Internet users were divided yesterday after leader Xi Jinping reportedly
called for an end to “weird architecture”
in a country that has seen a huge construction
Much of China’s older building stock is made
up of Soviet-style concrete blocks, but in recent years property development has played a
huge economic role.
The phenomenon has drawn architects from
around the world, from big names such as Zaha
Hadid to younger unknowns who see opportunities to design towers long before their careers
could reach such heights in the West.
But some unconventional and costly buildings, often owned by state-controlled institutions, have been controversial, sparking criticisms of wasted public funds.
The futuristic new Beijing headquarters of
state broadcaster China Central Television
were designed by renowned Dutch architect
Rem Koolhaas but popularly nicknamed �The
Big Underpants’.
There have meanwhile been complaints that
a pair of bridges over the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in the southwestern metropolis of
Chongqing are remarkably reminiscent of female genitalia.
Xi, who took over as Communist leader
nearly two years ago, told a group of artists on
Wednesday that China should build “no more
weird architecture”, reported the website of the
People’s Daily, the ruling party’s mouthpiece.
The newspaper’s own new home - an unmis-
rity and risk assessments”. He spoke
to the media yesterday at his official
residence which, unlike his office, is
not surrounded by protesters.
Patience with protesters is running
short in some quarters, with shop
owners and taxi drivers losing business and commuters voicing irritation
at disruptions and delays.
The South China Morning Post, the
city’s most prominent English daily,
yesterday called on protesters to vacate the streets, saying there was little
chance of Beijing conceding to their
“The campaign may end in a manner that no one desires. It is perhaps
time the protesters considered retreating and reviewing their strategy,”
the paper said in an editorial, effectively throwing its weight behind the
Chinese land
clash victims
burned alive
ustralia’s Environment Minister Greg
Hunt has pledged to end the extinction
of native mammal species by 2020, with
a focus on culprits such as feral cats.
Hunt said Australia had the worst rate of
mammal loss in the world and the nation’s
“greatest failure” in environmental policy was
protecting threatened species.
“Our flora and fauna are part of what makes
us Australian,” he said in a speech on Wednesday night. “I don’t want the extinction of species such as the numbat, the quokka, the bilby, on
our collective consciences,” he said, referring to
mammals that are little-known outside Australia
compared to other marsupials like the kangaroo.
Hunt said the government had been putting
in place a “different approach” to halting the
extinction of native wildlife, including the appointment of a Threatened Species Commissioner to spearhead the efforts.
Australia has some 749 species of plants,
mammals, birds, frogs, п¬Ѓsh, reptiles and other
animals listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
Act, with the numbers rising each year, Hunt
said. Over the past two decades, 53 land-based
species moved to a higher threat category, but
only 15 moved lower.
A study released earlier this year showed
Australia’s mammal extinction rate was the
highest in the world, with more than 10% of
species wiped out since Europeans settled
the country two centuries ago. Feral cats were
identified as the main culprit, although feral foxes were also responsible. Other factors
contributing to the extinctions include climate
change, п¬Ѓre and habitat destruction.
Australian states and territories have separate threatened species lists and are “struggling
with similar problems”, Hunt said, adding that
legislation is failing to arrest the declines.
“I have set a goal of ending the loss of mammal species by 2020. What’s more, I want to see
improvements in at least 20 of those species
between now and then,” he said.
The measures would focus on major threats
such as those posed by feral cats, which number
between 10 to 20mn across Australia and kill
countless native animals every night.
Cats were п¬Ѓrst introduced to Australia by
British immigrants in the late 1700s as domestic pets, but went wild and spread across the
continent over the next 100 years.
One measure under consideration is the development of a “new, humane bait” called Curiosity, which Hunt described as a “potential
Apart from tackling the feral-cat threat,
Hunt said the government was committing
A$3.3mn (US$2.9mn) to the recovery of the endangered Tasmanian devil.
A “Green Army” which plans to recruit up
to 15,000 young people was announced by the
government in August and will be involved in
restoring koala habitats, managing pest animals and monitoring threatened species.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
UK should have �one
last go’ at EU ties: PM
Rochester, England
ritish Prime Minister David Cameron said his plan to try to reshape
ties with the European Union would
be the last such renegotiation, saying yesterday he wanted a 1970s-style Common
Market arrangement with the bloc.
Cameron, facing an election challenge
from the anti-EU UK Independence Party
(Ukip), adopted a tougher stance on Europe, complaining that the single currency
“was not working well”, immigration from
other EU countries was too high and Britain wanted to “do some things differently”
from Europe.
“I think it’s worth one last go trying to
get a better relationship with Europe,” said
Cameron, who has promised to try to reshape Britain’s EU ties before holding a
referendum on Britain’s EU membership
in 2017 if re-elected next year.
Cameron has long said he’d like Britain
to stay in a reformed EU and expressed
confidence he could negotiate meaningful reform. His warning that his attempt
would be the last and might fail struck a
new, more Eurosceptic note.
“We need to get back, frankly, to what
we were told we were going to join in the
first place, a Common Market,” he said,
referring to 1973 when Britain joined the
EU’s precursor, which was then a smaller
Prime minister David Cameron leaves
after speaking to an audience at the
Wainscott Memorial Hall in Strood.
bloc whose main purpose was trade ties.
“We want access to Europe’s markets,
we want a say over how those markets
work, but we don’t want a European army
or a European flag or a European country. We live in a country called Britain and
that’s the way it should stay.”
Cameron’s tougher rhetoric reflects
growing pressure from Ukip which is fuelling discontent on the right of his Conservative party which wants him to get
tougher on Europe and immigration.
Ukip, which wants a British EU exit and
sharply lower immigration, has poached
two of his lawmakers, won its п¬Ѓrst elect-
ed seat in parliament at his party’s expense this month, and threatens to split
the right-wing vote in May 2015 making
it harder for him to defeat the opposition
Labour party.
If Cameron loses next year, his party—
which hasn’t won an overall majority since
1992 and rules in coalition with the smaller Liberal Democrats party—would probably oust him as leader.
Cameron was in Kent, southeast England, ahead of a by-election on November 20 caused by one of his lawmakers
defecting to Ukip. The parliamentarian,
Mark Reckless, is now contesting the
same seat for Ukip and could beat the
Cameron held a meeting with members
of the public and party activists to present
his party’s two prospective candidates
for the by-election. Neither of the two
candidates listed reducing immigration,
something opinion polls show is one of the
main issues worrying voters, among their
But in answer to a question, Cameron
promised tougher immigration policies
were on the way, suggesting he was formulating new ideas to try to reduce the
number of migrants coming to Britain
from the 28-nation EU.
Local media have reported he is considering asking the EU for “an emergency
brake” to restrict migrant numbers if and
when they are deemed unmanageable and
that he will make clawing back control of
Britain’s borders “a red line” in any future
renegotiation with the EU.
Under the EU’s freedom of movement
rules, EU citizens are entitled to work anywhere in the bloc. That has seen hundreds
of thousands of EU nationals come to work
in Britain, which has the bloc’s fastestgrowing economy, and also seen many
Britons move abroad to retire in sunnier
However, Ukip and parts of the Conservative party say the public is unhappy
about what it perceives to be abuse of the
welfare system by unemployed EU migrants and is worried that those migrants
who do work are depressing wages.
Cameron told the meeting: “Crucially
we need to get some changes on one of
the very big issues in British politics today
which is immigration. Immigration in recent years has been too high. We need to
bring immigration under control.”
Refusing to give details of his plans, he
said after the meeting that his party would
be setting out new ideas on the sensitive
issue in the coming weeks.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg,
leader of the Liberal Democrats, said
Cameron was tacking to the right and running sacred of Ukip.
“I think the Conservative Party have got
a fundamental problem,” Clegg told the
LBC radio station. “They are running after
Ukip in a complete panic.”
Queen at the tower
Banker who
was dubbed
seeks ВЈ14mn
Evening Standard
“Crazy Miss Cokehead”
in a smear campaign
by male colleagues is claiming
ВЈ14mn in compensation after
winning an employment tribunal ruling.
graduate Svetlana Lokhova,
who worked in the London office of Russian firm Sberbank,
said she had been victimised
before being unfairly dismissed.
The tribunal rejected 19 of
her 22 complaints but backed
her on the substantive areas of
harassment and intimidation
on the grounds of gender, in a
ruling last November.
It heard that colleagues
called her “mad Svetlana”, told
her to visit Nigeria for sex with
tribesmen to “calm her down”
and branded her “crazy, mental, totally unstable, quite likely clinically bonkers” and “a
major car crash”.
Yesterday Lokhova told
Central London employment
tribunal that even though she
won her case, being dragged
through the courts had ruined
her reputation and left her unable to work in п¬Ѓnance again.
“I am completely broken
down and exhausted by the
campaign against me,” she
“I endured six months of
abuse at work and almost
three years of highly acrimonious litigation which
has had a profound aspect
on every part of my life.
“My name will be for ever
linked with drug addiction
and mental instability. I have
suffered extreme detriment
and could not hope to return
to п¬Ѓnancial services as no one
would want to employ someone accused by a previous
manager of being a cocaine
addict and mentally unstable.
My reputation has been shredded.”
Lokhova told the court she
had to take sick leave due to the
discrimination in 2012 when
she would have been eligible
for rises of 10%, taking her pay
to ВЈ200,000 plus bonuses.
She also claimed to have
generated ВЈ5.7mn of an
£18.8mn profit for the bank
and was awarded a cash bonus of £570,000. “Only one
other employee earned a
larger cash bonus than this,”
she added.
The п¬Ѓrst tribunal heard
Lokhova claim she was targeted because she had previously
reported a senior trader, later
dismissed, for insider dealing.
It ruled that her main tormentor
should have been п¬Ѓred for
gross misconduct.
Longmuir, her former manager at Sberbank CIB (UK) Ltd,
sent a host of emails and made
remarks that were “offensive,
derogatory and often personal
in nature” behind her back.
He called Lokhova, daughter of a Russian shipping broker, “Miss Bonkers”, said she
had “unfortunate natural brain
chemistry” and added she
“lived in a flat daddy bought”.
Child �almost choked
on plastic in loaf’
Evening Standard
Queen Elizabeth II (L) and husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visit the Tower of London’s �Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ poppy installation at the Tower of
London, in central London yesterday. The art installation will eventually consist of over 800,000 ceramic poppies, and serves to symbolises British and colonial military
fatalities in WW1.
father was “horrified”
to п¬Ѓnd his son choking on pieces of plastic
apparently baked in a slice of
Marks & Spencer luxury fruit
Daniel Hall, 29, of Blackheath, south east London, noticed the one-year-old, named
Nathan, was struggling to eat
the piece of bread and pulled it
from his mouth.
He found a piece of material in the food and on closer
inspection found two large
pieces of blue plastic his son
almost choked on, he claims.
His wife wrote a letter to the
retailer requesting a refund
and an investigation.
She also took the luxury
fruit loaf, costing ВЈ1.40, back
to Marks & Spencer Simply
Foods in Blackheath, as instructed on the phone.
But to the couple’s disappointment the store responded
by only sending a ВЈ10 voucher
the next day with no information about an investigation.
Full time dad Hall said: “We
wrote to M&S, complained anything could have happened,
and said it is disgusting that
two large pieces were found in
there. They got back and sent
us a letter with a ВЈ10 voucher.
“It is the fact they are just
offering a ВЈ10 voucher, like it
is no problem to them. I want a
bigger gesture than that. It just
seems they are fobbing me off.
A spokeswoman for Marks
& Spencer said: “We’re sorry
to hear about Mr Hall’s complaint. Quality is extremely
important to us and we’ve
been working closely with our
supplier to investigate what
has happened. “
Police probes threats in row over non-halal food
Evening Standard
olice were today investigating
far-right threats to a nursery
school after a mother claimed her
daughter was stopped from eating her
packed lunch because it “wasn’t halal”.
Kingswood Day Care Nursery called
in Scotland Yard and schools watchdog
Ofsted after staff were deluged with a
torrent of racist abuse and threats online.
The row exploded when Yasmin
Jackson, 24, accused the nursery in
Mitcham of “starving” her five-yearold daughter Amari over concerns that
the meat in her packed lunch was not
Manager Afsheen Siddik categorically denied the claims. But when Jackson
wrote about it on Facebook, her post
was picked up by far-right activists and
went viral on the Internet.
The nursery then found itself
swamped with racial and religious
Amari was at the ВЈ30-a-day nursery
on the п¬Ѓrst day of a two-week, councilfunded respite placement designed
to give hard-up parents a break from
Jackson, a former nursery worker,
said: “When I picked her up at the end
of the day the п¬Ѓrst thing she said to me
was, �Mummy I’m really hungry, can I
have my lunch now?’
“I went to speak to the manager and
I said why wasn’t my daughter allowed
her lunch and she said we didn’t know
it was healthy.
“I told her it was chicken salad, bread
sticks, humus, a bit of chocolate and a
fruit selection. She then said: “There
was a sandwich in there and we didn’t
know what it was. We didn’t know if it
was halal.”
“I said we are a Christian family and
it was a chicken sandwich. And she said
we don’t allow any non-halal meat in
the nursery. So I thought this is just ridiculous.”
Amira was instead given plain spaghetti, which she refused to eat, fruit
and a yoghurt.
Yasmin Jackson and her daughter Amari.
Jackson, who has since removed
Amira from the nursery, added: “It’s
really annoying that this issue has been
hijacked because this is not about being anti-Muslim. It’s anti-starving my
child, and anti-stupidness.”
In an email supposedly sent to a
parent who wrote in to query the incident, an unnamed kitchen worker
is said to have wrote: “We could not
provided [sic] her the lunch provided
by home as we we’re [sic] not sure
what meat was given. Without knowing what the mother has given it was
not possible for me to serve the child
this food.”
The nursery uses a private contractor, Zebedee’s, to provide their meals,
with provision for halal and other dietary requirements and allergies.
But there is no mention on the
nursery’s website - since shut down
due to the abuse - to the requirements
for packed lunches.
However a source at the school
said: “This is all complete rubbish.
We do not only allow halal meat to be
eaten. It is not true and it has all been
blown out of proportion with people
spreading lies.
“To bring race and religion into it is
ridiculous, for something that is not
Siddik would not comment on
the nursery’s packed lunch policy
but said: “I deny the untrue and
false allegations that have been
made against myself and Kings-
wood Day Care Nursery.
“As a result I have informed Ofsted
and the police who are currently dealing with this matter.
“We work closely with parents to
provide a high standard you would
expect for your child. We treat each
child as an individual and provide
them with equal opportunities and
meet all ethical standards.”
Scotland Yard today confirmed it
is investigating allegations of “racial
and religiously aggravated malicious
communications” sent to the nursery.
A spokesman added: “Enquiries are
ongoing and we are currently liaising
with local partners and Ofsted with
regards to this matter.”
Kingswood Daycare Nursery provides care for children aged three
months to п¬Ѓve years and was rated as
“good” in the most recent Ofsted inspection.
An Ofsted spokesman said: “We
don’t comment on individual complaints. Our role is to ensure that
schools are able to provide a safe and
secure environment.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Suspected Ebola case taken from Air France flight to Madrid
EU disagrees on the need for
Ebola screening at airports
uropean Union health ministers agreed yesterday to
try to improve the systems
put in place by West African nations to screen departing passengers for Ebola, but disagreed on
the need to check travellers arriving in their own countries.
Ministers met in Brussels to
discuss ways to strengthen Europe’s defences against a disease
that has killed around 4,500 people in West Africa in the latest
outbreak, the worst on record.
France said on Wednesday that
it would begin screening air passengers for Ebola if they arrive
on flights from regions hit by the
disease, following similar decisions by Britain and the Czech
But other EU governments
have made no such move.
Belgium’s public health service said there were no checks for
passengers arriving at Brussels
Airport from West Africa, as
World Health Organisation regulations do not require them.
“A majority of EU countries do
not see at the moment the need
for introducing entry screenings,” Beatrice Lorenzin, health
minister of Italy, which currently
holds the EU presidency, told reporters after the meeting.
EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said it was up to indi-
vidual EU governments whether
to screen passengers on entry and
“neither the (European) Commission nor a majority of member states can impose its will on
other member states”.
However, EU governments did
agree to try to better coordinate
the national measures they have
in place at airports and ports and
to increase information-sharing,
Borg said.
They will try to agree for example on a common questionnaire so that all EU countries
gather the same information
from passengers arriving from
Ebola-affected countries.
There was a stronger consensus among the European
health ministers on the need to
53 Europe,
Asia leaders
in Milan
for summit
uropean and Asian leaders embarked on a two-day
summit yesterday pledging
to strengthen political, security and economic co-operation,
amid growing concerns about
Ebola, and parallel diplomatic
activity on the Russia-Ukraine
The Europe-Asia Meeting
(ASEM) brought to the Italian
city of Milan 53 countries representing more than half the
world’s gross domestic product
and over 60% of the global population.
Such summits have been held
every other year since 1996.
“We need to talk to each other
and work together to increase
prosperity and security for the
benefit of all,” European Council
President Herman Van Rompuy
said in a welcome speech, interrupted by a standing ovation for
ASEM’s new members, Kazakhstan and Croatia.
Crisis-stricken Europe is
looking to fast-growing Asia for
trade and investment opportunities, while Asians are interested
in market access to the European
Union, and possibly emulating
its model of regional co-operation.
Business is at the heart of the
EU-Asia relationship, which has
been marred by trade disputes.
European exports to Asia were
worth €522bn ($663bn) in 2013,
while exports worth €741bn
flowed in the other direction.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that ASEM needed
to support “investment, growth
and sustainable development,
by encouraging greater liberalization, transparency, the rule of
law, and guarding against rising
nationalism and protectionism”.
The summit in Italy’s industrial capital, held under the motto “Responsible Partnership for
Sustainable Growth and Security”, was expected to see China
advocate a “New Silk Road” to
foster business relations.
During closed-door sessions –
two yesterday, one today – leaders were expected to discuss a list
of global challenges, including
climate change, terrorism and
the spread of the Ebola virus, as
well as crisis hotspots.
“We will be talking about climate change, we will be talking
about the economy, but of course
a lot of time will be spent in the
corners on the Ukrainian crisis,”
Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on arrival.
The tensions on the Korean
peninsula, as well as a regional
dispute involving China over
competing territorial claims in
the South and East China Seas,
were also expected to feature in
Some 2,000 police officers
were deployed to ensure tight
security for an event attended by
high-profile leaders such as Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang,
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe.
Russian President Vladimir
Putin was expected to join the
gathering for a gala dinner hosted
by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
Putin was also expected to pay
a visit to former Italian premier
Silvio Berlusconi, a personal
Berlusconi did not
know dancer was
under-aged: court
ilvio Berlusconi paid a
teenage nightclub dancer
for sex but there is no proof
he knew her age at the time, an
Italian appeals court said yesterday, explaining its decision to
overturn the former prime minister’s “bunga bunga” conviction.
Explaining its surprise decision to acquit Berlusconi on July
18, the Milan appeals court said
there was insufficient evidence
to show that he knew Karima El
Mahroug, also known as “Ruby
the Heartstealer”, was under
18 when she attended orgiastic “bunga bunga” parties at his
mansion near Milan.
Still the most influential politician on Italy’s centre-right
even as he serves a community
service sentence for tax fraud,
Berlusconi was sentenced to
seven years in jail and banned
from public office last year after
a lower court found him guilty of
paying for sex with a minor and
abuse of office.
The acquittal in July was a
boost for the 78-year-old fourtime prime minister and media
tycoon who is struggling to contain bitter infighting in the Forza
Italia party he founded in 1994
and continues to lead.
Judges uncovered a “system
of prostitution” that revolved
around the parties and said there
was proof of the “performance of
sexual acts for a fee between the
defendant and the minor”.
Both Berlusconi and Moroccoborn El Mahroug repeatedly denied ever having sex with each
Berlusconi was also cleared in
July of a more serious charge of
abusing his office as prime minister when he called a police sta-
Berlusconi: no proof he knew El
Mahroug was under-aged.
tion to secure El Mahroug’s release from custody on suspicion
of stealing a €3,000 ($3,800)
bracelet in May 2010.
The court, meeting its 90-day
deadline to explain its decision,
said that Berlusconi’s actions
“revealed a clear and precise interest on the part of the prime
minister in the fate of the young
woman” but that he had not
threatened the police.
Berlusconi’s lawyers said he
had made the call to avoid a
diplomatic incident because he
thought El Mahroug was related
to then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
strengthen the screening procedures for departing passengers
put in place by affected West African countries.
“The member states ... want to
reinforce screening at the point
of exit in these African countries.
There are conflicting reports as
to whether this screening is effective or not,” Borg said.
Borg said that his opinion,
shared by most European Union government health experts,
was that although there would
be cases in the EU, the risk that
Ebola would spread in the 28-nation bloc was low.
He added that the Commission
would propose creating a voluntary network of doctors to treat
Ebola at an EU level.
Madrid authorities evacuated an Air France plane
yesterday after a passenger started shaking on the
flight to Madrid from Lagos via Paris, prompting fears
the person had Ebola, Air France and airports operator
Aena said.
The passenger was taken to Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital
in an ambulance flanked by a police motorcade, television images showed.
The driver was wearing full protective suit and goggles.
Passengers at the airport told Reuters the plane was
parked on the tarmac surrounded by emergency services and people in white protective gear. Air France
said the plane would be disinfected and the return
flight was cancelled.
“There were police cars, there was an ambulance ...
there was also the fire brigade and people in white
suits,” said passenger Bronween Bashford, who had
been waiting to board the plane in Madrid. “There was
a lot of activity out on the tarmac.”
The Spanish government has stepped up its response
to suspected cases of the deadly disease after a nurse
in Madrid became the first person outside Africa to
become infected in the current outbreak.
The nurse, Teresa Romero, was diagnosed with the virus last week after caring for two infected priests who
were repatriated from West Africa and later died.
She is still seriously ill but stable, also in Carlos III
Her case prompted questions about whether Spain’s
hospitals were prepared for a crisis on this scale and
calls for the resignation of Health Minister Ana Mato.
Health workers have said the training and protective
suits provided to hospital staff had been inadequate.
Authorities on Monday pledged to ramp up training.
On Thursday, Spanish authorities said a person who
was among those being monitored for signs of the
disease because they had contact with Romero would
be sent to Carlos III Hospital after developing a fever,
one of the symptoms of Ebola.
The person was one of 68 considered to have a low
risk of catching Ebola.
They have to check their temperature regularly from
Another 15 people, including Romero’s husband, are
still under observation in the hospital but have shown
no symptoms.
The United States, which is deploying up to 4,000
troops to West Africa to help contain the spread of the
disease, has asked Madrid for permission to use the US
air bases in Spain in its operation, a US Department of
Defence source said yesterday.
“None of the planes will transport patients or people
suspected to have contracted Ebola, or who have been
in contact with infected people,” he said. “Spain will
have a right to inspect the planes and passengers.”
The United States has four bases in Spain, at Moron
de la Frontera near Seville and Rota near Cadiz in
southern Spain, Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid and
Zaragoza in the north.
Leaders pose for a family picture during the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) yesterday in Milan. The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was
created in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and co-operation between Europe and Asia held every two years alternatively in Asia and Europe.
Poroshenko prepares ground for Putin talks
krainian President Petro
yesterday in a flurry of
diplomatic activity with European leaders in Milan, ahead of
renewed efforts with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin
to resolve the conflict in eastern
Poroshenko met German
Chancellor Angela Merkel late
He was due also to see EU
President Herman Van Rompuy
and European Commission
President Jose Manuel Barroso,
as well as Italian Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi.
They were all gathered in the
northern Italian city for a summit of European and Asian leaders.
Earlier yesterday, Merkel
called on Russia to fully respect a ceasefire deal for eastern
Ukraine, agreed in Minsk last
“It is of course particularly
also the task of Russia to make
clear that the Minsk plan is being adhered to,” the chancellor
“Unfortunately, there are still
very, very large deficits here,”
she added.
Talks between Putin and Merkel yesterday had to be postponed, as the Russian leader
was arriving late at the summit
after a visit to Belgrade.
Today Putin is due to meet
with Poroshenko in an enlarged
format that includes Merkel,
Renzi, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime
Minister David Cameron, Van
Rompuy, Barroso and the European Union’s future foreign policy chief, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini.
It will be Putin’s largest formal encounter with Western
leaders since Russia was excluded in June from a summit by
the Group of Seven, in response
to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its suspected involvement in the conflict in eastern
Despite the ceasefire deal, the
Western-backed Ukrainian government accuses Russia of continuing to train and send п¬Ѓghters into eastern Ukraine, where
bloody skirmishes are ongoing.
Russia denies this, and announced at the weekend that it
was withdrawing 17,000 troops
that had been stationed near the
Ukrainian border.
Nato said it has not detected
“significant” movements.
Pro-Russian separatist fighters and journalists run for cover during shelling of the Donetsk’s Sergey
Prokofiev international airport, as fighting continue yesterday between Ukrainian army forces and
pro-Russian separatist. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukrainian forces had
repelled several attacks over the past 24 hours on Donetsk airport and near the village of Debaltseve –
two constant flashpoints in the conflict in recent weeks.
“There is still a large and capable force sitting on the border
of Ukraine, and heavy equipment still has to be pulled back,”
a Nato spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Kiev authorities
said that three Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and nine
injured in п¬Ѓghting during the
past 24 hours.
Donetsk city council said that
four civilians had been injured
by artillery shelling in the city
on Wednesday.
Moscow and Kiev are also at
loggerheads over energy prices.
Russia has shut off gas exports to Ukraine, demanding
higher payments.
The EU is seeking to mediate a
solution, amid fears of gas cutoffs in Europe as winter nears.
In preparation for the Milan talks, Poroshenko spoke by
phone to US President Barack
Obama, Poroshenko’s office
The Ukrainian president had
also spoken to Putin on Tuesday.
Obama also informed Poroshenko of a video conference
he had held with the leaders of
Britain, Germany, France and
Italy to discuss the situation in
eastern Ukraine.
The EU and the US have imposed economic sanctions on
Russia, prompting Moscow to
take countermeasures and seek
new economic opportunities
elsewhere, notably in Asia.
Merkel told the German parliament that the Western sanc-
Support for Nato membership up in Ukraine: poll
The number of Ukrainians in favour of joining the Nato alliance has
risen sharply during Kiev’s drawn-out conflict with pro-Russian rebels
in the east of the country, a poll showed yesterday.
Becoming a Nato member would be the best way for Ukraine to ensure
security, said 44% of respondents to the poll by the Foundation for
Democratic Initiatives and Kiev’s International Sociology Institute.
The figure showed a rise from 34% in a similar poll in May this year and
13% in another poll in 2012 by the same two institutions.
“The rise began this year. It’s the reaction of Ukrainians to Russia’s military aggression,” said sociologist Maria Zolkina from the foundation.
Twenty-two per cent of those questioned wanted to keep an independent status while 15% wanted closer ties with Russia and the former
Soviet states.
The 2012 poll showed 26% of Ukrainians in favour of joining a Russialed bloc.
The poll was carried out in mid-September on 2,035 people from across
Ukraine apart from Crimea and the eastern Luhansk region, due to
intense fighting.
The pollsters approximated the results for Luhansk by increasing the
quota for eastern Donetsk.
The east of Ukraine is Russian speaking and generally more pro-Russia.
Kiev blames Moscow for stirring a bloody pro-Russian insurgency in
the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where 3,600 have people died since
April, according to the United Nations.
In 2010, former president Viktor Yanukovych opted for a non-aligned
tions were important, but not an
end in themselves, adding that
she was opposed to measures
that could hinder dialogue with
But Putin dismissed the sanctions as “absurd”, in a newspaper interview published ahead
of his visit to Serbia.
Putin also lambasted Obama
for listing “Russian aggression
in Europe” as one of three major
threats to humanity, alongside
Ebola and the Islamic State.
“Together with the sanctions
against entire sectors of our
economy, this approach can be
called nothing but hostile,” he
told Belgrade daily Politika. “We
hope that our partners will realise the futility of attempts to
blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord
between major nuclear powers
could bring for strategic stability.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
President visits Santa Claus Village
SC summons
police chiefs
over missing
New Delhi
he Supreme Court yesterday summoned the police
chiefs of two states to
justify their record on tracking
down missing children, acting on
a petition from new Nobel Peace
laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s child
rights group.
Satyarthi’s Bachpan Bachao
Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) п¬Ѓled the petition before
the Supreme Court which had
last year set deadlines for Indian
states to п¬Ѓle status reports on
missing children.
Yesterday, the court ordered
the chief secretaries and heads
of police in Bihar and Chhattisgarh - the two states with some
of the worst records on child
trafficking - to appear before it
on October 30.
The court said it wanted to ask
the chief secretaries and police
commissioners “how will they
feel if their children go missing.”
Critics say police often turn
a blind eye to the thousands of
children who are trafficked and
forced into slavery or exploitative labour every year across the
Research by Satyarthi’s group
suggests that a child goes missing every six minutes in India
and over a 100,000 children go
missing each year. “The court
was not pleased with their
(states’) response,” Bhuwan Ribhu, an activist and lawyer with
Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said.
“The court has taken a very
strict view. They said they will
take up this matter every week if
needed and see what action has
been taken, two states at a time,”
he said.
In the course of the hearing,
Chief Justice H LDatu said a
woman came to him crying that
her child had gone missing and
that no steps were being taken
to trace him. He said everyday he
reads in newspapers and watch
on TV tales about missing children.
“This pains us.”
Appearing for Bachpan Bachao Andolan, senior counsel H
SPhoolka told the court that
Chhattisgarh has reported 9,428
missing children in three years
(2011-2013) but only 1,977 FIRs
(п¬Ѓrst information reports) have
been registered.
He said these п¬Ѓgures by
Chhattisgarh conflicted with
those given by the government
in an answer to a parliamentary
question which said that the
п¬Ѓgures for the three years were
10,664 and the number of FIRs
registered was 1,634.
Bihar had recorded 2,036
missing children in the last three
years and the number of FIRs
registered is 1,180. The court also
issued notice to all states and
union territories on the increasing drug abuse among school
children across the country.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan has
sought the formulation of a National Action Plan for Children
on the drugs, alcohol and other
substance abuse.
It also sought the effective
implementation of the National
Strategy Document and Action
Plan against drug abuse in the
country and incorporation in
school curriculum modules to
educate children to keep away
from drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Satyarthi, 60, was on Friday
jointly awarded the Nobel prize
with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage education campaigner shot by the Taliban in
The Indian activist, who argues that poverty should not be
an excuse for child labour, was
recognised for decades of doggedly championing children’s
rights in his home country and
India’s mega cities such as
Delhi and Mumbai are a particular target for criminal gangs that
police say traffic children in much
the same way they sell drugs.
Most of these children end
up as construction or domestic workers. Others take up rag
picking, agricultural work and in
industries such as п¬Ѓreworks, tobacco and carpet weaving.
They routinely work at least 12
hours a day and many are sexually exploited, according to activists and police.
No one can warn India, says Rajnath
A day after China objected to India
building a road along the border,
Home Minister Rajnath Singh
yesterday said no one can warn a
“powerful nation” like India.
“No one can give a warning
to India. India is a powerful
nation now,” Singh said on the
sidelines of the 30th Raising
Day ceremony of the National
Security Guard (NSG) in Manesar,
on the outskirts Delhi.
“As far as China is concerned,
both countries should sit
together and discuss the issues,”
he told reporters.
China on Wednesday said India
should not take any action that
may complicate the situation in
disputed border areas.
President Pranab Mukherjee looks on as his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee shakes hands with a person dressed as Santa Claus at the Santa Claus Village at the
Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi in Finland yesterday. Mukherjee earlier in the day addressed the Finnish parliament.
PM kicks off overhaul
of creaky labour rules
The prime minister unveils
key labour reforms that rely
on trust and promote the
ease of doing business
New Delhi
ndia will simplify employment rules and ease the way
for people changing jobs
to move social security funds,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
said yesterday, unveiling steps
to reform the labour sector long
sought by investors.
India’s outdated labour laws
strictly limit hiring and п¬Ѓring,
while an onerous �inspector raj’
deluges employers with paperwork, discouraging them from
expanding and adding staff.
“Fifty types of departments
chase them, 50 types of forms
have to be п¬Ѓlled in. The world
has changed,” Modi said, adding
that companies would now only
need to п¬Ѓll a single form online.
The change would benefit
chiefly firms that employ just
a few people, he said. In 2009,
84% of India’s manufacturing workers were employed by
п¬Ѓrms with fewer than 50 staff,
research by the Asian Development Bank shows.
Just 8% of Indian workers
have formal jobs with any security and benefits, such as the
Provident Fund, while the vast
majority work in the informal
sector, experts say.
Even though the World Bank
says India has one of the world’s
most rigid labour markets, fears
of a trade union backlash and
partisan politics have deterred
governments from reform.
Business leaders have high
hopes for Modi, an advocate of
smaller government and private
enterprise, to change that.
Industry groups said yesterday measures would warm
business sentiment and help
boost the slowing economy.
“These reforms will further
help create a more conducive
manufacturing environment,”
Ajay Singha, executive director of the American Chamber
of Commerce in India, said in a
Modi also promised easier
movement of accounts in India’s
Provident Fund scheme by using
a universal account number. The
payroll-funded programme has
80mn members.
Because transfers are so difficult, more than Rs270bn
($4.4bn) lie idle in such accounts.
Modi: easing rules
“I need to return this money
to the poor,” the prime minister
said. “The world asks, �What is
Modi’s vision?’ They will see it
in this effort.”
Inspection of businesses will
be made more transparent, with
a computer lottery being used
to pick the enterprises to be inspected and officials required to
upload a report within 72 hours,
Modi said.
“We have replaced 16 forms
(for factory owners) with one
form, which will be available
online,” Modi said.
The prime minister added:
“E-governance is easy governance. It builds trust for transparency.”
Businesses argue that conforming to India’s 44 national
and more than 150 state labour
laws is not only costly and timeconsuming but has deterred
foreign investors.
Modi, 63, also called for greater respect for manual labourers
in status-conscious India.
“We must change the way we
look at manual labourers. We
must respect them if we are to
surge ahead as a country,” he
The prime minister also unveiled a booklet on National
Brand Ambassadors for Vocational Training and a souvenir
for All India Skill Competition.
He said skilled labour has not
been given due dignity in the
society and was generally regarded as lower to other forms
of work.
“A compassionate approach
would result in the Shram Yogi
(labourer) becoming a Rashtra
Yogi and hence, a Rashtra Nirmaata (nation-builder). There
is need to change outlook,” he
Modi said the phrase
“Shramev Jayate” had as much
significance as “Satyamev Jayate” in the tasks related to the
country’s development.
He said Industrial Training
Institutes (ITIs) were the primary units for industrial training but have not been given due
The government has taken a
new initiative to appoint am-
bassadors and they would prove
role models for students from
ITIs as they had achieved success in their lives after studying
in these institutes, he added.
Modi said sometimes people
who are not good at academics
have potential in areas such as
Referring to his government’s
moves towards self-certification of documents, he said there
was need to have faith in people.
Referring to apprenticeship encouragement scheme of
the labour ministry, he said it
will help meet needs of skilled
Labour ministry officials said
the Apprentices Act, 1961, had
been enacted to regulate apprenticeship training in the industry.
They said a major initiative
has been taken to revamp the
existing apprenticeship scheme
with the aim of increasing apprenticeship seats to more than
2mn in the next few years.
The officials said there were
against 490,000 seats available
at present.
They also said that 100,000
apprentices will be supported
under the reworked scheme till
March 2017.
Centuries-old �Chinese’ fishing tradition fading
ugging ropes and bellowing chants, п¬Ѓve men hoist
from the water a huge
spidery frame gripping a web
of п¬Ѓshing net - a centuries-old
custom on the southern Indian
Two of the team bound down a
rickety platform to scoop up the
catch, which is once again meagre: a few silvery п¬Ѓsh tangled in
weed and a scuttling small crab.
In this old spice-trading town
of Fort Kochi, the row of “Chinese fishing nets” that hang off
the shore are a celebrated sight,
but the men who operate them
say they now depend on tourists
rather than п¬Ѓsh.
“It’s very hard work. Less fish,
less money. I can’t look after a
family pulling these nets,” said
John Kalathil Barried, a 62-yearold in a striped Adidas cap and a
The rare п¬Ѓshing contraptions
are installed on the land and
comprise an inventive system of
wooden poles, weights and pulleys, whose origins in India are
Some accounts say the nets
were introduced by Chinese eunuch Zheng He, an explorer, in
the 15th century, or by Chinese
traders from the earlier court of
Kublai Khan.
But locals insist they were in
fact brought in by the Portuguese, who ruled Fort Kochi for
over a century until 1663, when
the commercial hub was captured by the Dutch.
Supporting this theory is the
Portuguese vocabulary still used
to describe parts of the nets, as
well as the fishermen’s Christian
“The Portuguese brought in
such a lot. Coffee, cashew nuts,
tapioca, so many things we cultivate today were brought in by
them,” said K J Sohan, a former
mayor of Kochi.
He said the Portuguese adopted the originally smaller nets
during their travels further east
along the Mekong River, which
flows through China and Indochina.
Though their Kochi copies
grew in size, they later shrank in
number: 22 structures sat on the
coast three decades ago, say the
п¬Ѓshermen, but now they have
nearly halved to 12, despite their
rising stature as a tourist draw.
The men now haul up the nets
no more than 100 times a day,
down from around 250 times
when they would bring in much
heavier loads.
Chinese fishing nets hang suspended over the water in Fort Kochi in Kerala. The row of “Chinese fishing
nets” that hangs off the shore are a celebrated sight, but the men who operate them say they now depend
on tourists rather than fish.
V R Simon, one of the oldest
fishermen at 75, gave various reasons for his livelihood’s decline.
“Small boats surround us and
fish with their own nets,” he
said, also blaming nearby facto-
ries polluting the waters and the
2004 tsunami, after which they
saw a drop in catch.
“We pull the nets, tourists
come, they give us something
and that’s how we survive.”
Declining п¬Ѓsh stocks are a
concern well beyond Fort Kochi,
according to Professor Bhanu
Kumar, from the meteorology
and oceanography department
at India’s Andhra University.
“Climate change, industrial
pollution and declining mangrove cover along the Indian
coastline - all these reasons are
really causing big havoc to the
fish,” he said.
While technology now exists
to help trawlers at sea locate
waters ripe for fishing, this is
adding to the pressure on fish
stocks - and is of little help to
those at the stationary Chinese
A flicker of hope came with a
recent visit by Chinese diplomats - encouraged by the heritage link - to see if they could offer “a symbol of co-operation”,
said Kerala’s tourism secretary
Suman Billa.
No formal proposals have
been made, however, and Kochi
residents feared India would decline outside assistance.
The Kerala government has
meanwhile sanctioned Rs15mn
($242,000) for refurbishing the
nets, whose parts need regular
replacement and maintenance.
But with catches on the decline, it seems more sustainable
solutions are needed to preserve
the heritage site - and not only as
a picturesque emblem for tourism brochures.
“It’s a livelihood for these
people as well as the iconic signature of Kochi,” said Sohan, the
former mayor, also chairman of a
town planning committee.
He said the government
should provide insurance for the
п¬Ѓshermen, as well as subsidised
timber - they currently use iron
in some of their poles instead of
the traditional and more expensive teak.
The п¬Ѓshermen also need to
add value to their shrinking
catch, perhaps by cooking and
serving п¬Ѓsh to customers near
the nets in a “you buy, we fry”
arrangement, Sohan suggested.
“What the fishermen sell for
Rs100 ($1.60), the hotels sell
for Rs500 - why can’t they?” he
“It’s a challenge of survival.”
For now the п¬Ѓshermen keenly
welcome visitors to their intriguing machines, letting them
pull on the ropes and snap souvenir pictures in exchange for
“We live like beggars,” said Simon, as the latest curious holidaymakers approached.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Concert to raise funds
for Assam flood victims
Kolkata zoo to get giant
tortoises from Seychelles
Worker jumps to death
in Technopark campus
Minister calls for �quiet’
Diwali celebrations
Women trained in
martial arts to run taxis
Well-known musicians including Vishal Dadlani,
Shekhar Ravjiani, Papon, Arijit Singh and Benny
Dayal will come together for a fundraiser gig to
be held in New Delhi on Sunday to help flood
victims of Assam. Spearheaded by Papon and
Dadlani, the line-up also includes Shilpa Rao,
Neeti Mohan and Harshdeep Kaur. They will
perform at Blue Frog on Sunday to help generate
funds for the people who have been ravaged by
the recent floods in the state. “The intention is
to generate awareness about the flood situation
in Assam and generate as much relief funds as
possible towards the cause,” Papon, who comes
from Assam himself, said in a statement.
The Alipore Zoo in Kolkata is all set to host
a pair of giant tortoises from the island
nation of Seychelles. They are expected
to arrive later this week, an official said
yesterday. One of the largest tortoise
species in the world, the Aldabra tortoises
from the archipelago in the Indian Ocean
will be placed in quarantine for 21 days after
they arrive, zoo director Kanailal Ghosh
said. “We are not sure about the date but
hopefully they (a male and a female) will be
here later this week. After they are released
from quarantine, we will house them in a
suitable space,” Ghosh said.
A 29-year-old man working at an IT company in
the Technopark campus in Thiruvananthapuram
jumped to death from the sixth floor of his
office building yesterday morning. A press
release issued by UST Global said it was deeply
saddened by the demise of Sreeraj Sashidharan.
“He has been working here for almost three
years and was a good performer. Around 9am
today at the Bhavani building this (incident)
occurred. The HR along with colleagues rushed
him to hospital, but was declared dead on
arrival,” the press release said. An official at
the Kazhakootam police station confirmed the
incident and said they have launched a probe.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan yesterday
wrote to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb
Jung urging him to ensure that the national
capital celebrates a noise pollution-free
Diwali. The e-mail that Harsh Vardhan sent to
Jung referred to a July 2005 Supreme Court
order that had banned use of firecrackers in
residential areas. “The implementation of the
court’s order has been practically absent in
Delhi. Some state governments have been
quite successful in ensuring quietness in the
revelries. I hope that under your direction,
Delhi will turn a corner from this Diwali
onwards,” the minister wrote.
The Goa government yesterday rolled out its
first lot of radio taxis driven by women trained in
martial arts. The service was launched by Chief
Minister Manohar Parrikar. According to Goa
Tourism Development Corporation chairman
Nilesh Cabral, the objective of starting the
service was to underline the fact that Goa is a
safe tourist destination for women. “We want
to send a message that Goa is a safe place for
tourists especially for women. These taxis are
especially for women. One of the rules of the
taxis is that there should be at least one woman
passenger in a group of passengers,” Cabral
Take a dip
in Ganges,
leaders told
India close to
having own
satellite system
oa Congress president
Luizinho Faleiro has advised senior party leaders
to “go, take a dip in the Ganga”
to cleanse themselves of their
sins and turn around the crisis of
credibility and charges of corruption against them.
In an interview to a news channel on Wednesday, the newlyappointed state Congress chief, a
former permanent invitee to the
Congress Working Committee,
recommended a dip in the Ganges river for party leaders who
have “sinned.”
“What happens when you
sin, you go to river Ganga, take a
dip and try to cleanse your sins.
Sometime you have to do penance, but you have to start anew,”
Faleiro said.
The Ganges is considered holy
by Hindus and a dip in the river is
considered a soul cleansing experience.
Faleiro on Tuesday took charge
of the state Congress, which
has been reduced to an unprecedented single digit - nine - in
the 40-member state legislative
His appointment follows a revolt against his immediate predecessor John Fernandes, whose
short, but dramatic 10-month
tenure saw disciplinary action
against several tainted Congressmen, some of whom were also
sacked from the party.
Incidentally, the same leaders were present on the dais with
Faleiro on Tuesday when he formally took charge of the party in
the state.
Faleiro also said it was time
that the party and its leaders
learn from their mistakes and
make efforts to correct these.
“(We have to) learn...learn
from our mistakes. Try to correct
ourselves. Accept mistakes in all
humility. Go back to the people,”
Faleiro said.
Faleiro: advice
India is at the doorstep of
an exclusive space club that
has the US, Russia, China and
Japan as members
Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C26) carrying India Regional Navigation Satellite System lifts
off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota yesterday.
Indian-American doctors
to hold summit in Mumbai
leading body of IndianAmerican physicians will
hold its ninth annual Global Healthcare Summit aimed at
bringing accessible, affordable
and quality world-class healthcare to India in Mumbai from
January 2 to 4.
The Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin
(AAPI), one of the largest ethnic
professional bodies, will hold the
summit at Trident Oberoi Hotel in
collaboration with the ministries
of Health and Family Welfare and
Overseas Indian Affairs.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Global Association of
Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), Indian Surgical Association
and several other national and international organisations are also
collaborating in the venture, the
AAPI said in a statement.
The summit, which is expected
to have participation from some
of the world’s most well-known
physicians and industry leaders,
will focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and share
ways to truly improve healthcare
transcending global boundaries.
“The coming together of so
many of us today is to share our
responsibility to the entire community, and help to give support
and comfort particularly in the
time of despair,” said AAPI president Ravi Jahagirdar.
An AAPI team is on its way to
Mumbai to co-ordinate efforts
with local organisers to deliver
outstanding programmes geared
towards enhancing skills, providing training and enabling exchange of ideas and best practices
between leading international
“AAPI USA has been engaged
in harnessing the power of Indian diaspora to bring the most
innovative, efficient, cost effec-
tive healthcare solutions to India,”
said Seema Jain, president-elect
of AAPI.
“We are refocusing our mission
and vision of GHS2015 to make a
positive and meaningful impact on
the healthcare in India,” she said.
“For the first time, clinical
practice workshops and research
competition will be held at this
summit,” Jain said.
“As part of the CEO Forum in
Mumbai, CEOs from around the
world from hospitals, teaching
institutions and major healthcare
sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and technology, will join to explore potential
opportunities for collaboration,”
Dr Naresh Parikh, treasurer of
AAPI said.
“This international healthcare
summit is a progressive transformation from the п¬Ѓrst Indo-US
Healthcare Summit launched by
AAPI USA in 2007,” said Dr Ajeet
Singhvi, chairman of AAPI board
of trustees.
ndia yesterday moved closer
to having its own satellite navigation system as it smoothly
launched a satellite - and is now
only a step away from joining a
select group of space-faring nations that have such a system.
With the successful launch
early yesterday of the third of
seven satellites planned under the
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), India is just
a satellite and a couple of months
away from having its own satellite
navigation system.
This puts India at the doorstep
of an exclusive space club that has
the US, Russia, China and Japan
as members. The navigational
system, developed indigenously
by India, is designed to provide
accurate position information
service to users within the country and up to 1,500km from the
nation’s boundary line.
Though IRNSS is a seven-satellite system, it could be made operational with four satellites, officials of the Indian Space Research
Organisation said.
The fourth navigation satellite is expected to be launched
this December. The entire IRNSS
constellation of seven satellites is
planned to be completed by 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
congratulated ISRO scientists and
described the launch as “a matter
of immense pride and joy.”
Exactly at 1.32am, the Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle-C26
(PSLV-C26) - standing around
44.4m tall and weighing around
320 tonnes, blasted off from the
п¬Ѓrst launch pad here at the Satish
Dhawan Space Centre, around
80km from Chennai.
The expendable rocket with
fierce orange flames at its tail lit
up the night sky. The rocket tore
into the night skies with its luggage, the 1,425kg IRNSS-1C (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System-1C) satellite.
For the onlookers, the rocket
appeared like an inverted flare
with a long handle as it ascended
towards the heavens amidst the
cheers of the ISRO scientists and
the media team assembled at the
rocket port.
Space scientists at ISRO rocket
mission control room were glued
to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth’s
gravitational pull.
At around 20 minutes into the
flight, the PSLV-C26 spat out
IRNSS-1C at an altitude of around
500km above the earth.
Immediately on the successful
ejection, scientists at the mission control centre were visibly
relieved and started applauding
“India’s third navigation satellite is up in the orbit,” ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said after
the launch.
Soon after the ejection into the
orbit, the satellite’s solar panels
were deployed. In the coming days,
four orbit manoeuvres will be conducted by ISRO to position the satellite in the geostationary orbit.
The satellite has two kinds of
payloads - navigation and ranging. The navigation payload will
transmit navigation service signals to the users.
A highly accurate rubidium
atomic clock is part of the navigation payload.
The ranging payload consists of
C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of
the range of the satellite.
The satellite with a life span of
around 10 years is the third of the
seven satellites which will constitute the IRNSS.
The п¬Ѓrst satellite IRNSS-1A
was launched in July 2013 and the
second IRNSS-1B in April 2014.
Both have already started functioning from their designated orbital slots.
The system, expected to provide a position accuracy of better
than 20m in the primary service
area, is similar to the global positioning system of the US, Glonass
of Russia, Galileo of Europe, China’s Beidou or the Japanese Quasi
Zenith Satellite System.
The system will be used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management,
vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile
phones, mapping and geodetic
data capture, visual and voice
navigation for drivers and others.
While the ISRO is silent on
the navigation system’s strategic
application, it is clear that the
IRNSS will be used for defence
purposes as well. By adding more
satellites, the service area can be
expanded, an ISRO official said.
Radhakrishnan had earlier said
though IRNSS is a seven-satellite
system, it could be made operational with four satellites.
Mars Orbiter repositioned
The Indian space agency has
repositioned its Mars Orbiter
as a precautionary measure
against the Comet Siding Spring
set to fly by the Red Planet on
October 19, a senior official said
yesterday. “We have repositioned
the Mars Orbiter, as the Comet
Siding Spring is expected to be
close to the Mars on October
Chandy meets Javadekar
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy presents a bouquet to Information and Broadcasting
Minister Prakash Javadekar ahead of their meeting in New Delhi yesterday.
19,” A S Kiran Kumar, director of
the Space Application Centre in
Ahmedabad said. He added the
space agency has taken the Mars
Orbiter to a position far away
from the comet’s tail. According
to Nasa, the Comet Siding Spring
is expected to come within about
87,000 miles of Mars on October
IAF officer
rescued from
his captors
An Indian Air Force officer,
held hostage in West Garo
Hills district of Meghalaya,
was rescued yesterday in a
joint operation by Assam and
Meghalaya police.
Anand Mohan Das, 40, was posted
at the Indian Air Force base at
Borjhar near the Lopriya Gopinath
Bordoloi International Airport.
Das, who hails from West Bengal,
had gone to the district for
personal work with two people Nekibur Zaman and Sofikul Islam,
a police officer said.
“The two people held him hostage
in a house and demanded Rs10
lakh as ransom,” the officer said,
adding that Zaman and Islam
were arrested during the raid.
“We launched a search across
lower Assam districts of Kamrup,
Barpeta, Goalpara and Dhubri
soon after a complaint was lodged
at Azara police station on October
6. But we could not trace him.
“We came to know that Das
had visited West Garo Hills.
Accordingly, we launched an
operation there. Finally, we
managed to rescue him from a
house at Tikritilla village,” the
officer said.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Mass grave п¬Ѓnd
grips Mexico
Chilpancingo, Mexico
authorities scrambled on
Wednesday to п¬Ѓnd 43
missing students after concluding they were not in a mass
grave containing 28 bodies in a
case that has vexed the country.
While news that the aspiring
teachers were not in the burial
pits brought some relief, officials still had no clue where
the students could be, and they
now had 28 new unknown victims on their hands.
President Enrique Pena Nieto has been under pressure at
home and abroad to solve the
confounding case, almost three
weeks after the students were
attacked by gang-affiliated
police in the southern state of
“These regrettable events
are a test for Mexican institutions and society,” Pena Nieto
Guerrero’s public security department expanded the
search, saying that it would
distribute in six regions fliers
with pictures of the 43 young
men, who are from a teacher
training college near the state’s
capital, Chilpancingo.
Horse-mounted police and
rescue dogs were deployed to
comb rural, hard-to-reach areas of Iguala, the city 200km
south of Mexico City where the
students were last seen.
Some 300 federal police officers and civilian self-defence
militias have been searching for
the students for days.
While DNA analysis showed
that the students were not in
the pits containing 28 bodies,
authorities have yet to identify
remains in other mass graves
found last week and on Tuesday.
Murillo Karam said 14 police
officers from the town of Cocula, which neighbours Iguala,
have been arrested in the case,
joining 26 detained colleagues
from Iguala.
Iguala’s officers are accused of shooting at buses the
students had seized to return
home on September 26 in a
night of violence that left six
people dead and 25 wounded.
Prosecutors says the Cocula
officers then handed the students to the Guerreros Unidos
The motive remains under
investigation. The students,
known for their radical leftwing protests, went to Iguala
to raise funds and seized buses
to go home, a common practice
among the aspiring teachers.
Relatives of the students
refuse to believe they are dead
and have led protests demanding their safe return.
“It’s possibly a kidnapping,
but as time goes on, there is less
hope that they will be found
alive,” Javier Oliva, a security
expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico,
told AFP.
Oliva said it would be complicated to keep 43 people
incommunicado for so long,
without them being seen by
“Just think about how they
are fed. Even if it’s one daily ration, where do you get food for
43 people,” he said.
In addition to a missing persons case, the authorities are
now discovering previously
unknown victims as they dig up
the mass graves in Iguala.
At least 80 corpses have been
discovered around the city of
140,000 people this year alone,
revealing the extent of the horrors committed by criminals
with impunity.
“They could be victims of
п¬Ѓghts (between gangs) or extortion, kidnappings and organ
trafficking,” Oliva said.
Authorities say the Guerreros Unidos gang, which is an
offshoot of the bigger Beltran
Leyva drug cartel, was engaged
in turf wars with rivals while
infiltrating local authorities.
The wife of Iguala’s mayor’s
is the sister of two slain members of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
The couple and the city’s police
chief are on the lam.
Mexicans have endured a
drug war that has left 80,000
people dead and more than
22,000 others missing since
2006, but their exposure to
atrocities has not made them
insensitive to the events in
More than 1,000 protesters demonstrated in front of
the attorney general’s office in
Mexico City, a week after tens
of thousands held marches
across the nation.
Mexicans are “horrified
and ashamed”, Roy Campos,
president of pollsters Consulta
Mitofsky, told AFP.
The case has further tarnished the political class
“because it has shown cohabitation between mafias and
politicians”, Campos said.
Hurricane Gonzalo
heads to Bahamas
Hamilton, Bermuda/Washington
urricane Gonzalo regained strength yesterday, again reaching Category 4, taking it back up a notch
on the п¬Ѓve-point Saffir-Simpson
scale as it swirled towards Bermuda, the US National Hurricane
Centre (NHC) said, prompting
residents of the island to prepare
for the second major storm in a
Gonzalo was about 485 miles
(780km) south-southwest of
Bermuda early yesterday, the
Miami-based centre said, with
maximum sustained winds of
145mph (230kph).
The hurricane was expected to
send large swells and potentially
dangerous surf conditions to the
United States East Coast before
bringing hurricane-force winds
to Bermuda today, forecasters
“This general motion is expected to continue today,” the
NHC said. “A turn toward the
north-northeast and an increase
in forward speed are expected tonight and Friday.”
Bermuda is still recovering
from Tropical Storm Fay, which
swept over the island early on
Sunday with near hurricaneforce winds of 70mph (110kph).
About 1,500 homes were still
without power yesterday.
Hardware and grocery stores
This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) image obtained yesterday shows
hurricane Gonzalo gaining strength overnight as it barrelled in the Atlantic toward Bermuda, which was
bracing for a hit from the powerful Category Four storm.
on the island were selling out of
essential supplies such as generators, flashlights, water and batteries ahead of Gonzalo.
At the main garbage dump,
residents lined up to dispose of
trash and storm debris from Fay
to stop it blowing around and
causing further damage during
Most airlines have scheduled
extra flights off Bermuda yesterday, with the airport set to close
in the evening and reopen tomorrow at the earliest.
Bermuda Premier Michael
Dunkley said government offices
and schools would be closed today in the grouping of islands
home to about 60,000 people.
Gonzalo is expected to see
slow weakening in the night,
with steadier weakening late
today, forecasters said, but is
still expected to be at hurricane
strength when it hits Bermuda.
Shortages hinder
Venezuela’s battle
against outbreaks
Argentine city halts gun sales
The mayor of the Argentine city of Santa Fe has temporarily banned
the sale of arms and ammunition in a bid to stem violent crime.
So far this year, 117 homicides have taken place in the city of Santa
Fe, 470km north of Buenos Aires. The figure tops the previous
record of 116 deaths in 2007. There were 106 killings in 2013.
A boy watches as workers from the municipality of Sucre on a truck carry out fumigation to help control the
spread of chikungunya and dengue fever, in the Petare slum district of Caracas.
Brazil presidential race
heading for photo п¬Ѓnish
razil’s most unpredictable presidential election in a generation is
heading toward a photo п¬Ѓnish
on October 26 between leftist
incumbent Dilma Rousseff and
pro-business challenger Aecio
Neves, two new polls showed on
In an increasingly acrimonious campaign, the candidates
traded accusations of lies, corruption and nepotism in a
bruising television debate on
Tuesday night that had no clear
winner and saw more attacks
than discussion of policy issues.
Neves, the market favourite,
gained ground after his stronger-than-expected showing in
the п¬Ѓrst-round vote on October
5, when he bested environmentalist Marina Silva to place second behind Rousseff.
But Neves has struggled to
build on that momentum and
has been running neck-andneck with Rousseff in opinion
polls for the last week.
Neves has 45% of voter support against 43% for Rousseff,
according to the identical results
of the latest surveys by polling
п¬Ѓrms Datafolha and Ibope, one
Rousseff and Neves are seen
as their campaign meetings
with supporters in Sao Paulo on
percentage point less than each
candidate had in previous polls
six days ago.
The difference between the
two is statistically insignificant
because it is within the margin
of error of plus or minus two
percentage points in both polls.
Excluding undecided voters,
spoiled and blank survey responses, Neves has 51% against
49% for Rousseff, the same as
last week.
“We are heading for a photo
finish,” said Andre Cesar, a political analyst in Brasilia, who
It is the Atlantic’s first Category 4 hurricane since 2011,
when Hurricane Ophelia’s winds
reached 140mph (225kph), according to Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert with private forecaster Weather Underground.
Bermuda last saw back-toback storms of similar intensity
in 1981, though neither storm
caused significant damage.
Gonzalo is the sixth hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season,
which runs through the end of
November. Forecasters in August
predicted lower-than-usual activity for the season, with seven
to 12 named storms and no more
than two reaching major hurricane status.
A major hurricane is considered to be Category 3 or above
with winds hitting at least
111mph (178kph).
Gonzalo caused damage in the
Caribbean islands of Antigua, St
Maarten, and Martinique, local
authorities and media reports
An 87-year-old sailor in St
Maarten died after his boat sank
in a marina where 37 vessels were
damaged, the Daily Herald reported.
Bermuda Weather Service
director Kimberley Zuill said
Gonzalo would be “a long duration system” that will impact
Bermuda with severe weather for
about 27 straight hours, according to comments reported by the
Royal Gazette newspaper in its
online edition.
“It is important that these advisories are taken seriously and
preparations made in good time
which will help to reduce property damage and the likelihood of
injuries or loss of life,” Dunkley
said. “We have weathered storms
before and we are well versed in
how to manage our homes and
our property. However, I urge
people to err on the side of safety
every time.”
expects the remaining three
debates before the vote to get
rougher. “If no candidate slips
up badly in the next debates,
their numbers won’t change
In the narrowest race since
1989, Brazilians have to choose
between re-electing a government that has lifted millions
from poverty or switching to
more business-friendly policies
advocated by Neves to pull the
country out recession.
Rousseff warned Brazilians in
Tuesday’s debate that electing
Neves would lead to unemployment and threaten the social
benefits gained during 12 years
of rule by her Workers’ Party.
Neves charged that Rousseff
campaign propaganda told lie
after lie about him and misinformed voters that he was planning to end cash transfer programs and privatize state banks.
The senator and former state
governor hammered Rousseff
over a multi-million dollar corruption scandal at state-run oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA,
which prosecutors say was used
to channel bribes to the Workers’ Party and its allies in the
governing coalition.
Rousseff retorted by pointing
to an airport that was built adjacent to a farm owned by Neves’s
uncle when he was governor of
Minas Gerais state. She also accused him of nepotism for giving government jobs to a sister,
uncles and cousins.
Neves acknowledged big
strides had been made in improving the social lot of Brazil’s people under Rousseff ’s
mentor and predecessor, Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva. But he said
Brazil had stopped growing under Rousseff and inflation was
out of control. He vowed to restore credibility and investment
in Haiti
aitian authorities have
border controls to prevent Ebola cases from entering
and spreading in the desperately
poor country already in the grips
of a deadly cholera epidemic.
The ministry of gealth
stressed, however, that “no case
of the virus has been detected or
revealed so far” in Haiti.
But with more than 9,000
Haitians lives lost to cholera
in three years, authorities are
working to prevent another epidemic from hitting the country.
The Ebola outbreak originating out of West Africa has already killed nearly 4,500 people
worldwide, according to the
World Health Organisation.
The Haitian ministry of health
unveiled a response plan to the
deadly haemorrhagic fever that
aims to “well equip the population and our health system in
order to be prepared for any possibility and reduce mortality as
much as possible”.
Among the measures, the government has opened an isolation
unit at a base operated by the UN
mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH.
hortages have complicated Venezuela’s efforts
to treat severe outbreaks
of mosquito-borne fevers this
year, creating long lines at
pharmacies to buy medicines
and leaving the ill without
treatments for swollen joints
and aching bones.
Venezuela has South America’s highest incidence of
chikungunya, a virus of African origin that is rarely fatal
but whose name comes from a
Tanzanian term for being doubled-over in pain.
The country has also seen an
upsurge this year in the similarly harsh dengue fever.
Miguel Angel Maracara, 21,
who lives in the central state
of Aragua, said that he visited a dozen pharmacies last
month in search of the painkiller acetaminophen to treat
his chikungunya, but he never
found it. He had to get an injection of an analgesic at a staterun clinic.
“It’s the only thing that controlled my fever during nine
days, because we couldn’t find
Maracara said.
Venezuela’s rigid currency
control system has left businesses without sufficient dollars to import goods, spurring
shortages of products as diverse as wheat flour, shampoo,
medicine, and insect repellent.
The government said this
week it will import 29mn
acetaminophen tablets.
A lack of laboratory materials to test for chikungunya has
also left doctors unable to verify the exact number of cases.
Official statistics put the п¬Ѓgure
at 788 confirmed, and another
2,000 suspected.
Venezuela’s state-led economy has struggled for almost
two years to keep shelves
stocked and now faces inflation
that tops 63%.
Both problems have dented the popularity of socialist
President Nicolas Maduro.
He accuses the opposition
of exaggerating the impact of
chikungunya, which is minor
in Venezuela compared with
the 486,300 cases in the Dominican Republic.
Nonetheless, he has described the illness as a “new
challenge for our public health
system” and in September set
aside nearly $1.5bn to acquire
necessary materials.
Dengue and chikungunya
have no specific treatments
other than rest and avoiding medicine such as aspirin,
which can cause haemorrhaging.
In the sprawling Caracas
slum of Petare, informal vendors resell acetaminophen for
eight times its regulated price,
despite regulations that punish
such sales with jail time.
The country has reported
56,729 probable cases of dengue this year, 49% more than
last year, and 65,792 cases of
malaria, or 9% more than 2013.
The health ministry says
anti-mosquito fumigation this
year was restricted by a lack of
auto parts, which limited the
movement of its trucks. And
insufficient supplies of chemicals have left production of
mosquito repellent at 12% of
turn to social networks to announce that pharmacies have
received new stocks of repellent and to share ideas about
homemade substitutes.
“People told me to mix vitamin B with lotion, even though
the doctor said there’s no scientific evidence it works,” said
Grisel Guerra, 36, a teacher and
mother of two. “But I put some
on the girls before leaving the
house just to give me peace of
Leaders to meet on Ebola preparedness
The leaders of several Latin American and Caribbean countries will
meet in Cuba next week to discuss preparedness for eventual Ebola
cases in the region, officials here said on Wednesday.
The talks on Monday in Havana will bring together leaders from
Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua,
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.
Latin America has not yet seen any official cases of the deadly virus.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Court upholds death penalty
in blasphemy case
Gunmen kill former air
force official in Pakistan
Islamabad commuters
have access to Red Zone
Pakistan to get 1,000MW
power from Central Asia
A Pakistani court upheld the death penalty
yesterday against a Christian woman accused of
blasphemy, her lawyer said, in a case that drew
global headlines after two prominent politicians
who tried to help her were assassinated. In
2010, Asia Bibi, a mother of four, became the
first woman to be sentenced to death under
Pakistan’s blasphemy law. She is alleged to have
made derogatory remarks about Islam after
neighbours objected to her drinking water from
their glass because she was not Muslim. Bibi’s
lawyer, Naeem Shakir, said “I was expecting the
opposite decision. We will file an appeal to the
Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
Gunmen in northwest Pakistan have shot dead a
retired air force official who was a member of the
country’s Ahmadi minority, police said yesterday,
bringing to seven the number of people killed in
violence against the persecuted community this
year. The incident took place in Attock district,
around 40 miles north of the capital Islamabad
on Wednesday, a spokesman for the community
said. “Latif Aalam Butt, a well-known Ahmadi was
killed outside his house in Kamra, district Attock.
He was returning home from his stationery
store, when unknown assailants repeatedly fired
at him,” Saleem ud Din said. Local police also
confirmed the incident, adding that Butt was 62.
The police in Pakistani federal capital Islamabad
have removed containers from all roads leading
to Red Zone but remained sceptical about the
move, terming it risky. According to a report
prepared by the City Zone police under whose
jurisdiction the Red Zone falls, since the activists
of Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT)
and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) were
still there, militants might penetrate the area in
their guise and target a government installation.
The containers were removed on the directives
of Interior Minister Nisar Ali, police officials
said. The move however brought relief to the
residents as well as commuters.
The Central Asia South Asia (CASA)-1000 power
transmission and trade project is likely to get
completed by June 2015 at a cost of $997mn.
The project would enable the Kyrgyz Republic
and Tajikistan to sell their summer electricity
surplus from existing plants in Central AsiaKyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan and provide
electricity to consumers in Pakistan and
Afghanistan. Initially, 1,300MW electricity would
be imported with Pakistan getting 1,000MW and
Afghanistan receiving the remaining 300MW.
Afghanistan had earlier asked for 2.5cents per
KW but the price was brought down to 1.25 cents
per KW.
arrests top
Two senior leaders of the
feared Haqqani network,
a hardline group behind
sophisticated attacks on
Afghan and Nato forces, have
been captured
A broker monitors an electronic board
displaying stock prices during a trading session
at Karachi Stock Exchange yesterday.
Border patrol
Pakistani Rangers patrol along the Pakistan-India border area of Wagah yesterday. Cross-border firing re-erupted in the disputed
region of Kashmir on October 14 wounding four children, as senior Pakistani and Indian military officials spoke by phone following
more than a week of deadly skirmishes. At least 20 civilians have been killed and thousands on both sides of the de facto border
have fled their homes since October 6, which marked the beginning of some of the worst frontier shelling in years.
fghan forces have arrested the son of the
feared Haqqani network’s
founder along with a militant
commander in charge of suicide
attacks, a blow to the Talibanlinked Islamist group, Afghanistan’s intelligence service said
The Haqqani network, which
mainly operates out of Pakistan’s
border areas, has been blamed for
some of the deadliest and most
sophisticated attacks on Nato and
Afghan troops in Afghanistan.
Anas Haqqani was in charge
of raising funds “from individuals from Arab countries” and recruitment through social media,
the National Directorate for Security (NDS) said in a statement.
He was arrested on Tuesday.
He is the son of Jalaluddin
Haqqani, the former anti-Soviet
guerrilla commander who founded
the network, which professes obedience to Taliban leader Mullah
Omar and also has ties to Al Qaeda.
Anas Haqqani was also a special adviser to his brother, Sarajuddin Haqqani, the network’s
leader, the NDS said. Jalaluddin Haqqani is reportedly in ill
health and has given up most
day-to-day control.
Also arrested on Tuesday was
Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid, senior leaders of the Haqqani
network, arrested by the Afghan Intelligence Service in Khost
province, are seen in this handout pictures released yesterday.
the Haqqani network commander for southeastern Afghanistan,
Hafiz Rashid, who was in charge
of selecting targets and providing equipment for suicide
bombers in Kabul, the capital,
and in the eastern province of
Khost, the NDS said.
The Haqqani network’s
attacks have included
assaults on hotels popular
with foreigners in Kabul,
and a bloody bombing of
the Indian embassy
The intelligence agency did
not give any details of the arrests, though it did issue another
statement later yesterday correcting reports that the two were
captured in Khost.
Another Haqqani son, chief
п¬Ѓnancier Nasiruddin, was shot
dead in November last year in Islamabad by unknown assailants.
The Haqqani network’s attacks have included assaults on
hotels popular with foreigners in
Kabul, a bloody bombing of the
Indian embassy, a 2011 attack on
the US embassy, and several big
truck bombing attempts.
Late last year, the Obama administration created a special
unit based in Kabul to coordinate efforts against the militant
group, officials familiar with the
matter told Reuters in February.
The unit, headed by a colonel
and known in military parlance
as a “fusion cell”, brings together
special forces, conventional forces, intelligence personnel, and
some civilians to improve targeting of Haqqani members and to
heighten the focus on the group,
the officials said at the time.
21 militants
killed in
akistani п¬Ѓghter jets
hideouts of Islamist
militants in the country’s
north-west yesterday, killing at least 21 insurgents, the
army said.
Renewed airstrikes come
against the backdrop of a
broader military offensive in
the lawless North Waziristan
region on the Afghan border,
where the Pakistani army
has been battling to contain
the insurgency since June.
This week’s fighting concentrated around the remote
Tirah valley in the region
known as the Khyber agency.
Remittances from overseas
Pakistanis rise to $4.6bn
emittances from overseas Pakistanis kept on
increasing during the
п¬Ѓrst quarter (July-September)
of п¬Ѓscal year 2015, registering
20% growth compared to last
п¬Ѓscal year.
The major increase in terms
of volume was noted from
Saudi Arabia, while all major
sources posted higher remittances.
The State Bank of Pakistan
says in its latest report that
Pakistan received a total of
$4.694bn remittances during the period under review.
This was 19.52% higher than
the same quarter of the previous year, while in terms of
dollars, the amount exceed-
ed by $767mn.
If growth rate remains constant for the next three remaining quarters, the country may receive up to $19bn
as remittances, compared to
$15.832bn in FY14. However,
despite this huge inflow of dollars, external debt has been
rising each year. The government has to pay a huge amount
in debt-servicing which widened to $7bn in FY14.
The current account deficit
has also been increasing. In the
п¬Ѓrst two months of FY15, the
deficit rose to $1.372bn which
was very high as compared to
the same period of last year’s
deficit of $580mn.
Remittances from Saudi
Arabia rose by $241mn to
$1.347bn, an increase of 21%
compared to the same period
of last year. Second highest
growth was from UAE as remittances increased by 31.5%
to $1.031bn as against $784mn
the previous year.
The US and UK posted 10
and 4% growth as remittances
rose to $692mn and $639mn,
The huge influx of remittances supports the country to
maintain a reasonable foreign
exchange reserve, but uncontrolled and ever-increasing
trade imbalances were damaging all such efforts.
Foreign exchange reserves
of the country have also been
falling due to shrinking sources
of foreign inflows.
The foreign investment has
been declining to touch the
bottom line, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
is reluctant to release the due
Cash-strapped Afghans turn to low-cost mass weddings
he crowd bursts into applause as a hundred couples enter the hall, hand
in hand, grooms in simple black
suits and brides in modest white
dresses, red flowers in hand.
Expensive, lavish weddings
have boomed in war-torn Afghanistan in recent years, but
some young couples are now
bucking the trend and saving
money by getting hitched in
low-cost mass events.
A sign at the entrance of the
hall where the happy couples
tied the knot in the large-scale
ceremony arranged by religious
charity Abul Fazel read: “Blessed
is the woman who is easily maintained.”
There was no dancing and the
guests were entertained with
poetry, stage shows, songs by
young girls—and a few topical jokes aimed at Afghanistan’s
turbulent political year.
“Put in all your energy and
clap hard so they can come in all
at once—we don’t want a second
round of applause like the second round of elections,” a presenter on stage told the cheering
guests as the couples were entering the hall.
“We want to finish everything
in the first round happily, because there won’t be any John
Kerry to solve your problems
later,” the presenter joked.
Intervention by Kerry, the US
Secretary of State, helped end
Afghanistan’s tense election
standoff and ushered in a power-sharing “marriage” of sorts
between new President Ashraf
Ghani and his poll rival Abdullah
The Taliban banned showy
weddings during their hardline
1996-2001 rule, but since the
US-led invasion ousted them,
billions of dollars have flooded
Afghanistan’s economy and the
taste has grown for more and
more extravagant weddings.
Showy limousines, huge
wedding halls, multiple receptions and parties with hundreds
of guests have become almost
A single wedding day at a hall
in Kabul can now cost between
$10,000 and $20,000 – a gigantic sum in one of the world’s
poorest countries.
For the country’s small, rich
elite this may not be a problem,
but less fortunate couples п¬Ѓnd
themselves under huge pressure
to keep up.
For those who are postponing
marriage because they feel un-
Afghan couples arrive ahead of a mass wedding ceremony in which one hundred couples were married
on the outskirts of Kabul.
able to put on a big enough show,
the cheaper mass alternative is
highly appealing.
“I was engaged for two years,
I really could not afford a big
wedding party. And then I heard
about this organisation through
media. I registered and today I
am getting married,” Mujtaba
Rahimi, 24, a journalist sitting
beside his bride told AFP.
“It is not an extravagant
party, it is more spiritual. I
hope more couples are wedded
through such weddings and this
becomes common in Afghani-
stan,” he said.
In Afghanistan, a country
battered by nearly 40 years of
war and whose economy is still
largely reliant on foreign aid, it
is the groom who traditionally
pays for the wedding.
It also falls to the groom to pay
for parties before and after the
big day itself, buying jewellery
for the bride and paying huge
amounts as dowry.
Musa, 29, a civil servant who
had been engaged for three years
but could not afford a big wedding party, said people should be
encouraged to cut wedding costs
as the high cost of weddings prevent youth from getting married.
“Expensive marriages prevent people from marrying. The
young couples should п¬Ѓnd other ways to marry such as mass
weddings. I ask all the youth to
stop spending thousands only
for one night,” he said.
Hassan Nazeem, from the
charity organisation that hosted
the mass wedding, said it had
cost around $66,000 to organise, including home appliances
as gifts for the newly-weds,
and the party for around 3,000
He said the scheme was growing in popularity.
“This is the second time that
we are holding such weddings.
Last time 44 couples were wedded in a mass wedding. This time
it is 100 couples all from poor
families,” he said.
“We make announcements
through mosques and elders.
And then the couples who cannot afford for their wedding
parties come and register to get
married,” he added.
And it was not only the money-saving grooms who enjoyed
the mass service. Shy bride Fatima, 19, her face covered by a veil,
gave her approval.
“I’m very happy today to get
married. I hope these kind of
weddings continue to happen
so that young couples can start
their new life,” she said.
Sayed Baqir Kazimi, another
organiser, said mass weddings
and straightforward marriages
would reduce “moral crimes”—
code for extra-marital sexual
relations, deeply taboo in highly
conservative Afghanistan.
“One of the problems that our
youth face these days is the expensive weddings that will even
force them to become criminals.
Easy and inexpensive weddings
are the only solution for this
problem.” he said.
The matrimony industry has
boomed since the fall of the
Taliban, who even banned music
from weddings.
But where government efforts
to clamp down on outlandish
weddings have had little impact,
the mass wedding movement
seems to be making a dent.
“We already have around 200
other couples on our waiting
list.” Nazeem said.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Victim’s kin call for US
marine to be arrested
elatives of a transgender
Filipino allegedly murdered by a US Marine angrily demanded yesterday that
the accused be thrown in a Philippine prison.
The family and protesters who
took to the streets Wednesday
criticised the Manila government for allegedly dragging its
heels over the weekend killing
that threatens to test the longstanding defence ties between
Manila and Washington.
“This is not an ordinary murder case. This is a hate crime,”
Harry Roque, lawyer for the
family of victim told a news conference in the northern port of
Olongapo, where Jeffrey Laude,
26, was found dead.
Roque said police concluded
the victim suffocated to death
after his head was dunked into
the toilet bowl of a hotel where
he and the suspect had checked
in late Saturday.
The victim’s mother wept as
she spoke alongside Roque before television cameras to demand the suspect’s transfer to a
Philippine jail.
“We the poor have a right to
seek justice too. The government
should not ignore us,” Julita
Laude said.
The American could face life in
prison if convicted in a Filipino
He remains in US custody on
an American warship anchored
off Olongapo.
The Marine and the vessel had
taken part in joint military exercises involving thousands of
Filipino and US forces that ended
last week.
Police blocked about 70 protesters marching on the US embassy in Manila yesterday.
The protesters carried placards demanding that the mission
“Surrender Pemberton” and for
Manila to cut US military ties.
Foreign department spokesman Charles Jose yesterday rejected the criticisms.
“We will formally request custody once an arrest warrant is issued
by the court,” Jose told reporters.
However, prosecutors have
yet to decide whether to bring
charges in court after the initial
evidence hearings that could
take weeks.
Jose said the government is
sticking to provisions of a 1998
treaty governing the legal liability of US troops in the Philippines, a mutual defence partner
of Washington.
Under the accord, the US
government retains custody
of American troops accused of
a crime in the Philippines although the Philippines can ask
Washington to waive custody.
Asked if the US would turn
over the suspect, the US embassy
issued a statement saying: “Any
offences covered by US service
members would be handled in
accordance with the applicable
provisions” of the 1998 visiting
forces treaty.
In 2006, a Philippine court
sentenced US marine lance corporal Daniel Smith to 40 years
in jail for raping a Filipina near
Olongapo a year earlier.
Smith walked free in 2009
after his accuser recanted her
statement, prompting the court
to acquit him.
Police on Wednesday п¬Ѓled
murder charges against the US
“Based on two witnesses’ testimonies, we believe we have a
strong case against the US Marine,” said Pedrito delos Reyes,
police chief of Olongapo City,
where the body of Jeffrey Laude,
26, was found in a hotel room on
Police officers accompanied
by the two witnesses and the
family of Laude, who also went
by the name Jennifer, went to the
prosecutor’s office to file murder charges, taking copies of an
autopsy report saying the death
was due to asphyxia by drowning.
US authorities said the Marine
was being held aboard the USS
Peleliu, an amphibious assault
ship, in Subic Bay. Three other
individuals were also held as potential witnesses.
In Washington, marine corps
commandant General James
Amos declined to comment on
the details of the case, which he
called “a huge tragedy”, but said
he hoped it would not cloud relations with the Philippines.
“I know the matter has the potential to charge the atmosphere
with regards to the relationship between us and the Philippine government, and I hope it
doesn’t damage it because we
have a very close relationship,”
he said.
Rear sdmiral John Kirby, the
Pentagon press secretary, said
the US military had “a great
sense of gravity over what happened” and was cooperating
closely with local law enforcement on the case.
Admiral Samuel Locklear, the
head of US forces in the Asia Pacific region, ordered the Peleliu and
four other ships to remain in the
Philippines while the investigation
was proceeding, officials said.
The foreign ministry had
asked US embassy officials to cooperate in the investigation and
hand the soldier to Philippine
authorities because the allies’
military relations could be affected, said a senior administration official in the Philippines.
Super moon
De Lima
probe of
VP, family
Manila Times
Makati City
ustice secretary Leila de
Lima yesterday officially
stepped into the case involving vice president Jejomar
Binay when she ordered the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate
the graft allegations against
the vice president and some
members of his family, their
alleged dummies and cohorts.
Under the law, only the office of the ombudsman has
the authority to investigate
government officials in cases
related to their office.But in
the Binay case, de Lima maintained that her agency can
conduct a parallel probe.
“The NBI will be creating
a team for this case. In fact,
[the creation of a] a very dedicated team has begun. [It is
being completed by the] NBI.
I have met with [NBI Director
Virgilio Mendez], [the bureau
will be assigned to probe the
allegations]. We will be doing this investigation as a sort
of parallel investigation,” the
justice chief said.
De Lima made the disclosure after meeting with
former Makati City Vice
Mayor Ernesto Mercado, lawyer Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso 3rd, who alleged
that Binay benefited from
the construction of Makati
City Hall Building 2 and various projects when the nowvice president was mayor of
Makati City and that he owns
a vast estate in Batangas.She
said the NBI’s findings would
still be reviewed by the office
of the ombudsman.The DOJ
chief denied that she is part
of a conspiracy to weaken Binay’s candidacy in 2016.
“If there is such an Oplan
[Operation Plan: Stop Binay] I
am not part of it. This [probe]
is my own decision. I will only
stop if the president tells me
to stop,” she said.The camp of
Binay, however, said de Lima
is part of the plot.
Despite the DOJ chief’s order, Cavite governor Jonvic
Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson on political concerns, said
the vice president remains
committed to his work.
“It is a sad day when even
the DOJ [Department of Justice] is part of the political circus,” Remulla noted.
“The vice president will
remain focused on the job
given to him by the president
concerning housing for the
poor and the overseas Filipino
workers,” he said.
JV Bautista, interim secretary general of the United
Nationalist Alliance, said de
Lima may face disbarment if
she pursues the investigation
against the Vice President.
The DOJ chief “is certainly
courting a lawsuit for her abusive and unlawful acts. Perhaps another disbarment case
will knock some sense into her
head”, Bautista added.
“The DOJ clearly has no
jurisdiction to conduct an
investigation over any impeachable official. That power
belongs exclusively to the
ombudsman. De Lima should
read her administrative code
and the ombudsman law to
understand this very basic
rule on exclusive jurisdiction,”
he said.
Bautista pointed out that
neither president Benigno
Aquino 3rd nor the ombudsman gave orders to the DOJ
to investigate the allegations
against the vice president.
“Why is she initiating the
investigation motu propio?
There is no order or instruction from the president, nor
is there any request from the
ombudsman. There is also no
formal complaint before her
office to give her any justification to initiate a criminal investigation,” he said.
“De Lima is an over-eager
political wannabe bureaucrat
with no jurisdiction to investigate the Vice President.
She belongs to the executive
branch of government. The
vice president, therefore, is
her superior and she is not
possessed with power or authority to order an investigation [of] her superior, in the
same manner that she cannot order [an] investigation
[of] the president,” Bautista
A long exposure image of full moon also known as �supermoon’ over the city of Manila, on 11 August 2014. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical
Services Administration (PAGASA) said, the moon was at perigee or the nearest distance to Earth at 358,258km of August 11.
Jejomar Binay
Patrols increased on island where Germans held
stepped up army patrols in the
jungles of the southern island
of Jolo where Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants are holding two Germans
captive and are threatening to kill one
of them.
The militants from the Abu Sayyaf
group have demanded a P250mn
($5.6mn) ransom and for Germany to
stop supporting US-led air strikes in
Syria in exchange for the freedom of the
German man and woman.
They have threatened to behead the
man today.
Colonel Allan Arrojado, commander
of army units on Jolo, told reporters he
was ordering more patrols.
“We are ready for all-out law enforcement operations,” he said.
“We will do everything not to endanger their lives,” he said of the hostages.
The German man said in a radio interview on Wednesday that he was being held in a hole in the ground which
he had been told would be his grave if
the rebels’ demands were not met.
Abu Rami, a spokesman for the militant group, said they would execute the
man at 3pm (0700 GMT) today after
giving both the Philippines and Germany enough time to meet their demands.
The militants sent a video to a radio
station this week showing a group of
men manhandling a handcuffed man
who was apparently the captured German.
The man in the video was moaning
and complaining that his handcuffs
were tight as armed men made him sit
in front of black flag, which appeared to
be the flag used by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
The Abu Sayyaf has in the past released video statements expressing allegiance to the Middle Eastern group.
The rebels want an independent Islamic nation in the south of the mainly
Roman Catholic Philippines and have
earned a reputation for kidnapping
in both the southern Philippines and
eastern Malaysia.
More soldiers have arrived in the
southern Philippines to replace the
Marines in Sulu and other provinces
in Mindanao and help п¬Ѓght insurgency
and terrorism.
Brigadier general Gerardo Barrientos, commander of the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division, welcomed
the troops who are here to support the
government’s peace and development
efforts in the troubled region.
The soldiers from the 21st Infantry
Filipino soldiers upon arrival in Jolo port area yesterday.
Battalion headed by Lt Col Niceforo
Diaz and the 41st Infantry Battalion
under Lt Col Virgilio Noora are taking over the 32nd Infantry Battalion in
Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del
Norte and the 35th Infantry Battalion in
Lanao del Norte.
Both the 32nd and 35th Infantry Bat-
talions have replaced marine battalions
in Sulu. The marines were reassigned to
“The repositioning of units is part of
the strengthening of the military forces
to address the emerging threats in the
region,” Barrientos said.
“Army units are equally capable in
addressing various threats whether
man-made or natural such as terrorism, disaster, environmental, and support to law enforcement and many others,” he added.
Barrientos said the two units of 1st
Infantry Division deployed in Sulu will
continue the thrust in “winning the
peace” in the province. He said some
of the soldiers sent to Sulu are natives
of the province who will hopefully be a
tool in creating a bridge between the local communities and the military.
“The command will sustain the gains
that the marine units established during
their stint on the island, and the army
contingent will work side by side with
the remaining marine units in Sulu and
most importantly with the stakeholders
led by the local chief executives and traditional leaders so that peace and development will reign in every community
on the island-province,” he said.
Barrientos said the soldiers also underwent a series of orientation and
lectures, including cultural sensitivity
seminars, and custom and traditions of
different indigenous tribes in western
Mindanao, to familiarise them to their
new area of operation.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Rescuers airlift 154 to safety
after deadly Nepal storm
orkers using helicopters and
battling waist-deep snow
rescued over 150 people including foreign trekkers left stranded
in Nepal’s Himalayas yesterday, two
days after a major snowstorm that triggered avalanches and killed more than
30 people.
Local officials said 23 bodies have
been found on the popular Annapurna
circuit trekking route, while п¬Ѓve climbers who were staying at a mountain
base camp when it was hit by an avalanche could not be found and were
presumed dead.
Three Nepalese yak herders were also
killed when severe weather triggered by
the tail end of Cyclone Hudhud hit the
picturesque Annapurna region in central Nepal.
But the majority of victims were
tourists—among them Canadians, Israelis and Indians—and their guides
and porters.
“We have made a lot of progress today: we have airlifted 154 people to
safety, including 76 foreigners,” said
Ganesh Rai, the police official in charge
of the rescue effort.
As dusk fell, strong winds picked
up in the affected districts of Manang
and Mustang, making it too risky for
pilots to continue scanning the snowblanketed slopes for signs of victims,
officials said.
Thousands of people head to the Annapurna region every October, when
weather conditions are usually clear
and cool, and 168 foreign tourists were
registered to hike in the affected districts this week.
Israelis Yakov Megreli and Maya Ora
were 10 days into their trek when the
storm hit, forcing them to stop overnight at a freezing teashop.
“We tried not to sleep so that we
wouldn’t get hypothermia. It was very
frightening, awful,” Megreli, 24, told
“All the time I thought I was going
to die,” said Ora, 21, before Nepalese
troops found the pair and brought them
A Nepal Army Hospital where some trekkers rescued following the avalanche are
undergoing treatment is seen in Kathmandu.
to a military hospital in Kathmandu to
be treated for frostbite.
A US hiker told AFP he sought refuge
at a Manang guesthouse, along with 21
tourists and four Nepalese guides and
porters, after п¬Ѓnding himself in the grip
of the snowstorm.
“We left our hotel in Thorong Phedi
at 0630 am on Tuesday, with hotel staff
telling us it was totally safe to go up,”
said Max Weinstein, 18, by phone from
the guesthouse in Thorong High Camp,
at an altitude of 4800m.
As he and a 66-year-old woman he
was trekking with hiked on, visibility
worsened as more and more snow began to come down.
“The snow kept getting heavier, we
couldn’t see anything, and soon these
big rocks began falling down,” he said.
Weinstein said he would never have
headed out on Tuesday if he had been
given prior warnings.
“Whoever is in charge of communicating weather warnings to trekkers has
been totally negligent,” he said.
Keshav Pandey, vice president of
the Trekking Agencies’ Association of
Nepal (TAAN), an industry body, said
the Himalayan nation has no warning
systems in place to inform trekkers of
severe weather conditions.
“We don’t expect this kind of storm
in October, but we also have no warning
system to help us prepare for it,” Pandey
told AFP.
Rescuers were searching for two Slovakian mountaineers and three Nepalese guides who went missing after an
avalanche struck teams stationed at the
base camp of 8,167m Mount Dhaulagiri
on Tuesday night.
“We are running helicopter missions
to try and п¬Ѓnd them, but we can п¬Ѓnd
no sign of them, we presume they are
dead,” said police official Rai.
Rescuers have retrieved the bodies
of three Israelis, three Poles, one Vietnamese, one Slovak and seven Nepalese, while the bodies of four Canadians and three Indians remain buried
in snow, Rai said, correcting an earlier
statement that misidentified one of the
victims as a German.
The nationality of three others found
was unknown, he said.
At least seven of the hikers lost their
lives in an avalanche in Manang and 16
Members of the army pulling bodies of trekkers from the Thorung La mountain
pass on the Annapurna Circuit, near Muktinath, in Mustang district.
others were buried by the snowstorm in
neighbouring Mustang, according to a
local official.
The region has seen unusually heavy
snowfall this week sparked by Cyclone
Hudhud, which slammed into India’s
east coast over the weekend.
The latest disaster follows the deaths
of 16 people in an avalanche on Mount
Everest in April that forced an unprecedented shutdown of the world’s highest peak.
Scores of expeditions were cancelled
after the avalanche tore through a group
of sherpas who were hauling gear up the
mountain for their foreign clients.
Motor show
The effective closure of the 8,848m
mountain for the season dealt a huge
blow to Nepal, which relies heavily on
tourism revenues from climbing and
Survivors of the blizzard said they
dived under a boulder to shelter from
an avalanche that buried four Canadians in their group when it smashed into
the trail.
Coming six months after an iceavalanche killed 16 sherpa guides
on Mount Everest in April, the latest mountain disaster prompted new
criticism of the Nepali government
for taking climbers’ fees but doing too
Islamists threaten
strike if ex-minister
is not arrested
By Mizan Rahman
A local stunt rider performs at Colombo motor show yesterday.
EU court overturns Tamil Tiger sanctions
uropean Union judges struck down
anti-terrorism sanctions against the
Tamil Tigers that were imposed by the
EU but said yesterday that the assets of the
Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for
the time being.
The court said a decision by EU
leaders in 2006 to place the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a list of
terrorist organisations had been based on
“imputations derived from the press and the
Internet” rather than on direct investigation
of the group’s actions, as required by law.
little to mitigate the risks.
A group of seven Canadian trekkers
and their Nepali guides were near the
high-altitude village of Phu, 150km
northwest of Kathmandu, when an avalanche struck on Wednesday.
Four were killed immediately. The
group’s guide, Kusang Sherpa, described the sound of snow splitting
above and said he and three of the
trekkers were able to leap behind the
“I thought it was the last day in my
life,” Sherpa told Reuters after being evacuated to Kathmandu. “I was
lucky that I survived with my three
The snow did not reach the boulder,
but they stayed there for about 20 minutes until they were sure the avalanche
had stabilised, then walked an hour to
a village called Kang, where they telephoned for help and were picked up by
a helicopter.
October is Nepal’s peak trekking
season, before the onset of winter
when clear skies offer safe access to the
mountains and spectacular views, attracting backpackers as well as experienced climbers.
The 240km Annapurna circuit takes
almost three weeks to complete, and
is perhaps the most popular walking
route in the Himalayas. It is dubbed the
“apple pie” circuit because teahouses
line the route offering cold beer and
home baking.
The Nepali government, which collects up to $20 per trekker for a permit,
came under п¬Ѓre from hiking officials for
doing little to improve safety conditions.
“The government is happy collecting
money from trekkers but doing nothing
for them. It must now spend the cash
for making arrangements for weather
forecasts and a quick response for rescue when hikers are in distress,” said
Keshav Panday.
Nepal is home to eight of the world’s
14 highest mountains. Income from
tourism - including permit fees for
trekkers, who accounted for more
than 12% of 800,000 tourists in 2013
- accounts for 4% of its gross domestic
It said in a statement that the EU had also
failed, when following Indian sanctions
against the Tigers, to ensure that India gave
sufficient judicial protection to those it
However, the court rejected the LTTE’s
contention that it was exempt from EU antiterrorism legislation because it was engaged
in an “armed conflict” with the Sri Lankan
government and bound by the laws of war.
The court, which stressed it was taking no
view on whether the LTTE was a terrorist
organisation, said EU laws on terrorism also
applied to armed conflicts.
Saying that sanctions might be applied
in future against the Tigers, who were
defeated militarily in 2009, the court said
assets that were frozen should remain so
Sri Lanka’s external affairs ministry said
in a statement the government was ready to
provide information to justify designating
the LTTE as a terrorist organisation.
“It is noteworthy that a number of
EU member countries have carried out
investigations against LTTE activists in their
territories, some of which are ongoing, while
some have resulted in the accused being
sentenced by court,” the ministry said.
It also said the court decision may affect the
security of Sri Lankans living in EU territory
and EU citizens of Sri Lankan origin, who are
likely to come under pressure once again by
pro-LTTE activists.
Sammilito Islami Dal Samuho’, a coalition of
Islamist parties, yesterday threatened to hold
a daylong countrywide generals strike across
Bangladesh on October 26 if sacked minister
Abdul Latif Siddique, now in hiding in Kolkata,
India is not arrested by October 22 for his remarks about religion.
Moulana Zafrullah Khan, secretary general of
the coalition, said they gave the authorities until October 22 to arrest Latif Siddique who was
also expelled from the ruling Awami League presidium.
Addressing a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) in the morning, he said:
“We demand that he (Siddique) be arrested and
put on trial for hurting the religious sentiment
of Muslims with his derogatory comments about
Tablig Jamaat.”
Latif Siddique at a views-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail district in
New York on September 28 said: “During Haj,
so much manpower is wasted. Over 2mn people have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj.
They’ve no work, no production and they only
cause deduction.”
“Some 2mn Tablig Jamaat people get together
(on the banks of the Turag river north of Dhaka
city) annually who don’t do any work except halting traffic movement across the country,” he added. Meanwhile, a mass circulation daily reported
in Dhaka yesterday that the Sheikh Hasina government does not want the recently п¬Ѓred minister
Latif Siddique to stay in India, and it has already
communicated to New Delhi to this end.
Quoting a highly-placed source in the government, the Daily Star disclosed policymakers in
the Hasina administration fear that Latif’s stay
in India might create an unwanted situation in
the country, as the Awami League (AL) government is often seen as a pro-India government.
And if Latif stays there, it might be further used
to establish that sentiment, according to the
source. Also, this might send a signal to religious
parties and organisations that the government is
supporting Latif, reported the daily.
The latest development comes amid reports
that the government does not want Latif to return to the country, at least for now.
Against this backdrop, Latif told The Daily
Star on Sunday that he wanted to return to the
country but if he cannot, he would stay in India.
But the source told the Daily Star that Dhaka
verbally requested New Delhi not to permit Latif
to stay in India. A message was sent to the Indian
high commissioner in Dhaka and also the Bangladesh high commission in Delhi.
On Sunday, Latif was sacked as posts and telecommunications minister and also removed
from the Awami League presidium over his comments. His primary membership in the party has
also been suspended. Latif arrived in India on
Sunday and is now in Kolkata.
At home, he faces about 30 cases for hurting
religious sentiments. Meanwhile, prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s close aide and communication and bridge Minister Obaidul Quader has
said the government or the Awami League will
not take responsibility regarding the return of
former minister Abdul Latif Siddique. He made
the statement while inaugurating Pungli Bridge
on Joydebpur-Tangail highway on Thursday
morning. He said: “If Latif Siddique wants to
come back to the country then he has to come
with his own responsibility. The government or
the Awami League will not take the responsibility for it.” “Maximum punishment was given
to Latif from the party’s side for his statement
against Islam. He was removed from the cabinet,” the minister said.
He added: “There is a rule of canceling the
primary membership from the party and as per
that rule he has been served with a show cause
notice which has been sent to his permanent address.”
Obaildul said: “Latif will be expelled if he
fails to give proper explanation in the appropriate time and in this case he will no longer hold
the post of an Awami League MP.” He, however,
said the authority regarding the matter lies in the
hands of the speaker of the parliament.
Several Awami League leaders said Latif’s
comments on Haj and Tabligh Jamaat had infuriated party chief Sheikh Hasina so much so that
she does not want to see him any more in parliament.
Sources in the ruling party said the parliament
secretariat was working on the issue but it is yet
to п¬Ѓnd any legal ground on the basis of which
Latif can be stripped of his parliament membership.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Prerequisites of the prayer
n Islam, performing the prayer is
the most important, mandatory
act after the testimony of faith.
The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa
sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention )
said: “The head of the matter is Islam,
its pillar is the prayer...”[At-Tirmithi]
It is the last thing, the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam ( may Allah
exalt his mention ) recommended to
his nation before he died, saying: “The
prayer, the prayer and what your right
hands possessed.” [Abu Daawood] An
act of this weight and status is really
worthy of getting all attention and care
of Muslims. Because the prayer which
Allah accepts and rewards plentifully is
the prayer whose conditions, and basic
elements are perfected.
But how could one carry out the
prayer in the correct manner? One
could attain that goal by learning the
way the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi
wa sallam practised it. By knowing its
prerequisites, essentials and Sunnah
acts. Because botching the prayer is a
harmful act that results in the forfeiture of the reward, either completely
or partially, the Prophet sallallaahu
`alaihi wa sallam warned us: “Truly, a
man leaves, and none of his prayer has
been recorded for him except a tenth
of it, a ninth of it, eighth of it, seventh
of it, sixth of it, п¬Ѓfth of it, fourth of it,
third of it, a half of it.”[Abu Daawood]
Here is a detailed description of the
prerequisites (Shuroot) and essentials
(Arkaan) of the Prayer is presented.
There is a difference between the
terms “prerequisite” and “essential”.
The former is an object, quality, or
condition that is required in order for
something else to happen—and if it is
missing, the thing is invalid and unfulfilled. For instance, Wudhoo’ (ablution)
is a prerequisite for the prayer, as per
the Prophetic narration: “The prayer
of one without purification is void...”
[Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi] While
“essential” is the property or characteristic of something that makes
it what it is—and if it is missing the
thing is null and void. For instance, the
chapter of Al-Faatihah (the Opening
of the Qur’an) is an essential for the
prayer because the Prophet sallallaahu
`alaihi wa sallam said: “Anyone who
does not recite the Opening of the
Book in one’s prayer is not credited
with observing it.” [Al-Bukhari]
The scholars concur that a willful
violation of any essential or prerequisite in prayer invalidates it. However,
when an essential act is unintentionally omitted, two things are required:
1. performing the missing act and; 2.
making Sujood as-Sahw (prostration
of mistake) before Tasleem (concluding the prayer with salaam) if it is on
account of an omission or due to both
an omission and an addition; or after
Tasleem if the cause is only an addition. However, if the mistake is one
of involuntary addition—such as an
extra bowing—it is atonable by Sujood
It is obligatory on the one who
wishes to perform the prayer to make
sure that he/she satisfies the following
conditions before he enters into it:
(1) Islam: One must be a Muslim in
order for him/her to obtain the rewards
of Islamic acts of worship.
(2) Intention (Niyyah): The
Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam
said: “Verily all actions are only by
intentions.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Scholars of all of the four schools
of jurisprudence are unanimous that
intention takes place in the heart and
that it should not be uttered by the
tongue. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi
wa sallam never instructed us to audibly or inaudibly state intentions for any
act of worship, and the Companions,
may Allah be pleased with them, did
not do this either. According to a few of
the late scholars, one is only permitted to utter one’s intention in prayer if
one is in a severe case of forgetfulness
or always doubting what he wants to
do—the term they coined to describe
the state of such a person is Al-Mustankah.
(3) Sanity and maturity: One must
be able to know and appreciate what
he/she is doing. Sanity is mentioned
in the narration in which the Prophet
sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said:
“The pen (which records one’s deeds)
is raised from the account of a person
in the following three situations: a
sleeper until he awakes, a child until
he matures (reaches age of puberty)
and the insane until he regains sanity.”
[Abu Daawood]
One must also have a clear mind at
the time of making the prayer. Allah
Says (what means): “O you who have
believed, do not approach prayer while
you are intoxicated until you know
what you are saying…”[Qur’an 4: 43]
In addition, the Prophet sallallaahu
`alaihi wa sallam also said: “If one
feels drowsy while performing the
prayer, one should go to sleep until his
slumber is over, because if one perform
the prayer while drowsy one would not
know whether he is asking for forgiveness or for a bad thing for himself.”[AlBukhari]
(4) Knowing the prayer’s proper
time: Allah Says (what means): “…
Indeed, the prayer has been decreed
upon the believers a decree of specified
times.” [Qur’an 4: 103] The Prophet
sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said:
“Jibreel led me in prayer at the Ka’aba.
He led me in the early afternoon prayer
(Dhuhr) when the sun had passed the
meridian to the extent of the throng of
a sandal; he led me in the mid-afternoon prayer (�Asr) when the shadow of
a thing was as long as itself; he led me
in the sundown prayer (Maghrib) when
the one who fasts breaks the fast; he led
me in the night prayer (�Ishaa’) when
the twilight (redness from the horizon
at sunset) disappears; he led me in the
dawn prayer (Fajr) when food and drink
becomes forbidden for the faster. On
the following day, he led me in the early
afternoon prayer (Dhuhr) when the
shadow of a thing was as long as itself;
he led me in the mid-afternoon prayer
(�Asr) when the shadow of a thing was
twice as long as itself; he led me in the
sundown prayer (Maghrib) when the
one who fasts breaks the fast; he led me
in the night prayer (�Ishaa’) when the
п¬Ѓrst half of the night had passed; he
led me in the dawn prayer (Fajr) when
there was a fair amount of daylight.
Then turning to me Jibreel said, �Muhammad, this is the time observed by
the prophets before you and the difference in time for each prayer we made
on both days is anywhere between the
two times.’”[Abu Daawood]
(5) Purification: One must make
The essentials of prayer
he essentials of prayer are:
(1) Saying the opening
takbeer: It is done when one
commences with prayer by
saying “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the
greatest) while raising the hands to
shoulder level with the palms facing
forward. The Prophet sallallaahu
`alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his
mention ) said: “The key to prayer is
purification, its beginning is takbeer,
and its end is tasleem.” [Abu Daawood
and At-Tirmithi]
(2) Standing (Qiyaam) after the
п¬Ѓrst takbeer: One must stand during the prayer, if one is able. Allah
Commands (what means): “Maintain
with care the [obligatory] prayers and
[in particular] the middle prayer and
stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” [Qur’an 2: 238], and the Prophet
sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said:
“When you stand for prayer face the
Qiblah, make takbeer, utter glorification and praise Allah (Du’aa’ of
Istiftaah), recite the Mother of the
Book (Al-Faatihah).”[Al-Bukhari] And
Allah Says (what means): “So when you
recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in
Allah from Satan, the expelled [from
His mercy].” [Qur’an 16: 98]
If one cannot stand, he may perform
prayer sitting, lying on one’s side
or whatever position he is capable
of taking. The Prophet sallallaahu
`alaihi wa sallam said to �Umraan Ibn
Husayn, may Allah be pleased with
him: “Pray standing; if you are not
able to, pray sitting; if you are not able
to, pray (while lying) on your side.”
[Al-Bukhari] As for the voluntary
prayer, one can do it sitting even if he
can stand, but one who stands receives
a greater reward than one who sits.
�Abdullaah Ibn �Umar, may Allah be
pleased with him, narrated that the
Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam
said: “The prayer of one who sits is half
of the prayer (of one who performs it
standing).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
(3) Reciting Al-Faatihah in every
Rak’ah (unit) of the prayer. While
standing one must properly recite
the chapter of Al-Faatihah. The
Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam stated: “If anyone makes prayer
and does not recite the chapter of AlFaatihah, then his prayer is deficient
and not complete...” [Muslim and Abu
(4) Bowing: Allah Says (what
means): “O you who have believed,
bow and prostrate...” [Qur’an 22: 77]
The manner of bowing is accomplished
by bending over, putting one’s hands
on one’s knees, and remaining in that
position until one attains calmness.
(5) Resuming the initial standing
position: In a famous narration, the
Companion Abu Humayd, may Allah
be pleased with him, described what
the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam did after bowing, saying: “He sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam would raise
his head from his bowing, and then
stand straight until all of his backbones
returned to their places.” [Al-Bukhari
and Muslim]
(6) Prostration: The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam explained the
proper prostration by saying, “Then
prostrate until you attain calmness
in your prostration, then rise (and
sit) until you attain calmness in your
sitting, and then prostrate until you
gain calmness in your prostration...”
(7-8) Rising in a sitting position
and sitting between prostrations:
Rising in a sitting position and taking a
short rest in a sitting posture between
the two prostrations are obligatory acts
in prayer.
(9-10) The п¬Ѓnal sitting and recital
of the testimonial (tashahhud): Ibn
�Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with
him, said: “The Messenger of Allah
sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam used to
teach us the Tashahhud like he taught
sure that the following three things are
clear from all kinds of impurity before
he starts the prayer:
A. Purity of the body from major
and minor impurities:
A minor impurity is one that may
be removed by the performance of
ablution (Wudhoo’). A state of minor
impurity results after defecation or
urination. A major impurity requires
the performance of Ghusl or ritual
bathing. A state of major impurity results after sexual intercourse or sexual
discharge for both men and women.
If one is not in the necessary state of
purification then one must attain it for
Allah Says (what means): “O you who
have believed, when you rise to [perform] the prayer, wash your faces and
your forearms to the elbows and wipe
over your heads and wash your feet to
the ankles And if you are in a state of
janaabah (major impurity), then purify
yourselves…” [Qur’an 5: 6]
And the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi
wa sallam � said: “When you stand for
prayer, perfect your ablution,” [AlBukhari and Abu Daawood] and “the
prayer is not accepted from anyone
who nullifies one’s ablution until she/
he regains another one nor is charity
from stolen property.” [Al-Bukhari and
The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa
sallam also said: “Allah does not accept
any prayer that was not performed
while in a state of purity, nor does he
accept charity from what has been
stolen from booty.” [Al-Bukhari &
Post-natal bleeding and menstrual
bleeding are also considered forms of
major impurity. Both postnatal bleeding and menstrual bleeding waives the
prayer from a woman. In those cases,
after such conditions come to an end,
women are required to make Ghusl
before praying.
B. Clothes: if the clothes are
contaminated with impurities one
should wash them for Allah Says (what
means): “And your clothing purify.”
[Qur’an 74: 4] and the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “If
menstrual blood is on one’s clothes
she must wash it out and then perform
prayer.” [Al-Bukhari]
C. Place: If the ground is п¬Ѓlthy, one
can pour water over the impurity: A
Bedouin entered the Masjid (mosque)
and urinated. The people grabbed him
and the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa
sallam ordered his release, told them to
pour a tumbler of water over the soiled
area, and said: “You have been sent to
make things easy and not make them
difficult.” [Al-Bukhari]
It is prohibited to offer prayer in
graveyards [Muslim], camel pens [Abu
Daawood], churches and synagogues
with images [Al-Bukhari], public baths/
bathrooms and dunghills [Abu Daawood], the roof of the Ka’aba, slaughterhouses, and the middle of the road.
(6) Covering the private parts:
Allah Says (what means): “O children
of Aadam, take your adornment at
every Masjid (mosque)…” [Qur’an 7: 31]
The meaning of “adornment” here is
the covering of the �Awrah. The meaning of “mosque” is “prayer.” Therefore,
it means “Cover your �Awrah for every
The �Awrah for a man, in general, is
from his navel to his knees; however,
inside prayer one should be dressed
in a proper manner and the shoulders
should not be left uncovered since
it is greatly disliked. The �Awrah of a
woman (for prayer purposes) is her
entire body except her face and hands.
(7) Facing the Qiblah: Allah Says
(what means): “Turn your face in the
direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam
(Sacred Mosque), and wherever you
are turn your faces (in prayer) in
that direction.” [Qur’an 2: 144] The
Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam
said: “When you stand for prayer
face the Qiblah, make takbeer, utter
glorification and praise for Allah,
recite the Mother of the Book (AlFaatihah)...”[Al-Bukhari and Abu
There are many ways to decide the
Qiblah. And when one is ignorant of
the right direction, one should inquire
and strive to determine its exact or
approximate direction, and in case neither of the two is possible one should
follow his best judgment.
us the Qur’an. He sallallaahu `alaihi
wa sallam would say: “Attahiyyatu lillaahi was-salawaatu wat-tayyibaatu.
Assalaamu alayka ayyuhan-nabiyyu
wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. Assalaamu alaynaa wa alaa ibaadillaahissaaliheen. Ashhadu al-laa ilaaha illallaaah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan
abduhoo wa rasooluh”
(Salutations, blessings, prayers and
good deeds are for Allah. Peace be upon
you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah
and His blessings. Peace be upon us
and the sincere slaves of Allah. I bear
witness that there is no god except
Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad
is His slave and messenger).” [Muslim
and Abu Daawood]
(11) Termination (tasleem): This
is when one concludes the prayer by
looking to the right and left, saying
“Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullaah”
(peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you).
�Amr Ibn Sa’d, may Allah have mercy
upon him, related that his father, may
Allah be pleased with him, said: “I saw
the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam saying the salaam on his right side
and on his left side until I could see the
whiteness of his cheeks.” [Muslim and
The majority of scholars, excepting
the Hanbalis, consider uttering salaam
once as sufficient.
(12) Calmness (toma’neenah): All
acts and positions of prayer should be
executed with calmness. Calmness is
achieved by sitting in the position until
the bones are set and still.
The Companion Abu Humayd, may
Allah be pleased with him, said: “I
am well-informed about the prayer
of the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu
`alaihi wa sallam and I saw him stand
for prayer raising both hands to the
shoulders and uttered takbeer until
every bone rested in its place properly
with calmness; recited the chapter
of Al-Faatihah and uttered takbeer
raising both hands to the shoulders;
then he bowed placing his palms on his
knees keeping his back straight/parallel to the floor with calmness; then
stood up straight with calmness saying
“Sami’Allahu liman hamidah, rabbanaa
wa lakal-hamd” while raising both
hands to the shoulders; then while
saying takbeer, he prostrated; then he
sat up onto his left foot with the right
foot propped up while saying takbeer;
then prostrated again while saying
takbeer; then momentarily sat up again
(the sitting of rest) before standing for
the second unit (Rak’ah) to repeat all of
the above except the opening takbeer
and Duaa’ of Istiftaah. In the second
Rak’ah (at the point of the sitting
rest), he sat more than momentarily to
recite tashhahhud and prayer on the
Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam).
In the last rak’ah, he pushed his left
foot forward and sat on his left hip and
recited two additional supplications
before concluding.” [Al-Bukhari and
Abu Daawood]
(13) Sequence: Proper sequence is
mandatory between the different acts
of prayer. Hence the opening takbeer
must come before reciting, the reciting
must precede bowing, and bowing
must happen before the prostration,
and so on.
Undoubtedly, the fulfilment of all
the necessary conditions for the prayer
enhances its chances of receiving the
recognition and reward of Allah. However, the satisfaction of the essentials
and prerequisites of the prayer is not the
only guarantee for success in this great
act of worship. There are also other
things a Muslim should learn such as
the invalidators of prayer, its Sunnah
acts, its recommended acts, etc.
Article source:
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: Amjad Khan
P.O.Box 2888
Doha, Qatar
[email protected]
Telephone 44350478 (news),
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It’s October: world
stock markets don’t
care for the month
Markets have fallen sharply across the world with
a range of anxieties looming large: US economic
slowdown, Ebola, German industrial woes, geopolitical
tension, the eurozone crisis and fears that a major
institution is about to collapse
European markets are in panic mode with all major
indices down sharply. It follows a widespread sell-off
on both sides of the Atlantic on Wednesday. Why are
investors so nervous?
Fears of a global slowdown led by the US recent data
are fuelling fears that the global recovery is losing
steam. With so much of the world’s fortunes tied up
with the US, a flurry of weak data from the world’s
largest economy triggered renewed jitters among
investors. In September, retail sales fell for the п¬Ѓrst
time since January, and the Empire manufacturing
report for New York indicated a sharp slowdown. As
global slowdown fears grow, oil slumped to a four-year
Fears are mounting that Ebola will become
widespread beyond West Africa. The latest escalation
of anxiety follows
confirmation in the US
that a second healthcare
worker in Texas was
infected after treating
the п¬Ѓrst patient in the
US to die from the virus.
It emerged that the
second worker, a nurse
at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, had
flown from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas the day before
she reported Ebola symptoms.
The latest economic data coming out of Germany
suggests Europe’s largest economy is on the brink of
recession. The economy shrank by 0.2% in the second
quarter and there is every indication that a contraction
is possible in the third, tipping Germany into a
technical recession. The powerhouse of manufacturing
has suffered a slowdown in industrial production and
falling exports. Given German has played a key role
in propping up some of its weaker fellow eurozone
members during the crisis years, investors are fearful
are what the future might hold.
The flagging eurozone economy is back in the danger
zone. The big fear is that a dangerous deflationary
spiral will take hold, plunging the troubled single
currency bloc back into crisis. With eurozone inflation
at just 0.3%, those fears appear justified.
Tension persists between Russia and the west over
Russia’s treatment of Ukraine. There is a great deal
of uncertainty over how the situation will progress,
and markets hate uncertainty. Sanctions and counter
sanctions between Russia and the west are already
weighing on the Germany economy. Investors are also
fearful of how US-led airstrikes targeting ISIS might
escalate. And it remains unclear how China will deal
with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
When markets fall sharply rumours of a potential
institutional failure tend to do the rounds, and this
time is no different. As Lehman Brothers revealed in
September 2008, sometimes speculation turns into a
horrible reality.
Markets don’t care much for October. Panic spread
across Wall Street in October 1907 amid shrinking
credit availability. The crash of 1929 also occurred in
October, as did Black Monday in 1987.
Dept stores п¬Ѓght back
from online challenge
Global sector set to grow
22% to $450bn by 2019;
investment pays off in
store revamps and
By Emma Thomasson/Reuters
epartment stores are starting
to enjoy a renaissance after
п¬Ѓnding ways to attract a new
generation of consumers in
an age of global fashion chains and
online shopping.
Retail consultancy Verdict predicts
the global sector should return
to growth in 2014 and expand by
22% to about $450bn by 2019. The
recovery will be driven by expansion
in emerging markets, with China set
to account for 30% of total spend п¬Ѓve
years from now.
Pioneered in France, Britain and
the US from around the 1840s by
household names like Printemps,
Harrods and Macy’s, department
stores lost their edge from the late
1970s with the rise of stores for
fashion, electronics and home wares
like Inditex’s Zara and Sweden’s Ikea.
The advent of e-commerce was
the п¬Ѓnal straw for many stores which
had become drab halls catering to
an ageing clientele, with the likes of
Germany’s Karstadt and US midmarket chain J.C. Penney the latest to
But some of the oldest names in
the business have turned the corner,
restoring the grandeur of flagship
stores and celebrating their national
identity to attract tourists and win
back local trade from more rootless
global brands.
Many have focused on high-end
fashion, accessories and beauty,
while also investing in websites and
challenging online players like Amazon
with convenient in-store pick-up.
“The question is how to stay
relevant in a market where everything
is available everywhere,” Printemps
chief executive Paolo de Cesare told
the World Retail Congress this month.
“We moved from selling products to
creating experiences.”
Founded in 1865, Printemps
has renovated its п¬Ѓrst Boulevard
Haussmann store, restoring original
mosaics, gold leaf decoration on the
roof and Italian stained glass, while
sprucing up the interior with exclusive
collections from guest brands.
The work has paid off. The
Haussmann store saw sales rise 14% to
850mn euros ($1.1bn) in 2012/13.
The Haussmann Printemps store
and the neighbouring flagship of
the Galeries Lafayette chain with a
spectacular stained-glass dome are
must-sees for Chinese visitors.
Tourists account for more than
half of sales at some stores in Paris
and Harrods in London, according to
Maarten de Groot, general secretary
of the International Association of
Department Stores (IADS). But that
can pose a risk.
“The business is fickle,” De Groot
said, noting the Ukraine crisis has hit
Russian demand for luxury goods,
while Chinese spending has also
However, department stores still see
plenty of room for growth in emerging
markets as urbanisation continues
Thailand’s Central Group expects
to open п¬Ѓve new department stores
under the Robinson brand a year for
the next п¬Ѓve years.
“People want to touch, feel, smell,
they want their friends’ opinion. They
want a gathering place,” Sudhitham
Chirathivat, the former CEO of the
Central Group and now a senior
adviser, told Reuters, shrugging off the
threat from e-commerce.
Galeries Lafayette plans openings
in Doha and Istanbul to add to stores
in Casablanca, Jakarta, Dubai and
Beijing, while Bloomingdale’s best
performing store outside Manhattan
is the one it opened in Dubai in 2010
with the Al Tayer group.
However, former Bloomingdale’s
Chief Executive Michael Gould warns
that international expansion can dilute
brand identity: “What department
stores are is a collection of brands.
You can’t transfer it to Los Angeles, let
alone to a foreign country.”
A less risky way to tap overseas
demand is via e-commerce.
British employee-owned retailer
John Lewis delivers to 33 countries
but has no plans to open stores abroad
beyond concessions it runs within
South Korean chain Shinsegae as it
still believes there is plenty of room to
expand at home.
John Lewis saw e-commerce grow
more than 25% in the п¬Ѓrst half of 2014
to account for over 30% of total sales,
helped by its combined online and
offline offering. More than half the
orders placed online are now collected
in a store.
“Millennials love shops just as
their parents and grandparents did,”
managing director Andy Street he
said, referring to the generation that
came of age from around the year
Continental European players are
way behind in investing online, with
none of them making the top 20 of
a digital ranking by the L2 business
intelligence service that is led by
Nordstrom , Macy’s and other US and
British names.
Chains that don’t move with the
times will continue to suffer, making
them targets for investors attracted by
their prime property portfolios and
retailing heritage.
China’s Sanpower took control of
Britain’s House of Fraser this year,
Qatari investors bought Printemps
last year and Thailand’s Central Group
has acquired Italy’s La Rinascente
and Denmark’s Illum. Speculation
is swirling that Germany’s Karstadt
could eventually merge with its Metro
-owned arch-rival Kaufhof.
“Smaller stores will close in some
countries where there may be mergers
while there will be more and more
international consolidation,” said De
Groot of the IADS.
The flagging
economy is back
in the danger
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Printemps, bought by Qatari investors last year, has renovated its first Boulevard Haussmann store, restoring original mosaics, gold leaf decoration on the roof and
Italian stained glass, while sprucing up the interior with exclusive collections from guest brands.
Reborn brands set sights on German luxury car market
ack in the days when they
were still part of the global
Ford empire, the Volvo and
Jaguar Land Rover brands
were mere shadows of their former
Contemporary pundits did not give
these once proud names very long to
live yet both have defied the naysayers.
Under Chinese and Indian ownership
respectively the two carmakers are
soaring to new heights.
And not only that: Volvo and Jaguar
Land Rover are determined to shake
up the luxury segment which has been
dominated for so long by the German
premium trio of BMW, MercedesBenz and Audi.
Volvo’s stand at the recent car
show in Paris reflects the newfound confidence of a make whose
reputation was always solid even when
sales started to tail off. In the French
capital Volvo’s offerings were parked
right next to those of Ford.
Spearheading Volvo’s bid to get
ahead is elegant flagship XC90 sports
utility, the п¬Ѓrst all-new car to have
been developed under Chinese owners
Zhejiang Geely. “We are absolutely
competitive in all the п¬Ѓelds where we
are active,” development head Peter
Mertens told journalists in Paris.
The Swedish marque has been under
Chinese aegis since 2010 during which
it has undergone a radical change amid
an urgent need to junk Ford-based
technology in favour of home-grown
Volvo chief executive Hakan
Samuelsson, who steered the company
back into the black in 2013, talks of a
new-found independence under the
Chinese matched with the need for
more responsibility. Referring to the
new XC90 offroader, Samuelsson
said: “We can now build cars without
having to make compromises.”
Over the next four years the rest of
the Volvo range is set to benefit from
the new Chinese-Swedish expertise
and close the gap to the German market
leaders in terms of equipment and price.
“At the moment we are not on the same
price level as Audi but the new models
certainly will be,” said Samuelsson.
Jaguar Land Rover, a former Volvo
sibling under Ford, has also been
reinvigorated. The British marque
was in the wilderness only a few years
ago in the wake of the global п¬Ѓnancial
crisis. Those in charge are not Chinese
but rather Indian executives from the
Tata conglomerate which has steel
and numerous other heavy industry
The Indians have given their
managers - many of whom hail from
Germany - a free hand, with the
result that the company has racked
up multibillion profit. In 2013 Jaguar
Land Rover sold nearly 20% more cars
than in the year before. Millions have
been invested in English factories and
production in China is scheduled to
start from 2015. Over the next п¬Ѓve
years Jaguar Land Rover claims it
has no less than around 50 new or
madeover models in the pipeline.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport
SUV and the sporty Jaguar XE - which
are due to go on sale for 32,000
($40,500) and 36,000 euros ($45,600)
respectively - are designed to lure
customers away from best-selling
evergreens such as the BMW 3 series,
the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C
class. Jaguar is aiming to sell 100,000
XEs next year.
According to a press release from
Jaguar, the XE is not only the smallest
in the range but “a true driver’s car;
one that redefines the concept of
the sports saloon.” The car fights
the flab with a raft of weight-saving
aluminium components and also
boasts new 2-litre turbo petrol and
diesel engines under the bonnet. The
boot is large too - a failing of some
would-be BMW eaters. The trunk of
the example shown in Paris swallowed
up four golf bags.
Marketing head Phil Popham
points out that both models are at the
entry end of the brand ranges and are
designed to “open up new segments of
the market and appeal to new groups
of customers.” These are likely to be
customers who have driven a Germanmade car until now.
Managers in Munich, Ingolstadt
and Stuttgart are alarmed by
developments but they are not starting
to panic. Depending on which way
the п¬Ѓgures are interpreted, the market
share of the Germany’s three premium
makers stands at between 70 and 80%.
“So far we are not looking at a reversal
of this trend,” said a self-confident
Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche.
His observation is shared by many
in the industry although the IHS
research and analysis organisation
believes the interlopers from Sweden
and England could make some
significant inroads by 2020. By then
Jaguar is set to triple sales, thanks to
the new XE.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
The curse of corruption in coal industry
Where the coal industry
operates, bribery and
venality are likely to be
By Marina Lou
uan Pablo Perez Alfonso, one
of the founders of Opec, once
compared the world’s fossil-fuel
use to “drowning in the devil’s
excrement.” There is certainly plenty
of evidence supporting his prediction
that the fossil-fuel industry, with its
powerful corrupting influence, will
“bring us ruin.” Indeed, coal-related
corruption stories are breaking
worldwide, shining a light on the
murky space between “illegal” and
“improper” where the extractive
industries work.
Last year, in the Australian state of
New South Wales, the Independent
Commission Against Corruption
investigated former Labor ministers
Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald for
conspiring to defraud the state over
the issuance of multi-million-dollar
licences for coal exploration and
mining. Today, the ICAC is conducting
an even more far-reaching and
complex investigation into a number
of п¬Ѓgures from the Australian Labor
Party and the Liberal/Nationals
Coalition, including for favouring
the interests of Australian Water
Holdings, a major infrastructure
Last month, India’s Supreme
Court found that all 218 coal-mining
licences allocated by the government
in 1993-2009 had been granted in
an “illegal and arbitrary” manner,
with the committee responsible for
the process lacking transparency and
rife with corruption. Following the
landmark decision, the government
has cancelled 214 of the coal block
Coal-related corruption stories are breaking worldwide, shining a light on the murky space between “illegal” and “improper”.
allocations – and has fined several
companies that have already begun
For its part, Indonesia is set
to revoke the contracts of 17
coal producers that failed to pay
government royalties. And, since the
beginning of this year, the country’s
corruption commission has been
focusing on the extractive industry,
including the state officials who
facilitate mining companies’ illegal
Likewise, China’s ongoing anticorruption drive – the largest in its
modern history – has begun to focus
on the coal industry. Last month,
two Communist Party officials from
the coal-rich Shanxi province were
charged with corruption and abuse
of power, signalling that Shanxi may
well move to the forefront of President
Xi Jinping’s quest to eliminate
entrenched corruption in the Party’s
ranks. As Gao Qinrong, a former
journalist from Shanxi, recently
described the province, “It has coal;
coal brought money; that brought
These stories highlight a simple
truth: Where the coal industry
operates, bribery and venality are
likely to be rampant. But this does not
have to be the case. In order to reduce
– if not eliminate – such corruption,
several fundamental weaknesses in the
regulation of how mining contracts are
allocated must be addressed.
For starters, instead of conducting
fair and transparent open-tender
processes, governments often
empower their ministers to decide
which companies are allocated
lucrative fossil-fuel exploration and
extraction contracts, and conflicts
of interest are not disclosed. Indeed,
there is an unguarded revolving door
between politics and the extractive
industry, and political donations are
allowed. Finally, though states are
responsible for regulation, they also
receive royalties and levies for the
sale of their resources, which tends to
weaken regulators’ effectiveness.
The key to addressing all of these
problems is, of course, greater
transparency. Otherwise, corruption
festers and grows – with very real
consequences. Worldwide, corruption
has weakened environmental
regulatory systems, undermined
citizens’ capacity to effect change,
and made a mockery of democratic
None of this is a surprise. In fact,
resource-rich countries, such as
Equatorial Guinea and Sudan, tend
to perform worse economically and
experience more violent conflict than
their resource-poor counterparts – a
phenomenon famously dubbed the
“resource curse.”
Corruption plays a major role in
this curse. Natural-resource wealth
insulates leaders from accountability,
while offering them the prospect of
significant personal financial gain at
the expense of the rest of the country.
If foreign multinationals dominate
extractive sectors and are allowed
to repatriate their profits, instead
of investing them locally, ordinary
citizens receive virtually no benefit
from what is often their country’s
largest and most profitable economic
Furthermore, economies that
depend on natural-resource exports
are vulnerable to sharp price
fluctuations, making government
revenues and foreign-exchange
supplies unreliable. For private
investors, this makes involvement in
these countries prohibitively risky.
If a country like Australia, with
its robust civil society and strong
democracy, is struggling with
widespread graft among high-level
government officials, no country is
safe from the corrupting influence
of the extractive industries. Worse,
as is so often the case, those who
suffer the most from the extractive
industry’s opaque and unfair
activities – not to mention the
selfish actions of corrupt officials
– are those who can least afford it. Project Syndicate
zMarina Lou is a legal adviser at
Greenpeace International, specialising
in п¬Ѓnancial-market regulation.
Weather report
Your data or your life
Three-day forecast
By Lucy P Marcus
pple’s new watch keeps track
of your health. Google Now
gathers the information
needed to compute the ideal
time for you to leave for the airport.
Amazon tells you the books you want,
the groceries you need, the п¬Ѓlms you
will like – and sells you the tablet that
enables you to order them and more.
Your lights turn on when you get close
to home, and your house adjusts to
your choice of ambient temperature.
This amalgamation and synthesis
of digital services and hardware is
designed to make our lives easier,
and there is no doubt that it has. But
have we stopped asking fundamental
questions, both of ourselves and of
the companies we entrust to do all of
these things? Have we given sufficient
consideration to the potential cost of
all of this comfort and ease, and asked
ourselves if the price is worth it?
Every time we add a new device, we
give away a little piece of ourselves. We
often do this with very little knowledge
about who is getting it, much less
whether we share their ethics and
values. We may have a superficial
check-box understanding of what the
companies behind this convenience
do with our data; but, beyond the
marketing, the actual people running
these organisations are faceless and
nameless. We know little about them,
but they sure know a lot about us.
The idea that companies can know
where we are, what we have watched, or
the content of our medical records was
anathema a generation ago. The vast
array of details that defined a person was
widely distributed. The bank knew a bit,
the doctor knew a bit, the tax authority
knew a bit, but they did not all talk to
one another. Now Apple and Google
know it all and store it in one handy
place. That is great for convenience, but
not so great if they decide to use that
information in ways with which we do
not proactively agree.
And we have reason to call into
question companies’ judgment in
using that data. The backlash to the
news that Facebook used people’s
news feeds to test whether what they
viewed could alter their moods was
proof of that. I do not recall checking
a box to say that was okay. Recently,
hackers misappropriated photos sent
via Snapchat, a service used primarily
by young people that promises autodeletion of all п¬Ѓles upon viewing.
Likewise, healthcare data were
always considered private, so that
patients would be open and honest with
healthcare professionals. As the lines
between healthcare and technology
businesses become hazy, some
manufacturers of “wearables” and the
software that runs on them are lobbying
to have their products exempted from
being considered medical devices – and
thus from regulatory requirements for
reliability and data protection.
Privacy is only one part of a larger
discussion around data ownership and
data monopoly, security, and competition.
It is also about control and destiny. It is
about choice and proactively deciding
how people’s data are used and how
people use their own data.
More mature п¬Ѓrms have phased
in formal protocols, with ethics
officers, risk committees, and other
structures that oversee how data
are collected and used, though not
always successfully (indeed, they
often depend on trial and error). Small
new companies may have neither
such protocols nor the people – for
example, independent board members
– to impose them. If serious ethical
lapses occur, many consumers will no
longer use the service, regardless of
how promising the business model is.
We like new applications and try
them out, handing over access to our
Facebook or Twitter accounts without
much thought about the migration of
our personal data from big companies
with some modicum of oversight to
small companies without rigorous
structures and limits. Consumers
believe or expect that someone
somewhere is keeping an eye on this,
but who exactly would that be?
In Europe, legislation to protect
personal data is not comprehensive, and
much of the rest of the world lacks even
rudimentary safeguards. After exploring
this issue with legislators in several
countries over the past couple of months,
it has become abundantly clear that many
do not have a full grasp of the myriad
issues that need to be considered. It is
a difficult subject to address, and doing
so is impeded by lobbying efforts and
incomplete information.
In the short term, young companies
should view ethics not as a marketing
gimmick, but as a core concern. All
organisations should invest in ethics
officers or some sort of review process
involving people who can assess all of
the implications of a great-sounding
idea. Legislators need to educate
themselves – and the public – and
exercise more oversight. For example,
just as many countries did with car
seatbelts a generation ago, a publicsafety campaign could be paired with
legislation to explain and promote
two-step verification.
In the longer term, as we rightly
move toward universal Internet
access, we need to ask: How much of
ourselves are we willing to give away?
What happens when sharing becomes
mandatory – when giving access to
a personal Facebook account is a job
requirement, and health services are
withheld unless a patient submits
their historical Fitbit data?
If that is the future we want, we
should stride toward it with full
awareness and a sense of purpose, not
meander carelessly until we fall into a
hole, look up, and wonder how we got
there. - Project Syndicate
High: 37 C
Low: 28 C
Relatively hot during day and partly
cloudy with a chance of rain at first
at places
High: 38 C
Low : 29 C
High: 34 C
Low : 28 C
Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: SE-SW 05-15 KT
Waves: 2-4/5 Feet
Wind: SW-SE 03-12 KT
Waves: 1-2/3 Feet
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zLucy P. Marcus is CEO of Marcus
Venture Consulting.
Live issues
Nordic walking strives to shed a stodgy image
By Dorene Internicola/Reuters
New York
ordic walking, or walking
with ski poles, is an
effective, full body workout,
п¬Ѓtness experts say but it has
a bit of an image problem.
The activity burns more calories
and works more muscles than walking
alone, but to embark on a public
trek that looks like cross-country
skiing without the snow can require a
modicum of unselfconscious courage.
Malin Svensson a Swedish-born
athlete, п¬Ѓtness coach and author of
the book Nordic Walking, has been
teaching it in America since 2002.
“It is something you have to try out
to understand,” she explained. “Also
people think it looks a little nerdy. My
ex-husband disguised himself the п¬Ѓrst
Svensson’s Santa Monica,
California-based company, Nordic
Body, folds Nordic walking into
group fitness classes that range
from basic training to athletic
Nordic walking, or walking with poles,
is an effective, full body workout. The
activity burns more calories and works
more muscles than walking alone.
interval training that incorporates
30-second plyometric, or jumping
“In Europe it has become this old
people walk,” she said. “They haven’t
embraced the different techniques.”
Nordic walking began in Finland,
where it first appeared in1960’s
physical education classes and later in
off-season cross-country ski-training.
Today Nordic walking is done in
around 40 countries and practiced by
an estimated 10mn people worldwide,
according to INWA (International
Nordic Walking Federation), the
official international federation
promoting it.
In a study published in the
American College of Sports Medicine
Health & Fitness Journal in 2009
researchers found that Nordic walking
elicits oxygen consumption values
that rival jogging.
Jessica Matthews, an exercise
physiologist at Miramar College in San
Diego, California, said Nordic walking
poles come with changeable tips that
adjust to any surface, from dirt trails
to asphalt.
“I’ve done it a few times and it’s
actually really fun,” said Matthews.
“People burn more calories because
the upper body involvement engages
more muscles.”
She said the poles, which sell for
about $75, can also help maintain good
body alignment.
“People have suggested they also
help with impact forces,” she said,
citing a 2010 study that showed
moderate-to-high intensity Nordic
walking improved functional capacity
in people suffering from п¬Ѓbromyalgia,
a disorder characterised by widespread
musculoskeletal pain.
“I think it’s a way to increase calorie
burn without undue stress on shoulder
and arm muscles,” said Matthews, who
is not sure why it hasn’t gained more
traction in the US.
Svensson said wherever there is
cross-country skiing in winter, Nordic
walking is easy to introduce.
“If you have no clue what cross
country skiing is, you’ll have no clue
about Nordic walking,” she said. “In
the United States there are pockets
of activity across the Northeast
and Midwest, where people get the
Svensson added that it’s a whole
body workout that begins at the
doorstep and requires only two
walking poles and an open mind.
“Ninety per cent of the people who
try it fall in love with it,” Svensson
said. “It looks nerdy. But once you try
it you’ll never go back.”
Around the world
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Sao Paulo
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Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Risk reduction
the QRC way:
focusing on
schools, students
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
atar Red Crescent (QRC)
has focused its disaster
risk reduction efforts on
schools to promote a culture of
safety, especially in educational
institutions that house thousands of students, teachers and
other employees.
Speaking at the World Disasters Report (WDR) 2014 launch
yesterday, head of QRC’s risk
reduction team Reema alMerekhi said the “Safe School
Programme” has benefited 7,072
students and 600 administrative
staff from 21 schools in Qatar covering kindergarten, primary,
preparatory and high school.
It is the п¬Ѓrst time that the International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched the WDR in the
Middle East.
Al-Merekhi said her team had
trained volunteers, who were also
initiated in designing and implementing the programme.
“We built the programme
around two events that occurred
on April 9 and 16, 2013, when Qatar experienced two tremors as a
result of earthquakes that struck
Iran, in which injuries, unsafe
behaviour and a situation of chaos were reported during evacuations,” al-Merekhi recounted
during her presentation.
As people in Qatar had not experienced earthquakes in the past
years, she said many believed that
they live “in a protected region
that will never experience natural
disasters”. This had resulted in ignoring the need to raise awareness
HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada inaugurating the RasGas gallery.
Reema al-Merekhi making a presentation on the �Safe School
Programme’. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
and implement precautions during and after an earthquake.
Citing the need to deal with
possible disasters in the future,
QRC’s disaster risk reduction volunteer team had implemented the
community-based programme on
disaster preparedness.
“In the planning phase, we
had to think on how we could access and encourage community
members to accept and behave in
a way that would reduce the risks
of earthquake,” she said.
Al-Merekhi also stressed that
her team had exerted efforts to
understand the knowledge, beliefs and perception of the community about earthquakes to
make risk reduction efforts successful and effective.
She highlighted the importance of educating the rest of the
community and enhancing their
skills to be more efficient in responding to disasters.
Part of the programme included
practical procedures to deal with
earthquakes (before, during and
after); assessing the weakness and
strength of the school and plan
for evacuation; п¬Ѓrst aid: conducting lectures on common injuries;
psychosocial support; evacuation drill; submitting a written
report of recommendation to the
school; a drawing competition;
and follow-up visit after one year
of holding the programme.
Al-Merekhi said they had designed and obtained fund for
the second year to print a programme booklet.
Besides having a fully booked
schedule for the whole year, the
team had received positive feedback from schools. They are planning to expand the programme by
including all schools in Qatar.
QRC plays an active role in relief and assistance activities in all
regions affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts around
the globe, its secretary-general
Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi
stressed in his speech.
RasGas gallery highlights
company’s achievements
asGas Company (RasGas) has opened a gallery,
depicting the milestone
achievements through its life
cycle, a move that will help the
current generation and posterity
to know about the country’s accomplishments in the booming
oil and gas sector.
HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh alSada, the Minister of Energy and
Industry, inaugurated the RasGas
Milestones Gallery in the presence
of the RasGas board of directors
and the executive leadership team.
The gallery at the company’s
headquarters celebrates RasGas’
milestone achievements through
a series of exhibits - from the
laying of the foundation stone in
1997 at Ras Laffan to last year’s
Helium 2 inauguration.
“RasGas’ remarkable success
story is part of our wise leadership’s strategic vision to develop
Qatar’s hydrocarbon resources
and optimise the utilisation. It
gives us all a sense of real pride
to see our major achievements
HE the Minister and other dignitaries being briefed about the gallery.
documented in such a creative
manner,” HE Dr al-Sada said.
The exhibition includes exhibits reflecting RasGas’ operation of seven liquefied natural gas
trains, two Al Khaleej Gas trains
and two helium plant facilities. Space within the exhibition
has been reserved for the future
Barzan Gas Project scheduled
to come on stream next year. At
that time, RasGas is expected to
become the largest single site gas
processor in the world.
“These successes are attributable to our highly-skilled,
multicultural workforce who
worked to achieve our vision
of being a world-class energy
supplier,” RasGas CEO Hamad
Rashid al-Mohannadi said.
The exhibition also showcases
an artistic interpretation of the
history of the RasGas logo. The
oil-on-canvas abstract painting
by renowned Qatari artist Ali
Hassan al-Jaber visually reflects
the seven evolving RasGas logos,
RasGas shareholders, customers
and key milestone statistics.
Qatar proposes unified GCC tourism promotion strategy
atar has proposed that a
unified GCC tourism promotion strategy be developed. The proposal was made at
the First Constituent Meeting of
the GCC Tourism Ministers, held
in Kuwait on Tuesday.
The other GCC countries supported the proposal, which will
be included in the common action programme that the ministers will discuss in the next ministerial meeting.
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA)
participated in the meeting, held
in response to an initiative by
Prince Sultan bin Salman al-Saud,
chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities,
who called for promoting common
GCC tourism action through the
formation of a specialised ministerial committee to develop the
entire Gulf tourism industry.
He also called for discussing
relevant common issues at the
level of decision-makers with a
view to advancing co-operation
and accelerating projects and initiatives aimed at developing the
Gulf tourism industry.
QTA was the п¬Ѓrst to support
Prince al-Saud’s initiative following the GCC Ministerial
Council’s unanimous approval of
the establishment of a specialised ministerial committee comprising the Gulf tourism ministries and authorities. Kuwait
was hosting the п¬Ѓrst constituent
meeting of the committee.
The ministers of tourism and
heads of tourism authorities in
the GCC reviewed the recommendations and the draft agenda
that the preparatory meeting,
also held in Kuwait from October
11 to 13, had approved.
One of the main topics that
the participants discussed was
the report that the GCC General
Secretariat prepared on common
Gulf co-operation in the area of
tourism over the past period. The
participants decided to establish
a mechanism to speed up execution of the approved projects and
surmount all obstacles in the way
of their speedy implementation.
The participants also discussed
ways to activate inter-Gulf travel
movement to strengthen the
bonds among GCC citizens and
boost the common heritage of
the Gulf states.
The meeting laid the foundations for co-operation between
official GCC tourism bodies and
the private sector as this plays an
important role in advancing the
growth of tourism not only at the
level of developing modern hospitality and entertainment projects
but also at the level of investment
in projects that develop cultural
sites and antiquities.
During the meeting, the Bahraini Minister of Culture reviewed
the charter on protection of urban
heritage. The participating ministers of tourism and heads of tourism authorities in the GCC praised
the efforts that are being made in
this regard, where Saudi Arabia and
Bahrain made much progress. They
recommended that the report be
referred to the GCC Co-operation
Committee on Antiquities and Museums to benefit from it.
The meeting of the tourism
ministers also discussed handicraft and traditional industries,
stressing their importance as a
tourism product.
QTA chairman Issa bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi said in a
statement on the sidelines of the
meeting, “The GCC tourism industry has grown to be one of the
basic industries and an important
contributor to national economies. The tourism sector made
remarkable progress over the past
few years, with the GCC states
Ministers of tourism and heads of tourism authorities from the GCC countries at the meeting in Kuwait.
turning more attention to this
industry as an alternative source
of income, a major generator of
job opportunities for the coming generations, and a contributor to the sustainability of natural
Capital Taxis hit roads
resources and human heritage.
“With the GCC tourism industry developing and occupying a
preeminent position on the Gulf
agenda, and with many countries
competing to attract tourists, com-
mon Gulf tourism action had to be
promoted to the level of decisionmakers. This will help develop the
industry and give a major impetus
to collective Gulf projects and cooperation in the tourism sector.”
Doha resident killed
in Oman accident
The services of Capital Taxis, the country’s fourth Karwa taxi franchisee, were launched at the company’s sprawling compound on Street 1, Industrial Area, along Salwa Road
yesterday. Ibin Ajayan Group, a prominent vehicle distributor in Qatar, is the operator of the grey-roofed Capital Taxis. The first batch consists of 50 taxis and more are
expected to hit the country’s roads in the coming days. Pictured are some of the drivers with the company’s taxis at the launch yesterday. PICTURE: Jayaram
52-year-old Doha resident
died in a road accident in
Oman on Wednesday.
The deceased, Hafsa Abdullah, an Indian expatriate from
Perambra in Kerala’s Kozhikode
district, had been a resident of
Qatar for more than 20 years,
sources said.
The accident occurred when
the vehicle in which she was
travelling with her family members overturned in Jebel Akhtar,
about 200km from Muscat.
Hafsa and her husband Abdullah Kunnerimeetal had gone to
Oman to visit their daughter
Hiba and her family.
One of her relatives also lost
his life in the accident while Hiba
and Abdullah sustained injuries
in the accident.
Besides her husband Abdullah, an employee of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), she leaves
Hafsa Abdullah
behind daughters Hiba and Nafla
and son Hisham.
All three children reportedly
studied in an Indian expatriate school in Doha earlier. The
family was supposed to return to
Doha tomorrow.
China banks
extend $140bn
in new loans
EU could step
in if Russian
flows cut off
Friday, October 17, 2014
Dhul-Hijja 23, 1435 AH
New Gulf projects to
hit $180bn this year
despite crude drop
Mideast markets bleeding
further amid global sell-off
Saudi Arabia tumbles ahead of National
Commercial Bank IPO; key petrochemical
sector hit by oil price slump; Dubai plunges after
breaking key chart support; Oman posts biggest
daily drop since early 2011; Egypt returns to
Qatar shares drop 2.9% with
QR20bn market cap loss
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
arkets across the Middle East tumbled yesterday as global equities and oil prices continued
to decline, while Saudi Arabia’s drop was magnified by investors selling to prepare for a $6bn initial
public offer of shares.
Brent crude oil, which has slid more than 28% since
June because of slow demand growth and signs that
producers are not cutting output, hovered around $83
per barrel, near a four-year low.
Economists and fund managers continue to believe
the oil price decline will not be disastrous for Gulf
economies and markets. Governments have huge п¬Ѓscal reserves that will allow them to keep spending, even
though they may slow the growth in their budgets if oil
prices stay low for a long period.
“Lower oil prices shouldn’t cause too many problems
for the Gulf economies thanks in large part to their relative prudence over the past decade,” Jason Tuvey, Middle East economist at London’s Capital Economics, said
in a report. “Even so, weaker growth in oil production
and less supportive п¬Ѓscal policy mean that the Gulf
economies are likely to slow over the coming years and
growth rates of 3%-4%, rather than 6%-7%, will become the �new norm’.”
Growth rates of 3%-4% would still be healthy by global standards, but the sight of oil prices collapsing and
volatility in international equity markets has spooked
some Gulf retail investors.
The main Saudi index closed 3.6% down after tumbling as much as 5.7% earlier in the session. The benchmark has now erased all of the 14% gains which it posted
after authorities announced in late July that they would
open the market to direct foreign investment early next
Saudi Arabia’s largest lender, National Commercial
Bank, will open subscriptions for its IPO - the largestever in the Arab world - next week, and investors were
cashing out to prepare for that.
“This comes on top of the perceived correlation of
crude prices going down and the index going down,”
said Sanyalak Manibhandu, manager of research at
NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi. “What tends to happen
is that as the market goes down, people start to capitulate and sell.”
Lower oil prices look likely to erode the competitive
advantage which Gulf petrochemical producers enjoy
over foreign rivals, and petrochemical stocks are heavily
weighted in the Saudi market. Shares in Saudi Basic Industries, one of the world’s biggest petrochemical producers, fell 5.7% yesterday.
A trader holds prayer beads while following the stock
market developments on his monitor screen at the
Dubai Financial Market. Dubai’s bourse tumbled 5.0%
yesterday, extending its decline late in the session in
reaction to Saudi Arabia’s drop.
Based on monthly changes in the last 10 years, Sabic’s
share price has only a moderate correlation with Brent
crude, according to Reuters data, with an index of 0.5
out of a maximum of 1.0.
The Saudi petrochemical index, tracked since 2007,
has a stronger correlation of 0.65. But the overall Saudi
stock market index has a weak correlation of 0.36.
Shares in Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest listed lender, fell 4.3% after it posted a 3.2% drop in its
third-quarter net profit. The bank made 1.66bn riyals
($442.6mn) in the quarter while analysts had expected
1.9bn riyals.
Dubai’s bourse tumbled 5.0%, extending its decline
late in the session in reaction to Saudi Arabia’s drop. The
benchmark was among the most volatile in the region
after closing below its 200-day average on Wednesday
for the п¬Ѓrst time since 2012, a bearish technical signal.
Most stocks were in the red and builder Arabtec Holding, one of the more volatile names, plunged 8.7%.
Dubai’s market and economy have little direct exposure to oil, but the bourse’s pool of active retail investors
and correlation with the emirate’s volatile real estate
market make it very vulnerable to global trends.
Abu Dhabi’s index fell 2.3% in a broad sell-off. Abu
Dhabi Commercial Bank was the main drag, down 3.6%.
Oman’s market tumbled 3.3%, its biggest one-day
decline since February 2011, as all liquid stocks fell.
Egypt’s bourse, which edged up in the previous session, turned around on Thursday and dropped 3.4%.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index slid 1.7% to
7,410 points, while Bahrain’s measure fell 1.0% to 1,447
points. Pages: 7, 10, 12
Eurozone woes pressing down
on global growth, inflation
Berlin/Paris/New York
Growth prospects for the still-unsteady
global economy have dimmed as disinflation grips the world, making it difficult
for central banks to move away from
aggressive monetary stimulus, Reuters
polls found.
The recent sell-off in financial markets,
for years propped up by central bank
liquidity and other stimulus measures,
has brought into focus the risks another
eurozone slowdown now poses to global
Indeed, the biggest danger for the
world economy in the coming year is
deflation or another recession in the
eurozone, followed closely by the risk
of slower growth in China, according to
polls conducted globally over the past
The eurozone is stuck in a quagmire of
weak growth and inflation with even
Germany, its biggest member, close to a
recession, and prices falling in Italy.
“Recent data suggest that the eurozone
is even more vulnerable to setbacks than
initially had been taken into account,”
said Elwin de Groot, economist at
Rabobank. “Especially, the recent weakening of growth in emerging markets
- including China - has dented activity in
the stronger core economies, Germany
in particular.”
Global growth is forecast at 3.1% this
year, roughly steady compared with
But the estimate for 3.6% growth next
year has been chopped from 3.7%
predicted three months ago and also is
lower than the International Monetary
Fund’s recently downgraded 3.8%
The last few months have been marked
by steeply falling inflation in many
economies, with consumer price rises in
some cases far below stability targets set
by their central banks.
Consumer prices are expected to rise
tepidly in most of the countries polled
- including in the eurozone, where inflation slowed to a dangerously low 0.3% in
“The very low inflation reading for September will reinforce concern that the
eurozone remains on a slippery slope to
deflation,” said Martin van Vliet, economist at ING Financial Markets.
Reflecting the global run off, the Qatar
Stock Exchange yesterday plunged
387 points and capitalisation eroded
QR20bn, extending its losses to the
second straight session, with more
than 84% of the listed stocks ending
in the red.
Across-the-board selling pressure–
particularly in the realty, consumer
goods, banking and industrials stocks
– led the 20-stock Qatar Index (based
on price data) to shed 2.9% to 12,942
points amid increasing volumes.
Foreign institutions continued to be
net sellers in the market, which is up
24.69% year-to-date.
The index that tracks Shariahprincipled stock was seen melting
slower than the other indices in the
bourse, where trading volume was
largely skewed towards real estate
and banking stocks.
The Total Return Index fell 2.9% to
19,302.87 points, the All Share Index
by 2.74% to 3,282.5 points and Al
Rayan Islamic Index by 2.62% to
4,364.3 points.
Market capitalisation fell 3% to
QR699.39bn with large, micro, small
and mid cap equities melting 2.91%,
2.32%, 2.05% and 1.86% respectively.
Realty stocks plunged 4.32%, followed
by consumer goods (2.86%), banks
and financial services (2.82%),
industrials (2.6%), insurance (2.22%),
telecom (0.96%) and transport
Major losers included Industries
Qatar, QNB, Commercial Bank, Ezdan,
Mazaya Qatar, Barwa, Masraf Al Rayan,
Woqod, Aamal Company, Mesaieed
Petrochemical Holding, Vodafone
Qatar and Nakilat.
However, Islamic Holding Group and
Milaha bucked the trend.
Ezdan and Masraf Al Rayan were the
most active in terms of volume and
Foreign institutions’ net selling rose to
QR106.67mn against QR66.62mn the
previous day.
Domestic institutions’ net buying rose
to QR57.5mn compared to QR53.25mn
on Wednesday.
Qatari retail investors’ net buying
surged to QR38.28mn against
QR8.61mn the previous day.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net
buying strengthened to QR10.88mn
compared to QR4.76mn on October
Total trade volume rose 47% to
14.33mn shares, value by 44% to
QR771.86mn and transactions by 39%
to 7,522.
The insurance sector’s trade volume
almost tripled to 0.34mn equities
and value more than quadrupled to
QR28.24mn on more-than-doubled
deals to 212.
The real estate sector’s trade volume
more than doubled to 5.7mn stocks
and value also more than doubled to
QR123.31mn on more-than-doubled
transactions to 1,451.
The telecom sector’s trade volume
soared 40% to 1.6mn shares, value by
32% to QR41.26mn and deals by 50%
to 497.
The banks and financial services
sector’s trade volume reported a
29% surge to 3.55mn equities, 31%
in value to QR302.41mn and 19% in
transactions to 2,039.
The industrials sector saw its trade
volume expand 20% to 1.86mn stocks,
value by 38% to QR199.06mn and
deals by 27% to 2,370.
However, the transport sector’s trade
volume plummeted 30% to 0.3mn
shares, value by 50% to QR9.37mn
and transactions by 2% to 244.
There was a 26% plunge in the
consumer goods sector’s trade
volume to 0.98mn equities but on a
48% rise in value to QR68.21mn and
47% in deals to 709.
In the debt market, there was
no trading of treasury bills and
government bonds.
Sheikh Faisal: Consistent performance.
profit up
11% to hit
hlibank Qatar has reported an
11% expansion in net profit to
QR458.1mn in the п¬Ѓrst nine
months of this year, mainly powered
by robust corporate lending.
Net operating income grew 10% to
QR692.3mn, a bank spokesman said.
“This consistent financial performance is an evidence of the increased
trust placed on our service delivery by
our valuable partners,” Ahlibank Qatar chairman and managing director
Sheikh Faisal bin AbdulAziz bin Jassem
al-Thani said.
Net interest and non-interest incomes increased 10% and 13% respectively over 2013.
Loans and advances grew 27% to
QR20.2bn, resulting in a 32% jump in
total assets to QR30.4bn.
Customer deposits increased 22% to
Cost-to-income ratio contained at
30.6%, despite continued investments
in branding and infrastructure, a bank
spokesman said.
Non-performing loans stood at 1.2%
as of September 2014 against 1.6%
in the year-ago period, reflecting the
bank’s ability to expand the balance
sheet without compromising on asset
Return on average equity stood
above the peer average at 16.1%, reflecting the bank’s focus on risk adjusted return on capital and that on
average assets was steady at 2.25%, despite significant growth in total assets
during the п¬Ѓnancial period.
“As we roll out various business
initiatives this year and beyond, we
are optimistic that these will contribute towards uninterrupted success,”
Sheikh Faisal said.
Qatar-German trade crosses €2bn
he volume of trade between Qatar and Germany is estimated at over €2bn, reflecting
continued growth, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin
Mohamed al-Thani has stressed.
He made the statement while addressing the
fourth meeting of the Qatari-German joint committee for commercial, economic and technical cooperation in Berlin.
While the Qatari side was chaired by Sheikh
Ahmed, the Germans were led by Matthias Machnig, state secretary at the federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, QNA said.
The two-day meeting has discussed a number
of issues, including renewable energy and energy
competency, the role of small and medium-sized
enterprises in reviving economy, business and investment opportunities in Germany, and German
international co-operation activities in Qatar.
In his speech, Sheikh Ahmed highlighted the
strength of Qatari-German relations, noting that
there are agreements for economic and commercial
co-operation and for promotion and protection of
investments between the two countries.
Sheikh Ahmed observed that German investments in Qatar have increased and there are 27
German companies with 100% German ownership
in addition to 112 п¬Ѓrms with joint Qatari-German
He hailed the success of the Qatari-German Economic Forum held on the sidelines of the visit of
HE Sheikh Ahmed with Machnig at the Qatari-German joint committee meeting in Berlin.
HH the Emir to Germany, in which the attendance
of businessmen and CEOs from major Qatari companies contributed to enriching the joint dialogue
over economic, commercial and investment-related
The meeting aims to enhance economic and com-
mercial ties between the two countries, working to
boost Qatar’s exports to the German market by
stimulating commerce chambers in both countries
and the private sector and benefiting from signed
agreements in this regard, and creating new investment opportunities.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Qatar, UAE, Saudi to help Mideast aviation fly high: IATA
atar, UAE and Saudi Arabia
will be the key drivers of
Middle East’s air passenger
market, which IATA said will grow
strongly by an average 4.9% and
see extra 237mn passengers a year
on routes to, from and within the
region by 2034.
The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will all enjoy strong growth
of 5.6%, 4.8%, and 4.6% respectively. The total market size will be
383mn passengers.
In its п¬Ѓrst ever 20-year passenger growth forecast International
Air Transport Association (IATA)
yesterday projected that passenger
numbers were expected to reach
7.3bn by 2034. That represents a
4.1% average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will
result in more than a doubling of
the 3.3bn passengers expected to
travel this year.
Among the highlights of the report is the expectation that China
will overtake the US as the world’s
largest passenger market (defined
by traffic to, from and within) by
2030. Both markets, however, are
expected to remain the largest by a
wide margin.
In 2034 flights to, from and
within China will account for
some 1.3bn passengers, 856mn
more than 2014 with an average
annual growth rate of 5.5%. Traffic
to, from and within the US is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 3.2% that will see
1.2bn passengers by 2034 (559mn
more than 2014).
The report, the п¬Ѓrst from the
new IATA Passenger Forecasting
service, produced in association
with Tourism Economics, analyses passenger flows across 4,000
country pairs for the next 20 years,
forecasting passenger numbers
by way of three key demand drivers: living standards, population
and demographics, and price and
By 2034, the п¬Ѓve fastest-increasing markets in terms of additional passengers a year will be
China (856mn new passengers
a year), the US (559mn), India
(266mn), Indonesia (183mn) and
Brazil (170mn).
Eight of the ten fastest-growing
markets in percentage terms will
be in Africa with Central African
Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania,
Burundi and Kuwait making up the
п¬Ѓve fastest-growing markets.
In terms of country-pairs, Asian
and South American destinations
will see the fastest growth, reflecting economic and demographic
growth in those markets. IntraPakistan, Kuwait-Thailand, UAE-
Ethiopia, Colombia-Ecuador and
intra-Honduras travel will all grow
by at least 9.5% on average for the
next 20 years, while IndonesiaEast Timor will be the fastest
growing pair of all, at 14.9%, IATA
“It is an exciting prospect to
think that in the next 20 years
more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance
to fly. Air connectivity on this scale
will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people.
At present, aviation helps sustain
58mn jobs and $2.4tn in economic
activity. In 20 years’ time we can
expect aviation to be supporting
around 105mn jobs and $6tn in
GDP,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
While improving living standards, population and demographics, and price and availability cre-
ate the conditions for improved
demand, there is potential for
policy-induced obstacles to hinder
the development of connectivity.
“Meeting the potential demand
will require government policies
that support the economic benefits that growing connectivity
makes possible. Airlines can only
fly where there is infrastructure to
accommodate them.
“People can only fly as long as
ticket taxes don’t price them out
of their seats. And air connectivity can only thrive when nations
open their skies and their markets.
It’s a virtuous circle. Growing connectivity stimulates economies.
And healthy economies demand
greater connectivity. The message
of this forecast is that there is great
potential if all aviation stakeholders—including governments—play
their role,” said Tyler.
Tyler: Exciting prospects.
Gulf projects to hit $180bn
this year despite crude fall
bout $180bn of contracts for
new construction projects will
be awarded in wealthy Gulf
states this year, the largest amount for
six years, despite falling oil prices, according to a study published yesterday.
If current prices are sustained for
a long period, perhaps a year or so, oil
revenues of the Gulf states will be reduced and governments could become
less willing to spend, and decide to cut
back on projects, construction industry
executives and analysts said.
So far, however, there is no clear sign
that cutbacks are looming in the sixnation Gulf Cooperation Council, they
“We are going to beat the 2013 figure
this year with $180bn worth of contracts awarded,” said Edward James,
director of analysis at MEED Projects,
an online project tracking п¬Ѓrm which
conducted the study. “This is driven by
substantial projects that were awarded
this year by Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait.”
Last year, $156bn of projects were
awarded in the GCC, largely by governments and state-backed companies, as
most Gulf countries recovered strongly
from the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis and
spent on major infrastructure projects
designed to help their economies diversify beyond oil. At the peak of the boom
in 2008, GCC contracts totalled about
The concern for the construction industry is that oil prices could drop for
an extended period below the “breakeven” levels which governments need
to balance their budgets.
This would not be disastrous for
the governments; they have built up
huge financial reserves which in many
cases could cover heavy spending for
The construction site of Abu Dhabi’s new 10.8bn dirham ($2.9bn) airport terminal, which will be operational in July 2017 (file).
At the peak of the boom in 2008, GCC construction contracts totalled about $200bn.
years to come. Also, governments in
the big GCC economies have little
debt and could easily borrow from
But the experience of running budget
deficits could cause governments to
become more cautious about spending. Saudi Arabia will have a breakeven price of $90.70 a barrel in 2015,
the International Monetary Fund has
estimated; the UAE would face a level
of $73.30, Kuwait $53.30 and Qatar
“I would say Saudi Arabia and the
UAE are most likely to delay projects or
put some on hold if there’s a sustained
drop in prices,” said Regard Aboo Yakou, Qatar country manager at construction consulting firm Hill International.
Steven Miller, senior vice president
for business development at construc-
tion firm Shapoorji Pallonji, said: “I’ve
heard that the time to worry is if it goes
below the $80 mark.”
He added, “We have not seen anything stopping yet, but if prices continue falling maybe it will. Metro projects
may stop, but housing and hospitals
will be built.”
In the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, Gulf governments are keen to continue with welfare spending, so building
projects in this area might be the last to
be cut back. David Clifton, regional development director for the Middle East
at consultancy Faithful+Gould, said:
“Should the oil price remain low for a
sustained period or fall much further, it
is quite reasonable to expect that there
will be an evaluation of the feasibility of
future government-related projects.
“This would appear to be an unknown at present. Should this occur, a
slowing or suspension of some developments in the pipeline would almost
certainly occur as governments look at
the oil price barrel versus the breakeven point for their budgets.”
One surprise in the MEED report was
that Saudi Arabia, the biggest market in
the region, looks set to slow its contract
awards substantially this year. It is expected to award projects worth about
$40bn, down from $66bn in 2013,
MEED said.
This appears to be part of a trend
towards п¬Ѓscal prudence which started
well before the oil price slide began. After years of rapid spending growth, the
government last December announced
a 2014 budget which envisaged total
state spending rising just 4.3% - the
slowest rate in a decade.
“Saudi’s performance this year has
been surprising...We were expecting a
lot more contracts. We certainly have
seen a decline in tendering and awarding projects,” said James. “Whether or
not that’s related to the oil prices is not
Some construction п¬Ѓrms in Saudi
Arabia have blamed delays to projects
on government bureaucracy, difficulties in making land available, and labour reforms designed to reduce the
country’s reliance on foreign workers.
An estimated 1mn foreign workers left Saudi Arabia last year during a
crackdown on illegal immigrants, and
construction п¬Ѓrms have sometimes
struggled to assemble enough staff.
NCB going ahead with
$3.6bn IPO despite
clerics’ opposition
Saudi Arabia’s National
Commercial Bank is going
ahead with an initial public
offering worth at least $3.6bn
despite opposition from
Muslim clerics.
The IPO from Sunday, making
NCB the last Saudi bank to go
public, is expected to be one
of the largest in the world this
year. “It will be very, very highly
watched”, said Beshr Bakheet
of the privately-held Osool and
Bakheet Investment Company.
Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member
of the kingdom’s official
Council of Senior Ulemas, said
on television that the IPO is
haram, or forbidden under
Islamic tenets which ban
“What is clear to me now is
that it is not permissible,” he
said, adding that many of
the bank’s investments were
already haram.
After a lively public debate
over the moral legitimacy of
the share offer, the amount of
subscriber interest in the IPO
will be key, Bakheet said.
Only three of Saudi Arabia’s
12 banks are fully compliant
with Islamic Shariah laws,
while the others offer Shariahcompliant products along with
conventional banking services.
NCB’s Shariah advisory council
on Thursday declared the
share offer to be acceptable
under Islamic law.
“After much thought and
deliberations regarding the
issue, the bank considers
the IPO in the bank’s stock to
be permissible according to
Shariah,” it said in a statement
obtained by AFP.
More than two-thirds of NCB’s
business is already Shariah
compliant, and it plans to
become a completely Islamic
bank “within a reasonable
time”, the statement said.
Saudi Arabia is Opec’s biggest
oil exporter and its economy
has been one of the best
performing in the Group of
20 nations, according to the
International Monetary Fund.
Egypt bank keeps key rates
on hold; monitoring risks
Sabatier (left) and Julien: Commited to Qatar National Vision 2030.
Total holds training on
�material balance’ at TRC-Q
Total recently held a technical training on
�material balance’ analysis of condensate gas
reservoirs at the Total Research Centre in Qatar
(TRC-Q) at the Qatar Science and Technology
Park (QSTP).
The session hosted 15 participants, mostly
engineers from Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum.
Christophe Allanic, a specialist in reservoir
management from TOTAL’s headquarters in Pau,
France delivered the high-level training. The
participants were briefed on theory – including
equations and guidelines to properly perform
material balance modelling, and they conducted
practical computer exercises, using the software
�Mbal’, a material balance tool, which allows
engineers to better characterise reservoir drive
mechanisms and hydrocarbon volumes.
The training received positive feedback from
attendees with one participant, Lionel Sabatier,
who works at Qatargas, saying, “This was
an interesting session which helped me to
understand and control the main parameters
which impact the Hydrocarbon Reservoir
dynamic. As a result, I am better equipped to
foresee our wells performance in the future.”
“One of the main aims of TRC-Q is to carry
out innovative research and share it with our
industrial partners,” said Philippe Julien, TRC-Q
“The research centres currently focuses on some
of the main challenges of Qatar, and our aim is
to share our findings with Qatari institutions, in
line with our commitment to the Qatar National
Vision 2030.”
gypt’s central bank kept
its main interest rates
unchanged at a policy
meeting yesterday but said it
was keeping an eye on the risks
to recovery posed by mounting concerns about the global
economy and fears of a resurgence in European debt problems.
The bank kept overnight
deposit and lending rates unchanged at 9.25% and 10.25%
respectively, as forecast by a
Reuters poll. Inflationary pressure has begun to ease after
a spike following cuts to energy subsidies in July while the
economy is showing signs of
strengthening recovery.
“Looking ahead, while investments in domestic mega
projects such as the Suez Canal
are expected to contribute to
economic growth, the downside risks that surround the
global recovery on the back of
challenges facing the Euro area
and the softening growth in
Egypt’s economy has been in turmoil since a popular
uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011,
deterring tourists and foreign investors and straining the
country’s finances
emerging markets could pose
downside risks,” the bank said
in a statement after the meeting.
Egypt’s economy has been in
turmoil since a popular uprising
ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak
in 2011, deterring tourists and
foreign investors and straining
the country’s finances.
To help bring down its swelling budget deficit, the government in July slashed energy
subsidies, raising energy costs
for companies and consumers
by up to 78%.
That pushed up prices and
hit business activity in July. But
the effect appears to have been
Urban consumer inflation
eased to 11.1% in September
after surging to 11.5% in August in the wake of cuts to fuel
and electricity subsidies. Core
inflation eased to 9.15% in September from 10.07% the previous month.
The bank said it was seeking
to keep a lid on inflation without derailing the fragile economic recovery.
Rising concerns about the
outlook for the global economy
have triggered a sell-off in global п¬Ѓnancial markets this week
and pose a risk to Egypt’s economy just as it is improving.
In the last quarter, gross
domestic product grew 3.7%
from a year earlier, suggesting the recovery was gaining
strength. A recent Reuters poll
forecast growth could reach
3.3% this п¬Ѓscal year as Egypt
pushes ahead with big projects
such as a Suez Canal expansion.
The government hopes the
project can turn the canal into
an international industrial and
logistics hub that will create
jobs and restore confidence.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Malaysia tax breaks may shift Islamic bonds beyond murabaha
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia is adjusting its tax structure
to favour issues of some types of
Islamic bond, in a move that could
attract more foreign issuers and
investors to its market and narrow
differences with the Gulf, the other
main centre of Islamic finance.
The Malaysian sukuk market
is already the world’s largest,
accounting for two-thirds of total
global issuance of about $100bn so
far this year. But the market consists
largely of local-currency deals which
tend to rely on government-linked
institutions as ready buyers.
By far the most common type of
sukuk format used in Malaysia
is murabaha, a cost-plus-profit
arrangement where one party agrees
to buy merchandise for another,
which promises to buy it at an agreed
mark-up. In the first half of 2014, 82%
of all corporate sukuk approved in
work on
plant in
Dow Jones
New Delhi
onda Motor Co (HMC)
yesterday broke ground
for building a scooter
plant in the western Indian state
of Gujarat that it said would be
the world’s largest dedicated
factory for scooters.
The 1.2mn-unit-a-year facility will be the fourth two-wheeler
factory for Honda in India when it
opens toward the end of 2015, the
Japanese auto maker said. Honda
will invest 11bn rupees ($178mn)
to build the facility, which would
expand the company’s twowheeler production capacity in
India to 5.8mn units annually. The
company’s existing factories are in
the states of Haryana, Rajasthan
and Karnataka where it makes
both scooters and motorcycles.
Honda will invest $178mn
to build the facility,
which would expand the
company’s two-wheeler
production capacity
in India to 5.8mn units
Auto makers such as Suzuki
Motor Corp, General Motors Co,
Ford Motor Co and Tata Motors Ltd
already have factories, or are building them, in Gujarat, the state that
Narendra Modi was chief minister
of for three terms before becoming
India’s Prime Minister.
“As the world’s biggest twowheeler market, India is already
a priority market for Honda,”
said Noriaki Abe, Honda’s chief
operating officer for Asia & Oceania. Honda is aiming to sell
18.2mn two-wheelers worldwide in this п¬Ѓscal year through
March and “India will contribute almost 25% to global Honda
sales,” he added.
Malaysia used murabaha, Securities
Commission data shows.
But murabaha may be limiting the
Malaysian market’s development,
because many international issuers
and investors prefer to use other
structures such as ijara and wakala.
Some Islamic scholars in the Gulf
have said murabaha lacks a clear link
to the assets backing the structure,
and is therefore not sufficiently based
on real economic activity, a key
principle in Islamic finance.
Also, many Gulf scholars don’t view
murabaha as a tradeable instrument,
further limiting its appeal to investors
from outside Malaysia.
So Prime Minister Najib Razak sought
to reduce Malaysia’s reliance on
murabaha by announcing last week,
in his annual budget speech, that
the government would extend tax
deductions for ijara and wakala sukuk
structures from 2015 until 2018.
Ijara and wakala accounted for only
a combined 9% of corporate sukuk
deals in the first half of this year.
At the same time, tax breaks for other
structures including murabaha, bai
bithaman ajil, istisna and musharaka
would expire by the end of this year.
The effect of the tax changes may
be to shift some issuance away
from murabaha and encourage the
use of ijara and wakala, making
the Malaysian market more closely
resemble the Gulf.
“The extension of the tax incentives
for sukuk based on the Shariah
principles of ijara and wakala is part
of Malaysia’s long-term strategy to
internationalise the Islamic capital
market,” the Securities Commission
said in a statement to Reuters.
“These two Shariah principles are
widely adopted internationally
and the extension of tax incentives
would further promote cross-border
Arshad Mohamed Ismail, head of
corporate and investment banking
at Maybank Islamic, said the new
tax structure would make ijara
and wakala deals more efficient to
execute. “Authorities would certainly
like to see greater diversity in the
types of sukuk structures executed in
the local market,” he said.
Ijara, a sale and lease-back contract,
is the most common structure used
by governments issuing sukuk;
Britain, South Africa and Luxembourg
all employed that format when
making their debut issues this year.
Wakala, an arrangement in which
one party acts as agent for another,
has emerged as the most common
structure for big conventional banks
entering the sukuk market as issuers.
Goldman Sachs used wakala in its
$500mn sukuk issue last month;
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and Societe
Generale chose it when laying plans
this year to issue sukuk in Malaysia.
“We foresee more variants of
sukuk wakala to emerge,” said T C
Kok, chief executive of Malaysia’s
AmInvestment Bank.
Any shift away from murabaha
in Malaysia is not expected to be
overwhelming. The tax deductions
are for expenses incurred by issuers
on their sukuk; these sums of money
are not necessarily decisive, bankers
say, and issuers also consider other
factors when choosing structures.
Murabaha remains the easiest and
fastest structure to design, a key
consideration for issuers, Kok noted.
“We feel that it will not discourage
issuers from murabaha altogether.
The ease of execution and time to
market for murabaha may continue
to appeal to issuers, given the volatile
interest rate environment.”
Although ijara is very popular
with investors, it is still one of the
hardest structures to sell to issuers,
said Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, chief
executive of CIMB Islamic.
“Not every issuer can do ijara or
wakala. Different issuers with diverse
requirements will opt for different
structures to tap the sukuk market.
So we will not see a movement away
from murabaha,” he said.
While murabaha can use
commodities provided by an
arranging bank, without the issuer
having to own those assets, ijara
and wakala require the issuer to own
specific assets to back its structure,
such as real estate.
This may be a challenge for firms
planning to raise money for new
projects, as their assets may not be
immediately available or of sufficient
value, Kok said.
Nevertheless, authorities appear
determined to diversify the sukuk
market. There is concern that
Malaysian issuers have come to rely
too heavily on a few local investors
to buy their sukuk, such as the
countries’ two huge pension funds, the
Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and
Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).
“The government wants more foreign
investors to come into the Malaysian
capital market to reduce the overreliance on the likes of EPF, KWAP
etc.,” said another Malaysia-based
banker. This looks unlikely to happen
as long as Malaysian issues are
overwhelmingly murabaha.
India state lenders eye sale
of �family gold’ to raise cash
ndia’s state-owned banks, weighed down by
bad loans and lacklustre profits, could within
months begin the sale of billions of dollars of
unwanted assets to help raise cash needed to meet
tougher regulation.
State-run Central Bank of India could be among
the п¬Ѓrst off the block, according to a tender document for advisers seen by Reuters, which outlines
a plan to sell all or part of its home п¬Ѓnance unit by
the end of December.
IDBI Bank – another state-owned lender which
owns stakes in the country’s top stock exchange
and rating agency Credit Analysis and Research
Ltd (CARE) – could put some of its non-core
stakes on the block by March, the bank’s chairman
told Reuters.
“We are waiting for an opportunity to sell,” IDBI
Bank’s MS Raghavan said in a phone interview, referring to the stakes as “family gold”.
In the past three decades, Indian banks, often
under pressure from a Delhi government wishing
to develop markets or encourage home ownership,
invested heavily in a network of home lenders, rating agencies and even the country’s largest stock
Now the stakes could prove a welcome source of
cash. India’s lenders need to gather nearly $40bn
in capital over the next four years to comply with
the so-called �Basel III’ package of global banking
In the past, the state would have stepped in with
a capital injection. But policymakers have in recent
months warned that state-owned banks would
have to take care of their own needs.
Most of the banks’ capital needs are expected
to be met through the sale of debt or shares in the
banks themselves. But – wary of diluting its grip
on some of the lenders – the government is also
encouraging lenders to sell assets.
“It won’t be easy but they are not left with many
options,” said RK Gupta, a New Delhi-based managing director at Taurus Asset Management.
“They have to find a strategic investor for the
Industry advisers said the timing for the sales
appeared promising for the banks, coming after
Indian equity markets have risen strongly on the
back of the election of Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s pro-business government. India is the
best-performing stock market in Asia this year.
“(We) had invested in these things at an initial
India’s state-owned banks including IDBI, weighed down by bad loans and lacklustre profits, could within months begin the sale of billions of dollars of
unwanted assets to help raise cash needed to meet tougher regulation.
stage. They have got good appreciation now,” said
a top official at Punjab National Bank, which has
stakes in rating agency ICRA and UTI Asset Management Company.
“As and when required, or as and when we feel
this is the right time to exit, we may sell these.”
But п¬Ѓnding a strategic investor may not be easy.
Such sales have been slow in the past - unlisted
assets are less transparent and at least one senior
industry banker warned that it could be tough to
meet sellers’ expectations.
IDBI, which currently owns more than 16% of
CARE, wanted to sell that stake last п¬Ѓnancial year,
but bids failed to meet its target, Raghavan said.
Improving equities markets, even despite current turbulence, could change that.
IDBI’s other assets include about 5% of National
Stock Exchange of India (NSE), the top exchange
in the country. State Bank of India also owns a slice
of the bourse.
“We think there can be an appreciation,” Raghavan said. “(On) NSE... we believe we can get a
good bargain. That’s why we are trying to time it,”
he said.
But Manish Ostwal, a banking analyst at KR
Choksey Shares and Securities in Mumbai, warned
the sales were unlikely to be a panacea for the
cash-strapped sector.
“The major capital, if sustainable, should come
from the markets,” he said, referring to planned
share sales by banks.
State-run banks are currently trading below
their book value, and Ostwal said Modi’s government would need to encourage broad reform, consolidation and improve governance to make the
banks attractive to investors.
Modi names Rajan ally as chief economic adviser
New Delhi
Subramanian: A specialist in international development.
high-powered academic who tells
his students to read Joseph Conrad and Gabriel Garcia Marquez
to better understand economic development was confirmed yesterday as chief
economic adviser to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Ending two months of uncertainty,
US-based economist Arvind Subramanian announced at an impromptu news
conference that he had got the job, on a
day of drama in which the finance ministry’s top civil servant was sacked.
His appointment inserts a friend of
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan at the heart of policy making, as Modi seeks to make good on a
jobs-and-growth pledge that swept him
to power in a general election in May.
“I have just taken charge as chief economic adviser,” Subramanian told reporters outside the finance ministry. “It
is a great honour to serve in a government that has a mandate for reform and
Setting out his priorities, Subramani-
an said: “For any economy like India, two
big things are macro-economic stability
and, of course, creating the conditions
for rapid investments and growth.”
News of Subramanian’s candidacy
first leaked in August, and his confirmation marks a victory for Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley, who lobbied hard to bring
him on board in the face of initial scepticism from Modi.
His appointment followed news that
Arvind Mayaram, the finance ministry’s top civil servant, had been abruptly
moved to another job in the ministry for
Mayaram was the official in charge of
drafting Jaitley’s maiden budget in July,
which Subramanian panned in a newspaper column as “disappointing but retrievable”.
Subramanian’s new job gives him considerable influence over the next budget,
due in February, as expectations grow for
significant reforms to free up the Indian
Associates describe Subramanian,
who held senior fellowships at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Global Development, as a forthright intellectual.
“The most important thing to know
about Arvind, aside from his п¬Ѓrst-rate
credentials as an economist, is that he is
a truth-teller,” said Milan Vaishnav, an
India expert at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace in Washington.
The presence of Subramanian, a specialist in international development, will
add intellectual heft to a nationalist cabinet that is widely seen as lacking strength
in depth.
“Arvind ... boasts an undisputed academic reputation with a substantial understanding about how the policy process works,” said economist Domenico
Lombardi, who has served on the boards
of the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund.
Lombardi described Subramanian as
“the de facto closest adviser” to Rajan
when both worked in the IMF research
department that Rajan headed as chief
economist at the global lender.
In addition to world literature, Subramanian also recommends to his graduate
students in Washington a working paper
he co-authored with Rajan at the IMF
which concluded that humanitarian aid
does not help economies grow.
That puts his views in line with those
of Modi, who wants India to break with
six decades of Nehruvian socialism and
embark on an investment-driven growth
push that seeks to emulate China’s manufacturing miracle.
The star of the Washington think tank
set could act as a mediator between Modi
and Rajan as the government and RBI
seek to thrash out the terms of a monetary policy overhaul that sets targeting
inflation as its main priority.
Friends say, however, that Subramanian is independent-minded and does not
see eye to eye with Rajan on every issue.
Both, though, agree that central bank independence should be a key element of
policy making.
He would also be a suave advocate of
India’s interests at international forums
like the Group of 20 or Brics caucus of
emerging market economies, where New
Delhi has typically punched below its
weight. After announcing his appointment, Subramanian took a handful of
questions before driving off in an Indianmade white government sedan. He has
been appointed for three years and will
earn Rs80,000 ($1,300) a month, according to a later government statement
that confirmed his appointment.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Top China
п¬Ѓles for
BoJ to resist pressure for
more stimulus measures
Hong Kong
ven as growth and deflation fears roil global
markets and weak data casts a shadow over
Japan’s economy, the Bank of Japan appears
set to resist pressure for more stimulus measures
or to accept that its inflation target is unrealistically high.
People familiar with its deliberations said the
BoJ, which has failed for two decades to drag Japan’s economy from the grip of no or zero inflation, is preparing to roughly halve its 1% economic
growth forecast for this п¬Ѓscal year, but stand pat on
policy and its prediction that inflation will hit its
2% target in the year from next April.
Private economists think inflation has peaked at
barely half the bank’s forecast rate, however, and
п¬Ѓnancial markets had been expecting the central
bank to add to its massive monetary easing, with
speculation growing it could act at its policy meeting on October 31.
“We think the BoJ’s view on consumer prices is
overly optimistic,” said Hiroshi Shiraishi, senior
economist at BNP Paribas Securities. BNP’s current expectations for inflation are around 1.8% at
the end of 2015, but Shiraishi said global conditions could render that timeframe optimistic, too.
A sharp slide in Japanese stocks and a rebound
in the yen, driven in part by concerns about global growth, have added to headwinds for Japan’s
economy, which is struggling with soft exports
and the chilling effect of a sales tax hike in April.
Tokyo shares are down 10% from September’s
seven-year high, while the dollar has slid to around
106 yen from a six-year high of 110 yen in the past
two months.
The sources said BoJ officials think the market turmoil is temporary and unlikely to do lasting damage to the economy. They are unlikely to
change their on-hold policy stance unless it becomes a shock severe enough to derail their forecast of moderate economic recovery, the sources
BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has stuck to his
hina’s biggest umbrella
exporter has п¬Ѓled for an
initial public offering in
Hong Kong as the city enters a
third week of pro-democracy
protest dubbed the “umbrella
revolution” after demonstrators used the devices as shields
against pepper spray.
Jicheng Umbrella Holdings is
raising funds to build a new factory and expand its output, according to its preliminary IPO
prospectus п¬Ѓled late on Wednesday. The company, based in
Jinjiang in the southern Fujian
Province, didn’t disclose the size
of the planned deal.
Hong Kong didn’t rank among
export-dependent Jicheng’s five
biggest markets last year. But the
city emerged as the company’s
third-largest market for the six
months ended in June 2014, according to the IPO prospectus.
Jicheng, founded in 1996
and controlled by businessman
Huang Wenji, is the third-biggest umbrella maker in China,
but unlike its competitors focuses on sales to overseas markets.
Nearly three-quarters of sales
were to clients in Japan in 2013,
with mainland China its secondbiggest market by revenue with
an 11.7% share. It had 483.6mn
yuan ($79mn) in sales in 2013, up
28% from a year earlier. Profits
jumped 35% over the same period to about 60mn yuan. Ping
An of China Capital was hired as
sole sponsor of the IPO.
upbeat tone on the outlook, stressing that Japan
is on track to meet the BoJ’s inflation target as the
pain of the jump in sales tax to 8% from 5% starts
to ebb.
“Japan’s economy is expected to continue growing at a pace above its potential as a trend since the
virtuous cycle from income to spending has been
operating steadily in both the household and corporate sectors,” Kuroda told investors in New York
last week.
At the October 31 meeting, the BoJ will release
new long-term economic and price forecasts in a
semi-annual report that serves as a basis for policy
In a quarterly review in July, the BoJ forecast
core consumer inflation would hit 1.9% next fiscal
year, higher than the 1.2% projection in the latest
Reuters monthly poll of economists. The BoJ tips
2.1% inflation for the year from April 2016.
The bank’s forecast of 1% growth this fiscal year
is also much higher than the Reuters survey result
of 0.3%. Recent weak data has cast a shadow over
the BoJ’s optimism that the economy is on course
for moderate recovery. Factory output slumped as
companies were saddled with a huge pile of inventory due to sluggish demand after the April tax
Taking out the effect of sales tax hike, core consumer inflation is barely above 1%. Some analysts
warn it may slip below 1% in September due to
recent sharp falls in oil prices, despite Kuroda’s
assurances that price growth will stay above that
level before accelerating to 2%.
Economic growth likely slipped slightly below
its long-term potential in the second quarter, BoJ
estimates show. This output gap is a key determinant of future prices.
But the BoJ is keen to avoid making big changes
to its rosy price forecasts, as doing so would ramp
up pressure to do more and expand stimulus further. It is likely to argue that a boost to import prices from the yen’s declines in September will offset
downward pressure on prices.
Having seen profits rise thanks to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus policies, companies are
seen boosting capital spending and wages to lure
Kuroda: Sticking to his upbeat tone on the outlook.
employees in a tightening job market. That will
also help accelerate inflation, BoJ officials say.
“What’s important is that the positive economic
cycle remains in place,” one official said.
The BoJ has resisted stepping up stimulus since
deploying an intense burst in April last year, when
it pledged to double base money – cash and deposits at the central bank – via aggressive asset purchases to achieve its 2% inflation target in roughly
two years.
Opaque company filings
provide fertile ground for
aggressive India regulator
A view of the Mumbai International Airport. According to IATA’s 20-year passenger forecast, India will be behind the US and China to become
the third largest civil aviation markets and one of the fastest growing among the five largest markets.
�India to be among fastest
growing aviation markets’
New Delhi
ndustry body International Air Transport
Association (IATA) yesterday said it expects India to be one of the п¬Ѓve fastestgrowing markets by 2034.
According to IATA’s 20-year passenger
forecast, India will be behind the US and China to become the third largest civil aviation
markets and one of the fastest growing among
the п¬Ѓve largest markets.
“By 2034 the five fastest-increasing mar-
kets in terms of additional passengers per
year will be China (856mn new passengers per
year), the US (559mn), India (266mn), Indonesia (183mn) and Brazil (170mn),” IATA was
quoted as saying in a statement.
The report further cited that India which
is the ninth largest market, will see a total of
367mn passengers by 2034, an extra 266mn
annual passengers compared to today.
“It will overtake the United Kingdom
(148mn extra passengers, total market 337mn)
to become the third-largest market around
2031,” the statement said. IATA added that
the Indian domestic markets will grow at
6.9% during the period under review and will
be adding 159mn extra passengers with a total
domestic air markets at 215mn.
Indian Commerce Ministry’s India Brand
Equity Foundation (IBEF) said, India’s aviation market is expected to become the third
largest by 2020 and largest by 2030.
By the market size, the Indian civil aviation
industry is amongst the top 10 in the world
with a size of around $16bn. In the April-May
period of the current п¬Ѓnancial year, aircraft
movements and passengers have increased by
5% each over traffic handled during the corresponding period of the current п¬Ѓnancial year.
Recruit soars in market debut
taffing п¬Ѓrm Recruit Holdings Co surged
in its market debut in Tokyo yesterday,
with investors leaping at a rare opportunity to grab part of a big Japanese company
with strong online growth prospects.
The 7% climb in its share price came amid
a decline for the overall market and snapped
a string of weak high-profile listings in Tokyo this year. It values the company at around
$18bn – on par with Sony Corp and more than
Switzerland’s Adecco, the world’s biggest
staffing п¬Ѓrm by sales.
Particularly appealing for investors is Re-
cruit’s wide range of businesses including
magazines and its aggressive expansion both
overseas and into web-based products like
real estate listings and second-hand car sales.
“It has been able to meld its traditional
publishing business with its web-based
products well and that implies high prospects
for growth,” said Masayuki Doshida, a senior
market analyst at Rakuten Securities.
Doshida cited travel magazine Jalan as one
such example. It now has its own website offering customers the ability to book travel
tickets, hotels and rent cars across Japan.
A tightening labour market as Japan’s population rapidly ages and a shift by companies
towards using more temporary workers is also
expected to work in Recruit’s favour.
Its shares closed at ВҐ3,330, compared with
an IPO price of ВҐ3,100.
Its IPO, the second-largest in Japan this
year, raised roughly $2bn, with about half of
those funds going to the company for further
acquisitions and half to existing shareholders.
With ambitions to become the world’s biggest
staffing п¬Ѓrm by 2020, Recruit has in recent
years snapped up rivals such as US staffing
service CSI, Advantage Resourcing and Staffmark Holdings as well as
It has over 100 human resources affiliates,
roughly evenly split between Japan and overseas. But the global staffing market is highly
fragmented and in terms of just staffingrelated revenue, Recruit ranked no. 5 in the
world in 2012 with a 1.5% market share.
In the name of investor protection, India’s
capital markets watchdog is telling companies
on the Mumbai bourse to disclose more
information when the situation calls for it – or
The Securities and Exchange Board of India
(Sebi) drove home that message on Monday
when it banished DLF Ltd from the capital
markets for three years, its toughest ruling
Sebi, criticised in the past for not actively
chasing frauds and penalising wayward
firms, said India’s biggest listed property
firm had failed to provide key information on
subsidiaries and pending legal cases at the time
of its record-busting initial public offering in
Sebi’s new-found teeth have spread disquiet
among Wall Street and local investment banks
vying for fund-raising mandates from Indian
companies, in a market where large deals are
few and fees are notoriously low.
“The net could get cast wide in some cases,
no doubt about that,” said the head of equity
capital markets at a large European bank in
Mumbai, declining to be named due to the
issue’s sensitivity. “You need to be scared of the
regulator if you have done something wrong –
that’s the message.”
While currently there is no plan to make banks
liable for non-disclosure of material information
by companies, Sebi could penalise banks if the
regulator uncovers collusion between them
and the company, some bankers said.
Under its chairman UK Sinha, appointed in this
role in 2011, Sebi has taken a slew of initiatives
from cracking down on suspicious trades to
improving corporate governance guidelines.
Clamping down on inadequate disclosures
has not been Sebi’s strong suit due to a lack
of resources and expertise. But a slew of
complaints from overseas investors about
shoddy corporate practices have galvanised
the regulator, Sebi officials said.
“Under chairman Sinha, Sebi has gone from
being an insular organisation to more of an
open platform for investors to come and
discuss how to improve Indian markets,” said
one official at the regulator’s corporate finance
“Both foreign and domestic investors
have repeatedly asked for better quality
of disclosures from companies, especially
the promoter-driven ones,” said the official,
who declined to be identified as he was not
authorised to talk to the media.
A spokesman for Sebi declined to comment.
In August, Sebi banned the founders of
technology company Bharatiya Global
Infomedia from the markets for five years
for failure to disclose key information about
preferential loans and use of proceeds from its
2011 IPO. Similarly, towards the end of last year,
the regulator barred Taksheel Solutions and its
founders for inadequate disclosures in its IPO
This week, Sebi slapped a fine of Rs2.5mn
($40,736) on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and
a group company that owns most of
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals for delays
in disclosing changes in the shareholding
structure of the India-listed unit.
The regulator acknowledged that the delay was
inadvertent and that GSK did not receive any
“quantifiable gain or unfair advantage” due to
the delay, but still imposed the penalty.
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
“All this has brought attention to a lot of
issues that previously went unnoticed, one
of which is disclosure, the other is corrupt
dealings by powerful promoters,” said Shriram
Subramanian, managing director of Bangalorebased shareholder advisory firm InGovern.
In August, a policy-making group in Sebi
proposed launching an electronic disclosure
system that will unify industry specific
disclosures into a single electronic process
to prevent market-sensitive information from
going unnoticed.
Some investors are not convinced.
“Disclosures are still not standard by far, so
most of the time we reach out to the companies
for more details,” said Sankaran Naren, chief
investment officer of Mumbai-based ICICI
Prudential Asset Management.
“We get our internal analyst to look at
the annual reports and ask for specific
clarifications, sometimes we get good quality of
responses, sometimes we are not satisfied.”
Sebi also needs to shorten the time it takes
in investigating alleged wrongdoings and
handing out penalties. It must also invest more
in resources and technology to keep up with
the rising number of market participants and
increasingly fast-paced and complex trading
systems, people in the industry say.
Sinha: Cracking down on suspicious trades to
improve corporate governance guidelines.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Beijing puts
stability ahead
of reform with
Chaori bailout
Dow Jones
fter a seven-month wait,
Shanghai Chaori Solar
Energy Science & Technology Co last week unveiled
a debt restructuring plan that
bails out investors in the troubled bond. The surprisingly
generous settlement packageand the state’s conspicuous
presence in it-suggests Beijing
is now prioritizing economic
stability and issuers” access to
capital over reform.
“The way the government
dealt with Chaori’s default
suggests that it is afraid of
potential protests by retail investors,” said Yang Delong, a
fund manager at China Southern Fund Co, which manages
189.8bn yuan ($30.9bn) in
assets. “[The bailout] would
reduce investors” awareness
of risk and would effectively
encourage people to buy more
high-risk bonds.”
Chinese corporate bonds, especially high-yield, riskier ones
similar to Chaori’s, have rallied
since the solar energy п¬Ѓrm announced its default settlement
plan. The yield on a bond from
Lingyuan Iron & Steel Co has
dropped to 7.60% from 8.38%
on Sept. 30, the last trading
date before the Chaori bailout
was announced, and the yield
for Xining Special Steel Co
bond dropped to 7.58% from
8.26% in the same period.
The concept of default in
China’s domestic bond market has waxed and waned over
the past year. Chinese officials
during the November 2013 plenum talked about the need for
the market to play a “decisive
role” in the economy, which
many interpreted as a willingness to limit government intervention and, in particular,
to start letting investors take
losses on bad investments.
Soon after, officials allowed
Chaori to renege on a commitment to pay 89.8mn yuan in interest on the п¬Ѓve-year paper in
March, becoming the п¬Ѓrst Chinese issuer to default in the domestic corporate bond market.
That raised expectations that
Beijing would allow many more
п¬Ѓrms to go bust, with a series of
controlled defaults that would
start slowly and then build up.
But analysts now say authorities are more concerned about
the economic growth slowdown, and ensuring that п¬Ѓrms
have sufficient access to cheap
capital in China’s domestic debt
market, the world’s second largest. Worries about the health of
China’s corporate debt market
have intensified since the summer of 2013, when a cash crunch
nearly paralyzed the nation’s financial system. The seven-day
repurchase agreement rate, a
benchmark for interbank lending, has stayed in the 3% to 4%
range since that event, up from a
2% to 3% level seen in the years
China banks extend
$140bn in new loans
hina’s banks stepped up their lending in September, the central bank
announced yesterday, but analysts
said more monetary easing was needed to
bolster the weakening economy.
Domestic banks extended 857.2bn yuan
($139.9bn) in new loans, the People’s Bank
of China (PBoC) said in a statement, up
more than a п¬Ѓfth from the 702.5bn yuan
lent in August.
The September п¬Ѓgure also beat a median
forecast of 745bn yuan from a Wall Street
Journal poll of 15 economists.
Analysts attributed the rebound in new
lending to China’s “targeted” easing introduced earlier this year, which included
cuts in reserve requirements for some
Last month also saw the PBoC pump
500bn yuan into the country’s top five
banks in a bid to boost lending to small
businesses and kickstart the economy.
“New loans have recovered to the normal level, probably reflecting the ongoing
targeted easing by the PBoC,” ANZ economists Liu Ligang and Zhou Hao wrote in a
research note.
But total social п¬Ѓnancing, a broader
gauge of credit in the overall economy, remained “lukewarm”, they said.
Social п¬Ѓnancing stood at 1.05tn yuan
for September, the PBoC said, down from
1.4tn yuan for the same month a year ago.
“This suggested that the de-leveraging
of shadow banking activity continues,”
ANZ said.
Authorities have sought to crack down
on “shadow banking” – a huge network
of lending outside formal channels and
beyond the reach of regulators, including activities by online п¬Ѓnance platforms,
An employee counts 100 yuan banknotes at a branch of Bank of Communications in Shenyang, Liaoning province. China’s banks
stepped up their lending in September, the central bank announced yesterday.
credit guarantee companies and microcredit п¬Ѓrms.
“Credit demand from the real economy
remains weak,” Ma Xiaoping, Beijingbased economist for British bank HSBC,
told AFP. “There’s room for further easing
on the policy front, and the central bank
is more likely inclined to the targeted approach,” she said.
Separately, the central bank also said
China’s foreign exchange reserves slipped
to $3.89tn at the end of September, from
$3.99tn at the end of June.
China has the world’s largest foreign
exchange reserves, the bulk of which are
believed to be held in US dollars.
Analysts said the decline was unexpected, but were divided over the possible
ANZ said it might have been caused by
China FDI rises in Sept, still down 1.4% for the year
China’s year-to-date foreign direct investment
inflows declined for a third month in
September, indicating investors remained
cautious amid a further slowdown in the
world’s second-largest economy.
Investment for the month of September rose
from a year earlier, however, after a sharp drop
in August, though economists cautioned about
reading too much into single-month data,
which can be highly volatile.
In September, China attracted $9bn in FDI,
up 1.9% from a year earlier, the Commerce
Ministry said yesterday. That compared with a
14% slide in August to $7.2bn, a level not seen
since February 2012.
That left China $87.4bn of FDI in the first nine
months of 2014, down 1.4% from a year earlier.
“Under the circumstances of no big
fluctuations in the global and domestic
situations, we expect China’s FDI to keep its
stable path this year,” ministry spokesman
Shen Danyang told reporters at a monthly
media briefing.
FDI is an important gauge of the health of
the external economy, to which China’s vast
factory sector is oriented, but it is a small
contributor to overall capital flows compared
with exports, which were worth about $2tn in
2013. Shen said last month that China’s FDI
may hit an all-time high of $120bn this year,
barring no sharp changes in global capital
The investment data came as China’s
trade sector showed surprisingly strong
performance in September, easing concerns
about the risk of a sharper slowdown, though
some economists suspected the export figures
may have been inflated by speculative overinvoicing activities, as they were earlier in the
Shen said strong exports in September were
normal but added the ministry would monitor
flows to Hong Kong.
“We’ve noticed that exports of individual
products from some regions to Hong Kong
surged in September. We will enhance
oversight with related departments,” Shen
Beijing has struggled to prevent currency
speculators from using simulated trade
between Hong Kong and bonded customs
zones using metals or lightweight items such
integrated circuits to get more yuan on hand,
circumventing controls on capital flows.
Such flows have been repeatedly blamed for
producing mysterious spikes in exports even
while trade with other Asian neighbours has
China’s services sector attracted $48.6bn of
FDI in the first nine months of the year, up
8.7% from the same period last year, and faring
much better than the manufacturing industry,
where FDI dropped 16.5% to $29.6bn.
The services sector appears to be holding up
relatively well despite the cooling economy,
while manufacturing has been weighed down
by erratic exports, excess capacity in some
sectors and a slumping property market,
which is hurting demand for everything from
glass and furniture to cement and steel.
Among the 10 countries that were the biggest
sources of China’s FDI, investment from
South Korea surged 32.5% on an annual
basis and that from Britain leapt 32.3%. In
contrast, investment from Japan plunged
43% from a year earlier while FDI from the US
and European Union dropped 24.7%-18.8%,
China’s non-financial direct outbound
investment rose 21.6% in the first nine months
from a year earlier to $75bn.
China’s overseas direct investment (ODI) was
up 90.5% in September, and officials have said
it could exceed FDI this year.
For the first nine months total ODI stood at
$74.96bn, up 21.6%, with FDI at $87.36bn, down
Over the period, Chinese investment into the
European Union soared 218% to $9bn, the
ministry said.
For Japan it leaped 150% into Japan, while
also going up 69.7% into Russia and 19.5% into
Hong Kong, the ministry added, without giving
It was up 28.2% to $3.95bn into the US.
Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang attributed
the rapid growth in ODI to “strong market
forces”. China’s need to invest abroad and
demand from destination countries – along
with policy support from Beijing and foreign
“We believe China’s overseas investment and
cooperation will maintain a fast development
momentum in the future,” he said.
In the first nine months FDI fell 43% from
Japan to $3.39bn, 24.7% from the US to $2.17bn,
18.8% from the European Union to $4.84bn,
and 13.7% from the Asean group of southeast
Asian countries to $4.90bn.
But it rose 32.5% from South Korea to $3.23bn
and 32.3% from Britain to $1.01bn.
Chinese authorities in recent months launched
anti-monopoly, pricing and other inquiries
into foreign firms in sectors ranging from auto
manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to baby
The probes have raised concerns among
investors that Beijing is targeting overseas
companies, accusations the commerce
ministry has repeatedly denied.
“We have always been confident in China’s
(appeal) to foreign investment,” Shen said.
“Most multi-national companies and foreign
invested firms in China are also confident in
the country’s investment environment.”
But China’s appeal as an investment
destination has declined in recent years in
the face of rising labour and land costs and
competition from other Southeast Asian
countries such as Vietnam.
Chinese officials have also blamed source
country factors, such as Washington’s drive to
move industrial production back to the US.
“Some developed countries in recent years
speeded up the return of some manufacturing
sectors to boost their own economy and
create jobs,” Customs spokesman Zheng
Yuesheng told reporters this week. “This has
led investment in China’s relevant industries
to cool.”
Concerns are mounting about China’s
economy, after industrial production growth
slowed sharply in August to its lowest level for
more than five years, while house prices have
fallen for five consecutive months.
Inflation in the country also fell to its lowest in
almost five years last month, raising fears that
deflationary pressures are rising.
Officials are targeting economic growth of
“about 7.5%” this year, the same as last year’s
The goal is normally exceeded, but senior
officials have repeatedly sought to play down
its significance this year.
China’s third-quarter gross domestic product
figures are due next week.
A view of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. In September, China attracted $9bn in FDI, up 1.9% from a year earlier, the commerce ministry said yesterday.
the central bank selling US dollar reserves.
“It appears that China’s central bank
(has) sold US dollar reserves, reflecting the
PBoC’s intention to reduce its foreign reserve assets,” it said.
But Capital Economics suggested the
fall did not mean the PBoC had started
to offload part of its reserves, saying the
change was caused by a weaker euro and
Japanese yen.
market in
India to touch
$6bn in 2015’
New Delhi
he India e-commerce market will
reach $6bn in 2015, a 70% increase
over 2014 revenue of $3.5bn, Gartner
said yesterday.
“Digital commerce is at a nascent stage in
India. However, India is one of the fastestgrowing e-commerce markets in Asia/Pacific,” Praveen Sengar, research director at
the research п¬Ѓrm, said.
“India represents a $3.5bn market, growing at approximately 60%-70% every year.
It represents less than 4% of the total retail
market. B2C e-commerce leads the market
in India, while B2B is limited to organisations that drive online channels to integrate
with their partners and distributors,” he
Digital commerce facilitates a purchasing
transaction over the Web, and supports the
creation and continuing development of an
online relationship with a consumer or business customer across multiple retail, wholesale, mobile, direct and indirect sales, call
centre, and digital sales channels.
Mobile commerce is п¬Ѓnding increasing
traction in mobile shopping. Marketplaces,
consumer product goods, and food and beverages companies have started investing in
mobile commerce. However, less than 5%
of total digital commerce happens through
“The digital commerce platform market is
maturing; incumbent vendors are investing
in building out their commerce platforms,
and those in adjacent areas, such as search,
order management and marketing a” both
through organic development and acquisition,” Sengar said.
“Vendors are increasingly focused on execution and winning new customers, sometimes at the expense of articulating future
vision. Merger and acquisition activity is
increasing, resulting in fewer digital commerce platform options in the market, but
also serving to extend the commerce platforms of the established vendors.”
Limited Internet penetration, low digital commerce volume, multiple payment
models, logistics and fulfillment challenges,
higher return rates and low average order
value is putting pressure on the profitability
and viability of B2C e-commerce businesses, Gartner said.
The B2B model is leveraged to drive efficiency in the supply chain. The biggest
challenge is getting the business digital
commerce strategy right and adequate investments in people, process and technology to engage with customers across channels, which has been ignored by Indian
enterprises so far, it added.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Company Name
Company Name
Zad Holding Co
Widam Food Co
Vodafone Qatar
United Development Co
Salam International Investme
Qatar & Oman Investment Co
Qatar Navigation
Qatar National Cement Co
Qatar National Bank
Qatar Islamic Insurance
Qatar Industrial Manufactur
Qatar International Islamic
Qatari Investors Group
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)
Qatar General Insurance & Re
Qatar German Co For Medical
Qatar Fuel Co
Qatar Electricity & Water Co
Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib
Qatar Insurance Co
Ooredoo Qsc
National Leasing
Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi
Al Meera Consumer Goods Co
Medicare Group
Mannai Corporation Qsc
Masraf Al Rayan
Al Khalij Commercial Bank
Industries Qatar
Islamic Holding Group
Gulf Warehousing Company
Gulf International Services
Ezdan Holding Group
Doha Insurance Co
Doha Bank Qsc
Dlala Holding
Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc
Barwa Real Estate Co
Al Khaleej Takaful Group
Aamal Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Saudi Hollandi Bank
Al-Ahsa Development Co.
Al-Baha Development & Invest
Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur
Allied Cooperative Insurance
Arriyadh Development Company
Fitaihi Holding Group
Arabia Insurance Cooperative
Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv
Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran
Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur
Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev
Al Babtain Power & Telecommu
Bank Albilad
Alujain Corporation (Alco)
Aldrees Petroleum And Transp
Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C
Alinma Bank
Alinma Tokio Marine
Al Khaleej Training And Educ
Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son
Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera
Almarai Co
Saudi Integrated Telecom Co
Alsorayai Group
Al Tayyar
Amana Cooperative Insurance
Anaam International Holding
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Arabian Pipes Co
Advanced Petrochemicals Co
Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative
Arabian Cement
Arab National Bank
Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co
United Wire Factories Compan
Astra Industrial Group
Alahli Takaful Co
Axa Cooperative Insurance
Basic Chemical Industries
Bishah Agriculture
Bank Al-Jazira
Banque Saudi Fransi
United International Transpo
Bupa Arabia For Cooperative
Buruj Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Airlines Catering Co
Methanol Chemicals Co
City Cement Co
Eastern Cement
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat
Etihad Etisalat Co
Emaar Economic City
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu
United Electronics Co
Falcom Saudi Equity Etf
Filing & Packing Materials M
Wafrah For Industry And Deve
Falcom Petrochemical Etf
Gulf General Cooperative Ins
Jazan Development Co
Gulf Union Cooperative Insur
Halwani Bros Co
Hail Cement
Herfy Food Services Co
Al Jouf Agriculture Developm
Jarir Marketing Co
Jabal Omar Development Co
Al Jouf Cement
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
Knowledge Economic City
Kingdom Holding Co
Saudi Arabian Mining Co
Malath Cooperative & Reinsur
Makkah Construction & Devepl
Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran
Middle East Specialized Cabl
Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co
Al Mouwasat Medical Services
The National Agriculture Dev
Najran Cement Co
Nama Chemicals Co
National Gypsum
National Gas & Industrializa
National Industrialization C
National Shipping Co Of/The
National Petrochemical Co
Rabigh Refining And Petroche
Al Qassim Agricultural Co
Qassim Cement/The
Red Sea Housing Services Co
Saudi Research And Marketing
Riyad Bank
Al Rajhi Bank
Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Saudi British Bank
Sabb Takaful
Saudi Basic Industries Corp
Saudi Cement
Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co
Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran
Saudi Advanced Industries
Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co
Salama Cooperative Insurance
Samba Financial Group
Sanad Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Public Transport Co
Saudi Arabia Refineries Co
Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf
Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei
Saudi Cable Co
Saudi Chemical Company
Saudi Ceramic
Saudi Electricity Co
Saudi Fisheries
Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co
Saudi Hotels & Resort
Arabian Shield Cooperative
Saudi Investment Bank/The
Saudi Industrial Development
Saudi Industrial Export Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Securities Group Co
Sultan Center Food Products
Kuwait Foundry Co
Kuwait Financial Centre
Ajial Real Estate Entmt
Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc
Kuwait Finance & Investment
National Industries Co
Kuwait Real Estate Holding C
Securities House Kscc
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co
Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)
National Bank Of Kuwait
Commercial Bank Of Kuwait
Kuwait International Bank
Gulf Bank
Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co
Arab Real Estate Co
Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co
Alkout Industrial Projects C
A’Ayan Real Estate Co
Investors Holding Group Co.K
Markaz Real Estate Fund
Al-Mazaya Holding Co
Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co
Gulf Petroleum Investment
Mabanee Co Sakc
City Group
Inovest Co Bsc
Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing
Al-Deera Holding Co
Alshamel International Hold
United Industries Co
Mena Real Estate Co
National Slaughter House
Amar Finance & Leasing Co
United Projects Group Kscc
National Consumer Holding Co
Amwal International Investme
Jeeran Holdings
Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C
Nafais Holding
Safwan Trading & Contracting
Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate
Gulf Finance House Ec
Energy House Holding Co Kscc
Kuwait Slaughter House Co
Kuwait Co For Process Plant
Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K
National Ranges Company
Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser
Al-Themar Real International
Al-Ahleia Insurance Co
Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co
Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C
Aqar Real Estate Investments
Hayat Communications
Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg
Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc
Alargan International Real
Burgan Co For Well Drilling
Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc
Oula Fuel Marketing Co
Palms Agro Production Co
Ikarus Petroleum Industries
Mubarrad Transport Co
Al Mowasat Health Care Co
Shuaiba Industrial Co
Kuwait Invest Co Holding
Hits Telecom Holding
First Takaful Insurance Co
Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co
National Cleaning Company
Eyas For High & Technical Ed
United Real Estate Company
Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv
Fujairah Cement Industries
Livestock Transport & Tradng
International Resorts Co
National Industries Grp Hold
Marine Services Co
Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate
Warba Insurance Co
Kuwait United Poultry Co
First Dubai Real Estate Deve
Al Arabi Group Holding Co
Kuwait Hotels Co
Mobile Telecommunications Co
Al Safat Real Estate Co
Tamdeen Real Estate Co Kscc
Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co
Kuwait Cement Co
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Kuwait Portland Cement Co
Educational Holding Group
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Kuwait China Investment Co
Kuwait Investment Co
Burgan Bank
Kuwait Projects Co Holdings
Al Madina For Finance And In
Kuwait Insurance Co
Al Masaken Intl Real Estate
Intl Financial Advisors
First Investment Co Kscc
Al Mal Investment Company
Bayan Investment Co Kscc
Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae
Coast Investment Development
Privatization Holding Compan
Kuwait Medical Services Co
Injazzat Real State Company
Kuwait Cable Vision Sak
Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Aviation Lease And Finance C
Arzan Financial Group For Fi
Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co
Manafae Investment Co
Kuwait Business Town Real Es
Future Kid Entertainment And
Specialities Group Holding C
Abyaar Real Eastate Developm
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C
Al-Dar National Real Estate
Kgl Logistics Company Kscc
Combined Group Contracting
Zima Holding Co Ksc
Qurain Holding Co
Boubyan Intl Industries Hold
Gulf Investment House
Boubyan Bank K.S.C
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Al-Safat Tec Holding Co
Al-Eid Food Co
Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co
Advanced Technology Co
Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C
Kout Food Group
Real Estate Trade Centers Co
Acico Industries Co Kscc
Kipco Asset Management Co
National Petroleum Services
Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc
Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport
Human Soft Holding Co
Automated Systems Co
Metal & Recycling Co
Gulf Franchising Kscc
Al-Enma’a Real Estate Co
National Mobile Telecommuni
Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc
Union Real Estate Co
Housing Finance Co S.A.K.C
Al Salam Group Holding Co
United Foodstuff Industries
Al Aman Investment Company
Mashaer Holdings
Manazel Holding
Mushrif Trading & Contractin
Tijara And Real Estate Inves
Kuwait Building Materials
Jazeera Airways
Commercial Real Estate Co
Future Communications Co
National International Co
Taameer Real Estate Invest C
Gulf Cement Co
Heavy Engineering And Ship B
Refrigeration Industries & S
National Real Estate Co
Al Safat Energy Holding Comp
Kuwait National Cinema Co
Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co
Independent Petroleum Group
Kuwait Real Estate Co
Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc
Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind
Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C
Kuwait Finance House
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Voltamp Energy Saog
United Finance Co
United Power Co
United Power/Energy Co- Pref
Al Madina Investment Co
Taageer Finance
Salalah Port Services
A’saffa Foods Saog
Sohar Poultry
Shell Oman Marketing
Shell Oman Marketing - Pref
Smn Power Holding Saog
Al Shurooq Inv Ser
Al Sharqiya Invest Holding
Sohar Power Co
Salalah Beach Resort Saog
Salalah Mills Co
Sahara Hospitality
Renaissance Services Saog
Raysut Cement Co
Port Service Corporation
Packaging Co Ltd
Oman United Insurance Co
Oman Textile Holding Co Saog
Oman Telecommunications Co
Sweets Of Oman
Oman Orix Leasing Co.
Oman Refreshment Co
Oman Packaging
Oman Oil Marketing Company
0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref
Oman National Investment Co
Oman National Engineering An
Oman National Dairy Products
Oman Medical Projects
Oman Ceramic Com
Oman Intl Marketing
Oman Investment & Finance
Hsbc Bank Oman
Oman Hotels & Tourism Co
Oman Holding International
Oman Fiber Optics
Oman Flour Mills
Oman Filters Industry
Oman Fisheries Co
Oman Education & Training In
Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
Oman Europe Foods Industries
Oman Cement Co
Oman Chlorine
Oman Chromite
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Agricultural Dev
Omani Qatari Telecommunicati
National Securities
Oman Foods International Soa
National Pharmaceutical-Rts
National Pharmaceutical
National Packaging Fac
National Mineral Water
National Hospitality Institu
National Gas Co
National Finance Co
National Detergents/The
National Carpet Factory
National Bank Of Oman Saog
National Biscuit Industries
National Real Estate Develop
Natl Aluminium Products
Muscat Thread Mills Co
Muscat Insurance Company
Modern Poultry Farms
Muscat National Holding
Musandam Marketing & Invest
Al Maha Petroleum Products M
Muscat Gases Company Saog
Majan Glass Company
Muscat Finance
Al Kamil Power Co
Interior Hotels
Hotels Management Co Interna
Al-Hassan Engineering Co
Gulf Stone
Gulf Mushroom Company
Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar
Gulf Investments Services
Gulf International Chemicals
Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd
Global Fin Investment
Galfar Engineering&Contract
Galfar Engineering -Prefer
Financial Services Co.
Flexible Ind Packages
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Financial Corp/The
Dhofar Tourism
Dhofar Poultry
Aloula Co
Dhofar Intl Development
Dhofar Insurance
Dhofar University
Dhofar Power Co
Dhofar Power Co-Pfd
Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu
Dhofar Cattlefeed
Al Batinah Dev & Inv
Dhofar Beverages Co
Computer Stationery Inds
Construction Materials Ind
Cement & Gypsum Pro
Marine Bander Al-Rowdha
Bank Sohar
Bankmuscat Saog
Bank Dhofar Saog
Al Batinah Hotels
Majan College
Areej Vegetable Oils
Al Jazeera Steel Products Co
Al Sallan Food Industry
Acwa Power Barka Saog
Al-Omaniya Financial Service
Taghleef Industries Saog
Gulf Plastic Industries Co
Al Jazeera Services
Al Jazerah Services -Pfd
Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co
Ahli Bank
Abrasives Manufacturing Co S
Al-Batinah Intl Saog
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
National Takaful Company
Waha Capital Pjsc
Union Insurance Co
Union National Bank/Abu Dhab
United Insurance Company
Union Cement Co
United Arab Bank
Abu Dhabi National Takaful C
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Sorouh Real Estate Company
Sharjah Insurance Company
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Ras Al Khaima Poultry
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Rak Properties
Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics
Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co
National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai
Ooredoo Qsc
Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
National Marine Dredging Co
National Corp Tourism & Hote
Sharjah Islamic Bank
National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw
National Bank Of Fujairah
National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Methaq Takaful Insurance
#N/A Invalid Security
Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp
Insurance House
Gulf Medical Projects
Gulf Livestock Co
Green Crescent Insurance Co
Gulf Cement Co
Foodco Holding
Finance House
First Gulf Bank
Fujairah Cement Industries
Fujairah Building Industries
Emirates Telecom Corporation
Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc
Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)
Emirates Driving Company
Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S.
Dana Gas
Commercial Bank Internationa
Bank Of Sharjah
Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi
Al Wathba National Insurance
Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak
Arkan Building Materials Co
Aldar Properties Pjsc
Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co.
Al Khazna Insurance Co
Agthia Group Pjsc
Al Fujairah National Insuran
Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co
Abu Dhabi National Insurance
Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Aviation
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
United Paper Industries Bsc
United Gulf Investment Corp
United Gulf Bank
United Finance Co
Trafco Group Bsc
Takaful International Co
Taib Bank -$Us
Securities & Investment Co
Seef Properties
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Al-Salam Bank
Delmon Poultry Co
National Hotels Co
National Bank Of Bahrain
Nass Corp Bsc
Khaleeji Commercial Bank
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Investcorp Bank -$Us
Inovest Co Bsc
Intl Investment Group-Kuwait
Gulf Monetary Group
Global Investment House Kscc
Gulf Finance House Ec
Bahrain Family Leisure Co
Esterad Investment Co B.S.C.
Bahrain Duty Free Complex
Bahrain Car Park Co
Bahrain Cinema Co
Bahrain Tourism Co
Bahraini Saudi Bank/The
Bahrain National Holding
Bankmuscat Saog
Bmmi Bsc
Bmb Investment Bank
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Bahrain Islamic Bank
Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C
Bahrain Flour Mills Co
Bahrain Commercial Facilitie
Bbk Bsc
Bahrain Telecom Co
Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin
Albaraka Banking Group
Banader Hotels Co
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Lt Price
% Chg
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Company Name
Exxon Mobil Corp
Microsoft Corp
Johnson & Johnson
General Electric Co
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Chevron Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
Intl Business Machines Corp
Pfizer Inc
At&T Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intel Corp
Walt Disney Co/The
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Home Depot Inc
Cisco Systems Inc
United Technologies Corp
Mcdonald’s Corp
3M Co
Boeing Co/The
American Express Co
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Caterpillar Inc
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Lt Price
% Chg
FTSE 100
Company Name
Wpp Plc
Wolseley Plc
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
Whitbread Plc
Weir Group Plc/The
Vodafone Group Plc
United Utilities Group Plc
Unilever Plc
Tullow Oil Plc
Tui Travel Plc
Travis Perkins Plc
Tesco Plc
Standard Life Plc
Standard Chartered Plc
St James’s Place Plc
Sse Plc
Sports Direct International
Smiths Group Plc
Smith & Nephew Plc
Shire Plc
Severn Trent Plc
Schroders Plc
Sainsbury (J) Plc
Sage Group Plc/The
Sabmiller Plc
Rsa Insurance Group Plc
Royal Mail Plc
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs
Royal Bank Of Scotland Group
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc
Rio Tinto Plc
Reed Elsevier Plc
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc
Randgold Resources Ltd
Prudential Plc
Petrofac Ltd
Persimmon Plc
Pearson Plc
Old Mutual Plc
Next Plc
National Grid Plc
Mondi Plc
Meggitt Plc
Marks & Spencer Group Plc
London Stock Exchange Group
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Legal & General Group Plc
Land Securities Group Plc
Kingfisher Plc
Johnson Matthey Plc
Itv Plc
Intu Properties Plc
Intl Consolidated Airline-Di
Intertek Group Plc
Intercontinental Hotels Grou
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc
Imi Plc
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hargreaves Lansdown Plc
Hammerson Plc
Glencore Plc
Glaxosmithkline Plc
Gkn Plc
G4s Plc
Friends Life Group Ltd
Fresnillo Plc
Experian Plc
Easyjet Plc
Dixons Carphone Plc
Direct Line Insurance Group
Diageo Plc
Crh Plc
Compass Group Plc
Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-Cdi
Centrica Plc
Carnival Plc
Capita Plc
Burberry Group Plc
Bunzl Plc
Bt Group Plc
British Sky Broadcasting Gro
British Land Co Plc
British American Tobacco Plc
Bp Plc
Bhp Billiton Plc
Bg Group Plc
Barclays Plc
Bae Systems Plc
Babcock Intl Group Plc
Aviva Plc
Astrazeneca Plc
Associated British Foods Plc
Ashtead Group Plc
Arm Holdings Plc
Antofagasta Plc
Anglo American Plc
Aggreko Plc
Admiral Group Plc
Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc
3I Group Plc
#N/A Invalid Security
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Inpex Corp
Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd
Sekisui House Ltd
Kirin Holdings Co Ltd
Japan Tobacco Inc
Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd
Toray Industries Inc
Asahi Kasei Corp
Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Kao Corp
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
Astellas Pharma Inc
Eisai Co Ltd
Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd
Fujifilm Holdings Corp
Shiseido Co Ltd
Jx Holdings Inc
Lt Price
% Chg
Lt Price
Dow Jones Indus. Avg
S&P 500 Index
Nasdaq Composite Index
S&P/Tsx Composite Index
Mexico Bolsa Index
Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx
Ftse 100 Index
Cac 40 Index
Dax Index
Ibex 35 Tr
Nikkei 225
Japan Topix
Hang Seng Index
All Ordinaries Indx
Nzx All Index
Bse Sensex 30 Index
Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index
Straits Times Index
Karachi All Share Index
Jakarta Composite Index
Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main yesterday. The DAX index yesterday added 0.13% compared with
Wednesday’s closing level to 8,582.90 points.
Company Name
Bridgestone Corp
Asahi Glass Co Ltd
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Meta
Sumitomo Metal Industries
Kobe Steel Ltd
Jfe Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd
Sumitomo Electric Industries
Smc Corp
Komatsu Ltd
Kubota Corp
Daikin Industries Ltd
Hitachi Ltd
Toshiba Corp
Mitsubishi Electric Corp
Nidec Corp
Nec Corp
Fujitsu Ltd
Panasonic Corp
Sharp Corp
Sony Corp
Tdk Corp
Keyence Corp
Denso Corp
Fanuc Corp
Rohm Co Ltd
Kyocera Corp
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd
Nitto Denko Corp
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Nissan Motor Co Ltd
Toyota Motor Corp
Honda Motor Co Ltd
Suzuki Motor Corp
Nikon Corp
Hoya Corp
Canon Inc
Ricoh Co Ltd
Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd
Nintendo Co Ltd
Itochu Corp
Marubeni Corp
Mitsui & Co Ltd
Tokyo Electron Ltd
Sumitomo Corp
Mitsubishi Corp
Aeon Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro
Resona Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdin
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr
Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/The
Mizuho Financial Group Inc
Orix Corp
Daiwa Securities Group Inc
Nomura Holdings Inc
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdin
Ms&Ad Insurance Group Holdin
Dai-Ichi Life Insurance
Tokio Marine Holdings Inc
T&D Holdings Inc
Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd
Sumitomo Realty & Developmen
East Japan Railway Co
West Japan Railway Co
Central Japan Railway Co
Ana Holdings Inc
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Kddi Corp
Ntt Docomo Inc
Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
Chubu Electric Power Co Inc
Kansai Electric Power Co Inc
Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc
Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc
Tokyo Gas Co Ltd
Secom Co Ltd
Yamada Denki Co Ltd
Fast Retailing Co Ltd
Softbank Corp
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Zee Entertainment Enterprise
Wipro Ltd
Ultratech Cement Ltd
Tech Mahindra Ltd
Tata Steel Ltd
Tata Power Co Ltd
Tata Motors Ltd
Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd
Sun Pharmaceutical Indus
State Bank Of India
Sesa Sterlite Ltd
Reliance Industries Ltd
Punjab National Bank
Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd
Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
Ntpc Ltd
Nmdc Ltd
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
Lupin Ltd
Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
Itc Ltd
Infosys Ltd
Indusind Bank Ltd
Idfc Ltd
Icici Bank Ltd
Housing Development Finance
Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Hindalco Industries Ltd
Hero Motocorp Ltd
Hdfc Bank Limited
Hcl Technologies Ltd
Grasim Industries Ltd
Gail India Ltd
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Dlf Ltd
Coal India Ltd
Cipla Ltd
Cairn India Ltd
Bharti Airtel Ltd
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd
Bharat Heavy Electricals
Bank Of Baroda
Bajaj Auto Ltd
Axis Bank Ltd
Asian Paints Ltd
Ambuja Cements Ltd
Acc Ltd
Lt Price
% Chg
European stocks shaken
by fears of return to crisis
uropean stocks closed mixed
yesterday, with German shares
staging a late comeback after
fears that eurozeone could be heading
toward a fresh crisis spread turmoil
through markets for much of the day.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended down 0.25% at 6,195.91
points, while in Paris, the CAC 40 lost
0.54% to 3,918.62 points.
Meanwhile Frankfurt’s DAX index
added 0.13% compared with Wednesday’s closing level to 8,582.90 points.
“A combination of factors ensured
the perfect storm that has been brewing since the start of the week continued to rage on in full force,” said Kash
Kamal, an analyst at Sucden Financial.
“Worries regarding the political stability in Greece and its already fragile
bailout plan combined with the slowing growth outlook across the eurozone after weaker than expected macro
data... have seen a protracted sell-off
across the majority of risk assets.”
Investors were gripped by panic after weak eurozone inflation data, poor
demand at a Spanish bond auction
and fears that Greece could be set for
a fresh п¬Ѓnancial crisis when it exits its
bailout plan sent fresh tremors through
already jittery п¬Ѓnancial markets.
Indexes around Europe dropped more
than 3% after the EU and ECB scrambled
to promise Greece that its banks would
still have Brussels’s support when it
leaves its debt-rescue programme.
Adding to the fears were worries
that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa
could start to spin out of control.
Greece’s Finance Minister Guikas
Hardouvelis said yesterday that the
market turmoil “does not reflect the
position or prospects of the Greek
The selloff continued on Wall Street,
with US shares continuing the sharp
spiral lower sparked by weak retail
sales data the day before.
In mid-afternoon trading the Dow
Jones Industrial Average stood at
16,072.03, down 0.43% from Wednesday’s close.
The broad-based S&P 500 sank
0.47% to 1,853.72 points, while the
tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell
0.61% to 4,189.78 points.
Eurozone exports fell for the third
month running in August, dropping
0.9% in the latest sign of economic
weakness, official data showed.
Inflation in the eurozone had dipped
to 0.3% in September, the lowest level
since financial debt crisis in 2009, separate figures confirmed.
The data adds to concern that the
eurozone could slip into a dangerous
spiral of deflation, which stifles economic growth and could hurt many of
the bloc’s already cash-strapped governments.
Weak eurozone economies such as
Portugal and Greece saw their bonds
fall as investors feared they could once
again sink into п¬Ѓnancial crisis, while
even fast-growing Spain saw demand
for its debt drop.
“It looks increasingly likely that
Company Name
Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of East Asia
Bank Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of Communications Co-H
Belle International Holdings
Boc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd
Cathay Pacific Airways
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd
China Coal Energy Co-H
China Construction Bank-H
China Life Insurance Co-H
China Merchants Hldgs Intl
China Mobile Ltd
China Overseas Land & Invest
China Petroleum & Chemical-H
China Resources Enterprise
China Resources Land Ltd
China Resources Power Holdin
China Shenhua Energy Co-H
China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd
Citic Ltd
Clp Holdings Ltd
Cnooc Ltd
Cosco Pacific Ltd
Esprit Holdings Ltd
Fih Mobile Ltd
Hang Lung Properties Ltd
Hang Seng Bank Ltd
Henderson Land Development
Germany, the bloc’s powerhouse economy, will slip back into recession, and
the risk of deflation looms ever larger,”
said economist Ben Brettell at brokerage Hargreaves Lansdown.
All this comes in a climate of new tension over eurozone national budgets, notably in debt-laden France and Italy.
Pushing his case for a shift away
from austerity in EU economic policy,
French President Francois Hollande
put the slump in global markets down
to stagnating growth in the eurozone.
“The US is slowing down, Europe
has not found a way back to growth,
which is what I am fighting about,” he
The selloff also hit oil prices, which
slumped due to concerns over the
health of the world economy and news
of higher-than-expected stockpiles in
the world’s top consumer, the US.
“With investors continuing to find
shelter under the safe-haven of the
dollar, commodity prices slid further, which is not good news for the
bottom lines of companies like Royal
Dutch Shell and BP,” said Tony Cross at
Trustnet Direct.
Crude briefly fell below $80 a barrel
in New York, while in Europe, Brent hit
a fresh four-year low of $82.66.
Sentiment was also rocked this week
by investor concerns over the Ebola
epidemic in West Africa.
“The big worry is that Ebola is going
to bring in a level of uncertainty that’s
never been seen before in the markets,
and the markets don’t know how to
price uncertainty,” said Joe Rundle,
head of trading at ETX Capital.
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Hong Kong & China Gas
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clear
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd
Ind & Comm Bk Of China-H
Li & Fung Ltd
Mtr Corp
New World Development
Petrochina Co Ltd-H
Ping An Insurance Group Co-H
Power Assets Holdings Ltd
Sino Land Co
Sun Hung Kai Properties
Swire Pacific Ltd-A
Tencent Holdings Ltd
Wharf Holdings Ltd
Lt Price
% Chg
Doha Securities Market
Saudi Tadawul
Kuwait Stocks Exchange
Bahrain Stock Exchage
Oman Stock Market
Abudhabi Stock Market
Dubai Financial Market
Lt Price
“Information contained herein is believed to be reliable and had been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The
accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This publication is for providing information only and is not intended
as an offer or solicitation for a purchase or sale of any of the financial instruments mentioned. Gulf Times and Doha Bank
or any of their employees shall not be held accountable and will not accept any losses or liabilities for actions based on
this data.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
�S Africa
to rebound
if mining
kept at bay’
The World Bank estimates electricity outages on average cost African countries around 2.1% of GDP with current output only meeting half of demand and 70% of the continent’s population living without power.
Africa set to switch on
gas-to-power potential
Power shortages holding back
African economic growth;
governments pushing ahead with
gas-to-power reforms; World
Bank, Barack Obama behind
“Power Africa” legacy; challenges:
infrastructure, gas pricing, LNG
frica’s under used gas reserves,
either exported or burnt away
into the sky, are set to play a
big role in stemming the continent’s
crippling electricity void, a shift that
should boost economies and small-cap
energy п¬Ѓrms.
Sub-Saharan Africa contains some
of the fastest growing and most dynamic economies in the world but
electricity shortages deter investment,
pushing up business costs and sustaining poverty and inequality.
The World Bank estimates electricity
outages on average cost African countries around 2.1% of GDP with current
output only meeting half of demand
and 70% of the continent’s population
living without power.
With the exception of South Africa,
which uses coal almost exclusively to
generate electricity, the rest of Africa
relies mostly on expensive and dirty
diesel imports. Gas is a cheaper and
cleaner alternative.
Driven by huge recent п¬Ѓnds in East
Africa, sub-Saharan gas reserves have
more than doubled in the last 20 years
to around 310tn cu ft, around 5% of global supply, according to the US Energy
Information Administration (EIA).
The region’s gas output has already
grown by 10% a year in the last decade,
but most of this has been exported by
Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique through liquefied natural gas
(LNG) terminals, the EIA says.
However, a shale gas boom in the US,
LNG expansion in Qatar and Australia
and slow growth among consumers
has created a global gas glut. Meanwhile LNG projects in Angola, Mozambique and Nigeria are hitting stumbling
This is prompting a fresh look at using gas domestically.
“I think there is a changing dynamic
locally,” Ian Ashcroft, gas and LNG analyst at Wood Mackenzie, told Reuters.
“What we’ve seen in Africa recently
is a growing domestic obligation or a
realisation that there are other benefits
to growing your gas infrastructure, including gas-to-power.”
The International Energy Agency
(IEA) said in its п¬Ѓrst Africa Energy
Outlook this week that it expects the
continent’s electricity generation to
quadruple by 2040 with gas-to-pow-
er growing its share to 25%, from 17%
In West Africa, gas will make up 50%
of overall electricity output by 2040,
the IEA said, driven by reforms in Nigeria, home to the world’s eighth largest reserves.
Emerging market-focused investment bank Renaissance Capital (Rencap) said African-focused oil and gas
companies would also benefit from
rapidly spreading government incentives given to develop oil and gas for
domestic use, known as “indigenisation”.
The bank sees the biggest upside potential in Nigeria’s Seplat, Lekoil and
Canada’s Africa Oil, which operates
mostly in East Africa.
Gas is becoming profitable enough to
tempt energy п¬Ѓrms but remains cheaper for consumers than oil for power
In Nigeria, gas prices have risen from
$1 per million British thermal units
(Mbtu), to around $3 Mbtu in the last
three years and should increase further,
trade sources say.
A UN backed report released in May
calculated gas in East Africa could
reach power plants at between $5-$15
Mptu, depending how close they were
to the source. Diesel can cost African
industry $20-$40 Mbtu, experts say.
“We believe surging domestic demand coupled with growing regulatory
changes take the economics of sub-Saharan gas to a new level,” Rencap said in
a research note this month.
Further impetus has been provided
by US President Barack Obama who
has made cutting electricity shortages
his legacy policy on the continent, in
a project called “Power Africa”, which
will include $7bn in US п¬Ѓnancial support.
There remain major hurdles, including implementing commercial gas
pricing, building expensive infrastructure and working alongside competing
LNG projects.
Nigeria, Africa’s energy giant, has
struggled to overcome these problems
but the oil ministry has said using gas
domestically is its biggest priority, a
drive which has coincided with two
LNG projects grinding to a halt.
Nigeria defied many critics by completing a relatively successful privatisation of the state-power company
two years ago, while locally-owned oil
companies are exploiting gas reserves
after buying assets from oil majors in
recent years.
Progress on reforms has been slow
and government projections to increase
power output tenfold by 2020 are unrealistic but changes, including lifting
domestic gas prices, are in motion.
“Progress was glacial for three decades. The price of gas was a tenth of
the commercially viable price,” said
David Ladipo, whose company Azura
is spending $750mn to build a 450MW
gas-to-power plant. Seplat is providing the gas.
“It has taken two years for privatisation to progress and we’re starting to
see the benefits. This year has been the
turning point,” Ladipo added.
Tanzania has set out energy policy
which prioritises domestic gas use over
LNG. US-п¬Ѓrms Symbion Power and
General Electric have already committed nearly $1bn to building power
plants there.
Mozambique, which has had the
world’s largest natural gas discoveries in a decade, two months ago passed
a petroleum law which will force oil
companies developing LNG projects,
including US firm oil Anadarko Petroleum and Italy’s Eni, to use 25% of production domestically.
Mozambique is also carrying out a
study, partly-п¬Ѓnanced by the World
Bank, for a pipeline linking its gas reserves to neighbouring countries with
the continent’s most developed economy, South Africa, offering a huge potential market.
Africa Oil, partnered with Marathon
Oil Kenya, said in June it was talking
with the Kenyan government about
fast-tracking a gas-to-power project
at its well in the north of the country,
which could hold up to 1tn cubic feet of
South Africa’s economic growth
will probably accelerate next
year if labour relations don’t
deteriorate again and if the
global economy holds up
reasonably well, a Reuters poll
found yesterday.
In a survey taken in the past
week, the median forecast
from 35 economists suggests
growth will pick up to 2.5% in
2015 from an estimated 1.5%
this year.
“Obviously this assumes that we
are not going to have another
strike in the mining sector. If
that happens, all bets are off,”
said Dennis Dykes, chief economist at Nedbank, referring to
crippling nationwide industrial
unrest this year.
Fractured labour relations
in Africa’s most developed
economy disrupted the mining
and auto sectors and hurt business confidence in the first half
of the year.
That impact is still being felt,
although economists think
growth has a good chance of
rebounding next year from a
long period of disappointing
Still, South Africa’s jobless rate
remains uncomfortably high,
with almost a quarter of the
labour force consistently unemployed since the 2007-2008
Economists say major reforms
in the labour market and skills
development are fundamental
requirements to bring the
jobless rate down in a country
where growth has been very
slow for several years.
Nedbank’s Dykes said in order
for growth to pick up, a lot of
other things needed to happen,
including Europe avoiding
another recession and China
continuing to grow by around
The latest Reuters global poll of
economists, of which the South
Africa survey is a part, showed
forecasters downgrading their
estimates for next year.
Just under half of economists’
forecasts for South African
growth were at or below the
International Monetary Fund’s
1.4% prediction, with the lowest
at 1.2%.
Consumer inflation, like in other
parts of the world, is expected
to ease, averaging 5.7% next
year from an estimated 6.2%
this year.
The South African Reserve
Bank, which aims to keep
inflation between 3% and 6%,
is expected to raise rates by
another 25 basis points to 6.0%
before the end of this year. The
bank has already lifted rates 75
basis points this year.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Emerging stocks at
new 7-month lows
People walk past Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens. The ECB will provide more cash for Greek banks if the government follows its international bailout programme,
whose possible early end has spooked markets, the Greek central bank said yesterday.
ECB eyes extra funding
to Greek banks as fall in
markets rocks Athens
he European Central Bank will
loosen its rules on collateral quality
to give Greek banks access to more
funding, a Greek central bank official
said, to help keep them steady following a
plunge in Greek stocks and bonds.
Another person familiar with the matter said the ECB was set to discuss loosening collateral rules for Greek banks at a
meeting of policymakers yesterday.
“The move was decided late on
Wednesday evening after talks between
the government, the ECB and Greece’s
central bank governor,” the Greek official
told Reuters, declining to be named. “It is
a supportive move given the pressures in
the last two days.”
Bank of Greece Governor Yannis
Stournaras was in Frankfurt on Wednesday. Under the offer, the ECB would apply a smaller discount than at present
when calculating the value of bonds that
banks offer in return for ECB funding.
This in effect allows lenders to tap fur-
ther funds, despite the risks.
The discount in value reflects the
credit quality of the assets offered as collateral, in this case usually junk-rated
Greek government bonds or debt guaranteed by Athens.
“The situation in Greece has improved, reforms have been done and the
programme has made progress,” the person familiar with the matter said. “You
can reward Greece.”
The move follows two days of heavy
selling of Greek stocks and bonds by investors worried about the government’s
plan for Greece to exit its international
bailout more than a year ahead of schedule and the threat of early elections next
year. In the last two days, shares have
lost more than 12% of their value and
the yield on Greece’s benchmark 10-year
bond has surged above the 7% level beyond which borrowing costs are widely
as seen as unsustainable.
The slide continued yesterday, with
yields jumping to 8.8%, their highest
level since January, and stocks falling.
The Greek official said the new smaller
valuation discount meant that an ex-
tra €12bn of liquidity could in theory be
tapped by Greek banks.
The move comes amid concern in
Frankfurt that Greece could struggle were it to quit its п¬Ѓnancial aid programme early.
The ECB’s offer to disregard Greece’s
low credit rating and accept more government and bank bonds as security for
its funding only applies as long as Athens stays under watch in an EU/IMF aid
programme. If it leaves, the special treatment and the extra п¬Ѓnance for its banks,
would disappear.
Cyprus is the only other country in
a programme. The decision to trim the
“haircut” on Greek collateral is also related to plans by the ECB to stop accepting bonds issued by Greek banks and
guaranteed by the government as eligible
collateral from March next year, a senior
Greek banker said.
The European Commission said yesterday it will work with Greece to ensure
there is a smooth evolution of support for
the country after its bailout programme
ends. “Europe will continue to assist
Greece in whatever way is necessary,”
spokesman Simon O’Connor told a news
briefing. Greek banks have cut their borrowing from the ECB – by €2bn in the
last month to €42.56bn – but still depend on its funding for liquidity.
“If the haircut applies on all asset
classes used as collateral to draw funds
from the ECB, it is a positive move,” said
Maria Kanellopoulou, analyst at Athensbased Euroxx Securities.
“If it only affects government bonds
and T-bills, the impact will not be significant, since after Greece’s debt restructuring banks hold small amounts of
such assets.”
Greek banking stocks erased early
gains and were trading 1.5% lower yesterday. Investors are worried about Greece’s
ability to fund itself if the government
follows through on plans to quit an international bailout – the country’s second
since 2010 - at the end of the year, a year
ahead of schedule.
Investors also fear a snap election next
year that could bring the anti-bailout
Syriza party to power. The leftist party
has been leading the conservatives in the
ruling coalition in opinion polls.
Asia bourses take a beating
Sensex drops; rupee posts
biggest fall in a month
sian markets mostly sank yesterday,
led by another huge sell-off in Tokyo,
following a disappointing set of US
data that fuelled fears about the world’s top
Traders took their lead from New York
and Europe, where equities and the dollar sank, while oil prices were rooted at
multi-year lows. Tokyo plunged 2.22%,
or 335.14 points, to 14,738.38 as exporters
were stunned by the stronger yen. Seoul
fell 0.37%, or 7.08 points, to 1,918.83 while
Shanghai sank 0.72%, or 17.17 points, to
Hong Kong lost 1.03%, or 239.11 points, to
close at 22,900.94.
However, in Sydney dip-buying helped
reverse initial losses, allowing the index to
end 0.18% higher, or 9.29 points, at 5,254.9.
In other markets, Bangkok lost 1.37%, or
21.26 points, to close at 1,526.15; oil giant
PTT dropped 1.71% to 345baht, while Siam
Cement fell 0.92% to 430baht.
Jakarta ended down 0.23%, or 11.33
points, at 4,951.61; Bank Negara Indonesia
gained 1.36% to 5,600 rupiah, while state
miner Aneka Tambang slipped 1.00% to
990 rupiah.
Kuala Lumpur dropped 1.07%, or 19.07
points, to end at 1,767.77; Fraser and Neave
lost 4.62% to 15.68 ringgit, while Malaysia
Airlines shed 1.96% to 0.25 ringgit. British
American Tobacco edged up 1.86% to 66.72
Manila rose 0.53%, or 37.39 points, at
7,028.58; Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 2.8% to 3,160 pesos while Universal Robina was unchanged at 178 pesos.
Ayala Land added 3.08% to 33.50 pesos.
Singapore closed 1.39% lower, shedding
44.51 points to close at 3,154.21; Singapore
Telecom fell 0.81% to Sg$3.67 and Asian
publishing giant Singapore Press Holdings
dipped 0.24% to Sg$4.16.
Taipei slipped 0.25%, or 21.82 points,
to 8,633.69; smartphone maker HTC rose
2.72% to Tw$132.0 while Hon Hai fell 1.39%
at Tw$92.2.
Wellington fell 0.60%, or 30.85 points,
to 5,132.02; telecom giant Spark was down
0.35% at NZ$2.88 and Fletcher Building was
Pedestrians stand in front of a share prices board displayed on a window of a securities
firm in Tokyo. Japanese stocks tumbled 2.22% to a near five-month low yesterday.
off 1.61% at NZ$8.55. The US Commerce
Department said retail sales fell in September for the п¬Ѓrst time in seven months. Total
retail and food services sales dropped 0.3%
from August, slightly more than the 0.2%
expected on average by analysts.
Also Wednesday the Labor Department
said US producer prices fell last month for
the п¬Ѓrst time since August 2013. Analysts
had expected a rise.
The news led to fears that the US economy, which has been showing strong signs of
recovery this year, may be feeling the effects
of a torpid eurozone, a slowdown in China
and stuttering Japanese growth.
The Dow fell 1.06%—although it had
been more than two% down earlier in the
day—the S&P 500 shed 0.81% and the Nasdaq eased 0.28%.
In Europe London’s FTSE 100 tumbled
2.83% to its lowest close since June 2013,
while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 lost 2.87% and the
Paris CAC 40 sank 3.63%.
Wednesday’s US figures also dampened
any chance the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates from record lows any time soon,
putting further downward pressure on the
dollar. Just two weeks ago the greenback
was at multi-year highs against other currencies in anticipation that the Fed would
move more quickly than other central banks
to tighten monetary policy.
In Asian trade, the dollar was at ВҐ106.06,
up from ВҐ105.91 in New York but still
sharply down from ВҐ107.33 in Tokyo earlier
Wednesday. At the start of the month it had
broken ВҐ110 for the п¬Ѓrst time in six years.
The euro was also boosted against the
dollar and ended at $1.2834 in New York.
But in Asia yesterday it eased to $1.2774, although it was still much stronger than the
$1.2702 in Tokyo on Wednesday.
The single currency was also at ВҐ135.50
against ВҐ135.94 in New York.
Oil prices extended their losses as investors fretted about weak demand caused by
the downbeat economic outlook and the
huge increase in supplies coming to the
Brent oil hit a fresh four-year low—tumbling to $83.34 in European trade, down 44
cents from Wednesday—while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery shed $1.45 to $80.33 per barrel.
Gold was at $1,241.90 an ounce against
$1,233.25 late Tuesday.
merging stocks touched
new seven-month lows
yesterday, led by steep falls
in major oil-exporting markets
after another slide in the oil price
and persistent concerns about
the global economic recovery.
MSCI’s emerging equity index
slipped 0.9% after the previous
day’s 1% fall, sparked by a Wall
Street rout and flight to safehaven bonds after disappointing
US data reinforced worries about
the global economy. Most Asian
bourses posted heavy falls.
With the price of oil continuing
to slump, hitting its lowest level in
four years, Middle Eastern markets fell hard, led by Saudi Arabia
where stocks dropped 5.5%.
The Mexican peso had hit
two-year lows on Wednesday
and stocks slipped 1% .
“The market now wants to see
what central bankers at the US
Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan
and European Central Bank can
do to calm the markets. What
(markets are) waiting for is some
verbal support saying they will
act if the market gets worse,”
Pravdova added.
The weak oil price, now trading below $83 a barrel, is adding pressure on Russia’s rouble
which has been punished as
Western sanctions on Russia
over the Ukraine crisis have restricted Russian companies’ access to capital markets.
The rouble was 0.9% weaker
against the dollar-euro basket,
falling past levels used by the
central bank to gauge the currency’s nominal exchange rate.
Russia’s central bank said yesterday it had shifted the boundaries of the rouble’s trading band
by 25 kopecks the previous day,
following market interventions
to curb the pace of the currency’s
“The future prospects for the
rouble will be determined by oil
prices, and only their stabilisation combined with growing
sales (of foreign currency) from
exporters ahead of the tax period
could strengthen a corrective
trend,” Dmitry Polevoy, an ING
Bank economist in Moscow, said
in a note.
Greek stocks, which suffered
their biggest one-day loss since
the height of the euro crisis on
Wednesday due to concerns
about possible early elections
and Athens’ plans to wean itself
off international aid, continued
to fall yesterday although less
sharply. They were down more
than 1%, adding to an 11.5% slide
over the previous two days.
Weaker oil prices are also
weighing on African sovereign
debt, with Nigeria’s 2023 US
dollar denominated bonds marginally lower. Ghana’s 2023 bond
was harder hit, dropping 0.125 of
a cent.
Ghana cut its economic
growth forecast slightly for this
year, to 6.9%, on Wednesday as
it grapples with inflation and a
sharp fall in its currency. The
government is in talks with the
International Monetary Fund on
a possible п¬Ѓnancial assistance
programme that could begin in
Indian shares fell for a second
consecutive session yesterday, as
companies seen most exposed to
the global economy such as Hindalco Industries and Sesa Sterlite
declined tracking a downturn in
global markets.
Markets across the world remained
weak on worries about global
economic growth and the end of
US stimulus.
Adding to the concerns, overseas
investors sold a net $113mn on
Tuesday, their third consecutive
session of sales, raising fears they
were turning more cautious about
emerging markets after purchasing
Indian shares through the year.
However, following exit polls
after Maharashtra and Haryana
elections, traders expect the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
to form governments in the two
states, giving a further push to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
reforms agenda.
The BJP is set to emerge as the
largest party in the two state legislatures where it has traditionally
been weak, exit polls showed.
“Today, the global cues were so
bad and we have been seeing
one-sided selling from overseas
investors. However, we are expecting positive outcome from the two
state elections, which will bring
back some confidence among investors,” said Suresh Parmar, head,
institutional investors at KJMC
Capital Markets.
The benchmark BSE index closed
1.33% lower at 25,999.34, while the
broader NSE index fell 1.47% to
Markets were closed on Wednesday for state elections.
Metals and mining companies led
the losses. Hindalco closed down
5.7% and Tata Steel ended 3.7%
down on weak international prices.
Sesa Sterlite closed 4.2% lower.
London copper hit a six-month low
while iron ore futures in China and
Singapore extended losses with
mounting concerns over global
Oil and gas explorers such as Oil
and Natural Gas Corp and Reliance
Industries fell after international
crude prices hit a four-year low.
Reliance fell 3.2%, while ONGC
closed down 1.3%.
Sell-off was also seen in heavyweights as investors preferred
to take profits. Larsen & Toubro
ended 1.1% lower and Bharat Heavy
Electricals closed down 2.8%.
However, DLF rebounded and
closed up 5.2%, on value-buying
after slumping 28.6% to a record
low on Tuesday after the securities
regulator banned it from the capital markets for three years over
violations related to disclosures for
its 2007 listing.
Meanwhile the rupee posted its biggest single-day loss in a month, hurt
by data showing a widening trade
deficit and a slump in local shares as
part of a global market sell-off, but
intervention from the central bank
prevented steeper losses.
The local unit fell nearly 0.72%
yesterday and was the worst performer among Asian currencies as
trading resumed after a holiday on
Wednesday for state elections.
Worries that foreign investors
would reduce their exposure are
starting to weigh on sentiment,
after strong buying in shares and
debt had helped support the rupee
so far this year.
The central bank had been active
in the market for most of the day,
but stepped up intervention as the
rupee threatened to breach the
62-mark, traders said.
“The rupee is playing catch-up with
other Asian currencies as it was
outperforming them some days
ago,” said Anindya Banerjee, currency analyst at Kotak Securities in
“When they have catching up to do,
the rupee and stocks traditionally
overdo it,” he added, pointing out
that the rupee and shares would
continue to be under pressure in
the coming sessions.
The partially convertible rupee
closed at 61.8350/8450 per dollar
compared with 61.41/42 on Tuesday, after touching 61.93 in intraday trade. The fall was the biggest
since September 15.
The rupee was hurt after data on
Tuesday showed India’s trade deficit widened to $14.25bn in September from $10.84bn in August due to
a jump in oil and gold imports.
The rupee closed at 61.8350/8450 per dollar yesterday,
after touching 61.93 in intra-day trade.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Monte dei Paschi leads Europe
bank falls as stress tests loom
Jimmy Choo
seen pricing
London float
at bottom
of range
uxury shoemaker Jimmy
Choo is expected to set its
London flotation price at
140 pence a share, the bottom of
its indicative range, two sources
familiar with the matter said
yesterday, amid declining enthusiasm for new issues.
The price values the company
at ВЈ546mn ($874mn), well below
the initially hoped for top market value of ВЈ702mn.
The п¬Ѓrm had п¬Ѓrst set a price
range of 140-180 pence before
narrowing it to 140-160 pence
earlier this week. Trading is due
to begin today.
Weaker equities markets have
hit demand for new issues in Europe, with British bank Aldermore cancelling plans to float in
Fund managers have also expressed concern that Jimmy
Choo had around ВЈ100mn of
debt and was spending more
than the industry average on
opening new shops.
Jimmy Choo operates in one
of the strongest segments of the
luxury goods industry. But its
growth potential has been presented to investors as hinging
partly on expansion in China,
where demand has weakened
in recent months, according to
rivals such as Prada, Cartierowner Richemont and industry
leader LVMH.
Jimmy Choo’s head, Pierre
Denis, however believes newcomers will have an easier time
in China and there will be demand for quality footwear.
hares in Italy’s third-biggest
bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena
slumped to an all-time low yesterday, as fears it could fail European
stress tests combined with a fraught
global economic backdrop which
weighed on the sector.
The European Central Bank (ECB)
will unveil the results of its balance
sheet review and stress tests on October 26 and Monte dei Paschi is seen by
many analysts as one of the banks most
at risk of failing, despite raising €5bn
($6.4bn) from shareholders in June to
bulk up its balance sheet.
The ECB audit of the eurozone’s
banks is piling pressure on lenders,
already suffering from stalled growth
which has put the eurozone back at the
centre of a global market rout.
Shares in Monte dei Paschi, bailed
out by Italy after being hard hit in the
eurozone debt crisis and a scandal over
loss-making derivative trades, have
halved in value since its rights issue.
Just over 1bn euros has been wiped
off its stock market value in the past
three days on concerns it may be forced
to tap investors for even more cash.
Such fears come on top of warnings
that Europe risks falling into a spiral of
falling wages and prices, threatening
banks’ ability to recover from a debt
crisis which just two years ago put a
question mark over the future of the
currency zone.
If banks who fail the stress tests cannot raise capital from stock markets,
there is the possibility they will impose
losses on bondholders or have to tap
their governments or Europe’s bailout
fund, the ESM, to п¬Ѓll the gap.
“In this type of market investors are
running for cover. They are looking
Shares in Monte dei Paschi, bailed out by Italy after being hard hit in the eurozone debt crisis and a scandal over loss-making derivative trades, have halved in value since
its rights issue.
for safe-haven plays and away from
distressed banking names, which explains why those riskier institutions are
getting hit harder,” said Ciaran Callaghan, analyst at Dublin-based Merrion
“Banks that are required to prepare
capital plans after shortfalls are exposed in the stress tests will п¬Ѓnd it more
difficult to raise equity privately if weak
markets persist,” Callaghan added.
“This may bring the prospect of bondholder, sovereign or ESM participation
back on to the table.”
Shares in Monte dei Paschi were
down nearly 10% to a record low of
€0.8075. Banco Popolare di Milano,
which raised €1.5bn in April, was down
7%. MPS’s chief executive has said the
bank’s capital raising efforts put it on
a stable footing, but a big shareholder
said late last month it was uncertain
whether the ECB health checks would
result in further capital requirements.
Banco Popolare’s CEO has said he is
confident the lender will pass the stress
tests and will not ask shareholders for
more cash as long as he is in the job.
Meanwhile even banks not seen at
risk of failing the ECB review were
sharply down as the gloomier outlook
for the regional economy threatened to
further pressure profit margins, already
squeezed by low interest rates and the
increased cost of lending in the wake of
the п¬Ѓnancial crisis.
Among the top 10 European bank
fallers were French lenders Natixis and
Societe Generale, down 6% and 5%
respectively. Portugal’s BCP and Germany’s Deutsche Bank were around
5% weaker. The ECB was preparing to
loosen its rules on what sort of collateral
Greek banks could park with it to access
cheap funding, a Greek central bank official said, after the country’s stocks and
bonds plunged this week on fears of a
snap election and Athens’ plans to quit
its bailout early. Europe’s stress tests are
designed to reassure investors once and
for all that the region’s banks have put
their debt crisis behind them. But a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF)
official has warned European banks were
still struggling to adapt to a new era of
lower profits and some should be shut.
“The crisis has led to an environment that is vastly different to what we
had before ... and banks are struggling
to adapt their business models to the
post-crisis realities,” Jose Vinals, director of monetary and capital markets
at the IMF, told the British Bankers’ Association annual conference.
Goldman Sachs net profit surges as bond trading picks up
Blackstone declared a quarterly distribution of 44
cents per common unit.
Winnebago Industries, the US motorhome maker,
reported a 22% jump in quarterly profit as sales
surged due to increased consumer spending on
big-ticket items. The company, whose recreational
vehicles range in price from about $65,000 to more
than $400,000, said it delivered 2,364 motorhomes
in the quarter ended August 30, up from 1,890 a
year earlier.
The company, small but closely watched because
of the view it provides on spending on big-ticket
discretionary items, said growth in the quarter
was driven by higher consumer demand for the
company’s motorhomes and towables.
The company has launched a number of lowerpriced recreational vehicles to attract families with
younger children. As a result, its average selling
price fell 8.4% in the quarter.
Data from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association showed that motorhome shipments in August,
June and July reached their highest level since
2007. Winnebago’s net income rose to $12.9mn,
or 48 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from
$10.6mn, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 15% to $245.9mn.
Goldman Sachs Group reported a 50% jump in
third-quarter net profit yesterday as last month’s
sudden pickup in bond market activity helped to
boost trading revenue.
Net income attributable to common shareholders
rose to $2.14bn, or $4.57 per share, from $1.43bn, or
$2.88 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $3.21
per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue from bond-trading, a notoriously volatile
business, increased 74% to $2.17bn as strong US
economic data, stimulus measures by the European
Central Bank, and the surprise exit of trading superstar Bill Gross from giant bond-trading firm Pimco
jolted what had been a listless market.
Goldman’s fixed-income, currency and commodities (FICC) business has been on a declining trend
since 2009 as new rules discourage banks from
trading on their own book, and many have wondered whether the industry will ever truly rebound.
But Goldman says it sees a long-term future in the
business as rivals scale back or quit, leaving it to fill
the gap.
The FICC business contributed about 26% of overall
revenue in the latest quarter, compared with about
40% of annual revenue in 2009 and 25% last year.
“It is a positive indication that the long drought on
the trading floor may be nearing an end,” said Chris
Kotowski, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co.
The bank, also one of the biggest beneficiaries of
the resurgence in equity capital markets this year,
said revenue from equity underwriting rose 54% to
Tata Consultancy
India’s biggest outsourcing firm Tata Consultancy
Services yesterday reported a 13.6% rise in quarterly net profit from a year ago on strong demand
from clients in North America and Europe.
The Mumbai-based company, commonly known as
TCS, said its outlook was bright and that the firm
would continue to invest in building its business.
TCS said net profit for the second financial
quarter, ending September 30, rose to Rs52.88bn
($854.97mn) from Rs46.54bn a year ago.
“Driven by strong volumes and robust utilisation
rates, this has been a quarter of steady, consistent
performance,” TCS chief executive N. Chandrasekaran said in a statement.
The firm inked eight large deals in the July-September quarter and the prospect of more was “strong
with good opportunities across all sectors of the
economy”, Chandrasekaran told reporters.
TCS’s chief financial officer Rajesh Gopinathan said
the firm “remained focused on supporting business
growth by optimising operations and maintaining
The firm said it had hired 20,350 people in the last
quarter, takings its employee base to 313,757 people. India has become a back office to the world as
companies, especially in developed nations, have
subcontracted work to firms such as TCS, taking
advantage of the country’s skilled English-speaking
Blackstone Group, the largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, reported an 18% rise in thirdquarter profit yesterday, missing many analysts’
Blackstone, whose investments include the
Weather Channel, shoemaker Crocs and SeaWorld
Entertainment, said economic net income, a metric
of profitability that takes into account the mark-tomarket valuation of its portfolio, was $758mn for
the quarter, up from $640mn a year earlier.
This translated into ENI of 66 cents per share.
Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll had forecast 72
cents on average.
Distributable earnings, which show actual cash that
is available to pay dividends, rose 115% in the third
quarter to $672mn.
Assets under management were $284bn at the end
of September, up from $279bn at the end of June.
Baker Hughes
Baker Hughes, the world’s No 3 oilfield services
provider, reported a lower-than-expected profit as
political tensions disrupted activity in Libya and
Iraq, and a sharp fall in drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
weighed on margins. Baker Hughes shares dropped
more than 10% in premarket trading on Thursday
as the company’s profit fell short of market expectations for the first time in five quarters.
“We think Street expectations were that Baker
Hughes was somehow more insulated from negative forces this quarter,” Jefferies & Co analysts
wrote in a note. The results “raise the specter
of weaker-than-expected activity” in the Gulf of
Shares of Halliburton Co, which like Baker Hughes
gets about half of its revenue from North America,
also fell 5%. Brent oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel
on Thursday to a four-year low below $83 a barrel.
Schlumberger Ltd, the biggest of the trio, in contrast, relies more on international markets. Shares
of the company, scheduled to report results after
markets close yesterday, were down more than 2%.
Baker Hughes’ pretax profit margins in its operations in Europe, Africa and the Russia Caspian
region slumped to 8% in the third quarter ended
September 30 from 17% a year earlier.
North America was the brightest spot in its
operations due to increased demand for pressure
pumping - used in hydraulic fracturing to extract oil
and gas from shale rock - and a seasonal rebound in
activity in Canada.
Higher spending by US oil and gas companies on
lucrative shale fields has boosted onshore drilling
at the expense of costly offshore projects, such as
those in the Gulf of Mexico.
British precision engineering group Renishaw’s
first-quarter profit doubled, driven by large orders
from the Asia-Pacific region which analysts believe
are related to new product launches by Apple
Shares in Renishaw, a FTSE-250 company, rose as
much as 4.6% yesterday.
The company, which makes machine tool probes
and gauges, said it expected continued investment
in production systems leading to greater demand
for its products even while it may experience “unpredictable orders” both in terms of size and timing.
Analysts believe the unpredictable orders were
arising from the launch of new products by Apple,
which is expected to unveil thinner and more powerful iPads. The smartphone maker launched the
iPhone 6, iPhone Plus and Apple Watch last month.
Renishaw reported a record ВЈ51.2mn ($81.8mn) order book for the first quarter ended September 30.
“Basically, the contract manufacturers that
make the products for Apple buy products from
Renishaw that are used to make these products.
So if Apple brings out a new product, it means the
contractor of Apple is more likely to buy a whole lot
of products from Renishaw,” analyst Jo Reedman of
N+1 Singer Capital Markets told Reuters.
Renishaw reported 28% growth in revenue for the
first quarter,
Netflix signed up fewer video streaming subscribers than forecast for the quarter that ended in September as its US growth slowed markedly, sending
its shares plunging as much as 27%.
Net income rose to $59.3mn, or 96 cents per share,
from $31.8mn, or 52 cents per share, in the year-ago
period. Revenue rose about 28% to $1.41bn.
Analysts had expected profit of 93 cents per share
on revenue of $1.41bn, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company blamed a $1 price hike to $8.99 a
month for discouraging new sign-ups. It lured
3.02mn new streaming customers globally, versus
the 3.69mn it projected in July.
Netflix attracted about 980,000 new customers in
the US, its largest market, down from 1.29mn in the
same period a year earlier.
The news came after Time Warner’s HBO said on
Wednesday it will offer new competition next year
with a streaming service that does not require a
pay TV subscription. “Year-on-year net additions in
the US were down,” Netflix said in a quarterly letter
to shareholders. “As best we can tell, the primary
cause is the slightly higher prices we now have
compared to a year ago.”
Shares of Netflix fell 25% to $333.53 in after-hours
trading, from their $448.59 close on Nasdaq.
Netflix, waving off fears that a standalone HBO
would draw users away, argued that many will
subscribe to both services because they offer different shows.
American Express
American Express Co, the world’s largest credit card
issuer, reported an 8.1% rise in quarterly profit due
to higher spending by US customers using its credit
cards and a rise in its net interest income.
Spending by US holders of AmEx cards rose 9% in
the third quarter, boosting profit in the business by
14%. The business accounted for nearly three-quarters of the company’s profit.
US consumer spending rose 0.5% in August after
being unchanged in July, the Commerce Department said last month.
AmEx, which issues its own cards unlike Visa and
Mastercard that work through banks, benefits from
its largely affluent customer base and low rates of
However, single-digit growth in spending by its card
users for about two years has pushed the company
to launch products such as a fee-free card that
targets a wider range of customers.
The company’s net income rose to $1.48bn, or $1.40
per share, in the quarter ended September 30 from
$1.37bn, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier.
Net interest income rose 8.7% to $1.4bn.
However, total revenue, net of interest expense,
remained nearly unchanged at $8.33bn.
Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault said AmEx’s revenue was growing at a pace below the company’s
long-term target.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Race is on for the �tallest skyscraper’ in East Asia
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
Despite Thailand’s troubled economy
and a military-controlled government in
place, a Thai developer has announced
that it will build a “new landmark” for the
country, a 615-metre 125-storey “Super
Tower” in Bangkok, slated to be completed
by 2019.
When finished, this building within a
mixed-used development in one of Bangkok’s main residential and business districts on Rama IX Road, will be the tallest
tower in Southeast Asia, surpassing Kuala
Lumpur’s Petronas Towers (452 metres),
as well as stand among the tallest towers
in the world, only 213 metres shorter than
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa but taller than the
Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
(601 metres), Taiwan’s Taipei 101 (509
metres), the Shanghai World Financial
Center (492 metres) and the International
Commerce Center in Hong Kong (484 metres). It is only challenged by two Chinese
towers currently under construction, the
Pingan International Finance Center in
Shenzen (planned height: 648 metres) and
the Shanghai Tower (planned height: 632
metres), as well as of course the Kingdom
Tower in Jeddah which should reach
a height of 1 kilometre at its estimated
completion in 2019.
Building super-tall structures is a
novelty for Thailand. The country’s current
tallest tower is the 7-year old Baiyoke II
Tower in Bangkok at a meagre height of
304 metres. Construction of other supertall buildings has just started recently,
with the MahaNakon Tower, Magnolias
Waterfront Residences and Landmark
Waterfront expected to reach over 300
metres in height each.
The stock exchange-listed developer of
Bangkok’s new “Super Tower” – the name
for the building is still temporary and a
competition will be held -, Grand Canal
Land, said that construction costs for the
tower will be around $560mn.
he building will encompass 320,000
square metres of space, of which 90,000
square metres will be for offices, and the
rest for residential use, a “six-star” hotel
with 260 rooms, retail space, a convention hall, an observation deck and rooftop
The structure will be part of the Grand
Rama 9 complex, which stretches over
1.2mn square metres of land designed to
serve 300,000 people a day.
The developer said it will finance the
tower at a 60% debt rate from four Thai
banks and expects rental income from a
partially opened tower as early as 2016. It
will also seek domestic and international
investors for office and condominium
space, obviously inspired by the fact that
the MahaNakhon Tower has been a hit
with Dubai investors at a sales roadshow
last year and already bagged $27mn in
investments from a Dubai business group.
However, industry experts say that
they are not convinced that super-tall
structures in Thailand are going to be a
commercial success.
“Prospects for super-tall buildings are
not impressive considering the cost of
development against achievable rentals. There is not enough demand from
the types of tenants who are willing to
pay a rental premium,” says Aliwassa
Pathnadabutr, Managing Director of CBRE
So far, buildings with 30 to 50 storeys
have proved popular with residents and
companies in Thailand and can indeed
command higher rents, he said, but added
that “we have yet to see a premium in
prices of buildings with more than 60
An artist’s impression of the 125-storey �Super Tower’ in Bangkok, slated to be
completed by 2019.
Oettinger: All-out efforts to secure the EU’s gas supplies.
EU could step in to
ensure gas supply if
Russia flows cut off
uropean Union authorities could intervene to prevent gas shortages this
winter in the event the Ukraine crisis
causes disruption to flows from Russia, EU
stress tests showed yesterday.
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger unveiled the results of tests
conducted across the EU’s 28 member states
and 10 neighbouring countries to assess how
vulnerable Europe would be in the event of a
six-month supply cut from Russia.
“If we work together, show solidarity and
implement the recommendations of this report, no household in the EU has to be left out
in the cold this winter,” Oettinger said.
Should market forces alone not be able to
secure supplies, authorities could intervene,
the tests concluded.
“A market-based approach should be the
guiding principle, with non-market measures (i.e. the release of strategic stocks, forced
fuels switching and demand curtailment)
only kicking in when the market fails,” the
European Commission said in a statement.
“Responsibility (for a market intervention)
should be shared between public authorities
and industry through the implementation of
the EU’s Security of Gas Regulation,” it said.
Russia is Europe’s biggest gas supplier,
meeting around a third of the region’s demand, and the EU gets about half of the Russian gas it uses via Ukraine.
Analysts say that some form of disruption
of Russian flows to the EU is likely this winter, either because Ukraine has to siphon off
some gas meant for transit en route to Europe
in order to meet its own demand, or because
Russia reduces its exports to the EU if the crisis with Ukraine deteriorates further.
“As Ukrainian storage only reached a maximum level of 16.7bn cubic metres and withdrawing should start soon, this will make it
difficult to meet local consumption this winter,” French bank Societe Generale said in a
research note yesterday.
“Ukraine needs direct Russian gas this
winter: the longer it waits, the stronger Russia’s position is likely to become. Our basecase scenario calls for a short interruption of
gas transit this winter in Ukraine,” it said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned
yesterday that Russia will cut gas supplies
to Europe if Ukraine steals from the transit
pipeline to cover its own needs, although he
was hopeful it would not come to that.
The European Commission has been working on emergency plans since the beginning
of the Ukraine crisis, including steps such as
banning gas exports from the EU and limiting
industrial use in order to protect households.
Germany is Europe’s biggest buyer of
Russian gas, paying Russian gas exporter
Gazprom around $15bn a year, while EU
members such as Bulgaria and Slovakia are
almost entirely reliant on Russian gas imported via Ukraine.
While high gas storage levels and easing
prices have helped much of Europe prepare
for winter, a disruption in Russian flows
would still pose a risk to markets such as Bulgaria and Britain.
Britain and Bulgaria both have small gas
storage capacities, of three weeks and two
months respectively, while Germany has
some of Europe’s biggest at almost half a year.
Russia cut off supply to Ukraine on June 16
over what Gazprom said were billions of euros in unpaid bills.
Without Russian flows, there is concern
Ukraine might have to siphon off gas from
flows transiting the country en route to Europe this winter.
The stand-off over pricing is the third in
a decade between Moscow and Kiev, though
this time tensions are higher in the wake of
Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and fighting in the east of Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian
S drugmaker AbbVie
has pulled the plug
on its plan to buy
Dublin-based Shire, recommending shareholders vote
against the proposed $55bn
takeover following new US
tax rules.
Shire stands to be paid
a break-up fee of about
$1.64bn, assuming AbbVie’s shareholders follow the
advice and reject the transaction.
The reversal – which had
been anticipated after Chicago-based AbbVie said it
was reconsidering the deal
– hands a major scalp to
the US Treasury, which has
been п¬Ѓghting to make taxavoiding acquisitions more
That has hit the value of
other potential takeover
targets in Europe and cast
a shadow over transactions
that have yet to be completed.
But AbbVie’s retreat could
spark fresh deal-making by
Shire, which has a strong
track record of acquisitions to fuel its fast-growing
business and may now look
around to buy other companies, with its п¬Ѓrepower
boosted by the break-up fee.
The US government’s tax
proposals are designed to
make it harder for American
п¬Ѓrms to shift their tax bases
out of the country and into
lower cost jurisdictions in
“The agreed-upon valuation is no longer supported
as a result of the changes to
the tax rules and we did not
believe it was in the best interests of our stockholders
to proceed,” AbbVie’s chief
executive Richard Gonzalez
said in a statement.
AbbVie’s move for Shirewas announced in July amid
a spate of deals in the pharmaceutical sector.
US economy’s pulse
is still strong: data
he number of Americans п¬Ѓling new claims
for jobless benefits fell
to a 14-year low last week and
industrial output rose sharply
in September, positive signals
that could help ease fears over
the economic outlook.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped
23,000 to 264,000, the lowest
level since 2000, the Labour
Department said.
A separate report from the
Federal Reserve showed production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities
advanced a larger-than-expected 1.0% last month, the
biggest gain since November
The data offered evidence
the economy remained on
solid ground, with the labour market gaining steam.
Investors in recent days have
come to the view that slowing
growth overseas will weigh on
the US economy and force the
Fed to delay a hike in interest
Weak retail sales data on
Wednesday shook investor
confidence and helped fuel a
global sell-off in stock markets that continued yesterday.
US stock markets were trading
sharply lower.
The jobless claims report
nonetheless reinforced expectations that slack in the
labor market was being re-
duced. “Have we achieved full
employment? Not yet. Are we
getting closer? Absolutely,”
said Stephen Stanley, an economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities.
It’s possible some of last
week’s drop in claims was related to America’s Columbus
Day holiday, which may have
affected how the Labor Department adjusts the data for
seasonal swings, economists
at RBS said.
The government, however,
said there were no unusual
factors in the report, while the
four-week moving average of
claims, which irons out weekto-week volatility, also fell to
its lowest level since 2000.
A Reuters poll yesterday
showed economists still clinging to the view that the Fed
would raise benchmark borrowing costs from near zero
in the second quarter of next
year despite mounting signs of
weakness overseas.
The poll, however, was largely
complete before the latest stock
market sell-off, which has been
accompanied by a big shift in investor expectations for the path
of US monetary policy. Interest
rates futures are now pointing to
a rate hike in October 2015.
St. Louis Federal Reserve
Bank President James Bullard
said in a television interview
with Bloomberg that the US
central bank might want to
keep its bond-buying programme running for longer
than anticipated given a drop
in inflation expectations.
Bears beat bulls – are markets in downward spiral?
The bears’ growl now dominates the financial markets, scaring away the bulls, as
investors turn tail and run in fear as global
growth prospects evaporate.
Markets are often described as a
confrontation between two animals, the
bull and the bear. The first is an optimistic
and aggressive animal, while the second is
defensive and pessimistic.
A bullish market is optimistic and investors aggressively chase opportunity and
profit, while in a bearish market investors
are pessimistic and seek to limit their
Once direction has changed, they tend
to act as a herd.
“I’m afraid this might be the beginning
of a bear market that could last for some
period of time,” said CNBC commentator
Dennis Gartman and who publishes his
own financial newsletter.
“You have to remember: bears don’t eat,
only bulls in the market enjoy the upside,”
he added. Markets tumbled on Wednesday
and fell sharply again on Thursday. Markets have also seen sharp swings in prices
in recent weeks.
Analysts at CM-CIC see a “paradigm
shift” taking place on the market.
Recent weeks have seen one international organisation after another slash
their global growth forecasts.
Yet the bulls kept pushing stock prices
higher until recent days, when the glum
global outlook and uncertainty put the
bears in charge.
“The turmoil that hit the markets yesterday ... has addressed some of the disconnect between economic fundamentals
and asset prices that have been worrying
many economists for some time,” said
analyst Jane Foley at Rabobank.
Analysts at CM-CIC said plunge on the
stock and bond markets showed investors
“had become aware of the gloomy global
growth outlook combined with factors including concerns over the Ebola pandemic
and the risk of backsliding in Greece.”
Trader Lee Mumford at Spreadex said
“world growth concerns continue to rattle
Bull and bear statues are pictured outside Frankfurt’s stock exchange. The
bears’ growl now dominates the financial markets, scaring away the bulls, as
investors turn tail and run in fear as global growth prospects evaporate.
global markets, sending investors to the
sidelines and dumping as much risk as
IMF chief Christine Lagarde recently
summed up the global growth outlook in
one word: mediocre. “There is a risk that
the world will be stuck with mediocre
growth for a while,” she said at the beginning of October.
And each of the motors of global
growth has begun to run rough. The eurozone, haunted by the spectre of deflation,
is close to stagnation. China’s economy
has slowed and the recovery in the US has
hit some fits and starts.
According to bond analyst Rene Defossez, the announcement on Wednesday
that US retail sales dropped 0.3% in
September “was the straw that broke the
camel’s back”.
The market likes terms linked to animal
Analysts at Germany’s DZ Bank also
pointed to increased volatility on the
Now, “the markets will remain very
nervous and alert to the release of each
figure,” said Defossez.
The plunge in the markets heaps more
pressure on central banks, which have
been largely responsible for keeping the
global economy from going off the rails in
recent years through easy money policies.
The US Federal Reserve has wound
down its stimulus and is looking to
increase interest rates as the US economic
recovery takes hold, but “as the monetary
morphine has started to wear off the
patient has come to realise that a lot of
the old problems still remain,” said CMC
Markets UK analyst Michael Hewson.
European Central Bank chief Mario
Draghi calmed a storm in financial
markets in 2012 by promising that the
ECB would do “whatever it takes” to save
the euro, and recently he announced additional measures to support the eurozone
economy. But he also insists that growth
ball is very much a matter for national
governments and policy reforms.
Analysts at Aurel believe the market
rout this week is just “a foretaste of a
financial crisis”.
Others are more optimistic, like Alexandre Baradez at IG, who said the market
slump does not “call into question the
medium-term outlook of markets for a
recovery in the eurozone economy.”
But Richard Jeffrey, chief investment
officer at Cazenove Capital Management
in London, wondered whether the current bout of market turbulence was “the
echoes of the previous crisis or the start of
something more sinister?”
CRICKET | Page 5
TENNIS | Page 10
India look to
surge ahead
of Windies in
Injured Russian
retires aged 33
Friday, October 17, 2014
Dhul-Hijja 23, 1435 AH
Messi eyes fresh
chance for La Liga
goals record
Page 3
Qatar take on
China in AFC U-19
Montezemolo says
Alonso is leaving
Ferrari end of season
�The key aspect will be on who can impose their style of play on the game, and thus
feel more comfortable and in control – that will be a big advantage’
Ferrari’s F1 driver Fernando Alonso of Spain.
Qatar U-19 coach Felix Sanchez Bas wants his team to take control of the match when they play against China today.
“Al Saadi has had a very good
tournament so far, he’s been the
one scoring the goals for us, so
he’s the most important. However,
if he plays tomorrow, we hope
he contributes not only goals but
also hard-work for the team,” said
coach Sanchez Bas
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
atar coach Felix Sanchez Bas
wants his boys to impose their
style of play when they take on
China today in the quarterfinal of the AFC U-19 Championship at
the Wunna Theikd Stadium.
Qatar have had an unbeaten run in
the group stages, winning 3-1 and 2-0
against DPR Korea and Oman respectively and drawing against Iraq, which
saw them top the standings in the tough
Group D.
“There are many important factors in
this game, but the key aspect will be on
who can impose their style of play on the
game, and thus feel more comfortable
and in control – that will be a big advantage,” said Sanchez Bas yesterday.
“We played very well in the group
stage, but that is over now. We have to
forget about them and focus on this new
stage of the tournament, and against a
team with a different style of football
than we have faced before,” he added.
For Qatar, striker Ahmed al-Saadi has
been in great form, having scored an
impressive four goals in the three group
games and coach Sanchez feels that alSaadi is the key player for Qatar in this
“Al Saadi has had a very good tournament so far, he’s been the one scoring
the goals for us, so he’s the most impor-
Qatar striker Ahmed al-Saadi has been in great form, having scored an impressive
four goals in the three group games.
tant. However, if he plays tomorrow, we
hope he contributes not only goals but
also hard-work for the team,” said coach
Sanchez Bas who will be missing the
services of defender Jasem Mohamed
who has been suspended after picking
up two yellow cards in the group stages.
In the other camp, China coach Zheng
Xiong has talked up their opponents Qatar.
Zheng saw former champions China
come runners-up in Group C thanks,
in large part, to their shock 2-1 opening
day win against six-time п¬Ѓnalists and
regional rivals Japan.
Although China could only follow
up that victory with consecutive draws
against defending champions Korea
Republic and Vietnam, they did enough
to secure their place in the knockout
stages and make up for a disappointing
2012 tournament, where the East Asians
crashed out at the п¬Ѓrst hurdle.
“Qatar are a very good team and were
п¬Ѓrst-placed in a difficult Group D. They
are strong-hearted and have several
good players at both ends of the field,”
said China coach Zheng.
“Serigne Abdou and Assim Madibo
are experienced and skilled defenders,
while Almoez Ali and Ahmed al-Saadi
are forwards with excellent individual
ability that makes the speed of the Qatar
attack very fast.
“We will try to keep a balance between
attack and defence, though, and we are
prepared for the whole 120 minutes and
penalties if it comes to that.”
However, Zheng does have several injury concerns ahead of the tie with forward Xiang Baixu and midfielders Yao
Junsheng and Zhang Xiuwei struggling
to be п¬Ѓt in time.
“The injury situation is very bad.
Xiang was injured in the п¬Ѓrst match
against Japan and hasn’t recovered
since, while Yao and Xhang are currently
receiving treatment from the medical
staff but it doesn’t look good.” added
Zheng, who knows that the winner of
the quarter-п¬Ѓnal tie will also secure a
place at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
ernando Alonso is leaving
Ferrari at the end of the
season because he wants
a fresh environment and
needs to be winning again, the
Formula One team’s ex-chairman
Luca di Montezemolo said on
Ferrari have yet to confirm
Alonso is leaving, although it has
been taken for granted in the sport
since quadruple world champion
Sebastian Vettel announced this
month that he was leaving Red
Bull at the end of the year.
Vettel has also yet to say where
he is going, although Red Bull
principal Christian Horner has
said the German is moving to Maranello.
“Fernando is leaving for two
reasons,” Montezemolo told Italy’s RAI television.
“One because he wants to cement himself in another environment. And two because he’s at an
age where he cannot wait to win
“He has been disappointed not
to have won (the title) in these years
and he needs a new stimulus.”
Montezemolo left Ferrari on
Monday, handing over to the boss
of parent company FIAT Sergio
Alonso, a double world champion with Renault, joined Ferrari
in 2010 and has п¬Ѓnished runnerup in the championship in three of
the past four years.
Ferrari have not won a race in
more than a year and are currently fourth overall and heading
for their п¬Ѓrst winless season since
The 33-year-old Spaniard is
expected to return to McLaren,
the team he left after one fraught
season in 2007 when Lewis Hamilton was his teammate.
Alonso told reporters at the
Russian Grand Prix last weekend
that his choice would be obvious once announced and he was
unlikely to be driving a car with a
Mercedes engine.
He added that there was no big
risk of him not having a drive in
Formula One next year.
Former champions McLaren are
starting a new partnership with
Honda next season.
Alonso’s return to Woking
would cast a question mark over
Jenson Button’s future in Formula
One, with the 2009 world champion out of contract at the end of
the year.
“Fernando is leaving for two
reasons,” Montezemolo told
Italy’s RAI television.
“One because he wants to
cement himself in another
environment. And two
because he’s at an age where
he cannot wait to win again
The 34-year-old Briton told reporters in Sochi last weekend that
he was relaxed about the future.
“I’m no longer annoyed when
people keep asking me,” he said. “I
was (annoyed) at the last race, but
I am more relaxed with it. It is getting so close to the end of the season, it is actually getting funny.
“But I’m not worried or scared
with regard to whatever direction
I go in in the future.”
QSL back after two-week break
The Qatar Stars League is back
in action after a two-week break
with four matches being played
today and the battle to watch
out for will be the one between
Al Ahli and Al Sadd, being
played at the Al Arabi stadium.
Sadd find themselves at the top
of the table, leading by a single
point, after they convincingly
beat Lekhwiya 3-0 in a result
that pulled the handbrake on
the defending champions who
were unbeaten in five matches
before their loss.
Ahli on the other hand are just
getting things back on track after their 1-0 win over Al Shamal,
before which they had endured
two back to back losses against
Al Gharafa and El Jaish and they
will be keen to put up a strong
challenge against the new
league leaders.
The other key match today
is between newcomers Al
Shahaniya and Umm Salal who
finished seventh in the league
last season.
Shahaniya have found the going
tough in their first season in
QSL, having managed just one
win so far in their five matches
– a 2-1 win over Al Wakrah but
have endured two close defeats,
a 2-3 loss to Sadd and a similar
scoreline loss against Al Khor in
the last round.
Salal, on the other hand, only
have their upset 2-1 victory
over El Jaish to brag about,
having endured two draws
and three losses so far which
included a shocking 0-1 defeat
by Al Kharaitiyat. Salal’s Turkish
coach Bulent Uygun will be
hoping his boys can get back
to their winning ways, starting
with today’s match.
The other two matches today
will see Wakrah taking on Al
Arabi and Khor taking on Al
Gharafa. Khor beat Shahaniya in
the last round to register their
first win of the season. Gharafa,
meanwhile will be looking to
recover from their 1-5 thrashing
at the hands of Qatar SC.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Silve fit but Ibrahimovic,
Luiz to sit out, says Blanc
Former France defender
Gallas calls it quits at 37
Vanishing spray to make
German debut tomorrow
Ozil out for at least six
weeks, confirms Wenger
Keshi sacked as Nigeria
puts �consortium’ in charge
Thiago Silva is fit to play for Paris Saint-Germain
against Lens today, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic and
David Luiz will both miss out, coach Laurent Blanc
said yesterday. Silva has not played this season after injuring his hamstring in a pre-season friendly
in August, but he should be involved in tonight’s
league game. However, Ibrahimovic is still suffering from a heel problem while Luiz picked up a
thigh complaint during a friendly in Beijing over
the international break. “David Luiz is injured, he
won’t play against Lens, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out
for Lens, as are Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marquinhos,”
said Blanc. “Thiago Silva is fit but it remains to be
seen if he will be in the squad, on the bench or in
the starting line-up.”
Former France defender William Gallas has
announced his retirement, bringing to an end a
decorated 19-year professional career. “You tell
yourself you can always continue but I think that
today I can’t,” the 37-year-old centre-back told
TV channel L’Equipe 21. Gallas, who started his
professional career at Caen in 1995, won 84 caps
for France and scored five goals, including the
controversial strike in Les Bleus’s 2-1 playoff win
against Ireland that earned the side a 2010 World
Cup berth. Gallas poked the home from close
range after being set up by Thiery Henry, who
had clearly handled the ball to prevent it from
going out of play. He also played the 2006 World
Cup final which France lost on penalties to Italy.
Vanishing spray is to make its German debut in
the Bundesliga this weekend. After FIFA adopted
the measure of using a biodegradable foam
which dissolves within a minute to help combat
encroachment at free-kicks at the World Cup
earlier this year, several other federations and
institutions have also adopted it. UEFA now uses
the spray in Champions League matches and
it has been embraced in England and Italy too.
Three German second division matches to be
played tonight will herald the introduction of the
spray, with the Bundesliga following suit from
tomorrow. “During the World Cup in Brazil we saw
that it works perfectly,” said Herbert Fandel, the
German refereeing chief.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed
that Mesut Ozil faces around six weeks out with
a knee ligament injury, a problem that was only
discovered when the midfielder joined up with the
Germany squad for international duty last week.
Ozil, 26, first felt pain in the knee during Arsenal’s
2-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea on Oct 5 but
Wenger told reporters yesterday that the German
did not reveal the gravity of the issue at the time.
“I didn’t even know about it. At halftime, just before
we went out, the physio told me he had a little pain
in his knee but its not bad and he wanted to go
on,” Wenger said. “I told him �if you don’t feel well
tell me and I will take you off straight away’ but he
never did in the whole game.”
Stephen Keshi has been removed as head coach
of Nigeria and replaced by a “consortium” of
coaches for the side’s final two African Nations
Cup qualifiers next month. The Nigeria Football
Federation (NFF) confirmed the move in a statement yesterday, despite Keshi leading the Super
Eagles to a 3-1 victory over Sudan in Abuja the
previous evening, a result that got their qualification campaign back on track. The consortium
will be led by Shaibu Amodu, who returns to the
helm for a fifth time, having qualified the side for
the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa before
being replaced by Swede Lars Lagerback. Salisu
Yusuf, Gbenga Ogunbote and Aloysius Agu are
the other coaches involved in the group.
Chelsea return to
local business with
Crystal Palace trip
Defending champions Manchester City host sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur
PSG aim to
close the gap
on Marseille
hampions Paris SaintGermain will look to
close the gap on Ligue
1 leaders Marseille today when they face a Lens side
coached by a familiar face at
the Stade de France.
Paris remain unbeaten this
season but six draws in their
opening nine games left them
in third place over the international break, seven points
behind Marseille.
Standing in their way this
weekend are Lens and coach
Antoine Kombouare, who won
a host of honours with PSG as
a player in the 1990s and then
coached the capital side for
two-and-a-half years before
being unceremoniously sacked
in December 2011 with the
team top of the league.
Kombouare would dearly
love to get one over his old
side, but a Lens win would be
a huge shock.
While PSG have become
one of Europe’s wealthiest
clubs under their Qatari owners, Azerbaijan-owned Lens
are plagued by huge п¬Ѓnancial
problems and have not been
able to sign any new players
since winning promotion in
the summer.
In addition, refurbishment
work at their Stade BollaertDelelis means they must play
home games elsewhere, so
this weekend’s match has been
moved nearly 200 kilometres
to the Stade de France, in the
Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.
A crowd of around 60,000
is expected for the п¬Ѓrst Ligue 1
game to be played at the national stadium since 2009, but only
a minority will be backing a
Lens side in the relegation zone.
“I don’t like the way we have
to work here, I am frustrated,
especially for the competitor
that I am,” said Kombouare.
“But we are in Ligue 1 and
I have a motivated group of
players. We mustn’t forget that
we are playing at home, even if
it will be in Saint-Denis.
“I hope we don’t get
thrashed, but frankly we have
a lot to lose. PSG will wake up
soon, so we need to hope that
they don’t wake up against us.”
Kombouare admitted that
he must put any feelings for his
old club to one side.
“I would have liked to have
stayed but it in some ways it
was a relief to leave. I will always be grateful to PSG and
will always be a big fan of the
club,” he said.
“But now we have a game
to play and three points to go
looking for, so there will be no
room for sentiment.”
Paris coach Laurent Blanc
continues to sweat over the
п¬Ѓtness of Zlatan Ibrahimovic
(heel) and Thiago Silva (thigh),
and while the latter has returned to training after two
months out, he remains a
doubt for this weekend.
With Marquinhos out and
David Luiz picking up a thigh
injury playing for Brazil, the
champions have problems
in defence with a trip to face
APOEL in the Champions
League to come next Tuesday.
On Sunday, Marseille host
Toulouse at the Stade Velodrome chasing an eighth
consecutive win. The focus
there will be on Andre-Pierre
Gignac, the former Toulouse
striker who is currently the
leading scorer in Ligue 1 and
starred in France’s friendly win
in Armenia in midweek.
host Caen, while fourthplaced Lille host Guingamp
looking for a boost before they
face Everton in the Europa
League. Tomorrow, Monaco
will be without the injured
Dimitar Berbatov as they entertain Evian, who have won
three in a row.
Leonardo Jardim’s side are
13th in the table, and while
they have claimed respectable
draws with Zenit St Petersburg and Paris in their last two
outings, they could п¬Ѓnd this
match more complicated.
“This season, we have
played well against teams who
attack and defend at the same
time and leave space for us to
construct,” said Jardim.
“It is harder when our opponents close down the space,
sit deep and look to hit us on
the break. Especially if they
score first.”
Playing Today: Lens v Paris
Playing Tomorrow: Lorient v
Saint-Etienne; Lille v Guingamp,
Metz v Rennes, Monaco v Evian,
Nantes v Reims, Nice v SC Bastia
Playing on Sunday: Marseille
v Toulouse; Bordeaux v Caen;
Lyon v Montpellier
ON A ROLL: Chelsea are currently five points clear at the top, followed by Manchester City, after six wins and a draw from their opening seven matches in the Premier League.
n case they needed it, the short trip
to Crystal Palace will re-focus Chelsea’s globe-trotting players on matters at home as the Premier League
slips back into gear this weekend after the
second international break of the season.
Like most of their Premier League rivals, Chelsea’s squad was scattered far
and wide after their 2-0 home win over
Arsenal on Oct 5, a result that left them
п¬Ѓve points clear after six wins and a draw
from their opening seven matches.
The leaders will need no reminding,
however, that modest Palace will have
scant regard for Chelsea’s clear squad
superiority come tomorrow afternoon in
south east London.
A 1-0 defeat at Palace in late March,
when John Terry’s own-goal sealed their
fate, put a serious dent in Chelsea’s title
ambitions last season and had Mourinho
accusing some of his players of “disappearing” against certain low-key opponents.
It is unlikely to happen again, given
the improvements Mourinho has made
to his squad during the close-season and
the clear hunger of his side to reclaim the
Premier League trophy after an absence of
four seasons.
Chelsea’s German World Cup-winning
forward Andre Schuerrle said Mourinho’s
unrelenting will to win is one of the driving forces behind their blistering early
season form.
“To him, finishing second is a failure,”
the 23-year-old told Bild. “He doesn’t
know the word �losing’. That’s how he
holds his talk before the matches. His
thinking is impressive—as impressive as
the way he gets his message across.
“He challenges you to be robust on the
pitch, to play like a man. To commit a foul.
I feel much better since joining Chelsea
and I have become much more confident.”
Yet Mourinho would still have been
anxious as he counted his players back
in through the training ground gates this
week. He would have kept a particularly
careful eye on Spain striker Diego Costa,
whose nine league goals since signing
from Atletico Madrid have fuelled Chelsea’s flying start.
Despite concerns over his hamstring,
Brazilian-born Costa played the full 90
minutes in Spain’s surprise Euro 2016
qualifier loss to Slovakia and all but eight
minutes in the win over Luxembourg
when he scored his п¬Ѓrst goal for his adopted country.
Cesc Fabregas and Cesar Azpilicueta
were also on Spain duty, Eden Hazard and
Thibaut Courtois, who suffered a head injury against Arsenal, were with Belgium
while Gary Cahill featured in England’s
wins over San Marino and Estonia.
Serbia’s Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic both played in Serbia’s flashpoint match against Albania in Belgrade
that was abandoned after п¬Ѓghting broke
out on Tuesday.
Palace, sitting in 15th place with eight
points, have also seen their preparations
for the Chelsea clash disrupted by international call-ups but striker Fraizer
Campbell says a clash against Mourinho’s
side is the perfect motivation.
Like Mourinho, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini would also have
found himself kicking his heels since his
side’s last game, a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.
The champions, п¬Ѓve points behind
Chelsea in second place, return to action
with a lunchtime kickoff at home tomorrow to sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Before City’s recent rise it was a fixture
that п¬Ѓlled their fans with dread.
The tables have turned though and City
have won the last four between the sides
at the Etihad, including a 6-0 drubbing of
the north London side last November.
City will likely be without midfielder
Yaya Toure who was in action for the Ivory
Coast on Wednesday night against Congo
and will have precious little recovery time.
Sergio Aguero travelled to Hong Kong
for Argentina’s friendly but, unlike team
mate Pablo Zabaleta, was rested.
Arsenal will hope to make up some lost
ground with a home match against Hull
City while third-placed Southampton,
beaten by Tottenham before the international stoppage, have the chance to maintain their spot in the top four at home to
Fourth-placed Manchester United must
wait until Monday for their away match
at West Bromwich Albion while Liverpool
have a Sunday lunchtime assignment at
bottom club Queens Park Rangers.
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur;
Arsenal v Hull City; Burnley v West Ham
United; Crystal Palace v Chelsea; Everton
v Aston Villa; Newcastle United v Leicester
City; Southampton v Sunderland
Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still suffering from a
heel problem and will sit out of today’s match against Lens.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Germany in state of shock after poor Euro start
ust three months after their World Cup
triumph, Germany are in a state of shock
following the poor start to their Euro
2016 qualifiers with Joachim Loew
vowing to make amends.
With four point from their first three qualifiers, including their shock defeat to Poland and
draw with the Republic of Ireland, Germany
п¬Ѓnd themselves in the unusual position of third
in Group D. They are already three points adrift
of leaders Poland and the second-placed Irish
with fans wondering where it all went wrong.
German supporters were still in a state of
World Cup euphoria after the Brazil triumph in
July when the Euro qualifiers began as the world
champions laboured to a 2-1 win over Scotland
in September.
The reasons were obvious. The retirements of
defenders Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and
goal-machine Miroslav Klose took a combined
tally of more than 350-caps worth of experience with them.
Injuries to midfielders Bastian Schwein-
steiger and Sami Khedira meant head coach
Loew had to pack new talent around the skeleton of the team which won the World Cup.
But there was still no cause for concern.
After all, Loew retained the nucleus of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, centre-backs Mats
Hummels and Jerome Boateng.
Midfield stars Mario Goetze, Mesut Ozil, Toni
Kroos and Thomas Mueller all have experience
beyond their tender years with memories of
that fabulous night in Rio de Janeiro still fresh.
But having spluttered badly against Scotland and in the 4-2 friendly defeat to Argentina, Loew’s finely-tuned machine finally broke
down in Warsaw last Saturday.
The mis-п¬Ѓring attack was made to pay for
woeful п¬Ѓnishing and wasted chances as Poland
earned an historic п¬Ѓrst win over Germany at
the 19th attempt in a shock 2-0 victory. Loew’s
side lost their proud record of 33 qualification
matches unbeaten dating back to October 2007.
Despite an air of steely determination, amidst
talk of “putting things right”, Loew’s side then
threw away a 1-0 lead as John O’Shea celebrated
his 100th cap with the 94th-minute winner in
Ireland’s 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday.
It was one of only three chances the Irish had
all game, just like Poland, who had scored twice
despite just four clear chances.
The stats from both games paint a stark picture of Germany failing to capitalise despite
dominating. In both matches, they controlled
two third of possession and made two passes
for each of their opponents’ one.
The corner count was 6-0 to Germany against
Poland and an even more emphatic 9-1 against
the Irish while the goal chances were 22-4
against the Poles and 19-3 against the Irish.
“We’re, naturally, very disappointed, we had
imagined a very different points tally against
Poland and Ireland,” admitted Loew who took a
single point from the desired six.
“Now we must look forward. We will win
against Gibraltar and then collect ourselves and
concentrate all forces. Then we will return next
year and fight back.”
The п¬Ѓrst problem Loew needs to solve is recruiting a striker who can convert all those
chances his midfield creates. Injury and illness
did Loew few favours during the recent internationals.
Withdrawals meant he could name only six
outfield replacements against Ireland and by
naming defender Matthias Ginter next to Kroos
Messi eyes fresh
opportunity for La
Liga goals record
�He is a very normal lad. He spends time with his family, he has fun, he tries to enjoy life’
he was down to his third-choice defensive midfield pairing.
Without a recognised striker, Loew’s experiment of playing Mueller or Goetze up front as
a �false nine’ is no longer working like it did in
Brazil. Klose has hung up his boots while Loew
has repeatedly over-looked Bayer Leverkusen’s
30-year-old striker Stefan Kiessling.
He has a pair of promising 22-year-olds waiting in the wings in Hoffenheim’s Kevin Volland
and Hamburg’s Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
But as both Ireland and Poland have put seven
goals past the group’s bottom side Gibraltar, Germany are now under pressure to post a similar
score when they host the minnows in November.
Loew also has an away friendly in Spain next
month and the opening п¬Ѓxtures of 2015 are
against the group’s weaker sides Georgia and
Gibraltar. The German boss acknowledges that
he needs to re-ignite a sense of urgency and
precision in his side.
“Basically, some players are missing the
mental and physical freshness, but I almost expected that,” he said. “They are missing the final will and precision. You can see in one of two
players that they are still feeling the effects of
having played at the World Cup.”
Messi had nothing to do
with tax affairs, says father
Barcelona star Lionel Messi should not be including in a fraud
probe because he had nothing to do with his own tax affairs, the
Argentine player’s father and manager Jorge said yesterday.
The player and his father were accused last year of not paying
4.16 million euros ($5.26m, 3.26m pounds) in tax on earnings
from the player’s image rights from 2007-2009 through the
creation of a web of shell companies in Belize and Uruguay.
Both Messi and his father denied wrongdoing when they were
quizzed at a court in Gava, the Barcelona suburb where the
player lives, in September 2013.
They pointed the finger instead at a former agent of the
27-year-old player. “I want to be quite cautious over this,” Jorge
Messi said during an interview with radio Cadena Cope when he
was asked about the affair.
“I have always said it, he had absolutely nothing to do with
this issue, so there is no need to talk about it,” he added. “My
lawyers are dealing with this issue so it’s something with me and
has nothing to do with him.”
Messi moved closer to facing trial over the tax fraud allegation
after a Spanish court on October 3 rejected his appeal against
being named din the case and ordered the probe to go ahead.
Based on the Messis’ testimony in at the court in Gava in
September 2013, public prosecutors called for the case to be
shelved. But the court in July ruled that there was “sufficient
evidence” to believe Messi “could have known and consented”
to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying
taxes on income from his image rights and ordered the prosecution of the case to go ahead.
Messi’s lawyers appealed but on October 3 the court “dismissed entirely” their petition and upheld its earlier ruling.
“In this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have
complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the
designs to commit fraud and consent to them,” it said in its ruling.
Messi’s father made a payment of five million euros in August
2013 to cover alleged unpaid taxes, plus interests.
That was thought likely to significantly reduce any sentence
should they be found guilty.
Messi is the fourth richest sportsperson in the world, according to a ranking published in June by Forbes business magazine.
The player moved up to fourth from 10th place in just a year
with an annual income of just under $65 million, it said.
Between 2007 and 2009 he earned more than 10.17 million
euros in image rights, including contracts with Adidas, Danone
and Pepsi-Cola.
Juve alone at top,
Roma brood as
Serie A resumes
ionel Messi will have another
chance to match or surpass Telmo
Zarra’s six-decade-old La Liga
scoring record of 251 goals when
Barcelona host promoted Eibar tomorrow.
The Argentina captain and four-times
World Player of the Year has netted 249
times in the Spanish top flight since he
played his п¬Ѓrst match exactly 10 years ago
on a Thursday aged 17.
Messi’s goals—he has 361 overall in 434
official games—have helped the Catalan
club win 21 trophies during the past decade, including six La Liga titles and three
Champions League crowns.
Widely considered one of the best players in soccer history, the 27-year-old has
been showered with praises in the run
up to the anniversary although his father
Jorge insists his son is unaffected either by
acclaim or criticism.
“There are times when there is too
much praise and other moments when the
criticism is excessive,” Jorge Messi said
yesterday. “You have to stop somewhere
in the middle and simply look forward,”
he added. “He (Lionel) reads and listens to
everyone and I don’t know how he does it
but he doesn’t attach much importance to
either the good or the bad.
“People don’t know him. He is a very
normal lad, like any other. He spends time
with his family, he has fun, he tries to enjoy life. He isn’t any different.”
If Messi fails to equal or overtake Zarra’s
mark on Saturday, his next chance will be
in the La Liga �Clasico’ at Real Madrid a
week later. The match falls the day after
Luis Suarez’s ban for biting an opponent
at the World Cup expires and the Uruguay
forward could make his official Barca debut at the Bernabeu.
Barca are looking to bounce back this
season after missing out on major silverware last season for the п¬Ѓrst time in six
years. They have made a solid start under new coach Luis Enrique and are two
points clear of Valencia at the top of the
standings after seven matches.
Messi has six goals in those seven outings and it is a measure of how high he has
set the bar in recent years that his tally
this term is considered a meagre one by
his standards.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who ended Messi’s
four-year reign as World Player by winning the latest award, has a jaw-dropping
13 goals in six La Liga appearances for Real
and will be gunning for more when they
visit Levante tomorrow.
Real, who appear to have recovered
from an early-season wobble, are four
points behind Barca in fourth place, with
Valencia, who play at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, in second and Sevilla, who
are at Elche also on Sunday, third.
Champions Atletico Madrid are п¬Ѓfth,
п¬Ѓve points adrift of Barca, ahead of their
game at home to Espanyol on Sunday.
Levante v Real Madrid; Athletic
Bilbao v Celta Vigo; Barcelona v Eibar;
Cordoba v Malaga
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi made
his competitive debut for Barcelona on
this day 10 years ago. Here are some
landmark dates in his career since:
В„October 16, 2004: Messi made his
league debut for Barcelona against city
rivals Espanyol. He was aged 17 years and
114 days and came on as a late substitute
for Deco. “I will remember those 10 minutes my whole life,” he said afterwards.
В„May 1, 2005: His first competitive goal for
Barcelona came against Albacete. This time
Messi came on as an 87th-minute replacement for Samuel Eto’o. He has now notched
up 249 Spanish league goals for his club. Barcelona won the La Liga title the same month,
the first of Messi’s six league crowns so far.
В„August 17, 2005: Argentina fans could
not wait for the protege to make his
international debut, but it finished almost
as quickly as it began. He came on as a
second half substitute against Hungary,
but was sent off within two minutes for
elbowing an opponent.
„March 1, 2006: Messi scored his first international goal in Argentina’s 3-2 defeat
of Croatia.
В„June 11, 2006: Messi played his first
World Cup finals game as Argentina
romped to a 6-0 first-round thrashing of
Serbia and Montenegro. He bagged the final goal too and was the youngest scorer
in the tournament in Germany.
В„July 7, 2007: At his first Copa America
tournament, Messi starred alongside Her-
nan Crespo and Juan Roman Riquelme
as Argentina stormed to the final. Messi
scored in the quarter and semi-finals before Argentina fell 3-0 to Brazil in the final.
В„August 23, 2008: Barcelona tried to
force Messi to forgo the chance to take
part in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
But he insisted and provided the assist
to Angel di Maria as Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 in the gold medal match before
89,000 people at the Beijing National
Stadium—better known as the Bird’s Nest.
В„May 27, 2009: Messi was not on the
team-sheet when Barcelona beat Arsenal
in the 2006 Champions League final, but
he still earned a winners’ medal for taking part in the campaign. He scored the
second goal as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in Rome for his first real
Champions League win.
В„December 1, 2009: Having come third
then second in the two previous years,
Messi was voted Ballon D’Or in 2009.
It was the start of a record run of four
straight triumphs in the contest. Real
Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo managed
to outdo him in 2013.
В„July 13, 2014: Heartbreak for Messi.
The Argentine maestro scored and laid
on priceless goals as he reached his first
World Cup final. Messi had chances to
score but it was Germany’s Mario Goetze
who got the extra-time goal that stole
the game. Messi won the Golden Ball as
player of the tournament.
he Serie A season restarts tomorrow with
champions Juventus
alone at the top after
defeating Roma to move three
points clear before the international break.
The 3-2 success at the Juventus Stadium pushed the
Bianconeri to 18 points with a
perfect record, but Roma disputed all three goals conceded
and hinted at favouritism from
the referee, who awarded two
penalties to the hosts and one
to the Giallorossi.
Complaints over officiating, a tradition in Italian
football, were particularly
bitter after the big match and
lasted through the past weekend dedicated to Euro 2016
Hoping to settle the issue,
Marcello Nicchi, who heads
the Italian referee association,
intervened this week on a Radio 1 sports programme.
(Gianluca) Rocchi is one of the
top five European referees,”
Nicchi said.
“I talked with (Europe’s ruling body) UEFA and they told
me that all the (contested) episodes were close calls, not to
be considered errors.”
Nicchi also disagreed with
the use of video replays as an
officiating aid, which the Italian federation president Carlo
Tavecchio suggested to world
body FIFA after the game in
“Let’s not turn the Serie A
into a video game,” said Nicchi, adding that referees would
have no qualms about goalline cameras.
With referee Rocchi being
given a game off, Roma open
the weekend Saturday at home
to lowly Chievo before Juve’s
late game at Sassuolo, sitting
last alongside Parma and promoted Palermo.
Both sides have Champions League action next week,
with the Turin side visiting
Olympiacos and Roma hosting
holders Bayern Munich.
Fiorentina and Lazio open
the Sunday programme with
both sitting on nine points in
eighth position.
Surprise package Sampdoria
are third as they visit Cagliari
and fourth-place Udinese are
away to Torino, while Verona
and AC Milan clash looking to improve their 11-point
Atalanta v Parma and Palermo v Cesena are played before
the late match Inter Milan v
Napoli, with both sides seeking a change of pace after a
sluggish start.
Genoa and Empoli close the
seventh round on Monday.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Albania says stones, concrete hurled at players
chunk of concrete, stones, coins and
lighters were hurled at Albania’s players and officials before and during the
match against bitter rivals Serbia that
was abandoned amid onfield clashes, the Albanian FA said yesterday.
Albania’s assistant coach Altin Lala told a
German newspaper he feared for his life during
the attacks.
While both countries blame each other for
the violence now being investigated by UEFA,
Albanian Football Association president Armando Duka demanded a “complete and independent” inquiry into the events that have further poisoned relations between the countries.
An Albanian FA statement said its team bus
had been pelted with stones before the European Championship qualifier, a chunk of concrete
was thrown at the delegation and “coins, lighters and other objects” were hurled at players
on the pitch. The game was halted after a drone
carried a pro-Albanian flag over the Belgrade
stadium on Tuesday night, sparking п¬Ѓghting
between the two sides.
“I was afraid of dying. I’m generally pretty
tough but I’ve never before seen such hate,” said
Lala in an interview with Bild. “Even the security services, who are supposed to look after
maintaining order, were hitting (us). In the tunnel between the changing rooms and the pitch I
even saw police hitting our players.”
Serbia’s foreign minister has called the flag
stunt a “political provocation” by Albania. Albania said Serbian supporters and even police
and stadium security had ramped up hostilities.
“The facts are clear, the proof is there and we
demand above all a complete and independent inquiry into the incidents reported before,
during and after the Albania-Serbia football
match,” Albanian football chief Duka said.
“The aggressors must be punished by all institutions including Serbian justice,” he added.
“I was afraid of dying. I’m generally
pretty tough but I’ve never before
seen such hate. Even the security
services, who are supposed to look
after maintaining order, were hitting
(us). In the tunnel between the
changing rooms and the pitch I even
saw police hitting our players”
An Albanian FA statement said the team bus
“was hit with stones thrown by Serbian fans”.
The Albanian delegation led by Duka “was
hit with a piece of concrete” which has been
handed to UEFA for its investigation, the statement added.
At the end of the warm-up before the game,
the Albanian players were “hit by a shower of
coins, lighters and objects as they were making
their way to the tunnel”.
Throughout the warmup, the crowd shouted
“Kill the Albanians” or “Death to Albanians”
and dozens of Serbian fans poured over fences
onto the pitch.
Throughout the game, “stones, hard objects,
lighters and flares” were thrown onto the pitch
and at three players who were trying to warm
up as substitutes, the statement added. Fans hit
Albanian players with stools.
The Albanian FA said that Serbian supporters, security stewards and police hit the Albanian players as they left the п¬Ѓeld when the game
was halted.
Serbia’s Football Federation has said the
Albania not mature
enough to play in
Europe, says Serbia
�Serbian FA is appalled by the provocation and also fears this was a pre-arranged scenario’
A masked Serbian supporter pulls a drone after a flag with Albanian national symbols was flown over the pitch and pulled down by Serbia’s players during the Euro 2016
qualifying match between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade on Tuesday (October 14). The game was later abandoned. (AFP)
erbia’s interior minister said yesterday Albania was “not mature
enough” to join the European
community, stepping up a war
of words over a drone stunt that forced
a Euro 2016 soccer qualifier between the
Balkan nations to be abandoned.
Nebojsa Stefanovic’s remarks cast
further doubt on a visit by Albanian
Prime Minister Edi Rama to Belgrade
on October 22, the п¬Ѓrst by an Albanian
leader in almost 70 years.
Rama’s visit had been hailed as opening a new chapter in otherwise fraught
relations, centred on Serbia’s former
province of Kosovo, which has an ethnic-Albanian majority and declared
independence in 2008. Both Serbia and
Albania aim to one day join the European
Union. Albania is a member of Nato.
A remote-controlled drone trailing
a flag of “Greater Albania” triggered a
brawl between players and a pitch inva-
drone stunt was “political sabotage” and that
the Albanians refused appeals by the UEFA delegate to carry on playing.
The federation said fans who invaded the
field had only sought to retrieve the flag showing a greater Albania.
Serb and ethnic Albanian forces fought a
war over Kosovo, the mainly Albanian province
once under Serbian control which declared independence in 2008. The Belgrade government
has never recognised the move.
UEFA has opened a formal probe against the
Serbian federation over the crowd disturbances,
while the Albanian FA faces charges of refusing
to play and displaying an illicit banner. The case
will be heard on 23 October.
UEFA president Michel Platini described the
scenes as “inexcusable”. “Imagine if there had
been a bomb instead of a flag on the drone,”
Platini told French television channel TF1.
sion by home fans during the Group I
qualifier in Partizan Belgrade’s stadium
on Tuesday.
Yesterday, the Albanian Embassy in
neighbouring Montenegro was pelted
with stones, breaking windows, and in
the Serbian towns of Sombor and Stara
Pazova bakeries owned by Albanians
were attacked with a hand grenade and
petrol bomb.
Stefanovic said police had found
the drone and, through “expert analysis,” would determine its producer and
where it was purchased. Such drones,
known as quadcopters, can be bought
online for several hundred euros.
“Statements by leaders of the Albanian government demonstrate that
they knew such a provocation was being prepared,” Stefanovic said.
“If Albania believes that European values are the values of so-called
�Greater Albania’, then the Serbian
Republic cannot share them by any
means, and hence we believe that they
are not mature enough as a state to join
the European family.”
The Serbian Football Association
(FSS), which also blamed the Albanians
for the incidents but said would press
for charges to be brought against home
fans who invaded the pitch, called the
drone stunt an act of terrorism.
“The Serbian FA is appalled by the
provocation and also fears that this was
a pre-arranged scenario amounting to a
terrorist act aimed primarily against our
country, the Republic of Serbia,” the FSS
The match was abandoned at 0-0
in the 41st minute, with the two sides
blaming each other. Serbia summoned
the Albanian ambassador on Wednesday and issued a formal protest.
Serbia has pinned the blame on a
cluster of Albanian fans in the stadium’s VIP stand, including Rama’s
brother, who were granted entrance
despite a ban on Albanian fans over security concerns.
Europe’s soccer governing body,
UEFA, has opened disciplinary proceedings against the football associations of both countries.
Cape Verde, Algeria
qualify for finals
ape Verde defeat
Mozambique 1-0 on
Wednesday to become
the first qualifiers for
the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations
after a dramatic matchday 4 of
The Blue Sharks were later
joined by Algeria as goals from
Yacine Brahimi, Riyad Mahrez
and Islam Slimani earned the
Desert Foxes a 3-0 triumph
over Malawi in Blida.
Algeria are the only team
with a perfect record after four
rounds and lead Group B by six
points from Mali with Ethiopia
and Malawi three points further behind.
Democratic Republic of
Congo stunned Ivory Coast
4-3 in Abidjan while titleholders Nigeria overcame Sudan 3-1 to get back into contention for a place among the
16 п¬Ѓnalists.
Ghana stayed on track to
qualify with a 3-1 home win
against Guinea and shock 2012
champions Zambia trounced
visiting Niger 3-0 to end an
embarrassing winless streak.
Angola, Cameroon, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Togo and Tunisia also won while the South
Africa-Congo Brazzaville and
Burkina Faso-Gabon matches
were drawn.
Heldon Ramos was the toast
of Cape Verde—a group of islands off Senegal with a population of less than a million—
by scoring the 76th-winner in
The islanders debuted in the
Cup of Nations last year and exceeded expectations by reaching the quarter-п¬Ѓnals after
holding hosts South Africa and
Morocco and defeating Angola.
Cape Verde have nine points
in Group F, Zambia and Mozambique п¬Ѓve each and Niger
two with the п¬Ѓnal two matchdays scheduled for mid-November.
Although Zambia and Mozambique could п¬Ѓnish level on
points with Cape Verde, the
island nation would secure a
place on the head-to-head rule.
Ivory Coast conceded four
goals for the second time in
three games as they wiped out
a two-goal deficit with 10 men
only to be beaten by a late goal.
Franck Kessie was red-carded just after half-time with his
team trailing 3-1, but a brace
from former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou restored
A Congolese side desperate to avenge a 2-1 home de-
feat by the Ivorians four days
ago never gave up and Jeremie
Bokila scored his second goal a
minute from time.
overcame Sierra Leone 2-0 in
Yaounde through early goals
from Leonard Kweuke and
Stephane Mbia in the other
Group D game.
The four-time champions
have 10 points, DR Congo and
Ivory Coast six each and Sierra
Leone one.
Nigeria were another team
to gain revenge as they put a
stunning loss in Sudan behind
them by winning 3-1 in Abuja.
All the goals came during
the second half with Ahmed
Musa opening and closing
the scoring, Salah Ibrahim
equalising and Aaron Samuel
putting the Super Eagles ahead
a second time.
With surprise Group A leaders South Africa held 0-0 by
Congo Brazzaville in a poor,
game, the two tickets to the п¬Ѓnals are up for grabs.
South Africa have eight
points, Congo seven, Nigeria
four and Sudan three.
An Emmanuel AgyemangBadu goal deep in stoppage
time sealed victory for Group E
pacesetters Ghana in northern
city Tamale.
Asamoah Gyan gave the
Black Stars an early lead, Mohamed Lamine Yattara levelled
and Andre Ayew converted a
second-half penalty to nudge
Ghana ahead a second time.
Togo completed a �double’
over Uganda by winning 1-0
for the second time in п¬Ѓve days
with defender Serge Akakpo
nodding the 70th-minute
Ghana lead the way with
eight points, Togo have six and
Uganda and Guinea four each.
Zambia put a three-match
winless Group F run behind
them in Ndola by outplaying
Niger through second-half
goals from Rainford Kalaba,
Emmanuel Mayuka and goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, off a
Ferjani Sassi poked the ball
into the net off a corner four
minutes into stoppage time to
give Tunisia a 1-0 Group G victory over Senegal in Monastir.
Malick Evouna earned Gabon a 1-1 draw against Burkina
Faso in Ouagadougou after
Jonathan Pitroipa had given the
home team a half-time lead.
After failing to score in three
matches, Angola overwhelmed
Lesotho 4-0 in Luanda, Egypt
were 2-0 winners over Botswana in Cairo, and Ethiopia
shocked Mali 3-2 in Bamako.
Serbia goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic (left) throws a
punch at an Albanian player shortly before the
match was abandoned on Tuesday. The match
between the Balkan rivals was scoreless when it
was stopped in the 41st minute. (AFP)
UEFA president Michel Platini says he wants to see the sin
bin introduced in football, but only to combat back-chat from
players. In his book “Parlons Football” (talking about football),
released yesterday, Platini, a former player, espouses the idea
of creating a white card, to go alongside the existing red and
yellow ones, to be used specifically to send players to the sin
bin if they talk back to referees.
He says the move would help fight against the “craze of contesting the referee” which has become “a veritable epidemic in
football”. He said the white card would be followed by a 10-minute
spell on the sidelines. “It should not be confused in any way with
the yellow card, which for its part is dedicated to fouls within the
game,” added the 59-year-old Frenchman, a legend in his country
due to his feats as a player in the 1970s and 1980s.
The measure was one of a number proposed by Platini in his
book, including increasing the amount of substitutes allowed
during games from three to five. He said he wanted to allow “two
changes at half time while maintaining the possibility to make
three more during the course of the match”. Another idea is to
remove the minimum age requirement for referees, allow goaline
officials to enter the field of play and to put an end to the so-called
�triple penalisation’ when a player concedes a penalty and is sentoff for a professional foul, with a goal often being scored as well.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Swann insists his
decision to retire
was the right one
�It was because I just couldn’t turn a cricket ball, which, as a spin bowler, means you
are useless to your team. It wasn’t a form thing, it was succumbing to the inevitable’
raeme Swann has insisted he did
the right thing quitting midway
through England’s 5-0 Ashes
series thrashing despite Graham
Gooch calling the decision “criminal”.
England great Gooch, the team’s batting coach on their woeful 2013/14 tour
of Australia, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Wednesday that the former
off-spinner’s decision had been highly
damaging to the team.
“It made us a laughing stock,” said
Gooch, one of England’s most successful
opening batsmen. “I cannot understand
why he couldn’t stick it out until the end
of the trip. It left a bad taste.”
Swann quit, with England 3-0 down,
in December 2013 after deciding a longstanding elbow injury meant it was no
longer possible for him to spin the ball
“I understand (what he is saying),”
Bridgetown, Barbados
he West Indies Cricket
Board (WICB) said it
endorses the West Indies Players’ Association
(WIPA) as the sole body to negotiate on behalf of their players.
WICB said they will only get
involved in the ongoing impasse
between the players union and
the West Indies squad, currently
playing in India, if invited to do
so, reports CMC.
The West Indies One-Day International (ODI) squad recently
said that the Wavell Hinds-led
WIPA no longer had the authority to speak on their behalf.
WICB president Dave Cameron, in a letter to players’ representative and captain of the
Windies team Dwayne Bravo,
said that according to the recently signed Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),
WIPA remained “the sole and
exclusive collective bargaining
representative recognised by the
WICB” for all persons contracted
to play for any West Indies team.
“What this effectively means
is that we will only engage in
discussions relating to the welfare, working conditions and
remuneration of cricketers with
WIPA,” the letter said.
The Windies team had written
to the WICB last week indicating
they had lost confidence in WIPA
and would seek an alternative
bargaining agent. The players are
upset with the terms of the CBA/
MOU, which they have argued
will result in a 65 percent decrease in their earnings.
They said that Hinds, the
WIPA president and chief executive, had not been clear on the
terms of the newly signed CBA/
MOU and stressed on their “collective determination” not to
accept any contracts stemming
from the agreement.
But Cameron told Bravo the
new CBA/MOU represented a
Swann told several British newspapers.
“Goochy is very old school.
“Perhaps if he had gained my perspective on it he might have seen the reasons
why I did it. I think he is a bit misinformed thinking I just left because of
form. It wasn’t because of form.
“It was because I just couldn’t turn
a cricket ball, which, as a spin bowler,
means you are useless to your team. It
wasn’t a form thing, it was succumbing
to the inevitable.”
Swann added he had made a mistake in
not retiring after England’s 3-0 home
Ashes win in 2013.
“In retrospect, I shouldn’t have gone
on the tour at all,” he said. “That is my
“I wish after the Oval I had read the
signs more rather than just think, �I will
be п¬Ѓne. Jim (Anderson) will get 30 wickets. I will only have to hold one end up.
I will be fine and we will win the Ashes’.
That is my only regret.”
Swann, speaking at an event in London’s Olympic Park where he announced
his intention to drive a Ford Fiesta ST in
Wales Rally GB, the British round of the
World Rally Championship, next month,
was also criticised for his decision to
quit by Kevin Pietersen in the latter’s
controversial autobiography, which has
prompted wave upon wave of reaction.
For his part, Swann has dismissed Pietersen’s recently-published book as the
“the biggest work of fiction since Jules
He also suggested yesterday that a lot
of bitterness would have been avoided
had the England and Wales Cricket Board
simply sacked Pietersen for straightout form reasons rather than the vague
explanation they relied on to ditch the
South Africa-born batsman.
“Maybe,” he said. “There might have
been a cleaner way of doing things and
there would certainly have been a lot less
“I think Martin Crowe (the former New
Zealand captain and one of the outstand-
ing batsman of his generation) wrote an
excellent article on Cricinfo...It summed
up what a lot of people think.”
Crowe described Pietersen as an “insecure kid who never grew up”, arguing his
sacking came too late with his form fading as his attention turned to the Indian
Premier League.
He also cited how Pietersen’s form
fell away after he scored 15 hundreds in
his first 45 Tests, when averaging just
over 50.
“From 2009 on, in his next 59 Tests
he scored just eight centuries,” Crowe
said, “fell for seven ducks, the average at
a modern-day adequate 44, including a
mandatory dine-out against Bangladesh,
and propped up by six scores above 148.
Far too many misses in between for a man
in his prime.”
Asked if he agreed with Crowe’s analysis of Pietersen’s decline, Swann said:
“You know me, I have never been a stats
fan but the stats seem to suggest that.”
But all said and done, Pietersen’s book
has raised a lot of eyebrows.
File picture of Australia cricketer Alex Doolan.
India look to maintain momentum O
Indian player Virat Kohli.
impact on the seamer-friendly
pitch here could prove to be the
key in deciding the outcome of
the match.
step forward and was a departure
from the “uncertainties and confusion” of past agreements.
“I would point out that the
new MOU/CBA creates a clear,
sustainable, long-term compensation structure, so that we avoid
the uncertainties and confusion
associated with previous one-off
negotiations on a case-by-case
basis and the loose, informal arrangements of the past,” wrote
“One of the major benefits
of this structure is that players’
compensation is based on players earning a percentage of WICB
revenue, so that we are engaged
in a true partnership where
WICB benefits financially, the
players will also benefit.
“The agreement also creates the framework for WICB
and WIPA to comprehensively
address the use of players’ image rights so that both WICB
and the players may benefit
in relation to such usage. Further, it creates the opportunity
for players to earn substantial
amounts based on merit by implementing financial rewards
for on-field performances.”
Cameron said that WICB
stood ready, following players’
request for WICB intervention,
to undertake any mediation role
but stressed this would be governed by the terms of the CBA/
Doolan hits ton as
Clarke fails against
Pakistan �A’
ollowing a forced break
because of the abandonment of the third OneDay International (ODI)
at Visakhapatnam courtesy
cyclone �Hudhud’, the Indian
cricket team will aim to take an
unassailable 2-1 lead against the
West Indies in the fourth ODI
of the п¬Ѓve-match series at the
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium here
(HPCA) Friday.
The visiting Windies team
began with a bang, inflicting a
124-run defeat on India in Kochi
but the home team swung the
momentum in their favour in the
second ODI at New Delhi, with a
48-run win.
Both the teams will look to
seize the initiative before the п¬Ѓnal ODI in Kolkata Oct 20.
For India, the form of their
spinners was crucial in their
series-squaring win at Ferozeshah Kotla and once again their
Windies skipper Dwaye Bravo.
File picture of former England spinner Graeme Swann.
Acknowledge only
WIPA as players’
agent, insists WICB
HPCA track is considered
to be fast and bouncy with the
spinners getting little purchase
from the pitch.
The stadium, located here
with the Dhauladhar mountain
range in the backdrop, assists
seamers with initial movement
and the Indian batsmen, not all
in the best of forms, will be faced
with the challenge of facing a
decent Windies bowing attack
with the likes of Ravi Rampaul,
Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach
on a lively surface.
The home team will have bitter
memories of batting here the last
time around against England in
January 2013, losing half the side
for 79 runs and eventually losing
the match by seven wickets.
With the third ODI getting
abandoned, the fourth match
assumes even greater importance as whoever wins it will get
a psychological boost, secure
with the knowledge of avoiding
a series loss.
The teams chose to stay put in
New Delhi following the cancellation of the third game and arrived
here only on the eve of the match.
India will draw comfort from
the fact that their star batsman Virat Kohli, after a pro-
longed loss of form, was among
runs, scoring a gritty 62 at Kotla. He was demoted to the No.4
spot in the second ODI by the
team think-tank and the move
Chief curator Of HPCA Sunil Chauhan has said that the
wicket will assist the fast bowlers and India may consider п¬Ѓelding pacer Ishant Sharma in place
of leg spinner Amit Mishra for a
four-man pace attack.
For India, seamer Mohammed
Shami has impressed claiming
eight wickets from two games,
emerging as the highest wickettaker in the series and they face
a daunting task of containing
the in-form Windies batsman,
particularly Dwayne Smith and
Marlon Samuels, who singlehandedly won the visitors the
п¬Ѓrst game, hitting a cracking
Young Indian left-arm spinners Akshar Patel and chinaman
Kuldeep Yadav, though included
in the squad for the two remaining ODIs, are unlikely to make it
to the playing 11.
ne-drop batsman Alex
Doolan hit a п¬Ѓghting
hundred, but skipper
Michael Clarke failed
in Australia’s four-day warmup game against Pakistan �A’ in
Sharjah yesterday.
Doolan’s 104 anchored Australia’s 273-8 at close on the second day at Sharjah stadium but
the top-order, including Clarke,
did not get their much-needed
Pakistan �A’ had declared
their first innings at the overnight score of 305-8 with skipper Asad Shafiq remaining not
out on 108.
Clarke, who is recovering from
a hamstring injury sustained on
the tour of Zimbabwe in August,
looked well set during his 31ball stay of 10 runs before being
caught at point off paceman Ehsan Adil.
Openers Chris Rogers (nought)
and Phil Hughes (14) also didn’t
last long enough for Australia’s
liking ahead of the п¬Ѓrst of two
Tests starting in Dubai from October 22.
But Doolan, in the company
of Steven Smith (58), man-ofthe-series in Australia’s 3-0
rout of Pakistan in the preceding
one-day series, added 106 for
the fourth wicket before both re-
tired to give other batsmen some
Doolan’s 194-ball innings had
12 boundaries and three sixes as
he looked set to keep the Test
place he won earlier this year on
the South Africa tour.
Smith hit nine boundaries
during his 123-ball stay.
All-rounder Mitchell Marsh,
back after last month’s hamstring injury, failed with a threeball duck.
At close, Brad Haddin (38) and
Steve O’Keefe (four) were the
unbeaten batsmen, with Australia still trailing by 32 runs.
Doolan defended Clarke’s innings.
“I just think it’s a game of cricket
and sometimes you get out early. I
am sure Michael would have liked
to have batted a bit longer but it’s
the way it goes sometimes,” said
Doolan of his skipper.
“My goal going in was to spend
a bit of time out in the middle,
take the score out of the equation
and just bat. I was really pleased
to spend a long period of time
out in the sun and getting used to
the conditions.”
The second Test starts in Abu
Dhabi from October 30.
Brief scores:
Pakistan �A’ 305-8 dec (Asad
Shafiq 108 not out; S. O’Keefe
Australia 273-8 (A. Doolan
104, S. Smith 58)
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Hot putter puts
Randhawa in lead
�Today I really putted my heart out, so I’m really happy with the way it went’
Hong Kong
ormer Asia number one
Jyoti Randhawa wielded
a hot putter to grab the
opening round lead at
the Hong Kong Open yesterday while Nicolas Colsaerts and
Ernie Els were also off to a strong
start at the Fanling course.
Randhawa, 42, began with
a bogey but went on to reel off
seven birdies to lead Angelo Que
of the Philippines by one shot,
needing only 23 putts in the
opening round of the European
Tour co-sanctioned event.
“I’ve been playing decent in
the last few weeks but haven’t
been able to put up a good
number,” said the 2002 Asian
Tour number one from India who
п¬Ѓnished with two consecutive
closing birdies for a six-underpar 64.
“Today I really putted my
heart out, so I’m really happy
with the way it went, and I’m
glad I got the pace on the greens
right,” said Randhawa, who remains winless since claiming his
eighth Asian Tour title in 2009.
A three-time winner in Asia,
Que too rode on his impeccable
putting to a bogey-free round
to boost his hopes of a п¬Ѓrst title
since the 2010 Selangor Masters
in Malaysia.
“I putted like a maniac today.
I holed a lot of six footers for
pars on the п¬Ѓrst few holes then I
started to hit it better and holed
a few more putts. I haven’t had
a bogey free round this year and
it is already October,” said the
shrugged off jetlag to card a
four-under par 66 to share the
third place with, among others,
four-time major winner Els.
“I’m quite happy with my
score,” said the Belgian Ryder
Cup player, continuing his п¬Ѓne
form that saw him п¬Ѓnish fourth
in Wales and second in Portugal
in his last two starts.
“I’m waking up in the middle
of the night - I didn’t do a very
good job with the jetlag so I think
I’m going to be waking up early
most of the week but it’s fine,”
added Colsaerts after sinking
п¬Ѓve birdies against a lone bogey.
Els mixed six birdies and two
bogeys in his return to Hong
Kong after 18 years and was left
to rue the missed putts.
“You want to have a good
round the first day. It’s easy to
shoot yourself out of it,” said the
towering South African.
“At first there’s quite a lot of
pressure and then you take it
from there. Each day, it’s like a
session in cricket. You take the
session and do as best as you can,
and then it all happens on Sunday afternoon,” he said.
Kang unexpected
first round leader
in South Korea
outh Korea’s Kang HaeJi, still seeking her first
career LPGA victory,
п¬Ѓred a п¬Ѓve-under 67
yesterday to lead the п¬Ѓeld after
the opening round at the KEBHanaBank Championship.
Kang battled through a gusty
day to collect six birdies along
with a bogey on the par-72, 6,364yard Ocean Course at the Sky72
Golf and Resort club in Incheon.
Lurking behind the leader is
the defending champion Amy
Yang of South Korea, who shot
a 69 with six birdies and three
bogeys. She is in a п¬Ѓve-way tie
for second, along with the 2012
runner-up Catriona Matthew.
Kang, who made her tour
debut in 2009, was one of the
п¬Ѓrst to tee off on Thursday. She
said there was virtually no wind
when she was getting ready on
the range but the conditions
changed dramatically once she
reached the п¬Ѓrst tee.
“On a windy day like this, I
felt I’d be better off playing safe
and aiming for the centre of the
greens than being aggressive,”
she said. “I made some great
putts today to save pars on the
front nine. Then I made a 40foot putt for birdie on the 12th,
and it gave me a great boost.”
Kang, who has just two top10s in 23 starts this year, said a
win was there for the taking.
“It usually gets windy out here
but the course isn’t overly long,”
she said. “I can reach some of
the par-5 greens in two. If I can
hit good wedge shots, then I can
post good scores.”
World number two Park InBee was at one-under 71 after a
roller-coaster ride that included
four birdies and three bogeys.
With the top-ranked Stacy
Lewis not playing this week,
a victory for Park in Incheon
would see her reclaim the
number one spot she lost earlier
this year after a 59-week reign.
The US$2 million tournament
is the LPGA Tour’s lone South
Korean stop each year.
Food poisoning hits Jimenez’s Hong Kong bid
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez said he was happy
just to get round after a bout of food poisoning curtailed his bid
for a record fifth Hong Kong Open title.
The Spanish veteran, who is also seeking to become the first
golfer to win the event three years in a row, struggled to an
opening round of two-over par in the southern Chinese city.
“I’ve been sick all night, vomiting, and I got no sleep,” said
“I ate something that my body reacted badly to. Maybe it was the
seafood, maybe it was the meatballs, but I had no chance at all
“It’s a pity and wasn’t the best start but I tried to do my best. I’m
a professional and I came here to play even though my body was
telling me not to,” he added.
Jimenez, 50, was in obvious discomfort as he traded three
bogeys with a birdie on the par 70, 6,699-yard course at the
Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. “It was hard to get round,” said
Jimenez, the oldest winner on the European Tour said.
“There are a couple of tough slopes out there and I was almost
down on my hands and knees.”
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, looking for a record
fifth title here, battled a stomach bug to card two-over par 72.
Kang Hae-Ji of South Korea lines up a putt at the 18th hole during the
first round of the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship golf event at the
Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul, yesterday.(AFP)
Stenson and Larrazabal light up London Club
ASH, England
enrik Stenson produced an inspired
burst of scoring to
earn his п¬Ѓrst victory
at this week’s World Match
Play Championship while Pablo Larrazabal won after staging a Houdini-like recovery
Defending champion Graeme
McDowell suffered his п¬Ѓrst defeat as he went down 2 & 1 to
Finn Mikko Ilonen in a sizzling
encounter featuring 12 birdies.
McDowell’s Ryder Cup partner Victor Dubuisson recorded
his second straight victory in
the round-robin format by easing past Ireland’s Shane Lowry 3 & 2 while South African
George Coetzee defeated last
year’s runner-up Thongchai
Jaidee 2 & 1.
Stenson, who п¬Ѓnished all
square with Coetzee on day
one, was three down after four
holes against Italian Francesco
Molinari but the world number
п¬Ѓve turned the match around
in spectacular fashion with six
birdies and an eagle in the last
nine holes.
The Swede is now level with
Coetzee on three points, ahead
of Thongchai (two) and Molinari (zero). The top two in each
four-man group go through to
Saturday’s quarter-finals.
“I had a rocky start and gave
away a couple of early gifts,”
Stenson told reporters at the
London Club. “I didn’t give up
though and then I started playing better and better.
“I was eight-under from the
ninth hole onwards... I’ll take
that. It was a good day especially considering I haven’t touched
a club for two weeks coming
Stephen Gallacher, who
failed to win a point on his Ryder Cup debut last month, suffered a cruel fate in his match
with Spaniard Larrazabal.
The odds on Gallacher se-
curing his п¬Ѓrst win of the week
were short when he was just
off the green in two at the 18th
while his opponent was lining
up his fourth stroke from a hillock 30 yards from the putting
Larrazabal then charged
around the green like a man
possessed after holing out for an
unlikely birdie while Gallacher
was unable to sink his putt for a
matching four from 10 feet.
It was the second defeat
in two days for the Scot and
his hopes of qualifying for
the knockout stages are over.
Dubuisson leads the group on
four points ahead of Lowry and
Larrazabal who both have two.
“What happened at the last
is typical match play golf,” said
Gallacher. “He won the hole
without having been on the
fairway—I’m gutted to lose like
“Was I expecting him to hole
his fourth shot? You expect op-
ponents to hole everything in
these situations. I’m eight-under for my two rounds but will
be going home after my match
against Victor.”
US Ryder Cup player Patrick
Reed, 2006 World Match Play
champion Paul Casey, Swede
Jonas Blixt and European Ryder
Cup hero Jamie Donaldson are
locked together on two points in
their group.
Reed was four-under for his
round as he eclipsed Casey 2 & 1
while Donaldson beat Blixt 3 & 2
with a п¬Ѓve-birdie effort.
Dutchman Joost Luiten tops
his group on four points after a
run of п¬Ѓve birdies in seven holes
helped him overcome Frenchman Alexander Levy 4 & 3.
Ilonen is level with McDowell
on two points after the Finn put
the squeeze on the Northern
Irishman with a flawless sevenbirdie show.
“Mikko was the better player
today, hats off to him,” said McDowell. “He played great and
was tough to live with.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Giants rally to beat
Cardinals, boost
playoff series lead
Boedker nets
hat-trick in
Coyotes win
over Oilers
�Any time you can put pressure on the defence you have the opportunity’
San Francisco Giants left fielder Juan Perez slides
into home to tie the game in the sixth inning of
game four of the National League Championship
Series against Saint Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park
in San Francisco on Wednesday. (EPA)
San Francisco
an Francisco Giants rallied from a three-run
deficit Wednesday to
defeat the St. Louis
Cardinals 6-4 and move to the
brink of winning their Major
League Baseball playoff series.
The Giants seized a 3-1 lead
in the best-of-seven National
League п¬Ѓnal and could advance
with a victory in game п¬Ѓve yesterday at San Francisco.
The winner will face the
American League champion
Kansas City Royals in the World
Series championship showdown starting Tuesday.
The Cardinals have never recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win
a best-of-seven playoff series.
But the Giants know it can be
done, having rallied from the
deficit to beat St. Louis on the
way to the 2012 World Series
“It’s very important,” Giants
catcher Buster Posey said. “We
were down 3-1 in St. Louis two
years ago. We’ve got that fresh
in our mind. We’ll have a tough
game tomorrow.”
This will be the п¬Ѓfth year in
a row that either the Giants or
Cardinals have played in the
World Series.
San Francisco won the crown
in 2010 and 2012 while St. Louis
captured the 2011 title and lost
last year’s World Series to the
Boston Red Sox.
Trailing 4-3 entering the
bottom of the sixth inning, the
Giants tagged Cardinals relief pitcher Marco Gonzales for
three runs to seize command.
San Francisco pinch-hitter
Juan Perez walked in the sixth
and took second on Brandon
Crawford’s single. Both runners
advanced on Matt Duffy’s sac-
rifice bunt and Gregor Blanco
chopped a ground ball to St.
Louis п¬Ѓrst baseman Matt Adams that allowed Perez to race
home and beat the throw to the
plate with the tying run.
Joe Panik followed with a
ground out to Adams, who tried
in vain for an inning-ending
throw out of Blanco at second
base but instead could only
watch Crawford scamper home
from third with the go-ahead
run for the Giants. When Posey
followed with a single to left
п¬Ѓeld, Blanco raced home and
San Francisco stretched the lead
to the п¬Ѓnal margin.
“Any time you can put pressure on the defence you have the
opportunity for good things to
happen,” Posey said. “We had
the opportunity to get a couple
of runs tonight that got us back
into the game.”
St. Louis put potential tying
runners on base in the seventh
and brought the tying run to the
plate in the eighth and ninth innings but never could produce a
run-scoring hit. Matt Holliday
struck out in the ninth to end
the game.
“We got the lead early with a
chance to take the game,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny
said. “It just didn’t work out.”
Cardinals led 4-1
St. Louis opened the scoring
in the п¬Ѓrst inning when Matt
Carpenter doubled and scored
on an Adams single to left п¬Ѓeld.
The Giants answered in their
half of the first as Blanco doubled, took third base on Panik’s
single and scored on Posey’s
sacrifice fly out to centrefield.
But the Cardinals responded
in the second as Kolten Wong
doubled and scored on A J
Pierzynski’s single up the middle to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead.
The Cardinals stretched their
edge to 4-1 in the third as Matt
Holliday opened with a double,
took third on an Adams single
and scored when Jhonny Peralta
grounded into a double play.
Wong followed with a solo
homer to give the visitors a
three-run advantage.
But San Francisco fought
back in the third to pull within
Joaquin Arias singled to open,
took second and third on outs
and scored when Posey singled
to left п¬Ѓeld. Posey took second
when Pablo Sandoval walked
and scored himself on a single
by Hunter Pence.
“A lot of those innings are
set up with good at bats early,”
Pence said. “When you set it
up, you have opportunities to
In all, the opening batters in
each half of the п¬Ѓrst three innings recorded base hits, a п¬Ѓrst
in major league playoff history.
ikkel Boedker scored
on a power play, a
soft backhander that
trickled in and into
an empty net.
An interesting collection of
goals for his п¬Ѓrst career hat-trick
— and his team needed nearly all
of them.Boedker scored two of
his three goals in the third period and added an assist, helping
the Arizona Coyotes outlast the
winless Edmonton Oilers 7-4 on
Wednesday night.
“It’s going to even out eventually, but when you’re hot, things
tend to go in,” said Boedker, who
has п¬Ѓve goals in three games.
“Right now, that’s the way it’s
going and it’s a good feeling.”
The Coyotes played a solid defensive game in beating the defending Stanley Cup champion
Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
They weren’t quite as good
against Edmonton, giving up
numerous good scoring chances
in front of Mike Smith, who had
some good moments but still
gave up at least four goals for the
second straight game.
Arizona made up for it by taking advantage of the defenseless Oilers with a by-committee
scoring effort. Martin Erat had
a goal and assist, while Connor
Murphy, Kyle Chipchura and
Rob Klinkhammer each scored
goals. Shane Doan and Martin
Hanzal each added a pair of assists for the Coyotes, who had 13
players with at least one point.
“That’s committee, but we
need a good hard practice tomorrow, the committee does,”
Arizona coach Dave Tippett said
with a smile.Edmonton scored
four goals for the second time in
three games, but remains winless because of its shortcomings
on defense.
The Oilers lost 6-1 to the
Kings Tuesday night and were
even worse against the Coyotes,
watching as they scored one goal
after another on Ben Scrivens.
Taylor Hall had two goals, and
Marc Arcobello and Mark Fayne
each scored for Edmonton,
which has allowed 23 goals while
opening the season 0-3-1.
“I like the effort, the guys are
trying, but we just haven’t got
the results yet,” Oilers coach
Dallas Eakins said. The Coyotes
needed nearly all their goals after a second straight shaky performance by Smith. Arizona’s
No. 1 goalie said he felt uncomfortable in the season opener and
it showed, giving up every goal in
a 6-2 home loss to Winnipeg.
Arizona Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker (No 89) scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens during a breakaway in the first period
at Gila River Arena in Glendale. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports.
Lakers’ Nash injured again
after carrying bags
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash missed his third straight
practice after injuring his back while carrying bags on Wednesday.
The latest injury is another setback that casts doubt about his future
in the NBA. The 40-year-old has battled injuries the past few years.
Last season, he was limited to 15 games.
Nash, the oldest active player in the league who is in his 19th season,
isn’t expected to play on Thursday night in an exhibition game
against the Utah Jazz.
“It’s a concern because, from my standpoint, I’ve got to kind of figure
out if he’s going to be able to play every day or not, if he’s going to be
able to play every other game, or which games can he play,” Lakers
coach Byron Scott said.
“Obviously, in the next couple of weeks, we’ve got some time to come
to a conclusion to this whole situation.”
Nash is in the final year of a three-year, $28 million contract. He said
during the summer that he expects this season to be his last.
James, Nowitzki call for shorter league season
our-time NBA Most Valuable
Player LeBron James and German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki
say the league needs to look at
shortening its 82-game per club regular-season schedule.
Both players spoke out this week in
the wake of the league planning an exhibition game that lasts only 44 minutes instead of the usual 48.
James and Nowitzki say it’s the
length of the season, not the games in
it, that causes troubles, and they would
both be willing to take less money.
“Less games is less concessions and
less tickets and all that, but at the end
of the day we want to protect the prize,
and the prize is the players,” James said
“If guys are being injured because
there’s so many games, we can’t promote it at a high level.”
Indiana star Paul George will miss
the upcoming season after breaking his
leg in a scrimmage for the US team that
went on to win the Basketball World
Cup, while п¬Ѓve-time NBA scoring
champion Kevin Durant of Oklahoma
City is out at least two months with a
broken foot.
“I’m not saying it’s because of the
amount of games, but anything will
help,” James said of the physical stress
on players.
James does not see trimming four
minutes from every game as much help
in that respect.
“The minutes don’t mean anything.
We could play 50-minute games if we
had to,” James said. “Once you go out
and play on the floor it doesn’t matter if you’re playing 22 minutes or 40
“Once you play it takes a toll on your
With the NBA just inking a $24 billion television contract extension to
broadcast more games, any cutback is
unlikely in the near future.
“It’s something that obviously
won’t change tomorrow or anytime
soon,” James said. “But it’s something
we should definitely talk about.”
James suggested 66 games, the
number played during a lockout
shortened campaign. But James would
spread the load over the typical sixmonth time span to avoid playing such
time-crunched schedules as three
games in three nights as was done in
the shortened season to allow for a full
playoff programme.
Dallas big man Nowitzki was a proponent of shortening the number of
games in the NBA march to the playoffs as well.
“I think you don’t need 82 games
to determine the best eight in each
conference,” the German said. “That
could be done a lot quicker, but I
always understand that it’s about
money, and every missed game means
missed money for both parties, for the
league, for the owners, for the players.
“I would say that (a number of
games) in the mid-60s would be
enough, which is still a lot of games.”
LeBron James (No 23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers
celebrates with teammates after scoring in the second
half of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Cintas
Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Wednesday. Cleveland
defeated Indiana 98-93. (AFP)
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Australia face All
Blacks with backs
to the wall
�Our job is to go out and put as much pressure as we can on the park’
Australia’s Tevita Kuridrani (L) and James
Hanson (R) look dejected after the Match
against the New Zealand All Blacks at Eden
Park in Auckland on August 23, 2014. (AFP)
ustralia, in crisis off
the pitch and struggling on it, could
hardly have had a
worse preparation for tomorrow’s dead rubber test against
world champions New Zealand
in Brisbane.
Back-to-back defeats to
South Africa and Argentina
have been followed by the scandal over text messages allegedly
sent by Kurtley Beale and left
coach Ewen McKenzie п¬Ѓghting
for his job.
For the п¬Ѓrst time in 22 tests,
the All Blacks are also looking to
get back to winning ways after
a loss but it would take a highly
unlikely thumping at Lang Park
to produce even the tiniest whiff
of a crisis in Steve Hansen’s
“When a team is under siege
as they are at the moment then
one of two things can happen,”
Hansen said.
“Either they unite and come
out and play really well or they
crumble to the pressure of it.
I don’t see them crumbling.
They’re too good of a team.
“Our job is to go out and put as
much pressure as we can on the
park and that’s what we’re trying
to do.”
Defeat to South Africa on the
high veldt is no great shame at the
best of times and any lingering
bitter taste will be swiftly neutralised by another victory over
the Wallabies to add to August’s
51-20 hammering in Auckland.
New Zealand have already
ensured they will retain the Bledisloe Cup after that win and
the 12-12 draw in Sydney in the
opening match of the Rugby
Consciously or unconsciously—and you certainly would
not wager against the former—
Hansen has drawn something
of a contrast between the “cultures” of the sides by electing
not to restore Aaron Cruden to
his matchday 23.
Flyhalf Cruden blotted his
copy book by missing a pre-tour
departure meeting after a boozy
night out and was dropped for
the last two Rugby Championship tests before returning to
the squad last week.
With Dan Carter still not
considered because of injury,
Beauden Barrett will again lead
the line in a team featuring п¬Ѓve
changes from the side that lost
RFU revamps
concussion tests
ngland’s Rugby Football
Union announced yesterday a raft of changes
to the way concussion
will be managed throughout the
professional game in the country.
Their decision was in line with
similar moves made by SANZAR,
which runs the Super Rugby competition and the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship,
following the introduction of the
International Rugby Board’s Head
Injury Assessment procedure.
The key game-day changes in
terms of leading club matches
will see memory tests enhanced
and the balance test altered,
with assessment period time extended from п¬Ѓve to 10 minutes.
In addition, at all English Premiership grounds and Twickenham, England’s national stadium
in London, doctors will have access to live television feeds and
replays when conducting a head
injury assessment to assist them
with decisions.
An independent review of injuries and management will be
carried out by “two experienced
independent medical practitioners” which will include them
reviewing match footage. This
review system will be linked to
the RFU’s disciplinary process.
Players, coaches and referees
will also be required to complete
a new mandatory online concussion module within a twomonth period.
This will apply to all maleregistered Premiership and
Championship players over 18
and contracted England Sevens
players. In the women’s game,
England representative players
over the age of 18, coaches and
referees will be asked to complete the course.
The online programme explains what concussion is, the
symptoms, and how to deal with
such injuries.
The RFU said there will be automatic п¬Ѓnes if the module is not
completed by the required date,
and a player or coach can be
made ineligible to play or coach
until such time as they have
completed it.
“These significant changes
were driven by the Professional
Game Board medical advisory
group review of the 2013 concussion forum and continues the
programme of work that we have
been delivering over the last 10
years on concussion,” said the
RFU’s chief medical officer, Simon Kemp.
“Working closely with Premiership Rugby and the RPA
(England’s Rugby Players’ Association), we believe this will
provide a comprehensive package of processes designed to
enhance all elements of professional player concussion management.”
Rugby Union authorities
have found themselves speaking repeatedly about concussion in recent years given fears
the increasingly brutal collisions that are so often a feature
of the modern top-flight game
could lead to long-term brain
Changes to existing procedures were made after widespread shock that Australia’s
George Smith was allowed to
return to the п¬Ѓeld during the
deciding third Test in Sydney
last year when still dazed after a clash of heads with British
and Irish Lions hooker Richard
Meanwhile August saw the
French Rugby Federation (FFR)
announce changes to its concussion procedures.
That followed the furore generated by clearly disorientated
Toulouse centre Florian Fritz
being sent back on in the Top
14 play-off with Racing-Metro
in May after his head connected
brutally with Francois van der
Merwe’s knee and he emerged
with blood pouring from a head
Hayne’s shot at NFL dream
exposes NRL’s parochialism
27-25 to the Springboks.
The pack is perhaps even
stronger than that which played
in Johannesburg with hooker
Dane Coles and prop Wyatt
Crockett returning to the front
row, Liam Messam in at blindside flanker and Brodie Retallick
restored to the second row. McKenzie brought Quade Cooper
back into his squad for the п¬Ѓrst
time this year as back-up to
starting flyhalf Bernard Foley
in a team announcement that
went largely unnoticed amid the
furore surrounding Beale.
Cooper was in his pomp when
Australia last beat New Zealand
in 2011 but it is to the test at the
same Lang Park ground a year
later that the Wallabies should
perhaps look for inspiration tomorrow.
With McKenzie’s predecessor Robbie Deans fighting for
his job and the squad ravaged
by injuries, Australia went into
the match as 6-1 underdogs but
fought tooth and nail for an 1818 draw.
Beale kicked a long-range
penalty that night but is suspended for tomorrow’s match
pending a Code of Conduct
hearing into the “deeply offensive” text messages he allegedly sent about team official Di
In Jarryd Hayne’s decision to pass up the chance to become a six
million dollar man back home for a shot at playing in the NFL, it is
hard to avoid the conclusion that Australian rugby league is paying
a price for parochialism. For all the brilliant athleticism, heartstopping physicality and the cash flooding into the National Rugby
League (NRL) after 2012’s billion dollar TV deal, the game can at
best offer athletes the chance to be a big fish in a small pond.
While in the NFL, Hayne will be bidding to join a league with an
outlook which was once just as narrow—it still offers the title of
“world champions” to the winners of a one-nation competition—his
departure highlights a growing trend.
In heading stateside to pursue his American dream, Hayne is the
latest from a small group of the NRL’s biggest names to decide they
have to go elsewhere to fulfil their ambition.
He follows New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams and Englishman Sam
Burgess, key figures in the last two NRL champion teams who both
departed for rugby union at the end of last season.
They will join Israel Folau, an athlete whose talents are regularly described as “freakish” and who left league for Australian Rules before
arriving in union with the Wallabies.
The attraction of joining the 15-man game is not only financial but
a chance to play competitive international sport and even possibly win an Olympic medal when sevens makes its debut in Rio de
Janeiro in 2016.
Toulon’s European defence starts with Scarlets
ouble defending champions
Toulon begin the defence
of their European crown at
home to Scarlets this weekend, while last year’s beaten finalists
Saracens entertain French heavyweights Clermont in a revamped
Now known as the European
Champions Cup, the tournament has
been pared down to 20 teams (seven
English, six French, three Irish, two
Welsh, one Scottish and one Italian)
in п¬Ѓve pools, the product of more
than two years of political wrangling
between the English, French and
Celtic nations.
Only the п¬Ѓve pool winners and the
three best pool runners-up will qualify for the knock-out stage.
It means each weekend throws
up must-win matches in some very
tough pools, but Toulon captain Carl
Hayman was confident his starstudded side could go the distance for
a third successive season, with the п¬Ѓ-
nal slated for Twickenham on May 2.
“It’s within our capabilities to
have a hat-trick of European wins,”
the former All Black prop told the
November edition of Rugby World
magazine, with Leicester and Ulster
making up a strong Pool 3.
“We have enough in the squad to
make the play-offs, but must top our
pool to get a game at the Mayol, Nice
or Marseille.
“People say �It’s the same size field’,
but percentages show that home advantage makes a win more likely.”
Hayman is one of a host of international stars playing for the Mourad
Boudjellal-funded, Bernard Laportecoached Toulon side, for whom English talisman Johnny Wilkinson will
be missing having retired at the end
of last season.
But the New Zealander said that
their п¬Ѓrst European victory in 2013
was a turning point for a team often
derided for bringing in aging international imports rather than relying on
home-grown French talent.
“Toulon has changed a lot. It’s
more professional and a lot of that
comes from Bernard Laporte. It’s al-
most been a fairytale ride for this club
since 2007,” Hayman said.
“It’s been a quick rise since they
got promoted and if you talk to
Mourad Boudjellal he can scarcely
believe the speed we have improved
That п¬Ѓrst European Cup win in
2013, sealed by a 16-15 п¬Ѓnal victory
over Top 14 rivals Clermont, “was a
real source of pride - that mercenary
tag was beginning to wear thin”.
“Except in amateur rugby, no team
is made up of just locals, particularly
in France,” Hayman insisted.
“But we have that label. So winning was good to get back at critics
who said this was just a retirement
home in the South of France.”
There has also been change at Clermont, who have seen coach Vern
Cotter take over Scotland.
The club will be seeking to avenge
last season’s European Cup semi-final mauling at the hands of Saracens
when the two sides clash in their
opening Pool 1 game.
The French side were trounced
46-6 at Twickenham in the semifinals last term before the English
side went on to lose the п¬Ѓnal against
“They are a huge outfit, and they
have a lot of good players,” Saracens’ Scotland lock Jim Hamilton
said of Clermont. I think it’s fair to
say they’re one of the most respected
teams in Europe.
“Statistically, Clermont have the
best scrum in the Top 14. Like all
French sides they have a great maul,
and they have some really physical
players,” said Hamilton, who previously played for Montpellier.
“That’s something we’re aware of
and something we are preparing for,
but we are relishing the challenge as
English Premiership champions
Northampton are away at Racing
Metro in Pool 5, Ospreys meeting sole
Italian representatives Treviso in the
other group game.
Celtic League champions Leinster
will entertain Wasps in Pool 2, with
struggling Top 14 club Castres travelling to Harlequins.
Four-time winners Toulouse entertain Montpellier and Glasgow host
Bath in Pool 4.
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Cudlin favourite again as
new Qatar season begins
�I am looking forward to the new season and I am excited to get started’
Superbike champion Alex Cudlin (L) and LARRS winner Manca Katrasnik will aim to defend their titles as the new season gets under way at the Losail International Circuit. At bottom, Cudlin with QMMF president Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah.
By Sports Reporter
he п¬Ѓrst round of the Qatar SuperBike and Qatar Challenge will take
place at the Losail International Circuit this weekend
along with a round of the MRF
Challenge which is being held for
the п¬Ѓrst time in Qatar.
Defending champion Alex
Cudlin will try to clinch the title
for the п¬Ѓfth time in a row on a
Kawasaki ZX10R for the QMMF
“I am looking forward to the
new season and I am excited to
get started. I want to make a
good start. I think we will have
strong competition again this
year,” Cudlin said.
“Hopefully I can win again but
it is a long season, so we’ll see. I
am happy to return again to Losail with the QMMF team after
Qatari rider Saeed al-Sulati,
who ended in fourth position
last championship, is also confident.
“I am raring to go. In the last
round of the past season we produced a good performance. That
has motivated me and I will go
for the podium this time,” said
In the Losail Asian Road Racing Series (LARRS), Manca Katrasnik of Serbia will aim to defend her title.
“I am really happy to be on the
bike again after the last season.
It is a long time and I hope this
year it will be as successful as
last season. Thanks to QMMF for
this opportunity again,” said the
Serbian rider.
The weekend will also see the
п¬Ѓrst round of the MRF Challenge. The Indian based Motorsport series will have its opening round at Losail International
Circuit under floodlights.
the win in the Le Mans 24 hours
Endurance five weeks ago.”
Cudlin will have to п¬Ѓght it out
with Qatari riders Nasser
al-Malki and Mishal al-Naimi
who п¬Ѓnished second and third
respectively last season.
Al-Naimi is also exuding confidence ahead of the race.
“I want to thank Ooreedo for
supporting us for another season
and I am happy and ready to produce a good result,” he said.
“For sure, the championship
is stronger than the previous one
and good luck to all the riders,”
al-Naimi added.
German rider Nina Prinz, who
п¬Ѓnished third in the standings
last season, hopes to go one better this year.
“I am positive for the season and happy that the QMMF
is supporting me again. I hope I
can improve my results this season,” she said at the registration
Should footballer sentenced
for rape play again?
By Clare Carlisle
The Guardian
e shouldn’t give up on either forgiveness or the need
to set an example, which
makes this a difficult case to
Footballer Ched Evans will leave prison this week, keen to get back to work
after serving half of a п¬Ѓve-year sentence
for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room. As I write, more than 140,000
people have signed a petition stating that
Evans should not be allowed to return to
professional football. But his former club
Sheffield United are reportedly interested in re-signing the striker.
Moral arguments have been presented
on both sides. Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’
Association, has pointed out that the
law does not prevent ex-prisoners from
working or resuming their old lives after release: “As a trade union we believe
in the rule of law ... besides that, [Evans]
still wants to contribute to society. If he
earns money he’ll pay taxes, those taxes
will go to help people who maybe can’t
get a job.”
There’s a certain consistency to Taylor’s first line of argument. If we respect
the law that has found Evans guilty of
rape, then shouldn’t we also respect the
legal process that imposes a prison sentence, after which the convicted person
is free to return to society?
Taylor’s claim about the social benefits
of Evans’ return, meanwhile, appeals to
two different kinds of moral argument:
one based on motivation and the other
on consequences. The suggestion that
“Evans wants to contribute to society”
Freddie Hung and Mathias
Lauda, the son of three-time
Formula One world Champion
Niki Lauda, will take part in the
The qualifying practices for
the QSBK and QCH along with
the two races of the MRF Challenge will take place today.
The main grandstand is open
to the public.
Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah,
QMMF President and LIC General Manager, expressed his delight at the opening of the new
“Last season we saw some
great performances and for sure
this year the level of the championships will be higher as we have
more entries,” al-Attiyah said.
“I am also happy that the
Losail International Circuit is
hosting the opening round of
the MRF Challenge and for sure
it will be a great success,” he
Ched Evans
encourages us to regard him as a person
of good will - and philosopher Immanuel
Kant makes this concept of a good will or
pure moral intention the sole criterion of
morality. So Kant would deny that the tax
revenue from Evans’ wages has any moral
relevance, since only motivations, and
not consequences, have moral worth. A
strict utilitarian, in contrast, would take
into account all social benefits arising
from his potential return to Sheffield.
Those campaigning against Evans
emphasise a different set of issues. Katie Russell of Rape Crisis England has
stated that her organisation “recognises
the right of any convicted criminal to
return to work after they’ve completed
their sentence”. But for her, the cultural
context gives this case a distinctive moral
significance. Football is a high-profile,
prestigious industry: players are celebrated and revered, not least by boys and
young men. And with this public influence comes social responsibility.
If it were to bring Evans back into the
team, Russell argues, Sheffield United
would be failing “to send a very strong
message that rape and sexual violence
- and violence against women and girls
more broadly - will not be tolerated
within football”.
According to this logic, the right to return to work can be sacrificed for the sake
of a strong statement about cultural val-
ues. In other words, in this instance the
ends justify the means.
Interest in this case, as with many
morally ambiguous situations, arises
from a deeper concern about what kind
of people we should be, and what kind of
society we want to live in. For Plato, this
was the substance of all moral questions.
One of the important messages in his
Republic is the unbreakable connection
between the personal and the social, the
private and the public, the soul and the
state. Cases like that of Evans go to the
heart of whether we want to be a society
that promotes forgiveness - that allows
people to make mistakes and move on or one that chooses role models who embody gentleness and respect for others.
If it is hard to give a clear answer to this
question, that is precisely because both
sides are so compelling. Surely we should
not give up on either forgiveness or providing positive role models. But the sting
in the tail is that, however deep the moral
dilemma, a practical decision needs to be
I do not know enough about what
happened in that hotel room, nor about
Evans’ attitude now, to say what should
be done. But putting myself in the position of those who have to decide about
his career, I see that the way through this
problem involves posing the moral questions to Evans himself.
I would ask him if he felt able to exemplify values of dignity and kindness. His
commitment to this would make it easier
for me to take the stand for forgiveness.
After all, we should not have to choose
between these two ideals. Both can be
realised in this case, but only if those involved take on the responsibility of living
up to them.
(Guardian News & Media 2014)
Astana face licence
review after third
positive test
he International Cycling Union (UCI) said
yesterday it has asked
its licence commission
to undertake a full review of the
management and anti-doping
policies of the Astana team after
a third case involving one of its
The Kazakhstan-based team
of 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali has already
been granted a licence for 2015.
But it could lose this licence
or have conditions attached to
it after the announcement that
Kazakh llya Davidenok has tested positive for an anabolic steroid, after brothers Maxim and
Valentin Iglinskiy tested positive
for EPO. The UCI said in a statement: “This follows the serious
concerns raised by the fact that
two Astana riders Maxim and
Valentin Iglinskiy recently tested
positive for EPO and the notification this week that llya Davidenok has returned an Adverse
Analytical Finding for anabolic
androgenic steroids in a sample
collected at the Tour de l’Avenir
on 28th August 2014.
“IIya Davidenok has ridden
from 1st January 2012 to date for
Continental Team Astana and
since 1st August 2014 has also
been a stagiaire (trainee) with
Astana Pro Team.
“The rider has the right to request analysis of the B sample
and in accordance with UCI An-
IIya Davidenok
ti-doping Rules has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the matter.”
The licence commission is
the competent body for issuing, reviewing, withdrawing
and attaching conditions to UCI
WorldTour licences and ensuring that licence-holders continuously comply with the terms of
the licence.
“As per the UCI regulations,
it is expected that the team will
appear before the licence commission within the next month
for an assessment of the team’s
level of compliance with the ethical criteria so that the appropriate measures can be then taken,”
the UCI statement added.
“It will be for the licence commission to determine whether
and to what extent the team and/
or its management is responsible for recent events. The UCI
will not comment further at this
stage.” The Astana team is run
by controversial former rider
Alexandre Vinokourov, who
was banned for blood doping in
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Injured Russian
veteran Davydenko
retires aged 33
Lute join ICSS
advisory board
�I don’t have regrets about not winning a Grand Slam or not being number one’
Raonic crashes out to 116th-ranked qualifier
hile Roger Federer challenges
again for world number one
status at age 33, his contemporary Nikolay Davydenko
packed in his career yesterday, making it
official at the Kremlin Cup.
“I am 33 years old,” said the winner of
six career titles who has been injured for
much of this season, “I won 21 ATP tournaments, including three Masters 1000
events and the World Tour Finals in London.
“I don’t have any regrets about not
winning a Grand Slam or not being
number one in the world. I was in the top
10 for some years.”
Davydenko said his physical condition
п¬Ѓnally forced him to hang up his racquet.
“Unfortunately, for some years now, I
have been struggling with injuries. It’s
hard for me to talk about it.
“I’ve been thinking when to announce
it: the time has come. I have my whole life
to live. I officially announce my retirement from professional tennis.”
Davydenko said he made the decision
last June after the French Open, where
the number 244 lost in the п¬Ѓrst round to
Robin Haase, a defeat which proved to be
his п¬Ѓnal match.
“I felt I could not play at the level I used
to play at. I practised twice a day, but I
felt I couldn’t achieve the result I wanted.
But I was waiting for the moment when
I would wake up and say to myself it was
Davydenko won a third Masters 1000
title in 2009 as well as the year-end event
in London. He also reached four Grand
Slam semi-п¬Ѓnals and helped Russia to the
2006 Davis Cup.
The father of one said that he will focus
now start a new career in business and п¬Ѓnance.
Transparency International co-founder Michael Hershman (left) and
former US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Lute.
By Sports Reporter
Canada’s Milos Raonic in action against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis (below) during their Kremlin Cup second round match
in Moscow, Russia, yesterday. (EPA)
Nadal and Australian Open winner
Stanislas Wawrinka have already
qualified, while several players are
still in contention to grab the four
remaining places.
“I still haven’t lost all my chances (to
qualify for London). Thankfully I can’t
say that today’s loss has broken my
heart,” added Raonic.
op seed Milos Raonic suffered
a setback in his hopes of
qualifying for the seasonending ATP World Tour Finals
after he was beaten 6-3 4-6 6-3 by 116thranked journeyman Ricardas Berankis
in the second round of the Kremlin Cup
Berankis watched 15 aces from Raonic
whistle past him but the Lithuanian
qualifier broke the Canadian’s powerful
serve four times to seal his first ever
victory over a top 10 player.
“I did not approach the match in the
sort of form as I would have liked to. I
have been feeling sick for the last 10
days with a cold and have been lying in
bed. I was only able to prepare over the
last two days,” Raonic told reporters.
“I thought that Berankis would play
a strong game. We have known each
other since we were kids and he is a
very good tennis player.”
Raonic currently stands eighth in the
“Race to London” for the end-of-season
ATP World Tour Finals which will
feature the top eight players.
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa
1. Novak Djokovic 9010
2. Roger Federer 8020
3. Rafa Nadal 6745
4. Stan Wawrinka 4805
Race for remaining four spots
5. Kei Nishikori 4265
6. Marin Cilic 3990
7. Tomas Berdych 3945
8. Milos Raonic 3750
9. David Ferrer 3715
10. Andy Murray 3655
11. Grigor Dimitrov 3450
GCC Basketball Championship
Action from Qatar’s match against Oman in the GCC Basketball Championship in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday night. Qatar won 75-49 and will take on the UAE today.
he International Centre
for Sport Security (ICSS)
that Transparency International co-founder Michael
Hershman and former US Deputy
Secretary of Homeland Security
Jane Lute have been appointed to
the ICSS Advisory Board.
Following on from their involvement at last week’s Securing Sport 2014, Hershman and
Lute will join some of the world’s
top safety, security and integrity
experts on the Advisory Board
and will contribute to the ICSS’s
mission to protect and safeguard
As an internationally recognised expert on matters relating
to transparency, accountability,
governance, litigation and security, Hershman has been called
upon by many governments,
multi-national corporations, law
п¬Ѓrms and international п¬Ѓnancial
institutions, where he advised on
matters involving the conduct of
senior-level officials and the organisations which they do business with.
Hershman has also advised
numerous high-profile organisations in sport on a wide range of
issues involving security and integrity including: National Football League (NFL), Major League
Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), the
organising committees for the
1988 and 2004 Olympic Games
and more recently, the FIFA Independent Governance Committee.
Speaking on his appointment
to the ICSS Advisory Board,
Hershman said, “Sport is now
at a crossroads when it comes to
protecting itself and independent organisations like the ICSS
are crucial in raising awareness
and more importantly, driving
the agenda to confront transnational issues like corruption,
illegal betting and betting fraud.
I look forward to joining the ICSS
Advisory Board and playing an
active role in bringing governments and organisations in sport
closer together to protect major
events and safeguard the integrity and credibility of sport.”
A former US Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security between 2009 and 2013, Lute has
a distinguished career in peacekeeping, counterterrorism and
cybersecurity. At the Department of Homeland Security, Jane
oversaw national efforts to prevent terrorism, enhance national
security, protecting US borders,
as well as administering and enforcing US laws and ensuring the
nation’s cybersecurity.
Lute has also served as assistant secretary-general of the
United Nations (2003-2009) and
has since taken up the position of
president and CEO of the Council on CyberSecurity, an international, not-for-profit organisation committed to the security of
the open Internet.
“The relationship between
sport, technology and social
media has never been closer and
ensuring that our personal information is safe is now challenging
the way major sporting events
are now organised,” Lute said.
“To join the ICSS Advisory Board
and such an esteemed group of
international leaders and decision-makers from the world of
security and integrity is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to contributing new ideas
and new ways that can sport can
protect itself.”
“With the ICSS continuing to
cement its position as a centre of
excellence in sport safety, security and integrity, the addition of
two of the world’s most respected voices in the field of security,
anti-corruption and cybersecurity underlines the ICSS’s commitment to protecting and safeguarding sport,” ICSS president
Mohamed Hanzab said.
“Both Jane and Michael bring a
wealth of knowledge and experience to the ICSS Advisory Board
and their expertise will be crucial
in encouraging governments and
sports organisations to apply a
more global approach to confronting the many threats now
facing the security and integrity
of sport.”
Gulf Times
Friday, October 17, 2014
Spanish rally driver
Two World Rally Championship (WRC) titles
WRC record for most starts (196)
2010 Dakar Rally winner
Friday, October 17, 2014
Golam rides Sraab to
thrilling Al Hamla Cup win
�It is good to start the season with a winner. I am looking forward to the season’
QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain (third from left) and QREC deputy general manager Tariq Abdulhameed al-Sidiqie (second from right) with the Al Hamla Cup winners at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
By Chris Hoover
hmed Kobeissi trained Sraab
(Salim Golam astride) put in
a terrific stretch run to demolish the hopes of her 12
rivals to clinch the Al Hamla Cup, a
Local Thoroughbred Conditions race,
which featured the first day’s races at
the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club
In a keenly contested race, Haidara
shot into the lead and was closely followed by Sraab and Aseer. The trio
continued to call the shots as the п¬Ѓeld
entered the business end of the race.
In the п¬Ѓnal furlong, Aseer gained the
advantage but was soon challenged
by Sraab. The Kobeissi trainee put in
a blazing gallop to score gallantly and
stamp her superiority. Al Mansoor was
three lengths behind in third.
“It was unbelievable finish and she
has proved that she is the best. It is
good to start the season with a winner.
I am looking forward to the season,”
trainer Kobeissi told the Gulf Times.
Youisef Bentaher trained Dhalyek
Al Naif (Amer-Steppy Du Cayrou) was
confidently piloted by Marvin Suerland
to win the opening event of the season,
the Pure Arabian Maiden Plate. Saab
set out in front followed by Al Zubara
Al Sakab and Istara. As they moved into
the straight for the п¬Ѓnal 400 metres,
Zubara Al Sakab began to quicken on
the rails with Suerland bidding his time
to make his move. Once put into top
gear, the Amer progeny came alongside
the front runner without much fuss.
Inside the last 50 metres, Dhalyek Al
Naif stepped up the pace and travelled
the better of the two to record his п¬Ѓrst
win in seven starts.
Mubarak Saeed Aljafal al-Naimi
owned Maazouz (Darren Williams
astride) easily won the Local Bred Pure
Arabian Graduation Plate for Maidens. On a start to п¬Ѓnish mission, the
Mohamed Rashid al-Kuwari schooled
Maazouz put in a strong effort in the
home run to go clear inside the п¬Ѓnal
200 metres and win with a measure of
comfort from Khalfa and Nahla.
Trainer Jassim al-Ghazali opened
his tally for the season with Substantiate putting in a dazzling display while
annexing the Thoroughbred Handicap (horses rated 60 to 80) in splendid
fashion. With Desert Colours setting
the early pace, while Substantiate was
raced in a handy second position by
jockey Yanis Aouabed. On entering
the homestretch, the Ghazali trainee
cruised into the lead and stretched
away from the rest to win as he pleased.
Late Debate and Hi Holy п¬Ѓnished on
with a late dash to take the second and
third places respectively.
Zohair Moghsen saddled Peter Mac
was a pillar to post winner of the Thoroughbred Conditions race for three year
olds. Peter Mac with Suerland on board,
led from the start and skipped away
from Roman Legend who was getting
into stride long after the front runner
had sewn up the race. The manner of
this victory suggests that Peter Mac is
capable of an encore when saddled next.
Jockey Suerland completed a treble
for the day when Mohamed Hamad alAttiya trained Sefaat broke through the
maiden ranks with a thrilling victory in
the Thoroughbred Conditions, a seven
furlong race for three year olds. Captain
Cleo led the п¬Ѓeld into the straight but
had no answer when Sefaat pounced on
her. The Attiya trainee then stretched
away to win by a neck from the late
п¬Ѓnishing Bajan Beauty, who came with
telling strides in the п¬Ѓnal stages of the
race but could only diminish the margin
of defeat.
Suerland was delighted with the
great start for the season. “It was an
amazing start for the season. I was
not expecting it. All of us hope for one
winner on the opening day but to have
three is simply brilliant. I hope to continue in the same way.”
Mohanad al-Yaqout schooled Slimane (O’Shea up) overhauled Al Safi in
the virtually the last stride of the race to
win the Pure Arabian Conditions race
for four year olds. Al Safi had stolen a
march and looked set to lamd the spoils
until Slimane came with telling strides
in the п¬Ѓnal 50 metres and got past the
front runner to take his second win in
13 starts.
In an exciting п¬Ѓnish, Abdulaziz
Ali al-Qaithri’s Fanunalter (Marco
Monteriso) won the Thoroughbred
Conditions from Sandbetweenourtoes,
which had Frenchman Stephane Ladjadj in the saddle.
1st race: Dhalyek Al Naif (Marvin Suerland) 1, Al Zubara Al Sakab 2, Taghta
3, Istara 4. Won by: 1/2, 3/4, 3/4. Time:
1:32.79. Trained by: Yousef Bentaher.
Owned by: Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser
bin Ahmed al-Thani
2nd race: Maazouz (Darren Williams)
1, Khalfa 2, Nahla 3, Heytham 4. Won
by: 1.2, 3/4, 2. Time: 1:44.30. Trained by:
Mohamed Rashid al-Kuwari. Owned by:
Mubarak Saeed Aljafal al-Naimi
3rd race: Substantiate (Yanis Aouabed)
1, Late Debate 2, Hi Holy 3, Keene 4.
Won by: 1 1/2, Hd, 1/2. Time: 1:35.50.
Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned
by: Jasim Mohamed Al Ghazali and Sons
4th race: Peter Mac (Marvin Suerland) 1,
Roman Legend 2, Rasheeda 3, Kalahari
Kingdom 4. Won by: 5, 3/4, 2 1/2. Time:
1:21.70. Trained by: Zohair Moghsen.
Owned by: Hussain Ali Bukanan
5th race: Sefaat (Marvin Suerland) 1,
Bajan Beauty 2, Lady Chantily 3, Captain
Cleo 4. Won by: Nk, Nk, Hd. Time: 1:22.76.
Trained by: Mohamed Hamad al-Attiya.
Owned by: Mohamed Abdulla al-Attiya
6th race: Slimane (O’Shea) 1, Al Safi 2,
Maksab 3, Seif Ennar 4. Won by: Nk, 5,
6. Time: 1:30.13. Trained by: Mohanad
al-Yaqout. Owned by: Al Jeryan Stud
7th race: Fanunalter (Marco Monteriso)
1, Sandbetweenourtoes 2, Hearts Of
Stone 3, Elwazeer 4. Won by: Shd, 3/4,
1 1/2. Time: 1:22.01. Owned and trained
by: Abdulaziz Ali al-Qaithri
8th race: Sraab (Salim Golam) 1, Aseer
2, Al Mansoor 3, Moaddie 4. Won by: 1/2,
3, 1/2. Time: 1:36.20. Trained by: Ahmed
Kobeissi. Owned by: Mohamed Kazim Al
Ansari and Sons
Jockey Salim Golam rides Sraab to an exciting win over Aseer in the feature event yesterday.
Trainer Ahmed Kobeissi leads in Sraab (Salim Golam up) after a successful outing in the Al Hamla Cup, which featured the first day’s races at the QREC yesterday.
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