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QATAR | Page 20
SPORT | Page 1
Ashghal official underlines
importance of govt and
private sector partnership
Latest Figures
The first online auction for fancy
vehicle numbers launched recently
by the Traffic Department has
concluded with a revenue of more
than QR421mn for 19 numbers. The
highest bid for a number amounted
to QR200.43mn for “336633”.
The second highest price was
QR200.40mn for “333355”. This was
followed by QR12.31mn for “337337”.
The winning bidders are required
go to the General Directorate of the
Traffic Department within 24 hours
of the end of the auction to sign
the purchase contracts. Failing to
do so would make them lose their
claim for the designated number. It
also entails the loss of the security
deposit of QR20,000. Arabic daily
Arrayah reported yesterday that the
Traffic Department intended to offer
around 10,000 fancy numbers at
such auctions in batches.
The world is awash in oil even
as both Iraq and Libya - the two
countries responsible for Opec’s
recent recovery in supply growth —
are both in the throes of conflicts
EUROPE | Tension
Sweden �has proof
on sub incursion’
The 2015 edition of the Africa Cup
of Nations (CAN) will be held in
Equatorial Guinea, the Confederation
of African Federations (CAF) said
yesterday. Original hosts Morocco
were stripped of hosting rights
of the January 17 to February 8
tournament after insisting on a
postponement due to the ongoing
Ebola crisis in West Africa. CAF
refused to postpone the event
and Morocco failed to confirm its
commitment by last week’s deadline,
forcing the continent’s governing
body to seek new eleventh hour
hosts. Sport Page 4
QATAR | Health
Psychiatry dept
for children
A psychiatry department for
children is to be opened at Muaither
next month, Dr Majid Ali al-Abdalla,
consultant psychiatrist at the Hamad
Medical Corporation, has told local
Arabic daily Arrayah. The new
department will be opened in two
stages, an outpatient clinic followed
by a section for resident patients.
Fancy numbers
fetch QR421mn
Equatorial Guinea
to host African Cup
QATAR | Auction
SPORT | Football
Vol. XXXV No. 9542
November 15, 2014
Moharram 22, 1436 AH
www. 2 Riyals
IEA sees
drop in
oil prices
In brief
Sweden said yesterday it had
evidence that a mini submarine
entered its waters in October, in a
Cold War-style incident that triggering
a week-long hunt fuelled by heated
speculation of a Russian incursion.
“The Swedish defence forces can
confirm that a mini u-boat violated
Swedish territory. This is a serious and
unacceptable violation by a foreign
power,” the Supreme Commander of
the Swedish Armed Forces Sverker
Goeransson told reporters. Page 11
he R
bl TA 978
A 1
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People taking part in the Beat Diabetes Walkathon yesterday. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
Thousands join Beat
Diabetes Walkathon
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
ore than 7,000 Qatar residents participated in the п¬Ѓfth
Beat Diabetes Walkathon
yesterday in a bid to raise awareness
about the disease that has affected
millions of people worldwide. World
Diabetes Day was observed yesterday.
The annual event attracted dozens
of schools and groups in the country,
as well as families and individuals,
who joined the 2km walk at Aspire
Park. It was organised by Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) and the Landmark Group.
“People should be active, eat a balanced and healthy diet and undergo
regular blood screening to beat diabetes,” Dr Abdullah al-Hamaq, executive director of QDA, told reporters on
the occasion. “Diabetes is on the rise
all over the world and countries are
struggling to keep pace,” he cautioned.
According to a statement from QDA,
the latest estimates of International
Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed
that 8.3% of adults (382mn people)
have diabetes across the world. The
number is expected to increase to
more than 592mn in less than 25 years.
A sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy
eating habits and low levels of awareness are noted as key contributors to
the rapid incidence of type 2 diabetes
in the Middle East and North Africa.
Type 1 diabetes, which affects children and relatively younger people, is
considered to be caused by hereditary
factors. The condition has been on the
rise with more than 79,000 children
(0-14 years) across the region believed
to be affected by the disease.
“The walk also aims to educate the
community on how to prevent diabetes and obesity such as doing regular
exercise and living a healthy lifestyle,”
Dr al-Hamaq said.
He had recently announced that
many general practitioners in the
country would benefit from a threeyear programme that aimed to further
upgrade their skills in treating diabetes.
The European Association for the
Study of Diabetes and the Gulf Group
for the Study of Diabetes had renewed
another agreement to provide a post
graduate continued education for
doctors across the GCC.
An ongoing event at Katara – the
Cultural Village titled Katara Campaign with Action on Diabetes, ends
today. Some of the activities include
dietary education, blood glucose
monitoring, healthy cooking and
physical activities. A zone was also set
up for children.
Echoing the statements of Dr alHamaq, Landmark Group chief operating officer Santosh Pai told reporters that the annual event received an
overwhelming response from Qatar
“Since the diabetes epidemic is
growing, we feel that we can do something to at least raise awareness and
change their lifestyles,” he said.
“We want people to make a conscious effort to lead healthier lifestyles
and regularly monitor their blood glucose levels. These are essential to the
long-term health of our family, community and nation,” Pai added.
Dr al-Hamaq, Pai and Aspire Logistics event manager Abdullah alKhater joined the participants in the
2km walk.
il prices are expected to keep
sliding well into 2015, held
down by weak demand and
increased shale production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said
Global prices have collapsed by
some 30% since June, and crude futures slumped on Thursday to lows
not seen since September 2010, diving well below the $80-per-barrel
The IEA said while there had been
speculation that the high cost of shale
extraction “might set a new equilibrium for Brent prices in the $80 to
$90 range, supply/demand balances
suggest that the price rout has yet to
run its course”.
“Our supply and demand forecasts
indicate that barring any new supply
disruption, downward price pressures could build further in the п¬Ѓrst
half of 2015,” it added.
Prices were unlikely to reverse
course anytime soon, as there are
“deep structural changes” transforming the industry.
China, which in recent years has
had a voracious appetite for energy,
is now entering a less oil-intensive
stage of growth, while technological
innovations have unlocked shale resources in North America.
“A return to previous price highs
may not be a close prospect, as it is
increasingly clear that we have begun
a new chapter in the history of the oil
markets,” the IEA said.
Dealers were also betting that
the 12-nation Opec group, which is
meeting on November 27 in Vienna,
would decide against cutting output
This is because Opec is battling to
maintain its foothold in the US market against the flood of oil being extracted domestically from shale rock
- which had in part caused the global
As pressure mounts on Opec to
slash output, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi
Arabia’s oil minister, said that “talk
of a price war is a sign of misunderstanding - deliberate or otherwise and has no basis in reality”.
“We do not seek to politicise oil,
nor do we collude against anybody.
For us, it is a question of supply and
demand. It is purely business,” he
said on Wednesday.
In a report to the G20 group of
leading industrial powers ahead of
a summit in Brisbane, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the
“recent appreciable fall in oil prices,
if sustained, will boost growth”.
But the lower prices are hurting some crude exporters, including
Venezuela, Iran and Russia. The latter two are also struggling with the
impact of Western sanctions.
The IEA noted that production at
current or even lower prices may not
be uneconomical, but “it may take a
toll on social stability and thus indirectly affect production prospects”.
Prices had touched a high in June
of $115.71, when the Islamic State
organisation’s offensive in Iraq had
pushed up costs. But abundant supplies, tepid demand and the strong
dollar have forced them back down.
Supply growth also shows few
signs of abating. On Thursday, US
production hit a new record.
The world is awash in oil even as
both Iraq and Libya - the two countries responsible for Opec’s recent
recovery in supply growth - are both
in the throes of conflicts.
Demand growth is meanwhile expected to remain at the п¬Ѓve-year low
rate of 680,000 barrels a day in 2014,
reaching an estimated 92.4mn barrels a day, the IEA said.
“Relatively weak Chinese demand
growth, coupled with large absolute
declines in both European and OECD
Asia Oceania, curb the upside momentum otherwise provided by gains
in other non-OECD economies and
the US,” it said.
Accelerating global momentum is
seen lifting demand growth to reach
1.1mn barrels a day to 93.6mn barrels
a day.
Oil prices rebounded slightly yesterday, although they remain well below $80. Brent hit an intra-day low of
$76.76 earlier in the session, the lowest
since September 2010, before climbing
back up to $79.10. US crude was up 58
cents at $74.79. Business page 1
IS releases audio of chief Baghdadi after death rumours
he Islamic State group has released a defiant audio recording
it said was of chief Abu Bakr alBaghdadi, after air strikes on militant
leaders in Iraq sparked rumours he had
been wounded or killed.
In the 17-minute message, the man
purported to be Baghdadi vowed that
IS, which has overrun swathes of Iraq
and Syria, will continue to expand
despite international air strikes, and
that its opponents will be drawn into a
ground war.
“Be assured, O Muslims, for your
State is good and in the best condition.
Its march will not stop and it will continue to expand,” said the man in the
recording, whose voice sounded like
Baghdadi’s but whose identity could
not be independently confirmed.
“Soon, the Jews and Crusaders will
be forced to come down to the ground
and send their ground forces to their
deaths and destruction,” he said.
US President Barack Obama has announced plans to double the number
of US military personnel in Iraq to up
to 3,100 to help advise and train Baghdad’s forces - a move the man in the
audio recording said was the start of
the ground war between the two sides.
The message was the п¬Ѓrst said to be
from Baghdadi since a video released
in July, shortly after IS proclaimed a
“caliphate” over parts of Iraq and Syria,
of the militant leader delivering a Friday sermon in the northern Iraqi city of
While the recording seemed aimed
at dispelling speculation that Baghdadi
was seriously injured or dead, it did not
mention the strikes against IS leaders.
But it did reference the decision by
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, Egypt’s deadliest
militant group, to pledge allegiance to
Baghdadi and IS, which was announced
after the strikes.
The US said that coalition aircraft
launched strikes targeting IS leaders in
the area of their northern hub of Mosul
last Friday, setting off a flurry of speculation that Baghdadi was wounded or
Some reports meanwhile pointed to
another alleged strike near Iraq’s border with Syria, saying Baghdadi was hit
there instead.
But officials in both Iraq and the US
have made clear that no one is yet certain about Baghdadi’s fate.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven
Warren said on Monday that “the bottom line from our perspective is we simply cannot confirm his current status”.
And senior Iraqi officials from the
interior and defence ministries and the
intelligence service said investigations
were ongoing.
Iraq retakes strategic town from militants
Iraqi forces yesterday recaptured the
strategic town of Baiji in a significant
victory over the Islamic State group,
as the UN accused the militants
of crimes against humanity in
neighbouring Syria. Baiji is the largest
town to be retaken by government
troops since IS-led militants overran
The death of the elusive IS leader
would be a major victory for the USled coalition, but with both areas
where strikes were rumoured to have
hit Baghdadi far from government
control, confirming anything there
much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland
in June, subsequently declaring a
“caliphate” in Iraqi and Syrian territory.
The northern town, which had been
out of government control for months,
is located near Iraq’s largest oil
refinery on the main highway to the
IS-held second city of Mosul. Page 4
will be difficult if not impossible.
Rumours of Baghdadi’s demise have
surfaced before and the absence of video
in Thursday’s release by the IS group’s
media arm is likely to fuel further speculation he was indeed wounded.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Rising cases of
overtaking from
the wrong side
Citizens have expressed concern
over rising cases of overtaking
from the right on the country’s
roads, local Arabic daily Arrayah
has reported.
The number of violations had
reduced following a decision by
the Traffic Department to seize
the cars of offending motorists.
However, the citizens point out
that some people are indulging
in this practice again, the report
They have called for strict
implementation of the rules to
prevent overtaking from the right,
particularly in the peak hours.
Thousands of expatriates arrive
in Qatar from different countries
every year, they say, adding that
many are unaware of traffic rules
and proper driving methods.
What is required is greater
awareness, which, they say, is
more important than recording
violations and imposing penalties,
according to the report.
The citizens say the factors
responsible for this violation
include severe traffic
congestion and worries over
arriving late for work. However,
these are no justifications
for indulging in a dangerous
practice like overtaking
from the right, which causes
accidents and hampers the
traffic flow, the report adds.
60 violations by
outlets reported
The Ministry of Economy and
Commerce’s (MEC) inspection
campaign at various markets in
the country has resulted in the
issuance of some 60 violation
reports to different commercial
The penalties for such
violations vary from temporary
closure of the erring shop to
fines as stipulated by laws
and consumer protection
Most of the violations pertain
to describing an item in an
inaccurate manner and giving
wrong information about it,
displaying expired products and
charging rates higher than those
originally mentioned by the
The MEC will publish the names
of violating outlets if the penalty
involved is administrative closure
of the shop.
F Ring road to
be ready before
National Day
More than 95% of work on F-Ring
Road which would serve as a vital
connecting link between Hamad
International Airport (HIA) and
western areas of the country, has
already been completed, Arabic
daily Al Raya reported, quoting
the Public Works Authority
(Ashghal) official.
The 8-km long would be ready
before the Qatar National Day
celebrations on December 18.
Last week, a section of the road
from Al Wakra side to the HIA was
opened for traffic.
When ready the road would also
provide easy connectivity for
those travelling between the
Industrial Area and the HIA.
A tour of the area made by the
newspaper found the work of the
road is in the final stages.
The road is expected to reduce
the traffic congestion for
motorists commuting towards the
Corniche from the southern areas
of Doha.
Armed forces
begin rehearsal
for parade
The Qatar Armed Forces have
started rehearsals for the military
parade that will take place on
Qatar National Day, local Arabic
daily Al Sharq has reported.
National Day is celebrated on
December 18.
The participating forces gather
at the Al Dihailiyat camp for the
rehearsals. At least 10-12 sections
of the armed forces and other
security forces have arrived
at the camp to participate in
the rehearsals, which started
on Sunday and will take place
every day except on Fridays and
According to the report, a
committee has been formed for
the military parade. It comprises
officers representing the different
units and sections of the armed
forces and security departments
that take part in the parade.
The committee held its first
meeting recently and discussed
arrangements and preparations
for the military parade and
National Day.
Draft resolution
addresses rights
abuses in Syria
New York
he State of Qatar, on
behalf of nearly 60 UN
member countries, has
submitted a draft resolution to
the UN General Assembly on
the situation of human rights
in Syria.
Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif
al-Thani, Qatar’s permanent
representative to the United
Nations, presented the draft
resolution to the Third Committee of the General Assembly (concerned with social and
human rights) on behalf of the
states which adopt the draft
Sheikha Alia explained, in her
statement, that the draft resolution aimed at addressing the
“serious violations” of human
rights and international law in
Syria “where the human rights
situation continues to deteriorate”, stressing condemnation
of indiscriminate killing and
deliberate targeting of civilians
as a violation of international
humanitarian law.
The resolution, she said,
expressed alarm over the escalation of violence in Syria and
its victims including refugees
and serious violations of human rights and international
law, particularly the use of
heavy weapons, air strikes and
throwing explosive barrels and
The draft resolution
aimed at addressing
the “serious violations”
of human rights and
international law in Syria
“where the human rights
situation continues to
starving civilians by Syrian
The draft resolution also addresses issues such as sexual
violence, child abuse, enforced
disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, prevention of
humanitarian assistance and
the issue of the differentiation
between civilian and military
targets, as well as the issue of
accountability for violations of
international law committed in
Syria, Sheikha Alia added.
She said the draft resolution
highlighted the issue of extremism and terrorism where
it denounced and condemned
terrorist acts and all violations
of international law by any
party to the conflict, especially
the so-called Islamic State
in Iraq, and Syria and militia
п¬Ѓghting for the regime, terrorist groups linked to Al Qaeda
and other extremist groups.
It is expected that the committee would vote on draft
resolution next week to the
General Assembly in order
to submit it to the UN General Assembly for vote next
QTA holds health awareness campaign
Dr Saif Ali al-Hajari speaking at a function yesterday.
�A Flower Each Spring’
programme kicks
off in Al Khor today
In co-operation with the Supreme Council of Health, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) organised a health awareness campaign for
its employees as part of the “Workplace Wellness Programme.” Free consultations on blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and
obesity were offered during the two-day campaign. The programme aimed at raising awareness among employees on healthy
lifestyle practices. QTA chairman Issa al-Mohannadi is seen with a team from the SCH during the programme.
he 17th edition of �A
Flower Each Spring’ programme will kick off today in Al Khor and will introduce
another Qatari natural plant
under the name: Thanoun �the
Cistanche phelypaea’.
Dr Saif Ali al-Hajari, chairman, the Friends of the Environment Centre (FEC) and
head of �A Flower Each Spring’
programme, praised the support extended by HH Sheikha
Moza bint Nasser to the programme, which was launched
in 1999.
The programme aims at introducing the flora of Qatar in
their natural habitats to the local community in order to be
protected and grown well.
He said the programme will
organise several activities including п¬Ѓeld trips and festivals
focusing on this plant, adding
that new activities on water and
electricity conservation will be
added to this year programme
in order to promote the rational consumption of water and
Al-Hajari said that some 300
people and a number of schools
will attend the inauguration
ceremony, adding that the programme will continue until next
Cistanche is a genus of holoparasitic desert plants in the
family Orobanchaceae. The genus Cistanche includes 16 species. They form an attractive
group of phanerogamic root
BMW Group urges people to buckle up
MW Group Middle East
is marking World Day of
Remembrance for Road
Traffic Victims (WDR) by urging drivers and passengers to
buckle up.
Commemorated annually on
the third Sunday of November,
WDR is endorsed by the United
Nations. This year, on November 16, the occasion will remember the millions killed and
injured on the world’s roads as
well as their families and many
others also affected.
There will also be a special
reflection on the tremendous
burden and cost of this global
“BMW Group Middle East
launched its �Stay Alert. Stay
Alive’ road safety campaign in
2010 as part of its commitment
to raise awareness of the importance of wearing seatbelts. WDR
provides us with a great opportunity to reinforce this messaging in line with such a credible global awareness day,” said
Leanne Blanckenberg, corporate
communications manager of
BMW Group Middle East.
The premium automotive
manufacturer’s “Stay Alert.
Stay Alive” road safety campaign puts the following questions to drivers and urges them
to buckle up: “Do you buckle
up as soon as you get in the
car?”, “Do you insist that your
passengers wear a seatbelt?”
and “Do your children have the
right car seat safety restraints
for their weight and age?”.
If the answer is no (even just
once), then one needs to read the
following five reasons why motorists should buckle up: “Seatbelts save lives and reduce injuries”: according to the World
Health Organisation, wearing
a seatbelt reduces the risk of a
fatality among front seat passengers by 40-50% and among
rear seat occupants by 25-75%;
“It’s the law: wearing a seatbelt
while driving or as a passenger
is the law and any person found
not to be buckled up will face a
considerable п¬Ѓne. Similarly, if a
child is over 10 years old, s/he
must wear a seatbelt, while children less than 10 years old must
be restrained using the correct
type of child seat; “Seatbelts =
life: seatbelts are designed to
stop the uncontrolled movement of people within a vehicle
and therefore one of the most
important tools to prevent serious injury or death in a road
accident; “Even the best drivers have accidents”: even the
most skilled drivers cannot be
100% certain of the ability to
prevent an accident when another driver is at fault. It is,
therefore, essential that every
driver and passenger wears a
seatbelt any time they are in a
moving vehicle; and “Seatbelts
reduce child fatalities”: children
are not small adults – they need
specialised protection in a moving vehicle. Appropriate child
restraints are essential to reduce
the risk of injury.
It is essential for parents to
make sure that they use the
right restraint for their child’s
age and size. There are different seats available and the selection of the appropriate one
is crucial in ensuring that the
child is effectively protected.
These are rear-facing infant
car seat (designed for infants under the age of one year; at BMW,
this is known as BMW Baby Seat
0+), child safety seat (targeting
toddlers aged one to four years;
at BMW, this is known as BMW
Junior Seat I-II), booster seat
(made for small children aged
four to six years; at BMW, this
is known as BMW Junior Seat
II-III) and booster cushion (for
children aged six to 11 years; at
BMW, these are known as BMW
Booster Cushions).
Lebanese students win Grand
Award in Intel science contest
Economist to present
lecture at TAMUQ
tudents from Lebanon
who created the �Autocool’ project won the
Grand Award for the best overall
project at the п¬Ѓfth Intel Science
Competition Arab World 2014
held in Qatar for the п¬Ѓrst time.
The solar powered cooler
aims to maintain a car’s interior temperature at an acceptable condition when
parked in sunlight.
A project which focuses on
CYP2C19 polymorphisms in
the Saudi population bagged
the second place. It proposed
a clinical response to Clopidogrel, an oral, thienopyridine-class antiplatelet agent
used to inhibit blood clots in
coronary artery disease.
Tunisian students’ invention which uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to
develop an operating system
for head-mounted displays was
awarded third place.
“The students have demonstrated
knowledge and application
in the science, technology,
engineering and maths or
known as STEM subjects,”
said Dr Ayman Bassil, head
One of the winning students from Lebanon receiving the Grand
Award at the closing ceremony of the fifth Intel Science
Competition Arab World 2014 in Doha. He was joined by (from
left) Rabea Mohammed al-Kaabi, undersecretary of the Ministry
of Education and Higher Education in Qatar; Dr Thomas
Zacharia, executive vice president of Research and Development
at Qatar Foundation; Dr Wyatt Hume, executive director of
Education, Training and Development at Qatar Foundation; and
Ferruh Gurtus, corporate affairs group director, Intel Corporation.
of research training at Qatar
Foundation’s Research and
He added that it is important for students to take their
passion and enthusiasm for
science demonstrated during
this competition back to their
home countries.
Bassil hopes many of them
will be inspired to pursue a
career in science, technology
or innovation.
The event has gathered more
than 100 students from nine
countries across the Middle
East and North Africa competing in six scientific categories.
Participants presented their
projects in front of international judges at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
r Miles Kimball, professor of economics
and survey research at
the University of Michigan,
USA, will present a talk, “How
Subordinating Paper Money
to Electronic Money Can End
Recessions and End Inflation,”
at Texas A&M University at
Qatar (TAMUQ) on Monday.
The lecture is hosted by the
Liberal Arts Programme at
Dr Troy Bickham, chair,
Liberal Arts Programme, said:
“We are very excited about
hosting Dr Kimball for this
lecture as it highlights the
broad interests of our students and further underlines
that social sciences, arts and
humanities are an important
part of engineering education
at Texas A&M.”
Kimball writes the blog
Confessions of a Supply Side
Liberal and earned a PhD from
Harvard University in 1987.
His expertise is in the areas
of macroeconomics, economics of uncertainty, cognitive
economics and labour. Research includes business cycle
theory, utility theory, eco-
Dr Miles Kimball
nomics of uncertainty, survey
measures of preference parameters, economics of happiness, origins of preferences,
consumption, labour supply,
risk aversion, investment, and
technology shocks.
In his abstract, Kimball
said that it has long been
taken for granted that paper
currency earns a zero interest rate, making it difficult to
lower other interest rates more
than a fraction of a percent
below zero.
Moderating the talk and discussion will be Dr Khalid Rashid Alkhater, director of research
and monetary policy at Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and a
member of the Monetary Policy
Committee and the Investment
Committee at QCB.
Dr Mohamed al-Maitami
Silatech man joins
new Yemen govt
Dr Mohamed al-Maitami, who
served for four years as senior
representative of Doha-based
Silatech, has been named
Yemen’s minister of planning
and international co-operation
under the new government of
Prime Minister Khaled Bahhah
announced recently.
Dr al-Maitami is an economist
and professor at the University
of Sana’a. In addition to Silatech,
he has held positions with
Georgetown University (US),
the Yemeni Centre for Studies
and Research and the Economic
Research Forum.
Silatech is a regional social
initiative focused on improving
employment and enterprise
opportunities for young people
throughout the Arab world.
During Dr al-Maitami’s tenure
with Silatech, the organisation
pioneered a variety of job
training, microfinance and
enterprise development
programmes that benefited tens
of thousands of Yemeni youth.
Silatech CEO Dr Tarik M Yousef
said, “Yemen was one of the
first countries in which Silatech
programmes had a strong presence
and Dr al-Maitami played a leading
role in fostering close partnerships
for us there. Yemen faces serious
challenges but I am confident that
with his experience and knowledge,
Dr al-Maitami will serve Yemen well.
We at Silatech offer him our heartfelt
congratulations and look forward to
strengthening our partnerships in
Founded in 2008 by HH Sheikha
Moza bint Nasser, Silatech is a
dynamic social initiative that
works to create jobs and expand
economic opportunities for
young people throughout the
Arab world. Silatech, which
means �your connection,’
finds innovative solutions to
challenging problems, working
with a wide spectrum of NGOs,
governments and the private
sector to foster sustainable,
positive change for Arab youth.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Internet �smart filtering’ in Iran soon: minister
ran will have “smart filtering” within six months to
weed out Internet content
the authorities deem offensive
or criminal, the telecommunications minister said yesterday.
Tehran already blocks access
to popular websites including
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
to stop Iranians from surfing
content seen as immoral or undermining the Islamic regime.
Mahmoud Vaezi’s remarks
come just days after a body
tasked with policing the Internet
ordered his ministry to regularise the use of Instagram within
two months or access to it would
be blocked.
Last month, Iran prevented ac-
cess to an Instagram page devoted
to the lifestyle of Tehran’s young
elite that stirred indignation in
the sanctions-hit country.
In September, the judiciary
gave the government a month
to ban messaging applications
Viber, Tango and WhatsApp over
insults to Iranian officials, but
they remain accessible.
Internet censorship is a bone
of contention between conserv-
ative hardliners and government
members including President
Hassan Rohani who use social
Rohani, a moderate, has called
Internet censorship counterproductive, but ultra-conservatives who control key institutions disagree.
Vaezi said “the first phase of
smart online п¬Ѓltering will be
ready within a month, a second
phase within three months and
a third within six months”, the
Isna news agency reported.
In September, Fars news agency quoted him as saying ministry
engineers were working on ways
to remove “criminal” content
from social networks.
At the time, a police official
said that “smart filtering of social networks” would be better
than blocking the Internet so us-
ers could still benefit “from the
useful” aspect of the web.
Iran formed a special Internet
police unit in early 2011 to combat “cyber crimes”, particularly
on social networking sites which
are popular among the opposition and dissidents.
The unit came under harsh
criticism, and its chief was
sacked in December 2012 after
blogger Sattar Beheshti died in
custody, triggering an international outcry over reports he was
tortured to death after criticising
the Iranian regime in his posts.
Official п¬Ѓgures show that
more than 30mn people out of
Iran’s total population of 75mn
use the Internet.
A recent study found that
69% of young users use illegal
software to bypass official restrictions.
Despair fuels
violence in
riot-hit area
of Jerusalem
he stench of teargas,
burnt tyres and “skunk”
riot control liquid п¬Ѓlls the
air in an East Jerusalem district
shaken by months of clashes
between Palestinian youths and
Israeli forces.
Along with the foul odours
there is a sense of despair in Issawiya, a neighbourhood of
20,000 people where a lack of
prospects for young Palestinians
fuels frustration and violence.
“The youths here have no future. The town has no future,”
local council member Mohamed
Khader Abu el-Hummus said.
Issawiya, which lies in a valley east of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, has been
the scene of near-daily clashes
since July, when Jewish extremists burned alive a Palestinian
teenager in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teenagers in
the West Bank.
Local activist Raed Abu Riyaal
said that since July, 150 youths—
including minors—had been arrested for violent clashes with
Fearing a wider outbreak, police have combined forces with
the Jerusalem municipality to
crack down, п¬Ѓning residents for
previously ignored misdemeanours, from parking and traffic to
business and construction violations.
But far from quelling tensions,
the Israeli measures—along with
the police closure of three of the
district’s four entrances with
concrete blocks—are perceived
as unjust punishment for the
youth uprising.
“This is collective punishment,” Abu Riyaal said, noting
the difficulties the town’s 3,000
youths now face on their way to
high school.
Residents have appealed to Israel’s supreme court against the
closure, with the state due to п¬Ѓle
its response by Wednesday.
At a new makeshift police
camp at the entrance to Issawiya
on Thursday, officers put on helmets and riot gear while others
mounted horses.
A surveillance balloon, recently launched by the Jerusalem municipality, loomed in its
п¬Ѓxed spot overhead.
A senior policeman was telling
local leaders in Arabic that parents were responsible for their
children and they must keep
them at home to prevent clashes.
Residents of the district had
traditionally been farmers, but
Israeli expropriations of lands
for nearby settlements and roads
have reduced their lands from
3,100 acres to 500 on which they
Israeli authorities also plan to
use land near Issawiya for a national park—a move critics say is
designed to prevent the expansion of the crowded neighbourhood.
The main entrance leading to
the next-door Israeli settlement
of French Hill, where many residents of Issawiya work, has been
cut off by concrete blocks.
At a recent demonstration,
hundreds of marchers called for
an end to the restrictions.
Most were locals, but there
were also Israeli activists who
turned out to show solidarity
with the people of Issawiya.
As they marched they held up
signs reading “No to collective
punishment” and “You are turning Issawiya into a big jail.”
“We can’t work anymore.
There are non-stop clashes,”
Abu Abed al-Joabe, a baker, said.
Residents feel they cannot escape the raging violence.
The Jamjum family’s house
caught п¬Ѓre after being hit by
teargas canisters and stun grenades.
Moatasem, 39, recounted taking his paralysed father from bed
and rushing him to the nearby
Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital as firefighters battled the
“When I returned from hospital, the house had been totally
burnt,” he said.
Palestinian worshippers walk outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al Aqsa mosque compound after Friday prayers yesterday.
Israel relaxes curbs at
Aqsa after Kerry talks
Police say 40,000
worshippers attended Friday
prayers, which passed off
without incident
srael eased restrictions at
Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque
yesterday after US Secretary
of State John Kerry announced
an agreement on steps to reduce
tensions at the flashpoint compound.
The site has been the focus
of months of unrest in annexed
Arab East Jerusalem that has
spread to the occupied West
Bank and Arab communities
across Israel, raising fears of a
new Palestinian uprising.
The Palestinians have been
infuriated by a far-right Jewish
campaign for prayer rights at Al
Aqsa that threatens an ultra-sensitive, decades-old status quo.
The violence prompted Kerry
to hold a flurry of meetings with
the two sides in neighbouring
Jordan on Thursday, after which
he announced unspecified confidence-building measures.
Men of all ages were allowed entry for Friday prayers
at Al Aqsa for the п¬Ѓrst time in
“months”, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“It’s been four months that I
haven’t been able to pray at Al
Aqsa on Friday, even during the
holy month of Ramadan,” Amir,
18, from East Jerusalem’s volatile
Silwan neighbourhood said.
Police said 40,000 worshippers attended the prayers, which
passed off without incident.
Rosenfeld linked the decision
to lift age restrictions to Kerry’s
talks in Jordan with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
King Abdullah II.
“Firm commitments” were
made to maintain the status quo,
Kerry said at a news conference
with Jordanian Foreign Minister
Nasser Judeh.
Israel and Jordan, which has
custodial rights at the compound, also agreed to take steps
to “de-escalate the situation” in
Jerusalem and to “restore confidence”.
“We are not going to lay out
each practical step. It is more
important they be done in a quiet
and effective way,” Kerry said.
“It is clear to me that they are
serious about working on the effort to create de-escalation and
to take steps to instil confidence
that the status quo will be upheld.”
Kerry met separately in Amman with Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, who he said
also committed to help calm
“President Abbas and I...
discussed constructive steps,
real steps—not rhetoric but real
steps that people can take—in
order to de-escalate the situa-
tion and create a climate where
we can move forward in a positive and constructive way,”
Kerry said.
“President Abbas strongly
restated his п¬Ѓrm commitment
to non-violence, and he made
it clear that he will do everything possible to restore calm
and to prevent the incitement of
violence and to try to change the
German Foreign Minister
Frank-Walter Steinmeier is also
due in the Palestinian territories and Israel from today for
talks with leaders on both sides,
a spokesman in Berlin said yesterday.
A preacher at Al Aqsa yesterday denounced “Israeli aggression” in his sermon piped over
Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on
Wednesday he would order the
installation of metal detectors at
the entrances to the compound
along with facial-recognition
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head
of the Islamic Waqf which runs
the compound, rejected the idea.
An Israeli human rights group
yesterday accused the police and
paramilitary border police of
“serious irregularities” in dispersing Palestinian protests in
East Jerusalem.
An 11-year-old Palestinian
boy was wounded in the Issawiya neighbourhood on Thursday
when a so-called sponge round
hit him between the eyes during
clashes, medics said.
“Regulations stipulate that
foam-tipped bullets must only
be aimed at the lower body,” the
Association for Civil Rights in
Israel said.
“Yet the testimonies we have
received... indicate that police
forces operating in East Jerusalem have п¬Ѓred at, and hit the
faces of, residents and journalists,” it added.
Yemen rebels seize
Qaeda stronghold
Thousands of southern Yemenis perform Friday prayers following a demonstration demanding separation from the north in Aden yesterday.
Houthi п¬Ѓghters backed by
government forces drove
the local wing of Al Qaeda from
one of its last strongholds in
central Yemen yesterday in intense п¬Ѓghting that killed at least
35 people, tribal sources said.
The Houthis’ Ansarullah
movement has become the main
political force in Yemen since
capturing Sanaa in September
and then pushing south and west
into the Sunni Muslim heartland
of Al Bayda province, where Ansar al-Shariah has allied itself
with local tribes.
Tribal sources said the Houthis
had met stiff resistance as they
pushed towards the village of
Khobza district using Katuysha
rockets and heavy artillery.
They said at least 25 Houthis
and 10 Ansar al-Shariah and
tribal п¬Ѓghters had died in the
п¬Ѓghting, which began on Thursday afternoon. Ansar al-Shariah
and its allies withdrew to Yakla
district, on the border with
Maarib province.
The fighting has given Yemen’s strife a sectarian slant as
Sunni tribes have lined up with
Ansar al-Shariah, the local affiliate of Al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP), which views
Shias such as the Houthis as
Last month, an Al Qaeda suicide bomber killed at least 47
people, mostly members of the
Houthi group, as they prepared
to stage a rally in Sanaa.
The rise of the Houthis has
challenged the authority of
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour
Hadi, and violence has continued despite UN-backed efforts
to п¬Ѓnd a political solution.
Instability in Yemen, which
lies next to key shipping routes
from the Suez Canal to the Gulf,
stems from the 2012 overthrow
of long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been accused of backing the rebels.
A new cabinet, including
members considered close to
the Houthis, was sworn in on
Sunday in a bid to resolve the
political crisis, despite calls for a
boycott from both Saleh and the
Shia militia.
Meanwhile, thousands rallied
yesterday for independence in
the main southern city of Aden
waving the flags of the former
South Yemen.
“Raise your voice southerner—it’s death or independence,”
they chanted.
Emboldened by the Houthis
expansion in the north, southern activists began a campaign
of protests last month, including
an indefinite sit-in in Aden.
The south was independent
between the end of British colonial rule in 1967 and union with
the north in 1990.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Jordan takes anti-IS battle to Internet, mosques
ordan is cracking down on
п¬Ѓrebrand preachers and online extremism to tackle
militants after joining US-led
air strikes on the Islamic State
The desert kingdom shares
borders with conflict-hit Iraq
and Syria, and is struggling to
cope with hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, adding
to its own problems with homegrown Islamists.
Its decision in September to
join the anti-IS coalition has
put Jordan in even graver danger,
but authorities insist its borders
are secure and have launched a
sweep against militants that extends to the Internet.
“Jordan is waging a war
against jihadist ideology and
amended the anti-terrorism
law... because the Internet has
become the main tool for mobilising and recruiting” militants, said analyst Hasan Abu
Since joining the anti-IS п¬Ѓght,
“130 IS sympathisers have been
arrested, most of them members
of Salafist groups”, said defence
lawyer Mussa Abdalat.
“Only 50 of them have been
brought to trial before the state
security court... while the rest
are still awaiting prosecution,”
Abdalat said.
But for those already convicted or facing trials at military tribunals, the charge has often been
the same: spreading the ideology
of a terrorist group on the Internet.
Authorities have also moved
to bring some of the country’s
nearly 6,000 mosques under
tighter control by weeding out
preachers who deliver п¬Ѓery promilitant sermons.
“We have stopped 25 imams
from preaching because they violated regulations,” Ahmad Ezzat, the spokesman for the ministry of religious endowments
and Islamic affairs, told AFP.
“Some of them tried to use
the minbar (pulpit) for political
reasons while others used it to
propagate extremist ideas,” he
Jordan’s ministry of Islamic affairs appoints imams, pays their
salaries and monitors their sermons. Preachers must refrain
from making political statements
as well as saying anything that
could undermine the sovereignty
of the state or fan civil unrest.
Egypt has also moved to control mosques by laying out the
theme of sermons on Fridays, as
it faces growing unrest following
the military’s ouster last year of
the Islamist president Mohamed
Authorities say 1,300 Salafists
are п¬Ѓghting in the ranks of IS,
which has declared an Islamic
“caliphate” on territory it has
seized in Iraq and Syria.
They are estimated to number
4,000 in Jordan itself.
Hundreds are followers of
Al Qaeda’s Syria franchise, Al
Nusra Front, but many switched
allegiance to back the Islamic
State group when Jordan joined
the US-led coalition.
“The war on terror is a continuous process, (fought) on three
fronts,” government spokesman
Mohamed Momeni said.
These were “direct military
confrontation, security efforts
to monitor terrorist organisa-
tions... and religious awareness” in places like schools and
mosques “to eradicate extremist
Jordan passed its first antiterrorism law in 2006, when Al
Qaeda suicide attacks on three
Amman hotels killed 60 people.
In April parliament adopted
controversial measures to tighten the noose, as fears grew that
the more than three-year war in
Syria could spill over and threaten the kingdom’s security.
These criminalised “the use of
information technology, the Internet or any means of publication... to facilitate terrorist acts
or back groups that promote,
support or fund terrorism”.
On Monday two Jordanians
were sentenced to п¬Ѓve years each
for IS membership and two others for allegedly posting promilitant comments and articles
Last month former Al Qaeda
mentor Issam Barqawi, also
known as Abu Mohamed alMaqdessi, was arrested only
four months after being released
from jail.
Barqawi, who was once mentor to Iraq’s slain Al Qaeda leader
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was
jailed again after the state prosecutor accused him of using the
Internet to promote Al Nusra
Iraq retakes
strategic town
from militants
Soldiers, police, Shia
militiamen and tribesmen
were all involved in the
operation to retake Baiji,
and are now pushing farther
north, an official says
raqi forces recaptured the
strategic town of Baiji yesterday in a significant victory
over the Islamic State group.
Baiji is the largest town to be
retaken by government troops
since IS-led militants overran
much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland in June, subsequently declaring an Islamic “caliphate” in
Iraqi and Syrian territory.
The northern town, which had
been out of government control
for months, is located near Iraq’s
largest oil refinery on the main
highway to the IS-held second
city of Mosul.
Its recapture further isolates
militants farther south in the city
of Tikrit, the hometown of executed dictator Saddam Hussain, although IS still controls large parts
of Iraq as well as swathes of Syria.
“Iraqi forces were able to regain complete control of the
town of Baiji,” Ahmed al-Krayim, the head of the Salaheddin
provincial council, said.
Soldiers, police, Shia militiamen and tribesmen were all involved in the operation to retake
Baiji, and are now pushing farther north, Krayim said.
“Iraqi forces are on their way
to the Baiji refinery,” north of the
town, where security forces have
held out against repeated militant attacks, he said.
Breaking through to the massive refinery would be another
significant win for the government in Baghdad.
The operation to retake Baiji
began more than four weeks ago
when security forces and progovernment п¬Ѓghters started advancing towards the town from
the south, slowed by bombs militants had planted on the way, and
п¬Ѓnally entered on October 31.
The nearby Baiji refinery once
produced some 300,000 barrels of refined petroleum products per day, meeting 50% of
the country’s needs, but it would
take time before it could be
brought back online.
The town’s recapture was
marred by a suicide bombing
yesterday that targeted a military
command headquarters set up at
Tikrit University, south of Baiji,
killing at least four people, army
officers said.
Baghdad was also hit by violence yestrday, when two car
bombs killed at least 17 people and
wounded at least 57, officials said.
One explosion went off near
the Tigris River in the Graiat
area, killing at least seven people. The other struck near a restaurant in the Adhamiyah district, killing 10, they said.
Baghdad is hit by near-daily
bombings and shootings that kill
hundreds of people each month.
And security forces, despite
being deployed at checkpoints
and other positions across
the city, are consistently un-
able to prevent the attacks.
Iraqi troops initially struggled
to regain ground from IS after the
start of the militant offensive.
But helped by US-led air
strikes, support from Shia militias and Sunni tribesmen, assistance from international advisers, and a significant reshuffling
of top officers, Baghdad’s forces
have begun to make progress.
repeatedly said that it will not deploy
“combat troops” to Iraq, though
top US military officer General
Martin Dempsey said on Thursday that sending small teams of
US troops into combat with local
forces remained an option.
The US has already announced
plans to send up to 3,100 military personnel to Iraq to advise
and train its forces and protect
American facilities.
IS released an audio message
on Thursday it said was from its
chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—
rumoured to have been wounded
or killed in air strikes—in which
he vowed the group will continue
to expand and draw its enemies
into combat on the ground.
Dempsey also predicted that if
the government in Baghdad fails
to follow through on promises to
bring the country’s Sunni Arab
and Kurdish minorities back into
the fold, “then the Iraqi security
forces will not hold together”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar
al-Abadi’s government has made
progress on one of those fronts,
reaching an initial agreement with
the country’s autonomous Kurdish region to ease long-running
disputes over п¬Ѓnances and oil.
Mourners carry the coffins of members of an Iraqi Shia militia, who were killed in clashes with Islamic State fighters near Diyala province,
during a funeral procession in Najaf, southern Iraq, yesterday.
Islamic State committing
war crimes: UN inquiry
he Islamic State group
is committing crimes
against humanity on a
large scale in Syria, a UN report
said yesterday, painting a horrific picture of beheaded minors
and women held as sex slaves.
In its п¬Ѓrst report focused on
acts by the IS group, the independent UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said massacres,
beheadings, torture, sexual enslavement and forced pregnancy
were now part of life in areas of
the war-ravaged country under
the control of the extremists.
“The commanders of ISIS
have acted wilfully, perpetrating these war crimes and crimes
against humanity,” head of the
commission Paulo Pinheiro, a
Brazilian diplomat, told reporters, using an alternative acronym for IS.
“They are individually criminally responsible for these
crimes,” he stressed, calling on
the perpetrators to be brought
to justice, for instance before the
International Criminal Court.
Based on more than 300 interviews with people inside or who
have fled areas under the control of the militants, the report
paints a chilling picture of life
under its rule.
The investigators also relied
on documents, photographs
and video footage released by
the IS group itself, and Pinheiro
said that by “documenting their
own crimes” the group would
be more easily brought to justice
one day.
The IS group, which has declared an Islamic “caliphate” in
an area spanning eastern Syria
and northern Iraq, is seeking to
“subjugate civilians under its
control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror,
(and) indoctrination”, the report
Massacres, the beheading of
boys as young as 15, amputations
and lashings in public squares
with residents—including children—forced to watch were on
the list of crimes.
There was also the widespread use of child soldiers,
stoning women to death for
suspected adultery and holding women as sexual slaves and
forcing them to bear children to
the fighters.
One person who fled the
group’s stronghold Raqqa told
investigators he had seen a man
punished in a public square for
“Two people held the victim tightly while a third man
stretched his arm over a large
wooden board. A fourth man cut
off the victim’s hand,” the witness said.
“It took a long time,” he said.
“One of the people who was
standing next to me vomited and
passed out due to the horrific
Others described scenes of
still-bleeding bodies hanging
from crosses and of heads placed
on spikes along park railings.
One man said he witnessed
the killing of a 16-year-old boy
in Al Ashara. The boy’s body was
hung on a cross in a public square
“for people to see what it looks
like to be punished by ISIS”.
�Drift racing’ offers a respite from war
s cars roar around a track on the
outskirts of Damascus, motorsport fans for a moment forget
the misery of Syria’s civil war and revel
in the thrill of the race.
For the first time since Syria’s devastating conflict broke out in March
2011, the capital’s regular “drift racing” championship has returned this
For the fans, and for drivers like Zaher Dahkul, the Friday races offer a rare
chance to switch off from the violence.
“The most beautiful thing about
this sport is that when you put on your
helmet and fasten your seatbelt, you
can just forget about all the country’s
problems,” said Dahkul, a championship hopeful who has won several local
and international prizes.
Last organised in 2010, the races
were once a regional draw, attracting drivers and hundreds of fans from
across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
In the past month, drift racers have
brought the championship back to life
on Fridays, with the number of contestants rising steadily.
Brought to wider attention by The
Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift—the
2006 entry in the popular Hollywood
racing film franchise—“drifting” involves drivers forcing their cars to
slide sideways during turns and makes
for spectacular races.
Some of the drivers are professionals, but many are amateurs, paying to
A driver takes part in a drift race organised by the Syrian automobile club
in Damascus.
enter the race and using their regular
Close to the Damascus airport road,
the privately owned Zaman al-Khair
(Good Times) racing circuit was until
recently closed by п¬Ѓghting between
rebel forces and President Bashar alAssad’s regime.
But the area around the airport fell
squarely back under government control in recent weeks and now the races
and their fans have returned.
“Everyone is happy that the races
are back,” 18-year-old university student Mohamed al-Afghani said, excitedly watching a recent race despite the
Syria’s war has left more than
195,000 people dead, forced millions
from their homes and thrown more
than half the population into poverty.
Afghani said he would love to join
the race with his own vehicle but he
cannot afford the 3,000 Syrian pound
($15) entry fee.
“I don’t have the resources. I barely
have enough to support myself,” he said.
Organisers were still able to attract
20 contestants to a recent race, which
they described as “an amazing turnout”.
One of the organisers, Khaled alAtassi, said the Syrian automobile
club he once headed started organising drifting championships “because
of their popularity, and because of
their relatively low cost in comparison
to other car races”.
Atassi said he hopes the competition will be a stepping stone to bringing back other, bigger races, like the
yearly Discover Syria rally that was
launched in 2003 but interrupted
when the war began.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
3 Lebanon
troops hurt
in bomb
in France’
Grenoble, France
lgerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika, 77,
has been admitted to
hospital in the southeastern
French town of Grenoble, a
French government source
said yesterday.
The clinic did not offer a
reason for his hospitalisation nor give an update on
his condition but Bouteflika
has been in poor health since
2013 when he was treated for
a “mini-stroke” in Paris.
According to the regional newspaper Le Dauphine
Libere, Bouteflika was admitted in the cardiology unit
of a private clinic called the
Alembert. It said the entire
floor had been booked to ensure security.
About 35 anti-riot police were
deployed in and around the hospital and cordoned off the street.
A police source said Bouteflika discreetly flew into Grenoble on Thursday.
Bouteflika spent 80 days being treated for the mini-stroke
in 2013. He returned to Algiers
looking frail in a wheelchair in
July of that year and was not
seen in public for months. He
returned to Paris for more minor treatments in January.
That did not stop him
standing for election for a
fourth time in April 2014,
winning with more than 80%
of the vote. The opposition
refused to recognise the result.
He has been seen only
on rare occasions since. In
a break from tradition, he
failed to appear in public
for Eid al-Adha prayers last
His decision to seek a fourth
mandate after 15 years in power sparked both derision and
criticism from those who questioned his ability to rule after
the mini-stroke.
As early as 2005, he was hospitalised in Paris after suffering
an intestinal haemorrhage and
has never fully recovered.
However, Bouteflika still remains popular, being credited
with helping to end a devastating civil war in the 1990s
and contain Arab Spring protests in 2011.
A veteran of the war of independence against France,
Bouteflika first came to power in 1999.
His third term was dogged
not only by ill health but also
by corruption scandals.
And he has never freed
himself from the pervasive
control of the military, despite being determined to roll
back its influence and curb
the powers of its intelligence
heads, who have dominated
politics since independence.
“I’m not three-quarters
of a president,” he said af-
ter being first elected in
1999, addressing critics
who saw him as another
puppet of the military.
Despite his efforts, the
army and the DRS intelligence agency are still widely
considered to be the real
power in Algeria.
Bouteflika was born in Morocco on March 2, 1937 to a
family from western Algeria.
In 1956, he joined the National Liberation Front (FLN)
in its struggle against France.
At just 25, he became minister of sport and tourism under Algeria’s first president,
Ahmed Ben Bella.
From 1963 until 1979 he
was foreign minister.
A dapper п¬Ѓgure known for his
three-piece suit even in baking
Saharan conditions, Bouteflika is
respected by many for his role in
ending the civil war that killed at
least 150,000 people.
The military-backed government’s decision to cancel elections in 1991, which
an Islamist party had been
poised to win, sparked a decade of bloodletting.
Bouteflika proposed an amnesty for rebels who laid down
their arms and twice secured
public endorsement for “national
reconciliation” through referendums.
The first, in September
1999, was a major gamble but
paid off, leading to a sharp
decrease in violence that
Police stand yesterday in front of the Alembert clinic in Grenoble, where Bouteflika is believed to be
helped propel Bouteflika to a
second term in 2004.
The resignation shortly afterwards of Mohamed Lamari,
a Moscow-trained former
army chief and key proponent
of eradicating the armed Islamists, was a step forward in
curbing the military’s power.
And the 2007 death of General
Smain Lamari, a close ally of the
shadowy intelligence chief Mohamed “Tewfik” Mediene, the
powerful hidden force in Algerian
politics, was thought to further
strengthen Bouteflika’s hand.
Libya frees nine Turks detained by army
ibya yesterday released nine
Turks who had been captured by
the army and handed them over
to representatives from Ankara, a government statement said.
The men had been captured by troops
in the embattled eastern city of Benghazi, where former general Khalifa Haftar
has launched an offensive against Islamist militants.
A statement from the internationally
recognised government said the men
were freed in response to a request by
the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
They were handed over to Turkey in an
operation monitored by UNSMIL chief
Bernardino Leon, the statement said.
In June, more than 400 Turks were
evacuated from Libya following threats
by Haftar, who accuses Ankara of backing his Islamist opponents.
Most of those evacuated had been
working at a power station in the city of
Sirte, home town of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
A spokesman for Haftar, Mohamed
Hijazi, said “the army released the
Turkish nationals after making sure
that they were not involved” in fighting that has rocked Benghazi almost
daily since May.
Haftar launched an initial offensive
against Islamists in Libya’s second city
in May with no government support,
but in October, with Islamist militia
influence growing, he launched a new
campaign, this time backed by government troops.
Three years after Gaddafi was toppled
and killed in a Nato-backed revolt, Libya
is awash with weapons and powerful
militias, and run by rival governments
and parliaments.
Also yesterday, Libya’s rival government said it had seized an Airbus A300
at an airport in the oasis town of Ghadames, southwest of Tripoli, because it
was carrying “suspicious cargo”.
A statement said that seven crew
members—three Russians, two Ukrainians and two Tajiks—were also detained.
A spokesman for the internationally
recognised government, which is based
in the east, said the aircraft was carrying
“humanitarian aid” for southwestern regions of Libya.
Security personnel gather at the site of a bomb blast at a police checkpoint in Al Marj, east of Benghazi, yesterday.
Refugees risk Egypt deportation: Amnesty
ights group Amnesty International urged Egypt yesterday to
release dozens of mostly Palestinian refugees who have fled the
Syrian conflict, saying they were being held illegally and threatened with
Since the army removed Islamist
president Mohamed Mursi last year,
Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Egypt
suspected of supporting him have been
targeted by the authorities and the media.
Among at least 66 refugees currently
in detention is a group of 56 Palestin-
ians from Syria, rescued by the Egyptian
navy on an island 4km north of Alexandria and then arrested.
They were abandoned last month by
people smugglers who were to have arranged their passage to Europe, London-based Amnesty said.
“The public prosecutor ordered their
release on November 5, but the national
security department still issued them
with deportation orders. They are at imminent risk of forcible return to Syria,”
an Amnesty statement said.
It said at that least 15 women and children aged between eight months and 16
were in the group.
Five Palestinians who fled the Gaza
Strip after Israel’s summer offensive are
also in custody and face being returned
to the enclave, the rights group said.
“By unlawfully detaining dozens of
refugees and issuing them with deportation orders the Egyptian authorities have displayed a shocking level of
indifference to their suffering,” said
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s
deputy director for the Middle East
and North Africa.
“The Egyptian authorities are cruelly
flouting their international obligations
and Egypt’s constitution to offer protection and sanctuary to those seeking refuge in their country.”
Amnesty cited available information
as showing Egypt has deported this year
at least 150 refugees from Syria back
there or to other countries, including
Lebanon and Turkey.
But he never succeeded in
neutralising Mediene, despite steps to emasculate the
military intelligence agency in
Bouteflika’s third term in
2009 followed a constitutional amendment allowing
him to stand again.
His supporters argue that under his stewardship public and
private investment created millions of jobs and dramatically
lowered unemployment.
But a lack of opportunity
continues to drive many Al-
gerians abroad as youth unemployment remains high,
despite windfall oil revenues.
When the Arab Spring erupted
in January 2011, Algeria witnessed deadly unrest. A month
later, Bouteflika met an opposition demand and lifted a 19-year
state of emergency.
He also granted pay rises and
announced piecemeal political
But these won little opposition
support, and legislative elections
in May 2012 saw the FLN tighten
its control of parliament.
roadside bomb struck
a Lebanese army vehicle yesterday, wounding
three soldiers near the flashpoint
town of Arsal on the border with
Syria, the military said.
After the blast unidentified
gunmen on the outskirts of Arsal
opened п¬Ѓre on the troops, who
shot back, the army added.
“At around 9am (0700 GMT)
an explosive device hit a military vehicle as it was patrolling
around the town of Arsal. The
device was planted on the side
of the road. Three troops, among
them an officer, were wounded,”
it said in a statement.
It was the latest attack on the
army in an area that has been
targeted by insurgent groups
from Syria.
claimed responsibility for the
In August, the Sunni town of
Arsal saw a п¬Ѓerce battle pitting
the army against militants who
streamed in from Syria across
the Lebanese border.
Fighting ended with a truce
mediated by local clerics, but
the militants took with them 30
Lebanese army and police hostages. Three have since been
executed, and efforts to free the
rest have so far yielded no concrete result.
Lebanon is sharply divided
over the war in neighbouring
Syria, and has regularly seen
deadly battles linked to the conflict next door.
Most Sunnis support the revolt seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
while Shias generally back Damascus and its ally Hezbollah.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Burkina factions, army agree on make-up of govt
ilitary, opposition parties, civil and religious
leaders on Thursday
adopted a charter creating the
framework for a transitional government in Burkina Faso after a
popular uprising forced longtime
President Blaise Compaore from
The authority, which was approved unanimously, will return
the West African nation to civilian rule and guide it to elections
late next year.
Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida
declared himself head of state
on November 1 after Compaore
resigned and fled the country
last month amid mass protests
against his efforts to change the
constitution to seek re-election
in 2015 after 27 years in power.
The African Union last week
issued Burkina Faso a two-week
deadline to restore civilian rule
or face possible punishment,
though regional bloc ECOWAS
later advised against international sanctions.
“Today was the day of compromise,” said Herve Kam, a member
of the Balai Citoyen civil society
group. “Both soldiers and civilians agree on a civilian transition.
The institutions of the transition
will be led by civilians.”
The new head of state, who
will not be permitted to stand in
the elections, will be chosen by a
special college composed of eight
religious and traditional leaders
and п¬Ѓve members each from the
army, opposition and civil society.
The president will then name
a prime minister to appoint a
25-member government.
The charter also calls for a
90-member national transitional council to serve as a legislative
It will be composed of 30 opposition representatives and 25
members from both the civil society and the army.
The remaining 10 seats will
go to other political parties, including members of Compaore’s
former ruling coalition, which
did not participate in the negotiations.
Zida, who has repeatedly
pledged to hand over power to a
civilian authority, is expected to
enact the charter within days,
participants in the talks said.
“On all the points, even where
we had differences of opinion,
among Burkines we have reached
a consensus. We have a charter
that will be promulgated very
quickly,” opposition leader Zephirin Diabre said following the
plan’s adoption.
Boko Haram seizes town
of kidnapped schoolgirls
oko Haram has seized
the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok, from
where 276 girls were kidnapped
more than six months ago and
which the government vowed to
secure after the mass abduction.
The April 14 kidnapping in the
impoverished town in southern
Borno state brought unprecedented global attention to the
armed Islamist group’s brutal
п¬Ѓve-year uprising.
Heads of state and top celebrities joined a viral social media
campaign calling for the rescue
of the seized, mostly Christian,
schoolgirls, 219 of whom are still
being held.
Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan has repeatedly promised to rescue the schoolgirls,
including on Tuesday when he
launched his bid for a second
term in office ahead of February
14 polls.
In a July meeting in the capital Abuja with those affected by
the kidnapping, Jonathan and
top military brass also pledged
to provide better security for the
But the violence in the northeast has intensified since, with
Boko Haram reportedly seizing
more than two dozen towns and
Nigeria’s security forces report-
A screengrab taken on November 9 from a Boko Haram video shows
Boko Haram fighters parading on a tank in an unidentified town.
Children attend classes in a UNHCR camp for Nigerian refugees in Minawao, in the extreme northwest of
Cameroon. Almost 17,000 Nigerians in this camp have fled their country, terrified of raids by Boko Haram.
edly absent in many areas.
The military was not immediately available to comment on the
developments in Chibok.
Given Chibok’s symbolic significance, its fall raised fresh
doubts about the Nigerian government’s whole approach to
the abduction – and its ability to
handle the Boko Haram threat.
Mali tries to trace over
200 Ebola contacts
ali is trying to trace
at least 200 contacts
linked to confirmed and
probable Ebola victims in an effort to control its second Ebola
outbreak, health officials said
An initial batch of contacts
linked to a two-year-old from
Guinea who died of Ebola last
month were close to the end of
their 21-day quarantine period
when Mali confirmed its second
case this week.
There have been at least four
more suspected Ebola deaths, all
linked to an imam who entered
Mali from neighbouring Guinea
and died late last month with
Ebola-like symptoms that were
not recognised.
spokesman Marakatie Dow said a
woman who had helped wash the
imam’s body died on Thursday
at the Gabriel Toure Hospital in
Mali’s capital, Bamako.
Dow said an initial Ebola test
result for the woman was positive, making her the fourth clinically confirmed Malian case, al-
though further analysis would be
carried out abroad.
“There are 200 contacts if we
add those linked to the case of
the woman yesterday,” Dow told
Reuters journalists outside the
Nenecarre mosque in Bamako’s
Djikoroni Para neighbourhood,
where the imam’s body was
washed, said four health workers in protective gear entered
the mosque to disinfect it but no
effort was made to stop people
from entering for Friday prayers.
A World Health Organisation spokesman said more than
250 contacts were being traced
across four locations.
These included the Pasteur
Clinic where the imam was
treated – not connected to the
Institut Pasteur, a French-based
institute specialising in infectious diseases – as well as a house
in Bamako that he visited and the
home of a nurse who treated him
and died.
Mali is the sixth nation to have
confirmed Ebola in West Africa,
which is battling the world’s
worst epidemic of the haemorrhagic fever.
At least 5,160 people have been
killed since it erupted in March.
Three killed in military helicopter crash
A Nigerian military helicopter crashed and exploded on Thursday,
killing all three crew on board in the northeast region of the country
where the army is battling Boko Haram Islamist insurgents, the army
and witnesses said.
The incident occurred in an area where there were no immediate
reports of combat or of Boko Haram activity.
Boko Haram, which seeks to establish a caliphate in religiously mixed
northern Nigeria, has stepped up attacks since the government
announced a purported ceasefire last month which was later rejected
by the group’s leader.
“A ground attack helicopter on an armed patrol crashed around the
Federal University of Technology Yola, Adamawa State. The crew
of three was lost in the ill-fated accident,” the army said in a short
statement on its website.
“For Chibok to have fallen,
after everything that has happened, it just underscores the
mess we are in,” Emman Usman
Shehu, a regular on the Bring
Back Our Girls protest marches
in Abuja, told AFP. “Chibok is
also symbolic for Boko Haram. It
should have been obvious to everyone that Boko Haram was going
to target Chibok. It shows a lack
of compassion, a lack of empathy
and a lack of concern.”
“Chibok was taken by Boko
Haram. They are in control,” said
Enoch Mark, a Christian pastor
whose daughter and niece are
among the hostages being held.
Mark and the senator for
southern Borno, Ali Ndume, said
that the militants attacked about
4pm (1500 GMT) on Thursday,
masts and forcing residents to
Ndume said that he had received calls from fleeing residents about the attack that the
town “was now under their (Boko
Haram) control”.
“There is no telephone service now in Chibok, which is why
it took time before the reports
reached me,” he added.
Mark said the attack on the
town appeared to come after
Boko Haram overran the towns of
Hong and Gombi in neighbouring Adamawa state following the
group’s ouster from the commercial hub of Mubi.
Boko Haram invaded the two
towns after vigilantes and hunt-
ers armed with home-made
guns, bows and arrows, machetes, clubs and spears forced them
out of Mubi, residents said late
on Thursday.
The militants had previously
renamed the town Madinatul Islam or “City of Islam” in Arabic
and began administering their
strict version of Shariah, including amputations for suspected
Gombi is 145km by road from
Mark said Chibok residents,
many of whom had stayed hoping
for their daughters’ return, fled
when the shooting started and
telecom towers were destroyed
by rocket-propelled grenades.
At the July meeting with
Jonathan, Chibok community
leaders stressed that aside from
Under Compaore, Burkina
Faso has emerged as a regional
power broker and key Western
ally against Islamist militants.
France has a special forces unit
and surveillance drones based
there as part of a regional counter-terrorism operation.
The country, which is emerging as one of Africa’s top gold
producers, also mediated crises
in neighbouring Mali and Ivory
Jonathan: has repeatedly
promised to rescue the
kidnapped girls.
the trauma of the mass kidnapping, locals remained in daily fear
of attack and pleaded for more
Ayuba Chibok, whose niece is
among the hostages, said at the
time that people told the head
of state that they “were tired of
sleeping in the bushes”.
Chibok elders told AFP in a
series of phone calls in recent
months that security had deteriorated, despite the promises
made at the meeting.
A senior rescue worker warned
late last month that Chibok’s fall
was imminent.
Pogo Bitrus, chairman of the
elders’ forum in Chibok, also
confirmed the attack but said
Boko Haram may have had inside
information about security in the
The vigilantes’ leader had left
for Maiduguri to procure new
cartridges for his men’s shotguns
after supplies ran low, he said.
“He was due to come today, so
it looks like they knew what was
happening,” he said by telephone
from Abuja, adding that there
was no word on casualties. “Chibok is now a ghost town with
only Boko Haram in control.”
But Bitrus said the vigilantes
were preparing for a counterattack and troops had been deployed from Damboa, 36.5km
away by road to the northwest.
“I can assure you they are going to retake Chibok,” he added.
Zimbabwe ruling party suspends Mugabe critics
imbabwe’s ruling ZANUPF party suspended several senior officials aligned
to Vice-President Joice Mujuru
yesterday, weakening her position in an п¬Ѓerce battle to succeed ageing President Robert
A ZANU-PF politburo meeting, chaired by Mugabe, suspended national party spokesman Rugare Gumbo, expelled
war veterans leader Jabulani
Sibanda and endorsed the suspension of half the party’s provincial chairmen, citing “disciplinary issues”.
“All these decisions taken by
the politburo are with immediate effect,” ZANU-PF national
chairman Simon Khaya Moyo
told reporters.
He did not give details.
The suspended politicians
were seen as Mugabe critics and
have been accused by Mujuru’s
rivals, including Mugabe’s wife
Grace, of plotting a challenge to
Africa’s oldest leader at a congress set for next month.
The 90-year-old, who has
ruled the southern African
country since independence
from Britain in 1980, has been
nominated by all the party’s 10
provinces to retain his post as
party president at a congress
due in the п¬Ѓrst week of December.
Mujuru became Mugabe’s
deputy 10 years ago and denies
plotting against him,
However, political observers
say her denials appear only to
have fuelled a campaign in state
media to discredit her with reports of extortion and abuse of
Mujuru and Justice Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa are seen
as Mugabe’s most likely successors when he leaves the political
stage, experts say.
“It’s fair to say at this stage
that the suspensions ... from the
Mujuru camp have weakened
her quite significantly,” said Eldred Masunungure, a political
science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
Mujuru, a former guerrilla
known as “Spill Blood” during the 1970s independence
war, and Mnangagwa, generally called “The Crocodile”, have
both served in Mugabe’s cabinet
since 1980.
Mugabe won another п¬Ѓveyear term last year in a vote
condemned by the opposition
as a fraud and questioned by the
He is eligible for a п¬Ѓnal
term in 2018 but constant ru-
Mugabe: expected to retain his party presidency.
mours about failing health have
fanned an often vicious battle
to succeed him within his ruling
ZANU-PF party.
He has dismissed fears that
Zimbabwe could descend into
political chaos if he died in office.
Probe into S Africa Marikana killing comes to an end
Centurion, South Africa
amily members of 34
South African miners
killed at Marikana said
that they hoped the truth behind
the shooting would be revealed
as a two-year probe ended today.
The п¬Ѓndings will not be released until next year, but evidence put before the inquiry
badly tarnished the police claim
that they acted in self-defence
when they gunned down the
striking Lomin miners in August
“It’s been a long journey, but
we are very thankful for these
two years,” said Nosihle Ngweyi,
whose husband Michael was
killed after being shot twice by
police. “We hope the truth will
eventually come out.”
The August 16 shooting was
the worst violence witnessed in
South Africa since the advent of
democracy in 1994.
In the days before, 10 others were killed by some of the
strikers, including non-striking
miners, security guards, and two
police officers who were hacked
to death.
The Farlam Commission of
Inquiry was established by President Jacob Zuma to investigate
the events at Marikana.
It has the power to recommend certain individuals be
investigated and criminally
Family members of the victims gathered yesterday for a
prayer service after the commission adjourned for the п¬Ѓnal time.
Holding hands, they each
spoke the names of their lost
relatives, while Pretoria bishop
Jo Seoka prayed for the families
of those killed to “let their burden go and try to forgive”.
In the last week of the commission, the police argued the
strikers had acted treacherously
by bearing arms against the
“The South Africa we do not
want is one where public dissent
is expressed by groups of people bearing weapons and bent
on conflict and mayhem,” said
police lawyer Ishmael Semenya.
“We don’t want a South Africa
where industrial negotiations
that can be resolved through dialogue are left to fester until police intervention is inevitable.”
But lawyers representing the
survivors of the massacre lambasted this attitude, saying that
the police killed the miners in
revenge for the deaths of their
two colleagues days earlier.
“The police decided that
because their colleagues were
killed, to sentence these people to death,” said lawyer Dali
The police were also accused
of a widespread cover-up and “a
deliberate attempt to mislead”
the investigation.
Mining house Lonmin was
widely criticised during the inquiry for failing to engage with
the workers’ wage demands.
It has also been blamed for the
murders of its security guards
and non-striking miners.
“There was a cold and deliberate decision taken by Lonmin to instruct people to come
to work even though their lives
may be in danger, because of financial concerns,” said commission lawyer Geoff Budlender.
The mining house has denied
any responsibility.
Its lawyers said criticism of
the company’s handling of the
labour dispute “would essentially mount to criticism of Lonmin for having acted within the
legal framework”.
The commission has until
the end of March next year to
present a report to Zuma.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
US House passes Keystone bill but prospects unclear in the Senate
he Republican-led US
House of Representatives
approved the Keystone XL
pipeline yesterday, but a similar
measure struggled to get enough
support in the Senate and President Barack Obama indicated he
might use his veto if the bill does
get through Congress.
The legislation, approved by
to pledge
$3bn for
252 votes to 161, circumvents the
need for approval of TransCanada Corporation’s $8bn project
by the Obama administration,
which has been considering it for
more than six years.
House lawmakers were confident the Senate would follow suit
and pass its version of the bill.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican
Representative Bill Cassidy from
Louisiana, said before the vote
that the House would make it “as
easy as possible for the Senate to
Speaking at a news conference
in Myanmar yesterday, Obama
said his position on the 800,000
barrels per day pipeline had not
Obama, who has raised doubts
about how many jobs the pipeline would create and said that he
does not want to interfere with
the State Department review of
the issue, cited pending legal action in Nebraska.
The president said that it was
hard to evaluate the pipeline pro-
posal until the actual route was
The White House has not made
clear whether Obama would use
his veto to block the legislation
currently before Congress, but he
has threatened to use that power
in the past.
The congressional bills have
highlighted both the importance of the pipeline to Louisiana, whose economy is heavily
oil-dependent, and the fact that
the president cannot count on
full support from members of
his Democratic Party on some issues.
Democratic Senator Mary
Landrieu, the head of her chamber’s energy committee, is cosponsoring the Keystone bill in
the Senate with Republican John
Hoeven of North Dakota.
She is battling to retain her
Senate seat in a run-off election
against Cassidy on December 6,
after last week’s midterm elections.
Nuclear force �suffering’
from systemic problems
he US nuclear force is
plagued by declining morale, manpower shortages and mismanagement that
could jeopardise its safety and
effectiveness, Defence Secretary
Chuck Hagel said yesterday.
The Pentagon chief cited sobering results from two reviews
and said the military had neglected the nuclear force as it
had been preoccupied with wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan over the
past decade.
Reviews ordered by the Pentagon “found evidence of systematic problems that if not
addressed could undermine the
safety, security and effectiveness of elements of the force in
the future”, Hagel told reporters.
The findings showed “a consistent lack of investment and
support for our nuclear forces
over far too many years has left
us with too little margin to cope
with mounting stresses”, he said.
The inquiries urged an end to
excessive bureaucracy and “a
resident Barack Obama
will announce a $3bn US
contribution to an international fund to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change, an administration
official said yesterday.
The large size of the contribution took climate policy watchers by surprise and doubles what
other countries had previously
pledged ahead of a November 20
It would be the second major
move on climate change taken
by Obama after big Democratic
losses in last week’s midterm
Obama is expected to announce the pledge at this weekend’s meeting of G-20 industrial
nations in Australia.
The Green Climate Fund will
work with private sector investment and help spur global
markets in clean energy technologies, creating opportunities
for entrepreneurs and manufacturers including those from the
United States.
“The fund will be able to deploy innovative instruments.
That is the key distinguishing
characteristic of the GCF; it has
the opportunity to mobilise significant flows of private capital,”
Abyd Karmali, managing director of climate п¬Ѓnance at Bank of
America Merrill Lynch.
Rich countries had pledged
in 2009 to mobilise $100bn a
year by 2020 to help developing
countries tackle carbon emissions.
Earlier this week, Obama announced a climate deal with
China. The US will strive to cut
total greenhouse emissions by
about 25% by 2025, while China
will aim for a peak in greenhouse
gas emissions by 2030.
In the run-up to the global
climate talks in Paris next year,
developing nations view п¬Ѓnance
as a vital part of any deal.
Hela Cheikhrouhou, executive
director of the fund, lauded the
US pledge as a game-changer.
“It could have a domino effect
on all other contributions,” she
The US pledge roughly doubles the $3bn already promised
for the fund, which will hold a
first donors’ meeting in Berlin on
talists who say it would increase
carbon emissions linked to climate change.
Passage of the companion bill
was not assured in the Senate,
which is expected to take up the
measure on Tuesday.
Supporters were still one vote
shy of the 60 needed to overcome
a п¬Ѓlibuster, a blocking procedure,
an aide to a Keystone supporter
said yesterday.
The aide spoke on condition of
finally get a bill to the president’s
desk that approves this longoverdue Keystone XL pipeline”.
Approval for the pipeline,
which would help transport oil
from Canada’s oil sands to the
US Gulf coast energy hub, has
rested with the administration as
it crosses an international border.
The decision has been pending
amid jousting between proponents of the pipeline who say it
would create thousands of construction jobs and environmen-
culture of micromanagement”
marked by petty inspections, officials said.
Hagel unveiled an “action
plan” that calls for making the
nuclear force a higher priority, reorganising the command,
reassuring troops of the importance of the mission and boosting funding and personnel.
The moves came after a series of embarrassing revelations
about the state of the nuclear
force and land-based missiles
in particular, with dozens of airmen caught cheating on a proficiency test for overseeing intercontinental ballistic missiles
A number of senior nuclear
commanders also were disciplined for personal misconduct,
with the general in charge of the
ICBM force sacked after he went
on a drunken bender during a
trip to Russia.
Hagel said that troops who
work with nuclear weapons are
worried that they have no career
prospects in a military that often
seems indifferent to their mission.
“The root cause has been a
lack of sustained focus, attention and resources resulting in a
pervasive sense that a career in
the nuclear enterprise offers too
few opportunities for growth
and advancement,” he said.
To boost morale, the US Air
Force is giving a raise to ICBM
crews and issuing a new medal to
recognise excellence in “nuclear
deterrence operations”, officials
The Pentagon planned to ask
for a 10% annual increase in
funding for the nuclear force
over the next п¬Ѓve years, which
would come to at least $7.5bn,
Hagel said.
“We will need to make billions
of dollars of additional investments in the nuclear enterprise
over the next five years,” he said.
Most of the recent scandals
have been centred on the landbased missiles maintained by
Air Force crews, though the
Navy also had a cheating scandal among sailors who work on
submarines armed with nuclear
Hagel has granted permission
to the Navy to hire more civilians to help maintain its nucle-
Hagel announcing a series of reforms to the troubled nuclear force
during a press briefing with Air Force Global Strike Commander
Lieutenant-General Stephen Wilson (left) and Air Force Secretary
Debrah Lee James at the Pentagon.
ar-armed submarines and the
Air Force planned to add about
1,100 troops and civilians to its
nuclear command to п¬Ѓll manpower gaps, the Pentagon said.
Concerns about slipping
standards in the nuclear force
since the end of the Cold War
are not new, and Hagel’s predecessor, Robert Gates, ordered
a review in 2008 that came to
similar conclusions.
Asked why the problems had
been allowed to fester, Hagel
said the Pentagon had been focused on “two large ground
wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan
and the country had become
complacent about the role of the
destructive weapons.
“I think there’s been, nationally, a sense of just taking it for
granted. So what? There’s not
going to be a nuclear exchange,”
he said. “We just have kind of
taken our eye off the ball here.”
Hagel was due to travel to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, where airmen oversee intercontinental nuclear missiles
and bomber aircraft.
Arms control advocates argue
morale problems are inevitable
because the crews sense their
mission has become obsolete
with the collapse of the Soviet
America’s costly nuclear arsenal, which includes nucleararmed submarines, bomber aircraft and land-based missiles,
is far too large for the post-Cold
War era and should be scaled
back, said Kingston Reif of the
Washington-based Arms Control Association.
“The reality is that nuclear
weapons play an increasingly
limited role in US national security policy, but our arsenal is still
configured and sized for a Cold
War world that no longer exists,”
Reif said.
Takata hit with US criminal probe over exploding airbags
apanese auto parts maker
Takata said yesterday that
US justice authorities have
opened a criminal investigation
into its exploding airbags, which
have been linked to at least п¬Ѓve
driver deaths.
The Tokyo-based п¬Ѓrm said it
was “dealing with” a subpoena
from a grand jury in New York
targeting the defect, but declined to give further details.
“We have received it,” a Takata
spokesman said. “Of course, we
are dealing with it. We have also
received an instruction from
NHTSA (the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration in
the United States) to deal with
The US federal grand jury and
the NHTSA have told the п¬Ѓrm
to submit documents related to
airbag problems, Takata said.
The safety watchdog has ex-
panded its “urgent” warning to
owners of cars with affected airbags to take them to dealers to п¬Ѓx
the problem immediately.
Some 16mn vehicles produced
by 10 global automakers have
been recalled worldwide over
worries that their Takata airbags
can explode when inflating, firing potentially deadly shrapnel
at the car’s occupants.
The affected automakers are
Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Ford,
General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and
Four deaths in the United
States are thought to be related
to the problem and on Thursday, Honda said an exploding
airbag had also killed a woman
in Malaysia, as it recalled a further 170,000 vehicles worldwide
over the issue.
The 43-year-old pregnant
woman, whose unborn baby also
died, was involved in a head-on
collision on July 27 in Sarawak
state on the island of Borneo, ac-
This file photo taken on November 11 shows visitors looking at
displays of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corporation at a car
showroom in Tokyo. Japanese auto parts maker Takata said
yesterday that US justice authorities have opened a criminal
investigation into its exploding airbags, which have been linked to
at least five driver deaths.
cording to a local official.
Shrapnel from the Takatamade airbag was found lodged
in the dead woman’s neck, while
her unborn baby died several
days later in hospital.
“(Her) death was due to the
object which came out from the
airbag. No one else sustained
injuries in the crash,” the official
told AFP.
United States police reportedly investigated at least one
driver death as a murder due to
the victim’s grisly injuries, until
their focus switched to the vehicle’s airbag.
The US criminal investigation
comes as the 80-year-old п¬Ѓrm
faces lawsuits and regulatory
probes, although top executives
have been largely mute on the
mounting crisis.
“When companies put their
own profits ahead of the lives of
American consumers, they deserve to be held accountable to
the fullest extent of the law,” US
Senator Claire McCaskill said.
“I’m pleased the US Attorney has taken swift action here
to open a criminal probe,” the
Democrat lawmaker added.
The powerful Senate Commerce Committee has announced it will hold a hearing
next Thursday on the Takata
airbag case, including how the
company and US auto safety
regulators have tackled the issue
since the recalls began in 2008.
“The hearing will focus on
how defective Takata airbags
became installed in so many vehicles and the responses of both
auto makers and the NHTSA to
remedy the safety defect to protect consumers,” the committee
said in a statement.
Takata, whose Tokyo-listed
shares have lost about half their
value since an investigation
was opened in the summer, has
warned of a bigger-than-expected annual loss as a result of
the scandal.
In a statement late on Thursday, Takata said it had accounted
for costs tied to the recalls, but
could not predict its total п¬Ѓnancial liabilities.
Also on Thursday, Takata rejected a high-profile report that
claimed it had covered up the
results of tests on the faulty airbags a decade ago.
White House intruder review reveals Canadian gunman took a tour of
Parliament weeks before attack
string of security blunders: reports
n internal review of the
security lapses that allowed an intruder to
scale a fence and enter the White
House has revealed a string of
Secret Service blunders, reports
said on Thursday.
The New York Times cited a
Department of Homeland Security review which said “performance, organisational and
technical” failures had allowed
Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez
to evade security and make his
way into the building in September.
The review said that 42-yearold Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife during the incident,
could have been stopped by a
Secret Service officer who was
supposed to be stationed on the
North Lawn with an attack dog.
However, at the time Gonzalez scaled the fence and bolted
across the lawn, the officer in
question was sitting in his van
making a personal call on his
Because of this lapse, the attack dog was unable to “lock
onto” Gonzalez and “may not
have seen” him at all, the review
The intrusion was the most
serious incident in a string of
security lapses involving President Barack Obama, which ultimately led to the resignation
of Secret Service director Julia
Pierson in October.
Obama and his family had left
the White House shortly before
the intrusion took place.
The review found authorities had also failed to properly
investigate Gonzalez after he
had come to the attention of law
enforcement months earlier, the
Times reported.
Gonzalez was arrested on gun
charges in Virginia in July before being stopped again outside
the White House a month later
while carrying a hatchet.
He was not arrested on that
The review revealed that
Gonzalez was spotted by officers patrolling the street outside
the White House climbing over
a section of fencing missing an
ornamental spike.
They ordered him to stop and
drew their п¬Ѓrearms but elected
not to shoot because they did
not believe he was armed.
Another officer stationed
near the outer front door of the
White House also decided not to
use lethal force when confronted by Gonzalez because he did
not believe he was armed.
The officer did not follow
Gonzalez into the building because he believed the door was
locked and that the intruder was
cornered, the review said.
But the door was open, allowing Gonzalez to overpower a female officer stationed there.
Gonzalez entered the East
Room of the White House before exiting and charging down
a hallway.
He was eventually apprehended by two agents who had
just п¬Ѓnished their shifts.
he man who shot and killed
a Canadian soldier in October and then stormed
the country’s parliament with
a rifle before being shot down
himself, had taken a tour of the
building less than three weeks
earlier, a parliamentary spokeswoman said yesterday.
The information suggests that
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Muslim
convert who struggled with drug
addiction, may have planned the
October 22 attack well in advance.
Heather Bradley, spokeswoman for House of Commons
Speaker Andrew Scheer, confirmed that Zehaf-Bibeau is
shown on video footage taking a
tour of the Parliament building
on October 4.
Such tours take the public
into the central Hall of Honour,
down which Zehaf-Bibeau ran on
October 22 with a п¬Ѓrearm and a
knife, past the room where Prime
Minister Stephen Harper was
meeting with his Conservative
Zehaf-Bibeau was shot dead
outside the Library of Parliament
at the end of the Hall of Honour,
not far from the Conservative
caucus room and another room
where opposition New Democratic Party legislators were
Police have said Zehaf-Bibeau
made a video of himself beforehand, saying that he was motivated by his opposition to Canadian foreign policy.
Police said the video, which
has not been released to the public, also showed he had religious
The attack came the same
week that the Canadian government sent jet п¬Ѓghters to the Middle East to take part in air strikes
against Islamic State (IS) militants.
In the wake of Zehaf-Bibeau’s
attack, current and former intelligence and police officials told
Reuters that they did not have
the resources to track closely all
the Islamic extremists who may
pose a threat in Canada.
Police have said that ZehafBibeau was not under surveillance at the time of the attack.
A US government source told
Reuters that he was regarded as
a threat by Canadian authorities
but not enough to warrant constant surveillance.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Style statement
rails at UN
chief over
A model presents creations by British designer Zhandra Rhodes during the KL Fashion Weekend in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Rhodes presented her couture collection
in collaboration with Malaysia’s batik and handicraft centre Karyaneka.
Obama supports Suu Kyi’s
bid to change constitution
S President Barack Obama urged
Myanmar Friday to hold “free,
fair and inclusive” elections as he
threw his weight behind a bid by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to change
a constitution that bars her from the
Obama held talks with fellow Nobel
laureate Suu Kyi at her lakeside villa in
Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon,
after arriving from the capital Naypyidaw where he discussed the nation’s
troubled reform process with President
Thein Sein.
Speaking at a joint press conference he
warned Myanmar’s reforms since shedding outright military rule in 2011 were
by “no means complete or irreversible”
and called for “free, fair and inclusive”
elections in the nation, where Suu Kyi
and her party are set to contest crucial
polls next year.
Suu Kyi, who has publicly stated her
desire to be president, is barred from the
top office by a constitutional clause ruling out anyone with foreign spouse or
children from the presidency.
Her late husband and two sons are
British and the democracy champion is
seeking an amendment.
Using strong language, Obama took
up the issue telling reporters that “the
amendment process needs to reflect inclusion rather than exclusion.”
“I don’t understand the provision
that would bar somebody from running
for president because of who his (someone’s) children are.”
Suu Kyi, whose National League for
US President Barack Obama and opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi hold a press
conference after their meeting at her residence in Yangon yesterday.
Democracy (NLD) party is expected to
sweep polls in late 2015, branded the
contentious clause as “unfair, unjust and
undemocratic” adding “it is not right to
discriminate against one particular citizen”.
The issue is currently being debated in
parliament, where 25% of the seats are
ring-fenced for the military.
“The majority of our people understand that this constitution cannot stand
as it is,” if democracy is to be achieved,
the democracy п¬Ѓgurehead added.
The pair spoke in the garden of Suu
Kyi’s villa in a reprise of their landmark
meeting in 2012, which saw the US leader
throw his political might behind Myanmar’s transition from junta rule.
After talks with his counterpart Thein
Sein late Thursday Obama expressed
cautious optimism for the once-cloistered nation that balanced out earlier
warnings on the risks of “backsliding”
on the transition.
“We recognise change is hard and you
do not always move in a straight line but
I’m optimistic,” Obama said.
During his two-night trip to Myanmar
the US leader has also raised alarm over
the direction of reforms, however, citing
the cramping of freedom of expression,
ongoing conflicts and the treatment of
Myanmar’s minority groups - especially
the Muslim Rohingya.
Obama was whisked from Yangon
airport to tour the British colonial-era
secretariat building in the city’s downtown where Suu Kyi’s father, independence hero General Aung San, was gunned
down by political rivals in 1947.
Their talks at Suu Kyi’s lakeside family home came almost four years to the
day after she was released from years of
house arrest.
He later moved to a university compound for a town hall style questionand-answer session where the serious
political discussion was punctuated by
peels of laughter as a relaxed Obama
took off his jacket and bantered with the
mainly young audience.
Several among the crowd briefly held
up banners reading “reform is fake”,
prompting a riposte from the US leader
who said “Oh we have some signs...
that’s why we are here, to talk”.
On his last visit, Obama received a
fanfare welcome from thrilled locals a
year after Thein Sein began to open up
the country.
Most political prisoners have been released and by-elections have seen Suu
Kyi become a lawmaker, while foreign
investors have arrived in lockstep with
the lifting of most sanctions.
But the atmosphere has slowly soured,
with many observers saying reforms
have stalled.
This time there was little of the streetside cheering for Obama.
Even Sui Kyi’s star power earned as
the torch-bearer of democracy during
the dark junta years having waned in the
eyes of some as she has edged away from
her role as a resistance icon to become a
player in the nation’s fractious politics.
For his part, Obama has been battered
domestically with poor approval numbers compounded by a thumping defeat
for his Democrats in last week’s midterm elections.
Air Force One departed at dusk, taking the US leader and his entourage to a
п¬Ѓnal stop on a three-leg tour in Brisbane,
Australia, for talks with G20 leaders,
where global growth and security issues
are likely to dominate.
Solidarity rally
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon enters the Myanmar International
Convention Centre to attend the East Asia Summit in Naypyitaw yesterday.
China identifies �dozens’
of Uighurs in Thailand
Indonesian Muslim activists raise their fists during a solidarity rally for Palestine in Jakarta, yesterday. Dozens of protesters
demanded the world to stop violence on Palestinian people. A recent wave of violence on both Israeli and Palestinian territory
has sparked fears of further unrest.
yanmar’s parliament
UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon for using the term
�Rohingya’, accusing him of interfering in the country’s affairs
during a visit this week that has
kicked off fresh furore over the
Muslim minority.
The issue of the identity of
the Rohingya, who mainly live in
western Rakhine State, is incendiary in Myanmar.
Several bouts of religious
and Buddhist ethnic Rakhines
left scores dead and more than
140,000 in fetid displacement
camps -- mainly Rohingya.
Many Burmese insist the Rohingya are illegal migrants from
Bangladesh and give them the
derogative label “Bengali”, even
though many of the Muslim
group can trace their ancestry
back generations in the former
junta-ruled nation.
On Thursday UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon raised the
“serious humanitarian issue” of
the plight of the group, who have
scarce access to public services,
employment and healthcare, on
the sidelines of a summit in Myanmar’s capital.
“I encouraged the leaders of Myanmar to uphold human rights, take a strong stance
against incitement and ensure
humanitarian access to Rohingya
living in vulnerable conditions,”
he told reporters in Naypyidaw.
US President Barack Obama,
who left Myanmar yesterday after a two-night trip, pressed the
case for minority rights, particularly of Muslims -- although he
demurred from using the term
Rohingya in front of his hosts
despite having used it liberally
before entering the country.
Parliament yesterday led the
backlash against Ban’s comments.
“Using the term �Rohingya’
-- which cannot be accepted or
acknowledged by our people -is an insult to our sovereignty,”
Thein Nyunt, a lower house MP
said, who submitted an emergency proposal to both chambers
of parliament rejecting Ban’s
“Stating the existence of
an ethnic group which really
doesn’t exist is against Myanmar law,” he said, adding it
Ban’s comments were likely to
re-ignite violence in tinderbox
The motion -- which is largely
symbolic -- was adopted unopposed by both houses.
Most Rohingya are denied citizenship by the Myanmar government, which does not include
the term in its list of official ethnic minorities.
Just ahead of his visit Obama
expressed concerns over the
rights of Myanmar’s Muslim
minority groups and told a press
conference yesterday that “we
are paying attention to how religious minorities are treated in
this country”.
“Any legitimate government
has to be based on a recognition
that people are equals under the
law,” he added.
As he delivered those comments he was flanked by opposition leader and democracy
champion Aung San Suu Kyi,
who has come under п¬Ѓre for
failing to unequivocally condemn violence against Muslims
or п¬Ѓght against policies rights
groups say discriminate against
the Rohingya.
Conditions in the Rakhine
displacement camps are so dire
that 100,000 Rohingya are estimated to have fled south, often
in rickety boats.
Rights groups say many are
vulnerable to trafficking gangs in
Thailand and Malaysia.
hinese officials in Thailand have identified
“dozens” of Uighurs
from the Chinese region of Xinjiang who were rescued by Thai
police from a human-smuggling
camp and those confirmed from
China will be sent home, a Chinese newspaper said yesterday.
Thai police previously told
Reuters that the roughly 200
people rescued in March were
believed to be Uighurs, a Muslim
people from the western Chinese
region who speak a Turkic language, many of whom chafe at
government restrictions on their
culture and religion.
The Global Times, a tabloid
published by the Chinese Com-
munist Party’s People’s Daily,
said China’s consulate in the
southern Thai city of Songkhla
had identified some of the men
and discovered “dozens” of
them were Uighur.
But it did not know the nationality of women and children
who are also with the group, the
newspaper said.
“Once we confirm that they
are Chinese, they would be sent
back to China,” a Chinese diplomat surnamed Qin told the
In 2009, 20 Uighurs were
deported from Cambodia to
China despite the objections of
the United Nations and human
rights groups, who said they
faced lengthy jail terms upon
their return.
New York-based Human
Rights Watch also criticised Ma-
laysia for deporting six Uighurs
to China last December. Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman
Hong Lei, however, told a daily
news briefing in Beijing that he
could not confirm that any of
the people in southern Thailand
were Uighur.
“China has maintained communication with the Thai side.
Our attitude is that we are opposed to illegal immigration,”
Hong said.
Hundreds of people have been
killed in unrest in Xinjiang in
the past two years, prompting a
crackdown by Chinese authorities.
Small numbers of Uighur people have begun trickling out of
China to Southeast Asia. They
are believed to go overland into
Laos or Myanmar, and then on to
Thailand and elsewhere.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
North Korea’s Kim to send
special envoy to Russia
HK student protesters
plan Beijing visit
Anti-graft watchdog finds
gold, cash in official’s home
Bushfire rages in world
heritage Blue Mountains
Fiji police make arrest after
Aussie woman’s death
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is to send a personal envoy to Russia, state media said yesterday,
the latest in a series of diplomatic moves by the
isolated country as it fends off accusations of crimes
against humanity. North Korean diplomats have
been on a vigorous campaign in recent months to
counter a UN resolution urging the country’s referral
to the International Criminal Court, a move which it
has dismissed as part of a US-led plot to destroy its
political system. The short one-paragraph dispatch
said Choe Ryong Hae, a high-ranking member of
the ruling Workers’ Party widely seen as a close
confidant of Kim, would visit Russia “soon.”
Three Hong Kong student leaders plan to take
their fight for greater democracy to Beijing today
as frustration grows over the city government’s
inability to negotiate on electoral reforms in the
former British colony. Protesters have occupied
some of Chinese-controlled Hong Kong’s most
economically and politically important districts for
more than six weeks in their demand for free elections in 2017. Hong Kong Federation of Students
leader Alex Chow said on Thursday he planned to
travel to Beijing with fellow activists Eason Chung
and Nathan Law and they hoped to meet Chinese
Premier Li Keqiang.
China’s anti-graft watchdog has discovered 37
kg (82 lbs) of gold, documents for 68 houses
and 120mn yuan ($19.6mn) in cash in the home
of a Communist Party official who is being
investigated for corruption, state media said.
The amount seized in the home of Ma Chaoqun, the former manager of the Beidaihe Water
Supply Corp, was so large that state news
agency Xinhua called it “shocking”. The Central
Commission for Discipline Inspection in Hebei
has accused Ma of bribery, embezzlement,
misappropriation of public funds, according to
the Beijing News newspaper.
More than 200 firefighters in Australia were fighting
a bushfire in the Blue Mountains area of New South
Wales yesterday, media reports said. Emergency
services advised residents in Blaxland and Warrimoo
to evacuate as the fire burned between two ridges and
a nearby highway, broadcaster ABC said. The report
said the fire was raging in difficult terrain, making efforts to contain it possible only by air. Rural Fire Service
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told ABC the fire
had settled but a change in the wind direction at night
could push it towards properties in the area. New
South Wales experienced temperatures of up to 45.8
degrees Celsius yesterday.
Fiji police arrested a local man following the grisly
discovery of the decomposed body of an Australian
woman on Viti Levu island, officials said. The body of
Tracy Ann O’Brien Maw was found on Monday hidden
in bushes near the village of Vunavutu. “I can confirm
to you that we have taken in a local man in relation to
the death of Maw,” police spokeswomen Ana Naisoro
said. “At this moment we cannot reveal the identity of
the person because we have not charged him yet. But
I can say that we have a strong lead.” Fiji police have
not said how Maw died and because of the extreme
state of decomposition the body was cremated immediately after a post mortem examination.
Keeping traditions alive
Britain tell
Putin to stop
being a bully
Women pose with traditional Korean side dish kimchi, or fermented cabbage, during the 2014 Seoul Kimchi Making and Sharing
Festival at Seoul City Hall Plaza yesterday. More than 2,300 volunteers made 250 tonnes of kimchi to give away to needy people
during the winter season.
Tech giant Google takes п¬Ѓght
against illegal п¬Ѓshing online
echnology giant Google has taken the battle
against illegal п¬Ѓshing online, with the company unveiling a tool in Australia yesterday
that harnesses satellite data to
track thousands of boats in real
A prototype interactive tool,
which was developed in conjunction with environmental
activists SkyTruth and marine
advocacy group Oceana, was
unveiled at the once-a-decade
World Parks Congress in Sydney.
The tool is the latest salvo
from environmentalists against
illegal п¬Ѓshing, which is currently estimated by the Global
Ocean Commission to cost the
world economy up to $23.5bn a
“While many of the environmental trends in the ocean can
be sobering, the combination of
cloud computing and massive
data is enabling new tools to
visualise, understand and potentially reverse these trends,”
Brian Sullivan of Google’s Earth
Outreach and Oceans section
The tool uses data points
from the Automatic Identification System network, which
picks up GPS broadcasts of a
vessel’s location to map movements.
The prototype has tracked
just over 3,000 п¬Ѓshing vessels,
with a public tool set to be released down the track.
SkyTruth said the system,
which will only monitor п¬Ѓshing
vessels, would make activities
usually invisible to the wider
public easily viewable.
“So much of what happens
out on the high seas is invisible,
and that has been a huge barrier
to understanding and showing
the world what’s at stake for the
ocean,” SkyTruth’s president
and founder John Amos said.
“Satellite data is allowing
us to make human interaction
with the ocean more transparent than ever before.”
The Global Ocean Commission, an independent panel
launched in February 2013,
said evidence showed seas have
been п¬Ѓshed to dangerously low
levels, with 90% of the world’s
large fish stocks — such as tuna
and swordfish — already gone.
The commission said one of
the challenges in tackling illegal
п¬Ѓshing was the lack of jurisdiction on the high seas.
While the high seas make up
64% of the ocean’s total surface
area, they fall beyond national
jurisdictions and suffer from a
lack of oversight, the organisation said.
The World Parks Congress,
which is being held in Sydney
until November 19, has drawn
thousands of delegates and is
set to lay out a global agenda
for protected areas for the next
ladimir Putin faced an
icy reception at the G20
summit with Britain’s
David Cameron telling the Russian leader to stop bullying
smaller states and Australia’s
Tony Abbott accusing him of
trying to relive the “lost glories
of tsarism”.
The Russian president arrived
in Brisbane late yesterday for the
weekend summit of world powers at a time of heightened tension with host Australia, which
has sent three ships to its northern coast after a flotilla of Russian navy vessels appeared there
this week.
Prime Minister Abbott said
the appearance of the four Russian vessels, which include a
heavily armed cruiser and destroyer, were “part of a regrettable pattern” of growing Russian
military bullishness.
Russia in turn yesterday
warned France of “serious”
consequences unless Paris this
month delivers a warship whose
handover has been delayed by
the Ukraine crisis -- setting the
stage for confrontation with
French President Francois Hollande.
The French presidency confirmed that Hollande and Putin
would hold a bilateral meeting
in Brisbane today evening. It
declined to comment further on
the warships controversy in light
of Moscow’s latest intervention.
On Thursday, French Prime
Minister Manuel Valls said that
conditions “have not been met”
to deliver the ships to Russia.
Britain’s prime minister,
speaking to the Australian parliament, warned Russia it faces
further sanctions if it does not
commit to resolving the conflict
in Ukraine, calling Moscow’s actions “unacceptable”.
“It is a large state bullying a
smaller state in Europe. We’ve
seen the consequences of that in
the past and we should learn the
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Australian Prime Minister
Tony Abbott during a joint press conference at Parliament House in
Canberra yesterday.
lessons of history and make sure
we don’t let it happen again,”
Cameron said.
Russia on Thursday dismissed the West’s claims that it
has been sending fresh military
hardware into eastern Ukraine,
which could fuel a return to allout conflict in place of an uneasy ceasefire. The West’s relations with Moscow have grown
increasingly tense since the
downing of a Malaysia Airlines
jet over territory controlled by
pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in July, killing 298
passengers and crew including
38 Australian citizens and residents.
Kiev and the West claim the
plane was blown out of the sky
with a missile supplied by Russia, an allegation Moscow denies. Abbott told Putin to “come
clean and atone” for the shooting down of Flight MH17.
“Russian action in Ukraine is
unacceptable,” Cameron told reporters in Canberra before heading to Brisbane. “If Russia takes
a positive approach towards
Ukraine’s freedom and responsibility, we could see those sanctions removed. If Russia continues to make matters worse,
we could see those sanctions
increase. It’s as simple as that.”
The European Union, the US
and Australia are among those
that have imposed sanctions on
Russia for what they see as Moscow’s desire to redraw modern
Europe’s borders.
Pro-Russian rebels have been
п¬Ѓghting Ukrainian government
forces since April in a war that
has claimed more than 4,000
lives and driven hundreds of
thousands of people from their
homes. The Australian navy said
yesterday it had sent a third ship
to help monitor the Russian fleet
that has appeared in international waters off its north coast,
which also includes a tugboat
and a refuelling vessel.
Aboriginals use G20 to call attention to plight
ndigenous Australians were
the п¬Ѓrst to hit the G20 protest trail this week, saying
they plan to use the Brisbane
summit of world leaders to call
attention to the chronic problems they face.
Hundreds of Aboriginals and
Torres Strait Islanders marched
through a city in lockdown yesterday to protest deaths in custody and the treatment of Australia’s first nation.
In the п¬Ѓrst march on Monday,
dozens marched behind a handful of women holding a banner
that read: “Sorry means you
don’t do it again.”
Some in the crowds were
draped in Australia’s second
flag - the black, red and yellow
emblem of the peoples who inhabited the country for tens of
thousands of years before European settlers arrived.
One placard in the same col-
Protesters demand human rights for Australia’s Aboriginal community near
the venue of the annual G20 leaders summit in Brisbane yesterday.
ours and the words “Australia
is a crime scene” scrawled on it
stood out.
“That really is what the situation has been here for a long,
long time,” said a Kunwinjku
man from the Northern Terri-
tory who gave his name only as
“Most of the blacks don’t
have very good lives. We are
struggling for country and our
rights. I’m here and I will walk to
the Murri place to show that to
the G20 and the world.”
Two more Aboriginal protest
marches are set for the weekend, with participants due to
make their way from the city to
the G20 summit venue and on to
Musgrave Park.
The park is the traditional
gathering ground of the Murri,
the tribal group that once inhabited much of Queensland. They
were forcibly removed but given
unfettered access to the land
decades later.
Human rights advocates say
indigenous Australians, who
make up 2.4% of the overall
population of 23mn, are worse
off than rest of society.
They face the lowest life expectancy, high unemployment,
endemic illiteracy and domestic violence; a disproportionate
number are living rough or in
prison and have alcohol problems. Some three weeks ago protests took place in various cities
over the death in police custody
of Julieka Dhu, a Northern Territory woman who was locked up
for unpaid п¬Ѓnes. Police said the
22-year-old fell ill and was treated and discharged from hospital
before her death. The protesters
and Dhu’s family demanded an
independent inquiry.
The campaign for constitutional recognition of Aboriginals is edging forward, but only
slowly. Prime Minister Tony
Abbott recently said the referendum on amending the constitution won’t be held before
the next election in 2017 because
broad support cannot be guaranteed then.
“Stop stealing children,” one
placard in Monday’s march read.
Activists say the number of
Aboriginal children being taken
away from their families by welfare authorities is on the rise in
some states.
They compared the intervention to government schemes
from the early 1900s to the 1970s
that spawned the so-called stolen generations. The state or the
church in those days would place
Aboriginal children in orphan-
ages or with white families to
“socialise” them.
Many never saw their birth
families again. The government
formally apologised to indigenous peoples for the practice
in 2008. The protesters also
called on the government to halt
spending cuts.
The 2014 national budget
provides 534mn Australian dollars ($465mn) less in funding
for indigenous community programmes. Opposition politicians
have in recent weeks said less
than half the 4.8bn Australian
dollars allocated to the Indigenous Advancement Strategy has
actually been made available.
In September, indigenous
leaders called for clarity and
noted budget cuts were hindering the delivery of key social
services. Last month, Amnesty
International urged Canberra
not to abandon Aboriginal communities through cuts to funding.
“We know Aboriginal families
are strongest when they can stay
connected to their homelands,”
the human rights watchdog
said. “With proper services like
health, education, water and
shelter, people can be healthier,
live longer and continue their
cultural traditions.”
An indigenous artist designed
the п¬Ѓsh-and-snake logo of the
2014 G20. The standard protocol
of a traditional greeting will give
the grouping’s leaders a taste of
indigenous culture.
Six white Australians have
been picked for the wider experience on a new television show,
First Contact, due to air Tuesday.
The SBS channel sent them to
live in Aboriginal communities
to see what life is really like.
Producer Darren Dale said six
in 10 non-indigenous Australians have had little or no prior
contact with Aboriginals.
“The biggest stereotypes are
that they are drunks, they don’t
want to work and they want government handouts,” Dale told
Fairfax Media.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Kieran Megraw (right) helps carry the coffin
bearing the body of his brother Brendan Megraw
for a funeral service in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
yesterday. Brendan Megraw, 23, was abducted
from his home in Belfast and killed by the IRA in
April 1978.
Rolling Stones settle
claim for cancelled shows
M25 surface collapses
after roadworks in rain
Battersea’s Covent Garden
Market to get �facelift’
Georgia ex-politician
found dead in hotel
The Rolling Stones have settled a legal spat with
insurers over a claim for cancelled shows in
Australia and New Zealand after Mick Jagger’s
girlfriend, L’Wren Scott, took her own life in
March, a spokesman said yesterday. Before their
Australia-Asia tour, Jagger and his bandmates
had taken out a policy to cover financial losses in
the event that the unexpected death of a loved
one caused tour date changes or cancellations.
Insurers initiated a US court filing four weeks ago
to avoid paying an insurance claim made by the
rock band when Scott committed suicide, arguing
that her death was not entirely unexpected and
so may not have been covered by the policy.
Drivers suffered major rush-hour delays yesterday
after an area of the M25 collapsed following
roadworks in heavy rain. Police said vehicles had
been left with damaged tyres after the road surface
fell in near Leatherhead in Surrey at about 5.30am.
Highways workers were carrying out emergency
repairs yesterday morning, clearing concrete
debris from the anti-clockwise carriageway near
junction nine and fixing the surface of the road.
By 9am, only one lane out of four was open as the
incident resulted in delays of more than two hours,
with queues back to Junction 13 for Staines. A
Highways Agency spokesman said work had been
carried out in the area before the road collapsed.
The Nine Elms area in Battersea has been given a
double boost, with the wholesale market granted
planning permission for a significant facelift,
including the construction of 3,000 homes,
and the transport secretary approving a ВЈ1bn
connecting Underground line. New Covent Garden
Market, Britain’s biggest wholesale market, which
has been central to fruit, vegetable and flower sales
in the capital since 1974, is to be revamped in a 10year project costing ВЈ2bn. The market is part of a
regeneration project for the area. About 600 of the
homes planned for the site, a fifth of the total, will
be reserved for local Wandsworth residents to buy
or rent through affordable housing schemes.
A prominent former politician from Georgia who
was advising Ukraine’s new president has been
found dead in a hotel room in Park Lane. Kakha
Bendukidze, 58, described as the architect of
the former Soviet republic’s liberal economic
reforms, was staying at the InterContinental.
Scotland Yard said officers were called there at
4.30pm on Thursday. It added that the death
was not being treated as suspicious. Bendukidze,
who was reported to be in London for surgery,
was known as a respected reformer and fierce
anti-corruption activist. Since May he had been
serving as an aide to Ukraine’s President Petro
Britain in �real
of exiting EU,
Major warns
Guardian News and Media
ir John Major has issued a
powerful warning to Britain’s natural allies across
Europe that they risk forcing
the UK out of the EU unless they
agree to a series of reforms including restrictions on the free
movement of people.
In a heartfelt plea to members
of Angela Merkel’s CDU party in
Berlin, the former prime minister
said he was sounding the alarm
as he warned that the chances of
Britain leaving the EU now stand
at “just under 50%”.
Speaking at the CDU’s main
think tank, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Major said: “I put
the chance of exit at just under
50%...I ask our European partners to realise we are close to a
breach that is in no-one’s interest. Britain’s frustration is no
game. It is not a political ploy
to gain advantages and concessions from our partners. There is
a very real risk of separation that
could damage the future of the
United Kingdom - and Europe as
a whole.”
Major added: “What we must
all realise is that a divorce may be
п¬Ѓnal. Absolute. A reconciliation
would be unlikely.” But the former
prime minister, whose speech was
sent to Downing Street, appeared
to rebuke David Cameron, who
has annoyed the German chancellor and other leaders with the
strength of his rhetoric against
the EU in recent months.
Major told his Berlin audience:
“I hope both sides will approach
the negotiations with care: with
a determination to п¬Ѓnd a solution
- not justify a breach. Wise negotiators will tone down the oratory
and turn up the diplomacy.”
The former prime minister famously moved to repair relations
with the EU after replacing Margaret Thatcher in 1990 by travelling to Germany to declare that he
wanted Britain to remain at the
heart of the EU. Nearly a quarter
of a century later, he has decided
to travel back to Germany and to
return because he fears that the
UK is in danger of stumbling out
of the union.
He says he feels uncomfortable about some of the rhetoric
in Britain but he also believes that
some EU leaders do not appreciate that Britain is serious about
achieving reform. In a speech designed to influence Merkel, who
is regarded by Downing Street as
the key player in the negotiations,
Major gave an indication of the
issues that Cameron will place on
the negotiating table ahead of an
in/out referendum by the end of
2017, if the Tories win the general
election next year. These include
reforms to the freedom of movement and placing subsidiarity defined by Major as the principle
that the EU should act only where
a nation state cannot - on a new
legal footing.
In a clear message to the German chancellor, who has ruled
out reform of the principle of free
movement of people, Major said
a failure to make concessions in
this area would push Britain to
the exit.
He said the recent influx of migrants from eastern Europe and
other parts of the EU represented one of the largest population
movements in peacetime Europe.
Speaking in highly personal
terms, Major said he felt deeply
uncomfortable about talking
about restrictions on immigration. He said: “I hate having to
make this argument. I hate it. As a
boy, I was brought up among immigrants in south London. They
were my friends and my neighbours. I have huge admiration for
people prepared to uproot themselves to п¬Ѓnd work and a better
way of life for themselves and
their families. It takes a great deal
of courage to do so. They deserve
a warm welcome - not a chilly rebuff.”
Catherine meets One Direction
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, meets boy band One Direction at the Royal Variety Performance in support of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, at the
Palladium Theatre in London.
Plans to stop IS fighters’
return home outlined
rime Minister David
outlined plans to seize
passports from British п¬Ѓghters
and stop them returning from
п¬Ѓghting overseas, while proposing landing bans on airlines
that fail to comply with London’s no-fly lists.
Some 500 Britons are estimated to be п¬Ѓghting in Iraq and
Syria, both of which are facing
a major offensive from the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
“We will shortly be introducing our own new Counter-Ter-
rorism Bill in the UK,” Cameron
said in a speech to Australia’s
parliament before travelling
to the G20 leaders’ summit in
Brisbane, adding that there
was “no opt-out from dealing
with this”. These will include
“new powers for police at ports
to seize passports, to stop suspects travelling and to stop
British nationals returning to
the UK unless they do so on our
Besides, “new rules to prevent airlines that don’t comply
with our no-fly lists or security
screening measures from landing in the UK,” will also be included he added.
British media reports said the
legislation, to be introduced in
parliament this month, would
block individuals from returning from Syria and Iraq to Britain for at least two years unless
they comply with strict measures.
These could include being
escorted back to Britain and
then facing prosecution and
bail-style reporting conditions.
Border guards and airport police would also be given new
powers to seize passports from
those they suspect of planning
to travel abroad for terrorism,
the reports said.
Stopping п¬Ѓghters from returning to Britain unless they
agree to the requirements
Sturgeon takes over
as new SNP leader
cotland’s ruling Scottish National Party (SNP)
yesterday crowned a new
leader to build on a surge of
support following a defeat in
referendum that still looks set
to result in greater autonomy.
First Minister Alex Salmond
announced his resignation after the result, in which 55% of
voters said “No” to breaking
away from the United Kingdom, and has now been replaced by his deputy Nicola
Delegates rubber-stamped
Sturgeon’s election as SNP
leader at the party’s annual
conference in Perth - she was
the only candidate - paving
the way for her appointment
as Scotland’s first female first
minister next week.
Sturgeon, 44, said it was a
“privilege”, adding: “In Alex
Salmond I have the hardest of
acts to follow.”
Salmond led the SNP for
nearly 20 years and spent seven
as first minister, transforming
the nationalist party from a
marginal organisation to a major political force.
In his outgoing speech to
the conference later yesterday,
Salmond repeated his belief
that Scotland can still become
an independent nation despite
the referendum vote. “When
the history of Scottish independence is written, be in no
doubt that September 18, 2014,
will be remembered as the
most significant breakthrough
in Scottish political history,”
he said.
everything that the Westminster establishment threw at
Scotland, 45% of the people
- 1.6mn women and men living and working in Scotland chose hope over fear.
“A much higher number than
our opponents ever thought
possible when we started this
The SNP’s membership has
swelled since the referendum
from 25,000 to 84,000, and
Salmond said he hoped it could
reach 100,000 before the British general election in May.
Although Scotland remains
part of the UK, the closeness
of the referendum campaign
prompted the British government to promise new powers
for the devolved government in
Proposals are set to be outlined by the end of the month
and laid into legislation by early next year.
Welcoming her appointment, Sturgeon said it was a
“good time for our a party and
it’s a good time for our country”.
The conference also saw
Stewart Hosie elected as the
party’s new deputy leader. He
is a lawmaker in the British
parliament in London but not
the Scottish parliament, so will
not be able to take over Sturgeon’s job as deputy first minister in Edinburgh.
would not flout international
law, a parliamentarian argued,
because the proposed measures
fall short of making them stateless.
Prominent lawyer Alex Carlile, a Liberal Democrat who
reviewed the validity of antiterrorism legislation for the
government before he was elevated to the House of Lords,
told the BBC that taking away
the citizenship of Islamic State
п¬Ѓghters on the grounds they
had committed treason would
not stand up to a legal challenge.
But he argued that the
measures Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled are likely
to hold up in court. Carlile said
the measures “will be within
the European Convention on
Human Rights because they
don’t ban a UK citizen from
entering the United Kingdom
if they have no other nationality, only place restrictions on
The two-year Temporary
Exclusion Orders could be
renewed by a court and any
breaches would be punishable
by jail.
Britain raised its terror threat
risk level to “severe” in September - meaning an attack is
thought “highly likely” - due to
fears over the situation in Iraq
and Syria.
Millionaire’s family
attacked by gunman
London Evening Standard
Nicola Sturgeon waves to the audience as she is formally
announced as the new Scottish National Party (SNP) leader at the
party conference in Perth yesterday.
he wife and two daughters of a multi-millionaire
businessmen were threatened by a masked gunman who
broke into their ВЈ5mn home and
stripped them of jewellery before
emptying the safe.
Catherine Stiff, the wife of
Robert Stiff, was punched in the
face by the 6ft 4in robber. One of
her daughters, in her twenties,
was also attacked.
Both were taken to hospital
with minor injuries and suffering
from shock following the raid on
the six-bedroom house, which
backs onto a golf course in Kingswood, near Epsom.
The other sister, also in her
twenties, was left shocked but
was unhurt.
A manhunt was under way
yesterday to trace the “dangerous and violent” robber, who
police believe visited the road a
number of times before the raid
to stake out the property.
Police believe the man — reported to be armed with a sawnoff shotgun — broke into the
home from the back and could
have approached it from the golf
Catherine Stiff, who is in her
fifties, said: “There’s nothing
more I can say. I’m really sorry
but you’ll need to speak to Surrey
police. Thank you very much.”
Her Zimbabwe-born husband
set up healthcare recruitment
п¬Ѓrm Team24 which was sold for
more than ВЈ25mn three years
He has since worked for major
charities and is a patron of The
Prince’s Trust. More recently he
has launched a number of business enterprises, including a
boutique run by his two daughters.
Neighbours today spoke of
their shock at the attack.
One said: “There were police
everywhere and a police helicopter up in the sky. This is a quiet
area, you simply can’t imagine
something so awful would happen here, especially to such a
lovely family.” Another neighbour who did not want to be
named said: “The family are in
a terrible state after this terrible
shocking incident. It was really
violent and they are in trauma.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
cat hunt
rench officials have scaled
down a frantic hunt for a
mysterious big cat prowling on the outskirts of Paris after scotching earlier fears it was
a tiger.
Sightings of a large feline padding around wooded areas only
40km east of Paris on Thursday
sparked a desperate search operation involving at one point as
many as 200 police and soldiers,
backed by a helicopter.
Authorities initially claimed
it was a tiger but subsequent
investigations on the animal’s
tracks showed it was probably
much less dangerous.
Experts from the national
hunting and wildlife office and
a nearby big cat park said: “We
can exclude the presence of an
animal from the tiger species.”
They added though that “the
feline is still being hunted”.
An official source told AFP
that the search had been scaled
back for the moment and the
helicopter grounded although
forces remained “mobilised” in
case of a fresh alert.
The story generated wall-towall coverage in France on rolling
news channels.
Local paper Le Parisien
splashed a picture of the animal
on its front page with the headline: “The unbelievable tiger
But the threat level was downgraded yesterday, with the local
director of public safety, Chantal
Baccanini, saying there was “no
danger for the general population”.
“It’s between a domestic cat
and a bigger feline,” said Eric
Hansen from the national hunting and wildlife office ONCFS.
The mayor of the town of
Montevrain, where the animal
was п¬Ѓrst spotted on Thursday, estimated that the animal
weighed around 70kg.
But Hansen said it was likely
to be about half this weight and
probably “not dangerous”.
Despite deploying around 100
police, firefighters and soldiers
immediately after the sightings, the search proved fruitless.
Torrential rain hampered the
scaled-down hunt.
Tiger or no tiger, Montevrain
resident Jean-Francois Ameur
was taking no chances as he told
his 12-year-old son to wait for a
neighbour to pick him up from
school in a car.
“It’s been running for 48
hours and it hasn’t eaten, so yes,
I’m worried,” said Ameur.
Ukraine needs stronger
army to stop Russia: PM
kraine’s top priority is
to build an army strong
enough to stop Russian
military aggression, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said yesterday as he made
recommendations for top positions in a new coalition government.
The prospect of an all-out war
returning to eastern Ukraine has
piled pressure on the country’s
struggling economy, driving the
hryvnia currency down by some
17% this month and pushing
borrowing costs sky-high.
Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders and Nato have accused
Russia of sending soldiers and
weapons to help pro-Russian
rebels in eastern regions launch
a possible new offensive in a war
that has killed more than 4,000
people since April.
Yatseniuk is in power-sharing
talks with President Petro Poroshenko and others to form a coalition as quickly as possible following an October 26 election,
won by groups led by the president and prime minister, who
with other pro-Western forces
swept pro-Russian groups out of
Increasing violence, truce
violations and unmarked ar-
across the rebel-held region
have aroused fears that a shaky
September 5 ceasefire could collapse.
Kiev says the convoys are carrying Russian troops; Russia, as
it has in the past, denies its forces are there.
“Building an army, which is
capable of stopping aggression
from Russia, is the number one
task,” Yatseniuk told journalists.
The Russian-backed rebels
struck a bellicose tone.
“If they (Ukraine) move from
building up forces as a demonstration, as a threat, to some
concrete action, we are ready for
this,” Alexander Khodakovsky, a
urope’s deep-space robot
lab Philae worked against
the clock yesterday, attempting to drill into a comet
510mn km from Earth to crown
a historic exploration before its
battery runs out.
Charged with 60 hours of
onboard power, the lander
bounced twice after touchdown
on Wednesday, settling in a
crevice in a mystery location,
shadowed from battery-boosting sunlight that could have extended its core mission.
Despite a rough start, the
washing machine-sized probe
sent back fascinating images
and data from mankind’s first
on-site survey of a comet, proud
scientists said during yesterday’s countdown to hibernation.
All 10 onboard experiments
had kicked into action – including the drill meant to take a subsurface sample of comet 67P/
Churyumov-Gerasimenko, racing towards the Sun at 18 kilometres per second.
It was as yet unclear whether
the drill had managed to pierce
the shell of the enigmatic Solar System comet, or whether
it would have enough power
to relay any data to its orbiting
ernment forces and rebels had
continued in the past 24 hours
in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with one soldier
and one п¬Ѓve-year-old child
killed in different attacks.
Poroshenko told security officials there was “no reason to
panic” over the situation in the
“If events begin to unravel in
spite of the peace plan, Ukrainian armed forces today are ready
and capable of repelling (an
offensive),” Poroshenko said
in statement, adding Kiev remained committed to п¬Ѓnding a
peaceful solution to the crisis.
Russia warned this week
that any resumption of hostili-
ties would be catastrophic for
Ukraine after Kiev said it was redeploying troops to be ready for
any rebel offensive.
Yatseniuk suggested Deputy
Finance Minister Vitaly Lisovenko should take the role of п¬Ѓnance minister in the new coalition government because of his
deep involvement in IMF loan
Yatseniuk’s People’s Front
party would support Poroshenko’s choice for defence minister and foreign minister, he said.
He also recommended the
chief executive of state energy
п¬Ѓrm Naftogaz, Andriy Kobolev,
for the position of energy minister.
Sweden says it has proof of
foreign submarine intrusion
weden has proof that a
small foreign submarine
was operating illegally in
its waters last month, its top
military officer said yesterday
after a mysterious episode that
triggered the country’s biggest
military mobilisation since the
Cold War.
More than 200 troops, stealth
ships and helicopters scoured
Baltic waters off the capital
Stockholm in October after reports of foreign “underwater
activity”, but without finding or
bringing to the surface any submarine.
“The military can confirm
that a small U-boat breached
Sweden’s territorial waters. We
can exclude all alternative explanations,” the head of Sweden’s
armed forces, General Sverker
Goransson, told a news conference.
He said Sweden had not been
able to identify which country
was behind the intrusion.
The submarine’s presence was
picked up by military sensors,
Goransson said.
Supporting evidence, he said,
included a picture showing a
bubble pattern typical of a diving submarine and a sonar image
of tracks on the sea floor.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven
said that the intrusion into
Swedish territorial water was
unacceptable and that Sweden
would bolster its capabilities in
detecting and identifying such
“We will defend Sweden’s territorial integrity with all available means,” Lofven said.
The submarine hunt reflected
tensions in a region where governments are increasingly worried about Russian assertiveness
because of Moscow’s role in the
Ukraine crisis.
Sweden has already said it will
increase spending on its military,
including up to 70 new п¬Ѓghter
jets and new submarines, as it
looks to reverse decades of underspending on its armed forces.
The Nordic country has also
drawn closer to Nato in the past
few years although the current
government has ruled out seeking membership of the alliance.
The October submarine hunt
was triggered after sightings of
a “man-made object” on October 17 – later matched by hundreds of reports from members
of the public who thought they
saw “something” in waters near
Stockholm – and evoked memories of dozens of dramatic Cold
War U-boat hunts in the 1980s.
In the most dramatic incident,
This photo was interpreted to show an object travelling southwards
at a speed of one knot inside Swedish waters on October 15. The
white around the object shows water escaping from valves at a
pressure before the object disappears below the surface.
Goranson and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the news conference.
a Soviet submarine U137 ran
aground close to one of Sweden’s
largest naval bases in 1981 and
was only allowed to leave after a
humiliating wait.
Apart from that incident and
several confirmed visual sightings, Sweden has never produced hard evidence of a Russian
submarine in its waters.
Tomas Ries, an expert at the
Swedish National Defence College said yesterday’s announcement was a major breakthrough
for the Swedish military.
“During 10 years of obsessive
Cold War submarine hunts, they
Comet probe Philae
in race against time
to crown stellar feat
senior separatist military п¬Ѓgure,
told Reuters.
Yatseniuk, who is expected to
remain as prime minister in the
new cabinet, said that he did
not expect Ukraine’s economy
to grow before 2016 due to the
costs of the conflict.
One of the п¬Ѓrst tasks of a new
government would be to come
up with a new budget that the
prime minister promised would
be “very tough”.
The new government would
implement reforms required
under a $17bn International
Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.
A Ukrainian military spokesman said shelling between gov-
mothership, Rosetta.
The orbiter and lander have
two communications windows
per day – the next should open
about 2100 GMT, but with a
long delay for the signal from
Rosetta to arrive on Earth, scientists face a nervous wait to
know if Philae is still awake, and
whether a drill sample had been
“We’re hoping to get contact
again this evening. This would
be fantastic, but it’s not secured,” lander manager Stephan
Ulamec said in a briefing webcast from mission control in
Darmstadt, Germany.
“It’s going to be really, really
close, whether we make it to the
link or not,” added mission scientist Valentina Lommatsch.
Astrophysicist Philippe Gaudon, who heads the Rosetta
mission at French space agency
CNES, told AFP: “We think the
robot may switch off around
A drill sample had been
among the most highly anticipated results from Philae’s mission, with scientists hoping for
clues to the formation of the
Solar System 4.6bn years ago
and even the appearance of life
on Earth.
Philae landed on the lowgravity comet after a nail-biting
seven-hour, 20km descent from
Rosetta, which had travelled
never came up with anything,
nothing at all,” he told news
agency TT. “It’s very uplifting to
know that we have succeeded.”
However Sweden’s armed
forces commander refused to
disclose details of the evidence
or comment on how the navy
detected a submarine but failed
to identify its origin, citing national security interests.
“How we have done that with
our sensors I won’t go into because that’s top secret and that
would reveal the capability that
we have in our systems,” Goeranson said.
A sonar image showing sub-sea tracks left behind by a submarine.
Maths genius Grothendieck dies
Ulamec explains Philae’s probable landing site on comet
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at the satellite control centre of the
European Space Agency in Darmstadt, Germany.
more than a decade and 6.5bn
km to get there.
The touchdown did not go
entirely as planned, when Philae’s duo of anchoring harpoons
failed to deploy and it lifted off
again ... twice.
Its location remains unknown, but data and photos
from the lander showed it was
probably at an angle in a crevice,
in the shadow of a cliff about a
kilometre from where it п¬Ѓrst
touched down.
Besides 60 hours of power
on its main battery, the lab had
been designed with solar panels
for a potential recharge.
But in its dark location, one
solar panel was receiving about
80 minutes of sunlight per 12.4hour comet day and two others
20 or 30 minutes – much less
than the six or seven hours engineers had bargained on.
When it eventually does fall
into slumber, there is always the
off chance that Philae may be
jolted back to life in the coming
months as comet “67P” draws
closer to the Sun, said ground
controllers, and then pass on
outstanding data.
But, “we would have to be
extremely lucky”, said Lommatsch.
The Rosetta-Philae team said
they were already ecstatic at the
“Let’s stop looking at things
that we could have done if everything had worked properly,”
said Andrea Accomazzo, flight
operations director. “Let’s look
at things we have done, what we
have achieved.
“This is unique and will be
unique forever!”
So far, the 100kg lab has sent
back the п¬Ѓrst-ever photos taken
on a comet, and probed its surface density, temperature and
The €1.3bn ($1.6bn) mission
aims to unlock the secrets of
comets, which some astrophysicists believe may have “seeded”
Earth with some of the ingredients for life.
Rosetta, with Philae riding
piggyback, was hoisted into
space in 2004, and reached its
target in August this year, having used the gravitational pull of
Earth and Mars as slingshots to
build up speed.
(pictured), one of the great
eccentric geniuses of 20th
century mathematics, has died in
France at the age of 86.
The maths master reached the
very pinnacle of his profession
before abandoning the discipline, taking up anti-war activism, retreating into the life of a
recluse and refusing to share his
He died on Thursday in a hospital in Saint-Girons in southwestern France, staff said, without giving further details.
Born in 1928 in Berlin to a Russian anarchist father and a journalist mother, Grothendieck’s
parents left him behind in Germany while they went to п¬Ѓght in
the Spanish Civil War.
They were reunited in France,
where Grothendieck was to
spend most of his life, only for his
father – a Jew – to be rounded up
by the Nazis and killed in Auschwitz.
Grothendieck went on to become a revolutionary mathematician, doing groundbreaking
work on algebra and geometry
that won him the Fields medal,
known as the Nobel prize of the
maths world, in 1966.
According to the legend that
has built up around Grothendieck, his talents were not obvious
when he was a young man.
It was while he was studying
at the University of Montpellier
that two professors gave him a
list of 14 questions, considered to
be years’ worth of work, and told
him to pick one.
Grothendieck came back a few
months later having completed
them all.
“He was one of the giants of
mathematics who transformed
mathematics entirely with his
work,” said Cedric Villani, who
won the medal in 2010.
French President Francois
Hollande praised the memory
of “one of greatest mathematicians” who “was also an extraordinary personality in his philosophy of life”.
Grothendieck refused to accept the Fields award and turned
down the job offers that poured
in from around the world.
His life was already headed in
a more radical direction, given a
boost by the 1968 student protests in Paris.
By the 1970s, he had all but
abandoned his research, preferring to focus on environmental
politics and anti-war activism.
He quit the Institute of Higher
Scientific Studies near Paris after
discovering it took a small part
of its п¬Ѓnancing from the defence
He also gave up a post at the
College de France to join the University of Montpellier where he
often found himself on the frontlines of anti-nuclear protests.
“His greatest and unique violence against the scientific community was that he stopped doing mathematics,” celebrated
mathematician Denis Guedj told
France’s Sciences et Avenir magazine.
Grothendieck did not completely give up on his research,
but increasingly refused to share
it publicly.
In the early 1990s he handed
20,000 pages of notes and letters
to a friend who looked after them
for several years before passing them on to the University of
Under strict orders from
Grothendieck, they have been
kept under lock and key in the
university’s archives.
In his later years, there were
reports that Grothendieck had
descended into religious mania.
He had moved to a tiny village
in the Pyrenees where he refused
all visitors and jealously guarded
his privacy.
With his passing, a new generation of mathematics students
may get the chance to explore the
treasures he left behind and fully
appreciate the impact he had on
the profession.
“The ideas of Alexander
Grothendieck have penetrated
the subconscious of mathematicians,” his most celebrated student, Fields medal winner Pierre
Deligne, told Le Monde newspaper. “He was unique in his way of
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Minister denies forged
mark sheet claims
Nuke-capable missile
successfully test fired
Government response on
NRI voting issue sought
CPI-M silence on Mani
issue irks Achuthanandan
Probe into nursing
student’s suicide begins
The Congress yesterday slammed Prime Minister
Narendra Modi over a fake certificate controversy
surrounding Minister of State for Human Resource
Development (HRD) Ram Shankar Katheria, saying
“unworthy” people had been appointed to deal with
education. “The minister (Katheria) should not have
been inducted into the council of ministers,” Congress
general secretary Shakeel Ahmad said. “Such unworthy people should not be a part of the department of
education.” Katheria has rubbished the charges against
him. He said there was no truth in the allegations and
added that if he was in the wrong, action would have
been taken against him by the authorities.
India yesterday successfully test fired its nuclear
capable Dhanush missile from a warship off the
Odisha coast hours after conducting a training launch
of Prithvi-II missile from a military base in the state, a
senior defence official said. Dhanush was test fired
from a naval ship off the coast of the state over the Bay
of Bengal around 7.40 pm. The launch was part of an
exercise by the armed forces and the missile reached
the designated target with high precision, official said.
The missile launch and its flight performance were
monitored from the Integrated Test range at Chandipur in state’s Balasore district, about 230km from
Bhubaneswar, test range director M V K V Prasad said.
The Supreme Court yesterday asked the government
to consider and respond on the report of the committee set up by the Election Commission that has
recommended electronic voting or proxy voting by
NRIs. An apex court bench of chief justice H L Dattu
and Justice A K Sikri asked additional solicitor general
to take instructions from the government and revert
in four weeks. A 12-member committee set up by the
Election Commission has recommended that NRIs
staying overseas could be permitted to cast their vote
electronically or by proxy. The committee, however,
rejected the feasibility of NRIs exercising their franchise
at the diplomatic missions.
Veteran CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan has
criticised the party’s state leadership for not seeking
a Central Bureau of Investigation probe against
Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani over corruption
charges. In a letter to general secretary Prakash Karat,
Achuthanandan demanded to know which party
committee was against a CBI probe against Mani. A
bar owner alleged two weeks ago that Mani asked for
Rs50mn - and got Rs10mn - to reopen 418 bars that
were closed from the start of the current fiscal. Since
then, the 91-year-old Achuthanandan has been asking
Mani to resign and the Congress-led state government to seek a probe by the CBI into the allegation.
The Kerala government yesterday launched a
probe into the death of a 19-year-old nursing
student, who jumped from the 10th floor of a
private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. The
incident took place at the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Hospital last week. Rogi Roy
succumbed to injuries after battling for life for a
few hours. In a Facebook post yesterday evening,
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala announced
the government’s decision to launch the probe.
“The parents came and met me and I also felt sad
seeing their condition and immediately ordered a
detailed probe,” Chennithala said.
tries to play
down row over
�elitist’ remark
By Ashraf Padanna
Gopalakrishnan is upset
at the controversy surrounding
his comments a week earlier.
Last week, Gopalakrishnan
had wondered how some п¬Ѓlm
buffs could follow foreign п¬Ѓlms
at the International Film Festival
of Kerala (IFFK) when they even
failed to understand the English
subtitles. This had prompted a
section of п¬Ѓlmmakers and writers to denounce his remarks as
It also triggered street protests
against the п¬Ѓlmmaker, an ardent
campaigner for Malayalam to be
made official language for administrative purposes, for the
“anti-Malayalam bias” in his
clarified he was only calling for
stricter screening for delegates
as serious п¬Ѓlm enthusiasts have
started deserting the festival, arguably India’s largest in viewer
“I never said those who do not
understand English would not be
allowed in. That’s not a criterion.
But we are not in a position to
accommodate all,” said the filmmaker who is the chairman of the
festival’s advisory council. The
19th edition of the IFFK opens
here on December 12.
Though the organisers have
received more than 10,000 applications to the festival, they
are planning to limit the
delegates to 7,000.
Apart from regular festival goers,
technicians, scholars, critics, journalists, members
of п¬Ѓlm societies
and campus п¬Ѓlm
clubs are welcome this time.
In the application form,
there were also a few questions
on п¬Ѓlm to test the knowledge of
those intending to attend the
“We should know what kind
of people are coming to watch
films and if their interest in
films is genuine. What’s wrong
in testing their aptitude?”
asked Gopalakrishnan, a pioneer of Kerala’s film society
One of the п¬Ѓnest п¬Ѓlmmakers of
India, Gopalakrishnan was honoured with the nation’s second
highest civilian award, Padma
Vibhushan, in 2006. He also
received more than a dozen national awards for �best director’
or �best film’ since his debut 1973
п¬Ѓlm Swayamvaram, a milestone
in Malayalam cinema.
However, his reported comments against “people who do
not even understand English
subtitles” have irked many including writer N S Madhavan
who ridiculed him through a
series of comments on Twitter.
Gopalakrishnan said he was
aware of the criticism against
him in the social media though
he did not have an account on Facebook or a Twitter handle. The
п¬Ѓlmmaker insisted he was being
quoted out of context.
“A couple of television channels have been misquoting me.
This is a manufactured controversy,” said the director who received the British Film Institute’s
award for the �most original imaginative film of the year’ for his
Elippathayam in 1982.
Gopalakrishnan feels many of
the delegates come to the festival expecting “sex and violence” as the films screened
are not censored. This results in a lot of problems
inside the theatres during
the screenings. The organisers are trying
to avoid such an
embarrassment for
п¬Ѓlmmakers coming with their
п¬Ѓlms for the festival, he said.
Children’s Day celebrated
A schoolboy cries as he and schoolmates, dressed up as India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, pose during a photo event for Children’s Day celebrations at a
school in Amritsar, Punjab, yesterday. Children’s Day falls on November 14, coinciding with the birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Govt claim of resolving
WTO impasse �untrue’
New Delhi
he Congress yesterday
accused the Narendra
Modi government of
hiding the truth and said its
claim of having reached an
agreement with the US on resolving the impasse in WTO
was a “deliberate attempt to
mislead the people”.
Congress deputy leader in the
Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said
in a statement that the BJP-led
government was resorting to
“one-upmanship” and the issue
of public stockholding for food
security was actually forced by
India at the Bali ministerial meet
Jailed Congress MP
attempts suicide
est Bengal Chief
Banerjee yesterday
suspended jail officials and onduty hospital staff in the wake
of the reported suicide attempt
by suspended Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh, who is
in jail for his alleged complicity
in the Saradha scam.
Ghosh’s condition is now
stable. He was hospitalised
yesterday after he complained
of feeling unwell, police said.
Ghosh had on November 10
threatened to commit suicide if
others involved in the swindle
were not arrested within three
Banerjee yesterday said in
the state assembly the superintendent of Presidency Jail,
attending doctor, nurse and onduty staff of the hospital have
been suspended.
Police said Ghosh claimed
“before jail authorities that he
had consumed 30-40 Alprazolam pills”.
“We are waiting for jail authorities to confirm if it is an attempt to suicide, after which we
will proceed accordingly,” deputy
commissioner of south division,
Murlidhar Sharma, said.
The Trinamool MP was shifted
to SSKM Hospital around 3am.
“Kunal Ghosh’s condition is
stable now. He is responding
“Ghosh has told the
doctors that he took 3040 Alprazolam tablets
from the evening up to
night time on Thursday”
to treatment and speaking. His
stomach was cleared on arrival
(at hospital) and he was given a
liquid diet also,” said Sumanjit
Roy, deputy commissioner, detective department.
“The circumstances under
which he said he was unwell are
still under inquiry and whether
there was any attempted suicide or not is yet to be ascertained,” said Sharma.
Ghosh, who headed Saradha
media arm before being arrested in November last year, has
been alleging the involvement
of several leaders of the ruling
Trinamool Congress, including
its top brass.
He also urged the court to
disallow anyone from meeting
him in the jail, lest he be “dissuaded or influenced”.
“Ghosh has told the doctors
that he took 30-40 Alprazolam
tablets from the evening up to
night time on Thursday. He
was given a stomach wash as
per protocol. The contents in
his stomach has been sent for
forensic examination,” SSKM
Hospital director Pradip Mitra
told mediapersons here.
West Bengal’s opposition
parties and legal luminaries
yesterday slammed the Mamata
Banerjee administration for the
reported suicide attempt.
State BJP president Rahul
Sinha said those in power want to
“finish off” Ghosh by any means.
“So they thought when he
had declared his intention to
commit suicide, they should
not keep him under close observation. Had he managed to
take his own life, those involved
in the scam would have felt relieved,” said Sinha.
and it had been secured and protected.
“The commerce minister’s
(Nirmala Sitharaman) statement attributing that the
agreement reached at Bali ministerial meeting was temporary
peace clause is factually incorrect and political dishonesty,”
Sharma said.
He said it was India’s strong
and uncompromising stance
that forced the issue of procurement of foodgrains for public
stock holding on the Bali WTO
agenda despite stiff opposition
from the US, the European Union and other developed countries.
“India fought tenaciously and
succeeded in putting together
a global coalition of developing
countries of Asia, Africa, Latin
America and the Caribbean.
That forced the developed countries to cede ground, and agree
to negotiate a permanent solution to change the dated WTO
rules,” he said.
Sharma said India also secured for itself and other developing countries protection
from any challenge at WTO
for any breach until negotiated
permanent solution was found.
Sitharaman on Thursday said
an agreement has been reached
with the US on the issue of food
stockpiling which meant an end
to the impasse over the WTO
accord to ease global customs
Ballet performance
She added that the deal opens
the way for a consensus on
the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which had eluded
the World Trade Organisation
members in July.
Sharma said NDA (National
Democratic Alliance) government had engaged in needless
posturing by stalling the TFA
and insisting for a permanent
solution by December 2014.
“The TFA was among the nine
agreements which were reached
at the WTO Ministerial meeting
in Bali. By refusing to honour the
Bali agreement, the BJP government embarrassed India and left it
globally isolated. It also adversely
affected the credibility of India in
multilateral forums,” he said.
Kerala bravado falters
as dam water rises
Members of the London-based Avant Garde Dance Ballet
Company performs �The Black Album’ in Bengaluru.
The dance performance with three different hip hop
choreographies was organised by the British Council.
“It is, therefore, strange
that government now claims
to have resolved bilaterally with the US. It has been
India’s firm and consistent
position that multilateral
agreements and issues can
only be revisited in the concerned multilateral organisations which, in this case is the
WTO,” Sharma added.
He said the claim is nothing
but “a face-saver from the US to
extricate India from a situation
which was this government’s
“The prime minister and
his government are better advised not to make claims that
will invite more ridicule,” he
he water level of the Mullaperiyar dam reservoir,
which is located in Kerala
though its waters serve Tamil
Nadu also, touched 140 feet yesterday. Unlike in the past, the
state remained quiet about the
“It has been raining heavily and 14mm of rain has been
reported since Thursday... and
the water level has touched
the 140 feet-mark,” a resident
At a cabinet meeting here
on Thursday, it was decided
that tough steps will be taken
if the level touches 140 feet,
but no action has been taken
Kerala and Tamil Nadu have
been at loggerheads over the
dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja
of Travancore and the erstwhile
British Raj.
The water level has breached
the 140 feet-mark only on two
earlier occasions. In 1992 it
touched 143.8 feet and in 1995 it
was 141.60 feet.
In November 2011, when
Kerala Water Resources Minister P J Joseph had claimed
that the water level was
around 134 feet at his home
town Idukki, a couple of shutdowns followed.
A 208-km-long human chain
and numerous local protests
were held.
Leader of the opposition V S
Achuthanandan had also said
during the 2012 election campaign that the Left Democratic
Front was prepared to raise money to build a new dam if neither
Tamil Nadu or the Centre were
willing to help.
But matters came to a standstill when in May this year the
Supreme Court struck down a
Kerala assembly act restricting
the water level at 136 feet. It also
gave the safety standards at the
dam a clean chit.
After the verdict, the Kerala
assembly, for the fourth time,
passed a unanimous resolution that the central government should act as a mediator
for building a new dam at Mullaperiyar.
Sources close to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that
one way to revive the issue now
was to approach the apex court
in the coming days.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Expedite trial against
Madani, court told
CBI reply sought over
�morphed’ minister’s photo
Police hide under tables
to escape angry squatters
BJP seeks suggestions
for Delhi manifesto
Orison group’s director
held in chit fund scam
The Supreme Court yesterday asked a Bengaluru
court to conclude the trial against 2008 serial
bomb blast conspiracy prime accused Abdul
Nazir Madani in four months. The apex court
bench extended the interim bail of Kerala-based
People’s Democratic Party leader Madani by four
months. But the court rejected Madani’s plea
to allow him to move to Kerala for his medical
treatment. Besides, the court declined any
relaxation in the conditions of bail. The Karnataka
government, in an affidavit, told the court that
Madani was influencing the witnesses by using his
connections. The Karnataka government gave the
court a list of witnesses who have turned hostile.
The Delhi High Court asked the CBI to file a detailed
status report on a plea seeking to bring to a logical
end the preliminary inquiries into the alleged
morphing of a photo of India’s first education
minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and union
Minister Najma Heptulla. The plea filed by Azad’s
grand-nephew Firoz Bakht Ahmed alleged that
the morphing of the photo was done at Heptulla’s
instance when she headed the Indian Council for
Cultural Relations (ICCR). Heptulla is the minority
affairs minister in the Narendra Modi government.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru sought a response from the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by December
16, after it failed to file the reply on the issue.
Policemen hid behind cupboards and under table
as a group of people claiming to owe allegiance
to West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress
rampaged through a police station in Kolkata
yesterday. Enraged over the administration’s
attempts to evict encroachers from a piece
of land owned by the state public works
department, a group of slum dwellers residing on
the plot staged a demonstration and pushed the
officials away. When police swung into action and
nabbed 10 of the demonstrators some of them
forcibly entered the Alipore police station and
beat up the security personnel with sticks. Stones
were also hurled at the police station.
The BJP’s Delhi unit yesterday called for
suggestions from people to be included in its
manifesto for the upcoming assembly elections.
The party launched a revamped website for
this purpose and asked people to contribute
their ideas. “I appeal to the people of Delhi to
give their suggestions on the development and
upkeep of the city. The party will consider the
ideas while framing the manifesto,” Bharatiya
Janata Party Delhi chief Satish Upadhyay said.
According to Upadhyay, the refurbished web
site gives the people and party workers a forum
to put forward their ideas and suggestions
which can be viewed by others.
The CBI yesterday arrested Sagar Kumar
Ray, one of the directors of Orison Group of
companies, in Odisha for his alleged complicity
with Artha Tatwa Group chief Pradip Sethy,
who has duped thousands of people through a
chit fund scam in the state. The Central Bureau
of Investigation (CBI), probing the chit fund
scam, interrogated Ray for his links with the
AT Group and later arrested him as he failed to
provide satisfactory answers. “He has received
huge amount of money in his personal
account as well as in the accounts of his
companies which he could not satisfactorily
account for,” a CBI official said.
Trade tops
agenda as
Modi meets
deaths expose
menace of
faulty drugs
head of the G20 Summit,
Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi held his
п¬Ѓrst bilateral meetings with European Union president Herman
Van Rompuy and British Prime
Minister David Cameron where
economic co-operation topped
the agenda — and ended the day
with a dinner hosted by Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Modi, who flew down here
earlier in the day for the G20 that
begins today, п¬Ѓrst visited the
Queensland University of Technology and listened keenly to
latest developments in agricultural research, and mingled freely with students and researchers.
Modi held talks with an EU
team headed by Rompuy, who said
the bloc was keen to “re-engage”
with India in all areas, especially
trade. Modi told him that the “EU
should take advantage of the new
economic environment in India”.
An India-EU free trade agreement is yet to be concluded. Negotiations are stuck on key points,
including the EU’s demand for significant duty cuts in automobiles
and tax cuts on wines, spirits and
dairy products, and also a demand
for a strong intellectual property
regime. The value of EU-India
trade grew from 28.6bn euros in
2003 to 72.7bn in 2013. Rompuy
tweeted after the talks: “India and
EU are strategic partners with vast
potential for more co-operation
including economic. Good bilateral talks with India PM.”
Modi’s proposal for an international Yoga Day, which he
suggested at the UN, got further impetus with Rompuy telling him that the 28-member EU
supported his call for a Yoga Day.
Modi’s meeting with Cameron was another highlight of his
engagements at Brisbane. Cameron, who is meeting the Indian
prime minister for the п¬Ѓrst time,
told him that relations with India were at the “top of the priorities of UK’s foreign policy”.
Also, “Your’s is a very inspiring vision. UK wants to partner
in any way we can”, the external
affairs ministry quoted the British side as saying.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks at genetically modified plants during a visit to the QUT campus
in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday.
Furore over Bihar
CM’s racial remark
t least six leaders of the
ruling Janata Dal (United), including ministers
and legislators, have openly
criticised their own Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi for his
controversial remarks that upper castes were foreigners and
Dalits and Tribals were indigenous people of the country, and
demanded his removal.
The national leadership of
the party, too, has asked Manjhi not to cross his limit while
addressing public meetings or
any official function across the
JD-U president Sharad Yadav and party general secretary
K C Tyagi have requested Manjhi not to say anything that creates controversy as it will harm
the image of the party ahead of
next state assembly polls and
will provide ready-made issues
for the opposition BJP to target
the party and its government, a
senior JD-U leader said .
JD-U legislators Sunil Pandey, Gajanand Sahi, Anant
Singh, Neeraj Kumar have
slammed Manjhi.
Bihar Animal Husbandry
Minister Baidyanath Sahni and
Agriculture Minister Narendra
Singh said Manjhi should not
make such remarks that create
“Chief minister should not
make such statements,” Sahni said. Sunil Pandey has demanded Manjhi’s ouster.
“Manjhi is creating controversy instead of running the
government; he should be removed,” he said.
Not hiding his anger, Pandey
demanded calling a legislature
party meeting for choosing a
new leader to replace Manjhi.
“People had given mandate
to Nitish Kumar and not Jitan
Ram Manjhi. Hence, he should
be removed immediately in
view of his irresponsible remarks,” he told the media here.
Gajanand Sahi said Manjhi should avoid making such
remarks as it would harm the
“Manjhi should not target
any one as he is holding a constitutional post,” he said.
Earlier, JD-U legislator Anant
Singh termed Manjhi �mad’ for
his remarks and said he should
be sent to a mental asylum.
Anant Singh, who belongs to
the upper caste Bhumihar community demanded his removal.
Neeraj Kumar, who is also
JD-U spokesperson said that
the JD-U does not agree with
the chief minister’s remarks.
“This is his personal opinion.
We talk of inclusive politics.”
Another JD-U leader Sanjay
Jha, close to Nitish Kumar, said
Manjhi’s remarks against upper
castes were highly objectionable and uncalled for.
“It is not tolerable because he
used such words to create division and tension in the society,”
said Jha, who is a Brahmin, adding that such remarks are harming the party and even the good
work done by the state government was not getting its due.
he recent deaths of 15
people linked to a small
pharmaceutical factory
in Raipur have highlighted how
easily adulterated drugs can enter India’s huge healthcare system.
Experts say the government
is underestimating the scale
of the problem, hampering efforts to rein in abuses in one of
the world’s biggest markets for
counterfeit and substandard
Stuffed in glossy packaging
and sometimes labelled with the
names of legitimate companies,
fake drugs are commonly passed
off to consumers as genuine
and sold in developing nations
around the world.
Estimates vary of the number
of fake drugs in India.
According to an estimate from
the World Health Organisation,
one in п¬Ѓve drugs in India is fake
or faulty. The government, by
contrast, says the п¬Ѓgure is closer
to 0.3%.
Regulating a sector beset by
bribery, collusion, cartels and
other coercive practices poses a
challenge for government officials when selecting which manufacturers to buy from, a 2013
report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found.
The drug regulator was criticised for only having 124 employees, according to a parliamentary report two years ago. By
comparison, the drugs regulator
in the US, where the population
is four times smaller, has about
14,500 employees.
Official visit
“States procure medicine
through a tender and the manufacturers that bid the lowest
quote win the order to supply,
regardless of their manufacturing process or distribution systems,” said Bejon Kumar Misra,
head of Partnership for Safe
Medicines India, a non-governmental organisation.
“It is an easy crime because
it is impossible to tell there
is a problem with the drugs
just by looking at them”
But G N Singh, the drugs
controller general of India, said
quality and safety came before
price in the tender process. “If
the drugs are found to be substandard, we will suspend the
license of the manufacturer,” he
Some experts fear complacency is a factor. “There is a lack
of regulatory oversight and if
you are cutting the costs right
down to the bone, then sometimes you are cutting too far,”
said Roger Bate, an academic
at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “I don’t
see it getting better, because the
government doesn’t admit there
is a problem, let alone trying to
address it,” he added.
might be spurred into action by
the latest scandal which has hit
Top Kerala cop linked
to photo leak: woman
Governor of the US state of South Carolina, Nikki Haley,
waves as she arrives to attend a function at Lovely
Professional University in Jalandhar yesterday. After
her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New
York, Haley is in India to take forward her initiative to sell
Carolina as a profitable investment destination.
headlines at home and abroad.
Thirteen women who attended
a squalid sterilisation camp last
weekend have died, and the
prime suspect is a batch of pills
supplied by a small drugs factory, Mahawar Pharmaceuticals,
located in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
The owners of the plant deny
all wrongdoing. Two more
deaths underlined suspicions
that it was drugs, not dirty
equipment or botched operations, that were to blame.
One of the two, 80-year-old
Anjori Maheshwari, arrived at
a hospital complaining of fever
and dizziness. He was clutching a strip of pills from the same
batch of antibiotics used by
the women at the sterilisation
“camp”. A day later he was dead.
“The doctor said my father
died because of this medicine,”
Chuni Lal, the man’s 38-yearold son said, as he wept on the
veranda of his home. “What can
we do, we are poor people?”
The state government yesterday banned the sale and distribution of all medicines from
Mahawar. Reliable estimates of
the number of fatalities from
tainted drugs are hard to come
by. In one of the worst cases,
counterfeit drugs were blamed
for contributing to the deaths of
more than 300 infants in Kashmir in 2012 after they were given
medicine at the state’s main paediatric hospital.
“It is an easy crime because
it is impossible to tell there is
a problem with the drugs just
by looking at them,” said Anil
Bansal, a doctor at the Delhi
Medical Council. “As the industry becomes more lucrative, the
problem is getting worse.”
he director general of police M N Krishnamoorthy
will probe the complaint
of solar panel scam accused Saritha Nair against additional
director general of police K Padmakumar, Kerala Home Minister
Ramesh Chennithala said yesterday.
Nair on Thursday complained
to Kerala police chief K S Balasubramaniam, alleging that it was
Padmakumar and a few political
leaders who were behind uploading her semi-nude and nude
pictures on the social media,
which had gone viral.
“Krishnamoorthy will conduct the preliminary probe into
the complaint,” said Chennithala.
Padmakumar said since the
solar panel case is being heard in
several courts and being a subjudice matter, he will make no
comments on this issue.
In her complaint, Nair said
that when the solar panel case
was registered it was Padmakumar, then inspector general
of police, who was heading the
probe team. Her complaint said
that Padmakumar after confiscating her mobile phones and
laptops, held back one laptop
and two mobiles and it was in
those that these pictures were
The solar panel scam has been
making headlines in Kerala since
June 3 last year when Nair was
Two weeks later, her live-in
partner Biju Radhakrishnan was
also taken into custody for duping numerous people by promising them agencies for solar panels and windmills.
In the immediate aftermath
of the case, three staffers of
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s office lost their jobs for
being in close touch with Nair
and for almost a year this scam
rocked the state and Chandy’s
post as chief minister was under a cloud, with the Left opposition unleashing numerous
protests inside and outside the
Nair is currently out on bail,
and time and again she has been
threatening to reveal more about
the scam.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Argentina accuses UK of
Falklands �provocation’
Cuban athlete defects
while in Mexico
Farc guerrillas abduct
two Colombian soldiers
Radar cut leaves airport
�blind’ for eight minutes
Unrest to have economic
impact: Mexico minister
Argentina has accused Britain of carrying out
military exercises near the Falkland Islands,
saying it amounted to a “new provocation” in
the long-running dispute over the rocky South
Atlantic archipelago. Although the islands have
been ruled by Britain since 1833, Argentina
claims them as their own and in 1982 attempted
to seize control in a brief but bloody war that has
tarnished ties between London and Buenos Aires
ever since. “Argentina rejects in the strongest
terms these naval and military exercises,” the
foreign ministry said about the manoeuvres
carried out 350kms east of its mainland, adding
it had filed a complaint with the British embassy.
A Cuban athlete due to take part in the Central
American and Caribbean Games in Mexico has
deserted and is headed to the US, Mexican and
Cuban officials said. Sandra Mustalier, 28, was a
table tennis player with the Cuban team at the
games, which opened yesterday in the eastern
city of Veracruz. “Do not look for me, I am fine.
I wish everyone good luck,” Mustalier wrote on
her Facebook page, according to Carlos Padilla,
president of the Mexican Olympic Committee. He
said Cuban athletes often desert their delegations
at international competitions to try to avoid
returning home. “It is part of what the essence of
each individual’s freedom requires,” Padilla said.
Farc rebels kidnapped two Colombian soldiers
after clashes between the Marxist guerrillas
and the military in the far east of the country,
the army said. The capture, which comes
amid a slow-moving peace process between
the rebels and the government, took place in
Arauca Department, bordering Venezuela, the
National Army of Colombia said in a statement.
The double abduction came after a military
operation in a rural area during which a soldier
was killed and two wounded. The army accused
the guerrillas of “a flagrant violation of the
commitment not to kidnap Colombians” and
demanded their release.
A power outage left the control tower at
Colombia’s main airport without radar for eight
minutes, the civil aviation agency said, admitting
the incident was “serious.” The blackout happened
on Wednesday when two power stations failed,
cutting electricity to El Dorado International
Airport in Bogota - whose control tower coordinates not only flights to and from the capital
but the entire country’s air traffic. “We were blind
for several minutes, until (power) was restored,”
said Gustavo Lenis, director of the agency that
regulates commercial flights. He said air traffic
controllers had been able to maintain contact with
pilots using battery-operated radios.
Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray
said that there would likely be some impact
on Latin America’s No. 2 economy from
protests over the apparent massacre of 43
students abducted by police seven weeks
ago. Videgaray told local radio that the often
violent protests that have broken out around
the nation could hurt new investment and
delay hiring by companies. “It would be naive
to say that it will not have an effect on the
economy, but I would dare to say that this is
not the most important thing,” Videgaray said,
pointing to the need to resolve investigations
into the horrific crime.
El Salvador
takes steps to
tackle scourge
of femicide
San Salvador
or nearly a decade, Flor
Cornet endured the almost
weekly beatings on her face
and arms by her husband in their
rural home outside El Salvador’s
capital city.
He also threatened to take their
two children away and forbade her
from leaving the house. Then the
death threats came.
“I knew my life was in danger
when during one of his attacks of
rage he put a machete to my neck
that left a line of cuts. He thought
he owned me. He told me I was
worthless, that I wouldn’t be able
to survive without him as I had no
money or job,” Cornet, 40, said.
“I finally left him. On the news,
I’d hear about women being killed
by their husbands. I didn’t want to
be one of them.”
Cornet’s ordeal of years of abuse
is a scourge faced by many women
in the Central American nation of
6mn. Riven by gang warfare, El
Salvador is one of the world’s most
violent countries. Rights group
say its macho culture, which
views women as child-bearers
and mothers, along with a justice
system that too often fails to punish perpetrators of crimes against
women, fuels widespread genderbased violence.
Last year, nearly 4,000 El Salvadoran women ended up in hospital because of domestic and or
sexual abuse in the home. Rights
group say gender-based crimes
are massively under-reported because fear prevents more women
from coming forward.
Cornet said she left her husband just in time. But for thousands of El Salvadoran women,
domestic violence has ended with
their death.
Until recently, El Salvador was
known as the world’s capital for
femicide - defined as the killing
of a girl or woman by a man because of her gender. At least 2,250
femicides have been reported in El
Salvador from 2010 to September
2014, according to the Organisation of Salvadoran Women for
Peace (Ormusa), a local rights
The victims’ former or current
boyfriends, husbands or family
members or friends are often the
perpetrators. Scenes of women
and girls murdered and then discarded like rubbish in alleyways,
city streets and dumpsters continue to hit local headlines.
The victims often show signs
of torture, rape, or mutilation
and dismembered body parts. UN
Women says femicide is a growing phenomenon across Latin
America. Half of the countries
worldwide with very high femicide rates are in Latin America and
the Caribbean, including Mexico,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
and Jamaica, according to a 2012
report by the Small Arms Survey.
To tackle the violence, Costa
Rica in 2007 became the п¬Ѓrst
country in Latin America to
pass a law which defines and
punishes femicide as a specific
crime. Seven other countries in
the region have followed, most
recently El Salvador where a law
on femicide came into effect in
2012. The law was part of landmark legislation to address gender-based violence by former
president Mauricio Funes of
the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN)
that was formed by ex-guerrillas
from the country’s civil war.
“Femicide is the most extreme
expression of violence against a
woman. This is a product of misogyny and machismo, based on
the view that a man owns and
controls a women’s body and that
a woman’s body doesn’t belong
to them,” said Yanira Argueta, a
former FMLN п¬Ѓghter and now the
head of the Salvadoran Institute
for the Development of Women
(ISDEMU), a government agency.
El Salvador’s femicide rates
have fallen from a peak of 923 in
2010 to 175 femicides in 2013, Argueta said.
People buy clothes at a mall in Caracas after the so called �fair prices’ established by the Venezuelan government prior the Christmas season came into effect.
Maduro cuts prices of
goods to boost ratings
n Venezuela, Christmas
has begun in November.
President Nicolas Maduro has launched a plan
dubbed “Operation Merry
Christmas” to lower the cost
of toys, clothes and appliances for shoppers, potentially boosting his slumping
poll numbers as the country
struggles with a weakening
With soldiers selling subsidised holiday food and some
27,000 government inspectors
leaning on private businesses
to cut prices, Maduro hopes
to take the edge off the country’s 63% inflation during the
Christmas shopping season.
That may help him improve
approval ratings that dropped
to 30% in September, according
to pollster Datanalisis.
The government’s price control czar Andres Mendez kicked
off the holiday shopping season
earlier this month with orders
that businesses keep prices
down and warnings that merchants must not charge more
than 30% markup on any item.
Bachelet reveals torture
ordeal under Pinochet
made rare public remarks on her detention and
torture by the country’s
former military regime, saying “maturity” had helped her
reconcile with the past.
Bachelet was arrested in
1975 by late dictator Augusto
Pinochet’s political police
and held at the infamous Villa
Grimaldi interrogation and
torture centre in the capital
Santiago - an experience she
discussed in an interview for
a programme on TV network
“I was mainly tortured psychologically, and some beating, but they didn’t �grill’
me,” she said, using political
prisoners’ slang for the practice in which detainees were
strapped to a metal bedspring
and given electric shocks.
“I was lucky compared to so
many others. Many of them died.”
Thousands of people were
held at Villa Grimaldi during
the dictatorship, of whom 236
were executed or disappeared.
Bachelet, 63, served as
Chile’s first woman president from 2006 to 2010, and
returned to office this March
for a new term. Her father,
Alberto, was an army general
who opposed Pinochet’s 1973
overthrow of socialist president Salvador Allende.
He was arrested in the aftermath of the coup and died
in prison in 1974 from the
torture his one-time subordinates inflicted on him.
The following year, the regime arrested Bachelet and
her mother, Angela Jeria.
Bachelet, who was secretly
a socialist activist at the time,
was released after several
weeks and went into exile. “At
first I was very angry, in infinite pain,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have imagined
in that moment holding a dialogue with people I would later open a dialogue with.”
She also spoke about her
partner at the time, socialist
leader Jaime Lopez Arellano,
who disappeared during the
1973-1990 dictatorship. “I
would love to know what really happened to him: if he
disappeared, if he’s dead, if
he’s somewhere else,” she
Bachelet addressed rumours that Lopez Arellano
had given up the names of
other activists under torture possibly to protect her. “Some
people say he gave up certain
names because they told him
if he didn’t they would kill me
and my mother in exile,” she
said. “It was very hard for me
because I had a strong sense
of duty, because I was young.
When you’re young things are
probably much more black
and white. I felt like I had personally betrayed the cause,”
she said.
“Today I look at it with a lot
more maturity.”
More than 3,000 people
were killed or disappeared and
38,000 tortured during Pinochet’s rule.
Within days, shops were
slashing prices and soldiers
were organising Christmas
�fairs’ full of subsidised goods
from food to electronics.
One throng of people gathered outside a downtown Caracas toy store to pick up cutrate Barbie dolls that had been
marked down by nearly 80%
to 553 bolivars, only around $5
at the black market exchange
“I’m buying six Barbies before they run out,” said Carmen Suarez, a mother-of-two
who got permission to leave
work. “They said I could buy
six as long as I didn’t buy the
same model twice.”
The strategy has worked for
Maduro before. A year ago, he
enjoyed a sharp jump in poll
numbers after a theatrical
wave of forced price reductions that boosted the Socialist Party’s standing in the subsequent municipal elections.
Maduro and his ministers
accuse the opposition, together with business leaders,
of leading an �economic war’
to artificially spur consumer
prices and create product
His detractors say the coun-
try’s inflation rate of more
than 60%, the slowing economy and nagging shortages
of staple goods symbolise the
failure of late socialist leader
Hugo Chavez’s state-led economic model.
Even those benefiting from
the state’s largesse are tired of
the now-customary long lines.
“The government has good
intentions, but they need to
find a different way to do this,”
said Alberto Monsalve, 36, who
waited overnight in a line to buy
a laptop computer for 8,300 bolivars, less than $75 at the black
market exchange rate.
Controversial dating
coach faces Brazil ban
Rio de Janeiro
Bachelet: rare public remarks
razil will deny a visa to
Julien Blanc, a self-proclaimed pickup artist who
travels around the world teaching men how to seduce women
using techniques that include
choking and intimidation.
Brazil’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement yesterday that there are “enough
elements” about Blanc’s background to deny him a visa.
Blanc, a Swiss-born dating coach at California-based
Real Social Dynamics (RSD),
advocates using physical aggression and emotional abuse
to convince women to have affairs, according to videos of his
workshops on YouTube.
One of his pick-up techniques to “open” a woman is to
approach the target and choke
her before covering her mouth
to keep her quiet.
A pie-chart, designed by
Blanc as a cheat-sheet of his
techniques and published on his
Facebook profile, shows “power
and control” in the centre, and
slices describing how to “use
coercion and threats, use intimidation, use emotional abuse, use
isolation, deny, blame and minimise, use children, use economic
abuse, use male privilege.”
According to RSD’s website, “bootcamp” workshops
in Brazil are scheduled in Rio
de Janeiro and Florianopolis in
January, at a cost of $2,500 per
participant. The site lists several men as instructors, including Blanc.
Brazil’s foreign affairs ministry said Blanc hasn’t applied
for a visa, but if he does, Brazilian consulates around the world
have been instructed to immediately contact the ministry. “It’s
very positive that the Brazilian
government is reacting to this
and saying this guy is not welcome here,” said Leila Rebouças,
from Cfemea, a feminist organisation. “We can’t just accept it
and call it freedom of expression,
because it’s not.”
Brazil is the latest country
to join a wave of international
backlash against Blanc since
details of his dating advice
techniques emerged earlier this
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Pakistan: security
�inextricably linked’
with Afghanistan
akistan’s military told new
Afghan President Ashraf
Ghani that the security of
the two countries was “inextricably linked” yesterday as Ghani
kicked off a two-day trip aimed
at rebuilding damaged ties
between the two countries.
Relations have been harmed
by regular accusations from both
countries that the other is harbouring anti-government insurgents who cross the porous border and mount deadly attacks.
The trip is Ghani’s first state
visit to Pakistan.
A tweet from Pakistan’s Major
General Asim Bajwa, head of the
military’s public relations wing,
said Ghani’s trip took place amid
a positive atmosphere and that
border co-operation was “in
“Tribute to Pak sacrifices,
Bodes well for region,” he said.
“Security, stability a shared
goal. Our security inextricably
spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam
said discussions between Ghani
and Pakistani Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif, who took power
last year, would be wide-ranging.
“Peace and stability, everything to do with bilateral cooperation, political engagement,
economic co-operation, the
training programme - everything is on the table,” she said.
One of Pakistan’s chief concerns is the growing influence
of its arch rival India in Afghanistan as Nato troops pull out this
year. India has trained hundreds
of Afghan security officers under
a bilateral agreement.
Earlier this month, the Pakistani military offered a brigadelevel training package to the Afghan military. Such offers have
been made before, but the Afghans declined amid suspicions
that Pakistan was sheltering
Afghan insurgents.
Ghani met yesterday with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and
the two set a goal of doubling
two-way trade to $5bn within two
years, an Afghan statement said.
Ghani, who took power in
September following a protracted election dispute, has sought
a role for China in mediating
peace negotiations with the
Afghan Taliban.
China enjoys good relations
with both Afghanistan and Pakistan, which also faces a Taliban
insurgency, and is concerned
about Islamist militancy in its
Xinjiang region.
Aslam says Pakistan welcomes an expanded role for China and is awaiting any requests
from the Afghan government
that might help kick-start the
moribund Afghan peace process.
Sartaj Aziz, right, walks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, left, during his visit to Islamabad yesterday.
According to the diplomat,
two approaches to dealing with
the Taliban are currently being
considered by Afghanistan.
Chief executive Abdullah
Abdullah favours completely
resetting ties with Pakistan
and using them to approach the
43% of Pakistanis blame
�bad luck’ for poverty
ot many blame bad
governance or poor
policies of the previous governments for poverty in
Pakistan. For majority in Pakistan, they are poor because of
sheer �bad luck’.
According to a Gallup Pakistan National Survey, 43%
believe it is because of �bad
luck’ that they remained poor.
Around 15% think it is because
they are not hard workers, 44%
say that it is because they were
born in poor families, 9% think
it is because they did not go
abroad for employment.
There are 20% who think
that it is because they do not
means, while 11% attributed their poverty to illiteracy
whereas only 1% of the respondents to Gallup Pakistan
survey named other factors as
the reason for poor people being poor.
The same survey was conducted in 1981 (33 years ago).
At that time 50% Pakistanis
believed that poor people were
poor because of bad luck, 40%
believed it was because they
were born in a poor family.
This data was released by
Gallup Pakistan History Project
which aims to release historical
empirical polling data to wider
audiences. The objective is to
sustain and encourage empirical decision making in Pakistan.
Thirty-three years ago, a nationally representative sample
of men and women, from across
the four provinces was asked
“What are the reasons for people being poor?” Responding to
this question, 17% respondents
said it was because they were not
hard workers, 50% said it was
because of �bad luck’, 40% said
it was because they were born in
poor families, 13% said it was because they did not go abroad for
employment, 18% said it was because they did not earn through
illegitimate means, while 31%
attributed their poverty to illiteracy. 5% of the respondents
named other factors as the reason
for poor people being poor.
Apart from decline in respondents who named illiteracy as the reason for poverty, results for all other factors
were almost the same in both
surveys with “Just bad luck”
and “They were born in a poor
family” once again being mentioned by a high percentage of
respondents. Gallup Pakistan
has been polling in Pakistan
since 1979 (over 35 years).
During this time millions of
Pakistanis have been surveyed
by over a thousand interviewers of Gallup. In 2014, Gallup
Pakistan has decided to release
historical Public Opinion Data
collected 35 years ago.
Taliban, the diplomat said.
Ghani, in contrast, would prefer to follow Karzai and try to
deal with the insurgents directly,
through contacts in restive eastern Afghanistan, and bypass Islamabad, the diplomat said.
The Taliban, who dismissed
the Afghan election as a US plot,
have often said they will п¬Ѓght on
until all foreign troops have left
About 12,500 US-led troops
will stay on into next year on
a Nato training and support
Electronic voting
prone to rigging,
says poll official
n official of the Election
Commission of Pakistan (ECP) surprised
members of the parliamentary
committee on electoral reform yesterday, when he told
them that electronic voting
machines (EVMs) were just as
prone to fraud - if not more
so - as traditional polling
Khizar Aziz, director general (information technology), ECP, candidly told the
parliamentary body that the
software used by EVMs could
be manipulated to affect the
He said that EVMs installed
at polling stations were vulnerable to hacking via Bluetooth
signals and other forms of
wireless connectivity. In fact,
he told members that the machines could even be tampered
with while in storage.
Aziz, who delivered a technical briefing on the merits
and demerits associated with
EVMs and biometric technology, said that it was a myth
that EVMs could make the
electoral exercise 100% fair
and transparent.
He cited the examples of six
European countries, which
had switched back to conventional voting methods after
abandoning EVMs because
of a lack of transparency and
trust. The Supreme Court of
Germany had also declared
EVMs unconstitutional, he
The panel was told that
though India had conducted
three general elections on
EVMs in 2004, 2009 and 2014,
criticism of the voting ma-
Registration point
Policemen searching internally displaced residents of Bara, a town of the Khyber Agency who have fled the military operation against
Taliban militants, as they wait at a registration point in Peshawar yesterday. The Pakistani military launched a major offensive in North
Waziristan in June and say they have killed more than 1,100 militants so far, with 100 soldiers losing their lives in the operation.
Afghanistan’s losing battle against opium
ahmatullah, 19, is from Sangin,
one of the most violent districts
in Afghanistan.
Last month he worked in an opium farm
as a daily wage labourer for three weeks.
He earned Pakistani Rs4,000 ($40).
Since June his district in the volatile
southern province of Helmand has seen
a series of Taliban onslaughts, including
attacks by hundreds of п¬Ѓghters taking
over police checkpoints and main roads.
The province is the top poppy producer in the country, accounting for
46% of national cultivation. The
amount of poppy grown is highest in
northern areas, where violence has also
The Afghan government has no control in the area where he works, says
Rahmatullah, who now lives with his
family in a displaced persons camp in
the outskirts of Kabul.
“I went there for short-term employment during the planting. I worked in a
field owned by a landlord,” he said. “We
stayed in the poppy п¬Ѓeld day and night
because there was constant work.”
He and two of his friends from the
camp worked in the poppy п¬Ѓelds from
before the sunrise to late afternoon.
He said he will do it again next year.
Each year, thousands of labourers
work in farms across the country during poppy cultivation and harvest time
to earn extra money.
Officials estimate the industry indirectly employs around half a million
Afghans, more than the total number of
people in the security forces.
Billions of dollars spent in last 13
years for counter-narcotics efforts have
yielded few results in Afghanistan.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) said in a report this week that
the area under opium poppy cultivation
rose by 7% this year to 224,000 hectares of land, higher than the previous
peak of 209,000 hectares in 2013.
In 2002, a year after the Taliban regime
was toppled in a US-led invasion, 74,000
hectares was being used to grow poppies.
Afghanistan now supplies 90% of
the global opiates market, which includes heroin.
chines had been severe and the
credibility of the process was
The ECP official said that
during an interaction with the
Indian election authorities,
it emerged that there was no
mechanism available to ascertain if an EVM had been
tampered with.
They said it was not possible to check 1.4mn machines
to ascertain which ones were
manipulated, Aziz told the
committee yesterday.
EVMs were currently in use
in eleven countries, including the US, Canada, Australia,
France, Austria, India and
The committee was told
that advantages of using
EVMs included speed and accuracy, and elimination of �rejected votes’ - something that
sparked controversy in dozens
of constituencies in previous general elections, where
the number of such votes was
more than the difference of
votes polled to the winner and
the runner-up.
On biometrics, the panel
was informed that the National Database Registration
Authority (Nadra) did not have
complete biometric data for 10
to 12 per cent of all voters from
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This
was confirmed by Nadra representative Qaboos Aziz.
In addition, it was revealed
that there was a 10-15% margin for error in the biometric data as the thumb ridges
of individuals involved in
manual labour, or those suffering from skin-related diseases, would not have matching biometrics. Old age also
makes biometric verification
through п¬Ѓngerprints more
difficult, he said.
“We failed on counter-narcotics,”
said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the head of
analysis and policy at UNODC. “If one
element was missing over the past decade, it was perhaps political will.”
Officials blame growing insecurity, political instability, and botched counter-narcotics efforts of the past for the increase.
Juma Gul, 38, also from Sangin, left
his village two years ago after refusing
the Taliban’s request that he join insurgent fighters.
Previously he worked for a local
strongman who owned a vast poppy
farm and paid him and three other
farmers in raw opium.
The last harvest he worked there, he
sold his 4.5kg share for $300.
“In my area, the opium business still
continues, but now under the Taliban
protection. Only those people who
support the Taliban can continue to live
there, not us,” Gul said.
The problem is systemic across the
A lawmaker from a north-eastern
province said opium farming grew in
her areas because the government was
unwilling to take up arms against senior
officials involved in the trade.
“The problem is that we are not targetting the fundamental issue, the mafia
network of the drug-industrial complex,”
said parliamentarian Nilofar Ibrahimi.
This year poppy cultivation in her
province Badakshan increased by 77%,
and eradication decreased by 50%.
“Until three years ago Badakshan
was a safe, opium-free province. Now
it’s insecure, as well as a poppy-affected province.”
“Farmers and traffickers are not the
problems. It is the institutions and networks that are behind them,” she said.
There have been very few highprofile arrests in the past 13 years. One
example officials give is of Haji Lal Jan,
an alleged drug kingpin, who received a
15-year prison sentence.
He was accused of п¬Ѓnancing the Taliban with his drugs money.
This year his case was unexpectedly
sent back to a court in Kandahar, where
three provincial judges signed his release.
Officials say 10% of opium revenues
go to the Taliban.
But they say the increase in opium
cultivation and decrease in eradication
this year is partly due the presidential
“With the presidential election going
on, there was a huge demand for funding
and that funding is not available in the
legal economy. That money has to come
from somewhere,” said Lemahieu.
Kabul officials agree that the elections affected the eradication programme, but say this was due to competing demands on security personnel,
not to divert the drugs money.
“The government had planned to destroy at least 21,000 hectares of poppycultivated areas this year, with the help of
the police and the army,” Counter Narcotics Minister Mobarez Rashidi said. Only
2,700 hectares was eradicated.
“There were no security forces available
for us and the success of the election process was more important,” Rashidi said.
Officials say the opium economy
contributes up to around 20% of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product.
Neither has international money helped
combat the spread of poppy farming.
The US has spent more than $7bn on
counter-narcotics efforts in the past 13
5 Taliban
Pakistani police said yesterday
they had killed five Taliban
militants in a gunfight in the
southern port city of Karachi.
The shootout came as police
raided a suspected hideout of
the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) in the poor neighbourhood
of Gulshan-e-Buner to the east of
the city, senior police official Rao
Anwar said.
“Police asked the militants to
surrender, but they opened fire,
after which police responded,” he
“Five terrorists were killed in
the exchange of fire,” Anwar
said, adding that a large stash of
weapons was recovered from the
Karachi, a city of 18mn people
which contributes 42% of
Pakistan’s GDP, has been plagued
by sectarian, ethnic and political
violence for years.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Brazilian sensation Mendes set to captivate Manila audience
Manila Times
Sergio Mendes
he catchy and delightful
sound that instantly stirs
listeners to sing, sway and
swoon to its beat will sweep the
local concert scene when bossa
nova legend Sergio Mendes returns to Manila with his band for
a live concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon
City today.
The Big Dome show will kick
off the two-city tour dubbed
Sergio Mendes & Brasil 2014 Live
In Manila! that will end with another concert tomorrow at the
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.
Joe Pizzulo, former lead vo-
calist of the group will also participate in the show.
Arranged by Ovation Productions, the musical event will
spotlight the bossa nova sensation from Brazil as he showcases
his wonderful and easy listening
Presidential office urges
Binay to face senate probe
By Joel M Sy Egco
Manila Times
alacanang yesterday
said Senate President
Franklin Drilon set a
“good example” by subjecting
himself to questioning by the
senate committee investigating the Iloilo Convention Centre (ICC), and hinted that Vice
President Jejomar Binay should
follow Drilon’s lead and show
up at the chamber to face his
Binay has refused to attend
hearings of the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee, which is
looking into allegations that he
enriched himself through corruption when he was mayor of
Makati City.
Edwin Lacierda said Drilon set
a good example by allowing the
senate to investigate the ICC
“He agreed to appear before
the hearing, and he inhibited
from asking questions (of) the
resource persons,” Lacierda told
“As to whether it would be
good for the vice president to
emulate, we will leave it with
him to decide whether he should
follow the example of Senate
President Frank Drilon,” he said.
Lacierda added that he was
“not competent” to reply to
questions regarding the charges
against Binay, who has been accused of getting kickbacks from
the allegedly overpriced Makati
City Hall Building 2, among
“It will be up to the senators
to ask the questions,” he said.
During Thursday’s probe by
the Blue Ribbon committee,
Franklin Drilon: good example?
Drilon belied claims that the
convention centre was overpriced as alleged by his former
staff, Manuel Mejorada.
He said he will inhibit from
the probe but will make himself
available to answer questions.
Drilon added that he will submit to the committee his fourpage affidavit on the project.
While the Palace put in a
good word for Drilon, United
Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president and Rep. Tobias
Tiangco of Navotas City (Metro
Manila) said the ICC controversy proved that the senate president received more funds from
the Disbursement Acceleration
Programme (DAP) than he has
“I said it before and I will say
it again: Senate President Frank
Drilon received close to P1bn
in DAP funds from (Budget_]
Secretary (Florencio) “Butch”
Abad. The documents presented
during the senate probe on the
ICC as to where the funds were
sourced showed that Drilon had
P150mn in DAP, and there were
more,” Tiangco said yesterday.
The Navotas City congressman noted that the report of
Department of Public Works
and Highways Secretary Rogelio
Singson on the ICC showed that
funding totalling P150mn came
from DPWH allocation in the
national budgets for 2012 and
The amounts were listed
in the memorandum sent by
DPWH-6 Western Visayas Regional Director Edilberto Tayao
to Singson on November 5.
The letter detailed that
P100mn of the funds was
sourced from DPWH’s funding under the General Appropriations Act of 2012 (Special
Allotment Release Order No.
A-12-01294) while P50mn of
the funds came from DPWH’s
funding under the General
Appropriations Act of 2013
(SARO No. A-13-00079).
“He (Drilon) should explain
why he only admitted to receiving P100mn for the ICC
when, in fact, he gave P150mn
for the project. I thought he is
all for upholding transparency
in the government,” Tiangco
Mejorada, the former Iloilo
provincial administrator, has
filed plunder and graft charges
against Drilon, Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez
and other government officials
before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with
the ICC project.
Drilon has assured more
big ticket projects to Iloilo but
cautioned his detractors to be
more circumspect in п¬Ѓling administrative and criminal cases
against Cabinet secretaries.
In a radio interview after
the Senate Blue Ribbon investigation on Thursday, he said
Mejorada admitted he has no
evidence to prove overpricing in
the construction of the ICC.
The accusations are extremely unfair and a clear case
of harassment and concocted
lies out to harass the project implementers such as the Cabinet
secretaries and the people of Iloilo in a move to stall the development of the province, Drilon
The senate president was instrumental in bringing big development projects in Iloilo, including the new Iloilo Airport in
Cabatuan Iloilo, Hall of Justice,
1,600 classrooms in partnership with the Federation of Filipino Chamber of Commerce,
Iloilo Esplanade I and II among
Soldier quarantined on island has fever
By William B Depasupil
Manila Times
ne of the 108 Filipino peacekeepers quarantined in Caballo Island
in Cavite after returning from Liberia has developed a fever, raising possibility that he might be infected with
The soldier, whose name was not released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was transferred yesterday
afternoon to the Research Institute for
Tropical Medicine (RITM), the frontline facility of the Department of Health
(DOH) for infectious diseases.
AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Col.
Harold Cabunoc, allayed fears that the
deadly outbreak has reached Philippine
soil, and said there is no cause for alarm.
“We will follow the advice of DOH officials regarding our peacekeeper who has
fever,” Cabunoc said.
One of the barracks for the Filipino peacekeepers in isolation on Caballo Island.
Radio reports quoting DOH officials
said the soldier’s fever had subsided but
he was still feeling weak.
The rest of the peacekeepers in Caballo, Cabunoc said, were all in good health
and showed no symptoms of any illness.
“Routine activities like videoke, ball
games, skype webcam communication
with loved ones are ongoing,” he said.
Health Acting Secretary Janette Garin
said the peacekeeper was discovered to
have fever Thursday night, a day after the
contingent arrived from Liberia.
Garin said the soldier was previously
afflicted with malaria.The most common symptoms of Ebola include fever,
sore throat, dry cough, weakness, severe
headache, joint and muscle aches, diarrhoea, dehydration, stomach pain and
Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa.The peacekeepers were
taken to Caballo for a 21-day quarantine.
Navy Capt. Luzviminda Camacho,
commander of Task Force Liberia, said
the soldiers were examined and tested
before they left Liberia and all were found
negative for the Ebola virus.
The peacekeeping contingent from Liberia is composed of 108 members from
the Philippine Air Force, 24 members of
the Philippine National Police and one
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
sound and style that made him
the most popular musician in
South America and an international star in the past 50 years.
Mendes will take concertgoers through a breathtaking
array of bossa nova hits, such as
Mas Que Nada, Constant Rain
(Chove Chuba), For Me, Night
And Day, The Look Of Love,Fool
On The Hill, Scarborough Fair,
Pretty World, Never Gonna Let
You Go, Rainbow’s End, Olympia
and Alibis.
Pope to bring
message of
hope to nation
ope Francis will bring a
message of hope when he
visits the Philippines in
January, Church officials said
yesterday, on a trip that will see
him tour areas devastated by last
year’s super typhoon.
Millions in the fervently
Catholic country are expected to
turn out to catch a glimpse of the
pontiff during his п¬Ѓve-day visit,
with officials planning tight security.
The pontiff will celebrate
mass in the capital Manila as
well as the central city of Tacloban, which was hard hit when
super typhoon Haiyan swept in a
year ago leaving more than 7,350
people dead or missing and condemning millions more to deeper poverty.
“He will come to bring the
message of solidarity and hope,”
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio
Tagle told reporters late yesterday.
“He really admires the faith
and resilience of the survivors.”
Authorities are preparing for
unruly crowds as Filipinos have
been known to hurl themselves
at religious icons during frantic processions, said Executive
Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who is
overseeing government preparations for the visit.
“We are a bit worried about
such behaviour — this is a living
image of God,” he said.
Ochoa declined to elaborate
on planned security measures
and refused to discuss any specific threats that authorities are
worried about.
But he insisted the government would ensure the safety of
the 77-year-old pontiff.
“About 95 % of government
preparations is all about security,” he said. “We want to make
sure that the Pope is safe.”
President Benigno Aquino
will greet the Pope when he arrives at Manila airport from Sri
Lanka on January 15, his protocol officer Marciano Paynor said
-- a break from usual protocol,
as the president usually only
welcomes world leaders at his
Francis will be accorded state
honours at the palace in Manila
the next day before celebrating
mass in one of the country’s oldest churches and meeting with
families at a large indoor stadium, Tagle said.
Francis will spend the whole
of January 17 in Haiyan-devastated Leyte province where he
will celebrate mass in Tacloban
and meet with the faithful in the
neighbouring Palo town.
The following day he will
meet with youngsters at Manila’s largest Catholic university, then celebrate mass at the
capital’s Rizal Park, which can
accommodate millions, Tagle
The late John Paul II made
the last papal visit to the
Philippines, in 1995.
Five soldiers, nine
militants killed after
clash in Talipao town
ive soldiers and nine militants were killed in a clash
yesterday in the southern
Philippines, where the military has launched an offensive
against kidnappers of two German hostages freed last month, a
military spokesman said.
The п¬Ѓghting erupted in Talipao town on Jolo, an island
1,000 kilometres south of Manila where Abu Sayyaf rebels had
held the Germans captive for six
Twenty-six soldiers were
wounded in the п¬Ѓghting, said
military spokesman Lieutenant
Colonel Harold Cabunoc.
The soldiers were on patrol
when they encountered about
300 Abu Sayyaf bandits, he said.
The military launched the offensive against the militants
after the German hostages — a
72-year-old man and 55-yearold woman — were freed on October 17.
The Abu Sayyaf allegedly received 250mn pesos ($5.6mn) in
ransom. The kidnappers earlier
threatened that if a ransom was
not paid, they would kill one of
the hostages, who were seized
in April while sailing in a yacht
from the western province of
They were still holding captive two birdwatchers from
Switzerland and the Netherlands who were seized in February 2012, two Malaysians, a
Japanese, four Chinese and five
Filipinos who were captured
Anti-graft court upholds charges against Napoles’ kin
By Reina Tolentino
Manila Times
he anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Special Third
Division has denied with
п¬Ѓnality an appeal п¬Ѓled by Jo
Christine and James Christopher Napoles, seeking dismissal
of charges levelled against them
in connection with the pork barrel scam.
They are facing graft charges
with their mother businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles as
co-accused along with Sen Juan
Ponce Enrile.
In an eight-page resolution
issued yesterday afternoon, the
court affirmed its earlier resolution, denying the appeal for lack
of merit.
The two Napoles children
are set to be read the charges on
November 19, along with seven
others charged with graft as codefendants of Enrile and whose
respective motions were denied
by the court in rulings also issued yesterday.
“Indeed, a plain reading of
the aforesaid documents establish that the crime of violation
of Section 3(e) of RA (Republic
Act) 3019 has been committed
and that the herein accused, including the accused-movants,
are probably guilty thereof,” the
court maintained.
It was referring to the ombudsman’s joint resolution, the
counter-affidavits of Enrile,
Gigi Reyes and John Raymond de
Asis as well as sworn statements
of pork barrel scam witnesses,
among others. “The issue as to
whether these prosecution witnesses are telling the truth is
best ventilated during the trial of
the case,” the court said.
It said the same of the issues
on whether they faked documents and signatures that are
subject matter of the case, and
on whether they conspired with
the other accused.
The resolution was penned
by Presiding Justice and Third
Division Chairperson Amparo
Cabotaje-Tang and concurred
by fellow Associate Justices Alex
Quiroz, Samuel Martires, Jose
Hernandez, and Maria Cristina
In October, Jo Christine and
James Christopher’s scheduled
arraignment was deferred pending their appeal to the court’s
resolution п¬Ѓnding probable
cause against them on September 29.
A division of п¬Ѓve was created
to resolve the issue of probable
cause against several private individuals, including the Napoles
siblings, who are defendants in
the graft charges against Enrile.
The court failed to reach a
unanimous vote on them, when
it found probable cause last July,
and thus the need to designate
two other justices of the Sandiganbayan to sit temporarily with
the Third Division.
It also issued several separate
rulings on Enrile’s co-accused.
In an 11-page resolution, the
regular Third Division also denied for utter lack of merit an
appeal on admission of amended
graft charges п¬Ѓled by Depart-
ment of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary
Mario Relampagos and employees Rosario NuГ±ez, Lalaine Paule
and Marilou Bare and another
filed by Napoles’ nephew Ronald
John Lim, who remains at large.
Also denied were former
Technology Resource Centre
(TRC) Director General Antonio
Ortiz’s appeal on the denial of
his request for the dismissal of
his graft case along with that of
Myla Ogerio’s request to dismiss the case.
Napoles, according to Marina
Sula, told her, not to abandon
her when the pork barrel scam
broke out.
Sula, the businesswoman’s
made the revelation during yesterday’s hearing on Napoles’
petition for bail at the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division.
Napoles had sought a temporary restraining order (TRO)
before the Court of Appeals
(CA) on an arrest warrant issued to her in connection with
the illegal detention charge
filed by Benhur Luy, another of
her former employees.
Napoles, who was present at
the courtroom, was seen grinning in her seat as Sula narrated how the businesswoman
appealed to her.
Also, Sula said, she was told
by the businesswoman that
they should meet with Cheryl
Napoles reportedly hired
Jimenea as her consultant early
last year.
Jimenea was a former ap-
pointments secretary of deposed president and now
Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap”
Sula said Napoles told them
(employees) to shred documents from their office relating
to lawmakers’ projects–such as
receipts, disbursement vouchers – “so that no evidence
would be seen connecting her
to the NGOs (non-government
organisations) if a search warrant was issued.”
The NGOs allegedly served as
conduits for pork barrel funds.
Napoles is named a respondent in the P172mn plunder
charge against Enrile before
the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division, which is hearing her
petition for bail over which
Sula testified.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Gen Singh receives
honorary Nepal
army title
Nepalese President Ram Baran
Yadav on Thursday conferred the
honorary title of general of the
Nepal army upon visiting Indian
Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh
at a function organised at the
President’s Office.
On behalf of the Nepal
government, President Yadav, who
is also the chief commander of the
Nepal army, conferred the title.
Nepal and India have a long
tradition of exchanging the
honorary title of each other’s
armies given the long and unique
cultural, religious, historical and
military ties and continuation
of the same, said the army in a
During the ceremony, President
Yadav also handed over the
insignia of Nepal army general,
sword and certificate to Gen
Dalbir Singh.
Earlier in the day, Gen Dalbir
Singh visited the Kavre-based
Nepal army-run Birendra Peace
Operations Training Centre where
the Nepal army imparts training
to peacekeepers along with
international peacekeepers.
In the evening, the Indian army
chief also unveiled an annual
publication, “Sewa Suman”,
brought out by the Nepalese
Army Wives’ Association.
Gen Dalbir Singh is in Nepal on
a four-day official visit at the
invitation of his counterpart, Gen
Guarav Sumsher Rana.
Opposition slams Hasina
aide over poll remarks
By Mizan Rahman
he main Bangladesh opposition BNP yesterday
claimed that their apprehension of manipulation any
election under Awami Leagueled administration has proved
right with the recent remarks
of prime minister’s adviser HT
Imam about the January 5 polls.
“We’d said earlier that Awami
League was trying to hold an
election with a political motive to perpetuate its power by
using the election commission. Our allegation has proved
right with HT Imam’s remarks,”
said Bangladesh National Party
(BNP) acting secretary general
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Earlier on Wednesday, HT
Imam, addressing a programme
of the Bangladesh Chattra
League (BCL), student front of
ruling Awami League (AL) at
Dhaka University, said: “You
(BCL men) just pass the written
test; we’ll see how much we can
help you with the viva voce to
be civil servants of the government. Our leader (Sheikh Hasina) has told us to arrange jobs
for you by any means.”
He also pointed out the advantage of having party men in
the administration, and how the
AL benefited from them.
“Days before the January 5
polls, many pro-AL officials
were inducted in mobile courts
that helped the government
resist the BNP-Jamaat’s bid to
thwart the election. They (proAL officials) stood beside us,”
Imam said.
Fakhrul briefed the reporters
about the BNP standing committee meeting’s decisions and
the proposals made there.
He said the BNP policymakers strongly denounced the
inclusion of the names of BNP
leaders Sylhet City Corporation
Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury and Habiganj Mayor GM
Gaous in the supplementary
charge-sheet by the CID in the
former п¬Ѓnance minister SAMS
Kibria murder case.
The BNP spokesman alleged that
their party-backed public representatives are being implicated in
various cases with a political motive to cripple the party leadership.
The CID on Thursday submitted
charge-sheet against 32 people,
including former minister Lutfozzaman Babar, former prime
minister Khaleda Zia’s political
secretary Harris Chowdhury,
Sylhet City Corporation Mayor
Ariful Haque Chowdhury and
Habiganj Mayor GM Gaous, in
the Kibria murder case.
The Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) submitted
the charge-sheet incorporating
Celebrating Science Day
the names of 11 more accused in
the last supplementary chargesheet before a local court.
Five people, including Kibria, were killed and 70 others injured in a grenade attack
on a public meeting of Awami
League at Baidder Bazar in Sadar Upazila on January 27, 2005.
Fakhrul said the government
is implicating BNP leaders, including its chairperson and
senior vice chairman, in �false
cases’ as part of its heinous plot
to illegally cling to power and
suppress the party’s democratic
The BNP leader warned that
the consequences of such acts
will not be good.
He said the BNP will continue the movement against the
government and will announce
tougher programmes in due
time to force it to hold a fresh
inclusive election under a nonparty administration.
Dhaka police crack
down on illegal
foreigners, 31 held
By Mizan Rahman
Nepalese school students demonstrate a hydraulic bulldozer model during an exhibition organised to mark World Science Day for Peace
and Development with the theme of “Quality Science Education: ensuring a sustainable future for all” at Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu,
Nepal. World Science Day for Peace and Development is an annual event organised on November 10 to raise public awareness of the
importance of science and to bridge the gap between science and societies.
Couple in dock for
minor’s marriage
By Mizan Rahman
mobile court in Bangladesh has jailed a couple
for marriage of their
nine-year-old daughter.
Ali, 40, and his wife Tahura
Begum, 35, of Kalikapur village
in Nilphamari district made
all arrangements to marry
their daughter Farida Akhter,
a class-8 student, off to her
cousin on Thursday night.
On information, sub-district executive officer of Kishoreganj Siddiqur Rahman and
officer-in-charge of Kishoreganj police station Mostafizur
Rahman went to the spot along
with a police team.
Later, the mobile court, led
by the sub-district executive
officer and executive magistrate Siddiqur, stopped the
marriage and detained the
couple. The court also п¬Ѓned
them 1,000 taka. Putimari
union council chairman Abu
Sayem confirmed the incident, saying it will help curb
the early marriage in the area.
Commenting on the incident, experts said there has
been good progress towards
improving girls’ and women’s
lives over last two decades. For
example, primary enrolment
of girls has been increasing
with over 95% now starting
primary school with more girls
than boys completing primary
Also, the number of women
dying in childbirth between
1990 and 2013 fell by 70% and,
with an opportunity to achieve
the Millennium Development
Goal target.
Recent evidence shows that
child marriage in Bangladesh
is declining. The proportion of
girls marrying before the age
of 15 years has decreased from
52% to 17% in the last 30 years.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir: “Awami League was trying to hold an
election with a political motive to perpetuate its power.”
he detective branch (DB)
of Bangladesh police has
detained 31 foreigners
from Dhaka on various charges
including that of overstaying.
Sheikh Nazmul Alam, deputy commissioner of police, said
the 31 foreigners were nabbed
in nightlong raids at Banasree,
Gulshan and Uttara localities of
the capital Dhaka.
Of them, 21 are Nigerian,
four Sri Lankan, three Ugandan, and three others from different countries.
The crackdown came as more
than 50,000 foreigners are reportedly staying in Bangladesh
illegally posing serious threat
to national security as well as
creating extra pressure on domestic job market, officials said
The SB is working to п¬Ѓnd out
other nationals who are also illegally staying in the country.
Besides, a total of 140,700
foreign nationals have entered
Bangladesh from January 2012
to date. Of whom how many
are overstaying in the country
is yet to be known, sources said.
However, most of the foreigners usually enter Bangladesh as tourists and overstay
and work in different sectors
like garment, telecom companies and NGOs violating the
laws of the land, they added.
According to them, many
of these foreigners are also allegedly involved in different
types of anti-state activities
in connivance with some nongovernmental
(NGOs) and others.
In some cases, these illegal
foreigners were found involved
in drug and arms trading, prostitution, money laundering,
terror п¬Ѓnancing and making
fake currency notes like US
dollar, euro, pound and also
Bangladeshi taka, sources at
different government security
agencies said.
Experts said the detection
of illegal foreigners is becoming difficult as the government
did not take strict measures to
check the illegal practice.
High officials of state security agencies said for lack of
a deportation centre they do
not get satisfactory result of
their drives against the illegal
foreigners which discouraged
them to go for any vigorous action in this regard.
“We have arrested a good
number of illegal foreign nationals on several occasions.
But they used to secure bail
from the court and again involve themselves in different illegal activities,” a police superintendent at the Immigration
office said.
According to the official,
when arrested, these foreign-
ers usually say that their passports have been lost and also
give fake address of both their
native countries and in Bangladesh which takes certain time
to verify and decide about their
fate. But for lack of a deportation centre the security agencies cannot deport the illegal
“If Bangladesh had a deportation centre then we can detain these foreign nationals for
a certain period for permanent
deportation to their respective countries. But now after
п¬Ѓve to seven days of arrests, the
foreigners get bail from court
where the security agencies
have nothing to do,” he added.
Replying to a question, he
said, that some of these foreigners’ involvement in anti-state
activities is difficult to prove.
However, a former adviser
to the caretaker government,
Hossain Zillur Rahman said the
government should take immediate steps against these illegal
foreigners for the sake of national interest.
“The government’s indifference to round up illegal foreigners is also depriving the
country of earning handsome
amount of royalty as these foreigners remit their earnings
through illegal chennels.”
Zillur Rahman, however,
urged Bangladesh missions
abroad to be more careful before issuing tourist visas.
No downward pressure
on currency: banker
ri Lanka’s rupee currency is
in an appreciation trend and
the monetary authority will
manage any volatility through intervention, the central bank governor said yesterday.
The rupee has been defended
from both appreciation and depreciation via central bank’s moral
suasion, which has compelled the
market to trade forwards.
The rupee forwards have also
been capped by the central bank
from time to time, dealers have
Traders say the currency is under
downward pressure due to dollar
demand for imports and record low
interest rates.
Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, however, said there
was no downward pressure on the
“We see a BOP (balance-of-payment) surplus being recorded and
we have seen trends which show
that there is a tendency for rupee to
appreciate,” Cabraal said.
“In that sense we are also conscious that we need to manage the
process in a way that it is not going
to be causing any turmoil.”
Currency dealers say the central
bank has prevented extreme volatility, but it has also discouraged
banks from foreign exchange trading.
“The business of central bank
is to provide stability, not to provide violent fluctuations,” Cabraal
said. “The monetary act law also
contemplates moral suasion. So if
some trader has a problem with it,
he must canvass to change the law.”
He said the central bank will
use appropriate instruments to
smoothen volatility depending on
short- and long-term conditions.
“We do not do a day-to-day
business. It is our job and not the
traders’ job,” Cabraal said.
Turning to interest rates, Cabraal
said rate levels seem to be “appropriate in the current context” and
would help the economy grow by
the targeted 7.8% this year.
The central bank will announce
its monetary policy rates for November on Tuesday.
Cabraal also said credit growth
has improved, and picked up to
4.6% in September year-on-year
from 2.6% in August. It hit a more
than four-year low of 0.8% in July.
He also said the central bank
sees next year’s annual average inflation, measured on a 12-month
moving average, at close to 4%. It
slowed to a 55-month low of 3.8%
in October from 4.2% a month
Ajith Nivard Cabraal: “We see a balance of payment surplus
being recorded...”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: C P Ravindran
P.O.Box 2888
Doha, Qatar
[email protected]
Telephone 44350478 (news),
44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery)
Fax 44350474
All eyes on Putin
as G20 summit
starts in Brisbane
President Vladimir Putin was making waves even
before he arrived in Brisbane for the G20 summit ,
despatching four Russian warships to the region to
keep the Australian coast guard on the alert.
While the hosts saw the gesture as needless
posturing, the Russian leader, recently voted for the
second time the world’s most powerful man by Forbes
magazine, clearly revels in the attention
Ahead of the start of the п¬Ѓrst Australian G20 summit,
the talk in Brisbane was primarily about the 62-yearold Kremlin head.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who
threatened last month to “shirt front” Putin in
Brisbane, would have been happy to do without him
at the summit being held today and tomorrow. Abbott
blames the Russians for the downing of flight MH17
over the eastern Ukrainian conflict zone in July.
Thirty-eight Australians were among the victims,
and Abbott in any case sees the Kremlin head as the
aggressor in the conflict.
In an interview yesterday, Putin said he would not
seek confrontation at the summit with the US and
Europe over the sanctions they imposed against Russia
over the conflict.
“If this theme is
mentioned, I shall
speak on the subject,
of course, but I am
not going to propose
these questions for
discussion myself,”
Putin told Russia’s Tass news agency.
Many of the world’s leaders, including German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister
David Cameron aim to speak to the Russion president
about Ukraine’s escalating civil war.
For days Australian media have published pictures of
Putin in military dress, describing him as “aggressor”
or “spy.”
While the Russians stress that the warships from
their Pacific fleet have arrived before the coast with
peaceful intent - as is common at summits - old
reflexes die hard between the former enemies of the
Cold War.
France’s contract to supply Mistral class helicopter
carriers to the Russian navy will come up for discussion
at a meeting between Putin and President Francois
The French would face a large п¬Ѓnancial penalty if
they do not supply the п¬Ѓrst vessel which is due for
delivery soon.
US President Barack Obama has constantly warned
against providing the Russians with additional
military advantage with a view to the Ukraine
This is the second summit in a week attended by
both Obama and Putin, following the Apec summit of
Pacific rim powers in Beijing.
This time no bilateral meeting is planned - the two
had a couple of brief encounters in Beijing - but Putin
is likely to use the gathering to try to drive a wedge
between the US and its allies.
Russia recently reacted sharply to Nato manoeuvres
in Eastern Europe, conducting tests with nuclearcapable intercontinental missiles and flights close to
Nato airspace by its long-range bombers.
An end to the tensions in this, the worst crisis
between Moscow and Washington since the end of the
Cold War, is not in sight.
In fact, the conflict could worsen with far-reaching
effects on the global economy.
Democrats and Republicans
must make a growth pact
American leaders must
respond with a policy
agenda focused on reviving
growth now and sustaining
it in the future
By Glenn Hubbard
New York
merica, once again, has a
divided government, with
the Democrats holding
the White House and the
Republicans controlling both houses
of Congress.
But that does not necessarily mean that the п¬Ѓnal two years of
Barack Obama’s presidency need to
be defined by stalemate and mutual
The electorate’s desire for change
and fear of continuing slow growth,
which pushed the Republicans to
their victory in this month’s midterm congressional election, prompts
discussion about new policy options
designed to raise growth, employment
and incomes.
Of course, America’s experience
with divided government can leave
one pessimistic about the two parties’
ability to compromise; but, as Mexico
recently demonstrated when its three
big parties agreed on a market-oriented “Pact for Mexico”, even bitterly opposed political parties can overcome
their suspicions to embrace needed
The list of potential policy actions
that could benefit the US – trade liberalisation, comprehensive regulatory
reform, and immigration and education reform, among others – is long.
But only two policies are particularly promising for such a “Pact for
America”: federal infrastructure
spending and corporate-tax reform.
Enactment of these reforms would
generate a win for each side – and for
But such a bipartisan consensus
requires removing both the left and
the right’s ideological blinders, at least
temporarily. On the left, a preoc-
cupation with Keynesian stimulus
reflects a misunderstanding of both
the availability of measures (shovelready projects) and their desirability (whether they will meaningfully
change the expectations of households
and businesses).
Indeed, to counteract the mindset
forged in the recent п¬Ѓnancial crisis,
spending measures will need to be
longer-lasting if they are to raise
expectations of future growth and
thus stimulate current investment and
The right, for its part, must rethink
its obsession with temporary tax cuts
for households or businesses. The impact of such cuts on aggregate demand
is almost always modest, and they are
poorly suited for shifting expectations
for recovery and growth in the postfinancial-crisis downturn.
Clearly, the economy
is Americans’ top
Politics complicates matters further, because the exclusively shortterm focus on the п¬Ѓscal impact of
spending and revenues clashes with
policies whose benefits accumulate
over time. While such benefits may
not appear to be “stimulus”, their
mounting effect better serves the
objective of raising expectations of
future demand and growth.
But the concerns of serious people,
whether on the left or the right, are
not so different. Will economic growth
accelerate sufficiently to boost job and
income growth?
Can the barriers that exclude many
Americans from recovery and future
prosperity be removed?
Federal infrastructure spending
and corporate-tax reform should top
the list of policies capable of attracting bipartisan agreement, because
they promise significant long-term
productivity, income, and employment gains, while also supporting
short-term growth. A commitment to
a multi-year federal infrastructure-
spending programme, for example,
could increase demand, private
investment, and employment, even
though projects may not be immediately available.
And such a programme, normally
proposed by Democrats, can and
should be crafted to secure Republican
support as well.
To that end, an infrastructure programme should give states and localities a key role in selecting the projects
to be funded, and these governmental
units should have “skin in the game”
by funding part of the costs.
Policymakers should also give
serious consideration to regulatory
reforms that would reduce the expense
of new projects and assure their timely
An infrastructure programme
oriented in this way – as opposed to
a grab bag of politically expedient
shovel-ready projects – should be able
to muster conservative support.
And, done properly, federally
funded infrastructure projects should
provide substantial benefits to lowerincome Americans.
Better transport infrastructure, for
example, would not only create jobs,
but would also reduce the costs of
commuting to work.
Corporate-tax reform also offers a
good opportunity for bipartisan agreement, especially given that Obama and
congressional leaders of both parties
have expressed interest.
While gains from fundamental tax
reform – say, replacing the current tax
system with a broad-based consumption tax – are large, on the order of
0.5-1 percentage point per year of economic growth for a decade, corporatetax reform would also boost growth.
Reducing the tax rate for companies substantially, while eliminating
targeted business-tax preferences and
broadening the corporate-tax base,
would increase both investment and
workers’ wages.
Allowing multinational companies
to repatriate overseas profits without
paying additional US tax would also
bolster investment and job creation at
Given that recent research shows
that much of the burden of corporate taxation is borne by workers in
the form of lower wages, Democrats
should embrace tax reform as a way
to support income growth. One could
add to such a reform further support
for low-income Americans by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for
single workers.
Given their policy objectives, conservatives should support a well-crafted
federal infrastructure programme, and
liberals should support corporate-tax
reform. But changes in the political
process would help move matters ahead.
Because the payoffs from infrastructure spending and tax reform
do not п¬Ѓt neatly within the п¬Ѓve-year
or ten-year budget window used by
America’s fiscal scorekeepers, measuring more completely the benefits
from such policies is vital to attracting
political support.
Moreover, any increase in spending on infrastructure or any revenue
loss from tax reform should be offset
For example, future growth in
Social Security benefits or the homemortgage-interest tax deduction
could be scaled back for more affluent
individuals, as progressive indexation, proposed by conservatives in the
US, and the adjustment of mortgageinterest tax deductions in the United
Kingdom, started during the Thatcher
administration, attest.
Clearly, the economy is Americans’
top concern. Its leaders must respond
with a policy agenda focused on reviving growth now and sustaining it in
the future.
But that can happen only if enough
legislators in both parties, and the
president, remove their intellectual
and political blinders and reach the
long-term compromises needed to
create jobs and increase incomes.
The time for a Pact for America has
arrived.- Project Syndicate
zGlenn Hubbard, former Chairman
of the Council of Economic Advisers
under President George W Bush, is
dean of Columbia Business School.
This is the second
summit in a week
attended by both
Obama and Putin
To Advertise
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Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811
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The US Capitol Building in Washington. The US electorate’s desire for change and fear of continuing slow growth, which pushed the Republicans to their victory in this
month’s mid-term congressional election, prompts discussion about new policy options designed to raise growth, employment and incomes.
Focus shifts to India after US-China climate deal
By Valerie Volcovici and
Tommy Wilkes
New Delhi/Reuters
fter this week’s carbon deal
between the US and China,
No 3 emitter India faces
growing pressure to devise a
clear strategy and step out of China’s
shadow during pivotal global climate
India has given no sign what kind of
commitment it will make to address
climate change in a global agreement.
Officials previously stressed that India
would likely opt to slow emissions
growth rather than set a peak year on
the grounds it is entitled to economic
That position might no longer be
tenable after China - often India’s ally
in resisting specific pledges at talks to
reach a global accord - said this week
its carbon emissions would peak by no
later than 2030.
President Barack Obama deepened
US cuts to 26% to 28% below 2005
levels by 2025, a goal it should be on
track to meet with proposed new rules
on power plant emissions.
India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has already set renewable
energy targets for the country, including using solar energy to ensure full
energy access by 2019, but analysts
and experts are expecting more definitive commitments.
The US-China deal “frees up India
to say what it believes is an equitable
stance ... now that China is saying
what it plans to do”, said Alden Meyer,
director of international policy at the
Union of Concerned Scientists.
While Modi’s pledge to boost
renewable energy is welcomed by
activists, New Delhi has stressed it will
mine more thermal coal to get power
flowing to the third of its 1.2bn people
still without electricity.
With the US-China agreement
widely viewed as a modest, symbolic
measure, India might take the opportunity to step out of China’s shadow
during UN climate talks next month in
Lima, Peru.
Indian officials declined to comment on the US-China deal. Privately,
they say Modi’s new government is
п¬Ѓnalising the position it will take to
Lima in December.
Earlier this month, Modi recast
the almost defunct prime minister’s
council on climate change, seeking
to reinvigorate the body ahead of a
pivotal year for global talks.
Indian delegates have long been ardent
defenders of the principle of “common
but differentiated responsibility” - the
concept that the burden of emissions
reductions and п¬Ѓnancial assistance on climate change for poor countries belongs to
developed countries, who have a historical
The concept has often hampered
global climate negotiations, especially
as some developing countries became
emerging economies.
Jairam Ramesh, India’s former environment minister and chief negotiator, believes it is time to rethink that
“Differentiation is essential but is
this distinction made in a completely
different era over two decades back
still meaningful? Simply put, it is not,”
he wrote in an op-ed on Thursday.
Some experts think India can now
play a more prominent role as a bridge
between the US and China and developing countries.
“India will be doing a balancing
act,” said Krishnan Pallassana, India
director of NGO The Climate Group.
India will likely argue that its per
capita emissions are around 1.9 tonnes
per person - dwarfed by China with
around 7.2 tonnes per person and less
than half the 5 tonnes world average.
This gives Delhi plenty of room
to argue that its own commitment
should differ from China’s as it continues to grow its economy and justify
its continued use of fossil fuels.
Local environmental groups say
India’s new climate strategy needs to
address its reliance on coal.
“Energy poverty is no longer a justification for coal expansion,” said Ashish Fernandes of Greenpeace India.
US officials are now turning their
attention to India to ensure it helps
secure a п¬Ѓnal UN climate treaty, which
is to be negotiated in Lima and then
sealed in Paris in 2015.
John Holdren, director of the White
House Office of Science and Technology Policy, travels to India next week
to meet officials working on climate
change, while former Environmental
Protection Agency administrator Carol
Browner was in Delhi this week chairing the US India Track II Dialogue on
Climate Change and Energy.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Google Glass loses its shine with consumers
While Google Glass may
п¬Ѓnd some specialised,
even lucrative, uses in the
workplace, its prospects of
becoming a consumer hit in
the near future seem slim
By Alexei Oreskovic, Sarah
McBride and Malathi Nayak
San Francisco/Reuters
fter two years of popping
up at high-profile events
sporting Google Glass, the
gadget that transforms
eyeglasses into spy-movie worthy
technology, Google co-founder Sergey
Brin sauntered bare-faced into a
Silicon Valley red-carpet event last
He’d left his pair in the car, Brin told
a reporter. The Googler, who heads up
the top-secret lab which developed
Glass, has hardly given up on the
product - he recently wore his pair to
the beach.
But Brin’s timing is not propitious,
coming as many developers and early
Glass users are losing interest in the
much-hyped, $1,500 test version
of the product: a camera, processor
and stamp-sized computer screen
mounted to the edge of eyeglass
frames. Google Inc itself has pushed
back the Glass roll out to the mass
While Glass may п¬Ѓnd some
specialised, even lucrative, uses in the
workplace, its prospects of becoming
a consumer hit in the near future are
slim, many developers say.
Of 16 Glass app makers contacted
by Reuters, nine said that they had
stopped work on their projects or
abandoned them, mostly because of
the lack of customers or limitations of
the device. Three more have switched
to developing for business, leaving
behind consumer projects.
Plenty of larger developers remain
with Glass. The nearly 100 apps on the
official web site include Facebook and
OpenTable, although one major player
recently defected: Twitter.
“If there was 200mn Google
Glasses sold, it would be a different
perspective. There’s no market at this
point,” said Tom Frencel, the Chief
Executive of Little Guy Games, which
put development of a Glass game on
hold this year and is looking at other
platforms, including the Facebook
Inc-owned virtual-reality goggles
Oculus Rift.
Several key Google employees
instrumental to developing Glass
have left the company in the last six
months, including lead developer
Babak Parviz, electrical engineering
chief Adrian Wong, and Ossama
Alami, director of developer relations.
And a Glass funding consortium
created by Google Ventures and two
of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture
capitalists, Kleiner Perkins Caufield
& Byers and Andreessen Horowitz,
quietly deleted its website, routing
users to the main Glass site.
Google insists it is committed to
Glass, with hundreds of engineers
and executives working on it, as well
as new fashionista boss Ivy Ross, a
former Calvin Klein executive. Tens
of thousands use Glass in the pilot
consumer programme.
“We are completely energised and as
energised as ever about the opportunity
that wearables and Glass in particular
represent,” said Glass Head of Business
Operations Chris O’Neill.
Glass was the п¬Ѓrst project to
emerge from Google’s X division,
the secretive group tasked with
developing “moonshot” products
such as self-driving cars. Glass and
wearable devices overall amount to
a new technology, as smartphones
once were, that will likely take time to
evolve into a product that clicks with
“We are as committed as ever to a
consumer launch. That is going to take
The lack of a launch date has given some developers the impression that Google still treats Glass as an experiment
time and we are not going to launch
this product until it’s absolutely
ready,” O’Neill said.
Brin had predicted a launch this year,
but 2015 is now the most likely date, a
person familiar with the matter said.
After an initial burst of enthusiasm,
signs that consumers are giving up on
Glass have been building.
Google dubbed the п¬Ѓrst set of
several thousand Glass users as
“Explorers”. But as the Explorers
hit the streets, they drew stares
and jokes. Some people viewed the
device, capable of surreptitious video
recording, as an obnoxious privacy
intrusion, deriding the once-proud
Explorers as “Glassholes”.
“It looks super nerdy,” said
Shevetank Shah, a Washington, DCbased consultant, whose Google Glass
now gathers dust in a drawer. “I’m a
card carrying nerd, but this was one
card too many.”
Glass now sells on eBay for as little
as half list price.
Some developers recently have
felt unsupported by investors and, at
times, Google itself.
The Glass Collective, the funding
consortium co-run by Google
Ventures, invested in only three
or four small start-ups by the
beginning of this year, a person
familiar with the statistics said.
A Google Ventures spokeswoman
declined to comment on the number
of investments and said the website
was closed for simplicity. “We just
found it’s easier for entrepreneurs to
come to us directly,” she said.
The lack of a launch date has given
some developers the impression
that Google still treats Glass as an
“It’s not a big enough platform
to play on seriously,” said Matthew
Milan, founder of Toronto-based
software п¬Ѓrm Normative Design,
which put on hold a Glass app for
logging exercise and biking.
Mobile game company Glu
Mobile, known for its popular “Kim
Kardashian: Hollywood” title, was
one of the п¬Ѓrst to launch a game on
Glass. Spellista, a puzzler released a
year ago, is still available, but Glu has
discontinued work on it, a spokesman
for the company said.
Another developer, Sean
McCracken, won $10,000 in a contest
last year for creating an aliens-themed
video game for Glass, Psyclops, but
Google never put it on the official hub
for Glass apps, making it tougher to
п¬Ѓnd. He has quit working on updates.
Still, there are some enthusiastic
developers. Cycling and running app
Strava п¬Ѓnds Glass well-suited for its
users, who want real-time data on
their workouts, said David Lorsch, vice
president of business development.
And entrepreneur Jake Steinerman
said it is ideal for his company,
DriveSafe, which detects if people are
falling asleep at the wheel.
In April, Google launched the Glass
at Work programme to help make the
device useful for specific industries,
such as healthcare and manufacturing.
So far the effort has resulted in apps
that are being tested or used at
companies such as Boeing and Yum
Brands’ Taco Bell.
Google is selling Glass in bulk to
some businesses, offering two-forone discounts.
CrowdOptic, which uses Glass as
portable computers for surgeons and
other people out of offices, is currently
in use at 19 US hospitals and expects
that to grow to 100 hospitals early next
year, said chief executive Jon Fisher.
Alex Foster began See Through, a
Glass advertising analytics п¬Ѓrm for
business, after a venture п¬Ѓrm earlier
this year withdrew its offer to back
his consumer-oriented Glass п¬Ѓtness
company when it became clear no big
consumer Glass release was imminent.
“It was devastating,” he said. “All of
the consumer glass startups are either
completely dead or have pivoted,” to
enterprise products or rival wearables.
Weather report
Three-day forecast
Non-payment of salaries
High: 29 C
Low: 20 C
Hazy at places at first becomes
moderate temperature with scattered clouds relatively cold by night
Taking unpaid leave
because the company is
planning to close down
and trying to avoid paying
its employees is not
By Nizar Kochery
QUESTION: I work with a
contracting company on a twoyear definite contract and have
already completed one year. For
the past three months I have not
gone to the company because it
has no job for me. The company
manager is not in Doha because
of financial problems. Can I file
a complaint with the Labour
Department for non-payment
of my salary? My company has
made me sign a letter saying
I would not work for a competitor. It now seems that the
company has filed a complaint
against me for absconding. I
haven’t absconded. Can I use
my colleagues as witnesses in
the case?
ST, Doha
ANSWER: File a complaint before
the Labour Department for nonpayment of salaries. Taking unpaid leave because the company is
planning to close down and trying
to avoid paying its employees is not
Article 44 of the Labour Laws
stipulates that the employer shall
undertake to enable the worker to
perform the work. If the worker
attends the place of work and
is willing to perform the work
but could not do so for reasons
beyond his control, he shall be
considered to have actually done
the work and be entitled to his
Accordingly, the employer is obliged
to pay the worker’s salary as long as
such a worker is on the employer’s
employment even if no work has been
However, the employer has the
right to terminate the employment contract or file an absconder
complaint if the worker is absent
from work for more than seven days
The worker has to try to prove
before the court that he did not
abscond and the complaint is
malicious. The worker has the
right to plead before the judge to
allow him to call his colleagues as
Rules on
Q: My landlord doesn’t respond
to my e-mail correspondence
regarding the end of my lease,
saying that only a written notice
would be accepted. Also, the
landlord says I shouldn’t leave
the house unless he has made an
inspection of it? I have paid all
rents and the only problem is I
haven’t “hand-delivered” a letter
announcing the end of lease to
the landlord. He threatens not
to return the deposit to me even
if I hand over the keys unless his
inspection is over.
JL, Doha
Q: Is post-mortem banned in
Qatar? In case of death of someone who was healthy, what are the
procedures for his family members
to call for a post-mortem? Is it
necessary to have permission from
the family for post-mortem?
ET, Doha
A: If there is any provision in the
lease contract which indicates that
“only written notices” are allowed,
then the notification must be this
mode; otherwise, if no provision
states so, any means of communication shall be accepted by the law.
To avoid complications, provide
landlord with the letter in writing
and allow inspection of the premises.
Otherwise the inspection will be
delayed and the procedures will take
extra time.
A: Except for criminal or pathological
reasons or for educational purposes,
Autopsy of human corpses is prohibited in Qatar under Article (2) of Law
No 8 of 2003. Autopsy shall be carried
out for reasons such as: “suspecting
that there is a crime in the occurrence
of the death” or “death resulting from
committing a crime or associated with
a crime”.
A forensic physician shall carry out
autopsy in both cases on the basis of a
resolution by the competent investigating authority, and it is not necessary to obtain the permission of the
family of the deceased.
According to Article (4) of the said
law, autopsy for pathological purposes
is implemented in case the reason for
death cannot be known by means of
clinical inspection, laboratory, X-ray
and medical analysis provided that it is
carried out in a period not exceeding 24
hours since the time of death or knowing about it. In this case, autopsy shall
be carried out on the basis of a resolution by the minister or the person who
authorises after obtaining permission
from the court. It has to be implemented
by a physician of histology and it is not
necessary to obtain the permission of
the family of the deceased.
Autopsy for educational purposes
shall be implemented for the purpose
of studying the human body. It shall be
implemented by the specialist faculty
members in medicine colleges and
their students under the supervision
of their professors.
It is not possible to implement autopsy for educational purposes except after
obtaining an authenticated permission
from the deceased person before his
death or the permission of his inheritors
and the consent of the religious court.
It is also possible to implement
autopsy of deceased persons who
identity or inheritors or relatives who
may object to autopsy are not known.
In all cases, it is not possible to carry
out autopsy if the deceased said in his
will that he did not want his corpse to
be subjected to autopsy.
z Please send your questions by
e-mail to: [email protected]
High: 29 C
Low : 21 C
High: 29 C
Low : 20 C
Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: NE-SE 03-12/ KT
Waves: 1-3/ Feet
Wind: NW-NE 05-15/ KT
Waves: 1-2 Feet
Around the region
Abu Dhabi
Kuwait City
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
C Showers
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
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C Storms
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C Storms
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The third party holder who has
transcribed his title to the property
may purge the property of any mortgage inscribed before the transcription of his title in the Land Registry.
The third party holder can exercise
this right even before the mortgagees have served upon him a formal
summons to pay. Such right may exist
until placing the attachment entry
over the property’s registration at the
request of the mortgagee.
If the third party holder decides to
proceed with the purge of the property, he must serve upon the inscribed
creditors a letter by registered mail
together with an acknowledgement
slip, containing:
(a) An extract of his title deed, setting out the particulars, nature and
date of the act of disposition, full and
precise description of the property
and particulars of its previous owner.
If the disposal is a sale, the price and
its attachments should be indicated.
(b) The date and number of the
transcription of his title in the Land
(c) A list of rights inscribed on the
property before transcription of his
title. This list shall contain the date
of the inscriptions, the amount of the
inscribed debts and the names of the
creditors, and
(d) The sum at which he values the
property. This sum must not in any
case be less than the sum remaining
to be paid by the third party holder on
the price of the property if the act of
disposition was a sale.
The third party holder must, by the
registered letter informing his intention to pay off the inscribed debts up
to the amount at which he has valued
the property. His offer need not be ac-
companied by a cash amount, but must
be an offer showing his willingness of
settlement by an amount payable immediately whatever may be the date of
which the inscribed debts accrue due.
According to Article 1099, every
inscribed creditor and every surety of
an inscribed debt has the right to apply for the sale of the property which
the third party holder wishes to
purge, provided that his application is
made within thirty days of the date of
the last registered letter accompanied
by an acknowledgement slip.
The application shall be made by a
registered letter accompanied by an
acknowledgement slip to the third
party holder and to the former owner.
The applicant must deposit in the
court treasury a sum which is sufficient to cover the cost of the sale by
auction, but he shall have no right to
a refund of expenses advanced by him
if no higher price than that offered by
the third party holder is obtained as a
result of the auction.
The failure to comply with anyone
of these conditions entails the nullity
of the application. The applicant may
not renounce his application without
the consent of all the inscribed creditors and all the sureties.
Around the world
Cape Town
Hong Kong
New Delhi
New York
Sao Paulo
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
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P Cloudy
T Storms
P Cloudy
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P Cloudy
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T Storms
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Public-private sector
partnership �vital for
development in Qatar’
During the Amigos de
Espana 2014, the Spanish
Business Council – Qatar
had bestowed awards of
recognition to al-Tamimi and
By Peter Alagos
Business Reporter
n official of the state-run
Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has underscored the importance of
government and private sector
partnership, particularly in Qatar’s billion-dollar infrastructure and development projects.
Speaking to Gulf Times at the
Amigos de Espana 2014 held at
the residence of Spanish Ambassador Carmen de la Pena
on Wednesday, Road Projects
Department director Saud Ali
al-Tamimi said the government
was constantly on the lookout
for “good and qualified” foreign
Citing the $1.1bn development
project at the Industrial Area in
Doha, al-Tamimi noted that Qatari engineers benefitted from
the sharing of experiences and
best practices when undertaking collaborative projects with
international п¬Ѓrms.
“We are looking for enhanced
co-operation with them because we are an open country.
We have a strong economy and
the country is busy with a lot
of projects. We need good and
qualified companies to share in
our progress and ambitions,” alTamimi explained.
This was echoed by ABM Qatar CEO Abdulla Mubarak A alDolaimi, who specifically noted
that his company was looking
forward to working with more
Spanish companies.
When asked about which
sectors would benefit from the
presence of Spanish п¬Ѓrms, alDolaimi said companies from
Spain excelled in the п¬Ѓelds of
construction, transport, infrastructure, and sports.
“Sports is another sector
that the Spanish are good at.
In Spain, I’ve seen many stadiums and they have hosted many
sports events that were not held
in Qatar yet,” he said.
During the Amigos de Espana 2014 or Friends of Spain,
the Spanish Business Council
– Qatar had bestowed awards
of recognition to al-Tamimi and
The awarding ceremony was
created two years ago under the
joint initiative of the Spanish
embassy and the SPB to recognise projects that Qatari com-
Al-Dolaimi (fourth from left) and al-Tamimi are flanked by Spanish ambassador Carmen de la Pena (centre)
and members of the Spanish Business Council - Qatar during the annual Amigos de Espana 2014 awarding
ceremony. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
panies are developing with the
Spanish business community.
SBC president Francisco Garrote said al-Dolaimi was this
year’s recipient in the “personal
category” while al-Tamimi received the award on behalf of
Ashghal in the “institutional
Garrote announced that alDolaimi was recognised for
sponsoring Spanish companies Collosa, Ah Asociados, and
Saitec while al-Tamimi received
the award in relation to Ashghal’s local roads and drainage
In her opening speech, de la
Pena said: “With these awards,
we do not only want to thank
the support and assistance that
Qatari partners provided to our
companies but we also want to
stress the commitment from the
Spanish companies in establishing a fruitful and lasting relationship with the key players of
this country.”
De la Pena said Spain had almost 60 established companies
in Qatar’s infrastructure and
contracting, education, transport, power and energy, environment and oil and gas sectors.
“All these companies are international ones and could be
integrated under the �Marka Espana’, – Spanish brand initiative,
a policy to promote the image
and work of Spanish companies
abroad,” de la Pena said.
Lessons from Singapore
for Qatari professionals
atar Leadership Centre’s
were given an extensive,
inside look at Singapore’s experience in public policy development during a five-day Learning
Journey in Singapore in the last
week of October.
The Qatari Government Leaders, all of whom hold managerial
and executive positions across
a range of government institutions, took advantage of the
opportunity to learn from Singapore’s success in developing
government best practice to create an efficient and responsive
public sector.
The 27 Qatari men and women
learned from senior government officials, thought leaders
and business executives during
the Learning Journey, which was
jointly organised by Qatar Leadership Centre (QLC) and Civil
Service College (CSC), Singapore.
CSC is the central learning institution for Singapore’s public
service; QLC provides a national
platform for leadership excellence in line with the goals of
2030 and beyond.
Sheikh Dr Abdulla bin Ali alThani, board member and managing director of QLC, noted
that the Learning Journey “will
bolster the strategic capacity of
these Government Leaders to
contribute to the achievement of
national goals by allowing them
to learn from the experience of
Singapore’s respected civil service institution and adapt the lessons to government service in
Qatar ambassador to Singa-
pore Mohamed bin Ali Sultan
al-Ali al-Maadid and Singapore
special envoy to the Middle East,
ambassador Zainul Abidin Rasheed from the ministry of foreign affairs, met with the Qatari
group in Singapore.
Ambassador al-Maadid expressed his appreciation for the
co-operation of Singapore with
QLC, saying: “We can learn
much from the Singapore experience in developing an active
international business hub, with
a high standard of living. Singapore’s success came as a result
of systematic planning, aided
by the development of a professional class of government employees.”
In preparation for the Government Leaders’ Learning Journey,
Singapore ambassador to Qatar
Wong Kwok Pun spoke at a Qatar
Policy Seminar in Doha in June
at QLC, in which he highlighted
Qatar-Singapore bilateral relations.
His perspective served to
frame the visit to Singapore as he
highlighted significant government initiatives and developments of recent decades.
The Qatari group considered
essential elements for good government, including principles
of governance, the formation of
strong institutions and the development of good policy in various arenas, whether for urban
infrastructure, national healthcare or industrial development.
Captain Abdulla bin Sultan alGhanem, a QLC participant from
the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), found the visit useful,
noting: “The Learning Journey
to Singapore was an opportunity
to closely monitor government
performance and revisit essential best practices; it promises to
yield positive results when our
knowledge is applied to the State
of Qatar.”
Researchers and instructors
from the CSC outlined the role
of public service in economic
development strategies, as well
as in human and social development planning.
“During the Learning Journey
to Singapore I became familiar
with best practices in areas such
as education, commerce and
industry,” said Munera al-Mohannadi, head of the department
of personnel at the Ministry of
Economy and Commerce. “I
benefited from these experiences and will definitely apply what
I learned in my work in Qatar.”
As part of the visit, the QLC
Government Leaders visited
Singapore’s National University
Health System and Singapore
Polytechnic. The group examined these organisations in the
context of Singapore’s strategic
planning processes while policymakers highlighted similarities
and differences between Qatar
and Singapore.
The International Advisory
Group worked with the Government Leaders in adapting relevant learning lessons from the
QLC is accepting online applications from qualified Qatari
professionals for its 2015-2016
national leadership programmes
The closing date for applications is December 4.
Heavy vehicle drivers flout parking ban
QLC Government Leaders with Mohamed bin Ali Sultan al-Ali al-Maadid (front row, fifth from left), Zainul Abidin Rasheed (front row, fifth
from right), Tina Ng, director of CSC International, Civil Service College, Singapore (front row, fourth from right) and CSC officials during
the Learning Journey.
Some QLC Government Leaders with Wong Kwok Pun, Sheikh Dr Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani and staff following their return from the QLC Learning
Journey to Singapore.
Catamarans hog the limelight
Heavy vehicles continue to be parked in some vacant plots in Doha in violation of Law
Number 19 of 2007 and its amendments, especially Article Number 77. The parking of heavy
vehicles and equipment has been banned in Doha city and suburbs from January 30 this
year. This picture was taken yesterday afternoon behind the Gulf Times office on the C Ring
Road. PICTURE: Jayan Orma.
he second edition of the
Qatar International Boat
Show, which concludes
today, has featured some of the
best cruises and yachts of the
Among them is a Lagoon
39 catamaran from the Beneteau Group, represented by Tan
Services in the Gulf. It is one of
a family of sailing catamaran
cruisers, ranging from 38ft to
62ft - all of which are sloop rigs
with spacious cabins in each hull
and living space on the bridge
The double hulls, according to
the builders, ensure stability and
plenty of living space, making
them ideal for family days out.
Lagoon has been building luxury catamarans since 1984 and
has sold over 3,200 of them since
then, with the company holding
a 35% market share in sailing
catamarans worldwide.
The Lagoon 39 on show has
already been sold to a Qatari
buyer, while a Lagoon 38 was
recently sold in Dubai and a Lagoon 52 to a Saudi buyer, sources
Prices for the range are
Dubai-based Gulf Craft, another major manufacturer of
luxury yachts and п¬Ѓbreglass
boats, has been a regular at the
expo since its start. The company is one of the world’s top 10
super-yacht builders.
With an annual production
capacity of some 400 craft, its
range of Majesty Yachts is on
show – including six boats ranging from 40ft to its Majesty 101
– a 101ft (30.8m) boat with 91
ton displacement, and one of the
largest yachts in this year’s show.
Gulf Craft will soon be opening a $100mn new facility in a
two-sq km Dubai Maritime City.
The projects, expected to be
spread over 83,000sq m, will be
completed in п¬Ѓve years.
The largest boat on show at
the exhibition is a 40m Floating
House from Emirates Waves, a
company based in Abu Dhabi.
It has six bedrooms, all with
private bathrooms (with optional jacuzzis), two master living
rooms, an on-board cinema and
an upper flybridge among other
The п¬Ѓbreglass hulled boat has
a top speed of around 16 knots. It
took about 18 months to be completed and costs around QR12mn
Floating House, the largest boat taking part in the expo.
One of the bed rooms of Lagoon 39.
US DEBUT | Page 11
Airbus 9-mth
profits beat
Alibaba seeks
to raise $8bn
in bond sale
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Moharram 22, 1436 AH
Turkey says G20
must be more
Opec diplomacy picks up from
Iraq to Libya amid oil plunge
pec producers are stepping up
their diplomatic visits before the
group’s meeting in two weeks,
potentially seeking a consensus on how
to react to oil prices that have plunged to
a four-year low.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah alThinni flew to Riyadh on Thursday just
as Iraqi President Fouad Masoum left the
kingdom after a two-day visit where he
met with King Abdullah, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Rafael Ramirez,
Venezuela’s foreign minister and representative to Opec, held talks in Algeria
and Qatar. Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali
al-Naimi toured Latin America.
“The Saudis will not walk the road
alone, they want to see everyone share
the burden with them,” Kuwait-based
analyst Kamel al-Harami said by phone.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil
exporter, is trying to build consensus
among fellow members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
before they meet November 27 in Vienna,
he said.
Falling oil prices are straining state
budgets among Opec members,
including Iraq’s government, which
is leading a costly war against
Islamist militants, and Libya that
is struggling to keep crude output
steady amid political divisions and
Falling oil prices are straining state
budgets among Opec members, including Iraq’s government, which is leading
a costly war against Islamist militants,
and Libya that is struggling to keep crude
output steady amid political divisions
and violence.
Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency
said Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the nation’s
oil minister, delivered a message to Ku-
wait on behalf of President Hassan Rohani. Zanganeh briefed Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh
Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah on developments in oil markets, the agency said. He
also came to Qatar, IRNA reported.
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro
said he had sent Ramirez to п¬Ѓve countries,
according to a televised address from
Caracas.“We are in a campaign to defend
Venezuela, Venezuelan oil, international
markets and the price of oil,” Maduro was
cited as saying on Thursday. “Oil sustains
the development of our economic and social life.”
Ramirez met with Algerian President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, with both nations
reaffirming a joint position to defend
prices, state-run news agency Algeria
Press Service reported.
He also came to Qatar where he discussed crude prices and stability of oil
markets with HE the Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani,
and HE the Energy Minister Dr Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, in Doha on
Thursday, Venezuela’s foreign ministry
said in a statement. He’s also is scheduled
to travel to Iran and Russia, according to
the ministry, while Maduro said the trip
would include Mexico
Saudi Arabia remains committed to
seeking a stable oil prices and speculation
of a battle between crude producers has
no basis, al-Naimi said on November 12
in Mexico after a visit to Venezuela.
Opec members Libya, Venezuela and
Ecuador have called for action to prevent
crude from falling further. Libya’s Opec
governor Samir Kamal said last month
that the group must cut daily output by
500,000 barrels as the market is oversupplied by about 1mn barrels a day. This
reflected his personal view, he said at the
“They can all come to Saudi Arabia and
ask the Saudis to support oil prices, but
that will not change anything,” al-Harami said. “At the next meeting, al-Naimi
will look for a cut by all the members and
if he doesn’t get it, nothing will change.”
QIA and Italian funds
to buy $205mn stake
in food firm Inalca
State-backed Italian and Qatari
investors are to buy a €165mn
($205mn) stake in Inalca, expanding
the Italian meat producer’s overseas
markets in the first such deal by the
two investment partners.
Under the deal signed yesterday,
the IQ Made in Italy joint venture
will buy a 28.4% stake in Inalca, currently wholly owned by Italian food
producer and caterer Cremonini.
Italian state-backed private equity
fund Fondo Strategico Italiano
(FSI) and Qatar Holding, a fund
created by the Qatar Investment
Authority, set up the joint venture
in March 2013 to invest in a range
of Italian companies in the food,
fashion and luxury, tourism and
leisure sectors.
The joint venture was agreed in
2012 as part of Italy’s efforts to
tap Qatar’s vast wealth to support
national industries struggling to
finance their way out of recession.
“With this investment we aim to support the distribution of food �made
in Italy’ abroad,” Maurizio Tamagnini, FSI chief executive. Inalca could
also devote part of the new funds
to acquisitions, Cremonini said in a
joint statement with FSI.
Under the deal signed
yesterday, the IQ Made in
Italy joint venture will buy
a 28.4% stake in Inalca,
currently wholly owned
by Italian food producer
and caterer Cremonini
Lawyer firm Latham & Watkins
advised FSI and Qatar Investment
Authority in the deal. It took the
two investors around 18 months to
finalise their first joint transaction.
FSI, which has a similar arrangement with Kuwait’s sovereign
wealth fund, last week announced
a €76mn investment in the Rocco
Forte hotels group with the Kuwait
Investment Authority.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Thai Q3 GDP seen picking but pace of recovery slows
Thailand’s economy probably expanded
slightly in the third quarter after a military
coup in May returned some stability to
the country, but the pace of recovery will
likely be slower than expected as exports
and domestic demand remain sluggish.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy
suffered virtual paralysis in policy-making
from months of political unrest before
the coup. Badly bruised sectors such
as tourism are still struggling, while
consumer spending continues to be
“Fragile domestic demand and weak
exports temper high hopes of a swift
upturn in the Thai economy following
the removal of political uncertainty,” said
economist Bernard Aw with Forecast Pte.
in Singapore.
Gross domestic product (GDP) was
forecast to grow a seasonally adjusted
1.8% in July-September from the previous
quarter, when it expanded 0.9% and
avoided a technical recession, a Reuters
poll showed. On an annual basis, the
economy probably grew 1% after
expanding 0.4% in April-June, the poll
showed. In the first half, the economy
contracted 0.1%.
When the junta seized power, it said it
needed to restore order after the unrest
and get the economy moving. While it
has approved government spending
on big infrastructure projects and other
measures to create jobs and income, the
benefits are not expected to trickle down
until next year.
Government stimulus has helped lift
sentiment, but private consumption,
which makes up half of the economy,
remains subdued as Thais are heavily
indebted. Critics say the continued
imposition of martial law has also dented
confidence and is keeping visitors away.
Rumblings of uncertainty among some in
the business community over the army’s
ability to run the economy and concerns
over the health of Thailand’s revered King
Bhumibol Adulyadej, 86, who underwent
surgery and remains in hospital, have
also fuelled anxiety. A recent bright spot
was an unexpected rise in exports for
September. However, the central bank
sees no export growth this year, while
most economists predict a contraction.
The median forecast in the Reuters poll
was for 1.3% GDP growth this year and
4% next year. But economists’ estimates
for 2014 ranged from 0.2-2.5%, signalling
divergent views on how the economy will
pull itself out of the slump. The planning
agency, which compiles GDP data, has
forecast growth of 1.5%-2.5% for 2014 and
3.5%-4.5% next year.
Workers assemble a car at a Mitsubishi Motors plant in Laem Chabang,
Thailand. The country’s economy probably expanded slightly in the third
quarter, a Reuters poll showed yesterday.
�India-US deal breathes
new life into trade talks’
breakthrough agreement between India and the United
States in a bitter row over food
subsidies has “breathed new life” into
the World Trade Organisation, Secretary-General Roberto Azevedo said
Azevedo, in Australia for the G20
meetings of world leaders in Brisbane
this weekend, was upbeat after Thursday’s deal, which also follows an understanding between the US and China to
reduce tariffs on information technology trade.
“I commend the leadership that has
been shown on all fronts in recent days
– it certainly has breathed new life into
the WTO,” he told reporters, adding
that he felt an agreement on the stalled
Bali package trade agreement was in
reach within weeks.
The dispute between India and the
US had left trade talks at an impasse for
months. India had refused to endorse
the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
in July unless its food stockpiles were
Azevedo: Optimistic.
slows to
5.6% in Q3
Kuala Lumpur
Growth in Malaysia’s economy
slowed to a “moderate” 5.6%
in the third quarter as exports
decelerated, the central bank
said yesterday, but it added
that domestic demand was
expected to support steady
Southeast Asia’s third-largest
economy depends heavily on
exports but in recent years
has increasingly leaned on
domestic demand as demand
in key overseas markets
In the three months through
September, private-sector
activity “remained the key
driver of growth”, while
exports expanded at a
“slower pace” of 1.5%, Bank
Negara said. The latest figure
compares with 6.5% in the
previous three months and
6.2% in January-March.
Third-quarter growth in 2013
was 5%.
“While risks to growth have
increased, the Malaysian
economy is expected to
remain on a steady growth
path,” Bank Negara said.
“Going forward, domestic
demand will remain the key
driver of growth.”
Inflation averaged 3% in the
third quarter, down from 3.3%
in the second.
Malaysia is planning to
introduce a 6% goods and
services tax next year,
which economists say in
necessary to help lower one
of Asia’s highest debt-to-GDP
ratios, but the plan remains
controversial. Thousands
protested against the plan
in an opposition-led rally in
May, with many fearing it will
burden ordinary consumers
already struggling with rising
prices after the government
cut for subsidies of petrol and
other goods.
exempted from possible punitive measures, prompting the US to accuse it of
taking the WTO “to the brink of crisis”.
But both sides agreed on Thursday
that India’s food security programmes
would not be challenged under WTO
rules “until a permanent solution regarding this issue has been agreed and
Ahead of the resolution, Azevedo said
the impasse had “effectively paralysed
the multilateral negotiations in the organisation”, calling it the “most serious
crisis the WTO has faced”.
But in Brisbane the WTO chief said
he strongly welcomed the development, which paves the way for progress
on the TFA.
The TFA was hammered out last December during tough negotiations at a
World Trade Organisation conference
in Bali – the WTO’s first global accord
since its 1995 founding.
Azevedo has said the agreement –
which the organisation’s 160 members
failed to reach agreement on in July
– is crucial to ensuring the WTO’s relevance.
He said yesterday that the US-India
agreement represents a “significant
step” in efforts to get the Bali package
back on track.
“Yesterday I received very positive
news that the US and India had reached
an understanding that will help us overcome the stalemate,” he said.
“I strongly welcome this development and I applaud the leadership that
has been shown by India and US to
move the process forward.”
Azevedo said that after this weekend’s G20 meetings in Brisbane, which
bring together the leaders of the world’s
biggest economies, he would return to
Geneva to begin consultations as soon
as possible.
He said there was a “high probability”
that the Bali package would be approved
on the back of the US-India agreement.
“I think this breakthrough with the
US and India is very important,” he said,
adding that they were the key players at
the heart of the impasse in July.
“The chances that we can in Geneva,
with everybody, with all other WTO
members, п¬Ѓnalise this understanding
are very significant,” he said.
“I am hopeful, we can do it in a very
short period of time, certainly in the
next two weeks.”
China lending drops sharply
October bank lending drops 36%
from September; money supply
growth cools more than expected;
slowdown fuels calls for bolder
policy steps; interest rate, RRR cuts
likely in 2015; govt seen likely to cut
growth target next year
hina’s bank lending tumbled
in October and money supply
growth cooled, raising fears of a
sharper slowdown in the economy and
prompting some economists to urge
the government to ratchet up stimulus
measures, including cutting interest
Chinese banks made a much lessthan-expected 548.3bn yuan ($89.5bn)
worth of new loans in October, down
36% from September, central bank data
showed yesterday, pointing to deepening economic weakness in the fourth
The drop in credit came after some
banks reported bad loans rose at their
fastest clip in two years over the summer, while deposits shrank, limiting their
ability to lend and highlighting growing strains on the п¬Ѓnancial system as the
world’s second-largest economy cools.
“The downward pressure on the
economy will increase if we don’t step
up policy support,” said Wang Jun, senior economist at China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE),
a well-connected think tank in Beijing.
Wang said the central bank should
п¬Ѓrst consider cutting reserve requirement ratios (RRR) for all banks to encourage them to lend more, although
cutting interest rates remains an option.
Broad M2 money supply rose 12.6% in
October from a year earlier, trailing market expectations of 12.9% and the second slowest growth rate in 2-1/2 years.
Other data on Thursday also showed
that China’s economy lost further momentum in October, with factory growth
dipping and investment growth hitting a
near 13-year low as the property market
continued to weaken.
The surprisingly weak credit data came
despite the central bank’s recent injection of some 770bn yuan ($125.63bn) in
three-month loans into some banks via
a “medium-term lending facility”, fuelling doubts about the effectiveness of its
targeted policy approach. “The central
An employee counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Beijing. Chinese banks made a much less-than-expected $89.5bn worth of
new loans in October, down 36% from September, central bank data showed yesterday.
bank seems to be more inclined to use
innovative tools to release liquidity, but
such tools have limited effectiveness,”
said Niu Li, an economist at the State
Information Centre, a top government
think tank.
Niu said either cutting interest rates
or RRR should be policy options, given
low inflation and high borrowing costs.
He expects fourth-quarter growth to
slow to 7.2%-7.3%, bringing full-year
growth to 7.3%.
Despite a raft of stimulus measures
earlier in the year, China’s annual growth
slowed to 7.3% in the third quarter, the
weakest since the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis.
Still, few government economists see
the central bank making any aggressive
policy moves before the end of the year.
“The probability of cutting interest
rates and RRR will be high next year,”
said Zhang Bin, senior economist at the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
(CASS), a top government think tank.
Chinese leaders have indicated they
will tolerate slower growth as long as the
job market remains strong, but a further slowdown could hit manufacturers
harder, raising the risk of debt defaults
that could cascade through the п¬Ѓnancial
Highlighting the growing pressure
facing Chinese companies, the industry ministry has said п¬Ѓnancing costs of
manufacturers jumped 13.5% in the п¬Ѓrst
nine months from a year earlier, and
were 5.6 percentage points higher than
factories’ revenue growth.
Sluggish demand and overcapacity
are compounding the problems, particularly for heavy industry like steel mills.
Policymakers have ruled out big stimulus measures as China is still struggling
to deal with a mountain of local government debt, the hangover from 4tn
yuan ($650bn) in spending rolled out in
2008/09 to cushion the impact of the
global crisis.
Similarly, the central bank has only
cut RRR for selected banks and pumped
more short-term cash into the system in
a bid to channel credit to more vulner-
able sectors of the economy. Debt levels
at China’s 200 biggest companies increased by five times between 2007 and
2013 and п¬Ѓnancial pressures on them
will likely intensify as the economy continues to cool, Standard & Poor’s said
Top government think-tanks, which
make policy proposals, have urged the
government to cut its economic growth
target next year, probably to around 7%,
from around 7.5% this year.
Chinese leaders are due to map out
economic and reform plans for 2015 at
a major work conference next month,
including economic targets for the year
ahead which will be unveiled in parliament next March.
The soft economic performance in
October cemented the view that China
is on track to grow at its weakest pace in
24 years. The government is almost certain to miss its annual growth target this
year for the п¬Ѓrst time since 1999, when
the economy was hit by the Asian п¬Ѓnancial crisis.
looks for
to fund
truggling Philippine Airlines said yesterday it is
looking for a new investor
to help fund an expansion programme that would see Asia’s
oldest airline buying more longhaul jets.
“I would prefer an airline with
more destinations so we can expand our presence,” newly-installed president Jaime Bautista
said. He added that the company may take another airline,
or a company with interests in
the aviation sector, as an equity
Under Philippine law a foreign
airline may acquire up to 40% of
a carrier like PAL, Bautista said,
while stressing there were no
ongoing talks at this point.
“There are names we are looking at, but we are not at liberty to
disclose (them) at this time,” he
told a news conference.
Bautista said the carrier plans
to buy long-haul planes over 10
years – either by converting a
previous order for narrow-body
aircraft from Airbus into bigger planes or taking up Boeing’s
proposal to sell it 777 jets.
PAL is to open new local and
international routes over the
next three years, including Manila-New York from March 2015,
he added.
After struggling with losses
amid competition from budget
carriers, high fuel costs and a
labour dispute, PAL returned
to profitability this year, posting a net profit of 1.49bn pesos
($33mn) in the three months to
Lucio Tan, one of the Philippines’ richest men, named
Bautista to lead the airline after
regaining control of PAL in September, buying out San Miguel
Corp’s 49% interest in the airline for a reported $1bn.
Bautista said PAL is reviewing
a massive refleeting programme
initiated by the previous management, which had ordered
64 planes from Airbus for more
than $7bn after San Miguel won
management control of the airline in 2012.
The airline’s listed parent PAL
Holdings disclosed last month
it was “seriously studying” the
possibility of deferring aircraft
deliveries, complaining that “too
many orders” had been made.
PAL will take delivery of 10
Airbus A321s this year and another 10 of the same model in
2016, Bautista said yesterday.
Some of the 28 Airbus planes
set for delivery after 2016 may
be converted to long-haul jets,
he said, without giving further
“We’ll have to study this very
carefully. It’s easy to buy airplanes but difficult to dispose,”
he added. “We will take advantage of the refleeting programme
to improve our service, reboot
costs and hopefully, become a
profitable airline.”
PAL will now focus its European operations on its newlyopened London route and add
more flights to Honolulu, while
scaling down Middle East operations due to lower-than-projected demand, he said.
Its new fuel-efficient Airbus
jets will allow PAL to compete
better when Southeast Asian nations ease air traffic restrictions
next year, he added.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Indonesia sharpens centralised Islamic finance oversight
Indonesia’s capital market regulator
has signed an agreement with the
country’s national Shariah board to
strengthen oversight of the Islamic
finance industry, supporting a
centralised approach being favoured
elsewhere around the globe.
A country-level approach to
regulating Shariah-compliant
financial services was pioneered
by Malaysia in 1997 and is gaining
traction elsewhere as authorities try
to standardise industry practices and
improve consumer perceptions.
The agreement would support efforts
by Indonesia’s financial services
authority, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan
(OJK), to formulate rules governing
Islamic financial services, said OJK
chairman Muliaman Hadad.
This would help create new Shariahcompliant products, develop a wider
pool of Shariah scholars, and support
education and awareness efforts in
the industry, he added.
Indonesia’s national Shariah board
has traditionally focused on broader
religious matters, although it has
issued 95 rulings relating to Islamic
finance services, 14 of those related
to the capital market.
But authorities want to encourage a
wider product range to help Islamic
banks grab a bigger share of the
market, as the sector plays catch-up
to more mature markets in Malaysia
and the Middle East.
Indonesia has the world’s biggest
Muslim population but its Islamic
finance market lags well behind that
of Malaysia. Indonesia’s Islamic banks
held 4.9% of total banking assets in
the country last year compared with
more than 20% for their Malaysian
A centralised model to supervising
Islamic finance is increasingly being
adopted across the global industry,
although it remains a rarity in the Gulf
Previously, many countries left
Shariah boards in individual Islamic
banks and financial firms to decide
whether their products and activities
obeyed religious principles.
This approach has been criticised for
inviting potential conflicts of interest,
and for producing conflicting rulings
that confused investors.
Last month, Oman’s central bank set
up a five-member Shariah board to
help oversee the sultanate’s Islamic
banking industry, while Pakistan’s
securities commission established a
nine-member Shariah board in May of
last year.
Morocco and Nigeria have made
similar moves, while the United
Arab Emirates plans to develop an
independent authority which will be
backed by specific legislation.
Authorities in Indonesia want
to reshape the country’s Islamic
finance industry by encouraging
consolidation and building a new
regulatory system. Regulators are
finalising a five-year roadmap to be
presented this month to industry
players, who have repeatedly called
for clearer laws.
China gives tax breaks on
HK-Shanghai stock link
Policy removes big point of concern
for foreign investors; mainland
Chinese investing in HK exempt
from income tax for 3 years;
exempts income from QFII, RQFII
programmes temporarily; no
guidance on taxation of previous
New Delhi
ndia allowed foreigners
to own as much as 74% of
HDFC Bank, the nation’s
most valuable lender by market
capitalisation, paving the way
for a Rs100bn ($1.6bn) share sale
by the company.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board, a panel of government officials that approves foreign investment in the country,
made the decision regarding the
Mumbai-based lender, a п¬Ѓnance
ministry official told reporters
in New Delhi yesterday, asking
not to be identified citing departmental rules. He declined to
provide more details.
The bank has plans to raise
about Rs100bn by selling shares
to domestic and foreign investors after an increase in the foreign investment limit, HDFC
Bank Deputy Managing Director
Paresh Sukthankar told reporters on October 21. Last December, the Reserve Bank of India
restricted foreign institutional
investors from buying shares in
HDFC Bank after overseas investments had crossed the then
49% limit.
Shanghai/Hong Kong
hina will temporarily exempt taxes on profits made from a landmark scheme linking the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, the
п¬Ѓnance ministry said yesterday, removing a potential stumbling block for global investors eager to directly buy Chinese stocks for the п¬Ѓrst time.
Market players cheered the announcement, though Chinese regulators
left themselves wiggle room to apply a
tax to foreign investors at a later date.
The Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect, to be launched on November 17,
will let international investors trade
Shanghai-listed shares via the Hong
Kong stock exchange, and mainland investors to trade in Hong Kong shares via
the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
While the programme will be constrained by quotas initially, analysts say
it has the potential to create the world’s
third-largest stock market if the two
boards are fully integrated.
But there have been major concerns
over implementation, the impact of prodemocracy protests in Hong Kong, and
tax policy for the scheme.
Clarity on tax policy had been anxiously awaited, especially as the programme is set to launch on Monday.
Individuals and companies in Hong
Kong buying shares in Shanghai will
be temporarily exempted from paying
income tax on gains for an unspecified
China’s exemption of capital gains
taxes “removes a huge concern for investors and brokers,” said Nick Ronalds,
head of equities for the Asia Securities
Industry & Financial Markets Association in Hong Kong.
“Launching the scheme with tax
uncertainty looming would have been
a major obstacle for investors and removes a big source of risk and uncertainty,” he said.
Beijing’s statement said that mainland individuals buying shares in Hong
Kong through the programme would be
exempt from income tax for three years,
but will be liable for tax on dividends.
The statement also said that business
India allows
to own 74%
shares in
The bank plans to raise
about $1.6bn by selling
shares to domestic and
foreign investors
A banner introducing the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect is displayed in front of a panel showing the closing blue-chip Hang Seng Index at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
on November 10, 2014. China will temporarily exempt taxes on profits made from a landmark scheme linking the stock exchanges, the finance ministry said yesterday.
tax on Qualified Foreign Institutional
Investor (QFII) and Renminbi Qualified
Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII)
schemes – the two main avenues currently available for foreigners to invest in
Chinese stocks – will also be temporarily
Mainland companies will be taxed on
profits and dividends earned through
the scheme, based on China’s Enterprise
Income Tax law, according to a Q&A that
the Finance Ministry issued along with
its announcement.
However, tax experts say that this law
doesn’t directly apply a separate tax to
profits from share sales.
Investors on both sides will be liable
for stamp duties, and Hong Kong investors will be taxed 10% on dividends
earned from mainland investments, ac-
cording to the announcement.
In the Q&A, the ministry said that the
goal of the tax policy was to support development of the connect scheme, promote liberalisation of the capital account
and create fair tax treatment for investors under the connector and the QFII/
RQFII schemes.
“I have to say, this is not bad,” said
Brian Ingram, chief investment officer at
Ping An Russell Investments in Shanghai, in reaction to the announcement.
He pointed out that the MoF’s mention of the risk of “unfair tax policy”
suggested regulators want to give QFII
and RQFII formal equal treatment with
participants in the stock connect programme.
“This can definitely be a positive boost
for participation in the A-share market,”
Ingram said. Some industry executives
said the lack of a п¬Ѓrm timeline for foreign
investor tax exemptions worried them.
“Clearly, it is not a permanent change
and we have seen China revoke exemptions on tax in the past,” said James
Badenach, partner in the п¬Ѓnancial services tax division at EY in Hong Kong. But
he added that the announcement was a
step in the right direction.
Nor did the announcement say what
would be done with profits earned
previously under the QFII and RQFII
schemes; industry insiders say that most
institutional investors have escrowed
between 10% and 15% of profits in case
a tax is announced.
“For long-established QFII investors,
this announcement may be a bit frustrating: there is still no clarity on what
should be done with the $400m-1.2bn
that QFII asset managers have withheld
for previous years,” said Stephen Baron
of Z-Ben Advisors, a fund consultancy
focused on the China market.
It’s unclear how much of a boost the
tax incentive will give to mainland investment in Hong Kong.
Mainland investors have been hesitant to invest in overseas stocks through
the current Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) scheme, which allows Chinese stock punters to buy shares
overseas through mutual funds.
Analysts believe they will be similarly
wary of investing in Hong Kong shares
in the п¬Ѓrst phase of programme launch,
leading to concerns about the impact of
one-way flows on the pool of offshore
yuan in Hong Kong.
“The government’s decision
will allow the lender to proceed
with the planned share sale and
boost capital ratios to increase
lending as the economy revives,”
Vishal Narnolia, Mumbai-based
banking analyst at SMC Global
Securities said by phone. “Although foreign investors hold
close to 74% stake in the bank
as of now, they can invest in the
proposed share sale after the rule
change,” he said.
Shares of HDFC Bank gained
1.6% to Rs930.1 in Mumbai yesterday, extending this year’s advance to 40%. The stock trades
at 20.5 times estimated profit,
close to the highest level since
October 2011, data compiled by
Bloomberg show.
HDFC Bank, led by Managing
Director Aditya Puri, had a capital
adequacy ratio of 15.7% as of September 30 and a gross bad-loan
ratio of 1%, exchange п¬Ѓlings show.
Samsung SDS strong debut frees cash for Lee’s successors
hares in Samsung SDS Co, the IT
services arm of the Samsung Group,
doubled on debut yesterday, unlocking $5bn for the conglomerate’s three
heirs as they plan a generational succession at South Korea’s dominant conglomerate.
SDS is 19.05% owned by the three children of Samsung Electronics Chairman
Lee Kun-hee, 72, who has been hospitalised since suffering a heart attack in May.
While the children did not sell any of
their shares in SDS’s $1.1bn initial public offering, analysts said the listing put a
value on their holdings and would free up
cash to pay inheritance taxes or increase
holdings in group companies.
“It’s not a company that’s near the top
of Samsung Group’s ownership structure.
It is the company most п¬Ѓt to maximise
profits for the group’s major shareholders,” said Eugene Securities analyst Yoon
SDS became the 5th most valuable company on the South Korean bourse with a
market capitalisation of about $26bn as
of yesterday’s opening. With its strong
debut, the Lee heirs’ stake value is close
to an expected inheritance tax bill of up to
The SDS listing was South Korea’s largest since May 2010 and will be followed
by the expected $1.2bn to $1.4bn December IPO of the Samsung Group’s de facto
holding company, Cheil Industries Inc.
The Lee heirs, including Samsung Electronics vice chairman JY Lee, own 41.8%
of Cheil. At the top of Cheil’s indicative
45,000-53,000 won per share IPO price
range, their combined stakes would be
worth 2.8tn won ($2.55bn).
SDS’s first-day jump had been expected.
Given the Lee siblings’ large ownership stakes, investors expect it to add new
businesses or boost dividend payouts to
increase the value of the family members’
stakes – a pattern seen at other South Korean conglomerates, known as chaebol.
Hyundai Glovis, a non-core Hyundai
Motor Group affiliate 32%-owned by
group heir apparent Chung Eui-sun,
and SK C&C, an IT services company
33%-owned by the chairman of SK Holdings, saw revenue or dividend payouts
climb after going public.
Also, just 7.9% of SDS shares were sold
in the IPO, creating a scarcity premium for
what is expected to become a key constituent of Seoul’s main Kospi index.
“This company has good business categories. It will continue to add value, revenue and market capitalisation, eventually helping with the succession,” said Kim
Hyun-su, a fund manager who invested in
Samsung SDS shares at IBK Asset Management.
SDS opened trade at 380,000 won, valuing it at about 29tn won, compared with
an IPO price of 190,000 won. The stock
lost some ground to 342,500 won as of
0452 GMT, but remained more than 80%
above its IPO price.
SDS, which also provides logistics services, generates about 80% of its sales from
group affiliates, including about 65% from
Samsung Electronics and its subsidiaries.
That dependency dented earnings in
the July-September quarter, when SDS
reported a 131.4bn won operating profit, down 9.3% on the year, partly due to
fewer shipments of Samsung Electronics
Still, SDS is seen as having room to
grow, as it handles less than 20% of Samsung Electronics’ logistics in the European
and the North American markets.
SDS’s biggest shareholder is Samsung
Electronics with a 22.6% stake.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
OW Bunker collapse to shake up world’s largest ship fuel market Singapore
The collapse of OW Bunker in the
wake of an alleged fraud at its
Singapore trading unit will shake
up the city state’s more than $25bn
marine fuel market, the world’s
largest, as major companies expand
and small ones shrink amid a credit
OW Bunker, a leading supplier of
marine fuel oil known as “bunker”,
filed for bankruptcy in Denmark a
week ago after it revealed losses of at
least $125mn at Dynamic Oil Trading,
prompting banks to refuse to provide
new credit lines.
In a market that relies heavily on open
credit, traders fear the incident could
create a domino effect, pulling more
companies down with it.
“Credit is so tight, only the big boys
will survive,” said independent energy
consultant Ong Eng Tong.
A slew of creditors have launched legal
actions in Singapore to reclaim debts,
while fears of counterparty exposure
have pushed up credit costs and
driven bunker fuel premiums to hit
more than 2-year highs.
Fuel oil sellers are demanding
payment guarantees for oil sold to
bunker companies, while the cost to
insure such deals is also set to climb as
claims relating to OW Bunker roll in.
Shipowners are also heading to other
ports in Asia, with Hong Kong sellers
getting up to 20% more inquiries from
shipowners following OW’s collapse.
The Maritime and Port Authority of
Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore
Shipping Association have said there
was no disruption to bunker supply in
the city state.
Backed by strong credit lines
and balance sheets, major oil
companies BP, Royal Dutch Shell and
independents Glencore, Vitol and Hin
Leong could expand their market
share, but small companies in the
supply chain are vulnerable, traders
“Small traders, who used to rely on
open credit or sleeving are the ones
suffering the most,” a bunker fuel
trader in Singapore said.
Because of the sheer size of
Singapore’s bunker fuel market,
with close to 43mn tonnes of oil sold
last year, there are more companies
supplying ship fuel than the 63
bunker fuel companies licensed by
MPA, traders said.
Smaller players act as retailers,
borrowing credit lines and bunker
delivery notes from big companies
that act as middlemen for a fee,
and using the credit buy fuel oil for
delivery to shipowners. The process is
known in the industry as sleeving.
“It’s not always a case of poor
credit, more a case of risk and
bringing something to the table for a
counterparty,” a second bunker fuel
trader said.
“This is a very competitive market and
things like this can make a difference
in getting the support from a
supplier.” There are no official figures
on how many such firms there are
in Singapore, but a trader’s estimate
put it at 30 to 40. A fuel oil trader
said a shake-up in the messy industry
was long due, but others expect the
business model to continue once the
incident blows over.
“The underlying model makes’s still very much a
relationship business,” a second
fuel oil trader said. “It all will have
an impact but the question is about
duration. Maybe we will see the likes
of Shell increase delivered business.”
Rising costs has also tweaked a
peculiarity in the Singapore market,
where oil delivered to ships is cheaper
than fuel oil sold from tanks.
Delivered bunker prices are now
about $8 per tonne higher than exwharf fuel oil, traders said.
No immediate plans to enter
Chinese market: BlackBerry
lackBerry Chief Executive John
Chen sees Asia as key to reviving the loss-making smartphone
maker’s fortunes but expanding in the
region’s biggest market China, where
security data concerns are rife, is currently not a priority.
Chen, who has been managing the
company’s turnaround for the past year,
told Reuters that concerns over information security and the political backlash that security breaches could create
dimmed the allure of the world’s biggest
smartphone market for BlackBerry for
the time being.
Instead, the company is keen on expanding in India and Southeast Asian
countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and
Singapore, Chen said in an interview in
Beijing this week during his п¬Ѓrst visit as
CEO to mainland China, where he attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
“It takes too long to ramp up to a size
that is even reasonable (in China),” said
“Even if I have that time and money
I’ll probably have better returns going
into a different set of markets that we
are already in, like India, South Asia,
and Southeast Asia.”
Questions about BlackBerry’s China
strategy resurfaced last month after
Chen told reporters that China was “too
big a market to ignore” and that he was
actively considering how to tackle a
country in which BlackBerry maintains
a skeleton staff. BlackBerry shares have
BlackBerry chairman and CEO John Chen speaks at the BlackBerry Security Summit in New York City. Chen said the company
is keen on expanding in India and Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
also fluctuated in recent weeks on rumours of a potential acquisition offer
from Chinese hardware giant Lenovo
Chen, a Hong Kong native who
made his name turning around soft-
ware firm Sybase during the 2000s,
said he had met with Chinese government officials, investors and telecom
carriers in Beijing. He also said he held
informal meetings with executives
from Lenovo and smartphone mak-
ers Xiaomi and HTC Corp. Chen said
BlackBerry would be open to a partnership with an Asian counterpart
that “has something serious to offer
in business, not cash, because we have
$3bn in cash”.
The most difficult question for
BlackBerry in China remains information security, which Chen has made the
bedrock of BlackBerry’s brand.
He said any expansion into China
would likely require an agreement with
Chinese authorities over how BlackBerry would respond to requests for
user data, and BlackBerry would have
to provide a level of security that both
Chinese and Western authorities were
“comfortable” with.
“I don’t want to get sucked into a geopolitical equation,” he said.
In 2012, BlackBerry reportedly allowed the Indian government to read
some encrypted communications but
not messages from its corporate customers. The Indian authorities had said
that, after the 2008 militant attacks in
Mumbai, they needed access to private
messages for law enforcement purposes.
Chen said he understood the law enforcement argument, but did not want
to jeopardise BlackBerry’s security reputation. He said he would not turn over
information without a court order.
“There has got to be a compromise,”
he said.
At the same time, Chinese stateowned enterprises, which comprise a
large proportion of the Chinese corporate market that BlackBerry covets, may
be sceptical about data security issues,
he added.
These security concerns, however,
will not stop BlackBerry from exploring ways to enter “a great market”, Chen
China may be “sometimes sensitive
because of security” issues, he added.
“But there are opportunities.”
India inflation hits 5-yr low, fans rate cut hopes
New Delhi
A farmer arranges onions in a tractor at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee wholesale market in
Umrana, Maharashtra. India’s inflation rate has hit a new five-year low, official data showed yesterday.
ndia’s inflation rate has hit a new five-year
low, official data showed yesterday, fanning
speculation the central bank could п¬Ѓnally
start cutting interest rates and spur stumbling
economic growth.
Inflation as measured by the Wholesale Price
Index or WPI, which contains India’s biggest
basket of goods, fell to 1.77% in October from a
year earlier – marking a second straight five-year
low – as the fuel-import-reliant nation benefited
from falling global oil costs.
The decline in India’s annual wholesale inflation rate, which stood at 2.38% in September, was
helped by falls in prices of both oil and food, including onions – a staple in Indian cooking. Wholesale
price inflation was riding at over 6% in May.
Businesses have been clamouring for a cut in
India’s steep interest rates which they say have
discouraged investment and consumer spending and mired the country in its longest period of
sub-п¬Ѓve-per cent growth.
The hawkish central bank has resisted such ap-
peals, determined to break the back of inflation,
a chronic problem in India that causes misery for
hundreds of millions of the country’s deeply poor
The latest wholesale price data came two days
after official figures showed consumer price inflation had dropped to 5.52% last month, below
the central bank’s six-percent goal for January
2016, and down sharply from double-digits last
With inflation falling faster than expected,
some economists say the central bank could cut
rates as early as the next monetary policy meeting
set for December 2.
“An early start to the Reserve Bank of India’s
policy loosening cycle still looks on the cards,
possibly as soon as next month,” said Capital
Economics analyst Shilan Shah in a research note
ahead of the latest data.
But many economists still worry that when the
low year-ago base effect drops out of the price
data, inflation will again start rising.
“We still expect the Reserve Bank of India to
remain on hold as risks remain to the 6% inflation target for January 2016,” said Goldman Sachs
economist Tushar Poddar.
Hong Kong
Q3 growth
faster than
Hong Kong
ong Kong’s economic growth in the third
quarter was faster than
expected on strong domestic
spending and exports although
the government warned the pickup was unlikely to sustain in the
п¬Ѓnal quarter due to the effects of
the pro-democracy protests.
Business activity in the former
British colony has been hit by
street protests since late September, choking off the city’s
shopping and п¬Ѓnancial districts
and affecting tourism. But recent global demand for tech
goods has helped exports.
The economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.7% in the third
quarter, the government said
yesterday after contracting unexpectedly in the second quarter.
Annual growth was 2.7%,
compared with a 1.8% expansion
in the previous three months as
private consumption grew at its
fastest pace since the first quarter of 2013, benefiting from the
launch of Apple’s iPhone 6.
“Looking ahead, the rather encouraging developments in the
third quarter may not be able to
extend into the fourth quarter, in
light of disruptions to economic
activities due to the “Occupy
Movement” since late September,” the government said in a
statement. The impact of prodemocracy protests on the city
may only be seen in the fourth
quarter, but economists say
there is anecdotal evidence it has
dragged on economic activity.
“The lack of hard data makes
it difficult to assess the impact
of the demonstrations, but with
surveys suggesting sales in some
sectors such as jewellery and
fashion items were down by as
much as 50% year-on-year in
early October, GDP growth is
likely to drop back sharply in
the current quarter,” said Gareth
Leather, an economist at Capital
Economics in London.
The median projection of п¬Ѓve
economists for third quarter
growth was for an expansion of
1.8%. Three economists with
quarterly forecasts estimated
GDP would expand 0.4% from
the June quarter, when it contracted by 0.1%. Underpinning
third quarter growth were exports, which rose by their fastest pace since the fourth quarter
of 2013. The services sector also
gained from a pick-up in visitors
while consumption strengthened
after two quarters of stagnation.
The government revised its
2014 GDP estimate to 2.2% after
cutting it to 2 to 3% from 3 to 4%
at the start of the year. The economy expanded 2.9% in 2013.
Warner Music in п¬Ѓrst big label music deal in China
arner Music announced
a partnership on Thursday with Chinese Internet
company Tencent that will include
streaming, in the п¬Ѓrst such deal for a
major global record label in the huge
The Warner Music Group, whose
roster of artists ranges from Prince to
Coldplay, said the deal would let it distribute to Tencent’s platforms across
China including QQ Music, a start-up
streaming service similar to Spotify.
The deal is the п¬Ѓrst for one of the
three global label conglomerates in
China, where international companies
have long complained that rampant piracy has slashed revenues for creators
of everything from music to software.
“By providing wider access to highquality, licensed music on authorised
services, the deal will create greater
choice for consumers, greater value for
artists and a more sustainable business for music companies and service
providers,” a joint statement said.
The agreement, however, will exclude applications on mobile telephones. Warner said that it hoped to
reach its own partnerships.
The deal is the latest expansion into
Asia for the Warner Music Group,
which earlier this year bought Hong
Kong-based Gold Typhoon, which
both signs local artists and runs the
China operations for international
stars including Japanese girls group
sensation AKB48.
For Tencent, the agreement would
allow the company to expand more
п¬Ѓrmly into music. Its core businesses
are online games as well as messaging
applications such as WeChat, which
had 468mn active users at the end of
the last quarter, according to company
Stu Bergen, international president
for Warner Recorded Music, said that
the company had put a priority on
expansion into China, which has the
world’s largest population and where
musical tastes are quickly evolving.
“Providing music fans with access
to high-quality music, and the right
mix of regional and global artists, will
be integral to the growth of the digital
music sector in China,” Bergen said in
a statement.
China’s economy has soared into the
world’s second largest in the past two
decades. But the global music industry, which is desperate to boost flagging
revenues in the developed world, has
seen relatively little money from China.
Music sales were just $82.6mn
last year in China, a fraction of the
$4.47bn in the US, while the second
largest market, Japan, witnessed steep
decline, according to the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Consumer habits when buying music are far more subjective to national
cultures than, for example, buying
toasters. But the industry points to piracy as a major impediment in China
The relationship between China
and the three label conglomerates –
Warner, Sony and Universal – began
to change in 2011 when they together
signed a deal with the country’s largest
search engine Baidu to start licensing
of songs’ MP3 files.
Max Hole, chairman of the Universal Music Group International, recently said that China was leapfrogging the
record stole model that dates back
decades in Western nations and Japan.
“The traditional model of purchasing
musical product, be it physical or digital, has never really existed in China on
any major scale,” Hole told a conference
earlier this year in Singapore.
“The market is moving straight to
one where it’s all about securing access to tracks. We are in the middle of
an extraordinary transition,” he said.
International streaming companies,
which have posted rapid growth, are
yet to appear in China. Taiwan-based
KKBOX started a streaming service
before Spotify and focuses on Asian
pop music, but has not entered the
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Company Name
Microsoft Corp
Exxon Mobil Corp
Johnson & Johnson
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
General Electric Co
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Chevron Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Pfizer Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
At&T Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intel Corp
Intl Business Machines Corp
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Walt Disney Co/The
Home Depot Inc
Cisco Systems Inc
3M Co
United Technologies Corp
American Express Co
Mcdonald’s Corp
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Boeing Co/The
Goldman Sachs 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
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
The euro spent most of the day down against the dollar, but by evening recovered to $1.2483 from $1.2476 in New York.
Weak eurozone growth
weighs on euro, stocks
luggish economic growth in eurozone heavyweights Germany
and France weighed on the European single currency and the region’s
stock markets yesterday.
Nevertheless equities ended in positive territory, with London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index rising 0.29% to
end the day at 6,654.37 points.
The Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.35% to
4,202.46 points, while in Frankfurt the
DAX 30 added 0.05% to 9,252.94.
Milan jumped 0.97% and Madrid
edged up 0.07%.
“Shares in Europe fluctuated in and
out of gains and losses yesterday continuing the sideways trading seen since
the beginning of the week,” said analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets UK.
Official data showed France and
Germany narrowly avoided a new recession in the third quarter, while the
broader 18-nation eurozone also faces
anaemic growth with just a 0.2% expansion.
Eurozone inflation came in at a low
0.4% as expected.
“The moderate growth and inflation
was cause for relief in European markets but narrowly avoiding recession is
hardly a cause for exuberant buying,”
said Lawler.
Analyst Mike McCudden, at online
broker Interactive Investor, said “the
euro will no doubt remain under pressure as investors anticipate fresh stimulus intended to drag the region out of
the mire.”
The shared single currency spent
most of the day down against the dollar, but by evening had recovered to
$1.2483 from $1.2476 late in New York
on Thursday.
But without a fresh signal from the
European Central Bank equities are
unlikely to get an immediate strong
push upwards.
“Any positive market impact will be
limited and temporary,” Daiwa Capital
Markets economist Chris Scicluna told
The euro remains weighed down
from expectations that the European
Central Bank could expand its asset
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
purchasing programme in 2015, dealers said.
Across the Atlantic, Wall Street was
flat in midday trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.08% to 17,639.01 points after having eked out a new record on
The broad-market S&P 500 slid
0.03% to 2,038.82, while the techrich Nasdaq Composite rose 0.02% to
Meanwhile, in company news
yesterday, European aerospace giant Airbus said quarterly net profits
nearly halved, as it ran into headwinds from adverse foreign exchange
Airbus shares rose 1.6% to €48.46 as
investors cheered a big improvement in
the group’s cash flow.
In London foreign exchange deals,
the British pound retreated to $1.5654,
down from $1.5708 on Thursday. The
euro climbed to 79.94 British pence
from 79.43.
On the London Bullion Market, the
price of gold rose to $1,169 an ounce
from $1,161.75 late on Thursday.
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
Saturday, November 15, 2014
EU says Starbucks
Dutch tax deal clashes
with global rules
Pooch Cafe
tarbucks Corp may have unfairly lowered its tax bills by
routing profits through Dutch
subsidiaries, European Union regulators said as they continued to investigate sweetheart п¬Ѓscal deals between multinational companies and
national governments.
“The Dutch authorities confer
an advantage” on Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA through tax agreements that may have constituted
illegal state aid, according to a European Commission letter outlining its
case to Dutch officials posted on the
EU website yesterday.
The Dutch authorities allowed
Starbucks Manufacturing to transfer profits through royalty payments
to a unit outside the country that
“could be overestimated,” the EU
said in the letter dated June 11. The
regulator’s findings are preliminary.
The EU is targeting tax deals
throughout the 28-nation bloc that
may have given companies unfair
advantages over competitors. Apple’s Irish taxes are under scrutiny
alongside accords for
and Fiat Finance & Trade in Luxembourg.
“I don’t think it’s in anyone’s
interest that multinationals skip
paying taxes anywhere by moving
around profits and costs,” Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem
told reporters in Brussels yesterday.
“We should develop international
standards if we lack them.”
The publication of the Starbucks
letter comes a week after leaked
documents revealed that more than
Bound And Gagged
Mall Cinema (1): Kill Dill (Hindi) 2.30 &
9.15pm; The Drop (2D) 5pm; Trash (2D)
7pm; The Devil’s Hand (2D) 11.30pm.
Mall Cinema (2): The Tower (2D)
2.15pm; The Devil’s Hand (2D) 4.30pm;
Hassalna Al Roab (Arabic) 6.15pm; Vellimoonga (Malayalam) 8.15pm; Interstellar (2D) 10.30pm.
Mall Cinema (3): Dumb & Dumber To
(2D) 2.30pm; Big Hero 6 (3D) 4.30pm;
The Devil’s Hand (2D) 6.30pm; Al
Zazeera 2 (Arabic) 8.30pm; Jessabelle
(2D) 11.30pm.
Cinema Land Mark (1): Kill Dill (Hindi)
2.30 & 9.15pm; Trash (2D) 5pm; Hassalna
Al Roab (Arabic) 7.15pm; The Devil’s
Hand (2D) 11.30pm.
Cryptic Clues
Sudoku is a puzzle
based on a 9x9 grid.
The grid is also
divided into nine
(3x3) boxes. You are
given a selection of
values and to complete the puzzle,
you must fill the
grid so that every
column, every row
and every 3x3 box
contains the digits
1 to 9 and none is
Weekly’s Solutions
4. Waste away, having won a
cup (7)
8. Not a serious member of the
orchestra? (6)
9. Hidden difficulty dangerous
to miners (7)
10. Teased roughly for not
being well synchronised (6)
11. Managed to back line, being
hidebound (6)
12. Blasphemy awes strangely
on telephone call (8)
18. They may nip out in pairs (8)
20. Monsieur backing attempt
to get the French shrub (6)
21. No part for a regular
customer (6)
22. By whom attacks are
mounted (7)
23. Much attracted by one
return half spoken about (4,2)
24. Unfriendly lie about one
who entertains first (7)
A view of the interior of a Starbucks outlet in Amsterdam. The Dutch
authorities allowed Starbucks Manufacturing to transfer profits through
royalty payments to a unit outside the country that “could be overestimated,”
the EU said in the letter dated June 11.
340 companies such as Pepsico,
Ikea Group and FedEx Corp transferred profits to Luxembourg using
complicated tax arrangements. The
commission has said tax avoidance
and evasion in the EU cost about
€1tn ($1.25tn) a year.
The report by the International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists has put pressure on European Commission President
Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the
Luxembourg prime minister when
most of the controversial deals were
A spokesman for Seattle-based
Starbucks said that the company
complies with all tax laws and international guidelines. The company
considers the commission “will find
that there is no selective advantage.”
The tax deal between the Netherlands and Starbucks Manufactur-
ing was concluded in 2008 and was
based on a previous agreement running back to 2001, the EU said.
The royalties paid to Starbucks’s
Alki arm in exchange for intellectual property rights needed for the
production of coffee and its delivery
“fluctuates from year to year and is
not in line with sales,” the EU said.
Between 2010 and 2012 the royalty
varied between €1mn and €12mn.
This disconnect between the royalties and economic value of the
intellectual property is “an indication” the method agreed on “might
not be the most appropriate means
to approximate arm’s length pricing,” the commission said.
The arm’s length principle is
meant to ensure that, for tax purposes, transactions between subsidiaries are based on prices an unrelated company would pay.
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (2): The
Tower (2D) 2.15pm; The Devil’s Hand
(2D) 4.30pm; Vellimoonga (Malayalam)
6.15pm; Al Jazeera 2 (Arabic) 8.30pm;
Cinema Land Mark (2): Big Hero 6
Jessabelle (2D) 11.30pm.
(3D) 2.30pm; Dumb & Dumber To (2D) Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (3):
4.30 & 9.30pm; Al Jazeera 2 (Arabic)
Dumb & Dumber To (2D) 2.30 &
6.30pm; Jessabelle (2D) 11.30pm.
8.30pm; Big Hero 6 (2D) 4.30pm;
Hassalna Al Roab (Arabic) 6.30pm;
Cinema Land Mark (3): The Tower
(2D) 2.15pm; Vellimoonga (Malayalam)
Interstellar (2D) 10.30pm.
4.30pm; The Drop (2D) 6.45pm; The
Global Cinemas, West End Park (1):
Varsham (Malayalam) 2.30, 5.30, 8.30
Devil’s Hand (2D) 8.45pm; Interstellar
(2D) 10.30pm.
& 11.30pm.
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (1): Kill
Global Cinemas, West End Park (2):
Dill (Hindi) 2.30 & 9.15pm; The Drop (2D) Rajadhi Raja (Malayalam) 2.45pm;
5pm; Trash (2D) 7pm; The Devil’s Hand Kaththi (Tamil) 5.45 & 11.45pm; Money
(2D) 11.30pm.
Ratnam (Malayalam) 8.45pm.
Quick Clues
1. Keep down work on
printing machine (7)
2. City of granite (7)
3. Even out again when up to
superficial coating (6)
5. Altering shape (8)
6. Do up about ten on behalf
of university (6)
7. Wait: don’t ring off! (4,2)
13. 5 component (8)
14. In a furious hurry to get
from 2 (7)
15. Idiotic number like one
above (7)
16. Source of power many do
want to change (6)
17. Finally producing map
book at a loss (2,4)
19. Beer picked up by
Edward in high spirits (6)
4. Frightful (7)
8. Whisper (6)
9. Harmful (7)
10. Prescription (6)
11. Breathe in (6)
12. Revolt (8)
18. Interpret (8)
20. Prefer (6)
21. Clippers (6)
22. Coming (7)
23. Boarder (6)
24. Arrogant manner (7)
1. Erotic (7)
2. Obtain (7)
3. Uproar (6)
5. Lawless person (8)
6. Snub (6)
7. Noisily (6)
13. Grow (8)
14. Indict (7)
15. Pudding (7)
16. Strait (6)
17. Emotional (6)
19. Educate (6)
Weekly’s Solutions
Across: 1 Complacency; 9
Use; 10 Eloquence; 11 Shape; 13
Scatter; 14 Accost; 16 Remiss; 18
Tenuous; 19 Put on; 20 Agitation;
21 See; 22 Independent.
Down: 2 One; 3 Piece; 4
Arouse; 5 Educate; 6 Constrict;
7 Substantial; 8 Represented; 12
Ascension; 15 Storage; 17 Aspire;
19 Pined; 21 Sin.
Across: 1 First violin; 9 Awl; 10
Portfolio; 11 Incur; 13 Glisten; 14
Gaffer; 16 Repair; 18 Retorts; 19
Steer; 20 Carthorse; 21 Ada; 22
Hand grenade.
Down: 2 Ill; 3 Super; 4 Virago;
5 Offside; 6 Ill at ease; 7 Saving
grace; 8 Country road; 12
Cafeteria; 15 Earthed; 17 Usurer;
19 Stein; 21 And.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Porsche capping 911 styles shows limits to choice abundance
hopping for a car isn’t easy, even for Porsche 911 buyers. The cornerstone of the
brand’s lineup comes in 22 variants —
more than its paint options — and Porsche isn’t
alone in offering a plethora of choice.
Some BMW crossovers and Audi coupes differ
by inches, as auto makers invent new niches and
mix existing body styles at an unprecedented
pace. German car makers alone have expanded
their lineups by about 25% in the past three
years and now offer more than 200 models.
That growth may start flattening out by
2018, though, as an ever-wider array of choices
becomes more of a handicap than an advantage for both customers and manufacturers,
according to consulting company PwC. Producers are under pressure to shift resources to
develop new technology, like self-driving cars,
while consumers sometimes struggle with all
the options.
“I’m looking for a safe, compact car that’ll
work well for my family since we have a toddler,”
said Olga Froestl, a 31- year-old Munich resident. “The amount of choice is confusing, and
I’d prefer to have less complexity.”
Froestl needed a spreadsheet to compare
price, navigation systems and safety features
as she tried to figure out how to spend a €500
($621) monthly lease allowance from her employer, a social media company.
BMW is aware of the risk of overlapping offerings and may need to rethink some of its cars
as trends change, Ian Robertson, the company’s
A Porsche 911 convertible. The cornerstone of the brand’s lineup comes in 22 variants — more than
its paint options.
head of sales, said in an interview at its Munich
headquarters. Already, space constraints are
forcing dealerships to turn to virtual presentations to show the breadth of offerings.
“The retail environment is probably at the
most significant crossroads in the last 100
years,” Robertson said. “I’m sure there will be
points in the future where we look at certain
cars and say, �Maybe we need to think differently now.’”
PwC predicted the number of models made
by German car companies would level off after peaking at about 230 in 2018. The growing
choice puts strains on auto manufacturers to cut
production costs and better differentiate their
offerings to consumers, even as they integrate
in-car Internet service and other technology,
said Felix Kuhnert, head of PwC’s automotive
industry division for Europe. “We expect this
strategy of segmentation to continue for the
next five to 10 years,” Kuhnert said. “The car industry is facing some exciting tasks.”
Luxury-car models started multiplying in the
’90s, according to Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at
the University of Duisburg-Essen. At the time,
Volkswagen’s Audi offered about 10 different variants. Now, the world’s second-biggest
luxury-car maker sells about 50, including the
lookalike four-door A5 and A7 coupes. In the
crossover segment, only 4.8 inches in length
and about $1,100 separate BMW’s X6 and a
5-Series Gran Turismo.
The effort is often wasted. The expense of
stocking so many cars means most customers don’t get to see all the choices, said Detlef
Kuhlmey, sales manager at Autohaus Kramm in
Berlin, which sells vehicles from General Motors’ Opel. Across town, Audi Zentrum Adlershof relies on touch screens to show what won’t
п¬Ѓt in the dealership, said managing director Andre Reiser.
“Car makers look for something special to
present,” Kuhlmey said. “To most customers it
doesn’t really matter.”
While the strategy has helped boost market
share, it also adds a demanding level of complexity. As model offerings fan out, marketing
budgets need to stretch to cover more ground,
and dealers sometimes struggle to explain the
differences. It’s reaching a saturation point.
“Every single variant increases development
and logistics expenditure,” Achim Schneider, a
spokesman for Stuttgart-based Porsche, said
in an e-mail. “Operationally this only makes
sense if there’s production of a certain number
of units over the life of a model.”
As a result, the company is capping the
number of variants of the 911 for now. Next
year’s model will also have 22, which includes
the 20 displayed on its website as well as convertible and hard-top GTS variants.
PSA Peugeot Citroen is being more aggressive
as it seeks to return to profit. Europe’s secondbiggest car maker said it plans to shrink its lineup to 26 from 45 vehicles by 2022. The shakeup
is supposed to boost the Paris-based company’s
margins by focusing on the most profitable segments.
Others aren’t slowing down. After more
than doubling its range of compacts, Daimler’s
Mercedes-Benz is revamping its naming policy,
including rechristening the M-Class SUV as the
GLE, to make space for even more models. The
world’s third- largest luxury-car brand plans 11
all-new models by 2020.
GM’s Opel is investing $4bn through 2016 to
develop 23 new vehicles in a bid to end losses.
The entry-level Karl subcompact, which is due
out next year, doesn’t have a direct predecessor,
like the recently introduced Adam city car and
the Mokka compact SUV.
The lineup expansion meant investment in
its production facilities and in training to teach
workers how to build a wide variety of vehicles,
the company said in an e-mail. Opel is also extending partnerships in low-volume segments
like family vans to control costs as it expands.
“All these options reduce the likelihood that
people will choose any, and reduce satisfaction
when people do choose,” Barry Schwartz, the
Swarthmore College social theory professor
who wrote “The Paradox of Choice,” said in an
e-mail. Lots of choices are helpful when people
know what they’re looking for, but “in general,
people don’t know exactly what they want.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Soros to raise
FCC stake with
rights in offer
eorge Soros will increase
his stake in Spanish
builder Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas through
a purchase of controlling shareholder Esther Koplowitz’s subscription rights in a stock sale.
The shares jumped.
Soros Fund Management
reached an agreement with
Koplowitz’s investment vehicle B-1998 SL to enter into exclusive talks to buy the rights,
FCC Chief Executive Officer
Juan Bejar said on an earnings
call today.
Soros will spend about
€650mn ($808mn) on the shares
and rights in the capital increase
and will hold about 25% of FCC
once the process is completed,
said a person with knowledge of
the agreement, who asked not to
be identified because the terms
haven’t been published yet. Koplowitz will hold a similar-sized
stake, the person said.
FCC shareholders meet November 20 to approve a €1bn
capital increase to partly refinance a payment-in-kind loan
that was put in place as a stopgap measure this year as part
of an almost €5bn restructuring. The company, which sold
assets and cut jobs to counter
more than two years of losses,
gets most of its earnings from
environmental services such as
waste management after diversifying away from construction.
FCC shares jumped as much
as 10% and were trading 7.4%
higher at €14.50 at 2:18 pm in
“Soros playing a bigger role
in FCC would have a positive
impact,” said Daniel Gandoy, an
equity analyst at JB Capital Markets, who has a “neutral” recommendation on FCC. “It would
facilitate the capital increase and
can have a dragging effect for
other investors to come forward
to the deal.”
The €1.35bn loan from 37
lenders accumulates interest of
11 percentage points more than
the euro interbank offered rate
in the п¬Ѓrst year, increasing to a
spread of 16 percentage points
in the fourth year, according to a
regulatory п¬Ѓling in April.
As part of a deal to refinance
about 1bn euros of loans tied to
her holding, Koplowitz agreed
last month to cut her 50% stake
in Barcelona-based FCC to as
low as 25%, according to two
people with knowledge of the
matter at the time.
Soros representatives will join
the board of FCC with a commitment to hold the stake for at least
four years, said the person with
knowledge of the agreement.
Michael Vachon, a spokesman
for Soros in New York, declined
to comment.
“Soros having a seat on the
board is going to be seen as a
positive sign by investors due to
his reputation and track record
and he would look to maximise
his investment, so his interests
should be completely aligned
with those of the rest of shareholders,” Gandoy said.
Swiss currency automation
move may reshape trading
witzerland’s decision to mandate
automated trading of currency is
an unprecedented push by a regulator to limit the scope for market manipulation and may accelerate a trend
already reshaping the industry.
Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or Finma, directed UBS to use electronic platforms
to perform at least 95% of its foreign
exchange trades after п¬Ѓnding that
employees conspired to rig currency
benchmarks. The action will probably
prompt some banks and regulators to
do the same to avoid any appearance
of being lax on п¬Ѓnancial crime, said
Charles Geisst, a professor of п¬Ѓnance at
Manhattan College in Riverdale, New
“If they’re successful, if it can be
executed well, the others will have to
follow suit because UBS would simply
say, �Well, come and do business with
us because we don’t rig ’em anymore,’”
Geisst said, adding he couldn’t recall
another case where a regulator has imposed a minimum automated trading
Authorities and some FX clients
have pressed banks to switch to computer-driven trading as a way to eliminate the potential for manipulation
that prompted US, British and Swiss
regulators to п¬Ѓne UBS and п¬Ѓve other
global banks a combined $4.3bn this
Algorithmic-driven trading already accounts for the majority of spot
trades, the buying and selling of currency for immediate delivery, a trend
that has cost a growing number of traders their jobs in recent years.
Mark Branson, Finma’s director, said
that humans should conduct no more
than 5% of currency trades to safeguard
the market against misbehaviour.
“The human factor played a huge
role,” Branson told journalists. “The
limitation of the human factor in this
business will limit the potential for
manipulation in the future.”
Until now, the main incentive for
pushing switching to electronic dealing has been cost and performance,
not regulators. Computer-driven trad-
The headquarters of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) in Bern, Switzerland. The Finma has directed
UBS to use electronic platforms to perform at least 95% of its foreign exchange trades after finding that employees conspired
to rig currency benchmarks.
ing became more appealing after the
2008 п¬Ѓnancial crisis, when foreign-exchange trading sputtered and volumes
collapsed. Electronic trading offers a
cheaper and faster alternative to the
voice brokers who traditionally worked
the $5.3tn-a-day market.
“Banks do want to put in electronic
automation regardless of what regulators want to do because it’s cheaper,”
said George Kuznetsov, head of research and analytics at Coalition, a
London-based п¬Ѓnancial analysis п¬Ѓrm,
who also said he knew of no precedent
for the Swiss action.
Electronic dealing accounted for
66% of all currency transactions in
2013 versus 20% in 2001, according to
Aite Group, a Boston-based consulting
п¬Ѓrm that reviewed Bank for International Settlements data.
It predicts about 81% of spot trading
– the buying and selling of currency for
immediate delivery – will be electronic
by 2018.
More recently, automated trading in
the spot foreign exchange market appears to have subsided, according to
central bank FX activity cited by Aite.
“This retreat is likely not permanent,
but it’s not what we would have expected given the increased noise about FX
fix scandals,” said Javier Paz, a senior
analyst at Aite.
He said customers appear to be relying on “trusted bank relationships”
amid the benchmark-rigging scandal.
The six banks that settled with regulators this week, which include HSBC
Holdings, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co and
Bank of America Corp, are all among
the top 10 currency traders in the most
recent ranking by Euromoney Institutional Investor.
Finma’s Branson said automation at
UBS has increased “substantially” in
recent years, especially since the currency investigation began a year ago.
UBS said it is already implementing
remediation measures ordered by regulators and noted that it already uses
computer platforms for about 90% of
its currency trades.
For Ann-Christina Lange, a professor at Copenhagen Business School,
removing the human element from
automated trading doesn’t necessarily limit market manipulation. She
cited US cases of “spoofing,” a practice
banned under the 2010 Dodd- Frank
п¬Ѓnancial reform. It uses computerbased applications to create the false
impression of market demand by rapidly placing orders and then cancelling
“It might be that the move towards
more automatisation limits the kind
of manipulation in this case,” she said.
“But it might increase other types of
market abuses that could not take place
under human supervision.”
In the bond market, London-based
Liquidity Finance is trying to gain market share by pitching to clients the opportunity to trade both over the phone
or using its electronic-trading system. While debt has traditionally been
brokered through conversations or in
e-mails, an increasing proportion is
moving to computer platforms as the
biggest and smallest п¬Ѓrms grow less
willing to commit their own money to
buying big blocks of debt from investors.
The move toward automation calls
for a range of new requirements defining what proper business conduct
means, she said.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
President Charles Evans has called on
US regulators to reevaluate whether
markets have sufficient risk controls in
place to oversee high-frequency trading.
US regulators are unlikely to follow
their Swiss counterparts because the
prefer to proscribe particular activities rather than prescribe practices, according to Geisst.
Regardless, the shift toward the use
of technology in trading and banking
will continue to transform the model,
said Claudio Scardovi, who oversees
the п¬Ѓnancial services practice for Europe, Middle East and Africa at AlixPartners.
Making automation a requirement
instead of an option, he said, “reinforces the need for banks to embark on the
digitisation across all services or else
they will struggle to keep up with new
Norway’s oil fund targets �forever’ horizon in real estate market
argeting an investment horizon of �forever’,
Norway’s $860bn oil fund plans to enter the
Asian real estate market next year and aims
to broaden its asset range to include anything from
new developments to refurbishments, it said.
Stepping up its activity after a gradual start
and aiming to invest around $8-$10bn a year, the
fund will also do more property deals on its own
as it struggles to п¬Ѓnd partners with deep enough
pockets, Karsten Kallevig, its real estate chief, told
Norway’s sovereign fund, the world’s largest,
has featured in a number of large real estate deals
this year, buying Boston’s One Beacon Street tower with Metlife, Paris’s La Madeleine building and
the Pollen Estate in London’s West End.
The fund currently has around 1.3% of its assets
in real estate but has a mandate to take the allocation up to 5%.
It will stick to buying property in a limited
number of big cities, including two it has yet to
pick in Asia. Its real estate strategy has already
yielded unexpectedly high returns, Kallevig said
interview, although he did not believe returns
would stay quite as high.
“We have done very well and probably so well
that it’s not really sustainable,” Kallevig said.
“There is no reason we should have this high of a
return on a portfolio of this type.”
“If you do the math on an IRR (internal rate of
return) basis, our return is approaching double
digits.” In crowns, the real estate portfolio returned 8.95% in the first nine months of this year,
beating the fund’s overall 7.35% return and the
government’s 4% real return target.
With interest rates holding near record lows
and stocks reaching full valuation, the real estate
market has boomed this year, with analysts pre-
dicting that the US and German market recoveries
still have some way to run while Britain’s is already
closer to its top.
The fund does not aim to beat market cycles but
seeks long term growth.
“Real estate has always been cyclical so at some
point there will be a downturn, unless x hundred
years of history suddenly stops right now,” Kallevig said.
Norway’s fund has bought just over $10bn in
properties in a handful of European and US cities
since 2010 but has been buying rapidly this year
and aims to invest about 1% of its assets in property each year for the next several years.
A developed country with just 5mn people that
produces around 1.5mn barrels of oil a day, Norway
already has around 1% of global shares stashed in a
sovereign wealth fund which the government expects to grow to $1.1tn this decade.
Inflows will end once oil runs out but that is still
decades away, and even then the fund will con-
tinue to operate like an endowment, with only the
returns used by the budget and the rest reinvested.
The fund has invested jointly with a wide range
of investors like Prologis, п¬Ѓnancial п¬Ѓrm TIAACREF and MetLife but says its motivations, goals
and resources are different than those of its partners.
“We’ve started to do more buys ourselves...
(and) we’ll do more deals ourselves,” Kallevig said.
“The truth is that there’s not a single partner that
has the capacity to invest as much as we would like
to in a given market.”
Its focus cities for real estate have included Boston, New York, Washington, San Francisco, London, Paris, Munich and Berlin with Asia being the
next step in its expansion.
“In Asia we have done a lot of work and we’ll
probably pick two cities to start with, hopefully in
2015,” Kallevig said. “In Asia there are more than
two cities of interest but to do your job properly,
you can’t start with more than two.”
Airlines, transport firms seen as beneficiaries of oil fall
In a world where slumping oil prices
and weak economic growth are
triggering fears of a deflationary spiral,
especially in Europe, investors are
picking out firms that stand to benefit
from that testing environment.
Companies such as UK transport
operator National Express, airlines
Lufthansa and Air France-KLM and
even some large consumer-goods
groups like Nestle have all been
singled out as beneficiaries of so-called
“good deflation”, as fuel and other
commodities get cheaper and perk up
Deflation is not a zero-sum game: a
widespread trend of falling prices
would cast a pall across all sectors and
push consumers to delay spending. US
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew this week
warned that European policymakers
needed to do more to avoid a Japanstyle “lost decade” of low growth.
But for now, with consumer spending in
relatively good shape and the prospect
of an interest-rate hike in the US
buoying recovery hopes, some believe
“good” deflation has the edge.
“The consumer is in good shape, the oil
price is expected to be a bit lower and
the dollar is going to remain strong.
There are stocks that will benefit,” said
Chris White, head of UK equities at
Premier Asset Management.
National Express, which operates
coach and bus routes everywhere from
Coventry to Marrakesh, reported a 15%
rise in profits before tax in the third
quarter and stands to benefit from
being able to cut the cost of fuel-price
contracts, White said.
National Express also has exposure
to North America: it operates student
buses in 32 states in the US and
four Canadian provinces. The stock
currently trades at a price-to-earnings
ratio of 11.20, versus rival Stagecoach
Group’s 13.49 multiple and 12.32 for
Oil is not the only commodity to fall
this year, with the price of key soft
commodities including wheat also
down in the year to date. That is seen
benefiting companies such as food
producers Danone and Nestle, as
lower production costs can help boost
Lower oil prices mean potentially hefty
economic savings in Europe. Reuters
research last month showed that the
European Union could save up to
$80bn in energy imports if oil prices
remain low.
So while a falling oil price is playing
havoc with the currencies and
economies of oil-exporting countries
such as Russia or Nigeria, it also
represents “a tax cut for the rest of
the world”, said JPMorgan Cazenove
strategist Emmanuel Cau. A basket
of twelve stocks tipped by the bank
to benefit strongly from a falling oil
price, including airlines as well as
car-makers BMW and Daimler, has
rebounded in the last month as oil
dropped through 80 US dollars per
“Deflation is a problem for central
bankers and indebted governments,
but for consumers it is not always the
evil is it is made out to be,” said Andrew
Parry, head of equities at Hermes Global
Investors, who counts French carmaker
Renault among his high-conviction
Others said the low inflation backdrop
would favour the telecom and
healthcare sectors, since their typically
strong dividend yields would beat the
deflationary pressures hitting many
savers’ returns.
Tim Gregory, head of global equities
at Psigma Investment Management,
backed telecom stocks such as
Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom and
healthcare stocks such as AstraZeneca,
Roche and Novartis.
“We would favour sectors that have the
capacity to demonstrate sustainable
medium to long term growth and have
good underlying cash-flows and pay
good dividends,” he said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Nokia’s raised target fails
to convince investors
okia Oyj’s raised earnings target
failed to convince investors seeking support for a stock that had
gained about 25% in six months, underlining the challenge faced by Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri.
Adjusted operating profit at the wireless-network unit, which makes up about
90% of Nokia’s sales, is targeted at 8%
to 11% of revenue long term, the Espoo,
Finland-based company said today. Analysts on average predict 10.8% for 2015
and 10.6% for 2016, according to Nordea
Bank AB. The stock fell the most in almost
п¬Ѓve months.
Suri, who took over in May after Nokia sold its money- losing mobile-phone
unit to Microsoft Corp for about $7.5bn, is
seeking to match investor expectations for
profit gains as demand from phone carriers rises.
He started reviving earnings with job
cuts in his previous role as head of the
network unit and is focusing on more
profitable contracts amid competition
from Ericsson and Huawei Technologies Co.
“Nokia is being too modest on their
margin guidance,” said Hannu Rauhala,
an analyst at Pohjola Bank in Helsinki. “I
was expecting 11 to 12% next year.”
Nokia shares fell as much as 6.3%, the
most since June 18, and lost 4.2% to €6.37
at 2:47 pm in Helsinki, giving the company a market value of €23.9bn ($29.7bn).
The stock has more than doubled since
the deal with Microsoft was announced in
September last year.
Nokia’s previous margin goal for the
long term - a period it doesn’t define was 5% to 10%.
The company had already projected
that measure to be slightly above 11% for
2014. For next year, Nokia predicted the
network division’s margin will meet the
new target, signalling it may decline from
this year.
“The margin range in networks should
be seen as a bit bearish by some as the
upper end already is priced into the estimates,” Sami Sarkamies, an analyst at
Nordea in Helsinki, said in a note to its
Revenue at the networks division will
expand next year, Nokia forecast.
The company also projected rising sales
for its maps and patents divisions for 2015.
Ericsson, the biggest maker of wireless
networks, reported an operating margin of
6.7% for the latest quarter. \
The Stockholm-based company said
yesterday it plans to cut 9bn kronor
($1.2bn) of costs with a program that includes headcount reductions, sending its
stock up 3.2%.
“Ericsson yesterday seemed to have
more ambition when they talked about
future opportunities and how they would
reach them,” Rauhala said.
Suri eliminated more than 25,000 jobs
at the network unit to bring the business
back from losses.
Nokia said last month it won a $970mn
order from China Mobile to provide
fourth-generation phone-network equipment, software and services through 2015.
Sales last quarter got a boost in North
America, where Nokia benefited from
Sprint Corp building out a 4G network.
The Finnish manufacturer is also
counting on its two other businesses to
drive sales and lift margins.
Its digital-map unit provides data to, Microsoft, Yahoo! and four
out of five car-navigation systems. Nokia’s research and development division,
which collects fees for licensing the company’s patents, boosted operating profit
17% to €98mn last quarter.
The company’s main opportunity to
Baker Hughes
in merger talks
with Halliburton
Houston/New York
The headquarters of Nokia in Espoo, Finland. Nokia’s raised earnings target failed to
convince investors seeking support for a stock that had gained about 25% in six months.
return to consumer products is through
licensing its brand, Suri said yesterday
at the company’s investor meeting in
London. Nokia, once the world’s largest mobile-phone manufacturer, has also
made products including televisions and
computers in the past.“We’re not looking
at direct consumer entry in handsets, per
se,” Suri said. “Brand licensing continues
to be the operative word.”
ilfield services provider Baker Hughes
said on Thursday it is
in preliminary merger talks
with its larger rival Halliburton Co, though any potential
deal would likely face antitrust
Two people familiar with the
matter, who spoke on condition
of anonymity, said Halliburton was looking to buy Baker
Hughes, in what would be the
second-largest energy deal of
this year.
Oil prices have slid by a third
since June, eroding demand for
drilling services and pummelling stock prices across the energy sector. That has prompted
a flurry of chatter among executives and bankers about acquisition opportunities.
A tie up between the No 2 and
No 3 players in the services industry might allow them to better weather the downturn and
resist pressure from oil producers to slash prices.
Baker Hughes said in a statement it has “engaged in preliminary discussions with Halliburton Company regarding a
potential business combination
Halliburton declined to comment on the talks, which were
п¬Ѓrst reported by Dow Jones and
in The Wall Street Journal.
A potential merger would
create a drilling, logistics
and well services giant worth
$67bn, initially with 140,000
But the merged entity would
be only half the size of industry leader Schlumberger, which
has a market capitalisation of
If a deal were struck, the
companies could well have
to sell assets to convince
regulators they would not
hurt competition, said Seth
Bloom, a veteran of the US
Department of Justice’s antitrust division now in private
“The question with mergers like this is there are divestitures of submarkets that
can solve the problem,” Bloom
said. “It’s clearly not a slam
dunk to approval but it’s not
automatic that you can’t get
it through. You have to drill
down to see what the markets
are like.”
The deal is also likely to
draw the scrutiny of regulators
in Europe, China, Brazil and
Mexico, others experts said.
Arguably, the antitrust concerns would be greatest outside the US, where there are
relatively few services companies.
There are at least seven
major product lines where
there is overlap between the
two companies. The companies offer scores of services
and technology, from drill
bits, to cementing and casing
work, to artificial lift systems
that improve output from
An analyst who follows the
company and did not want
to be quoted said Halliburton
could get the deal down with
a mix of debt and equity and
still maintain its investment
Airbus nine-month profits rise but A400M woes resurface
In Russia, sanctions have worsened the operating
environment and pushed up risk cost expectations.
The Russian operation will thus remain loss making
for the rest of the year, OTP said.
Foreign operations, which had produced a quarter
of the bank’s profit a year ago, turned an overall net
loss in the third quarter.
OTP posted a 108bn-forint operating profit in the
third-quarter, and 326bn forints so far this year,
both figures down 5% from a year ago.
OTP’s loan book shrank by 3% on an annual basis as
mortgage loans and corporate loans dropped and
Hungarian municipal loans were taken over by the
government, while consumer loans grew.
Applied Materials
Airbus Group posted stronger-than-expected ninemonth earnings yesterday, muted by a resurgence
of potentially costly delays for Europe’s A400M
troop carrier.
Europe’s largest aerospace group said nine-month
operating earnings before one-off items rose 12%
to €2.6bn ($3.2bn), sending its shares up more than
3% initially.
Finance Director Harald Wilhelm said the civil
aerospace industry continued to weather economic
uncertainty as airlines order more efficient new jets,
bringing in a slew of deposits that contributed to
surprisingly strong cashflow.
“We are not concerned about the market, as was
very much talked about earlier this year,” he told
Reuters Insider TV. “There is a very healthy booking
situation and very healthy backlog.”
Airbus reaffirmed forecasts for the year but introduced a caveat over the possible impact of new
production and delivery delays on Europe’s largest
defence project, the A400M.
It cost €20bn to develop the manouverable cargo
and troop carrier for seven European NATO nations
but delays and cost overruns led to a €3.5bn public
bailout in 2010.
The A400M has been deployed by French forces
in Mali, but Airbus said there had been delays in
adding advanced tactical features and refuelling
on later aircraft, some of which will have to be
“Given our past history on it, the objective remains
to avoid any incremental charge, but we are on the
way to assessing it. If you ask me whether I can
exclude it, I cannot say that this is the case, so it’s
work in progress,” he said.
IC Group
Sales at Danish fashion retailer IC Group, which has
recently shed four brands to focus on premium
clothing, rose only marginally as warm weather put
shoppers off buying its autumn collection.
Revenues grew 1% to 828mn Danish crowns
($139mn) while operating profit increased 2.3%, in
the first quarter of its 2014/15 financial year which
ended in October, IC Group said in a statement
“In the Nordic region, a relatively warm autumn had
a negative impact on the sale of autumn collections
in general,” it said, echoing comments from retailers in other parts of northern Europe.
IC Group, the second largest fashion retailer in
Denmark by market share behind privately owned
Bestseller, stuck to a forecast of increasing operating profit in full-year 2014/2015.
Revenues in its three premium brands, Malene
Birger, Tiger of Sweden and Peak Performance,
increased 7%. That compensated for a 17% revenue
fall in the company’s last remaining wholly-owned
mid-segment brand, Saint Tropez.
OTP Bank
Hungary’s OTP Bank returned to profitability in the
third quarter, posting a better-than-expected net
profit of 34.1bn forints ($139mn) after a record loss
in the previous quarter, the bank said on Friday.
Analysts had expected a profit of 28.7bn forints in a
poll by business news web site
In the second quarter the bank had posted a 153bn
forint loss as it provisioned heavily for governmentmandated refunds to borrowers on loans that
courts had deemed unfair.
That provisioning was not repeated, and the
Hungarian subsidiary posted a healthy profit.
However, the bank continued to struggle in Ukraine
and Russia, once profitable markets where the two
countries’ conflict took its toll.
The bank warned that provisions amid the ongoing
Ukrainian conflict would potentially widen its losses
to more than 50bn forints this year from 30bn seen
earlier. “In short term, the Bank does not expect
material turnaround in Ukraine; the consolidation
process seems to be slow and the weak hryvnia will
require constantly high provisioning,” OTP said a
Applied Materials posted higher fiscal fourth-quarter results but the top chip gear-maker’s outlook for
the first quarter was shy of Wall Street’s expectations and its stock fell.
Chief Executive Gary Dickerson told analysts on a
conference call he expects approval early next year
for Applied Materials’ agreement to buy rival Tokyo
Electron Ltd in an all-stock deal worth more than
He said he expects strong demand for consumer
gadgets like smartphones with improved battery
life to fuel investments by chipmakers in advanced
manufacturing equipment sold by Applied Materials.
Applied Materials said it had a net profit for the
quarter ended in October of $290mn, or 23 cents a
share, compared with a net profit of $183mn, or 15
cents, in the same quarter last year.
It posted fourth-quarter revenue of $2.26bn, up 14%
from the year-ago period.
For the current quarter, Applied Materials expects
revenue to be flat to up 5% from the fourth quarter,
the midpoint of which is about $2.32bn.
Analysts expected fourth-quarter revenue of
$2.26bn and first-quarter revenue of $2.38bn.
Spanish building and services company FCC
booked a €788mn ($979mn) loss for the nine
months to the end of September on Friday after taking a hit on assets including its UK waste disposal
The company, which is planning a 1bn euro rights
issue to pay down debt, has sold assets and laid off
staff to focus on core activities and shrink a debt
pile built up during Spain’s construction boom
which turned to bust in 2008.
FCC said the hit of €655mn it took at its UK business FCC Environment was related to the closure of
rubbish dumps which were no longer profitable. It
comes on top of a €1.7bn write-down in February on
items including renewable energy assets.
The heavily-indebted company reported ninemonth earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) up 20% to €587mn, just
short of a Reuters polled forecast. Net debt stood
at €6.4bn.
ABN Amro
In the third quarter, ABN Amro’s underlying net
profit rose 56% year-on-year to €450mn, helped by
a rising housing market and improvements in bad
Chief Executive Gerrit Zalm had said it will take
three solid quarters for him to recommend privatisation to the government. That milestone, analysts
say, has now been reached.
“They passed the asset quality review extremely
well. That was the last uncertainty,” said Benoit
Petrarque, analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, adding a
sale could come in the second quarter of next year.
“It’s a very attractive bank right now.”
A flagship of the Dutch financial services industry
until the financial crisis, a much diminished ABN
Amro was bought by the state in 2008 for €21.7bn
The government and parliament will ultimately
rule on the timetable for its re-listing. A government spokeswoman said yesterday that it aimed
to return the bank to market as soon as conditions
were right.
Oil & Natural Gas Corp, India’s biggest energy
explorer, reported its first profit decline in five quarters after it sold crude oil at a lower price.
Second-quarter net income dropped 10% to
Rs54.4bn ($881mn) in the three months ended September 30, the New Delhi-based company said in a
statement yesterday. That beat the Rs53.1bn median
of 30 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The explorer’s profit was driven lower by crude
oil’s slump along with discounts it gave to state-run
refiners to compensate them for curbing retail
prices of kerosene and cooking gas. The decline will
make it harder for the federal government to sell a
5% stake in ONGC at a premium as Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley seeks to narrow the budget deficit to
the lowest in seven years.
Brent crude has dropped 30% this year to the lowest price in more than four years, reducing earnings
for oil producers. Brent, a benchmark for more than
half the world’s crude, averaged $103.46 a barrel in
the quarter ended September 30, 5.6% lower than
a year ago. The rate slumped to $78.50 a barrel in
London trading today.The company’s shares have
gained 36% this year in Mumbai trading, compared
with a 32% advance in the benchmark S&P BSE
Sensex. The stock rose 1.9% to Rs393.25 yesterday,
valuing the 5% stake that will be sold at $2.7bn.
The federal cabinet allowed the company to raise
prices of natural gas by 33% to $5.61 per million British thermal units starting this month. Each dollar
increase in gas prices boosts ONGC’s annual profit
by Rs23.5bn, Chairman DK Sarraf said October 18.
The government also freed retail diesel pricing
from its control last month, potentially reducing the
discounts ONGC pays to refiners to subsidise them.
Tata Motors
India’s Tata Motors reported a surprise drop in quarterly net profit yesterday, hit by slowing sales at its
British luxury subsidiary and higher taxes.
Consolidated net profit slipped to Rs32.91bn
($533.82mn) in the three-months-to-September
from Rs35.42bn a year ago.
The earnings of Tata Motors, part of the sprawling Tata tea-to-steel conglomerate, significantly
undershot a consensus market profit forecast of
Rs46.2bn. “We had an unexpected reversal of tax
credits in the quarter... and there are costs related
to high investment going into JLR (Jaguar Land
Rover),” C Ramakrishnan, president and chief financial officer, told reporters.
Consolidated revenue rose 6.5% to Rs605.64bn in
the three-months-to-September from a year earlier.
The Mumbai-based firm’s tax bill totalled Rs7.38bn,
a reversal of the company’s tax credit earnings of
Rs1.8bn in same period a year ago.
Losses at Tata’s Indian operations swelled nearly
130% to Rs18.46bn.
There was also a profit fall at Tata’s British luxury
marque JLR unit, the firm said.
Net profits at JLR shrank to ВЈ450mn ($704.86mn)
in the quarter from ВЈ507mn in the same year-ago
period even though sales of the premium brand
grew 8%.
Tata Motors is now hugely reliant on the revenues
from JLR, which it bought for $2.3bn from Ford in
2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
claims IPO
�a success’
Alibaba seeks to raise $8bn
in bond for loan repayment
New York
libaba Group Holding is planning to raise as much as $8bn
as soon as next week in its п¬Ѓrst
US bond sale, just two months after the
Chinese company completed the biggest public stock offering ever, people
with knowledge of the matter said.
Asia’s largest Internet company will
use the proceeds to refinance its credit
facilities, according to a statement yesterday. The bonds will be rated A+, or
the п¬Ѓfth highest investment-grade, by
Standard & Poor’s and an equivalent A1
by Moody’s Investors Service.
The debentures would be on top of
the $25bn Alibaba collected in a September initial public offering, which
was the biggest share sale on record.
The Hangzhou, China-based e- commerce group, with a market capitalization of almost $300bn, has $11bn in
loans and credit lines, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.
“Given that they just had their IPO,
they don’t necessarily need to come
to market,” Nathan Barnard, a fixedincome analyst at Portland, Oregonbased Leader Capital Corp, said in a
telephone interview. “They’re pretty
flush with capital. It’s another example
of companies being opportunistic and
trying to take advantage of low rates
while they can.”
Should Alibaba raise $8bn, the bond
sale would be the largest ever denominated in US dollars in Asia, according to
data compiled by Bloomberg, surpassing Bank of China, which raised $6.5bn
last month selling additional Tier 1 securities.
The extra yield, or spread, investors
demand to hold company bonds worldwide instead of government debt fell to
1.05% on June 20, the lowest in seven
years, according to the Bank of America
Merrill Lynch Global Corporate Index.
Premiums have since risen to 1.19%.
The average cost of borrowing for
investment-grade e-commerce companies is 2.7%, based on the yields of
bonds sold by and EBay,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase &
Co will market the debt to investors
starting next week, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who
asked not to be identified, citing lack of
authorisation to speak publicly.
A п¬Ѓve-part bond sale is being considered, with four portions of п¬Ѓxed-rate
notes and one tranche of floating-rate
debt, according to a preliminary offer-’s headquarters is seen in Hangzhou, China. Alibaba is planning to raise as much as $8bn as soon as next week in its first US bond sale, just two months after
the Chinese company completed the biggest public stock offering ever.
ing memorandum seen by Bloomberg.
Meetings will start in Hong Kong on
November 17, continue in Singapore
the following day and п¬Ѓnish in the US
November 19, people familiar with the
matter said yesterday.
“The ratings reflect Alibaba’s dominant position in China’s online shopping market,” according to Fitch Ratings, which also ranks the company at
A+. “The ratings also benefit from Alibaba’s robust profitability and strong
cash generation.”
Alibaba will be able to maintain a
conservative capital structure with a
strong net cash position in the next few
Sensex rises to new
record; rupee falls
Indian shares ended at a record
closing high yesterday as foreign
investors continued to pile into
domestically oriented blue-chips
such as Asian Paints amid a slide
in crude oil prices and data showing easing wholesale inflation.
Overseas investors bought
shares worth Rs6.90bn ($112mn)
on Thursday, bringing their total
purchase in stocks to $15.12bn
so far in 2014. They have also
pumped in $23.15bn in debt so far,
regulatory data showed.
Hopes for easing inflation are
also helping spur share gains.
Data yesterday showed the
wholesale price index rose an annual 1.77% last month, its slowest
since September 2009, while data
on Wednesday showed consumer
prices rose at the slowest rate on
India will also benefit from
Brent sliding below $77 per barrel
to its four-year low, as it imports
more than two-thirds of its fuel
“Flows are positive on all
counts as India stands out
on growth prospects versus
other emerging markets. The
rally should extend,” said Nirakar
Pradhan, chief investment officer
at Future Generali India Life Insurance. The benchmark BSE index
closed 0.38% higher, marking its
all-time closing high of 28,046.66.
The broader NSE index also
gained 0.38% to end at a record
closing high of 8,389.90.
Domestic oriented stocks led
the gains. Asian Paints rose 4.3%,
while Oil and Natural Gas Corp
ended 1.9% higher. Coal India rose
2.7%, while GAIL (India) rose 2.8%.
State Bank of India ended 2.5%
higher after earlier marking its
highest level since May 26, on
better-than-expected asset quality due to lower slippages and
restructuring in the July-September quarter. Shares in its associate
units also surged after the lender
said it was close to coming up
with a roadmap on associate bank
Meanwhile the rupee saw its
biggest single-day fall in a week
yesterday tracking a continued
resurgence globally in the dollar,
even as strong foreign buying
continues to lift domestic share
markets to record highs.
The rupee fell 0.1% for the
week, posting its third consecutive weekly fall, despite rallies this
month in debt and share markets
over solid foreign buying.
Falls in emerging market currencies such as the rupee come
as the dollar has strengthened.
Yesterday it rose to a 7-year high
against the yen as investors
bumped up their bets on Japan’s
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calling
an early election and delaying a
hike in sales tax.
“There was some defencerelated buying, and compared to
other Asian currencies, the rupee
has still not weakened as such,
so some catching up there,” said
Uday Bhatt, a foreign exchange
dealer with UCO Bank.
“In the absence of any major
data domestically, the rupee will
hold in a 61.50 to 62range early
next week,” he added.
The partially convertible
rupee closed at 61.72/73 per
dollar versus its previous close of
The unit dropped 0.2% on day,
its biggest single-day loss since
last Friday. Some traders speculated that state-run banks were
buying dollars on behalf of the
central bank, though it was not a
universal view.
years, while it keeps its ratio of debt to
cash flow below 1.5 times, Fitch said.
A $4bn term loan that the company
obtained last year pays 2.75 percentage
points more than the London interbank
offered rate. Libor, the rate at which
banks say they can borrow from each
other, is at about 0.23 percentage point.
Refinancing its $8bn loan with the
bond proceeds would allow Alibaba to
amend covenants on another $3bn revolving facility to match the new notes,
according to a preliminary offering
memorandum seen by Bloomberg.
The covenants on the $3bn borrowing substantially match those on $8bn
facility, except that under the $3bn revolver, Alibaba isn’t required to maintain a minimum level of cash on reserve.
Under the terms of the $8bn loan, Alibaba must maintain an offshore group
leverage ratio of a maximum of 3:1 and
an interest coverage ratio of at least 4:1,
according to the sales document.
Alibaba provides marketplaces for
buyers and sellers, as well as services
that help them conduct their businesses. Its stock has gained 69% since the
September sale, advancing to $114.84
in New York on Thursday.
The company is led bybnaire chairman Jack Ma, who founded it from his
Hangzhou apartment in 1999 with
$60,000. Its main marketplaces include Taobao, which links individual
buyers and sellers, and,
which connects retailers and consumers. Earlier this month, during the Chinese company’s annual Singles’ Day
promotion, Alibaba reaped a record
57.1bn yuan ($9.3bn) in online sales.
“The company is leveraging the
momentum from its equity offering,
which increases the potential investor
demand in a large bond offering,” Jody
Lurie, a corporate-credit analyst at
Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, said in a telephone interview.
ietnam Airlines yesterday said its long-awaited
IPO had been “a success”,
raising more than $52mn for the
national flag carrier, control of
which remains п¬Ѓrmly in state
After decades of speculation
and multiple failed attempts,
the IPO went ahead with some
49mn shares—around 3.5% of
the company—sold to more than
1,500 investors, the airline said.
The company sold all of the
shares offered at an average price
of 22,307 dong ($1.05) a share,
it added in a statement, raising
more than $52mn.
The buyers included two corporate investors, the statement
said, without giving further details.
In Vietnam an IPO is a separate process from a stock market listing. It is not clear when
shares in the airline will actually
be traded on the Ho Chi Minh
City stock exchange.
“The IPO today is an important landmark,” said Pham Viet
Thanh, chairman of Vietnam
Airlines, in the statement.
The communist state retains
a controlling 75% stake in the
A further 20% stake will be
sold to strategic partners, while
the rest is set aside for airline
employees and the trade union.
Analysts say Vietnam Airlines
is in a relatively strong position
domestically, despite new competition from low-cost VietJet
Air, with the country of some
90mn a fast-growing aviation
But it will face stiff competition from regional rivals if
it seeks to expand long-haul
The IPO is part of a broader
drive by Vietnam to clean up its
sluggish state sector, long a drag
on the country’s economy, by
equitising—the local term for
privatising—hundreds of staterun companies.
Vietnam Airlines’ IPO “success” was touted by deputy minister of transport Nguyen Hong
Truong as evidence that this
privatisation drive “is not that
difficult with determination and
a logical plan”, according to the
Asian stock markets remain mixed
sian markets were mixed yesterday as profit-taking offset another record close for the Dow on
Wall Street, while Tokyo reversed morning losses to end on a high as the dollar
broke the ВҐ116 barrier.
The generally upbeat outlook provided
support and capped any losses, while attention will turn to this weekend’s G20
summit and the release on Monday of
Japanese growth data.
Tokyo added 0.56%, or 98.04 points,
to 17,490.83 – its highest since July 2007
– and Sydney rose 0.21%, or 11.60 points,
to 5,454.3, while Seoul fell 0.78%, or 15.37
points, to close at 1,945.14.
In the п¬Ѓnal trading session before the
launch of a cross-exchange connection,
Shanghai ended 0.27%, or 6.78 points,
lower at 2,478.82 while in the late afternoon Hong Kong gained 0.28%, or 67.44
points, to 24,087.38.
In other markets, Taipei was flat, edging up 2.21 points to 8,982.88; Taiwan
Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose
0.75% to Tw$135.0 while Hon Hai fell
1.22% to Tw$96.8.
Wellington climbed 0.39%, or 21.25
points, to 5,483.997; Manila rose 0.26%,
or 18.71 points, to 7,217.34.
Bangkok fell 0.08%, or 1.33 points, to
1,575.88 baht; Electricity Generating fell
2.01% to 170.50 baht, while Bangchak
Petroleum dropped 2.07% to 35.50 baht.
Singapore rose 0.32%, or 10.74 points,
to 3,315.67; real estate developer Capitaland rose 0.93% to Sg$3.25 while media
group Singapore Press Holdings gained
0.46% to Sg$4.33.
Jakarta ending flat, edging up 0.82
points to 5,049.49; car maker Astra International rose 1.06% to 7,175 rupiah,
while palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari fell 1.69% to 23,250 rupiah.
Kuala Lumpur slipped 0.11%, or 2.02
points, to 1,813.79; Nestle was down
0.58% at 68.20 ringgit while Tenaga Nasional gained 0.15% to 13.52 ringgit.
After a turbulent October, global eq-
A man looks at a share price board in Tokyo. Japanese stocks closed up 0.56% at 17,490.83 points, its highest since July 2007.
uities have enjoyed a strong run this
month, largely helped by the Bank of
Japan’s decision to ramp up its stimulus programme to kickstart an anaemic
Traders were given a positive lead from
Wall Street, where the Dow added 0.23%
to hit another all-time high, while the
S&P 500 rose 0.05% but fell short of another record. The Nasdaq put on 0.11%.
US shares have notched up numerous
records this year in response to a stream
of figures showing the world’s biggest
economy is well on track for recovery.
The strong US economy and the BoJ’s
easing have also helped push the dollar
higher and yesterday it hit ВҐ116.27, its
highest since late 2007 and well up from
ВҐ115.75 in New York late Thursday.
The euro fetched $1.2451 and ВҐ144.80
compared with $1.2476 and ВҐ144.42.
Japanese traders remain on alert following reports that the government
is considering a delay to next year’s
planned sales tax hike as well as a possible snap election next month.
“All eyes are on Monday’s third quarter gross domestic product data, which
will be used to justify everything that’s
being reported in the press—from the
imminent dissolution of the lower house
to the putting off of next year’s sales tax
hike,” said Kazuyuki Terao, chief investment officer at Allianz Global Investors.
Also in focus will be this weekend’s
Group of 20 summit in Brisbane, which
will see the world’s most powerful leaders discuss problems facing the global
economy, the Ebola crisis and defence
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery rose
seven cents to $74.28 while Brent crude
for January gained 38 cents to $77.87 in
afternoon trade.
WTI plunged Thursday to settle at its
lowest close since September 2010, while
Brent dived $2.46 on the last day of the
December contract.
Gold was at $1,152.81 an ounce, compared with $1,158.06 late Thursday.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Bourse remains bullish, but fails to break the 13,800 level
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
The Qatar Stock Exchange remained bullish, adding 139 points — mainly triggered
by transport, consumer goods, real estate
and banking sectors, but failed to break
the 13,800 level during the week.
Foreign institutions’ increased buying
support lifted the market by more than
1% during the week that saw HH the Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani assert
that the current trough in oil prices will
not affect the domestic economy.
In comparison, Dubai surged 5.7%,
Abu Dhabi (3.4%), Muscat (1.33%), Kuwait
(0.93%) and Saudi Arabia (0.345); while
Bahrain was down 0.74% during the week
that saw global credit rating agency
Standard and Poor’s (S&P) also view that
Qatar and the UAE are the least vulnerable to the present weakening crude.
Qatar’s bourse has gained 32.28% yearto-date against Dubai’s 38.21%, Abu Dhabi
(15.45%), Bahrain (14.53%), Saudi Arabia
(13.43%) and Muscat (2.62%); whereas
Kuwait fell 4.61%.
Micro and mid stocks emerged the
most favourites in the upward rally during
the week that, however, saw increased
net profit booking pressure from domestic institutions.
Transport stocks appreciated 2.9%,
consumer goods (2.65%), real estate
(2.02%), banks and financial services
(1.33%) and industrials (0.46%); even as
insurance and telecom shrank 0.41% each
during the week that saw QSE say that it
is keen to encourage family-owned and
privately held companies, some of which
are extremely large, to list their shares, as
part of strategies to enhance the corporate sector’s contribution to the national
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen gaining faster than
the other indices during the week that
saw realty, banks and telecom together
account for about 71% of the total trade
The 20-stock Total Return Index
rose 1.02%, All Share Index (comprising
wider constituents) by 1.2% and Al Rayan
Islamic Index by 2.41% during the week,
which saw Barwa dominate the trading
ring in terms of both volume and value.
Of the 43 stocks, 28 advanced; while 15
declined during the week that saw S&P
say the falling oil prices will prove to be a
litmus test for the Gulf region.
Seven of the nine industrials; six each
of the 12 banks and financial services as
well as the eight consumer goods; three
each of the four real estate and the three
transport; two of the five insurers; and
one of the two telecom stocks closed
higher during the week.
Major gainers included QNB, Industries
Qatar, Ooredoo, Dlala, Islamic Holding,
Al Meera, Widam Food, Qatar National
Cement, Al Khaleej Takaful, Barwa, United
Development Company, Gulf Warehousing, Zad Holding and Milaha.
However, Doha Bank, Commercial
Bank, Vodafone Qatar, Ezdan, Qatar Insurance and Qatar Islamic Insurance bucked
the trend.
Market capitalisation swelled 1.17% or
about QR9bn to QR742.42n during the
week. Micro, mid, small and large equities
were seen gaining 2.97%, 1.81%, 1.77% and
1.15% respectively.
Micro, small, mid and large cap equi-
ties are up 50.58%, 36.32%, 30.32% and
26.56% respectively year-to-date.
Foreign institutions’ net buying surged
to QR153.75mn against QR67.31mn the
previous week.
Local retail investors turned net buyers
to the tune of QR21.51mn compared with
net sellers of QR17.64mn the week ended
November 6.
Domestic institutions’ net profit
booking soared to QR169.68mn against
QR3.82mn the previous week.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net
selling sunk to QR5.18mn compared to
QR45.56mn the week ended November 6.
A total of 66.37mn shares valued at
QR3.98bn changed hands across 40,576
The real estate sector saw a total of
28.36mn equities worth QR977.35mn
trade across 8,485 deals.
Incoming G20 leader
Turkey says group
must be more inclusive
OECD says plans of G20
nations to boost the world
economy could beat their
target of adding
2 percentage points to
global growth by 2018
urkish Prime Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday called for a more
inclusive Group of 20 forum,
saying it would give low income
nations a stronger voice when
it takes over the presidency for
Davutoglu also indicated that
Turkey would expand the G20’s
role beyond economic co-operation and decision-making to
issues such as the refugee crisis in eastern Europe, the Ebola
outbreak in Africa and terrorism
in the Middle East.
“During our presidency we
want to be the voice of everybody,” Davutoglu said at a conference in Brisbane where he is
due to attend the weekend G20
Leaders Summit.
Turkey’s more inclusive
agenda contrasts with that of
current host Australia, which
has attempted to impose a tight
focus on the disparate grouping
with a pledge to increase collective global economic growth
by an extra 2% over п¬Ѓve years to
Davutoglu said Turkey would
continue to press that goal, but
underscored the importance of
talking about geopolitical issues
at the group’s gathering.
“If the G20 agenda is only limited to financial issues, the G20
cannot function, it cannot have
international legitimacy,” he said.
Davutoglu also diverged from
current chair Australia on the
issue of climate change, saying it was imperative to agree a
UN-mandated goal to curb carbon emissions. Australia has attempted to keep climate change
issues off the G20 agenda.
Ankara takes over the presidency in December, its relations
with Washington and Europe
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks at a G20 event held at the Griffith University in Brisbane yesterday. Turkey would expand
the G20’s role beyond economic co-operation and decision-making to issues such as the refugee crisis in eastern Europe, the Ebola
outbreak in Africa and terrorism in the Middle East, Davutoglu said.
strained by its reluctance to take
a frontline role against Islamic
state militants in Syria and Iraq.
President Tayyip Erdogan’s
tightening grip on power has
also raised concern in Europe
and the US.
Still, it has the opportunity
to be the п¬Ѓrst country to effectively lead the grouping from an
emerging market point of view.
Russia’s chairmanship last
year was viewed by many analysts as a failure, while both
Mexico and South Korea were
too caught up in a necessary focus on world crises to set a defining agenda.
Davutoglu said trade and infrastructure would also be high
on the agenda next year, linking
these п¬Ѓnancial issues to a range
of geopolitical issues such as the
influx of Syrian refugees into
Turkey and terrorism.
“We spent $4.5bn for those
refugees in three years,” he said.
Meanwhile, the OECD said
yesterday the plans of G20 nations to boost the world economy could beat their target of
adding 2 percentage points to
global growth by 2018, though
geopolitical risks such as Ukraine
and Ebola were mounting.
Angel Gurria, the organisation’s secretary-general said
that the more than 1,000 measures proposed since February
would exceed the target, over
the next п¬Ѓve years, if implemented.
“Yes, if you take all the commitments and you assume they
are going to execute impeccably,
then ... it could take us beyond
the 2%,” Gurria told Reuters
in Brisbane ahead of the G20
Leaders Summit.
In September, Joe Hockey,
Treasurer of G20 host Australia,
said the total had reached 1.8%.
The OECD and International
Monetary Fund are responsible
for measuring and monitoring the national growth strategies that will be unveiled at the
conclusion of the G20 Leaders
Summit in Brisbane tomorrow.
“We have run out of monetary
policy room, we have run out of
п¬Ѓscal policy room. What is left
is structural reform and this is a
structural reform agenda as big
as it gets.”
The biggest risk to the global economy was an absence of
reforms but other issues were
mounting, he said.
“You now have some threats,
geopolitical, the problems
in Russia-Ukraine, the Middle East and now this Ebola is
threatening...this is adding to
already rather uncertain situa-
tion that we have.” The OECD
and G20 are both pushing to
crack down on tax evasion, a key
objective for the Leaders summit.
Finance ministers and tax
chiefs from 51 countries last
month signed an agreement
to automatically swap tax information in an effort to crack
down on tax evasion via secret
bank accounts.
Garria said that while much
had been done to tackle tax
evasion by individuals, more
progress was needed on corporate tax dodging.
“What about the multinationals? They’re not paying
taxes because they are using the
legal structures we’ve created
over 80 years to avoid double
taxation and we have created
perfect double non-taxation.
We need to reverse that.”
As many as 11.71mn banks and financial
services stocks valued at QR1.13bn
changed hands across 12,186 transactions.
A total of 5.65mn consumer goods
stocks valued at QR506.71mn trade
across 3,693 deals.
The telecom sector saw 6.58mn equities worth QR173mn change hands across
2,016 transactions.
The industrials and transport segments
recorded 6.77mn and 5.9mn shares worth
QR791.39mn and QR328.08mn trade
across 10,756 and 2,383 deals respectively.
A total of 1.4mn insurance equities valued at QR81.39mn changed hands across
1,057 transactions.
In the debt market, there was no
trading of treasury bills and government
bonds during the week.
ABN Amro to cut up
to 1,000 consumer
bank jobs by 2018
BN Amro Group, the
state-owned Dutch lender preparing for a share
sale next year, will cut as many
as 1,000 jobs by 2018 and shrink
its branch network as customers move to banking on their
The lender will invest about
€150mn ($186mn) through 2018
in information technology to
improve mobile banking services, it said in a statement yesterday. The bank, based in Amsterdam, said it will take a provision
of €50mn to €75mn in the fourth
quarter as the project will result
in 650 to 1,000 job losses.
ABN Amro, which also reported a 56% increase in quarterly earnings as the nation’s
economy improved, follows
bigger peers ING Groep and Rabobank Groep in saying thousands of jobs will disappear as
Dutch customers move to mobile
banking faster than elsewhere in
Europe. One of every four people
in the Netherlands use banking
services on their phone or laptop, ABN said on November 12.
The bank has about 5mn
Dutch customers, less than half
of whom have been inside a
branch in the past 24 months,
chief п¬Ѓnancial officer Kees van
Dijkhuizen told reporters on a
conference call yesterday. That
compares with 1.5mn visits a day
to the bank’s mobile application,
he said.
“That’s the background to this
operation,” he said. “This is not
related to us having a good or
bad quarter.”
Cutting 1,000 jobs would
be more than 4% of the firm’s
22,242 employees at the end of
September. Total employment
has dropped by 3,928 from the
end of 2010.
The lender, established in its
current form after the collapse
of Fortis in 2008, is seeking to
show it’s an attractive investment as the Dutch government
contemplates whether to go
ahead with an initial public offering in 2015.
Return on equity, a measure of
profitability, increased to 11% in
the п¬Ѓrst nine months, from 7.9%
in the year-earlier period. That’s
in line with the bank’s 2017 target of 9% to 12%. ABN Amro
will pay the state a dividend of
€125mn over the first half, it said
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, seeking to recoup as
much as possible of the €22bn
the Netherlands invested in the
lender, said last year he plans to
sell the п¬Ѓrst stake in the bank in
2015 if conditions are right. He
said last month that he planned
to inform parliament of his decision around the end of this year.
The bank today said thirdquarter profit excluding onetime items rose 56% to €450mn
as net interest income rose
15%. Impairments fell 17% to
€287mn, mainly as bad-loan
provisions for mortgages and
other consumer loans dropped
as the Dutch economy improved.
Dutch gross domestic product
increased 1.1% in the third quarter compared to a year earlier,
the nation’s statistics bureau
said yesterday, adding that the
recovery remains “fragile.”
ABN Amro, the third-biggest
lender in the Netherlands, was
formed after the state took over
the Dutch banking and insurance units of Fortis, which had
joined a €71.9bn takeover of the
former ABN Amro Holding with
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
and Banco Santander in 2007.
ABN Amro will invest about €150mn ($186mn) through 2018 in
information technology to improve mobile banking services, it said
in a statement yesterday.
German-French rebound helps euro-area keep expanding
he euro-area economy grew
faster than analysts forecast in
the third quarter as Germany
and France rebounded and Greece
showed some signs of revival.
Gross domestic product increased
0.2% from the previous period, when it
rose 0.1%, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg,
said yesterday. That’s more than the
median of 39 estimates in a Bloomberg
News survey for 0.1%.
The euro area’s recovery has been in
peril since economic malaise transferred
from once crisis-stricken nations such
as Spain and Ireland to countries in the
region’s core. With inflation close to the
lowest level in п¬Ѓve years, the European
Central Bank is preparing to add to unprecedented stimulus and urged governments to invest and deliver structural reforms to support growth.
“We see a picture confirming an outlook of weak growth but with limited
risks of a relapse into recession,” said
Marco Valli, chief euro-area economist
at Unicredit Global Research in Milan.
“Some sentiment indicators show signs
of stabilising.”
The euro slipped 0.3% to $1.2444 at
12:50pm Frankfurt time. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.6%.
Germany and France, the euro area’s two largest economies returned to
growth in the third quarter, with expansions of 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively. Italy remained a weak spot, shrinking for a second quarter. Cyprus was
the only other member of the currency
bloc to register a quarterly contraction.
Greece, where a six-year recession wiped 25% off GDP and protests
against austerity measures jeopardised
the country’s membership of the currency bloc, recorded quarterly growth
of 0.7% in the three months through
September, the third consecutive increase in output. The data may help
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as he
pushes Greece to follow Ireland, Portugal and Spain out of its rescue programme.
The Frankfurt-based ECB has already
unleashed a barrage of unconventional
measures, including a negative deposit
rate, long-term loans and asset purchases, to boost growth and inflation.
President Mario Draghi said last week
that policy makers commissioned proposals for fresh stimulus, stoking speculation the central bank is moving closer
to sovereign quantitative easing.
“The discussion about further monetary policy measures is justified, and
we expect Mr Draghi will gain the upper
hand,” said Karsten Junius, chief economist at Bank J Safra Sarasin in Zurich,
referring to the debate on the Governing Council on more stimulus.
The ECB, which forecasts growth of
0.9% this year and 1.6% in 2015, last week
endorsed weaker projections such as
those by the European Commission that
foresee expansions of 0.8% and 1.1%, respectively. The central bank will publish
its own updated outlook next month.
“Monetary policy has done and will
continue to do its part,” Draghi said
in Rome on November 12. But even if
combined with a fiscal policy, it is “not
enough to generate a revival of strong
and sustainable growth without the
necessary structural reforms,” he said.
While some support to growth may
have come from the euro, down almost
11% since early May, and oil prices,
which have fallen more than 25% in
the same period, sanctions against
Russia over its involvement in Ukraine
have damped exports. EON, Germany’s
biggest utility, reported a wider third-
quarter loss than last year, as a weaker
ruble crimped earnings from Russia
and power prices declined.
Suit-maker Hugo Boss trimmed targets for the year, citing a “substantial
slowdown” in Europe, with demand
declining in October and November,
while Unilever reported the slowest
quarterly sales growth since 2009.
“We remain optimistic that the eurozone can shake off the latest economic rough patch,” said Christian Schulz,
senior economist at Berenberg Bank in
London. “Once external risks like Russia have faded from businesses’ minds
and the downward spiral in business
confidence has ended, Germany can
rebound quickly and resume its leadership role in the eurozone.”
CRICKET | Page 5
returns to
Inter Milan
as coach
Indian court
Srinivasan in
IPL probe
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Moharram 22, 1436 AH
Djokovic seals
year-end top spot,
makes semi-finals
Page 8
Qatar’s al-Tamimi
goes down fighting;
Pilley advances
�I am sure the experience will make him better and better’
In quest for
world title,
Gaultier almost
tripped, again
By Satya Rath
Qatar’s Abdulla Mohamed al-Tamimi (left) in action against Egypt’s Omar Mosaad in World Squash Championship first round yesterday. PICTURES: Jayan Orma
By Satya Rath
regory Gaultier has won almost everything squash has
to offer. His list of honours
includes triumphs at the British Open, Qatar Classic, Windy City
Open, US Open and the Tournament of
The 32-year-old �Asterix’, as he is
nicknamed, was the п¬Ѓrst French winner of the British Open in 2007. He is
also the only Frenchman till date to
have won the renowned Tournament of
Champions. He scaled another peak in
2009 when he became the п¬Ѓrst Frenchman to top the world ranking.
Yet, there’s one trophy still missing
from his almost-full cabinet: the world
title. He has come close. Not once, but
an incredible four times.
Two of those defeats came against
Englishman Nick Matthew -- in 2011
and, most recently, at Manchester last
year. Egyptian veteran Amr Shabana
was his conqueror in 2007 while American legend David Palmer had to battle
for almost two hours to bring Gaultier
down the year before.
After landing in Doha for the World
Championship, Gaultier had reiterated his determination to set the record
straight this year. “I have trained really
hard and am looking forward to a good
outing at the Worlds. I have played less
number of tournaments in the last few
months just to keep myself fresh and
fit for the World Championship. It’s
a dream I have been chasing for some
years now and I hope it will come true
this time,” he was quoted as saying.
Yesterday, in what was Gaultier’s first
step towards realising that �dream’, he
almost suffered a nightmare. Qualifier
Andrew Wagih Shoukry of Egypt took
the п¬Ѓrst two games (6-11, 9-11) of their
opening round clash and already had a
four-point lead in the third. An upset
looked in the offing when Gaultier suddenly seemed to rise from his slumber.
The momentum changed thereafter, as Gaultier slowly came into his
elements. Long rallies and clever drop
shots became the order, and it took a
toll on Shoukry’s energy. As his pace
dropped, the French veteran suddenly
increased his and pocketed the next
three games 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 to keep his
dream alive.
“He really surprised me with his
pace, but I think I was bit off from the
start. I frankly did not expect to play so
badly, it’s quite unlike me, but the good
thing is I managed to keep my focus.
After I was down 2-0, I told myself to
start from 0-0 and start all over again...
All credit to him, he played exceeding well for someone who had to come
through qualifying. I never played him
before, so I didn’t know much about his
game and he really surprised me,” the
top seed said.
“I faced some problem with the court
as well... The bounce here is completely
different, it’s a brand new court so will
take some time to get used to. As long
as I am winning, I can’t complain. It’s
better to have such off days at the start
than later and I hope today was just a
one-off day,” Gaultier added.
he moment the draw was
made, Abdulla Mohamed alTamimi must have cursed his
luck. A top 10 seed as п¬Ѓrstround opponent is never good news.
Even more so when you are the sole
flag-bearer of your nation in the main
Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, al-Tamimi’s
opening round opponent at the World
Squash Championship yesterday, is
no mean player. Seeded ninth and
ranked 12th in the world, as against
the 19-year-old Qatari’s distant 68th
rank, the outcome of the match was
never in doubt.
The scorecard might read 3-1 in favour of Mosaad, but then, numbers
do not always portray the real picture.
The young Qatari made his older and
more experienced rival п¬Ѓght for each
point. The Aspire Academy product,
who has been making waves on the
junior circuit in recent years, gave
enough glimpses of his promise and
talent during their 53-minute п¬Ѓrstround clash.
The п¬Ѓrst two games were closely
fought, and the fleet-footed al-Tamimi managed to make the slow-moving
Mosaad sprint around the court. But
the bigger experience of the Egyptian
ultimately had the п¬Ѓnal say in the outcome of the match. While he preserved
his energy, al-Tamimi began tiring,
and after managing to wring out the
third game from Mosaad’s winning
grip, lost the momentum in the fourth
to go down 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5.
His exit may have ended the host
country’s slim challenge, but he did
manage to earn the loudest cheers
from the capacity pro-Egyptian crowd
in the stands.
“He played really well. He needs to
play more and more big tournaments
and I am sure the experience will make
him better and better. Frankly, I didn’t
expect to give such a tough fight,” said
Most of the other opening-round
games went as per script, barring the
one between Australian Cameron Pilley and Joe Lee of England which went
beyond. Australia No.1 Pilley went into
the match with a 4-0 win-loss record,
but the fast-rising Englishman was no
mood to oblige this time. Pilley had to
bring out all his reserves to bring an
end to the 75-minute battle. He won
3-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9).
“It was tough. He’s a better player,
better ranked, but I am happy with my
display today. It was anybody’s match
and I kept egging myself up. Some
mistakes at crucial junctures proved
costly for me, otherwise I think it was
anybody’s game,” said Lee after the
“I am so relieved... We played here
(at the Qatar Classic) last year but
he has improved a lot since then. I
couldn’t have asked for a better workout or a tougher opener, and I am
sure it will help me in the upcoming
matches,” said Pilley.
Another see-saw battle was witnessed in the all-Egyptian clash between close friends Karim Ali Fathi
and Mohamed Abouelghar. It was a
match of contrasts, with Karim constantly swinging between brilliance
and mediocrity.
After winning the п¬Ѓrst game 11-8, he
surrendered the next 1-11, took the third
11-8, and lost the fourth 5-11. The deciding game was close, with Abouelghar
leading 5-2 at one stage before a flurry
of errors swung the pendulum Karim’s
way. He seized the opportunity with
both hands to take the decider 11-7 and
end the 55-minute battle.
“I had a tough last year. I was
having acupuncture and the man
just punctured my lungs! I had to
have surgery and came back only
last month. So I am happy with my
showing today. It’s a difficult feeling
as well as I don’t have a better friend
than him,” said Karim.
Former world number one Ramy
Ashour hardly broke sweat, barring for
a lapse of concentration in the second
game, in despatching Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen 11-5, 14-12, 11-5 in a late
evening match.
Defending champion Nick Mathew
of England and world number one
Mohamed Elshorbagy of Egypt will be
in action in today’s second half of the
opening round draw.
Gregory Gaultier (left) in action against Andrew Shoukry of Egypt yesterday.
Results and Schedule
1-Gregory Gaultier (France) vs Andrew Wagih Shoukry
(Egypt) 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3; Nafiizwan Adnan (Malaysia)
bt Mazen Hesham (Egypt) 13-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5; Karim Ali Fathi
(Egypt) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (Egypt) 11-8, 1-11, 11-8, 5-11,
11-7; 9-Omar Mosaad (Egypt) bt Abdulla Mohd Al-Tamimi (Qatar) 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5; 16-Mathieu Castagnet (France) bt Rex
Hedrick (Australia) 11-3, 11-2, 11-8; Alister Walker (Botswana)
bt Aamir Atlas Khan (Pakistan) 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6; Cameron
Pilley (Australia) bt Joe Lee (England) 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9;
7-Peter Barker (England) bt Chris Simpson (England) 11-8,
6-11, 11-7, 11-5; Greg Lobban (Scotland) bt Henrik Mustonen
(Finland) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4; Fares Dessouki (Egypt) bt Farhan
Zaman (Pakistan) 11-8, 11-0, 6-11, 11-9; 13-Marwan Elshorbagy
(Egypt) bt Olli Tuominen (Finland) 11-7 retd; 12-Miguel Angel
Rodriguez (Colombia) bt Shaun Le Roux (South Africa) 11-4,
11-6, 11-6; Adrian Grant (England) bt Piedro Schweertman
(Netherlands) 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-7; 4-Ramy Ashour (Egypt) bt
Ivan Yuen (Malaysia) 11-5, 14-12, 11-5
Gregoire Marche (France) vs Alan Clyne (Scotland); Nasir
Iqbal (Pakistan) vs Charles Sharpes (England); Steven Finitsis
(Australia) vs 14-Saurav Ghosal (India); 15-Karim Abdel
Gawad (Egypt) vs Abdullah Al Muzayen (Kuwait); Max Lee
(Hong Kong) vs Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan); Nicolas Mueller
(Switzerland) vs Ryan Cuskelly (Australia); Adrian Waller
(England) vs 5-Amr Shabana (Egypt); 8-Daryl Selby (England)
vs Stephen Coppinger (South Africa); Ong Beng Hee (Malaysia) vs Peter Creed (Wales); Eddie Charlton (England) vs Tom
Richards (England); 3-Nick Matthew (England) vs Raphael
Kandra (Germany); Omar Abdel Aziz (Egypt) vs 10-Tarek
Momen (Egypt); 11-Simon Rosner (Germany) vs Danish Atlas
Khan (Pakistan); Campbell Grayson (New Zealand) vs Lucas
Serme (France); Mahesh Mangaonkar (India) vs Lance Beddoes (New Zealand); Asyraf Azan (Malaysia) vs 2-Mohamed
Elshorbagy (Egypt)
* Matches start 12 noon onwards
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
�Pope’ Blatter likely to
ride out latest FIFA storm
�He is powerful, he is untouchable, he is, I would say, the Pope of Football’
eflon-coated Sepp Blatter has survived
plenty of crises during his 16 years as FIFA
president and although the current one
over the Garcia corruption report takes
world soccer’s governing body into uncharted
waters, he is very likely to come through it too.
Previous scandals include the collapse of FIFA’s
former marketing partner ISL in 2001, allegations
over bribes paid to former FIFA president Joao
Havelange and other senior officials, and п¬Ѓnancial mismanagement claims made by former FIFA
secretary general Michel Zen Ruffinen in 2002.
Blatter survived those crises, and plenty of others including the one when he himself was investigated, and cleared, by FIFA’s ethics committee
of bribery allegations in May 2011.
This latest “difficulty”, as Blatter likes to call
the squalls that continually hang over his organisation, shows no signs of abating and has developed into something more resembling a hurricane
over the last two days.
German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of
the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, on Thursday published a 42-page summary of New York attorney Michael Garcia’s 420page report into alleged corruption surrounding
the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World
Cups in Russia and Qatar.
Three hours later Garcia, who spent over a year
investigating the alleged corruption, responded
that Eckert’s summary was “materially incomplete and an erroneous misrepresentation” of his
He also said he was going to appeal against
Eckert’s summary. In the meantime, FIFA executive committee members Jeffrey Webb, the CONCACAF confederation president, Sunil Gulati, the
president of the U S association, and FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne—among
others—have called for FIFA to publish the report
in full, redacted, or edited where appropriate.
So where does all this leave Blatter, who has
signalled his intention to stand for a п¬Ѓfth term
as FIFA president in next year’s election when he
will be 79 years old? A revealing insight into Blatter’s mindset comes from Belgian FA president
Michel D’Hooghe, a member of the FIFA executive committee, who spoke to Reuters in Monte
Carlo recently.
“He is powerful, he is untouchable, he is, I
would say, the Pope of Football,” D’Hooghe said.
“He is an incredibly intelligent man, he knows
everything, and everybody, and knows how everything works. And he has enormous political
nous. “You could say, and there are those in UEFA
that do, that if you are 78, 79 and you are the boss
of an organisation that has been seriously criticised, then you must take responsibility for the
criticism. But this is not how it works in FIFA.”
One former FIFA executive committee member, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, explained: “He is the world champion of
manipulation, a master. There is no-one like him,
no-one. “Look how he handled the Sunday Times
story regarding the corruption allegations over
the vote to Qatar. He immediately branded all Europeans “racist” because they said �Look at what
is happening in Africa, in Asia’.
“He didn’t involve himself in any way about the
stories regarding bribery, but just blamed Europe
for being racist. That is the kind of manipulation
he does on a lot of things.
“So those kind of comments win him the support of those who feel attacked by what they regard as the European elite.
Sepp Blatter has signalled his intention to stand for a fifth term as FIFA president in next year’s election when he will be 79 years old. (AFP)
“But he also rules by what I call, his extremely
anti-democratic way of management because
things are never brought to discussion. The decision-making is not based on how it would be in a
western democracy. “It does not happen in FIFA.
There is no forum.
“So the question is how can this go on? It goes
on because he is in a position to give the federations money, through World Cup bonuses and the
Goal Project (grass roots funding) and does things
like remove all age limits for officials. It is all totally above board.
“So they can stay as long as they like, and in return he gets their votes. That’s all it comes down
to in the end: money and votes.”
No matter what the media, or his opponents say
about him while this current crisis rages, Blatter
looks untouchable and remains the overwhelming
favourite to be re-elected president next year.
Just before this year’s World Cup in Brazil, five
of FIFA’s six continental confederations publicly
expressed their support for him with only Europe’s UEFA declaring its opposition.
It is inconceivable to think that many will
change their minds by next May.
FA chairman warned over
refusal to return WC watch
London: English Football Association
chairman Greg Dyke may be heading for
troubled waters with soccer’s governing
body over his refusal to return a $25,000
World Cup watch, a FIFA official has
A FIFA ethics committee said in September that accepting the Parmigiani
watch, a present from the Brazilian Confederation during this year’s World Cup,
breached the organisation’s code of ethics
and should not have been accepted.
FIFA chief investigator Michael Garcia
ordered Dyke, one of 65 officials to
receive the gift, to return the watch by no
later than Oct 24.
However, Dyke has failed to do so three
weeks after the deadline, indicating he
will auction it on behalf of Breast Cancer
Care—the FA’s charity partner.
“Giving something to charity is good—
but it is very clear what he has to do,”
Walter de Gregorio, FIFA Director of
Communications & Public Affairs, told Sky
Sports News.
“If he does not do it, then it is up to
Garcia to take the measures he thinks
are appropriate. The money (from sale of
watches) goes to charities in Brazil. If Greg
Dyke has another opinion, maybe he will
face some problems with Garcia.”
Dyke’s frosty relationship with FIFA
soured further on Thursday when the
organisation criticised England’s bid for
Publish report and rebuild FIFA’s image,
presidential hopeful says
London: The “absolutely incredible” events buffeting FIFA mean
world soccer’s governing body must now release the full report
into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups if it is to
rebuild its tarnished image, the man who hopes to become its next
president told Reuters yesterday.
FIFA had hoped to draw a line under the controversy when German
judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, ruling on behalf of the soccer body’s ethics committee, said he found no grounds sufficient to re-open the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in Russia and Qatar.
But within hours, former U S attorney Michael Garcia, hired by
FIFA to head the investigation into the bids, said he would appeal the
committee’s conclusion and that the summary “contains numerous
materially incomplete and erroneous representations” of facts and
conclusions in his report.
Jerome Champagne, who is to stand against president Sepp Blatter in the election next year, told Reuters: “The events that unfolded
yesterday between 10am and 1pm were absolutely incredible.
“I was in FIFA for 11 years and have never seen anything like that.
Australia ran �clean campaign’, rejects report
the 2018 World Cup, saying it had overindulged former FIFA executive committee member Jack Warner in the run-up to
the vote.
But with Garcia, who spent two years
investigating claims of corruption within
FIFA, issuing a statement questioning the
findings of the report, Dyke branded the
whole affair “pointless” and a “joke”
It was, as they say in Hollywood, larger than life,” the former FIFA official said in a phone interview.
“We need to know what is in the report for two reasons. First we
need to protect the World Cup which of course has a huge impact in
the game and is the pinnacle of world football.
“The world is divided, the world is suffering, and there is one moment every four years when the world comes together for the most
popular sport in the world as a collective community. So we must
protect its integrity.
“Secondly, the report needs to be published to start re-building
FIFA’s image.
“Rebuilding FIFA’s image is a very important part of my campaign
and my vision. The report should be published, with the necessary
redactions. I can only regret that these two objectives have not been
met, that these two goals have not been scored.”
Frenchman Champagne formally announced in September that he
would stand for the most powerful post in world soccer. Blatter, 78,
will be seeking a fifth term.
ustralia’s soccer chief has
denied any wrongdoing
during the country’s failed
campaign to host the 2022
World Cup, while an Australian politician has called FIFA’s investigation a “sick farce” and demanded its
money back.
Federation Football Australia
(FFA) chief Frank Lowy released
a statement yesterday, rejecting a
FIFA report that criticised Australia’s campaign tactics.
“I made it clear to all involved in
our bid that we would run a clean
campaign and I stressed this objective at every opportunity,” Lowy said.
The Australian government invested A$43 million ($37.43 million) on a bid that received just one
solitary vote when FIFA stunned the
sporting world by awarding its 2018
showpiece tournament to Russia and
the 2022 event to Qatar.
Responding to cries of foul, FIFA
launched an independent investigation into the bidding process,
conducted by American prosecutor
Michael Garcia.
A summary of his report was
published on Thursday, apparently
clearing Russia and Qatar of any
misconduct but pointing the п¬Ѓnger
at other countries, including Australia and England, which had been
among the most vocal critics of
However, FIFA’s summary report
was immediately undermined when
Garcia said his п¬Ѓndings had not been
accurately presented. He called on
FIFA to publish his entire report,
something which FIFA had previously said it would not do.
Australian senator Nick Xenophon said on Friday that the investigation was a “whitewash” and a
“sick farce”. He called on FIFA to refund the money Australia had spent
on the bid, saying they had been
“absolutely ripped off ”.
Lowy, the billionaire owner of
the shopping mall giant Westfield
Group, addressed some of the allegations made against Australia,
saying the FFA had worked closely
with FIFA throughout the bidding
The report summary said Australia’s bid had funded soccer development projects around the world and
“helped create the appearance that
benefits were conferred in exchange
for a vote.”
Federation Football Australia
chief Frank Lowy
The FFA was also accused of
making payments to CONCACAF,
the regional body for soccer in north
and central America, which “appear to have been commingled, at
least in part, with personal funds”
of then CONCACAF president Jack
The third main allegation was that
the bid had tried “to direct funds the
Australian government had set aside
for existing development projects in
Africa toward initiatives in countries
with ties to FIFA Executive Committee members.”
Lowy said Australia had been encouraged by FIFA to “take every opportunity to demonstrate Australia’s
commitment to football, especially
in developing regions.”
“It’s clear that this led us to be
misled in particular relating to a
payment made to CONCACAF
which was later revealed to have
been misappropriated,” he added.
“In hindsight, there are many
things we might have done differently and we remain disappointed
by our experience of the World Cup
bidding process.”
The FIFA said they would await
advice on the next steps in the process given “the apparent dispute between chairmen of the FIFA Ethics
Committee’s Adjudicatory and Investigatory chambers”—a reference
to Garcia’s likely appeal against the
п¬Ѓndings of a report he helped compile.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Rooney faces England
legacy questions
England’s Wayne Rooney (left) and Jack Wilshere race against each other during a training session at St George’s Park near Burton-on-Trent, central England. (AFP)
ayne Rooney will make his
100th England appearance
today when Roy Hodgson’s
side attempt to extend
their 100 percent record in Euro 2016
qualifying at home to Slovenia.
The Manchester United striker, 29,
will lead the team out at Wembley Stadium accompanied by his two young
sons, Kai and Klay, as he becomes the
ninth England player to take his number
of caps into three п¬Ѓgures.
Rooney is on course to break former
goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s 125-cap appearance record and is also only six
goals short of Bobby Charlton’s England
scoring record of 49 goals.
But having failed to shine for England
at a major tournament since making his
breakthrough at Euro 2004, he accepts
he still has to prove himself worthy of
comparison with World Cup winners
such as Charlton.
“To get 100 caps for England, there’s
not many players who have done it,”
Rooney writes in the programme for today’s match.
“It would be a great achievement.
I’ll be proud to join that club and it is
something that myself and my family
would be honoured by. But I could sit
here saying I’ve got 200 caps and 100
goals for my country, but the ultimate
is to win a trophy and that’s what we all
want to do. That’s why we play football,
to win. That’s the target and hopefully
sometime soon we can achieve that.”
He adds: “Obviously I’m not going to
be as big a legend as Sir Bobby Charlton—he’s won the World Cup with England—so to eclipse that I’d have to win
the World Cup, which would be a massive achievement.”
After their group-phase exit at the
World Cup, England have taken control of Group E by winning their п¬Ѓrst
three games without conceding a goal
and will be looking to record a recordequalling sixth clean sheet.
With Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge still sidelined by a calf problem,
Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is expected to hold on to his place up front
alongside former United colleague
Raheem Sterling is in line for a recall
at the tip of Hodgson’s midfield diamond, having contentiously started
last month’s 1-0 win in Estonia on the
bench after reportedly complaining of
fatigue. Arsenal winger Theo Walcott
and 20-year-old Everton playmaker
Ross Barkley are both back in the squad
after spells on the sidelines, while West
Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino will hope to win his п¬Ѓrst cap.
Townsend have been forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury, but
both players were more likely to have
featured in England’s friendly with
Scotland in Glasgow on Tuesday anyway.
Rooney’s Slovenia counterpart, visiting captain Bostjan Cesar, will also
be celebrating a milestone as he stands
to win his 81st cap, which will see him
surpass Zlatko Zahovic as his country’s
most-capped player.
The Chievo centre-back was injured
by a tackle from Rooney when Slovenia last visited Wembley, in September
2009, and the 32-year-old says that he
has not forgotten the incident.
“My memories aren’t the nicest. It
wasn’t nice, what he did,” said Cesar.
“But I’m not interested in Rooney; I’m
interested in the match and our desire
to avenge our two defeats against England.”
After a 1-0 loss in Estonia in their
opening game, Srecko Katanec’s side
won 1-0 at home to Switzerland and
then recorded a 2-0 victory away to
Lithuania, leaving them in second place
in the group.
Talented Salzburg forward Kevin
Kampl is a doubt due to injury, but
35-year-old striker Milivoje Novakovic
is п¬Ѓt to lead the line and will look to add
to his three goals in qualifying to date.
Suarez scores against Costa Rica in draw
uis Suarez scored an equaliser and
was just wide with what could
have been a spectacular winner as
Uruguay were held to a 3-3 draw
by Costa Rica in a friendly.
The Costa Ricans, who stunned Uruguay 3-1 in their World Cup opener in
Brazil in June, levelled Thursday’s match
at the Centenario through substitute Johan Venegas in the п¬Ѓnal minute.
Suarez will by mutual agreement with
coach Oscar Tabarez miss Uruguay’s next
friendly against 2015 Copa America hosts
Chile in Santiago on Tuesday.
“We all know what Luis means to us
but we know we won’t have him at the
Copa America so it’s good to look for alternatives to get used to playing without
him,” Uruguay captain Diego Godin told
Suarez is serving a nine-match suspension from competitive international football for biting Italy’s Giorgio
Chiellini at the World Cup. Alvaro Saborio headed Costa Rica, now coached by
former striker Paulo Wanchope, into the
lead п¬Ѓve minutes before halftime.
Suarez, playing at home for his country for the п¬Ѓrst time since his ban, took
Cristian Rodriguez’s pass on his chest
and turned to п¬Ѓre past Keylor Navas in
the 49th minute.
Costa Rica went ahead again within a
minute through Bryan Ruiz before Uruguay turned the match around with goals
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez (right)
controls ball under pressure
from Junior Diaz of Costa
Rica during a friendly match
in Montevideo. (Reuters)
from central defender Jose Maria Gimenez and striker Edinson Cavani.
Suarez’s shot across the face off goal
just missed the target in the 88th minute
and Costa Rica, having equalised, won
the Copa Antel 7-6 on penalties.
Carlos Sanchez, who plays for Argentine league leaders River Plate, had a п¬Ѓne
debut for Uruguay on the right wing but
coach Oscar Tabarez’s side, always dangerous on the attack, were shaky in defence.
Talisman Keisuke Honda provided the
thrust as Japan overpowered Honduras 6-0 yesterday to relieve some of the
pressure on coach Javier Aguirre.
Honda scored once, set up three more
and was by far Japan’s most dangerous
player in a lopsided game between two
teams who flopped badly at the World
Cup in Brazil earlier this year.
“We played a complete game today,”
Aguirre told Japan’s TV Asahi. “We’re
building for the Asian Cup in January and
obviously we will be going there to win it.
We showed excellent balance tonight and
brought joy to the fans.”
Aguirre abandoned the tinkering
that contributed to an alarming run of
form in the Mexican’s first four matches
in charge, naming 10 of Japan’s World
Cup squad among his starting eleven in
And it took the Asian champions just
nine minutes to open their account, defender Maya Yoshida stooping to head
into an empty net after a wicked corner
from dead-ball specialist Yasuhito Endo.
Endo, discarded by Aguirre since the
former Espanyol manager took over from
Italian Alberto Zaccheroni following
the World Cup, marked his return with
a superb goal as he extended his record
number of Japan caps to 147.
Honda had made it 2-0 moments earlier with a cool п¬Ѓnish, before neatly teeing up Endo to smash home a right-foot
shot from the edge of the box on the
stroke of halftime.
Manchester United striker will become the ninth England player to make 100 appearance
is back as
Italy battle
ario Balotelli has
taken centre stage
with his return to
the Italian national
team, which welcomes Croatia
in Milan tomorrow for a matchup of the co-leaders of Euro 2016
qualifying Group H.
After taking most of the blame
for the Azzurri’s early exit at the
World Cup in June, Balotelli has
had a lacklustre start to the season at Liverpool - still seeking his
п¬Ѓrst goal in the Premier League and was not nominated by new
Italy coach Antonio Conte for
his п¬Ѓrst four games in charge.
The former AC Milan forward
is however unlikely to play from
the start at the Giuseppe Meazza
stadium, where Ciro Immobile
and Simone Zaza should be confirmed up front.
But Conte has said he will
nevertheless monitor him carefully during training at the Azzurri camp outside Florence. “I
heard a lot of rumours,” Conte
said of Balotelli, “but I prefer to
evaluate players on my own.
“It is right to test them and
understand what kind of technical and tactical affinities they
have with my idea of play, and
also [to consider] their behavioural aspects.”
Atletico Madrid offensive
midfielder Alessio Cerci also rejoins the Azzurri after the World
Cup debacle - despite his glum
moment following his move
from Torino to the Spanish club.
Countering allegations that Balotelli was called to please Puma,
the sports kit provider and sponsor
of both La Nazionale and the striker,
Conte said that both he and Cerci
were considered valuable assets
when they were in Italy.
“They then went abroad and
are having difficulties. But my
duty as a coach is to understand if
they can be useful for La Nazionale. It is silly to think that [Balotelli
is] here because of the sponsor,”
Conte said.
The return of Super Mario overshadowed the п¬Ѓrst call of defenders Daniele Rugani and Emiliano
Moretti, while midfielders Roberto
Soriano and Andrea Bertolacci are
in the squad after attending training
stages with the Azzurri.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac,
meanwhile, п¬Ѓelded a largely experimental team and had no complaints as he lost 2-1 Wednesday in
a friendly with World Cup п¬Ѓnalists
Both teams top Group H on a
perfect score of nine points from
three games, though Croatia have a
better goal difference - 9-0 against
Italy’s 5-1. The Azzurri are also eager to improve their record against
the Croats, who have lost only once
to Italy, tallying three wins and as
many draws.
Wales to take advantage of
Kompany’s absence
Brussels: Belgium could give
another outing to a threepronged strike force laced with
pace and power as they look to
make up for the loss of defensive leader Vincent Kompany
against Group B pacesetters
Wales in tomorrow’s Euro 2016
qualifier in Brussels.
Third place Belgium are
three points behind the Welsh
but have played one game
fewer and can move above
their opponents thanks to their
superior goal difference, while
Israel are sandwiched between
the two in second place.
Marc Wilmots’s side will
again be without captain and
central defender Kompany.
The Manchester City captain
was badly missed as their
fragile defence was frequently
exposed in the friendly against
Iceland on Wednesday despite
a 3-1 win.
This prompted goalkeeper
Thibaut Courtois to lay into
his teammates at the end,
saying that a repeat of that
performance would see them
beaten by Wales, whose
manager Chris Coleman was at
the game.
Belgium coach Wilmots
admitted that his defence had
not been at their best, but said
that he had been busy trying
out different options.
One such tactic was a three-
pronged attack of Christian
Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and
Divock Origi, the latter being
the pick of the bunch with a
cracking left-foot shot for his
third international goal.
Wales are no strangers to
Belgium after the two were in
the same qualifying group for
the 2014 World Cup.
The Belgians won 2-0 in Cardiff and easily finished top of
the table but Coleman believes
his team took great heart from
forcing a 1-1 draw in the final
match in Brussels.
“The Welsh fans were fantastic on the night, when we
scored a late goal, and we’ve
got a huge contingent going
again,” Coleman told Football
Association of Wales TV.
“If we win it doesn’t mean
we’ll qualify and if we lose it
doesn’t mean we won’t.
“But anything they get from
us they’re going to have to
work mighty hard for.
“It’s another step we can
take in the right direction to
show we can perform against
top teams like Belgium.”
Wales have come to rely
heavily on Real Madrid’s
Gareth Bale, who scored both
goals in the opening 2-1 win
over Andorra and made the
winner for Hal Robson-Kanu
when they beat Cyprus by the
same margin.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Mancini appointed
Inter coach again
Mancini returns to the San Siro following a six-year absence
By Ed Aarons
The Guardian
hile most international
would have been
preparing for their
п¬Ѓrst training session together
before this week’s doubleheaders, South Africa’s players spent visiting the grave of
their murdered captain Senzo
Less than four weeks since
the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper
was shot dead in a suspected
robbery, Bafana Bafana go into
today’s match against Sudan
knowing victory would mean
they will qualify for the п¬Ѓnals
of the Africa Cup of Nations.
“It’s an emotional time,”
says the midfielder Dean Furman, who plays for Doncaster
Rovers. “It was good for us as
a squad to go and pay our respects to his family. There was a
bit of a ceremony there and we
went back to the family home
afterwards. Senzo will always
be in our minds because he was
so close to a lot of the boys and
was our captain for the last few
games as well. Hopefully on
Saturday we can go out there
and make him proud.”
On Tuesday, police released
a man charged with Meyiwa’s
murder after a court decided
there was not enough evidence
for him to stand trial, although
they have not ruled him out of
the investigation.
The Bafana players will wear
black armbands to commemorate their team-mate at the
Moses Mabhida Stadium in
Durban, around half an hour’s
drive from Meyiwa’s family
home in the Umlazi township
and where the game was moved
from Nelspruit to pay tribute to
the goalkeeper.
Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba,
the coach, admits it has been
a difficult task trying to manage his squad’s emotions in
what has been a harrowing few
oberto Mancini was confirmed as Inter Milan’s new coach yesterday just
hours after the struggling Serie A giants sacked Walter Mazzarri.
A statement on the club’s website, www., quoted club president Erick Thohir
as saying: “Happy to welcome back Roberto
Mancini. Together we’ll make Inter one of the
very top Clubs in Europe again.”
Mancini returns to the San Siro following
a six-year absence, having won three straight
Serie A titles during his previous spell from
Thohir added: “Today I made the difficult
decision to suspend Walter Mazzarri as head
coach. It was a difficult decision because he
has been continuously supportive of the direction that we have wanted to take the club, and
he has worked tirelessly and selflessly for Inter,
with both belief and passion. I would like to
thank him sincerely for his efforts.”
News of Mancini’s return was warmly welcomed by Nerazzurri fans throughout the city
Mancini, who is expected to sign a two-anda-half year deal, won three league titles and
two Italian Cups in four success-laden years
with the Nerazzurri.
Thohir added: “Our goal is to regain our
rightful position as one of the very top clubs
in Europe and that’s why I am so happy to welcome back Roberto Mancini. “His track record
both at Inter and elsewhere speaks for itself,
and his international experience and hunger
for success will, I know, drive the team to the
next level.”
Expectations of Mancini’s imminent arrival
grew when former Inter president Massimo
Moratti suggested a deal was done in denying reports he had played a role in influencing
Thohir to choose Mancini. “It was Thohir’s
idea,” said Moratti, who gave up his role as the
club’s honorary president several weeks ago.
“I’m sorry for Mazzarri. Obviously he did
everything he could to make it work.
“I’m happy for Mancini. He’s the coach with
whom I won the most. He’s a very good person
and a great coach.”
Former Manchester City manager Mancini
had been out of work since leaving Galatasaray
last season and will be welcomed with open
arms by fans frustrated by Inter’s failure to
perform to expectations under Mazzarri.
Mazzarri, who led Napoli to the Serie A
runner-up spot in 2013, joined Inter in time for
the start of last season but, despite glimpses of
promise, had consistently seen his side underperform.
Inter, Italy’s last Champions League winners
in 2010, failed to qualify for the competition
under previous coach Andrea Stramaccioni,
and Mazzarri fared no better last season when
Inter could only qualify for the Europa League.
Inter have won only four Serie A games so
far this season while suffering heavy defeats
to Cagliari (4-1 at home) and Fiorentina (3-0
away) as well as falling 2-0 away to relegation
candidates Parma.
Inter currently sit ninth in the league, 12
points behind leaders Juventus.
Reports yesterday also claimed Mancini was
set to bring in former England international
David Platt, a one-time Juventus and Sampdoria player who speaks fluent Italian, as his
assistant after their spell together at City.
Mancini’s first game in charge will be a baptism of fire, away to city rivals AC Milan in
their shared San Siro ground next week.
South Africa captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in a suspected
robbery four week ago.
Equatorial Guinea to host
African Nations Cup
quatorial Guinea agreed yesterday
to step in as last-minute hosts of
the 2015 African Nations Cup п¬Ѓnals, replacing Morocco, who were
stripped of the tournament having asked
for it to be postponed over fears of the
spread of the Ebola virus.
That leaves one of Africa’s smallest
countries with just two months to prepare
for the continent’s showpiece sporting
event. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) took just three days to п¬Ѓnd an
alternative host after refusing Morocco’s
request for a postponement on Tuesday.
Morocco feared travelling fans could
spread the deadly virus that has claimed
more than 5,000 lives in west Africa.
Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro
Obiang agreed to host the event after talks
yesterday with CAF president Issa Hayatou in Malabo, the governing body said in
a statement.
Having expelled Equatorial Guinea from
the tournament’s preliminaries for using
weeks for the nation as a whole.
“Senzo will be missed by
everyone. I know it won’t
sound well to people so soon
but life will have to go on,” he
says. “[Going to the grave] was
very difficult but we felt for the
players who live abroad it was
an opportunity to pay their respects before we started training. They have put it behind
them now. We were worried
about how they might react to
everything that has happened
but you can see they have accepted it and are fully focused
on what they have to do.”
Eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Africa Cup
of Nations on home soil under
Gordon Igesund, South Africa
failed to reach the World Cup
qualifying play-offs having
п¬Ѓnished behind Ethiopia in the
group stage.
Igesund was eventually replaced by Mashaba – despite
competition from Carlos Queiroz, Frank Rijkaard and Dick
Advocaat – for his second permanent spell, in charge having
been controversially sacked on
the eve of the 2004 Cup of Nations п¬Ѓnals for refusing to recall
the former Manchester United
midfielder Quinton Fortune after he asked to be excused from
a training camp.
Clearly Mashaba has unfinished business as Bafana have
picked up eight points from his
п¬Ѓrst four competitive matches
thanks to four clean sheets
from Meyiwa. They could even
afford not to beat Sudan and
still make it, although with the
п¬Ѓnal п¬Ѓxture away against the
reigning champions, Nigeria,
the coach wants to п¬Ѓnish the
job at the earliest opportunity.
“We’ve had some good results but it will mean nothing
if we don’t make it,” Mashaba
says. “The Nigeria game will
not only be about qualification because in the first game
(a draw) we should have beaten
them. We need to make sure we
get the result against Sudan.”
Roberto Mancini, who is expected
to sign a two-and-a-half year deal,
won three league titles and two
Italian Cups in four success-laden
years with the Nerazzurri. (EPA)
Cape Town
South Africa
vow to play for
their murdered
captain Meyiwa
an ineligible player, CAF will now bend
their rules to allow the home country to
take part in the 16-team п¬Ѓeld.
The tournament will stay on the scheduled dates of Jan. 17-Feb. 8 and be played
at four venues—Ebebiyin, Mongomo, Bata
and the capital Malabo.
The latter two were used in 2012 when
Equatorial Guinea co-hosted the п¬Ѓnals
with neighbours Gabon.
Two years ago, Africa’s only Spanish
speaking country struggled with the logistics of hosting just eight teams and now
face the daunting task of being ready for
double that number. CAF’s options were
limited after it decided to go ahead with
the event in January rather than grant Morocco a postponement.
Angola and Gabon were also cited as
possible alternatives but ruled themselves
out of the race, while there was speculation 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar could be
chosen, giving rise to the bizarre prospect
of Africa’s championship being played in
Asia. Equatorial Guinea’s oil and natural
gas wealth means they can foot the estimated $40-million bill for hosting the
tournament—a prerequisite that consid-
erably narrowed down CAF’s options.
The governing body began searching
for an alternative one month ago when
Morocco п¬Ѓrst gave notice of their desire
to postpone the event to June or January
next year.
CAF characterised Morocco’s concerns
as alarmist, were steadfast in their refusal to change the dates and gambled on
п¬Ѓnding an alternative for the event which
accounts for the vast majority of their income.
Equatorial Guinea has had no outbreaks
of Ebola, the deadly hemorrhagic fever,
since it erupted in March and with limited
facilities, it is likely to attract just a handful of travelling fans, severely reducing any
Equatorial Guinea reached the quarterfinals of the last tournament they cohosted with Gabon in 2012. They finished
second in their pool after victories over
Senegal and Libya in their only previous
п¬Ѓnals appearance.
The qualifiers for the 2015 Nations Cup
conclude next Wednesday and the draw
for the tournament will be held in Malabo
on Dec. 3, CAF said.
Legend Pele recovering
from kidney stone removal
Sao Paulo
ormer Brazil striker Pele
underwent a procedure
on Thursday to remove
kidney stones that were
obstructing his urinary tract, his
doctors at a Sao Paulo hospital
said. The 74-year-old was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital
on Wednesday with abdominal
pains that forced him to cancel
a book signing event in Santos,
where he lives.
Tests showed he was suffering
from kidney and ureteral stones
that were removed on Thursday
morning, the doctors said in a
statement. “He is clinically stable
and in recovery,” they added.
Known as “the King of soccer”
in Brazil, Pele is widely regarded
as the п¬Ѓnest player to grace the
sport. He played in four World
Cups and helped Brazil win the
global tournament three times,
the last in Mexico in 1970.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich sold more than a million
shirts last season for the п¬Ѓrst time
in the club’s history, according to
their marketing director Andreas
Jung. “Last season, we sold 1.3
million shirts, more than all the
other Bundesliga clubs put together. It’s a new record,” Bayern
board member Jung told German
broadcaster Sport1.
Jung said “no player in particular” had been the most sought after name to adorn a jersey by fans
this season, “which just shows
how attractive the team are.”
While Mario Goetze’s number
19 shirt is proving popular after
he scored the winning goal in the
World Cup п¬Ѓnal, Spain star Xabi
Alonso’s number three shirt is
also selling well, “but the others
are not far behind,” said Jung.
“And no goalkeeping jersey has
been so prized as that of Manuel
Neuer,” he added without giving
Bayern are currently four
points clear in the Bundesliga and
have qualified for the last 16 of
the Champions League with two
games to spare as they are already
confirmed winners of Group E.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Indian court names
Srinivasan in IPL probe
�We have seen the report. It does suggest some misdemeanour on the part of certain individuals’
New Delhi
he Supreme Court yesterday
disclosed the names of four key
cricket personalities, including sidelined BCCI president
N Srinivasan, who were investigated
by the Justice Mudgal Committee for
allegations of spot п¬Ѓxing and betting
in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The development
resulted in scathing comments from
the cricketing fraternity and demands
for the guilty to be “put behind bars”
besides the Indian cricket board once
again postponing its much-awaited
AGM and annual elections.
The apex court bench comprising
justice TS Thakur and justice FM Kalifullah said those under the Mudgal
scanner were Srinivasan, his son-inlaw Gurunath Meiyappan, BCCI chief
operating officer (COO) Sunder Raman,
IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals coowner Raj Kundra and at least three yet
unnamed players.
In the wake of the developments, the
BCCI Annual General Meeting (AGM)
and the subsequent elections - scheduled for November 20 - were put on
hold for another four weeks.
The BCCI had earlier postponed its
AGM and annual elections after the Supreme Court ignored pleas to reinstate
Srinivasan in his post as board chief on
September 1.
The court bench yesterday said the
Mudgal committee report dealing with
the conduct and role of the quartet in
the spotlight would be given to these
four people as well as to the BCCI and
the petitioner Cricket Association of
Bihar for their respective rejoinders.
The court, however, said the identity
of the players named in the report will
be held back for the time being.
The court said it would make the report available to lawyers on both sides
so that they can make their arguments
when the next hearing takes place November 24.
The court said all the parties will п¬Ѓle
their objections to the report within
four days of its receipt and they will
have the liberty to п¬Ѓle responses to rival
objections in another four days and directed the listing of the matter for November 24.
“We have seen the report. It does
suggest some misdemeanour on the
part of certain individuals,” justice
Thakur said at the outset of the hearing.
“We have had an occasion to go
through the report. There are certain
п¬Ѓndings recorded by the Mudgal Committee, which may be understood to be
indicting some persons with regards
to whom inquiry was conducted,” the
court said in the course of the hearing.
The committee’s findings drew
scathing comments from the cricketing fraternity amidst demands for the
guilty to be “put behind bars”.
Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi
said all individuals named by the court
should be jailed.
Petitioner in the IPL corruption case
Aditya Verma said Srinivasan has ruined BCCI’s reputation while former
Indian skipper Bishan Singh Bedi also
welcomed the court’s decision.
BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla,
however, said these developments do
not jeopardise India’s forthcoming tour
of Australia and they are not in any
hurry to hold elections.
Former BCCI president Shashank
Manohar also criticised the Board’s
decision to postpone the AGM, saying
it was against the board’s constitution.
In another development, a court
yesterday п¬Ѓxed Dec 8 for commencing arguments on the issue of framing
charges against accused cricketers S.
Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and others in the IPL spot-п¬Ѓxing
BCCI president N Srinivasan (left) and
Indian Premier League chief operating
officer Sundar Raman are among
the four people named in the Mukul
Mudgal Committee probe. The other
two are Rajasthan Royals co-owner
Raj Kundra and Srinivasan’s son-in-law
Gurunath Meiyappan.
Steady Misbah writes his name
in Pakistan cricket history
Abu Dhabi
our years and three months ago a
frustrated Misbah-ul-Haq (pictured) considered burning his
cricket equipment and leaving the
game for good.
But on Thursday he made history, becoming Pakistan’s most successful Test
captain of all time as his men secured a
thumping 248-run win over New Zealand
in Abu Dhabi.
In recording his 15th victory as skipper,
the much-maligned Misbah eclipsed Imran Khan and Javed Miandad, giants of the
game in Pakistan, who captained the side to
14 Test wins apiece.
The New Zealand win came on the back
of a 2-0 whitewash of Australia, Pakistan’s
п¬Ѓrst series win over the Aussies in 20 years.
With his calm, dogged perseverance,
Misbah stands apart from the perennial
turbulence and upheaval of Pakistani cricket and he can now hold his head up among
the greatest ever to lead his country.
He took over the team at one of its darkest
moments, in the wake of the 2010 spot-п¬Ѓxing scandal that saw then-captain Salman
Butt and two fast bowlers banned and jailed
in Britain.
Under Misbah’s unflappable guidance,
the side seems to have left behind the controversies and off-п¬Ѓeld antics that plagued
it in the past.
Misbah said it had been a tough journey.
“When I look back today I was not even in
the team,” he said.
He had been dropped for the fateful England tour of 2010, which ended in disgrace
for the team as captain Butt and bowlers
Mohamed Asif and Mohamed Aamer were
caught by a newspaper agreeing to bowl noballs to order.
“It was a tough situation but bad days or
good days I never lost hope, and today I am
placed above Imran and Miandad as Test
captain which I had never thought of,” said
The 40-year-old had some low moments
this year. He scored just 67 runs in Pakistan’s 2-0 series defeat in Sri Lanka in August and dropped himself for the last oneday international against Australia, just
before the Test series.
“The journey of the Pakistan team has
been similar to the journey of my life—not
being in the side was one of the toughest
times not only in my career but in my life as
well; but I never give up,” he said.
“Since I was called up to lead the team I
obviously had to justify my position as a
batsman too.”
His cautious approach with the bat earned
Misbah the derogatory nickname “Tuk-tuk”
from Pakistani fans who prefer the high-octane big hitting of Shahid Afridi.
But Misbah answered his critics in the
second Test, equalling the great Viv Richards’ record for the fastest Test century of
all time, off just 56 balls.
That innings typified the anger of a man
keen to show his detractors that he can play
with aggression while still acting responsibly for the good of the team.
Former captain Rashid Latif said Misbah
deserves all the accolades.
“He has led Pakistan in an admirable
manner,” said Latif. “He deserves the highest civil award of Pakistan for setting the
team on a path of recovery and to greatness.”
Even in the toughest moments Misbah
never lashed out at his critics, preferring to
do his talking on the п¬Ѓeld.
“I come from a small place called Mianwali,” said Misbah of his hometown in the
Punjab Province.
“There people glue to the television and
pray for me and for the Pakistan team, and it
is because of their prayers and prayers of my
mother and family that I am here.
“As for my critics I never get distracted,
because they have a job and I have a job,
whoever does it well will be remembered.”
Teammate and close friend Mohamed Hafeez said Misbah’s personality had
helped him to succeed.
“Good things happen to good people and
since Misbah is a good man, the Almighty
has blessed him with honours,” he said.
Pakistan retain
under-scrutiny Hafeez
for second Test
Abu Dhabi: Pakistan yesterday retained all-rounder Mohamed Hafeez
(pictured) for the second Test against
New Zealand despite his bowling action being reported.
Hafeez’s action was reported as suspect by match officials after the first
Test in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, which
Pakistan won by 248 runs for a 1-0 lead
in the three-Test series.
The second Test starts in Dubai from
Under the International Cricket Council
rules on suspect bowling action, Hafeez has 21 days to have a mandatory
bio-mechanic assessment of his action.
But in that period he is allowed to bowl
at international level.
Injured opener Ahmed Shehzad
misses out and is the only change to
the side that won the successive Abu
Dhabi Tests against Australia and New
Chief selector Moin Khan said Shehzad
is a forced change.
“The change has been forced on us
owing to a head injury to Shehzad.
Team Pakistan is keen and confident
of maintaining its winning sequence in
the remaining two Tests as well”, said
chief selector and manager Khan.
Shehzad hit a career-best 176 in the
first Test but suffered a fracture on
skull after being hit by a bouncer from
New Zealand seamer Corey Anderson
on Monday.
One from Shan Masood or Taufiq Umar
is likely to replace Shehzad.
The third Test will be played in Sharjah
from November 26.
Squad: Misbah-ul Haq (captain),
Mohammad Hafeez, Taufiq Umar, Shan
Masood, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Ehsan
Adil, Harris Sohail, Imran Khan, Mohammad Talha, Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed,
Yasir Shah, Younis Khan, Zulfiqar Babar.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Clarke injured as
Aussies win first
ODI against Proteas
Teenage spinner
gives Bangladesh the
edge in third Test
Nathan Coulter-Nile claims 4 for 48 to be adjudged Man of the Match
Perth, Australia
ustralian captain Michael Clarke
suffered a worrying recurrence
of a hamstring injury as his side
beat South Africa in the opening
one-day international at Perth’s WACA
Ground yesterday.
After being sent in to bat in the opening encounter of the п¬Ѓve-match series,
the home team posted 300 for eight from
their 50 overs.
In reply, South Africa threatened a
record run chase at the venue when their
skipper, AB de Villiers (80) and David
Miller (65) put on 126 for the п¬Ѓfth wicket,
but ultimately fell 32 runs short and were
dismissed for 268.
Despite the efforts of de Villiers and
Miller, the South Africans were always
behind on the back foot after losing
early wickets, with paceman Mitchell Johnson (2-38) celebrating his announcement as the ICC Cricketer of the
Year by claiming both Proteas openers,
Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, in
quick succession.
Recalled wicketkeeper Matthew Wade
claimed п¬Ѓve catches in the South African
innings, while man-of-the-match Nathan Coulter-Nile claimed 4-48.
The 33-year-old Clarke reinjured his
troublesome left hamstring as he made
just 11 from 20 balls in the Australian innings and was immediately ruled out of
taking any further part in the match.
“Michael has reinjured his left
hamstring and is currently being
assessed,” team doctor Peter
Brukner said in a statement
released by Cricket Australia. “He
will have a scan tomorrow and take
no further part in the match”
Clarke has battled a degenerative back
condition in recent years and hamstring
troubles have plagued him, including
missing matches on Australia’s past two
overseas tours, to Zimbabwe and the
United Arab Emirates.
“Michael has reinjured his left hamstring and is currently being assessed,”
team doctor Peter Brukner said in a statement released by Cricket Australia.
“He will have a scan tomorrow and take
no further part in the match.”
The injury casts a significant cloud
over his immediate playing future.
He is unlikely to play in the remainder
of the one-day series, and the п¬Ѓrst Test
against India is just three weeks away.
The World Cup, which is being cohosted by Australia, starts in February.
The home side made the most of some
good fortune with the bat, the Proteas dropping several catches, including grassing four chances to remove top
scorer George Bailey, who made 70 from
75 balls as Australia rode their luck to recover from 144-5.
The Australian vice-captain should
never have reached double п¬Ѓgures.
Hit on the back by the п¬Ѓrst ball he faced
from Dale Steyn, Bailey was dropped
twice in successive deliveries he faced
when he was on just two, as South Africa
struck back with a vengeance following
H. Amla c Wade b Johnson
Q. de Kock c Wade b Johnson
F. du Plessis c Marsh b Watson
H. Behardien c Finch b Coulter-Nile 20
A.B. de Villiers run out
D. Miller c Marsh b Coulter-Nile
R. McLaren c Wade b Coulter-Nile 0
V. Philander c Wade b Hazlewood 1
D. Steyn c Wade b Coulter-Nile
M. Morkel not out
I. Tahir c Warner b Maxwell
(b1, lb1, 9w) 11
(all out; 48.1 overs) 268
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (de Kock),
2-18 (Amla), 3-53 (Behardien), 4-76
(du Plessis), 5-202 (Miller), 6-202
(McLaren), 7-207 (Philander), 8-215
(de Villiers), 9-222 (Steyn), 10-268
Bowling: M. Johnson 10-1-38-2 (5w),
J. Hazlewood 10-0-50-1 (2w), N.
Coulter-Nile 10-0-48-4, M. Marsh 7-050-0 (1w), S. Watson 6-0-48-1 (1w), G.
Maxwell 5.1-0-32-1.
Chittagong, Bangladesh
oung leg-spinner Jubair Hossain (pictured) grabbed a п¬Ѓvewicket haul in only his
third Test to hand Bangladesh
the advantage in the third and
п¬Ѓnal Test against Zimbabwe in
Chittagong yesterday.
The 19-year-old п¬Ѓnished with
5-96 as Bangladesh, hoping to
sweep the series 3-0, dismissed
Zimbabwe for 374 runs on the
third day to gain a 129-run lead.
The hosts extended the overall
lead to 152 runs after reaching 23-0
in their second knock by stumps.
D. Warner c McLaren b Philander 46
A. Finch c de Kock b Philander
S. Watson c Morkel b Tahir
M. Clarke c de Kock b Steyn
G. Bailey c du Plessis b Steyn
M. Marsh b Philander
M. Wade c Rossouw (s) b Philander 35
G. Maxwell c du Plessis b Morkel 29
M. Johnson not out
N. Coulter-Nile not out
(b1, lb14, w13, nb1) 29
(eight wickets; 50 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-94 (Warner), 2-94
(Finch), 3-112 (Clarke), 4-130 (Watson),
5-144 (Marsh), 6-236 (Bailey), 7-256
(Wade), 8-276 (Maxwell).
Bowling: D. Steyn 10-0-62-2 (2w),
V. Philander 10-0-45-4 (1nb, 3w), M.
Morkel 10-1-56-1 (2w), R McLaren
9-0-63-0 (6w), I. Tahir 10-0-54-1, F.
Behardien 1-0-5-0
Sikandar Raza (82), Hamilton
Masakadza (81) and Regis Chakabva (65) settled in for Zimbabwe,
but all three failed to convert the
starts into centuries.
When the tourists resumed
at 113-1 in reply to Bangladesh’s
503, the overnight pair of Raza
and Masakadza put on 160 runs,
Zimbabwe’s highest partnership
for the second wicket. It surpassed the 135 by Mark Dekker
and Alastair Campbell against
Pakistan in 1993.
Seamer Shafiul Islam trapped
Masakadza leg-before and, three
overs later, Jubair put Zimbabwe
on the back foot with the wickets
of skipper Brendan Taylor and
Raza in the space of three balls.
Zimbabwe, who went to lunch
at 200-4, lost Craig Ervine’s
(14) soon after resumption, but
Chigumbura and Chakabva added 113 runs for the sixth wicket to
help their team avoid the followon.
Jubair dismissed Chigumbura
through a catch by Mohamed
Mahmudullah in the slips and
completed his п¬Ѓve-wicket haul
with the wicket of last man Natsai M’shangwe.
Bangladesh won the п¬Ѓrst two
Tests in Dhaka and Khulna. The
series between the two lowestranked teams will be followed by
п¬Ѓve one-day internationals.
BRIEF SCORES: Bangladesh 503
and 23 for 0 (Tamim 8 batting,
Kayes 11 batting) lead Zimbabwe
374 (Chigumbura 88, Raza 82,
Masakadza 81, Chakabva 65) by
152 runs
Australia’s Johnson
wins best cricketer
of the year award
Abu Dhabi
iery Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson
was named cricketer of
the year by the International Cricket Council yesterday,
matching his countryman Ricky
Ponting’s feat of winning the
award twice.
Johnson, 33, spearheaded Australia’s attack during a 5-0 Ashes
sweep of England last year and
then helped his team beat South
Africa 2-1, picking up 59 Test
wickets between August 2013 to
September 2014.
This is the second time the
left-arm paceman has picked up
the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy,
named after the former West
Indian great, after winning the
award in 2009.
His former captain Ponting
also won the coveted prize twice
in a row, in 2006 and 2007.
“Some of the greats of the
game have been nominated and
won this award and it’s a very
special honour,” Johnson said.
“For me it’s nice to be able to
contribute to the team and do the
job that I have always thought
an opening stand of 94 by David Warner
(46) and Aaron Finch (35).
David Miller dropped a sitter at point
from the bowling of Morne Morkel, and
then in the next over spinner Imran Tahir grassed a simple caught and bowled
Bailey had two more lives on 38 and
47, the latter one also resulting in South
African п¬Ѓelder Farhaan Behardien being
forced from the п¬Ѓeld with a minor shoulder injury sustained in a diving attempt to
complete the catch.
Bailey’s luck came to an end when he
skied a drive from the bowling of Steyn
and was brilliantly caught by a back-pedalling Faf du Plessis at mid-off.
Seamer Vernon Philander led the way
for the Proteas, claiming both the openers on his way to п¬Ѓgures of 4-45 from his
10 overs.
Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile bowls during
the first one-day international against South
Africa in Perth yesterday. (AFP)
I have been able to do,” he was
quoted as saying in an ICC statement.
“This is something that I’ll be
able to look back on in time when
my career is over and be exceptionally proud of.”
Johnson beat the Sri Lankan
duo of Kumar Sangakkara and
Angelo Mathews and South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who were also
nominated last week.
De Villiers won the ICC oneday international cricketer of the
year while England’s Gary Balance was named the ICC emerging cricketer of the year.
Australian opener Aaron
Finch’s 156 runs off 63 balls
against England in 2013 won him
the ICC Twenty20 performance
of the year award, while Scotland’s Preston Mommsen was
named the ICC Associate and Affiliate cricketer of the year.
England’s wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor also scooped the
ICC women’s one-day cricketer
of the year award.
England’s Richard Kettleborough of the Elite Panel of ICC
Umpires won the David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of
the year for the second consecutive year.
England have put Pietersen row behind them, says Cook
ngland captain Alastair Cook insisted
yesterday the controversy over Kevin
Pietersen’s (pictured) autobiography
was well and truly in the past for his
side ahead of their one-day international series in Sri Lanka. England fly out tomorrow for
a seven-match series designed as part of their
preparations for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
They do so with the furore over star batsman Pietersen’s book having just about died down since it
was launched in a blaze of publicity last month.
South Africa-born Pietersen, ditched by England earlier this year following the 5-0 Ashes
series loss in Australia, blasted former coach
Andy Flower and several current players, saying a “bullying culture” had been created in the
dressing room.
But Cook, speaking to reporters at Lord’s yesterday, was adamant England’s one-day squad
had not been disturbed by all the sound and fury
happening around them.
“We’ve had a couple of weeks together and we
haven’t felt the need to talk about it at all,” Cook
said. “It’s all happened now, it’s all out now from
his (Pietersen’s) side and as players we’ve left it,
there’s nothing more that can really come out.
“We just want to build and move forward as a
side and as a captain, that’s a good place to be.”
England have lost п¬Ѓve of their last six one-day
international series and last week retired India
great Sachin Tendulkar wrote off their chances
of winning the World Cup—something England
have not done in nearly 40 years’ of trying.
Indeed England, on home soil, were comfortably beaten by reigning World Cup champions
India during their last ODI series, with former
skipper Michael Vaughan and retired off-spinner Graeme Swann, who played alongside Cook,
both calling for the Essex left-hander to step
down as one-day captain of the national side.
But having seen pundits bay for his resignation
as Test captain before leading England to a series
win over India last season, Cook said: “Didn’t
Michael Vaughan want me out as Test captain
as well?
“That was about a week before and he actually had to admit he was wrong then as well... It
would be great if people changed their tunes in
five months’ time.
“Do I have the tactical nous? Without a
doubt. I think the only time England have been
number one in the world in one-day cricket was
when I was captain.”
Cook has struggled for runs in white-ball
cricket during the past year, with many believing his essentially orthodox approach at the
crease is symptomatic of England’s outdated
one-day tactics.
However, Cook said: “We haven’t won over
the last couple of series so we do have to improve
but it’s not about a radical change of method.
“You talk about strategy but for me it’s about
individuals playing as well as we can.
“If we can peak at the right time for the World
Cup, we’ve got a really good chance and I don’t
think anyone will want to play us.”
Following the Sri Lanka tour, England will
travel to Sydney for a triangular one-day series
with Australia and India.
That will give England at least 11 ODIs — 12 if
they reach the tri-series final—before the World
Cup gets underway on February 14.
England have often been accused of not taking ODI cricket seriously but Cook believes the
upcoming schedule is proof they are serious
when it comes to their World Cup aspirations.
“This has gone back a few years of planning as
to why our World Cups haven’t gone as well as
they should have done,” Cook said.
“I for one am very excited about playing oneday cricket without Test cricket in the foreground.”
He added: “That pressure on an England side
is always there. People demand success because
they want England to win and there’s no point in
hiding away from that.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Gasol shines as
Bulls beat Raptors
�Pau has been unbelievable in terms of everything’
Calm Tannehill
guides Miami to
win over Bills
he Miami Dolphins took
hold of second place in
the AFC East after beating divisional rivals the
Buffalo Bills 22-9 on Thursday.
Miami moved to a 6-4 record
with the win, keeping themselves in playoff contention,
while the Bills fell to 5-5. The
New England Patriots lead the
division on 7-2.
The Bills had won the last
three meetings between the
two teams but never got going
against a solid Miami defense
and had to settle for three п¬Ѓeld
goals. Miami’s offense spluttered at times too but quarterback Ryan Tannehill, sacked
п¬Ѓve times, kept his composure
and threw for 240 yards and two
touchdowns with no interceptions on 26-of-34 passing.
The Bills led 9-3 in the third
quarter before Miami scored 19
unanswered points as they took
a stranglehold on the game.
Tannehill found Brandon Gib-
son in the end zone with a seven
yard pass after a strong 80-yard
drive before Bills quarterback
Kyle Orton gave up a safety on
an intentional grounding call.
Miami extended their lead in
the fourth quarter when Tannehill found Jarvis Landry with
an eight yard pass and a 32 yard
Caleb Sturgis п¬Ѓeld goal wrapped
up the win.
“I thought it was a good team
win,” said Dolphins head coach
Joe Philbin.
“I thought our defense played
well. We didn’t allow any touchdowns and we played well in the
red zone.”
The Bills failed to make the
most of two turnovers from
fumbles leaving their head
coach Doug Marrone frustrated.
“To only get three points off
two turnovers, you can’t do that.
You have to take advantage of
those situations,” he said.
“But this was a team loss. We
have to stick together. We have
put ourselves in a difficult situation (in the division) and we are
just going to have to п¬Ѓght our
way out of it game by game.”
Golden State Warriors guard Leandro Barbosa of Brazil (3-L) goes to the basket as Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack (C) defends during the second half of their NBA game at
Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday.
Los Angeles
he surging Chicago Bulls survived the Toronto Raptors and
another injury scare from their
All-Star guard Derrick Rose.
Spaniard Pau Gasol had 27 points with
11 rebounds and the visiting Bulls handed
the Toronto Raptors their п¬Ѓrst home loss
of the season, 100-93 on Thursday.
“Pau has been unbelievable in terms of
everything,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau
said. “He has brought a winning attitude
to our team.”
At 7-2, the Bulls matched the Raptors
for the best mark in the Eastern Conference. But the main concern was the status of their former league MVP Rose.
The oft-injured electric guard netted
20 points but provided late drama. With
two minutes remaining, Rose slipped on a
drive to the basket and his left knee appeared to buckle. He walked to the bench,
did not get any treatment nor did he return to the game.
Afterward, the Bulls took a collective
sigh of relief.
“I feel like its cramps in my hamstring
but I feel good,” Rose said. “It shouldn’t
be serious. I’m going to ice it down and
see if I can practice tomorrow.”
Jimmy Butler netted 21 points while
Mike Dunleavy dropped in 14 for the
Bulls, who opened 5-0 on the road for the
п¬Ѓrst time since the 1996-97 season.
Trailing by seven at halftime, the Bulls
outscored their hosts 35-14 in the third
quarter by limiting them to 6-of-21 п¬Ѓeld
goal shooting, to take an 80-66 cushion
entering the п¬Ѓnal frame.
The gap grew to 18 with 4 minutes
15 seconds remaining but the Raptors fought back. After Rose went down
and threw the ball away, Terrence Ross
splashed down a 3-pointer, Amir Johnson (14 points) followed with a fast-break
slam and Toronto was within 93-88 with
1:44 to go.
But Butler quieted the sold-out Air
Canada Centre crowd with a 20-foot
jumper and Dunleavy added two free
throws with 58.9 seconds left to seal the
“We had a great third quarter,” Thibodeau said. “In the fourth, we did a lot to
hang on. We still have a lot of work to do,
a lot of things still to clean up.”
Kyle Lowry collected 20 points, eight
rebounds and as many assists, while
James Johnson scored 16 off the bench for
Toronto, held well-below its league-best
107 points per game.
“We didn’t shoot well, we just didn’t
play our game,” said Lowry. “We didn’t
play up to it physically and defensively.
We have to do that for a full 48 minutes.”
Memphis Grizzlies 111, Sacramen-
to Kings 110: Courtney Lee converted a
wide-open layup off an inbound lob pass
from Vince Carter with three-tenths
of second remaining, and the Grizzlies
stormed from 26 down to stun the Kings,
for their biggest come-from-behind win
in franchise history.
Mike Conley had 22 points with 11
assists, Spaniard Marc Gasol netted 20
and Lee п¬Ѓnished with 16 for league-best
Memphis (8-1) winners of 18 in a row at
home since February.
Rudy Gay scored 25 points, while DeMarcus Cousins had 22 with 12 rebounds
for Sacramento (5-4) which coughed up a
24-point lead at Dallas on Tuesday.
Dallas Mavericks 123, Philadelphia 76ers 70: German juggernaut Dirk
Nowitzki scored 21 points, and the Mavericks built a 73-29 halftime cushion en
route to punishing the winless Sixers
(0-8)for their most-lopsided victory in
franchise history.
Reigning rookie of the year Michael
Carter-Williams netted 19 points in his
season-debut following shoulder surgery
in May for the Sixers, who shot an icy 29
per cent from the п¬Ѓeld and committed 27
turnovers in the beat-down.
Golden State Warriors 107, Brooklyn Nets 99: Klay Thompson scored 25
points, Draymond Green and Stephen
Curry added 17 apiece, and the Warriors
clipped the visiting Nets to stop a twogame slide.
Jarrett Jack tossed in 23 points against
his former team, while Brook Lopez and
Deron Williams added 18 apiece in Brooklyn’s (4-4) second loss in as many nights.
Silver calls for move
to allow sport bets
New York: NBA commissioner Adam
Silver called for changes to US laws
that ban gambling on sports events
in most states, saying American attitudes have changed regarding such
Silver, who replaced David Stern
as the NBA’s boss last February,
expressed his opinions in an editorial
posted Thursday on the New York
Times website even as a federal judge
is set to rule next week on neighboring New Jersey’s push for Las Vegasstyle gambling on sports at struggling
casinos and racing tracks.
Under a 1992 law, state-backed US
sports betting on single games is allowed only in Nevada.
To help make his case, Silver cited
the gambling done on NBA games
beyond US borders as global interest
in the league has grown over the past
two decades.
Wladimir Klitschko inches towards Joe Louis’ record
ladimir Klitschko chases
the 17th defence of his world
heavyweight crowns against
unbeaten Kubrat Pulev today
with the legendary Joe Louis’ record of 25
defences in the division getting closer.
The 38-year-old Klitschko has held at
least the IBF and IBO heavyweight titles
since 2006, adding the WBO title in 2008
by beating Sultan Ibragimov, before a
unanimous decision against Britain’s David Haye in 2011 gave him the WBA crown.
It says as much for Klitschko’s longevity as the lack of genuine contenders that
the giant Ukrainian has had few peers in
the division.
Klitschko takes on Pulev in his home
town Hamburg’s O2 World, near the Imtech Arena where he beat Haye more than
three years ago.
The Bulgarian has earned his п¬Ѓrst world
title fight by becoming the IBF’s mandatory challenger.
The 33-year-old has 11 knock-outs in
20 victories on his unblemished record,
but sparked animosity when he boycotted Monday’s pre-fight press conference
having been left fuming after members of
his promotional team were denied access.
“Because Klitschko is not behaving
correctly, he doesn’t get my respect,” said
Pulev. “He isn’t afraid and he will be tested (during the bout).”
The Ukrainian champion pulled out of
the original п¬Ѓght in September due to a
bicep injury and was unimpressed by the
challenger’s pre-fight behaviour.
“I cannot believe it. He is ill-advised
and it looks like brainwashing,” said a bemused Klitschko, who has an impressive
record of 52 knock-outs in 62 wins with
the last of his three defeats now over a
decade ago.
“Somebody from his entourage is pulling his strings.”
Pulev enjoyed knockout wins over
Alexander Ustinov and Alexander Dimitrenko in 2012 and his unanimous win
over Tony Thompson in August 2013
earned him the right to п¬Ѓght Klitschko.
He kept busy last year by forcing both
Joey Abell of the USA and Croatia’s Ivica
Perkovic into retiring in the early rounds
of their bouts.
“I am going to be dangerous, pressing
the action early on Saturday. Wladimir
will have to move a lot inside the ring,”
said Pulev.
“This is going to be the most important
fight of my career to date.”
But Klitschko has seen it all before.
The champion brushed off the latest
extreme efforts by USA boxer Shannon
Briggs on Wednesday to earn a shot at the
Ukrainian’s belts.
Briggs, 42, gate-crashed Klitschko’s
opening training session in Hamburg before being ejected from the building by
security guards.
“The people don’t want Klitschko
anymore. I’m the real champ. The world
wants to see the Klitschko-Briggs fight,”
bellowed the American.
He also disrupted the press conference
before Klitschko’s last fight against Australia’s Alex Leapai in April, then a scuffle
broke out when Briggs approached Klitschko while he was eating in an Italian
restaurant in Miami.
He even taunted Klitschko, the WBO,
IBF, IBO and WBA champion, from
a speedboat while the Ukrainian was
stand-up paddle surfing in Florida.
“I really couldn’t care less what he does,”
said Klitschko, 38, after Briggs’ latest stunt.
“I will just concentrate on the fight.”
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (R) runs for a first down
against Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (L) during their NFL
game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Thursday.
Avalanche edge
Rangers in shootout
New York
enter Nathan MacKinnon and left winger Alex
Tanguay scored during
a shootout to propel the
Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers at
Madison Square Garden.
MacKinnon tied the score at
3-3 midway through the third
period on a power-play, his п¬Ѓfth
goal the season, to help the send
the game into overtime.
Tanguay and center Matt
Duchene also scored for the Avalanche in regulation. Colorado
goaltender Semyon Varlamov
made 30 saves.
Right winger Kevin Hayes,
center Derek Stepan and defenseman Dan Girardi scored for the
Rangers, who received 25 saves
from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Right winger Blake Wheeler scored two goals as Winnipeg
bounced back from a miserable
outing last time out by defeating
Carolina at PNC Arena.
Michel Frolik added an emptynet goal with 1:30 remaining as
the Jets returned to winning ways
following their 3-0 defeat against
Montreal on Tuesday.
Center Elias Lindholm scored
on a second-period power-play
for Carolina, which had a sixgame points streak snapped.
San Jose Sharks edged
Tampa Bay thanks in large part to
goaltender Antti Niemi’s 32 saves
at Amalie Arena.
Center Joe Thornton and winger Tyler Kennedy scored second-
Erik Johnson (6) of the Colorado
Avalanche puts Chris Kreider of
the New York Rangers into the
glass at Madison Square Garden
in New York City on Thursday.
period goals that proved enough
for San Jose.
Tampa Bay pulled goalie Ben
Bishop, who made 37 saves in
the game, in the п¬Ѓnal minute but
could not get the tying goal after
center Steven Stamkos scored in
the third period to bring his team
within striking distance.
Left winger Max Pacioretty scored twice to lead Montreal
to an easy win over Boston at the
Bell Centre. Goaltender Carey
Price made 21 saves for Montreal,
while Boston goalie Niklas Svedberg stopped 29 shots.
Right wingers Dale Weise and
Jiri Sekac and center Lars Eller
also scored for Montreal while
defenseman Dougie Hamilton
scored for Boston.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Djokovic seals
year-end top spot,
makes semi-finals
�It’s an incredible achievement and I want to thank my team and my family...’
Woods or Mickelson
as Ryder Cup playercaptain, says Daly
Belek, Turkey
ohn Daly has rubbished
the formation of a task
force to examine ways of
improving the dire recent
run of the US Ryder Cup team,
urging his country to appoint Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson as
Daly, winner of the 1995 British Open and 1991 US PGA
Championship, has never played
in the biennial team event but
said it was “not rocket science”
to work out why Europe had won
eight of the last 10 editions.
“I don’t know where they
are going with a task force,” the
48-year-old told reporters after
posting a three-under-par 69 in
the opening round of the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open on
“They should just go ahead
and pick a captain. My view is
that Phil Mickelson should be
the next captain and play at Hazeltine.
“He knows everything about
the Ryder Cup so maybe it should
be him or Tiger who should be
the next captain. We’ve had
Tiger Woods of the USA.
playing captains over the years
so why not in 2016?”.
The PGA of America announced the formation of the
task force, which includes
Mickelson and Woods, after
Tom Watson’s side lost to Paul
McGinley’s Europe by 16-1/2
points to 11-1/2 in Scotland in
The job of the 11-man group is
to examine “the entire Ryder Cup
process” including the selection of the captain and the points
qualifying system.
“If they picked Phil he would
have full team respect,” said Daly.
“It’s not rocket science why the
European team has been winning, it doesn’t need a task force
to work it out.”
India’s Randhawa
takes lead at
Chiangmai Classic
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his Group A singles match against Tomas Berdych to qualify for the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
ovak Djokovic was at his imperious best as he sealed the yearend world number one spot and
advanced to the semi-п¬Ѓnals
of the ATP Tour Finals with a 6-2, 6-2
thrashing of Tomas Berdych yesterday.
Djokovic п¬Ѓnishes on top of the rankings for the third time in four seasons
and is only the seventh player to hold п¬Ѓrst
place at the end of the calender year on at
least three occasions.
The Serb’s third successive victory at the prestigious season-ending
event at London’s O2 Arena ensured he
won Group A and will face Japan’s Kei
Nishikori in today’s semi-finals.
“It’s been a long year, a long season,
it’s an incredible achievement and I want
to thank my team and my family and all
the people who supported me,” Djokovic
“I’m aware that being number one in
the world is the biggest challenge a tennis
player can have. It’s an incredible feeling
and I’m very happy.
“This was definitely one of the best
performances. I hoped I could continue
the way I played in the first two matches.”
The number one ranking is a п¬Ѓtting
reward for the Serb’s remarkable consistency during a year in which he won
Wimbledon, reached the French Open
п¬Ѓnal and claimed п¬Ѓve other titles.
With top spot wrapped up, Djokovic
can focus on becoming the п¬Ѓrst player to
win the Tour Finals three years in a row
since Ivan Lendl in the 1980s.
Few would bet against him after he lost
a combined nine games during his three
majestic group victories.
It is the 11th consecutive year that one
of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael
Nadal has п¬Ѓnished on top of the rankings.
And, after Federer’s brilliant demolition of Andy Murray for the loss of only
one game on Thursday, it was Djokovic’s
“It’s been a long year, a long season.
I’m aware that being number
one in the world is the biggest
challenge a player can have. It’s
an incredible feeling and I’m very
happy,” said Djokovic
turn to showcase the current gap that exists between the big three and the rest of
their rivals.
The 27-year-old had looked untouchable in his routs of Marin Cilic and Stan
Wawrinka and he continued to dominate
against Berdych, who had lost 16 of his 18
meetings with the Serb.
Berdych’s power serve is his main
weapon but the slow pace of the court at
the O2 Arena has neutralised many of the
big hitters this week and it was no different this time as Djokovic broke without
dropping a point in the opening game.
Djokovic’s remarkably agile movement
when forced to defend meant there was
no chance of Berdych out-hitting him
from the baseline and the Czech was soon
left shaking his head in frustration as he
was broken again.
Although the world number seven п¬Ѓnally got on the scoreboard after losing
the п¬Ѓrst four games, it was too late to stop
Djokovic clinching the set and with it his
place in the last four.
As a former Wimbledon п¬Ѓnalist, Berdych is hardly a no-hoper, but he was unable to stem the tide and Djokovic broke
again in the opening game of the second
Another break in the third game effectively ended the contest and it wasn’t
long before Djokovic was celebrating his
30th successive win in indoor matches
with a triumphant group hug with coach
Boris Becker and his backroom staff.
Berdych is likely to be eliminated after losing two of his three group matches, but the Czech will have to wait until
Wawrinka’s meeting with Cilic later on
Friday to confirm his fate.
charged ahead in the second round of the Chiangmai
Golf Classic yesterday with
a seven-under-par 65, claiming
a one-shot lead.
The eight-time Asian Tour
winner birdied the last two holes
for an 11-under-par 133 total,
one shot ahead of Thailand’s
Thanyakon Khrongpha in the
$750,000 Asian Tour event.
Randhawa, whose last Asian
Tour victory was the 2009 Thailand Open, said it was the best he
had played “in a long, long time”.
“I fired on all cylinders today. My driving, second shots
and putting were good,” said the
42-year-old in a statement released by organisers.
The 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner, of
the United States, finished on
138, behind the leader by five
“I struggled with my putter
a little bit because of a combination of bad speed. When you
can’t judge the speed, you kind
of second guess on the greens,”
he said.
The major winner is making
his Thai debut and playing for a
fourth straight week after recovering from a neck injury.
McIlroy & Co. must
play in Europe more,
says Montgomerie
Hard winter ahead for Murray
Rory McIlroy of Ireland.
a lot of work on the tennis court, a
lot of work on my game, if I want
to start the season with an opportunity to win in Australia.”
ndy Murray conceded
his humiliating exit
from the ATP Tour
Finals was a suitably
downbeat way to end one of the
most difficult years of his career.
Murray’s hopes of salvaging
a frustrating campaign by winning the prestigious seasonending event for the п¬Ѓrst time
were shattered as Roger Federer
thrashed the Scot 6-0, 6-1 to
hand him the joint worst defeat
of his career.
The 27-year-old’s second
defeat from his three group
matches was more than enough
to condemn him to a premature
exit from London’s O2 Arena
and bring the curtain down on
an 11-month tale of woe.
Only once before, against Novak Djokovic in Miami in 2007,
had Murray taken such a beating, and on that occasion he had
the excuse of being less than 100
percent п¬Ѓt.
Andy Murray reacts during his 6-0 6-1 loss to Roger Federer.
To his credit, Murray refused
to play the blame game after being blown away in 56 minutes by
“It’s very disappointing. I
would have hoped to have done
a lot better but when he’s extremely loose like he was tonight
he was able to try some shots he
might not in other situations.
Everything he tried came off. He
has the ability to do that,” Murray said.
“After tonight it’s quite clear
I’m quite a long way from that
level. I won’t be able to tell you if
it’s affected my confidence until
I start the new year. But it’s not a
nice way to п¬Ѓnish the year.
“I know I’m going to have to put
An emotional season had clearly
taken its toll on Murray.
He had battled a longer than
expected recovery from last
year’s back surgery, suffered a
surprise split with coach Ivan
Lendl, then controversially
hired former women’s number
one Amelie Mauresmo, lost his
Wimbledon title in tame fashion
and briefly fell out of the top 10
for the п¬Ѓrst time in six years.
Even after winning three lowkey tournaments in the last six
weeks in a successful bid to
qualify for the Tour Finals, he
still п¬Ѓnished the year without a
win against Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
He knows that record will
have to improve dramatically if
2015 is to be more fulfilling.
“The first three or four months
were hard. Going through surgery isn’t easy. Maybe I didn’t
appreciate that so much at the
time. I found it quite frustrating at the beginning of the year,”
Murray said.
“Obviously in the middle of
that period I switched coaches
and stopped working with Ivan.
It was a difficult time.
“Then after that I had a couple of tough losses at the French
Open and Wimbledon when I
didn’t play well. Tonight is another example of that.
“Mixed in with those matches
was some good tennis. The last
six weeks were good but yeah it’s
been a hard year.”
The pain of being embarrassed
by Federer on home ground will
linger throughout the off-season
and Murray, who failed to reach a
Grand Slam п¬Ѓnal this year, made
it clear he is determined to use
that angst to fuel his bid to return to peak form.
“I’m not going to try and forget about it. When I think about
what happened I’ll try and use
it positively, as motivation for
the off-season, to make some
changes to things,” he said.
Belek, Turkey
ne of the п¬Ѓrst tasks for
George O’Grady’s successor as European
Tour chief must be to
п¬Ѓnd a way to entice Rory McIlroy
and the rest of the elite to play on
their home circuit more, according to Colin Montgomerie.
The 65-year-old O’Grady announced this month that he was
retiring after a decade in charge
of the tour and Montgomerie
believes it is vitally important
for his replacement to stop the
relentless drain of talent to the
United States.
World number one McIlroy is
among several leading European
players who are based in America
and only travel back across the
Atlantic for the best tournaments.
“I think the new CEO has to
be very careful about the stars of
our tour playing full-time somewhere else,” eight-times Euro-
pean number one Montgomerie
told reporters at the $7 million
Turkish Airlines Open.
“We’ve got to be quite careful here. The first thing a sponsor asks is, �Who’s playing?’. And
too many times nine or 10 of our
Ryder Cup team are playing fulltime in America and we have to
address that.
“We have to have more of our
stars playing more in Europe
more of the time. That’s a big,
big п¬Ѓrst job of the CEO to try and
address that situation.”
Montgomerie also feels the
new chief executive may have to
make adjustments to the fourtournament Final Series, Europe’s equivalent to the FedExCup competition in the US.
With British Open and US
PGA Championship title holder
McIlroy set to be confirmed as
the Race to Dubai money-list
winner tomorrow, it will turn
next week’s season-ending DP
World Tour Championship in the
United Arab Emirates into something of a damp squib.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Skipper Hooper
expects tough
fight from France
�We’re excited to come here, we had the pleasure of playing them in our
own backyard and now we’ve got to come over and do it here playing in
this magnificent stadium and magnificent place in Paris’
Australia player Israel Folau (C) and teammates attend a training session at Stade Jean Moulin in Suresnes, Western Paris, yesterday.
ustralia captain Michael Hooper expects France to be п¬Ѓred up
for today’s one-off Test match
in Paris, he said yesterday.
France lost all three Test matches
against the Wallabies on their June tour,
twice being humbled by thrashings, including conceding seven tries in a 50-23
rout in Brisbane in which they only garnered a measure of respectability after
Les Bleus scored two late tries.
They also lost 39-13 in Sydney while
their 6-0 defeat in Melbourne in a dire
match that saw 53 scoreless minutes before a couple of Wallaby penalties, was
another embarrassment.
But Hooper believes they will be a different proposition on home turf at the
Stade de France.
“We know that the French will be
a completely different outfit from the
June series,” said the captain and openside flanker for Super XV champions the
“We’re excited to come here, we had
the pleasure of playing them in our own
backyard and now we’ve got to come over
and do it here playing in this magnificent
stadium and magnificent place in Paris.
“We’re looking forward to it being a
really tough battle because, to be honest,
that’s what the team needs.”
He also expects Philippe Saint-Andre’s
side to continue to play the free-flowing,
running rugby they produced in last
weekend’s 40-15 victory over Fiji in Marseille. “We expect them to be open, the
French show you many different things,”
added the 23-year-old.
“You’ve got to be prepared for that,
you’ve got to adapt on the field and
something the French do is they do play a
great expansive game. They’re great with
their offloads, they’ve got big ball carriers
and are solid in defence, and we’ve got to
try to minimise that.
“It’s going to be tough to do because
here in their backyard when the fans get
cheering, they really get their tails up.”
As for his own team, Hooper said they
would not be quite as gung-ho as in their
last two matches — a 40-36 win over the
Barbarians at Twickenham and a 33-28
success against Wales in Cardiff — they
scored nine tries and conceded as many
over the two games.
“It’s not the best way to do it, it makes
it very stressful in a game. Probably our
focus on from last week (against Wales)
is you want to be able to score points
and then exit well and put the pressure
straight back on them.
“That’s something we didn’t do well
last week and it ended up coming back
down to the wire. For us it will be about
getting points and taking pressure
straight off our back when receiving the
One of the players who impressed for
France against Fiji was South Africanborn full-back Scott Spedding, who created two tries on his debut.But Hooper
admitted that is a name which is new to
his team.
“Obviously we’ve seen what he did
against Fiji so it’s in the front of our
minds how he can play,” said Hooper.
“It’s tough to face guys who are in really good form, so for us its something
we’ve got to keep an eye out on.”
But it is the French old guard that most
concerns the Wallaby captain.
“Across their backline (Wesley) Fofana,
(Yoann) Huget, they’re all really solid,
devastating players when they’re on and
they’ve got a really big forward pack.
“Our forward pack’s going to be tested
over the course of this trip and it’s something we’ve got to be ready for tomorrow (Saturday) night because it starts
here and we know we’ve got a big battle
Lancaster in
search of
Springbok bounce
ngland coach Stuart
Lancaster needs a victory over South Africa
like never before when
the teams meet at Twickenham
today less than a year out from
the World Cup. It’s not just that
Lancaster’s England have yet to
beat the Springboks in four attempts—no England side has
done so in 11 matches dating back
to 2006 — but rather their poor
combined record against the
southern hemisphere �big three’
of South Africa, New Zealand and
Australia that is the concern.
Last week’s 24-21 defeat by the
world champion All Blacks meant
that in 12 matches against the
southern hemisphere giants since
Lancaster took charge in 2012,
England have won just two.
If England, the 2015 World Cup
hosts, are to make a serious challenge to win the Webb Ellis Trophy
the chances are they will have to
beat at least two of the �big three’
on successive weekends. Doubts
still remains about England’s best
combinations, the quality of their
kicking game and captain Chris
skills under pressure as exemplified when the flanker opted for a
series of lengthy scrums towards
the end of the All Blacks match—
the hosts got their penalty try
but left themselves no time for a
clinching score.
Lancaster has kept faith with
the team that played last weekend, making one enforced change
in handing a п¬Ѓrst Test start to
wing Anthony Watson in place
of injured Bath teammate Semesa
“I know the players are looking forward to the challenge,” said
Lancaster. “South Africa have
quality and experience across the
park and it will be a big test for us.
“It’s a long selection process.
We have got 11 games (before the
World Cup). These games are
about п¬Ѓnding out who can and
can’t deliver and we’ll see how
this week goes,” added Lancaster,
whose side complete their November programme at home to
Samoa and Australia.
But while South Africa recently
Wales ready for
Fiji with one eye
on All Blacks
Cardiff: A re-jigged Wales
will seek to bounce back
from another nail-biting
defeat by Australia against
Fiji today, with one eye
on matches against New
Zealand and South Africa to
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin
Jenkins will captain a Welsh
side showing eight changes
to the team beaten 33-28 by
the Wallabies last weekend
in another dress rehearsal
of pool action at next year’s
World Cup. Jenkins takes
over from Paul James in the
front row, while Scott Baldwin of Ospreys will make his
first Wales start at hooker.
Flanker Sam Warburton,
the regular captain, is being
rested by coach Warren
Gatland ahead of the
November 22 and 29 games
against the All Blacks and
Springboks respectively.
But there are recalls in the
backs for fit-again centre
Scott Williams, scrum-half
Mike Phillips and fly-half
Rhys Priestland, who was
jeered by parts of the home
crowd when he came on as
a replacement in the loss to
ended New Zealand’s near twoyear unbeaten run, they too come
into this match on the back of a
defeat following a 29-15 loss to
Ireland in Dublin that left Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer feeling
Meyer has made п¬Ѓve changes
to the starting XV but retained
the same matchday 23 that played
last weekend and significantly
dropped both half-backs Francois
Hougaard and fly-half Handre
Pollard to the bench.
Wing JP Pietersen, fly-half Pat
Lambie, scrum-half Cobus Reinach, flanker Schalk Burger and
hooker Adriaan Strauss have all
been promoted to the starting XV.
“It’s about how we keep the ball,
it’s about how we make decisions
in the right areas.”
Ecclestone: F1
doesn’t need
younger fans
Caterham packing cars and
parts for Abu Dhabi finale
he Caterham Formula
One team are planning
to race in next week’s
Abu Dhabi season-ender
even if they fail to raise a targeted
2.35 million pounds ($3.68 million) by yesterday’s deadline, an
administrator said.
The British-based team, who
have missed the last two races,
still had to raise nearly a million
pounds through a crowdfunding
website with 13 hours remaining.
However administrator Finbarr O’Connell, representing
Smith & Williamson, told Reuters he expected the team would
be going to Abu Dhabi anyway.
“I am 90 percent confident
that we are going,” he said, adding that the team’s cars and parts
were being packed into trans-
port containers and loaded onto
trucks at the Leafield factory.
The freight is due to be flown
out of Britain to Abu Dhabi’s Yas
Marina circuit at the weekend.
“In the last few days three in-
terested buyers have come forward,” said O’Connell. “They
are people with F1 connections
who are seriously interested and
who if any of them bought it (the
team), the world would say �that
makes sense’.” He said talks with
a number of drivers, some with
Formula One experience and
others in need of a superlicence,
were also advanced. He declined
to divulge any names. Caterham,
who have never scored so much as
a point in п¬Ѓve seasons, went into
administration last month after
being overwhelmed by debts.
The previous management, who
took over from Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes in July, have departed with
O’Connell now the acting principal pending any sale.
He expected some deals to
be completed yesterday, which
would give administrators “the
comfort we need to be 80 percent of the way there. “If some of
those things happen, we expect
to be announcing we are going,”
he added.
“If we are still a few hundred
thousand pounds short, we will
The British-based team,
who have missed the
last two races, still had
to raise nearly a million
pounds through a
crowdfunding website with
13 hours remaining
recalibrate up to race day to raise
the rest.” Formula One has had
just nine teams at the last two
races after Marussia, who also
went into administration last
month, ceased trading.
The sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone gave Marussia and Caterham a dispensation to miss the US and Brazilian
rounds but has said they must
compete in Abu Dhabi to stay in
the championship.
The Briton has spoken out
against Caterham’s fundraising,
saying it is bad for the sport for
teams to go around with �begging
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone
ormula One does not
need to worry about
reaching younger fans,
according to the motorsport boss Bernie Ecclestone,
who would rather have more
older - and richer - fans.
“I don’t know why people
want to get to the so-called
�young generation.’ Why do
they want to do that? Is it to sell
them something? Most of these
kids haven’t got any money. I’d
rather get to the 70-year-old guy
who’s got plenty of cash,” Ecclestone said in an interview with
the magazine Campaign AsiaPacific.
“So, there’s no point trying
to reach these kids because they
won’t buy any of the products
The 84-year-old Ecclestone
also said he’s too old-fashioned
for the social media younger
people use.
“I’m not interested in tweeting, Facebook and whatever this
nonsense is. I tried to п¬Ѓnd out
but in any case I’m too old-fash-
Some teams fear the fan
base is shrinking as
Formula One fights for
attention in the sports
landscape, which may
also have led in part to the
bankruptcies of Caterham
and Marussia
ioned. I couldn’t see any value in
Many inside the F1 world have
criticised that the rights holders
have not come up with a sustainable public relations strategy for
the social networks.
Some teams fear the fan base is
shrinking as Formula One п¬Ѓghts
for attention in the sports landscape, which may also have led in
part to the bankruptcies of Caterham and Marussia.
However, when asked if he’s
worried about struggling teams,
Ecclestone said: “Not at all. Nobody will miss the two teams because they’re not front-running
teams. They’ve only got a name
that people would know because
of the problem they’re in.”
The F1 boss’s answer to such
teams: “Just don’t spend as
much. These teams don’t need to
be in financial trouble.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Qatar women win
two gold, one silver
Qatar Academy
Falcons begin
season with a win
�I am very happy with my achievement and hope to continue my form in future events’
QA Falcons varsity boys volleyball team.
By Sports Reporter
Qatar’s medal winners and officials pose for photographs during the 11th Arab Shooting Championships which is being held at the Losail Shooting Range.
By Yash Mudgal
atar women dominated day
four of the 11th Arab Shooting
Championships by winning
two gold medals and one silver
at the Losail Shooting Range yesterday.
First Sarah Mohamed won the skeet
gold with 66 points before Matara alAseiri clinched 50m Rifle Prone gold
ahead of compatriot Aisha al-Mutawa on
a very fruitful day for the hosts.
Matara collected 613.9 points in the
60-shot event to п¬Ѓnish ahead of Aisha,
who won silver with 610.3 points.
Kuwait’s Maryam Arzouqi bagged the
bronze. Qatar’s Mahbubeh Akhlaghi finished fourth.
Matara took the lead in the п¬Ѓrst series
and maintained it till the end. The contest for the gold between the countrywomen was intense as Aisha tried her
best in the fourth and sixth round but she
failed to overtake Matara.
“It is a very good day for me. I knew it
will be a tough competition as everybody
was targeting podium п¬Ѓnish, so I was well
prepared for the competition. I am very
happy with my achievement and hope
to continue my form in the other future
events,” Matara said.
Sarah won the skeet gold defeating
Kuwait’s Eman al-Shamaa, members of
Kuwait’s team which finished fifth in the
Incheon Asian Games, by one point.
“It is a very satisfying win in the keenly
contested event. The presence of experienced Kuwaiti shooters made it very
tough. I hope this win will inspire me to
win more medals for my country,” Sarah
In the men’s section, Qatar’s Ali alQahtani scored 181.4 point to clinch 50m
Rifle Prone bronze medal. The gold was
won by Oman’s Said Hamed al-Khatri
(204.9), while Saudi Arabia’s Saad Abdulrehamn al-Juhaydili grabbed silver.
Al-Qahtani also led the hosts to the
bronze medal in the team event. AlQahtani (612.9) and his teammates Abdulla al-Maadeed (609.4) and Ali alMuhannadi (605.9) п¬Ѓred a total of 1828.2
points to п¬Ѓnish third behind Oman and
Saudi which won the gold and silver, respectively.
The members of the victorious Oman
team, which scored 1843.9, were Said
Hamed al-Khatri, Sinan al-Nasri and
Mohamed al-Hattali.
Saudi team comprised of Hussain alHarbi, Faiz al-Anazi and Khalid al-Anazi
secured the second spot with 1834.4
atar Academy began
its sports season with
an impressive title run
by the varsity boys
volleyball team, claiming the
п¬Ѓrst Near East Schools Activities Conference (NESAC) volleyball championship in Kuwait.
The newly-formed NESAC is an
exclusive multi event school association comprising of international schools from UAE, Kuwait,
Jordan and Qatar. According to
Athletics Supervisor Stephen
Walker, “NESAC is comprised
of п¬Ѓve schools, so QA gets to be
more familiar with our competition and build stronger connections as a wider community. Our
teams are definitely up against
very tough competition so we
want all of our teams to prepare
and compete to the very best of
their ability”.
The title win by the 10-member boys varsity volleyball squad
was a result of the team’s collective effort led by team captain Khalid al-Hammadi, finals
MVP Omar al-Awad and coaches
Andrew Glenville and Andrew
Jacob. Shares Walker: “Looking at last year’s form the varsity
boys volleyball team already has
their strengths in place and our
swim team will be very hard to
beat in our home pool”.
The junior varsity and varsity
swimmers will have the chance
to test their mettle this weekend when QA hosts its п¬Ѓrst NESAC swimming gala. Over 100
students will contest individual
and relay events which are “both
challenging and competitive,
with all events reflecting the
spirit of sportsmanship,” Walker
says, adding that the presence
of Qatar national team members
and QA students Jacob al-Khulaifi, Abdulla Abu Ghazala and
Noah al-Khulaifi will make the
competition more exciting.
“One of the interesting things
about sports is that it is not at
all predictable and QA’s potential this year remains promising. Our boys basketball teams
will be very competitive, best
chance perhaps is our JV side in
our home tournament in March.
The girls basketball will continue
their improvement. All of our
footballers are training hard and
are aiming for improved tournament performances. I am also
confident we will send a talented
cross country and track team to
Jordan later in the year”.
On the home front, the school
is also working on increasing
participation from middle school
students (grade 6-8), making
sure that students enjoy learning the basic skills and fundamentals to play each sport well.
There is an increased emphasis
on the under 14 age group with
more practice games and players flowing through to NESAC
with higher skill levels. Locally,
the QA will still play in QUESS
events and organize friendlies
with other schools. There is also
the Qatar Foundation Boys U19
Football League which is played
weekly in Education City.
“Sports build physical fitness
and promote a healthy lifestyle.
It also helps develop positive
relationships,” Walker says.
“Most of all for us, it helps create our identity at QA, it builds
our community spirit and develops pride in what we are doing and achieving”.
�Qatar Stars League is a dream for all players’
reputation not only in Qatar but also
in the gulf region. In addition, I had a
great desire to join Qatar Stars League
which is really a dream for all players in
the world these days.
Al Ahli star striker Alain Dioko is all
praise for the Qatar Stars League
By Sports Reporter
You joined Al Ahli back in 2011 and that
season you scored only 12 goals, which
was not enough. What do you say about
We had a hard and tough season, we
couldn’t impose our style of play and
we lost several matches which affected
our confidence. Our team now has better players and this is why you can also
see an improvement in my performances. After all football is a team sport.
I needed time to get used to the team
and the league and the weather condition, I think that the number of goals
that season was reasonable and good
bearing in mind the fact that it was my
п¬Ѓrst season with the team.
l Ahli star striker Alan Dioko, or the deadly п¬Ѓnisher as
his fans like to call him, was
born on 2nd January 1987 in
the capital of the Congo, Kinshasa.
In 2004, he joined AS Vita Club and
stayed with them for two years before
moving to the Oil rich Club of TP Mazembe. Whilst there, he had the chance
to play with the golden generation of
Mazembe. It was whilst he was with
Mazembe that he rose to stardom, especially after winning the Golden Boot.
He was also part of the team who qualified from Africa to take part in the 2010
FIFA Club World Cup.
This was the п¬Ѓrst big step for the
powerful forward, as he found himself
on the world’s stage. He scored the second goal in the semi-final of the 2010
FIFA Club World Cup, where TP Mazembe defeated Internacional of Brazil
2-0 to become the п¬Ѓrst team outside
Europe and South America to reach
the FIFA Club World Cup п¬Ѓnal. He was
awarded the Silver Ball at the tournament.
Various offers started flooding and
Dioko took his time before choosing to
sign up with Al Ahli Club of Doha, Qatar. Dioko achieved great success in the
league and last season won the accolade
of top scorer of the Qatar Stars League
with 22 goals.
Here are excerpts from an interview
with QSL Online where Dioko speaks
about a glittering career and the secret
to his all-conquering from.
Firstly, could you tell us about the golden
generation at Mazembie in 2009, and
can it be considered the best team in your
Then you moved to Al Kharaitiyat on
loan for the 2012-2013 season, and you
only scored 8 goals.
That season, I have suffered some injuries which affected my playing style
and my scoring of goals as well.
However, I enjoyed my time with Al
Kharaitiyat Sports Club which had a
group of players who were pretty good
and dedicated to the team.
Al Ahli striker Alain Dioko (left) in action during his team’s game against Al Khor in the Qatar Stars League recently.
There are many factors that combined to weave such a team, with brilliant players in all positions; the combination of the players, the high level of
technical ability, the style and flair, the
physical characteristics, the desire to
win. The desire to get positive results
and the team spirit between us was
something special; also we can’t forget
the technical and administrative apparatus of the team.
It was a really golden period that was
recorded in the history of the team and
it will never be forgotten by anyone who
participated in this achievement.
How did you feel when you were being
awarded the Silver ball award for the
2010 FIFA Club World Cup?
It was a strange and unbelievable
feeling, because it felt like I achieved
a dream that I had been chasing for a
long time. Now I have become wellknown all over the world after winning some awards and even before
that, when I won the golden boot
award for scoring 8 goals in the CAF.
After winning these awards, you have
gotten many offers, but you preferred Al
Ahli’s offer, was it the best one?
It is normal for players to get such
tempting offers, especially after doing
an excellent job in both local and international competitions. Clubs are looking to strengthen their teams.
In fact I have received many offers
that I carefully read, but I decided to
join Al Ahli club because of its good
Then you moved back to Al Ahli Sports
Club for the 2013-2014 season, how
did you manage to achieve all of those
goals? And what changes have you been
There are no secrets in soccer. Both
hard work and commitment make you
achieve the aim you wish for.
Al Ahli Sports Club has a number
of excellent players who are equipped
with a п¬Ѓghting spirit with the aim of
The group atmosphere and the good
facilities are also part of the reason we
have improved.
And what part did MГЎchala play in this
successful period?
MГЎchala is a very clever and skilful
couch, he knows how to manage the
younger players and he has a distinctive
style when dealing with team. Frankly
its very nice. He shares with them everything even small details. His huge
experience is absolutely obvious on the
progress of the team. He is humble and
polite at the same time. He is also very
good in analysing the technical and
physical data as well as preparing for
the matches.
What does it mean to be top scorer?
I’m very happy with this title and it’s
a great honour for me to have been the
top scorer in the QSL. This is not easy
to do especially with so many good
players who have come from all overall
the world. So, the title of “top scorer”
didn’t come from just me alone, but
it’s the result of a group effort, which
includes officials, players and coaches.
And what about Qatar stars league?
We all live in Qatar without any restrictions or pressure. All facilities are
available such as the high quality football stadiums and the good organisation of the league by the QSL management. Also, there are a group of very
good local and international players
that inspire the players to achieve more.
What about the World Cup in Qatar?
Everybody should know that Qatar will organise one of the best World
Cups. It’s also going to leave a longterm positive impact on the country
and internationally. It is also going to be
an example to others about organizing
international events after 2022.
Any last words?
I would like to thank you for your
good hospitality and for this exciting
conversation which brought me back
to the beautiful days of my early career.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Deusser and Pironella
gallop to elegant victory
Of the 40 starters, an incredible 20 went through to the jump-off which shows the world-class calibre of the riders
By Sports Reporter
aniel Deusser and Pironella
galloped to an elegant victory in the Euros 151,000 Five
Star 1.55m class on the penultimate day of the Longines Global
Champions Tour at the Al Shaqab outdoor arena yesterday. Ireland’s Denis
Lynch with All Star 5 and Germany’s
Marco Kutscher with the consistent
Liberty Son took the second place.
The first round course set by Italy’s Uliano Vezzani made use of the
uniquely generous proportions of
the spectacular main arena, with it’s
sweeping lines and flowing distances.
The п¬Ѓnal half of the course, however,
contained some awkward turns and
distances, particularly the п¬Ѓnal, short
treble combination which caught out
many big names.
Defending champion Scott Brash
was the п¬Ѓrst rider to jump clear in the
п¬Ѓrst round though many experienced
combinations collected four faults,
including Kent Farrington and Uceko,
2014 World Championship Team silver
medallist Simon Delestre and Ryan des
Of the 40 starters, 16 went through
to the final jump-off. Britain’s Brash
once again set the standard as first to
go in the jump-off, producing a very
classy round with Lady Harris and
Lady Kirkham’s exciting up-andcoming mare Hello M’Lady in a time
of 38.73s to eventually take fourth.
Brash has been widely tipped by fellow riders to retain his Championship title today if he can put in a top
five finish in the dramatic final Grand
Prix of the season.
Drawn late, Marco Kutscher and
Denis Lynch did what was needed to
each grab the lead for a time, clocking
in at 38.43s and 37.97s, respectively.
Second last to go, Daniel Deusser knew
exactly what was required, taking the
tightest lines and sharpest turns with
his fleet-footed mount to stop the
clock at 37.24s.
With their star Grand Prix horses
resting this evening, Championship
leader Ludger Beerbaum and his closest rival Rolf-Göran Bengtsson did not
compete yesterday.
Earlier on Thursday night, the Euros
90,500 Five Star class was won by Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet and Conrad
de Hus, who put in a deceptively quick
round to leave a large and competitive
п¬Ѓeld in their dust. Second place went
to Daniel Deusser and Cornet D’Amour
who had looked unbeatable, and third
to an ever-smiling Luciana Diniz and
Fit For Fun.
The first round, built by Italy’s Uliano Vezzani, was a sweeping, attacking course that took advantage of Al
Shaqab’s massive arena. Many of the
star riders had their Grand Prix horses
in the competition which served as a
generous introduction to today’s battleground.
Of the 40 starters, an incredible 20
went through to the jump-off which
shows the world-class calibre of the
riders present at this, the п¬Ѓnal event of
the season.
Championship leader Ludger Beerbaum, who announced earlier today
that he would not compete Chiara as
expected in the Grand Prix but instead
Zinedine, rode a careful round with his
young stallion to collect one time fault.
His rivals for the title, Scott Brash with
Hello Sanctos and Rolf-Göran Bengts-
Exciting showdown on the
cards in the GCT final today
By Sports Reporter
he top three contenders Ludger Beerbaum,
Scott Brash and RolfGöran Bengtsson spoke
candidly about their individual
and each other’s chances in today’s crucial final Grand Prix
of the series where the 2014
Longines Global Champions
Tour Champion will be decided
at the sprawling state of the art
Al Shaqab arena.
Last year’s winner, Brash has
an excellent chance to repeat
his 2013 performance and the
British rider is happy with the
way his horse Hello Sanctos has
tuned up for the final event. “Al
Shaqab has been a lucky place
for me so far. It was fantastic
winning here last year. I gave
Hello Sanctos a break after Vienna. Then I gave him a warmup show in Lyon last week and
he jumped really good. It was
my mistake we had the last fence
down. He’s come here in the best
shape we can have him.”
“I don’t think it matters what
Ludger is riding he is going to
have a chance. Ludger is the
man to beat. I agree with Ludger, Casall has been on fantastic
form. Rolf could definitely win
on Saturday, for sure. We are all
going to be trying so it should
(Left to Right) Ludger Beerbaum, Scott Brash and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson.
be a good, exciting showdown,”
Brash added.
2012 Longines GCT Championship runner-up and Olympic Silver medallist Rolf-Göran
Bengtsson is quietly confidently
of a good show. “I have only
one chance here, and that is the
win, which is nearly impossible
to make if you have to make it.
But we don’t give up. Casall ASK
has had a break since the World
Championships and he jumped
well in Lyon. He likes the big arena and the footing here and he is
an experienced horse, but you
have to take it a step at a time, we
will just try and jump clear in the
Grand Prix п¬Ѓrst round and see
how it goes.”
Championship Leader and
four-time Olympic Gold medallist Ludger Beerbaum who had
a last minute substitute for the
Grand Prix said. “Chiara was
meant to be my ride, but she had
light colic so we decided to not
show her. This has left me with
Zinedine, which for sure is a little bit of a disadvantage, but I am
still ahead.
“He has been fifth and second
on the Tour this year so I will try
my best with him. He’s always
been my second or third horse,
but he did really well in Shanghai
and London, so why not here. If
the course is not extremely big
and crazy technical, I think I
have a chance. It’s going to be
very interesting for sure.”
“We can be completely real-
istic, if it’s just the three of us in
the jump-off - Casall was unbelievable in the World Championships, more consistent than
anyone else. Then Hello Sanctos
would be behind Casall, then
three days and then my horse. If
it came to that, it would be between Scott and Rolf. I am not
competing on the same level
with these two.”
Although it’s a three horse
race to the Championship finish line, there are a number of
very talented horse and rider
combinations who could still
snatch the €450,000 Grand
Prix win. Brash managed to do
the double last year winning
both the Doha Grand Prix and
Championship in one go, but it
had never been done before.
The top three will have to contend with the likes of 2014 FEI
World Cup Final winners Daniel
Deusser and Cornet D’Amour,
2014 Aachen Grand Prix winners Christian Ahlmann and
Codex One, the exciting new
partnership of Tiffany Foster
and Tripple X, reigning Olympic
Champion Steve Guerdat and
Nasa, former Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa and Status,
Pan-Am Team Gold medallists
Kent Farrington and Uceko, and
former two-time LGCT Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander
with Old Chap Tame.
One of the biggest threats
could well be in-form Dutchman Jur Vrieling and 14-yearold VDL Bubalu, who will be
retired from international competition after Doha. The stallion
has won a World Championship
Team Gold medal and the Nation’s Cup Final this year and
could well go out with a bang in
the very last competition of his
Amongst the Qatari challengers, Qatar Armed Forces’ Bassam
Hassan Mohammed and Sheikh
Ali bin Khalid al-Thani go into
the п¬Ѓnal with an opportunity
to do well in front of the home
crowd. A podium п¬Ѓnish is a realistic chance for the duo, who
have dazzled with impressive
performance during the Tour.
son with Casall ASK, both jumped
clear though they elected not to jumpoff to save their horses for the Grand
Prix today.
First to go, Denis Lynch set the pace
in the jump-off with All Star 5 in a time
of 41.16s. Reigning German Champion
Daniel Deusser and Cornet D’Amour
then wiped nearly two seconds from
Lynch’s time to take the lead in 38.34s.
Gregory Wathelet and Conrad de
Hus, who became internet sensations
in Paris this summer when Conrad’s
bridle fell off mid-round, took over
the lead with a great round in 37.67s
from the middle of the draw. Diniz
did her best to catch the time, but
slotted into third.
Sheikh Ali bin Khalid
al-Thani riding Anyway II
wins jump-off in the
National Competition
Sheikh Ali bin Khalid al-Thani riding Anyway II won the jump-off
in the National Competition at the Al Shaqab arena yesterday.
Sheikh Ali cocked a timing of 34.62 to take the first place ahead
of Bassam Hassan Mohammed (Cantaro 32) who stopped the
clock at 39.20. Faleh Suwayed al-Ajami astride Dolce Vita M
was third, while Awad al-Qahtani finished fourth. In the other
National championship, Bader al-Darwish (Antine Drumes)
claimed the top honours with a timing of 52.00, while Saeed
Nasser al-Qadi (Jessico 4) was a close second, stopping the
clock at 52.03. Sheikh Khalifa al-Thani (Al Hawajer Arizona
Pie 9) was third, while Bassam Hassan Mohammed (Kingdom
Come) was fourth.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Qatar’s Torrente claims
pole in thrilling fashion
Carella qualifies third; Chiappe deprived of first ever pole
By Sports Reporter
he Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex Carella claimed
pole position and third place
for today’s Grand Prix of Middle East, round three of the 2014 UIM
F1 H2O World Championship, after
a thrilling third qualifying session in
Doha Bay yesterday afternoon.
Carella laid down the gauntlet from
third place in the Q3 shoot-out with a
second lap of 49.56sec, despite later
complaining of a minor engine issue.
That was surpassed within minutes by
a lap of 49.16sec set by Philippe Chiappe, the Frenchman bidding to claim
his п¬Ѓrst ever F1 pole position. But the
Qatar Team’s Torrente was not to be
denied and, in fading light on Doha
Bay, Torrente carded a stunning time of
48.65sec on his п¬Ѓrst run to claim pole
“That was some finish, great to
watch and very exciting,” said Sheikh
Hassan bin Jabor al-Thani, president
of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation
“Alex maybe had a little issue with
his boat, but then Philippe (Chiappe)
posted that time of 49.16 and it looked
as though that was enough. Then up
stepped Shaun and he goes under 49
seconds. Incredible. It was a great
spectacle and that sets the scene nicely
for the race tomorrow.”
Qatar Team efforts to build two new
Molgaard boats for the F-4S races paid
off. Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari and
Mohamed al-Obaidly qualified in second and fourth places for the first of
the races, with al-Kuwari missing out
on pole position by a mere 8/100ths of
a second.
After a battle with Australia’s Briney
Rigby during the early stages of the 20lap race, al-Kuwari found a fast late
rhythm and reached the chequered flag
in third place after closing on runnerup Jan Andre Landsnes over the last
few laps. Germany’s Mike Szymura
claimed his third win from four starts
and led from start-to-п¬Ѓnish to extend
his series lead to 36 points.
Five of the 16 entrants from 10 nations would be eliminated from the
20-minute Q1 session on the revised
Doha Bay course. Kuwait’s Yousef alRubayan set the early target time of
51.63sec before a yellow flag was raised
when Caudwell Racing’s Ivan Brigada
stopped on the racing line.
Qatar’s Torrente and Carella had
already posted competitive times of
51.70sec and 52.12sec and returned to
the pits to prepare for Q2. Action resumed with nine and a half minutes
Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente in action during qualifying for the UIM F1 H20 Powerboat Grand Prix of Middle East in Doha Bay yesterday. Inset: Alex Carella powers to third position . PICTURES: Simon Palfreder/
Idea Marketing
al-Rubayan’s earlier time wasn’t
surpassed and Tomas Cermak, Duarte
Benavente, Jesper Forss, Brigada and
Bartek Marszalak were eliminated after
Cantando posted a late time of 53.02sec
to stay in the hunt for the shoot-out.
A further п¬Ѓve drivers would fall by
the wayside in Q2 leaving six boats
to take part in a two-lap shoot-out
for pole position. Torrente laid down
the gauntlet with two stunning laps
of 50.49sec and 49.97sec to book his
place in Q3. Carella survived with a lap
of 50.97sec, but Erik Stark, Xiong Ziwei, Sami Selio, Francesco Cantando
and Filip Roms missed out.
Marit Stromoy posted a Q3 target
lap of 52.37sec as Jonas Andersson took
to the course for the п¬Ѓrst of his two laps
and stopped the clocks on 49.86sec.
Al-Rubayan recorded a 50.39sec before
Carella entered the course and moved
up to second with a п¬Ѓrst lap of 49.91sec
before claiming provisional pole with a
stunning time of 49.56sec.
As the sun set over Doha, Chiappe slotted into third with a time of
50.37sec and stunned Carella with an
awesome second lap of 49.16sec. This
left Torrente to try and deprive Chiappe of a п¬Ѓrst ever pole position and
the American produced a stunning
opening tour of 48.65sec to smash the
opposition and claim pole position.
The Qatar Team dominated the п¬Ѓrst
official practice session after Chiappe
had set the early pace in his new boat.
Torrente topped the one-hour stint
with a best lap of 49.70sec, with Chiappe in second on 49.95sec and Carella
in third (50.25sec), despite feeling the
effects of a �flu virus.
Benavente borrowed the spare
Francesco Cantando DAC boat to set
the 13th quickest time after his original
hull had delaminated during Thursday
afternoon’s free practice.
Al-Rubayan was running as high as
sixth before stopping on the racing line
and forcing a yellow flag with just under 18 minutes of the session remaining.
F-4S Trophy – race one
Mike Szymura pipped Qatar’s Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari to pole position
for the п¬Ѓrst of the Qatar races in the
closing few minutes before the session
was yellow flagged when al-Kuwari
stopped on the racing line with no fuel.
Jan Andre Landsnes qualified third and
Mohammed al-Obaidly slotted into
“I was very happy with the time trials, the boat is perfect, much better,”
said al-Kuwari.
Szymura was not to be denied a third
win of the season from four starts and,
despite being pressured by Landsnes
for much of the race, he reached the
chequered flag with a winning margin of 17.34 seconds. Al-Kuwari lost
second on the opening lap, slipped to
fourth and eventually regained third
after closing to within 1.31sec of Landsnes over the last few circuits. AlObaidly ran a lonely race in п¬Ѓfth position to claim valuable championship
Sterling work by the Qatar Team
mechanics ensured that the pair of
Danish-built Molgaards were ready for
the п¬Ѓrst official practice session. AlObaidly and al-Kuwari ran for nine and
16 laps respectively and set best times
of 1min 05.28sec and 1min 06.44sec in
a 20-minute session won by Szymura
with a lap of 1min 02.28sec.
Today, free practice precedes the
second time trials and UIM F-4S race.
The 2014 Grand Prix of Middle East
takes centre stage on Doha Bay from
Qualifying results
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC
Team 49.16sec
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team
4. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 49.86sec
5. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 GC
Atlantic Team 50.39sec
Today’s Schedule
09.15-10.15 F1 free practice
10.30-10.50 F-4S free practice
11.00-11.20 F-4S time trial
13.30-13.50 F-4S race two – 20mins
15.30-16.15 Grand Prix of Middle East
16.30 F1 and F-4S awards ceremony
We were better in the second
half, says Qatar coach Belmadi
By Our Correspondent
Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi speaks
during his post-match press conference
on Thursday night. Qatar and Saudi
Arabia played out a 1-1 draw in the Gulf
Cup opener.
Action from the UAE-Oman match in the Gulf Cup in Jeddah
yesterday. the match ended in a goalless draw.
atar coach Djamel Belmadi on
Thursday applauded his players
for their п¬Ѓghting performance,
saying his boys were dominant
in the second half in their 1-1 draw against
hosts Saudi Arabia.
“It was difficult for us in the first half,”
Belmadi said after his side snatched a
point off in their opening Gulf Cup match
at King Fahd International Stadium on
“But we controlled the match better
in the second half. Our players lacked
experience and then I had to make some
changes which helped,” he added.
�We were definitely far more organised
in the second half,” he said.
“I am not satisfied but the 1-1 draw is
not a bad result. We played well in front
a hostile crowd and a strong Saudi side,”
Belmadi said. “We will try to fix our problems in the next match,” Belmadi said.
Meanwhile, Qatar captain Bilal Mohamed said that his team’s fighting 1-1
draw against hosts Saudi Arabia was a
�positive result’.
“It was possible to achieve a better result but the draw is a positive result,” defender Bilal said on Thursday.
“We had chances to score but we
could not convert those chances. We
were trailing but then we fought well
in the second half,” he added.
“We are ready for our next two matches. We are confident that we will be able
to rectify our mistakes in the coming
matches,” he said.
“Hopefully we will not waste the
chances to score goals,” Bilal said.
“We can see that we will win matches
if we keep fighting like the way we did today,” he said confidently.
“All possibilities are there. We can win
the next two matches and qualify for the
semis,” he said.Qatar play Yemen on November 16 and then Bahrain on November
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