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Daily newspaper - Gulf times

SPORT | Page 1
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The US and China yesterday
announced ambitious targets
on greenhouse gas emissions
as part of a “historic” pact that
climate scientists acclaimed but
US Republicans denounced as
a job-killer. At a Beijing summit,
the leaders of the world’s two
biggest polluters put their stamp
on attempts to breathe new life
into action against global warming
ahead of international talks in Paris
next year. Page 21
www. 2 Riyals
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Doha yesterday. During their
talks, held at the Emiri Diwan, it was agreed to set up a joint committee between the two countries on co-ordination and
co-operation in various fields to achieve common interests and welfare of the people of the two countries. The talks, which
were attended by HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani, a number of ministers and members of the
delegation accompanying President Rousseff, also dealt with regional and international issues of common interest. Page 36
FIFA ethics chief to make 2018,
2022 World Cup statement today
IFA ethics chief Hans-Joachim
Eckert will make a public statement today over the inquiry into
the bidding processes for the 2018 and
2022 World Cups, to be staged by Russia
and Qatar respectively.
The author of the report, former US
federal prosecutor Michael Garcia has
long campaigned for the details of the
enquiry to be made public.
“Chairman of the Ethics Committee’s adjudicatory chamber (HansJoachim Eckert) confirms statement
will be made public on Thurs 13 Nov
at approx. 10am CET (12 noon Qatar
time),” said FIFA on its Twitter account.
“Tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) statement
relates to investigatory chamber’s inquiry on 2018/22 #WorldCup bidding
process. It will be published @FIFAcom.”
In a break with FIFA tradition, the
2018 and 2022 tournaments were
awarded at the same time, in 2010.
The 350-page Garcia report was
handed to FIFA on September 5.
It summed up a year-long investigation that involved interviewing more than 75 witnesses and
compiling a dossier with more than
200,000 pages and audio interviews.
Several high-profile figures have
called for FIFA to publish Garcia’s report, including UEFA president Michel
Platini and FIFA vice-president Prince
Ali bin al-Hussein.
However, FIFA president Sepp Blatter had argued that the publication of
the report would compromise the confidentiality of witnesses.
Only last month, Garcia criticised
FIFA’s lack of transparency.
“The investigation and adjudication
process operates in most parts unseen
and unheard,” he said.
“That’s a kind of system which
might be appropriate for an intelligence
agency, but not for an ethics compliance process in an international sports
institution that serves the public and is
the subject of intense public scrutiny,”
Garcia said.
“Transparency is not intended to embarrass certain individuals by airing dirty laundry or to harm
the organisation by showing what
Qatar refutes African Cup ‘hosts’ report
Qatar yesterday refuted reports that it offered to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations
after Morocco was stripped of the right to
stage the tournament. “It is illogical,” said
Saud al-Muhannadi, vice president of the
Qatar Football Association, referring to
reports that surfaced in French press. “The
news is false,” he told AFP. French sports
newspaper L’Equipe said earlier yesterday
that Qatar, host to the 2022 World Cup,
might be the solution if the Confederation of African Football (CAF) fails to find a
replacement for Morocco on the continent.
Morocco had said since early October that
its call for a postponement was due to the
deadly Ebola pandemic.
Vol. XXXV No. 9540
November 13, 2014
Moharram 20, 1436 AH
One of the highlights of the annual
event will be the screening of 20
locally-produced films
REGION | Diplomacy
‘Historic’ pact
on gas emissions
Venezuela said yesterday that
Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez
arrived in Algeria as part of a
diplomatic tour that includes Iran,
Qatar and Russia to strengthen
bilateral relations and discuss
oil markets ahead of this
month’s Opec meeting. Ramirez,
Venezuela’s main representative
at Opec and until September both
oil minister and head of state
oil company PDVSA, has been a
vocal proponent of an emergency
meeting to tackle tumbling oil
ASIA | Environment
Venezuela’s FM
to visit Qatar
Myanmar yesterday welcomed
its biggest gathering of world
leaders since shedding junta rule
but concerns over the pace of
democratic reforms are expected
to surface at the two-day event
featuring US President Barack
Obama. The Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)
and East Asia summits, held
in the purpose-built capital of
Naypyidaw, are the culmination
of a year of diplomatic limelight
for Myanmar after long decades
shunted to the sidelines under its
former military rulers. Page 20
is A R 8
AT 19
Q since
Myanmar hosts
world leaders
Ajyal fest
to feature
90 films
In brief
ASEAN | Summit
Emir meets Brazilian leader
Iraqi President Fuad Masum’s
visit to Saudi Arabia is aimed at
patching up relations between the
two countries as Baghdad battles
militants, a senior official said
yesterday. Masum arrived in Saudi
Arabia on Tuesday and met with
King Abdullah, the highest-level
contact between the neighbouring
countries in years. The main
focus of the visit is “normalising
diplomatic and political relations
between the two countries,”
Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari,
who is part of the Iraqi delegation,
told AFP. Page 14
Latest Figures
Iraq president
in Saudi Arabia
Qatar-India trade
reaches $16.7bn
Qatar squad
for Gulf Cup,
says coach
went wrong. It’s the opposite.”
A report in British newspaper, Daily
Telegraph, yesterday said “Qatar is all
but assured of keeping the 2022 World
Cup” after the FIFA investigation.
“Indeed, most of the nine 2018 and
2022 bid teams from four years ago
come in for some level of criticism but,
although the report itself will not determine whether the two votes should
be re-run, there is no recommendation
for the tournament to be snatched away
from Russia or Qatar,” the Telegraph report said.
Meanwhile, FIFA has denied that Qatar will be stripped of the 2022 World
Cup following reports that claimed the
world body’s chief, Sepp Blatter said
this would happen to members of the
Norwegian FA.
German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that Blatter had allegedly told
members of the Norwegian FA that “the
2022 World Cup won’t take place in Qatar” during a dinner held in October.
A FIFA spokesperson denied that
Blatter had made the comments and
reaffirmed Qatar would host the showpiece international football tournament.
In a statement to IBTimes UK, FIFA
said: “With regard to the story in Der
Spiegel, FIFA wants to reiterate that the
information provided by the sources
does not reflect what actually happened
at the dinner in question, which was
held during the FIFA president’s visit to
Oslo in October.
“The claims made by the sources are
unfounded. The 2022 FIFA World Cup
will take place in Qatar and nowhere
s many as 90 films from 43 countries will be featured in the second
edition of the Ajyal Youth Film
Festival scheduled from December 1 to 6
at Katara – the Cultural Village.
“A total of 21 feature films will be
presented in the festival’s public programme,” festival director and Doha Film
Institute (DFI) acting CEO Fatma al-Remaihi announced yesterday.
Ten of these films were created by first
and second-time filmmakers, including
Macondo (Austria, Germany) by Sudabeh Mortezai, Antboy (Denmark) by Ask
Hasselbalch, #chicagoGirl: The Social
Network Takes On a Dictator (the US,
Syria) by Joe Piscatella and the opening
night world premiere of Speed Sisters (the
US, Qatar) by Amber Fares.
One of the highlights of the annual
event will be the screening of 20 locally-produced films, among the 40 short
“The ‘Made in Qatar’ programme underlines our mandate of supporting a
home-grown film culture in Qatar,” she
stressed, adding that they received many
submissions from professionals and aspiring film-makers.
These films were made by Qataris and
expatriates, including independent Qatari productions and winners of DFI’s
filmmaking challenges. They are to be
screened on December 4 and 5.
Besides film screenings, the weeklong festival will hold cultural, entertainment and creative activities at various venues at Katara.
The “Family Weekend” on December
5 and 6 will have activities like live performances by young Qataris and international talents on stage at the Katara
It will host a game centre and a media
workshop for those who want to know
how a television network operates. Entry
is free.
The festival will set up a “Sandbox
digital play space” at Katara Building 3
where visitors can try the latest gadgets
and widgets used in filmmaking, gaming
and all-round fun.
Al-Remaihi said visitors would have
the opportunity to speak and ask questions with Roger Allers, the director of
Disney’s classic, The Lion King.
At the event, Allers will talk about “the
secrets of the art of animation” with fellow animator Mohamed Saeed Harib,
the creator of the Gulf television phenomenon Freej. He is also a contributor
to Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. It will be
held on December 5 at 8pm at the Katara
Drama Theatre.
“The special guests confirmed to
attend include actress Salma HayekPinault and Jordanian director Naji Abu
Nowar,” al-Remaihi said.
Part of the festival includes a photography exhibition (December 2 to 6) and
setting up a “Pop-Up Cinema” that will
screen The Lord of the Rings trilogy and
the first two chapters of The Hobbit from
December 2 to 6 at 8pm at the Katara Esplanade. Entry is also free.
Entry in some of the screenings is
free. But where entry is charged, prices
of tickets cost less than the usual cinema
prices, according to al-Remaihi. Page 12
Fatma al-Remaihi announcing the
programme of the film festival
GCC summit in Doha ‘on schedule’
Kuwait City
CC leaders could hold a special
meeting to discuss outstanding issues ahead of a scheduled
annual summit in Qatar next month,
newspapers said yesterday. According
to Kuwaiti daily Al-Anbaa, consultations are underway to convene an informal meeting of Gulf Co-operation
Council (GCC) leaders before their December 9-10 summit in Doha.
The gathering in Doha will go ahead
on time but after a “special summit”, possibly in Riyadh next week, to
iron out differences, Saudi newspaper
Asharq Al-Awsat said.
A top Kuwaiti official denied the
venue of the annual summit was being changed. “I have only heard about
a summit to be held at a certain time in
a specific country, which is Qatar,” said
foreign ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah, quoted by Al-Anbaa.
“I hope it will be held at its time and
US warns Israel settler plans ‘exacerbate’ tensions
he United States yesterday
sharply condemned Israeli
plans to build 200 new settler homes in East Jerusalem warning
such moves would only “exacerbate”
spiralling tensions in the city.
State Department spokeswoman
Jen Psaki also denounced the torching of a West Bank mosque blamed on
Jewish extremists calling it a “hateful
and provocative” act and urging officials to investigate.
An Israeli committee earlier yesterday approved plans to build 200
homes in Ramo, a neighbourhood of
East Jerusalem, in the latest in a slew
of recent announcements of new settler homes.
“We are deeply concerned by this
decision, particularly given the tense
situation in Jerusalem, as well as the
unequivocal and unanimous position
of the United States and others in the
international community opposing
such construction in east Jerusalem,”
Psaki told reporters.
“These decisions to expand construction have the potential to exac-
erbate this difficult situation on the
ground, and they will not contribute
to efforts to reduce the tension.”
The announcement came just
ahead of the arrival of US Secretary of
State John Kerry in Jordan where he is
to meet Jordanian King Abdullah to
discuss the flare-up in tensions over
a private dinner.
Settlement announcements “fly in
the face of the stated goal of achieving a two-state solution because it
predetermines or pre-decides where
construction should be”, Psaki insisted.
She also blasted an arson attack
on mosque in the Palestinian village
of Haughay on the West Bank which
Palestinian security officials blamed
on extremists Jewish settlers.
“The United States condemns the
attack against a mosque in the West
Bank. We believe that such hateful and provocative actions against a
place of worship are never justified,”
Psaki said.
And she urged “law enforcement
officials to quickly investigate and
bring to justice the perpetrators”.
“We encourage the local authorities to work together with the community to reduce tension, to defend
religious freedom and to work against
incitement,” Psaki added.
King Abdullah met Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of
Kerry’s arrival and took Israel to task.
The king expressed his “total rejection of Israel’s repeated aggressions
and provocations in Jerusalem”, a palace statement said in Amman.
Abdullah raised particular concern
about tensions at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al Aqsa mosque compound
where Jordan has custodial rights.
Abdullah urged global powers to step up peace efforts, warning against “the continuation of
Israel’s settlement policies”.
Meanwhile, Middle East Quartet
envoy Tony Blair has urged both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to call for
restraint and “an end to hostile and
provocative acts”, including settlement construction.
“In the present circumstances,
such building can only have the impact of further inflaming an already
tense situation,” he said.
UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon demanded that both sides do
everything possible “to avoid further
exacerbating an already tense environment”. Page 16
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Ties reviewed
Envoy presents credentials
Somali President Hassan
Sheikh Mohamoud yesterday
met Hassan bin Hamza Assad
Mohamed, acting charge
d’affaires at Qatar’s embassy in
During the meeting, they
reviewed bilateral relations
and means of enhancing and
developing them on all fronts.
Queen of Denmark Margrethe II has received the
credentials of Qatar’s Ambassador Khaled Fahad alKhater.
The ambassador conveyed the greetings of HH the
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the Queen
of Denmark. Queen Margrethe reciprocated the Emir’s
greetings . The Danish Queen also wished the Qatari
ambassador success in his new duties and further growth
in friendship and co-operation between Qatar and
Denmark .
PM meets Kuwaiti, Omani ministers
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani holding talks with Kuwaiti Minister of Social Affairs and
Labour Hind Sabih Barrak al-Sabih and Oman’s Minister of Social Development Sheikh Mohamed bin Said al-Kalbani in Doha yesterday. Aspects of
bilateral relations and ways to promote them were discussed.
Four food outlets closed
he director of Doha
Municipality has ordered the closure of
four food establishments
for selling items unfit for
human consumption, local
Arabic daily Arrayah has reported.
Three establishments
would be closed for periods ranging between seven and 15 days. These are
a grocery in Najma, a restaurant in Umm Ghuwalina and a banquet kitchen
in Old Al Ghanim, the report states.
Besides, part of a store
at a hotel in Old Salata has
been closed for 45 days. The
names of these food establishments can be found on
the ministry’s website, the
daily adds.
Meanwhile, the health
control section at Al Rayyan
Municipality has issued six
seizure records for violation
of Law No 3 of 1975, three
records for selling expired
materials and ten records
for re-inspection, according to the report.
In a related development, citizens and residents have called for steps
to intensify monitoring
campaigns at restaurants
across Qatar to ascertain
what is going on in their
kitchens and storerooms
as well as their packing
methods, local Arabic daily
Al Arab has reported.
They have suggested that
the number of inspection
teams and field tours by
them be increased in order
to protect consumers, who
are at times wary of having meals prepared in restaurants in view of cases of
food poisoning, according
to the report.
stressed the importance of
declaring the names of erring restaurants and shops in
order to prevent violations
of health and safety norms,
the report adds.
Meanwhile, some citizens are of the view that the
municipality’s job is not to
monitor the ways in which
meals are prepared in restaurants but to highlight
and ensure compliance with
health and safety regulations while issuing licences
to restaurants, the report
further states.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Prime Minister meets US envoy
HE the Prime Minister and
Minister of Interior Sheikh
Abdullah bin Nasser bin
Khalifa al-Thani met the US
Ambassador to Qatar Dana
Shell Smith yesterday.
He also met the Lebanese
Ambassador to Qatar
Hassan Qassim Najem.
The meetings dealt with
aspects of co-operation in
areas of common interests
and means to promote
Qatar-Ethiopia ties discussed
HE the Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of
State for Cabinet Affairs
Ahmed bin Abdullah bin
Zaid al-Mahmoud yesterday
met Berhane GebreChristos, Ethiopian Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs,
and the accompanying
Talks during the meeting
dealt with bilateral
relations and means
of enhancing them in
various fields, in addition
to reviewing of a number
of issues of common
The meeting was attended
by Meganu Arga, the
Ethiopian Ambassador to
Qatar and officials at the
General Secretariat of the
Talks held with Nato official
HE the Assistant Foreign
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mohamed bin Abdullah
al-Rumaihi yesterday met
the head of the Middle East
and North Africa Section in
Nato’s Political Affairs and
Security Policy Division
Nicolas de Santis.
They discussed bilateral
relations and the means
to enhance them. They
also exchanged views on
a number of regional and
international issues. Qatar’s
Ambassador to Belgium
Sheikh Ali Jassim Thani alThani attended the meeting.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani receiving President Yayi Boni of Benin at the Emiri Diwan
yesterday. Top: HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah
bin Hamad al-Thani holding talks with President Yayi Boni of Benin at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.
Qatar, Benin sign agreements
to boost bilateral relations
atar and Benin signed two
agreements with a view to
further strengthening bilateral relations, following a session of official talks chaired by HH
the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and President Yayi
Boni of Benin at the Emiri Diwan
HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatari
ministers and members of the official delegation accompanying
President Boni attended the session.
The talks dealt with bilateral
co-operation and ways to develop
them in different fields in addition
to topics of mutual interest.
Following the talks, HH the
Emir and the president of Benin
witnessed the signing of a twinning agreement between the
municipalities of Al Wakrah city,
and Djougou city in Benin and an
air services agreement between
the governments of Qatar and
Later the Emir hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of the president of Benin and his accompanying delegation.
President Yayi Boni was accorded an official reception ceremony
earlier at the Emiri Diwan.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and President Yayi Boni of Benin witness the signing of an agreement between Qatar and Benin at the
Emiri Diwan yesterday.
Cabinet approves draft law
regulating street vendors
he weekly Cabinet meeting, chaired by HE the Prime
Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin
Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, has approved a draft law which stipulates
that street hawkers must obtain a
licence to operate from the Ministry
of Economy and Commerce.
As per the draft law on commercial and industrial shops and
hawkers, the opening or management of any commercial property
is not allowed without a licence
from the competent department
at the Ministry of Economy and
Under the draft law, its provi-
sions shall be applied to the following categories of commercial
1 - Shops, whether dealing in
industrial or commercial activities, or the both activities together.
2 - Similar public properties, including restaurants, cafes, hotels
and clubs.
3 - Properties such as clinics and
4 - Stores that create noise pollution and pose health hazard.
The Cabinet has decided to refer
the draft law to the Advisory Council.
The Cabinet also approved a
draft decision of the Minister of
Environment, considering Irkaya a
protected area.
HE the Prime Minister Sheikh
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa
A proposal of the Ministry of
Culture, Arts and Heritage, con-
verting deposit copies of works
from Dar al-Kutub al-Qatariyya
to Qatar National Library was also
The Cabinet reviewed the following topics and took the appropriate decisions:
1-The 14th report on the results
of the work of the National Committee for the fight against terrorism.
2- The letter of HE the Minister of Justice on the outcome of
the 26th meeting of GCC Ministers of Justice (Kuwait -October
3- The letter of HE the Minister
of Transport on the results of the
18th Meeting of Transport Ministerial Committees of GCC countries (Kuwait-October 2014).
Minister praises
Emir’s speech
HE the Minister of Public Health
Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani
said that the speech HH the Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani
delivered before the 43rd session
of the Advisory Council was
comprehensive and establishes
a solid foundation to secure the
current and future generations.
In remarks he made yesterday,
the minister said the Emir’s
speech addressed all the
important issues in the areas
of economy, development and
foreign affairs, promoting the
active role of Qatar on the global
He added that HH the Emir is
keen on achieving progress and
providing better services to
He pointed that the Emir
emphasised raising the efficiency
of government spending in the
annual budget for the year 201415, with a significant part of it
for the implementation of major
projects in the sectors of health,
education and infrastructure.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Honour for Qatar’s envoy to France
aud bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud, Qatar’s ambassador
to France, was conferred the
distinction of “Knight of the Legion of Honour,” the highest decoration in France, in recognition of
his outstanding efforts in the development of good bilateral relations between the two countries
and building bridges of communication.
French ambassador to Qatar Eric
Chevallier presented the award to
Ambassador al-Mahmoud during the ceremony organised by the
French embassy on Tuesday. HE the
Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Mohamed bin Abdul-
GCC health media
award announced
he Supreme Council of
Health (SCH) has invited
media organisations, private and public entities, civil society bodies and all inhabitants
of Qatar to take part in the GCC
Excellence Award in Health Media for 2014.
The award is organised by the
executive board of the Health
Ministers’ Council for GCC States.
Ilham al-Nuaimi, acting SCH
public relations manager, said
the theme of this year’s award is
“Obesity Prevention”. The SCH
public relations department will
receive entries until December
15. This year’s award is worth
The participating entries could
be in the form of a poster, health
page or supplement, social media
(Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), short TV advertisements,
short radio advertisements, website, comprehensive media campaign and e-applications.
Al-Nuaimi said the award aims
to enhance creativity among
health workers and those interested in healthcare-related fields.
Details of the award could be
found at The
SCH could also be contacted at
[email protected] or 44070201.
Al-Mahmoud (right) with Chevallier and HE al-Rumaihi after receiving the honour.
lah al-Rumaihi, and officials from
the Ministry of Interior attended
the ceremony.
Ambassador al-Mahmoud expressed his pleasure at being
awarded the honour. “This is the
highest honour I have received
in my career,” he said. The honour was also in recognition of the
strong relations between the two
friendly countries.
The envoy underscored the efforts of HE the Prime Minister and
Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah
bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani to
strengthen the bilateral relation
and co-operation between Qatar
and France.
More than 200 participants
to compete in Maersk Oil &
Qatar Petroleum Challenge
ore than 200 participants
from some of Qatar’s largest corporate organisations will compete in the third annual Maersk Oil & Qatar Petroleum
(MOQP) Challenge.
All the money raised from registration fees will be donated to Action
on Diabetes (AoD), a public-private
partnership that aims to help raise
awareness of diabetes, assist those
at risk to avoid it and help people already living with the condition better manage their health.
The 2013 challenge event raised
an impressive $100,000, which
was donated to Qatar Diabetes Association – Qatar Foundation and
used to help fund the 14th Al Bawasil Camp for children with diabetes.
For the first time since the launch
of the event in 2012, the MOQP
Challenge 2014 will feature moun-
tain biking and kayaking, in addition to stages that test skills in GPS
orientation, construction projects,
desert navigation at night and complex team problems. The winner of
the event will need to combine mental agility with strong physical performance and impressive teamwork
to beat the other teams.
Lewis Affleck, managing director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “More
than 200 participants from 27
teams competed in last year’s event,
but the MOQP Challenge 2014
promises to be bigger, even more
challenging and more enjoyable.
This is a chance for corporate teams
– be they from the private or public
sectors – to compete in a fun, yet
competitive environment and most
importantly raise awareness of and
money to fight one of Qatar’s largest health challenges – diabetes. At
Maersk Oil Qatar, we are committed
to bringing meaningful benefits to
Qatar, so I could not think of a better cause to support.”
This year’s two-day challenge at
Fuwerit is the biggest yet and sees
companies entering the challenge
from sectors as diverse as energy, advertising, professional services, higher education, health and automotive.
Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq, executive
director of Qatar Diabetes Association, said: “Last year, Al Bawasil
camp hosted 60 children from seven regions of the International Diabetes Federation and the financial
support from the MOQP Challenge
helped make it a memorable experience for all of them. The camp’s
mission is to create a safe and loving environment for children with
diabetes, to teach them how to take
charge of their condition and avoid
its complications in order to reach
their full potential.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Oryx GTL’s staff who completed national service, honoured
ryx GTL’s Qatari staff, who completed the
national service recently as part of the first
batch, were honoured during the chief executive officer’s second league forum by Abdul
Rahman al-Suwaidi.
Lauding their performance, he wished every success to the staff involved in the current session of
the national service, urged everyone to join the initiative and assured them of continued support from
the senior management.
The staff, who attended the first batch of national service, gave a presentation about their personal experience in the programme in general and
about the health and social benefits they gained, in
addition to a boost in patriotism.
Oryx GTL holds the league forum or Qatari Day, twice a
year, and the CEO would meet all Qatari employees in order
to listen to their views and suggestions about the progress
of work and to overcome any difficulties they may face.
The event has reflected positively on the staff
performance and created the right environment for
Oryx GTL’s Qatari staff with CEO Abdul Rahman al-Suwaidi at the event.
Boeing director
shares stories
with students
hris Ferguson, former Nasa
astronaut, space shuttle
commander and current
Boeing director of crew and mission systems for the Commercial
Crew programme, has spoken to
Qatari students about the future of
commercial space and the importance of studying science, technology, engineering and math (Stem).
Ferguson visited students at
Qatar Aeronautical College, Qatar
Scientific Club and Qatar Academy
and shared with them stories from
his experience as a Nasa astronaut,
stressing the importance of science, technology, engineering and
math education and the roles those
disciplines can play in achieving a
career in the aerospace industry.
“Studying science, technology,
engineering and math gives students a solid foundation to become
future innovators,” Ferguson said,
adding: “Demand for Stem-focused
careers continues to rise. Today’s
engineering students and scientists
are the next generation of leaders.”
Ferguson was pilot of STS115 (Atlantis) and commander of
STS-126 (Endeavour) and the final
shuttle mission, STS-135 (Atlantis). He has logged more than 40
days in space and 5,700 hours in
high-performance aircraft.
“Qatar Aeronautical College students are privileged to have Nasa
astronaut Chris Ferguson meet
and share his valuable inputs with
them. Speakers such as Ferguson
from Boeing enrich and inspire our
students. Qatar Aeronautical College and Boeing have partnered for
From left: Ali Ibrahim al-Malki, Ian McCary - deputy chief of mission at US
embassy, Chris Ferguson and Dr Saeed al-Sulaiman - director at Qatar
Aeronautical College posing for a photo.
the past few years in Qatar and we
hope to continue this partnership
for a long time to come,” said Ali
Ibrahim al-Malki, director-general,
Qatar Aeronautical College.
“It is a great pleasure to have
Chris Ferguson at the club to talk
about his experience as a former
astronaut and the future of space
travel,” said Rashid Ibrahim, vicechairman, Qatar Scientific Club.
“Qatar Academy enjoys hosting
many special guests who have made
a significant impact in their chosen
field. Chris Ferguson’s visit continues this tradition and gives our students another opportunity to be inspired by a true pioneer of our time,”
said Neil Charles, experiential learning co-ordinator, Qatar Academy.
Boeing’s relationship with Qatar
extends across its business units.
Qatar Airways operates dozens of
Boeing 777 commercial airplanes
and has ordered 30 787 Dreamliners. The Qatar Emiri Air Force has
used its two C-17 Globemaster III
airlifters to provide humanitarian
aid around the world.
Ferguson’s visit was part of a
Boeing Lecture Series launched in
January 2011 to support the educational goals of Qatar National
Vision 2030.
In his role with Boeing, Ferguson
has comprehensive oversight for
crew interface in the design of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Transportation System. In this capacity, he
works with Nasa’s Human Exploration and Operations Directorate,
Johnson Space Centre’s Engineering, Flight Crew and Mission Operations organisations and Kennedy
Space Centre’s Commercial Crew
programme to ensure that Boeing’s
design supports Nasa’s Human
Rating Requirements.
to win
iPhone 6
atar National Bank (QNB)
has launched a campaign
that gives customers the
chance to win an iPhone 6 once
they register via Internet or mobile
banking and conduct a minimum
of two online transactions.
The campaign will run from
November 10 to December 8.
The names of the eight winners selected in the draw will
be announced at the end of the
With QNB’s e-Services, customers can access and transact
their banking account and enjoy
a comprehensive online banking
experience in the Middle East
and North Africa (Mena) region.
QNB provides Internet banking services to clients in Qatar,
including flexibility to transfer
worldwide through Western
Union services, secured online
payments, premium services
from PayPal, and other innovative and secured solutions via
its mobile and Internet banking
The QNB Group has the largest domestic network in Qatar
and operates in more than 26
countries across three continents. QNB said it aims to constantly deliver innovative premium products and services to its
customers as the market leading
bank in Qatar.
It was recently named “Best
Bank in The Middle East 2014”
by Euromoney Magazine and was
ranked the leading financial institution brand in the Mena region by Brand Finance Magazine
in 2013.
Jaidah Automotive holds
client appreciation event
he independent aftermarket
department at Jaidah Automotive, a subsidiary of
Jaidah Group and the exclusive dealer of Chevrolet
vehicles in Qatar, recently
held a customer appreciation event for its wholesale
ACDelco Parts Appreciation
Event was attended by senior management from Jaidah Group, including Khaled
Hassan, MD of Jaidah Automotive, K T Rao, wholesale
manager, Tom Sutton, parts
business manager from
GM and Arthur Fernandes,
independent aftermarket
general manager.
The aim of the evening
was for Jaidah Automotive
- Independent Aftermarket and ACDelco Parts to
show their appreciation by
honouring wholesale clients in Qatar. They did so by
presenting 10 appreciation
awards to long-standing
“With Qatar experiencing
growth, the number of vehicles on this country’s roads
is increasing rapidly. We see
that more cars, more parts
and more servicing mean
more business opportunities
for Jaidah Automotive,” said
Fernandes. “Our wholesale
customers appreciate quality
products and this is what we
aim to give them. Together
with ACDelco, we arranged
this event to show our appreciation, through recognising our 10 most valuable
The customers honoured
were Ali International
Trading Est, Al Faris Trading Est, Teyseer Service
Centre, Khalid Saif Auto
Spare Parts, Doha Motors
& Trading Co, Marhaba
National Trading & Transport Co, Khalifa al-Kuwari
& Sons Trading Co, Woqod (Qatar Fuel), Salamco
Trading & Contg Est and El
Naeel Company.
Appreciation awards were given to long-standing customers at the event.
Documentary and
animation film to be
top fare at Ajyal fest
motorracing documentary
Speed Sisters and animated film Kahlil Gibran’s
The Prophet (France, Lebanon, Qatar, USA) will be
among the highlights of this
year’s feature films at the
Ajyal Youth Film Festival.
Speed Sisters is an action-packed and “insightful” documentary about the
Middle East’s first all-woman motor-racing team while
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
is an adaptation of Gibran’s
beloved book directed by
Roger Allers (The Lion King).
A number of high-profile Middle East and North
Africa feature films which
tackle modern-day social
issues will also be showcased at the festival. This
includes Difret by Zeresenay Mehari, Ethiopia’s official entry for Best Foreign
Language Film at this year’s
Academy Awards.
Difret, executive produced
by Angelina Jolie, the film
tells the tale of the kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl on
her way home from school.
Another film, #chicagoGirl:
The Social Network Takes
On a Dictator follows the life
of a young Syrian woman as
she assists the revolution in
her home country – from her
bedroom in Chicago.
Animation also continues to be a popular theme
at the festival this year with
the screening of the visual
masterpiece The Tale of
Princess Kaguya (Japan) by
Japanese anime director
Isao Takahata.
Song of the Sea (Ireland,
Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, France) by Tom
Moore is also expected to
captivate the audience. It is
an animated adventure inspired by the Ancient Irish
legend of the selkies.
Jordanian director Naji
Abu Nowar will present
Theeb (Jordan, Qatar, UAE,
UK), a coming-of-age story
of a Bedouin boy who embarks on a perilous journey
across the desert as the Ottoman Empire crumbles.
The Brazilian animated feature The Boy and the World
(Brazil) by Ale Abreu illustrates the issues of the modern world through the eyes of
a child. It won the best feature
and audience prizes at this
year’s Annecy International
Animated Film Festival.
Another film, Whiplash
(USA) by Damien Chazelle,
is a story of a teenager’s
dreams of becoming a jazz
musician. It won the audience and grand jury prizes
at this year’s Sundance Film
Some of the highlights of
the short film programmes
include the Iranian black
comedy A Ceremony for a
Friend by Kaveh Ebrahimpour, the UK/Italian sci-fi
The Nostalgist by Giacomo
Keys of Heaven by Paratiisin Avaimet, set during the
Iran-Iraq War.
It also includes two UK short
films, Hijabi Girls by Nada
al-Hudaid which celebrates
the world of high fashion and
Shackled by Nour Wazzi, starring Game of Thrones actress
Emilia Clarke.
“Film lovers of all ages will
find this year’s programme
rich with opportunities to
explore and engage with the
many interesting films and
subject matters that are highlighted – from magical tales
of the sea and nature, to the
world of music and contemporary issues of social change
and transformation,” said Festival director and Doha Film
Institute acting CEO Fatma
al-Remaihi in a statement.
Special guests have confirmed to attend the festival
include a delegation from
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
such as producer/actress
Salma Hayek-Pinault, director Roger Allers and chapter
directors Joan Graetz and
Mohammed Saeed Harib.
Speed Sisters director
Amber Fares will be in attendance for the opening
night along with the team
members who star in the
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Roads to be
closed for
two weeks
Officials of QF and TAMUQ with Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari, president of Kahramaa. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
TAMUQ centre aims to
make smart grid a reality
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ)
Grid Centre extension in Qatar (SGC-Q) at a special event
yesterday. SGC-Q which is an
extension of the Smart Grid
Centre in College Station, Texas, enables making smart grid a
reality in Qatar and worldwide.
The launch ceremony was attended by Essa bin Hilal al- Kuwari, president of Qatar General
Electricity & Water Corporation
(Kahramaa), Dr Mark Weichold,
dean and CEO of TAMUQ, Dr
Thomas Zacharia, executive
vice president of Research and
Development, Qatar Foundation, and Dr Mohamed Khaleel,
executive director, Qatar Environment and Energy Institute
Al-Kuwari said the establishment of such a specialised
centre is aligned with Qatar
National Vision 2030 and a step
ahead in implementing Kahramaa’s vision and strategy.
“The centre will work to incorporate all efforts related to the
field to build a platform for the
smart infrastructure not only in
the electricity grids but also for
water, telecommunication and
transportation as well.”
Giving details of SGC-Q, Dr
Haitham Abu-Rub, managing
director of the centre and chair
of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Programme at
TAMUQ said the centre aims
to advance the efficient use of
electric energy and modernisa-
tion of the electricity grid.
He explained: “The centre
aims to expand upon its broad
range of capabilities and expertise in six key smart grid areas.
They are electricity production
and consumption, clean energy
enabling technologies, transportation system, the built environment, computer information services and energy related
Dr Weichold said “the Smart
Grid Centre works toward the
goal of transforming the electrical grid infrastructure to meet
the demands of the 21st century
and the centre’s interdisciplinary team will work to make
smart grid a reality in Qatar, as
well as worldwide. This centre
is a part of TAMUQ’s efforts to
meet the pressing challenges
of Qatar’s growth and develop-
ment by providing research, facilities and expertise available
nowhere else in the region.”
Dr Khaleel said: “QEERI performs research and technology
development in solar energy,
energy storage and smart grid.
QEERI will work with TAMUQ
in close partnership with Kahramaa to develop solutions for a
smart grid in Qatar by enabling
reliable, resilient, cost effective,
efficient and flexible integration
of solar energy with the grid and
providing solutions for off- grid
Abu-Rub also noted that
the smart grid is a way of handling energy independence,
global warming and security
of supply. “The centre will
help in ensuring energy security. It will provide facilities for efficient distribution of
energy as well as storage.”
He added: “It will help in facilitating Qatar with the latest
technology developments in
smart electric power distribution grids, efficient use of electric energy and modernisation
of the electricity grid. It will
generate new knowledge and
develop exemplary engineers
and leaders by conducting advanced researches, disseminating results, and organising conferences and workshops.”
The establishment of this
centre is in line with Kahramaa’s
strategy and with QNV 2030.
The centre will be the nucleus to
lead, direct and co-ordinate the
research, development and innovation needed for smart grid
promotion and implementation
within Qatar and the GCC region.
s part of the fourth
phase of the C-Ring
Road project, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal)
has announced the closure of
a part of both Al Kinana Street
and Qatari bin Al Fujaah Street
branching from C-Ring Road
at the Al Kinana signal.
The closure will extend for
about 350m on each of these
two streets in both directions.
The purpose of the closure is the
widening of Qatari bin Al Fujaah
and Al Kinana streets by adding
additional lanes to them.
The closure starts tomorrow November 14 and will last
two weeks, while the entire
C-Ring Road development
project in its four phases will
be completed in the second
quarter of 2015.
Access to shops on both
streets will remain available
and cars will be able to reach
the car wash and car repair
shops on Qatari bin Al Fujaah
Street through designated accesses on the street.
Cars can be parked on the
rear side of the shops on Al
Kinana Street and people can
reach these shops by walking.
Residents of buildings affected by the closure will need
to park in backstreets in the
area during the closure period.
Ashghal also announced
that as part of its work on
Dukhan Highway (Central),
and to complete works on
the new interchange near Al
Rayyan Club on Dukhan Road
(known as the Rawdat Rashed
interchange), it is re-aligning
access to and from Celebration
Road from Dukhan Highway.
The diversion will be in
place for approximately 12
months with an 80kmph
speed limit.
Drivers coming to or from
Celebration Road should follow the signs along the new
‘Don’t leave kids alone with drivers’
Several citizens and social
experts have warned of the
risks of leaving children alone
with drivers, local Arabic daily
Arrayah has reported.
The risks include the
possibility of being sexually
assaulted as well as acquiring
habits and behaviours
that are contrary to the
community’s traditions and
religious values, the report
The citizens and experts
have expressed concern over
excessive dependence on
domestic workers such as
drivers and the practice of
leaving children alone with
them without the supervision
of a family member or nanny.
According to them, some of
these workers and drivers
commit acts of violence, scare
or harass children, besides
having an adverse effect on
their language, beliefs and
culture, the report further
They have called upon
families to encourage
children to be frank in telling
them about anything that
they feel is unnatural.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Centrifuge testing doesn’t violate pact: Tehran
ran has confirmed it tested
a new centrifuge that could
speed up its enrichment of
uranium but rejected a US think
tank’s suggestion the move may
have violated last year’s nuclear
deal with world powers.
Foreign ministry spokes-
woman Marzieh Afkham gave no
indication that Iran had stopped
feeding natural uranium gas into
the so-called IR-5 centrifuge.
Washington said on Monday Tehran had ceased the activity.
Asked about the US statement, Iran’s ambassador to the
International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), Reza Najafi, said
there had been intermittent
testing of the IR-5.
“So sometimes you feed,
sometimes you do not feed,” he
said in Vienna. “If they want
... they can consider that it is
stopped. But it is ordinary R&D
(research and development) and
we are doing that. We continue
with R&D.”
The comments underlined
difficulties of interpretation facing powers seeking a deal with
Iran by a November 24 deadline
on Tehran’s nuclear programme
which the West fears aims at developing nuclear weapons. Iran
denies such ambitions.
Iran’s development of advanced centrifuges is sensitive
because, if successful, it could
enable it to produce potential nuclear bomb material at
a rate several times that of the
decades-old model now in use.
Iran says it is only producing en-
riched uranium to fuel nuclear
power plants.
The IR-5 is one of several new
models that Iran has been seeking to develop to replace its erratic IR-1 centrifuge.
Last year’s interim nuclear
agreement between Iran and the
six global powers said Tehran
could continue its “current enrichment R&D practices”, language that implies it should not
expand them.
Unlike other advanced models under development - IR-2m,
IR-4 and IR-6 - at a research site
at its Natanz enrichment plant,
Iran had until now not fed the
IR-5 with uranium gas.
After an IAEA report on Friday
said Iran had been feeding the
IR-5 with uranium gas, the USbased Institute for Science and
International Security (ISIS) said
this may have been a violation of
the accord.
Afkham dismissed the allegation as “psychological warfare”.
Other US experts said they no
saw no breach of the agreement
between Iran and the United
States, France, Germany, China,
Russia and Britain - designed to
buy time for talks on a permanent settlement by the November 24 deadline.
Russia sees
chance of
deal at Iran
nuclear talks
senior Russian diplomat
expressed optimism yesterday that a deal could
be reached this month between
world powers and Tehran on
curbing Iran’s nuclear programme despite “deep gaps” on
some issues.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia, which
agreed on Tuesday to build up to
eight new nuclear reactor units
in Iran, was doing all it could to
help secure the agreement which
would provide assurances to the
West that Tehran’s programme
was not intended to build weapons.
The six powers - the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council plus Germany
- and Iran face a November 24
“The main obstacles are
the inability of all parties to
build bridges over the still
deep gaps on issues like
enrichment and sanctions”
“We aren’t looking at the possibility of not reaching a deal by
November 24,” Ryabkov, who
was present at the latest talks in
Muscat this week, was quoted
as saying by the Russian news
agency Interfax. “We are focused
completely on the task before us,
in so far as we have a chance, and
it’s not small. We can’t miss (the
warmer relations than other
powers leading the talks with
Tehran, which says its nuclear
work is for peaceful purposes.
It is closely involved in developing Iran’s nuclear energy programme, having already opened
one generator in Bushehr.
One of the chief Western concerns is Tehran’s capacity to refine uranium quickly that could
open the way to arms production.
Despite Ryabkov’s optimism,
the talks in Oman’s capital produced no big breakthrough.
“The main obstacles are the
inability of all parties to build
bridges over the still deep gaps
on issues like enrichment and
sanctions,” Ryabkov said in
Muscat on Tuesday
A US State Department official said on Tuesday there was
“more work to do” and Iran’s top
negotiator said he was “not in a
position to claim that progress is
An agreement would provide a
big foreign policy success for US
President Barack Obama.
Domestic politics should not
be allowed to influence the nuclear talks, Iranian President
Hassan Rohani said yesterday,
alluding to the US Republican
party’s recent Senate victory.
“If one of the member countries of the P5+1 has a domestic
problem or won or lost an election, it has nothing to do with us
and each country must resolve
its own problems,” Rohani said
in televised remarks.
“It doesn’t make sense... for
this problem to appear at the
level of negotiations.”
Domestic issues were a factor at this week’s talks, given the
victory in mid-term elections of
the US Republican party, whose
members have consistently bridled at the White House’s negotiations with Iran.
Rohani and Foreign Minister
Mohamed Javad Zarif are also
under fire from Iranian lawmakers sceptical of an interim deal
and who have demanded any
final agreement be ratified by
Obama said on Sunday a “big
gap” remained on how the West
can have “verifiable, lock-tight
assurances” that Iran cannot
obtain a nuclear weapon.
Rohani said the situation was
“It is not fair that one country
that respects all international
conventions is facing a power
that says ‘I have doubts’,” he said,
in reference to Iran being a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Why should our country respond to these suspicions?” he
Students demonstrate in Sanaa yesterday against the deployment of armed militia from the Shia Houthi movement at the Sanaa University campus.
Dozens dead as suicide
blast hits Yemen rebels
A suicide car bomber attacks
a large gathering of Houthis
at the residence of a local
tribal chief
powerful suicide bomb
attack on Shia militia
fighters in central Yemen left dozens of people dead
yesterday, military and tribal
sources said.
Yemen has been rocked by
fresh instability since the Shia
fighters, known as Houthis,
seized control of the capital
Sanaa in September.
The Houthis have since
been expanding their presence
throughout the country but are
facing fierce resistance from
local Sunni tribes and Al Qaeda’s powerful Yemeni branch.
Yesterday’s blast hit a large
gathering of Houthis at the
residence of a local tribal chief
in Rada, a mixed Shia-Sunni
town that has seen heavy fighting, military and tribal sources
The explosion was the
heaviest to hit Rada since the
Houthis took over parts of the
town last month, the military
source said, adding that it was
carried out by a suicide car
Residents said the dawn
bombing was felt across the
whole town.
Both the military and tribal sources said dozens were
killed, but a more accurate toll
was not immediately available.
There was no immediate
claim of responsibility for the
At least 26 more Houthis
were killed in attacks that targeted them in several areas
around Rada since early Tuesday, tribal sources said.
Al Qaeda claimed twin at-
tacks at the weekend that it
said killed dozens of Houthi
fighters in Rada.
The rise of the Houthis has
challenged the authority of
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour
Hadi, and violence has continued despite UN-backed efforts
to find a political solution.
The 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
strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh,
who has been accused of backing the Houthis.
Washington on Monday hit
Saleh and two Houthi commanders with sanctions, accusing them of “engaging in
acts that directly or indirectly
threaten the peace, security, or
stability of Yemen”.
The UN Security Council
previously approved sanctions
against the three men.
A new cabinet, including
Iraqi president
in Saudi Arabia
to patch up ties
Iraqi President Fuad Masum’s
visit to Saudi Arabia is aimed at
patching up long-strained relations
between the two countries as
Baghdad battles militants, a senior
official said yesterday.
Masum arrived in Saudi Arabia
on Tuesday and met with King
Abdullah, the highest-level contact
between the neighbouring
countries in years.
The main focus of the visit is
“normalising diplomatic and
political relations between the
two countries”, Finance Minister
Hoshiyar Zebari, who is part of the
Iraqi delegation, told AFP.
The two sides also discussed “cooperation in the field of fighting
terrorism and economic, trade and
security relations”, Zebari said.
Former premier Nuri al-Maliki’s
eight years in office were marked
by tensions with Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this year, Riyadh blamed
Maliki’s Shia-led government’s
“sectarian policies” for the rise of
the Islamic State group, which has
overrun large parts of the country
since June.
Iraq is now reaching out to
countries in the region and
beyond for help in driving IS back.
members considered close to
the Houthis, was sworn in on
Sunday in a bid to resolve Yemen’s political crisis, despite
calls for a boycott from both
Saleh and the Shia militia.
But authorities have made
no move to tackle the militia
in Sanaa or to impose order in
other parts of the country.
Yemen is an important US
ally in the fight against Al Qaeda. The group’s Yemeni branch
is considered one of its deadliest and has organised attacks
against Western targets.
A suspected US drone strike
killed seven Al Qaeda militants
in Yemen’s south yesterday,
the defence ministry and tribal
sources said, the latest in a series of raids against the extremist network.
The militants were hit while
gathered “under a group of
trees” in Azzan village in the
southern province of Shabwa, a
tribal source said.
The defence ministry said in
a brief statement on its website
that seven Al Qaeda militants
were killed in an air raid yesterday in Azzan.
“Those killed were planning
to carry out a terrorist attack in
Azzan using a bomb-laden vehicle,” it said, without confirming the strike was carried out by
a US drone.
Drone strikes against Al
Qaeda suspects in Yemen have
intensified this month, with
at least 20 militants killed in
raids by unmanned aircraft in
the central province of Baida on
November 3.
The United States is the only
country operating drones over
Yemen, but US officials rarely
confirm individual strikes.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has announced
the deaths of two top commanders, Shawki al-Baadani
and Nabil al-Dahab, in such
Saudi transfers top
official after killings
A handout picture released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Tuesday shows Saudi King Abdullah meeting Iraqi President Fuad
Masum in Riyadh.
audi Arabia yesterday
transferred the deputy
governor of the kingdom’s
Eastern Province, in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack against minority Shias in
the region.
A royal decree “decided to
relieve Emir Jalwi bin Abdulaziz
bin Musaid al-Saud” from his
post and transfer him to Najran
region bordering Yemen, the
Saudi Press Agency reported
without further explanation.
Seven Shias, including children, were gunned down in the
eastern town of Al Dalwa last
week during the commemoration of Ashura.
Political and religious leaders
in the kingdom condemned the
incident, which the cabinet said
“threatened security and stability of citizens by terrorists”.
Two members of the security
forces have been killed in a gun
battle with suspects and more
than 30 people detained in a
dragnet since the November 3
attack, according to local media.
Although extremists attacked
Westerners and government
targets in the kingdom between
2003 and 2006, it was the first
major militant strike against
Shias in Saudi Arabia.
Following the killings, a royal
decree dismissed Culture and
Information Minister Abdulaziz
The reasons for his firing remain unclear but it followed
Shia calls for action against hate
speech in the media.
Since 2011, protests and sporadic attacks on security forces
have occurred in Shia areas of
Eastern Province, home to most
of the minority community.
A gunman shot and wounded
two policemen on patrol in the
eastern community of Qatif on
Tuesday, local daily Arab News
reported, citing provincial police.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Six killed in
eastern Libya
bomb attacks
Sisi issues
decree on
resident Abdel Fattah alSisi issued a decree yesterday allowing him to repatriate foreign prisoners in Egypt,
state media said, a move that
could enable the release of an Al
Jazeera journalist now serving a
seven-year jail term.
Peter Greste, an Australian
citizen, was sentenced in June
along with Canadian-Egyptian
national Mohamed Fahmy and
Egyptian Baher Mohamed, all
from the Qatar-based television
They were detained in December and convicted six months later
of spreading lies to help a “terrorist organisation” - an allusion to
the Muslim Brotherhood outlawed after the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi
in mid-2013.
Al Jazeera has said that the
accusations against the three
journalists are absurd. Western
governments and human rights
groups have condemned the case,
with the United Nations questioning Egypt’s reputation and the
independence of its judiciary.
“The president issued a law
on Wednesday allowing (him) to
agree to surrender and transport
non-Egyptian convicts and suspects to their countries to be tried
or have their punishment implemented,” the official news agency
Mena said.
“This decision comes in the
framework of upholding the nation’s interests and preserving
Egypt’s international image...,”
Mena quoted presidential spokesman Alaa Yousef as saying.
Both Libya’s government and
parliament took refuge in the
remote east when Islamistbacked militias seized the
capital in August
A man inspects a damaged car at the site of the bombing in Tobruk yesterday.
string of bomb attacks
killed six people in eastern Libya yesterday, including in a stronghold of the
internationally recognised authorities, officials said.
An interior ministry official said
a suicide attack hit the centre of
Tobruk, a town close to the Egyptian border and 1,600km east of
Tripoli that is the base of a contested parliament elected in June.
“At least one person was killed
and 20 more injured, four seriously” in the suicide car bomb attack,
a health ministry official said.
Witnesses said the “very powerful” blast caused extensive
damage. Initial reports suggested
there had been a double bombing.
Tobruk was also until recently
the base for Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni’s government,
which has moved its headquarters
to the nearby town of Shahat.
The interior ministry official
said the bombing did not strike
near the hotel which houses parliament. But a lawmaker said security measures had been stepped
up for fear of further attacks.
Another car bomb, also believed
to be a suicide attack, struck near
the Al Abraq air base in eastern
Libya, killing five soldiers, officials
said, updating an earlier toll.
And in Benghazi, where deadly
clashes between pro-government
militias and Islamist fighters have
raged for weeks, a package exploded in the city centre, causing
damage, witnesses said.
Both Libya’s government and
parliament took refuge in the remote east when Islamist-backed
militias seized the capital in August.
The parliament was annulled by
the supreme court last week but its
anti-Islamist majority has refused
to accept the judgement, saying it
was handed down under duress.
On the diplomatic front, the
UN special representative for
Libya, Bernardino Leon, is trying
through contacts with the rival
parties to initiate “an inclusive dialogue aimed at reaching political
agreement”, his office said.
Libyan media said Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti has travelled to the country to join the UN
efforts and sound out the different
parties on the prospects of convening a meeting in Khartoum.
Three years after dictator Muammar 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.
State-run National Oil Corp
(NOC) said yesterday it abandoned an attempt to restart production at the El Sharara oilfield,
one of the country’s biggest, after a pipeline blockage.
The field, which used to pump
at least 200,000 barrels a day, was
caught up in the country’s political strife when gunmen forced a
production shutdown last week.
Workers at the field and some
Libyan blogs say tribesmen supporting an armed group controlling Tripoli took over the field,
expelling a rival group from Zintan, which was guarding it.
Reports from a Libyan industry
source said the pipeline leading to
the Zawiya port had been blocked
in Zintan territory. The Zintanis
are allied to Prime Minister Thinni.
NOC spokesman Mohamed El
Harari said production at the El
Sharara field, located deep in the
southern desert, had been shut
due to a blockage but the reasons
were unclear. He gave no more information.
The field operator, run by NOC
and Spain’s Repsol, had restarted
wells at 1100 local time (0900
GMT), he said earlier.
The failed restart also means that
the neighbouring El Feel field, cooperated by Italy’s ENI, will remain
In another setback for authorities a protest at the eastern Hariga
port continued. State oil guards
had gone on protest late last week to
press for salary payments.
The closure of the two fields and
the port means that output has fallen to 500,000 bpd or less, according to calculations based on previous data. NOC has not published an
output update for a month.
Buffer zone no answer to
Sinai militancy: Amnesty
Abu Dhabi
gypt’s plan to create a security buffer zone along its
border with Gaza is not a
solution to growing militancy in
the Sinai region as it does not address the roots of the problem, the
head of Amnesty International
said yesterday.
“These are all shortcuts, you are
not able to address the underlying
issue which is what is happening in
the Gaza Strip and how the Muslim
Brotherhood and other opposition
are being treated,” Salil Shetty, the
rights group’s secretary general,
“You can create fortresses and
buffer zones but it will come back
to bite,” he said, adding that human
rights in Egypt had regressed since
the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak
three years ago.
Egypt began clearing residents
from the border last month to create a buffer zone 13.5km long and
500m deep aimed at deterring any
tunnelling of arms from Gaza to
Sinai-based militants.
The move came after two attacks
on October 24 killed at least 33 security personnel in Sinai in some of
the worst anti-state violence since
the army overthrew elected president Mohamed Mursi last year.
Residents of Sinai, which has long
been neglected by the state, say they
rely on the tunnels for their living.
Egyptian authorities see them as a
threat and regularly destroy them.
“You cannot justify what the
militants are doing in Sinai but you
have to understand why it is happening,” Shetty said.
10 hurt in controlled blast
Ten people were hurt on Tuesday when
Egyptian police set off a controlled explosion of a bomb-rigged car in the town
of El Arish in north of the restive Sinai
Peninsula, security officials said.
Those wounded were in their nearby
home when the explosion went off. They
were taken to hospital.
“We blew up the car remotely. There was
a half a tonne of explosives” inside, an
interior ministry spokesman, Hani Abdel
Latif, told AFP. It was too dangerous to try
to defuse the bomb, he explained.
He added that those injured were cut by
shattered window glass.
“The government is going after
the Muslim Brotherhood in every
possible formal and informal way
and we are seeing the consequences
in Sinai.”
Militant violence has surged
since the ouster of Mursi, a
Brotherhood official. Egypt has
launched a crackdown on the
group, jailing thousands of its
members and labelling it a terrorist organisation.
The Brotherhood says it is peaceful and condemned last month’s attacks.
But Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a
militant group that has sworn allegiance to Islamic State, has stepped
up attacks on police and soldiers in
Sinai, which borders Israel, Gaza
and the Suez Canal.
Shetty said Egypt’s rights record
had gone from bad to worse: “If
you had asked me three years ago
can the human rights situation get
worse than it was in Mubarak’s time
I would have said it was impossible,
but here we are.”
In the Middle East as a whole,
Shetty said little had improved
since the Arab uprisings against
authoritarian rule began in 2011.
“It has gone full circle,” he said.
Khartoum, rebels in new round of talks
Addis Ababa
udan’s government and rebels
from South Kordofan and Blue
Nile launched their latest round
of peace talks yesterday, as mediators
called for an “urgent” end to over three
years of war.
More than 1mn people have been
displaced or severely affected by the
conflict in the two states.
“We are really hoping this time to
finalise the negotiations in which both
sides have been engaged in for a few
years,” African Union chief mediator
Thabo Mbeki said at the talks in the
Ethiopian capital.
“It is important, necessary and urgent that... we end the war in these
two areas,” added Mbeki, a former
South African president.
Fighting erupted shortly before
South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011,
as former SPLM-N rebels took up
arms again.
“We are coming here to look for a
comprehensive, peaceful settlement,”
SPLM-N rebel delegation leader Yasir
Arman said in his opening speech in
Addis Ababa.
Previous round of talks all collapsed
with fighting in the two states ongoing.
Arman, who was sentenced to death
in absentia in March, also called for “a
credible election and a peaceful exchange of power”.
Last month Sudan’s President Omar
Hassan al-Bashir’s National Congress
Party said the 70-year-old, who is
wanted by the International Criminal
Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur,
would stand for re-election in 2015.
“Let us pray to almighty Allah that
this round of negotiations may be better than the previous ones,” Sudan’s
delegation leader Ibrahim Ghandour
“We have come here full of hope and
determination to arrive to an agreement
that would stop the bloodshed in our
Ghandour, who called the rebel
SPLM-N his “brothers”, said Khartoum “considers that negotiations and
dialogue are the only means for ending
internal conflicts”.
Like the insurgency in western Sudan’s
Darfur region, the Kordofan-Blue Nile war
has been fuelled by complaints among nonArab groups of neglect and discrimination
by the Arab-dominated regime.
Darfur rebel commander Minni Minnawi, who co-ordinates the Sudan
Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of
rebels from Darfur, South Kordofan and
Blue Nile, was also at the meeting.
The UN says 300,000 people have
been killed in Darfur and more than 2mn
displaced since 2003.
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Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
‘More than 800 dead’ in US-led strikes in Syria
t least 865 people have
been killed since a USled coalition launched an
air campaign against militant
groups in Syria in September, a
monitoring group said yesterday.
Fifty civilians, including
eight children, were among
the dead, the Syrian Observa-
tory for Human Rights said.
At least 746 Islamic State militants and 68 members of the Al
Nusra Front, the Syrian Al Qaeda
affiliate, have been killed in the
raids, said the Britain-based
group, which collects its information through a network of
pro-opposition activists in Syria.
It added that real casualty
figures were likely to be higher
because the Islamic State group
tends to conceal its losses.
The United States and its allies launched air strikes against
Islamic State targets in Syria on
September 23 with the US going
it alone the same day to hit the Al
Nusra Front.
Al Nusra was hit again last
week along with the Islamist
group Ahrar al-Sham, prompting warnings from the Syrian
opposition and analysts that the
US campaign was causing anger
in Syria and exposing Western-
backed rebels to pre-emptive attacks by the extremists.
The Islamic State has been targeted in scores of raids, many of them
around the Kurdish town of Kobane
on the Turkish border, which the
militants have been trying to capture
since mid-September.
Kobane’s defenders yesterday
claimed to have captured a key
Islamic State supply route and to
have advanced towards Mishte
Nur hill, which overlooks the be-
sieged town from the south.
The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units have been backed by a
small detachment of Iraqi Kurdish
peshmerga forces with heavy artillery who entered the enclave via
Turkey at the end of October.
The fighting has forced an
estimated 200,000 civilians to
flee to Turkey, which is in possession of the Mursitpinar border crossing, the only access
point to Kobane not controlled
by the Islamic State group.
The US announced that Secretary of State John Kerry would
visit Jordan for talks with King
Abdullah on the fight against
Islamic State as well as growing
tensions in Jerusalem.
Syrian authorities, meanwhile,
arrested the leader of a moderate
opposition party at a border crossing with Syria, his party said.
The Building the Syrian State
party said it would hold the au-
French MPs
to vote on
of Palestine
rench lawmakers will vote
later this month on a proposal urging the government to recognise Palestine as a
state, a parliamentary source said
yesterday, as diplomatic tensions
continue to rise between Europe
and Israel.
The non-binding but highly
symbolic vote on November 28
was proposed by the ruling Socialist party, and follows a similar
resolution by the British parliament and an official decision to
recognise Palestine by the Swedish government.
A draft of the new proposal
states that the lower house National Assembly “invites the
French government to use the
recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a
definitive resolution of the conflict”.
European leaders have shown
signs of mounting impatience
with Israel over its continued
settlement-building in Palestinian territories.
Criticism has become more
focused in the wake of this summer’s 50-day offensive by the
Israeli army in Gaza that killed
more than 2,000 Palestinians
and dozens of Israelis.
France saw a spate of proPalestinian protests during the
Some turned violent, with
looters in July destroying Jewish
businesses in the Paris suburb
of Sarcelles—sometimes known
as “Little Jerusalem” for its large
community of Sephardic Jews.
The Jewish Agency for Israel,
an advocacy group, said in September that more Jews had left
France for Israel than from any
other country in 2014, blaming a
“climate of anti-Semitism”.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius acknowledged in an interview last week that France would
“obviously at a certain moment
recognise the Palestinian state”.
“The question is when and
how? Because this recognition
must be useful for efforts to break
the deadlock and contribute to a
final resolution of the conflict,”
he added.
The French parliamentary vote
will come hot on the heels of a
similar resolution to “recognise
the state of Palestine alongside
the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated
two-state solution” approved by
British lawmakers on October 13.
Then Sweden announced on
October 30 it officially recognised the Palestinian state, a
move heavily criticised by Israel
and the United States.
And on Saturday, Europe’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called for a Palestinian state
sharing Jerusalem as its capital
with Israel.
The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have
now recognised Palestine as a
state, although the number is
disputed and several recognitions by what are now European
Union member states date back
to the Soviet era.
France was among 14 EU nations that voted in favour of
granting Palestinian territories
observer status at the United Nations in November 2012.
The foreign ministry yesterday
did not specifically comment on
the parliamentary vote, but repeated it was urgent to relaunch
peace talks that would lead to a
Palestinian state.
“France is attached to a twostate solution,” spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily news
briefing. “This solution implies
that there will be a recognition
of a Palestinian state by France,”
he said.
Paris has previously supported
Palestine’s membership of the
UN cultural agency Unesco and
its non-member observer country status at the United Nations.
Palestinians seek statehood in
the Israeli-occupied West Bank
and blockaded Gaza Strip with
East Jerusalem as their capital lands captured by Israel in a 1967
war, although Israeli soldiers and
settlers withdrew from Gaza in
The latest round of fitful efforts to forge a two-state solution
collapsed in April and Palestinians now see little choice but to
push unilaterally for statehood
and have encouraged international steps to recognise it.
Iraq PM
sacks 26
People carry a 100m-long Palestinian flag in the West Bank city of Nablus yesterday. Palestinian
independence was symbolically declared by the late leader Yasser Arafat on November 15, 1988.
srael will not co-operate with
a UN inquiry into its 50day war with rocket-firing
militants in Gaza this summer,
a government spokesman said
“Since the Schabas commission
is not an inquiry but a commission that gives its conclusions in
advance, Israel will not co-operate
with the commission of the UN
Human Rights Council over the
last conflict with Hamas,” foreign
ministry spokesman Emmanuel
Nahshon said in a statement.
The decision had been taken
because of the “obsessive hostility against Israel of this commission and the words of its
president against Israel and its
leaders,” he added.
In August, Canadian international law expert William Schabas was named as the head of the
UN commission, angering Israel,
where he is widely regarded as
hostile to the Jewish state over
reported calls to bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before
the International Criminal Court.
Israel has long had stormy
relations with the UN Human
Rights Council.
In January 2012, it became the
first country to refuse to attend
a periodic review of its human
rights record. And two months
later, it cut all ties with the council over its plans to probe how
Jewish settlements were harming Palestinian rights.
Hamas welcomed the establishment of the commission
which is due to report to the
council in March 2015.
The Gaza war, which ended
with a truce on August 26, killed
more than 2,140 Palestinians,
most of them civilians, and 73 on
the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.
Israel bombed and shelled
more than 5,000 targets across
the Gaza Strip and Palestinian
militants launched more than
4,000 rockets into Israel.
Some 20,000 homes were
destroyed and another 40,000
damaged in Gaza, according to a
Palestinian Authority report.
z Jailed Palestinian leader
Marwan Barghuti has been
placed in solitary confinement
after publishing a letter calling
for a return to “armed resistance” against Israel, a Palestinian NGO said yesterday.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said in
a statement that Barghuti had
been placed in solitary as a “punishment” for a letter published
on Tuesday on the 10th anniversary of the death of veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
raqi Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi sacked 26 military
commanders yesterday for
corruption and incompetence,
in an apparent effort to improve
the army’s performance against
Islamic State militants.
“The military leadership should
have competence, and this is an
important thing, as it is not possible
for someone who is not efficient to
do his work properly,” Abadi said in
comments to army officers broadcast on state television.
“The second thing is integrity,
as efficiency without integrity produces a vacuum. The third is courage, so that the soldier will fight in a
proper way when he sees his commander has such qualifications.”
Abadi, who heads a Shia-led
government, did not elaborate
and officials in his office were not
immediately available to comment on which commanders had
been removed.
Islamic State militants have
taken control of large areas of
Iraq in recent months, facing
little resistance from the UStrained army. The Islamists also
hold territory in Syria.
Iraq’s most influential Shia
cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali alSistani, said on Friday corruption in the armed forces had enabled Islamic State to seize large
chunks of Iraq, in criticism that
added to pressure for reforms.
Sistani has become increasingly critical of Iraqi leaders
since Islamic State’s advances
plunged the country into crisis.
The performance of the army,
recipient of $25bn in US training and funding, is crucial to the
long-term stability of Iraq.
“There are widespread accusations of corruption inside
the military institutions,” said
Abadi. “Nobody should be afraid
to fight corruption. Whoever is
fighting corruption, I will stand
with him absolutely.”
Lebanon crisis ‘tied
to regional tensions’
Israel to shun UN
Gaza war inquiry
thorities responsible for any
harm suffered by its president,
Louay Hussein.
Syrian authorities have allowed a number of formerly
banned moderate opposition
parties to function openly in Damascus since the outbreak of the
civil war in 2011.
Their leaders and activists said
they are nevertheless still harassed and occasionally arrested
by security forces.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam speaks during an
interview at his office in Beirut yesterday.
ebanese Prime Minister
Tammam Salam believes
a deal settling the Iranian
nuclear dispute could help pave
the way towards ending the political deadlock that has left his
country without a president
since May.
The country has been hit hard
by the war in Syria, with violence
spilling across the border and
threatening the fragile sectarian
balance that has largely held since
Lebanon’s own 1975-90 civil war.
Lebanon has had no president
since May because lawmakers
divided between Shia and Sunni-led blocs have been unable
to agree on a replacement. This
month parliament voted to extend its own term into 2017, forgoing scheduled elections.
Salam said resolving Lebanon’s crisis would first require
defusing regional tensions, possibly starting with a deal around
Iran’s nuclear programme, followed by an eventual resolution
of Syria’s war.
“Everything is connected. If
we are looking towards a solution for our presidency situa-
tion in Lebanon, we would also
be looking for other solutions
for the whole region,” he said in
an interview at the government
headquarters in Beirut. “At the
moment, unfortunately, there is
nothing in light yet.”
Western and Iranian officials
held talks this week in Oman,
with a deadline for reaching a
nuclear deal less than two weeks
away. No imminent breakthrough is in sight.
Lebanon can ill afford a long
wait. Tourism and investment
have fallen since the Syrian crisis
erupted in 2011, while the political stalemate has hampered
efforts to tackle the substantial
public debt, exploit potential
offshore gas reserves and improve shoddy infrastructure.
“I have to admit the government is working at half steam,”
Salam said, urging politicians
to elect a new president quickly.
“Nobody can say a body without
a head is a complete body, so, yes,
we need a head for this country.”
Syria-linked violence has also
encroached on Lebanon, with
gun battles, car bombings and
rocket attacks killing hundreds
of people. Islamist gunmen have
fought the army in two big battles since August.
Salam, who is Sunni as required
by Lebanon’s constitution, said it
was unclear how many Sunni militants were in the country but said
attacks could continue.
He also acknowledged the extent of outside influence over
Lebanon, saying it had only once
freely chosen a president without foreign interference since independence in 1943.
Salam’s own government was
formed in February after nearly
a year of deadlock was ended by
what was widely seen as a deal
between regional backers of Lebanon’s political factions.
The divide between those factions, one led by the Shia Hezbollah and the other by Sunni
leader Saad al-Hariri, is still
wide. Both sides accuse the other
of dragging the country further
into Syria’s crisis.
Hezbollah has sent fighters to
aid Syrian President Bashar alAssad against mostly Sunni rebels,
while Sunni militants have increasingly clashed with the army.
“The struggle goes on,” Salam
said. “From the start I never claimed
that we are going to fly high. I said
we will try to avoid falling down, try
to avoid the negative impact of what
is happening regionally. It is not an
easy thing happening.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Bomber’s attack on
Nigeria college ‘fails’
Boko Haram is waging war
against students across
female suicide bomber
injured four people yesterday at a teacher training college in northwest Nigeria,
blowing herself up before she
could reach her target, police
At least 10 people had been
feared dead in the blast at the
Federal College of Education in
Kontagora, Niger state, according to a student at the scene.
But state police spokesman
Ibrahim Gambari said later that
only the bomber died and four
others were injured—three students and a bystander.
bomber blew herself up before
she could reach her target, which
was the school library where
many students were reading for
their exams,” he told AFP.
The blast came two days after
nearly 60 people were killed in a
suspected Boko Haram suicide
bombing at a school in the town of
Potiskum in northeast Yobe state.
Nigerians have come to expect
near daily Boko Haram attacks in
the far northeast but the latest
attack will raise fresh concern if
linked to the Islamist uprising.
Niger state has not been
touched by the insurgency in
more than two years and Kontagora is roughly 2,000km from
Boko Haram’s northeastern
On the Monday’s Yobe bombing, an official from the all-boys
school in Potiskum, who re-
quested anonymity, said the casualty toll had risen to 58 dead and
117 injured.
Police had previously put fatalities from the bombing at 47
and the wounded at 79.
Gambari said earlier while
confirming the bombing that
teams had been dispatched from
the Niger state capital, Minna,
some 150km away.
At the scene, student Mary
Okafor said the blast happened as
they were sitting end of semester
exams and saw everyone rush out
of class.
“We saw bodies on the ground
between the library and the female hostel. Among the bodies
were two dismembered women
who we believe were the bombers,” she added. At least 10 students were killed and several others injured, she said.
“They have all been moved to the
general hospital. We have all been
asked to vacate the school. The authorities in the town have asked all
schools to close,” she added.
Educational establishments in
northern Nigeria have been hit
several times by bombings in recent months.
On September 18, at least 13
were killed in Kano during a
shootout between police and
suspected suicide bombers, again
at a teacher training college.
A female suicide bomber killed
six people on July 30 when she
detonated her explosives at a noticeboard on the campus of the
Kano Polytechnic College while
students were crowded around it.
The attack was the fourth by
a female bomber in the city in a
week and prompted the authorities to cancel public celebrations
marking the end of the Muslim
holy month of Ramadan.
The bombings were linked to
Boko Haram, which is opposed to
so-called “Western education”
and wants to create a hardline
Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
One of Boko Haram’s deadliest bombings targeting churches
came on Christmas Day 2011 in
Niger’s town of Madalla, where
44 people were killed at the St
Theresa Catholic Church.
Violence in the area has been
relatively contained since, with
a handful a gun attacks targeting
the security forces through 2012.
Nigeria’s prolonged offensive
in the northeast has become
the centrepiece of its campaign
against Boko Haram.
But recent violence outside
the restive region, including a jail
break in central Kogi state and
yesterday’s blast in Niger highlight the wide reach of the Islamist rebels.
Judges Joyce Alouch (L-R), Sylvia Steiner and Kuniko Ozaki at
the closing statements in the Bemba trial.
Bemba is
‘guilty for
of troops’
The Hague
he International Criminal Court should convict Jean-Pierre Bemba
for his troops’ “barbarity” in
the Central African Republic, prosecutors said yesterday
as the former Congolese vice
president’s war crimes trial
nears its end.
“We are here today to ask
that justice be done, that the
accused Jean-Pierre Bemba
be found responsible for and
guilty of the victims’ suffering,” prosecutor Jean-Jacques
Badibanga said at the start of
two days of closing arguments
in the case.
Bemba, 52, faces three war
crimes counts and two of
crimes against humanity for
murder, rape and pillage committed by some 1,500 members of his private army in the
neighbouring Central African
Republic between October
2002 and March 2003.
His troops allegedly murdered, raped and pillaged after Bemba sent them into the
country in late 2002 to help
put down a coup against thenCAR president Ange-Felix Patasse.
“The case shows that the
civilian population of the Central African Republic suffered
in the worst way possible from
the barbarity of Jean-Pierre
Bemba’s troops,” Badibanga
“It has been proven that the
soldiers who committed these
atrocities were under JeanPierre Bemba’s authority and
effective control. It has been
proven that Jean-Pierre Bemba knew from the first day that
he had the power to prevent
them (committing crimes)
or at least sanction them,” he
Judges should look at the
case and say “what place military leaders should really have
on the scale of penal responsibilities for crimes committed by their subordinates”,
Badibanga said.
Crucially, Bemba is not accused of committing any violence himself but as a “military
leader” according to the principle of command responsibility, he added.
Bemba listened attentively
to the hearing while regularly
taking notes.
Lawyers for Bemba, who
has pleaded not guilty to the
charges, argue vigorously that
his forces were under CAR
command when the atrocities
were committed.
The former rebel leader
turned politician has said he
deployed his troops when Patasse asked for help in quelling
a rebellion led by the former
armed forces chief Francois
Bozize, who eventually seized
power in 2003.
Bemba, who unsuccessfully
challenged current DR Congo
President Joseph Kabila in
polls in 2006, went into exile
after government forces routed his private militia in 2007.
He was arrested in Brussels in
His case saw the Haguebased ICC approving a record
3,000 victims to take part in
the hearing.
In a parallel case Bemba and
four associates including his
defence lawyer and members
of his Congolese Liberation
Movement (MLC) have been
accused of presenting false
information and witness tampering in his trial.
Last month the court ordered the four men’s interim
release as that case continued,
but the ICC has yet to announce a trial date.
The ICC is the world’s only
independent permanent tribunal to try cases of genocide,
war crimes and crimes against
humanity. It was established
in 2002 and opened its doors a
year later.
A Pokot girl, covered in animal skins, after a tribal ritual in a village about 80km from the town of Marigat in Baringo, Kenya.
Kenya arrests 10 Somalia raiders
Mali quarantines dozens after
Ebola claims second victim
ore than 90 people were quarantined across the Mali capital yesterday after a 25-year-old nurse
died of Ebola having treated a Guinea man
who succumbed with Ebola-like symptoms that were not recognised.
The man, a Muslim imam from the border town of Kouremale, was never tested
for Ebola. In a series of ceremonies that
may have exposed many mourners to the
deadly virus, his highly contagious body
was washed in a Bamako mosque and returned to Guinea for burial without precautions against Ebola.
The World Health Organisation said a
friend who had visited the imam in hospital died suddenly and was being considered another likely Ebola case. A doctor at
the Pasteur Clinic where the nurse worked
- one of Bamako’s top medical centres - is
also suspected to have contracted Ebola
and is being monitored.
Mali, the sixth West African nation to
record Ebola during the world’s worst ever
outbreak of the disease, must now trace
a new batch of contacts just as an initial
group of people linked to its first and only
Mali health official Ousmane Doumbia (R)
speaks to journalists.
other case - a two-year-old girl who died
last month - completed their 21-day quarantine on Tuesday.
The locations quarantined in Bamako,
whose population is nearly 2mn, include
the clinic, the mosque where the imam’s
body was washed and the houses where
the nurse lived and the imam stayed.
Concern is growing at the time it took
between the imam dying and the steps
needed to contain the deadly disease being
put in place. Dr Samba Sow, head of Mali’s
Ebola response, said the imam died on October 27, two days after going to the clinic.
“This case shows the lack of training of
doctors in Bamako. This training should
have been done six months ago,” one aid
worker told Reuters, asking not to be named.
The government said yesterday that the
nurse was confirmed with Ebola on Tuesday and died later that evening. All necessary steps to identify people who had
come into contact with the nurse had been
taken, it said.
Ousmane Doumbia, secretary general of
the health ministry, said more than 90 people had been quarantined. The clinic was
locked down by police on Tuesday night.
Mali shares an 800km border with
Guinea, which alongside Liberia and Sierra
Leone has been worst affected by an Ebola
outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people this year.
The two-year-old girl had also brought
Ebola to Mali from Guinea but Malian authorities said the border would remain
open for now.
More than 400 health workers at the
only Ebola treatment centre in southern
Sierra Leone went on strike yesterday over
unpaid risk allowances the government is
meant to fund, officials said.
The clinic in Bandajuma in Bo district
has about 60 beds for Ebola patients about a fifth of Sierra Leone’s total Ebola beds - and UN officials warn that the
number of Ebola cases is surging in Sierra
Leone due to a lack of treatment centres.
“An ambulance has just been turned
away with a patient because the workers
cannot go into the clinic if allowances are
not paid,” a representative of the striking
workers, Mohamed Mbawah, said.
The basic salaries of staff at Bandajuma
are paid by medical charity Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF), which runs the clinic.
Mbawah said the government had not
paid risk allowances since September and
the strike would continue until workers
had been fully reimbursed. It was not clear
how many workers there are in total at the
The government was not immediately
available for comment.
Ewald Stars, emergency coordinator
for MSF, called on the government to pay
the staff. “If the strike action continues
we will shut down the treatment centre,”
Stars said.
Sierra Leone is one of the three nations
in West Africa worst affected by Ebola,
which has killed nearly 5,000 people since
it was identified in Guinea in March.
Liberia, the hardest hit by Ebola, has
seen a reduction in the number of new
cases. However, the UN Ebola response
mission, UNMEER, warned last week that
Sierra Leone has just 288 of the 1,864 beds
it needs to fight the disease.
Kenyan police said yesterday
they had arrested 10 suspected
attackers, including two female
suicide bombers, who had
crossed into the country from
war-torn Somalia.
“These 10 suspects were
involved in recent terror
attacks in Nairobi before they
fled to Somalia, and now they
have sneaked back,” police
spokeswoman Gatiria Mboroki
told reporters.
She did not reveal the
nationalities of those arrested
or provide any other details.
Kenya has been hit by a string
of attacks in recent months
blamed on Somalia’s Al Qaedalinked Shebaab insurgents.
The Shebaab claimed they
carried out the September
2013 attack on Nairobi’s
Westgate mall killing at least
67 people.
The Islamists said the attack
was a warning to Kenya to
pull its troops out of southern
Somalia, where they are
fighting the extremists as part
of an African Union force.
Ahmed Abdi Godane, the
Shebaab chief who vowed
to bring “rivers of blood” to
Kenya, was killed in a US air
strike in October.
Botswana’s president defuses VP row
Botswana’s president yesterday shied away from nominating his
brother as vice president, ending a political and legal battle that
threw the country’s democratic reputation into question.
President Ian Khama instead put forward Mokgweetsi Masisi for
the vice presidency, and lawmakers confirmed the education
minister with 38 votes in favour and 19 abstentions in a secret
ballot. Masisi was later sworn in.
Fresh from winning a second and final five-year term, the 61-yearold Khama had looked set to name his younger brother Tshekedi as
deputy and heir apparent.
That prompted a backlash from within his own party amid fears he
was trying to create a presidential dynasty in one of Africa’s most
democratic nations.
Khama’s father Seretse Khama was the southern African country’s
first president after independence from Britain in 1966.
The current president’s administration had tried to force lawmakers
to confirm the vice president in a non-secret ballot, a bid slapped
down by the high court and court of appeal.
In October’s election, Khama’s Botswana Democratic Party -- which
has governed uninterrupted since independence—won less than
50% of the votes for the first time.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
McConnell slams
Obama’s climate
deal with China
S Senate Republican
leader Mitch McConnell yesterday criticised
President Barack Obama’s climate deal with China, saying it
doesn’t require the Chinese to
do anything to restrict carbon
emissions for 16 years.
“The problem is the president continues to send signals that he has no intention
of moving toward the middle,”
McConnell, of Kentucky, told
reporters. “I was particularly
distressed by the deal he has
reached with the Chinese on
his current trip.”
“The problem is the
president continues to
send signals that he has no
intention of moving toward
the middle”
“As I read the agreement,
it requires the Chinese to do
nothing at all for 16 years,
while these carbon emission
regulations are creating havoc
in my state and in other states
across the country.”
China and the US agreed
yesterday to new limits on carbon emissions starting in 2025.
McConnell made criticism
of the Obama administration’s
planned restrictions on coalfired power plant emissions a
central theme of his own reelection campaign in Kentucky,
a major coal-mining state.
McConnell’s remarks came
at a photo session with newly
elected Republican senators on
the first day of a “lame-duck”
session of Congress before a
new Republican majority takes
control of the Senate from
Democrats in January.
He declined to say what actions Republicans will take regarding the carbon emission
deal, adding, “We’ll be discussing all that with our colleagues here in the next few
days before we get ready to take
over the new majority.”
Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from the oil-producing state of Oklahoma, called
the agreement “hollow” and
a “non-binding charade” that
would allow China to continue
launching a new coal-fired
power plant every 10 days. He
said it was “not believable”
that China will shift 20% of its
energy to non-fossil fuels by
Meanwhile, Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, the Democrat who will hand over the
gavel to McConnell, praised
Obama’s deal with China
as helping to tackle climate
“The historic announcement
by President Obama and President Xi Jingping of China is exactly what is needed to ensure
that America’s efforts to clean
up our energy supply are replicated around the world,” Reid
said in a statement.
“As I’ve said in the past, we
cannot wait to address climate
change and strengthen our
nation’s resilience to extreme
weather and climate impacts.
I hope this agreement will spur
other countries to join with us
in confronting climate change.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) welcomes new Republican senators-elect to his Senate office in the US Capitol yesterday in Washington, DC. From (left to right) are
David Perdue (R-GA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Shelley Capito (R-WV), James Lankford (R-OK), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT).
Republican claims victory
in Senate race in Alaska
epublican Dan Sullivan
claimed victory yesterday
in a tight race for the US
Senate in Alaska, a week after
elections gave Republicans control of the Senate and strengthened their grip on the House of
Sullivan, a 49-year-old former
state attorney general and natural resources commissioner, was
leading his Democratic opponent, Senator Mark Begich, by
7,911 votes as of Tuesday night.
“From day one we told our
supporters that we would run a
campaign that Alaskans could be
proud of and that’s what we did,”
Sullivan said in claiming victory
yesterday morning.
Alaska election officials tallied
thousands of ballots on Tuesday
cast by absentee and early voters,
as well as people who voted at the
wrong polling places. More votes
will be counted in coming days,
and officials said they hoped to
certify the results by Nov. 28.
“There are tens of thousands
of outstanding votes and Senator Begich has heard from rural
Alaskans that their votes deserve
to be counted and their voices
deserve to be heard,” said Begich campaign manager Susanne
“He will honor those requests
and will follow the Alaska Division of Elections as it continues
its process and timetable to reach
a final count,” she added. Begich,
a former Anchorage mayor, had
been slipping in polls since midsummer. His campaign touted his
deep Alaska roots, where he was
born and raised, while portraying
Sullivan, who was born in Ohio,
as an outsider.
Begich was narrowly elected
in 2008 a few weeks after a jury
convicted former Republican
Senator Ted Stevens on federal
corruption charges, a conviction
that was later set aside by a federal judge who cited prosecutorial
Results of midterm elections for Senate, House
Republicans secured a
majority in the US Senate and
strengthened their hold on the
House of Representatives in
midterm elections last week.
Their Senate majority grew by
one yesterday when the Alaska
race was called in their favour.
Here is a look at the makeup of
the upcoming 114th Congress,
which comes into session
January 3, 2015.
Republicans now hold at least
53 seats in the 100-member
Senate, after gaining eight
additional seats that had been
held by Democrats. It is the
first time in eight years the
Republican Party has won
control of the chamber.
With 36 Senate seats up for
election, the Republicans were
able to flip Alaska, Arkansas,
Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North
Carolina, South Dakota and West
Virginia, all of which had been
held by Democrats.
The outcome of a closely fought
Senate race in Louisiana will
be determined in a December
6 run-off. Pollsters and other
experts say Republican Bill
Cassidy has the advantage over
Democratic incumbent Senator
Mary Landrieu in that race.
House of Representatives:
Republicans enlarged their
numbers in the 435 member
House by at least 12 seats, with
their new majority of at least 244.
The Republicans picked up
House seats in Florida, Georgia,
Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Nevada,
New Hampshire, New York,
North Carolina, Texas and West
The final tally remained
uncertain, with results still being
counted for seven races seen as
too close to call. Two of those
seats, in Louisiana, are going to
a December 6 runoff.
Out of 36 state governors’
contests, Republicans wrested
control from Democrats in at
least four races. Democrats
seized one governor’s mansion in Pennsylvania - from the GOP.
The Republicans prevailed in
three states usually considered
reliable strongholds for the
Democratic Party - Illinois,
Maryland and Massachusetts.
And a Republican candidate
also won a Democrat-held
governorship in Arkansas.
Republicans notably fended
off a Democratic challenge
to Wisconsin Governor Scott
Walker, a possible 2016
presidential candidate who
had become a lightning rod for
liberal activists for his tough
stance on unions.
In Florida, Republican Rick Scott
prevailed in a bitter, expensive
race against Charlie Crist, a
former Republican governor
turned Democrat.
Work progressing on a restoration of the US Capitol Building’s dome on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Members of the US House and Senate return to the Capitol after Republicans took control of the Senate
and maintained control of the House during the 2014 midterm elections.
Most Americans expect Justices weigh racially charged
Obama to accomplish Alabama redistricting plan
little with new Congress
ost Americans expect
US President Barack
Obama will be able to
accomplish little or nothing now
that both chambers of the legislature are controlled by the opposition Republicans, according
to a poll released yesterday.
A poll by the Pew Research
Center conducted after elections last week shows 59% do
not think Obama will be able
to accomplish much during
the remaining two years of his
presidency and just 18% expect
relations between the Republicans and Obama’s Democrats to
Lawmakers were to return
to Washington later yesterday
for their first session since the
elections that saw Republicans
take control of the upper chamber and make gains in the lower
House of Representatives.
The Congress has a full agenda that includes passing funding
to keep the government open
Lawmakers take hard line on Iran talks
US senators who wrote a tough
sanctions bill against Iran said
yesterday they would work with
other members of Congress to
push for tough action against
Tehran if a potential deal does
not dismantle Iran’s nuclear
New Jersey Democrat Robert
Menendez, the chairman of
the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, and Illinois
Republican Mark Kirk said a
“good deal” would require
strict limits on nuclear-related
research, development and
procurement and a robust
inspection regime for decades
in Iran.
“If a potential deal does not
achieve these goals, we will
work with our colleagues in
Congress to act decisively, as we
have in the past,” Menendez and
Kirk said in a statement issued
through the remainder of the
fiscal year and extending authorisation for the US military to
train and equip moderate Syrian
rebels to fight Islamic State.
Obama also has asked lawmakers to approve $5.6bn in
funding for the US military effort in Iraq and $6.2bn to fight
Meanwhile, Republican challenger Dan Sullivan was declared
the winner of the Alaska Senate
race, unseating sitting Democratic Senator Mark Begich.
The Republican win brings
to eight the number of seats the
centre-right party took from
Democrats in the November 4
elections. That would put the
balance of power at 53 Republicans, 44 Democrats and two
independents. One Senate race
now remains outstanding pending a December 6 run-off: that
for a seat in Louisiana. The contest is considered to favour the
Republican challenger.
The newly elected lawmakers
will take office in late January.
The current Congress has until
then to complete work on outstanding matters.
he US Supreme Court yesterday appeared unsure
how to resolve a challenge
to a state legislature redistricting plan in Alabama that packed
black voters into certain districts
in a way that critics say diminishes their influence at the polls.
The nine justices heard an
70-minute oral argument on two
cases brought by the Alabama
Democratic Conference and the
Alabama Legislative Black Caucus against the redistricting by
the Republican-controlled state
legislature in 2012.
The case centres on the practice known as gerrymandering in
which election districts are drawn
in a way to provide one party an
advantage in as many districts as
possible while consolidating the
other party’s voters into as few as
Democrats say Alabama, a
state with a past history of erecting hurdles for black voters, violated the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under
the law by concentrating black
voters, who tend to vote Democratic, into a small number of
Several justices appeared sym-
pathetic to the state in part because it had to consider race to
some extent to comply with the
Voting Rights Act, a federal law
aimed at protecting minority
voting rights.
But some also seemed to favour
sending the case back to a lower
court for further proceedings on
the technical question of whether
the plaintiffs’ allegations needed
to be more specific. It seems unlikely the court will throw out the
redistricting plan outright.
Chief Justice John Roberts
summed up the complex nature
of the case when he noted that
Alabama faced the difficult task
of considering race in a limited
way in order to comply with the
Voting Rights Act while not going
so far as to be accused of packing
the black vote into minority districts.
The state had to aim for “the
sweet spot between the two extremes,” Roberts said.
A federal court upheld the new
plan in a December 2013 ruling.
This is the first voting rights
case to be heard by the high court
since its June 2013 ruling that
struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is the provision Alabama was bound by
when coming up with its plan.
A ruling is due by the end of
Call to end defence cut ‘madness’
S Deputy Defence Secretary Robert Work appealed yesterday for
lawmakers to “end this madness” of across-the-board Pentagon spending cuts, saying they
threaten US military readiness
and technological dominance at
a time of complex global challenges.
Work, addressing a think-tank
defence conference, said unless
Congress is able to provide the
Pentagon with greater budgetary stability and certainty, it runs
the risk of building a military that
“increasingly misaligned with
the strategic environment.”
Work’s comments come as the
Pentagon, which is under orders
to cut nearly $1tn in projected
spending over a decade, faces
another year of budgetary uncertainty.
Although the 2015 fiscal
year has started, Congress has
not yet appropriated funding
for the government, including defense, which has a base
budget of $496bn.
Instead, the government is
funded with a resolution that
continues spending based on
last year’s priorities through Dec.
11. Congress will have to decide
whether to approve 2015 appropriations or extend the continuing resolution to keep the government running beyond that
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Virus may affect mental abilities: researchers
eople with an algae virus
in their throats had more
difficulty completing a
mental exercise than healthy
people, and more research is
needed to understand why, US
scientists say.
A study in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences showed that the virus was
present in about half of 92 hu-
man subjects studied, and those
who had it performed worse on
certain basic tasks.
The virus, known as Acanthocystis turfacea Chlorella virus 1, or ATCV-1, also appeared
to limit the cognitive abilities of
The mice had a harder time
navigating a maze and noticing
new objects in their surroundings
after they were infected.
It remains unclear if the virus was truly driving the drop in
mental functioning. Researchers
have not yet shown the cause and
effect between the virus and the
intelligence results.
“At this point we do not think
that this virus should be considered as a threat to individual
or public health,” said lead researcher Robert Yolken, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University
in Baltimore, Maryland.
“We do think that there is a
need for additional medical and
scientific studies of the effects
of infectious agents which are
common in the environment on
human health and cognition,”
Yolken said.
The virus was found by accident while scientists were analysing microbes in the throats of
healthy humans for a different
Experts have been studying
viruses similar to ATCV-1 for 35
years, said senior author James
Van Etten of the University of Nebraska, an expert on algal viruses.
Van Etten joined the research
four years ago when Johns Hopkins scientists found ATCV-1’s
DNA sequences in the brain tissue of people who had died with
mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
“This finding was certainly
surprising to us,” Van Etten said.
“These viruses are ubiquitous
in fresh water ponds and streams
throughout the world,” Van Etten
He noted that the virus - previously thought to only infect algae - could make its way into the
human body when people swallow water while swimming.
There might also be another
host in nature, such as mosquito
larvae, he said.
But the nature of the disease is
still in the early stages of analysis.
It is also unknown if the virus’s
effects on the brain are lasting or
Scientists have long understood that viruses interact with
DNA, and further studies could
shed more light on the role of the
virus on cognition.
“As more studies like this are
conducted, I believe we’ll find
out there’s even more interaction between viruses, bacteria
and fungi that are either ingested
or breathed into our noses and
mouths and the overall human
condition,” said Jordan Josephson, ear nose and throat specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New
York, who was not involved in the
“I believe this new research is
just the tip of the iceberg in linking viruses in the human oral
cavity to the development of various health conditions.”
‘We crossed
the line’, US
admits to UN
A window washer is seen being rescued after his carriage came
dislodged from his cables along side the One World Trade Center in
New York yesterday. Right: Stranded window washers hang from
scaffolding on the side of One World Trade Center.
Window washers rescued
after dangling at WTC
New York
ew York City firefighters rescued two window
washers yesterday who
had been trapped for two hours
on broken scaffolding dangling
outside the 69th floor of New
York’s tallest skyscraper, local
officials said.
Rescuers cut a hole in a
window of the newly opened
building, One World Trade
Center, and quickly pulled in
the two men from the oblong,
open-topped platform as it
hung almost vertically high
above the National September
11 Memorial in lower Manhattan.
The 104-floor tower, at the
site of the destroyed Twin Towers, is the tallest building in the
Western Hemisphere.
The rescued men were identified as Juan Lopez, who has
been a window washer for five
years, and Juan Lizama, who has
been on the job for 14 years, said
Gerard McEneaney, a labour
union official.
McEneaney told the NY1
news channel that it appeared
that a cable had snapped after a
mechanical failure.
Gary Hansen, an architect
who worked on One World
Trade Center for the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings &
Merrill, happened to be across
the street while the platform
was dangling.
He said that the building was
designed with three cranes on
top. Two of the cranes could be
used to suspend platforms to
allow workers to wash windows.
The third crane was available for
emergencies such the one that
unfolded yesterday.
“These are the kind of emergencies architects plan for,”
Hansen said.
Workers in nearby offices
clustered around their windows
to watch the rescue, which was
also shown live on television,
while police closed off streets
around the building in lower
Tenants began moving into
the new tower only last week.
The tower rises 1,776ft (541m)
above the ground and replaces
the Twin Towers destroyed in
the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“Things like this happen all
the time in the city,” Ray Elmadolar, a construction manager
who works at a neighbouring office building, said as he watched
the unfolding operation, “but
you don’t want it to happen so
high up.”
Family of Dallas Ebola victim reaches settlement with hospital
The family of Thomas Eric Duncan, the only
person to die of Ebola in the United States,
said yesterday it had reached a settlement
with the hospital that had treated him and
admitted to making mistakes in addressing
his care.
The settlement includes financial support
for Duncan’s family but the amounts were
not revealed. Texas Health Presbyterian
Hospital also said it is creating a memorial
fund in his honour to help Ebola victims in
“We have wrapped this up,” family lawyer Les
Weisbrod told reporters, adding the family will
not be billed for Duncan’s care. “The size and
details of the settlement are confidential.”
The hospital said in a statement the
settlement “serves as an example of the
common-sense Texas laws that allow
discussions to take place immediately and be
resolved quickly.”
Spaceship pilot ‘unbuckled’
himself as craft split apart
Los Angeles
he surviving pilot of the
Virgin Galactic spaceship
that crashed last month
unbuckled himself and was
thrown free from the disintegrating craft, investigators said
Peter Siebold told them he
did not know that his co-pilot
had prematurely unlocked a key
system on the spaceship, which
broke up over California’s Mojave Desert on October 31.
Alsbury, died in the accident
shortly after mistakenly unlocking a so-called “feathering”
system designed to slow the aircraft down during re-entry into
the Earth’s atmosphere.
The SpaceShipTwo broke up a
few seconds after being dropped
from its mothership, the WhiteKnightTwo, which had carried
it up to an altitude of about
4 5,0 0 0 f t
“ A c cording to
the pilot,
that the
had been
copilot,” the
National Transportation Safety
Board (NTSB) said in an update
on its investigation.
The NTSB — which interviewed the injured pilot last
Friday — added that “his
description of the vehicle
motion was consistent with
other data sources in the investigation.
“He stated that he was extracted from the vehicle as
a result of the break-up sequence and unbuckled from
his seat at some point before
the parachute deployed automatically.”
There was a two-stage system to deploy the feathering
system: first a lock-unlock lever has to be released, and then
the system itself deployed. The
first step should not occur until the craft was above Mach
1.4, but investigators found
it was unlocked too early, at a
speed of above approximately
Mach 1.0.
The accident was a serious blow to Virgin chief Richard Branson’s dream of taking
wealthy passengers up to the
edge of space as tourists, and is
likely to delay the programme
It was the second disaster to
rock the private sector space
industry in less than a week,
after an Antares rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station exploded after
takeoff in Virginia a few days
he US insisted yesterday
it did not condone torture
under any circumstances,
but acknowledged to a UN antitorture watchdog it had “crossed
the line” following the September 11 attacks.
“The US is proud of its record
as a leader in respecting, promoting and defending human
rights and the rule of law, both
at home and around the world,”
acting US legal advisor Mary
McLeod told the 10-member UN
Committee against Torture.
“But in the wake of 9/11 attacks, we regrettably did not always live up to our own values,”
she said.
“We crossed the line and we
take responsibility for that,”
she said, quoting US President
Barack Obama.
McLeod was one of about 30
top US officials gathered in Geneva for Washington’s first grilling by the committee since 2006.
The committee, tasked with
reviewing the records of the 156
countries that have ratified the
Convention Against Torture,
grilled the delegation on issues ranging from torture at CIA
“black sites”, to continued detention at the US military prison
at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, police brutality, prisoner abuse and
detention of illegal immigrants.
“There’s sort of a common denominator about all of our questions, and that is implementation
of transparency and accountability,” one of the panel’s top investigators, Jens Modvig, said.
At the opening of the committee’s first US review since Obama
came to power, several delegates
acknowledged abuses had occurred during the so-called “War
on Terror” under the previous
administration of George W
But they insisted that Washington since the power shift
had been busy working to right
past wrongs, and purging a system that under Bush authorised
the use of so-called “enhanced
interrogation techniques” like
“We have cleaned up those
policies,” said one US official,
who asked not to be identified,
pointing out that most of the
criticism since 2009 centred
around ensuring accountability
for past abuses.
McLeod meanwhile signalled
a shift in Washington’s position
on the applicability of the antitorture convention, telling the
committee that the prohibition
of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment
did not only apply inside US territory, but also to areas under US
authority like Guantanamo and
on ships and aircraft.
It would also continue to apply
during times of armed conflict,
she said.
While welcoming that the US
had clarified its position, Laura
Pitter of Human Rights Watch
voiced concern that Washington
was still limiting the applicability
of the treaty.
“It should apply wherever
the US has effective control, not
merely where it has governmental authority,” she said, stressing
that the move “does little to allay
concerns that the US is looking
for wiggle room in terms of how
it applies its treaty obligations.”
Rights advocates also brushed
off the delegation’s emphasis on
investigations into the treatment
of people detained in the wake of
the September 11 attacks, pointing out that they had resulted in
no criminal charges.
“What is clear is that six years
into the Obama administration,
it has not provided full accountability for torture and abuse in
US custody, especially in CIA
detention,” ACLU’s Jamil Dakwar
said, warning that if the government fails to do so, “the legacy of
this administration could foster
immunity and impunity for torture and abuse, both at home and
Murat Kurnaz, a former detainee at Guantanamo, also dismissed the US assertion that it
had cleaned up its record, pointing out that 148 prisoners remain
at the prison camp where he
spent five years.
“I cannot believe that Guantanamo is still open,” he said, insisting that many of the remaining prisoners “are as innocent
as I am” but are still being held
without charge, “indefinitely.”
“Just being at Guantanamo is
torture,” he said, calling for the
UN to pressure the US to close
the prison.
The committee also highlighted police brutality and raised
questions about the disproportionate impact on minorities.
The parents of 18-year-old
Michael Brown, who was shot
and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last
August, met with the committee
behind closed doors on Tuesday.
“We came here to the UN to
get justice for our son,” Michael
Brown Sr. told reporters.
The committee is set to publish
its conclusions on November 28.
Arctic cold breaks records in Denver
Heading into work, residents fight slow traffic on all roads and the wind and cold as Denver experiences record lows in Denver yesterday.
Denver is under a winter weather advisory with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills registering five to 20 degrees below zero.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Fears over
Uighurs who
fled custody
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 25th Asean Summit at the Myanmar International Convention Centre.
Obama lands in Myanmar to throw
weight behind stuttering reforms
Obama landed in Myanmar yesterday as the
once cloistered nation hosted
its biggest gathering of world
leaders since shedding junta
rule, but concerns over the pace
of democratic reforms surfaced
Obama, who will meet
Southeast Asian leaders and
attend the East Asia Summit
in the purpose-built capital of
Naypyidaw, signalled he would
throw his political might into
re-igniting the democratic
“In some areas there has been
a slowdown in reforms, and
even some steps backward,”
Obama said in an interview with
news website The Irrawaddy
published just before he arrived
yesterday night from China.
“In addition to restrictions on
freedom of the press, we continue to see violations of basic
human rights and abuses in the
country’s ethnic areas, including reports of extra-judicial
killings, rape and forced labour.”
Earlier, UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon, also in Naypyi-
US President Barack Obama takes part in the East Asia Summit family photo with other regional leaders at the Myanmar International
Convention Centre in Naypyitaw yesterday.
daw, highlighted the “serious
humanitarian issue” of Myanmar’s displaced Muslim Rohingya minority.
Around 140,000 Rohingya
languish in fetid camps after
bouts of violence left scores of
people dead —mostly from the
Muslim group — in eastern Rakhine State.
Speaking to reporters, the UN
chief urged Myanmar’s authorities to step back from moves
which could deny citizenship to
the minority group, vowing to
press President Thein Sein for
Two Indonesians
held for serving in
Singapore army
wo Indonesians were
detained after they were
spotted in the ranks of
the Singapore military by compatriots during a joint exercise
between the two nations, a
news report said yesterday.
The two men, identified only
as CJH and AJ, were permanent residents of Singapore,
local news web site
They were spotted by fellow
Indonesians while on exercise
in Magelang, Central Java, and
were detained by the Indo-
nesian Armed Forces (TNI),
while the relevant authorities in Jakarta were consulted,
TNI spokesman Major General
Fuad Basya told Viva.
“The 2006 law on citizenship regulates that an Indonesian could lose its citizenship if
the person joins a foreign military service or becomes a citizen of another country,” Basya
was quoted as saying.
But in Singapore, “a permanent residency holder has the
same rights and obligations as
a citizen, therefore the person
is obliged to participate in its
military service,” said Krisna
Jaelani, an official of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.
Thailand outlaws cat, dog meat trade
Thailand’s interim legislature approved an anti-animal abuse law banning trade in cat and dog meat, local media reported yesterday.
The bill also bans 20 other abusive behaviours toward animals, such
as live feeding and bestiality. The added provisions were aimed at
making certain animal abuses punishable by law and closing legal
loopholes. Thai celebrities joined animal rights activists outside the
parliament building yesterday to support the bill. They presented
114,000 signatures to the members of parliament, according to the
Daily News.
“easy access” for UN agencies
to displacement camps.
Myanmar, which was swept
into the diplomatic hinterland
under decades of harsh military rule, has been gradually
welcomed back into the international fold since the start of
reforms in 2011.
Those saw the release of
most political prisoners and the
promise of free and fair polls
next year.
The reforms have seen most
sanctions lifted, while foreign
investment has poured into
the untapped market of some
50mn people. Obama two years
ago became the first sitting US
president to visit Myanmar, in
an initial effort to add momentum to the reforms.
Since then wrangles over the
constitution, the cramping of
media freedom as well as tinderbox issues such as ethnic
rebellions and the anti-Muslim
violence, have taken the sheen
off Myanmar’s emergence onto
the world stage.
In comments just days before Obama’s arrival, opposi-
tion leader — and fellow Nobel
laureate — Aung San Suu Kyi
sought to temper US “overoptimism” over the country’s
Obama is set to meet Thein
Sein in Naypyidaw, then with
Suu Kyi in the economic hub of
Yangon tomorrow.
Earlier yesterday the Association of Southeast Nations
(Asean) held its leaders’ meeting in the culmination of Myanmar’s year-long chairmanship
of the 10-member bloc.
Key issues discussed included
the row between several Asean
members and China over territory in the South China Sea, and
greater economic integration
ahead of a Southeast Asian trade
union mooted for 2015.
A draft of the Asean leaders’ statement seen by AFP expressed “concerns over recent
developments in the South China Sea, which have increased
tensions in the area.”
Antagonism has soared with
violent anti-China clashes
breaking out earlier this year in
Vietnam over Beijing’s activities
in contested waters, while the
Philippines has also expressed
outrage at a series of manoeuvres and naval deployments by
the regional superpower.
China says most of the South
China Sea — including areas
near the coast of rival claimants
— is its territory.
The sea row has dogged regional relations for years, with
Beijing reluctant to sign a binding, multilateral code of conduct covering disputes in the
resource-rich waters.
A spokesman for Philippine
President Benigno Aquino said
Asean leaders yesterday again
called for “a substantial fleshing out” of the process towards
reaching the elusive code.
Cambodia hikes garment worker
wages, falls short of demands
ore than 100 migrants
thought to be from
China’s Uighur minority have escaped from shelters
in Thailand, with authorities
fearing they have fallen into the
hands of a human trafficking
ring, an official said yesterday.
Thailand has held dozens of
the migrants since March, when
they were discovered during
a raid on a suspected peoplesmuggling camp in the kingdom’s deep south and sentenced
for illegal entry.
Police had said they were
waiting to identify the nationalities of the group before deciding
their fate.
The migrants claimed they
were Turkish, but US-based Uighur activists identified them as
Uighurs — a Turkic-speaking,
predominantly Muslim group
from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region.
The latest annual US human
rights report said that China
carries out “severe official repression” of Uighurs in Xinjiang,
with the Thai raid in March
prompting the US State Department to urge Thailand to offer
the group protection.
“Only 40 of around 160 women and children remain at the
two shelters. They ran away together at night between November 1 and 5,” said Jaras Chumpan,
chief of the social development
and human security office in
southern Songkhla province, by
“I am concerned that they
might have been trafficked,” he
added. “They want to go to Turkey — they do not want to go
back to China.”
Thailand has long been a hub
for people-trafficking, with
thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim minority group from neighbouring Myanmar, believed to
have passed through the kingdom in recent years.
Songkhla immigration police chief Thatchai Pitaneelaboot confirmed authorities were
searching for the missing women
and children, adding that police
were still trying to determine
their nationalities.
“We still don’t know their
identities — we are waiting
for their identity proofs,” said
Thatchai, adding police thought
they were from China or Turkey.
In March a southern Thai court
fined around 120 adults $124
each for illegal entry, holding the
men in detention centres and the
women and children in shelters.
“The men have been detained
in detention centres across the
country,” said Thatchai, adding
that more than 300 men, women
and children were discovered in
the March raid.
Alleged IS
Phnom Penh
Kuala Lumpur
ambodia raised the minimum
monthly wage for garment workers to $128 yesterday after a series
of strikes and protests over pay and conditions, but the hike fell short of union demands.
The 28% raise for employees who currently earn a minimum of $100 a month
to make clothes for firms including GAP,
Levi’s, H&M, Puma and ZARA will take effect on 1 January, 2015, the labour ministry
“I believe that workers will improve their
living standards from previous years and
that factories will be able to pay the wage,”
Labour Minister Ith Samheng told reporters in Phnom Penh after a meeting between
government officials, unionists and factory
But garment workers and trade unionists
- who have campaigned for international
buyers to lift their basic wage - said the hike
was too small.
“We are not satisfied with the figure yet.
The increase is still low. We want at least
$140 a month,” said Ath Thorn, president of
the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union.
Unionists and workers will meet in the
coming days to decide whether to accept
the increase or continue their campaign for
higher wages, he added.
Cambodian garment workers travel home on a motorised cart in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Earlier the union had demanded a minimum monthly wage of $177 but reduced the
figure after negotiations with the government and factories.
Cambodia’s garment sector, a key source
of export earnings, has been hit by a series of strikes and protests over wages and
working conditions in factories producing
items for top Western brands.
Disputes over wages, safety and conditions in Cambodia’s lucrative garment industry are frequent and sometimes turn
violent. A crackdown on striking garment
workers in early January left at least four
people dead.
Garment worker Prum Savy, 28, who
works in one of the hundreds of factories
on the outskirts of the capital, said she was
willing to join further protests for a better
wage hike.
“I am happy with the increase, but this is
not enough. I want more,” she said.
The multibillion dollar garment industry
employs about 650,000 people in Cambodia and is a key source of foreign income for
the impoverished country. The kingdom
earned around $5.5bn in garment exports
last year.
A month after the mass strike and subsequent bloody crackdown in January, the
minimum wage was increased from $95 to
$100 per month.
even Malaysians have been
charged in court for supporting Islamic State militants in Syria, a news report said
Two financial consultants
were charged with allegedly soliciting money online for the
extremist forces, the Sun Daily
newspaper said.
Prosecutors also charged a
suspected Malaysian jihadist
who returned to Kuala Lumpur
earlier in the year, as well as
four other people who attempted to go Syria to join the
Islamic State militants.
The charges carry penalties
of up to 30 years in jail. Four
Malaysians were charged in
court last month for attempting to support the jihadists in
Interior Minister Ahmad
Zahid Hamidi said police had
identified 39 Malaysians who
have joined the militants in
Syria, and he vowed to take action against them when they
return to the country.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
S Korea demands Japan
explain blocking singer
Australia unveils new park
ahead of World Congress
Japan media reports Abe
to call snap poll next month
N Korea attacks South’s
rights ‘abuses’ in ferry case
Kenny Rogers plans last
tour of Australia, NZ
South Korea yesterday called for Japan
to explain why it had barred entry to a
Korean pop star who recently performed on a
set of islets claimed by Seoul and Tokyo. Lee
Seung-Chul, 47, was held at Japan’s Haneda
Airport for hours on Sunday before eventually
being sent back to Seoul. Lee made headlines in
August when he staged a performance - along
with a choir of North Korean defectors - on the
Dokdo islets in the East Sea. South Korea’s vice
foreign minister Cho Tae-Yong said yesterday
that a formal protest would be lodged over
Japan’s decision to stop Lee entering the
Australia yesterday unveiled its newest national
park, Everlasting Swamp, as thousands of
delegates gathered in Sydney for the start of the
once-in-a-decade World Parks Congress. The
week-long forum organised by the International
Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is set to
lay out the global agenda for protected areas for
the next 10 years. New South Wales government
announced that Everlasting Swamp, in the
state’s northern wetlands, is set to be its newest
protected area. The push to better manage some
of the world’s most bio-diverse sites comes as
part of a global effort to address the impact of
climate change on the environment.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could call a
snap election for next month, two years early, with
a plan to boost his support by delaying another
scheduled tax hike. Commentators are converging
around the idea that Abe will rule out a second rise,
from 8% to 10%, and seek a popular mandate that
would help him vanquish mumblings of discontent
within his own Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
“Calling a snap election within this year is among
my options,” Abe told senior party members, the
leading business daily Nikkei reported. The LDP
and its junior coalition party Komeito have begun
preparations for a vote on either December 14 or
21, four other major national papers said.
Under growing pressure at the UN over its human
rights record, North Korea has accused rival
South Korea of its own “crimes against humanity”
over the Sewol ferry tragedy. Just hours after a
South Korean court on Tuesday sentenced the
captain of the Sewol to 36 years, the North issued
a report “indicting” the South for “hideous crimes”
and rights abuses in its handling of the disaster
that killed more than 300 people. The report
by Pyongyang’s National Reunification Institute
highlighted the failure of the captain and crew to
evacuate passengers. It criticised the recovery
effort and then attacked the personal behaviour
of President Park Geun-Hye.
Country music legend Kenny Rogers
yesterday announced a tour of Australia and
New Zealand and said that, at age 76, it will
certainly be his last Down Under. The Texas-born
singer - whose crossover appeal has helped him
top the charts with a string of songs including
The Gambler, Lady and Islands in the Stream
- said he was not retiring but that his JanuaryFebruary tour would be the last to Australia
and New Zealand. “ Australia and New Zealand
remain two of my favourite places to perform,”
he said in a statement. “They’ve always treated
me with such great respect, so for that, I say
thank you.”
US and China
sign symbolic
emissions plan
he US and China yesterday announced a largely symbolic plan
to implement new limits on
carbon emissions, the highlight of a
summit between Barack Obama and Xi
Jinping at which both leaders played
down suggestions of differences and
US officials said the commitments
by the world’s two biggest carbon polluters came after months of backroom
negotiations and would set the stage
for a global climate control pact, but
experts said the limits did not break
significant new ground.
The two largest economies in the
world have strong commercial ties
but have been at odds over everything
from China’s pursuit of territorial
claims in East and Southeast Asia to
cyberspying, trade and human rights.
Meeting Xi in Beijing’s Great Hall of
the People for their first formal talks
in more than a year after a dinner the
previous night that went two hours
longer than scheduled, Obama said
he welcomes a China that is peaceful,
prosperous and stable.
“In other words, a strong, co-operative relationship with China is at
the heart of our pivot to Asia,” Obama
said, shrugging off criticism that the
US sought to counter China’s rise in
the region.
“If the US is going to continue to
lead the world in addressing global
challenges, then we have to have the
second largest economy and the most
populous nation on Earth as our partner,” Obama said, adding that he was
encouraged by Xi’s “willingness to engage constructively”.
Xi called for expanding co-operation despite differences.
“The Pacific Ocean is broad enough
to accommodate the development of
both China and the US and our two
countries should work together to
contribute to security in Asia,” he said.
“The two sides should respect the
other’s core interests and major con-
cerns, and persist in managing differences in a constructive fashion.”
A senior US official said the climate change agreement was largely
complete ahead of the visit, but was
finalised at the dinner on Tuesday.
The official said the talks at the dinner were unscripted and candid, and
that Obama and Xi were comfortable
in dealing with one another.
“This summit will be remembered
for substance,” the official said.
Despite US officials projecting low
expectations for any major outcomes
in the run-up to the trip, the two sides
managed to roll out a series of modest
to fairly significant achievements over
the course of the visit, on visas, trade,
climate and military-to-military ties.
The outcomes of the visit were “more
than expected”, with Xi keen to use the
opportunity to show he wants improved
ties despite Obama being on his way out
in two years, said Sun Zhe, head of the
Center for US-China Relations at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University.
“The bilateral relationship is mature enough that we understand even
if we don’t have political trust for another five to 10 years, we need to live
and work together. That’s a new way of
thinking by Chinese leaders,” Sun said.
Xi downplayed controversy over
competing visions for free trade in
the Asia-Pacific which had been an
undercurrent at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum earlier in the week.
Washington is working on a
12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) deal which excludes China and
is widely seen as the economic backbone of Obama’s pivot.
But Beijing had used Apec to push
forward a study on the Free Trade Area
of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), a framework which some had seen as a counter to the TPP.
“I don’t see any of the regional free
trade agreements as targeting China.
China is committed to open regionalism and we believe the various regional co-operation initiatives should
positively interact with each other.
That is currently the case,” Xi said.
A Chinese J-31 stealth fighter taxis at the Air Show China 2014 in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong province.
Beijing shows off
new stealth fighter
hina’s new stealth jet fighter
rocketed skywards yesterday as
Beijing puts on an unprecedented display of openness - and military
force - at the country’s premier air show.
The black J-31 rose in a nearly vertical climb on take-off in Zhuhai before
circling back and doing two rolls, in
the aircraft’s first announced public
The plane’s existence has been the
subject of rumour and speculation for
years, with photographs appearing increasingly frequently on military websites in recent months.
Defence analysts say the J-31 is China’s answer to the US’ F-35, though the
Chinese jet lags behind the American
one technologically.
The fighter’s Chinese name is ‘Falcon Eagle’ and it is manufactured by a
unit of Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), whose defence arm uses the
slogan: “We are making the best weapons for guardians of the peace.”
The plane’s debut comes amid tensions between China and its neighbours over territorial disputes, particularly Japan which has feuded with
Beijing over a group of islands in the
East China Sea.
China’s air force said the display of
military might at the air show showed
the intention to build a strong country.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
air force “will make unremitting efforts to realise dreams of a strong China and powerful armed forces”, read a
sign alongside an array of eight warplanes at the air show.
“The display... demonstrates the
strength and confidence of (the) PLA
Air Force to fulfil missions and achieve
world peace.”
China has steadily increased its
defence budget for years, with funding projected to rise more than 12% to
$132bn in 2014. But the US has accused
Beijing of under-reporting its spending by as much as 20% in the past.
Defence analysts said China appears
eager to sell the new fifth generation
fighter abroad, also putting on display
a model with a designation typically
used for overseas destinations: FC-31.
“China’s defence industry wants to
show the potential for export,” said Andrew Erickson, associate professor at
the China Maritime Studies Institute of
the US Naval War College. Ally Pakistan
is a likely first market, he added.
AVIC has already developed another
fighter plane, the FC-1, in co-operation with Pakistan which was also on
display at the show.
A large military transport plane, the
Y-20, also made its debut at the show,
flying lumbering turns yesterday over
the crowd at its public outing.
“Of course, it is an advance in technology,” said the announcer as spectators craned their necks to see it against
a smoggy sky.
The China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp, the firm
at the heart of controversy over the
supply of a long-range anti-missile
system to Turkey in the face of US
opposition, also had a presence at
the show, but its booth was devoid of
product displays.
The firm, which is under US sanctions for selling arms and missile technology to Iran and Syria, declined to
provide promotional materials or answer questions when approached by a
Although billed as an air show, new
sponsor China North Industries Corp
(NORINCO) showed off a battle tank,
the VT4, which proved a popular backdrop for visitor photos.
Other countries in the Asian region
have beefed up military spending in response to China’s growing power.
“It’s a bit of a dance that happens
all over the world,” said Briand Greer,
president of aerospace for Asia-Pacific
at US conglomerate Honeywell.
“Economically everyone is tied to
what happens in China,” he said. “But
at the same time, you’ve got a huge
power rising right in your backyard so
you don’t want to feel helpless.”
Pacific flotilla carries climate message to Australia
HK protesters to ‘occupy’ UK consulate
Hong Kong
raditional Pacific island canoes sailed
yesterday into Sydney Harbour after a journey across a vast expanse
of ocean, bringing an urgent message to the
world about climate change.
The leaders of three nations were onboard
for a short final stretch of the epic Mua Voyage by four double-hulled canoes, which
sailed from the Cook Islands via Samoa and
Fiji or from New Zealand covering routes totalling more than 6,000 nautical miles.
Palau President Tommy Remengesau said
the flotilla was symbolic of how Pacific Islanders had lived for thousands of years as
one with nature, harnessing the power of
the sun, wind and currents.
“Unfortunately our environment now is
under enormous pressure from development and climate change,” he said at a colourful ceremony at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
Remengesau called on the world to appreciate the value of the Pacific islands and
ocean, saying that island nations needed to
work with developed countries to protect
the planet.
“We are all in this together, we are all in
one canoe,” he said.
He said the once-a-decade World Parks
Congress hosted by Sydney opening yesterday was a golden opportunity for Pacific
leaders to repeat their urgings for the world
to deal with climate change.
Kiribati President Anote Tong said that
global warming presents an existential challenge to low-lying countries facing rising
sea levels, but added it is also a wake-up call
to the world.
“What we are experiencing now in our
islands is just an early warning of what will
Men from the Pacific island nations of Tonga and Fiji perform a traditional Haka after
arriving in Sydney yesterday.
happen further down the line if we do not
act,” he said.
“It’s only a matter of time. We are the
early warning system, the canaries in the
coal mine.”
A UN report earlier this month said under
its lowest scenario global average temperatures over this century were likely to rise by
0.3-1.7 C, leading to a 26-55cm sea-level
Under its highest scenario, warming
would be 2.6-4.8 C, causing a sea-level rise
of 45-82cm - with island nations on the
Tong spoke of a growing global momentum towards action on climate change in
the lead-up to major talks in Paris later this
year - saying there was a great improvement
from climate talks a decade ago.
“Initially nobody listened,” he said.
“There was a major preoccupation with terrorism and nobody was even listening about
climate change.
“I think the global community is coming
around to acknowledging the reality of climate change,” he said, adding: “We are running out of time.”
Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna
agreed momentum was building. “The challenge is to make sure they walk to talk and
not just make the talk,” he said.
“Not just for the Pacific Islands but for
the whole world because science tells us that
the Pacific ocean is the biggest absorber of
carbon dioxide.”
Three of the vessels in the flotilla - Marumaru Atua, Gaualofa and Uto ni Yalo - covered the journey from the Cook Islands, via
Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu while the Haunui
departed from New Zealand.
ong Kong students plan
to occupy roads surrounding the city’s British consulate in anger at a lack
of support from London for their
pro-democracy movement, as
authorities ramp up pressure on
protesters to go home.
The new plan emerged as
President Barack Obama said
the US had played no role in
Hong Kong’s mass demonstrations, despite Chinese accusations that foreign forces are involved.
The city’s government has
urged protesters to leave the
main rally sites that have
brought parts of Hong Kong to
a standstill for more than six
weeks, with police authorised
to back up bailiffs charged with
clearing barricades.
Activists say they want
to show their anger at
Britain for not standing up to
China over “breaches” of the
agreement the two countries
made before Hong Kong was
handed back to China by Britain
in 1997, designed to protect Hong
Kong’s social systems and way of
“We are angry at the way that
the British government has for
many years denied that China
has actually breached the declaration by interfering with Hong
Kong politics,” Anna-Kate Choi,
the co-ordinator for the Occupy
British Consulate group told
“They have the responsibility
to make sure that the joint declaration has been implemented
properly and that democracy and
the high degree of autonomy of
Hong Kong has been protected,”
Choi said.
She said she hopes for a turnout of hundreds and “maybe
even thousands”.
The group is a new offshoot
of the protest movement, Choi
added, with around 10 organisers
from all walks of life including a
secondary school student.
Protesters in Hong Kong are
demanding fully free leadership
elections for the semi-autonomous city in 2017.
But Beijing has refused to back
down on its insistence that candidates must be vetted by a loyalist committee.
Bailiffs are expected to start a
clear-out operation in the next
few days, with thousands of officers put on standby over the
weekend, according to local media.
But seemingly undaunted,
activists have put up large posters around the protest areas
announcing the consulate occupation on November 21 and a
Facebook page for the event has
more than 700 likes.
The British consulate said they
had no comment.
Activists say a policy “white
paper”, published by China in
June, backtracked on the joint
declaration by warning the city
not to overstep the boundaries of
its autonomy.
Britain and China are signatories of the 1984 Sino-British
Joint Declaration, an agreement
that enshrines the “one country, two systems” principle and
states that until 2047 “the current social and economic systems in Hong Kong will remain
British Prime Minister David
Cameron said he was “deeply
concerned” about escalating
protests in the former British
colony after police used tear gas
on protesters at the end of September.
But activists feel that Britain
is turning a blind eye and that
China is eroding Hong Kong’s
Posters for the British consulate occupation bear the slogan:
“China breaches the joint declaration, UK government respond
now” with the pro-democracy
movement’s umbrella symbol
emblazoned with the British
“People in Hong Kong are feeling worried as Beijing’s influence
is getting much worse. I think
occupying the British consulate
will give the British some pressure to really have to face the
Hong Kong people,” engineering
student Brian Ho, 19, told AFP.
“The British should be more
active because Hong Kong used
to belong to them... they should
have spoken up for us a long time
ago,” 21-year-old protester King
Kwong added.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Actor Warren Clarke
dies aged 67
‘Vaping’ adverts
debut on television
Police ‘sickened’ as
killer Roberts freed
McDonald’s manager
held for racial abuse
Brit expats suspects
in Madeleine probe
British actor Warren Clarke, best known
for playing grumpy Yorkshire detective
superintendent Andy Dalziel in the longrunning television series Dalziel And Pascoe,
has died aged 67 after a short illness, his
agent said yesteray. Clarke, born in Oldham,
Lancashire, got his break in the controversial
1971 film A Clockwork Orange, directed by
Stanley Kubrick, but turned his back on a
Hollywood career in favour of being a jobbing
actor. Stardom, and financial security, did not
come for the actor until gritty police drama
Dalziel And Pacoe won a worldwide audience in
the 1990s.
Advertisements showing people who appear to
be smoking were shown on television on Monday
for the first time in nearly fifty years following a
regulatory change. Adverts for VIP e-cigarettes
and KiK Electronic Cigarettes, aired on ITV1 and
TruTV, respectively. VIP’s ad features a woman
seductively ‘vaping,’ or puffing on an e-cigarette,
while KiK’s ad features a group of people holding
e-cigarettes. The ads were able to be broadcast
following a legal change by the Advertising
Standards Authority coming into effect specifying
a host of new rules, including that the ads make
clear the product is not a tobacco product and
that they must not include health claims.
Police leaders yesterday condemned as
“sickening” the news that notorious killer Harry
Roberts has been released from jail. Roberts,
now 78, was jailed for life for murdering three
unarmed officers in Shepherd’s Bush in 1966.
The decision to release him after 48 years
sparked anger last month from relatives of
the victims, politicians and senior officers.
Yesterday it emerged that he left Littlehey prison
in Cambridgeshire on Monday. Steve White,
chairman of the Police Federation of England
and Wales, wrote to Home Secretary Theresa
May urging a change in the law to ensure life
means life for killers of police officers.
The manager of a McDonald’s in south- east
London has been arrested and cautioned after a
racist tirade against customers. Yasin Farah, 27,
and friends went to the restaurant on High Street
in Penge for breakfast at 5.30am after a night
out. Farah, of Penge, said: “When it came to us
being served the manager jumped on the till and
straight away was aggressive with us. Then he
started telling us to get out of the restaurant. He
says, ‘You are a low-life, get out the restaurant, all
you Somalians are the same’.” Farah called the
police, who arrested the 41-year-old on suspicion
of a racially aggravated offence and cautioned
Two British expats are among seven
new suspects identified by detectives
investigating the disappearance of
Madeleine McCann. The men, who have
been declared arguidos or formal suspects
by the Portuguese police, will be questioned
later this month and ordered to provide DNA
samples. The Britons, who are not known
to each other, are believed to have lived on
the Algarve in Portugal prior to Madeleine’s
disappearance on May 3, 2007. They are
among seven people identified as suspects
by investigators. A further four individuals
are being treated as witnesses.
Jail full body
search rules
eased in
N Ireland
ules on conducting full
body searches of dissident republican prisoners
in Northern Ireland have been
eased in some circumstances as
part of the “normalisation” of
security arrangements in jail, the
authorities said.
Staff are still under serious
threat following the murder of
warder David Black in 2012, the
Prison Service said.
Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim holds inmates affiliated to
armed groups opposed to the
peace process in closely guarded
separated units, with tight restrictions on movement and
measures to detect hidden guns
or communications equipment.
But a review found that the requirement for random full body
searching on the way to visits had
been eased following a lengthy
“dirty protest”, a tactic used by IRA
prisoners in 1970s and early 1980s.
Inmates are no longer routinely
subjected to the precautionary
procedure when leaving prison on
final discharge or home leave, the
Prison Service confirmed.
Director general Sue McAllister said: “This is not about
relinquishing control to any
prisoners but it is about having
proportionate security.
“This is about building a conflict-free environment within a
high security prison with prisoners who are separated from the
general population.”
She added: “We are not relaxing security, what we are prepared to do is to move to normalising the arrangements for the
movement of prisoners.”
A total of 43 republican prisoners are held separately from
the rest of the prison, a situation unique to Northern Ireland
following a campaign by inmates who view themselves as
political prisoners in the same
way as IRA members did during
the 30-year conflict.
Tensions at Maghaberry between warders and inmates have
simmered for years and were
dramatically escalated after experienced warder Black was
gunned down by a group calling
itself the IRA while he drove to
work in 2012.
He was one of a number of
security force victims since the
1998 Good Friday Agreement
which largely ended violence.
Ongoing abuse of prison staff
has included the sending of two
viable parcel bombs to named
staff, the necessity for several to
relocate their homes and threats
on social media made against
named officers.
Prisoners have engaged in
months of protest against their
conditions of detention, particularly full body strip searching
which the authorities believe is
necessary to detect weapons.
In an effort to improve the
atmosphere, in August 2010, a
deal was reached. An independent assessment team including a
former senior Northern Ireland
Office official and a leading trade
unionist carried out a stock take
of the 2010 accord and said the
murder of Black was the most
egregious breach of the principles underpinning it.
It said: “The agreement has
been unable to realise its full potential, partly because of bedding in problems arising from the
lack of trust between Northern
Ireland Prison Service and republican prisoners and because
of understandable concerns
about staff security.” In 1983 the
biggest breakout in UK history
in Northern Ireland saw 38 IRA
prisoners escape.
Today, if inmates are moving
from one secure location to another using vans, or being taken
to hospital, the Prison Service
said it had a duty to ensure public protection through thorough
screening, balanced against discretion for those with serious
medical conditions.
London skyline under threat
Numerous skyscrapers are planned for construction along London’s north bank which will transform the British capital. London’s historic skyline is set to undergo a radical
change in the coming years.
Thousands of patients
recalled over HIV fears
housands of dental patients
in Britain are being recalled
for tests over fears that they
could have been infected with HIV
or other blood-borne viruses,
health officials said yesterday.
NHS England said 22,000 people may have been put at risk over
a period of 32 years by poor hygiene practices at a single dental
surgery in the city of Nottingham
in central England.
Desmond D’Mello was suspended in June after a whistleblower, concerned about clinical
standards, secretly filmed the
dentist at work at the Daybrook
Dental Practice.
Health authorities said they
were investigating “apparent
breaches of infection control
procedures” by D’Mello, including failing to wash his hands and
change gloves between patients.
All patients treated by him are
being urged to undergo screening
for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis
Officials stressed that D’Mello
himself was not infected with
any blood-borne viruses but
said his patients could have been
put at “low risk” due to “apparent multiple failures in cross-
infection control standards”.
To deal with the crisis, an emergency walk-in centre has been set
up in Nottinghamshire. A hotline,
which will operate seven days a
week, has also been launched to
advise patients who were treated
by the dentist.
Speaking at a press conference
in Mansfield, yesterday morning, Dr Doug Black appealed for
former patients of D’Mello to
come forward for screening.
A dedicated advice line has
been set up offering guidance on
how to access additional support.
NHS England has also set up a
temporary Community Clinic for
patients, to provide further ad-
d Miliband suffered a
crushing new blow yesterday as a poll revealed
only 13% of the public think he
is ready to be prime minister.
Even among Labour supporters, a clear majority of 58% say
they are “dissatisfied” with his
performance as leader.
Among the general public,
three times as many say they
are dissatisfied with him as are
satisfied, and his ratings have
crashed below Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s.
The dismal findings, from
pollsters Ipsos MORI for the
Evening Standard, threaten to
overshadow a major fightback
speech that Miliband is due to
stage in London today.
One Labour MP said: “If the
numbers carry on like this he
will have to go by Christmas,
irrespective of whether there is
someone waiting in the wings
to take over. We cannot go into
a general election knowing we
are going to lose.”
However, shadow chancellor Ed Balls dismissed the poll,
saying: “The polls have been
bouncing around for months.
The only poll that matters is the
general election.”
Labour is down four points
since October to 29%, while
the Conservatives are up two
points to 32. It is the biggest
Tory lead since October 2010.
Alarmingly for Labour, there
has been a sharp drop in the
proportion of people who think
the party and its leader are fit to
run the country.
In June this year, 22% thought
Miliband was ready to be prime
minister and 65% thought he
was not. Now, however, the figures are 13% and 73%.
Twenty-three percent of
people think Labour is ready to
form the next government but
61% disagree. That is also worse
than in June, when the figures
were 35% to 52%. Only 21% say
they are satisfied with how Miliband is doing his job, while 26%
are satisfied with Clegg.
Among Labour supporters, only 35% are satisfied with
Miliband. The “dissatisfied”
figure has risen from 46% to
Ukip is down two points to
14% in the poll. Only 30% think
Nigel Farage is ready to serve as
a government minister in a coalition, with 54% disagreeing.
Bobby Duffy, head of public
affairs at Ipsos MORI, said the
poll was taken at the height of
media coverage of a possible
challenge to Miliband: “It looks
like it’s had a significant effect. The Labour leadership will
clearly hope that this marks a
low point ... they’re still within
touching distance, despite all
the negative coverage.”
“Effective treatments are available for these blood borne viruses,
which is why it is important to
identify anyone who may have
been at risk of infection, however low this may be, so treatment
can be started if necessary. We
are working closely with Public
Health England to resolve this
issue as quickly as possible and
provide support and assistance to
those who may be affected.”
He said NHS England have written separately to the 166 patients
filmed without consent to explain
what has happened, and to offer
assurances that the video footage
will remain securely stored while
the investigation is ongoing.
Police foil Bond-style
drug smuggling plot
Only 13% of voters feel
Miliband can be PM: poll
London Evening Standard
vice, counselling, and where necessary blood testing.
Patients can visit the clinic
from 8am to 8pm seven days a
week, at the Arnold Health Centre, located at Highcroft Medical
Centre on High Street in Arnold,
Dr Black said screening will involve a discussion with a clinician
and may require a blood test. He
added: “We are extremely sorry
for the undoubted worry and concern people may feel on hearing
this news. I would like to stress
again that the potential risk is low
but would encourage anyone who
has been treated by D’Mello to
contact the advice line.
A rigid-hulled inflatable boat seized by the National Crime Agency
in Scotland from the four Dutchmen is displayed.
our Dutchmen appeared
in a British court yesterday charged with plotting to smuggle cocaine from
Colombia to Scotland using a
“James Bond-style” underwater vehicle.
The men plotted to take
108kgs of the drug from a ship off
the west coast of Scotland using
a Seabob submersible jet ski and
other scuba diving equipment, it
is alleged.
Henri van Doesburg, 68, Arnold van Milt, 49, Roderick van
Doesburg, 23, and Darryl-Jay
van Doesburg, 22, are on trial
at Leeds Crown Court, charged
with conspiracy to import illegal
drugs into Britain.
State prosecutor Paul Mitchell
told the jury that customs officers found more than 50 packages
of extremely high purity cocaine
in the rudder space of the Cape
Maria vessel on May 9.
The operation led by the National Crime Agency yielded a
haul with a potential street value
of around £16.2mn.
Mitchell said Roderick and
Darryl-Jay Van Doesburg and
Van Milt all had scuba diving experience and planned to recover
the drugs from the outside of the
A police search of their car and
their inflatable speedboat turned
up dry suits, other scuba diving equipment and the Seabob.
“You might have seen them used
by James Bond and James Bond’s
adversaries,” Mitchell told the
jury. “It’s the kind of thing you
use if you need to travel underwater at high speed.”
Mitchell alleged there were
parallel movements between the
defendants and the Cape Maria
going between Britain and the
Netherlands, while a document
about the ship was found on one
of Van Milt’s phones.
“The Cape Maria importation of cocaine in May was
merely an example of an ongoing conspiracy of repeated importations of large quantities of
cocaine into Europe on vessels
from South America.” The defendants deny the charge. The
trial continues.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Ex-Casualty star
Gibbs dies aged 41
Man jailed for attacking
paramedic with a guitar
Tories taunt Sadiq Khan for
‘using mobile at the wheel’
One arrested for
sex attack on girl
20% rise in Eastern
Europe workers
Former Casualty star Rebekah Gibbs has
died at the age of 41, following a battle with
cancer. The Devon-born actress played the
role of feisty paramedic Nina Farr between
2004 and 2006 in the BBC medical drama.
Her agent Belfield And Ward confirmed the
news, writing on Twitter: “Darling Rebekah
Gibbs - a true inspiration and dazzling light
- never to be forgotten.” The actress had
told how she was only weeks away from
giving birth when she first noticed a lump in
her breast. After having her baby daughter,
Gigi, in 2008 she was told that she had a
particularly aggressive cancer.
A man who smashed a paramedic in the face with
a guitar in an A&E department has been jailed for
two months. Adrian Naylor, 35, attacked Shachar
Barak in the casualty department at University
College Hospital in March as he tried to book in
another patient. Barak, who is based in Brent,
politely asked Naylor to move out of the way, but
he suddenly became aggressive and hit Barak
in the face with a guitar, causing a nosebleed
and deep cut. He was thrown out of the A&E
department and arrested by police. Highbury
Corner magistrates last month found Naylor, from
Cheshire, guilty of assault and sent him to prison
for 56 days, London Ambulance Service revealed.
Tory MPs taunted shadow justice secretary
Sadiq Khan in the Commons for allegedly using
a mobile phone while at the wheel of his car. As
Khan sat on the front bench, Harrow East MP Bob
Blackman asked Justice Secretary Chris Grayling
for an update “on the risks and penalties of using
a mobile phone while driving”. Grayling said: “The
offence ... is very serious.” Stephen Mosley, Tory
MP for Chester, asked about the number of deaths
caused by phone-using drivers. Police minister
Mike Penning said: “I do not have the figures
to hand, but as an ex-firefighter ... I know the
distraction caused by using a mobile. It’s not only
illegal but it kills people.”
Police have arrested a man after a nine-yearold girl was sexually assaulted in an alleyway.
Essex Police had issued an urgent appeal to
trace Steven Partridge, 22, following the incident
in Southend. He was arrested in Harlow in the
county earlier yesterday and has been taken to
Southend police station for questioning. Detective
chief superintendent Tracy Hawkings, the force’s
head of public protection, said: “ The victim, a
girl aged nine from Southend, was found by a
member of the public who called the police.
She is being cared for. She has suffered a sexual
assault and we are doing everything we can to
look after her following this traumatic ordeal.”
The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working
in the UK has risen by 20%, official figures have
revealed. Some 189,000 people from the two
Eastern European countries “by birth” were
working here by the end of September, up 31,000
on the previous quarter, the Office for National
Statistics (ONS) said. This also compares to
150,000 in the final quarter of last year. The figure
was 167,000 “by nationality”, which does not
include those who have adopted British or other
citizenship, the ONS said. Employment curbs were
lifted for citizens of the so-called A2 countries on
January 1, prompting warnings of a looming surge
of immigration from the Ukip.
Plans to
probe MPs’
in secret
Poppies installation taken down
ontroversial plans to carry
out MPs’ expenses investigations in secret have been
criticised by the Commons sleaze
watchdog. Under proposals from
the Independent Parliamentary
Standards Authority (Ipsa), politicians will no longer be named when
investigations are launched. Compliance officer Peter Davis said the
change would balance the “public
interest in transparency” with “operational needs and fairness”.
He highlighted the “reputational damage” to MPs caused by
naming them before investigations are complete.
The measure, put out for consultation in September, has come
under fire for making the Ipsa
regime less transparent than the
one it replaced in 2010 - when the
identities of those under investigation were routinely confirmed.
And the cross-party Standards
Committee has now also voiced
concerns, pointing out that the
parliamentary standards commissioner currently publishes names
when she launches formal probes.
“There is clearly a difficult balance between transparency and
the fair and efficient conduct of
investigations,” the committee’s
response to the consultation stated.
“We consider it is possible
that the changes proposed in the
consultation may tilt the balance
too far from transparency ... We
invite Ipsa to consider whether
the advantages of removing the
assessment stage outweigh the
transparency brought by the current system, in which names are
released if it appears there may be
grounds for investigation.”
If the proposal is implemented
it will be Ipsa’s second U-turn on
the issue. Initially the watchdog’s
rules indicated that the names of
MPs under investigation should
be released when probes were
launched, but the body’s compliance officer Luke March then refused to do so on the basis it was
Whitehall called upon to
produce examples of how
deeper reductions could be
imposed a year after next
general election
Guardian News and Media
A group of volunteers remove ceramic poppies as work begins to dismantle the art
installation “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” at the Tower of London in London
Contest offers chance to be
London’s guest of honour
London Evening Standard
he chance to visit London and be “treated like
royalty” was yesterday
unveiled as the prize of a remarkable competition showcasing the world’s greatest city.
Boris Johnson’s tourism
agency is offering people from across the
world the chance to win an
unforgettable fortnight — with
VIP-led tours of the Houses
of Parliament, Royal Opera House, Science Museum,
Wimbledon and Tower Bridge.
The winner and a guest will
be hosted by some of the biggest names in showbusiness,
politics and sport, from Placido Domingo and Darcey Bussell at the Royal Opera House
to Jessie J at a new West End
Professor Stephen Hawking will accompany the winner during a visit to the Science Museum. The mayor said:
“Everybody will love it. This
drawing up
extra £30bn
spending cuts
is about reminding the world
that London is the No 1 global
tourist destination and showing some of the extraordinary
experiences our city has to offer. This is your chance to be
London’s ‘Official Guest of
Honour’. We are talking about
head of state treatment.”
The winner and a guest
will be hosted by some
of the biggest names in
showbusiness, politics and
Other highlights include
a six-course meal created by
Michelin-starred chef Jason
Atherton, tea at Lord’s with
Downton Abbey actor Jim
Carter and the chance to edit
one of the Evening Standard’s
London Life pages. There will
also be a £5,000 shopping
spree on Oxford Street and the
chance to be a keeper for a day
at London Zoo.
The initiative is part of the
GREAT Britain campaign that
Prince Harry launched two
years ago in Brazil. The winner
will be invited to the capital
in February and highlights include the chance to raise Tower
Bridge, fire the guns on HMS
Belfast, attend a West End film
premiere and appear as an extra in a West End show.
Atherton, whose London
restaurants include Pollen
Street Social and Berners Tavern, said: “I’m very proud to
be a Londoner and to be representing London’s culinary
scene on a global stage — I
hope the winner will have a
great time with us.”
Jessie J , who will take the
winner to the new Carole King
musical Beautiful, said: “My
career began on the legendary
stage of Aldwych Theatre with
my first professional performance so I’m absolutely thrilled
to give London’s Official Guest
of Honour a personal tour of
this iconic venue.”
Strictly Come Dancing judge
Bussell said: “Having spent
much of my life in London,
training and dancing with The
Royal Ballet, it’s my favourite
city in the world for culture.”
hitehall’s most senior
mandarins have been
asked by the Treasury
to draw up details of how an extra
£25bn-£30bn in public spending
cuts could be imposed a year after
the next general election, according to cabinet insiders.
The cuts being sought from
permanent secretaries would
cover the two years after the existing agreed spending review
period comes to an end in April
2016, and so would cover the financial years 2016-17 and 201718. It had been known spending
cuts of this order would be required in the two years as part of
the Treasury deficit-reduction
plan, but it had not been known
that the Treasury was already
seeking detailed examples of proposed cuts.
An indication of government
thinking is expected in the autumn statement on December 3.
Some cabinet ministers are
aghast that plans are being drawn
up privately for cuts going so
deep into the next parliament and
believe a public debate should be
under way now rather than make
plans in private before the election.
“We need a public debate
around all this, and not for this
to be decided in a private conversation between the treasury
and the civil service,” a source
Freeman honoured
said. One is understood to have
told his permanent secretary not
to co-operate with the exercise
that started in the late summer
- partly because they think the
scale of the cuts being planned is
not justified.
The cabinet minister acknowledged that senior civil servants
have their own careers to consider so it may be that the work
is going on anyway without the
agreement of elected ministers
on the basis that it forms part of
the contingency planning and
horizon scanning process that
applies after the election.
The source added David Cameron was being deeply misleading about the scale of the cuts
needed in the next parliament.
The cuts being planned for the
second parliament are likely to
be tougher to sell politically,
partly because the public is not
as prepared as in 2010 in the aftermath of the global financial
Tax receipts are also lower than
had been anticipated, partly because of changes in the labour
market, such as an increase in
the number of young people in
low-paid employment and in the
numbers of self-employed.
A commitment by Cameron
to protect spending on the NHS
from cuts would mean that the
impact will be felt more severely elsewhere. Cuts will again
squeeze the police, the ministry
of defence, legal aid and the business department including further education funding, student
maintenance loans and science
One source said: “The planned
cuts would have a massive impact
on departments. You could see
Journalist admits
beating partner
US actor Morgan Freeman poses for pictures after
receiving the Freedom of the City of London during a
ceremony at the Guildhall in central London yesterday.
Freeman was recognised for his achievements in acting
and for his charitable work.
the department of communities and local government facing
eventual cuts since 2010 of 80%.”
The source added that this
would have a devastating impact
on the housing budget and on local council services.
George Osborne, the chancellor, has vowed to run an absolute
surplus in the public finances by
2018-19, and may want detailed
ammunition on how cuts could
be made so he can control the
baseline in any election debate
about tax and spending.
An analysis on Monday suggested that spending cuts in the
next parliament would be deeper
than expected. The Financial
Times said cuts would be closer
to £48bn between 2014-15 and
2018-19 rather than the £25bn
mentioned by Cameron, partly
because the prime minister had
excluded cuts required in 2014-15
and 2018-19.
The consequence is the combined annual budget of nonprotected departments such as
local government and defence
will come down by a third in real
terms from £144bn in 2014-15 to
£96bn in 2018-19.
Osborne has said he could reduce these cuts by as much as
£12bn if he can find cuts to working-age welfare.
Nick Clegg, speaking at the
CBI conference in Birmingham,
had hinted at the fragile state of
the public finances by saying “the
nascent recovery is at a very delicate stage”.
But the deputy prime minister said he differed from the
Tories who want to complete the
deficit reduction by the 2017-18
timetable through spending cuts
former journalist who
claims he was framed for
the unsolved murder of a
French filmmaker in Ireland has
admitted assaulting his partner.
Ian Bailey, an English reporter
who moved to west Cork more
than 23 years ago, is suing the Irish
state after being arrested twice
over the killing of Sophie Toscan
du Plantier. The 39-year-old producer was found by two neighbours beaten to death on a hillside
outside her holiday home in a remote part of west Cork two days
before Christmas 1996.
Bailey denies any involvement in the death and was never
The High Court in Dublin where the 57-year-old is suing
the Irish state for wrongful arrest
- heard details of a litany of injuries suffered by his partner Jules
Thomas, an artist originally from
Wales but who has lived in west
Cork for at least two decades.
“It’s common knowledge to
my eternal shame that in the past
when I used to drink, that to my
eternal shame, that I was involved
in incidents of domestic violence
with Thomas,” Bailey said.
“I don’t know what I can say
about that other than to say it’s to
my eternal shame.”
Bailey revealed it was known
in the locality of Liscaha, Schull
in west Cork, where he had been
living with Thomas, that he had
beaten her. “People would have
been aware,” he told the court.
“I don’t know if it was plain for
people to see it. It was common
knowledge or there was knowledge of it.”
Bailey was shown four photos
of injuries Thomas sustained but
refused to detail them to the jury.
“I’m not going to describe it.
What I see in the photographs is
shameful and disgraceful of me
and I’m not going to describe that,”
he said. Pressed on the injuries
from May 1996 by senior counsel
for the state, Luan O Braonain,
Bailey agreed with a series of descriptions.
Thomas had a closed, blackened
right eye. Another picture showed
a bandage over her eye, in another
bruises could be seen on her hand
and she had a 4cm clump of hair
pulled from her head.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Man drowns in mudslide as
rain, floods ravage Italy
Skeleton found in mystery
Alexander-era Greek tomb
German police arrest nine
Islamic State supporters
‘Blue Belle of Asia’ sapphire
sets new world record
Turkey bids to reduce huge
toll of workplace deaths
A landslide killed one man and seriously injured
another in Italy yesterday, a local emergency
service said, as floods continued to engulf northern
parts of the country and heavy rain persists. A fire
department official in the northwestern province of
Biella, in the Piedmont region, said the fire service
was too busy for him to give any further details.
Local media said the man was about 70 years old
and was killed near his home. Torrential rain has
also hit Tuscany, Liguria, Lombardy and EmiliaRomagna this week, causing flooding which closed
schools, washed away orchards and vineyards and
revived accusations about the disastrous effects of
environmental neglect.
A skeleton has been discovered in the mysterious,
richly-decorated tomb from the time of
Alexander the Great that has crisis-hit Greece on
tenterhooks. Officials said yesterday the remains
were clearly those of “a powerful personality
which can be seen from this unique tomb”, with
speculation rife that it could be that of Roxana,
Alexander’s Persian wife, his mother Olympias
or one of his generals. The skeleton will now “be
studied by researchers”. Whoever the massive
fourth-century BC tomb holds, experts say it
is highly unlikely to be Alexander himself, who
conquered the Persian empire and much of the
known world before his death at the age of 32.
German police yesterday arrested nine suspects
accused of supporting extremist group Islamic
State (IS) that is fighting in Iraq and Syria,
in dawn raids involving some 240 officers,
authorities said. Eight of the suspects, German
citizens aged 22 to 35, are accused of a string
of burglaries of churches and schools in and
around the western city of Cologne to raise
cash for the jihadist group, said police in North
Rhine-Westphalia state. The spoils of the crimes
were allegedly sent as “direct transfers to jihadist
fighters in Syria” and “to finance the departure
of combat volunteers to Syria”, they said in a
A sapphire known as the Blue Belle of Asia
has set a new world record after selling for
more than $17mn at a rare jewellery auction in
Geneva, Christie’s said. The 392.52-carat gem
was snapped up by a private collector Tuesday
night for 16.965mn Swiss francs ($17.29mn),
the highest ever for a sapphire at auction.
The Ceylon sapphire mounted on a diamond
necklace was the highlight of a sale of rare and
historical jewels that brought in $150.21mn - also
a record for the “Magnificent Jewels” sales. Other
star lots included a pair of Cartier tigers which
sparked a bidding battle before they were sold
for $3.14mn.
Turkey yesterday launched a new drive to improve
its appalling workplace safety standards that
leave hundreds dead every year, two weeks
after its latest deadly mining accident. Prime
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters that the
centrepiece of the new reform would be a carrotand-stick approach whereby employers would be
financially rewarded for a good safety record and
punished for accidents. “A change of mentality is
indispensable,” Davutoglu said. “We will reward
businesses with no recorded accident. For example,
if no accidents were recorded at a firm within the
‘very dangerous job category’ we’ll collect 1%
unemployment premium instead of 2%,” he said.
Ukraine readies troops
to combat separatists
ato yesterday accused Russia of sending fresh columns
of tanks, troops and military
hardware into Ukraine as Kiev said it
was preparing for a return to combat
in the war-torn east.
Ukraine’s warning will fuel fears of
a return to all-out conflict despite a
two-month-old ceasefire deal which
has halted fighting along much of the
frontline but not stopped shelling at
strategic flashpoints.
Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak
said Kiev was getting set for a possible new round of fighting after seeing
“increased activity” by Russia and
pro-Moscow rebels across the region.
“The main task I see is to prepare
for combat operations. We are doing
this, we are readying our reserves,”
Poltorak said at the start of a cabinet
“We observe their movements, we
know where they are and we expect
unpredictable actions from them.”
He said the situation in the conflict
zone was “complicated but stable”
for now.
His comments came as Nato’s supreme commander threw his weight
behind allegations that Moscow has
stepped up the flow of armaments
across the frontier in the past few
days, the first such accusations from
the US-led alliance since the signing
of the truce deal September 5.
“We have seen columns of Russian
equipment, primarily Russian tanks,
Russian artillery, Russian air defence
systems and Russian combat troops
entering into Ukraine,” US General
Philip Breedlove said in Sofia.
Moscow immediately rejected the
allegations, the latest in stream of
denials that it is involved in the fighting that has rocked east Ukraine since
early April.
“We have stopped paying attention
to unfounded statements by Nato’s
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
General Philip Breedlove about his
‘seeing’ Russian military columns,”
defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies.
Russia, however, openly gives political backing to the self-declared
separatist statelets and it is unclear
how else the rebels could have ac-
Smoke rises near the traffic control tower of the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport damaged by shelling during fighting between pro-Russia separatists
and Ukrainian government forces, in Donetsk.
quired the heavy weaponry typical of
a regular army.
troops to seize the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March, first denying
they were its forces before admitting
it had sent in soldiers.
The UN Security Council is to hold
an emergency session to discuss the
Ukraine crisis, with representatives
from the Organization for Security
and Cooperation (OSCE) set to give
an update on the situation on the
The OSCE, which is monitoring
the ceasefire, warned Tuesday there
was a “rising” risk of an escalation in
the conflict, which has claimed more
than 4,000 lives since April, according to UN figures.
Its observers also reported seeing
a convoy of 43 unmarked military
trucks - five towing Howitzer heavy
artillery pieces and another five towing multi-launch rocket systems travelling into the rebel stronghold of
Donetsk on Tuesday.
It was the latest in a string of recent sightings of unmarked trucks and
heavy weapons heading towards the
frontline in rebel-controlled areas.
On the ground, several hours of
heavy artillery fire rocked Donetsk,
the most intense fighting since the
The explosions of mortars being
fired from near the city centre towards government positions at the
ruined airport continued throughout
the morning but had calmed down by
early afternoon, an AFP correspondent said.
Ukraine’s military said one soldier
had been killed and five wounded as
its positions came under repeated
shelling around the region over the
past 24 hours.
Government forces also accused
the insurgents of trying to capture a
strategic location along the volatile
frontline, delineated as part of the
ceasefire deal, north of the secondlargest rebel stronghold Lugansk.
The Ukraine crisis has sent relations between Russia and the West
plummeting to their lowest point
since the Cold War.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
was facing renewed Western diplomatic
pressure over the conflict during a week
of high-level international talks.
Putin discussed Ukraine with US
President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at a
trade summit in Beijing on Tuesday.
Australia will host this week’s G20
summit in Brisbane which Putin is
also to attend amid public anger over
allegations Russia supplied rebels
with the missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July, killing all 298
people onboard including 38 Australian citizens and residents.
Dutch investigators were back yesterday at the rebel-controlled crash site
looking for body parts but could not say
when they would be able to start work
on removing the wreckage because of
the fragile security situation.
US sailors hit
by ‘hood attack’
in Turkey port
group of nationalist Turkish youths
yesterday attacked three visiting US
sailors in Istanbul, trying to force
sacks on their heads in an assault angrily condemned by the US embassy.
Several dozen members of the nationalist
youth group Turkiye Genclik Birligi (Turkish
Youth Union/TGB) attacked the sailors in the
Eminonu district on the Istanbul waterfront,
a popular tourist hub.
They sought to force white sacks onto the
heads of the sailors, who were in civilian
dress, and chased them across the quayside,
shouting “Yankee Go Home” and “Down
with US Imperialism”.
The use of hoods was a reference to an incident from the 2003 Iraq war that outraged
many in Turkey when US forces in northern
Iraq arrested a group of Turkish soldiers,
forced hoods on their heads and held them
for three days.
The incident inflamed nationalist sentiment in Turkey and formed the basis of the
smash-hit 2006 film about Turkish agents in
Iraq ‘Valley of the Wolves: Iraq’.
The TGB said that the sailors were from the
USS Ross destroyer, which was moored in Istanbul after returning from military exercises
in the Black Sea.
“We want you to get lost and we are using
our right to protest,” the group said it told the
According to NTV television, 12 people
were subsequently arrested.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the US
embassy in Ankara described the footage of
the incident, which was posted on social networks, as “appalling”.
“While we respect the right to peaceful
protest and freedom of expression, we condemn today’s attack in Istanbul,” it said.
The embassy said it had “no doubt the vast
majority of Turks would join us in rejecting
an action that so disrespects Turkey’s reputation for hospitality.”
Turkey’s refusal to cooperate with the USled invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused a fullblown crisis in relations between Washington
and Ankara.
But tensions has re-emerged again in recent months over Turkey’s wariness of offering full support to the US-led coalition
fighting Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Iraq and
US Vice President Joe Biden is expected
in Istanbul on November 21 for talks with
Turkish leaders in a visit seen as crucial for
smoothing out the current tensions.
The TGB claims to be staunchly loyal to
the principles of modern Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and also
stanchly opposed the ruling Islamic-rooted
party co-founded by President Recep Tayyip
Dutchman inserts bitcoin ‘wallets’ in hands
A Dutch bitcoin entrepreneur
has had two microchips
containing the virtual currency
injected into his hands to
help him make contactless
The chips, enclosed in a
2mm by 12mm capsule of
“biocompatible” glass, were
injected by a professional using a special syringe.
They emit a tiny radio signal
using Near Field Communication (NFC) and can store up to
888 bits of information each.
“We wanted to do this
experiment to push further the
concept of the virtual wallet,”
Martijn Wismeijer, co-founder
of MrBitcoin which installs
bitcoin cash distributors, told
Using NFC, the chips can
communicate with devices
such as Android smartphones
or tablets.
“What’s stored on the
microchips should be seen as
a savings account,” rather than
a current account, Wismeijer
“The payment device
remains the smartphone, but
you transfer funds from the
chips,” said Wismeijer, who
was injected with the chips
along with a handful of other
people on November 3.
His experiment has gar-
nered so much publicity that
he has temporarily withdrawn
the money from his hands for
security reasons.
“The aim wasn’t for everyone to know about it,” he said,
The chips are available
on the Internet, sold with a
syringe for $99 by the Dangerous Things company.
“It’s really not recommended to do this yourself,
you should find a specialist if
you want to avoid infections,”
Wismeijer said.
Besides storing bitcoins,
the chips can be programmed
with a smartphone to do such
things as open doors electronically or turn an alarm clock off
if placed in a certain position.
Around 1,500 people
around the world have already
had such chips injected,
Wismeijer said, but he did
not know how many carried
Such experiments are
important to make the technology acceptable to society,
he said.
“Imagine having a tattoo
that is normally invisible but
turns red if you have a heart
attack: you scan the tattoo
with your smartphone and
your doctor is immediately
Serb nationalist returns home, vows revenge on ‘traitors’
Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj is greeted by supporters at the Nikola Tesla Airport in
n ailing Serbian nationalist, released before a verdict in his
lengthy war crimes trial in The
Hague, returned home yesterday vowing
revenge on former friends and “traitors”
who seek integration with the West.
Vojislav Seselj, whom doctors say is
suffering from cancer of the colon which
has spread to his liver, was given a raucous welcome by hundreds of supporters
who packed Belgrade airport.
Seselj’s almost 12-year detention,
drawn out by the defendant’s repeated
obstruction of his trial and the replacement of one of the judges, had become
an embarrassment for the tribunal,
which ordered his release on Friday citing
“compelling humanitarian reasons”.
The 60-year-old’s return has put Serbia’s government in an awkward spot.
Seselj was political mentor and close
friend of Serbia’s current president and
prime minister, Tomislav Nikolic and
Aleksandar Vucic, before both men broke
from his Radical Party in 2008 and swung
behind efforts to join the European Union.
Nikolic and Vucic took power in 2012 and
have sought to distance themselves from
Seselj, a hardline proponent of the nationalism that fuelled wars in Bosnia, Croatia and
Kosovo during the breakup of Yugoslavia in
which more than 120,000 people died.
Addressing supporters from the balcony of his party headquarters, Seselj
said he would topple the government,
branding Nikolic and Vucic “renegades
and Serbian traitors who renounced their
honour and renounced Serbian nationalism to become the servants of foreign
He denounced the Hague tribunal as a
“wounded globalist beast” out to destroy
the Serb nation.
With the defection of Nikolic and
Vucic, Seselj’s Radical Party - for years
the biggest in Serbia - lost its place in
But Seselj holds almost cult-status
among some hardliners in Serbia, who
say they will rally in central Belgrade
on Saturday to show their support for
Seselj handed himself in to The Hague
in 2003, charged with recruiting, financing and inciting followers to commit
murder, ethnic cleansing and other war
crimes in Bosnia and Croatia during the
rule of late Serbian strongman Slobodan
With his release, a verdict in the trial
may never come.
“It is sad and discouraging that the
tribunal did not manage to complete
the process after all these years,” said
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, an expert on international law. “Seselj is an
example of the inefficiency of international justice”.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Azerbaijan shoots down
Armenian helicopter
State TV fined for favouring
Erdogan in poll coverage
German train drivers
union agrees to talks
Decades-old skeleton of
skier found in Austria
Italy union calls strike over
govt economic policies
Azerbaijani forces yesterday shot down an
Armenian military helicopter, the defence
ministry in Baku said, in a dramatic flare-up in the
arch-foes’ longstanding conflict over Nagorny
Karabakh. The downing marks the most serious
military incident along the Karabakh frontier
since the 1994 ceasefire that ended a bloody
conflict over the disputed region. “On November
12, a MI-24 combat helicopter attempted to
attack positions of the Azerbaijani army near
(Karabakh’s) Agdam district,” Azerbaijan’s
defence ministry said in a statement, adding that
the debris fell on Karabakh territory. Armenian
media said three crew members had died.
Turkey’s state-run broadcaster has been
penalised for favouring President Tayyip Erdogan
in its coverage of the country’s first popular vote
for head of state, the national election board said
yesterday. TRT, funded by the Turkish tax payer,
was ordered by the broadcasting regulator to
replace 11 of its forthcoming programmes with
documentaries as a punitive measure, and to
broadcast the reason why it was being punished.
The regulator imposed the measures after a
complaint from the High Elections Board about
breaches of its election coverage rules. It is the
first time that TRT has been fined in its 45-year
history, local media reports said.
The train drivers union that snarled Germany’s
railway system with six strikes since September
said yesterday that it will open talks this month
with the national rail company, Deutsche Bahn.
The announcement on the website of the GDL
union implied there will be no further strikes
in the interim. In a small concession, Deutsche
Bahn offered separate pay talks with GDL in
Frankfurt on November 21 at the same time as it
will be negotiating with the bigger EVG railway
workers union. A split in the workforce between
the two unions is seen as the source of the
conflict. GDL said it had also secured a meeting
with top company executives.
Austrian rescue workers have recovered from a
cave the skeleton of a skier thought to have fallen
to his death in the Alps decades ago. “It is difficult
to say before the autopsy how old the remains
are... but the equipment found in the cave is 60
or 70 years old,” Anton Schentz, a spokesman for
Salzburg state police in western Austria, told AFP.
Two weeks ago geologist Georg Zagler thought at
first that bones he found 150m below the surface
were from an animal but he then discovered two
shoes and bits of ski and pole. “The leather shoes
were hobnailed with thick iron spikes,” Zagler told
the Austria Press Agency. “It’s likely that he died
Italy’s biggest labour union, the CGIL, yesterday
called a one-day general strike for December 5 to
protest against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s labour
and economic policies. CGIL General Secretary
Susanna Camusso said on the sidelines of a union
meeting that the strike would last for eight hours
and urged Italy’s two other main labour unions to
join. Demonstrations will be held that day to protest
against plans to give businesses more flexibility to
hire and fire. Civil service workers demanding higher
salaries and new contracts marched through Rome
on Saturday, some carrying balloons depicting Renzi
with a long nose to resemble mendacious children’s
book character Pinocchio.
Catalans urged
to seek charter
reform, not
An artist’s impression of the European probe Philae separating from its mother ship Rosetta and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Europe makes history as
Philae lands on comet
he European Space Agency
(ESA) yesterday landed a
probe on a comet, a first in
space exploration and the climax of
a decade-long mission to get samples from what are the remnants of
the birth of Earth’s solar system.
The box-shaped 100kg lander,
named Philae, touched down on
schedule at about 1600 GMT after a
seven-hour descent from spacecraft
Rosetta around half a billion kilometres from Earth.
Scientists hope that samples from
the surface of 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko will help show how planets and life are created as the rock and
ice that make up the comet preserve
organic molecules like a time-capsule.
Comets come from the formation of Earth’s 4.6bn-year-old solar
system. Scientists believe they may
have brought much of the water in
Earth’s oceans.
“We are ready to make science fiction a science fact,” ESA director of
human spaceflight and operations,
Thomas Reiter, said at the European
Space Operations Centre in Germany before the landing.
Rosetta reached the comet, a
roughly 3km by 5km rock discovered in 1969, in August after a journey of 6.4bn km that took 10 years,
five months and four days - a mission that cost close to 1.4bn euros
Rosetta is the first spacecraft to
orbit a comet rather than just flying
past to take pictures.
Yesterday’s launch went ahead
despite a problem with the thruster
that meant the probe had to rely
mainly on its harpoons to stop it
bouncing back from the comet’s
The three-legged lander had to be
released at exactly the right time and
speed because it cannot be controlled on its descent. On its way down,
Philae gathered data and images,
which were relayed back to Earth.
Engineers designed the lander not
knowing what type of terrain they
would find on the comet’s surface.
Rosetta has been taking pictures
of the comet and collecting samples from its atmosphere as it approaches the sun, showing it is not
as smooth as initially hoped, making
landing more tricky.
The surface is also more dusty
than expected, limiting light needed
to charge its solar panels and power
its instruments once its batteries
run out after two and a half days.
panish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy yesterday urged Catalonia to seek a constitutional reform to resolve its political problems
with Madrid but he ruled out talks on a possible
referendum on independence.
The public prosecutor’s office meanwhile prepared to sue Catalan president Artur Mas on
charges of disobedience and dishonesty after he
defied a court injunction and held a symbolic vote
on secession on Sunday.
“If what he (Mas) wants is to change the constitution to better fit into it...he has all the right to do
so. He should have started from there,” Rajoy told
a news conference.
But Rajoy said he would oppose any reform that
touched on national sovereignty and no talks could
take place over a potential independence vote.
“I strongly believe in dialogue to solve political problems. But any dialogue should take place
within the limits of the constitution,” he said.
More than 2mn citizens Catalonians took part
in the non-binding vote on independence from
Spain - billed as a ‘citizen’s consultation’ on Sunday, reinforcing the wealthy northeast region’s
long-standing campaign for a break with the rest
of Spain.
On Tuesday, Mas proposed the establishment of
a permanent dialogue over Catalan independence
and measures to boost the economy of the region,
which accounts for about a fifth of Spain’s population and economic output.
If the central government failed to address
Catalonia’s concerns, Mas said, then he would
likely seek to bring forward the next regional elections due in late 2016 and use them as a proxy for a
referendum on independence.
“That is what is on offer?,” Rajoy said. “That if
we don’t do what Mr Mas says then he will call for
elections. Is that the sort of dialogue we’re being
invited to?”
Mas, who lacks an absolute majority in the Catalan parliament, said such early elections would
only be organised if Catalan parties could agree to
run on a common platform.
He may however not be able to run himself as a
complaint for disobedience and dishonesty set to
be filed by Spain’s public prosecutor could mean he
is banned from it.
Driver refuses to ferry black passengers
A Swedish bus driver has been sacked for forcing black
people off her bus, a local official said yesterday, highlighting lingering xenophobia in a country traditionally
known for tolerance.
The driver reportedly refused to pick up passengers
who looked foreign in a string of incidents in the Lapland town of Kiruna, which are now being investigated
by police.
Transport official Magdalena Waapling confirmed to
AFP one incident in which the driver asked three people
to get off the bus “because of the colour of their skin”.
“The bus driver has left the company... We demand
that companies providing local services respect our values - every person must be treated equally,” she said.
According to a local television news report, the
driver, who has since between sacked, repeatedly
refused entry to minorities and had failed to stop for
foreign-looking passengers at snowy bus stops around
the Arctic town on several occasions. Temperatures
in the town regularly drop below minus 20 degrees
Celsius in winter.
A passenger named Samson told public broadcaster
Sveriges Television how the bus driver had pointed
at him and ordered him off the vehicle, apparently
because he was black.
“I didn’t feel good. Even now, talking about it, I don’t
feel good,” he said with tears in his eyes.
Another passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, said the driver told him to “get off the bus” and
when he asked why she replied, “Because you are a
black man.”
The reports, which were receiving a great deal of
attention yesterday in the Swedish media, come amid
fears of growing xenophobia in the country.
Ironically, Kiruna is often seen as an example of
successful integration of newly arrived refugees with
52% in work, helped by the fact that the town of 20,000
people is built on top of the world’s largest underground iron ore mine.
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party won
13% of the vote in September elections and became
Sweden’s third largest parliamentary party.
It holds the balance of power in local authorities
in much of southern Sweden but has less support in
northern areas which are threatened by depopulation
and labour shortages.
It was the only party to campaign for Sweden to limit
its intake of refugees amid record numbers of applications, expected to reach 80,000 to 105,000 in 2015.
The numbers have been boosted in the last year
due to a pledge by the government to offer permanent
residency to all Syrian refugees that arrive in Sweden.
Dutch unveil world’s first-ever solar-powered bicycle path
he Netherlands yesterday
unveiled the world’s first solar bike path, a revolutionary
project to harvest the sun’s energy
that could eventually also be used
on roads.
The so-called “SolaRoad” bike
path is made of concrete modules
each measuring 2.5m by 3.5m, embedded with solar panels covered in
tempered glass.
To help prevent accidents, the
glass has been given a special nonslip surface.
The solar cells currently put the
electricity they generate onto the
national grid, but future plans include using the energy to power
street lights.
Electric bikes and cars will one
day be able to refuel using contactless charging directly from the road
or bike path, said Sten de Wit, a
physicist who helped develop the
“The idea is that in the Netherlands we have approximately
140,000km of road which is much
bigger than all the rooftops put
together,” De Wit told AFP. “We
have 25,000km of bike paths in the
“The real potential of this product is unlocked when we apply it
not only to bicycle paths, but to
other roads used by cars,” De Wit
The path has been working for 16
days, during which it generated 140
kilowatt hours of electricity, equivalent to around 140 washing machine cycles, said SolaRoad spokeswoman Jannemieke van Dieren.
The project has so far cost 3mn
euros ($3.7mn), mainly for re-
A cyclist rides on the SolaRoad during the official opening in Krommenie on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
search, but SolaRoad declined to
say what the cost per kilometre
might be.
Dutch Economics Minister Henk
Kamp yesterday cycled the first
70m pilot stretch of bike path on a
busy provincial bicycle route north
of Amsterdam.
“The Netherlands is quite ambitious when it comes to sustainable
energy. This innovation is an important part of it,” Kamp told AFP
The small country of 17mn people - and around 18mn bicycles hopes to triple sustainable energy
usage by 2020 and be “energy neutral” by 2050, Kamp said.
The SolaRoad will be tested over
the next two years on a path that
carries around 2,000 cyclists a day,
De Wit said.
The aim is to have the solar
road commercially available on
Dutch roads within the next five
years as the number of electrically-powered cars and bicycles
“We are very confident that in
five years we will have a product we
can apply on a large scale,” De Wit
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Actress Padmapriya
marries Jasmine
Kennedy Jr leads
march in Bihar
AAP to launch ‘Delhi
Dialogue’ campaign
Bollywood director
Ravi Chopra dead
Will look at Greater Noida
airport project: minister
Popular southern actress
Padmapriya yesterday
married her friend
Jasmine at a private
ceremony in Mumbai.
The actress met him
while they were studying
in the US. According to a
statement, the wedding
was attended by family
and close friends of the couple. Padmapriya,
who made her debut in Malayalam films with
Kaazhcha, has acted in 48 films across all south
Indian languages. Jasmine is a native of Gujarat.
Robert F Kennedy Jr, a Congressman and related
to the family of late US president John F Kennedy,
led a procession of Buddhist devotees in Bihar
yesterday to propagate awareness on environment
protection. An environment activist, Kennedy
Jr arrived at the Buddhist pilgrimage town of
Bodh Gaya in Bihar on foot from Sarnath in Uttar
Pradesh, a monk said. The procession with nearly
1,000 Buddhists from 27 countries hoped to spread
awareness against the use of plastic bags and
polythene. “The motive behind this march on foot
is to create awareness among people to protect the
environment and stop the use of plastic products,”
Buddhist monk Bhante Jalbung said.
The Aam Aadmi Party yesterday said it would
launch a ‘Delhi Dialogue’ campaign for assembly
election. “After discussion with the people of
Delhi, a blueprint on 50 points which are based
on problems of various sections of society will be
formed and the party will work on them to sort
them out,” AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said in New
Delhi. “The party is preparing this blueprint of the
people’s problems. It will be shown to the public
before the assembly election,” Kejriwal said. The
former Delhi chief minister also said that as part
of the campaign, the party has decided to invite
students to Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on November 15
to discuss their problems.
Filmmaker Ravi Chopra
who was under treatment
at Breach Candy hospital in
Mumbai died yesterday, a
family source confirmed. “He
passed away today at around
3.30pm. His funeral will take
place tomorrow at around 11,”
the source said. He is survived by his wife and
three children. The 68-year-old Baghban director
had been suffering from a severe lung ailment
for several years. Son of late B R Chopra, Ravi
was also known for directing The Burning Train,
Aaj Ki Awaz, and Baabul among others.
The government will look at building the Greater
Noida airport to ease the infrastructure pressure
on the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in
New Delhi, the newly appointed minister of state
for civil aviation said yesterday. “We will look at
the technical aspects of the Greater Noida airport
as it will ease the over-stretched infrastructure
pressure on the IGI Airport. A big metropolitan
area like Delhi should have two airports to ease the
pressure on the existing infrastructure,” Mahesh
Sharma said. The 55-year-old is a trained doctor
and national convener of the medical cell of the
Bharatiya Janata Party. He is also the chairman of
Kailash Group of Hospitals.
Strike hits
across the
Service tax
‘to have no
impact’ on
Mumbai/Chennai/New Delhi
anking operations in India
were paralysed yesterday
as more than 800,000
employees went on a day’s strike
to seek salary hike and other
benefits, union officials said.
The strike was total in some
75,000 branches of 27 state-run
banks, and also 25,000 branches
of 18 private and eight foreign
banks across India, said Vishwas Utagi, senior vice president
of the All India Bank Employees
But some branches of private
banks were open.
“No bank-related activity
started anywhere in the country, including the early morning
clearing operations. All other
sectors connected directly or indirectly to banking will be down
for the day,” he said in the morning.
Utagi, who is also the Maharashtra convener of United Forum
of Banking Unions, the umbrella
organisation of the unions, estimated that over 10mn cheques
would not be cleared, and could
be delayed for up to five days due
to the day-long strike.
Citing official figures, he said
the total volume of the Indian
banking industry is more than
155 lakh crore ($2.5tn), which
was completely blocked by the
“My bank (the State Bank of
India, the country’s largest),
had told me that there would be
a strike today. I could withdraw
money from an ATM. But I’m
not quite sure if I can transfer
money using Net banking,” said
Anand Iyer, a software consultant in Mumbai.
The ATM machines that have
emerged as a major source of
withdrawing money at least in
cities and towns, were working.
But in some areas, bank customers were complaining that the
money in some ATMs had exhausted.
“The money in ATMs will
not be replenished until tomorrow morning,” Utagi said
By Ashraf Padanna
Bank employees stage a rally during their nationwide strike calling for a review of salaries, in
Bhopal yesterday.
he recently introduced
service tax on remittance
fee is unlikely to have an
impact on foreign exchange inflow from non-resident Indians,
experts said.
There were widespread protests against last month’s announcement by the Central
Board of Excise and Customs
that banks or remittance service providers will have to pay
a 12.36% tax on their share of
transaction charges.
Kerala, heavily dependent on
the remittances from the Gulf
for economic sustenance, had
registered a strong protest with
the federal government describing the move as double taxation
that would “kill the goose that
lays the golden egg.”
“First of all, the service tax is
not on the amount we are remitting but on the charges levied by
intermediaries,” said K V Shamsudheen, director of the UAEbased Geojit Barjeel Securities.
“The receiving banks or the
money exchanges are unlikely to
pass this on to customers.”
Two years back, the board had
clarified that there would be no
service tax on foreign exchange
remitted to India as it does not
constitute a service and the charges or fee collected outside India
are not be liable to service tax.
The latest circular reportedly
came after it noticed that foreign
money transfer service operators
had opened their subsidiaries or
appointed Indian banks and fi-
India, Asean can be
great partners: Modi
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
rime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said
India’s relations with
countries of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)
are very good and the two sides
can be great partners.
“Asean and India have the
vigour and enthusiasm of their
youth and wisdom and understanding of their ancient civilisations,” Modi said addressing
the 25th Asean Summit in Myanmar’s capital.
“Rapidly developing India and
Asean can be great partners for
each other. We are both keen to
enhance our co-operation in advancing balance, peace and stability in the region,” he said.
Modi, whose government has
been in office for six months,
said that India has rapidly enhanced its engagement with the
east, “a reflection of the priority
that we give to this region.”
“We have close bilateral relations with each of you and we
treat the relations with Asean
with the same importance,” the
prime minister said.
Stating that the 10-nation
bloc has established its own
identity and voice in global political and economic affairs,
Modi said the Asia-Pacific region needed integration and cooperation.
“To achieve this extremely important goal, we look at
Asean, not only for inspiration
but also for its leadership; and
you have achieved a great deal of
success in leading us in that direction,” Modi said.
Describing the Asean community as India’s neighbour, the
prime minister said both sides
have relations of trade, religion,
culture, art and traditions that
go back a long way.
The world view of the two
sides is similar in many respects,
Modi said, adding: “We have no
irritants in our relationship. We
see encouraging opportunities
and challenges in the world in
similar ways.”
The prime minister highlighted New Delhi’s Look East Policy
while remarking that the potential of India-Asean ties is much
higher than what it is at the moment.
“A new era of economic development, industrialisation
and trade has begun in India.
Externally, India’s ‘Look East
Policy’ has become ‘Act East
Policy’,” the prime minister
“We greatly respect the enthusiasm with which you have
extended the hand of friendship
to India. Today the world and
the region need a strong IndiaAsean partnership.”
The prime minister later met
his Thai counterpart Prayut
Chan-o-cha and said there were
several possibilities of economic
co-operation between the two
Modi congratulated Prayut on
becoming the prime minster of
nancial entities as their agents
On Tuesday, K C Joseph, Kerala’s minister for the diaspora,
sent a missive to federal Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley, demanding an immediate withdrawal
of service tax saying the move
would burden the expatriates already paying transaction charges
on hard-earned savings.
“Some people are creating
unnecessary panic saying
it would encourage hawala
money transfer and so on. It
will not encourage hawala
business at all and we will
continue sending money
through banking channels”
“Most of them are doing menial jobs to support their families
back home. It’s unfortunate that
the government decided to tax
them. The money they send also
adds up to the country’s foreign
exchange reserves,” he said.
Joseph also reminded Jaitley
that his predecessor withdrew
the move following a similar
intervention by Chief Minister
Oommen Chandy.
But industry sources say it
would in any case be a paltry sum
which the intermediaries should
For instance, when an expatriate remits money from Qatar, the
exchange house charges QR15 as
remittance fee. From that small
amount, the receiving bank in
India gets a tiny portion which
will not be more than Rs90 rupees and then the service charge
at the rate of 12.36% will be less
than Rs11.12.
“Some people are creating unnecessary panic saying it would
encourage hawala (illegal) money transfer and so on. It will not
encourage hawala business at
all and we will continue sending
money through banking channels,” Shamsudheen said.
Meanwhile, the Sharjahbased Pravasi Bandhu Trust that
Shamsudheen heads, has submitted a representation to visiting External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj with a host of
They include a friendly investment climate for NRIs,
restoration of preferential allotment of shares during initial
public offerings, abolition of
short-term capital gain tax, investment options in the public
provident fund (PPF), investment and insurance scheme for
all NRIs whose monthly salary is
less than $300, reduction of taxes on NRO accounts and housing
complexes exclusively for them.
They are also demanding
permission to invest in agricultural properties, participation
in infrastructure development,
relaxation of baggage rules and
import duty on gold, preferential
allocation of seats in engineering
colleges and a permanent solution to their travel woes.
Mani sues bar owner
over graft charges
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Myanmar’s opposition National
League for Democracy chief Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw
erala Finance Minister
K M Mani yesterday
as damages and sent a notice
though his lawyer to a hotel owner who alleged that
the minister took a bribe of
Rs10mn to help reopen over
400 closed bars.
“If you do not in the next
one week call a press conference and publicly apologise and
withdraw the allegation besides
paying up Rs10 crore as damages, I will be proceeding against
you legally,” said the notice sent
by Mani’s lawyer.
A copy of the notice served
on Biju Ramesh, the bar owner,
was released to the media by
Two weeks ago Ramesh,
who owns a string of bars, told
a TV channel that Mani was
given Rs10mn to ensure that
the 418 bars in the state are allowed to reopen.
Since then Mani has come
under heavy attack from the
opposition who demanded
that the veteran, 81-year-old
legislator who has won every
election he contested since
1965, should quit.
Not only did Mani disappear
from public domain, he maintained a low profile, but the
entire cabinet and his party
Kerala Congress (Mani) gave
him solid support and asked
Ramesh, who is currently in
Dubai, several times to produce evidence to back his allegation.
Meanwhile, while
vigilance department is undertaking a quick verification, the Kerala High Court,
acting on a petition filed by
Communist Party of India
legislator V S Sunil Kumar
has asked the probe team to
keep the court posted on its
Mani’s party has asked a
team of senior party officials to conduct a probe to
find out if there was a conspiracy to defame the man
who holds the record of presenting a record 13 budgets
in the state.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
BJP wins trust
vote, governor
injured amid
assembly chaos
he 13-day-old Bharatiya
Janata Party government
of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday won
a confidence vote in the Maharashtra assembly amid bedlam that left Governor C V Rao
slightly injured and the Shiv Sena
and Congress up in arms.
The moment Speaker Haribhau Bagde declared that a
one-line motion by BJP’s Ashish
Shelar seeking the confidence of
the house in the government had
been passed by a voice vote, all
hell broke loose.
The ruling led to unprecedented chaos inside and outside the
assembly, with the speaker suspending five Congress legislators
for two years after accusing them
of pushing and injuring the governor.
Official sources said the governor sustained minor scratches on
his left hand when some legislators jostled for his attention and
got close to him as he alighted
from his car in the afternoon.
Shortly after the vote of confidence, the speaker declared Shiv
Sena’s Eknath Shinde the Leader
of Opposition, ending weeks of
speculation on the party’s stance
vis-à-vis the government.
In no time, Shinde hit out at
the government.
“The house must be run according to rules. The new government has strangled democracy. We wanted a division (of
votes) but the trust vote has
been passed by a voice vote,” he
The Congress called the
speaker’s ruling “a murder of democracy.” The Sena said it was “a
black day” for Maharashtra.
Both the Sena and Congress
insisted that that the government had failed to prove its majority and it should do it again or
quit as it did not enjoy the confidence of the house.
The BJP has 121 legislators and
Fadnavis: wins trust vote amid
has the support of an ally and
nine independents as well as
some smaller parties besides the
‘unconditional external support’
of the Nationalist Congress Party
(NCP) with 41 lawmakers.
Sena and Congress legislators,
including former chief minster
Prithviraj Chavan, trooped out
of the house and squatted on the
stairs, raising slogans against the
government and demanding that
the government prove its majority.
Around 4pm, when the governor reached the assembly to
address a joint session, the agitating legislators blocked his car
and surrounded him for nearly 15
minutes before security personnel whisked him away. By then,
he had suffered the injury.
Shiv Sena members shouted
“Down with the minority government!” and “Governor go
back!” as Rao addressed the
house. They boycotted the proceedings.
Eknath Khadse accused 12 Congress legislators of pushing the
governor and demanded that
they apologise or be suspended
from the house.
The speaker met leaders of the
Congress and Shiv Sena. Congress house leader Radhakrishna
Vikhe-Patil tendered an apology,
saying whatever happened was
not intentional.
The speaker appointed a panel
to probe the incident and suspended five Congress legislators
for two years, rejecting appeals
by Sena’s Shinde and NCP’s
Chhagan Bhujbal.
Denying that they jostled
with the governor, one of the
suspended MLAs, Abdul Sattar,
said the action against them was
rooted in their demand questioning the manner in which the
Fadnavis government claimed it
had won the confidence vote.
“Everybody saw what happened. We wanted a meeting
with the governor which was
not given. We were protesting in
a democratic manner outside as
we were not allowed our say inside the assembly. We have not
demeaned the governor’s office.
We shall campaign against this
minority government all over the
state,” said Sattar.
Added another legislator:
“The (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee government fell because of just one
vote. Here, this government fell
short of at least 25 votes and has
no right to continue.”
A Sena leader accused Fadnavis of manipulating the trust
Defending his ruling, Speaker
Bagde said the demand for a vote
came after the voice vote was
“It should have been made
when I asked for those who were
against the motion to say no. The
entire process was done as per
Opposition Congress Party activists argue with police as they demonstrate against the deaths of women who were sterilised in a government-run programme, in Raipur yesterday.
Sterilisation doctor
‘used rusty equipment’
Protests hit Chhattisgarh as
death toll rises
urious protesters took to
the streets in central India
yesterday, smashing cars
and demanding the resignation
of the chief minister as the death
toll from a government-run
mass sterilisation programme
rose to 13.
Another 14 women are seriously ill in Chhattisgarh following the surgery under a
government scheme to reduce
population growth.
“Preliminary reports show
that the medicines administered were spurious and also the
equipment used was rusted,”
senior local government official
Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi
Local government official
Amar Thakur said “septic shock
may have caused the deaths.”
“It looks like the equipment
that was used was probably infected. We are waiting for the
report,” he said in Bilaspur district, where around 80 women
had the surgery over the weekend.
The victims had suffered
vomiting and a dramatic fall in
blood pressure after undergoing laparoscopic sterilisation, a
process in which the fallopian
tubes are blocked.
As the death toll rose to 13
yesterday, a local official said
women who attended a second
sterilisation camp in the area on
Monday had also fallen ill.
“Six women from Gorella
camp developed complications
and they have been brought to
Bilaspur for treatment,” district
commissioner Sonmani Borah
Shops and businesses shut
their doors in the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur yesterday as
scores of demonstrators took to
the streets to demand the resignation of Chief Minister Raman
Television footage showed the
protesters, many of them opposition party workers, shouting
slogans and smashing up vehicles.
Sterilisation is one of the most
popular methods of family planning in India, and many state
governments organise mass
camps where rural women can
undergo the usually straightforward procedure.
Although the surgery is vol-
untary, rights groups say the
target-driven nature of the programme has led to women being
coerced into being sterilised,
often in inadequate medical facilities.
Under pressure to meet targets, some local governments
offer additional incentives such
as cars and electrical goods.
In the latest case, one doctor,
R K Gupta, reportedly operated
on 83 women in just five hours,
using the same instruments on
all of them. Some of the women
also said they had been forced to
attend the camps, according to
local media.
Many of the women received
payments of Rs1,400 ($23) for
having the surgery, officials said.
Health workers also received
smaller payments for bringing
women to the camp.
Sona Sharma, joint director
at advocacy group the Population Foundation of India, said
the quality of care provided to
women undergoing sterilisation
is “abysmal.”
“It is about time we woke up
to this problem. The quality of
care to women can’t be compromised at any cost,” she said.
“The government has laid out
standard protocols, but they exist only on paper,” she said, urg-
ing the government to adopt a
“more choice-based voluntary
system” of family planning.
Authorities are keen to curb
the growth of India’s population
with the latest census carried
out in 2011 showing that India
had 1.2bn people.
Last year, authorities in
eastern India came under fire
after a news channel aired
footage showing scores of
women dumped unconscious
in a field following a mass
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi has ordered an investigation into the latest deaths, and
state chief minister Singh on
Tuesday suspended four top
health officials.
The National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC) also demanded a detailed report on the
incident, giving the state government two weeks to submit it.
“It (NHRC) has issued a
notice to the government of
Chhattisgarh... for a report into
the incident within two weeks,”
the notice posted on its website
A police complaint has also
been lodged against the surgeon
who performed the operations.
Reports said the doctor had
been given a government award
earlier this year for performing
tens of thousands of such sterilisations.
Sterilisation is the most popular form of birth control in India. Encouraged by cash incentives, about 4mn people a year
undergo surgery. Almost all are
Tubectomies are considered
major surgeries, but Indian doctors often exceed daily limits.
Before guidelines were set there
were reports of doctors carrying out as many as 200 surgeries
a day, said Suneeta Mittal, head
of gynaecology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute near New
Operations at the camps are
often conducted in minutes,
with little time to maintain hygiene. Nearly 600 deaths were
reported between 2009 and
2012, according to the government.
Mittal said tubectomies were
safe if doctors follow guidelines
set by the Indian government in
2006 and that instruments used
needed to be sterilised before
treating each patient.
The deaths are an embarrassment for Modi, whose Bharatiya
Janata Party rules in Chhattisgarh. He has vowed to reform
India’s health system.
Clashes spark tension
Rickshaw drivers spread ‘respect for women’ message
New Delhi
elhi rickshaw driver Narotan Singh was never interested in the problems faced
by women and girls - his only interaction with the opposite sex
was with females from his middleclass family such as his mother,
wife and daughter.
Weaving through the streets
of the Indian capital, the
37-year-old driver would often
frown or stare through his rear
view mirror at female passengers wearing tight-fitting jeans
or skirts, or make a comment
about how they should not
smoke or be out late.
But Singh’s chauvinistic ways
are now behind him.
Last month his attitude to
women was transformed by a class
on gender sensitisation run by the
charity Manas Foundation and
Delhi’s Transport Department.
“When I was told that we have
to do this training, I was not happy as I thought it was an unnecessary waste of my time - time
which I could use to make some
money by picking up passengers,” said Singh from the driver’s
Narotan Singh is one of 40,000 auto-rickshaw drivers in Delhi helping to
spread the message of respect for women.
seat of his green and yellow autorickshaw.
“But when I went into the training and understood the problems
faced by women on Delhi’s streets
and that I had the ability to change
this, I realised that this is something that everyone should know
Singh is one of 40,000 autorickshaw drivers in Delhi who have
already attended the classes and
are helping to spread the message
of respect for women across the
city, which has become known as
India’s “rape capital.”
According to the National Crime
Records Bureau, the number of re-
ported rapes in India rose by 35.2%
to 33,707 in 2013 from the previous
year. Delhi was the city with the
highest number of rapes, reporting 1,441 in 2013.
Experts say the media attention
surrounding the fatal gang-rape
of a 23-year-old woman on a bus
in Delhi in December 2012 helped
to raise awareness about safety for
women on transport and in public
The attack, which prompted
thousands of urban Indians to
protest against rising violence
against women, also highlighted
the need to change the attitudes
of men and boys in India’s largely
conservative and patriarchal society.
“We show the city’s shocking
statistics on rape and then provide
anecdotes and pictures to drive
home the point of how serious the
situation is,” said Smita Tewari
Pant, a trainer on the gender sensitisation from the Manas Foundation.
“We also explain that ... businesses will be affected as tourists
will stop coming to Delhi if violence against women continues as
it is.”
But what has been most effective in engaging participants, said
Pant, is the message that autorickshaw drivers are, in essence,
the city’s gate-keepers who have
the power to change the situation
by making women feel secure and
The message allows drivers to
feel that they are not part of the
problem, but part of the solution,
she added.
To secure their annual autorickshaw fitness certificate from
the Transport Department, Delhi’s
120,000 drivers are now required
to attend the one-hour gender
class every year.
Pant said the course had received a positive response and
drivers proudly displayed stickers reading “This responsible
rickshaw respects and protects
women” in Hindi on their vehicles.
Singh said the course had
changed his thinking so much so
that he now talks to other drivers,
as well as his friends and family,
about gender equality.
The training should be expanded to taxi and bus drivers,
he said, adding that if this kind
of sensitisation had started five
years ago, the infamous Delhi
gang-rape may not have occurred.
Tension prevailed in Hathin town of Haryana yesterday
following a clash between two communities. The authorities
have imposed curfew in the area to control the situation.
Police said the clash, which happened on Tuesday night, led
to some shops being set on fire. It took place between members of two communities over a place of worship. “Over 10
vehicles, including cars, were also set on fire,” a police officer
said. “The situation is now under control. We have imposed
curfew in the area. Additional police reinforcements have
been rushed to the place,” Inspector General of Police Mamta
Singh said. Hathin, 120km from New Delhi, falls in Palwal
district of Haryana. Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said
further steps were being taken to ensure peace in the area.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
US senator sees American prisoner in Cuba ‘closer’ to release
n American government
contractor jailed in Cuba
for crimes against the
state may be closer to returning home, in part because he has
threatened to end his life if he is
not released, a US senator said.
The detention of Alan Gross
since December 2009 has increased tensions in already troubled US-Cuban relations and
prevented the historic adversaries from resolving wider differences.
Gross, 65, a former subcontractor for the US Agency for International Development, is serving a
15-year sentence for illegally pro-
Pablo Escobar
showed me
the path not
to take: son
uan Pablo Escobar Henao was
just nine years old when he got
his first lesson in drugs from
his father, the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
His dad told him he had tried
every drug there was except heroin, and urged his young son never
to use them - or to follow in his
“My father’s not a person to be
imitated. He showed us the path we
must never take as a society because
it’s the path to self-destruction, the
loss of values and a place where life
ceases to have importance,” the late
kingpin’s son said in an interview for
the launch of his book “Pablo Escobar: My Father.”
Famous for his ruthless ambition, Pablo Escobar, the head of
the Medellin Cartel, amassed a
multi-billion-dollar fortune trafficking cocaine in the 1980s, then
launched a bloody war against the
Colombian government to avoid
extradition to the US.
Now 37, Escobar Henao decided
to tell that story from his own perspective. “I had the strange privilege
of being Pablo Escobar’s son. To me
he was a great father. I have thousands of letters he wrote me giving
me advice... encouraging me to get
an education, be a good person, stay
away from drugs,” he said.
But even these stories of fatherly protectiveness contain threads
of Escobar’s trademark violence.
“My father even threatened to kill
his employees if they so much as
smoked a joint in front of me,” he
Escobar Henao does not gloss
over who his father was: a kidnapper, terrorist and killer, he acknowledged. “I can’t hide my head
in the sand,” he said.
Escobar Henao fled to Argentina
with his mother and sister after his
father’s gory death in 1993, adopting the alias Sebastian Marroquin
and eventually studying architecture. He said he was proud he had
avoided becoming “a deadlier version” of his father.
“I could have become Pablo
Escobar 2.0, but I became an architect, a designer, a lecturer and
now a writer,” he said. “I’ve had
thousands of chances to get into
illicit business. But I always said
no to them because I learned my
lesson about drug trafficking... a
very good, very lucrative business
that ends in destruction.”
Escobar, once the world’s seventhrichest man, has inspired books, films,
soap operas and even a cartoon series.
But his son says this is the first time his
true story has been told.
Escobar Henao maintains his
father was not killed by police in
a rooftop gunfight in Medellin, as
Colombian authorities claim, but
rather committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. “I have no
doubt” he planned his death, Escobar Henao said - though he added
he was publishing his version of the
story because he had evidence to
support it, not to show his father as
“a hero or martyr.”
In another claim likely to stoke
controversy, Escobar Henao writes
that authorities in Washington
offered his family US residence if
they would testify - falsely, he says
- that jailed Peruvian ex-president
Alberto Fujimori, the towering figure who kept an iron grip on Peru
in the 1990s, was linked to his
father. “We decided we’d rather
die with our dignity intact than
get caught up in a criminal plot
against a government that as far as
we knew had no relation whatsoever with my father,” he said.
His book also delves into Escobar’s betrayal by his own family, including his brother Roberto,
who became an informant for the
US Drug Enforcement Administration. As for his father’s fortune,
once estimated at $30bn, he said
nothing was left.
Escobar’s enemies - “including people who had once been his
friends” - claimed it as plunder
after his death, he said. But “I’m
grateful that happened,” he added.
“We started over again.”
viding Internet equipment and
service to Cuban Jewish groups
under a US programme promoting political change that the Cuban
government considers subversive.
Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, and fellow
senator Tom Udall, a Democrat
from New Mexico, met with
Gross for two hours on Tuesday
at his hospital prison in Havana.
eru, the host for December’s UN climate change
summit, stores nearly 7bn
metric tonnes of carbon stocks,
mostly in its Amazon rainforest. That’s more than US annual carbon emissions for 2013
which was calculated at 5.38bn
tonnes , the new research by the
Carnegie Institute for Science
(CIS) shows.
Home to the second-largest
area of Amazon rainforest after
Brazil, Peru is to date the most
country in history thanks to
high-resolution mapping which
provides a hectare-by-hectare
look at its carbon reserves, it
was reported in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) .
The research by CIS’s Greg Asner means Peru now knows precisely how much carbon it is storing in
its rainforest and where that carbon is being kept out of the atmosphere, allowing the country to negotiate a fair price for its reserves
on the global carbon market.
“We found that nearly a billion metric tonnes of aboveground carbon stocks in Peru
are at imminent risk of emission into the atmosphere due to
land uses such as fossil fuel oil
exploration, cattle ranching, oil
palm plantations and gold mining,” Asner told the Guardian.
The good news is there may be
up to 30mn hectares of potential new protected forest areas,
Asner said, which may be able
to store close to 3bn metric
tonnes of carbon.
The majority of already protected carbon stocks exist only
in 10 parks and reserves, and
just four of these are fully enforced.
“Transitioning partially protected preserves to fully protected ones would help to counterbalance a great deal of the
carbon that is expected to be
lost due to land use in the near
future,” Asner added.
Using advanced three-dimensional forest mapping data
integrated with satellite imaging data the team was able to
create a map of carbon density
throughout the 128mn hectare
(320mn acre) country at a reso-
government may have seen (from
holding him) has to have evaporated by now,” Flake said.
Gross has vowed not to spend
his birthday next May in jail,
threatening to end his own life,
his wife and lawyer say.
However, Flake gave no indication the US and Cuba were
any closer to entering talks about
The US has repeatedly called
for Gross’ release but rejected
Cuban offers to enter talks that
would link Gross to the cases
of three Cuban agents serving
long prison terms in the US for
spying on Cuban exile groups in
Once a plump 254 pounds
(115kg), Gross has lost more than
100 pounds (45kg), developed
severe hip pain and lost most of
the vision in his right eye, lawyer
Scott Gilbert, has said.
Gross’ wife, Judy, has blamed
US President Barack Obama for
failing to do enough to secure
Gross’ release. Flake has long
advocated that the US end its
52-year-old economic embargo
of Cuba and normalise relations.
Protest over missing Mexico students
Mexicans gather on the streets with candles demanding justice for 43 missing students and the end of violence in the country, in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico is in
shock and outrage after three suspected gang members told investigators gruesome details about the death of 43 students missing since September. Federal Attorney
General Jesus Murillo Karam reported that the alleged gang members in police custody had confessed to killing the students and burning the victims’ bodies.
Meirelles ‘likely to be next
Brazil finance minister’
ormer Wall Street banker
Henrique Meirelles is a
frontrunner to be Brazil’s
next finance minister, sources
close to the government said, in
what would mark a major shift
toward business-friendly policies in President Dilma Rousseff ’s second term.
Meirelles, 69, is widely respected in financial markets
and was a main architect of the
leftist ruling party’s pragmatic
policies when he led the central
bank from 2003 to 2010, a pe-
Peru forests ‘store more
carbon than US emits’
Guardian News and Media
Asked if he was optimistic
about progress toward Gross’
release, Flake, a member of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters, “I do feel
we are closer there.”
“One, because of what Alan
Gross has said himself. This is
going to end one way or another.
We’ve gone on five years and I
think any benefit that the Cuban
lution of one hectare (2.5 acres).
“This new map provides the
evidence needed to start negotiating in the carbon market
on a bigger scale,” said Manuel
Pulgar-Vidal, Peru’s environment minister, whose ministry
supported the Carnegie Institution in creating the map.
“Our government is also
studying carbon stocks in the
soil, and is doing a forest inventory, and we have a forest
investment programme. These
initiatives will better prepare us
to face changes in land use.”
Measuring 69mn hectares,
Peru’s Amazon covers more
than 60% of the country. But
deforestation , agriculture and
land-use change account for
61% of Peru’s carbon emissions.
Tropical forests convert more
carbon from the atmosphere
into biomass than any other
terrestrial ecosystem on Earth.
Currently tropical deforestation and forest degradation account for about 10% of the
world’s carbon emissions annually. This new mapping approach is scalable to any tropical country, said researchers.
riod that twinned robust economic growth with low inflation
and strong anti-poverty programmes.
He often clashed during those
years with Rousseff, who favours
a more leftist, interventionist
approach and has made many
economic decisions herself
since taking office in 2011.
economy has stagnated under
her watch, averaging less than
2% growth per year or half the
expansion rate of the previous
Fears that Rousseff would win
re-election and continue the
same policies dragged Brazilian
stocks down more than 20% between early September and immediately after her narrow victory on October 26.
They have since recovered
slightly but remain volatile over
uncertainty about the economic
course she will take.
Even some of Rousseff’s allies
- among them influential former
president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
- are encouraging her to choose
Meirelles, who would likely oversee big budget cuts and a return to
more orthodox policies in an effort to ward off a prolonged stagnation or downgrades of Brazil’s
credit ratings next year.
“Until recently, nobody be-
Bachelet in China
lieved Meirelles could be in the
running, but his name is gaining
ground and fast,” said a senior
lawmaker with the ruling Workers’ Party who met with both
Rousseff and Lula last week.
“She has acknowledged the
need for more drastic changes to
turn the economy around,” the
lawmaker said on condition of
The lawmaker and other government sources said the other
leading candidate is Nelson
Barbosa, the former deputy to
current Finance Minister Guido
Mantega, who will leave government before Rousseff ’s second
term starts on January 1.
Final floodgates for
Panama canal arrive
Panama City
Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet and Chinese
President Xi Jinping inspect the guard of honour at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.
Although Barbosa has publicly criticised the lack of transparency in Brazil’s public accounts, he is considered a leftist
economist who shares many of
Rousseff ’s convictions that the
state should have a big role in the
Meirelles, by contrast, is associated with the orthodox
economic views of the Brazilian
Social Democracy Party - the
centrist party whose candidate,
Aecio Neves, Rousseff defeated
last month. Meirelles won a
Senate seat on the PSDB ticket
in 2002, but then quit the party
before taking over as central
bank governor.
he final four floodgates
that will be used to expand
the Panama Canal arrived
from Italy yesterday, putting the
behind-schedule, over-budget
project on track for completion
in early 2016.
Panama, which relies on the
canal for about $1bn a year in
revenue, is counting on the upgrade to keep the century-old
waterway relevant by enabling
it to handle modern megaships carrying up to 14,000
containers - triple the current
“Today is a historic day. Not
only have the floodgates arrived but we are getting ever
closer to a new era for our expanded canal that will bring
better days for all Panamanians,” President Juan Carlos
Varela said as the floodgates
arrived at the entrance to the
canal in the northern province
of Colon.
The 16 floodgates, which
measure 58 meters (190 feet)
wide and between 22 and 33 meters tall, will regulate water levels
in the canal’s new set of locks.
They were built by Italian steelmaker Cimolai.
The canal’s administrator,
Jorge Quijano, called the delivery “a very important landmark”
for the $5.25bn project, which is
running a year behind schedule.
“It’s the last critical component. Once (the floodgates) are
all installed we’ll be able to fill
the locks with water and begin
testing,” he said.
Five percent of global maritime trade passes through the
Panama Canal, which turned
100 in August. But the waterway,
one of the 20th century’s greatest engineering triumphs, faces
increasing competition for trade
between Asia and the east coast
of the US.
In addition to its longtime rival, the Suez Canal in Egypt, it
now faces the threat of a new
Chinese-funded canal planned
in nearby Nicaragua. When the
expansion is complete, the Panama Canal will be able to handle so-called “Post-Panamax”
ships the length of four football
fields. But the upgrade has been
plagued by delays, strikes and a
bitter dispute over $1.6bn in cost
overruns with the consortium
of companies carrying out the
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Olson urges
and Pakistan
to reset ties
US ambassador to Pakistan,
Richard Olson, says
Islamabad and Kabul have a
basis for a new relationship;
Praises Pakistani army
action in Waziristan
akistan and Afghanistan
have a historic opportunity to reset long-fraught
ties following the election of
democratic governments in both
countries, the United States’ top
diplomat in Islamabad said yesterday.
Speaking ahead of newlyelected Afghan President Ashraf
Ghani’s first official visit to Islamabad this weekend, Richard
Olson praised confidence building measures by both sides including a Pakistan army operation in a Taliban stronghold along
the countries’ shared border.
“I think there is quite genuinely a basis for a new relationship between Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Both sides are aware
of this historical moment and
making efforts to seize it,” he
said in a speech at the National
University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad.
“Also I would say the actions
of the Pakistani army in clearing the North Waziristan agency
I think is a very important step in
US Ambassador to Pakistan,
Richard Olson, delivers a policy
speech on the US-Pakistan
co-operation with Afghanistan
at the National University of
Sciences and Technology in
Islamabad yesterday.
all of this,” he added, referring to
the military offensive which began in June.
Pakistan was one of three
countries to recognise the hardline Taliban regime that ruled
Kabul from 1996 until 2001
when it was deposed by a US-led
international military coalition.
The government of former
Afghan president Hamid Karzai routinely accused Pakistan
of continuing to aid the Taliban
in their insurgency in order to
destabilise his country, a charge
Islamabad denies.
Tensions are also often stoked
by cross-border shelling, but
Olson praised Pakistan’s recent
“restraint” and its efforts to secure the border during the Afghan elections.
In an interview with AFP in
April, Ghani said rapprochement
with Pakistan — along the lines
of France and Germany after
World War II — would be key to
ending instability in his conflicttorn nation.
Ghani was sworn into office in
September while his main rival
Abdullah Abdullah became the
country’s CEO, ending a protracted election process marred
by fraud allegations.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif won power in last
year’s general elections that
marked the country’s first ever
democratic transition, but has
since seen his mandate challenged by opposition groups
who allege vote rigging.
A protest movement outside
parliament that began in August
triggered fears the military could
intervene as it has in the past, a
move Olson said the US would
not back.
“We’re supporters of the rule
of law, democracy and the constitution and oppose any kind of
extra-constitutional action,” he
Govt blames opposition protests
for shelving of oil giant sale
he Pakistan government
yesterday blamed opposition street protests for a
slump in a state-owned oil company’s share price that forced a
part sell-off to be shelved.
The government decided to
hold back the auction of 10%
of shares in the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited
(OGDCL), which manages Pakistan’s sizeable oil and gas reserves.
Imran Khan and populist cleric
Tahir-ul-Qadri led thousands of
supporters in weeks of protests
outside parliament, pressing for
the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged
election rigging.
The rallies, which began in
August, descended into violence
at points. They failed to force
Sharif from power but destabilised the government for a while.
“Due to sit-ins the share
price of OGDCL fell from Rs274
($2.60) to Rs225 ($2.20) and we
do not want to sell so low,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told a
press conference.
“Had there been no sit-in and
share price had remained same,
the government would have received $600mn, $200mn domestically,” Dar said, noting that
a recent slump in international
oil prices had also contributed to
the lukewarm response.
He said that had the government gone ahead with the
sale, it would have only received $180mn from abroad and
$160mn locally.
“We should not be seen as distressed sellers. Pakistan’s assets
will not be sold or disinvested
under pressure,” Dar said.
He said the “right message”
had gone out and OGDCL shares
had risen to around Rs240.
The Privatisation Commission had offered 311mn shares
to international investors, but it
got offers for merely 50%.
Opposition parties and the employees of the company had also
opposed the OGDCL auction.
Bad road, no warning signs
caused fatal bus accident
akistani police said yesterday they will investigate government departments over a bus crash that
killed 57 people, blaming the
poor condition of the road for
the accident.
The bus smashed into a goods
truck loaded with coal near the
city of Khairpur, 450km of Karachi, on Tuesday. There were
18 children among the dead.
District police chief Nasir Aftab said the initial investigation
found the road was in poor condition and had no warning signs
to alert drivers to the danger.
“A first information report
(FIR) for becoming cause of
death has been registered and
the concerned departments will
be investigated for the bus accident,” Aftab said.
He said it was the first time a
government department would
be investigated for a road accident in Pakistan.
Motorway police official
Faisal Chachar said that a 61km
stretch of the road was in poor
condition, having developed a
significant furrow in its surface.
A senior motorway police officer said on Tuesday the bus
driver, carrying Pashtun families
French aid
by prisoner
Pakistan relatives of victims of a bus accident mourn outside the Edhi Foundation cold centre in
Karachi yesterday.
from northwestern Swat valley
to Karachi, had lost control after
hitting the rut in the road.
Pakistan has an appalling
record of fatal traffic accidents
due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless
driving. Crashes killing dozens
of people are not uncommon.
French aid worker
with the Red Cross
in Afghanistan was
stabbed in the throat by a
prisoner during a visit to a jail
to distribute winter clothes,
police said yesterday, adding
the injury was not serious.
The ICRC (International
Committee of the Red Cross)
staff member was visiting
Maimana jail in the remote
northern province of Faryab on
Tuesday when he was attacked.
“A group of ICRC officials
visited Maimana prison to
assist them with some winter
clothes,” Mohammad Naim
Andarabi, deputy police chief
of Faryab, said.
“As the French official
was speaking to a group of
prisoners, one attacked him
with a sharp metal object and
stabbed him on his throat.
“The victim was immediately taken to hospital because he was bleeding.”
A doctor at Maimana city
hospital said that he was
treated for a two-centimetre
cut to his throat before being released. The ICRC confirmed the attack, saying the
victim had been flown to Kabul for further checks.
Kashmir and the north, where
drivers career around narrow
hairpin bends over deep ravines
with scant regard for safety, are
particularly prone to accidents.
Three crashes in the space
of 10 days in March in Kashmir
and the northwest left a total of
46 people dead.
UAE to finance anti-polio
drive in NW Pakistan
In April a bus smashed into a
tractor-trailer in a high-speed
collision in Sindh, killing 42
people, while in March a horrific crash between two buses
and a petrol tanker left 35 dead,
with many burned alive when
the fuel ignited.
The mountainous areas of
he United Arab Emirates has agreed to extend
financial assistance for
anti-polio vaccination in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas
(Fata) for the next 15 months,
according to officials.
The UAE government, which
has been assisting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata as part of
its Pakistan Assistance Programme through army since
June 2014, will provide $21mn
more to continue the campaign.
Officials said that UAE was
assisting polio immunisation
in 11 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and entire Fata. UAE
showed satisfaction over the
performance of vaccinators in
the campaigns and good reporting by the health department
due to which it extended financial assistance, they added.
UAE will implement the programme in three phases of five
months each. “A strategy has
also been devised by the government to utilise the amount,”
officials said.
The last four UAE-assisted
campaigns in Bara tehsil of
Khyber Agency and 11 districts
of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in August and September have impressed not only UAE but other
donors too, who now want to
continue the vaccination with
the same devotion and professionalism.
“The last campaign in October 2014 was the only drive
after April 2013 wherein the
targeted children were immunised,” officials said.
UAE grant for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata has also
done away with the dual system of reporting to Prime
Minister Polio Cell as well as
army. Now the campaigns will
be run only through the UAE
funding therefore both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata
will report to army only.
Earlier, UAE had spent more
than $4mn in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata but it extended the programme in the
wake of discussions that took
place with the departments
It was due to UAE’s assistance that vaccination of internally displaced persons from
North Waziristan Agency was
carried out in Bannu, Lakki
Marwat, and Dera Ismail Khan.
“We have vaccinated about
150,000 displaced children
from Waziristan which not
only protects them but also
children in the host districts
from polio,” officials said. They
added that polio was endemic
in North Waziristan Agency
because vaccination hadn’t
been carried out there owing
to Taliban’s ban for the past 23
Officials said that involvement of UAE in the campaign
was encouraging in Pakhtunspopulated areas like Fata,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which were responsible for 210 cases of the total
236 reported nationwide in
“Pakhtun population has
been the worst victim of poliomyelitis as refusals and inaccessibility to children in view
of poor security is a hurdle in
polio eradication in the area,”
they said.
“We have pinned great hopes
on it because involvement of
UAE is crucial to do away with
refusals against the vaccine as
it was evident in the past campaigns,” officials said.
They added that the parents, who earlier refused to
administer anti-polio vaccine to their children under
the misconception that these
weren’t permitted in Islam or
were laced with some ingredients that caused sterility to
the recipients, would respond
positively because people
recognised UAE as an Islamic
Officials said that support of
army for the campaigns provided security assistance to
them to reach the inaccessible
population for vaccination.
Afghanistan opium poppy cultivation at record high: UN
pium poppy cultivation
in Afghanistan reached
a record high in 2014, a
United Nations report revealed
yesterday, highlighting the failure of the multi-billion-dollar
US-led campaign to crack down
on the lucrative crop.
The total area under cultivation was about 224,000 hectares
in 2014, a 7% increase on last
year, according to the Afghanistan Opium Survey released by
the United Nations Office on
Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Just 74,000 hectares was being used to grow poppies in
2002, a year after the Taliban regime was toppled.
Despite a decade of costly
US and international counternarcotics programmes, poppy
farming has boomed in the south
and west regions, which include
the most volatile parts of the
country where the Taliban in-
surgency is strongest.
With US-led Nato troops
withdrawing from Afghanistan,
fears are rising that worsening
instability could trigger further
growth in opium cultivation as
Afghan security forces struggle
to push back the resurgent Taliban.
“The country is having to
stand on its own feet (and)... will
have to deal with this criminalisation of its economics and politics as a matter of priority,” JeanLuc Lemahieu, director of policy
analysis at UNODC, said.
Poppy farmers are often taxed
by the Taliban, who use the cash
to help fund their insurgency
against government and Nato
Despite the presence of tens
of thousands of foreign troops
since a US-led invasion ousted
the Taliban, Afghanistan grows
about 80% of the world’s opium,
which is used to produce highly
addictive heroin.
The survey said that potential
opium production was estimat-
Mobarez Rashidi (centre), Afghan Minister of Counter Narcotics, talks with journalists during a press
conference in Kabul yesterday.
ed at 6,400 tons in 2014, a rapid
increase of 17% from 2013, but
not as high as the record 7,400
tonnes produced in 2007.
“In 2014, opium prices decreased in all regions of Afghani-
stan. One probable reason for the
decrease was an increase in supply due to an increase in produc-
tion,” the survey said.
It said that the “farm-gate”
value of opium in Afghanistan
was about $0.85bn — 4% of the
country’s GDP.
Just 2,692 hectares of poppy
fields were eradicated in 2014 –
a 63% drop from the previous
“Most of the areas in which
we were fighting cultivation
was under enemy control. This
affected our plans very badly,”
Mubariz Rashidi, acting minister of counter narcotics, told
“The security forces that
should have destroyed the poppy
fields were busy providing security for the presidential elections.
“With opium, Afghanistan
cannot go towards progress,
prosperity and development,” he
Earlier this year the US Special
Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko
warned that the country could
turn into “a narco-criminal
state” after the bulk of the Natoled force withdraws.
About 12,500 Nato troops will
remain into 2015, but the force’s
13-year combat mission against
the Taliban will finish at the end
of this year.
The poppies, which provide huge profits in one of the
world’s poorest countries, play
a large part in the corruption
that plagues Afghan life at every
President Ashraf Ghani, who
came to power in September, has
vowed to tackle corruption as he
seeks to steer his strife-torn and
impoverished country into a new
era after the rule of Hamid Karzai, president since 2001.
“Action against high-level
traffickers is required to create
a level of deterrence and a sufficient risk level,” said Lemahieu.
Heroin addiction levels in Afghanistan have also risen sharply — from almost nothing under
the 1996-2001 Taliban regime,
to more than 1mn heroin addicts
today, according to UN figures.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Inspiring Baguio singers take top honours in contest
Manila Times
unique celebration of
world-class music and
talent took place at the
Akapela Open finals night at the
Meralco Theatre recently.
Now in its second run, the
Akapela Open brought together
the biggest and brightest stars
of music and contemporary “a
cappella” for a night of auditory
show that is sure to inspire and
“A cappella” is a style of singing performed without accompanying instruments. It has
evolved from its simple church
choir phase to more modern
and complex styles that include
vocal percussions such as doo-
wop and beat boxing.
Organised by the One Meralco Foundation (OMF), PLDTSmart Foundation and The Music School of Ryan Cayabyab,
the nationwide talent search
has been a vehicle for budding
musical groups to showcase
their top-notch vocal skills.
“Our country is recognised
internationally for our excellent
choirs and Akapela Open encourages those groups to come
out and be recognised. Akapela
Open aims to create a community of contemporary ‘a cappella’ performers and uphold
the value of the human spirit,”
said competition founder and
respected composer Professor
Ryan Cayabyab.
The 2013 grand champion
Acapellago was edged out by
Baguio-based group, Pinopela
as the 2014 Akapela Open grand
champion. The Malolos-based
quintet landed third place while
Dynamix won second.
This year’s seven other finalists were: 1415, 10,000, D’Mortal
Instruments, Los Cantantes De
Manila, Mouthfools, Negative
Four and Pop Acappella League
of Singers.
“This community of contemporary ‘a cappella’ singers will
continue to influence more and
more people across generations
to give birth to new contemporary ‘a cappella’ groups; and, in
their own way, may they help
support a thriving nation,” Cayabyab added.
Supporting the vocal competition for the second time
this year were One Meralco
Foundation and PLDT-Smart
Foundation. According to the
latter’s president Esther Santos, “Through Akapela Open,
we hope we can bring together a
community committed to nurture talent, our culture and be
leaders for the youth.”
Tarayao echoed this sentiment
and said: “We recognise the
value of this competition in
world-class Filipinos that
will continue to put the Philippines in the global map of
musical excellence. We have
always been known as a country imbued with musical talent and showcasing this is our
own little way to contribute to
youth development and nationbuilding.”
The Akapela Open 2014 winners, Pinopela with PLDT- Smart Foundation President Esther Santos, composer Ryan
Cayabyab, Meralco President and CEO Oscar Reyes and One Meralco Foundation President Jeffrey Tarayao.
Island quarantine for Philippine
soldiers from Ebola-hit Liberia
By Robertzon F Ramirez
Manila Times
ore than a hundred Filipino UN troops returning from Ebola-hit West
Africa were swiftly packed off
to an isolated island yesterday
as part of extreme measures to
protect the Philippines from the
deadly virus.
The 108 peacekeepers, who
had just finished a 10-month tour
of Liberia under UN command,
arrived by chartered plane at a restricted section of Manila airport
yesterday evening.
The uniformed soldiers were
immediately sent to a naval base
near Manila where they will travel
on to Caballo, a tiny uninhabited
island at the mouth of Manila Bay
that will be their temporary home
for the next 21 days.
None of the soldiers have tested positive for the virus, but they
have been prevented from physical contact with anyone in the
Philippines and are being quarantined for the incubation period
of the virus.
“We were asked to make this
sacrifice for the safety of our
countrymen,” one of the soldiers’
wives said as she watched live
television footage of the arrival
with her three-year-old daughter
from a nearby air force base.
Almost 5,000 people have been
killed by Ebola mostly in West
Africa, according to official data
from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which says the true
scale of the epidemic could be
much greater.
The virus kills around 70% of
its victims, often shutting down
their organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.
More than 10mn Filipinos
working abroad and the Philippines has said there is a serious
built roads
‘reek of
In this handout photo released yesterday, Philippine UN peacekeepers arrive via a chartered flight from Liberia at Villamor Air Base in suburban Manila.
threat of the epidemic hitting the
Asian country.
The government has also ruled
that anyone coming from Liberia,
Guinea and Sierra Leone -- the
countries most affected with the
epidemic -- must undergo 21
days of isolation.
Thelma Barrera, psychosocial
programme chief for the health
department’s National Centre for
Mental Health, said the soldiers
will be put up in air-conditioned
tents with access to recreational
and telecommunications facilities.
“They (the facilities) were set
up to make it as comfortable as
can be for them,” she said.
Health workers wearing stained Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suit carry placards during a protest on the alleged inadequate
preparation of the Philippine government against the threat of Ebola outside the Department of Health office in Manila.
Christmas sale
Mindanao groups call for Aquino’s
resignation over political deterioration
By Leena C Chua
Manila Times
John Michael Orivia, 13, arranges Christmas decorations for sale at a street in Manila yesterday.
Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas in the world which starts as early as September every year.
he Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has scored
the government for “corrupt
workmanship,” citing the construction of sub-standard roads
and other infrastructure that result in unnecessary deaths.
“Is it not a fact that many
road traffic victims lose life or
limb because of ill-constructed
roads and highways, the pathetic
handiwork of corrupt workmanship? Have not many drivers
fallen off cliffs, ridges and road
shoulders because of inadequate
road signs, poorly-lit highways and the criminal absence
of assistance that should come
from government functionaries tasked with road safety?”
CBCP President and LingayenDagupan Archbishop Socrates
Villegas asked in a statement
Villegas called on the government to build safe and reliable
highways, get rid of “wages of
corruption” and sustain maintenance of all infrastructure.
His statement came days before the UN’s observance of
“World Day of Remembrance
for Road Traffic Victims” on
November 16. He said the event
should not only be “a time of
sentimental remembrance” of
all who died on highways, but
also of firm resolve that governments, motorists and pedestrians all share in the responsibility
of keeping the roads safe.
Villegas noted that the country
has even “more enforcers looking
out for traffic violators than (those
who should be deployed to) lonely
stretches of highways, mountain
passes and dangerous road turns,
ready to render assistance to motorists in trouble.”
arious groups coming
from different sectors
in Mindanao have taken
up the call for the resignation
of President Benigno Aquino as
they stressed the need for national transformation in the face
of moral, political and social deterioration.
They also asked the National
Transformation Council (NTC),
the group advocating social and
political change, to advance the
agenda on federalisation, noting
that it will pave the way for empowerment and development of
all regions.
“In the face of the evident increasingly severe deterioration
of the moral, social and political fabric of our society, we call
upon the NTC to speed up its effort to compel President Aquino
to relinquish his position, so
that the earnest work of national
transformation could begin.
More than ever, we believe that
peace and good governance in
the country must begin in Mindanao,” the groups said.
Their officials and members
signed the Butuan Declaration
titled “Peace and Good Governance in the Country Should Begin in Mindanao.”
“In the face of the evident
increasingly severe
deterioration of the moral,
social and political fabric of
our society, we call upon the
NTC to speed up its effort to
compel President Aquino to
relinquish his position...”
The groups’ call was a followup on manifestos signed by civic
and religious groups in assemblies held in Lipa City in Batangas in August and Cebu City in
October that urged Aquino to
relinquish power.
In a manifesto signed yesterday in Butuan City in Agusan del
Sur, they said, “We who broadly
represent the various concerned
sectors and constituencies of
eastern and northern Mindanao, together with our allies
from other parts of Mindanao,
from Basilan, Sulu archipelago
and from Luzon and the Visayas,
have come together in Butuan
City this 11th day of November
2014, to proclaim our support
and contribute to the immediate
realisation of the declared aims
and objectives of the National
Transformation Council.”
The groups demanded a full and
accurate accounting of the money
“and other forms of assistance”
that the government received
from foreign governments, multilateral institutions and other donors for victims of super typhoon
Haiyan (Yolanda).
They said the Aquino administration should explain how, where
and when these funds were used
and how these benefited typhoon
The groups also expressed
concern on the “cavalier” way
the government has treated the
“Mindanao problem.” They said
the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is pending
in Congress, did not arise from
“honest and sincere consultations with our Muslim brothers
and their Christian friends and
neighbours.”“This threatens to
falsify our people’s deepest longing for genuine self-management
of their own affairs, and instead
to create new divisions, disunity
and discontent, both among those
who are part and those who are
not part of the new entity to be
created under the BBL.
“We therefore ask the NTC to
intensify genuine consultations
with all stakeholders in order to
come up with a real solution coming from the people themselves
rather than from outside sources,”
they said. “We specifically ask the
council to consider advancing the
federalisation agenda for the entire country as the ultimate measure to ensure the most equitable,
simultaneous empowerment and
development of all the regions,
not just of those in Mindanao,” the
groups added.
They also called on the NTC to
intervene and demand the commitment of the national government to end “monopolistic
activities” that may lead some
companies to “seize control of
power distribution in Mindanao
and beyond.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Korean navy in Galle cultural show
Noted Bangladeshi
author is dead
Sailors from the Republic of Korea Navy’s ‘ROKS Choi Young’ Cruise Training Task Group performing a drill display during a cultural show held on the Galle Face Green in
Colombo. The ROKN Choi Young arrived in Colombo on a three-day goodwill mission with its 650-member ROKN Cruise Training Task Group, including 140 midshipmen of
the Naval Academy’s 69th class. Their cultural show was applauded by the locals who had arrived at the Galle Face Green.
oted Bangladeshi author and educationist
Zillur Rahman Siddiqui has died aged 86.
The former adviser to
the caretaker government
was rushed to the Samorita Hospital in Dhaka on
Tuesday, which confirmed
that he had already passed
away by the time he was
brought in,
Siddiqui’s body will be kept
at the hospital until relatives
arrive to decide on his burial,
his family said.
Siddiqui, who won Bangladesh’s highest civilian award
Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award) in 2010, leaves
behind his wife, three sons and
a daughter.
Siddiqui was born on
Febraury23, 1928. He matriculated from Jessore Zilla
School in 1945 and graduated
from the Presidency College
in Kolkata.
He earned an MA the following year in English literature from Dhaka University.
He also studied English literature at Worcester College,
Oxford University, from 1952
to 1954.
Siddiqui taught at Dhaka
College and then at Rajsha-
Lanka to release Indian
fishermen on death row
New Delhi/Colombo
n what comes in as a relief
to the families of five Tamil
fishermen, Sri Lankan
Minister Prabha Ganesan has
said President Mahinda Rajapakse has agreed to pardon the five Indian fishermen
who were sentenced to death
for drug smuggling in the
“The five Indian fishermen
sentenced to death will be re-
Indian state bans
transportation of
animals to Nepal
for sacrifice
India’s Uttarakhand government
yesterday put a ban on illegal
transportation of animals from the
state’s border districts to Nepal’s
Gadhimai Festival for sacrifice, in
compliance with an interim order
of the Supreme Court.
A government order to this
effect was issued in the state
capital Dehradun yesterday
with instructions to the
superintendents of police (SPs)
and district magistrates (DMs)
of Champavat, Pithoragarh,
Nainital and Udhamsingh Nagar,
bordering Nepal, to implement
the ban strictly, principal
secretary (home) M H Khan and
principal secretary Ranveer Singh
told reporters.
The government order putting a
ban on illegal movement of animals,
especially cows and buffalos, is
in compliance with an apex court
order last month directing the
central government to prevent
illegal movement of animals across
the border from India to Nepal to be
sacrificed at the Gadhimai Festival
to be held from November 24 to 29,
the officials said.
The court’s order was passed in
response to a petition by animal
rights activist Gauri Maulekhi,
who had sought a ban on the
State chief secretary N
Ravishankar also held a meeting
with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
which guards the Indo-Nepal
borders earlier in the day asking
it to ensure total implementation
of the ban.
Approximately 70% of the
animals to be sacrificed at the
festival come from Indian states
of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar
Pradesh and Uttarakhand which
share borders with Nepal.
leased,” Ganesan told India’s
CNN-IBN news channel.
On Tuesday, India had said it
was confident that “justice will
prevail” in the fishermen’s case
even as it filed an appeal in the
Sri Lankan Supreme Court.
The Sri Lankan government, though, has asked India
to withdraw its appeal in their
Supreme Court filed against the
High Court order.
The Indian high commission
was on Monday handed over the
order stating that the five accused — Emerson, P Augustus,
R Wilson, K Prasath and J Langlet — were sentenced to death
by the Colombo High Court on
October 30 on charges of drug
“It is a delicate matter,” India’s Ministry Of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had said, adding that
“we haven’t reached a situation where we could say the
situation has reached a happy
On Tuesday, while briefing reporters accompanying
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
to Myanmar, Akbaruddin said
in an answer to a query that
the “Government of India gives
high priority to the issue of the
five Indian fishermen” and “will
pursue all avenues”.
“I can confirm to you today (Tuesday) that on behalf
of those five fishermen an appeal in the Sri Lankan Supreme
Court has been filed,” he added.
The appeal was filed by a lawyer who has been selected by
the Indian high commission in
“He is amongst the top law-
Mountain journey
yers in Sri Lanka and he has filed
that appeal. The Government of
India will bear all costs of this
appeal,” Akbaruddin said. “We
will pursue this, as I had repeatedly said, to the best of our ability. We are confident that justice will prevail in this case,” he
had said.
Last week, India’s high commissioner to Sri Lanka Yash
Sinha met the five Indian fishermen at Colombo’s Welikada
prison and assured them of
every effort to secure their early
release and repatriation.
Google Bus
project launched
in Bangladesh
By Mizan Rahman
A woman carrying a container of shorn hair of mountain goats in Simikot in the Humla district,
some 430km northwest of Kathmandu. Humla, which borders Tibet, is one of the most remote
districts in Nepal, has no road connections and is a starting point for many adventure trips.
Nepal rescuers find body of
Canadian killed in Oct storm
rescuers have retrieved
the body of a Canadian woman who died
in the massive snowstorm
that claimed 43 lives in
the Himalayas last month,
police said yesterday.
The 55-year-old Canadian
woman was among hundreds
of hikers caught in the storm
that hit the popular Annapurna circuit route on October 15,
at the height of the trekking
“The body of a female Canadian trekker was found
on Tuesday and airlifted
to Kathmandu this afternoon,” Manang police chief
Rajendra Regmi said.
“The body on an Indian
trekker was found last week,”
he added.
Two Nepalese rescue workers are continuing search for
the remaining missing bodies
of three Canadians and three
“The weather has been good
Minister Prabha Ganesan:
“Presidential pardon for fisherman.”
and the snow is melting. We
hope to find them soon,” Regmi
In the week after the snowstorm struck, 518 people were
airlifted to safety, including 310
Thousands of people head
to the Annapurna region every
October, when the weather is
usually at its best for trekking.
The disaster follows Mount
Everest’s deadliest-ever avalanche, which killed 16 guides
in April and forced an unprecedented shutdown of the world’s
highest peak.
oogle Bus Bangladesh project was
launched yesterday
with a view to providing Internet lessons to half a million school and university
students across the country.
State Minister for Information and Communication
Technology Division Junaid Ahmed Polok officially
inaugurated the project in
Dhaka’s Bangabandhu International
Center (BICC). James McClure, country manager,
emerging markets, Google
Asia Pacific, was present on
the occasion.
Search Engine Google in
collaboration with the information and communication technology division of
the Bangladesh government
has taken the initiative.
The minister said: “The
Internet does not mean only
games, chatting, downloading or time passing but it
can change the world radically. So, Google Bus project
is going to help the students
to know about changing the
world through the Internet.”
He said the project is a
step to reach the Internet
service to all as it is a major condition to establish
‘Digital Bangladesh’.
James McClure said:
“Young, energetic and the
highly motivated section
of Bangladesh would be
able to establish ‘Digital
Bangladesh’ by exploring
the endless potential of the
Google Bus will go to the
campuses of 500 colleges
and universities in 35 places
across the country within
one year.
Under the project, workshops on the Internet use
will be held for higher
secondary and graduate
The main target of the
project is to encourage the
Bangladeshi students to
achieve efficiency in using
Internet to begin a business
project of their own and exploring techniques to run
the business.
The campus workshop
includes an instructor-led
training session and peer
collaboration to familiarise
the students with diverse
Google tools like Google
Search, Chrome, Docs,
Maps, YouTube, Google+
and others. Each student
will also have the opportunity to practice what they
have learnt on an Internetenabled Android device.
The Google Bus has been
equipped with stowaway
seats, 3G Internet connection, monitors, sound system,
and audio-video materials
to train the students.
Zillur Rahman Siddiqui
hi University from mid1973 to 1988. He then went
on to teach at Jahangirnagar University and became
the university’s vice-chancellor for two consecutive
He became the vice-chancellor of Gono Bishwabidyalay in 2000 and retired
voluntarily in 2003.
Siddiqui was in charge of
the education ministry when
he served as an adviser to the
caretaker government under
Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed
in 1990-1991.
He has authored many
books, both in Bengali and
English, and has been honoured
awards like the Alaol Sahitya
Purashkar in 1977, the Alokto
Sahitya Purashkar in 1998 and
the MA Haque Swarna Padak
in 2003.
Verdict on war
criminal today
The verdict against Bangladeshi
war crimes accused Zahid Hossain
alias Khokon Razakar is expected
today, according to media reports.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
leader Hossain was indicted on
11 charges of murder, genocide,
arson, rape, loot and forcible
religious conversion in October
last year, reported.
The International Crimes
Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) headed by Justice
M Enayetur Rahim concluded its
trial on April 17 this year.
According to the tribunal
investigators, Hossain had
campaigned for Jamaat-e-Islami
in the 1970 national elections.
After Independence, he joined
the BNP and became the vicepresident of its Nagarkanda unit.
He was elected mayor to the
Nagarkanda municipality in 2011.
Hossain has been absconding
ever since the probe began.
80 Bangladeshis
The Malaysian police have
detained 80 illegal immigrants
believed to be working at a
construction site in Cameron
Highlands of the country during
two separate raids.
All the illegal immigrants from
Bangladesh, aged between 20
and 50, were arrested by the
Cameron Highlands district police
headquarters in the operation from
6.30pm to 11.30pm on Tuesday.
The Cameron Highlands district
police chief said during the raid,
no untoward incidents occurred
as all the illegal immigrants
“Preliminary investigation
revealed that they are believed
to have overstayed in this
country and were also found to
be working at the construction
site without valid permit and
document,” he said.
Generals discuss
military ties
The army chief of India and Nepal
yesterday discussed military
co-operation, soon after Indian
army chief Dalbir Singh arrived in
Kathmandu on a four-day visit.
After laying a wreath at the Bir
Smarak memorial, Gen Dalbir
Singh held talks with Nepal’s army
chief, Gen Gaurav Sumsher Rana,
said a Nepal army statement.
The two discussed bilateral
military co-operation and matters
of mutual interest.
Today, Gen Singh will be
conferred with the honorary
title of Nepal army General by
President Ram Baran Yadav.
Later, he will call on the president
and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.
Also today, he will visit the Nepal
army-run Birendra Peace Operations
Training Centre where the Nepal
army trains peacekeepers along with
international peacekeepers.
Tomorrow, Gen Singh will visit
Mustang where he will inspect
the Nepal army-run highaltitude training academy, and
is scheduled to visit the Indian
Pension Camp Office in Pokhara.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: C P Ravindran
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Telephone 44350478 (news),
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Heathrow and Gatwick
in battle for new runway
At the heart of the UK
aviation debate is airport
capacity in southeast
England, long argued to be
the engine and gateway to
Britain’s economic
Decision to strip
Morocco as host of
African Cup is hasty
The Confederation of African Football’s (CAF)
decision to strip Morocco of the right to host the
African Cup of Nations (CAN) scheduled for January
has come as a shock despite the fact that football
governing bodies across the world are not known
for their pragmatism when it comes to ruling on
important issues.
Morocco is worried, and rightly so, that the outbreak
of the deadly Ebola virus in various African countries,
poses a threat to its population, which has been
untouched so far by the pandemic.
But by dismissing Morocco’s fears as illegitimate, the
CAF has jumped the gun. It’s unlikely that the African
body consulted any health experts before making the
“To postpone the CAN would be like stopping
African football dead,” CAF’s long-serving President
Issa Hayatou Hayatou said.
“Once you postpone this event, it will open the door
for everybody to ask for a delay of any competition and
we will no longer be credible.” added the 68-year-old
Cameroonian who has been in office since 1988.
Ebola has even reached the shores of America, which
is separated from Africa by an ocean and thousands
of miles. American experts have warned that the
pandemic has not yet
subsided – indeed, only
yesterday two people
died of the disease in
Mali. The dead were
identified as a cleric
who brought the
disease from Guinea,
and a nurse who treated
Now, the question is
who has the capacity
to step in at such a late
hour with organisation
and logistics thrown
into chaos, just weeks
ahead of the 30th
rendition of the competition.
Angola, who hosted the 2010 tournament that was
marred by a separatists’ gun attack on the Togo team
bus, are in the running as are Gabon who co-hosted
the 2012 edition with Equatorial Guinea.
Angola, with their extensive resources of petrol
has the money and the stadiums in place, but the
attacks on Togo which led to two deaths in the restless
northern enclave of Cabinda may work against their
South Africa, Ghana and Algeria have declined the
CAF’s approaches while Nigeria’s name has been
whispered although the country is in the midst of an
unstable political climate.
Moroccan Sports Minister Mohamed Ouzzine
defended their stance and said they had simply asked
for a postponement, until the disease was brought
under control.
“The CAF statement said we refuse to organise the
Nations Cup, and it’s wrong. We want the tournament
in our country, but we maintain our demand to
postpone it,” Ouzzine told parliament.
“The WHO (World Health Organisation) says that
every country has the right to take the necessary
measures to protect its citizens. The whole world is
incapable to find some treatment or some solution for
that disease (Ebola), so isn’t it a force majeure?”
The CAF should have shown a bit of patience. But
taking a hasty decision, it’s now landed in a bigger
mess as it would be difficult now to find a new host
Ebola has
even reached
the shores of
America, which
is separated
from Africa by
an ocean and
thousands of
To Advertise
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By Updesh Kapur
ritain’s long-running plans
to give its aviation industry a
big shake-up and make it the
most competitive in Europe,
if not the world, faced a new twist this
The global air travel industry is an
increasingly competitive environment
with airlines jostling for passenger
and cargo business – and airports too
playing a vital role in this dynamic
Growth forecast show
unprecedented demand for air
travel over the next 15 years. Aircraft
manufacturer Airbus predicts global
air travel will more than double from
currently 2.9bn to over 6.9bn by 2029.
In Britain, there have been
ongoing calls by business leaders and
parliamentarians for better airport
infrastructure to cope with rocketing
demand. And Britain wants to
maintain an edge over other nations
in a sector that relies heavily on the
creation of super aviation hubs than
on just airlines flying from one point
to another.
The calls have never been so
vocal than now as rival European
hub airports in Paris, Frankfurt
and Amsterdam are going
through significant infrastructure
improvements to fight for a bigger
slice of the global air travel market.
At the heart of the UK aviation
debate is airport capacity in southeast
England, long argued to be the engine
and gateway to Britain’s economic
London Heathrow, one of the
world’s busiest airports, remains the
premier UK entry point handling
around 70mn passengers a year, a third
of which uses the facility to transfer
onto other flights. Airlines fly to
almost 200 destinations worldwide
from Heathrow.
London Gatwick, a 45 minute
drive further south, handles less than
half the annual passenger figures of
its close rival – 33mn flying to 200
destinations worldwide. Gatwick
holds the mantle of world’s busiest
single runway airport. Only 5% of its
passengers transfer to other flights.
The biggest difference between
the two: Heathrow has two runways
while Gatwick operates only one.
Furthermore, Gatwick has the
advantage of allowing take-off and
landings in the middle of the night
while Heathrow has a late-night
The Heathrow
versus Gatwick battle
will continue to be a
hot contest over the
next few months
Heathrow is said to already be
operating at 98% capacity with a
current limit of just under 500,000
flights a year. Plans which could
double the number of passengers at
Heathrow to more than 140mn by
2050 would make it busier than any
airport in the world.
Gatwick by comparison is set
to reach its capacity by 2020. An
additional runway, according to the
airport operator, will help boost
annual passenger capacity up to 87mn.
Two years ago, the British
government set up the Airports
Commission, tasked with probing the
capacity constraints and finding the
best solution to resolve the problem.
The Airports Commission stated there
is a need for one additional runway in
southeast England by 2030. Sixteen
years is a long way off.
Bearing in mind the urgency
for more capacity outlined above,
expansion will be needed much, much
The Airports Commission is
currently considering three options:
a third runway at Heathrow, an
extension to an existing Heathrow
runway or a second runway at London
In its deliberations, the Commission
has to consider the vitally important
environmental issue very carefully
– pollution, noise disruption,
displacement of residents through
destruction of property – to make way
for a new airstrip.
It recently dropped considering
an impractical option of a brand new
four-runway airport in the Thames
estuary east of the capital, an idea
touted by London Mayor Boris
Johnson. Dubbed ‘Boris Island’ this
$75bn concept was seen as a nonstarter due to the prohibitive high
costs, tremendous environmental
concerns and huge impact on the
established aviation industry at both
Heathrow and Gatwick.
Observers see Heathrow as the
answer for expansion simply because
of its strong existing infrastructure.
However, the battle against antiHeathrow growth will be a long one if
indeed this airport is chosen for the
expansion. The airport in west London
is bordered by a highly populated
urban centre.
Gatwick, too faces an uphill
task. Its rural location is what
environmentalists will want to
maintain and not turn the airport into
an even busier 24-hour operation.
The Airports Commission has
begun a 12-week consultation process
involving all parties – airlines,
passenger groups, lobbyists, local
authorities, political parties and local
communities – before delivering its
final recommendation after next May’s
general election in Britain.
But this week it provided an
alarming update on the three
shortlisted options.
Whichever runway option is
chosen, the additional cost above the
budgeted amount would be anything
between $3bn and a whopping $6.5bn.
This represents a 33% increase on
Heathrow’s original budget and 26%
on Gatwick’s.
Some seriously high figures and
the big question is, for which most
observers will already know, who is
going to pay for the increase?
Ultimately, it will be the end user –
the passenger – who bears the brunt of
any such increase.
The cost of air tickets will rise
significantly. Passengers will also
have to bear the rising cost of the
dreaded air passenger duty (APD), a
government tax on flights departing
the UK.
Depending on the distance to be
flown and class of travel, the APD
introduced 20 years ago, starts as
low as $21 and rises to $295. A tax
implemented in 1994 for the privilege
to fly out of the UK.
Britain’s APD is the highest in the
world and shows no signs of easing.
On average, the UK air passenger duty
is five times higher than the remaining
countries in Europe who still charge
the tax.
The Commission believes passenger
user charges may have to rise by up to
$45 per person to fund expansion at
either Heathrow or Gatwick.
The UK APD currently generates
just under $5bn in receipts for the
British treasury, a figure that is
estimated will rise to $6bn within four
The projected rise in cost of the
runway options and frequent increases
in the deadly air passenger duty
have already sent shivers through an
industry watching carefully which
option the Commission will opt for.
Heathrow has already warned that
Britain was in danger of losing its
crown to Holland as home to Europe’s
biggest airport for international air
traffic if the capacity issue is not
resolved soon.
With an industry worth $76bn
to the UK economy and supporting
almost 1mn jobs, the figures could
be at serious risk if airport growth is
constrained by failure to adequately
address the congestion issue.
In simple terms, lack of airport
infrastructure improvements will hurt
the UK economy as more passengers
choose to fly via other airport
gateways in Europe and elsewhere.
According to the Commission’s
analysis, Gatwick’s plan to add a
second runway is the quietest and
easiest to deliver. But, expanding
Heathrow is seen as more likely to
deliver a bigger boost to the economy,
and create more jobs as it is Britain’s
premier gateway employing hundreds
of thousands of people.
Regardless, the Heathrow versus
Gatwick battle will continue to be a
hot contest over the next few months:
the pros and cons debated by the
respective airport chiefs in the run up
to the Airports Commission Summer
2015 decision.
Gatwick has already stated that the
proposed multibillion dollar runway
expansion would involve no complex
construction and will be funded
privately, not from taxpayers’ money.
Heathrow, however, argues it has
to be the favoured option because the
airport handles over 25% of Britain’s
exports compared with less than 2%
at Gatwick. And only Heathrow is able
to compete at an international level
with a far greater number of long-haul
points already served compared with
Gatwick’s offering.
Whatever happens, all eyes will be
on the government’s finance chief
George Osborne early next month.
He will deliver the anticipated
annual budget and, once again, the
aviation industry will hope for the
sake of passengers that he reduces or
freezes the air passenger duty. A rise
however cannot be ruled out.
The government needs to view
aviation in a bigger context. The
travelling public cannot continue to be
penalised for using infrastructure that is
a country’s powerful economic asset.
zUpdesh Kapur is a PR &
communications professional,
columnist, aviation, hospitality
and travel analyst, social and
entertainment writer. He can be
followed on twitter @updeshkapur
Year of crises stretches militaries, govts to limit
By Peter Apps
rom a standoff with Russia
to fights against Ebola and
Islamic State, 2014 has pitted
Western policymakers against
a scale of crises unparalleled in recent
The result, current and former
officials say, has been a degree of
overstretch in Washington, Whitehall
and Brussels on a scale few can
remember. The risk is that other
danger signs get missed.
Even when officials say they
know what needs to be done, an era
of budget cuts means the required
resources, particularly military, may
simply not be there.
President Barack Obama took office
wanting to move on from an era of
international entanglements in Iraq
and Afghanistan. But while large USled military interventions might be
over, a period of multiple crises may
only just be beginning.
“The world is changing in front of
us,” US Army Chief of Staff General
Ray Odierno told a military conference
in Washington last month.
Odierno said plans to cut troop
numbers to 450,000 from a peak of
some 570,000 in the last decade were
no longer viable. The limit should be
490,000, he said.
Russia’s proxy war in Ukraine has
also raised questions over European
defence cuts.
“We are witnessing first-hand
mistaken assumptions about the
number, duration, location and size
of future force conflicts, and the need
to conduct post-stability operations,”
Odierno said. “These miscalculations
translate directly into increased
military risk.”
Multiple other troubles have the
diplomatic community stretched to
A Palestinian man in Khan Yunis’ Khuzaa neighbourhood cutting through iron in the rubble of buildings, destroyed during
Israel’s 50-day war on Gaza. The Israeli attacks killed at least 2,143 Palestinians, nearly 70% of them civilians. Officials covering the Middle East are at the sharp end, forced to deal with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Israel’s Gaza incursion, Iran’s
nuclear negotiations and simultaneous crises in Libya and Yemen.
the limit, officials say.
Violence in Nigeria and the
shooting down of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 373 demanded a response
while demonstrations in Hong Kong,
leadership uncertainties in North Korea,
possible Scottish independence and
territorial disputes in the South China
Sea between Beijing and some of its
Asian neighbours have all required new
analysis and contingency planning.
Humanitarian crises have been
rising too. The World Health
Organisation for the first time is
simultaneously handling five disasters:
Ebola, Iraq, Syria, South Sudan and
Central African Republic.
“Everyone is knackered,” said
a British official on condition of
Those covering the Middle East
are at the sharp end, forced to deal
with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,
Israel’s Gaza incursion, Iran’s nuclear
negotiations and simultaneous crises
in Libya and Yemen.
“It means long days and sleepless
nights,” US State Department
spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told a
meeting of networking group Young
Professionals in Foreign Policy.
“It means meetings are attended by
deputies instead of by principles ...
Obviously, when you have one crisis
you want to do it well. And we have
been dealing with plenty.”
Some officials have been repeatedly
reassigned as new crunches sprung
up. One example cited was officials
focusing on Yemen being switched
to Russia instead. Teams covering
countries like Libya complain they
have been all but forgotten.
Such years are not unknown: 1991
saw Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and a
temporary coup in Moscow, 1994 saw
multiple disasters in Bosnia, Somalia
and Rwanda. But the sheer scope of
2014’s flashpoints is unusual.
Inevitably, those at the top are most
stretched. Unlike their underlings,
they need to be briefed on every major
Officials said a packed diary forced
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel to
cancel a planned trip to Asia last week.
Senior figures often have political
responsibilities too and have focused
on last week’s US mid-term elections
and a UK election in 2015.
In such an environment, experts say
details get lost simply through lack of
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
The return of the US dollar
The benefits of the dollar’s
rally are far from
guaranteed, for both
economic and financial
By Mohamed A El-Erian
Laguna Beach
he US dollar is on the move.
In the last four months alone,
it has soared by more than 7%
compared with a basket of
more than a dozen global currencies,
and by even more against the euro and
the Japanese yen.
This dollar rally, the result of
genuine economic progress and
divergent policy developments, could
contribute to the “rebalancing”
that has long eluded the world
economy. But that outcome is far
from guaranteed, especially given the
related risks of financial instability.
Two major factors are currently
working in the dollar’s favour,
particularly compared to the euro and
the yen. First, the US is consistently
outperforming Europe and Japan
in terms of economic growth and
dynamism – and will likely continue to
do so – owing not only to its economic
flexibility and entrepreneurial energy,
but also to its more decisive policy
action since the start of the global
financial crisis.
Second, after a period of alignment,
the monetary policies of these three
large and systemically important
economies are diverging, taking the
world economy from a multi-speed
trajectory to a multi-track one.
Indeed, whereas the US Federal
Reserve terminated its large-scale
securities purchases, known as
“quantitative easing” (QE), last
month, the Bank of Japan and the
European Central Bank recently
announced the expansion of their
monetary-stimulus programmes.
In fact, ECB president Mario Draghi
signalled a willingness to expand
his institution’s balance sheet by a
massive €1tn ($1.25tn).
With higher US market interest
rates attracting additional capital
inflows and pushing the dollar even
higher, the currency’s revaluation
would appear to be just what the
doctor ordered when it comes to
catalysing a long-awaited global
rebalancing – one that promotes
stronger growth and mitigates
deflation risk in Europe and Japan.
Specifically, an appreciating dollar
improves the price competitiveness
of European and Japanese companies
in the US and other markets, while
moderating some of the structural
deflationary pressure in the lagging
economies by causing import prices
to rise.
Yet the benefits of the dollar’s rally
are far from guaranteed, for both
economic and financial reasons.
While the US economy is more
resilient and agile than its developed
counterparts, it is not yet robust
enough to be able to adjust smoothly
to a significant shift in external
demand to other countries.
There is also the risk that, given
the role of the ECB and the Bank of
Japan in shaping their currencies’
performance, such a shift could be
characterised as a “currency war”
in the US Congress, prompting a
retaliatory policy response.
Furthermore, sudden large currency
moves tend to translate into financialmarket instability.
To be sure, this risk was more
acute when a larger number of
emerging-economy currencies
were pegged to the US dollar, which
meant that a significant shift in the
dollar’s value would weaken other
countries’ balance-of-payments
position and erode their international
risk-taking, which has pushed many
financial-asset prices higher than
economic fundamentals warrant.
To the extent that continued
currency-market volatility spills over
into other markets – and it will – the
imperative for stronger economic
fundamentals to validate asset prices
will intensify.
This is not to say that the currency
re-alignment that is currently
underway is necessarily a problematic
development; on the contrary, it
has the potential to boost the global
economy by supporting the recovery
of some of its most challenged
But the only way to take
advantage of the re-alignment’s
benefits, without experiencing
serious economic disruptions and
financial-market volatility, is to
introduce complementary growthenhancing policy adjustments, such
as accelerating structural reforms,
balancing aggregate demand,
and reducing or eliminating debt
After all, global growth, at its
current level, is inadequate for mere
redistribution among countries to
work. Overall global GDP needs to
The US dollar’s resurgence, while
promising, is only a first step. It is
up to governments to ensure that
the ongoing currency re-alignment
supports a balanced, stable, and
sustainable economic recovery.
Otherwise, they may find themselves
again in the unpleasant business of
mitigating financial instability. Project Syndicate
reserves, thereby undermining their
Today, many of these countries
have adopted more flexible exchange-
rate regimes, and quite a few retain
adequate reserve holdings.
But a new issue risks bringing about
a similarly problematic outcome:
By repeatedly repressing financialmarket volatility over the last few
years, central-bank policies have
inadvertently encouraged excessive
zMohamed A El-Erian, chief economic
adviser at Allianz and a member of its
International Executive Committee, is
chairman of President Barack Obama’s
Global Development Council and
the author, most recently, of When
Markets Collide.
Weather report
Three-day forecast
A mute
Dear Sir,
After the recent 52-day war on Gaza
and killing of 2,000 Palestinians, 600
of them children, Israeli atrocities and
aggression continue in the occupied
Illegal Israeli settlements, killing of
innocent civilians and closure of the
Al Aqsa mosque pose major challenges
for the international community.
Israel’s cabinet has just approved
a law change, allowing harsher jail
sentences of up to 20 years for stonethrowers. More than 30 children, some
of them younger than 10 years, have
been arrested after a recent agitation.
Israel continues to demolish
Palestinian houses, accusing their
owners of supporting resistance.
Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin
Netanyahu has threatened to
use further aggressive measures
against protesters and supporters of
Israel has also deployed several
thousand security personnel around
the Al Aqsa mosque in a gesture of
provocation and tension remains high
in the area.
The naked Israeli aggression and the
silence of the United Nations and the
international community are worrying
The security of the whole region
is under threat. Jordan has recalled
its ambassador to Israel after the
Jewish state’s forces and rightwing activists stormed the Al Aqsa
When will the world wake up to
reality ?
Khawaja Umer Farooq
[email protected]
A father’s
Dear Sir,
The letter “Lesson learnt from my
son” (Gulf Times, November 11) was
thought-provoking. Adults seldom
admit that they are wrong and give
credit to children for correcting
their perceptions. But DR, the letter
writer, has shown the courage to do
His son had a good lesson to
teach him. He is a fine young chap.
Congratulations to both the son and
father. DR should get him more books
to read as he obviously learns from
them, going by the values he holds.
(Full name and address supplied)
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Will shift work age my brain?
There were differences in
scores between shift and nonshift workers at the start of the
study and these did not change
– so it’s hard to say that working
patterns caused the differences
in cognitive ability and memory.
The differences in scores were also
quite small.
However, research does suggest
that shift work takes it toll –
the chief mechanism being the
disruption of circadian rhythms and
physiological stress. In a review of
the evidence, the Institute for Work
and Health in Canada found that
shift workers are more likely to injure
themselves at work and to have
mental health and gastrointestinal
There is some evidence of an
increased risk of breast and colorectal
cancer. Shift workers are also more
likely to smoke and feel exhausted.
This study couldn’t differentiate
exactly which shifts were most
troublesome and did not prove that
such work damages the brain – but
there is more robust evidence that
while shift work does suit some
people, it can precipitate health
problems in others.
Some research suggests that
limiting night shifts to three in a row
and giving employees some control
over which shifts they work can help. Guardian News and Media
By Dr Luisa Dillner
t is estimated that nearly one in
five people in Europe do shift
work – so a lot of people will be
worried by research showing
a link between it and a reduction in
the ability to remember and think
The research, from the Université
de Toulouse and Swansea University,
assessed 3,232 adults in south-west
France on a variety of cognitive tests.
The study compared the results of
those who had never done shift work
with those who had done more than
50 days in a year. They then looked at
how long people had done shift work
for and how long it had been since
they had stopped.
They estimated that 10 years of
shift work had the effect of ageing the
brain by an extra 6.5 years, based on
the results of the cognitive tests. They
also concluded that it took five years
to recover that level of function after
stopping shift work.
So is the “graveyard shift” really
killing our brain cells? Or does this
study just suggest an association,
rather than prove that shift work
damages the brain?
There is no shortage of research on
how shift work is bad for health. But
people often don’t have a choice, many
healthcare professionals included.
The shifts suspected of causing most
harm include nights, getting up
before 5am, not being able to go to bed
before midnight and rotating shifts
(alternating morning, afternoon and
night shifts).
The cognitive tests included being
asked to immediately recall a list of
words after reading them three times,
and matching symbols with numbers
as quickly as possible.
zDr Luisa Dillner, a writer and
doctor, heads BMJ Group Research and
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Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Locally built dhows berthed at Mourjan Marinas, Lusail, for the Qatar International Boat Show.
Dhows a big draw among
visitors to boat show
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
midst a number of luxury yachts
that have arrived for the 2nd
Qatar International Boat Show
(QIBS) at the picturesque Mourjan
Marinas in Lusail city, two dhows, designed and developed in the country
at Al Mannai Marine boat yard are attracting considerable attention from
The dhows, one named Al Asmakh
Group and the other unnamed so far
are berthed close to the main walkway
leading to the Eastern side of the Marina.
Local entrepreneur and yachting enthusiast Essa al-Mannai, who is also
the founder of Al Mannai Marine introduced one of the two locally owned
dhows to visitors a day before the event
“The Qatar International Boat Show
is not just an event showing the nation’s interest in the marine industry
but also showcases the country’s new
interests and ambitions,” said al-Mannai, who is also the chairman of the
show’s organising committee.
“QIBS has been supported by the
Qatari government as well as established Qatari corporate brands to stage
a truly world class show” he said.
The interior of one of the two local dhows berthed at Lusail. PICTURES: Jayan Orma
With the successful hosting of the
show for the second successive year,
the Doha event has become part of the
international calendar of boat exhibitions.
The unnamed dhow built at Al Mannai’s Al Khor Shipyard has an array of
features that make it unique. The 33m
dhow incorporates all the latest technology while retaining a traditional
look and Qatari design.
Believed to be be the first luxury
dhow with yacht specifications, the
boat took nearly two years to build.
Al Mannai Marine boatyard, which
recently shifted from Al Khor to Ruweis
has six dhows under production.
The unnamed boat’s exterior is made
of solid teak and the interiors, consisting of five bed rooms were designed and
made in Italy. Its interior fit-out cost
QR 2mn, according to the builders.
Besides the crew quarters at the rear,
the two engines at the back unlike in
the middle as with traditional dhows,
ensure low noise levels.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Emir holds talks with
Brazilian president
H the Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad alThani and Brazilian
President Dilma Rousseff held a
session of talks dealing with the
development of bilateral relations here yesterday.
During the talks held at the
Emiri Diwan, they agreed to set
up a joint committee dealing with
co-operation in economic and investment fields, so as to serve the
common interests and welfare of
the people of Qatar and Brazil.
Talks during the meeting also
dealt with a number of regional
and international issues of common interest.
The talks were attended by
HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad
al-Thani, the Deputy Emir, Qatari ministers and the members
of the delegation accompanying
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad
al-Thani holding talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.
President Dilma Rousseff.
Following the talks, the Brazilian president and her accompanying delegation visited the
Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
During the tour, the Brazilian
president was given a presentation about MIA, its construction
stages and its role in disseminating knowledge about science,
arts and cultures of the world.
President Rousseff toured var-
ious sections of the MIA where
she was briefed on the exhibits,
including Islamic artefacts, relics, rare heritage books, manuscripts and coins made of silver,
copper and bronze as well as articles of glass, ivory, wood and
precious stones, which have been
collected from the three continents dating back 14 centuries.
Following the tour, the Brazilian president signed the honorary record of the MIA praising
the museum and describing the
collections as a wealth to the Islamic culture and heritage.
The MIA administration presented the Brazilian president
with a copy of a book explaining
the museum landmarks, its design features and contents.
Later in the evening, President
Dilma Rousseff left Doha after a
working visit to Qatar. She was
seen off by HE the Minister of
Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visiting the Museum of Islamic Art
Sheikha Moza meets President Dilma Rousseff
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and
her accompanying delegation. PICTURE: AR Al-Baker/HHOPL
H the Chairperson of
Qatar Foundation for
and Community Development
(QF) Sheikha Moza bin Nasser
yesterday met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her
accompanying delegation.
HH Sheikha Moza welcomed
the visit of Brazilian president
and praised legislation the latter
issued to develop education in
Brazil. The Brazilian president
praised the efforts of Sheikha
Moza to support education.
Sheikha Moza and President
Dilma Rousseff discussed the
scope for co-operation and
partnership in different fields.
They focused in particular
on archives and how to benefit
from Qatar National Library.
They also discussed how to
benefit from Arab documents
found in Brazilian archives and
ways to strengthen co-operation between QF and education
institutions in Brazil.
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser holding talks with President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and her
accompanying delegation. PICTURE: AR Al-Baker/HHOPL
RUPEE UP | Page 6
Sensex hits
record high;
ICICI surges
fine global
banks $3.4bn
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Moharram 20, 1436 AH
UAE concerned
that oil glut may
curb exploration
Qatar-India trade reaches $16.7bn
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
Qatar is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas to India where natural gas consumption is projected to rise
by 1.5% a year between 2010 and 2020
Opec sees lower 2015
demand for its crude
lobal demand for oil from
Opec next year will be far below its current output level
because of the US shale boom, the
group said yesterday, as its top producer, Saudi Arabia, kept silent on
whether it will cut output to remove
surplus oil from the market.
Oil in October fell below $83 a barrel and on Tuesday reached $80.46,
its lowest since 2010.
In a monthly report yesterday, the
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) forecast
that 2015 demand for its oil will drop
to 29.20mn bpd, or almost 1mn bpd
less than it is currently producing.
This is the last report before Opec
meets in Vienna on November 27 to
discuss whether to respond to the
drop in prices by cutting output for
the first time since the financial crisis
in 2008.
The supply surplus looks even
larger in the first six months of 2015,
as the report estimates the world will
require only 28.45mn bpd of crude on
average from Opec.
“In the first half, the demand will
be much less than 29.2mn and so
we’ll have a massive oversupply if
Opec keeps the same output,” said
Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. “That probably explains
the steep decline in prices in previous
Opec has kept its main oil
demand and supply forecasts
The report by economists at Opec’s
Vienna headquarters said Saudi Arabia had told Opec it produced 9.69mn
bpd in October, little changed from
9.704mn in September.
Opec also kept its main oil demand
and supply forecasts unchanged. The
group expects growth in world demand to accelerate to 1.19mn bpd in
2015 from 1.05mn bpd in 2014 and
is fairly upbeat about the outlook.
“With economic indicators pointing
to a continued recovery in the global
economy, any additional improvement in the economies of major oil
consuming countries should help
the demand trend to pick up further,”
Opec said.
However, the demand for Opec
crude is still expected to fall in 2015
by 245,000 bpd, unchanged from last
month, as higher supply outside the
group, particularly in the US, squeezes the group’s market share.
With Opec pumping 30.25mn bpd
in October, according to secondary
sources cited by the report, there will
be a surplus of close to 1mn bpd in
2015, and 1.8mn bpd in the first half,
if Opec keeps output unchanged.
According to the secondary-source
figures, Opec output fell by 226,000
bpd from September and Saudi output edged down by 70,000 bpd,
largely in line with the 50,000 bpd
Saudi reduction found by an October
31 Reuters survey.
Opec members including Kuwait have said a cut in output at
the Vienna meeting is unlikely, but
privately delegates are starting to
talk of the need for some action, although they warn an agreement will
not be easy to reach.
LNG will cushion global gas supply halts: IEA
Rising liquefied natural gas output will help protect against
disruptions globally as the conflict between Russia and
Ukraine rekindles concerns about security of supply, according to the International Energy Agency.
Natural gas production is expected to rise in almost all
regions except Europe and the volume of LNG output will almost triple by 2040, the IEA said in its World Energy Outlook
published yesterday. China and the Middle East will lead an
increase in natural gas demand of more than 50% by 2040,
the fastest rate among fossil fuels, according to the Parisbased adviser to 29 developed countries.
“Concerns about the security of future gas supply are allayed
in part by a growing cast of international gas suppliers, a
near-tripling of global liquefaction sites and a rising share
of LNG that can be re-directed in response to the short-term
needs of increasingly interconnected regional markets,” the
IEA said.
Gas supply to Europe risks being disrupted for a third winter
since 2006 amid a conflict between Ukraine and Russia,
which meets about a third of the region’s needs for the fuel.
Even with a September 5 truce and an October 30 gas deal,
fighting continued in eastern Ukraine between government
forces and pro-Russian rebels, while Naftogaz Ukrainy is yet
to pay Russia’s Gazprom in full to secure winter fuel supplies.
Gas will become the leading fuel in the energy mix of developed nations by about 2030, aided by US regulations limiting
emissions from electricity generation, the IEA said. So-called
unconventional gas will account for almost 60% of global
supply growth, it said, referring to production including from
shale rocks and coal beds.
The US shale boom masks threats to global oil supply including Middle East turmoil, conflict in Ukraine and the difficulty
of unconventional oil production beyond North America, the
IEA said.
“The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the
hopes and expectations placed upon it,” the IEA said “The
short-term picture of a well-supplied oil market should not
disguise the challenges that lie ahead as reliance grows on a
relatively small number of producers.”
Global oil consumption will rise to 104mn bpd in 2040 from
90mn bpd in 2013, driven by demand for transport fuel and
petrochemicals in developing countries, the report said. To
meet that growth and replace exhausted fields will require
about $900bn a year in investment by the 2030s as oil companies develop fields from Canada’s oil sands to the deep
waters off Brazil, the IEA said.
ilateral trade between Qatar and India grew 2.1% and
reached $16.7bn in the 2013-14
financial year, data show.
In 2012-13, the two-way trade
between Qatar and India stood at
$16.3bn, according to data provided
by the Indian Embassy. And in the
fiscal 2011-12, the trade totalled
However, the balance of trade is
in Qatar’s favour, data indicate. In
2013-14, Qatar exported goods worth
$15.7bn compared with $15.6bn in the
2012-13 fiscal.
Qatari imports from India were
worth $989mn in 2013-14 and
$687mn in 2012-13.
A report by QNB shows India is
currently the third top export destination for Qatar. In September,
India, which is Asia’s third largest
economy, accounted for 14.5% of total Qatari exports.
Total exports in September stood
at QR36.1bn and imports at QR9.8bn,
QNB said.
Japan topped the export destination in September, accounting for
22.2% of Qatar’s exports, followed by
South Korea (17.5%).
Qatar and India have a strong relationship, particularly in the energy
and petrochemicals sector. Trade
between the two countries has been
steadily growing.
Currently, Qatar is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
to India. Also, there is a large and
expanding market for Qatar’s oil and
petrochemicals in India.
India’s natural gas consumption is
projected to rise by 1.5% a year between 2010 and 2020, while production from local fields will decrease
by an average 1.1% every year during
that period, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Many Indian companies such as
L&T, Tata Projects, Voltas, and Punj
Llyod have active presence in the Qatari market through partnerships.
India’s GDP grew at 5.7% in the
first quarter of 2014-15 to exceed
expectations. The manufacturing
sector posted a 3.5% growth. India’s
economic growth stood at 4.7% in
2013-14 and the consumer price index-based inflation rose to 7.96% in
July 2014.
India’s current account deficit
(CAD) for the fiscal first quarter April to June - narrowed sharply to
1.7% of gross domestic product from
4.8% of GDP in the corresponding period of 2013-14. Fiscal deficit
during the 2013-14 fiscal year was
equivalent to 4.5% of GDP and it is
targeting 4.1% of GDP in the current
fiscal year.
According to a recent HSBC update, the Indian economy appears to
have perked up since the election of
Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in
May, with matters being helped by
easing domestic inflation, which has
brought an end to the tightening of
monetary policy by the Reserve Bank
of India.
India’s growth rate is expected to
top 6% in 2015, and could well be
only a touch shy of China’s, HSBC
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
NCB surges on listing, but QSE extends
losses on
most Gulf markets pull back industrials
and telecom
hares in Saudi Arabia’s
biggest lender, National
Commercial Bank, jumped
their daily 10% limit upon listing yesterday after a $6bn IPO,
the largest ever in the Arab world
and the second-biggest globally
this year.
Completing the initial public offer last week, state-owned
NCB said the $3.6bn portion for retail investors was 23
times subscribed, with a total
of 1.25mn subscribers - roughly
one in every 16 Saudi citizens taking part.
Demand for the IPO, at a fixed
price of 45 riyals per share, was
huge partly because Saudi authorities tend to price initial
offers of equity cheaply, using
them to spread corporate wealth
among citizens.
Institutional investors were
not allowed to take part in the
offer and will have to buy the
stock, which looks certain to
become a staple in most Saudi
Arabia-focused portfolios, on
the secondary market.
The stock opened yesterday
at 49.5 riyals, with a massive
amount of unfilled buy orders
that came close to equalling the
bourse’s total trading volume on
a normal day.
& Investment Co rated NCB a
“high conviction buy” with a
target price of 72 riyals, citing its
outlook for strong balance sheet
growth and sustainable margins.
Based on listed Saudi banks’ median price to 2013 earnings ratio,
NCB would be worth about 76
Most IPO investors are likely
to wait until the stock trades
at higher levels before selling,
which will take three or four
days, said Maged Ali Hasan,
head of brokerage services at
EFG-Hermes in Riyadh.
The Saudi market as a whole
fared much less well yesterday.
The main index was almost flat
as a number of stocks pulled
back, including several other
banks; Saudi British Bank lost
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
Chairman of the board of directors of National Commercial Bank Mansour al-Maiman signs during the listing ceremony at the Saudi Stock
Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh yesterday. Shares in Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender, NCB, jumped their daily 10% limit upon listing yesterday after
a $6bn IPO, the largest ever in the Arab world and the second-biggest globally this year.
2.1% and Samba Financial fell
Elsewhere in the region,
markets in the UAE slipped after posting strong gains in the
last few sessions. Dubai’s index
edged down 0.2% as contractor
Arabtec Holding, the most traded stock, gave up early-session
gains and fell 0.2%.
Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar
Investments raised its stake in
Arabtec to 34.93% from 18.94%
with an off-market trade on
Tuesday. It bought the shares
from former Arabtec chief ex-
ecutive Hasan Ismaik, who resigned abruptly in June.
The deal is positive for Arabtec
by confirming the deep-pocketed fund’s commitment to helping the construction company
grow, and it removes uncertainty
over Ismaik’s stake, which some
investors had feared could end
up being dumped on the market.
But although the deal was
done at 5 dirhams per share, a
big premium to Tuesday’s closing price of 4.26 dirhams, the
sale was conducted off-market,
so other investors were not able
to offload their stock at the same
price, as some had hoped.
Abu Dhabi’s index slipped
0.1% amid a mixed performance by blue chips. Shares in
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
(TAQA) fell 1.0% after it reported
a 27% decrease in third-quarter
net profit yesterday, citing a
higher effective tax rate.
Egypt’s index fell 1.6%, largely
because of Commercial International Bank which dropped 3.4%
despite reporting a 5.6% rise in
third-quarter net profit, in line
with analysts’ forecasts.
“The stock had a very good
run before the results announcement and everyone was expecting very good numbers,” said
Harshjit Oza, banking and property analyst at Naeem brokerage
in Cairo.
Global Telecom tumbled 5.6%
after its nine-month net loss
widened 66% year-on-year.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index rose 0.3% to 7,202
points; Oman’s measure climbed
0.5% to 6,955 points, while Bahrain’s index edged up 0.5% to
1,438 points.
earish sentiments ensued
for the second day yesterday on the Qatar Stock
Exchange, mainly dragged by
industrials and telecom stocks.
Domestic institutions hurriedly booked profits, leading the
20-stock Qatar Index (based on
price data) to knock off another
0.23% to 13,723.54.
Large and small caps came
under selling spotlight in the
market, which is however up
32.22% year-to-date.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stock was seen
melting slower than the other
indices in the bourse, where realty, telecom and banks together
accounted for more than 72% of
the total trading volume.
The Total Return Index fell
0.23% to 20,468.53 points, the
All Share Index by 0.15% to
3,473.75 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 0.09% to
4,626.27 points.
Market capitalisation was
down 0.23%, or about QR2bn,
to QR741.99bn with large, small
and mid cap equities losing
0.23%, 0.22% and 0.19% respectively; even as micro caps
gained 0.8%.
Industrials stocks tanked
0.63%, followed by telecom
(0.47%), banks and financial
services (0.11%) and transport
(0.01%); whereas consumer
goods rose 0.4%, realty 0.3%
and insurance gained 0.29%.
Major losers included QNB,
Industries Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat and Gulf International Services.
However, United Development Company, Mazaya Qatar,
Dlala, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Gulf Warehousing, Islamic Holding Group and
Salam International Investment
bucked the trend.
Domestic institutions’ net
selling shot up to QR99.57mn
compared to QR6.83mn the previous day.
However, foreign institutions
turned net buyers to the tune of
QR59.63mn against net sellers of
QR14.02mn on Tuesday.
Qatari retail investors’ net
buying soared to QR31.45mn
compared to QR1.92mn on
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net buying fell to QR8.55mn
against QR19.07mn the previous
Total trade volume fell 21% to
11.36mn shares, value by 23% to
QR667.78mn and transactions
by 29% to 6,412.
The market witnessed a 43%
plunge in the real estate sector’s
trade volume to 4.04mn equities,
40% in value to QR142.79mn
and 19% in deals to 1,384.
The consumer goods sector
saw its trade plummet 42% to
0.83mn stocks, value by 36% to
QR89.76mn and transactions by
36% to 641.
trade volume tanked 34% to
0.95mn shares, value by 37% to
QR109.75mn and deals by 43%
to 1,577.
The banks and financial
services sector’s trade volume declined 22% to 1.97mn
equities, value by 11% to
QR204.4mn and transactions
by 36% to 1,727.
The telecom sector’s trade
volume almost quadrupled to
2.2mn stocks and value almost
tripled to QR48.38mn on a 75%
jump in deals to 500.
The transport sector’s trade
volume melted gained 8% to
1.19mn shares, while value fell
3% to QR61.75mn and transactions by 10% to 417.
Although the insurance sector’s trade volume was flat at
0.16mn equities, value soared
24% to QR10.96mn and deals by
26% to 166.
Emirates posts $517.3mn 6-month profit, cites external threats such as Ebola
results this quarter and are expected to continue to
grow through investments in emerging markets,”
chief executive Tarek Sultan said in the statement.
The performance helped offset a 4% drop in
revenue from its main logistics business to 267.8mn
dinars, which Sultan attributed to “the wind down
of major project logistics contracts” without elaborating further.
Sultan told Reuters in an interview last month that
Agility expected revenue to resume increasing in
2015, aided by emerging market business in places
including Africa and India, and its move into new
The impact of the Ebola outbreak, regional conflict
and an uncertain global economic outlook will
remain a drag on the airline industry, Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates said yesterday after reporting
higher first-half net profit.
The world’s fourth-largest carrier of international passengers posted a profit of 1.9bn dirhams
($517.3mn) for the six months ending September
30, up from 1.7bn dirhams a year earlier.
Emirates’ chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed
al-Maktoum warned that the airline had to face
several global threats to the aviation industry that
were outside its control.
“It is those external threats that we cannot
anticipate or directly manage, such as the global
economic malaise, the Ebola outbreak, currency
fluctuations, and regional conflicts, that could
negate our efforts and plans,” he said in the statement. “These issues appear to be piling up, impacting commercial aviation and travel, but show no
signs of speedy resolution.”
Global health authorities are struggling to contain
the world’s worst Ebola epidemic since the disease
was identified in 1976. The virus has killed at least
4,950 people.
Last month, Emirates’ president Tim Clark said
demand for flights to Africa from Asia had fallen
due to Ebola concerns.
Profit for the wider group, which includes airline
services arm Dnata, rose 1.1% to 2.2bn dirhams.
Emirates airline revenue grew 11% to 44.2bn
dirhams, while group revenue rose 12.3% to 47.5bn.
Even though Brent crude oil is near a four-year low,
Emirates said average fuel prices only softened
marginally and towards the end of the six-month
Oil is the largest component of an airline’s cost. It
made up 38% of Emirates operating cost compared
with 39% during the same period a year-ago.
Emirates and its home base Dubai are expanding
rapidly on expectations that its location, which has
a third of the world’s population is within a 4-hour
flight radius, will continue to attract passenger
traffic away from other global hubs such as London,
New York and Singapore.
Kuwait’s Agility, the largest Gulf Arab logistics
group, posted an 8% increase in third-quarter net
profit yesterday, as earnings from its infrastructure
operations offset declines in its core logistics business.
The firm made a profit of 13.04mn dinars ($44.8mn)
in the three months to September 30, up from
12.13mn dinars in the corresponding period of last
year, it said in a statement.
An analyst at SICO Bahrain forecast that the
company would make a net profit in the period of
13.7mn dinars.
Total revenue grew 3% year on year to 337.1mn dinars, boosted by a 16% increase in its infrastructure
division. This was helped by contract wins in the
Ivory Coast and the United Kingdom.
“Agility Infrastructure companies posted strong
Kuwait Food Co (Americana), whose major shareholder is studying bids for its stake in the firm,
posted a 33.6% jump in third-quarter net profit
yesterday as revenue rose and costs fell.
The firm made 10.9mn dinars ($37.45mn) in the
three months to September 30, compared to 8.2mn
dinars in the corresponding period of 2013, the
bourse filing said.
Americana attributed the rise in its bottom line to a
combination of higher operating revenues - which
grew 5% year on year to 218.2mn dinars - and lower
general and administrative expenses. It didn’t
elaborate further.
Founded in 1964 in Kuwait, Americana has interests
in restaurants and packaged food across the Middle
East and North Africa. The company is a franchise
operator in the region of restaurants including KFC
and Pizza Hut, owned by Yum Brands .
The company said last week that a major shareholder, Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate
Co, which is owned by the al-Kharafi group, was in
preliminary talks with “various parties” to sell its
stake in the firm.
While they didn’t name the bidders, interest in the
firm has come from Saudi Arabia’s Savola Group
and Western private equity firms KKR & Co and
CVC Capital Partners , who are bidding together.
Following the announcement, trade in Americana’s
shares resumed after it had been suspended in midSeptember on news of a potential stake sale.
Americana’s stock closed flat in Kuwait.
Dana Gas
Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas reported a 36% rise in
third-quarter net profit yesterday as increased production and lower costs offset falling oil prices.
The Sharjah-based company, which has operations
in Egypt, the UAE and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, made
a profit of $38mn in the three months to September
30, up from $28mn in the year-earlier period.
“The gas we supply is at fixed prices and therefore
the gas portion of our portfolio is not subject to
sensitivity around oil prices,” Dana Gas chief executive Patrick Allman-Ward told reporters. “The liquid
portion clearly is and provides a disproportionately
large component of revenue and therefore profit.
We are sensitive to oil prices and you will see that
reflected in our financial position.”
US Light Crude slumped to a three-and-a-half year
low this month.
Dana produced 68,700 barrels of oil equivalent per
day (boepd) in the third quarter, up 3% from a year
The company has faced problems recovering
payments from exploration and production assets
in Egypt and Iraq’s region of Kurdistan because of
political turmoil in those countries. The company
received $71mn in cash from operations and cash
collections in the third quarter.
Dana will invest more than $350mn over the next
three to four years to drill new wells and redevelop
existing wells in Egypt, said Allman-Ward.
This will increase Dana’s Egyptian production to
more than 50,000 boepd by 2017 from about
40,000 today.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), the stateowned oil explorer and power supplier, reported a
27% decrease in third-quarter net profit yesterday,
citing a higher effective tax rate.
TAQA, 75% owned by the government of Abu Dhabi,
reported a net profit of 107mn dirhams ($29.1mn)
in the three months to September 30, down from
146mn dirhams in the same period of 2013.
The firm said its pretax profit in the quarter was
622mn dirhams, up from 591mn dirhams a year earlier, but its effective tax rate rose to 49% from 39%.
Revenue for the latest quarter was 6.93bn dirhams
versus 7.34bn dirhams in the corresponding period
last year.
Gulf Finance House
Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House (GFH) reported a
profitable third quarter on Wednesday after posting
a loss in the same period last year.
The firm, which was crippled in the wake of the
global financial crisis and required several debt
restructurings, made a net profit of $5.0mn in the
three months to September 30, according to a
bourse statement.
This compares with a loss of $3.2mn in the yearearlier period.
“Total income for the third quarter was up a sharp
532%” to $32.9mn, the firm said. “Income during the
quarter was primarily generated from placement
fees for the bank’s investment products as well as
from the settlement of liabilities for the bank.”
The company in August signed a $105mn five-year
Islamic credit facility with Kuwait Finance House,
which was to help the Bahraini firm to redeem two
syndicated debt facilities and allow the release of
some GFH assets.
Dubai-based property developer DAMAC will limit
new projects to the Gulf due to turmoil in other
parts of the Middle East, the firm said yesterday
after it reported a 166% jump in third-quarter net
Dubai house prices fell by more than half from a
2008 peak due to oversupply and the emirate’s
debt crisis, but have rallied to roughly pre-crisis
levels over the past two years.
The rebound has led other Dubai developers to
refocus on the UAE after struggling abroad.
“The focus will remain on the UAE,” DAMAC chief
executive Hussain Sajwani told Reuters. “We’re
looking at more opportunities in Saudi Arabia, but
a lot of territories in the region have issues and
we’re not going to those countries. We don’t have
any intention to go into Egypt or Syria or Iraq. We’re
going to stay in the GCC.”
The GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) consists of
the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and
DAMAC will complete previously announced
projects outside the GCC, which include developments in Jordan and Lebanon.
The company said in a statement it made a net
profit of $224.3mn in the three months to September 30, up from $84.4mn a year earlier.
Third-quarter revenue rose to $577.3mn from
$160.6mn a year ago. It was roughly split between
apartment handovers and land sales with some
90% earned in the UAE.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Adnoc assessing
bids for 40-year
oil concessions
as prices sink
UAE is concerned that oil
glut may curb exploration
he collapse in oil prices may
deter investment in exploration and production projects
predicated on $100 crude, according to Suhail al-Mazrouei, energy
minister of the UAE.
“What worries us is that some investors will not continue to invest,”
al-Mazrouei told reporters in Abu
Dhabi. “Not us, others, are not going to continue to invest. And in a
few years, we’re going to face difficulties finding enough investments
in the market.”
Oil has fallen into a bear market
this year on increased output of US
shale and other supplies. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting
Countries, including the UAE, will
meet on November 27 to assess the
market and production.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have
resisted calls for the group to cut
production, while Libya, Venezuela
and Ecuador have asked for action
to keep prices from falling lower.
Brent crude has tumbled 29% since
June 19.
“This isn’t the first time that we
see a drop in the market,” al-Mazrouei said on Tuesday. “If this is a
phenomenon that’s going to last, it
will affect some future investment,
especially in the more expensive oil
developments. If this is a short fluctuation, we’re not going to be panicking. And we never panic.”
Brent lost 54¢ to $81.13 a barrel on
the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12.21pm Singapore
time. The contract, which expires
today, closed at $81.67 on Tuesday,
the lowest price since October 2010.
The oil industry is over-committed to capital expenditure and will
probably need to reduce spending
on exploration and production next
year, Wintershall chairman Rainer
Seele said on Tuesday at a conference in Abu Dhabi. Oil at $80 a bar-
Many oil companies made investment decisions over the past three or four years on the premise that crude would sell at $100 a barrel,
according to Suhail al-Mazrouei, energy minister of the UAE
rel won’t stop BP or Total from exploring for and developing crude,
BP chief executive officer Robert
Dudley and Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president of exploration and
production, said on Monday at the
same conference.
Many companies made investment decisions over the past three
or four years on the premise that
crude would sell at $100 a barrel, alMazrouei said.
“There is a concern, but the longterm investors will continue investing in those large projects,” he
said. “Some who are producing at a
higher oil-price assumption, they
will suffer.”
The oversupply of oil “didn’t
come from us,” al-Mazrouei said of
the UAE and Opec, which provides
about 40% of the world’s oil. “We
kept the market balanced. So we
need to wait to see. Now Opec members are meeting to discuss.”
The group exceeded its official
target of 30mn bpd by 974,000 bpd
in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“No single country can give
you an indication of the result” of
Opec’s decision before it meets this
month in Vienna. “We’ve been wise
in much more difficult times than
this. Let’s wait for that meeting,” alMazrouei said.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co is evaluating bids by foreign companies for stakes in the emirate’s biggest
fields and has yet to recommend any offers to the
government for approval.
BP, Total and several companies based in Asia are
among those seeking to participate with staterun Adnoc in its on-shore production of crude
as early as January. Abu Dhabi holds most of
the crude deposits in the United Arab Emirates,
an Opec member that holds about 6% of global
“We are in the process of evaluating,” Adnoc
director general Abdulla Nasser al-Suwaidi said
yesterday in Abu Dhabi. Adnoc hasn’t forwarded
recommendations yet to the Supreme Petroleum
Council, the country’s highest authority for energy
policy, for final approval, he said.
Al-Suwaidi declined to specify the number of bids
under review.
Abu Dhabi plans to boost production capacity for
crude to 3.5mn bpd in 2017 from about 3mn bpd
today and also raise output of natural gas. Middle
Eastern states including the UAE are expanding
capacity to produce oil and gas partly to meet
growing domestic demand for fuel to run power
plants and for transportation.
Abu Dhabi’s planned 40-year concession agreement offers foreign companies access to one of
the few places in the Gulf where the largest US and
European producers still hold direct stakes in oil
fields. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, fellow members of
the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries,
don’t allow foreign investment in production of
Adnoc sees the recent slide in oil prices as a sign
of “temporary market instability” and won’t cut
investment in projects because of it, al-Suwaidi
said. Brent crude futures have dropped 29% since
June 19, amid a supply glut.
The producer has been seeking a new line-up of
partners to develop Abu Dhabi’s on-shore deposits
after the expiration in January of a joint-venture
agreement with BP, Total, Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal
Dutch Shell, and Partex Oil & Gas.
Abu Dhabi has pumped oil under concession deals
with those companies or their predecessors since
1939. Adnoc became a partner in the 1970s, joining
with them to form Abu Dhabi Co for Onshore Oil
Operations, or ADCO. That venture was responsible
for extracting 1.5mn bpd of Murban grade crude,
the UAE’s main blend.
Adnoc invited 11 companies to bid for concessions,
and all of them made offers, it said in November
2013 as the renewal process got under way.
Naimi wants stable crude oil markets
Acapulco, Mexico
audi Arabia Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi
broke months of silence to reaffirm
the kingdom’s longstanding policy
of seeking stable global markets yesterday,
dismissing talk of a “price war” but offering no insight on his response to tumbling
crude prices.
In his first public comments since glo-
bal oil prices dived to four-year lows near
$80 a barrel, al-Naimi said the world’s biggest producer wanted to work “with other
producers to ensure price stability for the
interest of producers, consumers and the
industry at large”.
“Talk of a price war is a sign of misunderstanding, deliberate or otherwise, and has
no basis in reality,” al-Naimi told an event
in the Mexican Pacific resort of Acapulco.
He made no mention of position ahead
of a pivotal meeting of the Organisation of
the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)
on November 27, where producers will consider whether to cut output to shore up
prices that have slumped over 30% since
Instead, he reiterated several of the kingdom’s familiar talking points: that stable
markets are good for producers and consumers; that the market, not Saudi Arabia,
ultimately sets prices; and that its monthly
export price formula is set according to a
range of marketing factors, nothing more.
Oil markets have tumbled on growing speculation that Saudi Arabia is more
concerned with maintaining market share
than supporting prices, with some traders pointing to reductions in the kingdom’s
monthly oil price formula as evidence.
Al-Naimi also dismissed this notion,
saying: “Saudi Aramco prices oil according
to sound marketing procedures, no more
and no less. These take into account a host
of scientific and practical factors, including
the state of the market.”
Foreign oil firms to
demand lucrative
terms from Iran: Total
Abu Dhabi
ran will have to offer attractive terms to draw investment
by international oil companies because the firms have
become more risk-averse and focused on profitability, a
senior executive of French oil company Total said.
A few years ago, oil majors were willing to accept tough
contract terms and take bigger security risks to gain access to oil resources in countries such as Iraq, said Stephane
Michel, Total’s president of exploration and production in
the Middle East.
Now, companies have new opportunities to exploit such
as shale oil so they emphasise profitability more, while they
have also become more disciplined about capital spending,
Michel said in an interview.
“The situation in 2015 has nothing to do with the situation in Iraq. At that time, there was some concern about
access to resources,” he said, referring to a series of deals
signed by Iraq with Total and other oil majors in 20092010.
“If we have to go back to Iran, sanctions have to be lifted
and contracts have to be profitable, otherwise there is no
point. If that is the case, be sure that Total will be in the
Iran will soon finish designing new oil contracts for foreign investors and present them to the cabinet for approval,
its oil minister said in early October.
If Tehran reaches a deal with world powers on its disputed
nuclear programme and international sanctions on Iran are
lifted, the contracts are expected to be revealed to foreign
companies next February.
“It will have to be an attractive contract. It will have to
be a good balance between the risk you are taking, the value
you are bringing and the value you get,” Michel said.
He added that the plunge in global oil prices over the last
several months would also change the way Total looked at
some projects in the Middle East in the short term. He did
not elaborate.
Al-Naimi: No price war.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Etihad to win EU nod
for 49% Alitalia buy
bu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is
set to win conditional EU antitrust approval for its purchase of 49% of Alitalia, two people
familiar with the matter said yesterday, sharpening its rivalry with European carriers on their home turf.
State-owned Etihad’s stake buy
is part of a €1.76bn ($2.19bn) rescue
plan for loss-making Alitalia.
The tie-up will provide funds for
Alitalia to invest in more profitable
long-haul routes and make it less
dependent on domestic and regional services, where it faces fierce
competition from low-cost airlines
and high-speed trains.
Etihad in turn will reinforce its
presence in Europe’s fourth-largest travel market with 25mn passengers. It already has minority
stakes in Air Berlin, Ireland’s Aer
Lingus, Virgin Australia and other
“The European Commission is
expected to approve the deal,” said
one of the sources who declined to
be named because the EU decision
is not yet official.
The sources said the EU antitrust
authority had accepted the airlines’
offer to give up some airport slots on
the Rome-Belgrade route to facilitate rivals and allay the regulator’s
concerns that the deal may reduce
“The concession is in line with
previous airline deals,” one of the
people said. Antitrust experts said
this was quite modest compared
with previous deals where some
airlines had to cede slots for two or
more routes.
“If the result is Phase I clearance
with remedies, which of course remains to be seen, it would mean that
the parties engaged in open and sin-
Bank Asya sees
after loss in Q3
An Etihad flight attendant (left) poses with an Alitalia flight attendant before a media conference in Rome. Etihad
Airways is set to win conditional EU antitrust approval for its purchase of 49% of Alitalia, sharpening its rivalry with
European carriers on their home turf.
cere discussions with the Commission early on in the process and were
quick to address any concerns the
regulator raised during the review
period,” said Andreas Kafetzopou-
los at law firm Dechert. Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso
declined to comment. Etihad and
Alitalia were not immediately available for comment. The EU executive
is scheduled to decide on the deal by
November 17. Existing shareholders, including state-owned Poste
Italiane, are also taking part in Alitalia’s rescue scheme.
Telecom Egypt
may not exit
Vodafone stake
Egypt’s fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt
said yesterday it may not
sell its 45% stake in mobile operator Vodafone
Egypt once it receives a
licence to offer its own
mobile services.
The Egyptian government, which owns 80%
of Telecom Egypt, has
said that for competition
reasons the company
would need to exit Vodafone Egypt once it has
the new unified fixed-line
and mobile licence,
which it expects to get in
coming months.
Chief Executive Mohamed Elnawawy, however, said the company
had “not been notified
of any exit date” and
could look at alternative
options such as a taking
a controlling stake in
Vodafone, if the government approved.
“Before we put large
capex in spectrum ... we
would need to look at
this asset and decide
how to evolve with this
asset to be buyers or
sellers,” Elnawawy said
in a telephone interview.
“Now this, of course, depends on their appetite
to sell or a promising
value for which to exit at
... We have not reached
that point yet.”
Elnawawy said his
company was hiring
consultants to advise
it on what to do with
its minority holdings,
including Vodafone.
Telecom Egypt agreed
in May to pay £2.5bn
($350mn) for the unified
licence that would allow
it to enter the lucrative
mobile sector, competing against Vodafone
Egypt and two other existing mobile providers.
Egypt’s government approved plans for the unified licence in September, but the contracts
have yet to be activated.
The government also
said it had set up a committee to consider how
Telecom Egypt should
exit Vodafone Egypt by
Telecom Egypt has relied
on its data business to
boost revenue.
urkey’s Asya Katilim Bankasi, pressured by the government of President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan over links to
an exiled cleric, said business conditions
are less volatile after depositor flight and a
third-quarter loss.
Since August there’s been “something of
a stabilisation period, as far as the numbers
go,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer Feyzullah Egriboyun said on a conference call.
“There are factors outside of our control,
but as far as the bank goes, everyone is focused on achieving this stability.”
The Islamic bank, founded by followers of
US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, is under
pressure from regulatory restrictions, withdrawals by government-owned companies
and attacks from pro-government media.
Erdogan accuses Gulen of orchestrating a
corruption probe into his administration
last year in an attempt to overthrow him.
Gulen denies involvement.
Bank Asya, as it’s known, lost 301mn liras
($133mn) in the third quarter, the lender’s
first unprofitable quarter since it went public
in 2006, according to a November 10 statement. The shares fell 3% in Istanbul on Tuesday, extending their decline this year to 55%.
The bank’s capital adequacy ratio was
18.32%, above both the regulatory minimum
and the industry average of 15.9%, according
to an earnings presentation.
“The bank seems to have enough of a
capital cushion to meet further withdrawals from depositors and recognize problematic loans, if any, before its capital ratio
drops below regulatory thresholds,” Cagdas
Dogan, a banking analyst at BGC Partners in
Istanbul, said by e-mail.
In September, the bank’s shares swung
between losses and gains while the regulator also halted and restarted trading several times. The government withdrew Bank
Asya’s ability to collect tax on behalf of the
state, according to an August 7 statement
from the revenue administration, while the
markets regulator also barred it from issuing
Islamic bonds that month.
Investors have been straitjacketed since
the bank was relegated to a markets watchlist
in September, a decision that Egriboyun said
has prompted shareholders to write to the
regulator. Watchlist companies trade under
conditions of heightened surveillance, and
volume is limited. Bank Asya has the highest percentage of free-floating shares of any
publicly traded Turkish bank.
Bank Asya will vote on plans to raise capital to 1.125bn liras from 900mn liras at an
extraordinary general meeting on November
22 in Istanbul. The process probably won’t
meet any regulatory challenges and should
be over by the New Year, according to Egriboyun.
The bank reported assets of 16.5bn liras,
down 41% from 27.8bn liras at the end of
2013. Deposits fell by 45% to 10.1bn liras.
In September, Bank Asya said it had
brought lawsuits against about 300 media
outlets, accusing them of a systematic slander campaign.“We would like to be forgotten
by our beloved media, and just focus on our
banking operations as we are supposed to
do,” Egriboyun said.
Bank Asya lost 301mn liras in the
third quarter, its first unprofitable
quarter since it went public in 2006
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Russian banks woo exporters
with higher rates for deposits
ussian banks cut off from US
and European capital markets by
sanctions are wooing exporters
with higher rates for deposits in euros
and dollars, according to three people
with knowledge of the situation.
Steelmaker OAO Severstal, which
raised about $2bn selling its US assets in
September, got offers to hold cash with
Russia’s two biggest lenders at rates
of 6% to 7%, compared with about 1%
from international banks, two of the
people said, asking not to be identified
as the talks were private. OAO Novolipetsk Steel has pitches for as much as
5%, one person said.
Barred by the US and the European
Union from borrowing for more than
30 days, Russia’s three biggest lenders
are seeking dollar and euro funding to
meet clients’ needs and pay back their
own debt. The sanctions, rolled out as
a pro-Russian separatist conflict flared
in eastern Ukraine, raised borrowing
costs, stoked capital outflow and led to
a record currency rout.
The banks, including state-run OAO
Sberbank and VTB Group, are willing
to pay 4.5% to 7% for long-term dollar
deposits, compared with about 1% to
2% previously, the two people said. The
biggest international banks are ready to
pay about 1%, they said.
The premium traders are willing
to pay for dollars rather than roubles
reached a record on October 10, data
compiled by Bloomberg show. The socalled three-year basis swap has since
strengthened 92.5 basis points to minus
208. Some international banks’ Russian
arms that depend on the local market
for funding have had to raise rates to
compete, Igor Bulantsev, head of Nordea Bank AB’s Moscow-based unit, said
by phone. He said his bank, which gets
funding from its Swedish parent, gives
0.1% to 1.5% rates for corporate clients’
currency deposits.
Severstal and Novolipetsk Steel,
known as NLMK, cut its ratio of net
debt to earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization to less
than 1 in the third quarter as a weakening rouble helped them reduce costs.
The rouble has slumped 22% in the past
three months, the worst performance
among about 170 currencies tracked by
Severstal has moved some cash from
international lenders, two of the people
said. Severstal’s press service declined
to comment on its bank deposits.
The steelmaker, controlled by billionaire Alexey Mordashov, will probably
keep about $1bn of its proceeds from
the US asset sale in a dollar account at
a “very good rate” after paying out the
other $1bn in dividends, Chief Financial
Officer Alexey Kulichenko told investors
on a conference call on November 5. It
is more attractive to keep the money in
dollar deposits than repay debt, he said.
Sberbank declined to comment, while
Gazprombank didn’t immediately return calls or messages. Rates have been
rising in the market, according to VTB.
“VTB’s currency deposit rates are
always in line with the market and are
competitive,” the lender’s press service said, declining to provide details
for corporate clients. “The current FX
liquidity deficit has led deposit rates to
NLMK is considering offers, Grigory
Fedorishin, NLMK’s CFO, said in an emailed response to questions, without
disclosing any details.
“We actually have received some appealing proposals for currency deposits.
It may bring us additional financial benefit given our liquidity is mostly in dollar
and euro denominated,” Fedorishin said.
Men walk past the headquarters of Sberbank in Moscow. Sberbank and VTB Group are willing to pay 4.5% to 7% for long-term
dollar deposits compared with about 1% to 2% previously.
Weak rouble
slows decline
in auto sales
slump in the Russian rouble and a state scheme to
support local car sales
slowed falls in auto sales in October to 9.9% year-on-year from
20% a month earlier, a lobby
group said yesterday.
The Association of European
Businesses said sales of new cars
and light commercial vehicles
(LCV) reached 211,365 in October
as people delayed large purchases because of a weaker economy
dragged lower by Western sanctions over Ukraine.
“Market performance in October was anything but great,
however (it is) a step forward
compared to the very weak results in recent months,” Joerg Schreiber, AEB committee
chairman, said in a statement.
It was the first time sales fell in
single rather than double figures
since April, according to Reuters
data, as cars have become one of
the biggest losers in an economic
downturn. The Russian rouble
has fallen almost 30% against the
dollar since the start of the year.
To try to curtail the slide
and boost domestic industry,
the government introduced a
scheme under which the state
provides cash incentives for
Russians to buy new cars if they
sell old ones for scrap.
“The reason behind the relative improvement is the combined effect of the scrappage
incentive supporting the sales of
domestic models, and the sharp
decline of the rouble,” Schreiber
AEB said the impact of the
two factors would be temporary,
but for now could drive a further
improvement in the market sales
statistics for November.
Gazprom Neft nine-month net profit rises 3.2% to $3bn
pence by 1146 GMT. Burberry said demand from the
Chinese, which fell significantly in recent months,
had not really improved while spending by the
Russians, which have seen the value of the rouble
collapse in the past week, also remained lower.
However, the company said it continued to trade
better than many of its peers in China, where it
bought out franchise partners three years ago and
where sales were up more than 10% in comparable
Russia’s Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas producer
Gazprom, said yesterday net profit rose 3.2% in the
nine months of 2014, year-on-year, but its growth
had been capped by weaker rouble.
Profit for the period reached 139.5bn roubles ($3bn)
and 51.9bn roubles in the third quarter, down from
57.5bn roubles in the same period last year, the
company said in a statement.
Gazprom Neft, Russia’s fourth biggest by oil production, said that losses from foreign exchange for the
nine-month period stood at 14.6bn roubles, largely
from the revaluation of its loan portfolio denominated in foreign currencies.
The Russian rouble has lost almost 30% against the
dollar since the beginning of the year, weakened in
part by sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine
Gazprom Neft said hydrocarbon production, mostly
crude oil and gas condensate, increased by 5.7%
in the nine-month period, year-on-year, to stay at
1.31mn barrels per day.
In September, Gazprom Neft was included on the
list of Russian companies under Western sanctions.
The measures limit the company’s ability to raise
funds on Western markets and prevent Western
firms from helping it on certain projects, including
in shale oil.
Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social network
and gaming firm, missed third-quarter net income
forecasts as revenue grew at its slowest rate in
seven years and sales from its lucrative mobile
gaming business dropped off.
Mobile gaming sales, the biggest driver of revenue
growth in the previous quarter, fell to 2.6bn yuan in
the three months ended September from 3bn in the
second quarter.
Tencent’s results were worse than management
had forecast, confirming investor worries that cooling sales from mobile gaming would be a drag on
the $154bn company’s results.
Tencent’s stock lost as much as 13% of its value
after company executives warned in August that
mobile gaming revenue growth could be flat during
the second half of the year.
Net income rose 46.4% to 5.66bn yuan ($923.98mn)
in the third quarter, well below estimates of 6.173bn
yuan, according to a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate poll of 10 analysts.
Earnings were held back by the slowest revenue
growth in seven years. Revenue was up 27.5% to
19.81bn yuan, versus forecasts of 20.57bn based on
a poll of 12 analysts, it said in a filing to the Hong
Kong stock exchange.
Global monthly active users of Tencent’s WeChat,
China’s biggest mobile app, rose 6.8% from the
previous quarter to 468mn monthly active users,
its slowest rate of quarterly growth since Tencent
started releasing figures.
British luxury brand Burberry said the impact of foreign exchange rates would fade after weighing on
profit and sales in the first half of its financial year.
The fashion company, which has launched a highprofile Christmas campaign featuring 12-year-old
Romeo Beckham, son of soccer star David and
designer Victoria, said trading remained tough,
“with pockets of weakness in Europe.”
Burberry reported a 12% drop in profit before tax
for the six months to September 30 to £142mn
($225mn), which was broadly in line with market
Foreign exchange rates shaved off £75mn in
revenue and £31mn in profit in the company’s fiscal
first half but should become less of a factor in the
months to come, the company said.
“At current rates, we do not expect foreign
exchange to have a material impact on underlying profits for the second half,” Burberry Finance
Director Carol Fairweather told a conference call
with journalists.
Burberry shares were down just over 1% at 1510
Encana Corp, Canada’s largest natural-gas producer, said its quarterly operating profit jumped
87% due to higher production of oil and natural gas
The company, under Chief Executive Doug Suttles,
has been focusing on boosting production of oil
and natural gas liquids (NGL) after years of weak
profits caused by its reliance on natural gas production. The company is paying for its oil acquisitions
by selling gas fields as it concentrates its operations
on seven oil and NGL-rich regions, including Eagle
Ford in Texas.
The company agreed to buy Athlon Energy in
September to gain access to a premier oil position
in the Permian Basin in Texas.
The $5.93bn deal put Encana on track to achieve
75% of operating cash flow from liquids in 2015.
Oil and NGL production jumped 79% to average
104,000 barrels per day in the third quarter ended
Sept. 30, driven in part by volumes from recently
acquired properties in the booming Eagle Ford
shale field.
Natural gas production fell 19% to 2.2bn cubic feet
per day. Encana’s cash flow, a key indicator of its
ability to pay for new projects and drilling, rose 22%
to $807mn, or $1.09 per share.
The company’s operating profit, excluding most
one-time items, rose to $281mn, or 38 cents per
share, in the quarter from $150mn, or 20 cents per
share, a year earlier.
British budget airline Flybe Group swung to a
pretax loss in the first half, hurt by one-off costs
and a charge related to its exit from its Finland joint
Flybe’s stock fell as much as 23% to 102 pence,
making it one of the top percentage losers on the
London Stock Exchange.
The carrier posted a pretax loss of £15.3mn ($24mn)
in the six months ended September 30, compared
with a profit of £13.8mn a year earlier.
Flybe was hurt by an increased flight delay claims
provision, external costs related to surplus capacity
and revaluation of US dollar aircraft loans.
The company booked an impairment charge
related to the sale of its 60% stake in loss-making
Flybe Finland to partner Finnair.
Citing slower capacity growth and higher market
costs, Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo cut his full-year
forecast to a “small pre-tax loss”.
The embattled carrier had only just returned to
profitability last year, helped by brutal cost-cutting
that involved giving up airport slots, slashing jobs,
exiting unprofitable flight routes and grounding
surplus fleet.
However, new EU 261 flight delay compensation
regulations that dictate procedure in events of de-
nied boarding, flight cancellations, or long delays of
flights, forced the company to record a 6mn pound
provision in the first half.
Spain’s Telefonica pointed to a rise in customers
signing up for its mobile, broadband and pay-TV
deals as evidence of a turnaround from its threeyear slump after posting falling revenue and profit
in the first nine months of the year.
The trend echoed that at British and Dutch rivals
Vodafone and KPN, which have started to benefit
from their investments in faster networks, though
Telefonica’s trading improvement may need a few
more months to feed into the bottom line.
Telefonica, which has lost more than a third of its
revenue and core profit in Spain as cash-strapped
consumers reduce their telecoms spending, is
betting on the take-up of bundled packages that
combine mobile and fixed-line phones, high-speed
Internet and TV and on its heavy investment in
fibre-optic networks.
Europe’s biggest telecoms group by revenue
reported net profit down 9.4% during the period to
€2.85bn ($3.56bn), beating the €2.84bn expected
by analysts. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) dropped 12.6%, to
€12.33bn and revenue shrank 10.9% to €37.98bn.
Germany’s largest utility E.ON posted a 7% profit
drop in the first nine months of the year, blaming
low wholesale prices as well as a weak rouble that
hit business in Russia, its most important foreign
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) fell to €6.64bn ($8.29bn) in
the January-September period. In Russia, EBITDA
was down by nearly a fifth at €401mn.
Russia, has been hit by a weakening rouble - down
more than a quarter against the euro so far this
year - due to Western economic sanctions over
Ukraine. “The political crisis in Ukraine could have
an impact on the gas supply and our activities in
Russia,” the company said on Wednesday, adding
its Russian business was currently operating
“largely according to plan”.
Last year, the Russian market accounted for 1.5% of
E.ON’s sales and 7.4% of the group’s EBITDA.
Germany, Europe’s biggest gas market, relies on
supplies from Russia, which accounted for about
39% of German natural gas imports last year, while
E.ON itself gets as much as half the gas it needs
from Gazprom.
Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer, said
it had swung to a profit in the third quarter from a
loss a year ago thanks to rising metal prices and
cost reductions.
The Hong Kong-listed company said it saw a net
profit of $220mn in the three months ending
September 30, compared with a $172mn loss for the
same period last year.
In a statement the Moscow-based firm said the
reversal came on the back of procurement savings
and cost cutting, with chief executive Oleg Deripaska adding that increasing demand was spurring
the sector. “Healthy consumption growth coupled
with production curtailments have led to a deficit in
the global market,” excluding China, he said.
Cost controls and increasing margins had also
helped produce “significantly improved third-quarter results” he added.
Rusal’s results were the second consecutive quarterly profit jump after it posted a $116mn profit in
June which bounced it back into the black for the
first time since early 2013.
Over nine months, the company saw a 0.2% growth
in profits, compared with an eight% loss for the
same period in 2013. Adjusted earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the
third quarter rose to $470mn from $220mn in previous three months.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Comex copper steals march over LME in battle for Asia trade
Asian traders are increasingly choosing
CME Group over the London Metal
Exchange (LME) for buying and selling
copper, as they seek to cut costs and
complexity of trade.
The trend could mean an erosion of
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing’s
(HKEx) dominant market share in its
premier metals contract on home turf.
The HKEx purchased the LME two years
ago for $2.2bn.
CME’s Comex copper contract traded
volumes during Asian hours have
exceeded that of the LME’s three-month
contract in more than 80% of trading
days over the three months to endOctober, an analysis of tonnage traded
electronically showed.
While only data over the past three
months is available to Reuters, traders
say the trend has emerged this year and
become more noticeable in the past six
months. At stake for the two exchanges
is business from a new breed of users in
the biggest copper consuming region
in the world.
Chinese hedge funds have become a
new force in metals markets, evident
in a huge Shanghai-driven price rout in
March, as their US peers bow out, hurt
by higher regulatory costs.
The China funds are turning to the
CME for copper as they are finding its
monthly contracts cheaper and simpler
to use, industry participants said. Many
already trade its oil and gold futures
Comex copper is a standardised futures
contract with a single settlement date
each month. Positions are marked to
market on a daily basis and can be
netted out within each month, giving
opportunities to realise profits more
But the LME is a forwards market, so
a profit or loss on a contract can only
be realised at the time of settlement,
meaning traders have to carry positions
on their balance sheet until they expire.
That means players need to keep
more capital at hand compared with
Comex trading, a risk that can deter
some potential new entrants, like the
China funds, who may favour simpler
“A large part of it is the big Chinese
hedge funds,” said one Hong Kongbased broker, citing the reason for the
jump in Asian trades on Comex. “They
have trouble getting their heads around
the LME’s prompt date system. They
prefer the monthlies because they’re
easier to trade and now are more
The LME contract can be more volatile,
since liquidity is spread across daily
dates out to three months, rather
than as a single monthly date (see
graphic). And traders can only access
LME contracts via an LME member’s
network, unlike the CME where they
can access the exchange’s contracts
“It’s only in the last six months or so
that Comex volumes are larger than
LME volumes on a day-to-day basis.
But it almost feels now that it has taken
over,” said a trader in Singapore.
CME acknowledged the growing
interest in Comex copper from China.
“We are seeing strong interest from
Chinese commercials in testing out
our physical delivery mechanisms of
copper and aluminium contracts as
they see the significant increased use
of Comex futures onshore as a hedging
tool,” said Yvonne Zhang, director,
metal products, at CME.
When asked to comment about
LME losing market share in its
Asian business to the CME, an LME
spokeswoman said in an emailed reply
that in the year to June, 17% of all threemonth outright business traded on
the LME electronically was transacted
during Asian hours.
Some physical traders have been drawn
to Comex copper and away from the
LME product because the LME has
flagged a 34% increase in trading fees
for next year, said another broker in
Hong Kong.
“Certain types of clients, even the
physical guys, try to use (Comex
copper) as an element of their business
strategy – cheaper exchange fees,
cheaper commissions, and simpler
pricing,” the broker said.
To be sure, the data analysed by
Reuters does not give the full measure
of LME’s relevance. The data does not
capture Asia-based industrial hedging
business priced through the LME’s rings
or bilateral deals that use the LME as
reference for pricing.
The LME’s copper contract is still the
world’s biggest by volume.
It accounted for two-thirds of the
combined 1.14bn tonnes of copper
traded electronically in the year to
The Shanghai Futures Exchange
notched up nearly one quarter of the
total traded, while Comex copper
volumes stood at just over a tenth, data
from the exchanges shows.
Still, the LME is working to funnel more
liquidity into a particular expiration
date each month, sources told Reuters
last month, while owner HKEx said last
week it may revise its planned fee hike.
“Genuine hedging still takes place on
the global benchmark, which is the
LME,” the Singapore trader said.
Rupee up
on foreign
fund inflows
Sensex rallies to record
high as ICICI surges
ndia’s benchmark stock-index
rose to a record before data that
may show retail inflation eased to
a three-year low, increasing room for
the central bank to lower borrowing
ICICI Bank climbed to an all-time
high, leading peers higher. Tata Motors,
owner of Jaguar Land Rover, climbed the
first time in four days, sending a gauge
of auto companies to a record. Cigarette maker ITC, which has the highest
weighting in the S&P BSE Sensex, added
The Sensex increased 0.4% to a record
28,008.90 at the close. Consumer prices
probably climbed 5.67% last month, a
Bloomberg survey showed.
That would be the smallest gain since
the index was created in early 2012.
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has kept the repurchase
rate at 8% after raising it three times
between September 2013 and January.
The next policy review is on December 2.
“Interest rates are going to go down,
it might happen in December or six
months later but the direction is very
clear,” Sunil Singhania, head of equity
investments at Reliance Capital Asset Management, India’s third-biggest
fund house with $20bn in assets, said in
Mumbai yesterday.
“Over the next three to four months,
there are expectations of a rate cut, an
upgrade in rating and a budget that will
differentiate us from rest of the world.”
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap Index added
0.5% to a record 10,133.27, taking this
year’s rally to 51%.
An index of small-sized companies
has surged 71% in 2014, more than double the 32% advance in the Sensex.
A drop in Brent to near a four-year
low will cut import costs for the country that buys 80% of its crude from
abroad, further easing price pressures,
Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said
by phone today. Rajan aims to limit
consumer-price gains to 8% by January
2015 and 6% a year later.
The government also releases industrial production data yesterday.
People walk past by the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai. The Sensex increased 0.4% to a record 28,008.90 points at the close yesterday.
Factory output rose 0.8% from a year
earlier in September, after August’s
0.4% increase that was the slowest
since a drop in March, another Bloomberg survey showed.
ICICI Bank added 1.4% to a record.
Axis Bank jumped 3.1% to an all-time
high for the best performance on the
Sensex today.
The gauge has rallied 85% this year,
the second-best performer on the
Sensex.Tata Motors increased 2%, helping a gauge of auto companies to a second day of gains.
Tiremakers Ceat, JK Tyre & Industries
and Apollo Tyres jumped to a record.
Tata Steel, the biggest producer of the
alloy, said after market hours today sec-
ond-quarter profit of Rs12.5bn, beating
the Rs7bn estimated by analysts in a
Bloomberg survey.
The stock dropped 2.5%.Seventeen
of the 22 Sensex companies that have
reported earnings so far have beaten or
matched estimates.
Global investors bought a net $98mn
of local shares on November 11, taking
this year’s inflow to $15.1bn, the most
among eight Asian markets tracked by
The Sensex has increased 32% this
year, the best performer among the
world’s 30 biggest markets, and is valued
at 15.6 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging
Markets Index’s multiple of 11.
he rupee gained yesterday as heavy foreign fund
buying of debt and equities boosted the local unit, but
good demand for the greenback
from state-run banks and caution ahead of retail inflation data
prevented further gains.
Foreign institutional investors have been buying both
shares and debt in recent weeks,
helping stocks climb to record
highs for a second time this
week while the benchmark 10year bond yield dropped to a
15-month low.
So far in November, foreign funds have bought shares
worth $1.36bn and debt worth
$597mn, taking total inflows
so far this year to $15.1bn and
$23.1bn in the two asset classes
Traders will take opening cues
for Thursday from the retail inflation data which will be released after market hours amid
rising expectations that the
central bank may opt for earlierthan-anticipated rate cuts if inflation falls faster.
A Reuters survey of economists and analysts predicted
consumer price inflation cooled
to an annual 5.80% in October,
a record-low, dragged by a sharp
drop in food and oil prices.
“Good retail inflation should
be positive for the rupee, but
since state banks are buying
dollars at every level, I don’t
see much appreciation for the
rupee,” said Paresh Nayar, head
of fixed income and foreign exchange trading at First Rand
“Sixty-one remains a good
support for the pair in the near
It appears the RBI doesn’t
want the INR to strengthen so
as to remain competitive on the
exports front,” he added.
The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.4925/5000 per
dollar compared with 61.55/56
on Tuesday.
Traders also said volumes in
the foreign exchange market
were impacted and were down
to just a little over half the usual
volumes on back of the strike at
most banks.
Asian markets mostly rise; Nikkei extends gains
A woman walks past a share prices board in Tokyo. Japanese stocks closed up
0.43% at 17,197.05 points yesterday.
sian markets were mostly higher
yesterday as Tokyo extended a
rally after the dollar broke ¥116
for the first time in seven years, while
speculation swirls that Japan may put
off another unpopular sales tax hike.
Wall Street provided support for
buyers again after the Dow and S&P
500 squeezed out another record for a
fifth straight session, while investors
await the release this week of Chinese
indicators and a G20 summit at the
Tokyo added 0.43%, or 72.94 points,
at 17,197.05, Seoul rose 0.22%, or 4.27
points, to close at 1,967.27 and Hong
Kong advanced 0.55%, or 129.90
points, to 23,938.18, while Shanghai put on 1.00%, or 24.81 points, to
However, Sydney gave up 0.98%, or
54.0 points, to close at 5,463.1.
In other markets, Bangkok fell
0.58%, or 9.17 points, to 1,562.03;
Bangkok Life Assurance lost 6.64% to
52.75 baht, while Bangchak Petroleum
dropped 2.14% to 34.25 baht.
Jakarta closed 0.33% higher, or 16.56
points, at 5,048.84; cement maker Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa gained
1.08% to 23,425 rupiah and cigarette
maker Gudang Garam rose 0.04% to
60,275 rupiah.
Singapore closed down 0.26%, or
8.44 points, to 3,283.71; oil rig maker
Keppel Corp fell 1.06% to Sg$9.31
while vehicle distributor Jardine Cycle & Carriage declined 0.25% to
Kuala Lumpur fell 8.87 points, or
0.49%, to close at 1,816.24; AMMB
Holdings went down 2.0% to 6.36
ringgit while Maybank lost 1.43% to
9.65. Tenaga Nasional gained 1.98% to
13.40 ringgit.
Taipei fell 1.28%, or 115.19 points,
to 8,918.95; Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co lost 1.49% to end at
Tw$132.0 while Acer was 1.23% lower
at Tw$20.0.
Wellington was flat, edging down
2.90 points to 5,487.88; Fletcher Build-
ing closed 1.40% off at NZ$8.45 and
Spark eased 0.15% to NZ$3.24.
Manila closed 0.39% higher, adding 28.32 points to 7,232.87; Bloomberry Resorts climbed 2.90% to 13.50
pesos and GT Capital was 1.84% up at
1,052pesos, while Ayala Land advanced
1.73% to 35.35 pesos.
Japanese shares have surged almost
12% since the end of October, helped
by the Bank of Japan’s decision to widen its monetary easing, which sent the
yen plunging.
They were given fresh momentum
yesterday as investors digested speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
is mulling a delay to a sales tax hike as
the economy struggles to overcome the
impact of a rise in April.
The increase seven months ago has
been blamed for throwing a tentative
economic recovery into reverse and
threatens another technical recession.
Major Japanese newspapers reported yesterday that Abe may call a snap
election next month if he decides to
put off the second tax hike.
His ruling coalition would be likely
to win the election, which would be
greeted positively by the stock market
and trigger fresh yen-selling, analysts
In foreign exchange deals, the dollar
was at ¥115.38 against ¥115.74 in New
York, where it at one point topped ¥116
for the first time since October 2007.
The euro jumped to ¥144.06, compared with ¥144.38 in US trade, while
it also bought $1.2485 against $1.2474.
“Speculation about the sales tax deferment is going to cause the currency
markets to be volatile for a while, and
that could result in more stock market
volatility as well,” said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten
On Wall Street, the Dow ended higher, adding 0.01%, while the S&P 500
edged up 0.07%, both posting record
closes for five straight sessions. The
Nasdaq added 0.19%.
Oil prices slipped. US benchmark
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery fell 59 cents to $77.35 while
Brent crude for December was down
70 cents at $80.97.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Company Name
Company Name
Zad Holding Co
Widam Food Co
Vodafone Qatar
United Development Co
Salam International Investme
Qatar & Oman Investment Co
Qatar Navigation
Qatar National Cement Co
Qatar National Bank
Qatar Islamic Insurance
Qatar Industrial Manufactur
Qatar International Islamic
Qatari Investors Group
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)
Qatar General Insurance & Re
Qatar German Co For Medical
Qatar Fuel Co
Qatar Electricity & Water Co
Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib
Qatar Insurance Co
Ooredoo Qsc
National Leasing
Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi
Al Meera Consumer Goods Co
Medicare Group
Mannai Corporation Qsc
Masraf Al Rayan
Al Khalij Commercial Bank
Industries Qatar
Islamic Holding Group
Gulf Warehousing Company
Gulf International Services
Ezdan Holding Group
Doha Insurance Co
Doha Bank Qsc
Dlala Holding
Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc
Barwa Real Estate Co
Al Khaleej Takaful Group
Aamal Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Saudi Hollandi Bank
Al-Ahsa Development Co.
Al-Baha Development & Invest
Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur
Allied Cooperative Insurance
Arriyadh Development Company
Fitaihi Holding Group
Arabia Insurance Cooperative
Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv
Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran
Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur
Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev
Al Babtain Power & Telecommu
Bank Albilad
Alujain Corporation (Alco)
Aldrees Petroleum And Transp
Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C
Alinma Bank
Alinma Tokio Marine
Al Khaleej Training And Educ
Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son
Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera
Almarai Co
Saudi Integrated Telecom Co
Alsorayai Group
Al Tayyar
Amana Cooperative Insurance
Anaam International Holding
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Arabian Pipes Co
Advanced Petrochemicals Co
Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative
Arabian Cement
Arab National Bank
Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co
United Wire Factories Compan
Astra Industrial Group
Alahli Takaful Co
Axa Cooperative Insurance
Basic Chemical Industries
Bishah Agriculture
Bank Al-Jazira
Banque Saudi Fransi
United International Transpo
Bupa Arabia For Cooperative
Buruj Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Airlines Catering Co
Methanol Chemicals Co
City Cement Co
Eastern Cement
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat
Etihad Etisalat Co
Emaar Economic City
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu
United Electronics Co
Falcom Saudi Equity Etf
Filing & Packing Materials M
Wafrah For Industry And Deve
Falcom Petrochemical Etf
Gulf General Cooperative Ins
Jazan Development Co
Gulf Union Cooperative Insur
Halwani Bros Co
Hail Cement
Herfy Food Services Co
Al Jouf Agriculture Developm
Jarir Marketing Co
Jabal Omar Development Co
Al Jouf Cement
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
Knowledge Economic City
Kingdom Holding Co
Saudi Arabian Mining Co
Malath Cooperative & Reinsur
Makkah Construction & Devepl
Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran
Middle East Specialized Cabl
Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co
Al Mouwasat Medical Services
The National Agriculture Dev
Najran Cement Co
Nama Chemicals Co
National Gypsum
National Gas & Industrializa
National Industrialization C
National Shipping Co Of/The
National Petrochemical Co
Rabigh Refining And Petroche
Al Qassim Agricultural Co
Qassim Cement/The
Red Sea Housing Services Co
Saudi Research And Marketing
Riyad Bank
Al Rajhi Bank
Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Saudi British Bank
Sabb Takaful
Saudi Basic Industries Corp
Saudi Cement
Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co
Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran
Saudi Advanced Industries
Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co
Salama Cooperative Insurance
Samba Financial Group
Sanad Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Public Transport Co
Saudi Arabia Refineries Co
Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf
Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei
Saudi Cable Co
Saudi Chemical Company
Saudi Ceramic
Saudi Electricity Co
Saudi Fisheries
Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co
Saudi Hotels & Resort
Arabian Shield Cooperative
Saudi Investment Bank/The
Saudi Industrial Development
Saudi Industrial Export Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Securities Group Co
Sultan Center Food Products
Kuwait Foundry Co
Kuwait Financial Centre
Ajial Real Estate Entmt
Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc
Kuwait Finance & Investment
National Industries Co
Kuwait Real Estate Holding C
Securities House/The
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co
Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)
National Bank Of Kuwait
Commercial Bank Of Kuwait
Kuwait International Bank
Gulf Bank
Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co
Al Arabiya Real Estate Co
Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co
Alkout Industrial Projects C
A’ayan Real Estate Co
Investors Holding Group Co.K
Markaz Real Estate Fund
Al-Mazaya Holding Co
Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co
Gulf Petroleum Investment
Mabanee Co Sakc
City Group
Inovest Co Bsc
Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing
Al-Deera Holding Co
Alshamel International Hold
United Industries Co
Mena Real Estate Co
National Slaughter House
Amar Finance & Leasing Co
United Projects Group Kscc
National Consumer Holding Co
Amwal International Investme
Jeeran Holdings
Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C
Nafais Holding
Safwan Trading & Contracting
Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate
Gulf Finance House Ec
Energy House Holding Co Kscc
Kuwait Slaughter House Co
Kuwait Co For Process Plant
Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K
National Ranges Company
Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser
Al-Themar Real International
Al-Ahleia Insurance Co
Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co
Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C
Aqar Real Estate Investments
Hayat Communications
Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg
Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc
Alargan International Real
Burgan Co For Well Drilling
Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc
Oula Fuel Marketing Co
Palms Agro Production Co
Ikarus Petroleum Industries
Mubarrad Transport Co
Al Mowasat Health Care Co
Shuaiba Industrial Co
Kuwait Invest Co Holding
Hits Telecom Holding
First Takaful Insurance Co
Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co
National Cleaning Company
Eyas For High & Technical Ed
United Real Estate Company
Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv
Fujairah Cement Industries
Livestock Transport & Tradng
International Resorts Co
National Industries Grp Hold
Marine Services Co
Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate
Warba Insurance Co
Kuwait United Poultry Co
First Dubai Real Estate Deve
Al Arabi Group Holding Co
Kuwait Hotels Co
Mobile Telecommunications Co
Al Safat Real Estate Co
Tamdeen Real Estate Co Kscc
Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co
Kuwait Cement Co Ksc
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Kuwait Portland Cement Co
Educational Holding Group
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Kuwait China Investment Co
Kuwait Investment Co
Burgan Bank
Kuwait Projects Co Holdings
Al Madina For Finance And In
Kuwait Insurance Co
Al Masaken Intl Real Estate
Intl Financial Advisors
First Investment Co Kscc
Al Mal Investment Company
Bayan Investment Co Kscc
Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae
Coast Investment Development
Privatization Holding Compan
Kuwait Medical Services Co
Injazzat Real State Company
Kuwait Cable Vision Sak
Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Aviation Lease And Finance C
Arzan Financial Group For Fi
Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co
Manafae Investment Co
Kuwait Business Town Real Es
Future Kid Entertainment And
Specialities Group Holding C
Abyaar Real Eastate Developm
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C
Al-Dar National Real Estate
Kgl Logistics Company Kscc
Combined Group Contracting
Zima Holding Co Ksc
Qurain Holding Co
Boubyan Intl Industries Hold
Gulf Investment House
Boubyan Bank K.S.C
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Al-Safat Tec Holding Co
Al-Eid Food Co
Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co
Advanced Technology Co
Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C
Kout Food Group
Real Estate Trade Centers Co
Acico Industries Co Kscc
Kipco Asset Management Co
National Petroleum Services
Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc
Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport
Human Soft Holding Co
Automated Systems Co
Metal & Recycling Co
Gulf Franchising Holding Co
Al-Enma’a Real Estate Co
National Mobile Telecommuni
Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc
Union Real Estate Co
Housing Finance Co Sak
Al Salam Group Holding Co
United Foodstuff Industries
Al Aman Investment Company
Mashaer Holdings
Manazel Holding
Mushrif Trading & Contractin
Tijara And Real Estate Inves
Kuwait Building Materials
Jazeera Airways
Commercial Real Estate Co
Future Communications Co
National International Co
Taameer Real Estate Invest C
Gulf Cement Co
Heavy Engineering And Ship B
Refrigeration Industries & S
National Real Estate Co
Al Safat Energy Holding Comp
Kuwait National Cinema Co
Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co
Independent Petroleum Group
Kuwait Real Estate Co
Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc
Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind
Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C
Kuwait Finance House
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Voltamp Energy Saog
United Finance Co
United Power Co
United Power/Energy Co- Pref
Al Madina Investment Co
Taageer Finance
Salalah Port Services
A’saffa Foods Saog
Sohar Poultry
Shell Oman Marketing
Shell Oman Marketing - Pref
Smn Power Holding Saog
Al Shurooq Inv Ser
Al Sharqiya Invest Holding
Sohar Power Co
Salalah Beach Resort Saog
Salalah Mills Co
Sahara Hospitality
Renaissance Services Saog
Raysut Cement Co
Port Service Corporation
Packaging Co Ltd
Oman United Insurance Co
Oman Textile Holding Co Saog
Oman Telecommunications Co
Sweets Of Oman
Oman Orix Leasing Co.
Oman Refreshment Co
Oman Packaging
Oman Oil Marketing Company
0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref
Oman National Investment Co
Oman National Engineering An
Oman National Dairy Products
Oman Medical Projects
Oman Ceramic Com
Oman Intl Marketing
Oman Investment & Finance
Hsbc Bank Oman
Oman Hotels & Tourism Co
Oman Holding International
Oman Fiber Optics
Oman Flour Mills
Oman Filters Industry
Oman Fisheries Co
Oman Education & Training In
Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
Oman Europe Foods Industries
Oman Cement Co
Oman Chlorine
Oman Chromite
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Agricultural Dev
Omani Qatari Telecommunicati
National Securities
Oman Foods International Soa
National Pharmaceutical-Rts
National Pharmaceutical
National Packaging Fac
National Mineral Water
National Hospitality Institu
National Gas Co
National Finance Co
National Detergents/The
National Carpet Factory
National Bank Of Oman Saog
National Biscuit Industries
National Real Estate Develop
Natl Aluminium Products
Muscat Thread Mills Co
Muscat Insurance Company
Modern Poultry Farms
Muscat National Holding
Musandam Marketing & Invest
Al Maha Petroleum Products M
Muscat Gases Company Saog
Majan Glass Company
Muscat Finance
Al Kamil Power Co
Interior Hotels
Hotels Management Co Interna
Al-Hassan Engineering Co
Gulf Stone
Gulf Mushroom Company
Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar
Gulf Investments Services
Gulf International Chemicals
Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd
Global Fin Investment
Galfar Engineering&Contract
Galfar Engineering -Prefer
Financial Services Co.
Flexible Ind Packages
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Financial Corp/The
Dhofar Tourism
Dhofar Poultry
Aloula Co
Dhofar Intl Development
Dhofar Insurance
Dhofar University
Dhofar Power Co
Dhofar Power Co-Pfd
Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu
Dhofar Cattlefeed
Al Batinah Dev & Inv
Dhofar Beverages Co
Computer Stationery Inds
Construction Materials Ind
Cement & Gypsum Pro
Marine Bander Al-Rowdha
Bank Sohar
Bankmuscat Saog
Bank Dhofar Saog
Al Batinah Hotels
Majan College
Areej Vegetable Oils
Al Jazeera Steel Products Co
Al Sallan Food Industry
Acwa Power Barka Saog
Al-Omaniya Financial Service
Taghleef Industries Saog
Gulf Plastic Industries Co
Al Jazeera Services
Al Jazerah Services -Pfd
Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co
Ahli Bank
Abrasives Manufacturing Co S
Al-Batinah Intl Saog
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
National Takaful Company
Waha Capital Pjsc
Union Insurance Co
Union National Bank/Abu Dhab
United Insurance Company
Union Cement Co
United Arab Bank
Abu Dhabi National Takaful C
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Sorouh Real Estate Company
Sharjah Insurance Company
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Ras Al Khaima Poultry
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Rak Properties
Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics
Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co
National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai
Ooredoo Qsc
Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
National Marine Dredging Co
National Corp Tourism & Hote
Sharjah Islamic Bank
National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw
National Bank Of Fujairah
National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Methaq Takaful Insurance
#N/A Invalid Security
Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp
Invest Bank
Insurance House
Gulf Medical Projects
Gulf Livestock Co
Green Crescent Insurance Co
Gulf Cement Co
Foodco Holding
Finance House
First Gulf Bank
Fujairah Cement Industries
Fujairah Building Industries
Emirates Telecom Corporation
Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc
Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)
Emirates Driving Company
Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S.
Dana Gas
Commercial Bank Internationa
Bank Of Sharjah
Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi
Al Wathba National Insurance
Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak
Arkan Building Materials Co
Aldar Properties Pjsc
Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co.
Al Khazna Insurance Co
Agthia Group Pjsc
Al Fujairah National Insuran
Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co
Abu Dhabi National Insurance
Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Aviation
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
United Paper Industries Bsc
United Gulf Investment Corp
United Gulf Bank
United Finance Co
Trafco Group Bsc
Takaful International Co
Taib Bank -$Us
Securities & Investment Co
Seef Properties
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Al-Salam Bank
Delmon Poultry Co
National Hotels Co
National Bank Of Bahrain
Nass Corp Bsc
Khaleeji Commercial Bank
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Investcorp Bank -$Us
Inovest Co Bsc
Intl Investment Group-Kuwait
Gulf Monetary Group
Global Investment House Kscc
Gulf Finance House Ec
Bahrain Family Leisure Co
Esterad Investment Co B.S.C.
Bahrain Duty Free Complex
Bahrain Car Park Co
Bahrain Cinema Co
Bahrain Tourism Co
Bahraini Saudi Bank/The
Bahrain National Holding
Bankmuscat Saog
Bmmi Bsc
Bmb Investment Bank
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Bahrain Islamic Bank
Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C
Bahrain Flour Mills Co
Bahrain Commercial Facilitie
Bbk Bsc
Bahrain Telecom Co
Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin
Albaraka Banking Group
Banader Hotels Co
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Lt Price
% Chg
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Company Name
Exxon Mobil Corp
Microsoft Corp
Johnson & Johnson
General Electric Co
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Chevron Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Pfizer Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
At&T Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intl Business Machines Corp
Intel 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 gloomy news of huge fines slapped on top European and US banks sent Barclays shares tumbling 2.17% to 229.50 pence
at the close in London trading.
European stocks slide as banks
hit with huge forex rigging fine
uropean equities fell yesterday
as global regulators fined five top
European and US banks $3.2bn
over alleged foreign exchange rigging.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped 0.25% to close at 6,611.04
points, with sentiment hit also by disappointing company results.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 sank 1.69%
to 9.210,96 points, and in Paris the
CAC 40 plunged 1.51% to 4,179.88
compared with Tuesday’s closing
The escalating crisis in Ukraine
which threatens to erupt into all-out
war after two months of a fragile truce
also weighed on Europe’s main indices.
British, US and Swiss regulators
announced yesterday fines worth a
total of €2.5bn against five major US
and European banks for attempting to
manipulate the foreign exchange (FX)
The hefty fines centred on London,
the world’s biggest hub for the $5.3tnper-day forex market.
British banks HSBC and Royal Bank
of Scotland (RBS), US peers Citigroup
and JPMorgan Chase, and Swiss lender
UBS have all been fined by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and
the US Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC).
The FCA slapped the five banking
giants with a total penalty of £1.1bn
($1.7bn, €1.4bn), while the CFTC fined
them $1.4bn.
However, British bank Barclays —
which was at the heart of the 2012 Libor rate-rigging affair — was not included in the settlements and remains
under investigation.
The gloomy news sent Barclays
shares tumbling 2.17% to 229.50 pence
at the close in London trading.
Shares in state-owned RBS, meanwhile, slid 0.95% to 374.10 pence, and
HSBC shed 0.30% to 635.60 pence.
The regulators’ crackdown also
drove down banking shares on Wall
Street at the open yesterday.
After five straight record sessions,
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
the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
down 0.24% at 17,572 points in early
The broad-market S&P 500 fell
0.19% to 2,035.72, and the tech-rich
Nasdaq Composite lost 0.12% to
Fears that more US banks will soon
be hit as well with big fines for rigging
the massive foreign exchange market
sent their shares lower.
Shares in the two US banks which
were fined fell, with JPMorgan losing
1.1% and Citigroup sliding 0.7%.
Other US peers were also affected,
with Goldman Sachs losing 1.1%, Bank
of America 0.6%, and American Express 0.4%.
In yesterday’s foreign exchange
deals, the European single currency
stabilised to $1.2463 from $1.2474 late
in New York on Tuesday.
The euro rose to 78.80 British pence
from 78.34, while the British pound fell
to $1.5932 from $1.5920 on Tuesday.
On the London Bullion Market, the
price of gold ended at $1,164.50 an
ounce from a $1,156.50 late on Tuesday.
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
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Takata’s airbag deficiency
explodes into global crisis
apanese auto parts maker Takata is facing the
biggest test in its 80-year history amid lawsuits,
a possible criminal probe, and accusations of
“deception and obfuscation” over an airbag defect
linked to several US deaths.
The company’s shares have plunged as a pair
of US senators call for a criminal probe, while the
New York Times reported that the world’s secondbiggest airbag maker covered up the fatal defect for
years – investigators are probing key client Honda
over similar allegations.
The problems at Tokyo-based Takata have also
laid bare the challenges of a global supply chain.
Nearly a dozen automotive clients including Honda,
Toyota and General Motors are recalling millions of
cars over fears their airbags could improperly inflate
and rupture, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at
the occupants.
Former Takata employees told the Times that
secret tests were conducted a full decade ago to investigate the defect, but executives ordered the destruction of data that exposed design flaws.
The allegations have set off a string of lawsuits
over four possible airbag-related deaths, and hundreds of injuries.
“Instead of safely deploying airbags to protect
vehicle occupants, the defective Takata inflators...
explode, sending metal and plastic shrapnel into
the vehicle cabin,” said US law firm Hagens Berman,
which is involved in a class-action lawsuit against
Takata and Honda.
“Rather than take the issue head-on and immediately do everything in their power to prevent further injury and loss of life, Takata and Honda have
engaged in a ten-year pattern of deception and obfuscation.”
A man arranges airbag cushions manufactured by Japanese car parts maker Takata at a factory in Sibiu,
Bucharest. The Japan firm is facing the biggest test in its 80-year history amid lawsuits, a possible criminal
probe, and accusations of deception and obfuscation over an airbag defect linked to several US deaths.
Attention has focused on a Takata plant in Mexico
amid suspicions the defect may be linked to a chemical propellant used to inflate the airbags which can
more easily rupture in areas with high humidity.
Police reportedly investigated at least one driver
death in the US as a murder due to woman’s grisly
injuries, until their focus switched to the vehicle’s
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the US auto safety regulator, has
expanded its “urgent” warning to owners of cars
with affected airbags to take them to dealers to fix
the problem. “Fines from US regulatory organisations are not known at present, but could be significant depending on the outcome of the current investigations,” US-based auto analyst Scott Upham
said in an e-mail to AFP, as he pointed to Toyota’s
deal this year to pay $1.2bn to settle US criminal
charges that it tried to cover up deadly vehicle accelerator defects.
Upham also warned of a criminal prosecution of
Takata executives if the “allegations of testing data
deletion, destroying of test samples and not reporting these issues to the US government are indeed
true”. Its brand will be “tarnished in the eyes of Japanese automakers but more impact will be felt from
American and European automakers”, he added.
Founded in 1933 as a textile company, Takata
evolved into an automotive parts giant that started
selling airbags in the 1980s and now has dozens of
plants and offices in 20 countries, including the
US,China and Mexico.
The airbag division accounts for about 40% of
its total revenue, which amounted to ¥556.99bn
($4.88bn) last fiscal year.
Takata has warned over a bigger-than-expected
annual loss, but has kept largely silent on the defect
that has plunged the firm into crisis.
Executive vice President Yoichiro Nomura told a
Tokyo press briefing last week that the firm “sincerely apologises” for the defect.
But when asked about its seemingly flat-footed
public relations response, Nomura said: “We want
to make announcements appropriately.”
Major automakers have shied away from discussing their future relationship with Takata, but
a quick switch is unlikely given the Japanese giant’s
foothold in the sector. Still, parts sourcing for the
2019-2020 model years is happening right now, and
a Toyota executive last month said the world’s biggest automaker wants to replace the defective part
“with something of better quality”.
Alibaba’s Ma: Being richest is ‘great pain’
e may now be China’s richest
man but Jack Ma, the founder
of e-commerce giant Alibaba,
has admitted in a US television interview that being so wealthy is actually
causing him “great pain”.
Ma has seen his fortune balloon to
$19.5bn after Alibaba’s record-breaking $25bn initial public offering on
the New York Stock Exchange in Sep-
tember, according to data compiled by
Forbes magazine.
On Tuesday, the company chalked up
a new record – $9.3bn of sales conducted through its platforms during Singles
Day, its 24-hour shopping promotion
and the world’s biggest online retail
event. But a successful stock listing and
vast fortunes have caused him stress,
Ma said in an interview with US business news channel CNBC on Tuesday.
“This month I’m not very happy – I
think too much pressure,” Ma told the
broadcaster. “Maybe the stock goes so
up, maybe people have high expectations on you, maybe I think too much
about the future and have too many
things to worry about,” he said. Alibaba’s share price has been on a steady
uptrend since it debuted in New York
two months ago. It closed at $114.54
on Tuesday, representing a nearly 70%
gain from its offer price of $68.
Ma said that people often tell him
that being rich “is good” but admitted
he found being the wealthiest man in
China difficult.
“Yeah, it is good, but not the richest
man in China. It’s a great pain because
when you’re (the) richest person in the
world, everybody (is) surrounding you
for money,” Ma told CNBC. He added
that people now looked at him differently when he walked down the street
and added: “spending money is much
more difficult than making money.”
His remarks echoed what he told
state media in early October when he
said being named China’s richest man
is “meaningless”.
“My happiest days were when I used
to earn 90 yuan ($15) a month,” Ma
once told state media.
He is looking at the possibility to
establish a foundation to spend money “in a business way” and may even
compete with US billionaire Bill Gates
in the field of philanthropy, according
to CNBC.
Ma was ranked as China’s most generous person after he donated a 1.4%
stake in his firm to set up a charity focused on the environment, healthcare
and education, according to a survey by wealth publisher Hurun in late
India industrial
output rises 2.5%
India’s industrial
production grew by a
2.5% in September,
according to government
data released yesterday,
boosted by consumer
demand during the main
religious festival season,
while retail price inflation
fell to a record low.
The 2.5% output
expansion by factories,
mines and utilities in
September from the
same month a year ago
was far higher than the
0.6% forecast by financial
The production figures
were good news for the
right-wing government of
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi who took office in
May following a landslide
election win on pledges
of reviving growth
in Asia’s third-largest
production, which
represents three-quarters
of the Index of Industrial
Production, climbed by
2.5% in September from
the same month a year
India’s economy has
posted two years of
sub-five per cent growth,
marking the longest
slowdown in a quartercentury, as the central
bank has kept interest
rates elevated to combat
stubborn inflation.
But separate data showed
India’s inflation had
slowed to a record-low in
October of 5.52%, pushed
down by big falls in food
and oil costs.
The figures fanned hopes
that India’s hawkish
central bank could
respond positively to
business demands for
interest rate cuts to
spur growth-boosting
The inflation data was
broadly in line with
market expectations
and marked the lowest
figure since India started
calculating retail inflation
numbers in January 2012.
Foreign investors have
poured money into Indian
stocks in hopes the new
government’s moves
to clear infrastructure
projects and create a
more favourable business
climate will lift growth
and help India emulate
China’s economic ascent.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Chance high that quantitative easing exit debate can begin in late 2015, says BoJ official
Bank of Japan board member Ryuzo
Miyao said yesterday there is a high
chance it can begin discussing an
exit to its quantitative easing in the
second half of fiscal 2015, the most
specific comments to date about when
stake sale
in energy
firm after
IMF nod
he last minute halt in the
much-anticipated sale of
state shares in Pakistan’s
largest energy firm was prompted by an unlikely source – the
International Monetary Fund
The IMF has been encouraging Pakistan to reform the energy sector, expand the tax base
and privatise loss-making state
industries by making those conditions for a $6.7bn bailout of
the economy.
Those terms led the government to put up for sale a 7.5%
stake in Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (OGDCL) in September, seeking to raise about
$815mn in what would have been
the largest offering from a local
company in almost eight years.
Last week, however, the IMF
indicated that a $1.1bn loan was
no longer contingent on the
stake sale, five Pakistani officials
told Reuters, giving the government a get-out clause from a
deal that had failed to pique significant investor interest.
“The IMF indicated it would
overlook the postponement of
the deal as long as the overall
privatisation process remained
on track,” said a senior finance
ministry official who declined to
be named as the cancellation details remained confidential.
The IMF could not be immediately reached for comment.
Pakistan’s top privatisation
official this week said the sale
had been postponed indefinitely
due to weak investor interest
triggered by falling oil prices.
Pakistan wants to find buyers
for 68 public companies, most of
which are loss-making, and sees
the sell-offs as a life saver for
a $225bn economy crippled by
power shortages, corruption and
militant violence. In total, Pakistan wants to raise $5bn from
stake sales by the end of 2015.
But just one hour after the
board of the Privatisation Commission approved the OGDCL
stake sale last Saturday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told
the cabinet the transaction was
cancelled, several officials said.
They all declined to be named
as the details of the cancellation
remained confidential.
“Dar gave the Privatisation
Commission board his nod and
even gave recommendations on
what to do next,” a central bank
official privy to Saturday’s meeting told Reuters. “But an hour or
so later, he signed into the cabinet meeting on Skype from Dubai and said the deal was off.”
that debate will start. Miyao did not
elaborate on when he thought the BoJ
would actually start to wind down its
massive purchases of government
debt and risk assets, but cited the
Federal Reserve’s slowing of its asset
purchases as one example of how it
might proceed.
Miyao played down the risk that the
BoJ’s surprise October 31 decision to
expand its stimulus had made it more
difficult to exit and would cause asset
bubbles. But there is speculation the
BoJ will have to ease again if inflation
fails to pick up.
“I think there is a high chance the
BoJ can begin specific debate on its
exit strategy in the second half of
fiscal 2015, which is when we see a
high chance of meeting our price
target,” Miyao told business leaders in
Nagasaki, in southern Japan.
Miyao was among four board members
who supported BoJ Governor Haruhiko
Kuroda’s proposal to expand monetary
stimulus at the October 31 meeting in
response to slowing inflation and weak
growth. The Bank of Japan shocked
global financial markets by increasing
its annual government debt purchases
to 2% in a balanced manner because
corporate earnings, employment and
wages will improve, he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Miyao said
some exit strategies available to the
BoJ are allowing bonds on its balance
sheet to expire, conducting money
market operations to mop up liquidity
and raising the interest it pays on
commercial banks’ reserves.
by ¥30tn ($260bn) to ¥80tn, in an
admission that its goal of reaching 2%
inflation around fiscal 2015, which ends
in March 2016, was under threat.
Miyao acknowledged that some
economists thought the extra easing
would make it more difficult to unwind
its debt purchases, but he dismissed
that notion. The additional easing will
make it more likely that inflation rises
Bombardier could extend
COMAC accord: official
Zhuhai, China
anada’s Bombardier Inc could
design and build passenger jets
in China as an extension of a
two-year-old development and sales
deal with the country’s main stateowned planemaker, a senior executive
told Reuters.
When the first phases of the 2012 accord with Commercial Aircraft Corp of
China (COMAC) are complete, it may
be natural to “do something more”, said
Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier’s commercial aircraft division.
That could step up competition with
Airbus and Boeing.
“We are thinking long-term in
China,” Arcamone said, speaking
late on Tuesday on the sidelines of
China’s largest airshow in Zhuhai.
“One day we might decide to do a
project together, a joint venture...
Right now, we are only talking about
Bombardier is currently working
with COMAC to develop common systems for both its own 150-seat CSeries
plane and the Chinese firm’s longawaited C919 narrow-bodied jet. The
pair is working on cockpit and electrical
systems, as well as the supply chain for
the CSeries and the C919.
Behind schedule but due to be the
first Chinese-built single-aisle commercial aircraft and racking up orders
from domestic clients, the C919 will
join with the CSeries in competing with
the Airbus A320 and Boeing’s 737, in
different market segments.
“The CSeries is smaller than the
C919, they really do not compete head
to head. There is always going to be
some small overlap, but generally they
are more complementary as a fleet
mix,” said Andy Solem, Bombardier’s
vice-president for sales in North Asia.
Bombardier has 243 firm orders for
Spectators take rest in front of a Bombardier Challenger 300 (right) and Bombardier Challenger Global 6000 business aircraft on display at the Airshow China 2014 in
Zhuhai, Guangdong province. The Canadian firm could design and build passenger jets in China as an extension of a two-year-old development and sales deal with the
country’s main state-owned planemaker, a senior executive said yesterday.
the CSeries, which can also take up to
180 passengers in a high-density variant aimed primarily at low-cost carriers. COMAC has orders for 430 C919s,
mostly from domestic firms, though
its first test flight has now been pushed
back to 2015 from 2014.
Development of the Canadian firm’s
CSeries has run into numerous delays
and rising costs, with the flight test
Bombardier, which manufactures the
CRJ series of regional jets, is also advising COMAC on its long-delayed ARJ-21
regional aircraft programme, stuck in
the flight-test phase.
programme only resuming in September after an on-ground engine fire
halted test in May. The company hopes
to deliver the first aircraft in the second
half of 2015.
Hyundai, Kia to triple range of green cars
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid car. The auto major yesterday said it plans to triple the number
of fuel-efficient cars by 2020.
yundai Motor Co and affiliate Kia Motors Corp plan to
triple their number of fuelefficient cars by 2020, addressing
concerns about the pair’s green track
record and competitiveness in fuel
Investors have voiced concern
about Hyundai’s latest Genesis and
Kia’s Soul having lower fuel mileage
than their predecessors, and about a
$350mn fine in the US for overstating
vehicles’ fuel economy.
The announcement yesterday
came a week after the pair pledged
to raise the fuel economy of their vehicles by 25% by 2020 to meet emissions regulations in the US and Eu-
rope and at home in South Korea.
It also followed an announcement
on Tuesday that the pair would buy
back 670bn won ($615mn) worth of
shares, in what was widely regarded
as an attempt to appease investors
angered by a $10bn bid for property
for new headquarters.
“Investors have complained about
Hyundai’s lack of shareholderfriendly policies and communication
about its vision, especially after the
land deal,” said analyst Yim Eunyoung of Samsung Securities.
“Today’s announcement seems to
be part of its efforts to soothe shareholders and better communicate
with the market.”
Shares of Hyundai have fallen 25%
this year, but have risen over 17%
since hitting a more than 4-year low
on November 5. Kia stock has de-
clined 0.9% while the benchmark
index has lost 2.4%.
Under yesterday’s plan, Hyundai
and Kia will raise their number of
fuel-efficient cars to “at least” 22 by
2020 from seven now.
“We have set an internal target of
making it to No 2 in the global ecofriendly car market, which is expected to grow from this year’s 2.2mn
vehicles to 6.4mn in 2020,” Hyundai
said in a joint statement with Kia.
Hyundai and Kia plan to release 12
models powered by gasoline-electric
hybrid engines, expanding the lineup to small cars and sport utility vehicles.
The pair’s green range will also
have six plug-in hybrid mid-sized
and compact cars, two fuel-cell cars
and two battery-powered electric
Oil price slump means Asia can cut costly fuel subsidies
By Clyde Russell
Launceston, Australia
The 25% drop in Brent crude so far
this year is providing an unparalleled
opportunity for Asian governments to
scale back or end fuel subsidies.
Some, like India and Malaysia, have
already cut off or reduced support
for gasoline and diesel, but the
worst offender in the subsidy stakes,
Indonesia, has yet to take the plunge.
The arguments against fuel subsidies
are sound. They place a huge burden
on the finances of government budgets
in developing countries, prevent
spending on more worthwhile social
infrastructure and distort price signals
to the public.
Subsidies are also ultimately an
ineffective way to assist the poorest in
society, with the bulk of the benefits
flowing to the middle class, who can
afford private cars and electricity.
These arguments are well understood
by everybody, except perhaps the
general public in nations with hefty fuel
It’s a hard task for a politician to draw a
direct link between people paying more
for gasoline and the construction of a
new school or hospital that will take
several years.
This may explain why the initial
enthusiasm for subsidy reform shown
by new Indonesian President Joko
Widodo appears to have waned.
Widodo said on November 6 he hadn’t
yet decided on when to implement a
fuel price hike, leading to speculation
that his government is waiting until
expanded welfare programmes for the
poorest Indonesians take effect.
The apparent delay in cutting subsidies
comes after Widodo had indicated that
fuel prices would be raised by around
50% this month, in an effort to cut
about $13bn from the $23bn annual
subsidy bill.
Gasoline in Indonesia currently cost
about 6,500 rupiah ($0.53) a litre and
diesel about 5,500 rupiah. These will be
raised by 3,000 rupiah each, an advisor
to the Indonesian government told
Reuters last month.
Even if the diesel price is raised to
9,500 rupiah a litre, at the equivalent
of about $0.78 per unit it will still be
among the cheapest in Asia.
The price of diesel in New Delhi is
currently around Rs53.35 ($0.87) a litre,
and this is now a market-related figure
after India did away with subsidies last
In China, which doesn’t formally
subsidise fuel prices but does control
their level, diesel costs about $1.02 a
In comparison, the national average
diesel price in Australia last week was
A$1.507 ($1.31) a litre, an 18-month
low. Australian prices include both
an excise of A$0.38 a litre and a 10%
sales tax. What the above figures
show is the vast differences in fuel
prices that can show up amongst a
subsidising country like Indonesia,
non-subsidising but non-taxing
countries like India and China, and a
taxing country such as Australia.
While consumers in a relatively wealthy
country such as Australia are better
equipped to deal with higher fuel
prices, in theory they also benefit
from the government’s ability to raise
revenue in order to provide social and
other services.
This is the path that other Asian
countries should be following, but it’s
also one that requires political courage,
often a commodity in short supply.
Even in non-subsidising Australia,
the federal government’s plan to
re-introduce the indexation of the
fuel excise to inflation brought
about protests from consumer lobby
groups, businesses and opposition
parties, notwithstanding widespread
acceptance of the need for the
government to raise revenue.
Malaysia’s plans to introduce a tiered
fuel subsidy system based on income
looks overly complex and is likely
to produce a perverse incentive for
people to stay in lower brackets.
Once again, this appears to be a case
of politicians trying to pander to the
public rather than implement sound
The best way to assist the poor is
to scrap fuel subsidies and use the
money to boost targeted welfare
payments, but this requires efficient
and corruption-free bureaucracies,
something that isn’t always a given.
Nonetheless, the sharp fall in oil prices
this year, which unlike that in the
second half of 2008 isn’t the result of
a global economic crisis, should be an
opportunity to end the practice of fuel
For better-off countries, such as China,
it may also present an opportunity
for the government to introduce or
increase taxes on fuel without causing
pain to the public.
Time for Asia’s political leaders to stand
up and show courage.
Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist.
The views expressed are his own.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
‘German insurers ready for new capital rules’
Big German insurers including Allianz are prepared for tougher European capital rules coming in from 2016 that aim to shield policy holders from future
crises, financial watchdog Bafin said yesterday.
ermany’s life insurers are mostly
prepared for tougher European capital rules coming in from 2016 that
aim to shield policy holders from future
financial crises, financial watchdog Bafin
Bafin looked at the country’s 87 life insurers to see how they would hold up if the
new rules, known as Solvency II, were already in effect. Insurers will have 16 years to
adapt to the rules from January 1, 2016.
Only a few life insurers with a combined
market share of less than 1% fell short on
capital and Bafin will start talks on corrective measures with them immediately, it
said in a statement yesterday.
But this did not mean other insurers
could relax.
“If the low interest rate phase persists,
life insurers will need to make considerable efforts to strengthen their capital base
during the 16-year transition phase,” Felix
Hufeld, in charge of insurance supervision
at the watchdog, said.
If Solvency II were already fully in effect
as of December 31 2013, the reference date
for Bafin’s review, about 25% of compa-
nies with a market share of 10% would have
fallen short of requirements. That number
probably would have grown in the meantime given the decline in interest rates,
Bafin said. Under current market conditions, the capital shortfall would be around
€15bn ($19bn), Bafin said.
The review showed that insurers need to
be prepared for volatility in their capital position, which is sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates under the new rules.
Bafin said it expected insurers that only
narrowly met requirements in the review to
bolster their capital.
Big insurers like Allianz, Axa and Generali
are deemed well prepared for the new regime. But smaller insurers have struggled to
get to grips with the risk-management controls and IT costs the rules entail.
The Bafin survey highlights problems
rock-bottom interest rates are creating for
insurers’ business models, Ralf Bender, an
analyst at credit rating agency Standard &
Poor’s, said.
“Generating capital internally through
earnings is more difficult in a low interest
rate environment,” Bender said.
“Closing an existing capital shortfall
might be easier if you are part of a larger
insurance group or if you can access capital
markets by issuing hybrid capital,” he said.
Juncker says no ‘best friend’
of big firms after tax uproar
plans tax
relief to
up energy
uropean Commission head Jean-Claude
Juncker said yesterday he was no “best the
friend of big business” following an uproar
over huge tax breaks agreed with top global companies when he was Luxembourg premier.
Breaking his silence on the affair, an under-fire
Juncker went on the counter-offensive by announcing the Commission, the EU executive arm,
would “push for (tax) harmonisation and fair rules
among all”.
Revealed last week, the tax breaks extended to
household names such as Pepsi, IKEA and Deutsche Bank and are politically explosive at a time
when cash-strapped EU governments have sharply cut budgets.
“Do not describe me as the best friend of big
business, big business has much better friends in
this house,” Juncker told lawmakers in the European Parliament, where he made a surprise appearance that triggered boos from far-right parties.
The appearance by Juncker followed a similar
one in front of journalists and ended almost a week
of stony silence since the shock revelations were
published by newspapers worldwide, attracting
calls for his resignation.
Juncker, a grizzled veteran of European politics, staunchly denied he was an “architect” of
the “perfectly legal” system and had absolutely no
“personal involvement” with any of the arrangements.
“I have said that the Commission would fight
tax evasion and fiscal fraud,” Juncker said as he
faced a barrage of journalists’ questions.
Juncker said the deals complied with EU and
international rules, but with attitudes changing,
he acknowledged the need for updated laws and
more transparency. Leaked documents made public by the US-based International Consortium of
Investigative Journalists showed the tiny duchy of
Luxembourg gave hundreds of global firms huge
tax breaks.
The “Luxleaks” documents showed that billions
were funnelled through Luxembourg thanks to
complex financial structures that allowed companies to slash their tax liabilities, depriving hard-up
governments of revenue.
The tax deal reports put Juncker, who only took
office on November 1, immediately in the firing line
European Commission President, Luxembourg’s Jean Claude Juncker (right) and Pierre Moscovici (left), the European Commissioner for economics, taxation
and customs, attend a session at the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday. Juncker said yesterday he was no ‘best the friend of big business’ following an
uproar over huge tax breaks agreed with top global companies when he was Luxembourg premier.
given the European Union’s headline commitment
to fighting tax fraud. The Commission has already
launched a series of investigations into tax arrangements in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on the grounds they might infringe state
aid rules by unfairly favouring some companies
over others.
“There is no conflict of interest when the Commission launches probes” into such arrangements,
Juncker said. EU Competition Commissioner
Margrethe Vestager has promised to press on with
the probes and Juncker earlier said he would let the
process take its course.
However, questions about his role in securing
deals which are technically legal but go against the
grain at a time of austerity and tax hikes for ordinary citizens, refuse to go away.
In his defense, Juncker said that as head of the
Commission he could no longer comment on Luxembourg’s affairs or whether he remained the right
person to lead the EU. “I’m as suitable as you are,”
Juncker replied to one journalist.
Some 22 of the 28 EU states had similar tax arrangements, he said, and the issue was to ensure
that they did not violate state aid rules.
The commission chief appealed for parliament’s
($1.3bn) in tax concessions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and
lift sales of electric cars, in an
action plan to help Europe’s biggest economy meet CO2 emissions targets, a policy document
Despite a shift to renewables,
Germany’s CO2 emissions are
rising partly due to a move away
from nuclear power, and ministers have warned it risks missing
its goal of reducing emissions
by 40% by 2020 compared with
1990 levels.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
cabinet will meet on December
3 to agree a range of proposals to
help make up the gap, estimated
by ministers to be around 7%,
including measures to increase
energy efficiency. Other options
could include removing some
coal generation capacity.
Under an outline of a national
action plan seen by Reuters yesterday, €1bn in tax relief will be
available between 2015 and 2019
for renovation work to boost
buildings’ energy efficiency.
An existing programme of
low-interest loans from the
KfW state development bank for
renovation work will increase by
€200mn initially to €2bn a year.
In addition, owners of electric company cars will be able
to offset half the cost of the vehicle against tax in the year it is
bought from 2015.
The government plans to have
1mn electric cars on German
roads by 2020, but some critics
say the goal looks unrealistic.
Drug business yields three hidden billionaires in Northern Italy
It took Italy’s Rovati family three weeks
to negotiate the sale of its 53-year-old
drugmaker Rottapharm Madaus to
Sweden’s Meda AB. The deal – €2.3bn
($2.9bn) in cash and stock – concluded
the company’s four-year search for a
partner and made 86-year-old founder
Luigi Rovati a billionaire. The Rovatis had
considered mergers, a private equity
investment and an initial public offering
that was scrapped on July 10. The next
day, they started negotiating with Meda.
An agreement was announced on the
last day of the month.
“In order to effectively compete in the
pharmaceutical sector you cannot
be a small-size drug company,” Luca
Rovati, Rottapharm’s chief executive
officer and Luigi’s son, said in a phone
interview. “It was really a decision
that had a long maturing period, so
we made this final decision in a very
relaxed mood.”
Rottapharm, which had revenue of
€536mn in 2013, is the maker of Dona,
a glucosamine tablet used to promote
healthy joints, and constipation
treatment Agiolax. Meda Chief
Executive Officer Joerg-Thomas Dierks
said in May that the Swedish company,
whose allergy inhalers and acne
treatments helped sales reach €1.5bn in
2013, was re-entering a phase of major
acquisitions and could double in size
within two years.
“Meda have been hugely acquisitive,”
said Gordon Hamilton, healthcare
partner at London-based Cavendish
Corporate Finance. “It’s symptomatic of
what’s going on in the market. There’s
another huge wave of consolidation
going on.”
The sale marked the end of
Rottapharm as an independent
company and crystallized a $2.4bn
fortune for Luigi Rovati and his family,
according to the Bloombergbnaires
Index. Luca Rovati declined to
comment on his family’s net worth.
Luigi Rovati founded the Rotta
Research Laboratorium as an
independent research lab in 1961. His
two sons Luca, 53, and Lucio, 55, joined
the company in 1985, and served
as CEO and chief scientific officer,
respectively. According to his children,
Luigi devised the split himself.
“My father was smart enough to
direct us, without probably letting us
know, to take his place in the roles
that he was playing on his own,” Lucio
said in the same phone interview.
“So I happily decided to follow the
medical development and Luca
decided to follow finance and business
The drugmaker is almost entirely
owned by Fidim Srl, the Rovatis’
Milan-based holding company
that’s controlled by Trust LR, whose
beneficiaries are the descendants
of Luca and Lucio, according to the
prospectus for Rottapharm’s proposed
IPO. As founder of the company, Luigi
is credited with the proceeds of the
sale, and the three Rovatis remain
closely knit.
“This decision was taken, as you can
imagine, in full agreement,” Luca
Rovati said. “My father, of course when
he sees that we are happy, he is happy.
Like all good fathers.”
The Rovatis aren’t the only Italian
family to enrich themselves from
the pharmaceutical industry. Ninety
miles south of Rottapharm’s Monza
headquarters, Parma-based Chiesi
Farmaceutici SpA delivered record
revenue of €1.2bn in 2013, helping
make billionaires of Alberto and Paolo
Chiesi, the septuagenarian brothers
who control the company.
“There have always been a number
of very strong, privately owned
pharmaceutical companies in Italy,”
said Cavendish’s Hamilton. “They’re
national champions.”
The Chiesi brothers share control of
about 60% of the company directly
and through their holding company
Valline Srl, Chiesi Farmaceutici’s
annual report shows. Based on the
average enterprise value-to-Ebitda
and price-to-earnings multiples of
three publicly traded peer companies –
DiaSorin SpA, Recordati SpA and Hikma
Pharmaceuticals Plc – the siblings have
a net worth of $1.3bn each, according
to the Bloomberg index.
“We prefer not taking a position on the
company value,” Danilo Piroli, Chiesi’s
chief financial officer, said in an e- mail.
Chiesi was founded in 1935 when
chemist Giacomo Chiesi bought a
small Parmese laboratory and turned
it into the city’s first pharmaceutical
company. He passed control of
the drugmaker in the 1960s to his
sons Alberto, 75, and Paolo, 74, who
expanded the company internationally,
according to the company’s website.
Their four children also work at the
company and hold the remainder of
the shares.
Among the company’s offerings
is Foster, an asthma treatment,
and Curosurf, a drug used to help
premature babies with breathing
difficulties. Curosurf is the world’s
leading surfactant, according to
Chiesi’s 2013 annual report. Yet for all
their success at the drug counter, the
Chiesi brothers have managed to stay
out of the spotlight.
“Privacy is important for them and
understatement is one of their
traits of behaviour,” according to
written responses provided by Chiesi
spokesman Massimo Zaninelli. Unlike
the Rovatis, the Chiesis have no plans
to sell, according to the statement.
The Rovatis will remain active in the
industry. Following the sale, their
holding company Fidim became
Meda’s second largest shareholder
with a 9% stake. The family also
received €1.6bn in cash and are entitled
to a deferred payment of €275mn to be
settled in January 2017.
They also retained research arm
Rottapharm Biotech, which employs
almost 100 scientists, according to
Lucio Rovati. It will focus on pain and
musculoskeletal diseases, though
the Rovatis remain ready to take
on new challenges. “Many of the
pharmaceutical products sold today
have been discovered really by chance
and not because the company was
intending to discover that particular
product,” Luca said. “Like a snake you
should be ready to change your skin
overnight and adapt yourself to a
different environment.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Five global banks fined
$3.4bn in forex probe
FCA fines five banks $1.7bn, US CFTC
fines $1.4bn; Switzerland claws
back 134mn Swiss francs from UBS;
Barclays not part of yesterday’s
settlement, still in talks; FCA has no
plans to fine Deutsche Bank; more
penalties expected from ongoing
US and UK criminal probes
egulators fined five major banks
$3.4bn for failing to stop traders from trying to manipulate the
foreign exchange market, the first settlement in a year-long global investigation.
UBS, HSBC and Citigroup, Royal Bank
of Scotland and JP Morgan all face penalties resulting from the probe that has
also put the largely unregulated $5tna-day market on a tighter leash. One
regulator gave banks a 30% discount for
settling early.
In the latest scandal to hit the financial services industry, dealers shared
confidential information about client orders and co-ordinated trades to
make money from a foreign exchange
benchmark used by asset managers and
corporate treasurers to value their holdings. Dozens of traders have been fired
or suspended.
Dealers used code names to identify
clients without naming them and created online chatrooms with pseudonyms
such as “the players”, “the 3 musketeers” and “1 team, 1 dream” in which to
swap information. Those not involved
were belittled.
Switzerland’s UBS swallowed the biggest penalty paying $661mn to Britain’s
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and
the US Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC).
UBS was also ordered by Swiss regulator FINMA, which also said it had
found serious misconduct in precious
metals trading, to hand over 134mn
Swiss francs after failing to investigate a
2010 whistleblower’s report.
The misconduct at the banks
stretched back to the previous decade
and up until October 2013, over a year
after US and British authorities started
punishing banks for rigging the London
interbank offered rate (Libor), an interest rate benchmark.
RBS, which is 80% owned by the British government, received client complaints about foreign exchange trading
as far back as 2010. The bank said it regretted not responding more quickly to
the complaints.
The other banks were similarly apologetic. Their shares were under pressure
in European trading.
Reflecting exasperation that banks
failed to stop the activity despite pledges
to overhaul their culture and controls,
the FCA levied a $1.7bn fine, the biggest
in the history of the City, but gave a 30%
Bank of
fires chief
FX dealer
A pedestrian walks past a branch of the HSBC in London yesterday. Regulators in Britain and the US have fined British banks RBS and HSBC for market rigging, while fines
were also imposed on US banks Citibank, JP Morgan and Swiss bank UBS.
discount for early settlement. The FCA
also launched a review of the spot FX
industry that will require firms to scrutinise trading and compliance and may
involve looking at other markets such as
derivatives and precious metals.
“Today’s record fines mark the gravity of the failings we found and firms
need to take responsibility for putting it
right,” the FCA’s chief executive Martin
Wheatley said.
“They must make sure their traders
do not game the system to boost profits
or leave the ethics of their conduct to
compliance to worry about.”
Barclays, which had been in settlement talks with both the FCA and the
CFTC, made a “commercial decision”
to pull out of the discussions, the FCA
said. Its investigation of the banks continues.
The FCA said its enforcement activities were focused on the five banks plus
Barclays, signalling that Deutsche Bank
would not face a fine from it.
Lenders are expecting more penalties,
however, with the US Department of
Justice and New York’s Department of
Financial Services still investigating the
scandal. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is
also investigating and there is the threat
of civil litigation from disgruntled customers.
The CFTC, which regulates swaps and
futures in the US, fined the five banks
more than $1.4bn as part of Wednesday’s group settlement.
Since 2012 financial firms have been
fined nearly $10bn for rigging market
The Bank of England said in a separate review on Wednesday, that its chief
foreign exchange dealer, Martin Mallet,
had not alerted his bosses that traders
were sharing information.
The central bank, whose boss Mark
Carney is leading global regulatory efforts to reform financial benchmarks,
has dismissed Mallet but said he had
not done anything illegal or improper.
It also said it had scrapped regular
meetings with London-based chief currency dealers, a sign the BoE wants to
put a distance between it and the banks
after the scandal.
The investigation has provoked major
changes to the foreign exchange market
with a clamp down on chatrooms, the
suspension or firing of more than 30
traders, an increase in automated trading and new regulatory changes to FX
benchmarks which world leaders are
expected to sign at the G20 summit in
Brisbane this weekend.
FINMA has also instructed UBS to
limit bonuses for traders of foreign exchange and precious metals to 200% of
their base salary for two years.
‘Lets double team it,’ traders say in ‘cartell’ transcripts
Traders worked together to “whack” the market,
called themselves a “cartell” and congratulated
each other for a job well done, according to
transcripts released by regulators yesterday.
“Ok, I got a lot of euros,” a currency trader at
JPMorgan Chase & Co said in an undated 3:51pm
message to his counterpart at Citigroup. A minute
later he says, “tell you what, lets double team it.”
Dozens of chats spanning four years from 2008
were released by regulators as they reached
the first settlements in the global probe into the
manipulation of foreign-exchange benchmarks.
The banks said in statements today that they
have been working to improve controls and don’t
tolerate such behaviour.
Traders discussed which of their counterparts
to include in chats and openly disclosed their
positions with dealers at other banks just before
the 4pm WM/Reuters fix. That’s one of the most
popular benchmarks for asset managers, and a
time of day that was especially volatile for currency
trading, so knowing other firms’ client orders
beforehand could be advantageous.
Breaches of client confidentiality and inadequate
chat-room supervision are at the heart of
regulators’ findings in the foreign exchange probe
that commenced over a year ago.
In another excerpt, traders at Citigroup, JPMorgan,
and UBS debate whether to invite a fourth into a
private chat room. “Are we ok with keeping this as
is .. ie the info lvls & risk sharing?” the UBS trader
asks at 7:49am.
A minute later the JPMorgan trader tries to ensure
that the new member puts the interests of the
group first. “You know him — will he tell rest of desk
stuff — or god forbin his nyk...” referring to New
York colleagues.
The Citigroup trader then chimes in, “yes — that’s
really imp[ortant] q[uestion] — dont want other
numpty’s in mkt to know,” according to the
transcripts, which added the wording clarification.
“But not only that,” the trader added. “Is he gonna
protect us like we protect each other against our
own branches?”
Banks have cracked down on chat rooms over the
past year, banning online discussions involving
multiple parties at multiple firms. Regulators
cited similar conversations in their settlements of
their probes into the manipulation of the London
interbank offered rate.
“Ultimately, it came down to the behaviour of
individual market participants,” said Marshall
Bailey, president of the ACI Financial Markets
Association, which represents more than 13,000
people working in financial markets including
foreign exchange.
“We must work with international regulators to
strengthen and implement these internal controls
and ensure they are applied across all institutions
he Bank of England has
fired its chief foreign exchange dealer after an
investigation criticised his handling of suspicious market practices, the BoE said yesterday.
The review commissioned by
the oversight committee and
chaired by Lord Grabiner detailed communications, including e-mails and telephone call
transcripts, between Martin
Mallett and FX market participants going as far back as 2006.
In them, Mallett expressed
concern that communications
between traders could be seen
as collusion and possible market
In one call on October 3,
2011, Mallett and a trader at a
bank discussed the activities of
brokers and banks around the
so-called “London fixing”, the
one-minute window when global benchmark exchange rates
are set.
And in a call On November 28,
2012, Mallett told a market commentator he felt the FX market
was “too chatty” and there was a
“fine line” between that and collusive behaviour.
“I’m a little bit nervous about
the FX market’s approach to
benchmarking, fixing, because
of its inherent chattiness and
like I say, there’s a fine line between chattiness and, and acting in a way which disadvantages
others,” he said.
Despite being uncomfortable
with the practice, Mallett did not
escalate the matter, which “constituted an error in judgment
that deserved criticism, but such
criticism should be limited in
that the individual was not acting in bad faith”, the BoE said.
He was not aware of specific instances of such behaviour.
Attempts to reach Mallett for
comment were unsuccessful.
The BoE said his dismissal on
Tuesday was “unrelated” to the
scandal in which five banks have
been fined $3.4bn for failing to
stop their traders from trying
to manipulate foreign exchange
In his report, Grabiner said
there was no evidence any Bank
official had been involved in unlawful or improper behaviour in
relation to the FX investigation,
and that none knew of improper
behaviour by traders at banks
based on shared confidential
information, including aggregated information about client
Grabiner’s report said Mallett was aware that traders were
sharing information, which was
not necessarily improper but
could increase the potential for
improper conduct.
Mallett, who joined the BoE in
September 1986, was suspended
in March as the Bank looked into
what officials might have known
about alleged manipulation of
key currency rates by traders.
The BoE also said yesterday it
had scrapped the formal meetings with London-based chief
currency dealers that had been
held regularly until last year, just
before the global investigation
got under way.
The meetings, which were
chaired by Mallett, have been
“disbanded” and there will be
“no more”, a BoE spokesperson
told Reuters.
Carney sees Europe stagnation impact as growth outlook cut
ark Carney unveiled lower UK
growth and inflation forecasts
as officials adjusted to account
for “moribund” global expansion and
stagnation in Europe.
“Developments in the world economy mean some of the downside risks to
growth in earlier projections have crystallised,” the Bank of England governor
told reporters in London yesterday. “A
spectre is now haunting Europe — the
spectre of economic stagnation.”
Carney spoke while presenting the
BoE’s Inflation Report, where officials
said annual increases in consumer prices
could slow below 1% within months,
and will return to the 2% target in three
years. That effectively validates investors’ expectations that rate increases may
not start for another year. Policy makers
also cut growth forecast for the next two
“The central path is a little weaker
than in August, reflecting the weaker
global outlook and a softer profile for
private-sector domestic demand,” the
BoE said. “The main downside risk
stems from weaker euro-area activity,
which would weigh on UK exports.”
Investors are now fully pricing in
a quarter-point rate increase in November, a month later than projected
on Tuesday, Sonia forward contracts
show. The yield on two-year gilts fell
4 basis points to 0.63%. The pound fell
as much as 0.5% against the dollar and
was trading at $1.5856 as of 11:53am in
A shift in market perception on the
rate outlook follows downbeat assessments from BoE policy makers as well
as the struggles in the euro area, where
European Central Bank president Mario
Draghi is pumping unprecedented
stimulus into the economy to prevent
deflation from taking hold.
“We’re seeing obviously lower demand for our exports, which has consequences, and we’re getting some
imported disinflation from European
exports,” Carney said. “We compliment the colleagues there for the range
of measures that they are putting in
place” to add stimulus, he said.
For the euro area, the BoE reduced its
outlook for 2015 to 1.25% from 1.75%.
The potential impact of the weak eurozone economy can be seen in the BoE’s
detailed projections. They show exports
falling 1% this year, versus a previous
expectation for a 2.25% increase. Next
year, overseas sales will rise 4%, less
than the 5.25% previously anticipated.
Britain’s inflation rate has been below the BoE target for nine months and
policy makers now see it continuing
to decline in the short term. There is a
“significant probability” that the rate of
consumer-price growth will fall temporarily below 1% within six months, they
said. That would force Carney to write a
letter of explanation to Chancellor of the
Exchequer George Osborne.
Further ahead, the BoE forecast
weaker price growth than in August,
cutting its 2014 projection to 1.2% from
1.9% and its 2015 outlook to 1.4% from
1.7%. It kept its 2016 forecast at 1.8%.
“There are significant risks on either
side of this inflation projection,” the
BoE said, citing uncertainty surrounding geopolitical risks and the outlook
for global commodity prices.
Officials predicted economic growth
of 2.9% in 2015 and 2.6% in 2016, down
from 3.1% and 2.8% in August. Carney
cautioned that global economic headwinds shouldn’t be overstated.
“It is important to keep these developments in perspective when assessing the prospects for the UK,” he said.
“Economic conditions here continue to
The BoE kept its estimate for slack
in the economy — a key variable in its
policy decisions — at about 1%. It also
said the Monetary Policy Committee
has a “wide range” of views. Two of its
nine members, Martin Weale and Ian
McCafferty, have pushed for a quarterpoint rate increase in recent months to
guard against inflation pressures. Minutes of last week’s decision, when the
rate was left unchanged at a record-low
0.5%, will be published November 19.
While Weale and McCafferty have
cited the importance of anticipating a
pickup in pay growth, the BoE said that
cost pressures in the labour market remain subdued. Data today showed that
unemployment stayed at 6% in the
third quarter, while the rate of annual
wage growth was at 1%, the fastest pace
since the first three months of the year.
“We are seeing the first tentative signs
of the long-awaited pickup in wage
growth,” Carney said today. “Real incomes will be further supported by lower energy, food and other import prices.”
The BoE expects annual real pay
growth to accelerate to about 2% by the
end of next year.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
QBWA members with officials of JMJ Associates after a recent workshop.
QBWA, JMJ Associates sign partnership
to develop organisational strategy
A panel discussion in progress to examine challenges, opportunities, and strategies for business success in Qatar. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Forum examines strategies
for business success in Qatar
eaders from top global
companies convened on
Tuesday for a joint discussion to examine challenges, opportunities, and strategies for
business success in Qatar.
The forum, hosted by the
American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar (AmCham Qatar) and the German Business
Council Qatar (GBCQ), aims
to give business leaders in Qatar insights and information to
support the development and
diversification of Qatar’s private
Moderated by Bethel Group
founder and director of PROPartnership and COO John
Forde, the forum gathered 100
decision makers who discussed
topics of critical importance to
Qatar’s business community,
including procurement policy
and strategy, talent recruitment,
and payment systems.
The session was also attended by Bethel Group chairman
Sheikh Abdulrahman Hassan
al-Thani and Qatar Chamber
deputy general manager Saleh
Hamad al-Sharqi.
AmCham Qatar chairman
Robert A Hager said, “AmCham
Qatar is proud to partner with
our friends at the German Business Council Qatar to talk about
the issues that matter to businesses here – furthering the development and diversification of
Qatar’s vibrant and rapidly expanding private sector.”
GBCQ deputy chairman and
DB Schenker Overseas Cargo
director Henning Zimmermann
said, “United in the mission to
support and strengthen Qatar’s
position as a leading business
hub, it is hugely beneficial to
organise joint meetings with
our partners at AmCham Qatar.
Through events like this, we are
obtaining insights across industries and will chart a course forward for success in Qatar.”
The panel of experts agreed
that having a strong presence
on the ground in Qatar and a
long-term commitment to doing business in the market were
the two top factors for success.
The panel included Deugro
regional vice-president Middle East Philipp M Luehrs,
Northwestern University of
Qatar director of Student Affairs Greg Bergida, MAN Truck
& Bus Middle East & Africa FZE
area sales manager & country
manager Qatar Jörg Bauch, and
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
International Qatar director
Middle East Office, Mena Business Strategies and Politics Gregor F Mannherz.
AmCham Qatar hosts events
open to AmCham Qatar members and members of the wider
business community, and serves
as a key forum for American,
domestic and international
businesses to pursue common
commercial interests and build
relationships in Qatar.
The next AmCham Qatar event, the Distinguished
Speaker Series, will be held on
November 19, featuring Boeing
Middle East president Jeffery
Johnson. For more information on AmCham Qatar events,
upcoming-events or follow @
AmChamQatar on Twitter for
the latest updates.
The Qatari Business Women Association (QBWA)
has signed a partnership agreement with JMJ
Associates, a global management consultancy
specialising in developing high-performing
organisations and project cultures.
The parties agreed to work on the development
of QBWA’s strategy, reformulate its vision and
objectives, build organisational capability, and
enhance the association’s long-term impact.
The agreement was signed by QBWA vicechairwoman Aisha Alfardan and JMJ Associates
Middle East director Simon Giffin. They agreed to
strengthen ties to promote the role of women and
build their capabilities as well as improve QWBA’s
Alfardan said, “We always strive to develop our
strategy and revisit our vision and evaluate
our goals. We believe that an institution that
doesn’t perform regular review and evaluation
of its strategy and objectives is weak and lacks
She noted that the agreement represents an
opportunity for the QBWA to take advantage
of its experiences in past years and learn from
experiences of JMJ Associates.
“We consider JMJ Associates a vital partner
and a pioneer in the development of QBWA’s
performance and we will do our best to get the
best outcomes of this agreement to achieve
our objectives and develop the performance of
women in Qatar and enhance their role,” Alfardan
JMJ Associates Middle East director Simon
Giffin said, “We are delighted to have signed this
partnership agreement with the QBWA to support
the development of the strategy, vision, and
objectives of the organisation.”
Giffin said “the huge passion and commitment” of
the QBWA leadership to make a difference for the
women in Qatar “is very clear and forms a great
foundation to create the next breakthrough in
He added, “Our team here, a significant
proportion of which is female, has long supported
the development and enhancement of the role of
women in society and so this really is a meeting
of two organisations with a common aim. We look
forward to working together over the coming
months and years.”
Over the last few months as part of the
partnership with JMJ Associates, QBWA has
organised a number of sessions with its board
members that sought to re-examine and
evaluate the vision, mission, and objectives of the
JMJ Associates, which has been in Qatar since
1996, will continue to assist QBWA under the
agreement in a number of capacity-building
activities. Together, they will develop a long-term
strategy to build organisational capability and
identify and remove problems and obstacles
faced by the association.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, QBWA will be
launching a series of events and workshops,
including a monthly business to business meeting
that will develop the exchange between members
of the association.
This includes the QBWA’s Annual Networking
Dinner as well as a number of training workshops
for members in addition to the fifth edition of the
Qatar International Businesswomen Forum on
December this year.
Euromoney Developing capital markets
conference to
focus on risks in Arab region vital: AMF
to banking
he risks facing major
national, regional and
will be on the spotlight at the
forthcoming Euromoney Qatar
Conference, which takes places
on November 24 and 25, as the
global economy faces a growing range of pressures.
The conference is being held
under the patronage of HE the
Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah
bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani,
who will also deliver a keynote
address on November 24.
With the European Central
Bank (ECB) announcing
the results of “stress tests”
at the end of October,
questions are being raised
about the capacity of
financial institutions to
absorb new shocks
With the European Central
Bank (ECB) announcing the
results of “stress tests” at the
end of October, questions are
being raised about the capacity of financial institutions to
absorb new shocks if the world
economy experiences a fresh
The tests, which assess
whether banks could fail or
require further bailouts in a
hypothetical financial crisis,
found that 25 out of 130 banks
in the Eurozone currently have
insufficient capital to manage
in such circumstances.
Against a background of global economic issues including
tensions around Ukraine, falling
oil prices and questions about
the need for a new reserve currency – the Euromoney Qatar
Conference will host a special
panel discussion to address the
potential of a new financial crisis
and ask if we are already in the
first stages of a global downturn.
With contributions from
Joannes Mongardini, head (Economics) at Qatar National Bank;
Manolis Davradakis, senior
economist, AXA Investment
Managers; Bruce Fenton, president and managing director,
Atlantic Financial Inc.; and John
Sfakianakis, director, GCC, Ashmore Group, the discussion will
include perspectives from across
the global financial community.
Richard Banks, regional director, Euromoney Conferences, said: “For the most part,
banks in the GCC region are
confident about the future,
given the strength of their
economies, dynamic leadership and strong asset portfolio.
However, as we saw in 2008,
global financial issues can have
a strong and immediate impact
on the region, which is why Euromoney Qatar is balancing international and local perspective at this year’s event. Despite
the growth of the past year, we
are seeing a number of risk factors that need careful monitoring in order for banks to continue to grow their yields.”
Throughout the event, there
will be global perspective provided by presentations from Rodrigo de Rato, former managing
director, International Monetary
Fund; Senator Philip Ozouf, assistant chief minister, States of
Jersey; Denis Beau, directorgeneral ( Operations) Banque de
France; and Sarkis Yoghourtdjian, assistant director (Banking Supervision and Regulation)
Board of Governors of the US
Federal Reserve System.
There will also be strong local insight provided, with the
conference being held under
the patronage of HE The Prime
Minister, Sheikh Abdullah,
who will also deliver a keynote
address on Day One.
he Arab region is facing
tremendous increase in financing needs, particularly those countries going through
political changes, according to
a top official of Arab Monetary
Fund (AMF).
“The vital importance of developing capital markets in the Arab
region comes specifically since the
onset of the recent international
financial crises, which were accompanied by a decrease in capital
flows and cross-border banking
loans,” Abdulrahman A al-Hamidy, director-general and chairman
of AMF, said.
It also comes within the context of the latest changes in international standards and, more
particularly, the Basel III framework and its new liquidity management set of rules, he added.
International consultant Ernst
and Young (EY) had recently said
the Middle East and North Afri-
ca, which has registered a 10-fold
year-on-year increase in capital
raising through maiden offers
during the third quarter of this
year, is expected to see further
surge in IPOs (initial public offerings) in 2015 on robust valuations.
“Mena IPO (initial public offering) activity is expected to
surge in 2015, particularly in the
GCC countries, with market
valuations returning to somewhere near pre-financial crisis
levels. Companies in the financial
services and real estate sectors
continue to dominate the pipeline,” Phil Gandier, Mena Head of
Transaction Advisory Services,
EY, said.
“The Arab region is facing
tremendous increase in financing needs, particularly those
countries going through political
changes. Developing these markets will benefit the region not
only by expanding alternative
sources of financing, but also
contributing to enhancing financial stability,” he said, ahead of the
1st Arab Capital Markets Conference, which will take place in Dubai later this month.
The conference is being hosted
by Thomson Reuters and the Union of Arab Securities Authorities
“The aim of this conference is
to promote cooperation and facilitate the exchange of the financial
markets information, in addition
to strengthening the Arab Securities Authorities efforts in developing capital markets according to
the best practices and standards
including international standards
and principles issued by the International Organisation of Securities
Commissions,” according to Hassan Boulaknadel, UASA chairman
and president of the Moroccan
Capital Market Authority.
Al-Hamidy: For international standards.
Ooredoo’s ‘Burstable billing’ for business and enterprise customers
Ooredoo has launched ‘Burstable billing
services’ for business and enterprise
customers in Qatar, which allows them
to effectively manage their bandwidth
requirements and gives the freedom to allow
inter-office connectivity and bandwidth
to grow as data traffic grows. Traditionally
business and enterprise customers would
have to purchase additional connectivity
to handle peak usage and would need to
initiate a service change for each link in
use. With ‘Burstable billing’, customers can
now burst their capacity up to 1Gbps with
the assurance of having to pay only for the
increased capacity when it is used. The
automatic bandwidth management and
billing ensures connectivity when it is needed
the most and makes it easier to forecast and
keep up with bandwidth demands between
office locations. Ooredoo has Qatar’s largest
IP network and has recently deployed a
nation-wide Fibre roll-out. This, accompanied
with the option of ‘Burstable billing’, will help
businesses to remove capacity bottlenecks
and pay only for the additional bandwidth
consumed during peak data requirements.
The service is available without any monthly
subscription cost and customers can activate
the service immediately. More details on
‘Burstable billing’ can be had from www. Picture shows the Ooredoo
headquarters at Airport Road, Doha.
CRICKET | Page 4
NBA | Page 7
Pakistan on
verge of win
in first Test
against Kiwis
bounce back,
Bryant gets
misses galore
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Moharram 20, 1436 AH
Rory McIlroy
deserves top spot,
says Sergio Garcia
Page 5
Squad well prepared for Gulf
Cup: Qatar coach Belmadi
‘I am quite satisfied with our preparations. We faced many
strong teams in our build-up games. Everyone saw that
the players gelled well in the practice matches’
QFA president echoes confidence
ahead of Qatar’s Gulf Cup opener
By Our Correspondent
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
FA president Sheikh Hamad
bin Khalifa bin Ahmed alThani yesterday sounded
confident about his team’s
chances today when Qatar play Saudi
Arabia in their opening match in the
2014 Gulf Cup held in Saudi Arabia.
The Qatar team pose after their training session. (Below) Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi.
By Our Correspondent
Riyadh,Saudi Arabia
atar coach Djamel Belmadi
on Tuesday said his boys
were well prepared for the
Gulf Cup challenge.
Qatar squad arrived in Riyadh on
Tuesday for the November 13-26 event
that begins with Al Anabi taking on
hosts Saudi Arabia today.
“I am quite satisfied with our preparations,” Belmadi said after his squad
landed in Riyadh.
“We faced many strong teams in our
build-up games. Everyone saw that
the players gelled well in the practice
matches,” he added.
Belmadi said his mission is to help Qatar build a strong side for all key events.
“The fans in Qatar want to see a strong
side and we are working on that,” he said.
“We want to be one of the tops teams in
Asia,” the Algerian added.
Qatar enjoyed a perfect build-up for
the tournament as they registered four
consecutive friendly wins ahead of the
event, including victories against Australia and DPR Korea.
Qatar defeated Lebanon 5-0 and
thrashed Uzbekistan 3-0 in earlier
friendly games.
“We will continue to work hard. Our
aim is to be a fighting unit,” Belmadi
said after his squad was received by
Saudi Arabia football officials.
“The player development takes time.
I have confidence in my players since
they are very aware on the pitch than
they were sometime back,” he said.
About his side’s first match against
Saudi Arabia on November 13, Belmadi said: “It won’t be an easy game
since Saudis are playing at home.
They have huge fan following and obviously as the home side, they want
to win the event,” he said.
“For us, it will be a good experience
to play this game. We have important
matches coming up (in the 2015 Asian
Cup),” Belmadi said. “I am sure we will
be playing in front of a full house at
King Fahd International Stadium. We
will face similar matches at the Asian
Cup (in Australia),” Belmadi said.
“I hope our fans get behind our team
and support them like they have been
doing over the years,” he added.
All games of the Gulf Cup involving the eight-team events will be held
in Riyadh. Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait
are the only three sides to feature at all
22 editions of the Gulf Cup. Belmadi’s
squad will take on Yemen on the 16th
followed by their final group stage
match against Bahrain on the 19th of
this month.
The UAE defeated Iraq in the final
at the 2013 edition. Qatar is pitted in
Group A alongside Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen.
Squad: Mohammed Musa, Khaled
Muftah, Ismail Mohammed, Karim
Boudiaf, Majid, Abdul Karim Hassan,
Ali Asad, Ali Mahdi, Hassan Haidoos,
Saad Al Sheeb, Musab al-Mahmoud,
Abdul Rahman Abkar, Sufian Ahmed,
Khaled Abdul Rauf, Bilal Mohammed, Qasem Burhan, Meshal Abdullah, Ahmed Abdel-Maksoud, Boualem
Khouky, Abdulaziz Hatem.
“We want to win in our first game
and we have what it takes to do so,”
he said. “We are expecting a positive
result from this side, we are well prepared. We are very positive about our
chances against Saudi”.
“The players gelled well in the
preparation period. Winning matches
gives any team confidence. We feel the
same way,” he added.
“The players continued training
“We want to win in our first game
and we ‘ve what it takes to do so”
after we land Riyadh. We do not want
to lose intensity before this key match.
Everyone will be on the training pitch,”
he said.
“We have to be positive and play an
aggressive game. It will be a different match compared to our previous
friendly matches in recent months.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Khalifa Stadium’s
design to be shown
at the Gulf Cup
‘The unveiling of the design in Riyadh represents the strong brotherly ties that unite
the Gulf and the entire region ahead of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East’
By Sports Reporter
he Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the
ASPIRE Zone Foundation – the
stadium’s delivery organisation
– have announced the beginning of main
contractor works on the project to renovate Khalifa International stadium, the
third proposed Host Venue for the 2022
FIFA World Cup Qatar.
The renovation includes revamping
the venue to encompass a seating capacity of 40,000 during the tournament and
become compliant with FIFA’s stadium
requirements to be able to host group
stage, round of 16 and quarter-finals
The SC will unveil the new stadium
design for Khalifa International stadium
in collaboration with the Qatar Football
Association (QFA) at a dinner hosted in
the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on 24
November 2014 on the side-lines of the
2014 Gulf Cup of Nations, in the presence of Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani,
the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the heads of
GCC football federations and a number
of officials and dignitaries from various
countries in the region.
HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser alAli, Qatar’s Minister of Youth and Sport
said that the announcement of the new
design of Khalifa International Stadium
in Riyadh is the embodiment of the role
played by sport in uniting peoples and
deepening links between them. “This
stadium, which was founded to host the
1976 Gulf Cup, has always reflected the
strong relationship between Saudi Arabia
and Qatar. The opening ceremony was
attended by the then King of Saudi Arabia, HRH Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.
The unveiling of the new stadium design
in Riyadh is another milestone in that
relationship and further represents the
strong brotherly ties that unite the Gulf
and the entire region ahead of the first
FIFA World Cup in the Middle East.”
Commenting on the announcement,
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmad
al-Thani, President of the QFA, said:
“We would like to thank the Kingdom for
hosting such a prestigious event, which
reflects that the countries and people in
the region stand by Qatar’s hosting of the
2022 FIFA World Cup. We would also like
to take this opportunity to wish all the
best to our brothers in Saudi Arabia in the
organisation of the Gulf Cup of Nations.
We are confident players and spectators
will witness an excellent tournament.”
For his part, Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the SC, said: “We are
excited to see everything come together
I am honoured to be a nominee for
Asian player of the year: Khalfan
Khalfan Ibrahim, the Al Sadd
star midfielder said that he is
very happy to be on this year’s
list for best Asian player of the
“For me this is a great honour
personally, but also for the
club and for my country. To
be among such great players
makes me feel proud and we
are all worthy of winning this
accolade. The biggest honour
is for Qatar as our flag will also
be shown at the ceremony.
This contest is very important
as it symbolises the biggest
continent in the world.”
The main reason, Khalfan said,
that these players have been
chosen is that they have all
individually shinned for their
clubs in the Asian Champions
League (ACL) competition.
Al Hilal was in the final of the
ACL competition whilst Al Ain
got to the semi-finals and Al
Sadd reached the quarterfinals.
El Jaish to face Al Shahania in friendly
Due to the 2014 Gulf Cup of
Nations the Qatar Stars League
(QSL) will momentarily pause
until the 29th of November.
Therefore El Jaish will play a
friendly against QSL newcomers Al Shahania on November
15th, the Oryxes currently lie
second from bottom.
This pause in the league competition gives the 14 QSL teams
a chance to try out new tactics
and stay fit with a number of
friendly matches.
However there will be a
number of key absences for
El Jaish due to the Gulf Cup of
Nations which will take place
from the 13th until the 26th of
The El Jaish players who will
join the Maroons for the midseason tournament are:
Sufian Ahmed, Abdul Rahman,
Sam Rizk, Musab Mahmood,
Majid Mohammed, Khaled
Abdul Rauf.
In addition to Fahad Ahmed
Younis the Jaish goalkeeper
will join the ranks of the Olympic team. The Soldiers will also
play a friendly match against
Al Ahli of Jeddah on the 21st of
November as well.
Al Arabi to play friendlies too
After the 5 day break which
was granted to the players due
to the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations, Al Arabi has announced
that they will prepare for round
11 with two friendly matches.
The first match will be 18th
of November and the second
will take place on the 23rd.
The opponents have yet to be
announced and will be decided
later. Three players of Al Arabi
will be missing as they fly to
Saudi Arabia to compete for
2014 Gulf Cup of Nations.
They are: Boualem Khoukhi,
Rajab Hamza and Abdualaziz
Hatem. In addition Ahmed
Fathi will join the Olympic
national team.
Al Sadd have the maximum wins from
Round 10 of the Qatar Stars League
and other statistics
Number of rounds: 10 - 70
Total number of penalties: 29
Successful penalties: 22
Number of wins: 55 – Al Sadd
winning the most games with
8 and Al Shamal with no wins
so far.
Number of draws: 15 draws (3
goalless draws) 12 draws with
goals. Al Arabi has the highest
number of draws with 5 whilst
El Jaish has drawn none.
Number of defeats: 55 – Al
Sadd remain unbeaten. Al
Wakrah and Al Shahania have
the most defeats (7).
An aerial view of the under-construction Khalifa International Stadium.
to begin main contractor works on the
third proposed Host Venue equipped to
host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Every new
project brings us one step closer to hosting the first ever FIFA World Cup in the
Middle East, and also reflects the size of
the effort to fulfil Qatar’s pledge to host
a memorable tournament for the region
eight years from now.”
A joint venture between Midmac Contracting and a subsidiary of the Belgian
Besix Group, Six Construct, is overseeing
main contractor works on the stadium.
Dar Al Handasah and Projacs are the
Design Consultant and Project Manager
respectively. The project, which will include the addition of innovative cooling
technology to the stadium to provide
Every new project brings us one
step closer to hosting the first ever
FIFA World Cup in the Middle East,
and also reflects the size of the
effort to fulfil Qatar’s pledge to host
a memorable tournament for the
region eight years from now”
ideal conditions for players and fans during the tournament, is expected to be
completed in 2016.
Hilal Jeham al-Kuwari, President of
the ASPIRE Zone Foundation, confirmed
that the project to renovate Khalifa International Stadium will strengthen its position as one of the most prominent sport
facilities in Qatar and the region.
“Since its inception four decades ago,
Khalifa International Stadium has played
a prominent role in hosting major sporting
events, including Gulf Cups, Asian Cups
and the Asian Games. Today, we seek to
renovate Khalifa International Stadium to
enter sporting events history as a proposed
host venue for matches during the 2022
FIFA World Cup. We are confident that the
renovation project will enable the stadium
to continue to host global sports competitions long after 2022.”
Khalifa International Stadium is the
third proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup
Host Venue whose design will be unveiled
following Al Wakrah and Al Bayt – Al
Khor City Stadiums. Work is now underway in different stages on five proposed
Host Venues for the 2022 gala event.
Number of scored goals: 210with an average of 3 goals per
Strongest strike force: Al
Sadd with 25 goals
Weakest strike force: Al
Kharaitiyat and Al Shahania
with 7 goals
Strongest defense: Lekhwiya conceded only 7 goals
Weakest defense: Al Shahania
– conceded 24 goals
Unsuccessful penalties: 7
Goals from set pieces: 8
Top Scorer (up to round 10):
Alain Dioko (Al Ahli) 10 goals
from 10 games played
Hamadi Harbaoui (QSC) 9
goals from 9 games played
Abdulqadir Ilyas (Umm Salal) 6
goals from 8 games played
Nam Tae-Hee (Lekhwiya) 6
goals from 10 games played
Paulinho (Al Arabi) 6 goals
from 10 games played
Coach of the Month award:
Michael Laudrup (August) Lekhwiya
Radhi Shenshil (September) –
Qatar Sports Club
Hussein Ammota (October) –
Al Sadd
Player of the Month award:
Mojtaba Jabari (August) – Al
Hamadi Harbaoui (September)
- Qatar Sports Club
Rodrigo Tabata (October) – Al
‘I came to Qatar to gain more experience’
is very fast and you have very little time
on the ball. My stamina improved dramatically and what impressed me was
the intensity of the training in the UK.
They trained as if it were a real game.
By Sports Reporter
ekhwiya attacking midfielder
Nam Tae-hee talks about his
football journey to the QSL,
personal aims, title contenders,
his toughest opponent, Laudrup and
the South Korean National team.
The prolific attacking midfielder has
started the season strong with 6 goals
and 5 assists from the first 10 games.
In fact, he is the only midfielder among
the top 5 scorers of the season so far and
yet the Korean international looks hungry for more.
Tell us about your own journey into
the beautiful game.
Well actually it was a friend of my fathers who spotted my potential when I
was just 8 years old. He was close to the
technical director of a good soccer team
in Korea and he persuaded my father to
move me to another school which was
closer to the Club.
Lekhwiya midfielder Nam Tae-fee (centre) in action during his team’s Qatar Stars
League match against Al Khor.
So how did you end up representing
Reading in England?
When I was 16 I was part of a government programme that sent a group
of three promising players from Korea
abroad to play at good clubs and gain
more experience.
The striker Seol Ki-hyeon had already gone to Reading, so I too was sent
there to try and follow in his footsteps.
My experience at Reading F.C. was
very useful, at the time the club was in
the Premier League. It opened my eyes
to the game, I got to see and play against
many good teams. The game in England
How did you end up in the Qatar Stars
The South Korean government programme at Reading only lasted one
year, the club wanted to keep hold of
me but at the time the UK government
would not allow foreign youngsters to
sign to clubs without national experience. So I couldn’t get a work permit
and so I sadly didn’t join.
I left for France and whilst I was there
I had a trial and signed my first professional contract in France with Valenciennes F.C. My debut was on 8 August
2009 against AS Nancy and I am currently the youngest Asian player to play
in Ligue 1, I was 18.
But I found it difficult at the time
to get enough games, whilst I was in
France the former Lekhwiya head coach
Djamel Belmadi tried on several occasions to get me to Qatar. Eventually I
agreed. I could see that he had built a
good team.
Were you ever afraid that perhaps
you might get overlooked when it
came to national selection if you
didn’t play in Europe or Korea?
A lot of people criticised me for leaving France and said that I just came to
Qatar for the money but the truth is
that the level of Qatari football is pretty
good. The real reason I came is that at
the time I was young and it was difficult to break into the first time at Valenciennes. I really wanted some “game
time” under my belt and that’s why I
made the move, plus I saw that the QSL
had some good players.
I was worried that the fans and national team selectors might forget me
but luckily Hong Myung-Bo became the
coach of the Olympic team at the time
and he gave me a chance at the London
Olympics in 2012 and so the fans remembered me and supported me.
I knew that in France the less I
played, the more I would feel discouraged and possibly lose confidence and
so I decided that it would be better to
come to Qatar instead.
Now I am back in the national team
and I think this will also improve my
performances for Lekhwiya because I
get to test myself against the best players from various countries. So I am
very happy at the moment and it is an
honour for me, as a player it is a dream
come true.
Last season you had some of the best
statistics in the league, do you still
think you can improve and if yes,
then in which areas?
Normally I don’t try to overanalyse
my game; I just try to improve naturally,
according to my intuition. Last season I
had some injuries and I even had to have
surgery on my throat but this season I
haven’t had any problems and my main
focus is to play as many games as possible, be more consistent and stay away
from injuries.
The one area I really want to improve is
my running off the ball.
Who are biggest challengers for the
title this season? And who has been
the toughest player you have played
against in the QSL?
For sure Al Sadd is our biggest rival,
they have many strong points. Lekhwiya is quite a young team whilst Al Sadd
has a good mix of young and more experienced players.
The toughest player has to be Khalfan
Ibrahim Khalfan and also Nadir Belhadj; these two players are very dangerous and have a lot of energy.
Lekhwiya had a pre-season friendly
against PSG and we invited Nadir Belhadj to play with us and that is when I
noticed how good he is.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Germany look to
rebound in Euro
2016 qualifying
‘We want a good finale after we screwed up in the past games. It is important to rake
in three points against Gibraltar and have a successful game against Spain’
German coach Joachim Loew (third right) conducts a team training session in Berlin yesterday. Germany will play Gibraltar in a Euro 2016 qualifier tomorrow. (Reuters)
orld champions Germany
and third-place finishers the
Netherlands cannot afford
any more slip-ups in Euro
2016 qualifying, while England and Italy
seek to maintain their perfect records at
the weekend.
Germany host tiny Gibraltar on Friday
in group D, where they rank a modest
fourth after losing in Poland and being
held to a draw with Ireland in their October games.
The Dutch have already lost two of their
three Group A games, in Iceland and the
Czech Republic, and coach Guus Hiddink
has suggested he will step down if they are
beaten at home by Latvia on Sunday.
Italy and England both went out in the
World Cup group stage but have rebounded
since then with maximum points en route
to the 2016 Euro finals in France.
Azzurri coach Antonio Conte has recalled Mario Balotelli for Sunday’s Group
H table topper against Croatia, who also
have three wins from as many games.
England host second-placed Slovenia
in Group E on Saturday at Wembley where
captain Wayne Rooney can earn his 100th
cap, which would make him the ninth English player to reach the milestone.
Italy, Croatia and England are among
eight teams with perfect starts in the
campaign. The others are the Czechs and
Iceland, who meet in a table topper in the
Dutch group, Slovakia, Northern Ireland
and Israel, the latter having only played
two games so far.
Two-time reigning champions Spain,
meanwhile, have already lost in Slovakia
and take six points into their Group C
home date with Belarus Saturday.
Hiddink, in charge of the Dutch for a second term until after Euro 2016, is ready to
take the blame if things go wrong against
“If we lose, it makes sense that I leave,”
Hiddink said last week when he named
his squad, adding that he would probably
also throw in the towel if the team drew.
Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar returns
from injury, and Manchester United
striker Robin van Persie is also expected
to recover from a minor problem which
was to probably keep him out of Wednesday night’s friendly with Mexico.
Like the Dutch, the Germans have only
one win from three games but nothing other than three points are expected
against the debutants Gibraltar, to be
followed by another good showing in a
Tuesday friendly in Spain.
“We want a good finale after we
screwed up in the past games. It is important to rake in three points against
Gibraltar and have a successful game
against Spain,” general manager Oliver
Bierhoff said.
Coach Joachim Loew may field Arsenal veteran Lukas Podolski as a starter in
Nuremberg as he faces a long injury list
including captain Bastian Schweinsteiger
and in-form Marco Reus.
England look to extend their lead
against Slovenia as a victory at Wembley, combined with Switzerland beating
Lithuania, would move them six points
clear. They are on a run of five straight
clean sheets since the World Cup.
“Everyone has bought into how we
want to play and we’ve changed shape
slightly,” defender Gary Cahill said.
“Its not just down to the back four, but
also the goalkeeper and the players who
work very hard in front of us. We needed
everyone to chip in and that’s how we’ve
done it.”
Spain are preparing for Belarus without
injury victims Javi Martinez, Andres Iniesta, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. Coach
Vicente del Bosque has replaced him with
Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano.
Gerard Pique and Pedro are in the
squad although they are only reserves
at Barcelona, and the veteran coach has
denied that his squad was undergoing a
revolution, with several new faces.
“I don’t think this is a revolution ... The
important thing is to have a large squad,
big enough to cover any situation,” he said
ahead of the game in Huelva followed by
the Vigo friendly with Germany.
“Both games are important. The Belarus one because of the three points at
stake, and the Germany one because they
are the current world champions and an
excellent team,” Del Bosque said.
Fifty-two of the 53 teams are in action Friday through Sunday, with Albania
the odd ones out, and playing a friendly
against directly qualified hosts France.
New African Nations
Cup hosts to be named
this week, says CAF
Cape Town
ew hosts for the 2015
African Nations Cup
will be named within
three days after Morocco was ruled out amid fears of
the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Confederation of African
Football (CAF) said yesterday.
CAF president Issa Hayatou
said the regional governing body
would talk to countries who were
interested in taking over the Jan.
17 to Feb. 8 finals and expected
a quick resolution amid suggestions Qatar had been sounded
out about hosting the event.
Speaking to France 24, Hayatou also reiterated CAF’s stance
that by giving in to Morocco’s
request to have the date of the
tournament moved it would set
an unwanted precedent.
“Once you postpone this
event, it will open the door for
everybody to ask for a delay of
any competition and we will no
longer be credible,” Hayatou said.
“We will hurt our sponsors
and partners. Everyone will say
we are not ready and finally it is
CAF that will pay the price. That
is what I told the Moroccans.
“We cannot sign our death
warrant because if we postpone
this event it will be very deadly
for African football. For 57 years,
we have patiently built this
house, which today is the pride
of all Africans.
“They have this festival every
two years and we are not about to
leave the opportunity to anyone
to destroy the work we have patiently developed over the years.
“I cannot tell you where it will
be played. All I can tell you is that
it will take place.”
Angola, Egypt, Gabon and Nigeria were the countries being
touted as possible replacement
hosts by African media.
French sports daily L’Equipe
suggested on Wednesday that
2022 World Cup hosts Qatar
could also be set to help.
Morocco believes thousands of
travelling supporters from west
Africa pose a risk and wanted
a postponement of at least six
months while the fight against
Ebola intensified.
Qatar refutes reports
that it offered to host
the African Cup
Qatar yesterday refuted
reports that it offered to
host the 2015 Africa Cup
of Nations after Morocco
was stripped of the right to
stage the tournament.
“It is illogical,” said Saud Al
Mohannadi, Vice President
of Qatar Football Association (QFA), referring to
reports that surfaced in
French press.
“The news is false,” he told
French sports newspaper
L’Equipe said Wednesday
that Qatar, host to the
2022 World Cup, might be
the solution if the Confederation of African Football
(CAF) fails to find a replacement for Morocco on the
Morocco had said since
early October that its call for
a postponement was due to
the deadly Ebola pandemic,
but CAF, lost patience with
the North Africans and
threw them out as hosts and
participants with a heavy
fine likely to follow.
The virus has killed at least
4,950 people in the world’s worst
Ebola epidemic since the disease
was identified in 1976.
CAF announced it would seek
legal redress from Morocco based
on its contractual agreement
with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation which was signed
in April.
Moroccan football is also likely
to be heavily sanctioned, including a likely ban from future Nations Cup competitions.
However, the Moroccan sports
minister Mohamed Ouzzine told
MPs on Tuesday in a parliamentary debate after the CAF decision that the country had not
broken its contract.
“Morocco has not breached
any contract because of the force
majeure. We will not rush to answer, but everyone should know
that we are prepared for all eventualities,” he said.
Balotelli will not
unsettle Italy, says
coach Chiellini
Rooney proud of 100 England
caps but wants a trophy too
ayne Rooney believes he will replace Bobby Charlton as England’s
record scorer before too long but
knows that unless the national
team win another trophy he
will remain in the shadow of the
1966 world champions.
Appointed England captain at
the start of this season, Rooney
is expected to win his 100th cap
in the Euro 2016 qualifier against
Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday.
He will receive a special presentation on the pitch from World
Cup winner Charlton, who
scored 49 international goals in
106 appearances and tops England’s list ahead of Gary Lineker
(48) and Jimmy Greaves (44).
Rooney, who has 43 interna-
England’s Wayne Rooney.
tional goals, says in an interview
in Saturday’s match programme
that winning a tournament,
which England have only ever
done in 1966 when they beat
West Germany in the World Cup
final at Wembley, is what matters most.
“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,” he says.
“That’s why we play football,
to win. That’s the target and
hopefully sometime soon we can
achieve that.
“To be England’s greatest ever
goals scorer would be massive.
The record has stood for so many
years, there have been plenty of
players who haven’t been able to
break it.
“I’m still relatively young and
believe I can do it, but without
taking anything for granted I
want to keep trying to do my
best for the team.
“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
“To get 100 caps for England,
there’s not many players who
have done it - would be a great
achievement.” he says.
The Manchester United
striker named Steven Gerrard
as the greatest influence on
him, revealing that he studied
the Liverpool midfielder closely off the field when hoping to
become his successor as England captain.
“It’s well-known that the
two of us have been close and
he’s been a massive help to me,”
Rooney adds.
“I believed that after he was
captain I’d get the nod to take
over from him, so I watched how
he prepared himself, how he
prepared for games, how he was
around the hotel and in the media. I took a lot from him.”
The full interview with Rooney will be published on the FA
website (
File picture of Italy’s Mario Balotelli
uventus defender Giorgio
Chiellini has played down
suggestions Mario Balotelli could have an unsettling influence on the Italy squad
after a controversial call-up for
a key Euro 2016 qualifier against
Balotelli, who has not played for
the Azzurri since their disastrous
first round exit from the World
Cup in Brazil, has been included
in Antonio Conte’s 26-man squad
for Sunday’s crucial Group H clash
at the San Siro in Milan.
Conte’s decision surprised
many football obeservers, with
speculation that he had been
included to appease sponsors
Puma—who pay part of Balotelli’s salary—or that he was a late
inclusion for injured attacking
midfielder Lorenzo Insigne.
Although Chiellini did not go
as far as saying Balotelli has been
welcomed with open arms, the
Juventus veteran told reporters
yesterday: “Until now Balotelli
has been training well and that’s
what counts.
“For you (media), what counts
is how many times he sneezes,
goes to the toilet, calls his mum
or his girlfriend.
“All we care about is the squad,
winning on Sunday and this is
something you can’t do on your
own, we have to do it together.”
Balotelli became a media
scapegoat in the wake of Italy’s
disastrous World Cup in Brazil
and has now become a target for
the English tabloids since moving from Milan to Liverpool,
where he has yet to score a league
goal for the Reds.
Chiellini said Balotelli was not
to blame for Italy’s poor World
Cup showing, but reminded the
misfiring striker that national
team duty is not to be sneezed at.
“We can’t point the finger at
Mario for the World Cup, because
there was no blame,” he added.
“When you walk into the national team dressing room you
automatically put yourself at
the service of the team and the
coach, who makes the decisions.
“Everyone is important, if
they put themselves at the service of the team, no one is indispensable or more important than
the others.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Pakistan on verge
of big Test victory
over New Zealand
‘We cannot win from this position, but we will try and make things difficult for them tomorrow’
Abu Dhabi
Bangladesh’s Imrul Kayes (L) and Tamim Iqbal (R) run between the
wickets during the first day of the third Test against Zimbabwe in
Chittagong yesterday. (AFP)
akistan produced another ruthless performance to move to
the brink of victory in
the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
A ninth wicket stand of 36 in
14.5 overs between Mark Craig
(27) and Ish Sodhi (27) delayed
Pakistan’s victory on the fourth
day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium
but New Zealand were struggling on 174-8 after being set a
daunting target of 408.
Pakistan need just two wickets on the final day for a 1-0 lead
in the three-match series while
New Zealand still need 306 for
an unlikely win on the fifth and
final day.
Spinners Zulfiqar Babar
(2-30) and Yasir Shah (2-49)
and seamer Rahat Ali (2-38)
destroyed the New Zealand
Earlier Mohammad Hafeez
hit an unbeaten 101 to help Pakistan declare their second innings on 175-2 before the bowlers took over and skittled the
Kiwi batsmen.
It was a weak batting display
by New Zealand who promised
a lot before the Test but only
Brendon McCullum (39), Corey
Anderson (23) and Kane Williamson (23) offered little resistance.
Sodhi said it was disappointing to bat like New Zealand did.
“We are disappointed with
the way things have turned out.
We cannot win from this position, but we will surely try and
make things difficult for them
tomorrow,” said Sodhi.
McCullum and Tom Latham
(20) gave New Zealand a confident start of 57 runs before Babar had first innings centurion
Latham top-edging a sweep
to Shah. Four runs later Shah
trapped McCullum and then
had Ross Taylor out in the same
fashion for eight, leaving New
Zealand reeling at 47-3.
Anderson and Williamson
added 42 for the fourth wicket
but calamity struck as three
wickets fell in the space of just
five balls.
stumped while Rahat dismissed
Jimmy Neesham and BJ Watling
off successive deliveries—both
without scoring.
Rahat’s pace partner Imran
Khan then had Anderson leg-
Tamim, Imrul hit
tons in record
Bangladesh stand
amim Iqbal and Imrul
Kayes smashed centuries in a record opening
stand for Bangladesh to
put the hosts on top at the start
of the third and final Test against
Zimbabwe yesterday.
Tamim scored 109 and Imrul
made a patient 130 as Bangladesh, hoping to sweep the series
3-0, cruised to 303-2 in their
first innings at stumps on the
opening day in the port city of
Chittagong. The duo put Bangladesh’s highest opening partnership at 224, surpassing their
own record of 185 against England at Lord’s in 2010.
It was only the fifth century
stand by a Bangladeshi opening
pair, with Tamim and Imrul both
featuring in three of them.
They prospered in the first two
sessions before Zimbabwe broke
through after tea when Tamim
holed out to Hamilton Masakadza at mid-off off the bowling of
part-timer Sikandar Raza.
Masakadza himself removed
Imrul later as the batsman
slashed a catch to substitute
fielder Vusi Sibanda at gully.
At stumps, Mominul Haque
was unbeaten on 46 and Mohammad Mahmudullah was on
five with Bangladesh set to build
a huge first innings total.
Bangladesh had posted a tense
three-wicket win in the first
Test in Dhaka, before routing the
tourists by 162 runs in the second match in Khulna last week.
Left-handed Tamim hit 14
boundaries and a six in his second consecutive century after
making 109 in the second Test.
He drew level with former captain Mohammad Ashraful’s
record tally of six centuries for
Imrul, who replaced Shamsur
Rahman for this match, began
with a boundary off the first ball
he faced and finished with 12
fours and two sixes in his second
Test century.
But he was lucky to get past 19
as Brian Chari dropped a catch
him at square-leg off leg-spinner Natsai M’shangwe.
The Test series between the
two lowest-ranked teams will be
followed by five one-day internationals.
Pakistani players celebrate the dismissal of New Zealand batsman Tom Latham during the fourth day of the first Test at the Zayed
International Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi yesterday. (AFP)
before as the batsman offered
no stroke to a straight delivery
while Babar cleaned up Tim
Southee for five.
Hafeez reached his sixth Test
hundred, with a couple off McCullum. In all he hit two sixes
and 12 boundaries during his
130-ball knock.
It was Hafeez’s first century
since his 196 against Sri Lanka
in July 2012.
The first session saw Younis
and Hafeez batting solidly.
Younis, who hit a brilliant 100
not out in the first innings, survived a leg-before referral, but
he fell soon after lunch to Sodhi,
who finished with 2-66.
Hafeez opened up after a cautious start, hitting boundaries
off paceman Trent Boult and
then he hit two off Sodhi to
complete his fifty and follow up
on his 96 in Pakistan’s first innings of 566-3 declared.
Pakistan 1st innings 566 for 3 decl
New Zealand 1st innings ..................................262
Pakistan 2nd innings
M. Hafeez not out ........................................................... 101
Azhar Ali lbw b Sodhi .....................................................23
Y. Khan lbw b Sodhi .........................................................28
A. Shehzad not out ...........................................................13
Extras (b-6 lb-2 w-2) ............................................ 10
Total (for 2 wickets declared, 39.2 overs) ....175
Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-139
Bowling: T. Boult 7-2-25-0, T Southee 9-0-33-0,
I Sodhi 13-1-66-2, C. Anderson 5-1-11-0, M. Craig
5-0-29-0, B. McCullum 0.2-0-3-0
New Zealand 2nd innings
T. Latham c Shah b Babar ........................................... 20
Hafeez said he was satisfied
with his hundred.
“It’s pleasing to hit a century
and more so because it has come
after a gap, but I am sure it will
help lift my confidence in this
B. McCullum lbw b Shah ...............................................39
K. Williamson st S. Ahmed b Hafeez ......................23
R. Taylor lbw b Shah ......................................................... 8
C. Anderson lbw b I. Khan ...........................................23
J. Neesham c S. Ahmed b R. Ali ...................................0
B. Watling b R. Ali ................................................................0
M. Craig not out ................................................................27
T. Southee b Babar ............................................................5
I. Sodhi not out ..................................................................27
Extras (lb-2) ..............................................................2
Total (for 8 wickets, 54 overs) .........................174
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-61, 3-69, 4-111, 5-112, 6-112,
7-121, 8-138
Bowling: R. Ali 9-1-38-2, I. Khan 7-0-34-1, Z. Babar
18-6-30-2, Y. Shah 13-1-49-2, M. Hafeez 7-0-21-1.
format,” said Hafeez.
Pakistan, resuming at 15-0,
had looked for quick runs but
were checked by disciplined
New Zealand bowling.
Sodhi removed Azhar Ali
for 23 to give his team the early
The remaining two Tests will
be played in Dubai (November
17-21) and Sharjah (November
Bangladesh 1st innings
Tamim Iqbal c H. Masakadza b Raza .............................................................109
Imrul Kayes c sub (Sibanda) b H. Masakadza ...........................................130
Mominul Haque not out .........................................................................................46
Mohammad Mahmudullah not out .....................................................................5
Extras (b2, lb5, w6) ...................................................................................13
Total (for two wickets; 90 overs) ..................................................... 303
Fall of wickets: 1-224 (Tamim), 2-272 (Imrul).
Bowling: Panyangara 14-1-46-0, Chigumbura 10-3-29-0 (w4)
S. Masakadza 15-3-50-0(w2), M’shangwe 25-3-85-0, Raza 21-0-74-1,
Chari 2-0-9-0, H. Masakadza 3-1-3-1.
Umpire chats to be aired in Australia-SA ODIs
Discussions between the on-field and television umpires will be
aired during Australia’s upcoming one-day series against South
Africa, the International Cricket Council said yesterday. Cricket’s
governing body said it would conduct a trial during the series,
which starts tom orrow, to make communication between umpires
available to broadcaster Nine Network during decision-making.
“The umpire communications can be aired during umpire referrals,
consultations and DRS (Decision Review System) player reviews,”
the ICC said in a statement. “This initiative is part of ICC’s efforts to
make umpiring more understandable to viewers and spectators.”
The ICC said if the trial was successful, it may consider allowing
the broadcast of umpire discussions at “select matches” during the
Cricket World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand from February. “For years viewers have enjoyed seeing the same pictures as
the TV umpire and making their own decisions during a referral or
review,” said the ICC’s general manager, Geoff Allardice.
No hate but plenty of fire in SA rivalry: Johnson
Mitchell Johnson is
expecting a fiery encounter with South
Africa in the upcoming one-day
series but thinks to say the teams
‘hate’ each other would be to
overstate the case.
The bad blood between the
sides goes back to Australia’s
test triumph in South Africa at
the start of the year and Johnson
conceded that it could spill over
into the five-match series which
starts at the WACA in Perth tomorrow.
“There’s always tension between the two sides,” Johnson
told reporters in Perth yesterday.
“But in the end we’re going to
play them on skill. That’s what
we’re about. We want to beat
them with bat and ball.
“It’s probably going to be fiery
again but we want to play the
best cricket we can. Both teams
don’t like to lose and that’s
where you see the fire in the
game (but) I think hate’s a pretty
strong word.”
Johnson has not been as devastating in one-day internationals at his home ground as he has
in test matches, where he has
taken 42 wickets at 20.19 in six
That compares to 11 at 32.54 in
nine international matches with
the white ball but Johnson is
confident that his contribution
to the team goes beyond knocking down wickets.
“I always enjoy playing at
the WACA and if I play my role
in being aggressive and don’t
get any wickets, I’m happy and
hopefully the team will be happy
too,” he said.
The 33-year-old said he would
be bowling “pain free” despite a
bandage on one of his fingers,
damaged when he caught a ball
awkwardly in the United Arab
Having laboured in two tests
against Pakistan on the slow
pitches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,
Johnson was relishing the pacefriendly Perth tracks.
“It’s nice to be back home, I’m
just getting used to the wickets
again,” he said.
“Obviously in the UAE it’s
low and slow so it’s been pretty
exciting in the nets, just seeing how much bounce and pace
there is.
“I always go as hard as I can in
the nets without trying to kill the
The series, a key part of preparations for next year’s World Cup
in Australia and New Zealand,
starts with two clashes in Perth
before moving on to Melbourne,
Canberra and Sydney.
Hunted Lyon backs himself to turn it around
Following a bruising examination by Pakistan’s
batsmen, Australia spinner Nathan Lyon has returned to the nets, pledging to try some new things
after hard lessons in the Middle East.
The 26-year-old, who worked with Sri Lankan great
Muttiah Muralitharan in the lead-up to prepare for
the slow pitches in the United Arab Emirates, managed three wickets from the 2-0 series defeat to
Pakistan, each coming at a cost of 140.66 runs.
Although hardly the sole culprit in the Australian
attack—paceman Peter Siddle managed two wickets at 108.50 runs apiece—Lyon has found himself
again defending his status as Australia’s lead spinner, a position he has become all-too-familiar with
over a 35-test career.
Returning to home pitches would usually offer
some comfort, but Lyon faces a further test against
batsmen undaunted by spin when Australia take
on India in a four-test series starting next
“You’re always under pressure,” the off-spinner told
reporters in Sydney yesterday.
“You’re playing international cricket at the highest
level so if people aren’t putting you under pressure
you aren’t improving.
“It’s about how you handle that and how you
bounce back.
“I’m confident in my skill to get the job done no
matter what. It’s unfortunate it didn’t happen in
Abu Dhabi and Dubai but you have to pay credit to
(Pakistan’s) spin bowling.”
Lyon toasted his 100th wicket during Australia’s
5-0 whitewash of England in the last home summer, a hard-earned triumph after being discarded
during Australia’s 4-0 defeat away to India earlier
in the year.
The joys of the Ashes might feel like distant
memories for Lyon, who managed eight wickets
at an average of 39 in his team’s 2-1 win over South
Even before the Pakistan series, Lyon was under
pressure from coach Darren Lehmann, who complained in September that his premier spinner had
failed to do the business in second inning spells to
drive his team to victory.
Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne also
chimed in this week saying Lyon had made
changes to his bowling that had proven ineffective
in the Middle East.
Amid the critiques, Australian media have latched
onto encouraging performances by leg-spinner
Cameron Boyce, named man-of-the-match in his
third T20 international against South Africa in
Melbourne on Friday.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
McIlroy deserves top spot, says Garcia
hile Sergio Garcia can mathematically still end the year
as European number one he
believes, after Rory McIlroy’s superb season, he is more deserving
of the Race to Dubai victory crown.
It is a view also shared by former double European Tour Number One Lee
Westwood who stated also the European
Tour should not copy the PGA Tour and
alter the Race to Dubai points scoring
For a third week in succession McIlroy
is not contesting the Tour’s Final Four
Series at this week’s Turkish Airlines
Open at Belek. In his absence the fourtime major winner is currently 2,943,563
euros ahead of second placed Jamie
Donaldson of Wales and a further 93,821
euros clear of the third placed Garcia
while the Spaniard is 131,919 euros in
front of Germany’s Marcel Siem.
Donaldson, Garcia and Siem can still
deny McIlroy the European Number one
crown but only with victory this week
and then success also in next week’s
season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
And while Garcia, who is competing in
this week’s 78-player Turkish event for a
first time, remains determined to win for
a second time this season, he says McIlroy is deserving of the title.
“I’m a big believer if you have done
something extraordinary to be able to
achieve that, and to win the Race to Dubai before the last tournament is played,
why shouldn’t you be the winner?” he
“Rory has done something quite extraordinary this season and this summer, and he deserves to be the Race to
Dubai Champion, even before we play
the Dubai World Championship next
It’s a view shared by Westwood, who
was crowned European Number One in
2000 and 2009.
“If you look at Rory’s season, he’s won
two major championships, a World Golf
Championship, and our Flagship event,
the BMW PGA Championship, which is
a phenomenal year,” said Westwood.
“If you put that up in somebody’s career, those four tournaments that would
a good career, and Rory’s achieved that
in six months, basically.
“I’ve also looked over the last few
years and it just seems that whoever
wins the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship wins the FedEx Cup, and if we go
down that path we are into copying the
PGA Tour again and copying the FedEx
Cup. “So I have no problems with the
Race to Dubai being over before the final
event, given this year with what Rory has
Defending champion Victor Dubuisson’s defence preparations got off to a
poor start when The Frenchman’s luggage and clubs were late arriving from
Berdych batters
Cilic to remain in
semi-finals hunt
‘I think today was more about fighting and getting through it’
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic reacts
during his tennis match against Marin Cilic of
Croatia at the ATP World Tour finals at the O2
Arena in London yesterday. (Reuters)
omas Berdych thrashed
US Open champion
Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1
yesterday to remain in
the hunt for a place in the semifinals of the ATP Tour Finals.
Czech world number seven
Berdych had been routed by
Stan Wawrinka in his opening
match at London’s O2 Arena,
but he bounced back in style and
could qualify for the last four
with a victory over defending
champion Novak Djokovic in his
final Group A tie tomorrow.
“I think today was more about
fighting and getting through it,”
Berdych said. “It’s not my first
year. I have the experience of losing the first match in the past and
I know how to come back. I think
that was the biggest difference.”
Quizzed during an on-court
interview about the daunting
task of facing world number
one Djokovic, Berdych jokingly
asked the crowd: “Any tips? I
will need some. I just want to
try to bring my best tennis and
we’ll see what happens. I hope I
can have a great match.”
Cilic’s second straight-sets
defeat at the season-ending
event means the Croatian has no
chance of qualifying after winning just six games in his two
matches. The 26-year-old made
a whopping 30 unforced errors over the course of a woeful
74-minute meltdown.
“It’s disappointing to play like
this. I was not expecting it. But
my body feels a little bit tired on
the court,” Cilic said.
“Especially with these guys at
this kind of level, even small mistakes, or if you’re not at your best,
the outcome is not going to be going in your favour.”
Berdych has lost his opening
match of the Tour Finals in all
five of his appearances, but the
former Wimbledon runner-up
had also won the next tie on each
previous occasion and once again
showed he could respond well to
adversity. Cilic, making his Tour
Finals debut, had enjoyed important Grand Slam victories over
Berdych at Wimbledon and then
the US Open this year. But Ber-
Monty completes ‘an
awful long walk’ with
600th tour event
olin Montgomerie will
become the seventh
golfer to play in 600
European Tour events
when he competes in the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open that
starts today.
The eight-times order of merit winner will reach the landmark
at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal
in Antalya, a course he designed.
“It’s a fantastic milestone,”
the 51-year-old Scot told reporters yesterday. “It’s also an awful
long walk.
“I think Barry Lane worked
out that over the course of 600
tournaments you’d walk the
whole way round the world and
then on to Singapore. That’s an
achievement in itself.”
Montgomerie joins English
trio Lane (684), Malcolm Mackenzie (605) and Roger Chapman
(619), fellow Scot Sam Torrance
(706), Miguel Angel Jimenez
(641) of Spain and Irishman Eamonn Darcy (610) in reaching
600 competitive outings on the
“It’s been some journey so far
and I’m still really enjoying it,”
said the triumphant 2010 Ry-
der Cup captain. “If I had my
time over again I don’t think I’d
change too many things and I’m
very proud of that because not
too many people can say that.
“To have represented the European Tour, which is such a
fantastic tour and has become
like an extended family, for this
length of time is an honour and a
privilege and hopefully I’ve got a
few years left in me yet.
“I still remember my first
tournament and I’m sure I’ll also
remember my 600th for the rest
of my life,” said Montgomerie.
“To reach the landmark on a
course I designed and at one of
the premier events on the European Tour makes it even more
Montgomerie has won 31
times on the tour and is the only
player to win the tour’s flagship
event, the BMW PGA Championship, three years in a row, from
1998-2000. He topped the order of merit seven years in a row
from 1993-99 and again for the
eighth time in 2005.
Montgomerie is regarded as
one of the best players never to
have lifted one of golf’s big four
titles, although he won back-toback majors on the Senior Tour
this year in the US PGA Championship and the US Open.
dych got a measure of revenge for
those losses with a dominant display. After winning a combined
four games between them in dismal opening match defeats, both
players needed a fast start, and it
was Berdych who seized the initiative as he broke in the first game.
Berdych had the momentum and
even when Cilic earned two break
points in the eighth game, the
Czech was able to scramble out
of trouble. He sealed the opening
set with another break and used
his booming serve to escape when
Cilic brought up two more break
points early in the second set.
Cilic’s shoulders slumped af-
ter that failure and the Croatian
looked a spent force when he
tamely directed a forehand wide
to gift Berdych a 3-1 lead which
effectively ended the one-sided
Turkey scraps 2022 Ryder Cup bid
Turkey has withdrawn its bid to host the 2022
Ryder Cup citing environmental concerns as
it would require cutting down between 6,000
and 15,000 trees. Turkey was among seven
European Continental nations vying to host the
biennial event and had nominated the Montgomerie Maxx Royal—the course and venue for
this week’s Turkish Airlines Open.
However Turkey, who notified the European
Tour late last week of its decision, will now focus
on building a new golf course, and without any
environmental concerns, in a move that could
see the country bid for the staging of the 2026
Ryder Cup.
“Unfortunately the problem of hosting the Ryder Cup in 2022 is that the Montgomerie course
is a resort course and not designed for a big
scale golf tournament like a Ryder Cup or even
a Turkish Airlines Open,” said Ahmet Agaoglu,
President of the Turkish Golf Federation.
“If you notice there is not one grandstand on the
golf course this week and there is just no place
for them due to the enormous amount of trees.
“We have calculated we would have to cut down
6,000 to 7,000 trees and something like 15,000
trees on the Faldo Course just to make way for
everything that goes with hosting a Ryder
“All the trees are numbered and licensed and
environmentally it would be impossible to get
permission to cut them down.
“Turkey is now a member of the G20 nations
and the country is very sensitive about environmental issues, so we consider ourselves a
developed country.”
Agaoglu will be looking to avoid a repeat of the
protests two years ago when Istanbul witnessed
huge demonstrations when some 2.7 million
trees were felled to make way for a new Istanbul
Airport and a third Bosphorus Bridge.
“We estimate the Ryder Cup will cost Turkey
between 100-200 million euros to host and we
have shown our commitment to big tournament
golf with the hosting again this week of the
Turkish Airlines Open,” added Agaoglu.
“One way or another we will be hosting the European Tour’s Final Four Series until 2023 that will be
the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.
“That gives us another nine years and along
with the Challenge Tour event, we are already
going to spend something like 70-85 million
euros on these tournaments.
“So together with this continued investment
and the new Ryder Cup course we will build,
that will cost an extra 30-40 million euros,
it will show our commitment to European
Turkey’s withdrawal from the 2022 Ryder Cup
contention leaves six contenders - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Drugs-hit Lee fears
world and Olympic
chance gone
‘It has always been my dream to win both titles. It is also the reason why I took up the sport’
Kuala Lumpur
alaysian badminton
ace Lee Chong Wei
fears he will never
realise his dream
of becoming world and Olympic champion after he was suspended for failing a drugs test, a
report said yesterday.
The world number one is temporarily barred from competition
after testing positive to the banned
anti-inflammatory dexamethasone, for which he could face an
eventual suspension of up to two
years. “If I am suspended for a
long time, it will affect my chances of becoming a world champion
next year and also win the Olympic gold medal in 2016,” Lee, 32,
told the New Straits Times.
“It has always been my dream
to win both titles. It is also the
reason why I took up the sport.”
Despite topping the badminton rankings for years and
reaching five world and Olympic
finals, the popular Lee has never
been able to win either of the
sport’s two major prizes.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said Tuesday that
Lee was suspended “due to an
apparent anti-doping regulation
violation” while a panel considers whether he has committed an
offence. Lee tested positive after
giving urine samples at the BWF
World Championships in August
in Copenhagen, where he lost to
China’s Chen Long in the final.
Lee said the turn of events felt
like a “bad dream”, adding there
was “no way” he could have
taken the drug outside of the
auspices of Malaysia’s National
Sports Institute.
“I’ve been a national player
under the BA of Malaysia (BAM)
for 15 years and I am very particular about injuries,” he told
the daily. “I always consult the
National Sports Institute for advice. There is no way I could have
into my body by myself. I have
lost big matches before but I always bounce back without fail,”
said Lee.
“Frankly, I still can’t believe
what has happened to me.” Badminton’s world body has not announced a date for its hearing
into Lee’s case.
Sarita Devi’s amateur
boxing career could be
finished after her ‘unacceptable’ behaviour
at the Incheon Asian Games
where the Indian fighter refused to accept her bronze
medal on the podium, the
president of the governing
AIBA said yesterday.
“It was totally unacceptable
behaviour for any competition in any sport,” Taiwan’s
Ching-kuo Wu told Reuters by
“I think her boxing career
is finished. The disciplinary
commission is examining the
case and will shortly give its
final decision.”
Sarita was furious after losing her semi-final to local favourite Park Ji-na in the women’s lightweight division.
Her husband launched an
expletive-laden tirade at the
judges and Sarita lodged a protest against the decision but it
was rejected, triggering cries
of foul play from the Indian
The following day, she refused to wear the medal when
it was presented to her, taking
it only in her hand before try-
ing to drape it over Park. When
the presentation was over, Sarita left the medal behind, despite being told to take it with
The International Amateur
Boxing Association (AIBA)
then suspended her and
banned her from the Women’s
World Boxing Championships
on South Korea’s Jeju Island
this week.
“Every athlete should fully
respect the decisions of referees and judges. So this boxer
is facing very severe punishment,” added Wu. “She has
damaged her own country, India has been damaged.”
Wu’s comments will come
as a shock to Boxing India, who
were working to get Sarita’s
suspension lifted and put her
back on track for a place at the
2016 Rio Olympics.
Klitschko unimpressed
by Briggs’ latest antics
Almaty, Kazakhstan
brushed off the latest extreme
efforts by USA boxer Shannon
Briggs yesterday to earn a shot
at the Ukrainian’s belts.
Briggs, 42, gate-crashed Klitschko’s opening training session in Hamburg, as he prepares
for Saturday’s bout against
Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev, before
being ejected from the building by security guards. “The
people don’t want Klitschko
anymore. Champ, come out at
last,” bellowed the American in
his latest effort to get a world
title fight with Klitschko.
Briggs then peeled off his
shirt and pounded his fists on
the building’s glass doors, demanding: “Give me something
to eat!”
This is not the first time
Briggs has gone to extreme
measures to get Klitschko’s attention.
Fighters safer without headgear,
says AIBA president Wu
he decision to remove protective
headgear in men’s amateur boxing has made the sport safer by
reducing concussions and forcing fighters to protect their heads more,
Ching-Kuo Wu, the president of the governing AIBA, told Reuters yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the International Amateur Boxing Association
(AIBA) Congress on South Korea’s Jeju
Island, Wu also said women’s boxing
could one day follow suit but only after
extensive monitoring of the men’s game.
The AIBA opted to remove headgear in
elite men’s bouts last year based on medical statistics suggesting the protective
padding can cause more jarring to boxers’
heads and contribute to brain damage.
Some boxers have also complained that
headgear makes it more difficult to see
punches coming.
Wu said this year’s Commonwealth
and Asian Games had shown the AIBA’s
decision had been the right one.
“Commonwealth Games? No concussions. Asian Games? No concussions,”
Wu told Reuters by telephone.
Future bleak
for Sarita,
says AIBA
The decision was taken based on extensive research by the association’s own
medical commission as well as six independent organisations, the Taiwanese
official added.
“The conclusion was that concussions
dropped to almost zero without the headguard,” said Wu, adding that the research
included data compiled from more than
30,000 bouts. “People felt that wearing
headgear makes everything safe, so why
were there more concussions?
“The problem was that it led to box-
ers not thinking to protect their heads,
so when they were defending they didn’t
care so much about getting hit in the
“By removing headgear, it has changed
the way boxers and coaches prepare, it
has changed tactics. Now you have to defend better, use good techniques to protect your head.”
Fighters at this year’s Commonwealth
and Asian Games seemed at ease without
the headgear, though the aggressive, unpolished nature of amateur boxing led to
more facial cuts and bruises.
Australian boxer Daniel Lewis said at
the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in
July that the removal of headguards had
cost him a shot at a medal after he failed
a medical check before his quarter-final
due to a badly cut eye.
Wu said that the overwhelming reaction from the amateur boxing community had been positive and that safety was
the AIBA’s paramount concern.
“All the research that we have showed
the safety of boxers is not (negatively) affected by removing headguards,” he said.
Women’s professional boxing was
stunned by the death of South African
fighter Phindile Mwelase last month, after the 31-year-old slipped into a coma
and died after being knocked out.
However, Wu said there had been no
injuries at major women’s amateur competitions and that headgear could be removed if data continued to back up safety
statistics at the men’s level.
“We have to do this step by step,” he
“Once everything is proved... then we
can start to have some test and consider
it in future for women.”
He gate crashed 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
“I really couldn’t care less
what he does,” said Klitschko,
38, after Briggs’ latest stunt.
“I will just concentrate on
the fight.”
Briggs, who has twice held
world titles, is undefeated in
his last six heavyweight bouts
since losing to Vitali Klitschko
for the WBC title in Berlin in
October 2010.
Klitschko’s fight against
Pulev in Hamburg will be his
17th defence of his world titles,
having held at least the IBF belt
since 2006, but his Bulgarian
opponent is unbeaten with 11
knock-outs in 20 victories on
his unblemished record.
Germany plans doping law with
prison terms for offenders
The German government yesterday unveiled an anti-doping law
for elite sport, with prison terms for offenders - a landmark piece
of legislation which could also boost the nation’s bid to host
future Olympics. The draft foresees prison terms for top athletes,
coaches, officials and doctors who are caught using - or are in possession of - forbidden substances.
“This law is a milestone in the fight against doping,” justice minister Heiko Maas said, calling it “a clear statement for clean sport
and a statement towards the dopers.”
Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said the legislation could
also help Germany’s planned bid for the 2024 Olympics, with
either Berlin or Hamburg, saying that clean sport raises domestic
acceptance for future Olympics, which is “an advantage for an
international bid.”
The law targets the 7,000 athletes from the test pool of the German Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) as well as foreign athletes who
compete at events in Germany.
Athletes face up to three years in prison while doctors and others
who provide drugs could go behind bars for up to 10 years.
Not affected are amateur athletes, and top athletes also remain
subject to sanctions from their respective sports federations.
The draft could be passed in spring 2015 after being presented in
parliament. In the past, athletes could not be punished via Germany’s medication law.
Germany is the latest country set to introduce anti-doping legislation, following states including France, Italy and Spain.
Germany has seen several big-name athletes caught using forbidden substances or admitting using them, such as cyclists including
Jan Ullrich and biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, a two-time
Olympic champion in cross-country skiing, who failed a test at the
Sochi Games in February.
NADA chair Andrea Gotzmann called the planned law “a clear step
in the right direction.”
World Anti-Doping president Craig Reedie also welcomed the
legislation, saying he sees “no reason why sports arbitration and
civil law cannot coexist.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Grizzlies bounce
back, Bryant sets
mark for misses
Kobe finds himself on the wrong end of history for most missed field goals in NBA history
All Blacks, Springboks
dominate award list
ew Zealand and South
Africa have provided
four of the five nominees announced yesterday for the 2014 International
Rugby Board world player of the
year award.
Given the All Blacks and the
Springboks are currently first
second in the IRB world rankings, it is perhaps no surprise
that world champions New
Zealand have two nominees in
wing Julian Savea and lock Brodie Retallick, with South Africa
full-back Willie le Roux and No.
8 Duane Vermeulen also up for
the award.
The only European player in a
five-man shortlist is Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton.
Nominees were chosen by
an eight-man panel chaired by
Australia’s 1999 World Cupwinning captain John Eales and
featuring seven other former
internationals in Will Greenwood (England), Gavin Hastings (Scotland), Raphael Ibanez
(France), Francois Pienaar South
Africa), Agustin Pichot (Argentina), Scott Quinnell (Wales),
Tana Umaga (New Zealand) and
Paul Wallace (Ireland).
Savea has a stunning strikerate of 29 tries in just 31 Tests, including 10 so far in 2014 ahead of
Saturday’s match against Scotland at Murrayfield while the
powerful Retallick’s partnership
with Sam Whitelock is arguably
the best second row combination in Test rugby at present.
Le Roux has added an extra cutting edge to South Africa’s backline and has started all 10 of the
Springboks’ internationals in 2014
to date, with Vermeulen winning
plaudits for his work at the breakdown area, dynamic ball-carrying
and strength in the tackle.
Sexton, who starred for the
British and Irish Lions in Australia last year, demonstrated his
class again when he orchestrated
Ireland’s 29-15 win over South
Africa in Dublin on Saturday.
Previous recipients include
England 2003 World Cup star
Jonny Wilkinson, former Wales
wing Shane Williams and current
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, who was won the award a
record three times.
McCaw’s All Blacks teammate Kieran Read is the current
holder of the award, having won
it in 2013. “All of these nominees
have enjoyed stellar years, and
the focus on who will claim this
accolade will add an extra dimension to the remaining November
Tests,” IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement.
The winner of the award, based
on international performances
this year, will be revealed at their
nation’s final Test of 2014.
Virus floors Kangaroos
ahead of Four Nations final
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates in the final seconds of the fourth quarter as the Mavericks beat the Sacramento Kings 106-98 in Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday.
Nowitzki took over 9th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in front of Hakeem Olajuwon during the course of the game. (AFP)
Los Angeles
ike Conley had 23 points and
Marc Gasol did a little of everything as the Memphis Grizzlies got back into the win
column on Tuesday by holding off the last
place Los Angeles Lakers 107-102.
Zach Randolph delivered his sixth
double double in eight games and got the
putback layup in the final seconds that
iced the victory for the Grizzlies, who
bounced back after suffering their first
loss of the season on Saturday.
Randolph finished with 11 points and
10 assists and Gasol tallied eight points,
nine assists and eight boards for the
Grizzlies who had to weather a strong
fourth quarter rally by Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant found himself on the
wrong end of history on Tuesday as the
Lakers star passed former Boston Celtic
John Havlicek for the most missed field
goals in NBA history.
Bryant missed a shot at 6:22 of the fourth
quarter for his 13,418th career miss, giving
him one more than Havlicek. He came into
the game 13 misses off the record. Asked
about setting the record, Bryant replied,
“Nah, I don’t follow that stuff.”
He said when you play in the league as
long as he has you put up big numbers.
“Well, I am a shooting guard that has
played 19 years. Like I said, ‘shooting
guard, 19th year,’” said Bryant. He finished with 28 points but needed 26 shots
to get them in front of a crowd of 17,618 at
FedEx Forum arena. Carlos Boozer scored
a season-high 20 in the loss.
Memphis received a valuable contribution from its bench as Beno Udrih and
Kosta Koufos shot a combined 13-for-16
from the floor for 16 and 14 points, respectively. The Grizzlies have now beaten Los Angeles in four of five games since
the start of last season and are 7-2 in their
last nine contests.
Memphis has now won a franchisebest 17 straight regular season games at
home. They began the season with a 6-0
mark and suffered a 93-92 loss to the
Milwaukee Bucks Saturday.
The Lakers dropped to 1-6 and are off to
one of their worst starts in franchise history. Jordan Hill shot just six-of-17 from
the field and Jeremy Lin finished with 12
points, three turnovers and five fouls.
Los Angeles was playing without guard
Wayne Ellington who flew to his native
Philadelphia after his father was shot and
killed on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Dirk Nowitzki celebrated
a ‘Dream’ night as the Dallas Mavericks
made a monumental comeback.
The German wunderkind scored 23
points to pass Hakeem ‘the Dream’ Olajuwon for ninth place on the NBA’s all-time
scoring list, and the Mavericks stormed
from 24 down to beat the Sacramento
Kings for the 21st time at home, 106-98.
“It was special,” said Nowitzki, who
now has 26,953 points, seven more than
Olajuwon in his brilliant 17-year career.
“To pass ‘the Dream’ is unbelievable.
I’m very proud. And to do it in front of
the home crowd, they knew exactly how
many points I needed.”
Nowitzki nailed a straightway jumper
over Carl Landry with just under nine
minutes left in the fourth quarter, pushing the 36-year-old past the Nigerianborn Olajuwon, regarded as the best international player to ever play the game.
It also made Nowitzki the top-scoring
foreign-born player in NBA history, as
the fans at the American Airlines Center saluted their hometown hero with a
standing ovation.
“It’s (an) unbelievable accomplishment but he’s going to pass more guys,”
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of his
former league and Finals MVP. “It’s just
a tribute to his greatness. Guys like him
that live their entire life committed to
excellence are able to do things like this.
That’s why he’s so very special.”
Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban also
tipped his hat to the future Hall of Famer.
“I think Dirk has earned everything he’s
got and every step he takes up the ladder
is a reflection of his effort and his focus,”
Cuban said. “To be the greatest international scorer ever is an amazing accomplishment. We’re proud to have him here.”
Chandler Parsons had 19 points and
Monta Ellis dropped in all of his 16 in the
second half to spark the comeback for
Dallas, (5-3), which hasn’t lost at home
to the Kings since February 27, 2003.
Rudy Gay netted 26 points, Ramon
Sessions had 18, Ben McLemore, 17, while
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 16 and
11 rebounds in Sacramento’s (5-3) second
straight loss. The Kings raced to a 44-20
cushion early in the second quarter but
the Mavs chipped away and trimmed it to
57-48 at halftime.
Ellis came alive with 10 third-quarter
points, including a driving layup that
gave Dallas its first lead of the night, 6967. He ended the frame with a buzzerbeating jumper for a 78-72 edge entering
the final stanza.
After Nowitzki went into the record
books, he splashed a high-arching
3-pointer with 5:22 left, putting the
hosts ahead, 95-84. The Mavs stayed in
front, tying for the third greatest comeback in franchise history.
“They’re a good team, they took it to
us early,” Nowitzki said. “We adjusted,
we picked up the pressure with smart
play. Overall, our energy was great in the
second half.”
Golden State 100
Dallas 106
Toronto 104
Portland 102
Memphis 107
Milwaukee 85
San Antonio 113
Sacramento 98
Orlando 100
Charlotte 100
LA Lakers 102
Oklahoma 78
ndian Grandmaster Viswanathan
Anand defeated world champion
Magnus Carlsen in 34 moves in the
third game of their world title match
in Russia, in the process breaking the
“Carlsen Jinx” bugging him since losing
the world title to Carlsen last year.
At the end of the third game in the
12-game match, both the players have 1.5
points each.
Grandmaster Nigel Short tweeted: “I
said at the start of the game, ‘contrary
to popular belief, the match is not over’.
However, for some Indian trolls, I am
In the Queen’s Gambit Declined opening, playing white, Indian ace Anand
started confidently and the moves
progressed as per the book with the
champion castling on the King side.
While Anand was pushing out his pawns
to pave the way for his pieces, Carlsen
brought out his queen side knight. On
move 7, Anand started pushing his c-pawn
and his other pawns on the queen side and
Carlsen similarly responded.
A flurry of activity began on move 11
with Anand traded his white bishop for
Carlsen’s white bishop. Following that,
Anand gave up his b-pawn in order to advance his c file pawn to the seventh rank.
Anand’s 17th move of putting his
knight on the g5 square aiming for a
play centered around his pawn on the
seventh rank.
This made Carlsen to go into deep
thought for a whopping 32 minutes to
make his move.
This prompted world number 7
Grandmaster Anish Giri to tweet: “Interesting, the axiom that Magnus has an
unearthly memory is being challenged
right now.”
World number 23 Grandmaster P Harikrishna said: “It is unclear why Carlsen
took so long. Seems he was figuring out
the way to take Anand out of theory/
home preparation.”
Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujarathi
tweeted that the board position was
reached in Aronian-Adams but Harikrishna said the Aronian-Adams, though
ended in a draw, was not an easy one.
“The position is actually good for
Anand as Carlsen’s queen is not in active play and there is not much of an
active coordination among his pieces,”
Harikrishna said.
At this point Anand exchanged his
knight on g5 for Carlsen’s knight on e4
square. The champion captured the
white piece with his knight on f6.
Experts were of the view that the
game was on razor edge and a mistake
by any one of the player would be
Soon the other two knights got
exchanged and Anand’s queen got into
active play, a luxury that was not available for Carlsen.
In move 32, Carlsen gave up his rook
for Anand’s black bishop and facing
further loss of a piece, resigned.
Reacting to the game, Giri said: “I don’t
think there was a change in strategy for
Anand. The strategy has always been
fine, just today it finally worked out well.
Anand got very lucky that Carlsen was
completely unaware of this relatively well
known variation.”
Defending champions Australia
cancelled training yesterday
ahead of the Four Nations final
with New Zealand after five
players were quarantined with
a virus. But coach Tim Sheens
said he hoped the outbreak
was under control and was
confident the Kangaroos will
field their top side in Saturday’s
decider in Wellington.
“We’ve had a bit of disruption
this week with that bug in the
camp, but we’re confident going into the weekend’s game,”
Sheens told reporters.
Medical staff have isolated
the ill players, who were not
named, in an attempt to prevent
the virus sweeping through the
rest of the team. “We’ve got it
under control I think,” Sheens
said. “We’re not looking for
excuses and we expect them to
be right to play on Saturday.”
The virus has disrupted the
Kangaroos’ build-up since they
arrived in Wellington this week
after a late qualification for the
final when they beat Samoa 4418 in Wollongong on Sunday.
The world champions
suffered a shock loss to the unbeaten Kiwis in the first round
before bouncing back with wins
over England and then Samoa,
but Sheens believes it will be
tough to maintain the momentum with the short turnaround
between games.
“I don’t think anyone gave
us much chance and certainly
after game one, they gave us
no chance,” he said. “Now some
are saying we’re favourites,
although I don’t know how they
figure that. We’ve had to come
down here on a short week and
play them in their own back
yard, so that’s going to be a
tough game.”
The Australians have been
plagued by illness throughout
the tournament. Greg Inglis was
unable to take the field for the
second half in the first-round
loss to the Kiwis, and Sheens
was laid low before the England
game the following week.
Back-rower Greg Bird told Sky
Sports Radio that the Kangaroos expected the Kiwis to focus
on the forward strength that
powered them to victory in the
series opener.
“They were quite successful
at it really,” he said. “We’ve got
to play smarter, I think. Just
more control. A little bit more
fluent with the ball. It was a little
erratic in game one. The combinations have been thought out
a little bit better now and hopefully we can get a win.”
SA make 5 changes
for England clash
Cape Town
outh Africa will have a
new halfback pairing
among five changes made
by coach Heyneke Meyer
for the test against England at
Twickenham on Saturday.
Flyhalf Pat Lambie and inexperienced scrumhalf Cobus Reinach come in for Handre Pollard
and Francois Hougaard, though
Meyer said they had not paid the
price for disappointing performances in last weekend’s 29-15
defeat by Ireland in Dublin.
World Cup winners JP Pietersen and Schalk Burger start
on the wing and flank ahead of
Cornal Hendricks and Teboho
Mohoje, while Adriaan Strauss
replaces Bismark du Plessis at
hooker. “We’ve accepted our
performance against Ireland last
weekend was not up to scratch
and everyone in the touring
squad has put up their hands and
dug deep this week,” Meyer said.
“We’ve really worked hard at
fixing the mistakes we made and
the challenge is now to put that
into action on Saturday.”
Meyer said the changes were
not a knee-jerk reaction to the
result in Dublin, but rather they
were in line with rotational
changes that he had in mind be-
fore the start of the tour.
Strauss, Lambie and Pietersen
all started in the Springboks’ last
test at Twickenham, while Saturday’s match will be Reinach’s
first in the starting team.
“Pat started at Twickenham
for us two years ago and did very
well,” said Meyer.
“He’s playing well at the moment and I wanted to give him
the opportunity to start. Pat is
tactically very astute and even
though he’s still pretty young,
he’s got a lot of experience.
“Adriaan, Schalk and JP have all
started a number of tests this year
and they will slot in easily—we decided beforehand that we wanted
to start all of these players in one
of the first two tests on tour.”
Meyer also gave his backing to
Reinach with his scrumhalf options stretched thin with Fourie
du Preez and Ruan Pienaar not
available through injury.
“It’s a big occasion for Cobus
but he would not have been here if
we didn’t believe he could deliver
the goods, and he’ll be next to his
provincial team mate in Pat. “As
usual, we’re also expecting our
replacements to raise the intensity when they’re sent on and Bismarck, who had a very good game
in Dublin especially in the setpieces, ‘Oupa’ (Mohoje), Francois,
Cornal and Handre will provide
important cover off the bench.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Qatar Team start as
favourites for Grand
Prix of Middle East
‘Racecourse is perfect for the Qatar boats’
By Sports Reporter
he Qatar Team has left nothing to
chance in its meticulous preparations for this weekend’s Grand
Prix of Middle East, the third
round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, taking place in Doha Bay on Saturday afternoon.
After dominating the recent race in
China and crushing the opposition in
Qatar back in March, the team benefited
from recent testing in Florida and both
defending champion Alex Carella and
teammate Shaun Torrente arrive in Doha
with the bit between their teeth. The
Qatar Team has won four of the last five
races to be staged in Doha Bay.
“We have made no real changes to the
boat set-up,” admitted Khalid bin Arhama
al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the
Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).
“We believe we already have the maximum set-up. We saw at the last race that
we were able to beat our main rival Sami
Selio by almost 1.4 seconds on a lap.
There have been some minor changes to
the location of the pit area and some of
the facilities on Doha Corniche, but the
racecourse is perfect for the Qatar boats.
I am confident that we can complete the
one-two finish.”
Team Abu Dhabi again misses out on
a Qatar race, but the host team still faces
stiff competition from the likes of Selio
in the lead Mad Croc Racing Team BaBa
and the impressive Swedish driver Erik
Stark, who impressed many people with
his rookie performance to finish second
behind Carella in the Team Nautica boat
in Liuzhou last month.
Both Philippe Chiappe of the China
CTIC Team and Team Sweden’s Jonas
Andersson suffered disappointing performances in China and know the importance of a podium finish in Doha if they
are to stay in touch with runaway leader
Carella in the points’ standings.
Alex arrives in Qatar with a 25-point lead
in the UIM F1 H2O Drivers’ Championship over a two-way tie for second position involving Stark and Chiappe. Team
Abu Dhabi’s Thani al-Qamzi and Duarte
Benavente lie a further three points behind.
Motorglass F1 Team’s Bartek Marszalek finished an impressive fifth in China
and he and Italian team-mate Francesco
Cantando will also be eyeing podium finishes on Saturday.
Kuwait’s Yousef al-Rubayan showed an
impressive turn of speed to qualify third
in China and the F1 GC Atlantic Team
racer and colleague Duarte Benavente of
Portugal are also capable of reaching the
Impressive Norwegian female racer
Marit Stromoy, Selio’s Finnish teammate Filip Roms, China’s Xiong Ziwei and
the Caudwell Racing duo of Ivan Brigada
and Tomas Cermak complete the provi-
The UIM F1 H2O pits take shape in Doha Bay; (below) Khalid bin Arhama al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at QMSF.
sional line-up for the F1 H2O field, which
will be supported by drivers competing in
a pair of UIM F-4S support races.
Mohammed al-Obaidly and Khalid
Abdullah al-Kuwari will represent the
host nation in the F-4S races. Germany’s
Mike Szymura leads Australian Briney
Rigby by 25 points after three races.
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 40 pts
2. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica 15 pts
2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC
Team 15 pts
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi
12 pts
4. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic
Team 12 pts
6. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing
Team 11 pts
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1
Team 10 pts
8. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 9 pts
8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass
F1 Team 9 pts
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica
5 pts
10. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team 5 pts
10. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team
5 pts
13. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing
Team 3 pts
14. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu
Dhabi 2 pts
Triathlon Series
season to begin
on Saturday
By Sports Reporter
atar’s first major triathlon series, The GMC
TriSeries, is hosting
the first event of the
2014-15 season on Saturday, November 15, at Aspire Zone.
The races are open to everyone
and registration for all upcoming
races in the season can be done
on The Series
saw 477 participants race across
four events in the 2013-2014 season. This year the series will take
place between November and
April with events on November
15, February 14 and April 25.
Mannai Corporation and GMC
are the title sponsors of the event
for the second consecutive year.
Mannai Corporation CFO
Ewan Cameron, who will also
take part in the event, said: “It’s
important to promote an active
lifestyle and with the GMC TriSeries and the regular activities
of the TriClub, people from all
over Qatar can participate in fun
and engaging social events. GMC
is headlining the series again this
season to promote great cars that
are highly suited to active families because all their gear and
bikes can easily fit in vehicles like
the GMC Yukon and Sierra. We
are proud to be connected with
such a fast growing global sport
which suits people of all ages.
Mannai Auto Group general manager of Operations Ivor
D’Cunha said: “Mannai Auto and
GMC are honoured to be active
partners to the GMC TriSeries
organising committee in Doha.
We will continue to actively promote the TriSeries among our
wide customer base to generate
even more interest in the sport.
GMC vehicles will also help marshals across the race stages and
the organising committee during
their preparations.”
TriClubDoha chairman and
race director Nickel Nijman
said: “We are pleased to have the
continuing support of Mannai
Corporation and GMC. Without their help in the last year we
would not have had the equipment to run the race or the special keepsakes such as medals,
trophies and shirts that make the
event memorable for everyone
Nijman said this season the
TriSeries expects a big increase
in kids participating as 35% of
the participants registered for
upcoming races are under 18. The
organisers expect much bigger
crowds at each meet, including
parents and general spectators
cheering on the children and the
adult participants.
Race 1, scheduled for Saturday,
is already sold out with a record
200 entries, up from 150 in last
season’s final race.
The SPRINT Distance event
features a 500 metre Swim, 20 kilometre Cycle and 5 kilometre Run.
TRY-Athlon “Mini” Sprint
Distance covers a 250 metre
Swim, 10 kilometre Cycle and 2.5
kilometre Run.
The Junior Mini Sprint (13-17
year olds) is a 200 metre Swim, 5
kilometre Cycle and 1.25 kilometre Run.
The Kids Mini Sprint (8-12
year olds) covers a 100 metre
Swim, 2.5 kilometre Cycle and
1.25 kilometre Run.
Those who wish to register for
the upcoming events can visit for more information. Costs are QR180 for
adults and QR50 for kids’ races.
The fees cover the costs of organising the races and providing
professional race timing using
electronic timing chips. To ensure accurate times and results,
every competitor will receive a
timing chip to use whilst racing.
This technology allows splits,
category positions and results to
be updated live as competitors
pass the finish line.
All Races are at Aspire Zone.
Race pack collection and transition opens at 05:30 on race days.
The race brief starts at 06:30. At
06:45 the first competitor will
start with other athletes starting at
pre-set timed intervals thereafter.
Everyone must register before the
races start and collect their timing
equipment and race packs.
10.00 - 15.00: Technical scrutineering F1
and F-4S
15.00 - 17.00: Extra free practice
17.30: Drivers’ briefing F1 and F-4S
Al-Balooshi enters season’s last race looking for California sweep
Pomona, California
weeping any series of sporting events is a tall task, but the
Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top
Fuel team, the three-time and
defending World Championship team
owned by HE Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani, has a chance to pull off a
nearly unprecedented sweep this weekend.
Khalid al-Balooshi has swept the
first two California races this season,
and he looks for to complete the California season sweep at this weekend’s
50th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals in
Pomona, California, the last of 24 races making up the United States’ 2014
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
and the last of six events that comprise
the Countdown to the Championship
NHRA Playoffs. Qualifying is set for
Friday and Saturday with eliminations
scheduled for Sunday.
Al-Balooshi and his gold Al-Anabi
Racing Team, who enter this weekend’s race in eighth place in points
and out of championship contention, won the season-opening Circle
K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona,
California, site of this weekend’s race.
In July, al-Balooshi won the Sonoma
NHRA Nationals in Northern California. This weekend, he will look to
Khalid al-Balooshi (front centre) celebrates his July NHRA Sonoma (California) Nationals win with team manager Alan Johnson (front right), crew chief Jason McCulloch
(front left) and the rest of the gold Al-Anabi team behind the car.
win the Auto Club NHRA Finals and
sweep the California season.
“We have one race to go,” al-Balooshi
said. “I think we have a good chance
to win the next race in California. We
won at Pomona in February; we won at
Sonoma in July, and I hope we can win
the race in Pomona this week. You have
to be very good to win, but I know we
have one of the best cars in the show,
too. We can do it.”
And should he do it, his team would
complete the “California Sweep” – a
tremendous accomplishment that
Langdon” pulled off last season. If
Langdon happens to win the race in
Pomona this weekend, even though
it would prevent al-Balooshi’s “California Sweep” it would make sixstraight California wins for the Qatar
Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team.”
“I am very excited to race in Pomona
because it is kind of our home race,”
al-Balooshi added. “We have a lot of
the fans coming to watch the race so I
hope we can do something good. I live
in Los Angeles when I am in the US. It
is also a home race for Alan (Al-Anabi
team manager Alan Johnson) so I know
he wants to have a good weekend, too.
Winning the third race in California
would be very nice, but you know, Top
Fuel is very hard. Everyone on our team
will work his hardest to win the race
this week.”
Langdon, who enters the weekend
in fourth place in the standings, is the
reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel
World Champion for one more week;
while it is mathematically possible
for him to make a major come-frombehind surge and win the World Title, it is highly unlikely. Langdon and
his silver Al-Anabi team will do all
they can to salvage the season with a
second-place finish in the final point
“There’s no consolation when you
don’t win the NHRA Mello Yello World
Championship, but we’re shooting for
second place now,” Langdon said. “If
we can do that, we can show we’re
capable of putting up a fight. The AlAnabi Team had its opportunities to
contend for the Mello Yello title, but
we weren’t able to capitalise on them.
It’s a little disappointing, but we know
what our team is capable of accomplishing and we understand how tough
the competition is in Top Fuel. We are
focusing on getting our car back to
where we like it so we can get a head
start on 2015.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
WAHO Conference
commences in Doha
‘Qatar is proud to be home to some of the most beautiful and fastest Arabian horses in the world’
By Chris Hoover
atar Racing and Equestrian
Club chairman HE Sheikh
Mohammed bin Faleh alThani officially declared the
World Arabian Horse Organisation
(WAHO) Conference open at the RitzCarlton yesterday.
Held under patronage of HH Sheikh
Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, the
WAHO Conference has returned to
Doha for the second time after Brazil was unable to host the meet in Sao
Paulo in 2013.
Making his opening speech in the
presence of dignitaries from various
member countries, Sheikh Mohammed
appreciated the work done by WAHO.
“Qatar is proud to be home to some
of the most beautiful and fastest Arabian horses in the world. You will be,
therefore, invited to the world-class
farms and studs of Qatar, including Al
Shaqab, Umm Qarn and Al Shahania, as
well as some other relatively new farms
and studs,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“In recognition of WAHO and its
efforts, QREC will organise a special
race meeting, marking the hosting of
the WAHO Conference 2014, with as
highlights the running of the WAHO
Conference Qatar Cup and the inaugural running of the Jay Stream Cup,” the
QREC chairman added.
“With your presence and efforts, we
are confident of your continued success
in shaping the future of the ancient breed
of the Arabian horse and maintaining its
purity for ourselves and those who come
after us. I would like to wish you and the
Conference all success and I hope you
will enjoy your time here as our guests,”
Sheikh Mohammed concluded.
QREC general manager Sami Jassim
al-Boenain who was present during the
opening ceremony, expressed the desire of Qatar to be in the Board of Directors of WAHO. “This is the second time
that we are hosting the WAHO Conference and we are glad to do so. It is very
important for Qatar as it is one of the
major players in the development of the
Pure Arabian breed. Qatar has always
dominated in the Arabian horse shows
as well racing. We are looking ahead to
be part of WAHO and be a part of the
decision making. Qatar is keen to be in
the executive committee as a member
of Board of Directors.”
“WAHO was established 40 years ago
and its rules and regulations were good
for that time. But now we need to move
QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Faleh al-Thani declares open the 2014
WAHO Conference at the Ritz-Carlton yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain was present during the official opening of the WAHO Conference yesterday.
ahead with the new developments that
are taking place. It is very important for
Qatar to put forward its vision and take
it forward. We are confident that we
will have a positive response soon.”
WAHO was established in 1970. It is
an umbrella organisation for all Arabian stud books. A WAHO Conference
is a very special and unique meeting.
It includes the Organisation’s business
during the General Assembly sessions,
but perhaps equally important are
the social functions and tours. These
have always been included ever since
the first WAHO Conference in Seville,
Spain, way back in 1972.
Among the guest speakers yesterday,
Cynthia Culbertson of USA, made her
presentation about the “Bedouin traditions and their relevance today”.
Today, the day will begin with Professor Tadeusz Majda speaking about
“The Count Rzewuski Manuscript and
its translation into English & Arabic,
sponsored by the Qatar Foundation”.
This will be followed by Professor
Douglas F Antczak, Cornell University,
USA, talking about “Overview of the
new research project on the genetics
of the Arabian horse, sponsored by the
Qatar National Research Fund.”
Glowing tributes paid to retiring president Nagel
By Chris Hoover
AHO president Peter Pond paid
glowing tributes to the retiring
president Dr Hans Joachim Nagel,
who will hold the honorary title of
“President Emeritus” which was decided during the Executive Committee meeting here. Peter also thanked the organisers for hosting the
Conference in Doha for the second time.
“I would like to take this opportunity to convey WAHO’s sincere gratitude and appreciation
to the State of Qatar in inviting our organisation
to hold our 21st General Assembly in Doha. In
particular, I especially thank HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, for his acceptance as
patron of this WAHO 2014 Qatar Conference.”
“I also thank QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Faleh al-Thani for his attendance
here today and for being so kind in declaring this
WAHO Conference open in this beautiful city of
“We offer our thanks to QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain, and his conference
organising committee for their wonderful hospitality. Of course we also thank his wonderful
team, including the conference manager Hannie Maasdijk, and all those who have worked so
hard to ensure such excellent organisation of
this conference.”
“This is of course the second time that we
have had the pleasure of having our WAHO Conference hosted here in Qatar. I am very sure that
this Conference will be better than the wonderful conference held here in November 2011.
All of the conference participants will not
only enjoy the forthcoming three days of the
conference and its diverse social events, but also
the four specially arranged Pride of Qatar days
that follow.
“Our hosts the QREC have again been extremely generous to WAHO on this our second
visit and words cannot describe our appreciation for their wonderful hospitality. I am sure
WAHO president Peter Pond (left) presents a specially commissioned watercolour painting of Hanan, an internationally-renowned broodmare to retiring
president Dr Hans Joachim Nagel yesterday.
that everyone would like to join me in thanking
you so very much for your very kind invitation.”
“It is with a great sense of appreciation that we
honour our retiring president Dr Hans Joachim
Nagel. There has never been a better friend to all of
us and the Arabian horse. None of us would be able
to make such a substantial contribution without
support of our family, and certainly we must also
recognise his lovely wife, Nawal, for her unwavering support to Hans over the years.”
Nagel was involved with Arabian horses
since 1967 when he established his famous
Katharinenhof Stud. From this beginning Nagel
has by now reached 10 generations of home–
bred Arabian horses of Straight Egyptian blood-
lines. His farm generally has about 30 Arabian
horses at any one time, and over the decades
many have been exported all over the world as
foundation stock for other breeders.
Nagel is an acclaimed author of several
books about Arabian horses including “Hanan
- the story of an Arabian Mare and the Arabian
breed”; “Return and Renaissance of the Arabian
horse to the Arabian Peninsula” in conjunction
with Gigi Grasso and his latest book, recently
published, which is called “The Arabian Horse:
Nature’s creation and the art of breeding”.
Over the decades, Nagel has also offered his
time, experience and expertise to other organisations associated with Arabian horses. Starting from 1978, he served many terms of office
as president of the German Arab Horse Society
and he was a member of council of Eacho for an
equally extended period.
He is a national and international Judge of
Arabian horses and he is also chairman of the All
Nations Cup international show held annually
in Aachen, Germany.
Nagel first joined WAHO as an individual
associate member in 1976, and he was brought
onto the executive committee in 1982. Ten
years later, in 1992, he became its vice president. Another decade passed, and then in
2002 he stepped in to chair the WAHO conference in Istanbul, Turkey, when Jay Stream
was unable to attend for health reasons. And
he has of course been highly respected president since Jay retired, formally taking office in
January 2003.
For nearly four decades, Nagel has freely given
his time, his expertise, his knowledge and his
loyalty to volunteer his services to this organisation, first as what we might call an “ordinary
WAHO family member”, then gradually as the
years passed becoming what amounted to a father figure for the organisation.
A specially commissioned watercolour painting of Nagel’s Hanan, an internationally-renowned broodmare, by the well known artist
and Arabian horse expert, Peter Upton was presented to the retiring president as a parting gift.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
TM Thunder Struck dazzles
with Jay Stream Cup victory
‘We are very excited with this victory and I am happy for the owner, who deserved this victory’
Former WAHO president Dr Hans Joachim Nagel presents the WAHO Conference Qatar Cup to Jassim Mohamed al-Badi
after Ashkal had won the event at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
By Chris Hoover
brilliant turn of foot in the
straight enabled Umm Qarn’s
TM Thunder Struck to assert
his superiority over his nine
rivals in the Jay Stream Cup, a Pure Arabian Advanced Plate, which featured the
races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian
Club yesterday. The Alban de Mieulle
trained TM Thunder Struck was ridden
to victory by Frenchman Gaetan Faucon.
Tuyoorna and Aziz Al Shahania finished
on strongly to take the second and third
places respectively.
Jassim al-Ghazali trained Ashkal
plunged into an all out offensive in
the final furlong and launched a fiery
gallop to outrun Maazouz and score a
thrilling victory in the WAHO Conference Qatar Cup, a Pure Arabian
Graduation Plate race, run over 1,800
metres. The Jassim Mohammed alBadi owned Ashkal was brilliantly
ridden by jockey Yanis Aouabed.
Maazouz led them all the way into
the straight and Ashkal slipped in
through the rails improving position
all along the turn. Maazouz continued to call the shots with a furlong to
go. Meanwhile, Aouabed showed the
daylight to Ashkal, who came charging
at the front runner. The power packed
finish by the Frenchman ensured victory for the Ghazali ward.
“This was an amazing performance
by Ashkal. She did very well to beat the
opposition. Jockey Aouabed also did
well to ride Ashkal the way he did. We
are very excited with this victory and I
am happy for the owner, who deserved
this victory,” trainer Ghazali told the
Gulf Times.
Julian Smart trained Al Koufa (Burning Sands-Tohfa) shed her maiden status with a hard fought victory in the
Pure Arabian Maiden Plate. Jallad had
assumed command at the 300 metre
marker and looked set to land the spoils
but was floored by the finishing burst of
WAHO president Peter Pond (centre) presents the Jay Stream Cup to Umm Qarn trainer Alban de Mieulle after his ward TM Thunder
Struck had won the event at the QREC yesterday. QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Faleh al-Thani was also present during the
presentation ceremony.
the Burning Sands progeny, who covered a lot of ground and went past the
leader to enter the winners enclosure
in her fourth attempt. Jockey Richard
Mullen rode a well judges race on the
Hamad Abdulhadi Salah al-Marri’s
Mowhoubat Al Zaidy finally borke
through the maiden ranks while taking
the Local Bred Pure Arabian Maiden
Plate with a narrow win. Jockey Gaetan
Faucon had to use all the resources at
his command to stave off the challenge
of Desar Al Naif, who put in a spirited
effort but failed in his mission.
Zohair Moghsen trained Emaad
(Marvin Suerland up) made a smashing debut with a runaway victory in the
Thoroughbred Maiden Plate. Making
his first appearance on the race track,
Emaad quickly went to the front and
made every post a winning one as he
checked in well clear of six rivals. Blazers Rock, in his 13th outing, took the
runner-up berth ahead of Umljnob and
Capitulate. Emaad clocked a timing of
one minute 57.32 seconds for the nine
furlong trip.
(Dutch Art-Never Away) also made
a winning debut, while winning the
Thoroughbred Graduation Plate in
fluent fashion. After racing a handy
second until the hometurn, Upholland took charge and went away to win
by over a length from Dardawan, who
came with telling strides but was unable to pass the eventual winner.
Qatari jockey Yousef al-Hajri rode
out Yes We Can Dream to a pillar to post
victory in the Thoroughbred Handicap
for horses rated 50 to 70. The Al Mansoori saddled Yes We Can Dream gained
the initiative at the start and staved off
the challenge of Elastomer, who chased
the winner all the way but could not get
past. Safonic Sound and The Scuttler
finished with a late bid to take the third
and fourth places respectively.
Abdullah Hassan Ali Abdulmalik
owned Nawarah produced a winning
gallop in the final 100 metres to clinch
QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Faleh al-Thani and WAHO president Peter Pond are seen with the winners of the Jay Stream Cup at the QREC yesterday.
the Thoroughbred Handicap for horses
rated 70 to 90. The Ibrahim al-Malki
schooled Nawarah (Gary Carter astride)
raced a handy third while Twentyfourseven set the pace. As the race took
a serious turn, Nawarah pounced on the
front runner and skipped away to win
quite comfortably from a late finishing
Ridge Wood Dani.
1st race: Emaad (Marvin Suerland) 1,
Blazers Rock 2, Umljnob 3, Capitulate
4. Won by: 8, 5, 10. Time: 1:57.32. Trained
by: Zohair Moghsen. Owned by: Hussain
Ali Bukanan
2nd race: Upholland (Declan Cannon)
1, Dardawan 2, Seamless 3, Statesmanship 4. Won by: 1 ¼, 2 ½. 5. Time: 1:55.80.
Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned
by: Jassim Mohammed Al Ghazali and
3rd race: Yes We Can Dream (Yousef
al-Hajri) 1, Elastomer 2, Safonic Sound
3, The Scuttler 4. Won by: ½, 1, Shd.
Time: 1:12.57. Trained by: M. Al Mansoori.
Owned by: Mansoor Khalil al-Masouri
4th race: Nawarah (Gary Carter) 1,
Ridge Wood Dani 2, Twentyfourseven 3,
Sejalaat 4. Won by: 1 ¾, Hd, 1. Time: 1:11.81.
Trained by: Ibrahim al-Malki. Owned by:
Abdullah Hassan Ali Abdulmalik
5th race: Al Koufa (Richard Mullen) 1,
Jallad 2, TM Tasha 3, Won by: 1, 5, 2 ½.
Time: 1:21.52. Trained by: Julian Smart.
Owned by: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin
Khalifa al-Thani
6th race: Mowhoubat Al Zaidy (Gaetan
Faucon) 1, Desar Al Naif 2, Bahi 3, Refaal
4. Won by: 1, 2, 6. Time: 2:11.05. Trained
by: Hamad Abdulhadi al-Marri. Owned
by: Hamad Abdulhadi Salah al-Marri
7th race: Ashkal (Yanis Aouabed) 1,
Maazouz 2, Al Khattaf 3, Candahar 4.
Won by: 1 ½, 3, Nk. Time: 2:07.28. Trained
by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Jassim
Mohammed al-Badi
8th race: TM Thunder Struck (Gaetan
Faucon) 1, Tuyoorna 2, Aziz Al Shahania
3, Al Majd 4. Won by: 1 ½, Nk, 2 ½. Time:
1:19.58. Trained by: Alban de Mieulle.
Owned by: Umm Qarn
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Aquatics stars to address FINA conference in Doha
By Sports Reporter
the sport can maintain its Olympic position for years to come.
“These athletes are the
pride of our sport and the
stars behind our success—
they make it exciting, they
draw in the crowds and
ultimately inspire the next
sporting generation”
INA (Federation Internationale de Natation), the
world governing body
for the sport of aquatics, has announced that aquatics stars Katinka Hosszu (swimming), Brenda Villa (water polo),
Orlando Duque (high diving),
Petar Stoychev and Britta Kamrau (open water swimming) will
speak at FINA’s official Aquatics
Conference on a panel titled ‘Beyond the Pool Deck’.
The Aquatics Conference, taking place at the 3rd FINA World
Aquatics Convention (November
29-December 1) at the The RitzCarlton Hotel, is set to inspire a
fruitful future for the sport. Delegates will hear from speakers
at the pinnacle of international
sport, including leading aquatics
athletes and coaches.
With aquatics now established
in the top tier of the Olympic
Programme, the panel of Olympians and world champions will
draw on their individual experiences and offer opinion on how
“Delegates will have a unique
opportunity to hear from some
of the most decorated competitors in aquatics,” said Dr Julio
C Maglione, FINA President.
“These athletes are the pride of
our sport and the stars behind
our success—they make it exciting, they draw in the crowds
and ultimately inspire the next
sporting generation.
“Our carefully selected panel
is best placed to offer insight on
how we can continue progressing in the right direction and remain a key pillar of the Olympic
Three-time Olympian Katinka
Hosszu (HUN) has made headlines following her success at the
2014 FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup Series which
saw her garner an unprecedented
51 gold medals.
Katinka will be looking to add
to her medal haul in Doha at the
12th FINA World Swimming
Championships (25m), taking
place at the magnificent Hamad
Aquatic Complex just days after
the World Aquatics Convention.
Similarly, Orlando Duque
(COL) made his name in high
diving by winning gold at the
first ever high diving competition during the 15th FINA World
Championships last year. More
recently, he was in the spotlight
for conquering his rivals at the
inaugural FINA High Diving
World Cup earlier this year.
Awarded ‘Female Water Polo
Player of the Decade’ for 20002009 by FINA Aquatics World
Magazine, Brenda Villa (USA)
has a wealth of experience, including four Olympic medals.
Meanwhile, world champions Petar Stoychev (BUL) and
Britta Kamrau (GER) are counted amongst the most successful long distance swimmers and
will offer insight from their roles
as FINA Athletes’ Committee
Three-time Olympian Katinka Hosszu of Hungary (centre) will be among the speakers at the FINA Aquatics Conference in Doha.
AAB main sponsor for
Qatar Masters Open
By Sports Reporter
Gulf Times photographer Noushad Thekkayil won a prize in the Qatar Olympic Committee’s sport photography contest. Nearly 1,000 pictures were submitted
to the contest by about 60 professional photographers in Qatar. Qatar Photographic Society chairman Ahmed Yousuf al-Khulaifi is seen presenting the award to
Thekkayil yesterday. Also seen is Khalid Mohamed al-Maslamani, Qatar Olympic Committee’s acting head of photography and media archiving
bdullah Abdulghani &
Bros. Co. W.L.L.(AAB),
represented by its Managing Director, Dr Nasser Abdulghani al-Abdulghani,
announced in a press conference
its collaboration with Qatar Chess
Association (QCA) as a major
sponsor for the Qatar Masters
Open 2014 which will be held in
Doha from November 25 to December 5.
Qatar Masters Open will bring
in 160 players to the country—100
of them are Grandmasters with
20 being Women Grandmasters—
representing 40 countries for the
prestigious tournament.
Among the players are Grandmaster and former world champion Vladimir Kramnik from
Russia, Grandmaster Giri Anish from Netherlands who is the
highest ranked player in the Qatar Masters, former world rapid
chess champion Grandmaster
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar, Grandmaster Antoaneta Stefanova from
Bulgaria, former women’s world
champion and Grandmaster Zhu
Chen from Qatar, to name a few.
The Qatar Masters is set to
become the strongest open
tournament in the Middle East
with a prize fund of as much as
$110,000 including 25,000 for
the first prize.
Nasser al-Abdulghani, AAB’s
Managing Director, commented
during the conference: “True to
our commitment to be a part of
this nation’s development towards the achievement of Qatar
2030 National Vision, we support
QCA in welcoming the grandmasters from all over the world.
This is the first time that we are
going to witness such a major
event not only in Qatar but in the
region as well.”
In return, QCA president
Khalifa Mohamed al-Hitmi stated: “There is no question to the
commitment of AAB in supporting the different facets of growth
in Qatar. We are happy that they
are collaborating with us in our
goal of bringing in world class
grandmasters to this nation.
With AAB as a major sponsor, we
have made this possible.”
AAB has always been in the
forefront, not only as the market leader in the automobile
sector, but also in contributing
generously to national and international organizations and
The company always strives
to live up to its tradition as a socially responsible corporation
supporting important activities
in the country, especially aimed
for the well-being of the people
and the nation.
This year, AAB is celebrating
its 50th Partnership Anniversary
with Toyota Motor Corporation.
AAB Managing Director Nasser al-Abdulghani (right) and QCA
president Khalifa Mohamed al-Hitmi during the sponsorship signing
event for the Qatar Masters Open chess tournament yesterday.
Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi (above) and two unidentified players, on the eve of their
Gulf Cup of Nations opener against hosts Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh yesterday. Qatar were
the Gulf Cup champions in 1992 and 2004. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Frenchman Gaultier leads star-studded line-up
By Sports Reporter
he Khalifa International Tennis and
Squash Complex is all set to host what
will be the fourth World Championship
of Squash in Qatar since 1998.
A star-studded line-up from 31 countries,
including one from Qatar, would be competing in the eight-day championship, beginning
The event carries a total prize money of
$325,000 (QR 1,186,250), with the winner taking home $45,600 (QR 166,440)
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier is the number
one seed and leads a quintet of big names like
Egyptian World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy,
England's defending champion Nick Matthew,
two-time champion Ramy Ashour and fourtime champion Amr Shabana, all of whom are
title contenders.
Gaultier has faced heartbreak in the final an
incredible four times including finishing as
runner-up last year during a thrilling five-game
finale against Matthew, but he has been in excellent form so far in 2014, winning three of the
last five PSA World Tour events that he has participated in.
He got his own back on Matthew during the
final of the Allam British Open in May and the
31-year-old will be hoping to end his World
Championship hoodoo this year.
He opens his tournament with a match
against a qualifier tomorrow.
Gaultier lost his World No.1 ranking during
Gregory Gaultier is the top seed at the World Squash Championship that begins at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex tomorrow.
the Delaware Investments US Open when he
lost to Elshorbagy in the semi-finals as the inform Egyptian recorded his third consecutive
win over the French star—including victory in
the final of the Hong Kong Open.
That win saw the Bristol-based 23-year-old
rise to No.1 for the first time in his career and he
is the form man in squash at the moment having
won four consecutive PSA World Tour titles, in-
cluding both the Hong Kong Squash Open and
US Open PSA World Series events.
Elshorbagy is in action against a qualifier on
the second day of the tournament, as is Matthew. Reigning world champion Matthew had
a minor knee surgery in the summer but shook
off any remaining doubts over his fitness by
winning the gold at the Commonwealth Games
ahead of rival James Willstrop, who misses this
year's World Championship due to his own injury woes.
One of the fittest and mentally tough competitors on the tour, Matthew will be determined to retain his crown and a potential semifinal clash with Mohamed Elshorbagy will
excite squash fans everywhere.
The pair contested the 2013 Qatar Classic final at the Khalifa venue, when Elshorbagy lifted
his first ever PSA World Series title, and should
they meet at the last eight stage, there will be
revenge on the mind for Matthew.
With the trio of Gaultier, Matthew and
Elshorbagy attracting all the attention ahead
of the tournament, two-time world champion
Ramy Ashour and four-time world champion
Amr Shabana will begin their campaigns under
the radar and could be in the mix for silverware
at the end.
Ashour has suffered a horrid time with injuries since limping out of his 2013 semi-final
against Matthew, but appears to have recovered
from his difficulties ahead of squash's showpiece event. He begins his tournament against
a qualifier where all eyes will be on his hamstrings to see if there are any tell-tale signs of
his previous troubles.
Shabana last lifted the World Championship
in 2009, defeating Ashour in the final, and the
35-year-old performed brilliantly at the US
Open before losing to Elshorbagy in the final.
But the player known as ‘The Maestro’ has unparalleled experience amongst the field and is a
dark horse for the tournament.
He will face Adrian Waller in the first round
when his sublime movement will no doubt be
put to the test by the hungry youngster who
pulled off the biggest win of his career against
Borja Golan during the US Open.
Shabana could meet Matthew at the quarterfinal stage while Ashour could face a mouthwatering encounter with Gaultier at the final
four stage should his body hold out in what
promises to be a brutal and enthralling week of
action in Doha.
Qatar men strike gold in
Double Trap, women take
the silver in 10m Air Rifle
‘I am delighted in winning my first gold medal in Double Trap. Hopefully I will win more gold medals’
WELL BEGUN: The Qatar Double Trap team of Rashed al-Athba, Masoud Hamad al-Athba and Abdulbaset Mohsin are seen on the podium after winning the gold at the Arab Shooting Championships at the Lusail Shooting Range yesterday.
By Yash Mudgal
atar won the first gold in the
11th Arab Shooting Championships when the Double
Trap team of Rashed alAthba, Masoud Hamad al-Athba and
Abdulbaset Mohsin triumphed at the
Lusail Shooting Range yesterday.
Qatar women’s team also won silver
in the 10m Air Rifle.
In a well-contested Double Trap
team final, the Qatari team, who also
won the gold medal at the Incheon
Asian Games, finished with 408 points,
ahead of Kuwait (401) and Lebanon
(392). Oman came fourth with 376.
Rashed and Masoud shot 137 from
their five rounds, while Abdulbaset shot 134 in his five rounds to help
the hosts finish seven points ahead of
Kuwait team, comprising of Ahmad
al-Afasi, Hamad al-Fasi and Saad alMutairi.
The Lebanese trio of Elie Akiki, Elias
Kaadi and Wissam Khalil missed the
silver by a whisker.
In the Double Trap individual men,
Qatar failed to finish at the podium.
The Kuwaiti duo of Ahmad and Hamad
al-Fasi, part of the silver winning team,
finished second and third. Morocco’s
Mohamed Ramah finished on top.
In the gold medal shootout, the
28-year-old from Tetouan was unsuccessful in only one attempt in the
round of 30 targets. Hamad, on the
other hand, missed the target three
Qatar’s Masoud Hamad and Rashid
finished fourth and fifth. Rashid lost
the bronze medal match to Kuwait’s
Ahmad 29-27.
“I am delighted in winning my first
gold medal in Double Trap. Hopefully
I will win more gold medals,” said the
delighted Ramah. It was the Moroccan's first Double Trap gold.
“Earlier I used to take part only in
Trap events and won gold medals at the
Arab Championship in 2012. I shifted
to Double Trap last year,” said Ramah.
Qatar had more success yesterday
in women’s 10m Air Rifle team event.
Mahbubeh Akhlagi, Shaikha and Bahya
al-Hamad won the silver, finishing behind the gold winning team of Maryam
Arzouqi, Munira al-Anjari and Fatemah
Abdulmalek of Kuwait.
The winning trio netted a combined
score of 1211.5 while Qatar could score
1209.1. Oman team, consisting of Siham al-Hasani, Amina al-Tarshi and
Khadija al-Jahafi, clinched the bronze.
Kuwait’s Maryam went to complete a
double—winning the individual gold in
10m Air Rifle. Houda Chaabi of Algeria
came second and Siham al-Hasani won
the bronze.
Hamed Said al-Khatri of Oman won
the gold in 10m Air Rifle men’s event
while the Tunisian duo of Seifeddine
Khemiri and Anis Jbali finished second and third respectively. In the team
event of 10m Air Rifle for men, Saudi
Arabia topped followed by Oman and
Saudi Arabia shooters had more success in the 50m Pistol event with Atallah Alanazi and Mohammed al-Saeed
winning the gold and silver, while
Oman’s Jamal Mansoor al-Hattali finished third.
Apart from hosts Qatar, Oman,
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria,
Morocco, Lebanon and Sudan are taking part in the nine-day event which
will conclude on November 19.
The Qatar women’s team of Mahbubeh Akhlagi, Shaikha and Bahya al-Hamad won the silver medal in 10m Air Rifle.
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