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Daily newspaper - Gulf Times

SPORT | Page 1
2 – 8, 26 – 28
9, 10
11 – 23
24, 25
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7 – 16
1 – 11
Venezuela President Nicolas
Maduro arrives in Doha today for a
three-day official visit to Qatar. HH
the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
al-Thani and President Maduro will
hold talks on bilateral relations
and ways to develop these
relations in addition to other issue
of common concern. President
Nicholas Maduro, who is on a tour
of fellow Opec countries, was in
Tehran yesterday. Iran’s supreme
leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told
President Maduro he backed coordinated action between Tehran
and Caracas to reverse a rapid fall
in global oil prices. Business Page 6
www. 2 Riyals
GCC chief denounces
Nasrallah’s remarks
Former England football captain David Beckham, right, smiles as he stands next to Spain’s David Ferrer after Ferrer won the
Qatar Open tennis title at the Khalifa Tennis Complex yesterday. Ferrer defeated Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4,
7-5 after saving three match points in the second set. Sport Page 11
Qatar to establish
Formula One circuit
atar is to establish a Formula One circuit, Qatar Motor
and Motorcycling Federation
(QMMF) president Nasser bin Khalifa
al-Attiyah said yesterday.
He praised the humanitarian initiatives of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim
bin Hamad al-Thani to boost the
state’s sports sector.
Speaking exclusively to Qatar News
Agency, al-Attiyah, who is also vice
president of Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), noted that
HH the Emir was the п¬Ѓrst leader to
support the FIA and the UN road
safety initiative.
Road accidents are responsible for
1.8mn deaths each year globally.
Al-Attiyah also praised the Emir’s
policy of supporting young sports
people. He highlighted the establishment of a committee chaired by
HE the Minister of Youth and Sports
Nasser bin Khalifa al-Attiyah: QMMF
Salah bin Ghanem al-Ali to support
Al-Attiyah said that QMMF was
one of the beneficiaries from the
committee’s establishment because
of its support to rally drivers such as
HE Sheikh Hamad bin Eid al-Thani,
Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah, Abdul-Aziz
Saadoun al-Kuwari and Mohamed alMannai.
The Emir met earlier yesterday at
the Emiri Diwan office with FIA presi-
Vol. XXXV No. 9599
January 11, 2015
Rabia I 20, 1436 AH
The “1 in 11” campaign will
raise funds through individual
donations and a major art auction
at Sotheby’s in London on February
REGION | Incitement
Gulf Times in its role as a catalyst for
all-round development in Qatar has
sent journalists to learn the ground
realities in four countries – India,
Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines
– which send the largest numbers of
workers to Qatar. We have published
three reports on our findings in India
during the last two weeks. As part
of our efforts to understand what
bearing the situation in the sourcing
countries has on expatriate workers
in Qatar, we will be publishing a
series of reports comprising our
findings in the remaining three
countries, beginning with Nepal
today. Page 27
Maduro due
in Doha today
Focus on Nepali workers
QATAR | Visit
Libya’s factions have agreed
to a new round of UN-backed
negotiations to attempt to end
the conflict destabilising the
North African country three years
after Muammar Gaddafi was
toppled in a civil war. The meeting,
announced after UN envoy
Bernardino Leon met rival parties
in Libya, will take place next week
in Geneva, the UN mission said in a
statement yesterday. Page 10
to extend
Factions agree
to new talks
he R
bl TA 978
A 1
Q since
Qatar triumph for Ferrer
LIBYA | Security
Latest Figures
GCC secretary general Dr
Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani
has strongly denounced the
statements of Hezbollah secretary
general Hassan Nasrallah on the
situation in Bahrain. He considered
the statements as an explicit
incitement of violence to create a
sectarian schism and sow divide
among the Bahraini people.
The GCC chief said Nasrallah, in
his recent statement, had gone
beyond interfering in Bahrain’s
internal affairs to try desperately
to shake the kingdom’s civil peace
and threaten its security and
stability, Bahrain news agency BNA
Qatar Airways very much
interested in �re-engined’
A380s, says al-Baker
return of
dent Jean Todt, who was in Qatar to
participate in the FIA annual general
Al-Attiyah revealed that he had obtained an official approval from Qatari
leadership to establish the Formula
One circuit. He noted that the Grand
Prix circuit would be established in
Lusail to promote the new city.
He also told QNA that QMMF and
Formula One were in talks to have
Doha host one of the stages of the Formula One championship. Al-Attiyah
said that the new Lusail circuit would
likely host a Formula One stage in the
2016 or the 2017 season.
He said that the Qatari federation
was keen to host a stage in the World
Karting Championship. Work on a
circuit, he said, had already begun and
would be completed in a year’s time.
Al-Attiyah spoke of his intent to
run for the presidency of the Federation of International Motorcycling in
2018, in light of support he received
from countries in Europe, Africa,
South America and Asia.
C Barcelona Foundation, Reach
Out To Asia (Rota) and Unicef
have together launched the "1 in
11" campaign to extend educational opportunities to marginalised children in
Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.
The "1 in 11" campaign, launched in
New York on January 9, will raise funds
through individual donations and a major art auction at Sotheby’s in London
on February 12, featuring donated works
by renowned artists, including Takashi
Murakami, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons,
Richard Serra and Shirin Neshat.
Hirst and Murakami have created
specially-commissioned works of art,
featuring Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona
player, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador,
and president of the Lionel Messi Foundation. Murakami designed the campaign logo.
Globally, one in 11 primary schoolage children – or 58mn out of 650mn
children – are out of school. The majority are among the most disadvantaged
and vulnerable: children living in areas
affected by conflict; children in extreme
poverty; children with disabilities; children from indigenous communities.
In addition, in many schools, sports
programming does not exist, even
though studies have shown that including sports in school curricula can inspire
children to attend and stay in school,
lead to better physical health, and help
to improve their grades.
Lending their voices, and their athletic ability, to "1 in 11", Messi and international tennis champion and Unicef
Goodwill Ambassador Serena Williams
launched the "1 in 11" campaign п¬Ѓlm
and "Keep Ups" challenge – challenging
people to keep a ball up in the air for at
least eleven touches.
A special global premiere screening of
the campaign п¬Ѓlm, featuring both Messi
and Williams attempting their own
"Keep Ups" challenge, will take place
at half time on the big screens at Camp
Nou stadium during the FC Barcelona vs
Atletico Madrid match today.
The funds raised by "1 in 11" will focus
initially on education programmes in
three countries. In Indonesia, the campaign will support schools in six districts
to include children with disabilities. In
Nepal, Unicef has worked with the government to identify 10 priority districts
that will offer sports programming for
children up to secondary school, particularly aimed at breaking down the societal barriers for children with disabilities
and including them in school. In Bangladesh, the campaign’s focus will be on
reaching out-of-school children.
The campaign will be extended to
other countries at a later stage.
Through the "Keep Ups" challenge,
Messi and Williams are inviting their
fans and followers to join, donate to the
campaign and share their own �Keep
Ups’ via social media and at www.1in11.
Messi said: “I’m supporting the 1 in 11
campaign because I believe every child
has the right to fulfil their potential
and realise their dreams. I believe that
through sport, we can teach values of
respect, teamwork and effort, and ultimately inspire children to attend and
stay on in school.”
Williams stated: “In many countries,
we take it for granted that every child has
the right to receive a quality education,
but �1 in 11’ children around the world
do not enjoy that right – and without it,
may never reach their full potential. We
need to kick start global progress and get
that number down to zero.”
Rota director Essa al-Mannai said:
“Rota is extremely honoured to take
part in the �1 in 11’ campaign with Unicef
and FC Barcelona Foundation. This
campaign will further Rota’s vision of
a world in which all young people have
access to the education and training
they need to realise their full potential
and shape the development of their
Rota operates as a non-governmental
organisation (NGO) within the framework of Qatar Foundation - a private
non-profit organisation founded in
1995. Page 4
Essa al-Mannai, executive director, Rota, and Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona
president, and Anthony Lake, executive director of Unicef, during the announcement
of the launch of the campaign.
Environment Ministry and university sign MoU on п¬Ѓsheries
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he Ministry of Environment
(MoE) and Qatar University (QU)
have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) for scientific
and technical research in the п¬Ѓeld of
п¬Ѓsheries and aquaculture aiming sustainable development in the п¬Ѓeld.
The MoU was signed by the Minister
of Environment HE Ahmed Amer Mohamed al-Humaidi and QU president
Prof Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad at the
Ministry’s headquarters.
The MoU focuses on developing an
Aquaculture Research Centre in Ras
Matbakh and updating its labs with the
requirements of MOE and QU.
A committee from MOE and QU
will collaborate with the Public Works
Authority (Ashghal) to oversee the
development and construction of the
QU will appoint the centre manager
while the Ministry will use QU’s facilities to conduct studies and research on
the biology of the environment, including the research vessel Janan for
research on the п¬Ѓsh population in Qatari waters and other aquatic issues.
Al-Humaidi said the Aquatic Re-
search Centre was a major project in
the national strategic programme for
the development of the п¬Ѓsheries sector,
aquaculture and research of the marine
Prof al-Misnad said that QU had always taken the lead in efforts to meet
the requirements for marine studies
with the acquisition of the sophisticated research vessel, Janan and other
powerful survey assets like speed boats
and advanced analytical facilities. She
added that QU’s marine science programme had produced many graduates
whose contribution to Qatar’s marine
conservation efforts will be invaluable.
Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani,
assistant undersecretary of Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, said
that the centre would offer students
opportunity to undertake their studies
and research in the п¬Ѓeld of marine biol-
ogy under the supervision of a team of
specialists from the Ministry of Environment and Qatar University.
QU vice president for research Dr
Hassan al-Derham said the agreement
would be essential in documenting Qatar’s ecosystem for the benefit of future
generations and advancing sustainable
development of the country’s marine
resources, protecting them from pollution and from being misused. Page 2
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Minister of Environment HE Ahmed Amer Mohamed al-Humaidi and Qatar University President Professor Sheikha Abdulla
al-Misnad exchanging documents after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for scientific and technical
esearch in the field of fisheries and aquaculture.
Research centre to help
sustainable п¬Ѓsh production
BY Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he Aquatic Research
Centre in Ras Matbakh will help in
growing different types of
п¬Ѓsh in Qatar, disclosed HE
Ahmed Amer Mohamed alHumaidi, Minister of Environment.
Speaking to Gulf Times,
HE al-Humaidi said that
there are 7 types of п¬Ѓsh
which are very popular in
Qatar: “We will breed these
п¬Ѓsh in the centre and will
provide the young ones to
individuals who are willing to grow them. They can
grow the п¬Ѓsh at their own
convenience and place they
like. They can also sell them,
once they are fully grown.”
According to him, there
are two parts of the project
which include marine station laboratories which Qatar University will manage
and will conduct studies
related to the marine environment. The second part
is п¬Ѓsh farming which will be
under the private sector.
Aquaculture activities in
the centre would enhance
the development of п¬Ѓsh reserves and increase local п¬Ѓsh
production; accurate scientific studies and research
regarding the techniques
and methods for selecting
the best species of local п¬Ѓsh
that have economic value
and increase their production to meet the needs of the
local market and for export.
Ras Matbakh is located
north of Al Khor on the
coast of Qatar. The centre,
that is under construction,
will be spread over an area
of 110,000 square metres,
at a cost of QR230mn. The
project is expected to be
completed in 18 months,
starting from March 2014
and to be ready by the beginning of 2016.
The operation and administration of this project
is supervised jointly by the
Ministry of Environment,
represented by the Fisheries
Department for the special
п¬Ѓsh hatcheries, and Qatar
University for the laboratories and research labs.
The Aquatic Research
Centre in Ras Matbakh is a
scientific institution that
specialises in environment
and marine research and
п¬Ѓsh hatcheries.
It will be equipped with
the latest scientific labs for
studying the marine environment.
The п¬Ѓsh hatcheries are
designed and equipped with
the best of hatcheries and
latest technologies to make
it a pioneer in this sector in
the region.
This new sophisticated
and hi-tech equipped centre will support scientific
institutions and to prepare
training courses for national
staff. It will also offer university students the chance
of completing their studies
in marine environment and
the technologies used in п¬Ѓsh
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11 , 2015
Rota to launch more programmes in Africa
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
each Out To Asia (
(Rota) will soon start
a major initiative
focusing Africa, revealed
Essa al-Mannai, executive
director of the Doha-based
non-profit organisation.
Speaking exclusively to
Gulf Times, al-Mannai said:
“We are already in Africa.
We have a project in Tunisia.
We are about to start a second programme in Tunisia.”
He said: “Africa is in our
scheme of action.There will
be another great initiative
regarding Africa very soon.
We will announce it when
the whole project is ready.”
Al-Mannai noted: “We are
at present engaged in 11 countries mostly in Asia. Our annual budget for our activities
in these countries is around
$10 to $12mn. In addition we
also engage a number of partners in these countries.
“Our partners also invest a lot of money in
these countries. We have a
number of partners, both
local as well as international, who work along with us
in all our projects.”
As for the new initiative of �1 in 11’, al–Mannai
said: “It is a great initiative and we are very excited
to start a noble programme
with great partners such as
FC Barcelona and Unicef.
Through �1 in 11’, we will be
able to work with our partners towards achieving the
highest level of impact in
the lives of out-of-school
children. Our programmes
are always delivered in
partnership with affected
communities and likeminded organisations who
share similar goals and have
a common commitment.”
He pointed out that individuals can donate through
the website for the �1in 11’
initiative. “Our fund-raising event will be a global
initiative. Currently, we
have 15 artists on board who
have contributed one art
piece each. The number of
artists and art pieces may
go up by February when the
п¬Ѓrst charity auction takes
place in London,” he added.
Al-Mannai also said that
the works in three countries Indonesia, Nepal and
Bangladesh identified for
the project, will start immediately after the fundraising event. “FC Barcelona has developed football
tool kits that will be part of
the programme. As soon as
we are done with the fund
raising, we will plunge into
action in these three countries.”
Lionel Messi signed a football from the design of Takashi
Murakami on the occasion of the launch of �1-11’ campaign.
Right: Serena Williams: firm support to the campaign.
Essa al-Mannai, executive director of Rota, Josep Maria
Bartomeu, Barcelona president and Anthony Lake,
executive director of UNICEF and artist Takashi Murakami
support �1-11’ campaign
�1-11’ drive aims to open new
chapter in children’s lives
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he �1 in 11’ campaign,
launched in tandem
by FC Barcelona
Foundation, Reach Out To
Asia (Rota) and Unicef is a
long-term partnership that
will harness the power of
sport and play within education to support the common goal of helping millions of children fulfill their
potential through quality
To begin with, the campaign will focus on three
countries of Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh. The
campaign also plans to extend the facilities to other
countries at a later stage.
Lionel Messi, FCB player,
Unicef goodwill ambassador and president of the
Leo Messi Foundation, and
Serena Williams, Unicef
goodwill ambassador, are
supporting the �1 in 11’ campaign.
Takashi Murakami and
Damien Hirst have created works especially for
the auction. Murakami also
designed the campaign
logo. Artists including Cai
Guo Qiang, Dia Azzawi, El
Seed, Etel Adnan, Francesco Vezzoli, Jeff Koons,
Jenny Holzer, Luc Tuymans, Manal al-Dowayan,
Marc Newson, Richard
Serra, Shirin Neshat, Wael
Shawky, Yan Pei-Ming and
Yousef Ahmad have donated their works for the auction to raise funds.
Currently, 1 in 11 children across the globe are
out of school – 58mn out
of 650mn primary schoolaged children. And there
are many more boys and
girls – 250mn – who either
drop out of school, or aren’t
receiving the quality of education that will equip them
for life.
Industries Qatar
backs global
Educate A Child (EAC),
a global programme of
Education Above All (EAA)
received a contribution
from Industries Qatar (IQ)
during a ceremony at IQ’s
headquarters yesterday.
IQ joins the local and
international donors who
support EAA’s educational
programmes worldwide,
which include Educate A
Child, Al Fakhoora and the
Protecting Education in
Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC)
Fahad al-Sulaiti, deputy
CEO, EAA, said: “We are
grateful to Industries Qatar
for their generous donation,
which will contribute to
Educate A Child’s mission
to bring quality primary
education to children
around the world. The
support of yet another
Qatari organisation is
testament to the national
commitment to contribute
to human, social and
economic development,
as is reflected in the Qatar
National Vision 2030.”
Abdulrahman Ahmad alShaibi, chief co-ordinator
at Industries Qatar, added:
“As we are strengthening
our Corporate Social
Responsibility at Industries
Qatar, we are happy to enter
into this initiative, and aim
to further promote our
partnership with Educate A
Child. ”
The majority of them
are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable:
children living in areas affected by conflict; children
in extreme poverty; children
with disabilities and children from indigenous communities.
In many schools, sports
programming does not exist,
even though studies have
shown that including sports
in school curricula can inspire children to attend and
stay in school, lead to better physical health, and help
improve their grades.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
of voters for
civic polls
begins today
HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari visiting the 25th Doha International Book Fair yesterday.
Ministry welcomes �positive criticism’, says al-Kuwari
atar believes in freedom
of expression unless it
offends Islamic principles and beliefs, HE the Minister
of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr
Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari has said.
In a statement to the official
Qatar News Agency (QNA) on
the sidelines of his visit to the
25th Doha International Book
Fair, the Minister stressed
that Qatar was self-confident
and its positions would not
be influenced by any contrary
opinion expressed here and
He pointed out that the Ministry of Culture accepted any
positive criticism stemming
from the love of the homeland.
“This is the freedom that we enjoy,” he said.
He said the participation of
writers and intellectuals in the
activities of the book fair was
based on an objective and scientific choice, regardless of their
Commenting on the clamour
over some of the names that have
been invited to attend the Book
Fair, Dr al-Kuwari said: “We do
not conceal someone just because his opinion is different
from ours as we are confident in
our country, its wise leadership
and its achievements made in
cultural, economic, sports and
other п¬Ѓelds.
“We are keen to invite our opponents because we believe in
freedom of thought. Taking a
position against us by a certain
person could be the result of
ignorance and lack of information, so we are calling upon him
to recognise our country and our
state, and see the remarkable
achievements made in all п¬Ѓelds
and noticed by everyone who
visits Qatar and whose point of
view is characterised by objectivity.”
He pointed out that there are
some Western and American
writers who had negative feelings about Qatar had changed
them after they visited the country and witnessed on their own
the social, economic and cultural
On the Ministry of Culture’s
pavilion at the book fair, Dr alKuwari explained that its design
reflected the Qatari architecture,
heritage and culture and was attracting visitors and publishers
from Qatar and abroad.
The pavilion showcases all
publications of the Ministry of
Culture issued by the Research
and Cultural Studies Department during 2014, the Doha
magazine, the Heritage magazine.
The Minister said the book fair
celebrated the aesthetics of Arabic calligraphy.
Visitors to the fair, he said,
could watch calligraphy demonstrations.
It also hosts an exhibition
of Qatari numismatist Hassan
bin Ali al-Naimi’s collection.
Page 26
he registration of voters
for the election of Central Municipal Council
will begin today, the supervisory
committee of the CMC has said.
Chairman of the supervisory
committee Brigadier Majid Ibrahim al-Khulaifi said the first
stage will be the registration
of voters in 29 constituencies
in various parts of the country through Metrash 2 service,
the Interior Ministry website or
through constituencies.
Brigadier al-Khulaifi called on
citizens who are eligible to vote
to register through Metrash 2
service or by showing up at their
constituencies today.
The first stage will be the
registration of voters in 29
constituencies in various
parts of the country
HE Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari visiting a stall at the book fair.
He urged citizens to interact positively with the electoral process and participate in
the decision-making process
through the election of a suitable candidate capable of contributing to the achievement of
the comprehensive development
taking place in the State.
All eligible voters shall be
original Qataris or have acquired
the Qatari nationality 15 years
ago, and shall not be under the
age of 18 calendar years, not have
been convicted in a case involving a breach of honour or trust,
unless they have been rehabilitated, shall be residents in the
electoral district in which they
have the right to vote and shall
not be members of the armed
forces or the police.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Fifth-round winner takes QR100,000
home at Hudud Al Tahaddi challenge
he Hudud Al Tahaddi
challenge resumed yesterday with the fourth
round of the event at the sixth
edition of the Qatar Falcons
and Hunting Festival, taking place at Sabkhet Marmi,
Sealine area.
The п¬Ѓfth round, which was
held in the afternoon and during which a falcon owned by Hamad Said Mubarak al-Khayarin
managed to corner a homing
pigeon, winning the event and
QR100,000, besides a chance to
win a Lexus vehicle in the event’s
п¬Ѓnal rounds.
Commenting on the extent
of the festival’s accessibility to
visitors unfamiliar with falconry
and hunting, Al Gannas Society vice-president and festival
vice-chairman Mohamed bin
Abdullatif al-Misnad said: “The
organising committee has made
great efforts to acquaint visitors,
in particular those form abroad,
with falconry as it is practised
in Qatar and the region, and
how falconers today train their
birds using modern techniques
including drones.”
Al-Misnad explained that
through such modern training
techniques, falcons could develop their flying speed, endurance and overall physical fitness.
“In addition, these methods
help the falcons avoid respiratory infections to which they are
vulnerable when flying at high
Hudud Al Tahaddi challenge
winner Al-Khayarin commended the organising committee for
their efforts in organising such a
great event.
The Hudud al Tahaddi challenge is a competition in which
falcons seek to obstruct the
flight of homing pigeons especially trained to fly away, and
instead causing them to land.
The sixth round of the event is
scheduled for today, which is the
seventh day of the festival.
The festival is being organised
by Al Gannas Society under the
patronage of HE Sheikh Joaan
bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani.
A falconer with his falcon preparing for the contest.
Spectators at the festival.
Almuftah opens
new showroom in
Abu Hamour
lmuftah Trading has
officially unveiled its
new digital showroom of home electronics and
products in Abu Hamour, the
company said in a statement.
The digital showroom was
unveiled by Almuftah Group
managing director Ibrahim
Almuftah and Sharp Middle
East FZE’s managing director Fred Yamaguchi, together
with senior delegates and
During the unveiling ceremony, Almuftah said: “We
are delighted to cater to the
growing needs of our customers in Qatar, especially here in
the strategic location of Abu
He added: “The opening of
this new showroom is part of
our philosophy to bring products and convenience closer
to our customers’ doorstep.”
Yamaguchi said: “The expansion of the Group’s retail
outlets represents a perfect
opportunity for Sharp products to be more visible in the
Qatar market.”
The digital showroom signifies Almuftah Group’s goal
of expanding its retail activities in the country on its
commitment to contribute to
Qatar’s growth and development. As such, it continues to
invest in bringing new brands
to Qatar and improving its relationship with its clients by
offering quality products at
competitive prices with “outstanding after-sales support.”
The new retail outlet showcases quality products manufactured and supplied by major brands like Sharp, Black &
Decker, Daewoo, and others.
The wide variety of products
and staff support will also enable customers to choose and
decide which appliances to
The inauguration ceremony also witnessed the launching of Almuftah Group’s established brands like York,
Daewoo, Pigeon, Tiger Flask,
Campingaz, Pyrex; and power tools and outdoor hardware manufacturer, Black &
Ibrahim Almuftah and Fred Yamaguchi tour the newly-opened
digital showroom.
Ministry recalls
three models
of Chevrolet
he Ministry of Economy and Commerce has
announced the recall
of three models of Chevrolet
vehicles in cooperation with
Chevrolet’s sole distributor in
Qatar, Jaidah Automotive.
The targeted vehicles are:
Chevrolet Malibu 2014 because of non-existence of
an alarm system for the motorists when the speed of
the vehicle exceeds 120km,
which may cause motorists to exceed speed limits
without notice; Chevrolet
Silverado 2014 because of a
defect regarding the п¬Ѓxing
of the transmission system’s
coolant pipe, which may leak
and ignite if it touches a hot
surface; and all Chevrolet vehicles with 4x4 drive models
2014 and 2015, as there is a
possibility that such vehicles
may switch from 4x4 mode
into normal drive without
prior warning, which may
lead to sudden slowdown of
the vehicle while driving.
MEC has also affirmed that
it has been coordinating with
Jaidah Automotive to follow
up the necessary maintenance
and repair processes, and
communication with its clients to ensure the success of
the recall campaign.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Top business coaches to lead
�Go global conference’ today
By Peter Alagos
Business Reporter
op international business speakers and
coaches are set to lead the �Go Global Organisation Conference’ today at the Qatar
National Convention Centre (QNCC), an official
from Ooredoo said.
Chief new business officer Sheikh Nasser bin
Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani said the conference,
which runs from January 11 to 13, will be graced by
Jack Canfield of the famed Chicken Soup for the
Soul business series and Mark Thompson, who was
recently named as one of the world’s top executive
coaches by the American Management Association.
Also, they will be joined by Marshall Goldsmith,
who was named number one leadership thinker by
the Harvard Business Review, as well as conference
presenter Dr Rashad Fakiha, a senior adviser to renowned business leaders in the GCC.
Sheikh Nasser stressed that Ooredoo’s sponsorship of the event aims to support Qatar’s private
sector by helping companies and businessmen
transform into effective organisational leaders.
The Ooredoo official also noted that the company “is
investing in Qatar’s future” through a wide array of cutting-edge business solutions via its “bigger and faster
Ooredoo’s Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser
al-Thani (left) and Al Qilaa’s Sheikh Abdul Rahman
bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
network” and by supporting knowledge-sharing.
“We believe that 2015 will see some of Qatar’s
leading businesses become truly global enterprises
and that as a digital leader, we can make a contribution to building the knowledge-based economy
and fulfilling the Qatar National Vision 2030,” he
On the sidelines of a press conference announcing the event, Sheikh Nasser told Gulf Times that
Ooredoo’s recent launching of its 4G+ network
helps to encourage “new thinking and innovation”
among private sector players.
“We know that Qatar’s businesses are facing a
wide range of challenges and opportunities in 2015
Photo exhibition
and we want them to know that Ooredoo is the ideal
business partner for every industry,” he said.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani,
vice chairman of Al Qilaa and chairman of GO 2
Conference executive committee, said more than
100 participants from GCC countries are expected
to attend the conference.
“We would like to thank Ooredoo and Ihsan (Qatar Foundation for Elderly People Care) as well as
other individuals and organisations for their support for this conference. We have tried to attract
international experts for the benefit of the people
of Qatar,” he said.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman also described Ooredoo
as a “strategic partner” for the conference and
emphasised on the telecommunication network’s
keenness in supporting varied events such as training, sports, culture, and society, among others.
Aside from the Go Global Organisation Conference, Sheikh Nasser said Ooredoo has also helped
enhance Qatar’s business community by introducing innovative services like the Ooredoo Machine to
Machine, Smart Living Baytcom Project, 4G+ network, and п¬Ѓbre optic technology.
“In 2015, Ooredoo aims to finish the implementation of the 4G+ and complete the 100% penetration of fibre optic technology probably around the
third or fourth quarter of the year,” he said.
Maersk hosts handball mascot
Maersk is supporting the Action on
Diabetes campa1ign.
aersk has hosted Fahed, the mascot
of the 2015 Handball Championships, at the Action on Diabetes
screening bus as part of its sponsorship of
the tournament, which begins in Doha on
January 15.
Fahed received the all clear from healthcare professionals, joining more than 10,000
people who have been tested for diabetes on
the bus using a range of equipment to analyse random blood glucose, cholesterol, body
mass index and blood pressure since it was
launched 2013.
Lewis Affleck, managing director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “Diabetes is one of the
greatest health challenges facing Qatar, so
we are pleased that over the course of the
championship scores of fans will be tested
for diabetes in the Action in the Diabetes
screening bus – a small
but significant step in our
collective п¬Ѓght against the
The Action on Diabetes screening bus will be
positioned outside the
main tournament stadium at Lusail throughout the 2015 Handball
healthcare professionals
on hand to test fans and
offer advice on avoiding
diabetes or managing the
Action on Diabetes is a
public-private partnership between Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health,
Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Diabetes
Association, the Primary
Health Care Corporation,
Maersk Oil Qatar and
Novo Nordisk.
Another programme
sponsored by Maersk
Oil Qatar, Students for
Road Safety, will position its driving simulator, at the main 2015
Championship venue to raise
awareness and illustrate positive road behaviours to fans, who
will able to gain expert
advanced driving trainers.
Katara, the Cultural Village Foundation has launched a photo exhibition
comprising the works of six Qatari artists. The show that includes 24 photos,
focuses on various aspects and scenes from Qatari heritage and folklore. It was
inaugurated by Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, the general manager of Katara. The
Polish ambassador Krzysztof Suprowicz was present. The exhibition is open for the
public until January 29 at Katara building 19.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Hamas slams
Paris attacks,
Israeli claims
Hamas condemns
Netanyahu’s “helpless
attempts” to draw parallels
between “the resistance of
our people from one side
and the terrorism across the
world in the other side”
he Hamas group that controls the Gaza Strip yesterday issued a condemnation of the deadly attacks by
Islamist gunmen in France this
week, saying there was no “justification for killing innocents”.
The Palestinian Islamist faction also challenged
“helpless attempts” to draw
comparisons between its activities and the violence in France.
In the worst assault on France’s
homeland security for decades,
17 victims lost their lives in three
days of violence that began with
an attack on the Charlie Hebdo
satirical newspaper on Wednesday and ended with Friday’s dual
sieges at a print works outside
Paris and a kosher supermarket
in the city.
“(Hamas) stresses that its position on the latest events in Paris
is in line with the statement issued by the International Union
of Muslim Scholars which condemned the attack on the Charlie
Hebdo newspaper and that any
differences in opinion are no justification for killing innocents,”
Hamas said in a rare statement in
Islamist Gaza militants led
by Hamas fought a 50-day war
against Israeli forces which ended
in August.
According to the Palestinian
health ministry, more than 2,100
Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in
Israel were also killed.
Hamas added in its statement
that Israelis should be tried for
war crimes and condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu’s “helpless attempts”
to draw parallels between “the
resistance of our people from one
side and the terrorism across the
world in the other side”.
The Palestinians will formally
become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
on April 1, when the court could
exercise jurisdiction over war
crimes committed by anyone on
Palestinian territory, without a
referral from the UN Security
Israel is not a member of the
Hague-based ICC but its citizens
could be tried for actions taken
on Palestinian land. Palestinians
could also be liable for prosecution for actions against Israelis.
Palestinian President Mahmud
Abbas called France’s Francois
Hollande to express condolences,
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said.
He said that Abbas assured the
French president of “the solidarity of the Palestinian people and
leadership with France after this
terrorist attack”.
Malki said Abbas would have
liked to attend today’s rally in
Paris but must stay home to
manage the responses to brutal
storms that have hammered the
Palestinian territories.
Malki said that a delegation of
Palestinian Muslim and Christian clerics would pay a solidar-
ity visit to France “in the coming
The Palestine Liberation Organisation called for a public rally
to be held in Ramallah today “in
solidarity with France against
Netanyahu told French Jews
yesterday that Israel is their
“To all the Jews of France, all
the Jews of Europe, I would like to
say that Israel is not just the place
in whose direction you pray, the
state of Israel is your home,” he
said in a televised statement, referring to the Jewish practice of
facing Jerusalem during prayer.
“Unless the world comes to
its senses, terror will continue to
strike in other places,” he added
in remarks on his official Twitter
Media said he had ordered a
ministerial committee to convene next week to discuss ways to
encourage immigration of French
and other European Jews to Israel.
They said Netanyahu had considered attending today’s mass
rally in Paris but was obliged to
drop the idea due to security concerns.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will represent Israel instead.
Lieberman met yesterday
evening with Israeli ministry and
security officials to discuss repercussions of the attacks.
strengthening ties with the
heads of the Jewish community
in France and the security of the
various institutions of the Jewish community there,” ministry
spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon
said in a statement.
Protesters shout slogans during the demonstration in Sanaa yesterday.
Yemenis protest violence
undreds of Yemenis took
to the streets of Sanaa
yesterday to protest attacks by Al Qaeda, including a
bombing at a police academy
that killed dozens.
The demonstration organised
by a youth group calling itself
the Rafd (Rejection) Movement
also protested against the pres-
ence of Shia militiamen in Sanaa
and other parts of the country.
The protesters rallied outside the police academy where
a car bomb tore through dozens
of Yemenis on Wednesday as
they were lined up to enrol as
recruits, killing 40 people and
wounding 71.
Yemen’s top security body has
blamed Al Qaeda for the attack
and security forces have arrested
п¬Ѓve suspects, but a leader of the
group had denied the organisa-
tion was involved.
“Al Qaeda has nothing to
do with the incident,” Sheikh
Saleh Abdel Ilah al-Dahab said
on Twitter, accusing the Shia
Houthi militia that overran
Sanaa in September of being behind the bombing.
Impoverished Yemen has
been hit by a wave of violence
in recent months, with the
powerful Shia militia clashing
with Sunni tribal forces and the
country’s branch of Al Qaeda.
Former Kuwait minister arrested
Kuwait City
uwait authorities arrested a former liberal
cabinet minister as he
attempted to leave the country
yesterday, after being sentenced
to a week in jail over an article
criticising the government, his
lawyer said.
Saad al-Ajmi, information
minister from 1999-2000, was
detained at the airport as he,
his wife and daughter were trying to leave for a pilgrimage in
Saudi Arabia, Al-Humaidi alSubaie said on Twitter.
He said Ajmi, a professor at
Kuwait University and contrib-
utor to several Gulf newspapers,
was sentenced on Thursday for
an article published by the proopposition Al Aan electronic
newsletter about two years ago
about alleged government corruption.
The court also passed the
same sentence on writer Zayed al-Zaid, who co-owned Al
Aan with Ajmi, on a complaint
by Finance Minister Anas alSaleh, the lawyer said.
There was no immediate report whether Zaid had also been
The lawyer said the verdicts
were issued in absentia and that
neither he nor his clients were
informed of the case or the ruling.
The verdict was sent for immediate implementation although such a process normally
takes several weeks, he said.
Subaie said he plans to challenge the ruling today.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested former liberal MP Saleh
al-Mulla for comments on
Twitter deemed offensive to the
emir and Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who visited Kuwait last week.
Mulla has been in detention
since then and is due for trial
Kuwaiti courts have sentenced several opposition activists and former lawmakers
for remarks deemed insulting to
the emir.
Explosions hit Gaza bank, government spokesman’s house
An explosion hit a Palestinian
bank in the Gaza Strip,
destroying an ATM, witnesses
said, but there were no reports
of injuries.
The Gaza interior ministry
said an investigation had
been opened into the blast on
Friday night at a central Gaza
City branch of the Bank of
Palestine, which it blamed on
“unidentified persons”.
Later in the night there was
an explosion in the empty
Gaza residence of consensus
government spokesman Ihab
Bseiso, who lives in the West
Bank city of Ramallah.
Bseiso said in a statement
that he had received threats
in the 24 hours preceding
the incident but the interior
ministry said the explosion was
caused by a faulty electricity
The consensus government
was formed in June in the wake
of a conciliation agreement
Two babies die in chill
Gaza City
Workers yesterday look at the damage after the explosion at the
Bank of Palestine in Gaza City.
meant to repair the rift existing
since June 2007 when Hamas
seized control in Gaza, forcing
out its rivals in Fatah, the
movement of Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas.
The government has said it
will re-hire thousands of public
sector employees laid off after
the Hamas takeover, potentially
threatening the jobs of more
than 50,000 Gazans hired by
Hamas to replace them.
Their fate has been at the heart
of a bitter dispute between
Hamas and the new government
headed by Prime Minister Rami
wo Palestinian babies have
died due to cold weather in
the Gaza Strip, an official said
yesterday, as winter storms lashed
the region.
A two-month-old girl from the
southern Gaza town of Khan Younis
died on Friday of “a pulmonary obstruction caused by the cold”, health
ministry spokesman Ashraf alQudra said.
A one-month-old boy, also from
Khan Younis, died yesterday, he said
without giving further details.
Gaza’s civil defence service said
that dozens of homes in the coastal
territory, already ravaged by last
year’s war with Israel, were flooded
in the brutal storms that brought
freezing rain and gale-force winds.
Worst hit was the southern town
of Rafah, on the Egyptian border.
“After heavy rainfall houses were
flooded to a depth of one metre
(and) in places one and a half metres,” a spokesman said, adding
that occupants were evacuated to
The service rescued some stranded people using small п¬Ѓshing boats.
The West Bank-based Palestinian
Authority declared a state of emergency throughout the Palestinian
territories when the storm hit on
More than 100,000 Gaza homes
were destroyed or damaged during last year’s 50-day conflict and
UN welfare officials say that 17,000
displaced people are still living in
Gaza’s sole power station, which
was damaged during the war, is
struggling with a severe lack of fuel
and is only able to supply the enclave
with six hours of power per day
Unrest grew after the Houthis,
also known as Ansarullah, overran Sanaa. They have since expanded their presence in central
and western Yemen.
The protesters chanted slogans hostile to both Al Qaeda in
the Arabian Peninsula, the militant group’s Yemen branch, and
Similar protests took place
in the central city of Ibb and in
Taez, Yemen’s third-largest city,
residents said.
Kerry meets
Sultan Qaboos
US Secretary of State John
Kerry met with Oman’s Sultan
Qaboos during a brief visit to
Munich yesterday, expressing
his gratitude for the “strong
friendship” with the veteran
State Department
spokeswoman Jen Psaki said
the purpose of the private
meeting in Munich was “to
express his gratitude for their
long-standing and strong
The sultan has not returned to
Oman since travelling overseas
for medical tests six months ago.
Kerry was only accompanied by
one aide for the private talks.
After the meeting with Qaboos,
Kerry tweeted that he was
“grateful for (the) strong
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Suicide bombing kills seven in Lebanon’s Tripoli
Tripoli, Lebanon
suicide blast killed seven
people and wounded 36
others in a flashpoint
Alawite neighbourhood of the
northern Lebanese city of Tripoli
yesterday, a Red Cross official
and the army said.
“Seven people were killed and
36 others wounded in a blast that
struck the Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood,” the Red Cross official
The army said that, “at around
7:30 pm, a suicide attacker struck
a cafe in Jabal Mohsen, killing
and wounding several citizens.”
A security source confirmed
the reports, adding that the bodies of two of the victims had been
ripped apart by the force of the
The army cordoned off the
area, forbidding journalists from
approaching the scene.
One lightly wounded victim
said he was near the scene of
the blast when the attacker
“I was there with other people,
when we suddenly heard a п¬Ѓrst
blast,” Zuheir al-Sheikh said.
“Then we heard a huge blast,
though I have no idea what
caused it,” he added.
Lebanon’s second city Tripoli
has seen frequent violence pitting gunmen in the Alawite district of Jabal Mohsen against
neighbouring Sunni Bab al-Tebbaneh.
Fighting between the two districts in recent years has killed
scores of people, many of them
civilians caught in the crossfire.
Though the tensions have
their roots in the 1975-1990
Lebanese civil war, sectarian hatred has spiralled ever
since the outbreak of a revolt in
neighbouring Syria.
Residents of Jabal Mohsen
support Syria’s President Bashar
al-Assad, who belongs to an Alawite clan that has ruled the wartorn country for more than 40
People in Bab al-Tebbaneh
support the rebels, who like the
Syrian population are mostly
Since October, the army has
deployed heavily in Tripoli, detaining hundreds of people in an
attempt to stem the violence.
In Syria’s northern province
of Aleppo yesterday, car bombs
killed at least 16 people, most of
them civilians, when they targeted Al Qaeda and Kurdish п¬Ѓghters,
a monitor said.
The п¬Ѓrst bomb hit a checkpoint manned by п¬Ѓghters from
Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syria
franchise, killing 12 people, said
the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman.
Most of the dead were civilians
but included two Nusra п¬Ѓghters,
he said, adding that several people were also wounded.
The second bomb detonated
less than 30km away at a checkpoint held by Kurdish п¬Ѓghters,
killing four people, two of them
civilians and causing an unspecified number of injuries.
Libya factions
to hold a new
round of talks
The talks are aimed at
reaching an agreement on
the formation of a unity
he United Nations announced yesterday a new
round of peace talks in Geneva next week between Libya’s
warring factions, as the European Union warned the country
was at a “crucial juncture”.
It came as п¬Ѓghting between
troops and Islamist militias killed
13 people in eastern Libya.
“This dialogue is an important
opportunity for the Libyans to
restore stability and prevent the
country’s slide towards deeper
conflict and economic collapse
that should not be missed,” the
UN mission in Libya said.
UN envoy Bernardino Leon has
proposed a freeze in military operations for a few days “in order
to create a conducive environment for the dialogue”, the UN
statement said.
Leon had earlier urged a resumption of talks “before it is too late”.
The talks are aimed at reaching an agreement on the formation of a unity government and to
create “a stable environment” for
the adoption of a new permanent
constitution, the statement said.
“Discussions will also seek to
put in place the necessary security arrangements in order to
bring an end to the armed hostilities raging in different parts of
the country,” it added.
It did not give a specific date
for the talks.
The announcement came after
Leon held talks for the п¬Ѓrst time
on Thursday with General Khalifa Haftar, who is spearheading
a government-backed offensive
to recapture the second city of
Benghazi from mainly Islamist
Leon also met with representatives of Libya’s internationally
recognised government, which
has taken refuge in the remote
east, and with rival officials in the
militia-held capital Tripoli.
More than three years after
dictator Muammar Gaddafi was
toppled and killed in a Westernbacked revolt, the nation is engulfed in chaos with rival governments and parliaments as
well as powerful militias п¬Ѓghting
for territory.
The Islamic State (IS) group that
has seized large areas in Iraq and
Syria is also thought to have gained
a foothold in eastern Libya, and
recently claimed to have executed
two Tunisian journalists there.
The European Union said the
Geneva meeting “represents
a last chance which must be
“Libya is at a crucial juncture;
the different actors should be in
no doubt of the gravity of the situation that the country finds itself in. The opportunity to establish a ceasefire and find a political
solution should not be wasted,”
said Federica Mogherini, the EU’s
top diplomat.
A new round of talks had been
scheduled for December 9 but
was repeatedly delayed as п¬Ѓght-
ing intensified between the internationally recognised government and Islamist-backed
Leon chaired a п¬Ѓrst round of
talks between rival lawmakers in
the oasis town of Ghadames in
The UN Security Council warned
the following month that it would
impose sanctions on any party that
undermined the process.
Difficulties п¬Ѓnding a safe venue for the talks contributed to the
delay to the new round, the UN
The Islamist-backed militia
alliance that controls the capital and Libya’s third largest city
Misrata launched an offensive
last month to try to capture the
country’s main eastern oil export
Loyalists of the internationally recognised government
responded with their п¬Ѓrst air
strikes on Misrata.
Yeserday, п¬Ѓve soldiers and
eight Islamist militants were
killed in п¬Ѓghting in Ain Marah,
near the far eastern Islamist
bastion of Derna, a government
spokesman said.
The United Nations says that
since fighting intensified in May,
hundreds of civilians have been
killed and hundreds of thousands
more have fled their homes.
Libya’s neighbours, fearful of a
spillover of the violence, have repeatedly called for international
UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon visited the Libyan capital in
October for a trip aimed at bolstering talks between political parties.
Mourners pray next to the coffin of Abu Anas al-Libi during his funeral in Tripoli yesterday.
Hundreds mourn alleged
US embassy bomber Libi
undreds of mourners attended the funeral yesterday of Abu Anas alLibi, an Al Qaeda suspect who
died in the United States days
before facing a trial for bombing
US embassies.
Libi had been due to stand trial
on Monday over 1998 attacks on
the US missions in Kenya and
Tanzania that killed 224 people
and wounded around 5,000.
Libi, whose real name was Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Raghie, was
snatched in Tripoli by US commandos in October 2013. Suffering from hepatitis C and liver
cancer, he died in a New York
hospital on January 2.
Hundreds of mourners recited
special prayers for the dead at
Martyrs Square in central Tripoli
before joining a funeral procession to Bashusha cemetery where
Libi was buried.
Libi’s body was flown to Tripoli on Friday and immediately taken to his family home in the west
of the city, according to one of his
sons, Abdullah Nazih al-Raghie.
A member of an Islamist-led
government in Libya, which is
not recognised by the international community, told mourners
there “is speculation about how
he died in prison”.
“The American authorities
must shed light on details of his
death,” said Mohamed Attiyeh
al-Jazwi, a minister in charge of
“martyrs and the wounded” in
the so-called National Salvation
But a source close to the family
said they had declined an autopsy
and wanted to bury him immediately after the body’s arrival in
the country.
A computer expert, Libi had
been on the FBI’s most wanted
list with a $5mn price on his head
prior to his arrest.
The August 7, 1998 car bombing
of the US embassy in Nairobi killed
213 people and wounded 5,000.
A near simultaneous truck
bomb outside the US mission in
Tanzania killed 11 people and injured 70.
Libi was taken to a New York
hospital on New Year’s Eve after
what the federal prosecutor in
the region, Preet Bharara, said
were “sudden complications
arising out of his long-standing
medical problems”.
His lawyer, Bernard Kleinman, told The Washington Post
the health of his client had deteriorated significantly in the last
Libi’s son Abdullah told AFP
his father had been in a coma before his death and that the family
holds the US government “fully
responsible” for his demise.
Libi and Saudi co-defendant
Khalid al-Fawwaz had pleaded
not guilty to conspiracy charges.
A third suspect, Egyptian Adel
Abdel Bary, last year pleaded
guilty to playing a role in the 1998
Kleinman has always insisted
that Libi was innocent, and said
he had cut ties to Al Qaeda before
the attacks.
AQAP, Al Qaeda’s Yemen
branch, has called on Muslims to
avenge Libi’s death and warned
that the United States would
“pay the price” for its “crimes”.
The United States faced criticism after the dramatic raid during which Libi was captured in
broad daylight on a Tripoli street,
with Libya denouncing it as a
kidnapping and rights groups accusing Washington of violating
his fundamental human rights.
IS surprise attack on
Iraqi Kurds kills 26
ilitants from the Islamic State militant
group launched a
surprise attack on Kurdish
forces in the Gwer area of
north Iraq, killing 26, security officials said yesterday.
The militants crossed the
Zab river by boat and occupied Gwer—some 40km
southwest of Kurdish regional
capital Arbil—for about an
hour before being pushed
back, the officials said.
Accounts differed as to
whether the attack began
late on Friday or early yesterday.
The 26 people killed were
members of the Kurdish
asayesh security forces, said
Barzan Qassab, the deputy
head of the asayesh for Arbil,
and the toll was confirmed
by another asayesh souce.
Some members of the
peshmerga—the autonomous
Kurdish region’s other main
security force—were also reported to have been killed.
“It was unexpected,”
peshmerga Brigadier General Hajar Ismail said of the
boat crossing.
IS spearheaded a major
militant offensive that has
overran large parts of Iraq
north and west of Baghdad
since June.
The Gwer attack is one of
the single deadliest attacks
on Kurdish forces since the
militant drive began.
After sweeping federal security forces aside and driving south toward Baghdad,
IS launched a renewed push
against Kurdish forces, driving them back toward their
regional capital Arbil.
That helped spark a USled campaign of air strikes,
and Kurdish troops have
since managed to regain
ground from the militants,
including Gwer.
Two found beheaded in Egypt
Two headless bodies were found in a village in Egypt’s restive
North Sinai region yesterday, police said, the latest in a series of
beheadings allegedly carried out by militants.
The bodies of two men, believed to be civilians in their 30s,
were found near the town of Sheikh Zuweid.
It was not immediately clear who had killed them.
Egypt’s deadliest militant organisation, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis,
has previously claimed several beheadings of men it said were
working for the Egyptian army or Israel’s Mossad spy agency.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
hits market
in Nigeria
wo explosions rocked northeast
Nigeria yesterday, including
one by a female suicide bomber
thought to be just 10 years old who
blew herself up in a crowded market,
as the US condemned a bloody spike in
Boko Haram violence.
At least 19 people were killed at the
Monday Market in the Borno State
capital, Maiduguri, at about 12.40pm
(1140 GMT) when it was packed with
shoppers and traders.
Hours later, a suspicious vehicle
that had been stopped at a checkpoint
outside the city of Potiskum, in neighbouring Yobe, exploded at a police station as its driver was being taken in for
A police officer accompanying the
car and the driver were killed, an officer said. Potiskum has been a repeated
target for militant violence.
Both blasts came a week after a major Boko Haram attack on the п¬Ѓshing
town of Baga in northern Borno State,
which is believed to be the worst in the
bloody six-year insurgency.
The town and at least 16 nearby settlements in and around Lake Chad were
burnt to the ground and at least 20,000
people forced to flee their homes.
“For 5km, I kept stepping on dead
bodies until I reached Malam Karanti
village, which was also deserted and
burnt,” one survivor, fisherman Yanaye Grema, said.
But there was no independent corroboration of the huge numbers of
dead cited locally.
The US State Department said Boko
Haram’s recent escalation of attacks
on civilians “shows no regard for human life” and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.
“The US abhors such violence, which
continues to take a terrible toll on the
people of Nigeria and the broader region, including Cameroon,” it added.
Boko Haram were seen as behind the
attack in Maiduguri as it has increasingly used women and young girls as
human bombs in their deadly campaign for a hardline Islamic state.
Civilian vigilante Ashiru Mustapha
said the blast happened as the girl was
being searched at the entrance to the
“The girl was about 10 years old and
I doubt if she actually knew what was
strapped to her body,” he told AFP.
Witness Abubakar Bakura said: “The
blast split the suicide bomber into two
and flung one part across the road.
“Among the dead are two vigilantes who were searching the girl. I am
pretty sure the bomb was remotely
A Red Cross official, who declined to
be named, warned: “Many people sustained life-threatening injuries.”
Borno State police spokesman Gideon Jubrin told reporters 19 people were
killed and 18 others were injured but
warned that the death toll could rise.
The market in the Borno state capital was cordoned off as health officials
began the grim task of sifting through
the wreckage and collecting body
An attack at the same market on December 1 killed more than 10 people,
and a week earlier more than 45 people
lost their lives in an attack there.
On July 1, at least 15 people were
killed in another suicide attack there
blamed on the militants.
Boko Haram launched its п¬Ѓrst female suicide attack in June last year in
the northern state of Gombe and there
have been a spate of bombings since,
including four in a week in the city of
Kano in July.
The same month a 10-year-old girl
was found in Katsina state wearing
a suicide vest, prompting fears that
young girls were being forced into
becoming human bombs rather than
through ideological motivation.
Forced conscription of young men
and boys by Boko Haram has been
well-documented. Last July, three
women said to be “female recruiters”
for Boko Haram were arrested.
An alleged trainer of women bombers was also detained in Kano in August with up to 16 “trainees”.
Boko Haram, п¬Ѓghting for the creation of an Islamist state, is now said
to be in control of all three borders
of Borno state with Niger, Chad and
Cameroon, as well as dozens of towns
and villages in Borno and the neighbouring states of Yobe and Adamawa.
Security analysts said the Baga attack was likely against civilian vigilantes assisting the military and was
an ominous sign of increasing violence
before general elections next month.
Tanzania �backs
disarmament’ of
Rwanda rebels
Dar es Salaam
anzania is supporting disarmament efforts against
Rwandan rebels in lawless eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, President Jakaya Kikwete has said,
dismissing accusations he favoured the insurgents as “preposterous.” UN peacekeepers are preparing a military offensive against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation
of Rwanda (FDLR) - an ethnic Hutu group, some of whose
members took part in atrocities in the 1994 Rwandan genocide before crossing into DR Congo - after they ignored a
January 2 deadline to surrender. Tanzanian troops are part
of the UN force.
Kikwete said he wanted to “set records straight” about
Tanzania’s role in “the ongoing voluntary surrender and
disarmament exercise by the FDLR rebels,” he told diplomats in Dar es Salaam late on Friday, according to a copy of
the speech released yesterday by the presidency. “We have
always been supportive and will continue to be supportive
of these efforts to ensure the eastern DRC is free of armed
groups that threaten the security of the people of Congo
and Congo’s neighbours,” he added.
But Tanzania, which borders both eastern DR Congo and
Rwanda, has been accused by Kigali of favouring the FDLR.
Relations have been tense between Dodoma and Kigali.
Tanzanian troops with the UN force in DR Congo in 2013
helped to defeat the ethnic Tutsi M23 rebel force, which according to the UN was backed by both Rwanda and Uganda,
claims they have strongly denied.
Kikwete insisted Tanzania was not supporting the rebels.
“Any misrepresentation of Tanzania’s position is done by people who pretend to read Tanzania’s mind and make their thinking the truth. This is preposterous and contemptible. It is done
by people who have ill intensions against our country.”
The UN is pushing for the disarming of dozens of rebel
and splinter groups in eastern DR Congo. African regional
leaders are due to discuss the planned offensive at a summit
in Angola on January 15-16.
ANC anniversary
South African President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa wave as they arrive to attend South Africa’s ruling African National Congress
party’s 103rd birthday celebrations yesterday at Cape Town Stadium.
East Africans ponder
renewed peace push
ast African foreign ministers
met in Mogadishu yesterday to
push peace efforts in war-torn
Somalia, the п¬Ѓrst time the regional
bloc has met in the country for almost three decades.
Dozens of heavily armed soldiers
and police patrolled the streets,
where Al Qaeda-affiliated Shebaab
militants regularly carry out bombings and killings.
Ministers from Djibouti, Ethiopia,
Kenya and Uganda - who have contributed troops to the 22,000-strong
African Union force in Somalia - all
took part in the one-day meeting,
organised by the regional IGAD bloc,
the Intergovernmental Authority on
Held in a heavily guarded hotel
near the main government district in
Mogadishu, it was one of the largest
and highest profile meetings in the
capital for years.
Key issues included security and
political reconciliation within the
Horn of Africa nation, riven by conflict since 1991.
Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamed described it as “an important
regional event” that took place in the
country “for the first time in 28 years.”
Amid constant threats of Shebaab
attacks, the president took to national
television appealing to citizens that
“IGAD is a guest of the Somali people.”
Leaders including UN chief Ban
Ki-moon have visited Mogadishu in
recent years, but important visitors
rarely leave the fortified walls of the
airport zone to travel through the
dangerous city streets.
“We are very happy that Mogadishu is secure enough to host such an
international conference,” said Abdirahman Duale Beyle, Somalia’s acting
foreign minister.
Kenyan official and IGAD envoy to
Somalia Mohamed Affey called the
meeting “historic.”
The talks come after Somalia’s
parliament last month endorsed
Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as
prime minister, following bitter in-
п¬Ѓghting and a falling out between the
president and the previous premier.
The UN, the US and the European
Union - key backers of Somalia’s
fragile government - have all warned
that power struggles were a damaging distraction for the country.
Much of Mogadishu was in lockdown yesterday.
“They are complicating life for ordinary residents. Mogadishu is not
yet ready to host international meetings,” said Ahmed Suleiman, a resident of the coastal city.
“Every important street is closed
and that is the only thing they can do
to secure the conference.”
Shebaab п¬Ѓghters have staged repeated attacks in the heart of the
government zone, including on the
presidential palace, as well as on the
airport, a vast base that houses several foreign embassies as well as the
headquarters of the AU force.
The Somali government, which
took power in August 2012, was the
п¬Ѓrst to be given global recognition
since the collapse of Siad Barre’s
hardline regime in 1991.
Gunmen shoot dead
two Ivorian soldiers
nidentified gunmen crossed
over from Liberia and launched
a pre-dawn attack yesterday on an army base in western Ivory
Coast, killing at least two soldiers, a
local member of parliament said.
The assault on the town of Grabo,
near the top cocoa grower’s western
border, was the third deadly raid in the
area in less than a year. Ivory Coast’s
government has blamed previous attacks on supporters of ex-president
Laurent Gbagbo based in Liberia.
Grabo’s parliament representative
Yaya Coulibaly said gunfire erupted
around 3am (0300 GMT) and an exchange of п¬Ѓre between the assailants
and Ivorian soldiers lasted over an
“They attacked the military base.
As always, they came from Liberia,”
he said. “Two (soldiers) were killed,
that’s confirmed, and possibly one of
the attackers as well. But this is only a
provisional death toll.”
The army repelled the attack and
was carrying out clean-up operations
in the area later in the day, he said. Defence ministry and army officials were
not immediately available for comment.
Ivory Coast is recovering from a
decade-long political crisis that ended in a brief 2011 civil war sparked by
Gbagbo’s refusal to admit defeat in a
presidential run-off election in late
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Explosion rocks Husky
Energy’s Ohio refinery
Two to stand trial for
death of French artist
Key hurdle cleared in
bid to scale El Capitan
Obama turns focus to
Net security, privacy
Final Mad Men episodes
to start airing on April 5
A loud explosion rocked Husky Energy’s 155,000
barrel per day (bpd) crude oil refinery in Lima, Ohio,
yesterday and a source familiar with the facility’s
operations expected production slowdowns but not
a complete shutdown. No injuries were reported in
the blast, which occurred at about 6am local time
(1300 GMT.) The explosion was heard across the city
of Lima. The blast involved the 26,000-barrel-perday isocracker unit, according to the source familiar
with the facility’s operations. It was not yet known
what caused the blast. An isocracker is a type of
hydrocracking unit, which uses hydrogen under
high heat and pressure to increase the amount of
motor fuels made from crude oil.
A judge ruled on Friday that two Detroit men
accused in the murder of a 23-year-old French
street artist will stand trial for his 2013 shooting
death. Jasin Curtis, 18, and Dionte Travis, 19, had
been losing money in a dice game when they
decided to rob Bilal Berreni, who was found shot
in the face on July 29, 2013, at a vacant highrise housing project near downtown Detroit,
according to police testimony. Detroit Judge
Michael Wagner is scheduled on Tuesday to
review more evidence involving a third man,
Drequone Rich, 20, accused in the murder to
decide whether he will go to trial. The three face
robbery, murder and firearms charges.
One of two climbers trying become the first
to scale a 3,000-ft (900-m) face of the El
Capitan rock formation in California’s Yosemite
National Park without bolts or other climbing
tools has cleared a key stretch and believes
he will make it to the top, representatives said.
Tommy Caldwell completed pitches 19 and 20
of the near-vertical granite face of El Capitan’s
so-called dawn wall. After nearly two weeks of
climbing, Caldwell is now two-thirds of the way
up the wall at a spot known as Wino Tower,
where Warren Harding, leader of the first team
to climb El Capitan, rested during his ascent in
1970, using climbing tools.
President Barack Obama will highlight plans
next week to protect American consumers and
businesses from cyber threats. Internet security
became a national focus after a cyberattack on Sony
Pictures that Washington blamed on North Korea.
The attack and threats of violence against theatres
prompted Sony to scale back its release of The
Interview, a comedy film that depicts the fictional
assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
A White House official said Obama would announce
legislative proposals and executive actions that will
be part of his Jan. 20 State of the Union address
and will tackle identity theft and privacy issues,
cybersecurity and broadband access.
The climax to acclaimed US drama Mad Men
will begin on April 5 when the first of the final
seven episodes airs, AMC television announced
yesterday. The seventh and last season of the
hit show chronicling the lives of New York
advertising executives in the 1960s officially got
under way last year, with seven episodes being
shown. But the last half of the season was held
over until 2015, with the final seven episodes
now confirmed to begin screening in April. First
aired in 2007, Mad Men has emerged as one of
the most successful shows of the past decade,
adored by critics worldwide and winning a clutch
of awards both in the US and overseas.
Prosecutors seek
felony charges
against Petraeus
he FBI and Justice Department prosecutors have
recommended bringing
criminal charges against former
CIA chief David Petraeus for improperly providing classified information to a female Army Reserve officer with whom he was
having an affair, the New York
Times reported on Friday.
The newspaper cited officials
who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Justice Department
investigation focuses on whether Petraeus gave the woman,
Paula Broadwell, access to his
CIA e-mail account and other
highly classified information.
The Times said officials have
recommended felony charges.
The recommendations leave
US Attorney General Eric Holder with a decision to make on
whether to seek an indictment
against Petraeus, who quit his
CIA post in 2012 after the extramarital affair became publicly
known. Petraeus also is one of
the leading US military commanders in recent times, having
served as commander of American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Times reported that
SpaceX bid
to recycle a
rocket fails
Petraeus has indicated to the
Justice Department that he has
no interest in a plea deal that
would enable him to avoid a trial.
Petraeus has said he did not provide classified information to
Broadwell, who was writing his
biography at the time of the affair.
A spokesman for Petraeus,
Steve Boylan, said the retired
general had no comment. A lawyer for Petraeus, Robert Barnett,
declined comment.
US Senator John McCain of
Arizona, a leading Republican
voice on national security issues and an ally of Petraeus, in
December sent a letter to Holder
expressing concern about the
Justice Department’s handling
of the investigation.
“I cannot ignore the broader
concerns raised by the fact that
this investigation apparently
remains unresolved nearly two
years later and that the only information that has come to light
is through leaks by unnamed
sources within the US intelligence community with knowledge of the matter,” McCain said
in the letter.
An FBI spokesman declined
comment on the Times report. A
Justice Department spokesman
did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.
An unmanned SpaceX
mission blasted off
yesterday carrying cargo
for the International Space
Station, but efforts to reland
the rocket on a sea platform
Zimmerman in court for aggravated assault
The Florida man cleared
two years ago of murdering
unarmed black US teenager
Trayvon Martin in a case that
fuelled a national debate about
racism appeared in court
yesterday after being arrested
for aggravated assault.
George Zimmerman, who has
had a number of run-ins with
the law since his controversial
acquittal for the killing of
Martin in 2013, was detained
late Friday, a statement from
the Seminole County Sheriff ’s
Office said.
The 31-year-old was held at
a correctional facility before
appearing in front of Florida
Circuit Judge John Galluzzo
Galluzzo set bail at $5,000,
ordering Zimmerman to
surrender any firearms in his
possession while restricting his
travel, reports said.
The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket launched by SpaceX, on a cargo
resupply service mission to the International Space Station, lifts off
from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station yesterday.
paceX said yesterday it
failed in a landmark attempt to recycle its Falcon 9 rocket, after the equipment collided with an ocean
platform and broke to pieces.
Still, the California-based
company said the test was a step
forward toward one day transforming the aerospace industry
and making rockets reusable
much the same as airplanes.
“Rocket made it to drone
spaceport ship but landed
hard,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
wrote on Twitter.
“Close but no cigar this time.
Bodes well for the future tho.”
Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal
and runs Tesla Motors, wants
to be able to reuse rockets
much the way commercial airlines fly the same planes again
and again.
SpaceX hopes its efforts will
open a new era in modern rocketry, which wastes millions of
dollars after each launch when
pieces of the rocket are left to
fall into the ocean after blastoff.
Yesterday’s experiment in-
volved firing the rocket’s engine three times to guide the
п¬Ѓrst stage to a landing spot
about 200 miles (322km) off
the coast of northern Florida.
The landing site for the Falcon 9 was a powered barge
floating in the ocean near the
city of Jacksonville, Florida.
This “autonomous spaceport
drone ship” measures 300 by
100ft (90 by 30m), with wings
that extend its width to 170ft.
Since the launch took place
in the dark, Musk said the team
did not get good video images
of the landing and impact.
“Ship itself is fine. Some of
the support equipment will
need to be replaced,” he wrote
on Twitter.
“Didn’t get good landing/impact video. Pitch dark and foggy.
Will piece it together from telemetry and... actual pieces.”
SpaceX has had some success with two previous attempts to make a controlled
landing of the Falcon 9 in the
ocean, slowing it to a hover
before it splashed down.
The launch’s primary mission was to send the unmanned
Dragon cargo ship to orbit, and
that went smoothly after two
delays in recent weeks due to
rocket problems.
The gleaming white Falcon 9
rocket launched in the predawn
darkness from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, propelling the cargo
ship toward the International
Space Station with supplies
and food for the six astronauts
The Dragon cargo vessel
should arrive at the space station at 6:12am (1112 GMT) tomorrow, Nasa said.
The cargo ship is carrying
more than 5,000lb (2,268kg) of
supplies to the astronauts living in orbit.
“Up to this point we have a
100% successful mission under way,” said Nasa commentator George Diller after the
spacecraft’s solar arrays were
Cargo trips have become
routine for SpaceX, and this
marks the п¬Ѓfth mission as part
of a $1.6bn dollar contract with
Nasa to supply the ISS over a
dozen trips.
SpaceX’s success is especially critical because its competitor, Orbital Sciences, which has
a $1.9bn contract with Nasa to
supply the space station, suffered a catastrophic rocket
failure in October, forcing an
end to its supply missions until
further notice.
Romney mulling 2016 run
itt Romney, the Republican US presidential nominee in 2012, told a meeting
of donors on Friday that he is considering another White House run
in 2016, a source familiar with the
comments said.
The former Massachusetts governor, who has sent mixed signals
about the likelihood of another
campaign, told a small group of donors in New York that he was thinking about running and to “tell your
friends” he was considering it, the
source said.
The Wall Street Journal, which
first reported the comments, said
Romney did not give a timetable for making a decision about
whether to launch what would be
his third presidential campaign.
Romney failed to win the nomination in 2008 and lost the general election to President Barack
Obama in 2012.
Romney’s statement comes as
some of the party’s top donors
begin to line up behind former
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who said in
December he would actively explore a presidential run. If Romney entered the race, he would be
competing with Bush for many of
the party’s most established major
Romney has equivocated about
another presidential campaign, going from absolutely ruling it out after his 2012 loss to sounding more
uncertain recently. The comments
in New York appear to be his most
Mitt Romney: third time lucky?
open admission that he is seriously
considering it.
“He’s more open to it, based on all
the encouragement he’s received,”
a senior Romney adviser said of a
possible run.
The Journal said one of the attendees at the meeting asked Romney if he wanted to be president,
and he said “yes, of course.”
The topic of whether Romney
would run for the White House
came up at a dinner he had with
former advisers on Wednesday
night in Menlo Park, California.
“The sense I got from him was that
he was leaving his options open,”
said a former adviser who attended
the dinner. The former adviser em-
phasised that the dinner was a social occasion, not a strategy session,
As to whether Romney feels the
likelihood of Bush running makes
it harder for him to enter the fray,
the former adviser said Romney
believes the Republican field is in
the “formational stages” and he
would not be deterred from jumping in.
Romney’s entrance in the race
would dramatically reshape what
promises to be a crowded and competitive п¬Ѓeld. Polls show him at or
near the top of the Republican race
along with Bush.
Bush and his allies on Tuesday
formed a pair of political commit-
tees that allow him to speak with
donors and raise money, formalising his political activity and putting
pressure on Romney, with whom he
would compete for donors.
A handful of former Romney donors and operatives have committed
to help Bush’s likely bid.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike
Huckabee left his Fox News show
over the weekend to ponder a bid,
and more than a dozen other possible serious contenders could still
Romney would likely compete
for п¬Ѓnancial support with Bush and
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie,
who is also considered a member of
the party’s “establishment” wing. A
Romney bid could similarly complicate the aspirations of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who was vetted by
Romney’s campaign in 2012 as a vice
presidential possibility.
A Romney candidacy would make
it very difficult for Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, who was the
Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012, to run for the White
Others considering a White
House bid include senators Rand
Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of
Texas, as well as governors Scott
Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of
Texas, John Kasich of Ohio, Bobby
Jindal of Louisiana, and Mike Pence
of Indiana.
Great scepticism remains among
key Republican Party п¬Ѓgures that
Romney, 67, will actually run, however. “I just think a lot of the money
has already drifted away to other
candidates,” a former Romney adviser said.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
of HIV’
Tail of crashed AirAsia
plane lifted from seabed
Phnom Penh
Aboard Kri Banda Aceh
he mangled tail of an AirAsia plane that crashed
with 162 people on board
was lifted out of the Java Sea
yesterday, but without the crucial flight recorders, Indonesian
authorities said.
The Airbus jet went missing
in stormy weather on December
28 as it flew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, killing all aboard.
The wreckage of the tail,
which contained the black box
data recorders that are essential
to explaining the disaster, was
found in the seabed 10 days after the crash.
The 10-metre-long stretch of
mostly mangled metal was п¬Ѓnally lifted on to a tugboat vessel yesterday using giant balloons and a crane, but there was
no sign of the black boxes.
“It’s definite that the black
boxes aren’t there,” S B Supriyadi, a director with the National
Search and Rescue Agency, told
reporters after the tail had been
The black boxes are seen as
important because they should
contain the pilots’ final words
as well as various flight data.
However Supriyadi said the
boxes were still emanating ping
signals and were believed to be
buried in the seabed close to
where the tail was found, about
30 metres under the surface.
Supriyadi said divers, from an
elite Marines unit, would continue scouring the sea for the
black boxes.
mass HIV outbreak in a
Cambodian village was
most likely caused by
contaminated medical equipment, the World Health Organisation and Cambodian health
ministry said yesterday.
Hundreds of panicked residents of the remote Roka village
in western Battambang province have flocked for testing
since news of the infections п¬Ѓrst
emerged in late November.
An unlicensed Cambodian
doctor has been charged with
murder after he admitted reusing
needles and syringes at his clinic.
A joint study carried out by the
WHO and the health ministry
found 212 people have now been
found to be carrying the virus
out of 1,940 people tested so far
- with contaminated equipment
the most likely cause.
“The study showed that the
percentage of people that reported receiving an injection or
intravenous infusion as part of
their health treatment was significantly higher among the people who tested positive for HIV
than the people who were HIV
negative,” a joint statement said.
Researchers added that other
potential transmission routes —
such as unprotected sex, drug
use and mother-to-child transmission — had been ruled unlikely.
At least 174 of those with HIV
—including 39 people aged 14
or younger and 46 people aged
60 years old or older — are from
Roka village.
The tail of the AirAsia QZ8501 passenger plane lies on the deck of the Indonesian Search and Rescue (Basarnas) ship Crest Onyx after it was
recovered at sea yesterday.
“The challenge is that these
sounds are very faint. If a ship
passes by, the sounds will be
drowned out. So we really need
calm waters,” he said.
To aid the tracking of the signals, Supriyadi said the engines
of the warships involved in
the search operation would be
turned off today.
Search efforts also involving
foreign naval ships continued
throughout yesterday for other
parts of the plane’s wreckage, as
well as for the bodies of the passengers and crew.
returns to
wild, but
abandons son
This handout photo released by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP)
shows orangutans, Gober and her infant Ginting upon their release to a conservation forest in
Aceh as part of a reintroduction project.
once-blind female orangutan who regained
her sight with surgery
has returned to the rainforests
of Indonesia’s Sumatra island,
but with only one of her young
twins, an environment group
Gober and her infants —
Ginting, a female, and Ganteng, a male, who will turn
four this month — were released on January 5 to a conservation forest as part of
a reintroduction project by
Swiss-based PanEco’s Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.
“Sadly, the plan to release
Gober and both of her twin
infants together did not work
out as hoped,” a statement
from the group said.
“Gober struggled in the
trees with two infants to
watch out for. It was not long
before she seemed to give up
trying, and poor little Ganteng was left behind,” it said.
“Whilst Gober and Ginting subsequently coped perfectly well, travelling through
the canopy, finding food and
building a huge nest for the
night, little Ganteng spent his
first night in the forest alone
and afraid, cold and wet.”
Ganteng had since been
taken back by the conservation programme’s staff.
PanEco conservation director Ian Singleton said the carers were shocked that Gober
would abandon her son.
“No one believed she would
leave one of her twins behind,
at least not so soon after release. We’re all a bit stunned
at just how quickly it happened,” he said.
“Despite obvious disappointment that it didn’t go as
planned, I still think we can
consider Gober and Ginting’s
release as a huge success, and
we must now ensure Ganteng gets out there with them
eventually as well.”
Just 48 bodies have been
found so far, according to Indonesian authorities.
There was no success yesterday in п¬Ѓnding the cabin part
of the plane where most of the
passengers were.
“We strongly intend to find
other parts of the plane as we
are confident that the victims’ (bodies) are still trapped
in there,” Indonesian military
chief Moeldoko told reporters.
All but seven of those on
board were Indonesian.
The non-Indonesians were
three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one
Briton and a Frenchman -- copilot Remi Plesel.
The Indonesian meteorological agency has said weather was
the “triggering factor” for the
crash, with ice likely damaging
the engines of the Airbus A320200.
Before take-off, the plane’s
pilot, Captain Iriyanto, had
asked for permission to fly at a
higher altitude to avoid a major
storm. But the request was not
approved due to other planes
above him on the popular route,
according to AirNav, Indonesia’s air traffic control.
In his last communication,
the experienced former air force
pilot said he wanted to change
course to avoid the storm. Then
all contact was lost, about 40
minutes after take-off.
Indonesia’s transport ministry also said AirAsia was flying
the Surabaya-Singapore route
on an unauthorised day, highlighting concerns over chaotic
regulation of the nation’s aviation industry.
A subsequent ministry audit
found five other airlines, including national carrier Garuda, were flying dozens of routes
without permits.
The ministry on Friday suspended 61 routes until those
airlines secured the correct permits.
banned shortly after the accident from flying the SurabayaSingapore route.
However no connection over
the permit issue has been made
with the crash.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Thousands mourn eight
murdered Aussie children
over 3mn
porn п¬Ѓles
in 2014’
housands of people yesterday flocked to the funeral of eight children
found dead at their home in
the northern Australian city of
Cairns, in a crime that shocked
the country.
The mother of seven of the
children and aunt to the other
has been charged with murder
after their bodies were found,
reportedly with stab wounds,
at her house a few days before
The children —four boys and
four girls aged between two and
14 from the tight-knit Torres
Strait Islander community —
were laid to rest side-by-side
yesterday after a traditional
mourning period.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
attended the Christian service,
saying ahead of the funeral that
he would be going in “solidarity with the people of Cairns
and with all victims of family
violence”. “We know that sometimes people break. We also
know that there are difficult
circumstances that people deal
with,” he told radio station 2UE.
“This is a social issue as well
as a law enforcement issue, but
I will be there in solidarity with
the people of Cairns.”
Hundreds of people lined
an intersection near the house
where the children died as eight
hearses, each carrying a white
coffin, drove past with a police
The house is expected to be
demolished and a permanent
memorial built on the site.
Queensland state Premier
Campbell Newman said the
Australian mourners look on as the bodies of eight children are taken in hearses from the Cairns Convention Centre to a cemetery after a service yesterday.
tragedy of the young lives lost
on December 19 had been felt
right across Australia.
“No words can take away the
pain or ease the sorrow of that
loss,” he said.
The funeral was called Keriba
Omasker, meaning “our children” in the Torres Strait Islander dialect that was the ancestral language of the children.
The mother of seven of the
children and aunt to the other,
37-year-old Raina Mersane Ina
Thaiday, has been charged with
eight counts of murder over the
Police have not revealed how
the children died and have said
they were looking into various
scenarios, including suffocation. They also said knives were
found at the scene.
Cairns is a northern tropical
city with a population of more
than 150,000 people and is popular with international tourists
as a gateway to the Great Barrier
Reef, one of Australia’s biggest
tourist sites.
hina deleted more than
3mn pieces of pornographic content from the
Internet in 2014, state media
reported yesterday, as part of a
campaign to cleanse the country’s online sphere.
Zhou Huilin, a vice director of
the National Anti-Pornography
and Anti-Illegal Publications Office, told the official Xinhua news
agency his office had been “remarkably effective” last year.
China has been cracking down
on Internet porn for a decade and
has been stepping up its oversight
of the web in recent months.
In 2006, a 28-year-old man
who ran the country’s most
popular pornographic website
community, with up to 600,000
members, was sentenced to life
in prison. More than 10,000 websites or pages that contained what
was described as illegal or harmful
information were also shut down
by authorities, Xinhua reported,
without providing details.
They also confiscated more
than 16mn illegal publications
-- including 12mn pirated ones
-- and dealt with 212 cases that
involved fake journalists or media organisations, Xinhua quoted
Zhou as saying.
China has more web users than
any other country in the world,
with a government agency last
year putting the п¬Ѓgure at 632mn.
The country is home to a huge
e-commerce market and the
Internet has been used to spotlight government abuses, presenting a challenge to the ruling
Communist Party.
Uber driver
arrested over
alleged sex assault
Panda’s playtime
Seoul to deport author
for �praising’ Pyongyang
An Uber driver was arrested in Melbourne yesterday after an alleged
indecent assault on a 19-year-old
female passenger on New Year’s
Eve, police said.
Victorian state police said the
31-year-old man would be charged
with sex offences and unlicensed
driving. Uber is a private taxi service
operated through a smartphone
app that has recently been criticised
for a lack of checking on drivers.
Uber drivers in the state of Victoria
must be registered, undergo background screening and be licensed
to drive a commercial vehicle.
Apartment blaze
kills at least three
in South Korea
At least three people were killed
and 97 injured in a fire yesterday
at a 10-storey apartment building
in a northern suburb of Seoul,
police said. Five of the injured
victims were in critical condition,
Yonhap news agency said. Experts
investigating the cause of the blaze
had not ruled out arson, the Korea
Herald reported. It said the fire appeared to have started in a mailbox.
A giant panda plays on a swing after snowfall at a wildlife park in Kunming, Yunnan province, China yesterday.
Korean-American woman is set to be deported
from South Korea yesterday after being accused of praising the North in a recent lecture
— including its beer.
Shin Eun-Mi, 54, said she is
being forced to leave because
of supposedly pro-Pyongyang
comments she made at a lecture in November, which violate South Korea’s National Security Law.
“I feel as if I were betrayed by
my lover,” the 54-year-old told
journalists after she emerged
from questioning at the Korea
Immigration Service in Seoul.
“They can deport my body
but they cannot deport my
mind loving this country,” she
said. “Wherever I may exist, I
will continue praying for peace
and reunification of the fatherland.”
Shin incurred the wrath
of Seoul when she said many
North Koreans in South Korea
want to return home because
of frustration with their lives
in the South, and that they are
hopeful that young leader Kim
Jong-Un will improve life in the
hermit state.
She also praised the North’s
beer, which she said was better than the South’s “tasteless”
brews. South and North Korea
remain technically at war after a Cold War-era confrontation and relations between the
neighbours have worsened as
the conservatives have held
sway in Seoul.
Comments seen as overtly
complementary of communist
North Korea can be punished
by up to seven years in prison in
the South.
Shin has documented several
of her trips to North Korea in
articles for online media and
a book, which made a 2013 list
publications recommended by
the South Korean government.
But it was later dropped in
the face of public uproar and
she was accused of harming
national security and the public interest by prosecutors.
North Korea offers to suspend N-tests if US suspends military drills
orth Korea said yesterday it
was willing to suspend nuclear tests if the US agreed to call
off annual military drills held jointly
with South Korea, but Washington rejected the proposal as a veiled threat.
The offer, which the North’s official
KCNA news agency said was conveyed
to Washington on Friday through “a
relevant channel”, follows an often repeated demand by Pyongyang for an
end to the large-scale defensive drills
by the allies.
“The message proposed (that) the
US contribute to easing tension on
the Korean peninsula by temporarily
suspending joint military exercises in
South Korea and its vicinity this year,”
KCNA said in a report.
“(The message) said that in this
case the DPRK is ready to take such
a responsive step as temporarily sus-
pending the nuclear test over which
the US is concerned,” KCNA said, using the short form for the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea.
State Department spokeswoman
Jen Psaki said the nuclear tests and
military exercises were separate issues.
“The DPRK statement that inappropriately links routine US-ROK
exercises to the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea is an implicit
threat,” Psaki told reporters traveling
with Secretary of State John Kerry in
The US and South Korea have carried out the joint military exercises for
roughly 40 years, she added.
Psaki said the US remained open to
dialogue with North Korea and urged
Pyongyang to “immediately cease all
threats, reduce tensions, and take the
necessary steps toward denuclearization needed to resume credible negotiations.”
North Korea has conducted three
nuclear tests, the last in February
2013, and is under UN sanctions for
defying international warnings not
to set off atomic devices in pursuit of
a nuclear arsenal, which Pyongyang
calls its “sacred sword”.
It often promises to call off nuclear
and missile tests in return for comparable steps by Washington to ease
tensions. It reached such a deal in
February 2012 with the US for an arms
tests moratorium only to scrap it two
months later.
The US and South Korea have
stressed that the annual drills, which
in some years involved US aircraft
carriers, are purely defensive in nature, aimed at testing the allies’ readiness to confront any North Korean
Tension peaked on the Korean peninsula in March 2013 when the North
ratcheted up rhetoric during the annual drills, with Pyongyang threatening war and putting its forces in a
state of combat readiness.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at the newly-built Pyongyang City Mushroom Farm in this undated photo released by Korean
Central News Agency (KCNA) yesterday.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Hundreds of police
officers �too unfit to
chase down crooks’
Evening Standard
Waves batter the harbour wall in Newhaven on the south coast of England.
Two feared dead
as storms hit UK
ore than 30,000 homes
in Britain were without power for a second
day yesterday as a powerful jet
stream moving over the Atlantic
brought gale-force winds and
lashing rain.
Two of four men who braved
stormy seas for a swim in
Brighton on England’s south
coast were feared drowned.
The Maritime and Coastguard
Agency said big waves meant
there was “no chance of finding
them alive” and warned against
anyone going in the water.
The Met Office warned
of “erratic weather” across
Britain and issued a yellow “be
prepared” warning for plunging
temperatures, hurricane-force
winds and snowfalls on high
Wind gusting at up to 100kph
caused chaos, with house walls
blown down, roofs ripped off and
high-sided vehicles blown over
on exposed road.
The high winds brought down
power cables, leaving more
than 30,000 homes in Scotland
without electricity.
Three children were injured
when a tree fell on a school bus in
Pontypool, South Wales.
MeteoGroup said in a statement:
“We’re in the middle of winter,
so erratic weather is not
uncommon, but the potency
of these conditions is unusual.
There is a strange mixture of
things going on.”
High winds and choppy
seas delayed attempts to right
the listing Hoegh Osaka car
transporter that got into trouble
England’s south coast, a week ago.
Salvors abandoned plans to
begin pumping out 3,000 tons
of water that gushed in after the
hull was holed by an earth mover
that slid across the deck when
the ship listed 50 degrees.
carrying 1,400 cars and more
than 100 diggers and other
dragged its anchor for more than
100m before tugs managed to
hold it fast against wind and tide.
In Germany, strong wind and
rain caused disrupted some train
lines, and prompted the closing
of some ski resorts.
In some area, wind gusts
of 160kph were recorded, the
German meteorological service
said. The Berlin zoo was also
closed yesterday.
The Netherlands delayed by
one day the arrival of the Globe
container ship, the world’s
largest, which will now dock on
Conservatives pledge
tough new strike laws
ritish Prime Minister David
Cameron’s Conservative Party
said it would introduce tough
strike laws for some public service
workers if it wins the general election
in May, prompting anger from unions,
which called the proposals an affront to
Under the Conservatives’ plans announced yesterday, a strike involving health, transport, education or
п¬Ѓre service workers would require the
backing of at least 40% of eligible union members to be legal.
The move comes after a series of
strikes last year by public sector employees, including teachers and firefighters, and stoppages by rail workers
on London’s underground train network that caused chaos for millions of
Many of these strikes would have
David Cameron
fallen foul of the new proposals. Cameron has previously argued industrial
action without proper backing was unjustified.
“A strike in the public sector affects
many people who have no chance and
exercise no authority over that strike
whatsoever,” Transport Secretary
Patrick McLoughlin told BBC Radio.
“So before it takes place it ought to
have the support of at least 40 percent
of the members that trade union.”
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary
of the Trades Union Congress, Britain’s
umbrella union body, said the move
would effectively end the right to strike
in the public sector.
“No democracy elsewhere in the
world has this kind of restriction on
industrial action,” she said in a statement.
“It is a democratic outrage, especially as the Conservatives have opposed
allowing secure and secret online balloting - the one measure guaranteed to
increase turnouts.”
With the opposition Labour party
running neck and neck with the Conservatives in opinion polls, the latest
proposal is also designed to put pressure on Labour leader Ed Miliband,
who Cameron accuses of being in thrall
to powerful unions.
Labour accused the Conservatives
of “playing political games with the
“Most government ministers don’t
manage to get 40% of all eligible voters
voting for them at elections,” said Lucy
Powell, Labour’s election campaign
Pilot jailed after flying while hungover
Evening Standard
pilot has been jailed for flying an
executive jet from Spain while
hungover from a three-day
drinking binge.
Ian Jennings, 47, was arrested after
landing a commercial chartered plane
at Norwich Airport on October 30.
Millionaire scrap metal mogul Andre
Serruys was travelling with him along
with a woman and three teenage girls.
When police breathtested Jennings, he smelt strongly of alcohol
and seemed nervous, Norwich Crown
Court heard.
He was later found to be three times
the legal limit for a pilot.
Jennings, of Gale Moor Avenue, Gosport, Hampshire, claimed he had only
drunk three pints of lager the night before but was told by Judge Stephen Holt
that his claim “did not add up”.
He admitted flying while the alcohol
in his breath was over the prescribed
limit at an earlier hearing.
His barrister accepted Jennings may
have fallen foul of “topping up” after
several days of heavy drinking to cel-
ebrate his engagement.
Prosecutor Chris Youell said Jennings had reported for work at 8am that
morning and there was no evidence he
had consumed alcohol that day. He was
not breathalysed until after 2pm.
His licence has since been suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Sentencing him to nine months in prison, Judge Holt said: “Some eight or nine
hours earlier you must have been considerably higher than the level detected.
“You must have been drinking considerably the night before you went to
the airport.
“The public must have 100% confidence that pilots in this country are
100% sober.
“The devastation you could have
wreaked, not only to passengers but also
on the ground, goes without saying.
“It is my duty to send the clear message that any pilot who commits this
kind of offence must expect an immediate custodial sentence.”
On the morning of the incident,
Jennings had acted as captain while a
co-pilot flew the Canadair CL601-3A
Challenger from Oxford to Palma in
Majorca.Once there, Jennings took the
controls and flew to Norwich.
Somebody on board the flight became suspicious that he had been
drinking and contacted the police.
Officers detected 31mg of alcohol per
100mg of breath - the limit for pilots is
nine microgrammes while the limit for
drivers is 35. Marcus Crosskell, mitigating, said Jennings had recently ended a period of flying out of Africa where
he had been under pressure because of
the Ebola epidemic.
Crosskell added: “He is not a gentleman who habitually drinks or has a
drink problem.
“But having ended a stint in Africa
there was a period of celebration.
“He had got engaged that week and
been out for various dinners and events
and had been drinking alcohol in the
three days leading up to the offence.
“The night before he had not drank
excessive amounts of alcohol but he
had been drinking heavily that week
and may have been at the point where
he was simply topping it up.”
The court heard Jennings, who has
20 years experience as a pilot, began
his career on an RAF scholarship after
developing a love for aerobatic flying.
He was described as having an exemplary record.
undreds of Metropolitan Police officers
have failed п¬Ѓtness tests.
At least 356 officers have failed to reach
the required level in the shuttle run п¬Ѓtness test
since London’s police force introduced the “bleep
test” in April last year.
According to п¬Ѓgures obtained by the Standard,
a total of 117 male officers of the 9,377 failed the
bleep test and 239 of the 2,998 female officers to
take part also pulled up short.
The failures raise concerns over the officers’
abilities to chase and catch criminals.
The annual п¬Ѓtness test was introduced across
all police forces in England and Wales in September after recommendations made by Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor.
The Winsor recommendations say that all officers should take a “bleep test” annually, with
most participants having to complete a 15-metre
shuttle run in shorter and shorter periods, reaching level 5.4 - four shuttles at level 5.
If an officer fails the п¬Ѓtness test at the п¬Ѓrst attempt, it is advised that at least two retakes are
permitted before forces use “unsatisfactory performance” against the participating officer.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: “Since the fitness test was introduced last year, 97% of Metropolitan Police officers have passed which is in line
with the national average.
“Where officers fail the test they will be provided with development plans and the necessary
support to help them meet the standard. In the
unlikely event that this is not possible more formal
steps may be initiated.”
While most officers only have to achieve the basic fitness level, members of the Met’s specialist
п¬Ѓrearms unit must reach level 10.5 and perform a
20-second rope hang.
Public order and armed response vehicle officers must also achieve a higher standard.
Only Humberside and Surrey police forces
boasted 100% pass rates across all officers, according to п¬Ѓgures from the College of Policing released last year.
Met officers have been advised to prepared for
Hundreds of officers have failed a fitness test.
tests by going for a “hard run” for 20 to 30 minutes, three days a week.
The force has previously issued stations with
cookbooks to encourage officers to eat healthier.
Winsor also recommended harder tests from
Police are appealing for witnesses after a teenage boy was sexually assaulted in a park toilet in
south east London.
The 15-year-old boy was assaulted in a toilet
block in Greenwich Park on Thursday afternoon.
Two men, aged 48 and 53, have been arrested on
suspicion of sexual activity with a child.
The 53-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of attempted rape.
They were being questioned in custody at a
south London police station today, Scotland Yard
Detectives from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command are investigating.
A pedestrian is critically ill in hospital tonight
after being hit by a bus outside a department store
in Kingston.
The victim, whose age and gender were not immediately available from police, was hit outside
John Lewis in Wood Street just before 4pm today.
The pedestrian was taken by paramedics to a
south London hospital in a “life-threatening condition”, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said.
The bus driver stopped at the scene and has not
been arrested.
Part of the road was closed for a few hours while
police investigated.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Silent marchers pay tribute
to victims of Paris attacks
rance deployed hundreds of
troops around Paris yesterday, beefing up security on
the eve of a march expected to
draw more than a million in tribute to 17 victims of a three-day
Islamist killing spree.
Fears remained acute and security levels were kept at France’s
highest level as the girlfriend of
one of three gunmen killed in a
п¬Ѓery climax to twin hostage dramas on Friday was still on the
But refusing to be cowed, more
than 200,000 poured onto the
streets in cities across France in
poignantly silent marches paying tribute to those killed in the
nation’s bloodiest week in more
than half a century.
The marches across the country were a taste of what was to
come in Paris today, where a
massive rally will be held for national unity, to be attended by
President Francois Hollande and
a host of world leaders.
The defence ministry said it
was sending another 500 soldiers
into the greater Paris area, bringing current numbers to some
1,350 troops.
After Friday’s dramatic events,
Hollande warned grimly that the
threats facing France “weren’t
over”, comments followed by a
chilling new threat from a Yemen-based Al Qaeda group.
Security forces were focused
on hunting down 26-year-old
Hayat Boumeddiene, the “armed
and dangerous” partner of Amedy Coulibaly who took terrified
shoppers hostage in a Jewish supermarket on Friday, killing four
of them.
People take part in a march in Marseille yesterday.
People laid flowers at the shop
as a tribute and one woman attached signs to a police barrier
reading: “Je suis Charlie” (“I am
Charlie”), “I am police”, “I am
mourning”, “I am Jewish.”
Before Coulibaly was killed by
elite police in a massive assault
on the store, he told journalists
he was a member of the Islamic
State jihadist group.
Coulibaly and Boumeddiene
are the prime suspects in the
murder of a policewoman on
Thursday just outside the French
That attack further spooked
a nation still reeling from the
Wednesday assault at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris
that saw two gunmen mow down
12 people including some of the
country’s best-known cartoonists.
In a sombre address after Friday’s sieges, Hollande said: “I
call on all the French people to
rise up this Sunday, together, to
defend the values of democracy,
freedom and pluralism to which
we are attached.”
But as leaders urged the country to pull together in grief and
determination, questions were
also mounting over how the three
men - brothers Cherif and Said
Kouachi, and Coulibaly - had
slipped through the security net
after it emerged that all three
were known to the intelligence
And despite calls for political
unity, far-right leader Marine Le
Pen urged her supporters to attend rallies outside Paris, but not
in the capital.
France’s darkest week in decades came to an explosive end
on Friday after the three gunmen
seized hostages in two locations
some 30km apart.
The massive manhunt for the
two Kouachi brothers developed
into a car chase and then a tense
standoff as they took one person
hostage in a printing п¬Ѓrm northeast of Paris.
The small town of Dammartin-en-Goele was transformed
into what looked like a war zone,
with elite forces deploying snipers, helicopters and heavy-duty
military equipment as they surrounded the pair.
With all eyes on the siege outside Paris, suddenly explosions
and gunfire shook the City of
Light itself as Coulibaly stormed
a Jewish supermarket on the
eastern fringes of the capital.
In what Hollande called an
“appalling anti-Semitic act”,
Coulibaly took terrified shoppers
hostage hours before the Jewish
Sabbath, killing four.
As the sun set on the horrified
capital, the brothers charged out
of the building with guns blazing
in a desperate last stand, before
being cut down.
Within minutes, elite commando units moved against
Coulibaly, who had threatened to
execute his hostages unless the
brothers were released.
Coulibaly had just knelt for his
evening prayer when the special
forces struck. Explosions rocked
the neighbourhood - one lighting up the shopfront in a п¬Ѓreball
- and shooting erupted as the
commandos burst in.
“It’s war!” shouted a mother as
she pulled her daughter away.
Up to п¬Ѓve people - including
a three-year-old boy - survived
hidden inside a refrigerator for
п¬Ѓve hours, with police pinpointing their location using their
mobile phones, prosecutors and
relatives said.
In the printing п¬Ѓrm, the
brothers took the manager hostage, later releasing him after he
helped Said with a neck wound,
while a second man hid beneath a
sink upstairs.
As the drama reached its climax, links emerged showing
the brothers and Coulibaly were
close allies and had worked together.
All three had a radical past and
were known to French intelligence. Cherif Kouachi, 32, was a
The sentence �Paris Est Charlie’ (Paris is Charlie) being projected on
the Arc de Triomphe in Paris yesterday.
known jihadist who was convicted in 2008 for involvement in a
network sending п¬Ѓghters to Iraq.
His brother Said, 34, was
known to have travelled to Yemen
in 2011, where he received weapons training from Al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
It also emerged that the brothers had been on a US terror watch
list “for years”.
Cherif told French TV he was
acting on behalf of the AQAP while
Coulibaly said he was a member of
the Islamic State group.
Coulibaly, 32 - who met Cherif
Kouachi in prison - was sentenced to п¬Ѓve years in prison in
2013 for his role in a failed bid to
break an Algerian Islamist, Smain
Ait Ali Belkacem, out of jail.
Boumeddiene and Cherif’s
girlfriend spoke “more than 500”
times by phone in 2014, said
Paris’s chief prosecutor Francois
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
said the carnage they left in their
wake showed there had been
“clear failings” in intelligence.
The Islamic State group’s radio praised them as “heroes” and
Somalia’s Shebaab militants, Al
Qaeda’s main affiliate in Africa,
hailed their “heroic” act.
Meanwhile AQAP’s top Shariah official Harith al-Nadhari
warned France to “stop your aggression against the Muslims”
or face further attacks, in comments released by the SITE monitoring group.
Asterix too expresses solidarity Family of dead policeman laud their �pillar’
he co-creator of legendary comic strip
Albert Uderzo, has come
out of retirement to pen
cartoons in memory of the
victims of the killings at
French satirical newspaper
Charlie Hebdo.
�Moi aussi je suis un
Charlie’ (I’m Charlie too)
says Asterix in one of the
cartoons released late on
Friday, in which he appears
to have punched an adversary high into the air.
The second cartoon
shows Asterix and his sidekick Obelix bowing their
heads in grief, holding their
hats. Asterix grasps a rose,
and their pet Dogmatix
looks on with a sad look.
“Charlie Hebdo and Asterix are very different, of course. I am not going to change my
stripes,” said 87-year-old
Uderzo. “I simply wanted
to show my friendship
for these cartoonists who
have paid with their lives,”
he told Europe 1 radio.
The Albert-Rene publishing house that holds
the rights to the Asterix books said Uderzo
“was close to Cabu”, or
Jean Cabut, one of the
cartoonists shot dead
by Islamist gunmen on
Uderzo has joined cartoonists around the world
to pay tribute to some of
France’s best-known cartoonists slain in the attack, by producing special
drawings in their memory.
Asterix is the highest-selling series of cartoon books in the world and has been translated into 111 languages.
elatives of Ahmed Merabet,
the policeman who was shot
in cold blood as he tried to
stop the Charlie Hebdo attackers
from fleeing, paid a moving tribute
yesterday to a man they described
as the “pillar” of their family.
One of the 17 victims of a threeday Islamist killing spree that has
shaken France to the core, Merabet’s death Wednesday was caught
on video - footage that was shown
on television and that his partner
said she saw without even knowing
what she was watching.
“Ahmed, a man of commitment,”
his brother Malek said, before
breaking down in tears.
After a short moment, he continued: “(He) had the will to watch
over his mum and his loved-ones
�We vomit’ on Charlie’s sudden friends: staff cartoonist
A prominent Dutch cartoonist at
Charlie Hebdo heaped scorn on
the French satirical weekly’s “new
friends” since the massacre at its
Paris offices on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of new friends,
like the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and
(Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It
really makes me laugh,” Bernard Holtrop, whose pen name is Willem, told
the Dutch centre-left daily Volkskrant
in an interview published yesterday.
France’s far-right National Front
leader “Marine Le Pen is delighted
when the Islamists start shooting
all over the place,” said Willem, 73,
a longtime Paris resident who also
draws for the French leftist daily
Liberation. He added: “We vomit on
all these people who suddenly say
they are our friends.”
Commenting on the global outpouring of support for the weekly,
Willem scoffed: “They’ve never seen
Charlie Hebdo.”
“A few years ago, thousands of
people took to the streets in Pakistan
to demonstrate against Charlie
Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was.
Now it’s the opposite, but if people
are protesting to defend freedom of
speech, naturally that’s a good thing.”
since the death of his father 20
years ago.”
“A pillar of his family, his duties
did not stop him from being a protective son, a teasing brother, a dot-
ing uncle and a loving companion,”
he told a news conference.
Merabet was killed as Cherif and
Said Kouachi escaped from the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine
after having mowed down 11 people
Fired on by the attackers, he fell to
the ground wounded. One of the two
brothers then ran towards him and
shot him dead at point-blank range.
A Muslim, Merabet was killed at
the hands of men who claimed to be
acting in the name of his religion.
Many in France’s Muslim community fear a backlash from the
killings, and French leaders have
repeatedly called for people not to
confuse Islam with extremism.
“I am now telling all racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites that
one must not confuse extremists
with Muslims,” Malek Merabet said.
He also chided media for using
the footage of his brother’s killing.
“How dare you take this video
and broadcast it? I heard his voice,
I recognised him, I saw him being
killed and I continue to hear him
every day.”
Germans reject racism, xenophobia at Dresden rally
rally yesterday against racism and
xenophobia drew tens of thousands
of people in the eastern German city
of Dresden, which has become the centre of
anti-immigration protests organised by a new
grassroots movement called PEGIDA.
“We won’t permit that hate will divide us”,
Dresden’s mayor Helma Orosz said in front of
the 18th-century Frauenkirche (Church of Our
“I didn’t come because I am against the people going to the PEGIDA demonstrations, but
because I am not afraid of people whose skin
colour or customs are ... different than mine,”
Orosz said.
During the counter-protest, which included
a minute of silence for the 17 victims in France,
demonstrators carried signs emblazoned with
the words “Help refugees”, “We all laugh in the
same language” and “Germany is for everyone”.
Around 35,000 people attended the rally
that was jointly organised by the state government of Saxony and the city of Dresden, officials said.
The movement Patriotic Europeans Against
the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) is holding weekly rallies in Dresden with a record
number of 18,000 people attending last Monday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned
the anti-Muslim demonstrations, urging Germans to turn their backs on the movement and
calling their organisers racists full of hatred.
A recent survey, conducted before Wednesday’s deadly attack on a French satirical magazine, showed that an increasing majority of
non-Muslim Germans feel threatened by Islam.
The Paris attack has fuelled fears that it
could boost anti-immigration movements
around Europe and inflame a culture war about
the place of religion and ethnic identity in society.
Speaking after a party meeting of her Christian Democrats (CDU) in Hamburg earlier yesterday, Merkel stressed the need for intercultural dialogue and warned against prejudice.
“We have made clear that the events in
France, this barbaric terrorist act, are a challenge for all of us, for the values that we advocate, to fight for them,” she said, adding that
people must differentiate between Islam and
religious fanatics.
Merkel who will take part in a silent march in
Paris on Sunday also welcomed a decision by
leading Muslim groups in Germany to organise
a vigil in Berlin next week.
“The Paris attacks will without doubt affect
Dresden and give the PEGIDA movement even
more influence,” political scientist Werner
Patzelt of Dresden Technical University told
AFP previously.
“It is likely that the 20,000-mark for demonstrators will be reached on Monday,” he
predicated of the group’s next march.
A sign reading �Help the refugees!’ stands in the foreground as thousands of people took part in a rally in front of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
in Dresden yesterday.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
claim to
banned radical Turkish Marxist
group yesterday retracted its claim
for a suicide bombing in the heart
of Istanbul’s tourist district, raising the
possibility of a jihadist link to the attack
that left one policeman and the bomber
Reports earlier this week suggested
Tuesday’s attack was carried out by a
Russian woman from the Muslim Caucasus region of Dagestan, and not the
female bomber that the far-left militant
group initially said had executed the
“The attack on January 6 in Sultanahmet... was not carried out by our organisation,” the Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)
said in a statement on its website.
“We therefore withdraw our claim for
the action. We apologise to our people
and our supporters,” it said.
It said that the error was down to a
“technical problem” that had arisen due
to the need to keep internal communications to a minimum while living under
“fascist conditions”.
Without giving further details, the
group said it had been preparing an action that would have coincided with the
Sultanahmet attack.
Doubts were п¬Ѓrst raised when the
mother of the suicide bomber named by
the DHKP-C - Elif Sultan Kalsen - was
taken to identify the corpse and said it
was not her daughter.
Turkish private news agency DHA,
without giving its sources, then said the
bomber had been named as Russian citizen Diana Ramazanova (initially given as
Ramazova) from the Russian region of
Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala
announced early Thursday that the
“identity (of the bomber) had been determined” but officials have so far refused to
disclose the name.
An autopsy also determined that she
was two months pregnant, reports said.
Lake-top fun!
Bomb is discovered near
Istanbul shopping centre
Turkish police yesterday defused a bomb
outside a shopping centre in Istanbul,
with the city on a high security alert
following a suicide bombing earlier this
The homemade device was found in
a suspect package in front of a shopping
centre in the western suburb of Basaksehir after a passer-by raised the alarm, the
official Anatolia news agency reported.
Police defused the device and took it
to a laboratory for further investigation,
it said. Reports described the device as a
fragmentation bomb.
In another security alert, police
detonated in controlled explosion gas
canisters that had been found in a suspicious package in the suburb of Sefakoy,
Anatolia said.
The fate of Elif Sultan Kalsen remains
The statement that the bombing was
not carried out by the DHKP-C raises
new and potentially troubling questions
about who was behind the attack.
Ramazanova is now being investigated
for any links to Al Qaeda and the Islamic
State (IS) militant group, Turkish media
reports have said. She had entered Turkey as a tourist seven months ago.
The Aksam newspaper, citing intelligence sources, reported Saturday that
Ramazanova had been the п¬Ѓancee of an
IS п¬Ѓghter who was killed six weeks ago
in the battle for the Syrian border town
of Kobane. It suggested that her alleged
IS handlers had used her fiance’s death to
encourage the woman to become a suicide bomber.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has
said that only the courage of the police,
who reportedly shot the bomber in the leg,
had prevented further casualties. Two more
charges strapped to the bomber failed to go
off. Security has been high in Turkey over
the past few months amid fears of attacks by
Kurdish militants and jihadists who have attacked swathes of Iraq and Syria.
Birds run over the frozen Dojran Lake, some 160km south of the capital Skopje in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Two Ukrainian soldiers
die in fresh fighting
Rome to appeal �baffling’
Venice cruise ship ruling
he Italian government yesterday protested against a
court ruling that has invalidated a ban on cruise ship traffic in
the Venice lagoon, introduced to
heed the concerns of environmentalists and local residents.
The judgment was delivered late
on Friday by a local court, which
found that the government had
not taken into enough consideration the economic effects of the
measure. It said the ban could be
enforced only after cruise ships are
offered an alternative route.
“The ruling is baffling, because
once again Venice’s manifest fra-
gility and uniqueness has not been
taken into consideration,” Ilaria
Borletti Buitoni, Italy’s deputy culture minister, said in a statement.
The passage of so-called “floating skyscrapers” in the Giudecca
canal, near the world-famous St
Mark’s Square, is widely recognized as an eyesore.
And while it contributes to the
lucrative tourist trade, there are
also claims that waves created by
the passage of such large ships
damage Venice’s delicate underwater foundations.
“It should not be Venice that has
to adapt to tourism, but vice versa,
also through a long term vision
that should protect the city from
barbarities, of which big ships are
a clear example,” Borletti Buitoni,
Greek PM vows tax cuts as leftists hold lead in polls
Swedish opposition party
elects п¬Ѓrst female leader
reek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras yesterday pledged to cut
taxes and gradually end austerity as he seeks to woo voters and overturn a poll lead by the leftist opposition
party Syriza ahead of a snap election.
At the helm of a coalition government since 2012, Samaras has pursued
unpopular reforms as part of a 240bn
euro ($284.26bn) EU/IMF bailout to
pull Greece back from almost crashing
out of Europe at the height of the euro
zone crisis.
Opinion polls show radical leftist
Syriza, which opposes Greece’s international bailout programme, ahead of
Samaras’ centre-right New Democracy
party with two weeks until snap polls
triggered by parliament’s failure to elect
a new president.
Amid п¬Ѓerce campaigning, Samaras
is trying to focus on the improvement
in Greece’s finances and the first signs
of economic growth after a six-year recession, promising to ease the п¬Ѓnancial
pressure faced by many Greeks if his
party is re-elected.
“There won’t be any further pension
and wage cuts,” he told party members and
supporters at a central Athens hotel. “The
next breakthrough in our growth plan includes tax cuts across the board which can
happen gradually, step by step.”
Greek economy grew in the п¬Ѓrst quarter last year for the п¬Ѓrst time since the
second quarter of 2009 and continued
expanding until the third quarter of 2014.
Samaras vowed to lower an unpopu-
a former environmental activist,
The Transport Ministry, which
is to appeal the ruling, wants
progress to be made on a stalled
project to excavate a new lagoon
canal. This would allow the rerouting of cruise ship traffic away
from Venice’s historic centre.
According to local newspaper
Corriere del Veneto, Friday’s court
decision will have no practical effect, since cruise ship operators
have already agreed to keep large
vessels out of the lagoon, regardless of the legal battles over the
Tourism is Venice’s main industry, but there are growing concerns
about the overexploitation of the
city’s fragile beauty.
kraine’s military yesterday reported the death of two soldiers in
the past day of п¬Ѓghting with proRussian insurgents in the separatist east.
Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko
added that 20 soldiers were wounded in
clashes in the mostly Russian-speaking
Lugansk region.
The toll brings to six the number of
Ukrainian troops reported killed since
Thursday evening - an escalation since
the two warring sides agreed a new
December 9 truce aimed at stemming
п¬Ѓghting that has claimed some 4,700
The upsurge in violence comes ahead
of talks that Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko hopes to stage next week
with Russia’s Vladimir Putin at a minisummit in Kazakhstan that would also
be attended by the leaders of Germany
and France.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and French President Francois Hollande
have indicated in the past few days that
too little has been done to achieve a lasting ceasefire to make political dialogue
worthwhile at this stage.
Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras gestures as he delivers a pre-election speech in Athens.
lar property tax this year and reduce
corporation tax to 15% from 26% gradually to boost investment.
However, in a veiled attack on his
main election rivals, he tied such promises and a return to wider prosperity in
Greece to successfully concluding negotiations with international lenders to
exit the bailout and securing debt relief.
“Who can get that? A responsible
government, as a reward for the sacri-
п¬Ѓces made by the Greek people who met
the targets, without clashing with (European) partners and any kind of turbulence,” he said.
Greece’s bailout talks with lenders
will resume once a new government is
in place after the elections.
Samaras’ main opponent, Syriza’s
head Alexis Tsipras, has taken a harder
line towards EU/IMF partners, saying
he wanted to cancel austerity measures
which form part of the bailout that is
keeping Greece afloat, raise the minimum wage and freeze state layoffs.
He also wants Europe to write off a
big chunk of Greece’s debt as part of a
re-negotiation with lenders, something
that has spooked the п¬Ѓnancial markets.
Tsipras said during a pre-election
tour on Saturday Greece would become
a “colony” with no future if the bailout
policies continued.
nna Kinberg Batra was elected
yesterday as the п¬Ѓrst woman
to lead Sweden’s main opposition party, the conservative Moderates.
Kinberg Batra - who was the only
candidate - succeeded Fredrik Reinfeldt, who announced his resignation as party leader and prime
minister after losing elections in
Reinfeldt had been party leader
since 2003 and, as prime minister,
led a four-party centre-right coalition between 2006 and 2014. The
44-year-old Kinberg Batra has been
member of parliament since 2006,
on top of a stint from 2000 to 2002.
In 2002, she broke with the prevailing party line and supported the
right for same-sex couples to adopt
Kinberg Batra joined the Moderates at age 13 and was active in its
youth wing. She later took a degree
at the Stockholm School of Economics. She has also worked at the European Parliament.
In public she seems reserved and
strict, but friends have told local
media that she is very lively in private.
In the legislature, she has served as
leader of the Moderate Party caucus
working closely with Reinfeldt, who
in December said she was “well prepared” to take over as party leader.
He cited her experience from the
European Affairs Committee, and
that she had served on the п¬Ѓnance
committee and other parliamentary
Kinberg Batra has not disclosed
whether she plans to shift the party’s
policies following its electoral defeat
or because of a surge for the far-right
Sweden Democrats, who oppose
Sweden’s liberal immigration policies.
She will also have to form a new
leadership team and convince party
faithful of the wisdom of a recent
decision to strike a deal with the
current minority government on the
budget. Doing so averted early elections that had been called for March
22 after the two-month-old government failed in its п¬Ѓrst attempt at the
Elections are now scheduled in
2018, allowing her to become more
familiar among the electorate. Her
husband - stand-up comedian and
actor David Batra, whom she married in 2002 - is likely better known.
Many still remember her for a
gaffe she made in a 1998 television
interview when she was running for
parliament where she said: “Stockholmers are smarter than people
from the countryside.”
“It is likely the most silly thing I
have ever said in public,” she has often said.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Burdwan blast suspect
arrested from Jharkhand
Environment ministry
�no more a roadblock’
Seven Maoists killed,
four surrender in Odisha
Theft at designer’s
store in New Delhi
Mystic folk singers
enthral Kolkata
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militant
Rejaul Karim, a key accused in the October 2
blast in Burdwan in West Bengal, was arrested
yesterday by the National Investigation Agency.
Karim, against whom a cash reward of Rs500,000
was announced by the NIA, was caught abbed
from Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district. “Karim
who used to stay in Badshahi Road in Burdwan
is an active member of JMB and was engaged
in manufacturing and transport of bombs to
different locations. Since the time of incident,
he has been in hiding,” an NIA officer said. The
accidental blast took place inside a house killing
two JMB militants and injuring another.
Environment and Forests Minister Prakash
Javadekar said yesterday that the government
was committed turning around the ministry’s
image as a “roadblock” ministry and ensuring
development without destruction. “I inherited a
negative legacy of the environment ministry that
was seen as a speed breaker and a roadblock
before I took charge,” Javadekar said. “But
now, the motto of my ministry is development
without destruction and delay. If you have to say
no to a project say no, but if it has to be a yes, it
should happen without delay.” The minister also
said that the government’s focus was on strict
implementation of environment laws.
At least seven Maoists have been killed in an
ongoing operation to flush them out in Odisha,
an official said yesterday. “The �Operation All Out’
jointly launched by the Greyhound unit of Andhra
Pradesh police, the special operation group and
district voluntary forces of the Odisha police, the
Border Security Force and the Central Reserve
Police Force have killed seven Maoists, while four
surrendered today,” Inspector General Yashwant
Jethwa said in Malkangiri. Jethwa said of the
four who surrendered, three were women. The
security personnel of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha
launched the operation on January 5 along the
border of the two states to destroy Maoist camps.
Bridal couture collection and Rs6mn in cash
were stolen from veteran fashion designer
Ritu Kumar’s flagship store in New Delhi’s
South Extension market, police said. The theft
happened on Friday. The thieves broke the
lock and entered the store,” a police officer
said. Kumar’s entire bridal couture collection
along with a large amount of cash generated
from the daily sales and all the IT hardware
are missing, according to a statement issued
on behalf of the designer. Kumar is one of
the pioneers in the Indian fashion industry.
Her bridal wear is considered among the best
available in the Indian luxury wear market.
Folk singers from Bangladesh, Sufi singers from
Rajasthan and wandering minstrels or bauls
of West Bengal enthralled folk music lovers
at a festival in Kolkata yesterday. Artists from
Bangladesh include Sahjahan Fakir and Rob.
Among West Bengal’s proponents of the folk
music are Ranjit Gosain, Biren Gosain, Kartik
Das Baul, Chhoto Golam, Halim, Mansur Fakir
and Krishna Das Baul. A team of Sufi singers
from Rajasthan are the other highlights at the
two-day event. The festival assumes a carnivallike atmosphere every year and is an effort by
a group of enthusiasts who do not get funding
from state or corporate bodies.
Sanjay Dutt
back in jail
after furlough
plea rejected
UN chief arrives
Kerry’s visit
to focus on
trade and
ollywood actor Sanjay
Dutt yesterday returned to
Pune’s Yerawada Central
Jail yesterday evening after the
Maharashtra government rejected his application to extend his
furlough by 14 days.
Dutt, whose 14-day furlough
had begun on December 24, returned to the jail around 5pm, an
official said.
His lawyer Hitesh Jain earlier
had said that the government had
rejected the actor’s application
and that would return to the jail.
Dutt’s family, including wife
Manyata, bid him a tearful farewell at his Bandra home.
He briefly addressed the media and expressed his unhappiness over controversies erupting
each time he got furlough.
“Every prisoner is entitled
to it and so am I. The authorities have done nothing wrong.
They are doing it within the legal
framework,” Dutt said.
He criticised the media for accusing the government and jail
authorities of favouring him.
“I am also a common man.
I respect the media and you
should also respect me,” he said
before leaving.
Dutt’s latest furlough of 14 days
ended on Thursday, but he did not
return to the jail as the decision on
his application was pending.
Meanwhile, he continued to
live with his family for the past
three days.
On Thursday, Dutt, 55, flew to
Pune and went up to the jail, spent
a few hours in the vicinity of the
prison and later returned to Mumbai. The development followed a
confusion created by the statement of some officials that it was
not necessary for him to go back to
jail until a decision was taken on his
application for an extension.
Questions have been raised
about the repeated furloughs
granted to the actor, including
the latest 14-day leave which
saw him attending a special
show of the п¬Ѓlm PK, and parties.
US Secretary of State to
speak at the Vibrant Gujarat
Global Investors Summit
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waves upon his arrival as his wife Yoo
Soon-taek looks on at the New Delhi airport yesterday. Ban is on a four-day official visit
to India. He will attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as the guest of honour and will also
meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Singing maestro
Yesudas turns 75
Veteran playback singer K J Yesudas,
who has over 45,000 film songs in 14
languages and 22,000 other songs in his
kitty, turned 75 yesterday. As has been
his practice, on every birthday, he and
his family visited the Kollur Mookambika
temple near Mangaluru in Karnataka.
S Secretary of State John
Kerry left late Friday for
India on his п¬Ѓrst foreign
trip of 2015, with a heavy focus
on trade and investment with
the South Asian economic giant.
His tour will also take him to
Geneva for talks on Wednesday
with his Iranian counterpart on
Iran’s nuclear programme, before he makes his first visit as the
top US diplomat to Bulgaria later
in the week.
It will be Kerry’s second trip
to India in six months, as the two
allies have worked to repair ties
which frayed badly early last year
in a spat over the deportation of
an Indian diplomat.
He will also be paving the way
for a visit to India by President
Barack Obama later this month.
Obama will be the special
guest for India’s Republic Day
celebrations on January 26.
En route for India, Kerry
stopped over for a few hours in
Munich, southern Germany,
for a rare private meeting with
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Munich talks would be more of “a
personal visit” than one focusing on policy, although she acknowledged that Oman played
a key role in hosting secret talks
in 2012 between Iran and the US
credited with bringing the Islamic Republic back to the nuclear negotiations.
The key focus of Kerry’s visit
to the Ahmadabad in Gujarat
will be his address to the Vibrant
Gujarat Global Investors Sum-
Kerry: second trip in six months
mit hosted by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi.
It is the п¬Ѓrst time that the
US is joining the conference as
a partner country - a biennial
summit launched in 2003 to attract foreign investment.
Two-way trade between the
US and India currently stands at
$100bn and the countries aim to
boost the п¬Ѓgure to $500bn but
have set no deadline.
US officials did not highlight
whether any major deals would
be outlined during Kerry’s Gujarat visit.
But the summit will give Kerry
the chance to showcase “the vast
opportunity for the American
private sector” as Modi seeks to
transform India’s economy, a senior State Department official said.
“I think the US is going to be
a key player and a key partner in
that transformation and rejuvenation of the Indian economy,
and that this is a win-win for
both countries and for both peoples,” the official added.
Kerry will also visit a Ford automotive manufacturing plant
which is to be shortly inaugurated in Gujarat.
And he will meet with the
chief executives of some of the
Fortune 500 Indian companies
to discuss “constraints and inhibitions on advancing the economic partnership,” the US official said.
“We do think that we’re seeing some progress. There are
some tricky issues, which I
think the government is working its way through,” the official added.
On the sidelines of the summit, Kerry will hold a meeting
with Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay in bid to
strengthen ties with the country,
which has remained one of the
most isolated in the world.
While the US does not have an
embassy in Bhutan, the US ambassador to India is accredited to
Bhutan as well.
“Secretary Kerry’s meeting
with Bhutanese Prime Minister
Tobgay will mark the п¬Ѓrst bilateral meeting between a US Secretary of State and a Bhutanese
official,” a State Department official said in a statement.
“Previously, the highest ranking State Department official to
engage with Bhutan was at the
Undersecretary of State level. In
the past, US officials have met
with both the Fourth and Fifth
King of Bhutan.”
Washington and Thimphu
have good co-operation, but
Bhutan was looking at ways to
“deepen our people-to-people
ties or our educational ties,” another US official said.
The prime minister is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and “is quite keen to be
able to provide additional opportunities for Bhutanese to be
able to study in the US.”
Another important area is regional energy co-operation, the
official added.
Wedged between China and
India, the sparsely-populated
“Land of the Thunder Dragon”
only got its п¬Ѓrst television sets in
1999, at a time when less than a
quarter of households had electricity.
Kerala to launch new initiative for women
By Ashraf Padanna
erala launched Kudumbashree, India’s largest poverty eradication programme
for women, 17 years ago.
The ambitious mission now has
4.1mn members, covering most the
state’s households.
The state will embark on another
such path-breaking initiative in
women empowerment tomorrow
when Chief Minister Oommen Chandy launches Sandesh One “to generate massive employment and foster
socio-economic development.”
Claimed to be the country’s largest network of women social entrepreneurs with private partnership,
Sandesh offers technologies and solutions at the grassroots level. Officials expect it to make a bigger impact
on the state’s socio-economic profile.
Under the project, social enterprise centres will be set up in all the
1,000-odd villages, towns and cities coming under the state’s three-
The new initiative is expected
to generate massive
employment and foster
socio-economic development.
tier local self-governments in sync
with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s skills development mission.
Women resource persons selected
from each unit and trained in entrepreneurship by the Indian Institute
of Management (IIM-Ahmedabad)
with a curriculum custom-developed by IL&FS Skills will manage
the centres.
M K Muneer, the minister for lo-
cal self-governments and social
welfare, said more than 10 projects
capable of transforming the society are planned in the п¬Ѓrst phase
in Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad,
Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.
They will promote environmentfriendly projects, products and solutions at the grassroots contributing to the state’s socio-economic
development in a big way.
They include precision farming,
advanced п¬Ѓsh breeding, high density plantation, renewable energy,
preventive healthcare applications,
clinics and programmes for promoting activity-based lifestyle.
The IIM offers a six-month-long
residential training programme
focusing on developing and improving entrepreneurial skills and
knowledge management. Additionally, they will go through a product
orientation programme to get familiarised with the products and
services offered by the network.
Sandesh entrepreneurs starting
projects will receive support from
the Kerala State Women’s Develop-
ment Corporation (KSWDC) which
will facilitate loans, provide promotional support and ensure tie-ups.
“There will be huge employment
generation opportunities at the
grassroots level,” said Muneer. “We
also expect Sandesh to have a multiplier effect by helping unemployed
youth in their locality to come up
with attractive micro-enterprises.”
The entrepreneurs will hold the
rights to all solutions offered on
the network and they will be able to
make incomes as professional consultants or by setting up micro-enterprises and selling products and
For the government, it offers high
social returns with no п¬Ѓnancial investment, through employment
generation and empowerment while
the innovators get a ready-made
network to market their products
and services at the grassroots level.
For the entrepreneurs, it gives a
chance to make sustainable income
and for the end customers, costeffective services available at their
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
No plan yet
to question
Tharoor, say
Delhi police
New Delhi
olice yesterday said they
do not plan to question
Congress leader Shashi
Tharoor in the murder of his wife
Sunanda Pushkar any time soon
as they п¬Ѓrst wanted to examine
all other people related with the
case and look into all available
The police will п¬Ѓrst question 11
other people including Pushkar’s
son Shiv Menon, her brothers
Ashish Dass and Rajesh Pushkar,
her cardiologist Rajat Mohan, a
identified as woman Kaitie, Tharoor’s personal assistant Rakesh
Kumar Sharma and another family friend Sanjay Dewan before
questioning the former minister.
Dewan found Pushkar dead
when he came to the Leela Palace
hotel to enquire about her health.
Senior journalist Nalini Singh,
with whom Pushkar was believed
to be in touch by phone before her
death, will also be called to join the
investigation, an official said.
Besides, two of Tharoor’s officers on special duty (OSD) Shiv
Kumar Prasad and Abhinav Kumar, along with driver Bajrangi
will also be questioned.
“The police will question relatives, family friends of the couple, Tharoor’s personal assistant,
PSOs, servants and others and
then, if necessary, Tharoor will
be called. All the available evidence will also be gathered and
only after that we may question
him,” the official said.
“We have not called Tharoor
for questioning as we do not need
him at this moment,” he said.
Initially, the Special Investigative Team (SIT) set up to investigate the case wanted to question
Tharoor straight away and a notice asking him to join the probe
was also prepared but it was not
sent at the last moment as the
police top brass decided to question others п¬Ѓrst.
“This approach will help us
pose those questions to him
which will arise during questioning of all these people related with the case,” the official
said, adding that no IPL angle
has come up in the case so far as
speculated by media.
Tharoor yesterday said he did
not have anything more to add
to what he had stated in public
about the case on Friday.
“It is pointless for you to
waste your time on other matters. I said very clearly what I
said in Guruvayur yesterday. I
have nothing more to add and
you are not going to get me to
add anything more,” he told reporters in Kochi.
Tharoor said on Friday he
would extend full co-operation
in a “fair” investigation and demanded a professional police
probe without any political pressure or consideration and predetermined outcome.
Pushkar was found dead in
mysterious conditions in the
luxury hotel on January 17, 2014.
Police registered a murder case
on January 1 based on a medical
report of the All India Institute
of Medical Sciences which confirmed poisoning.
The police on Friday said they
had questioned a close friend
of Pushkar identified as Sunil
Trakru, a businessman.
Another official said Trakru’s
name surfaced during the questioning of Tharoor’s domestic
help Shri Narayan Singh in November last year. Singh was again
questioned on Thursday for a few
hours, during which he revealed
that the couple had a п¬Ѓght a day
before Pushkar was found dead.
Tharoor meanwhile yesterday
visited the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi.
The former UN diplomat was
accompanied by his mother Lily
Tharoor and spent a long time
enjoying the paintings and installations of artists from across
the globe.
Tharoor and his mother look at artworks displayed at the Biennale in
Kochi yesterday.
PM pledges 24-hour
electricity for Delhi
Modi launches campaign for
assembly election
New Delhi
rime Minister Narendra
Modi yesterday vowed to
provide round-the-clock
electricity for New Delhi as he
kicked off his party’s campaign
in elections to the state assembly.
Delhi has an unenviable reputation both for blackouts and as
one of the world’s most polluted
capitals, with diesel fumes from
back-up generators adding to
the cocktail of smog that regularly blankets the city.
But in a speech to supporters of his Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), the prime minister said he
would soon make generators redundant.
“I promise that I will provide
you with a 24-hour supply of
electricity,” said Modi who came
to power after a landslide general election win in May.
Although the situation has
improved since an infamous
summer of city-wide blackouts
in 2012, the Indian capital is still
regularly hit by localised power
cuts that are seen as hampering
economic growth.
India’s energy sector is almost
entirely state-run and recent
moves by the BJP government to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah wave to their supporters during a campaign rally
ahead of state assembly elections, at Ramlila ground in New Delhi yesterday.
open up part of the coal sector to
private п¬Ѓrms prompted a strike
earlier this week.
During his rally, Modi indicated that he wanted to bring in
competition into the electricity
“We will introduce a system
where you can choose who you
want to buy your electricity
from, you can select your own
service provider in the same way
you choose your phone’s network provider,” said Modi.
Delhi, a city-state of some
17mn people, has been without
a proper government since last
February, when п¬Ѓrebrand anticorruption campaigner Arvind
Kejriwal quit as chief minister
just 49 days after taking power.
While Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi
Party flopped in the general
election, he again represents the
major obstacle to the BJP’s electoral hopes.
The BJP’s failure to win control of the Delhi assembly last
time round was a major shock
and Modi made Kejriwal the
main target of his invective,
calling the self-styled anarchist
a liar and “backstabber.”
Modi said “if anarchy has to
be practised, (he should) join
Naxalites (Maoists) in jungles.
The prime minister wondered if
people had seen a politician who
spoke such language.
“Anarchy cannot prevail in
Delhi. It (Delhi) should have a
sense of pride,” Modi said.
He sought the people’s support for a “new” Delhi and a
“strong, stable” government.
But the former tax inspector
hit back hours later, calling the
BJP “a sinking ship without a
“I can see that the BJP is
very nervous. It has no positive
Celebrations at new Oracle
president’s home in Kerala
Kottayam, Kerala
t’s celebration time at the Kerala home of Thomas Kurian
who has been named president
of the US IT major Oracle Corporation.
Kurian’s uncle George Jacob
said the family received the news
on Friday.
“He was here three months ago
when his father - my elder brother
passed away,” said the 84-yearold cardiologist who is leading a
retired life. “As soon as I got the
news, I passed it on to my nephews
and nieces.”
Kurian’s elevation came nearly
four months after Larry Ellison,
longtime chief executive officer of
Oracle, took on the role of executive chairman.
Jacob said Kurian’s family hails
Kurian: elevated
from Pampady in Kottayam district.
He said Kurian had a brilliant
academic career. He, his identical
twin and two other siblings were
brought up in Bangalore as their
father was working there.
“Both twins got selected for IIT
and six months later they both got
admitted to Princeton University. They passed out with flying
colours and since then they have
been working in the US. We are all
excited and happy,” Jacob said.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy said Kurian’s ancestral
home comes under his constituency. Besides he knew Kurian’s
father well.
Chandy said he would speak to
Kurian soon to congratulate him
on his elevation.
Kurian who joined Oracle in
1996, was previously executive
vice president in charge of product development.
agenda for the Delhi elections,”
added Kejriwal, who has voiced
regret over his decision to quit
in February in a spat over the establishment of an anti-corruption commission.
Addressing the same rally, BJP
president Amit Shah said the
prices of essential commodities have come down ever since
Modi became prime minister,
and households are saving from
Rs1,500 to Rs4,500 monthly.
Shah said: “The AAP has set
a record of lying and no one can
defeat them in that aspect.”
He said when the AAP formed
the government in Delhi, its
leaders travelled by the Metro
train to reach Ramlila Maidan to
take oath. “Do they still travel by
Metro?” Shah asked.
He said every party promised
to regularise Delhi’s unauthorised colonies, but the actual
work was done by the Modi government by making a law.
The federal cabinet recently
approved an ordinance to regularise the unauthorised colonies.
A total of 895 unauthorised colonies, which came up in Delhi till
June 1, 2014, would be regularised.
“We are working on the
promises made to the people.
Some of them have been implemented. In some cases, they are
in the process of being carried
out, and for others, a road map
has been drawn for their implementation,” he added.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
joins Texas
New York Times
Demonstrators are detained by riot police during a protest against fare hikes for city buses, subway and trains in Sao Paulo.
Brazilians arrested
in protests over fares
Sau Paolo
ensions were high in Sao Paulo Friday after police resorted to tear gas
and detained some 50 protesters, as
thousands took to the streets against the
country’s latest round of transport fare
Around 2,000 people converged in Sao
Paulo, according to police—including a
number of masked anarchists known as
Black Blocs.
Police accused the group of throwing
trash and sticks at officers, who responded
with tear gas and pepper spray, and said
they had made 50 arrests.
Organisers said some 30,000 protesters gathered in Sao Paulo, in stark contrast
with police estimates.
Helicopters and mounted police patrolled the area into the night, with several
subway stations closed.
Amid a marked economic downturn and
high inflation, bus fares went up in Sao
Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, from 3 to 3.50
reais, and in Rio, the former capital, from
3.0 to 3.40 reais.
Rio’s 13% hike is almost exactly double
the current rate of inflation.
The demonstration, which ran in con-
A demonstrator is held down in Sau Paulo.
junction with a 500-person march in Rio
de Janeiro, comes after the issue sparked
unprecedented mass protests in June 2013.
The Rio state prosecutor sought in court
to overturn the hike, saying prices should
be pegged at 3.20 reais, but the attempt
As in 2013, protesters Friday held signs
against what they said was an insufficient
public transportation system and called
for free student fares.
Some of those at the rally, including
supporters of far-left Socialism and Freedom party, held up “I am Charlie” banners
in solidarity with those slain in Wednesday’s terror attack on French satirical
weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The protests were called by the Free
Pass Movement, which sparked the 2013
protests that spread nationwide just as
the Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal
for the 2014 World Cup, was getting under
“I came to the protest because transportation should be free. So we can begin to
change things and have improvements,”
19-year-old Pietro Battiato, a student
who has participated in the mobilisation
for a year and a half, told AFP.
Protesters converged on the city center
and engaged in sporadic confrontations
with police.
Some Sao Paulo marchers carried banners reading “no to the increases” and
also demanded the reinstatement of
metro workers sacked during a recent
In Rio, police estimated around 500
protesters marched down Avenida Presidente Vargas, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
The Free Pass Movement said it regretted the “violent repression” by police in
Sao Paulo and called for a new demonstration in the Brazilian economic capital
for next Friday.
Evita Peron exhibition showcases
spectacular photos in Paris
New York Times
va Peron, Argentina’s nearmythical late first lady, was
— and remains — an angel to
some and a shameless demagogue
to others, loved and hated in similar proportions. Was the woman
known as “Evita” a revolutionary
or another political myth?
Her life is on now display at the
Madame Peron exhibition at the
Argentine embassy in Paris.
Sixty-two years after her
death, Evita has managed to accomplish something she never
set out to do. She has crossed
class lines. A new generation of
Argentines and French people
familiar only with the “myth”
will be able to access her life, her
transformation as an artist and
militant and her aesthetic and
political mutations.
The exhibition showcases
her in spectacular photographs,
some seldom seen before. It also
includes п¬Ѓlm footage, personal
effects, and images of trips to Europe and of her life through to its
painful end.
This is not a critical exhibition but an aesthetic homage,
well mounted on black walls by an
ardent admirer of Evita. Curator
Eduardo Carballido dreamed for
six years of an Evita PerГіn exhibit
at Argentina’s embassy in Paris. A
Evita Peron.
string of Kirchner-appointed ambassadors rejected the proposal
until it was п¬Ѓnally approved recently by Maria del Carmen Squeff.
Included in it are some lesserknown pictures of Evita’s trip to
Europe, with stops that included
Portugal, Greece, Madrid, Paris
and Monaco. She is seen with
the socialist presidential family in Paris, in the Swiss Alps, in
Madrid with an irked п¬Ѓrst lady
Carmen Polo de Franco, at a time
when Spain desperately needed
economic help. She is pictured in
Rome with monsignor Roncalli,
the future Pope John XXIII, who
makes her kiss Christ’s Crown
of Thorns. It was a tour that
changed Evita. She absorbed like
a sponge everything she saw.
Carballido, the curator, explains his love for Madame
Perón. “I am a supporter of Evita
first, then a Peronist,” he says,
referring to the movement that
broadly continues to determine
Argentina’s affairs. “It’s because
of my mother. When I was 6 or 7,
she told me what happened. She
had qualified as a teacher with
a top-class diploma, and could
not п¬Ѓnd work. So my mother,
who was completely against the
Perons, sent her a letter with her
gold medal and diploma. Evita
sent her back her diploma, the
medal and a teacher’s appointment, which served her the rest
of her life. That is how I came to
know and admire her.”
It was no easy task collecting
the pictures and items on exhibit, but everyone helped. The
Argentine national archives sent
photographs. Graphic designer
Celeste Diez de los RГ­os served a
crucial role repairing photos so
that giant copies could be made.
Carballido donated his letters and
everything else about her that
he had collected over the years.
France sent a copy of the LГ©gion
d’honneur presented to Evita.
Argentina’s former ambassador
in Paris, Archibaldo LanГєs, gave
Evita’s dress and hat, which her
secretary had given him as a gift.
One family brought in the
Christian Dior perfume she had
used, and another donated a
French edition of her memoirs,
La Raison de Ma Vie. The Evita
museum in Buenos Aires asked
for insurance sums that were
prohibitive. That sparked the
idea of creating a replica of the
red dress Evita wore in 1945 for a
magazine cover shoot. With deft
hands and generosity, dressmaker Martina Moscariello made it.
“I find the way she dressed incredible,” Moscariello says. “Her
hair was just so tightly bound.”
Writer Alicia Dujovne Ortiz,
author of a 1995 book on Peron,
agreed to provide a video presentation. In her book, she elaborated on her theory of Evita’s social
revenge following a childhood of
humiliations, bereft of paternal
affection and recognition. Her
mother, who had п¬Ѓve children
out of wedlock with a local landowner, “raised them all with the
help of a sewing machine”, Dujovne Ortiz says.
Dujovne Ortiz believes Evita
began to seethe inside the day
of her father’s funeral, when
his legitimate wife and children
would not let the mistress and
her offspring into the family residence. “And Evita keeps this terrible picture inside here, where it
burned her memory and justifies
all her later desire to attain justice for herself and others,” Dujovne Ortiz says.
Before what’s known as her
“renunciation” — when she declined to run for vice president —
and her cancer and death, Evita
was loved and hated in equal
measure. Today, the Argentine
embassy is bringing together the
myth and the modern context of
Evita’s political legacy.
hen the University of Texas Harry
Ransom Center announced last month that it
had negotiated the rights to
buy the personal archive of
legendary Colombian novelist
Gabriel Garcia MГЎrquez, Latin
America collectively wondered, “Texas? Seriously?”
The Nobel laureate affectionately known as “Gabo”,
who died April 17, had once
been barred from entering the
United States for decades because of his pro-communist
activities, though president
Bill Clinton lifted the ban,
citing García Márquez’s One
Hundred Years of Solitude as
his favorite novel.
Gabo’s personal papers fit
into 2.6 cubic meters — 40
cardboard boxes worth of papers he’d kept in his Mexico
City home. They arrived December 16 at Austin’s Harry
Ransom Center, where it will
take a year to catalog them,
and two before they can be
Negotiations to buy the archive began in December 2013,
at the family’s initiative, and
concluded last July. Center director Stephen Enniss says the
center bought the collection to
make it accessible to the public. Founded in 1957, the Harry
Ransom Center has gradually
become a grand mausoleum of
the humanities.
“It was established in order
to create a truly unique collection,” Enniss says. The center
has acquired one of the п¬Ѓve
complete Gutenberg Bibles
existing in the United States,
manuscripts and James Joyce’s
archives, to name a few.
“It’s the kind of level we
were looking for,” Enniss says.
The center has more than
40mn papers today. But when
“a collection comes here, it
prompts the question, �Why
Texas?’” says Charles H Hale,
head of the university’s Teresa
Lozano Long Institute of Latin
American Studies (LLILAS),
which will help catalog Gabo’s
The University of Texas
is increasingly considered
the place with the top Latin
American experts in the United States, and the purchase
reiterates its commitment
to Latin America, Hale says.
“Our challenge is to ensure
Latin American institutions
are involved in their study.”
Acquisitions head Megan
Barnard guided us through a
wondrous visit to the archives.
“Look, this is one of my favorites,” she says, pointing to
a page with a sonnet Argentine
writer Jorge Luis Borges dedicated to Texas. “He was eating
with a local businessman who
asked him to write it.”
She later opens a little notebook with a draft of Samuel
Beckett’s novel Watt. It has
little sketches on it, which
may have helped him think.
Next to it is a п¬Ѓrst draft of the
first chapter of Hemingway’s
Death in the Afternoon. Its entire п¬Ѓrst paragraph is crossed
out. These are the kinds of
documents you can ask to see
in this place. The central idea
here is not enshrinement but
instead to make these treas-
ures available to the public,
which is in line with the university’s broader mission.
The public can therefore see
the creative processes of some
of the world’s most acclaimed
writers. “That’s the kind of
material we want,” Barnard
says. “A researcher can open
this and spend hours studying
the author’s creative process.
Imagine how useful this is for
students.” The center hosts
some 10,000 researchers a
year in its reading room.
for selling the personal effects
of notable personalities begin years before that person’s
death. South African novelist
J M Coetzee is an example, as
is Norman Mailer, who began
sending his letters here two
years before he died. In 2009,
the center spent $4.7mn for
1,300 boxes of mementos that
actor Robert De Niro kept
at home: scripts with notes,
photos, the taxi license he obtained for the п¬Ѓlm Taxi Driver.
The center also has documents used in Bob Woodward
and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate scandal investigations —
scribbled notes and telephone
numbers, for example.
Garcia Márquez’s papers
will certainly attract interest,
especially from Latin America, where many consider him
the most important writer of
the 20th century. Enniss had
visited the author’s Mexican
home last July, to get a sense
of what the papers included.
“We have an idea of what they
contain,” he said, though it
will now be up to scholars to
dig deeper.
Jose Montelongo, Texas
University’s librarian for Mexican studies, says the archive’s
information on the novelist’s
self-editing process will be
a “treat” for Gabo researchers. Among the papers are
a п¬Ѓrst draft of One Hundred
Years of Solitude, the novel
that catapulted the writer to
fame in 1967, several versions
of Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Love in the Time of
Cholera, and 10 versions of the
unpublished We’ll See Each
Other in August. The last copy
contains corrections, which
means he considered it premature to publish.
All of the material “shows
the author’s struggle with language, structures, characters,
the atmosphere”, Montelongo
The center acquired other
personal effects too, such as
Garcia Márquez’s passport,
photos and three Apple computers with undetermined
The price it pays for such
acquisitions is very rarely revealed (though, most recently,
the Norman Mailer collection fetched $2mn), and this
time was no exception. Keeping figures confidential helps
future negotiations, Enniss
says. The Associated Press
has called for the amounts to
be disclosed in keeping with
Texas transparency laws, but
the center says it will only do
so if legally compelled. The
writer’s family says it accepted
the “exclusive” offer because
the center was a world reference that was committed to
conserving documents.
Who wouldn’t want to
browse through Gabo’s papers?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez working on One Hundred Years of
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Govt likely to take action against Lal Masjid cleric
ith the setting up of
military courts to
carry out speedy trials
of the Taliban-linked terrorists
and their facilitators, the federal
government not only intends
to revive the quashed cases of
terrorism against the Lal Masjid chief cleric Maulana Abdul
Aziz but it also contemplates to
п¬Ѓle a fresh case against him on
treason charges for openly extending support to Abu Bakar
al-Baghdadi-led Islamic State
(IS) or Daish.
According to well-informed
sources in the Ministry of Interior, the federal government has
taken a strict notice of Maulana
Abdul Aziz’s continued objectionable activities and support
for the outlawed Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan and the Islamic State despite the fact that
these are designated terrorist
Aziz had generated a fresh
controversy in the п¬Ѓrst week of
December 2014 when he endorsed a video, featuring Burqaclad female students of Jamia
Hafsa who openly announced
their support to the Islamic State
while addressing Abu Bakar alBaghdadi.
The sources said the Ministry of Interior has sought
the advice of the Law Ministry in a bid to proceed against
Maulana Abdul Aziz on high
treason charges, which are applied to those who are waging,
or attempting to wage a war or
abetting waging of war against
the state of Pakistan [which is
punishable with death or life
On the other hand, the Islamabad Police have already
been advised by the prosecution
department that the release of
the video and other actions of
Maulana Aziz and others fall under offences laid out in sections
121, 121A, 505(1) b and 505(2) of
the Pakistan Penal Code.
The Section 121 and 121-A of
the Penal Code deals with offences related to waging a war
against the state of Pakistan
while the Section 505(1) b deals
with those involved in making, publishing or circulating
anything which creates feelings
of enmity, hatred or ill- will on
grounds of religion.
Action can also be taken
against him under Section 2f
(c) of the Protection of Pakistan
Act 2014 for supporting terrorist
According to the sources, the
Interior Ministry is also contemplating to revive the quashed
cases against Maulana Aziz by
incorporating new evidence in
challans of the cases, which had
been quashed by the PPP government by applying �innocent
until proven guilty’ motto of the
Maulana Abdul Aziz
criminal jurisprudence.
The sources pointed out that
in the video released by the
Lal Masjid-run Jamia Hafsa,
the female students not only
urged the Pakistani Taliban to
join hands with the п¬Ѓghters of
the Islamic State but also asked
them to avenge the death of
Osama bin Laden and those
he two-day US-Pakistan
Strategic Dialogue, which
resumes in Islamabad
next week, will focus on two
recent developments: a marked
improvement in Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan and a
rapid increase in tensions with
Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani
highlighted one of the two developments - improvement in
relations with Afghanistan.
“Yes, there has been a steady
progress in relations with Afghanistan since the election of
a new government in Kabul,” he
said. He acknowledged that recent
clashes on India-Pakistan border
were “a cause of concern” in both
Washington and Islamabad.
But he pointed out that the
Strategic Dialogue was a forum
for reviewing relations between
Pakistan and the United States
“so all discussions will have a bilateral context”.
This would be the second
ministerial-level meeting since
the dialogue resumed in 2013.
Three sessions were held in
quick succession in 2010 but the
dialogue was suspended after
the May 2011 US operation in
US-Pakistan relations improved rapidly after last summer when the Pakistani military launched a major operation
against religious militants in
North Waziristan.
In November, Army Chief
General Raheel Sharif visited
Washington and assured the
US military establishment that
Zarb-i-Azb was an even-handed
operation, targeting all militants.
In Islamabad, the two sides
will also review the progress they
have made since last year in improving bilateral ties. They will
also look into the mechanism for
advancing cooperation in various п¬Ѓelds.
The Strategic Dialogue includes п¬Ѓve working groups
which will present their reports
in Islamabad and the two sides
will discuss a new mechanism
for promoting ties, based on
these reports.
The discussions will cover
economy and trade, energy,
counter-terrorism, defence, nuclear non-proliferation, education and science and technology.
The Pakistani side will also give a
briefing on the new national consensus against terrorism, which
emerged after the Dec 16 Taliban
attack on a school in Peshawar.
Ambassador Jilani described
it as �a development of great
significance,’ which he thinks
would go a long way in defeating
Both sides will discuss various
proposals for maintaining this
consensus and for intensifying
efforts to rein-in various terrorist groups.
Since the Americans have al-
ready ended their combat mission in Afghanistan, transferring security responsibilities to
Afghan defence forces, this new
development will take a central
place in these talks.
US officials want the new Afghan government to succeed in
maintaining their control over
the country and Washington realises that it is possible only with
Pakistan’s co-operation.
The Americans believe that
since the departure of the previous Afghan president, Hamid
Karzai, Islamabad’s relations
with Kabul have improved and
they are encouraging both to further expand their co-operation.
The Pakistanis too are seeking Afghan co-operation against
those militant groups who have
crossed into Afghanistan and
are attacking targets in Pakistan
from their hideouts.
The Americans, while urging the
Pakistani and Afghan militaries
to increase their co-operation
against the militants, also want
the two neighbours to build better economic relations. They argue
that economic ties are necessary
for promoting better relations.
The US, however, cannot play
an equally effective role in promoting India-Pakistan relations
as New Delhi rejects mediation.
Recently, both State Department and the Pentagon have
expressed concern over tensions
on the India-Pakistan border but
have not offered any suggestion
on lessening those tensions.
the agencies are contemplating
to carry out a search operation
[in Jamia Hafsa] to trace out the
girls who had prepared the video
in support of the Islamic State.
“I am warning the authorities to desist from committing
another misadventure under the
garb of the video that is harmless
and only expresses support for
Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi and his
Islamic State.
“There is nothing objectionable in the video which was prepared with my consent and the
authorities will have to face the
consequences if an operation is
carried out against the students
of Jamia Hafsa.”
Jamia Hafsa, which is adjacent to the Lal Masjid, is run by
Umme Hassan (the principal)
who is also the spouse of Maulana Aziz, the elder brother of
Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi,
who was killed in the July 2007
military operation.
Like Maulana Aziz, Umme
Head of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Imran Khan with his bride Reham Khan, sitting with students at seminary school in Islamabad,
Pakistan, on Friday. Imran Khan, a cricketer turned politician and a charismatic leader among Pakistani youth, married Reham Khan, a
former BBC weather reporter in Islamabad on Thursday.
Taliban claim attack on mosque
faction of the Pakistani Taliban yesterday
claimed responsibility
for an apparent suicide attack
on a Shia mosque in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which
killed seven people and wounded 15 others.
The powerful explosion
on Friday night in the city in
northern Punjab state triggered
chaos as dozens of minor-
ity Shia Muslims gathered in
the mosque to distribute alms
to mark the birthday of the
Prophet Muhammad.
“We claim responsibility of the attack on the Shia
mosque and vow to continue
such attacks against enemies of Islam,” spokesman
of Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction of
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, said
in an e-mail.
“We want to make it clear to
these infidel rulers that we will
not be impressed by any of their
laws or hangings,” he added.
Pakistan has strengthened
its own offensive against the
Taliban since their attack on a
military-run school on December 16 killed 150 people, 134 of
them children.
The country ended its sixyear-old moratorium on the
death penalty in terror cases
last month in the wake of the
Nine convicted militants
have been hanged so far since
the de facto ban on capital punishment ended.
Pakistani cartoonists tread a thin line
n the face of Pakistan’s
prolific use of blasphemy
laws and a culture of political violence, cartoonists must
tread a thin line. But they do
п¬Ѓnd ways to poke fun at the
powerful — including religious
The conservative nation of
200mn people is consistently
ranked one the world’s most
dangerous countries for journalists, with reporters often caught
between powerful spy agencies
and Islamist militants.
Without subscribing to all the
ideas of Charlie Hebdo’s satirists
killed this week for their depictions of Prophet Muhammad,
the country’s caricaturists have
sustained a proud, decades long
tradition of pushing the envelope of free speech.
“Everybody has a red line. I
can make cartoons against terrorism, terrorists but not about
the Prophet,” said Rafique Ahmad, who is known by the pen
name “Feica” and is regarded as
a legend among Pakistani cartoonists.
Pakistani cartoonist Rafique Ahmad alias “FEICA” draws at his office in Karachi.
“I have drawn lots of cartoons
about bigots, fanatics, these
fundamentalists,” added Feica,
who began his career in the late
seventies during the harsh rule
of General Zia ul-Haq when
censorship was rife.
In Pakistan, the controversial
blasphemy law carries the death
penalty for those who insult the
Prophet Muhammad.
There are currently 14 lan-
Hassan, the principal of Jamia
Hafsa, had also justified the video released by her students.
The video had surfaced at a
crucial time when Pakistan is
trying to contain the growing
emergence of the extremely violent international terrorist group
in Pakistan.
It was hardly a week after the
Jamia Hafsa student’s fervent
call to the Pakistani Taliban that
130-plus innocent students of
the Army Public School were
ruthlessly killed in Peshawar.
But in a blatant move, Maulana Abdul Aziz had simply refused
to unconditionally condemn the
brutal slaughter, arguing that
the episode was the outcome of
the policies of the state against
the Taliban.
This led to a series of protests
by the civil society outside the
Lal Masjid, п¬Ѓnally compelling
the Lal Masjid cleric to condemn
the killing of schoolchildren in
his Saturday sermon.
Imran, Reham visit seminary
US-Pak talks to
focus on India,
killed in the July 2007 Lal Masjid operation conducted by the
On December 13, 2014 in
an interview with the Geo TV
Maulana Aziz defended the
video message, saying there was
nothing objectionable in it.
In a subsequent statement
reported by the Islam Times, an
online Jihadi newspaper, Aziz
said the students had prepared
the video with his consent that
was not at all a crime.
“In fact, the Jamia students
wanted to take out a rally in support of the Islamic State while
carrying banners and placards.
But I had stopped them. The
girls did so after losing hope
in the country’s political elite
which remained silent when
they had to suffer in the wake of
the action against Lal Masjid and
Jamia Hafsa.”
Maulana Abdul Aziz then
warned: “I have come to know
through reliable sources that
guishing on death row for the
charge, while mobs often carry
out their own form of justice.
Though the constitution
guarantees freedom of expression, it is ring-fenced: attacks
against the “glory of Islam” and
the “security” of the country are
strictly prohibited.
“Self-censorship is everywhere” said Feica.
Caught between a powerful military that has led three
coups in the country’s history
and the rising menace of extremists who have waged an
insurgency against the state for
more than a decade, cartoonists are careful to lampoon concepts without making things
too personal.
“If you target militants, extremists or Taliban it is OK but
if you target a specific person...
then that becomes a personal
vendetta and chances of attacking you increase,” said veteran
cartoonist Sabir Nazar.
A few years ago, he received
threats after drawing a caricature of the radical Red Mosque in
Islamabad, the scene of a bloody
army operation in 2007 and now
the focal point of a “Reclaim
Our Mosque” movement after a
bloody Taliban attack on a Peshawar school last month.
In Pakistan, where 45% of
the population is illiterate, the
English-language press remains
the preserve of a minority ur-
ban educated readership, unlike
the Urdu newspapers which sell
hundreds of thousands of copies
Cartoons are therefore tailored for their audience. The
Urdu press is more nationalist,
religious, conservative and popular than English and cartoonists do not enjoy the same level
of freedom.
“My code is very strict: I don’t
touch subjects like religion and
sex. These are two subjects we
are not supposed to touch. The
common man has so many problems (in this country) so I have
always focused on the common
man,” said Jawed Iqbal, a cartoonist for the daily Jang, the
country’s most read paper.
Rolling power outages, gas
shortages, a Kafkaesque bureaucracy, and political rivalries
provide the bulk of material for
cartoonists such as Iqbal.
Iqbal, like the other cartoonists, expressed deep sympathy at
the killings of his French counterparts.
“But I don’t know why they
have touched the subject which
can affect millions of people.
They shouldn’t touch that subject,” he said.
Afghan rally
hails Paris
as �heroes’
undreds in southern
Afghanistan rallied
to praise the killing of
12 people at the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, calling
the two gunmen “heroes”
who meted out punishment
for cartoons disrespectful to
Islam’s prophet, officials said
The demonstrators also
protested against President
Ashraf Ghani’s swift condemnation of the bloody attack on the satirical newspaper, according to the officials
in Uruzgan province.
The rally came after worshippers left Friday prayers
at a local mosque in Chora
district and swelled to several
hundred people, said Chora
police chief Abdul Qawi.
“The protesters were calling the attackers heroes and
were shouting that those
who had mocked the Prophet
Muhammad were punished,”
Qawi said.
Provincial police chief Matiullah Khan said that police
had been informed in advance of the demonstration,
which was allowed under the
Afghan constitution’s freespeech provisions.
“They provided good security and it was peaceful,” he
said. Afghan President Ghani
issued a condemnation the
day after the newspaper attack saying “there is no justification for this brutal act”.
The two brothers wanted
for gunning down 12 people
at the Charlie Hebdo office
in Paris were killed on Friday
when French anti-terrorist
police stormed their hideout.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
MNLF receives
support against
Bangsamoro law
By Jerry N Adlaw
Manila Times
he Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) led by Ameril
Umbrakato has pledged to join
the п¬Ѓght of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
against the Bangsamoro Basic
Law (BBL) that seeks to create
a new entity that will replace
the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao.
MNLF founding chairman
Nur Misuari has rejected the
BBL because he said it will
only create more problems in
Jimmy Labawan, vice chairman of the MNLF central
committee and concurrently
the acting chairperson of the
group, said the government
is not really serious in dealing
with the MNLF because the
peace agreement signed by the
group in 1996 had not been
fully implemented.
“We have been giving signals to the administration of
President Benigno Aquino
that he must heed the suggestion of the senior leaders of
the MNLF central committee
to settle п¬Ѓrst the issue of the
MNLF-GPH peace agreement
before settling the agreement
with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) but he did
not listen to us. Instead, he
proceeded to enter another
agreement with uncertainty,”
Labawan said.
Ustadz Pendie Colano, the
overall chairman of the Selatan State Revolutionary Command that covers the entire
Region 12 or Socksargen area,
disclosed that Umbrakato
sent an emissary to the MNLF
camp with the message that
BIFF forces are willing to join
the MNLF once it declares war
against the government.
Colano said they have urged
the president to schedule the
tripartite review of the MNLF
agreement which had been
stalled many times.
“The 70,000-strong MNLF
is divided into two—half of
it is in favour of pursuing
the GPH-MNLF 1996 peace
agreement while the other half
is looking at the possibility of
declaring war if the government will not accomplish the
peace pact with the MNLF,”
Colano said.
He added that he received
reports that the BIFF will
mount terror attacks in southern and central Mindanao, if
the government will turn its
back to the agreement with
the MNLF.
Meanwhile, lawmakers were
urged to scrutinise the Bangsamoro Basic Law and pass it
because it is legal, not because
of pressure from Malacanang.
The House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on
the Bangsamoro will resume
its deliberations on the measure on January 19.
“I appeal to my fellow legislators not to succumb to
any political pressure or to
fears of the resumption of
armed conflicts in the Mindanao by passing the Bangsamoro measure. Instead, we
must make it a life mission
to ensure that the measure
conforms to the Constitution and that we won’t create a special state within the
Republic of the Philippines,”
Isabela representative Rodito
Albano said.
“At the end of the day, the
real test for the Bangsamoro
Law is its constitutionality.
It is not a matter of whether
it will be passed in the House
or it will muster the support
of the senate to be signed
as law by the president,”
Albano added.
Jail inmates create dance
video for papal visit
Manila Times
Cebu City
ome 2,160 inmates of the
Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation
Centre (CPDRC) have created
dance video to welcome Pope
Vince Rosales, the choreographer, said aside from
welcoming the Pope, the
presentation will also serve
as a message of thanksgiving.
The inmates performed
the dance to the tune of “We
Are All God’s Children,” the
official theme song of the
papal visit.
The 12-minute presentation of the inmates was
recorded and uploaded on
YouTube on Friday with a
hope that it will be viewed
by the Pope and that he will
consider visiting Cebu, the
cradle of Christianity in Asia.
Rosales said they did it
early, so if the Pope could
view it, he may change his
mind and review his itinerary
and head to Cebu. He said it
took them two days to complete and master the whole
A picture made available yesterday shows a Filipino vendor selling Pope Francis button pins in a street in Manila.
Pope’s Asia trip to address
poverty, climate change
Pope lands in Sri Lanka
days after presidential
election; Security concerns
over huge crowds
expected in Philippines
Colombo/ Vatican City
ope Francis returns to Asia
for the second time in less
than six months, travelling
to Sri Lanka and the Philippines
in coming days to underscore his
concern for inter-religious dialogue, poverty and the environment.
Security will be a main issue
in both countries, particularly in
the Philippines, Asia’s only majority Catholic country, where
up to 6mn people are expected
to attend an outdoor Mass on Jan
Up to 40,000 police, troops
and reservists will take part in
what military chief General Gregorio Catapang has called the
country’s biggest ever security
“There will be soldiers rappelling up and down helicopters to
rescue the Pope in case he will be
pinned down by a sea of people.
We may airlift or use naval boats
to bring the Pope to safety if necessary,” he said.
When Pope John Paul visited
Manila in 1995, security perimeters were breached and he had to
be taken by helicopter to a Mass
site because his car could not get
through a sea of some 5mn people.
One theme of the Jan 12-19
trip will be climate change. During his stay in the Philippines he
will visit Tacloban, where Typhoon Haiyan killed 6,300 people in 2013.
Sri Lanka is among the Asian
countries experts say will see sea
level rises likely to displace peo-
ple and adversely affect tourism
and п¬Ѓsheries.
The Vatican says Francis, who
is preparing an encyclical on the
environment, will speak about
the issue several times.
While Pope John Paul made a
number of trips to Asia — visiting both countries in 1995 —
Francis’ immediate predecessor
Benedict, who resigned in 2013,
made none to a region the Vatican sees as a potential growth
“We have to recover the presence of a Pope in this preponderant area of humanity,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico
Lombardi said. Only about 3% of
people in the region are Catholic.
“This continent in many ways
represents a frontier for the
Church,” said Father Antonio
Spadaro, editor of the Italian
Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica. “Inter-religious dialogue
is tested every day and young
Churches there are growing”.
The 78-year-old arrives on
Tuesday morning in the Sri
Lankan capital, Colombo, days
after President Mahinda Rajapakse lost his bid for a third
term, ending a decade of rule
that critics say had become authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption.
Lombardi said he hoped the
surprise election result in the
former British colony would not
give rise to any “inconveniences
that will affect the serenity and
tranquility of the trip.”
The main purpose of the threeday stop in Sri Lanka is to canonise Joseph Vaz, a Catholic priest
credited with rebuilding the
Church there in the 17th and 18th
centuries after Dutch occupiers
imposed Calvinism as the official
The Indian Ocean island nation
is about 70% Buddhist, 13% Hindu, 10% Muslim and only about
7% Catholic. Francis will stress
the need for worldwide interreligious dialogue, and, speaking
after the recent attacks in France,
again condemn the concept of
violence in God’s name.
He will also preach a message
of reconciliation during a visit to
Madhu, in the north that was the
centre of a 26-year civil war that
ended with the defeat of ethnic
Tamil rebels in 2009.
Vatican officials say that despite
its minority status, the Church in
Sri Lanka can help reconciliation
because it includes members of
both ethnic groups — Sinhalese
and Tamil.
Francis arrives on Thursday in
the Philippines, where more than
80% of people are Catholic.
One main topic in the former
Spanish colony will be the effect
of immigration on the family. The
search for jobs outside the country
— mostly in domestic work — has
put strains on many families.
Another devotee
dies during
Another devotee of the Black
Nazarene, Christian Mhel Lim, 19, of
Paco, Manila died as the procession neared the Quiapo Church
before dawn yesterday. Lim was
apparently crushed by the surge of
the massive crowd, Manila Times
reported. Clemente Ignacio, rector
of the Quiapo Church, called for an
investigation of Lim’s death. The
priest said Lim was a “good son”
who came from a poor family.
“The people were rushing in toward
church and were pushing from the
side. Something might have hit him
(Lim) and he may have been too
exhausted. He was already lifeless
when he was found,” Ignacio said.
Earlier on Friday, devotee Renato
Gurion, 44, of Sampaloc, Manila
suffered a heart attack while the
procession was making its way
out of the Quirino grandstand.
He died on arrival at the Manila
Doctors Hospital.Ignacio extended
condolences to the families of the
two devotees.“We are saddened
by these tragedies and the Church
is extending its deepest sympathy
to them,” he said. Ignacio added
that the Church is willing to provide all the necessary assistance
and will co-ordinate with the families of the victims. The procession of
the Black Nazarene safely reached
Quiapo Church early yesterday
morning after 19 hours of traversing
the streets of Manila.
Man arrested for holding daughter hostage
Typhoon-hit areas receive
seven new school buildings
By Ritchie A Horario
Manila Times
Alvin Occidental, 29, is arrested after he threatened to kill his two-year-old daughter, Gwen, during a two-hour hostage situation
in Mambugan village, Antipolo, Rizal province, eastern Manila yesterday. Occidental is suspected of being under the influence of
illegal drugs.
he National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) turned over
seven disaster-resilient school
buildings on Friday in areas affected by super typhoon Haiyan
The buildings are said to have
a sturdy build and can withstand
wind velocities of up to 250 kilometers per hour, which complies with the standard set by the
Department of Public Works and
Highways for typhoon-resilient
Nelson Cabangon, head of
NGCP corporate affairs, added
that the roofing of the buildings are reinforced using a new
method of connecting the galvanised iron sheet to the trestle. The building itself also has
thicker walls, which is now almost double the width of the old
classroom walls.
Cabangon added that the facilities have movable dividers
and can be used as evacuation
centres during calamities or for
other indoor school activities.
“Just as with our transmission
facilities, our mindset in this
project was not just to rebuild,
but to rebuild stronger and better,” Cabangon said.
Leyte governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla thanked the NGCP
for thinking of school buildings as
a project that could be given to the
devastated province.
The NGCP is planning to construct at least 21 typhoon-resilient buildings in Leyte.
“You have (erected) monuments of resiliency and co-operation for Leyteños,” Petilla said.
The planned 21 buildings are set
to be constructed in Palo, Tolosa,
Tan-auan, Sta Fe, Alang-alang,
Barugo, Carigara, and Capoocan
towns, all in Leyte. A unit will
also be built for Ormoc Cit., The
targeted schools include Gacao
Elementary School, Caloogan
Elementary School, and Palo I
Central School in Palo; Sta. Fe
Central School and Tibak Elementary School, in Sta.Fe; Dolores Elementary School in Ormoc; and Sta. Rosa Elementary
School in Barugo.
The project was initiated and
completed in line with NGCP’s
corporate social responsibility,
which aimsfor the development of
education in the country.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Sirisena welcomes
dissidents home
ew President Maithripala Sirisena invited exiled dissidents back to Sri
Lanka and promised to end censorship yesterday as he began to
turn the page on the authoritarian
rule of his toppled predecessor.
A day after his shock victory
over veteran incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse, Sirisena began
assembling a cabinet to deliver
his pledges to repair the warscarred nation’s diplomatic
standing and implement a raft of
Sirisena, who was sworn in on
Friday evening after ending Rajapakse’s decade-long rule, was
trying to form a “national unity” cabinet that would include
members from a cross section of
parties, an aide said.
“He will name some ministers
next week and the balance after
the pope’s visit,” from January 13
to 15, said Sirisena’s top aide Rajitha Senaratne, who is tipped to
become health minister.
He said that Sirisena has
ordered the immediate lifting of censorship on dissident
websites, an end to phone tapping, surveillance of journalists and politicians, and the
establishment of a right to
information law.
There was also an invitation
to dozens of Sri Lankan journalists and other dissidents
who have fled the country fearing attack from the previous
administration to “come back
“From now on, you have
This picture shows newspapers for sale at a stall in Colombo yesterday, leading with headlines about the
Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena.
the freedom to criticise us. We
will take strong action against
anyone who tries to undermine
media freedom,” Senaratne told
reporters in Colombo.
Sirisena had promised a 100day programme to carry out
urgent political and economic
reforms, including moves to cut
back on the powers of the president that Rajapakse gave himself
during a decade in office.
Although there was no word
from the new president himself yesterday, Sirisena is expected to make an address to
the nation from the historic
hill resort of Kandy today.
Shortly after being sworn in,
Sirisena appointed parliamentary opposition leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe as his prime
Wickremesinghe, who is expected to wield considerable
power, is seen as having significantly better relations with the
West and regional powerhouse
India than Rajapakse.
In a previous stint as prime
minister between 2002 and
2004, he managed to secure international support for a peace
process designed to end the
Lanka �friendship
runs deep’ despite
poll upset: China
hina has downplayed
the impact of Sri Lanka’s presidential election upset, dismissing suggestions that the stunning win
by Maithripala Sirisena could
shake up Beijing’s plans in the
Indian Ocean.
Sirisena on Thursday ousted
longtime president Mahinda Rajapakse, who has relied
heavily on Chinese funding for
major infrastructure work in
his island country.
Among the major projects is
Colombo Port City, Sri Lanka’s
largest single foreign investment, which is under construction alongside an existing
giant Chinese-built container
Beijing has been accused
of seeking to develop facilities around the Indian Ocean
in a “string of pearls” strategy
to counter the rise of its Asian
rival India and secure its own
economic interests.
At a regular briefing, Chinese
foreign ministry spokesman
Hong Lei congratulated Sirisena
on his win and said that cooperation between the two countries
“has been deepening”.
“Our friendship runs deep,
and successive governments of
Sri Lanka have had a friendship
policy towards China,” Hong
said, adding: “We have a good
momentum there.”
“We hope and we believe the
new Sri Lankan government will
carry on the friendly policies
towards China and lend their
support to relevant projects to
make sure these projects are
successful,” he added.
Sri Lanka is a midway point
on one of the world’s busiest
international shipping lanes,
which Beijing wants to develop
as a “maritime silk road” for
the 21st century.
During a visit in September,
Chinese President Xi Jinping
launched construction of the
$1.4bn Colombo Port City,
which will give Beijing a п¬Ѓrmer
foothold in the region.
As part of the deal, China is set
to gain ownership of one third of
the total 233 hectares (583 acres)
of reclaimed land that the new
facility will occupy.
But the project has drawn
strong criticism from Sri Lanka’s
which last month accused China
of destroying the island’s pristine
beaches and warned Beijing its
investment could be in jeopardy
should they return to power.
Opposition leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe — who is expected to return to his former
post as prime minister under
the new government — has said
his party would take a fresh
look at “haphazard reclamation” of land near Colombo
harbour for a new port city.
Hong maintained that China
and Sri Lanka would “accommodate each other’s interests”
and that progress would be
based on consensus.
island’s long-running Tamil
separatist conflict.
The efforts ultimately failed as
Norwegian-brokered negotiations fell apart when Tamil Tiger rebels broke off talks and returned to п¬Ѓghting in 2006, soon
after the hardline nationalist
Rajapakse came to power.
Rajapakse came to be shunned
by many Western nations, who
accused him of turning a blind
eye to large-scale human rights
Several leaders, including the
Indian and Canadian prime ministers, boycotted a Common-
wealth summit hosted by the
strongman leader in November
2013 over his refusal to allow an
international investigation into
claims of massacres at the end
of Sri Lanka’s 37-year war in
May 2009.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British leader David Cameron were among the first
to congratulate Sirisena, whose
п¬Ѓrst overseas visit will be to India next month, Senaratne said.
Rajapakse won praise from US
Secretary of State John Kerry for
conceding defeat in the election early on Friday, even before
the last votes had been counted,
when he realised that Sirisena
had an unassailable lead.
Rajapakse fell out with the
West over allegations his troops
killed 40,000 Tamil civilians
at the end of the civil war. He
refused to cooperate with a
UN-mandated investigation.
While in power he cultivated
close links with China, which
has invested heavily in Sri Lanka,
seeking to counter rival India’s
Beijing has downplayed suggestions the change in leadership could impact its projects in
Sri Lanka.
Sirisena, a former health minister who united a fractured opposition to pull off an unlikely
victory, has thanked his predecessor for a “fair election that
allowed me to be the president”.
It was a remarkable reverse for
Rajapakse, who had appeared
certain of victory when he called
snap polls in November.
Sri Lanka’s press showed rare
unity yesterday in giving the
thumbs up to Sirisena.
Rajitha Senaratne speaking as army spokesman Brigadier R Wanigasooriya
looks on during a press conference in Colombo yesterday.
�Army defied last
minute order to keep
Rajapakse in power’
ri Lanka’s army defied orders from aides of former
president Mahinda Rajapakse to keep him in power
“by force” when it became clear
he had lost his bid for a third
term, an ally of the newly elected
leader said yesterday.
But an army spokesman said he
was unaware of any such order.
Rajapakse lost Thursday’s
election, ending a decade of
rule that critics said had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and
Rajitha Senaratne, a lawmaker and a spokesman for new
President Maithripala Sirisena,
said Rajapakse’s administration
had sought the backing of the
military to stay in power.
“The army chief got orders to
deploy the troops on the ground
across the country. They tried attempts to continue by force. The
army chief defied all the orders he
got in the last hours,” Senaratne
told reporters in Colombo.
Kite festival
11 new
By Mizan Rahman
Teenagers flying kites during the national kite festival at the bank of Padma river in Munshiganj
district, some 37kms from capital Dhaka, yesterday.
Bomb attack at Bangladesh minister’s home
handmade bomb exploded inside premises of Bangladesh Law
Minister Anisul Huq’s house
in Dhaka on Friday following
attacks on the homes of two
high court judges amid the opposition BNP’s blockade. The
minister was not at home at
that time.
Banani police station officer
Mahbub Hossain said a handmade bomb exploded inside
the premises of Huq’s house at
Banani around 8pm on Friday
but there were no casualties, reported.
Huq’s personal assistant M
Masum said that the minister
was not at home at the time of
the blast.
The bomb was hurled from
outside the house’s perimeter
wall, he added.
Bangladesh has stepped up
a crackdown on the main opposition party, arresting its
vice-president amid antigovernment protests that have
left seven dead and injured
A standoff between Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina and
Khaleda Zia, leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has worsened
steadily since Monday, when
protests erupted over last year’s
general election, which the BNP
Police arrested Shamsher
Mobin Chowdhury of the BNP
at his home in Dhaka, the capital, on Thursday night.
“A Dhaka court granted five
days of remand to Chowdhury
in a case of attempt to murder
a ruling party lawmaker,” Joint
Police Commissioner Monirul
Islam said yesterday.
The renewed tension between the political rivals raises
the spectre of a long, destabilising spell of unrest for Bangladesh and its economy, though
some question whether Zia and
her party can bring down the
Zia has demanded that Hasi-
“We spoke to the army chief
and told him not to do this.
He kept the troops in the barracks and helped a free and fair
election,” Senaratne said.
spokesman for former president Rajapakse, said he
could not comment on the
Military spokesman Brigadier
Ruwan Wanigasooriya said he
was unaware of any such order.
He said the military stayed out
of the election process at every
“Sri Lanka’s military will not
do anything to disrupt the democratic traditions and process,”
he said.
Speculation had been rife in
Colombo just before the election that force could be used to
keep Sirisena voters from polling
stations or even that the military could intervene if Rajapakse
looked set to lose.
Sirisena took 51.3% of the
vote, while Rajapakse got 47.6%.
Rajapakse, even before the official results were announced,
conceded his defeat and left his
official residence.
na give up her post, with a new
vote to be held under a neutral
The prime minister has rejected these demands. Instead,
her government has tightened
its grip. Human rights groups
have expressed concern about
the arrest of hundreds of opposition supporters, excessive police force and a media
“The government’s indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary
arrests, and censorship will only
inflame an already tense situation,” Brad Adams, Asia director
at Human Rights Watch, said in
a statement.
On Thursday, police п¬Ѓled a
sedition case against Tareque
Rahman, Zia’s exiled son who
lives in Britain, for statements about Bangladesh’s
п¬Ѓrst prime minister, and
Hasina’s father, that police
called “abusive”.
They also п¬Ѓled a sedition
case against Abdus Salam, the
owner of a private TV channel, who was arrested on
charges of pornography, for
airing a “false, fabricated and
instigating speech” by Rahman.
The high court has banned
media coverage of Rahman’s
speech, prompting protesters to
attack the homes of the judges
who gave the order.
The BNP says Zia has been
confined to her office in Dhaka’s
diplomatic enclave since the
weekend, with thousands of
its supporters arrested. Police
could not confirm the figure.
The government denied Zia
was being held against her will,
saying the security was for her
“We are doing it to ensure her
security,” Asaduzzaman Khan,
junior minister for home affairs,
told reporters.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi condemned Thursday’s arrest and
urged supporters to take to the
“The government will have
to leave power in the face of this
mass movement,” Rizvi told reporters. “It is now just a matter
of time.”
he Bangladesh government yesterday opened 11
new public medical colleges, aiming to fulfill Bangladesh’s huge demand for physicians to provide better medical
services to its people.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
launched the new medical colleges through videoconferencing from her official residence
Of the 11 medical colleges, six
are government medical colleges
located in Sirajganj, Tangail,
Manikganj, Jamalpur, Patuakhali
and Rangamati districts while
the rest п¬Ѓve are army medical
colleges located in Rangpur, Jessore, Chittagong, Comilla and
Bogra districts.
Speaking on the occasion,
the prime minister called on the
physicians to serve people.
Terming medicare a noble
profession and the basic right of
people, she said the aim of physicians has to be serving people,
not only earning money or making own fortune.
The PM said the government
has taken various steps for the
development of the health sector and the newly established 11
medical colleges are results of
that initiative.
She hoped that the new medical colleges would play an effective
role in creating efficient doctors as
Bangladesh has huge demand for
physicians. “These colleges would
help reduce pressure on the doctors in the future when new physicians will come out successfully
from there,” she added.
The PM also assured public
representatives and army officials of the respective districts
and regions of fulfilling their
various demands, including establishment of a full-fledged
university in Jamalpur.
She hoped that Bangladesh
would become a middle-income
country by 2021.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: C P Ravindran
P.O.Box 2888
Doha, Qatar
[email protected]
Telephone 44350478 (news),
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Auto aircraft tracking
initiative good news
for global industry
Qatar Airways’ initiative to introduce an automatic
aircraft tracking system is good news for the
global aviation industry which has been grappling
with issues relating to disappearance of aircraft,
particularly after the incident involving the Malaysia
Airlines Flight MH370 in March last year.
Qatar’s national carrier is already making an
experiment (on automatic aircraft tracking) with a
supplier. If successful, Qatar Airways will become
the п¬Ѓrst airline in the world to formally introduce an
automatic aircraft tracking system.
Under the system, all flight data that is being
recorded in the flight data recorder (black box) is also
received continuously on the ground – in the airline’s
operations centre. Once this has been proven, Qatar
Airways hopes to introduce this in all its aircraft,
according to its CEO Akbar al-Baker.
An industry task force led by the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) recently submitted its
report to UN aviation agency ICAO following a study
that focused on automatic tracking of airplanes.
The task force was set up in the wake of the
disappearance of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight
MH370. The sudden disappearance of the Malaysian
airline MH370 in March
last year had kicked up
a global debate on the
need for better aircraft
The task force has
reportedly examined
all options available for tracking commercial
aircraft against the parameters of implementation,
investment, time and complexity to achieve the
desired coverage.
The task force report, which has been presented to
ICAO recommends that all aircraft should transmit
information on longitude, latitude, altitude and local
time to permit four-dimensional tracking, which
should be accurate to within at least one nautical mile
and reported every 15 minutes - or more often in the
event of an alert.
Transmission will not be required where there is
air traffic surveillance or airline contracts for the
automatic periodic downloading of data.
MH370 has highlighted the need to improve tracking
of aircraft in flight, said IATA chief Tony Tyler.
“In a world where our every move seems to be
tracked, there is disbelief both that an aircraft could
simply disappear and that the flight data and cockpit
voice recorders are so difficult to recover,” he said.
Tyler said the cross industry report included a set of
performance criteria for aircraft tracking and would
lead ultimately to a new Global Aeronautical Distress
and Safety System (GADSS) that has been developed
by an ICAO group of experts whose vision goes far
beyond the new performance criteria.
“Airlines are taking the tracking issue very seriously,”
insisted Tyler.
“Some already exceed the report’s suggested
performance criteria. For others, closing the gap may
take more than a 12-month timeline for every aircraft.
“As aircraft operators, our members took a serious
and practical look at the recommendations. While
they are committed to improving, they could not fully
endorse what would be practically unachievable for
some,” he added.
“Airlines are
taking the
tracking issue
very seriously”
To Advertise
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Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811
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2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved
QF celebrates 20 years
of excellence and innovation
Qatar Foundation’s two
decades of achievements
secure thriving education,
research and community
development sectors for
ll nations face the question
of how to meet economic,
social and technological
change. Taking a proactive
approach to its future, Qatar has set
out a clear path for the transition
from a carbon- to a knowledge-based
economy through the Qatar National
Vision 2030.
Since 1995, Qatar has been
successfully supported in this journey
by Qatar Foundation for Education,
Science and Community Development
(QF) which has become a key engine
for transforming the state and to assist
delivery of its national priorities.
Today, in its 20th anniversary year,
Qatar Foundation can reflect upon
two decades of success equipping
the country and its people with the
knowledge and skills to develop their
nation through its dedication to
unlocking the human potential of the
people of Qatar with groundbreaking
initiatives in its three strategic pillars
of Education, Science and Research,
and Community Development.
This success has arisen thanks to
foresight and long-term planning. HH
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani,
the Father Emir, set out his analysis
about how to maximise the nation’s
opportunities in the 21st century,
as well as the solutions to enable
the transition from an economy
dominated by oil and gas, at the launch
of Qatar Foundation’s Education City
He said: “The new world
educational system recognises that
education is a universal right and
hence enables students wherever they
might be to have access to the means
of innovation, creativity, acquisition
of knowledge and expertise and the
practice of responsibility.”
This explanation about the
importance of knowledge and learning
reinforced the idea – extraordinarily
simple, yet breathtaking in its scope,
that drove the foundations of QF.
It underscored the concept for the
future development of the country
aimed at providing the Qatari people
with greater opportunities in the
п¬Ѓelds of education, health and social
It lay at the cornerstone of the
inauguration of Qatar Foundation for
Education, Science and Community
Development which HH Sheikh
Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the
then Emir of Qatar, and his wife, HH
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, made into a
reality in early 1995.
The driving belief in the importance
of knowledge and equipping the
nation to make the most of its future
came from a very human instinct
as explained by Her Highness: “As
a mother, I wanted to provide an
exceptional, quality education for
my children. Education is a principle
rooted in a centuries-old heritage,
with branches extending in all
directions, drinking from the springs
of knowledge, whether Eastern or
Elaborating on the development of
the concept for Qatar Foundation, she
said: “As soon as I started thinking
about this, I was struck. I was struck
by the reality that the need for
exceptional, quality education was
not just for me and my family but it is
a universal social issue which needs
comprehensive solutions. From that
point, I worked in my capacity as
wife of the then Heir Apparent – and
feeling like a mother to all of Qatar’s
children, with everything I could
aspire to for them.”
Since initiating the concept
dedicated to unlocking human
potential, Her Highness has served
as chairperson of Qatar Foundation
driving its vision to lead human,
social and economic development
through education and research,
so that Qatar is both a vanguard for
productive change in the region and an
international role model.
Indeed, just a year on from Their
Highnesses’ visionary conversation,
Qatar Academy was opened in 1996 as
the first tiny seed in QF’s commitment
to education.
Twenty years on, Qatar Foundation
has created a unique, integrated
learning environment that spans the
full educational spectrum in support
of the nation’s commitment to
Starting as young as six months
through primary and secondary
education before university higher
education learning at undergraduate,
graduate and doctoral candidate level,
the QF system culture of learning
nurtures creativity and innovation,
and prioritises the cultivation of
research skills.
Every student has the opportunity
to develop the foundation of
knowledge that will help them succeed
then progress to the next stage of their
education within Qatar Foundation
ensuring that young Qataris receive a
firm grounding as part of the longterm preparation of the nation’s future
The success of Qatar Foundation’s
п¬Ѓrst university partnership underscored
the power of QF’s ideas in higher
education which soon led to the
inauguration of Education City in 2003
and the growth to nine institutions
represented on the site today.
The concept of bringing together
a range of world-class universities
on a single campus is nurturing the
nation’s future doctors, engineers,
computer scientists and diplomats,
with an increasing number graduating
every year.
Students receive a broad, open
education and benefit from a variety of
programmes that fully allows the next
generations to forge their own path in
life through education, science and
In particular, Hamad bin Khalifa
University is a home-grown
institution that focuses its research
on national priorities and has been
mandated to initiate graduate degrees
supporting the principles set out
by the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Through these and many other
initiatives, the nation’s students are
enabled with the skills and experience
to fulfil their own aspirations as well as
contribute to their communities and
enable Qatar to excel on a global level.
Of course, where education is
the п¬Ѓrst step to empowering people
and shaping our collective future,
the pervasive emphasis on science
and research means students are
prepared to excel at research from an
early age. QF and its centres’ support
for science and research are driving
breakthroughs in п¬Ѓelds as diverse
as energy and the environment,
biomedical and cardiovascular
research, computing and much more.
What marks Qatar Foundation’s
approach to research and development
as special, is its application of a
cycle of education, research and
From the outset comes a
commitment to investment in a wide
range of research in order to foster
commercially viable projects that
will contribute to the new knowledge
economy through Qatar National
Research Fund. This works in tandem
with QF’s promotion of a culture
of innovation through the entire
education cycle that encourages new
Qatar Foundation then helps
students and researchers develop
their ideas through its home-grown
research institutes and other partners.
Finally, commercialisation of new
innovations is facilitated by Qatar
Science and Technology Park, a
free-zone where tenants include
innovative Qatari start-ups alongside
multinational household names.
This process has proven its success
in helping to incubate well-researched
ideas into prototypes that are patented
and commercialised and, therefore,
advancing Qatar towards fulfilling
its National Vision by delivering
economic diversification and
innovating home-grown solutions to
the grand challenges.
Futhermore, whilst Qatar
Foundation’s combined work across
education, science and research
address immediate national priorities,
they are also fundamental building
blocks in for supporting strong and
harmonious communities.
All of QF’s initiatives have
community development at their
core in order to foster the growth of
a dynamic, caring and progressive
society which simultaneously
promotes active citizenship and
preserves the nation’s traditions and
cultural heritage. With initiatives in
art and literature as well as health,
family policy and sustainability, Qatar
Foundation is proving its commitment
to social development alongside the
growth of the knowledge economy.
So much has been achieved and
yet we know there is always more to
achieve on behalf of the people of
Qatar. As it enters its third decade,
QF continues to make exciting
breakthroughs across its three pillars
of education, science and research and
community at a national level, across
the region and beyond.
With the timeless vision and
objectives for unlocking human
potential, under the guidance of
Her Highness, Qatar Foundation
will continue to support the nation
as it provides for the needs of the
current generation whilst meeting
the challenges and promoting the
opportunities of tomorrow.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Pilot training under the spotlight
Critics say pilots don’t get
enough training on how to
react when an airliner stalls
or loses lift
By Alwyn Scott and Tim Hepher
s investigators hunt for what
caused an AirAsia jet to crash
in an equatorial storm on
December 28, the aviation
industry is still struggling to apply the
lessons of accidents in similar weather
over the past decade.
It is too early to say whether the
Airbus A320 crashed into the Java
Sea due to pilot error, mechanical
problems, freak weather or - as most
often happens in aviation disasters - a
combination of factors.
But its apparently uncontrolled
plunge, coming after a series of other
fatal crashes blamed at least in part on
loss of control, has refocused attention
on whether pilot training programmes
need to improve.
Critics say pilots don’t get enough
training on how to react when an
airliner stalls or loses lift, and that
changes in guidance about best
practices have been slow.
“The lessons have not been
learned to this day,” said David
Learmount, one of the aviation
industry’s leading safety
commentators. “Everyone knows
what the problem is, but nobody is
doing anything about it.”
Though rare, loss of pilot control
ranks as the single biggest cause
of air travel deaths. Two crashes in
particular forced the issue - the 2009
losses of an Air France flight from Rio
De Janeiro to Paris, and a Colgan Air
turboprop near Buffalo, New York.
In both, confused pilots ignored
or countermanded warnings of an
impending stall, a condition where
An Indonesian diver and an official examining wreckage from AirAsia flight QZ8501 after it was lifted into the Crest Onyx ship at sea yesterday.
a plane loses lift because the air flow
over its wings is too slow.
The Air France jet took a fourminute, 38,000 feet plunge into the
ocean. Despite repeated stall alarms,
the control stick was fatally yanked
Classic stall training calls for pilots
to push the control stick forward,
nosing the plane down so it will swoop
lower and regain speed, which is
effective but uncomfortable.
But over the last 30 years, most
airlines encouraged their pilots to hold
the control stick broadly steady and
gun the engines to power their way
out of a stall, trying to keep the ride as
level as possible.
In examining stall crashes from
that period, that procedure “wouldn’t
have helped and would have led to
more accidents than it prevented”, said
Claude Lelaie, a retired former chief
test pilot at Airbus.
In a rare joint move from 2009,
Airbus and Boeing called for a return
to robust cockpit procedures that
prevailed “when the old guys like me
were being trained,” Lelaie said. “We
were told to push the stick at the п¬Ѓrst
sign of a stall.”
But it took several years to set rules
that ensure pilots receive regular
refresher training and to root out the
disputed cockpit procedures of past
The new voluntary guidelines by
the UN International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO), which coordinates safety, took effect just six
weeks before the loss of AirAsia Flight
QZ8501, and will take years to be
implemented around the globe.
New US rules on pilot training do
not take effect until 2019. Regulators
will require flight simulators to better
model stall behaviour, changes that
will also take years to implement.
ICAO also has proposed that pilots
refresh their stall training by flying
small aerobatic planes. But Learmount
and others said most airlines would be
reluctant to pay for it.
Changes in training cannot be made
overnight because they can create
other risks. Even minor adjustments
must be thoroughly researched to
avoid sowing the seeds of future
The industry is wrestling with a
steep drop in the time pilots spend
manually flying. Pilots now typically
steer for only a few minutes at takeoff
and landing, and rely on autopilot for
the lengthy, boring cruise phase of
When a sudden upset occurs - such
as icing or powerful air currents from
a storm - even the best pilots can
experience a “startle effect” and may
struggle to recall manual flying skills
for that rare situation.
A study by Australia’s Griffith
University found a person’s
ability to process information
is significantly impaired for 30
seconds after being startled, so
being trained to cope with the
unexpected is as important as
knowing cockpit theory.
Flight simulators pose another
challenge. The machines are crucial
because pilots get little or no in-flight
training for stalls after basic training.
But most simulators still cannot
accurately model a plane’s behaviour
in a full stall. The Federal Aviation
Administration has pressing to make
them better in a rule-making process
that closed this week.
Simulator makers want better data
about stalls to improve their machines.
But plane makers say airliner stalls
are so unpredictable that the data
would be of little value - a dispute that
could also have implications for any
potential liabilities.
“It’s not clear how the simulation
data will be collected,” said Pat
Anderson, director of flight research
at Embry-Riddle Aeronautic
University, the largest US flight
training school.
Around the world, airlines, flight
schools and governments vary widely
in how swiftly and fully they adopt the
Some airlines train in-house and go
beyond what’s required. Others just
meet minimum standards, said David
Greenberg, a consultant and former
head of flight operations at Delta Air
“Training is still a patchwork quilt,”
he said.
Weather report
Three-day forecast
A well-planned
Dear Sir,
I was approached recently by a
couple of people at a hypermarket,
seeking my name and phone number.
When asked for the purpose, they
replied that it was to give away
some free passes for shows in Doha.
Believing them, I gave them the
details. The next day, a woman called
me, saying that I had won a gift and
was invited to an office to collect it.
My wife and I went to the site.
But when we reached there, we were
invited to sit through a presentation
about a timesharing proposal offered
by a group. The presentation was quite
eye-catching with pictures of various
resorts and “details” of schemes. They
told us that the payment for joining
the scheme, normally, would cost
about $6,575 but as a special case now
would reduce it to $4,930. In return,
each year we could have a free holiday
for a week at any one of their resorts in
a country.
I told them I did not have enough
money with me and would think about
it. But they insisted with whatever
money I had I could join the scheme
initially. In good faith, I then told them
I had a small amount in my account.
They made me use my credit card
to withdraw the amount I had in my
I was then asked whether I had a
credit card from another country.
I had. They took hold of that card
from me and withdrew an additional
amount from it. They now said they
could accept a cheque for the balance.
I told them that I did not carry my
chequebook with me to which they
promptly responded that they would
send a person to my house and collect
the cheque.
A man then followed us to our home
and collected the cheque for the rest
of the amount. It seems they wanted
to collect the entire amount for the
scheme without giving us any time
for thinking, for reasons best known
to them. When I handed over the
cheque to the person who came with
us, he promised to issue a free voucher
within three weeks.
Now whenever I telephone their
office number, no one answers most of
them times, and at others, the person
on the other line gives a number of
excuses for the delay in giving the free
This appears to be a well-planned
High: 20 C
Low: 14 C
warmly welcomed. This solves a major
problem in scheduling vacation plans
by parents having children studying
in Doha.
The council’s recent circular
to schools against changing the
uniforms repeatedly also deserves
praise. A few schools used to do this
for their financial benefits.
P Cloudy
Biju Abraham
(e-mail address supplied)
Strong wind and high seas
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Low : 15 C
High: 20 C
Low : 15 C
(Full name and e-mail address
move by SEC
Dear Sir,
The report that the Supreme
Education Council (SEC) has allowed
private schools in the country to
schedule their winter vacation
according to their convenience
(Gulf Times, December 30, 2014), is
Please send us your letters
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[email protected]
Fax 44350474
Or Post
Letters to the Editor
Gulf Times
P O Box 2888
Doha, Qatar
All letters, which are subject to editing, should have the name of the
writer, address and phone number.
The writer’s name and address may
be withheld by request.
Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: NW 15-25 KT
Waves: 5-8 Feet
Wind: NW 12-20/25 KT
Waves: 1-3/4 Feet
Around the region
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Healthy lifestyle reduces dementia risk
By Barbara Quinn
The Monterey County Herald/TNS
omething’s not right with my
brain,” my dad told me the
year before he was diagnosed
with Alzheimer’s disease - the
most common cause of dementia that
destroys brains cells and nerves that
carry messages in the brain. He was in
his 70s at the time and the man I had
always admired for his sharp memory.
Even though we sometimes forget
things as we get older, dementia
is not a part of normal ageing, say
experts from Alzheimer’s Disease
International (ADI) which released a
World Alzheimer Report last year.
According to these experts, “a
whole raft of research studies” now
demonstrate that we may reduce our
risk for developing dementia if we
follow healthier lifestyles. Here are
some of the key recommendations
from this report:
Take care of your heart. What’s
good for our heart is also very good for
our brain, say experts. That includes
strategies to control blood cholesterol
and other markers of heart disease.
Don’t smoke. After the age of 65,
ex-smokers have the same risk of
dementia as people who have never
smoked. Those who continue to
smoke, however, are at much higher
Keep your blood pressure under
control. Raised blood pressure in
our middle years of life is associated
with a “considerable increase in risk
for dementia in late life”, stated one
reviewer of the report.
Be physically active. When we keep
our bodies healthy, we keep our brains
healthy, too, say researchers. Besides
helping to control blood pressure
and cholesterol levels, exercise may
directly improve the function of
nerves and memory transmitters in
the brain, according to this report.
They also urge more study in this area.
Eat a healthy diet. Most promising
to ward off dementia appears to be
the Mediterranean-type of diet, say
researchers. This eating style - rich
in cereals, fruits, п¬Ѓsh, legumes, and
vegetables - supplies key nutrients
that nourish brain development and
health such as omega-3 fats from
п¬Ѓsh and B-vitamins from cereals and
legumes. And a diet rich in fruits
and vegetables supplies a host of
antioxidant nutrients that can protect
message-carrying neurons in the
Keep your blood glucose (sugar)
levels under control. People with
diabetes have a 50% increased chance
to develop dementia later in life,
according to the ADI report.
Challenge your brain. Mentally
stimulating activities throughout life
can help ward off the development of
dementia later in life.
Enjoy social activities. I really like
this recommendation. It’s based on
evidence that enjoying ourselves in
social situations can help stave off
Ageing is a gift, this report reminds
us. And making good choices can help
determine how well we age.
Lastly, keep learning, say
these experts. Education in
early life and beyond is strongly
protective against dementia.
Learn more from this report at
WorldAlzheimerReport2014.pdf .
zBarbara Quinn is a registered
dietitian and certified diabetes
educator at the Community Hospital of
the Monterey Peninsula. E-mail her at
[email protected]
Around the world
Cape Town
Hong Kong
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Sao Paulo
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Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Visitors at a stall at the Doha International Book Fair, at QNCC. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed
Rare manuscripts,
books on offer
By Ayman Adly
Staff Reporter
variety of manuscripts
and vintage books are on
display at the 25th edition of Doha International Book
Fair, currently on at the Qatar
National Convention Centre
A large number of the books
are in Arabic but books in the
English language take the second
spot. There are books in other
languages as well.
In addition to the new books
and the most recent releases,
electronic books and games,
there are a number of stalls of
companies from different parts
of the world displaying books
and manuscripts dating back to
hundreds of years and can cost
millions of dollars.
“These books are sought by
special customers and highly interested collectors. At this exhibition, I have seen a lot of interest in such rare books from many
visitors, particular Qataris. Also,
they are keen to buy and own
certain books,” said Badr ElHage, owner of UK-based Folios
Limited and an exhibitor at the
According to El-Hage, he obtains rare books from private
collectors in auctions in America
and Europe, and his customers
include museums and people
interested in antiquities.
Hugo Wetschberk, exhibitor
from Austria’s Antiquariat Intlibiris, said that his company has
been taking part at the Doha fair
since 2009, and his collection
includes rare manuscripts from
as old as the15th century.
“Some of the books in our
collection include manuscripts
that may cost up to 4mn euros.
Museums and foundations are
among our customers, besides
wealthy collectors, who enjoy
keeping such precious things.
We also maintain and restore
manuscripts, which we often buy from private collectors
around the world at auctions,
and provide the customer with
a certificate of originality,” said
His collection of manuscripts
on display includes books in
Arabic, English and other languages with various paintings
covering a variety of subjects
such as ancient Egypt, old Europe, fables and old science.
Another exhibitor of antiquities and old books, Dr Mousallam Sakka Amini, said that his
collection of books and manuscript covers a wide range of
“We have manuscripts that
go back to the age of the com-
panions of the Prophet Muhammad, and science books of the
modern age that are no longer in
print. Some customers are usually interested in these and they
love to own such antique books
and value them. Qataris constitute the largest segment of our
customers,” he added.
The Doha International Book
Fair also features a large collection of titles, e-books, children
books and educational toys and
software. The embassies of the
US, Japan, South Korea, France
and other countries have opened
stalls at the fair.
The Qatar’s Ministry of Culture Arts and Heritage is organising cultural and entertainment
activities such as history lectures
and arts exhibitions at the fair.
The fair is open for public
daily from 9am – 1pm and 4pm
- 10pm; on Friday from 4pm 10pm, until January 17.
Children seen at a stall.
Rare manuscripts and books on display at a stall.
A painting from an old book on display
A paining from a vintage book.
A youngster reading a book.
Aspiring Qatari writer launches her п¬Ѓrst book
haroq Ibrahim al-Malki,
an aspiring Qatari writer
and a banker, has launched
her п¬Ѓrst book, A Piece of Peace.
The book launch was hosted
at the Ministry of Culture stall,
at the Doha International Book
Fair yesterday.
It was attended by HE the
Minister of Culture, Arts and
Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, Commercial
Bank chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Jabor al-Thani,
Commercial Bank chief executive officer Abdulla Saleh
al-Raisi, serval dignitaries as
well as members of the Qatari
business community.
A Piece of Peace is an anthology reflecting universal wisdom
that transcends boundaries, regions and cultures written from
the perspective of a female Qatari writer. The writer provides
her personal insights about what
life lessons can be learnt from
a deeper understanding of this
wisdom in a straightforward yet
thought provoking representation which can be considered a
maxim to emulate.
The author signing a copy of her book as Dr Hamad al-Kuwari and Abdulla Saleh al-Raisi look on.
Commenting on what inspired
her to write her book, al-Malki,
an executive general manager
and chief human capital officer at
Commercial Bank, said: “I realised that morals and fables have
an overwhelming influence when
shared them with family, friends
and colleagues. The timeless
wisdom, which I gained through
my experiences in life, are simple
truths and values irrespective of
age, background or nationality.
By publishing my book I hope
to spread these valuable insights and knowledge to a wider
community; therefore I choose
to launch it internationally as
well through”
A Piece of Peace is published
by Dar Al-Sharq and is being distributed by Tawseelat merchant
outlets in Qatar including Jarrir Bookstore, Virgin Megastore
and Carrefour. To п¬Ѓnd out more
about the author and the book
Sharoq Ibrahim al-Malki with Dr Hamad al-Kuwari and other guests at the launch of the book.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Rohan Gurang in his office in Kathmandu
zQatar is the second most preferred destination for Nepali
workers after Malaysia
zOne of the illegal recruitment channels operates through
zRemittance by migrant workers is the backbone of the
predominantly agrarian Nepali economy
zAlmost half of the Nepali households have at least one
person working abroad or a returnee
zLarge-scale migration has created many social problems
Huge number of workers queuing up to register at the labour office.
Nepali workers are forced to
pay high recruitment charges
Among GCC countries, Qatar
accounts for the largest
number of Nepali labourers
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
ome 3mn Nepalis, about
10% of the total population
of the land-locked nation,
work in foreign countries, most
of them as unskilled and semiskilled labourers.
Qatar is home to about
400,000 of them; most working
in the country’s ambitious development projects.
After Qatar won the bid to
host the 2022 FIFA World Cup,
a section of the foreign media
had published a series of reports about the alleged abuse of
foreign workers in the country,
with a particular emphasis on
the Nepalis, terming them as the
worst victims.
Gulf Times, in its role as a
catalyst for all round development in Qatar, had sent journalists to learn the ground realities
in four countries - India, Nepal,
Sri Lanka and the Philippines which send the largest numbers
of workers to Qatar. We have
published three reports on our
п¬Ѓndings in India in the last two
As part of our efforts to understand what bearing the situation
in the sourcing countries has on
the overall situation of expatriate workers in Qatar, we will be
publishing a series of reports on
our п¬Ѓndings in the remaining
three countries, beginning with
Nepal today.
Among the GCC countries,
Qatar accounts for the largest
number of Nepali labourers.
Qatar is the second most preferred destination for Nepali
workers after Malaysia, recruitment agents in Kathmandu told
Gulf Times. The country, with
a population of 30mn, supplies
manpower to about 108 countries. Work-related international migration is widespread
across Nepal’s five regions and
three ecological belts, covering
almost half of the households in
the country.
Remittance by migrant workers is the backbone of the predominantly agrarian Nepali
economy. While agriculture still
is a major contributor to the
national coffers, foreign remittance, which is around 25% of
the GDP, is the second highest
factor. It is estimated that nonresident Nepali workers send
home around 400bn Nepali rupees annually.
According to sources in the
recruitment fraternity, almost
half of the Nepali households
have at least one person working
abroad or a returnee. More than
95% of the migrant workers are
males aged 20-44, highlighting
the fact that more than a quarter
of the total adult male population works abroad, causing a lot
of social and cultural ramifications in the conservative Hindu
majority country.
There are around 760 registered recruitment agencies in
Nepal. Almost all of them receive
a good number of candidates
seeking employment opportunities abroad on a daily basis. Huge
crowds, thronging the offices of
the recruitment agencies, are a
regular sight in the capital Kathmandu, which is the only place
in the country where manpower
recruitment takes place.
Job aspirants from interior
villages and towns reach the
capital and wait for weeks or
months to complete the paper-
Job aspirants at a recruitment office
work and other formalities. Authorised recruitment companies
have a proper system and wellarranged offices in the city. They
follow directives of the government and work under its control.
There are also illegal recruiters
who work through middlemen
and recruit people giving them
false hopes.
One of the illegal recruitment
channels operates through India.
Nepal has a 710km-long open
border with India and citizens
of the two countries do not need
any document to travel to and
fro which makes border crossings easy.
Illegal recruiters lure Nepalese
workers to India and promise
to send them abroad on higher
salaries. This, in turn, leads to
human trafficking and other immoral practices.
A middleman working in New
Delhi told this correspondent
that he could arrange an Indian
passport and other documents
for a Nepali who will then be able
to get higher pay and perks.
Gulf Times
He explained: “For a Nepali
who wants an Indian passport,
we arrange documents that show
his domicile at a place in India
bordering Nepal. This will legitimise the worker as an Indian and
the same person is sent abroad as
an Indian.”
If the person is caught during
the process, the middlemen vanish from the scene. However, by
this time, the job aspirant would
have spent a significant amount
of money.
President of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment
Agencies (NAFEA), Bal Bahadur Thamang told Gulf Times
that a large number of Nepalese
workers are going to Malaysia,
Qatar and other GCC countries,
though some issues like delayed
payment of wages and difficult
working conditions are reported
by some of them.
“We know some of the people may have to face problems
in the destination countries. We
inform the candidates about potential issues the workers might
face but still we п¬Ѓnd a large
number of people queuing up
in front of our offices everyday,”
Thamang said.
He added people go abroad
hoping that a foreign job would
enhance their social image as
well as boost their economic
Thamang said was huge ex-
ploitation of workers at different
points in the process of recruitment.
“There are illegal recruitment
agents who thrive in different
areas of Nepal. Potential migrant
workers go through three-four
middlemen before they reach an
approved agent and by this time,
the workers may have already
spent around $500 to $700. The
reason is that the workers are
living in interior villages and the
middlemen bring them to Kathmandu and charge them for anything and everything.”
He said “if a person wants to
work abroad, he approaches the
agent in his village who in turn
charges a fee and takes him to the
local town. Here, another person
takes charge of the process and
again the poor chap has to pay an
equal amount of money. He then
takes him to another middleman
in Kathmandu and again money
changes hands before the candidate reaches the approved agent.
“Recruitment agencies are
allowed to collect a maximum
of $700, including ticket and
service charges for Qatar. The
workers also have to pay for their
passports and medical п¬Ѓtness
test, making the total recruitment charges around $1,000.
But add the money paid to the
middlemen and it makes a huge
amount for the workers,” he said.
The NAFEA president said in
Nepal, workers can earn daily
wages of around 350 rupees but
they are not ready to work in their
home country due to the social
status issue. Moreover the jobs
are not regular in Nepal. According to him large-scale migration
has created many social problems. Most of the males go abroad
leaving the women alone at
home. This leads to many social
and cultural issues. About 7% of
the families are affected due to illegal relationships and divorces.”
He cited good education for
children and better living conditions for the families as the positive outcomes of migration.
“Migration is helping to reduce population as families are
staying separately. Children are
getting good education. The
standard of living has been going
up as people have a higher purchasing capacity.”
He also cited many drawbacks
of the situation.
“People are moving to cities,
leaving behind their villages and
as a result agriculture suffers.
Nepal used to be an exporter of
rice but now we are importing
the staple from India. Another
problem is that the remittances
from abroad are not used productively. It is used mainly for buying
clothes, other consumables and
for building new houses.”
Employers urged to bear all expenses
President of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies ( NAFEA), Bal Bahadur Thamang
explaining the recruitment process to Gulf Times.
resident of the Nepal
Association of Foreign
(NAFEA), Bal Bahadur Thamang
has urged potential employers
abroad to pay for the ticket, visa
and recruitment charges so that
workers are not burdened with
heavy debts before they leave
their homes to take up overseas
“If all the expenses are met
by the employer, a worker has to
spend only around $100. But in
many cases, this does not happen and we are forced to collect fees for everything from the
According to him, in the
present scenario, candidates end
up paying about $1,500 (approx
150,000 rupees) for securing a
job contract in the Gulf. About
half of this amount is pocketed by middlemen. “This is too
much for a worker whose average
monthly salary is about QR800
(approx 21,000 rupees).
“Many of the candidates
raise the funds to meet the recruitment expenses by mortgaging property to moneylenders, who charge exorbitant
interest. It takes for some to
work two years or more to repay
the debt alone.”
He continues: “Some Qatari companies give free visa
and ticket and do not charge
the workers while some other
companies even ask for $200 to
$300 per visa. About 10% of the
Qatar companies provide all the
charges and free visas while 40
% provides visas and tickets but
no service charge. The rest gives
free visa but service charges and
ticket fares are collected from
the workers.”
Thamang said that Nepali
recruitment organisations had
submitted a petition to Qatar’s
ambassador in Nepal suggesting
that all the recruitment charges
be paid by the employers. He
also pointed out that the twoyear ban to enter Qatar upon
cancellation of an employee’s
job contract protects the interests of only the companies and
not of the workers. In the UAE,
it is only six months and in Saudi
Arabia and Bahrain, there is no
ban at all.”
Rohan Gurang, chairman of
Al- Shoalat Nepal, a leading
Nepali manpower recruitment
company, said that Qatar was
a preferred destination for his
clients due to better salary compared to many other countries.
“We recruit around 300 workers to Qatar every month. The
п¬Ѓrst preference is of course, Malaysia due to better climatic conditions and social life. Malaysia
also offers higher salaries than
other countries. People, prefer
Qatar as there are more openings
However, he pointed out that
of late, people are not so enthusiastic to go to Gulf countries
because of reports of problems
faced by workers in these countries.
“But still there is a great demand for Qatar,” he added.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
take part
in Ooredoo
ore than 3,000 people
have taken part of this
year’s Ooredoo Marathon, a fund-raising event to
benefit “Reach Out to Asia,” the
company said in a statement.
The event was highlighted by
a full marathon, half-marathon,
10km, and 5km runs, in addition
to two special children’s 1km and
3km fun runs.
Hundreds of people lined the
streets of Doha to cheer on the
runners and urged them to the
reach п¬Ѓnish line. The route took
participants from Katara up to the
Families join the marathon.
Museum of Islamic Art Park.
Ooredoo director of Public and
Community Relations Fatima Sultan al-Kuwari said: “We wanted
to make this year’s marathon bigger, faster, and better and all the
feedback suggests that we have
succeeded. We’ve seen more participants and more support across
Doha and we’re confident that this
year’s event will raise more money
for charity than ever before.”
She said the marathon saw
participants from a diverse range
of ages, nationalities, and background with a number of pro-
fessional sportspeople running
alongside those taking part in
their п¬Ѓrst marathon.
All funds raised from the marathon will be donated to Reach
Out to Asia for their work in Qatar
and across Asia, al-Kuwari said.
Hundreds of children took part
in the 3km and 1km fun runs and
were joined by Ooredoo’s mascots, the Alrabaa, who cheered
the kids on as they ran.
“In all, it was an excellent day
out for the whole family and
demonstrated Ooredoo’s strong
commitment to community
health and fitness,” added al-Kuwari, who presented the winners
with prizes in a special ceremony
at the end of the race.
The Ooredoo Marathon 2015
was sponsored by Qatar Airways,
Hamad Medical Corporation
Kulluna, Sports Corner, Reach
Out to Asia, Katara, and Baraem
Ooredoo launched the marathon in 2013 and continues to
support it as an annual event to
promote health and п¬Ѓtness in
Qatar. Support for the marathon
forms part of a wider strategy that
involves grassroots sponsorship
and community engagement, designed to encourage more people
to get involved in sport.
Runners take off from the starting line.
Kids enjoy the event.
Shale drillers
bail on US boom
as more rigs idle
Apple changes
app prices amid
currency swings
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Rabia I 20, 1436 AH
Qatar Airways very
much interested in
�re-engined’ A380s,
says CEO al-Baker
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
atar Airways will be very much interested
in “re-engined” Airbus A380s, Group CEO
Akbar al-Baker has said.
“We are not only interested in re-engined A380s
from future deliveries, but also the current airplanes. With today’s technology it is possible,” alBaker said at an event in Doha recently.
“Once this does, this Airbus A380 programme
will really take off because it will become a very efficient…very low seat mile cost airplane that will then
be difficult for any other airplane in its class to beat
Asked whether Qatar Airways will firm up its order for three more A380s, al-Baker said, “If it proves
what it is supposed to do in our fleet…then we will
firm up the three we still have remaining.”
Currently, the national carrier has four Airbus
A380s in its fleet.
On the deployment of the new A350s, of which
Qatar Airways was the launch customer globally, alBaker said, “We will deploy them to New York and to
secondary cities in Europe, where at the moment we
are operating 787s, and, of course, to the subcontinent and to the Far East, because, this aircraft will
eventually be replacing the Airbus A330s.”
Qatar Airways’ A350 XWB (extra wide body) will
comprise a two-class configuration with some 36
business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring 80” fully flat beds and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screens.
Economy class will comprise of some 247 seats,
each 18-inches wide in a 3-3-3 configuration, with
up to a 32-inch pitch.
The п¬Ѓrst commercial service will be deployed on
the Doha-Frankfurt route on January 15.
On whether Qatar Airways plans to roll out a
budget airline, al-Baker said, “We are not considering launching a budget carrier at the moment.”
Asked how Qatar Airways would ensure sustainable revenues in view of the rising competition, the
airline CEO said, “We would not be buying airplanes
if we thought that competition will impede our
growth. As a matter of fact, we welcome competition, because it only makes us stronger. At the same
Qatargas delivers 1st LNG
cargo to Thailand’s PTT
under long-term SPA
Qatargas recently delivered the first liquefied natural gas cargo to Thailand
under the long-term sale and purchase agreement (SPA) between Qatargas 3
and PTT Public Company.
The cargo onboard Q-flex vessel �Al Ghariya’ was delivered to Thailand’s Map Ta
Phut LNG receiving terminal.
Qatargas hosted a ceremony at Map Ta Phut LNG receiving terminal to mark the
occasion. The event was attended by Narongchai Akrasanee, Thailand Minister
of Energy; Dr Pailin Chuchottaworn, president & CEO of PTT Public Company and
senior management and representatives from PTT LNG (terminal operator).
From Qatargas, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani, chief executive officer; Jabor
bin Ali al-Dosari, Qatar’s ambassador to Thailand and other senior management
personnel were also present.
Sheikh Khalid said, “This is an important milestone for Qatargas. We are
honoured to have been the first supplier of LNG to the Kingdom of Thailand,
and today we celebrate the delivery of the first LNG cargo under the SPA
agreement, which was signed back in 2012. This demonstrates our commitment
and further strengthens the relationship between both companies over the long
term. We are very pleased that LNG from Qatar continues to contribute towards
meeting the growing demand for energy. This achievement highlights Qatargas’
capability to supply LNG to customers around the globe safely and reliably”.
In 2011, Qatargas delivered the first commissioning cargo to Thailand’s first and
only LNG receiving terminal Map Ta Phut. Since then, Qatargas has supplied the
majority of spot cargoes to PTT.
In total, Qatargas has supplied PTT with 27 spot cargos.
In December 2012, Qatargas 3 and PTT Company signed an SPA to deliver 2mn
tonnes per year of LNG for a period of 20 years beginning from 2015. This
agreement marked PTT’s first long-term LNG SPA and Qatargas’ first long-term
agreement in South-East Asia.
The current capacity of Map Ta Phut LNG receiving terminal is 5mn tonnes per
year and PTT has plans to increase this capacity to 10 5mn tonnes per year. The
terminal is currently Q-Flex compatible with plans to receive Q-max vessels in
Qatargas said it sees Thailand as an evolving LNG market and recognises its
growth potential within South East Asia.
Al-Baker holds an Airbus A380 model during the delivery ceremony for Qatar Airways at Airbus headquarters
in Hamburg in September last year. Currently, the national carrier has four A380s in its fleet.
time, in any business, it is the question of the survival of the п¬Ѓttest. We are world leaders in customer
service, value for money and innovation.”
On the airline’s Africa plans, al-Baker said, “As
and when we receive more wide-bodied airplanes,
we will increase capacity to Africa. In general, Africa is an important market, which is also untapped
in terms of aviation.”
No matter how low oil
falls, Opec won’t pump
less, says UAE envoy
UAE firm to build
�Little Manila’ outlets
across Middle East
o matter how low oil prices fall, there’s no reason
for Opec to curtail production in an effort to push
them back up, the UAE’s ambassador to the US
“This extra glut in the market is not coming from the
Opec members, so therefore why should the Opec members have to cut their production?” ambassador Yousef alOtaiba said on Friday at a Bloomberg Government lunch
in Washington. “The Gulf is saying, �We’re willing to take
some difficulty for the benefit of the long-term health of
the energy supply and demand.’”
Oil prices have dropped to less than half their high last
year, as the boom in North American shale helped add
more than 5mn additional barrels of oil a day to global supply from non-Opec nations since 2011. In the same period,
the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has
kept its production steady at about 30mn bpd, according
to Opec п¬Ѓgures.
Al-Otaiba’s comments underscore the divide within
Opec between Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and
the UAE which say their priority is keeping their share of
the global market, versus a bloc led by Venezuela and Iran,
which are more dependent on oil revenue and are calling
for cuts in production so that prices will rise.
Oil slid to the lowest level in more than п¬Ѓve years on Friday, as analysts said a global supply glut will linger through
the п¬Ѓrst half of the year. Brent crude for February settlement decreased 19 cents to $50.96 a barrel on the Londonbased ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest close since
April 2009.
“I think we can live with this for a lot longer than people
expect,” al-Otaiba said. The UAE’s economy is healthy and
depends on oil for only one-quarter of its gross domestic
product, compared with states far more reliant on oil for
GDP and government funding, he said. The UAE holds
about 6% of the world’s oil reserves.
Qatargas hosted a ceremony at Map Ta Phut LNG receiving terminal recently
to mark the delivery of the first LNG cargo to Thailand under its long-term
sale and purchase agreement with PTT Public Company.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
QIB call centre wins �Best Customer Experience’ award
atar Islamic Bank’s (QIB) call centre has received
the “Best Customer Experience” award from Ethos
Integrated Solutions in a ceremony held at the Burj
Al Arab in Dubai, the bank said in a statement.
The award was part of the Customer Experience Benchmarking Index 2014, which culminated during the 10th
Annual Customer Experience Benchmarking Index for retail banks and exchange houses throughout the Gulf.
The Customer Experience Benchmarking Study for
banks provides the retail banking industry with a methodology of benchmarking their products and services against
the competition to drive continual improvement.
Over the years, the study has developed into a strategic
benchmarking tool and has enabled banks to “dramatically
improve” their service provision.
Researchers focus on real life scenarios of a prospective customer using the bank and exchange house services,
evaluating four key variables of service provision: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.
When assessing the call centre standards, Ethos measured the quality of answered calls, the standards of communication, and the knowledge and performance of the
centre’s staff.
It logged the response time in answering customer
calls, a question by question evaluation of the employees’
knowledge, and an overall comparison of how satisfied
customers were after their call experience.
QIB personal banking general manager D Anand said,
“Qatar’s banking industry is highly-competitive and a
great customer experience can dramatically improve customer loyalty as well as serve as a magnet for new customers.
“At Qatar Islamic Bank, we put a very high priority in offering a premium service to all our customers and our call
centre is at the very heart of the way we interact with them.
This award well reflects the concerted efforts QIB makes in
putting our customers as our absolute first priority.”
QIB’s award was part of the Customer Experience Benchmarking Index 2014, which culminated during the 10th Annual Customer Experience Benchmarking Index for retail banks and
exchange houses throughout the Gulf.
UAE п¬Ѓrm plans to build
�Little Manila’ outlets
across the Middle East
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
ubai-based Al Ahli Holding Group on January 8 revealed plans to open no less
than 20 Philippine-themed food
and beverage outlets called “Little Manila” across the Middle East
and beyond over the next п¬Ѓve years,
with the п¬Ѓrst outlet to be opened by
the end of the п¬Ѓrst quarter of 2015
in Dubai.
“Little Manila” outlets will consist of at least six branded Philippine restaurant and beverage stores
for which Al Ahli Holding Group has
signed franchise agreements for the
Middle East. The brands are Binalot,
a Filipino fast food chain known for
its banana-leaf wrapped dishes, JayJ’s, another Filipino restaurant chain
known for its special chicken meals,
Fruitas, a franchise chain that sells
tropical fruit shakes, Mochicreme,
a popular ice cream brand, Zagu, a
milk shake franchise, and Fiftea, a
franchise brand serving tea mixes.
Khammas, chief executive officer
of Al Ahli Holding Group, the “Little Manila” outlets should bring
“the best of Philippine brands” to
the Middle East and other selected
international markets and serve the
vast Filipino expat community in
the Gulf countries.
Khammas added that his com-
“Little Manila” outlets will consist of at least six branded Philippine restaurant and beverage stores for which Al
Ahli Holding Group has signed franchise agreements for the Middle East. The brands are Binalot, a Filipino fast
food chain known for its banana-leaf wrapped dishes, Jay-J’s, another Filipino restaurant chain known for its
special chicken meals, Fruitas, a franchise chain that sells tropical fruit shakes, Mochicreme, a popular ice cream
brand, Zagu, a milk shake franchise, and Fiftea, a franchise brand serving tea mixes.
pany also plans to invest directly
in the Philippines as he is “highly
bullish” on business prospects
there. The group has started talks
with the Bases Conversion and
Development Authority, a Philippine state-owned development
entity tasked with transforming
former US military bases in the
country into economic zones or
urban developments. The plans
include substantial investments in
Clark Green City, a 9,500-hectare
planned eco-city some 80km north
of Manila, as well as in Metro Manila. Al Ahli Holding Group would
be primarily interested in the sectors tourism, family entertainment,
as well as and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions
(MICE), Khammas said.
He indicated that the projects
would require “hundreds of millions of dollars” in investment as
they were “strategic, very longterm” developments and would
have “huge economic impact”. They
GIB launches Gulf’s first
online-only retail bank
ulf International Bank (GIB)
has launched the Middle
East’s first online-only consumer banking business, seeking
to diversify after almost collapsing
during the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis
and to tap into a young, tech-savvy
Until now, GIB has been solely a
wholesale bank - which provides
services to big companies and п¬Ѓnancial institutions. It needed a
bailout from the Saudi government
after suffering $757mn of losses in
2007 from investing in complex
GIB needed a bailout from
the Saudi government after
suffering $757mn of losses
in 2007 from investing in
complex debt instruments
linked to the US subprime
housing crisis
debt instruments linked to the US
subprime housing crisis.
Its ability to fund itself from
wholesale money markets was also
compromised as banks stopped
lending to each other, meaning it
had to scale back its operations.
Its assets roughly halved between
2007 and 2010, and remained nearly a third below 2007 levels at the
end of 2013, according to п¬Ѓnancial
Called “Meem” - the letter M
in Arabic - the new retail banking
platform will offer personal п¬Ѓnance
products and credit cards in Saudi
Arabia, the region’s largest economy.
Around two-thirds of the population are under 30, and the kingdom is the biggest user of YouTube
per capita in the world and among
the top 10 nations for Twitter use.
The new business will give Bahrain-based GIB - 97%-owned by
the Saudi government - a more stable funding base, GIB chief executive Yahya Alyahya said at a launch
“It will be a mitigant for the bank
against any potential п¬Ѓnancial crisis in the future so we will not face
the problems that we faced in 2008,
which took us to the point where
the bank could have defaulted,” he
told reporters. “Dealing with retail
is also profitable in itself, so that is
going to enhance our profitability.”
GIB aims to have around a 3%
share of the Saudi consumer banking market by 2020.
will also include “innovations” that
would put the Philippines into the
international limelight. As a start,
Al Ahli Holding Group will organise
Asia Pop Comic Con, an international comic and pop culture convention, later this year in Manila.
Al Ahli Holding Group, founded 1977, is a multibillion dollar,
with a highly diversified portfolio
of businesses and is known for its
innovative approach towards creating new business models and developing niche markets. The group
consists of around 30 companies
with core activities ranging from
real estate to construction, engineering and infrastructure, retail
and trading, technology and logistics, lifestyle and п¬Ѓtness, entertainment, hospitality and strategic
and innovative development. For
example, it has developed the п¬Ѓrst
outlet mall concept in the Middle
East (Dubai Outlet Mall and Outlet City); it has established one of
the largest plastic manufacturing
companies in the region, delivers
aluminium engineering and design
solutions, operates luxury serviced
residences in the UAE and a chain of
gyms throughout the Middle East.
It has also built Fujairah’s largest
shopping mall, runs a company for
creative IT solutions, designs entertainment theme parks and has
recently launched the world’s largest comic and pop-culture collectible store, Comicave.
Al Khaliji appoints
al-Asaad new
acting head of
personal banking
Al Khalij Commercial Bank (Al Khaliji) has
appointed Rana Ahmad al-Asaad (pictured) as
acting head of personal banking, the bank said
in a statement.
This step comes in line with the bank’s
Qatarisation strategy and commitment to the
Qatar National Vision 2030 and to increasing
the reliance on talented and qualified Qataris to
take leadership roles in the banking sector, the
statement added.
As new acting head, al-Assad will be directing
and managing Al Khaliji’s personal banking
business in line with the bank’s overall vision,
mission, and strategy.
Al Khaliji Group CEO Fahad al-Khalifa said, “Al
Khaliji aims to create a strongly-qualified and
professional Qatari workforce to support the
bank’s growth in the finance sector. We are
pleased to see a healthy balance between our
external recruitment strategy, which brings
fresh experience and internal human capital
development strategy, both of which will
contribute to the bank’s overall evolution.”
Al Khaliji focuses on developing and growing
Qatari nationals within the organisation and
has previously appointed a number of Qataris
in senior management positions with a strong
track record, the bank said.
Strengthening its Qatarisation programme, Al
Khaliji recently hosted an “Open Day” at the
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs with the
aim of reaching out to qualified nationals and
offering them excellent career opportunities in
the banking sector.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Iraq allowed to sue Kurds over oil in US
raq’s oil ministry can sue the
Kurdistan regional government for possession of 1mn
barrels of crude that have waited
in a tanker circling off the Texas
coast for more than п¬Ѓve months,
a US judge said.
US District Judge Gray Miller
in Houston rejected the Kurds’
claims of sovereign immunity
and said the regional government’s plans to sell its crude in
the US gave him authority to
hear the lawsuit.
Miller had previously ruled he
had no authority to hear Iraq’s
dispute because the alleged
misappropriation of the oil took
place in Kurdistan, outside the
jurisdiction of US courts. After
the Iraqis reworked their claim,
Miller agreed the Kurds’ involvement in the US oil market
triggered a legal exception that
properly placed the dispute over
the cargo in his court.
“The activity complained of
is the taking of Iraqi oil for sale,
there are specific allegations that
it has been sold in the US, and the
sale of oil in the US creates a direct effect in the US,” Miller said
in a ruling yesterday.
In December, the Iraqi central
government and the Kurdistan
regional government reached
a production-sharing accord
that let the Kurds export up to
550,000 bpd from northern Iraq,
with 250,000 barrels of that
amount placed under the control of the central government.
That accord in Baghdad didn’t
address ownership of Kurdish
shipments previously exported,
according to court papers, leaving unresolved the dispute over
the tanker off the Texas coast.
Miller said he wasn’t making
a п¬Ѓnal determination on ownership of the cargo. He also said he
won’t consider Iraq’s bid to seize
the oil or hold proceeds from
its sale under court supervision
“unless and until the cargo is
brought into US waters.” He said
Iraq could make its request when
that happens.
The two governments have
been sparring over the tanker
since late July, when Iraq persuaded a federal magistrate
judge in Houston to issue a warrant letting federal agents seize
the crude and store it ashore at
Iraqi expense if the ship entered
US territorial waters.
The tanker has been circling
a navigational buoy about 60
miles off Galveston, Texas, since
then and was still there as of
4.35am local time on Friday, according to Bloomberg tracking
The price of oil has fallen by
almost half during the time the
ship has waited offshore. The
Kurds had initially hoped to sell
the cargo for about $100mn.
Miller said he’ll apply Texas
state laws covering stolen property to the case, which will also
require him to interpret Iraq’s
constitution and related case
“The heart of this dispute is
to whom the text of the Iraqi
Constitution grants the right to
export oil, and whether the KRG
converted the oil here,” Miller
explained. “US courts regularly
interpret other countries’ laws,
including constitutions.”
Hal Watson, the Kurds’ Houston attorney, didn’t immediately respond to phone and e-mail
messages seeking comment on
the judge’s ruling. Jim Loftis, the
lead Houston lawyer for the Iraqi
Oil Ministry, declined to comment on the ruling beyond confirming that Miller has agreed to
let the lawsuit proceed for now.
The case is Ministry of Oil of
The Republic of Iraq v. 1,032,212
Barrels of Crude Oil, 3:14-00249,
US District Court, Southern District of Texas (Galveston).
The oil tanker SCF Byrranga, which was renamed the United Kalavryta (also known as United Kalavrvta)
in March 2014 and is currently off the coast of Texas with a cargo of Kurdish crude oil, is seen off the Isle
of Arran, Scotland in this handout photo taken February 21, 2014. US District Judge Gray Miller in Houston
has rejected the Kurds’ claims of sovereign immunity and said the regional government’s plans to sell its
crude in the US gave him authority to hear the lawsuit.
Iraqi oil
deal evokes
map in
State battle
inston Churchill understood the significance of
the black stuff seeping to the surface in the Kurdish plains of Mesopotamia when he included the
region within Iraq as the British forged the nation in the
In doing so, Churchill, the colonial secretary at the time,
set in train almost a century of bickering between the Iraqi
government and its Kurdish enclave over the area’s estimated 45bn barrels of crude.
While their latest dispute was temporarily resolved last
month to help п¬Ѓnance the struggle against Islamic State, the
accord has not addressed differences between administrations in Baghdad and Erbil that include the future of Kirkuk,
northern Iraq’s main oil hub. The Iraqi government started
pumping crude from Kirkuk via Kurdish pipes that bypass
militant-held territory to Turkey, Al-Mada Press reported
on January 1.
“The need to finance military operations has brought together the Iraqi government and the Kurds,” said Hussein
Allawi, a Baghdad-based oil analyst. “But this is a temporary agreement that does not resolve fundamental differences.”
Under the deal, the Kurdistan Regional Government will
share revenue from the 250,000 bpd that it had been unilaterally shipping from its territory to the Turkish port of
Ceyhan. Iraq says it intends to increase exports from Kirkuk,
which Kurdish Peshmerga forces are defendWhile the Iraqi central
ing from Islamic State
government is set to
attack, by 300,000 bpd
bank increased revenue,
during 2015. The central
its oil exports to Turkey
government in Baghdad
now depend on pipelines
has also resumed budget
traversing the Kurdish
payments to Kurdish
authorities, including a
one-time payment of $1bn to cover expenses of the Peshmerga.
While the Iraqi central government is set to bank increased revenue, its oil exports to Turkey now depend on
pipelines traversing the Kurdish region.
Should Baghdad try to withhold budget cash again “we
hold a key to their oil exports,” Nechirvan Barzani, the prime
minister of the KRG, said on December 3, according to his
government’s website. The agreement also gives the KRG’s
oil sales through its pipelines tacit approval by Baghdad.
The shift in the balance of power explains why the pact
may not last long.
“Independent oil sales from the KRG are not going to be
tolerated by Baghdad in the long term and eventually this
deal will collapse,” said Christian Sinclair, assistant director of Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of
The accord does not resolve long-standing points of friction between Baghdad and Erbil, that also include the KRG’s
ambitions for independence, Sinclair said.
That discord stretches back to Churchill’s deliberations
over how to divide lands the British had seized from the Ottoman empire during the First World War, juggling as he did
so the economic viability of newly created states and British
access to oil, according to published official correspondence
between him and the top UK diplomat in the region, Percy
Cox. He ultimately bowed to Cox’s argument that Kurdish
areas should be attached to Iraq, in part to ensure that its
oil would fall under British control and not that of the new
Turkish republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Iraq’s Kurdish population only emerged from under the
thumb of the central government in Baghdad in the 1990s,
when a US- backed no-fly zone allowed for the creation of a
semi-autonomous region and a trucked-oil trade with Turkey.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Why Opec is talking oil down,
not up, after 48% selloff in ’14
f there ever was doubt about the
strategy of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, its
wealthiest members are putting that
issue to rest.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia, the
UAE and Kuwait stressed a dozen times
in the past six weeks that the group
won’t curb output to halt the biggest
drop in crude since 2008. Qatar’s estimate for the global oversupply is among
the biggest of any producing country.
They actually want - and are achieving - further price declines as part of
an attempt to hasten cutbacks by US
shale drillers, according to Barclays and
Crude fell 48% last year and has
declined 35% since Opec affirmed its
output target on November 27. That
decision, while squeezing revenues for
Opec members in 2015, aims at preserving their market share for years to
“The faster you bring the price down,
the quicker you will have a response
from US production - that is the expectation and the hope,” said Jamie Webster, an analyst at consultants IHS Inc
in Washington. “I cannot recall a time
when several members were actively
pushing the price down in both word
and deed.”
US crude production totalled 9.13mn
bpd last week, up about 1mn barrels
from a year ago and 49,000 from the
Opec meeting in November. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in
underground shale rock have boosted
output by 66% over the past п¬Ѓve years.
Exports, still limited by law, reached a
record 502,000 bpd in November, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The four Middle East Opec members
are counting on combined reserve assets
estimated by the International Monetary Fund at $826.4bn to withstand the
plunge in prices. Petroleum represents
63% of their exports. At least 10 calls
and several e-mails to the oil ministries
of all four countries on January 7 and on
Friday weren’t answered.
The price decline will cost all 12 Opec
members a total of $257bn in lost revenue this year, according to the EIA.
Venezuela has a 93% chance of defaulting on its debt over the next п¬Ѓve years,
according to CMA, a data provider
owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc
President Nicolas Maduro said December 13 that “there is no possibility
of default” and on January 7 that the
country has “the capacity to obtain the
financing” it needs.
Opec won’t reverse course even if
oil prices fall as low as $20 a barrel or
non-Opec countries offer to help with
production cuts, Saudi Arabian Oil
Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in an interview with the Middle East Economic
Survey on December 21. The kingdom
may even bolster output if non-Opec
nations do so, he said. The global oversupply is 2mn bpd, or 6.7% of Opec
output, Qatar estimates.
Crude fell 48% last year and has declined 35% since Opec affirmed its output target on November 27. That decision, while squeezing revenues for Opec members in 2015,
aims at preserving their market share for years to come.
The group will stand by its decision
not to cut output even if prices fall and
wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting, UAE
Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei
said on December 14. He said clearing
the surplus may take years, Abu Dhabibased newspaper The National reported on January 6.
Opec has no plans to meet before
its next scheduled conference in June,
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair said
on December 16. Prices will recover in
the second half as oil producers with
the highest costs are compelled to scale
back operations, he said.
It wouldn’t be the first time US drill-
ers are caught up in an Opec battle for
market share. In 1986, Saudi Arabia
opened its taps and sparked a fourmonth, 67% plunge that left oil just
above $10 a barrel. The US industry
collapsed, triggering almost a quartercentury of production declines, and
Saudi regained their leading role in the
world’s oil market.
“It seems in their interest to have a
swift fall rather than a slow, grinding
fall,” Miswin Mahesh, an analyst at
Barclays in London, said by phone. “A
swift drop in prices would bring more
changes to non-Opec supply,” while a
more gradual decline would let companies in other oil nations “merge and
TransCanada sees
Keystone shipments
in ’17 if US moves fast
New York
ransCanada Corp chief executive officer
Russ Girling said a quick decision from
Washington would put the company’s
Keystone XL pipeline on track to begin carrying
oil as soon as 2017.
The six-year review for the $8bn line to bring
crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries could be over within two months after
the project cleared another legal hurdle yesterday, Girling told reporters in a briefing. A Nebraska high court ruling cleared the pipeline’s
route, leaving the project’s fate in the hands of
President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans advanced legislation to force
its approval.
“The issues in Nebraska should be behind us
and we would hope we could get on with an approval in a very short timeframe,” Girling said.
“Our customers continue to press us to get this
done as soon as possible.”
North American energy producers waiting
for Keystone XL have been using rail and other
pipelines to ship expanding crude supplies from
Canada and the Bakken Shale. Environmentalists
have attacked the project, making it the centerpiece of a crusade to slow the growth of oil-sands
projects. Mining the heavy, tar-like crude uses
a process that produces more greenhouse gases
than conventional production.
TransCanada rose 0.7% to close on Friday at
C$55.34 in Toronto, after earlier climbing as much
as 3.4%, the biggest intraday increase since December 17. Keystone XL accounts for 17% of the
company’s $46bn of planned project spending in
the next п¬Ѓve years.
While Keystone XL now makes up a smaller
part of TransCanada’s growth than when it was
proposed in 2008, it’s still needed to feed the
company’s planned 10% annual dividend increase over the next five years, said Steven Paget,
an analyst at FirstEnergy Capital Corp in Calgary.
“TransCanada has invested a considerable
amount of time and energy into the line,” Paget
The pipeline has become a proxy for debates
about global warming, jobs and energy security. Republicans who now control both houses
of Congress have vowed to make approval of the
pipeline one of their п¬Ѓrst pieces of legislation this
year, a move the Obama administration opposes.
The House on Friday approved a measure that
would force a presidential permit for Keystone
XL, albeit without the two- thirds vote margin
that would be necessary to override a presidential
veto. A Senate committee voted on Thursday to
advance a Keystone XL bill.
become more efficient.” Not all share
this view. UBS Group analysts said
that hastening a price slump isn’t a
practical strategy because oil demand
and supply respond too slowly to price
“I doubt that they target a lower
price,” Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst
at UBS in Zurich, said by e-mail on January 5. “Supply and demand are quite
inelastic in the short-term.”
Brent for February settlement decreased 85 cents, or 1.7%, to $50.11 a
barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It’s the lowest
close since April 28, 2009.
There are signs that Opec’s approach
is starting to work. Rigs targeting oil in
the US declined for the sixth time in
seven weeks, by 17 to 1,482 last week,
Baker Hughes Inc said on its website
on January 5. There will be a serious
decline in US shale oil investment in
2015, Fatih Birol, chief economist of the
International Energy Agency in Paris,
said on December 22.
“Some Opec countries, most specifically Gulf states, obviously think that
it’s best to get unpleasant things over
and done with,” Eugen Weinberg, head
of commodities research at Commerzbank AG, said by e-mail from Frankfurt. “The recent wordings showed
they are still firm about this strategy.”
Oil drillers’
despair gives
ship owners
for profit
The oil glut that wiped $1tn off
the value of energy producers
and roiled currencies is giving
tanker owners a reason to be
cheerful: Demand for their ships
to store that excess is about to
Oil traders could park as much
crude offshore in the next few
months as Denmark consumes
every year, according to estimates from JBC Energy GmbH
and BP data. The International
Energy Agency projects on-land
storage tanks in industrialised
countries may be full by June.
Oil collapsed by almost half
since the middle of last year as
members of the Organisation of
Petroleum Exporting Countries
maintained output amid a global excess estimated by Qatar
at 2mn barrels daily. The same
surplus has also helped widen a
price structure called contango,
where future costs are so far
above today’s that it rewards
traders to buy cargoes now and
sell them later.
“There’s bound to be broader
inventory builds,” Jonathan
Chappell, a shipping analyst in
New York for Evercore Partners
Inc, said by phone on January 6.
That “will probably lead to some
traders taking advantage of the
Brent crude oil for August traded at about $6 a barrel more
than contracts for February so
far this week, according to ICE
Futures Europe exchange data.
That’s around the level needed
to cover hiring a tanker and all
the associated costs, according
to JBC, an adviser to some oilproducing countries.
Between 30mn barrels and
60mn barrels will be stored on
tankers in the coming months,
JBC predicted on January 6.
Denmark consumed about
58mn barrels in 2013, according
to the most recent estimates
from BP.
“There’s a strong possibility
that we will see floating storage at some point this year,”
Svetlana Kourmpeti, a Londonbased senior market analyst
at EA Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd,
said by phone on January
5. “The contango is getting
When the market is in contango, a cargo can be bought
and placed in storage, with a
higher sale price locked in on
the futures market. In 2009,
100mn barrels of crude were
being held at sea, enough to
supply Europe for five days,
Frontline Ltd, a ship owner,
estimated at the time. BP’s
earnings were about $500mn
more than expected in the first
quarter of that year thanks to
the trade.
Oil price won’t create Iran budget problems: Zanganeh
An Iranian security jet boat passes along the cargo ships at the Anzali port in the city of Anzali in the Caspian Sea province of Gilan,
northern Iran (file). Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has said in remarks quoted yesterday by Iran’s Oil Ministry news service
that the country can cope with falling oil price because of its sovereign wealth fund, the National Development Fund.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Crude plunge
boosts US gas
imports to
7-year high
New York
A worker waits to connect a drill bit on Endeavor Energy Resources’ Big Dog Drilling Rig 22 in the Permian basin outside of Midland, Texas. The Permian Basin and New Mexico, the biggest US oil field,
lost the most rigs this week, sliding by 28 to 502, Baker Hughes data shows.
Shale drillers bail on US boom
as most rigs idled since 1991
San Francisco
fter six straight months of
plunging oil prices, US shale
drillers have sent the clearest
signal to date that they’re retreating.
Thirty-п¬Ѓve horizontal rigs, their
weapon of choice for reaching oil deposits in tight-rock formations such
as North Dakota’s Bakken shale and
Texas’s Permian Basin, were idled
last week alone. It was the biggest
single-week drop since a drilling
boom touched off six years ago that
propelled domestic production to
the highest level in three decades and
eventually helped trigger the global
price war that the US and Opec п¬Ѓnd
themselves in today.
The decline, the largest in a decade and the seventh in a row, threatens to halt US oil production growth
by slowing drilling in tight-oil plays
that make up virtually all of the nation’s new output. Bending to the
pressure of crude below $50 a bar-
rel, the country’s explorers idled the
most rigs last quarter since 2009.
“The message from the market,
that drillers need to start changing
their behaviour, has now been received by the big boys in the shale
plays,” Harold York, vice president
of integrated energy at consulting
company Wood Mackenzie Ltd, said
on Friday by telephone from New
York. “The tight-oil players have received the message, and they’re taking action.”
Horizontal rigs made up more
than half of this week’s decline in
the US oil count, which fell by 61
to 1,421, Baker Hughes said on its
website on Friday. The 61-rig drop
was the largest since February 1991,
which also followed a tumble in
prices before the start of the Arabian Gulf War.
“Unless oil prices recover, absolutely, this is the end of the drilling
boom,” James Williams, president of
energy consulting company WTRG
Economics in London, Arkansas,
said by telephone on Friday. “The
total rig count should hit 1,000 by
March or April, and oil production
growth should be flat or declining by
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery fell 43 cents to $48.36
a barrel on Friday on the New York
Mercantile Exchange, down 47%
in the past year and 55% from June.
Brent, the international benchmark,
dropped 85 cents to $50.11 on the
London-based ICE Futures Europe
While rigs are sliding, the US is
still on track to yield the most oil
this year in more than three decades.
Production averaged 9.13mn bpd in
the four weeks ended January 2 and
will increase to 9.5mn this year, York
“You won’t start seeing a slowdown in growth until the second half
of 2015, and it takes until 2016 before
you really start seeing the effect,” he
The Permian Basin of Texas and
New Mexico, the biggest US oil п¬Ѓeld,
lost the most rigs this week, slid-
ing by 28 to 502, Baker Hughes data
show. The Williston Basin, home
of North Dakota’s prolific Bakken
shale formation, lost eight rigs, and
Texas’s Eagle Ford play dropped by
three to 197.
As oil drilling slowed, the number
of rigs seeking natural gas gained by
one to 329. Gas-directed rigs now
make up 18.8% of the total count, the
highest share since March.
At least three contract drillers, Helmerich & Payne, Pioneer
Energy Services Corp and Ensign
Energy Services, have had clients
terminate rig contracts early. Ensign, based in Calgary, told California regulators last month that
it was dismissing as many as 700
workers after an “early and unexpected termination” of drilling
Barclays said in a report on Friday
that North America’s energy producers will cut capital spending by as
much as 30% this year if oil remains
near $50 a barrel. US production
is at risk of falling at a price under
$60, Evercore ISI analysts including
James West in New York said in an
outlook Jan. 6.
“Lower commodity prices put
marginal barrels at risk, even superior risk-adjusted US shale oil,” West
The Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries, responsible
for 40% of the world’s oil supply,
has meanwhile resisted calls to cut
output since deciding in November to maintain a collective target.
UAE won’t curb production, no
matter how low prices fall, Yousef
al-Otaiba, the nation’s ambassador
to the US, said at a Bloomberg Government lunch in Washington on
“Saudi Arabia and their allies has
been very clear about not giving up
market share,” RT Dukes, an upstream analyst at Wood Mackenzie,
said by telephone from Houston.
“It’s making development in the US
and other places sub-economic.
There’s not much in the world that
looks good at $50 oil.”
The plunge in global crude oil prices has
helped boost US natural gas imports to the
most in at least seven years, even as the country prepares to start exporting cargoes.
Deliveries to onshore pipelines from liquefied
natural gas terminals in Massachusetts and
Maryland on January 8 were the most in data
going back to December 2007, according to
Ventyx data compiled by Bloomberg. Volumes
in January are more than six times higher than
a year ago, when the polar vortex spurred
record consumption.
Crude oil, used as a benchmark for LNG around
the world, fell by almost 50% last year, making
imports competitive in the eastern US, where a
lack of adequate pipeline capacity keeps local
prices high. LNG was driven from US shores
in the middle of the past decade as surging
output from shale formations sent natural gas
prices tumbling.
“This has caught a lot of market participants,
including us, by surprise,” Rick Margolin, senior
analyst at Genscape Inc in Boulder, Colorado,
said on January 7 by telephone. “If you are an
LNG supplier looking at the futures market for
this winter, the best price you were seeing was
in the US relative to Japan and Europe. You
need a rebound in oil prices to revert back to
the trend.”
US LNG imports plunged 80% from 2007 to
2013, according to Poten & Partners, a global
energy broker. Cheniere Energy, the developer
of the first US LNG export terminal in decades,
expects to begin overseas shipments later this
Northeast Asia spot LNG is going for about $10
per million British thermal units while the price
in Europe “has fallen quickly” to about $6.80,
Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas, coal and
carbon analysis at Energy Aspects Ltd in London, said in an e-mail on Friday. It costs about
40 cents per million Btu to ship LNG from
Trinidad to New England, 80 cents to Europe
and $2.80 to Japan, he said.
Spot gas at Algonquin City Gates, which includes delivery to Boston, reached $15 per million Btu on January 6 on the Intercontinental
Exchange. Prices settled at $9.81 on Friday.
Northeast gas is trading at a premium to the
rest of the US as limited pipeline capacity keep
it from taking advantage of record shale-gas
production from the Marcellus fields in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“New England sees higher prices, especially
during peak demand times, not because of
lack of supply nearby but the lack of ability to
get that supply to market,” Phil West, a spokesman for Spectra Energy Corp, which owns the
Algonquin pipeline system, said by phone from
Houston on Friday. “We have planned expansions to help relieve that strain.”
GDF Suez Gas NA was unloading an LNG
tanker at its Everett terminal in Massachusetts
on Friday, the third since late October, “to help
meet the cold-weather demand,” Julie Vitek,
a spokeswoman for the company in Houston,
said in an e-mail. To supplement scheduled
ship deliveries, which each hold about 3bn
cubic feet of gas, GDF contracted another 1
bcf of LNG to be delivered by truck this winter
from Montreal, Vitek said.
Dominion Resources Inc’s Cove Point terminal
in Maryland delivered 3.4mn dekatherms on
January 6 to January 9, according to Ventyx,
which is owned by the Swiss power transmission equipment maker ABB Ltd Last January,
volumes totalled 1.1mn.
Iran, Venezuela vow to �neutralise’ oil price problem
ran’s President Hassan Rouhani,
flanked by Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, vowed
yesterday to “neutralise” the threat
posed to both countries by plummeting oil prices.
Opec members Iran and Venezuela are reeling from a slide in the
cost of crude to around $50 per barrel from $100 just six months ago,
a precipitous fall that is straining
their budgets.
Losses accelerated after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting
Countries group, of which Iran and
Venezuela are founders, chose late
last year not to cut output despite
lower prices and oversupply.
Rouhani, his oil minister and other top officials in Tehran have criticised fellow Opec member Saudi
Arabia for not supporting steps to
support higher crude prices.
Rouhani was meeting with Maduro when he again appeared to
point the finger at Riyadh, in remarks carried on the Iranian government’s website.
Maduro arrived in Tehran late
Friday, accompanied by his ministers for oil, foreign affairs, п¬Ѓnance
and industry, plus Venezuela’s
Central Bank chief, on what Iranian
state media said would be a 24-hour
According to the official remarks,
Maduro echoed Rouhani, “calling
for the cooperation of oil exporting
countries to bring back stability.”
Iran’s present budget was based
on an oil price of $100, leaving a
big shortfall in recent months. In
December, Tehran unveiled a draft
budget for next year based predicated on $70 per barrel.
Iran and Venezuela pledged to
reach agreements during Maduro’s
trip that would “expand trade and
investment, export of technical and
engineering services and collaboration in pharmaceuticals.”
“Venezuela can be a suitable base
for the export of Iran’s goods and
services to Latin American countries,” said Rouhani, who is seeking
to reduce Iran’s reliance on oil sales
by boosting non-oil exports.
Venezuela has the world’s largest
proven oil reserves but its economy
- 96% of the government’s foreign
currency comes from crude — has
been gutted by inflation and basic
goods shortages.
In late December, recession-hit
Venezuela reported that inflation
for the 12 months to November
topped 63%—one of the highest
rates in the world.
Maduro travelled to China this
week in search of investment and
said he secured $20bn.
“Iran can cooperate to remove
Venezuela’s needs in housing, road
construction, food products and
medicine,” Rouhani added yesterday.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro (right) review a guard of honour during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in
Tehran yesterday. Opec members Iran and Venezuela are reeling from a slide in the cost of crude to around $50 per barrel from $100 just six months ago, a precipitous fall
that is straining their budgets.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
he Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE)
Index gained by 19.74 points, or
0.16%, during the week, to close
at 12,305.52. Market capitalisation rose
by 0.1% to reach QR677.4bn compared
to QR676.8bn at the end of the previous week. Of the 43 listed companies, 25 companies ended the week
higher, while 16 fell and 2 remained
unchanged. Medicare Group (MCGS)
was the best performing stock for the
week, with a gain of 6.84% on 0.2mn
shares traded. On the other hand,
Qatar Cinema & Film Distribution Co
(QCFS) was the worst performing
stock with a decline of 8.86% on only
30 shares traded.
Industries Qatar (IQCD) and Qatar
Islamic Bank (QIBK) were the biggest contributors to the weekly index
gain. IQCD contributed 79.6 points to
the index’s weekly gain of 19.7 points.
QIBK contributed 18.3 points to the
weekly index gain. On the other hand,
Ooredoo (ORDS) and Qatar Insurance
(QATI) negatively contributed toward
the QSE index.
Trading value during the week decreased by 27.3% to reach QR2.5bn vs
QR3.4bn in the prior week. The real estate sector led the trading value during
the week, accounting for 28.4% of the
total equity trading value. The banks
and financial services sector was the
second biggest contributor to the
overall trading value, accounting for
27.9% of the total trading value. Barwa
Real Estate Company (BRES) was the
top value traded stock during the week
with total traded value of QR495.4mn.
Trading volume decreased by 35.7%
to reach 58.1mn shares vs 90.3mn
shares in the prior week. The number
of transactions fell by 9.0% to reach
35,422 versus 38,926 in the prior week.
The real estate sector led the trading
volume, accounting for 42.4%, followed by the industrials sector, which
accounted for 21.8% of the overall
trading volume. BRES was also the top
volume traded stock during the week
with total traded volume of 12.1mn
Foreign institutions remained sellers during the week with net selling of QR212.3mn vs net selling of
QR102.9mn in the prior week. Qatari
institutions remained bullish with net
buying of QR320.3mn vs net buying
of QR117.3mn the week before. Foreign
retail investors turned bullish for the
week with net buying of QR6.0mn vs
net selling of QR25.4mn in the prior
week. Qatari retail investors turned
bearish with net selling of QR113.7mn
vs. net buying of QR11.0mn the week
QNBFS Research expects Q4 2014
earnings for Qatari stocks under coverage to grow by 11.8% YoY but decline
by 6.6% QoQ. It expects a mixed bag
in terms of performance with several
companies expected to exhibit bottom-line volatility in the fourth quarter
of 2014. For more details, please refer
to the report published on January 8.
QSE Index and Volume
Weekly Market Report
Source: Qatar Exchange (QE)
Weekly Index Performance
Source: Qatar Exchange (QE)
Source: Bloomberg
Source: Qatar Exchange (QE)
This report expresses the views and opinions of Qatar National Bank Financial Services SPC (“QNBFS”)
at a given time only. It is not an offer, promotion or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other
investments, nor is it intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. We therefore strongly
advise potential investors to seek independent professional advice before making any investment decision.
Although the information in this report has been obtained from sources that QNBFS believes to be reliable,
we have not independently verified such information and it may not be accurate or complete. Gulf Times and
QNBFS hereby disclaim any responsibility or any direct or indirect claim resulting from using this report.
Qatar Stock Exchange
Top Five Gainers
Top Five Decliners
Most Active Shares by Value (QR Million)
Most Active Shares by Volume (Million)
Investor Trading Percentage to Total Value Traded
Net Traded Value by Nationality (QR Million)
Source: Bloomberg
Technical analysis of the QSE index
he QSE Index started the year
on a weaker note, losing 0.16%
from the week before. The Index experienced a sharp fall at the
start of the week (lost 5.6%) then recovered, creating a long legged Doji
candlestick. This type of candlestick
indicates indecision among market
participants. However, the index is
still in a general, long-term uptrend.
Volumes were weak throughout the
week and the technical indicators exhibited neutral-to-bearish signs due
to the non-directional movement of
the index. On the weekly frame, the
Index is looking at an immediate resistance at 12,800 while the support
is situated at 11,600.
Definitions of key terms
used in technical analysis
andlestick chart – A candlestick
chart is a price chart that displays the high, low, open, and
close for a security. The �body’ of the
chart is portion between the open and
close price, while the high and low intraday movements form the �shadow’.
The candlestick may represent any
time frame. We use a one-day candle-
stick chart (every candlestick represents one trading day) in our analysis.
Doji candlestick pattern – A Doji candlestick is formed when a security’s
open and close are practically equal.
The pattern indicates indecisiveness,
and based on preceding price actions
and future confirmation, may indicate
a bullish or bearish trend reversal.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
BA owner
IAG’s 2nd Aer
Lingus offer
UK manufacturing output
rises; trade gap narrows
K manufacturing output rose
the most in seven months in
November, as total industrial
production suffered an unexpected decline due to maintenance at some North
Sea oil п¬Ѓelds.
Factory production increased 0.7%
from October, exceeding the 0.3%
median forecast of economists in a
Bloomberg News survey, according to
data published on Friday. Industrial
output fell 0.1%, with oil and gas extraction dropping 5.5%, the most since
The Bank of England left its key interest rate at a record- low 0.5% on Friday as a weakening euro area holds back
UK economic growth and impedes rebalancing. Separate data today from the
Office for National Statistics showed
goods exports fell 0.4% in November,
led by Europe.
Oil also played a big part in the
trade report and helped to narrow the
goods-trade gap to ВЈ8.8bn, the least
since March. Imports plunged 3.2%, as
oil imports dropped 18.7% to the lowest since October 2010. The total trade
deficit of goods and services narrowed
to the least since June 2013.
There are “encouraging signs that
the UK’s recovery still had some momentum towards the end of 2014,”
said Maeve Johnston, an economist
at Capital Economics in London.
“The improvement in the trade deficit should not be a flash in the pan
and the manufacturing sector should
benefit greatly from lower costs. As
things stand, then, 2015 should be a
better year for manufacturers and exporters.”
The pound stayed higher against
the dollar after the data were released,
trading at $1.5131 as of 9:59 a.m. Lon-
UK’s November factory production increased 0.7% from October, exceeding the 0.3% median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
don time, up 0.3% on Friday. In the
three months through November, the
trade deficit with Germany widened to
a record, reflecting a decline in exports.
In the same period, exports to the EU
fell 0.3%, while exports to countries
outside the bloc surged 6%.
Work at North Sea fields including
Huntington led to the drop in oil and
gas extraction in November, accord-
ing to the ONS. From a year earlier,
industrial production rose 1.1%.
The increase in manufacturing production on the month was due to the
“other manufacturing” category, which
includes ships, as well as basic metals.
In the three months through November, manufacturing output rose 0.4%.
From a year earlier, it was up 2.7% in
ritish Airways owner IAG
SA said it lifted its bid for
Aer Lingus Group Plc at
the end of last month and was
rebuffed again by the Irish carrier’s board.
The adjusted proposal, made
on December 29, was a cash offer worth €2.40 ($2.84) a share,
10 cents more than the п¬Ѓrst two
weeks earlier, London-based IAG
said in a statement on Friday.
The latest approach values
Aer Lingus at €1.28bn.
Buying the Irish carrier would
help swell IAG’s bank of scarce
take-off and landing positions at
London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, where British Airways is
the No. 1 carrier. The company,
which acquired the former British Midland to gain slots, would
need to broker a deal with 30%
shareholder Ryanair Holdings
Plc, which saw its own takeover
bids for Aer Lingus blocked. IAG
would also need to come to terms
with the Irish government, which
controls 25%.
“There can be no certainty
that any further proposal or offer
will be forthcoming,” said IAG,
as International Consolidated
Airlines Group SA is known. “A
further statement will be made
if and when appropriate.” Aer
Lingus closed up 10% at 2.50
euros in Dublin today - 10 cents
above the offer price. The stock
has risen 37% since December 17,
the day before the п¬Ѓrst proposal
became public, giving the airline
a market value of €1.34bn.
Other interested buyers might
include Gulf carrier Etihad Airways, which owns 4% of Aer
Lingus, and Virgin Atlantic Airways in combination with Delta
Air Lines, Goodbody analysts
said in December.
Quant funds make a
comeback in Europe
Paris is famous as the home
of philosophers, scientists
and mathematicians. Today,
thousands of students
traipse through the city’s
Left Bank on their way to
classes at the Universite
Pierre et Marie Curie and the
Ecole Normale Superieure.
Those schools are one
reason Capital Fund
Management has its offices
there, in a modernised
17th-century building. CFM,
a quantitative hedge-fund
firm, has always plucked
its staff from the ranks of
the local schools’ math
and physics departments,
Bloomberg Markets
magazine will report in its
February issue.
“This helped establish and
reinforce the academic
and research-driven
culture which is the DNA
of the firm,” says JeanPhilippe Bouchaud, CFM’s
chairman. “At the same
time, it reinforces its French
CFM’s algorithms had a
banner 2014. The firm’s
flagship Stratus fund
boasted a total return of
17.7% for the year through
October, making it the
large hedge fund in
Europe, according to the
Bloomberg Markets annual
Stratus was one of many
quant funds that made a
comeback in 2014. AHL
Diversified, part of Londonbased hedge-fund firm
Man Group Plc, was the
best-performing fund in
Europe with assets of $1bn
or more. The $4.4bn fund
relies on algorithms to trade
interest rates, bonds, stocks,
currencies, commodities
and credit. It rang up a 21%
return from the start of the
year through October after
three years of annual losses.
There are seven quantitative
funds in the top 25 of
the ranking, four of them
operated by Man Group’s
family of quantitative
funds, AHL Partners. AHL
Diversified’s investors
profited from the rise in the
value of the US dollar, from
weakness in grain and oil
prices and from a rally in
bond markets, according to
a person familiar with the
fund’s performance.
Publicly listed Man Group’s
stock rose 74.6% in 2014
as of Dec. 5. Although the
family of AHL funds made
up only 20 percent of
Man’s total assets under
management in the six
months ended on June
30, it took in 70% of the
company’s performance
From 2010 through 2013,
many hedge funds that
rely on computer-driven
trading posted minuscule
returns or losses, which
the funds blamed on the
massive central bank
bond purchases known as
quantitative easing.
The period also saw
commodities, stocks and
bonds moving in sync amid
historically low volatility,
says Carol Alexander, a
professor of finance at
England’s University of
Sussex. Such conditions
can confound quant trading
models, which often follow
the up or down momentum
of particular securities.
The return of volatility
in many markets since
August has been a boon for
quants, who outperformed
fundamental stock pickers
throughout the autumn,
says Peter Laurelli, the head
of research at eVestment
LLC, a Marietta, Georgia–
based firm that provides
data on investments to
institutional investors.
For many European
institutions, quant funds
are still a tough sell,
says Jerome Lussan, the
Frenchman who founded
and runs Laven Partners, a
London-based hedge-fund
consulting firm.
“It’s very difficult to
appreciate the black-box
element,” he says. “To carry
out due diligence on those
sorts of firms, you have
to understand how the
software is being made to
evolve and how robustly it is
being tested.”
And it hasn’t helped that
quants’ performance has
been poor in recent years.
Fitch Ratings said it expects the Russian economy to contract by 4% this year, compared with its previous forecast of minus 1.5%, based on the slight growth seen in 2014.
Fitch cuts ratings on Russia to junk
Dow Jones
itch Ratings cut its credit ratings on
Russia to the brink of junk territory,
saying the country’s economic outlook has deteriorated significantly over the
past six months amid sharp declines in oil
prices and the ruble.
The downgrade brings Fitch’s ratings on
Russia in line with those from Standard &
Poor’s Ratings Services.
Fitch, which lowered its ratings by one
notch to triple-B-minus, said the Western sanctions п¬Ѓrst imposed in March 2014
continue to weigh on the economy by
blocking Russian banks’ access to external
capital markets.
The ratings outlook is negative as the
ratings п¬Ѓrm said it expects the Russian
economy to contract by 4% this year,
compared with its previous forecast of minus 1.5%, based on the slight growth seen
in 2014.
Fitch said continued exchange-rate
volatility, sustained low oil prices and a
faster-than-expected depletion of international reserves, among other things,
could lead to further ratings cuts.
Analysts and investors said the downgrade was mostly priced in the market and
it is unlikely to stem a significant selloff in
Russian assets, which remain classified as
investment grade.
But a similar downgrade by another
agency, which would lead to the reclassification of Russia as junk, would have a far
bolder impact, analysts said. This could be
not far off.
Late last month, S&P said it was reviewing Russia’s credit rating, with at least a
50% chance that it would lower the rating
within the next 90 days.
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded
Russia’s debt to Baa 2-two notches above
junk-in October, placing it under “negative outlook” status.
“The country was put under negative
watch [by S&P] two weeks ago, hinting a
likely downgrade in the next few weeks.
A downgrade from Moody’s may come
pretty much at the same time: statistically,
nearly 60% of the rating actions are taken
within the three to nine months after being placed under negative outlook status,”
said RГ©gis Chatellier, a credit analyst at
SociГ©tГ© GГ©nГ©rale.
The bank is advising clients to remain
underweight Russia.
A rush of cuts below investment grade
would see Russia taken out of most investment grade indexes, leading to a significant portfolio rebalancing.
“Although there are significant cushions that underpin Russia’s credit metrics,
recent events have increased the risks of
their accelerated erosion. If Russia lost its
investment grade status, which would require two credit-rating п¬Ѓrms moving the
country to speculative grade, it would be
excluded from global investment grade
benchmark indices,” Barclays said in a
note Thursday.
Russian assets, which sold off sharply in
December as the country faced its worst
п¬Ѓnancial crisis since 1998, had already
partly priced the risk of a downgrade by
the agency, according to market analysts.
The ruble was trading around 61.64
against the dollar earlier Friday, far from
the record lows hit in mid-December amid
plunging oil prices and Western sanctions
over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
The cost of insuring Russia’s debt
against a default of the country rose
sharply in the п¬Ѓrst week of the year as oil
prices continued to fall, with the cost of
ensuring 10mn of Russian debt for 5 years
rising to more than 600,000. The pressure
has partly eased in the п¬Ѓrst days of January, with the cost at around 566,000 a year
on Friday.
In separate moves Friday, Fitch affirmed
its ratings on the Netherlands, Serbia, San
Marino and Cote d’Ivoire. Its ratings on
the Netherlands are at triple-A, while San
Marino has investment-grade-ratings and
Serbia and Cote d’Ivoire are in junk territory.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
ECB to study models for
buying €500bn bonds
shrink by
$9bn in 3
New York
revan Howard Asset Management shed a quarter of
its assets in three months
after the hedge-fund п¬Ѓrm posted
its п¬Ѓrst losing year and an affiliated manager took control of two
investment pools, according to a
person with knowledge of the
Brevan, one of Europe’s biggest hedge-fund firms, now
manages $27bn, the person said,
requesting anonymity because
the fund’s returns are private.
The Jersey, Channel Islandsbased п¬Ѓrm managed $36bn at
the end of September, people
with knowledge of the situation
said at the time.
This week, $5bn in client assets at two funds moved from
Brevan to DW Partners, a New
York-based п¬Ѓrm that focuses
on credit strategies, a transition
that was announced in October.
A spokesman for Brevan declined to comment.
Brevan and one of its nearest European rivals, BlueCrest
Capital Management, have seen
their macro funds under-perform other funds running a similar strategy. Global macro hedge
funds returned 6.4% on average
last year, according to data from
Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research.
The weaker returns from
those funds also contrast with
strong performance by managed
futures or quant hedge funds,
which use computer models to
form trades. Seven of the top
performing 25 funds in the п¬Ѓrst
10 months of 2014 ran quantitative strategies, according to
Bloomberg Markets magazine.
Last year’s loss was Brevan’s
п¬Ѓrst since the п¬Ѓrm was cofounded more than a decade
ago by billionaire Alan Howard.
Losses have also forced Brevan to
close funds focused on emerging
markets and commodities in recent months.
The Brevan Howard Master
Fund, which bets on macro-economic trends and accounts for
most of the firm’s assets, fell 0.8
percent for 2014 after slipping
0.15% in December, a person
with knowledge of the performance said this week.
DW, which had run the two
credit funds on Brevan’s behalf,
is run by David Warren, a former
head of structured credit at
Morgan Stanley. Warren said in a
January 5 statement that his п¬Ѓrm
was grateful for Howard’s support and that the firms’ relationship will continue.
The Financial Times reported
last year that the London Pension Fund Authority had asked
to withdraw its investment in
Brevan’s hedge funds. Swiss
Re AG is looking to sell its 15%
stake in the п¬Ѓrm, a person with
knowledge of the matter said
this week.
uropean Central Bank staff presented policymakers with models for buying as much as
€500bn ($591bn) of investment-grade assets, according to a person who attended a meeting of the Governing Council.
Various quantitative-easing options focused
on government bonds were shown to governors
on January 7 in Frankfurt, including buying only
AAA-rated debt or bonds rated at least BBB minus,
the euro-area central bank official said. Governors
took no decision on the design or implementation
of any package after the presentation, according to
the person and another official who attended the
meeting. The people asked not to be identified because the talks were private.
A €500bn purchase programme would take the
ECB halfway toward its goal of boosting its balance sheet to avert a deflationary spiral in the euro
area. The institution is also buying asset-backed
securities and covered bonds, and government
bond-buying would be part of fresh stimulus to be
considered at the Governing Council’s January 22
An ECB spokesman declined to comment on
policy makers’ proceedings.
“The best package is an open-ended package, a
clear statement of intent to keep buying until bold
objectives have been met,” said Richard Barwell,
an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
“If they have to compromise to reach a consensus
then its best that those compromises don’t constrain the ultimate size of purchases.”
Governing Council member Ardo Hansson said
in an interview with Bloomberg News that the
ECB should slow its rush toward fresh stimulus.
Current measures haven’t had time to work and
challenges including Greece’s political crisis make
buying government bonds difficult, he said.
“You shouldn’t become overactive every few
months when you don’t see the full effects” of
previous measures, Hansson said in Frankfurt on
Friday. “I’d personally find announcing a bondbuying programme including Greek government
bonds in January problematic.”
Greek bonds are currently rated junk at all three
major rating companies. Elections on January 25
could bring to power a party that wants to restructure the nation’s debt.
Exceptions for government debt rated below investment grade didn’t feature in the ECB staff presentation, though the treatment of such securities in
A logo of the European currency stands in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The ECB staff presented policymakers with
models for buying as much as €500bn of investment-grade assets, according to a source.
previous programmes was mentioned, one person
said. The central bank currently grants Greek and
Cypriot government bonds a waiver in its operations as long as the countries stay in a program that
ensures their reform efforts stay on track.
“The idea of focusing on investment-grade
assets is clever as it avoids the Greek issue,
which could allow them to announce the full
details of the program in January,” said Nick
Kounis, head of macro research at ABN Amro
Bank NV in Amsterdam. “Eventually the ECB
will need to do more.”
Executive Board member Benoit Coeure has
signalled the ECB won’t let Greece delay any decision on QE. Euro-area consumer prices fell on an
annual basis last month for the п¬Ѓrst time in more
than п¬Ѓve years and ECB President Mario Draghi
has warned that the deflationary risks may demand a response.
The ECB intends to expand its balance sheet
toward €3tn, from €2.2tn now. Banks must repay
more than €200bn in loans early this year.
While Hansson said any purchase program
should focus on corporate bonds, the people at
the staff presentation said the seminar centered
on government debt. Programme sizes below
€500bn were also considered, along with monthly
targets, one of the officials said.Governors were
asked to not give their opinions on the options,
both people said. Hansson’s scepticism is in line
with opposition by a minority of officials including Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who
has argued that sovereign-debt purchases involve
unwarranted risks and undermine the incentive of
governments to make economic reforms.
The п¬Ѓnal decision on QE will also be complicated by a European Court of Justice opinion on
a previous government-bond purchase program
due on January 14.
Box expects to raise up to $186.9mn in IPO
Dow Jones
New York
fter months of delays, the initial public offering for online storage company Box Inc is
п¬Ѓnally a go.
Box said on Friday that it plans to register as
many as 14.4mn shares, expected to price between
$11 and $13 a share, and expects to raise as much
as $186.9mn. It began its road show pitching the
stock to investors, putting it on track to have its
shares trading by the end of January.
The company plans to list on the New York
Stock Exchange under the symbol “BOX.”
The IPO would value Box at more than $1.5bn.
The company said in its п¬Ѓling that it expects to receive about $134.3mn in net proceeds that it plans
to use for general purposes.
Bankers typically set a low bar for the initial
proposed IPO stock price range, and raise the value
as they get a better sense of investor demand.
Box п¬Ѓled for an IPO in March and later delayed
its plans amid weakening demand for businesssoftware stocks and skepticism stemming from
the company’s high rate of spending on sales and
As it prepares to go public, the Palo Alto, Calif.,
company will seek to show investors it has reined
in costs without sacrificing too much growth.
Box spent 97 cents on sales and marketing for
each dollar of revenue it made in the three months
ended October 31, down from a ratio of $1.38 to
every dollar of revenue when it п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓled for an
IPO in March of last year. The company’s loss
narrowed to $45.4mn in the latest quarter from
$51.4mn a year earlier.
Box’s slowing growth could weigh on the price
investors are willing to pay. Revenue rose 70% to
$57mn in the most recent period, after growing
81% in the quarter ended July 31 and more than
doubling in the year ended January 31.
Chief Executive Aaron Levie also will need to
convince investors his company is selling more
than just online storage, a market where prices
have plummeted because of increasing competition from tech giants like Google Inc and Microsoft Corp Box has developed features to let workers collaborate better and has begun tailoring the
service to professionals in different industries,
such as media and medicine.
Investor enthusiasm for cloud-software companies remains muted. An index of public cloudcomputing stocks, which includes companies
such as Inc and Workday Inc and
is tracked by Bessemer Venture Partners, fell more
than 5% from a peak in February to mid-November.
At the high end of the initial IPO stock price
range, Box would have a valuation of about $1.7bn,
including employee stock options and other outstanding equity.
That was below the $2.4bn valuation TPG and
hedge fund Coatue Management placed on the
company in a round of funding last July. In that п¬Ѓnancing, Box agreed it would be required to issue
more shares to TPG in the event it sells IPO shares
at a lower price than expected.
Box has raised a total of $543mn from a wide
pool of investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher
Jurvetson, General Atlantic, Salesforce and SAP
Ventures. Draper Fisher Jurvetson owns the largest stake in Box, with a 21.2% ownership after the
offering that would be worth about $276mn at the
mid-point of the price range. Levie owns 4% of
the company, worth about $49mn at that price.
Tech IPOs have done better recently. Last
month, big-data п¬Ѓrm Hortonworks Inc and New
Relic Inc, which were both valued at more than
$1bn, surged in their public trading debuts, likely
a relief for the bankers and venture-capital п¬Ѓrms
that previously invested in the startups at hefty
Oil prices tumble on oversupply, weak global demand
Oil prices tumbled this week,
hampered by oversupplies and weak
global demand despite a pick-up for
the US economy, traders said.
On Friday official data showed the
US unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in
December, the lowest level in six and
a half years, as the country capped
its best year for job creation since
OIL: Crude hit a new 5.5-year low
point. Brent North Sea crude dropped
to $48.90 a barrel on Friday and
the New York price hit $46.85 on
Wednesday – the lowest levels since
late April 2009. “The move below $50
shows how momentum is everything
here,” CMC Markets analyst Michael
Hewson told AFP.
“With no sign that Opec will do
anything about overproduction, it
seems likely that we could well see
further declines towards $40 in the
coming weeks – particularly given that
demand shows no signs of picking up.”
A decision last month by the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting
Countries, which supplies about a
third of the world’s oil, to leave output
unchanged despite the price plunge
has rattled the market in recent weeks.
“There is still no indication that US
shale production will be reduced or
that there will be a sudden surge in
global demand for oil,” said Shailaja
Nair at energy information provider
Rising US and Canadian oil production
has contributed to ample global
supplies at a time of slowing growth
in China, the world’s largest energy
consumer, and other emerging-market
economies, a recession in Japan and a
near-stall in the 19-nation eurozone.
Oil has lost more than half its value
since June, while analysts say lower
prices will be a boost to oil-importing
countries worldwide.
Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief
economist at international consultancy
IHS, said oil importing industrial
nations in Asia will likely be the biggest
winners from cheaper crude.
“The slump in world oil prices
represents an estimated transfer
of around $1.5tn from global oil
producing countries to oil importing
countries,” he said.
By Friday on London’s Intercontinental
Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for
delivery in February tumbled to $49.67
a barrel from $57.02 the previous
On the New York Mercantile Exchange,
West Texas Intermediate or light sweet
crude for February slumped to $47.96
a barrel from $53.49.
GOLD: Gold won support from its
status as an economic haven amid
concerns for the eurozone.
Falling industrial output and exports
suggest Germany’s current economic
weakness is not over yet, while
concerns persist regarding Greece’s
future role in the single currency bloc.
Germany has made preparations for
the possibility of Greece leaving the
eurozone, including any run on Greek
banks, a German newspaper reported
on Wednesday.
Bild newspaper said the chancellery in
Berlin had run through scenarios in the
event of a victory in Greece’s January
25 snap election by the radical leftist
Syriza party.
The party has pledged to reverse
reforms imposed by Greece’s
international creditors and renegotiate
its bailout deal.
By Friday on the London Bullion
Market, the price of gold rose to
$1,217.75 an ounce from $1,172 a week
SILVER: Silver climbed to $16.24 an
ounce from $15.71. On the London
Platinum and Palladium Market,
platinum grew to $1,225 an ounce from
$1,193. Palladium edged up to $795 an
ounce from $791.
BASE METALS: Base or industrial
metals mostly slid, hit by a stronger
dollar and more poorly-received
Chinese data. Copper was additionally
hit by high stockpiles, analysts said.
Sliding oil prices weighed on
aluminium, with higher production
of the metal forecast owing to the
cheaper cost of crude.
“As the most energy intensive metal
to produce, aluminium is particularly
sensitive to the fall in oil and coal
prices,” said Unicredit in a note to
Chinese inflation meanwhile
rebounded marginally in December,
the government said on Friday, but
economists warned of deflationary
threats and called for more monetary
stimulus to boost slowing growth in
the world’s second-largest economy.
By Friday on the London Metal
Exchange, copper for delivery in three
months dropped to $6,112 a tonne from
$6,242.25 the previous week.
Three-month aluminium slid to
$1,820.50 a tonne from $1,846. Threemonth lead retreated to $1,839.75 a
tonne from $1,860.25. Three-month tin
rallied to $19,630 a tonne from $19,275.
Three-month nickel grew to $15,508 a
tonne from $14,971.
COCOA: Cocoa futures rebounded
from the previous week’s losses,
winning support from news of sliding
output in key producer Ghana. “News
from Ghana sparked the price rally,”
said Commerzbank analysts. “In the
first 12 weeks of the current crop
year 2014/15, this worldwide secondlargest cocoa-producing country sold
considerably less cocoa than in the
corresponding period last year.
“Sales of 430,800 tons were reported
... equivalent to a 23% year-on-year
By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures
exchange, cocoa for delivery in March
rose to ВЈ2,050 a tonne from ВЈ1,977 a
week earlier. On the ICE Futures US
exchange, cocoa for March climbed to
$2,993 a tonne from $2,915.
SUGAR: Sugar prices advanced as
output was hampered by unfavourable
growing conditions in major producer
Brazil. “Agriculture commodities lead
the table, with sugar and coffee being
supported by dryness in some areas
of Brazil,” said Saxobank analyst Ole
By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne
of white sugar for delivery in March
rose to $390.10 from $380.60 a week
On ICE Futures US, the price of
unrefined sugar for March fell to 14.25
US cents a pound from 14.81 US cents.
COFFEE: Coffee prices also won
ground on Brazil production concerns.
“Futures markets were higher on fundled buying, tied to expectations for
drier than normal conditions in coffee
areas of Brazil for the next couple of
weeks,” added Price Futures Group
analyst Jack Scoville.
“It will not be completely dry, but
rains for the next week or two should
average below normal.” By Friday on
ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery
in March rallied to 181.50 US cents
a pound from 161.30 cents a week
earlier. On LIFFE, Robusta for March
jumped to $1,992 a tonne from $1,871.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
�World trade unlikely to recover to pre-crisis levels in short-term’
he world economic recovery is
likely to be subdued if global
trade does not pick up significantly, QNB has said in a report.
Over the last three years, QNB said
the world trade growth had been
significantly lower than prior to the
global financial crisis.
“This raises questions about why world
trade is in the doldrums and whether it
is likely to recover to pre-crisis levels. On
the demand side, weaker global growth
has contributed to lower world trade
activity and is likely to depress trade
growth going forward.
“However, this is not the full story.
Other factors, such as the changing
structure of supply chains and rising
protectionism, have also contributed
to lower world trade activity. It is likely
that these long-term structural trends
will keep world trade growth depressed
below pre-crisis levels for years to come,”
the report said.
World trade volumes grew by an
average 5.9% a year during 1980-2008,
collapsed during the 2009 recession
that followed the financial crisis to -10.6%,
and bounced back in 2010-11 to 9.6% on
However, in 2012-14, annual growth in
world trade volumes has been relatively
weak at 2.8%. Part of this slowdown is
attributable to weak global demand.
World GDP growth was 3.3% in 2012-14
on a purchasing power parity (PPP)
basis, compared with 3.6% in 1980-2008.
Additionally, world trade has typically
been 1.6% of global GDP growth. This
suggests that world trade should have
grown by 5.3% in 2012-14, whereas its
growth rate has been even slower than
global GDP growth.
Therefore, QNB points out, lower
demand is insufficient to fully account
for the slowdown in world trade, begging
the question, what else is holding back
global trade.
First, the evolution of China and the US
as the world’s largest trading nations
is changing the structure of global
supply chains. During the last two
decades, China has become the world’s
manufacturing hub. At the same time,
China has reduced its reliance on other
countries for inputs to its supply chain.
As a result, the share of imported inputs
in China’s exports has fallen from 50%
in 2000 to 35% currently. This has had a
negative impact on world trade growth.
Since the 1980s, the US relied on offshored production, mainly to China, to
reduce its production costs.
As a result, US manufacturing imports
doubled from an average of 4% of US
GDP in the 1980s to 8% in the 2000s.
Since then, the US has slowed the
rate at which it offshores production
– manufacturing imports have been
broadly constant at around 8% of GDP.
This has also had a negative impact on
world trade growth. A recent IMF study,
“Slow trade”, highlights these structural
changes as the main factor holding back
world trade.
Second, rising protectionism may be
holding back trade growth. In late 2008,
in the aftermath of the global financial
crisis, G20 leaders pledged a standstill on
trade protectionism to avoid a repeat of
the trade protectionist spiral of the 1930s.
However, numerous measures
have been introduced since then in
contradiction to this pledge. In 2012,
the EU released a report that identified
a “staggering increase in protectionism
around the world”.
According to the Global Trade Alert
website, over 70% of new trade rules
are protectionist and almost 3,870 such
measures have been introduced since
Last but not least, tariff barriers have
been falling steadily over recent
decades, but at a slowing rate. Since the
1980s, the fall in tariff barriers has been
most dramatic in developing countries –
average tariffs were about 30% of trade
in 1980, 15% in 2000 and are currently
under 10%, but are now only falling
slightly each year. The boost to trade
from lower tariffs has therefore been
gradually declining over time.
Going forward, world trade is unlikely to
recover to pre-crisis levels in the short
term for three main reasons.
First, demand is unlikely to recover.
Europe, which accounts for almost one
third of world trade, is expected to be
economically stagnant in 2015. In China
(11% of world trade), growth is slowing
and any pickup in growth in the US (10%
of world trade) is unlikely to be enough
to compensate.
Second, the trends driving the structural
slowdown in trade between China and
the US are likely to persist. China is
likely to continue to reduce its reliance
on external inputs in its supply chain in
order to capture a higher share of value
At the same time, the US is unlikely to
accelerate the rate at which it offshores
domestic manufacturing, especially
given lower US energy costs and flat
domestic wages.
Third, the lack of success for multilateral
trade negotiations means that minimal
progress in the reduction of trade
protectionism can be expected. The
Doha Round of trade negotiations was
initiated in 2001, but few of its ambitious
objectives to lower global trade barriers
have been realised.
The latest agreement on implementation
of the Doha Round – finalised in Bali at
the end of 2013 – faced setback when
India reneged on the deal in July 2014. A
recent agreement between the US and
India could help salvage the situation but
negotiations remain fraught.
“Therefore, we expect world trade to
grow at roughly the same rate as world
GDP growth in 2015-16 (forecast to
average 3.9% by the IMF), well below precrisis levels,” QNB said.
Apple ups software app
prices on rising dollar
New York
Dow Jones
New York
pple Inc changed the prices of software
applications from Canada to Europe on
Friday, in one of the company’s more comprehensive global responses to currency swings in
recent years.
With the US dollar rising, Apple earlier this
week told software makers selling programmes
through its online App Store that it’s increasing
app prices in the European Union, Norway, Canada and Russia because of foreign exchange rates
and taxes. The changes took effect on Friday, with
the entry-level price for apps in Canada rising to
$1.19 from 99 cents. In Europe, the basic app price
jumped to €0.99 from €0.89.
The moves across two continents – coupled
with Apple boosting iPhone prices in Russia last
month after briefly halting online sales there
when the ruble plunged – amount to one of the
more concentrated worldwide actions by the Cupertino, California-based company to currency
movements. While Apple has previously raised
the prices of programs in its international app
stores, the company is typically reluctant to make
such changes, said Slaven Radic, chief executive
officer of app- developer consultancy Tapstream
Network Inc.
“This is very unique,” Radic said. “They’re very
measured about this - sometimes they’ll lose
money if they can avoid showing too much price
movement on things.”
Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman, confirmed
the company had sent messages to developers
about Canada, Russia and Europe increasing app
prices. Technology blog 9to5Mac reported earlier
this week on the memo.
All major currencies have declined against the US
dollar in the past 12 months, with the US economy
on an upswing. The Canadian dollar is down 10.1%
since July and today touched its lowest level versus the US dollar in п¬Ѓve and a half years. The euro
has declined 13% against the dollar in the past six
months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Apple, which gets the majority of its $182.8bn in
annual revenue from outside the US, has recently
said it is mindful of how the strengthening dollar
will affect its business. In October, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the company faced
“significant foreign exchange headwinds” from
the strong dollar, just as the company made new
iPhones and thinner iPads available for the end-ofthe-year holiday shopping season.
Shell to
cut jobs
oil price
Apple increased app prices in the European Union, Norway, Canada and Russia because of foreign exchange rates and taxes.
By rolling out the pricing changes, Apple is signaling it believes the US dollar is poised to remain
strong this year.
“They’re clearly reading the tea leaves, in terms
of oil prices and the relative strength of the US
economy and weakness elsewhere, and saying
the strength of the dollar is not just a transitional
event,” Andrew Bartels, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc, said in an interview. “Without making
these changes, Apple would be looking at a very
significant impact on its revenue.”
App prices are set by tiers and Apple adjusts
them across the world into local currencies. In the
US, the basic price for a paid app is 99 cents. Apple
previously increased app prices in Europe in 2012
and in Asia last year. The company hasn’t previously tweaked pricing in Canada.
“The Canadian prices have not changed once in
the six years that they’ve been here,” said Radic,
who is based in Vancouver.
Apple’s App Store is a significant strategic advantage for the company that keep customers
coming back to download new games and other
programs to their iPhones and iPads. Revenue
generated through the App Store rose 50% to a
record in 2014, Apple said this week. In 2013, customers spent more than $10bn in the App Store.
Apple’s revenue from other products may also
be roiled by the strong dollar. Sales of the iPhone,
the company’s largest product by revenue, may
have risen to 69.3mn units in the п¬Ѓnal quarter of
2014 from 51mn a year earlier, according to an estimate by UBS AG this week. The net average selling
price was hurt by 2.8% because of the strengthening US dollar, according to estimates by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, though that was probably
offset by other factors including a more expensive
iPhone 6 Plus.
Claudio Somazzi, CEO of Italian app maker Applix Group Srl, said the pricing changes may cause
some developers to assess how to present their
app to consumers. His company makes the education app Virtual History, which Apple co-founder
Steve Jobs demonstrated during his iPad 2 keynote
in 2011.
oyal Dutch Shell said on
Friday it plans to cut jobs
at its Canadian oil-sands
operations, becoming the п¬Ѓrst
major energy company to shed
workers in Canada’s oil patch
amid a recent swoon in global
crude oil prices.
250,000 barrels of oil a day from
its oil-sands mines, will trim
about 5-10% of its 3,000 workers, some of whom will be reassigned to other jobs, said company spokesman Cameron Yost.
“We’re continuing to review
our business to make sure that
we remain competitive,” Yost
said. “When prices are low the
importance of that is underlined,” he said.
The president of Shell Canada, Lorraine Mitchelmore, said
in August that the company’s
oil-sands business met internal
yardsticks for profitability when
Brent crude trades above $70 per
barrel. Prices for Brent, the global oil benchmark, have spiralled
lower in recent weeks, falling below $50 a barrel this week.
Shell owns a 60% stake in its
core oil sands operations with
Chevron Corp, and Marathon
Oil Corp splitting the remainder. These consist of two surface
mines, known as Jackpine and
Muskeg River, in Alberta.
Last February, Shell pushed
back the development timeline
for an oil-sands mine at a site
called Pierre River, but has been
pursuing other projects such
as an expansion of its Jackpine
mine and horizontally drilled
wells elsewhere in northern
Alberta at Carmon Creek and
Peace River.
JP Morgan to pay $500mn to settle lawsuit
Dow Jones
New York
P Morgan Chase & Co has agreed
to pay roughly $500mn to settle
a class-action lawsuit over nearly
$18bn worth of shoddy mortgagebacked securities sold by Bear Stearns
Cos., according to a court document
and a person familiar with the matter.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, led by a
group of pension funds, filed a letter
in US District Court in Manhattan on
Thursday in which they stated “the
parties have reached an agreement
in principle” to resolve the lawsuit.
JP Morgan purchased Bear Stearns in
2008 during the financial crisis.
The lawyers in the letter asked the
court to set a deadline of February 2
for both sides to submit details of the
plan and ask for the court’s preliminary approval.
The settlement is the latest attempt by the biggest US bank by assets to put as many legal woes behind
it as possible. In the last two years
it has paid more than $20bn to both
the government and private investors to settle an array of mortgagerelated claims stemming largely
from its crisis-era acquisitions, the
2008 purchase of Bear Stearns and
the banking assets of Seattle thrift
Washington Mutual Inc.
James Dimon, JP Morgan’s chairman and chief executive, said in October 2013 he hadn’t fully anticipated
how much JP Morgan would have to
pay to defend itself against matters
passed down from Bear Stearns and
thought the bank would be insulated
from Washington Mutual’s issues.
“But that doesn’t mean people
can’t come after you,” he said at the
time, “so that’s a lesson learned.”
The current settlement was based
on the sale of $17.58bn worth of mortgage-backed certificates that gave
buyers income payments from pools
of mortgage loans and mortgagebacked securities. Among the lead
plaintiffs in the case were the New
Jersey Carpenters Health Fund and
the Public Employees’ Retirement
System of Mississippi.
Investors in the complaint alleged
that Bear Stearns “misrepresented
the quality of the loans in the loan
pools” and garnered credit ratings for
the loans from ratings agencies that
were “unjustifiably high,” according to the complaint. Many pension
funds and other institutional investors must purchase only highly-rated
The pension funds claimed that the
so-called offering documents associated with the certificates had false
statements regarding the underwriting standards used to originate the
loans, according to the complaint.
Due to the allegedly false statements, the plaintiffs said they purchased certificates that were “far
riskier than represented, not of the
“best quality” and not equivalent
to other investments with the same
credit ratings,” according to the complaint. Ultimately, most of the certificates were downgraded to below investment-grade level and their value
sank, the plaintiffs said.
Still, the plaintiffs didn’t claim
fraud on behalf of Bear Stearns. The
complaint advanced strict liability
and negligence claims.
The proposed settlement doesn’t
resolve another class-action lawsuit
JP Morgan is currently facing over
securities it itself sold. It is also unrelated to the bank’s November 2013
settlement with regulators in which it
agreed to pay $13bn to resolve investigations and lawsuits into the sale of
mortgage bonds before the financial
The bank had previously settled
other litigation pertaining to mortgage products sold by Washington
NBA | Page 8
CRICKET | Page 6
Hawks snap
Detroit Pistons'
seven-game run
India survive
late collapse to
save last Test
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Rabia I 20, 1436 AH
Qatar has best sports
facilities in the
world: Guardiola
Page 3
Belmadi hails return
of Khalfan as Qatar
clash with Emirates
�He comes to Australia with a lot of personal ambition’
Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi directs a training session as rain falls in Canberra
atar coach Djamel Belmadi
has hailed the return of star
forward Khalfan Ibrahim
to the ranks in time for the
AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 opener
against fellow Gulf side the United Arab
Emirates today at Canberra Stadium,
after the former AFC Player of the Year
missed out on their Gulf Cup triumph
last November.
Since making his debut for the senior national team in 2006, Ibrahim has
been a regular п¬Ѓxture in the starting
line-up and he scored the goal in October’s friendly against Australia that
gave Qatar a historic п¬Ѓrst-ever win over
the Socceroos.
But a month later when Qatar embarked on their successful Gulf Cup
campaign in Saudi Arabia, Belmadi’s
side were without the forward who was
sidelined with injury. And the return of
the 26-year-old is a huge п¬Ѓllip to the
West Asian’s cause.
“Khalfan is a key player - a major
player - for Qatar. He missed the Gulf
Cup but he came back well from his injury and he is happy to join the team, especially after our success. He adds value
to the team and we’re happy to see him
back,” said former Algeria midfielder
Belmadi, ahead of the Group C encounter.
“Khalfan has been a member of the
national team for the last eight years
without winning a medal, so it is sad he
could not win the Gulf Cup with us. But
it means he comes to Australia with a lot
of personal ambition and he knows he is
UAE coach Mahdi Ali
joining a winning team.
“Everybody wishes he can reach both
an individual target and target it (in)
terms of performance and starting with
a good contribution to the team on Sunday.”
Since joining the national team setup a little over a year ago, Belmadi has
enjoyed success with Qatar leading
them to a comprehensive victory at the
2014 WAFF Championship in an undefeated campaign before he picked up the
reins at the national team and claimed
the Gulf Cup title as well as a string of
impressive results in recent friendlies.
Opposite number, Mahdi Ali, though,
has also seen success with the UAE and
Belmadi was quick to praise the Emirati
“Mahdi Ali has been working with
the UAE team for a long time, he won
the 2013 Gulf Cup and helped the side
qualify for the 2012 Olympics, he is doing an amazing job with their team and
he has done a massive job for his country,” added Belmadi.
“It’s a fellow Gulf team we’re against
on Sunday but the environment and
competition is different. Even though
we know them it will be a different atmosphere and competition and it will
be a massive game, especially because
the UAE have a good team and won the
Gulf Cup before us in Bahrain.
“It will be a very interesting game
between two teams from the Gulf who
have good players and play good football and they are a very tough side.
“Both teams will want to win this
game, especially because it’s the first
game of the tournament, so it’s important to start well and, I hope, it will be a
nice game to watch.”
Meanwhile, UAE coach Ali has insisted his side is intent on keeping their
promise made two years ago of reaching
the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 semifinals.
Ali has been a central п¬Ѓgure in the
UAE’s developmental sides, coaching
the U-16, U-19 and U-20 sides prior
to leading the U-23 national team to
the 2012 London Olympics before taking charge of the senior national team
shortly after and leading his side to the
2013 Gulf Cup title.
The Emirati national team failed to
defend their regional crown last November, however, eliminated at the
semi-п¬Ѓnals by hosts Saudi Arabia, who
Sunday’s opponents Qatar then topped
to take the title in Riyadh.
“In my view, all the Gulf countries are
at the same level. I don’t believe there
is any relevance to previous meetings,
the time, competition, conditions and
Ali says
FIFA must
open up
IFA presidential hopeful
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
yesterday called world football’s governing body “secretive” and expressed confidence
he would oust Sepp Blatter in May.
Top Asian officials have been
dismissive of the Jordanian royal’s
election challenge, but Prince Ali
predicted his manifesto to clean up
FIFA’s tarnished image would persuade members to vote for him in the
May 29 election.
“I’m not worrying about numbers
at the moment,” he said. “We have a
few months to go before the actual
election, but I have total faith that
they are decent people who will vote
for the future of football. I have total
Despite being shunned by the
Asian Football Confederation (AFC),
whose president Shaikh Salman bin
Ebrahim al-Khalifa insisted there
would be no backtracking on the regional body’s commitment to back
Blatter’s bid for a fifth term, Prince
Ali continued his call for more transparency.
“FIFA as an organisation tends to
be a bit secretive,” he said, according
to the Australian news agency AAP.
“But (football) is the most popular sport in the world—we should be
confident and happy to be open and
engaged with everyone. I don’t see a
reason to be guarded.
“We have to bring the administration of the the sport into the current time that we live in. I think that
change is inevitable and I’m here to
work for a positive change.”
Prince Ali, 39, a FIFA vice president and head of the West Asian
Football Federation, was one of the
officials who called for the publication of ethics investigator Michael
Garcia’s report into allegations of
corruption surrounding the 2018
and 2022 World Cup bids.
He renewed those calls yesterday, but declined to say whether he
would reopen the bidding process if
“I believe we should be totally
transparent in that respect,” he said.
“I would hope this would happen
before I’m elected to be honest.
“My position is that the world
needs to know. We made a big deal
out of having this investigation in
the first place—we can’t do that and
then shut the door.”
A close ally of Blatter rival and
UEFA president Michel Platini,
Prince Ali has vowed to restore public trust in FIFA and can count on a
significant number of the European
body’s 54 votes—even if he was left
feeling distinctly unloved in Melbourne ahead of the start of the
Asian Cup.
Qatar’s Khalfan Ibrahim at a training session in Canberra yesterday. Qatar will take on the UAE in their opening Asian Cup
match in the Australian capital today. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
players are all different. All the teams
are on a level playing field,” said Ali,
whose side will also face Iran and Bahrain in Group C.
“We respect the Qatar team - we
don’t think of it as a derby, it’s just an
important game and whether we play
a strong or weak team we respect them
and always try to do our best.
“Our games are very tough in this
group, but it’s normal to always play
under pressure. Pressure is part of the
game, we’re used to it. We announced
two years ago that we wanted to reach
the semi-п¬Ѓnals of the competition. So
let’s aim for that, try to reach it, and
then see from there what we can do.”
With many of the UAE squad based
on the players that Ali has brought
through the development sides, some
playing through the ranks of the national side for six years, the unity of the
team is something that the coach feels
will be an important advantage for his
“The relationship between the players is very close. This group of players
have been together a long time and are
more like a family than a team, the players are like brothers,” added Ali, noting
in particular the understanding on the
п¬Ѓeld of star playmaker Omar Abdulrahman and forward Ali Mabkhout.
Challenge to Blatter: Prince Ali
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
China’s smash-and-grab tactics work a treat
hina’s plan of absorbing pressure and hitting on the break
worked to perfection as they
upset Saudi Arabia 1-0 at the
Asian Cup yesterday.
Midfielder Yu Hai struck in the 81st
minute to break the stalemate and give
China victory over the three-time
champions in Brisbane.
A Group B game between two evenly
matched sides appeared to be headed for
a draw until Yu’s free kick from 30 metres out took a wicked deflection and left
Saudi keeper Waleed Abdullah stranded.
“Our tactics worked very well, we
counter-attacked well and caused a lot
of trouble for our opponents,” China
coach Alain Perrin told reporters. “The
match was very, very difficult for us but
we gained a lot of joy from it. We’ve been
preparing for this tournament for a long
China dominated the п¬Ѓrst half, but
Saudi Arabia improved after the interval and should have taken the lead in
the 59th minute after Naif Hazazi was
awarded a penalty, but his tame spot
kick allowed goalkeeper Wang Dalei to
save with his legs.
Saudi coach Cosmin Olaroiu insisted
he had no regrets about Hazazi taking
the spot kick.
“I asked him to take the penalty because he was the one who was fouled,” he
said.Wang, who was celebrating his 26th
birthday Saturday, was later named man
of the match for his heroics between the
“Before the match I got a lot of courage from my coach,” a beaming Wang
Wang Dalei of China shouts at referee Alireza Faghani (R) of Iran during the China vs Saudi Arabia match in the Asian Cup
in Brisbane yesterday.
said. “I remember in the past few days
a journalist asked if I was ready for the
match. I said wait until after January 10
and I will give you the answer.”
The Saudis paid for their lack of precision in front of goal, Salem al-Dawsari and Mustafa al-Bassas squandering
good early opportunities.
China gradually began to assert control in the opening period and found
space out wide, Zhang Chengdong particularly dangerous down the right, and
he was instrumental in several of China’s
best moves.
They were were unlucky not to go into
halftime leading, with Wu Xi twice failing to convert just before the break.
Saudi Arabia, who won the last of their
three Asian Cup titles in 1996, emerged
with more purpose after the team talk
and were by far the more threatening
Le Guen rages at
referee as South
Korea edge Oman
�It’s a 100 percent penalty, no hesitation. But (we didn’t get it) because of what?
Because we are Oman? It’s a very, very bad decision at this level’
Goalie Nesterov’s
heroics as Uzbeks
beat North Korea
Nesterov’s lightning
late save spared Uzbekistan’s blushes as
the 2011 semi-п¬Ѓnalists beat
North Korea 1-0 in a rain-hit
Asian Cup clash yesterday.
Nesterov saw little action
in the Group B tie but he was
alert enough to palm away
Pak Kwang-Ryong’s powerful header just before the final
Sergeev’s 62nd-minute header
was the only score of a game
hit by a mid-match downpour,
but Uzbekistan deserved their
win in Sydney.
Two-time Asian player of
the year Server Djeparov set up
the goal as Uzbekistan showed
they could be ready for another assault on the Asian Cup’s
latter stages.
“I’d like to thank our goalkeeper, it was a great save,”
said Uzbek coach Mirdjalal
Kasimov. “But it was a victory
of the whole team, I’m happy
with all my players.”
In a tepid п¬Ѓrst half, Timur
Kapadze recovered from a
nasty clash of heads while defending a corner before coming close at the other end minutes later.
The big midfielder saw his
header come off the upright
and into the grateful arms of
North Korea’s Ri Myong-Guk,
who later had to be alert to
keep out Sanjar Tursunov.
North Korean striker Pak
nodded his team’s best chance
of the п¬Ѓrst period wide, and
team-mate Jon Kwang-Ik was
grateful to see his clearance go
over the bar.
Steady rain turned torrential
during half-time but it didn’t
stop Uzbekistan from raising
the tempo as Kapadze, Vitaliy
Denisov and Djeparov all had
sight of goal.
And it was captain Djeparov
who created Uzbekistan’s
opener, lofting a cross for Sergeev to leap and nod past the
stranded Ri in the North Korean goal.
Sergeev could have added a
second from substitute Sardor
Rashidov’s cross, and Tursunov drew a point-blank save
from Ri as the Uzbeks pressed
until the п¬Ѓnal whistle.
In the п¬Ѓnal seconds, Pak
would have rescued a point for
North Korea with his header
from a corner, if not for the reflexes of the diving Nesterov.
“I really think it was unfortunate, but the result is the result,” said North Korea’s coach
Jo Tong-Sop, when asked
about Pak’s late effort.
“If we make better chances
and attack much more than
tonight, we’ll have a better
The result sets back North
Korea’s hopes of progressing
from the group stage for the
п¬Ѓrst time since 1980, when
they п¬Ѓnished fourth.
But Uzbekistan will have
high hopes of reaching the
knock-outs for the fourth time
in a row, with further Group B
games to come against China
and Saudi Arabia.
South Korea’s Cho Young-cheol (R) scores past Oman’s Ali al-Habsi (L) and Mohamed al-Musalami during their Asian Cup Group A match at
the Canberra stadium in Canberra yesterday.
man coach Paul Le Guen
launched a furious tirade at the
referee for not giving a “100 percent” penalty in South Korea’s
1-0 Asian Cup win over his side yesterday.
The Koreans got off to a winning start in
their quest for a п¬Ѓrst Asian Cup trophy in
55 years thanks to a solitary goal from forward Cho Young-Cheol in п¬Ѓrst-half injury
South Korea dominated possession at
Canberra Stadium and had several chances
to kill the game, but were lucky to take all
three points after Oman almost snatched a
draw late on.
Frenchman Le Guen insisted the outcome could have been different if New
Zealand official Peter O’Leary had awarded a spot kick when striker Qasim Saeed
looked to have been scythed down in the
“I don’t want to have an advantage—no,
no. I ask for equity,” he fumed. “It’s a 100
percent penalty, no hesitation. But (we
didn’t get it) because of what? Because we
are Oman? It’s a very, very bad decision at
this level.
“Sometimes you can have a debate,
but in this case there is no debate, no discussion. It’s a penalty, 100 percent,” the
former Lyon boss added. “The game could
have been different after. If you are 1-0 up
it’s definitely different.”
South Korea were quickest out of the
traps and Bayer Leverkusen star Son
Heung-Min came closest to opening
the scoring after seven minutes when he
dinked the ball over Oman goalkeeper
Al Habsi, only for it to come back off the
Al Habsi pushed away a stinging freekick п¬Ѓve minutes before halftime and it
looked as if Oman were going to go into the
break level before Cho popped up with his
The Qatar-based marksman broke the
deadlock when he reacted quickest to bury
a rebound after a parry from Al Habsi,
a poacher’s goal that delighted a crowd
overwhelmingly cheering for the Taeguk
Oman were largely on the back foot and
their best attempt in the п¬Ѓrst-half came
when Eid Al Farsi curled a free-kick wide.
Le Guen was livid at not being awarded
the penalty but when told about his angry
rant, South Korea coach Uli Stielike appeared mystified.
“I saw the game like the referee saw
it,” said the German. “I don’t know which
situation he is talking about. There cannot
be a clear penalty or I would remember the
More South Korea goals seemed certain
after the interval but resolute Oman defending kept the scoreline at 1-0.
Midfielder Lee Chung-Yong shaved the
post before Al Habsi atoned for his earlier
mistake by tipping over a powerful Koo JaCheol header just short of the hour mark.
South Korea pushed for a second but were
unable to capitalise on their possession
and almost paid for it at the death.
Oman substitute Imad Al Hosni almost
snatched an unlikely draw when his header
was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by
goalkeeper Kim Jin-Hyeon.
“I prefer starting the tournament with a
hard game like today rather than 5-0 win,”
said Stielike. “Then everyone thinks you
are already going to win the cup so maybe
this is the better way.”
South Korea, one of the tournament
favourites and World Cup semifinalists in
2002, last won the Asian Cup in 1960.
Canberra: Japan playmaker Shinji Kagawa suffered a heart-stopping moment
during training at the Asian Cup yesterday
when he came down awkwardly on his elbow while playing foot volleyball.
Despite the scare, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder insisted he was not seriously hurt as the defending champions
prepare for their opening Group D game
against Palestine tomorrow.
“It was a bit of a close shave but it’s
fine,” Kagawa told Japanese media after
sustaining bruising and sitting out the rest
of training as a precaution.
“I just landed heavily on my elbow,
nothing too serious. It would have been
embarrassing to injure myself doing that.”
Kagawa will have added incentive to do
well at the Asian Cup in Australia after
fracturing a metatarsal in the semifinals of
the 2011 tournament and missing Japan’s
victory over the Socceroos in the п¬Ѓnal in
North Korea’s Cha Jong Hyok (L) is tackled by Uzbekistan’s
Server Djeparov during their Asian Cup Group B soccer match at
the Stadium Australia in Sydney yesterday.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Qatar has best sporting facilities
in the world, says Guardiola
“The people in Qatar have to help the country to make the 2022 World Cup the best that is possible’
Bayern Munich’s Sebastian Rode
(left) and Thomas Mueller
warm-up during a training
session in Doha. (EPA)
Guardiola urges Neuer to
savour Ballon d’Or moment
Doha: Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola yesterday urged his goalkeeper
Manuel Neuer to savour the occasion
at Monday’s Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich,
rather than worrying about winning
the prize.
Speaking at Bayern’s winter training
camp in Doha, Qatar, Guardiola said:
“I said to him exactly what I said to
Franck Ribery last year. Don’t go there
to win but to savour it.”
Guardiola added that Neuer should
be “very proud...because it is very
difficult” to make the three-man shortlist. Germany’s World Cup-winning
goalkeeper joins habitual podiumdwellers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel
Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola during a training session in Doha
yesterday. Munich are in Qatar until January 17 for winter camp. (EPA)
By Joe Koraith
n the football world there are a few
people, who, when they say something, you sit up and take notice and take notes too. Bayern Munich
coach Pep Guardiola is one of them and
he has a message for the people of Qatar
regarding the 2022 World Cup.
“The people in Qatar have to help the
country to make the event the best that
is possible. The world will be watching and I hope the people here can help
out to show the world that they are capable of hosting the biggest event in
football,” said Guardiola during a press
conference yesterday. The Bundesliga
champions Bayern are in Doha for their
winter training camp, for the п¬Ѓfth year
in a row.
Apart from Bayern’s winter training camps, Guardiola also has a personal link with Qatar. The Spaniard
has played for the Qatar Stars League,
way back in 2003. And all of that experience has prompted him to say that
awarding the World Cup to Qatar is a
great way for different cultures of the
world to meet and know each other.
“FIFA has always tried to look for new
areas to promote the sport. They went
to South Africa in 2010 and in 2022 they
have decided to come here. It’s a good
step to come to this part of the world. It
will help the rest of the world to know
this part. Football at the end is a great
opportunity to meet different cultures,”
said Guardiola.
When asked what was the best time
to hold the 2022 World Cup, Guardiola said he preferred it to be held in
winter. “The best time is NovemberDecember. It shouldn’t be held in the
summer. World Cups are usually held
in the summer but you can’t play in the
summer here. The temperatures reach
45 degrees. The matches will have to be
held at 11 or 12 in the night if the tournament is held in the summer.”
Guardiola had played in the QSL for
the Al Ahli club way back in 2003 and
was here for almost three years. When
asked about the difference in the level
of the game in the QSL between now
and then, Guardiola said, “I came here
a long time ago. The level of football
was a bit amateurish then but it is much
better now.
“I don’t have the exact information
but Qatar does have some of the best
sporting facilities in the world. They
are now organising the handball World
Cup and they have the most famous
name in handball, Valero Rivera as their
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski goes through the drills. (EPA)
national team coach.”
“The infrastructure here is amazing.
Infrastructure needs the right people to
maximise its potential and they are in
capable hands here in Qatar. Not just
the physical aspect but also the mental
conditioning needs to be taken care of.
And Qatar has all of those facilities,” he
Mansoor al-Ansari, Executive Director of National Teams Department
at Qatar Football Association was also
present during the press conference
and he expressed his happiness at such
a big club like Bayern choosing Doha
as their base for their winter camps,
year after year. “Qatar has always tried
its best to be recognised as the sports
capital of the region. This is one of the
reasons for this relationship with Bayern Munich. We are confident that we
have the best sporting facilities here
and Bayern’s decision to come back
every year only proves that. Our goal is
to strengthen the relationship between
Bayern and the Qatar football family.”
“We are organising a friendly match
between Bayern and the star players of
Qatar Stars League. It is very important
for Qatar players to play against a team
like Bayern. While our main players are
currently playing in the Asian Cup, we
are trying to get the young players from
the U19 and the Olympic team to feature in this game. The п¬Ѓnal decision is
up to the coaches but the match will be
of great value to Qatar football,” said alAnsari.
The friendly match between Bayern
and Qatar Stars Team will be played
on Tuesday from 8 pm at Abdullah Bin
Khalifa Stadium. Tickets are available
for 50 QAR and 100 QAR at tickets.qsl.
Inter Milan sign Bayern
Munich winger Shaqiri
Dutch side Ajax scored a 2-0 win over German team FC Schalke in a friendly match played in Doha yesterday. For Ajax, Milik (64th
minute) and El Ghazi (90th minute) were the scorers.
Messi on the shortlist. Between them,
Ronaldo and Messi have won the last
six editions, and Guardiola insisted that
Neuer would not suffer any adverse
effect if he failed to win the prize.
“Absolutely not. Manu has already
won. If you go to Zurich, it is already
a victory,” said Guardiola. Neuer will
be joined at the ceremony by his
team-mates Arjen Robben and Philipp
Lahm and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz
Rummenigge. If Neuer does receive
the Ballon d’Or he will be the first German to do so since Lothar Matthaus in
1990 and only the second goalkeeper
after Lev Yashin, of the then Soviet
Union, in 1963.
Xherdan Shaqiri has officially joined Inter from
Bayern Munich on a
four-and-a-half-year contract,
snubbing interest from Everton,
Liverpool and Stoke City.
Midfielder Shaqiri put pen
to paper on the deal late on Friday, becoming the club’s second
winter transfer market acquisition after Arsenal forward Lukas
Podolski, who has joined on loan
until the end of the season.
A statement from Inter said:
“FC Internazionale is delighted
to announce that Xherdan Sha-
qiri in now an Inter player. The
Switzerland international has
put pen to paper on a four-anda-half-year contract until 30
June 2019. On behalf of everyone
at the club, we would like to wish
Shaqiri a very warm welcome.”
Shaqiri, who scored three
goals for Switzerland during the
2014 World Cup in Brazil, had
not played regularly at Bayern
in the face of competition from
Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.
He had been courted by several
teams from the English Premier
League, but said Inter coach
Roberto Mancini had helped
sway his decision.
“Mancini called me and said
he really wanted me at the club.
I’m happy to be working with
him,” Shaqiri told Sky Sport Italia. After a three-year absence
from the Champions League,
2010 European champions Inter
are desperate to qualify for next
season’s competition.
Mancini’s side currently lie
11th in Serie A, 18 points behind
leaders and champions Juventus and eight behind Lazio in
the third and п¬Ѓnal Champions
League qualifying spot ahead
of Sunday’s home game with
Genoa. Shaqiri added: “I’m delighted to be be here at Inter. For
sure, our target is to qualify for
the Champions League. I don’t
want to talk about Bayern Munich, I’m just glad to be here and
want to focus on my objectives
with Inter.”
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Chelsea reclaim summit
as Everton hold City
Chelsea began the day level with City, but the defending champions dropped points at Everton
helsea took sole possession of п¬Ѓrst place
in the Premier League table after they
beat Newcastle United 2-0 yesterday and
Manchester City drew 1-1 at Everton.
Chelsea began the day dead-level with City, but
with the defending champions dropping points for
only the second time in 10 matches, Jose Mourinho’s side moved two points clear.
Newcastle had beaten Chelsea 2-1 in the reverse
п¬Ѓxture and despite still being without a manager
following Alan Pardew’s departure, they threatened to pull off a repeat in the first half at Stamford
Petr Cech was deputising in goal for Chelsea due
to a п¬Ѓnger injury to Thibaut Courtois and he had to
save from Remy Cabella and Yoan Gouffran, while
Moussa Sissoko slammed a shot against the post.
Chelsea lost Cesar Azpilicueta to an apparent groin
injury in the 37th minute, but they went ahead
four minutes later when Oscar tapped in Branislav
Ivanovic’s cross after Willian took a quick corner.
Mourinho’s side improved after the break and
added a delightfully constructed second goal just
before the hour, with Diego Costa gathering a
clever back-heel from Oscar and drilling in his 15th
goal of the campaign.
At Goodison Park, Everton enjoyed the best of
Read as: played, won, drawn, lost, goals for,
goals against, points
15 4 2 46 19 49
Man City
14 5 2 45 20 47
Man Utd
20 10 7 3 34 20 37
Southampton 20 11
3 6 34 15 36
20 10 4 6 29 27 34
20 9
6 5 34 25 33
West Ham
6 6 32 25 33
5 7 29 27 32
6 7 26 25 30
6 8 25 33 27
20 7
5 8 22 24 26
7 9 30 34 22
Aston Villa
7 9 11 23 22
West Brom
6 10 20 29 21
11 7 18 31 20
8 9 19 33 20
7 10 20 27 19
4 12 23 37 19
Crystal Palace 20 3
8 9 20 30 17
5 12 20 33 17
the п¬Ѓrst half against City, with Seamus Coleman
hitting the bar. City went ahead in the 74th minute
when Fernandinho helped a shot from David Silva
over the line with his head, but Steven Naismith
equalised four minutes later, glancing home a
cross from Leighton Baines. Serbian winger Lazar
Markovic scored his п¬Ѓrst league goal as improving
Liverpool closed to within four points of the top
four by winning 1-0 at Sunderland, who had Liam
Bridcutt sent off for two bookable offences.
Markovic poked the ball between the legs of
Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon in the
ninth minute at a gusty Stadium of Light as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run to п¬Ѓve league
“Our confidence is returning,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told BT Sport. “This is a
team that gets better and better as it goes on. It is
a young group, but they are developing very well.”
Tottenham Hotspur can move into the top four
if they win at Crystal Palace later last night, with
third-place Manchester United and fourth-place
Southampton facing off at Old Trafford today.
West Ham United spurned a chance to climb to
п¬Ѓfth place after being held to a 1-1 draw at Swansea
City. Andy Carroll put West Ham ahead in the 43rd
minute with a п¬Ѓne effort, chesting down a high ball
and then dancing across the box before slamming
a left-foot shot into the top-right corner from 15
But Swansea equalised in the 74th minute when
a header from France striker Bafetimbi Gomis hit
the post, struck West Ham midfielder Mark Noble
and rebounded into the net for an own goal.
Gomis celebrated by displaying a France flag in
tribute to the victims of this week’s Islamist kill-
ing spree in Paris, which resulted in over 20 deaths.
Burnley climbed out of the relegation zone and
dragged Queens Park Rangers into the bottom
three with a 2-1 home win over Harry Redknapp’s
Scott Arfield’s opener was cancelled out by a
penalty from former Burnley striker Charlie Austin, but Danny Ings gave the hosts victory in the
37th minute by rolling the ball past Rob Green after
a neat piece of control.
Bottom club Leicester City closed to within two
points of safety by winning 1-0 at home to Aston
Villa, with Paul Konchesky slamming in the only
goal in first-half stoppage time. Leicester’s Matty
James and Villa’s Ciaran Clark were sent off in
added time.
In his п¬Ѓrst league game as manager, Tony Pulis saw West Bromwich Albion climb to 14th after
Saido Berahino’s 78th-minute goal secured a 1-0
home win over Hull City.
t a time when Liverpool
are struggling for goals,
Lazar Markovic offered manager Brendan
Rodgers a timely reminder of his
capabilities with the winner in
yesterday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland in the Premier League.
The 20-year-old forward,
who signed from Benfica for 20
million pounds ($30.32 million)
in July, has enjoyed few п¬Ѓrst team
opportunities this season after
struggling to adapt to Premier
League life.
At the Stadium of Light,
though, the Serb delivered a man
of the match performance.
“He (Markovic) is a young
player, 20 years of age and is just
settling in to the whole culture
of English football,” Rodgers told
BT Sport. “As time has gone on,
he has become better and better.
It was an outstanding team performance. We had great control
of the game but I suppose the
only disappointment is we did
not have more goals.”
Having invested heavily in
new recruits during the close
season, Rodgers does not expect to bring in any new faces
despite his side sitting eighth
in the Premier League table. “It
will be quiet for us,” Rodgers
said. “We obviously did a lot of
business in the summer. Unless
we think there is something that
can really improve our team then
the owners will look to do that,
there’s no question about that.
“We have got a lot of exciting
young talent slowly starting to
feel their way in to our team and
our philosophy. They are playing
very well so we just want to keep
that continuity.”
Liverpool have lost just once
in 13 games in all competitions
and Rodgers believes the best is
yet to from his side as attacking
trio Daniel Sturridge, Raheem
Sterling and Adam Lallana were
all absent. “Our confidence is
returning, this is a team that gets
better and better as it goes on. It
is a young group but they are developing very well,” he said.
Burnley 2 (Arfield 12, Ings 37) QPR 1 (Austin 33-pen);
Chelsea 2 (Oscar 43, Costa 59) Newcastle 0;
Everton 1 (Naismith 78) Manchester City 1 (Fernandinho 74); Leicester 1 (Konchesky 45+1) Aston Villa 0;
Sunderland 0 Liverpool 1 (Markovic 9); Swansea 1
(Noble 74-og) West Ham 1 (Carroll 43); West Brom 1
(Berahino 78) Hull 0
Playing today: Arsenal v Stoke (1330 GMT);
Manchester Utd v Southampton (1600 GMT)
Bastia stun PSG in thrilling comeback
aris Saint Germain gave
up a two-goal lead when
Bastia stormed back to
win 4-2 in Corsica yesterday as the defending champions spurned the chance to go top
of Ligue 1. Laurent Blanc’s men
had looked to be in total control
after goals in the 10th minute
from Lucas, a lovely lob, and in
the 20th when the 19-year-old
Adrien Rabiot pounced on the
loose ball and п¬Ѓred it with his left
foot into the bottom corner.
Ryad Boudebouz pulled one
back from the spot for Bastia on
the half-hour after Gregory Van
der Wiel was harshly judged to
have handled.
And just on the stroke of halftime David Luiz was caught napping as Francois Modesto headed
home a corner. Bastia took the
lead with a thunderbolt in every
sense of the word, as defender
Julien Palmieri latched on to a
poorly cleared corner in the 56th
minute and unleashed a jawdropping half-volley.
Chelsea’s Diego Costa (centre) celebrates his goal with teammates Oscar (left) and Cesc Fabregas during their English Premier League match against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in London. (Reuters)
to show
Bastia’s defender Julian Palmieri celebrates after scoring against
Paris Saint Germain yesterday. (AFP)
The pulsating п¬Ѓnale ended
when Palmieri himself ran clear
of the defence to make it 4-2
in the 89th minute for a fully
deserved win that ended eight
straight Ligue 1 defeats for Bastia
to the capital side.
Ahead of the match a one
minute silence was observed
in the wake of the Islamist attacks that left 17 people dead this
week. Some local fans unfurled a
banner reading �Qatar finances
PSG and terrorism’.
The shock loss left PSG in
third, on 38 points, with Bastia
two points above the relegation
zone. Ligue 1 leaders Marseille,
on 41 points, also lost on Friday
when they went down 2-1 at
Kevin Berigaud and Paul Lasne
scored for the hosts either side
of the interval with Bilel Omrani
gave Marseille hope late on.
Lyon are on 39 points, one
ahead of PSG. Propelled by 17goal top scorer Alexandre Lacazette, Lyon will now be licking
their lips as they target three
points at home to Toulouse today that would see them go a
point clear at the top.
Saint-Etienne will attempt to
extend a 10-game unbeaten run
in the league as they face Reims
away. Fifth plays sixth at the
Stade Louis II today night when
Monaco entertain Bordeaux in
a match which will see visiting
coach Willy Sagnol return to the
ground where he played between
1997 and 2000.
Monaco will be looking for
revenge for a 4-1 defeat at Bordeaux back in August and, fresh
from winning their last seven
games, should be an entirely different proposition this time.
Man United seek spark
as Southampton close in
anchester United will attempt to
stave off an assault on their thirdplace position in the Premier League
table when they welcome closest
pursuers Southampton to Old Trafford today.
United have gone 10 games without defeat
since losing 1-0 at joint-leaders Manchester
City on November 2, but they have taken only
six points from a possible 12 after drawing three
of their last four matches. It has prevented Louis
van Gaal’s side from fully exploiting recent slipups by co-leaders Chelsea, who they trail by nine
points, and has allowed Southampton to close to
within one point.
After a run of four straight defeats in late November and early December, including a 2-1 loss
in the reverse fixture, Ronald Koeman’s side have
won three and drawn one of their last four games.
United were fortunate to claim victory at St
Mary’s last month, with Robin van Persie’s brace
representing two of the three shots on goal they
managed to muster in the 90 minutes.
But United are in much п¬Ѓner fettle than they
were a month ago.
Their injury glut has cleared to the extent that
Ashley Young (hamstring) is the only player currently unavailable, while the squad was bolstered
on Thursday with the eye-catching acquisition of
former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
It leaves Van Gaal with an enviable selection
dilemma on his hands.
Over the festive period, the Dutchman devised
a system that accommodated Wayne Rooney,
Juan Mata, Van Persie and Radamel Falcao, and
he must now п¬Ѓnd a way of п¬Ѓtting Angel di Maria
into his team as well. The Argentine winger made
a goal-scoring return from a pelvic injury in
United’s 2-0 win at third-tier Yeovil Town in the
FA Cup third round last weekend and could start
against Southampton.
“Angel di Maria has played only 20 minutes
and that’s because of the match rhythm that I
gave,” said Van Gaal. “I have said I have only one
injured player (Young), but I don’t have 100 percent match-fit players. That’s a different thing.
“But of course Di Maria is for example further
than Daley Blind or (Marcos) Rojo. I have to select
the best team and also I have to watch the qualities of Southampton, how I can reduce that quality by my line-up, but also by our game-plan.”
Left-back Luke Shaw is expected to overcome
an ankle problem and play, while Dutch utility man Blind could make his return from a twomonth absence due to a knee injury.
United have taken 25 points from a possible 27
at home since losing to Swansea City on the season’s opening weekend, while Southampton have
not won at Old Trafford since January 1998.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
I’ll leave if players
don’t back me,
says Enrique
Madrid back on track
with Espanyol win
Ancelotti made four changes from the side that slipped to a 2-0 loss at Calderon
arcelona coach Luis Enrique claimed he hadn’t
been affected by rumours that he could become the latest high-profile exit
from the Camp Nou should his
side fail to beat Atletico Madrid
today. However, the 44-year-old
said he would step down after
just seven months in the job if he
felt he no longer had the backing of his players. “There are
so many reports, some of them
badly intentioned,” he said yesterday. “I won’t get involved in
this dangerous game. What I can
guarantee is that the day I see
that my players don’t follow me,
I will leave.”
A destabilising week for the
Catalan giants began with a
shock 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad last weekend after Luis Enrique had left nearly 300 million
euros ($355mn, ВЈ234mn) of talent, including Lionel Messi and
Neymar, on the bench.
The unrest at the Camp Nou
kicked into overdrive on Monday
when sporting director Andoni
Zubizarreta was sacked, his assistant and club legend Carles
Puyol resigned and Messi then
missed an open training session
with the club’s fans.
The Argentine sparked transfer rumours by then following
Chelsea on the social networking site Instagram, while reports
emerged that his relationship
with Luis Enrique is at breaking
On Wednesday, club president
Josep Maria Bartomeu called
early elections for the end of the
season in response to the increasing pressure on his position.
On the п¬Ѓeld there was some
respite as Barca eased towards
the quarter-п¬Ѓnals of the Copa
del Rey with a 5-0 thrashing of
Elche on Thursday. However, the
coach’s name was booed by the
home fans as they showed their
support for Messi.
“I continue to be concentrated
and motivated. There is nothing
that will distract me,” Luis Enrique added. “All that I see behind closed doors motivates me.
The players and the technical
team remain on the fringes of all
that. We are used to it. Tomorrow we are playing for three important points, but three points
all the same. I feel the same as on
my first day.”
Barca and Atletico are tied
on 38 points in second place,
one point adrift of La Liga leaders Real Madrid, who also have
a game in hand. However, by
contrast to the crisis enveloping
Barcelona, Atletico arrive in the
Catalan capital full of confidence
after beating Real Madrid for the
third time this season 2-0 in the
Cup on Wednesday as Fernando
Torres made his п¬Ѓrst appearance
since returning to the Vicente
Calderon. Diego Simeone’s side
were unbeaten in six meetings
against Barca last season as they
sealed La Liga at the Camp Nou
in May and also dumped Gerardo
Martino’s men out of the Champions League.
And Luis Enrique expects another serious test this weekend.
“Atletico don’t look vulnerable.
They have added players and
they all defend very well. We
don’t have that luck. I expect it
will be a game like the ones last
season, although with a different
result. We need to attack and defend well because it will be a difficult game.”
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale heads the ball past Espanyol’s defenders during the Spanish league match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. (AFP)
eal Madrid returned to winning
ways with a 3-0 win over Espanyol yesterday, despite playing most of the second-half with
10 men, to move four points clear at the
top of La Liga. Cristiano Ronaldo was restored to the starting line-up after being
rested in a 2-0 Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid in midweek and he set up James Rodriguez to open the scoring 12 minutes in.
Gareth Bale then doubled the hosts advantage with a sumptuous free-kick, but
their route to a comfortable three points
was complicated when Fabio Coentrao
was sent-off eight minutes into the second period.
Espanyol, though, failed to make their
man advantage count as Nacho added
a third 14 minutes from time to put the
pressure on Madrid’s title rivals Barcelona and Atletico, who face each other at
the Camp Nou today.
“The sending-off was an incomprehensible decision,” complained Madrid
boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“It made the game more complicated
for us, but thankfully the team was in a
good state mentally.”
Ancelotti made four changes in all from
the side that slipped to a 2-0 defeat at
the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday and
there was never any danger of the European champions starting 2015 with three
defeats on the spin as they dominated
from start to п¬Ѓnish.
Karim Benzema was unfortunate not
to open the scoring when he smashed a
loose ball off the outside of the post on
10 minutes, but the hosts had to wait just
two minutes more for the opener thanks
to a lovely team move.
Bale switched the play from right to
left to pick out Ronaldo and he cut the
ball back perfectly for the late arriving
Rodriguez to slot home his 10th goal of
the season.
Bale then responded in п¬Ѓne style to the
criticism of his performances in Madrid’s
defeats to Valencia and Atletico in the
past week with a brilliant dipping freekick that went in off the inside of the post.
The Welshman could have added to his
tally with a free header from close range
that flew beyond the far post.
However, a stroll towards victory became more complicated for Ancelotti’s
Bale not too selfish, insists Ancelotti
Madrid: Real Madrid coach Carlo
Ancelotti defended his Welsh superstar
Gareth Bale after he was whistled by
sections of the home support during
the European champions 3-0 win over
Espanyol yesterday.
Bale contributed to James Rodriguez’s opener and then struck a
wonderful free-kick to put the hosts
2-0 in front at half-time. However, the
Bernabeu faithful were less than happy
when shortly after Madrid had been
reduced to 10 men by Fabio Coentrao’s
red card, Bale squandered an easy
chance to make it 3-0 with Cristiano
men eight minutes into the second half
when Coentrao was shown a straight red
card for flying into a challenge with Jose
Canas with his studs showing.
Ronaldo was booked for taking his protests towards referee David Fernandez
Borbalan too far in the aftermath, but the
incident seemed to п¬Ѓre up the Portuguese
as he sprang into life. The World Player of
the Year smashed a low effort just wide
and then had another shot blocked at the
Ronaldo waiting for a tap in.
“Bale played a very good game. He
had intensity, he scored, he helped in
the first goal. I thought he played very
well,” said Ancelotti. “It could be in this
moment the fans asked for a pass to
Cristiano that he didn’t make because,
like all strikers in front of goal, they
try to score. The altruism of this team
is very important, if there is someone
who is being selfish we will fix it. We
have fans that demand a lot and this
is good. Bale is a fundamental player
like Cristiano and that is why the fans
demand more of them.”
end of a lightning fast counter-attack involving Bale and Benzema.
Bale was then whistled by some of the
home support when he missed a huge
chance to seal the three points after
sprinting beyond the Espanyol backline
with Ronaldo waiting to tap into an empty
net. However, all was forgiven moments
later when Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross found
substitute Nacho free at the back post to
slam home his п¬Ѓrst goal for the club.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique. (AFP)
Ronaldo shrine in Madeira awaits new trophy
Madeira, Portugal
he Cristiano Ronaldo Museum
in Madeira is a family affair
that is counting on getting a
new trophy tomorrow when
FIFA announces its latest world player
of the year. There are already the Ballon
d’Or trophies for 2008 and 2013 among
the more than 160 prizes in the museum overlooking the port of Funchal,
Ronaldo’s hometown.
The 29-year-old Real Madrid superstar is hot favourite to secure a third at
a FIFA cermony in Zurich.
“If he does not win, there is no justice in football!”, said Nuno Viveiros,
a 32-year-old cousin of the footballer
who cheerfully guides visitors around
the museum. Ronaldo’s brother Hugo
Aveiro runs the museum and his adoring mother Dolores Aveiro is never far
Dolores Aveiro has played a key role
in the rise of the world’s richest footballer, whose personal wealth is estimated at more than $185 million (155
million euros). “Ronaldo would not be
where he is without his mother,” said
Francisco Afonso, Ronaldo’s first coach
at the small local club CF Andorinha.
Sporting Lisbon signed the future
star as an 11-year-old and “she went to
be with him in Lisbon when he wanted
to give everything up and return to Madeira,” said Afonso.
The rest is history and the Ronaldo
name has become a near industry on
the island of Madeira, where Funchal is
the capital.
Below the museum, an imposing
statue of the footballer, complete with
his thickly gelled quiff, stands on the
seafront amid the palm trees.
The world’s most marketable footballer, his mother and whole family attended the inauguration in December
of the 800 kilogramme (1,760 pound),
3.40 metre (11 feet) high statue.
Some unkind social media commentators and visitors make fun of the
statue, saying the shorts are too tight
and revealing. But Ronaldo fans come
from the Portuguese mainland and
other countries to pay tribute.
Ronaldo, known as “CR7” after his
initials and shirt number, paid for the
400 square metre museum which has
Cristiano Ronaldo is hot favourite to secure a third Ballon d’Or trophy. (Reuters)
already attracted 100,000 visitors
ready to pay п¬Ѓve euros ($5.90) for the
entrance ticket. Alongside the world
player of the trophies are those for being three times the top scorer in Europe
and three more for being top scorer in
the Champions League.
There are letters from fans, signed
shirts and some of his trophies from his
youth years won in tournaments across
Portugal and Europe.
The exhibits trace Ronaldo’s extraordinary career from CF Andorinha
to local Portuguese championship side
Nacional Madeira, his moves to Sporting, then at 18 to Manchester United
and then his 94 million euro ($110 million) transfer to Real Madrid.
Followers stare at the Ballon d’Or
trophies. “Ronaldo is the greatest. He
knows how to play with the ball and
build up the game like no-one else,”
said Victor Melendez, a 29-year-old
Spaniard, perusing the exhibits.
Afonso, now 75, said that Ronaldo
“always had the ability to read the
game and above all he trained more
than the others.”
Portuguese visitor Joao Nascimento,
45, had his photograph taken with a
wax statue of his hero who he was sure
would remain at the top. “He will get
a third Ballon d’Or, I’m sure,” the fan
declared. The passion is shared by the
island of Madeira for whom Ronaldo is
a folk hero.
His mother says that the football superstar, now at the height of his career
with Real Madrid, has “never forgotten
his origins.”
But the Ronaldo traces are slowly
disappearing. His family home in the
popular Funchal district of Santo Antonio is gone.
His father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener, died in 2005. Their
subsidised home was then razed and a
small car park with a view over the sea
has replaced it.
But it was here that the young Ronaldo played in the streets with his older
cousins who were already jealous of his
Not all the neighbours remain admirers. “Since he became a star, Ronaldo has forgotten us,” said Filipe, a local
man aged in his 20s. But Afonso insists
that Ronaldo “will for a long time remain Madeira’s best representative in
the world.”
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
India survive late collapse
to force draw in Sydney
�The boys toiled really hard today and it was disappointing not to get the result in the end’
prove on as a Test side, especially
seeing the way the Australians
bowl,” Kohli added.
“I think that’s something we
need to learn from, big time to
be honest. If we can improve
on that we’re going to be a very
strong Test team moving forward.”
Smith has clearly marked
himself out as permanent Test
captain when Michael Clarke’s
back п¬Ѓnally forces him out of the
game, even if he will return to the
ranks for next month’s 50-over
World Cup.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, I’ve had
a great time,” Smith said. “The
boys have done everything I’ve
asked of them. They’ve worked
their backsides off every day and
I couldn’t be prouder of them for
the way they’ve performed in
this series.”
ustralia were denied a
dramatic victory and
forced to settle for a
2-0 series win when
India survived a nervous п¬Ѓnal
session to force a draw in the
fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket
Ground yesterday.
Steve Smith’s side were aggressive to the very last ball but unable
to break the eighth wicket pairing of Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and grab a third
win to go with those they achieved
in Adelaide and Brisbane.
The tourists, who were handed
a victory target of 349 when Australia declared on their overnight
score of 251-6, collapsed from
160-2 at tea to 217-7 but Virat
Kohli had promised his team
would never throw in the towel
and they were true to his word.
They had reached 252-7 when
Australia ran out of overs in the
early evening gloom.
“It would have been nice to
have got the win today,” said
Smith, who was named man of
the match and the series for his
batting exploits.
“I thought we were going to be
a good chance to win this game,
but today wasn’t to be. The boys
toiled really hard today and it
was disappointing not to get the
result in the end.”
There was a period around the
tea break when Kohli and opener
Murali Vijay flirted with going
for the victory, which would have
smashed the previous record for
a successful fourth innings run
chase in a Test at the ground.
Once their third wicket partnership was broken with the departure of Vijay for 80, however,
it was damage limitation all the
way as Kohli (46), the luckless
Suresh Raina (0), Wriddhiman
Saha (0) and Ravichandran Ash-
The Australian cricket team pose with the Border-Gavaskar trophy during the final day of the fourth Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.
win (1) all quickly followed.
That the last three were all out
leg before wicket was an indication that the pitch was п¬Ѓnally
producing some turn and movement after being something of a
batsman’s paradise for much of
the match.
It was also п¬Ѓtting reward for
Australia’s bowlers, particularly
paceman Josh Hazlewood and
spinner Nathan Lyon, who had
bowled with discipline and ac-
curacy in the п¬Ѓrst two sessions
without being able to claim more
than two wickets.
The п¬Ѓeld closed in around Rahane (38 not out) and Kumar (20
not out) with often just one Australian outside the cordon but
the Indian batsmen held п¬Ѓrm to
secure a second successive draw
after the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Given the lack of success for
both sides in each other’s countries in recent years, that could
be considered something of an
achievement for India.
“We took them to the end on
three occasions, two were draws
and one was a loss that could
have gone either way,” Kohli,
who deputised for Mahendra
Singh Dhoni in Adelaide and
took over permanently in Sydney after the wicketkeeper called
time on his Test career.
“I’m really, really proud of the
way the guys have played in this
series. Australia has had to earn
both the victories they’ve had.”
The series started late with a
schedule rejigged and compacted after the death of former Australian batsmen Phillip Hughes.
With 5,870 runs scored by
both sides, it featured more
runs than any other four-match
Test series with Smith (769) and
Kohli (682) leading the way with
to victory
over SA
Flat pitches, dropped
catches didn’t help
Aussies, says Smith
Cape Town
dropped catches made
it tough going for Australia’s bowlers in the
four-Test series against India,
skipper Steve Smith said yesterday.
The Australians took the
series 2-0, but plucky India
held on for a second successive draw over п¬Ѓve days in the
п¬Ѓnal Test at the Sydney Cricket
This year’s result is a turnaround for Australia after a humiliating 4-0 defeat by India
on their home turf in 2013.
But Smith said the Aussies
might have won by a greater
margin if not for the unresponsive pitches and bungled
Shaun Marsh’s dropped
catch on Saturday when Murali Vijay was on 42 - on the
way to 80 - was Australia’s
17th missed п¬Ѓelding opportunity in the series.
“I think the wickets have
been extremely flat and it’s
been tough to take 20 wickets,”
he said.
“Throughout this season
we’ve let ourselves down in the
п¬Ѓeld. Perhaps if we had taken
a few more chances, it might
have been a little bit different.
“They are not the standards
we set as an Australian cricket
“We have a lot of work to do
on our п¬Ѓelding, with one-day
hris Gayle blazed a halfcentury off 17 balls to
power West Indies to a
four-wicket victory over
South Africa in the п¬Ѓrst Twenty20 international at Newlands
on Friday.
The left-hander bludgeoned
the ball all round the ground to
record the joint second fastest
п¬Ѓfty in Twenty20 international
history, п¬Ѓnishing with 77 from
31 deliveries as the touring side
reached their target of 166 with
four balls to spare.
Gayle was out trying to reverse-sweep leg-spinner Imran
Tahir before leaving the ground
with the score on 114 in under 11
overs to a standing ovation.
After South Africa had won
the toss, they posted a competitive score of 165 for four but found
Gayle in no mood to deal in singles.
The 35-year-old, who now
holds the record for the fastest
Twenty20 half-century for the
West Indies after shaving three
balls off the previous best by
Kieron Pollard, bludgeoned п¬Ѓve
fours and eight massive sixes.
Marlon Samuels compiled a
fluent 41 from 32 balls before he
became the third wicket of the
innings for the impressive Tahir,
who conceded only 28 runs in his
four overs.
South Africa’s total was built
around an unbeaten 51 from 40
balls by left-hander Rilee Rossouw and captain Faf du Plessis
struck a brisk 38 from 20 balls.
four centuries apiece.
Both got their fourth in Sydney, Smith’s 117 leading his side
to their imposing п¬Ѓrst innings
tally of 572-7 declared and Kohli’s 147 the gel in India’s 475.
India learned yet again, however, that you cannot win Tests
in Australia without disciplined
and accurate pace bowling to
take 20 wickets, however strong
a batting line-up you possess.
“There is a lot for us to im-
Australia 1st innings 572 for 7
India 1st innings 475
Australia 2nd innings (overnight 251 for 6)
C. Rogers c Raina b Kumar .......................................56
D. Warner c Vijay b Ashwin ...........................................4
S. Watson b Ashwin ..............................................................16
S. Smith lbw b Shami ..........................................................71
S. Marsh c Vijay b Ashwin .................................................1
J. Burns c Yadav b Ashwin..........................................66
B. Haddin not out ....................................................................31
R. Harris not out.........................................................................0
Extras: (b2, lb2, nb2)............................................................6
Total: (6 wickets dec; 40 overs) .......................251
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Warner), 2-46
(Watson), 3-126 (Rogers), 4-139 (Marsh), 5-165
(Smith), 6-251 (Burns)
Bowling: Kumar 8-0-46-1, Ashwin 19-2-1054, Shami 6-0-33-1 (1nb), Yadav 3-0-45-0 (1nb),
Raina 4-0-18-0
India 2nd innings
M. Vijay c Haddin b Hazlewood .......................... 80
L. Rahul c Warner b Lyon ..............................................16
R. Sharma c Smith b Watson ..................................39
V. Kohli c Watson b Starc .............................................46
A. Rahane not out................................................................. 38
S. Raina lbw b Starc................................................................0
W. Saha lbw b Lyon................................................................0
R. Ashwin lbw b Hazlewood...........................................1
B. Kumar not out ...................................................................20
Extras (b6, lb6)............................................................................12
Total: (7 wickets; 89.5 overs) ..............................252
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Rahul), 2-104
(Sharma), 3-178 (Vijay), 4-201 (Kohli), 5-203
(Raina), 6-208 (Saha), 7-217 (Ashwin)
Bowling: Starc 19-7-36-2, Harris 13-3-34-0,
Lyon 30.5-5-110-2, Hazlewood 17-7-31-2, Smith
2-0-7-0, Watson 8-2-22-1
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.
NZ confidence higher
than previous World
Cups, says Vettori
Australian captain Steven Smith (L) is presented with the Gavaskar- Border trophy by Alan Border
and Sunil Gavaskar at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.
series and the World Cup coming up, to get our standards up
where we want them to be.”
�Tough to get wickets’
Australia won the opening two Tests in Adelaide and
Brisbane, but could not take
20 Indian wickets in the remaining Tests in Melbourne
and Sydney, which п¬Ѓnished in
draws. “It has been tough to
get 20 wickets in this Test series,” he said.
“The wickets haven’t broken up quite as much as we
thought they would. I don’t
know the reasons for that.
“The bowlers have toiled extremely hard throughout these
four Test matches and I’m re-
ally proud of the way they gone
through these games.”
It was a batsmen’s series
with a total of 15 centuries
scored, four each to Smith and
Indian counterpart Virat Kohli.
Smith п¬Ѓnished as the player
of the series. Apart from his
hundreds he took some exceptional catches, none better
than his brilliant flying righthanded grasp at second slip to
dismiss Rohit Sharma for 39
on Saturday.
“It was just one of those
ones. I think (former Australia Test captain) Mark Taylor
talked to me about three he
dropped in Adelaide,” Smith
said. “He said �they usually
come in threes.’ I said: �Thanks
for the confidence Mark.’
“I was just one of those
ones, got across to it and it
Smith said he had enjoyed
being captain for three Tests in
the absence of Michael Clarke
due to injury.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, I’ve
had a great time.” he said.
“A lot of the senior boys
have been helping me out and
the boys have done everything
I’ve asked of them.
“They’ve worked their
backsides off every day and I
couldn’t be prouder of them
for the way they’ve performed
in this series.”
ew Zealand’s preparations for the cricket
World Cup are the best
they had been in Daniel Vettori’s four previous campaigns and they can enter the
tournament they co-host with
Australia with confidence, the
former captain has said.
Vettori, who turns 36 on Jan.
27, has been included in New
Zealand’s squad for the tournament in what will likely be his
international swan song after an
18-year career.
“My previous four World Cups
there has been some trepidation moving it into it but this one
feels like a good solid squad that
is ready for it,” Vettori told reporters in Christchurch on Saturday, a day ahead of their first
one-day international against
Sri Lanka.
“Rather than stumbling into
the World Cup like we may have
done in the past, we can go into
it with all our bases covered and
everybody firing.”
That confidence had been
lifted over the last two years under captain Brendon McCullum
and coach Mike Hesson, Vettori
added, with the recent 2-0 test
series victory over Sri Lanka also
permeating into the one-day
“You can’t underestimate how
well the guys played in the test
match and how much that confidence has rubbed off on guys like
myself and the guys who weren’t
“We feed off that confidence
(and) there is a real vibe in the
Vettori said their confidence
would only be embellished further with a strong performance
in their seven-match series
with Sri Lanka that starts at
Hagley Oval and is followed by
two more one-dayers against
Pakistan, before the tournament begins.
“The focus is around the build
up (to the World Cup), but these
are still international games,”
he said in reference to the nine
games they play before the Feb.
14 opener.
“The standard has been set by
the team and we don’t want to
“I think the World Cup is there
and it’s a big talking point for
everyone but we’re concentrating on the game tomorrow and
that’s how the guys are looking
at it.”
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
takes control
Gharafa A players celebrate with Qatar Olympic Committee secretary general Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani after defeating Khor 21-13 in the final of 3X3 Basketball Clubs Tournament at Pearl-Qatar yesterday. (Below) Qatar Professionals players celebrate at the podium after defeating Qatar Juniors 14-10 in the final.
irdies on the opening four holes set the
tone for home favourite
Charl Schwartzel as
he stormed to a п¬Ѓve-shot lead
after the third round of the South
African Open at Glendower Golf
Club in Johannesburg yesterday.
Schwartzel, who started the
round a shot behind Englishman
Andy Sullivan, carded six birdies
in his opening nine holes before
п¬Ѓnishing with a six under par 66
for a three-round total of 203.
The 30-year-old, who has never
won his home championship, is
п¬Ѓve shots ahead of the Britons,
Matthew Fitzpatrick and David
Drysdale, who are tied for second.
Schwartzel holed a 50-foot
putt on the п¬Ѓrst to gain momentum. He then holed from
six foot and 20 foot for further
birdies, before almost pitching
in at the fourth.
That created an eight-shot
swing over Sullivan who, in
contrast to his playing partner’s
electric start, bogeyed his п¬Ѓrst
four holes. “I don’t think you
can ask for a much better start,
with a bunched leaderboard it’s
one way to get yourself separated from the field,” said Schwartzel, who also led after 54 holes
last year but п¬Ѓnished fourth
after a closing 71 at Glendower
Golf Club.
“I hit some really good shots
but had quite a mixed bag with
some really great shots and
great saves, but some bad shots
that maybe had some good
Schwartzel dropped his п¬Ѓrst
shot of the day on the seventh
but bounced back with birdies
on the next two holes to be out
in 31, while two three-putts on
the par fives on the back nine —
one for bogey, the other for par
— meant he had to settle for an
inward half of 35.
Asked about the importance
of winning his national open for
the п¬Ѓrst time, Schwartzel said:
“In the big world people look
at the majors but coming from
South Africa this is pretty much
a major for South Africans. It
will be nice to go out and keep
swinging the way I am tomorrow.”
Sullivan п¬Ѓnished with a twoover 74 and trails Schwartzel by
seven shots going into today’s
п¬Ѓnal round.
Fitzpatrick, a 20-year-old
rookie, carded an eagle and six
birdies, but also dropped three
shots for a п¬Ѓve-under par 67.
Drysdale sank п¬Ѓve birdies in his
п¬Ѓnal seven holes for a 68 having
double-bogeyed the 10th.
Another crowd favourite
Ernie Els went round in 69,
eight shots better than his erratic second round, and is on
three under par for the championship in tied 20th.
Henley grabs lead over Bae
as US PGA Tour resumes
Russell Henley had eight birdies in an eight-under 65 on Friday to
grab a narrow lead over early pace-setter Bae Sang-Moon at the first
round of the US PGA Tour Tournament of Champions.
Henley birdied five of the first seven holes on the par-73 Kapalua
Plantation Course, and gained sole possession of the lead with a
birdie at the last. he birdie gave him a one-shot lead over Bae.
“Today was good,” said Henley, whose birdies included a 20-footer
at the 12th.
“It’s not every day you’re going to hit the putts right where you want
to and read them correctly, but I did today.”
Henley won The Honda Classic last season to earn his spot in the
winners-only field. The tournament is the first of 2015, as the 2014-15
campaign resumes after a December break.
Henley, 25, played the tournament last year after winning the 2013
Sony Open in Hawaii. He failed to break 70 en route to a 27th-place
finish but is feeling much more comfortable this time around.
“I feel good,” Henley said. “I like Bermuda grass. I’ve putted well on
Bermuda grass—both of my wins have come on Bermuda grass.”
South Korea’s Bae also mastered the big, grainy greens at Kapalua.
“I think I was in a zone,” said Bae, who birdied six of the first eight
holes but gave a shot back with a bogey at 11 before back-to-back
birdies at 14 and 15. Bae said the greens were hard to read but
some help from his caddie did the trick. “He’s really good,” said Bae,
who won the first tournament of the 2014-15 campaign, the Frys.
com Open back in October and finished tied for fifth at the CIMB
Classic in Malaysia. Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner last season,
carded a six-under 67 and shared third place with Patrick Reed,
Scott Stallings, Ben Martin and Robert Streb. Defending champion
Zach Johnson opened with a five-under par 68. He shared eighth
place with world number 11 Matt Kuchar, Australian John Senden
and Chris Kirk. It was a further stroke back to a group of six on 69:
Canadian Nick Taylor, Australians Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones,
Kevin Streelman, J.B. Holmes, and Brendon Todd. Reigning Masters
champion Bubba Watson headed a group of seven players on
three-under 70 that also included Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and
Australian Jason Day.
The winners of the Al Adeed Endurance Cup pose with their trophies on the podium. The event was conducted by the Qatar endurance Committee at Messaied yesterday. (Right) Children taking part in the Al Adeed Endurance Cup on Friday.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
High-flying Hawks snap
Pistons’ seven-game run
�We didn’t come ready to play at all in the first half, we played with no intensity’
Los Angeles
he Atlanta Hawks kept
one streak alive and put
an end to another.
Al Horford had 19
points with a season-high 16
rebounds, and the high-flying
Hawks held off a late charge Friday for their seventh straight
victory while snapping the Detroit Pistons’ seven-game run,
“We just have to do a better
job of finishing,” Horford said.
“We won the game, so we’ll take
Paul Millsap scored 17, Jeff
Teague had 14 and 11 assists for
the Eastern Conference-leading
Hawks (28-8), who have taken 21
of their last 23 contests.
Atlanta built a 23-point second-quarter cushion against
revitalized Detroit, which owned
the league’s longest current win
The feisty Pistons fought back
behind Kentavious CaldwellPope, who п¬Ѓred in 16 of his 20
points in the п¬Ѓnal frame. But
with a shot to knot the contest,
he missed a three-pointer at the
buzzer and the Hawks escaped
with their franchise-record
eighth straight road win.
“Obviously, this is not how we
wanted to finish,” Hawks coach
Mike Budenholzer said. “We’ll
have to learn from it and play
better second halves.”
Kyle Singler scored 16 points
while Greg Monroe collected 15
and 12 rebounds for the Pistons
(12-24), who hit 13-of-43 triples
but fell for the п¬Ѓrst time since
December 21.
“We didn’t come ready to play
at all in the п¬Ѓrst half, we played
with no intensity,” Pistons coach
Stan Van Gundy conceded.
“We had better energy in the
second half and certainly down
the stretch. The guys kept playing and we had a desperation
shot to tie it in the end.”
Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler drives to the basket as Washington Wizards forward Kris Humphries defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center on Friday. The Wizards won 102-86.
Indiana ..............107
Atlanta ............106
New Orleans106
Oklahoma City99
Washington .102
Milwaukee .......98
San Antonio100
Denver ............... 118
Golden State.112
LA Lakers ........101
Boston .................... 103
Brooklyn ................. 88
Detroit ..................... 103
Memphis .................95
Chicago ................... 86
Phoenix ....................95
Sacramento ......108
Cleveland ...............94
Orlando ....................84
Elsewhere, Boston, which
overhauled its roster recently,
produced an impressive fourthquarter rally, but Indiana overcame poor shooting to win in
overtime with a 107-103 verdict
over Pacers.
Boston guard Avery Bradley
forced overtime with a threepointer from the left corner with
four seconds remaining in regulation, tying the score at 94-94
and capping a comeback from
a 13-point deficit in the fourth
John Wall claimed his п¬Ѓrst
head-to-head victory over fellow star guard Derrick Rose as
the Washington Wizards held
on after taking a 20-point lead
in the п¬Ѓrst quarter. The Wizards
beat the Bulls 102-86.
Center Marcin Gortat had
21 points and 13 rebounds and
Wall п¬Ѓnished with 16 points and
12 assists for the Wizards, who
moved ahead of the Bulls and
into second place in the Eastern
Conference standings.
Center Nerlens Noel had the
winning dunk with 3.2 seconds
remaining as Philadelphia rallied from a 13-point deficit to
score a narrow 90-88 victory
over Nets.
Noel п¬Ѓnished with 12 points
and his biggest play capped an
impressive comeback for the
76ers, who improved to 6-29.
Guard Jrue Holiday had 23
points and eight assists and led
п¬Ѓve players in double п¬Ѓgures to
lift the Pelicans to a 106-95 victory over Grizzlies.
The Pelicans snapped a twogame losing streak and got balanced scoring. In addition to
Holiday, guard Tyreke Evans
scored 21 points and forwards
Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson had 20 each.
Forward Kevin Durant scored
Roy leads Oilers past Blackhawks
erek Roy had a goal
and two assists to lift
the Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago
Blackhawks on Friday.
Benoit Pouliot, Jeff Petry, Nail
Yakupov and Taylor Hall also
scored for the Oilers, who are
3-1-2 under Nelson since he took
over sole coaching responsibilities when general manager Craig
MacTavish moved back upstairs
from the bench.
�’We’re starting to gel a lot as
a team,’’ Hall said. �’When we
get down, we come together. We
don’t try to do too much individually. We’re starting to play like
that and it’s helping out a lot. It’s
a nice little stretch for us. A win
is a win, no matter where it is in
the season.
�’And when you’re winning
against a team like Chicago, it’s
even better.’’
NY Islanders .......3
Tampa Bay ..........2
Florida ..................... 6
Edmonton ............5
New Jersey...............2
Columbus ..................2
Calgary .........................5
Chicago ........................2
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta and teammate Johnny Oduya look for the loose puck after
Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed the net during the second period of the game on Friday in
Edmonton, Alberta.
The Oilers had lost 20 of their
previous 21 games before the recent surge.
�’That’s how we have to play
every game,’’ Yakupov said.
�’That was really a team game
tonight. It was really exciting.
We started to play the right way.’’
Brandon Saad had a pair of
goals for the Blackhawks, who
have lost two of their last three.
�’They played a good game,
but we had all the chances we
needed to win this game tonight,’’ Blackhawks goalie Antti
Raanta said. �’I’ve played better
games myself.’’
Meanwhile, John Tavares
scored two goals, including one
off a steal in overtime, leading
the New York Islanders to a 3-2
victory over New Jersey at the
Prudential Center.
Islanders goaltender Jaroslav
Halak made 21 saves to earn his
22nd win of the year. Left winger
Josh Bailey scored a goal in the
third period to aid in the victory.
Centers Travis Zajac and Scott
Gomez each scored a goal for
the Devils, and goaltender Keith
Kinkaid made 28 saves.
Center Steven Stamkos scored
the game-winner with 5:18 left
in the third period, allowing
п¬Ѓrst-place Tampa Bay to earn a
2-1 win against reeling Buffalo at
Amalie Arena.
The Lightning had jumped out
to an early lead on center Valtteri
Filppula’s eighth goal of the season.
Center Cody McCormick
scored his п¬Ѓrst goal of the season, just 50 seconds into the second frame, for the Sabres.
Panthers left-winger Tomas
Fleischmann shovelled in the
game-winner during a goalmouth scramble late in the third
period, lifting Florida to a 6-5
victory in a game that featured a
lot of ugly goals.
Fleischmann’s winner came
just 45 seconds after center Matt
Stajan had evened the score for
the Flames.
32 points to help the Thunder
end a two-game losing streak.
Westbrook posted 25 points on
9-of-17 shooting to go along
with 12 assists. Guard Dion
Waiters, recently acquired from
Cleveland, added 15 points off
the bench.
Point guard Brandon Knight
scored 14 points as the Bucks
snapped a four-game home losing streak.
Knight hit 5-of-10 shots and
knocked down a pair of threepointers to lead a Milwaukee
offense that got 12 points each
from guard O.J. Mayo and forward John Henson.
San Antonio made six threepoint baskets in the fourth quarter as it beat Phoenix 100-95.
The Spurs used the barrage of
jump shots to erase a 10-point
deficit. Guard Danny Green led
the San Antonio with 20 points.
Department of Justice to weigh
in on �Redskins’ trademark case
The US Department of
Justice said Friday it would
intervene in the court battle
over whether the NFL’s
Washington Redskins
should be able to trademark
their name.
The club has been under pressure from Native
American groups who argue
that the name is offensive.
The Department of Justice
said Friday it was intervening in the case to п¬Ѓght the
claim that the Lanham Act,
which is preventing the
trademarks, is unconstitutional.
“The Department of Justice is dedicated to defending the constitutionality
of the important statute
ensuring that trademark
issues involving disparaging and derogatory language are dealt with fairly,”
said Joyce R. Branda, acting
assistant attorney general
for the department’s Civil
The case pits Pro-Football
Incorporated, parent
company of the Redskins,
against Amanda Blackhorse
et al.
It started in 2006, when
Blackhorse and four other
Native Americans sought
the cancellation of six
Washington Redskins
trademark registrations
under the Lanham Act, a
federal law that outlaws
false advertising.
They said the trademarks
were disparaging to Native
Americans, and a Trademark Trial and Appeal
Board panel agreed, issuing
a decision in June of 2014
that the registrations
should be cancelled.
Pro-Football Inc, then
went to court, challenging
the legality of the Lanham
Act saying it violated First
Amendment free-speech
Branda said the concern of
the Department of Justice
in the case was to “maintain
the ability of the US Patent
and Trademark Office to
make its own judgment on
these matters, based on
clear authorities established by law.”
Opponents of the moniker
have pursued other efforts
to pressure team owner Dan
Snyder to change the name.
The Washington Post
newspaper’s editorial board
said in August it would no
longer use the nickname.
In September, the Change
the Mascot coalition wrote
to 31 owners of NFL franchises telling them they had
the power to force Snyder to
make a change and dozens
of US lawmakers have gone
on record as favoring a
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Visitors will benefit
from highest quality
services and security
Men’s Handball World Championship ready to receive thousands of fans
Dakar lead
but we were really careful from
the beginning because it was really not easy,” said al-Attiyah.
“The route today was just only
really for buggies. Our time was
really good and I’m quite happy.”
Saudi Arabian rookie Yazeed
al-Rajhi, in a Toyota, was seventh
on the stage, more than eight
minutes off the pace and is almost
half an hour behind al-Attiyah in
the overall standings. He remains
in third spot. Stephane Peterhansel, the 11-time champion and
best-placed Peugeot driver after
the retirement of 2010 champion
Carlos Sainz, п¬Ѓnished half an
hour behind al-Attiyah to stand
at close to two hours off the lead.
Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues,
on a Honda, won the motorcycling stage while Spain’s Joan
Barreda stayed in charge of the
overall title race. It was Rodrigues’s first win on the 2015 race,
п¬Ѓnishing in 3hours 40min 10sec.
“I started very badly with my
body at the beginning of this
rally. I had three days that were
not so good. On day four, I had
a problem with the bike due to
mechanical problems, but today
I had a good stage,” said Rodrigues. Australia’s Toby Price,
on a KTM, was 1min 10sec behind while Portugal’s Paulo
Goncalves, also on a Honda, was
1min 42sec off the lead.
Antofagasta, Chile
atar’s Nasser al-Attiyah edged closer to
a second Dakar Rally
victory on Friday when
he claimed his third stage win out
of six along Chile’s Pacific coast.
Al-Attiyah, the 2011 champion, had already won the second
and fourth stages and his latest
triumph meant that Mini, who
swept the 2014 podium, maintained their record of winning all
the stages so far.
The Qatari took the honours
on the 318km timed stage from
Antofagasta to Iquique on the
shores of the Pacific with main
rival Giniel de Villiers, the South
African 2009 champion, second
in a Toyota. It was de Villiers’ fifth
podium п¬Ѓnish this week while
2014 champion Nani Roma, also
in a Mini, was third.
However Roma’s hopes of
hanging on to his title had already been shattered by losing six
and a half hours on next stage. In
the overall standings, al-Attiyah
stretched his lead by 37 seconds
over de Villiers to more than 21
minutes. “We did a good job and
I’m quite happy to win the stage.
It’s a good day for us again. We
pushed a little bit in the dunes
Qatar’s Nasser al-Attiyah in
action during Dakar Rally.
By Sports Reporter
he teams responsible for spectator services and security at
the upcoming Men’s Handball
World Championship are fully
prepared to welcome thousands of sports
fans to Doha when the matches begin on
January 15.
Demand for tickets has been very
good, as the two committees have
worked hard to ensure the high volume
of visitors enjoy smooth and easy access
to the three main venues. The spectator
services committee will provide support
for all spectators, covering the information booth operations, access control,
and general spectator management.
As part of the preparations, the team
has consulted the embassies of all participating countries, and has made all
necessary arrangements for the different
communities. Large crowds are expected, particularly for popular games that
will attract people from neighbouring
Ahmed Hassan Matar, head of spectator services committee, Qatar 2015,
said: “We have a full plan in place to
ensure that every visitor has an exciting
and memorable experience. The ticketing system – which provides a range of
standard and VIP tickets – should ensure
that people can п¬Ѓnd their seats easily and
quickly, and each match should be an exciting experience.”
“Demand for tickets has been very
good. The direction and vision of H.E.
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, President of the Qatar 2015 Organising Committee, has helped ensure that interest in
the event has been very strong, both in
Qatar and internationally,” he added.
The spectator services committee has
been heavily involved in developing special Fan Zones at every venue. The Fan
Zones will offer a range of foods to suit
all tastes and air conditioned lounges.
In addition, the Fan Zones will have free
wi-п¬Ѓ and ATMs, as well as prayer rooms
for visitors. People will be able to spend
the whole day in the Fan Zones as part of
their visit to the Men’s World Handball
For major events during Qatar 2015,
such as the Opening Ceremony, visitors
are being asked to arrive 75 minutes in
advance of the opening time.
Managing this high volume of visitors and ensuring their safety is the re-
sponsibility of the security committee.
The team has ensured that each venue is
staffed by highly-trained, multi-lingual
security staff. The Committee has tested
all security processes and facilities during the IHF Super Globe Championship
in 2014.
Abdullah al-Ghanim, spokesperson
for the security committee, Qatar 2015,
said: “Security and safety are top priorities for Qatar 2015. We have a plan in
place for athletes, VIPs and the public.
We are confident that everything will go
smoothly during the Championship. We
will inspect, secure and supervise every
venue, using advanced technologies to
monitor, help and guide people around
the venues.”
Qatar 2015 will issue a series of guidelines for visitors over the next week, offering advice for the spectators at the
venues and during the championship.
The 24th Men’s Handball World
Championship will be the п¬Ѓrst event of
its kind to be hosted in a single city and
the п¬Ѓrst to be held in the GCC.
Konstantin claims
another gold
By Sports Reporter
Slovenia’s Jakub Hrinda with the winner’s trophy of the Qatar Open Amateur Golf Tournament yesterday. With the victory, Hrinda qualified for the Commercial Bank Qatar
Masters. Qatari golfers Ali Saleh al-Kaabi and Salman Nasser al-Khanji also qualified for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
altsev Konstantin emerged as the most successful shooter
at Qatar Cup for Shooting and Archery as he won the п¬Ѓfth
medal yesterday at the Losail Shooting Range.
On the п¬Ѓnal day yesterday, the Qatar army shooter п¬Ѓred
570 with 13x to win the 25m Centre Fire Pistol gold. He defeated Mohamed Rakhimov Azizjon by 19 shots. This title was his fourth one of
the event, along with a bronze medal. He had earlier won the 10m Air
Pistol, the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol and 25m Standard Pistol.
Riaz Rustam Khan, despite a sharp pain in the shooting hand thumb,
beat Zafer Faraz al-Qahtani in a shootoff to win the bronze medal.
In other events of the day, Masoud Saleh emerged the champion in
the Men’s Skeet, beating Khalid al Muhannadi in a tight finish by 1312. There was an equally thrilling competition for the bronze medal as
well. Saeed Abusharib however prevailed over, winning the match-up
by 15-12.
The Men’s Trap title was claimed by Mohammed Dablan al-Adba,
who beat Masoud Ali al-Adba by 12-9. Masoud Hamad bagged the
bronze medal when he got the better of al Rumaihi by 12-11.
Abdulaziz al Abbasi won men’s two gold medals in archery. In the
Compound competition, he defeated Ishraf Rustam and Ahmed al
Abbasi. He completed his double with a win over Ahmed al Abbasi in
the Olympic Round. The third place went to Farhan al Assadi.
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Federer tames Dimitrov, faces Raonic in final
Swiss world number two Rodger Federer will meet Milos Raonic of
Canada (right) in today’s Brisbane International final. (AFP, EPA)
oger Federer moved to
within one win of his 1,000
career victory when he
crushed Bulgaria’s Grigor
Dimitrov to reach the п¬Ѓnal of the
Brisbane International yesterday.
The Swiss maestro produced a
masterclass display to brush aside
his young challenger, dubbed �Baby
Fed’, 6-2, 6-2 in just 53 minutes.
Federer will play Milos Raonic in
today’s final after the big-serving
Canadian blasted 34 aces past Kei
Nishikori to win the п¬Ѓrst semi-п¬Ѓnal
6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4).
If Federer wins his 83rd career
title today he will join Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl as just the third
man to chalk up 1,000 ATP match
“It’s a goal for the season, so I still
have time to get to a thousand,” he
said. “I hope it’s tomorrow, clearly.
“It’s a really big number, no doubt
about it. Love to get it tomorrow, especially in the п¬Ѓnals in an ATP event
where most of my wins have come.
“If not tomorrow, I hope it happens at the Australian Open. Been
a lot of the matches, a lot of toughening out plays. I don’t know if it’s
a goal, but it would definitely be an
incredible milestone to reach.”
The 33-year-old holds a 7-1 win
record over Raonic, one of the new
young guns starting to make their
mark on the game.
Dimitrov is also regarded as one
of the most promising emerging talents after reaching the semi-п¬Ѓnals
at Wimbledon last year but was unable to mount a serious challenge
against Federer. The world number
two broke Dimitrov in the opening game, then three more times to
complete a straight-sets win at the
Pat Rafter Arena.
Despite not having won a Grand
Slam title since 2012, Federer is steadily improving his form leading into the
Australian Open, starting Jan 19.
He struggled in his opening match
against little-known John Millman
but took just 39 minutes to win his
next match with Australian qualifier
James Duckworth.
“I was able to play straightforward
tennis, like yesterday, just really aggressive,” Federer said. “Against a
really good player, it’s a great result.
I’m happy I didn’t waste much energy. I’m fresh for the finals.”
Sharapova downs
Ivanovic for title
�I played four good matches
against very different types
of opponents. I couldn’t have
asked for better preparation’
Brisbane International
champion Maria Sharapova
of Russia (left) and
runner-up Ana Ivanovic
of Serbia pose with their
trophies after the women’s
final yesterday. (AFP)
aria Sharapova beat Ana Ivanovic in the п¬Ѓnal of the
Brisbane International yesterday in a display that
bodes well for her chances at the Australian Open.
It has been seven years since Sharapova won her
only Australian Open title but if she can take her form from
Brisbane to Melbourne, a second title does not seem out of the
question. Sharapova had to work hard to beat Ivanovic, coming
from behind to beat her 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 but the Serbian is a good
measuring stick.
Sharapova not only beat Ivanovic in the 2008 Australian Open
п¬Ѓnal but both women are in devastating form heading towards
the п¬Ѓrst grand slam of the season, starting on Jan. 19.
“I played four good matches against very different types of
opponents,” Sharapova said. “I couldn’t have asked for better
The Russian dropped just nine games in getting to the п¬Ѓnal
while Ivanovic showed nerves of steel to see off her opponents to
join Sharapova, ranked number two in the world.
It was a match that could have gone either way but Sharapova
proved too strong once she got her nose in front in the deciding
third set at the Pat Rafter Arena.
“She deserved to win the first set, no doubt, but I hung in
there,” Sharapova said. “It was important to get that break. I
held that and the third set came down to a few points really.”
Winning the Brisbane International provided Sharapova with
her 34th WTA career title and her п¬Ѓfth in the last nine months, a
red-hot span in which she also captured a second French Open
and a п¬Ѓrst China Open.
The 27-year-old has won at least one title every year since
2003, an unbroken streak of 15 years.
For Ivanovic, who has begun a resurgence up the world rankings in the past year, the pain of losing was compounded by an
abdominal strain which forced her to seek medical attention but
is unlikely to disrupt her Australian Open campaign.
Differences in opinion led
to Murray parting ways
with Vallverdu and Green
London: Differences in
opinion led to Andy Murray
(pic below) parting ways with
his long-term hitting partner
and assistant coach Dani
Vallverdu and fitness trainer
Jez Green, the British number
one said yesterday.
Vallverdu had been a
near-permanent presence by
Murray’s side since the duo
met at the Sanchez-Casal
Academy in Spain more than
a decade ago.
But rumblings that all was
not well in the Murray camp
came to light following the
Briton’s decision to appoint
twice Grand Slam champion
Amelie Mauresmo as head
coach last June.
It led to Venezuelan Vallverdu and Green to snap ties
with Murray in November.
“The most important point
in any team is that everyone
has the same vision, everyone wants to move forward
together,” Murray told The
Independent in Perth, where
he is fine-tuning his preparations for this month’s Australian Open.
“I feel that’s what I have
now. Maybe the last four or
five months of last year it
wasn’t like that. It’s not as
much fun travelling when
that’s the case. If everyone
isn’t right into it, that isn’t
how you want to work.”
Asked if Vallverdu thought
he should have been promoted to the top job following the departure of Murray’s
former head coach Ivan
Lendl last March, the world
number six replied: “That’s
possible. (But) if you look
at last year I spent only one
tournament... with Ivan, at
the Australian Open. The rest
of the time I was with Dani
every single week. I didn’t
have another coach travel
with me at all.
“So he was the coach
responsible for my training
and all my practices at all
of the tournaments. Maybe
it didn’t go as well as either
of us would have liked and
that’s why I felt like I needed
someone else.”
While Murray was frustrated at his inability to reach
a Grand Slam final for the
first time in five years in 2014,
Vallverdu was promptly hired
by former Wimbledon finalist
Tomas Berdych.
“For him to get the opportunity to work with someone
like Berdych is fantastic. He’s
obviously a top player and it
will be a good challenge for
him,” added the 2013 Wimbledon champion.
Murray, who has now fully
recovered from the back
surgery that hampered him
during the early part of last
season, has also been
working with a sports
psychologist in the hope of
returning to the Grand Slam
winner’s circle.
“I think when it comes
to psychology it has to be
something that the player
wants and the player buys
into,” Murray said. “When it’s
someone else’s suggestion in
the past I haven’t felt like it’s
worked. But just now I think
it’s working well.”
Venus fights back to down
Wozniacki in Auckland final
Venus Williams bounced back from defeat after a disastrous п¬Ѓrst
set to beat top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the Auckland Classic
п¬Ѓnal yesterday. It was the 46th career title for the seven-time
Grand Slam champion, who showed her guile in the showdown
between the two former world number ones to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
in just under two hours.
Wozniacki controlled the pace of the match through the п¬Ѓrst
nine games, breaking Williams in the third and п¬Ѓfth to take the
п¬Ѓrst set. When she broke again at the start of the second it was
the wake-up call Williams needed—the serve that had deserted the 34-year-old until then suddenly found its mark and her
powerful ground strokes stayed in.
The result leaves Williams unbeaten after six matches in her
head-to-head record with Wozniacki, although for the п¬Ѓrst time
the world’s eighth-ranked player has taken a set off the American. At 34, 10 years older than Wozniacki, Williams said she had
no interest in slowing down. “By the time you’re 34 you have a
lot of experience and if you can stay in shape, stay п¬Ѓt, can move
and hit the ball and don’t have five kids at home then why not?”
she shot back when questioned about possible retirement.
Halep claims Shenzhen title
World number three Simona Halep refused to let illness beat
her as she collected her ninth WTA Tour title by downing Timea
Bacsinszky in the Shenzhen Open п¬Ѓnal yesterday. The Romanian showed why she is among the favourites to lift a п¬Ѓrst Grand
Slam at the Australian Open later this month by dominating her
giant-killing opponent in a 6-2, 6-2 rout.
Swiss Bacsinszky had beaten double Wimbledon champion
Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in the semis but she couldn’t
make an impression on an unwell Halep. “I wasn’t feeling very
well before the match—I was a little bit sick—so I told myself �I
have nothing to lose, just go on court, be relaxed, stay focused
and fight for every point’,” Halep explained. “It worked, and I felt
really relaxed today. I’m happy I could play better day by day and
match by match here. I’m looking forward to playing like today
in the next tournament, maybe even better.”
Halep becomes only the second winner of the Shenzhen Open
after Li Na claimed the п¬Ѓrst two editions. The retired Chinese
great followed each victory by going on to make the п¬Ѓnal at the
year’s first Grand Slam.
Radwanska downs Serena, powers Poland to Hopman triumph
Perth: Agnieszka Radwanska showed why she
should be considered among the favourites for the
Australian Open later this month by beating world
number one Serena Williams and helping Poland to a
first Hopman Cup title in Perth yesterday.
World number five Radwanska claimed a 6-4, 6-7(3),
6-1 win to put her country 1-0 up against the United
States and returned to partner Jerzy Janowicz and
beat Williams and John Isner 7-5, 6-3 in doubles as
Poland became the 13th nation to win the mixed-team
event. Isner had overcome Janowicz 7-6(10), 6-4 in the
other singles to haul the US back into the contest.
“When I go and play against her, you have nothing
really to lose, she is number one in the world and a
great champion,” Radwanska told reporters of her
singles victory.
“It doesn’t matter what the score is. It’s never over,
she’s a great fighter. I’m just very happy that I could come
back after that second set and play my good game in the
third set. Wins like this always give a lot of confidence.”
Radwanska’s first victory over Williams in nine
meetings comes after she signed up former American great Martina Navratilova as a coach.
Williams, who also lost to Eugenie Bouchard of
Canada earlier this week in the round robin, could have
done with some advice from the 18-times grand slam
singles champion after struggling in the opening set.
The American’s forehand was particularly troublesome, contributing to many of her 28 unforced errors
as she was broken twice early on to fall 4-1 behind
before losing out 6-4. The second went with serve
as Radwanska pushed and pulled Williams around
the court, with the powerful American retaliating by
bludgeoning some heavy winners in an even contest.
The Pole, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open last
year, then broke Williams to go 6-5 up and serve for
the match but she was unable to put the American
down as the world number one broke back to force a
tiebreak that she took 7-3. However, that was as good
as it got for Williams, who will be seeking a 19th grand
slam title in Australia, as she collapsed in the third to
allow Radwanska to claim the moral boosting win.
Agnieszka Radwanska (left) and Jerzy Janowicz of Poland celebrate after beating Serena Williams and
John Isner of the US in the final doubles encounter of the Hopman Cup in Perth yesterday. (AFP)
Gulf Times
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Ferrer downs Berdych
to lift Qatar Open title
�It is never easy beginning the season with a tournament win, and I could win playing good tennis’
By Mikhil Bhat
omas Berdych had not been
broken in 34 service games in
the 2015 Qatar ExxonMobil
Open. That changed. In the
п¬Ѓrst game of the п¬Ѓnal yesterday.
More than an hour later, his opponent David Ferrer became the second
Spaniard after Rafael Nadal to win the
ATP title in Doha.
Ferrer, breaking Berdych four times,
beat third seed Berdych 6-4, 7-5 to
win $195000 in prize money and become the oldest champion in Doha at
32 years.
“I think in important points I got a
little bit lucky,” Ferrer, who was appearing in his 47th career ATP Tour final, said after the match. “I tried to stay
confident in the bad moments. Maybe
Tomas lost concentration a little bit
when he lost the three set points.
“My performance was very good. I
think I began the match receiving very
good. It really was close. Always with
Tomas Berdych I have to play my best
tennis to beat him.
“Well, I am happy because it is never
easy beginning the season with a tournament win, and I could win the tournament playing good tennis.”
Going into yesterday’s final, Berdych
had won 85 percent of points on his 1st
serve in the tournament. That dipped
to 75 percent yesterday.
Asked if he was doing something
wrong or Ferrer was doing something
right about his serve, Berdych said, “I
think it’s been a bit of combination of
both things, but still, you know, I think
that I have been selecting the shots
quite well. In the end, sometimes, not
all of them work well.”
He added: “A couple of times I
missed it by a very short (margin), and
a couple of let play didn’t go my way.
When you play with a player like David,
every single point where you were kind
of unlucky, it makes a big difference.”
A break down at 4-5 in the п¬Ѓrst set,
with Ferrer serving, Berdych had a
double break point. However, Ferrer
won three straight points to go advantage. Just then Ferrer’s shot hit the top
of the net, forcing Berdych to come
forward and wait a fraction of a second more adjusting for a backhand.
The shot went wide and Berdych just
stood there, looking at his box, shaking
his head, knowing very well that he had
lost an opportunity.
Berdych had the chance to force the
п¬Ѓnal into the third set in the tenth game.
But two backhand errors meant that he
couldn’t capitalise on a double break
point. A forehand error by Ferrer gave
Berdych another go but this time a drop
shot decided to stay on his side of the net.
Berdych will next play an exhibition
David Ferrer of Spain with the
Qatar ExxonMobil Open trophy.
(Below) Ferrer celebrates his win
with partner Marta Tornel.
Beckham expects 2022 World Cup
in Qatar to be a �special spectacle’
By Mikhil Bhat
match in Adelaide against Australia’s
former world number one Lleyton
Hewitt, and then head to Melbourne for
the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Ferrer is headed to
Auckland but will not be playing in the
tournament there.
“For me, this tournament was not
a preparation for Australian Open. Of
course I am confident now, but for now
I would like enjoy this moment and the
next day’s rest. Maybe practice Thurs-
day or Friday to be ready for the Australian Open,” said Ferrer, who became
the seventh straight top 10 player to
win the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.
Talking about the year’s first Grand
Slam, Berdych said, “I have to prepare
to adjust for the conditions in Australia, which, you know, it’s going to be
quite different—some time difference
and also a bit of weather. But so far everything is going well. Everything is going smooth. I’m feeling good.”
Football star David Beckham has said
that he expects a special spectacle in
Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The former England international,
who last played competitive football
for Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain
in the French Ligue 1, was catching
up on some tennis action at the Qatar
ExxonMobil Open yesterday and was
talking at the presentation ceremony
after Spain’s David Ferrer beat Czech
Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the final.
“It (Doha) is a place that is changing every time I come back. There
are so many great things happening;
obviously the 2022 World Cup. I think
it is going to be a special spectacle,”
said the 39-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid star. “It
is an honour for me to be here. I was
lucky enough to play for PSG and I
have many friends here. “I was here
five years ago with Milan. It is such a
hospitable place.”
Talking about the tennis action at
the Khalifa International Tennis and
Squash Complex Centre Court, he said,
“And obviously to be here and watch
two great athletes play the way they
did tonight, Tomas and David should
be congratulated for a great game
Beckham, who announced a Major
League Soccer team based in Miami
in February 2014, was also part of
England’s 2018 World Cup bid.
Wawrinka to
take on Bedene
in Chennai final
Defending champion and top seed
Stanislas Wawrinka (pic above)
cruised into the $450,000 ATP
Chennai Open final with a straightsets win over fourth seed David
Goffin of Belgium yesterday.
The Swiss world number four,
who has not dropped a set in the
tournament, gave the 22nd-ranked
Goffin a 90-minute masterclass
with a 7-5, 6-3 win at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium.
Wawrinka’s opponent in today’s
final will be Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene (pic below), who continued his amazing seed-slaying
run with a three-set victory over
third seed Roberto Bautista-Agut.
The 156th-ranked Bedene survived four match points and himself
wasted one before edging out the
number 15 Spaniard 3-6, 6-3, 7-6
(10/8) in two hours and 42 minutes.
Bedene’s semi-final win over
Bautista-Agut was his third Spanish
scalp this week, having beaten second seed Feliciano Lopez in the second round and fifth seed Guillermo
Garcia Lopez in the quarter-finals.
Bedene banged in 15 aces even
as both players were broken five
times each in a semi-final marked
by unforced errors that set up the
longest match in this tournament.
Bedene broke Bautista-Agut
in the opening game but then
himself lost his first three service
games to allow his rival to come
back and take the first set.
The Spaniard wasted two match
points on Bedene’s serve at 4-5 in
the decider and two more in the
tie-breaker, which the Slovenian
won on his second match point.
The London-based Bedene, who
awaits his British citizenship this
year, became the first qualifier to
enter the Chennai Open final.
“I am excited to play my first
ever Tour final,” said the 25-yearold Bedene, who had made it
to the last four here in 2013 by
defeating Wawrinka in the quarterfinal. “It feels good the way I have
played in this tournament. It is not
that I served badly, but BautistaAgut returns very well. It was a
real tough match.”
“I am tired after a hectic week,
but I will prepare well for the final,”
added Bedene, who played three
qualifying matches and another
four in the main draw.
The tournament, now in its
20th year, serves as a warm-up
for the Australian Open starting
in Melbourne on January 19. The
champion will pocket $73,400.
Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2015 winner David Ferrer of Spain (third from left) and runner-up Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic (third from right) pose with Qatar Tennis Federation president Nasser al-Khelaifi (centre), England football
icon David Beckham (second from left) and other dignitaries at the prize giving ceremony, held at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex yesterday. PICTURES: Jayan Orma
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