QATAR | Page 27 INDEX QATAR 4 вЂ“ 6, 26, 27 7 REGION 7, 8 ARAB WORLD INTERNATIONAL 9 вЂ“ 23 24, 25 COMMENT BUSINESS 1 вЂ“ 6, 13 вЂ“ 16 CLASSIFIED 7 вЂ“ 12 SPORTS 1 вЂ“ 11 Qatar Stars team to take on Bayern Munich in friendly DOW JONES QE NYMEX 17,737.37 12,014.35 48.36 -170.50 -0.95% -291.17 -2.37% -0.43 -0.88% Latest Figures d he R is bl TA 978 A 1 Q since in GULF TIMES pu Go Global Organisation Conference kicks off SPORT | Page 2 MONDAY Vol. XXXV No. 9600 January 12, 2015 Rabia I 21, 1436 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals PM meets world handball federation chief WorkersвЂ™ health services to get boost InIn brief Brief QATAR | Health SCH clarification on Mars products The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) yesterday clarified that reports circulating in the social media about bacterial contamination of Mars products is no longer valid. вЂњThe news about such contamination goes back to last August as the company had announced a problem with some of its products and withdrew them from the markets,вЂќ the SCH said in a statement. At that time, SCH co-operated with the competent entities in the country to make sure that the local markets were free from the products concerned. Recently, SCH collected several samples of Mars products from the local market to ensure their safety for human consumption. The latest results of laboratory tests showed that the Mars products currently available in the local market are safe for human consumption. QATAR | Weather Strong winds and rains are forecast Strong winds are expected to blow across the country today when a minimum temperature of 9C or less in the central areas and a maximum of 18C elsewhere have been forecast. Mercury is expected to drop to 7C tomorrow dawn in the central and southern areas, according to the Meteorology Department. Low visibility is forecast in many places on account of dusty conditions. Scattered rains have been forecast as well. Page 4 SRI LANKA | Politics Sirisena sees a new era Sri LankaвЂ™s new government yesterday promised a tolerant new era of religious harmony and political freedom for the nation. President Maithripala Sirisena vowed to put an end to the corruption and nepotism that marred the reputation of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse. Page 23 PAKISTAN | Accident Dozens die in bus-tanker crash At least 62 people were killed when their bus crashed into an oil tanker in southern Pakistan yesterday. Page 21 HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani meeting with International Handball Federation president Dr Hassan Mustafa who is in Doha to attend the opening of the 24th MenвЂ™s Handball World Championship (Qatar 2015), scheduled to start in Doha on Thursday. They discussed a number of topics of joint interest during the meeting. Ministerial groups to speed up major projects QNA Doha H E the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani has set up three ministerial groups tasked with the speedy completion of major development projects in the country and enhancing private sector participation in them. The decision follows the directives issued by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The ministerial groups will also tackle issues related to inflation and rising prices. The first ministerial group will co-ordinate and follow-up major projects of strategic importance. Its tasks are: 1) Develop plans and programmes for the implementation of major projects, suggest priorities in light of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and follow up their progress. 2) Review the costs of major projects and propose financing methods and tools. 3) Identify ways and mechanisms to issue contracts for the implementation and management of major projects and put models of contracts and agreements necessary in this re- gard, taking into account the established legal provisions. 4) Set up a detailed plan to run the projects after their completion, including the annual financial budget, a plan to absorb human resources and to identify the owner and operator of these projects. 5) Any other tasks assigned by the Prime Minister in the sphere of competence. The second ministerial group will enhance the participation of the private sector in economic development projects. Its tasks are: 1) Identify the areas and projects for the participation of the government and private sectors. 2) Put the policies, standards, controls and programmes necessary to stimulate the private sector and its participation in the economic development projects and follow up their implementation after adoption, and propose the necessary solutions to overcome the difficulties and obstacles in their implementation. 3) Propose means to support, enhance and involve the private sector participation in economic development projects. 4) Develop models for contracts and agreements related to the participation of the government and private sectors, taking into account the established legal provisions. 5) Develop a specific timeframe for the operation of the projects put forward for the private sector, so as to achieve the target to attract investments. 6) Any other tasks assigned by the Prime Minister in the sphere of competence. The third ministerial group will deal with the allocation and reclamation of land for new projects. One of the major tasks of this panel will be to evolve a five-year plan and propose budget that is required to acquire and reclaim land. The group will also: 1) Prepare the final estimate of the actual needs of the territory for the various sectors in the country after the inventory of the various requirements of those authorities. 2) Review the public facilities and services projects proposed by the government authorities and suggest priorities of implementation in the light of the actual needs and available resources. 3) Propose terms, ways and mechanisms for the allocation of lands in co-ordination with the authorities concerned. 4) Any other tasks assigned by the Prime Minister in the sphere of competence. hree hospitals that are being built, exclusively for single workers, in the Doha Industrial Area, Mesaieed Industrial City and Ras Laffan will have large clinics to provide occupational health services, a top ofп¬Ѓcial of Supreme Council of Health (SCH) told Gulf Times yesterday. "These clinics will provide all occupational health services for all the workers, thereby minimising the risks associated with their works," explained Dr Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad alThani, director, Public Health, SCH, on the sidelines of a training programme on basic occupational and environmental health services. вЂњThe occupational health hazards are common to both white collar and blue collar workers. Proper care and services can lower the deaths due to occupational hazards as well as accidents that might keep the employees away from work for long time." Pointing out that occupational health hazards were common to all professions, the official observed that doctors could be affected through the use of syringes and contract some contagious diseases whereas engineers might face accidents on the work sites. The training SCH is offering will help in facing such hazards. вЂњThe SCH is looking to build occu- pational health capacity by training the primary care physicians or more accurately, physicians of п¬Ѓrst contact for expanding and improving occupational health services to protect, promote and maintain health of the large population of expatriate male labourers, primarily in the construction industry, who have limited access to healthcare services and may operate in hazardous environments,вЂќ Dr Sheikh Mohamed al-Thani added. Dr Mohamed Ali al-Hajaj, head of Occupational Health Services at SCH, said that the training was done in п¬Ѓve modules in co-operation with the East Mediterranean Regional Office of WHO. вЂњThis is the second module and the п¬Ѓrst one was completed last year," he said. "The third and fourth one will be competed in March and May and the last one will be towards the end of the year. We have representatives from Primary Health Centres, Red Crescent and private hospitals,вЂќ The SCH official also said that the training would be an ongoing process. вЂњ In the present module, 30 general practitioners are participating. The trained doctors, in turn, will train the other doctors. This will be an annual event hereafter.вЂќ It is estimated that about 2.6bn people belong to the global workforce and according to ILO, more than 2mn die each year from occupationally related diseases and injuries. Page 27 Dr Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani: director, Public Health, SCH. Dr Mohammed Ali al-Hajaj: head of Occupational Health Services at SCH. Three new hospitals set to have large clinics for occupational health services T World leaders join solidarity rally against terror attacks Reuters Paris W orld leaders, including Muslim and Jewish statesmen, linked arms to lead an estimated million-plus French citizens through Paris in an unprecedented march under high security to pay tribute to victims of militant attacks. Paris police said the turnout was вЂњwithout precedentвЂќ. The interior ministry said that at least 3.7mn people had demonstrated in France yesterday. A ministry spokesman said that 1.2mn to 1.6mn people had marched in Paris and about 2.5mn people in other cities around the country. The ministry said it was the biggest popular demonstration ever registered in the country. Some commentators said the last street presence in the capital on this scale was at the Liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany in 1944. President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Britain and the Palestinian territories among others, moved off from the central Place de la Republique ahead of a sea of French and other п¬‚ags. Giant letters attached to a statue in the square spelt out the word Pourquoi?вЂќ (Why?) and small groups sang the вЂњLa MarseillaiseвЂќ national anthem. Some 2,200 police and soldiers patrolled Paris streets to protect marchers from would-be attackers, with police snipers on rooftops and plain-clothes detectives mingling with the crowd. City sewers were searched ahead of the vigil. The march mostly went ahead in a respectful silence, reп¬‚ecting shock over the worst militant assault on a European city in nine years. For France, it raised questions of free speech, religion and security, and beyond French frontiers it exposed the vulnerability of states to urban attacks. Two of the gunmen had declared allegiance to Al Qaeda in Yemen and a French President Francois Hollande is surrounded by heads of state, including BritainвЂ™s Prime Minister David Cameron, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, MaliвЂ™s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, GermanyвЂ™s Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk and ItalyвЂ™s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, as they attend the solidarity march in the streets of Paris yesterday. third to the militant Islamic State. All three were killed during the police operations in what local commentators have called вЂњFranceвЂ™s 9/11вЂќ, a reference to the September 2001 attacks on US targets by Al Qaeda. вЂњParis is today the capital of the world. Our entire country will rise up and show its best side,вЂќ said Hollande. In London, several landmarks in- cluding Tower Bridge were lit up in the red white and blue colours of the French national п¬‚ag in a show of support for the event in Paris. Fifty-seven people were killed in a militant attack on LondonвЂ™s transport system in 2005. Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the weekly Charlie Hebdo known for its satirical articles and cartoons. It ended on Friday with a hostage-taking at a Jewish deli in which four hostages and the gunman were killed. Hours before the march, a video emerged featuring a man resembling the gunman killed in the kosher deli. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State insurgent group and urged French Muslims to follow his example. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were among 44 foreign leaders marching with Hollande. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Is- raelвЂ™s Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were also present. Immediately to HollandeвЂ™s left, walked Merkel and to his right Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. France intervened to help п¬Ѓght Islamist rebels there two years ago to the day. In a rare public display of emotion by two major-power leaders, cameras showed Hollande embracing Merkel, her eyes shut and forehead resting on his cheek, on the steps of the Elysee before they headed off to march. After world leaders left the march, Hollande stayed to greet survivors of the Charlie Hebdo attack and their families. While there has been widespread solidarity with the victims, there have been dissenting voices. French social media have carried comments from those uneasy with the вЂњJe suis CharlieвЂќ slogan interpreted as freedom of expression at all cost. Others suggest there was hypocrisy in world leaders whose countries have repressive media laws attending the march. Page 16 4 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 QATAR Venezuelan president arrives Al-Attiyah meets Chinese official Qatar sends winter aid to Syrian refugees QNA Doha U HE the Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah holding talks with Vice-Minister of the Organisation Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in Doha yesterday. The meeting was attended by ChinaвЂ™s Ambassador to Qatar Gao Yuchen. They discussed important issues of common interest. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Doha yesterday on an official visit to Qatar. He was received at Hamad International Airport by HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada and Charge dвЂ™Affaires at the Venezuelan embassy in Qatar Felix Alberto Moreno Martinez. pon the directives of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, two planes carrying relief materials for Syrian refugees affected by the wave of cold weather in Lebanon left Doha for Beirut yesterday. The permanent emergency, rescue, relief and humanitarian aid committee headed by the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) oversaw the preparation of the relief materials and co-ordinated with authorities concerned to dispatch the aid consignment to Syrian refugees. The aid, transported by LekhwiyaвЂ™s Search and Rescue Team, includes a variety of relief materials, medical items, food, blankets, and winter clothes. Page 26 Contractors cheating house Qatar residents owners, say young nationals seek enhanced M recycling facilities R esidents of Qatar have called for enhancement of the available recycling facilities in the nationвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst ever e-survey by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), a member of Qatar Foundation. Over 1,600 replies were received to the survey. The respondents demonstrated a keen desire to live sustainably with 90% stating an interest in environmental issues, and 51% aware of the work of QGBC. Residents voiced overwhelming support for recycling in Qatar for establishing greener communities and neighbourhoods. Nearly 90% of the residents believe that their biggest motivator to recycle is their care and concern for the environment. Paper and plastic are cited as the most recycled materials, however, initial analysis suggests that providing accessible recycling facilities would reduce waste further, as approximately two-in-every-three (65%) currently say they lack access to convenient facilities. Only 6% of the household respondents possess recycling facilities at homes, leading to a considerable amount of waste being dumped into landп¬Ѓlls. Five in ten respondents agreed that convenient recycling facilities, either direct collection from their houses or recycling facilities within walking distance of home would considerably improve waste generation in the country. вЂњQGBC is working towards creating sustainable best practices within the built environment through education and various awareness initiativesвЂќ Initial analysis of the results indicate major opportunities for residents to improve energy efficiency at home by tackling inefп¬Ѓcient use of washing machines, air-conditioning and other electrical appliances. 9 in 10 residents use a washing machine to clean clothes yet, on average, over 50% of the washes are only half full or less. Just 2 in 3 residents (65%) always turn off air conditioning when leaving the house, with only 1 in 25 using the timer function. 50% of respondents only switch the TV to high-energy standby mode вЂ“ rather than turning power at the switch - when no longer watching. The data also reveals that a signiп¬Ѓcant amount of water is wasted at homes with a corresponding cost attached. QGBC will use the п¬Ѓndings to study personal resources consumption in Qatar and to п¬Ѓnd solutions for easing QatarвЂ™s sustainability demands and provide practical and cost-effective solutions. Meshal al-Shamari, QGBC director, said: вЂњQGBC is working towards creating sustainable best practices within the built environment through education and various awareness initiatives. The analysis is providing particularly interesting results which will help QGBC effectively tailor its various educational programmes for the community, and enhance our cutting-edge training and consultancy services used by many businesses in Qatar.вЂќ any young nationals have complained that they are facing a lot of difficulties in the construction of their houses as some of the contractors abandon the work in the middle, claiming that they have utilised the entire money that they had received as advance from potential owners, Arrayah daily has reported. The young citizens have said though some contractors start work on receiving the initial advance of QR150,000 or so, they not only fail to maintain the timetable but also repeatedly bypass the terms and conditions of the contract that they execute with the house owners. As a result, the execution and delivery of the house is delayed, young nationals have complained, said the newspaper. Because of such issues many cases go to the courts and litigation consumes considerable time. The owners become victims of the manipulations of the contractors though such unnecessary hassles, it is reported. On some occasions, soon after the foundation and columns are built, some contractors claim that the initial advance that they received has already exhausted, the paper has pointed out. The newspaper also report that the amount sanctioned as loan is too small and is not adequate for the construction of a house to meet the requirements of a young national. Some senior members of the local community and experts are now advising the youngsters to construct only smaller houses to pre-empt the issues created by the contractors Because of the low loan amount, many youngsters are forced to employ only inexperienced and cheaper hands for the supervision of the construction, the paper has said. As a result, the quality of construction also suffers, it said. Some senior members of the local community and experts are now advising the youngsters to construct only smaller houses to pre-empt the issues created by the contractors so that they could complete the houses within the loans sanctioned by the local banks. It is understood that approximately upto QR2mn is advanced as the loan for the house construction of the young nationals and the repayment has to made only over a long period of several years. PHCC helpline records 47% rise in Dec calls P ublic Health Care Corporation ( PHCC) has announced that it received more than 3,800 phone calls through the helpline (Hayyak) 107 in December 2014 which is an increase of 47% compared to the previous month. The helpline 107 is a service that was started in June 2014, allowing people to get information and provide feedback about the service they receive and to make appointment in some of the health centres. This service is in the п¬Ѓrst stage of implementation as it provides easier access to the services for the patients. Through the call centre, the visitors will be examined over phone and in case of need, they will be referred to physicians in the health centres. This project provides support services and information and can be used for booking appointment in п¬Ѓve health centres of Abu Nakhla, Al Daayen, West Bay, OBK, and Al Gharafah, from 7am to 2pm, and from 4pm to 11pm. These services will be extended to all health centres in the near future. The helpline вЂ�Hayyak 107вЂ™allows the possibility of direct- ing individuals to the most appropriate services and booking is provided for the counselling centre or specialist clinics. Strong winds, scattered rains forecast for today S trong winds are expected to blow across the country today when a minimum temperature of 9C or less in the central areas and a maximum of 18C elsewhere have been forecast. Mercury is expected to drop further to 7C tomorrow dawn in the central and southern areas, according to Qatar Meteorology Depart- ment, under the Civil Aviation Authority. Low visibility is forecast in many places today on account of dusty conditions. Scattered rains have been forecast as well. While Abu Samra and Dukhan areas are expected to experience minimum temperatures of 12C, in Mesaieed, Doha and Wakrah, the minimum and maximum would be 14 and 16, respectively. The northern region covering Al Khor and Ruwais will experience a maximum of 18C, and the minimum at the two places would be 13 and 15C, respectively. The visibility is expected to fall to 2km or even less in some parts of the country today. It should be some- where between 4km and 8km in most other areas. Onshore areas are likely to experience 12 to 22 knots northwesterly winds which could touch the 30-knot mark at times, while offshore 18-25 knots winds have been forecast. There are also chances of winds exceeding the 32 knots-mark. Stormy waves and higher Winds uproot tree in Old Airport area A tree that was uprooted in the strong winds yesterday blocked access to some buildings in a lane in DohaвЂ™s Old Airport area for the entire day. Right: A vehicle trapped under the fallen tree. PICTURES: Prashanth Prabhakar seas are also likely onshore with water rising between 9 and 12 feet from the normal levels. Inshore areas too would be far from normal, with the possibility of seas rising beyond the 5-feet mark. Yesterday, visibility was extremely poor across the country in the morning hours due to fog. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 5 QATAR Palestinian deputy premier hails QatarвЂ™s support QNA Doha P alestinian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Dr Ziad Abu Amr has thanked Qatar and HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for hosting the celebrations marking the Palestinian culture and organising a cultural event on the sidelines of Doha International Book Fair. Dr Ziad Abu Amr, who is currently visiting Qatar to participate in the book fair, said during a meeting yesterday with HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari: вЂњWe are truly impressed with the level of organisation of the 25th Doha International Book Fair and the accompanying events, and also those held within the Doha Cultural Festival, and we are happy to see Palestine being present in this great international cultural forumвЂќ. Dr Abu Amr said: вЂњQatar, through its great support for the Palestinian cause, is HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari with Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Dr Ziad Abu Amr yesterday. present in every place in Palestine and in the hearts of every Palestinian. The Palestinian official toured the Bait Al Hikma (House of Wisdom) centre at the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage which documents audio visually вЂ�Doha: Capital of Arab CultureвЂ™, expressing admiration and appreciation at the contents of the centre. HE Dr al-Kuwari and Dr Abu Amr, during the meeting, discussed the need to increase the exchange of experiences and activities between Qatar and Palestine. In this regard, they discussed the possibility of organising the вЂ�Jerusalem in MemoryвЂ™ exhibition in Doha. The exhibition will display a rare collection of photographs of the city of Jerusalem, a number of which date back to more than 100 years. It will include samples of selected images from the archives of Sultan Abdul Hamid II known as Yildiz Albums. Dr al-Kuwari underlined that Palestine is rich in cultural talents. The State of Palestine is participating in Doha International Book Fair with a large number of publishing houses and important cultural events, including a symposium hon- ouring poet Samih al-Qasim, the Jerusalem Operate, a fashion show of Palestinian traditional clothes, and a folklore show performed by Al-Istiqlal University Troupe (Formerly Palestinian Academy of Security Studies). Voter registration for civil polls begins T he offices of election for Central Municipal Council started registering Qatari voters from yesterday, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported. The registration closes on January 22. The offices will receive applications for registration to 29 constituencies from 4pm to 7pm daily. The elections supervisory committee has also provided the service of registration through Metrash. The Ministry of Interior A competing falcon being launched. Four more winners of falcon contest named F our more falconers have won QR100,000 each in the sixth round of the Hudud al Tahaddi Challenge held at Sabkhet Marmi yesterday, organisers of the Qatar Falcons and Hunting Festival announced. The winners, Salman Saleh al-Ghanem, Meshlesh Issa al-Msaifri, Saleh Jaber al-Qashouti al-Marri, and Ali Said al-Marri, also qualiп¬Ѓed for a chance to win a Lexus in the eventвЂ™s п¬Ѓnal round. вЂњI participated in the Hudud al Tahaddi challenge last year as well, where I also managed to qualify for the eventвЂ™s exciting п¬Ѓnal round,вЂќ al-Ghanem said. Al-Marri added that he вЂњfelt accomplishedвЂќ that his falcon was able to corner the homing pigeon, allowing him to qualify in the п¬Ѓnal round. Organising committee member Said al-Naimi said, вЂњThe committee has worked hard to organise the festival from receiving spectators and participants to providing booklets on the festival and detailing the events in both English and Arabic, which can be a great help to those who are new to this aspect of our cultural heritage.вЂќ He added that organisers also distributed souvenirs to give visitors a memorable experience, which they share with friends and families abroad. Al-Naimi said there was an increase in the number of residents and tourists during the event, especially during the weekend. Spectators from Qatar and the GCC also turned out in large Event organisers recorded an increase in spectators and tourists. Below: Souvenirs for guests and visitors. numbers, he added. The Hudud al Tahaddi Challenge saw intense competition between competing falcons, which were characterised by their speed and strength when catching homing pigeons. This yearвЂ™s edition of the festival was organised by the Gannas Society under the patronage of Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa alThani at Sabkhet Marmi near Sealine, Mesaieed. has urged all Qatari nationals to register for the elections either at the electoral constituencies or through Metrash service. Some of the conditions for registration are that the voter must be a Qatari national or the voter must have acquired Qatari nationality 15 years ago. The voter should not be less than 18. This is in addition to other conditions such as personal attendance and registration of personal information and addresses. The supervisory committee stated that all preparations were completed and that a hotline (number 2342555) has been set up for any inquiries. The chairman of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) Saud al-Hinzab registered for the voting process yesterday at Muaither, constituency no 12. Al-Hinazb praised the smooth registration process and the good turnout of voters who were keen to register for voting at the upcoming CMC elections since the п¬Ѓrst day of registration. Al-Hinzab, who is also CMC elected member for Muaither, stressed that people has become more aware of the importance of CMC and the services it presents to them in the municipal п¬Ѓeld. It also makes their voice reach the officials in the country. вЂњTaking part in the voting process is a duty of every citizen,вЂќ he added. 6 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 QATAR Ooredoo takes part in UN forum on business, rights O oredooвЂ™s new chief business officer Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Thani has participated in the 2014 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The annual forum, which examines business and human rights in the world, received more than 1,500 participants from more than 100 countries. On behalf of Ooredoo, Sheikh Nasser hosted delegates at the Ooredoo booth and showcased the importance of business and human rights as a top priority for the company. вЂњAs a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching peopleвЂ™s lives. We believe that to create a truly-efficient and happy work environment, you need to build trust and loyalty. This is why we have a non-discriminatory recruitment policy and hire new candidates based on their competence and potential, as well as pay them based on experience and performance,вЂќ he said. The three-day event gathered business leaders, government representatives, NGOs, and other civil society groups. Sectors represented included manufacturing, information and communications technology, mining, oil and energy, agribusiness, and banking and п¬Ѓnance. Qatar representative to the UN Faisal bin Abdulla al-Henzab said: вЂњI fully support OoredooвЂ™s participation in the events. As a company crucial to Qatar, OoredooвЂ™s honesty and openness in their employment protocols and goals have helped show the world our countryвЂ™s commitment to the subject of business and human rights.вЂќ The forum, now in its third year, provides an opportunity to assess global progress in the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed in 2011 вЂ“ the п¬Ѓrst authoritative global framework to address the impact of business on all human rights. This was the latest in a series of high-proп¬Ѓle CSR event attendances for Ooredoo as the company aims to enrich the lives of its customers and communities in Qatar. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Thani along with the Qatari delegation to the UN forum. Many residents in Al Asmakh area receive eviction notice M any residents and commercial e s ta b l i s h m e n t operators in the densely populated Al Asmakh area have been served notices to vacate their properties. The notices with a sixmonth period were served on those running outlets located on the southern side of the Arab Bank roundabout starting from the Doha Palace Hotel running up to the areas opposite to the Al Khaid Mosque. The stretch has at least 200 outlets functioning, mostly in the dilapidated buildings located along the main road. The notices, it is understood, were also issued to those who were evicted from the area at the end of June last year. However, they were allowed to return to their accommodations after they approached the municipal authorities for an extension. Though the latest notice came as no surprise to most of the establishments, for many low-income workers it was a rude shock. After demolition, the area is expected to make way for new government projects. Already, work on some new tourism related projects is under way and the authorities are looking forward to building better access to those sites. However, what seems intriguing to many residents is the fast pace at which some new private constructions are taking place in the areas which are reportedly earmarked for urban development. While some of the shopkeepers have started their hunt for alternative locations, others are looking for compensations for making their future move. Inquiries with some of the residents in the neighbourhood of Jaidah Towers found that their landlords have also hinted at the possibility of receiving notices for demolition notices in coming months. Website launched for Volvo vehicles AAB opens car rental at HIA A bdullah Abdulghani & Bros Co (AAB) inaugurated its п¬Ѓrst car rental counter at the Hamad International Airport (HIA). The counter provides a wide range of latest models of Toyota and Lexus cars aimed to meet the requirements of visitors and businessmen on short stay in Doha. AAB also offers chauffeur driven services from the counter which functions round-the-clock. AABвЂ™s rent-a-car (RAC) division, launched in 1999 with a п¬‚eet of 15 cars, has now grown into a major car rental п¬Ѓrm in Qatar with a п¬‚eet of 9,500 vehicles providing service to corporate clients. Present at the launch of the HIA counter was AAB managing director and acting CEO Dr Nasser Abdulghani al-Abdulghani, HIA vice president (commercial and marketing department) Abdulaziz Abdullah al-Mass, AAB chief operating officer (motor division) Murugan, RAC director Mazin Taha and other senior officials. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nasser said: вЂњWe are proud that as part of our commitment to improve customer service, we have been given the opportunity to expand our client base including the newly arrived visitors to the country. We aim to provide them a smooth and good experience during their stay. We hope that they will enjoy Qatar.вЂќ Dr Nasser al-Abdulghani and Abdulaziz al-Mass seen with other senior officials of AAB at the opening of the counter at the HIA. Qapco honours DhreimaвЂ™s top performing pupils Q Qatar Petrochemical Co (Qapco) has sponsored an awarding ceremony recognising top performing students of Dhreima (Qatar Orphan Foundation), the company has said in a statement. Qapco said 30 students were honoured with special prizes for outstanding academic performance. вЂњThe ceremony revolved around how achievements at school can pave the way to a bright future, underlining that education is the key to shape a future п¬Ѓlled with limitless opportunities,вЂќ the statement said. It added: вЂњDhreima counts highly-motivated and enthusiastic students that are top achievers at school and fully-dedicated to their studies.вЂќ Dhreima director Khaled Kamal thanked Qapco for its support and for organising the awarding ceremony, which inspired and encouraged the children to pursue their studies with dedication and commitment. Qapco vice chairman and CEO Dr Mohamed Yousef al-Mulla said: вЂњAt Qapco, we draw strength from the alignment of our strategy with the Qatar National Vision 2030. Every day, our focus is on ensuring we participate in translating the vision into a reality. We believe that contributing to Qatari society and serving our beloved country is part of our license to operate. вЂњIt is our role to invest in the future of our country by supporting the youth of our nation and by offering them the tools and means to reach their aspirations. Therefore, we are delighted to support Dhreima and its activities. DhreimaвЂ™s noble mission is essential as it strengthens social cohesion and integration within our society by placing emphasis on solidarity. The actions and values promoted by Dhreima are exemplary and an inspiration to many.вЂќ вЂњThe ceremony revolved around how achievements at school can pave the way to a bright future, underlining that education is the key to shape a future filled with limitless opportunitiesвЂќ Kamal said: вЂњAt Dhreima, education holds a central place. Furthermore, we encourage our students to study scientiп¬Ѓc disciplines, as we believe in the strong beneп¬Ѓts and many possibilities offered by a scienceoriented curriculum for students.вЂќ According to Kamal, Dhreima aims to support studentsвЂ™ enthusiastic quest for learning and development and to encourage them to pursue higher education in Qatar or abroad. вЂњAs such, some of our students are enrolled at Qatar University and undergraduates at Hamad in Khalifa University at Education City while others are studying in universities in the Arab world but some are also pursing their academic studies in universities in the US and the UK. We are immensely proud of their success,вЂќ he added. Kamal said one of DhreimaвЂ™s objectives is to help students integrate into the labour market by providing them with relevant training, original workshops, and by offering hands-on professional experience aimed at developing leadership and general life skills. вЂњEducation is the key to empowering the youth. With education, you will develop strategic skills and competencies and have access to rewarding jobs in companies. With education, you will be able to achieve your dreams,вЂќ said al-Mulla, who congratulated the students. Qapco has developed focused community engagement programmes as part of its corporate social responsibility strategy, highlighting the ongoing commitment of the company to support QatarвЂ™s social and cultural developments. Its community engagement activities also focus on supporting initiatives that are aligned with QatarвЂ™s national objectives and speciп¬Ѓcally target the younger generations. Qapco and Dhreima officials along with this yearвЂ™s top performing students. Doha Marketing Services Company (Domasco) has launched a website www.volvo.com.qa for Volvo vehicles. The website gives a broad idea about the available cars, with each carвЂ™s description, specifications, images and price. The customers can book a test drive on the website itself. They can also contact Volvo with any suggestions or questions using the вЂњcontact usвЂќ option. A soon-to-be launched update to the website will include the possibility to book a service online. вЂњThe website is an excellent addition to our existing, popular presence in the digital space through our social media pages,вЂќ said Andrew Parrott, head, sales and marketing for Volvo in Qatar. The homepage of the Volvo website. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 7 REGION/ARAB WORLD Both brothers in Paris attack вЂ�trained to use arms in YemenвЂ™ The brothers had met Al Qaeda preacher Anwar alAwlaki and were trained for three days on how to fire a gun, sources say Reuters Dubai/Sanaa B oth brothers who carried out the attack against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo travelled to Yemen via Oman in 2011 and had weapons training in the deserts of Marib, an Al Qaeda stronghold, two senior Yemeni sources said yesterday. This is the п¬Ѓrst conп¬Ѓrmation by Yemeni officials that both Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out one of the bloodiest Islamist attacks on the West in decades, had visited Yemen where Al QaedaвЂ™s deadliest franchise, AQAP, is based. US, European and Yemeni sources had previously conп¬Ѓrmed a visit by Said Kouachi. The Paris attack puts a fresh spotlight on the AQAP branch which has recently focused on п¬Ѓghting enemies at home such as government forces and Shia rebels but still aims to carry out attacks abroad. A concerted government campaign last year and repeated US drone strikes on AQAP figures had also created a belief that it lacked the capability to launch any major attacks abroad. Al Qaeda-linked militants have managed however, to target Westerners, including a Frenchman, in Yemen in the past year. вЂњThese two brothers arrived in Oman on July 25, 2011, and from Oman they were smuggled into Yemen where they stayed for two weeks,вЂќ a senior Yemeni security official, who declined to be named, said. вЂњThey met (Al Qaeda preacher) Anwar al-Awlaki and then they were trained for three days in the deserts of Marib on how to п¬Ѓre a gun. They returned to Oman and they left Oman on August 15, 2011 to go back to France.вЂќ A senior Yemeni intelligence source conп¬Ѓrmed the brothers had entered Yemen via Oman in 2011, citing the ease with which they entered while the security forces were focused on the Arab Spring protests that were convulsing the country at the time. The source also conп¬Ѓrmed the brothers had met Awlaki вЂњand trained in Wadi AbidaвЂќ, - which is between Marib and Shabwa provinces where Awlaki was known to move freely. Probe into killing of separatist sought AFP Dubai H Cherif and Said Kouachi: trained to kill The Kouachi brothers were shot dead by French security forces after they took refuge in a print works outside Paris. Awlaki, an inп¬‚uential militant recruiter, was killed by a suspected US drone strike in September 2011. Cherif Kouachi told a television station he had received п¬Ѓnancing from Awlaki and that he had been вЂњsentвЂќ by Al Qaeda in Yemen. The security official said there had been no known communication between the brothers and AQAP since they left Yemen. Counter-terrorism officials are trying to work out whether AQAP directed or orchestrated the attacks in any way, possibly Four Jewish victims to be buried in Israel Four French Jews killed during an Islamist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris are to be buried in Israel tomorrow, community sources and the Israeli premier said. вЂњThe four families decided to bury their dead in Israel. The funerals will be held on Tuesday at 10am at the Mount of Olives cemeteryвЂќ in Jerusalem, a Jewish community source told AFP in Paris. The bodies of the four victimsвЂ”Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel SaadaвЂ” will be taken from the forensic institute in Paris today and flown to Israel, the source said. Israeli Prime Minister NetanyahuвЂ™s office confirmed he had agreed to the familiesвЂ™ request they be buried in Israel and ordered government officials to help with the burial arrangements. The four were shot dead on Friday after being taken hostage with a group of other shoppers at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris by militant Amedy Coulibaly, who was later killed during a police raid. Israeli national carrier El Al announced it would be flying the bodies from Paris. Iran nuclear chief insists on enrichment demands AFP Tehran I ranвЂ™s atomic agency chief insisted yesterday on TehranвЂ™s demands for increased uranium enrichment, days before the resumption of thorny talks with world powers in Geneva. Ali Akbar Salehi, a former foreign minister and ex-nuclear negotiator, said that within eight years the country would need 12 times more enriched uranium than at present. IranвЂ™s level of uranium enrichmentвЂ” the process that produces atomic fuelвЂ” has been a key stumbling block in reaching a deal with the P5+1 powers (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany) on TehranвЂ™s contentious nuclear programme. вЂњWe currently produce 2.5 tons but will need 30 tons eventually,вЂќ Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, was quoted as saying by official news agency Irna. вЂњThey refuse... and ask that we reduce the number of centrifuges (the machines that enrich uranium),вЂќ Salehi said. вЂњWe must have that right in eight years... we are ready to do this in stages. They can set the п¬Ѓrst step but we want to set the last step.вЂќ With a comprehensive nuclear deal at stake by a June 30 deadline, the negotiations have stalled on key issues. Big gaps remain on uranium enrichment and the time it will take to lift extensive international sanctions imposed on Iran as punishment for its nuclear activities. Following a preliminary agreement in November 2013, two deadlines for a п¬Ѓnal deal have been missed with talks failing to pin down hard details on what an approved Iranian nuclear programme would look like. Under the interim deal, IranвЂ™s stock of п¬Ѓssile material has been diluted from 20% enriched uranium to 5% in exchange for limited sanctions relief. This would push back the вЂњbreakout capacityвЂќ to make an atomic weapon, which Iran denies pursuing. Salehi also reiterated IranвЂ™s demand for an eventual enrichment capacity of 190,000 SWU (separative work units), which was п¬Ѓrst set out by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last July. In Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Iranian counterpart Mohamed Javad Zarif on Wednesday, with lower-level P5+1 meetings on January 18. Salehi also pointed to a third difп¬ЃcultyвЂ”the time period the West considers necessary for conп¬Ѓdencebuilding measures to ensure IranвЂ™s nuclear programme is peaceful. вЂњWe want this period to be less than 10 years,вЂќ he said, noting that the P5+1 powers want it to last вЂњbetween 10 and 20 yearsвЂќ. In a sign that difficulties lie ahead, Khamenei last week used a public speech to voice distrust of the United States in the talks, citing its вЂњarroganceвЂќ over the steps to be taken to lift sanctions. Khamenei, as IranвЂ™s top authority, will have the last word on any п¬Ѓnal agreement. Extreme cold kills four in Syria: monitor AFP Beirut T hree small girls and an elderly man have died in Syria in the past 24 hours due to bitterly cold temperatures and a week-long storm, a monitoring group said yesterday. вЂњA girl less than two days old passed away (on Sunday) in the southern Aleppo district of Firdous because of the extreme cold,вЂќ said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman. вЂњAn elderly man from the Maghayir district of Aleppo died as a result of the poor weather and because he had no heating,вЂќ said the Observatory. Another small girl, aged just one, died in the southern Damascus district of Al Hajar al-Aswad on Saturday night, while the extreme cold also caused the death of a girl in Deir alAsaп¬Ѓr, a town east of the capital. Since last Wednesday, six people have died across Syria as a result of freezing temperatures. All the victims lived in areas under A man walks through a snow-covered neighbourhood in Aleppo yesterday. opposition control, where shortages of food, heating and medical equipment are rife. In besieged Yarmuk of southern Damascus, a man died of вЂњpoor living conditions and a lack of medicines and necessary treatmentвЂќ, said the Observatory. Yarmuk has been under army siege for more than a year. Some aid has been allowed to trickle in, but malnutrition and medical shortages have killed dozens of civilians trapped in the Yarmuk neighbourhood which is home to a Palestinian refugee camp. In neighbouring Lebanon, at least two Syrian refugees died last Wednesday due to plunging temperatures and lack of heating. over years, or simply inspired them. Al QaedaвЂ™s most effective English-language propagandist, Awlaki was tied to a string of militant attacks and plots including the killing of 13 people at the Fort Hood, Texas, military base by a US army major, a failed attempt to down an airliner over Detroit, the stabbing of a British lawmaker and the involvement of a British airline employee in a plot to plant explosives in an aircraft. Despite AwlakiвЂ™s demise, AQAP has continued to be the Al Qaeda wing most focused on attacks in the West, even as it п¬Ѓghts domestic foes in Yemen, diplomats say. The wider Al Qaeda network has been eclipsed in the past year by the Islamic State, an Al Qaeda offshoot which controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria and that has earned a reputation for beheading foreign hostages. But Western officials say the network is still a top threat. Investigators have focused for months, for example, on possible links between AQAP, renowned for its expertise in bomb making, and Al Qaeda cells in Syria known as the Khorasan group, which diplomats say is believed to be planning attacks in West. In Yemen, France has been the target of security incidents. Last May, gunmen shot dead a Frenchman working as a security agent for the EU mission in Sanaa. Yemen later said it had killed the militant responsible for the attack. In April 2013, a gunman п¬Ѓred shots outside FranceвЂ™s embassy in Yemen. No group has officially claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack that killed 12 people. But a prominent AQAP leader said in an audio recording posted on YouTube on Friday that вЂњfaithful soldiers of GodвЂќ had taught the French the limits of freedom of speech. Aspects of the Paris incident suggest a degree of training and planning, possibly with support from a team. The stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, is important for the United States. Hundreds of foreigners п¬‚ock to Yemen every year to study Arabic or Islamic theology, often enrolling in schools run by hardline Salaп¬Ѓsts some of whom are thought to have links to Al Qaeda. uman Rights Watch yesterday urged the Yemeni government to вЂњcrediblyвЂќ investigate the killing of a prominent southern separatist while he was being arrested during a protest. Khaled al-Junaidi, a wellknown п¬Ѓgure in the Southern Movement, was shot in the chest when security forces opened п¬Ѓre while trying to arrest him on December 15, activists said at the time. вЂњYemeni authorities should credibly and impartially investigate the apparent extrajudicial execution of a leading political activist,вЂќ New York-based HRW said in a statement. HRW noted that authorities had announced the establishment of a committee to investigate the killing but pointed out that no arrests had been made. вЂњThe Yemeni government has an abysmal record of holding security force members accountable for serious rights abuses,вЂќ said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at HRW. вЂњFailing to seek justice in the killing of Khaled al-Junaidi will only fuel anti-government resentment and send a message that the security forces are beyond the reach of law,вЂќ she said. Junaidi, 42, was killed on a day of civil disobedience by secessionists in Aden, the capital of formerly independent South Yemen. Junaidi was released from prison in December after serving п¬Ѓve months for separatist activities and had been preparing to take part in the day of action. 8 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 ARAB WORLD Egyptian policeman kidnapped in Sinai Agencies Cairo G Residents carry the coffins of victims of the suicide bomb attack during their funeral in Tripoli yesterday. IS carried out Lebanon cafe bombing: minister Leaders from across the political spectrum have called for unity, warning that the attack aimed to ignite strife Agencies Beirut A double suicide attack that killed eight people at a cafe in the Lebanese city of Tripoli was carried out by the Islamic State group, the interior minister said yesterday, contradicting a claim of responsibility by the Al Qaedalinked Al Nusra Front. Nohad Machnouk also said he expected more instability linked to the Syrian civil war that has been at the heart of repeated violence in Lebanon over the last four years. Al Nusra Front said on Saturday it was behind the bombing in the Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen - an attack Lebanese leaders said aimed to ignite communal strife in a predominantly Sunni Muslim city where long-standing sectarian tensions have been inп¬‚amed by the Syrian conп¬‚ict. Machnouk said investigators were questioning men who belonged to the same organisation as the two bombers, both of whom have been identiп¬Ѓed as men from Tripoli. вЂњThe initial information so far says that criminal state of Daesh was the one behind the bombing,вЂќ Machnouk told journalists in Tripoli, using a pejorative Arabic acronym for the group that has seized wide areas of Syria and Iraq. Lebanese security officials have warned of plans by Islamic State (IS) and Al Nusra Front to further destabilise Lebanon. Tripoli, historically a stronghold for Sunni Islamism, is seen as particularly vulnerable. The last major п¬‚are-up in the city, LebanonвЂ™s second biggest, was in October, when 11 soldiers and at least 22 militants were killed. That followed an August attack by militants affiliated to Al Nusra Front and IS in Arsal, a town on the border with Syria. The militants are still holding some two dozen members of the security forces. Machnouk said: вЂњNaturally, we expect that all the while the п¬Ѓre in Syria continues, the escalation will increase more and more.вЂќ Lebanese п¬‚ags covered the coffins of eight victims at their funeral and leaders from across the political spectrum have US pledges security support The United States yesterday condemned SaturdayвЂ™s suicide bombing in Lebanon and pledged its support for the countryвЂ™s security forces. вЂњThe United States strongly condemns yesterdayвЂ™s suicide bombing at the Omran Cafe in the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood of Tripoli, Lebanon,вЂќ said Marie Harf, the State DepartmentвЂ™s deputy spokeswoman. вЂњThe United States will continue its strong support for the Lebanese security forces as they protect the Lebanese people, combat violent extremists, and preserve LebanonвЂ™s stability, sovereignty, and security,вЂќ she said. called for unity, warning that the attack aimed to ignite strife. The families of the two bombers condemned the attack. вЂњCrime has no religion, creed, neighbourhood or family,вЂќ a spokesman for the families said, adding there would be no mourning for the bombers. The army released the names of the suicide bombers yesterday. вЂњAccording to the military expertsвЂ™ initial investigations at the scene of the explosion that hit Jabal Mohsen, the two suicide attackersвЂ™ names are Taha Samir al-Khayal and Bilal Mohamed al-Maraiyan,вЂќ an army statement said. They were both residents of the mainly Sunni Mankubeen district, which lies just 500m from Jabal Mohsen, the army said. A security source said Khayal, 20, had been wanted by authorities on suspicion of having links to extremist groups and of taking part in deadly п¬Ѓghting with Jabal Mohsen residents last year. There have been repeated clashes between residents of the Alawite neighbourhood and those of adjacent Sunni districts. KhayalвЂ™s вЂњwhereabouts were unknown for the past three weeks,вЂќ the source said, adding that there were suspicions that he had travelled to the Qalamun mountains, a stronghold of hardline Islamist groups over the border in Syria. The second bomber was a 26-year-old father of one with no criminal record, the source said. A statement issued on a Twitter feed used by Al Nusra FrontвЂ™s media arm had said the attack was in revenge for Sunnis in Lebanon and Syria, where the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah is п¬Ѓghting alongside Syrian government forces. Hezbollah says it is п¬Ѓghting in Syria to stop jihadists reaching Lebanon. But Lebanese critics say its role there has led to attacks by Sunni Islamist groups in Lebanon. LebanonвЂ™s own sectarian rivalries have been inп¬‚amed by the Syrian war that pits the state led by President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite, against an insurgency dominated by Sunni Islamists. unmen kidnapped an Egyptian police officer yesterday in the Sinai Peninsula, home to Islamist militants seeking to topple the countryвЂ™s government, security sources and the state news agency said. The policeman was travelling in a bus from the north Sinai city of Rafah to El Arish when the gunmen stopped the vehicle and took him away. вЂњThis seems like a terrorist operation, not a criminal one, but we are not sure if it is Ansar yet,вЂќ a security official said. Ansar is EgyptвЂ™s most lethal militant group, which used to be called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis before recently changing its name to Sinai Province. It has sworn allegiance to Islamic State, the hardline militant group that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria and threatens to redraw the map of the Middle East. No group has claimed responsibility for the Sinai kidnapping. Sinai Province has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Kidnappings of members of the security forces are rare. Any signs that militants are kidnapping as a new tactic are likely to raise fresh security concerns in Egypt, where the vital tourism industry and economy have suffered from violence. EgyptвЂ™s insurgency is concentrated in the Sinai, which borders Gaza, Israel, and the Suez Canal. But attacks have also occurred in cities, including Cairo. Complicating efforts to eradicate the insurgency is the presence of Egyptian militants thriv- ing in the chaos of neighbouring Libya. Security sources say the militants are opposed to the Cairo government and have established ties with Sinai Province. *An Egyptian court has sentenced a student to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam, his lawyer said yesterday. Karim al-Banna, a 21-yearold whose own father testiп¬Ѓed against him, was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Baheira on Saturday, lawyer Ahmed Abdel Nabi said. вЂњHe was handed down a three-year prison sentence, and if he pays a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($140) the sentence can be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court,вЂќ Abdel Nabi said, adding that an appeal was to be heard on March 9. Abdel Nabi said his clientвЂ™s father had testiп¬Ѓed against his son, charging that he вЂњwas embracing extremist ideas against IslamвЂќ. BannaвЂ™s name had appeared in a list of known atheists in a local daily after which his neighbours harassed him, said Ishaq Ibrahim, a researcher on religion and beliefs at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. When Banna went to п¬Ѓle a complaint against them at a police station, he was accused of insulting Islam and arrested, said Ibrahim, who has been tracking BannaвЂ™s case. Banna has been in custody since November. In December 2012, a 27-yearold blogger, Alber Saber, was sentenced to three years in jail on charges of blasphemy. And last June, a Coptic Christian man was sentenced to six years in jail for insulting Islam. The authorities have stepped up measures, including organising workshops, to counter atheism. Former aide to Mursi released A former aide to ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood was released yesterday after 18 months in detention without charge, relatives said. Khaled al-Qazzaz, MursiвЂ™s former foreign affairs secretary, was arrested in July 2013 after the army removed the Brotherhood from power. QazzazвЂ™s wife and brotherin-law said they did not know why authorities decided to release him. Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment on Qazzaz. Relatives said he was being held under guard at a hospital. Bashir launches re-election bid AFP Khartoum S udanвЂ™s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir launched his bid for re-election yesterday, facing little threat to his quarter century in power despite an ailing economy, multiple insurgencies and allegations of war crimes. BashirвЂ™s supporters view him as a strong hand capable of holding the chaotic country together, while his opponents are hounded by the security forces, marginalised inside Sudan and riven by personal rivalries. It is unclear whether anyone will challenge Bashir to lead the country of nearly 39mn people that covers an area almost one-п¬Ѓfth the size of the United States. Formal applications to register for the April 13 vote opened yesterday, and the electoral commission said it had received BashirвЂ™s nomination. The opposition looks set to boycott the vote, with Mariam al-Mahdi, deputy leader of the Umma Party, saying her party would not take part in the April election. вЂњWe believe it is a total waste not only of the time and resources of Sudan but also the hopes of the people,вЂќ she told AFP by telephone. The opposition also boycotted elections in 2010, the п¬Ѓrst contested vote since Bashir seized power in a 1989 coup. In 2010, opposition leaders accused the presidentвЂ™s loyalists of rigging ballots. But Bashir has proven to be a political survivor. Since 2009, the 71-year-old incumbent has deп¬Ѓed an arrest war- Members of SudanвЂ™s National Electoral Commission review applications from potential candidates for the presidential elections in Khartoum yesterday. rant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in the nearly 12-year-old conп¬‚ict in SudanвЂ™s western Darfur region. In 2011, he oversaw a separation from South Sudan, after it voted to split following a 22-year civil war. The president hinted last year he might not stand for re-election, raising fears of a succession struggle within his ruling National Congress Party, but in October, the NCP announced he would seek another term. вЂњBashir is in a strong position internally within government,вЂќ said Ahmed Soliman, Horn of Africa research assistant at Chatham House. He consolidated power earlier this month when parliament granted him the right to appoint state governors, who were previously elected. Bashir has worked to shed his image as an international pariah, travelling to Egypt and Saudi Arabia last year and welcoming Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Sudan. ChinaвЂ™s foreign minister also visited Khartoum yesterday for talks about boosting relations and the conп¬‚ict in South Sudan. The ICCвЂ™s decision to shelve investigations into allegations of war crimes in Darfur over UN inaction gave him a further boost. вЂњThe ICCвЂ™s announcement that it was suspending its investigations was seen as a victory by President Bashir,вЂќ said Jerome Tubiana, senior analyst for the International Crisis Group. вЂњThe NCP should win without difficulty but all the problems will still be left,вЂќ Tubiana added. Sudan faces major economic challenges with nearly half of the countryвЂ™s population living in poverty, according to World Bank п¬Ѓgures. When South Sudan broke away, it took with it 75% of the formerly united countryвЂ™s oil production. Insurgents are still battling government troops in Darfur as well as in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states on the South Sudan border. Last January, Bashir announced a national dialogue to address the problems, inviting opposition groups, including rebels, to participate. But the talks have yet to materialise, and critics view the invitations as a bid by Bashir to buy time before the elections. Opponents to BashirвЂ™s rule are more united than they have been for years but are still expected to struggle to challenge him. In December, the Umma Party joined other opposition parties and civil society groups to sign the вЂњSudan CallвЂќ document demanding a transitional government to pave the way for free and fair elections. SudanвЂ™s powerful National Intelligence and Security Service has kept up the pressure on opposition parties, arresting two signatories to Sudan Call. NISS has also shown it will brook no dissent from protesters. Its forces gunned down dozens of Sudanese who protested against the lifting of fuel subsidies in September 2013. Their handling of the protests caused divisions within the NCP, with Bashir adviser Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani breaking away to form his own party. But analysts say opposition failings have played into BashirвЂ™s hands. вЂњThis alliance remains fragile because these opposition groups have for a long time been riven by personal rivalries,вЂќ said Soliman of Chatham House. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 9 AFRICA Belly flop! Nigeria seeks help to curb Boko Haram вЂ�Child bombersвЂ™ hit another town AFP Abuja N An Ethiopian Boeing 737 cargo plane sits on the runway at the Accra-Kotoka airport after it skidded off the tarmac on landing on Saturday. The aircraft was carrying general cargo. Three crew members on board were safe. IED hits Somalia troop convoy A remote-controlled bomb hit a vehicle in a troop convoy in the southern Somali port city of Kismayu, killing at least three soldiers, police and residents said yesterday. Militant group Shebaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit the convoy as it drove through Gulwade village in Kismayu late on Saturday. вЂњThe bomb was targeted at our convoy. Three soldiers were killed,вЂќ said Ismail Hussein, a police officer in the city. Shebaab has been weakened considerably by African Union troops and the Somali army, losing swathes of territory in the south of the country, but it has been carrying hit-and-run style attacks to show it has not been vanquished. Local residents said troops in the convoy opened п¬Ѓre after the blast went off, killing two women who were passing by. Hussein of the local police rejected the claim: вЂњThe forces did not kill residents after the blast,вЂќ he said. Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al ShabaabвЂ™s spokesman for military operations, said the group was behind the bomb attack and that it killed four senior intelligence officers. Strife-torn Mali names new govt AFP Bamako M aliвЂ™s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita yesterday named new slimmeddown government, with cabinet members replaced in key defence and economy posts in the strife-torn west African nation. The government of new Prime Minister Modibo Keita was appointed by a presidential decree published overnight, after his predecessor as premier resigned under pressure on Thursday. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, a former foreign minister, takes over the defence and veterans portfolio in the new government, which has 29 members in addition to the premier, against 31 in the previous administration. Banker Mamadou Igor Diarra becomes minister of economy and п¬Ѓnance, while the digital economy and communication portfolio went to Choguel Kokala Maiga. The new government faces many challenges in the conп¬‚ict-hit country, which descended into crisis in 2012 after Islamist groups seized control of its vast northern desert for several months, prompting a French-led mili- tary intervention. вЂњThis is a war government, but also a team that should make the return of peace in the north its priority,вЂќ a close associate of the president told AFP. An official close to the new prime minister told AFP that the new cabinet is primarily tasked with taking on the serious economic and п¬Ѓnancial ills Mali suffers, but also represents вЂњa team that must make the return of peace in the north its priorityвЂќ within the national reconciliation process. But the shake-up also comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) temporarily blocked development aid following its observations of irregularities in Malian state accounts, including the costly purchase of the presidential jet and several military aircraft without competitive bids. The IMF unfroze those funds after Mali revised its procurement rules, made efforts towards creating greater transparency and accountability, and looking hard at the officials and decisions involved in the air craft purchases. New Prime Minister Keita, appointed on Thursday, was previously the presidentвЂ™s representative in peace talks launched in July between the government and jihadist rebels based in the north. igeriaвЂ™s military has called for support in tackling Boko Haram after a major attack on a key northeast town that is feared could be the worst in the bloody sixyear insurgency. There are still no independently corroborated п¬Ѓgures for the huge numbers said to have been killed in Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad in the far north of Borno State. But defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement issued late on Saturday that the description of the assault as вЂњthe deadliestвЂќ in a conп¬‚ict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2009 was вЂњquite validвЂќ. вЂњThe attack on the town by the bloodhounds and their activities since January 3rd, 2015, should convince well-meaning people all over the world that Boko Haram is the evil all must collaborate to end, rather than vilifying those working to check them,вЂќ he said. NigeriaвЂ™s military - west AfricaвЂ™s largest - has faced repeated criticism for failing to end the six-year Islamist insurgency, as well as allegations of human rights abuses. Soldiers have complained of a lack of adequate weapons and even refused to deploy to take on the betterarmed rebels, who want to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria. With elections set for next month, NigeriaвЂ™s government has also been accused of playing politics with the insurgency, as most of the areas worst affected by the violence are main opposition strongholds. But Olukolade said: вЂњThe Nigerian military has not given up on Baga and other localities where terrorist activities are now prevalent. вЂњAppropriate plans, men and re- Two suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up yesterday in a market in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said, killing three people in the second apparent attack in two days using young girls strapped with explosives. The blasts struck around midafternoon at an open market selling mobile handsets in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state, which has frequently been attacked by the jihadist group Boko Haram. A trader at the market, Sani Abdu Potiskum, said the bombers were about 10 years old. вЂњI saw their dead bodies. They are two young girls of about 10 years of age ... you only see the plaited hair and part of sources are presently being mobilised to address the situation,вЂќ he said on defenceinfo.mil.ng, in the militaryвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst detailed comment on last weekendвЂ™s attack. The military and government often makes such statements, without giving speciп¬Ѓc details, yet there are reports of attacks on an almost daily basis. On Saturday, two explosions rocked northeast Nigeria, including one at a crowded market in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, by a girl suicide bomber thought to be just 10. Nineteen people were killed. The Baga attack, which local ofп¬Ѓcials said forced at least 20,000 people to п¬‚ee, also overran the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force made up of troops from Nigeria, Niger and Chad. Nigerien and Chadian soldiers were not at the base at the time. Olukolade said 14 soldiers were killed and more than 30 injured as well as вЂњseveralвЂќ insurgents. There was no credible estimate yet of the numbers of civilians killed, after huge numbers cited locally, he added. the upper torso,вЂќ the trader said. Another witness who accompanied the ambulances taking casualties to hospital said three people, excluding the bombers, were killed and at least 26 people were wounded. The town was hit by a suicide bomber in November when at least 48 people, mainly students, were killed during a school assembly. On Saturday, a bomb exploded at a police station in Potiskum. YesterdayвЂ™s explosions came a day after a bomb strapped to a girl aged around 10 years old exploded in a busy market place in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 20, security sources said. вЂњIt is necessary to reassure Nigerians that the Nigerian armed forces and security agencies are capable of п¬‚ushing out the terrorists from Baga and all parts of the nationвЂ™s territory where their activities are prevalent.вЂќ Boko Haram has seized dozens of towns and villages in northeast Nigeria in the last six months and now reportedly controls the border areas of Borno state with Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The territorial gains have led to fears of a total loss of government control in the remote region - and a claim last year by a senior US diplomat that the military was in denial about the situation. Olukolade maintained on Saturday: вЂњNo portion of NigeriaвЂ™s territory has been or will be conceded to terrorists. вЂњThe use of all available resources within the armed forces will continue to be maximised to sustain the tempo of the counter-terrorism campaign towards containing and eradicating terrorism in the nationвЂ™s territory.вЂќ Pastor gunned down in Mombasa church attack A pastor was shot dead yesterday in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa when unknown gunmen struck during a church service in a neighbourhood hit by several attacks in recent months. The shooting took place in Majengo, a crowded and impoverished area mainly inhabited by Muslims, and scene of frequent clashes between Kenyan police and radical youths. They have battled over crack- downs on mosques in the area believed to be recruiting and training young people to join Islamist militants Shebaab in Somalia. Witnesses said the two attackers at the Maximum Revival ministries church sneaked into the compound through a sidegate, avoiding two armed policemen who were manning the main gate. вЂњThey tried to force their way into the church, but when some worshippers stopped them, one drew a gun and shot the pastor,вЂќ said Phylis Wairimu, a church member, standing next to the dead pastorвЂ™s body on the ground in a pool of blood. Police described the shooting as an isolated criminal incident saying they had no reason to link it to Islamist militants. вЂњWe have launched a manhunt for the assailants,вЂќ Henry Ondiek, Mombasa criminal investigation officer, told reporters at the scene. Looming power blackouts threaten SA economy By Stephanie Findlay, AFP Pretoria S outh AfricaвЂ™s capacity to generate electricity is shrinking due to ageing power plants, latest statistics show, and the continentвЂ™s most developed economy could face rolling blackouts for years to come. New data released by Statistics South Africa highlight how the beleaguered state power utility Eskom, which generates around 95% of the countryвЂ™s electricity, is unable to meet demand. Electricity production dropped 1.4% from January through November last year compared with the same period in 2013. In November, Eskom had to introduce power cuts across the country to prevent a collapse of the grid after a coal storage silo collapsed. The outages escalated in December when swathes of the economic hub of Johannesburg were repeatedly plunged into darkness. Eskom, which relies on its ageing coal stations for supply, has warned of a high risk of more вЂњload sheddingвЂќ until March at least. But analysts predict that the blackouts could continue for two more years until new power plants come on stream. That would be bad news for South Africa as one of the BRICS group of emerging economies considered to have huge potential, along with Brazil, Russia, India and China. Last yearвЂ™s outages cost companies millions of dollars in lost production and business and battered South AfricaвЂ™s Locals walk in the township of Telmas, a suburb of Johannesburg, with the cooling towers of a power plant in the distance. already-struggling economy, which was expected to grow by 1.4% in 2014. Growth is forecast to rise to 2.5% this year, but that is still well below South AfricaвЂ™s potential, and the impact of power cuts will be more widespread this year. вЂњThis year itвЂ™s a different situation. ItвЂ™s negatively affecting the retail sector, itвЂ™s much more across the board and itвЂ™s much more immediate,вЂќ said Dennis Dykes, chief economist at Nedbank. вЂњUnfortunately it certainly has the potential of hurting growth, anything between half a% to one% of GDP,вЂќ said Dykes. вЂњIt is a real constraint on the economy.вЂќ Senior Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger summed up the situation: вЂњThe grid is tight, and we are vulnerable.вЂќ вЂњThere is a medium risk of loadshedding on the grid at the moment and that will continue until the end of summer (March),вЂќ he added. In an effort to help slash usage, Eskom has posted energy conservation tips on its Twitter account. вЂњOpen windows and doors to allow a cool breeze to circulate through the houseвЂќ instead of turning on the air conditioning, says one tweet. вЂњOnly boil the amount of water in your kettle that you need for the number of cups of tea or coffee you are making,вЂќ reads another. The news of more blackouts comes after Eskom said the launch of a new power unit will be delayed until February, one of a series of missed deadlines that has exacerbated the shortfall. The power company has embarked on massive schemes to build three coalп¬Ѓred stations which will see the countryвЂ™s generation and transmission capacity grow by 17,000 megawatts from the current 40,000 MW. South Africa already has one nuclear power station and the government has also announced plans to build eight nuclear reactors worth up to $50bn to add 9,600 megawatts of generating capacity. To avoid outages, Eskom has been deferring maintenance on its old п¬‚eet of power stations, leading to a vicious cycle of breakdowns. вЂњItвЂ™s like when you have a car and you donвЂ™t service it, eventually it will fail and this is what is happening,вЂќ said energy analyst Chris Yelland. вЂњYou cannot keep the lights on at any cost forever,вЂќ he said, predicting that South Africa will experience load shedding for at least the next two years while it waits for new power stations to come on stream and join the grid. вЂњYouвЂ™ve got to balance the need to keep the lights on with the need to do proper maintenance, which means load shedding,вЂќ he said. 10 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 AMERICAS TRAGEDY BLAST DIPLOMACY CRIME RELIGION Camel tramples two to death in Texas Fire extinguished at Husky Energy refinery Obama to host Cameron this week at White House Father in hospital standoff surrenders Top court to weigh new religious rights case A male camel in rut trampled two people to death at the Camel Kisses farm in north Texas, KFDX television station reported yesterday. A man had entered a pen holding a male and two female camels at the farm near Wichita Falls on Saturday. The male then charged the man, named as Mark Mere, 53. The farmвЂ™s owner, Peggye McNair, 72, tried to close the gate to the pen but was also stomped, the Wichita County Sheriff вЂ™s Office said. вЂњIt appears that both victims were trampled by the camel,вЂќ police said in a statement, according to the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, located about 240km northwest of Dallas. A fire that started after a blast on Saturday at Husky EnergyвЂ™s 155,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude oil refinery in Lima, Ohio, has been extinguished, a source familiar with the facilityвЂ™s operations said. No injuries were reported in the explosion, which was heard across the city and shattered nearby windows, according to local media reports. Sources said output at the plant has stopped and is unlikely to resume for several days. The blast involved the 26,000-barrelper-day isocracker unit, according to a source familiar with the facilityвЂ™s operations. At the time of the blast, the unit was being restarted after maintenance, a second source said. President Barack Obama will host British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House on Thursday and Friday to discuss a broad range of issues including counterterrorism. The Islamic State group, Ebola and RussiaвЂ™s incursions into Ukraine will all be on the table, the White House said, hailing the вЂњenduring special relationshipвЂќ between the two countries. On Thursday, the pair will have a working dinner, before meeting in the Oval Office on Friday. The White House made no explicit mention of the attacks in France that left 17 people dead, but said Obama and Cameron who are believed to enjoy close working ties - will discuss counterterrorism efforts and IS extremists. A distraught father of a patient in a Texas hospital surrendered to police after a standoff, police said on Saturday. The sheriff вЂ™s office for Harris County issued a statement that the man had surrendered and the hospital was no longer under lockdown. Previously, the police had said the man was holding hostages and could be armed. Later, they said it was not a hostage situation and the father was not armed. Police described the father as вЂњdistraught about his sonвЂ™s medical condition.вЂќ He was with his son in the critical care unit of the Tomball Regional Medical Center. вЂњThe suspect has surrendered without incident,вЂќ the sheriffвЂ™s office said. The US Supreme Court today will take up a new religious rights case when it considers whether a town in Arizona discriminated against a local church by forcing it to remove signs notifying the public of its worship services. The justices are set to hear an argument in an appeal filed by the Good News Community Church, which objected to its treatment by town officials in Gilbert. The church says its free speech rights were violated. The justices ruled 5-4 that owners of private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision of ObamaвЂ™s signature healthcare law that requires employers to provide insurance covering birth control for women. Petraeus defended over leak probe Golden Gate Bridge closed Eric Holder concerned about lone wolf attacks AFP Washington T wo prominent US lawmakers came to the defence yesterday of David Petraeus, the retired general and former CIA chief under an FBI investigation for allegedly leaking classiп¬Ѓed information to his former mistress. The New York Times reported on Friday that the FBI and federal prosecutors have recommended that felony charges be brought against Petraeus, whose exploits as the top US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan made him one of AmericaвЂ™s most celebrated generals. Attorney General Eric Holder said in television interviews yesterday no decision would be made in the case until all the evidence was in, but declined further comment. Pressure rose, however, for a quick resolution of the matter from the generalвЂ™s admirers in Congress. вЂњThis man has suffered enough, in my view,вЂќ said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who told CNNвЂ™s State of the Union that he should not be indicted. вЂњHeвЂ™s the four-star general of our generation,вЂќ she said, lauding his role in suppressing an Al Qaeda fuelled sectarian conп¬‚ict in Iraq, similar to one gripping the country today. вЂњHe, I think, is a very brilliant man. People arenвЂ™t perfect. He made a mistake. He lost his job as a CIA director because of it. I mean, how much do you want to punish somebody?вЂќ The probe focuses on whether Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director in 2012, gave his lover Paula Broadwell access to his CIA e-mail account and other highly classiп¬Ѓed information while she was writing a biography of him. Petraeus denies he ever provided classiп¬Ѓed information to Broadwell, who was 20 years his junior. Republican Senator John McCain, who charged that PetraeusвЂ™s case had been вЂњgrievously mishandled,вЂќ said he did not know whether the general should be indicted but slammed the news leak about the recommendation to charge him. вЂњOne of the great honours of my life is to meet, have known some great military leaders. This man is unique. He is one of the great leaders. Ask anybody who served under him,вЂќ McCain said on CNN. вЂњHe was an architect of the surge which turned Iraq around. He may have saved thousands of young AmericansвЂ™ lives, and obviously he deserves better treatment than have a leak to the New York Times about a recommendation, which is a violation of his rights and any citizenвЂ™s rights.вЂќ Obama last week launched a campaign of US air strikes and humanitarian air drops in northern Iraq Reuters Washington U S Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday he is concerned about socalled lone wolf attacks in the US by Islamist militants inspired by Al Qaeda affiliates. Holder met with his European counterparts in Paris yesterday to discuss ways to prevent violent extremism, after Islamist militants killed 17 people in several attacks in the French capital. Holder said on CBSвЂ™s Face the Nation programme that the вЂњdecimationвЂќ of core Al Qaeda has reduced or eliminated that groupвЂ™s ability to carry out a 9/11-style attack, but he said affiliates like Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have stepped in to try to inspire people to carry out smaller attacks. вЂњI think the possibility of such attacks exists in the US,вЂќ Holder said. вЂњIt is something that, frankly, keeps me up at night worrying about the lone wolf or a very small group of people who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France this week,вЂќ he said. Holder said authorities have not determined if AQAP or a group like Islamic State, which US to host security summit on February 18 Workers install a movable median barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Saturday. The famous span is closed for the weekend to complete the construction, the longest closing in bridgeвЂ™s history. Canadian museum acquires worldвЂ™s oldest ice hockey stick AFP Montreal A Canadian museum has snapped up the worldвЂ™s oldest-known ice hockey stick - made out of maple - for $300,000. The вЂњMoffatt stickвЂќ was hewn in the 1830s in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, вЂњfrom a single piece of sugar maple,вЂќ the Canadian Museum of History said. вЂњHockey is CanadaвЂ™s game we developed it and we cherish it like no other country in the world,вЂќ said Mark OвЂ™Neill, the museum president, who called the stick an example of the facilityвЂ™s вЂњnational treasures.вЂќ The stick was owned by one family - the Moffatts - from its creation until the early 1980s, when it was given to a barbershop owner who then sold it in 2008 to the man the museum bought it from. The museum, located in OttawaвЂ™s suburbs, said that genealogical evidence and oral histories, as well as scientific analysis of the stickвЂ™s вЂњwood, wear and paint,вЂќ were used to verify its authenticity. Hockey-mad Canadians will not be able to see the stick, however, until 2017, when renovations at the museum - CanadaвЂ™s busiest with 1.2mn visitors per year - are completed. The US will host a summit on February 18 on how to fight вЂњviolent extremism around the worldвЂќ in the wake of the Paris attacks, US Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday. Speaking in the French capital after a meeting with European security ministers following this weekвЂ™s Islamist militant attacks, Holder said the meeting would take place in Washington DC under the auspices of President Barack Obama. вЂњThe US is planning on holding a summit meeting on February the 18th in Washington DC to be conducted by the White House,вЂќ he said. The gathering will вЂњbring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world,вЂќ Holder said. вЂњOnly if we work together, through sharing of information, by pooling our resources, will we ultimately be able to defeat those who are in a struggle with us about our fundamental values.вЂќ has declared a caliphate and seized large areas of Iraq and Syria, is responsible for the Paris attacks. The two brothers who carried out the attack in Paris on a satirical weekly newspaper travelled in 2011 to Yemen, where AQAP is based, for weapons training, two senior Yemeni sources said yesterday. The gunman who staged an attack on a Paris deli appeared in a video declaring his allegiance to the Islamic State group. Holder, who appeared on several US television shows yesterday morning, said the US and its allies need to do a better job sharing information about possible threats. вЂњOne nation cannot by itself hope to forestall the possibility of terrorism even within its own borders,вЂќ he told ABCвЂ™s This Week programme. President Barack Obama will hold a global security meeting in Washington in February to discuss domestic and international efforts to counteract violent extremism. Holder said Americans should feel secure with US officialsвЂ™ efforts to prevent attacks by Islamist militants. He told CNNвЂ™s State of the Union programme that about 150 Americans had gone or attempted to travel to Syria or Iraq to п¬Ѓght with militants there, and about 12 were there now. 25,000 march in Montreal in solidarity with France AFP Montreal A bout 25,000 people marched yesterday in CanadaвЂ™s French-speaking city of Montreal in solidarity with France and in memory of 17 people killed in militant attacks in Paris, organisers said. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and several Quebec officials joined the French consul general Bruno Clerc at the head of a long procession by marchers waving Canadian, French and Quebecois п¬‚ags, as well as signs bearing the message вЂњJe Suis Charlie.вЂќ The silent march left from the Place des Arts in downtown Montreal and continued to the French consulate where the crowd sang the French national anthem twice. Another 2,000 people marched in provincial capital Quebec City, where the provincial prime minister Philippe Couillard led the procession from parliament to the French consulate where he helped affix a massive вЂњJe suis CharlieвЂќ banner on the historic building. Across Canada, rallies were also organised in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. On Saturday, nearly 20,000 people stood as the French national anthem played before the NHL match between the Montreal Canadians and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The ice was lit in red, white and blue, like a massive, п¬‚oating French п¬‚ag. Republicans to block immigration funding Reuters Washington R Petraeus epublicans in the House of Representatives will try to block President Barack ObamaвЂ™s immigration initiatives this week by denying funding for them in a security budget bill, lawmakers said on Friday. The decision by House Speaker John Boehner to initiate an immigration showdown with the White House appeared to placate some conservatives just three days after they tried to oust Boehner in the most contentious leadership election in decades. Funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which spearheads domestic counterterrorism efforts, secures US borders, airports and coastal waters and protects the president, was left out of a $1.1bn government spending bill passed in December. Boehner had told Republicans he would use the DHS budget as leverage to try to stop an executive order in November by the Democratic president lifting the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. вЂњThis is the fulп¬Ѓlment of a promise by Speaker Boehner,вЂќ Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said of the Republican plans after a closed-door strategy session. Representative Tim Huelskamp, one of 25 Republicans to withhold support from Boehner on Tuesday, said he believed the party was uniп¬Ѓed behind BoehnerвЂ™s strategy. вЂњFolks appreciate this,вЂќ Huelskamp said. вЂњThe question we donвЂ™t know is what happens in the SenateвЂќ on the provisions to block the immigration order. The strategy, however, risks a cut-off in funding for DHS at a time when domestic terrorism concerns have been heightened by deadly attacks by Islamist gunmen this week in France. вЂњItвЂ™s a very dangerous time and I would wonder whether the president would have real deep misgivings about not signing a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security,вЂќ House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky told reporters. The spending bill, released by the House Appropriations Committee on Friday, provides $39.7bn in funding through Sept. 30, an increase of $400mn over the п¬Ѓscal 2014 level, including big increases for US customs and border security agencies. It includes $553.6mn for costs to deal with a wave of child migrants from Central America, including costs for deterring such journeys and temporarily housing those detained. The strongest, most speciп¬Ѓc language targeting immigration will be in amendments to the core bill. Besides banning spending for ObamaвЂ™s November order, the amendments would seek to block ObamaвЂ™s 2012 initiative deferring action against immigrants who were brought into the US illegally as children. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 11 ASEAN Japan to seal aviation pacts with Cambodia and Laos DPA Tokyo J apan is set to ink bilateral aviation accords with Cambodia and Laos to allow airlines to operate regular direct п¬‚ights between Japan and the two countries, a report said yesterday. Japanese vice foreign minister Kazuyuki Nakane plans to sign the agreements during his visit to the two countries this week, the Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed government officials. Once the agreements take effect, Japan would have aviation pacts with all 10 members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations. Japan is eager to bolster relations with the member states amid its strained ties with China and South Korea over territorial spats and perceptions of wartime history. Asean has vowed to enhance connectivity for further development toward a more integrated community in 2015. Japan hopes the aviation accords would enable AsiaвЂ™s second-largest economy to вЂњfurther promote personnel and economic exchangesвЂќ with Cambodia and Laos. Japanese investment in the two countries has increased sharply in recent years, Kyodo quoted the officials as saying. Nakane is expected to afп¬Ѓrm co-operation with Lao and Cambodian government officials toward a summit meeting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will host with the leaders of п¬Ѓve Mekong basin countries вЂ” Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam вЂ” in July in Tokyo. Deadline set for ex-Thai premierвЂ™s impeachment DPA Bangkok T hailandвЂ™s National Legislative Assembly set January 23 as the deadline for voting on the impeachment case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, local media reported yesterday. She is facing impeachment for alleged dereliction of duty in her governmentвЂ™s rice-pledging scheme, which the anti-corruption agency said cost the country $4bn in waste and fraud. If found guilty, Yingluck would face a п¬Ѓve-year ban from politics and a retroactive impeachment. People watch as a section of the tail of AirAsia QZ8501 passenger plane is lifted off a ship and onto the back of a truck, the day after it was lifted from the seabed, in Kumai Port, near Pangkalan Bun, central Kalimantan yesterday. Indonesia divers вЂ�п¬ЃndвЂ™ crucial black box of AirAsia aircraft AFP Pangkalan Bun I ndonesian divers yesterday found the crucial black box п¬‚ight recorders of the AirAsia plane that crashed in the Java Sea a fortnight ago with 162 people aboard, the transport ministry said. But they failed to retrieve it immediately from the seabed because it was stuck under debris from the main body of the plane, the ministry added. вЂњThe navy divers in Jadayat state boat have succeeded in п¬Ѓnding a very important instrument, the black box of AirAsia QZ8501,вЂќ said Tonny Budiono, a senior ministry official. The recorders were at a depth of 30-32 metres (99-106 feet), he said in a statement. Divers will today try to shift the position of the wreckage to access the black box. вЂњHowever, if this effort fails, then the team will lift part of the main body using the same balloon technique used earlier to lift the tail,вЂќ Budiono added. After a frustrating two-week An investigator examines a section of the tail of the passenger plane in Kumai Port, near Pangkalan Bun. search often hampered by bad weather, officials earlier yesterday raised hopes by reporting that strong ping signals had been detected by three vessels involved in the search. Those signals were coming from the seabed less than one kilometre from where the tail of the plane was found, Malaysian Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said in a post on Twitter. Ma- laysiaвЂ™s Navy is helping in the search. The Indonesian meteorological agency has said stormy weather likely caused the Airbus A320-200 to crash as it п¬‚ew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore on December 28. But a deп¬Ѓnitive answer is impossible without the black box, which should contain the pilotsвЂ™ п¬Ѓnal words as well as various п¬‚ight data. S B Supriyadi, a director with the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters earlier in the day that an object believed to be the planeвЂ™s main body had also been detected near the source of the pings. The search, which has involved US, Chinese and other international naval ships, has recovered 48 bodies so far. Supriyadi said many bodies were believed trapped in the cabin, so reaching that part of the wreckage was also a top priority. The tail of the plane, with its red AirAsia logo, was lifted out of the water on Saturday using giant balloons and a crane. It was brought by tugboat yesterday to a port near the search headquarters, at Pangkalan Bun town on Borneo island. All but seven of those on board the п¬‚ight were Indonesian. The bodies of a South Korean couple were identiп¬Ѓed yesterday, but their 11-month-old baby remains unaccounted for, Indonesian authorities said. The other foreigners were one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one Briton and a Frenchman -- co-pilot Remi Plesel. Their bodies have not been recovered. While the cause of the crash is unknown, the disaster has once again placed IndonesiaвЂ™s chaotic aviation industry under scrutiny. Indonesian officials have alleged Indonesia AirAsia did not have a licence to п¬‚y the route on the day of the crash, although the airline rejects the claim. IndonesiaвЂ™s transport ministry quickly banned AirAsia from п¬‚ying the Surabaya-Singapore route. On Friday it suspended dozens more routes operated by п¬Ѓve other domestic airlines for similar licence violations. Budget carrier tipped to surmount п¬Ѓrst major crisis AFP Kuala Lumpur U ntil Flight QZ8501 went down everything had gone right during a spectacular 13-year run of success for AirAsia, which unlocked a booming market of budget travellers in the region. But as long as no serious safety lapses emerge, analysts say the robust and media-savvy business built up by the Malaysia-based group should help overcome its п¬Ѓrst major reversal. Flight QZ8501 operated by Indonesia AirAsia вЂ” the groupвЂ™s Jakarta-based affiliate вЂ” crashed in the Java Sea on December 28 en route to Singapore from Surabaya with 162 aboard. All are believed dead. From the start, AirAsiaвЂ™s colourful boss Tony Fernandes publicly took responsibility, visited victimsвЂ™ families, and vowed to п¬Ѓnd out what happened. Passengers standing near an AirAsia information board of the low-cost carrier at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) in Sepang. Such actions are critical in restoring trust, experts say, and stand in stark contrast to Malaysia AirlinesвЂ™ fumbling, tightlipped handling of the still-unsolved disappearance of Flight MH370 last March with 239 aboard. вЂњThis is an excellent case of a crisis being handled well, to show your customers that things are being taken care of in a hands-on manner, and that the executives are not just sipping their coffees in a cosy office,вЂќ said Daniel Tsang, an aerospace analyst with Aspire Aviation. вЂњWhile some passengers may avoid taking (AirAsia) п¬‚ights in the short-term, AirAsiaвЂ™s low- cost proposition will keep drawing in п¬Ѓrst-time п¬‚iers to the airline.вЂќ If investigators uncover safety negligence on the airlineвЂ™s part, however, it could deeply undermine conп¬Ѓdence. The cause is not yet known, but the planeвЂ™s Indonesian pilot had requested a course change from air traffic controllers shortly before the crash to avoid a storm. Indonesian officials in turn have raised questions about Indonesia AirAsia, saying it did not have a license to п¬‚y the route that day, but Fernandes has rejected the claim. Yet even if any safety lapses are pinned on the carrier, aviation analysts said AirAsia could mitigate the impact with an aggressive and public campaign to address shortcomings. AirAsia would need to вЂњbe upfront about safety lapses, own up to error, lay out ways to avoid future (accidents), and move onвЂќ, said Terence Fan, an aviation expert at Singapore Management University. вЂњUnless serious lapses at the airline were found, an airline typically bounces back in a few months in terms of traffic.вЂќ Taking to Twitter, Fernandes last week vowed all the facts will come out. вЂњWe never hide,вЂќ he declared. Shukor Yusof, founder of Malaysia-based aviation research п¬Ѓrm Endau Analytics, said he would be surprised if a systemic AirAsia safety problem was found. вЂњAirAsia does well in costcutting but not to the extent of foregoing safety,вЂќ he said. Knowing the planeвЂ™s fate also means AirAsia can bring closure to families, so muting long-term criticism. In contrast, the failure to п¬Ѓnd MH370 has left many victimsвЂ™ kin alleging a cover-up by Malaysia Airlines and MalaysiaвЂ™s government. A former record industry executive, Fernandes, 50, took over heavily indebted AirAsia in December 2001. He turned it into a roaring success with its rock-bottom fares and a playful image embodied by its baseball cap-wearing boss, who has been called AsiaвЂ™s Richard Branson. With its corporate motto de- claring вЂњNow everyone can п¬‚yвЂќ, it has won over tens of millions of travellers in a burgeoning Asian middle class previously conп¬Ѓned to more expensive regional п¬‚ag carriers, snagging several awards as the worldвЂ™s best budget carrier. вЂњCertainly AirAsia will recover as it is a very good airline and this tragedy will not impact its growth,вЂќ said AirlineRatings. com editor Geoffrey Thomas. That said, AirAsia is struggling to maintain growth rates as it matures, as rivals step up competition. In the п¬Ѓrst blow to its business, Indonesian authorities have halted AirAsiaвЂ™s SurabayaSingapore п¬‚ights. But analysts note that AirAsia has continually proven itself the regionвЂ™s most nimble performer, and that other airlines have bounced back from tragedy to emerge stronger. These include п¬‚ag carriers Garuda Indonesia and Korean Airlines. 12 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 AUSTRALASIA /EAST ASIA Govt to erect permanent memorial for siege dead Tears and deп¬Ѓance in Australian tribute to French attack victims AFP Sydney AFP Sydney A ustralia will built a permanent memorial to remember the victims of the Sydney cafe siege, officials said yesterday as they vowed never to forget the two hostages who died in the stand-off. The memorial will also pay tribute to the police and emergency service officers who worked to end the 16-hour siege in mid-December. The siege shocked Australians, with thousands of Sydneysiders laying bouquets at a large makeshift memorial near the cafe in the cityвЂ™s п¬Ѓnancial hub. вЂњThe outpouring of grief that was symbolised by a sea of flowers in Martin Place, and that moved hearts around the world, was the beginning of our recovery process,вЂќ New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said in a statement. вЂњThe unveiling of a permanent memorial, on or before the first anniversary of the siege, will be another significant step in that process, and will guarantee that the memory of Tori (Johnson) and Katrina (Dawson) lives forever in the heart of Sydney.вЂќ Cafe manager Johnson, 34, barrister Dawson, 38, and gunman Man Haron Monis, 50, died in a bloody end to the siege. Several hostages were also injured. News of the memorial, which will include compost created from the floral tributes, came as reports said Dawson was struck by police bullets when officers stormed the cafe. H undreds of people linked hands and displayed вЂњJe suis CharlieвЂќ and вЂњfreedomвЂќ signs in Sydney yesteray as they paid tribute to the Paris attack victims just metres from the scene of a deadly cafe siege last month. The crowd, led by French ambassador Christophe Lecourtier, marched in silence down Martin Place in the вЂњNo fear, no freedomвЂќ rally despite persistent rain. Just a month ago, the same area was covered by a sea of п¬‚owers in an outpouring of grief after two hostages held by selfstyled cleric Man Haron Monis were killed in a 16-hour standoff. вЂњYou know what it means, especially here in Martin Place,вЂќ Lecourtier told the crowd, many of whom were from the French community. вЂњLet us keep in mind what is the spirit of Charlie. The spirit of Charlie is -- the future belongs to those who resist, belongs to those who п¬Ѓght.вЂќ Antoine and Sam Moscovitz said they brought their children to the rally as they wanted them to realise that the Paris attacks, in which 17 people lost their lives in a three-day killing spree, were wrong. The attacks began at the ofп¬Ѓces of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 12 people died. вЂњSo many people died in the past to get freedom for the French Republic,вЂќ Sam Moscovitz said. вЂњWe are not afraid. We Members of SydneyвЂ™s French community gather in the heart of the city to pay tribute to the Paris attack victims, just metres from the scene of a deadly cafe siege last month in Australia, yesterday. cannot live in fear. We donвЂ™t know what tomorrow will bring but we can makes our voices heard.вЂќ More poultry culled in Taiwan In Tokyo, more than 150 French and Japanese nationals gathered at a French language and culture institute and held a one-minute silent prayer. They then sang the French na- tional anthem and held aloft вЂњJe suis CharlieвЂќ signs. Tributes to the victims have been held across Asia over the past few days ahead of a march through Paris yesterday. Ice festival AFP Taipei T aiwan yesterday ordered the slaughter of 16,000 geese and ducks to try to curb a bird п¬‚u outbreak that has already led to the culling of 120,000 chickens. Aauthorities on Friday ordered the culling of the chickens at a farm in the southern county of Pingtung after samples tested positive for H5N2, one of the less virulent strains of avian п¬‚u. Officials yesterday ordered the slaughter of 7,500 ducks at a farm in Pingtung and 8,500 geese at п¬Ѓve farms in Yunlin and Chiayi, two counties also in the south, after a new variant of H5N2 as well as the H5N8 strain were detected. вЂњThis (H5N8) has never been discovered in Taiwan before, it probably could be brought to Taiwan by migratory birds,вЂќ Chang Su-san, head of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, told reporters. The H5N8 virus had previously hit Europe, South Korea, Japan, Canada and the US, prompting the culling of poultry. Many of the duck and geese farms were also asked to strengthen nets to prevent contacts between poultry and wild birds. The island has reported several outbreaks of H5N2 in recent years. Festival visitors enjoy bare hand fishing in a frozen river during the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival at Hwacheon-gun in Gangwon province, South Korea yesterday. The festival runs from January 10 to February 1, 2015. Shanghai cancels lantern festival after stampede AFP Shanghai C hinaвЂ™s commercial hub Shanghai has cancelled a popular annual outdoor festival over safety concerns, after a New YearвЂ™s eve stampede in the city killed 36 people. Organisers called off the lantern festival event at the Yu Gardens вЂњbased on considerations of safety,вЂќ they said on an official microblog on Saturday. A New YearвЂ™s stampede on the cityвЂ™s historic waterfront killed at least 36 revellers and injured dozens more, mostly women, raising questions over why authorities failed to enforce better safety measures. ShanghaiвЂ™s government has since announced tougher registration procedures for large or crowded events, which can be cancelled if safety rules are violated. The Lantern Festival falls 15 days after the Lunar New Year and can attract as many as 60,000 visitors a day, according a state media. The event, which has been held for more than a decade, is known for its heavy crowds, with local listings website Smart Shanghai describing it as вЂњnot for the claustrophobicвЂќ. ShanghaiвЂ™s mayor said the New YearвЂ™s eve crush was a вЂњbloody lessonвЂќ for the city, after his administration was criticised for mismanaging the celebrations. Several events have been scrapped in the wake of the Shanghai stampede, including a fireworks display that was set to launch a spectacular Ice and Snow festival in the northeastern city of Harbin this week. China detains passengers who opened plane exits AFP Beijing C hinese police detained 25 angry plane passengers who opened emergency exit doors before take-off after their п¬‚ight was delayed by snow, state media reported, the latest case of rowdy behaviour by Chinese travellers. The passengers were forced to wait in their seats for hours late Friday and early Saturday after their China Eastern п¬‚ight from the southwest city of Kunming to Beijing was delayed, Xinhua news agency said. After requesting that they be allowed off the plane for health reasons, some passengers вЂњopened three emergency doors in an attempt to stop the п¬‚ightвЂќ and forced the plane to return to the terminal, Xinhua cited a passenger as saying. Two of the passengers surnamed Zhou and Li were sentenced to 15 days in detention for violating public order, the state-run China News Service said. They were members of a 25-person travel group which got вЂњoverly excitedвЂќ, leading to the opening of the doors. The other members of the group were detained for questioning, but apparently later released. The passenger told Xinhua that those on board were worried that the vice captain could not control himself after he вЂњswore and cursedвЂќ, the agency said. The plane had already been delayed for п¬Ѓve hours before they boarded, only to face further delays while ice was cleared from the aircraft, the report said. Others on the aircraft travelled to Beijing by another п¬‚ight. ChinaвЂ™s growing wealth has seen a boom in air travel over the past decade, but its airports are plagued with delays and incidents of unruly passenger behaviour have risen. Last month a budget п¬‚ight from Thailand to China was forced to return to Bangkok after a Chinese passenger threw hot water at a cabin attendant. Chinese state-run media branded four unruly passengers on board as вЂњbarbarians,вЂќ reporting that one of them had threatened to blow up the plane in a row over a seating arrangement. An airport in Kunming saw cha- otic scenes in 2013, when thousands of angry passengers were stranded for hours after thick fog delayed п¬‚ights. Passengers stuck at the airport for more than a day struggled with airline staff, damaging computer equipment belonging to an airline, while police broke up scuffles. In 2012 a plane carrying 200 people from Zurich to Beijing was forced to turn back after a п¬Ѓght between two Chinese passengers. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 13 BRITAIN Tories vow inheritance tax will be reduced Reuters London B A couple walk their dog on Redcar beach past an offshore wind farm in Redcar, northeast England. Power still down as winds batter Britain Strong winds are putting the skids under power and transport networks Evening Standard London T housands of home across the UK are enduring a third day without electricity after strong winds and snow brought disruption to the nationвЂ™s power and transport networks. Gale force winds reached 113mph in parts of Scotland with many living without electricity since Friday. Engineers have been working in вЂњtreacherous and worsening conditionsвЂќ to reconnect properties, while charity workers from the Red Cross have been working to reach vulnerable people and provide food, accommodation and generators where possible. In England, a body has been recovered and searches are to continue for another man after two people were swept out to sea in severe weather at Brighton beach. The body of Freddie Reynolds, who was swept out to sea as he tried to rescue his friend Dan Nicholls, has been recovered. Searches for his friend will resume today. A driver died in a one-car crash in Aberdeenshire where weather has been causing problems and police are investigating if it was a factor. Two people were also taken to hospital after a car crashed with a gritter in South Ayrshire. Emergency crews work after a gust blew a lorry onto to its side on Clackmannanshire Bridge over the Firth of Forth. Weather warnings remain in place for tomorrow with further strong winds, snow and ice forecast. The Met Office has yellow вЂњbe awareвЂќ weather alerts in place for all of Scotland, the North and Midlands of England, and Northern Ireland for snow and ice. The areas worst affected by power cuts have been Inverness-shire, Oban, Perth, Shetland, Skye and the Western Isles. Dozens of Red Cross volunteers have been working over the weekend with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to check on people and drop off supplies. Alan Broadbent, director of engineer- ing, said: вЂњI would like to praise the work of our men and women out in the п¬Ѓeld who had to put up with some of the worst weather conditions I have ever encountered. вЂњI would also like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding. My apologies, once again, for the disruption they had to endure since yesterday.вЂќ Anne Eadie, co-ordinating the Red Cross response, said: вЂњFor everyone affected this is an inconvenience but for many vulnerable people it is a crisis. вЂњPeople can be vulnerable because of age, inп¬Ѓrmity or a degree of disability. We have been called in to make sure these people are okay and have whatever they need to see this through till power is restored. вЂњDuring these visits, we have been delivering gas heaters to households left without heating and providing п¬‚asks of hot drinks. If further help is needed, we notify the relevant authorities.вЂќ A gust of 113mph has been recorded at Stornoway on Lewis, the strongest since records at that site began in 1970, while winds of 76mph were recorded at High Bradп¬Ѓeld, in South Yorkshire, and in Aberdaron, Gwynedd. The winds also hindered efforts to recover the beached Hoegh Osaka near Southampton with an operation to remove water postponed due to the weather. The Sunderland Empire had to close and cancel last nightвЂ™s performance after a statue on its roof toppled over and was left hanging from its base, 90ft up. Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: вЂњIn the north of the UK, the wintry showers should push more eastwards and we should see most of them easing on Sunday. вЂњThe South East should hold on to the largely п¬Ѓne conditions but we will see showers push into Wales and south west England, some of this falling as sleet and snow over the moors but also to lower levels.вЂќ The ferocious gales were stirred up by an extra-powerful jet stream triggered by plunging temperatures in the United States hitting warmer air in the south. Labour seeks energy price cuts with polls in mind Reuters London B ritainвЂ™s opposition Labour Party said it would try to introduce a law to give the energy regulator the power to force п¬Ѓrms to cut prices in response to falls in wholesale costs, a move it hopes will boost it four months before a national election. The plan, announced yesterday by Ed Miliband, the partyвЂ™s leader, will see Labour bring forward a vote on a motion to fasttrack such legislation before parliament on Wednesday. Miliband called on the governing Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to support the new law. Prime minister David Cameron has balked at similar ideas before, portraying them as meddling in the free market. вЂњWeвЂ™ve seen wholesale costs go down 20% in gas prices over the last year and no reduction in bills,вЂќ Miliband said. вЂњWeвЂ™ll give the regulator the power to cut prices to bring immediate relief,вЂќ Miliband told BBC TVвЂ™s Andrew Marr Show, re- BritainвЂ™s Labour party leader Ed Miliband with Andrew Marr. ferring to Ofgem. LabourвЂ™s move is meant to appeal to voters, many of whom have felt their living standards squeezed by inп¬‚ation outstripping wages until recently, before what is shaping up to be one of the closest elections in decades. A sharp drop in oil prices has led to a fall in petrol prices in Britain and politicians are seeking to court voters by competing to sound tougher on п¬Ѓrms perceived to be not cutting their prices fast enough. A 2013 proposal by Miliband to freeze gas and electricity prices for 20 months gave his party a temporary lift in opinion polls. It was criticised by the countryвЂ™s big six energy suppliers and business groups. Energy UK, a group representing the industry, said yesterday п¬Ѓrms were already passing on savings to consumers and that pricing was a commercial matter for individual companies. вЂњNo new powers are needed,вЂќ Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said in a statement. вЂњWhen people shop around they can easily п¬Ѓnd deals that are over a hundred pounds cheaper than this time last year and in line with falls in the wholesale energy price part of energy bills.вЂќ Conservative п¬Ѓnance minister George Osborne last week said it was vital that the lower oil price be passed onto families вЂњat petrol pumps, through utility bills and air faresвЂќ. Danny Alexander, the Liberal DemocratsвЂ™ most senior п¬Ѓgure in the same ministry, has made similar comments. While CameronвЂ™s Conservatives want to п¬Ѓght the election on their record of presiding over an economic recovery, Labour want to use the energy question, among others, to highlight what they say has been a cost of living crisis, a charge they hope will blunt the ConservativesвЂ™ economic boasts. Miliband yesterday called for the introduction of a new benchmark, an вЂњindependent Living Standards IndexвЂќ, to measure peopleвЂ™s well being. An opinion poll released by YouGov yesterday had Labour and the Conservatives tied on 32%, the Liberal Democrats on 7%, the United Kingdom Independence Party on 18%, and the Greens on 6%. ritish Prime Minister David CameronвЂ™s Conservatives yesterday pledged to cut inheritance tax so it became a levy only for вЂњthe richвЂќ as they sought to woo pensioners and propertyowners before a close national election in four months. George Osborne, the Conservative п¬Ѓnance minister, gave his strongest signal yet he would reduce the taxвЂ”also known as death dutiesвЂ”saying he would set out plans before the May 7 election to make the system fairer. вЂњI have taken steps to help with inheritance, making sure that people can pass on their pension to their children,вЂќ Osborne told The Sunday Times newspaper in an interview. вЂњDavid Cameron has made it clear, as have I, that we believe inheritance tax is a tax that should be paid by the rich and we will set out our further approach closer to the election.вЂќ Inheritance tax has become increasingly unpopular with many Britons as rising property prices, particularly in London, mean a greater proportion of people are liable to pay it. The Conservatives are keen to portray themselves as tax cutters and the rival opposition Labour party as big borrowers and spenders, a charge the leftwing party, which is narrowly ahead in most opinion polls, rejects. The Conservatives have promised to deliver more than seven billion pounds of other tax cuts if elected on May 7, though they have not yet explained how they would be funded at the same time as the country is paying down a large budget deп¬Ѓcit. Yesterday, Osborne also ruled out any rise in value added tax if his party wins the next election. Before the last election, in 2010, the Conservatives promised to raise the threshold at which the 40% inheritance tax on estates starts being paid to ВЈ1mn ($1.52mn) from its current level of ВЈ325,000. There is an effective threshold of 650,000 for married couples at the moment. But Cameron failed to win an outright majority in 2010 and was forced to enter a two-party coalition with the centre-left Liberal Democrats who blocked his plans. Proposals to cut inheritance tax are certain to appear in the ConservativesвЂ™ pre-election manifesto amid suggestions they may pledge to raise the threshold to 2mn. Osborne will deliver the п¬Ѓnal budget of this parliament on March 18. His partyвЂ™s coalition with the Liberal Democrats and BritainвЂ™s sizeable national debts means his room for manoeuvre will be limited. Prime minister David Cameron said yesterday that extremist violence would remain a threat for many years to come, as he joined a historic march against terrorism in Paris. вЂњWe in Britain face a very similar threat, a threat of fanatical extremism ... ItвЂ™s a threat that has been with us for many years and I believe will be with us for many more years to come,вЂќ he told British television. Cameron said Britain had to confront the threat вЂњevery way we canвЂќ. BritainвЂ™s Prime Minister David Cameron and DenmarkвЂ™s PM Helle Thorning Schmidt arrive with heads of state to attend the solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) on the streets of Paris yesterday. Castles in Scotland escape levy Evening Standard London S cotlandвЂ™s landed gentry will get away вЂњscotfreeвЂќ without paying the mansion tax, one of LabourвЂ™s leading mayoral candidates has warned. Multi-millionaires in вЂњpalatialвЂќ abodes including genuine mansions and castles will not be hit by Ed BallsвЂ™s proposed tax even though it is meant to target the super-wealthy, said ex-minister David Lammy. He spoke out after LabourвЂ™s leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, boasted that a pledge of 1,000 extra nurses for Scottish hospitals would be funded almost entirely by homeowners in London and the South-East through the mansion tax. The Evening Standard has found a string of enormous properties for sale in Scotland for well under the ВЈ2mn threshold set by Mr Balls. They include a вЂњfairytaleвЂќ turreted castle, Lickleyhead, for ВЈ1,350,000; Orchardton Hall, a вЂњbaronial mansionвЂќ with 17 bedrooms, for ВЈ1,500,000; and Ethie Castle вЂ” the inspiration for Sir Walter ScottвЂ™s Castle of Knockwhinnock in The Antiquary вЂ” for ВЈ1,650,000. None of the Scottish properties would attract the mansion tax, while a two-bed п¬Ѓfth-п¬‚oor п¬‚at on sale in Knightsbridge for ВЈ2,100,000 would be hit. Lammy said: вЂњWhy should the landed gentry in Scotland, or someone with a place as large as Downton Abbey, get away scot-free? вЂњIt makes a nonsense of a system if it simply lands the entire bill on London while ignoring people in palatial homes in other parts of the country.вЂќ According to property portal Zoopla, the number of properties in Scotland worth ВЈ2mn or Ethie Castle: Offers over ВЈ1.65 million. Ten bedrooms. more is 987 вЂ” less than one per cent of the UK total. In London, 90,000 homes would be hit. Lammy called for the tax to be changed so that each region would keep the proceeds to help local people. вЂњI donвЂ™t recognise this caricature of the streets of London being paved with gold,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe have a massive housing crisis here and deep poverty.вЂќ However, a spokesman for Balls insisted: вЂњIt will be a UK-wide tax.вЂќ Among London boroughs that have more properties that will pay mansion tax than the whole of Scotland are Camden (with 8,252), Hammersmith and Fulham (7,798), Merton (2,522), Hounslow (1,994), Lambeth (1,974), Haringey (1,925) and Southwark (1,366). Murphy said his pledge of more nurses was a вЂњwin-win for ScotlandвЂќ because 95% of the costs would come from people in London and the south. Labour MP Diane Abbott accused him of trying to вЂњexpropriate money from Londoners to win an election in ScotlandвЂќ. 14 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 BRITAIN Fire trucks вЂ�being used as makeshift ambulancesвЂ™ London Collections Evening Standard London F A model presents a creation by Alexander McQueen on the third day of the Autumn/Winter 2015 London Collections fashion event in London yesterday. NHS crisis killed my mom, says daughter The NHSвЂ™ ability to respond to emergencies appears to have been degraded Evening Standard London T he daughter of a pensioner who died of pneumonia after waiting п¬Ѓve hours for an ambulance and another 14 in a London A&E has blamed the worst NHS вЂњcrisisвЂќ in a decade for her motherвЂ™s death. Helen Forde waited in agony as she watched Bridget Forde, 92, drift in and out of consciousness after falling and breaking her hip. Frantic for help, she dialled 999 for her mother four times. But it was п¬Ѓve hours before paramedics arrived вЂ“ leaving the former nurse and carer lying in agony on a cold п¬‚oor at her home in Muswell Hill, north London. Six days later she died of pneumonia after waiting a further 14 hours in A&E at the Whittington Hospital, in Archway, before being admitted to a ward. Daughter Helen, 63, today said she was convinced that what should have been treated as a priority resulted in her motherвЂ™s death last month from pneumonia be- Bridget Forde, 92, died of pneumonia. cause of the wait. She also blasted politicians for вЂњpolitical point-scoring and п¬ЃngerpointingвЂќ and demanded they focus on sorting out the вЂњcrisesвЂќ, which she said is making her consider assisted-suicide abroad to avoid the same treatment. She said: вЂњThe last memory I have of my mother is her lying on that п¬‚oor in agony. ItвЂ™s something I canвЂ™t forgive nor forget. вЂњShe was such a lovely lady, a commit- ted Christian who loved thy neighbour more than herself. вЂњAs a nurse, child minder and then carer for the elderly, she spent her entire life looking after others. вЂњShe lived here for 50 years and was the kind of person who would always help others. She was so loved, her community gave her an Outstanding Neighbour award. вЂњBut when she needed help she was treated like an animal. вЂњIt is clear the NHS is in crisis and itвЂ™s time the political point-scoring and п¬Ѓnger-pointing stopped. вЂњI have no children of my own to help look after me when IвЂ™m old and seeing what happens to the elderly in todayвЂ™s NHS has been truly terrifying. When IвЂ™m 80, IвЂ™m tempted to head to Switzerland [where euthanasia is legal].вЂќ Figures released this week show waiting times in EnglandвЂ™s A&EвЂ™s are at their worst in a decade. In the past three months, nearly 21,000 patients have waited on trolleys for up to 12 hours. Between October and December 92.6% of patients were treated within four hours. The target is 95%. Ambulance response times across London have deteriorated over the last nine months as the number of emergency calls Mother-of-two walks free after pretending she had cancer Evening Standard London A fraudster has walked free from court after pretending she had cervical cancer in order to pocket thousands of pounds in donations for fake treatment.Bank worker Danielle Watson, 24, lied to friends and strangers about her health so she could con them out of almost ВЈ10,000. The mother-of-two courted publicity on social media and made local headlines as she announced she had late-stage cervical cancer to claim donations, freebies and cut-price deals for her wedding. She gave regular updates on the treatment she was receiving and how her condition was progressing to continue the deceit, Basildon Crown Court heard. The then 21-year-old admin assistant even brought forward her wedding by several months to April 2012 so she could walk up the aisle before radiotherapy and chemo made her hair fall out. But in fact she had minor surgery for a treatable gynaecological condition and had never been diagnosed with, or treated for, cancer. She was given a 12 month suspended jail sentence today after admitting six counts of fraud at the start of her trial. She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community. Sentencing her today, Recorder Gerard Pounder told her: вЂњYou showed a supreme lack of maturity in the way in which you conducted your life. вЂњIt is a great testament to the many people who dealt with you with supreme generosity because they believed you only had a short time left on this planet.вЂќ Rebecca Blain, mitigating, said Watson had only conп¬Ѓrmed to her friends and family that she had told a lie on the day she pleaded guilty last October. She added: вЂњThe genesis of these lies was opportunistic when she was diagnosed with polyps and had to undergo a routine operation. вЂњShe did this on a whim and did not think through the wider impact of those lies.вЂќ Watson has access to a вЂњsubstantial lump sumвЂќ and hopes to pay ВЈ80 to ВЈ100 a month back to her victims, Blain said. Asked to comment as she left court, Watson said: вЂњJust IвЂ™m sorry.вЂќ Detective constable Rob Lewis, who led the investigation for Essex Police, said: вЂњWe would like to thank the large number of witnesses and victims for their patience and support throughout the investigation. вЂњDanielle Watson acted in a cold and calculated manner, she be-friended and abused the trust of kind and generous people who wanted to help a person they thought was dying. She obtained signiп¬Ѓcant п¬Ѓnancial gain, gifts and services from the kind hearted. вЂњAt no stage in the investigation did she demonstrate any form of remorse or shoulder responsibility for her conduct.вЂќ has soared, with Haringey вЂ“ the borough in which Forde lived вЂ“ one of the hardest hit. A Whittington spokesman said: вЂњWe would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Forde and we are sorry to hear of her experience. вЂњIn common with other NHS Trusts we are currently experiencing high demand for our services including increased attendance at the emergency department and admissions onto our wards. вЂњWe endeavoured to make Forde as comfortable as possible while she was in A&E, and kept her under close and regular observation.вЂќ A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: вЂњWe were extremely busy and are very sorry for the delay and for any further distress this will have caused.вЂќ Today NHS England denied the NHSвЂ™s 111 non-emergency helpline was fuelling the number of people turning up in A&E. Latest п¬Ѓgures, for October, show that 10% of calls to 111 resulted in ambulances being dispatched and seven per cent saw callers get themselves to A&E. Professor Keith Willett, director for acute episodes of care, told the BBC: вЂњItвЂ™s not causing the problems in A&E. ItвЂ™s part of the solution.вЂќ ire engines are being drafted in to be used as makeshift ambulances because of overstretched accident and emergency departments, according to the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said it meant п¬Ѓreп¬Ѓghters were being diverted away from their work to help ambulance services. He said: вЂњThe A&E crisis is a direct result of the GovernmentвЂ™s failed austerity agenda. вЂњThe public are being put at risk because the Government have cut staff, resources and equipment in both the NHS and п¬Ѓre and rescue service. вЂњIn certain incidences п¬Ѓreп¬Ѓghters have been diverted away from doing their own work to cover for mistakes made by this Government in the NHS. вЂњThe knock-on effect means that vital п¬Ѓre prevention work will be compromised as well as the ability to respond to other п¬Ѓre emergencies at a time of year where п¬Ѓreп¬Ѓghters are expecting to deal with an increased number of п¬‚ooding incidents across the UK. вЂњThe A&E crisis is a product of this GovernmentвЂ™s failed policies - they need to get a grip.вЂќ Two п¬Ѓreп¬Ѓghters have been injured after crashing a п¬Ѓre engine into an office block in Canary Wharf. The pair were taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering leg and hand injuries in the accident in Churchill Place. Paramedics treated one other п¬Ѓreп¬Ѓghter for injuries at the scene, the London Fire Brigade said.A brigade spokesman said the п¬Ѓre engine had been travelling to an incident which proved to be a false alarm when it crashed. Witnesses posted their reaction to the accident on social media. One person wrote: вЂњJust saw п¬Ѓre engine embedded in building on Canary Wharf! You canвЂ™t make it up.вЂќ Another posted: вЂњHow did a п¬Ѓre truck just crash into a building in Canary Wharf. The ironyвЂќ. The cause of the accident is being investigated. A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said: вЂњWe were called at 2.17pm to reports of a road traffic collision at Churchill Place in E14. вЂњWe sent an ambulance crew, a duty officer and the hazardous area response team (HART) to the scene. Selfie on the bridge A woman takes a photo using a selfie stick whilst standing on Westminster Bridge in London. A former п¬Ѓreп¬Ѓghter who was told he might never walk again after a car accident has said his вЂњsecond chanceвЂќ inspired him to take on extreme challenges to raise money for childrenвЂ™s charities. On Saturday, Mark Hughes will carry a backpack weighing up to 50lb on a 15-mile race over 2,907ft Pen y Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. The route, known as the Fan Dance, is used in the selection process by the SAS and SBS. Hughes, 41, originally from Tottenham, was driving home after a night shift with the London Fire Brigade when his car was hit from behind and doctors told him he might not regain the use of his legs. вЂњThe public are being put at risk because the Government have cut staff, resources and equipment in both the NHS and fire and rescue serviceвЂќ Hughes, a father of two, said: вЂњThe muscles in my lower back had gone into spasm, causing muscular and nerve damage. I couldnвЂ™t feel my legs for months and it took me well over six months to get back on my feet after intensive physiotherapy. Doctors said when I п¬Ѓrst arrived I might not be able to walk again. It was terrifying.вЂќ Despite making a recovery, Hughes, who now lives in Alfold, Surrey, left his job at a nearby п¬Ѓre station because of his п¬Ѓtness levels. He said: вЂњI fell into what I think of as a depression. I used to help people in my job and now I wasnвЂ™t. ItвЂ™s clichГ©d, but I realised I had to help others. So I started doing charity expeditions вЂ” speciп¬Ѓcally for children with conditions like cerebral palsy, who struggle with walking or may never be able to. I got a second chance with my legs вЂ” I want to give them a п¬Ѓrst chance.вЂќ Hughes has raised thousands of pounds for the Tree of Hope childrenвЂ™s charity, and this weekend will walk in support of three-year-old Charlotte Taylor who was born eight weeks prematurely. She had bleeding in the brain which resulted in quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Hughes and three others hope to raise ВЈ10,000 for a selective dorsal rhizotomy for Charlotte, which could help her walk. CharlotteвЂ™s father Cameron, 42, who cares full-time for her, said: вЂњWe are so touched to have the support of people like Mark. We have been overwhelmed by his kindness.вЂќ 16 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 EUROPE (From left) Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Union President Donald Tusk, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, JordanвЂ™s Queen Rania, JordanвЂ™s King Abdullah II, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko take part in the solidarity rally (Marche Republicaine) in Paris yesterday. Paris march draws over 1mn AFP Paris M Demonstrators carrying a giant cardboard pencil reading вЂ�Not AfraidвЂ™ take part in a solidarity march in Paris yesterday. ore than a million people п¬‚ooded Paris yesterday in an unprecedented rally against terrorism, led by dozens of world leaders walking arm in arm as cries of вЂњFreedomвЂќ and вЂњCharlieвЂќ rang out. President Francois Hollande linked arms with world leaders, including the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president, in an historic display of unity. A sea of humanity п¬‚owed through ParisвЂ™ iconic streets to mourn the victims of the three days of terror that began with the slaughter of 12 people at the ofп¬Ѓces of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. вЂњFreedom! FreedomвЂќ, вЂњCharlie! Charlie!вЂќ chanted the vast crowd, in honour of the cartoonists and journalists killed at Charlie Hebdo. The crowd was also marking the death of four Jews killed when an Islamist gunman stormed a kosher supermarket and a policewoman gunned down in cold blood. Emotions ran high in the grieving City of Light, with many of those marching bursting into tears as they came together under the banner of freedom of speech and liberty after FranceвЂ™s worst terrorist bloodbath in more than half a century. The crowd brandished banners saying: вЂњIвЂ™m French and IвЂ™m not scaredвЂќ and, in tribute to the murdered cartoonists, вЂњMake fun, not warвЂќ and вЂњInk should п¬‚ow, not blood.вЂќ The interior ministry said turnout for the Paris rally was вЂњunprecedentedвЂќ while French television said rallies across the nation were unseen since the 1944 liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation. Isabelle Dahmani, a French Christian married to a Muslim, Mohamed, brought their three young children to show them there is nothing to fear. Their nine-year-old daughter burst into tears watching the news this week, Isabelle said, adding she had asked if вЂњthe bad men are coming to our house?вЂќ The grieving families of those who died in the shootings led the march, alongside the representatives of around 50 countries. Patrick Pelloux, a Charlie Hebdo columnist, fell sobbing into the arms of Hollande in an emotional embrace. With dozens of world leaders present, security in the jittery French capital was beefed up, with police snipers stationed on rooftops and plain-clothes officers among the crowd in a city still reeling from the Islamist attacks. вЂњToday, Paris is the capital of the world,вЂќ Hollande said. вЂњThe entire country will rise up.вЂќ More than a million also rallied in cities outside the capital and marches were held in several cities across Europe, including Berlin, Brussels and Madrid. The ministers urged a strengthening of the EU external borders to limit the movement of extremists returning to Europe from the Middle East and said there was an вЂњurgent needвЂќ to share air passenger information. Hollande has warned his grieving country not to drop its guard in the face of possible new attacks. Ahead of the march, he met representatives from the Jewish community who said authorities had agreed to deploy soldiers to protect Jewish schools and synagogues in France вЂњif necessary.вЂќ German newspaper Bild said the bloodshed in France could signal the start of a wave of attacks in Europe, citing communications by Islamic State leaders intercepted by US intelligence. FranceвЂ™s three days of terror started Wednesday when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi burst into Charlie HebdoвЂ™s offices in central Paris and sprayed bullets into the editorial meeting, killing some of FranceвЂ™s best-known cartoonists. They then slaughtered a Muslim policeman as he lay helpless on the ground before п¬‚eeing, sparking a manhunt that lasted more than 48 hours. A day later, a third gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, shot dead a policewoman in a southern Paris suburb. In a video posted online yesterday, a man who appeared to be Coulibaly said the gunmen co-ordinated their efforts and claimed he was a member of Islamic State who was avenging attacks by the international community on the extremist group. The massive hunt for the attackers culminated in twin hostage dramas that gripped the world as Coulibaly stormed into a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris and seized terriп¬Ѓed shoppers. The two brothers took one person hostage in a printing п¬Ѓrm northeast of Paris. After a tense stand-off police shot them dead as they charged out of the building all guns blazing. Moments later, security forces stormed the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris, killing Coulibaly but making the grisly discovery that four innocent Jews had died during the hostage-taking. All four will be buried in Israel tomorrow, the community said. Investigators have been trying to hunt down CoulibalyвЂ™s partner, 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, but a security source in Turkey told AFP she arrived there on January 2, before the attacks, and has probably travelled on to Syria. The attacks have raised mounting questions about how the gunmen could have slipped through the net of the intelligence services despite being known to authorities for extremism. CoulibalyвЂ™s mother and sisters condemned his actions. вЂњWe absolutely do not share these extreme ideas. We hope there will not be any confusion between these odious acts and the Muslim religion,вЂќ they said. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls admitted there had been вЂњclear failingsвЂќ in intelligence after it emerged that the brothers had been on a US terror watch list вЂњfor yearsвЂќ. Rallies in cities across Europe AFP Brussels T ens of thousands of people joined rallies in cities across Europe yesterday, singing the Marseillaise and holding up pens in solidarity with France after terror attacks left 17 people dead. Some 20,000 people marched through the Belgian capital Brussels, holding banners saying вЂњUnited against hateвЂќ and вЂњFreedom of speechвЂќ. In Berlin, 9,000 joined the march while in MadridвЂ™s Plaza de Sol, hundreds descended on the streets with red, white and blue French п¬‚ags, and singing the French national anthem. Top Belgian cartoonist Philippe Gelluck was at the Brussels march to show support for murdered colleagues from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. вЂњWe have to п¬Ѓght on, like our parents and grandparents did, against religious fascism. I will continue more than ever, in honour of my fallen friends, and the idea of freedom,вЂќ he said. вЂњI know the Muslim community feels wounded and humiliated by these cartoons, but they were not taking aim at Islam but at fundamentalism.вЂќ At the Madrid protest, French student Louis Eimery, 21, said: вЂњWe are here to say that we are not afraid.вЂќ The crowd stood silent, as the names of victims - including four of FranceвЂ™s most revered cartoon- ists - who were executed by Islamist extremists were read out. вЂњIt was a terribly barbarous attack, they attacked universal values,вЂќ said Angel Freire, a 65-yearold retired teacher who worked in both Spain and France. Many of the demonstrators joined a separate rally held by hundreds of Muslims at MadridвЂ™s Atocha station, the scene of the worst terror attack in Spanish history, to condemn violence committed in the name of Islam. Veiled women with young children joined groups of young men at the rally, holding up signs that read вЂ�Not in our nameвЂ™ and вЂ�I am Muslim and I am not a terroristвЂ™. вЂњWe donвЂ™t want killings carried out in the name of Islam. I donвЂ™t want people to give me a dirty look on the street, I donвЂ™t want people to avoid me,вЂќ said Driss Bouzdoudou, 30, who has lived in Spain for the past 14 years. The rally was held near a monument to the victims of the March 11, 2004 train bombings, when Islamist militants killed 191 people and injured nearly 2,000 in a series of coordinated backpack bomb attacks on trains travelling to the station. вЂњThis is to say that we are against all types of terrorism that have been carried out in here in Spain or any other country, that you canвЂ™t commit terrorism in the name of noble or less noble causes,вЂќ said Said Ida Hassan, the head of the Arab Cultural Foundation, one of the organisers of the demonstration. вЂњIf you are against Charlie Hebdo there are legal means. We want to encourage dialogue, the culture of respect.вЂќ Elsewhere in Europe, about 3,000 people turned out in driving snow and sub-zero conditions in Stockholm, many holding pens in the air. Others were shielding candles from the wind in a silent vigil for the victims, according to Journalists Without Borders which organised the Swedish rally. вЂњItвЂ™s important to stand up for democracy and freedom of expression and show solidarity with the people who were affected,вЂќ Goeran Andersson, a 72 year-old pensioner told AFP. вЂњThis could lead to a growth in Islamophobia, thatвЂ™s what the fundamentalists want - to polarize people. But I think France and other countries have reacted very well.вЂќ Muslims hold placards in Spanish during a demonstration in Madrid yesterday. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 17 EUROPE RESCUE FOOD FOR THOUGHT UNEXPECTED UPSTART REPATRIATION Hundreds evacuated from damaged Ukraine mine Feel free to breastfeed here, Pope says in Sistine Chapel Turkey renames state channel вЂ�Kurdish TVвЂ™ Podemos surges ahead in Spain voter poll: El Pais Warsaw brings back ethnic Poles from war-torn Ukraine Ukrainian emergency rescue workers yesterday began pulling up hundreds of miners trapped in a pit that lost power when a shell hit a regional electric substation. The accident occurred in rebelcontrolled Donetsk cityвЂ™s Zasyadko coal mine - one of eastern EuropeвЂ™s largest and currently operating in the middle of a war zone. A spokesman for the local coal minersвЂ™ union told AFP that 331 miners had been working in the shaft when it lost power yesterday afternoon. вЂњThe power went back up at 3.30pm and they started pulling up the miners,вЂќ Independent Ukrainian Miners Union chairman Mykhailo Volynets told AFP. вЂњThey have pulled out more than 150 people so far.вЂќ Pope Francis baptized 33 infants in the Sistine Chapel yesterday and told the mothers to feel free to breastfeed them if they cried or were hungry. вЂњYou mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, donвЂ™t worry,вЂќ he said, departing from his prepared text. The written text of his homily had the phrase вЂњgive them milk,вЂќ but he changed it to use the Italian term вЂњallattateliвЂќ, which means вЂњbreastfeed them.вЂќ Pope Francis also asked his listeners to remember the poor mothers around the world, вЂњtoo many, unfortunately, who canвЂ™t give food to their childrenвЂќ. Turkey yesterday unexpectedly renamed its six-year-old state television channel broadcasting in the Kurdish language as вЂњTRT KurdishвЂќ, in an unprecedented move that would once have been unthinkable. The channel was until now known just as TRT 6, as the sixth channel of state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corp (TRT). The government is seeking to end the 30 year separatist insurgency waged by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has claimed tens of thousands of lives. It also has a keen eye on the votes of TurkeyвЂ™s Kurdish community, its biggest minority accounting for an estimated 20% of the population, ahead of legislative elections in June. A poll published yesterday showed that leftist upstart Podemos was again in the lead to win SpainвЂ™s next general election, which could result in the formation of party pacts, or even the countryвЂ™s first coalition government. The Metroscopia poll of 1,000 people, published in the left-leaning newspaper El Pais, showed one-year-old Podemos (We Can) would take 28.2% of the vote, up from 25% in December when it fell back to second place behind the Socialists. Podemos stood at 10.7% of the vote when it was first included last August. Most of those who told Metroscopia they would vote for Podemos said they believed Spain needed to get rid of its two-party system. PolandвЂ™s foreign ministry said yesterday it was repatriating nearly 200 Polish nationals from separatist regions of Ukraine in the grip of an armed conflict. вЂњThe evacuation of these people from the Donetsk region has entered its decisive phase,вЂќ said Konrad Pawlik, the deputy foreign minister. The repatriation concerns ethnic Poles, mostly families with children living in areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists, according to Warsaw. вЂњThe convoy has been protected by the Ukrainian army. All these people are now in a hotel in Kharkiv.,вЂќ Pawlik said. The group should be able to return to Poland in вЂњthe coming daysвЂќ but the details will not be made public for security reasons, he added. Croatians vote in tight presidential run-off AFP Zagreb C roatians yesterday cast ballots to elect a president in a tight run-off between incumbent centre-left Ivo Josipovic and conservative Kolinda GrabarKitarovic, both pledging to help kickstart the newest EU memberвЂ™s ailing economy. The two emerged practically neck and neck from the п¬Ѓrst round of polling two weeks ago, with Josipovic, a 57-year-old former law professor and classical music composer, just one percentage point ahead of Grabar-Kitarovic with 38.5% of the vote. The popular incumbent, the third president of the former Yugoslav republic since independence in 1991, is a member of the Social Democrats (SDP), the main force in the ruling coalition. His rival from the main opposition HDZ party, a former foreign minister and Nato assistant secretary general, aims to become the countryвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst woman president. If she succeeds she would be also the п¬Ѓrst female head of state in the largely patriarchal Balkans region elected by voters as AlbaniaвЂ™s Jatifete Jahjaga was elected by the parliament in 2011. Turnout was 48.23% at 1530 GMT, two and a half hours before polling stations were to close, the electoral commission said. It was some 12 and 10 percentage points more than at the same time in the п¬Ѓrst round and for elections in 2010 respectively. Although presidential powers are limited in Croatia, yesterdayвЂ™s vote was being seen as a key test for parliamentary elections later this year in which the HDZ is likely to make signiп¬Ѓcant gains. Analysts believe the close п¬Ѓrstround result reп¬‚ects dissatisfaction with the SDP-led governmentвЂ™s performance and JosipovicвЂ™s failure to criticise its economic policies. Prime Minister Zoran MilanovicвЂ™s government has become hugely unpopular after failing to revive CroatiaвЂ™s economy, which has been struggling with recession for the past six years. вЂњThe recession ... is not only the A child casts a womanвЂ™s vote at a polling booth during the presidential run-off election in Zagreb. consequence of the global crisis in 2008. Problems are rather structural and the authorities have not been solving them,вЂќ economic analyst Damir Novotny told AFP. Hopes that entry into the European Union would be an economic boost for the small Adriatic nation of 4.2mn have faded. Croatia joined the EU in 2013, but its economy remains among the blocвЂ™s weakest. Unemployment is almost 20%, half of job-seekers under the age of 25 are unemployed and the government forecasts a meagre 0.5% growth this year. Analysts say the ruling coalition has failed to reform the huge and inefficient public sector, improve the business climate and attract EU development funds. While vying for a post that is chieп¬‚y ceremonial, the two rivals made campaign promises to overcome a grim economic situation. Josipovic has vowed to initiate constitutional changes - namely decentralisation - as a way to revive the economy. Sasa Sainovski, a seller in his 30s, said he backs the incumbent president. вЂњJosipovic is a modern politician. He is an excellent legal expert with an exceptional education and above all a good person.вЂќ But Grabar-Kitarovic, 46, who represents moderates within the HDZ, insists the п¬Ѓrst-round result showed a desire for change. She labelled Josipovic the вЂњincapable and cold-hearted governmentвЂ™s accompliceвЂќ in bringing about economic hardship. вЂњI will face with courage and determination all problems that Croatia is suffering from,вЂќ the former top diplomat said after she cast her ballot in downtown Zagreb. вЂњWe are deciding on the direction in which Croatia will go.вЂќ However, Josipovic argued that his rival would not bring the change voters seek, given that she was a minister in the graft-plagued HDZ government headed by ex-prime minister Ivo Sanader - who was tried and jailed for corruption. вЂњWe are in a crisis and we now know why... You were in the government that was robbing Croatia, the government of Ivo Sanader,вЂќ Josipovic said. But Srecko Lukac, a voter from Zagreb, supports Grabar-Kitarovic, a staunch Catholic running against avowed agnostic Josipovic. вЂњKolinda is above all a Catholic and has an impeccable career. She is a woman of the world, educated and certainly a patriot,вЂќ Lukac told AFP. Merkel says no Ukraine summit without progress on peace plan G erman Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin late on Saturday that a four-way summit to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine would not take place until there was real progress on the Minsk peace plan. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement after the phone call between the leaders that Merkel welcomed Russian efforts to п¬Ѓnd a solution to the crisis. Putin underlined the need to observe a ceaseп¬Ѓre and вЂњto support the economic recovery of the affected regions in southeastern UkraineвЂќ, the Kremlin said in a statement. It said both sides conп¬Ѓrmed their intention to promote a peaceful settlement in Ukraine. However, the chancellor told Putin that a summit by leaders from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in KazakhstanвЂ™s capital Astana or another city could not be conп¬Ѓrmed at this stage, Seibert said. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has invited the leaders of Russia, France and Germany to talks in Astana on Thursday in an attempt to restore peace. But Germany and France have already raised doubts about whether such a four-way summit can take place without further progress on the peace plan which was agreed in the Belarussian capital Minsk in September. The foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine will meet in Berlin today to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of the 12-point protocol. MerkelвЂ™s spokesman said the chancellor told Putin that all sides needed to make their contribution to implement the peace plan. вЂњThat includes that Russia uses its inп¬‚uence on the separatists in order to reach consensual solutions,вЂќ he said. In a separate phone call, Merkel discussed the situation in Ukraine also with Poroshenko, the spokesman said. A four-way summit would only make sense if there was a substantial improvement on important points like a ceaseп¬Ѓre and a demarcation line between the Ukraine-Russia border, Merkel told Poroshenko, according to the statement. More than 4,700 people have been killed in п¬Ѓghting between KievвЂ™s forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine since last April. The conп¬‚ict has provoked the worst crisis in relations between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Sweden conп¬Ѓrms second sighting of mystery sub AFP Stockholm S Legendary La Dolce Vita diva Anita Ekberg dies Reuters Rome A A January 16, 1971, file picture of Anita Ekberg walking at the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. nita Ekberg, the striking blonde Swedish actress whose sashay through RomeвЂ™s Trevi fountain in La Dolce Vita made her an icon of cinema, died yesterday at 83 at a clinic near the Italian capital, her lawyer said. вЂњShe had many friends who were with her until the end,вЂќ Patrizia Ubaldi told Reuters in reference to Ekberg, who had been ill for two years and struggled п¬Ѓnancially for longer. Earning a very low retirement income, Ekberg вЂњdidnвЂ™t live in luxury in the last few years, but it would be wrong to say she died in poverty,вЂќ Ubaldi said. She still owned a large villa south of the capital, she said. EkbergвЂ™s funeral will be held in Rome this week, her body will be cremated and her ashes sent to Sweden, her lawyer said. Ekberg, who was born in Malmo, Sweden, saw her career take shape after she was crowned Miss Sweden in the early 1950s. But she shot to global fame in 1960 after playing the capricious actress Sylvia opposite Marcello Mastroianni in Federico FelliniвЂ™s celebrated La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), about decadent high society in Rome. The scene of her wading into the ba- roque Trevi fountain in a strapless velvet black dress, calling to Mastroianni in English, вЂњMarcello! Come here. Hurry up,вЂќ is among the most famous in cinematic history, and made her a sex symbol for a generation. вЂњI was freezing to death,вЂќ Ekberg later told Swedish television, recalling shooting the fountain episode. вЂњI thought that my legs were becoming icicles. The water in the fountain comes from the mountains and the п¬Ѓlm was made in January.вЂќ The late Fellini later directed her in Boccaccio вЂ�70 in 1962 and in Intervista in 1987. Ekberg appeared in a number of п¬Ѓlms with some of the most famous actors of the 20th century, including Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda in War and Peace (1956), winning a Golden Globe as вЂ�Most Promising NewcomerвЂ™ that same year. In 4 for Texas, a 1963 comedy western, she shared top billing with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. She had already appeared with the comedy tandem of Martin and Jerry Lewis in movies shot in the 1950s. Ekberg was courted by eccentric tycoon and п¬Ѓlmmaker Howard Hughes and subsequently married two actors from whom she later divorced. Later in her life, she said that Sinatra had asked to marry her, and she had declined. wedenвЂ™s military yesterday conп¬Ѓrmed a second sighting in October of what appeared to have been a submarine in waters near Stockholm city centre, not long after a search had been launched for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast. In November the Swedish military released images of tracks on the sea bed and an apparent submarine periscope which it said proved that вЂњa mini submarine violated Swedish territoryвЂќ between October 17 and October 24 and that вЂњat least one vesselвЂќ was involved. However, despite widespread speculation that the submarine was Russian, the military never identiп¬Ѓed its nationality. Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter yesterday revealed that a member of the public also photographed what appeared to be a submarine tower on October 31 about 3km from the city centre, close to busy ferry traffic lanes. вЂњWe were informed of a sighting and considered it trustworthy - we had a unit in the area and sent it to investigate,вЂќ military spokesman Philip Simon told AFP. вЂњWe received a photograph but do not plan to release it.вЂќ A corvette, the HMS Malmo, carried out a search and concluded that it was a вЂњpossible submarineвЂќ but no other details of the previously unknown hunt have been made public. вЂњIt looks like a black submarine tower. You can also see several other ships that normally use this shipping route,вЂќ a military source who had seen the photo told the paper. вЂњYou donвЂ™t go this far in towards Stockholm for the fun of it. This information points to a serious intrusion towards central Stockholm.вЂќ The week-long search after the previous sighting involved battleships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops scouring an area 30km to 60km from the capital. An opinion poll published yesterday by the state Civil Contingencies Agency found that 73% of Swedes were concerned about developments in Russia compared to 45% a year earlier. For the п¬Ѓrst time the annual poll found more Swedes were in favour of Nato membership (48%) compared to those opposed (35%). 18 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 INDIA Tamil Nadu Roundup By Umaima Shafiq Businessman, philanthropist Rahman dies Leading businessman, educationist and philanthropist B S Abdur Rahman died of agerelated illness in Chennai on January 7. He was 88 and is survived by four sons, two daughters and one of his two wives. Born in a pearl diverвЂ™s family in Kilakkarai in coastal Ramanathapuram district, Rahman dropped out of school and began pearl trading at the age of 15 in Sri Lanka, where his father was an established businessman. However he worked as an errand boy and mastered the skills of trading with pearls, diamonds and other gems. He toured Belgium and other countries and opened trading centres in Chennai, Kolkatta, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In 1954, he set up the Precious Trading Company, later called the Amana Group. In 1962, he established the East Coast Constructions and Industries, a company that built ChennaiвЂ™s landmarks like the Gemini and Kodambakkam flyovers, Marina Light House, Valluvar Kottam, Government Hospital, Raheja Towers and Citi Centre mall. In 1972 he turned this company into ETA Ascon with its base in Dubai. Rahman also established the Seethakathi Trust in Chennai for his philanthropic activities and expanded into education. He set up colleges in Ramanathapuram and in 1984 he founded the Crescent Engineering College later called the B S Abdur Rahman University that is today a leading institution. Automatic riп¬‚e production stuck in red tape IANS New Delhi A parliamentary panel recently wondered why India has not been able to produce a world-class automatic riп¬‚e but it appears that an advanced version of this has already been developed but is yet to see action as it is tangled in bureaucratic red tape. ParliamentвЂ™s standing committee on defence, in a report tabled in the winter session last month, said it was вЂњshocking that even 53 years of expertise has not enabled DRDO to develop a world-class basic product like a riп¬‚e.вЂќ However, an advanced, deadlier version of the 5.56mm INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) riп¬‚e, which has a greater kill capacity, has already been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) but has not been inducted by the Indian Army as there are no official records of a demand being made for it, an ofп¬Ѓcial explained. вЂњWhen the INSAS riп¬‚e was initially designed, the army wanted riп¬‚es with a lower kill capability. Based on that demand the 5.56mm riп¬‚e was designed,вЂќ a DRDO official said. INSAS is a family of infantry weapons consisting of an assault riп¬‚e, a light machine gun and a carbine. The official said the п¬Ѓrst demand for a smaller calibre riп¬‚e came in 1982, when the army wanted to replace the 7.62mm SLR (self-loading riп¬‚e) that had been in use for over 30 years. The army then wanted a riп¬‚e that would de-capacitate a solider instead of killing him, said the official. вЂњA low killing capacity made sense because in war, if you kill a soldier you have deactivated only one person. But if a solider is injured, at least two other soldiers will come to his aid and thus three of the enemy will be deactivated,вЂќ the official said. The BJPвЂ™s first list of candidates for the Delhi assembly election is likely to be announced on January 18 IANS New Delhi A final-year engineering student died of injuries sustained during a violent clash among students at the privately-owned Karpagam University in Madukkarai in suburban Coimbatore last week. Karthikeyan, 21, was allegedly beaten up with wooden bats and iron rods when he tried to prevent his friend getting injured. He was in hospital for two days but succumbed to his injuries. Ten students were arrested and booked for murder and hooliganism. Police also found out that the clash was the result of drunken brawls. The university has been shut down until January 19. In another incident, a 24-year-old youth was arrested for stabbing a 14-year-old schoolgirl to death after she spurned him at Chinna Dharapuram in Karur district about 130km from Coimbatore. A 24-year-old Tiruchi-based female devotee of Hindu pontiff Nithyananda died in mysterious circumstances at his ashram in Bidadi near Bengaluru city last week. Sangeetha was living at the ashram after her graduation, while her parents lived in Tiruchi. Last week her parents were informed that she had died of cardiac arrest. They brought her body to Tiruchi and buried her body despite noticing injury marks. However they later forced police to exhume SangeethaвЂ™s body and do a fresh postmortem. The samples of her viscera were sent for lab testing. Drone scares foreign tourist A wedding photographer was arrested for flying a drone fitted with a tiny camera that fell on a foreign tourist who was sunbathing on the terrace of a tenstorey serviced apartment at MRC Nagar in Chennai last week. J Raj, a church musician, who had been doing a trial shot with the imported camera for an upcoming wedding reportedly lost control of the remote of the device. He was arrested for not taking permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as the device weighing 2.5kg could have caused serious injury. Police said: вЂњIt is also an intrusion into privacy as it had a camera. Though people buy it for genuine use, it can pose a security risk.вЂќ kill capacity, the official said, the army sought an update around three years ago. вЂњWith the army now being involved in face-to-face п¬Ѓghting with terrorists, who are generally armed with AK-47 riп¬‚es, a high kill capacity is needed. The army asked DRDO to design a riп¬‚e to kill, and the enthusiastic scientists went on to modify the INSAS,вЂќ the official said. He explained that the longer barrel would give the bullet higher speed and greater power of impact. вЂњHowever, by the time the product was ready, and we approached the army around the end of 2013, we were told no such requisition was officially given,вЂќ the official said. The official also defended the INSAS, claiming that the problems encountered during the Kargil war were manufacturing issues - but agreed that the riп¬‚e is now outdated and upgrades are needed. вЂњThe problems that came up during the Kargil war were quality related, and for that the ordnance factory is responsible. However the fact remains that the INSAS technology is now very old and upgrade is needed,вЂќ he said. However, the upgrades of the INSAS, or a new riп¬‚e can happen only if army asks for it. BJP looks for candidate to take on AAP chief Kejriwal Student dies in college clash in Coimbatore NithyanandaвЂ™s disciple found dead in ashram The DRDO developed the п¬Ѓrst prototype of the riп¬‚e in 1986. It was much lighter at 4.2kg than the 7.62mm SLR that weighed 5.7kg, had a shorter barrel and could п¬Ѓre a three-bullet burst at a time compared to just one by the SLR. The riп¬‚e was inducted into service in the mid-1990s after replacing the 7.62mm SLR. The riп¬‚e was used in the Kargil war but was prone to malfunctioning in the cold Himalayan conditions, getting jammed and its polymer magazine cracking. As the army started getting involved in close combat with terrorists and the requirement changed to guns with a higher T Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal interacts with a young party activist during a programme in Bengaluru yesterday. he Bharatiya Janata Party is having a tough time п¬Ѓnding the right candidate to take on Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi assembly polls expected next month, sources said yesterday. Senior leaders are refusing to let go their вЂњsafe seatsвЂќ and the younger ones are not showing much interest in the вЂњtoughвЂќ contest, they said. The sources said the BJP is now also looking at other options, including induction of a prominent candidate from outside the party to contest, or persuading a young office-bearer who has worked extensively in the New Delhi constituency. вЂњThose who won last time are in no mood to let go of their seats and even other senior leaders who were denied tickets last time are not too keen to contest against him (Kejriwal),вЂќ a party leader from the Delhi BJP said. The New Delhi seat was a Congress bastion and former chief minister Sheila Dikshit had won it thrice-in-a-row until she was drubbed by Kejriwal by over 20,000 votes in the December 2013 assembly election. Kejriwal went on to become the Delhi chief minister and, though he was in office for only 49 days, he has consolidated his position in the constituency. He is again the AAP candidate for the upcoming election. While the AAP has released its complete list of candidates for the 70-member Delhi assembly, the Congress has come out with its п¬Ѓrst list of 24 names - but is silent on the New Delhi seat. The Congress is also looking for a formidable candidate as Dikshit will not contest the polls. The BJPвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst list is likely to be announced on January 18, the party sources said. Some leaders of the BJP state unit feel that former police officer Kiran Bedi should contest against Kejriwal. And there are some who think that former AAP legislator Vinod Kumar Binny or former party leader Shazia Ilmi should contest against Kejriwal on the BJP ticket. вЂњAll of them have worked closely with Kejriwal, especially Binny and Ilmi, and they know his strengths and shortcomings,вЂќ another party leader said. Bedi was once KejriwalвЂ™s ally in the anti-corruption campaign led by Gandhian Anna Hazare that captured the imagination of the country and led to the birth of the AAP. Binny, who was elected from the Laxmi Nagar assembly constituency as an AAP candidate in the December polls, later rebelled against the party and accused it of not fulп¬Ѓlling the poll promises on water and power. The AAP expelled him in January 2014. Ilmi quit the party in May 2014 citing вЂњlack of inner party democracy.вЂќ Sources said the BJP is also scouting for young leaders who have worked in the constituency. Among the names doing the rounds is that of Sunil Yadav, the general secretary of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) - the BJPвЂ™s youth wing. Yadav has held the post of BJP district president in New Delhi. The name of Nupur Sharma, another BJYM office-bearer, is also doing the rounds. The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Delhi assembly by winning 31 seats but could not form a government as it failed to reach the halfway mark. Delhi has been under PresidentвЂ™s rule since February 2014 after the Kejriwal-led AAP government stepped down, citing lack of support for an anti-graft bill, among others. Parties woo women ahead of Delhi polls IANS New Delhi W omen in Delhi are being wooed by political parties like never before, with their safety becoming an important issue in the assembly polls expected next month. Of DelhiвЂ™s 13mn voters, women account for 44.5% the lowest proportion of female voters across the country, according to the Election Commission. However, their voting percentage has been rising and has gone up from 46.41 in the 1998 assembly to over 65 in 2013. Issues like womenвЂ™s security have become important for all political parties and the three main players in the national capital - the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress - are going the extra mile to show their sensitivity on issues concerning women. Leaders from the three parties, as also women activists, say that issues concerning women, particularly their safety and education, have moved away from the periphery and are now part of the main political discourse. They say that more and more female voters are taking interest in politics and are making their own choices in casting their ballots, irrespective of the thinking of their family members. In Delhi, the issue of womenвЂ™s security has added signiп¬Ѓcance in view of the increasing incidents of crime against them. The grisly gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapist in December 2013 had forced the people to come out on the streets. The city reported 1,441 rapes in 2013, according to National Crime Record Bureau data. The AAP and the BJP - considered the main contenders in the upcoming polls - are holding a series of meetings to п¬Ѓnalise their vision for the capitalвЂ™s 5.8mn women. The AAP appears to have taken a lead by conducting a dialogue with women last Novem- ber which, the party says, was preceded by some 300 meetings spread across all of DelhiвЂ™s 70 assembly constituencies. Among the promises made by the AAP, which п¬Ѓnished a close second to the BJP in the 2013 assembly polls, were 200,000 public toilets for women, 100 new courts to fast-track rape cases and Wi-Fi connected CCTV cameras. вЂњOur party is taking women voters seriously as they have emerged as a new bloc, especially after the Nirbhaya (2013) incident,вЂќ prominnet AAP woman leader Atishi Marlena said. She admitted that the AAP, which was born in 2013 from an anti-corruption movement, did not initially have a comprehensive road map for women. вЂњCorruption was our plank. But we cannot ignore women voters now as they vote independently,вЂќ Marlena added. The BJP, which is hard-selling the development model of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come to power in Delhi, has conducted a survey on womenвЂ™s safety. A blanket of dense fog covers Jammu yesterday. Fog delays 50 trains in Delhi IANS New Delhi I t was a cold and windy day in the national capital yesterday with dense fog in the morning which led to over 50 trains being delayed. The weather office has forecast a partly cloudy day today. According to the Northern Railway, 34 trains coming to the city were late, while 17 trains departing from Delhi were rescheduled. One train was cancelled. However, according to an ofп¬Ѓcial of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, п¬‚ights were not delayed. The visibility at 8.30am was 700m. The daysвЂ™ maximum tempera- ture was 16 degree Celsius and minimum was 6.6. вЂњThere will be moderate to dense fog today morning and the day will be partly cloudy,вЂќ an India Meteorological Department ofп¬Ѓcial said. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover around 19 and 7 degrees Celsius, respectively. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 19 INDIA INVESTIGATION TRIAL CRIME POLITICS WILDLIFE Tharoor in Delhi, likely to be questioned Man acquitted of trying to kill father-in-law Casino busted in Gurgaon, 43 held Manjhi to remain as Bihar CM: Nitish Two rhinos killed in Assam, toll rises to 3 Congress MP Shashi Tharoor arrived in New Delhi from Kerala yesterday and is likely to be questioned by police in connection with the murder of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. He did not reply to questions from journalists, and merely said: вЂњI have already spoken with the media (in Kerala).вЂќ He drove away in a car with his security staff. Police have been deployed outside his home in New Delhi. Pushkar, 52, was found dead in mysterious circumstances in a luxury hotel on January 17, 2014. On Saturday, Delhi police said they would question Tharoor only after speaking to people who were in the hotel and in touch with Pushkar before she was found murdered. The Delhi High Court has acquitted a man accused of trying to kill his father-in-law, saying the case presented by the prosecution remained in the realm of suspicion and cannot be taken as proof. Setting aside a trial court order, Justice Sunita Gupta granted benefit of doubt to Sunil Kumar and acquitted him. Sunil Kumar was accused of trying to kill his father-in-law Harbir Singh in April 2011. He was convicted by the trial court. According to the prosecution, Sunil Kumar and his associates fired at Harbir Singh on April 14, 2011. Singh was, however, not injured. But he was murdered on April 30, 2011 and another case was filed against Kumar. Gurgaon police yesterday busted a casino and arrested 43 people, including five women. The casino was being run in a house. Narendra Malhotra, the man running the gambling den, told police he was involved in the illegal business for the past several months. вЂњFive women, experts at playing cards, were brought to India from Kathmandu,вЂќ Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Saharan said. He said the raid was conducted early yesterday. A large quantity of foreign liquor and cash amounting to Rs2mn were also recovered from the house. Malhotra had hired 15 employees, including 10 bouncers, the police officer said. Senior Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar yesterday said Jitan Ram Manjhi would continue remain BiharвЂ™s chief minister, ending speculations over his removal. вЂњAll speculations about his removal are wrong,вЂќ Nitish Kumar said in Patna after his return from Delhi. The former chief minister said he went to Delhi to meet party president Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to discuss the merger of Janata Parivar. вЂњIt had nothing to do with the issue of ManjhiвЂ™s removal as reported,вЂќ he said. Speculations over ManjhiвЂ™s removal have been doing the rounds for the past 72 hours. Within days of the yearвЂ™s first killing of a rhino at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, carcasses of two more rhinos have been found, their horns sawed off, authorities said yesterday. On January 9, the poachers killed a one-horned rhino in Dhing in Nagaon district and escaped with its horn. The recovery of the two more carcasses yesterday has pushed the killings of rhinos to three this year, and raised the hackles of animal rights groups. Of the two carcasses found yesterday, one was detected after a gun battle between the poachers and forest guards at Burhapahar range of the park on Saturday night. PM vows predictable policies, stable taxes Modi speaks of achievements he hopes will help lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty Kerry looks at the bed, spinning wheel and desk of Mahatma Gandhi as he tours his home in Ahmedabad yesterday. Agencies Gandhinagar Kerry praises P вЂ�visionaryвЂ™ PM AFP Gandhinagar A mericaвЂ™s top diplomat John Kerry yesterday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, praising the man once banned by the US as a вЂњvisionaryвЂќ poised to transform IndiaвЂ™s economy. The talks in ModiвЂ™s п¬Ѓefdom of Gujarat came just two weeks before US President Barack Obama will be guest of honour at IndiaвЂ™s January 26 Republic Day celebrations - in what will be an unprecedented second visit to India by a sitting US president. Kerry and Modi met on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat trade summit in the state capital Gandhinagar aimed at attracting global investment to the state - a model which the prime minister hopes to use to boost the nationвЂ™s economy. Addressing the summit earlier in the day, Kerry told hundreds of participants that bilateral trade between the two economic giants has grown nearly п¬Ѓve-fold since 2000 alone. Bilateral foreign direct investment now stands at nearly $30bn, he said, describing Modi as a вЂњvisionary prime minister.вЂќ вЂњTogether, we can create an environment where all of our companies play leading roles in bringing cutting-edge technologies, equipment, capital, and know-how not just to India but to countless countries that need this growth and development now,вЂќ Kerry said. Modi swept to power in May elections last year, partly on a promise to revitalise the worldвЂ™s third largest economy. And he pledged to the conference to slash red tape and banish IndiaвЂ™s reputation as a hard place to do business. Kerry took a rare moment off his busy schedule of meetings to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram, founded by the Father of the Nation in 1917 on the banks of the River Sabarmati. Removing his shoes, the top US diplomat visited GandhiвЂ™s simple home which became the focus of his movement of passive resistance. вЂњGandhiвЂ™s example inspires all of us to this day and for my generation helped to shape America,вЂќ Kerry wrote in the visitorвЂ™s book. He later met the bosses of top Indian companies such as the Advani group and Reliance Industries to hear directly their concerns about doing business in America. rime Minister Narendra Modi promised yesterday to pursue predictable policies and ensure stable taxes, in a speech that sought to address key concerns for foreign investors in AsiaвЂ™s third-largest economy. US Secretary of State John Kerry led a roll call of leaders, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank head Jim Yong Kim, converging on ModiвЂ™s home town of Gandhinagar for the Vibrant Gujarat business summit. President Barack Obama visits India later this month. Eight months into ModiвЂ™s rule, his failure to lift the economy from its longest growth slowdown in a generation has raised questions about how much substance there is behind his promise of вЂњred carpet, not red tape.вЂќ вЂњWeвЂ™re trying to complete the circle of economic reforms speedily,вЂќ Modi told the Davos-style event that he founded when he was chief minister of the fast-growing industrial state. вЂњWe are also keen to see that our policies are predictable. WeвЂ™re clear that our tax regime should be stable,вЂќ Modi said, turning on the charm in English and making the occasional aside in Hindi to Indians in the audience. Along with speakers from Japan, Canada and Singapore, Kerry lavished praise on his host and refrained from airing US business gripes over barriers to entering the Indian market. вЂњWe can do more together and Greenpeace staff member вЂ�offloadedвЂ™ at Delhi airport AFP New Delhi D elhi airport authorities barred a Greenpeace India staff member yesterday from п¬‚ying out of India despite holding a valid visa, a move the campaign group described as вЂњbullyingвЂќ by the government. Priya Pillai, a senior campaigner, was on her way to London when immigration officials stopped her and stamped вЂњofп¬‚oadвЂќ on her passport, a statement from the international environmental group said. Officials told her she was barred from leaving the country and they were вЂњjust following orders from the Indian government.вЂќ вЂњToday my right to freedom of movement has been infringed and there was an attempt to treat me like a criminal,вЂќ Pillai said in the statement. The Indian government tightened controls on foreign fund transfers to Greenpeace India in June following an intelligence report accusing activist groups of вЂњstalling development projectsвЂќ by protesting against power projects, mining and genetically modiп¬Ѓed food. вЂњThe governmentвЂ™s intentions are clear - they are trying to intimidate and bully Greenpeace and its employees,вЂќ said Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India. вЂњAt a time when the whole world is making a strong pitch to safeguard freedom of speech and democratic rights, this action by the worldвЂ™s largest democracy is problematic.вЂќ The home ministry did not immediately comment on the issue. YesterdayвЂ™s incident comes four months after another British Greenpeace staff member was stopped from entering India and put back on a Londonbound п¬‚ight. IndiaвЂ™s government has clamped down on activist groups over the past two years following campaigns that delayed important industrial projects. Greenpeace chief Kumi Naidoo had personally appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November to release funds after the Delhi High Court directed authorities to unblock them. Greenpeace India says it has not received any money since the order. A п¬Ѓnal hearing on the matter is expected on January 20. Tight security at Sabarimala temple About 10,000 policemen have been posted at KeralaвЂ™s Sabarimala temple ahead of вЂ�Makare VillekuвЂ™ on Wednesday. вЂ�Makare VillekuвЂ™ or witnessing the celestial light that appears on the horizon and the sighting of the auspicious celestial light is the most important event of the two-month pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. There has been a huge influx of pilgrims and the police are keeping in the mind the 2011 stampede which left 106 pilgrims dead. On the first day of the Malayalam calendar in January the celestial light appears thrice on the horizon soon after sunset. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sits alongside dignitaries attending the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2015 in Gandhinagar yesterday. we must do more together - and we have to do it faster,вЂќ said Kerry, repeating a call to raise bilateral trade п¬Ѓve-fold from around $100bn currently. Modi spoke of achievements he hopes will help lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty, including the opening of more than 100mn bank accounts, a вЂ�Make in IndiaвЂ™ campaign to promote manufacturing, and plans to expand IndiaвЂ™s rail, road, energy and digital networks. Modi said his government had already introduced a slew of initiatives since ending a decade of rule by the Congress. вЂњIn a very short span of seven months, we have been able to change the atmosphere of despair and uncertainty,вЂќ he told the crowd of thousands of business leaders and foreign government ministers. вЂњSince day one, my government is actively working to revive the economy,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe are planning to take a quantum leap,вЂќ the 64-year-old leader said. Vibrant Gujarat, held every two years, has yielded billions of dollars in investment promises but only a fraction of the deals announced have come to fruition. Modi aims to lift stagnant capital investment that has 12 Bodo militants arrested in Assam IANS Guwahati T welve Bodo militants were arrested yesterday from three places in Assam along the international border with Bhutan, a day after an insurgent involved in the massacre of adivasis was shot dead, police said. The activists of the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were arrested in Chirang district in operations jointly carried out by Assam police, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal. вЂњThe 12 cadres include a member of the outп¬ЃtвЂ™s central committee, a deputy commander and a platoon commander,вЂќ Inspector General of Police L R Bishnoi said. They were being interrogated to establish their links with the recent violence in three districts of the state, he said. Four AK-56 riп¬‚es, п¬Ѓve pistols, one .303 riп¬‚e, one .315 riп¬‚e, 12 magazines, four grenades and 785 rounds of ammunition were seized from them. Security forces on Saturday gunned down Jeblang alias Jagat Basumatary, platoon commander of the NDFB in Kokrajhar district, who was involved in п¬Ѓring in Pakriguri area in Kokrajhar on December 23 that left over 30 people dead. The NDFB killed over 70 people in п¬Ѓve locations across three districts on that day. The violence also displaced over 200,000 people across Kokrajhar, Sonitpur and Chirang and Udalguri districts. Some of the violence-hit areas are part of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD). held back IndiaвЂ™s growth to 5.3%. That is expected to accelerate this year to 6.4%, said the World BankвЂ™s Kim, who called India a вЂњbright spotвЂќ in a mediocre global economic landscape. Mukesh Ambani, IndiaвЂ™s richest man with a fortune estimated at $19.7bn, praised ModiвЂ™s leadership: вЂњIndia is marching forward with a clear vision to become a global power.вЂќ Ambani said his Reliance Industries conglomerate would invest Rs1tn ($16bn) in Gujarat over the next year to 18 months. Sam Walsh, CEO of global mining giant Rio Tinto, п¬‚agged two potential projects: a $2bn iron ore project in Odisha and an investment in Madhya Pradesh that could employ 30,000 diamond cutters. Under the previous Congress government, investors frequently complained about a hostile business climate in India, frustrated by bureaucracy and corruption. In contrast, Gujarat won a reputation as IndiaвЂ™s most investor-friendly state during the era of вЂ�Modi-nomicsвЂ™ even if critics say he tilted the playing field in favour of big business through tax breaks and subsidies. Kerry told the gathering the US is looking forward to stronger trade and diplomatic ties between the worldвЂ™s two largest democracies, with American companies primed for more investment. вЂњI canвЂ™t think of a moment in all my years in public life when our destinies are converging as signiп¬Ѓcantly as they are today,вЂќ said Kerry, who is due to visit a Ford auto plant in Gujarat during his trip. вЂњThis is a relationship where we believe we can turn sustainable growth into opportunities we have not seen before,вЂќ he told the crowd. KerryвЂ™s visit to India, his second in six months, comes a fortnight before Obama is due in New Delhi as Washington seeks to warm up sometimes frosty ties. It is only a year since Washington ended a de facto boycott of Modi, who was blacklisted following deadly communal riots in Gujarat in 2002. Modi received a rapturous reception from members of the diaspora on a visit to the US last autumn and a number of Indian-origin bosses, including MasterCardвЂ™s Ajaypal Singh Banga, are attending the Gujarat summit. 20 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 LATIN AMERICA Uruguay seeking an energy revolution Panamanian tradition World Crunch/Al Spectador Uruguay T A woman wearing traditional clothing known as вЂ�PolleraвЂ™ dances as she takes part in the annual Thousand Polleras parade in Las Tablas, in the province of Los Santos. According to local residents, the Pollera dates back to the 18th century and was worn by the Spanish lower classes. Today, it has become the Panamanian national costume. The dress is made entirely by hand and the jewellery worn is pure gold and worth thousands of dollars. BrazilвЂ™s drought may push up coffee prices BrazilвЂ™s output has a huge impact on prices AFP Sau Paulo B razilвЂ™s coffee harvest last year was hit by one the countryвЂ™s worst droughts in decades, with effects on the worldвЂ™s largest producer now threatening to spill over into this year, pushing prices ever higher. BrazilвЂ™s 290,000 growers produce around a third of the worldвЂ™s coffeeвЂ”outproducing the countryвЂ™s nearest competitor, Vietnam, by more than three times. But last yearвЂ™s total yield was down 7.7% from 2013 and well below initial forecasts, the ministry of agriculture said this week. Production of high grade arabica slumped even more drastically, by 15%. The falling production has sent prices soaring, with arabica up by half in 2014 and expected to keep increasing this year. A pound of arabica for March delivery was fetching around $1.77 on New YorkвЂ™s ICE Futures US market Thursday, compared to around $1.06 a year earlier. Unlike many crops that are replanted and harvested each year, coffee is grown in a twoyear cycle. So initial predictions for 2014, made before the drought took hold, had initially forecast a much stronger harvest. вЂњThis harvest was all set to be a bumper one, given many plantations were new and cultivators had invested to increase productivity,вЂќ said Gil Barabach of Safras & Mercado specialist news agency. вЂњAt the end of 2013 we expected production to hit 60 to 65mn sacks,вЂќ Barabach said. The п¬Ѓnal total, measured in 60kg bags, was actually just 45.3mn, thanks in large part to severe rain shortages in south and central south Brazil, the countryвЂ™s main production centers, that stretched from the п¬Ѓrst weeks of last year through November. вЂњAnnual rainfall normally comes in at between 1,600mm to 1,800mm,вЂќ said Paulo Sergio Elias, a spokesman for a coffee growing cooperative of some 3,000 producers in Minas Gerais, north of Sao Paulo and Rio states. But rainfall last year вЂњdidnвЂ™t even reach 900mmвЂќ, Elias said. The drought had a particularly severe impact because вЂњit happened from January and February, just as the beans were growing larger and ripening,вЂќ Elias explained. вЂњIt will also affect the productive potential of this coming year as plant reserves are too weak to ensure the development of future fruit,вЂќ he added. In other words, given coffeeвЂ™s two-year growing cycle, the effects of last yearвЂ™s stunted growth will be seen in the bean yield over the next 12 months. вЂњThe plants expended a huge amount of energy in enduring the lack of water and high temperatures,вЂќ Elias said. вЂњAs a result, the branches are shorter Indigenous group trapped by gated community Worldcrunch/Folha de S Paulo Dourados L arge imposing walls and fences have become a compulsory part of construction plans for the luxury gated communities mushrooming all around Brazil. But there is one particularity about the Ecoville Residence in Dourados, in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul. On the other side of its 3m electric fence sits the overcrowded indigenous reserve of the Guarani-KaiowГЎ people. The gate in Dourados doesnвЂ™t exactly keep the tribeвЂ™s members out, but instead it regulates their comings and goings. Every day, dozens of previously vetted indigenous people are indeed allowed inside the gated area to work. They represent half of the household employees and builders working in the residenceвЂ™s mansions. But while the domestic help is welcomed, the same cannot be said for the numerous carts that the Guarani-KaiowГЎ use to try to sell manioc, sugar canes or potatoes in exchange for pocket change. The tragedy of indigenous tribes in the southern part of Mato Grosso do Sul is well documented. During the process of the regionвЂ™s colonisation, under the rule of president GetГєlio Vargas (19301954), farmers and state agents expelled the tribes-people from most of their lands, conп¬Ѓning them to small reserves that are now overpopulated. Suicide, malnutrition, murderIn Dourados, some 14,000 natives are crammed into 3,500 hectares (13 square miles), and the town has become a symbol of the problem that this conп¬Ѓnement creates. The reserve, already annexed to the ever-growing urban area, barely has enough space for them to develop their agriculture, not to mention their traditional way of life. The 1990s saw the number of suicides on the reserve increase dramatically. In the following decade, the deaths from child malnutrition caused nationwide shock. Now, the main cause for concern is the murder rate. But one problem doesnвЂ™t substitute for another. Instead, they pile up, creating a tragic, self-feeding spiral. In Dourados as in other cities, the GuaraniKaiowГЎ are trying to recover part of their original land, thus transforming the south of Mato Grosso do Sul into the main stage of conп¬‚icts between natives and farmers.The ongoing demarcation process covers 117,000 hectares (452 square miles), which come on top of the current 29,000 hectares of indigenous land. Put together, that only represents 2.4% of the southern part of Mato Grosso do Sul. It is blocked in court by actions from farmers, who claim that the land where they live and work was lawfully bought, which is actually true is most cases. Minister Gilberto Carvalho recently blamed the demarcation process delay on the current law, which doesnвЂ™t allow the government to compensate the farmers who would be expropriated from their land in native territory. The fact is that during the last 12 years, the governing WorkersвЂ™ Party limited its actions towards the indigenous people to mere palliative social programmes, perhaps even hoping to completely turn them into a helpless, dependent people whose political support would be guaranteed. The walls that are being erected are the concrete proof that this isnвЂ™t working. than usual and hence will bear less grains. Buds are also lacking in the clusters.вЂќ Production was further hit last year by frost in the southern state of Parana. The regionвЂ™s harvest slumped by two-thirds over 2013, according to national supply company Conab. Plantations of lower grade robusta in regions less affected by drought saw their harvests rise 20 percentвЂ”but their yield only accounts for a third of national production. Barabach says he expects production this year to be вЂњsimilarвЂќ to 2014, but exports may be even lower, potentially pushing prices yet higher. вЂњThe country had major reserves to call on given weak demand and the low prices of (2013),вЂќ explained analyst Barabach. вЂњOnce the falloff in production was felt and prices rose it sold off stock at a good price. вЂњReserves will be much tighter in 2015,вЂќ Barabach predicted. here is always some piece of surprising news from Uruguay. The South American continentвЂ™s smallest state, with barely 3.2mn residents, it isnвЂ™t just great at football, itвЂ™s living standards are comparable to developed states. And with sensitive issues such as drugs, it has decided to stop fussing and opt for progressive policies like liberalising marijuana. Now we can add another, even more impressive accomplishment. Uruguay is implementing a veritable energy revolution. The sun that shines between the blue and white on its п¬‚ag is taking on new signiп¬Ѓcance because the country is on the verge of obtaining all of its energy from renewable sources вЂ” and investing 3% of its GDP to this end. About 40% of this clean energy is already coming from wind, solar and biomass. Picture this: 70% of the loads being carried on UruguayвЂ™s highways consist of equipment related to harvesting energy from wind and solar n the countryвЂ™s surface of 180,000sqkm. One of the architects of this revolution is National Energy Director Ramon MГ©ndez Galain. Uruguay has no oil, he points out, nor gas, and the country has practically used up its hydroelectric potential, while the economy is growing at 6% a year. At the same time it wants to reduce poverty. Uruguayans view the shortage of fossil fuels not as a problem but as an opportunity. The four main political parties reached an agreement and committed themselves to a long- term policy. The countryвЂ™s national energy strategy is now set until 2030, and the parties must keep to the agreed course, whoever wins the elections. There have already been results. Uruguayans have seen their electricity bills drop an average of 6%. In 2012, Mexican economist Tabare Arroyo, author of the WWF Green Energy Leaders report, cited Uruguay as the Latin American country with the highest share of GDP invested in renewables. In 2014, it was the Latin American country with the highest rate of increased investment in clean energy sources. The secret, says RamГіn MГ©ndez, is simple: a longterm policy, the backing of all parties, dialogue between the public and private sectors, and attracting the best brains. He says Uruguay used various incentives to multiply its clean energy researchers вЂ” tenfold. In 2007, when the country created an вЂњauctionвЂќ mechanism for companies interested in producing clean energy, many experts qualiп¬Ѓed it as madness, he recalls. Today, 53 states use the auction model. It basically consists of allowing companies to bid for particular quantities of energy production, with contracts going to those offering the best prices. In return, they are assured business for at least 20 years, along with certain technological facilities. Electricity generation prices are competitive and have approached $60 per megawatt hour. вЂњEverything was foreseen but UruguayвЂ™s victory,вЂќ former FIFA chief Jules Rimet said after Uruguay won the 1950 World Cup. The country may be looking at another victory in the 21st centuryвЂ™s global renewables contest. Bus crash kills 9, wounds 30 Nine people died and 30 more were injured when a bus plunged into a ravine in southern Brazil around dawn yesterday, police said. The bus carrying 41 Brazilian tourists had left from Passo Fundo, in the far southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and was in the Santa Catarina mountains when it crashed, the police said, adding it is still investigating the cause of the crash. Six passengers and the driver were killed immediately, while another two passengers died at the hospital. The injured were taken to three hospitals in the region. About 50,000 people died on Brazilian roads in 2013, according to police estimates published in January. Police blame excess speed, reckless overtaking, drunken driving and the poor state of repair of many highways for the vast majority of traffic accidents. Brazil has adopted UN targets stipulating it should aim to halve traffic deaths and injuries by 2020. Bike taxi A bike taxi driver rides with a passenger in downtown Havana. From bus drivers to bartenders and ballet dancers, many Cubans are already imagining a more prosperous future after the United States said it will put an end to 50 years of conflict with the communist-run island. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 21 PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN Sharif govt to take action against вЂ�violent banned outп¬ЃtsвЂ™ Internews Islamabad O f the nearly 72 organisations and outп¬Ѓts that have been declared вЂ�proscribedвЂ™, only a handful are likely to face action in the coming days as part of the governmentвЂ™s impending crackdown on terrorists and militant groups, sources in the interior ministry said. The sources say that the governmentвЂ™s focus, at least in the initial stages, would be on organisations which had taken up arms against the state. Such organisations will not be allowed to operate on Pakistani soil anymore and members of such groups who are known to be involved in violent activities will be arrested, an official in the interior ministry said. вЂњFollowing their arrest and interrogation, such individuals will be produced before military courts for trial under a deп¬Ѓned procedure,вЂќ he said. The official conп¬Ѓrmed that groups which had claimed responsibility for recent terrorist attacks would be proceeded against, but refused to give any details. He said the provinces had been asked to develop a вЂњmulti-faceted process of scrutinyвЂќ whereby cases would be sent to military courts, adding that the methodology would be п¬Ѓne- tuned by his ministry. Benign groups? It is believed that most banned organisations do not have militant wings and the ministry has no plans to act against such groups. In addition, the ministryвЂ™s official said, it was вЂ�not advisableвЂ™ to simultaneously act against all banned outп¬Ѓts. The provinces had been asked to identify outlawed outп¬Ѓts and keep an eye on key operatives. They will also be looking into groups that have re-emerged under different names after their original incarnation was banned by the government. The official said that individuals who faced criminal charges under the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act would be monitored closely. Under the law, he added, such persons were supposed to report to a police station before travelling to any other city, as well as intimating their date of return. вЂњFollowing their arrest and interrogation, such individuals will be produced before military courts for trial under a defined procedureвЂќ He said such people were also required to report to the police station concerned in the city they are travelling to, but admitted that this provision had scarcely been enforced in the past. Although he did not offer speciп¬Ѓcs on which organisations were regarded as being an immediate threat, the official said a comprehensive assessment was being carried out to ascertain how many of the 72 were active and how many were operating under changed names. The National Counter-Terrorism AuthorityвЂ™s National Coordinator Hamid Ali Khan could not be contacted to get his point of view. The governmentвЂ™s list features organisations such as Al Qaeda, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, and some of its factions, including the Tehreek-i-Taliban 62 killed in Pakistan bus-tanker crash The accident took place on the outskirts of Karachi shortly after midnight, when the passenger bus collided with an oil tanker and caught fire People look at the wreckage of a bus and tanker after they collided early yesterday, on the outskirts of Karachi yesterday. and a compressed natural gas cylinder was п¬Ѓtted in the bus, said Talib Husain, a relative of one of the victims. вЂњAfter the collision the bus caught п¬Ѓre and, as a result, the CNG cylinder exploded,вЂќ Husain said. вЂњOne passenger bravely smashed the window from inside and rescued his family while the bus was on п¬Ѓre.вЂќ Senior police official Rao Mohamed Anwaar said the bus вЂњhit the oil tanker, which according to initial reports was coming in the wrong directionвЂќ and caught п¬Ѓre. вЂњWe are trying to ascertain if the driver of the oil tanker was solely at fault or whether the bus driver also showed negligence,вЂќ Anwaar said. Another senior police official, Aamir Shiekh said it appeared that the poor condition of the single-track road contributed to the accident. Pakistan has an appalling record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly main- Cleric who conducted ImranвЂ™s nikah was held for 1995 coup plot Internews Islamabad P akistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran KhanвЂ™s nikah ceremony was conducted by an Islamic cleric who tried to overthrow Benazir BhuttoвЂ™s government in 1995, it was learnt yesterday. The nikah is thought to have taken place several weeks ago, and was overseen by Mufti Saeed, a wealthy Islamic scholar who was arrested following the failed 1995 coup plot by Islamic militants within the Pakistan Army. He was later released, a British daily said in a report. The plot was led by Major General Zahirul Ismal Abbasi and involved officers who planned to kill the countryвЂ™s civilian and military leaders over their scaling down of support to terrorist groups attacking Indian forces in Kashmir. Imran Khan has been accused of being soft on terrorist groups for his recent support for negotiations with Taliban leaders. He was also accused of being part of a plot to oust the Pakistan government last year when thousands of his supporters occupied central Islamabad and attacked government buildings. When contacted, Mufti Saeed declined to conп¬Ѓrm or deny reports of his role in KhanвЂ™s reported marriage or to comment on his links to the 1995 coup attempt. вЂњKhan will himself reveal it soon to the nation so why should I comment on it? I donвЂ™t want to conп¬Ѓrm it or deny itвЂќ, he said. He has been friends with Khan for ten years and counselled him on matters of faith. вЂњWe have had very good friendly relations for the last decade. He comes to me to discuss religious issues and questions he may haveвЂќ, the Mufti added. Law to regulate mosque sound system in Punjab soon The Punjab government promulgated yesterday yet another ordinance to regulate use of sound systems by anyone, allowing only one loudspeaker to the places of worship including mosques and only for вЂњazanвЂќ, Arabic Khutba and announcements of death or lost persons or things. The declared purpose of Video shows beheading of purported Pakistani soldier; Unclear if militants taking orders from Islamic State A A the Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Ordinance 2015 is to prevent public nuisance and the voicing of utterances of a controversial nature likely to cause public disorder. It is also to regulate, control and prohibit the use of certain sound systems in the province in the interest of environment, public order, decency and the prevention of incitement to terrorism or the commission of any offence. It describes the worship places as a mosque, imambargah, church, temple or any other place of worship of any sect or religion. Violation of the law will lead to imprisonment up to six months and fine from Rs25, 000 to Rs100, 000. tained vehicles and reckless driving. A total of 57 people, including 18 children, were killed in November last year when a bus collided with a coal truck near the town of Khairpur in Sindh. After that crash police blamed the poor condition of the road and the lack of warning signs and said they would investigate the government department responsibleвЂ”the п¬Ѓrst time such an investigation has been launched in the country. Afghan national football coach survives attack AfghanistanвЂ™s celebrated national football team coach was stabbed near his residence in an upscale area of the capital Kabul, and has been hospitalised, police said yesterday. Mohamed Yousuf Kargar played a central role in rebuilding the national football side after the 2001 fall of the hardline Islamist Taliban regime that had banned almost all sports and even used the Kabul football stadium for executions. The motive for the attack on Kargar on Saturday evening was unclear but may have been the result of a personal dispute, they said. The case is under investigation. Photographs of Kargar lying in a hospital bed were posted all over Afghan social media, with condemnations of the attack. He led the national team to its greatest success, winning the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship by beating India 2-0 in Kathmandu on September 2013. Afghanistan has struggled under the weight of more than three decades of conflicts that have severely damaged sports. Last April a bus smashed into a tractor-trailer in a high-speed collision in Sindh, killing 42 people, while in March a horriп¬Ѓc crash between two buses and a petrol tanker left 35 dead, with many burned alive when the fuel ignited. The recovery equipment available to Pakistani emergency services is often basic. When crashes happen some distance from major towns, rescue efforts can take time and the injured have less chance of survival. Jamaat, including its chief, Ahmad Ludhianvi, had taken part in the 2013 general elections. Former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah met Ludhianvi more than once prior to the 2013 elections and justiп¬Ѓed his meetings by saying that members of the Jamaatud Dawa and Sipahi-Sahaba Pakistan were not terrorists. However, the official avoided commenting on political parties which were said to have links with banned outп¬Ѓts. In June 2010, Ludhianvi even claimed that at least 25 PPP MNAs had won the 2008 general elections with his partyвЂ™s support. Pak soldier beheaded by IS supporters Reuters Dera Ismail Khan AFP Islamabad t least 62 people including women and children were killed early yesterday in southern Pakistan when their bus collided with an oil tanker, starting a п¬Ѓerce blaze which left victims burnt beyond recognition. Initial reports said the tanker was travelling on the wrong side of the road along a dilapidated stretch of highway, police said. It was the second crash involving major loss of life in Sindh province in less than three months. Authorities transferred the remains to a local morgue after taking samples for DNA testing in order to identify them. Doctor Semi Jamali at KarachiвЂ™s Jinnah hospital said another four passengers with minor injuries have been discharged. The bodies were вЂњcompletely burnt and stuck to each otherвЂќ, she earlier said. The overloaded bus was en route to the town of Shikarpur from the southern port city of Karachi when the collision occurred. вЂњI was sitting on top of the bus when I saw a tanker hit it, and a minute later it caught п¬Ѓre,вЂќ said Ikhtiyar Ali. вЂњThere were three of us on the roof of the bus. We jumped to the ground to save our lives when we saw the п¬Ѓre.вЂќ The tanker was carrying oil Bajaur, Tehreek-i- Taliban Mohmand and Tehreek-i-Taliban Swat. Then there are organisations whose names reп¬‚ect their inherently militant nature, such as the Balochistan Liberation Army, Balochistan Republican Army, Balochistan United Army, United Baloch Army, Balochistan Bunyad Parast Army, the 313 Brigade and the Abdullah Azzam brigade, among others. When asked about banned outп¬Ѓts that had taken part in the last general elections, he said a new procedure was being devised for registration of political parties. At least 40 candidates from the outlawed Ahle Sunnat Wal group of Pakistani and Afghan militants have beheaded a Pakistani soldier after pledging allegiance to Islamic State, according to a new video released online, copying execution tactics used by the Middle East jihadist group. Islamic State, which controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, has gained a foothold in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the past year, with a number of former Taliban militants setting up a new group purporting to represent IS interests in the region. Little is known about its activities or its size. It remains unclear whether IS-inspired militants hiding on the Pakistani-Afghan border are acting on their own or on direct orders from the IS leadership in the Middle East. In the latest Arabic-language video, whose authenticity could not immediately be conп¬Ѓrmed, a large group of turbaned militants, many on horseback and holding riп¬‚es and black IS п¬‚ags, are seen gathered in an undisclosed forested area. A militant identiп¬Ѓed by the SITE intelligence group as former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid is then seen addressing the crowd to announce pledges of allegiance to IS from leaders of various groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. вЂњWe want to inform you that we have brought together the emirs of 10 groups who want to pledge their allegiance to the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,вЂќ he said, referring to the IS leader. At the end of the 16-minute video a man wearing a helmet, a T-shirt and combat trousers, identiп¬Ѓed as a Pakistani soldier, is seen being beheaded with a machete. According to SITE, those present during the execution included both Afghan and Taliban militants but nothing was known about the beheaded soldier or how he was captured. вЂњWe want to inform you that we have brought together the emirs of 10 groups who want to pledge their allegiance to the Caliph Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiвЂќ ISвЂ™s radical ideology appears to have inspired many п¬Ѓghters operating across the region, posing a possible challenge to more established local groups such as the Taliban. But, while some п¬Ѓghters switched sides to declare allegiance to IS in the past year, most Taliban insurgents remained staunchly loyal to Mullah Mohamed Omar, an Afghan Taliban leader who has been at the helm of the movement since the 1990s. Videos of beheadings, popularised by IS, are not commonplace in the AfghanistanPakistan region, although the Taliban and other local militant groups often resort to similarly gruesome attacks against security forces and civilians. Fishermen protest A Pakistani fisherman holds a model of a fish as he takes part in a protest demanding the release of Pakistani fishermen held in Indian jails in Karachi yesterday. Arrests are frequently carried out by both countries, as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location. The fishermen often languish in jail even after serving prison terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two countries mean fulfilling official requirements can take a long time. 22 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 PHILIPPINES Govt вЂ�will build 120,000 homes for typhoon displacedвЂ™ By Fernan Marasigan Manila Times G overnment housing agencies expect to construct this year 120,000 housing units for families displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan), Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday. The vice president, who is chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Co-ordinating Council (HUDCC) and the head of the Yolanda Resettlement Cluster, added that as of December 2014, P13.4bn has been released for the construction of 46,129 housing units. Of these, 37,500 have been bid out and awarded. вЂњBy the end of 2015, we plan to provide disaster-resilient housing in safer communities, to families living in high-risk and hazardous areas,вЂќ Binay said in a statement. He added that an additional P1.3bn has been approved for release while another P7.99bn approved supplemental budget will generate an additional 31,752 housing units. вЂњThese projects have been bid out and ready for award but could not be awarded pending release of funds to the National Housing Authority,вЂќ Binay said. According to the vice president, 205,128 houses are needed for Yolanda victims in 116 cities and municipalities.At the end of 2014, key shelter agencies had completed a total of 2,100 housing units. Binay admitted that the government housing agencies are facing several issues that hamper the construction of houses for Yolanda victims. One of these is the difficulty in identifying land suitable for housing with appropriate environmental clearances. вЂњAdministrative Order 44 was issued on October 28 which is expected to fasttrack the issuance of clearances and permits. However, some concerned agencies are still crafting their respective IRRs (Implementing Rules and Regulations) while others just recently started operationalising their processes,вЂќ Binay said. Another problem is that municipalities such as Camotes Island are still classiп¬Ѓed as reserved land. вЂњIn the case of these areas, we are still waiting for a presidential proclamation that will carve out areas that can be used for housing,вЂќ Binay said. Man detained over killing of journalist Manila Times Balanga City, Bataan B ataan police have placed under its custody a suspected gunman in the killing of a lady reporter of tabloid Abante on Thursday morning. Senior Supt. Rodel Sermonia, Bataan police director, said he could still not identify the suspect pending further follow-up investigations. вЂњWe are gathering more evidence to make the case that we will п¬Ѓle airtight,вЂќ Sermonia said.He instead showed a composite sketch of the suspect they have placed under questioning. Sermonia said that an eye- witness gave the composite sketch of the gunman. вЂњIt resembles a former prisoner who has a case of murder but is out on bail. He is considered still to be doing gunfor-hire,вЂќ the police provincial director said. They are eyeing two suspects who rode a motorcycle during the killing of Nerlita вЂњNerlieвЂќ Ledesma, 47, Abante reporter in Bataan and Olongapo City. вЂњOne was wearing a helmet while the other one who removed his helmet, was the one who п¬Ѓred the gun,вЂќ he said. Scene of the Crime Operatives and police investigators recovered from the crime scene four empty shells and a slug from caliber .45 revolver. Workers install Philippine and Vatican flags ahead of a visit by Pope Francis in Manila yesterday. Rains threaten papal mass on storm-hit island The countryвЂ™s weather bureau has said a low-pressure area currently over the Pacific Ocean was on course for Leyte Island, touted as one of the highlights of the pontiffвЂ™s four-day visit AFP Manila T he Philippines was watching nervously yesterday as a tropical storm threatened a typhoon-prone central island that Pope Francis will visit this week on his tour of the fer- vently Catholic nation. The countryвЂ™s weather bureau said a low-pressure area currently over the Pacific Ocean was on course for Leyte Island, touted as one of the highlights of the pontiffвЂ™s four-day visit, and could develop into a storm by the time it enters Philippine waters on Thursday. Leyte was the province worst-hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, and suffered landslides and floods late last year wrought by tropical storm Jangmi. вЂњPart of contingency planning are possible inclement scenarios.... options are be- ing developed,вЂќ presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma from the papal visit organising committee said. Asked if cancelling the events on Leyte island on January 17 was an option, Coloma said: вЂњItвЂ™s best to wait until the (weather disturbance) enters the Philippines before making specific contingency plans.вЂќ In a best-case scenario, the low pressure area would turn northwards and spare the country, but there is also an equal chance it will intensify into a storm, state weather forecaster Alvin Pura said. вЂњThis may hit the Eastern Visayas and bring rains to the PopeвЂ™s events,вЂќ he said, referring to the island chain in which Leyte sits. Pura could not immediately say how much rain was possible on Leyte if the storm developed and hit the island. During the last week of 2014, the Eastern Visayas were caught offguard when a storm bearing relatively weak winds brought heavy rains, triggering п¬‚ashп¬‚oods and landslides that killed 54 people. The pontiff, who arrives in the country on Thursday, will be in Leyte on Saturday to give a mass at the airport in Tacloban, ground zero for Haiyan, and have Millions to welcome Pope on Asia trip AFP Manila P ope Francis will immerse himself in some of AsiaвЂ™s most fervent Catholicism during a trip to the Philippines and Sri Lanka starting tomorrow, with millions of devotees set to turn out. The Argentinian pontiff with a man-of-the-people reputation could attract one of the biggest gatherings ever for a Pope during an open-air mass in the Philippine capital of Manila. The January 18 event may draw up to 6mn people, offering a pulsating example of AsiaвЂ™s status as a dynamic growth region for the Catholic Church -- but also creating a security nightmare. The PopeвЂ™s trip, which begins in Sri Lanka, comes just п¬Ѓve months after he visited South Korea, signalling the huge importance the Vatican places on Asia and its potential for more followers. вЂњThis second trip to Asia... is a message in itself for this great continent. It is necessary to have the Pope return to this important part of the world,вЂќ Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said as the 78-year-old pontiff prepared for the week-long visit. In Sri Lanka, the Pope will preach reconciliation as the majority Buddhist nation of 20mn people continues to endure ethnic conп¬‚ict following the end in 2009 of nearly four decades of civil war that pitted A Catholic priest blesses members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with holy water during a mustering of troops ahead of the papal visit, at the AFP headquarters in Quezon city, Metro Manila yesterday. separatist Tamils against Sinhalese. Religious violence has continued since then, with attacks on mosques and churches by nationalist Buddhist groups who say minorities have undue inп¬‚uence on the island. But he will land in Sri Lanka just days after Maithripala Sirisena scored a stunning peaceful election victory over veteran strongman Mahinda Rajapakse, a result that offers hope for future peace prospects. During his two-night stay, the Pope will visit a church that sheltered refugees from across the religious and ethnic divide during the civil war, and which has a 450-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary. The centrepiece of the visit will be a public mass on the sea front in the capital of Colombo, which is expected to attract 1mn Catholics and followers of other religions. Sri Lanka has a sizeable Catholic minority of about 1.5mn вЂ”but it is when Francis reaches the Philippines on Thursday that he can expect to feel the most vibrant and colourful forces of the regionвЂ™s Catholic faith. The Philippines is one of the ChurchвЂ™s modern success stories, counting roughly 80% of the former Spanish colonyвЂ™s 100mn people as Catholics, which has helped to offset waning inп¬‚uence in Europe and the US. Anticipation has been building for months ahead of his trip вЂ” the fourth papal visit to the Philippines вЂ”with the Pope dominating the media, billboards and sparking a merchandise frenzy. вЂњIвЂ™m excited, because this PopeвЂ™s focus is on the poor,вЂќ said human resources manager Renita Terciano, 50, who has booked hotel rooms near the Manila papal mass park venue for her family so they can attend the event. If the crowd is as big as expected, it could surpass the estimated 5mn people who turned up for a mass by Pope John Paul II at the same venue in 1995. That event is regarded as the biggest ever gathering to see a pontiff. Church officials say the PopeвЂ™s visit is also a вЂњmercy and compassionвЂќ trip to meet survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which claimed 7,350 lives when it destroyed entire farming and п¬Ѓshing communities in impoverished areas of the central Philippines in 2013. The Pope will spend Saturday in Tacloban, one of the worsthit cities, and nearby areas. He is due to give a mass to tens of thousands of typhoon survivors at Tacloban airport, and have a private lunch with a small group of others. Erlinda Suyom, 30, who lost her two children and her home near Tacloban to tsunami-like waves, said she would dearly love to meet the Pope. вЂњI would like to ask for his guidance. I also want to tell him to ask God to ensure that my son and daughter are happy in heaven,вЂќ Suyom said. Security will be a major issue throughout the pontiff вЂ™s Asia trip, but Philippine Church officials have said he will not travel in a bulletproof вЂњpopemobileвЂќ because he wants to be closer to his п¬‚ock. Philippine authorities have said they are deploying nearly 40,000 security personnel in one of the nationвЂ™s biggest ever security operations. вЂњWe are doing everything humanly possible to secure the safety of the Pope,вЂќ Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters, while stressing authorities had not detected any speciп¬Ѓc threat. lunch with storm survivors in nearby Palo town. The weather disturbance was unlikely to affect another mass in Manila the day after, where millions are expected to attend, Pura said. Partly cloudy skies and cool weather are expected in the capital on that day, he said. The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons per year, many of them deadly. Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to hit land with 230-kilometre per hour winds, brought tsunami like waves to the central Philippines, wiping out entire towns and leaving more than 7,350 people dead or missing. Rebels face extortion charge Manila Times Cotabato City M embers of an insurgent group in Mindanao continue to extort and threaten farmers in remote villages in Sultan Kudarat province, officials said yesterday. Sancho Salamanca, chairperson of Barangay Katiku, said the Bangsmoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continue to extort вЂњprotection moneyвЂќ from farmers who were also threatened if the demand was ignored. Salamanca admitted that farmers provided a share of their production to the BIFF so they are not вЂњdisturbed.вЂќ But the demand of the BIFF on the hapless farmers continue to increase and were soon coupled with threats that no harassment will take place if the farmers shell out some sacks of palay (unmilled rice) to the insurgency group.вЂњOur farmers have no recourse but to provide the bandits with few sacks of palay per hectare,вЂќ Salamanca lamented. However, recently the BIFF have started demanding more and threatened to take over the rice п¬Ѓelds by claiming its real owners belonged to the BIFF,вЂќ he said. Many farmers in Sultan Kudarat whose rice п¬Ѓelds are situated in the borders of Maguindanao have been arming themselves to prevent harassment, especially during the harvest season. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 23 SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL Lanka to investigate Rajapakse вЂ�coupвЂ™ bid AFP Colombo S ri LankaвЂ™s new government yesterday accused toppled strongman Mahinda Rajapakse of having tried to stage a coup to cling to power after losing last weekвЂ™s presidential election. Rajapakse, South AsiaвЂ™s longest-serving leader before losing last ThursdayвЂ™s polls, had been widely praised for conceding defeat to Maithripala Sirisena before the п¬Ѓnal results had been announced. But a top aide to Sirisena told reporters that Rajapakse had in fact tried to persuade the army and police chiefs to help him stay in office with the use of force. вЂњPeople think it was a peaceful transition. It was anything but,вЂќ Mangala Samaraweera, who is expected to be named as SirisenaвЂ™s foreign minister, told a press conference. вЂњThe п¬Ѓrst thing the new cabinet will investigate is the coup and conspiracy by president Rajapakse. вЂњHe stepped down only when the army chief and the police Inspector General (N K Illangakoon) refused to go along with him.вЂќ Illangakoon was вЂњvery vocal and did not want to be a party to this coupвЂќ while army chief Daya Ratnayake also refused to deploy troops for Rajapakse to seize power, said Samaraweera. The attorney generalвЂ™s department had also warned that there would be вЂњdangerous consequencesвЂќ, he said. Samaraweera said diplomatic pressure had in addition been brought to bear on Rajapakse, who came in for international criticism during his near-decade in office over his administrationвЂ™s human rights record. Critics also accused him of increasing authoritarianism and a culture of nepotism and corruption. вЂњSome world leaders also spoke with president Rajapakse and prevailed on him to ensure a peaceful transition,вЂќ Samaraweera said. вЂњI donвЂ™t know who had spo- ken (to him), but we know some leaders did talk to him.вЂќ US Secretary of State John Kerry and even Sirisena himself had thanked Rajapakse for quitting in the early hours of Friday, after his defeat in an election he had seemed certain to win when he called it in November. The head of the army was not immediately available for comment. But military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said he was вЂњnot aware of such a coup attemptвЂќ. Samaraweera said it was important for the new administration to disclose what had happened while results were being released, and an independent investigation probe would be a priority. In an address to the nation, Sirisena appealed for a government of national unity to carry out the political and economic reforms he promised in his election campaign. The new president wants to establish independent commissions to run the police, the public service and the judiciary and to transfer many of his executive powers to parliament. вЂњI hope all the parties will accept my invitation and join hands to ensure good governance, rule of law and carry out the reforms we have promised to improve the quality of life for our people,вЂќ he said from the historic hill city of Kandy. The president invited all parties to join his cabinet, which is expected to be п¬Ѓnalised by January 19 when parliament will open. He reiterated a call to normalise relations with Western nations and neighbouring India. Rajapakse had alienated many foreign leaders by refusing to allow an international probe into allegations of mass civilian casualties in the brutal п¬Ѓnale to Sri LankaвЂ™s 37-year Tamil separatist war in 2009. Another top lieutenant said Sirisena had already received the backing of more than 40 lawmakers previously loyal to Rajapakse, virtually assuring approval for his programme of radical constitutional reforms. вЂњWe now have more than we need in parliament,вЂќ AFP Dhaka A Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena speaking outside of the Buddhist Temple of Tooth in the central town of Kandy yesterday. Rajitha Senaratne said. Sirisena previously had the backing of 89 lawmakers and needed another 24 for a simple majority in the 225-member house. The new leader, who is himself a defector from RajapakseвЂ™s party, has already pledged to reverse many of the constitutional changes made by his predecessor Cricketer gets bail after charged with rape IANS Dhaka B angladesh cricketer Rubel Hossain was yesterday granted bail by a Dhaka court after his previous petition was rejected by the metropolitan magistrateвЂ™s court in a case п¬Ѓled by modelactress Naznin Akter Happy. Metropolitan sessions court judge Imrul Kayes heard the matter and granted him bail until police submit the charge-sheet in the court, bednews24.com reported. Happy п¬Ѓled a case on December 13 against Rubel under the WomenвЂ™s Repression Act, 2014, alleging that the pace bowler, promising marriage, had engaged in a physical relationship with her. Rubel appeared in a high court on December 15 and п¬Ѓled an appeal, asking for anticipatory bail. The court Rubel Hossain granted a four-week bail. On January 8, the cricketer surrendered to the Dhaka Metropolitan MagistrateвЂ™s Court and sought bail again. The court turned down his plea and sent him to jail. This happened three days before the expiry of his anticipatory bail. Rubel has alleged that Happy has been вЂњblackmailingвЂќ him. Happy underwent a medical test that suggested Rubel did not force her to sleep with him. The court ordered a DNA test of Rubel on December 31 last year, taking cognisance of an appeal п¬Ѓled by the Mirpur police. Happy claimed the two got in touch п¬Ѓrst on Facebook and Rubel refused to marry her after nine months of an intimate relationship. Happy, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student at a private university, has acted in a Bengali п¬Ѓlm. She alleged that Rubel got involved with another girl while their marriage was being negotiated. She lodged the complaint against him when he allegedly started avoiding her. Happy also on January 5 п¬Ѓled a petition in court, seeking RubelвЂ™s expulsion from the Bangladesh team. The Bangladesh cricket team is to п¬‚y off to Australia in January-end for the ODI World Cup beginning on February 14. Film director Chasi Nazrul dies IANS Dhaka E minent Bangladeshi п¬Ѓlm director and producer Chasi Nazrul Islam died yesterday in a Dhaka hospital after prolonged illness. He was 73. Labaid HospitalвЂ™s assistant general manager Saifur Rahman Lenin said IslamвЂ™s long battle with cancer came to an end at 6am yesterday. He was on a life support for a while, bdnews24.com reported. Islam shot into limelight with his п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓlm Ora Egaro Bangladesh economy hit hard by strike, says business body chief Jon (They are Eleven), the п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓlm based on the Bangladesh Liberation War. His body was taken to his house at Jashimuddin road in Kamalapur of Dhaka around 9 am, said Nationalist Socio-Cultural Organisation (Jasas) general secretary Shamsuddin Didar. which gave huge powers to the president. Even RajapakseвЂ™s Sri Lankan Freedom Party has said it will support SirisenaвЂ™s constitutional reforms, making their enactment a formality. Sirisena quit RajapakseвЂ™s cabinet in November to emerge as an opposition unity candidate in the January 8 polls, triggering a mass defection of lawmakers. While Rajapakse still retains signiп¬Ѓcant support from the majority Sinhalese community, anger had been growing over rising levels of corruption. Rajapakse had installed relatives in some of the most sensitive posts, including his younger brother Gotabhaya as defence secretary. rolling transport blockade organised by the opposition is taking a huge toll on BangladeshвЂ™s economy, with the vital garment industry hit particularly hard, a business leader warned yesterday. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia called the open-ended blockade of roads, railways and waterways after she was conп¬Ѓned to her office by police on January 3 while trying to mobilise anti-government protests. In the nine days that Zia has been locked in her office, supporters of her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have taken to the streets in their hundreds, torching vehicles and even derailing trains by removing tracks. The countryвЂ™s top business chamber said the transport sector alone had been losing 2bn taka ($26mn) a day since the blockade began, with at least 200,000 buses and lorries kept off the road for fear of attacks. вЂњThe disruption in the transport sector has created immense troubles for the passengers and also hampered supply of goods,вЂќ said Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. вЂњFarmers are the worst sufferers. Their vegetables are rotting on the п¬Ѓelds,вЂќ he said, adding they were вЂњdeeply concernedвЂќ at the worsening political crisis. Zia leads a 20-party opposition alliance which boycotted a general election last year on the grounds it would be rigged. She has said the blockade will continue until Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agrees to new polls organised by a caretaker government. At least 162 buses, lorries and cars have been torched while hundreds more have been damaged. Train schedules have also gone haywire after several major services were derailed, leaving at least 50 people injured. Yesterday one person died in a hospital in Dhaka after he was п¬Ѓrebombed on a bus, police said, bringing the toll in the unrest to nine. At least 250 people have been injured, including 86 policemen. вЂњThe disruption in the transport sector has created immense troubles for the passengers and also hampered supply of goodsвЂќ Authorities have provided guards for buses and lorries carrying shipments to the ports. The paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh has said it alone has provided security to some 3,000 buses and trucks. Ahmed said garment manufacturers, who account for 80% of the countryвЂ™s $27.3bn annual exports, fear the worst since a prolonged blockade could prompt Western retailers to divert orders to other nations. вЂњThe impact has not been visible yet, but the supply chain has been disrupted and naturally garment sector wonвЂ™t be immune from the fallout,вЂќ he said. Bangladesh is the worldвЂ™s second largest garment exporter after China. The sector provides jobs for 4mn people, mostly women, and has spurred economic growth to over six percent a year in the last decade. World Muslim Congregation concludes Devotees gesturing from a departing train following the conclusion of the World Muslim Congregation, also known as Biswa Ijtema, at Tongi, on the outskirts of Dhaka, yesterday. Muslims attending one of the worldвЂ™s largest religious gatherings joined the chorus of condemnation January 9 over the deadly attack on a French satirical weekly, saying the killings ran contrary to the tenets of Islam. BangladeshвЂ™s Biswa Ijtema is the worldвЂ™s second largest Islamic gathering after the Haj with devotees coming from all over the globe to pray and hear imams preach for three days. Nepalese bureaucrat clinches вЂ�Integrity IdolвЂ™ crown Nepalese civil servant Gyan Mani Nepal doesnвЂ™t sing, dance or perform magic tricks вЂ” but all eyes were on the bespectacled bureaucrat yesterday when he became the countryвЂ™s first Integrity Idol. The online contest, which eschewed the glitz of popular television talent shows, saw nearly 10,000 people cast their votes via text message and Facebook in a bid to encourage honesty in the corruption-ridden Himalayan nation. An education official in eastern Panchthar district, Nepal won praise for his efforts to increase teacher attendance and boost student pass rates from 14% to 60% during his 15 years in the job. вЂњI am very happy,вЂќ Nepal said after clinching the title, which does not come with any prizes. вЂњI havenвЂ™t done anything big ... I just try to provide education to children who need it.вЂќ In a country where teachers at state schools often donвЂ™t turn up, NepalвЂ™s initiative to share his mobile number with students and parents so they could inform him about absent tutors helped to raise attendance to 90%. He beat four other finalists вЂ” a social worker, a health supervisor and two school principals вЂ” who were shortlisted after non-profit group Accountability Lab Nepal launched a nationwide campaign last April. вЂњThis initiative aims to reward honest individuals and inspire others to join the civil service,вЂќ the charityвЂ™s Nepal representative Narayan Adhikari said. Nepal is ranked 126th out of 175 countries in anti-graft watchdog Transparency InternationalвЂ™s global corruption perception index. Many citizens are forced to pay bribes for essential services, and the head of the national anti-graft watchdog is himself currently the subject of several corruption investigations. 24 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 COMMENT Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed Production Editor: C P Ravindran P.O.Box 2888 Doha, Qatar [email protected] Telephone 44350478 (news), 44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery) Fax 44350474 GULF TIMES Exhibit marks 50 years of spacewalks It has been half a century since the п¬Ѓrst spacewalk which ushered in radical changes to space exploration. Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) or as they are colloquially known, spacewalks, have changed the nature of human spaceп¬‚ight. Whereas rockets could get humans into space, the ability for them to leave their spacecraft and work outside made possible walking on the moon, repairing and upgrading the Hubble Space Telescope and assembling the International Space Station. The п¬Ѓrst spacewalk was conducted in March 1965 by Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov who spent 12 minutes outside his spacecraft. Three months later, Nasa astronaut Edward White followed suit by spending 20 minutes during a spacewalk. Spacewalking is tough business. In the vacuum of space, a small tear in a cloth spacesuit could suffocate an astronaut. A spacewalker could also be killed if struck by even a tiny piece of space debris hurtling through the void at 17,400 miles per hour. Perhaps even more frightening, an astronaut inadvertently unlatched from a tether could п¬‚oat away, as illustrated in the Oscar winning Hollywood blockbuster Gravity. The SmithsonianвЂ™s National Air and Space Museum in the US is looking back at how astronauts have ventured outside spacecraft over the past 50 years. The six-month exhibit, вЂњOutside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular ActivityвЂќ, which opened last Thursday, features art, photography and artefacts п¬‚own in space, including spacesuits from the Gemini programme. The museum holds many of WhiteвЂ™s equipment such as his spacesuit and camera and even the Gemini 4 spacecraft he п¬‚ew in. The museum also got hold of LeonovвЂ™s gear, including his training spacesuit and airlock since his spacesuit and spacecraft are still on display in Russia. вЂњOutside the SpacecraftвЂќ spans the history of spacewalks, from LeonovвЂ™s and WhiteвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst EVAs 50 years ago to the 369th spacewalk made last June by a pair of cosmonauts outside the International Space Station. In the half century since the initial outings, more than 200 people have вЂњgone EVAвЂќ on nearly 375 excursions. Twelve of those people exited their spacecraft to walk on the surface of the moon. вЂњAs an achievement within the history of spaceп¬‚ight, EVA is crucial to a long-term ability to reside in space,вЂќ said Jennifer Levasseur, the curator of the exhibit. вЂњWe needed the capability in order to build and maintain space equipment, as we continue to see on the space station.вЂќ The exhibit allows the public to further understand the signiп¬Ѓcance of the EVA when it comes to mankindвЂ™s ability to conduct space missions. Special are the Apollo 11 objects, chronicling the historic п¬Ѓrst mission to land men on the moon. They are Neil ArmstrongвЂ™s headset, the lunar module п¬Ѓlm camera that recorded the п¬Ѓrst landing, and a waist tether used in the module - the last two of which are on loan to the museum, and are promised donations, from the Armstrong family. What about future spacewalks? Most probably, we would see in our lifetime scientists out exploring on the surface of Mars, as predicted recently by John Grunsfeld, former space shuttle astronaut and a veteran of eight spacewalks to repair and service the Hubble Space Telescope. A comeback strategy for European countries Europe must work to secure its position in the new world order вЂ“ beginning by enhancing its own trade and investment ties with the US By Carl Bildt and Javier Solana Stockholm/Madrid W hen Pope Francis addressed the European Parliament last November, he compared the European Union to a grandmother вЂ“ pleasant and rich with experience, but lacking the vitality and energy of the past. It is high time, Francis argued, that EU leaders shed their dozy image, recognise the strategic challenges that Europe faces and forge a clear policy for tackling them. Admittedly, the PopeвЂ™s characterisation was alarmingly accurate in some respects. But, despite its seeming lassitude, Europe retains signiп¬Ѓcant strengths. It is a hub of high-level thought and innovation; it is home to some of the worldвЂ™s most competitive regions and industries; and, perhaps most impressive, it has built a community and market encompassing a half billion people. But the world is changing: the Asia-Paciп¬Ѓc region is increasingly inп¬‚uencing global developments, economic and otherwise. The TransPaciп¬Ѓc Partnership (TPP) вЂ“ by which the US and 11 other countries would create a mega-regional free-trade zone вЂ“ would most likely accelerate this shift (all the more so if China eventually joins). Though the TPP faces no shortage of hurdles to clear before an agreement is п¬Ѓnalised, its potential to augment AsiaвЂ™s economic power cannot be underestimated. Europe must work to secure its position in the new world order вЂ“ beginning by enhancing its own trade and investment ties with the US. The problem is that, as the TPP negotiations progress, talks on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have become so deeply mired in domestic controversies that the entire project may well be scuttled. Despite its seeming lassitude, Europe retains significant strengths Business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are convinced that a successful TTIP agreement would bring substantial economic beneп¬Ѓts вЂ“ a perception that many studies reinforce. Yet trivial issues вЂ“ for example, the use of chlorinated chicken and settlements of investor disputes вЂ“ continue to dominate the debate. The TTIPвЂ™s goal is to unleash the power of the transatlantic economy, which remains by far the worldвЂ™s largest and wealthiest market, accounting for three-quarters of global п¬Ѓnancial activity and more than half of world trade. (If the TTIP was opened to other economies вЂ“ such as Turkey, Mexico and Canada вЂ“ the beneп¬Ѓts would be even greater.) Even more compelling than the beneп¬Ѓts of achieving an agreement, though, are the potentially catastrophic consequences of failure. For starters, a breakdown of TTIP talks would give considerable ammunition to those in the United Kingdom who advocate withdrawal from the EU; conversely, if the TTIP were implemented, the UK would be unwise вЂ“ and thus unlikely вЂ“ to leave. Moreover, the perception that the EUвЂ™s internal squabbles had led it to squander a strategic opportunity would probably drive the US to accelerate its disengagement from the continent. And Russian President Vladimir Putin would invariably regard the EUвЂ™s failure as a major opportunity to exert more inп¬‚uence over parts of Europe. All of this contributes to a starkly fundamental strategic risk: If the TTIP stalls or collapses, while the TPP moves forward and succeeds, the global balance will tip strongly in AsiaвЂ™s favour вЂ“ and Europe will have few options, if any, for regaining its economic and geopolitical inп¬‚uence. When the TTIP was п¬Ѓrst proposed, Europe seemed to recognise its value. Indeed, it was the EU that pushed the US, which initially doubted EuropeвЂ™s commitment, to launch the negotiation process in June 2013. The ambition was to complete the negotiations on вЂњone tank of gasвЂќ. No one wanted to endure protracted talks вЂ“ or the associated political pain. But EU leaders essentially abandoned the project, seemingly conп¬Ѓrming American fears. Trade negotiators struggled to make headway, while anti-globalisation groups seized control of the public discourse, presenting the TTIP as a threat to everything from EuropeвЂ™s democracy to its health. This is dangerously inaccurate talk, and EU leaders must prevent it from gaining any more traction by making the strategic case for the agreement. And they must revive their commitment to conclude the talks successfully in 2015. This is not to say that resolving the remaining issues in the TTIP negotiations will be simple. But establishing a trade agreement, especially one that entails so many regulatory issues, is always difficult, as it must account for the complexity and changeability of modern economies. The fact is that the challenges inherent in completing the TTIP are no more intractable than those that EU leaders have faced in the last few years of crisis. When the TTIP negotiations resume next month, EU leaders must push for genuine progress, with the goal of completing a deal by the end of the year. The good news is that the recent midterm elections in the US might have improved their chances. President Barack Obama now might get so-called fast-track negotiating authority from Congress. If he does, Congress would simply approve or reject any negotiated agreement, rather than picking it apart. The US presidential election season is starting, and other issues in the new year could easily take over the EU agenda. That is why EuropeвЂ™s leaders have no time to waste. They must seize economic opportunity вЂ“ and avert strategic disaster. - Project Syndicate zCarl Bildt, a former prime minister and foreign minister of Sweden, is a member of the World Economic ForumвЂ™s Global Agenda Council on Europe. Javier Solana, a former EU high representative for foreign and security policy and Nato secretarygeneral, is a member of the World Economic ForumвЂ™s Global Agenda Council on Europe. вЂњEVA is crucial to a long-term ability to reside in spaceвЂќ To Advertise [email protected] Display Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811 Classified Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811 Subscription [email protected] 2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved A detainee walking in the exercise yard of the вЂњCamp 6вЂќ detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Hurdles abound for Guantanamo closure By Chantal Valery Washington/AFP T hirteen years after terror suspects п¬Ѓrst arrived in Guantanamo, the US is sending inmates out at a faster rate than ever before - but hurdles remain in the effort to shutter it entirely. In 2014, 28 detainees were freed in вЂњthe largest single-year reduction in detainee populationвЂќ since 2009, said Paul Lewis, the US official charged with closing the Guantanamo detention facility. As the facility entered its 14th year yesterday, Lewis told AFP the government is striving to вЂњmaintain momentumвЂќ of its prisoner releases. вЂњThe road to closing Guantanamo is clear and well lit,вЂќ wrote his former counterpart from the State Department Cliff Sloan in an editorial in the New York Times. But Noor Mir from Amnesty International USA, is calling on the Obama administration to work faster. вЂњAs we count a grim 13th year since Guantanamo opened, dozens of men continue to languish there with no idea when or even if their detention will end,вЂќ he said. The п¬Ѓrst detainees arrived at the US prison camp in Cuba on January 11, 2002 when, some four months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, president George W Bush locked in open-air cages some of the вЂњworst of the worstвЂќ in the countryвЂ™s war on terror. Today, 127 Guantanamo inmates remain, down from some 680 prisoners held in 2003. The prison population could fall below 100 within two months, with the aim of cutting the population by half before the end of the year. вЂњDozens of men continue to languish there with no idea when or even if their detention will endвЂќ However, President Barack ObamaвЂ™s administration has been hampered by Republicans in Congress who oppose any transfer detainees to US soil, even for trial. Of the prisoners remaining are 83 Yemenis. They pose the biggest problem for GuantanamoвЂ™s closure, due to the volatile political situation in Yemen. The п¬Ѓrst step for Obama, who has reiterated his intention to close the prison facility, is to п¬Ѓnd host countries for the 59 Yemenis cleared for release. вЂњWeвЂ™re trying to transfer those 59 as soon as possible, hopefully this year,вЂќ a senior defence official told AFP. вЂњItвЂ™s on a case by case, individual basis,вЂќ the official said on the condition of anonymity. The official said the US is focusing on п¬Ѓnding destinations in South America and then in the Middle East and Europe. Next week, п¬Ѓve Yemenis are to be transferred to two unidentiп¬Ѓed countries. So far, nearly two dozen countries have accepted Guantanamo detainees originally from somewhere else. US authorities seek countries that will take the prisoners, treat them well and monitor them. The prisoners, who have never been convicted of a crime, are not intended to be treated as criminals after their release, but they must stay in the host country for at least two years. The next step for the administration would then be the 10 вЂњhigh-valueвЂќ prisoners who await prosecution. Among them is self-proclaimed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohamed and his four codefendants, who await a military trial. The trial has not yet begun, dimming the prospect of closing Guantanamo in the near future. Finally, to close the facility any time soon, the administration may need to expedite the review of each of the remaining 58 prisoners who have not been charged or approved for transfer. Not all are expected to be released from prison, as some are committed militants, according to the government. But estimates say the number of prisoners could be reduced to 40. Obama could then turn to Congress to obtain permission to transfer the remaining detainees to high security US prisons, where the cost would be signiп¬Ѓcantly less than the $3mn per inmate spent annually in Guantanamo. вЂњIf he canвЂ™t bring these detainees to the US, he will have to keep them in Guantanamo,вЂќ said lawyer David Remes who represents 18 Yemeni detainees. вЂњI donвЂ™t see Congress ever relenting and letting him bring them to the US, so Guantanamo will remain open,вЂќ Remes said. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 25 COMMENT Secrets to stick to your resolutions While people often like to set a goal to aim for, the focus shouldnвЂ™t be on the goal but on making the many behaviour changes around achieving it of Habit and a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter. вЂњThereвЂ™s this idea that as we become older, it becomes harder to change,вЂќ he says. But research shows any habit can be changed by approaching it methodically, вЂњso you can make it ingrained in your daily lifeвЂќ. By Martha Ross San Jose Mercury News/TNS 1) Really, itвЂ™s all in your head A little understanding of the science can go a long way toward getting you started. In the late 1800s, psychologist William James theorised that we are essentially вЂњbundles of habitsвЂќ. More than 100 years later, cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists and various experiments with rats and rewards have shown James was onto something. Habits are routines - like brushing your teeth or driving to work - that we barely think about because they reside in the part of the brain that automates regular behaviours to free up the prefrontal cortex for higher-level, decision-making tasks. J anuary 1 has come and gone, which leads us to ask: how are those New YearвЂ™s resolutions coming? If you have yet to visit your new gym or are white-knuckling it through your-no-more-sugar-forever vow, you have plenty of company. Something like 88% of resolutions made by Americans fail, according to one estimate. And the problem isnвЂ™t your lack of willpower, your inability to set and accomplish long-range goals or the idea that you are too stuck in your ways. ItвЂ™s in the nature of resolutions themselves. Experts in the burgeoning science of habit change say вЂњlose weightвЂќ, вЂњmanage stress betterвЂќ, вЂњdo better at workвЂќ and other popular resolutions are too lofty or vague. Or, they involve tasks people wonвЂ™t stick with because they are too difficult or because they leave you feeling deprived. That doesnвЂ™t mean you canвЂ™t improve your life. You can, experts say, and you donвЂ™t need a special date like January 1 or furious amounts of motivation and effort. You just need to п¬Ѓgure out healthy new routines you can easily and happily incorporate into your daily life. Compiled here are 10 cutting-edge concepts from leading experts in habit change, including Charles Duhigg, the author of the 2011 bestseller The Power 2) Make changes you want DonвЂ™t make changes you feel like you вЂњshouldвЂќ do. вЂњBehaviours that feel like вЂ�shouldsвЂ™ rarely become habits,вЂќ says Stanford consulting professor B J Fogg, whose research focuses on how to use technology to make behavioural changes. And, yes, people often п¬Ѓnd they do like doing things that are good for them, but itвЂ™s important to experiment to п¬Ѓgure those out, Fogg says. вЂњThatвЂ™s one of the things that I think surprises people but is important. They have to п¬Ѓnd behaviours that they want to do.вЂќ 3) Identify triggers To replace a habit with a healthy one, you п¬Ѓrst need to dissect the вЂњneurological loopвЂќ that lies at the core of each habit, Duhigg says. do two push-ups throughout the day after going to the bathroom. Fogg expected himself to do only two. But if he felt energised to do more - and he would usually do п¬Ѓve to 12 - he would count any above two as вЂњextra creditвЂќ. Over the course of a day, he would get in 40 to 70 push-ups. FoggвЂ™s push-up regimen illustrates his вЂњTiny HabitsвЂќ method of behaviour change. вЂњOne way to change behaviour is to make small changes and to feel successful for accomplishing those,вЂќ he says. When Duhigg began researching his book, he identified the loop that prompted him to visit the company cafeteria every day between 3 and 4 oвЂ™clock to buy a chocolate chip cookie. He repeatedly vowed to end the habit, but once that time of day hit, he always ended up in the cafeteria. As MIT researchers told Duhigg, the loop consists of a cue, routine and reward. By noting the onset of his cookie craving and emotional state, then experimenting with alternate routines - walking outside - Duhigg realised he didnвЂ™t buy a cookie because he was hungry or hankering for sugar. He just wanted a break from work. 4) Create new rewards So he planned out a new routine and devised a new reward. He set an alarm for 3:30pm so heвЂ™d get up from his desk and п¬Ѓnd a work friend to chat with. He replaced the cookie habit with something else pleasurable socialising. After six months, the new habit became automatic enough that he didnвЂ™t have to think about doing it, and he didnвЂ™t miss the afternoon cookie. 5) Make small changes When Fogg, also director of Stanford UniversityвЂ™s Persuasive Tech Lab, wanted to add something new to his п¬Ѓtness regimen, he told himself to 6) DonвЂ™t take on too much As the Tiny Habits method suggests, Fogg says people donвЂ™t need to radically transform their lives to achieve results. вЂњSmall changes can have a big impact when done right,вЂќ he says. While people often like to set a goal to aim for, the focus shouldnвЂ™t be on the goal but on making the many behaviour changes around achieving it, he says. And, people shouldnвЂ™t try to tackle all those changes at once. To lose 13 kilos, for example, вЂњthere are about 50 new skills you have to learnвЂќ, he says. They can range from learning how to dine out with dietary restrictions to building time in to exercise п¬Ѓve days a week. He recommends starting with three speciп¬Ѓc and manageable changes youвЂ™ll want to do every day for the rest of your life and then reп¬Ѓning those habits or adding new ones the next week and the next. вЂњItвЂ™s something very easy to repeat and to make a habit,вЂќ he says. 7) Forget 21 days (or 28) Conventional wisdom holds that if you repeat a habit every day for three weeks, it will stick. Not so, says Christine Carter, sociologist and happiness expert at UC BerkeleyвЂ™s Greater Good Science Centre and author of the new book The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally, easy habits can take a few days to adopt, while some research suggests others can take more than two months. 8) DonвЂ™t go it alone DuhiggвЂ™s book shows how people sharing their recovery success stories in Alcoholics Anonymous inspires others in recovery to believe they, too, can change while Carter says family and friends can serve as your вЂњexternal willpowerвЂќ when dedication to a new habit falters. вЂњMost of us care what other people think of us and when we make our intentions public in some way - even if our public is just an inner circle of close friends - our intentions have more power,вЂќ Carter says. 9) Celebrate successes Carter says sheвЂ™s a big fan of giving herself a вЂњYeah, me!вЂќ mental pat on the back whenever she makes even a small accomplishment, such as setting out her exercise clothes next to her bed at night. Those tiny celebrations trigger small hits of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the brainвЂ™s reward and pleasure centre, that tells your brain itвЂ™s a habit worth repeating. 10) Shrug off setbacks Because itвЂ™s common to falter when attempting new habits, Carter urges people to forgive themselves and learn from their lapses: Maybe it shows that the new routine needs tweaking or the change is too much too soon. вЂњInstead of seeing a relapse as an indication that you arenвЂ™t good enough to establish a habit, see it as a clue that will help you better create a good habit that will stick with you for the rest of your life,вЂќ she says. Weather report Letters Three-day forecast TODAY Mixed signals I think the Traffic Department must correct the situation at the signal. In addition, roadworks are in progress at the junction now, slowing down the traffic and causing jams. Dear Sir, Amar Noble Singh The Gulf Times report about traffic lights at the Midmac Roundabout, never switching to green, but either remaining red or keeping blinking amber, was timely indeed (Midmac roundabout green signal on the blink, January 6). It causes confusion and despair among motorists. There is a mad rush to sneak through when the signal keeps blinking amber. Those motorists who wait for the green signal are forced to move by those who know that it is never going to happen. The confusion could cause major accidents. PO Box 2560 Doha Fee payment system appeal Dear Sir, The MES Indian school, being my alma mater, remains close to my heart. ItвЂ™s undoubtedly one of the best schools in the Gulf region. It has been offering good education at an affordable price. But recently, the school has changed its fee payment system. They now accept fees for an entire term only instead of monthly as was before. I do understand that this is the norm in other schools. But its sudden shift to term-fee has put many parents, especially those who are in the middle-income bracket, in a difficult situation. Parents having three or more children studying at the school will have a hard time now, I guess. It may be noted that most parents sending their children to the MES donвЂ™t get education allowance from their employers. I request the MES, the oldest Indian school in Qatar, to ease its rule of term-fee payment, accepting it monthly too. A parent (Name and address supplied) High: 16 C Low: 14 C Please send us your letters Strong wind and low visibility expected at places due to blowing dust TUESDAY By e-mail [email protected] Fax 44350474 Or Post Letters to the Editor Gulf Times P O Box 2888 Doha, Qatar High: 20 C Low : 15 C P Cloudy WEDNESDAY High: 21 C Low : 14 C P Cloudy All letters, which are subject to editing, should have the name of the writer, address and phone number. The writerвЂ™s name and address may be withheld by request. FishermenвЂ™s forecast OFFSHORE DOHA Wind: NW 18-25/32 KT Waves: 7-9/12 Feet INSHORE DOHA Wind: NW 12-22/30 KT Waves: 2-4/5 Feet Around the region Abu Dhabi Live issues Baghdad Dubai Kuwait City Manama Muscat Learning how to re-establish self respect By Barton Goldsmith Tribune News Service T o participate in the world and fulп¬Ѓl your dreams, you need to respect yourself. Without self-respect, you will always feel less than others. Self-respect is a combination of honouring yourself, not accepting negativity from other people, and knowing that you are good enough. If you п¬Ѓnd that your self-respect is low or missing altogether, you need to do some inner healing. Once your selfrespect returns, life can be wonderful again. Not having self-respect can manifest in many ways, but decreased motivation is a sure sign. How can you ask anything of other people and the world if you donвЂ™t feel worthy of even your own respect? Without selfrespect, you will always want to hide. You wonвЂ™t be empowered to reach for the stars or even go for a coffee at Starbucks. Do something nice for yourself by going somewhere you really enjoy, and tell yourself that you deserve this. The п¬Ѓrst step toward regaining your self-respect is to ask yourself what it is about yourself that you feel bad about. What donвЂ™t you respect about yourself? ItвЂ™s important to examine your internal dialogue, because your brain may be telling you things that arenвЂ™t true about yourself. Perhaps negative thoughts about yourself got planted when you were Even if you have failed at one or several things, you have talents and abilities, and you need to tap into them. a child. You may have lost some self-respect because of a job loss or a personal rejection. Many things can amplify this feeling once you let it in. But you have the power to turn around your life. ItвЂ™s important to discover what has caused you to lose your selfrespect. There is always an origin or cause. Finding out where it started is paramount to healing whatвЂ™s holding you back. Even if you have failed at one or several things, you have talents and abilities, and you need to tap into them. You canвЂ™t be inadequate at everything. You still may not have discovered what youвЂ™re best at, and you need to look for it. A lack of self-respect also can come from living in the shadow of greatness. If your parents or your partner is famous and making great strides in the world, you may question yourself, which will only increase your selfdoubt. Many of us have worked for people who have accomplished great things, but could they have done it without our help? Give yourself credit when and where it is due. You may be gauging your internal feelings about yourself on what youвЂ™ve accomplished in your life. The truth is that you have to regain your selfrespect from the inside out. One way to do this is to make a list of what is good about you, honestly looking at the person you are. Take your time, a few days at least, and you can keep adding to the list. Look at this list every day. Doing this will reinforce positive thoughts about yourself and the emotional boost will help you rebuild your selfrespect. Once your self-respect returns, you may wonder why you ever doubted yourself. You will be able to make up for lost time. Your energy will double when you regain your self-respect. zDr Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, California, is the author of The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time. Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or e-mail him at [email protected]) Riyadh Tehran Weather today P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy C Showers M Cloudy Clear Max/min 22/14 12/03 22/17 14/03 18/12 26/19 12/05 08/00 Weather tomorrow P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear Max/min 23/16 14/01 24/17 17/03 19/13 26/17 14/06 11/01 Weather tomorrow P Cloudy Clear Clear Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Rain P Cloudy C Storms P Cloudy C Rain P Cloudy Snow P Cloudy P Cloudy C Rain C Storms M Cloudy C Storms C Rain Clear Max/min 11/07 16/09 30/19 10/06 19/08 29/19 29/23 25/14 14/12 07/04 32/26 28/14 08/02 28/21 03/00 16/08 -1/-7 11/05 33/22 03/-2 28/25 28/21 10/02 Around the world Athens Beirut Bangkok Berlin Cairo Cape Town Colombo Dhaka Hong Kong Istanbul Jakarta Karachi London Manila Moscow New Delhi New York Paris Sao Paulo Seoul Singapore Sydney Tokyo Weather today Rain Clear P Cloudy C Rain Clear Clear P Cloudy Clear Rain Rain C Storms Clear Rain P Cloudy S Showers M Cloudy Ice Pallets Cloudy C Storms Clear T Storms C Showers Clear Max/min 14/06 14/08 28/21 07/07 19/10 27/19 29/23 25/14 15/12 11/03 30/25 27/18 12/07 28/21 00/-11 17/08 03/-3 09/09 33/22 02/-5 28/25 25/19 09/01 26 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 QATAR QC sets aside QR36mn for relief aid to Syria refugees Q atar Charity (QC) has allocated QR36mn for the relief aid of Syrian people, it was announced yesterday. The aid includes the distribution of stoves and fuel, blankets and winter clothing for refugees in Arsal and Shebaa and on the Syrian-Turkish border. The relief aid comes in conjunction with the allocation of QR2mn emergency aid for over 73,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and on the Turkish-Syrian border to help them face the вЂ�HudaвЂ™ storm. On Friday and Saturday, QC sent the п¬Ѓrst batch of urgent aid for distribution to Syrian refugees across Lebanon, particularly the areas of Arsal, the Shebaa Farms and the Syrian-Turkish border. This is in addition to the running of mobile clinics, at a cost of around QR2mn, out of a total QR4mn of emergency aid projects for the current winter, which will be carried out over the coming days. QC will provide food in the camps in the Bekaa Valley and the north, with an estimated 500 Syrian families in Lebanon expected to beneп¬Ѓt over the next A group of Syrian refugee children after receiving QC donated blankets and winter clothing. six months. The projects also include sponsoring 50 families that include orphans or widows. QC will establish a charity market in Al-Ashiqaa Camp in the Bekaa region. The market secures the basic services to the population of the camp at the cheapest prices. It also provides jobs for some unemployed people in the camp. In Iraq, QC will soon begin distributing heaters and blankets to hundreds of Syrian refugees to help them face the bitter cold. One of the most important projects that fall within the QR36.5mn aid package is the purchase and installation of an electric elevator in the medical complex in Arsal, a sewing project in Armoun residential complex, and the вЂ�Pillar of LifeвЂ™ project to sponsor the camps housing Syrian refugee families, such as the Mercy Camp in Akkar, in addition to вЂ�SupportвЂ™, a project to enable Syrian productive refugee families, sponsoring 50 preachers, and a programme to provide 5,000 breakfast meals in the Bekaa and Arsal. Last month QC implemented a number of health projects for the beneп¬Ѓt of displaced Syrians inside Syria. These included the vaccination of a large number of children against polio and measles at a cost of approximately QR2mn. A project for the treatment of sick and wounded Syrian refugees was also implemented at a cost of QR1mn, a power plant project and the mobilisation of oxygen for several hospitals inside Syria. QC launched a three-month psychological support project for 500 Syrian refugee children in the north of Lebanon and Akkar province. QC has also carried out projects for displaced Syrians inside and outside Syria, including a convoy of 11 trucks carrying food aid and clothing, at a cost of QR2mn and a number of agricultural projects related to the cultivation of wheat and potatoes for the beneп¬Ѓt of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, at a cost of approximately QR1mn, in addition to sponsoring 15 Syrian refugee shelters in Lebanon, at a cost of approximately QR2mn, and the establishment of edu- Syrian refugees queuing up to receive fuel supplies from QC volunteers. A QC volunteer walks with a bottle of fuel through a path flanked by shelters housing Syrian refugees. cational centres at a cost of approximately QR1.5mn. Prior to this, QC sponsored a number of conferences in favour of development in Syria, at a cost of approximately QR1mn. QCвЂ™s Syria campaign focuses on refugees and displaced persons affected by the cold, under the slogan вЂ�Before they FreezeвЂ™ and runs in co-operation with the вЂњ# Sanad_ahl_aham.вЂќ The campaign involves the collec- tion of winter clothes, electric generators, blankets and other means of heating and childrenвЂ™s games, in order to offer support to Syrians affected by the recent snow storm. QC has called on all Qatari benefactors and philanthropists to participate in this campaign by giving donations in cash or kind. The organisation can be contacted on 66348510 (Duhail area to the north) 66314798 (Rayan and its environs) 66448212 (Doha and its suburbs) and 66467838 (Al Wakrah and its suburbs). Donations for Syrian refugees can also be made by sending the word вЂ�SyriaвЂ™ to 92632 to donate QR50, to 92642 to donate QR100, to 92428 to donate QR500 and to 92429 to donate QR1,000. Donations can also be made using a credit card at the website qcharity.com, at Ooredoo self-service devices and at collection points across Qatar. More information may be had by calling 44667711. QC, recently named п¬Ѓrst globally in terms of relief for the Syrian people over the last three years, had spent QR187mn on aid for Syria people until the end of 2014, which beneп¬Ѓted 4,033,000 people. As much as 57% of these projects were for Syrians within the country and included food, shelter, health and sponsorships. QRC extends help under Warm Winter campaign T he Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) is continuing its mission to help people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, northern Iraq and southern Turkey, who have been hit by the Snowstorm Huda. вЂњThe communities concerned are plagued with political and security instability and large-scale displacement in very difficult conditions, compounded by the bitter cold weather,вЂќ QRC said in a statement yesterday. Under the Warm Winter campaign, QRC teams initiated urgent relief interventions for Syrian internally displaced people and refugees. In southern Syria, they distributed $150,000 worth of covers and winter assistance to 3,000 refugees in Al-Amal, Breiqa, Beer Ajam, and Seed refugee camps. This assistance included 6,000 blankets, 2,000 mattresses and pillows and 1,000 mats. Blankets were distributed in the Zaatari refugee camp and surrounding neighbourhoods, where the tents were drained and proofed against water. QRC staff also distributed wood and heating oil to beneп¬Ѓciaries inside Syria and on the Syrian-Turkish borders. At the same time, QRC proceeded with the winter relief programme for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, launched in the last winter in response to the instructions of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad alThani, to provide urgent assistance. Qatar offered a grant of $30mn, comprising $20mn for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and $10mn for the Syrian refugees in Turkey. QRC was assigned the task of supervising the programme and delivering the assistance to eligible beneп¬Ѓciaries. The purpose of the programme is to distribute urgent winter assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, including 120,000 mattresses, 120,000 blankets, 120,000 hygiene kits, 48,000 tarpaulins, 24,000 heaters, and 12,000,000 heating oil. So far, 21,512 families have been covered throughout Lebanon, and distribution is continuing to cover more families, sending the total number up to 58,044 families. With the onset of winter, the distributions have already begun in different parts of Lebanon under QRC supervision, in cooperation with the staff of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), under an agreement signed by the two parties in December 2013. According to the agreement, QRC would purchase Qatari child shows the way QRC volunteers distributing assistance to blizzard victims. $20mn worth of relief items in accordance with international standards, while UNHCR would distribute them to Syrian families in different Lebanese districts. Over the past few months, QRC launched several relief projects to help the Syrian refugees in Arsal, a town that is located near to the Lebanese-Syrian borders and where 100,000 Syrian refugees live in 61 largely inadequate camps. At a total cost of $407,438, some of these projects have already been completed, while others are still in progress. The п¬Ѓrst project involved providing caravans for 87 Syrian families in the вЂњWe Will ReturnвЂќ refugee camp, with all necessary services such as sewerage, drinking water, hot water, and electricity for the caravans and the camp in general. Other works included installing a water tank, building a water distribution QRC volunteers unloading relief materials for the Syrian Winter Assistance Programme. control room, and preparing the water heating system. The cost totalled $252,609. Another project involved rebuilding and refurnishing of 401 tents totally or partly damaged during the recent unrest. Costing $80,829, the project serves 511 Syrian families in п¬Ѓve camps, by providing the metal structures, sheets of fabric, and straw mats. Finally, there is a project to protect refugee camps against п¬‚oods, at a cost of $74,000 for 1,500 families. It involves digging п¬‚ood canals around п¬Ѓve camps, digging two sewerage landп¬Ѓlls, covering 25 cement rooms with metal sheets, paving walkways with gravel in 20 camps, and making 325 cement п¬‚oors in tents. QRC has urged individuals and institutions to support the Syrian refugees with heating items, by donating in one of the following means: The Qatar Red Crescent yesterday announced the sponsorship of an ambitious humanitarian initiative launched by Qatari child Ghanem Mohamed al-Muftah to raise QR10mn to provide basic needs that would help the Syrians survive the cold winter and snow which have caused several deaths, particularly among children, over the last few days. When the target is achieved and the winter assistance is purchased, al-Muftah, described as a champion of the physically challenged, will travel to Jordan to take part in the distribution, together with QRC staff working there. SMS вЂњWвЂќ to 92766 to donate QR100; SMS вЂњWвЂќ to 92770 to donate QR500; SMS вЂњWвЂќ to 92740 to donate QR1,000; call the hotline: 66644822; visit QRC headquarters in Old Slata; donate with QRC agents at City Center Doha, Landmark, Villaggio, Ezdan, Hyatt Plaza, The Mall, and Almeera branches; or transfer donations to QRC bank account at Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) - IBAN: QA11QISB001840 120150100012907. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 27 QATAR Delegates during yesterdayвЂ™s opening ceremony held at the QNCC. Go Global Organisation Conference kicks off R enowned leadership coach Jack Canп¬Ѓeld has kickstarted yesterdayвЂ™s opening of the second edition of the Go Global Organisation Conference launched by Al Qilaa for Training and Consulting with strategic partner, Ooredoo. The event, which runs from January 11 to 13 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), gathered more than 250 delegates during yester- dayвЂ™s opening ceremony. Canп¬Ѓeld, best known as the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul business series, delivered a lecture on вЂњTransformational LeadershipвЂќ. His proven formula for success reached global acclaim with his most recent national bestseller, вЂњThe success principles: how to get from where you are to where you want to be.вЂќ Canп¬Ѓeld has more than 40 yearsвЂ™ experience in coaching and training individuals, government sector, sports teams, and other organisations. TodayвЂ™s (January 12) stage will be managed by international senior executive coach Mark Thompson, who will discuss the topic вЂњSuccess built to last.вЂќ Thompson is the CEO and cofounder of Virgin Unite Mentors, Sir Richard BransonвЂ™s network for executive coaching and entrepreneurial innovation. He is also a founding patron of Virgin UniteвЂ™s Entrepreneurship Centre. Tomorrow, the event will conclude with the topic вЂњWhat got you here wonвЂ™t get you thereвЂќ by Dr Marshall Goldsmith, who is one of the top 10 most-inп¬‚uential business thinkers in the world. Goldsmith has developed a reputation as a practical, insightful, and inspirational thought leader and executive coach. Also, professional coach and trainer Dr Rashad Fakiha, who served as an adviser to renowned business leaders in the GCC region, will вЂњspice upвЂќ the culmination of the conference. During the opening ceremony, Al Qilaa deputy chairman Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Aziz alThani said: вЂњOur presence here today is a resemblance of our faith in the Qatar National Vision 2030 where human capabilities empowerment is a main pillar.вЂќ Drive to clean up deserts and beaches T he 10th National Cleanup Campaign was launched by HE the Minister of Environment, Ahmed Amer Mohamed al-Humaidi at Rwadat Al-Majidah at Al-Shammal Area on Saturday. The campaign is themed on the topic вЂњLetвЂ™s co-operateвЂќ and aims at cleaning up all the deserts, beaches and isles of Qatar. It focuses on the active involvement of both government and private entities as well as expatriates and nationals in maintaining a clean environment. HE al-Humaidi remarked that the Ministry of Environment (MoE) would provide all facilities to ensure the continuation and success of the campaign. He also urged all expatriates and Qataris to assume their responsibility towards the local environment and teach the younger generations to keep the surroundings clean. He stressed that cleanliness is a collective responsibility and the MoE is keen to maintain active co-operation with members of the public in this regard. The campaign is scheduled Jack Canfield stresses a point during his lecture. Q-Auto launches new Audi A7 Q -Auto, the official dealer for Audi in Qatar, has announced the launch of the new Audi A7 at their main showroom on Salwa Road. вЂњThe spacious п¬Ѓve-door coupe is now even more powerful and attractive вЂ“ thanks to new engine conп¬Ѓgurations, new transmissions, new headlights, taillights and new infotainment systems,вЂќ a statement said. HE the Minister of Environment launching the campaign. for two months with the support and participation of Qatar Petroleum, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, the Ministry of Defence, the Supreme Education Council, and other entities. Some 100 volunteers of Qatar Red Crescent took part at the launch of the campaign, besides senior officials from several ministries. Health training programme opens вЂњThis model gives вЂ�sedanвЂ™ a new meaning, offering customers elegance and convenience through exclusive Audi features. Its innovative design integrates the classic proportions of a large, sporty sedan with modern luxury and pioneering technologyвЂќ The new Audi A7 embodies the design and leadership of the Audi brand. When the A7 debuted in 2010, Audi was already setting new standards in automotive design, embracing an athletic aesthetic and elegance in grand style. Its long engine hood, sporty, п¬‚owing C pillars and the sharply dropping rear end create a dynamic overall impression. The revised version of the п¬Ѓvedoor model, measuring 4.97m in length, now has additional striking, sporty features. The most notable changes are to the single frame grille, bumpers, tailpipes and headlights. LED technology is now standard; upon request, Audi can supply Matrix LED headlights, which light the road optimally without causing glare for other road users. Combined with the Matrix LED headlights, dynamic turn signals are also installed at the front; they come standard at the rear. The sporty style of the exterior is echoed in the carвЂ™s interior. The dominant element is the horizontal line surrounding the driver and passenger. The dashboard gives an impression of lightness and elegance. The new interior materials include the aluminium/ Beaufort walnut inlay and standard Valcona leather. The colour palette has been redesigned, offering six colour options even for the seats. The TFSI technology employed in the latest model, allows for better fuel utilisation and reduced consumption. The engine is paired with the S tronic transmission and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive, allowing the car to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds. вЂњWe are excited to be bringing the new Audi A7 to Qatar,вЂќ said Ala Makey, sales manager. вЂњThis model gives вЂ�sedanвЂ™ a new meaning, offering customers elegance and convenience through exclusive Audi features. Its innovative design integrates the classic proportions of a large, sporty sedan with modern luxury and pioneering technology. The model is one of the most eagerly anticipated models of 2015 in the Audi range, and weвЂ™re certain that its indistinguishable features will stand out in the local marketвЂќ. The Audi dealership gives customers a number of options to purchase the Audi A7 which includes in-house п¬Ѓnancing, vehicle leasing and guaranteed buyback options. Clients can also п¬Ѓnd the best deal possible to п¬Ѓnance their purchase with banks recommended by Audi Qatar, including QNB, Doha Bank and QIB. The Supreme Council of Health yesterday inaugurated a five-day training programme on basic occupational and environmental health services in co-operation with the East Mediterranean Regional Office of World Health Organisation. This is the second module of a five-module training programme, launched last year. The third and fourth one will be completed in March and May and the last one will be towards the end of the year. A total of 30 general practitioners are participating in the present module. The participants are seen with SCHвЂ™s Public Health director Dr Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani and Occupational Health Services head Dr Mohamed Ali al-Hajaj. Free screening of Where The Wild Things Are T he Doha Film Institute will continue its family-oriented free outdoor pop-up cinema screenings this weekend with fantasy adventure п¬Ѓlm Where The Wild Things Are. Taking place at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park on Friday (January 16) at 7pm, the screening is free of charge and seating is on a п¬Ѓrst-come п¬Ѓrst-served basis. Where The Wild Things Are is the feature п¬Ѓlm adaptation of Maurice SendakвЂ™s classic childrenвЂ™s book. Directed by innovative п¬Ѓlmmaker Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Her), the п¬Ѓlm follows the adventure of Max, a mischievous young boy who is sent to his room after rebelling against his mother. However, MaxвЂ™s imagination is free to roam, and it soon transports him to a thriving forest bordering a vast sea. Delighted, Max sets sail for the land of the Wild Things, where mischief reigns and Max rules. The п¬Ѓlm is described as a magical combination live-action, animatronics and computer generated imagery. It stars Max Records and Catherine Keener and features the voices of James Gandolп¬Ѓni, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, Forest Whitaker, Catherine OвЂ™Hara and Chris Cooper. The screening is part of the Doha Film InstituteвЂ™s ongoing Pop-up Cinema, a series of free outdoor screenings for п¬Ѓlm-lovers in Qatar taking place throughout the cooler months, and featuring the InstituteвЂ™s signature mix of specialty п¬Ѓlm programming and unique cultural events. The п¬Ѓlm is in English and will be presented with Arabic subtitles. More information on Pop-up Cinema dates and timings and other Doha Film Institute screenings and events may be had from www.dohaп¬Ѓlminstitute.com The new Audi A7 is presented by Q-Auto official Ala Makey. EGYPT GROWTH | Page 2 REGIONAL SHIFT | Page 16 Minister vows to make foreign spend easier Foreign investors in London realty force locals out Monday, January 12, 2015 Rabia I 21, 1436 AH GULF TIMES GULF MARKETS RALLY: Page 3 Qatar shares drop as IQ touches 10% lower circuit filter BUSINESS Qatar international reserves hit record high of $46.5bn in November: QNB By Pratap John Chief Business Reporter B uoyed up by the current account surplus, QatarвЂ™s international reserves jumped $6.9bn in a year and reached an all-time high of $46.5bn in endNovember, a new report has shown. The countryвЂ™s international reserves stood at $39.6bn in November 2013, QNB said in its latest monthly monitor. вЂњThe large increase reп¬‚ects the strong current account surplus Qatar is enjoying, despite lower international oil prices. The import cover stood at 8.7 months at end-November 2014, well above the IMF-recommended level of three months for pegged exchange rates,вЂќ QNB said. QatarвЂ™s international reserves have been steadily rising over the years on account of the countryвЂ™s large current account surpluses. Going forward, QNB expects international reserves to rise further in 2015 on continued current account surpluses. The report shows that QatarвЂ™s oil production fell and prices declined in November on вЂњweaker global demandвЂќ. The stagnant eurozone economy, the recession in Japan and the slowdown in emerging markets are contributing to the weakness in hydrocarbon demand and a supply glut, which is putting downward pressure on international oil prices. QatarвЂ™s crude oil production has been on a general decline, but вЂњredevelopment plans should stabilise outputвЂќ, QNB said. Qatar Petroleum (QP) is implementing a redevelopment programme to steady production at its oil п¬Ѓelds. The heavy investment in existing oil п¬Ѓelds such as Bul Hanine, Al Shaheen and Dukhan, should stabilise oil production at about 700,000 bpd. According to QNB, the countryвЂ™s foreign merchandise trade balance registered a surplus of QR24.9bn in November last year. The surplus decreased 17.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) partly as a result of lower international crude oil prices, which reduced total exports by 10.7%. At the same time, imports rose strongly, 13.8% year-on-year, reп¬‚ecting the growing population and large investment spending. Total exports in November stood at QR35bn and imports at QR10.1bn. Japan topped the export destination in November, accounting for 22.6% of QatarвЂ™s exports, followed by South Korea (16.8%) and India (13.5%). The US was the largest exporter Ooredoo plans to support more вЂ�smart citiesвЂ™ Ooredoo has reaffirmed its commitment to enhance the companyвЂ™s leadership role in вЂњSmart CityвЂќ technologies this 2015 by building on its expertise in this field and recognising the growing demand for related services across its global footprint. More than 10 major cities within OoredooвЂ™s footprint have been classified as вЂњmega-citiesвЂќ hosting a population of more than 10mn, with similar communities expected to grow as rural populations move into bigger urban areas. To address this, Ooredoo said this year it expects to see a rise in the number of smart cities вЂ“ urban areas that use ICT solutions to address mobile, transport, energy sustainability, infrastructure, governance, and security issues. As cities worldwide deal with a growing range of issues, including over-population, traffic congestion, pollution, and high levels of energy consumption, smart cities are emerging as a significant opportunity to enrich society. According to Ooredoo, there is a strong demand in emerging economies across its key markets, the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region and Southeast Asia. According to research group IHS Technology, the number of smart cities worldwide will quadruple from 21 in 2013 to 88 by 2025. Ooredoo said it supported a number of important smart city strategic initiatives over the past year across its operations вЂњto stay at the cutting-edge of this trend.вЂќ In December 2014, Ooredoo Qatar was confirmed as a Lead Partner in the Smart Cities Council, a leading industry coalition formed to accelerate the move to smart, sustainable cities. Ooredoo joined global leaders in the smart cities sector who sit on the council, including IBM, Microsoft, MasterCard, and Cisco. As Lead Partner in the Smart Cities Council, Ooredoo will have the opportunity to aid the direction of the emerging smart cities sector in Qatar, the region, and across the world. The company will also contribute to the Smart Cities CouncilвЂ™s body of knowledge including city tools and resources, mentoring, and workshops. Ooredoo recently introduced a host of cutting-edge technologies such as the Ooredoo Machine to Machine (M2M) services to Qatar, enabling companies to connect business assets directly with each other or with a central command centre. It also launched The Smart Living-Baytcom Project at the recent ITU Telecom World 2014 вЂ“ a вЂњProof of Concept Demo HouseвЂќ equipped with next generation smart living concepts. In addition, OoredooвЂ™s Indosat organised a major conference on smart technology in Jakarta, Indonesia last year, to bring together experts from across the field. The event, вЂњSmart ICT for your Business Success,вЂќ saw a keynote presentation by the Mayor of Bandung, about the application of smart city technologies in his city, which is the second largest metropolitan area in Indonesia with a sprawling urban population of around 9mn. At the event, experts and practitioners conducted in-depth analysis of the implementation, scope, and benefits of a range of solutions, including smart mobility, smart connectivity, and smart IT sourcing, discussing how to plan, implement, and operate the smart IT ecosystem with cloud-based applications and infrastructural choices. Indosat also launched three smart services at the event, premiering MyApps, an Application Marketplace; WAN Optimiser, to optimise the Wide Area Network (WAN) bandwidth for businesses, and its own M2M Platform. Ooredoo is already working with a number of leading organisations to support the development of smart cities, and has signed a strategic alliance with KT Corp of Korea to introduce new concepts and innovations. The company is currently implementing a cloudbased Machine to Machine (M2M) platform, which would be rolled out in several countries across its footprint this year. The M2M services would be available for businesses and can also play a key role in implementing smart city technologies. to Qatar in November (13.2%), followed by China (9.5%) and Germany (7.8%). QNBвЂ™s monthly monitor shows the countryвЂ™s non-hydrocarbon sector continues to drive economic growth, pushing its share of GDP to over half (50.7%) in Q3, 2014. Real GDP (gross domestic product) growth accelerated to 6% in the year to Q3, 2014, from 5.7% in the previous quarter. Growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector reached 12% year-on-year in Q3, 2014 (11.9% for the п¬Ѓrst nine months of 2014). вЂњThis is higher than our forecast of 11.2% for the full year,вЂќ QNB said. On the other hand, the hydrocarbon sector declined 2.8% year-onyear in Q3, 2014 as a result of lower crude oil production and temporary gas production shutdowns for maintenance, the report said. The report also said QatarвЂ™s overall economic outlook remains strong and the key driver of growth will continue to be the non-hydrocarbon sector, supporting the continued diversiп¬Ѓcation of the economy. Growth is expected to accelerate further in 2015; QNB said and added the implementation of large infrastructure projects and a large inп¬‚ux of expatriates will continue to drive double-digit growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector. вЂ�Gulf needs to overhaul diversification strategies to build on limited successвЂ™ By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter Economic diversification in the Gulf countries have so far met with limited success, hence there is a need to overhaul the strategies through reorientation of public spending and strengthening the private sector competition, according to a study. вЂњGoing forward, diversification in the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) will require realigning incentives for firms and workers,вЂќ an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper said. Finding that the GCC countries have been implementing many policies to support economic diversification, it said while the share of non- hydrocarbons output in GDP (gross domestic product) has increased steadily, export diversification has been more limited. Further diversification would make these economies less reliant on volatile hydrocarbon revenues, would create high-valueadded private sector jobs for nationals, and would establish the non-oil economy that will be needed when oil reserves are eventually exhausted, the paper said. Measures could include developing backward and forward linkages across sectors with a comparative advantage, and implementing labour reforms to incentivise private sector employment of nationals and improvements in productivity, said the paper. At present, the distribution of oil revenues within the economy crowds out non-oil tradables production and producing nontradables is less risky and more profitable for firms because they can benefit from the rapid growth in government spending. The easy availability of low- skilled, lowwage foreign labour has helped extract larger rents, the IMF paper said. The continued availability of public sector jobs discourages nationals from pursuing entrepreneurship and private sector employment. In addition to measures that improve the business environment, there is a need to fundamentally alter these incentivesвЂ”to fill a вЂњmissing linkвЂќ in current policies. While the GCC does not appear to suffer from traditional Dutch-disease problems that afflict many commodity-producing countries via an overvalued real exchange rate, the distribution of oil revenues within the economy may crowd out non-oil tradables production in other ways. The ready availability of low-wage expatriate labour in the region has meant that high oil revenues and oil wealth have not pushed up wages in the private sector. Consequently, conventional Dutch- disease effects have not been evident. However, the distribution of oil revenues does have important effects on the incentive structure in the economy that crowds out non-oil tradables production. The relatively higher wages and benefits available for nationals in the public sector often make it a more attractive employment choice, particularly for lower-skilled workers, compared with the private sector. At the same time, for firms, producing goods and services to meet the consumption and investment needs of the domestic market, while relying on low-wage foreign labour, is a more reliable income source than attempting to enter riskier export markets. Producing in the tradables sector is typically more challenging and riskier because firms have to continually invest in new technologies to be internationally competitive; albeit, it can enable them to grow faster if the domestic market size is small. In the GCC, producing non-tradables is less risky and more profitable because rapid growth in government spending on infrastructure and wages has contributed to strong growth in low-value-added sectors such as construction, trade and retail, transport, and restaurants. The paper said producing goods and services to meet the consumption and investment needs of the domestic market has so far been a reliable income source, made possible by recycled oil revenues. This has provided incentives for economic activity to shift into mostly low-skilled sectors, contributing to declining labour and total factor productivity. In fact, large infrastructure projects may exacerbate the crowding out of the tradables sector as they increase risk-adjusted returns in the non-tradables sector, it added. Suggesting that reforms are therefore needed to change the existing incentive structure, the IMF paper said there was a need to limit the public sector employment and strengthen social safety nets. вЂ�Made in China Exhibition 2015 in Doha to provide great opportunitiesвЂ™ A senior Qatari diplomat has said the вЂ�Made in China Exhibition 2015вЂ™ in Doha in December this year will be a good opportunity for Chinese companies to open new markets in the region and expand the Qatari-Chinese trade relationship. Abdulla bin Saif al-Khayarin, п¬Ѓrst secretary at the Qatar Embassy in Beijing, said in a joint press conference with senior officials at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce that Qatar pursued a strategy aimed at encouraging Chinese companies to invest and operate in the Qatari market, in different sectors such as industry, trade, communications, services, infrastructure and other areas, where the countryвЂ™s п¬Ѓrms have вЂњgood expertise and reputationвЂќ. He said such an exhibition was the outcome of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-ThaniвЂ™s successful visit to China in November last year. At that time, it was agreed to open up QatarвЂ™s market for Chinese companies and investors. вЂњThe organisation of this major regional and international exhibition will give Chinese companies an opportunity to directly explore the Qatari market and the other markets in the region. Further, it is a Al-Khayarin with Qatari and Chinese officials at a recent joint press conference in Beijing. practical implementation of the call made by the leadership of both the countries to enhance bilateral trade,вЂќ he said. Al-Khayarin called upon Chinese companies to reserve space at the upcoming exhibition in advance as it could be an вЂњexcellent opportunityвЂќ for them to have direct communication and relationship with Qatari companies and the business community as well as other GCC п¬Ѓrms. Saleh Hamad al-Sharqi, a senior executive at the Qatar Chamber, said, вЂњWe want вЂ�Made in China Exhibition 2015вЂ™ to be an exceptionally distinguished one, where Chinese companies could display their latest innovation in technology and industry. This in turn would contribute to our plans in Qatar and help the country in its ongoing comprehensive development, particularly in construction and infrastructure sectors.вЂќ Meanwhile, Chinese officials expressed their keenness to make the exhibition a вЂњgreat success and a real valueвЂќ to their companies. Currently, there are specialised committees discussing the creation of a free trade zone involving China and GCC countries. Legal frameworks for this are expected to be п¬Ѓnalised before June. вЂ�Made in China Exhibition 2015вЂ™ will be hosted by the Qatar Chamber and supported by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. It is scheduled to be held from December 14 to 16 in Doha. The event would focus on three major sectors: infrastructure, technology and construction. A senior delegation from the QC also took part at the press brieп¬Ѓng in Beijing. 2 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 BUSINESS QPMC enhances washed sand distribution capacity to daily 33,000 tonnes Qatar Primary Materials Company (QPMC) has increased its washed sand distribution capacity to 33,000 tonnes per day (tpd). QPMC said its decision followed вЂњlow productionвЂќ at the Qatar Sand Treatment Plant, which resulted in shortages in washed sand supply in the market. The new capacity meant that an additional 15,000tpd of washed sand will be available in the local market. Besides meeting the needs of the market, it will help control the prices, the company said yesterday. Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company CEO Abdulrahman al-Ansari, praised QPMC for its support and contribution and said, вЂњI would like to thank Qatar Primary Materials Company for its invaluable support in this critical time; this initiative demonstrates high professionalism, efficiency and collaboration. I am extremely proud of this partnership, sharing the same vision to put the countryвЂ™s needs first and actively contribute to QatarвЂ™s national development.вЂќ QPMC was established under instructions from the government in 2006 to ensure supplies of building materials to the local market. The company now owns and operates strategic assets within Qatar, and provides complete solutions for port management, logistics and supply chain, storage and delivery of key primary materials to meet Qatar requirements up to 2022 and beyond. Gulf sentiment stays strong despite plunging oil prices Oil plunge may cost GCC several hundred billion dollars in 2015; some building projects likely to be slowed or cancelled; but data shows consumer, corporate sentiment strong; government reserves provide massive support to economies; GCC could keep growing for years in this environment Reuters Dubai I tвЂ™s a weekend morning at the Dubai Mall, a glitzy complex with 1,200 stores, and the shoppers are pouring in. A traffic jam has formed in the basement parking area. With passenger arrivals at DubaiвЂ™s airport at record highs, retailers expect a good month. The 55% plunge of oil prices since last June might be expected to usher in an age of austerity in the Gulf, which faces a steep drop in its income. But austerity isnвЂ™t happening. The economic defences which the Gulf states built up after the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis п¬Ѓve years ago, to cope with just such a drop in oil, are holding. Consumers are still spending, companies are investing, and governments are announcing record budgets for 2015. Some economists expect growth in the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council to accelerate this year. A number of building projects are likely to be slowed or suspended, especially in Bahrain and Oman, the smallest and п¬Ѓnancially weakest economies in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). If oil stays at current levels for several years, the big GCC economies may be forced into painful spending cuts. But for the foreseeable future, itвЂ™s largely business as usual in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, which have accumulated such large п¬Ѓscal re- serves that they can comfortably keep state spending at high levels. This is sustaining consumer and corporate sentiment as oil slides. Jarir, a top Saudi retailer, reported a 20% yearon-year jump in fourth-quarter sales. December purchasing manager surveys in Saudi Arabia and the UAE showed non-oil business growing at roughly the same pace as in June. Iyad Malas, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim-Holding, one of the GulfвЂ™s top shopping mall and leisure operators with over 27,000 employees, said the regionвЂ™s business community was uncertain about oil prices but expected solid growth this year. вЂњBig infrastructure projects have started and government spending is continuing...WeвЂ™re not expecting a slowdown in retail sales this year in Saudi or the region,вЂќ he told Reuters, adding Majid Al Futtaim saw no rea- son to alter investment plans. The cost to the Gulf of cheaper oil is huge. Jason Tuvey at LondonвЂ™s Capital Economics estimates that if Brent crude averages $60 a barrel this year, GCC states will run a combined current account deп¬Ѓcit of $60bn. If oil were at $110, as it was in June, they would enjoy a surplus of $300bn. But the structure of the GulfвЂ™s oil industry minimises the direct impact of oil price changes on economies. Oil export revenues do not п¬‚ow straight to the private sector but to governments, which decide how much of them to spend. That means the key factor for economies is not the oil price but state budget policy. Government announcements over the past two weeks indicate state spending may fall marginally in real terms this year but will stay high and near record levels. The government of Saudi Arabia, by far the largest GCC economy, plans to raise nominal 2015 spending by 0.6% from its 2014 plan. Dubai announced a 9% spending increase, and even Oman plans a 4.5% rise. Top officials of other GCC governments, including Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kuwait, have said spending on economic development will not be cut. Some governments are using the oil price slide to raise taxes or cut subsidies, but are stopping well short of austerity. Kuwait cut diesel fuel subsidies but ruled out similar action for petrol; Abu Dhabi raised utility fees. So growth in the region looks unlikely to fall much if at all this year, and may actually accelerate if other factors are favourable. For example the initial, negative impact of Saudi labour reforms, designed to push more local citizens into jobs by making it harder to hire foreigners, seems to be fading. вЂњWe project real GDP growth in the GCC region to accelerate in the range of 5.0 to 5.5% in 2015 from an estimated 4.7% in 2014,вЂќ said Joannes Mongardini, head of economics at Qatar National Bank, the countryвЂ™s largest bank. He added: вЂњUnless there is a cut in public investments - which is not expected - in the region, we do not see a major impact on overall business sentimentвЂќ from cheaper oil. GCC governments wonвЂ™t be able to avoid big spending cuts indeп¬Ѓnitely if oil prices stay low. With Brent at $50, the current level, all of them would probably run budget deп¬Ѓcits. But their п¬Ѓnancial reserves are so large that they could cope with such deп¬Ѓcits for years; the GCCвЂ™s foreign exchange reserves and sovereign wealth fund assets are worth over 160% of gross domestic product, Capital Economics calculates. Investment bank VTB Capital estimates that at an oil price of $60, the assets of the four big GCC states could fund public spending at current levels for two to п¬Ѓve years, or cover budget deп¬Ѓcits for four to 14 years - all without recourse to debt, while keeping the GCCвЂ™s currency pegs to the US dollar. So far, professional investors seem equally conп¬Ѓdent. GCC stock markets dominated by retail investors have plunged, but many fund managers think they were over-valued. Bond and currency forward markets have moved little, showing investors donвЂ™t expect п¬Ѓnancial stress in the region. John Sfakianakis, regional director of asset manager Ashmore in Riyadh, said that after a boom in the past decade, the Gulf was entering a new era because of cheaper oil - an era of slightly more modest growth, but by no means a slump. вЂњThere will still be good growth, not necessarily a substantial fall - rates of around 4.3 to 4.5%,вЂќ he said. Egypt minister vows to make foreign investment easier Bureaucracy scares foreign investors; minister seeks to create one-stop shop for investors; paying debt to foreign oil companies key: minister Reuters Cairo E gypt expects resistance to a new uniп¬Ѓed investment law designed to tackle stiп¬‚ing bureaucracy but hopes to implement it in March nevertheless, the investment minister told Reuters yesterday. Ashraf Salman said the law was critical to winning the conп¬Ѓdence of foreign investors who currently must secure permits from 78 government agencies to start a company in Egypt, a process that can up to п¬Ѓve years. The idea is to create a one-stop shop that will make life easier for foreign investors also discouraged by political turmoil and militant violence which have weakened the economy since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Salman acknowledged that winning effective backing for the law from numerous government agencies could be difficult. вЂњI will be naive if I say no. Deп¬Ѓnitely I will be getting resistance because this is a continuous change process,вЂќ he said Reuters in an interview. вЂњWe are expecting that (government agencies) imagine I am taking their mandates. I am not taking their mandates. I am rearranging the process and automating the process.вЂќ Salman identiп¬Ѓed red tape as the main impediment to more foreign investment in Egypt, where the economic growth rate over the last three years was around 2%, too slow to reduce widespread unemployment. EgyptвЂ™s economy has been kept aп¬‚oat by its Gulf Arab allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait after the armyвЂ™s ouster of elected former president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013. Egypt aims for economic growth of at least 4% in 2015 and hopes to boost this gradually to at least 7% on average for the next decade. The cumbersome process of getting the investment law passed high- People talk as they stand looking over the Suez Cana in Ismailia City (file). Foreign investment in Egypt is expected reach about $2bn in the second quarter of the fiscal year, up from $1.8bn dollars in the previous quarter. The country hopes to attract $18bn a year by 2018 - a highly ambitious target. lights the bureaucracy that has hurt Egypt for decades. The draft law was sent to 33 ministries and 16 institutions, from an economic ministerial committee to universities and lawyers for consultations, said Salman. A planned вЂњhigher investment councilвЂќ will help resolve the investor disputes and bureaucratic obstacles that have hampered investment, the minister said. Getting the law passed before Egypt holds an investment conference in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh in mid-MarchвЂ”where it hopes to secure domestic and foreign investment of $10bn-$12bnвЂ”could send a signal that Egypt means business. вЂњIt should be presented to the economic committee to take a decision to pass it to the legislative committee in order to put it into the process to the president to become a decree before the 10th of March,вЂќ said Salman. The former banker said the law would also address other concerns for foreign investors, such as making their deals less vulnerable to legal disputes and changes in government and preserving the price of land agreed in contracts. Foreign investment in Egypt is expected reach about $2bn in the second quarter of the п¬Ѓscal year, up from $1.8bn dollars in the previous quarter, Salman said. Egypt hopes to attract $18bn a year by 2018 - a highly ambitious target. Salman said Egypt also needed to п¬Ѓght corruption and make sure billions of dollars of debts to foreign oil companies are paid. Sixty percent of foreign investment п¬‚ows into the petroleum sector, said Salman. The government still owes foreign oil companies $3.2bn, he added. вЂњPaying this will affect our (credit) rating, will affect our foreign direct investment from the oil sector, and from other sectoral investors,вЂќ said Salman. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 3 BUSINESS Qatar shares drop as IQ hits lower 10% circuit п¬Ѓlter By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter I ndustries Qatar notably hit the lower 10% circuit п¬Ѓlter; eroding more than QR18bn in notional wealth and leading to a huge 292 points decline in the countryвЂ™s bourse yesterday. More than 76% of the stocks were in the red as the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) knocked off 2.37% to 12,014.35 points as volume also fell. Foreign institutions continued to be bearish, dragging the Qatar Stock Exchange, which is down 2.21% year-to-date. Market capitalisation fell 2.71% to QR659.08bn with large, micro and mid cap equities losing 2.52%, 2.36% and 1.11% respectively; while micro caps were up 0.07%. Selling pressure, however, subsided among local retail investors in the market, where trade was highly skewed towards realty and industrials, which accounted for more than 70% of the total volume. The Total Return Index shed 2.37% to 17,919.29 points, the All Share Index by 2.27% to 3,079.92 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 2.31% to 4,035.24 points. Industrials stocks shrank 5.32%, followed by insurance (2.13%), telecom (1.87%), real estate (1.27%), banks and п¬Ѓnancial services (1.23%), consumer More than 76% of the stocks were in the red yesterday as the 20-stock Qatar Index knocked off 2.37% to 12,014.35 points as volume also fell. goods (0.75%) and transport (0.28%). Apart from IQ, the other inп¬‚uential shakers were Aamal Company, Gulf International Services, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Barwa, Ezdan, QNB, Doha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Islamic Holding Group and Vodafone Qatar. Qatar Islamic Bank and Salam International Investment bucked the trend. Foreign institutionsвЂ™ net profit-booking fell to QR69.36mn against QR70.79mn the previous day. Domestic institutionsвЂ™ net buying sunk to QR51.5mn compared to QR119.28mn last Thursday. Non-Qatari individual investorsвЂ™ net buying strengthened to QR12.17mn against QR7.6mn on January 8. Qatari retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR5.63mn compared with net proп¬Ѓt-takers of QR56.09mn the previous trading day. Total trade volume shrank 54% to 9.53mn shares, value by 39% to QR611.68mn and transactions by 42% to 6,050. The telecom sectorвЂ™s trade volume plummeted 73% to 0.51mn stocks, value by 69% to QR12.03mn and deals by 51% to 356. The real estate sector saw its trade volume plunge 58% to 3.97mn equities, value by 62% to QR114.68mn and transactions by 42% to 1,632. The banks and п¬Ѓnancial services reported a 54% shrinkage in trade volume to 1.33mn shares, 42% in value to QR131.46mn and 45% in deals to 1,258. The market witnessed a 51% fall in the consumer goods sectorвЂ™s trade volume to 0.33mn stocks, value by 44% to QR25.97mn and transactions also by 44% to 402. The transport sectorвЂ™s trade volume tanked 50% to 0.53mn equities, value by 54% to QR15.52mn and deals by 50% to 150. There was a 42% decline in the industrials sectorвЂ™s trade volume to 2.73mn shares, 11% in value to QR301.28mn and transactions by 36% to 2,194. The insurance sectorвЂ™s trade volume deп¬‚ated 32% to 0.13mn stocks, value by 31% to QR10.74mn and deals by 64% to 58. In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds. VenezuelaвЂ™s President Nicolas Maduro (left) is welcomed by Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s Crown Prince Salman in Riyadh yesterday. VenezuelaвЂ™s economy contracted in the first three quarters of 2014 and its international reserves have deteriorated sharply due to the tumbling oil prices which hit new lows last week below $50 per barrel, around half their value in June 2014. Venezuelan president seeks support from Saudi on oil prices Reuters Riyadh V enezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s Crown Prince Salman in Riyadh yesterday as part of a diplomatic tour of Opec members to discuss falling oil prices, which have hit the South American nationвЂ™s economy hard. The Saudi side in the meeting included Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and several top princes including Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin, intelligence chief Prince Khaled bin Bandar and three sons of King Abdullah, who is in hospital, state media reported. No details of the meeting were given by the official Saudi Press Agency and neither Maduro nor his delegation have made any comment about their talks. On Saturday Iran vowed to help Venezuela stem the oil prices fall. MaduroвЂ™ next stop will be in Qatar, followed by a visit to Algeria. VenezuelaвЂ™s economy contracted in the п¬Ѓrst three quarters of 2014 and its international reserves have deteriorated sharply due to the tumbling oil prices which hit new lows last week below $50 per barrel, around half their value in June 2014. The decline has spurred concerns that Venezuela may default on its foreign bonds, which in turn has pushed its bond yields to the highest of any emerging market nation. Maduro has denied his country will default. At the last Opec meeting on November 27, Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the Opec oil exporter group for production cuts to arrest a slide in global prices. Venezuela said last month it was considering backing a call for an emergency Opec meeting depending upon how oil prices perform in the п¬Ѓrst quarter of 2015. Al Khaliji implements new dividend system Al Khalij Commercial Bank (Al Khaliji) has announced the implementation of a new dividend payment system in line with international best practices. Through this system, Al Khaliji shareholders now have several dividend collection options at Al Khaliji branches, including cash, cheque, or deposit into the shareholderвЂ™s account following the submission of all necessary documents. The shareholder can also make a transfer to any local or international bank account. Shareholders can visit any of Al Khaliji branches in Bin Omran, C-Ring, City Center, The Pearl, or Landmark Mall to inquire about their dividend history and collect dividend cheques for all previous years. Shareholders can also inquire about their dividends by calling a dedicated number +97444940077 anytime. To ensure that shareholders get their dividends easy, safe, and fast, Al Khaliji has urged them to update their records at the Qatar Central Securities Depository through their main bank. Details about Al Khaliji dividend distribution are available on www.alkhaliji.com Al Khaliji shareholders now have several dividend collection options Most Gulf markets rally Reuters Dubai M ost Gulf stock markets maintained their positive momentum yesterday, supported by good corporate news, but major petrochemical producer Industries Qatar tumbled and dragged down the Doha bourse after announcing a dividend cut. Petrochemical stocks underperformed yesterday in Saudi Arabia, where the sectorвЂ™s index edged up 0.5%. The overall Saudi market index rose 1.9%, largely on the back of banking stocks. National Commercial Bank rose 1.9%, Al Rajhi Bank added 4.1% and Bank Albilad surged 4.8%. AlbiladвЂ™s board last Thursday recommended a 0.5 riyal per share dividend for 2014, its first dividend in at least five years, along with issuing one bonus share per four shares held. Shares in Yanbu Cement jumped 3.2% after it said its fourth-quarter profit had risen 20.6%, even though full-year profit declined 2.3%. DubaiвЂ™s bourse jumped 2.7% in a broad rally led by property-related stocks. Major developer Emaar Properties rose 5.8% and its smaller competitors Union Properties and Deyaar climbed 4.2% and 4.7% respectively. The emirateвЂ™s property stocks were beaten down in the panic selling that engulfed the bourse during December as oil slid, and are attracting fresh interest as some investors realise an international city such as Dubai could actually benefit from cheaper oil if that spurs global growth. Also, having closed their books for last year, some funds may now be returning to buy blue chips such as Emaar with the new yearвЂ™s allocations. Positive momentum in the sector could boost another Dubai property developer, DAMAC, which will list on the emirateвЂ™s main bourse today. DAMAC, currently listed only in London, last traded at 5.9 times its 2013 earnings, a big discount to Emaar and DeyaarвЂ™s ratios of 20.5 and 31.8 times respectively. Bourse operator Dubai Financial Market surged 6.7%, continuing the leg up which started last week after Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said the UAE government would favour a merger of the main Abu Dhabi and Dubai bourses, although the decision was up to the exchanges themselves. Abu DhabiвЂ™s benchmark was nearly flat, but developer Aldar Properties jumped 2.9%. OmanвЂ™s index jumped 2.4% and shares in Oman Cables Industry rose 4.4% after it reported a 4.9% increase in 2014 profit. The company earned 17.7mn rials ($46mn) last year, slightly surpassing the estimates of analysts, who had on average forecast a profit of 17.0mn rials. KuwaitвЂ™s bourse added 1.1% and EgyptвЂ™s index weakened by 0.4% as most stocks pulled back. Elsewhere, KuwaitвЂ™s index added 1.1% to 6,563 points, while BahrainвЂ™s measure inched up 0.04% 1,426 points. 4 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 BUSINESS SaudiвЂ™s ACWA Power wins в‚¬1.7bn Morocco solar power deal Reuters Rabat Visitors inspect DAMAC section at the exhibition of Global Cityscape 2014, at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. DAMAC in December received approval from the UAEвЂ™s Securities and Commodities Authority to list on the DFM, according to a filing to the London Stock Exchange. DAMAC to list on Dubai bourse today Reuters Dubai D ubaiвЂ™s DAMAC will list on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) today, a bourse spokesman said, after the developer offered holders of its London-listed global depository receipts (GDRs) shares in its holding company instead. DAMAC in December received approval from the UAEвЂ™s Securities and Commodities Authority to list on the DFM, according to a п¬Ѓling to the London Stock Exchange. The developer offered 23.08 shares in its holding company for each GDR held in Damac Real Estate Development Co (DRED) in an offer that closed last Friday. The holding company - owner of about 86% of DRED, Naeem Brokerage estimates - will now list on the DFM today, a bourse spokesman said. GDR holders own the remainder of DRED. вЂњWe believe that the DFM listing would provide a good boost to DAMACвЂ™s stock proп¬Ѓle,вЂќ Naeem Brokerage wrote in a note. вЂњIn general, it does make п¬Ѓnancial sense for companies to be listed in markets where they operate, and importantly, the move should help improve the stockвЂ™s liquidity and attract more retail investors.вЂќ Naeem estimates more than 90% of DAMACвЂ™s property handovers will be in Dubai. вЂњWith such high exposure towards Dubai, management cannot afford to ignore local listing, especially given the participation from local/retail investors,вЂќ Naeem added, giving the stock an accumulate recommendation. DAMAC listed in London in December 2013, raising $348mn from the GDR sale. It was the п¬Ѓrst Dubai property п¬Ѓrm to list on the UK exchange but joined a number of other UAE companies to go public there due to the Gulf countryвЂ™s unfavourable regulatory regime. DAMAC reported a 166% rise in third-quarter proп¬Ѓt in November, on the back of DubaiвЂ™s buoyant real estate market. UAEвЂ™s Al Jaber conп¬Ѓrms CEO exit Reuters Dubai/Abu Dhabi A bu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group conп¬Ѓrmed yesterday its chief executive, David Nelson, had left the group, although it declined to comment on sources telling Reuters the conglomerate had also scrapped plans to sell its heavy lift unit. The group, whose main business is construction but also has interests in areas from retail to aviation, sealed a drawn-out debt restructuring agreement in June which is said to have set new terms on around $4.5bn of obligations. The family-owned group brought in Nelson in late-2012 as part of an introduction of outside personnel into senior management aimed at reviewing and modernising business practices after a debt-fuelled expansion got it into trouble. However, a spokesman conп¬Ѓrmed yesterday that Nelson had left for family reasons and Mike Grant, the companyвЂ™s chief restructuring officer, had assumed the position of interim CEO. A source aware of the matter said Nelson resigned around two months ago. Grant joined Al Jaber as restructuring head in November 2011. The group has seen a number of management changes in the last two years. Richard Hollands, who was named п¬Ѓnance head in November 2011, resigned in April 2013. He was replaced by Robert Palazzo, who served as an interim CFO until incumbent Sam Deeb was appointed in January 2014. A consortium led by Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s ACWA Power International has won a в‚¬1.7bn contract to build two solar power plants totalling 350MW in the southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, the Moroccan solar energy agency (Masen) said in a statement. The two plants are the second phase of the 500MW Ouarzazate project, which is part of a government plan to produce 2 gigawatts of solar power by 2020, equivalent to about 38% of MoroccoвЂ™s current installed generation capacity. ACWA Power is already building a 160MW plant in the first stage of the project in the Ouarzazate area. AcwaвЂ™s consortium, which includes SpainвЂ™s Sener, had priced its offer at 1.36 dirhams ($0.15) per kilowatt (KW) for the first 200MW plant with parabolic mirror technology, while it priced the plant with solar power tower technology at 1.42 dirhams per KW. Consortiums led by SpainвЂ™s Abengoa, GDFвЂ™s International Power and ACWA Power were pre-selected for the 200 MW (Noor II) tender. The three groups were also pre-qualified for the 150 MW (Noor III) tender, along with another consortium led by Electricite de France (EDF). Sources have told Reuters that consortiums led by ACWA and SpainвЂ™s Abengoa have bid the lowest to build the two plants. If Masen decides to combine the bids for the two plants, the ACWA bids overall would beat AbengoaвЂ™s, the sources added. The plants are scheduled to start generating power in 2017. To finance the plants, Morocco has secured The plants are the second phase of the 500MW Ouarzazate project, which is part of a government plan to produce 2 gigawatts of solar power by 2020, equivalent to about 38% of MoroccoвЂ™s current installed generation capacity loans of $519mn from the World Bank, в‚¬654mn from German state-owned bank KFW and the rest from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Commission and European Investment Bank. Facing an electricity demand that rises by an annual 7% and a gaping trade deficit from heavy reliance on fossil fuel imports, Morocco also hopes renewable energy will enable it to export electricity to energy-hungry trade partner, the European Union. Coupled with another multibillion dollar wind energy development scheme, the solar development plan should reduce MoroccoвЂ™s annual imports of fossil fuels by 2.5mn tonnes of oil equivalent and prevent emissions of 9mn tonnes of carbon dioxide. Masen is expected to announce the two next solar plants, which would be located in Midelt (central) and Tata (south) towns with an estimated 500MW each. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 5 BUSINESS AmazonвЂ™s speedy refunds set pace for e-commerce product returns Bloomberg San Francisco A mazon.com Inc is known for its efforts to woo consumers with fast deliveries and vast product selection. It turns out the Web retailer is just as assertive when it comes to refunds for returned merchandise. The Seattle-based company takes 1.3 days on average to return cash, the quickest among online stores, according to new research from StellaService Inc, which tracks e-commerce data. While most Web stores will only pay once a return parcel is on its way, Amazon offers instant refunds for some purchases, issuing immediate credit and 30 days to return a product. Instead of tying up cash and pre- venting customers from buying other things, AmazonвЂ™s aim is to get people spending again. ThatвЂ™s especially critical during and after the annual holiday shopping season, when gift returns spike and consumers are predisposed to buy merchandise. Fast refunds are also important in Internet commerce because shoppers buy things they havenвЂ™t touched or tried, making return rates higher than in retail outlets. вЂњAmazon is killing it on refunds and others should follow suit,вЂќ said Eduardo Vilar, chief executive officer of Returnly Technologies Inc, a San Francisco company that researches retail returns. вЂњCustomers who are given the right experience on a return are more loyal shoppers.вЂќ AmazonвЂ™s instant refund, which was rolled out quietly last year, gave the Web retailer the fastest refundprocessing time out of 40 companies measured by StellaService. Lisa Draper, 53, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, bought a laptop cover from Amazon as a Christmas gift for her son. After noticing a defect when it arrived, she went to AmazonвЂ™s website and clicked the return option. The money was credited the next day and she bought and received a replacement before he returned to school this month. вЂњI didnвЂ™t want to have to charge the item twice on my credit card,вЂќ Draper, who owns an electrical-contracting business, said. вЂњI was not expecting to have the refund so quickly, and that was nice.вЂќ After introducing instant refunds in early 2014, Amazon has gradually made it the default option for more returns during the year, according to Kevon Hills, director of research at New York-based StellaService. In the quarter that ended in September, Amazon customers requesting refunds had money credited to their accounts in just more than a day, three days faster than the same period in the previous year, he said. вЂњOther retailers are interested in getting faster, too,вЂќ Hills said. вЂњThe refund process is the last experience customers have with a retailer, and you donвЂ™t want it to be a bad experience.вЂќ Kelly Cheeseman, a spokeswoman for Amazon, declined to comment on changes made to the companyвЂ™s refund policies. вЂњOur goal is to make sure customers are satisп¬Ѓed with their experience with Cheap oilвЂ™s global GDP boost offset by Europe, Brazil woes Bloomberg Ottawa P lunging oil prices are giving a bump to consumer and business spending around the world - just not enough to increase global growth forecasts. A darkening outlook in emerging markets including China, Russia and Brazil and geopolitical risks such as GreeceвЂ™s possible exit from the euro are overshadowing the beneп¬Ѓts from lower energy costs. The median estimate for 2015 world expansion from economists surveyed by Bloomberg News has been unchanged since October, when it fell to 3.5% from 3.6%. вЂњPeople are cautious in a world where they see other risks skewed to the downside,вЂќ said Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co in New York. вЂњThereвЂ™s still a question mark out there.вЂќ EconomistsвЂ™ reluctance to boost estimates underscores the fragility of global growth after four straight years of below- forecast expansion. JPMorgan is a case in point: It estimates that sustained $60-a-barrel crude oil prices will add 0.5% to global gross domestic product, yet its January 2 world expansion forecast of 2.9% for 2015 is down from a 3.3% estimate in July. The US, with a 3.2% expansion estimate, is the only one among the worldвЂ™s 10 biggest economies that JPMorgan now sees growing more quickly than expected in July. The bank projects emerging markets will grow 3.9% this year, down from its July forecast of 4.9%, reп¬‚ecting markdowns for nations including Russia, Brazil and India. OilвЂ™s 55% decline since June, the steepest rout since the global financial crisis, has benefited haven assets such as US Treasuries while depressing the currencies of crude exporters such as Russia. The MSCI All-Country World Index of stocks has dropped about 3.6% in the same period. Data released on Friday highlighted the relative strength of the US in the global economy. US employment rose more than forecast in December and the jobless rate declined to 5.6%, capping the best year for the labour market since 1999. Meanwhile, GermanyвЂ™s industrial production unexpectedly fell in November from the previous month as energy output slumped, while ChinaвЂ™s factory-gate prices in December extended a record stretch of year-over-year declines with the sharpest drop since 2012. Lower oil prices may not be the вЂњmanna from heavenвЂќ some forecasters are expecting, HSBC Holdings economists Stephen King and Karen Ward said in a report on Thursday. High levels of debt in developed nations are likely to blunt the beneп¬Ѓts of monetary easing, while declines in oil and other commodities are straining emerging countries, they said. вЂњThe global economy was losing momentum and disinп¬‚ation was building, meaning pricing power was being lost, before anything started to happen in the oil market,вЂќ Ward, whoвЂ™s based in London, said in a phone interview. Federal Reserve officials last month saw a mixed bag in oil prices and the state of the global economy, according to minutes of their December meeting, released this week in Washington. While some policy makers said the drop in oil would have a positive impact on overseas employment and output, many officials вЂњregarded the international situation as an important source of downside risks,вЂќ especially if oilвЂ™s decline and weak growth abroad affect п¬Ѓnancial markets, the minutes said. The International Monetary Fund estimates that declining oil prices will increase global output by a range of 0.3% to 0.7% this year by boosting household incomes and lowering input costs for businesses, according to a blog post last month by chief economist Olivier Blanchard and Rabah Arezki, the head of the fundвЂ™s commodities research. Yet Blanchard and Arezki gave a disclaimer in their blog, saying that the estimates of the impact from oilвЂ™s drop donвЂ™t вЂњrepresent a forecast for the state of the world economy in 2015 and beyond.вЂќ The IMF will release an update to its World Economic Outlook later this month. Amazon whether they are shopping or returning an item,вЂќ Cheeseman said. AmazonвЂ™s closest competitors in refund-processing speed include online furniture and home goods retailer Wayfair Inc and personal computer and printer-maker Hewlett-Packard Co, which both took about three days to issue refunds, according to StellaService. The average refund-processing time of the 40 companies tracked by the researcher was more than nine days. вЂњA lot of retailers want to put their energy into increasing sales and making more money, but you have to look at making your customers happy,вЂќ Niraj Shah, CEO of Boston-based Wayfair, said in an interview. вЂњThat refund delay, even if we can explain it logically, itвЂ™s still emotionally frustrating.вЂќ An Amazon.com employee lifts a box from a conveyor at the companyвЂ™s facility in Tracy, California. The Seattle-based company takes 1.3 days on average to return cash, the quickest among online stores, according to new research from StellaService Inc, which tracks e-commerce data. 6 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 BUSINESS SAUDI ARABIA Company Name QATAR Company Name Zad Holding Co Widam Food Co Vodafone Qatar United Development Co Salam International Investme Qatar & Oman Investment Co Qatar Navigation Qatar National Cement Co Qatar National Bank Qatar Islamic Insurance Qatar Industrial Manufactur Qatar International Islamic Qatari Investors Group Qatar Islamic Bank Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat) Qatar General Insurance & Re Qatar German Co For Medical Qatar Fuel Co Qatar Electricity & Water Co Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib Qatar Insurance Co Ooredoo Qsc National Leasing Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi Al Meera Consumer Goods Co Medicare Group Mannai Corporation Qsc Masraf Al Rayan Al Khalij Commercial Bank Industries Qatar Islamic Holding Group Gulf Warehousing Company Gulf International Services Ezdan Holding Group Doha Insurance Co Doha Bank Qsc Dlala Holding Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc Barwa Real Estate Co Al Khaleej Takaful Group Aamal Co Lt Price 85.00 60.20 15.25 23.67 16.20 15.20 97.50 132.10 210.00 76.80 43.95 79.90 38.35 106.00 23.00 53.10 9.71 204.00 186.40 40.10 85.30 116.00 19.80 19.29 28.20 200.00 126.40 108.00 43.25 21.50 158.40 110.00 55.50 98.40 14.54 28.00 55.00 43.15 67.50 42.00 50.00 14.20 % Chg 1.19 -1.31 -1.61 -0.55 2.08 -1.04 -0.51 -0.38 -1.41 -0.78 0.00 -0.75 -2.29 0.95 0.00 -9.39 -1.12 -1.88 -1.11 0.00 -0.47 -1.94 -1.10 0.47 -2.25 0.20 1.12 0.19 -1.48 -2.27 -10.00 -5.17 -0.72 -1.60 -1.09 -0.71 -2.31 0.35 -0.74 -2.10 -1.19 -2.54 Volume 22,950 50,237 463,004 98,083 142,471 48,415 18,162 6,501 188,836 3,117 450 89,405 28,245 269,909 453,048 500 16,273 65,763 41,108 115,707 42,675 24,387 1,232,340 285,484 9,767 25,271 19,561 228,651 530 1,487,727 315,999 61,240 388,189 824,584 2,770 133,378 10,513 20,662 1,811,255 7,128 474,233 SAUDI ARABIA Company Name Saudi Hollandi Bank Al-Ahsa Development Co. Al-Baha Development & Invest Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur Allied Cooperative Insurance Arriyadh Development Company Fitaihi Holding Group Arabia Insurance Cooperative Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev Al Babtain Power & Telecommu Bank Albilad Alujain Corporation (Alco) Aldrees Petroleum And Transp Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C Alinma Bank Alinma Tokio Marine Al Khaleej Training And Educ Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera Almarai Co Saudi Integrated Telecom Co Alsorayai Group Al Tayyar Amana Cooperative Insurance Anaam International Holding Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Arabian Pipes Co Advanced Petrochemicals Co Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative Arabian Cement Arab National Bank Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co United Wire Factories Compan Astra Industrial Group Alahli Takaful Co Aseer Axa Cooperative Insurance Basic Chemical Industries Bishah Agriculture Bank Al-Jazira Banque Saudi Fransi United International Transpo Bupa Arabia For Cooperative Buruj Cooperative Insurance Saudi Airlines Catering Co Methanol Chemicals Co City Cement Co Eastern Cement Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat Etihad Etisalat Co Emaar Economic City Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu United Electronics Co Falcom Saudi Equity Etf Filing & Packing Materials M Wafrah For Industry And Deve Falcom Petrochemical Etf Gulf General Cooperative Ins Jazan Development Co Gulf Union Cooperative Insur Halwani Bros Co Hail Cement Herfy Food Services Co Al Jouf Agriculture Developm Jarir Marketing Co Jabal Omar Development Co Al Jouf Cement Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co Knowledge Economic City Kingdom Holding Co Saudi Arabian Mining Co Malath Cooperative & Reinsur Makkah Construction & Devepl Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran Middle East Specialized Cabl Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co Al Mouwasat Medical Services The National Agriculture Dev Najran Cement Co Nama Chemicals Co National Gypsum National Gas & Industrializa National Industrialization C Maadaniyah National Shipping Co Of/The National Petrochemical Co Rabigh Refining And Petroche Al Qassim Agricultural Co Qassim Cement/The Red Sea Housing Services Co Saudi Research And Marketing Riyad Bank Al Rajhi Bank Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co Lt Price 42.57 14.76 13.50 54.18 23.35 20.80 22.69 17.04 34.11 14.80 74.50 8.10 28.72 44.81 16.48 50.96 95.20 19.98 43.20 67.87 29.70 38.04 75.65 24.30 16.12 123.71 13.67 28.46 99.85 20.24 41.43 39.83 81.36 32.27 77.36 37.26 31.39 51.75 24.49 39.03 33.54 69.75 27.99 31.59 67.72 160.04 36.63 181.58 12.17 21.79 57.25 6.99 47.18 13.26 27.10 81.23 28.60 45.43 37.17 25.10 26.74 14.34 18.85 83.92 24.09 96.61 44.14 182.74 52.25 14.02 11.57 17.73 17.49 31.55 30.87 78.50 53.11 19.65 12.55 126.50 33.00 28.91 10.63 24.41 31.77 27.74 30.92 33.99 23.11 18.84 11.98 92.67 37.02 16.00 17.05 55.10 13.20 % Chg 2.09 0.48 0.00 2.63 1.88 1.17 4.27 5.19 -0.18 1.30 9.96 0.62 3.01 4.87 0.73 -1.36 1.18 0.15 9.78 1.25 1.12 6.94 1.57 0.00 0.88 4.26 -1.30 1.57 -0.14 -0.64 -0.46 4.29 1.43 5.80 3.48 8.00 2.92 9.97 0.74 4.83 3.33 0.00 2.60 0.64 1.32 0.49 0.63 3.08 0.75 -1.45 1.78 -0.29 7.42 4.25 2.11 2.00 0.00 1.59 3.94 0.00 2.69 0.99 6.02 -3.15 1.18 0.64 1.03 0.05 0.50 0.29 3.77 2.49 0.58 0.16 0.03 1.32 -0.15 -9.95 0.00 1.61 0.76 2.16 0.76 2.39 0.57 1.99 1.11 0.15 0.78 1.07 0.17 1.22 2.24 -0.93 1.25 4.32 0.84 Volume 42,323 1,160,836 522,766 893,679 730,262 546,511 885,550 237,756 1,313,448 469,283 25,552,429 396,286 2,533,751 638,713 770,567 216,188 40,226,919 74,713 150,747 4,953,609 819,628 76,560 361,819 209,648 2,014,922 416,197 227,528 1,113,705 1,193,125 1,298,215 140,783 235,377 1,544,731 368,936 1,396,525 1,109,094 531,959 1,567,988 482,597 2,245,123 353,415 233,269 41,129 1,214,828 37,268 1,010,385 1,504,286 100,143 3,617,385 8,462,233 2,435,903 1,750,872 578,076 384,242 2,639,885 966 1,572,974 837,649 1,574,605 111,789 440,161 44,519 79,471 71,929 710,982 5,672,676 16,236,920 1,781,671 651,317 6,228,188 4,308,333 27,515 460,797 9,855,737 127,476 191,292 217,101 2,687,499 722,238 48,186 622,775 1,438,913 982,972 85,403 4,196,367 860,015 12,209 286,869 496,411 730,756 7,651,719 1,529,155 Saudi British Bank Sabb Takaful Saudi Basic Industries Corp Saudi Cement Sasco Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran Saudi Advanced Industries Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co Salama Cooperative Insurance Samba Financial Group Sanad Cooperative Insurance Saudi Public Transport Co Saudi Arabia Refineries Co Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei Savola Saudi Cable Co Saudi Chemical Company Saudi Ceramic Saudi Electricity Co Saudi Fisheries Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co Dur Hospitality Co Arabian Shield Cooperative Saudi Investment Bank/The Saudi Industrial Development Saudi Industrial Export Co KUWAIT Lt Price 54.91 31.05 78.46 98.20 25.63 116.75 141.78 27.28 19.44 36.57 28.19 39.81 15.23 23.22 50.60 28.00 9.00 80.96 9.40 54.46 106.44 15.25 26.30 63.85 32.40 36.14 25.71 15.11 40.11 % Chg 1.35 4.09 -0.76 0.38 2.11 0.34 0.85 1.45 1.57 0.19 0.89 2.10 0.00 0.56 1.65 0.00 0.78 5.49 1.84 2.58 2.31 0.93 -1.57 2.24 7.07 0.08 0.27 0.67 2.66 Volume 124,742 1,407,078 4,054,887 34,403 1,396,805 23,294 143,411 3,297,225 1,211,637 838,478 810,757 563,543 1,411,118 293,921 3,486,235 258,813 798,093 355,815 246,504 1,641,832 339,047 185,560 602,040 459,648 526,339 1,588,999 477,974 KUWAIT Company Name Securities Group Co Viva Kuwait Telecom Co Sultan Center Food Products Kuwait Foundry Co Sak Kuwait Financial Centre Sak Ajial Real Estate Entmt Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc Kuwait Finance & Investment National Industries Co Kuwait Real Estate Holding C Securities House/The Boubyan Petrochemicals Co Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) National Bank Of Kuwait Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Kuwait International Bank Gulf Bank Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co Al Arabiya Real Estate Co Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co Alkout Industrial Projects C AвЂ™ayan Real Estate Co Investors Holding Group Co.K Markaz Real Estate Fund Al-Mazaya Holding Co Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co Gulf Petroleum Investment Mabanee Co Sakc City Group Inovest Co Bsc Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing Al-Deera Holding Co Alshamel International Hold Mena Real Estate Co National Slaughter House Amar Finance & Leasing Co United Projects Group Kscc National Consumer Holding Co Amwal International Investme Jeeran Holdings Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C Nafais Holding Safwan Trading & Contracting Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate Gulf Finance House Ec Energy House Holding Co Kscc Kuwait Slaughter House Co Kuwait Co For Process Plant Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K National Ranges Company Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser Al-Themar Real International Al Ahleia Insurance Co Sak Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C Aqar Real Estate Investments Hayat Communications Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc Alargan International Real Burgan Co For Well Drilling Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc Oula Fuel Marketing Co Palms Agro Production Co Ikarus Petroleum Industries Mubarrad Transport Co Al Mowasat Health Care Co Shuaiba Industrial Co Kuwait Invest Co Holding Hits Telecom Holding First Takaful Insurance Co Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co National Cleaning Company Eyas For High & Technical Ed United Real Estate Company Agility Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv Fujairah Cement Industries Livestock Transport & Tradng International Resorts Co National Industries Grp Hold Marine Services Co Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate Warba Insurance Co Kuwait United Poultry Co First Dubai Real Estate Deve Al Arabi Group Holding Co Kuwait Hotels Co Mobile Telecommunications Co Al Safat Real Estate Co Tamdeen Real Estate Co Ksc Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co Kuwait Cement Co Ksc Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Kuwait Portland Cement Co Educational Holding Group Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Kuwait China Investment Co Kuwait Investment Co Burgan Bank Kuwait Projects Co Holdings Al Madina For Finance And In Kuwait Insurance Co Al Masaken Intl Real Estate Intl Financial Advisors First Investment Co Kscc Al Mal Investment Company Bayan Investment Co Kscc Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae Coast Investment Development Privatization Holding Compan Kuwait Medical Services Co Injazzat Real State Company Kuwait Cable Vision Sak Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc Ithmaar Bank Bsc Aviation Lease And Finance C Arzan Financial Group For Fi Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co Manafae Investment Co Kuwait Business Town Real Es Future Kid Entertainment And Specialities Group Holding C Abyaar Real Eastate Developm Lt Price 112.00 710.00 92.00 310.00 122.00 214.00 435.00 59.00 196.00 40.00 79.00 590.00 400.00 650.00 900.00 640.00 250.00 295.00 70.00 45.50 61.00 0.00 92.00 33.00 1.52 134.00 31.00 95.00 980.00 390.00 68.00 170.00 13.00 0.00 40.00 0.00 62.00 770.00 108.00 34.00 64.00 97.00 88.00 0.00 122.00 25.00 94.00 216.00 260.00 0.00 31.00 0.00 90.00 490.00 59.00 92.00 95.00 66.00 405.00 138.00 186.00 198.00 87.00 140.00 120.00 146.00 64.00 184.00 255.00 0.00 32.50 0.00 14.50 67.00 310.00 100.00 740.00 48.00 74.00 134.00 41.00 190.00 112.00 14.00 118.00 180.00 71.00 156.00 178.00 520.00 25.00 455.00 80.00 370.00 88.00 1,340.00 164.00 0.00 48.50 146.00 480.00 700.00 31.00 285.00 68.00 41.50 0.00 33.00 61.00 200.00 60.00 52.00 85.00 70.00 35.00 60.00 49.50 248.00 49.00 40.50 62.00 37.50 114.00 130.00 32.50 % Chg 0.00 5.97 0.00 -1.59 8.93 0.00 -4.40 1.72 -3.92 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.17 1.12 0.00 0.81 3.51 0.00 1.11 5.17 0.00 1.10 8.20 0.00 4.69 0.00 5.56 2.08 -6.02 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.23 5.43 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.04 5.62 -4.42 0.00 0.00 8.77 0.00 0.00 -1.01 7.27 1.10 0.00 3.13 0.00 -1.43 2.20 0.00 0.00 1.45 0.00 1.39 3.23 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.56 0.00 0.00 1.52 0.00 0.00 2.78 0.00 0.00 -1.47 -1.20 1.06 3.70 0.00 1.72 0.00 7.58 1.30 0.00 1.96 4.17 0.00 6.67 0.00 -2.22 3.08 0.00 0.00 1.04 1.39 0.00 0.00 3.33 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.00 6.45 5.17 0.00 5.26 1.96 0.00 4.48 -1.41 1.69 2.06 0.81 3.16 6.58 0.00 5.63 0.00 0.00 1.56 Volume 50,000 8,619,502 2,101 18,100 100 10,000 35,000 60,376 356 53,063 298,894 253,663 9,074 40,020 681,869 330 578,608 2,327,977 3 3,097,312 1,664,228 472,837 29,297,792 4,339,057 214,530 3,727,206 130,050 3,039 119,500 500 10,407,054 3,000 100 2,000 1,000 545,535 5,100 3,162,123 2,500 17,654 65,594,223 293,020 4,030 50 17,797,906 421,144 20,000 6,990 281,540 5,000 749,936 1 92,633 327,000 2,500 277,500 366,170 1,750 25,464 2,376,859 1,500 182,800 11,831,606 1,167,743 5,005,887 50 20,000 500,127 100 612,088 22,654 804,514 1,352,999 10,110 48,633 189 159 3,256,176 37,100 12,157 889,319 23,536,768 65,000 2,720,214 2,739 1,128,550 5,005 827 1,202,854 172,237 56,988 1,298,212 5,548,080 120,348 100 5,242,575 3,628,023 4,052,841 908,862 4,429,628 5,914,256 100 114,729 1,500 132,000 15,606,764 46,329 795,313 851,178 100,000 7,503,041 500 300 6,023,936 Company Name Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C Al-Dar National Real Estate Kgl Logistics Company Kscc Combined Group Contracting Zima Holding Co Ksc Qurain Holding Co Boubyan Intl Industries Hold Gulf Investment House Boubyan Bank K.S.C Ahli United Bank B.S.C Al-Safat Tec Holding Co Al-Eid Food Co Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co Advanced Technology Co Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C Kout Food Group Ksc Real Estate Trade Centers Co Acico Industries Co Kscc Kipco Asset Management Co National Petroleum Services Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc Ras Al Khaimah White Cement Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Human Soft Holding Co Ksc Automated Systems Co Metal & Recycling Co Gulf Franchising Holding Co Al-EnmaвЂ™a Real Estate Co National Mobile Telecommuni Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc Union Real Estate Co Housing Finance Co Sak Al Salam Group Holding Co United Foodstuff Industries Al Aman Investment Company Mashaer Holdings Co Ksc Manazel Holding Mushrif Trading & Contractin Tijara And Real Estate Inves Kuwait Building Materials Jazeera Airways Commercial Real Estate Co Future Communications Co National International Co Taameer Real Estate Invest C Gulf Cement Co Heavy Engineering And Ship B Refrigeration Industries & S National Real Estate Co Al Safat Energy Holding Comp Kuwait National Cinema Co Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co Independent Petroleum Group Kuwait Real Estate Co Ksc Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind Al Nawadi Holding Co Ksc Kuwait Finance House OMAN Lt Price 0.00 25.00 102.00 900.00 100.00 14.00 67.00 58.00 415.00 242.00 60.00 0.00 194.00 0.00 39.00 840.00 35.50 300.00 96.00 610.00 70.00 128.00 200.00 60.00 400.00 390.00 86.00 65.00 77.00 1,400.00 0.00 148.00 17.50 58.00 202.00 76.00 146.00 46.50 63.00 59.00 440.00 440.00 95.00 124.00 58.00 35.50 91.00 148.00 350.00 130.00 23.50 990.00 80.00 435.00 73.00 380.00 660.00 120.00 730.00 % Chg 0.00 2.04 2.00 0.00 -7.41 7.69 1.52 3.57 1.22 0.83 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.00 -1.39 0.00 2.13 0.00 1.45 3.23 0.00 5.26 -1.23 0.00 0.00 8.33 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.71 0.00 1.75 -4.72 1.33 -1.35 2.20 3.28 0.00 0.00 1.15 2.15 -6.06 3.57 1.43 1.11 5.71 0.00 0.00 4.44 1.02 0.00 0.00 2.82 1.33 -1.49 0.00 1.39 Volume 27,588,345 545,000 10,000 1,000 8,070,139 401,510 9,583,723 541,155 826,626 222 60,811 2,275,187 150,027 5,250 55,000 370,025 2,000 1,477,548 8 250 1,952,964 1,000 4,950 500 1 2,116,742 980 100 4,680,763 4,172,037 5,000 694,004 17,702 6,408,726 555,293 904,192 230 64,195 177,889 114,600 1 715,465 55,850 10,001 280 63,954 13,088,039 10,000 375,364 250 1,472,821 607 9,000 87,500 1,600,738 OMAN Company Name Voltamp Energy Saog United Finance Co United Power Co United Power/Energy Co- Pref Al Madina Investment Co Taageer Finance Salalah Port Services AвЂ™saffa Foods Saog Sohar Poultry Shell Oman Marketing Shell Oman Marketing - Pref Smn Power Holding Saog Al Shurooq Inv Ser Al Sharqiya Invest Holding Sohar Power Co Salalah Beach Resort Saog Salalah Mills Co Sahara Hospitality Renaissance Services Saog Raysut Cement Co Port Service Corporation Packaging Co Ltd Oman United Insurance Co Oman Textile Holding Co Saog Oman Telecommunications Co Sweets Of Oman Oman Orix Leasing Co. Oman Refreshment Co Oman Packaging Oman Oil Marketing Company 0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref Oman National Investment Co Oman National Engineering An Oman National Dairy Products Ominvest Oman Medical Projects Oman Ceramic Com Oman Intl Marketing Oman Investment & Finance Hsbc Bank Oman Oman Hotels & Tourism Co Oman Holding International Oman Fiber Optics Oman Flour Mills Oman Filters Industry Oman Fisheries Co Oman Education & Training In Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50% Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50% Oman Europe Foods Industries Oman Cement Co Oman Chlorine Oman Chromite Oman Cables Industry Oman Agricultural Dev Omani Qatari Telecommunicati National Securities Oman Foods International Soa National Pharmaceutical-Rts National Pharmaceutical National Packaging Fac National Mineral Water National Hospitality Institu National Gas Co National Finance Co National Detergents/The National Carpet Factory National Bank Of Oman Saog National Biscuit Industries National Real Estate Develop Natl Aluminium Products Muscat Thread Mills Co Muscat Insurance Company Modern Poultry Farms Muscat National Holding Musandam Marketing & Invest Al Maha Petroleum Products M Muscat Gases Company Saog Majan Glass Company Muscat Finance Al Kamil Power Co Interior Hotels Hotels Management Co Interna Al-Hassan Engineering Co Gulf Stone Gulf Mushroom Company Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar Gulf Investments Services Gulf International Chemicals Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd Global Fin Investment Galfar Engineering&Contract Galfar Engineering -Prefer Financial Services Co. Flexible Ind Packages Lt Price 0.39 0.14 1.50 1.00 0.00 0.15 0.65 0.78 0.21 2.00 1.05 0.66 1.04 0.14 0.38 1.38 1.49 2.45 0.48 1.70 0.34 0.48 0.28 0.30 1.73 1.35 0.15 2.45 0.26 2.24 0.25 0.36 0.30 0.00 0.42 0.00 0.45 0.52 0.22 0.00 0.23 0.00 5.51 0.59 0.02 0.07 0.14 0.13 0.00 1.00 0.52 0.56 3.64 2.00 1.45 0.00 0.16 0.52 0.00 0.10 0.00 0.06 2.05 0.56 0.15 0.70 0.00 0.32 3.75 0.00 0.31 0.16 0.00 0.00 1.86 0.00 2.21 0.83 0.24 0.15 0.31 0.00 1.25 0.10 0.08 0.43 0.15 0.15 0.16 10.50 0.12 0.19 0.43 0.16 0.00 % Chg 5.41 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.66 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.15 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.56 1.80 0.00 0.00 4.07 0.00 2.37 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.88 0.00 0.00 0.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.76 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.41 0.72 5.60 0.00 0.00 1.18 0.00 0.00 4.44 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.82 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.89 0.00 0.00 -2.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.97 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.48 2.52 0.00 0.00 8.72 0.00 0.00 0.00 Volume 78,110 313,502 20,000 6,000 3,241,691 2,110 7 203,080 9,362 1,100 775,406 371,604 365,584 926,641 1,703,962 47,496 10,000 2,386,840 47,209 220,789 290,500 752,392 138,000 792,483 3,381,162 348,242 1,650 1,112,549 - Company Name Financial Corp/The Dhofar Tourism Dhofar Poultry Aloula Co Dhofar Intl Development Dhofar Insurance Dhofar University Dhofar Power Co Dhofar Power Co-Pfd Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu Dhofar Cattlefeed Al Batinah Dev & Inv Dhofar Beverages Co Computer Stationery Inds Construction Materials Ind Cement & Gypsum Pro Marine Bander Al-Rowdha Bank Sohar Bankmuscat Saog Bank Dhofar Saog Al Batinah Hotels Majan College Areej Vegetable Oils Al Jazeera Steel Products Co Al Sallan Food Industry Acwa Power Barka Saog Al-Omaniya Financial Service Taghleef Industries Saog Gulf Plastic Industries Co Al Jazeera Services Al Jazerah Services -Pfd Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co Ahli Bank Abrasives Manufacturing Co S Al-Batinah Intl Saog Lt Price 0.13 0.49 0.18 0.53 0.53 0.23 1.47 0.00 0.00 1.28 0.19 0.12 0.26 0.25 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.23 0.56 0.34 1.13 0.50 5.51 0.34 0.00 0.82 0.33 0.00 0.39 0.31 0.55 0.75 0.24 0.05 0.00 % Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 8.84 1.45 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.99 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.03 0.00 0.00 0.85 0.00 0.00 Volume 183,710 198,545 2,566,244 2,686,686 2,750 57,040 215,044 698,641 - UAE Company Name National Takaful Company Waha Capital Pjsc Union Insurance Co Union National Bank/Abu Dhab United Insurance Company Union Cement Co United Arab Bank Abu Dhabi National Takaful C Abu Dhabi National Energy Co #N/A Invalid Security Sorouh Real Estate Company Sharjah Insurance Company Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Ras Al Khaima Poultry Ras Al Khaimah White Cement Rak Properties Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai Ooredoo Qsc Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50% National Marine Dredging Co National Corp Tourism & Hote Sharjah Islamic Bank National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw National Bank Of Fujairah National Bank Of Abu Dhabi Methaq Takaful Insurance #N/A Invalid Security Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp Invest Bank Insurance House Gulf Medical Projects Gulf Livestock Co Green Crescent Insurance Co Gulf Cement Co Foodco Holding Finance House First Gulf Bank Fujairah Cement Industries Fujairah Building Industries Emirates Telecom Corporation Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc) Emirates Driving Company Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S. Dana Gas Commercial Bank Internationa Bank Of Sharjah Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi Al Wathba National Insurance Intl Fish Farming Co Pjsc Arkan Building Materials Co Aldar Properties Pjsc Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co. Al Khazna Insurance Co Agthia Group Pjsc Al Fujairah National Insuran Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co Abu Dhabi National Insurance Abu Dhabi National Hotels Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Abu Dhabi Aviation Lt Price 0.85 2.91 1.19 5.82 2.00 1.12 6.40 7.24 0.79 0.00 0.00 3.90 1.18 1.27 1.51 0.73 3.60 3.00 0.98 8.15 143.50 1.31 1.17 6.90 4.97 1.76 3.75 4.85 13.45 0.75 0.00 2.89 2.45 1.00 2.00 2.70 0.83 1.15 4.00 3.55 17.00 1.35 1.45 10.90 0.80 7.00 5.50 7.70 0.50 1.75 1.97 0.84 5.35 4.86 1.11 2.52 55.00 0.40 5.92 300.00 2.03 5.80 3.95 5.66 6.99 3.00 % Chg 0.00 1.39 0.00 1.22 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.66 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.39 0.00 -0.33 -1.01 0.62 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.56 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.77 0.00 0.00 -0.58 0.00 0.00 -0.46 1.27 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.04 0.00 0.51 0.00 0.00 0.00 -4.31 2.86 0.00 0.00 -2.15 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.07 -0.14 0.00 Volume 679,000 125,057 2,122 9,933,091 115,000 96,000 15,000 32,124 18,481 474,413 551,000 888,082 1,608,530 34,095,945 5,490,125 712,900 282,024 18,898,462 5,868 603,329 597,209 100,000 BAHRAIN Company Name United Paper Industries Bsc United Gulf Investment Corp United Gulf Bank United Finance Co Trafco Group Bsc Takaful International Co Taib Bank -$Us Securities & Investment Co Seef Properties #N/A Invalid Security Al-Salam Bank Delmon Poultry Co National Hotels Co National Bank Of Bahrain Nass Corp Bsc Khaleeji Commercial Bank Ithmaar Bank Bsc Investcorp Bank -$Us Inovest Co Bsc Intl Investment Group-Kuwait Gulf Monetary Group Global Investment House Kpsc Gulf Finance House Ec Bahrain Family Leisure Co Esterad Investment Co B.S.C. Bahrain Duty Free Complex Bahrain Car Park Co Bahrain Cinema Co Bahrain Tourism Co Bahraini Saudi Bank/The Bahrain National Holding Bankmuscat Saog Bmmi Bsc Bmb Investment Bank Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Bahrain Islamic Bank Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C Bahrain Flour Mills Co Bahrain Commercial Facilitie Bbk Bsc Bahrain Telecom Co Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin Albaraka Banking Group Banader Hotels Co Ahli United Bank B.S.C Lt Price 0.00 0.00 0.39 0.00 0.22 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.19 0.00 0.12 0.00 0.00 0.85 0.17 0.04 0.16 0.00 0.21 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.88 ` 1.55 0.22 0.00 0.42 0.00 0.87 0.00 0.00 0.15 0.83 0.00 0.00 0.47 0.33 0.00 0.81 0.00 0.81 % Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.61 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Volume 10,742 30,000 161,000 100,000 3,000 10,000 126,000 100,000 30,000 9,087 6,000 2,911 50,000 25,000 59,139 22,000 12,000 13,346 10,000 5,000 155,000 LATEST MARKET CLOSING FIGURES Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 13 BUSINESS Sony has no plans to sell music publishing business: says CEO Bloomberg Los Angeles S A man walks near Hutchison House (left) in central Hong Kong. Cheung Kong Holdings has offered $24bn in stock to buy out unit Hutchison Whampoa and will spin off its property assets in the biggest reorganisation of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shingвЂ™s corporate empire. Cheung Kong to buy out Hutchison in $24bn deal Bloomberg Hong Kong C heung Kong Holdings offered $24bn in stock to buy out unit Hutchison Whampoa and will spin off its property assets in the biggest reorganisation of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shingвЂ™s corporate empire. Cheung Kong investors will swap their shares in the Hong Kong developer for stakes in a new holding company called CK Hutchison Holdings, the company said in a January 9 exchange п¬Ѓling. CK Hutchison will then issue new shares to buy out minority owners of Hutchison Whampoa, a conglomerate which controls ports, retail and telecommunications operations. The reshuffle will end Hutchison WhampoaвЂ™s 37-year history as a separate listed company, which Li kept after he became the п¬Ѓrst Chinese to control a British colonial trading company in 1979. The deal will simplify LiвЂ™s empire that has grown to stretch beyond Hong Kong, allowing investors to more easily choose between a local property business and growing global assets in more than 50 countries. The streamlined business also paves the way for Li to hand the company to his elder son, Victor, currently Cheung KongвЂ™s deputy chairman. вЂњAs a person reaching a certain age, you want the companyвЂ™s successor and all the executives here to more easily operate and to do well, so itвЂ™s not a surprise,вЂќ Li, 86, said at a press conference after the announcement. вЂњI want the company to do well not only today but also in the future. ThatвЂ™s my responsibility.вЂќ CK Hutchison will offer Hutchison Whampoa shareholders 0.684 CK Hutchison share for every Hutchison share, according to the statement. Based on the January 9 close in Hong Kong, Cheung Kong is offering the equivalent of HK$85.36 for each Hutchison Whampoa share, or a 2.3% discount, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In US over-the-counter trading, Cheung KongвЂ™s American depositary receipts gained 9.7% to $17.90 at 2:34pm in New York, after the company announced the reorganization. Hutchison ADRs gained 9.3% to $24.61. After the reorganisation, all of LiвЂ™s non-property assets, including stakes in Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd and the recently acquired aircraft leasing business, will go into CK Hutchison. Real estate assets that are currently spread across Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung KongвЂ™s portfolios, mostly located in Hong Kong and China, will be consolidated into Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd Hutchison Whampoa expects the reorganisation to be completed by the end of June, Managing Director Canning Fok said at a separate press briefing. Li and his family trusts currently owns 43% of Cheung Kong, which controls 50% of Hutchison Whampoa. Following the reorganisation, they will have a 30% stake in each of the new companies. вЂњIt is a good move for investors as it helps to unlock the embedded value of both companies,вЂќ Steven Leung, director of institutional sales at UOB Kay Hian Ltd, said by phone. вЂњCK-Hutch, the new company, will offer a greater growth potential whereas the property spinoff would provide steady investment.вЂќ After the deal, CK Hutchison will spin off Cheung Kong Property and list it separately on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to the п¬Ѓling. вЂњProperty is something about which investors are very cautious right now,вЂќ said Lee Wee Liat, a Hong Kong-based analyst at BNP Paribas. вЂњThey are spinning it off because they want to take out the lesser-valued assets.вЂќ ChinaвЂ™s residential real estate market has been slowing, while transactions in Hong Kong have stalled as the government imposed several rounds of curbs since 2010. The reorganisation is good for both companies and reп¬‚ects their real value, Li said. He will be chairman of both companies, according to the statement. He has a net worth of $28.2bn, according to Bloomberg BillionairesвЂ™ Index. Li said he hopes to increase the dividend payout this year. The octogenarian tycoon has been accelerating overseas acquisitions while slowing investments at home. Last year, LiвЂ™s group of companies snapped up Australian gas distributor Envestra and entered the plane-leasing market with purchase of 45 planes for $1.9bn. Shares of Cheung Kong fell 0.6% to HK$124.80 at the close of trading in Hong Kong on January 9, while Hutchison Whampoa gained 0.9% to HK$87.40. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.4%. HSBC Holdings Plc advised Cheung Kong, according to the п¬Ѓling. ony Corp has no plans to sell the music publishing business that controls rights to songs from the Beatles and Taylor Swift, as was suggested by leaked e-mails, Sony Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton said. SonyвЂ™s music-publishing business, the largest in the world, has a catalog of more than 2mn songs. Music publishers collect songwriting royalties from album sales, use on TV and other performances. E-mails and documents released in the cyber-attack on Sony mentioned a вЂњtop secretвЂќ plan to sell the music publishing business because it had few growth prospects, Bloomberg News reported last month. Top management at Tokyo-based Sony was concerned about the complex ownership and governance of the business. In an January 8 interview, Lynton said a sale isnвЂ™t under consideration. Music publishing accounts for 14% of SonyвЂ™s music revenue, with recorded music generating the larger part. The business includes Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture with the estate of Michael Jackson, and EMI Music Publishing, in which Sony has a 30% stake. Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier said in a memo to staff on January 9 that heвЂ™s been advised by Sony Corp that the venture isnвЂ™t for sale, the New York Post reported. Sony/ATV was established in 1995 in partnership with Jackson, who had acquired rights to the Beatles songs a decade earlier. In 2012, Sony paid $2.2bn for the larger EMI Music Publishing, along with investors including JacksonвЂ™s estate, Blackstone GroupвЂ™s GSO Capital Partners LP, entertainment mogul David Geffen and Mubadala Development Co, owned by the Abu Dhabi government. Sony/ATV administers EMI on behalf of the investors. The combined Sony publishing business represents stars from Bruce Springsteen to Lady Gaga and songs including New York, New York, Jailhouse Rock and I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Sony and JacksonвЂ™s estate each own half of Sony/ATV, which contains more than 750,000 songs, according to a 2012 press release. EMI Music Publishing has 1.3mn songs in its catalog. Volvo to sell Chinese-made cars in US this year Reuters Beijing Volvo Car Group plans to export a Chinesemade midsize sedan this year to the US, and is starting to weigh the possibility of building a vehicle factory in the US, people familiar with the Chinese-owned automakerвЂ™s plans said. Both moves would be significant for the auto industry and VolvoвЂ™s parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. So far, global automakers have chosen not to ship vehicles made in China to the US market in any significant numbers, and efforts by Chinese automakers to export vehicles to the US have foundered. Volvo is also behind rivals BMW and Mercedes in establishing production in the US, which insulates the German brands from currency fluctuations. Volvo might also export a large вЂњstrategic, flagshipвЂќ sedan based on a newly developed underpinning technology, said the executives, who work for Zhejiang Geely. That car would be shipped out of China in addition to the Volvo S60L, a long wheelbase version of the S60 sedan Volvo began producing in the southwestern China city of Chengdu more than a year ago. The moves are aimed at reviving VolvoвЂ™s momentum in the US market where volume last year fell 8% from 2013 to 56,371 vehicles. The US market, which has long been VolvoвЂ™s largest market, was replaced by China last year. China bought 81,221 Volvos in 2014, up 33%. More broadly, the moves are part of GeelyвЂ™s turnaround strategy for Volvo which has struggled to go beyond being a brand with an annual volume of less than a half million vehicles. Thanks to its focus on China where the brand expanded its distribution network and product portfolio, Volvo sales volume is on the rise. It sold a total of 465,866 vehicles globally last year, up 9% from 2013. вЂњThe S60L offers class-leading rear space, something that has been consistently demanded by US customers. It will be made at VolvoвЂ™s plant in Chengdu, China, and will be on show for the first time at this yearвЂ™s North American International Auto Show in Detroit,вЂќ said David Ibison, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based Volvo spokesman. вЂњThe S60L forms just one part of our US revival plan.вЂќ Ibison said Volvo plans to launch seven new products by 2018 and increase US sales to around 100,000 cars a year in the medium term. He declined to elaborate. Exporting Chinese-produced mainstream passenger cars to the US and other advanced auto markets has been a long-standing goal of ChinaвЂ™s indigenous automakers вЂ” an objective that has largely eluded the industry. вЂњIt would be a big breakthroughвЂќ not just for Geely but for ChinaвЂ™s industry, said James Chao, Asia-Pacific director of consulting and research firm IHS Automotive. вЂњVolvo is not an indigenous Chinese brand but it is wholly Chinese-owned. Perhaps this is the model or strategy that finally works for Chinese companies trying to enter the US market and other markets.вЂќ Chao added VolvoвЂ™s owner, Geely, could follow Volvo into the US market with its own products, perhaps leveraging VolvoвЂ™s manufacturing and parts supply chains. GeelyвЂ™s purchase of Volvo from Ford Motor Co five years ago surprised many in the auto industry, who doubted that a relative newcomer could turn around the nearly 90-year-old Swedish business while protecting its famous brand. The S60L was developed originally as a China-specific model to cater to wealthy Chinese consumers who prefer cars with bigger, comfortable rear seats because many of these owners have chauffeurs. Volvo expects to ship roughly 1,500 made-in-China S60L cars to the US this year, compared with the carвЂ™s projected volume in China this year of 26,000. The additional car Volvo plans to export to the US, those executives said, is a flagship large sedan that might be called the S90 which uses VolvoвЂ™s new vehicle underpinning technology called вЂњscalable platform architectureвЂќ or SPA. The S90 will be a second vehicle based on that new architecture, following the redesigned XC90 sport utility vehicle based on the same technology. Volvo announced in late 2013 that it would produce вЂњa large premium sedanвЂќ based on SPA at a new plant in the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing. At Daqing, Volvo began producing last year the XC Classic, the previous generation of the redesigned XC90. Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Li Shufu (left) and former executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Ford Lewis Booth shake hands in front of a Volvo S60 car at the Volvo plant and headquarters in Torslanda, Gothenburg, in this March 28, 2010, file photo. Volvo Car Group plans to export a Chinese-made midsize sedan in 2015 to the US. 14 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 BUSINESS Legal challenge shows rocky path to ECB money-printing Reuters Frankfurt A landmark legal opinion this week will remind the European Central Bank of the limits it faces as it advances towards money printing, while a tumbling oil price saps inflation in debt-strained Europe. With expectations high that the ECB is on the verge of buying government bonds with new money to shore up the economy, an influential adviser to EuropeвЂ™s top court will give his view on January 14 about an earlier unused bond-buying scheme. It is the latest chapter in a long-running and increasingly bitter dispute about quantitative easing (QE) between the ECB and Germany, the largest member of the 19-country bloc, that is likely to limit the size or scope of such a programme. As the debate continues, the eurozone economy is all but grinding to a halt. Germany is expected to announce modest growth on January 15 for last year. In the US, fresh data on rising employment as well as retail sales is set to show just how much its recovery has overtaken Europe. вЂњThe global economy is at a precarious point,вЂќ said Jacob Kirkegaard of Washington think tank, the Peterson Institute. вЂњThe falling oil price is a huge shot in the arm. Nonetheless, it is clear that the ECB will have to do something. There is no growth and the debt burden is too high. The world will be flying on one engine, the US, for quite some time.вЂќ OilвЂ™s secondbiggest collapse on record has taken the price of a barrel of benchmark Brent crude to around $50 from $115 in the middle of last year. That is a mixed blessing for the stuttering global economy. While it is good news for a slowing China and should put more money in the pocket of motorists around the world, cheap oil has put price inflation into reverse in the eurozone, increasing the burden on countries with heavy debts. It has also compounded an economic and currency crisis in neighbouring Russia, one of the worldвЂ™s biggest oil exporters. Russia is already locked in conflict with neighbouring Ukraine. Ratings agency Standard & PoorвЂ™s has said it will conclude a review of RussiaвЂ™s credit status by mid January. Any downgrade would badge Russian bonds as вЂњjunkвЂќ for the first time in more than a decade. Low price inflation, a symptom of the global slowdown, has led some to question the rule of thumb for measuring economic health, namely that there should be a steady up-tick in prices. British inflation will be watched tomorrow, with analysts betting it will hit a fresh 12-year low below 1%. Those looking for respite elsewhere may be disappointed. The PeopleвЂ™s Bank of China cut the cost of borrowing in November and loosened loan restrictions to encourage lending. It is expected to take further such steps, as the countryвЂ™s property market downturn continues and local governments and companies grapple with heavy debts. Bank lending data and a readout on economic output in the final three months of last year are likely to paint a glum picture. Hopeful eyes are turning to the ECB. But German opposition to money printing could put a fly in the ointment. Its Bundesbank has warned that buying bonds issued by eurozone governments вЂ” including politically brittle Greece вЂ” could leave it on the hook for losses. Next week, an adviser to EuropeвЂ™s top court will give his opinion on a challenge by a group of Germans to an earlier ECB bond-buying programme. If he shares any of the concerns of GermanyвЂ™s constitutional court, which referred the case to European judges, it would be significant. Alain Durre, an economist with Goldman Sachs, said this could lead to the ECB setting a fixed limit on its bond-buying plans or to take priority over other investors when it buys state bonds. Whatever the outcome, the German protest is likely to get louder. вЂњThe ECB has stepped beyond its remit. The European court should forbid the ECB from doing this,вЂќ said Dietrich Murswiek, a lawyer representing one of the plaintiffs. вЂњYou can draw parallels with quantitative easing. From my point of view, QE is also beyond its remit. This can also lead to legal action.вЂќ Oil slump: Norway mulls steps to back economy Bloomberg Oslo N orway is considering tapping reserve funds to shield western EuropeвЂ™s biggest oil producer from the worst slump in crude prices in more than half a decade. Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the government is now вЂњon alertвЂќ to respond to the rout. вЂњIf the economic situation requires it, we can react quickly,вЂќ she said on Saturday at a conference in Oslo organised by NorwayвЂ™s confederation of industry. A 56% plunge in the price of Brent crude since a June high has undermined NorwayвЂ™s currency and beaten back its stock market. The krone has lost 20% against the dollar over the period. NorwayвЂ™s benchmark equity index is down 9%. Oil producers including the countryвЂ™s biggest, Statoil, and service companies have already cut thousands of jobs to adjust and unions are calling for government measures to protect the industry. вЂњThe decline has been stronger and gone faster than we had expected,вЂќ Eldar Saetre, chief executive officer of state-backed Statoil, said on Saturday in an interview. вЂњThe development weвЂ™re seeing is a reminder that weвЂ™re in a cyclical industry, and that we need to have a cost level in this industry that can sustain these types of cycles and let us be competitive over time.вЂќ ScandinaviaвЂ™s richest economy is now facing the п¬‚ipside of an oil reliance that has supported an economic boom over the past decade. Though successive governments have sought to avoid overheating by channelling oil income into the countryвЂ™s $840bn sovereign wealth fund, NorwayвЂ™s plight now shows those efforts werenвЂ™t enough to wean it off oil. вЂњRight now, thereвЂ™s somewhat of a state of emergency in the oil industry вЂ” some would call it a panic,вЂќ Walter Qvam, CEO of Kongsberg Gruppen, a Norwegian defence and oil services company, said in an interview. вЂњNorway needs this reminder, and itвЂ™s very good that weвЂ™re getting it now. WeвЂ™re going to stay an oil nation, but we now need to create the next version of Norway, because the version weвЂ™ve NorwayвЂ™s Prime Minister Erna Solberg gestures as she speaks during an interview at her office in Oslo (file). The government is now вЂњon alertвЂќ to respond to the situation arising from the worst slump in crude prices in more than half a decade, she said on Saturday. been living in for the past 35 years is on the wane.вЂќ Solberg said her government is working on models that will help the $510bn economy speed up its shift away from fossil fuels and over to other industries. вЂњThe long-term adjustments that come from this will be good for Norway,вЂќ Solberg said. Oil and gas today account for more than one-п¬Ѓfth of gross domestic product. The government has already pledged to spend a record amount of the nationвЂ™s oil wealth вЂ” or about 6.4% of GDP вЂ” on expenditure this year to support the economy. Oeyvind Eriksen, CEO at Aker вЂ” billionaire Kjell Inge RoekkeвЂ™s holding company вЂ” said the oil price slump could create вЂњopportunitiesвЂќ for its holdings, which include Aker Solutions and Det Norske Oljeselskap. вЂњAker has resources and is willing to invest in our companies, provided that it creates shareholder value for us and our fellow shareholders,вЂќ he said in an interview. вЂњThat goes for Det Norske and in principle for all the other companies in our portfolio.вЂќ NorwayвЂ™s non-oil businesses are already seeing renewed investor interest. Yara International, one of the worldвЂ™s largest makers of fertilisers, is up 24% over the past six months and aluminum producer Norsk Hydro has surged 21%. вЂњLower energy prices are positive for Yara,вЂќ Torgeir Kvidal, acting CEO of Yara, said in an interview. вЂњWe export most of our production,вЂќ so the company вЂњbeneп¬Ѓts from a stronger dollar.вЂќ Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO at Telenor, the largest Nordic phone company, also said it might not be a вЂњbad thingвЂќ for Norway to recalibrate its economy. вЂњA lot of the competence built around the oil industry can clearly be shifted towards other areas,вЂќ he said in an interview. вЂњThatвЂ™s going to happen. WeвЂ™ve succeeded at such shifts earlier.вЂќ Citigroup cuts tradersвЂ™ bonuses after weak year-end Bloomberg New York C itigroup reduced the bonus pool for п¬Ѓxed-income and equities traders and salespeople after their divisionвЂ™s lacklustre performance in the п¬Ѓnal weeks of the year, according to a person briefed on the matter. The bonuses will drop 5% to 10% on average, said the person, who asked not to be identiп¬Ѓed discussing compensation. Citigroup, the third-biggest US bank, planned as recently as mid-December to keep the bonus pool unchanged from 2013, a person briefed on the matter said at the time. Chief executive officer Michael Corbat, who said last month that fourth-quarter trading revenue would decline by about 5%, is adjusting compensation for employees to п¬Ѓt the bankвЂ™s performance. The bonus cuts suggest the drop could be steeper than Corbat predicted, said David Hilder, an analyst at Drexel Hamilton. вЂњItвЂ™s an unpleasant surprise when itвЂ™s in the last two weeks of the quarter and everyone has set up their budgets,вЂќ said Hilder, who recommends investors buy Citigroup shares. вЂњTo the extent you give up revenue in the businesses where you have a lot of variable comp, like trading, you donвЂ™t have to pay people as much. ThatвЂ™s how it works.вЂќ Jamie Forese, 51, who heads the institutional clients group that includes the trading businesses, briefed the bankвЂ™s trading-desk chiefs about the bonus cuts earlier this week, the person briefed on the matter said. The adjustments were necessary because revenue failed to meet the bankвЂ™s projections, the person said. Corbat, 54, said at a December 9 conference that he expected fourth-quarter markets revenue to slide in the вЂњthe 5%-ish range, maybe a bit moreвЂќ from the same period a year earlier, when the bank brought in $2.86bn from trading stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. MarketвЂ™s ups-and-downs spell end of low volatility era Reuters New York I n the last month, the US stock market is down just 0.8%, but itвЂ™s been a bumpy ride: Since December 9, the S&P 500 has had a 4% selloff, a 6% rally, and a 4% drop that ended on Thursday with a two-day gain of 3%. Equities were hit hard again on Friday вЂ” down almost 1%. Investors made queasy by the sharp selloffs and snapback rallies might want to prepare themselves for more of the same. A growing number of market watchers say the low-volatility regime that dominated in 2013 and 2014 has ended, and the roller-coaster ride going on now has become the norm. вЂњThis year has the potential to be a very good year for stocks but we will see more and bigger spikes in volatility,вЂќ said Brian Reynolds, chief market strategist at Rosenblatt Securities in New York. Uncertainty about impending Greek elections, rising credit spreads, the possibility of a Russian default, and how far oil prices could fall is boosting the CBOE Volatility Index, the marketвЂ™s favoured indicator of Wall StreetвЂ™s anxiety. For example, stock investors have attempted to buy up energy shares cheap, only to be hit hard when oil keeps falling, Reynolds said. The VIX is a measure of how high investors perceive the risk or uncertainty about the size of changes in a securityвЂ™s value. Investors have responded to this uncertainty by loading up on protection through the use of options on the S&P and the VIX. Recent increases in average daily volume in exchange-traded funds designed to take advantage of higher volatility вЂ” or hedge against it вЂ” also shows investors are trying to grapple with an up-and-down environment. From the beginning of 2013, on average, the S&P 500вЂ™s average daily trading range was 15 points; in the last three weeks that has jumped up to a daily average of 25 points. A rapid expansion in open interest in SPX options shows many investors are hedging long stock positions as well as speculating on further drops in the index in the near-term, said Ophir Gottlieb, chief executive of Los Angelesbased Capital Market Laboratories. Traders are buying VIX calls in the February and March expiration at the 25 level, said J J Kinahan, chief market strategist at retail brokerage TD Ameri- trade Holding Corp The VIX was last trading at 17.82, so that implies a sharp increase. вЂњWe are starting to see people buying volatility as almost a type of asset class,вЂќ Kinahan said. That can be seen in the trading of leveraged ETFs, which seek to double the gains or losses in the VIX on a given day. Over the last 20 days, the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures VIX ETF, which looks to double the daily move in the VIX, has seen daily volume of 16.7mn shares, compared with an average of 9.66mn in the past 200 days. A similar ETF, the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF has seen daily volume more than double, to 2.86mn shares a day in the last 20 days, compared with 1.36mn in the last 200 days. Those protecting against losses are also paying more money for this. Across major equity indices, the skew вЂ” an indicator of how desirous investors are of protection вЂ” is extremely high, said Mandy Xu, equity derivatives strategist at Credit Suisse. вЂњFor the S&P, using one month options, skew is in the 95th percentile,вЂќ she said, indicating that people are paying more money for downside protection than at most times in the last year. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A growing number of market watchers say the low-volatility regime that dominated in 2013 and 2014 has ended, and the roller-coaster ride going on now has become the norm. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 15 BUSINESS Splitting banks should be last resort: EU lawmaker Bloomberg Brussels S plitting consumer and trading activities at the European UnionвЂ™s biggest banks should be a supervisorвЂ™s last resort after other crisismanagement tools fail, a key member of the blocвЂ™s legislature said. Gunnar Hoekmark, a Swede whoвЂ™s leading the European ParliamentвЂ™s work on a bank-structure bill put forward last year by the European Commission, said separation should be used only if banks deemed too big to fail donвЂ™t take other measures such as boosting capital or increasing issuance of loss-absorbing debt. Banks that canвЂ™t be safely wound down should they fail would face вЂњenhanced supervision, or a call for higher levels of capital, or a change of structure, or in the end what could be separation,вЂќ Hoekmark said January 7 in an interview in Brussels. вЂњThe key issue is resolvability.вЂќ The commissionвЂ™s proposal to ban proprietary trading at the EUвЂ™s largest banks and assess whether their trading arms should be turned into separately capitalised units needs considerable work before it can be put into practice, Hoekmark said. National governments in the 28-nation EU are also devising ways to streamline the measure. A revised blueprint prepared by Hoekmark steers вЂњaway from the original proposal calling for separation per se,вЂќ he said. This is justiп¬Ѓed because other laws adopted since the 2008 п¬Ѓnancial crisis have addressed key risks in banks, because of the need to promote lending to businesses, and by the threat that trading activities could simply shift to other, less regulated п¬Ѓnancial п¬Ѓrms, he said. The draft EU law would cover banks labelled as globally systemic by the Financial Stability Board, a group of international regulators. The EU banks in the latest edition of the FSB list, published in November, are: HSBC Holdings, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Credit Agricole, Groupe, ING Groep, Nordea Bank, Banco Santander, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered and UniCredit. The regulation would also capture banks that have total assets exceeding в‚¬30bn ($35.4bn) in three consecutive years and total trading assets and liabilities of more than в‚¬70bn or 10% of total assets. The commissionвЂ™s plan sets out a series of thresholds for moving some trading activities into separately capitalised units, such as the importance of investment banking to the overall business and the complexity of its derivatives business. HoekmarkвЂ™s approach, which will be debated soon by lawmakers in the parliamentвЂ™s Economic and Monetary SwitzerlandвЂ™s central bank urged to consider easing cap on franc Reuters Zurich T he Swiss National Bank should consider easing its three-year-cap on the franc before Switzerland becomes too reliant on what was conceived as only a temporary measure, a former advisor to the central bank said in a newspaper interview yesterday. The comments from Ernst Baltensperger represent the п¬Ѓrst time an economist of his calibre has criticised the central bankвЂ™s cap on the franc of 1.20 versus the euro, which the Swiss have so far been largely in favour of. The cap has shielded the Swiss economy from fallout of the eurozone crisis and protected exporters, but it has also severely bloated the SNBвЂ™s reserves because the central bank has had to intervene in currency markets to defend the franc. The central bank now faces a renewed challenge of keeping the franc down as the eurozone grapples with talk of a possible exit by Greece and the single currency slides to lows against the dollar. вЂњOne could replace the current cap with one for a basket of currencies, for example made up of half euro and half US dollarвЂќ Hoekmark says Separation should be used only if banks deemed too big to fail donвЂ™t take other measures such as boosting capital or increasing issuance of loss-absorbing debt. Affairs Committee, вЂњis very compatibleвЂќ with bank-structure rules already developed in France, Germany and Belgium, he said. It would also respect the so-called Vickers overhaul of bank structure being undertaken in the UK. The commission proposal has come under attack on multiple fronts since it was presented last January, with warnings from banks that it would increase their costs, inhibit lending to businesses and damage the functioning of п¬Ѓnancial markets. The revised text should protect the banking systemвЂ™s role as п¬Ѓnance provider to the economy, Hoekmark said. In addition to limiting the need for separation, the lawmaker has also rewritten the metrics used to determine the systemic risks posed by a bank to align them better with real risks and other EU laws, he said. вЂњTrading per se is not more risky than retail banking,вЂќ Hoekmark said. His plan may not satisfy вЂњthose that are a little bit dogmatic about separation as a solution to everything,вЂќ he said. вЂњThis is a battle of are we going to get the European banking system to work and provide liquidity, or not.вЂќ The European Banking Federation said HoekmarkвЂ™s approach вЂњshares banksвЂ™ concernsвЂќ about ensuring that lenders can п¬Ѓnance the economy. вЂњWhile the EBF has expressed opposition over tackling this matter at a European level, given the many legislative initiatives already taken which changed the п¬Ѓnancial landscape, and the various existing national regulations on structural reform, the report sets the base for further discussions among colegislators,вЂќ the group said. EU lawmakers last year were divided over the bill, with members of the assemblyвЂ™s Socialist and Green groups calling for a more mandatory approach to separation. HoekmarkвЂ™s blueprint вЂњwould hollow out the commissionвЂ™s proposal on bank-structure reform and leave it as an ineffective shell regulation,вЂќ FinanceWatch, an advocacy group, said in a e-mailed statement. The plan вЂњwould substantially weaken the objectives, scope, deп¬Ѓni- tions, mechanism and sanctions in the commissionвЂ™s original proposal,вЂќ the group said. вЂњIt is hard to believe that the structure of the EUвЂ™s too-big-toofail megabanks would be improved as a result of this text.вЂќ HoekmarkвЂ™s approach may also lead to a scaling back of the proprietary trading curbs, FinanceWatch said. вЂњThe broader deп¬Ѓnition of market making might result in a narrower prop trading ban,вЂќ it said. A number of EU nations are also calling for вЂњa greater degree of supervisory discretionвЂќ to decide whether structural separation measures are needed at banks, according to a December 22 note from Italy, which held the EUвЂ™s presidency in the second half of last year. In addition, вЂњonly very few countries are explicitly in favourвЂќ of the proposed proprietary trading ban, according to that note. Under the commission proposal, the ban would cover вЂњdesksвЂ™, unitsвЂ™, divisionsвЂ™ or individual tradersвЂ™ activities speciп¬Ѓcally dedicated to taking positions for making a proп¬Ѓt for own ac- count, without any connection to client activity or hedging the entityвЂ™s risk.вЂќ This ban is narrower than the US Volcker Rule, which also bans proprietary trading, according to the commission. BritainвЂ™s Jonathan Hill, the member of the European Commission responsible for п¬Ѓnancial services policy, has called for a swift deal on the law. вЂњThe sensible thing to do is to seek to make progress quicklyвЂќ on the legislation, Hill said in a December 15 interview. вЂњThere are still areas of risk in some of the biggest and most complicated banks that itвЂ™s sensible to try to п¬Ѓnd a way of addressing.вЂќ Under EU procedures, national governments seek to develop joint negotiating positions on draft EU laws, which they then use in compromise talks with the European Parliament, which also prepares a negotiating stance. Parliament is set to vote on its position in early 2015, while nations will continue talks on their approach under LatviaвЂ™s presidency in the п¬Ѓrst half of this year. Ernst Baltensperger told the weekly Neue Zuercher Zeitung am Sonntag that the cap was conceived as a temporary emergency measure and that three years on, it should be adjusted. Any changes to the cap were likely to become more politically contentious over time, as complacency sets in. Also, the SNB may struggle to offload the euros it bought to defend the cap, he said. The central bank could replace its cap against the euro with one linked to a basket of euro and US dollar, the economist suggested. вЂњOne could replace the current cap with one for a basket of currencies, for example made up of half euro and half US dollar,вЂќ Baltensperger was quoted as saying. The franc would thus be able to appreciate against the euro, but only as much as the dollar appreciated against the franc, said Baltensperger. вЂњThis would enable an easing of a solely euro-focused monetary policy, without making the franc overly attractive internationally,вЂќ Baltensperger said. The SNB was not immediately available for comment. Last month, the central bank said it would start charging banks for deposits in francs for the п¬Ѓrst time since the 1970s, an additional measure aimed at stemming a п¬‚ight to the safehaven currency. More losses loom for Russian bonds as rating heads back to junk Fitch and S&P have placed Russia one notch above junk; S&P to review in mid-Jan and April; downgrade to junk вЂ�a foregone conclusionвЂ™, says analyst; govt seeks to avert downgrade; says dangers exaggerated Reuters Lodon RussiaвЂ™s credit rating looks set to tumble into junk for the first time in more than a decade, a move that would exclude its bonds from a couple of high-profile indexes and may set off another wave of capital outflows. The Fitch agency cut its rating on Russia to вЂ�BBB minusвЂ™ from вЂ�BBBвЂ™ on Friday, citing a significant deterioration in the countryвЂ™s economic outlook due to the slump in oil prices and falling value of the rouble. That is still investment grade, the category that implies low default risk, but only one notch away from so-called junk, the grade Russia rose out of in 2004. Bigger rival Standard & PoorвЂ™s has Russia already at вЂ�BBB minusвЂ™, with a negative outlook, meaning the next move will likely push it into junk. It says it will review the rating in mid-January and again in April. вЂњA downgrade to junk for Russia...is a foregone conclusion,вЂќ said Hung Tran, executive managing director at global industry body, the Institute of International Finance. A fall to junk will deal a blow both to RussiaвЂ™s already-battered economic prospects and to its image as a global power. Peers in the Brics group of big world economies вЂ” China, India, Brazil and South Africa вЂ” are all rated investment grade. Markets are already pricing Russia as junk, according to bond yields and debt insurance costs, and as this graphic shows. While that should cap capital outflows from the move itself, knee-jerk losses are still likely. Many conservative funds are barred from buy- ing sub-investment grade securities, so loss of this coveted rating can trigger selling of existing securities and raises future borrowing costs for a country and its companies. S&P last month placed the country on вЂњCreditwatch NegativeвЂќ, implying a 50% chance of a downgrade in the next three months. Its own вЂњmarket derivedвЂќ score for Russia indicates a rating five notches below current levels. MoodyвЂ™s rates Russia two notches above junk but with a negative outlook, and is expected to follow S&P later in 2015. Western sanctions imposed over MoscowвЂ™s role in the Ukraine crisis and oilвЂ™s price collapse are tipping RussiaвЂ™s economy into recession, while central bank reserves have fallen by more than $100bn вЂ” unlike during the 2008 crisis, reserve volumes fall short of total debt. вЂњWe expect Russia to fall from the investment grade category by March or early April,вЂќ Societe Generale strategist Regis Chatellier said, predicting some forced selling of Russian debt. Russian officials were unavailable for comment due to the countryвЂ™s extended New Year break but Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said late last month the dangers were вЂњexaggeratedвЂќ. вЂњWe are working (with rating agencies) and explaining the economic situation,вЂќ he told reporters. вЂњIt seems to me that foreign understanding doesnвЂ™t always correspond to what is actually the case.вЂќ An oil price bounce or a lifting of sanctions could bring respite. But MoodyвЂ™s said on December 22 it expected вЂњlimited upward pressure on ratingsвЂќ, while predicting downward moves if oil prices stayed at вЂњcurrent levelsвЂќ. Since then, crude futures have tumbled another $10 a barrel. The biggest impact would be felt with both MoodyвЂ™s and S&P cutting Russia to junk because that would lead to the countryвЂ™s ejection from BarclaysвЂ™ Global Aggregate index that is estimated to be have $2tn benchmarked against it worldwide. Adding in sovereign and corporate debt in roubles and hard currency, Russia has a 0.7% weight that Barclays reckons amounts to $140bn. Dedicated emerging market funds would be less affected because most EM indexes include non-investment grade credits. But JPMorgan said Russia could be removed from the investmentgrade portion of its GBI-EM index for emerging currency bonds, a portion to which around $57bn is benchmarked. A lot of foreign funds, including those following the Barclays index, have already dumped their Russian holdings and the cost of insuring Russia exposure via credit default swaps (CDS) exceeds that of Pakistan and Lebanon whose ratings are deep in junk. вЂњRussian credit is already priced for three downgrades. However if you do get an actual downgrade to high-yield, you do get some more capitulation,вЂќ said David Hauner, head of EEMEA debt and strategy at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. A BofA/Merrill study comparing CDS spreads and ratings found that a one-notch downgrade to junk tends to fuel a 40-60 basis point increase in bond and CDS spreads. Russian sovereign debt yields 630 basis points above US Treasuries, close to Iraqi and Angolan levels. That is 400 bps above year-ago levels and more than double the average premium paid by other investment grade credits on the EMBIG index. вЂњThere is always some reaction (to loss of investment grade)вЂќ said David Spegel, head of emerging debt at BNP Paribas. вЂњSome people hold on and ignore events until they find their IG credit is now junk, and they must get rid of it.вЂќ A downgrade will be most problematic for companies whose spiralling borrowing costs вЂ” reflected in a doubling of bond spreads since January 2014 вЂ” may rise even further About $100bn in company debt is due this year. вЂњA potential downgrade could intensify the pressure on Russian corporate bonds, not so much due to the downgrade itself but due to further restrictions on bond holdings stemming from institutional investors,вЂќ SocGenвЂ™s Chatellier said. Monday, January 12, 2015 BUSINESS GULF TIMES Greece to stick with euro if Syriza wins polls: leader AFP Athens Greece will stay in the eurozone while also fighting against the politics of austerity вЂњwhich is ruining EuropeвЂќ if the radical left-wing Syriza party wins this monthвЂ™s general election, its leader said yesterday. вЂњItвЂ™s clear from any point of view that the subject of Greece leaving the euro simply does not exist,вЂќ Alexis Tsipras told Greek weekly Realnews. Global markets have been shaken by fears that Greece could abandon the euro if Syriza wins the election on January 25. But Tsipras said the idea of Greece quitting the eurozone was вЂњalarmismвЂќ dating from 2012 at the height of GreeceвЂ™s crisis which led to a в‚¬240bn ($282bn) international bailout. вЂњThe climate is completely different now,вЂќ he said. вЂњThe only person talking about this eventuality is (prime minister) Antonis Samaras, but it is denied day after day by highranking European officials,вЂќ the Syriza chief said. The European Commission said last week a countryвЂ™s membership in the eurozone is вЂњirrevocableвЂќ. Samaras, the conservative premier who is TsiprasвЂ™ main rival in the election, has warned it would be disastrous if Syriza wins the election and ends the austerity policies imposed on Greece by the conditions of its European Union-International Monetary Fund creditors. But Tsipras said Greece вЂњwill lead the way in fighting against the politics of austerity which are ruining Europe, strengthening the far-right and plunging the European economy into recessionвЂќ. Shire to buy NPS for $5.2bn to add rare-disease drugs Bloomberg London S hire Plc, the drug maker seeking to boost growth after its proposed sale to AbbVie collapsed, agreed to acquire NPS Pharmaceuticals for about $5.2bn to add medicines used to treat rare diseases. Shire will pay $46 a share in cash, the company said yesterday in a statement. ThatвЂ™s a 9.8% premium to NPSвЂ™s closing share price on January 9 in New York and more than 50% higher than its close on December 16, before news broke of ShireвЂ™s interest. The deal has been approved by both companiesвЂ™ boards. Adding Bedminster, New Jerseybased NPS will enable Shire to expand in rare diseases such as gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders. The deal comes before NPS learns whether its Natpara medicine to treat hypoparathyroidism wins approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. A decision on the drug, which would be the п¬Ѓrst marketed treatment for the potentially fatal disorder, is scheduled to be made by January 24. NPS has вЂњa rare-disease focus and in addition it builds on our strong expertise in gastrointestinal diseases,вЂќ Shire chief executive officer Flemming Ornskov said in a telephone interview. вЂњSo itвЂ™s a strategic п¬Ѓt, growth enhancing, and we can afford it. It ticks almost all the boxes.вЂќ It was worth the risk to move ahead of the FDAвЂ™s Natpara decision, Ornskov said. ShireвЂ™s due diligience included looking at the correspondence with the FDA and, by moving early, Shire can also help with the drugвЂ™s introduction, he said. In biotechnology takeovers since the ShireвЂ™s offices are seen at the Citywest Business Campus in Dublin. The drug maker has agreed to acquire NPS Pharmaceuticals for about $5.2bn to add medicines used to treat rare diseases. beginning of 2014, about one-third of the buyers paid a premium of between 25% and 50%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ornskov had said in November that the company was revisiting some of the deals it was considering before AbbVieвЂ™s abandoned $52bn takeover. Shire was considering a bid for NPS, Bloomberg News reported on December 17, citing people familiar with the matter. Shire is based for tax purposes Foreign investors in red hot London property market force locals out US funds step up presence in London; sovereign wealth active; UK insurers, pension funds seek opportunities in regions; Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow amongst favoured destinations; many UK groups go directly through private deals, avoid auction Reuters London T ough foreign competition in the London commercial property market is forcing local investors to invest in regional cities to tap rising rents there, with many making purchases privately to avoid auctions or even building office blocks from scratch. Commercial and residential property in London has become a popular safe haven for investors from places such as Russia, China and southern Europe as a result of the п¬Ѓnancial crisis, and office prices have bounced back strongly from the lows. From a $4bn battle for control of the Canary Wharf п¬Ѓnancial district to the creation of the capitalвЂ™s tallest building, The Shard, thanks to oil money from the Gulf, many of LondonвЂ™s landmarks have had a helpful overseas п¬Ѓnancing hand. Last year, more than ВЈ55bn ($83.5bn) was invested in commercial property across the country, much of it by pension funds, insurers and sovereign wealth funds looking for steady, long-term income. But local investors are increasingly seeing advantage elsewhere. вЂњWe do need to be savvy as to where we invest, and there are some markets in the UK, particularly prime core London, which we see as fully priced,вЂќ said Chris Perkins, who heads up the team managing business and industrial property at M&G Real Estate, a unit of insurer Prudential. Political uncertainty about who will win in a British May 7 election could crimp demand for commercial property slightly in the early part of the year, but any slowdown in overseas interest would be temporary, analysts said. With London the principal target for foreign capital, British investors are seeking rising rents in cities such as Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester as an economic recovery takes hold across the country. In regional centres, a patchy property development pipeline and a shortage of premium property are creating opportunities for Skyscrapers including 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the вЂ�Walkie-TalkieвЂ™ (left) stand on the skyline of the City of London. Commercial and residential property in London has become a popular safe haven for investors from places such as Russia, China and southern Europe as a result of the financial crisis. home-grown investors. British institutions increased exposure to the regional office market to 46% by September 2014, from 33% a year ago, research from realtor Savills showed, while adding in funds from property п¬Ѓrms, occupiers and private investors, their share of regional commercial property was 60%. Among the most active of the British investors, M&G signed the largest regional deal of 2014, spending around ВЈ320mn ($499mn) for 500,000 square feet of office space in Manchester. Of the ВЈ3bn it spent buying property in 2014, 60% was spent outside London. The group made total returns of around 20% in 2014 and should achieve double-digit returns this year, M&GвЂ™s Perkins said. That stacks up well against more traditional investments, such as the blue-chip FTSE 100, down 2.7% in 2014. For those wanting to invest in regional cities for capital growth and lucrative rentals, there are several routes. The most common is to invest in a real estate investment trust or a mutual fund, although those with a mediumterm view and the right skills could buy an existing building or fund a new-build. Although the value of offices outside London is lower, there has been a jump in rental demand for offices in the countryвЂ™s major regional markets: from Bristol and Birmingham to Glasgow and Edinburgh. While prime office locations in LondonвЂ™s crowded City п¬Ѓnancial district fetched rents of about ВЈ80 per square foot by mid-2014, Birmingham offices got roughly ВЈ30 and Manchester ВЈ32, Savills data showed. Yields are also higher in the regions: while prime office space in the City returned 4.25% in the second quarter of 2014, Birmingham returned 5.25% and Manchester 5%. For domestic investors looking to steal a march on rivals, many are going directly to local governments and companies that may need to sell off assets, as well as retailers and others open to leasing back their property to free up cash. вЂњWe spend a lot of time seeking off-market transactions where we donвЂ™t have to be in competitive bidding,вЂќ said Bill Hughes, head of property at Legal & General Investment Management. вЂњThat is where you get the best value.вЂќ After improving a building вЂ” with a view to holding it for an average of seven to 10 years вЂ” the investment arm of insurer Legal & General can sell it on as a performing asset to another long-term holder, such as a pension scheme or sovereign wealth fund. The latter have been hesitant to invest directly in such assets, preferring more assured returns from higher-quality вЂ�GradeAвЂ™ London properties which are easier to sell on. The limited availability of Grade-A property assets outside London вЂ” down nearly 40% over the last four years, analyst Andy Brunner of Morningstar said вЂ” means those who take the risk of building the properties from scratch could cash in. While the lack of income from an unbuilt property can put some off, an improvement in the underlying economy has left others more conп¬Ѓdent about taking on the risk, said Michael Haddock, senior research director at CBRE. in Dublin, and Ornskov and other top executives work in Lexington, Massachusetts. While Shire needs to focus п¬Ѓrst on completing the NPS deal, вЂњgiven the amount of cash we generate and our ability to take on further debt, this does not put any restrictions of signiп¬Ѓcance on our strategy to become a leader in the biotech area,вЂќ Ornskov said in the interview. вЂњObviously that will require further M&A.вЂќ Acquisitions work best when theyвЂ™re in a disease area вЂњyou know very well,вЂќ he said, which for Shire includes rare diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and opthalmology, he said. Natpara treats a rare disorder in which a diminished amount of parathyroid hormone causes calcium deп¬Ѓciencies, causing muscle pain, tingling, an inability to focus, and anxiety or depression. In extreme cases, it can cause seizures. NPS also sells Gattex, a treatment for short-bowel syndrome that analysts predict will garner more than $300mn in sales in 2016. That would complement ShireвЂ™s existing stable of drugs for gastrointestinal diseases. ShireвЂ™s pipeline of experimental drugs will add $3bn to revenue by 2020, and acquisitions may further boost sales, the company said on Dec. 10. The company received a breakup fee from AbbVie of $1.64bn, giving it extra п¬Ѓrepower for takeovers. The NPS offer comes after Merck & CoвЂ™s $8.4bn agreement to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals, which had also been a potential target for Shire. Shire reported adjusted net income of $2.93 per ADS for the third quarter in October, beating analystвЂ™s estimates. The drug maker also raised its proп¬Ѓt forecast a third time. NPS reported a adjusted loss of 2 cents per share in the third quarter. Shire was advised by Citigroup and Lazard, as well as Davis Polk & Wardwell and Slaughter & May. NPS worked with Goldman Sachs Group, Leerink Partners, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Proximity to Harrods piles on the pounds By Denise Marray Gulf Times Correspondent London Newly commissioned research by Harrods Estates has examined property sales across Prime Central London over the past three years to determine whether or not there is any discernible difference in property prices within 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutesвЂ™ walking distance from the Harrods store. The research was undertaken by Dataloft which analysed a sample of over 27,500 records of property sales across Prime Central London from January 2011 to the end of March 2014 sourced from the Lonres database. Their findings show that property values in the immediate vicinity of Harrods (within a 5-minute walk) carry a 133% premium in ВЈpsf (pounds sterling per square foot) terms compared to the average for Prime Central London, and even within a 20-minute walk property values are 70% above the average ВЈpsf for Prime Central London. All properties within a 5-minute and 5-10-minute walking distance were located in the prestigious London areas of Knightsbridge (SW1X), Chelsea (SW3) and South Kensington (SW7), with properties in these areas plus Belgravia (SW1W) a 10-15-minute walk away. Properties in Mayfair (W1J, W1K and W1S) and those in South Kensington and Chelsea account for the greatest proportion of sales within a 15-20-minute walk. Proximity to Harrods adds a significant premium to property prices. The average ВЈpsf price achieved for properties sold within a 5-minute walking distance of Harrods was ВЈ2,149, 133% higher than the average ВЈpsf for all properties sold across London (ВЈ921) and a premium of 20% compared to the average ВЈpsf price of all properties sold within a 20-minute walking distance of Harrods (ВЈ1,786). Properties located 5-10-minutesвЂ™ walk from Harrods commanded a 10% premium while those located more than 15-20-minutes away from Harrods achieved ВЈpsf values 11% lower than the average for all properties sold within a 20-minute walk, yet still 72% above the London average. 16% of all properties sold within a 5-minute walking distance have commanded ВЈpsf values of over ВЈ3,000. The report also shows the ratio of apartments to houses is approx. 6:1 within a 5-minute walk of the store, whilst the average for Prime Central London is under 3:1, and that the average apartment within a 5-minute walk of the store is 25% larger than the average for Prime Central London. The ВЈpsf differential in values within a 5-minute walk of Harrods varies by type of property and is substantially more for apartments than houses. Apartments sold within a 5-minute walking distance of Harrods attract a 14% ВЈpsf premium over those 5-10-minutes away and a 60% premium over those 15-20-minutes away. For houses, the premiums are 1% and 15% respectively. When sales values are considered, the values are more variable. The average sales price of an apartment within a 5-minute walk of Harrods is ВЈ2.99mn, compared to ВЈ1.87mn for apartments sold 15-20-minutes away. The average price of a detached property within a 5-minute walking distance is ВЈ5.3mn, compared to ВЈ4.86mn for those 15-20-minutes away. However, only 31 houses have been sold within a 5-minute walk of Harrods over the last three years. Detached properties within a 5-10-minute walking distance have attracted the highest average selling price of ВЈ6mn, with 19 properties selling for over ВЈ10mn since Q1 2011. The most expensive property sold, a 20 bedroom, 22,500 sq ft property on Lowndes Square sold in 2013 for ВЈ51.5mn. CRICKET | Page 5 NBA | Page 8 Jayawardene ton in vain as McCullum sets up Kiwi win Pau GasolвЂ™s 46 points lift Bulls over Bucks Monday, January 12, 2015 Rabia I 21, 1436 AH TENNIS GULF TIMES Federer claims 1,000th win with Brisbane crown SPORT Page 4 ASIAN CUP SPEAKING OUT Qatar suffer huge loss to rivals UAE Belmadi slams Qatar after heavy defeat вЂ�It was a big punch in the face and it was difficult to come back. We tried but it was too late, we didnвЂ™t score soon enough to expect to equaliseвЂ™ Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil AFC Canberra Q Qatar striker Khalfan Ibrahim (right) is fouled during their Asian Cup opener against UAE in Canberra yesterday. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil AFP Canberra U nited Arab Emirates stormed back from behind to defeat Gulf rivals Qatar 4-1 as they displayed their Asian Cup credentials with a п¬‚uent win yesterday. Top-rated midп¬Ѓelder Omar Abdulrahman was at his creative best as both Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout grabbed a brace after вЂњQatari MaradonaвЂќ Khalfan Ibrahim put his side ahead. KhalfanвЂ™s deftly taken chest and volley proved QatarвЂ™s best moment as the 2022 World Cup hosts proved fragile at the back, with goalkeeper Qasem Burhan committing two costly blunders. вЂњI was sure they would play well, but in football you can never be sure of the result and I am very happy with todayвЂ™s performance,вЂќ said UAE coach Mahdi Ali. UAE started the brightest and Mabkhout almost opened the scoring after 10 minutes when he smashed the ball into the side-netting. Shortly afterwards, midп¬Ѓelder Mohamed Abdulrahman blazed over the bar after the ball broke kindly to him on the edge of the box. The Emiratis rued their misses when the pint-sized Ibrahim took a rebound on the chest and acrobatically lobbed goalkeeper Majed Naser to open the scoring after 22 minutes. Qatar grew in conп¬Ѓdence and they almost went 2-0 up when left-back Abdelkarim Hassan drilled a powerful shot narrowly past the post. However, UAE always looked dangerous through the trickery and imagination of Omar Abdulrahman, allied with qualifying top-scorer Makbhout and powerful targetman Khalil. And it was Khalil who grabbed the equaliser after 37 minutes after Omar Abdulrahman caused panic in the defence by twice stealing the ball down the right. Qatar failed to deal with the subsequent cross and after KhalilвЂ™s powerful header was cleared off the line he knocked in the rebound to put UAE level eight minutes from half-time. The goal buoyed UAE and they came п¬‚ying out of the traps at the start of the second half, before going ahead seven minutes later. Goalkeeper Burhan reacted too late as KhalilвЂ™s penetrating free-kick from the left edge of the box evaded everyone and sailed past into the far corner. вЂњMy second goal was certainly more beautiful than my п¬Ѓrst,вЂќ a delighted Khalil, who was named man of the match, said afterwards. вЂњI hit it exactly how I wanted to.вЂќ Four minutes later, Burhan again failed to deal with a setpiece and he palmed the ball to Mabkhout, who gratefully slotted it home for UAEвЂ™s third. Qatar worked tirelessly to get back into the game and they hit the post with п¬Ѓve minutes to go in what was their best spell of the game. But all-out attack left them exposed at the back and Omar Abdulrahman combined with Mabkhout to set up the proliп¬Ѓc strikerвЂ™s second of the game on 89 minutes. Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi called it a вЂњreally bad startвЂќ. вЂњThey showed more quality, more creativity. They scored from two free-kicks which really put us in a bad position,вЂќ said the Algerian. вЂњIt was a big punch in the face and it was difficult to come back. We tried but it was too late, we didnвЂ™t score soon enough to expect to equalise.вЂќ atar coach Djamel Belmadi slammed his sideвЂ™s performance after their 4-1 defeat to the United Arab Emirates in the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Group C opener at Canberra Stadium yesterday, with the Algerian saying he could take вЂњno positivesвЂќ from the defeat. Former AFC Player of the Year Khalfan Ibrahim had given BelmadiвЂ™s side the opener on 22 minutes with a sublime chipped п¬Ѓnish but Ahmed Khalil equalised before half-time and the forward added a second with a free kick to put the Emirates in front early in the second half. With Qatar reeling, a subsequent brace from KhalilвЂ™s strikepartner Ali Mabkhout gave the Emirati side a comprehensive win over the Gulf Cup champions to put them in the driving seat in the group and leave Belmadi fuming. вЂњThere were no positives to take from this game. They were better than us, showed more quality and more creativity,вЂќ said the Algerian. вЂњIf we analyse goal by goal there were a lot of individual mistakes for their equaliser and in the second half it was two free-kicks for them that made the difference. After that it was really difficult to come back in the game against good opponents like the Emirates. вЂњI tried to help us come back into the game with some changes but we didnвЂ™t do enough and it was too late to equalise. Our players were focused and prepared for this game, so we cannot say our defeat was due to a lack of preparation or focus, we will have to search for the reason for this loss.вЂќ BelmadiвЂ™s team will need to bounce back in their next group stage tie when they face Iran at SydneyвЂ™s Stadium Australia on Thursday and the Qatar coach is well aware of the difficulty of that upcoming п¬Ѓxture following the dispiriting loss in Canberra. вЂњI said on Saturday that our group is very strong and tough and all the teams are good. Now we have to face Iran who were in the last FIFA World Cup and are a strong team so itвЂ™s another big game. We are already under pressure because we lost the game today, so we have to make a massive game on Thursday,вЂќ said Belmadi. вЂњFor most of the players itвЂ™s the п¬Ѓrst time they were participating in this competition, we had a lot of players playing their п¬Ѓrst international competition so of course itвЂ™s difficult. We will not give up even if itвЂ™s a really bad start, and it is really bad no doubt about that, but we will have a good reaction.вЂќ Years together paying off: UAE coach Lots of Qatar fans had turned up to cheer for their team yesterday. FINAL SCORE: United Arab Emirates 4 (Khalil 37, 52, Mabkhout 56, 89) Qatar 1 (Ibrahim 22). (At half-time the teams were tied 1-1) Qatar lose defender Bilal Mohammed to injury QATARвЂ™S WEEKEND woes continued in the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 with news of an injury to experienced defender Bilal Mohammed that rules him out for the rest of the tournament following their 4-1 defeat to the United Arab Emirates in the Group C encounter yesterday. The 28-year-old centre back received the injury during the final preparations for the game against regional rivals the UAE and he was not named among the match day squad of 22 by Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi. Without the player who has been capped more than 100 times for Qatar, and was a member of the 2014 Gulf Cup-winning squad, Belmadi watched his side concede four goals against their regional rivals with Emirati strikers Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout netting a brace each after Khalfan Ibrahim had given Qatar the lead. вЂњBilal Mohammed got an injury in the last training session, he will be out for the whole tournament,вЂќ said Belmadi following the defeat at Canberra Stadium. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES coach Mahdi Ali (right) said yesterday that his side were finally seeing the fruits of years of labour after their come-from-behind 4-1 win over Qatar. UAE got their quest for Asian Cup glory off to a sensational start in Canberra thanks to braces from Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout, and a standout performance from silky midfielder Omar Abdulrahman. UAE have been knocked out of the Asian Cup at the group stage in the last three tournaments and failed to score during the 2011 edition in Qatar. But Ali insisted that the time was now right for his players to succeed after almost a decade of working with them. вЂњI have been with this group a long time, maybe around nine years,вЂќ Ali said. вЂњMore than 16 of them have worked with me since 2004 when I was an assistant coach and then since 2008 as head coach. вЂњWeвЂ™ve grown together, we help each other a lot, we know each other, we understand each other and this is what I need to do my job.вЂќ Ali singled out man of the match Khalil as an example of what can happen when coach and player work together for a number of years. вЂњI have been working with Ahmed since 1998, since he was eight years old,вЂќ Ali said of SundayвЂ™s man of the match. вЂњHe always plays well in big events and in the most important games, he always makes a difference for the team.вЂќ But Ali insisted his squad wouldnвЂ™t get carried away after their opening Group C win against their Gulf rivals. вЂњWe always think about how we can improve because we define success better than yesterday and today we played a good game but we have to work hard. вЂњThere are many things we have to work harder at so we can go far ahead in this competition.вЂќ 2 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT FOCUS Qatar Stars team to take on Bayern Munich in friendly вЂ�For us this is not just a friendly match. Bayern has a great legacy and its very own, special style of football. We want to provide our fans with the highest level of footballвЂ™ вЂ�Crazy EnglishmanвЂ™ Wilkins coaching Jordan his own way JordanвЂ™s head coach Ray Wilkins of Britain watches his players train ahead of their Asian Cup match against Iraq in Brisbane. DPA Sydney M any countries preparing for the Asian Cup scheduled training sessions in the evenings to avoid the Australian heat but under the guidance of coach Ray Wilkins, Jordan players are not given the opportunity for a lie-in. вЂњIвЂ™m a crazy Englishman and we train in the mornings,вЂќ Wilkins told a media conference yesterday ahead of todayвЂ™s opening Group D match with Iraq in Brisbane. вЂњEvery team IвЂ™ve been with from Chelsea and the England national team to the little ones has trained in the mornings. вЂњI prefer to get the players up ... that is what they will have to do when they п¬Ѓnish football and go to work.вЂќ Wilkins, in charge of the team since September, is aware that a tough challenge awaits his players. вЂњWe are in a very tough group but are ready for that. Our improvement in four months has been immense. вЂњJapan are undoubtedly the strongest team (in the group) and our п¬Ѓrst game is most important for us to win. The minimum we hope to achieve is to qualify through the group stage.вЂќ In addition to Japan, it is minnows Palestine who complete Group D. So a victory for Jordan over 2007 champions Iraq would put Jordan in pole position to claim second spot, at least. But under Wilkins results have not yet been satisfactory. A draw with Kuwait was the high point and the last п¬Ѓve friendly matches have been lost, with just one goal scored in the process. Despite that, Wilkins is making the most of his return to coaching having been dismissed from his assistant position with English club Fulham in February 2014. вЂњIt is refreshing to work with these young men,вЂќ he said. вЂњThey do everything you ask and are responsive to everything we put in place. вЂњThere are some big players in England who are not as responsive as this group.вЂќ Bayern Munich team during their training session at the Aspire Academy grounds yesterday. By Sports Reporter Doha Tickets available online too Tickets for the FC Bayern Munchen and Qatar Stars Team match are 50QAR and 100 QAR. Online tickets are on sale now at tickets.qsl.com.qa T he Qatar Stars League and Volkswagen Group yesterday announced the friendly match against FC Bayern Munchen and Qatar Stars Team which will take place tomorrow 20:00 in Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium. The press conference took place at The National Teams Offices at Aspire Zone and was attended by Ahmed alвЂ“Harami, Executive Director of Competitions and Football Development, Qatar Stars League and Matthais Sammar, Sporting Director and Member of the Executive Board, FC Bayern Munchen. AlвЂ“Harami began by welcoming FC Bayern Munchen and discussing the importance of the up-coming match to Qatar Stars League, вЂњFor us this is not just a friendly match. FC Bayern Munchen has a great legacy and its very own, special style of football. We have been studying not just their approach to the game but the entire International League to see the difference between European football and our own. We want to continue to improve so that we can provide our fans with the highest level of football.вЂќ The press conference took place at The National Teams Offices at Aspire Zone and was attended by Ahmed alвЂ“Harami, Executive Director of Competitions and Football Development, Qatar Stars League (right) and Matthais Sammar, Sporting Director and Member of the Executive Board, FC Bayern Munchen (centre). Speaking on behalf of the FC Bayern Munchen team, Sammar said, вЂњWe are happy to be in Qatar and are looking forward to the match on Tuesday. The team have played a fantastic п¬Ѓrst half of the season and we are very focused and preparing to play at our best against Qatar Stars League.вЂќ As well as playing the friendly match against Qatar Stars League, FC Bayern Munchen is in Qatar for its annual winter training camp. Samar commented, вЂњWe are here for the п¬Ѓfth consecutive year because we found optimal conditions for training, along with the best training facilities.вЂќ AlвЂ“Harami then spoke about Qatar Stars Leagues long term ambitions, вЂњI believe we are currently amongst the top п¬Ѓve leagues in Asia. We want to become number one in the years to come.вЂќ The Qatar Stars League squad for the match was also announced during the press conference. Coach Michael Laudrup chose the following players for the Qatar Stars Team In person sales can be made at: Al Sadd вЂ“ Gate 5 Ticket Office and Al Gharafa вЂ“ Ticket Office from 4pm to 10pm. Qatar Sports Clubs вЂ“ Gate 5 Ticket Office from 4pm to 10pm. Remaining tickets will be available on match day from 2pm at Lekhwiya Stadium. which will play against Bayern Munich on 13 Jan 2015 in Abdullah Bin Khalifah Stadium: Licomte Amin, Khalifah Abu Bakr, Chico Flores, Costa, Mendez, Murad Naji, Ahmed Fathi, Ali Sanad, Waleed Muhy, Nadhir Belhaj, Luiz Martin, Talal al-Boloshi, Wessam Rezq, Ezequiel, Vladimir Weiss, Pablo Hernandez, Tabata, Rumarinho and Hamdi al-Harbawi. Ankle injury rules Australia captain Mile Jedinak out of Oman clash Australia captain Mile Jedinak will miss his countryвЂ™s Asian Cup clash with Oman after injuring an ankle during the 4-1 win over Kuwait, the team said yesterday. The Crystal Palace midfielder twisted his left ankle in the first half of FridayвЂ™s opening game, although he played on, and was seen wearing a protective brace as he departed Melbourne the following day. The loss of their talismanic skipper is a blow to Australia ahead of tomorrowвЂ™s match in Sydney as the tournament hosts seek to qualify from Group A, but coach Ange Postecoglou said the Socceroos could cope with the loss. вЂњWeвЂ™ve decided to rule Mile out of the Oman game after he copped an ankle injury against Kuwait,вЂќ Postecoglou said in a statement. вЂњHeвЂ™s not quite right to play, and at this stage of the tournament we are better to give it a few daysвЂ™ extra rest and we will reassess where heвЂ™s at for the game against Korea Republic.вЂќ While Australia should be able to cope without Jedinak against Oman, Postecoglou will be anxious to have his grizzled skipper back for the tougher challenges ahead. вЂњWhile it is not ideal for Mile to miss the game IвЂ™m confident we have the players and depth to be able to cover for not having him out there,вЂќ said the coach. вЂњWe worked hard on increasing our depth over the last six months leading into the Asian Cup and that has us in a good position to be able to cover for the loss of a player of MileвЂ™s calibre.вЂќ Centre-back Trent Sainsbury also expressed confidence the green and gold had enough cover to adapt. вЂњWeвЂ™ve got enough depth in the squad to still keep moving forward.вЂќ ASIAN CUP вЂ�RottweilerвЂ™ bares teeth as Iran floor Bahrain tice that they were not about to simply roll over as their bulldozing Nigerian-born striker Jaycee Okwunwanne blazed wide during the frenetic early skirmishes. Sayed Shubbar then squandered a golden opportunity by heading over as Bahrain threatened to capitalise on a sluggish start from Iran. AFP Melbourne I ran coach Carlos Queiroz let rip at Bahrain for their вЂњdangerousвЂќ tackling after his side won a tempestuous Asian Cup clash 2-0 yesterday. The Portuguese, described as a вЂњrottweilerвЂќ by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, accused Australian referee Ben Williams of failing to control the Group C match in Melbourne. вЂњI was not happy because after nine, 10, 12 fouls, stopping the game systematically. The referee must take action,вЂќ Queiroz told AFP. вЂњThere were some aerial duels where especially their number 12 (Faouzi Aaish) elbowed my players, and as you know the elbow is very dangerous.вЂќ Ehsan Hajsaп¬ЃвЂ™s sumptuous volley in п¬Ѓrst-half stoppage time lit the touchpaper for Iran, who are seeking to end a 39-year wait for a fourth Asian Cup title, before Masoud Shojaei added a second in the 71st minute to end brave BahrainвЂ™s resistance. But Queiroz, who had two spells as FergusonвЂ™s assistant at Old Trafford, was furious at what he saw as a lack of Iranian coach Carlos Queiroz gestures to his players, during his teamвЂ™s match against Bahrain yesterday. IranвЂ™s Ehsan Haji Safi celebrates after scoring against Bahrain during their football match at the AFC Asian Cup in Melbourne yesterday. (AFP) consistency from referee Williams. вЂњFor a referee so quick to show a yellow card when one of my players didnвЂ™t hear the whistle, I was completely surprised that when he sees BahrainвЂ™s negative gameвЂ”after 10 fouls in a rowвЂ”he didnвЂ™t give them a single yellow,вЂќ fumed the former Portugal and Real Madrid boss. AsiaвЂ™s top-ranked side, Iran almost opened the scoring after 20 minutes when the dangerous Ashkan Dejagah forced a smart stop from Sayed Abbas in the Bahrain goal. But Bahrain had already served no- MOMENT OF MAGIC However, Hajsaп¬Ѓ produced a moment of magic with almost the last kick of the п¬Ѓrst half, expertly trapping a looping clearance with his left foot before instantaneously smashing it past Abbas with the outside of his right boot from just outside the box. вЂњIt was a brilliant, fantastic goal,вЂќ gushed Queiroz. вЂњA goal to grace any stadium in the world. Bahrain made it difficult for us but we deserved to win and should have scored more goals.вЂќ Reza Ghoochannejhad appeared to be incorrectly п¬‚agged for offside for a second time when through on goal shortly after the interval. At the other end, Okwunwanne almost emulated Hajsaп¬Ѓ with a ferocious drive that Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi did brilliantly to keep out. Tempers п¬‚ared when Haghighi barged into Aaish, BahrainвЂ™s waspish вЂњI was not happy because after nine, 10, 12 fouls, stopping the game systematically. The referee must take action. There were some aerial duels where especially their number 12 (Faouzi Aaish) elbowed my players, and as you know the elbow is very dangerous,вЂќ said Iran coach Carlos Queiroz yesterday playermaker with a menacing-looking mohican who appeared to block off the keeper as he attempted a quick throw. But moments later Shojaei popped up to steer a right-foot shot just inside the post from another corner to trigger wild celebrations from a crowd of 17,000 вЂ” most noisily supporting Team Melli. вЂњYou saw what happened with the goalkeeper,вЂќ said Queiroz, still simmering. вЂњHe tried for a quick transition and the number 12 stopped him. The laws of the game are clearвЂ”an elbow is a yellow card, no doubt about that. For the offsides, we all make mistakes.вЂќ IranвЂ™s Asian Cup drought dates back to 1976, when they won the third of three successive titles. Earlier, the United Arab Emirates laid down a marker by thrashing Qatar 4-1 to go top of the group on goal difference. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 3 FOOTBALL EPL FOCUS Southampton stun United, Sanchez lifts Arsenal TadicвЂ™s 69th minute strike boosts SouthamptonвЂ™s bid to qualify for the Champions League S outhampton climbed above Manchester United into third place in the Premier League with a shock 1-0 win at Old Trafford, while Alexis Sanchez took centrestage as Arsenal crushed Stoke 3-0 yesterday. Ronald KoemanвЂ™s side stole the points in a dour encounter as Dusan TadicвЂ™s 69th minute strike boosted SouthamptonвЂ™s bid to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four п¬Ѓnish. It was the SaintsвЂ™ п¬Ѓrst win over United since 2003 and their п¬Ѓrst at Old Trafford since 1988. After a wobble in early December, Southampton are п¬Ѓrmly back on track having beaten United and Arsenal, and drawn with Chelsea, in their last three league matches. United, now two points behind Southampton, could have few complaints after a lacklustre performance which condemned them to their п¬Ѓrst home defeat since the opening weekend of the season against Swansea. Louis van GaalвЂ™s team are without a win in their last three league games and recent talk of a potential title challenge is likely to be silenced as they lie 12 points behind leaders Chelsea. Southampton have the best defensive away record in the top-п¬‚ight and they easily frustrated United in a dull п¬Ѓrst half in which neither side managed a shot on target. KoemanвЂ™s side took the POINTS TABLE Read as: played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points Chelsea 21 15 4 2 46 19 49 Man City 21 14 5 2 45 20 47 Southampton 21 12 3 6 35 15 39 Man Utd 21 10 7 4 34 21 37 Arsenal 21 10 6 5 37 25 36 Tottenham 21 10 4 7 30 29 34 West Ham 21 9 6 6 32 25 33 Liverpool 21 9 5 7 29 27 32 Swansea 21 8 6 7 26 25 30 Newcastle 21 7 6 8 25 33 27 Stoke 21 7 5 9 22 27 26 Everton 21 5 7 9 30 34 22 Aston Villa 21 5 7 9 11 23 22 West Brom 21 5 6 10 20 29 21 Crystal Palace 21 4 8 9 22 31 20 Sunderland 21 3 11 7 18 31 20 Burnley 21 4 8 9 19 33 20 Hull 21 4 7 10 20 27 19 QPR 21 5 4 12 23 37 19 Leicester 21 4 5 12 20 33 17 lead in the 69th minute when Graziano PelleвЂ™s shot hit a post and rebounded to Serbian midп¬Ѓelder Tadic, who swept his low shot past Tyler BlackettвЂ™s attempt to clear off the line. Juan Mata missed UnitedвЂ™s best chance, п¬Ѓring just wide, as the hosts Southampton manager Ronald Koeman (right) celebrates his team's victory over Manchester United with goal scorer Dusan Tadic. (EPA) pressed in vain for an equaliser. At the Emirates Stadium, Sanchez delivered a majestic display as Arsenal kept up the pressure in the race for a top four п¬Ѓnish with an emphatic win against Stoke. Sanchez made Laurent KoscielnyвЂ™s opener and then netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season either side of half-time to lift Arsenal above Tottenham into п¬Ѓfth spot. The battle for Champions League qualiп¬Ѓcation is hotting up, with Arsene WengerвЂ™s side only one point behind fourth placed United. вЂњCollectively, youвЂ™re happy when you score a few goals. We had a strong start and we knew that was vital today,вЂќ Wenger said. вЂњAlexis Sanchez is one of the best players. HeвЂ™s a п¬Ѓghter with a combination of talent and п¬Ѓghting spirit which is very difficult to п¬Ѓnd. вЂњHe plays with passion and you want people to enjoy what theyвЂ™re doing on the pitch and show it as well.вЂќ Just п¬Ѓve weeks after StokeвЂ™s shock home win over the Gunners, Arsenal legends Thierry Henry and Robert Pires watched from the stands as defender Koscielny started the revenge mission with a sixth minute header from SanchezвЂ™s cross. Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy was forced off with a shoulder injury after tangling with StokeвЂ™s Marko Arnautovic. вЂњHe has to see a specialist then we see where we go from there. A dislocated shoulder can take a while,вЂќ Wenger added. But the hosts struck again in the 33rd minute. It was another moment of magic from Sanchez as the former Barcelona forward took Tomas RosickyвЂ™s pass and sized up his options before cleverly beating Asmir Begovic at his near post. Sanchez wasnвЂ™t п¬Ѓnished yet and his deп¬‚ected free-kick four minutes after the interval sealed the points. RESULTS Arsenal 3 (Koscielny 6, Sanchez 33, 49) Stoke 0 Manchester United 0 Southampton 1 (Tadic 69) SPOTLIGHT C ristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to win the Ballon dвЂ™Or for the second year in succession at todayвЂ™s gala ceremony in Zurich ahead of Manuel Neuer and Lionel Messi. Messi has п¬Ѓnished in the top two in each of the last seven years but, despite another proliп¬Ѓc year in 2014, appears this time to be lagging behind his two rivals. A disappointing World Cup, in which he was eliminated at the group stage with Portugal, has not prevented Ronaldo from staking a strong claim to win the prize for the third time overall. The 29-year-old Real Madrid superstar scored a remarkable 61 goals in the calendar year as he helped his club win the Champions League, Copa del Rey and UEFA Super Cup before ending 2014 by securing the Club World Cup. Ronaldo scored a record 17 goals in last seasonвЂ™s Champions League and has already netted a phenomenal 26 goals in 16 La Liga games this season. even-time champions Lyon are the new Ligue 1 leaders after comfortably defeating Toulouse 3-0 at the Stade Gerland yesterday. Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette extended his lead at the top of the scoring charts with his 18th and 19th goals of the season while Nabil Fekir added further gloss to a perfect evening for Hubert FournierвЂ™s side as they lead the table in January for the п¬Ѓrst time since 2012. In yesterdayвЂ™s other early match, Nantes were held to a 0-0 draw in Brittany by Metz, a result that lifts the Canaries up to sixth while Metz climb out of the relegation zone but only ahead of Evian on goal difference. Previous leaders Marseille slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Montpellier on Friday while champions Paris Saint-Germain threw away a 2-0 lead and were beaten 4-2 by Bastia in Corisca on Saturday. Those results left Lyon one point clear of Marseille with Saint-Etienne third, three adrift, and PSG surprisingly fourth and п¬Ѓve points back. вЂњItвЂ™s great to be top after 20 matches but thereвЂ™s a long way to go and itвЂ™s not п¬Ѓnished yet,вЂќ said Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons. вЂњThere are some big teams out there and we canвЂ™t let up because you never know what can happen in football,вЂќ added the 25-year-old. вЂњThings can change quickly and we just have to concentrate on our objectives. Alexandre (Lacazette) has been incredible and he brings a lot of quality, to score two goals in four straight games shows what he can do and itвЂ™s good for the club and our objectives.вЂќ LyonвЂ™s victory was their ninth straight home success and п¬Ѓfth straight league win as they edge closer to a п¬Ѓrst French title since 2008 when they won the last of seven in a row. LacazetteвЂ™s closest rival in the scoring charts is MarseilleвЂ™s Andre-Pierre Gignac who is now seven back on 12 goals for the campaign. вЂњThe result is logical but severe,вЂќ bemoaned Toulouse coach Alain Casanova. вЂњWe created some chances but made some mistakes which cost us, especially on the п¬Ѓrst goal which made the game more complicated for us and when they got the third goal it was all over. PSGвЂ™s shock defeat left them in fourth place after SaintEtienne extended their unbeaten league run to 10 games on Saturday, beating Reims 2-1 to climb up to third. Elsewhere on Saturday, Nice beat Lorient 3-1 with Carlos EduardoвЂ™s lovely volley rounding off the win. Evian and Rennes shared the spoils of a 1-1 draw, Guingamp beat Lens 2-0 while Lille beat rock bottom Caen 1-0. TRANSFER Ronaldo hopes to hold off Messi, Neuer to retain Ballon dвЂ™Or AFP Zurich AFP Paris S ArsenalвЂ™s Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League match against Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium in London. (Reuters) AFP Manchester Lyon beat Toulouse to go top of Ligue 1 Unsurprisingly, he has received п¬Ѓerce support from his club, who feel that Ronaldo would be the only worthy winner of the prize and felt compelled to publicly criticise UEFA president Michel Platini for his suggestions that Neuer should take the award. Platini said in November that a German should win the award following their World Cup triumph, telling press: вЂњI already said it four years ago. A Spaniard should have won it then because Spain had won the World Cup (in 2010). This year it is Germany.вЂќ In response, Madrid expressed вЂњsurprise at (PlatiniвЂ™s) repeated remarks regarding his personal preferences for who should win the Ballon dвЂ™OrвЂќ, and added that Ronaldo was вЂњdeserving more than ever of winning the Ballon dвЂ™Or.вЂќ However, NeuerвЂ”the only one of six German World Cup winners on the initial shortlist to make the п¬Ѓnal threeвЂ”makes a good case to become the п¬Ѓrst goalkeeper to take the prize since Lev Yashin of the Soviet Union in 1963, and the п¬Ѓrst German since Lothar Matthaeus in 1990, the year West Germany lifted the World Cup in Italy. After helping Pep GuardiolaвЂ™s Bayern win a domestic double in Germany, Neuer, 28, was outstanding in his countryвЂ™s run to World Cup glory, as they beat Argentina 1-0 after extra time in the п¬Ѓnal at the Maracana. Diego Maradona and 2004 winner Andriy Shevchenko have given Neuer their backing, while Germany coach Joachim Loew told Bild: вЂњAny other choice than Neuer will disappoint me.вЂќ However, Neuer himself is remaining cautious after seeing his widely-tipped club colleague Franck Ribery come away disappointed at last yearвЂ™s ceremony. вЂњIвЂ™m certainly not favourite,вЂќ Neuer told German daily SГјddeutsche Zeitung. вЂњThe other two are international brands, theyвЂ™ve clearly got an advantage.вЂќ Despite his fame, and the fact that he scored 58 goals in 66 games for club and country in 2014, MessiвЂ™s candidature is not helped by the fact that he failed to win a trophy with Barcelona. And while he captained Argentina to the World Cup п¬Ѓnal, the 27-year-old failed to perform to his usual sky-high standards in the knockout stage in Brazil, even if he came away with the Golden Ball award for the tournamentвЂ™s best player. City agree fee for Bony: Reports AFP Manchester M anchester City have agreed a ВЈ30 million ($45 million) fee to sign SwanseaвЂ™s Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony, according to British media reports yesterday. The 26-year-old is currently preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations, but City have been pushing to seal a deal for the former Vitesse Arnhem star and it is believed the move will be officially conп¬Ѓrmed early next week. Bony has proved to be a major asset for Swansea since arriving at the Liberty Stadium from Dutch club Vitesse in 2013. He has scored nine Premier League goals already this season, having managed 17 in the league in the 2013-14 campaign. That п¬Ѓne form has caught the eye of City manager Manuel Pellegrini and BonyвЂ™s agent Francis Kacou said on Wednesday that he expected вЂњthings will be sorted in the next few daysвЂќ. The Ivorian topped the Premier League scoring charts for the calendar year of 2014 with 20 goals. Swansea manager Garry Monk said on Thursday that BonyвЂ™s goals could prove the difference in the Premier League championsвЂ™ title battle with Chelsea, who currently hold a two point lead over second placed City. вЂњI have spoken to the chairman of the club and the situation is ongoing, they are trying to agree fees but they are a little way apart from each other,вЂќ Monk said. вЂњWe have had those discussions about what heвЂ™s worth but the chairman is not stupid either. The club have a good understanding of these matters and ultimately it depends on what the club feels in terms of how much a player is worth. I give my input but itвЂ™s what the chairman and the board of directors decide is the right valuation. He could be the difference in the title race, couldnвЂ™t he?вЂќ 4 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 SPORT SERIE A TENNIS Captain Totti brace saves Roma blushes Fiorentina moves into the top six after dominating a seven-goal thriller in Florence Federer claims 1,000th win with Brisbane crown AFP Brisbane R oger Federer brought up his 1,000th victory at tour level in style yesterday when he beat Canadian Milos Raonic in three tough sets to win the Brisbane International. Federer was forced to absorb some superb shotmaking and blistering serves from the 24-year-old before winning 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes at the Pat Rafter Arena. FedererвЂ™s glittering career now includes 83 singles titles, including 17 Grand Slams, since his п¬Ѓrst victory over Frenchman Guillaume Raoux in Toulouse in 1998. The 33-year-old is third on the all-time list for matches won, behind Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071). вЂњTo get to 1,000 wins in front of you two greats means a lot to me,вЂќ Federer said, describing it as a вЂњspecial dayвЂќ. вЂњIвЂ™ll never forget this moment,вЂќ he added as he was presented with his Brisbane International trophy by Roy Emerson, as well as a special award for his 1,000th win by Rod Laver. вЂњIt feels very different to any other match IвЂ™ve ever won, because I never thought about anything reaching 500 or 800. All those numbers didnвЂ™t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1,000 means a lot because itвЂ™s such a huge number. Just alone to count to 1,000 is going to take a while.вЂќ FedererвЂ™s big win was not a foregone conclusion. Raonic played so well that for long periods during the second and third sets it looked like the milestone would have to wait until next weekвЂ™s Australian Open. But serving at 4-5 in the third set the Canadian faltered, giving Federer championship point with a double fault, before a forehand into the net ended the contest. Federer said the nature of the match made the 1,000th win even sweeter. вЂњLooking back itвЂ™s almost nicer winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in a п¬Ѓnal,вЂќ Federer said. вЂњIt means so much more than just running away with it with the score maybe winning 6-4, 6-4, which was looking very likely at one stage. I guess I was much more happy having to go three sets in the end rather than winning in straight.вЂќ Raonic is one of the biggest servers in the game but in the п¬Ѓnal he was outserved by Federer, who sent down 20 aces to RaonicвЂ™s 12. Raonic remained upbeat after the match, saying the performance him great conп¬Ѓdence leading into the Australian Open. вЂњI gave myself an opportunity to be in a п¬Ѓnal here against one of the best players in the world and gave myself a pretty good opportunity to win,вЂќ he said. вЂњI feel like IвЂ™m just going to get better over the next eight or nine days.вЂќ RomaвЂ™s Francesco Totti takes a selfie as he celebrates after scoring his second goal against Lazio during their Italian Serie A match at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Reuters) AFP Rome A POINTS TABLE second-half brace by captain Francesco Totti saved RomaвЂ™s blushes in a 2-2 draw with city rivals Lazio that pulled the Giallorossi level with Juventus at the top of ItalyвЂ™s Serie A yesterday. Roma started the 141st вЂ�Derby della CapitaleвЂ™ only one point behind Juventus, who can pull three points clear with a win away to high-п¬‚ying Napoli in a late game. Elsewhere, Fiorentina moved into the top six after dominating a seven-goal thriller in Florence where Spanish veteran JoaquinвЂ™s 74th minute strike capped a 4-3 win for Vincenzo MontellaвЂ™s men. Sampdoria remained in the hunt for a Champions League place thanks to EderвЂ™s 49th minute strike in a 1-0 home win over Empoli, while Cagliari gave their bid to beat the drop a boost with a precious 2-1 win over basement side Cesena. Atalanta and Chievo played out a dull 1-1 draw in Bergamo, while ParmaвЂ™s relegation woes were compounded by a 3-1 defeat away to Verona with veteran striker Luca Toni hitting his sixth goal of the campaign for the hosts. Read as: played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points Juventus 17 12 4 1 35 8 40 Roma 18 12 4 2 31 13 40 Lazio 18 9 4 5 33 21 31 Napoli 17 8 6 3 32 21 30 Sampdoria 18 7 9 2 23 17 30 Fiorentina 18 7 6 5 25 17 27 Genoa 18 7 6 5 24 20 27 AC Milan 18 6 8 4 27 21 26 Inter Milan 18 6 7 5 29 25 25 Palermo 18 6 7 5 30 30 25 Sassuolo 18 5 9 4 20 23 24 Udinese 18 6 5 7 21 24 23 Verona 18 5 6 7 21 28 21 Torino 18 4 7 7 13 19 19 Empoli 18 3 9 6 17 23 18 Chievo 18 4 6 8 13 20 18 Atalanta 18 3 8 7 14 24 17 Cagliari 18 3 6 9 23 35 15 Parma 18 3 1 14 18 39 9 Cesena 18 1 6 11 15 36 9 Roma welcomed Lazio to a packed-out Stadio Olimpico intent on claiming the win that would see them go top, but Stefano PioliвЂ™s men had other ideas. Italy midп¬Ѓelder Antonio Candreva п¬Ѓred a warn- ing when he turned inside to sweep a curling drive just past Morgan De SanctisвЂ™s far post in the opening minutes. Lazio broke the deadlock on 25 minutes after Radja Nainggolan lost possession in midп¬Ѓeld. Anderson pounced to lob the ball over Daniele De Rossi and into the path of Mauri for the Lazio skipper to sweep the ball past De Sanctis from close range. Anderson doubled LazioвЂ™s lead only four minutes later with a п¬Ѓne daisycutter that sneaked just inside De SanctisвЂ™s post. It was the BrazilianвЂ™s sixth goal in his last six matches, including one in LazioвЂ™s 3-0 Cup win over Varese last month. Garcia took affirmative action at halftime, replacing Nainggolan and Alessandro Florenzi with Kevin Strootman and Adem Ljajic respectively, and after only three minutes Roma had reduced the arrears. Totti was unmarked when he ghosted in towards the back post for a cross which he met п¬Ѓrst time to п¬Ѓre past Marchetti at the keeperвЂ™s near post. It gave Roma some much needed impetus and minutes later Juan Iturbe was given space to launch a vicious 30-metre drive that stung the palms of Marchetti and almost caught the вЂ™keeper unawares. Lazio remained a threat and De Sanctis had to look lively to punch away a danger- ous Candreva free kick. But minutes later Totti sent the Olimpico into raptures when he again ran in at the back post to meet Jose HolebasвЂ™s curling delivery to send a п¬‚ying acrobatic effort past Marchetti. It was TottiвЂ™s 239th goal in Serie A, taking the 38-year-old to within 35 of Silvio PiolaвЂ™s all-time record of 274. It was also TottiвЂ™s 11th in the Rome derbyвЂ”an absolute record. Totti, who is in his 22nd season with the club, celebrated by taking a telephone from one of the Roma coaching staff and taking a вЂ�selп¬ЃeвЂ™ picture of himself before returning to the pitch. Earlier, former Manchester United defender Nemanja VidicвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst goal for Inter Milan secured a 3-1 win over Genoa in their Serie A clash yesterday as on-loan Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski made his п¬Ѓrst start for the hosts. RESULTS: Inter Milan 3 (Palacio 12, Icardi 39, Vidic 88) Genoa 1 (Izzo 85); Atalanta 1 (Zappacosta 72) Chievo 1 (Lazarevic 90); Cagliari 2 (Pedro 11, Donsah 27) Cesena 1 (Brienza 89); Fiorentina 4 (Pasqual 20, Basanta 51, Cuadrado 64, Joaquin 74) Palermo 3 (Quaison 59, 61, Belotti 81-pen); Verona 3 (Sala 39, Toni 72, Valoti 90+1) Parma 1 (Lodi 63); Roma 2 (Totti 48, 64) Lazio 2 (Mauri 25, Anderson 29); Sampdoria 1 (Eder 49) Empoli 0 SPOTLIGHT Roger Federer of Switzerland holds the trophy after winning the Brisbane International tournament yesterday. (Reuters) FOCUS WolfsburgвЂ™s Malanda killed in crash Wawrinka starts season with third Chennai title AFP Wolfsburg T he death of Belgian Under-21 international midп¬Ѓelder Junior Malanda has left his German club Wolfsburg devastated but they will still go to South Africa for their training camp said sporting director Klaus Allofs yesterday. The 20-year-old was in the back seat of a car travelling to join up with his teammates on Saturday afternoon when it smashed into a treeвЂ”the two other people in the car survived. вЂњIt was not an easy decision but we think that it is the good one,вЂќ said Allofs. вЂњThe team were totally devastated when they learnt the news.вЂќ Allofs said the team would п¬‚y out later last night having cancelled their original п¬‚ight scheduled for Saturday on learning the news. вЂњWe were told of the news when we were already at the airport (Hanover) and we decided immediately to cancel the п¬‚ight,вЂќ said Allofs. Dieter Hecking, coach of A candle is placed next to a picture of WolfsburgвЂ™s midfielder Junior Malanda in Wolfsburg, central Germany yesterday, a day after the Belgian died in a car accident. (AFP) Wolfsburg, was in tears at the press conference. вЂњHe has a left a huge gap. But I think it was the correct decision to distance ourselves from Wolfsburg,вЂќ said Hecking. Wolsburg, second in the league table behind defending champions Bayern Munich at the time of the winter break, will stay in South Africa till January 17, which will include a game against South African secondplaced league side Ajax on the 14th. Some of the Wolfsburg entourage may п¬‚y home early if the funeral of Malanda takes place during their sojourn. The Belgian FA said on their website that the nation had lost one of its greatest talents, pointing out he had represented the national team at all age levels. вЂњWherever he went Junior made a good impression. Beside his footballing talent and impressive physique he was always in a good mood. He was the current captain of our under-21 side, which is testament to his good character and leadership skills,вЂќ read the statement. Before joining the Bundesliga club, Malanda had played at Anderlecht in Belgium and at Lille in France. He had 15 under-21 caps with Belgium and had played 10 German league games this season. Everton and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku said he was stunned by the death of his compatriot who had played against him in November when the English side won a Europa League tie 2-0 at the German club. вЂњI love you my brother,вЂќ wrote Lukaku on Instagram. вЂњJunior, why you my brother. My brother, one of my unique friends, I cannot believe you are not there anymore.вЂќ AFP Chennai S tanislas Wawrinka warmed up yesterday for the defence of his Australian Open title by winning the ATP Chennai Open for a second straight year and for the third time since 2011. The Swiss world number four ended Slovenian qualiп¬Ѓer Aljaz BedeneвЂ™s giant-killing feats in the season-opening $450,000 event with a 6-3, 6-4 win in a 69-minute п¬Ѓnal. Some 4,000 Indian fans at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium cheered wildly as the popular Wawrinka, making his seventh appearance in Chennai, outplayed Bedene. вЂњThis has been a perfect week for me,вЂќ the genial Swiss said. вЂњI served well and hit the ball good. It is amazing to win for the third time here, but I have to continue like this in (the) future also.вЂќ Wawrinka pocketed $73,400 and 250 ranking points for his efforts. But his biggest gain was a perfect tune-up for the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 19. вЂњI am very happy with my game and I should have good practice when I get to Melbourne in two days time and will be ready when the Open starts,вЂќ he said. The 29-year-old did not drop a single set in the tournament, seemingly beginning the new season with the same zeal he showed by helping Switzerland win its maiden Davis Cup title last year. Wawrinka had followed his win over Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France in last yearвЂ™s Chennai Open п¬Ѓnal by beating Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open п¬Ѓnal three weeks later. вЂњChennai is a lucky charm for sure,вЂќ he said. вЂњThis is a special place for me and I always enjoy coming back here. I hope I can do as well in Melbourne as I did last year.вЂќ Wawrinka said he was still a long way away from reaching the standards of players like compatriot Roger Federer or stars like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. вЂњGuys like those have been winning big tournaments for so long, I have managed just one Grand Slam so far,вЂќ he said. вЂњToday was only my second title since last April, so I know I have a long way to go.вЂќ Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 5 CRICKET SPOTLIGHT Clarke under tight deadline to lead at World Cup AFP Melbourne S electors named Michael Clarke as captain of Australia for next monthвЂ™s World Cup yesterday, with a п¬Ѓtness contingency should he not be able to play following a recent hamstring surgery. Clarke, who missed the п¬Ѓnal three Tests against India following the surgery, has been given until February 21 to prove his п¬Ѓtness for the one-day tournament. вЂњCaptain Michael Clarke will lead our World Cup campaign should he recover from his injury,вЂќ chief selector Rod Marsh said. вЂњHe is one of the worldвЂ™s best batsmen and we want to give him every chance to prove his п¬Ѓtness for a tournament as important as this one.вЂќ вЂњ(By February 21) we want to be completely and utterly settled. What we donвЂ™t want is talk about peopleвЂ™s п¬Ѓtness. We had to draw the line somewhere, we just couldnвЂ™t keep it hanging on and on and on.вЂќ Marsh added. A standby player for Clarke has not been named though Marsh said that if he became unavailable, George Bailey would captain the side in his absence. Clarke, 33, who has a history of chronic back/ hamstring trouble, admitted he has a lot of work to do over the next six weeks, but was upbeat he will return as captain. вЂњIвЂ™m conп¬Ѓdent IвЂ™ll be п¬Ѓt,вЂќ Clarke said. вЂњMy focus is to get fully п¬Ѓt. However long that takes. вЂњItвЂ™s really irrelevant what I think. ThatвЂ™s what the selectors have gone with. ThatвЂ™s the system. I have to get п¬Ѓt and healthy and get myself back on the park.вЂќ All-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who missed the recent Melbourne and Sydney Tests against India with hamstring trouble, was also named in a squad that contained few surprises. Selectors included all-rounders Shane Watson and James Faulkner, while the versatile Glenn Maxwell gets his chance. Xavier Doherty was picked as the sole recognised spinner, with Maxwell expected to provide the sideвЂ™s spin in most games. Mitchell Johnson, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood form AustraliaвЂ™s pace attack, while Brad Haddin will keep wickets. Johnson, who missed the п¬Ѓnal Test in Sydney with hamstring soreness, will be rested from the early stages of this monthвЂ™s tri-series against India and England. David Warner and Aaron Finch will open the batting for Australia, with batsmen Steve Smith, in the form of his life after scoring 769 runs in the four-Test series against India, and Bailey rounding out the squad. вЂњMitchell (Marsh) is progressing well with his rehab and we expect him to be available at some stage during the tri-series with the aim to have him well prepared for the World Cup,вЂќ chief selector Marsh said. вЂњThese players have really gelled over the past 18 months with their preparation geared towards giving us the best chance of winning a World Cup on home soil.вЂќ Australia are chasing a record п¬Ѓfth ICC cricket World Cup after winning the tournament in India in 1987, England in 1999, South Africa in 2003 and the West Indies in 2007. Australia begin their World Cup campaign against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 14. Rogers replaces injured Hussey as PMвЂ™s XI skipper Test opening batsman Chris Rogers has replaced injured Mike Hussey as captain of the Prime MinisterвЂ™s XI for WednesdayвЂ™s match against England. Hussey withdrew from the January 14 clash in Canberra with a calf injury sustained while playing for the Sydney Thunder in the Twenty20 BigBash League on Friday. Rogers played a key role in the recent Test series against India with six consecutive half-centuries. вЂњItвЂ™s a great honour for me to be selected as captain,вЂќ Rogers said. вЂњThis is an important fixture on the Australian cricketing calendar and is steeped in tradition. IвЂ™m looking forward to following in the footsteps of Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and others in leading this PMвЂ™s XI.вЂќ PMвЂ™s XI players Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell were yesterday named in AustraliaвЂ™s squad for next monthвЂ™s cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Australia World Cup squad Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson NZ vs SL/ 1ST ODI FOCUS Jayawardene ton in vain as McCullum blitz sets up NZ win вЂ�I thought Corey under pressure really stepped up nicely and got the job doneвЂ™ New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson hit a composed 81 to star in his sideвЂ™s three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI, at Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch yesterday. (AFP) Bell, Moeen and Taylor to lead England line up Reuters London I an Bell, Moeen Ali and James Taylor will line up as EnglandвЂ™s top three for the upcoming triangular series in Australia and possibly in next monthвЂ™s World Cup as well. вЂњThe top three will be Ali, Bell and James Taylor. The п¬Ѓrst opportunity goes to those guys,вЂќ captain Eoin Morgan said yesterday. Moeen and Taylor scored heavily in November and DecemberвЂ™s seven-match ODI series in Sri Lanka, which England lost 5-2, but the experienced Bell has failed to score more than 41 runs in his last eight innings. Bell, who has played 150 ODIs, was considered to be competing with the explosive Alex Hales to open the batting but his experience told. вЂњBelly is a class act, somebody weвЂ™ve looked to for a long time to score a heavy weight of runs. HeвЂ™s pretty key at the top of the order. All three lads look in great form. Opportunity lands with them and weвЂ™ll see how they go. вЂњI think the guts of the side are pretty strong but there are a couple of areas that do need addressing so opportunities will be there for guys to prove themselves.вЂќ Morgan also vowed not to make too many changes from Alastair CookвЂ™s tenure as captain. вЂњI donвЂ™t think it will differ in a huge amount. Over the last seven or eight months I think weвЂ™ve seen a considerable change in the method that weвЂ™ve used both batting and bowling. That will continue to go in the same direction and guys will be encouraged to play with freedom. вЂњThere will be certain things Alastair would do that I wouldnвЂ™t just because it is his character and mine. When IвЂ™ve captained in the past IвЂ™ve tended to strip things back to the basics. ThatвЂ™s my method.вЂќ England face Australia in Sydney on Friday in the п¬Ѓrst of four matches against the ICCвЂ™s number one-ranked ODI team and world champions India. England begin their World Cup campaign against Australia in Melbourne on Feb 14. LOOKING AHEAD Selectors put Harris in cotton wool for Ashes AFP Melbourne AFP Christchurch A cracking half-century by Brendon McCullum set New Zealand up for a comfortable threewicket win over Sri Lanka in their п¬Ѓrst one-day international in Christchurch yesterday. After McCullumвЂ™s 51 in 19 balls had provided his side a comfortable target well under four an over as they chased 219, Corey Anderson stepped up with 81 to ensure the job was done. When Anderson was dismissed, New Zealand required a further 10 runs which they achieved with seven overs remaining. вЂњI thought Corey under pressure really stepped up nicely and got the job done,вЂќ New Zealand skipper McCullum said, adding AndersonвЂ™s catch to remove Sri Lankan centurion Mahela Jayawardene was also crucial. вЂњThat dismissal of Mahela when he was looking to pull the trigger at that stage, to get him with a very good outп¬Ѓeld catch from Corey allowed us to get some momentum.вЂќ Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews believed the target they set New Zealand was 30-40 SCOREBOARD Sri Lanka D Karunaratne lbw Milne ................................................5 T Dilshan st Ronchi b N McCullum.............................19 K Sangakkara c Williamson b Milne ..........................4 M Jayawardene c Anderson b McClenaghan ......104 A Mathews (run out)..........................................................15 L Thirimanne c Williamson b McClenaghan.........23 J Mendis c N McCullum b McClenaghan ................23 T Perera c Ronchi b McClenaghan.............................0 N Kulasekara (not out) .....................................................6 S Senanayake c Ronchi b Anderson .........................7 S Eranga (not out) ...............................................................5 Extras (w7) .............................................................................7 Total (9 wickets, 50 overs).............................................218 Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-16, 3-51, 4-82, 5-155, 6-200, 7-200, 8-200, 9-213 Bowling: T Boult 10-1-46-0 (w4); A Milne 10-1-37-2; M McClenaghan 10-1-36-4 (w2); C Anderson 10-061-1 (w1); N McCullum 10-1-38-1 runs short of what was required. вЂњIt wasnвЂ™t the easiest wicket to bat on. It was a little bit twopaced. It wasnвЂ™t coming on to the bat really well so we had to work really hard,вЂќ he said. вЂњThe batters had to hang in there and try and rotate the strike but we kept losing wickets.вЂќ Sri Lanka, electing to bat п¬Ѓrst, posted 218-9 on the back of JayawardeneвЂ™s 104 in 107 balls. It was the 18th ODI century for the 37-year-old, the п¬Ѓfth high- New Zealand M Guptill c Dilshan b Kulasekara ................................0 B McCullum st Sangakkara b Senanayake ............51 K Williamson c M Jayawardene b Senanayake ...15 T Latham st Sangakkara b Dilshan ............................15 G Elliott b Kulasekara ........................................................1 C Anderson lbw Dilshan ..................................................81 L Ronchi c Mathews b Eranga ......................................17 N McCullum (not out) .......................................................25 A Milne (not out) ..................................................................7 Extras (lb5, w2) ....................................................................7 Total (7 wickets, 43 overs) .............................................219 Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-63, 3-76, 4-77, 5-101, 6-149, 7-209 Bowling: N Kulasekara 10-1-43-2 (w1); S Eranga 6-0-49-1 (w1); S Senanayake 10-0-43-2; A Mathews 2-0-17-0; T Dilshan 7-0-28-2; T Perera 7-0-29-0; J Mendis 1-0-5-0 Result: New Zealand won by three wickets est run-scorer in the history of the shortened game, who was rarely in trouble by the New Zealand attack until caught in a wicket meltdown late in the late innings. Although Jayawardene received little support in the middle, Sri Lanka had reason to believe their modest target was defendable when they removed Martin Guptill on the third ball of New ZealandвЂ™s reply. But for McCullum that was a signal to open up as he blazed away to bring up his 50 in just 19 deliveries with six fours and three sixes. It was the seventh fastest half century of all time, and only two behind the record held by Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya, who took 17 balls to reach 50 against Pakistan in 1996. McCullum had no sooner reached his 50 than his rollicking innings was over, beaten in the air by Sachithra Senanayake and stumped by Kumar Sangakkara to trigger a mini New Zealand collapse. Three wickets fell for 13 runs in 27 balls as Kane Williamson (15) and Grant Elliot (one) followed McCullum back to the pavilion. Williamson was snared by a remarkable catch at п¬Ѓrst slip by a diving Jayawardene who juggled the ball twice in his left hand before securing the wicket. Tom Latham was stumped on 15 and New Zealand were 101-5 before Anderson and Ronchi put the innings back on course with 48 for the sixth wicket, and Anderson with Nathan McCullum then added 60 in their seventh wicket stand. Tillakaratne Dilshan, who had Anderson leg before wicket, п¬Ѓnished with two for 28 while Senanayake and Nuwan Kulasekara both took two for 43. Apart from Jayawardene there was little resistance in the Sri Lankan innings with Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis, both 23, the only other players to get past 20. Mitchell McClenaghan, who dismissed Jayawardene in a spell of three wickets in four balls late in Sri LankaвЂ™s innings, п¬Ѓnished with four for 36. The second game in the seven-match series is in Hamilton next Thursday. L eading paceman Ryan Harris will miss the World Cup with an eye to AustraliaвЂ™s Ashes campaign in England later this year, selectors said yesterday. Harris, who ranks among AustraliaвЂ™s prominent fast bowlers, was left out of the World Cup squad named yesterday. It was no great surprise given the last of HarrisвЂ™s 21 one-day internationals came almost three years ago, largely because of п¬Ѓtness issues instead of form. Harris, known for his work ethic and high pain tolerance, successfully returned from major knee surgery during the recent Test series against India. Chief selector Rod Marsh said he could have used the 35-year-old as a trump card in next monthвЂ™s World Cup, but wanted him in peak condition for the next Ashes series. вЂњWe would really like to see Ryan go to England, bowl his heart out in Test cricket and keep those Ashes,вЂќ Marsh told reporters. вЂњHeвЂ™s that important to the team in Test match cricket. I know thereвЂ™s nothing bigger than the World Cup, but maybe international one-day cricketвЂ” heвЂ™s had his time there.вЂќ Marsh suggested Harris was typically understanding of the decision. вЂњI went to speak to him last night to tell him he wasnвЂ™t in the team,вЂќ Marsh said. вЂњI said, вЂ�RyanoвЂ™, and he said, вЂ�donвЂ™t worry mate, I knowвЂ™. I think he would have loved to be in the side, but I think he also realises he would have struggled.вЂќ Mitchell Johnson, who missed the Sydney Test with hamstring soreness, and Josh Hazlewood are expected to be rested from FridayвЂ™s tri-series opener against England in Sydney. Kane Richardson and potential debutant Gurinder Sandhu have been added to the squad as cover. Hazlewood played three consecutive Tests and the teamвЂ™s medical staff are likely to give him some time off. However, Hazlewood, 24, is keen to play in FridayвЂ™s ODI. вЂњOnce the ball is coming out well, you feel like you want to keep bowling,вЂќ Hazlewood said. 6 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 CRICKET SA vs WI/ 2ND T20 INTERNATIONAL South Africa blown away by Gayle storm after Du Plessis ton Windies chase down 232-run target with four wickets to spare to take 2-0 lead in three-match series SCOREBOARD South Africa R Rossouw c Ramdin b Holder ......15 M van Wyk c Pollard b Benn ...........4 F du Plessis c Bravo b Holder .........119 D Miller (run out) ..................................47 J Ontong c Holder b Bravo ..............19 F Behardien (not out) .........................8 D Wiese c Smith b Bravo...................6 K Abbott (run out) ...............................2 Extras (lb2, nb2, w7) ..........................11 Total (7 wickets, 20 overs) ..............231 Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Van Wyk), 2-21 (Rossouw), 3-126 (Miller), 4-156 (Ontong), 5-222 (Du Plessis), 6-228 (Wiese), 7-231 (Abbott) Bowling: Benn 3-0-42-1, Cottrell 3-0-47-0 (1nb), Holder 4-0-40-2 (2w), Russell 4-0-39-0 (1nb, 4w), Bravo 4-032-2 (1w), Sammy 1-0-17-0, Pollard 1-0-12-0 West Indies D Smith lbw De Lange .......................17 C Gayle c Van Wyk b Wiese .............90 M Samuels c Behardien b Wiese ..60 K Pollard c Behardien b Wiese ......7 A Russell c Miller b Abbott ..............14 D Bravo c Ontong b Phangiso........10 D Sammy (not out) ..............................20 D Ramdin (not out)..............................7 Extras (b4, w7) ......................................11 Total (6 wickets, 19.2 overs) ...........236 Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Smith), 2-171 (Gayle), 3-178 (Samuels), 4-185 (Pollard), 5-198 (Russell), 6-209 (Bravo) Bowling: Abbott 4-0-68-1 (1w), De Lange 3.2-0-42-1 (2w), Wiese 4-0-43-3 (3w), Phangiso 3-0-33-1, Imran Tahir 4-0-29-0 (1w), Ontong 1-0-17-0 West Indies opener Chris Gayle plays a Aaron Phangiso delivery during yesterdayвЂ™s second T20 match against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Gayle blasted a 41-ball 90 as Windies won by four wickets chasing a formidable 232-run target to take 2-0 lead in three-match T20 series. (Reuters) AFP Johannesburg C hris Gayle blasted 90 off 41 balls as the West Indies achieved a world record run chase in the second Twenty20 international yesterday to beat South Africa by four wickets. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis hit a 46-ball century in his teamвЂ™s total of 231 for sevenвЂ”their second highest total in the shortest form of the game. But it was overhauled with four balls to spare on a record-breaking day at the Wanderers with West Indies captain Darren Sammy п¬Ѓnishing the match with a six to take his team to 236 for six. Man-of-the-match Gayle was again the star for the West Indies as he shared a second-wicket stand of 152 off 75 balls with Marlon Samuels, who made 60. вЂњCricket was the winner today,вЂќ said Sammy. вЂњWe were dominated in the Tests but we have different energy in this series.вЂќ It was astonishing batting by both teams in ideal conditions on a п¬Ѓeld where the world record 50-overs run chase was achieved by South Africa when they scored 438 for nine against Australia in 2005-06. The previous T20 record chase was 211 for four by India against Sri Lanka in Mohali in 2009-10. Du Plessis said his South African record score of 119 off 56 balls was вЂњbit- tersweetвЂќ. He added: вЂњI said at halftime that this game is very far from п¬Ѓnished. Nothing is out of reach. Chris played so well up front, it is very hard to contain him.вЂќ вЂњCricket was the winner today. We were dominated in the Tests but we have different energy in this seriesвЂќ The tempo of the match was set when Du Plessis and David Miller (47) put on 103 off 49 balls for South AfricaвЂ™s third wicket. Du Plessis hit п¬Ѓve sixes and 11 fours, while MillerвЂ™s three sixes and four fours off 26 balls included arguably the biggest hit seen at the ground, a mighty blow over long-on which cleared a four-tier grandstand and sailed into an adjacent golf course. The West Indies replied with even more brutality at the start of their innings. They raced to 86 for one in the six-over power play, with Gayle and Samuels posting a п¬Ѓfty partnership off 21 balls. Gayle, who hit a 17-ball half-century in the п¬Ѓrst match in Cape Town on Friday, was only marginally slower on Sunday, reaching the mark off 20 deliveries with three sixes and seven fours. The carnage continued, with Gayle bludgeoning the bowling, while Samuels managed to play with more classical control despite scoring his 60 off 39 balls with seven fours and two sixes. South Africa were still in with a chance when medium-pacer David Wiese had Gayle caught behind in the 14th over and followed up with the wickets of Samuels and Kieron Pollard, both caught at long-on, in his next over. At that stage the West Indies still needed 47 off 25 balls. Two more wickets fell but Sammy clinched the win by hitting an unbeaten 20 off seven balls, п¬Ѓnishing the match by slamming Marchant de Lange into the crowd beyond midwicket. South African opening bowler Kyle Abbott conceded a world record 68 in his four overs. The previous highest was 64 by Jimmy Anderson of England and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka. Tauqir, 43, to lead the UAE at World Cup Mohamed Tauqir was named as captain of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) squad for the World Cup yesterday with the 43-yearold Dubai native replacing Pakistan-born Khurram Khan at the helm. The UAE will be playing at the World Cup for the first time since 1996 and have been drawn in Pool B alongside defending champions India, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland. Tauqir has represented the UAE in 50 international matches, including five ODIsвЂ”against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka (twice). Fellow 43-year-old Khan has been named as vicecaptain for the World Cup which is being staged in Australia and New Zealand from February 14-March 29. The UAE face Zimbabwe in their opening game in Nelson on February 19. UAE World Cup squad Mohamed Tauqir (capt), Khurram Khan, Swapnil Patil, Saqlain Haider, Amjad Javed, Shaiman Anwar, Amjad Ali, Nasir Aziz, Rohan Mustafa, Manjula Guruge, Andri Berenger, Fahad Al Hashmi, Mohamed Naveed, Kamran Shahzad, Krishna Karate Misbah to retire from ODIs after World Cup PakistanвЂ™s long-serving captain Misbah-ul-Haq has announced he will retire from one-day internationals and T20 cricket after the World Cup. вЂњMisbah has formally informed us he will retire from ODIs and not play T20 cricket after the World Cup. He wants to focus on Test cricket,вЂќ Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said yesterday. Misbah, 41, told Geo News channel he informed the board about a week ago. вЂњI took the decision to retire after much thought and feel this is the best time to go from ODIs. The World Cup is my last ODI venture,вЂќ he said of the tournament starting in Australia and New Zealand next month. Misbah became PakistanвЂ™s most successful Test captain in the recent series against New Zealand in the UAE. He was appointed Test captain in late 2010 after the spot-fixing scandal in England led to Salman Butt being banned. The board also handed Misbah the ODI and T20 captaincy in mid-2011 after Shahid Afridi was sacked as captain of limited-overs cricket. In 2012 he was removed as T20 captain but continued to feature in domestic T20 matches. Since his debut for Pakistan in 2002, Misbah has played 153 ODIs and scored 4,669 runs at an average of 42.83 with 37 fifties. He has led Pakistan in 78 games, SPOTLIGHT Bravo, Pollard axed; Narine returns for World Cup AFP St JohnвЂ™s, Antigua W Off-spinner Sunil Narine, whose bowling action was deemed illegal by the ICC last year, has been included in the WC squad. est Indies have left out allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from their 15-man squad for the World Cup in February and March. The duo are surprise omissions, but there is a recall for spinner Sunil Narine whose bowling action was deemed illegal during last yearвЂ™s Champions League Twenty20 competition. Bravo led the team which abruptly withdrew from a one-day series in India last year over a pay dispute and the pullout prompted the Indian board to suspend all future tours with West Indies. The squad will be captained by 23-year-old Jason Holder, who will lead the side for the п¬Ѓrst time in their п¬Ѓvematch one-day international series in South Africa starting on Friday. Experienced batsman Marlon Samu- els has been appointed vice-captain. Also returning to the squad is top order batsman Darren Bravo, who had taken time away from the game to address some personal matters. Fast bowler Kemar Roach has been selected despite after suffering an ankle injury in the recently completed Test series against South Africa. Chairman of the selection panel Clive Lloyd, who won the World Cup in 1975 and 1979, says they believe they have a squad that can win the February 14-March 29 tournament. вЂњIf they play to their potential I am quite sure we will do very well,вЂќ Lloyd said in a West Indies Cricket Board media release. вЂњI have really high hopes in this teamвЂ”I believe they can do something special. We have the talent and if we can play to our potential we have a very good chance of lifting that trophy.вЂќ The most experienced ODI player in the squad is opener Chris Gayle with 258 appearances. Samuels (162), Denesh Ram- din (115) and Darren Sammy (115) all have over a hundred ODI games under their belts while Dwayne Smith (94) could achieve his 100th appearance during the World Cup. The squad has a total of 1,156 ODI appearances with only Sheldon Cottrell and Jonathan Carter yet to debut internationally. Carter and Cottrell are both in the ODI squad that will play South Africa in a п¬Ѓve-match series from Friday. West Indies play their opening World Cup match on February 16 against Ireland before going on to face Pool B rivals, defending champions India, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates. West Indies squad Jason Holder (captain), Marlon Samuels, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor All-rounders Dwayne Bravo (left) and Kieron Pollard seem to have been punished for their role in Windies teamвЂ™s pull out from India tour last year. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 7 SPORT RALLYING HORSE RACING Terranova makes it seven from seven for Mini in Dakar QatarвЂ™s Nasser al-Attiyah suffers from a bout of altitude sickness but still in overall lead Al ShaqabвЂ™s Mshawish wins Fort Lauderdale Stakes in Florida A l Shaqab Racing Mshawish put in a dazzling performance to take the Group II Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Florida on Saturday, December 10. Despite swinging out wide on the far turn, Mshawish was ably ridden by jockey Javier Castellano to win his second straight stakes in the US for trainer Todd Pletcher. Earlier Mshawish had won the Prado Stakes on December 13 for his п¬Ѓrst North American win. Castellano took a hard hold of Mshawish and settled him behind pace-setting Silver Freak, pouncing on the far turn and closing well to win by a neck over Grand Tito. The winner clocked a smart timing of one minute 41.14 seconds. Mshawish was bred in Kentucky by OTIF 2007 and is a son of Medaglia dвЂ™Oro and the Thunder Gulch mare Thunder Bayou. вЂњIt was not exactly how we had drawn it up,вЂќtrainer Pletcher said. вЂњThere were some strange riding tactics down the backside. At the top of the stretch he kind of drifted a little bit. He kind of got settled in down the backside when that horse came outside of him uncovered again.вЂќ вЂњHeвЂ™s an extremely talented horse. He needs to be covered up a little bit. He never really got great cover today and because of that he never got turned off. I donвЂ™t think many horses would have won with that type of trip, so itвЂ™s a real credit to the horse. HeвЂ™s a very, very talented horse.вЂќ Castellano also praised his mountвЂ™s ability. вЂњIt was pretty tough today. This is a horse that is a little difficult to ride. You need to cover him up and unfortunately today he was a little more in the clear. A couple of jockeys smooched a little bit to be in a forward position and I just tried to cover up my horse the best I could. The way he did it today I was very impressed, because he fought a lot in the beginning but still fought at the end. He really gives you everything he has. He deserved to win the race today.вЂќ Mshawish started seven times in Europe, where he was twice a winner, including a score in the listed Prix de Torgeville at Deauville. From there he went to Dubai, where in Feburary of 2014 he took the Zabeel Mile before running fourth in the Dubai Duty Free. Mshawish is likely to be in the line-up for the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on February 7. Argentinian driver Orlando Terranova competes on his way to a win in the seventh stage of the 2015 Rally Dakar between Iquique, Chile, and Uyuni, Bolivia, on Saturday. (EPA) AFP Uyuni, Bolivia T he 2015 Dakar Rally may have swopped Chile for Bolivia on Saturday but the change of scenery did not prevent Mini claiming their seventh stage win out of seven. Argentine driver Orlando Terranova maintained the British marqueвЂ™s grip on the notoriously gruelling event for his third stage win this year and fourth overall. Saudi Arabia driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi came in second in a Toyota, almost two-and-ahalf minutes behind, to cement his place in third in the overall standings. SaturdayвЂ™s stage set off from the Chilean city of Iquique and finished in Uyuni at the gateway to the majestic Bolivian salt flats with amongst the tens of thousands of onlookers Bolivian president Evo Morales. Morales told AFP that he had sent a message to his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, to pay his respects after this weekвЂ™s Islamist killing spree left 17 dead in France. вЂњWe are very sad and we share the pain of the French people,вЂќ said Morales. While Terranova is out of contention for the title, his Mini teammate Nasser al-Attiyah, only seventh on Saturday, retained his position at the top of the overall standings despite having three minutes shaved off his lead by South African Giniel de Villiers, who crossed in sixth. Al-Attiyah, the Dakar winner in 2011, was crippled by altitude sickness during the 321 kilometre timed section. вЂњThe stage wasnвЂ™t difficult, it was the altitude,вЂќ he said. вЂњI had to stop three times to vomit and I had a terrible headache every time we went over a bump. IвЂ™ve lost some time, but itвЂ™s no big deal. We donвЂ™t need to push our limits.вЂќ Al-Attiyah, who is also an Olympic shooter, added: вЂњThe car is in good condition, so weвЂ™re only going to change the tyres, check a few things and then go get a rest. First IвЂ™ll go see the medical service for a check-up.вЂќ He is now 8min14sec clear of 2009 winner de Villiers in Toyota, with Al-Rajhi at 21:16. Terranova described his day behind the wheel as вЂњreally difficult, tough, complicated.вЂќ He added: вЂњBut weвЂ™ve made it. Now weвЂ™ll try and bring the car to Chile so our crew can take care of it. WeвЂ™re getting better, but we need to work hard to avoid mistakes, and next year weвЂ™ll be stronger.вЂќ With the motorbike and quad competitors on a rest day, this was the п¬Ѓrst time cars competing in rallyвЂ™s toughest event had crossed over from the Chilean city of Iquique to the worldвЂ™s largest salt п¬‚ats. SundayвЂ™s eighth stage takes Al-Attiyah and the rest of the car competitors back to Iquique across the salt п¬‚ats. вЂњI had no problem crossing it, although I was in a helicopter... We did not see any water,вЂќ Morales told the drivers. RESULTS AND CLASSIFICATIONS Stage 7 (top 10) 1. Orlando Terranova/Bernardo Graue (ARG/ ARG/Mini) 3hr 31min 18sec 2. Yazeed Alrajhi/Timo GГ¶ttschalk (KSA/ GER/Toyota) +2:20 3. Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul (NED/ BEL/Toyota) +2:28 4. Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (POL/FRA/Mini) +2:57 5. Nani Roma/Michel Perin (ESP/FRA/Mini) +4:02 6. Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/ GER/Toyota) +6:50 7. Nasser al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/ FRA/Mini) +9:48 8. Stephane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret (FRA/FRA/Peugeot) +10:43 9. Robby Gordon/Johnny Campbell (USA/ USA/Gordini) +10:48 10. Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS/Mini) +13:32 Overall classification (top 3) 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (QAT/ FRA/Mini) 23 h 11:50 2. Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/ GER/Toyota) 8:14 3. Yazeed Alrajhi/Timo GГ¶ttschalk (KSA/ GER/Toyota) 21:16 Abdullah al-Kuwari and Ali al-Shawi win Qatar National Rally and Baja Abdullah al-Kuwari won the Misfer Qatar National Rally organised by Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) on Saturday. QatarвЂ™s al-Kuwari, who had already secured the championship in the last round, pushed his Ford Fiesta R5 to the limit to win the round with a total time of 1:09:38.8. Compatriot Rashid al-Naimi finished second with a time of 1:10:53.7 in a Mitsubishi EVO 10. The trophies were presented by QMMF general secretary Mohamed Saad al-Morrakhi and QMMF board member Sultan Zaher al-Morraikhi. The weekend also saw the last round of Qatar National Baja. Ali al-Kitbi won the championship ahead of Ahmed al-Shawi even as Ali al-Shawi of UAE won the final round in a Chevrolet in a time of 1:12:36.2. Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s Ahmed al-Qashmi was second with a time of 1:12:41.4. 8 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 SPORT NBA NHL GasolвЂ™s 46 points lift Bulls over Bucks Calgary shuts out host Canucks вЂ�Give a lot of credit to my teammates that made a lot of great plays for meвЂ™ Agencies Vancouver AFP Chicago S painвЂ™s Pau Gasol scored a career-high 46 points on Saturday to help the Chicago Bulls overcome the absence of Derrick Rose in a 95-87 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks. With former NBA Most Valuable Player Rose sidelined by a sore left knee, Gasol stepped it up a notch. He improved on his previous career-best of 44 points, achieved in 2006 when he played for Memphis, and also pulled down 18 rebounds. вЂњHe wasnвЂ™t going to let us lose tonight,вЂќ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. вЂњIt was a good overall night,вЂќ said Gasol. вЂњYou start making the п¬Ѓrst couple of shots, your teammates start looking for you. I was able to п¬Ѓnd good spots, get in rhythm. вЂњGive a lot of credit to my teammates that made a lot of great plays for me and looked for me a lot of times.вЂќ Kirk Hinrich added 16 points and Jimmy Butler contributed nine points, eight rebounds and 10 assists for Chicago, who had endured back-to-back defeats in their previous two games. The Bulls had connected on less than 40 percent of their shots from the п¬‚oor in lacklustre losses to Utah and Washington, and they were little better in that department on Saturday, shooting a collective 39.8 percent. Joakim NoahвЂ™s offensive struggles were particularly evident as he п¬Ѓnished with just two points. Thibodeau acknowledged before the game that the lack of offence was вЂњbothersome and concerningвЂќ but on the night GasolвЂ™s contribution was enough to deliver a victory. He scored the п¬Ѓrst seven points of the game and 20 in the п¬Ѓrst quarter as Chicago took a 29-19 lead. He had 40 points through three quarters, and п¬Ѓnished by making 17 of his 30 attempts from the п¬‚oor and 12 of his 13 free throws. вЂњIt was deп¬Ѓnitely a crucial game for us, to bounce back and snap that two-game skid we had,вЂќ Gasol said. вЂњItвЂ™s important to win at home and regain conп¬Ѓdence and rhythm.вЂќ J oni Ortio made 36 saves for his п¬Ѓrst NHL shutout, leading the Calgary Flames past the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 on Saturday night. Mikael Backlund scored in the п¬Ѓrst period for Calgary and Ortio made it stand in his п¬Ѓrst start of the season to help the Flames snap a three-game losing streak. вЂњYou just have to win those battles down low, I guess,вЂќ Canucks coach Willie Desjardins told The Vancouver Sun. вЂњSome pucks are sitting around and you just have to п¬Ѓnd a way to get them. I think we hit four or п¬Ѓve posts and if one those goes in, it certainly helps. вЂњI thought tonight the effort was there. ItвЂ™s a tough league and sometimes you play well, but you donвЂ™t win. That was the case tonight.вЂќ Ortio, a 23-year-old Finn, was recalled from the American Hockey League Adirondack Flames last week after Karri Ramo went down with an upperbody injury; Ortio played a mere nine NHL games before Saturday. The Flames came in having lost nine straight against Van- RESULTS Charlotte LA Clippers Detroit Philadelphia TORONTO Chicago Houston San Antonio Portland 110 NY Knicks 120 Dallas 98 Brooklyn 93 Indiana 109 Boston 95 Milwaukee 97 Utah 108 Minnesota 103 Orlando 82 100 93 92 96 87 82 93 92 A three-pointer by Milwaukee guard O.J. Mayo pulled the Bucks within four early in the fourth quarter. But the Bulls, who out-rebounded the Bucks 51-37, scored the next six points and led by at least eight points the rest of the game. Jackson shoulders blame for reeling Knicks NBA coaching great Phil Jackson, in his п¬Ѓrst full season as president of the New York Knicks, shouldered responsibility Saturday for the clubвЂ™s dismal season. вЂњThis is a mea culpa,вЂќ Jackson said before his Knicks were routed 110-82 by the Charlotte HornetsвЂ”extending New YorkвЂ™s club-record losing streak to 15 games. New York fans are getting restive, taking out their frustrations with jeers of their own team and sporting paper bags on their heads at games to hide their shame. вЂњI take responsibility for it,вЂќ Jackson said, adding that he didnвЂ™t think fans should address their ire at п¬Ѓrst-year coach Derek Fisher. вЂњItвЂ™s not his fault,вЂќ Jackson said. вЂњObviously I didnвЂ™t do the right thing in picking the group of guys that were here.вЂќ On Saturday, the Knicks wee again without high-priced superstar Carmelo Anthony, who continues to rest a sore knee. Amare Stoudemire, also nursing a troublesome knee, was also absent. In a season of lows, the Kicks were especially awful on Saturday, trailing by as many as 45 points in the second half before trimming the deп¬Ѓcit in the fourth quarter after Charlotte pulled their starting players. Quincy Acy was one bright spot for the Knicks, п¬Ѓnishing with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Tim Hardaway jnr added 15 points and Shane Larkin chipped in 12. Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol (No 16) shoots the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half in Chicago. The Chicago Bulls defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 95-87. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports RESULTS Boston Nashville Colorado Pittsburgh Washington NY Islanders Ottawa St. Louis Calgary Winnipeg NY Rangers 3 Philadelphia 1 3 Minnesota 1 4 Dallas 3 2 Montreal 1 (OT) 3 Detroit 1 5 Columbus 2 5 Arizona 1 5 Carolina 4 (SO) 1 Vancouver 0 5 Los Angeles 4 (SO) 3 San Jose 1 couver (0-6-3), and hadnвЂ™t beaten the Canucks since a 4-2 victory on March 3, 2013, in Calgary. Eddie Lack stopped 22 shots for Vancouver, which has dropped two straight after going 5-1-1 in its previous seven games. Lack, who came in with a 3-00 career record against Calgary, got the start ahead of No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller, who wasnвЂ™t feeling well but sat on VancouverвЂ™s bench as the backup. Still trailing 1-0 after giving up a goal early in the п¬Ѓrst and in possession of a 28-14 shot edge through two periods, the Canucks came out hard in the third, but Ortio was there when he had to be after Vancouver hit three posts in the gameвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst 40 minutes. Goalie Joni Ortio (No 37) of the Calgary Flames stops Henrik Sedin (No 33) of the Vancouver Canucks in close as TJ Brodie (No 7) of the Calgary Flames helps defend on the play during the third period in NHL action in Vancouver. (AFP) NFL Seahawks power past Panthers for playoff win AFP Carolina S uper Bowl champions Seattle moved a step closer to a return to the NFLвЂ™s title game on Saturday with a 31-17 playoff win over the Carolina Panthers. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes and defender Kam Chancellor returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks pulled away. With the victory, the Seahawks advance to the National Football Conference title game. TheyвЂ™re the п¬Ѓrst reigning Super Bowl champions to win a playoff game the next season since the 2005 New England Patriots. They will host the winner of NFC second-round clash between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. Wilson completed 15 of 22 passing attempts for 268 yards and added 22 yards on the ground. Jermaine Kearse caught three passes for 129 yards and a touchdown and Luke Willson had four receptions for 68 yards and a TD for the Seahawks, who have won eight straight post-season games in front of their frenzied fans in Seattle. Seattle Seahawks Michael Bennett (No 72) and Bobby Weaver (No 54) move in to sack Carolina Panthers Kam Chancellor (No 3) in the first round of the NFC Western Division Playoffs in Seattle. SeattleвЂ™s Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 23 of 36 passes for 246 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Chancellor was the star of another dominant defensive display by the Seahawks. His determination was evident in the п¬Ѓrst half when he twice leapt over his own defensive line in what ultimately proved a futile bid to thwart a Carolina п¬Ѓeld goal. But he was a game-changer in the п¬Ѓnal period. With the Panthers trying to whittle down a 21-10 deп¬Ѓcit, Chancellor stepped in front of a Newton pass intended for tight end Ed Dickson and rumbled 90 yards for a Seahawks touchdown. Newton had п¬Ѓrst looked for receiver Brenton Bersin, and by the time he opted to throw to Dickson, Chancellor had read the play and made his move. вЂњIt felt awesome,вЂќ Chancellor said. вЂњIt felt like preparation, it felt like everything I worked all week for. вЂњThat was my п¬Ѓrst return for my career, and it felt good,вЂќ added Chancellor, who also had 10 tackles. вЂњI donвЂ™t know if a strong safety can have a stronger game than Kam Chancellor did tonight,вЂќ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. NewtonвЂ™s 15-yard touchdown throw to Kelvin Benjamin with just over two minutes left in the game was notable only as the п¬Ѓrst fourth-quarter points allowed by the Seahawks in their last seven games. Benjamin hauled in seven passes for 75 yards and two scores, while Greg Olsen caught four balls for 58 yards in defeat. вЂњWe made some mistakes, we missed some opportunities,вЂќ said Carolina coach Ron Rivera, whose team won their п¬Ѓnal four games of the regular season to win the NFC South division and book an unlikely playoff berth. Brady leads Patriots past Ravens in thriller The New England Patriots fought back from 14-point deficits twice to beat the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in a thrilling playoff contest as they advanced to the AFC Championship game for the fourth straight year on Saturday. The Patriots will now host the winners of SundayвЂ™s game between Denver and Indianapolis with a place in the Super Bowl on the line. New England did not lead until quarterback Tom Brady connected with Brandon LaFell for a 23-yard touchdown with five minutes to play to give the Patriots their 35-31 advantage. The score allowed Brady, who threw for three touchdowns, to break Joe MontanaвЂ™s record of 45 playoff touchdowns. вЂњWe showed a lot of toughness coming back from those two deficits,вЂќ said Brady. вЂњIt took a lot of effort, a lot of guys making a lot of good plays and we are happy to host the championship game next week.вЂќ The Ravens, who twice since 2000 had beaten the Patriots in playoff games, demonstrated their intent on the gameвЂ™s first drive with Joe Flacco leading them on a five-play, 71-yard drive culminating in a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken. The freezing Foxborough crowd were stunned when, on their second possession, the Ravens scored again, Flacco, who threw for four touchdowns, finding Steve Smith who beat Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis on a slant. Brady, who passed for 367 yards, brought the Patriots back with a clever four-yard touchdown run. New England pulled level at 14-14 when Brady found Danny Amendola with a 15-yard touchdown pass, the receiver evading a tackle before a spectacular dive into the end zone. If Baltimore were downhearted, they showed no signs of it with Daryl Smith intercepting a Brady pass towards Rob Gronkowski. With that possession, the Ravens advanced down the field with Flacco finding Owen Daniels to send Baltimore in at the half with a 21-14 lead. Busted coverage from the Patriots defense in the third quarter allowed Flacco to find a wide-open Justin Forsett with a 16yard touchdown pass that he ran in unchallenged. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 9 SPORT GOLF / HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS GOLF / SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN Johnson in a four-way tie at the top in Hawaii American is tied with Jimmy Walker, Russell Henley and Bae Sang-moon Sullivan wins maiden title as Schwartzel collapses AFP Edenvale, South Africa E Reuters Kapalua, Hawaii D efending champion Zach Johnson was among four players tied for the lead after an ideal day for low scoring in the second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Saturday. Johnson, who clinched last yearвЂ™s title by one shot, п¬Ѓred a sixunder-par 67 on the hilly Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort to п¬Ѓnish level with fellow Americans Jimmy Walker (68) and Russell Henley (70), and South KoreaвЂ™s Bae Sang-moon (69). Walker, a three-times winner on the 2013-14 PGA Tour, was the only player in the elite п¬Ѓeld of 34 to get to 12 under for the tournament but he bogeyed the par-four 17th on the way to an 11-under total of 135 on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Six players held at least a share of the lead in the second round of the opening PGA Tour event of the year and the eighth of the wrap-around season for 2014-15. Zach Johnson tees off for the 11th hole during the second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Saturday. (AFP) LEADING SECOND-ROUND SCORES 135 - Zach Johnson (USA) 68-67, Jimmy Walker (USA) 67-68, Russell Henley (USA) 65-70, Bae Sang-Moon (KOR) 66-69 136 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-66, Charley Hoffman (USA) 7066, Brendon Todd (USA) 69-67, Patrick Reed (USA) 67-69, Robert Streb (USA) 67-69 nglandвЂ™s Andy Sullivan capitalised on Carl SchwartzelвЂ™s South African Open fourth round implosion to claim his debut EPGA title in a play-off yesterday. The 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel looked to be heading for victory, with the South African entering the п¬Ѓnal round at the Glendower Golf Club in Ekurhuleni п¬Ѓve strokes clear of the п¬Ѓeld. The world number 31 still had a four shot cushion with п¬Ѓve holes to go. But he then folded dramatically, dropping a shot at the 14th, and three-putting the 16th for a double bogey. A poor tee shot at the 17th triggered another bogey to leave him level with Sullivan at 11 under par. Sullivan held his nerve when the pair returned to the 18th for the п¬Ѓrst sudden death hole. Both players failed to make the fairway, with Sullivan recovering brilliantly from the trees to hole out from 10 feet for a winning birdie. Sullivan had begun the п¬Ѓnal round seven shots behind his playing partner Schwartzel, but set up his maiden win on the European Tour with four birdies, an eagle and one bogey for a closing 67. вЂњItвЂ™s unbelievable,вЂќ said the 27-year-old. вЂњAfter Saturday I didnвЂ™t think I stood much of a chance with Charl getting ahead that far. вЂњI just dug in there yesterday and today and found myself in a position where I had a chance to win. My caddie said over the last few holes вЂ�no regretsвЂ™ and IвЂ™ve deп¬Ѓnitely got no regrets over the last few holes, especially that play-off hole. вЂњCharl has won major championships, my caddie said expect him to hole (his third shot) and he nearly did. I was delighted just to hit the green and have a chance to win and IвЂ™m just glad I took it. вЂњI didnвЂ™t want to give him a second chance to take the title away from me so I am absolutely delighted and I hope the guys at Nuneaton Golf Club are having a few beers for me! вЂњTo just play on the European Tour is something IвЂ™ve wanted to do my whole life, so to win an event just caps it all off and to do it in South Africa where I have always enjoyed playing, it has just been an incredible week.вЂќ EnglandвЂ™s Lee Slattery carded a closing 69 to п¬Ѓnish third, one shot outside the play-off, with SpainвЂ™s Pablo Martin another shot back in fourth after also recording a 69. RUGBY Giteau sparks Toulon to victory over Racing Metro AFP Paris A sparkling performance by Matt Giteau (pictured) on his return after an absence of over two months inspired champions Toulon to a 32-23 victory over Racing-Metro on Saturday and end a run of two defeats. The match took place in a highly-charged atmosphere in the wake of the Islamist killing spree this week in Paris which resulted in 17 deathsвЂ”the players and spectators joined in both a minuteвЂ™s silence and applause followed by a rousing rendition of the French national anthem вЂ�La MarseillaiseвЂ™. Victory for Toulon kept them in third place, three points behind Stade Francais, who beat Castres 44-13 on Friday. Clermont stayed top by running in six tries in a 44-20 bonus-point romp against Brive. Toulon manager Bernard Laporte said he was delighted with how his players had reacted to the defeat by Montpellier last weekend. вЂњThis was a terriп¬Ѓc match and I very much liked the reaction of the players to the defeat last week,вЂќ said the 50-year-old. вЂњOn the other hand our target set at half-time of getting the bonus point was not realised.вЂќ Toulon got off to a superb start scoring two tries in the opening quarter-of-an-hour. Their п¬Ѓrst came through fullback Leigh HalfpennyвЂ”set up by Giteau who has been out since late October with a groin injuryвЂ”and the Welshman then gathered himself and converted. Benjamin Dambielle reduced the deп¬Ѓcit with a penalty for the visitors but they were hit by a second Toulon try in the 15th minute. Former Springbok Juan Smith was responsible for it, managing to touch down at full stretch, and Halfpenny converted for 14-3. Racing didnвЂ™t do themselves any favours in terms of getting back into the match as they were reduced to 13 men in the 22nd minute with both Jamie Roberts and Adrien Plante sin- binned in separate incidents. Halfpenny punished Roberts sin-binning with another penalty and the hosts then added a third try as Bryan Habana went overвЂ”this time Halfpenny saw his effort cannon back off a postвЂ”for his third try of the campaign. Toulon lost another of their formidable South African contingent when lock Bakkies Botha had to go off with what looked like a broken п¬Ѓnger. Toulon were suddenly on the back foot too as the visitors stormed back into the match with tries either side of half-time п¬Ѓrstly through former Toulon wing Marc Andreu, who completely out-foxed Halfpenny. Roberts got back in the good books as he sent Habana the wrong way to go over for his п¬Ѓrst this season three minutes into the second-halfвЂ” the hosts down to 14 men as Drew Mitchell had been yellow-carded. Dambielle converted them both to reduce the deп¬Ѓcit to п¬Ѓve points -- 22-17 -- and they got to 22-20 when another former Toulon player fullback Benjamin Lapeyre landed a long range penalty in the 46th minute. However, like the champions they are Toulon responded in style. Halfpenny kicked a penalty and then Giteau did just enough to break a tackle and at full Fowler, Campbell share honours at QGL golf tournament stretch touch down over the line for his 10th try of the seasonвЂ”Halfpenny converted for 32-20. Dambielle hit back with a penalty in the 56th minute but try as they might Racing were unable to breach the Toulon line again. ClermontвЂ™s try romp began after 32 minutes through full-back Jean-Marcellin Buttin as the home side built up an 11-0 lead from which they never looked back. Further tries from Benjamin Kayser, Napolioni Nalaga with a quickп¬Ѓre brace in the 51st and 55th minutes, Ludovic Radosavljevic and a penalty try sealed the points against a Brive side who ran in three second-half tries of their own. The victory also set up Clermont for their European Cup date against Sale next weekend. Toulouse squeezed past rock-bottom La Rochelle 29-26 after seemingly cruising at 26-10 at the 50-minute mark. They scored four tries with centre Yann David scoring twice. вЂњI felt my players were tired and La Rochelle were more aggressive in the rucks,вЂќ said Toulouse boss Guy Noves. EnglandвЂ™s injured Morgan set to miss Six Nations London: England number eight Ben Morgan (pictured) is likely to miss the entire Six Nations campaign after fracturing his left leg in GloucesterвЂ™s 24-23 win over Saracens in the Premiership on Friday. The 25-year-old Morgan, who was carried off in the second half and given oxygen, had surgery on Saturday with Gloucester confirming the player had fractured his lower left leg. He will вЂњcommence an appropriate rehabilitation programme for this type of injury over the coming weeksвЂќ, Gloucester said on their website (www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk) on Saturday. Morgan, who has 27 caps, was one of EnglandвЂ™s most consistent players during the autumn tests. EnglandвЂ™s Six Nations campaign begins with a trip to Wales on February 6. David Fowler and John Campbell emerged victorious in flight A and flight B respectively in the golf tournament organised by Qatar Golf Lovers over the weekend at the Doha Golf Club. As many as 40 golfers participated in the first tournament of the year which was played in a strokeplay format. Albert Dalton won the second prize in flight A while Dennis Oviatt was the runner-up in Flight B. PK Mathew won the вЂ�longest puttвЂ™ award, Gavin Daley won the вЂ�longest driveвЂ™ award, John Anthony won the вЂ�closest to pinвЂ™ award and Pavan Singh won the вЂ�closest to ropeвЂ™ award. QGL hosted a prize distribution lunch for all golfers and gave away prizes to all winners. 10 Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 24TH MENвЂ™S HANDBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOCUS Qatar can count on expert Rivera, says legend Fritz вЂ�It will be real pleasure for all players and fans to see the sun when they exit the arenasвЂ™ By Sports Reporter Doha T wo matches made Henning Fritz legendary: the 2004 Olympic quarter-п¬Ѓnal in Athens, when he saved three shots against Spain in the penalty shoot-out and the 2007 World Championship п¬Ѓnal against Poland, when he was the German tower of power. But in the latter an injury forced him from the court 15 minutes before the gameвЂ™s end вЂ“ later his teammates carried him to the top of the podium. The 40-year-old Fritz was the goalkeeper of the вЂ�golden German generationвЂ™, which won gold medals at the 2004 European championship and the 2007 World Championship, Olympic silver in 2004 and World Championship silver in 2003. Fritz started his career in Magdeburg, winning two European Cup titles, then transferred to THW Kiel, becoming EHF Champions League winner and a four-time German champion, before he made it to Rhein Neckar LГ¶wen after becoming world champion. His personal list of awards is even longer. He was named best goalkeeper of the 2003 and 2007 World Championships, the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2004 European championship. His biggest trophy was to become IHF World Handball Player of the year in 2004, the п¬Ѓrst time a goalkeeper earned the distinction. In this interview, Henning Fritz talks about his expectations for the 2015 World Championship in Qatar, for the German team вЂ“ and about his favourites in Doha. What do you expect from the Qatar 2015 World Championship? Henning Fritz: A warm event! Usually all those World and European Championships are carried out in countries with snow and low temperatures. In 2015 it will be a real pleasure for all players and fans to see the sun when they exit the arenas вЂ“ something completely new for the last decades. Have you ever played in Doha? Henning Fritz: When I was player for THW Kiel, we had some test matches in the Gulf Region, but unfortunately not in Doha. Which teams are your personal main contenders to win the gold medal? Henning Fritz: I believe the same teams which had been semi-п¬Ѓnallists at the 2014 European championship will make it to the semis again вЂ“ France, Denmark, Spain and Croatia. But maybe some surprises can occur, as many more teams have a quite realistic chance to п¬Ѓght for the medals. My main contender is France, my prediction for the п¬Ѓnal is France vs. Denmark вЂ“ with the best current goalkeepers in the world facing each other, Thierry Omeyer and Niklas Landin. What about the German team? Henning Fritz: They have proved that on a perfect day they can beat all teams in the world. But on a weak day they can lose against any other team. They start in a very tough group, so my major hope for their performances is that they are able to stand strong in defence. Some new players will inject fresh blood to the team, and we can count on highly strong wing players. So I am optimistic that with our new coach Dagur Sigurdsson a result is possible which will enable the German team to remain in the race for the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio. Rio is also the dream destination of the Qatari team вЂ“ can they produce a surprise on home ground? Henning Fritz: Qatar can count on one of the best coaches in the world, a true expert, Valero Rivera. And they have one of the best goalkeeper duos in the world with Danijel Saric and Goran Stojanovic. Their team is strong and I am sure that they make it to the eighth-п¬Ѓnals. SPOTLIGHT Macedonia aim to make it to quarter-finals By Sports Reporter Doha W hen the draw for the European play-offs for the 2015 World Championship in Doha was taking place, the audience in Herning, Denmark, found its appetite for handball thrills whetted twice: first when the Germany vs. Poland duel was drawn and again when the lots decided that arch-rivals Greece and FYR Macedonia would face-off on their way to Qatar. Those qualification matches ended with two wins by the Macedonians, victories that qualified the nation for their fourth World Championship. In Qatar they will face some wellknown faces from the Balkans, as they were drawn into the same group with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Austria, Tunisia and Iran will be their other opponents. вЂњOur ambition is to make it to the quarter-finals,вЂќ said Zhivko Mukaetov, President of the FYR Macedonian Handball Federation, who was the official representative at JulyвЂ™s draw event in Doha. In our group Croatia is the favourite, but on the other hand we have five teams with certain qualities. Our ambition is to be in second or third place in the group.вЂќ In his squad it is all about Kiril Lazarov, a national hero and best scorer ever at a single world championship (2009 in Croatia) and European championships (2012 in Serbia). When Lazarov scores, FYR Macedonia COMPETITION RECORDS World championship campaigns: 1999: 18., 2009: 11., 2013: 14. Olympic campaigns: вЂ“ European championship campaigns: 1998: 12., 2012: 5., 2014: 10. Qualification for Qatar: winner of the play-off matches against Greece (27:25, 35:23) Coach: Ivica Obrvan Key players: Kiril Lazarov, Renato Vugrinec. is up; if he fails, they are down. Lazarov, the only player who has taken part in all five IHF Super Globe events in Doha since 2010 вЂ“and who has raised the trophy three timesвЂ” was also twice the top scorer in the EHF Champions League. Among his ambitions this winter? вЂњTo take a step towards the 2016 Olympic Games at the 2015 World Championship in Doha.вЂќ Croatian-born national team coach Ivica Obrvan, in charge since 2013 as the successor to Zvonko Shundovski, wants to use the recent handball hype in FYR, Macedonia stirred by the successful Skopje clubs Metalurg (home of most of the na- tional team players) and Vardar, for further success at a major event. Hopes were high after their fifth place finish at the 2012 EHF EURO, only to be shattered in the Olympic qualification tournament, at the 2013 world championship and the 2014 EHF EURO. But with the return of their second best shooter Naumce Mojsovski, newcomer Renato Vugrinec (a former Slovenian) and as young players like Dejan Manaskov (son of legendary Pepi Manaskov) grow, an entire nation is beginning to feel that its Olympic aspirations are real, with Qatar 2015 a crucial step forward on that path. вЂњWe deserve to make it to the eighth-finals in this group,вЂќ said Mojsovski. вЂњIt is possible, because we have proven that weвЂ™re able to make it. This is our third World Championship participation, and our generation has the experience to do so. We showed at the 2012 EHF EURO in Serbia and at the 2009 World Championship in Croatia that we have quality. In the previous tournaments we only missed by one or two goals in some crucial games to get ahead.вЂќ After the successes of the national team and the two club sides вЂ“both quarter-finalists in the 2013/14 EHF Champions League seasonвЂ”handball is sport number one in this former Yugoslav Republic.вЂњAfter winning, all fans celebrate with us and we mourn together after defeats,вЂќ said Mojsovksi. вЂњSo handball in FYR Macedonia is a highly emotional thing. What Metalurg and Vardar now manage on the club level in the EHF Champions League is just a confirmation of the success we have as a sport.вЂќ Mukaetov underlines the significance of the national team in his country: вЂњThe interest of the young generations in the Macedonian team is continually growing. Ever since the World Cup in Croatia in 2009 when we achieved great success, the fifth place at the 2012 EHF EURO in Serbia, when the Macedonian gladiators were led by captain Kiril Lazarov, we recruited an audience that all athletes would wish for. The famous Macedonian fans faithfully follow our representatives all over the world and is an unrivalled support on the ground. Gulf Times Monday, January 12, 2015 11 24TH MENвЂ™S HANDBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SPOTLIGHT Can record medallists add to their medal haul in Doha? вЂ�A draw for a World Championship is always like a lottery. No matter which teams you have to faceвЂ™ By Sports Reporter Doha Flags of the participating nations fly outside the Lusail Multipurpose Hall in Doha. With a capacity of 15,000 spectators is the arena the biggest of the three competition venues for the upcoming menвЂ™s Handball World Championship 2015. (EPA) E leven medals at World Championships вЂ“ no menвЂ™s handball team has collected more medals at World Championships than Sweden. Regardless if it was outdoor handball or indoors, since being one of the founders of the International Handball Federation Sweden has always remained near the top of the sport. The great strength is their endless pool of talent, as the nation has also won more medals at MenвЂ™s Youth and Junior World and European championships than any other. The Swedish youth programme is one of the most successful and the most strategically planned in the world. In a country where handball is the number three team sport after ice hockey and football, young people join clubs in the hundreds and get a perfect education. After some remarkable success in the old days, including the п¬Ѓrst World Championship title in 1958, the story of the major successes began in 1988 when Bengt Johansson was appointed new national team coach. With players like Magnus Wislander, Tomas Svensson, Staffan Olsson and Ola Lindgren the вЂњBengan BoysвЂќ were nearly unbeatable. Winning 13 medals at major events (World and European Championships, Olympic Games) from 1988 until 2002 this team dominated the world of handball for more than a decade. Sweden won the World title in 1990 and 1999 and added two more silver and a pair of bronze medals on the world stage amd added four EURO titles (1994, 1998, 2000, 2002) to become European record champions. The only big trophy still missing from their trophy case is Olympic gold medal. Four times вЂ“ including three straight from 1992 to 2000 вЂ“ Sweden made it to the Olympic п¬Ѓnal and four times they were defeated. вЂњI cannot explain why, but we never made it. A pity,вЂќ said legendary Magnus Wislander, who was awarded World Handball Player of the Century. Now he works as a radio commentator at major events and as a postman in daily life. From Doha he will again report on his former teammates Staffan Olsson and Ola Lindgren, who took over the Swedish team as coaches in 2008, after the ship began to sink. The вЂњTre KronorвЂќ team had missed the 2007 World Championship in Germany and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Olsson and Lindgren again put enormous energy in improving those talents and they п¬Ѓnally achieved success when they again made it to the Olympic п¬Ѓnal in London. It was their fourth, but the п¬Ѓrst one as coaches, but even the fourth ended like the previous three: this time the loss came against France. Somehow Sweden no longer possessed the stability which had made them so strong, proved by several modest results and even a failure on their way to a World Championship, when they were eliminated by Montenegro from the 2013 World Championship in Spain. But the current team is back to old strength. Sweden had always been able to count on a brilliant defence and world class goalkeepers. In the latter it is even hard to decide which to choose, as Mat- tias Andersson (Champions League winner with Flensburg) or the THW Kiel duo Andreas Palicka and Johan SjГ¶strand represent the top of the top. The defence is made of вЂњSwedish oaksвЂќ Magnus Jernemyr and team captain Tobias Karlsson, another Flensburg Champions League winner. In attack, the Swedish side mostly count on their fast counter attack specialists like Niklas Ekberg, the top scorer of the 2012 Olympic Games, and their back court ace Kim Andersson, three times a Champions League winner with THW Kiel. And for some years they have another jewel on the line player position: Andreas Nilsson, 2013 Champions League winner and IHF Super Globe п¬Ѓnalist with HSV Hamburg, who now plays for Hungarian side Veszprem. At the European championship in January he missed only one of 26 shots, scoring the highest efп¬Ѓciency of all EURO players. And as Sweden is the reigning World Junior Champion, players like Hampus Wanne and Jim Gottfridsson (two more Flensburg CL winners) are being in- tegrated into the squad for Doha. At the 2015 World Championship Sweden will face France, Czech Republic, Algeria, Egypt and Iceland. Coach Staffan Olsson hopes to at least reach the knockout stage. вЂњA draw for a World Championship is always like a lottery. No matter which teams you have to face, they are strong opponents. They will be very hard matches, but in the end we will have to see.вЂќ FOCUS Bosnia-Herzegovina will make history in Doha By Sports Reporter Doha I t was the 15 June 2014, the day every sports fan in Bosnia-Herzegovina will remember. On that day the national football team made their п¬Ѓrst ever appearance at a FIFA World Cup п¬Ѓnal tournament. And despite a great п¬Ѓght they lost their opener against eventual п¬Ѓnalist Argentina 2-1. Four hours earlier, the Bosnian handball team made their biggest coup in history. A wholly unexpected 29-29 match at Iceland made the whole nation jump for joy as after winning the п¬Ѓrst leg of this play-off 3332 the draw granted the Bosnians their п¬Ѓrst ever appearance at a major event, as they booked their ticket for the 2015 World Championship in Doha. вЂњThe best day of my life,вЂќ said coach Dragan Markovic. вЂњWe had hoped for it, but we could only be sure when the п¬Ѓnal whistle was blown. An incredible emotion.вЂќ His team had even been ahead in this second leg by an intermediate six-goal margin, while Iceland thought they could turn the tide easily as the biggest Bosnian problem had been their weakness in away matches. But things changed in Reykjavik, in contrast to the qualiп¬Ѓcation for the 2013 World Championship two years before. Then Bosnia-Herzegovina had lost their п¬Ѓrst leg play-off match in Germany 36-24, and the deal seemed to be sealed. But on home ground they showed their true face, winning 33-24 and having the Germans on the edge of elimination. Never before had MarkovicвЂ™s team qualiп¬Ѓed for any European or World Championship, although in previous years they COMPETITION RECORDS World Championship campaigns: Nil Olympic campaigns: Nil European championship campaigns: Nil Qualification for Qatar: winner of the play-off matches against Iceland (33:32, 29:29) Coach: Dragan Markovic Key players: Nikola Prce, Ivan Karacic had come close. But now they are part of the Doha event, in contrast to their much more internationally experienced neighbours like Serbia or Montenegro, as the fourth team from former Yugoslavia, along with Croatia, FYR Macedonia (two of their opponents in the preliminary round) and Slovenia. At the draw event in Doha, Mirza Muzurovic, director of the Bosnian Handball Federation, was very pleased that his schedule includes a return to Qatar in January. вЂњWe donвЂ™t know yet which result we can reach in this group, but what we know is that we will give all we can to show that we are a deserved participant of this World Championship. We are proud to be at a tournament like this for the п¬Ѓrst time, in a beautiful place with outstanding venues.вЂќ Handball has a long tradition in todayвЂ™s territory of BosniaHerzegovina. In Yugoslav times, Borac Banja Luka was one of the powerhouses in European club handball. In the 1970вЂ™s they won the IHF Cup (forerunner of the EHF Cup) and in 1976 became the п¬Ѓrst Yugoslav winner of the ChampionsвЂ™ Cup (forerunner of the Champions League) after reaching the п¬Ѓnals one year before. The list of stars who played for Borac is long, including names like soon-to-be World and Olympic champions Abas Arslanagic (now working in Doha), Iztok Puk, Patrick Cavar, Irfan Smajlagic and the twotime Champions League top scorer Zlatko Sarazevic. After the end of Yugoslavia, Borac hit a low, much like all of Bosnian handball. Nowadays the club вЂ“ and Bosna Sarajevo вЂ“ are back on the European map. But nearly all Bosnian top stars, including Ivan Karacic (Brest/Belarus), Nikola Prce (Szeged/Hungary), Mirsad Terzic (Veszprem/Hungary) and Muhamed Toromanovic (Plock/ Poland) play abroad, as the Bosnian league is still quite weak compared to the top European leagues. Now they all cruise their maiden voyage to Doha, where they will face Austria, Tunisia and Iran. Markovic has prepared his team well: In the п¬Ѓrst two duels of the EURO 2016 qualiп¬Ѓcation they tied at World Championship participant Belarus and gave two-time World Championship п¬Ѓnalist Denmark a tough п¬Ѓght for 60 minutes, losing by just two points 25-23. вЂњWe are ready for Qatar, we are ready for this great adventure вЂ“ and we are hopefully ready to be a strong opponent for all teams in our group,вЂќ is the mission statement of coach Dragan Markovic, who had been a coach and player in Germany for several years. Before he took over his current position, the Bosnians had another famous coach: Sead Hasanefendic, who later led Tunisia to the semiп¬Ѓnal of the 2005 World Championship on home ground and now will face his former team, as he again took over the African runners-ups.