QATAR | Page 20 SPORT | Page 1 Eid festivities end at Souq Waqif Foreman and Christie confirm presence at Doha GOALS Forum INDEX QATAR 2, 20 3 REGION 4, 5 ARAB WORLD INTERNATIONAL 6 вЂ“ 17 COMMENT BUSINESS CLASSIFIED SPORTS 18, 19 1вЂ“8 5 1 вЂ“ 12 DOW JONES QE NYMEX 16,544.10 13,830.90 85.54 -115.15 -0.69% +72.35 +0.53% -0.23 -0.27% Latest Figures pu Call to recognise Palestinian state Three leading Christian clerics in the Holy Land appealed yesterday for more European governments to recognise a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The call from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Lutheran prelates - all of them Palestinian - came after EU member Sweden last week announced its intention to recognise Palestinian statehood, to the anger of Israel. вЂњFrom Jerusalem, our occupied capital, we send our urgent message to the whole world and particularly to Europe - we are yearning for justice and peace,вЂќ the three churchmen said in an open letter. Pages 3, 18 SYRIA | Unrest UN warns of massacre Thousands of people вЂњwill most likely be massacredвЂќ if Kobane falls to Islamic State fighters, a UN envoy said yesterday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Kobane could suffer the same fate as the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 8,000 Muslims were murdered by Serbs in 1995, EuropeвЂ™s worst atrocity since World War Two, while UN peacekeepers failed to protect them. вЂњIf this falls, the 700, plus perhaps the 12,000 people, apart from the fighters, will be most likely massacred,вЂќ de Mistura said. Pages 4, 18 October 11, 2014 Dhul-Hijja 17, 1435 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals Pakistani teen and Indian activist win Nobel Peace Prize Yousafzai, aged 17, becomes the youngest Nobel Prize winner and 60-year-old Satyarthi the first Indian-born winner of the accolade Reuters Oslo P akistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girlsвЂ™ right to education, and Indian campaigner against child trafficking and labour Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize yesterday. Yousafzai, aged 17, becomes the youngest Nobel Prize winner and 60-year-old Satyarthi the п¬Ѓrst Indianborn winner of the accolade. They were picked for their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. The sharing of the award between an Indian and a Pakistani came after a week of hostilities along the border of the disputed, mainly Muslim region of Kashmir - the worst п¬Ѓghting between the neighbours in more than a decade. вЂњThe Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,вЂќ said Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, described the joint award вЂњan innovative prize that brings attention to the problems of the youngвЂќ. Satyarthi said he hoped to work with Yousafzai for peace. вЂњI will invite her to join hands to establish peace for our subcontinent, which is a must for children, which is a must for every Indian, for every Pakistani, for every citizen of the world,вЂќ he said at the New Delhi office of his organisation, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement. Yousafzai later told reporters in the English city of Birmingham where she now lives that she had already spoken WORLD | Epidemic Ebola toll passes 4,000 as fears grow The death toll from Ebola has passed 4,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday, while a Madrid nurse was fighting for her life and authorities worldwide tried to prevent panic over the deadly disease spreading. The WHO said 4,033 people have died from Ebola as of October 8 out of a total of 8,399 registered cases in seven countries. Beyond west Africa, where almost all of the deaths have occurred, fears grew about the worst-ever Ebola epidemic. Pages 6, 7 ASIA | Rally Thousands join renewed protests Thousands of people gathered near Hong KongвЂ™s financial district yesterday, resuming pro-democracy protests after the government called off talks with student leaders. вЂњIf short-term protests wonвЂ™t work we will have a long term protest. Bring your sleeping bags to the streets and we will stay until the end,вЂќ 17-year-old leader Joshua Wong told the crowd. in ARAB WORLD | Appeal d In brief he R is bl TA 978 A 1 Q since GULF TIMES SATURDAY Vol. XXXV No. 9507 Indian childrenвЂ™s right activist Kailash Satyarthi waving to the media at his office in New Delhi yesterday. by telephone with Satyarthi and they had agreed to invite the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to the ceremony in December. вЂњThe tension that is going on is really disappointing and IвЂ™m really sad because I want both countries to have dialogue to have talks about peace,вЂќ she said. Yousafzai said she had found out about winning the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday from a teacher during a chemistry lesson, adding that the news had come as a big surprise. вЂњThis is not the end of this campaign which I have started. I think this is really the beginning. I want to see every child going to school,вЂќ she said, adding she felt вЂњreally honouredвЂќ. Yousafzai was attacked in 2012 on a school bus in the Swat Valley of northwest Pakistan by masked gunmen as a punishment for a blog that she wrote for the BBCвЂ™s Urdu service as an 11-year-old to campaign against the TalibanвЂ™s efforts to deny women an education. Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, Yousafzai moved to England, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya. Her former teacher, Ahmed Shah, said the peace prize was wonderful news for Pakistan. вЂњThis is a breath of fresh air, a gift for Pakistan, at a time when we are embroiled in terrorism and violence and wars,вЂќ Shah told Reuters by telephone from the Swat Valley. Yousafzai addressed the UN Youth Assembly last year at an event Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called вЂњMalala DayвЂќ. This year she travelled to Nigeria to demand the release of 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram. вЂњTo the girls of Nigeria and across Africa, and all over the world, I want to say: donвЂ™t let anyone tell you that you are weaker than or less than anything,вЂќ she said in a speech. вЂњYou are not less than a boy,вЂќ Yousafzai said. вЂњYou are not less than a child from a richer or more powerful country. You are the future of your country. You are going to build it strong. It is you who can lead the charge.вЂќ Satyarthi, who gave up a career as an electrical engineer in 1980 to campaign against child labour, has headed various forms of peaceful protests and demonstrations, focusing on the exploitation of children for п¬Ѓnancial gain. вЂњIt is a disgrace for every human being if any child is working as a child slave in any part of the world,вЂќ Satyarthi said. вЂњI feel very proud to be an Indian that in India I was able to keep this п¬Ѓght on for the last 30 years or so. This is a great recognition and honour for all my fellow Indians.вЂќ In a recent editorial, Satyarthi said that data from non-government organisations indicated that child labourers could number 60mn in India Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan delivering a statement in Birmingham in Britain yesterday. - 6% of the total population. Satyarthi joins a handful of Nobel Peace Prize winners with ties to India - even though the most famous peace activist of them all and father of independent India, Mahatma Gandhi, never received the honour. Mother Theresa, an Albanian-born nun, was recognised in 1979 for her work with the poor in the Indian port city of Calcutta. The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who won the prize in 1989, resides in India. Many commentators say that the omission of Gandhi from the list of lau- reates is the biggest error in the history of the Prize, п¬Ѓrst awarded in 1901. вЂњMaybe there is a little nod to Gandhi there,вЂќ Harpviken said of the award to IndiaвЂ™s Satyarthi. The prize, worth about $1.1mn, will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the award in his 1895 will. The previous youngest winner was Australian-born British scientist Lawrence Bragg, who was 25 when he shared the Physics Prize with his father in 1915. Pages 12, 15, 18 A victory for human dignity, says Obama US President Barack Obama yesterday congratulated Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, calling it a victory for those who uphold human dignity. The вЂњannouncement is a victory for all who strive to uphold the dignity of every human beingвЂќ, Obama, himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said in a statement. вЂњIn recognising Malala and Kailash, the Nobel Committee reminds us of the urgency of their work to protect the rights and freedoms of all our young people and to ensure they have the chance to fulfil their God-given potential, regardless of their background, or gender, or station in life. Malala and Kailash have faced down threats and intimidation, risking their own lives to save others and build a better world for future generations,вЂќ Obama said. вЂњEven as we celebrate their achievements, we must recommit ourselves to the world that they seek - one in which our daughters have the right and opportunity to get an education; and in which all children are treated equally.вЂќ Passengers reiterate demand for fully-covered bus shelters By Ramesh Mathew Staff Reporter T he countryвЂ™s bus services will complete a decade in a little more than a year from now. However, the wait for fully-covered bus shelters continues even today in most parts of Doha and its neighbourhood. The public bus services, launched in October 2005, have grown signiп¬Ѓcantly over the years. This has been accompanied by a jump in the number of passengers as well. Yet, a basic facility like covered shelters is yet to be provided in most places, forcing passengers to wait under scorching conditions, say residents. Only a small fraction of bus stops has covers to protect passengers from the heat. This has prompted many commuters to reiterate the demand for covered bus shelters. вЂњIf there is a proper transparent cover on all four sides, we can sit and wait inside the shelter even if there is no air-conditioner,вЂќ said a newlyarrived expatriate who relies on buses for his commute. вЂњThere is a crying need for more covered bus shelters. Ideally, they should be air-conditioned but even if A bus stop on the Salwa Road near the Jaidah flyover, where passengers are seen standing behind the shelter to protect themselves from the sun. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed they are not, they should at least be fully covered,вЂќ said another resident. While some stops have a roof, there are several others without any such protection. Often passengers stand under shaded areas adjacent to bus stops in commercial neighbourhoods. It has been found that bus stops have been done away with after the widening of the Corniche road. Passengers are now seen waiting on green spaces along the road and even on pavements. In front of City Center Doha, where a large number of passengers could often be seen, there is no shelter to protect them from the sun even though the place is served by a number of cir- cular buses besides the usual public transport services. When the matter was raised with Mowasalat officials, it was explained that more covered bus shelters were in the companyвЂ™s plans, though no one could conп¬Ѓrm when these would be provided in adequate numbers. Mowasalat has been repeatedly highlighting the need to support and strengthen public transport services in view of the congestion on the countryвЂ™s roads, especially in the peak hours. However, as pointed out by many, a lot more still needs to be done at different levels to improve the situation. 2 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 QATAR Qatar for strengthening non-proliferation treaty QNA New York Q atar has underlined the importance of the multilateral framework in addressing disarmament and non-proliferation and renewed its commitment to co-operate with efforts to strengthen global peace and security and to rid humanity of weapons of mass destruction in general and nuclear weapons in particular. This came in a statement of вЂ�Qatar on disarmament and international securityвЂ™ delivered by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Thani, third secretary of the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, at the 69th session of the п¬Ѓrst committee of the UN General Assembly debate on agenda items relating to disarmament and international security. Sheikh Ahmed said that despite the importance attached by the international community to address the issues of disarmament, the stalemate and the inability of the Conference on Disarmament since 1996 on adoption of the agenda of the conference, re- п¬‚ected a lack of political will. He noted that the proliferation of small and light arms and weapons constituted one of the challenges facing the world in the п¬Ѓeld of disarmament вЂњwhich requires from all parties, especially those that manufacture and export weapons, п¬Ѓrm restrictions and an adequate control to prevent the proliferation of such weapons, as well as full compliance and optimal implementation of the United Nations programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small and light arms and weapons in all its aspectsвЂќ. Sheikh Ahmed said Qatar believed that the only way to prevent an arms race in outer space and the maintenance of international peace and security required a multilateral treaty, stressing that the Conference on Disarmament had the primary role in this regard, as the sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament. He said that Qatar was keen on strengthening the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the pillars on which the treaty was based, including the non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, stressing in this regard the right of states parties to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, in accordance with the provisions of international law. The goal of building a world of stability and security could not be achieved without the political will of member states, as the only way to achieve that goal, he said, adding that there was no doubt that reducing budgets for acquisition of arms and military equipment and to materialise all international obligations in the п¬Ѓeld of disarmament, would achieve the objective we all seek. Motorists demand widening of B Ring Road M otorists in Doha have called for a comprehensive development plan for B Ring Road, which is considered one of the countryвЂ™s key routes and commercial areas, local daily Arrayah reported yesterday. Hamad al-Mannai, a citizen, pointed out that many motorists use B Ring Road to avoid delays caused by traffic congestion on other major routes, particularly during rush hours. He said that the width of both lanes along B Ring Road is no longer capable of accommodating the increasing number of vehicles passing through the area. Al-Mannai added that commercial establishments along the road do not have adequate parking spaces forcing motorists to leave their vehicles in non-designated areas, which have led to a number of road accidents. Mabkhot al-Marri, another citizen, on the other hand, has called on authorities concerned to study development plans as he stressed that B Ring Road is a vital route for travel and the delivery of basic services. A considerable number of road users and locals have also criticised the dilapidated portions of the road, saying that long stretches of the top asphalt layer are cracked and peppered with potholes. According residents, the multiple exit and entry points along the road could be a cause of more accidents. It was also suggested that authorities concerned should consider installation of speed cameras and traffic lights along congested areas of the road. Spectators at an Indian expatriate football tournament held last year. Football lovers rue absence of practice grounds in city By Ramesh Mathew Staff Reporter M any residents of Doha and its neighbourhood may be passionate about football, but there are not enough grounds and open spaces in the city where they could practice the game, they claim. While the city has a number of quality football stadiums, ordinary lovers of the game say a number of public grounds and yards where people used to play or practice in the evenings have gradually been taken over for the construction of commercial or residential complexes. вЂњWith lot of construction work going on, there is hardly any place where we can train and sharpen our skills in the evenings,вЂќ said an organiser of football tournaments in the Indian expatriate community. While lauding the generosity of the local football association in giving some of the city venues free of cost for tournaments featuring expatriate teams, the organiser has appealed to the local authorities to allot at least three grounds at either the local schools or other institutions for expatriates without levying any fee for the six months between October and March. Football enthusiasts say though some of the local clubs are willing to provide grounds for their daily practice sessions, reported вЂњdelaysвЂќ in the com- Pharmacy students organise breast cancer outreach activity Q atar University College of Pharmacy students held their п¬Ѓfth annual cancer community outreach activity recently in support of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The activity was launched by the newly-elected executive members of Qatar Pharmacy Undergraduate Society (QPhUS) alongside п¬Ѓrst-, second- and third-year pharmacy students. Faculty, staff and students visited the breast cancer booth to learn about the disease, its detection and prevention. The programme included the communication of key messages on the latest survival rates, reducing risk factors and the pharmacistвЂ™s role in disease awareness and prevention, as well as a screening of a video on вЂњMuslim Women and Breast CancerвЂќ that co-related breast self-exams and performing вЂњwudhuвЂќ. Visitors were also encouraged to leave a pink п¬Ѓngerprint in support of cancer survivors. Faculty, staff and students visited the breast cancer booth to learn about the disease, its detection and prevention. вЂњToday is an opportunity directed at young females to learn more about cancer and its prevention in a comfortable environment where they can ask personal questions,вЂќ said QPhUS president Shorouk Abdelkader. вЂњThis is also our chance to encourage students to perform self-exams and take this learning home to discuss with their family members.вЂќ pletion of formalities discourage applicants from seeking their facilities. An organiser, who is involved in the promotion of a league for different communities, said: вЂњIf there is no problem in sanctioning grounds for month-long expatriate tournaments, could a similar decision also be taken for allotting some city grounds for the daily practice sessions of football lovers?вЂќ Football enthusiasts feel that if some grounds, including those at local and expatriate schools that are not used in the evenings through most of the year, are provided free of charge for a few hours daily, a number of sport lovers in the city will beneп¬Ѓt. Another organiser of a popu- lar expatriate football tournament in the Indian community said though there is enormous interest and enthusiasm among football buffs to practice before each event, there are not enough grounds for their teams to do so. Meanwhile, some schools outside Doha are willing to allot grounds for free to soccer enthusiasts in the expatriate communities. However, the time taken to reach these places due to traffic congestion discourages many from using them, it is learnt. вЂњThe response to tournaments played at city venues is signiп¬Ѓcantly better than that seen for events held outside Doha,вЂќ said a soccer lover in an Asian expatriate community. $7.2bn allocated for education Q atar has allocated $7.2bn to education, which is up 7.3% over the previous year; while the Gulf region as a whole is expected to spend more than $90bn on educationrelated construction projects by the end of 2014, according to a report. This high spending makes the education sector one of the biggest for contractors and suppliers with the population in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) forecast to increase from 50.6mn in 2014 to 55.8mn by 2018, said the Big 5 report by Ventures Middle East. Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in education with an expected spending of $56bn. It will construct 465 new schools and refurbish 1,500, alongside 1,544 existing school construction projects. It is also building eight new colleges and new vocational and technical facilities. In the UAE, $2.6bn (21% of its 2014 budget) is being spent on schools and all new buildings meet the countryвЂ™s green construction Estidama rating. Oman is initiating a process to provide free basic education to all its nationals spending $6.8bn, which is 18.6% of the total public expenditure. Kuwait will spend $10.5bn or 14.2% of its annual budget for the year (2013-2014) and Bahrain has allocated $2.2bn to continue to improve the education process for the п¬Ѓscal years 2013-2014. Ventures prepared its education sector report in advance of The Big 5 construction exhibition in Dubai in November, where opportunities for developers to meet the regionвЂ™s demands for schools will be highlighted. вЂњThere are huge business opportunities for suppliers who understand the education sector...The GCC has a young demographic and governments are investing heavily in education,вЂќ said Andy White, event director for The Big 5. вЂњGovernments of each GCC nation are investing signiп¬Ѓcantly in construction of new schools and refurbishment of existing schools which is expected to drive the construction opportunities in the education sector in the region,вЂќ the report said, adding the total number of students in the GCC region is slated to grow from 11.1mn in 2014 to 11.6mn by 2016. Finding that GDP (gorss domestic product) per capita income in the GCC is estimated to grow from $45,184 in 2011 to $51,286 in 2016, beneп¬Ѓting education; the report said вЂњthe increase in income will have a positive effect on the willingness to spend on education, especially for private sector education.вЂќ Women forum to hold conference on job market Q atar has increasingly become home to educated and professionally qualiп¬Ѓed women, yet they are unable to join the mainstream workforce, according to Global Women Qatar (GWQ). In view of this, GWQ is holding a major conference вЂ�How Women Find WorkвЂ™ on Monday at Grand Hyatt, offering inspiration, motivation and practical tools to achieve success in QatarвЂ™s job market. With its steady growth and development, Qatar has now increasingly become home to educated women, who are either nationals or expats who have followed their spouses to build a new life here. However, owing to lack of understanding of the local job market, many of these, though equipped with relevant, transferrable skills, are unable to join the workforce, a spokesperson of GWQ said. She said preparations are currently underway for the third How Women Find Work Conference (HWFWC), which will be held next week. Tajmeel - Qatar International Beauty Academy - has agreed to sponsor the conference this year. вЂњWe support How Women Work (HWW), because we think HWW is doing a great job in providing and guiding women from all levels and nationalities, in pursuing their careers here in Qatar,вЂќ Danielle Duttenhofer, managing director, GWQ, said. The HWFWC was founded to empower this talent powerhouse of women who are either not working currently, are between jobs or in the process of reinventing their career. The conference aims to provide insight into п¬Ѓnding work, getting noticed by employers and tapping into QatarвЂ™s job market. This is delivered through hands-on workshops to explore strategies like goal setting, developing conп¬Ѓdent interviewing skills, networking opportunities; forum discussions on relevant topics and advice on how to tap into oneвЂ™s strengths, among others. Nursing departments attend cardiac meet T he department of nursing at the Heart Hospital and the department of nursing and midwifery education and research at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have held a grand round under the title: вЂњJourney of Challenges in Modern Cardiac TechnologyвЂќ. Professor Ann-Marie Cannaby, HMCвЂ™s executive director of corporate nursing, and Linda Peters, assistant executive director of nursing at Heart Hospital, gave the opening remarks. The speakers were comprised of a multidisciplinary team of professionals involved in heart patientsвЂ™ care, as well as others from nursing, cardiac rehabilitation and perfusionists. Dr Abdulaziz al-Khulaiп¬Ѓ, HMCвЂ™s chairman of cardiac surgery at the Heart Hospital, informed attendees that in 2008, HMC had launched a comprehensive programme to provide care for patients with cardiac failure at the hospital. вЂњThis programme starts by classifying patients through continuous and precise follow up, in addition to researching causes of their heart failure.вЂќ He explained that patientsвЂ™ treatments are conducted by a professional and highly specialised medical team making use of modern cardiac technology including implanting artiп¬Ѓcial heart pumps called left ventricular assist device (LVAD). вЂњThe artiп¬Ѓcial heart pump circulates blood to all parts of the body and these kinds of modern pumps have saved many lives.вЂќ Dr al-Khulaiп¬Ѓ said that HMC had been performing the surgery on patients who need it since the start of the programme. Peters explained that to determine if a patient would beneп¬Ѓt from the device, clinical п¬Ѓndings must show that their heart is unable to pump blood effectively. вЂњThere are measurements such as the ejection fraction that we use to measure how effective the patientвЂ™s heart is. The LVAD is used to support the heart while the patient waits for a heart transplant, which is known as вЂ�bridge to transplantвЂ™, or it might be used as вЂ�destination therapyвЂ™ in place of a transplant.вЂќ She said: вЂњA patient who has had an LVAD п¬Ѓtted will not have a pulse, which means the nurse has Prof Ann-Marie Cannaby Dr Abdulaziz al-Khulaifi to listen to their heart, and their blood pressure will need to be taken through a different method. The patient is also always at risk of infection because the device is placed directly into the bottom of the heart, or the left ventricle, that pumps the blood to the aorta, which is the main artery supplying blood to the body.вЂќ Peters also said the duration a person can live on an LVAD will depend on many things, with one being the patientвЂ™s engagement in their own healthcare, which they can do by following the exercise routine and diet as advised, adhering to prescribed medication and attending regular follow-up appointments with their medical team. She stated that some 20% of patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) will die within the п¬Ѓrst year after their initial hospitalisation. вЂњWhen a patient receives an LVAD, there is a reduction in their symptoms, which gives them an overall better quality of life,вЂќ she added. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 3 REGION/ARAB WORLD Cairo to host donor conference for war-hit Gaza AFP Cairo E nvoys from dozens of countries will gather tomorrow for a conference that aims to raise billions of dollars to rebuild conп¬‚ict-battered Gaza, despite fears of renewed violence and вЂњdonor fatigueвЂќ. The United NationsвЂ™ Palestinian refugee agency has described the п¬Ѓnancial needs as вЂњunprecedentedвЂќ ahead of the Cairo meeting, which follows the Gaza StripвЂ™s third war in six years. But it is unclear how generous the world is willing to be given the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conп¬‚ict and other priorities in the region such as the п¬Ѓght against militants in Syria and Iraq. About 50 countries will be represented in Cairo for talks that will include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, 30 foreign ministers and various international monetary and humanitarian bodies. The Palestinians have called for more than $4bn in aid, and the Palestinian refugee agency Urnwa for $1.6bn. Other estimates suggest up to $8bn will be needed to repair damaged infrastructure and homes, and ensure healthcare, education and clean drinking water. The 50-day conп¬‚ict between Israel and Gaza militants left almost 2,200 Palestinians dead along with 73 on the Israeli side. The war, which ended with a ceaseп¬Ѓre on August 26, also left 100,000 Gazans homeless. More than a quarter of GazaвЂ™s population of 1.7mn was displaced. Tehran says nuclear deal deadline may be extended Iranian and Western diplomats say significant differences remain over the future scope of IranвЂ™s uranium enrichment activity Reuters Ankara T alks over IranвЂ™s nuclear programme might be extended if disagreement over remaining issues cannot be resolved by a November deadline, IranвЂ™s top negotiator was quoted as saying yesterday, in the п¬Ѓrst hint an extension was being contemplated. вЂњIran and the P5+1 (major world powers) are very serious on resolving the remaining disputes by November ... but everything including an extension is possible if we cannot reach an agreement,вЂќ Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency. Iran and the sixвЂ”the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and BritainвЂ”hope that resolving the more-than-decadelong nuclear standoff with Iran will reduce regional tensions and alleviate the risk of another war in the Middle East. Israel has repeatedly threatened to use military force against Iranian atomic sites if diplomacy fails to defuse the standoff. Iran rejects allegations from Western powers and their allies that it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability, but has refused to halt uranium enrichment, and Video shows Khamenei on post-op hike Iran released a video yesterday showing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on his first outdoor walk since undergoing prostate surgery, as part of a more open policy on his health. In an unprecedented step last month, the Islamic Republic publicised KhameneiвЂ™s hospital treatment, which followed years of widespread rumours that he had prostate cancer. His surgery on September 8 was described as successful and since being released he has been pictured in official meetings but not as prominently as in yesterdayвЂ™s two minutes and 35 seconds video. вЂњThis was the first time I could go for a hike after my surgery and it was recommended by my doctors,вЂќ Khamenei was quoted as saying on his khamenei.ir website. Wearing white training shoes and a short coat over his robes as he trekked on a hill road, the supreme leader was accompanied by several aides in the early morning in hills in northern Tehran. The 75-year-old cleric, who has ruled since the death in 1989 of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Khomeini, is a keen hiker and has encouraged others to spend time in the outdoors. been hit with US, European Union and UN Security Council sanctions as a result. Top diplomats of the United States, Iran and the European Union will meet in Vienna next week to work on a comprehensive deal ahead of a November 24 deadline, aimed at curbing TehranвЂ™s sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for gradually lifting sanctions against Iran. вЂњIran and Western powers are very determined and serious to reach a result. Issues like enrichment and lifting of sanctions will be discussed in Vienna,вЂќ Araqchi said. вЂњWe are still optimistic about meeting the deadline.вЂќ Iranian and Western diplomats say signiп¬Ѓcant differences remain over the future scope of IranвЂ™s uranium enrichment activity. Enrichment is a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel for power plants or, if enriched to a very high purity, for bombs. A series of meetings have been held since early this year to try to narrow the gaps. A US State Department spokeswoman said this week Washington still believed a deal was possible by the agreed target date. In addition to enrichment, the speed of lifting sanctions is another point on which Iranian and Western delegations have sharp differences. The United States and Europeans are prepared to lift their unilateral sanctions very quickly in the event of an acceptable agreement, Western diplomats say, but UN measures would be ended gradually based on IranвЂ™s compli- ance with any future deal. Araqchi hoped that substantial progress could be made in narrowing disagreements when Iran and the six powers meet next week. вЂњIf we cannot reach adequate results this time (in Vienna) we will surely miss the (November) deadline,вЂќ Araqchi said. вЂњTherefore, the West (P5+1) should use this opportunity and п¬Ѓnd proper solutions.вЂќ Some analysts believe meeting the deadline is impossible. вЂњItвЂ™s become increasingly clear that a deal will not be struck by the 24 November deadline,вЂќ said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the nonproliferation programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank. вЂњBut rather than a return to more sanctions and more centrifuges, another extension of the interim deal is the best fallback alternative for both sides. Iranian officials are wise to start preparing their public for this outcome.вЂќ Last year in Geneva, Iran and the six powers reached an interim agreement under which Tehran won some easing of sanctions in return for halting its most sensitive nuclear work. But they failed to meet a July 20 target for a comprehensive agreement and they set a new deadline of November 24. вЂњReaching a fullп¬‚edged agreement by 24 November no longer appears possible. What is possible is a breakthrough that could justify adding more time to the diplomatic clock,вЂќ said Iran analyst Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group think tank. Even so, a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, warned there was вЂњconsiderable donor fatigueвЂќ. вЂњWe have seen infrastructure projects that we have contributed to which have been destroyed,вЂќ the diplomat said, adding that scepticism had existed even before the recent conп¬‚ict. Money raised in Cairo will also go towards getting GazaвЂ™s economy back on its feet. Gross domestic product is expected to be down 20% in the п¬Ѓrst three quarters of 2014 compared with the same period last year. Unemployment stood at 45% before the war, and 63% among young people who make up a large part of the population. Without immediate action to revive the economy, a return to violence вЂњwill remain a clear and present dangerвЂќ, the World BankвЂ™s Palestinian territories director Steen Lau Jorgensen warned last month. The Palestinians sought to present a united front ahead of the meeting to assuage donor concerns that reconstruction mate- rials might fall into the hands of militants. The unity government on Thursday held its п¬Ѓrst cabinet meeting in Gaza, months after a reconciliation deal between rivals Fatah, which dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, which is in de facto control of Gaza. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki was conп¬Ѓdent the message was enough. вЂњOur initial predictions are that the conference will be a big success,вЂќ he said this week. Hitting back Malki also suggested Palestinian moves to seek further recognition at the UN, including joining the International Criminal Court so they could sue Israel for alleged war crimes, would not cause IsraelвЂ™s allies such as the US to hold back donations. But a second diplomat, who also did not want to be named, said the Gaza cabinet meeting was вЂњnot enough to reassure donorsвЂќ. The EU, a chief aid supplier to the Palestinians, has welcomed вЂњpositive developmentsвЂќ while stressing that a lasting peace is needed. Recognise Palestinian state, urge Christian clerics AFP Jerusalem T A Palestinian protester throws back a teargas canister towards Israeli soldiers and border policemen during clashes following a protest against the nearby Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus yesterday. hree leading Christian clerics in the Holy Land appealed yesterday for more European governments to recognise a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The call from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Lutheran prelatesвЂ”all of them PalestinianвЂ”came after EU member Sweden last week announced its intention to recognise Palestinian statehood, to the anger of Israel. вЂњFrom Jerusalem, our occupied capital, we send our urgent message to the whole world and particularly to EuropeвЂ”we are yearning for justice and peace,вЂќ the three churchmen said in an open letter. вЂњRecognising Palestine and deп¬Ѓning IsraelвЂ™s borders is a п¬Ѓrst step towards that goal.вЂќ Signing the letter were the former Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Sebastia, Atallah (Theodosios) Hanna, and Lutheran World Federation president Bishop Munib Younan. The current Latin patriarch, Fouad Twal, was not among the signatories. вЂњWe are tired of calls for resumptions of negotiations while we canвЂ™t reach our churches due to a foreign power and our people continue to be humiliated by an undesirable occupation,вЂќ the letter said. вЂњEurope has a moral, legal and political duty to hold Israel accountable and support Palestinian non-violent initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, including the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.вЂќ Other EU member countries that have recognised a Palestinian state are Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Al Qaeda claims Sanaa suicide bombing Reuters Sanaa A People inspect the site of ThursdayвЂ™s suicide bombing in Sanaa yesterday. l QaedaвЂ™s wing in Yemen yesterday claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on the powerful Shia Houthi group that killed at least 47 people. On Thursday, a suicide bomber detonated a belt packed with explosives at a Houthi checkpoint in the centre of the capital Sanaa where Houthi supporters were preparing to hold a rally. Body parts were scattered across Tahrir Square and pools of blood formed on the asphalt after the blast, which also wounded at least 75 people. The bomb attack was carried out by a man called Abu Mouwaia al-Sanaani, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemeni branch of the movement, said in a statement on its Twitter account. ThursdayвЂ™s bombing occurred just hours after a showdown between the Houthis and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi forced prime minister-designate Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, whose appointment on Tuesday under a power-sharing deal signed last month had angered Houthi leaders, to turn down the post. The Houthis have emerged as YemenвЂ™s main powerbrokers since their paramilitary forces seized the capital on September 21, following weeks of anti-government demonstrations. AQAP, which has targeted state institutions, including the armed forces, sees the Houthis, who are members of the minority Zaidi sect, as heretics. A southern secessionist movement and the AQAP onslaught on security forces have already stretched the resources of Yemen, an impoverished country of 25mn, and alarmed neighbouring Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states. Western and Gulf Arab countries are worried that instability in Yemen could strengthen Al Qaeda and have supported a UN-backed political transition since 2012 led by Hadi meant to shepherd the country to stability after decades of autocracy. 4 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 ARAB WORLD Erdogan accuses Assad of waging вЂ�state terrorвЂ™ AFP Istanbul T urkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of waging вЂњstate terrorвЂќ, equating the crimes of the Damascus regime with those of Islamic State (IS) militants. Ankara is concerned that the focus of the US-led coalition on п¬Ѓghting IS extremists will take attention away from TurkeyвЂ™s long-standing aim of toppling the Syrian leader. In a speech to thousands of supporters in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, Erdogan said the Assad regime and IS were both terror groups who should be dealt with accordingly. вЂњWe cannot leave their fate into the hands of the murderer Assad who is waging a state terror,вЂќ said Erdogan, referring to the 1.5mn Syrian refugees that Turkey has taken in during the conп¬‚ict. вЂњWe have always displayed a principled stance towards all terrorist organisations. We are not discriminating against terror organisations, saying this one is good or this one is bad,вЂќ he said in the televised speech. вЂњWe have adopted the same stance towards ISIS,вЂќ he said using a variant of the name for IS. вЂњBut other terrorist organisations pose a threat to us too.вЂќ Ankara has vehemently opposed Assad during the threeand-a-half-year Syria conп¬‚ict but has been criticised for not showing greater involvement in the п¬Ѓght against IS extremists. Earlier, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: вЂњTurkey is against ISIS just the same way that it is against Assad.вЂќ вЂњAssad and ISIS are both responsible for all these events and tragedies,вЂќ he told reporters in Ankara. He added: вЂњNo one can prove that Turkey is supporting ISIS.вЂќ Turkey has been reluctant to intervene militarily against IS militants trying to take the mainly Kurdish town of Kobane just across the border, despite having parliamentary authorisation for military action in Syria. Ankara has been accused of encouraging the rise of IS with its support for Islamist-tinted rebel groups in Syria seeking to oust Assad and is now seeking a commitment from the West to move against the Syrian leader. Davutoglu ridiculed TurkeyвЂ™s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who suggested that parliament should issue a separate mandate for Turkish military action in Kobane. вЂњAre we going to issue a separate mandate for each province or district? ItвЂ™s such a ridiculous proposal,вЂќ Davutoglu scoffed. Allow townвЂ™s defenders to get weapons, Turkey urged AFP Suruc, Turkey T he head of the main Kurdish political party in Syria yesterday called on Turkey to allow its territory to be used for passing weapons to Kurdish п¬Ѓghters defending the key Syrian town of Kobane. Salih Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), said Turkey should understand that the Kurds are not a вЂњthreatвЂќ for Ankara. вЂњWe are in an urgent need of help from Turkey,вЂќ Muslim told AFP in a telephone interview, speaking in Turkish. вЂњIt would be very good if Turkey urgently opens its soil for the passage of military weapons, not Turkish soldiers, for Kobane,вЂќ the leader, now based outside Syria, said by phone from Brussels. Beleaguered Kurdish п¬Ѓghters are waging a desperate resistance to stop militants from taking Kobane, and they need extra ammunition, not just air strikes from the US-led coalition, Kurdish officials have said. Muslim welcomed AnkaraвЂ™s involvement in the US-led international coalition to defeat the Islamic State (IS) militants, and urged it to take action. Turkey has so far been reluctant to take robust action against IS militants, who have made gains in large swathes of both Syria and Iraq. The Turkish government got a green light from parliament authorising its army for military action in Syria. But Ankara has yet to commit its well-trained forces to the п¬Ѓght. It has also prevented Kurds from moving across the border to join the п¬Ѓght against the militants, angering TurkeyвЂ™s Kurdish population. But last weekend, Muslim made an unannounced visit to Turkey for a rare meeting with officials in Ankara. He said he was told that Ankara would do вЂњwhat was necessary for Kobane not to fallвЂќ, adding that IS militants were a threat for Turkey the same as for Syrian Kurds. Muslim called for вЂњdialogueвЂќ between Syrian Kurds and the international community for any operation against militants in northern Syria. Turkey, which has fought a 30-year insurgency against Kurdish rebels in its southeast, has also hesitated to act for Kobane over fears it could embolden Kurdish forces. вЂњKurds want to take their place within a democratic pluralistic Syria with their own identity. They do not want anything else,вЂќ said Muslim. вЂњTurkey has its own policies toward the Kurdish region. We have no problem if Turkey does not object to this.вЂќ He said Turkey had no reason to fear a strong Kurdish presence on its border with Syria. вЂњThese are empty fears, and are in vain. We have never posed a threat to Turkey,вЂќ said Muslim. вЂњWe have our people on both sides of the border. The two sides of the border must be protected well,вЂќ he added. Muslim said вЂњgood relationsвЂќ were always important. вЂњThe eyes of all Kurds are on Kobane,вЂќ he said. вЂњIf Turkey adopts a positive stance, it will win the sympathy of Kurds in Rojava,вЂќ he added, using the KurdsвЂ™ term for the Kurdish-populated part of Syria. He said the IS militants could be п¬Ѓnished if air strikes cut off their supply routes. вЂњAir strikes are very effective, facilitating the job of the PeopleвЂ™s Protection Units (YPG),вЂќ he said, referring to the Kurdish п¬Ѓghters battling the militants. But Muslim called for вЂњmore intensive air raidsвЂќ because the IS п¬Ѓghters were getting help through the parts of northern Syria they control. вЂњIf those routes are cut off, they cannot resist more,вЂќ he said. Muslim said there were more than 10,000 civilians still in Kobane, staying in the centre and trying to protect themselves bearing weapons. Other Kurdish officials in the town, however, have said that all civilians have left, and Kobane has been declared a military zone by the YPG. Asked about AnkaraвЂ™s reluctance to let YPG members in Turkey cross into Syria, Muslim said: вЂњTurkey should clear itself of such concerns. Turkey must understand that we are not a threat.вЂќ Turkish Kurds look towards the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane from the top of a hill close to the border between Turkey and Syria near the Mursitpinar border gate yesterday. IS seizes Kurdish HQ in Kobane, carnage feared UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warns that 12,000 or so civilians still in or near Kobane вЂњwill most likely be massacredвЂќ by IS if the town falls AFP Suruc, Turkey I slamic State militants captured the headquarters yesterday of Kurdish п¬Ѓghters defending the Syrian border town of Kobane, with a UN envoy warning thousands would likely be massacred if it falls to them. Outgunned Kurdish п¬Ѓghters were struggling to prevent the militants closing off the last escape route for civilians still in the area, prompting an appeal for urgent military assistance. US-led warplanes have intensiп¬Ѓed air strikes against IS, which has been attacking Kobane for three weeks, but the Pentagon has warned that, without a ground force to work with, there are limits to what can be done. Neighbouring Turkey has so far refrained from any action against the militants on its doorstep, despite four straight nights of protests among its own large Kurdish minority that have left 31 people dead. The militantsвЂ™ advance has brought the frontline to just 1.3km from the border. IS now controls 40% of Kobane, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. вЂњThe capture of the headquarters will allow the jihadists to advance on the border post with Turkey to the north of the town,вЂќ its director Rami Abdel Rahman said. вЂњIf they achieve that, they will have the Kurdish forces inside Kobane completely surrounded.вЂќ As п¬Ѓghting raged, an IS militant carried out a suicide car bomb attack to the west of the Kurdish headquarters that killed two defenders, and 10 Kurds were killed in an IS ambush on the south side of town, the Observatory said. US planes conducted nine new air strikes in Syria on Thursday and yesterday, the US military said. And the Observatory said four strikes hit in the vicinity of the Kurdish headquarters yesterday afternoon. UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned that 12,000 or so civilians still in or near Kobane, including 700 mainly elderly people in the town centre, вЂњwill most likely be massacredвЂќ by IS if the town falls. Kobane was вЂњliterally surroundedвЂќ, except for one narrow entry and exit point to the border, de Mistura said. The envoy called on Turkey, вЂњif they can, to support the deterrent actions of the coalition through whatever means from their own territoryвЂќ. вЂњWe would like to appeal to the Turkish authorities in order to allow the п¬‚ow of volunteers at least, and their equipment to be able to enter the city to contribute to a self-defence operation,вЂќ he said in Geneva. The statement marked an unusual one by the United Na- tions, which usually strives to stay neutral in conп¬‚icts, but de Mistura explained the rare appeal by the precarious situation in the border town. The co-ordinator of the USled campaign against IS, retired US general John Allen, was to hold a second day of talks in Ankara after the Nato ally insisted it could not be expected to take ground action against the militants alone. Kobane activist Mustafa Ebdi said the IS militants were using civilian cars with Kurdish п¬‚ags to avoid coming under attack by coalition aircraft. He said the risk of Kobane falling was high, and described the town as a вЂњsymbol of resistance to IS in SyriaвЂќ. вЂњEvery Kurdish п¬Ѓghter is willing to die,вЂќ he said. With the world media gathered just across the border, the conquest of Kobane would be a highly visible symbolic victory for the extremists. The situation is complicated by the close ties between the townвЂ™s Kurdish defenders and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, which has waged a threedecade insurgency for self-rule in southeastern Turkey. Ankara has been deeply reluctant to allow weapons or Kurdish п¬Ѓghters to cross the border. But Salih Muslim, leader of the main Kurdish political party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party, said the Kurds are not a threat to Turkey and called for urgent help. вЂњIt would be very good if Turkey urgently opens its soil for the passage of military weapons, not Turkish soldiers, for Kobane,вЂќ he said. More than 180,000 people have been killed in Syria since an uprising against President Bashar al-AssadвЂ™s regime began in 2011, escalating into a multisided civil war that has drawn thousands of militants from overseas. Bombardment and air strikes by the Syrian regime killed at least 21 civilians, eight of them children, in the south and northeast of the country yesterday, the Observatory said. Grief, fury at funeral of вЂ�martyrsвЂ™ AFP Suruc, Turkey C Mourners gather for the funeral of seven Syrian Kurdish fighters at a cemetery in Suruc on Thursday. lutching a bloodstained napkin used by her brother just before his death, a young Syrian Kurdish woman mourned for the 23-year-old killed while defending the key town of Kobane from Islamic State insurgents. The young man was killed п¬Ѓghting alongside PeopleвЂ™s Protection Units (YPG) against Islamic State (IS) militants for control of the mainly-Kurdish Syrian town, just over the Turkish border. вЂњWe heard he was injured after a bullet hit him in the head,вЂќ 26-year-old Berivan Seyhahmet said, looking at the grave of her brother buried in the Turkish town of Suruc overlooking Kobane. вЂњAt п¬Ѓrst, his injury was not life-threatening, but he kept bleeding after he was held at the Syrian-Turkish border for four hours by the Turkish army,вЂќ she said in fury. Turkey has tightened security of its porous Syrian border after the escalating п¬Ѓghting in Kobane sparked the exodus of 200,000 refugees across the frontier. Many civilians п¬‚ed Kobane which was declared a battle zone following the start of street clashes between YPG п¬Ѓghters and IS insurgents who seized control of a third of the town, despite air raids by the United States and coalition forces. Turkey also fears the standoff around Kobane could lead to the creation of a Kurdish п¬Ѓghting force overlapping the Turkish and Syrian borders. The Syria-based Kurdish п¬Ѓghters of the YPG battling IS militants have links to PKK militants who have fought the Turkish state for the last three decades in an insurgency that has claimed 40,000 lives. The funeral of seven fallen Syrian Kurdish п¬Ѓghters in the Turkish border town united Kurds in Suruc. The crowd, drawn from across Turkey, vented their fury at lack of support for the defenders of Kobane. вЂњKurdistan will be a grave for fascism!вЂќ the Kurds shouted, wearing yellow-red-green scarves as they attended the funeral. Gathering around the grave to bury their dead in a cemetery just 10km from Kobane, the mourning group surrounded an imam speaking in Kurdish through a loudspeaker. вЂњMany lives were lost. The heroes of Kurdistan will not give up on Kobane,вЂќ the imam said in an address to the cheering crowd. вЂњWe salute the martyrs. We will leave the enemy deaf and dumb.... I am calling on all Kurds. Now is the time for unity!вЂќ The funeral ceremony was also attended by pro-Kurdish politicians. Seyahmet said she last spoke with her brother the night before he died. вЂњThe sound of gunп¬Ѓre was clearly audible from the other end of the phone. It was around 11pm. It was like he felt that he was going to die,вЂќ she said. вЂњHe called to receive our blessing the last time.вЂќ His mother, who looked about to faint during and after the funeral, could barely be carried to a car by her relatives. вЂњHe was speaking boldly in our last telephone conversation when he said вЂ�All the bloodshed is not in vain and God willing, Kobane will not fall,вЂ™вЂќ said the mother, who п¬‚ed to Turkey three weeks ago. вЂњI told him to be brave,вЂќ she said with a desperate look on her face. She said she had another son, 18, п¬Ѓghting for Kobane. Another Syrian Kurd from Kobane, 31-year-old Ahmed, had come to bury his cousin who he said had also died in the battle. Until his death, the cousin had given the family daily updates about the battle for Kobane, he said. вЂњHe told us in an uplifting voice that they were resisting to push back IS.вЂќ Ahmed, who crossed the border after being wounded, said he wanted to go back but that he was not allowed to join the п¬Ѓghting because of his injury. вЂњCivilians were packed in the western part of Kobane near the Turkish border. Turkish soldiers are not helping at all, (they are) accusing us of being terrorists,вЂќ he said. вЂњKobane is sacred to us, Kobane is Kurdistan of the Kurds and the freedom of all Kurds. No matter what happens, I will get back,вЂќ he said. вЂњLife is not good in Turkey. It is not our soil.вЂќ Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 5 ARAB WORLD Libya clashes force 287,000 to п¬‚ee: UN agency AFP Geneva A spike in clashes between rival militias in Libya has pushed the number of people driven from their homes to an estimated 287,000, the UN refugee agency said yesterday. UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters that some 100,000 people had п¬‚ed over the past three weeks from Warshefana, on the outskirts of the capital Tripoli. Another 15,000 people were estimated to have been displaced around LibyaвЂ™s eastern city of Benghazi, he said. The nation has been in turmoil since an uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddaп¬Ѓ three years ago, with interim authorities facing powerful militias that fought to oust him. A total of some 287,000 people are estimated to have fled conflict and are scattered in 29 towns and cities countrywide, many of them in dire straits, he said. вЂњThe need for healthcare, food, and other basic commoditiesвЂ”plus for shelter ahead of winterвЂ”has become critical,вЂќ said Edwards. He said aid agencies were working п¬‚at out to help those in need but faced вЂњmajor constraints in funding for the internally displaced, while the security situation over recent months has posed challenges in reaching those in needвЂќ. Most displaced people are living with locals who in some cases have opened their homes to several families at a time to meet the growing need for shelter, Edwards said. Those unable to stay with rela- tives or host families were sleeping in schools, parks and nonresidential buildings converted into emergency shelters. Host communities were п¬Ѓnding themselves swamped, Edwards said, giving the example of the small town of Ajaylat, some 80km west of Tripoli. The community of around 100,000 people had taken in 16,000 more who fled fighting, placing a massive strain on health facilities. вЂњAs well as the impact on the local population, the п¬Ѓghting is also affecting refugees, asylumseekers, and migrants in LibyaвЂ” many of them from Middle Eastern countries and Sub-Saharan Africa,вЂќ Edwards noted. Lawlessness and spiralling food prices have made some of them desperate to leave. вЂњLibyaвЂ™s policy of detaining refugees and migrants has pushed many to put their lives in the hands of smugglers to try to get to Europe,вЂќ said Edwards. The majority of the more than 165,000 people who have arrived on EuropeвЂ™s shores so far this year, risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean, came from Libya. Half of those leaving Libya were from war-torn Syria or people escaping the iron-п¬Ѓsted regime in Eritrea. S Sudan rape levels вЂ�worstвЂ™ UN envoy has ever seen AFP Bentiu, South Sudan T he levels of rape in wartorn South Sudan are the worst the UN special envoy on sexual violence has ever seen, she said yesterday, after meeting scores of survivors of attacks. вЂњIn all my life and experience of nearly 30 years in public service and in the UN and as a government minister, I have never seen what I have seen today,вЂќ Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, told AFP. вЂњI have travelled around the world and I come from a conflict country, but I have never seen what I saw todayвЂќ Bangura, who comes from Sierra Leone, said she had witnessed brutal violence during the civil war there, but conditions in South Sudan after almost 10 months of conп¬‚ict were worse in terms of attacks on women and girls. She said she had been in the Sierra Leone capital Freetown when it fell. вЂњWe picked bodies from streets and buried them.вЂќ Speaking in the South Sudan town of Bentiu, which has repeatedly changed hands in the war, she said both government troops and rebels were committing rapes. Thousands of people have been killed and almost 2mn have п¬‚ed п¬Ѓghting between government troops, mutinous soldiers and ragtag militia forces divided along tribal lines. Almost 100,000 people are sheltering in squalid UN peacekeeping bases fearing they will be killed if they leave the barbed wire protection. вЂњItвЂ™s unbelievable. ItвЂ™s painful. ItвЂ™s challenging to see the conditions under which these women live, the harassments and sexual violence that take place at checkpoints, and when the women go out to get food, and when they go out to get п¬Ѓrewood. ItвЂ™s really extremely distressing,вЂќ Bangura said. вЂњThese are not conditions and circumstances under which women can live. I heard a story of a woman who had just given birth who had been raped, I heard a story of an old woman who was raped, children as young as 10 or 11 years who are being raped on daily basis.вЂќ Fighting broke out in the oil-rich country, also the worldвЂ™s youngest nation, in December 2013 following a clash between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. The war spread rapidly across the country and has been marked by widespread human rights abuses and atrocities by both sides. Bangura is visiting South Sudan in a bid to persuade both sides to end the violence and rekindle stalled peace efforts. вЂњI have travelled around the world and I come from a conп¬‚ict country, but I have never seen what I saw today,вЂќ she said, adding it was worse than conditions she had seen in many countries including Bosnia, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Somalia. вЂњThis is the worst case scenario for me, it is extremely difficult to deal with.вЂќ Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist party Ennahda, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tunis. Ennahda ready to work with Ben Ali ministers Ennahda chief Rached Gannouchi says the Islamist party can work within a coalition government with its main secularist rival and other parties which include former Ben Ali ministers Reuters Tunis T unisiaвЂ™s main Islamist party is ready to form a coalition government with secular rivals including former officials who worked with President Zine alAbidine Ben Ali before he was toppled in 2011, the partyвЂ™s chief said. Tunisians go to the polls later this month for legislative elections in one of the last steps to full democracy after approving a new constitution last year and ending a political crisis between Islamists and secular opposition. Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist party Ennahda, said the country still needed a consensus to keep its fragile transition on track following the parliament vote on October 26. A presidential ballot follows in November. Three years after protests ousted Ben Ali, Tunisia is being hailed as a model for the region after overcoming the kind of political polarisation and inп¬Ѓghting suffered by Egypt and Libya following their 2011 revolts. вЂњTunisia still needs a consensus between the Islamists and secularists because after elections we will not be in a stable democracy, but a transitional democracy. We need unity government to face all the challenges in our troubled region,вЂќ Ghannouchi told Reuters in interview. Ennahda, whose leadership spent years in exile or jailed under Ben Ali, can work within a coalition government with its main rival secular party, Nida Tounes, and other parties which include former Ben Ali minis- ters, Ghannouchi said. Ennahda won about 40% of seats in TunisiaвЂ™s transitional parliament after the п¬Ѓrst free election in 2011 and governed in a coalition before a crisis erupted over the assassination of two opposition leaders by militant gunmen. Critics blamed Ennahda for being lax with Islamist extremists. After months of protests and talks, a consensus agreement emerged for EnnahdaвЂ™s government to cede power to a non-partisan cabinet to end the deadlock. Political compromise has more than once pulled Tunisia back from the brink, and helped keep it from the type of chaos now engulп¬Ѓng neighbouring Libya, where armed factions and their political allies have set up rival governments. Both in Libya and Egypt, bitter debate continues over the role of former regime officials. But in Tunisia, former Ben Ali officials will have a strong pres- ence in the parliamentary elections and analysts expect them to have ample chance in the elections in regional cities and towns where they still retain inп¬‚uence. вЂњAll these parties are legal, so we are ready to work with them. We have no veto on any legal party,вЂќ Ghannounchi said. For the п¬Ѓrst time since the 2011 вЂњJasmine revolutionвЂќ, former ofп¬Ѓcials from Ben AliвЂ™s regime will be running for office again by representing various secular parties participating in the electoral race. They were temporarily banned from the п¬Ѓrst election. Ennahda is conп¬Ѓdent it can repeat its last win in the legislature and hopes to secure 40% of seats in the next parliament, according Ghannouchi. Most analysts expect Ennahda, one of the countryвЂ™s most organised political movements, and Nida Tounes to turn out the election winners. Ghannouchi said Ennahda was well aware of the tough decisions needed to keep TunisiaвЂ™s economy on track, including subsidy cuts, new investment incentives and the restructuring public institutions. вЂњWe have become more realistic and able to form a consensus with our rivals... We became part of the state and understand the problems and priorities of the country,вЂќ he said of his partyвЂ™s two years in power. During that time, critics blamed Ennahda for mismanaging the economy and trying to hold onto power. Still, the Islamist party remains a main contender. Beji caid Essebsi, the head of Nida Tounes, said this week at the beginning of campaigning that Tunisians must choose between the party of the 21st century, which supports the values of modernity, and forces seeking to take Tunisia back, in a reference to Ennahda. Ghannouchi called for an end to divisive rhetoric. Spa of the desert: Saharan sands offer therapy AFP Merzouga, Morocco A s the morning sun rises over the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Sahara, men and women dig holes for tourists who want to bury themselves in the sand. Decades ago, tribal nomads settled here, living a traditional desert existence that has now had to adapt to changing circumstance. The dunes of Merzouga tower over the small community in southeastern Morocco, where the Berber Ait Atta tribe now makes a brisk living from tourism. The formerly nomadic tribesmen have for years been running hotels and restaurants in Merzouga, a key stop on the Moroccan tourist trail on the edge of a sea of sand dunes. Now theyвЂ™re even turning to the sands themselves to attract visitors. For around 10 minutes visitors are buried neck-deep in the hot sand for therapy said to cure those who suffer from rheumatism, lumbago, polyarthritis and some skin disorders. The therapy has the same effect as a sauna session, helping purge A tourist takes a sand bath in the dunes of the Merzouga desert in southeastern Morocco. the body of poisonous toxins, according to tribesmen such as Abdessalam Sadoq who now work in wellness tourism. вЂњWe offer every type of tourism here, but especially for health,вЂќ he said. Making a living was not always easy for the descendants of the Ait Atta nomads, and over the decades the sons and daughters of those who roamed the desert on camels have had to attune themselves to more modern ways. The Ait Atta once accumulated riches from trans-Saharan com- merce, but now all that remains of this past is a road sign pointing towards Timbuktu, a mere 52 days away by camel. Their way of life ended after Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912, with the development of mining in the region, the emergence of urban centres and demarcation of the nearby border with Algeria. Once-nomadic tribes had to п¬Ѓnd a new livelihood, and turned to cultivating date palms and tourism in the second half of the past century. Visitors in search of a cure do not come only from abroad: many Moroccans also п¬Ѓrmly believe in the power of the desert. вЂњI really feel much better, and each year I come back here to spend a week,вЂќ said sciatica sufferer Ali Kallamouche from the central town of Beni Mellal. A sand bath at Merzouga costs up to $13, and when вЂњpatientsвЂќ shake off the sand they are wrapped in hot towels to avoid the shock of a sudden cooling of the body. Many come not just for the cure but also for the breathtaking sunsets over MerzougaвЂ™s shifting sand dunes. Camel safaris and stays in the desert under canvas with the regionвЂ™s Berber and Arab tribes are still a tourist staple, but with the economy biting, industry workers had to look elsewhere to attract business. вЂњPeople come for sand baths... and to taste the local dishes we make using medicinal plants and herbs,вЂќ said Sadoq, who also heads an association to promote tourism in the Sahara. Tourism is a cornerstone of MoroccoвЂ™s economyвЂ”contributing 10% of gross domestic product. According to market experts, it is also growing, thanks to the development of wellness tourism. In September, Morocco hosted the Global Spa and Wellness Summit where industry experts said the sector expanded globally last year by 12.5%, generating almost $500bn. Morocco topped the Middle East and North Africa list in health tourism, with the industry growing more than 67% since 2007. In Merzouga, more and more people are signing up for a hot sand soak at the height of summer and other businesses, including those rooted in the recent past, are thriving as a result. Ali sells camel milk which he insists does wonders for diabetes, anaemia and digestive tract problems. вЂњPeople come from all over the world to Merzouga for sand baths, and that helps us promote other products,вЂќ he said. 6 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 AFRICA 41 UN staff in Liberia quarantined AFP Monrovia T he United Nations said yesterday that it had quarantined 41 personnel from its Liberia mission, including 20 soldiers, following a second infection among its staff of the deadly Ebola virus. The measure came two days after the mission, known as UNMIL, announced an вЂњinternational staff memberвЂќ working in its medical department tested positive after complaining of symptoms consistent with the Ebola virus. вЂњFollowing the discovery on October 5 that an UNMIL medical staff member was symptomatic for Ebola, the mission conducted robust contact tracing to ensure all people that came into contact with the staff member while they were symptomatic are assessed and isolated as necessary,вЂќ the world body said in a statement. вЂњAs a result of the rigorous contact tracing, 41 staff members who were possible contacts are under close medical observation, including 20 military personnel,вЂќ the statement added. UNMIL, which has 6,000 troops and police in Liberia, said that the personnel would undergo вЂњprecautionaryвЂќ observation for the 21-day incubation period of the virus, although none had shown symptoms. The mission has not revealed the condition or nationality of the Ebola patient but said they were receiving treatment. The announcement of the infection came a week after UNMIL said a Liberian employee had died of probable Ebola. The mission said it would extend a review of its actions launched after the п¬Ѓrst case to investigating the circumstances of the latest infection. Liberia, the hardest-hit country in the west African Ebola outbreak, has seen more than 2,200 deaths since it announced the virus had spread from Guinea on March 31. UNMIL chief Karin Landgren said last week the mission had taken steps since then to educate personnel and help them protect themselves against Ebola, describing staff safety as her вЂњtop priorityвЂќ. She described the outbreak as вЂњLiberiaвЂ™s gravest threat since the civil warвЂќ, referring to the backto-back conп¬‚icts from 19892003 that left at least 250,000 people dead. Journalists banned from Ebola centres AFP Monrovia L iberia said yesterday that it is banning journalists from Ebola clinics, defying media rights campaigners who have warned panicked African governments against вЂњmuzzlingвЂќ reporters. Government spokesman Isaac Jackson made the announcement as he was questioned on a radio phone-in show about reporters being barred from covering a strike at a Monrovia Ebola treatment unit (ETU). вЂњJournalists are no longer allowed to enter ETUs. These journalists enter the ETUs and cross red lines,вЂќ Jackson, the deputy information minister, told listeners to commercial station Sky FM. вЂњThey violate peopleвЂ™s privacy, take pictures that they will sell to international institutions. We are putting an end to that.вЂќ Journalists had earlier been denied access to the Island Clinic in Monrovia to cover a nationwide вЂњgo slowвЂќ day of action by healthcare workers demanding risk bonuses for treating Ebola. The minister said he would insist that journalists report his statements from now on rather than what they saw for themselves. Sources from global aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), which runs a unit of around 250 beds in Monrovia, said that it would be writing to the government to ask to be excluded from the ban. Liberia is ranked 89th out of 180 countries in the 2014 press freedom index produced by Reporters Without Borders. The media rights campaign group warned that panicked governments п¬Ѓghting the epidemic were вЂњquarantiningвЂќ reporters to prevent them covering the crisis. вЂњCombatting the epidemic needs good media reporting but panicked governments are muzzling journalists,вЂќ the organisation, known by its French initials RSF, said in a statement. LiberiaвЂ™s announcement came after soldiers prevented the media in Guinea from investigating the murders in September of eight people, including three journalists, during an Ebola education visit. In Liberia, medics have been banned from communicating directly with the media, RSF said, while Sierra Leone has threatened to adopt draconian measures against journalists criticising its Ebola response. The Island Clinic, LiberiaвЂ™s largest government Ebola treatment centre, is run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and opened in September. Like all units run by NGOs, it is under-resourced and overrun by demand, forced to п¬Ѓll in for a public health infrastructure that has been decimated by 14 years of civil war and grinding poverty. Although a вЂњgo slowвЂќ campaign was officially due to start yesterday, the clinic has been crippled by staff protests all week. вЂњMost of the workers are no longer coming to work. The few ones who come donвЂ™t work. We donвЂ™t have the manpower needed to do the work here at the cen- S even people accused of witchcraft have been burned alive in Tanzania, police said yesterday, adding that they have arrested 23 people in connection with the crimes. вЂњThey were attacked and burnt to death by a mob of villagers who accused them of engaging in witchcraft,вЂќ the police chief for the western Kigoma region which borders Burundi, Jafari Mohamed, told AFP. вЂњFive of those killed were aged over 60, while the other two were aged over 40.вЂќ Among those arrested on suspicion of carrying out the killings was the local traditional healer, or witch doctor. Relatives of those killed described horriп¬Ѓc scenes, with the bodies of family members hacked with machetes or burned almost beyond recognition. вЂњWhen I returned home in the evening, I found the body of my mother lying 10m away from our house, while the body of my father was burnt inside the house,вЂќ said Josephat John, according to TanzaniaвЂ™s Mwananchi newspaper. The attack in the village of Muruп¬Ѓti took place on Monday but reports only emerged after police announced the arrest of the suspects. вЂњWe are holding 23 people including local leaders in connection with the attack,вЂќ Mohamed said. вЂњThey will appear in court to face murder charges.вЂќ Belief in witches and black magic remains strong in many parts of Tanzania. A local rights group, the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), has estimated as many as 500 вЂњwitchesвЂќ are lynched Z ambiaвЂ™s former air force commander Andrew Sakala was jailed yesterday for п¬Ѓve years with hard labour after he was convicted of graft. Sakala was found guilty of pocketing around $250,000 that was earmarked for covert security ahead of 2011 elections. In handing down the sentence in Lusaka, Magistrate Wilfred Muma said Sakala needed to be punished as the state had lost resources because of his act. First African Ebola vaccine trial starts T Students hold signs bearing a picture of Naticha Forh, a student who died after medical staff refused to treat her without a note indicating that she was not infected with Ebola, during a protest to demand an improvement of the service at the JFK hospital in Monrovia. tre,вЂќ director Atai Omoruto told reporters before the government clampdown. Omoruto said the centre had been designed for a maximum capacity of 150 beds but had been forced to take in 300 patients. Alphonso Wesseh, representing the clinicвЂ™s healthcare workers, told AFP that the government had refused to pay beneп¬Ѓts for dealing with Ebola and salaries were as low as $250 a month. вЂњWe cannot work under these conditions. We are risking our lives every day and the govern- every year, based on reports that counted some 3,000 people killed between 2005 and 2011. Many of those who were killed were elderly women, the centre said. The rights group said some are targeted because they have red eyes вЂ“ seen as a feared sign of witchcraft, even if they in fact that is the result from the use of dung as cooking fuel in impoverished communities. The centre said that many local people believe that witchcraft is behind every misfortune вЂ“ from infertility and poverty to failure in business. Past attacks have included a series of bloody assaults against albinos, as well as against young children. In Tanzania, albinos are killed and dismembered because of a widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity. Former air force chief imprisoned AFP Lusaka Right: The вЂ�cAd3-EBO-ZвЂ™ vaccine. DPA Bamako Seven witchcraft suspects burned to death in Tanzania AFP Dar es Salaam A volunteer receives the Ebola vaccine вЂ�cAd3-EBO-ZвЂ™ at the vaccines centre in Bamako. Human trials of the Ebola vaccine have started in Africa after being trialed in the US and Britain. Three employees of the health department in Mali were the first people in Africa to receive the vaccine. However, the former high ranking official escaped the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. His co-accused Zambia Army commander Wisdom Lopa and Anthony Yeta of the Zambia National Service were earlier found innocent of the same charges. ment remains insensitive to our plight. This is not human.вЂќ Ebola, which spreads through contact with bodily п¬‚uids, has infected around 8,000 people and killed almost half of them. Liberia, the country hit hardest by the outbreak, has seen more than 2,000 deaths вЂ“ including 94 healthcare workers вЂ“ from the haemorrhagic fever which the virus causes. The government announced on Wednesday that it was postponing nationwide senatorial elections which had been due on Tuesday next week, with no new date yet announced. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her counterparts in Sierra Leone and Guinea pressed the heads of the International Monetary Fund, UN and World Bank on Thursday for a more rapid rollout of support to п¬Ѓght the epidemic. вЂњThis will also require support for compensation to healthcare workers who, for fear of the risk involved, have refused or are reluctant to return to work,вЂќ she told the Washington conference via video link. hree people in Mali were injected with an experimental Ebola vaccine in the п¬Ѓrst such trial in Africa, as the condition of a Spanish nurse, EuropeвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst human-to-human transmission case, deteriorated. The vaccine volunteers are among 40 Malian health workers who agreed to participate in a trial of the cAd3-EBO-Z vaccine, which was developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Malian health ministry said yesterday. Depending on its outcome, the trial could represent a glimmer of hope in an outbreak that, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), has led to more than 8,000 infections in West Africa. A Spanish nurse вЂ“ the п¬Ѓrst transmission of the virus in Europe вЂ“ is in critical condition because of respiratory failure after being diagnosed earlier in the week. She is being kept in quarantine in Madrid alongside 14 others. She was part of a team treating Spanish missionaries who were п¬‚own to Spain after contracting Ebola in Liberia, and her infection prompted a rash of protests from Spanish health workers dissatisп¬Ѓed with hospital safety precautions. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tried to quell concerns about Ebola during a visit to the hospital where the nurse is receiving treatment. вЂњThe risk of Ebola propagating is very low,вЂќ Rajoy was quoted by the daily El Pais as saying. Spanish authorities are still investigating how the transmission took place, while EU organisations have issued harsh warnings about the need to follow protocol. The trial vaccine being tested in Mali is part of an international push to stem the epidemic. It was previously tested on chimpanzees and was found to stimulate an immune response in the apes against the Ebola virus. вЂњWe should be able to have very preliminary safety results and even some immunology results by the end of November,вЂќ said Samba Sow, director-general of the Centre for Vaccine Development in the Malian capital, Bamako. It is expected to take several months before small amounts of the vaccine will be available, Sow said. One volunteer, a 37-year-old paediatrician, said he decided to participate in the trial to help save lives. He was hoping to become immune to the Ebola virus, the unnamed doctor said, вЂњbecause if we have a case of Ebola in Mali, I would want to be called to be involved in treating that personвЂќ. Initial trials of the vaccine started in September on healthy individuals in the US and Britain and 40 people are also to take part in Gambia. A trial for a second vaccine developed by CanadaвЂ™s health agency is being conducted in the US. See also page 11 French forces launch raid in Niger against militants Reuters Paris F rench forces destroyed a convoy in Niger transporting weapons from Libya to Mali and captured п¬Ѓghters linked to Al Qaeda, the presidency said yesterday as France steps up efforts to stop militants crisscrossing the Sahel-Sahara region. Paris, which has led efforts to push back Islamist п¬Ѓghters in the region since intervening in its former colony Mali last year, started redeploying troops across West Africa in July to form a counter-terrorism force, leaving UN peacekeepers to deploy across MaliвЂ™s north to secure the country. However, there has been a marked increase in attacks in recent months in the north, culminating on Tuesday in the death of a Senegalese UN peacekeeper being killed after a joint French-UN military camp in the northern Malian town of Kidal was hit by rocket п¬Ѓre. вЂњAt a time when in Algiers negotiations for a peace deal and a lasting reconciliation in Mali are about to re-start, the armed terrorists ... are threatening peace and security in the entire region,вЂќ the French presidentвЂ™s office said in a statement, referring to talks between the Malian government and Tuareg separatists that are due to take place on October 17. вЂњThat is why the president has asked French forces to hunt down the armed terrorist groups behind these attacks.вЂќ The statement said that on Thursday night French forces, with support from Niger, intercepted and destroyed a convoy of armed vehicles in northern Niger belonging to Al QaedaвЂ™s North African arm AQIM that were transporting weapons from Libya to Mali. It is the п¬Ѓrst time Paris has announced such an operation in Niger. вЂњThe intervention enabled a large quantity of weapons to be seized and to neutralise a number of those in the convoy, including some who were captured,вЂќ the statement said, without giving further details. MaliвЂ™s prime minister told Reuters on Monday that Islamist п¬Ѓghters had been given the opportunity to return to the north There has been a marked increase in attacks in north Mali, culminating in the death of a UN peacekeeper in the town of Kidal on Tuesday of the country after France redeployed its troops and urged French and UN forces to go on the attack to stop their resurgence. France is setting up a base in northern Niger as part of its new counter-terrorism operation. About 3,000 French troops are now operating out of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad вЂ“ countries straddling the vast arid Sahel band вЂ“ with the aim of stamping out Islamist п¬Ѓghters across the region. The French operation, dubbed Barkhane after the name of a kind of sand dune formed by desert winds, has set up its headquarters in the Chadian capital NвЂ™Djamena, but also placed an outpost in northern Chad about 200km from the Libyan border. French officials have repeated for several months they are concerned by events in Libya, warning that the political void in the north is creating favourable conditions for Al Qaeda-linked п¬Ѓghters to regroup in the barren south of the country. Diplomatic sources estimate about 300 п¬Ѓghters linked to AQIM, including a splinter group formed by veteran Islamist commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar, are operating in southern Libya, a key point on smuggling and trafficking routes across the region. US reaches $30mn settlement with Equatorial Guinea vice-president A federal judge in California announced a $30mn settlement yesterday between the United States and a vice president of Equatorial Guinea that requires him to forfeit his US assets, including a collection of six lifesized statues of late singer Michael Jackson. Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the Central African countryвЂ™s second vice-president, used his position of power to amass more than $300mn in the United States through corruption and money laundering, US prosecutors said in court documents. Obiang must also sell his mansion in Malibu, California, and his Ferrari, which the Justice Department said were bought with money looted from the impoverished country. The United States was blocked from forcing the vice-president to forfeit his assets in Equatorial Guinea, which included a Gulfstream jet and JacksonвЂ™s famous white, crystal glove. The profits of ObiangвЂ™s forfeitures will go to charities that provide assistance for people in Equatorial Guinea. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 7 AMERICAS Chinese student stabbed вЂ�55 timesвЂ™ Reuters Montreal A Chinese student who was killed in Canada in May 2012 was stabbed 55 times and then dismembered, a forensic pathologist told a Montreal court on Thursday. Canadian Luka Magnotta, 32, has admitted to killing and dismembering Chinese student Jun Lin, videotaping the acts and mailing parts of the body to elementary schools and to two political parties. He is pleading not guilty due to mental illness. Pathologist Yann Daze, who conducted a п¬Ѓve-day autopsy on the body of Lin, told the court he could not say whether the university student was still alive when he was decapitated since his head, found in July 2012 in a Montreal park, was in such an advanced state of decay. вЂњThe victim lost a lot of blood before his death,вЂќ Daze told the court, adding that a toxicology report found the presence of a sleeping pill and allergy medicine in LinвЂ™s system. The pathologist had to put the body together in early June after recovering LinвЂ™s hands and feet, which had been mailed to schools in Vancouver and to the Ottawa offices of two political parties. While Daze did not provide an exact cause of death, he said LinвЂ™s neck was cut and the left side of his skull and cheekbone was fractured. The prosecutor in the case says Magnotta planned the killing for at least six months before the crime was committed, and that he had e-mailed a British journalist in 2011 saying he planned to kill a human being and videotape the act. A publication ban imposed by the court at a preliminary hearing has barred media from reporting certain details of the case. Explicit details were publicised during the international search to capture Magnotta, but cannot be repeated until they are presented at trial. The jury was not being sequestered. New York on alert for Ebola threat New York is on alert against the deadly Ebola virus, rolling out tough new airport screening measures and introducing strict rules at hospitals while simultaneously warning the public there is no cause for panic. The first death from Ebola on US soil in Texas on Wednesday sent concern rippling through major cities, which are now ramping up efforts to prevent an American outbreak of the disease that has claimed 3,900 lives in West Africa. New YorkвЂ™s John F Kennedy International will become the first airport in the United States to start new screening measures today, aimed at halting the disease in its tracks should more cases emerge. Travelers from Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be screened by border agents checking for signs of illness such as high temperatures, even if theyвЂ™ve already been checked upon departure. Actress Jolie an honorary вЂ�DameвЂ™ BritainвЂ™s Queen Elizabeth II made actress Angelina Jolie an honorary Dame at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday in recognition of her campaigning to end sexual violence in war zones and for services to UK foreign policy. The queen presented Oscar-winning Jolie, who is special envoy to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George. Jolie, 39, co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative with former foreign secretary William Hague in 2012. Jolie is not a British citizen and therefore cannot be addressed as Dame. She receives the award on an honorary basis. Republicans fume over report on Gitmo closure AFP/Reuters Washington P resident Barack Obama is considering shutting Guantanamo and transferring its terror-suspect detainees to US soil, according to a US news report that raised the ire of Republican lawmakers yesterday. The report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said that Obama is mulling moving the Guantanamo inmates to US soil without п¬Ѓrst obtaining congressional consent. While administration officials say Obama prefers a legislative solution rather than overriding Congress through executive action, a senior official told the daily that the president remained вЂњunwavering in his commitmentвЂќ to closing the prison, and wants all options on the table. But House Speaker John Boehner warned that Obama would be making a вЂњdangerousвЂќ mistake to shift the detainees to US prisons. вЂњAn overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate oppose importing the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay into the United States, yet the White House continues to move forward with its plan,вЂќ Boehner said in a statement. вЂњEven as Islamic jihadists are beheading Americans, the White House is so eager to bring these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States that it is examining ways to thwart Congress and unilaterally re-write the law,вЂќ he said. Republican Senator Pat Roberts threatened to bring legislative action to a standstill should Obama seek to shift вЂњa Gitmo terroristвЂќ into the United States. вЂњIf he tries it, I will shut down the Senate,вЂќ Roberts told supporters in Kansas, according to Roll Call. Other Republicans also sounded off. вЂњAny action by the president to close Guantanamo Bay by overriding Congress is blatantly illegal,вЂќ House Republican Mark Meadows warned on Twitter. And Republican Senator Tim Scott tweeted: вЂњThey should stay right where they are ... far away from our schools and families.вЂќ The US Naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba currently holds 149 detainees linked to the post-9/11 war on terrorism, but Obama made closing Guantanamo a campaign promise but he has been thwarted by domestic and international obstacles. Congress in 2010 banned the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to US soil after the administration proposed relocating them to a maximum-security prison in Illinois. YesterdayвЂ™s expressions of outrage by Republican lawmakers come on the heels of moves to sue the president over what they consider abuses of executive power, including delays to key provisions of ObamaвЂ™s healthcare law. Republicans also have voiced exasperation at ObamaвЂ™s threats to take executive action on other issues like minimum wage and immigration. Complaints grew louder in June when the administration revealed it bypassed Congress and released п¬Ѓve Taliban Guantanamo detainees for the return of a US Army sergeant held for п¬Ѓve years in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the White House has denied the WSJ report. вЂњSince the president came into office in 2009 the administration has been examining all possible ways we could get to closure of the facility, but we are not drafting options to override the law,вЂќ White House spokes- woman Caitlin Hayden said. вЂњWe are continuing to work on transfers (of prisoners) and calling on Congress to lift restrictions.вЂќ The White House said it would continue to make efforts to repatriate or resettle detainees or prosecute them through federal courts or military commission proceedings. The administration would also proceed in talks with foreign governments to negotiate possible prisoner transfers. вЂњThe administration will also continue to call on members of both parties to work together to ensure that Congress lifts the remaining restrictions and enables the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,вЂќ Hayden said. Obama: Republicans committing political suicide on immigration Reuters Santa Monica, California U Obama at the town hall meeting at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, California. Cross Campus is a collaborative workspace that brings together freelancers, creative professional, entrepreneurs and other start-ups. S President Barack Obama said on Thursday that Republicans are committing political suicide by resisting immigration reform and vowed to go ahead with his plans to loosen some migration rules on his own after November 4 elections. ObamaвЂ™s comment came as he began a two-day West Coast trip centred mostly around raising money for Democratic congressional candidates in Los Angeles. His п¬Ѓrst such event is scheduled to be at the Los Angeles home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow on Thursday night. Speaking to tech start-up executives at a town hall event at Cross Campus, an organisation devoted to helping entrepreneurs create jobs for young Americans, Obama repeatedly attacked his political opponents as he tries to fend off a Republican takeover of the US Senate in the upcoming elections. On immigration, Obama said he would proceed with plans after the elections to do what he can within his constitutional power to help undocumented workers in the United States. He said that he would speciп¬Ѓcally make the H1B visa system more efficient вЂњto encourage more folks to stay hereвЂќ. Obama held back from issuing executive actions on immigration at the end of the summer because of public discontent with how he was handling a surge of child migrants who swept across the US southern border. Obama suggested this problem was largely under control. He said that a failure to act on comprehensive legislation by Republicans will damage them with an important voting bloc. вЂњIf they were thinking longterm politically, it is suicide for them not to do this, because the demographics of the country are such where you are going to lose an entire generation of immigrantsвЂќ who feel that the Republican Party вЂњdoes not care about me or my lifeвЂќ, Obama said. вЂњI think the smarter Republicans understand this,вЂќ he said. Obama said Tea Party conservatives are pressuring the Republican rank and п¬Ѓle not to take action in the short run, but that he believes reform legislation will eventually pass during the remaining two years of his presidency. вЂњI think itвЂ™ll happen over the next two years that eventually Congress will see the light because the logic of it is too compelling,вЂќ Obama said. ObamaвЂ™s fundraiser at PaltrowвЂ™s home was the 56th such event he has attended this year. He has largely been relegated to raising money for Democratic congressional candidates rather than appearing with him out of concern that his unpopularity could damage them. Still, the huge amounts of money he is raising is helping pay for campaign advertising that Democrats are using in the last weeks of the campaign. US president to declare LA-area mountains national monument Reuters Los Angeles P resident Barack Obama is due to declare a swath of the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles as a national monument, the White House said, following an 11-year effort that got caught up in politics. Along with the designation, the US Forest Service will dedicate $1mn in educational staff, graffiti removal and other longdeferred maintenance work, and non-proп¬Ѓt foundations have committed an additional $3.5mn for restoration and stewardship of mountain areas. The declaration is being made at the request of Democratic Representative Judy Chu, whose legislation to protect the area is stuck in Congress along with other wilderness bills as Republicans and Democrats feud. The 540sq mile section of the Angeles National Forest to be protected under the order attracts 3mn visitors a year, but graffiti mars the landscape, and the US Forest Service has little money for signage or even restroom repair, said Chu, whose district includes part of the area. Legislation to protect the mountains has been introduced twice in Congress, once in 2003, leading to a 10-year-study by the US Park Service, and then in June 2014, when Chu submitted a bill to designate them a national recreation area. After her bill became stuck in a subcommittee, Chu asked Obama to use his executive authority to declare part of the area a national monument. That angered some local ofп¬Ѓcials and many Republicans, who said it was an end-run around Congress. Judy Nelson, mayor of the foothill city of Glendora, said naming the area a national monument instead of a national recreation area could invoke different environmental protection rules and affect businesses. ObamaвЂ™s declaration will affect only land already designated as a national forest, and will not include San Bernardino County, whose governing body voted to oppose the action. Microsoft chief angers women over вЂ�karmaвЂ™ pay comment AFP/Reuters San Francisco M icrosoft chief executive Satya Nadella triggered uproar on Thursday after suggesting working women should trust вЂњkarmaвЂќ when it comes to securing pay raises. Nadella was speaking during an on-stage discussion at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Arizona, when he made the remarks. Asked about advice for women interested in advancing careers but uncomfortable asking for pay increases, Nadella was quoted as responding they should just trust вЂњthat the system will actually give you the right raises as you go alongвЂќ. He reportedly went on to contend that women who donвЂ™t ask for pay raises have a вЂњsuperpowerвЂќ in the form of вЂњgood karma, thatвЂ™ll come backвЂќ. Moderator Maria Klawe, a college president and a member of MicrosoftвЂ™s board of directors, pointedly disagreed with Nadella, triggering applause from the audience. Studies have consistently shown women get paid less than men doing the same jobs. Klawe advised women listening to вЂњdo your homeworkвЂќ to make sure their pay is on par with that of male counterparts. Nadella later scrambled to damp down the controversy in a response on Twitter. вЂњWas inarticulate re how women should ask for a raise,вЂќ Nadella said in a message п¬Ѓred off at his @satyanadella Twitter account. вЂњOur industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias.вЂќ Nadella also reportedly sent a memo to Microsoft employees apologising for suggesting women rely on good karma instead of asking for raises, saying his reply to the question earlier was вЂњcompletely wrongвЂќ. Yet Nadella touched a nerve at a time when Silicon Valley faces renewed scrutiny over the gender pay gap, and a lack of diversity in both the workforce and top management. вЂњThe tech sector is still a non-traditional occupation for women,вЂќ said Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Washington-based Institute for WomenвЂ™s Policy Research, which monitors issues on women and employment. вЂњThereвЂ™s not a lot of evidence that karma has been friendly to women in this area.вЂќ Research earlier this year by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a California think tank, found that men in the region who hold graduate or professional degrees earn 73% more than women with the same educational qualiп¬Ѓcations. The gap was 40% for those with a bachelorвЂ™s degree. An вЂњEqual Pay ProjectвЂќ campaign launched this week calculated that American women over the course of their careers are paid $435,000 less than male counterparts, adding up to a staggering $29tn in aggregate. In recent weeks, major tech п¬Ѓrms have been looking at the issue with вЂњdiversity reportsвЂќ that examine the composition of the workforce. Microsoft reported earlier this month that its staff was only 29% women. At Google, the п¬Ѓgure was 30%. For Facebook, the percentage of women was 31%, but just 15% in technical jobs. According to research from the National Centre for Women and Information Technology, citing census data, women obtained 18% of computer science degrees in 2012, down from 37% in 1985. The report said women held 25% of jobs in the technology industry, down from 37% in 1990. Some blame the male-dominated geek culture. Researcher Catherine Ashcraft of the University of Colorado said that despite вЂњa wealth of educational efforts to promote girlsвЂ™ participation in computingвЂќ, there has been little increase in the number of women in the п¬Ѓeld. She said these programmes often fall short because they вЂњtake a narrow view of their purpose, ignoring important factors that shape girlsвЂ™ identities and education/career choices вЂ“ not least broader narratives around gender, race, and sexualityвЂќ. The tech sector has its share of well-known female CEOs вЂ“ Marissa Mayer at Yahoo!, Meg Whitman at Hewlett-Packard, and co-CEO Safra Catz at Oracle вЂ“ despite the small proportion in the industry overall. Hegewisch said that the tech sector has become in some ways Nadella: quickly backtracked. more difficult for women since the 1980s. вЂњThe geek culture has gotten stronger and the work-all-night culture has gotten stronger, so this might be pushing women out,вЂќ Hegewisch told AFP. She said women remain underrepresented in just about every segment of the tech industry, in contrast to some other п¬Ѓelds like п¬Ѓnance. вЂњWomen might study math or science, but they might go into general business, because the working conditions and culture (in tech) are not that welcoming,вЂќ she said. NadellaвЂ™s comments at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Arizona was particularly unfortunate. But Hegewisch said that the fact that Nadella made the slipup at a conference for women in computing suggests he lacks a grip on the issues. вЂњIt shows he doesnвЂ™t really have a clue about the debate,вЂќ she said. вЂњAnd it shows just how far we have to go.вЂќ Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 8 ASEAN Widodo seeks to ease fears over political gridlock Widodo, who takes office on Oct 20, has said the Indonesian parliamentвЂ™s leadership has agreed to back his plans to resolve the fuel subsidy problem as well as to improve infrastructure Reuters Jakarta P resident-elect Joko Widodo yesterday sought to reassure Indonesians and foreign investors that his relationship with parliament over the next п¬Ѓve years would be one of co-operation, not antagonism. Stocks and the rupiah have come under pressure this month due to fears that Southeast AsiaвЂ™s largest economy would face political gridlock after opposition lawmakers won control over parliament. Widodo, who takes office on Oct 20, said parliamentвЂ™s leadership agreed to back his plans to resolve the fuel subsidy problem, improve infrastructure and streamline government bu- File photo shows Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo run on the stage after delivering a speech in front of his supporters at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta. reaucracy. вЂњI donвЂ™t want there to be any more questions about obstruction,вЂќ Widodo told a news conference which had the attendance of the heads of parliament. вЂњI believe (parliament) will support fully what we will do as a government in the future. There are no problems.вЂќ Setya Novanto, speaker of the House of Representatives, said they agreed that both sides wanted вЂњsynergy between the government and all chambers of parliamentвЂќ. Following his inauguration, Widodo said he will decide as quickly as possible on how best to confront the costly fuel subsidy problem, the main driver behind the countryвЂ™s current account deficit. вЂњI only have four bits of homework - how to solve the problem of fuel subsidies, infrastructure like roads, railways and (ports) ... and bureaucratic reforms, which means business licenses, permits and regulations,вЂќ Widodo told Reuters after the news conference. Opposition lawmakers led by losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto won parliamentвЂ™s top jobs this month, and with it control of the legislative agenda. Rising hostility from the opposition towards Widodo and his coalition raised concerns among investors and Indonesians that the president-electвЂ™s reforms could be blocked. On Tuesday, PrabowoвЂ™s brother and senior aide Hashim Djojohadikusumo said his coalition would investigate alleged wrongdoing when Widodo was governor of the capital, Jakarta, and mayor of the city of Solo. Anniversary celebration Unhealthy levels of haze cover KL DPA Kuala Lumpur U nhealthy levels of smoky haze yesterday covered the Malaysian capital and outlying areas due to п¬Ѓres in IndonesiaвЂ™s provinces of Sumatra and Kalimantan, government data showed. The Department of Environment recorded unhealthy levels of air pollution in Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital of Putrajaya and several areas in the nearby states of Selangor and Negeri Simbilan. Eight other states in the country have also registered moderate levels of haze, the agencyвЂ™s data showed. The agencyвЂ™s air pollution index of between 0 and 50 is considered good; 51 and 100 moderate; 100 and 200 unhealthy; 200 and 300 very unhealthy. A reading of more than 300 is considered hazardous. The latest data from MalaysiaвЂ™s Meteorological department showed there are 170 hotspots in Sumatra and 170 hotspots in Kalimantan. Smoke from land-clearing п¬Ѓres in Sumatra and Kalimantan is a perennial problem afflicting the South-East Asian nations of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia during the dry season. Malaysia moves event after objections DPA Kuala Lumpur M alaysia moved a threeday Oktoberfest to a smaller indoor venue yesterday, amid hardlinersвЂ™ calls to ban the annual Munichinspired beer event, organisers said. The last in a series of Bavarian-style events held by brewers Carlsberg was to be held in front of a shopping mall outside Kuala Lumpur, but was moved the indoor car park to comply with regulations. Several religious groups this week called for the Oktoberfest parties to be banned altogether, saying they tarnish MalaysiaвЂ™s Islamic image. Nasrudin Hassan, a central committee member of the Islamist opposition party PAS, said the event вЂњchallenges the sensitivities.вЂќ The other parties in the series running since September 24 were held indoors. вЂњWe would like to reiterate that all Carlsberg MalaysiaвЂ™s events are strictly for nonMuslim consumers aged 18 and above only,вЂќ Carlsberg said on its Facebook page. Performers dance during the 60th anniversary of the Hanoi Liberation Day celebrations in Hanoi, Vietnam yesterday. Thai PM stands by probe into murders of British tourists Reuters Bangkok T hai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha defended a police investigation into the murder of two British tourists yesterday, amid criticism of shoddy forensic work and concern that two arrested Myanmar men may have admitted the crimes under duress. Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, were arrested last week for the murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24. The bodies were found on a beach on the southern island of Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, famous for its coral reefs and diving. Post-mortem examinations by ThailandвЂ™s forensics department showed that Miller died from drowning and blows to the head while Witheridge died from severe head wounds. The killings have hurt ThailandвЂ™s vital tourism industry, which accounts for 10% of gross domestic product. The country is under martial law after a May coup and tourism is struggling to recover from months of political protests вЂњI would like the media to stop speculation and let investigators do their work,вЂќ Prayuth told reporters after landing back in Bangkok following a two-day visit to Myanmar. вЂњWe must build foreign conп¬Ѓdence and make Britain and other foreign nations understand. They might be a little surprised why the criminals were caught so quickly. I myself was excited. вЂњI want all Thais to stop and think that authorities have procedures in place. Nobody would dare catch the wrong person because this is a case of big international interest.вЂќ Police said the arrested men had confessed to the crime - de- ThailandвЂ™s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha tours the grounds of Shwedagon Pagoda during his official visit to Myanmar, in Yangon yesterday. spite the fact that the two had yet to appear in court to face any charge and speak for themselves. Around 10 protesters gathered in front of City Hall in MyanmarвЂ™s capital Yangon yesterday during PrayuthвЂ™s visit to the city calling for a fair trial. вЂњI would like to urge our government to put pressure (on Thailand) and get help from the international community so that the real story can be found out,вЂќ said rights activist Nay Myo Zin. Myanmar President Thein Sein met Prayuth on Thursday and urged him to offer the suspects as much protection as pos- sible. вЂњThe entire people, the media and the civic society in this country are watching this issue very attentively,вЂќ Thein Sein said, according to an official in the presidentвЂ™s office. вЂњI would like to ask for justice and fairness in handling this case. It is also concerned with our bilateral relations. Of course they should be liable to punishment if they are really guilty, but the trial should be based on fairness and justice.вЂќ Responding to Thein Sein, Prayuth said: вЂњThey are not the culprits yet. We will handle this case with special attention, very fairly, so that we can win the trust of Myanmar people and the international community.вЂќ The inquiry has been dogged from the outset by contradictory statements by officials. Police were widely accused of bungling the investigation, including chasing the wrong leads and failing to seal off the crime scene quickly enough, and pressure grew for them to solve the crime quickly. The suspectsвЂ™ lawyer, Aung Myo Thant, has called the case a вЂњset-upвЂќ. He was not available for comment. On Thursday Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan, director-general of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, questioned methodology used in the case. вЂњThe weak point (in the investigation) is that police do not understand that the case requires a forensic pathologist,вЂќ she was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post English-language paper. Police have strongly denied allegations of abuse during the investigation and have stressed the importance of DNA evidence in the case. DNA found on Witheridge matched samples taken from the two men, police said. Thai national police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang has called the investigation вЂњa perfect jobвЂќ. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 9 AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA TRAGEDY ENVIRONMENT INTERNET CORRUPTION SCIENCE Coastguard shoot dead fishing boat skipper Days of heavy air pollution blight northern China Group threatens Beijing with website blackout Incentives offer to criminals to give themselves up Govt to fund more Antarctic research over 20 years The South Korean coastguard shot and killed the Chinese skipper of a fishing boat yesterday in a confrontation in the Yellow Sea, triggering an angry protest from Beijing. A coastguard spokesman said shots were fired as the vessel was boarded for illegally fishing in South Korean territorial waters, around 130 kilometres off the western island of Wangdeung. вЂњDozens of Chinese sailors attacked our officers with knives and beer bottles,вЂќ said Choi Chang-Sam, chief of the Mokpo Coastguard Station. вЂњIt was a dangerous situation. One officer fired a warning shot but they did not stop. So he fired several more rounds,вЂќ Choi said. Days of heavy smog shrouding swathes of northern China pushed pollution to more than 20 times recommended limits yesterday, despite government promises to tackle environmental blight. Visibility dropped dramatically as measures of small pollutant particles known as PM2.5, which can embed themselves deep in the lungs, reached more than 500 micrograms per cubic metre in parts of Hebei, a province bordering Beijing. The World Health OrganisationвЂ™s recommended daily maximum average exposure is 25. In the capital buildings were obscured by a thick haze, with PM2.5 levels in the city staying above 300 micrograms per cubic metre. Anonymous, the nebulous online activist group that uses hacking to further causes it supports, has threatened a major blackout of Chinese and Hong Kong government websites, and to leak tens of thousands of government email address details. The group, under the banner of вЂ�Operation Hong KongвЂ™ or вЂ�#OpHongKongвЂ™ and вЂ�#OpHKвЂ™ on Twitter, said yesterday it will launch a mass effort against Chinese government servers to bring down their websites via Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks today. DDoS attacks attempt to cripple networks by overwhelming them with Internet traffic. Corrupt Chinese officials who have fled abroad are being offered reduced sentences and other incentives to give themselves up and return home, state media said yesterday, as the government continues its sweeping campaign against graft. Beijing has long grappled with the issue of so-called вЂњnaked officialsвЂќ -- government workers whose husbands, wives or children are all overseas -- who use foreign family connections to illegally shift assets out of China or to avoid investigation. Some estimates put the number of Chinese officials and family members moving assets offshore at more than 1mn in the past five years. Australia is to invest more on scientific research in Antarctica over the next two decades and broaden funding initiatives to include commercial and philanthropic partners, the government said. Environment Minister Greg Hunt unveiled the 20-year Strategic Antarctic Plan in Tasmania some 240 kilometres south of the mainland and some 5,300kms from the icy continent. He said Australia will acquire a new icebreaker and promote Tasmania as an international gateway to Antarctica as part of the plan, broadcaster ABC reported.вЂњAlong with the Bureau of Meteorology super computer, the investment will approach 500mn (Australian) dollars,вЂќ Hunt said. HK protesters digging in for long haul AFP Hong Kong T Participants in co-ordinated colours wave national flags during TaiwanвЂ™s National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday. TaiwanвЂ™s president voices support for agitators AFP Taipei T aiwanвЂ™s President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday called on Beijing to вЂњlet some people go democratic п¬ЃrstвЂќ as he expressed support for protesters who have paralysed parts of Hong Kong for nearly two weeks. Taiwan has been watching closely the events in Hong Kong, where democracy activists are planning a fresh show of force yesterday evening after talks with the cityвЂ™s government collapsed, deepening the political crisis in the Asian п¬Ѓnancial hub. Ma, in a speech marking Koreas trade border fire as Kim fails to appear The two Koreas traded heavy machine-gun fire across their border yesterday, as вЂњmissingвЂќ North Korean leader Kim Jong-UnвЂ™s failed to attend a key political event, fuelling further speculation about his physical health and political future. No casualties were reported in the exchange of fire which South Korea said was triggered by the North Korean military trying to shoot down balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets that were launched by activists in the South around 2:00pm (0500 GMT). Some rounds fell on the South side which then responded with high-calibre machine gun fire вЂњtowards the NorthвЂ™s guard posts,вЂќ a defence ministry spokesman said. There was a further exchange of fire 10 minutes later, he added. Local residents of Hwangsan-ri township in the border area of Yeoncheon were evacuated to shelters as a precaution. While naval confrontations along the KoreasвЂ™ disputed maritime border occur from time to time, any military engagement across the heavily-militarised land frontier is extremely rare. In 2010, the North shelled the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, killing four people and briefly sparking fears of a full scale conflict. TaiwanвЂ™s National Day, urged Beijing to вЂњconvert a crisis into opportunityвЂќ by fulп¬Ѓlling its promise to grant civil liberties in Hong Kong when former colonial power Britain handed the city back in 1997. вЂњThirty years ago, when Deng Xiaoping was pushing for reform and opening up in the mainland, he famously proposed letting some people get rich п¬Ѓrst. So why couldnвЂ™t they do the same thing in Hong Kong, and let some people go democratic п¬Ѓrst?вЂќ Ma said that in so doing, вЂњChina would simply be making good on a pledge made 17 years ago, when they said that for 50 years they would allow rule of Hong Kong by the people of Hong Kong, a high degree of autonomy, and election of the chief executive through universal suffrageвЂќ. This would deп¬Ѓnitely be a вЂњwin-win scenarioвЂќ for both China and Hong Kong, as well as a huge boost for the development of relations between Taipei and Beijing, Ma added. Taiwan in particular is concerned about the situation in Hong Kong, as China wants to reunite the island under a вЂњone country, two systemsвЂќ deal similar to Hong Kong. Ma has sought to boost ties with China since he took office in 2008, but has rejected reuniп¬Ѓcation under a Hong Kongstyle arrangement. He recently renewed the re- Australian tests negative for Ebola AFP Sydney I nitial Ebola tests on an Australian woman suffering from a fever following her return from a month working with patients of the virus in Sierra Leone have come back negative, officials said yesterday. Queensland state chief health officer Jeanette Young said the 57-year-old volunteer Red Cross nurse would remain in observation in hospital in Cairns, northeast Australia, for at least 24 hours as a precautionary measure. вЂњFor the sake of her health and to follow due diligence, we want to be sure she is clear of Ebola virus disease as well as any other disease,вЂќ Young said in a statement. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the result was encouraging but that the World Health Organisation required three full days of negative tests. вЂњLetвЂ™s keep our fingers crossed for the patient involved,вЂќ he told reporters in Canberra. The woman had developed a вЂњlow-grade feverвЂќ on Thursday morning and was put into isolation at Cairns Hospital. Named as Sue-Ellen Kovack by local media, she had returned to Australia at the weekend. Kovack had been at home in line with government policy that anyone who may have had contact with Ebola patients must abide by a 21-day incubation period alone at home. Australia has seen a handful of people displaying symptoms of Ebola following trips to Africa, but none have so far proved positive. Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. The worldвЂ™s largest outbreak of the disease has killed 3,865 people out of 8,033 infected so far this year, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the World Health OrganisationвЂ™s latest count. jection after Chinese President Xi Jinping told a visiting Taiwanese delegation that вЂњone country, two systemsвЂќ was the best way to realise reuniп¬Ѓcation. In yesterdayвЂ™s speech, Ma said that вЂњnow is the most appropriate timeвЂќ for China to move toward constitutional democracy, as the mainland experiences rapid economic growth and its people lead afп¬‚uent lives. вЂњNow that the 1.3bn people on the mainland have become moderately wealthy, they will of course wish to enjoy greater democracy and rule of law. Such a desire has never been a monopoly of the West, but is the right of all humankind.вЂќ housands of pro-democracy supporters took to Hong KongвЂ™s streets last night after protest leaders implored them to dig in for the long haul following the collapse of talks with the government. The mass rally attracting an estimated 15,000 drew the biggest crowd of the week, with numbers swelling as the night progressed and some demonstrators arriving with food, tents and bedding as the protests moved into their third week. Crunch negotiations between protesters and Beijing-backed city officials were scheduled for yesterday but fell apart Thursday after the government pulled out, blaming protesters for threatening to expand their campaign. Demonstrators are calling for Beijing to grant the former British colony full democracy and for the cityвЂ™s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign. Under plans unveiled by China in August, Hong KongвЂ™s citizens will be able to vote for LeungвЂ™s successor in 2017, but only twoto-three vetted candidates will be allowed to stand вЂ” something detractors have dismissed as a вЂњfake democracyвЂќ. As yesterday evening progressed the crowd of demonstrators grew from around 7,000 to 10,000 and then to more than an estimated 15,000 at the main protest site, a stretch of highway opposite the city governmentвЂ™s headquarters, an AFP reporter on the scene said. During the rally pro-democracy leaders gave speeches, protesters chanted вЂњKeep occupyingвЂќ and sang the Cantonese version of a revolution anthem from hit musical Les Miserables вЂњDo You Hear The People Sing?вЂќ. Activists are banking on mus- Pro-democracy protesters block a main road during a rally outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong yesterday. tering signiп¬Ѓcant numbers over the weekend and also potentially expanding their sit-ins to keep pressure on the government. вЂњI miss my bed at home but to struggle for democracy I call for everyone here to continue staying here,вЂќ Occupy Central cofounder Benny Tai said. The crowds were smaller than the tens of thousands attending last week but the protest has begun to take on an air of permanence, with tents, portable showers and even the occasional bed. вЂњI will continue to stay here until the government talks to us,вЂќ Yuki Law, a 21-year-old nursing student said. вЂњThe government has never responded to the citizens so we want to support the movement until the government has a real response for us,вЂќ 27-year-old human resources officer Vincy Chan said. She said the governmentвЂ™s refusal to engage had backп¬Ѓred and brought more people out to protest. Student leaders yesterday insisted they were still open to п¬Ѓnding a middle ground with the government but vowed no let up in their occupation of parts of Hong Kong despite growing public anger over the disruption they have caused. Hong Kong Federation of Students general secretary Alex Chow told the crowd: вЂњA lot of people tell us to give up and to go but when we look back at history 10 to 20 years from now we will see that Hong Kong people are making a new history.вЂќ вЂњCome to occupy the road outside the public headquarters, come bring your tents to show our persistence on long term occupy action,вЂќ student leader Joshua Wong told supporters. But if Hong KongвЂ™s leadership were rattled by the prospect of renewed large-scale protests they showed little sign of it. City officials said yesterday Chief Secretary Carrie Lam -- who had been due to lead the talks with students -- will leave for Guangzhou today on official business while Leung will head there Sunday. Analysts warned that the collapse of the talks pushes the confrontation between democracy protesters and the government into a dangerous phase, with neither side willing to back down. Japan braces as super typhoon Vongfong heads to Okinawa Reuters Tokyo J apan was bracing yesterday for its strongest storm this year, a super typhoon powering north towards the Okinawa island chain that threatens to rake a wide swathe of the nation with strong winds and torrential rain. Typhoon Vongfong, which at one point rivalled last yearвЂ™s devastating Haiyan in strength, was weakening slightly as it moved across the open ocean, but still packed winds gusting as high as 259 kph (160 mph). вЂњThere is no question that it is an extremely large, extremely powerful typhoon,вЂќ said an ofп¬Ѓcial at JapanвЂ™s Meteorological Agency (JMA). вЂњItвЂ™s the strongest storm weвЂ™ve had this year, deп¬Ѓnitely, although it has lost some strength from its peak.вЂќ The storm, which will be JapanвЂ™s second typhoon in a week, was south of Okinawa, and moving north at 15 kph (9 mph) with Huge waves generated by typhoon Vongfong hit the coast in Tamagusuku, Nanjo city, on the island of Okinawa yesterday. sustained winds of 185 kph (114 mph) as of yesterday afternoon, the agency said. The typhoon is moving extremely slowly, which raises the danger of landslides and п¬‚ooding. It was likely to be closest to Okinawa, an island chain 1,600 km (1,000 miles) southwest of Tokyo, and the home of the largest contingent of US troops in Japan, late today or early tomorrow. Television broadcast images of residents of Minami Daitojima, an island southeast of Okinawa, boarding up windows ahead of the storm. Government officials were set to meet to co-ordinate their response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference. вЂњWe are calling on all citizens to pay close attention to weather reports and respond promptly if the authorities advise them to evacuate,вЂќ Suga said. The typhoon was expected to weaken as it moved north, however, and likely to hit land on Sunday on the westernmost main island of Kyushu, before moving northeast towards JapanвЂ™s largest main island of Honshu, where it is likely to weaken into a tropical storm. Tokyo was set for heavy rain, at the worst. Tropical Storm Risk, which tracks typhoons, labelled Vongfong as a Category 4 typhoon, set to weaken to Category 2 before hitting Kyushu. There are no nuclear plants on Okinawa, but there are two on Kyushu and one on Shikoku island, which borders Kyushu and may be hit. All are currently halted in line with national policy. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, is on the other side of the country, which is likely to see rain at the worst. 10 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 BRITAIN CRIME LEGAL CONTROVERSY OFFBEAT STUNT Former air force officer convicted of sex abuse Defendant in closed-doors terror trial admits charge Ofsted chief hits back at critics Cafe serving discarded food opens in Bristol Brands Hatch rogue driver could face jail A court martial has convicted a former air force officer of a range of sex offences committed while he was based in Germany in the 1980s. Former Royal Air Force (RAF) technician Eddie Graham pleaded guilty to 16 offences, and was found guilty of seven more. Graham committed the crimes in RAF Gatow in Berlin between 1981 and 1989, and the investigation centred around 11 possible victims. He left the RAF a decade ago. He was convicted of indecency with a child and six counts of indecent assault on men, and will return to be sentenced on November 10. The RAF said a number of investigations into historical sexual offences were ongoing. A judge lifted reporting restrictions on a court case in which a British man had admitted possessing a bomb-making document on a memory card. Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, 26, had entered the guilty plea at the Old Bailey on Tuesday. He was cleared of the charge of possessing an improperly obtained passport. He was arrested along with Erol Incedal, also 26, who is charged with terrorismrelated offences. The Crown Prosecution Service had asked for the trial to be held without media reporting, on grounds of national security. But the Appeal Court turned down that application and also ruled that the two suspects - previously known only as AB and CD - could be named. Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has insisted he did not take up the role to вЂњcurry favourвЂќ following reports that ministers and senior government officials considered replacing him amid frustrations over his performance. Wilshaw said he would not allow the schoolвЂ™s watchdog to be politicised, and would not be swayed from making tough decisions to raise education standards. His comments come after a leaked department for education memo revealed that discussions had been held about the вЂњserious and growing problemвЂќ of Ofsted and WilshawвЂ™s abilities. The document was signed by Dominic Cummings, then special adviser to former education secretary Michael Gove. A cafГ© dishing up meals made from thrown-away supermarket food rescued from waste skips has opened in Bristol. Discarded food from some of the cityвЂ™s restaurants is also being recycled at BristolвЂ™s newest eatery, Skipchen, a play on the word kitchen, Xinhua reported. Eager diners are happy to munch their way through thrown-away food, especially as they themselves will decide how much, if anything, they should pay for their meals. Skipchen is being run as a not-for-profit cafe by campaigners who want to highlight the amount of edible food thrown away every day. The menu, which changes daily, has already included lobster, gorgonzola omelettes and seafood platters. A labourer faces jail after pleading guilty to driving a Volkswagen Polo at high-speed on to the Brands Hatch circuit during a race. Jack Cottle, 22, hit speeds of up to 100mph with two passengers on board after gatecrashing an endurance race at the famous track in Kent on June 14. Maidstone Crown Court heard he performed the stunt after being dared by friends in a вЂњfoolish prankвЂќ, putting the lives of racers in danger. Cottle, dressed in a navy suit, pleaded guilty to вЂњcausing a nuisance to the public by driving on to the race track at Brands Hatch whilst an endurance race was in progressвЂќ. Defence counsel Ailsa Williamson said Cottle was вЂњan immature man.вЂќ Questions raised on Ebola screening Ukip gains п¬Ѓrst elected MP with Clacton win Agencies London Q uestions have been raised about government plans to introduce enhanced screening for Ebola at major airports and terminals, after Gatwick said it knew nothing about the measures. The move has also been criticised by health experts, with one describing it as a вЂњcomplete waste of timeвЂќ. Further details of what the screening would involve were not available from Public Health England yesterday. Checks are to take place at Heathrow, Gatwick and Eurostar terminals, but a spokesman for Gatwick said yesterday that the airport had not been given any instructions about how the screening should be carried out. вЂњWeвЂ™ve not had anything at all,вЂќ he said. вЂњWeвЂ™re still waiting for Public Health England (to let us know).вЂќ David Mabey, professor of communicable diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the screening was a вЂњcomplete waste of timeвЂќ. вЂњFirstly, there wonвЂ™t be anyone coming from these (West African) countries because all direct п¬‚ights have been cancelled,вЂќ he said. вЂњAre they going to screen everyone from Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam? That would lead to a lot of delays and disruption. вЂњSecondly, why would anyone admit that they have been in contact with someone when theyвЂ™re in a hurry to get through immigration control when they arrive at the airport? вЂњPeople will have been screened before getting on п¬‚ights and may seem to be healthy if theyвЂ™re not yet showing symptoms. вЂњAnd then what will they do if they think they do have Ebola? Lock them up in solitary conп¬Ѓnement?вЂќ Mabey said that instead, the government should be concentrating on increasing awareness of what people should do if they think they might be at risk. Reuters Clacton-on-Sea B Newly-elected UK Independence Party MP Douglas Carswell and party leader Nigel Farage pose for pictures outside the partyвЂ™s local office in Clacton-on-Sea yesterday. Jimmy Page brings rock era to life in new book Reuters London T ruth be told, it will take a pretty strong fan of Jimmy Page and his erstwhile band Led Zeppelin to buy the celebrated rock guitaristвЂ™s new book. Weighing in at just shy of 3kg (more than six-and-a-half pounds) and containing some 650 photographs, вЂњJimmy PageвЂќ is appropriately heavy for the man who popularised the hard-rock guitar riff. It is also quite costly at a recommended ВЈ40 in Britain and $60 in the US. But fans are fans and when a farpricier limited-edition was published a few years ago, it sold out quickly. It is clear, in an interview with Reuters, that Page is proud of the new, updated book, which begins with a picture of him singing sweetly as a choirboy and ends with him greyed and beaming, clutching his favourite guitar. вЂњItвЂ™s an awful term, but itвЂ™s a journey,вЂќ said Page, now 70. вЂњYou see the changes in fashion, you see the changes in guitars, you see the changes in attitude. You see this man growing and gaining years as he goes on this journey.вЂќ The book is far from a typical autobiography. There are few words and those that are there are used primarily to link hundreds of pictures tracing PageвЂ™s life from skiffle-playing youngster through The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin to his solo career, the performance on a London bus at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and his 2012 Kennedy Center culture award. вЂњIt just goes to show a career in music,вЂќ he said. вЂњWhen I see autobiographies or biographies of musicians I always look to see what photographs they have chosen.вЂќ This does, perhaps unintentionally, allow the book to skim over some of the wilder sex, drugs and rock вЂ�nвЂ™ roll episodes in his history. But the pictures of frenzied stage performances interspersed with quite exhausting world travel do not suggest a bunch of choir- boys on a church outing. All the famous gigs are there such as Wembley in 1971, Knebworth in 1979 and the 2007 reunion, but there are many more obscure moments, such as meeting Andy Warhol, playing in a Danish club in 1968 as The New Yardbirds, and jamming with rapper Puff Daddy. Belying the stereotype of a hard-living rock legend, Page is now a slim, healthy-looking nondrinker who calls a quiet Thamesside English village home. He says he gave up drinking because he did not want his young children to see him drunk, and then never have done. Page is quite sentimental about some things. Pointing to the Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar he is holding in the bookвЂ™s last picture, he says: вЂњI got that guitar in 1969 and I played it all the way through. Most people, they substitute it with another one, but even at the O2 (reunion concert) I was playing that. If I was going out playing next year, I would be playing that guitar.вЂќ ritainвЂ™s anti-EU UK Independence Party (Ukip) won its п¬Ѓrst elected seat in parliament yesterday by a landslide and came a close second in another vote, proving it poses a threat to the countryвЂ™s two main parties in a national election next year. Ukip, which wants a British EU withdrawal and strict curbs on immigration, was expected to do well in both votes. But the unexpectedly wide margin of its victory in the seaside town of Clacton and its strong performance in an election in northern England, which it almost won too, came as a surprise. In Clacton, it won 60% of the vote after the sitting parliamentarian for Prime Minister David CameronвЂ™s Conservatives defected to Ukip, which didnвЂ™t put up a candidate for the area when it was last contested in 2010. In Heywood and Middleton, in northern England, a traditional stronghold for the opposition Labour party, Ukip got almost 39% of the vote, up from less than 3% in 2010. вЂњThere is nothing that we cannot achieve,вЂќ Douglas Carswell, ClactonвЂ™s new Ukip member of parliament, told supporters. Quoting Abraham LincolnвЂ™s Gettysburg Address, Carswell said he backed вЂњgovernment of the people, by the people, for the people.вЂќ вЂњThe governing can no longer presume to know what is right for the governed,вЂќ he said immediately after he was declared the winner. Art installation вЂњCrony corporatism is not the free market. Cosy cartel politics is not meaningful democracy. Change is coming.вЂќ There is little prospect for now of Ukip winning more than a half a dozen of 650 seats in a national election in May next year. But its success threatens to split the centre-right vote and chip away at the traditional left-wing vote too making it harder for any one party to win an outright majority. That increases the likelihood of a hung parliament, another coalition government, and potential political instability in the worldвЂ™s sixth largest economy. Grant Shapps, the chairman of the Conservatives, said UkipвЂ™s success, if repeated next year, would hand victory to Labour leader Ed Miliband. вЂњThis is an alarm clock moment. This is a stark message,вЂќ he told BBC radio. вЂњIf what has happened on Thursday night were repeated in 210 days at a general election and you saw Conservative become Ukip seats what youвЂ™d have is Ed Miliband in government.вЂќ Farage calls for ban on immigrants with HIV HIV campaigners yesterday said Ukip leader Nigel Farage should be вЂњtruly ashamedвЂќ after calling for an immigration ban on people carrying the virus. The Terrence Higgins Trust, BritainвЂ™s oldest HIV and Aids charity, said comments made by the leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party as polls were closing in the Clacton byelectionвЂ”won by his candidate Douglas Carswell - displayed a вЂњnew level of ignoranceвЂќ. вЂњThe idea that having HIV should be used as a black mark against someoneвЂ™s name is ridiculous and shows an outrageous lack of understanding of the issue,вЂќ said the charityвЂ™s Rosemary Gillespie. вЂњIn bracketing those living with the condition with murderers, and suggesting there is no place for them in his vision of Britain, Farage has stooped to a new level of ignorance. He should be truly ashamed,вЂќ she added. May defends Top Gear in number plate row Agencies London T Chelsea pensioner Albert Willis plants a ceramic poppy amongst other poppies that form part of the art installation called вЂњBlood Swept Lands and Seas of RedвЂќ at the Tower of London. The evolving art installation, which will be completed on November 11, will create a commemoration for the centenary of World War I. UkipвЂ™s success is likely to raise pressure on Cameron to become more Eurosceptic, three years before a referendum on EU membership which he has promised to hold if reelected. Douglas Carswell, a Eurosceptic, defected from the Conservatives in August, triggering ThursdayвЂ™s Clacton vote. He switched allegiance because he said he doubted the prime ministerвЂ™s determination to reform the EU. Cameron has promised to try to renegotiate BritainвЂ™s EU relationship before offering voters an in/out membership referendum in 2017. But some of his own lawmakers are sceptical about his resolve to push for real change, viewing his promise as a tactical move to try to hold his divided party together. With a population of 53,000, Clacton, once a thriving seaside resort, began to decline as Britons turned to cheap foreign package holidays in the 1980s. It now earns its keep from retirees and day trippers from London. op Gear presenter James May said the show would never вЂњmock people about their war casualtiesвЂќ and insisted a controversial number plate which sparked protests in Argentina did not refer to the Falklands War. The showвЂ™s crew had to leave the country during filming after trouble erupted when it emerged they were using a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict of 1982. May told Absolute RadioвЂ™s Christian OвЂ™Connell they bought the car - complete with the number plate - in the UK because it was the best available vehicle of its type and he said he had not even noticed the plate until it was mentioned online. He said: вЂњHow could we have done it deliberately? All weвЂ™ve done is buy some secondhand cars. вЂњItвЂ™s actually meaningless if you look at it. You have to want to see the meaning.вЂќ The team from the BBC2 show were in South America п¬Ѓlming a special on a remote highway passing through Chile and Argentina. May said: вЂњWe do mess about but we werenвЂ™t going there to mock people about their war casualties.вЂќ He said they decided to change the plate once they had п¬Ѓnished п¬Ѓlming on the countryвЂ™s roads, but it had not been possible to do it earlier. He said: вЂњGo outside and change the number plate on your car and then see what happens the next time you meet a policeman. You just canвЂ™t do that.вЂќ The programme has already run into problems this year, with one edition found to be in breach of OfcomвЂ™s broadcasting code for the use of a racially-offensive term during a two-part special п¬Ѓlmed in Burma, following a complaint from a viewer. And presenter Jeremy Clarkson apologised after footage, that was never broadcast, emerged in which he appeared to use the nword, although he denied actually saying it. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 11 EUROPE Health workers heckle Rajoy at Ebola hospital Reuters Madrid S panish health workers angry about the governmentвЂ™s handling of an Ebola outbreak jeered Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and pelted his car with surgical gloves yesterday at a Madrid hospital where a nurse lay seriously ill with the virus. Recriminations are growing over how nurse Teresa Romero became the п¬Ѓrst person to contract the virus outside West Africa, but Rajoy said it was extremely unlikely that the disease вЂ“ which has already killed more than 4,000 people вЂ“ would spread in Spain. Seven more people were admitted to a specialist isolation unit at the Carlos III hospital on Thursday, taking to 14 the number of people now under observation or being treated there, including RomeroвЂ™s husband. вЂњOur п¬Ѓrst priority is Teresa Romero вЂ“ she is the only person that we know has the illness,вЂќ Rajoy told reporters on the steps of the hospital. Tempers are fraying over the case, with labour unions accusing the government of trying to deп¬‚ect the blame onto the nurse for the failings of its health system. The health workers who have been protesting outside the hospital this week heckled Rajoy as he left the news conference in a motorcade. The seven new admissions late on Thursday included two hairdressers who had given Romero a beauty treatment before she was diagnosed, and hospital staff who had treated the 44-year-old nurse after she was admitted on Monday. All had come voluntarily to be monitored for signs of the disease, although none of those tested positive so far for except Romero, whose condition was described by the hospital as serious but stable. Rajoy said he had set up a committee headed by the deputy prime minister to handle the crisis, п¬Ѓve days after news п¬Ѓrst broke of RomeroвЂ™s infection. Romero was infected in the hospital as she treated two Spanish missionaries who caught the fever in West Africa and subsequently died, and she remained undiagnosed for days despite reporting her symptoms. Yesterday the nurseвЂ™s husband could be seen staring out of the window of his hospital room, dressed in a blue surgical robe. Concern has risen elsewhere in Europe after Macedonia said it was checking for Ebola in a British man who died there on Thursday, although authorities said alcohol, not Ebola, may have killed the man. A Prague hospital was testing a 56-year-old Czech man with Health workers shout and throw gloves at RajoyвЂ™s convoy after his visit to MadridвЂ™s Carlos III hospital. symptoms of the virus. The Ebola virus causes fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and sometimes internal bleeding, and is spread through direct contact with body п¬‚uids. About half of those infected in West Africa have died. The European Union has asked Spain to explain how the virus could have been spread on a high-security ward. The top regional health official in Madrid, Javier Rodriguez, has said that Romero took too long to admit she had made a mistake by touching her face with the glove of her protective suit while taking it off. вЂњShe has taken days to recognise that she may have made a mistake when taking off the suit. If she had said it earlier, it would have saved a lot of work,вЂќ he said in a radio interview. El Mundo newspaper published a cartoon yesterday showing Rajoy and other officials of his PeopleвЂ™s Party pointing at the nurse under the caption: вЂњProtocol for passing on blame.вЂќ вЂњThey will п¬Ѓnd any way to Russian paper receives warning 31 killed in Turkey violence: minister AFP Ankara A t least 31 people have been killed and 360 others injured in demonstrations during a four day вЂњspiral of violenceвЂќ led by pro-Kurdish protesters against TurkeyвЂ™s policy on Syria, officials said yesterday. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that despite the violence, the authorities would press on with efforts to make peace with Kurdish rebels who have a waged a 30year insurgency for self-rule in eastern Turkey. Interior Minister Efkan Ala told reporters that 31 people had been killed in the demonstrations, which left a trail of destruction and prompted the army to impose a curfew in parts of southeast Turkey. In addition, two police officers were shot dead in the southern city of Bingol late on Thursday while inspecting the scene of a demonstration, he conп¬Ѓrmed. Bingol provinceвЂ™s police chief was seriously wounded in the attack. Five вЂњterroristsвЂќ suspected of gunning them down were them- Erdogan: I have risked my own neck in the peace process. selves killed by the security forces, Ala added. вЂњThis spiral of violence should immediately be stopped,вЂќ he said in a statement in Ankara. вЂњEveryone should do their part to put an end to these incidents. We should all stand in solidarity with each other.вЂќ Ala said that clashes broke out in 35 cities, and 221 civilians and 139 security officials including police were wounded. More than 1,000 people were detained and 58 people have formally been arrested for their involvement in the protests which caused damage to 212 schools, he said. The violence, which has been concentrated in southeastern Turkey but also п¬‚ared in Istanbul and Ankara, has been among the worst rioting seen in the country in years. The official toll has already well exceeded the number of eight people conп¬Ѓrmed to have been killed in the May-June 2103 nationwide protests against the ruling party. According to the official Anatolia agency, most of the deaths occurred in Diyarbakir, TurkeyвЂ™s main Kurdish city, where 11 people were killed. The fatalities were mainly concentrated in the southeast of Turkey but one person died in protests in Istanbul, it said. The latest deaths happened late on Thursday in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, where at least four people died in clashes between rival groups armed with riп¬‚es, pistols and axes, the Dogan news agency reported. The demonstrators responded to a call late on Monday by TurkeyвЂ™s main pro-Kurdish party for protests against the governmentвЂ™s lack of action to stop the Syrian border town of Kobane falling to jihadists. But Erdogan said the govern- A relative cries yesterday during the funeral ceremony of Atif Sahin, a police officer who was killed in eastern Turkish city of Bingol on Thursday, in Ankara. Two officers were killed and a provincial police chief was wounded in an attack in TurkeyвЂ™s eastern province of BingГ¶l on Thursday in what is reported to be an attack targeting the police chief. The three policemen came under attack in the city center where they were inspecting the shops damaged in protests that swept through TurkeyвЂ™s predominantly Kurdish southeast earlier this week over the governmentвЂ™s policy on Islamic State (IS) militants. ment would continue efforts to make peace with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose supporters were heavily involved in the recent violence. Erdogan said that he would work for an agreement to make peace with the Kurds until вЂњmy last breathвЂќ, blaming the protests on вЂњthugs and terroristsвЂќ who wanted to disrupt the process. вЂњI have risked my own neck in the peace process,вЂќ Erdogan said in a speech in the Black Sea city of Trabzon. вЂњI have put my mind and heart to it. And I will keep п¬Ѓghting for it until my last breath. Because I know that this nation is standing behind us,вЂќ he added in the televised speech. The PKK has largely observed a ceaseп¬Ѓre since March 2013 and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has kept up contacts with Kurdish politicians even amid the protests. The PKKвЂ™s armed wing, the PeopleвЂ™s Defence Force (HPG), said in a statement that its forces Poroshenko replaces Donetsk governor with general AFP Kiev U kraineвЂ™s president has п¬Ѓred a millionaire businessman who failed to stop the advance of pro-Russian rebels while governor of wartorn Donetsk and replaced him with a hardline nationalist general. Sergiy Taruta was one of several pro-Western tycoons put in charge of restless Russianspeaking provinces after the revolution that ousted a Kremlinbacked president in February. The office of President Petro Poroshenko said Taruta has been replaced as Donetsk governor by former troop commander Oleksandr Kykhtenko. Some analysts speculate the ex-generalвЂ™s appointment means Poroshenko is planning a tougher approach to dealings with the rebels and the Kremlin. вЂњPoroshenko now needs someone who can establish stability,вЂќ said Kiev political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. вЂњThe oligarch failed. Now its the strongmanвЂ™s turn.вЂќ Taruta has faced a tough time in as governor, having been booted out of his seat of power in Donetsk in April by rebels who proclaimed independence and allegiance to Russia. This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service shows President Poroshenko visiting the Ukrainian defence line near the town of Kurahovo in the Donetsk region. Poroshenko has fired a millionaire businessman who failed to stop the advance of pro-Russian rebels while governor of war-torn Donetsk and replaced him with a hardline nationalist general. The 59-year-old oil and metals magnate вЂ“ valued at $600mn (в‚¬475mn) by Forbes magazine last year вЂ“ tried repeatedly to mediate an end to the conп¬‚ict. But he reportedly angered Poroshenko by criticising his decision to grant limited autonomy to the rebels in a ceaseп¬Ѓre agreement last month. Taruta demanded that martial law be proclaimed in Donetsk and the neighbouring rebel-run region of Luhansk вЂ“ decision Poroshenko resisted because it would have automatically frozen the delivery of an urgent IMF rescue loan. Various Kiev media speculated that Poroshenko made up his mind earlier this week when Taruta overstepped his authority by urging Russian President Vladimir Putin in a birthday greeting to halt his вЂњartiп¬ЃcialвЂќ war on Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied masterminding the conп¬‚ict as payback for UkraineвЂ™s decision to leave RussiaвЂ™s orbit and blame her,вЂќ RomeroвЂ™s brother, Jose Ramon, told the daily El Pais. вЂњBasically, my sister did her job ... and she has become infected with Ebola.вЂќ One union representative said yesterday that health workers from doctors to ambulance drivers were worried about their lack of training in how to deal with Ebola patients. вЂњFinding staff to work voluntarily (in the isolation unit) is very difficult,вЂќ said Jose Manuel Freire, spokesman for a health workersвЂ™ union. tie its future to the West. But Poroshenko has said he must keep his relations with Putin civil in order to stem bloodshed that has claimed 3,400 lives. Kykhtenko will immediately be tasked with making sure the industrial province can safely open polling stations for October 26 general elections. The rebels have vowed to disrupt the vote and intend to stage their own election next month. Kiev and its Western allies have denounced the move as illegitimate and in violation of the shaky September 5 peace deal. Kykhtenko has developed a reputation as a respected commander who fought the endemic graft that brought the former Soviet stateвЂ™s once-proud armed forces to its knees. His units were charged with protecting sensitive state facilities and п¬Ѓghting the maп¬Ѓa bosses who inп¬Ѓltrated the coal mines and steel mills that have been fuelling UkraineвЂ™s economy for more than a century. The 58-year-old currently heads the parliamentary election list of a small nationalist party called Strength and Honour. His party colleague Igor Smeshko was recently named the presidentвЂ™s surveillance and intelligence adviser вЂ“ seen as another sign of Poroshenko trying to project an image of strength ahead of the election. вЂњToday, the region needs a military commander rather than an administrator,вЂќ said political consultant Taras Berezovets. вЂњIn my opinion, Ukraine has lost control over the area for the next п¬Ѓve or 10 years, and now (Poroshenko) needs to make sure it does not turn into another Chechnya,вЂќ he said in reference to a separatist southern region of Russia that remained lawless for nearly 20 years. had no link to the attack on the security forces in Bingol. The PKKвЂ™s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan had given the government until October 15 to set out a roadmap for the peace process and there were no plans for attacks, it said. Some of the deadly violence has also been blamed on clashes between PKK supporters and backers of the Kurdish Sunni fundamentalist group Huda-Par which is sympathetic to Islamic State jihadists. RussiaвЂ™s media watchdog has accused opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta of violating antiextremism laws and issued it with a formal warning, the paper said yesterday. Novaya Gazeta, founded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and renowned for its hard-hitting investigations and critical attitude towards the Kremlin, had been among the favourites to win the Nobel Peace Prize awarded yesterday. Media in Russia, especially television broadcasters, are tightly controlled, and President Vladimir Putin has been consolidating the stateвЂ™s grip on print and the Internet, where some dissenting opinions can still be expressed. The paperвЂ™s editor, Sergei Sokolov, said he was worried that the move might be part of a coordinated state crackdown. Under Russian law, the paper could be closed if it receives a second warning within 12 months. вЂњIn principle it all could have been funny, if not for that strange judicial system that Russia has. Because if it turns out to be some co-ordinated campaign then it will be very difficult for us to defend,вЂќ he said. Novaya Gazeta said on its website that its lawyers were studying the letter closely. The warning comes a few weeks after lawmakers approved a Kremlin-backed law that will sharply curtail foreign ownership in the media industry. Kiev to launch purge Reuters Kiev U kraine will soon begin mass п¬Ѓrings of state ofп¬Ѓcials who served under disgraced Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych and feathered their nests through corruption, the government said yesterday. Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, with an eye to an October 26 parliamentary election that UkraineвЂ™s pro-Western leaders hope will turn a new page in the countryвЂ™s murky post-independence history, unveiled plans for a вЂњfull clean-outвЂќ of government, law enforcement, the courts and state security. The so-called вЂњlustrationвЂќ, which could lead to up to 1mn civil servants being sacked, would begin to bite within the next 10 days, Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said. вЂњWe are 20 years late with this law, but better late than never,вЂќ Yatseniuk said, referring to the years since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 which have been tainted by endemic corruption. вЂњIt almost seemed that the main way of getting rich in the country was to get into power,вЂќ he told a government meeting. The lustration follows the models of other east and central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany which used similar methods to purge vestiges of communist rule after the end of the Cold War. On the eve of a crucial election, with a separatist conп¬‚ict in eastern Ukraine still unresolved, it also meets the rallying calls of вЂњEuromaidanвЂќ activists whose protests chased Yanukovych and his allies from power in February. The Euromaidan movement commands moral authority, enhanced by the fact that 100 demonstrators were shot dead by police. So although opinion polls show President Petro PoroshenkoвЂ™s bloc will perform strongly in this monthвЂ™s election, he wants to be sure of its supportersвЂ™ votes. The latest poll by the GfK research group suggested his bloc would win 29.9% of the vote, far ahead of the second-placed party of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the Radical Party, led by a populist politician, Oleh Lyashko. Justice Minister Petrenko said those targeted by the law, which Poroshenko signed on Thursday, would include officials at minister and deputy minister level who had served under Yanukovych for more than one year. 12 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 INDIA CRIME PROBE HEARING PEOPLE CHARITY Five women gang-raped at gun-point in Bihar NIA takes up Burdwan blast investigation Court asks CBI if it intends to quiz Chidambaram Software engineer goes missing in Hyderabad Five Tamil stars to work in film for free Five women have been allegedly gang-raped at a gun-point by three men in BiharвЂ™s Bhojpur district, police said yesterday. Two of the three accused have been arrested so far, police said. The incident took place at Kurmuri village in Bhojpur and a case has been registered. Bhojpur is located about 60 km from Patna. All the victims were rag-pickers, residents of Dumaria village, and went to Kurmuri to sell their scraps to a dealer on Wednesday evening. According to police, the victims had decided to stay back in Kurmuri as it was late. вЂњThree men with pistols raped them and threatened them not to inform anyone about the incident,вЂќ a police official said. Formally taking over the probe of the October 2 explosion in West BengalвЂєs Burdwan district, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) yesterday registered a case under relevant anti-terrorism laws. The union home ministry on Thursday directed the NIA to take over the probe of the explosion, which took place in a house in BurdwanвЂєs Khagragarh, killing two suspected militants and injuring another. The case will be investigated by its Kolkata branch. The NIA said the two people killed В«are believed to be members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen BangladeshВ». An NIA team also held a meeting at the headquarters of the West Bengal CID (Criminal Investigation Department) The Supreme Court yesterday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) if it proposed to examine former finance minister P Chidambaram on the clearance given to the Aircel-Maxis deal over which charges had been filed some time ago. BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy told the court that while charges on deal had already been been filed, there seemed to be no progress on CBIвЂ™s part to seek clarifications on the nod given by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) at ChidambaramвЂ™s behest. The apex court bench asked senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, to apprise the court on this count at the next hearing, fixed for October 16. A software engineer has gone missing after leaving for office and special teams have been formed to trace her, police in Hyderabad said yesterday. Bhavya Sri Charitha, an employee of Open Texts located in Hitec City, had left for the office from her house at KPHB Colony on Thursday morning. Her husband Kartik Chaitanya lodged a complaint with police after she did not return home till late night and her mobile phone was found switched off. He made inquiries at the office, which revealed that she did not turn up for duty. BhavyaвЂ™s husband told police that she left for office in a private cab. Bhavya and Kartik, who hail from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, had a love marriage in 2012. Tamil film actors like Vishal Krishna Reddy, Arya, Karthi, Jiiva and Jeyam Ravi will join hands to work in a yet-untitled Tamil film free of cost. The profits earned through the film will be invested in the construction of a new building for South Indian Film Artistes Association (Sifaa) aka Nadigar Sangam. вЂњArya, Karthi, Jiiva, Ravi and I have decided to work free of cost in a multistarrer. The money earned will be spent for the construction of a new building for Nadigar Sangam,вЂќ Vishal said. Sifaa was to get a new building a few years back, but the Madras High Court stayed the construction after complaints that the associationвЂ™s premises was being rented out to a multiplex. Nobel winner at forefront of п¬Ѓght against child slavery Satyarthi said he was вЂњdelightedвЂќ by the Nobel award, according to the Press Trust of India, and described it as вЂњrecognitionвЂќ for the fight for child rights Agencies New Delhi K ailash Satyarthi, named co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday, has freed tens of thousands of Indian children forced into slavery by businessmen, landowners and others. Born on January 11, 1954, Satyarthi has been at the forefront of the drive against child labour in India where the practice is rife. Satyarthi, who was trained as an electrical engineer, founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan or Save the Childhood Movement in 1980. He lives modestly and keeps a low proп¬Ѓle except for his causes. The activist, born in Madhya Pradesh, said he was вЂњdelightedвЂќ by the Nobel award, according to the Press Trust of India, and described it as вЂњrecognitionвЂќ for the п¬Ѓght for child rights. Satyarthi began his work by staging raids on Indian manufacturing, rug-making and other plants where children and their parents often work as bonded labour. Under bonded labour, families often borrow money and have to work till the funds can be repaid. But often the money is too much to be paid back from meagre earnings and people are sold and resold. Building on his initial activism, Satyarthi organised the Global March Against Child Labour in the 1990s dedicated to freeing the millions of children abused worldwide in a form of modern slavery. вЂњTo employ children is illegal and unethical,вЂќ Satyarthi said on the Global March Against Child Labour website. вЂњIf not now, then when? If not you, then who? вЂњIf we are able to answer these fundamental questions, then perhaps we can wipe away the blot of human slavery,вЂќ Satyarthi said. The activist is also founder of RugMark, a widely known international scheme that tags all carpets made in factories that are child-labour free. He described the plight of children forced into the worst kinds of abusive work in a 2010 interview with the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights. вЂњIf they cry for their parents, they are beaten severely, sometimes hanged upside down from trees and even branded or burned with cigarettes,вЂќ he said. Satyarthi also spearheads the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude or SAACS, among other groups, and helps oversee a transition centre in Rajasthan where newly freed labourers learn fresh skills. Satyarthi has said his social conscience was awoken when he was six and noticed a boy his age on the steps outside the school with his father, cleaning shoes. Seeing many such children working instead of being educated, he felt an urge as he grew older to solve the problem - launching him on his career of activism. вЂњI think of it all as a test. This is a moral examination that one has to pass. ... to stand up against such social evils,вЂќ he said in the Kennedy Centre interview. Just another dayвЂ™s work A man carries empty water pitchers for sale in a market in Bangalore. Report on SunandaвЂ™s death вЂ�inconclusiveвЂ™ IANS New Delhi T he latest forensic evidence available in the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, is вЂњnot conclusiveвЂќ, the Delhi Police said yesterday. вЂњThe forensic report at the moment is not conclusive, our inquest status is pending,вЂќ Delhi police commissioner B S Bassi told reporters here. PushkarвЂ™s latest post-mortem examination report, leaked Thursday, stated вЂњpoisoningвЂќ as the cause of her death. The police chief said investiga- Cyclone Hudhud due to slam east coast AFP Visakhapatnam A uthorities were setting up relief camps and stockpiling food yesterday as they braced for a вЂњsevere cycloneвЂќ due to slam into the countryвЂ™s east coast this weekend. Cyclone Hudhud, building over the Bay of Bengal, was set to make landfall at Visakhapatnam on Andhra Pradesh state coast by midday tomorrow, the Indian Meterological Department said. вЂњWeвЂ™ve already set up rescue camps and arranged for food and other necessities,вЂќ Parakala Prabhakar, communication advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government, said by telephone from Hyderabad. Packing winds of up to 155kms per hour, Hudhud was expected to also smash into neighbouring Orissa where Cyclone Phailin last October killed at least 18 and left a massive trail of destruction. The navy said in a statement it has вЂњassumed a high degree of readinessвЂќ as вЂњthe severe cyclone Hudhud is poised to strikeвЂќ. Naval ships are standing by equipped with вЂњdivers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material,вЂќ the statement said. Hudhud could cause widespread damage to flimsy housing and other structures and disrupt power and communications in low-lying coastal areas. India has two categories of tropical storms based on wind speeds. Cyclones like Hudhud have wind speeds up to 167kph. The second, like Cylone Phailin, has winds of up to 220kph and is capable of causing extensive damage. Disaster officials in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa said they were not taking any chances and were fully prepared for whatever happens. вЂњA special relief commissioner has already been appointed to look into prevention, rescue and rehabilitation in north coastal Andhra Pradesh,вЂќ Prabhakar said. In Orissa, where more than 8,000 people were killed in a 1999 cyclone, the state government was set to conduct a mock evacuation drill today. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also asked federal Defence Minister Arun Jaitley for the army to be deployed in four districts likely to suffer from the storm. Residents in OrissaвЂ™s Ganjam district, which bore the brunt of the 2013 cyclone, were dreading a repeat of the devastation. вЂњWe have made all the arrangements this time because of the scale of devastation that we saw in 2013 and 1999,вЂќ Prabhat Ranjan Mahapatra, the deputy relief commissioner of Orissa, said. The weather office has urged fishermen to stay ashore until the storm is over. IndiaвЂ™s eastern coast and neighbouring Bangladesh are routinely hit by bad storms between April and November that cause deaths and widespread damage to property. tors would draw their conclusion once they get conclusive evidence. вЂњWe believe in the quest for truth and whatever is required in the quest for truth... We have been doing and will continue doing,вЂќ Bassi said while answering a question about the role of the investigating officer. вЂњWe are competent to carry out the probe...Inquest is pending... And whatever is required will be done,вЂќ he added. Despite being harried by the media, Tharoor, who was recently named by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be one of the ambassadors of the Clean India campaign, refused to comment on the fresh autopsy report. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan distanced himself from the controversy, saying it was a вЂњmedicolegalвЂќ case. вЂњIt is a medico-legal case. This has nothing to do with the health ministry. It has nothing to do with me, I have no comments to offer,вЂќ he said. The revelation came around 10 days after the post-mortem examination report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) was submitted to Delhi Police by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Pushkar, 52, was found dead in mysterious circumstances in her room at a п¬Ѓve-star hotel in south Delhi on January 17. At the time of Promo event her death, Tharoor was minister of state for human resource development. The leaked report said that the AIIMS medical board вЂњhad thoroughly pursued the various documents that were submitted to them by the investigating officers along with the post-mortem report and histopathology report of viscera after which it was concluded the cause of PushkarвЂ™s death is poisoningвЂќ. вЂњViscera are positive for ethyl alcohol, caffeine, acetaminophen and cotinine,вЂќ it said. The report also revealed that the medical report reserved comment on the speciп¬Ѓc poison or chemical responsible since there Sanitation drive ineffective: study IANS Washington T Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan poses for a photograph during a promotional event for the Chennaiyin FC football team in Mumbai. were a lot of limitations on the viscera report. The п¬Ѓrst autopsy report, submitted to the sub-divisional magistrate on January 20, had said that Pushkar had died of вЂњdrug overdoseвЂќ. The autopsy, carried out by three-members of the AIIMS forensic department, had also found over a dozen injury marks on PushkarвЂ™s body. Later, Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who was the head of the forensic team, had alleged that he was pressured to show that PushkarвЂ™s death was вЂњnatural.вЂќ The allegation was denied by AIIMS. At that time, Gupta was the head of AIIMS forensic department but was removed in the wake of his allegation. otal Sanitation Campaign - the worldвЂ™s largest sanitation initiative in India - provided almost 25,000 individuals in 100 rural villages in Odisha access to toilets but it did not reduce exposure to faecal pathogens or decrease the occurrence of diarrhoea or child malnutrition, says a study. Moreover, many householders do not always use the latrines, added the study funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and reported by the prestigious journal The Lancet. вЂњThis, combined with continued exposure from poor hygiene, contaminated water, and unsafe disposal of child faeces may explain the lack of a health impact. The programme is effective in building latrines but not all households participate,вЂќ explained lead study author professor Thomas Clasen from Emory University in Atlanta and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Britain. The cluster-randomised trial involved 9,480 households with a child younger than four years or a pregnant woman. Households in 50 villages were randomly assigned to receive the sanitation intervention in early 2011 while control villages received the intervention after a 14-month surveillance period. The intervention increased the average proportion of households in a village with a latrine from 9% to 63% compared to an increase of 8% to 12% in control villages. However, researchers found no evidence that the intervention protected against diarrhoea in children younger than п¬Ѓve years. Seven-day prevalence of reported diarrhoea was 8.8% in the intervention group (1,919 children) and 9.1% in the control group (1,916 children). вЂњWhat is more, the intervention did not reduce the prevalence of parasitic worms that are transmitted via soil and can cause reduced physical growth and impaired cognitive function in children,вЂќ the authors wrote. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 13 INDIA DECISION ORDER LEGAL OPINION POLITICS Nothing wrong with ModiвЂ™s radio address: EC Court asks Chautala to surrender today Dhaula Kuan gang-rape case verdict deferred BJP вЂ�will form govt in Maharashtra, HaryanaвЂ™ Decision soon on Delhi govt formation, SC told The Election Commission yesterday said Prime Minister ModiвЂ™s radio address to the nation ahead of assembly elections in two states did not violate the model code of conduct. The Congress party, in a complaint to the Election Commission, accused Modi of misusing state machinery ahead of the polls in Haryana and Maharashtra when he addressed people through his programme вЂ�Man Ki BaatвЂ™ on All India Radio. A statement from the commission said: вЂњThe audio of the speech under reference and its script have been heard and perused in the commission... the commission did not find anything in the broadcast matter which constituted violation of model code of conductвЂќ. The Delhi High Court has directed former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala to surrender before Tihar Jail authorities today. Justice Siddharth Mridul also asked the jail authorities to take Chautala to AIIMS, if it considers necessary, as he complains he has fractured his leg. Chautala, who is the Indian National Lok Dal chief, appeared before the court yesterday. The court on Thursday sought his personal appearance after the CBI moved court for cancellation of his bail and bringing forward his surrender date, which was earlier fixed for October 17. вЂњNow that he is discharged from hospital, he should surrender,вЂќ the court remarked. A Delhi court yesterday deferred its verdict in a 2010 abduction and gang-rape case in Dhaula Kuan, to October 14. Additional sessions judge Virender Bhat deferred the verdict saying the order was not prepared. Shamshad, Usman, Shahid, Iqbal and Kamruddin are being tried for the abduction and gang-rape of a 30-yearold call centre executive in Dhaula Kuan area of south Delhi. According to the police, the five men abducted the woman, who hailed from the northeast, on November 24, 2010, while she was walking home with a friend after her shift ended. The abductors took her to Mangolpuri, gangraped her, and left her on an isolated road there. BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu yesterday said that his party will form the government in both Maharashtra and Haryana on its own after the October 15 assembly elections. Speaking to mediapersons here, Naidu maintained that the BJP had nothing against its estranged partner Shiv Sena, and the Congress was its main opponent in Maharashtra. The 25-year-old political alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena ended last month over seat-sharing. вЂњWe did not stab Shiv Sena in the back nor did we break the alliance,вЂќ Naidu added. Naidu said the BJP never demanded more seats in Maharashtra. The Supreme Court was informed yesterday that a decision on the political stalemate over government formation in Delhi would be taken soon as Lieutenant Governor Najeeb JungвЂ™s report on the prevailing political situation is under consideration of the government. The Delhi assembly is under suspended animation from February 17 following a Presidential proclamation after the resignation of Arvind KejriwalвЂ™s government on February 14. While quitting, the Kejriwal government had recommended dissolution of Delhi assembly. The apex court in the last hearing of the matter had given the centre a monthвЂ™s time to decide the government formation. Onus on Pakistan to de-escalate conп¬‚ict, says govt Government dash to clear projects alarm green groups Agencies New Delhi T he government yesterday squarely blamed Pakistan for the tensions along the border, saying вЂњde-escalation is entirely in PakistanвЂ™s handsвЂќ and also scoffed at Islamabad trying to term India the aggressor as вЂњallegations without any basisвЂќ. A day after Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the neighbouring country will have to pay a heavy price if it did not stop its вЂњadventurismвЂќ at the border and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the вЂњenemy has realised that times have changedвЂќ, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin spoke in equally strong terms. He said the new government has been very serious about peace moves with Pakistan, and had also taken the п¬Ѓrst step to engage with Islamabad in a peaceful manner. PakistanвЂ™s response вЂњis there for all to see - from a media spectacle before exploratory talks between foreign secretaries, hostile propaganda against India at the international level, continued terrorism against India and more recently violence against our citizens on the International BoundaryвЂќ, he said. Akbaruddin said India is thus in вЂњa mode that we will respond appropriately, it is for Pakistan to either escalate or de-escalate. We will respond in as appropriate to what will be their efforts in this regardвЂќ. AkbaruddinвЂ™s comments came as п¬Ѓring along the border showed signs of de-escalation after more than a week. It has left eight people dead on the Indian side so far. Prime Minister Modi вЂњhas directed that people who have been displaced from the border villages of Jammu and Kashmir due to shelling over the last few days, be suitably compensatedвЂќ, the government said in a statement. Reuters New Delhi I Border villagers have a meal at an Indian army relief camp in a government school at Deoli village, about 25kms from Jammu yesterday. Insurance п¬Ѓrms ordered to pay п¬‚ood-hit victims IANS New Delhi T he Supreme Court yesterday said that the rules and regulations governing payment of insurance claims should not come in the way of people of Kashmir who lost their properties in the recent devastating п¬‚oods that had hit the state. A bench of chief justice H L Dattu, justice S A Bobde and justice Abhay Manohar Sapre declined to interfere with the Jammu and Kashmir High CourtвЂ™s order directing the insurance companies to pay 95% of a claim up to Rs2.5 million and 50% in respect of claims above Rs2.5mn. вЂњSometimes we have to ignore the rules and regulation (for paying insurance claims) in the interest of the people suffering from natural calamities,вЂќ the court said. It refused to accede to repeated submissions by attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and senior counsel M N Krishnamani seeking a monthвЂ™s time to carry out the survey of the insurance claims by the people who lost their belongings in the unprecedented п¬‚oods that hit the state. вЂњThe chief justice of the high court has personally seen the tragedy and he is justiп¬Ѓed in passing the order. Not one shop can be opened at Lal Chowk. There is no shop in Lal Chowk,вЂќ chief justice Dattu said, justifying the high court order on the payment of the insurance claims without carrying out mandatory veriп¬Ѓcation of the claims. вЂњWe are not going to change even a word of the high court order,вЂќ he said, brushing aside all submissions seeking a hold on the high court order. Attorney General Rohatgi told the court that over 5,000 surveyors were working on the veriп¬Ѓcation of the insurance claims. However, the court said this was not true. вЂњWe canвЂ™t accept your statement,вЂќ the court told Rohatgi as he sought time till November 30 to verify claims. вЂњWe will settle all claims by November 30, but it has to be after certain veriп¬Ѓcation,вЂќ he added. Krishnamani, who appeared for four general insurance companies, pleaded with the court that the high courtвЂ™s order may be watered down to allow the п¬Ѓrms to pay 50% of the claims up to Rs2.5mn and 30% of the claims above Rs2.5mn. The court was told that up to Thursday, the four insurance companies - United India, National, Oriental India and New India - have received 9,917 claims of an estimated amount of Rs9.80bn and have already made 983 cheques of total amount of over Rs.251mn. While declining to interfere with the order of the high court, which is operating from a makeshift accommodation, chief justice Dattu told Jammu and Kashmir advocate general Mohamed Ishaq Qadri to take all the steps to ensure that the high court operates fully from October 13 with the supply of electricity. n late August, the environment ministry rejected a proposal to build what would be the countryвЂ™s largest hydropower plant in a remote and pristine part of the countryвЂ™s northeast because of the potential damage to an area rich in biodiversity. Less than a month later and, according to two environment ministry officials, after pressure from Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s office, permission was granted for the 3,000 megawatt Dibang plant, the construction of which will mean clearing some 9,900 acres of forest. The plant is one of hundreds of projects, many of which were repeatedly rejected in the past, that have been approved since Modi came to power in May. That trend has alarmed environmentalists, who say the countryвЂ™s natural habitat is under assault in the name of industrial development. вЂњThe п¬‚oodgates are open,вЂќ said Sunita Narain, director general of the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). вЂњWe were in trouble with the last government and we are in even more trouble with this government. Rather than try and reform the system, they are picking at the edges.вЂќ In the п¬Ѓve months since it came to power, ModiвЂ™s government has relaxed several environmental rules to make it easier for companies to build new projects. Star turnout Small and mid-sized coal miners can now expand production by 50% without public consent, and polluting industries can operate closer to national parks. Other decisions have been devolved to state governments, which tend to be more open to polluting projects than New Delhi. Consecutive Indian governments have been blamed for neglecting the environment and prioritising industrial projects, but critics say they see signs that Modi has at best an ambiguous attitude to environmental issues. His government has tightened controls on funding for Greenpeace and reduced the number of independent members on a committee charged with assessing projects that lie in or close to protected wildlife areas. In its defence, the government says it is not sacriп¬Ѓcing IndiaвЂ™s natural habitat but approving projects which are necessary for the countryвЂ™s development, while ensuring proper checks and balances are put in place. Modi won elections on a Top court pulls up environment ministry Taking exception to the central environment and forest ministry вЂњsleepingвЂќ over its order to submit the environment and ecological impact of each of the 24 projects proposed or underway on Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river basin, the Supreme Court said that unless its orders were complied with, it would not lift the stay on them. Describing the response of the ministry as one like that of sleeping вЂњKumbhakarnaвЂќ (giant), a bench of justice Dipak Misra and justice Rohinton Fali Nariman asked it вЂњwhen will you wake upвЂќ and comply with the courtвЂ™s order. Nine jailed for Kerala youthвЂ™s murder By Ashraf Padanna Thiruvananthapuram A Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan attends the Star Box Office Awards in Mumbai. pledge to revive the economy and bring electricity to 400 hundred million Indians not connected to the grid. Hydropower plants like Dibang could provide more electricity to local people, as well as help tackle the countryвЂ™s chronic energy shortages. The push to fast-track development comes as вЂњIndia Inc.вЂќ looks for Modi to make good on pledges to reform the system for clearances, which they complain has long held up construction of roads, factories and mines and stymied economic growth. вЂњThere is no doubt that things (clearances) should be sped up,вЂќ said Isaac George, chief п¬Ѓnancial officer at GVK Power & Infrastructure, which operates mines, power plants and airports. вЂњBut there should be a proper balance between industrialisation and the environment.вЂќ At the end of June, 298 projects were awaiting environmental approval, a backlog that Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said last month he had subsequently cleared. Only a handful of those projects were rejected or deferred for further analysis. Kerala court sentenced nine people to life terms, including 18 months of rigorous imprisonment, for killing a youth in what the prosecutors described as moral policing. Convicted of killing Shaheed Bava of Kodiyathur village in the northern Kerala district of Calicut, the men were also asked to pay п¬Ѓnes ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs25,000 of which the victimsвЂ™ father would get Rs 200,000. Prosecutors said Bava, 27, was beaten to death with rods and planks three years ago by a gang of 15 after he was tied to a street post. The gang accused him of having an affair with a woman whose husband worked in the Gulf. Bava died in hospital four days later, on November 13, 2011, due to injuries sustained during the assault. The gang also threatened those who protested against the assault. Special judge S Krishnaku- mar acquitted five other defendants for lack of evidence while one of the accused is still absconding. The judge found the nine punishable for вЂњrioting, armed with weaponsвЂќ, вЂњassault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his dutyвЂќ and вЂњcriminal conspiracyвЂќ under IndiaВґs penal code. вЂњIf people punish wrongdoers according to their whims and fancies, it has to be stated that they are acting as moral police,вЂќ the judge observed. вЂњIf such a practice is accepted by modern society it will lead to anarchy and failure of the rule of law in the countryвЂќ. вЂњI was expecting some of them to be sent to the gallows,вЂќ said BavaвЂ™s father who was present in court to hear the judgment. Though the prosecutor argued that it was the п¬Ѓrst such case reported from the state, the judge refused to treat the case as a вЂ�rarest of the rareвЂ™ which deserved the death penalty. According to the police, the group had warned Bava a month before the attack if he frequented the womanвЂ™s house. 14 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 LATIN AMERICA Morales set to cruise to third term in Bolivia vote AFP La Paz E vo Morales, BoliviaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst indigenous president, is expected to win a third term against a fragmented opposition tomorrow, with a large Congressional majority to continue pushing through his leftist reforms. Morales, who has blended leftwing economic policy with nationalist rhetoric and a focus on indigenous rights and the environment - all while presiding over an economic boom - is polling at 59% heading into the election. That puts him more than 40 points clear of his nearest rivals, business magnate Samuel Doria Medina with 18% and conservative former president Jorge Quiroga with nine percent. Morales, 54, stands to extend his time in office to 14 years, until January 2020, after BoliviaвЂ™s Supreme Court ruled last year that his п¬Ѓrst term was exempt from a new constitution adopted in 2009 that imposed a limit of one reelection for sitting presidents. вЂњEl Evo,вЂќ as he is often called in Bolivia, looks virtually guaranteed to win in a single round. To avoid a December 7 run-off, he needs to Nicaragua canal project вЂ�will damage ecosystemвЂ™ Guardian News and Media Managua S hipping п¬Ѓrms should pressure the Nicaraguan government and the Chinese backer of a proposed canal to ensure that the project does not force indigenous people off their land and inп¬‚ict massive environmental damage on the countryвЂ™s ecosystem, an environmental advocacy group has urged. The proposed 178-mile waterway seeks to rival the Panama canal by offering an alternative Atlantic-Paciп¬Ѓc passage which cuts voyage times. Construction is scheduled to begin in December with $50bn funding from the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND), which is owned by Chinese lawyer Wang Jing. But Danish NGO Forests of the World has accused the Nicaraguan government and HKND of failing to involve indigenous people in the planning process, saying the canal will wreak havoc on forests and force people to move. вЂњThe canal is to be built straight through the Rama and Kriol territory, fragmenting it into two parts,вЂќ said Claus Kjaerby, central America representative at Forests of the World. вЂњItвЂ™s just like if someone wanted to build a bicycle trail through your garden and they do not consult with you.вЂќ The Nicaraguan government said it has shared information about the canal with indigenous people, but conceded that no formal discussions had taken place. Paul Oquist Kelley, executive secretary of the Nicaragua Grand Canal Commission, said: вЂњInasmuch as there was no deп¬Ѓnition of the canal route in 2013 there were no formal consultations with the communities to be affected, but informative presentations on the canal project were made throughout the country. вЂњAfter the presentation they were asked if anyone opposed the canal project. Not one person objected. Their concerns were about inclusion, participation and receiving their fair share if the canal were to traverse their territory.вЂќ NicaraguaвЂ™s indigenous groups have appealed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for legal counsel, citing violations of Nicaraguan law and international labour standards, according to Kjaerby. They say they will be forced to relocate under the current plan, with little support from the government. The course of the canal will slice through the Reserva Natural Cerro Silva and then cross Lake Nicaragua close to the island of Ometepe, which is formed of two volcanoes; one of them, Concepcion, is active. But NicaraguaвЂ™s government said business and political leaders considered п¬Ѓve different routes before settling on the least destructive course. вЂњRoute four that runs from Punta Gorda on the Caribbean Sea to Brito on the Paciп¬Ѓc Ocean was chosen precisely because it was the route with the least environmental and social impact. Despite the fact that route four was not the lowest cost option, it was chosen because it has the lowest environmental and social impact,вЂќ Kelley said. The canal will plough through two Unesco-established biosphere reserves, which are inhabited by endangered species. вЂњThe list of potential environmental threats is long and includes negative impact on protected wetlands vital to migratory birds, the Central American biological corridor, destruction of freshwater habitat, deterioration of drinking water reserves and the inevitable pollution of Lake Nicaragua,вЂќ Kjaerby said. take more than 50% of the vote, or win more than 40% and п¬Ѓnish at least 10 points clear of his nearest opponent. His Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) is meanwhile on track to win a two-thirds majority in the Senate and possibly in the Chamber of Deputies, as well, according to opinion polls. Morales, who rose to prominence as a union leader п¬Ѓghting for the rights of the countryвЂ™s coca growers, has brought sweeping changes since taking office in 2006. His government has nationalised a broad range of sectors in- C olombian guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londono has made secret government-authorised trips to Cuba several times in the last year to meet with his team of negotiators as part of peace talks to end 50 years of civil war, Colombian officials said. Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon conп¬Ѓrmed persistent rumours about Londono showing up in Havana, saying he has been there at вЂњdifferent timesвЂќ. A senior military intelligence source said Londono, whose nom de guerre is вЂњTimochenkoвЂќ, has gone to Havana several times on non-commercial п¬‚ights from Venezuela, where Colombian sources say he has been hiding for years. If true, it suggests Londono is guiding talks from the front in- stead of staying in a remote jungle hideout, lending a more serious tone to the negotiations between his Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, and the government. The government authorized LondonoвЂ™s travel to Cuba, another government source said, but the rebel did not appear at the negotiating table. His visits were facilitated by Cuba and Venezuela, which are acting as guarantor countries at the talks, the source said, adding he did not know how many times Londono had travelled to Havana. Previous efforts at reaching a peace deal in Colombia were undermined by the absence of Manuel Marulanda, who led the Farc for decades. He died of a heart attack in 2008. ColombiaвЂ™s government has repeatedly said it would kill or arrest Londono if it could п¬Ѓnd him but it has also staked its reputation on winning a peace deal. ence in 1825 and remains one of the regionвЂ™s poorest countries. Morales has also aligned himself with Cuba, Venezuela and Iran and had an antagonistic relationship with the US over drug policy. He has shielded coca growers from the US push to eradicate the plant. Besides being the base ingredient for cocaine, coca leaves are widely chewed in Bolivia and brewed as a tea - uses Morales has vigorously defended as part of the countryвЂ™s cultural heritage. In 2008 he kicked the US Drug Enforcement Agency out of the country, along with the Ameri- can ambassador, accusing them of conspiring against his government. Morales, a member of the Aymara ethnic group, grew up in poverty with no running water or electricity and he never п¬Ѓnished school. Political analyst Carlos Toranzo said poor and indigenous voters п¬Ѓrst warmed to him because he came from the same background as them. But the вЂњEvoвЂќ phenomenon has evolved and spread among the countryвЂ™s 6mn voters. вЂњNine years into his administration, people donвЂ™t identify with him because heвЂ™s like them or has the same skin,вЂќ said Toranzo, co-ordinator of the Latin American Institute for Social Research. вЂњThere are economic and social reasons. There has been an increase in social inclusion, which people view favourably, and thatвЂ™s why they think they must keep voting for Evo Morales.вЂќ Morales is even polling at more than 50% in business hub Santa Cruz, once a bastion of opposition against him. With such strong poll numbers, he has little use for presidential debates, and has answered his opponentsвЂ™ challenges by saying: вЂњThey can go debate their grandmothers.вЂќ Protest over education reforms A barricade is set on fire during a demonstration against the Chile government to demand changes and an end to profiteering in the education system in Santiago. Mexico nabs boss of Juarez drug cartel Reuters Mexico City M exican security forces have captured the leader of the oncefeared Juarez Cartel in the countryвЂ™s restive north, the second drug kingpin to fall in just over a week. Vicente Carrillo, 51, long-time head of the Juarez Cartel, was a п¬Ѓerce rival of Joaquin вЂњShortyвЂќ Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and the worldвЂ™s most wanted drug boss until his capture in February. A turf war between the two cartels in 2009-11 unleashed a bloodbath in Ciudad Juarez, in Chihuahua state on MexicoвЂ™s border with Texas, making it one of the most violent places in the world. Carrillo, alias вЂ�The Viceroy,вЂ™ Farc chief present at Cuba talks: minister Reuters Bogota cluding oil, gas, mining, telecommunications and water, rolled out welfare grants for the elderly, children and expecting mothers, and moved to empower previously marginalised groups, including the 65% of the population that is indigenous. Defying opponentsвЂ™ dire warnings of economic catastrophe, Bolivia has instead seen a boom. GDP grew 6.8% last year and is forecast to grow more than 5% this year, one of the fastest rates in Latin America. The economic and political stability are welcome in Bolivia, which has had 160 coups since independ- вЂњThere is a peace process and obviously the government has a negotiating team that has the authority to permit or facilitate certain types of situations,вЂќ Pinzon told Radio Caracol in discussing LondonoвЂ™s presence in Havana. A Farc negotiator in Havana, Jesus Emilio Carvajalino, said PinzonвЂ™s comments on LondonoвЂ™s presence were incorrect. вЂњNo, not at all, not at all. The news out of Colombia has no truth to it. We are all here on the same point on the agenda and thereвЂ™s nothing more. There are many rumours in Bogota,вЂќ he said. A representative at VenezuelaвЂ™s interior ministry would not comment and government officials in Cuba could not immediately be reached for comment. The two sides in Havana are working through a п¬Ѓve-point agenda aimed at ending a conп¬‚ict that has killed more than 200,000 people since it began in 1964. was captured after identifying himself with a false name at a checkpoint in the northern city of Torreon, national security commissioner Monte Rubido said in a press conference. No shots were п¬Ѓred in his arrest, Rubido said, adding that Carrillo was wanted on п¬Ѓve charges related to organised crime and drug trafficking. вЂњThe criminal organisation that he led up until today led to the strengthening in Chihuahua of various groups that at one time contributed to Juarez being considered one of the most violent cities in the world,вЂќ Rubido said. The US had put a $5mn bounty on CarrilloвЂ™s head, while Mexico had offered a 30mn peso ($2.24mn) reward. President Enrique Pena Nieto took office two years ago pledging to end a wave of violence that has killed around 100,000 people since the start of 2007. Although homicides have fallen on his watch, other crimes have increased, including extortion and kidnapping. Pena Nieto has been under п¬Ѓre over the past week over the apparent massacre of dozens of trainee teachers in southwest Mexico at the hands of gang members and police. He hailed the capture on Twitter. A keen horseman who used a network of cattle ranches in the northern state of Chihuahua to store shipments of Colombian cocaine, Carrillo took over the Juarez Cartel in 1997 after his brother Amado, known as вЂњThe Lord of the Skies,вЂќ died during plastic surgery. CarrilloвЂ™s capture comes just days after Hector Beltran Leyva, one of the most notorious Mexi- Wooing voters can drug lords still at large, was captured by soldiers in a picturesque town in central Mexico popular with American retirees. It also comes as the government is grappling with public outrage at an apparent massacre of trainee teachers by police in league with gang members, which has triggered mass anti-government protests. Alejandro Hope, an independent security consultant who used to work for Mexican state intelligence, said Carrillo and the Juarez Cartel were not as powerful as they used to be. Nonetheless, he added, the capture of Carrillo was part of larger phasing out of the era of the Mexican drug kingpin. Guzman was arrested in February, and most of his longtime business partners and enemies are now either dead or jailed. вЂњIn lots of ways, itвЂ™s the end Colombia banker sees rate steady Reuters Cartagena C Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff greets supporters during an election campaign rally in Salvador, Bahia state, Brazil. Brazil will hold a presidential run-off vote on October 26. of the era of the narco,вЂќ Hope said, adding that international drug smuggling is now no longer controlled by large, hierarchical organisations like GuzmanвЂ™s Sinaloa cartel, but rather by smaller, more violent groups with less clear organisational structures. Carrillo was seen as more discreet than his п¬‚amboyant brother, but his position was weakened by the violence in Ciudad Juarez that claimed nearly 12,000 lives between 2008 and 2012 alone. The government said his organisation was dealt a major blow in 2009 when soldiers in Mexico City arrested his nephew, Vicente Carrillo Leyva, accused of being the No 2 of the Juarez Cartel. Drug experts say Carrillo, who had a secondary role in the Juarez Cartel when his brother was in charge, once ran about a п¬Ѓfth of the drug business in Mexico. olombiaвЂ™s benchmark interest rate is approaching a neutral level and there is little reason to alter it, central bank board member Carlos Gustavo Cano said, adding there is room to cut the rate again if necessary. The board held the rate steady at 4.5% for a second month in September, leaving behind a period of monetary tightening to ward off inп¬‚ationary pressure that followed strong economic growth in the п¬Ѓrst quarter. вЂњTo make an additional adjustment in the short term would be imprudent. I donвЂ™t see reasons for that,вЂќ Cano said in Cartagena. вЂњThereвЂ™re no reasons to think differently from maintaining the rate at its current 4.5%, hopefully for the longest time possible. вЂњIn my personal opinion weвЂ™re now in the normalisation zone of neutrality in the rate,вЂќ said Cano. вЂњIf it becomes necessary to return to an expansionary phase, we have room.вЂќ He stressed that under current circumstances there are no reasons to cut the rate. A neutral interest rate is one that does not affect the economy, as it occurs when growth is at its potential and inп¬‚ation is on target. The bank began a tightening cycle in April, lifting the rate from 3.25%, where it had remained for 11 months to bolster the $370bn economy. ColombiaвЂ™s economy expanded less than expected in the second quarter, slowing to 4.3% and shrinking compared with the п¬Ѓrst three months of the year. First quarter expansion was an unexpectedly fast 6.5%. Gross domestic product will likely grow by 4.8% to 5% in 2014, Cano said. Policymakers have expressed concern about ColombiaвЂ™s revenue stream as crude output begins to decline and an economy-driving oil boom wanes. The government last week unveiled tax reform to bolster revenue. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 15 PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN Pakistanis celebrate MalalaвЂ™s Nobel win AFP Islamabad J oyful Pakistanis from the countryвЂ™s insurgencywracked northwest yesterday celebrated Malala YousafzaiвЂ™s Nobel Peace Prize win with music, dance and cake, hailing her award as a victory for girlsвЂ™ education over Taliban violence. Tributes for the 17-year-old, the youngest ever Nobel laureate, were led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who called her the вЂњpride of PakistanвЂќ, while dozens of people from her hometown Mingora gathered at the main intersection to chant slogans and exchange sweets. Marjan Bibi, 11, cut a white pineapple cream cake donated by a local bakery as onlookers clapped and cheered: вЂњLong Live MalalaвЂќ. Bibi said: вЂњMalala is a source of pride for us. I will also write like Malala and will raise my voice for girlsвЂ™ education when I will grow up.вЂќ Ayesha Khalid, who was at school with Malala, said: вЂњItвЂ™s not Malala alone winning this award, the girls of Pakistan have won it ... (she) is the light of our eyes and the voice of our heart. вЂњShe has proved that you canвЂ™t put a halt to education by blowing up schools.вЂќ The teenager, who entered the public eye after writing a blog for the BBCвЂ™s Urdu service about life under the Taliban during their 2007 - 2009 rule over the Swat Valley, was shot in the head by militants two years ago while on her way to school. Since recovering, she has addressed the UN General Assembly, written a best-selling autobiography, and pushed NigeriaвЂ™s Goodluck Jonathan to do more to free hundreds of girls kidnapped by Islamist militants. YesterdayвЂ™s jubilant celebrations at the Mingora intersection stood in stark contrast to the TalibanвЂ™s period of rule when girls were prevented from going to school and people accused of breaking Sharia law were beheaded at a roundabout a few hundred metres away. In the city of Peshawar, the capital of the northwest KhyberPakhtunkwa area that has borne the brunt of a decade-long Is- German aid worker freed in Kabul AFP Kabul/Berlin A German aid worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan over two years ago has been released in neighbouring Afghanistan, Berlin said yesterday. вЂњThe government is very relieved that a German national who was kidnapped more than two years ago in Pakistan has been freed in Afghanistan,вЂќ a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. He was now in the care of the German government, receiving counselling and was вЂњdoing well under the circumstancesвЂќ, said the spokeswoman, adding that an international вЂњpartnerвЂќ had helped set him free. Newspaper Bild said that GermanyвЂ™s KSK special forces were involved in the handover of the aid worker for the group Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Aid), who was identiп¬Ѓed only as Bernd M. He was taken in January 2012 in Pakistan, and handed over at a mosque on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul, after his kidnappers had forced him to march through regions of eastern Afghanistan, the report said. There was no word on the fate of an Italian who was kidnapped in the same incident on January 19, 2012, at a house in Multan in Punjab province. lamist insurgency against the state, some 200 people gathered at the press club to distribute sweets and dance to a powerful drum beat. вЂњThe award given to the daughter of this soil Malala Yousufzai is not only a recognition of her achievements for the peace but it is also an acknowledgement of our sacriп¬Ѓces in the war against terror continuing for the last ten years,вЂќ said provincial governor Mehtab Ahmed Khan. Malala вЂ” who won along with Indian Kailash Satyarthi вЂ” is PakistanвЂ™s second-ever Nobel prize winner after Abdus Salam, who won the physics prize in 1979 but was widely shunned for being a member of the countryвЂ™s persecuted Ahmadi minority. She was awarded the EUвЂ™s prestigious Sakharov peace prize last year, angering the Taliban who issued a fresh threat to murder her. вЂњShe is getting awards because she is working against Islam,вЂќ Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP at the time. Last month, PakistanвЂ™s military said they had arrested 10 suspected Taliban militants accused of being involved in the murder attempt against her. The Taliban are not alone in their opposition to Malala, with many critics from PakistanвЂ™s conservative and hyper-nationalist middle-classes accusing her of being a Western puppet who was damaging PakistanвЂ™s reputation abroad. Since rising up against the state in 2004, Islamist militants have blown up hundreds of schools in the northwest and the restive tribal areas that border Afghanistan, partly out of opposition to secular and girlsвЂ™ education, and partly because the buildings were used as bases by the army. The Pakistani TalibanвЂ™s advance has halted in years following a series of military offensives, the latest of which began in June. Education activist Mosharraf Zaidi said PakistanвЂ™s government should use the goodwill around MalalaвЂ™s win to prioritise the countryвЂ™s long-neglected public school system. вЂњThere are 52mn children aged п¬Ѓve to sixteen in this country, of whom about 25mn are out of school,вЂќ he said, adding the breakdown was some 14mn girls and 11mn boys. вЂњIf Pakistan cannot take advantage of this moment of a Pakistani winning the Nobel Prize because she is a campaigner for education and because she is so incredibly brave, then itвЂ™ll represent yet another missed opportunity and also a tragedy,вЂќ he added. Peres hails Malala IsraelвЂ™s former president Shimon Peres, one of the oldest Nobel Peace Prize laureates, congratulated PakistanвЂ™s Malala Yousafzai on her award for the same honour yesterday. вЂњThe decision to award Malala the prize is a worthy one,вЂќ Peres, 91, said in a statement. вЂњShe is a symbol to women and girls across the world and an example to all of us,вЂќ he said, paying tribute to the youngest Peace Prize laureate. вЂњMalala, you defeated those who tried to silence you and your victory is a victory for peace. We are all proud of you.вЂќ Peres was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize as foreign minister jointly with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for IsraelвЂ™s 1993 Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Malala Yousafzai speaking during a press conference in Birmingham, Britain, yesterday. Campaigner dedicates award to вЂ�voicelessвЂ™ children AFP Birmingham E A girl holding a photograph of Malala Yousafzai as she cuts a cake in celebration of Malala winning the Nobel Peace Prize, in MalalaвЂ™s hometown Mingora in northwestern Swat valley yesterday. Aaп¬Ѓa allowed to end US plea Reuters New York A Pakistani neuroscientist whom Islamist militants have tried to free in proposed prisoner swaps with the United States was allowed on Thursday to withdraw what could be the last appeal of her conviction on US charges of attempted murder. US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said that Aaп¬Ѓa Siddiqui, who is serving an 86year sentence in a prison medical centre in Texas, had вЂњclearly and unequivocallyвЂќ stated her intent to end the appeal. The judge ordered the case closed and said that, even if the appeal had continued, he likely would have ruled against Siddiqui. She was represented at trial by an able team of п¬Ѓve lawyers, Berman wrote. He declined to hold a hearing to question Siddiqui further. In May, a new lawyer п¬Ѓled the appeal on SiddiquiвЂ™s behalf, but in July Siddiqui wrote a letter to Berman saying she had no faith in the US legal system and refused to participate in it. Islamic militants in Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have made SiddiquiвЂ™s release a condition for freeing certain foreign hostages. Islamic State proposed swapping American journalist James Foley for her, but they executed him after their demands, which included an end to US air strikes in Iraq, were not met. A jury convicted Siddiqui in 2010 of attempting to shoot and kill a group of FBI agents, US soldiers and interpreters who were about to interrogate her in Ghazni, Afghanistan, for alleged links to Al Qaeda. None of them were wounded, but Siddiqui was shot in the abdomen when they returned п¬Ѓre. Siddiqui likely would not be allowed to п¬Ѓle another appeal except under extraordinary circumstances, such as newly discovered evidence, and might not understand the consequences of a withdrawal, the new lawyer, Robert Boyle, wrote in a letter to the judge last month. Boyle did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday. A 42-year-old mother of three, Siddiqui was educated in the United States and has degrees from the Massachu- setts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University. Siddiqui was likely unaware of the Islamic State proposal and its actions should not be held against her, Boyle said in an interview last month. Islamist militant groups have called her case an example of the worst excesses of the US war on terror, citing her familyвЂ™s allegation that she was raped and tortured at the US militaryвЂ™s Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. US officials have said they found no evidence of that. At trial, SiddiquiвЂ™s legal team urged an acquittal because there was no evidence the riп¬‚e had been п¬Ѓred. An appeals court in 2012 affirmed her conviction and sentence, rejecting arguments that her trial was unfair. Ministers barred from campaigning 50 couples marry in group ceremony Election authorities in Pakistan have barred federal and provincial ministers from taking part in election campaigns in NA-149 where by-polls are due to be held on October 16. Under election laws, the incumbent prime minister, chief ministers and cabinet members cannot participate in campaigns for any candidate in the constituency. Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also asked the contesting candidates to conclude their election campaigns 48 hours before the polling day, as per rules. The national assembly seat NA-149 in Multan had fallen vacant after former Pakistan More than 50 orphan and poor couples have been married under a collective marriage ceremony in Hatheji town in central Pakistan by a Karachibased Faiz Al-Qaim Trust in a big gathering of local dignitaries including parliamentarians from Bahawalpur district. The couples were selected through a lucky draw. All the couples were given necessary domestic appliances by the trust. Faiz Al-Qaim Trust chairman Agha Afzal Ali Fazal while congratulating the newly-wed couples said that the trust started this collective marriage programme for the men and women, who were orphans or were from poor families, in year Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) president Javed Hashmi resigned from the seat. He subsequently announced that he would contest the seat as an independent candidate. It is believed that ruling PML-N is backing Hashmi in the byelections. ECP further said that a candidate is allowed to convene or attend any public meeting 48 hours before voting is due to start, while the election campaign will end at midnight between October 14 and 15. The ECP on Thursday released the list of contesting candidates from NA-149. A total of 18 candidates are contesting the by-election. 1999 in view of backwardness and poverty of Ahmadpur East area, particularly Hatheji. So far the trust has solemnised weddings of 500 men and women who are poor and from downtrodden families, he added. He vowed that the trust would also arrange for 1,000 more collective marriages for the deserving boys and girls of this part of the country during the next 16 years. He also revealed that the trust was also striving for the promotion of education in this underdeveloped area of south Punjab and had established schools where computer education was being imparted to the children from poor families. ducation rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai dedicated her Nobel peace prize yesterday to вЂњvoicelessвЂќ children around the world, and called on the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers to attend the award ceremony for the sake of peace. The 17-year-old, who heard the news while she was in a chemistry lesson at school in Birmingham, central England, said she was honoured to be the youngest person and the п¬Ѓrst Pakistani to receive the accolade. вЂњThe award is for all the children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard,вЂќ Malala told a press conference, held at the end of the school day so she wouldnвЂ™t miss class. Malala arrived in Britain from Pakistan for medical treatment after being shot in the head by a Taliban п¬Ѓghter in October 2012, an attempt to silence her vocal advocacy of the right of girls to go to school. Standing on a box so she could reach the podium at BirminghamвЂ™s main library, the teenager joked that winning the Nobel would not help her upcoming school exams. But she told an audience that included her parents and two younger brothers: вЂњI felt more powerful and more courageous because this award is not just a piece of metal or a medal you wear or an award you keep in your room. вЂњThis is encouragement for me to go forward.вЂќ The Norwegian Nobel Committee gave the award to Malala and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi for their struggle against the repression of children and young people and вЂњfor the right of all children to educationвЂќ. Malala said she had already spoken to SatyarthiвЂ”she joked that she could not pronounce his nameвЂ”to discuss how they could work together, and also try to reduce tensions between their two countries. To that end, she urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the Nobel award ceremony in December. Former British prime minister Gordon Brown, the United Nations special envoy for global education, voiced delight at the Nobel victory for Malala and Satyarthi. вЂњThey are two of my best friends and two of the greatest global campaigners who deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for their courage, determination and for their vision that no child should ever be left behind,вЂќ Brown said in a statement. After visiting her in hospital, Brown took up MalalaвЂ™s cause with a petition for universal primary education handed to the Pakistani government on a day he named Malala Day, and later arranging for her to speak at the United Nations. BritainвЂ™s International Development Secretary Justine Greening also congratulated the joint winners saying the prize was вЂњrichly deservedвЂќ. The reaction in the streets of Birmingham, which has a large minority population of Pakistani origin, was also overwhelmingly positive. вЂњI like her. SheвЂ™s conп¬Ѓdent, speaking up for herself, for women,вЂќ said 30-year-old Zara Hussain as she waited at a bus stop in Birmingham holding a baby. вЂњShe could be president (of Pakistan) if she carries on.вЂќ Imam Usman Mahmood of Birmingham central mosque, which with 6,000 followers is one of the biggest in the city and was visited by Malala and her family, also expressed his delight. вЂњIt means that any person who puts their mind to something, they can achieve their goals. We wish her the best when she carries on with her life and that she keeps on going the way she is,вЂќ he said. But local estate agent Basharat Hussain, 30, said: вЂњI personally think she shouldnвЂ™t have got it. вЂњSheвЂ™s inspiring but I think theyвЂ™re using her for political motives, sheвЂ™s been used by different organisations and governments.вЂќ The global spotlight has provoked a backlash in parts of Pakistani society, with some accusing Malala of acting as a puppet of the West, while the Taliban have renewed the threat to her life. There have also been concerns about exposing a child to such a level of public exposure. вЂњI used to say that I think I do not deserve the Nobel peace prize. I still believe that,вЂќ Malala said. вЂњBut I believe it is not only an award for what IвЂ™ve done but an encouragement for giving me hope, for giving me the courage to go and continue this.вЂќ 16 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 PHILIPPINES Philippine health workersвЂ™ help sought for Ebola-hit areas AFP Manila T he Philippines is considering deploying substantial numbers of health workers to West Africa amid a global appeal to deal with the Ebola virus, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said yesterday. The US and United Kingdom have both specifically asked Manila to provide вЂњhuman resourcesвЂќ, Ona said, adding that the nationвЂ™s high number of qualified health professionals make it well-placed to provide help. The UN has meanwhile called for a 20-fold increase in the worldвЂ™s response to the Ebola epidemic, which has killed nearly 3,900 people in West Africa since the beginning of the year. вЂњI think it is also something of a responsibility for our country... to respond to that global call for assistance,вЂќ Ona said at a joint news conference with World Health Organisation Western Pacific director Shin Young-soo. вЂњWe (Philippine officials) are meeting on this issue and should be able to make a firm decision... maybe in a week or so.вЂќ The Philippines is expected to decide after President Benigno Aquino meets key officials to discuss the specific US and UK requests, Ona added. Shin said the Philippines was in a unique position of having вЂњso many qualified health workersвЂќ and wanting to express its gratitude for the global rescue and rehabilitation effort after it was struck by super typhoon Haiyan last year. Other Asia-Pacific countries have also offered support including medics from China, financial support commitments from Australia and South Korea, and laboratory experts from Japan, Shin added. The health secretary said the Philippines would only be sending volunteers, and noted it had a potentially large pool. The health department has fielded queries from Filipino health workers wanting to work in West Africa, he added. вЂњThe human resources that may be needed (may) not necessarily be working only in the Ebola-affected facilities,вЂќ Ona said when asked about the potential size and composition of the Philippine contribution. вЂњ(There) may also be workers Shin Young-soo (right), regional director of World Health Organisation (WHO) for western Pacific at a press conference with Philippine health secretary Enrique Ona in Manila yesterday. needed, for example, in public health, or taking care of hospitals where the usual non-Ebola patients go,вЂќ he added. Security forces on вЂ�high alertвЂ™ after Metro Manila terror threat By Anthony Vargas Manila Times Members of a bomb squad and police officers stand guard outside the US Embassy in Manila yesterday. threats exist. The mayor said the police was still checking alleged bomb threats on two schools, one in Quezon City and the other in Manila. A source in the police intelligence community said Ayeras is a member of the RSM, a group that has ties with the Khilafa Islamiya Movement (KIM), which has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has tried to douse apprehensions over the US ad- visory and has assured that foreigners are safe in Metro Manila. Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang yesterday said they were in close coordination with the US Embassy as military intelligence units continue to verify reports on the alleged terror plot. вЂњMaybe the US has other sources. We will ask the US where they got the information, we will check. But right now weвЂ™re still verifying, and follow-up operations are ongo- ing,вЂќ Catapang said. The Department of National Defence (DnD) meanwhile is taking seriously the alleged terrorist plot to bomb Metro Manila, despite the lack of hard evidence. вЂњWe are currently evaluating all our information and there are no indications at this time that the foiled bomb plot is part of a greater scenario. We are treating every report with the utmost seriousness, nonetheless,вЂќ defence spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said. volunteer health workers, Ona added. Ona said about 3,000 Filipinos already work in worst-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. About 150 Filipino soldiers also serve as peacekeepers under UN command in Liberia. Aquino says authoritarianism is вЂ�tempting but would not succeedвЂ™ By Joel M Sy Egco Manila Times P T he Philippine National Police (PNP) is on вЂњheightened alert,вЂќ but maintained it was not in response to a terror threat in Metro Manila. The alert was raised on Thursday, the same day the US Embassy in Manila issued a travel advisory warning its citizens of a possible terror attack by militant groups in the metropolis. The PNPвЂ™s chief information officer, Senior Supt. Wilben Mayor, said at a press brieп¬Ѓng in Camp Crame yesterday the heightened alert вЂњis part of protocol whenever the president leaves the country.вЂќ President Benigno Aquino left for Bali, Indonesia on Thursday for a two-day forum on democracy. The US travel advisory, the mayor said, вЂњis a procedural action of a foreign government to protect their own citizens. We also do the same.вЂќ The US issued the advisory following the reported arrest of three men, one of whom is believed to be a member of the Rajah Solaiman Group (RSM). The mayor conп¬Ѓrmed the arrest of Ricardo Ayeras, alias Abdul Karim Ayeras, Andrecio Valdez Manuel and Ricky Macapagal in Quezon City on October 5. вЂњThey were arrested for simple violation of the law,вЂќ the mayor said. He said the PNP has not monitored any terrorist plot to plant bombs in Metro Manila, but it does not discount that such The United Kingdom has specifically offered financial assistance that could potentially cover the salaries of Filipino resident Benigno Aquino yesterday said he п¬Ѓnds authoritarian rule вЂњtemptingвЂќ because вЂњthis might promise immediate gainsвЂќ but quickly clariп¬Ѓed that such method of governance will not succeed without the вЂњconsent and support of the governed.вЂќ Speaking at the opening session of the seventh Bali Democracy Forum on the Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture held at the Bali International Convention Centre in Indonesia, Aquino said some leaders are tempted to take such a route out of frustrations and for other reasons that hinder the realisation of their plans. вЂњAs leaders, all of us here have had our share of frustrations borne of the many factors that sometimes hinder the realisation of our vision. This breeds the temptation to consider an authoritarian method, as this might promise immediate gains,вЂќ the president told his audience, including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). вЂњSitting down and reп¬‚ecting on this idea, however, we realise that, with the lack of consensus and consent from the people, such a model, which offers quick, short-term gains, may be detrimental to society in the long-run,вЂќ he added. Aquino, who has expressed вЂњopennessвЂќ to a term extension if there is public clamour for it, also explained that without clear popular support, an authoritarian rule is doomed to fail. вЂњThat lack of consensus, combined with the great degree of dissatisfaction that inevitably arises, leads to instability and the eventual collapse of that particular system,вЂќ he stressed. He made the remark as he narrated an incident during his recent trip to the US when he was asked by a student if he вЂњmissed the good old days, particularly the stability fostered by authoritarianism.вЂќ вЂњAs you might know, my family and I lived in exile in Boston for a good three years, and obviously, as a member of a family victimised by an authoritarian regime, I could not share the sentiment. Instead I wondered: What were good about those days? The discussion with that member of our youth gave me the impetus to reп¬‚ect even more on the matter,вЂќ said the president. As being experienced in the Philippines and other countries, he noted that in a totalitarian regime, things get done faster, whether they are right or wrong, because there are no checks and balances in place. вЂњVery often, the consent and support of the governed are neither sought nor attained. Naturally, such a regime, one divorced from the desires of its people, will have weak foundations. In that kind of regime, might I point out, the opinions and wishes of the governed are only second to the objective of staying in power,вЂќ Aquino said. He claimed that these regimes failed primarily because political survival becomes the вЂњend all and be allвЂќ of the government. вЂњAnd as we have seen in history, all authoritarian regimes, regardless of the cause of their coming to power, will at one point make political survival the end all and be all of government,вЂќ he said. Only recently, a survey п¬Ѓrm reported that majority of the people do not favour an extended term for Aquino. I also found that majority do not agree that the powers of the judiciary, an instrument of check and balance, should be clipped. Aquino expressly opposes the fact that вЂњjudicial reachвЂќ has been вЂњabused.вЂќ He lamented that the Supreme Court, for one, has stepped on the toes of the executive. The president publicly ridiculed the court for ruling that several provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Programme (DAP) were unconstitutional. In his speech, the president underscored the beneп¬Ѓts of a democratic state which, he maintained, вЂњpresents a more stable, more solid foundation for equitable advancement.вЂќ вЂњIn a democratic state, which is the opposite of an authoritarian regime, government is systematically attuned to the voice of the people; it represents the people and works towards the betterment of its people. And while consensus building, which is the foundation of such a state, may be a long and complicated process,вЂќ he said. вЂњDemocratic institutions, after all, seek to free and enable its citizens, and the п¬Ѓrst freedom should always be from hunger, as my father once thought. In turn, that empowered citizenry becomes capable of nurturing and fostering democracy,вЂќ Aquino said. Group proposes low-cost vote counting system By Robertzon F Ramirez Manila Times A group opposed to the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the 2016 presidential elections has proposed what it claims is a more efficient and less expensive electoral method. Nelson Celis, the spokesman for the Automated Election System (AES), said their alternative system involves the use of tablets, iPads and laptops in encoding results from votes cast manually. Speaking at a forum at the Manila Times office on Thursday, Celis claimed that the government spends P21,274,218,632 for warehousing fees, maintenance, logistics, project management, training and ballots for the 80,000 PCOS machines left over from previous elections. The AES system will cost not more P2mn, he said. In the groupвЂ™s proposal, the voting and tabulation will be done manually, but the results will be encoded into mobile devices and laptops. The encoded votes will be transmitted for canvassing. The Board of Election Canvassers (BEC) in the municipal or city level will transmit the votes for provincial canvassing. The same process will apply to the national board of canvassers. Augusto вЂњGusвЂќ Lagman, a former Commission on Elec- tions (Comelec) commissioner, said the process that AES is proposing вЂњis a bit different from the proposal from a year or two years ago. What we (were) proposing in the past is that we should have manual counting and then the results should be encoded in the laptop and then the laptop will transmit the results to the п¬Ѓrst step in canvassing, but today we are proposing a different set-up because of the gain in popularity of tablets, iPads (and) laptops.вЂќ Celis said the Comelec is not yet ready to implement automated elections as provided for in Republic Act 9369. He added that Smartmatic, the п¬Ѓrm that owns the PCOS machines, had violated the Terms of References (TOR) pro- vided by the Comelec. вЂњWhat we can do is implement manual (elections) and electronic transmission (of votes). ThatвЂ™s the only thing that we can do,вЂќ Celis said. He added that a combination of вЂњmanual and electronic transmissionsвЂќ is the best system for 2016. Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr has rejected appeals to do away with the PCOS machines in 2016. He said the Comelec had issued a resolution adopting recommendations of the Comelec Advisory Council to use the PCOS machines. Brillantes said the Comelec does not have the budget for replacing the PCOS machines. System expert Nelson Celis explains a point during the roundtable discussion. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 17 SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL Lanka to implement most of post-war proposals IANS Colombo T he Sri Lankan government yesterday said it will not fully implement the recommendations of a postwar commission despite calls to do so by the international community. Government cabinet spokesman and minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that of the 180 recommendations made by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the government will implement 144 recommendations. The minister said the government has already implemented 45 recommendations and is in the process of implementing the others stage by stage, Xinhua reported. A committee headed by the secretary to the president is engaged in monitoring the implementation of the 144 recommendations of the LLRC contained in the National Plan of Action, out of which, 45 are deemed to be completed, 89 are ongoing and 10 are in the early stage of implementation. The minister said a proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapakse to establish a special bureau for reconciliation to function under the secretary to the president and to carry out tasks entrusted to it for the purpose of facilitating the committeeвЂ™s work in monitoring the implementation of the LLRC recommendations, was approved by the cabinet yesterday. Rambukwella noted that the implementation of some recommendations requires Constituent assembly extends term of committee IANS Kathmandu T he constituent assembly (CA) responsible for drafting NepalвЂ™s constitution has extended its committeeвЂ™s tenure for second time to settle all the disputes with stakeholders and submit the report by October 17. Constitutional political dialogue and consensus committee (CPDCC) led by senior Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai is mandated to hold discourses with political parties and other stakeholders and include their views in its report. As per the CAвЂ™s new directives, the CPDCC should settle the remaining disputes by October 16, an extension of one week, and п¬Ѓnalise its report by October 17, according to sources. Forms of governance, state restructuring, judicial system and electoral system are the four contentious issues on which political parties are yet to agree before п¬Ѓnalising the draft of the new constitution. The political parties, however, have not deferred the January 22 deadline of drafting the constitution despite a change in the working schedule of constitution drafting process. Earlier, the CPDCC had failed to resolve disputed matters of new constitution within the extended deadline which expired on October 7, after it failed to resolve it within the original deadline of September 6. The committee had managed to settle around two and a half dozen thorny issues during the п¬Ѓrst extended period. Meanwhile, constitutional expert Nilambar Acharya has warned that the political parties are unlikely to meet the January 22 deadline of drafting the constitution. The present working style of the political parties cannot accomplish the task of drafting the constitution as per the stipulated deadline, he pointed out. Keheliya Rambukwella constitutional changes. вЂњMore than one-third of the proposals have been implemented. There are certain recommendations which require constitutional amendments. ThatвЂ™s a long process,вЂќ he noted. The minister noted that a parliament committee was also appointed to address some of the issues related to constitutional changes, but the main minority Tamil party in Sri Lanka - the Tamil National Alliance has so far boycotted the process. He noted that even India has urged the Tamil National Alliance to join the parliament committee. Energy prices slashed: Sri LankaвЂ™s president has slashed gas prices by 10% after making hefty cuts to fuel and electricity tariffs that have been widely seen as sweeteners ahead of snap elections. President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered treasury chief Punchi Banda Jayasundera to reduce gas prices by just over 10%, the government information department said late on Thursday. Speculation that Rajapakse will call a snap presidential poll has mounted, after his party opened an election campaign office last month. The move came after the ruling United PeopleвЂ™s Freedom Alliance saw its vote plummet by over 20 percentage points in local elections. Rajapakse gained popularity among the majority Buddhist Sinhalese-speaking community by crushing Tamil separatists in May 2009, but rising hate attacks and human rights issues have alienated minority communities. The president has the power to call an election before completing his second six-year term, which is due to end in November 2016. Ruling party seniors have privately argued that it would be advantageous for him to do so before his popularity wanes further. The government on Tuesday brought forward the 2015 budget by a month to October 24, in a further indication it is preparing to go to the polls in January. But at a conference in Colombo, Jayasundera denied the budget would contain вЂњelection goodiesвЂќ, saying that it would be вЂњa development-oriented budgetвЂќ. If held in the п¬Ѓrst half of January, the elections would come just before a visit by Pope Francis, who has announced he will be on the island from January 13 to 15. The Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has asked all politicians not to use the papal visit as a political tool in their campaigning to secure votes from the 7.5% of the population that is Christian. NepalвЂ™s indigenous people T he speaker of the Bangladesh parliament, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, has been elected chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). She was elected for the prestigious post at the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in the Cameroonian capital of YaoundГ© on Thursday, parliament secretariat officials said in Dhaka yesterday. Chaudhury will lead the 35-member executive committee for the next three years. Juliana OвЂ™ Connor-Connoly, speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Cayman Islands, was the only rival of the Bangladesh speaker in the election race. Earlier, on October 3, Speaker Chaudhury left Dhaka for Cameroon to take part in the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association promotes parliamentary democracy in Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury the erstwhile British colonies. Chaudhury received 70 votes while Connor-Connoly bagged 67, SM Manzur, director of public relations wing of the parliament secretariat, said. Out of the total 321 votes, 137 voters from 175 members of the association turned up at the general assembly which is the lone authorised body to elect the chairperson of the CPA executive committee. According to the CPA charter, the national and state legislatures are the members of the association. The voters must be present at the general assembly. Soon after the election, Chaudhury chaired a meeting of the new executive committee at the conference venue. Reuters Colombo S ri Lanka has lifted a temporary ban on the sale of some Anchor milk powder made by New Zealand-based Fonterra after local tests showed it did not cause illness in children, a government official said yesterday. The government last week halted the sale and distribution of Anchor powder from three batches after some children who consumed the product fell ill. вЂњThe director general of health today said that the sample tests have not found any negative reports and asked to release the three batches held,вЂќ Senerath Bandara, secretary of Sri LankaвЂ™s public health inspectorsвЂ™ association, said. Fonterra had said last week its independent investigations into the three batches with a total weight of 76 metric tonnes proved they were safe to consume. The latest ban came after Fonterra, the worldвЂ™s top dairy exporter, suspended its Sri Lanka operations in August last year after facing product bans, court cases and angry demonstrators over its sale of milk products in the country. It later resumed operations after a court order removed the ban. Sri Lanka is a top-10 importer of New Zealand dairy products, with roughly $196mn of the countryвЂ™s total milk powder imports of around $300mn coming from New Zealand in 2012. The majority is supplied by Fonterra. Worker strike hits railway services Nepalese indigenous women attending a programme in Kathmandu. The indigenous people constitute 37.2% of total NepalвЂ™s national population. Bangladesh house speaker Sleuths in New Delhi to probe JMB link with blast: minister elected CPA chairperson By Mizan Rahman Dhaka Ban on some Fonterra products lifted Chaudhury is the 21st chairperson of the CPA executive committee since the association was established in 1967. Political observers say ChaudhuryвЂ™s win will surely brighten the image of the 10th parliament, which many countries do not appreciate much internationally. Considering her excellent academic career and contributions to women empowerment and democracy, the western countries, including the British parliament, in August suggested that Chaudhury should contest the votes. The CPA, UK is one of the 175 branches of the association. The speakers of the House of the Lords and the House of Commons are the presidents of the CPA, UK. The vice-presidents of the CPA, UK are the prime minister, leader of the opposition, secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, secretary of state for international development and those members of the house of parliament who have previously held some prestigious posts in the UK. By Mizan Rahman Dhaka A team of BangladeshвЂ™s National Security Intelligence (NSI) is now in New Delhi to help the Indian intelligence agencies dig any link of the Burdwan blast in West Bengal with any militant group in Bangladesh. However, State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday said there are no bases of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) or any existence of militant organisation in the country. вЂњBangladesh is always against terrorism and it will allow none to use its land for conducting militant or terrorist activities on its soil or in the neighbouring friendly country of India,вЂќ he said. Kamal was speaking to journalists during a visit to the zero line at Banglabandha Land Port (BLP) under the border district of Panchagarh yesterday. He also visited Fulbari Border Security Force (BSF) camp on the other side in India. He said India has not yet ofп¬Ѓcially informed Bangladesh about nationality of the two persons killed in blasts while preparing bombs in Burdwan district of West Bengal state as published recently in the media. вЂњBangladesh is always against terrorism and it will allow none to use its land for conducting militant or terrorist activities on its soil or in the neighbouring friendly country of IndiaвЂќ The ministerвЂ™s comments came as Indian police arrested two more in connection with the blast at Burdwan district in West Bengal. They were caught from Ketugram of the Burdwan district, Indian police said in Kolkata yesterday. With this, six persons have been arrested in connection with the blast so far. Meanwhile, Indian National Investigating Agency (NIA) п¬Ѓled a п¬Ѓrst information report (FIR) yesterday in connec- tion with the recent blast at Burdwan. The central government of India issued notiп¬Ѓcation on NIA probe into the incident in which two persons were killed while allegedly assembling bombs at Kharagarh in Burdwan on October 2. The home ministry of India took the decision to hand over the probe considering the international ramiп¬Ѓcation of the case. West Bengal state government earlier initiated CID probe over the incident which faced lot of criticism from different circles including opposition parties. They demanded NIA probe over the whole episode. The state government has termed the centreвЂ™s decision as unilateral. The secretary general of the ruling Trinamool Congress and state education minister Partho Chatterjee said in Kolkata yesterday that the centreвЂ™s step is against federal structure of the country, since the law and order is a state subject. He said that the role of CID to investigate the case is praiseworthy. The trade unions of Sri LankaвЂ™s postal department said yesterday that more than 500,000 letters had been accumulated due to a railway workersвЂ™ strike ahead of World Postal Day. More than 200 employees of the department travelled to the northern town of Jaffna for the World Postal Day celebrations on Thursday and senior officials had also focused on the train strike, local media reported yesterday. Thousands of Sri Lankan train commuters were stranded on Thursday and yesterday as workers of the Professional Railway Trade Union Alliance (PRTUA) launched a country-wide strike for pay hike from midnight Wednesday. All the night mail trains have been cancelled, paralysing the mail service around the country as letters piled up at the central mail exchange. Trade unions urged the department officials to take action to deliver these backlogs using alternate transport methods. The situation will worsen if the strike continues. So far all attempts to resolve salary hike of the workers have failed at talks. Banks asked to provide account data of UK citizen The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has directed all banks in the country to provide information on accounts or transaction by Amin Ruhul, a British citizen of Bangladesh origin. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the countryвЂ™s central bank has issued the order, BB officials said. Police in the UK says Amin, 25, who holds dual nationality, is linked to the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They say Amin is possibly moving funds to help organise terror attacks in the UK. The UK police have found Amin in an ISIS camp from a video now in their possession. They say Amin has possibly two more aliases - Amin Abdul Rakib and Bara Al-Hindi. These aliases have been furnished in the Bangladesh Bank letter seeking any detail available about his banking transactions in the country. The letter has sought within the next seven working days any detail about financial transaction available in the name of Amin Ruhul or any of the two aliases he is known to use. Amin, born in 1989, is said to hail from Moulvibazar district of Bangladesh, if one goes by his passport. He lives in Aberdeen in Scotland. 18 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 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 Nobel prize carries a peace message for India and Pakistan The guns on the India-Pakistan border had barely fallen silent when the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the names of the Indian and Pakistani winners of the peace prize - a choice that has raised hopes of nudging the two neighbours to end their confrontation. Heavy gunп¬Ѓre and mortar shelling rocked the international border that separates the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir over the past nine days, killing 19 people on either side, most of them civilians. It has been the worst violence between the neighbours since a 2003 ceaseп¬Ѓre. In awarding the prize to teen education advocate Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and childrenвЂ™s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi of India, the committee reп¬‚ected on the future of children in young countries such as India and Pakistan where most of the population is under 25 years. вЂњThe Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,вЂќ the committee said. вЂњThere could hardly be a better time for a Pakistani and an Indian to share the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize,вЂќ said Hussain Soherwardi, a political analyst who teaches at Peshawar University in north-western Pakistan. He said the award is seldom free of вЂњglobal politicsвЂќ and there could be a message for the two South Asian countries to follow a path of peace. вЂњThe combination of Malala and Kailash could be an effort to tell their countries to move towards peace.вЂќ A peace dialogue has been largely suspended since the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed. There were hopes that ties would improve when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, to his inauguration in May. But those soon soured. In August, India cancelled talks after the Pakistani ambassador met Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi. The escalation of border skirmishes in the Himalayan region in the following weeks further deteriorated relations. Geir Lundestad, non-voting secretary of the Nobel Committee, said the prize was primarily for ending violations against children, but it could have вЂњsome effectвЂќ on nudging the neighbours closer. вЂњIf it can improve the relationship between India and Pakistan, however marginally, that would of course be appreciated. But we should not expect this prize to really have a major impact in that respect - I mean the Nobel Peace Prize is not a magic wand,вЂќ he said. Malala joined Satyarthi in appealing for the political leaders of India and Pakistan to come together and be there in Norway in December when the peace prize is presented to them. вЂњWeвЂ™ll try to build a strong relationships between India and Pakistan,вЂќ she said. вЂњItвЂ™s very important for both the countries that they have peace and have good relationships.вЂќ Right moment for UK to recognise Palestinian state The Palestinians who practise non-violence and security co-operation with Israel need encouragement to maintain their stance By Vincent Fean Guardian News & Media L ast week the prime minister of Israel announced yet more illegal settlements in the West Bank, cutting off Bethlehem from Jerusalem - a wholly negative act. Later in the week, the prime minister of Sweden announced that his government recognises the state of Palestine - a positive step that will help bring forward the day when genuine negotiations between the parties take place. On Monday, British MPs will vote on recognition. It is the right time to support the two-state solution by validating the second, Palestinian, state. Fifteen years ago the EU agreed the Palestinian right to self-determination. Britain and Sweden were part of that consensus. Recently, and during my years in Jerusalem, Israeli policy on a negotiated peace has been accelerating in the wrong direction. The Palestinians who practise nonviolence and security co-operation with Israel - the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, under President Abbas need encouragement to maintain their stance. They have engaged in fruitless talks on and off for 20 years, to the scorn of Hamas, while the illegal settler enterprise brought more than 600,000 Israelis into East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The illegality of settlements, the separation barrier and the demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank is incontestable. UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond вЂњdeploredвЂќ the latest Israeli move, just as he found вЂњill-judgedвЂќ IsraelвЂ™s expropriation of 1,000 acres of Palestinian land near Bethlehem two months ago. We have deplored frequently, to no avail. What to do? A one-state outcome is no solution Sweden is the 135th state of 193 in the UN to recognise Palestine, and its validation does nothing to undermine the legitimacy of Israel. It is wrong to argue that recognition precludes negotiations, or makes them harder. The past 20 years show that there must be greater equity between the parties in order for negotiations to succeed, in addition to strong US, EU and Arab engagement under UN Security Council auspices. Recognition of Palestine begins to level the ground somewhat for those essential talks. But only somewhat: physically, Israel continues to control the land, air and sea - even bandwidth, denying Palestinians access to 3G for вЂњsecurityвЂќ reasons. Bilateral recognition of Palestine by Britain - our sovereign decision - should be accompanied by a reaffirmation of UK and EU policy on the framework for agreement, starting with IsraelвЂ™s inalienable right to live in peace and security. President Obama said last month that the status quo in the Holy Land was not sustainable. He is right. It is not peace. Nor is it just. The US should guarantee the safety of both peoples with US or Nato troops during the full, phased withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestine, endorsed in a unanimous Security Council resolution. If the US elects not to go to the UN, for domestic political reasons, it is back to us, working with France and all willing EU partners, to shape the international effort to achieve peace with justice for both peoples. The Commons debate matters. The motion, by Labour MP Grahame Morris, is to recognise Palestine. That is right, and timely. An amendment tabled by both the main partiesвЂ™ Friends of Israel groups would make UK recognition contingent on successful peace talks. This is well-intentioned, but mistaken. Adopting that amendment would give Israel a veto over British policy decision to recognise another state. That is wrong in principle and practice. ItвЂ™s our call, not IsraelвЂ™s. The amendment also contradicts current UK policy: вЂњWe reserve the right to recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at a moment of our choosing and when it can best help bring about peace,вЂќ the foreign minister William Hague told the House of Commons in November 2011. Now is that moment. It would be an action which others will emulate, and would stimulate US re-engagement. We know that the US cannot do it alone, and that Britain can do things that the US cannot. Some contend that UK recognition would be a catalyst for violence. Not so. To become the 136th state to recognise Palestine is no incitement. Britain matters because of our historical role, our permanent membership of the Security Council, and our partnership with 27 EU states. We can take a decisive political step to break a political impasse for which we have a bigger share of responsibility than all the 135 put together. The recognition of Palestine would help to preserve the two-state solution which is, after all, the policy of the three main political parties. It would reward and encourage moderation in both states. It is something that is overdue. If not now, then when? Imagine the alternatives - yet more of what we have become used to, or the one-state outcome to which this Israeli governmentвЂ™s actions on the ground are leading. A one-state outcome is no solution. Without equal rights, it would mean further discrimination in what would, in effect, be an apartheid-style system and, yes, it would also mean violence but this time with no way out. In saying yes to Palestine, our parliament can say a decisive no to that disastrous scenario. zVincent Fean served as British consul-general in Jerusalem from 2010-2014 вЂњThe combination of Malala and Kailash could be an effort to tell their countries to move towards peaceвЂќ To Advertise [email protected] Display Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811 Classified Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811 Subscription [email protected] 2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved Israeli security forces firing tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators during a protest near the West Bank city of Ramallah against Israeli restrictions at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound yesterday. The Israeli government has restricted access to the Al Aqsa mosque compound to men under 50 years. Anger and confusion as Kurds battle IS militants By Arwa Damon CNN T he two women did not want to talk. Exhausted, they dumped their loads wrapped in blankets on the ground. ItвЂ™s all they could carry. Now, it is all that they have. The children gulp water, their faces coated in a layer of dirt, hair matted from days of suffering through relentless sandstorms as they waited to cross the border into Turkey. Overcome with emotion, the women break down, unable to hold back their tears any longer. That was the day after the US-led coalition airstrikes. There was still the sense among this new and massive wave of refugees that perhaps the indignity they would have to endure would be short lived. But whatever blow America and its allies intended to deliver has barely thrown ISIS off balance. We watched the surreal scenes as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now often referred to just as IS вЂ“ Islamic State) and the YPG (Kurdish PeopleвЂ™s Protection Units) вЂ“ the Kurdish п¬Ѓghting force вЂ“ traded artillery п¬Ѓre between two hilltops. The Kurds gathered on the Turkish side of the border cheering each time ISIS was hit. That elation would be short lived. As the ISIS stranglehold on Kobane tightened, the crowds watching swelled, at times trying to storm the border. On Monday morning, we watched as ISIS continued to relentlessly pound Kobane. Nearby a small crowd of men passed around their binoculars. вЂњDid you see it? Look, the ISIS п¬‚ag Kurdish people standing on a hill at the Turkish-Syrian border as smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province. is on that building.вЂќ One said. вЂњYou can also see their tank, itвЂ™s right there.вЂќ They invite us to lunch. The men are Turkish Kurds from Cizre, about a six-hour drive away, and say they came to show their solidarity with their Kurdish brethren in Syria. Sitting in the shade, sharing watermelon and white cheese, with artillery strikes echoing across the п¬Ѓeld, they repeated the question weвЂ™ve been hearing over and over for the last two weeks: Why isnвЂ™t the coalition striking? Why are they letting ISIS enter Kobane? A few hours later, ISIS had made another strategic gain, planting its п¬‚ag on a hill just outside of Kobane. вЂњWe didnвЂ™t choose this war, but we are obliged to п¬Ѓght.вЂќ Idriss Nassan, a Kurdish official inside Kobane told us. We keep asking him if heвЂ™s going to leave, and his response is always the same: No. Coupled with the anger on both sides of the border is confusion. How can the world watch and let this happen? zArwa Damon is a senior international correspondent for CNN Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 19 COMMENT Time to debeak the vultures Investors who acquire defaulted sovereign debt at huge discounts should not expect repayment in full By Joseph E Stiglitz and Martin Guzman New York I n the midst of the ongoing dispute between Argentina and the вЂњvulture fundsвЂќ that hold its bonds, a broad consensus has emerged concerning the need for sovereign-debt restructuring mechanisms (SDRMs). Otherwise, US Federal Judge Thomas P GriesaвЂ™s ruling that Argentina must pay the vultures in full (after 93% of other bondholders agreed to a restructuring) will give free rein to opportunistic behaviours that sabotage future restructurings. Most recently, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) recommended new terms for government bonds. Though the ICMAвЂ™s proposal leaves unresolved the hundreds of billions of bonds written under the old terms, the new framework says in effect that GriesaвЂ™s interpretation was wrong, and recognises that leaving it in place would make restructuring impossible. The ICMAвЂ™s proposed contractual terms clarify the pari passu clause that was at the heart of GriesaвЂ™s muddleheaded ruling. The intent of the clause вЂ“ a standard component of sovereign-bond contracts вЂ“ was always to ensure that the issuing country treated identical bondholders identically. But it has always been recognised that senior creditors вЂ“ for example, the International Monetary Fund вЂ“ are treated differently. Griesa did not seem to grasp the common understanding of the clause. After Argentina defaulted on its sovereign debt in 2001, vulture funds bought defaulted bonds in the secondary market at a fraction of their face value and then sued for full payment. According to GriesaвЂ™s interpretation of pari passu, if Argentina paid the interest that it owed to creditors that accepted the restructuring, it had to pay the vultures in full вЂ“ including all past interest and the principal. The vulturesвЂ™ business was enabled in part by litigation over the so-called champerty defence вЂ“ based on a longstanding English common-law doctrine, later adopted by US state legislatures, prohibiting the purchase of debt with the intent of bringing a lawsuit. Argentina is simply the latest victim in the vulturesвЂ™ long legal battle to change the rules of the game to permit them to prey on poor countries seeking to restructure their debts. In 1999, in Elliot Associates, LP v. Banco de la Nacion and the Republic of Peru, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the plaintiffвЂ™s intent in purchasing the discounted debt was to be paid in full or otherwise to sue. The court then ruled that ElliotвЂ™s intent, because it was contingent, did not meet the champerty requirement. Though some other courts accepted the Second CircuitвЂ™s narrow reading of the champerty defence, the vultures were not satisп¬Ѓed and went to the New York state legislature, which in 2004 effectively eliminated the defence of champerty concerning any debt purchase above $500,000. That decision contradicted understandings according to which hundreds of billions of dollars of debt had already been issued. Investors who acquire defaulted sovereign debt at huge discounts should not expect repayment in full; the discount is an indication that the market does not expect that, and it is Pedestrians walking past a man who holds up a sign that reads вЂњVanoli: Be careful! (Central Bank) reserves are not to be touchedвЂќ in front of ArgentinaвЂ™s Central Bank headquarters in Buenos Aires. Alejandro Vanoli, who served as head of ArgentinaвЂ™s market regulator Comision Nacional de Valores (CNV), was named last week as the new head of the Bank Central. only through litigation that one could hope to receive anything close to it. An important change in the legal framework, such as the elimination of the champerty defence, is de facto a change in вЂњproperty rights,вЂќ with the debtors losing, and creditors who purchase the bonds intending to sue if they are not paid what they want вЂ“ the vultures вЂ“ gaining. The vultures were thus unjustly enriched, doubly so with the novel and unjustiп¬Ѓed interpretation of the pari passu clause. Will so-called collective-action clauses (CACs) вЂ“ another aspect of the ICMA вЂњreformвЂќ aimed at debeaking the vultures вЂ“ save the day? In many countries, CACs stipulate that if, say, two-thirds of the investors accept a companyвЂ™s (or a countryвЂ™s) restructuring proposal, the other investors are bound to go along. This mechanism prevents speculative holdouts from holding up the restructuring process and demanding ransom. But CACs do not exist for sovereign debt written in many jurisdictions, leaving the п¬Ѓeld open for the vultures. Moreover, CACs are no panacea. If they were, there would be no need for domestic bankruptcy law, which spells out issues like precedence and fair treatment. But no government has found CACs adequate for resolving domestic restructuring. So why should we think that they would suffice in the much more complex world of sovereign-debt restructurings? In particular, CACs suffer from the problem of вЂњaggregation.вЂќ If a CAC required, say, 75% of the holders of each bond class, vultures could buy 26% of only one bond class and block the entire restructuring. The recent Greek debt restructuring had to confront this issue. The ICMAвЂ™s new framework seems to provide a way out: The supermajority would be deп¬Ѓned by the acceptance of the aggregate principal amount of outstanding debt securities of all of the affected series. The supermajorityвЂ™s decisions would be binding on all other investors. But this, too, poses a problem: The more junior creditors could vote to have themselves treated in the same way as more senior creditors. What recourse would the senior creditors then have? In bankruptcy court, they would have grounds for objecting, and the judge would have to weigh the equities. These issues are especially important in the context of sovereign-debt restructurings, because the claimants to a countryвЂ™s resources include not only formal creditors; others, too вЂ“ for example, pensioners вЂ“ might not be paid if bondholders are paid in full. Chapter 9 of the US Bankruptcy Code (which applies to public entities) recognises these rights вЂ“ unlike Griesa and the vultures. Today, the international community faces two challenges. One is to deal with the hundreds of billions of dollars of debt written under the old terms, which cannot be restructured under GriesaвЂ™s ruling. The second is to decide on the terms that should be imposed in the future. The investing community has made a serious proposal. But changes of this magnitude must be based on discussions among creditors and debtor governments вЂ“ and more is needed than tweaking the terms of the agreements. An initiative at the UN to encourage the establishment of SDRMs is receiving the support of prominent academic economists and practitioners. Global efforts are good п¬Ѓrst steps to remedy the damage to international п¬Ѓnancial markets that the US courts have inп¬‚icted. For the sake of a healthy global economy, the vultures must be grounded. - Project Syndicate zJoseph E Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is university professor at Columbia University. His most recent book, co-authored with Bruce Greenwald, is Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress. Martin Guzman is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Economics and Finance at Columbia University Business School. Weather report LEGAL HELPLINE Three-day forecast TODAY Workplace injuries and employerвЂ™s obligations Under Article 109, the worker who sustains a work injury shall be entitled to receive medical treatment at the cost of the employer By Nizar Kochery Doha QUESTION: I had an accident while on duty, injuring my ankle. I was rushed to the Hamad hospital where a surgery was carried out on my ankle. Thirteen screws were installed in my leg. I paid the hospital bill myself. My company never paid me during the time I was in the hospital and for four months after that. Please advice on my rights and duties of my employer. CF, Doha ANSWER: If the worker sustains a work injury while on duty, the employer shall immediately notify the police and the Labour Department of the incident. The notiп¬Ѓcation shall include the circumstance of the incident where it took place and the actions taken for aiding or curing the worker among other details. Under Article 109, the worker who sustains a work injury shall be entitled to receive medical treatment at the cost of the employer and shall receive his full wage during the treatment period or the period of six months whichever is shorter. If the treatment continues for a period exceeding six months the worker shall be paid half of his wage until his recovery or proof of his permanent disability or death whichever is nearer. Contract termination Q: I would like to terminate my employment contract. The written contract, attested by the Labour Department, mentions that termination is allowed as per Law. What does the Law say on this? I have seven years of service. What are the duties of my employer when I terminate the contract? Can I get a discharge certiп¬Ѓcate, stating my service details? PS, Doha A: An employment contract of indeп¬Ѓnite duration is terminable by any of the parties by notice and when the period of service exceed п¬Ѓve years, a notice of two months to be given. Article 57 stipulates that the employer shall, at employerвЂ™s cost, repatriate the employee. It is obligatory on the part of the employer to complete the proceedings of returning the nonQatari worker within a period not exceeding two weeks from the expiry date of the contract. Regarding experience certiп¬Ѓcate, at the desire of the employee, employer is under legal obligation to issue the same without any charges indicating the period of engagement, salary and nature of work. Payment delay to sub-contractor Q: We are sub-contractors to a project. Our main contractor is not releasing any payment, saying contract is back to back. Because of this we п¬Ѓnd it difficult in paying salaries to our staff. Can we take any action to collect money from the employer of the project? Can our workers claim from the employer? TH, Doha A: Under Article 702, a sub-contractor and workmen working for a contractor in the execution of a contract have a direct right of action against the employer but only to the extent of such sums as are due by the employer to the main contractor on the date that action is commenced. Workmen of a sub-contractor likewise have the same right of action against the main contractor and the employer to the extent of the claims in question. The rights of a sub-contractor and workmen provided have priority over those of a person to whom the main contractor has assigned sums due to him by the employer. High: 37 C Low: 27 C Hazy to Misty at first becoming relatively hot daytime and a chance of local rainy clouds maybe thundery at times at places deposit document against the receipt of the bill of exchange and the holder may receive the amount from the court under this document. If the debtor did not submit the deposit document to the holder, he shall pay the value of payment of the holder. SUNDAY High: 36 C Low : 29 C Clear MONDAY Repayment procedure Remuneration of arbitrators Q: I owe money to a fellow national, with me signing a bill of exchange. There was a delay in repaying it initially. I have enough funds now to clear the debt but the creditor is not reachable. I have no idea whether he has already п¬Ѓled any case or not. I want to leave Qatar now. How can I make the payment? RT, Doha Q: We are in a contractual dispute and arbitration is the mode of settlement in the contract. Arbitrators will be appointed mutually or by the court but no payment for arbitrators has been agreed. How will this be done? The counter party is not responding. AT, Doha A: As stipulated under Article 512 of the Commercial Law - Law No.27 of 2006, if the bill of exchange was not submitted for payment on the date of maturity, the debtor thereby may deposit its amount in the treasury of the court and the deposit shall be charged to the holder of the bill of exchange and for his liability. The court shall grant the depositor a document wherein it shall state the deposit of the amount, date of bill of exchange and date of maturity and name of the person for whose interest the bill of exchange was executed. If the holder asked the debtor for payment, the debtor shall deliver the A: File a petition to the court for appointment of the arbitrator and to get the remuneration п¬Ѓxed. Article 210 of the procedure code provides that remuneration of arbitrators shall be speciп¬Ѓed by agreement of the litigants thereof in the arbitration agreement or in a subsequent agreement, otherwise they shall be speciп¬Ѓed by the court primarily competent in hearing the dispute, in virtue of a motion of one of those concerned, in the presence of the rest of them or in their absence after being served summons to appear. The decision of the court shall be п¬Ѓnal. High: 35 C Low : 28 C Clear FishermenвЂ™s forecast OFFSHORE DOHA Wind: NE-NW 05-15/18 KT Waves: 2-4/5 Feet INSHORE DOHA Wind: NE-NW 05-15/KT Waves: 1-2/3 Feet Around the region Abu Dhabi Baghdad Dubai Kuwait City Manama Muscat Riyadh Tehran Weather today Clear M Cloudy Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Max/min 39/29 35/23 39/30 38/23 34/29 30/27 36/24 22/12 Weather tomorrow Clear M Cloudy Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Max/min 38/29 36/21 38/32 38/23 33/29 32/28 35/24 22 34/11 Weather tomorrow Clear P Cloudy T Storms Rain P Cloudy Clear C Storms C Storms Clear M Cloudy P Cloudy Clear C Rain C Storms P Cloudy Clear C Rain P Cloudy Clear Clear C Storms Clear Cloudy Max/min 26/16 27/20 32/25 16/12 29/21 22/14 30/26 34/26 31/23 19/15 36/25 41/24 18/07 32/25 16/06 35/22 17/09 19/14 31/18 24/10 33/26 27/15 25/16 zPlease send your questions by e-mail to: [email protected] LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR Article 1058 deп¬Ѓne Mortgage as a contract by which a creditor acquires, over an immovable appropriated to the payment of his debt, a real right by which he obtains preference over ordinary creditors and creditors following him in rank, for the repayment of his claim out of the price of the immovable, no matter into whose hands the immovable has passed. A mortgage can only be constituted by an official document. The costs of this official document are, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, borne by the mortgagor. The mortgagor may be the debtor himself or a third party who consents to mortgage his property in the interest of the debtor. If the mortgagor is not the owner of the mortgaged property, the contract becomes valid if ratiп¬Ѓed by the true owner of the property by an official deed. In the absence of ratiп¬Ѓcation, the mortgage is only effective from the time that the immovable becomes the property of the mortgagor. A mortgage constituted by an owner whose title to the property is subsequently annulled, abolished or ceases to exist for any other reason, remains a valid mortgage in favour of the mortgagee creditor if he has acted in good faith at the time of the conclusion of the mortgage. Generally, a mortgage can only be constituted on immovable property. The mortgaged property must be marketable and capable of being sold by public auction. It must be speciп¬Ѓcally and precisely described both as regards its nature and location, and such description must be contained either in the deed constituting the mortgage or in a subsequent authentic document, otherwise the mortgage is void. A mortgage extends to the accessories of the mortgaged property which are considered to be immovable accessories. In the absence of an agreement to the contrary and without prejudice to the privileges of sums due to contractors or architects, a mortgage includes particularly, buildings and trees that exist in the mortgaged property at the time of the mortgage or erected thereafter, servitudes and properties created by allotment, all the improvements and other constructions in the mortgaged property. According to Article 1066, the owner of constructions erected on land belonging to a third party may grant a mortgage on these constructions. In such a case, the mortgagee shall have a preferential claim for recovery of his debt on the price of the breakup value of the constructions if they are demolished, and on the compensation paid by the owner of the land if he keeps the constructions. 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 Clear P Cloudy C Storms P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear T Storms P Cloudy P Cloudy C Rain P Cloudy Clear C Showers C Storms C Rain Clear C Rain C Rain Clear Clear C Storms M Cloudy Clear Max/min 25/17 28/22 32/24 19/13 30/21 22/13 29/27 34/25 29/24 19/16 36/25 40/25 17/11 31/25 14/09 34/23 17/11 19/14 32/19 25/11 33/26 24/14 27/19 20 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 QATAR Women singers in traditional attire perform at Souq Waqif yesterday. PICTURES: Jayan Orma. Souq Waqif concludes festivities Eid-related revelries at the souq, held in collaboration with the Qatar Tourism Authority, enthralled both residents and visitors S ouq Waqif has concluded its line-up of colourful festivities yesterday with a large crowd, consisting mostly of children and their families, making the most of the last day of its Eid al-Adha celebrations. Eid-related revelries at the souq, held in collaboration with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), enthralled both residents and visitors with a variety of games, an art exhibition dubbed вЂњEid ColoursвЂќ, and entertainment programmes that showcased Qatari songs and performances. The cultural activities featured a group of female artistes, an all-male folk band, and another group of performers that entertained visitors in vari- ous parts of the area during the opening ceremony. At the northern portion of Souq Waqif near the Arab Bank roundabout, visitors and tourists were entertained by a group of performers while male Qatari singers serenaded audiences walking along Al Souq Street. Children, on the other hand, could not contain their excitement as they bounced from one inп¬‚atable playground to another, dozens of which were set up at The Village Games in front of the Gold Souq, dedicated to families. Despite the long queues, children waited for their turn to sample other activities like games, water rides, and circus attractions such as the Flying Trapeze, Russian Swing, Fire and Pyrotechnics, Illusionists, The Amazing Cycles, Wheel of Death and clown shows. A musical play of Cinderella at the Al Rayyan Theatre also continued to be a consistent crowddrawer until its last curtain call yesterday. Souq Waqif has also distributed gifts to some 25,000 children over the last six days. Aside from Souq Waqif, the QTA also concluded its Eid festivities in six other venues: City Center Doha, Lagoona Mall, Landmark Mall, The Mall, Al Khor Mall, and Hyatt Plaza. The six other malls showcased childrenвЂ™s attractions such as Adventure Time, Tannoura and Steve Kaos, DoraвЂ™s Dancing Adventures, Fritters, face-painting, Dandruff Circus Show, Football Freestyler, Arda traditional show, Mr Potato Head, Shaun the Sheep, Bubbelz and Balloonz, Noureddine Speed Painter, and Sweets for Kids. But the QTA said some Eid- related programmes will continue at Katara вЂ“ the Cultural Village until the end of October and November. Among them are the Angry Birds exhibition which will run until October 31 between 9am and 1pm from Sunday to Thursday, and between 1pm and 11pm on Friday-Saturday, and Dream on Ice which will run until November 30. SHARES BUY | Page 2 BIGGEST MARKET | Page 4 Vodafone wins $530mn tax case in India VW extends China JV by 25 years Saturday, October 11, 2014 Dhul-Hijja 17, 1435 AH JOBLESS RATE FALLS : Page 8 GULF TIMES Fed officials keep eyes on mid-2015 rate rise BUSINESS Oil price drop shouldnвЂ™t disrupt govt spending in Mideast, says IMF Reuters Washington T he drop in global oil prices should not affect the spending plans of oil-producing countries in the Middle East in the near-term given their large п¬Ѓnancial reserves, the head of the IMFвЂ™s Middle East and Central Asia Department said yesterday. The official, Masood Ahmed, told reporters that every oil producer in the region outside of the Gulf Co-operation Council and Bahrain were running п¬Ѓscal deп¬Ѓcits, and that the drop in prices would push those budget gaps even wider. However, he said their sizable п¬Ѓnancial reserves would allow those countries to continue with their spending plans in the short-term, although the price drop has raised a longer-term issue. The worldвЂ™s economic policy elite kept up pressure on the eurozone yesterday to п¬Ѓght off stagnation, with Germany under the gun to support more spending to spark growth. But Berlin continued to fend off pressure to allow a loosening of budget constraints across the struggling euro area, saying it would be вЂњfoolishвЂќ to sacriп¬Ѓce the gains made in improving government п¬Ѓnances. Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from around the world, in Washington for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, voiced strong worries that growth in the eurozone economy was stalling, on the edge of a new recession. It was seen as one of the biggest challenges confronting the global economy, along with turmoil in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the still-uncontrolled Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which has killed about 3,900 people in just a few months. And it was expected to be a key topic in Ahmed: Positive view. a low-key meeting of the п¬Ѓnance chiefs of the Group of 20 leading economies, also taking place in Washington later yesterday. вЂњThe European economy, especially the eurozone, is facing stronger headwinds than we had expected during our spring meetings,вЂќ said Poul Thomsen, head of the IMFвЂ™s European department. вЂњDomestic demand is recovering too slowly and external demand has also disappointed,вЂќ he said. вЂњAn extended period of very low inп¬‚ation... will make it much more difficult for those countries that have to reduce still-excessive public debt burdens, and households and companies to clean their balance sheets.вЂќ Saudi Arabia tells Opec it raised output in Sept despite oil slump Reuters London Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia told Opec it raised its oil production in September by 100,000 barrels per day, adding to signs it has yet to respond to a drop in prices well below $100 a barrel by trimming output. In a monthly report issued yesterday, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) said Saudi Arabia reported September production of 9.704mn barrels per day (bpd), up from 9.597mn in August. The lack of a Saudi cut could add to perceptions of traders and analysts that the kingdom is looking to defend market share, not prices. Oil in September fell below $100 a barrel, a level endorsed by Saudi Arabia, for the first time in 14 months and hit $88.11 yesterday, its lowest since 2010. OpecвЂ™s report said the more than $20-a-barrel price fall since the end of June reflected weak demand and ample supply, but it echoed the view of core Gulf Opec members in saying winter demand would revive the market. вЂњThis increased demand would lead to a higher crude intake by refineries, thus also supporting the crude oil market in the coming months,вЂќ the report from OpecвЂ™s Vienna headquarters said. Opec meets on November 27 in Vienna for what will be one of its most important meetings in years. The group has not cut output collectively since the 2008 financial crisis and so far comments from officials suggest it is no closer to any collective steps to support the market. IranвЂ™s oil minister this week, in a comment that appeared to be a reference to Saudi Arabia, said Opec would tolerate the price fall until вЂњOpec majorsвЂќ cut their output. Following those remarks, an Opec delegate said it looked unlikely Opec would agree to reduce supply in November and that it was up to the Saudis to cut. вЂњThe question should be posed to Saudi Arabia,вЂќ the delegate said. Saudi officials could not be reached this week for comment due to the Eid holiday. Saudi Arabia, supported by Kuwait and the UAE, has boosted supply informally to cover for unplanned outages in other Opec members in recent months including in Libya, which is now seeing its production recover. No sign of a significant throttling back of the extra crude and Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s decision to lower the official selling price of its oil have sparked talk of a change of tack. вЂњThe Saudis are not responding to lower prices. TheyвЂ™re defending market share,вЂќ Gary Ross, chief executive of PIRA Energy Group, who has been consulting with Opec members for decades, told Reuters on Thursday. Opec also issues production figures from secondary sources, a legacy of past Opec disagreements about countriesвЂ™ reported output figures. The sources include consultants and industry media. According to these, Saudi Arabia cut output by 50,000 bpd to 9.60mn bpd in September but overall Opec output rose to 30.47mn bpd, due to a recovery in Libya and higher exports from Iraq. Details on the amount of oil that Saudi Arabia supplied to the market, which may differ from production depending on the movement of barrels in and out of storage, in September is not yet available. The supply figure is watched by traders. In August, Saudi production fell but supply was little changed, according to figures in OpecвЂ™s report last month and industry sources in Saudi Arabia. In the report, Opec left its forecasts for global oil demand growth unchanged in 2014 and 2015. It still expects an acceleration of demand growth in 2015. In a statement to the IMF yesterday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi admitted that slowing demand was now a factor in pulling down inп¬‚ation, which now at 0.3% is seen as a clear indicator of the risk of the eurozone returning to recession. Most attention has turned to Germany, with Berlin being urged to ease its objections to greater spending on growth- and job-producing activities like infrastructure development even if it means higher debt loads for eurozone governments. Traditionally a backer of strong government budgetary discipline, even the IMF this week stressed that more borrowing and deп¬Ѓcit-spending by states aimed at strengthening growth is desirable. But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it would be вЂњfoolishвЂќ to put at risk the gains made in stabilising public п¬Ѓnances across the eurozone. вЂњAnd anyway there is not much to be achievedвЂќ in terms of strengthening longterm growth, he told journalists in Washington. But Germany appeared to allow some ground for stimulus. Jens Weidmann, the president of the Bundesbank, said that public investment вЂњcould be increasedвЂќ in Germany, though he cautioned against sacriп¬Ѓcing budget discipline. The focus on Europe underpinned worries expressed by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde that the world could sink into a вЂњnew mediocreвЂќ of tepid growth, not enough to generate jobs to lower unemployment or satisfy the needs of growing populations. She also cautioned against giving up the gains made strengthening government п¬Ѓnances since the 2008 п¬Ѓnancial crisis. вЂњAt the same time, п¬Ѓscal policy must be as growth- and jobs-friendly as possible,вЂќ she stressed. Air Berlin dealt blow as Germany rejects some Etihad codeshare flights Reuters Berlin Germany is blocking Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad from selling tickets for some flights operated by partner Air Berlin, meaning the German airline could lose out on passengers it needs to fight its way back to profit. Air Berlin, in which Etihad owns a 29% stake, said yesterday that 34 so-called codeshare flights with Etihad for its winter schedule had failed to win the approval of the German federal aviation authority (LBA), despite having been cleared in the past. The flights account for around 46,000 bookings. Etihad and Air Berlin have in the past shared codes on flights to around 60 destinations, meaning their number of shared flights will more than halve. By putting its number on the German airlineвЂ™s flights, Etihad can sell those connections to its customers and thus help loss-making Air Berlin to fill its planes. Etihad is under investigation by German authorities over whether it exercises too much control over Air Berlin. For Air Berlin to maintain its European operating licence, it must be majority controlled by European investors. The LBA checks codeshare deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. A spokesman for the transport ministry said the 34 codeshare requests were rejected based on the traffic rights agreement that exists between the Germany and the UAE. Under that agreement, UAEbased airlines may operate flights and codeshare services to four airports in Germany вЂ” Frankfurt, Duesseldorf, Munich and Hamburg вЂ” and they may operate codeshare services from those four airports to Berlin, Stuttgart and Nuremburg. The two airlines have shared flight codes since 2012. Air Berlin said it could not understand the decision because the LBA had approved all six previous schedule proposals involving the codeshares. вЂњThis decision does not reflect our legal position and will shake the trust of passengers in these flight connections, which have been available for a long time,вЂќ Air Berlin chief executive Wolfgang ProckSchauer said in a statement. Air Berlin made its first annual net profit in five years in 2012, but only after Etihad bought a majority stake in its frequent flyer programme. Etisalat eyes debut sukuk: bankers Abu Dhabi-based telecoms firm Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) is planning its first ever sukuk issuance in a follow-up to its debut conventional bond earlier this year, bankers told IFR. The firm, rated Aa3/AA-/A+, is in talks with banks for the potential Islamic bond issuance, proceeds of which are set to go towards infrastructural improvements of its telecommunications network. The company will have the documents ready in the coming weeks, but the deal is more likely to be launched in early 2015, added the bankers. The initial indications are that the company will not raise much more than US$500mn from the trade, said one Dubai-based debt capital markets banker. вЂњIt is going to be a small deal, probably around benchmark. Certainly nothing like the last trade,вЂќ he said. The telecoms firm completed a $4.25bn-equivalent dual-currency four-tranche deal in June, a trade that was launched to support the acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom. Fast-growing E Timor creates specialised investment agency By Arno Maierbrugger Gulf Times Correspondent Bangkok E ast Timor, the small Southeast Asian country that became independent from Indonesia in 2002, is seeking to attract global investors to push growth and diversify its economy away from the dominating oil and gas sector. A specialised agency called вЂњInvest Timor-LesteвЂќ is currently in the setup process after it received approval from the government in September this year. The agency will be responsible for issuing investor certiп¬Ѓcates and will process foreign investments in the country, a government statement said. So far, East Timor has been far off the radar of international investors, with a few exceptions. Its economy is widely dependent on income from oil and gas production from a п¬Ѓeld off the southern coast which it shares with Australia. Revenue from the proceeds of oil and gas make up 90% of the countryвЂ™s budget and around 60% of exports, which has triggered the International Monetary Fund to label East Timor as the вЂњmost oil-dependent economy in the worldвЂќ. The current government is eager to change this and wants foreign investors to look into opportunities in the agricultural, infrastructure, construction and energy sectors. East Timor is in dire need for infrastructure investments, while it boasts sizeable natural resources such as coffee, wood and marble. Another sector cited by the government for private investments is solar energy. Recently, large bamboo plantations have been set up in some provinces, and steps have been undertaken to provide solar energy to the rural population using a microп¬Ѓnance scheme. The government also encourages foreign investment in the textile and furniture industry, as well as mining and telecommunication, while п¬Ѓshing and ecotourism are also seen to have potential. What could entice foreign investors to look at East Timor is the fact that its economy grew an averaged 10% since 2007 due to the countryвЂ™s political stabilisation, albeit from a low level. On the other hand, around 40% of the population lives below the poverty line and a dismal education system still leaves half of its people illiterate despite the countryвЂ™s sovereign wealth fund, the Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund, has reached a value of $16.6bn by 2014. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been growing steadily over the past years, with Indonesia, Australia, the US, Singapore and China topping the list. However, the overall value is still low, with the entire current FDI stock being estimated at $240mn. It is little known that вЂ” with regards to Middle East investors вЂ” Kuwait was one of the п¬Ѓrst countries investing in East Timor. Relations between the two nations reach back as early as 2006 when Kuwait agreed on infrastructure investments in East Timor, also funded a water desalination plant and provided humanitarian aid. Main obstacles for large-scale investments in East Timor remain limited availability of skilled labour, an underdeveloped legal framework for investors and poor infrastructure. However, the investment environment could improve once the country joins the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a target East Timor pursues since 2011 when it ofп¬Ѓcially applied for membership. Despite initial opposition, the request is now supported by all ten Asean nations and a membership could come true вЂ” in an optimistic scenario вЂ” as early as in 2015. 2 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 BUSINESS China and EU aim to reslove telecom dispute Reuters Berlin C hina and the European Union aim to end a longrunning telecoms row next week, the EUвЂ™s trade chief said yesterday, potentially easing tensions between two of the worldвЂ™s top trading powers. Reuters reported exclusively this week that Europe was close to a deal with Beijing on defusing the issue of what Brussels says are illegal subsidies to Chinese makers of equipment for mobile telecom networks. De Gucht conп¬Ѓrmed the progress, telling reporters at an event in Berlin: вЂњWe are conп¬Ѓdent that the subsidy proceedings against the network providers can be resolved next week.вЂќ He gave no details but the EU and China are understood to have prepared the draft of a deal ahead of a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and senior EU officials at a summit in Milan on October 16-17. According to a Europen Union document, the Commission says the swift rise of Chinese manufacturer Huawei in the EU telecoms equipment market to a 25% market share from 2.5% in 2006, could only have been achieved with state aid that global trade rules say are illegal Imports of such telecoms equipment into the EU are worth an annual в‚¬1bn ($1.3bn) and bring Chinese companies into competition with European companies including Ericsson, the worldвЂ™s biggest mobile telecom equipment maker, Nokia Siemens Networks and AlcatelLucent. According to an EU document seen by Reuters, the Commission says the swift rise of Chinese manufacturer Huawei in the European telecoms equipment market to a 25% market share from 2.5% in 2006, could only have been achieved with state aid that global trade rules say are illegal. Beijing is considering a deal in which China promises to limit its export credits to Huawei, ChinaвЂ™s No. 2 telecoms equipment maker, and smaller ZTE, people close to the talks told Reuters. Both sides would also agree to monitor the market share of Chinese telecoms companies in Europe and European companies in China. They would also cooperate on industrial research and standardisation in the telecoms sector. Resolving the telecoms issue could dramatically change the tone of the bilateral relationship. Europe is ChinaвЂ™s most important trading partner and for the EU, China is second only to the US. A successful telecoms agreement could pave the way for a wider free-trade accord. Vodafone wins $530mn tax case over outsourcing arm IANS Mumbai B ritain-based global telecom major Vodafone got a major verdict in its favour, with the Mumbai High Court ruling yesterday that it need not pay the tax claim of Rs32,000mn ($530mn) slapped on it for buying shares in its Indian arm. The case pertains to VodafoneвЂ™s outsourcing arm in Pune issuing shares to its parent. The IT Department had demanded the amount from VodafoneвЂ™s outsourcing unit, with taxes plus interest, which the company had challenged. The authorities said the funds were infused by the parent company into its Indian arm at a discounted share premium. Accordingly, the authorities said, this transaction had resulted in Vodafone paying a much lesser amount to get more shares in its Indian arm, which they said was subject to taxes under what is called transfer pricing. вЂњWe feel that there is no taxable income on the share premium received on the issue of the shares,вЂќ a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha ruled. вЂњVodafone has maintained consistently throughout the legal proceedings that this transaction was not taxable. We welcome the decision yesterday in the Mumbai High Court,вЂќ the company said in a statement. The verdict could prove to be a major setback to the Income Tax Department (ITD), which is expected to challenge the high court ruling in the Supreme Court. On the п¬‚ip side, it spells hope for at least 20 other companies involved in similar tax disputes. вЂњAny share premium that is received on issue of shares is never taxable,вЂќ said Harish Salve, senior counsel for Vodafone, adding that such a demand was an untenable attempt by Indian authorities to tax hypothetical, non-existent income. Vodafone is involved in another tax dispute with the Indian authorities. This pertains to VodafoneвЂ™s $11.2bn deal with Hong Kong-based Hutchison in 2007, on which the government has slapped a capital gains tax with retrospective effect. The amount claimed is around $1.8bn. This matter is sub-judice. In fact, the Supreme Court in Britain-based global telecom major Vodafone got a major verdict in its favour, with the Mumbai High Court ruling yesterday that it need not pay the tax claim of $530mn slapped on it for buying shares in its Indian arm. 2012 had ruled in favour of Vodafone, holding that such a deal was not taxable in India. But to counter this, the government amended the law with retrospective effect to bring such transactions under S ome key regulators involved in setting up a landmark stock trading link between Hong Kong and China have told market participants they expect the scheme to be free of any capital gains tax, people with knowledge of the discussions said. However, it is not yet clear if a п¬Ѓnal decision has been made, these sources said. The trading link, hailed as a milestone to open up China to global investors, is expected to start on October 27, Reuters has reported. Hong Kong does not impose capital gains tax. However, China applies a 10% capital gains tax on foreign institutional investors who trade Chinese shares. вЂњWe have had a lot of verbal reassurances that there wonвЂ™t be a tax, but nothing official,вЂќ said a senior executive who attended a meeting with senior officials of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the to allay the fears of the global investing community on this saying the government will not raise any fresh tax claims on them with retrospective effect. America Inc to bolster US-India trade ties IANS New Delhi/Washington T Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama shake hands after briefing the media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington recently. The US-India Business Council members have committed to making $41bn investment in India. No capital gains tax on HK, Shanghai stock scheme Reuters Hong Kong the capital gains tax net. This has been a major sour point with global investors. Both Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought main Chinese regulator of the scheme. вЂњThe uncertainty is causing concern.вЂќ CSRC officials said privately at an investor meeting in Beijing two weeks ago and at a similar gathering in Shenzhen last month that China would not levy the tax on proп¬Ѓts made from trading Chinese stocks through the scheme, individuals with knowledge of the meetings said. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission said in a separate meeting that the scheme would not be subject to ChinaвЂ™s capital gains tax, another person said. The п¬Ѓnal decision does not rest solely with the CSRC because several other state agencies are involved, the sources said. The process for coming to a п¬Ѓnal decision is not clear. The CSRC is worried that a capital gains tax would reduce potential trading volumes in the scheme. It is at odds with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, which favours a tax, one source said. The State Administration of Taxation is also involved in the talks, another source said. Its position is not clear. Officials at the Chinese government agencies did not respond to requests for comment. The Hong Kong regulator declined to comment. The sources declined to be identiп¬Ѓed because the matter is conп¬Ѓdential. Unveiled in April, the ShanghaiHong Kong stock connect scheme allows international investors to trade Shanghai-listed shares via the Hong Kong stock exchange. It will also allow mainland investors to trade Hong Kong listed shares via the Shanghai Stock Exchange, subject to quotas both ways. Although ChinaвЂ™s 10% capital gains tax is relatively low compared with other major п¬Ѓnancial centres, the complexity of the stock connect scheme will make collecting any tax tricky. The current rules of the scheme imply any tax would have to be collected by foreign brokers, the sources said. They say calculating a clientвЂ™s tax liability though will be practically impossible because institutional investors typically channel their investments through many brokers. he US-India Business Council (USIBC) has reaffirmed its faith and hope in the future of the US-India trade relationship with its members committed to making $41bn investment in India. вЂњThereвЂ™s never been a better nor a more vital time for the US and India to work together than right now. Let us seize a deп¬Ѓning moment in a deп¬Ѓning partnership,вЂќ USIBC chairman Ajay Banga said at its 39th Anniversary Leadership Summit in Washington on Thursday. вЂњThe admiration for India is today being matched by a renewed optimism about India in the US and around the world,вЂќ said Banga, who is also President and CEO of MasterCard, to a packed house in the Hall of Flags at the US Chamber of Commerce. The premier trade advocacy organisation comprised of 310 of the top-tier US and Indian companies hosted the summit in the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s historic visit to the US. Entitled вЂњA New Chapter: Fast Tracking Growth,вЂќ it brought together industry and government leaders from both India and the US. In his opening address Indian ambassador to the US, S Jaishankar, thanked Modi for generating so much enthusiasm about US and India during his recent visit. US Trade Representative Michael Froman, in a closing keynote, spoke about helping India become вЂњa key part of global supply chainsвЂќ in manufacturing and other arenas. вЂњOne of the great strengths of this relationship is that you do have very active business communities in both places,вЂќ working to strengthen economic ties, he said. Noting that вЂњour leaders hope that our bilateral trade will grow п¬Ѓve-fold,вЂќ US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said it will take вЂњtough workвЂќ and a willingness to вЂњget down to speciп¬Ѓcs, thatвЂ™s how you make progress.вЂќ The event also featured special remarks by Under Secretary of Defence Frank Kendall on the US-India Defence Trade & Technology Initiative and a second closing keynote by State Bank of India Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya. Also during the Summit, USIBC presented its prestigious Global Leadership Awards to Steven A Kandarian, CEO, MetLife Inc and to Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman Aditya Birla Group for their companiesвЂ™ outstanding contributions to the USIndia growth story. USIBC Acting President Diane Farrell hoped that in a few yearsвЂ™ time people will say that India and US are not only the worldвЂ™s oldest and largest democracies, but вЂњalso the worldвЂ™s strongest partners in trade where they celebrate democracy.вЂќ The USIBC will participate in the India-US Technology Summit in New Dehli next month as also lead a CEOs Mission to participate in Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandhinagar next January. Beijing plans fund to help recycled lead producers Reuters Hong Kong China is considering setting up a fund to subsidise some refined lead makers that use recycled lead-acid batteries to produce the metal, three industry sources said. Beijing hopes that by offering subsidies to larger, wellequipped processors it can reduce environmental damage caused by recycling the toxic metal at smaller firms. ChinaвЂ™s government this year launched a вЂњwar against pollutionвЂќ, trying to reverse the damage of decades of untrammelled economic growth. Chinese authorities including the finance and industrial ministries as well as the National Development and Reform Commission are seeking views from industry bodies on a possible fund, the sources said. The country is the worldвЂ™s top producer and consumer of lead, with recycling accounting for nearly 30% of its refined output in 2013. The fund would be mostly financed by a new fee paid by makers of lead-acid batteries, commonly used in electric bicycles and vehicles. One of the sources, Zhang Weiqian, an analyst at statebacked research firm Antaike said the subsidies would likely be given to large recycled lead producers currently not running at full capacity due to high prices for used lead-acid batteries. A senior executive at a large leadacid battery manufacturer in the southern province of Guangdong said the government was highly likely to set up the fund. He did not want to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. The China Battery Industry Association wants the government to give more information about how other countries handle used lead-acid batteries and how the fund would work, said Cao Guoqing, vice general secretary of the industry body. It was unclear when any fund would start. Many refined lead producers have been hit as growth in demand for electric bicycles eases as the economy slows, said trading sources and Zhang at Antaike. вЂњDemand (for lead) is going through something of a winter at the moment. Appetite from electric bicycle producers is very bad,вЂќ said a manager at a large lead producer. He added that weak demand was forcing some lead plants to close. Chinese production of electric bicycles may start falling in 2015 after rising rapidly in the past few years, said Zhang at Antaike. Official data showed medium to large factories produced 12.27mn electric bicycles in the first half of 2014, down 1.5% from a year earlier. About 181mn electric bicycles are estimated in China, according to a report on the China Bicycle Association website. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 3 BUSINESS DJIA WORLD INDICES Company Name Exxon Mobil Corp Microsoft Corp Johnson & Johnson Wal-Mart Stores Inc General Electric Co Procter & Gamble Co/The Jpmorgan Chase & Co Chevron Corp Verizon Communications Inc Coca-Cola Co/The Intl Business Machines Corp Pfizer Inc At&T Inc Merck & Co. Inc. Intel Corp Walt Disney Co/The Visa Inc-Class A Shares Home Depot Inc Cisco Systems Inc United Technologies Corp McdonaldвЂ™s Corp American Express Co 3M Co Boeing Co/The Unitedhealth Group Inc Goldman Sachs Group Inc Nike Inc -Cl B Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours Caterpillar Inc Travelers Cos Inc/The Lt Price 91.70 45.20 102.06 78.61 24.31 84.89 59.13 113.60 49.18 44.66 186.59 29.19 34.40 59.67 32.23 86.43 207.32 92.98 23.62 100.02 92.85 85.65 136.93 121.93 86.34 181.55 87.30 67.21 92.80 94.51 % Chg -0.13 -1.42 -0.02 0.96 -1.90 1.47 0.08 -0.79 0.50 1.80 0.09 0.70 -0.75 0.78 -4.15 0.84 -0.19 -0.10 -2.36 0.08 0.14 -0.28 -1.23 -0.68 1.65 0.15 0.08 -0.15 -0.75 0.66 7,196,065 14,676,228 4,384,285 4,042,112 21,328,004 4,946,824 7,278,393 3,926,560 7,890,944 10,571,486 1,793,683 9,816,007 14,878,775 4,073,060 46,672,230 4,570,371 978,720 2,726,609 21,164,674 2,762,704 2,033,906 1,616,851 2,021,430 1,579,060 1,552,783 1,225,928 1,407,974 3,215,314 2,669,350 778,410 FTSE 100 Company Name Wpp Plc Wolseley Plc Wm Morrison Supermarkets Whitbread Plc Weir Group Plc/The Vodafone Group Plc United Utilities Group Plc Unilever Plc Tullow Oil Plc Tui Travel Plc Travis Perkins Plc Tesco Plc Standard Life Plc Standard Chartered Plc St JamesвЂ™s Place Plc Sse Plc Sports Direct International Smiths Group Plc Smith & Nephew Plc Shire Plc Severn Trent Plc Schroders Plc Sainsbury (J) Plc Sage Group Plc/The Sabmiller Plc Rsa Insurance Group Plc Royal Mail Plc Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs Royal Bank Of Scotland Group Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc Rio Tinto Plc Reed Elsevier Plc Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc Randgold Resources Ltd Prudential Plc Petrofac Ltd Persimmon Plc Pearson Plc Old Mutual Plc Next Plc National Grid Plc Mondi Plc Meggitt Plc Marks & Spencer Group Plc London Stock Exchange Group Lloyds Banking Group Plc Legal & General Group Plc Land Securities Group Plc Kingfisher Plc Johnson Matthey Plc Itv Plc Intu Properties Plc Intl Consolidated Airline-Di Intertek Group Plc Intercontinental Hotels Grou Imperial Tobacco Group Plc Imi Plc Hsbc Holdings Plc Hargreaves Lansdown Plc Hammerson Plc Glencore Plc Glaxosmithkline Plc Gkn Plc G4s Plc Friends Life Group Ltd Fresnillo Plc Experian Plc Easyjet Plc Dixons Carphone Plc Direct Line Insurance Group Diageo Plc Crh Plc Compass Group Plc Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-Cdi Centrica Plc Carnival Plc Capita Plc Burberry Group Plc Bunzl Plc Bt Group Plc British Sky Broadcasting Gro British Land Co Plc British American Tobacco Plc Bp Plc Bhp Billiton Plc Bg Group Plc Barclays Plc Bae Systems Plc Babcock Intl Group Plc Aviva Plc Astrazeneca Plc Associated British Foods Plc Ashtead Group Plc Arm Holdings Plc Antofagasta Plc Anglo American Plc Aggreko Plc Admiral Group Plc Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc 3I Group Plc #N/A Invalid Security Lt Price 1,149.00 3,125.00 154.40 3,958.00 2,206.00 193.90 791.50 2,509.00 526.00 343.80 1,610.00 185.25 385.50 1,098.00 673.00 1,494.00 577.00 1,200.00 991.00 5,215.00 1,887.00 2,200.00 228.80 350.10 3,290.00 465.00 398.50 2,258.00 2,191.00 357.00 929.50 2,965.00 963.50 5,130.00 4,197.00 1,359.50 974.00 1,291.00 1,155.00 170.80 6,440.00 870.50 956.50 428.30 387.10 1,814.00 74.68 220.30 1,029.00 291.50 2,743.00 195.90 316.20 325.40 2,497.00 2,195.00 2,613.00 1,142.00 620.30 884.00 559.00 312.25 1,375.00 286.50 255.50 298.30 749.00 937.00 1,348.00 362.40 276.00 1,729.50 1,290.00 948.50 1,308.00 293.40 2,207.00 1,135.00 1,477.00 1,567.00 369.50 886.50 680.00 3,427.00 428.15 1,613.50 1,025.00 223.90 444.70 1,048.00 490.50 4,300.00 2,488.00 912.00 842.50 661.50 1,325.50 1,454.00 1,255.00 396.00 357.40 0.00 % Chg -1.29 -0.26 -3.32 -0.85 -4.09 -1.75 -1.68 -1.26 -7.88 -3.67 0.25 -0.78 -1.15 -0.23 -2.04 -1.52 -2.12 -1.64 -1.00 -2.71 -0.53 -1.52 -0.61 -0.31 -0.23 0.43 -0.85 -2.67 -2.43 -0.39 -1.33 -2.88 -0.26 -1.63 -2.35 -2.26 -2.45 1.18 -1.53 -2.84 -0.54 -0.63 0.05 -1.59 -1.78 -0.44 -0.78 -1.30 0.10 -1.79 -0.80 -2.10 -0.19 -2.28 -0.99 -0.14 -2.02 -2.89 -0.88 -4.17 0.45 -2.95 -1.43 -0.97 -0.23 -1.81 -2.73 0.00 0.52 -1.25 -0.79 -1.26 -2.49 -0.78 -0.83 -2.98 -2.69 -1.39 -1.01 -0.25 0.14 -0.67 0.29 -1.54 -1.61 -3.12 -2.47 -0.91 0.41 -1.13 -1.76 2.14 -2.55 -2.88 -3.44 -3.57 -2.25 -1.36 -0.32 0.69 -0.06 0.00 Volume 4,810,749 1,248,641 13,702,039 551,790 1,202,286 79,572,574 2,323,612 3,318,715 7,290,980 11,542,434 968,925 40,783,135 6,083,470 5,399,691 1,703,320 3,050,304 1,775,720 1,100,820 2,190,885 1,455,446 744,777 430,257 13,035,179 2,839,420 3,054,558 4,486,864 3,726,790 5,003,605 5,649,474 9,686,997 5,180,020 5,690,871 3,983,424 1,268,232 619,444 4,070,158 2,572,923 1,752,373 2,725,257 13,085,409 499,642 7,204,793 1,731,739 3,295,362 6,718,061 513,434 141,326,794 13,259,423 2,460,275 6,886,663 610,174 20,947,667 1,488,569 13,430,053 503,386 1,023,091 2,244,229 1,629,501 38,951,931 2,270,192 2,814,968 62,173,555 10,271,808 7,442,863 4,365,896 3,784,327 2,245,565 2,675,488 2,727,025 4,211,700 6,794,769 4,220,691 2,608,222 3,684,738 371,201 17,120,551 1,272,785 2,205,167 1,679,857 581,039 19,228,261 3,783,740 3,071,859 2,850,586 34,685,971 10,642,257 6,832,342 38,199,252 6,601,496 1,675,022 13,228,831 5,362,719 1,126,608 4,549,725 7,327,706 4,097,567 12,241,484 909,557 1,157,042 4,922,485 2,097,189 - TOKYO Company Name Inpex Corp Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd Sekisui House Ltd Kirin Holdings Co Ltd Japan Tobacco Inc Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd Toray Industries Inc Asahi Kasei Corp Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Kao Corp Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd Astellas Pharma Inc Eisai Co Ltd Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd Fujifilm Holdings Corp Shiseido Co Ltd Jx Holdings Inc Lt Price 1,343.50 1,921.00 1,267.00 1,397.00 3,493.50 4,058.00 695.00 892.10 358.00 6,704.00 511.30 4,160.50 4,586.50 1,601.00 4,240.00 1,639.50 3,315.50 1,788.50 481.30 % Chg -4.88 -0.18 1.32 -0.85 -2.07 -1.64 -0.95 -0.66 -1.38 -2.74 -1.65 -0.60 -0.47 -0.71 -1.05 -0.91 -2.23 0.45 -1.37 Indices Volume Volume 9,096,600 3,412,800 6,587,900 4,614,700 4,398,300 3,935,900 7,023,000 6,215,000 14,602,000 2,110,600 5,350,000 2,358,500 3,044,900 10,025,600 1,994,900 3,423,500 7,720,400 3,865,300 10,722,400 Lt Price Change Dow Jones Indus. Avg S&P 500 Index Nasdaq Composite Index S&P/Tsx Composite Index Mexico Bolsa Index Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx Ftse 100 Index Cac 40 Index Dax Index Ibex 35 Tr 16,674.28 1,920.56 4,335.38 14,253.39 43,619.53 56,051.71 6,339.97 4,073.71 8,788.81 10,150.50 +15.03 -7.65 -42.95 -207.21 -462.64 -1,215.82 -91.88 -67.74 -216.21 -123.20 Nikkei 225 Japan Topix Hang Seng Index All Ordinaries Indx Nzx All Index Bse Sensex 30 Index Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index Straits Times Index Karachi All Share Index Jakarta Composite Index 15,300.55 1,243.09 23,088.54 5,185.73 1,056.73 26,297.38 7,859.95 3,223.87 22,080.38 4,962.96 -178.38 -17.69 -445.99 -107.61 -7.10 -339.90 -100.60 -35.38 +149.46 -30.92 TOKYO Company Name Bridgestone Corp Asahi Glass Co Ltd Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Meta Sumitomo Metal Industries Kobe Steel Ltd Jfe Holdings Inc Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd Sumitomo Electric Industries Smc Corp Komatsu Ltd Kubota Corp Daikin Industries Ltd Hitachi Ltd Toshiba Corp Mitsubishi Electric Corp Nidec Corp Nec Corp Fujitsu Ltd Panasonic Corp Sharp Corp Sony Corp Tdk Corp Keyence Corp Denso Corp Fanuc Corp Rohm Co Ltd Kyocera Corp Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd Nitto Denko Corp Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nissan Motor Co Ltd Toyota Motor Corp Honda Motor Co Ltd Suzuki Motor Corp Nikon Corp Hoya Corp Canon Inc Ricoh Co Ltd Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd Nintendo Co Ltd Itochu Corp Marubeni Corp Mitsui & Co Ltd Tokyo Electron Ltd Sumitomo Corp Mitsubishi Corp Aeon Co Ltd Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro Resona Holdings Inc Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdin Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/The Mizuho Financial Group Inc Orix Corp Daiwa Securities Group Inc Nomura Holdings Inc Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdin Ms&Ad Insurance Group Holdin Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Tokio Marine Holdings Inc T&D Holdings Inc Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd Sumitomo Realty & Developmen East Japan Railway Co West Japan Railway Co Central Japan Railway Co Ana Holdings Inc Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Kddi Corp Ntt Docomo Inc Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc Chubu Electric Power Co Inc Kansai Electric Power Co Inc Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc Tokyo Gas Co Ltd Secom Co Ltd Yamada Denki Co Ltd Fast Retailing Co Ltd Softbank Corp Lt Price 3,451.00 551.30 260.00 0.00 162.00 2,015.50 1,432.00 1,471.00 27,680.00 2,369.00 1,524.00 6,304.00 781.20 456.00 1,289.00 6,787.00 346.00 675.30 1,213.00 286.00 1,882.00 5,630.00 45,170.00 4,710.00 18,175.00 6,050.00 4,709.50 11,265.00 5,615.00 638.70 982.70 6,220.00 3,473.00 3,191.00 1,491.50 3,372.50 3,379.00 1,113.50 1,020.00 11,185.00 1,223.50 690.40 1,597.50 6,758.00 1,136.00 2,068.50 1,093.50 589.40 590.80 425.60 4,120.00 570.30 189.30 1,390.00 793.70 615.00 2,470.50 2,233.00 1,484.50 3,279.00 1,277.00 3,041.50 2,235.00 3,625.00 8,075.00 4,945.50 14,235.00 242.90 6,312.00 6,456.00 1,718.50 354.00 1,216.50 945.00 1,151.00 1,060.00 586.40 6,232.00 335.00 37,890.00 7,100.00 % Chg -1.43 -1.31 -2.03 0.00 -2.41 -1.20 -3.05 -1.61 -3.18 -1.48 -1.10 -0.43 -1.29 -1.87 -2.72 -1.31 -3.35 -0.01 -2.53 0.00 -0.03 -1.57 -1.85 -2.45 -2.63 -3.20 -2.35 -1.66 -1.56 -1.63 -1.58 -0.32 -1.49 -1.02 -0.13 -2.03 -1.20 -1.02 -2.39 -1.24 -1.85 -1.13 -1.48 -2.06 -0.18 -1.10 0.51 -2.03 -1.40 -1.64 -2.98 -1.54 -1.92 -1.45 -1.60 -0.42 -1.71 -1.15 -2.21 -0.79 -3.66 -1.09 -0.47 1.23 -0.12 0.81 -1.08 -0.82 -1.61 -1.42 0.06 -1.67 -2.64 -1.68 -0.69 -1.21 -0.53 -0.35 -0.59 1.70 -1.84 Volume 4,094,800 5,915,000 49,194,000 50,357,000 3,381,200 4,824,000 3,538,600 347,800 7,103,800 5,951,000 2,378,600 23,816,000 31,044,000 12,220,000 1,702,000 23,249,000 14,857,000 10,300,500 24,133,000 9,638,800 1,801,400 161,100 2,755,000 2,288,600 1,229,000 3,636,400 1,120,900 2,053,000 21,457,000 20,624,300 10,640,400 6,196,800 3,411,200 4,876,700 1,743,800 7,245,400 5,202,300 3,232,000 518,700 13,238,600 14,398,400 13,344,700 1,477,300 10,785,600 8,591,400 6,555,700 62,870,700 14,334,000 24,286,000 11,941,700 4,750,000 195,771,000 8,788,600 13,241,000 29,640,900 1,457,400 2,021,600 5,921,500 4,610,400 4,970,400 5,917,000 8,150,000 4,811,000 1,634,900 1,361,900 445,500 22,609,000 3,238,800 4,844,000 7,257,200 7,818,300 2,634,600 2,174,400 1,511,400 2,329,600 10,208,000 1,576,700 26,781,800 1,687,300 14,714,900 SENSEX Company Name Zee Entertainment Enterprise Wipro Ltd Ultratech Cement Ltd Tech Mahindra Ltd Tata Steel Ltd Tata Power Co Ltd Tata Motors Ltd Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd Sun Pharmaceutical Indus State Bank Of India Sesa Sterlite Ltd Reliance Industries Ltd Punjab National Bank Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd Ntpc Ltd Nmdc Ltd Maruti Suzuki India Ltd Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd Lupin Ltd Larsen & Toubro Ltd Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd Jindal Steel & Power Ltd Itc Ltd Infosys Ltd Indusind Bank Ltd Idfc Ltd Icici Bank Ltd Housing Development Finance Hindustan Unilever Ltd Hindalco Industries Ltd Hero Motocorp Ltd Hdfc Bank Limited Hcl Technologies Ltd Grasim Industries Ltd Gail India Ltd Dr. ReddyвЂ™s Laboratories Dlf Ltd Coal India Ltd Cipla Ltd Cairn India Ltd Bharti Airtel Ltd Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd Bharat Heavy Electricals Bank Of Baroda Bajaj Auto Ltd Axis Bank Ltd Asian Paints Ltd Ambuja Cements Ltd Acc Ltd Lt Price 318.90 584.70 2,481.35 2,339.05 448.05 82.80 492.70 2,678.50 821.35 2,451.20 249.75 960.65 899.90 136.05 404.20 141.25 152.00 2,966.20 1,317.40 1,328.05 1,461.70 1,002.90 155.90 353.10 3,888.65 623.25 139.95 1,458.95 1,006.40 720.35 150.15 2,841.00 867.30 1,737.50 3,424.30 444.00 2,998.85 152.65 335.25 592.40 285.80 392.30 670.25 221.60 859.10 2,353.65 379.20 663.25 211.45 1,403.30 % Chg -1.85 -0.43 -3.48 0.11 -4.17 -2.01 -5.36 -1.02 0.81 -1.14 -4.62 0.63 -0.55 -1.45 -1.76 -1.15 -5.35 -1.33 -3.64 -0.77 -1.69 -1.99 -5.91 -3.39 6.63 -0.46 -0.57 -1.98 -3.48 -2.54 -4.88 0.78 -2.29 2.48 -2.07 -0.63 0.41 -0.13 -2.36 0.12 -4.27 -3.12 -0.22 1.16 -1.38 -0.94 -2.12 1.24 -2.02 -1.80 Volume 1,248,625 4,364,212 280,771 1,225,755 6,080,274 4,857,821 8,096,778 1,329,146 1,826,394 1,444,544 8,094,981 3,961,593 1,150,632 6,644,756 2,819,866 6,256,465 2,813,452 272,778 657,997 498,657 1,825,709 809,528 7,413,669 3,733,416 6,383,662 766,817 5,537,270 1,741,678 1,424,833 548,041 10,847,800 511,546 1,146,161 1,088,942 50,666 1,485,143 338,398 13,506,658 2,641,288 2,518,296 3,134,422 2,783,527 1,415,865 13,396,736 917,684 154,370 3,102,031 1,695,505 1,576,255 345,769 Traders working at their desks at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange yesterday. The DAX index tumbled 2.4% to close at 8,788.81 points yesterday. Growth gloom knocks Euro stocks back a year AFP London H eightened anxiety that the eurozone could slump into another recession sent European equities reeling yesterday to levels unseen for a year. LondonвЂ™s benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 1.43% to 6,339.97 points and FrankfurtвЂ™s DAX index tumbled 2.4% to 8,788.81 points to close at year lows. Meanwhile in Paris the CAC 40 shed 1.64% to 4,073.71 points, its lowest level in 2014. Madrid lost 1.20% and Milan fell 0.94%. The euro dropped to $1.2630 from $1.2691 late on Thursday in New York, while global oil prices came under further pressure from weakening demand growth for crude against a backdrop of a solid supply situation. вЂњIt now looks as though investors are nervous about a confluence of factors ranging from worries of a global economic slowdown, an economic crisis with German economic data especially poor, deflation, an unwillingness on the part of German policymakers to adopt fiscal reflation, the impact of Ebola and lurking geopolitical risks,вЂќ said Neil MacKinnon, economist at VTB Capital financial group. US stocks moved even lower yesterday as the negative sentiment from ThursdayвЂ™s rout carried over, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipping 0.08% to 16,646.21 points in midday trading. The broad-based S&P 500 eased 0.25% to 1,923.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.21% to 4,325.55. In the currency markets, the dollar continued its climb against the euro. It had paused this week on signs the US Federal Reserve was worried about the greenbackвЂ™s 10% gain over the past п¬Ѓve months, which could yet hurt the US recovery and thereby hold back a rise in interest rates. вЂњJust when the dollar looked as if it HONG KONG HONG KONG Company Name Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-H Bank Of East Asia Bank Of China Ltd-H Bank Of Communications Co-H Belle International Holdings Boc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd Cathay Pacific Airways Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd China Coal Energy Co-H China Construction Bank-H China Life Insurance Co-H China Merchants Hldgs Intl China Mobile Ltd China Overseas Land & Invest China Petroleum & Chemical-H China Resources Enterprise China Resources Land Ltd China Resources Power Holdin China Shenhua Energy Co-H China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd Citic Ltd Clp Holdings Ltd Cnooc Ltd Cosco Pacific Ltd Esprit Holdings Ltd Fih Mobile Ltd Hang Lung Properties Ltd Hang Seng Bank Ltd Henderson Land Development was going to roll-over for a breather, better than expected claims data came along, together with further pledges from ECB President Draghi to expand stimulus measures should conditions warrant,вЂќ said Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro. News on Thursday that US jobless claims have fallen to an 8-year low helped reassure investors on the strength of the US recovery, and DraghiвЂ™s comments reinforced the belief that the ECB will be expanding its easy money policies. вЂњThe weaker euro versus the US dollar in combination with bigger percentage falls in European indices has seen the п¬‚ow of funds is decidedly out of Europe and back to the US,вЂќ said analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets UK. The euro, meanwhile, edged up to 78.77 British pence from 78.73 pence on Thursday, while the pound fell to $1.6034 from $1.6118. The price of gold fell to $1,219 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,226.75 on Thursday. Lt Price 3.22 31.10 3.47 5.43 8.92 24.55 14.38 130.50 4.74 5.49 21.55 23.80 92.35 21.05 6.67 18.82 17.42 20.25 21.60 11.48 13.28 63.70 12.92 10.42 10.50 3.97 23.10 126.60 50.30 % Chg -3.59 -1.43 -1.70 -1.81 -2.51 -1.01 -1.51 -1.44 1.07 -1.61 -1.60 0.42 -2.74 -1.17 -1.62 -0.84 -0.68 -6.25 0.23 -1.88 -2.21 -1.24 -4.01 -0.57 -2.96 -1.73 -0.43 -1.40 -2.42 Volume 16,573,988 1,238,384 215,455,236 20,813,975 14,074,418 7,716,422 5,921,000 2,046,794 33,515,061 152,763,789 18,495,137 3,397,814 16,660,868 14,602,032 118,940,133 3,490,000 8,592,845 15,222,978 18,276,609 25,887,170 11,402,500 1,722,013 103,542,112 4,568,501 5,686,395 7,747,197 3,838,270 1,208,828 3,772,022 Company Name Hong Kong & China Gas Hong Kong Exchanges & Clear Hsbc Holdings Plc Hutchison Whampoa Ltd Ind & Comm Bk Of China-H Li & Fung Ltd Mtr Corp New World Development Petrochina Co Ltd-H Ping An Insurance Group Co-H Power Assets Holdings Ltd Sino Land Co Sun Hung Kai Properties Swire Pacific Ltd-A Tencent Holdings Ltd Wharf Holdings Ltd Lt Price 17.52 169.90 78.40 97.05 4.89 8.97 30.65 9.22 9.68 58.85 70.00 12.24 111.60 99.75 115.70 55.40 % Chg -0.23 -2.24 -1.75 -1.42 -1.61 -0.44 -0.97 -1.28 -2.52 -1.75 -1.13 -1.77 -1.50 -0.45 -1.87 -1.51 Volume 15,227,865 9,287,313 24,027,491 6,026,381 191,852,080 8,397,642 2,570,721 14,661,824 106,951,606 8,585,148 2,016,420 3,874,912 2,886,680 753,293 13,597,200 4,739,446 GCC INDICES Indices Doha Securities Market Saudi Tadawul Kuwait Stocks Exchange Bahrain Stock Exchage Oman Stock Market Abudhabi Stock Market Dubai Financial Market Lt Price 13,830.90 10,851.48 7,647.98 1,471.20 7,479.57 5,077.43 4,942.89 Change +72.35 +1.87 +13.71 +2.51 -4.51 -6.18 +43.27 вЂњInformation contained herein is believed to be reliable and had been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This publication is for providing information only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for a purchase or sale of any of the financial instruments mentioned. Gulf Times and Doha Bank or any of their employees shall not be held accountable and will not accept any losses or liabilities for actions based on this data.вЂќ CURRENCIES DOLLAR QATAR RIYAL SAUDI RIYAL UAE DIRHAMS BAHRAINI DINAR KUWAITI DINAR 4 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 BUSINESS/LEISURE Adam VW extends China JV by 25 years in bid to capture global auto throne Reuters Berlin V olkswagen extended its joint venture with China FAW Group Corp by 25 years, as the German manufacturer steps up its bid for the global autos throne by targeting an increasing share of the worldвЂ™s biggest car market. European and US carmakers are keen to raise their presence in China, but have been conп¬Ѓned to owning 50% or less of joint venture companies run together with Chinese enterprises. Although Chinese demand is slowing somewhat, car sales in the worldвЂ™s No. 2 economy have still been up over 10% this year, helping global players such as VW cope with a fragile recovery in its European home market after a six-year slump. VW, one of the п¬Ѓrst global automakers to establish production facilities in China during the 1980s, has the biggest manufacturing output and has been working with FAW for over two decades. By extending the joint venture from 2016 to 2041, VW and FAW will expand their R&D activities and step up work on fuel-saving technology, VW said. вЂњEnhancing ties with its Chinese partners is a must for VW, which is overly dependent on the market,вЂќ Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper said. Wolfsburg-based VW, which also has a joint venture with ChinaвЂ™s SAIC Motor Corp, last year sold almost 3.3mn cars in China, its biggest market, about a third of its record global deliveries of 9.73mn. The German behemoth, whose 12 brands include ultra-luxury marque Bentley and heavy-trucks manufacturer Scania, has enjoyed a period of sustained growth, boosted by emerging market buyers. It is set to hit a 10mn sales target in 2014 вЂ“ four years early вЂ“ underscoring its Pooch Cafe Garfield Bound And Gagged Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (1): Maya: The Bee Movie (3D) 2.30pm; Decoding Annie Parker (2D) 4pm; Al Harb Al Alamia (Arabic) 5.45pm; Villali Veeran (Malayalam) 7.45pm; Bang Bang! (Hindi) 10.45pm. Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (2): Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2D) 2.30pm; Bang Bang! (Hindi) 4.45pm; The Guest (2D) 7.30pm; Beyond (2D) 9.30pm; The Prince (2D) 11.30pm. Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (3): Dracula Untold (2D) 3 & 9.30pm; Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2D) 5pm; A good Man (2D) 7.30pm; Annabelle (2D) 11.30pm. Cinema Landmark (1): Beyond (2D) 2.30pm; Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2D) 4pm; Al Harb Al Alamia (Arabic) 6pm; Cryptic Clues Sudoku Sudoku is a puzzle based on a 9x9 grid. The grid is also divided into nine (3x3) boxes. You are given a selection of values and to complete the puzzle, you must fill the grid so that every column, every row and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9 and none is repeated. WeeklyвЂ™s Solutions ACROSS 4. English man gets Edward ejected (7) 8. Possibly rail at the rope (6) 9. Man with a French coin and one shilling (7) 10. Please get out when dormant (6) 11. Pull a bird going to church (6) 12. Putting wire on a motorway is friendly (8) 18. Love to get about the town at speed (8) 20. Country hat (6) 21. Bird with small back found in the mine (6) 22. Eastern European country is right to love madness (7) 23. Book right on the shelf (6) 24. Waiting - in a waiting room? (7) Volkswagen, one of the first global automakers to establish production facilities in China during the 1980s, yesterday extended its joint venture with FAW Group by 25 years. bid to eclipse global sales champion Toyota. Nine-month group deliveries in China, including the Audi luxury brand and sports-car maker Porsche, jumped 15% to 2.72mn autos, VW said yesterday in a separate statement. The contract extension with FAW was signed yesterday on the occasion of talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Berlin. The length of the extension appears customary. VWвЂ™s second joint venture with SAIC was extended in 2002 by 28 years until 2030. BMW in June extended its partnership with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings until 2028. EuropeвЂ™s largest carmaker said in July it would invest в‚¬2bn ($2.53bn) with FAW to build two more assembly plants. The German group currently operates eight car-making factories and nine component plants in China. VW said it would spend about 100mn euros with SAIC on a new test site and proving ground near the northwestern town of Urumqi where the carmaker opened a factory last year. The German group has also been in talks with FAW for some time about a possible increase of its 40% holding in the venture. Many industries in China have come under the spotlight as authorities step up efforts to bring companies into compliance with an anti-monopoly law enacted in 2008. The car sector has been under particular scrutiny amid accusations by state media that global carmakers are overcharging customers. Still, Keqiang, in a guest commentary for German newspaper Die Welt published on October 8, said Chinese authorities would вЂњfavourably examineвЂќ VWвЂ™s quest for a larger stake in FAW. In return, his government hopes Germany will allow Chinese companies to bid for German high-speed rail projects. Separately, German automaker Daimler and Beijing Automotive Industry Corp agreed to deepen a strategic partnership that will include further localisation of luxury cars by the German manufacturer worth about 1bn euros, Daimler said yesterday. 7.30pm; The Prince (2D) 11.30pm. Mall Cinema (2): Dolphin Tale (2D) 3pm; Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2D) 5pm; Haider (Hindi) 8pm; Bang Bang! (Hindi) Revenge Of The Green Dragons (2D) 10.45pm. 730pm; A Good Man (2D) 9.30pm; AnCinema Landmark (2): Revenge Of The nabelle (2D) 11.30pm. Green Dragons (2D) 3pm; Dracula Untold Mall Cinema (3): Maya: The Bee Movie (2D) 2.30pm; Decoding Annie Parker (2D) (2D) 5.15 & 9.15pm; A Good Man (2D) 4pm; Beyond (2D) 5.45pm; Villali Veeran 7.15pm; The Prince (2D) 11.15pm. (Malayalam) 7.45pm; Bang Bang! (Hindi) Cinema Landmark (3): Maya : The Bee 10.45pm. Movie (3D) 2.30pm; Decoding Annie Global Cinemas, West End Park (1): Parker (2D) 4pm; Villali Veeran (Malayalam) 5.45 & 8.45pm; Annabelle (2D) Mannariyippu (Malayalam) 2.30, 5,30, 8.30 & 11.30pm. 11.30pm. Global Cinemas, West End Park (2): Mall Cinema (1): Villali Veeran (MalayPeruchai (Malayalam) 2.45, 8.45 & 11.45pm; alam) 2.30pm; Dracula Untold (2D) 5.30 Vanavarayan Vallavarayan (Tamil) 5.45pm. & 9.30pm; Al Harb Al Alamia (Arabic) Quick Clues DOWN 1. Calendar girl can return (7) 2. Tell sir about the climbing frame (7) 3. Approached an artist with a photographic device (6) 5. Extremely healthy or just all right (4,4) 6. Run in a trance, perhaps (6) 7. Show the English man (6) 13. A German boy without a girl (8) 14. Large hairpieces worn by important people (7) 15. Seafood found in different storeys (7) 16. Father bringing an animal back to the temple (6) 17. Get a sausage as mail is sorted (6) 19. Old boy looked at and followed (6) ACROSS 4. Irony (7) 8. Tremble (6) 9. Narrative (7) 10. Overseas (6) 11. Wriggle (6) 12. Powerless (8) 18. Begin (8) 20. Diversion (6) 21. Hit (6) 22. Current (7) 23. Swamp (6) 24. Long (7) DOWN 1. Muslim (7) 2. Breach (7) 3. Leave (6) 5. Habituate (8) 6. Refrain (6) 7. Various (6) 13. Intrude (8) 14. Brutal (7) 15. Hungry (7) 16. Shed (6) 17. Advent (6) 19. Movement (6) WeeklyвЂ™s Solutions QUICK Across: 1 Pessimistic; 9 Own; 10 Diagnosis; 11 Tacky; 13 Routine; 14 Ornate; 16 Pliant; 18 Extreme; 19 Wrest; 20 Stanchion; 21 Loo; 22 Anaesthetic. Down: 2 Eon; 3 Sadly; 4 Meagre; 5 Sensual; 6 Instigate; 7 Controversy; 8 Ostentation; 12 Constrain; 15 Treacle; 17 Resist; 19 Wince; 21 Lei. CRYPTIC Across: 1 Impressions; 9 Hoy; 10 Lethargic; 11 Essay; 13 Fritter; 14 Warned; 16 By-laws; 18 Imagine; 19 False; 20 Helvetian; 21 Hit; 22 Stately home. Down: 2 May; 3 Rally; 4 Set off; 5 Inanity; 6 Nightfall; 7 Wheelwright; 8 Score-sheets; 12 Streamlet; 15 Evident; 17 Menial; 19 Finch; 21 Hem. 6 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 BUSINESS Venezuela must pay Exxon $1.6bn for nationalisation Bernanke takes stand in AIG bailout trial Award lower than Exxon wanted; govt hails вЂ�victoryвЂ™; PDVSA source says Venezuela sees final amount at $1bn Reuters Washington F Reuters Caracas A World Bank arbitration tribunal on Thursday ordered Venezuela to pay Exxon Mobil Corp about $1.6bn to compensate for oil nationalisation in 2007, though state oil company PDVSA expects to eventually pay closer to $1bn. VenezuelaвЂ™s socialist government hailed the long-awaited decision as a victory for its вЂњsovereignty,вЂќ given the US multinationalвЂ™s hope for a much larger award in a compensation case typical of the sweeping nationalisations under the late Hugo ChavezвЂ™s 14-year rule. Still, the decision by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment DisputesвЂ™ (ICSID) comes at a delicate time for cash-strapped Venezuela, already struggling with a sluggish economy, rampant inп¬‚ation and looming bond payments. Venezuela said it would pay the award, only after deducting a previous Exxon award from the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of $908mn. A source at state oil company PDVSA familiar with the case told Reuters that, factoring interest into the ICSID-ordered compensation, the п¬Ѓnal amount would be reduced to roughly $1bn. PDVSA took over ExxonвЂ™s operations under the nationalisation. вЂњThe award is a triumph, without doubt,вЂќ said the source, adding PDVSA would pay as of November, after servicing its roughly $3bn 2014 bond. The source asked not to be identiп¬Ѓed because he is not authorised to speak publicly. Exxon also claimed the upper hand. In a brief statement, the worldвЂ™s largest publicly traded Venezuela said it would pay the award to Exxon Mobil Corp, only after deducting a previous Exxon award from the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of $908mn. oil company said the decision vindicated its view that Venezuela failed to compensate it fairly at the time. The company had been seeking roughly $10bn in compensation. Exxon added it held extensive discussions with PDVSA and the government but was unable to reach agreement on fair compensation. The ICSID decision relates to the expropriation of the Cerro Negro project, the La Ceiba project, as well as вЂњproduction and export curtailmentsвЂќ imposed on the Cerro Negro development in 2006 and 2007. вЂњThe Tribunal has found that the expropriation was conducted in accordance with due process,вЂќ ICSID said on its website. вЂњThe most important part of the decision is that the arbitration tribunal rejects the alleged вЂ�illegalвЂ™ nature of the expropriation,вЂќ said Carlos Bellorin, petroleum analyst at IHS, meaning the compensation only reп¬‚ects the value of the assets, not alleged damages and prejudice caused. вЂњHowever, it is presumed the calculation method was not the one Venezuela suggested,вЂќ he said. Each party will cover its own costs and counsel fees, ICSID said. The tribunal said it had no jurisdiction over вЂњthe claim arising out of the increase in the income tax rate for the participants to the Cerro Negro Project.вЂќ Venezuela is facing more than 20 arbitration cases over the Chavez-era nationalisations. Many of the companies nationalized deemed the takeovers unlawful expropriations. Proponents of the nationalisations argue commodities-rich Venezuela should have the right to administer its own resources to try to improve living standards. Several analysts said Venezue- la had mostly dodged the bullet this time, but that other cases may prove trickier. ConocoPhillips has brought the biggest case to date against Venezuela, in 2007, seeking $30bn in compensation. A partial decision in 2013 determined Venezuela failed to act in good faith or properly compensate ConocoPhillips for three big oil assets. A п¬Ѓnal decision is expected soon. Cash-strapped PDVSA appears to be seeking to sell Citgo Petroleum Corp, its US reп¬Ѓning unit which would be a welcome injection of liquidity for the company and the government. ormer Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took the stand on Thursday to defend the US governmentвЂ™s bailout of American International Group in 2008, in a fourth day of testimony by former top government officials looking to convince a federal judge that the rescue of the insurance company was legal. On Thursday afternoon Bernanke responded with a terse вЂњyes, sir,вЂќ to multiple questions about the extreme conditions in the fall of 2008 that led to an initial $85bn bailout loan for AIG, including a run on money market funds and a commercial paper market that was in shock. Former AIG chief executive Hank Greenberg, who was also the companyвЂ™s largest shareholder, sued the government in 2011 over the terms of the bailoutвЂ™s loan, which included an interest rate of at least 12% and a nearly 80% stake in the company. The terms amounted to an illegal taking of the company from AIG shareholders, Greenberg charged. To make their case, GreenbergвЂ™s lawyers have pushed officials to conп¬Ѓrm that the situation was so dire that the government would have moved to save AIG even if the company had refused the initial offer. When asked on Thursday by GreenbergвЂ™s lawyer, David Boies, if officials had concluded that AIGвЂ™s collapse could have catastrophic consequences for the broader п¬Ѓnancial system, Bernanke responded: вЂњWe were very concerned about that possibility, yes.вЂќ Bernanke also testiп¬Ѓed that he did not know at the time the loan terms were drafted what the exact basis was for the interest rate or other fees added to the loan were. His testimony is expected to continue later on Thursday. Earlier on Thursday, former US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrapped up Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke arrives at US Court of Federal Claims to testify at the AIG trial in Washington, DC, on Thursday. The trial is the result of a class action lawsuit brought against the US government by shareholders of AIG claiming that the government violated their rights by grabbing a majority stake in the company as part of the bailout of AIG in 2008. two and one-half days on the stand, sparring with Boies over whether the loan posed substantial risks to the government. Boies has sought to portray the New York Federal Reserve bank, which Geithner led at the time, as making AIG a low-risk loan with undeservedly high terms. Just before wrapping up his questioning of Geithner, Boies asked him about his impression of Greenberg, who had argued that AIGвЂ™s insurance businesses were highly valuable and said that he had been refused a seat at the table during the AIG bailout negotiations. вЂњI found his conп¬Ѓdence and optimism, uh, unique,вЂќ Geithner said. AIG п¬Ѓnished repaying the full $182.3bn bailout in December 2012, leaving taxpayers with a nearly $23bn proп¬Ѓt. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 7 BUSINESS German Bund yields resume decline Reuters London B und yields fell towards new lows yesterday, after poor industrial data from Italy and a report saying Germany will cut its economic forecast. The prospect of economic slowdown has dominated the eurozone bond market for much of the week, beginning with weaker- than-expected German industry data and continuing with the International Monetary FundвЂ™s lowering its economic forecasts. Yields on German, French, Spanish, Austrian and Belgian bonds all reached record lows on Thursday after minutes of the US Federal ReserveвЂ™s latest policy meeting suggested it was in no hurry to raise interest rates. They rose early yesterday, after Fed officials played down the minutes. But they resumed their decline after data showed ItalyвЂ™s industrial output rose only 0.3% in July, versus a 0.5% forecast. Two German government sources said Germany would cut its economic growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 next week. German Bund yields, the benchmark for eurozone borrowing costs, were 2 basis points lower on the day at 0.88%, just off a record low of 0.859%. They traded as high as 0.92% earlier. вЂњThere are concerns over global growth, and if Germany is going to struggle then the whole Europe is going to struggle,вЂќ said Alan McQuaid, the chief economist at Merrion Stockbrokers. The Fed minutes, which said the central bank would wait for a вЂњconsiderable timeвЂќ before raising rates after its bondbuying programme ended, prompted some investors to bet the first rate increase would not come until the third quarter of next year. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer later said вЂњconsiderable timeвЂќ meant somewhere between two and 12 months. And San Francisco Fed President John Williams said a mid-2015 rate rise was вЂњa reasonable guess.вЂќ вЂњWe thought it was a dovish Fed meeting, but then there was a feeling it wasnвЂ™t like that,вЂќ said Jan von Gerich, chief п¬Ѓxed income analyst at Nordea. вЂњMost surprising was vice chair Fischer ... his main point was to play down the minutes.вЂќ Spanish and Italian 10-year yields were п¬‚at to slightly higher at 2.06% and 2.32%, respectively. Portuguese yields were up 1 bps at 2.97%. Some analysts expect Fitch to lift PortugalвЂ™s credit rating to investment grade, when ratings agencies may publish revisions of their views on a swathe of eurozone countries, including France, Finland, Spain and Italy. RussiaвЂ™s rouble spirals lower as central bank interventions top $3bn Reuters Moscow R ussiaвЂ™s rouble plunged again yesterday, and traders said the central bank intervened heavily to slow its slide, as oil prices dropped and Russian companies locked out of international capital markets drove demand for dollars. The central bank says it has spent $3.3bn defending the rouble between last Friday and Wednesday, but the total amount over the past week is likely to be far larger since it releases its intervention data with a two-day lag. Early yesterday the bank said it had shifted the roubleвЂ™s п¬‚oating corridor on Thursday, the 12th 5-kopeck shift since last Friday, but the currency breached the new limits within the opening minutes of trading. The rouble has been pressured for months by a plunge in prices for oil, one of RussiaвЂ™s chief exports, as well as Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and dollar strength linked to speculation over a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. вЂњThe pressure on the rouble is unlikely to subside today. The market is being driven by demand for foreign currency, which is being unconvincingly countered by the central bank shifting the boundaries of its currency corridor,вЂќ Vladimir Evtisfeev, a п¬Ѓnancial analyst at Bank Zenit in Moscow, said in a note. Sanctions over Ukraine An exterior view of the Russian central bank building in Moscow. The apex bank of the country said yesterday it had shifted the boundaries of its floating rouble corridor 15 kopecks higher to 36.00-45 against a dollar-euro basket as of October 9. mean dollars and euros are in short supply as major Russian п¬Ѓrms are shut out of Western capital markets but still need foreign currency to service their overseas debts. The rouble has lost 18% against the dollar this year, and the central bank has spent more than $40bn in interventions, the bulk of which came in March when the Ukraine crisis escalated. The central bank said early yesterday it had shifted the boundaries of its п¬‚oating rou- ble corridor 15 kopecks higher to 36.00-45 against a dollareuro basket as of October 9 and had spent $1.5bn in interventions on Wednesday. The rouble broke through those new boundaries straight after trading began, later hitting a low of 45.20 against the basket and was last trading at 45.19. The central bank automatically intervenes to defend the rouble once it crosses the boundaries of its trading band and moves the band by 5 kopecks once it has spent $350mn in forex interventions, implying that the bank spent around $1bn in additional forex interventions on Thursday. Traders said the central bank continued to intervene heavily in the currency market yesterday and had likely shifted its rouble corridor by another 20 kopecks. By 0905 GMT, the rouble was 0.5% weaker against the dollar at 40.35 and lost 0.36% to trade at 51.11 versus the euro. Weaker oil prices were a major drag on both the currency and stocks yesterday, with RussiaвЂ™s two main share indexes down more than 1%. Futures for international crude benchmark Brent tumbled over $1 to below $89 a barrel yesterday, their weakest since 2010. The dollar-denominated RTS share index was down 2.1% at 1,065 points, while its rouble-based peer MICEX was 1.4% lower at 1,364 points. RussiaвЂ™s top lender Sberbank was down 1.2%, while the countryвЂ™s largest oil producer, Rosneft, fell 2.2%. Orange weighs IPO of Africa, Middle East units Reuters Paris F rench telecom operator Orange is studying whether to п¬‚oat its African and Middle Eastern units as a way to raise money to cut debt and reinvest in Europe, the company said yesterday. The news was п¬Ѓrst reported on Thursday by п¬Ѓnancial newspaper Ageп¬Ѓ. Orange, which has 91.8mn customers in about two dozen African and Middle Eastern countries, said in a statement the fast-growing regions remained a вЂњkey partвЂќ of its strategy. вЂњNo decision has been taken regarding the exact details of any such project and no calendar has been deп¬Ѓned,вЂќ it said. Revenues in Africa and the Middle East climbed 7.4% to в‚¬ 2.1bn ($2.65bn) in the п¬Ѓrst half of this year, compared with a decline of 4.6% to в‚¬9.6bn in France. Sales also fell in Poland and Spain, OrangeвЂ™s second and third-largest markets in Europe. In addition to a source of growth, Orange has used Africa as a launch pad for a successful mobile money service, which allows people without bank accounts or credit cards make payments or transfers with their phones. Orange in mid-September agreed to buy Spanish broadband company Jazztel for around в‚¬3.4bn to complement its mobile business in the country. The all-cash deal is to be п¬Ѓnanced through borrowing and a capital increase, and the company maintained a target for net debt of no more than 2 times operating proп¬Ѓt by year end. The shares of EuropeвЂ™s п¬Ѓfthlargest telecom operator by market capitalisation have risen 21% this year through ThursdayвЂ™s close. Sensex falls 1.3%; rupee snaps winning streak Reuters Mumbai Indian shares posted their biggest fall in 2-1/2 weeks yesterday, as bluechips continued to be hit by concerns that weaker global markets would dent demand from foreign investors, although Infosys surged after earnings beat estimates. Global shares, as measured by the MSCI All-Country World index, fell to a six-month low as investors worry about the prospect of a widespread economic slowdown while US monetary stimulus nears its end. This led IndiaвЂ™s indexes to their third consecutive weekly falls, with banking and metal stocks leading the decline yesterday. Investors will now focus on consumer inflation data due on Monday, with a Reuters survey expecting inflation to have risen 7.2%, according to a poll of 28 economists, weaker than 7.8% in August. The benchmark BSE index closed down 1.28% at 26,297.38, declining for the fourth session in the past five. The index fell 1.02% for the week. The broader NSE index fell 1.26% to close at 7,859.95, falling 1.1% in the week. вЂњThe fall has more to do with international markets. This has given better entry valuations as our market is still a вЂ�buy-on-declineвЂ™ market,вЂќ said Deven Choksey, managing director, KR Choksey Securities. Foreign investors have played an integral role in the record-setting rally in Indian shares this year, buying a net $13.8bn worth of stocks till Thursday. вЂњWe have seen Infy earnings and I expect positive earnings surprises from corporates. We believe earnings growth will accelerate in the second half of this fiscal,вЂќ Choksey said. Infosys surged 6.6% after its JulySeptember earnings beat estimates, triggering a rally in the sector. However, yesterday was more about falls, with financial stocks leading the decline. State Bank of India, which gained 2.8% in the previous session, closed down 1.14%, while ICICI Bank ended 2% lower. The stock gained 2.8% on Thursday. Among metal stocks, Hindalco Industries, which gained 6.1% in the previous session, closed down 4.9%, while Tata Steel ended 4.2% lower. Vedanta Group companies plunged after shares of its British-listed parent, Vedanta Resources, fell 8% after reporting lower quarterly output at its oil and gas, zinc and Zambian copper businesses. Sesa Sterlite ended 4.6% lower, while Hindustan Zinc closed down 4.2%. Heavyweight consumer stocks have also witnessed selling pressure. ITC closed 3.4% lower, while Hindustan Unilever ended down 2.5%. Meanwhile the rupee fell yesterday, snapping four sessions of gains as tumbling global markets raised fears about foreign investments while caution also prevailed ahead of key inflation data due next week. Global shares fell to a six-month low yesterday as investors worried about the prospect of a widespread economic slowdown just as US monetary stimulus nears its end. That dented what had been a good week so far for the rupee, which rose to a 2-1/2 week high against the dollar in the previous session. The unit ended up posting its first weekly gain in five. Traders said global factors and data will remain key for the rupee, with India set to post industrial output data after the close of markets and consumer inflation data on Monday. вЂњI do not see the rupee gaining beyond the 60.80 level on a sustainable basis,вЂќ said Param Sarma, director and chief executive officer at NSP Forex, a consultancy firm. вЂњAlso, the dwindling portfolio flows could limit the rupeeвЂ™s rise,вЂќ he added. The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.34/35 per dollar compared with 61.04/05 on Thursday. For the week, the rupee gained 0.4%, its first weekly gain in five. But yesterday the rupee was hit by tumbling global shares, with domestic indexes falling 1.3%, their biggest falls in 2-1/2 weeks. Foreign funds have been sellers of equities worth $128.34mn so far this month, though they remain net buyers of $13.76bn in 2014. They have bought $20.65bn in debt. In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at 61.65 while the three-month was at 62.27. Asia markets tumble on renewed global concerns AFP Tokyo A Pedestrians in reflection walk past a share prices board in Tokyo. Japanese stocks closed down 1.15% yesterday. sian shares and the dollar sank yesterday on growing concerns about the global economy while the head of the IMF warned the eurozone could slip into recession if governments do not act. Investors took their lead from a heavy sell-off on Wall Street, which wiped out the previous dayвЂ™s Federal Reserve-fuelled gains. Fears of a falloff in demand also sent oil traders п¬‚eeing, pushing Brent crude prices to a four-year low. Tokyo tumbled 1.15%, or 178.38 points, to 15,300.55, Sydney shed 2.05%, or 108.38 points, to 5,188.3 and Seoul slipped 1.24%, or 24.33 points, to 1,940.92. Hong Kong shed 1.90%, or 445.99 points, to 23,088.54 while Shanghai eased 0.62%, or 14.83 points, to 2,374.54. Taipei was closed for a public holiday. In other markets, Bangkok lost 0.51%, or 7.89 points, to 1,552.72; giant oil company PTT dropped 2.93% to 364baht, while Airports of Thailand fell 1.79% to 219baht. MalaysiaвЂ™s main stock index ended lower 10.03 points or 0.55% at 1,808.88; CIMB shares fall 4.6% to 6.66 ringgit, Malayan Banking lost 1.52% to 9.70 while Telekom Malaysia added 0.29% to 6.85 ringgit. Singapore closed 1.09%, or 35.38 points, lower at 3,223.87; property developer Wing Tai Holdings fell 0.29% to close at S$1.75 and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp lost 1.02% to end at S$9.74. Jakarta ended down 0.62%, or 30.92 points, at 4,962.96; auto company Astra International fell 3.35% to 6,500 rupiah, while cigarette maker Gudang Garam gained 1.43% to 56,600 rupiah. Wellington fell 0.78%, or 40.90 points, to 5,224.14; Fletcher Building was down 1.69% at NZ$8.72 and Chorus slipped 0.52% to NZ$1.92. Manila closed 0.48% lower, dipping 34.54 points to 7,167.35; Ayala Corp gained 0.3% to 33.55 pesos while GT Capital was unchanged at 1,080 pesos. Philippine Long Distance Telephone fell 1.12% to 3,010 pesos. Markets surged after minutes released Wednesday from the FedвЂ™s most recent meeting indicated policymakers could refrain from hiking US interest rates any time soon as global economic and geopolitical woes were offsetting a domestic recovery. That came as a relief to dealers who had come to expect a rise before the bankвЂ™s mid-2015 timetable. However, that elation was erased late Thursday after another round of negative eurozone data, including a 5.8% slump in German exports in August. Leading German think tanks also slashed their growth forecasts for the eurozoneвЂ™s largest economy. вЂњOverriding everything is just the concern that European growth is weak and getting weaker,вЂќ said William Lynch of Hinsdale Associates. On Wall Street the Dow tumbled 1.97%, the S&P 500 shed 2.07% and the Nasdaq sank 2.02%. The dollar, which touched a six-year high above ВҐ110 last week, was struggling at ВҐ107.80 in Asia yesterday, compared with ВҐ107.84 late in New York. The euro fetched ВҐ136.86 against ВҐ136.87 in US trade and well down from the ВҐ137.70 seen earlier Thursday in Tokyo. The Japanese currency, a safe haven investment, has spiked as traders look to protect their cash. The euro also bought $1.2670 against $1.2691. Oil prices were hit by demand worries. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was down $1.92 at $83.85, its weakest since June 2012. Brent crude fell $1.65 to $88.40, levels last seen in November 2010. Saturday, October 11, 2014 BUSINESS GULF TIMES EUвЂ™s new rules seek to aid securitisation revival Reuters London The European Commission published new rules yesterday to encourage more securitisation of assets such as car and consumer loans and small business loans as part of a drive to channel more funds into the flagging European economy. The new rules form part of laws designed to make banks better able to withstand shocks, and to keep insurers solvent. Reviving securitisation вЂ“where loans are pooled to underpin a security which pays out money from repayments of the loans вЂ“ is part of the EUвЂ™s new flagship capital markets union project to encourage fledgling companies to turn to markets for funding rather relying too much on banks. Banks have long dominated funding for companies but lenders have become more cautious as they must comply with new rules to increase their capital levels so that taxpayers wonвЂ™t have to bail them out again in another crisis. The European Commission, the EUвЂ™s executive body has included the new rules as part of two so-called delegated acts, one on insurance solvency and the other on bank liquidity. Combined they represent the EUвЂ™s first regulatory action to revive and restructure asset-backed securities (ABS), a sector tainted by ABS linked to poor quality US home loans turning toxic in 2007, sowing the seeds of the global financial crisis. вЂњThey show that Europe is serious about creating a framework to support investment in the economy, particularly through promoting safe and transparent securitisation and encouraging insurers to invest for the long term,вЂќ EU financial services chief Michel Barnier said in a statement. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also planning to buy chunks of ABS in coming months as a way of injecting money into the weak euro zone economy and giving the ABS market a confidence boost. The EU, along with the ECB and the Bank of England, also wants to promote a high quality market segment that would benefit from lower capital charges for banks that originate the security, and for insurers and others that buy it. Banks have cautioned that the demarcation line between top quality ABS and the rest must be handled sensitively to avoid a sizeable chunk of the market being sidelined. The delegated act on insurer solvency comes into force in January 2016 to allow a lighter capital treatment for top rated ABS bought by insurers. The European Commission said it would incentivise insurers, acting as investors, to channel more funds into safe, simple and transparent securitisation markets in Europe, contributing to their development and liquidity. вЂњThis is the first attempt in the European Union to define high quality securitisation,вЂќ said Cristina Mihai, a policy adviser at Insurance Europe, which represents the blocвЂ™s insurance companies. Top quality securitisation includes only the most senior tranches of simple, top rated ABS and excludes complex varieties such as collateralised debt obligations. The second delegated act details the assets banks can hold in new mandatory buffers by January 2018 to withstand rocky markets unaided for up to month. It aims to encourage issuance by endorsing a wide range of ABS that can be included in a bankвЂ™s liquidity buffer. Allowing pooled debt based on car and consumer loans, and loans to small and medium sized companies, will breach globally agreed rules known as Basel III which limit ABS to residential mortgage backed securities in a bankвЂ™s liquidity buffer. As expected, a much larger chunk of a bankвЂ™s liquidity buffer can also be in the form of covered bonds - an asset similar to ABS but seen as safer - than allowed under Basel III. Denmark, which has a large covered bond market, had pressed Brussels hard for this concession. The Commission said Basel failed to give adequate recognition to certain specific assets which have demonstrated high liquidity in the EU, such as auto loan-backed ABS. A broader pool of securitised assets will reduce the risk of excessive concentration on one type of ABS, the Commission said. There is no global law to make Basel legally binding. вЂњIt is imperative that Europe gets a high quality liquid securitisation framework working. This will free up more lending capacity and will be essential when central banks exit from quantitative easing,вЂќ said Patricia Jackson, head of financial regulatory advice at consultancy EY. The Commission also published a third delegated act that details how banks must comply with a new leverage ratio, a measure of a bankвЂ™s assets in relation to all of its assets. A decision on whether or not to introduce a binding leverage ratio will only be made in 2016, the EU executive said. UK construction output slumps Reuters London B The US Federal Reserve building in Washington. The Fed will probably start raising interest rates around the middle of next year, according to two top officials. Fed officials keep eyes on mid-2015 rate rise Reuters Las Vegas T he Federal Reserve will probably start raising interest rates around the middle of next year, two top officials at the US central bank said on Thursday, although both said the exact timing will depend on the economy. вЂњWhat we think now is that the capital markets have it more or less right but we donвЂ™t ourselves know when weвЂ™re going to do it,вЂќ Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said in Washington. вЂњOn the basis of our forecasts of the data ... it looks like markets more or less have it right somewhere in the middle of the year.вЂќ The Fed has kept rates near zero since 2008 and has nearly quadrupled its balance sheet to more than $4tn through a series of bond purchase programs in an effort to push borrowing costs down further and boost hiring. With the US jobless rate at 5.9% and closing in on what the central bank sees as consistent with full employment, officials plan to wrap up their bond buying this month. Now, investors are rushing to place bets on when rates will rise. Minutes of the FedвЂ™s September policy meeting, released on Wednesday, showed several officials worried that troubling global growth and a stronger dollar could undercut the US recovery. Investors took that to mean the Fed would bide its time on rate hikes, and they sent the dollar down and bid stocks up. Futures markets shifted to point to a September hike from July. The central bankвЂ™s only ofп¬Ѓcial guidance on the timing is that it would wait a вЂњconsiderable timeвЂќ after bond-buying ends, a phrase that Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated earlier this year meant something along the lines of six months. Fischer took a step that essentially downgraded the value of the phrase, saying it meant somewhere between two to 12 months, putting investors on notice that it will be economic data, not the passage of time, that will drive policy change. Speaking in Las Vegas, the president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, John Williams, declined to put any timeframe on the phrase, but did say a mid-2015 rate rise is вЂњa rea- sonable guess to my mind.вЂќ вЂњIf the economy or inп¬‚ation heat up faster than I expect, we should lift rates sooner,вЂќ said Williams, who will rotate into a voting spot on the FedвЂ™s policy-setting panel next year, adding that if progress on those fronts slow, the liftoff should be delayed. He said any difference between the marketвЂ™s view and his own of the timing of liftoff is вЂњsmall.вЂќ William Dudley, the head of the New York Fed, earlier this week also pointed to mid-2015 as the likely rate-hike date. But James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed, delivered a warning to investors on Thursday, saying that п¬Ѓnancial markets were making a вЂњmistakeвЂќ in betting that borrowing costs would only rise later in 2015. Bullard, citing strengthening ritish construction fell sharply in August, hit by a fall in house-building and adding to signs of a slowdown in other areas of the economy, ofп¬Ѓcial п¬Ѓgures showed yesterday. Separate data showed BritainвЂ™s goods trade deп¬Ѓcit narrowed in August but only because imports fell more sharply than exports. Construction output slid 3.9% on the month and fell year-onyear for the п¬Ѓrst time since May 2013, by 0.3%, the Office for National Statistics said. It revised July output to a 1.9% rise on the month, from an original estimate of no change. The biggest drag on the August headline п¬Ѓgure came from a fall in house-building which was down 5.5% from July. Infrastructure and commercial building also fell. Data earlier this week showed industrial production was п¬‚at in August compared with July, adding to signs that the pace of BritainвЂ™s economic recovery may have slowed in the third quarter from growth of 0.9% in the second quarter. YesterdayвЂ™s п¬Ѓgures contrast with a Markit purchasing managersвЂ™ survey last week which showed that the construction sector grew at one of the fastest rates on record in September. вЂњWhether we trust the num- bers or not, it is what it is and this will affect GDP,вЂќ said Alan Clarke, an economist with Scotiabank in London. вЂњDepending on the scale of the bounce next month, this could subtract around 0.1 percentage point from overall GDP growth.вЂќ BritainвЂ™s deп¬Ѓcit in its trade in goods narrowed in August to ВЈ9.099bn from a revised ВЈ10.414bn in July, which was the biggest on record. AugustвЂ™s deп¬Ѓcit was the narrowest since April, the ONS also said yesterday. Economists in a Reuters poll had forecast a gap of ВЈ9.6bn. Including BritainвЂ™s surplus in its trade in services, the overall trade deп¬Ѓcit narrowed to ВЈ1.917bn from ВЈ3.079bn in July. The improvement in the headline п¬Ѓgures was tempered by signs of continued weakness in BritainвЂ™s trade performance. Volumes of goods exports fell 2.3% while imports were down 6.2%, largely due to erratic goods as well as chemicals and oil, the ONS said. Economists said the trade weakness added to signs that the British economy would struggle to keep up its pace in the JulySeptember period. вЂњIf the volume of exports and imports then held steady in September, net trade would probably be a drag on growth in the third quarter,вЂќ said Paul Hollingsworth, an economist with consultancy Capital Economics. gauges of labour markets and inп¬‚ation, wants the Fed to start raising rates in the п¬Ѓrst quarter of next year. вЂњWhen there is a mismatch it doesnвЂ™t end well,вЂќ he said at a conference in St. Louis sponsored by his regional Fed bank. However, Jeffrey Lacker, chief of the Richmond Fed, speaking in Asheville, North Carolina, said he wasnвЂ™t particularly alarmed by any mismatch in the outlook for a rate hike. вЂњThe gap is most likely accounted for by differences in views on how the data is going to come in,вЂќ he said. Lacker, among the most hawkish of Fed policymakers, said he probably is on the вЂњearly sideвЂќ among his colleagues in terms of expectations for when rates should rise. Still, he said, itвЂ™s вЂњtoo soon to draw conclusions.вЂќ ChipmakersвЂ™ warnings point to economic slowdown Reuters Frankfurt D emand for electronics devices is weakening, according to circuit makers at the base of the industryвЂ™s food chain, suggesting a long-predicted slowdown in global economic growth may be coming to pass. September, the peak month for shipping tiny chips used to build everything from appliances to cars to phones and office equipment if they are to reach consumers and businesses by year end, has not seen its typical pickup after the summer holidays. In recent weeks, a series of US semi- conductor makers with global operations have begun to paint a worrying picture of a broad-based slowdown in markets including autos and network equipment in regions ranging from Asia to Europe. The weakness is centred in China, which functions as the electronics workshop for many п¬Ѓnished products destined to ship worldwide. It may also be a sign of how pessimistic EuropeвЂ™s retailers are feeling ahead of the key Christmas trading season, with the eurozone in danger of sliding back into recession. On Thursday came the remarkably blunt warning from diversiп¬Ѓed chipmaker Microchip of a broad-based industry downturn, or correction, suggesting worse may be in store as the latest corporate earnings season gets underway. вЂњWe believe that another industry correction has begun and that this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future,вЂќ Microchip Chief Executive Steve Sanghi said of the sales fall-off in its latest quarter. Semiconductor analysts struggle to п¬Ѓnd chipmakers which might be insulated from signs of a wider economic downturn. вЂњAny place to hide?вЂќ asked BMO Capital Markets analyst Ambrish Srivastava in a note to clients. вЂњFor the time, it appears not.вЂќ Shares in major European chipmakers suffered sharp declines yesterday, led by GermanyвЂ™s Inп¬Ѓneon Technologies, which was off 5.8%. STMicroelectronics lost 5.4% and ASML Holding gave up 3.5%. Meanwhile, financial analysts who track inventory levels up and down the electronics industry supply chain have grown concerned by signs of a year-over-year build-up in inventories among sales distributors, contract and component manufacturers. While some stockpiling is inevitable in the current busy manufacturing season, the worry among investors is that this may be disguising even weaker demand for п¬Ѓnished products. Warnings have also come from niche semiconductor companies including EZchip Semiconductor, which cited weak orders from telecom equipment maker customers, and O2 Micro, which said several of its notebook PC customers were suffering weak demand. Microchip is considered a proxy for broader demand across the global semiconductor industry because it is a highly diversified supplier of electronic components to some 80,000 customers, which in turn use its digital and analogue devices in finished products. The company is also an early indicator because it recognizes revenue when its distributors book sales to customers rather than simply when Microchip itself ships its products, meaning there is less lag in seeing fundamental shifts in market demand. China suffered a sales decline during the last three months where normally it would enjoy strong sequen- tial growth compared with the June quarter, Microchip said in a statement. Microchip responded by cutting back production levels in its wafer fabrication and test and assembly facilities, it said. The company expects to return to sequential revenue growth in two quarters, assuming that the current imbalance in supply and demand follow normal industry recovery patterns, it said. Ahead of MicrochipвЂ™s warning late on Thursday, the semiconductor industry was enjoying an upbeat year, overall. The 30-stock Philadelphia Semiconductor Index had gained 13.8% in the year to date. FORMULA 1 | Page 3 Marussia withdraw BianchiвЂ™s car from Sochi race Saturday, October 11, 2014 Dhul-Hijja 17, 1435 AH TENNIS Djokovic and Federer to clash in Shanghai semis GULF TIMES SPORT Page 4 FOCUS CRICKET Foreman, Christie confirm presence at Doha GOALS вЂ�Sport improved my life and I want to help it improve the lives of othersвЂ™ Australia beat Pakistan to seal one-day series in Dubai AFP Dubai A ustralia continued their dominance over Pakistan with a hard fought п¬Ѓve-wicket win in the second day-night international, taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Pakistan blew an opening stand of 126 through openers Sarfraz Ahmed (65) and Ahmed Shahzad (61) and were bowled out for 215 in 49.3 overs with paceman Mitchell Johnson taking 3-40. Glenn Maxwell then punished the sloppy Pakistan п¬Ѓelding with an 81-ball 76 as Australia reached the target in 43.2 overs for their fourth consecutive one-day series win over Pakistan. Maxwell added an invaluable 85 for the fourth wicket with skipper George Bailey (28) steadying the chase after Pakistan dismissed Aaron Finch (14), David Warner (29) and Steven Smith (12) to leave Australia wobbling at 72-3. But Pakistan spurned a good chance of dismissing the dangerous Maxwell on п¬Ѓve when Umar Akmal dropped him in slip off debutant Raza Hasan. Hasan was also unlucky in the early overs when Fawad Alam let off Warner on ten, making PakistanвЂ™s defence of a modest target tough. Maxwell took advantage of the let off, reaching his eighth half-century off 56 deliveries. Maxwell continued to punish the bowlers after Bailey was run out. With 38 needed off 81 balls, he holed out off Zulп¬Ѓqar Babar. He hit nine boundaries and a six to anchor the chase. James Faulkner (26 not out) and Brad Haddin (17 not out) ensured Australia didnвЂ™t lose trackand secured the win. It was Johnson who derailed PakistanвЂ™s innings with some п¬Ѓery bowling. Ahmed and Shahzad who put on a rare 126-run stand for the opening wicket but Australia hit back to take the last nine wickets for a mere 89 runs. Johnson, who took 3-24 in AustraliaвЂ™s 93-run win in the п¬Ѓrst one-day, put the brakes on the innings dismissing Ahmed, Umar Akmal (п¬Ѓve) and Shahid Afridi (two) in a destructive 10-over spell. Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, cruised to their п¬Ѓrst century stand in 44 innings as Ahmed and Shahzad batted with authority against a spincum-pace attack. Ahmed, promoted to open the innings in this series, reached his maiden half-century off 60 balls while Shahzad needed 63 balls for his eighth such 50. He hit п¬Ѓve boundaries and a six off 72 balls. Shahzad hit п¬Ѓve boundaries in his 82-ball knock. PakistanвЂ™s last opening stand century in a one-dayer was between Mohamed Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed against India at Kolkata in January 2013. As Pakistan tried to build on the opening stand, out-of-form skipper Misbah-ul Haq was run out by a brilliant throw from covers by Maxwell after making just 15. Pakistan couldnвЂ™t recover from the jolt as Asad Shaп¬Ѓq (29) and Fawad Alam (20 not out) laboured through their innings. Pakistan managed just 29 runs in the п¬Ѓnal ten slog overs. The third and п¬Ѓnal one-day match will be played in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. Former world heavyweight champion and 1968 Olympic gold medallist George Foreman will be one of the speakers at the Doha GOALS Forum 2014. (MCT) By Sports Reporter Doha F ormer World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and 1968 Olympic gold medallist George Foreman, Jamaican triple Olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown, former Olympic Champion and US Track & Field director Jackie Joyner-Kersee, 1992 Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie, tennis player and 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, and retired German international footballer Christoph Metzelder have conп¬Ѓrmed to appear at this yearвЂ™s Doha GOALS Forum, which is held under the patronage of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad alThani. The event is scheduled to run from November 3-5, 2014, at the Aspire Academy in Doha. These champions will be joined by two-time Olympic gold medallist and chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games Sebastian Coe, three-time Paralympic gold medallist Hou Bin, and former tennis world number one Boris Becker at the Doha GOALS Forum. Doha GOALS Forum executive director HE Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak al-Thani said: вЂњEach year at the Doha GOALS Forum we aim to invite a combination of global leaders, sporting heroes, business leaders and students to give us a diverse group of participants that in turn allows for wide Confirmed speakers HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani Marion Bartoli, tennis player and 2013 Wimbledon champion, France Boris Becker, former tennis champion and coach of world no.1 Novak Djokovic, Germany Titi Camara, former professional footballer, former Sports Minister, Guinea Veronica Campbell Brown, triple Olympic gold medallist, Jamaica Burcu Г‡etinkaya, World Rally Championship driver, Turkey Linford Christie, former Olympic 100 meter gold medallist, UK Lord Coe, two-time Olympic gold medallist, International Association of Athletics Associations vice president; former Chairman of Local Organizing Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, UK Jonathan Edwards, chair of the AthletesвЂ™ Commission, London 2012, and range of opinions and creates hundreds of ideas for positive change. It is for those reasons that weвЂ™re thrilled to be welcoming some of the greatest names in sport to Doha GOALS 2014.вЂќ ChinaвЂ™s triple Paralympic cham- Triple Jump world record-holder, UK Sir Ronald Flanagan, International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption & Security Unit chairman, UK George Foreman, former world heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medallist, US Hou Bin, triple Paralympic champion, China Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic champion, Track & Field USA director, US Wilson Kipketer, three-time world champion 800m runner, Denmark Tegla Loroupe, Goodwill Ambassador and champion marathon runner, Unicef, Kenya Sir Craig Reedie, International Olympic Committee vice president, UK Yasmian al-Sharshani, professional golfer, Qatar Christoph Tobias Metzelder, former footballer, Germany pion Hou Bin said: вЂњI know п¬Ѓrst-hand how sport can help improve your life. When you are on the п¬Ѓeld, everyone is equalвЂ¦it doesnвЂ™t matter what race you are, the language you speak вЂ“ you strive towards a similar goal as your competitor and you carry the same concerns. It is a reminder of our similarities, struggles and strength when we work together. Sport improved my life and I want to help it improve the lives of others. I am excited to attend, and continue the fantastic work of Doha GOALS towards making a real global difference.вЂќ Participants at Doha GOALS 2014 will address four touchstones: engaging youth, innovation and creativity, empowering people, and the role of sport in the Middle East and North Africa. Packed with a fast pace agenda to inspire creative and dynamic dialogue, these touch points are also reп¬‚ected in the selection of speakers. Doha GOALS Forum has again invited 400 students from across the globe to engage with the forum as part of the Student Ambassadors programme. Executive producer Richard Attias said: вЂњThese outstanding young leaders are selected for their academic, leadership and athletic abilities and for their proven involvement in their communities. This yearвЂ™s programme will have even greater geographical reach, with a focus on the emerging world and the Middle East. вЂњLeading up to the Doha GOALS Forum, these young men and women will be asked to come up with their own initiatives to implement in their communities. Select students who have launched exciting initiatives will be invited to speak about their projects in front of an audience of global thought leaders.вЂќ AustraliaвЂ™s George Bailey plays a shot during their second One Day International match against Pakistan in Dubai yesterday. (AFP) Scorecard PAKISTAN A Shahzad c Smith b Doherty 61 S Ahmed c Maxwell b Johnson 65 A Shafiq c Johnson b Lyon 29 Misbah run out 15 U Akmal c Smith b Johnson 5 F Alam not out 20 S Afridi c Smith b Johnson 2 W Riaz b Richardson 2 R Hasan run out 0 Z Babar c Maxwell b Faulkner 6 M Irfan run out 0 Extras (lb2, w8) 10 Total (all out, 49.3 overs) 215 Fall of wickets: 1-126 (Shahzad), 2-130 (Sarfraz), 3-159 (Misbah), 4-168 (Akmal), 5-185 (Shafiq), 6-199 (Afridi), 7-203 (Riaz), 8-204 (Hasan) Bowling: Johnson 10-0-40-3 (3w), Richardson 9.3-0-43-1 (4w), Doherty 10-0-44-1, Faulkner 7-0-27-1, Lyon 100-40-1 (1w), Maxwell 3-0-19-0 AUSTRALIA D Warner c Irfan b Hasan 29 A Finch c Ahmed b Irfan 14 S Smith c Ahmed b Babar 12 G Bailey run out (Shehzad) 28 G Maxwell c Shafiq b Babar 76 J Faulkner not out 26 B Haddin not out 17 Extras (lb 3, w 12) 15 Total (5 wickets; 43.2 overs) 217 Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Finch), 2-39 (Smith), 3-72 (Warner), 4-157 (Bailey), 5-178 (Maxwell) Bowling: Hasan 10-0-68-1 (2w), Irfan 9.2-0-42-1, Babar 10-1-52-2 (3w), Afridi 10-0-36-0 (2w), Riaz 2.2-0-7-0 (1w), Shehzad 1.4-0-9-0 2 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 CRICKET Looking to improve our death bowling: Dhawan Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan yesterday acknowledged IndiaвЂ™s bowling in the death overs as a tender spot, an area where they are currently working on. вЂњWe are looking to improve our bowling towards the end of the innings. We have improved our death-bowling since the England tour. Mohammed Shami took three wickets towards the end in Kochi. Things will get better,вЂќ said Dhawan on the eve of the second One-Day International (ODI) to be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla here today. вЂњBut we are not overtly concerned by it since it was the first game of the series. The spinners did give away runs, but it is part and parcel of the game. Sometimes they get hit but itвЂ™s not that it happens in every match.вЂќ India lost the first of the five ODIs at Kochi Wednesday by a massive 124 runs. Apart from medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and spinner Ravindra Jadeja, all other bowlers went for more than six an over. However, Dhawan expressed satisfaction with his present form. The left hander was the lone bright spot among the Indian batsman in Kochi where he scored 68 runs. вЂњLast one year has been a learning experience for me as I have seen both success and failure. But if you donвЂ™t know what failure is, you wonвЂ™t be able to enjoy success. I am learning everyday. Those six innings that I failed in the India-England Test series will probably help me to play 50 good innings,вЂќ the 28-year-old said. The Delhi lad added that his poor form in England has made him a more matured batsman and praised Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the role his skipper has played in his batting form reversal. вЂњI have learnt more about my batting, identified my strengths and weaknesses. I am constantly learning new things and adding to my game. ItвЂ™s very important for a player to have his captainвЂ™s backing him during a lean patch. I have received a lot of support from the captain,вЂќ said Dhawan. вЂњDhoni has been the skipper for so long and he knows what a player needs. Even the support staff backed me to play my natural game.вЂќ PREVIEW вЂ�StunnedвЂ™ India look to hit back in second ODI вЂ�We are a strongly-knit bunch of players and one loss doesnвЂ™t affect our moraleвЂ™ IANS New Delhi H aving suffered a humiliating defeat against the West Indies in the п¬Ѓrst OneDay International (ODI) of the п¬Ѓve-match series, hosts India will look to regain some pride and turn the corner in the second ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla here today. India began the series as the overwhelming favourites but were comprehensively beaten at Kochi Wednesday by a Caribbean side beset by off-п¬Ѓeld pay disputes. India lost by a massive 124 runs at the Nehru Stadium, succumbing to their second biggest margin of loss against a visiting team, nine runs less than their biggest loss of 135 runs in 2002. вЂњWe are positive despite the defeat and are working hard. Our focus is to play smart cricket to win the match. We are a strongly-knit bunch of players and one loss doesnвЂ™t affect our moral,вЂќ opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan said at a press conference here yesterday. The West Indies did and still do have problems of their own. The build-up to the match was dampened by an unwanted yet longstanding dispute over a payment agreement that once raised the possibility of the п¬Ѓrst ODI being boycotted by the visiting team. But timely intervention by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) neutralised that possibility. Sanjay Patel Thursday said the BCCI will be happy to help the WICB as a вЂњmediatorвЂќ once the series ends but denied that BCCI paid the disgruntled players or WICB prior to the Kochi ODI. In these circumstances, it should have been relatively easy for India, the world champions, to begin the series with a thumping victory, which should have set the tone for the remainder of the series. India look to regain some pride in the second ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi today. But they began the series on a wrong foot. Guilty of being a little complacent, the Indian bowling were smashed all over the park, chieп¬‚y by Marlon Samuels who helped himself to a stroke-п¬Ѓlled unbeaten 126. He was particularly severe towards the end of their innings, dispatching to the boundary anything loose offered by Indians. IndiaвЂ™s much vaunted batting line-up too п¬‚oundered, getting bowled out for a mere 197 runs with only opener Shikhar Dhawan getting among runs. The poor batting form that plagued Virat Kohli in IndiaвЂ™s tour of England stretched to home soil. He managed to score only two while the Chennai Super KingsвЂ™ (CSK) Champions League Twenty20 winning duo of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina also failed to get going. вЂњWe analysed several games of the India-England series to study some India players. We are trying to expose their weakness. We are aware that beating India at home is difficult and thereвЂ™s a long way to go in the SPOTLIGHT Pietersen accepts England career may be over AFP London K evin Pietersen conceded yesterday he may вЂњpotentiallyвЂќ have played his last match for England as the controversy surrounding his autobiography continues. During an intensive publicity campaign, South Africa-born batsman PietersenвЂ”EnglandвЂ™s all-time leading run-scorerвЂ” has indicated a wish to resume an international career abruptly cut short in February following the teamвЂ™s return from their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. That has long appeared a slim hope while England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke and managing director Paul Downton remain in post, with Pietersen admitting as much Thursday when he said вЂњClarke would have to goвЂќ if he was to play for England again. Allegations in his book of a вЂњbullyingвЂќ culture led by senior England bowlers such as James Anderson, assisted by wicketkeeper Matt Prior and severe criticism of the methods of former coach Andy Flower are one thing, but given Pietersen did not play County Championship cricket for Surrey last season, there is no way of his returning to the England set-up Kevin Pietersen on form grounds any time soon. However, in an interview on with BBC television chat show host Graham Norton, to be broadcast later Friday, Pietersen asked how likely it was he would play for England again, said: вЂњPotentially not, no. IвЂ™ve got to accept that.вЂќ The former England captain added: вЂњWhat IвЂ™ve been lucky to achieve, IвЂ™ve got to be grateful for and happy with. вЂњThereвЂ™s more to life now, and I just get on and do what I need to do.вЂќ Meanwhile Pietersen insisted even he had been surprised by the scale of the media storm generated by a book which only went on sale on Thursday but which was widely publicised before- hand, saying вЂњitвЂ™s gone madвЂќ. One area in which Pietersen, often accused by his detractors of being unwilling to accept his mistakes, acknowledges he erred was in sending вЂњprovocativeвЂќ texts concerning then England captain Andrew Strauss to opposition South African players during a home series against the Proteas in 2012. Pietersen, who had not long been told at the time that some of his England teammates were involved in a parody Twitter account mocking him, again expressed his regret on the Norton programme for an incident that saw him brieп¬‚y dropped from the England side. вЂњWe all make mistakes, and I certainly made them,вЂќ Pietersen said. вЂњOne of the biggest mistakes I made was with Andrew Strauss just before he played his 100th Test match. вЂњI was involved in the text messaging scandal, and there was a bit of mix-up that meant one of my best friendsвЂ”who was a fantastic captain and great cricketerвЂ”had his whole week tarnished, a week that should have been one of the great moments of his career. вЂњI regret that and am so sorry for that.вЂќ Meanwhile fast-medium bowler Anderson, in an interview with yesterdayвЂ™s Daily Telegraph, urged all concerned with the England set-up to focus on the upcoming pre-World Cup tour of Sri Lanka rather than rake over the past. вЂњWeвЂ™ve got cricket to playвЂ” more important things to worry about than someoneвЂ™s book,вЂќ said Anderson, who admitted to being perplexed by the depth of PietersenвЂ™s feelings. вЂњThe issues that have been brought up are sad reallyвЂ”the dressing room for the last seven or eight years when weвЂ™ve been winning has been amazing. вЂњYou donвЂ™t achieve what we have without guys pulling in the same direction. I canвЂ™t get my head round it - he seems like heвЂ™s just not enjoyed it for series but we are ready for it,вЂќ West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo said. вЂњThis is the best all-round West Indies team I have played in. We are missing Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine but the team is still very confident. I am particularly glad to see Samuels among runsвЂќ. For the Caribbeans, injured Lendl Simmons remains doubtful and Bravo, who stepped up to open at Kochi, said he will take a п¬Ѓnal call Saturday morning, as to who will open their innings. IвЂ™d like to hug Strauss and patch up row, says Pietersen Kevin Pietersen wants to hug Andrew Strauss and resolve his differences with his former captain, the controversial ex-England batsman said on Thursday. Amid the furore that has followed this weekвЂ™s release of his new book, PietersenвЂ™s biggest regret is the fallout from his row with the retired Strauss. вЂњI made lots of mistakes,вЂќ the swashbuckling batsman told Talksport Radio. вЂњIвЂ™ve been crucified publicly for them and IвЂ™ve apologised for them but my biggest regret is getting involved in all that messaging stuff at a time when Andrew Strauss was just about to finish his career.вЂќ The South African-born duo featured in one of EnglandвЂ™s most successful teams but the pair have endured a frosty relationship in recent years. In 2012 Pietersen sent disparaging texts about his thencaptain to members of the South African team during a test series between the two nations. Strauss later wrote in his book that his former team mate had вЂњcrossed the lineвЂќ with his messages. Earlier this year Strauss, now a Sky Sports television commentator, was recorded making an offensive comment about Pietersen when he believed he was off-air. вЂњStraussy and I were incredibly good friends, weвЂ™ve got a patchy relationship at the moment, and I just wish I could give him a hug and say, вЂ�man, can we just put this behind usвЂ™? Ishant replaces injured Mohit Sharma Indian pacer Ishant Sharma has been roped in for the injured Mohit Sharma, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the five-match One-Day International home series against the West Indies. вЂњMohit Sharma has aggravated his bilateral shin pain, and has therefore been ruled out of the ongoing Micromax Cup, India vs West Indies ODI series, 2014,вЂќ said a BCCI statement yesterday. вЂњThe All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Ishant Sharma as his replacement in the Indian squad.вЂќ Ishant Sharma last played an ODI in January against New Zealand and is making a comeback after missing matches against Bangladesh, the Asia Cup and the ODI series in England. India trail the West Indies 0-1 in the series after suffering a humiliating 124-run loss in the first ODI in Kochi. Mohit Sharma failed to get any wickets in that match, giving away 61 runs off his nine overs. OFF- FIELD DISPUTE Supporting each other during dispute: Bravo IANS New Delhi W est Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo yesterday admitted that his team is in the midst of a distracting off-п¬Ѓeld dispute but the entire squad is supporting one another to ensure that it doesnвЂ™t affect their performance on the ground. вЂњEveryone is providing support to each other. The balance of the side is great. As a captain, it is important for me to stay calm and keep the team members relaxed, particularly when things are not going well off the п¬Ѓeld,вЂќ said Bravo ahead of their second One-Day International (ODI) against India at the Ferozeshah Kotla here today. The start of the five-match ODI bilateral series has been dampened by a dispute over a payment agreement between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies PlayersвЂ™ Association (WIPA). The dispute had raised the possibility of the п¬Ѓrst ODI at Kochi Wednesday being boycotted by the visiting team. But timely intervention by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) neutralised the issue. The BCCI played the role of a вЂ�mediatorвЂ™ between the West Indies players and their two cricket bodies to ensure that all went according to schedule. The all-rounder admitted that playing India in their own backyard is a вЂњbig testвЂќ but he is satisfied with the teamвЂ™s form after defeating the home side by 124 runs at Kochi. вЂњThis is a big test. I am very happy with the performance of the team so far. We hope to п¬Ѓnish well after a good start. We must be consistent and work as a team,вЂќ the Chennai Super Kings player said. вЂњWe are prepared to play in all conditions. We are taking one step at a time and are mentally ready to play a long tour here. Players are willing to get accustomed to the conditions, adapt and adjust according to the demands of the playing conditions,вЂќ the 31-year-old concluded. Meanwhile, West Indies PlayersвЂ™ Association (WIPA) president Wavell Hinds said he will not resign in the wake of a fall-out with the cricketers who are currently on tour to India. The players, led by skipper Dwayne Bravo, have demanded HindsвЂ™ resignation with other WIPA officials because of conп¬‚ict of interest, reports CMC. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 3 FORMULA ONE DOMINANT FOCUS Marussia withdraw BianchiвЂ™s car Dazzling Hamilton back on top in second practice Reuters Sochi M arussia will race with only one car in tomorrowвЂ™s Russian Formula One Grand Prix after withdrawing the other out of respect for their severely injured French driver Jules Bianchi, the team said yesterday. Bianchi remains in a critical but stable condition in a Japanese hospital after he crashed into a recovery tractor at Suzuka during last SundayвЂ™s rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Team sporting director Graeme Lowdon, in the п¬Ѓrst public comments by team management since the Suzuka accident, thanked the Formula One community for their support after вЂ�an incredibly difficult weekвЂ™ for all. вЂњEverybody in the team, and I know much wider than that, is with Jules at this moment, and also with his family,вЂќ he told reporters after British driver Max Chilton had completed the dayвЂ™s practice in the sole Marussia. вЂњJules is an exceptional Formula One driver, but he is also an exceptional human being. I donвЂ™t know a single person who doesnвЂ™t like him...Jules has so many friends itвЂ™s really hit home hard, very hard, to a lot of people.вЂќ Along with Chilton, Marussia had provisionally entered American reserve Alexander Rossi for tomorrowвЂ™s race. Lowdon said the decision to п¬Ѓeld a single car had been a difficult one to take but the team felt it was the right one in the circumstances. вЂњWe are lying ninth in the world championship, which is a very important position for us, and weвЂ™re largely in that position because of Jules,вЂќ he explained. The highly-rated 25-yearold scored struggling MarussiaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst and only Formula One points to date when against the odds he п¬Ѓnished ninth in Monaco, his home race, last May. вЂњHe is a racing driver and he would want us to do the best we can, so we thought the right thing to do was to come here and take part in the event,вЂќ said Lowdon, whose team are Russian registered despite being вЂ�It wasnвЂ™t easy to get into the car this morningвЂ™ based in Britain. вЂњAs a mark of support for Jules, and a mark of respect to his mum and dad and his family, we decided to withdraw the second car.вЂќ Mechanics had assembled both on Thursday but left BianchiвЂ™s, race ready and with his name and numbers on it, sitting in the garage throughout practice. вЂњWe found that was something we could do. ItвЂ™s also been useful for the people in our team because they want to give an expression of support for Jules,вЂќ said Lowdon. вЂњSo I hope people understand what weвЂ™ve done and why weвЂ™ve done it. вЂњEven if it makes a small difference, it makes a difference in the right place.вЂќ Lowdon thanked the teamвЂ™s engine supplier Ferrari, for whom Bianchi was a test driver, and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone for their support. вЂњIn these situations itвЂ™s incredibly reassuring to know people care, and if I can sum up the support weвЂ™ve had from Bernie, itвЂ™s that he cares. It has been extremely valuable and useful,вЂќ he said. BianchiвЂ™s name also remained over the teamвЂ™s garage and all the other drivers carried stickers declaring вЂ�Tous Avec Jules #17вЂ™ on their helmets in a gesture of support. BianchiвЂ™s injury is the most serious suffered by a Formula One driver during a race since Brazilian Felipe Massa was hit on the helmet by a bouncing spring at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix while racing for Ferrari. Massa, now at Williams, suffered life-threatening head injuries and remained in a coma for several days. The sport has not had a driver fatality since BrazilвЂ™s triple champion Ayrton Senna died at Imola in 1994. вЂњI donвЂ™t know how to put into words how truly devastated I am by what has happened to Jules,вЂќ said Chilton, ahead of what will be difficult weekend for the Briton. вЂњThe support from the F1 family has been incredible and all we can do is be there to support JulesвЂ™ family at this difп¬Ѓcult time. It is going to be a very emotional weekend for the whole Team, but we will try to get through it and keep praying for Jules.вЂќ British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP in action during yesterdayвЂ™s second practice session at the Sochi Autodrom circuit, in Sochi, Russia. AFP Sochi C hampionship leader Lewis Hamilton put aside his concerns for Jules Bianchi and produced a dazzling lap to top the times in yesterdayвЂ™s second free practice session ahead of this weekendвЂ™s inaugural Russian Grand Prix. The 29-year-old Briton, who was second fastest behind his Mercedes teammate and title rival German Nico Rosberg in the morningвЂ™s opening session, wound up quickest in the afternoon with a dominant lap in one minute and 39.630 seconds. This was eight-tenths of a second faster than the chasing pack led by Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and made Hamilton the only man to break the 1:40 barrier at the newly built track in the Ol- ympic Park close to the Black Sea resort. вЂњIt wasnвЂ™t easy to get into the car this morning,вЂќ he said, referring to his and the paddockвЂ™s sombre mood and feelings for injured Frenchman Bianchi, who remained in intensive care in hospital in Japan. вЂњBut this afternoon, I felt more comfortable.вЂќ Two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari ahead of Rosberg, Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams and Briton Jenson Button in the second McLaren. Five days after BianchiвЂ™s shocking accident at the rain-lashed Japanese Grand Prix, where he suffered severe head injuries when his Marussia car collided with a recovery vehicle, all of the drivers wore вЂ�Tous Avec JulesвЂ™ stickers on their helmets in support of the absent Frenchman. Bianchi, 25, remained in intensive care in hospital in Yokkaichi. вЂњOf course, it is tough,вЂќ added Ham- ilton. вЂњBut it was good. It felt good and the grip improved as the track вЂ�rubberedвЂ™ in. The car felt good today and for me the track had a nice п¬‚ow. I really enjoyed it.вЂќ Brazilian Felipe Massa, who had described last SundayвЂ™s Japanese event as вЂњthe worst race of my lifeвЂќ, was seventh in the second Williams ahead of Red Bullbound local hero Russian Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and the man he is due to replace, four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel. Job-hunting Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne was 10th for Toro Rosso, turning in another impressive dayвЂ™s work as he seeks a new seat for 2015 after being released by his current outп¬Ѓt. The session was interrupted with seven minutes remaining when Australian Daniel Ricciardo suffered an engine failure on his Red Bull car. He п¬Ѓnished 13th. Bottas also survived an extraordinary early setback before recovering to п¬Ѓnish up п¬Ѓfth fastest for Williams. The tyres on the FinnвЂ™s car burst during the morningвЂ™s opening practice session due to a malfunction with the use of tyre вЂ�blanketsвЂ™. He said: вЂњItвЂ™s the п¬Ѓrst time thatвЂ™s happened, but I suppose those things can happen. вЂњIt didnвЂ™t hurt, as a whole day, as I still got a lot of laps in FP2. вЂњIn fact we drove more in that session because of the problems in the morning and we completed the same number of laps for the whole day as planned. вЂњBut I think we still need to investigate it a bit more.вЂќ Team-mate Massa had a more straightforward day and п¬Ѓnished seventh. вЂњI think it was a good Friday for us,вЂќ Massa said. вЂњThe car showed to be competitive, showed to be consistent, I was pretty happy with the balance.вЂќ Family members of injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi of France, (L-R) father Philippe Bianchi, brother Tom, mother Christine and sister Melanie, arrive at the front yard of the Mie General Medical Centre in Yokkaichi yesterday. Horrifying footage has emerged showing the moment Jules BianchiвЂ™s speeding Formula One car smashed into a stationary tractorcrane, leaving him fighting for his life in a Japanese hospital with serious head injuries. BOTTOMLINE Formula One faces calls for cockpit change Reuters Sochi F ormula One is facing fresh calls to consider closed cockpits after French driver Jules BianchiвЂ™s accident in Japan last weekend, though opinions are mixed about the potential beneп¬Ѓts. Cockpit covers were tested by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) after Brazilian Felipe Massa suffered severe head injuries when he was hit by a bouncing spring in Hungary in 2009. In 2012, tests were carried out using a forward roll hoopвЂ”a metal structure placed right in front of the driverвЂ”after other experiments with a jet п¬Ѓghterstyle canopy and windshields. None were developed beyond the testing stage, but drivers and teams suggested at the Russian Grand Prix they could be revisited after Bianchi suffered a severe brain trauma when his Marussia crashed into a recovery tractor at Suzuka. The Frenchman remains вЂ�critical but stableвЂ™ in hospital. вЂњI probably tend to agree to at least check and try or test the idea,вЂќ FerrariвЂ™s Fernando Alonso, a good friend of Bianchi, said of the closed cockpit idea. вЂњI think we are in 2014, we have the technology, we have aeroplanes, we have had many other examples that they use in a successful way so why not think about it? вЂњAll the biggest accidents in motor sport over the last couple of years have been head injuries so itвЂ™s probably one part where we are not at the top of safety,вЂќ added the Spanish double world champion. Alonso gave as an example the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix, where Romain GrosjeanвЂ™s Lotus п¬‚ew into the air and skimmed over his car, missing his head by a matter of centimetres. вЂњI could probably have died there in corner one if it had been 10cms closer to my head. If the technology is there and available, and there is the possibility, I would not exclude it, for sure,вЂќ he said. The problem with canopies, apart from aesthetics which offend purists in a series that has always had open cockpits, has been ensuring good visibility in poor conditions and the risk of a driver becoming trapped if a car overturns. Red BullвЂ™s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who has a keen sense of the sportвЂ™s history and traditions, said he had mixed feelings. вЂњI think it (open cockpits) is one of the things that are very special about Formula One,вЂќ the German told reporters. вЂњOn the other hand, as Fernando touched on, thereвЂ™s a lot of reasons why we should look into closed cockpits for the future.вЂќ Such a cover would have probably allowed Massa to escape unscathed from his injury, with the Brazilian lucky anyway that the spring hit the helmet just above his eye rather than the plastic visor. Whether it would have helped Bianchi, whose car had the rear rollbar ripped off in the impact with the tractor and who appears to have suffered extreme G forces, remained an open question. вЂњItвЂ™s a difficult one,вЂќ said 2009 champion Jenson Button when asked his opinion on the cockpit debate. вЂњAs Seb said, there are positives obviously, in terms of the safety point of view but this is Formula One thatвЂ™s been open cockpit since the start of time. вЂњSo itвЂ™s a very big change for the sport to make. Safety is something that we can always improve on so IвЂ™m sure it will be looked at whether it is possible to change or not for the future.вЂќ AlecSirotkin Stewart makes strong debut Russian rookie (left) and Kevin Pietersen. Sochi: Teenage Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin made his Formula One debut for Sauber in yesterdayвЂ™s opening free practice and immediately said he felt ready for a full-time seat. Sirotkin, 19, replaced Mexican Esteban Gutierrez to the delight of his compatriots in the crowd at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix and completed 22 laps on his way to the 17th best lap time. вЂњIt was a surprise to me that it was a bit easier than I thought,вЂќ he said. вЂњI feel myself more than ready for this stepвЂ”I just need the chance. вЂњMotorsport in Russia is progressing quite well. This weekend made a big step forward and it helps to attract the people and make them inter- ested. вЂњWeвЂ™re working to get the seat next year. ThereвЂ™s nothing I can say now officially, but we are working...вЂќ He added: вЂњIt took a bit of time to get into it, but after that we took it easy. I didnвЂ™t try to beat any records, just to build the lap time slowly. вЂњUnfortunately on my quick run I was really unlucky with the traffic. The quickest lap was the last one in the run so the temperature of the tyres was quite a bit too hot.вЂќ SirotkinвЂ™s compatriot Daniil Kvyat has impressed with Toro Rosso this year and last weekend was confirmed as successor to four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2015. 4 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 SPORT MayweatherвЂ™s father says Pacquiao fight will happen The long anticipated fight between unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather and Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao will вЂњdefinitelyвЂќ happen, MayweatherвЂ™s father predicted in an interview. Speaking to fighthype.com this week, Floyd Mayweather senior voiced confidence that the bout that has been many times in the making but never actually materialized would eventually occur. вЂњThat fightвЂ™s going to happen, trust me,вЂќ he said. вЂњThat fightвЂ™s definitely going to happen. ItвЂ™s a fight for the world, man, right there.вЂќ Ring fans the world over have been baying for a mega-fight between two of the worldвЂ™s greatest boxers of their generation, but previous talks have always broken down before a deal could be signed. Pacquiao, 35, has held world titles in eight separate weight divisions. He is training to defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight title against another undefeated American, Chris Algieri, in Macau in November. Mayweather junior, the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super welterweight champion, pushed his record to 47-0 with a lopsided points victory over Marcos Maidana in a rematch in Las Vegas last month. Mayweather senior acknowledged that he hadnвЂ™t received any special word from his son on a potential Pacquiao fight. But he believes public interest is so high that it must eventually happen. вЂњIt needs to happen,вЂќ he said. вЂњThe world wants to see itвЂ”and theyвЂ™ll want to see it again when Floyd beats Pacquiao.вЂќ TENNIS Djokovic and Federer to clash in Shanghai semis вЂ�ItвЂ™s really a big challenge for both of us. We need to take the best out of usвЂ™ AFP Shanghai W orld number one Novak Djokovic and 17-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will battle for a place in the Shanghai Masters п¬Ѓnal after they powered through their quarter-п¬Ѓnal matches yesterday. Gilles Simon of France and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez will also meet in SaturdayвЂ™s semi-п¬Ѓnals as the tournament reaches its dramatic climax. Federer won his evening match against Julien Benneteau of France, taking the п¬Ѓrst set at the tie-break, before demolishing his opponent in the second to п¬Ѓnish with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 scoreline. The third seed in Shanghai last faced Djokovic in the Wimbledon п¬Ѓnal, a game he lost 6-7(7/9), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-4. The Swiss player is marginally ahead in their previous meetings, winning 18 times, compared to 17 for seven-times Grand Slam winner Djokovic вЂњI think every time we play against each other, itвЂ™s a thriller,вЂќ Shanghai top seed Djokovic said, ahead of the mouthwatering semi-п¬Ѓnal. вЂњItвЂ™s really a big challenge for both of us. We need to take the best out of us. We need to bring our вЂ�A gameвЂ™ in order to win.вЂќ Federer has been in stunning form this season, and is set to overtake world number two Rafael Nadal in the rankings on the back of his run in Shanghai. zвЂ�Given a scareвЂ™ -Djokovic marched into the semi-п¬Ѓnals by overcoming David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2 as he vies for his third successive title. The Serb broke his Spanish opponentвЂ™s serve in the п¬Ѓrst Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his quarter-final match against Julien Benneteau of France at the Shanghai Tennis Masters in Shanghai, China, yesterday. game, but was given a scare as he was serving to take the п¬Ѓrst set with the scores at 5-4 in his favour. Ferrer, who dumped out BritainвЂ™s Andy Murray in the quarters, saved three set-points against the reigning champion in Shanghai before earning two break points. But Djokovic snuffed out the challenge and п¬Ѓnally closed the marathon 12 minute game at the net, pumping his п¬Ѓsts with relief as the crowd roared. He was more dominant in the second set, breaking п¬Ѓfth seed Ferrer again at his п¬Ѓrst attempt before gaining a 5-2 lead with his next break and closing out the match in one hour 24 minutes. Meanwhile, Simon continued his great run in Shanghai, overwhelming Tomas Berdych in a scintillating п¬Ѓnal set to claim his second top-10 scalp in three days. The world number 29 won 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-0 to enter his second successive semi-п¬Ѓnal, after also making the last four in Tokyo last week where he lost to Milos Raonic. Simon, 29, is yet to win a Masters title but he is in a rich vein of form and overpowered Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday in Shanghai. Berdych, meanwhile, reached last weekвЂ™s China Open п¬Ѓnal and he arrived at the Shanghai quarter-п¬Ѓnals without even facing a break point. But the tournamentвЂ™s sixth seed, ranked seventh in the world, was given a rude awakening when Simon broke his serve in the п¬Ѓrst game. Berdych broke back in the third game to draw level, but Simon clinched the set at the tiebreak with a powerful crosscourt groundstroke. Berdych drew boos when he appeared to berate a ball-girl for being slow to bring his towel with the scores level at 4-4 in the second set. But he then seized the break and closed the following game, and the set, with an ace. zвЂ�I feel strongerвЂ™-However, he went missing in the decider as Simon took it effortlessly 6-0. вЂњI feel my tennis is coming back from the last, I would say, two months,вЂќ Simon said after his victory. вЂњIвЂ™m п¬Ѓnding a better rhythm. I feel also physically stronger. I have less injuries. So, I mean, itвЂ™s a bit easier to go on the court. вЂњBut still Tomas is a great player. HeвЂ™s always hard to beat. I think I almost played the perfect match today. The 29-year-old will fancy his chances against Lopez of Spain in the semi-п¬Ѓnals. The world number 21 beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in a thrilling match between two thirty-something players. Lopez appeared to he heading for defeat a set down and losing 4-2 in the second set, but he came back brilliantly, breaking Youzhny in his п¬Ѓnal two service games to set up a decider. The 33-year-old was then forced to endure a horror game as he appeared in control, serving for the match at 5-3 ahead. His 32-year-old opponent forced two break points before sealing the game at his third attempt in the most unlikely circumstancesвЂ”with Lopez double-faulting. But Lopez quickly regained his composure to win the next game and overcome his 35thranked opponent, much to his relief. вЂњI went very aggressive,вЂќ Lopez said, explaining his double fault. вЂњThe game after I made the break. I break him back. I was a little bit lucky.вЂќ A host of big names are already out, including Nadal and Murray. GOLF ROUND-UP KoreaвЂ™s Ryu grabs two-stroke lead in Malaysia AFP Kuala Lumpur S So Yeon Ryu of South Korea watches her shot from the fairway on the second hole during the second round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2014 golf tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. o Yeon Ryu birdied п¬Ѓve of her п¬Ѓrst seven holes en route to a six-under-par 65 and a two-stroke lead at the half-way point in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament yesterday. The South Korean added two more birdies on the back nine before suffering the only blemish on her card at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, a bogey on the par-four 14th hole, leaving her at 11-under for the event. Hot on her heels were a hardcharging trio tied at 9-under, led by JapanвЂ™s Ayako Uehara, who orchestrated a bogey-free 63. EnglandвЂ™s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and 17-year-old phenomenon Lydia Ko of New Zealand stayed level with Uehara after both shot 64. South KoreaвЂ™s Eun-Hee Ji joined them 9-under, while three golfersвЂ”Shanshan Feng of China, Azahara Munoz of Spain, and ThailandвЂ™s Pornanong PhatlumвЂ” were a further stroke back. World number one Stacy Lewis, who held the п¬Ѓrst-round lead, surrendered it after the American posted an uncharacteristic four bogeys on the front nine on the way to an even-par 71, leaving her п¬Ѓve strokes off the lead. Last yearвЂ™s winner Lexi Thompson of the US saw her hopes of a repeat suffer a blow as she struggled yesterday to a 73, putting her at two-over for the tournament, well off the pace. The $2mn tournament is part of a multi-event swing through Asia by the US LPGA. Chinese teen Li Haotong dazzles at China Masters Chinese teenager Li Haotong set a course record with a sixunder-par 65 to take the second round lead at the Nanshan China Masters yesterday. Li, who is only 19, leapt to the head of the pack in the $1mn OneAsia event at Nanshan International Golf Club, three shots ahead of New ZealandвЂ™s Nick Gillespie and American Garrett Sapp. вЂњI had many good putts today,вЂќ said Li, who has been part of ChinaвЂ™s national team since he was 14. вЂњI will not think about the result because every time I do, I get thirsty to win and then I donвЂ™t win.вЂќ Daniel Woltman of the US had shared the lead after the п¬Ѓrst round, but his tournament fell apart with a п¬Ѓve-over-par 76. His fellow overnight joint leader, Australian Rhein Gibson, also slipped back with a 70 but remained in fourth place. The Nanshan International Golf Club hosts the training centre for the Chinese team. Bae, Gonzales share US PGA lead South KoreaвЂ™s Bae Sang-Moon п¬Ѓred seven birdies with one bogey in a six-under 66 on Thursday to join American Andres Gonzales atop the US PGA Tour Frys.com Open. In the п¬Ѓrst event of the US tourвЂ™s 2014-15 season, Bae and Gonzales topped a tightly packed leaderboard. They were one shot in front of ScotlandвЂ™s Martin Laird, who had п¬Ѓve birdies with no bogeys in his п¬Ѓve-under par 66 at the Silverado ResortвЂ™s North Course. Gonzales, starting his third year on the PGA Tour, has just one top-10 п¬Ѓnish in 44 career starts. He has won on the Web. com developmental tour, and believes he has the game to succeed on the PGA Tour. вЂњIвЂ™ve always felt that IвЂ™ve been good enough to be at this level, whether or not IвЂ™ve proven that each year,вЂќ said Gonzales, whose seven birdies included two in a row to finish. вЂњIвЂ™ve felt that each year I have improved each year.вЂќ Bae, owner of one PGA Tour title, birdied his last three holesвЂ”and four of his last п¬ЃveвЂ” to grab his share of the lead in the afternoon. RUGBY Singapore wants to host British Lions, Tests and Sevens Reuters Singapore S ingapore is in discussions on staging a British and Irish Lions tour match, international tests and a leg of the rugby sevens series at its new $1bn Sports Hub as part of efforts to become a вЂ�home away from homeвЂ™ for the sportвЂ™s biggest names. International Rugby Board ofп¬Ѓcials gathered in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state this week for their annual meeting, with IRB President Bernard Lapasset leading the praise of SingaporeвЂ™s new 55,000 National Stadium. The facility, which can host cricket, rugby, soccer and athletics events, is the centrepiece of a project which Singapore hopes can transform it into a sporting capital. The Brazilian football team will play Japan in a glamour friendly here on Tuesday, while the top eight womenвЂ™s tennis players will compete in Singapore at the WTA Finals for the п¬Ѓrst time later this month. Rugby also wants a piece of the pie. вЂњOur role now is to open the door for Asia, with more expansion for rugby,вЂќ Lapasset told a small group of reporters this week. вЂњSingapore is a fantastic city and they already have a lot of big events and rugby should be a part of that. вЂњWhether itвЂ™s the Sevens World Series, Olympic qualiп¬Ѓers or World Cup warm-up games, there are many opportunities in the coming years for Singapore to be a major player in the rugby world.вЂќ Singapore and Japan will п¬Ѓnd out next month who has been selected to become the 18th team to join Super Rugby, with the IRB вЂњvery excitedвЂќ that two Asian bids are being considered by the competitionвЂ™s governing body, SANZAR. Japan appears to be ahead in the race after making a concession to host some matches in Singapore should they win the bid.. вЂ�TERRIFIC DESTINATIONвЂ™ But that willingness to share does not extend to the 2019 rugby World Cup, IRB CEO Brett Gosper said, dampening speculation that Singapore or Hong Kong could host games when Japan stages rugbyвЂ™s biggest tournament. вЂњIt would have been nice on a number of levels but itвЂ™s been brought back into being an allJapan operation ... but I would say its a terriп¬Ѓc destination for warm-up matches ahead of 2019,вЂќ the Australian said. Singapore will showcase itself as a destination next month when it hosts a п¬Ѓxture between the Asia Paciп¬Ѓc Dragons and the New Zealand Maori. The Dragons are an invitational side, made up mainly of Paciп¬Ѓc Islander players, which Singapore is proposing for the 18th Super Rugby berth. Singapore also hosted an international rugby 10s tournament in June, the п¬Ѓrst event at the National Stadium, but it wants to play a bigger role in world rugby. It is in the hunt to host the 2018 World Cup rugby sevens tournament, while discussions were held this week on the possibility of hosting one of three new stops proposed on the sevens series, as well as a Lions п¬Ѓxture. The Lions played the opening match of their 2013 tour of Australia in Hong Kong, the Asian home of main sponsors HSBC and also the headquarters of the Asian Rugby Football Union. The Lions next tour is not until 2017 in New Zealand. John Spencer, tour manager for the New Zealand trip, was in Singapore along with 60 other delegates for the IRB meetings. The Straits Times reported that the possibility of hosting a one-off Lions п¬Ѓxture in Singapore ahead of the 2017 tour was discussed. The ever-increasing size and costs of a Lions tour means they need to be able to generate funds wherever they go, therefore wealthy Singapore is a plausible option. South Africa and other nations have also looked at playing lucrative matches in the citystate. South African Rugby Un- ion President Oregan Hoskins pointed to the All Blacks test in Chicago against the US next month, and a previous Bledisloe Cup encounter between New Zealand and Australia in Hong Kong, as rugbyвЂ™s acceptance that it needs to go to different markets to generate money. вЂњNew Zealand, Australia and South Africa might be seen as the three strong playing brands but we are certainly not the wealthiest,вЂќ the IRB vice chairman said. вЂњTeams are willing to play wherever the sponsors put money up. Its a global game, a professional game and gone are the days that you are conп¬Ѓned to your own back yard, you go where your sponsors take you.вЂќ Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 5 SPORT MotoGP Marquez struggles, Dovizioso leads in Japan GP practice вЂ�Today we did some runs with a good pace, but we have to work harder to improve our lap timesвЂ™ AFP Motegi, Japan W orld championship leader Marc Marquez struggled to regain his top shape yesterday during practice ahead of tomorrowвЂ™s Grand Prix of Japan, as his team scrambled to п¬Ѓnd the correct set-up. The SpaniardвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst matchpoint for this seasonвЂ™s title began on a rocky footing, as he went through a minor crash early in practice when he attempted to turn a corner with issues also with shaking of his machine. The 21-year-old Honda man got up quickly after the fall and hopped on a scooter to confer with his team before going out again to MotegiвЂ™s Twin Ring circuit, known for its stop-and-go design with lots of hard braking and acceleration points. вЂњI was not able to work well with the set-up,вЂќ Marquez said after practice. Marquez can retain his MotoGP title with a victory at Motegi, home to Honda. Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso submitted shining performance yesterday, beneп¬Ѓting from an extra soft rear tyre to set the best time of the day with a 1min45.140sec, leaving a 0.440sec gap ahead of former world champion Jorge Lorenzo, winner at Motegi last year. They were followed by Stefan Bradl on LCR Honda, Dani Pedrosa on Honda, and Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. Marquez clocked sixth, 0.799sec slower than the leading Italian. Dovizioso also marked faster practise time than Marquez in Grand Prix of Aragon two weeks ago. Marquez complained about shaking of his machine during the morning practise session, when he could not brake in time at turn п¬Ѓve. вЂњWhen I arrived at the braking point, there was no brake, zero. Then I tried to brake in two, three, four times. But it was becoming too late,вЂќ he said. Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso of Italy (right) leads Energy T.I. Pramac Racing rider Yonny Hernandez of Colombia during the second MotoGP-class free practice session of the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi, yesterday. вЂњIn the end, I was able to brake a little bit. But I saw that the wall was coming, and I fell down,вЂќ he said with a chuckle. вЂњI hope tomorrow we will improve a little bit,вЂќ he said. With a margin of 75 points over second-place teammate Pedrosa, Marquez could use the Motegi race to lock the championship with a win or even worse depending on the п¬Ѓnal place- ment of his rivals. Pedrosa, who Marquez has to beat in order to claim the season crown in Motegi, showed off superb braking moves and said he was happy with the practice. SPOTLIGHT вЂњToday we did some runs with a good pace, but we have to work harder to improve our lap times and be very focused on setting a good time in qualifying,вЂќ Pedrosa said. Teams were watching local weather carefully as another typhoon approaches southern Japan, days after a horror crash left a Formula One driver п¬Ѓghting for his life. The typhoon might bring some rain tomorrow although largely overcast sky is generally expected for the race day. The storm was expected to hit the Japanese mainland on Monday. OLYMPICS Schoolgirl fencerвЂ™s dream Costs and bidding begins with a sponge sword process scare off European hopefuls AFP Tokyo S choolgirl fencer Misaki Emura (pictured) became hooked on the swashbuckling sport after picking up a sponge sword as a toddler. Now, as Tokyo celebrates the 50th anniversary Friday of the п¬Ѓrst Asian Olympic games, she has her sights on 2020. These days cutting a more fearsome sight swishing a metal blade, the 15-year-old has little doubt she will win a gold medal for Japan at the Tokyo Olympics. вЂњFencing is my whole life,вЂќ Emura told AFP in an interview. вЂњMy dream was to win an Olympic gold but after Tokyo was named 2020 host that dream became even clearer. To get the chance to win a gold medal in Japan makes me even more determined. IвЂ™m conп¬Ѓdent IвЂ™ll do it.вЂќ TokyoвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst Olympics, in 1964, opened 50 years ago to the day, and marked JapanвЂ™s emergence as an economic power. However, nostalgia has little place in modern sport and Japan is banking on its fresh-faced stars of tomorrow to trigger a rush of gold in six yearsвЂ™ time. Japanese Olympic bosses have set a target of 30 gold medals and third place overall behind superpowers the US and China, investing heavily in youth as they hope for the Midas touch in 2020. They have already begun identifying future gold medallistsвЂ”many of whom, like Emura, whose parents both represented Japan at fencing, live and train at TokyoвЂ™s elite National Training Centre under the close supervision of scientists and nutritionists. вЂњThere are things you have to live without,вЂќ said Emura, who won team gold at the Youth Olympics in August and whose father, Koji, fenced for Japan at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. вЂњPlaying with friends, eating what you want. IвЂ™ve put on muscle so I canвЂ™t wear fancy clothes. I have to be careful not to eat too many sweets. вЂњMy dad competed at the Olympics but he didnвЂ™t win a medal so I want to win gold for himвЂ” and for my mum, who has given up so much to support me.вЂќ Japan п¬Ѓnished third in the medals table behind the US and the Soviet Union as hosts of AsiaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst Olympics in 1964, which were overshadowed politically by the removal of Nikita Khrushchev as Soviet leader and ChinaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst nuclear weapons test. The Japanese governmentвЂ™s unveiling of the iconic Bullet Train for the Games symbolised the countryвЂ™s rise from humiliating defeat in World War II to its emergence as a major international player, and future heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier was among those who shot to fame in Tokyo. For Japan to replicate third place, however, and to win 30 gold medals in 2020, will take a Herculean effort after п¬Ѓnishing a disappointing eleventhвЂ”with just seven goldsвЂ”at the London Games two years ago. вЂњIf you donвЂ™t set yourself those goals, you have no hope of achieving them,вЂќ Kozo Tashima, vice chief of JapanвЂ™s Asian Games delegation, told AFP. вЂњWe want to win a medal in every Olympic sport. вЂњWe will analyse the results of the Asian Games and study proposals from every sports federation before allocating budgets. вЂњIf there are areas we think require more investment, we will distribute extra funds. The system has been in place for some time with the aim of winning medals at the 2020 Olympics.вЂќ Japan п¬Ѓnished third behind powerhouse China and hosts South Korea at the Asian Games, the regional multisport gathering that п¬Ѓnished earlier this month. It is an event in which they have had athletes such as marathon runner Naoko Takahashi and swimmer Kosuke Kitajima break through before going on to achieve Olympic success and superstardom. KitajimaвЂ™s namesake Kosuke Hagino, still just 20, won seven medals in the pool, including four golds, to be named athlete of the Games, but Tashima insisted he could be the tip of the iceberg for Japan. вЂњThere might be even stronger athletes coming through six years from now,вЂќ he said. вЂњThe elite academy is producing world-class athletes in fencing, wrestling, table tennis, shooting, swimming and diving.вЂќ Reuters Berlin W hat do European cities Stockholm, Oslo, Krakow, Lviv, St Moritz and Munich have in common? They have all turned down or pulled out of bidding for the Winter Olympics in 2022 and triggered alarm bells at the International Olympic Committee. The withdrawals, with Oslo pulling out as recently as last week, have highlighted the need for what IOC President Thomas Bach has said was an overhaul of the bidding process. But as it stands now, the Alps, EuropeвЂ™s traditional winter sports hub, will be without the Games for at least a generation, until 2026 at the earliest. ItalyвЂ™s Turin hosted the event in 2006 before the Games went to Vancouver in Canada for 2010 and RussiaвЂ™s Sochi in the Caucasus mountains this year. For 2018 the Winter Olympics will travel to South KoreaвЂ™s Pyeongchang, with KazakhstanвЂ™s Almaty and Beijing in China the only candidates left for 2022. Whether scared off by what potential bidders see as massive costs, like SochiвЂ™s $51bn price tag, doubtful п¬Ѓnancial returns or strong local opposition, Europe has been turned off the winter Games for now at least. вЂњNorwayвЂ™s Lillehammer in 1994 staged the most successful winter Games ever,вЂќ sports marketing expert Michael Payne, the IOCвЂ™s former longtime marketing chief, told Reuters. вЂњIf Lillehammer had to go through the existing bid process, it would have scared them off immediately and you would not have had those Games,вЂќ he said. Payne said it was the IOC who have failed so far to communicate the message of the winter Games properly, instead building up a bidding process that is long, exhausting and at times superп¬‚uous. The nail in OsloвЂ™s Olympic bid coffin seemingly came when 7,000 pages of the host city contract and other manuals were released with details about the IOC membersвЂ™ desired room temperatures, cocktail protocols and obligatory stocked minibars. Norwegian Olympic Committee general secretary Inge Andersen told Reuters the IOC was scaring off western countries with a long, complicated and bureaucratic process that these countries had trouble pitching to their own citizens. That in turn was also fuelling opposition in possible host cities. вЂњIt is important the IOC goes through these manuals, which for the п¬Ѓrst time were made public, to make them in a way a country in western Europe, Canada or the US can understand them,вЂќ Andersen said. Payne agrees the IOC process has become overwhelming for a product he says is still a money maker, even for European cities. вЂњI donвЂ™t believe the product is in any way broken for Europe,вЂќ he said, adding that European cities could keep costs down and maximise proп¬Ѓts as they have more existing venues than newcomers like Almaty, Beijing or even the 2018 hosts Pyeongchang or Sochi. вЂњThe bidding process has got to be simpliп¬Ѓed,вЂќ Payne said. вЂњThe IOC, wanting to de-risk everything, has loaded more and more demands into the bidding phase. вЂњ вЂњThe manuals used to be 50 pages. After each Games you look to п¬Ѓx things so these grow and grow and grow. From a strategic point of view it makes sense but it scares the living daylights out of them.вЂќ 6 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 RUGBY FOCUS CONTROVERSY Wallabies coach denies affair as texts row deepens McKenzie rejects rumours about his relationship with business manager Di Patston AFP Sydney A ustralia coach Ewen McKenzie denied having an affair with a staff member as a row over allegedly offensive texts sent by Kurtley Beale took an unexpected twist yesterday. A stony-faced McKenzie rejected rumours about his relationship with business manager Di Patston, who is on stress leave following a mid-п¬‚ight argument with Beale during last weekвЂ™s trip to Argentina. Beale was suspended from the Argentina game over the argument, and was later barred from selection indeп¬Ѓnitely after the emergence of вЂњdeeply offensive text messagesвЂќ concerning a member of staff. вЂњIвЂ™ve got a professional relationship with her. And I refute that,вЂќ McKenzie told reporters, when asked if he had an вЂњintimateвЂќ relationship with Patston. вЂњThere are people out there and that thereвЂ™s some sort of campaign to impugn, thatвЂ™s (not) the situation,вЂќ said McKenzie, who is married with children. вЂњIвЂ™ve got a professional relationship with her and I refute that.вЂќ Beale is under investigation by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) over both the argument and the text messages, and is expected to face a hearing early next week. Australian media reports said the situation had become divisive in the Wallabies camp, which is also reeling from last weekвЂ™s 21-17 defeatвЂ”ArgentinaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst win in the Rugby Championship. But McKenzie said: вЂњI donвЂ™t think I have a divided camp. I know thereвЂ™s been lots of talk in the newspapers and everyoneвЂ™s got an opinion, but I know the playing group.вЂќ He defended PatstonвЂ™s appointment, which was made during his tenure, and said he didnвЂ™t believe it had caused вЂњangstвЂќ in the team. вЂњShe came in as the business manager and she came in with a speciп¬Ѓc role to take the team to a new level,вЂќ he told a press conference in Sydney. Cooper back for Wallabies, Beale suspended Reuters Sydney M ercurial п¬‚y-half Quade Cooper earned a recall to the Australia setup but Kurtley Beale was sidelined as he awaits a hearing into claims he sent offensive texts about a staff member. Cooper, 26, was included in Ewen McKenzieвЂ™s 32-man squad for next weekвЂ™s third and п¬Ѓnal Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand, who have already retained the trophy. But there was no place for Beale, who missed last weekвЂ™s loss to Argentina following a mid-air bust-up and was later suspended pending the hearing into the text message claims. Cooper has not played for Australia this year after he suffered a shoulder injury in May and lost his place to Bernard Foley in the starting line-up. вЂњYouвЂ™re always searching for the right balance of experience and youth in a squad, so itвЂ™s pleasing to see Quade Cooper available once again,вЂќ coach McKenzie said in a statement. вЂњThis will be his п¬Ѓrst involvement in the squad environment this year, so weвЂ™ll look forward to assessing where he is up to when we assemble in Brisbane on Sunday,вЂќ he added. The Queensland Reds playmaker was a signiп¬Ѓcant inclusion along with uncapped Fijiborn winger Henry Speight, who was named even though he is in the п¬Ѓnal stages of rehabilitation from a hamstring injury. Team officials said Speight would use the week to further familiarise himself with the Wallabies environment ahead of their п¬Ѓve-game European tour next month. Speight is one of four uncapped members in the squad, alongside Western Force tighthead prop Tetera Faulkner and centre Kyle Godwin, and Melbourne Rebels winger Tom English. Rebels backrower Luke Jones also received a call-up after making his debut for Australia in the second Test against France in June. Centre Matt Toomua was not considered after receiving a head knock in AustraliaвЂ™s 2117 Rugby Championship loss in Argentina last weekend. Western Force backrower Ben McCalman, meanwhile, is unavailable for the remainder of the year after injuring his shoulder against South Africa a fortnight ago. Other players on the injury list include Stephen Moore (knee), Tatafu Polota-Nau (ankle), Nathan Charles (pectoral), Scott Sio (ankle), Wycliff Palu (head), David Pocock (knee), Ben McCalman (shoulder) and Dave Dennis (knee). McKenzie will п¬Ѓnalise his 23-man match day squad next Tuesday. AUSTRALIA SQUAD Forwards: Ben Alexander, Tetera Faulkner, Sekope Kepu, Benn Robinson, James Slipper, Saia FaingaвЂ™a, James Hanson, Josh Mann-Rea, Sam Carter, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Michael Hooper (capt), Luke Jones, Jake Schatz. Backs: Will Genia, Nick Phipps, Nic White, Quade Cooper, Bernard Foley, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian LealiвЂ™ifano, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom English, Israel Folau, Rob Horne, Henry Speight, Joe Tomane. Australian rugby union coach Ewen McKenzie speaks during a press conference to announce his 32-man squad for the third Test against the All Blacks, in Sydney yesterday. (AFP) вЂњSheвЂ™s got extraordinary skills and she had made a massive difference to the business side of it and thatвЂ™s what sheвЂ™s done.вЂќ McKenzie was also frustrated that the Wallabies were being sidetracked ahead of their п¬Ѓnal Bledisloe Cup Test with New Zealand in Brisbane next week. вЂњI am annoyed because in the end we are trying to run a football programme and itвЂ™s got side- tracked and itвЂ™s been sidetracked in many different ways,вЂќ he said. вЂњItвЂ™s frustrating but there is a challenge to try and put that back on track. I canвЂ™t stop people speculating. ItвЂ™s me this week, it will be someone else next week, thatвЂ™s the way it is. I accept that itвЂ™s the life in the public domain but you just get on with it.вЂќ Beale has been suspended indeп¬Ѓnitely while the ARU inves- tigation plays out. The 47-Test back was last year forced to undergo counselling and rehabilitation for his struggles with alcohol. McKenzie said he only found out about the text messages, which reportedly contain lewd pictures and date back to June, last week. вЂњI became aware of the existence of the text messages in Buenos Aires. I know the content, I SPOTLIGHT havenвЂ™t seen the photos,вЂќ McKenzie said. вЂњWhen I became aware of it I forwarded the information on, then she (Patston) obviously left because of stress and the way she felt about the environment and then it was left to the integrity unit as we advised at the time.вЂќ Patston п¬‚ew home early from Argentina and she has been on leave ever since. Kurtley Beale was sidelined as he awaits a hearing into claims he sent offensive texts about a staff member. (AFP) PREVIEW Uruguay host Russia in crucial Pride at stake in play-off for final World Cup spot Parisian derby AFP Montevideo AFP Paris U apital pride will be at stake in Top 14 action this weekend as Stade Francais take on cross-Paris rivals RacingMetro, while table-toppers Toulon host struggling Toulouse today. While lacking the verbal jousts since Max Guazzini left Stade Francais, his successor as chairman Thomas Savare and Racing counterpart Jacky Lorenzetti continue in their bid to sell rugby in the hardest of markets, albeit with the highest number of registered players (48,000) in France - the Parisian region of Ile de France. вЂњStade Francais are at home and they will want revenge,вЂќ Lorenzetti said in reference to his teamвЂ™s victory over Stade last season. A Parisian derby maybe, but unlikely to be a sell-out at the magniп¬Ѓcent Jean-Bouin stadium, host of the recent WomenвЂ™s Rugby World Cup п¬Ѓnals. вЂњItвЂ™s a problem of choice with all other activities Parisians can do when theyвЂ™re there at the weekend,вЂќ said Savare. вЂњItвЂ™s up to us to attract them, to show them that itвЂ™s a high-quality show in a beautiful stadium.вЂќ LorenzettiвЂ™s Racing play their rugby in the somewhat delapilated surrounds of the Yves-du-Manoir stadium in Colombes, where there was an average attendance п¬Ѓgure of ruguay host Russia in the п¬Ѓnal qualiп¬Ѓer for the 2015 Rugby World Cup today, with the winners to be parachuted into the toughest pool at next yearвЂ™s showpiece tournament. Russia travel to Montevideo with a narrow one-point lead after beating Uruguay 22-21 in the п¬Ѓrst leg in Krasnoiarsk. The winners of the second leg in Estadio Charrua, which will be streamed live globally via irb.com, will become the 20th and п¬Ѓnal country to qualify for the World Cup. After three years, 203 matches involving 83 teams and around 3,000 players, it comes down to 80 minutes for the п¬Ѓnal qualiп¬Ѓer spot, the winning minnows earning the dubious privilege of lining up in Pool A alongside Australia, England, Wales and Fiji. вЂњWe didnвЂ™t expect anything less from Uruguay. We knew they were going to come out п¬Ѓring,вЂќ Vasily Artemyev, the Irish-raised former Northampton winger/full-back, said of the п¬Ѓrst leg. вЂњUruguay are really п¬Ѓred up for qualifying for the World Cup. We got just what we expected.вЂќ Raphael Saint-AndreвЂ™s Russia showed more ambition with ball in hand, but only managed one try, through prop Grigory Tsnobiladze. The rest of the points in the tension-п¬Ѓlled п¬Ѓrst leg came from the boots of respective п¬‚y-halves Yury Kushnarev and Felipe Berchesi. Artemyev added: вЂњWe werenвЂ™t quite C Yuri Kushnarev helped Russia to a slender 22-21 win over Uruguay in the first leg. precise enough on a couple of occasions. We could have scored a couple of more tries. We looked quite dangerous with the ball when we had it, but we were still lacking a bit of discipline. At some point of the game we were two men down because of yellow cards. вЂњItвЂ™s going to be a tough away п¬Ѓxture in Montevideo. WeвЂ™re excited to go away to South America to play our rugby over there. ItвЂ™s going to come down to the spirit at the end of the day, whoever wants it more.вЂќ Russia are seeking to qualify for their second World Cup after competing in New Zealand in 2011, while Uruguay took part in 1999 and 2003. вЂњFor everyone whoвЂ™s supported rugby in Uruguay, it would be of the utmost importance to qualify,вЂќ said Klappenbach. вЂњIt would be very good for Uruguay to have a team in the tournament because it brings п¬Ѓnancial support, publicity and everything needed so that a sport as beautiful as rugby continues to grow around the country.вЂќ Uruguay and Russia remain minnows alike on the world stage. But the winners of todayвЂ™s match face a daunting prospect in Pool A, playing Wales at Cardiff вЂ™s Millennium Stadium on September 20, Australia at Villa Park a week later, Fiji at Stadiummk on October 6 and п¬Ѓnally England at the Manchester City Stadium four days later. IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset praised the qualiп¬Ѓcation process as вЂњfantasticвЂќ. вЂњWe have seen some incredible matches at all levels of the international game with every IRB member union having the opportunity to win a place in England next year,вЂќ Lapasset said. 7,900 last season, just 56 percent of capacity. Located in northwest Paris, the stadium is not easily accessible, Lorenzetti bemoaning: вЂњItвЂ™s hellish to get there. We have a very good rate in getting fans in, but unfortunately they donвЂ™t come back often because theyвЂ™re discouraged by the transport system, the welcome and parking around the stadium.вЂќ Champions Toulon, at the head of the Top 14 on 28 points after six victories in eight outings, entertain former four-time European title winners Toulouse in a late kick-off tomorrow. Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny п¬Ѓnally make his Toulon debut following his switch from Cardiff Blues in the off-season. The British and Irish Lions kicker has suffered a frustrating start to life in the south of France and even had to listen to club president Mourad Boujellal threaten to tear up his contract over his injury problems. Toulouse, 19-time French champions, last week ended a п¬Ѓve-match losing streak with a 22-10 win over Stade Francais, sitting fourth from bottom, but still just two points ahead of last-place Oyonnax. Under-п¬Ѓre Toulouse coach Guy Noves will have to watch the match from the stands, however, after picking up a one-game ban for having bad-mouthed a touch judge in last monthвЂ™s loss to Bayonne. Better news for Toulouse came when ex-All Black hooker Corey Flynn was cleared to play. All Blacks pick Pulu for Aussie Test squad Welington: The All Blacks drafted promising scrumhalf Augustine Pulu into the squad for next weekвЂ™s Test against Australia yesterday to replace the injured Tawera Kerr-Barlow. The 24-year-old received the call-up following confirmation earlier this week that Kerr-Barlow will be out for up to nine months after tearing a knee ligament in New ZealandвЂ™s 27-25 loss to South Africa last Saturday. With Ben Smith also unavailable as he takes a break ahead of the All Blacks trip to the United States and Europe next month, coach Steve Hansen needed cover in the number nine position. вЂњThe selectors have been watching Augustine for a while, he is an exciting young player and we think the next obvious choice at half-back,вЂќ Hansen said. Pulu, who plays his Super 15 rugby with the Waikato Chiefs, is likely to be third choice behind TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith for the scrum-half role in the Test against Australia in Brisbane on October 18. The Test is the third and final fixture of the Bledisloe Cup series, although New Zealand have already retained the trophy after drawing the first match 12-12 then smashing the Wallabies 51-20 in the second. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 7 SPORT NFL Colts need luck, late fumble to beat Texans It was the ColtsвЂ™ fourth win in a row and took them to 4-2 for the season Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw (left) tries to score a touchdown as Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing attempts to stop him at the NRG Stadium in Houston. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports Reuters Houston A late fumble by Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick allowed the Indianapolis Colts to escape with a 33-28 road victory over the Texans on Thursday. The Colts bolted to a 24-0 lead on the back of three п¬Ѓrst-quarter touchdowns and an Adam Vinatieri п¬Ѓeld goal and looked set to romp to an easy win. The 24 points were the most scored by the Colts in a п¬Ѓrst quarter since 1958, and also the most allowed by Houston in a п¬Ѓrst quarter in franchise history. But Houston found their feet and fought back with two touchdowns in the second quarter before closing the gap to 33-28 in the fourth. In the п¬Ѓnal minutes, Houston looked poised for a late drive but Fitzpatrick was sacked by Bjoern Werner and the Colts recovered the ball and ran down the clock to close out the win. It was the ColtsвЂ™ fourth win in a row and took them to 4-2 for the season, earning them sole possession of п¬Ѓrst place in the AFC South. Houston fell to 3-3. Indianapolis quarterback Luck, back in the city where he went to high school, had another strong game. He completed 25 of 44 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns, though he had one fumble that led to a Houston touchdown. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had nine receptions for 223 yards, just one yard shy of the most in franchise history, and one touchdown for the Colts. вЂњWe knew it was going to be a grind. They all are,вЂќ Colts head coach Chuck Pagano told reporters. вЂњDefense п¬Ѓnds a way to come up with two late turnovers. IвЂ™m really proud of the guys.вЂќ Luck, meanwhile, said his team had a shown вЂњlot of backboneвЂќ to stave off the Houston comeback. вЂњItвЂ™s only week six. ItвЂ™s not a super bowl. ItвЂ™s not anything too special but everyone is big in this league and to beat a darn good team like that is huge for us,вЂќ he said. SEAHAWKS OFFER COWBOYS SEARCHING TEST, SAYS ROMO Dallas canвЂ™t afford to make mistakes when they seek a п¬Ѓfth straight NFL victory on Sunday at reigning Super Bowl champions Seattle, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo says. вЂњUltimately, youвЂ™ve got to play a very sound, error-free type of football game,вЂќ Romo said of what it will take to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, where they are 17-1 since the start of the 2012 season. вЂњYouвЂ™ve got to be aggressive, youвЂ™ve got to do some things to counter what they would do and give yourself a chance.вЂќ After dropping the п¬Ѓrst game of the season, the Cowboys have won four straight and are tied atop the NFC East division at 4-1 with Philadelphia, who host division rivals the New York Giants tomorrow. Although the game will undoubtedly provide a measuring stick of just where the injurydepleted Cowboys are, Romo doesnвЂ™t want to put too much emphasis on one mid-season game. Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has posted п¬Ѓve 100-yard games with п¬Ѓve rushing touchdowns to start the season, while explosive Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is sixth in the league with 306 rushing yard in SeattleвЂ™s four games to date. The Cowboys are 15-1 when Murray carries the ball 20 or more times in a game, but in Seattle they will be up against a Seahawks defense ranked number one against the run, allowing just 62.2 yards per game. Philadelphia will also be up against it as they host a Giants team riding a three-game winning streak in a key NFC East NHL Baltimore: The Baltimore Orioles and shortstop J.J. Hardy have finalized a threeyear extension worth $40 million. The deal also include a fourth-year option. Hardy was expected to generate a lot of interest from numerous teams looking for a quality shortstop, including the New York Yankees who will have a gaping hole with Derek JeterвЂ™s retirement. The 32-year-old Hardy batted .268 with 28 doubles, nine home runs and 52 RBIs this season. He went 3-for10 with a home run in the American League Division Series as the Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers. The contract, which comes with an option for 2018, goes into effect after his current deal expires at the end of this season. The deal is worth $40 million, according to media reports. Executive vice president Dan Duquette said he figured there was no time like the present to lock up a two-time Gold Glove winner at a key infield position. вЂњWhy not now, really?вЂќ Duquette said. вЂњWhen we looked at the market, we thought the best chance to sign J.J. was before he went to free agency because heвЂ™s distinguished himself as one of the top shortstops in the league. And J.J. let us know that he wanted to continue his career here in Baltimore.вЂќ Hardy has been a fixture at shortstop for the Orioles since 2011, playing solid defense and providing decent hitting in a lineup filled with sluggers. Although he hit only nine homers this season, Hardy totaled 77 long balls over the previous three years and won Gold Gloves in 2012 and вЂ�13. Free agency was tempting, but in the end, Hardy said, he wanted to stay with the Orioles. вЂњIt crossed my mind, but at the same time, this is where I wanted to be,вЂќ he said. вЂњThereвЂ™s a lot of uncertainty in free agency. You donвЂ™t know whatвЂ™s going to happen. I knew that I liked it here and I liked playing with all my teammates. Bottom line, it comes down to winning, and I think weвЂ™ve got a good thing here.вЂќ Hardy is a two-time AllStar, in 2007 with Milwaukee and last year as a member of the Orioles. Team-mate Adam Jones welcomed the signing before the team had formally announced it. вЂњJ.J. has been one of the best shortstops in baseball the last three, four years, and heвЂ™s deserving,вЂќ Jones said. вЂњHe could have gone to free agency and gotten more money, but itвЂ™s not about the money. HeвЂ™s still going to be eating good, and heвЂ™s happy here. And happiness, at the end of the day, will make you happy.вЂќ NBA Red Wings edge Bruins in opener Reuters Detroit J ustin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist scored to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins in their season opener at the National Hockey League on Thursday. Boston, who eliminated Detroit in п¬Ѓve games in the п¬Ѓrst round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, were playing their second game in two nights after winning their season opener. After having a pair of third-period goals disallowed, Montreal got a goal from Tomas Plekanec that sent the game into overtime, and Brendan Gallagher won it in a п¬Ѓve-round shootout, giving the Canadiens 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Dainius Zubrus scored the go-ahead goal 7:13 into the third period to lift New Jersey to 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers as the Devils began their п¬Ѓrst season in two decades without goaltender Martin Brodeur. RPascal Dupuis had four points and Sidney Crosby recorded two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Anaheim Ducks. The win was the п¬Ѓrst in the NHL for new Penguins bench boss Mike Johnston, while AnaheimвЂ™s Corey Perry tallied a hat-trick of power-play goals in the defeat. Rick Nash scored his second goal of the match-up. At 3-2, the Giants go into the contest one game behind the Cowboys and Eagles. The sixth week of the season features a number of tasty division match-ups. New England, coming off a statement victory over previously unbeaten Cincinnati, visit Buffalo in a battle for the AFC East lead. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has long dominated the Bills, compiling a 22-2 record against Buffalo as a starting quarterback and throwing for 5,817 yards and 54 touchdowns in those games. In other division clashes, Cleveland host AFC North rivals Pittsburgh, NFC North leaders Detroit visit Minnesota and JacksonvilleвЂ”in search of a п¬Ѓrst win of the seasonвЂ”visit AFC South rivals Tennessee. AFC West leaders San Diego will try to improve their 4-1 record when they host 0-4 Oakland and on Monday, St. Louis host San Francisco in an NFC West duel. Other games see Baltimore at Tampa Bay, Carolina at Cincinnati, Green Bay at Miami, Chicago at Atlanta, Washington at Arizona and Denver at the New York JetsвЂ”where Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will try to close in on another NFL record. Orioles, Hardy sign three-year extension Oilers left wing Taylor Hall celebrates his game tying goal against the Calgary Flames. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports game with 1:50 to play, giving the New York Rangers 3-+2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in the season opener for both teams. The left wingerвЂ™s late goal enabled goalie Henrik Lundqvist to defeat the Blues for the п¬Ѓrst time in his NHL career. Lundqvist was 0-4 in his nine years against the Blues, the only team he had never defeated. Tampa Bay opened the season with a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers as defenseman Victor Hedman scored the LightningвЂ™s third power play goal 1:11 into the extra period. Third-period goals by Craig Smith, Shea Weber and Eric Nystrom made Peter LavioletteвЂ™s coaching debut a success as the Nashville Predators beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Minnesota Wild left winger Zach Parise scored a goal and set up two more as his team made an emphatic season debut, blasting past the Colorado Avalanche 5-0. The Calgary Flames, led by a hat-trick from Mason Raymond, spoiled the party by beating Edmonton 5-2 on a night when the Oilers celebrated the 30th anniversary of their п¬Ѓrst Stanley Cup. After a rousing opening ceremony, Calgary scored on its second and third shots of the game to send a sold-out crowd into stunned silence. Winnipeg winger Blake Wheeler scored two goals 15 seconds apart during a п¬Ѓrstperiod barrage, helping the Jets beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. Beasley signs one-year deal with Shanghai Sharks Reuters Miami F orward Michael BeasleyвЂ™s (right) NBA career never panned out like he or many others thought after he was drafted as the second overall pick in 2008 by Miami. On Thursday, his NBA career came to a halt when the 25-year-old Beasley was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies. But his playing career continues. Beasley has signed to play for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. The Sharks are owned by former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming. Beasley had been trying to earn a spot on the Memphis GrizzliesвЂ™ roster after spending last season with the Heat. Illness during the pre-season had limited his playing time and made Beasley a long shot at Memphis. His best season came while a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010-2011 when he averaged 19 points per game. But his production decreased every year since. Last year with the Heat, he averaged just 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, The Indiana Pacers picked up the 2015-16 option on forward Solomon HillвЂ™s contract. Per club policy no details of the contract were released. Hill, entering his second season with the Pacers, averaged 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season. FARIED SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION Forward Kenneth Faried, a member of the goldmedal-winning U.S. team at the FIBA World Cup this summer, signed a multiyear contract extension with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. The Nuggets did not reveal the contract particulars, but the Denver Post reported that Faried received a four-year deal that could max out at $52 million if all incentive clauses are reached. Faried, 24, averaged a career-best 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season. 8 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT New Indian league brings glamour, also scepticism вЂ�They are has-beens, definitely not at the pinnacle of their careers. You canвЂ™t wheel out a well-known player for the last 20 minutes of a game and let them kick the ball a bit. It has to be top-level sport, fiercely competitive, to attract the crowdsвЂ™ AFP Kolkata W ith Bollywood stars, cricketing greats and a slick marketing campaign, IndiaвЂ™s new football league is gunning to become the next big thing in sport. But just days before tomorrowвЂ™s kick-off in the eastern city of Kolkata, the Indian Super League (ISL), which has lured a host of former international stars, is facing scepticism. Some question the calibre of the leagueвЂ™s top players, who include veterans like the controversial French striker Nicolas Anelka and ex-Arsenal midп¬Ѓelder Freddie Ljungberg. Others say the tournament cannot hope to gain traction in a cricketobsessed country whose sporting authorities have long failed to cultivate passion for the вЂњbeautiful gameвЂќ. вЂњThey are has-beens, deп¬Ѓnitely not at the pinnacle of their careers,вЂќ said Dave Chattaway from British-based Brand Finance, referring to the marquee players. вЂњYou canвЂ™t wheel out a well-known player for the last 20 minutes of a game and let them kick the ball a bit,вЂќ added Chattaway, who evaluates sports leagues worldwide. вЂњIt has to be top-level sport, п¬Ѓercely competitive, to attract the crowds,вЂќ he said, adding that he hoped the league would be a success. Modelled on cricketвЂ™s glitzy Indian Premier League, the eight-team citybased franchises have famous frontmen, including former Italy great Alessandro Del Piero, 39, for the twomonth long competition. Co-owners include cricketing icon Sachin Tendukar, Bollywood A-listers Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor, as well as Atletico Madrid of SpainвЂ™s La Liga. Cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced this week he has also signed as a co-owner, because he wanted to help create вЂњworld-class footballвЂќ in India. ROOM FOR FOOTBALL Rupert MurdochвЂ™s Star TV is showing the tournament, which is also being backed by sports management giant IMG and Indian billionaire Mukesh AmbaniвЂ™s Reliance Industries. Owners and organisers are eyeing IndiaвЂ™s 1.25 billion population, especially its rising middle class and huge numbers of youth, for a windfall in the long term. Not only are they hoping crowds will п¬‚ock to stadiums, but also buy merchandise and lure more sponsors. Although cricket dominates the back pages, the English Premier League and other football competitions in Europe are a major driver behind the growth of satellite TV here. Former Manchester City and Sunderland boss Peter Reid, who is managing the Mumbai team, said the potential for footballвЂ™s popularity in India was huge, pointing to the gameвЂ™s French football striker Nicolas Anelka participates in a training session of Mumbai City Football Club team at Cooperage Ground in Mumbai. An Indian man bats during a game of cricket at the Maidan area in Kolkata. With Bollywood stars, cricketing greats and a slick marketing campaign, IndiaвЂ™s new football league is gunning to become the next big thing in sport. But can it get the cricket-crazed nation to follow the beautiful game is the pertinent question. growth in the US. вЂњI know IndiaвЂ™s a cricket-mad nation and so am I (cricket-mad), but thereвЂ™s room for football as well without a doubt,вЂќ Reid told reporters last week. Ljungberg, 37, who announced he was coming out of retirement to lace up for the Mumbai team, said he hoped to help cultivate the game at the grass roots level. вЂњHow they sold it to me is that young children, they so much want to play football but at the same time itвЂ™s difficult to п¬Ѓnd facilities etc (in India),вЂќ said the Swede. The ISL cannot compete with the English Premiership for quality, вЂњbut we (will) try to play as good as we can,вЂќ said Ljungberg, who has also played in JapanвЂ™s J-League. The formatвЂ”attracting Bollywood and cricket stars and marquee playersвЂ”has proved successful in the IPL and in home-grown sport kabaddi, and to a lesser extent IndiaвЂ™s hockey league. But some think the task this time around is much tougher. Passion for football has long existed in pockets of India, including in former Portuguese colony Goa, and domestic competitions have attracted some reasonable crowds. On a visit to India in 2007, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said India was the sleeping giant of world football. But IndiaвЂ™s national side languishes in the world rankings at 158, below even war-torn Syria and Afghanistan, and few can name its captain. вЂ�WE PLAY CRICKETвЂ™ Novy Kapadia, the countryвЂ™s best known football writer, blamed a lack of funding for stadiums and training grounds, and for youth development to harness the sportвЂ™s potential. вЂњThere will be initial curiosity for sure (for the ISL) but whether that curiosity turns into popularity and can be sustained is the big question,вЂќ Kapadia told AFP. India played Palestine this week in an international friendly on the subconti- nent, which saw the home side lose and the national coach later quit. But the match received scant media attention. вЂњNo one would telecast the match. India the sleeping giant remains sleeping,вЂќ Kapadia said. In the heart of Kolkata this week, the ISL brought a mixed response from groups of youths playing cricket on green п¬Ѓelds. Nadir Akhtar Khan, 18, said he was looking forward to tomorrowвЂ™s Kolkata versus Mumbai opener, although he couldnвЂ™t name any of the players. вЂњKolkata has a history of football. We hope this ISL will grow the game,вЂќ Khan told AFP, of the one-time former British colonial capital. вЂњWe watch Barcelona and (Lionel) Messi on TV,вЂќ the student added, in between п¬Ѓelding. But the ISL drew blank faces from Mohammed Mahaboob Alam, 15, and his friends playing another match nearby. вЂњNo, never heard of it. We play cricket,вЂќ Alam said. BOTTOMLINE The British football fans who fly local flag comes one in their voices.вЂќ AFP Aldershot, UK A ldershot Town may be a world away from the Premier League glamour of English football giants Chelsea nearby, but for the small band of diehards who call its rundown stadium home, loyalty cannot be bought by billionaires or trophies. Amid the giant п¬‚ags and banners waved by the hardcore supporters behind the goal on the clubвЂ™s concrete terraces, fans talk of belonging to a family and not to a brand. AFP visited the 85-year-old, 7,100-capacity ground as the team, known as вЂњThe ShotsвЂќ, took on local bitter rivals Woking in a п¬Ѓxture that is four divisions below the Premier League. The true fanatics chant their allegiance in the East Stand, a standing terrace for those who enjoy 90 minutes of jumping around and profane singing led by a battery of drummers going by exotic names such as вЂњRockвЂ™nвЂ™Roll SteveвЂќ and вЂњElvisвЂќ. вЂњSupporting Aldershot has never been about silverware,вЂќ explained drummer Ben Blundell at half time. вЂњI People walk underneath an Aldershot football team billboard near The Electrical Services Stadium in Aldershot. Aldershot Town may be a world away from the Premier League glamour of English football giants Chelsea nearby, but for the small band of diehards who call its run-down stadium home, loyalty cannot be bought by billionaires or trophies. (AFP) feel one with the club, I feel IвЂ™m wanted here, IвЂ™m part of the family.вЂќ Shots head coach Andy Scott told AFP: вЂњWhen itвЂ™s a small attendance, everyone knows everyone else. вЂњThey drink in the same pubs and they stand in the same place and it becomes a gang that gets together and be- вЂ�HUB OF COMMUNITYвЂ™ Any tragedies in the tight-knit community are felt by all. When East Stand fanatic Steve Chapman, 33, a Gulf War veteran, committed suicide shortly after Christmas 2011, he was honoured at the clubвЂ™s next home game with a minuteвЂ™s silence. His former East Stand comrades sang a lengthy rendition of вЂњThereвЂ™s only one Stevie Chapman,вЂќ an honour usually reserved for star players. A touching tribute to Chapman can still be found in a small but well-tended memorial garden for fallen Shots located behind the main stand. Chapman was one of many soldiers in Aldershot, the home of the British armyвЂ”even the nearby corner shops are run by former Gurkhas, Nepaleseborn British soldiers. As their shops struggle to survive in the age of giant supermarkets, local football clubs also face an existential threat from globalisation and the dominant glamour of the Premier League. Aldershot were only saved from going out of business last year when they were bought by a consortium headed by local businessman and philanthropist Shahid Azeem, who made his millions in computers. In total, seven leading non-league clubs have either entered administration or have been wound up over the last п¬Ѓve years. However, as with the rise of pop-up shops, craft brewing and the resurgence of independent record shops, a new generation of football fans are discovering the rewards of localism. вЂњYou feel youвЂ™re more connected to the players and the fans are much more loyal,вЂќ explained 15-year-old Alп¬Ѓe Caudwell in the beer garden at The Crimea Inn. вЂњThereвЂ™s a much better atmosphere, lots more chanting. IвЂ™ve been to Stamford Bridge and they donвЂ™t sing much,вЂќ he added. вЂњI can have a chat with my favourite centre-forward out there, not a problem,вЂќ added drummer Blundell. вЂњYou wouldnвЂ™t even be able to shake Didier DrogbaвЂ™s hand,вЂќ he said of the Ivorian star player for Chelsea. вЂњOur support makes a big difference,вЂќ said Martin Choularton. вЂњThe money we put in the turnstiles helps bring the players in,вЂќ he said, referring to the gates at the stadium. вЂњWe are the hub of the community,вЂќ chairman Azeem told AFP in a postmatch interview on the sacred turf. Tribal unity is sharpened by well choreographed shows of hatred for whomever happens to be on their patch this week, but an especially hot reception is reserved for neighbouring clubs. So with sparks set to п¬‚y for the game of Woking and with police on edge, supporters are kept apart by a вЂњnomanвЂ™s landвЂќ inside the stadium. Uniformly dressed in the denim, designer shirts and pristine white trainers favoured by British football fans since the 1980s, the hardcore rivals trade inventive insults and abuse rival goalkeepers. вЂњThereвЂ™s an inherent need to have rivals to focus hatred on,вЂќ explained Geoff Pearson, an expert in football crowd behaviour. вЂњIt adds the value of what that club means to them.вЂќ After a hard-fought defeat, it was an especially despondent set of fans that trudged out through the exit gates and under a banner imploring: вЂњSee you at the next gameвЂќ. For the fans, this is a matter of family duty and civic pride. For Aldershot Town, and hundreds of small clubs like it around the country, it is a matter of survival. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 9 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT DIVIDE Qatar off to a flying start in AFC U-19 Championship Three goals in the final 16 minutes gave Qatar a stunning 3-1 comeback win over three-times champions DPR Korea in their AFC U-19 Championship opening match Barcelona express support for Catalan independence vote BarcelonaвЂ™s Camp Nou stadium DPA Madrid S panish league leaders Barcelona have come out in support of the proposed November 9 referendum on Catalan independence, according to radio station RAC1 yesterday. The referendum has been called by Artur Mas, head of the Catalan regional government but has been ruled to be illegal by SpainвЂ™s Constitutional Court, on the request of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. It is still not clear if the referendum will go ahead or not. RAC1 said that Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has sent a latter to the organisers of the referendum promising the clubвЂ™s вЂњunequivocal support.вЂќ According to the Catalan language station, the letter stated: вЂњThis club will always be on the side of our country (Catalonia). We support the right to self-determination because this is one of the fundamental rights of the people.вЂќ Barca had been criticised by Catalan separatists earlier this week for not coming out clearly in favour of the referendum. The club has traditionally been regarded as a pillar of Catalan nationalism and a defender of the Catalan language and culture. Online polls have suggested that most Barca fans would vote for independence if the referendum was held. On Tuesday Javier Tebas, the president of the Liga de Futbol Profesional, which organizes the Spanish Liga, said that Barca and crosstown rivals Espanyol would not be able to play in La Liga if Catalonia became an independent state. Espanyol have not said whether they are in favour of the referendum or not. Barca defender Gerard Pique raised eyebrows last week by saying that he was in favour of the referendum. No other Barca player or director has come out publicly in favour of the independence vote. Pique was jeered and told to leave the Spanish national team by some fans when training with La Roja in Madrid on Monday, before Spain travelled to Slovakia for ThursdayвЂ™s Euro 2016 qualifying match which they lost 2-1. CHANGE Blatter calls for end to away goals rule Qatar players celebrate a goal during their match against DPR Korea yesterday at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. By Our Correspondent Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar T hree goals in the п¬Ѓnal 16 minutes gave Qatar a stunning 3-1 comeback win over three-times champions DPR Korea in their AFC U-19 Championship Group D opener at Wunna Theikdi Stadium yesterday. DPR Korea had been leading until the 74nd minute of the game courtesy of Jo Kwang-myongвЂ™s п¬Ѓfth minute goal, but a penalty-kick from Almoez Ali and strike from Ahmed al-Sadi on 79 minutes п¬‚ipped the tie on its head. And with just four minutes of the game remaining DPR Korea conceded a second spot-kick which substitute Akram Aп¬Ѓf successfully converted to ensure his side moved up alongside Iraq at the top of Group C after the 2012 runners-up defeated Oman 6-0 in the dayвЂ™s earlier п¬Ѓxture. Korea DPR raced into a quick lead just inside п¬Ѓve minutes through midп¬Ѓelder Kwang Myong, who headed home from the gameвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst corner to cut short the introductory phase of the contest. Qatari heads did not drop after going behind, though, and they began to take control of the game as DPR Korea looked to defend and maintain their lead. Qatar had to wait for 25 minutes before threatening their opponents, Ahmed alSadi could have improved his п¬Ѓnal effort which bounced off the chest of the Korean keeper before it was cleared. In the second-half the п¬‚ow of the game remained, with DPR Korea content to allow the Qataris the bulk of the possession and look to the counter-attack as an attacking outlet. But just past the hour-mark, the Koreans were themselves almost caught on the break as substitute Aп¬Ѓf broke through into the penalty area but after beating Cha his shot crashed off the right-hand upright and deп¬‚ected to safety. PRESSURE PAYS OFF And with Qatar continuing to attack, the pressure п¬Ѓnally paid off with 16 minutes remaining as al-Sadi cross was handled by Jon Kum-dong to concede a penalty, which al-Sadi himself took, coolly sending Cha the wrong way to bring the scores level. Qatar then took the lead themselves after п¬Ѓve more minutes had passed on the clock when al-Sadi burst into the penalty area before cutting the ball back for Ali who slotted home. A shell-shocked DPR Korea side then conceded a third goal on 86 minutes as al-Sadi again got the better of Jon, as the defender rashly brought the Qatar forward down inside the area for another penalty which Akram Aп¬Ѓf п¬Ѓred home to cement all three points for Qatar. An equally tough test lies ahead for Felix SanchezвЂ™s players, as they will next take on Iraq, who opened the group with an emphatic 6-0 win over Oman. QATAR LINE-UP: Yousif Hassan (GK), Abdullah al-Ahrak, Sergine Abdou, Abdulaziz al-Kholasi, Ahmed Moin (C), Jassim al-Jalabi, Jassim Mohammed, Ahmed al-Sadi, Assim Omer, Moiz Ali and Fahad Shanin. AFP Zurich F BOTTOMLINE Qatar thrash Lebanon in friendly By Sports Reporter Doha S easoned striker Meshaal Abdullah netted a brace as Qatar defeated Lebanon 5-0 in an international friendly at the Lekhwiya Stadium on Thursday. The Ahli forward opened the account in the 30th minute to give the hosts a one-goal cushion at half-time. He found the target a second time in 59th and Ahmed Maksoud added another a minute later, as Qatar virtually killed the game by the hour mark. Lekhwiya midп¬Ѓelder Hussein Ali Shihab made the most of a defensive blunder to slot home in the 75th while defender Abdulrahman Akbar completed the rout by heading home a corner in the 84th. Qatar could have won by an even bigger margin had they capitalised on all their chances they created in the second half. The match was a part of QatarвЂ™s preparations for the Gulf Cup (in Riyadh) and Asian Cup (in Australia), to be held in November and January, respectively. Qatar will also host Australia in a friendly on October 14. FIFA president Sepp Blatter IFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday called for an end to the away goals winner rule in clashes with two matches. Blatter said the rule favours clubs who play away in the second leg because extra time can give an extra opportunity to get a goal with double value. вЂњIt is time to rethink the system,вЂќ Blatter said in a column for the FIFA publication The Week. Away goals are notably used in the Champions League knockout stages and other European club competitions where it was introduced in 1965. Where two sides are level after two legs, the team which has scored more goals away from home go through. вЂњThe idea dates back to a time when away games were often an adventure, involving journeys that could be long and arduous,вЂќ said the 78-year-old FIFA leader. вЂњAs well established as the rule is, it can be viewed critically today,вЂќ because it favours the team playing away in the 2nd leg.вЂќ The system is no longer used in the semi-п¬Ѓnals of promotion play-offs in the English League. US Major League Soccer and the CONCACAF Champions League in the Americas only count goals scored in the 90 minutes of regulation time. вЂњFootball has progressed since the 1960s so the away goals rule may now be questioned,вЂќ said Blatter, who did not propose an alternative. Japan beat вЂ�Reggae BoyzвЂ™ to give Aguirre first win Clockwise from top: QatarвЂ™s Meshaal Abdullah (centre) in action during the friendly match against Lebanon. The Ahli striker being congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal. A big crowd had turned up at the Lekhwiya stadium to support Qatar and they were rewarded with a big victory. Qatar national coach Djamel Belmadi follows the proceedings closely during the match. Pictures: Mamdouh JAVIER AGUIRRE scraped his first win in three games as Japan coach, after an own goal by Jamaica gave the Asian champions a 1-0 victory at home yesterday. The Blue Samurai squandered several chances against the вЂњReggae BoyzвЂќ, but an own goal from Nyron Nosworthy in the 16th minute proved decisive. Japan were beaten 2-0 by Uruguay and were held 2-2 by Venezuela last month in their first two games under the Mexican, who took charge following the sideвЂ™s World Cup flop in Brazil. вЂњI feel calm, relaxed as always,вЂќ Aguirre told reporters after the game in Niigata, which was watched by 39,000. вЂњWe cre- ated five or six more chances to score, which was pleasing.вЂќ Japan, who have one eye on the defence of their Asian Cup title in January, will need to improve before a friendly against Brazil in Singapore on October 14. вЂњWe wonвЂ™t get as many opportunities against Brazil as we did today,вЂќ added Aguirre. вЂњWe will have to be more clinical when chances come our way.вЂќ Japan talisman Keisuke Honda clipped the bar in the 33rd minute while playmaker Shinji Kagawa was lively on his return, blazing wide on two occasions as the home side continued to press, but once again a lack of end product will have given Aguirre plenty to ponder. 10 Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT HIGHLIGHT Shocks warning for England, says coach Hodgson вЂ�If you happen to be called Spain, Russia or England, we canвЂ™t expect we can go and beat whoever because we have more people in our country than themвЂ™ Bellarabi set for Germany debut after meteoric rise German national player Karim Bellarabi attends the teamвЂ™s training session in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. (EPA) AFP Munich K EnglandвЂ™s Wayne Rooney (centre) celebrates after scoring the second goal during their Euro 2016 qualifying match against San Marino at Wembley Stadium in London. AFP London E ngland manager Roy Hodgson warned of hidden dangers in Euro 2016 qualifying after his side galvanised their position atop Group E with a straightforward 5-0 win over San Marino. England top the group on goal difference from Lithuania after ThursdayвЂ™s stroll at a quiet Wembley Stadium, with chief rivals Switzerland six points off the pace following an unexpected 1-0 loss away to Slovenia. Spain were stunned by Slovakia on Thursday, while Portugal have already lost at home to Albania, and after a World Cup dotted by shock results, Hodgson says the big teams cannot take victories for granted anymore. вЂњI suppose theyвЂ™re surprising (results), but maybe not,вЂќ said Hodgson, whose side play away to Estonia tomorrow. вЂњI think we should stop being sur- prised in international football. If you happen to be called Spain, Russia or England, we canвЂ™t expect we can go and beat whoever because we have more people in our country than them. вЂњSan Marino were better this year, better than they were last year. Albeit as an amateur team, itвЂ™ll be a long time before they can beat the likes of us at Wembley, I hope.вЂќ Phil Jagielka headed England into a 25th-minute lead at Wembley, but San Marino held out until Wayne Rooney doubled the hostsвЂ™ advantage with a penalty two minutes prior to the break. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teed up Danny Welbeck for EnglandвЂ™s third goal early in the second half, with a low strike by substitute Andros Townsend and an Alessandro Della Valle own goal completing the scoring. England have now scored 31 goals in their п¬Ѓve games against San Marino, conceding only once. Hodgson dismissed suggestions that he had withdrawn Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson at half-time to mol- lify Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, with whom he became embroiled in a pre-game row about the п¬Ѓtness of striker Daniel Sturridge. DIAMOND FOREVER? вЂњTo be fair to Brendan, when I spoke to him about Daniel and we knew he wouldnвЂ™t be ready, we spoke about Daniel and Glen (Johnson),вЂќ Hodgson told his post-match press conference. вЂњHe told me neither would be ready. We didnвЂ™t talk at all about the other two. It was our decision. вЂњWith the wealth of talent we have in attacking areas, it was nice today (Thursday) to take people like Sterling, Henderson and Welbeck off who might play an important role for us on Sunday.вЂќ England once again deployed a diamond midп¬Ѓeld system and Hodgson reiterated his belief that it suits the players at his disposal. вЂњIвЂ™ve been pleased with it in the last two games,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe have those right-side and left- side wing-halvesвЂ”Henderson and (Jack) Wilshere today, and (James) Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the second half. We have people who can do that job. вЂњ(Adam) Lallana and Sterling can, too. Lallana, when he came on for Raheem, was every bit as dangerous and inventive and creative as Raheem could be. вЂњThatвЂ™s nice to know. And James Milner can also go in and play that deeper central role that Jack did in Switzerland.вЂќ Ranked 208th and joint-last in the FIFA ranking, San Marino have never won a competitive match, but having seen his side frustrate England in the п¬Ѓrst half, coach Pierangelo Manzaroli believes better days may lie ahead. вЂњWe hope to get a result from the rest of the qualifying campaign,вЂќ said Manzaroli, whose team host Switzerland on Tuesday. вЂњObviously getting a result against teams like England is very hard, but there are other teams like Estonia, Slovenia or Lithuania where we can hopefully get a historic draw or even a more historic win for our nation.вЂќ BOTTOMLINE INSPIRED Poland looking for historic win over champions Germany PolandвЂ™s head coach Adam Nawalka (left) talks with player Robert Lewandowski during his teamвЂ™s training session in Warsaw, Poland. Fallen giants Spain desperate for revival in Luxembourg DPA Madrid T itle holders Spain are desperate to win in Luxembourg tomorrow after surprisingly crashing 2-1 at Slovakia in Euro 2016 qualifying. When the draw for the Euros was made, reigning champions Spain seemed to have an easy road to the п¬Ѓnals in France. However, ThursdayвЂ™s defeat has however shown that it could turn out to be a difficult path in Group C. Vicente del BosqueвЂ™s troubled team are joint second in the group with Ukraine with three points each. Slovakia are top with a maximum six from two games. Worryingly, it was La RojaвЂ™s fourth defeat in six games, the others being against the Neth- arim Bellarabi is set to cap a meteoric rise by making his debut for Germany against Poland in a Euro 2016 qualiп¬Ѓer amidst the world championвЂ™s injury problems. The 24-year-old was relegated from the Bundesliga in May while on loan at Eintracht Braunschweig and watched Germany win the World Cup in July as a fan before starting pre-season training when he returned to Bayer Leverkusen. A series of eye-catching displays, including the fastest goal in Bundesliga history, and GermanyвЂ™s lengthy injury list has catapulted Berlin-born Bellarabi into the national squad. He has been called up for the qualiп¬Ѓers against Poland in Warsaw and TuesdayвЂ™s visit of the Republic of Ireland in Gelsenkirchen. He turned down the chance to play for Morocco, the country of his father, and having played for GermanyвЂ™s junior sides, is set for his senior cap at WarsawвЂ™s National Stadium. вЂњIt was a decision of the heart,вЂќ he admits. вЂњMy mother is German and I was born here. вЂњI spoke to my family a lot about it and decided to play for Germany. I hope itвЂ™s the right decision for me. Germany is my homeland, even if I love Morocco just as much.вЂќ With striker Miroslav Klose retired, plus Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gomez all injured, Bellarabi and Borussia MoenchengladbachвЂ™s Max Kruse have their chance to shine. вЂњHis development is remarkable, he is incredibly fast and had made a strong start to the season,вЂќ said Germany coach Joachim Loew of Bellarabi. вЂњHe is very strong in one-onone situations. вЂњI like how he works with the ball, I am sure he can be a good option for us.вЂќ Bellarabi made a big start to the season, which was just nine seconds old when he scored for Bayer Leverkusen in their 2-0 win at Borussia DortmundвЂ”a new league record. His contract expires in June 2016 and Leverkusen will have to make him a substantial offer to extend his stay having become a cornerstone of Roger SchmidtвЂ™s attack in just a matter of weeks. вЂњWe have had him on our list for some time,вЂќ said Loew with Germany second in Group D on goal difference to Poland after the opening games. вЂњKarim Bellarabi has earned his chance after several outstanding performances for his club. вЂњIn the games against Poland and Ireland we have the chance to increase our lead at the top of the table and move away from the competition.вЂќ Bellarabi says he is ready to make his debut whether he starts against Poland or comes off the bench. вЂњI accept the challenge and will give my best,вЂќ he said. SpainвЂ™s Gerard Pique reacts during his teamвЂ™s match against Slovakia. erlands and Chile in the group stage exit as defending champions at the World Cup, and in an August friendly against France. вЂњThe team is getting used to losing, like a poor boxer gets used to hitting the canvas,вЂќ commented AS. Spain lost a qualiп¬Ѓer for the п¬Ѓrst time since 2006, and conп¬Ѓrmed suspicion that the glory days with Euro titles 2008 and 2012, and the World Cup success in 2010, are over. вЂњA Ridiculous DisplayвЂќ was the headline in Sport, while El Pais said вЂњSpain Go From Bad to Worse.вЂќ Two men were singled out for special criticism: veteran keeper Iker Casillas - who was to blame for SlovakiaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst goal - and striker Diego Costa, who has still to score after six appearances for La Roja. Neither player would speak after the defeat. Instead, veteran Andres Iniesta said вЂњLetвЂ™s hope everything is different in the next match. вЂњWe didnвЂ™t deserve to lose tonight. I think we did enough to win, with all the chances we created ... Now we must get back on track by winning on Sunday. There is still a long way to go.вЂќ Iniesta added that he was вЂњnot worried at allвЂќ by CostaвЂ™s poor form for his adopted country, and denied that the Chelsea striker was struggling to adapt to the teamвЂ™s вЂњtiki-takaвЂќ short passing game. However, Del Bosque is now considering dropping Costa against Luxembourg, in order to make room for the tandem of young Valencia strikers Paco Alcacer and Rodrigo. It was Alcacer who scored SpainвЂ™s lone goal, after coming off the subsвЂ™ bench. He has scored twice in three appearances, and is in excellent form for Valencia - the same as Rodrigo. вЂњI am trying to take advantage of the chances I am been given,вЂќ said Alcacer. вЂњThere are still many games left in this group. We have to learn from the mistakes that we committed tonight.вЂќ Another youngster likely to come in for the Luxembourg date is Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal, for AtleticoвЂ™s Juanfran, while the uncapped Bayern Munich player Juan Bernat might come in for left-back Jordi Alba. AFP Warsaw P oland are chasing an historic п¬Ѓrst win over world champions Germany in Warsaw with top spot in their Euro 2016 qualifying group at stake. Adam NawalkaвЂ™s Poland top Group D on goal difference by virtue of their 7-0 rout of minnows Gibraltar in their opening match. But Joachim LoewвЂ™s Germany are hard on their heels after seeing off Scotland 2-1 in their opener in Dortmund last month. Poland are searching for a maiden win over their neighbours at the 19th attempt, while the Germans are rebuilding after several key retirements in the wake of their World Cup triumph and a host of injuries. Both veteran defenders Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker have retired, while Loew has a mounting injury list to contend with including new captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, plus Sami Khedira, Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gomez. Germany still boast an impressive recent international record. They are unbeaten in 18 com- petitive matches and have not lost any of their last 33 qualiп¬Ѓers since a 3-0 home defeat to the Czech Republic in October 2007. Staggeringly, GermanyвЂ™s last away defeat in a qualifying match was a 3-0 loss against Portugal in June 2000. Poland have scored just once in their six competitive meetings against either Germany or West Germany, but the visitors are taking nothing for granted. вЂњPoland are the sort of team who will put up a п¬Ѓght, they have good technical players, they have evolved and are more compact,вЂќ said GermanyвЂ™s assistant coach Thomas Schneider. вЂњThey are certainly a team who will demand a lot from us.вЂќ Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is hoping to trouble GermanyвЂ™s goalkeeper and standin captain Manuel Neuer, his teammate at the Bavarian giants. The Polish hot-shot wants the hosts to catch their powerful guests cold after he scored four goals in last monthвЂ™s rout of Gibraltar. вЂњMaybe they will be too conп¬Ѓdent after winning the World Cup. Maybe they will oversleep a little and we will be able to take advantage,вЂќ Lewandowski. Gulf Times Saturday, October 11, 2014 11 POSTER Sebastien Loeb French rally and racing driver | 78 World Rally Championship (WRC) race wins | Nine WRC titles Saturday, October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL GULF TIMES EURO QUALIFIERS Spain stunned by Slovakia, England thrash San Marino вЂ�I really did not expect this result. We didnвЂ™t play well, but we should at least have got a drawвЂ™ Miroslav Stoch of Slovakia (centre) celebrates his goal against Spain with teammates during their Euro 2016 qualification match at the MSK stadium in Zilina. (Reuters) DPA Berlin E uropean champions Spain fell to a 2-1 defeat against Slovakia while England cruised to a 5-0 win over San Marino in Euro 2016 qualiп¬Ѓers Thursday. Spain went behind to a 17th-minute Juraj Kucka free-kick in Zilini, his swerving shot in the 17th minute deceiving keeper IIker Casillas who could only deп¬‚ect it into his net. Spain fought back and thought they had rescued a point when substitute Paco Alcacer equalized with eight minutes remaining. But Miroslav Stoch headed in an 87th-minute winner as Slovakia made it two wins out of two in Group C and ended SpainвЂ™s eight-year, 36-match unbeaten qualifying run going back to October 2006. вЂњI really did not expect this result. We didnвЂ™t play well, but we should at least have got a draw,вЂќ Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. вЂњThey caught us with a mortal counter right at the end. This sometimes happens in football.вЂќ Beshart Abdurahmi struck a superb last-gasp winner for Macedonia for a 3-2 defeat of Luxembourg to move to three points, level with Spain and Ukraine who scored two late goals for 2-0 win in Belarus. Macedonia went ahead through Aleksandar Trajkovski but Luxembourg stunned the home side with a Stefano Bensi free-kick and David Turpel goal before half-time, before Adis Jahovic scored from the penalty spot in the 66th to level at 2-2. In Group E, Phil Jagielka put England on the way against San Marino, heading in from a corner in the 25th minute, and Wayne Rooney doubled the tally from the penalty spot two minutes before half-time. Danny Welbeck soon made it three after the break and was followed by EnglandвЂ™s Danny Welbeck (left) celebrates with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after scoring his teamвЂ™s third goal during their Euro 2016 match against San Marino. Andros Townsend with a shot from outside the area and an Alessandro Della Valle deп¬‚ection into his own net from a Rooney cross to complete the scoring at Wembley. вЂњWe did what we had to do,вЂќ England midп¬Ѓelder Jack Wilshere said. вЂњWe knew we would win, it was just a matter of keeping going. Once we scored we knew we could get a few.вЂќ England manager Roy Hodgson said the victory was a вЂњjob well done.вЂќ вЂњWe won very comfortably and added п¬Ѓve goals to the tally. We had no space to play in the п¬Ѓrst half but kept plugging away and it would always open up,вЂќ he said. вЂњWhen San Marino tired we created some very good occasions. What was learned was that the players have the ability to do the right thing for 90 minutes. At 5-0 when we lost the ball we had three or four players sprinting back to win the ball back. That type of desire is very commendable.вЂќ Switzerland, beaten 2-0 at home by England in their п¬Ѓrst match, went down 1-0 at Slovenia, with Milivoje Novakovic scoring from the penalty spot 11 minutes from time after Johan Djourou brought down Kevin Kampl. Lithuania earned a 1-0 win over Estonia, who had Ken Kallaste sent off following a second booking four minutes from time, to stay level with England on six points from two games. BOTTOMLINE POSITIVE THINKING Pressure mounts on SpainвЂ™s Casillas after latest blunder Reuters Madrid O nce lauded as a goalkeeper who could do no wrong, Spain captain Iker CasillasвЂ™s tarnished reputation suffered another blow when his error helped Slovakia claim a shock 2-1 win in Euro 2016 qualifying on Thursday. Holders Spain had been looking to continue a rebuilding process after their failure at the World Cup п¬Ѓnals in Brazil, where Casillas made a series of howlers. However, they were undone in Zilina by a battling Slovakia side, who patiently waited their chance and struck on the counter attack three minutes from time. Casillas, who led Spain to continental titles in 2008 and 2012 with a debut World Cup triumph in between, gifted the Eastern Europeans a 17thminute lead when he п¬‚apped at Juraj KuckaвЂ™s swerving free kick. In Group G, Russia took the lead after 10 minutes against Sweden in Stockholm when Aleksandr Kokorin ran at the defence before п¬Ѓnding the net with a shot outside the area. Sebastian Larsson had a penalty saved by Igor Akinfeev but Ola Toivonen, in for Zlatan Ibrahimovic - a substitute following an injured heel - had the home side level four minutes after the break. AustriaвЂ™s David Alaba scored from the penalty spot in the 12th minute at Moldova, who were back on level terms 15 minutes later when Alexandru Dedov converted from the spot. Marc Janko headed AustriaвЂ™s back in front with what turned out to be the winner early in the second half but was shown a red card with eight minutes remaining after tangling with keeper Ilie Cebanu. Liechenstein and Montenegro were goalless in the group. Russia, Montenegro and Austria all have four points, with Sweden on two. SpainвЂ™s goalkeeper Iker Casillas reacts during Euro 2016 qualifing football match between Slovakia and Spain. (AFP) Despite dominating possession in customary fashion, Spain did not manage to breach the massed Slovakian lines until the 82nd minute through Paco Alcacer but were ultimately scuppered by Miroslav StochвЂ™s late header. It was La RojaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst defeat in a qualiп¬Ѓer for the European Championship or World Cup since they were beaten by Sweden in October 2006. It would be harsh to place the blame solely on the shoulders of SpainвЂ™s most capped player for the defeat, particularly since he pulled off a brilliant one-handed save early on. However, the captainвЂ™s prob- lems appear to be part of a wider malaise in a team that swept all before them under coach Vicente del Bosque over the past six years. They looked toothless and predictable going forward, with Diego Costa, enjoying proliп¬Ѓc form for Chelsea, again failing to score. The Brazil-born forward has yet to п¬Ѓnd the net for his adopted country in six appearances. Questions may also be asked as to why Spain committed so many players forward after AlcacerвЂ™s leveller, leaving themselves exposed at the back, rather than settling for the point they probably deserved. Del Bosque decided to stay on as coach after the humiliation in Brazil and has brought in several new faces but the impression remains that he needs to do more if Spain are to return to the kind of form that made them close to unbeatable. The former Real Madrid coach predictably defended Casillas but calls will grow for young pretender David De Gea, who has performed well for Manchester United, to be handed the gloves. вЂњHe (Casillas) saved us from a possible Slovakia goal,вЂќ Del Bosque told a news conference after the Group C defeat. вЂњI didnвЂ™t see the goal all that well but the ball deп¬Ѓnitely did something strange and deceived the keeper.вЂќ SlovakiaвЂ™s victory, which prompted wild celebrations among their players and fans, put them top of the group with a maximum six points from two matches, with Spain, Ukraine and Macedonia all on three in joint second. SpainвЂ™s next match is in Luxembourg tomorrow and three points would put them back on track as they seek to secure a place in the tournament in France in two yearsвЂ™ time. вЂњWe are only at the second matchday and there is nothing decided yet,вЂќ Del Bosque noted. вЂњSlovakia are top of the group but there are plenty of matches left to turn the situation around,вЂќ he added. Not on downward spiral, says Del Bosque after defeat Reuters Zilina, Slovakia C oach Vicente del Bosque denied Spain were caught in a downward spiral after the holders slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat in Slovakia in Euro 2016 Group C qualifying on Thursday. Del Bosque decided to stay on after his team were knocked out in the п¬Ѓrst round of the World Cup in Brazil in June and, although he has brought in a number of new faces, it was a familiar story at the MSK stadium in Zilina. Spain dominated possession but conceded when goalkeeper Iker Casillas was deceived by Juraj KuckaвЂ™s swerving free kick in the 17th minute and again three minutes from time when substitute Miroslav Stoch п¬Ѓnished off a п¬Ѓne counter attack. Paco Alcacer had levelled for the visitors in the 82nd minute but Spain couldnвЂ™t hold on for a draw. It was SpainвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst defeat in a qualiп¬Ѓer for the European Championship or World Cup since they were beaten by Swe- den in October 2006. вЂњI think that we at least deserved a draw and I donвЂ™t think we are on a negative run,вЂќ Del Bosque told a news conference. вЂњWe should have scored more goals but then came a lethal counter attack. вЂњWe cannot have any complaints about the players. We showed patience but we were not effective and their keeper was superb.вЂќ The home side defended doggedly and took what was probably their only genuine chance of the second half to prompt wild celebrations among the crowd. вЂњWe tried to go on the attack and freshen things up,вЂќ Del Bosque said. вЂњPedro for his speed, Alcacer to have someone else in the area and Cazorla for his passing ability. The whole team tried. Nobody likes to lose.вЂќ Slovakia, 40th in the world rankings, top the group with a maximum six points from two matches, with Spain, Ukraine and Macedonia all on three in joint second. SpainвЂ™s next match is in Luxembourg tomorrow.