2 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 QATAR FM receives envoysвЂ™ credentials Official Emir holds talks with Cyprus leader HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani held a telephone conversation with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades yesterday. They reviewed bilateral relations and means of developing them. Al-Attiyah meets Japanese envoy HE the Foreign Minister, Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, received the copies of credentials of Tariq Sadovic, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Engle Raymond Parchine, ambassador of Paraguay to Qatar, yesterday. Al-Attiyah wished both ambassadors success in their missions. Deputy PM reviews Darfur peace process HE the Chairman of Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah met the Ambassador of Japan to Qatar Shingo Tsuda in Doha yesterday. They discussed topics of common interest. Extension of circular bus services sought By Ramesh Mathew Staff Reporter B HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud holding talks with the Head of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and AU-UN Joint Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas in Doha yesterday. They reviewed the peace process in Darfur and the progress of the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. Mohamed Ibn Chambas thanked Qatar for the co-operation he received. Qatar AirwaysвЂ™ п¬Ѓrst A350 XWB completes its maiden п¬‚ight T he п¬Ѓrst customer A350900, which will be delivered to Qatar Airways, has successfully completed its maiden п¬‚ight, Airbus has announced in a statement. The п¬‚ight was the п¬Ѓrst time an A350 XWB conп¬Ѓgured for a customer has taken to the sky. Following the successful п¬‚ight, QatarвЂ™s A350 XWB will continue its production phase before delivery. This includes cabin completion as well as fur- ther ground and п¬‚ight tests, according to the statement. Qatar Airways will become the п¬Ѓrst operator of the A350 XWB when it takes delivery of its п¬Ѓrst aircraft later this year. The airline has 80 A350s on order, including 43 A350-900 and 37 of the larger A350-1000 models. With a cross-section of 220 inches from armrest to armrest, the A350вЂ™s cabin provides the widest seats in its category, the statement points out. The A350 XWB is AirbusвЂ™ allnew mid-size, long-range product line and the newest member of the companyвЂ™s leading widebody family. The A350 XWB stands out in its class thanks to its combination of passenger comfort, technological innovation and unique industrial process, the statement adds. At the end of September, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers worldwide. us passengers want the Mowasalat authorities to extend circular services to more areas in Qatar. Some of them have also suggested that smaller buses be used to run on certain routes as such vehicles can help ease trafп¬Ѓc congestion and also be a more п¬Ѓnancially viable option than large buses. While seeking the intervention of the media in highlighting their woes, many commuters have urged the authorities to improve and extend the services of circular buses to areas that are not covered at present. One of the existing circular services of Mowasalat runs on routes 49 and 94, covering areas that lie between Umm Ghuwailina and Rayyan Road before returning to Doha Bus Station (DBS) through the Mannai interchange and Arab Bank roundabout. вЂњMany city areas are not covered by the existing services. So, we request the authorities to explore the possibility of operating circular services covering places such as Airport Road, Matar Qadeem, Ruweida, Barwa Village, Hamad International Airport, Corniche-Wakrah Road before returning to the bus station through Ras Abu Aboud and Umm Ghuwailina,вЂќ Deepak, an A view of the crowded Doha Bus Station. expatriate who uses buses regularly, told Gulf Times. Appeals have also come from passengers to consider covering places such as Madinat Khalifa, Hamad hospital and Bin Omran through the introduction of another pair of circular services from DBS. This, say the passengers, will help further improve the frequency of bus services to these places. вЂњOperating circular services at 15-minute intervals is a good way of reducing travel woes in the peak hours,вЂќ said a resident of Bin Omran, adding that small buses could also be used on some routes. вЂњThey can be a more practical option than the larger buses. Besides, they can help decongest city roads, particularly during the peak hours.вЂќ Similarly, commuters are also seeking Doha-Wukair-Wakrah- Doha circular services through Al Muntaza Street, the Medical Commission signal, Woqod petrol station and the Religious Complex area, particularly on weekends. Some of them have suggested that the services can also cover Barwa Village. Meanwhile, a passenger said the frequency of bus services to the new airport should be increased both in the early hours of the day and in the afternoon. High security BMW vehicles to be showcased at Milipol expo A lfardan Automobiles and the BMW Group will showcase the BMW 7 Series High Security and X5 Security Plus vehicles at the Milipol Qatar Exhibition 2014, taking place from October 20 to 22 at the Doha Exhibition Centre. Offering protection from п¬Ѓrearms attack, robbery, kidnap and carjacking, the BMW X5 Security Plus and 7 Series High Security vehicles have become the cars of choice for heads of state, high proп¬Ѓle business people and celebrities throughout the world. With the BMW 760Li High Security and the BMW X5 Security Plus, the worldвЂ™s leading supplier of premium vehicles fulп¬Ѓls the highest demands on individual protection. The BMW 760Li High Security - the vehicle of choice for government and high proп¬Ѓle VIPвЂ™s - is certiп¬Ѓed in accordance with the ballistic guideline BRV 2009. This High Security model is classiп¬Ѓed in the new resistance class VR7. It combines comfort, superior drive technology and a multitude of innovative equipment features and guarantees supreme driving characteristics at all times. An exceptionally strong armouring made from special steel and designed to suit the vehicle as well developed security glass protect the passenger cell in particular against different kinds of attack. The armouring completely covers the passenger cell in the area of the doors, the roof, the body pillars, the front The BMW X5 Security Plus. footwells as well as the divider between the passenger and luggage compartments. Special steel plates made incorporating a special procedure adapt perfectly to п¬Ѓt the body contour. Critical areas such as the door and body gaps are additionally protected. The underside of the High Security sedan is also п¬Ѓtted with a special armouring, which was exclusively designed for maximum protection against explosives. Due to its new structure, the multi-layer, approximately 6cm thick laminated glass possesses a capability of resistance that is unique in the automotive sector. The V12 engine in the BMW 760Li High Security develops its superior power output of 544 hp at 5,250 rpm, delivering maximum torque of 750 Nm at 1,500 rpm. Combined with an eightspeed automatic transmission, the 6-litre twelve-cylinder engine fascinates not only because of its unparalleled running smoothness, but also through its capability to transfer seemingly inexhaustible power reserves into supreme driving dynamics at any time вЂ“ spontaneously and precisely controlled. The BMW 760Li High Security accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds. The BMW X5 Security Plus fulп¬Ѓls the requirements of protection level VR6 (BRV2009), offering all-round protection against violent assaults and organised crime. The protection concept of the BMW X5 Security Plus is based on an armoured passenger cell constructed from highperformance steel mouldings and panels and offering secure protection for up to four occu- The intercom and attack alarm panel in the BMW X5 Security Plus. pants against assault from the worldвЂ™s most popular п¬Ѓrearm, the AK-47. To prevent bullet or fragment penetration it features sealed joints which provide protection speciп¬Ѓcally, for example, in the critical areas around doors or where panels adjoin body pillars. The security glass specially developed for this protection level is also resistant to attack by blunt weapons. The BMW X5 Security Plus is also equipped with an intercom system and an assault alarm, which allows communication with people outside of the vehicle without opening doors or windows. If the assault alarm is triggered, all doors and windows are locked automatically and acoustic as well as visual alarm signals are activated. The alarm control elements are situ- ated near the cup holders on the centre console subtly concealed below a п¬‚exible cover. The BMW X5 Security Plus is powered by a 450hp V8 petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheeldrive system, enabling the vehicle to be manoeuvred safely even in difficult situations, both on and off surfaced roads. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 3 REGION/ARAB WORLD Iran opposes extending troubled nuclear talks AFP Tehran I ranвЂ™s foreign minister said yesterday that Tehran opposes extending troubled nuclear talks beyond a November 24 deadline, even though major stumbling blocks remain in the way of a deal. вЂњWe only have 40 days left to the deadline and... none of the negotiators п¬Ѓnd (an) extension of talks appropriate,вЂќ Mohamed Javad Zarif said in Vienna, a day after six hours of intense talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry. вЂњWe share this view... and we think there is no need to even think about it,вЂќ Zarif said in the Austrian capital, quoted by the state televisionвЂ™s website. The comments echoed those of a senior US State Department official late Wednesday after the talks between Kerry, Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in a Vienna hotel room. вЂњDeadlines help people to make hard decisions, and there are hard decisions to be made here. And we must,вЂќ the US official said on condition of anonymity. Kerry left Vienna yesterday after problems with his aircraft but Zarif remained for talks with political directors from the US, Russia, Britain, China, France and Germany chaired by Ashton. The deal being sought, after more than a decade of rising tensions, is meant to ease concerns that Iran might be able to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian programme. To do this, the вЂњP5+1вЂќ powers want Iran to scale down dramatically the scope of its atomic activities, offering relief from painful sanctions in return, but Iran is resisting this. Iran denies seeking to build the atomic bomb and says it wants to expand its nuclear programme in order to generate electricity and treat cancer patients. In months of discussions since an interim agreement struck last November took effect in January, some progress has been made. This includes possible changes in the design of an unп¬Ѓnished reactor at Arak so that it produces less weapons-grade plutonium, enhanced UN inspections, and alterations to the fortiп¬Ѓed Fordo facility. The main bone of contention remains IranвЂ™s enrichment capacity, a process rendering uranium suitable for power generation but also, at high purities, for a nuclear weapon. Other thorny areas include the pace of sanctions relief, the timeframe that an accord would cover, and a stymied UN probe into past suspect вЂњmilitary dimensionsвЂќ of IranвЂ™s activities. вЂњEveryone has been working incredibly hard... These are incredibly complex negotiations, the detail is extraordinary,вЂќ the senior US official said. вЂњUntil everything is agreed, nothing is agreed, and you can get 98% of the way, and the last 2% may kill the entire deal.вЂќ Zarif told online news site Al Monitor that the gaps were вЂњnarrowing, but we still have a long way to go.вЂќ вЂњIt is reconcilable, provided everyone makes the tough decisions,вЂќ he said. Many analysts have begun to believe that the November deadline might be extended, as happened with an earlier target date of July 20, maybe locking in measures related to Arak and Fordo. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that the November deadline was not вЂњsacredвЂќ, in the strongest suggestion yet from one of the P5+1 powers. Zarif himself said on Wednesday вЂњmore time might be neededвЂќ and President Hassan Rohani said on Monday that if the parties are вЂњnot able to solve all the problems, the two camps will п¬Ѓnd a solutionвЂќ. Echoing Lavrov, RussiaвЂ™s lead negotiator Sergei Ryabkov, who held bilateral talks with the Iranians yesterday, said that вЂњthe result is more important than the dateвЂќ. But quoted by RIA Novosti, he added that with a further extension, вЂњthe risk of total failure also increasesвЂќ. Zarif and the Iranian delegation left Vienna yesterday afternoon although the six powers remained for talks among themselves. It was unclear whether there would be a п¬Ѓnal statement. Zarif said he would see Kerry again in вЂњthree or four weeksвЂќ - leaving very little time until November 24 - following expertlevel negotiations next week. Shia Houthi militants man a checkpoint in Sanaa. The banner reads вЂ�Allah is the greatest. Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews, victory to IslamвЂ™. Al Qaeda and Houthis battle it out in Yemen Reuters Sanaa A t least 10 people were killed in п¬Ѓghting between Houthi tribesmen and militants linked to Al Qaeda in central Yemen yesterday, witnesses said, part of a growing struggle over territory and inп¬‚uence between the two enemy sides. The Shia Muslim Houthis established themselves as YemenвЂ™s new powerbrokers last month, capturing Sanaa on September 21 to little resistance from residents or from the weak administration of Presi- dent Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Their ascendance has angered Al Qaeda, which views Shias as heretics and Houthis as pawns of Iran. Last week, the Yemeni group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed a suicide bombing on a Houthi gathering that killed at least 47 people. Houthi п¬Ѓghters have been making advances outside of Sanaa in recent days, taking over cities and towns with the apparent agreement of the authorities there, but clashing with some Al Qaeda linked militants in central Yemen. Witnesses said yesterday a convoy of Houthi п¬Ѓghters trying to reach the town Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hosts Palestine Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ramadan Abdullah Mohamed Shallah in Tehran. Islamic Jihad chief hails Iran role in Gaza war AFP Tehran T he head of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group, praised Iran for its role in last summerвЂ™s Gaza conп¬‚ict against Israel, during a visit to Tehran yesterday. вЂњDeп¬Ѓnitely, the victory was achieved with the assistance of the Islamic republic,вЂќ Ramadan Abdullah Shallah said at a meeting with IranвЂ™s supreme guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, quoted by Fars news agency. вЂњWithout IranвЂ™s strategic and efficient help, resistance and victory in Gaza would have been impossible,вЂќ he said of the 50day war in which 2,200 Gazans and 73 Israelis died and the Palestinian territory was devastated. Iran, an arch-foe of Israel, provides the technology for Palestinian п¬Ѓghters of Islamic Jihad and Hamas, a larger Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip, to п¬Ѓre missiles at towns in the Jewish state. Khamenei, also quoted by Fars, urged the militants to вЂњboost their preparedness day by day and reinforce their resourcesвЂќ ahead of any further Israeli assault on the territory. The Islamic Jihad leader was sceptical of the $5.4bn in international aid to rebuild Gaza that was pledged at a donor conference in Cairo last Sunday. вЂњWe do not pin much hope on such promises and only rely on God to compensate losses inп¬‚icted on us by the Zionist regime,вЂќ said Shallah, referring to Israel which launched its JulyAugust assault on Gaza with the declared aim of halting rocket п¬Ѓre on its towns. of Radda in Al Bayda province, 130km south east of Sanaa, was blocked by п¬Ѓghters from Ansar al-Shariah, the local arm of AQAP. вЂњThere are heavy clashes going on there, with various weapons, including RPGs,вЂќ one resident said. He estimated that at least 10 Houthi п¬Ѓghters were killed. The п¬Ѓghting comes after clashes between Houthis and Ansar Al Shariah in Radda on Tuesday in which at least 12 people were killed. Another convoy of several cars carrying Houthis was later seen on the outskirts of Taiz, a city 50km south of Ibb. Al Qaeda said in a statement issued yesterday that its п¬Ѓghters had on the previous day stormed the town Odein, near Ibb, killing three soldiers and holding it for nine hours to prevent the Houthis from taking over. In the most recent advances outside Sanaa, Houthis took control yesterday of the small Red Sea port of Medi and al-Dawaymeh island, both near the border with Saudi Arabia. Earlier this week they took over the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, the second largest port in the Arabian peninsula nation after Aden, with the apparent agreement of the police, according to local officials. вЂ�SporadicвЂ™ Mers cases in Saudi 36 die in Baghdad Shia suburb attack AFP Riyadh Reuters Baghdad S F audi Arabia is seeing вЂњsporadicвЂќ cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (Mers-CoV), which has killed 324 people in the country, the health ministry said yesterday. The kingdom has been hardest hit by Mers, which has also appeared in about 20 other nations. The ministry said it has recorded вЂњsporadic cases of Mers-CoV around the kingdomвЂќ and reiterated the need for precautions to help prevent the virus from spreading. From June 2012, the ministry has recorded 763 people contracting Mers, 429 of which have recovered. Ten are listed as вЂњactiveвЂќ. Data reported on the ministryвЂ™s website show only one Mers death from July 11 to September 24. Since then three Saudis have died, with the latest reported on October 7. Research by Saudi scientists indicates that camels play a role in the transmission of the virus to humans. In June, the World Health Organisation said a surge in Mers cases had receded but countries should remain vigilant ahead of pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia. The kingdom engaged thousands of health workers to ensure the 2mn pilgrims who visited earlier this month for the annual Haj were protected from Mers and another deadly virus, Ebola. On Tuesday the WHO said no new Mers cases have been linked to the Haj. Acting Health Minister Adel Fakieh also has said the Haj was вЂњfree of all epidemic diseases.вЂќ The ministry stressed вЂњthe importance of practises such as washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with patients, avoiding the touching of eyes or noses, using tissues to cover mouths when coughing, avoiding contact with camels that are demonstrating symptomsвЂќ. our car bomb attacks and a mortar strike on Shia Muslim parts of Baghdad killed 36 people and wounded 98 within a span of two hours yesterday afternoon, police and medical ofп¬Ѓcials said. An Iraqi Shia political п¬Ѓgure said the assaults, part of a surge of violence in Shia neighbourhoods in recent weeks, were revenge attacks by Sunni Muslim militants Islamic State. The Al Qaeda offshoot has been battling Shia militias and soldiers loyal to the countryвЂ™s Shialed government as it attempts to establish a crossborder caliphate covering land seized in Iraq and neighbouring Syria. A suicide car bomb hit an army checkpoint near a restaurant in the northern district of Talibiya at 2.30pm (1130 GMT), killing nine people, said officials. Forty-п¬Ѓve minutes later, a pair of car bombs exploded in the district of Al Dawlai in western Baghdad, killing 16 people and wounding 35. Minutes after that, п¬Ѓve mortar rounds hit the neighbouring Shia district of Al Shaoula, killing another п¬Ѓve and wounding 21 others. A car bomb then exploded in the nearby Hurriya district, leaving six dead and wounding 14 others. вЂњThey (Islamic State) are making a statement to the Shias п¬Ѓghting them... We can target you in your household,вЂќ said Kareem al-Noori, from the Badr Organization, a powerful Shia political party with a militia wing. Violence has increased in the city since late September. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in office for a month and still without a defence or interior minister due to rifts among the countryвЂ™s main Shia and Sunni political parties, on Wednesday sought to soothe BaghdadвЂ™s jangled nerves. вЂњBaghdad is safe and the vicious terrorists canвЂ™t and will not reach it,вЂќ Abadi said in a televised speech at a military ceremony. вЂњOur brave security forces have managed to secure Baghdad and its perimeter.вЂќ 4 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 ARAB WORLD Kobane Kurds hold out month into IS assault AFP Beirut B acked by a п¬‚urry of US-led air strikes, Kurdish п¬Ѓghters were holding out yesterday against jihadists in Kobane, as an Islamic State offensive on the Syrian border town entered its second month. The Kurds claimed to have pushed IS back in parts of Kobane, but the Pentagon warned the multinational strikes may not prevent the townвЂ™s fall even though hundreds of jihadists are thought to have been killed. Mortar and heavy machinegun п¬Ѓre rang out later as IS appeared to have relaunched its bid to cut the town off from the Turkish border, said an AFP correspondent across the frontier. Despite intensiп¬Ѓed strikes on Kobane this week by the US and its Arab allies, the Kurds are calling for increased п¬Ѓrepower in the battle for the strategic town. вЂњWe need more air strikes, as well as weaponry and ammunition to п¬Ѓght them on the ground,вЂќ said Idris Nassen, a Kurdish official in Kobane. An estimated 200,000 mainly Kurdish Syrians have п¬‚ed the IS onslaught for the relative safety of Turkey. A grocer who had escaped to Turkey from Kobane offered insight yesterday into those п¬Ѓghting for IS, saying that one they had captured, an Azerbaijani in his 20s, had even asked to be killed. вЂњHe begged us to kill him so he could go to paradise and be rewarded,вЂќ said Cuneyt Hemo, adding that the jihadist was held for a day and ultimately shot dead by his captors. IS is also battling to control other parts of Syria, including Hasakeh province, where Kurdish п¬Ѓghters killed 20 jihadists yesterday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Kurdish forces have suffered heavy losses since IS launched its offensive on the Kurdish enclave around Kobane in mid-September, but so too have the jihadists. As of Wednesday, ground clashes alone had killed 662 people since September 16, including 20 civilians, the Observatory said. Refugees from IS get winter aid kits Reuters London T housands of refugees in Iraq and Syria, п¬‚eeing attacks by Islamic State, will be given emergency winter kits to help them cope with the approach of cold, rainy weather, an international aid agency said yesterday. The number of civilians forced to leave their homes is still rising as a result of IS attacks on IraqвЂ™s Anbar province and the Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border, the International Rescue Committee said. Thousands of families п¬‚eeing the violence and their fear of IS control will be provided with blankets, mattresses, plastic tarpaulin sheeting and warm clothing, it said. New arrivals at refugee camps showed вЂњbewilderment, desperation, exhaustion, anger, fear of an uncertain future,вЂќ an IRC ofп¬Ѓcial said. The IRC-managed Arbat refugee camp in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, is home to 3,000 Syrian refugees, and is preparing to take in a further 5,000 п¬‚eeing Kobani this week, according to Anthony Sinnott, IRC country director for Iraq. He said the IRC would help people who had been вЂњthrust into primitive conditions of existenceвЂќ to adapt to the severe winter conditions. вЂњFor the newly arrived, there is a mix of a sense of bewilderment, desperation, exhaustion, anger, and fear of an uncertain future,вЂќ Sinnott told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. вЂњWith the rainy, cold and windy winter coming in the north of Iraq, we are ramping efforts to fulп¬Ѓl the immediate needs of the refugees when they arrive, such as food, water, clothing, shelter.вЂќ Refugees who had settled into life at camps often volunteered to work alongside aid workers and help the newcomers п¬Ѓnd their way to shelter and understand the various services on offer, Sinnott said in a telephone interview. вЂњIn a short time, these refugees will look to п¬Ѓnd some means of providing for themselves, securing an education for their children, and restoring their sense of hope for the future,вЂќ he added. The UNHCR said the recent IS attack on Hit had triggered another wave of internal displacement in Iraq, with more than 1.8mn people having п¬‚ed their homes so far this year. The IRC is a global humanitarian aid, relief and development non-governmental organisation. IS lost 374 of its militants, while 268 people have been killed п¬Ѓghting on the Kurdish side, according to the Britain-based monitor, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria. In its latest update, US Central Command said American warplanes struck 14 times near Kobane on Wednesday and yesterday, including вЂњsuccessfulвЂќ raids on 19 IS-held buildings and two command posts. American-led forces have now carried out more than 100 air strikes near Kobane since September 27. The Pentagon said the raids had killed вЂњseveral hundredвЂќ jihadist п¬Ѓghters. US military ofп¬Ѓcials say Kobane may eventually fall but insist the town is not Syrian refugee children, who fled from Kobane, shout slogans against Islamic State at a refugee camp in Suruc, Turkey. a вЂњstrategicвЂќ location and that other areas carry more importance, particularly in western Iraq and the suburbs of Baghdad. But they privately acknowledge that intense media coverage, with television cameras across the border in Turkey relaying footage of smoke rising from the town, have turned Kobane into an important symbol. Nato member Turkey has stationed troops, tanks and artillery just over the border - in some cases only a few hundred metres from the п¬Ѓghting - but has not intervened. It has yet to allow US jets to mount attacks from its territory. President Barack Obama told military chiefs from more than 20 allies this week they are facing a вЂњlong-term campaignвЂќ - now dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve - against the Islamic State group. Obama has expressed special concern for Kobane and about halting the IS advance in IraqвЂ™s western Anbar province. IS in June declared a вЂњcaliphateвЂќ straddling areas it seized in Iraq and Syria, and has committed widespread atrocities, including mass executions, the beheading of Westerners and forcing women into slavery. The new UN human rights chief told his п¬Ѓrst press brieп¬Ѓng yesterday that IS was the вЂњantithesis of human rightsвЂќ. вЂњIt kills, it tortures, it rapes,вЂќ said Zeid RaвЂ™ad al-Hussein. вЂњIt is a diabolical, potentially genocidal movement, and the way it has spread its tentacles into other countries, employing social media and the Internet to brainwash and recruit people from across the globe, reveals it to be the product of a perverse and lethal marriage of a new form of nihilism with the digital age.вЂќ Hussein also promised an updated UN assessment of the death toll in the more than threeyear-old conп¬‚ict in Syria, saying it would certainly be well over 200,000. Six children were among 14 people killed yesterday in air raids carried out by the Syrian regime in Jisrin, east of Damascus, and along the highway linking the capital to the northern city of Aleppo, said the Observatory. Palestinian resolution on occupation by month-end Arab League chief to lead delegation to Gaza AFP Ramallah T he Palestinians will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding the end of IsraelвЂ™s occupation by the end of October, a senior official said yesterday. The Palestinians have been under intense pressure not to push forward with the resolution - including with alleged threats of cuts to US aid - but Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo said a decision was taken late on Wednesday to push ahead. вЂњThe political council of the PLO decided during its meeting last night... to go to the UN Security Council with the aim of getting a resolution passed to end the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories... by the end of this month,вЂќ he said. Voting could take place вЂњtwo weeks or more after the request is presented,вЂќ Abed Rabbo told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah. вЂњThere is no excuse for a delay.вЂќ Since the collapse of US-led peace talks with Israel in April, the Palestinians have been pursuing a new diplomatic path to in- Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi will lead a ministerial delegation to war-ravaged Gaza on October 23, an official said yesterday. The delegation will include Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah and Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ould Teguedi, the League official told reporters in Cairo. вЂњThe visit is in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, which was subjected to comprehensive destruction by the last Israeli aggression, and to understand its needs,вЂќ the official said on condition of anonymity. Details of the itinerary were not immediately available. The one-day visit comes after an international donors conference in Cairo hosted by Egypt and Norway on Sunday pledged $ 5.4bn to rebuild Gaza. Donations mainly included $1bn from Qatar, $212mn from the US and 450mn euros from the European Union. dependence via the UN and by joining international organisations. The Palestinians won the status of UN observer state in 2012. A draft of the resolution obtained by AFP earlier this month calls for the вЂњfull withdrawal of Israel, the occupying power, from all of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a speciп¬Ѓed timeframe, not to exceed November 2016.вЂќ An initiative in the Security Council is sure to meet opposition from the US, which has repeatedly vetoed resolutions seen as undermining Israel. Abed Rabbo said he hoped the draft would at least survive long enough to be debated by the 15-member council, even if its chances of being carried were slim. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday that a Palestinian diplomatic offensive would вЂњundermineвЂќ peace efforts. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said earlier this month that the Palestinians are risking $700mn a year in US aid by pursuing the resolution. He warned the Palestinians could also seek to join the International Criminal Court, where they could sue Israeli officials over allegations of war crimes. US democracy watchdog quits Egypt as politcal crackdown continues US democracy watchdog The Carter Centre has closed its Egypt office and says it will no longer monitor the countryвЂ™s parliamentary elections due to an increasingly restrictive political environment. EgyptвЂ™s parliamentary elections should be held within six months of the presidential election but a date for the polls has yet to be set. Former army chief Abdel Fattah alSisi was elected as president in May. The Carter Centre cited the mass arrests of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the passage of a law that severely curbs the freedom to protest, and moves to tighten the application of a law governing civil society organisations. вЂњThe current environment in Egypt is not conducive to genuine democratic elections and civic participation,вЂќ former US President Jimmy Carter said in a statement late on Wednesday. вЂњI hope that Egyptian authorities will reverse recent steps that limit the rights of association and assembly and restrict operations of Egyptian civil society groups.вЂќ Thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been arrested, imprisoned or sentenced to death. Liberal activists, many of whom were leading lights in the 2011 uprising, also face trial. But many Egyptians are satisfied with the relative stability and slowly improving economy SisiвЂ™s administration has brought. Islamists resist Benghazi raid AFP Benghazi A child receives polio vaccination at an informal settlement of Syrian refugee at Zahle in the Bekaa valley. 25 Mursi backers get life sentences AFP Cairo A n Egyptian court yesterday handed down life sentences to 25 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi over violence in a southern town in August 2013, a judicial source said. The authorities have cracked down on supporters of Mursi since his ouster by the military in July 2013, killing hundreds in street clashes and arresting thousands. A court in the southern province of Assuit yesterday sentenced 25 defendants to life in prison, three were handed threeyear terms, and two others jailed for two years, the source said. A life sentence in Egypt amounts to 25 years behind bars. Those convicted were found guilty of torching police stations and government buildings in the town of Al Ghanaim on August 14 of last year, hours after police brutally dispersed thousands of Mursi supporters at two Cairo squares, leaving hundreds dead. Another 141 defendants, including an official from MursiвЂ™s Muslim Brotherhood, were acquitted, the source said, while a police sergeant was jailed for one year. Those convicted have the right to appeal. I slamist militias yesterday held their ground in the face of an assault by an ex-general backed by army units aimed at retaking LibyaвЂ™s second city of Benghazi, military sources said. Medics said at least 17 people were killed in 24 hours of п¬Ѓghting since Khalifa HaftarвЂ™s forces on Wednesday launched what he called an operation to вЂњliberateвЂќ the city. Tanks spearheaded attacks on an Islamist militia, the вЂњFebruary 17 Martyrs Brigade,вЂќ while warplanes carried out raids on its headquarters in a western suburb of the Mediterranean city. The army and HaftarвЂ™s forces said they captured the February 17 headquarters after several hours of clashes late on Wednesday. But military sources said yesterday that pro-government forces were later forced to withdraw from the former army base under п¬Ѓre by Islamist п¬Ѓghters. Several explosions and gunп¬Ѓre echoed throughout the night, AFP correspondents said, before the п¬Ѓghting eased yesterday as military aircraft swept over the city. Islamist militias have seized control of large parts of turmoil-gripped Libya since a 2011 uprising against long-time leader Muammar Gaddaп¬Ѓ, with the authorities struggling to control them. The army has this time publicly thrown its weight behind Haftar, who launched a п¬Ѓrst, unsuccessful, campaign against the Islamists in May, dubbing it вЂ�Operation DignityвЂ™. вЂњThe Libyan army claims вЂ�Operation DignityвЂ™вЂќ as one of its own campaigns, spokesman Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari said Wednesday. The Islamists include the Ansar al-Shariah jihadist mili- tia, which the US has branded a вЂњterroristвЂќ organisation. Since launching Operation Dignity, Haftar and his forces have been steadily beaten back to a п¬Ѓnal redoubt at BenghaziвЂ™s airport, which has come under attack by Islamists since midSeptember. Last week, more than 50 people were killed in п¬Ѓghting between the rival sides, according to military and hospital sources. Before their rapprochement with Haftar, the authorities had in May accused the Gaddaп¬Ѓ-era general - who spent years in exile before returning to join the 2011 revolution - of trying to mount a coup. But the internationally-recognised interim government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni вЂњis now left with no choice but to make things up with Haftar, who portrays himself as LibyaвЂ™s saviour,вЂќ said Libyan analyst Fradj Najm. Oil-rich Libya has two com- peting governments as well as a host of rival armed militias jostling for inп¬‚uence in the largely lawless country. One parliament, elected in June, is recognised by the international community but contested by the militia controlling most of Tripoli and by the Islamists who dominate Benghazi. Thani and the majority faction of that legislature decamped this summer to the far eastern city of Tobruk because of widespread insecurity, including in the capital, where a rival administration has been set up. UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Tripoli last Saturday to urge the warring factions to end the turmoil. Clashes between rival militias have driven an estimated 287,000 people from their homes, including 100,000 who have п¬‚ed the outskirts of Tripoli, according to the UN refugee agency. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 5 AFRICA Pistorius has вЂ�to pay for killingвЂ™ Steenkamp The double-amputee Olympic track star will be committed to the hospital wing of one of South AfricaвЂ™s toughest prisons if he is sentenced to jail time AFP Maputo Agencies Pretoria M A cousin of slain South African model Reeva Steenkamp made a tearful plea yesterday for Oscar Pistorius вЂњto payвЂќ for killing her, as prosecutors sought at his sentencing hearing to see the Paralympic athlete sent to jail. Battling tears and with her voice trembling, Kim Martin told the court in Pretoria that she was вЂњvery fearfulвЂќ of the amputee sprinter and did not believe his apology for killing Steenkamp at his home last year was genuine. вЂњPistorius needs to pay for what he has done, for taking ReevaвЂ™s life, for what heвЂ™s done to my uncle, to my aunt and the rest of my family,вЂќ she said. вЂњMy family are not people who are seeking revenge, we just feel that to take someoneвЂ™s life, to shoot somebody behind a door, that is unarmed, that is harmless, needs sufficient punishment. вЂњEverybody has suffered here, and I really think we need to send a message to society that you canвЂ™t do this and get away with it.вЂќ Pistorius was found guilty last month of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for shooting 29-year-old Steenkamp dead on ValentineвЂ™s Day 2013. He was acquitted of the heavier charge of murder, to some controversy. Ruling party seen heading for victory in Mozambique Pistorius embraces an unidentified woman in court on day four of sentencing procedures at the High Court in Pretoria yesterday. Pistorius will be committed to the hospital wing of one of South AfricaвЂ™s toughest prisons if the double-amputee Olympic track star is sentenced to jail time, the head of the prison service said. On the fourth day of PistoriusвЂ™ sentencing hearing, Zach Modise, who has worked in the prison service for 35 years, was questioned by the defence about conditions at the Pretoria Central Prison, PistoriusвЂ™ most likely destination because of its disabled facilities. The jail was the execution site of dozens of black political activists by South AfricaвЂ™s apartheid government, which handed over power after the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994. It is also the home of apartheid death squad leader Eugene de Kock, known as вЂ�Prime EvilвЂ™, and is known for a vicious gang culture. Beatings, male rape and murder cases have been reported there in South African media. However, Modise said the reality of the prison was a long way from the popular perception and said PistoriusвЂ™ disability - his lower legs were amputated as a baby - would ensure he was kept in a separate wing. вЂњThe Department of Correctional Services is ready to admit and detain people with disabilities,вЂќ said Modise, who was also quizzed by defence lawyer Barry Roux about the problem of tu- berculosis among inmates at the prison. Pressed to give details about the prisonвЂ™s population and facilities for the disabled, Modise conceded that there was only one resident doctor for every 7,000 inmates. Modise said Pistorius would have access to a cell of his own and that a suitability test would be conducted to determine the athleteвЂ™s particular needs. On Tuesday probation officer Annette Vergeer, testifying for the defence, said prison would вЂњbreakвЂќ Pistorius because of his disability and psychological problems. Throughout the sentencing hearing, the defence has been п¬Ѓghting to keep the 27-year-old out of jail, citing his disability as a reason. On Monday, a social worker recommended Pistorius be sentenced to three years of community service and house arrest at his uncleвЂ™s Pretoria mansion. He is likely to receive his sentence on Tuesday, according to a source close to the state. But with no mandatory minimum punishment, judge Thokozile Masipa will have to decide whether he deserves to go to jail or remain free. Both the prosecution and defence will give their closing arguments on PistoriusвЂ™s sentencing before court is adjourned today for judge Masipa to make her decision on the athleteвЂ™s fate. ozambiqueвЂ™s ruling Frelimo party is likely to sweep hardfought presidential and legislative elections, according to п¬Ѓrst results and unofficial projections released yesterday. A partial vote count and projections by civil society groups suggested FrelimoвЂ™s Filipe Nyusi will become the countryвЂ™s new president, winning around 60%, a huge drop from the 75% won by the partyвЂ™s candidate in the 2009 election. With just over 8% of polling stations reporting, Nyusi held 61% of the vote, according to the official tally, which was in line with the groupsвЂ™ forecasts. вЂњPreliminary numbers and projections indicate the Frelimo will win a landslide victory,вЂќ said a report by the Centre for Public Integrity and the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa. The vote took place against a backdrop of rising discontent over vast income disparities, despite a mineral resources windfall in the southern African nation. Rapid economic growth has failed to beneп¬Ѓt the bulk of a population that is among the worldвЂ™s poorest. NyusiвЂ™s main opponent, rebel turned opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama of the Re- namo party, was trailing in second position with 31% of votes, according to the projection. The third and youngest of the presidential candidates, Daviz Simango, was in third position with 8%, a similar percentage to his tally in 2009. Voting was largely peaceful aside from sporadic clashes between police and opposition activists who claim that Frelimo, which has run Mozambique since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975, tried to stuff ballot boxes. Paulo Cuinica, spokesman for the national Electoral Commission, said despite several incidents the polls had been вЂњfree and fairвЂќ. He conп¬Ѓrmed unrest in several towns, including the opposition strongholds of Beira and Nampula where police п¬Ѓred teargas to disperse crowds. вЂњThis was due to the desire by the people to watch the count but this is not allowed by the law. Police had to act,вЂќ he told reporters. He said six people were arrested in the coal-rich northwestern Tete province where вЂњquite a number of polling stations were destroyed and material burnt.вЂќ Four polling stations failed to open in northwestern Niassa province because there were problems with the delivery of balloting material. 6 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 AMERICAS UNвЂ™s $1bn Ebola fund gets just $100,000 so far US health chiefs in hot seat over Ebola AFP Washington T op US health officials faced a grilling yesterday by lawmakers infuriated over the nationвЂ™s fumbling response to the Ebola outbreak, as the Obama administration scrambles to contain the diseaseвЂ™s spread. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Thomas Frieden has become the most prominent target of the criticism, which has mounted as it emerged that a second Texas healthcare worker infected with the deadly disease was allowed to board a commercial п¬‚ight despite reporting a low-grade fever. Some lawmakers have demanded FriedenвЂ™s resignation and others have accused President Barack Obama of a lack of leadership. Congressional leaders meanwhile are urging a travel ban to the United States on all citizens of the three West African nations hardest hit by the epidemic: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. вЂњThe stakes in this battle couldnвЂ™t be any higher,вЂќ Tim Murphy, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight, told a packed hearing with Frieden and other health experts. вЂњThe trust and credibility of the administration and government are waning as the American public loses conп¬Ѓdence each day with demonstrated failures of the current strategy,вЂќ he added. Murphy, echoing other senior lawmakers like House Speaker John Boehner and Senator Marco Rubio, said he had вЂњongoing concern that administration officials still refuse to consider any travel restrictionsвЂќ on people from West Africa entering the US. Frieden pauses during an answer as he and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director Anthony Fauci (right) testify before a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing. Some experts and lawmakers warned that isolating West Africa could further strain its healthcare resources. Frieden and other officials acknowledged they still did not know how two Dallas nurses who treated a sick man contracted the virus, highlighting concerns about the governmentвЂ™s ability to prevent its spread. But Frieden insisted authorities could keep the haemorrhagic virus at bay in America. вЂњWe remain conп¬Ѓdent that Ebola is not a signiп¬Ѓcant public health threat to the United States,вЂќ he told the panel. вЂњIt is not transmitted easily, and it does not spread from people who are not ill.вЂќ That statement offered little consolation to worried lawmakers. вЂњPeople are scared. We need all hands on deck. We need a strategy,вЂќ House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton warned. вЂњPeopleвЂ™s lives are at stake, and the response so far has been unacceptable.вЂќ But some warned of the dangers of sparking hysteria among the public. вЂњWe need to put all of this in perspective, and not panic,вЂќ House Democrat Henry Waxman told the panel. The White House stressed that Obama, who cancelled political events on Wednesday and yesterday in order to co-ordinate the US Ebola response, maintained conп¬Ѓdence in Frieden. Nearly 4,500 people are known to have died from Ebola вЂ“ mainly in West Africa вЂ“ although Frieden cautioned the toll вЂњmay be substantially under-reportedвЂќ. While legislators insist that there is no margin for error, mistakes in handling Ebola continued to crop up in the United States after a Liberian Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, was cared for in Texas. вЂњUnfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr Duncan, despite US Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) holds a photo of Frieden in protective gear in West Africa at the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing. our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes,вЂќ said Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources which runs the hospital where Duncan was treated. A nurse who treated one of the sick caregivers accused Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of failing to adequately prepare staff for handling Ebola cases prior to DuncanвЂ™s arrival. вЂњWe never talked about Ebola and we probably should have,вЂќ nurse Brianna Aguirre told NBCвЂ™s Today show. вЂњThey gave us an optional seminar to go to. Just informational, not hands on,вЂќ she added. вЂњWe were never told what to look for.вЂќ Compounding concerns, the CDC allowed a healthcare worker who had been exposed to an Ebola patient to п¬‚y by commercial plane after she reported a lowgrade fever. Officials are now considering a travel ban in such cases, a source told AFP. United States authorities began screening for Ebola yesterday at the Washington area Dulles airport, ChicagoвЂ™s OвЂ™Hare, Newark and Atlanta airports, after New YorkвЂ™s JFK began screening last week. Together, the airports receive 94% of travelers from the Ebolaaffected countries. Frieden said that the two US transmissions showed the need вЂњto strengthen the procedures for infection-control protocolsвЂќ. вЂњItвЂ™s like п¬Ѓghting a forest п¬Ѓre: leave behind one burning ember, one case undetected, and the epidemic could re-ignite,вЂќ he said. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the п¬Ѓrst person to contract Ebola in the United States, Nina Pham, was вЂњstableвЂќ and being transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland for treatment. A United Nations trust fund, seeking $1bn to fight Ebola in West Africa, has received a deposit of just $100,000 nearly a month after it was set up to allow for rapid, flexible funding of the most urgent needs on the ground. As of yesterday, $365mn had been committed by at least 28 countries, the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and several foundations and corporations, according to UN records. But nearly all that money was donated directly to UN agencies and nonprofits working on the ground in the three worst affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with just $100,000 paid into the fund by Colombia, the records show. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Ban had created the Multi-Partner Trust Fund to accept donations after the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs launched an appeal September 16 for $988mn to tackle the deadly haemorrhagic fever over the next six months. Dr David Nabarro, who is heading the UN response to the Ebola crisis, told Reuters that the trust fund was intended to offer вЂњflexibility in responding to a crisis which every day brings new challenges; it allows the areas of greatest need to be identified and funds to be directed accordinglyвЂќ. Erin Hohlfelder, policy director for global health for international campaign and advocacy group ONE, said the response to the UN appeal was вЂњpretty disappointingвЂќ and that it was important to co-ordinate contributions so вЂњwe donвЂ™t let aid resources go to wasteвЂќ. вЂњWe have enough speeches and enough rhetoric that it starts to feel the case is solved,вЂќ she said. вЂњWeвЂ™re really concerned that until those speeches and that rhetoric translate into real services on the ground, weвЂ™re not doing much to ebb the flow of this crisis.вЂќ The United Nations has established a special mission, known as UNMEER, in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to co-ordinate efforts to contain Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person. вЂњWe are hopeful that in the coming days and weeks we will see more countries investing in the Fund, using this mechanism to support the coordinated UN response on the ground. There are critical funding needs that must be met now,вЂќ Nabarro said. US schools close in Ohio, Texas, over Ebola fears Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed yesterday amid fears that students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection during an airline flight. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reached out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected. She had a low-grade fever and was not vomiting or experiencing diarrhea on the trip from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, but she should not have been allowed to board a commercial airline, CDC chief Tom Frieden said. Three schools in central Texas were closed because two students had travelled on the same Frontier Airlines flight, according to a statement posted online. School superintendent Susan Kincannon said that North Belton Middle School and Sparta Elementary вЂ“ where the students attend вЂ“ were closed, as well as Belton Early Childhood School while health authorities evaluated the risk. вЂњIвЂ™m frustrated that we didnвЂ™t learn until late tonight that the CDC was re-evaluating the health risk,вЂќ she wrote in the letter, posted late on Wednesday. вЂњThe health and safety of our students is my first priority.вЂќ Some schools in Ohio also closed, including Solon Middle School (SMS) and Parkside Elementary, after a school employee was potentially on the same plane but a different flight. вЂњWe learned today that an SMS staff member travelled home from Dallas on Frontier Airlines Tuesday on a different flight, but perhaps the same aircraft, as the Texas nurse with Ebola,вЂќ said the school. Officials at the schools said the closures were a precautionary measure, and that building facilities would be thoroughly cleaned. Venezuela, Spain, New Zealand win UN seats AFP United Nations A ngola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela won coveted seats at the UN Security Council yesterday, but Turkey suffered a humbling defeat in its bid to join the worldвЂ™s вЂњtop tableвЂќ. The п¬Ѓve countries garnered the required two-thirds support from the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly during three rounds of voting that ended with Turkey picking up only 60 votes. Turkey had been competing against New Zealand and Spain for two seats and had dispatched Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on a high-proп¬Ѓle mission to New York this week to lobby for votes. Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela were assured to win as their candidacies had been put forward by their region and they ran unopposed on their slates. After New ZealandвЂ™s resounding victory in the п¬Ѓrst ballot, Foreign Minister Murray McCully called the outcome a вЂњstrong vote of conп¬ЃdenceвЂќ in his country, capping a 10-year campaign for the ultimate diplomatic prize. вЂњTo receive the success that we have had this morning means a lot to us and we will work very hard to make sure we give good service on the council,вЂќ McCully told reporters at UN headquarters. Venezuela won 181 votes despite criticism from rights groups and the United States over its support for Iran, Syria and other hardline regimes that are at loggerheads with the West. VenezuelaвЂ™s President Nicolas Maduro called the vote вЂњa victory, a world record of support, love and conп¬Ѓdence. One hundred eight-one countries have said here we are, we support youвЂќ. вЂњWe should feel happiness and joy in our hearts that Venezuela is beloved country in the world,вЂќ he added, speaking in Caracas. вЂњTo those birds of ill omen who say Venezuela is isolated in the world вЂ“ who is isolated? The country that received 181 votes?вЂќ US Ambassador Samantha Power urged Venezuela to work cooperatively on the council. вЂњUnfortunately, VenezuelaвЂ™s conduct at the UN has run counter to the spirit of the UN Charter and its violations of human rights at home are at odds with the CharterвЂ™s letter,вЂќ she said. A photographer works in a booth as members of the United Nations General Assembly prepare to vote in a secret ballot to fill five non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council yesterday in New York. Rights groups have pointed to VenezuelaвЂ™s record on the UN Human Rights Council as a cause for worry and diplomats have also expressed concern about its stance on the war in Syria. Over the three rounds of voting, Turkey saw its support dwindle from 109 votes to 73 and п¬Ѓnally 60, surprising many who saw the regional player as a strong contender. Angola won 190 votes, Malay- KerryвЂ™s ageing Air Force plane grounded AFP Vienna G lobe-trotting top US diplomat John Kerry was left hooп¬Ѓng it back on a commercial п¬‚ight from Vienna yesterday after his ageing Air Force plane broke down for the fourth time this year. After marathon talks on IranвЂ™s nuclear programme in the Austrian capital on Wednesday, KerryвЂ™s party of more than 40 State Department staff and journalists were checking out of their hotel rooms before dawn yesterday when the news came that his Boeing 757 needed unspeciп¬Ѓed repairs вЂ“ again. Since taking up his post in February 2013, Kerry has п¬‚own some 566,000 miles (911,000km) around the globe and visited 55 countries вЂ“ many of them multiple times вЂ“ spending some 249 days on the road. HeвЂ™s well on his way to overtaking his predecessor Hillary Clinton who п¬‚ew just short of 1mn miles in her four years in ofп¬Ѓce, visiting a record 112 countries. But despite a normally wellplanned, slick logistical operation to move Kerry and his posse of staff, security agents and the travelling press as he jumps from country to country, he has been beset this year by a frustrating number of glitches. In August, the US secretary of state was forced to take a commercial nine-hour п¬‚ight back to Washington from Hawaii when the plane suffered electrical problems after a trip which had seen him literally п¬‚y around the globe. Earlier this year, a new transponder had to be п¬‚own from the United States to Switzerland when in the middle of international talks on the Syrian conп¬‚ict in January his aircraft was grounded. Kerry: his plane has broken down four times this year. And in London in March, a similar mechanical problem was hastily п¬Ѓxed вЂ“ after a few nervewrecking hours which saw his party anxiously checking for п¬‚ights home. sia picked up 187, New Zealand 145 and Spain 132. The elections came at a busy time for the council, which is grappling with crises on many fronts, from the jihadist offensive in Iraq and Syria, to the Eb- ola outbreak in West Africa. RussiaвЂ™s actions in eastern Ukraine, conп¬‚icts in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic and the faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace process are also at the top of the councilвЂ™s agenda. A seat at the Security Council raises a countryвЂ™s proп¬Ѓle several notches, boosts inп¬‚uence and provides knockoff beneп¬Ѓts in bilateral ties. The п¬Ѓve elected countries to the 15-member council will join the п¬Ѓve permanent powers вЂ“ Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States вЂ“ for a two-year term. Five other countries elected last year are mid-way into their term. These are Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria. As the most powerful body of the United Nations, the Security Council can impose sanctions on countries and individuals, refer suspects for war crimes prosecution, endorse peace accords and authorize the use of force. It also oversees 16 peacekeeping missions in the world, with a budget of close to $8bn. The п¬Ѓve elected countries will replace Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Rwanda and South Korea, and begin their stint on January 1. Challenge accepted! Actor Neil Patrick Harris to host 2015 Oscars Award-winning US stage and screen actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the next Oscars show, organisers announced on Wednesday. The star, who has hosted both BroadwayвЂ™s Tony and TVвЂ™s Emmy awards shows in the past, will front the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The high-profile hosting job is a prime gig in Hollywood, at the climax of its annual awards season. Harris will follow Ellen DeGeneres last year and a whoвЂ™s who of showbiz over the decades. вЂњIt is truly an honour and a thrill to be asked to host this yearвЂ™s Academy Awards,вЂќ said the star of 2005вЂ™s How I Met Your Mother, in an Academy statement. Industry journal Variety noted that, with the Oscars job Harris will have done three of the four so-called EGOT full house of hosting duties вЂ“ the Emmys, Oscars and Tonys, with only the Grammys to go. Harris, who hosted the Tony awards and the Emmys in 2009 and 2013, has been nominated for four Golden Globes and won five Emmys, including four for hosting the Tonys. Canadian spy agency to get more powers AFP Ottawa C anadaвЂ™s spy agency will soon be permitted to track potential Canadian terrorists abroad and protect the identity of sources, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced yesterday. The government, he said, will provide the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)вЂ™s new powers in legislation next week. вЂњThreats to our national security do not stop at our border,вЂќ Blaney said in a statement. вЂњThe Canadian Security Intelligence Service must have the tools it needs to investigate threats (from abroad) to the security of Canada.вЂќ Ottawa has said it is aware of at least 130 Canadians overseas who are вЂњsuspected of terrorism-related activitiesвЂќ. But the existing legal framework made it difficult for the Canadian security establishment to aggressively pursue them. The proposed amendment to the 1984 CSIS Act is a response to recent court rulings that invited clariп¬Ѓcation of the spy agencyвЂ™s rules of engagement. A federal court slammed CSIS for using its partners in the вЂњFive EyesвЂќ spy network, which includes Australia, Britain, New Zealand and the US, to follow around Canadian citizens, saying it put Canadians at risk of being detained on foreign soil. The Supreme Court of Canada, meanwhile, ruled in a separate case that CSIS sources did not have the sort of blanket protection that shields police informantsвЂ™ identities when seeking authorisations for search warrants or wiretaps. As a result, CSIS has been reluctant to share information with federal police, fearing its sources may be compelled to testify at a trial. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 7 ASEAN Lawyers hold protest march in Malaysia DPA Kuala Lumpur H undreds of Malaysian lawyers yesterday held a protest march in the capital to demand the repeal of the countryвЂ™s sedition law, which they said impinges on freedom of expression. Nearly 1,000 members of the Malaysian bar, some carrying placards and banners printed with вЂњAbolish Sedition Act,вЂќ marched to the parliament building in Kuala Lumpur to call on legislators to abolish the British-era law. Representatives of the group handed their demands to representatives of Prime Minister Najib Razak. In recent months, several people have been charged under the law, that criminalises speech which could bring hatred or contempt or disaffection against the government. Conviction carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment or a п¬Ѓne of 5,000 ringgit (1,600 dollars) or both. вЂњThe sedition act is a law speciп¬Ѓcally designed to shut you up,вЂќ Christopher Leong, president of the Malaysian Bar, told his colleagues. вЂњWe have seen the unprecedented use of this act in the last three months against students, journalists, lawyers and academicians,вЂќ Leong said. Najib promised to abolish the Sedition Act as part of his reform agenda, and replace it with a socalled National Harmony Bill. Myanmar jails journalists for defaming state DPA Yangon F ive Myanmar journalists were handed two years in prison each for reporting on allegations that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians had formed an alternative government. Two executive officers, two editors and a senior reporter from the Yangon-based Bi Mon Te Nay weekly journal were convicted of violating article 505(b) of the penal code, and defaming the state of Myanmar. They published an article in July citing a report by activist group the Myanmar Democratic Current Force (MDCF) that Suu Kyi teamed up with a group of ethnic leaders and formed an interim government. The aim of the interim government was to oust the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, the report said. Govt engineer among Malaysia IS arrests AFP Kuala Lumpur M alaysian police said 14 people arrested this week for suspected links to the Islamic State group included a government engineer and two others who used Facebook to recruit п¬Ѓghters for the extremist group in Syria. вЂњThree of them are key players of a cell whose role was to recruit, п¬Ѓnance and arrange trips for Malaysians to join terror groups in Syria,вЂќ national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement late Wednesday. Those arrested ranged in age from 14 to 48 years old and include two women, the statement said. Khalid had been quoted by Malaysian media earlier Wednesday saying the arrests were made Monday in a Kuala Lumpur suburb. Authorities in the Muslimmajority country вЂ” as well as some of its Southeast Asian neighbours вЂ” have expressed mounting alarm over the extremist groupвЂ™s efforts to lure recruits from Malaysia, which has historically practiced moderate Islam. Police have arrested a total of three dozen people this year for suspected IS-related activities, and say that at least 40 Malaysians have left for Syria. KhalidвЂ™s statement said this weekвЂ™s arrests include a 37-yearold recruiter who is a senior government engineer with the Ministry of Energy, Green Tech- nology and Water. He is believed to have funded recruitsвЂ™ travel to Syria, Khalid said. Another suspect is a 34-yearold man who fought for the IS group in Syria for four months beginning in December 2013. After he returned to Malaysia, his role was to guide and motivate new recruits. A 37-year-old man also arrested had used Facebook to disseminate IS propaganda materials to lure new recruits, according to Khalid. A family of п¬Ѓve вЂ” including a 14-year-old child вЂ” was among those arrested this week, and books on jihad were seized from their home, Khalid said, adding that the family had plans to travel to Syria. MalaysiaвЂ™s authoritarian government has long kept a lid on Islamic extremists, but conservative views have gained increasing traction in recent years as the regimeвЂ™s controls have loosened. A range of Muslim groups that espouse divisive religious rheto- Fury as Thai PM joins club of world leaders Hundreds of students and Thai exiles protested against ThailandвЂ™s Prime Minsiter Prayut Chan-O-Cha when he arrived in Milan to attend the ASEM summit AFP Milan T hai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha slipped quietly into the club of world leaders yesterday against a backdrop of noisy protests against the former general who seized power in May. PrayutвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst outing on the global stage came at an ASEM summit of European and Asian leaders, which he was invited to despite the European Union having suspended official contacts in protest over his overthrow of an elected government and subsequent stiп¬‚ing of dissent within the troubled southeast Asian state. Smiling and waving for the cameras, Prayut, 60, declined to respond to a barrage of shouted questions from reporters as he arrived for the summit, the 10th meeting of its kind since the ASEM forum was launched in Bangkok in 1996. Across town, several hundred students and Thai exiles brandished вЂњPrayut is a criminalвЂќ placards as they staged the kind of march that is currently impossible in Thailand, where the military-backed regime has introduced a ban on people gathering in groups of more than п¬Ѓve. Exiled Thai Junya Yimprasert, who helped to organise the protest, said she hoped it would be the start of an international campaign to put pressure on the junta to restore basic freedoms. вЂњWe may not be very many here today but many more people are with us in spirit and we know people in Thailand are watching,вЂќ Junya said. вЂњThis man should not be welcome in Europe.вЂќ The activist said Western governments should not be duped into accepting Prayut as a legitimate leader. вЂњThere have been enough military coups in Thailand and enough deaths over the years for the leadership of the world to know that they have to stand п¬Ѓrm in defence of civil rights.вЂќ Prayut swapped his uniform for a suit when he retired from the military after a 40-year army career at the end of last month. He has said he plans to implement reforms and rid Thailand of corruption before organising elections. October 2015 has been pencilled in as a date under his reform вЂњroadmapвЂќ but, in comments before he left Bangkok for Milan, he appeared to hint that this date could slip, saying the timing of any vote would depend on the progress of work on a new constitution. вЂњThe problem is can we implement roadmap?вЂќ he said. Brad Adams, Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, said the EU should use the ASEM summit to make it clear to the junta that вЂњthere will be no return to business as usual until Thailand returns to democratic civilian rule through free and fair elections. вЂњThailand is in the grip of a major crackdown on freedom of expression, association and public assembly that shows no sign of ending,вЂќ he added. The EU has been sharply critical of the militaryвЂ™s latest intervention in Thai politics. The bloc suspended official visits to and from Thailand after the May coup and put a proposed new cooperation agreement on ice. Despite the sanctions, EU governments agreed last month not to prevent Prayut from attending the ASEM summit. Some of the protestors in Milan yesterday were there to demand justice for Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi, who was shot dead by the Thai army ThailandвЂ™s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha poses as he arrives for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan yesterday. Right: People demonstrate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha on the first day of the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan. during street clashes in May 2010. The soldier who п¬Ѓred the shot has never been identiп¬Ѓed and PolenghiвЂ™s sister Arianna describes the general as вЂњan assassin who, along with others, ordered the execution of my beloved brother FabioвЂќ. вЂњNow he is being welcomed to Italy as a legitimate head of state... incredible,вЂќ Arianna Polenghi said in a statement posted on her brotherвЂ™s memorial website. P10 ric have been allowed to п¬‚ourish under current leader Najib Razak, prime minister since 2009, worrying the multi-racial nationвЂ™s sizeable religious minorities. Local media reported earlier this year that 26-year-old Malaysian factory worker Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki killed 25 elite Iraqi soldiers in a suicide carbomb attack there in May. Police also said in August that 19 people arrested earlier this year had planned a series of bombings in the country. Myanmar man framed for murder of Brits: mother AFP Yangon T he mother of one of the Myanmar men accused of murdering two British tourists in Thailand has said her son is a вЂњscapegoatвЂќ, the BBC reported yesterday, in the latest criticism of the Thai police investigation. Migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were charged with the murder of David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, after the touristsвЂ™ battered bodies were found on the southern island of Koh Tao on September 15. The arrests of the pair, both in their early twenties, followed intense scrutiny of Thai authorities, which had been accused вЂ” in criticism led by the British media вЂ” of bungling the investigation in the days after the crime. вЂњThe case has been п¬Ѓxed, my son is a scapegoat,вЂќ Zaw LinвЂ™s mother Phyu Shwe Nu told the British broadcaster, adding he вЂњhas never done anything violent beforeвЂќ. Her comments come after Britain voiced concerns about the way in which Thai police had handled the probe so far and offered police support to Thai authorities. Myanmar President Thein Sein has also asked for a вЂњfairвЂќ investigation, amid reports the accused were tortured into confessing. The mother of the second suspect вЂ” Win Zaw Tun вЂ” told the BBC that news of her sonвЂ™s arrest had left her feeling suicidal. вЂњYou know how much I love you. Tell them the truth, youвЂ™re not guilty,вЂќ said Myint Thein, seen sobbing in the report. Thailand has strongly rejected allegations of torture and defended its probe of the grisly double-murder, with junta chief and premier Prayut Chan-OCha reiterating on Tuesday that the case was вЂњreliableвЂќ. Earlier in the week Thai authorities agreed to accept British and Myanmar observers to monitor the case but details of what form this would take were not provided. Opposition reduced to song in post-coup Thailand AFP Bangkok H is trademark televised diatribes have given way to mistyeyed songs, but in ThailandвЂ™s stiп¬‚ing post-coup climate, the п¬Ѓrebrand leader of the once mighty вЂњRed ShirtsвЂќ welcomes any chance to reach his supporters. Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of the Red Shirt street movement which backed the toppled government of Yingluck Shinawatra, is back on the small screen after the ruling junta lifted a ban on ThailandвЂ™s sharply polarised political channels. For years his rabble-rousing rhetoric on television was staple viewing in the Red heartlands of northern Thailand where Yingluck вЂ” and her billionaire brother Thaksin Shinawatra вЂ” are adored for their pro-poor policies. Rebranded as вЂ�Peace TVвЂ™, Jatuporn now espouses the virtues of love and Buddhism in melancholic verses, a far cry from the tirades against the вЂ�ammartвЂ™ вЂ” or Bangkok-based elite вЂ” and its supporters who loathe the Shinawatra clan. вЂњThe road is not strewn with roses,вЂќ 49-year-old Jatuporn croons in a prerecorded song between programmes. вЂњBut we must continue to dream, no matter how difficult it is.вЂќ Tucked inside a multi-storey shopping centre in north Bangkok, the channel is one of the few public outlets available to opponents of the coup. Anti-coup voices, including lawmakers from the former ruling Puea Thai party, academics and studentsвЂ™ groups, have been silenced after the army summoned dissenters, outlawed political gatherings and censored the media. For those attuned to the political realities of a kingdom under military rule, JatupornвЂ™s return to television is symbolic вЂ” suggesting anti-coup forces are dormant but not dead. But even Jatuporn concedes these days he can only meet fellow Red leaders at вЂњfunerals or weddingsвЂќ. Since grabbing power in May, coup leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha has vowed to heal ThailandвЂ™s caustic divide and has muted all political discussions. Prayut retired as army chief last month, but remains head of the junta and is also prime minister heading a hand-picked military dominated government. The Red Shirts, known officially as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), have seen their leaders either renounce the cause, п¬‚ee into self-exile or вЂ” like Jatuporn вЂ” Chairman of the Red Shirts movement Jatuporn Prompan during his live show on Peace TV, the new incarnation of bolshier predecessor UDD TV вЂ“ a mouthpiece for the Red Shirts, officially known as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. agree to abandon politics. Even Red Shirt funerals, including one taking place this week of core leader Apiwan Wiriyachai, are tightly monitored in case they morph into a political meeting вЂ” banned under strict martial laws. Red Shirt leaders fear a repeat of 2010 when an army crackdown on rallies in the heart of Bangkok left more than 90 people dead and hundreds wounded. вЂњWe are moving cautiously,вЂќ said Jatuporn, who is permitted to broad- cast despite facing a terrorism charge linked to those protests. Even ex-premier Yingluck has mostly stayed out of the public eye вЂ” surfacing recently to sign a book of get-well wishes for the hospitalised king. Yet discontent with the coup lingers. While any hint of dissent is swiftly stamped down вЂ” including raids on university seminars on democracy вЂ” an overseas collection of Red Shirts, ex-Puea Thai officials and academics have formed the вЂ�Free ThaiвЂ™ exile group. Some analysts predict an eventual revival of the Red cause in a nation where parties led-by or aligned-to the Shinawatras have won every poll since 2001. A вЂњgreater opposition will emerge that combines Red Shirts, student groups, independent academic groups, and other pro-democracyвЂќ activists, according to analyst David Streckfuss. The junta has other ideas. To his enemies Thaksin, who was toppled as premier in another coup in 2006, has warped Thai society with massive corruption and populist policies. A junta-appointed reform council bulging with anti-Thaksin members is due to begin work next week on remoulding Thai politics. вЂњThe 2006 coup was an attempt by a royalist-led military to quickly replace Thaksin, return to democracy and continue business as usual,вЂќ said Paul Chambers, director of research at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs in Chiang Mai. вЂњThe 2014 coup is different because the military is fully in charge of everything... (and) is likely to stay for a long time.вЂќ The militaryвЂ™s reach into Thai politics is being driven by anxiety over what happens once the six-decade reign of the revered 86-year-old king Bhumibol Adulyadej ends, say observers. The king remains in a Bangkok hospital after being admitted on October 4 for a gall bladder operation. Discussion of succession matters is restricted under a royal defamation law. Prayut is on an extensive public relations campaign to extol the juntaвЂ™s work and prep the nation for major reforms ahead. Every Friday he delivers a televised address to the nation that opens with a вЂњreturning happiness to ThailandвЂќ song, penned by the leader. In contrast, even after his Peace TV broadcasts, Jatuporn remains coy over the Red ShirtsвЂ™ future. вЂњWe accepted these restrictions,вЂќ he said. вЂњIt was the only way to communicate with our supporters.вЂќ 8 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA BRISBANE BIRTH WINTER IS HERE CAUSE UNKNOWN NEW RULES SINGLED OUT Lawyers appeal denial of refugee status for infant Weather cuts short search for Japan volcano missing Bomb squad at locked down Aussie naval base China eyes auditing of military in graft battle Abbott rejects national sex offender website Lawyers yesterday said they will urgently appeal a court decision that a baby born in Australia to asylum-seeker parents is not entitled to refugee status. Federal Court Judge Michael Jarrett on Wednesday ruled in favour of the government that baby boy Ferouz was an вЂњunlawful maritime arrivalвЂќ, despite being born in BrisbaneвЂ™s Mater Hospital last year. вЂњAll they have continued to seek for Ferouz is a fair go,вЂќ lawyer Murray Watt said of the babyвЂ™s parents. вЂњFerouz was born in Brisbane and has a Queensland birth certificate, and we remain firmly of the view that he should have the right to seek protection in Australia.вЂќ Japan yesterday called off the search until next year for seven hikers still missing on a volcano, saying freezing conditions had made the operation impossible. Troops, firefighters and police have been scouring Mount Ontake in central Japan for the missing climbers since the volcano erupted on September 27, killing at least 56 people. But officials said rescuers were now battling brutal weather conditions as well as the thick, sticky ash - up to half a metre deep - that has made the search operation so difficult. вЂњWe have decided to call off the operation for the rest of this year,вЂќ said an official of Nagano prefecture, where the volcano sits. A naval base in the Australian state of Victoria went into lockdown and a police bomb squad was sent yesterday to the scene to investigate unspecified вЂњhazardous materialвЂќ. An exclusion zone of 400m was declared around a residential apartment at HMAS Cerberus, a naval training base on the Mornington Peninsula, 75km southeast of Melbourne, Victorian police said. The incident occurred after a routine inspection at the base found the material in the apartment, the Australian Defence Force said in a statement. The material was not explosive and did not pose a threat to the 2,600 people living at the base, local media reported, quoting senior police officials. China will toughen audits of its military and target older officers to ensure that corrupt individuals are denied promotion and cannot get away with their crimes, the Defence Ministry said yesterday. The new auditing rules are designed to вЂњstrengthen the ability to investigate, and banish, the phenomenon of corruptionвЂќ, the Defence Ministry said on its website. Officers with responsibility for funds will fall squarely within the scope of the audits. The buying and selling of military positions has long been a problem for ChinaвЂ™s armed forces. Officers who paid bribes to be promoted see corruption as a way to earn a return on the investment. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday his government is not considering a national version of the Northern TerritoryвЂ™s public sex offender website as he is вЂњdisinclined to single out particular crimesвЂќ. The Northern Territory announced Wednesday it is introducing legislation for a publicly accessible serious sex offender website that it plans to launch next year. Abbott said he was вЂњdisinclined to pursue such a thing nationallyвЂќ. вЂњWe donвЂ™t have a national murders register. We donвЂ™t have a national thieves register. We donвЂ™t have a national white-collar criminals register,вЂќ he told reporters. вЂњI am disinclined to single out particular crimes for particular public registers.вЂќ Hong KongвЂ™s top official renews his offer of talks AFP Hong Kong H ong KongвЂ™s embattled leader made a dramatic u-turn yesterday, reopening his offer of talks with student protesters a week after the government abruptly pulled out of discussions aimed at ending more than a fortnight of mass democracy rallies. The offer by chief executive Leung Chun-ying came a day after video footage of plainclothes officers beating a handcuffed demonstrator as he lay on the ground sparked widespread anger. вЂњOver the last few days... we expressed a wish to the students that we would like to start a dialogue to discuss universal suffrage as soon as we can and hopefully within the following week,вЂќ Leung told reporters. But question marks remain other whether fresh talks can make any substantive headway in the stalemate between the government and protesters. Leung warned that Beijing had no intention of rescinding its insistence that his successor be vetted by a loyalist committee before standing for election in 2017 - a core demand of protesters. вЂњPolitics is the art of the possible and we have to draw a line between possibilities and impossibilities,вЂќ he said. The Asian п¬Ѓnancial hub has been rocked by mass rallies for nearly three weeks calling both for full democracy and LeungвЂ™s resignation. Ongoing sit-ins at three major intersections have caused signiп¬Ѓcant disruption to a city usually known for its stability. Protesters have called BeijingвЂ™s proposal a вЂњfake democracyвЂќ and have vowed to remain on the streets until their demands are met despite growing impatience among some Hong Kongers and attacks by pro-government thugs. City authorities pulled out of talks with the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) вЂ” one of the groups leading the ongoing protests вЂ” last Thursday plunging the city into a political stalemate it shows little sign of emerging from. The offer of new talks came after Runners participate in a 5km run in support of pro-democracy protesters around a blocked area outside government headquarters in Hong Kong. a two-day spike in violence between police and protesters as they battled over a series of barricades near the governmentвЂ™s besieged headquarters. Police said yesterday seven officers involved in the beating video were now suspended pending an investigation. вЂњIf any individual officer is suspected of using excessive force, police will investigate it in a just and impartial manner,вЂќ senior superintendent Kong Man-keung told reporters. The man who was beaten had been arrested after he threw an unknown liquid from a height onto multiple ofп¬Ѓcers, Kong added. Tensions soared after the video was released on Wednesday with protesters saying they had lost all faith in the police. Leung refused to be drawn on the allegations against the officers, stat- ing: вЂњWe should not politicise this incident.вЂќ The incident has become another public relations disaster for the police who were severely criticised for п¬Ѓring tear gas on umbrella-wielding protesters on September 28 in a move that attracted worldwide attention. Amnesty International and the US both called for a swift investigation of the officers. Yesterday, Leung also refused to rule out further barricade clearances by police that led to the recent uptick in clashes with protesters after two weeks of comparative calm. вЂњWe cannot allow the negative affect on Hong Kong to continue because of the blockage of these streets. Police will use appropriate methods at the appropriate time to handle this problem,вЂќ he said. After weeks of largely ceding control to protesters at three main sites, police have begun probing demonstrator defences in the last few days, tearing down some barricades, sparking running battles. Renewed clashes between police and protesters broke out early yesterday over a contested road near LeungвЂ™s offices. Officers used pepper-spray against deп¬Ѓant demonstrators who shouted chants accusing the police of links to criminal triad gangs - but the п¬‚urry of violence was brief compared to the night before which saw some of the worst confrontations since the protests began. Leung, who has kept a low proп¬Ѓle throughout the last week, had been due to attend a question and answer session at the cityвЂ™s parliament but cancelled his appearance after вЂњsecu- Xi calls for вЂ�no more weird architectureвЂ™ in China AFP Beijing A A man fishes across the canal from the under-construction Circle building in Guangzhou, southern ChinaвЂ™s Guangdong province. takably phallic tower - was so widely mocked by Internet users last year that ChinaвЂ™s censors blocked the discussions. Many web users welcomed XiвЂ™s call. вЂњMy understanding is that вЂ�no weird architectureвЂ™ targets the property owners rather than the architects. Some unscrupulous owners should indeed be reined in now,вЂќ said one user on ChinaвЂ™s Twitter-like Sina Weibo. вЂњChina is not a foreignersвЂ™ test п¬Ѓeld,вЂќ added another. Xi is not the п¬Ѓrst senior п¬Ѓgure to express doubts over modern design - BritainвЂ™s Prince Charles once described a proposed extension to the National Gallery in London as a вЂњmonstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friendвЂќ. But some Weibo users questioned whether XiвЂ™s comments were appropriate, voicing concerns over their potential impact on creative freedom. вЂњThe вЂ�weird architectureвЂ™ is voluntarily chosen by the owners and the designers,вЂќ said one, asking: вЂњDo you want to replace othersвЂ™ aesthetic sense with your own?вЂќ Reuters Beijing C hinese villagers kidnapped construction workers, tied them up, doused them in gasoline and set it ablaze when a land dispute turned violent, the government said yesterday, providing grisly details of the latest bout of rural unrest. Eight people died in TuesdayвЂ™s unrest when tension over a new trading and logistics centre boiled over in Jinning, a suburb of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in ChinaвЂ™s southwest. Six of the dead were workers and the other two villagers, while 18 people were injured, one of them seriously. The Kunming governmentвЂ™s propaganda department said on its official microblog that residents of Fuyou village had been upset for many months over compensation for the land being used in the project, and had already forced building to stop in May. But, on Tuesday, thousands of workers п¬‚ooded back to the site to resume construction, it added. вЂњOn that day, eight workers who were having breakfast in Fuyou village were illegally detained by villagers, their hands and legs tied up, they were beaten, had gasoline poured on them and were then taken to a road near the building site,вЂќ the government said. Later, hundreds of villagers raided the construction site and fought with workers. вЂњDuring the clash, villagers threw home-made explosives into the crowd and set the kidnapped workers alight, while the workers fought the villagers with their tools, causing serious injuries and loss of life,вЂќ the government said in a brief statement. Police will severely punish those who вЂњorganised, carried out and proactively participated in illegal criminal activities, no matter who they areвЂќ, the government added, without giving details. Land disputes are one of the main causes of the tens of thousands of protests across China each year. Most go unreported, though some, such as a revolt in the southern village of Wukan in 2011, have attained a high proп¬Ѓle and spurred Beijing to promise action. ChinaвЂ™s slowing economy has reduced tax revenues for local governments at a time when the cooling property market has also dampened land sales, an important source of government income. The unrest in Yunnan comes as the ruling Communist Party meets next week for a conclave to discuss how to strengthen the rule of law, in hopes of damping instability that is greatly feared by the party. Australia aims to end extinction of native wildlife by decade-end AFP Sydney C hinese Internet users were divided yesterday after leader Xi Jinping reportedly called for an end to вЂњweird architectureвЂќ in a country that has seen a huge construction boom. Much of ChinaвЂ™s older building stock is made up of Soviet-style concrete blocks, but in recent years property development has played a huge economic role. The phenomenon has drawn architects from around the world, from big names such as Zaha Hadid to younger unknowns who see opportunities to design towers long before their careers could reach such heights in the West. But some unconventional and costly buildings, often owned by state-controlled institutions, have been controversial, sparking criticisms of wasted public funds. The futuristic new Beijing headquarters of state broadcaster China Central Television were designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas but popularly nicknamed вЂ�The Big UnderpantsвЂ™. There have meanwhile been complaints that a pair of bridges over the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing are remarkably reminiscent of female genitalia. Xi, who took over as Communist leader nearly two years ago, told a group of artists on Wednesday that China should build вЂњno more weird architectureвЂќ, reported the website of the PeopleвЂ™s Daily, the ruling partyвЂ™s mouthpiece. The newspaperвЂ™s own new home - an unmis- rity and risk assessmentsвЂќ. He spoke to the media yesterday at his official residence which, unlike his office, is not surrounded by protesters. Patience with protesters is running short in some quarters, with shop owners and taxi drivers losing business and commuters voicing irritation at disruptions and delays. The South China Morning Post, the cityвЂ™s most prominent English daily, yesterday called on protesters to vacate the streets, saying there was little chance of Beijing conceding to their demands. вЂњThe campaign may end in a manner that no one desires. It is perhaps time the protesters considered retreating and reviewing their strategy,вЂќ the paper said in an editorial, effectively throwing its weight behind the government. Chinese land clash victims burned alive ustraliaвЂ™s Environment Minister Greg Hunt has pledged to end the extinction of native mammal species by 2020, with a focus on culprits such as feral cats. Hunt said Australia had the worst rate of mammal loss in the world and the nationвЂ™s вЂњgreatest failureвЂќ in environmental policy was protecting threatened species. вЂњOur п¬‚ora and fauna are part of what makes us Australian,вЂќ he said in a speech on Wednesday night. вЂњI donвЂ™t want the extinction of species such as the numbat, the quokka, the bilby, on our collective consciences,вЂќ he said, referring to mammals that are little-known outside Australia compared to other marsupials like the kangaroo. Hunt said the government had been putting in place a вЂњdifferent approachвЂќ to halting the extinction of native wildlife, including the appointment of a Threatened Species Commissioner to spearhead the efforts. Australia has some 749 species of plants, mammals, birds, frogs, п¬Ѓsh, reptiles and other animals listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, with the numbers rising each year, Hunt said. Over the past two decades, 53 land-based species moved to a higher threat category, but only 15 moved lower. A study released earlier this year showed AustraliaвЂ™s mammal extinction rate was the highest in the world, with more than 10% of species wiped out since Europeans settled the country two centuries ago. Feral cats were identiп¬Ѓed as the main culprit, although feral foxes were also responsible. Other factors contributing to the extinctions include climate change, п¬Ѓre and habitat destruction. Australian states and territories have separate threatened species lists and are вЂњstruggling with similar problemsвЂќ, Hunt said, adding that legislation is failing to arrest the declines. вЂњI have set a goal of ending the loss of mammal species by 2020. WhatвЂ™s more, I want to see improvements in at least 20 of those species between now and then,вЂќ he said. The measures would focus on major threats such as those posed by feral cats, which number between 10 to 20mn across Australia and kill countless native animals every night. Cats were п¬Ѓrst introduced to Australia by British immigrants in the late 1700s as domestic pets, but went wild and spread across the continent over the next 100 years. One measure under consideration is the development of a вЂњnew, humane baitвЂќ called Curiosity, which Hunt described as a вЂњpotential game-changerвЂќ. Apart from tackling the feral-cat threat, Hunt said the government was committing A$3.3mn (US$2.9mn) to the recovery of the endangered Tasmanian devil. A вЂњGreen ArmyвЂќ which plans to recruit up to 15,000 young people was announced by the government in August and will be involved in restoring koala habitats, managing pest animals and monitoring threatened species. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 9 BRITAIN UK should have вЂ�one last goвЂ™ at EU ties: PM Reuters Rochester, England B ritish Prime Minister David Cameron said his plan to try to reshape ties with the European Union would be the last such renegotiation, saying yesterday he wanted a 1970s-style Common Market arrangement with the bloc. Cameron, facing an election challenge from the anti-EU UK Independence Party (Ukip), adopted a tougher stance on Europe, complaining that the single currency вЂњwas not working wellвЂќ, immigration from other EU countries was too high and Britain wanted to вЂњdo some things differentlyвЂќ from Europe. вЂњI think itвЂ™s worth one last go trying to get a better relationship with Europe,вЂќ said Cameron, who has promised to try to reshape BritainвЂ™s EU ties before holding a referendum on BritainвЂ™s EU membership in 2017 if re-elected next year. Cameron has long said heвЂ™d like Britain to stay in a reformed EU and expressed conп¬Ѓdence he could negotiate meaningful reform. His warning that his attempt would be the last and might fail struck a new, more Eurosceptic note. вЂњWe need to get back, frankly, to what we were told we were going to join in the п¬Ѓrst place, a Common Market,вЂќ he said, referring to 1973 when Britain joined the EUвЂ™s precursor, which was then a smaller Prime minister David Cameron leaves after speaking to an audience at the Wainscott Memorial Hall in Strood. bloc whose main purpose was trade ties. вЂњWe want access to EuropeвЂ™s markets, we want a say over how those markets work, but we donвЂ™t want a European army or a European п¬‚ag or a European country. We live in a country called Britain and thatвЂ™s the way it should stay.вЂќ CameronвЂ™s tougher rhetoric reп¬‚ects growing pressure from Ukip which is fuelling discontent on the right of his Conservative party which wants him to get tougher on Europe and immigration. Ukip, which wants a British EU exit and sharply lower immigration, has poached two of his lawmakers, won its п¬Ѓrst elect- ed seat in parliament at his partyвЂ™s expense this month, and threatens to split the right-wing vote in May 2015 making it harder for him to defeat the opposition Labour party. If Cameron loses next year, his partyвЂ” which hasnвЂ™t won an overall majority since 1992 and rules in coalition with the smaller Liberal Democrats partyвЂ”would probably oust him as leader. Cameron was in Kent, southeast England, ahead of a by-election on November 20 caused by one of his lawmakers defecting to Ukip. The parliamentarian, Mark Reckless, is now contesting the same seat for Ukip and could beat the Conservatives. Cameron held a meeting with members of the public and party activists to present his partyвЂ™s two prospective candidates for the by-election. Neither of the two candidates listed reducing immigration, something opinion polls show is one of the main issues worrying voters, among their priorities. But in answer to a question, Cameron promised tougher immigration policies were on the way, suggesting he was formulating new ideas to try to reduce the number of migrants coming to Britain from the 28-nation EU. Local media have reported he is considering asking the EU for вЂњan emergency brakeвЂќ to restrict migrant numbers if and when they are deemed unmanageable and that he will make clawing back control of BritainвЂ™s borders вЂњa red lineвЂќ in any future renegotiation with the EU. Under the EUвЂ™s freedom of movement rules, EU citizens are entitled to work anywhere in the bloc. That has seen hundreds of thousands of EU nationals come to work in Britain, which has the blocвЂ™s fastestgrowing economy, and also seen many Britons move abroad to retire in sunnier climes. However, Ukip and parts of the Conservative party say the public is unhappy about what it perceives to be abuse of the welfare system by unemployed EU migrants and is worried that those migrants who do work are depressing wages. Cameron told the meeting: вЂњCrucially we need to get some changes on one of the very big issues in British politics today which is immigration. Immigration in recent years has been too high. We need to bring immigration under control.вЂќ Refusing to give details of his plans, he said after the meeting that his party would be setting out new ideas on the sensitive issue in the coming weeks. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said Cameron was tacking to the right and running sacred of Ukip. вЂњI think the Conservative Party have got a fundamental problem,вЂќ Clegg told the LBC radio station. вЂњThey are running after Ukip in a complete panic.вЂќ Queen at the tower Banker who was dubbed вЂ�CokeheadвЂ™ seeks ВЈ14mn Evening Standard London A banker nicknamed вЂњCrazy Miss CokeheadвЂќ in a smear campaign by male colleagues is claiming ВЈ14mn in compensation after winning an employment tribunal ruling. High-п¬‚ying Cambridge graduate Svetlana Lokhova, who worked in the London ofп¬Ѓce of Russian п¬Ѓrm Sberbank, said she had been victimised before being unfairly dismissed. The tribunal rejected 19 of her 22 complaints but backed her on the substantive areas of harassment and intimidation on the grounds of gender, in a ruling last November. It heard that colleagues called her вЂњmad SvetlanaвЂќ, told her to visit Nigeria for sex with tribesmen to вЂњcalm her downвЂќ and branded her вЂњcrazy, mental, totally unstable, quite likely clinically bonkersвЂќ and вЂњa major car crashвЂќ. Yesterday Lokhova told Central London employment tribunal that even though she won her case, being dragged through the courts had ruined her reputation and left her unable to work in п¬Ѓnance again. вЂњI am completely broken down and exhausted by the campaign against me,вЂќ she said. вЂњI endured six months of abuse at work and almost three years of highly acrimonious litigation which has had a profound aspect on every part of my life. вЂњMy name will be for ever linked with drug addiction and mental instability. I have suffered extreme detriment and could not hope to return to п¬Ѓnancial services as no one would want to employ someone accused by a previous manager of being a cocaine addict and mentally unstable. My reputation has been shredded.вЂќ Lokhova told the court she had to take sick leave due to the discrimination in 2012 when she would have been eligible for rises of 10%, taking her pay to ВЈ200,000 plus bonuses. She also claimed to have generated ВЈ5.7mn of an ВЈ18.8mn proп¬Ѓt for the bank and was awarded a cash bonus of ВЈ570,000. вЂњOnly one other employee earned a larger cash bonus than this,вЂќ she added. The п¬Ѓrst tribunal heard Lokhova claim she was targeted because she had previously reported a senior trader, later dismissed, for insider dealing. It ruled that her main tormentor David Longmuir should have been п¬Ѓred for gross misconduct. Longmuir, her former manager at Sberbank CIB (UK) Ltd, sent a host of emails and made remarks that were вЂњoffensive, derogatory and often personal in natureвЂќ behind her back. He called Lokhova, daughter of a Russian shipping broker, вЂњMiss BonkersвЂќ, said she had вЂњunfortunate natural brain chemistryвЂќ and added she вЂњlived in a п¬‚at daddy boughtвЂќ. Child вЂ�almost choked on plastic in loafвЂ™ Evening Standard London A Queen Elizabeth II (L) and husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visit the Tower of LondonвЂ™s вЂ�Blood Swept Lands and Seas of RedвЂ™ poppy installation at the Tower of London, in central London yesterday. The art installation will eventually consist of over 800,000 ceramic poppies, and serves to symbolises British and colonial military fatalities in WW1. father was вЂњhorriп¬ЃedвЂќ to п¬Ѓnd his son choking on pieces of plastic apparently baked in a slice of Marks & Spencer luxury fruit loaf. Daniel Hall, 29, of Blackheath, south east London, noticed the one-year-old, named Nathan, was struggling to eat the piece of bread and pulled it from his mouth. He found a piece of material in the food and on closer inspection found two large pieces of blue plastic his son almost choked on, he claims. His wife wrote a letter to the retailer requesting a refund and an investigation. She also took the luxury fruit loaf, costing ВЈ1.40, back to Marks & Spencer Simply Foods in Blackheath, as instructed on the phone. But to the coupleвЂ™s disappointment the store responded by only sending a ВЈ10 voucher the next day with no information about an investigation. Full time dad Hall said: вЂњWe wrote to M&S, complained anything could have happened, and said it is disgusting that two large pieces were found in there. They got back and sent us a letter with a ВЈ10 voucher. вЂњIt is the fact they are just offering a ВЈ10 voucher, like it is no problem to them. I want a bigger gesture than that. It just seems they are fobbing me off. A spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer said: вЂњWeвЂ™re sorry to hear about Mr HallвЂ™s complaint. Quality is extremely important to us and weвЂ™ve been working closely with our supplier to investigate what has happened. вЂњ Police probes threats in row over non-halal food Evening Standard London P olice were today investigating far-right threats to a nursery school after a mother claimed her daughter was stopped from eating her packed lunch because it вЂњwasnвЂ™t halalвЂќ. Kingswood Day Care Nursery called in Scotland Yard and schools watchdog Ofsted after staff were deluged with a torrent of racist abuse and threats online. The row exploded when Yasmin Jackson, 24, accused the nursery in Mitcham of вЂњstarvingвЂќ her п¬Ѓve-yearold daughter Amari over concerns that the meat in her packed lunch was not halal. Manager Afsheen Siddik categorically denied the claims. But when Jackson wrote about it on Facebook, her post was picked up by far-right activists and went viral on the Internet. The nursery then found itself swamped with racial and religious abuse. Amari was at the ВЈ30-a-day nursery on the п¬Ѓrst day of a two-week, councilfunded respite placement designed to give hard-up parents a break from childcare. Jackson, a former nursery worker, said: вЂњWhen I picked her up at the end of the day the п¬Ѓrst thing she said to me was, вЂ�Mummy IвЂ™m really hungry, can I have my lunch now?вЂ™ вЂњI went to speak to the manager and I said why wasnвЂ™t my daughter allowed her lunch and she said we didnвЂ™t know it was healthy. вЂњI told her it was chicken salad, bread sticks, humus, a bit of chocolate and a fruit selection. She then said: вЂњThere was a sandwich in there and we didnвЂ™t know what it was. We didnвЂ™t know if it was halal.вЂќ вЂњI said we are a Christian family and it was a chicken sandwich. And she said we donвЂ™t allow any non-halal meat in the nursery. So I thought this is just ridiculous.вЂќ Amira was instead given plain spaghetti, which she refused to eat, fruit and a yoghurt. Yasmin Jackson and her daughter Amari. Jackson, who has since removed Amira from the nursery, added: вЂњItвЂ™s really annoying that this issue has been hijacked because this is not about being anti-Muslim. ItвЂ™s anti-starving my child, and anti-stupidness.вЂќ In an email supposedly sent to a parent who wrote in to query the incident, an unnamed kitchen worker is said to have wrote: вЂњWe could not provided [sic] her the lunch provided by home as we weвЂ™re [sic] not sure what meat was given. Without knowing what the mother has given it was not possible for me to serve the child this food.вЂќ The nursery uses a private contractor, ZebedeeвЂ™s, to provide their meals, with provision for halal and other dietary requirements and allergies. But there is no mention on the nurseryвЂ™s website - since shut down due to the abuse - to the requirements for packed lunches. However a source at the school said: вЂњThis is all complete rubbish. We do not only allow halal meat to be eaten. It is not true and it has all been blown out of proportion with people spreading lies. вЂњTo bring race and religion into it is ridiculous, for something that is not true.вЂќ Siddik would not comment on the nurseryвЂ™s packed lunch policy but said: вЂњI deny the untrue and false allegations that have been made against myself and Kings- wood Day Care Nursery. вЂњAs a result I have informed Ofsted and the police who are currently dealing with this matter. вЂњWe work closely with parents to provide a high standard you would expect for your child. We treat each child as an individual and provide them with equal opportunities and meet all ethical standards.вЂќ Scotland Yard today conп¬Ѓrmed it is investigating allegations of вЂњracial and religiously aggravated malicious communicationsвЂќ sent to the nursery. A spokesman added: вЂњEnquiries are ongoing and we are currently liaising with local partners and Ofsted with regards to this matter.вЂќ Kingswood Daycare Nursery provides care for children aged three months to п¬Ѓve years and was rated as вЂњgoodвЂќ in the most recent Ofsted inspection. An Ofsted spokesman said: вЂњWe donвЂ™t comment on individual complaints. Our role is to ensure that schools are able to provide a safe and secure environment.вЂќ 10 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 EUROPE Suspected Ebola case taken from Air France flight to Madrid EU disagrees on the need for Ebola screening at airports Reuters Brussels E uropean Union health ministers agreed yesterday to try to improve the systems put in place by West African nations to screen departing passengers for Ebola, but disagreed on the need to check travellers arriving in their own countries. Ministers met in Brussels to discuss ways to strengthen EuropeвЂ™s defences against a disease that has killed around 4,500 people in West Africa in the latest outbreak, the worst on record. France said on Wednesday that it would begin screening air passengers for Ebola if they arrive on п¬‚ights from regions hit by the disease, following similar decisions by Britain and the Czech Republic. But other EU governments have made no such move. BelgiumвЂ™s public health service said there were no checks for passengers arriving at Brussels Airport from West Africa, as World Health Organisation regulations do not require them. вЂњA majority of EU countries do not see at the moment the need for introducing entry screenings,вЂќ Beatrice Lorenzin, health minister of Italy, which currently holds the EU presidency, told reporters after the meeting. EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said it was up to indi- vidual EU governments whether to screen passengers on entry and вЂњneither the (European) Commission nor a majority of member states can impose its will on other member statesвЂќ. However, EU governments did agree to try to better coordinate the national measures they have in place at airports and ports and to increase information-sharing, Borg said. They will try to agree for example on a common questionnaire so that all EU countries gather the same information from passengers arriving from Ebola-affected countries. There was a stronger consensus among the European health ministers on the need to 53 Europe, Asia leaders in Milan for summit DPA Milan E uropean and Asian leaders embarked on a two-day summit yesterday pledging to strengthen political, security and economic co-operation, amid growing concerns about Ebola, and parallel diplomatic activity on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The Europe-Asia Meeting (ASEM) brought to the Italian city of Milan 53 countries representing more than half the worldвЂ™s gross domestic product and over 60% of the global population. Such summits have been held every other year since 1996. вЂњWe need to talk to each other and work together to increase prosperity and security for the beneп¬Ѓt of all,вЂќ European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a welcome speech, interrupted by a standing ovation for ASEMвЂ™s new members, Kazakhstan and Croatia. Crisis-stricken Europe is looking to fast-growing Asia for trade and investment opportunities, while Asians are interested in market access to the European Union, and possibly emulating its model of regional co-operation. Business is at the heart of the EU-Asia relationship, which has been marred by trade disputes. European exports to Asia were worth в‚¬522bn ($663bn) in 2013, while exports worth в‚¬741bn п¬‚owed in the other direction. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that ASEM needed to support вЂњinvestment, growth and sustainable development, by encouraging greater liberalization, transparency, the rule of law, and guarding against rising nationalism and protectionismвЂќ. The summit in ItalyвЂ™s industrial capital, held under the motto вЂњResponsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and SecurityвЂќ, was expected to see China advocate a вЂњNew Silk RoadвЂќ to foster business relations. During closed-door sessions вЂ“ two yesterday, one today вЂ“ leaders were expected to discuss a list of global challenges, including climate change, terrorism and the spread of the Ebola virus, as well as crisis hotspots. вЂњWe will be talking about climate change, we will be talking about the economy, but of course a lot of time will be spent in the corners on the Ukrainian crisis,вЂќ Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on arrival. The tensions on the Korean peninsula, as well as a regional dispute involving China over competing territorial claims in the South and East China Seas, were also expected to feature in discussions. Some 2,000 police officers were deployed to ensure tight security for an event attended by high-proп¬Ѓle leaders such as Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected to join the gathering for a gala dinner hosted by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. Putin was also expected to pay a visit to former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, a personal friend. Berlusconi did not know dancer was under-aged: court Reuters Milan S ilvio Berlusconi paid a teenage nightclub dancer for sex but there is no proof he knew her age at the time, an Italian appeals court said yesterday, explaining its decision to overturn the former prime ministerвЂ™s вЂњbunga bungaвЂќ conviction. Explaining its surprise decision to acquit Berlusconi on July 18, the Milan appeals court said there was insufficient evidence to show that he knew Karima El Mahroug, also known as вЂњRuby the HeartstealerвЂќ, was under 18 when she attended orgiastic вЂњbunga bungaвЂќ parties at his mansion near Milan. Still the most inп¬‚uential politician on ItalyвЂ™s centre-right even as he serves a community service sentence for tax fraud, Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in jail and banned from public office last year after a lower court found him guilty of paying for sex with a minor and abuse of office. The acquittal in July was a boost for the 78-year-old fourtime prime minister and media tycoon who is struggling to contain bitter inп¬Ѓghting in the Forza Italia party he founded in 1994 and continues to lead. Judges uncovered a вЂњsystem of prostitutionвЂќ that revolved around the parties and said there was proof of the вЂњperformance of sexual acts for a fee between the defendant and the minorвЂќ. Both Berlusconi and Moroccoborn El Mahroug repeatedly denied ever having sex with each other. Berlusconi was also cleared in July of a more serious charge of abusing his office as prime minister when he called a police sta- Berlusconi: no proof he knew El Mahroug was under-aged. tion to secure El MahrougвЂ™s release from custody on suspicion of stealing a в‚¬3,000 ($3,800) bracelet in May 2010. The court, meeting its 90-day deadline to explain its decision, said that BerlusconiвЂ™s actions вЂњrevealed a clear and precise interest on the part of the prime minister in the fate of the young womanвЂќ but that he had not threatened the police. BerlusconiвЂ™s lawyers said he had made the call to avoid a diplomatic incident because he thought El Mahroug was related to then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. strengthen the screening procedures for departing passengers put in place by affected West African countries. вЂњThe member states ... want to reinforce screening at the point of exit in these African countries. There are conп¬‚icting reports as to whether this screening is effective or not,вЂќ Borg said. Borg said that his opinion, shared by most European Union government health experts, was that although there would be cases in the EU, the risk that Ebola would spread in the 28-nation bloc was low. He added that the Commission would propose creating a voluntary network of doctors to treat Ebola at an EU level. Madrid authorities evacuated an Air France plane yesterday after a passenger started shaking on the flight to Madrid from Lagos via Paris, prompting fears the person had Ebola, Air France and airports operator Aena said. The passenger was taken to MadridвЂ™s Carlos III Hospital in an ambulance flanked by a police motorcade, television images showed. The driver was wearing full protective suit and goggles. Passengers at the airport told Reuters the plane was parked on the tarmac surrounded by emergency services and people in white protective gear. Air France said the plane would be disinfected and the return flight was cancelled. вЂњThere were police cars, there was an ambulance ... there was also the fire brigade and people in white suits,вЂќ said passenger Bronween Bashford, who had been waiting to board the plane in Madrid. вЂњThere was a lot of activity out on the tarmac.вЂќ The Spanish government has stepped up its response to suspected cases of the deadly disease after a nurse in Madrid became the first person outside Africa to become infected in the current outbreak. The nurse, Teresa Romero, was diagnosed with the virus last week after caring for two infected priests who were repatriated from West Africa and later died. She is still seriously ill but stable, also in Carlos III Hospital. Her case prompted questions about whether SpainвЂ™s hospitals were prepared for a crisis on this scale and calls for the resignation of Health Minister Ana Mato. Health workers have said the training and protective suits provided to hospital staff had been inadequate. Authorities on Monday pledged to ramp up training. On Thursday, Spanish authorities said a person who was among those being monitored for signs of the disease because they had contact with Romero would be sent to Carlos III Hospital after developing a fever, one of the symptoms of Ebola. The person was one of 68 considered to have a low risk of catching Ebola. They have to check their temperature regularly from home. Another 15 people, including RomeroвЂ™s husband, are still under observation in the hospital but have shown no symptoms. The United States, which is deploying up to 4,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the spread of the disease, has asked Madrid for permission to use the US air bases in Spain in its operation, a US Department of Defence source said yesterday. вЂњNone of the planes will transport patients or people suspected to have contracted Ebola, or who have been in contact with infected people,вЂќ he said. вЂњSpain will have a right to inspect the planes and passengers.вЂќ The United States has four bases in Spain, at Moron de la Frontera near Seville and Rota near Cadiz in southern Spain, Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid and Zaragoza in the north. Leaders pose for a family picture during the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) yesterday in Milan. The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was created in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and co-operation between Europe and Asia held every two years alternatively in Asia and Europe. Poroshenko prepares ground for Putin talks DPA Milan U krainian President Petro Poroshenko engaged yesterday in a п¬‚urry of diplomatic activity with European leaders in Milan, ahead of renewed efforts with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to resolve the conп¬‚ict in eastern Ukraine. Poroshenko met German Chancellor Angela Merkel late yesterday. He was due also to see EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, as well as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. They were all gathered in the northern Italian city for a summit of European and Asian leaders. Earlier yesterday, Merkel called on Russia to fully respect a ceaseп¬Ѓre deal for eastern Ukraine, agreed in Minsk last month. вЂњIt is of course particularly also the task of Russia to make clear that the Minsk plan is being adhered to,вЂќ the chancellor said. вЂњUnfortunately, there are still very, very large deп¬Ѓcits here,вЂќ she added. Talks between Putin and Merkel yesterday had to be postponed, as the Russian leader was arriving late at the summit after a visit to Belgrade. Today Putin is due to meet with Poroshenko in an enlarged format that includes Merkel, Renzi, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Van Rompuy, Barroso and the European UnionвЂ™s future foreign policy chief, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. It will be PutinвЂ™s largest formal encounter with Western leaders since Russia was excluded in June from a summit by the Group of Seven, in response to MoscowвЂ™s annexation of Crimea and its suspected involvement in the conп¬‚ict in eastern Ukraine. Despite the ceaseп¬Ѓre deal, the Western-backed Ukrainian government accuses Russia of continuing to train and send п¬Ѓghters into eastern Ukraine, where bloody skirmishes are ongoing. Russia denies this, and announced at the weekend that it was withdrawing 17,000 troops that had been stationed near the Ukrainian border. Nato said it has not detected вЂњsigniп¬ЃcantвЂќ movements. Pro-Russian separatist fighters and journalists run for cover during shelling of the DonetskвЂ™s Sergey Prokofiev international airport, as fighting continue yesterday between Ukrainian army forces and pro-Russian separatist. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukrainian forces had repelled several attacks over the past 24 hours on Donetsk airport and near the village of Debaltseve вЂ“ two constant flashpoints in the conflict in recent weeks. вЂњThere is still a large and capable force sitting on the border of Ukraine, and heavy equipment still has to be pulled back,вЂќ a Nato spokesperson said. Meanwhile, Kiev authorities said that three Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and nine injured in п¬Ѓghting during the past 24 hours. Donetsk city council said that four civilians had been injured by artillery shelling in the city on Wednesday. Moscow and Kiev are also at loggerheads over energy prices. Russia has shut off gas exports to Ukraine, demanding higher payments. The EU is seeking to mediate a solution, amid fears of gas cutoffs in Europe as winter nears. In preparation for the Milan talks, Poroshenko spoke by phone to US President Barack Obama, PoroshenkoвЂ™s office said. The Ukrainian president had also spoken to Putin on Tuesday. Obama also informed Poroshenko of a video conference he had held with the leaders of Britain, Germany, France and Italy to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine. The EU and the US have imposed economic sanctions on Russia, prompting Moscow to take countermeasures and seek new economic opportunities elsewhere, notably in Asia. Merkel told the German parliament that the Western sanc- Support for Nato membership up in Ukraine: poll The number of Ukrainians in favour of joining the Nato alliance has risen sharply during KievвЂ™s drawn-out conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country, a poll showed yesterday. Becoming a Nato member would be the best way for Ukraine to ensure security, said 44% of respondents to the poll by the Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and KievвЂ™s International Sociology Institute. The figure showed a rise from 34% in a similar poll in May this year and 13% in another poll in 2012 by the same two institutions. вЂњThe rise began this year. ItвЂ™s the reaction of Ukrainians to RussiaвЂ™s military aggression,вЂќ said sociologist Maria Zolkina from the foundation. Twenty-two per cent of those questioned wanted to keep an independent status while 15% wanted closer ties with Russia and the former Soviet states. The 2012 poll showed 26% of Ukrainians in favour of joining a Russialed bloc. The poll was carried out in mid-September on 2,035 people from across Ukraine apart from Crimea and the eastern Luhansk region, due to intense fighting. The pollsters approximated the results for Luhansk by increasing the quota for eastern Donetsk. The east of Ukraine is Russian speaking and generally more pro-Russia. Kiev blames Moscow for stirring a bloody pro-Russian insurgency in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where 3,600 have people died since April, according to the United Nations. In 2010, former president Viktor Yanukovych opted for a non-aligned policy. tions were important, but not an end in themselves, adding that she was opposed to measures that could hinder dialogue with Russia. But Putin dismissed the sanctions as вЂњabsurdвЂќ, in a newspaper interview published ahead of his visit to Serbia. Putin also lambasted Obama for listing вЂњRussian aggression in EuropeвЂќ as one of three major threats to humanity, alongside Ebola and the Islamic State. вЂњTogether with the sanctions against entire sectors of our economy, this approach can be called nothing but hostile,вЂќ he told Belgrade daily Politika. вЂњWe hope that our partners will realise the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability.вЂќ Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 11 INDIA President visits Santa Claus Village SC summons police chiefs over missing children Agencies New Delhi T he Supreme Court yesterday summoned the police chiefs of two states to justify their record on tracking down missing children, acting on a petition from new Nobel Peace laureate Kailash SatyarthiвЂ™s child rights group. SatyarthiвЂ™s Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) п¬Ѓled the petition before the Supreme Court which had last year set deadlines for Indian states to п¬Ѓle status reports on missing children. Yesterday, the court ordered the chief secretaries and heads of police in Bihar and Chhattisgarh - the two states with some of the worst records on child trafficking - to appear before it on October 30. The court said it wanted to ask the chief secretaries and police commissioners вЂњhow will they feel if their children go missing.вЂќ Critics say police often turn a blind eye to the thousands of children who are trafficked and forced into slavery or exploitative labour every year across the country. Research by SatyarthiвЂ™s group suggests that a child goes missing every six minutes in India and over a 100,000 children go missing each year. вЂњThe court was not pleased with their (statesвЂ™) response,вЂќ Bhuwan Ribhu, an activist and lawyer with Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said. вЂњThe court has taken a very strict view. They said they will take up this matter every week if needed and see what action has been taken, two states at a time,вЂќ he said. In the course of the hearing, Chief Justice H LDatu said a woman came to him crying that her child had gone missing and that no steps were being taken to trace him. He said everyday he reads in newspapers and watch on TV tales about missing children. вЂњThis pains us.вЂќ Appearing for Bachpan Bachao Andolan, senior counsel H SPhoolka told the court that Chhattisgarh has reported 9,428 missing children in three years (2011-2013) but only 1,977 FIRs (п¬Ѓrst information reports) have been registered. He said these п¬Ѓgures by Chhattisgarh conп¬‚icted with those given by the government in an answer to a parliamentary question which said that the п¬Ѓgures for the three years were 10,664 and the number of FIRs registered was 1,634. Bihar had recorded 2,036 missing children in the last three years and the number of FIRs registered is 1,180. The court also issued notice to all states and union territories on the increasing drug abuse among school children across the country. Bachpan Bachao Andolan has sought the formulation of a National Action Plan for Children on the drugs, alcohol and other substance abuse. It also sought the effective implementation of the National Strategy Document and Action Plan against drug abuse in the country and incorporation in school curriculum modules to educate children to keep away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Satyarthi, 60, was on Friday jointly awarded the Nobel prize with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage education campaigner shot by the Taliban in 2012. The Indian activist, who argues that poverty should not be an excuse for child labour, was recognised for decades of doggedly championing childrenвЂ™s rights in his home country and worldwide. IndiaвЂ™s mega cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are a particular target for criminal gangs that police say traffic children in much the same way they sell drugs. Most of these children end up as construction or domestic workers. Others take up rag picking, agricultural work and in industries such as п¬Ѓreworks, tobacco and carpet weaving. They routinely work at least 12 hours a day and many are sexually exploited, according to activists and police. No one can warn India, says Rajnath A day after China objected to India building a road along the border, Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday said no one can warn a вЂњpowerful nationвЂќ like India. вЂњNo one can give a warning to India. India is a powerful nation now,вЂќ Singh said on the sidelines of the 30th Raising Day ceremony of the National Security Guard (NSG) in Manesar, on the outskirts Delhi. вЂњAs far as China is concerned, both countries should sit together and discuss the issues,вЂќ he told reporters. China on Wednesday said India should not take any action that may complicate the situation in disputed border areas. President Pranab Mukherjee looks on as his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee shakes hands with a person dressed as Santa Claus at the Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi in Finland yesterday. Mukherjee earlier in the day addressed the Finnish parliament. PM kicks off overhaul of creaky labour rules The prime minister unveils key labour reforms that rely on trust and promote the ease of doing business Agencies New Delhi I ndia will simplify employment rules and ease the way for people changing jobs to move social security funds, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday, unveiling steps to reform the labour sector long sought by investors. IndiaвЂ™s outdated labour laws strictly limit hiring and п¬Ѓring, while an onerous вЂ�inspector rajвЂ™ deluges employers with paperwork, discouraging them from expanding and adding staff. вЂњFifty types of departments chase them, 50 types of forms have to be п¬Ѓlled in. The world has changed,вЂќ Modi said, adding that companies would now only need to п¬Ѓll a single form online. The change would beneп¬Ѓt chieп¬‚y п¬Ѓrms that employ just a few people, he said. In 2009, 84% of IndiaвЂ™s manufacturing workers were employed by п¬Ѓrms with fewer than 50 staff, research by the Asian Development Bank shows. Just 8% of Indian workers have formal jobs with any security and beneп¬Ѓts, such as the Provident Fund, while the vast majority work in the informal sector, experts say. Even though the World Bank says India has one of the worldвЂ™s most rigid labour markets, fears of a trade union backlash and partisan politics have deterred governments from reform. Business leaders have high hopes for Modi, an advocate of smaller government and private enterprise, to change that. Industry groups said yesterday measures would warm business sentiment and help boost the slowing economy. вЂњThese reforms will further help create a more conducive manufacturing environment,вЂќ Ajay Singha, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in India, said in a statement. Modi also promised easier movement of accounts in IndiaвЂ™s Provident Fund scheme by using a universal account number. The payroll-funded programme has 80mn members. Because transfers are so difп¬Ѓcult, more than Rs270bn ($4.4bn) lie idle in such accounts. Modi: easing rules вЂњI need to return this money to the poor,вЂќ the prime minister said. вЂњThe world asks, вЂ�What is ModiвЂ™s vision?вЂ™ They will see it in this effort.вЂќ Inspection of businesses will be made more transparent, with a computer lottery being used to pick the enterprises to be inspected and officials required to upload a report within 72 hours, Modi said. вЂњWe have replaced 16 forms (for factory owners) with one form, which will be available online,вЂќ Modi said. The prime minister added: вЂњE-governance is easy governance. It builds trust for transparency.вЂќ Businesses argue that conforming to IndiaвЂ™s 44 national and more than 150 state labour laws is not only costly and timeconsuming but has deterred foreign investors. Modi, 63, also called for greater respect for manual labourers in status-conscious India. вЂњWe must change the way we look at manual labourers. We must respect them if we are to surge ahead as a country,вЂќ he said. The prime minister also unveiled a booklet on National Brand Ambassadors for Vocational Training and a souvenir for All India Skill Competition. He said skilled labour has not been given due dignity in the society and was generally regarded as lower to other forms of work. вЂњA compassionate approach would result in the Shram Yogi (labourer) becoming a Rashtra Yogi and hence, a Rashtra Nirmaata (nation-builder). There is need to change outlook,вЂќ he said. Modi said the phrase вЂњShramev JayateвЂќ had as much signiп¬Ѓcance as вЂњSatyamev JayateвЂќ in the tasks related to the countryвЂ™s development. He said Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) were the primary units for industrial training but have not been given due importance. The government has taken a new initiative to appoint am- bassadors and they would prove role models for students from ITIs as they had achieved success in their lives after studying in these institutes, he added. Modi said sometimes people who are not good at academics have potential in areas such as industry. Referring to his governmentвЂ™s moves towards self-certiп¬Ѓcation of documents, he said there was need to have faith in people. Referring to apprenticeship encouragement scheme of the labour ministry, he said it will help meet needs of skilled workforce. Labour ministry officials said the Apprentices Act, 1961, had been enacted to regulate apprenticeship training in the industry. They said a major initiative has been taken to revamp the existing apprenticeship scheme with the aim of increasing apprenticeship seats to more than 2mn in the next few years. The officials said there were only 282,000 apprentices against 490,000 seats available at present. They also said that 100,000 apprentices will be supported under the reworked scheme till March 2017. Centuries-old вЂ�ChineseвЂ™ п¬Ѓshing tradition fading AFP Kochi T ugging ropes and bellowing chants, п¬Ѓve men hoist from the water a huge spidery frame gripping a web of п¬Ѓshing net - a centuries-old custom on the southern Indian coast. Two of the team bound down a rickety platform to scoop up the catch, which is once again meagre: a few silvery п¬Ѓsh tangled in weed and a scuttling small crab. In this old spice-trading town of Fort Kochi, the row of вЂњChinese п¬Ѓshing netsвЂќ that hang off the shore are a celebrated sight, but the men who operate them say they now depend on tourists rather than п¬Ѓsh. вЂњItвЂ™s very hard work. Less п¬Ѓsh, less money. I canвЂ™t look after a family pulling these nets,вЂќ said John Kalathil Barried, a 62-yearold in a striped Adidas cap and a вЂ�lungiвЂ™. The rare п¬Ѓshing contraptions are installed on the land and comprise an inventive system of wooden poles, weights and pulleys, whose origins in India are muddled. Some accounts say the nets were introduced by Chinese eunuch Zheng He, an explorer, in the 15th century, or by Chinese traders from the earlier court of Kublai Khan. But locals insist they were in fact brought in by the Portuguese, who ruled Fort Kochi for over a century until 1663, when the commercial hub was captured by the Dutch. Supporting this theory is the Portuguese vocabulary still used to describe parts of the nets, as well as the п¬ЃshermenвЂ™s Christian heritage. вЂњThe Portuguese brought in such a lot. Coffee, cashew nuts, tapioca, so many things we cultivate today were brought in by them,вЂќ said K J Sohan, a former mayor of Kochi. He said the Portuguese adopted the originally smaller nets during their travels further east along the Mekong River, which п¬‚ows through China and Indochina. Though their Kochi copies grew in size, they later shrank in number: 22 structures sat on the coast three decades ago, say the п¬Ѓshermen, but now they have nearly halved to 12, despite their rising stature as a tourist draw. The men now haul up the nets no more than 100 times a day, down from around 250 times when they would bring in much heavier loads. Chinese fishing nets hang suspended over the water in Fort Kochi in Kerala. The row of вЂњChinese fishing netsвЂќ that hangs off the shore are a celebrated sight, but the men who operate them say they now depend on tourists rather than fish. V R Simon, one of the oldest п¬Ѓshermen at 75, gave various reasons for his livelihoodвЂ™s decline. вЂњSmall boats surround us and п¬Ѓsh with their own nets,вЂќ he said, also blaming nearby facto- ries polluting the waters and the 2004 tsunami, after which they saw a drop in catch. вЂњWe pull the nets, tourists come, they give us something and thatвЂ™s how we survive.вЂќ Declining п¬Ѓsh stocks are a concern well beyond Fort Kochi, according to Professor Bhanu Kumar, from the meteorology and oceanography department at IndiaвЂ™s Andhra University. вЂњClimate change, industrial pollution and declining mangrove cover along the Indian coastline - all these reasons are really causing big havoc to the п¬Ѓsh,вЂќ he said. While technology now exists to help trawlers at sea locate waters ripe for fishing, this is adding to the pressure on fish stocks - and is of little help to those at the stationary Chinese nets. A п¬‚icker of hope came with a recent visit by Chinese diplomats - encouraged by the heritage link - to see if they could offer вЂњa symbol of co-operationвЂќ, said KeralaвЂ™s tourism secretary Suman Billa. No formal proposals have been made, however, and Kochi residents feared India would decline outside assistance. The Kerala government has meanwhile sanctioned Rs15mn ($242,000) for refurbishing the nets, whose parts need regular replacement and maintenance. But with catches on the decline, it seems more sustainable solutions are needed to preserve the heritage site - and not only as a picturesque emblem for tourism brochures. вЂњItвЂ™s a livelihood for these people as well as the iconic signature of Kochi,вЂќ said Sohan, the former mayor, also chairman of a town planning committee. He said the government should provide insurance for the п¬Ѓshermen, as well as subsidised timber - they currently use iron in some of their poles instead of the traditional and more expensive teak. The п¬Ѓshermen also need to add value to their shrinking catch, perhaps by cooking and serving п¬Ѓsh to customers near the nets in a вЂњyou buy, we fryвЂќ arrangement, Sohan suggested. вЂњWhat the п¬Ѓshermen sell for Rs100 ($1.60), the hotels sell for Rs500 - why canвЂ™t they?вЂќ he said. вЂњItвЂ™s a challenge of survival.вЂќ For now the п¬Ѓshermen keenly welcome visitors to their intriguing machines, letting them pull on the ropes and snap souvenir pictures in exchange for donations. вЂњWe live like beggars,вЂќ said Simon, as the latest curious holidaymakers approached. 12 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 INDIA GESTURE WILDLIFE SUICIDE ENVIRONMENT TRANSPORT Concert to raise funds for Assam flood victims Kolkata zoo to get giant tortoises from Seychelles Worker jumps to death in Technopark campus Minister calls for вЂ�quietвЂ™ Diwali celebrations Women trained in martial arts to run taxis Well-known musicians including Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani, Papon, Arijit Singh and Benny Dayal will come together for a fundraiser gig to be held in New Delhi on Sunday to help flood victims of Assam. Spearheaded by Papon and Dadlani, the line-up also includes Shilpa Rao, Neeti Mohan and Harshdeep Kaur. They will perform at Blue Frog on Sunday to help generate funds for the people who have been ravaged by the recent floods in the state. вЂњThe intention is to generate awareness about the flood situation in Assam and generate as much relief funds as possible towards the cause,вЂќ Papon, who comes from Assam himself, said in a statement. The Alipore Zoo in Kolkata is all set to host a pair of giant tortoises from the island nation of Seychelles. They are expected to arrive later this week, an official said yesterday. One of the largest tortoise species in the world, the Aldabra tortoises from the archipelago in the Indian Ocean will be placed in quarantine for 21 days after they arrive, zoo director Kanailal Ghosh said. вЂњWe are not sure about the date but hopefully they (a male and a female) will be here later this week. After they are released from quarantine, we will house them in a suitable space,вЂќ Ghosh said. A 29-year-old man working at an IT company in the Technopark campus in Thiruvananthapuram jumped to death from the sixth floor of his office building yesterday morning. A press release issued by UST Global said it was deeply saddened by the demise of Sreeraj Sashidharan. вЂњHe has been working here for almost three years and was a good performer. Around 9am today at the Bhavani building this (incident) occurred. The HR along with colleagues rushed him to hospital, but was declared dead on arrival,вЂќ the press release said. An official at the Kazhakootam police station confirmed the incident and said they have launched a probe. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan yesterday wrote to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung urging him to ensure that the national capital celebrates a noise pollution-free Diwali. The e-mail that Harsh Vardhan sent to Jung referred to a July 2005 Supreme Court order that had banned use of firecrackers in residential areas. вЂњThe implementation of the courtвЂ™s order has been practically absent in Delhi. Some state governments have been quite successful in ensuring quietness in the revelries. I hope that under your direction, Delhi will turn a corner from this Diwali onwards,вЂќ the minister wrote. The Goa government yesterday rolled out its first lot of radio taxis driven by women trained in martial arts. The service was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. According to Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairman Nilesh Cabral, the objective of starting the service was to underline the fact that Goa is a safe tourist destination for women. вЂњWe want to send a message that Goa is a safe place for tourists especially for women. These taxis are especially for women. One of the rules of the taxis is that there should be at least one woman passenger in a group of passengers,вЂќ Cabral said. Take a dip in Ganges, Congress leaders told India close to having own navigation satellite system IANS Panaji G oa Congress president Luizinho Faleiro has advised senior party leaders to вЂњgo, take a dip in the GangaвЂќ to cleanse themselves of their sins and turn around the crisis of credibility and charges of corruption against them. In an interview to a news channel on Wednesday, the newlyappointed state Congress chief, a former permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, recommended a dip in the Ganges river for party leaders who have вЂњsinned.вЂќ вЂњWhat happens when you sin, you go to river Ganga, take a dip and try to cleanse your sins. Sometime you have to do penance, but you have to start anew,вЂќ Faleiro said. The Ganges is considered holy by Hindus and a dip in the river is considered a soul cleansing experience. Faleiro on Tuesday took charge of the state Congress, which has been reduced to an unprecedented single digit - nine - in the 40-member state legislative assembly. His appointment follows a revolt against his immediate predecessor John Fernandes, whose short, but dramatic 10-month tenure saw disciplinary action against several tainted Congressmen, some of whom were also sacked from the party. Incidentally, the same leaders were present on the dais with Faleiro on Tuesday when he formally took charge of the party in the state. Faleiro also said it was time that the party and its leaders learn from their mistakes and make efforts to correct these. вЂњ(We have to) learn...learn from our mistakes. Try to correct ourselves. Accept mistakes in all humility. Go back to the people,вЂќ Faleiro said. Faleiro: advice India is at the doorstep of an exclusive space club that has the US, Russia, China and Japan as members IANS Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh I The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C26) carrying India Regional Navigation Satellite System lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota yesterday. Indian-American doctors to hold summit in Mumbai IANS Washington A leading body of IndianAmerican physicians will hold its ninth annual Global Healthcare Summit aimed at bringing accessible, affordable and quality world-class healthcare to India in Mumbai from January 2 to 4. The Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), one of the largest ethnic professional bodies, will hold the summit at Trident Oberoi Hotel in collaboration with the ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Overseas Indian Affairs. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), Indian Surgical Association and several other national and international organisations are also collaborating in the venture, the AAPI said in a statement. The summit, which is expected to have participation from some of the worldвЂ™s most well-known physicians and industry leaders, will focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and share ways to truly improve healthcare transcending global boundaries. вЂњThe coming together of so many of us today is to share our responsibility to the entire community, and help to give support and comfort particularly in the time of despair,вЂќ said AAPI president Ravi Jahagirdar. An AAPI team is on its way to Mumbai to co-ordinate efforts with local organisers to deliver outstanding programmes geared towards enhancing skills, providing training and enabling exchange of ideas and best practices between leading international experts. вЂњAAPI USA has been engaged in harnessing the power of Indian diaspora to bring the most innovative, efficient, cost effec- tive healthcare solutions to India,вЂќ said Seema Jain, president-elect of AAPI. вЂњWe are refocusing our mission and vision of GHS2015 to make a positive and meaningful impact on the healthcare in India,вЂќ she said. вЂњFor the п¬Ѓrst time, clinical practice workshops and research competition will be held at this summit,вЂќ Jain said. вЂњAs part of the CEO Forum in Mumbai, CEOs from around the world from hospitals, teaching institutions and major healthcare sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and technology, will join to explore potential opportunities for collaboration,вЂќ Dr Naresh Parikh, treasurer of AAPI said. вЂњThis international healthcare summit is a progressive transformation from the п¬Ѓrst Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007,вЂќ said Dr Ajeet Singhvi, chairman of AAPI board of trustees. ndia yesterday moved closer to having its own satellite navigation system as it smoothly launched a satellite - and is now only a step away from joining a select group of space-faring nations that have such a system. With the successful launch early yesterday of the third of seven satellites planned under the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), India is just a satellite and a couple of months away from having its own satellite navigation system. This puts India at the doorstep of an exclusive space club that has the US, Russia, China and Japan as members. The navigational system, developed indigenously by India, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500km from the nationвЂ™s boundary line. Though IRNSS is a seven-satellite system, it could be made operational with four satellites, officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation said. The fourth navigation satellite is expected to be launched this December. The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO scientists and described the launch as вЂњa matter of immense pride and joy.вЂќ Exactly at 1.32am, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C26 (PSLV-C26) - standing around 44.4m tall and weighing around 320 tonnes, blasted off from the п¬Ѓrst launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, around 80km from Chennai. The expendable rocket with п¬Ѓerce orange п¬‚ames at its tail lit up the night sky. The rocket tore into the night skies with its luggage, the 1,425kg IRNSS-1C (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System-1C) satellite. For the onlookers, the rocket appeared like an inverted п¬‚are with a long handle as it ascended towards the heavens amidst the cheers of the ISRO scientists and the media team assembled at the rocket port. Space scientists at ISRO rocket mission control room were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earthвЂ™s gravitational pull. At around 20 minutes into the п¬‚ight, the PSLV-C26 spat out IRNSS-1C at an altitude of around 500km above the earth. Immediately on the successful ejection, scientists at the mission control centre were visibly relieved and started applauding happily. вЂњIndiaвЂ™s third navigation satellite is up in the orbit,вЂќ ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said after the launch. Soon after the ejection into the orbit, the satelliteвЂ™s solar panels were deployed. In the coming days, four orbit manoeuvres will be conducted by ISRO to position the satellite in the geostationary orbit. The satellite has two kinds of payloads - navigation and ranging. The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to the users. A highly accurate rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload. The ranging payload consists of C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. The satellite with a life span of around 10 years is the third of the seven satellites which will constitute the IRNSS. The п¬Ѓrst satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013 and the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014. Both have already started functioning from their designated orbital slots. The system, expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20m in the primary service area, is similar to the global positioning system of the US, Glonass of Russia, Galileo of Europe, ChinaвЂ™s Beidou or the Japanese Quasi Zenith Satellite System. The system will be used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and п¬‚eet management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers and others. While the ISRO is silent on the navigation systemвЂ™s strategic application, it is clear that the IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well. By adding more satellites, the service area can be expanded, an ISRO official said. Radhakrishnan had earlier said though IRNSS is a seven-satellite system, it could be made operational with four satellites. Mars Orbiter repositioned The Indian space agency has repositioned its Mars Orbiter as a precautionary measure against the Comet Siding Spring set to fly by the Red Planet on October 19, a senior official said yesterday. вЂњWe have repositioned the Mars Orbiter, as the Comet Siding Spring is expected to be close to the Mars on October Chandy meets Javadekar Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy presents a bouquet to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar ahead of their meeting in New Delhi yesterday. 19,вЂќ A S Kiran Kumar, director of the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad said. He added the space agency has taken the Mars Orbiter to a position far away from the cometвЂ™s tail. According to Nasa, the Comet Siding Spring is expected to come within about 87,000 miles of Mars on October 19. IAF officer rescued from his captors An Indian Air Force officer, held hostage in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, was rescued yesterday in a joint operation by Assam and Meghalaya police. Anand Mohan Das, 40, was posted at the Indian Air Force base at Borjhar near the Lopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. Das, who hails from West Bengal, had gone to the district for personal work with two people Nekibur Zaman and Sofikul Islam, a police officer said. вЂњThe two people held him hostage in a house and demanded Rs10 lakh as ransom,вЂќ the officer said, adding that Zaman and Islam were arrested during the raid. вЂњWe launched a search across lower Assam districts of Kamrup, Barpeta, Goalpara and Dhubri soon after a complaint was lodged at Azara police station on October 6. But we could not trace him. вЂњWe came to know that Das had visited West Garo Hills. Accordingly, we launched an operation there. Finally, we managed to rescue him from a house at Tikritilla village,вЂќ the officer said. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 13 LATIN AMERICA Mass grave п¬Ѓnd grips Mexico AFP Chilpancingo, Mexico M exican authorities scrambled on Wednesday to п¬Ѓnd 43 missing students after concluding they were not in a mass grave containing 28 bodies in a case that has vexed the country. While news that the aspiring teachers were not in the burial pits brought some relief, ofп¬Ѓcials still had no clue where the students could be, and they now had 28 new unknown victims on their hands. President Enrique Pena Nieto has been under pressure at home and abroad to solve the confounding case, almost three weeks after the students were attacked by gang-affiliated police in the southern state of Guerrero. вЂњThese regrettable events are a test for Mexican institutions and society,вЂќ Pena Nieto said. GuerreroвЂ™s public security department expanded the search, saying that it would distribute in six regions п¬‚iers with pictures of the 43 young men, who are from a teacher training college near the stateвЂ™s capital, Chilpancingo. Horse-mounted police and rescue dogs were deployed to comb rural, hard-to-reach areas of Iguala, the city 200km south of Mexico City where the students were last seen. Some 300 federal police ofп¬Ѓcers and civilian self-defence militias have been searching for the students for days. While DNA analysis showed that the students were not in the pits containing 28 bodies, authorities have yet to identify remains in other mass graves found last week and on Tuesday. Attorney-General Jesus Murillo Karam said 14 police officers from the town of Cocula, which neighbours Iguala, have been arrested in the case, joining 26 detained colleagues from Iguala. IgualaвЂ™s officers are accused of shooting at buses the students had seized to return home on September 26 in a night of violence that left six people dead and 25 wounded. Prosecutors says the Cocula officers then handed the students to the Guerreros Unidos gang. The motive remains under investigation. The students, known for their radical leftwing protests, went to Iguala to raise funds and seized buses to go home, a common practice among the aspiring teachers. Relatives of the students refuse to believe they are dead and have led protests demanding their safe return. вЂњItвЂ™s possibly a kidnapping, but as time goes on, there is less hope that they will be found alive,вЂќ Javier Oliva, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told AFP. Oliva said it would be complicated to keep 43 people incommunicado for so long, without them being seen by anybody. вЂњJust think about how they are fed. Even if itвЂ™s one daily ration, where do you get food for 43 people,вЂќ he said. In addition to a missing persons case, the authorities are now discovering previously unknown victims as they dig up the mass graves in Iguala. At least 80 corpses have been discovered around the city of 140,000 people this year alone, revealing the extent of the horrors committed by criminals with impunity. вЂњThey could be victims of п¬Ѓghts (between gangs) or extortion, kidnappings and organ trafficking,вЂќ Oliva said. Authorities say the Guerreros Unidos gang, which is an offshoot of the bigger Beltran Leyva drug cartel, was engaged in turf wars with rivals while inп¬Ѓltrating local authorities. The wife of IgualaвЂ™s mayorвЂ™s is the sister of two slain members of the Beltran Leyva cartel. The couple and the cityвЂ™s police chief are on the lam. Mexicans have endured a drug war that has left 80,000 people dead and more than 22,000 others missing since 2006, but their exposure to atrocities has not made them insensitive to the events in Iguala. More than 1,000 protesters demonstrated in front of the attorney generalвЂ™s office in Mexico City, a week after tens of thousands held marches across the nation. Mexicans are вЂњhorriп¬Ѓed and ashamedвЂќ, Roy Campos, president of pollsters Consulta Mitofsky, told AFP. The case has further tarnished the political class вЂњbecause it has shown cohabitation between maп¬Ѓas and politiciansвЂќ, Campos said. Hurricane Gonzalo heads to Bahamas Reuters/AFP Hamilton, Bermuda/Washington H urricane Gonzalo regained strength yesterday, again reaching Category 4, taking it back up a notch on the п¬Ѓve-point Saffir-Simpson scale as it swirled towards Bermuda, the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said, prompting residents of the island to prepare for the second major storm in a week. Gonzalo was about 485 miles (780km) south-southwest of Bermuda early yesterday, the Miami-based centre said, with maximum sustained winds of 145mph (230kph). The hurricane was expected to send large swells and potentially dangerous surf conditions to the United States East Coast before bringing hurricane-force winds to Bermuda today, forecasters said. вЂњThis general motion is expected to continue today,вЂќ the NHC said. вЂњA turn toward the north-northeast and an increase in forward speed are expected tonight and Friday.вЂќ Bermuda is still recovering from Tropical Storm Fay, which swept over the island early on Sunday with near hurricaneforce winds of 70mph (110kph). About 1,500 homes were still without power yesterday. Hardware and grocery stores This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) image obtained yesterday shows hurricane Gonzalo gaining strength overnight as it barrelled in the Atlantic toward Bermuda, which was bracing for a hit from the powerful Category Four storm. on the island were selling out of essential supplies such as generators, п¬‚ashlights, water and batteries ahead of Gonzalo. At the main garbage dump, residents lined up to dispose of trash and storm debris from Fay to stop it blowing around and causing further damage during Gonzalo. Most airlines have scheduled extra п¬‚ights off Bermuda yesterday, with the airport set to close in the evening and reopen tomorrow at the earliest. Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley said government offices and schools would be closed today in the grouping of islands home to about 60,000 people. Gonzalo is expected to see slow weakening in the night, with steadier weakening late today, forecasters said, but is still expected to be at hurricane strength when it hits Bermuda. Shortages hinder VenezuelaвЂ™s battle against outbreaks Reuters Caracas S Argentine city halts gun sales The mayor of the Argentine city of Santa Fe has temporarily banned the sale of arms and ammunition in a bid to stem violent crime. So far this year, 117 homicides have taken place in the city of Santa Fe, 470km north of Buenos Aires. The figure tops the previous record of 116 deaths in 2007. There were 106 killings in 2013. A boy watches as workers from the municipality of Sucre on a truck carry out fumigation to help control the spread of chikungunya and dengue fever, in the Petare slum district of Caracas. Brazil presidential race heading for photo п¬Ѓnish Reuters Brasilia B razilвЂ™s most unpredictable presidential election in a generation is heading toward a photo п¬Ѓnish on October 26 between leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff and pro-business challenger Aecio Neves, two new polls showed on Wednesday. In an increasingly acrimonious campaign, the candidates traded accusations of lies, corruption and nepotism in a bruising television debate on Tuesday night that had no clear winner and saw more attacks than discussion of policy issues. Neves, the market favourite, gained ground after his stronger-than-expected showing in the п¬Ѓrst-round vote on October 5, when he bested environmentalist Marina Silva to place second behind Rousseff. But Neves has struggled to build on that momentum and has been running neck-andneck with Rousseff in opinion polls for the last week. Neves has 45% of voter support against 43% for Rousseff, according to the identical results of the latest surveys by polling п¬Ѓrms Datafolha and Ibope, one Rousseff and Neves are seen as their campaign meetings with supporters in Sao Paulo on Wednesday. percentage point less than each candidate had in previous polls six days ago. The difference between the two is statistically insigniп¬Ѓcant because it is within the margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points in both polls. Excluding undecided voters, spoiled and blank survey responses, Neves has 51% against 49% for Rousseff, the same as last week. вЂњWe are heading for a photo п¬Ѓnish,вЂќ said Andre Cesar, a political analyst in Brasilia, who It is the AtlanticвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst Category 4 hurricane since 2011, when Hurricane OpheliaвЂ™s winds reached 140mph (225kph), according to Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert with private forecaster Weather Underground. Bermuda last saw back-toback storms of similar intensity in 1981, though neither storm caused signiп¬Ѓcant damage. Gonzalo is the sixth hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season, which runs through the end of November. Forecasters in August predicted lower-than-usual activity for the season, with seven to 12 named storms and no more than two reaching major hurricane status. A major hurricane is considered to be Category 3 or above with winds hitting at least 111mph (178kph). Gonzalo caused damage in the Caribbean islands of Antigua, St Maarten, and Martinique, local authorities and media reports said. An 87-year-old sailor in St Maarten died after his boat sank in a marina where 37 vessels were damaged, the Daily Herald reported. Bermuda Weather Service director Kimberley Zuill said Gonzalo would be вЂњa long duration systemвЂќ that will impact Bermuda with severe weather for about 27 straight hours, according to comments reported by the Royal Gazette newspaper in its online edition. вЂњIt is important that these advisories are taken seriously and preparations made in good time which will help to reduce property damage and the likelihood of injuries or loss of life,вЂќ Dunkley said. вЂњWe have weathered storms before and we are well versed in how to manage our homes and our property. However, I urge people to err on the side of safety every time.вЂќ expects the remaining three debates before the vote to get rougher. вЂњIf no candidate slips up badly in the next debates, their numbers wonвЂ™t change much.вЂќ In the narrowest race since 1989, Brazilians have to choose between re-electing a government that has lifted millions from poverty or switching to more business-friendly policies advocated by Neves to pull the country out recession. Rousseff warned Brazilians in TuesdayвЂ™s debate that electing Neves would lead to unemployment and threaten the social beneп¬Ѓts gained during 12 years of rule by her WorkersвЂ™ Party. Neves charged that Rousseff campaign propaganda told lie after lie about him and misinformed voters that he was planning to end cash transfer programs and privatize state banks. The senator and former state governor hammered Rousseff over a multi-million dollar corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which prosecutors say was used to channel bribes to the WorkersвЂ™ Party and its allies in the governing coalition. Rousseff retorted by pointing to an airport that was built adjacent to a farm owned by NevesвЂ™s uncle when he was governor of Minas Gerais state. She also accused him of nepotism for giving government jobs to a sister, uncles and cousins. Neves acknowledged big strides had been made in improving the social lot of BrazilвЂ™s people under Rousseff вЂ™s mentor and predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But he said Brazil had stopped growing under Rousseff and inп¬‚ation was out of control. He vowed to restore credibility and investment п¬‚ows. Border controls in Haiti AFP Port-au-Prince H aitian authorities have announced sanitary border controls to prevent Ebola cases from entering and spreading in the desperately poor country already in the grips of a deadly cholera epidemic. The ministry of gealth stressed, however, that вЂњno case of the virus has been detected or revealed so farвЂќ in Haiti. But with more than 9,000 Haitians lives lost to cholera in three years, authorities are working to prevent another epidemic from hitting the country. The Ebola outbreak originating out of West Africa has already killed nearly 4,500 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. The Haitian ministry of health unveiled a response plan to the deadly haemorrhagic fever that aims to вЂњwell equip the population and our health system in order to be prepared for any possibility and reduce mortality as much as possibleвЂќ. Among the measures, the government has opened an isolation unit at a base operated by the UN mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH. hortages have complicated VenezuelaвЂ™s efforts to treat severe outbreaks of mosquito-borne fevers this year, creating long lines at pharmacies to buy medicines and leaving the ill without treatments for swollen joints and aching bones. Venezuela has South AmericaвЂ™s highest incidence of chikungunya, a virus of African origin that is rarely fatal but whose name comes from a Tanzanian term for being doubled-over in pain. The country has also seen an upsurge this year in the similarly harsh dengue fever. Miguel Angel Maracara, 21, who lives in the central state of Aragua, said that he visited a dozen pharmacies last month in search of the painkiller acetaminophen to treat his chikungunya, but he never found it. He had to get an injection of an analgesic at a staterun clinic. вЂњItвЂ™s the only thing that controlled my fever during nine days, because we couldnвЂ™t п¬Ѓnd acetaminophen anywhere,вЂќ Maracara said. VenezuelaвЂ™s rigid currency control system has left businesses without sufficient dollars to import goods, spurring shortages of products as diverse as wheat п¬‚our, shampoo, medicine, and insect repellent. The government said this week it will import 29mn acetaminophen tablets. A lack of laboratory materials to test for chikungunya has also left doctors unable to verify the exact number of cases. Official statistics put the п¬Ѓgure at 788 conп¬Ѓrmed, and another 2,000 suspected. VenezuelaвЂ™s state-led economy has struggled for almost two years to keep shelves stocked and now faces inп¬‚ation that tops 63%. Both problems have dented the popularity of socialist President Nicolas Maduro. He accuses the opposition of exaggerating the impact of chikungunya, which is minor in Venezuela compared with the 486,300 cases in the Dominican Republic. Nonetheless, he has described the illness as a вЂњnew challenge for our public health systemвЂќ and in September set aside nearly $1.5bn to acquire necessary materials. Dengue and chikungunya have no speciп¬Ѓc treatments other than rest and avoiding medicine such as aspirin, which can cause haemorrhaging. In the sprawling Caracas slum of Petare, informal vendors resell acetaminophen for eight times its regulated price, despite regulations that punish such sales with jail time. The country has reported 56,729 probable cases of dengue this year, 49% more than last year, and 65,792 cases of malaria, or 9% more than 2013. The health ministry says anti-mosquito fumigation this year was restricted by a lack of auto parts, which limited the movement of its trucks. And insufficient supplies of chemicals have left production of mosquito repellent at 12% of capacity. Venezuelans increasingly turn to social networks to announce that pharmacies have received new stocks of repellent and to share ideas about homemade substitutes. вЂњPeople told me to mix vitamin B with lotion, even though the doctor said thereвЂ™s no scientiп¬Ѓc evidence it works,вЂќ said Grisel Guerra, 36, a teacher and mother of two. вЂњBut I put some on the girls before leaving the house just to give me peace of mind.вЂќ Leaders to meet on Ebola preparedness The leaders of several Latin American and Caribbean countries will meet in Cuba next week to discuss preparedness for eventual Ebola cases in the region, officials here said on Wednesday. The talks on Monday in Havana will bring together leaders from Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela. Latin America has not yet seen any official cases of the deadly virus. 14 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN PUNISHMENT TERRORISM FACILITY UTILITY Court upholds death penalty in blasphemy case Gunmen kill former air force official in Pakistan Islamabad commuters have access to Red Zone Pakistan to get 1,000MW power from Central Asia A Pakistani court upheld the death penalty yesterday against a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, her lawyer said, in a case that drew global headlines after two prominent politicians who tried to help her were assassinated. In 2010, Asia Bibi, a mother of four, became the first woman to be sentenced to death under PakistanвЂ™s blasphemy law. She is alleged to have made derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim. BibiвЂ™s lawyer, Naeem Shakir, said вЂњI was expecting the opposite decision. We will file an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.вЂќ Gunmen in northwest Pakistan have shot dead a retired air force official who was a member of the countryвЂ™s Ahmadi minority, police said yesterday, bringing to seven the number of people killed in violence against the persecuted community this year. The incident took place in Attock district, around 40 miles north of the capital Islamabad on Wednesday, a spokesman for the community said. вЂњLatif Aalam Butt, a well-known Ahmadi was killed outside his house in Kamra, district Attock. He was returning home from his stationery store, when unknown assailants repeatedly fired at him,вЂќ Saleem ud Din said. Local police also confirmed the incident, adding that Butt was 62. The police in Pakistani federal capital Islamabad have removed containers from all roads leading to Red Zone but remained sceptical about the move, terming it risky. According to a report prepared by the City Zone police under whose jurisdiction the Red Zone falls, since the activists of Tahirul QadriвЂ™s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Imran KhanвЂ™s Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) were still there, militants might penetrate the area in their guise and target a government installation. The containers were removed on the directives of Interior Minister Nisar Ali, police officials said. The move however brought relief to the residents as well as commuters. The Central Asia South Asia (CASA)-1000 power transmission and trade project is likely to get completed by June 2015 at a cost of $997mn. The project would enable the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to sell their summer electricity surplus from existing plants in Central AsiaKyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan and provide electricity to consumers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Initially, 1,300MW electricity would be imported with Pakistan getting 1,000MW and Afghanistan receiving the remaining 300MW. Afghanistan had earlier asked for 2.5cents per KW but the price was brought down to 1.25 cents per KW. Afghanistan arrests top Haqqani commanders Two senior leaders of the feared Haqqani network, a hardline group behind sophisticated attacks on Afghan and Nato forces, have been captured A broker monitors an electronic board displaying stock prices during a trading session at Karachi Stock Exchange yesterday. Border patrol Pakistani Rangers patrol along the Pakistan-India border area of Wagah yesterday. Cross-border firing re-erupted in the disputed region of Kashmir on October 14 wounding four children, as senior Pakistani and Indian military officials spoke by phone following more than a week of deadly skirmishes. At least 20 civilians have been killed and thousands on both sides of the de facto border have fled their homes since October 6, which marked the beginning of some of the worst frontier shelling in years. Reuters Kabul A fghan forces have arrested the son of the feared Haqqani networkвЂ™s founder along with a militant commander in charge of suicide attacks, a blow to the Talibanlinked Islamist group, AfghanistanвЂ™s intelligence service said yesterday. The Haqqani network, which mainly operates out of PakistanвЂ™s border areas, has been blamed for some of the deadliest and most sophisticated attacks on Nato and Afghan troops in Afghanistan. Anas Haqqani was in charge of raising funds вЂњfrom individuals from Arab countriesвЂќ and recruitment through social media, the National Directorate for Security (NDS) said in a statement. He was arrested on Tuesday. He is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the former anti-Soviet guerrilla commander who founded the network, which professes obedience to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and also has ties to Al Qaeda. Anas Haqqani was also a special adviser to his brother, Sarajuddin Haqqani, the networkвЂ™s leader, the NDS said. Jalaluddin Haqqani is reportedly in ill health and has given up most day-to-day control. Also arrested on Tuesday was STOCK MARKET Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid, senior leaders of the Haqqani network, arrested by the Afghan Intelligence Service in Khost province, are seen in this handout pictures released yesterday. the Haqqani network commander for southeastern Afghanistan, Haп¬Ѓz Rashid, who was in charge of selecting targets and providing equipment for suicide bombers in Kabul, the capital, and in the eastern province of Khost, the NDS said. The Haqqani networkвЂ™s attacks have included assaults on hotels popular with foreigners in Kabul, and a bloody bombing of the Indian embassy The intelligence agency did not give any details of the arrests, though it did issue another statement later yesterday correcting reports that the two were captured in Khost. Another Haqqani son, chief п¬Ѓnancier Nasiruddin, was shot dead in November last year in Islamabad by unknown assailants. The Haqqani networkвЂ™s attacks have included assaults on hotels popular with foreigners in Kabul, a bloody bombing of the Indian embassy, a 2011 attack on the US embassy, and several big truck bombing attempts. Late last year, the Obama administration created a special unit based in Kabul to coordinate efforts against the militant group, officials familiar with the matter told Reuters in February. The unit, headed by a colonel and known in military parlance as a вЂњfusion cellвЂќ, brings together special forces, conventional forces, intelligence personnel, and some civilians to improve targeting of Haqqani members and to heighten the focus on the group, the officials said at the time. 21 militants killed in airstrikes Reuters Peshawar/Islamabad P akistani п¬Ѓghter jets pounded suspected hideouts of Islamist militants in the countryвЂ™s north-west yesterday, killing at least 21 insurgents, the army said. Renewed airstrikes come against the backdrop of a broader military offensive in the lawless North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, where the Pakistani army has been battling to contain the insurgency since June. This weekвЂ™s п¬Ѓghting concentrated around the remote Tirah valley in the region known as the Khyber agency. Remittances from overseas Pakistanis rise to $4.6bn Internews Karachi R emittances from overseas Pakistanis kept on increasing during the п¬Ѓrst quarter (July-September) of п¬Ѓscal year 2015, registering 20% growth compared to last п¬Ѓscal year. The major increase in terms of volume was noted from Saudi Arabia, while all major sources posted higher remittances. The State Bank of Pakistan says in its latest report that Pakistan received a total of $4.694bn remittances during the period under review. This was 19.52% higher than the same quarter of the previous year, while in terms of dollars, the amount exceed- ed by $767mn. If growth rate remains constant for the next three remaining quarters, the country may receive up to $19bn as remittances, compared to $15.832bn in FY14. However, despite this huge inп¬‚ow of dollars, external debt has been rising each year. The government has to pay a huge amount in debt-servicing which widened to $7bn in FY14. The current account deп¬Ѓcit has also been increasing. In the п¬Ѓrst two months of FY15, the deп¬Ѓcit rose to $1.372bn which was very high as compared to the same period of last yearвЂ™s deп¬Ѓcit of $580mn. Remittances from Saudi Arabia rose by $241mn to $1.347bn, an increase of 21% compared to the same period of last year. Second highest growth was from UAE as remittances increased by 31.5% to $1.031bn as against $784mn the previous year. The US and UK posted 10 and 4% growth as remittances rose to $692mn and $639mn, respectively. The huge inп¬‚ux of remittances supports the country to maintain a reasonable foreign exchange reserve, but uncontrolled and ever-increasing trade imbalances were damaging all such efforts. Foreign exchange reserves of the country have also been falling due to shrinking sources of foreign inп¬‚ows. The foreign investment has been declining to touch the bottom line, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reluctant to release the due tranche. Cash-strapped Afghans turn to low-cost mass weddings AFP Kabul T he crowd bursts into applause as a hundred couples enter the hall, hand in hand, grooms in simple black suits and brides in modest white dresses, red п¬‚owers in hand. Expensive, lavish weddings have boomed in war-torn Afghanistan in recent years, but some young couples are now bucking the trend and saving money by getting hitched in low-cost mass events. A sign at the entrance of the hall where the happy couples tied the knot in the large-scale ceremony arranged by religious charity Abul Fazel read: вЂњBlessed is the woman who is easily maintained.вЂќ There was no dancing and the guests were entertained with poetry, stage shows, songs by young girlsвЂ”and a few topical jokes aimed at AfghanistanвЂ™s turbulent political year. вЂњPut in all your energy and clap hard so they can come in all at onceвЂ”we donвЂ™t want a second round of applause like the second round of elections,вЂќ a presenter on stage told the cheering guests as the couples were entering the hall. вЂњWe want to п¬Ѓnish everything in the п¬Ѓrst round happily, because there wonвЂ™t be any John Kerry to solve your problems later,вЂќ the presenter joked. Intervention by Kerry, the US Secretary of State, helped end AfghanistanвЂ™s tense election standoff and ushered in a power-sharing вЂњmarriageвЂќ of sorts between new President Ashraf Ghani and his poll rival Abdullah Abdullah. The Taliban banned showy weddings during their hardline 1996-2001 rule, but since the US-led invasion ousted them, billions of dollars have п¬‚ooded AfghanistanвЂ™s economy and the taste has grown for more and more extravagant weddings. Showy limousines, huge wedding halls, multiple receptions and parties with hundreds of guests have become almost compulsory. A single wedding day at a hall in Kabul can now cost between $10,000 and $20,000 вЂ“ a gigantic sum in one of the worldвЂ™s poorest countries. For the countryвЂ™s small, rich elite this may not be a problem, but less fortunate couples п¬Ѓnd themselves under huge pressure to keep up. For those who are postponing marriage because they feel un- Afghan couples arrive ahead of a mass wedding ceremony in which one hundred couples were married on the outskirts of Kabul. able to put on a big enough show, the cheaper mass alternative is highly appealing. вЂњI was engaged for two years, I really could not afford a big wedding party. And then I heard about this organisation through media. I registered and today I am getting married,вЂќ Mujtaba Rahimi, 24, a journalist sitting beside his bride told AFP. вЂњIt is not an extravagant party, it is more spiritual. I hope more couples are wedded through such weddings and this becomes common in Afghani- stan,вЂќ he said. In Afghanistan, a country battered by nearly 40 years of war and whose economy is still largely reliant on foreign aid, it is the groom who traditionally pays for the wedding. It also falls to the groom to pay for parties before and after the big day itself, buying jewellery for the bride and paying huge amounts as dowry. Musa, 29, a civil servant who had been engaged for three years but could not afford a big wedding party, said people should be encouraged to cut wedding costs as the high cost of weddings prevent youth from getting married. вЂњExpensive marriages prevent people from marrying. The young couples should п¬Ѓnd other ways to marry such as mass weddings. I ask all the youth to stop spending thousands only for one night,вЂќ he said. Hassan Nazeem, from the charity organisation that hosted the mass wedding, said it had cost around $66,000 to organise, including home appliances as gifts for the newly-weds, and the party for around 3,000 guests. He said the scheme was growing in popularity. вЂњThis is the second time that we are holding such weddings. Last time 44 couples were wedded in a mass wedding. This time it is 100 couples all from poor families,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe make announcements through mosques and elders. And then the couples who cannot afford for their wedding parties come and register to get married,вЂќ he added. And it was not only the money-saving grooms who enjoyed the mass service. Shy bride Fatima, 19, her face covered by a veil, gave her approval. вЂњIвЂ™m very happy today to get married. I hope these kind of weddings continue to happen so that young couples can start their new life,вЂќ she said. Sayed Baqir Kazimi, another organiser, said mass weddings and straightforward marriages would reduce вЂњmoral crimesвЂќвЂ” code for extra-marital sexual relations, deeply taboo in highly conservative Afghanistan. вЂњOne of the problems that our youth face these days is the expensive weddings that will even force them to become criminals. Easy and inexpensive weddings are the only solution for this problem.вЂќ he said. The matrimony industry has boomed since the fall of the Taliban, who even banned music from weddings. But where government efforts to clamp down on outlandish weddings have had little impact, the mass wedding movement seems to be making a dent. вЂњWe already have around 200 other couples on our waiting list.вЂќ Nazeem said. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 15 PHILIPPINES VictimвЂ™s kin call for US marine to be arrested Agencies Manila R elatives of a transgender Filipino allegedly murdered by a US Marine angrily demanded yesterday that the accused be thrown in a Philippine prison. The family and protesters who took to the streets Wednesday criticised the Manila government for allegedly dragging its heels over the weekend killing that threatens to test the longstanding defence ties between Manila and Washington. вЂњThis is not an ordinary murder case. This is a hate crime,вЂќ Harry Roque, lawyer for the family of victim told a news conference in the northern port of Olongapo, where Jeffrey Laude, 26, was found dead. Roque said police concluded the victim suffocated to death after his head was dunked into the toilet bowl of a hotel where he and the suspect had checked in late Saturday. The victimвЂ™s mother wept as she spoke alongside Roque before television cameras to demand the suspectвЂ™s transfer to a Philippine jail. вЂњWe the poor have a right to seek justice too. The government should not ignore us,вЂќ Julita Laude said. The American could face life in prison if convicted in a Filipino court. He remains in US custody on an American warship anchored off Olongapo. The Marine and the vessel had taken part in joint military exercises involving thousands of Filipino and US forces that ended last week. Police blocked about 70 protesters marching on the US embassy in Manila yesterday. The protesters carried placards demanding that the mission вЂњSurrender PembertonвЂќ and for Manila to cut US military ties. Foreign department spokesman Charles Jose yesterday rejected the criticisms. вЂњWe will formally request custody once an arrest warrant is issued by the court,вЂќ Jose told reporters. However, prosecutors have yet to decide whether to bring charges in court after the initial evidence hearings that could take weeks. Jose said the government is sticking to provisions of a 1998 treaty governing the legal liability of US troops in the Philippines, a mutual defence partner of Washington. Under the accord, the US government retains custody of American troops accused of a crime in the Philippines although the Philippines can ask Washington to waive custody. Asked if the US would turn over the suspect, the US embassy issued a statement saying: вЂњAny offences covered by US service members would be handled in accordance with the applicable provisionsвЂќ of the 1998 visiting forces treaty. In 2006, a Philippine court sentenced US marine lance corporal Daniel Smith to 40 years in jail for raping a Filipina near Olongapo a year earlier. Smith walked free in 2009 after his accuser recanted her statement, prompting the court to acquit him. Police on Wednesday п¬Ѓled murder charges against the US Marine. вЂњBased on two witnessesвЂ™ testimonies, we believe we have a strong case against the US Marine,вЂќ said Pedrito delos Reyes, police chief of Olongapo City, where the body of Jeffrey Laude, 26, was found in a hotel room on Saturday. Police officers accompanied by the two witnesses and the family of Laude, who also went by the name Jennifer, went to the prosecutorвЂ™s office to п¬Ѓle murder charges, taking copies of an autopsy report saying the death was due to asphyxia by drowning. US authorities said the Marine was being held aboard the USS Peleliu, an amphibious assault ship, in Subic Bay. Three other individuals were also held as potential witnesses. In Washington, marine corps commandant General James Amos declined to comment on the details of the case, which he called вЂњa huge tragedyвЂќ, but said he hoped it would not cloud relations with the Philippines. вЂњI know the matter has the potential to charge the atmosphere with regards to the relationship between us and the Philippine government, and I hope it doesnвЂ™t damage it because we have a very close relationship,вЂќ he said. Rear sdmiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the US military had вЂњa great sense of gravity over what happenedвЂќ and was cooperating closely with local law enforcement on the case. Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of US forces in the Asia Pacific region, ordered the Peleliu and four other ships to remain in the Philippines while the investigation was proceeding, officials said. The foreign ministry had asked US embassy officials to cooperate in the investigation and hand the soldier to Philippine authorities because the alliesвЂ™ military relations could be affected, said a senior administration official in the Philippines. Super moon De Lima orders probe of VP, family Manila Times Makati City J ustice secretary Leila de Lima yesterday officially stepped into the case involving vice president Jejomar Binay when she ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the graft allegations against the vice president and some members of his family, their alleged dummies and cohorts. Under the law, only the ofп¬Ѓce of the ombudsman has the authority to investigate government officials in cases related to their office.But in the Binay case, de Lima maintained that her agency can conduct a parallel probe. вЂњThe NBI will be creating a team for this case. In fact, [the creation of a] a very dedicated team has begun. [It is being completed by the] NBI. I have met with [NBI Director Virgilio Mendez], [the bureau will be assigned to probe the allegations]. We will be doing this investigation as a sort of parallel investigation,вЂќ the justice chief said. De Lima made the disclosure after meeting with former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, lawyer Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso 3rd, who alleged that Binay beneп¬Ѓted from the construction of Makati City Hall Building 2 and various projects when the nowvice president was mayor of Makati City and that he owns a vast estate in Batangas.She said the NBIвЂ™s п¬Ѓndings would still be reviewed by the office of the ombudsman.The DOJ chief denied that she is part of a conspiracy to weaken BinayвЂ™s candidacy in 2016. вЂњIf there is such an Oplan [Operation Plan: Stop Binay] I am not part of it. This [probe] is my own decision. I will only stop if the president tells me to stop,вЂќ she said.The camp of Binay, however, said de Lima is part of the plot. Despite the DOJ chiefвЂ™s order, Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla, BinayвЂ™s spokesperson on political concerns, said the vice president remains committed to his work. вЂњIt is a sad day when even the DOJ [Department of Justice] is part of the political circus,вЂќ Remulla noted. вЂњThe vice president will remain focused on the job given to him by the president concerning housing for the poor and the overseas Filipino workers,вЂќ he said. JV Bautista, interim secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance, said de Lima may face disbarment if she pursues the investigation against the Vice President. The DOJ chief вЂњis certainly courting a lawsuit for her abusive and unlawful acts. Perhaps another disbarment case will knock some sense into her headвЂќ, Bautista added. вЂњThe DOJ clearly has no jurisdiction to conduct an investigation over any impeachable official. That power belongs exclusively to the ombudsman. De Lima should read her administrative code and the ombudsman law to understand this very basic rule on exclusive jurisdiction,вЂќ he said. Bautista pointed out that neither president Benigno Aquino 3rd nor the ombudsman gave orders to the DOJ to investigate the allegations against the vice president. вЂњWhy is she initiating the investigation motu propio? There is no order or instruction from the president, nor is there any request from the ombudsman. There is also no formal complaint before her office to give her any justiп¬Ѓcation to initiate a criminal investigation,вЂќ he said. вЂњDe Lima is an over-eager political wannabe bureaucrat with no jurisdiction to investigate the Vice President. She belongs to the executive branch of government. The vice president, therefore, is her superior and she is not possessed with power or authority to order an investigation [of] her superior, in the same manner that she cannot order [an] investigation [of] the president,вЂќ Bautista added. A long exposure image of full moon also known as вЂ�supermoonвЂ™ over the city of Manila, on 11 August 2014. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said, the moon was at perigee or the nearest distance to Earth at 358,258km of August 11. Jejomar Binay Patrols increased on island where Germans held Reuters Manila T he Philippines yesterday stepped up army patrols in the jungles of the southern island of Jolo where Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants are holding two Germans captive and are threatening to kill one of them. The militants from the Abu Sayyaf group have demanded a P250mn ($5.6mn) ransom and for Germany to stop supporting US-led air strikes in Syria in exchange for the freedom of the German man and woman. They have threatened to behead the man today. Colonel Allan Arrojado, commander of army units on Jolo, told reporters he was ordering more patrols. вЂњWe are ready for all-out law enforcement operations,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe will do everything not to endanger their lives,вЂќ he said of the hostages. The German man said in a radio interview on Wednesday that he was being held in a hole in the ground which he had been told would be his grave if the rebelsвЂ™ demands were not met. Abu Rami, a spokesman for the militant group, said they would execute the man at 3pm (0700 GMT) today after giving both the Philippines and Germany enough time to meet their demands. The militants sent a video to a radio station this week showing a group of men manhandling a handcuffed man who was apparently the captured German. The man in the video was moaning and complaining that his handcuffs were tight as armed men made him sit in front of black п¬‚ag, which appeared to be the п¬‚ag used by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. The Abu Sayyaf has in the past released video statements expressing allegiance to the Middle Eastern group. The rebels want an independent Islamic nation in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines and have earned a reputation for kidnapping in both the southern Philippines and eastern Malaysia. More soldiers have arrived in the southern Philippines to replace the Marines in Sulu and other provinces in Mindanao and help п¬Ѓght insurgency and terrorism. Brigadier general Gerardo Barrientos, commander of the Philippine ArmyвЂ™s 1st Infantry Division, welcomed the troops who are here to support the governmentвЂ™s peace and development efforts in the troubled region. The soldiers from the 21st Infantry Filipino soldiers upon arrival in Jolo port area yesterday. Battalion headed by Lt Col Niceforo Diaz and the 41st Infantry Battalion under Lt Col Virgilio Noora are taking over the 32nd Infantry Battalion in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte and the 35th Infantry Battalion in Lanao del Norte. Both the 32nd and 35th Infantry Bat- talions have replaced marine battalions in Sulu. The marines were reassigned to Palawan. вЂњThe repositioning of units is part of the strengthening of the military forces to address the emerging threats in the region,вЂќ Barrientos said. вЂњArmy units are equally capable in addressing various threats whether man-made or natural such as terrorism, disaster, environmental, and support to law enforcement and many others,вЂќ he added. Barrientos said the two units of 1st Infantry Division deployed in Sulu will continue the thrust in вЂњwinning the peaceвЂќ in the province. He said some of the soldiers sent to Sulu are natives of the province who will hopefully be a tool in creating a bridge between the local communities and the military. вЂњThe command will sustain the gains that the marine units established during their stint on the island, and the army contingent will work side by side with the remaining marine units in Sulu and most importantly with the stakeholders led by the local chief executives and traditional leaders so that peace and development will reign in every community on the island-province,вЂќ he said. Barrientos said the soldiers also underwent a series of orientation and lectures, including cultural sensitivity seminars, and custom and traditions of different indigenous tribes in western Mindanao, to familiarise them to their new area of operation. 16 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL Rescuers airlift 154 to safety after deadly Nepal storm Agencies Kathmandu W orkers using helicopters and battling waist-deep snow rescued over 150 people including foreign trekkers left stranded in NepalвЂ™s Himalayas yesterday, two days after a major snowstorm that triggered avalanches and killed more than 30 people. Local officials said 23 bodies have been found on the popular Annapurna circuit trekking route, while п¬Ѓve climbers who were staying at a mountain base camp when it was hit by an avalanche could not be found and were presumed dead. Three Nepalese yak herders were also killed when severe weather triggered by the tail end of Cyclone Hudhud hit the picturesque Annapurna region in central Nepal. But the majority of victims were touristsвЂ”among them Canadians, Israelis and IndiansвЂ”and their guides and porters. вЂњWe have made a lot of progress today: we have airlifted 154 people to safety, including 76 foreigners,вЂќ said Ganesh Rai, the police official in charge of the rescue effort. As dusk fell, strong winds picked up in the affected districts of Manang and Mustang, making it too risky for pilots to continue scanning the snowblanketed slopes for signs of victims, officials said. Thousands of people head to the Annapurna region every October, when weather conditions are usually clear and cool, and 168 foreign tourists were registered to hike in the affected districts this week. Israelis Yakov Megreli and Maya Ora were 10 days into their trek when the storm hit, forcing them to stop overnight at a freezing teashop. вЂњWe tried not to sleep so that we wouldnвЂ™t get hypothermia. It was very frightening, awful,вЂќ Megreli, 24, told AFP. вЂњAll the time I thought I was going to die,вЂќ said Ora, 21, before Nepalese troops found the pair and brought them A Nepal Army Hospital where some trekkers rescued following the avalanche are undergoing treatment is seen in Kathmandu. to a military hospital in Kathmandu to be treated for frostbite. A US hiker told AFP he sought refuge at a Manang guesthouse, along with 21 tourists and four Nepalese guides and porters, after п¬Ѓnding himself in the grip of the snowstorm. вЂњWe left our hotel in Thorong Phedi at 0630 am on Tuesday, with hotel staff telling us it was totally safe to go up,вЂќ said Max Weinstein, 18, by phone from the guesthouse in Thorong High Camp, at an altitude of 4800m. As he and a 66-year-old woman he was trekking with hiked on, visibility worsened as more and more snow began to come down. вЂњThe snow kept getting heavier, we couldnвЂ™t see anything, and soon these big rocks began falling down,вЂќ he said. Weinstein said he would never have headed out on Tuesday if he had been given prior warnings. вЂњWhoever is in charge of communicating weather warnings to trekkers has been totally negligent,вЂќ he said. Keshav Pandey, vice president of the Trekking AgenciesвЂ™ Association of Nepal (TAAN), an industry body, said the Himalayan nation has no warning systems in place to inform trekkers of severe weather conditions. вЂњWe donвЂ™t expect this kind of storm in October, but we also have no warning system to help us prepare for it,вЂќ Pandey told AFP. Rescuers were searching for two Slovakian mountaineers and three Nepalese guides who went missing after an avalanche struck teams stationed at the base camp of 8,167m Mount Dhaulagiri on Tuesday night. вЂњWe are running helicopter missions to try and п¬Ѓnd them, but we can п¬Ѓnd no sign of them, we presume they are dead,вЂќ said police official Rai. Rescuers have retrieved the bodies of three Israelis, three Poles, one Vietnamese, one Slovak and seven Nepalese, while the bodies of four Canadians and three Indians remain buried in snow, Rai said, correcting an earlier statement that misidentiп¬Ѓed one of the victims as a German. The nationality of three others found was unknown, he said. At least seven of the hikers lost their lives in an avalanche in Manang and 16 Members of the army pulling bodies of trekkers from the Thorung La mountain pass on the Annapurna Circuit, near Muktinath, in Mustang district. others were buried by the snowstorm in neighbouring Mustang, according to a local official. The region has seen unusually heavy snowfall this week sparked by Cyclone Hudhud, which slammed into IndiaвЂ™s east coast over the weekend. The latest disaster follows the deaths of 16 people in an avalanche on Mount Everest in April that forced an unprecedented shutdown of the worldвЂ™s highest peak. Scores of expeditions were cancelled after the avalanche tore through a group of sherpas who were hauling gear up the mountain for their foreign clients. Motor show The effective closure of the 8,848m mountain for the season dealt a huge blow to Nepal, which relies heavily on tourism revenues from climbing and trekking. Survivors of the blizzard said they dived under a boulder to shelter from an avalanche that buried four Canadians in their group when it smashed into the trail. Coming six months after an iceavalanche killed 16 sherpa guides on Mount Everest in April, the latest mountain disaster prompted new criticism of the Nepali government for taking climbersвЂ™ fees but doing too Islamists threaten strike if ex-minister is not arrested By Mizan Rahman Dhaka вЂ� A local stunt rider performs at Colombo motor show yesterday. EU court overturns Tamil Tiger sanctions Reuters Luxembourg E uropean Union judges struck down anti-terrorism sanctions against the Tamil Tigers that were imposed by the EU but said yesterday that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being. The court said a decision by EU leaders in 2006 to place the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a list of terrorist organisations had been based on вЂњimputations derived from the press and the InternetвЂќ rather than on direct investigation of the groupвЂ™s actions, as required by law. little to mitigate the risks. A group of seven Canadian trekkers and their Nepali guides were near the high-altitude village of Phu, 150km northwest of Kathmandu, when an avalanche struck on Wednesday. Four were killed immediately. The groupвЂ™s guide, Kusang Sherpa, described the sound of snow splitting above and said he and three of the trekkers were able to leap behind the rock. вЂњI thought it was the last day in my life,вЂќ Sherpa told Reuters after being evacuated to Kathmandu. вЂњI was lucky that I survived with my three clients.вЂќ The snow did not reach the boulder, but they stayed there for about 20 minutes until they were sure the avalanche had stabilised, then walked an hour to a village called Kang, where they telephoned for help and were picked up by a helicopter. October is NepalвЂ™s peak trekking season, before the onset of winter when clear skies offer safe access to the mountains and spectacular views, attracting backpackers as well as experienced climbers. The 240km Annapurna circuit takes almost three weeks to complete, and is perhaps the most popular walking route in the Himalayas. It is dubbed the вЂњapple pieвЂќ circuit because teahouses line the route offering cold beer and home baking. The Nepali government, which collects up to $20 per trekker for a permit, came under п¬Ѓre from hiking officials for doing little to improve safety conditions. вЂњThe government is happy collecting money from trekkers but doing nothing for them. It must now spend the cash for making arrangements for weather forecasts and a quick response for rescue when hikers are in distress,вЂќ said Keshav Panday. Nepal is home to eight of the worldвЂ™s 14 highest mountains. Income from tourism - including permit fees for trekkers, who accounted for more than 12% of 800,000 tourists in 2013 - accounts for 4% of its gross domestic product. It said in a statement that the EU had also failed, when following Indian sanctions against the Tigers, to ensure that India gave sufficient judicial protection to those it accused. However, the court rejected the LTTEвЂ™s contention that it was exempt from EU antiterrorism legislation because it was engaged in an вЂњarmed conп¬‚ictвЂќ with the Sri Lankan government and bound by the laws of war. The court, which stressed it was taking no view on whether the LTTE was a terrorist organisation, said EU laws on terrorism also applied to armed conп¬‚icts. Saying that sanctions might be applied in future against the Tigers, who were defeated militarily in 2009, the court said assets that were frozen should remain so вЂњtemporarilyвЂќ. Sri LankaвЂ™s external affairs ministry said in a statement the government was ready to provide information to justify designating the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. вЂњIt is noteworthy that a number of EU member countries have carried out investigations against LTTE activists in their territories, some of which are ongoing, while some have resulted in the accused being sentenced by court,вЂќ the ministry said. It also said the court decision may affect the security of Sri Lankans living in EU territory and EU citizens of Sri Lankan origin, who are likely to come under pressure once again by pro-LTTE activists. Sammilito Islami Dal SamuhoвЂ™, a coalition of Islamist parties, yesterday threatened to hold a daylong countrywide generals strike across Bangladesh on October 26 if sacked minister Abdul Latif Siddique, now in hiding in Kolkata, India is not arrested by October 22 for his remarks about religion. Moulana Zafrullah Khan, secretary general of the coalition, said they gave the authorities until October 22 to arrest Latif Siddique who was also expelled from the ruling Awami League presidium. Addressing a press conference at Dhaka ReportersвЂ™ Unity (DRU) in the morning, he said: вЂњWe demand that he (Siddique) be arrested and put on trial for hurting the religious sentiment of Muslims with his derogatory comments about Tablig Jamaat.вЂќ Latif Siddique at a views-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail district in New York on September 28 said: вЂњDuring Haj, so much manpower is wasted. Over 2mn people have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj. TheyвЂ™ve no work, no production and they only cause deduction.вЂќ вЂњSome 2mn Tablig Jamaat people get together (on the banks of the Turag river north of Dhaka city) annually who donвЂ™t do any work except halting traffic movement across the country,вЂќ he added. Meanwhile, a mass circulation daily reported in Dhaka yesterday that the Sheikh Hasina government does not want the recently п¬Ѓred minister Latif Siddique to stay in India, and it has already communicated to New Delhi to this end. Quoting a highly-placed source in the government, the Daily Star disclosed policymakers in the Hasina administration fear that LatifвЂ™s stay in India might create an unwanted situation in the country, as the Awami League (AL) government is often seen as a pro-India government. And if Latif stays there, it might be further used to establish that sentiment, according to the source. Also, this might send a signal to religious parties and organisations that the government is supporting Latif, reported the daily. The latest development comes amid reports that the government does not want Latif to return to the country, at least for now. Against this backdrop, Latif told The Daily Star on Sunday that he wanted to return to the country but if he cannot, he would stay in India. But the source told the Daily Star that Dhaka verbally requested New Delhi not to permit Latif to stay in India. A message was sent to the Indian high commissioner in Dhaka and also the Bangladesh high commission in Delhi. On Sunday, Latif was sacked as posts and telecommunications minister and also removed from the Awami League presidium over his comments. His primary membership in the party has also been suspended. Latif arrived in India on Sunday and is now in Kolkata. At home, he faces about 30 cases for hurting religious sentiments. Meanwhile, prime minister Sheikh HasinaвЂ™s close aide and communication and bridge Minister Obaidul Quader has said the government or the Awami League will not take responsibility regarding the return of former minister Abdul Latif Siddique. He made the statement while inaugurating Pungli Bridge on Joydebpur-Tangail highway on Thursday morning. He said: вЂњIf Latif Siddique wants to come back to the country then he has to come with his own responsibility. The government or the Awami League will not take the responsibility for it.вЂќ вЂњMaximum punishment was given to Latif from the partyвЂ™s side for his statement against Islam. He was removed from the cabinet,вЂќ the minister said. He added: вЂњThere is a rule of canceling the primary membership from the party and as per that rule he has been served with a show cause notice which has been sent to his permanent address.вЂќ Obaildul said: вЂњLatif will be expelled if he fails to give proper explanation in the appropriate time and in this case he will no longer hold the post of an Awami League MP.вЂќ He, however, said the authority regarding the matter lies in the hands of the speaker of the parliament. Several Awami League leaders said LatifвЂ™s comments on Haj and Tabligh Jamaat had infuriated party chief Sheikh Hasina so much so that she does not want to see him any more in parliament. Sources in the ruling party said the parliament secretariat was working on the issue but it is yet to п¬Ѓnd any legal ground on the basis of which Latif can be stripped of his parliament membership. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 17 THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH Prerequisites of the prayer I n Islam, performing the prayer is the most important, mandatory act after the testimony of faith. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: вЂњThe head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is the prayer...вЂќ[At-Tirmithi] It is the last thing, the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) recommended to his nation before he died, saying: вЂњThe prayer, the prayer and what your right hands possessed.вЂќ [Abu Daawood] An act of this weight and status is really worthy of getting all attention and care of Muslims. Because the prayer which Allah accepts and rewards plentifully is the prayer whose conditions, and basic elements are perfected. But how could one carry out the prayer in the correct manner? One could attain that goal by learning the way the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam practised it. By knowing its prerequisites, essentials and Sunnah acts. Because botching the prayer is a harmful act that results in the forfeiture of the reward, either completely or partially, the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam warned us: вЂњTruly, a man leaves, and none of his prayer has been recorded for him except a tenth of it, a ninth of it, eighth of it, seventh of it, sixth of it, п¬Ѓfth of it, fourth of it, third of it, a half of it.вЂќ[Abu Daawood] Here is a detailed description of the prerequisites (Shuroot) and essentials (Arkaan) of the Prayer is presented. There is a difference between the terms вЂњprerequisiteвЂќ and вЂњessentialвЂќ. The former is an object, quality, or condition that is required in order for something else to happenвЂ”and if it is missing, the thing is invalid and unfulп¬Ѓlled. For instance, WudhooвЂ™ (ablution) is a prerequisite for the prayer, as per the Prophetic narration: вЂњThe prayer of one without puriп¬Ѓcation is void...вЂќ [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi] While вЂњessentialвЂќ is the property or characteristic of something that makes it what it isвЂ”and if it is missing the thing is null and void. For instance, the chapter of Al-Faatihah (the Opening of the QurвЂ™an) is an essential for the prayer because the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњAnyone who does not recite the Opening of the Book in oneвЂ™s prayer is not credited with observing it.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari] The scholars concur that a willful violation of any essential or prerequisite in prayer invalidates it. However, when an essential act is unintentionally omitted, two things are required: 1. performing the missing act and; 2. making Sujood as-Sahw (prostration of mistake) before Tasleem (concluding the prayer with salaam) if it is on account of an omission or due to both an omission and an addition; or after Tasleem if the cause is only an addition. However, if the mistake is one of involuntary additionвЂ”such as an extra bowingвЂ”it is atonable by Sujood as-Sahw. It is obligatory on the one who wishes to perform the prayer to make sure that he/she satisп¬Ѓes the following conditions before he enters into it: (1) Islam: One must be a Muslim in order for him/her to obtain the rewards of Islamic acts of worship. (2) Intention (Niyyah): The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњVerily all actions are only by intentions.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Scholars of all of the four schools of jurisprudence are unanimous that intention takes place in the heart and that it should not be uttered by the tongue. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam never instructed us to audibly or inaudibly state intentions for any act of worship, and the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, did not do this either. According to a few of the late scholars, one is only permitted to utter oneвЂ™s intention in prayer if one is in a severe case of forgetfulness or always doubting what he wants to doвЂ”the term they coined to describe the state of such a person is Al-Mustankah. (3) Sanity and maturity: One must be able to know and appreciate what he/she is doing. Sanity is mentioned in the narration in which the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњThe pen (which records oneвЂ™s deeds) is raised from the account of a person in the following three situations: a sleeper until he awakes, a child until he matures (reaches age of puberty) and the insane until he regains sanity.вЂќ [Abu Daawood] One must also have a clear mind at the time of making the prayer. Allah Says (what means): вЂњO you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are sayingвЂ¦вЂќ[QurвЂ™an 4: 43] In addition, the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam also said: вЂњIf one feels drowsy while performing the prayer, one should go to sleep until his slumber is over, because if one perform the prayer while drowsy one would not know whether he is asking for forgiveness or for a bad thing for himself.вЂќ[AlBukhari] (4) Knowing the prayerвЂ™s proper time: Allah Says (what means): вЂњвЂ¦ Indeed, the prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of speciп¬Ѓed times.вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 4: 103] The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњJibreel led me in prayer at the KaвЂ™aba. He led me in the early afternoon prayer (Dhuhr) when the sun had passed the meridian to the extent of the throng of a sandal; he led me in the mid-afternoon prayer (вЂ�Asr) when the shadow of a thing was as long as itself; he led me in the sundown prayer (Maghrib) when the one who fasts breaks the fast; he led me in the night prayer (вЂ�IshaaвЂ™) when the twilight (redness from the horizon at sunset) disappears; he led me in the dawn prayer (Fajr) when food and drink becomes forbidden for the faster. On the following day, he led me in the early afternoon prayer (Dhuhr) when the shadow of a thing was as long as itself; he led me in the mid-afternoon prayer (вЂ�Asr) when the shadow of a thing was twice as long as itself; he led me in the sundown prayer (Maghrib) when the one who fasts breaks the fast; he led me in the night prayer (вЂ�IshaaвЂ™) when the п¬Ѓrst half of the night had passed; he led me in the dawn prayer (Fajr) when there was a fair amount of daylight. Then turning to me Jibreel said, вЂ�Muhammad, this is the time observed by the prophets before you and the difference in time for each prayer we made on both days is anywhere between the two times.вЂ™вЂќ[Abu Daawood] (5) Puriп¬Ѓcation: One must make The essentials of prayer T he essentials of prayer are: (1) Saying the opening takbeer: It is done when one commences with prayer by saying вЂњAllahu AkbarвЂќ (Allah is the greatest) while raising the hands to shoulder level with the palms facing forward. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention ) said: вЂњThe key to prayer is puriп¬Ѓcation, its beginning is takbeer, and its end is tasleem.вЂќ [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi] (2) Standing (Qiyaam) after the п¬Ѓrst takbeer: One must stand during the prayer, if one is able. Allah Commands (what means): вЂњMaintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 2: 238], and the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњWhen you stand for prayer face the Qiblah, make takbeer, utter gloriп¬Ѓcation and praise Allah (DuвЂ™aaвЂ™ of Istiftaah), recite the Mother of the Book (Al-Faatihah).вЂќ[Al-Bukhari] And Allah Says (what means): вЂњSo when you recite the QurвЂ™an, [п¬Ѓrst] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 16: 98] If one cannot stand, he may perform prayer sitting, lying on oneвЂ™s side or whatever position he is capable of taking. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said to вЂ�Umraan Ibn Husayn, may Allah be pleased with him: вЂњPray standing; if you are not able to, pray sitting; if you are not able to, pray (while lying) on your side.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari] As for the voluntary prayer, one can do it sitting even if he can stand, but one who stands receives a greater reward than one who sits. вЂ�Abdullaah Ibn вЂ�Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњThe prayer of one who sits is half of the prayer (of one who performs it standing).вЂќ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] (3) Reciting Al-Faatihah in every RakвЂ™ah (unit) of the prayer. While standing one must properly recite the chapter of Al-Faatihah. The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam stated: вЂњIf anyone makes prayer and does not recite the chapter of AlFaatihah, then his prayer is deп¬Ѓcient and not complete...вЂќ [Muslim and Abu Daawood] (4) Bowing: Allah Says (what means): вЂњO you who have believed, bow and prostrate...вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 22: 77] The manner of bowing is accomplished by bending over, putting oneвЂ™s hands on oneвЂ™s knees, and remaining in that position until one attains calmness. (5) Resuming the initial standing position: In a famous narration, the Companion Abu Humayd, may Allah be pleased with him, described what the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam did after bowing, saying: вЂњHe sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam would raise his head from his bowing, and then stand straight until all of his backbones returned to their places.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] (6) Prostration: The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam explained the proper prostration by saying, вЂњThen prostrate until you attain calmness in your prostration, then rise (and sit) until you attain calmness in your sitting, and then prostrate until you gain calmness in your prostration...вЂќ [Al-Bukhari] (7-8) Rising in a sitting position and sitting between prostrations: Rising in a sitting position and taking a short rest in a sitting posture between the two prostrations are obligatory acts in prayer. (9-10) The п¬Ѓnal sitting and recital of the testimonial (tashahhud): Ibn вЂ�Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: вЂњThe Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam used to teach us the Tashahhud like he taught sure that the following three things are clear from all kinds of impurity before he starts the prayer: A. Purity of the body from major and minor impurities: A minor impurity is one that may be removed by the performance of ablution (WudhooвЂ™). A state of minor impurity results after defecation or urination. A major impurity requires the performance of Ghusl or ritual bathing. A state of major impurity results after sexual intercourse or sexual discharge for both men and women. If one is not in the necessary state of puriп¬Ѓcation then one must attain it for Allah Says (what means): вЂњO you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] the prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles And if you are in a state of janaabah (major impurity), then purify yourselvesвЂ¦вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 5: 6] And the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam вЂ� said: вЂњWhen you stand for prayer, perfect your ablution,вЂќ [AlBukhari and Abu Daawood] and вЂњthe prayer is not accepted from anyone who nulliп¬Ѓes oneвЂ™s ablution until she/ he regains another one nor is charity from stolen property.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam also said: вЂњAllah does not accept any prayer that was not performed while in a state of purity, nor does he accept charity from what has been stolen from booty.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] Post-natal bleeding and menstrual bleeding are also considered forms of major impurity. Both postnatal bleeding and menstrual bleeding waives the prayer from a woman. In those cases, after such conditions come to an end, women are required to make Ghusl before praying. B. Clothes: if the clothes are contaminated with impurities one should wash them for Allah Says (what means): вЂњAnd your clothing purify.вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 74: 4] and the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњIf menstrual blood is on oneвЂ™s clothes she must wash it out and then perform prayer.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari] C. Place: If the ground is п¬Ѓlthy, one can pour water over the impurity: A Bedouin entered the Masjid (mosque) and urinated. The people grabbed him and the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam ordered his release, told them to pour a tumbler of water over the soiled area, and said: вЂњYou have been sent to make things easy and not make them difficult.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari] It is prohibited to offer prayer in graveyards [Muslim], camel pens [Abu Daawood], churches and synagogues with images [Al-Bukhari], public baths/ bathrooms and dunghills [Abu Daawood], the roof of the KaвЂ™aba, slaughterhouses, and the middle of the road. (6) Covering the private parts: Allah Says (what means): вЂњO children of Aadam, take your adornment at every Masjid (mosque)вЂ¦вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 7: 31] The meaning of вЂњadornmentвЂќ here is the covering of the вЂ�Awrah. The meaning of вЂњmosqueвЂќ is вЂњprayer.вЂќ Therefore, it means вЂњCover your вЂ�Awrah for every prayer.вЂќ The вЂ�Awrah for a man, in general, is from his navel to his knees; however, inside prayer one should be dressed in a proper manner and the shoulders should not be left uncovered since it is greatly disliked. The вЂ�Awrah of a woman (for prayer purposes) is her entire body except her face and hands. (7) Facing the Qiblah: Allah Says (what means): вЂњTurn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (Sacred Mosque), and wherever you are turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.вЂќ [QurвЂ™an 2: 144] The Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: вЂњWhen you stand for prayer face the Qiblah, make takbeer, utter gloriп¬Ѓcation and praise for Allah, recite the Mother of the Book (AlFaatihah)...вЂќ[Al-Bukhari and Abu Daawood] There are many ways to decide the Qiblah. And when one is ignorant of the right direction, one should inquire and strive to determine its exact or approximate direction, and in case neither of the two is possible one should follow his best judgment. us the QurвЂ™an. He sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam would say: вЂњAttahiyyatu lillaahi was-salawaatu wat-tayyibaatu. Assalaamu alayka ayyuhan-nabiyyu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. Assalaamu alaynaa wa alaa ibaadillaahissaaliheen. Ashhadu al-laa ilaaha illallaaah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhoo wa rasooluhвЂќ (Salutations, blessings, prayers and good deeds are for Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us and the sincere slaves of Allah. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger).вЂќ [Muslim and Abu Daawood] (11) Termination (tasleem): This is when one concludes the prayer by looking to the right and left, saying вЂњAssalamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahвЂќ (peace and AllahвЂ™s mercy be upon you). вЂ�Amr Ibn SaвЂ™d, may Allah have mercy upon him, related that his father, may Allah be pleased with him, said: вЂњI saw the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam saying the salaam on his right side and on his left side until I could see the whiteness of his cheeks.вЂќ [Muslim and Ahmad] The majority of scholars, excepting the Hanbalis, consider uttering salaam once as sufficient. (12) Calmness (tomaвЂ™neenah): All acts and positions of prayer should be executed with calmness. Calmness is achieved by sitting in the position until the bones are set and still. The Companion Abu Humayd, may Allah be pleased with him, said: вЂњI am well-informed about the prayer of the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam and I saw him stand for prayer raising both hands to the shoulders and uttered takbeer until every bone rested in its place properly with calmness; recited the chapter of Al-Faatihah and uttered takbeer raising both hands to the shoulders; then he bowed placing his palms on his knees keeping his back straight/parallel to the п¬‚oor with calmness; then stood up straight with calmness saying вЂњSamiвЂ™Allahu liman hamidah, rabbanaa wa lakal-hamdвЂќ while raising both hands to the shoulders; then while saying takbeer, he prostrated; then he sat up onto his left foot with the right foot propped up while saying takbeer; then prostrated again while saying takbeer; then momentarily sat up again (the sitting of rest) before standing for the second unit (RakвЂ™ah) to repeat all of the above except the opening takbeer and DuaaвЂ™ of Istiftaah. In the second RakвЂ™ah (at the point of the sitting rest), he sat more than momentarily to recite tashhahhud and prayer on the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam). In the last rakвЂ™ah, he pushed his left foot forward and sat on his left hip and recited two additional supplications before concluding.вЂќ [Al-Bukhari and Abu Daawood] (13) Sequence: Proper sequence is mandatory between the different acts of prayer. Hence the opening takbeer must come before reciting, the reciting must precede bowing, and bowing must happen before the prostration, and so on. Conclusion Undoubtedly, the fulп¬Ѓlment of all the necessary conditions for the prayer enhances its chances of receiving the recognition and reward of Allah. However, the satisfaction of the essentials and prerequisites of the prayer is not the only guarantee for success in this great act of worship. There are also other things a Muslim should learn such as the invalidators of prayer, its Sunnah acts, its recommended acts, etc. Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/ 18 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 COMMENT Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed Production Editor: Amjad Khan P.O.Box 2888 Doha, Qatar [email protected] Telephone 44350478 (news), 44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery) Fax 44350474 GULF TIMES ItвЂ™s October: world stock markets donвЂ™t care for the month Markets have fallen sharply across the world with a range of anxieties looming large: US economic slowdown, Ebola, German industrial woes, geopolitical tension, the eurozone crisis and fears that a major institution is about to collapse European markets are in panic mode with all major indices down sharply. It follows a widespread sell-off on both sides of the Atlantic on Wednesday. Why are investors so nervous? Fears of a global slowdown led by the US recent data are fuelling fears that the global recovery is losing steam. With so much of the worldвЂ™s fortunes tied up with the US, a п¬‚urry of weak data from the worldвЂ™s largest economy triggered renewed jitters among investors. In September, retail sales fell for the п¬Ѓrst time since January, and the Empire manufacturing report for New York indicated a sharp slowdown. As global slowdown fears grow, oil slumped to a four-year low. Fears are mounting that Ebola will become widespread beyond West Africa. The latest escalation of anxiety follows conп¬Ѓrmation in the US that a second healthcare worker in Texas was infected after treating the п¬Ѓrst patient in the US to die from the virus. It emerged that the second worker, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, had п¬‚own from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas the day before she reported Ebola symptoms. The latest economic data coming out of Germany suggests EuropeвЂ™s largest economy is on the brink of recession. The economy shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter and there is every indication that a contraction is possible in the third, tipping Germany into a technical recession. The powerhouse of manufacturing has suffered a slowdown in industrial production and falling exports. Given German has played a key role in propping up some of its weaker fellow eurozone members during the crisis years, investors are fearful are what the future might hold. The п¬‚agging eurozone economy is back in the danger zone. The big fear is that a dangerous deп¬‚ationary spiral will take hold, plunging the troubled single currency bloc back into crisis. With eurozone inп¬‚ation at just 0.3%, those fears appear justiп¬Ѓed. Tension persists between Russia and the west over RussiaвЂ™s treatment of Ukraine. There is a great deal of uncertainty over how the situation will progress, and markets hate uncertainty. Sanctions and counter sanctions between Russia and the west are already weighing on the Germany economy. Investors are also fearful of how US-led airstrikes targeting ISIS might escalate. And it remains unclear how China will deal with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. When markets fall sharply rumours of a potential institutional failure tend to do the rounds, and this time is no different. As Lehman Brothers revealed in September 2008, sometimes speculation turns into a horrible reality. Markets donвЂ™t care much for October. Panic spread across Wall Street in October 1907 amid shrinking credit availability. The crash of 1929 also occurred in October, as did Black Monday in 1987. Dept stores п¬Ѓght back from online challenge Global sector set to grow 22% to $450bn by 2019; investment pays off in store revamps and e-commerce By Emma Thomasson/Reuters Paris D epartment stores are starting to enjoy a renaissance after п¬Ѓnding ways to attract a new generation of consumers in an age of global fashion chains and online shopping. Retail consultancy Verdict predicts the global sector should return to growth in 2014 and expand by 22% to about $450bn by 2019. The recovery will be driven by expansion in emerging markets, with China set to account for 30% of total spend п¬Ѓve years from now. Pioneered in France, Britain and the US from around the 1840s by household names like Printemps, Harrods and MacyвЂ™s, department stores lost their edge from the late 1970s with the rise of stores for fashion, electronics and home wares like InditexвЂ™s Zara and SwedenвЂ™s Ikea. The advent of e-commerce was the п¬Ѓnal straw for many stores which had become drab halls catering to an ageing clientele, with the likes of GermanyвЂ™s Karstadt and US midmarket chain J.C. Penney the latest to п¬‚ounder. But some of the oldest names in the business have turned the corner, restoring the grandeur of п¬‚agship stores and celebrating their national identity to attract tourists and win back local trade from more rootless global brands. Many have focused on high-end fashion, accessories and beauty, while also investing in websites and challenging online players like Amazon with convenient in-store pick-up. вЂњThe question is how to stay relevant in a market where everything is available everywhere,вЂќ Printemps chief executive Paolo de Cesare told the World Retail Congress this month. вЂњWe moved from selling products to creating experiences.вЂќ Founded in 1865, Printemps has renovated its п¬Ѓrst Boulevard Haussmann store, restoring original mosaics, gold leaf decoration on the roof and Italian stained glass, while sprucing up the interior with exclusive collections from guest brands. The work has paid off. The Haussmann store saw sales rise 14% to 850mn euros ($1.1bn) in 2012/13. The Haussmann Printemps store and the neighbouring п¬‚agship of the Galeries Lafayette chain with a spectacular stained-glass dome are must-sees for Chinese visitors. Tourists account for more than half of sales at some stores in Paris and Harrods in London, according to Maarten de Groot, general secretary of the International Association of Department Stores (IADS). But that can pose a risk. вЂњThe business is п¬Ѓckle,вЂќ De Groot said, noting the Ukraine crisis has hit Russian demand for luxury goods, while Chinese spending has also slowed. However, department stores still see plenty of room for growth in emerging markets as urbanisation continues apace. ThailandвЂ™s Central Group expects to open п¬Ѓve new department stores under the Robinson brand a year for the next п¬Ѓve years. вЂњPeople want to touch, feel, smell, they want their friendsвЂ™ opinion. They want a gathering place,вЂќ Sudhitham Chirathivat, the former CEO of the Central Group and now a senior adviser, told Reuters, shrugging off the threat from e-commerce. Galeries Lafayette plans openings in Doha and Istanbul to add to stores in Casablanca, Jakarta, Dubai and Beijing, while BloomingdaleвЂ™s best performing store outside Manhattan is the one it opened in Dubai in 2010 with the Al Tayer group. However, former BloomingdaleвЂ™s Chief Executive Michael Gould warns that international expansion can dilute brand identity: вЂњWhat department stores are is a collection of brands. You canвЂ™t transfer it to Los Angeles, let alone to a foreign country.вЂќ A less risky way to tap overseas demand is via e-commerce. British employee-owned retailer John Lewis delivers to 33 countries but has no plans to open stores abroad beyond concessions it runs within South Korean chain Shinsegae as it still believes there is plenty of room to expand at home. John Lewis saw e-commerce grow more than 25% in the п¬Ѓrst half of 2014 to account for over 30% of total sales, helped by its combined online and offline offering. More than half the orders placed online are now collected in a store. вЂњMillennials love shops just as their parents and grandparents did,вЂќ managing director Andy Street he said, referring to the generation that came of age from around the year 2000. Continental European players are way behind in investing online, with none of them making the top 20 of a digital ranking by the L2 business intelligence service that is led by Nordstrom , MacyвЂ™s and other US and British names. Chains that donвЂ™t move with the times will continue to suffer, making them targets for investors attracted by their prime property portfolios and retailing heritage. ChinaвЂ™s Sanpower took control of BritainвЂ™s House of Fraser this year, Qatari investors bought Printemps last year and ThailandвЂ™s Central Group has acquired ItalyвЂ™s La Rinascente and DenmarkвЂ™s Illum. Speculation is swirling that GermanyвЂ™s Karstadt could eventually merge with its Metro -owned arch-rival Kaufhof. вЂњSmaller stores will close in some countries where there may be mergers while there will be more and more international consolidation,вЂќ said De Groot of the IADS. The flagging eurozone economy is back in the danger zone To Advertise [email protected] Display Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811 Classified Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811 Subscription [email protected] 2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved Printemps, bought by Qatari investors last year, has renovated its first Boulevard Haussmann store, restoring original mosaics, gold leaf decoration on the roof and Italian stained glass, while sprucing up the interior with exclusive collections from guest brands. Reborn brands set sights on German luxury car market DPA Paris B ack in the days when they were still part of the global Ford empire, the Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover brands were mere shadows of their former selves. Contemporary pundits did not give these once proud names very long to live yet both have deп¬Ѓed the naysayers. Under Chinese and Indian ownership respectively the two carmakers are soaring to new heights. And not only that: Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are determined to shake up the luxury segment which has been dominated for so long by the German premium trio of BMW, MercedesBenz and Audi. VolvoвЂ™s stand at the recent car show in Paris reп¬‚ects the newfound conп¬Ѓdence of a make whose reputation was always solid even when sales started to tail off. In the French capital VolvoвЂ™s offerings were parked right next to those of Ford. Spearheading VolvoвЂ™s bid to get ahead is elegant п¬‚agship XC90 sports utility, the п¬Ѓrst all-new car to have been developed under Chinese owners Zhejiang Geely. вЂњWe are absolutely competitive in all the п¬Ѓelds where we are active,вЂќ development head Peter Mertens told journalists in Paris. The Swedish marque has been under Chinese aegis since 2010 during which it has undergone a radical change amid an urgent need to junk Ford-based technology in favour of home-grown equipment. Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson, who steered the company back into the black in 2013, talks of a new-found independence under the Chinese matched with the need for more responsibility. Referring to the new XC90 offroader, Samuelsson said: вЂњWe can now build cars without having to make compromises.вЂќ Over the next four years the rest of the Volvo range is set to beneп¬Ѓt from the new Chinese-Swedish expertise and close the gap to the German market leaders in terms of equipment and price. вЂњAt the moment we are not on the same price level as Audi but the new models certainly will be,вЂќ said Samuelsson. Jaguar Land Rover, a former Volvo sibling under Ford, has also been reinvigorated. The British marque was in the wilderness only a few years ago in the wake of the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis. Those in charge are not Chinese but rather Indian executives from the Tata conglomerate which has steel and numerous other heavy industry interests. The Indians have given their managers - many of whom hail from Germany - a free hand, with the result that the company has racked up multibillion proп¬Ѓt. In 2013 Jaguar Land Rover sold nearly 20% more cars than in the year before. Millions have been invested in English factories and production in China is scheduled to start from 2015. Over the next п¬Ѓve years Jaguar Land Rover claims it has no less than around 50 new or madeover models in the pipeline. The Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV and the sporty Jaguar XE - which are due to go on sale for 32,000 ($40,500) and 36,000 euros ($45,600) respectively - are designed to lure customers away from best-selling evergreens such as the BMW 3 series, the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C class. Jaguar is aiming to sell 100,000 XEs next year. According to a press release from Jaguar, the XE is not only the smallest in the range but вЂњa true driverвЂ™s car; one that redeп¬Ѓnes the concept of the sports saloon.вЂќ The car п¬Ѓghts the п¬‚ab with a raft of weight-saving aluminium components and also boasts new 2-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines under the bonnet. The boot is large too - a failing of some would-be BMW eaters. The trunk of the example shown in Paris swallowed up four golf bags. Marketing head Phil Popham points out that both models are at the entry end of the brand ranges and are designed to вЂњopen up new segments of the market and appeal to new groups of customers.вЂќ These are likely to be customers who have driven a Germanmade car until now. Managers in Munich, Ingolstadt and Stuttgart are alarmed by developments but they are not starting to panic. Depending on which way the п¬Ѓgures are interpreted, the market share of the GermanyвЂ™s three premium makers stands at between 70 and 80%. вЂњSo far we are not looking at a reversal of this trend,вЂќ said a self-conп¬Ѓdent Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche. His observation is shared by many in the industry although the IHS research and analysis organisation believes the interlopers from Sweden and England could make some signiп¬Ѓcant inroads by 2020. By then Jaguar is set to triple sales, thanks to the new XE. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 19 COMMENT The curse of corruption in coal industry Where the coal industry operates, bribery and venality are likely to be rampant By Marina Lou Vancouver J uan Pablo Perez Alfonso, one of the founders of Opec, once compared the worldвЂ™s fossil-fuel use to вЂњdrowning in the devilвЂ™s excrement.вЂќ There is certainly plenty of evidence supporting his prediction that the fossil-fuel industry, with its powerful corrupting inп¬‚uence, will вЂњbring us ruin.вЂќ Indeed, coal-related corruption stories are breaking worldwide, shining a light on the murky space between вЂњillegalвЂќ and вЂњimproperвЂќ where the extractive industries work. Last year, in the Australian state of New South Wales, the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigated former Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald for conspiring to defraud the state over the issuance of multi-million-dollar licences for coal exploration and mining. Today, the ICAC is conducting an even more far-reaching and complex investigation into a number of п¬Ѓgures from the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal/Nationals Coalition, including for favouring the interests of Australian Water Holdings, a major infrastructure company. Last month, IndiaвЂ™s Supreme Court found that all 218 coal-mining licences allocated by the government in 1993-2009 had been granted in an вЂњillegal and arbitraryвЂќ manner, with the committee responsible for the process lacking transparency and rife with corruption. Following the landmark decision, the government has cancelled 214 of the coal block Coal-related corruption stories are breaking worldwide, shining a light on the murky space between вЂњillegalвЂќ and вЂњimproperвЂќ. allocations вЂ“ and has п¬Ѓned several companies that have already begun production. For its part, Indonesia is set to revoke the contracts of 17 coal producers that failed to pay government royalties. And, since the beginning of this year, the countryвЂ™s corruption commission has been focusing on the extractive industry, including the state officials who facilitate mining companiesвЂ™ illegal activities. Likewise, ChinaвЂ™s ongoing anticorruption drive вЂ“ the largest in its modern history вЂ“ has begun to focus on the coal industry. Last month, two Communist Party officials from the coal-rich Shanxi province were charged with corruption and abuse of power, signalling that Shanxi may well move to the forefront of President Xi JinpingвЂ™s quest to eliminate entrenched corruption in the PartyвЂ™s ranks. As Gao Qinrong, a former journalist from Shanxi, recently described the province, вЂњIt has coal; coal brought money; that brought corruption.вЂќ These stories highlight a simple truth: Where the coal industry operates, bribery and venality are likely to be rampant. But this does not have to be the case. In order to reduce вЂ“ if not eliminate вЂ“ such corruption, several fundamental weaknesses in the regulation of how mining contracts are allocated must be addressed. For starters, instead of conducting fair and transparent open-tender processes, governments often empower their ministers to decide which companies are allocated lucrative fossil-fuel exploration and extraction contracts, and conп¬‚icts of interest are not disclosed. Indeed, there is an unguarded revolving door between politics and the extractive industry, and political donations are allowed. Finally, though states are responsible for regulation, they also receive royalties and levies for the sale of their resources, which tends to weaken regulatorsвЂ™ effectiveness. The key to addressing all of these problems is, of course, greater transparency. Otherwise, corruption festers and grows вЂ“ with very real consequences. Worldwide, corruption has weakened environmental regulatory systems, undermined citizensвЂ™ capacity to effect change, and made a mockery of democratic processes. None of this is a surprise. In fact, resource-rich countries, such as Equatorial Guinea and Sudan, tend to perform worse economically and experience more violent conп¬‚ict than their resource-poor counterparts вЂ“ a phenomenon famously dubbed the вЂњresource curse.вЂќ Corruption plays a major role in this curse. Natural-resource wealth insulates leaders from accountability, while offering them the prospect of signiп¬Ѓcant personal п¬Ѓnancial gain at the expense of the rest of the country. If foreign multinationals dominate extractive sectors and are allowed to repatriate their proп¬Ѓts, instead of investing them locally, ordinary citizens receive virtually no beneп¬Ѓt from what is often their countryвЂ™s largest and most proп¬Ѓtable economic sector. Furthermore, economies that depend on natural-resource exports are vulnerable to sharp price п¬‚uctuations, making government revenues and foreign-exchange supplies unreliable. For private investors, this makes involvement in these countries prohibitively risky. If a country like Australia, with its robust civil society and strong democracy, is struggling with widespread graft among high-level government officials, no country is safe from the corrupting influence of the extractive industries. Worse, as is so often the case, those who suffer the most from the extractive industryвЂ™s opaque and unfair activities вЂ“ not to mention the selfish actions of corrupt officials вЂ“ are those who can least afford it. Project Syndicate zMarina Lou is a legal adviser at Greenpeace International, specialising in п¬Ѓnancial-market regulation. Weather report Your data or your life Three-day forecast TODAY By Lucy P Marcus London A ppleвЂ™s new watch keeps track of your health. Google Now gathers the information needed to compute the ideal time for you to leave for the airport. Amazon tells you the books you want, the groceries you need, the п¬Ѓlms you will like вЂ“ and sells you the tablet that enables you to order them and more. Your lights turn on when you get close to home, and your house adjusts to your choice of ambient temperature. This amalgamation and synthesis of digital services and hardware is designed to make our lives easier, and there is no doubt that it has. But have we stopped asking fundamental questions, both of ourselves and of the companies we entrust to do all of these things? Have we given sufficient consideration to the potential cost of all of this comfort and ease, and asked ourselves if the price is worth it? Every time we add a new device, we give away a little piece of ourselves. We often do this with very little knowledge about who is getting it, much less whether we share their ethics and values. We may have a superп¬Ѓcial check-box understanding of what the companies behind this convenience do with our data; but, beyond the marketing, the actual people running these organisations are faceless and nameless. We know little about them, but they sure know a lot about us. The idea that companies can know where we are, what we have watched, or the content of our medical records was anathema a generation ago. The vast array of details that deп¬Ѓned a person was widely distributed. The bank knew a bit, the doctor knew a bit, the tax authority knew a bit, but they did not all talk to one another. Now Apple and Google know it all and store it in one handy place. That is great for convenience, but not so great if they decide to use that information in ways with which we do not proactively agree. And we have reason to call into question companiesвЂ™ judgment in using that data. The backlash to the news that Facebook used peopleвЂ™s news feeds to test whether what they viewed could alter their moods was proof of that. I do not recall checking a box to say that was okay. Recently, hackers misappropriated photos sent via Snapchat, a service used primarily by young people that promises autodeletion of all п¬Ѓles upon viewing. Likewise, healthcare data were always considered private, so that patients would be open and honest with healthcare professionals. As the lines between healthcare and technology businesses become hazy, some manufacturers of вЂњwearablesвЂќ and the software that runs on them are lobbying to have their products exempted from being considered medical devices вЂ“ and thus from regulatory requirements for reliability and data protection. Privacy is only one part of a larger discussion around data ownership and data monopoly, security, and competition. It is also about control and destiny. It is about choice and proactively deciding how peopleвЂ™s data are used and how people use their own data. More mature п¬Ѓrms have phased in formal protocols, with ethics officers, risk committees, and other structures that oversee how data are collected and used, though not always successfully (indeed, they often depend on trial and error). Small new companies may have neither such protocols nor the people вЂ“ for example, independent board members вЂ“ to impose them. If serious ethical lapses occur, many consumers will no longer use the service, regardless of how promising the business model is. We like new applications and try them out, handing over access to our Facebook or Twitter accounts without much thought about the migration of our personal data from big companies with some modicum of oversight to small companies without rigorous structures and limits. Consumers believe or expect that someone somewhere is keeping an eye on this, but who exactly would that be? In Europe, legislation to protect personal data is not comprehensive, and much of the rest of the world lacks even rudimentary safeguards. After exploring this issue with legislators in several countries over the past couple of months, it has become abundantly clear that many do not have a full grasp of the myriad issues that need to be considered. It is a difficult subject to address, and doing so is impeded by lobbying efforts and incomplete information. In the short term, young companies should view ethics not as a marketing gimmick, but as a core concern. All organisations should invest in ethics officers or some sort of review process involving people who can assess all of the implications of a great-sounding idea. Legislators need to educate themselves вЂ“ and the public вЂ“ and exercise more oversight. For example, just as many countries did with car seatbelts a generation ago, a publicsafety campaign could be paired with legislation to explain and promote two-step veriп¬Ѓcation. In the longer term, as we rightly move toward universal Internet access, we need to ask: How much of ourselves are we willing to give away? What happens when sharing becomes mandatory вЂ“ when giving access to a personal Facebook account is a job requirement, and health services are withheld unless a patient submits their historical Fitbit data? If that is the future we want, we should stride toward it with full awareness and a sense of purpose, not meander carelessly until we fall into a hole, look up, and wonder how we got there. - Project Syndicate High: 37 C Low: 28 C Relatively hot during day and partly cloudy with a chance of rain at first at places SATURDAY High: 38 C Low : 29 C Clear SUNDAY High: 34 C Low : 28 C Clear FishermenвЂ™s forecast OFFSHORE DOHA Wind: SE-SW 05-15 KT Waves: 2-4/5 Feet INSHORE DOHA Wind: SW-SE 03-12 KT Waves: 1-2/3 Feet Around the region Abu Dhabi Baghdad Dubai Kuwait City Manama Muscat Riyadh Tehran Weather today Clear Clear Clear P Cloudy Clear Clear Clear C Showers Max/min 37/26 28/19 36/25 36/23 34/29 36/27 36/24 21/11 Weather tomorrow Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Max/min 36/28 29/18 37/26 33/21 33/28 36/28 34/23 21 20/11 Weather tomorrow Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy Cloudy P Cloudy Clear C Storms P Cloudy Clear C Rain C Storms Clear C Showers C Storms P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy C Storms P Cloudy Clear Max/min 29/18 27/22 34/25 18/12 31/22 25/15 30/25 30/22 27/24 19/14 34/26 35/22 22/16 30/25 01/-4 30/19 21/10 24/16 36/23 23/11 31/26 21/11 22/15 zLucy P. Marcus is CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting. Live issues Nordic walking strives to shed a stodgy image By Dorene Internicola/Reuters New York N ordic walking, or walking with ski poles, is an effective, full body workout, п¬Ѓtness experts say but it has a bit of an image problem. The activity burns more calories and works more muscles than walking alone, but to embark on a public trek that looks like cross-country skiing without the snow can require a modicum of unselfconscious courage. Malin Svensson a Swedish-born athlete, п¬Ѓtness coach and author of the book Nordic Walking, has been teaching it in America since 2002. вЂњIt is something you have to try out to understand,вЂќ she explained. вЂњAlso people think it looks a little nerdy. My ex-husband disguised himself the п¬Ѓrst time.вЂќ SvenssonвЂ™s Santa Monica, California-based company, Nordic Body, folds Nordic walking into group fitness classes that range from basic training to athletic Nordic walking, or walking with poles, is an effective, full body workout. The activity burns more calories and works more muscles than walking alone. interval training that incorporates 30-second plyometric, or jumping training. вЂњIn Europe it has become this old people walk,вЂќ she said. вЂњThey havenвЂ™t embraced the different techniques.вЂќ Nordic walking began in Finland, where it п¬Ѓrst appeared in1960вЂ™s physical education classes and later in off-season cross-country ski-training. Today Nordic walking is done in around 40 countries and practiced by an estimated 10mn people worldwide, according to INWA (International Nordic Walking Federation), the official international federation promoting it. In a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal in 2009 researchers found that Nordic walking elicits oxygen consumption values that rival jogging. Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist at Miramar College in San Diego, California, said Nordic walking poles come with changeable tips that adjust to any surface, from dirt trails to asphalt. вЂњIвЂ™ve done it a few times and itвЂ™s actually really fun,вЂќ said Matthews. вЂњPeople burn more calories because the upper body involvement engages more muscles.вЂќ She said the poles, which sell for about $75, can also help maintain good body alignment. вЂњPeople have suggested they also help with impact forces,вЂќ she said, citing a 2010 study that showed moderate-to-high intensity Nordic walking improved functional capacity in people suffering from п¬Ѓbromyalgia, a disorder characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain. вЂњI think itвЂ™s a way to increase calorie burn without undue stress on shoulder and arm muscles,вЂќ said Matthews, who is not sure why it hasnвЂ™t gained more traction in the US. Svensson said wherever there is cross-country skiing in winter, Nordic walking is easy to introduce. вЂњIf you have no clue what cross country skiing is, youвЂ™ll have no clue about Nordic walking,вЂќ she said. вЂњIn the United States there are pockets of activity across the Northeast and Midwest, where people get the concept.вЂќ Svensson added that itвЂ™s a whole body workout that begins at the doorstep and requires only two walking poles and an open mind. вЂњNinety per cent of the people who try it fall in love with it,вЂќ Svensson said. вЂњIt looks nerdy. But once you try it youвЂ™ll never go back.вЂќ 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 P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Cloudy P Cloudy Clear T Storms P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear M Cloudy C Storms Snow P Cloudy P Cloudy Cloudy P Cloudy Clear T Storms C Showers Clear Max/min 29/20 26/21 33/24 17/11 29/21 25/14 30/26 30/22 26/23 21/18 36/25 36/21 19/16 28/24 03/-2 30/19 22/15 21/16 36/21 21/11 32/26 19/12 23/13 20 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 QATAR Risk reduction the QRC way: focusing on schools, students By Joey Aguilar Staff Reporter Q atar Red Crescent (QRC) has focused its disaster risk reduction efforts on schools to promote a culture of safety, especially in educational institutions that house thousands of students, teachers and other employees. Speaking at the World Disasters Report (WDR) 2014 launch yesterday, head of QRCвЂ™s risk reduction team Reema alMerekhi said the вЂњSafe School ProgrammeвЂќ has beneп¬Ѓted 7,072 students and 600 administrative staff from 21 schools in Qatar covering kindergarten, primary, preparatory and high school. It is the п¬Ѓrst time that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched the WDR in the Middle East. Al-Merekhi said her team had trained volunteers, who were also initiated in designing and implementing the programme. вЂњWe built the programme around two events that occurred on April 9 and 16, 2013, when Qatar experienced two tremors as a result of earthquakes that struck Iran, in which injuries, unsafe behaviour and a situation of chaos were reported during evacuations,вЂќ al-Merekhi recounted during her presentation. As people in Qatar had not experienced earthquakes in the past years, she said many believed that they live вЂњin a protected region that will never experience natural disastersвЂќ. This had resulted in ignoring the need to raise awareness HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada inaugurating the RasGas gallery. Reema al-Merekhi making a presentation on the вЂ�Safe School ProgrammeвЂ™. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil and implement precautions during and after an earthquake. Citing the need to deal with possible disasters in the future, QRCвЂ™s disaster risk reduction volunteer team had implemented the community-based programme on disaster preparedness. вЂњIn the planning phase, we had to think on how we could access and encourage community members to accept and behave in a way that would reduce the risks of earthquake,вЂќ she said. Al-Merekhi also stressed that her team had exerted efforts to understand the knowledge, beliefs and perception of the community about earthquakes to make risk reduction efforts successful and effective. She highlighted the importance of educating the rest of the community and enhancing their skills to be more efficient in responding to disasters. Part of the programme included practical procedures to deal with earthquakes (before, during and after); assessing the weakness and strength of the school and plan for evacuation; п¬Ѓrst aid: conducting lectures on common injuries; psychosocial support; evacuation drill; submitting a written report of recommendation to the school; a drawing competition; and follow-up visit after one year of holding the programme. Al-Merekhi said they had designed and obtained fund for the second year to print a programme booklet. Besides having a fully booked schedule for the whole year, the team had received positive feedback from schools. They are planning to expand the programme by including all schools in Qatar. QRC plays an active role in relief and assistance activities in all regions affected by natural disasters and armed conп¬‚icts around the globe, its secretary-general Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi stressed in his speech. RasGas gallery highlights companyвЂ™s achievements R asGas Company (RasGas) has opened a gallery, depicting the milestone achievements through its life cycle, a move that will help the current generation and posterity to know about the countryвЂ™s accomplishments in the booming oil and gas sector. HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh alSada, the Minister of Energy and Industry, inaugurated the RasGas Milestones Gallery in the presence of the RasGas board of directors and the executive leadership team. The gallery at the companyвЂ™s headquarters celebrates RasGasвЂ™ milestone achievements through a series of exhibits - from the laying of the foundation stone in 1997 at Ras Laffan to last yearвЂ™s Helium 2 inauguration. вЂњRasGasвЂ™ remarkable success story is part of our wise leadershipвЂ™s strategic vision to develop QatarвЂ™s hydrocarbon resources and optimise the utilisation. It gives us all a sense of real pride to see our major achievements HE the Minister and other dignitaries being briefed about the gallery. documented in such a creative manner,вЂќ HE Dr al-Sada said. The exhibition includes exhibits reп¬‚ecting RasGasвЂ™ operation of seven liqueп¬Ѓed natural gas trains, two Al Khaleej Gas trains and two helium plant facilities. Space within the exhibition has been reserved for the future Barzan Gas Project scheduled to come on stream next year. At that time, RasGas is expected to become the largest single site gas processor in the world. вЂњThese successes are attributable to our highly-skilled, multicultural workforce who worked to achieve our vision of being a world-class energy supplier,вЂќ RasGas CEO Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi said. The exhibition also showcases an artistic interpretation of the history of the RasGas logo. The oil-on-canvas abstract painting by renowned Qatari artist Ali Hassan al-Jaber visually reп¬‚ects the seven evolving RasGas logos, RasGas shareholders, customers and key milestone statistics. Qatar proposes uniп¬Ѓed GCC tourism promotion strategy Q atar has proposed that a uniп¬Ѓed GCC tourism promotion strategy be developed. The proposal was made at the First Constituent Meeting of the GCC Tourism Ministers, held in Kuwait on Tuesday. The other GCC countries supported the proposal, which will be included in the common action programme that the ministers will discuss in the next ministerial meeting. Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) participated in the meeting, held in response to an initiative by Prince Sultan bin Salman al-Saud, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, who called for promoting common GCC tourism action through the formation of a specialised ministerial committee to develop the entire Gulf tourism industry. He also called for discussing relevant common issues at the level of decision-makers with a view to advancing co-operation and accelerating projects and initiatives aimed at developing the Gulf tourism industry. QTA was the п¬Ѓrst to support Prince al-SaudвЂ™s initiative following the GCC Ministerial CouncilвЂ™s unanimous approval of the establishment of a specialised ministerial committee comprising the Gulf tourism ministries and authorities. Kuwait was hosting the п¬Ѓrst constituent meeting of the committee. The ministers of tourism and heads of tourism authorities in the GCC reviewed the recommendations and the draft agenda that the preparatory meeting, also held in Kuwait from October 11 to 13, had approved. One of the main topics that the participants discussed was the report that the GCC General Secretariat prepared on common Gulf co-operation in the area of tourism over the past period. The participants decided to establish a mechanism to speed up execution of the approved projects and surmount all obstacles in the way of their speedy implementation. The participants also discussed ways to activate inter-Gulf travel movement to strengthen the bonds among GCC citizens and boost the common heritage of the Gulf states. The meeting laid the foundations for co-operation between official GCC tourism bodies and the private sector as this plays an important role in advancing the growth of tourism not only at the level of developing modern hospitality and entertainment projects but also at the level of investment in projects that develop cultural sites and antiquities. During the meeting, the Bahraini Minister of Culture reviewed the charter on protection of urban heritage. The participating ministers of tourism and heads of tourism authorities in the GCC praised the efforts that are being made in this regard, where Saudi Arabia and Bahrain made much progress. They recommended that the report be referred to the GCC Co-operation Committee on Antiquities and Museums to beneп¬Ѓt from it. The meeting of the tourism ministers also discussed handicraft and traditional industries, stressing their importance as a tourism product. QTA chairman Issa bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi said in a statement on the sidelines of the meeting, вЂњThe GCC tourism industry has grown to be one of the basic industries and an important contributor to national economies. The tourism sector made remarkable progress over the past few years, with the GCC states Ministers of tourism and heads of tourism authorities from the GCC countries at the meeting in Kuwait. turning more attention to this industry as an alternative source of income, a major generator of job opportunities for the coming generations, and a contributor to the sustainability of natural Capital Taxis hit roads resources and human heritage. вЂњWith the GCC tourism industry developing and occupying a preeminent position on the Gulf agenda, and with many countries competing to attract tourists, com- mon Gulf tourism action had to be promoted to the level of decisionmakers. This will help develop the industry and give a major impetus to collective Gulf projects and cooperation in the tourism sector.вЂќ Doha resident killed in Oman accident A The services of Capital Taxis, the countryвЂ™s fourth Karwa taxi franchisee, were launched at the companyвЂ™s sprawling compound on Street 1, Industrial Area, along Salwa Road yesterday. Ibin Ajayan Group, a prominent vehicle distributor in Qatar, is the operator of the grey-roofed Capital Taxis. The first batch consists of 50 taxis and more are expected to hit the countryвЂ™s roads in the coming days. Pictured are some of the drivers with the companyвЂ™s taxis at the launch yesterday. PICTURE: Jayaram 52-year-old Doha resident died in a road accident in Oman on Wednesday. The deceased, Hafsa Abdullah, an Indian expatriate from Perambra in KeralaвЂ™s Kozhikode district, had been a resident of Qatar for more than 20 years, sources said. The accident occurred when the vehicle in which she was travelling with her family members overturned in Jebel Akhtar, about 200km from Muscat. Hafsa and her husband Abdullah Kunnerimeetal had gone to Oman to visit their daughter Hiba and her family. One of her relatives also lost his life in the accident while Hiba and Abdullah sustained injuries in the accident. Besides her husband Abdullah, an employee of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), she leaves Hafsa Abdullah behind daughters Hiba and Naп¬‚a and son Hisham. All three children reportedly studied in an Indian expatriate school in Doha earlier. The family was supposed to return to Doha tomorrow. EASING MEASURE | Page 5 GAS SUPPLIES | Page 12 China banks extend $140bn in new loans EU could step in if Russian flows cut off Friday, October 17, 2014 Dhul-Hijja 23, 1435 AH GULF TIMES QATAR, UAE, KUWAIT LEAD: Page 2 New Gulf projects to hit $180bn this year despite crude drop BUSINESS Mideast markets bleeding further amid global sell-off Saudi Arabia tumbles ahead of National Commercial Bank IPO; key petrochemical sector hit by oil price slump; Dubai plunges after breaking key chart support; Oman posts biggest daily drop since early 2011; Egypt returns to profit-taking Qatar shares drop 2.9% with QR20bn market cap loss Reuters Dubai By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter M arkets across the Middle East tumbled yesterday as global equities and oil prices continued to decline, while Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s drop was magniп¬Ѓed by investors selling to prepare for a $6bn initial public offer of shares. Brent crude oil, which has slid more than 28% since June because of slow demand growth and signs that producers are not cutting output, hovered around $83 per barrel, near a four-year low. Economists and fund managers continue to believe the oil price decline will not be disastrous for Gulf economies and markets. Governments have huge п¬Ѓscal reserves that will allow them to keep spending, even though they may slow the growth in their budgets if oil prices stay low for a long period. вЂњLower oil prices shouldnвЂ™t cause too many problems for the Gulf economies thanks in large part to their relative prudence over the past decade,вЂќ Jason Tuvey, Middle East economist at LondonвЂ™s Capital Economics, said in a report. вЂњEven so, weaker growth in oil production and less supportive п¬Ѓscal policy mean that the Gulf economies are likely to slow over the coming years and growth rates of 3%-4%, rather than 6%-7%, will become the вЂ�new normвЂ™.вЂќ Growth rates of 3%-4% would still be healthy by global standards, but the sight of oil prices collapsing and volatility in international equity markets has spooked some Gulf retail investors. The main Saudi index closed 3.6% down after tumbling as much as 5.7% earlier in the session. The benchmark has now erased all of the 14% gains which it posted after authorities announced in late July that they would open the market to direct foreign investment early next year. Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s largest lender, National Commercial Bank, will open subscriptions for its IPO - the largestever in the Arab world - next week, and investors were cashing out to prepare for that. вЂњThis comes on top of the perceived correlation of crude prices going down and the index going down,вЂќ said Sanyalak Manibhandu, manager of research at NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi. вЂњWhat tends to happen is that as the market goes down, people start to capitulate and sell.вЂќ Lower oil prices look likely to erode the competitive advantage which Gulf petrochemical producers enjoy over foreign rivals, and petrochemical stocks are heavily weighted in the Saudi market. Shares in Saudi Basic Industries, one of the worldвЂ™s biggest petrochemical producers, fell 5.7% yesterday. A trader holds prayer beads while following the stock market developments on his monitor screen at the Dubai Financial Market. DubaiвЂ™s bourse tumbled 5.0% yesterday, extending its decline late in the session in reaction to Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s drop. Based on monthly changes in the last 10 years, SabicвЂ™s share price has only a moderate correlation with Brent crude, according to Reuters data, with an index of 0.5 out of a maximum of 1.0. The Saudi petrochemical index, tracked since 2007, has a stronger correlation of 0.65. But the overall Saudi stock market index has a weak correlation of 0.36. Shares in Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s largest listed lender, fell 4.3% after it posted a 3.2% drop in its third-quarter net proп¬Ѓt. The bank made 1.66bn riyals ($442.6mn) in the quarter while analysts had expected 1.9bn riyals. DubaiвЂ™s bourse tumbled 5.0%, extending its decline late in the session in reaction to Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s drop. The benchmark was among the most volatile in the region after closing below its 200-day average on Wednesday for the п¬Ѓrst time since 2012, a bearish technical signal. Most stocks were in the red and builder Arabtec Holding, one of the more volatile names, plunged 8.7%. DubaiвЂ™s market and economy have little direct exposure to oil, but the bourseвЂ™s pool of active retail investors and correlation with the emirateвЂ™s volatile real estate market make it very vulnerable to global trends. Abu DhabiвЂ™s index fell 2.3% in a broad sell-off. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was the main drag, down 3.6%. OmanвЂ™s market tumbled 3.3%, its biggest one-day decline since February 2011, as all liquid stocks fell. EgyptвЂ™s bourse, which edged up in the previous session, turned around on Thursday and dropped 3.4%. Elsewhere in the Gulf, KuwaitвЂ™s index slid 1.7% to 7,410 points, while BahrainвЂ™s measure fell 1.0% to 1,447 points. Pages: 7, 10, 12 Eurozone woes pressing down on global growth, inflation Reuters Berlin/Paris/New York Growth prospects for the still-unsteady global economy have dimmed as disinflation grips the world, making it difficult for central banks to move away from aggressive monetary stimulus, Reuters polls found. The recent sell-off in financial markets, for years propped up by central bank liquidity and other stimulus measures, has brought into focus the risks another eurozone slowdown now poses to global growth. Indeed, the biggest danger for the world economy in the coming year is deflation or another recession in the eurozone, followed closely by the risk of slower growth in China, according to polls conducted globally over the past week. The eurozone is stuck in a quagmire of weak growth and inflation with even Germany, its biggest member, close to a recession, and prices falling in Italy. вЂњRecent data suggest that the eurozone is even more vulnerable to setbacks than initially had been taken into account,вЂќ said Elwin de Groot, economist at Rabobank. вЂњEspecially, the recent weakening of growth in emerging markets - including China - has dented activity in the stronger core economies, Germany in particular.вЂќ Global growth is forecast at 3.1% this year, roughly steady compared with 2013. But the estimate for 3.6% growth next year has been chopped from 3.7% predicted three months ago and also is lower than the International Monetary FundвЂ™s recently downgraded 3.8% forecast. The last few months have been marked by steeply falling inflation in many economies, with consumer price rises in some cases far below stability targets set by their central banks. Consumer prices are expected to rise tepidly in most of the countries polled - including in the eurozone, where inflation slowed to a dangerously low 0.3% in September. вЂњThe very low inflation reading for September will reinforce concern that the eurozone remains on a slippery slope to deflation,вЂќ said Martin van Vliet, economist at ING Financial Markets. Reflecting the global run off, the Qatar Stock Exchange yesterday plunged 387 points and capitalisation eroded QR20bn, extending its losses to the second straight session, with more than 84% of the listed stocks ending in the red. Across-the-board selling pressureвЂ“ particularly in the realty, consumer goods, banking and industrials stocks вЂ“ led the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) to shed 2.9% to 12,942 points amid increasing volumes. Foreign institutions continued to be net sellers in the market, which is up 24.69% year-to-date. The index that tracks Shariahprincipled stock was seen melting slower than the other indices in the bourse, where trading volume was largely skewed towards real estate and banking stocks. The Total Return Index fell 2.9% to 19,302.87 points, the All Share Index by 2.74% to 3,282.5 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 2.62% to 4,364.3 points. Market capitalisation fell 3% to QR699.39bn with large, micro, small and mid cap equities melting 2.91%, 2.32%, 2.05% and 1.86% respectively. Realty stocks plunged 4.32%, followed by consumer goods (2.86%), banks and financial services (2.82%), industrials (2.6%), insurance (2.22%), telecom (0.96%) and transport (0.37%). Major losers included Industries Qatar, QNB, Commercial Bank, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Barwa, Masraf Al Rayan, Woqod, Aamal Company, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Vodafone Qatar and Nakilat. However, Islamic Holding Group and Milaha bucked the trend. Ezdan and Masraf Al Rayan were the most active in terms of volume and value. Foreign institutionsвЂ™ net selling rose to QR106.67mn against QR66.62mn the previous day. Domestic institutionsвЂ™ net buying rose to QR57.5mn compared to QR53.25mn on Wednesday. Qatari retail investorsвЂ™ net buying surged to QR38.28mn against QR8.61mn the previous day. Non-Qatari individual investorsвЂ™ net buying strengthened to QR10.88mn compared to QR4.76mn on October 15. Total trade volume rose 47% to 14.33mn shares, value by 44% to QR771.86mn and transactions by 39% to 7,522. The insurance sectorвЂ™s trade volume almost tripled to 0.34mn equities and value more than quadrupled to QR28.24mn on more-than-doubled deals to 212. The real estate sectorвЂ™s trade volume more than doubled to 5.7mn stocks and value also more than doubled to QR123.31mn on more-than-doubled transactions to 1,451. The telecom sectorвЂ™s trade volume soared 40% to 1.6mn shares, value by 32% to QR41.26mn and deals by 50% to 497. The banks and financial services sectorвЂ™s trade volume reported a 29% surge to 3.55mn equities, 31% in value to QR302.41mn and 19% in transactions to 2,039. The industrials sector saw its trade volume expand 20% to 1.86mn stocks, value by 38% to QR199.06mn and deals by 27% to 2,370. However, the transport sectorвЂ™s trade volume plummeted 30% to 0.3mn shares, value by 50% to QR9.37mn and transactions by 2% to 244. There was a 26% plunge in the consumer goods sectorвЂ™s trade volume to 0.98mn equities but on a 48% rise in value to QR68.21mn and 47% in deals to 709. In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds. Sheikh Faisal: Consistent performance. Ahlibank 9-month proп¬Ѓt up 11% to hit QR458mn A hlibank Qatar has reported an 11% expansion in net proп¬Ѓt to QR458.1mn in the п¬Ѓrst nine months of this year, mainly powered by robust corporate lending. Net operating income grew 10% to QR692.3mn, a bank spokesman said. вЂњThis consistent п¬Ѓnancial performance is an evidence of the increased trust placed on our service delivery by our valuable partners,вЂќ Ahlibank Qatar chairman and managing director Sheikh Faisal bin AbdulAziz bin Jassem al-Thani said. Net interest and non-interest incomes increased 10% and 13% respectively over 2013. Loans and advances grew 27% to QR20.2bn, resulting in a 32% jump in total assets to QR30.4bn. Customer deposits increased 22% to QR19.68bn. Cost-to-income ratio contained at 30.6%, despite continued investments in branding and infrastructure, a bank spokesman said. Non-performing loans stood at 1.2% as of September 2014 against 1.6% in the year-ago period, reп¬‚ecting the bankвЂ™s ability to expand the balance sheet without compromising on asset quality. Return on average equity stood above the peer average at 16.1%, reп¬‚ecting the bankвЂ™s focus on risk adjusted return on capital and that on average assets was steady at 2.25%, despite signiп¬Ѓcant growth in total assets during the п¬Ѓnancial period. вЂњAs we roll out various business initiatives this year and beyond, we are optimistic that these will contribute towards uninterrupted success,вЂќ Sheikh Faisal said. Qatar-German trade crosses в‚¬2bn T he volume of trade between Qatar and Germany is estimated at over в‚¬2bn, reп¬‚ecting continued growth, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani has stressed. He made the statement while addressing the fourth meeting of the Qatari-German joint committee for commercial, economic and technical cooperation in Berlin. While the Qatari side was chaired by Sheikh Ahmed, the Germans were led by Matthias Machnig, state secretary at the federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, QNA said. The two-day meeting has discussed a number of issues, including renewable energy and energy competency, the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in reviving economy, business and investment opportunities in Germany, and German international co-operation activities in Qatar. In his speech, Sheikh Ahmed highlighted the strength of Qatari-German relations, noting that there are agreements for economic and commercial co-operation and for promotion and protection of investments between the two countries. Sheikh Ahmed observed that German investments in Qatar have increased and there are 27 German companies with 100% German ownership in addition to 112 п¬Ѓrms with joint Qatari-German capital. He hailed the success of the Qatari-German Economic Forum held on the sidelines of the visit of HE Sheikh Ahmed with Machnig at the Qatari-German joint committee meeting in Berlin. HH the Emir to Germany, in which the attendance of businessmen and CEOs from major Qatari companies contributed to enriching the joint dialogue over economic, commercial and investment-related issues. The meeting aims to enhance economic and com- mercial ties between the two countries, working to boost QatarвЂ™s exports to the German market by stimulating commerce chambers in both countries and the private sector and beneп¬Ѓting from signed agreements in this regard, and creating new investment opportunities. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 2 BUSINESS Qatar, UAE, Saudi to help Mideast aviation п¬‚y high: IATA Q atar, UAE and Saudi Arabia will be the key drivers of Middle EastвЂ™s air passenger market, which IATA said will grow strongly by an average 4.9% and see extra 237mn passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region by 2034. The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will all enjoy strong growth of 5.6%, 4.8%, and 4.6% respectively. The total market size will be 383mn passengers. In its п¬Ѓrst ever 20-year passenger growth forecast International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday projected that passenger numbers were expected to reach 7.3bn by 2034. That represents a 4.1% average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than a doubling of the 3.3bn passengers expected to travel this year. Among the highlights of the report is the expectation that China will overtake the US as the worldвЂ™s largest passenger market (deп¬Ѓned by traffic to, from and within) by 2030. Both markets, however, are expected to remain the largest by a wide margin. In 2034 п¬‚ights to, from and within China will account for some 1.3bn passengers, 856mn more than 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Traffic to, from and within the US is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 3.2% that will see 1.2bn passengers by 2034 (559mn more than 2014). The report, the п¬Ѓrst from the new IATA Passenger Forecasting service, produced in association with Tourism Economics, analyses passenger п¬‚ows across 4,000 country pairs for the next 20 years, forecasting passenger numbers by way of three key demand drivers: living standards, population and demographics, and price and availability. By 2034, the п¬Ѓve fastest-increasing markets in terms of additional passengers a year will be China (856mn new passengers a year), the US (559mn), India (266mn), Indonesia (183mn) and Brazil (170mn). Eight of the ten fastest-growing markets in percentage terms will be in Africa with Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania, Burundi and Kuwait making up the п¬Ѓve fastest-growing markets. In terms of country-pairs, Asian and South American destinations will see the fastest growth, reп¬‚ecting economic and demographic growth in those markets. IntraPakistan, Kuwait-Thailand, UAE- Ethiopia, Colombia-Ecuador and intra-Honduras travel will all grow by at least 9.5% on average for the next 20 years, while IndonesiaEast Timor will be the fastest growing pair of all, at 14.9%, IATA said. вЂњIt is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to п¬‚y. Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people. At present, aviation helps sustain 58mn jobs and $2.4tn in economic activity. In 20 yearsвЂ™ time we can expect aviation to be supporting around 105mn jobs and $6tn in GDP,вЂќ said Tony Tyler, IATAвЂ™s Director General and CEO. While improving living standards, population and demographics, and price and availability cre- ate the conditions for improved demand, there is potential for policy-induced obstacles to hinder the development of connectivity. вЂњMeeting the potential demand will require government policies that support the economic beneп¬Ѓts that growing connectivity makes possible. Airlines can only п¬‚y where there is infrastructure to accommodate them. вЂњPeople can only п¬‚y as long as ticket taxes donвЂ™t price them out of their seats. And air connectivity can only thrive when nations open their skies and their markets. ItвЂ™s a virtuous circle. Growing connectivity stimulates economies. And healthy economies demand greater connectivity. The message of this forecast is that there is great potential if all aviation stakeholdersвЂ”including governmentsвЂ”play their role,вЂќ said Tyler. Tyler: Exciting prospects. Gulf projects to hit $180bn this year despite crude fall Reuters Dubai A bout $180bn of contracts for new construction projects will be awarded in wealthy Gulf states this year, the largest amount for six years, despite falling oil prices, according to a study published yesterday. If current prices are sustained for a long period, perhaps a year or so, oil revenues of the Gulf states will be reduced and governments could become less willing to spend, and decide to cut back on projects, construction industry executives and analysts said. So far, however, there is no clear sign that cutbacks are looming in the sixnation Gulf Cooperation Council, they said. вЂњWe are going to beat the 2013 п¬Ѓgure this year with $180bn worth of contracts awarded,вЂќ said Edward James, director of analysis at MEED Projects, an online project tracking п¬Ѓrm which conducted the study. вЂњThis is driven by substantial projects that were awarded this year by Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait.вЂќ Last year, $156bn of projects were awarded in the GCC, largely by governments and state-backed companies, as most Gulf countries recovered strongly from the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis and spent on major infrastructure projects designed to help their economies diversify beyond oil. At the peak of the boom in 2008, GCC contracts totalled about $200bn. The concern for the construction industry is that oil prices could drop for an extended period below the вЂњbreakevenвЂќ levels which governments need to balance their budgets. This would not be disastrous for the governments; they have built up huge financial reserves which in many cases could cover heavy spending for The construction site of Abu DhabiвЂ™s new 10.8bn dirham ($2.9bn) airport terminal, which will be operational in July 2017 (file). At the peak of the boom in 2008, GCC construction contracts totalled about $200bn. years to come. Also, governments in the big GCC economies have little debt and could easily borrow from markets. But the experience of running budget deп¬Ѓcits could cause governments to become more cautious about spending. Saudi Arabia will have a breakeven price of $90.70 a barrel in 2015, the International Monetary Fund has estimated; the UAE would face a level of $73.30, Kuwait $53.30 and Qatar $77.60. вЂњI would say Saudi Arabia and the UAE are most likely to delay projects or put some on hold if thereвЂ™s a sustained drop in prices,вЂќ said Regard Aboo Yakou, Qatar country manager at construction consulting п¬Ѓrm Hill International. Steven Miller, senior vice president for business development at construc- tion п¬Ѓrm Shapoorji Pallonji, said: вЂњIвЂ™ve heard that the time to worry is if it goes below the $80 mark.вЂќ He added, вЂњWe have not seen anything stopping yet, but if prices continue falling maybe it will. Metro projects may stop, but housing and hospitals will be built.вЂќ In the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, Gulf governments are keen to continue with welfare spending, so building projects in this area might be the last to be cut back. David Clifton, regional development director for the Middle East at consultancy Faithful+Gould, said: вЂњShould the oil price remain low for a sustained period or fall much further, it is quite reasonable to expect that there will be an evaluation of the feasibility of future government-related projects. вЂњThis would appear to be an unknown at present. Should this occur, a slowing or suspension of some developments in the pipeline would almost certainly occur as governments look at the oil price barrel versus the breakeven point for their budgets.вЂќ One surprise in the MEED report was that Saudi Arabia, the biggest market in the region, looks set to slow its contract awards substantially this year. It is expected to award projects worth about $40bn, down from $66bn in 2013, MEED said. This appears to be part of a trend towards п¬Ѓscal prudence which started well before the oil price slide began. After years of rapid spending growth, the government last December announced a 2014 budget which envisaged total state spending rising just 4.3% - the slowest rate in a decade. вЂњSaudiвЂ™s performance this year has been surprising...We were expecting a lot more contracts. We certainly have seen a decline in tendering and awarding projects,вЂќ said James. вЂњWhether or not thatвЂ™s related to the oil prices is not known.вЂќ Some construction п¬Ѓrms in Saudi Arabia have blamed delays to projects on government bureaucracy, difficulties in making land available, and labour reforms designed to reduce the countryвЂ™s reliance on foreign workers. An estimated 1mn foreign workers left Saudi Arabia last year during a crackdown on illegal immigrants, and construction п¬Ѓrms have sometimes struggled to assemble enough staff. NCB going ahead with $3.6bn IPO despite clericsвЂ™ opposition Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s National Commercial Bank is going ahead with an initial public offering worth at least $3.6bn despite opposition from Muslim clerics. The IPO from Sunday, making NCB the last Saudi bank to go public, is expected to be one of the largest in the world this year. вЂњIt will be very, very highly watchedвЂќ, said Beshr Bakheet of the privately-held Osool and Bakheet Investment Company. Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the kingdomвЂ™s official Council of Senior Ulemas, said on television that the IPO is haram, or forbidden under Islamic tenets which ban usury. вЂњWhat is clear to me now is that it is not permissible,вЂќ he said, adding that many of the bankвЂ™s investments were already haram. After a lively public debate over the moral legitimacy of the share offer, the amount of subscriber interest in the IPO will be key, Bakheet said. Only three of Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s 12 banks are fully compliant with Islamic Shariah laws, while the others offer Shariahcompliant products along with conventional banking services. NCBвЂ™s Shariah advisory council on Thursday declared the share offer to be acceptable under Islamic law. вЂњAfter much thought and deliberations regarding the issue, the bank considers the IPO in the bankвЂ™s stock to be permissible according to Shariah,вЂќ it said in a statement obtained by AFP. More than two-thirds of NCBвЂ™s business is already Shariah compliant, and it plans to become a completely Islamic bank вЂњwithin a reasonable timeвЂќ, the statement said. Saudi Arabia is OpecвЂ™s biggest oil exporter and its economy has been one of the best performing in the Group of 20 nations, according to the International Monetary Fund. Egypt bank keeps key rates on hold; monitoring risks Reuters Cairo Sabatier (left) and Julien: Commited to Qatar National Vision 2030. Total holds training on вЂ�material balanceвЂ™ at TRC-Q Total recently held a technical training on вЂ�material balanceвЂ™ analysis of condensate gas reservoirs at the Total Research Centre in Qatar (TRC-Q) at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). The session hosted 15 participants, mostly engineers from Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum. Christophe Allanic, a specialist in reservoir management from TOTALвЂ™s headquarters in Pau, France delivered the high-level training. The participants were briefed on theory вЂ“ including equations and guidelines to properly perform material balance modelling, and they conducted practical computer exercises, using the software вЂ�MbalвЂ™, a material balance tool, which allows engineers to better characterise reservoir drive mechanisms and hydrocarbon volumes. The training received positive feedback from attendees with one participant, Lionel Sabatier, who works at Qatargas, saying, вЂњThis was an interesting session which helped me to understand and control the main parameters which impact the Hydrocarbon Reservoir dynamic. As a result, I am better equipped to foresee our wells performance in the future.вЂќ вЂњOne of the main aims of TRC-Q is to carry out innovative research and share it with our industrial partners,вЂќ said Philippe Julien, TRC-Q Director. вЂњThe research centres currently focuses on some of the main challenges of Qatar, and our aim is to share our findings with Qatari institutions, in line with our commitment to the Qatar National Vision 2030.вЂќ E gyptвЂ™s central bank kept its main interest rates unchanged at a policy meeting yesterday but said it was keeping an eye on the risks to recovery posed by mounting concerns about the global economy and fears of a resurgence in European debt problems. The bank kept overnight deposit and lending rates unchanged at 9.25% and 10.25% respectively, as forecast by a Reuters poll. Inп¬‚ationary pressure has begun to ease after a spike following cuts to energy subsidies in July while the economy is showing signs of strengthening recovery. вЂњLooking ahead, while investments in domestic mega projects such as the Suez Canal are expected to contribute to economic growth, the downside risks that surround the global recovery on the back of challenges facing the Euro area and the softening growth in EgyptвЂ™s economy has been in turmoil since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, deterring tourists and foreign investors and straining the countryвЂ™s finances emerging markets could pose downside risks,вЂќ the bank said in a statement after the meeting. EgyptвЂ™s economy has been in turmoil since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, deterring tourists and foreign investors and straining the countryвЂ™s п¬Ѓnances. To help bring down its swelling budget deп¬Ѓcit, the government in July slashed energy subsidies, raising energy costs for companies and consumers by up to 78%. That pushed up prices and hit business activity in July. But the effect appears to have been short-lived. Urban consumer inп¬‚ation eased to 11.1% in September after surging to 11.5% in August in the wake of cuts to fuel and electricity subsidies. Core inп¬‚ation eased to 9.15% in September from 10.07% the previous month. The bank said it was seeking to keep a lid on inп¬‚ation without derailing the fragile economic recovery. Rising concerns about the outlook for the global economy have triggered a sell-off in global п¬Ѓnancial markets this week and pose a risk to EgyptвЂ™s economy just as it is improving. In the last quarter, gross domestic product grew 3.7% from a year earlier, suggesting the recovery was gaining strength. A recent Reuters poll forecast growth could reach 3.3% this п¬Ѓscal year as Egypt pushes ahead with big projects such as a Suez Canal expansion. The government hopes the project can turn the canal into an international industrial and logistics hub that will create jobs and restore conп¬Ѓdence. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 3 BUSINESS Malaysia tax breaks may shift Islamic bonds beyond murabaha Reuters Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is adjusting its tax structure to favour issues of some types of Islamic bond, in a move that could attract more foreign issuers and investors to its market and narrow differences with the Gulf, the other main centre of Islamic finance. The Malaysian sukuk market is already the worldвЂ™s largest, accounting for two-thirds of total global issuance of about $100bn so far this year. But the market consists largely of local-currency deals which tend to rely on government-linked institutions as ready buyers. By far the most common type of sukuk format used in Malaysia is murabaha, a cost-plus-profit arrangement where one party agrees to buy merchandise for another, which promises to buy it at an agreed mark-up. In the first half of 2014, 82% of all corporate sukuk approved in Honda begins work on plant in India Dow Jones New Delhi H onda Motor Co (HMC) yesterday broke ground for building a scooter plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat that it said would be the worldвЂ™s largest dedicated factory for scooters. The 1.2mn-unit-a-year facility will be the fourth two-wheeler factory for Honda in India when it opens toward the end of 2015, the Japanese auto maker said. Honda will invest 11bn rupees ($178mn) to build the facility, which would expand the companyвЂ™s twowheeler production capacity in India to 5.8mn units annually. The companyвЂ™s existing factories are in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka where it makes both scooters and motorcycles. Honda will invest $178mn to build the facility, which would expand the companyвЂ™s two-wheeler production capacity in India to 5.8mn units annually Auto makers such as Suzuki Motor Corp, General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Tata Motors Ltd already have factories, or are building them, in Gujarat, the state that Narendra Modi was chief minister of for three terms before becoming IndiaвЂ™s Prime Minister. вЂњAs the worldвЂ™s biggest twowheeler market, India is already a priority market for Honda,вЂќ said Noriaki Abe, HondaвЂ™s chief operating officer for Asia & Oceania. Honda is aiming to sell 18.2mn two-wheelers worldwide in this п¬Ѓscal year through March and вЂњIndia will contribute almost 25% to global Honda sales,вЂќ he added. Malaysia used murabaha, Securities Commission data shows. But murabaha may be limiting the Malaysian marketвЂ™s development, because many international issuers and investors prefer to use other structures such as ijara and wakala. Some Islamic scholars in the Gulf have said murabaha lacks a clear link to the assets backing the structure, and is therefore not sufficiently based on real economic activity, a key principle in Islamic finance. Also, many Gulf scholars donвЂ™t view murabaha as a tradeable instrument, further limiting its appeal to investors from outside Malaysia. So Prime Minister Najib Razak sought to reduce MalaysiaвЂ™s reliance on murabaha by announcing last week, in his annual budget speech, that the government would extend tax deductions for ijara and wakala sukuk structures from 2015 until 2018. Ijara and wakala accounted for only a combined 9% of corporate sukuk deals in the first half of this year. At the same time, tax breaks for other structures including murabaha, bai bithaman ajil, istisna and musharaka would expire by the end of this year. The effect of the tax changes may be to shift some issuance away from murabaha and encourage the use of ijara and wakala, making the Malaysian market more closely resemble the Gulf. вЂњThe extension of the tax incentives for sukuk based on the Shariah principles of ijara and wakala is part of MalaysiaвЂ™s long-term strategy to internationalise the Islamic capital market,вЂќ the Securities Commission said in a statement to Reuters. вЂњThese two Shariah principles are widely adopted internationally and the extension of tax incentives would further promote cross-border transactions.вЂќ Arshad Mohamed Ismail, head of corporate and investment banking at Maybank Islamic, said the new tax structure would make ijara and wakala deals more efficient to execute. вЂњAuthorities would certainly like to see greater diversity in the types of sukuk structures executed in the local market,вЂќ he said. Ijara, a sale and lease-back contract, is the most common structure used by governments issuing sukuk; Britain, South Africa and Luxembourg all employed that format when making their debut issues this year. Wakala, an arrangement in which one party acts as agent for another, has emerged as the most common structure for big conventional banks entering the sukuk market as issuers. Goldman Sachs used wakala in its $500mn sukuk issue last month; Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and Societe Generale chose it when laying plans this year to issue sukuk in Malaysia. вЂњWe foresee more variants of sukuk wakala to emerge,вЂќ said T C Kok, chief executive of MalaysiaвЂ™s AmInvestment Bank. Any shift away from murabaha in Malaysia is not expected to be overwhelming. The tax deductions are for expenses incurred by issuers on their sukuk; these sums of money are not necessarily decisive, bankers say, and issuers also consider other factors when choosing structures. Murabaha remains the easiest and fastest structure to design, a key consideration for issuers, Kok noted. вЂњWe feel that it will not discourage issuers from murabaha altogether. The ease of execution and time to market for murabaha may continue to appeal to issuers, given the volatile interest rate environment.вЂќ Although ijara is very popular with investors, it is still one of the hardest structures to sell to issuers, said Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, chief executive of CIMB Islamic. вЂњNot every issuer can do ijara or wakala. Different issuers with diverse requirements will opt for different structures to tap the sukuk market. So we will not see a movement away from murabaha,вЂќ he said. While murabaha can use commodities provided by an arranging bank, without the issuer having to own those assets, ijara and wakala require the issuer to own specific assets to back its structure, such as real estate. This may be a challenge for firms planning to raise money for new projects, as their assets may not be immediately available or of sufficient value, Kok said. Nevertheless, authorities appear determined to diversify the sukuk market. There is concern that Malaysian issuers have come to rely too heavily on a few local investors to buy their sukuk, such as the countriesвЂ™ two huge pension funds, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP). вЂњThe government wants more foreign investors to come into the Malaysian capital market to reduce the overreliance on the likes of EPF, KWAP etc.,вЂќ said another Malaysia-based banker. This looks unlikely to happen as long as Malaysian issues are overwhelmingly murabaha. India state lenders eye sale of вЂ�family goldвЂ™ to raise cash Reuters Mumbai I ndiaвЂ™s state-owned banks, weighed down by bad loans and lacklustre proп¬Ѓts, could within months begin the sale of billions of dollars of unwanted assets to help raise cash needed to meet tougher regulation. State-run Central Bank of India could be among the п¬Ѓrst off the block, according to a tender document for advisers seen by Reuters, which outlines a plan to sell all or part of its home п¬Ѓnance unit by the end of December. IDBI Bank вЂ“ another state-owned lender which owns stakes in the countryвЂ™s top stock exchange and rating agency Credit Analysis and Research Ltd (CARE) вЂ“ could put some of its non-core stakes on the block by March, the bankвЂ™s chairman told Reuters. вЂњWe are waiting for an opportunity to sell,вЂќ IDBI BankвЂ™s MS Raghavan said in a phone interview, referring to the stakes as вЂњfamily goldвЂќ. In the past three decades, Indian banks, often under pressure from a Delhi government wishing to develop markets or encourage home ownership, invested heavily in a network of home lenders, rating agencies and even the countryвЂ™s largest stock exchanges. Now the stakes could prove a welcome source of cash. IndiaвЂ™s lenders need to gather nearly $40bn in capital over the next four years to comply with the so-called вЂ�Basel IIIвЂ™ package of global banking rules. In the past, the state would have stepped in with a capital injection. But policymakers have in recent months warned that state-owned banks would have to take care of their own needs. Most of the banksвЂ™ capital needs are expected to be met through the sale of debt or shares in the banks themselves. But вЂ“ wary of diluting its grip on some of the lenders вЂ“ the government is also encouraging lenders to sell assets. вЂњIt wonвЂ™t be easy but they are not left with many options,вЂќ said RK Gupta, a New Delhi-based managing director at Taurus Asset Management. вЂњThey have to п¬Ѓnd a strategic investor for the stakes.вЂќ Industry advisers said the timing for the sales appeared promising for the banks, coming after Indian equity markets have risen strongly on the back of the election of Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s pro-business government. India is the best-performing stock market in Asia this year. вЂњ(We) had invested in these things at an initial IndiaвЂ™s state-owned banks including IDBI, weighed down by bad loans and lacklustre profits, could within months begin the sale of billions of dollars of unwanted assets to help raise cash needed to meet tougher regulation. stage. They have got good appreciation now,вЂќ said a top official at Punjab National Bank, which has stakes in rating agency ICRA and UTI Asset Management Company. вЂњAs and when required, or as and when we feel this is the right time to exit, we may sell these.вЂќ But п¬Ѓnding a strategic investor may not be easy. Such sales have been slow in the past - unlisted assets are less transparent and at least one senior industry banker warned that it could be tough to meet sellersвЂ™ expectations. IDBI, which currently owns more than 16% of CARE, wanted to sell that stake last п¬Ѓnancial year, but bids failed to meet its target, Raghavan said. Improving equities markets, even despite current turbulence, could change that. IDBIвЂ™s other assets include about 5% of National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), the top exchange in the country. State Bank of India also owns a slice of the bourse. вЂњWe think there can be an appreciation,вЂќ Raghavan said. вЂњ(On) NSE... we believe we can get a good bargain. ThatвЂ™s why we are trying to time it,вЂќ he said. But Manish Ostwal, a banking analyst at KR Choksey Shares and Securities in Mumbai, warned the sales were unlikely to be a panacea for the cash-strapped sector. вЂњThe major capital, if sustainable, should come from the markets,вЂќ he said, referring to planned share sales by banks. State-run banks are currently trading below their book value, and Ostwal said ModiвЂ™s government would need to encourage broad reform, consolidation and improve governance to make the banks attractive to investors. Modi names Rajan ally as chief economic adviser Reuters New Delhi A Subramanian: A specialist in international development. high-powered academic who tells his students to read Joseph Conrad and Gabriel Garcia Marquez to better understand economic development was conп¬Ѓrmed yesterday as chief economic adviser to Indian Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s government. Ending two months of uncertainty, US-based economist Arvind Subramanian announced at an impromptu news conference that he had got the job, on a day of drama in which the п¬Ѓnance ministryвЂ™s top civil servant was sacked. His appointment inserts a friend of Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan at the heart of policy making, as Modi seeks to make good on a jobs-and-growth pledge that swept him to power in a general election in May. вЂњI have just taken charge as chief economic adviser,вЂќ Subramanian told reporters outside the п¬Ѓnance ministry. вЂњIt is a great honour to serve in a government that has a mandate for reform and change.вЂќ Setting out his priorities, Subramani- an said: вЂњFor any economy like India, two big things are macro-economic stability and, of course, creating the conditions for rapid investments and growth.вЂќ News of SubramanianвЂ™s candidacy п¬Ѓrst leaked in August, and his conп¬Ѓrmation marks a victory for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who lobbied hard to bring him on board in the face of initial scepticism from Modi. His appointment followed news that Arvind Mayaram, the п¬Ѓnance ministryвЂ™s top civil servant, had been abruptly moved to another job in the ministry for tourism. Mayaram was the official in charge of drafting JaitleyвЂ™s maiden budget in July, which Subramanian panned in a newspaper column as вЂњdisappointing but retrievableвЂќ. SubramanianвЂ™s new job gives him considerable inп¬‚uence over the next budget, due in February, as expectations grow for signiп¬Ѓcant reforms to free up the Indian economy. Associates describe Subramanian, who held senior fellowships at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Global Development, as a forthright intellectual. вЂњThe most important thing to know about Arvind, aside from his п¬Ѓrst-rate credentials as an economist, is that he is a truth-teller,вЂќ said Milan Vaishnav, an India expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. The presence of Subramanian, a specialist in international development, will add intellectual heft to a nationalist cabinet that is widely seen as lacking strength in depth. вЂњArvind ... boasts an undisputed academic reputation with a substantial understanding about how the policy process works,вЂќ said economist Domenico Lombardi, who has served on the boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Lombardi described Subramanian as вЂњthe de facto closest adviserвЂќ to Rajan when both worked in the IMF research department that Rajan headed as chief economist at the global lender. In addition to world literature, Subramanian also recommends to his graduate students in Washington a working paper he co-authored with Rajan at the IMF which concluded that humanitarian aid does not help economies grow. That puts his views in line with those of Modi, who wants India to break with six decades of Nehruvian socialism and embark on an investment-driven growth push that seeks to emulate ChinaвЂ™s manufacturing miracle. The star of the Washington think tank set could act as a mediator between Modi and Rajan as the government and RBI seek to thrash out the terms of a monetary policy overhaul that sets targeting inп¬‚ation as its main priority. Friends say, however, that Subramanian is independent-minded and does not see eye to eye with Rajan on every issue. Both, though, agree that central bank independence should be a key element of policy making. He would also be a suave advocate of IndiaвЂ™s interests at international forums like the Group of 20 or Brics caucus of emerging market economies, where New Delhi has typically punched below its weight. After announcing his appointment, Subramanian took a handful of questions before driving off in an Indianmade white government sedan. He has been appointed for three years and will earn Rs80,000 ($1,300) a month, according to a later government statement that conп¬Ѓrmed his appointment. 4 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 BUSINESS Top China umbrella exporter п¬Ѓles for HK IPO BoJ to resist pressure for more stimulus measures Reuters Hong Kong Reuters Tokyo C ven as growth and deп¬‚ation fears roil global markets and weak data casts a shadow over JapanвЂ™s economy, the Bank of Japan appears set to resist pressure for more stimulus measures or to accept that its inп¬‚ation target is unrealistically high. People familiar with its deliberations said the BoJ, which has failed for two decades to drag JapanвЂ™s economy from the grip of no or zero inп¬‚ation, is preparing to roughly halve its 1% economic growth forecast for this п¬Ѓscal year, but stand pat on policy and its prediction that inп¬‚ation will hit its 2% target in the year from next April. Private economists think inп¬‚ation has peaked at barely half the bankвЂ™s forecast rate, however, and п¬Ѓnancial markets had been expecting the central bank to add to its massive monetary easing, with speculation growing it could act at its policy meeting on October 31. вЂњWe think the BoJвЂ™s view on consumer prices is overly optimistic,вЂќ said Hiroshi Shiraishi, senior economist at BNP Paribas Securities. BNPвЂ™s current expectations for inп¬‚ation are around 1.8% at the end of 2015, but Shiraishi said global conditions could render that timeframe optimistic, too. A sharp slide in Japanese stocks and a rebound in the yen, driven in part by concerns about global growth, have added to headwinds for JapanвЂ™s economy, which is struggling with soft exports and the chilling effect of a sales tax hike in April. Tokyo shares are down 10% from SeptemberвЂ™s seven-year high, while the dollar has slid to around 106 yen from a six-year high of 110 yen in the past two months. The sources said BoJ officials think the market turmoil is temporary and unlikely to do lasting damage to the economy. They are unlikely to change their on-hold policy stance unless it becomes a shock severe enough to derail their forecast of moderate economic recovery, the sources added. BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has stuck to his hinaвЂ™s biggest umbrella exporter has п¬Ѓled for an initial public offering in Hong Kong as the city enters a third week of pro-democracy protest dubbed the вЂњumbrella revolutionвЂќ after demonstrators used the devices as shields against pepper spray. Jicheng Umbrella Holdings is raising funds to build a new factory and expand its output, according to its preliminary IPO prospectus п¬Ѓled late on Wednesday. The company, based in Jinjiang in the southern Fujian Province, didnвЂ™t disclose the size of the planned deal. Hong Kong didnвЂ™t rank among export-dependent JichengвЂ™s п¬Ѓve biggest markets last year. But the city emerged as the companyвЂ™s third-largest market for the six months ended in June 2014, according to the IPO prospectus. Jicheng, founded in 1996 and controlled by businessman Huang Wenji, is the third-biggest umbrella maker in China, but unlike its competitors focuses on sales to overseas markets. Nearly three-quarters of sales were to clients in Japan in 2013, with mainland China its secondbiggest market by revenue with an 11.7% share. It had 483.6mn yuan ($79mn) in sales in 2013, up 28% from a year earlier. Proп¬Ѓts jumped 35% over the same period to about 60mn yuan. Ping An of China Capital was hired as sole sponsor of the IPO. E upbeat tone on the outlook, stressing that Japan is on track to meet the BoJвЂ™s inп¬‚ation target as the pain of the jump in sales tax to 8% from 5% starts to ebb. вЂњJapanвЂ™s economy is expected to continue growing at a pace above its potential as a trend since the virtuous cycle from income to spending has been operating steadily in both the household and corporate sectors,вЂќ Kuroda told investors in New York last week. At the October 31 meeting, the BoJ will release new long-term economic and price forecasts in a semi-annual report that serves as a basis for policy decisions. In a quarterly review in July, the BoJ forecast core consumer inп¬‚ation would hit 1.9% next п¬Ѓscal year, higher than the 1.2% projection in the latest Reuters monthly poll of economists. The BoJ tips 2.1% inп¬‚ation for the year from April 2016. The bankвЂ™s forecast of 1% growth this п¬Ѓscal year is also much higher than the Reuters survey result of 0.3%. Recent weak data has cast a shadow over the BoJвЂ™s optimism that the economy is on course for moderate recovery. Factory output slumped as companies were saddled with a huge pile of inventory due to sluggish demand after the April tax hike. Taking out the effect of sales tax hike, core consumer inп¬‚ation is barely above 1%. Some analysts warn it may slip below 1% in September due to recent sharp falls in oil prices, despite KurodaвЂ™s assurances that price growth will stay above that level before accelerating to 2%. Economic growth likely slipped slightly below its long-term potential in the second quarter, BoJ estimates show. This output gap is a key determinant of future prices. But the BoJ is keen to avoid making big changes to its rosy price forecasts, as doing so would ramp up pressure to do more and expand stimulus further. It is likely to argue that a boost to import prices from the yenвЂ™s declines in September will offset downward pressure on prices. Having seen proп¬Ѓts rise thanks to Prime Minister Shinzo AbeвЂ™s stimulus policies, companies are seen boosting capital spending and wages to lure Kuroda: Sticking to his upbeat tone on the outlook. employees in a tightening job market. That will also help accelerate inп¬‚ation, BoJ officials say. вЂњWhatвЂ™s important is that the positive economic cycle remains in place,вЂќ one official said. The BoJ has resisted stepping up stimulus since deploying an intense burst in April last year, when it pledged to double base money вЂ“ cash and deposits at the central bank вЂ“ via aggressive asset purchases to achieve its 2% inп¬‚ation target in roughly two years. Opaque company filings provide fertile ground for aggressive India regulator Reuters Mumbai A view of the Mumbai International Airport. According to IATAвЂ™s 20-year passenger forecast, India will be behind the US and China to become the third largest civil aviation markets and one of the fastest growing among the five largest markets. вЂ�India to be among fastest growing aviation marketsвЂ™ IANS New Delhi I ndustry body International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday said it expects India to be one of the п¬Ѓve fastestgrowing markets by 2034. According to IATAвЂ™s 20-year passenger forecast, India will be behind the US and China to become the third largest civil aviation markets and one of the fastest growing among the п¬Ѓve largest markets. вЂњBy 2034 the п¬Ѓve fastest-increasing mar- kets in terms of additional passengers per year will be China (856mn new passengers per year), the US (559mn), India (266mn), Indonesia (183mn) and Brazil (170mn),вЂќ IATA was quoted as saying in a statement. The report further cited that India which is the ninth largest market, will see a total of 367mn passengers by 2034, an extra 266mn annual passengers compared to today. вЂњIt will overtake the United Kingdom (148mn extra passengers, total market 337mn) to become the third-largest market around 2031,вЂќ the statement said. IATA added that the Indian domestic markets will grow at 6.9% during the period under review and will be adding 159mn extra passengers with a total domestic air markets at 215mn. Indian Commerce MinistryвЂ™s India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) said, IndiaвЂ™s aviation market is expected to become the third largest by 2020 and largest by 2030. By the market size, the Indian civil aviation industry is amongst the top 10 in the world with a size of around $16bn. In the April-May period of the current п¬Ѓnancial year, aircraft movements and passengers have increased by 5% each over traffic handled during the corresponding period of the current п¬Ѓnancial year. Recruit soars in market debut Reuters Tokyo S taffing п¬Ѓrm Recruit Holdings Co surged in its market debut in Tokyo yesterday, with investors leaping at a rare opportunity to grab part of a big Japanese company with strong online growth prospects. The 7% climb in its share price came amid a decline for the overall market and snapped a string of weak high-proп¬Ѓle listings in Tokyo this year. It values the company at around $18bn вЂ“ on par with Sony Corp and more than SwitzerlandвЂ™s Adecco, the worldвЂ™s biggest staffing п¬Ѓrm by sales. Particularly appealing for investors is Re- cruitвЂ™s wide range of businesses including magazines and its aggressive expansion both overseas and into web-based products like real estate listings and second-hand car sales. вЂњIt has been able to meld its traditional publishing business with its web-based products well and that implies high prospects for growth,вЂќ said Masayuki Doshida, a senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. Doshida cited travel magazine Jalan as one such example. It now has its own website offering customers the ability to book travel tickets, hotels and rent cars across Japan. A tightening labour market as JapanвЂ™s population rapidly ages and a shift by companies towards using more temporary workers is also expected to work in RecruitвЂ™s favour. Its shares closed at ВҐ3,330, compared with an IPO price of ВҐ3,100. Its IPO, the second-largest in Japan this year, raised roughly $2bn, with about half of those funds going to the company for further acquisitions and half to existing shareholders. With ambitions to become the worldвЂ™s biggest staffing п¬Ѓrm by 2020, Recruit has in recent years snapped up rivals such as US staffing service CSI, Advantage Resourcing and Staffmark Holdings as well as Indeed.com. It has over 100 human resources affiliates, roughly evenly split between Japan and overseas. But the global staffing market is highly fragmented and in terms of just staffingrelated revenue, Recruit ranked no. 5 in the world in 2012 with a 1.5% market share. In the name of investor protection, IndiaвЂ™s capital markets watchdog is telling companies on the Mumbai bourse to disclose more information when the situation calls for it вЂ“ or else. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) drove home that message on Monday when it banished DLF Ltd from the capital markets for three years, its toughest ruling ever. Sebi, criticised in the past for not actively chasing frauds and penalising wayward firms, said IndiaвЂ™s biggest listed property firm had failed to provide key information on subsidiaries and pending legal cases at the time of its record-busting initial public offering in 2007. SebiвЂ™s new-found teeth have spread disquiet among Wall Street and local investment banks vying for fund-raising mandates from Indian companies, in a market where large deals are few and fees are notoriously low. вЂњThe net could get cast wide in some cases, no doubt about that,вЂќ said the head of equity capital markets at a large European bank in Mumbai, declining to be named due to the issueвЂ™s sensitivity. вЂњYou need to be scared of the regulator if you have done something wrong вЂ“ thatвЂ™s the message.вЂќ While currently there is no plan to make banks liable for non-disclosure of material information by companies, Sebi could penalise banks if the regulator uncovers collusion between them and the company, some bankers said. Under its chairman UK Sinha, appointed in this role in 2011, Sebi has taken a slew of initiatives from cracking down on suspicious trades to improving corporate governance guidelines. Clamping down on inadequate disclosures has not been SebiвЂ™s strong suit due to a lack of resources and expertise. But a slew of complaints from overseas investors about shoddy corporate practices have galvanised the regulator, Sebi officials said. вЂњUnder chairman Sinha, Sebi has gone from being an insular organisation to more of an open platform for investors to come and discuss how to improve Indian markets,вЂќ said one official at the regulatorвЂ™s corporate finance department. вЂњBoth foreign and domestic investors have repeatedly asked for better quality of disclosures from companies, especially the promoter-driven ones,вЂќ said the official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to the media. A spokesman for Sebi declined to comment. In August, Sebi banned the founders of technology company Bharatiya Global Infomedia from the markets for five years for failure to disclose key information about preferential loans and use of proceeds from its 2011 IPO. Similarly, towards the end of last year, the regulator barred Taksheel Solutions and its founders for inadequate disclosures in its IPO documents. This week, Sebi slapped a fine of Rs2.5mn ($40,736) on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and a group company that owns most of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals for delays in disclosing changes in the shareholding structure of the India-listed unit. The regulator acknowledged that the delay was inadvertent and that GSK did not receive any вЂњquantifiable gain or unfair advantageвЂќ due to the delay, but still imposed the penalty. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals did not immediately respond to a request for comment. вЂњAll this has brought attention to a lot of issues that previously went unnoticed, one of which is disclosure, the other is corrupt dealings by powerful promoters,вЂќ said Shriram Subramanian, managing director of Bangalorebased shareholder advisory firm InGovern. In August, a policy-making group in Sebi proposed launching an electronic disclosure system that will unify industry specific disclosures into a single electronic process to prevent market-sensitive information from going unnoticed. Some investors are not convinced. вЂњDisclosures are still not standard by far, so most of the time we reach out to the companies for more details,вЂќ said Sankaran Naren, chief investment officer of Mumbai-based ICICI Prudential Asset Management. вЂњWe get our internal analyst to look at the annual reports and ask for specific clarifications, sometimes we get good quality of responses, sometimes we are not satisfied.вЂќ Sebi also needs to shorten the time it takes in investigating alleged wrongdoings and handing out penalties. It must also invest more in resources and technology to keep up with the rising number of market participants and increasingly fast-paced and complex trading systems, people in the industry say. Sinha: Cracking down on suspicious trades to improve corporate governance guidelines. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 5 BUSINESS Beijing puts stability ahead of reform with Chaori bailout Dow Jones Shanghai A fter a seven-month wait, Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co last week unveiled a debt restructuring plan that bails out investors in the troubled bond. The surprisingly generous settlement packageand the stateвЂ™s conspicuous presence in it-suggests Beijing is now prioritizing economic stability and issuersвЂќ access to capital over reform. вЂњThe way the government dealt with ChaoriвЂ™s default suggests that it is afraid of potential protests by retail investors,вЂќ said Yang Delong, a fund manager at China Southern Fund Co, which manages 189.8bn yuan ($30.9bn) in assets. вЂњ[The bailout] would reduce investorsвЂќ awareness of risk and would effectively encourage people to buy more high-risk bonds.вЂќ Chinese corporate bonds, especially high-yield, riskier ones similar to ChaoriвЂ™s, have rallied since the solar energy п¬Ѓrm announced its default settlement plan. The yield on a bond from Lingyuan Iron & Steel Co has dropped to 7.60% from 8.38% on Sept. 30, the last trading date before the Chaori bailout was announced, and the yield for Xining Special Steel Co bond dropped to 7.58% from 8.26% in the same period. The concept of default in ChinaвЂ™s domestic bond market has waxed and waned over the past year. Chinese officials during the November 2013 plenum talked about the need for the market to play a вЂњdecisive roleвЂќ in the economy, which many interpreted as a willingness to limit government intervention and, in particular, to start letting investors take losses on bad investments. Soon after, officials allowed Chaori to renege on a commitment to pay 89.8mn yuan in interest on the п¬Ѓve-year paper in March, becoming the п¬Ѓrst Chinese issuer to default in the domestic corporate bond market. That raised expectations that Beijing would allow many more п¬Ѓrms to go bust, with a series of controlled defaults that would start slowly and then build up. But analysts now say authorities are more concerned about the economic growth slowdown, and ensuring that п¬Ѓrms have sufficient access to cheap capital in ChinaвЂ™s domestic debt market, the worldвЂ™s second largest. Worries about the health of ChinaвЂ™s corporate debt market have intensiп¬Ѓed since the summer of 2013, when a cash crunch nearly paralyzed the nationвЂ™s п¬Ѓnancial system. The seven-day repurchase agreement rate, a benchmark for interbank lending, has stayed in the 3% to 4% range since that event, up from a 2% to 3% level seen in the years prior. China banks extend $140bn in new loans AFP Beijing C hinaвЂ™s banks stepped up their lending in September, the central bank announced yesterday, but analysts said more monetary easing was needed to bolster the weakening economy. Domestic banks extended 857.2bn yuan ($139.9bn) in new loans, the PeopleвЂ™s Bank of China (PBoC) said in a statement, up more than a п¬Ѓfth from the 702.5bn yuan lent in August. The September п¬Ѓgure also beat a median forecast of 745bn yuan from a Wall Street Journal poll of 15 economists. Analysts attributed the rebound in new lending to ChinaвЂ™s вЂњtargetedвЂќ easing introduced earlier this year, which included cuts in reserve requirements for some banks. Last month also saw the PBoC pump 500bn yuan into the countryвЂ™s top п¬Ѓve banks in a bid to boost lending to small businesses and kickstart the economy. вЂњNew loans have recovered to the normal level, probably reп¬‚ecting the ongoing targeted easing by the PBoC,вЂќ ANZ economists Liu Ligang and Zhou Hao wrote in a research note. But total social п¬Ѓnancing, a broader gauge of credit in the overall economy, remained вЂњlukewarmвЂќ, they said. Social п¬Ѓnancing stood at 1.05tn yuan for September, the PBoC said, down from 1.4tn yuan for the same month a year ago. вЂњThis suggested that the de-leveraging of shadow banking activity continues,вЂќ ANZ said. Authorities have sought to crack down on вЂњshadow bankingвЂќ вЂ“ a huge network of lending outside formal channels and beyond the reach of regulators, including activities by online п¬Ѓnance platforms, An employee counts 100 yuan banknotes at a branch of Bank of Communications in Shenyang, Liaoning province. ChinaвЂ™s banks stepped up their lending in September, the central bank announced yesterday. credit guarantee companies and microcredit п¬Ѓrms. вЂњCredit demand from the real economy remains weak,вЂќ Ma Xiaoping, Beijingbased economist for British bank HSBC, told AFP. вЂњThereвЂ™s room for further easing on the policy front, and the central bank is more likely inclined to the targeted approach,вЂќ she said. Separately, the central bank also said ChinaвЂ™s foreign exchange reserves slipped to $3.89tn at the end of September, from $3.99tn at the end of June. China has the worldвЂ™s largest foreign exchange reserves, the bulk of which are believed to be held in US dollars. Analysts said the decline was unexpected, but were divided over the possible reason. ANZ said it might have been caused by China FDI rises in Sept, still down 1.4% for the year Reuters/AFP Beijing ChinaвЂ™s year-to-date foreign direct investment inflows declined for a third month in September, indicating investors remained cautious amid a further slowdown in the worldвЂ™s second-largest economy. Investment for the month of September rose from a year earlier, however, after a sharp drop in August, though economists cautioned about reading too much into single-month data, which can be highly volatile. In September, China attracted $9bn in FDI, up 1.9% from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said yesterday. That compared with a 14% slide in August to $7.2bn, a level not seen since February 2012. That left China $87.4bn of FDI in the first nine months of 2014, down 1.4% from a year earlier. вЂњUnder the circumstances of no big fluctuations in the global and domestic situations, we expect ChinaвЂ™s FDI to keep its stable path this year,вЂќ ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters at a monthly media briefing. FDI is an important gauge of the health of the external economy, to which ChinaвЂ™s vast factory sector is oriented, but it is a small contributor to overall capital flows compared with exports, which were worth about $2tn in 2013. Shen said last month that ChinaвЂ™s FDI may hit an all-time high of $120bn this year, barring no sharp changes in global capital flows. The investment data came as ChinaвЂ™s trade sector showed surprisingly strong performance in September, easing concerns about the risk of a sharper slowdown, though some economists suspected the export figures may have been inflated by speculative overinvoicing activities, as they were earlier in the year. Shen said strong exports in September were normal but added the ministry would monitor flows to Hong Kong. вЂњWeвЂ™ve noticed that exports of individual products from some regions to Hong Kong surged in September. We will enhance oversight with related departments,вЂќ Shen said. Beijing has struggled to prevent currency speculators from using simulated trade between Hong Kong and bonded customs zones using metals or lightweight items such integrated circuits to get more yuan on hand, circumventing controls on capital flows. Such flows have been repeatedly blamed for producing mysterious spikes in exports even while trade with other Asian neighbours has fallen. ChinaвЂ™s services sector attracted $48.6bn of FDI in the first nine months of the year, up 8.7% from the same period last year, and faring much better than the manufacturing industry, where FDI dropped 16.5% to $29.6bn. The services sector appears to be holding up relatively well despite the cooling economy, while manufacturing has been weighed down by erratic exports, excess capacity in some sectors and a slumping property market, which is hurting demand for everything from glass and furniture to cement and steel. Among the 10 countries that were the biggest sources of ChinaвЂ™s FDI, investment from South Korea surged 32.5% on an annual basis and that from Britain leapt 32.3%. In contrast, investment from Japan plunged 43% from a year earlier while FDI from the US and European Union dropped 24.7%-18.8%, respectively. ChinaвЂ™s non-financial direct outbound investment rose 21.6% in the first nine months from a year earlier to $75bn. ChinaвЂ™s overseas direct investment (ODI) was up 90.5% in September, and officials have said it could exceed FDI this year. For the first nine months total ODI stood at $74.96bn, up 21.6%, with FDI at $87.36bn, down 1.4%. Over the period, Chinese investment into the European Union soared 218% to $9bn, the ministry said. For Japan it leaped 150% into Japan, while also going up 69.7% into Russia and 19.5% into Hong Kong, the ministry added, without giving totals. It was up 28.2% to $3.95bn into the US. Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang attributed the rapid growth in ODI to вЂњstrong market forcesвЂќ. ChinaвЂ™s need to invest abroad and demand from destination countries вЂ“ along with policy support from Beijing and foreign governments. вЂњWe believe ChinaвЂ™s overseas investment and cooperation will maintain a fast development momentum in the future,вЂќ he said. In the first nine months FDI fell 43% from Japan to $3.39bn, 24.7% from the US to $2.17bn, 18.8% from the European Union to $4.84bn, and 13.7% from the Asean group of southeast Asian countries to $4.90bn. But it rose 32.5% from South Korea to $3.23bn and 32.3% from Britain to $1.01bn. Chinese authorities in recent months launched anti-monopoly, pricing and other inquiries into foreign firms in sectors ranging from auto manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to baby milk. The probes have raised concerns among investors that Beijing is targeting overseas companies, accusations the commerce ministry has repeatedly denied. вЂњWe have always been confident in ChinaвЂ™s (appeal) to foreign investment,вЂќ Shen said. вЂњMost multi-national companies and foreign invested firms in China are also confident in the countryвЂ™s investment environment.вЂќ But ChinaвЂ™s appeal as an investment destination has declined in recent years in the face of rising labour and land costs and competition from other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam. Chinese officials have also blamed source country factors, such as WashingtonвЂ™s drive to move industrial production back to the US. вЂњSome developed countries in recent years speeded up the return of some manufacturing sectors to boost their own economy and create jobs,вЂќ Customs spokesman Zheng Yuesheng told reporters this week. вЂњThis has led investment in ChinaвЂ™s relevant industries to cool.вЂќ Concerns are mounting about ChinaвЂ™s economy, after industrial production growth slowed sharply in August to its lowest level for more than five years, while house prices have fallen for five consecutive months. Inflation in the country also fell to its lowest in almost five years last month, raising fears that deflationary pressures are rising. Officials are targeting economic growth of вЂњabout 7.5%вЂќ this year, the same as last yearвЂ™s objective. The goal is normally exceeded, but senior officials have repeatedly sought to play down its significance this year. ChinaвЂ™s third-quarter gross domestic product figures are due next week. A view of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. In September, China attracted $9bn in FDI, up 1.9% from a year earlier, the commerce ministry said yesterday. the central bank selling US dollar reserves. вЂњIt appears that ChinaвЂ™s central bank (has) sold US dollar reserves, reп¬‚ecting the PBoCвЂ™s intention to reduce its foreign reserve assets,вЂќ it said. But Capital Economics suggested the fall did not mean the PBoC had started to offload part of its reserves, saying the change was caused by a weaker euro and Japanese yen. вЂ�E-commerce market in India to touch $6bn in 2015вЂ™ IANS New Delhi T he India e-commerce market will reach $6bn in 2015, a 70% increase over 2014 revenue of $3.5bn, Gartner said yesterday. вЂњDigital commerce is at a nascent stage in India. However, India is one of the fastestgrowing e-commerce markets in Asia/Paciп¬Ѓc,вЂќ Praveen Sengar, research director at the research п¬Ѓrm, said. вЂњIndia represents a $3.5bn market, growing at approximately 60%-70% every year. It represents less than 4% of the total retail market. B2C e-commerce leads the market in India, while B2B is limited to organisations that drive online channels to integrate with their partners and distributors,вЂќ he added. Digital commerce facilitates a purchasing transaction over the Web, and supports the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer or business customer across multiple retail, wholesale, mobile, direct and indirect sales, call centre, and digital sales channels. Mobile commerce is п¬Ѓnding increasing traction in mobile shopping. Marketplaces, consumer product goods, and food and beverages companies have started investing in mobile commerce. However, less than 5% of total digital commerce happens through mobile. вЂњThe digital commerce platform market is maturing; incumbent vendors are investing in building out their commerce platforms, and those in adjacent areas, such as search, order management and marketing aвЂќ both through organic development and acquisition,вЂќ Sengar said. вЂњVendors are increasingly focused on execution and winning new customers, sometimes at the expense of articulating future vision. Merger and acquisition activity is increasing, resulting in fewer digital commerce platform options in the market, but also serving to extend the commerce platforms of the established vendors.вЂќ Limited Internet penetration, low digital commerce volume, multiple payment models, logistics and fulп¬Ѓllment challenges, higher return rates and low average order value is putting pressure on the proп¬Ѓtability and viability of B2C e-commerce businesses, Gartner said. The B2B model is leveraged to drive efп¬Ѓciency in the supply chain. The biggest challenge is getting the business digital commerce strategy right and adequate investments in people, process and technology to engage with customers across channels, which has been ignored by Indian enterprises so far, it added. 6 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 BUSINESS SAUDI ARABIA Company Name QATAR Company Name Zad Holding Co Widam Food Co Vodafone Qatar United Development Co Salam International Investme Qatar & Oman Investment Co Qatar Navigation Qatar National Cement Co Qatar National Bank Qatar Islamic Insurance Qatar Industrial Manufactur Qatar International Islamic Qatari Investors Group Qatar Islamic Bank Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat) Qatar General Insurance & Re Qatar German Co For Medical Qatar Fuel Co Qatar Electricity & Water Co Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib Qatar Insurance Co Ooredoo Qsc National Leasing Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi Al Meera Consumer Goods Co Medicare Group Mannai Corporation Qsc Masraf Al Rayan Al Khalij Commercial Bank Industries Qatar Islamic Holding Group Gulf Warehousing Company Gulf International Services Ezdan Holding Group Doha Insurance Co Doha Bank Qsc Dlala Holding Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc Barwa Real Estate Co Al Khaleej Takaful Group Aamal Co Lt Price 86.50 58.10 19.89 27.00 17.30 16.54 93.40 131.00 201.20 82.50 46.00 83.50 52.00 109.00 22.97 45.50 13.04 211.50 179.50 43.50 96.30 125.70 25.95 21.00 31.20 182.90 123.30 115.90 51.30 21.40 178.00 125.70 48.40 110.00 18.44 32.50 56.10 58.00 68.60 39.00 44.90 14.44 % Chg 0.58 -4.91 -2.79 -2.35 -7.49 -2.71 1.30 -0.15 -3.13 -1.55 0.00 -1.76 -5.45 -3.37 -1.33 -0.76 -0.84 -3.42 -1.43 1.16 -2.73 -0.32 -2.44 -5.83 -3.26 -0.05 -0.56 -0.86 -3.02 -0.93 -2.68 0.88 -2.02 -3.51 -5.19 0.31 -2.26 -3.33 -3.38 -2.74 -3.44 -1.77 Volume 1,050 71,469 1,515,019 599,042 513,626 62,274 30,548 24,234 612,563 26,183 45,239 140,553 77,722 173,370 261,084 14,071 91,245 155,219 232,508 1,194 233,789 88,793 132,805 627,930 456,239 47,366 96,901 130,786 1,279,211 65,494 466,005 118,526 11,184 296,053 3,980,313 36,182 445,293 32,117 486,880 488,719 30,445 130,059 SAUDI ARABIA Company Name Saudi Hollandi Bank Al-Ahsa Development Co. Al-Baha Development & Invest Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur Allied Cooperative Insurance Arriyadh Development Company Fitaihi Holding Group Arabia Insurance Cooperative Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev Al Babtain Power & Telecommu Bank Albilad Alujain Corporation (Alco) Aldrees Petroleum And Transp Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C Alinma Bank Alinma Tokio Marine Al Khaleej Training And Educ Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera Almarai Co Saudi Integrated Telecom Co Alsorayai Group Al Tayyar Amana Cooperative Insurance Anaam International Holding Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Arabian Pipes Co Advanced Petrochemicals Co Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative Arabian Cement Arab National Bank Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co United Wire Factories Compan Astra Industrial Group Alahli Takaful Co Aseer Axa Cooperative Insurance Basic Chemical Industries Bishah Agriculture Bank Al-Jazira Banque Saudi Fransi United International Transpo Bupa Arabia For Cooperative Buruj Cooperative Insurance Saudi Airlines Catering Co Methanol Chemicals Co City Cement Co Eastern Cement Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat Etihad Etisalat Co Emaar Economic City Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu United Electronics Co Falcom Saudi Equity Etf Filing & Packing Materials M Wafrah For Industry And Deve Falcom Petrochemical Etf Gulf General Cooperative Ins Jazan Development Co Gulf Union Cooperative Insur Halwani Bros Co Hail Cement Herfy Food Services Co Al Jouf Agriculture Developm Jarir Marketing Co Jabal Omar Development Co Al Jouf Cement Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co Knowledge Economic City Kingdom Holding Co Saudi Arabian Mining Co Malath Cooperative & Reinsur Makkah Construction & Devepl Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran Middle East Specialized Cabl Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co Al Mouwasat Medical Services The National Agriculture Dev Najran Cement Co Nama Chemicals Co National Gypsum National Gas & Industrializa National Industrialization C Maadaniyah National Shipping Co Of/The National Petrochemical Co Rabigh Refining And Petroche Al Qassim Agricultural Co Qassim Cement/The Red Sea Housing Services Co Saudi Research And Marketing Riyad Bank Al Rajhi Bank Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co Lt Price 47.42 15.21 13.50 63.09 23.57 20.90 21.25 17.76 40.70 17.30 101.47 12.42 39.03 47.36 22.49 56.29 115.25 20.10 54.34 64.60 59.50 51.99 75.99 24.30 20.49 131.27 25.79 32.40 104.45 24.40 52.85 44.70 76.90 30.05 85.75 42.96 43.71 54.85 29.04 57.00 33.49 69.75 26.95 34.27 75.31 126.68 46.57 174.96 15.26 23.46 58.98 9.35 83.23 15.75 34.29 105.76 33.10 52.07 45.31 33.00 37.57 16.39 23.08 75.25 24.25 96.16 47.08 180.41 47.15 18.90 13.93 19.33 22.64 35.47 22.28 75.57 56.40 18.47 12.55 114.99 36.55 32.05 13.69 31.16 31.36 31.30 47.70 33.06 29.75 24.32 13.63 97.70 51.42 18.67 18.13 63.13 15.97 % Chg 0.25 -9.30 0.00 -8.79 -8.32 -4.00 -6.47 -7.16 -3.65 -9.19 -2.21 -4.75 -4.20 -5.24 -8.43 -3.18 -2.48 -6.51 -9.61 -3.13 -2.40 -9.47 -1.48 0.00 -8.89 -2.15 -9.60 -9.72 -1.00 -9.90 -5.66 -9.86 -1.21 -1.28 -9.80 -3.63 -7.00 -9.14 -7.13 -9.84 -8.99 0.00 -5.84 -3.46 -1.45 -6.11 -9.29 -3.21 -4.51 -4.67 -3.31 -8.78 -1.63 -3.79 -9.43 -2.36 -7.80 -9.79 -9.40 -6.25 -9.32 -9.25 -8.59 -3.28 -5.42 -0.57 -5.84 -1.53 -5.91 -7.94 -5.17 -6.98 -1.95 -4.16 -9.72 -6.70 -5.29 0.49 0.00 -0.47 -9.53 -7.29 -9.04 -8.65 -4.54 -5.47 -9.83 -6.66 -6.86 -7.39 -9.07 -1.84 -4.05 -5.56 -5.43 -4.51 -6.28 Volume 391,483 2,134,600 194,930 252,809 1,653,671 1,056,943 1,490,198 398,926 887,573 123,450 33,720,613 1,371,596 920,400 979,296 1,210,504 503,289 34,662,588 355,697 163,646 2,263,731 697,205 2,799,942 860,919 614,327 986,856 941,438 416,761 2,766,135 1,319,310 432,767 723,963 861,637 704,735 179,645 425,177 552,562 1,795,818 1,519,062 1,411,996 6,723,056 955,170 275,188 217,651 383,848 183,842 1,393,433 2,728,801 289,836 2,676,342 2,262,026 4,143,774 599,415 130,849 11,660 1,339,780 1,901,404 11,614 525,418 2,382,579 521,767 95,047 773,697 94,048 158,671 140,919 2,309,211 2,114,954 17,271,729 2,471,568 763,531 6,569,059 2,569,998 55,942 1,354,470 2,549,856 262,409 647,028 448,038 4,045,648 738,488 455,132 3,496,185 2,322,222 3,301,730 762,722 4,502,303 2,566,038 133,691 413,291 97,459 3,365,550 6,272,343 1,490,529 Saudi British Bank Sabb Takaful Saudi Basic Industries Corp Saudi Cement Sasco Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran Saudi Advanced Industries Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co Salama Cooperative Insurance Samba Financial Group Sanad Cooperative Insurance Saudi Public Transport Co Saudi Arabia Refineries Co Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei Savola Saudi Cable Co Saudi Chemical Company Saudi Ceramic Saudi Electricity Co Saudi Fisheries Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co Saudi Hotels & Resort Arabian Shield Cooperative Saudi Investment Bank/The Saudi Industrial Development Saudi Industrial Export Co KUWAIT Lt Price 56.31 40.50 108.03 111.00 28.17 118.78 152.56 39.40 21.98 47.50 32.90 42.65 15.23 30.40 67.86 33.00 10.79 77.12 11.28 71.35 129.52 16.38 32.00 79.94 33.56 42.12 27.54 17.70 53.25 % Chg -0.34 -9.92 -5.92 -1.39 -7.34 -1.65 -2.59 -9.80 -7.37 -9.32 -7.74 -1.43 0.00 -9.74 -9.44 -4.35 -6.01 -1.87 -6.00 0.15 -4.40 -1.62 -9.86 -4.98 -9.20 -7.87 -0.40 -8.76 -9.61 Volume 452,813 1,629,397 8,751,597 222,999 765,078 133,186 292,245 963,840 972,916 313,039 310,456 2,982,753 3,040,218 690,312 15,192 1,701,109 1,483,292 1,368,597 325,965 149,171 3,795,090 1,069,758 312,063 797,864 448,237 900,798 918,141 1,143,997 KUWAIT Company Name Securities Group Co Sultan Center Food Products Kuwait Foundry Co Kuwait Financial Centre Ajial Real Estate Entmt Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc Kuwait Finance & Investment National Industries Co Kuwait Real Estate Holding C Securities House Kscc Boubyan Petrochemicals Co Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) National Bank Of Kuwait Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Kuwait International Bank Gulf Bank Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co Arab Real Estate Co Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co Alkout Industrial Projects C AвЂ™Ayan Real Estate Co Investors Holding Group Co.K Markaz Real Estate Fund Al-Mazaya Holding Co Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co Gulf Petroleum Investment Mabanee Co Sakc City Group Inovest Co Bsc Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing Al-Deera Holding Co Alshamel International Hold United Industries Co Mena Real Estate Co National Slaughter House Amar Finance & Leasing Co United Projects Group Kscc National Consumer Holding Co Amwal International Investme Jeeran Holdings Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C Nafais Holding Safwan Trading & Contracting Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate Gulf Finance House Ec Energy House Holding Co Kscc Kuwait Slaughter House Co Kuwait Co For Process Plant Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K National Ranges Company Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser Al-Themar Real International Al-Ahleia Insurance Co Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C Aqar Real Estate Investments Hayat Communications Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc Alargan International Real Burgan Co For Well Drilling Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc Oula Fuel Marketing Co Palms Agro Production Co Ikarus Petroleum Industries Mubarrad Transport Co Al Mowasat Health Care Co Shuaiba Industrial Co Kuwait Invest Co Holding Hits Telecom Holding First Takaful Insurance Co Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co National Cleaning Company Eyas For High & Technical Ed United Real Estate Company Agility Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv Fujairah Cement Industries Livestock Transport & Tradng International Resorts Co National Industries Grp Hold Marine Services Co Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate Warba Insurance Co Kuwait United Poultry Co First Dubai Real Estate Deve Al Arabi Group Holding Co Kuwait Hotels Co Mobile Telecommunications Co Al Safat Real Estate Co Tamdeen Real Estate Co Kscc Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co Kuwait Cement Co Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Kuwait Portland Cement Co Educational Holding Group Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Kuwait China Investment Co Kuwait Investment Co Burgan Bank Kuwait Projects Co Holdings Al Madina For Finance And In Kuwait Insurance Co Al Masaken Intl Real Estate Intl Financial Advisors First Investment Co Kscc Al Mal Investment Company Bayan Investment Co Kscc Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae Coast Investment Development Privatization Holding Compan Kuwait Medical Services Co Injazzat Real State Company Kuwait Cable Vision Sak Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc Ithmaar Bank Bsc Aviation Lease And Finance C Arzan Financial Group For Fi Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co Manafae Investment Co Kuwait Business Town Real Es Future Kid Entertainment And Specialities Group Holding C Abyaar Real Eastate Developm Lt Price 116.00 106.00 340.00 146.00 232.00 690.00 70.00 212.00 36.00 86.00 720.00 425.00 650.00 990.00 670.00 315.00 350.00 75.00 52.00 80.00 0.00 100.00 0.00 1.52 130.00 52.00 94.00 1,060.00 435.00 77.00 0.00 21.50 100.00 106.00 43.50 160.00 63.00 780.00 80.00 46.50 75.00 138.00 90.00 440.00 128.00 35.50 90.00 0.00 265.00 0.00 48.50 0.00 95.00 470.00 63.00 87.00 83.00 85.00 600.00 150.00 176.00 0.00 108.00 156.00 124.00 180.00 84.00 0.00 246.00 0.00 46.50 0.00 29.00 104.00 305.00 104.00 870.00 49.00 83.00 192.00 53.00 220.00 130.00 15.00 142.00 192.00 99.00 180.00 0.00 650.00 34.00 300.00 96.00 440.00 97.00 1,380.00 168.00 0.00 61.00 132.00 540.00 710.00 40.00 310.00 69.00 58.00 110.00 50.00 85.00 260.00 80.00 63.00 0.00 79.00 46.00 61.00 52.00 246.00 62.00 69.00 0.00 52.00 106.00 160.00 45.50 % Chg 0.00 -1.85 -6.85 0.00 -2.52 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -5.49 -4.00 -2.30 -2.99 1.02 -2.90 -3.08 0.00 -5.06 -1.89 -3.61 0.00 -3.85 0.00 0.00 -7.14 0.00 -4.08 1.92 0.00 -1.28 0.00 -6.52 0.00 -3.64 -2.25 0.00 3.28 1.30 0.00 -2.11 0.00 -1.43 0.00 -2.22 0.00 -2.74 -1.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 -6.73 0.00 0.00 -5.05 -1.56 -5.43 0.00 -2.30 0.00 -1.32 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.23 -3.45 0.00 -1.60 0.00 -2.11 0.00 -4.92 0.00 1.67 -1.89 -1.14 -3.92 -1.19 0.00 -5.36 -1.79 -4.41 -3.23 -1.39 0.00 -2.94 0.00 0.00 0.00 -4.23 -3.23 -1.03 -3.30 1.04 0.00 3.70 0.00 -4.69 -7.04 -1.82 0.00 -3.61 0.00 0.00 -3.33 -6.78 -3.85 -4.49 0.00 -3.61 -3.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 -4.69 -3.70 -3.53 -3.13 -1.43 0.00 -3.70 0.00 1.27 -5.21 Volume 117 315,750 70,000 2,637 108,300 7,200 174,738 49,980 28,500 5,640,915 497,047 216,466 193,526 8,609,014 5,030 3,290,800 377,314 115,152 912,100 1,525,405 925,000 4,226,500 19,300 5,284,119 799,219 10 486,000 4,772,678 5,000 141,000 1,020,331 5,000 100 7,000 1,500 917,487 100 334,268 69,000 1,000 50 28,082,112 848,100 57,971 15,111,763 1,054 26,300 24,922 1,032,000 666 228,250 50 10,431 15,000 2,291,128 202,715 600 144,800 1,092,710 50,000 6,413,025 8,729,218 80,010 25,000 236,500 1,274,278 41,513 1,741,500 160 1,904,620 3,340,568 23,500 182,700 2,500 15,000 1,238,526 81,585 4,645,733 1,115,005 4,624,804 1,839,083 24,100 165,600 15,275 20 489,000 224,140 4,333,546 58,606 954,220 1,070 178,625 2,485,941 4,232,758 9,324,721 4,135,300 685 13,353,416 1,399,571 222,000 500 436,000 4,956,977 1,236,000 414,200 10,500 2,331,606 30,170 111,500 23,004,750 Company Name Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C Al-Dar National Real Estate Kgl Logistics Company Kscc Combined Group Contracting Zima Holding Co Ksc Qurain Holding Co Boubyan Intl Industries Hold Gulf Investment House Boubyan Bank K.S.C Ahli United Bank B.S.C Al-Safat Tec Holding Co Al-Eid Food Co Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co Advanced Technology Co Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C Kout Food Group Real Estate Trade Centers Co Acico Industries Co Kscc Kipco Asset Management Co National Petroleum Services Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc Ras Al Khaimah Co Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Human Soft Holding Co Automated Systems Co Metal & Recycling Co Gulf Franchising Kscc Al-EnmaвЂ™a Real Estate Co National Mobile Telecommuni Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc Union Real Estate Co Housing Finance Co S.A.K.C Al Salam Group Holding Co United Foodstuff Industries Al Aman Investment Company Mashaer Holdings Manazel Holding Mushrif Trading & Contractin Tijara And Real Estate Inves Kuwait Building Materials Jazeera Airways Commercial Real Estate Co Future Communications Co National International Co Taameer Real Estate Invest C Gulf Cement Co Heavy Engineering And Ship B Refrigeration Industries & S National Real Estate Co Al Safat Energy Holding Comp Kuwait National Cinema Co Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co Independent Petroleum Group Kuwait Real Estate Co Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C Kuwait Finance House OMAN Lt Price 0.00 30.50 120.00 840.00 178.00 39.00 84.00 74.00 510.00 232.00 66.00 122.00 220.00 0.00 51.00 930.00 49.00 315.00 120.00 570.00 72.00 128.00 188.00 82.00 410.00 395.00 106.00 71.00 83.00 1,540.00 0.00 160.00 23.00 95.00 0.00 90.00 184.00 57.00 86.00 67.00 405.00 445.00 97.00 128.00 66.00 45.00 108.00 148.00 355.00 156.00 32.00 980.00 80.00 470.00 77.00 365.00 780.00 150.00 830.00 % Chg 0.00 -6.15 -1.64 0.00 0.00 -6.02 -5.62 -2.63 -1.92 0.00 -1.49 0.00 -4.35 0.00 -3.77 0.00 -2.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.37 -3.03 0.00 -1.20 0.00 -5.95 -8.62 -6.58 -1.19 -1.28 0.00 0.00 -4.17 0.00 0.00 -3.23 -1.08 -5.00 -3.37 -1.47 0.00 1.14 -1.02 -5.88 -1.49 -4.26 -3.57 -2.63 0.00 -3.70 -4.48 3.16 -5.88 3.30 -3.75 -2.67 -2.50 0.00 0.00 Volume 3,575,817 620,837 33,000 20 904,933 745,401 1,047,902 571,350 4,182,660 220,000 500 1,677,272 1,549,755 18,002 68,360 92,100 810 500 932,200 170,889 10,000 191,950 50 5,000 15,422 1,520 247,668 30,888 22,735 1,963,700 3,049,588 1,167,156 70,920 3,276,401 561,922 1,122,180 15 65,979 1,798,550 3,000 97,000 1,585,750 1,766,161 417,200 12,127 1,611,818 4,346,503 5,756 2,899,977 5 7,628,115 1,100 94,462 50 2,748,058 OMAN Company Name Voltamp Energy Saog United Finance Co United Power Co United Power/Energy Co- Pref Al Madina Investment Co Taageer Finance Salalah Port Services AвЂ™saffa Foods Saog Sohar Poultry Shell Oman Marketing Shell Oman Marketing - Pref Smn Power Holding Saog Al Shurooq Inv Ser Al Sharqiya Invest Holding Sohar Power Co Salalah Beach Resort Saog Salalah Mills Co Sahara Hospitality Renaissance Services Saog Raysut Cement Co Port Service Corporation Packaging Co Ltd Oman United Insurance Co Oman Textile Holding Co Saog Oman Telecommunications Co Sweets Of Oman Oman Orix Leasing Co. Oman Refreshment Co Oman Packaging Oman Oil Marketing Company 0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref Oman National Investment Co Oman National Engineering An Oman National Dairy Products Ominvest Oman Medical Projects Oman Ceramic Com Oman Intl Marketing Oman Investment & Finance Hsbc Bank Oman Oman Hotels & Tourism Co Oman Holding International Oman Fiber Optics Oman Flour Mills Oman Filters Industry Oman Fisheries Co Oman Education & Training In Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50% Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50% Oman Europe Foods Industries Oman Cement Co Oman Chlorine Oman Chromite Oman Cables Industry Oman Agricultural Dev Omani Qatari Telecommunicati National Securities Oman Foods International Soa National Pharmaceutical-Rts National Pharmaceutical National Packaging Fac National Mineral Water National Hospitality Institu National Gas Co National Finance Co National Detergents/The National Carpet Factory National Bank Of Oman Saog National Biscuit Industries National Real Estate Develop Natl Aluminium Products Muscat Thread Mills Co Muscat Insurance Company Modern Poultry Farms Muscat National Holding Musandam Marketing & Invest Al Maha Petroleum Products M Muscat Gases Company Saog Majan Glass Company Muscat Finance Al Kamil Power Co Interior Hotels Hotels Management Co Interna Al-Hassan Engineering Co Gulf Stone Gulf Mushroom Company Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar Gulf Investments Services Gulf International Chemicals Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd Global Fin Investment Galfar Engineering&Contract Galfar Engineering -Prefer Financial Services Co. Flexible Ind Packages Lt Price 0.39 0.14 1.61 1.00 0.00 0.15 0.65 0.94 0.21 2.02 1.05 0.66 1.04 0.15 0.37 1.38 1.50 2.45 0.64 2.10 0.39 0.48 0.41 0.29 1.61 1.30 0.15 2.45 0.26 2.26 0.25 0.35 0.31 0.00 0.40 0.00 0.45 0.52 0.21 0.00 0.23 0.00 5.01 0.63 0.02 0.08 0.13 0.16 0.00 1.00 0.75 0.58 3.64 2.43 1.45 0.65 0.16 0.52 0.00 0.10 0.00 0.06 2.05 0.62 0.15 0.70 0.00 0.35 3.75 0.00 0.28 0.16 0.00 0.00 1.65 0.00 2.50 0.86 0.29 0.15 0.31 0.00 1.25 0.12 0.08 0.41 0.25 0.18 0.21 10.50 0.12 0.17 0.43 0.16 0.06 % Chg -7.58 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.60 0.00 -9.94 -3.68 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.62 -2.10 -8.37 0.00 -4.67 0.00 -2.13 -2.26 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -6.99 -0.65 0.00 -5.19 0.00 0.00 0.00 -8.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -5.06 0.00 -9.14 0.00 0.00 -2.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.21 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -9.36 -5.84 0.00 0.00 -3.85 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -8.73 0.00 0.00 0.00 -9.80 0.00 0.00 -7.26 -9.42 0.00 0.00 0.00 Volume 20,407 300 293 310 5,500 191,066 133,690 311,442 421,103 129,800 249,797 871,711 41,600 12,540 15,466 15,500 238,211 1,041,341 126,740 531,000 6,625 2,058 552,629 16,025 34,362 426,444 3,200 20 216,710 10,393 510,000 46,105 736,900 - Company Name Financial Corp/The Dhofar Tourism Dhofar Poultry Aloula Co Dhofar Intl Development Dhofar Insurance Dhofar University Dhofar Power Co Dhofar Power Co-Pfd Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu Dhofar Cattlefeed Al Batinah Dev & Inv Dhofar Beverages Co Computer Stationery Inds Construction Materials Ind Cement & Gypsum Pro Marine Bander Al-Rowdha Bank Sohar Bankmuscat Saog Bank Dhofar Saog Al Batinah Hotels Majan College Areej Vegetable Oils Al Jazeera Steel Products Co Al Sallan Food Industry Acwa Power Barka Saog Al-Omaniya Financial Service Taghleef Industries Saog Gulf Plastic Industries Co Al Jazeera Services Al Jazerah Services -Pfd Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co Ahli Bank Abrasives Manufacturing Co S Al-Batinah Intl Saog Lt Price 0.13 1.00 0.18 0.53 0.55 0.21 1.47 0.00 0.00 1.28 0.16 0.15 0.26 0.25 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.21 0.69 0.35 1.13 0.50 5.50 0.47 0.00 0.74 0.34 0.00 0.39 0.35 0.55 0.75 0.21 0.05 0.00 % Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.79 -4.55 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.88 -9.70 0.00 0.00 -9.62 0.00 0.00 -6.22 -2.81 -4.89 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.74 0.00 0.00 -9.74 0.00 0.00 -7.46 0.00 0.00 Volume 410,893 24,226 192,437 10,000 194,500 1,610,090 1,433,762 286,293 17,654 104,560 13,020 672,349 - UAE Company Name National Takaful Company Waha Capital Pjsc Union Insurance Co Union National Bank/Abu Dhab United Insurance Company Union Cement Co United Arab Bank Abu Dhabi National Takaful C Abu Dhabi National Energy Co Sudan Telecommunications Co$ Sorouh Real Estate Company Sharjah Insurance Company Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Ras Al Khaima Poultry Ras Al Khaimah Co Rak Properties Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai Ooredoo Qsc Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50% National Marine Dredging Co National Corp Tourism & Hote Sharjah Islamic Bank National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw National Bank Of Fujairah National Bank Of Abu Dhabi Methaq Takaful Insurance #N/A Invalid Security Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp Investbank Insurance House Gulf Medical Projects Gulf Livestock Co Green Crescent Insurance Co Gulf Cement Co Foodco Holding Finance House First Gulf Bank Fujairah Cement Industries Fujairah Building Industries Emirates Telecom Corporation Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc) Emirates Driving Company Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S. Dana Gas Commercial Bank Internationa Bank Of Sharjah Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi Al Wathba National Insurance Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak Arkan Building Materials Co Aldar Properties Pjsc Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co. Al Khazna Insurance Co Agthia Group Pjsc Al Fujairah National Insuran Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co Abu Dhabi National Insurance Abu Dhabi National Hotels Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Abu Dhabi Aviation Lt Price 1.13 2.59 1.08 6.30 2.00 1.45 6.50 7.18 0.99 0.86 0.00 4.30 1.20 1.55 1.60 0.80 3.80 3.65 0.99 8.59 135.00 1.25 1.28 6.70 6.10 1.85 2.93 4.25 14.30 0.93 0.00 2.98 2.75 1.20 2.31 3.00 0.84 1.34 3.95 4.20 17.40 1.50 1.45 11.45 1.08 7.10 4.50 8.52 0.59 1.75 1.70 0.95 5.35 8.75 1.61 3.16 43.00 0.66 6.60 300.00 2.22 6.85 3.70 6.10 8.00 3.38 % Chg 0.00 -4.43 0.00 -2.78 0.00 0.00 -7.14 0.00 -1.98 -7.53 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -6.98 0.00 4.29 -5.71 -1.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -5.13 -9.85 0.00 -1.04 -6.06 0.00 -1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.74 0.00 0.00 -1.97 0.00 0.00 -0.43 -6.09 -5.33 0.00 0.00 -4.84 0.00 -2.30 -4.04 0.00 0.00 -2.42 -4.82 0.00 0.00 7.32 0.00 -9.76 0.44 0.00 -5.57 -3.61 -0.59 Volume 8,427,042 2,100,263 57,500 3,230,343 88,351 14,573,805 503,121 208,000 562,855 5,000 400,000 2,167 1,403,501 1,223,051 27,334 1,684,042 4,537,229 2,676,070 24,606,940 20,000 10,000 26,691,866 304,495 24,730 2,500 32,181,593 784,672 26,100 28,472 17,000 2,897,367 7,168,613 80,000 BAHRAIN Company Name United Paper Industries Bsc United Gulf Investment Corp United Gulf Bank United Finance Co Trafco Group Bsc Takaful International Co Taib Bank -$Us Securities & Investment Co Seef Properties Sudan Telecommunications Co$ Al-Salam Bank Delmon Poultry Co National Hotels Co National Bank Of Bahrain Nass Corp Bsc Khaleeji Commercial Bank Ithmaar Bank Bsc Investcorp Bank -$Us Inovest Co Bsc Intl Investment Group-Kuwait Gulf Monetary Group Global Investment House Kscc Gulf Finance House Ec Bahrain Family Leisure Co Esterad Investment Co B.S.C. Bahrain Duty Free Complex Bahrain Car Park Co Bahrain Cinema Co Bahrain Tourism Co Bahraini Saudi Bank/The Bahrain National Holding Bankmuscat Saog Bmmi Bsc Bmb Investment Bank Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Bahrain Islamic Bank Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C Bahrain Flour Mills Co Bahrain Commercial Facilitie Bbk Bsc Bahrain Telecom Co Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin Albaraka Banking Group Banader Hotels Co Ahli United Bank B.S.C Lt Price 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.23 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.21 0.00 0.19 0.00 0.27 0.87 0.18 0.05 0.19 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.23 0.84 ` 0.00 0.23 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.83 0.00 0.00 0.16 0.87 0.00 0.68 0.45 0.34 2.10 0.84 0.06 0.81 % Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.92 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.69 0.00 0.00 -2.63 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.18 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.61 Volume 11,383 60,000 180,067 363,777 5,000 79,900 290,000 100,000 24,134 14,000 30,000 42,608 18,000 60,477 10,000 5,000 45,000 19,060 3,446 11,983 208,991 635,400 LATEST MARKET CLOSING FIGURES Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 7 BUSINESS DJIA WORLD INDICES Company Name Exxon Mobil Corp Microsoft Corp Johnson & Johnson General Electric Co Wal-Mart Stores Inc Procter & Gamble Co/The Jpmorgan Chase & Co Chevron Corp Verizon Communications Inc 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 3M Co Boeing Co/The American Express Co Goldman Sachs Group Inc Unitedhealth Group Inc Nike Inc -Cl B Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours Caterpillar Inc Travelers Cos Inc/The Lt Price 90.29 42.46 97.20 24.36 73.79 82.33 55.39 109.51 47.63 42.64 179.51 27.84 33.59 53.48 31.15 81.34 200.18 89.18 22.85 99.23 89.97 134.73 120.03 80.60 174.05 85.88 85.47 65.85 93.37 91.60 % Chg 0.08 -1.77 -1.03 0.35 -1.88 -0.75 -0.26 0.22 -0.61 -1.36 -1.23 -1.24 -0.83 -2.28 -0.40 -0.90 -0.03 1.51 -0.47 0.06 -0.53 0.38 -0.13 -0.41 -1.80 4.53 0.34 -0.87 0.84 -0.43 8,372,054 21,378,720 5,579,208 19,983,535 7,006,255 3,934,374 14,371,308 4,811,393 7,197,741 8,598,323 2,341,921 13,805,481 12,593,796 10,073,802 21,337,782 6,575,207 1,559,518 3,002,748 13,479,983 2,408,106 2,870,302 1,343,038 1,663,839 4,088,525 3,223,341 4,889,559 2,324,845 2,827,765 3,591,359 972,218 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 1,130.00 3,066.00 156.50 4,080.00 2,155.00 184.50 805.50 2,447.00 483.90 335.00 1,637.00 172.00 375.00 1,050.00 648.00 1,492.00 575.00 1,178.00 906.00 3,718.00 1,872.00 2,147.00 233.00 350.80 3,156.00 447.90 412.60 2,160.00 2,066.00 337.70 940.50 3,083.00 946.50 5,035.00 4,380.00 1,321.50 987.50 1,309.00 1,132.00 169.50 6,565.00 864.50 956.00 436.50 405.50 1,798.00 72.27 213.90 1,022.00 289.40 2,862.00 199.90 317.10 343.00 2,440.00 2,120.00 2,502.00 1,167.00 617.10 871.00 559.00 317.40 1,324.00 299.60 246.10 292.30 815.00 938.50 1,403.00 355.70 264.40 1,716.50 1,266.00 941.50 1,272.00 288.40 2,194.00 1,100.00 1,422.00 1,584.00 361.50 850.00 680.00 3,389.50 420.00 1,658.50 1,030.00 207.90 439.90 1,021.00 476.10 4,225.00 2,477.00 923.00 862.50 679.00 1,366.50 1,475.00 1,240.00 397.50 352.50 0.00 % Chg 1.16 -0.71 -0.70 2.28 1.65 -0.97 0.81 -1.45 -2.08 1.36 1.68 -1.66 -0.19 -0.76 -1.89 0.88 0.17 0.17 -1.68 -7.33 0.75 0.05 3.37 -0.74 -0.66 -2.03 1.28 -1.75 -2.27 -1.32 0.86 0.34 0.85 -0.40 1.34 -0.94 2.28 1.24 1.71 0.00 2.26 -0.58 1.32 2.97 4.05 0.22 -1.65 -1.20 1.49 0.07 2.25 3.09 2.26 4.54 -0.12 -0.56 -0.91 2.01 0.02 2.29 2.85 0.36 -0.53 4.17 0.45 -0.78 2.64 0.91 3.77 -0.28 -1.05 0.41 -0.78 0.37 0.39 0.63 -0.23 -1.26 -0.42 4.28 0.39 -0.99 2.64 0.01 0.79 0.64 1.48 -2.03 0.62 -0.49 -2.18 -0.93 0.45 3.36 3.79 1.95 -1.23 1.58 -0.08 0.40 0.11 0.00 Volume 7,186,891 2,110,235 32,265,271 1,119,645 2,141,116 195,030,236 3,210,576 6,408,531 7,490,071 6,113,511 1,778,386 50,421,684 8,875,718 12,817,109 2,831,884 5,320,384 2,669,464 2,264,657 6,130,704 22,118,960 939,694 626,481 17,247,851 5,654,937 5,102,857 7,825,968 4,780,718 10,718,931 12,768,781 27,078,549 8,100,005 10,010,105 6,509,902 2,095,906 907,391 7,222,730 3,339,091 2,779,115 4,392,874 26,043,121 920,333 13,342,453 3,247,163 4,020,850 12,414,794 2,295,952 402,511,131 24,349,957 3,214,079 31,689,957 1,168,039 30,338,294 2,837,626 27,063,796 668,829 1,584,615 4,442,814 2,201,633 55,111,170 2,521,191 7,385,015 55,564,222 18,138,935 13,586,366 6,182,068 5,029,757 2,775,955 3,797,449 3,439,579 6,448,184 6,312,242 9,511,660 6,665,453 6,689,377 1,275,612 22,699,615 1,801,069 4,108,840 2,715,455 1,590,809 28,899,531 7,287,638 6,568,007 5,400,120 53,857,262 20,063,029 13,676,668 98,141,772 9,750,605 3,870,141 12,982,163 5,103,520 1,890,889 5,716,249 6,810,035 4,731,905 13,015,488 961,909 938,241 12,908,127 3,708,356 - 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 1,239.50 1,833.00 1,237.00 1,355.00 3,320.50 3,877.00 677.80 849.30 339.00 6,551.00 497.60 4,129.00 4,425.00 1,529.00 4,185.00 1,602.50 3,425.50 1,734.00 448.50 % Chg -5.49 -3.88 -1.94 -1.28 -1.31 -2.88 -1.64 0.95 -2.87 -2.86 -2.35 1.46 -1.84 -2.30 -0.72 -1.26 1.77 -0.32 -4.06 Indices Volume Volume 9,859,600 3,013,900 6,924,900 5,351,500 5,287,500 3,226,100 6,627,000 13,238,000 16,024,000 1,820,300 4,833,700 3,610,400 3,758,800 12,500,100 1,558,900 4,101,700 16,588,500 2,810,400 20,874,500 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 16,057.96 1,857.43 4,184.30 14,058.10 42,920.34 54,587.16 6,195.91 3,918.62 8,582.90 9,669.70 -83.78 -5.06 -31.01 +188.22 -64.61 -1,548.11 -15.73 -21.10 +10.95 -168.80 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 14,738.38 1,195.50 22,900.94 5,244.28 1,037.40 25,999.34 7,748.20 3,154.21 22,058.92 4,951.61 -335.14 -28.17 -239.11 +6.33 -6.51 -349.99 -115.80 -44.51 -104.96 -11.33 Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt am Main yesterday. The DAX index yesterday added 0.13% compared with WednesdayвЂ™s closing level to 8,582.90 points. 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 3,430.00 528.40 248.00 0.00 156.00 1,919.00 1,364.00 1,406.50 26,640.00 2,347.00 1,527.50 6,038.00 748.30 433.60 1,261.50 6,531.00 330.00 671.30 1,140.50 266.00 1,789.50 5,410.00 43,555.00 4,578.00 17,955.00 5,820.00 4,469.50 11,155.00 5,363.00 613.10 953.20 5,879.00 3,285.00 3,093.00 1,420.50 3,250.50 3,241.50 1,056.00 968.20 10,725.00 1,200.00 662.30 1,550.50 6,090.00 1,070.00 1,983.00 1,014.50 560.00 567.30 396.90 3,933.50 548.10 180.10 1,320.00 746.80 582.20 2,401.50 2,129.00 1,448.50 3,171.50 1,243.00 2,892.00 2,178.00 3,382.50 7,745.00 4,758.50 13,500.00 232.30 6,099.00 6,261.00 1,661.00 321.00 1,155.00 885.40 1,096.00 993.00 561.60 5,873.00 328.00 37,020.00 6,780.00 % Chg -2.10 -2.60 -3.58 0.00 -3.11 -2.84 -4.48 -2.43 -2.29 0.09 -0.88 -1.63 -2.43 -3.21 -1.10 -1.63 -3.51 -1.77 -3.55 -3.97 -3.24 -2.17 -1.80 -2.41 -1.07 -2.18 -2.76 -2.15 -1.99 -3.13 -1.36 -1.85 -3.86 -1.97 -3.86 -2.02 -1.68 -3.12 -3.90 -3.16 -0.79 -2.40 -1.27 -3.79 -1.61 -1.39 -4.52 -3.21 -1.34 -3.10 -2.70 -2.65 -3.17 -1.97 -3.14 -2.77 -2.44 -2.79 -1.53 -2.33 -2.43 -2.21 -1.89 -3.88 -1.58 -1.13 -3.40 -3.69 -2.06 -1.28 -1.89 -6.14 -2.53 -2.50 -4.28 -3.50 -3.17 -2.76 -4.37 -1.65 -3.50 Volume 5,650,100 9,993,000 51,139,000 30,765,000 4,055,700 4,663,000 2,993,100 401,400 8,725,100 10,450,000 1,980,300 21,937,000 31,524,000 9,487,000 1,791,200 20,650,000 14,892,000 11,572,200 36,790,000 14,140,800 1,484,300 145,300 2,712,600 2,070,800 717,000 2,752,600 1,532,200 1,399,500 25,310,000 16,178,900 10,683,600 9,583,700 2,548,000 5,342,100 1,884,100 5,764,100 5,698,400 4,292,000 1,043,000 11,595,000 15,664,700 12,624,400 1,415,600 10,342,100 7,358,900 6,741,000 70,870,200 13,467,400 36,540,000 8,590,600 4,536,000 284,297,500 9,114,000 16,733,000 25,544,700 1,475,800 1,963,200 6,121,500 4,026,000 3,478,900 5,613,000 10,157,000 3,675,000 1,573,500 1,047,500 619,900 30,788,000 2,574,300 3,464,600 7,185,800 19,128,600 2,191,500 3,378,200 1,805,300 3,052,000 9,322,000 1,284,000 28,109,800 990,300 18,275,500 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 312.15 573.30 2,317.60 2,305.35 439.10 83.75 483.80 2,678.10 796.65 2,466.40 239.15 931.00 916.95 133.95 397.10 138.25 157.60 2,936.85 1,219.10 1,318.90 1,423.70 991.60 151.15 352.45 3,865.30 645.35 136.80 1,460.55 981.30 730.60 142.40 2,798.95 858.85 1,655.85 3,228.90 449.65 2,904.85 110.35 348.60 578.65 273.65 388.15 666.25 219.60 867.70 2,363.55 393.65 625.90 206.20 1,376.30 % Chg -1.22 -1.16 -6.06 -2.81 -3.72 -3.68 -0.86 -0.78 -0.78 -2.26 -4.17 -3.15 -0.92 -1.54 -1.26 -1.74 2.37 -0.85 -4.31 -0.87 -1.13 -2.13 -3.73 1.57 -1.35 -0.68 -2.01 -1.18 -2.27 -0.09 -5.70 -1.88 -1.09 -3.90 -4.86 0.49 -1.04 5.15 1.28 0.03 -3.68 -2.57 1.52 -2.83 -0.44 -2.01 -0.87 -3.13 -0.94 -0.51 Volume 964,073 2,337,409 782,746 913,907 9,418,378 4,414,362 6,918,856 2,082,138 1,991,634 2,221,838 6,445,827 5,093,593 1,019,558 6,557,637 6,653,755 8,728,459 5,725,767 187,685 1,111,703 418,378 1,635,267 956,956 4,935,962 8,782,596 1,312,552 1,696,988 5,049,308 2,976,995 3,603,921 1,324,250 12,702,541 970,846 1,470,451 1,332,839 124,025 1,476,174 316,869 79,048,920 3,548,901 2,071,431 4,720,660 4,152,289 2,513,557 8,525,527 1,629,376 893,870 4,742,346 1,450,059 2,474,878 455,739 European stocks shaken by fears of return to crisis AFP London E uropean stocks closed mixed yesterday, with German shares staging a late comeback after fears that eurozeone could be heading toward a fresh crisis spread turmoil through markets for much of the day. LondonвЂ™s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended down 0.25% at 6,195.91 points, while in Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.54% to 3,918.62 points. Meanwhile FrankfurtвЂ™s DAX index added 0.13% compared with WednesdayвЂ™s closing level to 8,582.90 points. вЂњA combination of factors ensured the perfect storm that has been brewing since the start of the week continued to rage on in full force,вЂќ said Kash Kamal, an analyst at Sucden Financial. вЂњWorries regarding the political stability in Greece and its already fragile bailout plan combined with the slowing growth outlook across the eurozone after weaker than expected macro data... have seen a protracted sell-off across the majority of risk assets.вЂќ Investors were gripped by panic after weak eurozone inп¬‚ation data, poor demand at a Spanish bond auction and fears that Greece could be set for a fresh п¬Ѓnancial crisis when it exits its bailout plan sent fresh tremors through already jittery п¬Ѓnancial markets. Indexes around Europe dropped more than 3% after the EU and ECB scrambled to promise Greece that its banks would still have BrusselsвЂ™s support when it leaves its debt-rescue programme. Adding to the fears were worries that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could start to spin out of control. GreeceвЂ™s Finance Minister Guikas Hardouvelis said yesterday that the market turmoil вЂњdoes not reп¬‚ect the position or prospects of the Greek economyвЂќ. The selloff continued on Wall Street, with US shares continuing the sharp spiral lower sparked by weak retail sales data the day before. In mid-afternoon trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 16,072.03, down 0.43% from WednesdayвЂ™s close. The broad-based S&P 500 sank 0.47% to 1,853.72 points, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.61% to 4,189.78 points. Eurozone exports fell for the third month running in August, dropping 0.9% in the latest sign of economic weakness, official data showed. Inп¬‚ation in the eurozone had dipped to 0.3% in September, the lowest level since п¬Ѓnancial debt crisis in 2009, separate п¬Ѓgures conп¬Ѓrmed. The data adds to concern that the eurozone could slip into a dangerous spiral of deп¬‚ation, which stiп¬‚es economic growth and could hurt many of the blocвЂ™s already cash-strapped governments. Weak eurozone economies such as Portugal and Greece saw their bonds fall as investors feared they could once again sink into п¬Ѓnancial crisis, while even fast-growing Spain saw demand for its debt drop. вЂњIt looks increasingly likely that 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 Germany, the blocвЂ™s powerhouse economy, will slip back into recession, and the risk of deп¬‚ation looms ever larger,вЂќ said economist Ben Brettell at brokerage Hargreaves Lansdown. All this comes in a climate of new tension over eurozone national budgets, notably in debt-laden France and Italy. Pushing his case for a shift away from austerity in EU economic policy, French President Francois Hollande put the slump in global markets down to stagnating growth in the eurozone. вЂњThe US is slowing down, Europe has not found a way back to growth, which is what I am п¬Ѓghting about,вЂќ he said. The selloff also hit oil prices, which slumped due to concerns over the health of the world economy and news of higher-than-expected stockpiles in the worldвЂ™s top consumer, the US. вЂњWith investors continuing to п¬Ѓnd shelter under the safe-haven of the dollar, commodity prices slid further, which is not good news for the bottom lines of companies like Royal Dutch Shell and BP,вЂќ said Tony Cross at Trustnet Direct. Crude brieп¬‚y fell below $80 a barrel in New York, while in Europe, Brent hit a fresh four-year low of $82.66. Sentiment was also rocked this week by investor concerns over the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. вЂњThe big worry is that Ebola is going to bring in a level of uncertainty thatвЂ™s never been seen before in the markets, and the markets donвЂ™t know how to price uncertainty,вЂќ said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital. Lt Price 3.17 31.05 3.50 5.42 8.62 24.80 13.88 129.30 4.62 5.51 21.25 23.75 91.45 21.00 6.51 18.40 17.60 20.55 20.85 11.34 13.10 65.25 12.00 10.22 9.98 3.91 22.75 127.80 51.50 % Chg 0.32 -1.43 -0.85 -1.09 -1.37 -0.60 -0.72 -1.82 -2.33 -0.90 -1.16 -1.86 -1.19 -1.41 -1.81 -1.60 -1.90 -1.91 -0.71 -2.07 -0.61 0.08 -2.12 -1.73 -3.48 -1.01 -2.57 -0.47 -1.53 Volume 13,280,289 1,635,926 297,489,145 23,452,316 8,827,926 7,412,637 3,858,600 3,659,049 22,229,000 165,670,585 17,742,026 2,511,429 11,228,159 16,458,851 113,238,891 2,804,400 11,425,249 4,271,600 14,137,000 15,540,774 10,627,000 2,971,035 122,228,415 3,719,346 7,384,136 4,040,800 3,894,300 852,197 3,636,823 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 17.88 172.20 77.65 95.00 4.88 9.00 30.50 9.32 9.29 58.15 72.15 12.32 113.40 99.50 113.00 54.85 % Chg -0.33 -0.17 -1.21 -0.73 -1.01 -1.53 -0.81 -2.20 -0.32 -0.51 -0.41 -0.65 -1.39 -0.80 -1.22 -0.72 Volume 13,154,860 4,377,237 27,082,172 6,252,023 225,344,606 23,755,695 1,949,927 18,089,072 84,268,641 8,940,850 4,046,137 2,862,607 5,626,918 734,227 18,460,148 6,204,292 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 12,942.00 9,547.54 7,410.34 1,447.06 6,872.27 4,768.15 4,270.43 Change -387.02 -355.46 -131.22 -14.30 -231.50 -111.77 -222.32 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 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 9 BUSINESS вЂ�S Africa economy to rebound if mining strikes kept at bayвЂ™ Reuters Johannesburg The World Bank estimates electricity outages on average cost African countries around 2.1% of GDP with current output only meeting half of demand and 70% of the continentвЂ™s population living without power. Africa set to switch on gas-to-power potential Power shortages holding back African economic growth; governments pushing ahead with gas-to-power reforms; World Bank, Barack Obama behind вЂњPower AfricaвЂќ legacy; challenges: infrastructure, gas pricing, LNG competition Reuters Johannesburg A fricaвЂ™s under used gas reserves, either exported or burnt away into the sky, are set to play a big role in stemming the continentвЂ™s crippling electricity void, a shift that should boost economies and small-cap energy п¬Ѓrms. Sub-Saharan Africa contains some of the fastest growing and most dynamic economies in the world but electricity shortages deter investment, pushing up business costs and sustaining poverty and inequality. The World Bank estimates electricity outages on average cost African countries around 2.1% of GDP with current output only meeting half of demand and 70% of the continentвЂ™s population living without power. With the exception of South Africa, which uses coal almost exclusively to generate electricity, the rest of Africa relies mostly on expensive and dirty diesel imports. Gas is a cheaper and cleaner alternative. Driven by huge recent п¬Ѓnds in East Africa, sub-Saharan gas reserves have more than doubled in the last 20 years to around 310tn cu ft, around 5% of global supply, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The regionвЂ™s gas output has already grown by 10% a year in the last decade, but most of this has been exported by Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique through liqueп¬Ѓed natural gas (LNG) terminals, the EIA says. However, a shale gas boom in the US, LNG expansion in Qatar and Australia and slow growth among consumers has created a global gas glut. Meanwhile LNG projects in Angola, Mozambique and Nigeria are hitting stumbling blocks. This is prompting a fresh look at using gas domestically. вЂњI think there is a changing dynamic locally,вЂќ Ian Ashcroft, gas and LNG analyst at Wood Mackenzie, told Reuters. вЂњWhat weвЂ™ve seen in Africa recently is a growing domestic obligation or a realisation that there are other beneп¬Ѓts to growing your gas infrastructure, including gas-to-power.вЂќ The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its п¬Ѓrst Africa Energy Outlook this week that it expects the continentвЂ™s electricity generation to quadruple by 2040 with gas-to-pow- er growing its share to 25%, from 17% now. In West Africa, gas will make up 50% of overall electricity output by 2040, the IEA said, driven by reforms in Nigeria, home to the worldвЂ™s eighth largest reserves. Emerging market-focused investment bank Renaissance Capital (Rencap) said African-focused oil and gas companies would also beneп¬Ѓt from rapidly spreading government incentives given to develop oil and gas for domestic use, known as вЂњindigenisationвЂќ. The bank sees the biggest upside potential in NigeriaвЂ™s Seplat, Lekoil and CanadaвЂ™s Africa Oil, which operates mostly in East Africa. Gas is becoming proп¬Ѓtable enough to tempt energy п¬Ѓrms but remains cheaper for consumers than oil for power generation. In Nigeria, gas prices have risen from $1 per million British thermal units (Mbtu), to around $3 Mbtu in the last three years and should increase further, trade sources say. A UN backed report released in May calculated gas in East Africa could reach power plants at between $5-$15 Mptu, depending how close they were to the source. Diesel can cost African industry $20-$40 Mbtu, experts say. вЂњWe believe surging domestic demand coupled with growing regulatory changes take the economics of sub-Saharan gas to a new level,вЂќ Rencap said in a research note this month. Further impetus has been provided by US President Barack Obama who has made cutting electricity shortages his legacy policy on the continent, in a project called вЂњPower AfricaвЂќ, which will include $7bn in US п¬Ѓnancial support. There remain major hurdles, including implementing commercial gas pricing, building expensive infrastructure and working alongside competing LNG projects. Nigeria, AfricaвЂ™s energy giant, has struggled to overcome these problems but the oil ministry has said using gas domestically is its biggest priority, a drive which has coincided with two LNG projects grinding to a halt. Nigeria deп¬Ѓed many critics by completing a relatively successful privatisation of the state-power company two years ago, while locally-owned oil companies are exploiting gas reserves after buying assets from oil majors in recent years. Progress on reforms has been slow and government projections to increase power output tenfold by 2020 are unrealistic but changes, including lifting domestic gas prices, are in motion. вЂњProgress was glacial for three decades. The price of gas was a tenth of the commercially viable price,вЂќ said David Ladipo, whose company Azura is spending $750mn to build a 450MW gas-to-power plant. Seplat is providing the gas. вЂњIt has taken two years for privatisation to progress and weвЂ™re starting to see the beneп¬Ѓts. This year has been the turning point,вЂќ Ladipo added. Tanzania has set out energy policy which prioritises domestic gas use over LNG. US-п¬Ѓrms Symbion Power and General Electric have already committed nearly $1bn to building power plants there. Mozambique, which has had the worldвЂ™s largest natural gas discoveries in a decade, two months ago passed a petroleum law which will force oil companies developing LNG projects, including US п¬Ѓrm oil Anadarko Petroleum and ItalyвЂ™s Eni, to use 25% of production domestically. Mozambique is also carrying out a study, partly-п¬Ѓnanced by the World Bank, for a pipeline linking its gas reserves to neighbouring countries with the continentвЂ™s most developed economy, South Africa, offering a huge potential market. Africa Oil, partnered with Marathon Oil Kenya, said in June it was talking with the Kenyan government about fast-tracking a gas-to-power project at its well in the north of the country, which could hold up to 1tn cubic feet of gas. South AfricaвЂ™s economic growth will probably accelerate next year if labour relations donвЂ™t deteriorate again and if the global economy holds up reasonably well, a Reuters poll found yesterday. In a survey taken in the past week, the median forecast from 35 economists suggests growth will pick up to 2.5% in 2015 from an estimated 1.5% this year. вЂњObviously this assumes that we are not going to have another strike in the mining sector. If that happens, all bets are off,вЂќ said Dennis Dykes, chief economist at Nedbank, referring to crippling nationwide industrial unrest this year. Fractured labour relations in AfricaвЂ™s most developed economy disrupted the mining and auto sectors and hurt business confidence in the first half of the year. That impact is still being felt, although economists think growth has a good chance of rebounding next year from a long period of disappointing performance. Still, South AfricaвЂ™s jobless rate remains uncomfortably high, with almost a quarter of the labour force consistently unemployed since the 2007-2008 recession. Economists say major reforms in the labour market and skills development are fundamental requirements to bring the jobless rate down in a country where growth has been very slow for several years. NedbankвЂ™s Dykes said in order for growth to pick up, a lot of other things needed to happen, including Europe avoiding another recession and China continuing to grow by around 7%. The latest Reuters global poll of economists, of which the South Africa survey is a part, showed forecasters downgrading their estimates for next year. Just under half of economistsвЂ™ forecasts for South African growth were at or below the International Monetary FundвЂ™s 1.4% prediction, with the lowest at 1.2%. Consumer inflation, like in other parts of the world, is expected to ease, averaging 5.7% next year from an estimated 6.2% this year. The South African Reserve Bank, which aims to keep inflation between 3% and 6%, is expected to raise rates by another 25 basis points to 6.0% before the end of this year. The bank has already lifted rates 75 basis points this year. 10 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 BUSINESS Emerging stocks at new 7-month lows Reuters London E People walk past Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens. The ECB will provide more cash for Greek banks if the government follows its international bailout programme, whose possible early end has spooked markets, the Greek central bank said yesterday. ECB eyes extra funding to Greek banks as fall in markets rocks Athens Reuters Athens/Frankfurt T he European Central Bank will loosen its rules on collateral quality to give Greek banks access to more funding, a Greek central bank official said, to help keep them steady following a plunge in Greek stocks and bonds. Another person familiar with the matter said the ECB was set to discuss loosening collateral rules for Greek banks at a meeting of policymakers yesterday. вЂњThe move was decided late on Wednesday evening after talks between the government, the ECB and GreeceвЂ™s central bank governor,вЂќ the Greek official told Reuters, declining to be named. вЂњIt is a supportive move given the pressures in the last two days.вЂќ Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras was in Frankfurt on Wednesday. Under the offer, the ECB would apply a smaller discount than at present when calculating the value of bonds that banks offer in return for ECB funding. This in effect allows lenders to tap fur- ther funds, despite the risks. The discount in value reп¬‚ects the credit quality of the assets offered as collateral, in this case usually junk-rated Greek government bonds or debt guaranteed by Athens. вЂњThe situation in Greece has improved, reforms have been done and the programme has made progress,вЂќ the person familiar with the matter said. вЂњYou can reward Greece.вЂќ The move follows two days of heavy selling of Greek stocks and bonds by investors worried about the governmentвЂ™s plan for Greece to exit its international bailout more than a year ahead of schedule and the threat of early elections next year. In the last two days, shares have lost more than 12% of their value and the yield on GreeceвЂ™s benchmark 10-year bond has surged above the 7% level beyond which borrowing costs are widely as seen as unsustainable. The slide continued yesterday, with yields jumping to 8.8%, their highest level since January, and stocks falling. The Greek official said the new smaller valuation discount meant that an ex- tra в‚¬12bn of liquidity could in theory be tapped by Greek banks. The move comes amid concern in Frankfurt that Greece could struggle were it to quit its п¬Ѓnancial aid programme early. The ECBвЂ™s offer to disregard GreeceвЂ™s low credit rating and accept more government and bank bonds as security for its funding only applies as long as Athens stays under watch in an EU/IMF aid programme. If it leaves, the special treatment and the extra п¬Ѓnance for its banks, would disappear. Cyprus is the only other country in a programme. The decision to trim the вЂњhaircutвЂќ on Greek collateral is also related to plans by the ECB to stop accepting bonds issued by Greek banks and guaranteed by the government as eligible collateral from March next year, a senior Greek banker said. The European Commission said yesterday it will work with Greece to ensure there is a smooth evolution of support for the country after its bailout programme ends. вЂњEurope will continue to assist Greece in whatever way is necessary,вЂќ spokesman Simon OвЂ™Connor told a news brieп¬Ѓng. Greek banks have cut their borrowing from the ECB вЂ“ by в‚¬2bn in the last month to в‚¬42.56bn вЂ“ but still depend on its funding for liquidity. вЂњIf the haircut applies on all asset classes used as collateral to draw funds from the ECB, it is a positive move,вЂќ said Maria Kanellopoulou, analyst at Athensbased Euroxx Securities. вЂњIf it only affects government bonds and T-bills, the impact will not be signiп¬Ѓcant, since after GreeceвЂ™s debt restructuring banks hold small amounts of such assets.вЂќ Greek banking stocks erased early gains and were trading 1.5% lower yesterday. Investors are worried about GreeceвЂ™s ability to fund itself if the government follows through on plans to quit an international bailout вЂ“ the countryвЂ™s second since 2010 - at the end of the year, a year ahead of schedule. Investors also fear a snap election next year that could bring the anti-bailout Syriza party to power. The leftist party has been leading the conservatives in the ruling coalition in opinion polls. Asia bourses take a beating AFP Tokyo Sensex drops; rupee posts biggest fall in a month Reuters Mumbai A sian markets mostly sank yesterday, led by another huge sell-off in Tokyo, following a disappointing set of US data that fuelled fears about the worldвЂ™s top economy. Traders took their lead from New York and Europe, where equities and the dollar sank, while oil prices were rooted at multi-year lows. Tokyo plunged 2.22%, or 335.14 points, to 14,738.38 as exporters were stunned by the stronger yen. Seoul fell 0.37%, or 7.08 points, to 1,918.83 while Shanghai sank 0.72%, or 17.17 points, to 2,356.50. Hong Kong lost 1.03%, or 239.11 points, to close at 22,900.94. However, in Sydney dip-buying helped reverse initial losses, allowing the index to end 0.18% higher, or 9.29 points, at 5,254.9. In other markets, Bangkok lost 1.37%, or 21.26 points, to close at 1,526.15; oil giant PTT dropped 1.71% to 345baht, while Siam Cement fell 0.92% to 430baht. Jakarta ended down 0.23%, or 11.33 points, at 4,951.61; Bank Negara Indonesia gained 1.36% to 5,600 rupiah, while state miner Aneka Tambang slipped 1.00% to 990 rupiah. Kuala Lumpur dropped 1.07%, or 19.07 points, to end at 1,767.77; Fraser and Neave lost 4.62% to 15.68 ringgit, while Malaysia Airlines shed 1.96% to 0.25 ringgit. British American Tobacco edged up 1.86% to 66.72 ringgit. Manila rose 0.53%, or 37.39 points, at 7,028.58; Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 2.8% to 3,160 pesos while Universal Robina was unchanged at 178 pesos. Ayala Land added 3.08% to 33.50 pesos. Singapore closed 1.39% lower, shedding 44.51 points to close at 3,154.21; Singapore Telecom fell 0.81% to Sg$3.67 and Asian publishing giant Singapore Press Holdings dipped 0.24% to Sg$4.16. Taipei slipped 0.25%, or 21.82 points, to 8,633.69; smartphone maker HTC rose 2.72% to Tw$132.0 while Hon Hai fell 1.39% at Tw$92.2. Wellington fell 0.60%, or 30.85 points, to 5,132.02; telecom giant Spark was down 0.35% at NZ$2.88 and Fletcher Building was Pedestrians stand in front of a share prices board displayed on a window of a securities firm in Tokyo. Japanese stocks tumbled 2.22% to a near five-month low yesterday. off 1.61% at NZ$8.55. The US Commerce Department said retail sales fell in September for the п¬Ѓrst time in seven months. Total retail and food services sales dropped 0.3% from August, slightly more than the 0.2% expected on average by analysts. Also Wednesday the Labor Department said US producer prices fell last month for the п¬Ѓrst time since August 2013. Analysts had expected a rise. The news led to fears that the US economy, which has been showing strong signs of recovery this year, may be feeling the effects of a torpid eurozone, a slowdown in China and stuttering Japanese growth. The Dow fell 1.06%вЂ”although it had been more than two% down earlier in the dayвЂ”the S&P 500 shed 0.81% and the Nasdaq eased 0.28%. In Europe LondonвЂ™s FTSE 100 tumbled 2.83% to its lowest close since June 2013, while FrankfurtвЂ™s DAX 30 lost 2.87% and the Paris CAC 40 sank 3.63%. WednesdayвЂ™s US п¬Ѓgures also dampened any chance the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates from record lows any time soon, putting further downward pressure on the dollar. Just two weeks ago the greenback was at multi-year highs against other currencies in anticipation that the Fed would move more quickly than other central banks to tighten monetary policy. In Asian trade, the dollar was at ВҐ106.06, up from ВҐ105.91 in New York but still sharply down from ВҐ107.33 in Tokyo earlier Wednesday. At the start of the month it had broken ВҐ110 for the п¬Ѓrst time in six years. The euro was also boosted against the dollar and ended at $1.2834 in New York. But in Asia yesterday it eased to $1.2774, although it was still much stronger than the $1.2702 in Tokyo on Wednesday. The single currency was also at ВҐ135.50 against ВҐ135.94 in New York. Oil prices extended their losses as investors fretted about weak demand caused by the downbeat economic outlook and the huge increase in supplies coming to the market. Brent oil hit a fresh four-year lowвЂ”tumbling to $83.34 in European trade, down 44 cents from WednesdayвЂ”while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery shed $1.45 to $80.33 per barrel. Gold was at $1,241.90 an ounce against $1,233.25 late Tuesday. merging stocks touched new seven-month lows yesterday, led by steep falls in major oil-exporting markets after another slide in the oil price and persistent concerns about the global economic recovery. MSCIвЂ™s emerging equity index slipped 0.9% after the previous dayвЂ™s 1% fall, sparked by a Wall Street rout and п¬‚ight to safehaven bonds after disappointing US data reinforced worries about the global economy. Most Asian bourses posted heavy falls. With the price of oil continuing to slump, hitting its lowest level in four years, Middle Eastern markets fell hard, led by Saudi Arabia where stocks dropped 5.5%. The Mexican peso had hit two-year lows on Wednesday and stocks slipped 1% . вЂњThe market now wants to see what central bankers at the US Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and European Central Bank can do to calm the markets. What (markets are) waiting for is some verbal support saying they will act if the market gets worse,вЂќ Pravdova added. The weak oil price, now trading below $83 a barrel, is adding pressure on RussiaвЂ™s rouble which has been punished as Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis have restricted Russian companiesвЂ™ access to capital markets. The rouble was 0.9% weaker against the dollar-euro basket, falling past levels used by the central bank to gauge the currencyвЂ™s nominal exchange rate. RussiaвЂ™s central bank said yesterday it had shifted the boundaries of the roubleвЂ™s trading band by 25 kopecks the previous day, following market interventions to curb the pace of the currencyвЂ™s decline. вЂњThe future prospects for the rouble will be determined by oil prices, and only their stabilisation combined with growing sales (of foreign currency) from exporters ahead of the tax period could strengthen a corrective trend,вЂќ Dmitry Polevoy, an ING Bank economist in Moscow, said in a note. Greek stocks, which suffered their biggest one-day loss since the height of the euro crisis on Wednesday due to concerns about possible early elections and AthensвЂ™ plans to wean itself off international aid, continued to fall yesterday although less sharply. They were down more than 1%, adding to an 11.5% slide over the previous two days. Weaker oil prices are also weighing on African sovereign debt, with NigeriaвЂ™s 2023 US dollar denominated bonds marginally lower. GhanaвЂ™s 2023 bond was harder hit, dropping 0.125 of a cent. Ghana cut its economic growth forecast slightly for this year, to 6.9%, on Wednesday as it grapples with inп¬‚ation and a sharp fall in its currency. The government is in talks with the International Monetary Fund on a possible п¬Ѓnancial assistance programme that could begin in January. Indian shares fell for a second consecutive session yesterday, as companies seen most exposed to the global economy such as Hindalco Industries and Sesa Sterlite declined tracking a downturn in global markets. Markets across the world remained weak on worries about global economic growth and the end of US stimulus. Adding to the concerns, overseas investors sold a net $113mn on Tuesday, their third consecutive session of sales, raising fears they were turning more cautious about emerging markets after purchasing Indian shares through the year. However, following exit polls after Maharashtra and Haryana elections, traders expect the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form governments in the two states, giving a further push to Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s reforms agenda. The BJP is set to emerge as the largest party in the two state legislatures where it has traditionally been weak, exit polls showed. вЂњToday, the global cues were so bad and we have been seeing one-sided selling from overseas investors. However, we are expecting positive outcome from the two state elections, which will bring back some confidence among investors,вЂќ said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional investors at KJMC Capital Markets. The benchmark BSE index closed 1.33% lower at 25,999.34, while the broader NSE index fell 1.47% to 7,748.20. Markets were closed on Wednesday for state elections. Metals and mining companies led the losses. Hindalco closed down 5.7% and Tata Steel ended 3.7% down on weak international prices. Sesa Sterlite closed 4.2% lower. London copper hit a six-month low while iron ore futures in China and Singapore extended losses with mounting concerns over global growth. Oil and gas explorers such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Reliance Industries fell after international crude prices hit a four-year low. Reliance fell 3.2%, while ONGC closed down 1.3%. Sell-off was also seen in heavyweights as investors preferred to take profits. Larsen & Toubro ended 1.1% lower and Bharat Heavy Electricals closed down 2.8%. However, DLF rebounded and closed up 5.2%, on value-buying after slumping 28.6% to a record low on Tuesday after the securities regulator banned it from the capital markets for three years over violations related to disclosures for its 2007 listing. Meanwhile the rupee posted its biggest single-day loss in a month, hurt by data showing a widening trade deficit and a slump in local shares as part of a global market sell-off, but intervention from the central bank prevented steeper losses. The local unit fell nearly 0.72% yesterday and was the worst performer among Asian currencies as trading resumed after a holiday on Wednesday for state elections. Worries that foreign investors would reduce their exposure are starting to weigh on sentiment, after strong buying in shares and debt had helped support the rupee so far this year. The central bank had been active in the market for most of the day, but stepped up intervention as the rupee threatened to breach the 62-mark, traders said. вЂњThe rupee is playing catch-up with other Asian currencies as it was outperforming them some days ago,вЂќ said Anindya Banerjee, currency analyst at Kotak Securities in Mumbai. вЂњWhen they have catching up to do, the rupee and stocks traditionally overdo it,вЂќ he added, pointing out that the rupee and shares would continue to be under pressure in the coming sessions. The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.8350/8450 per dollar compared with 61.41/42 on Tuesday, after touching 61.93 in intraday trade. The fall was the biggest since September 15. The rupee was hurt after data on Tuesday showed IndiaвЂ™s trade deficit widened to $14.25bn in September from $10.84bn in August due to a jump in oil and gold imports. The rupee closed at 61.8350/8450 per dollar yesterday, after touching 61.93 in intra-day trade. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 11 BUSINESS Monte dei Paschi leads Europe bank falls as stress tests loom Jimmy Choo seen pricing London п¬‚oat at bottom of range Reuters Milan/London Reuters London/Paris S uxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo is expected to set its London п¬‚otation price at 140 pence a share, the bottom of its indicative range, two sources familiar with the matter said yesterday, amid declining enthusiasm for new issues. The price values the company at ВЈ546mn ($874mn), well below the initially hoped for top market value of ВЈ702mn. The п¬Ѓrm had п¬Ѓrst set a price range of 140-180 pence before narrowing it to 140-160 pence earlier this week. Trading is due to begin today. Weaker equities markets have hit demand for new issues in Europe, with British bank Aldermore cancelling plans to п¬‚oat in London. Fund managers have also expressed concern that Jimmy Choo had around ВЈ100mn of debt and was spending more than the industry average on opening new shops. Jimmy Choo operates in one of the strongest segments of the luxury goods industry. But its growth potential has been presented to investors as hinging partly on expansion in China, where demand has weakened in recent months, according to rivals such as Prada, Cartierowner Richemont and industry leader LVMH. Jimmy ChooвЂ™s head, Pierre Denis, however believes newcomers will have an easier time in China and there will be demand for quality footwear. hares in ItalyвЂ™s third-biggest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena slumped to an all-time low yesterday, as fears it could fail European stress tests combined with a fraught global economic backdrop which weighed on the sector. The European Central Bank (ECB) will unveil the results of its balance sheet review and stress tests on October 26 and Monte dei Paschi is seen by many analysts as one of the banks most at risk of failing, despite raising в‚¬5bn ($6.4bn) from shareholders in June to bulk up its balance sheet. The ECB audit of the eurozoneвЂ™s banks is piling pressure on lenders, already suffering from stalled growth which has put the eurozone back at the centre of a global market rout. Shares in Monte dei Paschi, bailed out by Italy after being hard hit in the eurozone debt crisis and a scandal over loss-making derivative trades, have halved in value since its rights issue. Just over 1bn euros has been wiped off its stock market value in the past three days on concerns it may be forced to tap investors for even more cash. Such fears come on top of warnings that Europe risks falling into a spiral of falling wages and prices, threatening banksвЂ™ ability to recover from a debt crisis which just two years ago put a question mark over the future of the currency zone. If banks who fail the stress tests cannot raise capital from stock markets, there is the possibility they will impose losses on bondholders or have to tap their governments or EuropeвЂ™s bailout fund, the ESM, to п¬Ѓll the gap. вЂњIn this type of market investors are running for cover. They are looking L Shares in Monte dei Paschi, bailed out by Italy after being hard hit in the eurozone debt crisis and a scandal over loss-making derivative trades, have halved in value since its rights issue. for safe-haven plays and away from distressed banking names, which explains why those riskier institutions are getting hit harder,вЂќ said Ciaran Callaghan, analyst at Dublin-based Merrion Stockbrokers. вЂњBanks that are required to prepare capital plans after shortfalls are exposed in the stress tests will п¬Ѓnd it more difficult to raise equity privately if weak markets persist,вЂќ Callaghan added. вЂњThis may bring the prospect of bondholder, sovereign or ESM participation back on to the table.вЂќ Shares in Monte dei Paschi were down nearly 10% to a record low of в‚¬0.8075. Banco Popolare di Milano, which raised в‚¬1.5bn in April, was down 7%. MPSвЂ™s chief executive has said the bankвЂ™s capital raising efforts put it on a stable footing, but a big shareholder said late last month it was uncertain whether the ECB health checks would result in further capital requirements. Banco PopolareвЂ™s CEO has said he is conп¬Ѓdent the lender will pass the stress tests and will not ask shareholders for more cash as long as he is in the job. Meanwhile even banks not seen at risk of failing the ECB review were sharply down as the gloomier outlook for the regional economy threatened to further pressure proп¬Ѓt margins, already squeezed by low interest rates and the increased cost of lending in the wake of the п¬Ѓnancial crisis. Among the top 10 European bank fallers were French lenders Natixis and Societe Generale, down 6% and 5% respectively. PortugalвЂ™s BCP and GermanyвЂ™s Deutsche Bank were around 5% weaker. The ECB was preparing to loosen its rules on what sort of collateral Greek banks could park with it to access cheap funding, a Greek central bank ofп¬Ѓcial said, after the countryвЂ™s stocks and bonds plunged this week on fears of a snap election and AthensвЂ™ plans to quit its bailout early. EuropeвЂ™s stress tests are designed to reassure investors once and for all that the regionвЂ™s banks have put their debt crisis behind them. But a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official has warned European banks were still struggling to adapt to a new era of lower proп¬Ѓts and some should be shut. вЂњThe crisis has led to an environment that is vastly different to what we had before ... and banks are struggling to adapt their business models to the post-crisis realities,вЂќ Jose Vinals, director of monetary and capital markets at the IMF, told the British BankersвЂ™ Association annual conference. CORPORATE RESULTS Goldman Sachs net profit surges as bond trading picks up Blackstone declared a quarterly distribution of 44 cents per common unit. Winnebago Winnebago Industries, the US motorhome maker, reported a 22% jump in quarterly profit as sales surged due to increased consumer spending on big-ticket items. The company, whose recreational vehicles range in price from about $65,000 to more than $400,000, said it delivered 2,364 motorhomes in the quarter ended August 30, up from 1,890 a year earlier. The company, small but closely watched because of the view it provides on spending on big-ticket discretionary items, said growth in the quarter was driven by higher consumer demand for the companyвЂ™s motorhomes and towables. The company has launched a number of lowerpriced recreational vehicles to attract families with younger children. As a result, its average selling price fell 8.4% in the quarter. Data from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association showed that motorhome shipments in August, June and July reached their highest level since 2007. WinnebagoвЂ™s net income rose to $12.9mn, or 48 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $10.6mn, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 15% to $245.9mn. Goldman Sachs Group reported a 50% jump in third-quarter net profit yesterday as last monthвЂ™s sudden pickup in bond market activity helped to boost trading revenue. Net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $2.14bn, or $4.57 per share, from $1.43bn, or $2.88 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $3.21 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue from bond-trading, a notoriously volatile business, increased 74% to $2.17bn as strong US economic data, stimulus measures by the European Central Bank, and the surprise exit of trading superstar Bill Gross from giant bond-trading firm Pimco jolted what had been a listless market. GoldmanвЂ™s fixed-income, currency and commodities (FICC) business has been on a declining trend since 2009 as new rules discourage banks from trading on their own book, and many have wondered whether the industry will ever truly rebound. But Goldman says it sees a long-term future in the business as rivals scale back or quit, leaving it to fill the gap. The FICC business contributed about 26% of overall revenue in the latest quarter, compared with about 40% of annual revenue in 2009 and 25% last year. вЂњIt is a positive indication that the long drought on the trading floor may be nearing an end,вЂќ said Chris Kotowski, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. The bank, also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the resurgence in equity capital markets this year, said revenue from equity underwriting rose 54% to $426mn. Tata Consultancy IndiaвЂ™s biggest outsourcing firm Tata Consultancy Services yesterday reported a 13.6% rise in quarterly net profit from a year ago on strong demand from clients in North America and Europe. The Mumbai-based company, commonly known as TCS, said its outlook was bright and that the firm would continue to invest in building its business. TCS said net profit for the second financial quarter, ending September 30, rose to Rs52.88bn ($854.97mn) from Rs46.54bn a year ago. вЂњDriven by strong volumes and robust utilisation rates, this has been a quarter of steady, consistent performance,вЂќ TCS chief executive N. Chandrasekaran said in a statement. The firm inked eight large deals in the July-September quarter and the prospect of more was вЂњstrong with good opportunities across all sectors of the economyвЂќ, Chandrasekaran told reporters. TCSвЂ™s chief financial officer Rajesh Gopinathan said the firm вЂњremained focused on supporting business growth by optimising operations and maintaining marginsвЂќ. The firm said it had hired 20,350 people in the last quarter, takings its employee base to 313,757 people. India has become a back office to the world as companies, especially in developed nations, have subcontracted work to firms such as TCS, taking advantage of the countryвЂ™s skilled English-speaking workforce. Blackstone Blackstone Group, the largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, reported an 18% rise in thirdquarter profit yesterday, missing many analystsвЂ™ expectations. Blackstone, whose investments include the Weather Channel, shoemaker Crocs and SeaWorld Entertainment, said economic net income, a metric of profitability that takes into account the mark-tomarket valuation of its portfolio, was $758mn for the quarter, up from $640mn a year earlier. This translated into ENI of 66 cents per share. Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll had forecast 72 cents on average. Distributable earnings, which show actual cash that is available to pay dividends, rose 115% in the third quarter to $672mn. Assets under management were $284bn at the end of September, up from $279bn at the end of June. Baker Hughes Baker Hughes, the worldвЂ™s No 3 oilfield services provider, reported a lower-than-expected profit as political tensions disrupted activity in Libya and Iraq, and a sharp fall in drilling in the Gulf of Mexico weighed on margins. Baker Hughes shares dropped more than 10% in premarket trading on Thursday as the companyвЂ™s profit fell short of market expectations for the first time in five quarters. вЂњWe think Street expectations were that Baker Hughes was somehow more insulated from negative forces this quarter,вЂќ Jefferies & Co analysts wrote in a note. The results вЂњraise the specter of weaker-than-expected activityвЂќ in the Gulf of Mexico. Shares of Halliburton Co, which like Baker Hughes gets about half of its revenue from North America, also fell 5%. Brent oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel on Thursday to a four-year low below $83 a barrel. Schlumberger Ltd, the biggest of the trio, in contrast, relies more on international markets. Shares of the company, scheduled to report results after markets close yesterday, were down more than 2%. Baker HughesвЂ™ pretax profit margins in its operations in Europe, Africa and the Russia Caspian region slumped to 8% in the third quarter ended September 30 from 17% a year earlier. North America was the brightest spot in its operations due to increased demand for pressure pumping - used in hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas from shale rock - and a seasonal rebound in activity in Canada. Higher spending by US oil and gas companies on lucrative shale fields has boosted onshore drilling at the expense of costly offshore projects, such as those in the Gulf of Mexico. Renishaw British precision engineering group RenishawвЂ™s first-quarter profit doubled, driven by large orders from the Asia-Pacific region which analysts believe are related to new product launches by Apple Shares in Renishaw, a FTSE-250 company, rose as much as 4.6% yesterday. The company, which makes machine tool probes and gauges, said it expected continued investment in production systems leading to greater demand for its products even while it may experience вЂњunpredictable ordersвЂќ both in terms of size and timing. Analysts believe the unpredictable orders were arising from the launch of new products by Apple, which is expected to unveil thinner and more powerful iPads. The smartphone maker launched the iPhone 6, iPhone Plus and Apple Watch last month. Renishaw reported a record ВЈ51.2mn ($81.8mn) order book for the first quarter ended September 30. вЂњBasically, the contract manufacturers that make the products for Apple buy products from Renishaw that are used to make these products. So if Apple brings out a new product, it means the contractor of Apple is more likely to buy a whole lot of products from Renishaw,вЂќ analyst Jo Reedman of N+1 Singer Capital Markets told Reuters. Renishaw reported 28% growth in revenue for the first quarter, Netflix Netflix signed up fewer video streaming subscribers than forecast for the quarter that ended in September as its US growth slowed markedly, sending its shares plunging as much as 27%. Net income rose to $59.3mn, or 96 cents per share, from $31.8mn, or 52 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose about 28% to $1.41bn. Analysts had expected profit of 93 cents per share on revenue of $1.41bn, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company blamed a $1 price hike to $8.99 a month for discouraging new sign-ups. It lured 3.02mn new streaming customers globally, versus the 3.69mn it projected in July. Netflix attracted about 980,000 new customers in the US, its largest market, down from 1.29mn in the same period a year earlier. The news came after Time WarnerвЂ™s HBO said on Wednesday it will offer new competition next year with a streaming service that does not require a pay TV subscription. вЂњYear-on-year net additions in the US were down,вЂќ Netflix said in a quarterly letter to shareholders. вЂњAs best we can tell, the primary cause is the slightly higher prices we now have compared to a year ago.вЂќ Shares of Netflix fell 25% to $333.53 in after-hours trading, from their $448.59 close on Nasdaq. Netflix, waving off fears that a standalone HBO would draw users away, argued that many will subscribe to both services because they offer different shows. American Express American Express Co, the worldвЂ™s largest credit card issuer, reported an 8.1% rise in quarterly profit due to higher spending by US customers using its credit cards and a rise in its net interest income. Spending by US holders of AmEx cards rose 9% in the third quarter, boosting profit in the business by 14%. The business accounted for nearly three-quarters of the companyвЂ™s profit. US consumer spending rose 0.5% in August after being unchanged in July, the Commerce Department said last month. AmEx, which issues its own cards unlike Visa and Mastercard that work through banks, benefits from its largely affluent customer base and low rates of default. However, single-digit growth in spending by its card users for about two years has pushed the company to launch products such as a fee-free card that targets a wider range of customers. The companyвЂ™s net income rose to $1.48bn, or $1.40 per share, in the quarter ended September 30 from $1.37bn, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier. Net interest income rose 8.7% to $1.4bn. However, total revenue, net of interest expense, remained nearly unchanged at $8.33bn. Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault said AmExвЂ™s revenue was growing at a pace below the companyвЂ™s long-term target. Friday, October 17, 2014 BUSINESS GULF TIMES Race is on for the вЂ�tallest skyscraperвЂ™ in East Asia By Arno Maierbrugger Gulf Times Correspondent Bangkok Despite ThailandвЂ™s troubled economy and a military-controlled government in place, a Thai developer has announced that it will build a вЂњnew landmarkвЂќ for the country, a 615-metre 125-storey вЂњSuper TowerвЂќ in Bangkok, slated to be completed by 2019. When finished, this building within a mixed-used development in one of BangkokвЂ™s main residential and business districts on Rama IX Road, will be the tallest tower in Southeast Asia, surpassing Kuala LumpurвЂ™s Petronas Towers (452 metres), as well as stand among the tallest towers in the world, only 213 metres shorter than DubaiвЂ™s Burj Khalifa but taller than the Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (601 metres), TaiwanвЂ™s Taipei 101 (509 metres), the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres) and the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong (484 metres). It is only challenged by two Chinese towers currently under construction, the Pingan International Finance Center in Shenzen (planned height: 648 metres) and the Shanghai Tower (planned height: 632 metres), as well as of course the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah which should reach a height of 1 kilometre at its estimated completion in 2019. Building super-tall structures is a novelty for Thailand. The countryвЂ™s current tallest tower is the 7-year old Baiyoke II Tower in Bangkok at a meagre height of 304 metres. Construction of other supertall buildings has just started recently, with the MahaNakon Tower, Magnolias Waterfront Residences and Landmark Waterfront expected to reach over 300 metres in height each. The stock exchange-listed developer of BangkokвЂ™s new вЂњSuper TowerвЂќ вЂ“ the name for the building is still temporary and a competition will be held -, Grand Canal Land, said that construction costs for the tower will be around $560mn. he building will encompass 320,000 square metres of space, of which 90,000 square metres will be for offices, and the rest for residential use, a вЂњsix-starвЂќ hotel with 260 rooms, retail space, a convention hall, an observation deck and rooftop gardens. The structure will be part of the Grand Rama 9 complex, which stretches over 1.2mn square metres of land designed to serve 300,000 people a day. The developer said it will finance the tower at a 60% debt rate from four Thai banks and expects rental income from a partially opened tower as early as 2016. It will also seek domestic and international investors for office and condominium space, obviously inspired by the fact that the MahaNakhon Tower has been a hit with Dubai investors at a sales roadshow last year and already bagged $27mn in investments from a Dubai business group. However, industry experts say that they are not convinced that super-tall structures in Thailand are going to be a commercial success. вЂњProspects for super-tall buildings are not impressive considering the cost of development against achievable rentals. There is not enough demand from the types of tenants who are willing to pay a rental premium,вЂќ says Aliwassa Pathnadabutr, Managing Director of CBRE Thailand. So far, buildings with 30 to 50 storeys have proved popular with residents and companies in Thailand and can indeed command higher rents, he said, but added that вЂњwe have yet to see a premium in prices of buildings with more than 60 floors.вЂќ An artistвЂ™s impression of the 125-storey вЂ�Super TowerвЂ™ in Bangkok, slated to be completed by 2019. AbbVie ditches planned Shire acquisition Reuters London U Oettinger: All-out efforts to secure the EUвЂ™s gas supplies. EU could step in to ensure gas supply if Russia п¬‚ows cut off Reuters Brussels E uropean Union authorities could intervene to prevent gas shortages this winter in the event the Ukraine crisis causes disruption to п¬‚ows from Russia, EU stress tests showed yesterday. European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger unveiled the results of tests conducted across the EUвЂ™s 28 member states and 10 neighbouring countries to assess how vulnerable Europe would be in the event of a six-month supply cut from Russia. вЂњIf we work together, show solidarity and implement the recommendations of this report, no household in the EU has to be left out in the cold this winter,вЂќ Oettinger said. Should market forces alone not be able to secure supplies, authorities could intervene, the tests concluded. вЂњA market-based approach should be the guiding principle, with non-market measures (i.e. the release of strategic stocks, forced fuels switching and demand curtailment) only kicking in when the market fails,вЂќ the European Commission said in a statement. вЂњResponsibility (for a market intervention) should be shared between public authorities and industry through the implementation of the EUвЂ™s Security of Gas Regulation,вЂќ it said. Russia is EuropeвЂ™s biggest gas supplier, meeting around a third of the regionвЂ™s demand, and the EU gets about half of the Russian gas it uses via Ukraine. Analysts say that some form of disruption of Russian п¬‚ows to the EU is likely this winter, either because Ukraine has to siphon off some gas meant for transit en route to Europe in order to meet its own demand, or because Russia reduces its exports to the EU if the crisis with Ukraine deteriorates further. вЂњAs Ukrainian storage only reached a maximum level of 16.7bn cubic metres and withdrawing should start soon, this will make it difficult to meet local consumption this winter,вЂќ French bank Societe Generale said in a research note yesterday. вЂњUkraine needs direct Russian gas this winter: the longer it waits, the stronger RussiaвЂ™s position is likely to become. Our basecase scenario calls for a short interruption of gas transit this winter in Ukraine,вЂќ it said. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned yesterday that Russia will cut gas supplies to Europe if Ukraine steals from the transit pipeline to cover its own needs, although he was hopeful it would not come to that. The European Commission has been working on emergency plans since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, including steps such as banning gas exports from the EU and limiting industrial use in order to protect households. Germany is EuropeвЂ™s biggest buyer of Russian gas, paying Russian gas exporter Gazprom around $15bn a year, while EU members such as Bulgaria and Slovakia are almost entirely reliant on Russian gas imported via Ukraine. While high gas storage levels and easing prices have helped much of Europe prepare for winter, a disruption in Russian п¬‚ows would still pose a risk to markets such as Bulgaria and Britain. Britain and Bulgaria both have small gas storage capacities, of three weeks and two months respectively, while Germany has some of EuropeвЂ™s biggest at almost half a year. Russia cut off supply to Ukraine on June 16 over what Gazprom said were billions of euros in unpaid bills. Without Russian п¬‚ows, there is concern Ukraine might have to siphon off gas from п¬‚ows transiting the country en route to Europe this winter. The stand-off over pricing is the third in a decade between Moscow and Kiev, though this time tensions are higher in the wake of RussiaвЂ™s annexation of UkraineвЂ™s Crimea region and п¬Ѓghting in the east of Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. S drugmaker AbbVie has pulled the plug on its plan to buy Dublin-based Shire, recommending shareholders vote against the proposed $55bn takeover following new US tax rules. Shire stands to be paid a break-up fee of about $1.64bn, assuming AbbVieвЂ™s shareholders follow the advice and reject the transaction. The reversal вЂ“ which had been anticipated after Chicago-based AbbVie said it was reconsidering the deal вЂ“ hands a major scalp to the US Treasury, which has been п¬Ѓghting to make taxavoiding acquisitions more difficult. That has hit the value of other potential takeover targets in Europe and cast a shadow over transactions that have yet to be completed. But AbbVieвЂ™s retreat could spark fresh deal-making by Shire, which has a strong track record of acquisitions to fuel its fast-growing business and may now look around to buy other companies, with its п¬Ѓrepower boosted by the break-up fee. The US governmentвЂ™s tax proposals are designed to make it harder for American п¬Ѓrms to shift their tax bases out of the country and into lower cost jurisdictions in Europe. вЂњThe agreed-upon valuation is no longer supported as a result of the changes to the tax rules and we did not believe it was in the best interests of our stockholders to proceed,вЂќ AbbVieвЂ™s chief executive Richard Gonzalez said in a statement. AbbVieвЂ™s move for Shirewas announced in July amid a spate of deals in the pharmaceutical sector. US economyвЂ™s pulse is still strong: data Reuters Washington T he number of Americans п¬Ѓling new claims for jobless beneп¬Ѓts fell to a 14-year low last week and industrial output rose sharply in September, positive signals that could help ease fears over the economic outlook. Initial claims for state unemployment beneп¬Ѓts dropped 23,000 to 264,000, the lowest level since 2000, the Labour Department said. A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed production at the nationвЂ™s factories, mines and utilities advanced a larger-than-expected 1.0% last month, the biggest gain since November 2012. The data offered evidence the economy remained on solid ground, with the labour market gaining steam. Investors in recent days have come to the view that slowing growth overseas will weigh on the US economy and force the Fed to delay a hike in interest rates. Weak retail sales data on Wednesday shook investor conп¬Ѓdence and helped fuel a global sell-off in stock markets that continued yesterday. US stock markets were trading sharply lower. The jobless claims report nonetheless reinforced expectations that slack in the labor market was being re- duced. вЂњHave we achieved full employment? Not yet. Are we getting closer? Absolutely,вЂќ said Stephen Stanley, an economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. ItвЂ™s possible some of last weekвЂ™s drop in claims was related to AmericaвЂ™s Columbus Day holiday, which may have affected how the Labor Department adjusts the data for seasonal swings, economists at RBS said. The government, however, said there were no unusual factors in the report, while the four-week moving average of claims, which irons out weekto-week volatility, also fell to its lowest level since 2000. A Reuters poll yesterday showed economists still clinging to the view that the Fed would raise benchmark borrowing costs from near zero in the second quarter of next year despite mounting signs of weakness overseas. The poll, however, was largely complete before the latest stock market sell-off, which has been accompanied by a big shift in investor expectations for the path of US monetary policy. Interest rates futures are now pointing to a rate hike in October 2015. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said in a television interview with Bloomberg that the US central bank might want to keep its bond-buying programme running for longer than anticipated given a drop in inп¬‚ation expectations. Bears beat bulls вЂ“ are markets in downward spiral? AFP Paris The bearsвЂ™ growl now dominates the financial markets, scaring away the bulls, as investors turn tail and run in fear as global growth prospects evaporate. Markets are often described as a confrontation between two animals, the bull and the bear. The first is an optimistic and aggressive animal, while the second is defensive and pessimistic. A bullish market is optimistic and investors aggressively chase opportunity and profit, while in a bearish market investors are pessimistic and seek to limit their losses. Once direction has changed, they tend to act as a herd. вЂњIвЂ™m afraid this might be the beginning of a bear market that could last for some period of time,вЂќ said CNBC commentator Dennis Gartman and who publishes his own financial newsletter. вЂњYou have to remember: bears donвЂ™t eat, only bulls in the market enjoy the upside,вЂќ he added. Markets tumbled on Wednesday and fell sharply again on Thursday. Markets have also seen sharp swings in prices in recent weeks. Analysts at CM-CIC see a вЂњparadigm shiftвЂќ taking place on the market. Recent weeks have seen one international organisation after another slash their global growth forecasts. Yet the bulls kept pushing stock prices higher until recent days, when the glum global outlook and uncertainty put the bears in charge. вЂњThe turmoil that hit the markets yesterday ... has addressed some of the disconnect between economic fundamentals and asset prices that have been worrying many economists for some time,вЂќ said analyst Jane Foley at Rabobank. Analysts at CM-CIC said plunge on the stock and bond markets showed investors вЂњhad become aware of the gloomy global growth outlook combined with factors including concerns over the Ebola pandemic and the risk of backsliding in Greece.вЂќ Trader Lee Mumford at Spreadex said вЂњworld growth concerns continue to rattle Bull and bear statues are pictured outside FrankfurtвЂ™s stock exchange. The bearsвЂ™ growl now dominates the financial markets, scaring away the bulls, as investors turn tail and run in fear as global growth prospects evaporate. global markets, sending investors to the sidelines and dumping as much risk as possible.вЂќ IMF chief Christine Lagarde recently summed up the global growth outlook in one word: mediocre. вЂњThere is a risk that the world will be stuck with mediocre growth for a while,вЂќ she said at the beginning of October. And each of the motors of global growth has begun to run rough. The eurozone, haunted by the spectre of deflation, is close to stagnation. ChinaвЂ™s economy has slowed and the recovery in the US has hit some fits and starts. According to bond analyst Rene Defossez, the announcement on Wednesday that US retail sales dropped 0.3% in September вЂњwas the straw that broke the camelвЂ™s backвЂќ. The market likes terms linked to animal behaviour. Analysts at GermanyвЂ™s DZ Bank also pointed to increased volatility on the markets. Now, вЂњthe markets will remain very nervous and alert to the release of each figure,вЂќ said Defossez. The plunge in the markets heaps more pressure on central banks, which have been largely responsible for keeping the global economy from going off the rails in recent years through easy money policies. The US Federal Reserve has wound down its stimulus and is looking to increase interest rates as the US economic recovery takes hold, but вЂњas the monetary morphine has started to wear off the patient has come to realise that a lot of the old problems still remain,вЂќ said CMC Markets UK analyst Michael Hewson. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi calmed a storm in financial markets in 2012 by promising that the ECB would do вЂњwhatever it takesвЂќ to save the euro, and recently he announced additional measures to support the eurozone economy. But he also insists that growth ball is very much a matter for national governments and policy reforms. Analysts at Aurel believe the market rout this week is just вЂњa foretaste of a financial crisisвЂќ. Others are more optimistic, like Alexandre Baradez at IG, who said the market slump does not вЂњcall into question the medium-term outlook of markets for a recovery in the eurozone economy.вЂќ But Richard Jeffrey, chief investment officer at Cazenove Capital Management in London, wondered whether the current bout of market turbulence was вЂњthe echoes of the previous crisis or the start of something more sinister?вЂќ CRICKET | Page 5 TENNIS | Page 10 India look to surge ahead of Windies in Dharamsala Injured Russian veteran Davydenko retires aged 33 Friday, October 17, 2014 Dhul-Hijja 23, 1435 AH FOOTBALL GULF TIMES Messi eyes fresh chance for La Liga goals record SPORT Page 3 SPOTLIGHT GOODBYE Qatar take on China in AFC U-19 quarter-final Montezemolo says Alonso is leaving Ferrari end of season вЂ�The key aspect will be on who can impose their style of play on the game, and thus feel more comfortable and in control вЂ“ that will be a big advantageвЂ™ FerrariвЂ™s F1 driver Fernando Alonso of Spain. Reuters London F Qatar U-19 coach Felix Sanchez Bas wants his team to take control of the match when they play against China today. вЂњAl Saadi has had a very good tournament so far, heвЂ™s been the one scoring the goals for us, so heвЂ™s the most important. However, if he plays tomorrow, we hope he contributes not only goals but also hard-work for the team,вЂќ said coach Sanchez Bas AFC Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar Q atar coach Felix Sanchez Bas wants his boys to impose their style of play when they take on China today in the quarterп¬Ѓnal of the AFC U-19 Championship at the Wunna Theikd Stadium. Qatar have had an unbeaten run in the group stages, winning 3-1 and 2-0 against DPR Korea and Oman respectively and drawing against Iraq, which saw them top the standings in the tough Group D. вЂњThere are many important factors in this game, but the key aspect will be on who can impose their style of play on the game, and thus feel more comfortable and in control вЂ“ that will be a big advantage,вЂќ said Sanchez Bas yesterday. вЂњWe played very well in the group stage, but that is over now. We have to forget about them and focus on this new stage of the tournament, and against a team with a different style of football than we have faced before,вЂќ he added. For Qatar, striker Ahmed al-Saadi has been in great form, having scored an impressive four goals in the three group games and coach Sanchez feels that alSaadi is the key player for Qatar in this tournament. вЂњAl Saadi has had a very good tournament so far, heвЂ™s been the one scoring the goals for us, so heвЂ™s the most impor- Qatar striker Ahmed al-Saadi has been in great form, having scored an impressive four goals in the three group games. tant. However, if he plays tomorrow, we hope he contributes not only goals but also hard-work for the team,вЂќ said coach Sanchez Bas who will be missing the services of defender Jasem Mohamed who has been suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the group stages. In the other camp, China coach Zheng Xiong has talked up their opponents Qatar. Zheng saw former champions China come runners-up in Group C thanks, in large part, to their shock 2-1 opening day win against six-time п¬Ѓnalists and regional rivals Japan. Although China could only follow up that victory with consecutive draws against defending champions Korea Republic and Vietnam, they did enough to secure their place in the knockout stages and make up for a disappointing 2012 tournament, where the East Asians crashed out at the п¬Ѓrst hurdle. вЂњQatar are a very good team and were п¬Ѓrst-placed in a difficult Group D. They are strong-hearted and have several good players at both ends of the п¬Ѓeld,вЂќ said China coach Zheng. вЂњSerigne Abdou and Assim Madibo are experienced and skilled defenders, while Almoez Ali and Ahmed al-Saadi are forwards with excellent individual ability that makes the speed of the Qatar attack very fast. вЂњWe will try to keep a balance between attack and defence, though, and we are prepared for the whole 120 minutes and penalties if it comes to that.вЂќ However, Zheng does have several injury concerns ahead of the tie with forward Xiang Baixu and midп¬Ѓelders Yao Junsheng and Zhang Xiuwei struggling to be п¬Ѓt in time. вЂњThe injury situation is very bad. Xiang was injured in the п¬Ѓrst match against Japan and hasnвЂ™t recovered since, while Yao and Xhang are currently receiving treatment from the medical staff but it doesnвЂ™t look good.вЂќ added Zheng, who knows that the winner of the quarter-п¬Ѓnal tie will also secure a place at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. ernando Alonso is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season because he wants a fresh environment and needs to be winning again, the Formula One teamвЂ™s ex-chairman Luca di Montezemolo said on Wednesday. Ferrari have yet to conп¬Ѓrm Alonso is leaving, although it has been taken for granted in the sport since quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel announced this month that he was leaving Red Bull at the end of the year. Vettel has also yet to say where he is going, although Red Bull principal Christian Horner has said the German is moving to Maranello. вЂњFernando is leaving for two reasons,вЂќ Montezemolo told ItalyвЂ™s RAI television. вЂњOne because he wants to cement himself in another environment. And two because heвЂ™s at an age where he cannot wait to win again. вЂњHe has been disappointed not to have won (the title) in these years and he needs a new stimulus.вЂќ Montezemolo left Ferrari on Monday, handing over to the boss of parent company FIAT Sergio Marchionne. Alonso, a double world champion with Renault, joined Ferrari in 2010 and has п¬Ѓnished runnerup in the championship in three of the past four years. Ferrari have not won a race in more than a year and are currently fourth overall and heading for their п¬Ѓrst winless season since 1993. The 33-year-old Spaniard is expected to return to McLaren, the team he left after one fraught season in 2007 when Lewis Hamilton was his teammate. Alonso told reporters at the Russian Grand Prix last weekend that his choice would be obvious once announced and he was unlikely to be driving a car with a Mercedes engine. He added that there was no big risk of him not having a drive in Formula One next year. Former champions McLaren are starting a new partnership with Honda next season. AlonsoвЂ™s return to Woking would cast a question mark over Jenson ButtonвЂ™s future in Formula One, with the 2009 world champion out of contract at the end of the year. вЂњFernando is leaving for two reasons,вЂќ Montezemolo told ItalyвЂ™s RAI television. вЂњOne because he wants to cement himself in another environment. And two because heвЂ™s at an age where he cannot wait to win again The 34-year-old Briton told reporters in Sochi last weekend that he was relaxed about the future. вЂњIвЂ™m no longer annoyed when people keep asking me,вЂќ he said. вЂњI was (annoyed) at the last race, but I am more relaxed with it. It is getting so close to the end of the season, it is actually getting funny. вЂњBut IвЂ™m not worried or scared with regard to whatever direction I go in in the future.вЂќ QSL back after two-week break The Qatar Stars League is back in action after a two-week break with four matches being played today and the battle to watch out for will be the one between Al Ahli and Al Sadd, being played at the Al Arabi stadium. Sadd find themselves at the top of the table, leading by a single point, after they convincingly beat Lekhwiya 3-0 in a result that pulled the handbrake on the defending champions who were unbeaten in five matches before their loss. Ahli on the other hand are just getting things back on track after their 1-0 win over Al Shamal, before which they had endured two back to back losses against Al Gharafa and El Jaish and they will be keen to put up a strong challenge against the new league leaders. The other key match today is between newcomers Al Shahaniya and Umm Salal who finished seventh in the league last season. Shahaniya have found the going tough in their first season in QSL, having managed just one win so far in their five matches вЂ“ a 2-1 win over Al Wakrah but have endured two close defeats, a 2-3 loss to Sadd and a similar scoreline loss against Al Khor in the last round. Salal, on the other hand, only have their upset 2-1 victory over El Jaish to brag about, having endured two draws and three losses so far which included a shocking 0-1 defeat by Al Kharaitiyat. SalalвЂ™s Turkish coach Bulent Uygun will be hoping his boys can get back to their winning ways, starting with todayвЂ™s match. The other two matches today will see Wakrah taking on Al Arabi and Khor taking on Al Gharafa. Khor beat Shahaniya in the last round to register their first win of the season. Gharafa, meanwhile will be looking to recover from their 1-5 thrashing at the hands of Qatar SC. 2 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 FOOTBALL Silve fit but Ibrahimovic, Luiz to sit out, says Blanc Former France defender Gallas calls it quits at 37 Vanishing spray to make German debut tomorrow Ozil out for at least six weeks, confirms Wenger Keshi sacked as Nigeria puts вЂ�consortiumвЂ™ in charge Thiago Silva is fit to play for Paris Saint-Germain against Lens today, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Luiz will both miss out, coach Laurent Blanc said yesterday. Silva has not played this season after injuring his hamstring in a pre-season friendly in August, but he should be involved in tonightвЂ™s league game. However, Ibrahimovic is still suffering from a heel problem while Luiz picked up a thigh complaint during a friendly in Beijing over the international break. вЂњDavid Luiz is injured, he wonвЂ™t play against Lens, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out for Lens, as are Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marquinhos,вЂќ said Blanc. вЂњThiago Silva is fit but it remains to be seen if he will be in the squad, on the bench or in the starting line-up.вЂќ Former France defender William Gallas has announced his retirement, bringing to an end a decorated 19-year professional career. вЂњYou tell yourself you can always continue but I think that today I canвЂ™t,вЂќ the 37-year-old centre-back told TV channel LвЂ™Equipe 21. Gallas, who started his professional career at Caen in 1995, won 84 caps for France and scored five goals, including the controversial strike in Les BleusвЂ™s 2-1 playoff win against Ireland that earned the side a 2010 World Cup berth. Gallas poked the home from close range after being set up by Thiery Henry, who had clearly handled the ball to prevent it from going out of play. He also played the 2006 World Cup final which France lost on penalties to Italy. Vanishing spray is to make its German debut in the Bundesliga this weekend. After FIFA adopted the measure of using a biodegradable foam which dissolves within a minute to help combat encroachment at free-kicks at the World Cup earlier this year, several other federations and institutions have also adopted it. UEFA now uses the spray in Champions League matches and it has been embraced in England and Italy too. Three German second division matches to be played tonight will herald the introduction of the spray, with the Bundesliga following suit from tomorrow. вЂњDuring the World Cup in Brazil we saw that it works perfectly,вЂќ said Herbert Fandel, the German refereeing chief. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Mesut Ozil faces around six weeks out with a knee ligament injury, a problem that was only discovered when the midfielder joined up with the Germany squad for international duty last week. Ozil, 26, first felt pain in the knee during ArsenalвЂ™s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea on Oct 5 but Wenger told reporters yesterday that the German did not reveal the gravity of the issue at the time. вЂњI didnвЂ™t even know about it. At halftime, just before we went out, the physio told me he had a little pain in his knee but its not bad and he wanted to go on,вЂќ Wenger said. вЂњI told him вЂ�if you donвЂ™t feel well tell me and I will take you off straight awayвЂ™ but he never did in the whole game.вЂќ Stephen Keshi has been removed as head coach of Nigeria and replaced by a вЂњconsortiumвЂќ of coaches for the sideвЂ™s final two African Nations Cup qualifiers next month. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed the move in a statement yesterday, despite Keshi leading the Super Eagles to a 3-1 victory over Sudan in Abuja the previous evening, a result that got their qualification campaign back on track. The consortium will be led by Shaibu Amodu, who returns to the helm for a fifth time, having qualified the side for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa before being replaced by Swede Lars Lagerback. Salisu Yusuf, Gbenga Ogunbote and Aloysius Agu are the other coaches involved in the group. PREMIER LEAGUE LIGUE 1 Chelsea return to local business with Crystal Palace trip Defending champions Manchester City host sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur PSG aim to close the gap on Marseille AFP Paris C hampions Paris SaintGermain will look to close the gap on Ligue 1 leaders Marseille today when they face a Lens side coached by a familiar face at the Stade de France. Paris remain unbeaten this season but six draws in their opening nine games left them in third place over the international break, seven points behind Marseille. Standing in their way this weekend are Lens and coach Antoine Kombouare, who won a host of honours with PSG as a player in the 1990s and then coached the capital side for two-and-a-half years before being unceremoniously sacked in December 2011 with the team top of the league. Kombouare would dearly love to get one over his old side, but a Lens win would be a huge shock. While PSG have become one of EuropeвЂ™s wealthiest clubs under their Qatari owners, Azerbaijan-owned Lens are plagued by huge п¬Ѓnancial problems and have not been able to sign any new players since winning promotion in the summer. In addition, refurbishment work at their Stade BollaertDelelis means they must play home games elsewhere, so this weekendвЂ™s match has been moved nearly 200 kilometres to the Stade de France, in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. A crowd of around 60,000 is expected for the п¬Ѓrst Ligue 1 game to be played at the national stadium since 2009, but only a minority will be backing a Lens side in the relegation zone. вЂњI donвЂ™t like the way we have to work here, I am frustrated, especially for the competitor that I am,вЂќ said Kombouare. вЂњBut we are in Ligue 1 and I have a motivated group of players. We mustnвЂ™t forget that we are playing at home, even if it will be in Saint-Denis. вЂњI hope we donвЂ™t get thrashed, but frankly we have a lot to lose. PSG will wake up soon, so we need to hope that they donвЂ™t wake up against us.вЂќ Kombouare admitted that he must put any feelings for his old club to one side. вЂњI would have liked to have stayed but it in some ways it was a relief to leave. I will always be grateful to PSG and will always be a big fan of the club,вЂќ he said. вЂњBut now we have a game to play and three points to go looking for, so there will be no room for sentiment.вЂќ Paris coach Laurent Blanc continues to sweat over the п¬Ѓtness of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (heel) and Thiago Silva (thigh), and while the latter has returned to training after two months out, he remains a doubt for this weekend. With Marquinhos out and David Luiz picking up a thigh injury playing for Brazil, the champions have problems in defence with a trip to face APOEL in the Champions League to come next Tuesday. On Sunday, Marseille host Toulouse at the Stade Velodrome chasing an eighth consecutive win. The focus there will be on Andre-Pierre Gignac, the former Toulouse striker who is currently the leading scorer in Ligue 1 and starred in FranceвЂ™s friendly win in Armenia in midweek. Second-placed Bordeaux host Caen, while fourthplaced Lille host Guingamp looking for a boost before they face Everton in the Europa League. Tomorrow, Monaco will be without the injured Dimitar Berbatov as they entertain Evian, who have won three in a row. Leonardo JardimвЂ™s side are 13th in the table, and while they have claimed respectable draws with Zenit St Petersburg and Paris in their last two outings, they could п¬Ѓnd this match more complicated. вЂњThis season, we have played well against teams who attack and defend at the same time and leave space for us to construct,вЂќ said Jardim. вЂњIt is harder when our opponents close down the space, sit deep and look to hit us on the break. Especially if they score п¬Ѓrst.вЂќ Fixtures Playing Today: Lens v Paris Saint-Germain Playing Tomorrow: Lorient v Saint-Etienne; Lille v Guingamp, Metz v Rennes, Monaco v Evian, Nantes v Reims, Nice v SC Bastia Playing on Sunday: Marseille v Toulouse; Bordeaux v Caen; Lyon v Montpellier ON A ROLL: Chelsea are currently five points clear at the top, followed by Manchester City, after six wins and a draw from their opening seven matches in the Premier League. Reuters London I n case they needed it, the short trip to Crystal Palace will re-focus ChelseaвЂ™s globe-trotting players on matters at home as the Premier League slips back into gear this weekend after the second international break of the season. Like most of their Premier League rivals, ChelseaвЂ™s squad was scattered far and wide after their 2-0 home win over Arsenal on Oct 5, a result that left them п¬Ѓve points clear after six wins and a draw from their opening seven matches. The leaders will need no reminding, however, that modest Palace will have scant regard for ChelseaвЂ™s clear squad superiority come tomorrow afternoon in south east London. A 1-0 defeat at Palace in late March, when John TerryвЂ™s own-goal sealed their fate, put a serious dent in ChelseaвЂ™s title ambitions last season and had Mourinho accusing some of his players of вЂњdisappearingвЂќ against certain low-key opponents. It is unlikely to happen again, given the improvements Mourinho has made to his squad during the close-season and the clear hunger of his side to reclaim the Premier League trophy after an absence of four seasons. ChelseaвЂ™s German World Cup-winning forward Andre Schuerrle said MourinhoвЂ™s unrelenting will to win is one of the driving forces behind their blistering early season form. вЂњTo him, п¬Ѓnishing second is a failure,вЂќ the 23-year-old told Bild. вЂњHe doesnвЂ™t know the word вЂ�losingвЂ™. ThatвЂ™s how he holds his talk before the matches. His thinking is impressiveвЂ”as impressive as the way he gets his message across. вЂњHe challenges you to be robust on the pitch, to play like a man. To commit a foul. I feel much better since joining Chelsea and I have become much more conп¬Ѓdent.вЂќ Yet Mourinho would still have been anxious as he counted his players back in through the training ground gates this week. He would have kept a particularly careful eye on Spain striker Diego Costa, whose nine league goals since signing from Atletico Madrid have fuelled ChelseaвЂ™s п¬‚ying start. Despite concerns over his hamstring, Brazilian-born Costa played the full 90 minutes in SpainвЂ™s surprise Euro 2016 qualiп¬Ѓer loss to Slovakia and all but eight minutes in the win over Luxembourg when he scored his п¬Ѓrst goal for his adopted country. Cesc Fabregas and Cesar Azpilicueta were also on Spain duty, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, who suffered a head injury against Arsenal, were with Belgium while Gary Cahill featured in EnglandвЂ™s wins over San Marino and Estonia. SerbiaвЂ™s Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic both played in SerbiaвЂ™s п¬‚ashpoint match against Albania in Belgrade that was abandoned after п¬Ѓghting broke out on Tuesday. Palace, sitting in 15th place with eight points, have also seen their preparations for the Chelsea clash disrupted by international call-ups but striker Fraizer Campbell says a clash against MourinhoвЂ™s side is the perfect motivation. Like Mourinho, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini would also have found himself kicking his heels since his sideвЂ™s last game, a 2-0 win at Aston Villa. The champions, п¬Ѓve points behind Chelsea in second place, return to action with a lunchtime kickoff at home tomorrow to sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. Before CityвЂ™s recent rise it was a п¬Ѓxture that п¬Ѓlled their fans with dread. The tables have turned though and City have won the last four between the sides at the Etihad, including a 6-0 drubbing of the north London side last November. City will likely be without midп¬Ѓelder Yaya Toure who was in action for the Ivory Coast on Wednesday night against Congo and will have precious little recovery time. Sergio Aguero travelled to Hong Kong for ArgentinaвЂ™s friendly but, unlike team mate Pablo Zabaleta, was rested. Arsenal will hope to make up some lost ground with a home match against Hull City while third-placed Southampton, beaten by Tottenham before the international stoppage, have the chance to maintain their spot in the top four at home to Sunderland. Fourth-placed Manchester United must wait until Monday for their away match at West Bromwich Albion while Liverpool have a Sunday lunchtime assignment at bottom club Queens Park Rangers. Fixtures Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur; Arsenal v Hull City; Burnley v West Ham United; Crystal Palace v Chelsea; Everton v Aston Villa; Newcastle United v Leicester City; Southampton v Sunderland Paris Saint-GermainвЂ™s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still suffering from a heel problem and will sit out of todayвЂ™s match against Lens. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 3 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT Germany in state of shock after poor Euro start AFP Berlin J ust three months after their World Cup triumph, Germany are in a state of shock following the poor start to their Euro 2016 qualiп¬Ѓers with Joachim Loew vowing to make amends. With four point from their п¬Ѓrst three qualiп¬Ѓers, including their shock defeat to Poland and draw with the Republic of Ireland, Germany п¬Ѓnd themselves in the unusual position of third in Group D. They are already three points adrift of leaders Poland and the second-placed Irish with fans wondering where it all went wrong. German supporters were still in a state of World Cup euphoria after the Brazil triumph in July when the Euro qualiп¬Ѓers began as the world champions laboured to a 2-1 win over Scotland in September. The reasons were obvious. The retirements of defenders Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and goal-machine Miroslav Klose took a combined tally of more than 350-caps worth of experience with them. Injuries to midп¬Ѓelders Bastian Schwein- steiger and Sami Khedira meant head coach Loew had to pack new talent around the skeleton of the team which won the World Cup. But there was still no cause for concern. After all, Loew retained the nucleus of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, centre-backs Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. Midп¬Ѓeld stars Mario Goetze, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller all have experience beyond their tender years with memories of that fabulous night in Rio de Janeiro still fresh. But having spluttered badly against Scotland and in the 4-2 friendly defeat to Argentina, LoewвЂ™s п¬Ѓnely-tuned machine п¬Ѓnally broke down in Warsaw last Saturday. The mis-п¬Ѓring attack was made to pay for woeful п¬Ѓnishing and wasted chances as Poland earned an historic п¬Ѓrst win over Germany at the 19th attempt in a shock 2-0 victory. LoewвЂ™s side lost their proud record of 33 qualiп¬Ѓcation matches unbeaten dating back to October 2007. Despite an air of steely determination, amidst talk of вЂњputting things rightвЂќ, LoewвЂ™s side then threw away a 1-0 lead as John OвЂ™Shea celebrated his 100th cap with the 94th-minute winner in IrelandвЂ™s 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday. It was one of only three chances the Irish had all game, just like Poland, who had scored twice despite just four clear chances. The stats from both games paint a stark picture of Germany failing to capitalise despite dominating. In both matches, they controlled two third of possession and made two passes for each of their opponentsвЂ™ one. The corner count was 6-0 to Germany against Poland and an even more emphatic 9-1 against the Irish while the goal chances were 22-4 against the Poles and 19-3 against the Irish. вЂњWeвЂ™re, naturally, very disappointed, we had imagined a very different points tally against Poland and Ireland,вЂќ admitted Loew who took a single point from the desired six. вЂњNow we must look forward. We will win against Gibraltar and then collect ourselves and concentrate all forces. Then we will return next year and п¬Ѓght back.вЂќ The п¬Ѓrst problem Loew needs to solve is recruiting a striker who can convert all those chances his midп¬Ѓeld creates. Injury and illness did Loew few favours during the recent internationals. Withdrawals meant he could name only six outп¬Ѓeld replacements against Ireland and by naming defender Matthias Ginter next to Kroos FOCUS Messi eyes fresh opportunity for La Liga goals record вЂ�He is a very normal lad. He spends time with his family, he has fun, he tries to enjoy lifeвЂ™ he was down to his third-choice defensive midп¬Ѓeld pairing. Without a recognised striker, LoewвЂ™s experiment of playing Mueller or Goetze up front as a вЂ�false nineвЂ™ is no longer working like it did in Brazil. Klose has hung up his boots while Loew has repeatedly over-looked Bayer LeverkusenвЂ™s 30-year-old striker Stefan Kiessling. He has a pair of promising 22-year-olds waiting in the wings in HoffenheimвЂ™s Kevin Volland and HamburgвЂ™s Pierre-Michel Lasogga. But as both Ireland and Poland have put seven goals past the groupвЂ™s bottom side Gibraltar, Germany are now under pressure to post a similar score when they host the minnows in November. Loew also has an away friendly in Spain next month and the opening п¬Ѓxtures of 2015 are against the groupвЂ™s weaker sides Georgia and Gibraltar. The German boss acknowledges that he needs to re-ignite a sense of urgency and precision in his side. вЂњBasically, some players are missing the mental and physical freshness, but I almost expected that,вЂќ he said. вЂњThey are missing the п¬Ѓnal will and precision. You can see in one of two players that they are still feeling the effects of having played at the World Cup.вЂќ Messi had nothing to do with tax affairs, says father Barcelona star Lionel Messi should not be including in a fraud probe because he had nothing to do with his own tax affairs, the Argentine playerвЂ™s father and manager Jorge said yesterday. The player and his father were accused last year of not paying 4.16 million euros ($5.26m, 3.26m pounds) in tax on earnings from the playerвЂ™s image rights from 2007-2009 through the creation of a web of shell companies in Belize and Uruguay. Both Messi and his father denied wrongdoing when they were quizzed at a court in Gava, the Barcelona suburb where the player lives, in September 2013. They pointed the finger instead at a former agent of the 27-year-old player. вЂњI want to be quite cautious over this,вЂќ Jorge Messi said during an interview with radio Cadena Cope when he was asked about the affair. вЂњI have always said it, he had absolutely nothing to do with this issue, so there is no need to talk about it,вЂќ he added. вЂњMy lawyers are dealing with this issue so itвЂ™s something with me and has nothing to do with him.вЂќ Messi moved closer to facing trial over the tax fraud allegation after a Spanish court on October 3 rejected his appeal against being named din the case and ordered the probe to go ahead. Based on the MessisвЂ™ testimony in at the court in Gava in September 2013, public prosecutors called for the case to be shelved. But the court in July ruled that there was вЂњsufficient evidenceвЂќ to believe Messi вЂњcould have known and consentedвЂќ to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income from his image rights and ordered the prosecution of the case to go ahead. MessiвЂ™s lawyers appealed but on October 3 the court вЂњdismissed entirelyвЂќ their petition and upheld its earlier ruling. вЂњIn this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them,вЂќ it said in its ruling. MessiвЂ™s father made a payment of five million euros in August 2013 to cover alleged unpaid taxes, plus interests. That was thought likely to significantly reduce any sentence should they be found guilty. Messi is the fourth richest sportsperson in the world, according to a ranking published in June by Forbes business magazine. The player moved up to fourth from 10th place in just a year with an annual income of just under $65 million, it said. Between 2007 and 2009 he earned more than 10.17 million euros in image rights, including contracts with Adidas, Danone and Pepsi-Cola. ITALIAN LEAGUE Juve alone at top, Roma brood as Serie A resumes DPA Rome Reuters Madrid L ionel Messi will have another chance to match or surpass Telmo ZarraвЂ™s six-decade-old La Liga scoring record of 251 goals when Barcelona host promoted Eibar tomorrow. The Argentina captain and four-times World Player of the Year has netted 249 times in the Spanish top п¬‚ight since he played his п¬Ѓrst match exactly 10 years ago on a Thursday aged 17. MessiвЂ™s goalsвЂ”he has 361 overall in 434 official gamesвЂ”have helped the Catalan club win 21 trophies during the past decade, including six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns. Widely considered one of the best players in soccer history, the 27-year-old has been showered with praises in the run up to the anniversary although his father Jorge insists his son is unaffected either by acclaim or criticism. вЂњThere are times when there is too much praise and other moments when the criticism is excessive,вЂќ Jorge Messi said yesterday. вЂњYou have to stop somewhere in the middle and simply look forward,вЂќ he added. вЂњHe (Lionel) reads and listens to everyone and I donвЂ™t know how he does it but he doesnвЂ™t attach much importance to either the good or the bad. вЂњPeople donвЂ™t know him. He is a very normal lad, like any other. He spends time with his family, he has fun, he tries to enjoy life. He isnвЂ™t any different.вЂќ If Messi fails to equal or overtake ZarraвЂ™s mark on Saturday, his next chance will be in the La Liga вЂ�ClasicoвЂ™ at Real Madrid a week later. The match falls the day after Luis SuarezвЂ™s ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup expires and the Uruguay forward could make his official Barca debut at the Bernabeu. Barca are looking to bounce back this season after missing out on major silverware last season for the п¬Ѓrst time in six years. They have made a solid start under new coach Luis Enrique and are two points clear of Valencia at the top of the standings after seven matches. Messi has six goals in those seven outings and it is a measure of how high he has set the bar in recent years that his tally this term is considered a meagre one by his standards. Cristiano Ronaldo, who ended MessiвЂ™s four-year reign as World Player by winning the latest award, has a jaw-dropping 13 goals in six La Liga appearances for Real and will be gunning for more when they visit Levante tomorrow. Real, who appear to have recovered from an early-season wobble, are four points behind Barca in fourth place, with Valencia, who play at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, in second and Sevilla, who are at Elche also on Sunday, third. Champions Atletico Madrid are п¬Ѓfth, п¬Ѓve points adrift of Barca, ahead of their game at home to Espanyol on Sunday. Fixtures Levante v Real Madrid; Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo; Barcelona v Eibar; Cordoba v Malaga LANDMARK MOMENTS: MESSIвЂ™S 10 YEARS IN THE GAME Argentine superstar Lionel Messi made his competitive debut for Barcelona on this day 10 years ago. Here are some landmark dates in his career since: В„October 16, 2004: Messi made his league debut for Barcelona against city rivals Espanyol. He was aged 17 years and 114 days and came on as a late substitute for Deco. вЂњI will remember those 10 minutes my whole life,вЂќ he said afterwards. В„May 1, 2005: His first competitive goal for Barcelona came against Albacete. This time Messi came on as an 87th-minute replacement for Samuel EtoвЂ™o. He has now notched up 249 Spanish league goals for his club. Barcelona won the La Liga title the same month, the first of MessiвЂ™s six league crowns so far. В„August 17, 2005: Argentina fans could not wait for the protege to make his international debut, but it finished almost as quickly as it began. He came on as a second half substitute against Hungary, but was sent off within two minutes for elbowing an opponent. В„March 1, 2006: Messi scored his first international goal in ArgentinaвЂ™s 3-2 defeat of Croatia. В„June 11, 2006: Messi played his first World Cup finals game as Argentina romped to a 6-0 first-round thrashing of Serbia and Montenegro. He bagged the final goal too and was the youngest scorer in the tournament in Germany. В„July 7, 2007: At his first Copa America tournament, Messi starred alongside Her- nan Crespo and Juan Roman Riquelme as Argentina stormed to the final. Messi scored in the quarter and semi-finals before Argentina fell 3-0 to Brazil in the final. В„August 23, 2008: Barcelona tried to force Messi to forgo the chance to take part in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. But he insisted and provided the assist to Angel di Maria as Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 in the gold medal match before 89,000 people at the Beijing National StadiumвЂ”better known as the BirdвЂ™s Nest. В„May 27, 2009: Messi was not on the team-sheet when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final, but he still earned a winnersвЂ™ medal for taking part in the campaign. He scored the second goal as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in Rome for his first real Champions League win. В„December 1, 2009: Having come third then second in the two previous years, Messi was voted Ballon DвЂ™Or in 2009. It was the start of a record run of four straight triumphs in the contest. Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo managed to outdo him in 2013. В„July 13, 2014: Heartbreak for Messi. The Argentine maestro scored and laid on priceless goals as he reached his first World Cup final. Messi had chances to score but it was GermanyвЂ™s Mario Goetze who got the extra-time goal that stole the game. Messi won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. T he Serie A season restarts tomorrow with champions Juventus alone at the top after defeating Roma to move three points clear before the international break. The 3-2 success at the Juventus Stadium pushed the Bianconeri to 18 points with a perfect record, but Roma disputed all three goals conceded and hinted at favouritism from the referee, who awarded two penalties to the hosts and one to the Giallorossi. Complaints over officiating, a tradition in Italian football, were particularly bitter after the big match and lasted through the past weekend dedicated to Euro 2016 qualiп¬Ѓers. Hoping to settle the issue, Marcello Nicchi, who heads the Italian referee association, intervened this week on a Radio 1 sports programme. вЂњEveryone knows that (Gianluca) Rocchi is one of the top п¬Ѓve European referees,вЂќ Nicchi said. вЂњI talked with (EuropeвЂ™s ruling body) UEFA and they told me that all the (contested) episodes were close calls, not to be considered errors.вЂќ Nicchi also disagreed with the use of video replays as an officiating aid, which the Italian federation president Carlo Tavecchio suggested to world body FIFA after the game in Turin. вЂњLetвЂ™s not turn the Serie A into a video game,вЂќ said Nicchi, adding that referees would have no qualms about goalline cameras. With referee Rocchi being given a game off, Roma open the weekend Saturday at home to lowly Chievo before JuveвЂ™s late game at Sassuolo, sitting last alongside Parma and promoted Palermo. Both sides have Champions League action next week, with the Turin side visiting Olympiacos and Roma hosting holders Bayern Munich. Fiorentina and Lazio open the Sunday programme with both sitting on nine points in eighth position. Surprise package Sampdoria are third as they visit Cagliari and fourth-place Udinese are away to Torino, while Verona and AC Milan clash looking to improve their 11-point records. Atalanta v Parma and Palermo v Cesena are played before the late match Inter Milan v Napoli, with both sides seeking a change of pace after a sluggish start. Genoa and Empoli close the seventh round on Monday. 4 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 FOOTBALL ALLEGATION Albania says stones, concrete hurled at players AFP Tirana A chunk of concrete, stones, coins and lighters were hurled at AlbaniaвЂ™s players and officials before and during the match against bitter rivals Serbia that was abandoned amid onп¬Ѓeld clashes, the Albanian FA said yesterday. AlbaniaвЂ™s assistant coach Altin Lala told a German newspaper he feared for his life during the attacks. While both countries blame each other for the violence now being investigated by UEFA, Albanian Football Association president Armando Duka demanded a вЂњcomplete and independentвЂќ inquiry into the events that have further poisoned relations between the countries. An Albanian FA statement said its team bus had been pelted with stones before the European Championship qualiп¬Ѓer, a chunk of concrete was thrown at the delegation and вЂњcoins, lighters and other objectsвЂќ were hurled at players on the pitch. The game was halted after a drone carried a pro-Albanian п¬‚ag over the Belgrade stadium on Tuesday night, sparking п¬Ѓghting between the two sides. вЂњI was afraid of dying. IвЂ™m generally pretty tough but IвЂ™ve never before seen such hate,вЂќ said Lala in an interview with Bild. вЂњEven the security services, who are supposed to look after maintaining order, were hitting (us). In the tunnel between the changing rooms and the pitch I even saw police hitting our players.вЂќ SerbiaвЂ™s foreign minister has called the п¬‚ag stunt a вЂњpolitical provocationвЂќ by Albania. Albania said Serbian supporters and even police and stadium security had ramped up hostilities. вЂњThe facts are clear, the proof is there and we demand above all a complete and independent inquiry into the incidents reported before, during and after the Albania-Serbia football match,вЂќ Albanian football chief Duka said. вЂњThe aggressors must be punished by all institutions including Serbian justice,вЂќ he added. вЂњI was afraid of dying. IвЂ™m generally pretty tough but IвЂ™ve never before seen such hate. Even the security services, who are supposed to look after maintaining order, were hitting (us). In the tunnel between the changing rooms and the pitch I even saw police hitting our playersвЂќ An Albanian FA statement said the team bus вЂњwas hit with stones thrown by Serbian fansвЂќ. The Albanian delegation led by Duka вЂњwas hit with a piece of concreteвЂќ which has been handed to UEFA for its investigation, the statement added. At the end of the warm-up before the game, the Albanian players were вЂњhit by a shower of coins, lighters and objects as they were making their way to the tunnelвЂќ. Throughout the warmup, the crowd shouted вЂњKill the AlbaniansвЂќ or вЂњDeath to AlbaniansвЂќ and dozens of Serbian fans poured over fences onto the pitch. Throughout the game, вЂњstones, hard objects, lighters and п¬‚aresвЂќ were thrown onto the pitch and at three players who were trying to warm up as substitutes, the statement added. Fans hit Albanian players with stools. The Albanian FA said that Serbian supporters, security stewards and police hit the Albanian players as they left the п¬Ѓeld when the game was halted. SerbiaвЂ™s Football Federation has said the COUNTER AFRICAN NATIONS CUP Albania not mature enough to play in Europe, says Serbia вЂ�Serbian FA is appalled by the provocation and also fears this was a pre-arranged scenarioвЂ™ A masked Serbian supporter pulls a drone after a flag with Albanian national symbols was flown over the pitch and pulled down by SerbiaвЂ™s players during the Euro 2016 qualifying match between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade on Tuesday (October 14). The game was later abandoned. (AFP) Reuters Belgrade S erbiaвЂ™s interior minister said yesterday Albania was вЂњnot mature enoughвЂќ to join the European community, stepping up a war of words over a drone stunt that forced a Euro 2016 soccer qualiп¬Ѓer between the Balkan nations to be abandoned. Nebojsa StefanovicвЂ™s remarks cast further doubt on a visit by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Belgrade on October 22, the п¬Ѓrst by an Albanian leader in almost 70 years. RamaвЂ™s visit had been hailed as opening a new chapter in otherwise fraught relations, centred on SerbiaвЂ™s former province of Kosovo, which has an ethnic-Albanian majority and declared independence in 2008. Both Serbia and Albania aim to one day join the European Union. Albania is a member of Nato. A remote-controlled drone trailing a п¬‚ag of вЂњGreater AlbaniaвЂќ triggered a brawl between players and a pitch inva- drone stunt was вЂњpolitical sabotageвЂќ and that the Albanians refused appeals by the UEFA delegate to carry on playing. The federation said fans who invaded the п¬Ѓeld had only sought to retrieve the п¬‚ag showing a greater Albania. Serb and ethnic Albanian forces fought a war over Kosovo, the mainly Albanian province once under Serbian control which declared independence in 2008. The Belgrade government has never recognised the move. UEFA has opened a formal probe against the Serbian federation over the crowd disturbances, while the Albanian FA faces charges of refusing to play and displaying an illicit banner. The case will be heard on 23 October. UEFA president Michel Platini described the scenes as вЂњinexcusableвЂќ. вЂњImagine if there had been a bomb instead of a п¬‚ag on the drone,вЂќ Platini told French television channel TF1. sion by home fans during the Group I qualiп¬Ѓer in Partizan BelgradeвЂ™s stadium on Tuesday. Yesterday, the Albanian Embassy in neighbouring Montenegro was pelted with stones, breaking windows, and in the Serbian towns of Sombor and Stara Pazova bakeries owned by Albanians were attacked with a hand grenade and petrol bomb. Stefanovic said police had found the drone and, through вЂњexpert analysis,вЂќ would determine its producer and where it was purchased. Such drones, known as quadcopters, can be bought online for several hundred euros. вЂњStatements by leaders of the Albanian government demonstrate that they knew such a provocation was being prepared,вЂќ Stefanovic said. вЂњIf Albania believes that European values are the values of so-called вЂ�Greater AlbaniaвЂ™, then the Serbian Republic cannot share them by any means, and hence we believe that they are not mature enough as a state to join the European family.вЂќ The Serbian Football Association (FSS), which also blamed the Albanians for the incidents but said would press for charges to be brought against home fans who invaded the pitch, called the drone stunt an act of terrorism. вЂњThe Serbian FA is appalled by the provocation and also fears that this was a pre-arranged scenario amounting to a terrorist act aimed primarily against our country, the Republic of Serbia,вЂќ the FSS said. The match was abandoned at 0-0 in the 41st minute, with the two sides blaming each other. Serbia summoned the Albanian ambassador on Wednesday and issued a formal protest. Serbia has pinned the blame on a cluster of Albanian fans in the stadiumвЂ™s VIP stand, including RamaвЂ™s brother, who were granted entrance despite a ban on Albanian fans over security concerns. EuropeвЂ™s soccer governing body, UEFA, has opened disciplinary proceedings against the football associations of both countries. Cape Verde, Algeria qualify for finals Reuters Johannesburg C ape Verde defeat Mozambique 1-0 on Wednesday to become the п¬Ѓrst qualiп¬Ѓers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after a dramatic matchday 4 of qualifying. The Blue Sharks were later joined by Algeria as goals from Yacine Brahimi, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani earned the Desert Foxes a 3-0 triumph over Malawi in Blida. Algeria are the only team with a perfect record after four rounds and lead Group B by six points from Mali with Ethiopia and Malawi three points further behind. Democratic Republic of Congo stunned Ivory Coast 4-3 in Abidjan while titleholders Nigeria overcame Sudan 3-1 to get back into contention for a place among the 16 п¬Ѓnalists. Ghana stayed on track to qualify with a 3-1 home win against Guinea and shock 2012 champions Zambia trounced visiting Niger 3-0 to end an embarrassing winless streak. Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Togo and Tunisia also won while the South Africa-Congo Brazzaville and Burkina Faso-Gabon matches were drawn. Heldon Ramos was the toast of Cape VerdeвЂ”a group of islands off Senegal with a population of less than a millionвЂ” by scoring the 76th-winner in Praia. The islanders debuted in the Cup of Nations last year and exceeded expectations by reaching the quarter-п¬Ѓnals after holding hosts South Africa and Morocco and defeating Angola. Cape Verde have nine points in Group F, Zambia and Mozambique п¬Ѓve each and Niger two with the п¬Ѓnal two matchdays scheduled for mid-November. Although Zambia and Mozambique could п¬Ѓnish level on points with Cape Verde, the island nation would secure a place on the head-to-head rule. Ivory Coast conceded four goals for the second time in three games as they wiped out a two-goal deп¬Ѓcit with 10 men only to be beaten by a late goal. Franck Kessie was red-carded just after half-time with his team trailing 3-1, but a brace from former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou restored equality. A Congolese side desperate to avenge a 2-1 home de- feat by the Ivorians four days ago never gave up and Jeremie Bokila scored his second goal a minute from time. Cameroon comfortably overcame Sierra Leone 2-0 in Yaounde through early goals from Leonard Kweuke and Stephane Mbia in the other Group D game. The four-time champions have 10 points, DR Congo and Ivory Coast six each and Sierra Leone one. Nigeria were another team to gain revenge as they put a stunning loss in Sudan behind them by winning 3-1 in Abuja. All the goals came during the second half with Ahmed Musa opening and closing the scoring, Salah Ibrahim equalising and Aaron Samuel putting the Super Eagles ahead a second time. With surprise Group A leaders South Africa held 0-0 by Congo Brazzaville in a poor, rain-affected Polokwane game, the two tickets to the п¬Ѓnals are up for grabs. South Africa have eight points, Congo seven, Nigeria four and Sudan three. An Emmanuel AgyemangBadu goal deep in stoppage time sealed victory for Group E pacesetters Ghana in northern city Tamale. Asamoah Gyan gave the Black Stars an early lead, Mohamed Lamine Yattara levelled and Andre Ayew converted a second-half penalty to nudge Ghana ahead a second time. Togo completed a вЂ�doubleвЂ™ over Uganda by winning 1-0 for the second time in п¬Ѓve days with defender Serge Akakpo nodding the 70th-minute winner. Ghana lead the way with eight points, Togo have six and Uganda and Guinea four each. Zambia put a three-match winless Group F run behind them in Ndola by outplaying Niger through second-half goals from Rainford Kalaba, Emmanuel Mayuka and goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, off a penalty. Ferjani Sassi poked the ball into the net off a corner four minutes into stoppage time to give Tunisia a 1-0 Group G victory over Senegal in Monastir. Malick Evouna earned Gabon a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou after Jonathan Pitroipa had given the home team a half-time lead. After failing to score in three matches, Angola overwhelmed Lesotho 4-0 in Luanda, Egypt were 2-0 winners over Botswana in Cairo, and Ethiopia shocked Mali 3-2 in Bamako. PLATINI FOR INTRODUCTION OF SIN-BIN Serbia goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic (left) throws a punch at an Albanian player shortly before the match was abandoned on Tuesday. The match between the Balkan rivals was scoreless when it was stopped in the 41st minute. (AFP) UEFA president Michel Platini says he wants to see the sin bin introduced in football, but only to combat back-chat from players. In his book вЂњParlons FootballвЂќ (talking about football), released yesterday, Platini, a former player, espouses the idea of creating a white card, to go alongside the existing red and yellow ones, to be used specifically to send players to the sin bin if they talk back to referees. He says the move would help fight against the вЂњcraze of contesting the refereeвЂќ which has become вЂњa veritable epidemic in footballвЂќ. He said the white card would be followed by a 10-minute spell on the sidelines. вЂњIt should not be confused in any way with the yellow card, which for its part is dedicated to fouls within the game,вЂќ added the 59-year-old Frenchman, a legend in his country due to his feats as a player in the 1970s and 1980s. The measure was one of a number proposed by Platini in his book, including increasing the amount of substitutes allowed during games from three to five. He said he wanted to allow вЂњtwo changes at half time while maintaining the possibility to make three more during the course of the matchвЂќ. Another idea is to remove the minimum age requirement for referees, allow goaline officials to enter the field of play and to put an end to the so-called вЂ�triple penalisationвЂ™ when a player concedes a penalty and is sentoff for a professional foul, with a goal often being scored as well. Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 5 CRICKET SPOTLIGHT TUSSLE Swann insists his decision to retire was the right one вЂ�It was because I just couldnвЂ™t turn a cricket ball, which, as a spin bowler, means you are useless to your team. It wasnвЂ™t a form thing, it was succumbing to the inevitableвЂ™ G raeme Swann has insisted he did the right thing quitting midway through EnglandвЂ™s 5-0 Ashes series thrashing despite Graham Gooch calling the decision вЂњcriminalвЂќ. England great Gooch, the teamвЂ™s batting coach on their woeful 2013/14 tour of Australia, told BritainвЂ™s Daily Telegraph on Wednesday that the former off-spinnerвЂ™s decision had been highly damaging to the team. вЂњIt made us a laughing stock,вЂќ said Gooch, one of EnglandвЂ™s most successful opening batsmen. вЂњI cannot understand why he couldnвЂ™t stick it out until the end of the trip. It left a bad taste.вЂќ Swann quit, with England 3-0 down, in December 2013 after deciding a longstanding elbow injury meant it was no longer possible for him to spin the ball properly. вЂњI understand (what he is saying),вЂќ IANS Bridgetown, Barbados T he West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said it endorses the West Indies PlayersвЂ™ Association (WIPA) as the sole body to negotiate on behalf of their players. WICB said they will only get involved in the ongoing impasse between the players union and the West Indies squad, currently playing in India, if invited to do so, reports CMC. The West Indies One-Day International (ODI) squad recently said that the Wavell Hinds-led WIPA no longer had the authority to speak on their behalf. WICB president Dave Cameron, in a letter to playersвЂ™ representative and captain of the Windies team Dwayne Bravo, said that according to the recently signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), WIPA remained вЂњthe sole and exclusive collective bargaining representative recognised by the WICBвЂќ for all persons contracted to play for any West Indies team. вЂњWhat this effectively means is that we will only engage in discussions relating to the welfare, working conditions and remuneration of cricketers with WIPA,вЂќ the letter said. The Windies team had written to the WICB last week indicating they had lost conп¬Ѓdence in WIPA and would seek an alternative bargaining agent. The players are upset with the terms of the CBA/ MOU, which they have argued will result in a 65 percent decrease in their earnings. They said that Hinds, the WIPA president and chief executive, had not been clear on the terms of the newly signed CBA/ MOU and stressed on their вЂњcollective determinationвЂќ not to accept any contracts stemming from the agreement. But Cameron told Bravo the new CBA/MOU represented a Swann told several British newspapers. вЂњGoochy is very old school. вЂњPerhaps if he had gained my perspective on it he might have seen the reasons why I did it. I think he is a bit misinformed thinking I just left because of form. It wasnвЂ™t because of form. вЂњIt was because I just couldnвЂ™t turn a cricket ball, which, as a spin bowler, means you are useless to your team. It wasnвЂ™t a form thing, it was succumbing to the inevitable.вЂќ AUSTRALIA TOUR REGRET Swann added he had made a mistake in not retiring after EnglandвЂ™s 3-0 home Ashes win in 2013. вЂњIn retrospect, I shouldnвЂ™t have gone on the tour at all,вЂќ he said. вЂњThat is my regret. вЂњI wish after the Oval I had read the signs more rather than just think, вЂ�I will be п¬Ѓne. Jim (Anderson) will get 30 wickets. I will only have to hold one end up. I will be п¬Ѓne and we will win the AshesвЂ™. That is my only regret.вЂќ Swann, speaking at an event in LondonвЂ™s Olympic Park where he announced his intention to drive a Ford Fiesta ST in Wales Rally GB, the British round of the World Rally Championship, next month, was also criticised for his decision to quit by Kevin Pietersen in the latterвЂ™s controversial autobiography, which has prompted wave upon wave of reaction. For his part, Swann has dismissed PietersenвЂ™s recently-published book as the вЂњthe biggest work of п¬Ѓction since Jules VerneвЂќ. He also suggested yesterday that a lot of bitterness would have been avoided had the England and Wales Cricket Board simply sacked Pietersen for straightout form reasons rather than the vague explanation they relied on to ditch the South Africa-born batsman. вЂњMaybe,вЂќ he said. вЂњThere might have been a cleaner way of doing things and there would certainly have been a lot less blood-letting. вЂњI think Martin Crowe (the former New Zealand captain and one of the outstand- ing batsman of his generation) wrote an excellent article on Cricinfo...It summed up what a lot of people think.вЂќ Crowe described Pietersen as an вЂњinsecure kid who never grew upвЂќ, arguing his sacking came too late with his form fading as his attention turned to the Indian Premier League. He also cited how PietersenвЂ™s form fell away after he scored 15 hundreds in his first 45 Tests, when averaging just over 50. вЂњFrom 2009 on, in his next 59 Tests he scored just eight centuries,вЂќ Crowe said, вЂњfell for seven ducks, the average at a modern-day adequate 44, including a mandatory dine-out against Bangladesh, and propped up by six scores above 148. Far too many misses in between for a man in his prime.вЂќ Asked if he agreed with CroweвЂ™s analysis of PietersenвЂ™s decline, Swann said: вЂњYou know me, I have never been a stats fan but the stats seem to suggest that.вЂќ But all said and done, PietersenвЂ™s book has raised a lot of eyebrows. File picture of Australia cricketer Alex Doolan. India look to maintain momentum O IANS Dharamsala F Indian player Virat Kohli. impact on the seamer-friendly pitch here could prove to be the key in deciding the outcome of the match. step forward and was a departure from the вЂњuncertainties and confusionвЂќ of past agreements. вЂњI would point out that the new MOU/CBA creates a clear, sustainable, long-term compensation structure, so that we avoid the uncertainties and confusion associated with previous one-off negotiations on a case-by-case basis and the loose, informal arrangements of the past,вЂќ wrote Cameron. вЂњOne of the major beneп¬Ѓts of this structure is that playersвЂ™ compensation is based on players earning a percentage of WICB revenue, so that we are engaged in a true partnership where WICB beneп¬Ѓts п¬Ѓnancially, the players will also beneп¬Ѓt. вЂњThe agreement also creates the framework for WICB and WIPA to comprehensively address the use of playersвЂ™ image rights so that both WICB and the players may benefit in relation to such usage. Further, it creates the opportunity for players to earn substantial amounts based on merit by implementing financial rewards for on-field performances.вЂќ Cameron said that WICB stood ready, following playersвЂ™ request for WICB intervention, to undertake any mediation role but stressed this would be governed by the terms of the CBA/ MOU. Doolan hits ton as Clarke fails against Pakistan вЂ�AвЂ™ AFP Sharjah PREVIEW / IND VS WI, 3RD ODI ollowing a forced break because of the abandonment of the third OneDay International (ODI) at Visakhapatnam courtesy cyclone вЂ�HudhudвЂ™, the Indian cricket team will aim to take an unassailable 2-1 lead against the West Indies in the fourth ODI of the п¬Ѓve-match series at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium here (HPCA) Friday. The visiting Windies team began with a bang, inп¬‚icting a 124-run defeat on India in Kochi but the home team swung the momentum in their favour in the second ODI at New Delhi, with a 48-run win. Both the teams will look to seize the initiative before the п¬Ѓnal ODI in Kolkata Oct 20. For India, the form of their spinners was crucial in their series-squaring win at Ferozeshah Kotla and once again their Windies skipper Dwaye Bravo. MIXED FORTUNES File picture of former England spinner Graeme Swann. AFP London Acknowledge only WIPA as playersвЂ™ agent, insists WICB HPCA track is considered to be fast and bouncy with the spinners getting little purchase from the pitch. The stadium, located here with the Dhauladhar mountain range in the backdrop, assists seamers with initial movement and the Indian batsmen, not all in the best of forms, will be faced with the challenge of facing a decent Windies bowing attack with the likes of Ravi Rampaul, Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach on a lively surface. The home team will have bitter memories of batting here the last time around against England in January 2013, losing half the side for 79 runs and eventually losing the match by seven wickets. With the third ODI getting abandoned, the fourth match assumes even greater importance as whoever wins it will get a psychological boost, secure with the knowledge of avoiding a series loss. The teams chose to stay put in New Delhi following the cancellation of the third game and arrived here only on the eve of the match. India will draw comfort from the fact that their star batsman Virat Kohli, after a pro- longed loss of form, was among runs, scoring a gritty 62 at Kotla. He was demoted to the No.4 spot in the second ODI by the team think-tank and the move worked. Chief curator Of HPCA Sunil Chauhan has said that the wicket will assist the fast bowlers and India may consider п¬Ѓelding pacer Ishant Sharma in place of leg spinner Amit Mishra for a four-man pace attack. For India, seamer Mohammed Shami has impressed claiming eight wickets from two games, emerging as the highest wickettaker in the series and they face a daunting task of containing the in-form Windies batsman, particularly Dwayne Smith and Marlon Samuels, who singlehandedly won the visitors the п¬Ѓrst game, hitting a cracking century. Young Indian left-arm spinners Akshar Patel and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, though included in the squad for the two remaining ODIs, are unlikely to make it to the playing 11. ne-drop batsman Alex Doolan hit a п¬Ѓghting hundred, but skipper Michael Clarke failed in AustraliaвЂ™s four-day warmup game against Pakistan вЂ�AвЂ™ in Sharjah yesterday. DoolanвЂ™s 104 anchored AustraliaвЂ™s 273-8 at close on the second day at Sharjah stadium but the top-order, including Clarke, did not get their much-needed practice. Pakistan вЂ�AвЂ™ had declared their п¬Ѓrst innings at the overnight score of 305-8 with skipper Asad Shaп¬Ѓq remaining not out on 108. Clarke, who is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained on the tour of Zimbabwe in August, looked well set during his 31ball stay of 10 runs before being caught at point off paceman Ehsan Adil. Openers Chris Rogers (nought) and Phil Hughes (14) also didnвЂ™t last long enough for AustraliaвЂ™s liking ahead of the п¬Ѓrst of two Tests starting in Dubai from October 22. But Doolan, in the company of Steven Smith (58), man-ofthe-series in AustraliaвЂ™s 3-0 rout of Pakistan in the preceding one-day series, added 106 for the fourth wicket before both re- tired to give other batsmen some practice. DoolanвЂ™s 194-ball innings had 12 boundaries and three sixes as he looked set to keep the Test place he won earlier this year on the South Africa tour. Smith hit nine boundaries during his 123-ball stay. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh, back after last monthвЂ™s hamstring injury, failed with a threeball duck. At close, Brad Haddin (38) and Steve OвЂ™Keefe (four) were the unbeaten batsmen, with Australia still trailing by 32 runs. Doolan defended ClarkeвЂ™s innings. вЂњI just think itвЂ™s a game of cricket and sometimes you get out early. I am sure Michael would have liked to have batted a bit longer but itвЂ™s the way it goes sometimes,вЂќ said Doolan of his skipper. вЂњMy goal going in was to spend a bit of time out in the middle, take the score out of the equation and just bat. I was really pleased to spend a long period of time out in the sun and getting used to the conditions.вЂќ The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from October 30. Brief scores: Pakistan вЂ�AвЂ™ 305-8 dec (Asad Shaп¬Ѓq 108 not out; S. OвЂ™Keefe 3-76) Australia 273-8 (A. Doolan 104, S. Smith 58) 6 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 GOLF HONG KONG OPEN KEB-HANABANK CHAMPIONSHIP Hot putter puts Randhawa in lead вЂ�Today I really putted my heart out, so IвЂ™m really happy with the way it wentвЂ™ Reuters Hong Kong JYOTI RANDHAWA F ormer Asia number one Jyoti Randhawa wielded a hot putter to grab the opening round lead at the Hong Kong Open yesterday while Nicolas Colsaerts and Ernie Els were also off to a strong start at the Fanling course. Randhawa, 42, began with a bogey but went on to reel off seven birdies to lead Angelo Que of the Philippines by one shot, needing only 23 putts in the opening round of the European Tour co-sanctioned event. вЂњIвЂ™ve been playing decent in the last few weeks but havenвЂ™t been able to put up a good number,вЂќ said the 2002 Asian Tour number one from India who п¬Ѓnished with two consecutive closing birdies for a six-underpar 64. вЂњToday I really putted my heart out, so IвЂ™m really happy with the way it went, and IвЂ™m glad I got the pace on the greens right,вЂќ said Randhawa, who remains winless since claiming his eighth Asian Tour title in 2009. A three-time winner in Asia, Que too rode on his impeccable putting to a bogey-free round to boost his hopes of a п¬Ѓrst title since the 2010 Selangor Masters in Malaysia. вЂњI putted like a maniac today. I holed a lot of six footers for pars on the п¬Ѓrst few holes then I started to hit it better and holed a few more putts. I havenвЂ™t had a bogey free round this year and it is already October,вЂќ said the 35-year-old. Big-hitting Colsaerts shrugged off jetlag to card a four-under par 66 to share the third place with, among others, four-time major winner Els. вЂњIвЂ™m quite happy with my score,вЂќ said the Belgian Ryder Cup player, continuing his п¬Ѓne form that saw him п¬Ѓnish fourth in Wales and second in Portugal in his last two starts. вЂњIвЂ™m waking up in the middle of the night - I didnвЂ™t do a very good job with the jetlag so I think IвЂ™m going to be waking up early most of the week but itвЂ™s п¬Ѓne,вЂќ added Colsaerts after sinking п¬Ѓve birdies against a lone bogey. Els mixed six birdies and two bogeys in his return to Hong Kong after 18 years and was left to rue the missed putts. вЂњYou want to have a good round the п¬Ѓrst day. ItвЂ™s easy to shoot yourself out of it,вЂќ said the towering South African. вЂњAt п¬Ѓrst thereвЂ™s quite a lot of pressure and then you take it from there. Each day, itвЂ™s like a session in cricket. You take the session and do as best as you can, and then it all happens on Sunday afternoon,вЂќ he said. Kang unexpected first round leader in South Korea AFP Incheon S outh KoreaвЂ™s Kang HaeJi, still seeking her п¬Ѓrst career LPGA victory, п¬Ѓred a п¬Ѓve-under 67 yesterday to lead the п¬Ѓeld after the opening round at the KEBHanaBank Championship. Kang battled through a gusty day to collect six birdies along with a bogey on the par-72, 6,364yard Ocean Course at the Sky72 Golf and Resort club in Incheon. Lurking behind the leader is the defending champion Amy Yang of South Korea, who shot a 69 with six birdies and three bogeys. She is in a п¬Ѓve-way tie for second, along with the 2012 runner-up Catriona Matthew. Kang, who made her tour debut in 2009, was one of the п¬Ѓrst to tee off on Thursday. She said there was virtually no wind when she was getting ready on the range but the conditions changed dramatically once she reached the п¬Ѓrst tee. вЂњOn a windy day like this, I felt IвЂ™d be better off playing safe and aiming for the centre of the greens than being aggressive,вЂќ she said. вЂњI made some great putts today to save pars on the front nine. Then I made a 40foot putt for birdie on the 12th, and it gave me a great boost.вЂќ Kang, who has just two top10s in 23 starts this year, said a win was there for the taking. вЂњIt usually gets windy out here but the course isnвЂ™t overly long,вЂќ she said. вЂњI can reach some of the par-5 greens in two. If I can hit good wedge shots, then I can post good scores.вЂќ World number two Park InBee was at one-under 71 after a roller-coaster ride that included four birdies and three bogeys. With the top-ranked Stacy Lewis not playing this week, a victory for Park in Incheon would see her reclaim the number one spot she lost earlier this year after a 59-week reign. The US$2 million tournament is the LPGA TourвЂ™s lone South Korean stop each year. Food poisoning hits JimenezвЂ™s Hong Kong bid Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez said he was happy just to get round after a bout of food poisoning curtailed his bid for a record fifth Hong Kong Open title. The Spanish veteran, who is also seeking to become the first golfer to win the event three years in a row, struggled to an opening round of two-over par in the southern Chinese city. вЂњIвЂ™ve been sick all night, vomiting, and I got no sleep,вЂќ said Jimenez. вЂњI ate something that my body reacted badly to. Maybe it was the seafood, maybe it was the meatballs, but I had no chance at all today. вЂњItвЂ™s a pity and wasnвЂ™t the best start but I tried to do my best. IвЂ™m a professional and I came here to play even though my body was telling me not to,вЂќ he added. Jimenez, 50, was in obvious discomfort as he traded three bogeys with a birdie on the par 70, 6,699-yard course at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. вЂњIt was hard to get round,вЂќ said Jimenez, the oldest winner on the European Tour said. вЂњThere are a couple of tough slopes out there and I was almost down on my hands and knees.вЂќ Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, looking for a record fifth title here, battled a stomach bug to card two-over par 72. Kang Hae-Ji of South Korea lines up a putt at the 18th hole during the first round of the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship golf event at the Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul, yesterday.(AFP) WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP Stenson and Larrazabal light up London Club Reuters ASH, England H enrik Stenson produced an inspired burst of scoring to earn his п¬Ѓrst victory at this weekвЂ™s World Match Play Championship while Pablo Larrazabal won after staging a Houdini-like recovery yesterday. Defending champion Graeme McDowell suffered his п¬Ѓrst defeat as he went down 2 & 1 to Finn Mikko Ilonen in a sizzling encounter featuring 12 birdies. McDowellвЂ™s Ryder Cup partner Victor Dubuisson recorded his second straight victory in the round-robin format by easing past IrelandвЂ™s Shane Lowry 3 & 2 while South African George Coetzee defeated last yearвЂ™s runner-up Thongchai Jaidee 2 & 1. Stenson, who п¬Ѓnished all square with Coetzee on day one, was three down after four holes against Italian Francesco Molinari but the world number п¬Ѓve turned the match around in spectacular fashion with six birdies and an eagle in the last nine holes. The Swede is now level with Coetzee on three points, ahead of Thongchai (two) and Molinari (zero). The top two in each four-man group go through to SaturdayвЂ™s quarter-п¬Ѓnals. вЂњI had a rocky start and gave away a couple of early gifts,вЂќ Stenson told reporters at the London Club. вЂњI didnвЂ™t give up though and then I started playing better and better. вЂњI was eight-under from the ninth hole onwards... IвЂ™ll take that. It was a good day especially considering I havenвЂ™t touched a club for two weeks coming here.вЂќ Stephen Gallacher, who failed to win a point on his Ryder Cup debut last month, suffered a cruel fate in his match with Spaniard Larrazabal. The odds on Gallacher se- curing his п¬Ѓrst win of the week were short when he was just off the green in two at the 18th while his opponent was lining up his fourth stroke from a hillock 30 yards from the putting surface. UNLIKELY BIRDIE Larrazabal then charged around the green like a man possessed after holing out for an unlikely birdie while Gallacher was unable to sink his putt for a matching four from 10 feet. It was the second defeat in two days for the Scot and his hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages are over. Dubuisson leads the group on four points ahead of Lowry and Larrazabal who both have two. вЂњWhat happened at the last is typical match play golf,вЂќ said Gallacher. вЂњHe won the hole without having been on the fairwayвЂ”IвЂ™m gutted to lose like that. вЂњWas I expecting him to hole his fourth shot? You expect op- ponents to hole everything in these situations. IвЂ™m eight-under for my two rounds but will be going home after my match against Victor.вЂќ US Ryder Cup player Patrick Reed, 2006 World Match Play champion Paul Casey, Swede Jonas Blixt and European Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson are locked together on two points in their group. Reed was four-under for his round as he eclipsed Casey 2 & 1 while Donaldson beat Blixt 3 & 2 with a п¬Ѓve-birdie effort. Dutchman Joost Luiten tops his group on four points after a run of п¬Ѓve birdies in seven holes helped him overcome Frenchman Alexander Levy 4 & 3. Ilonen is level with McDowell on two points after the Finn put the squeeze on the Northern Irishman with a п¬‚awless sevenbirdie show. вЂњMikko was the better player today, hats off to him,вЂќ said McDowell. вЂњHe played great and was tough to live with.вЂќ HENRIK STENSON Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 7 SPORT BASEBALL NHL Giants rally to beat Cardinals, boost playoff series lead Boedker nets hat-trick in Coyotes win over Oilers вЂ�Any time you can put pressure on the defence you have the opportunityвЂ™ M San Francisco Giants left fielder Juan Perez slides into home to tie the game in the sixth inning of game four of the National League Championship Series against Saint Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Wednesday. (EPA) AFP San Francisco S an Francisco Giants rallied from a three-run deп¬Ѓcit Wednesday to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 and move to the brink of winning their Major League Baseball playoff series. The Giants seized a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven National League п¬Ѓnal and could advance with a victory in game п¬Ѓve yesterday at San Francisco. The winner will face the American League champion Kansas City Royals in the World Series championship showdown starting Tuesday. The Cardinals have never recovered from a 3-1 deп¬Ѓcit to win a best-of-seven playoff series. But the Giants know it can be done, having rallied from the deп¬Ѓcit to beat St. Louis on the way to the 2012 World Series crown. вЂњItвЂ™s very important,вЂќ Giants catcher Buster Posey said. вЂњWe were down 3-1 in St. Louis two years ago. WeвЂ™ve got that fresh in our mind. WeвЂ™ll have a tough game tomorrow.вЂќ This will be the п¬Ѓfth year in a row that either the Giants or Cardinals have played in the World Series. San Francisco won the crown in 2010 and 2012 while St. Louis captured the 2011 title and lost last yearвЂ™s World Series to the Boston Red Sox. Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Giants tagged Cardinals relief pitcher Marco Gonzales for three runs to seize command. San Francisco pinch-hitter Juan Perez walked in the sixth and took second on Brandon CrawfordвЂ™s single. Both runners advanced on Matt DuffyвЂ™s sac- riп¬Ѓce bunt and Gregor Blanco chopped a ground ball to St. Louis п¬Ѓrst baseman Matt Adams that allowed Perez to race home and beat the throw to the plate with the tying run. Joe Panik followed with a ground out to Adams, who tried in vain for an inning-ending throw out of Blanco at second base but instead could only watch Crawford scamper home from third with the go-ahead run for the Giants. When Posey followed with a single to left п¬Ѓeld, Blanco raced home and San Francisco stretched the lead to the п¬Ѓnal margin. вЂњAny time you can put pressure on the defence you have the opportunity for good things to happen,вЂќ Posey said. вЂњWe had the opportunity to get a couple of runs tonight that got us back into the game.вЂќ St. Louis put potential tying runners on base in the seventh and brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings but never could produce a run-scoring hit. Matt Holliday struck out in the ninth to end the game. вЂњWe got the lead early with a chance to take the game,вЂќ Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. вЂњIt just didnвЂ™t work out.вЂќ Cardinals led 4-1 St. Louis opened the scoring in the п¬Ѓrst inning when Matt Carpenter doubled and scored on an Adams single to left п¬Ѓeld. The Giants answered in their half of the п¬Ѓrst as Blanco doubled, took third base on PanikвЂ™s single and scored on PoseyвЂ™s sacriп¬Ѓce п¬‚y out to centreп¬Ѓeld. But the Cardinals responded in the second as Kolten Wong doubled and scored on A J PierzynskiвЂ™s single up the middle to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. The Cardinals stretched their edge to 4-1 in the third as Matt Holliday opened with a double, took third on an Adams single and scored when Jhonny Peralta grounded into a double play. Wong followed with a solo homer to give the visitors a three-run advantage. But San Francisco fought back in the third to pull within 4-3. Joaquin Arias singled to open, took second and third on outs and scored when Posey singled to left п¬Ѓeld. Posey took second when Pablo Sandoval walked and scored himself on a single by Hunter Pence. вЂњA lot of those innings are set up with good at bats early,вЂќ Pence said. вЂњWhen you set it up, you have opportunities to score.вЂќ In all, the opening batters in each half of the п¬Ѓrst three innings recorded base hits, a п¬Ѓrst in major league playoff history. Agencies Glendale ikkel Boedker scored on a power play, a soft backhander that trickled in and into an empty net. An interesting collection of goals for his п¬Ѓrst career hat-trick вЂ” and his team needed nearly all of them.Boedker scored two of his three goals in the third period and added an assist, helping the Arizona Coyotes outlast the winless Edmonton Oilers 7-4 on Wednesday night. вЂњItвЂ™s going to even out eventually, but when youвЂ™re hot, things tend to go in,вЂќ said Boedker, who has п¬Ѓve goals in three games. вЂњRight now, thatвЂ™s the way itвЂ™s going and itвЂ™s a good feeling.вЂќ The Coyotes played a solid defensive game in beating the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. They werenвЂ™t quite as good against Edmonton, giving up numerous good scoring chances in front of Mike Smith, who had some good moments but still gave up at least four goals for the second straight game. Arizona made up for it by taking advantage of the defenseless Oilers with a by-committee scoring effort. Martin Erat had a goal and assist, while Connor Murphy, Kyle Chipchura and Rob Klinkhammer each scored goals. Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal each added a pair of assists for the Coyotes, who had 13 players with at least one point. вЂњThatвЂ™s committee, but we need a good hard practice tomorrow, the committee does,вЂќ Arizona coach Dave Tippett said with a smile.Edmonton scored four goals for the second time in three games, but remains winless because of its shortcomings on defense. The Oilers lost 6-1 to the Kings Tuesday night and were even worse against the Coyotes, watching as they scored one goal after another on Ben Scrivens. Taylor Hall had two goals, and Marc Arcobello and Mark Fayne each scored for Edmonton, which has allowed 23 goals while opening the season 0-3-1. вЂњI like the effort, the guys are trying, but we just havenвЂ™t got the results yet,вЂќ Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. The Coyotes needed nearly all their goals after a second straight shaky performance by Smith. ArizonaвЂ™s No. 1 goalie said he felt uncomfortable in the season opener and it showed, giving up every goal in a 6-2 home loss to Winnipeg. Arizona Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker (No 89) scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens during a breakaway in the first period at Gila River Arena in Glendale. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports. LakersвЂ™ Nash injured again after carrying bags Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash missed his third straight practice after injuring his back while carrying bags on Wednesday. The latest injury is another setback that casts doubt about his future in the NBA. The 40-year-old has battled injuries the past few years. Last season, he was limited to 15 games. Nash, the oldest active player in the league who is in his 19th season, isnвЂ™t expected to play on Thursday night in an exhibition game against the Utah Jazz. вЂњItвЂ™s a concern because, from my standpoint, IвЂ™ve got to kind of figure out if heвЂ™s going to be able to play every day or not, if heвЂ™s going to be able to play every other game, or which games can he play,вЂќ Lakers coach Byron Scott said. вЂњObviously, in the next couple of weeks, weвЂ™ve got some time to come to a conclusion to this whole situation.вЂќ Nash is in the final year of a three-year, $28 million contract. He said during the summer that he expects this season to be his last. NBA James, Nowitzki call for shorter league season AFP Miami F our-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James and German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki say the league needs to look at shortening its 82-game per club regular-season schedule. Both players spoke out this week in the wake of the league planning an exhibition game that lasts only 44 minutes instead of the usual 48. James and Nowitzki say itвЂ™s the length of the season, not the games in it, that causes troubles, and they would both be willing to take less money. вЂњLess games is less concessions and less tickets and all that, but at the end of the day we want to protect the prize, and the prize is the players,вЂќ James said Wednesday. вЂњIf guys are being injured because thereвЂ™s so many games, we canвЂ™t promote it at a high level.вЂќ Indiana star Paul George will miss the upcoming season after breaking his leg in a scrimmage for the US team that went on to win the Basketball World Cup, while п¬Ѓve-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City is out at least two months with a broken foot. вЂњIвЂ™m not saying itвЂ™s because of the amount of games, but anything will help,вЂќ James said of the physical stress on players. James does not see trimming four minutes from every game as much help in that respect. вЂњThe minutes donвЂ™t mean anything. We could play 50-minute games if we had to,вЂќ James said. вЂњOnce you go out and play on the п¬‚oor it doesnвЂ™t matter if youвЂ™re playing 22 minutes or 40 minutes. вЂњOnce you play it takes a toll on your body.вЂќ With the NBA just inking a $24 billion television contract extension to broadcast more games, any cutback is unlikely in the near future. вЂњItвЂ™s something that obviously wonвЂ™t change tomorrow or anytime soon,вЂќ James said. вЂњBut itвЂ™s something we should deп¬Ѓnitely talk about.вЂќ James suggested 66 games, the number played during a lockout shortened campaign. But James would spread the load over the typical sixmonth time span to avoid playing such time-crunched schedules as three games in three nights as was done in the shortened season to allow for a full playoff programme. Dallas big man Nowitzki was a proponent of shortening the number of games in the NBA march to the playoffs as well. вЂњI think you donвЂ™t need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference,вЂќ the German said. вЂњThat could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that itвЂ™s about money, and every missed game means missed money for both parties, for the league, for the owners, for the players. вЂњI would say that (a number of games) in the mid-60s would be enough, which is still a lot of games.вЂќ LeBron James (No 23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with teammates after scoring in the second half of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Wednesday. Cleveland defeated Indiana 98-93. (AFP) 8 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 RUGBY PREVIEW SPOTLIGHT Australia face All Blacks with backs to the wall вЂ�Our job is to go out and put as much pressure as we can on the parkвЂ™ Reuters Sydney AustraliaвЂ™s Tevita Kuridrani (L) and James Hanson (R) look dejected after the Match against the New Zealand All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland on August 23, 2014. (AFP) A ustralia, in crisis off the pitch and struggling on it, could hardly have had a worse preparation for tomorrowвЂ™s dead rubber test against world champions New Zealand in Brisbane. Back-to-back defeats to South Africa and Argentina have been followed by the scandal over text messages allegedly sent by Kurtley Beale and left coach Ewen McKenzie п¬Ѓghting for his job. For the п¬Ѓrst time in 22 tests, the All Blacks are also looking to get back to winning ways after a loss but it would take a highly unlikely thumping at Lang Park to produce even the tiniest whiff of a crisis in Steve HansenвЂ™s camp. вЂњWhen a team is under siege as they are at the moment then one of two things can happen,вЂќ Hansen said. вЂњEither they unite and come out and play really well or they crumble to the pressure of it. I donвЂ™t see them crumbling. TheyвЂ™re too good of a team. вЂњOur job is to go out and put as much pressure as we can on the park and thatвЂ™s what weвЂ™re trying to do.вЂќ Defeat to South Africa on the high veldt is no great shame at the best of times and any lingering bitter taste will be swiftly neutralised by another victory over the Wallabies to add to AugustвЂ™s 51-20 hammering in Auckland. New Zealand have already ensured they will retain the Bledisloe Cup after that win and the 12-12 draw in Sydney in the opening match of the Rugby Championship. Consciously or unconsciouslyвЂ”and you certainly would not wager against the formerвЂ” Hansen has drawn something of a contrast between the вЂњculturesвЂќ of the sides by electing not to restore Aaron Cruden to his matchday 23. Flyhalf Cruden blotted his copy book by missing a pre-tour departure meeting after a boozy night out and was dropped for the last two Rugby Championship tests before returning to the squad last week. With Dan Carter still not considered because of injury, Beauden Barrett will again lead the line in a team featuring п¬Ѓve changes from the side that lost RFU revamps concussion tests AFP London E nglandвЂ™s Rugby Football Union announced yesterday a raft of changes to the way concussion will be managed throughout the professional game in the country. Their decision was in line with similar moves made by SANZAR, which runs the Super Rugby competition and the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, following the introduction of the International Rugby BoardвЂ™s Head Injury Assessment procedure. The key game-day changes in terms of leading club matches will see memory tests enhanced and the balance test altered, with assessment period time extended from п¬Ѓve to 10 minutes. In addition, at all English Premiership grounds and Twickenham, EnglandвЂ™s national stadium in London, doctors will have access to live television feeds and replays when conducting a head injury assessment to assist them with decisions. An independent review of injuries and management will be carried out by вЂњtwo experienced independent medical practitionersвЂќ which will include them reviewing match footage. This review system will be linked to the RFUвЂ™s disciplinary process. Players, coaches and referees will also be required to complete a new mandatory online concussion module within a twomonth period. This will apply to all maleregistered Premiership and Championship players over 18 and contracted England Sevens players. In the womenвЂ™s game, England representative players over the age of 18, coaches and referees will be asked to complete the course. The online programme explains what concussion is, the symptoms, and how to deal with such injuries. The RFU said there will be automatic п¬Ѓnes if the module is not completed by the required date, and a player or coach can be made ineligible to play or coach until such time as they have completed it. вЂњThese signiп¬Ѓcant changes were driven by the Professional Game Board medical advisory group review of the 2013 concussion forum and continues the programme of work that we have been delivering over the last 10 years on concussion,вЂќ said the RFUвЂ™s chief medical officer, Simon Kemp. вЂњWorking closely with Premiership Rugby and the RPA (EnglandвЂ™s Rugby PlayersвЂ™ Association), we believe this will provide a comprehensive package of processes designed to enhance all elements of professional player concussion management.вЂќ Rugby Union authorities have found themselves speaking repeatedly about concussion in recent years given fears the increasingly brutal collisions that are so often a feature of the modern top-flight game could lead to long-term brain injuries. Changes to existing procedures were made after widespread shock that AustraliaвЂ™s George Smith was allowed to return to the п¬Ѓeld during the deciding third Test in Sydney last year when still dazed after a clash of heads with British and Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard. Meanwhile August saw the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announce changes to its concussion procedures. That followed the furore generated by clearly disorientated Toulouse centre Florian Fritz being sent back on in the Top 14 play-off with Racing-Metro in May after his head connected brutally with Francois van der MerweвЂ™s knee and he emerged with blood pouring from a head wound. HayneвЂ™s shot at NFL dream exposes NRLвЂ™s parochialism 27-25 to the Springboks. The pack is perhaps even stronger than that which played in Johannesburg with hooker Dane Coles and prop Wyatt Crockett returning to the front row, Liam Messam in at blindside п¬‚anker and Brodie Retallick restored to the second row. McKenzie brought Quade Cooper back into his squad for the п¬Ѓrst time this year as back-up to starting п¬‚yhalf Bernard Foley in a team announcement that went largely unnoticed amid the furore surrounding Beale. DEEP RIFTS Cooper was in his pomp when Australia last beat New Zealand in 2011 but it is to the test at the same Lang Park ground a year later that the Wallabies should perhaps look for inspiration tomorrow. With McKenzieвЂ™s predecessor Robbie Deans п¬Ѓghting for his job and the squad ravaged by injuries, Australia went into the match as 6-1 underdogs but fought tooth and nail for an 1818 draw. Beale kicked a long-range penalty that night but is suspended for tomorrowвЂ™s match pending a Code of Conduct hearing into the вЂњdeeply offensiveвЂќ text messages he allegedly sent about team official Di Patston. In Jarryd HayneвЂ™s decision to pass up the chance to become a six million dollar man back home for a shot at playing in the NFL, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Australian rugby league is paying a price for parochialism. For all the brilliant athleticism, heartstopping physicality and the cash flooding into the National Rugby League (NRL) after 2012вЂ™s billion dollar TV deal, the game can at best offer athletes the chance to be a big fish in a small pond. While in the NFL, Hayne will be bidding to join a league with an outlook which was once just as narrowвЂ”it still offers the title of вЂњworld championsвЂќ to the winners of a one-nation competitionвЂ”his departure highlights a growing trend. In heading stateside to pursue his American dream, Hayne is the latest from a small group of the NRLвЂ™s biggest names to decide they have to go elsewhere to fulfil their ambition. He follows New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams and Englishman Sam Burgess, key figures in the last two NRL champion teams who both departed for rugby union at the end of last season. They will join Israel Folau, an athlete whose talents are regularly described as вЂњfreakishвЂќ and who left league for Australian Rules before arriving in union with the Wallabies. The attraction of joining the 15-man game is not only financial but a chance to play competitive international sport and even possibly win an Olympic medal when sevens makes its debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. FOCUS ToulonвЂ™s European defence starts with Scarlets AFP Paris D ouble defending champions Toulon begin the defence of their European crown at home to Scarlets this weekend, while last yearвЂ™s beaten п¬Ѓnalists Saracens entertain French heavyweights Clermont in a revamped competition. Now known as the European Champions Cup, the tournament has been pared down to 20 teams (seven English, six French, three Irish, two Welsh, one Scottish and one Italian) in п¬Ѓve pools, the product of more than two years of political wrangling between the English, French and Celtic nations. Only the п¬Ѓve pool winners and the three best pool runners-up will qualify for the knock-out stage. It means each weekend throws up must-win matches in some very tough pools, but Toulon captain Carl Hayman was conп¬Ѓdent his starstudded side could go the distance for a third successive season, with the п¬Ѓ- nal slated for Twickenham on May 2. вЂњItвЂ™s within our capabilities to have a hat-trick of European wins,вЂќ the former All Black prop told the November edition of Rugby World magazine, with Leicester and Ulster making up a strong Pool 3. вЂњWe have enough in the squad to make the play-offs, but must top our pool to get a game at the Mayol, Nice or Marseille. вЂњPeople say вЂ�ItвЂ™s the same size п¬ЃeldвЂ™, but percentages show that home advantage makes a win more likely.вЂќ Hayman is one of a host of international stars playing for the Mourad Boudjellal-funded, Bernard Laportecoached Toulon side, for whom English talisman Johnny Wilkinson will be missing having retired at the end of last season. But the New Zealander said that their п¬Ѓrst European victory in 2013 was a turning point for a team often derided for bringing in aging international imports rather than relying on home-grown French talent. вЂњToulon has changed a lot. ItвЂ™s more professional and a lot of that comes from Bernard Laporte. ItвЂ™s al- most been a fairytale ride for this club since 2007,вЂќ Hayman said. вЂњItвЂ™s been a quick rise since they got promoted and if you talk to Mourad Boudjellal he can scarcely believe the speed we have improved at.вЂќ That п¬Ѓrst European Cup win in 2013, sealed by a 16-15 п¬Ѓnal victory over Top 14 rivals Clermont, вЂњwas a real source of pride - that mercenary tag was beginning to wear thinвЂќ. вЂњExcept in amateur rugby, no team is made up of just locals, particularly in France,вЂќ Hayman insisted. вЂњBut we have that label. So winning was good to get back at critics who said this was just a retirement home in the South of France.вЂќ There has also been change at Clermont, who have seen coach Vern Cotter take over Scotland. The club will be seeking to avenge last seasonвЂ™s European Cup semi-п¬Ѓnal mauling at the hands of Saracens when the two sides clash in their opening Pool 1 game. The French side were trounced 46-6 at Twickenham in the semiп¬Ѓnals last term before the English side went on to lose the п¬Ѓnal against Toulon. вЂњThey are a huge outп¬Ѓt, and they have a lot of good players,вЂќ SaracensвЂ™ Scotland lock Jim Hamilton said of Clermont. I think itвЂ™s fair to say theyвЂ™re one of the most respected teams in Europe. вЂњStatistically, Clermont have the best scrum in the Top 14. Like all French sides they have a great maul, and they have some really physical players,вЂќ said Hamilton, who previously played for Montpellier. вЂњThatвЂ™s something weвЂ™re aware of and something we are preparing for, but we are relishing the challenge as well.вЂќ English Premiership champions Northampton are away at Racing Metro in Pool 5, Ospreys meeting sole Italian representatives Treviso in the other group game. Celtic League champions Leinster will entertain Wasps in Pool 2, with struggling Top 14 club Castres travelling to Harlequins. Four-time winners Toulouse entertain Montpellier and Glasgow host Bath in Pool 4. CARL HAYMAN Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 9 SPORT LOCAL MOTORSPORT Cudlin favourite again as new Qatar season begins вЂ�I am looking forward to the new season and I am excited to get startedвЂ™ Superbike champion Alex Cudlin (L) and LARRS winner Manca Katrasnik will aim to defend their titles as the new season gets under way at the Losail International Circuit. At bottom, Cudlin with QMMF president Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah. By Sports Reporter Doha T he п¬Ѓrst round of the Qatar SuperBike and Qatar Challenge will take place at the Losail International Circuit this weekend along with a round of the MRF Challenge which is being held for the п¬Ѓrst time in Qatar. Defending champion Alex Cudlin will try to clinch the title for the п¬Ѓfth time in a row on a Kawasaki ZX10R for the QMMF Team. вЂњI am looking forward to the new season and I am excited to get started. I want to make a good start. I think we will have strong competition again this year,вЂќ Cudlin said. вЂњHopefully I can win again but it is a long season, so weвЂ™ll see. I am happy to return again to Losail with the QMMF team after Qatari rider Saeed al-Sulati, who ended in fourth position last championship, is also conп¬Ѓdent. вЂњI am raring to go. In the last round of the past season we produced a good performance. That has motivated me and I will go for the podium this time,вЂќ said al-Sulaiti. In the Losail Asian Road Racing Series (LARRS), Manca Katrasnik of Serbia will aim to defend her title. вЂњI am really happy to be on the bike again after the last season. It is a long time and I hope this year it will be as successful as last season. Thanks to QMMF for this opportunity again,вЂќ said the Serbian rider. The weekend will also see the п¬Ѓrst round of the MRF Challenge. The Indian based Motorsport series will have its opening round at Losail International Circuit under п¬‚oodlights. the win in the Le Mans 24 hours Endurance п¬Ѓve weeks ago.вЂќ Cudlin will have to п¬Ѓght it out with Qatari riders Nasser al-Malki and Mishal al-Naimi who п¬Ѓnished second and third respectively last season. Al-Naimi is also exuding conп¬Ѓdence ahead of the race. вЂњI want to thank Ooreedo for supporting us for another season and I am happy and ready to produce a good result,вЂќ he said. вЂњFor sure, the championship is stronger than the previous one and good luck to all the riders,вЂќ al-Naimi added. German rider Nina Prinz, who п¬Ѓnished third in the standings last season, hopes to go one better this year. вЂњI am positive for the season and happy that the QMMF is supporting me again. I hope I can improve my results this season,вЂќ she said at the registration yesterday. BOTTOMLINE CYCLING Should footballer sentenced for rape play again? By Clare Carlisle The Guardian W e shouldnвЂ™t give up on either forgiveness or the need to set an example, which makes this a difficult case to answer Footballer Ched Evans will leave prison this week, keen to get back to work after serving half of a п¬Ѓve-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room. As I write, more than 140,000 people have signed a petition stating that Evans should not be allowed to return to professional football. But his former club Sheffield United are reportedly interested in re-signing the striker. Moral arguments have been presented on both sides. Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional FootballersвЂ™ Association, has pointed out that the law does not prevent ex-prisoners from working or resuming their old lives after release: вЂњAs a trade union we believe in the rule of law ... besides that, [Evans] still wants to contribute to society. If he earns money heвЂ™ll pay taxes, those taxes will go to help people who maybe canвЂ™t get a job.вЂќ ThereвЂ™s a certain consistency to TaylorвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst line of argument. If we respect the law that has found Evans guilty of rape, then shouldnвЂ™t we also respect the legal process that imposes a prison sentence, after which the convicted person is free to return to society? TaylorвЂ™s claim about the social beneп¬Ѓts of EvansвЂ™ return, meanwhile, appeals to two different kinds of moral argument: one based on motivation and the other on consequences. The suggestion that вЂњEvans wants to contribute to societyвЂќ Freddie Hung and Mathias Lauda, the son of three-time Formula One world Champion Niki Lauda, will take part in the race The qualifying practices for the QSBK and QCH along with the two races of the MRF Challenge will take place today. The main grandstand is open to the public. Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah, QMMF President and LIC General Manager, expressed his delight at the opening of the new season. вЂњLast season we saw some great performances and for sure this year the level of the championships will be higher as we have more entries,вЂќ al-Attiyah said. вЂњI am also happy that the Losail International Circuit is hosting the opening round of the MRF Challenge and for sure it will be a great success,вЂќ he added. Ched Evans encourages us to regard him as a person of good will - and philosopher Immanuel Kant makes this concept of a good will or pure moral intention the sole criterion of morality. So Kant would deny that the tax revenue from EvansвЂ™ wages has any moral relevance, since only motivations, and not consequences, have moral worth. A strict utilitarian, in contrast, would take into account all social beneп¬Ѓts arising from his potential return to Sheffield. Those campaigning against Evans emphasise a different set of issues. Katie Russell of Rape Crisis England has stated that her organisation вЂњrecognises the right of any convicted criminal to return to work after theyвЂ™ve completed their sentenceвЂќ. But for her, the cultural context gives this case a distinctive moral signiп¬Ѓcance. Football is a high-proп¬Ѓle, prestigious industry: players are celebrated and revered, not least by boys and young men. And with this public inп¬‚uence comes social responsibility. If it were to bring Evans back into the team, Russell argues, Sheffield United would be failing вЂњto send a very strong message that rape and sexual violence - and violence against women and girls more broadly - will not be tolerated within footballвЂќ. According to this logic, the right to return to work can be sacriп¬Ѓced for the sake of a strong statement about cultural val- ues. In other words, in this instance the ends justify the means. Interest in this case, as with many morally ambiguous situations, arises from a deeper concern about what kind of people we should be, and what kind of society we want to live in. For Plato, this was the substance of all moral questions. One of the important messages in his Republic is the unbreakable connection between the personal and the social, the private and the public, the soul and the state. Cases like that of Evans go to the heart of whether we want to be a society that promotes forgiveness - that allows people to make mistakes and move on or one that chooses role models who embody gentleness and respect for others. If it is hard to give a clear answer to this question, that is precisely because both sides are so compelling. Surely we should not give up on either forgiveness or providing positive role models. But the sting in the tail is that, however deep the moral dilemma, a practical decision needs to be made. I do not know enough about what happened in that hotel room, nor about EvansвЂ™ attitude now, to say what should be done. But putting myself in the position of those who have to decide about his career, I see that the way through this problem involves posing the moral questions to Evans himself. I would ask him if he felt able to exemplify values of dignity and kindness. His commitment to this would make it easier for me to take the stand for forgiveness. After all, we should not have to choose between these two ideals. Both can be realised in this case, but only if those involved take on the responsibility of living up to them. (Guardian News & Media 2014) Astana face licence review after third positive test AFP London T he International Cycling Union (UCI) said yesterday it has asked its licence commission to undertake a full review of the management and anti-doping policies of the Astana team after a third case involving one of its riders. The Kazakhstan-based team of 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali has already been granted a licence for 2015. But it could lose this licence or have conditions attached to it after the announcement that Kazakh llya Davidenok has tested positive for an anabolic steroid, after brothers Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy tested positive for EPO. The UCI said in a statement: вЂњThis follows the serious concerns raised by the fact that two Astana riders Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy recently tested positive for EPO and the notiп¬Ѓcation this week that llya Davidenok has returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for anabolic androgenic steroids in a sample collected at the Tour de lвЂ™Avenir on 28th August 2014. вЂњIIya Davidenok has ridden from 1st January 2012 to date for Continental Team Astana and since 1st August 2014 has also been a stagiaire (trainee) with Astana Pro Team. вЂњThe rider has the right to request analysis of the B sample and in accordance with UCI An- IIya Davidenok ti-doping Rules has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the matter.вЂќ The licence commission is the competent body for issuing, reviewing, withdrawing and attaching conditions to UCI WorldTour licences and ensuring that licence-holders continuously comply with the terms of the licence. вЂњAs per the UCI regulations, it is expected that the team will appear before the licence commission within the next month for an assessment of the teamвЂ™s level of compliance with the ethical criteria so that the appropriate measures can be then taken,вЂќ the UCI statement added. вЂњIt will be for the licence commission to determine whether and to what extent the team and/ or its management is responsible for recent events. The UCI will not comment further at this stage.вЂќ The Astana team is run by controversial former rider Alexandre Vinokourov, who was banned for blood doping in 2007-2009. 10 Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 SPORT TENNIS FOCUS Injured Russian veteran Davydenko retires aged 33 Hershman, Lute join ICSS advisory board вЂ�I donвЂ™t have regrets about not winning a Grand Slam or not being number oneвЂ™ DPA Moscow Raonic crashes out to 116th-ranked qualifier W hile Roger Federer challenges again for world number one status at age 33, his contemporary Nikolay Davydenko packed in his career yesterday, making it official at the Kremlin Cup. вЂњI am 33 years old,вЂќ said the winner of six career titles who has been injured for much of this season, вЂњI won 21 ATP tournaments, including three Masters 1000 events and the World Tour Finals in London. вЂњI donвЂ™t have any regrets about not winning a Grand Slam or not being number one in the world. I was in the top 10 for some years.вЂќ Davydenko said his physical condition п¬Ѓnally forced him to hang up his racquet. вЂњUnfortunately, for some years now, I have been struggling with injuries. ItвЂ™s hard for me to talk about it. вЂњIвЂ™ve been thinking when to announce it: the time has come. I have my whole life to live. I officially announce my retirement from professional tennis.вЂќ Davydenko said he made the decision last June after the French Open, where the number 244 lost in the п¬Ѓrst round to Robin Haase, a defeat which proved to be his п¬Ѓnal match. вЂњI felt I could not play at the level I used to play at. I practised twice a day, but I felt I couldnвЂ™t achieve the result I wanted. But I was waiting for the moment when I would wake up and say to myself it was enough.вЂќ Davydenko won a third Masters 1000 title in 2009 as well as the year-end event in London. He also reached four Grand Slam semi-п¬Ѓnals and helped Russia to the 2006 Davis Cup. The father of one said that he will focus now start a new career in business and п¬Ѓnance. Transparency International co-founder Michael Hershman (left) and former US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Lute. By Sports Reporter Doha T CanadaвЂ™s Milos Raonic in action against LithuaniaвЂ™s Ricardas Berankis (below) during their Kremlin Cup second round match in Moscow, Russia, yesterday. (EPA) Nadal and Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka have already qualified, while several players are still in contention to grab the four remaining places. вЂњI still havenвЂ™t lost all my chances (to qualify for London). Thankfully I canвЂ™t say that todayвЂ™s loss has broken my heart,вЂќ added Raonic. Reuters Moscow T op seed Milos Raonic suffered a setback in his hopes of qualifying for the seasonending ATP World Tour Finals after he was beaten 6-3 4-6 6-3 by 116thranked journeyman Ricardas Berankis in the second round of the Kremlin Cup yesterday. Berankis watched 15 aces from Raonic whistle past him but the Lithuanian qualifier broke the CanadianвЂ™s powerful serve four times to seal his first ever victory over a top 10 player. вЂњI did not approach the match in the sort of form as I would have liked to. I have been feeling sick for the last 10 days with a cold and have been lying in bed. I was only able to prepare over the last two days,вЂќ Raonic told reporters. вЂњI thought that Berankis would play a strong game. We have known each other since we were kids and he is a very good tennis player.вЂќ Raonic currently stands eighth in the вЂњRace to LondonвЂќ for the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals which will feature the top eight players. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa THE RACE TO LONDON Qualified 1. Novak Djokovic 9010 2. Roger Federer 8020 3. Rafa Nadal 6745 4. Stan Wawrinka 4805 Race for remaining four spots 5. Kei Nishikori 4265 6. Marin Cilic 3990 7. Tomas Berdych 3945 8. Milos Raonic 3750 9. David Ferrer 3715 10. Andy Murray 3655 11. Grigor Dimitrov 3450 GCC Basketball Championship Action from QatarвЂ™s match against Oman in the GCC Basketball Championship in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday night. Qatar won 75-49 and will take on the UAE today. he International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) yesterday announced that Transparency International co-founder Michael Hershman and former US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Lute have been appointed to the ICSS Advisory Board. Following on from their involvement at last weekвЂ™s Securing Sport 2014, Hershman and Lute will join some of the worldвЂ™s top safety, security and integrity experts on the Advisory Board and will contribute to the ICSSвЂ™s mission to protect and safeguard sport. As an internationally recognised expert on matters relating to transparency, accountability, governance, litigation and security, Hershman has been called upon by many governments, multi-national corporations, law п¬Ѓrms and international п¬Ѓnancial institutions, where he advised on matters involving the conduct of senior-level officials and the organisations which they do business with. Hershman has also advised numerous high-proп¬Ѓle organisations in sport on a wide range of issues involving security and integrity including: National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), the organising committees for the 1988 and 2004 Olympic Games and more recently, the FIFA Independent Governance Committee. Speaking on his appointment to the ICSS Advisory Board, Hershman said, вЂњSport is now at a crossroads when it comes to protecting itself and independent organisations like the ICSS are crucial in raising awareness and more importantly, driving the agenda to confront transnational issues like corruption, illegal betting and betting fraud. I look forward to joining the ICSS Advisory Board and playing an active role in bringing governments and organisations in sport closer together to protect major events and safeguard the integrity and credibility of sport.вЂќ A former US Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security between 2009 and 2013, Lute has a distinguished career in peacekeeping, counterterrorism and cybersecurity. At the Department of Homeland Security, Jane oversaw national efforts to prevent terrorism, enhance national security, protecting US borders, as well as administering and enforcing US laws and ensuring the nationвЂ™s cybersecurity. Lute has also served as assistant secretary-general of the United Nations (2003-2009) and has since taken up the position of president and CEO of the Council on CyberSecurity, an international, not-for-proп¬Ѓt organisation committed to the security of the open Internet. вЂњThe relationship between sport, technology and social media has never been closer and ensuring that our personal information is safe is now challenging the way major sporting events are now organised,вЂќ Lute said. вЂњTo join the ICSS Advisory Board and such an esteemed group of international leaders and decision-makers from the world of security and integrity is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to contributing new ideas and new ways that can sport can protect itself.вЂќ вЂњWith the ICSS continuing to cement its position as a centre of excellence in sport safety, security and integrity, the addition of two of the worldвЂ™s most respected voices in the п¬Ѓeld of security, anti-corruption and cybersecurity underlines the ICSSвЂ™s commitment to protecting and safeguarding sport,вЂќ ICSS president Mohamed Hanzab said. вЂњBoth Jane and Michael bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the ICSS Advisory Board and their expertise will be crucial in encouraging governments and sports organisations to apply a more global approach to confronting the many threats now facing the security and integrity of sport.вЂќ Gulf Times Friday, October 17, 2014 POSTER Carlos Spanish rally driver | Two World Rally Championship (WRC) titles | WRC record for most starts (196) | 2010 Dakar Rally winner 11 Friday, October 17, 2014 HORSE RACING GULF TIMES FOCUS Golam rides Sraab to thrilling Al Hamla Cup win вЂ�It is good to start the season with a winner. I am looking forward to the seasonвЂ™ QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain (third from left) and QREC deputy general manager Tariq Abdulhameed al-Sidiqie (second from right) with the Al Hamla Cup winners at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim By Chris Hoover Doha A hmed Kobeissi trained Sraab (Salim Golam astride) put in a terriп¬Ѓc stretch run to demolish the hopes of her 12 rivals to clinch the Al Hamla Cup, a Local Thoroughbred Conditions race, which featured the п¬Ѓrst dayвЂ™s races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. In a keenly contested race, Haidara shot into the lead and was closely followed by Sraab and Aseer. The trio continued to call the shots as the п¬Ѓeld entered the business end of the race. In the п¬Ѓnal furlong, Aseer gained the advantage but was soon challenged by Sraab. The Kobeissi trainee put in a blazing gallop to score gallantly and stamp her superiority. Al Mansoor was three lengths behind in third. вЂњIt was unbelievable п¬Ѓnish and she has proved that she is the best. It is good to start the season with a winner. I am looking forward to the season,вЂќ trainer Kobeissi told the Gulf Times. Youisef Bentaher trained Dhalyek Al Naif (Amer-Steppy Du Cayrou) was conп¬Ѓdently piloted by Marvin Suerland to win the opening event of the season, the Pure Arabian Maiden Plate. Saab set out in front followed by Al Zubara Al Sakab and Istara. As they moved into the straight for the п¬Ѓnal 400 metres, Zubara Al Sakab began to quicken on the rails with Suerland bidding his time to make his move. Once put into top gear, the Amer progeny came alongside the front runner without much fuss. Inside the last 50 metres, Dhalyek Al Naif stepped up the pace and travelled the better of the two to record his п¬Ѓrst win in seven starts. Mubarak Saeed Aljafal al-Naimi owned Maazouz (Darren Williams astride) easily won the Local Bred Pure Arabian Graduation Plate for Maidens. On a start to п¬Ѓnish mission, the Mohamed Rashid al-Kuwari schooled Maazouz put in a strong effort in the home run to go clear inside the п¬Ѓnal 200 metres and win with a measure of comfort from Khalfa and Nahla. Trainer Jassim al-Ghazali opened his tally for the season with Substantiate putting in a dazzling display while annexing the Thoroughbred Handicap (horses rated 60 to 80) in splendid fashion. With Desert Colours setting the early pace, while Substantiate was raced in a handy second position by jockey Yanis Aouabed. On entering the homestretch, the Ghazali trainee cruised into the lead and stretched away from the rest to win as he pleased. Late Debate and Hi Holy п¬Ѓnished on with a late dash to take the second and third places respectively. Zohair Moghsen saddled Peter Mac was a pillar to post winner of the Thoroughbred Conditions race for three year olds. Peter Mac with Suerland on board, led from the start and skipped away from Roman Legend who was getting into stride long after the front runner had sewn up the race. The manner of this victory suggests that Peter Mac is capable of an encore when saddled next. Jockey Suerland completed a treble for the day when Mohamed Hamad alAttiya trained Sefaat broke through the maiden ranks with a thrilling victory in the Thoroughbred Conditions, a seven furlong race for three year olds. Captain Cleo led the п¬Ѓeld into the straight but had no answer when Sefaat pounced on her. The Attiya trainee then stretched away to win by a neck from the late п¬Ѓnishing Bajan Beauty, who came with telling strides in the п¬Ѓnal stages of the race but could only diminish the margin of defeat. Suerland was delighted with the great start for the season. вЂњIt was an amazing start for the season. I was not expecting it. All of us hope for one winner on the opening day but to have three is simply brilliant. I hope to continue in the same way.вЂќ Mohanad al-Yaqout schooled Slimane (OвЂ™Shea up) overhauled Al Saп¬Ѓ in the virtually the last stride of the race to win the Pure Arabian Conditions race for four year olds. Al Saп¬Ѓ had stolen a march and looked set to lamd the spoils until Slimane came with telling strides in the п¬Ѓnal 50 metres and got past the front runner to take his second win in 13 starts. In an exciting п¬Ѓnish, Abdulaziz Ali al-QaithriвЂ™s Fanunalter (Marco Monteriso) won the Thoroughbred Conditions from Sandbetweenourtoes, which had Frenchman Stephane Ladjadj in the saddle. RESULTS: 1st race: Dhalyek Al Naif (Marvin Suerland) 1, Al Zubara Al Sakab 2, Taghta 3, Istara 4. Won by: 1/2, 3/4, 3/4. Time: 1:32.79. Trained by: Yousef Bentaher. Owned by: Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Ahmed al-Thani 2nd race: Maazouz (Darren Williams) 1, Khalfa 2, Nahla 3, Heytham 4. Won by: 1.2, 3/4, 2. Time: 1:44.30. Trained by: Mohamed Rashid al-Kuwari. Owned by: Mubarak Saeed Aljafal al-Naimi 3rd race: Substantiate (Yanis Aouabed) 1, Late Debate 2, Hi Holy 3, Keene 4. Won by: 1 1/2, Hd, 1/2. Time: 1:35.50. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Jasim Mohamed Al Ghazali and Sons 4th race: Peter Mac (Marvin Suerland) 1, Roman Legend 2, Rasheeda 3, Kalahari Kingdom 4. Won by: 5, 3/4, 2 1/2. Time: 1:21.70. Trained by: Zohair Moghsen. Owned by: Hussain Ali Bukanan 5th race: Sefaat (Marvin Suerland) 1, Bajan Beauty 2, Lady Chantily 3, Captain Cleo 4. Won by: Nk, Nk, Hd. Time: 1:22.76. Trained by: Mohamed Hamad al-Attiya. Owned by: Mohamed Abdulla al-Attiya 6th race: Slimane (OвЂ™Shea) 1, Al Safi 2, Maksab 3, Seif Ennar 4. Won by: Nk, 5, 6. Time: 1:30.13. Trained by: Mohanad al-Yaqout. Owned by: Al Jeryan Stud 7th race: Fanunalter (Marco Monteriso) 1, Sandbetweenourtoes 2, Hearts Of Stone 3, Elwazeer 4. Won by: Shd, 3/4, 1 1/2. Time: 1:22.01. Owned and trained by: Abdulaziz Ali al-Qaithri 8th race: Sraab (Salim Golam) 1, Aseer 2, Al Mansoor 3, Moaddie 4. Won by: 1/2, 3, 1/2. Time: 1:36.20. Trained by: Ahmed Kobeissi. Owned by: Mohamed Kazim Al Ansari and Sons Jockey Salim Golam rides Sraab to an exciting win over Aseer in the feature event yesterday. Trainer Ahmed Kobeissi leads in Sraab (Salim Golam up) after a successful outing in the Al Hamla Cup, which featured the first dayвЂ™s races at the QREC yesterday.