BUSINESS | Page 1 INDEX QATAR ARAB WORLD INTERNATIONAL 2, 20 3, 4 5-16 ISLAM 17 COMMENT BUSINESS CLASSIFIED SPORT 18, 19 1-12 8 1-12 Banking, realty lead QSE-listed firmsвЂ™ profit SPORT | Page 1 Doha has edge in race to host World Championships DOW JONES QE NYMEX 17,185.89 13,498.86 81.05 +211.58 +1.25% -277.03 -2.01% -1.15 -1.40% Latest Figures pu Hagel: US raids on IS group may help Assad Burkina army seizes power after uprising Burkina FasoвЂ™s President Blaise Compaore was toppled yesterday as the army took power after protesters set parliament ablaze in a popular uprising against the veteran leaderвЂ™s 27-year-rule. The demonstrators earlier forced the government to scrap a vote on controversial plans to allow Compaore to extend his reign, with tens of thousands of people joining a mass rally in the capital Ouagadougou calling for the strongman to go. Page 5 EUROPE | Crisis Ukraine-Russia-EU gas supply deal likely Russia, Ukraine and the European Union were likely to conclude an accord yesterday that would see Moscow resume gas supplies to its ex-Soviet neighbour over the winter, EU and Ukrainian officials said. Nothing is certain after months of hard bargaining. But Russian negotiators, who broke off three-way talks overnight saying a deal depended on firmer EU commitments to Kiev to help it pay, returned to Brussels to renew trilateral discussions. BUSINESS | Energy TotalвЂ™s new boss promises stability French energy major TotalвЂ™s new chief executive promised continuity at his first public appearance yesterday as Russia charged a second person over the plane crash that killed his predecessor. вЂњMy objective is mainly continuity and stability,вЂќ Patrick Pouyanne said in London. The 51-year-oldвЂ™s predecessor, Christophe de Margerie, was killed on October 20. in ARAB WORLD | Conflict AFRICA | Politics Vol. XXXV No. 9527 October 31, 2014 Moharram 7, 1436 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals April/May best for 2022 World Cup, say European clubs In brief Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel acknowledged Thursday that USled air strikes against the Islamic State group, one of the Syrian regimeвЂ™s main adversaries, could help President Bashar al-Assad. вЂњAs we and the coalition go after ISIL (IS) to help the Iraqis secure their government, but also the Middle East, yes, Assad derives some benefit of that, of course,вЂќ Hagel said. But he noted that Washington was pursuing a long-term strategy that opposes any role for Assad. d Emir in London meeting he R is bl TA 978 A 1 Q since GULF TIMES FRIDAY Reuters Berne HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met yesterday with Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf and Alan Yarrow at the Mansion House. They discussed bilateral relations and the means to enhance them, particularly in terms of economic partnership. A number of members of the City of London Corporation attended the meeting. Their excellencies members of the official delegation accompanying the Emir also attended the meeting. HH the Emir left London later ending his official visit to the United Kingdom. Page 2 Abbas slams closure of Aqsa compound Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting Jewish far-rightist Reuters Jerusalem I sraeli police yesterday shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to п¬Ѓerce clashes in East Jerusalem and fears of a new Palestinian uprising. The Al Aqsa compound was shut down for almost an entire day to all visitors as a security precaution. It was the п¬Ѓrst full closure of the site in 14 years. Late yesterday Israeli police reopened the complex. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced IsraelвЂ™s actions as вЂњtantamount to a declaration of warвЂќ and his Fatah party called for a вЂњday of rageвЂќ today. It was not clear if Al Aqsa would be opened to Muslims today. Moataz HejaziвЂ™s body lay in blood among satellite dishes and a solar panel on the rooftop of a three-storey house in Abu Tor, a district of Arab East Jerusalem, as Israeli forces sealed off the area and repelled stone-throwing Palestinian protesters. Hejazi was suspected of shooting and wounding Yehuda Glick, a farright religious activist who has led a campaign for Jews to be allowed to pray at the Al Aqsa compound. Glick, a US-born settler, was shot as he left a conference at the Menachem Begin Heritage Centre in Jerusalem late on Wednesday. His assailant escaped on the back of a motorcycle. A spokesman for the centre said Hejazi had worked at a restaurant there. Glick, 48, remains in serious but stable condition with four gunshot wounds, doctors said. Residents said hundreds of Israeli police were involved in the pre-dawn search for Hejazi. He was tracked down to his family home in the hilly backstreets of Abu Tor and eventually cornered on the terrace of an adjacent building. вЂњAnti-terrorist police units surrounded a house in the Abu Tor neighbourhood to arrest a suspect in the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick,вЂќ Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. вЂњImmediately upon arrival they were shot at. They returned п¬Ѓre and shot and killed the suspect.вЂќ Locals identiп¬Ѓed the man as Hejazi, who was released from an Israeli prison in 2012 after serving 11 years. Israeli police п¬Ѓred stun grenades to keep back groups of angry residents, who shouted abuse as they watched from surrounding balconies. East Jerusalem, which Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, has been a source of intense friction in recent months, especially around Silwan, which sits in the shad- ow of the Old City and Al Aqsa. Jewish settler organisations have acquired more than two dozen buildings in Silwan over the years, including nine in the past three months, and moved settler families into them, an effort to make the district more Jewish. Around 500 settlers now live among approximately 40,000 Palestinians residents. The inп¬‚ux of settlers combined with tension over the site, IslamвЂ™s thirdholiest shrine and the holiest place in Judaism, have contributed to the most fractious atmosphere in East Jerusalem since the second Intifada or uprising began in 2000. Yesterday, crowds of young Palestinian men and boys blocked off streets near where Hejazi was killed with rubbish skips and lit п¬Ѓres. They smashed tiles and bricks and used the pieces to throw at Israeli police. Police responded with teargas, scattering the crowd. Clashes continued for hours after Hejazi was killed. Sweden recognises Palestinian state Reuters Stockholm T he Swedish government officially recognised the state of Palestine yesterday and said there were signs other European Union states would follow its lead. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told reporters her government hoped it would bring a new dynamic to efforts to end decades of Israeli-Palestinian conп¬‚ict. вЂњOur decision comes at a critical time because over the last year we have seen how the peace talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza,вЂќ she said. SwedenвЂ™s decision drew praise from Palestinians who called on other countries to match it - a hope which Wallstrom said was likely to be fulп¬Ѓlled in time. вЂњThere is an ongoing debate in many other EU member states and hopefully also a move in this direction,вЂќ she said. вЂњThere are clearly signs that this might happen in other member states as wellвЂќ. Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital. A total of 135 countries already recognise Palestine, including several east European countries that did so before they joined the EU. P laying the 2022 World Cup in April and May would be the вЂњbest solutionвЂќ for the tournament and would have the least impact on the football calendar, according to the association representing European clubs (ECA). ECA said that, provided matches kick off in the evening, the heat in Qatar would be вЂњless extreme than the temperature experienced in some previous World Cups (i.e. Mexico 1986, USA 1994, Brazil 2014)вЂќ. It also suggested that domestic cup competitions could be played after the World Cup in a вЂњcup-onlyвЂќ period in countries with heavy domestic schedules, and that the international friendly date in March be scrapped. The April/May proposal will be put forward on Monday to the FIFA task force which has been set up to decide when the tournament should be played. The task force begun discussions in September when the January/February and November/December periods were put forward in addition to the traditional June/July slot, which is also under consideration. June/July is considered an outsider because of the extreme heat in Qatar at that time. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said the tournament cannot be played then. вЂњIn our opinion, this proposal is the best option. It takes into account the climate issue while preserving the traditional running of a club football season,вЂќ said ECA president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a statement. вЂњThe impact on national team п¬Ѓxtures and UEFA Club Competitions remains limited and the proposal has no impact at all on the Winter Olympics or the confederationsвЂ™ tournaments in 2023. This proposal needs to be seriously considered by all stakeholders: it is an achievable solution.вЂќ ECAвЂ™s proposal envisages that the European club season will end in midApril when the Champions League п¬Ѓnal would be played, rather than late May, and that players would be released to train with their national teams on April 18. The World Cup would start on April 28 and end on May 29. To allow for the April п¬Ѓnish, ECA said that European leagues would have to start two weeks earlier than usual. World Cup organisers have promised that stadiums will be cooled to lower temperatures using new technology. Schoolchildren take part in World Walking Day By Joseph Varghese Staff Reporter H undreds of schoolchildren from many Independent Schools took part in a walkathon at the Aspire Zone yesterday morning, in celebration of the World Walking Day. Many of them held placards and banners highlighting the importance of physical activity for a healthy life. The children went around the Aspire Park in a slow pace and were joined by many grown-ups too. The event that started around 9am came to a close by 10am. Khaleel al- Jabir, sports director, Qatar Olympic Committee, led the whole group. He was joined by many Qataris including noted singer Ali Abdul Sattar. Speaking to Gulf Times, al-Jabir said that it was a great initiative and set an example for everyone to follow a healthy lifestyle. вЂњThe World Walking Day is an occasion for everyone to think of following healthy practices in day-to-day life. Today, about 500 students from a number of schools in Qatar are taking part in the walkathon. Though symbolic in nature, we are sending out a strong message to the community that physical activities are very important for a healthy life.вЂќ He said that many such activities had been arranged in the past to promote physical activities in daily life. вЂњWe will continue organising such events so that the young generation will be beneп¬Ѓted in a big way. It will also help us in the realisation of healthy human capital which is one of the major goals of Qatar National Vision 2030,вЂќ he added. Singer Sattar said that such events are a way to promote a healthy living. вЂњIt promotes healthy living through physical activities. We all have the opportunity to practise healthy living through different activities. So we all must make use of them to maintain good health. We must continue practising and learning more and see why an active lifestyle is helping the society.вЂќ One of the teachers from an Independent School said that it was an interesting activity though the weather was pretty hot. вЂњI hope that my students will beneп¬Ѓt from this practice immensely and will follow it in their daily lives. Physical activities can give them a good physique and better health.вЂќ Students taking part in the walkathon through the Aspire Park yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed 2 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 QATAR Emir meets senior British officials QNA London H H the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad alThani held talks with senior British officials yesterday. He met Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf and Alan Yarrow at the Mansion House. They discussed bilateral relations and the means to enhance them, particularly in terms of economic partnership. A number of members of the City of London Corporation attended the meeting. The members of the official delegation accompanying the Emir also attended the meeting. On Wednesday the Emir paid a visit to the headquarters of the British Parliament at the Palace of Westminster. He met Baroness Frances DвЂ™Souza, the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords chamber and several member of the House of Lords. The Emir also met Baroness Morris and a number of parliamentarians and Lords, including the Group of Friends of the State of Qatar in the British Parliament. During the two meetings, the Emir exchanged views on current regional and international issues and discussed issues of mutual interest. The Emir was accompanied by the members of the official delegation accompanying him. Later yesterday the Emir left London concluding his official visit to the United Kingdom. The Emir sent two cables of thanks to Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom and British Prime Minister David Cameron in which he expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his accompanying delegation during the visit. HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meeting Baroness Morris and Lords in the British parliament yesterday. HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani holding talks with Baroness Frances DвЂ™Souza, the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords chamber. HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meeting British parliamentarians. Traffic jams, parking woes hit sales personnel hard By Ramesh Mathew Staff Reporter he Indian embassy has registered deaths of 20 of its community members so far this month, the monthly community house was informed yesterday. This year until yesterday, 227 Indian nationals died in Qatar. While a total of 237 community members died in 2012, last year saw the deaths of 241 Indian expatriates in the country. T he continuing traffic woes in Doha are apparently forcing sales personnel to quit their jobs and look for work that does not involve extensive travel within the city, it is learnt. While traffic congestion increases their travel time, п¬Ѓnding suitable parking space is another major worry for these workers often described as salesmen-cumdrivers. As a result, they either miss appointments or fail to meet business deadlines, they point out. Gulf Times has learnt from people engaged in sales jobs that some companies, especially those in the retail sector, are reportedly losing employees who are quitting - mostly out of frustration over reaching targets. вЂњThe situation that we have been facing for more than two years now is mostly arising out of perennial traffic congestion on the cityвЂ™s roads. Along with this, the problem of parking is also worsening here with each passing day,вЂќ said a sales supervisor of a company supplying diaries, gifts, office stationery and other goods. He said owing to traffic jams in the city, starting from early in the morning, people like him are sometimes unable to meet deadlines and even miss meetings with regular customers. The situation has worsened, Rush hour traffic at Gharrafa intersection. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam say sources in the retail industry. A supplier of car accessories said their company has lost some key personnel in recent months and each of them has complained about traffic- and parking-related issues while quitting. Keen to avoid sales work that involves a lot of travel, some of them are said to be looking for other kinds of jobs. A senior sales employee of a company that supplies construction materials to contracting п¬Ѓrms said he is sometimes forced to return to his office without meeting customers after failing to п¬Ѓnd parking space in different city areas. The employee said he leaves home at least two hours before schedule most of the days due to the possibility of getting caught in traffic jams at different locations. He recalled that it took him more than 45 minutes to go from the Al Andalus signal to Al Sadd recently, a distance that he used to cover in less than 10 minutes not so long ago. вЂњIf one is unable to attend our scheduled business meetings and meet deadlines, there is every possibility of losing customers in this highly competitive market,вЂќ said a person who had once served as a salesman of a German shoe manufacturer. There has been a drastic rise in the number of vehicles in Doha over the last few years and sales personnel often п¬Ѓnd it difficult to perform their jobs under the present circumstances, the longtime resident said. вЂњEverywhere, there are long traffic queues and one also faces a lot of difficulty in getting parking space,вЂќ he added. The search for parking space in key localities can take very long, it is understood. Another cause for concern is that salesmen often have to park their vehicles far from their destination and are forced to walk under the burning sun, according to sources. Some companies this newspaper contacted said they were at times forced to deploy two salesmen-cum-drivers for a particular job due to severe parking problems in some city areas. вЂњWhile one salesman deals with customers outside, the other can remain in the driverвЂ™s seat,вЂќ said a supplier of foodstuff. QU road crash sparks social media debate T he Qatari man killed in a road traffic accident in DohaвЂ™s West Bay area on Wednesday has been identiп¬Ѓed as the father of a Qatar University (QU) student. The man, in his early 70s, was hit on the QU campus by a car driven by a female faculty member. Indian mission records 20 expat deaths this month T In a statement sent to QU community and posted on Twitter university president Professor Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad, said: вЂњI have long dreaded that the day would come when I would have to write this e-mail.вЂќ There are conп¬‚icting versions as to where the accident happened within the campus. Some said it was in a parking lot while others maintained the man was trying to cross an internal road. Most of the roads on the QU campus have a speed limit of 40km and some close to the boundary 60km. The tragedy has spurred a de- bate on social media about the need to ensure safe driving as well as walking habits within QU campus. вЂњSome people drive irresponsibly inside the campus, while many of those who walk, do not seek the safety of pavements,вЂќ a student observed. The Labour and Community Welfare Section of the embassy has received a total of 3,256 complaints between January and October this year The house was informed that 79 Indian nationals are currently serving sentence for different offences, and 133 awaiting deportation are housed at the Criminal Evidence and Investigation DepartmentвЂ™s Deportation Centre. The Labour and Community Welfare Section of the embassy has received a total of 3,256 complaints between January and October this year. In the last two years, the number of complaints received were 3,385 (2012) and 3,558 (2013). On being requested by the local authorities, emergency certificates were issued this month for 11 people housed at the Deportation Centre, it was informed. The embassyвЂ™s follow-up facilitated the return of 61 Indian nationals from the Deportation Centre this month, it was disclosed. The mission also issued six air tickets to six persons in distress and borne the expenses for the transportation of the mortal remains of an Indian п¬Ѓsherman who died in a boat collision off the Qatari coast. The house was held to address urgent consular and labour issues/cases of the countryвЂ™s Indian expatriates. Ambassador Sanjiv Arora and other senior officials met the complainants, discussed their problems and assured them of the missionвЂ™s support in bringing their issues to the attention of the local authorities. Newly elected president of the Indian Community Benevolent Fund Arvind Patil and former chief Kareem Abdulla were also present besides the embassy officials. Mesaimeer health clinic patients to be redirected S tarting today, the Omer Ibn Khattab Health Centre will not receive Mesaimeer Health Centre patients on Fridays and Saturdays as usual, the Primary Health Care Corporation has announced. This temporary measure will be in place until Mesaimeer Health Centre adopts the electronic п¬Ѓling system. Patients are to be redirected from Mesaimeer to Abu Baker and Al Rayyan health centres on Fridays and Saturdays. Official Advisory Council deputy speaker meets envoy HE the Deputy Speaker of the Advisory Council Issa bin Rabia al-Kuwari met the ambassador of Bangladesh to the State of Qatar Sayyed Massoud Mahmoud Khandoukar. During the meeting they discussed parliamentary relations between the two countries and ways to develop them. The meeting was attended by HE the Secretary-General of the Council Fahd bin Mubarak alKhayareen. Bilateral ties reviewed HE the Assistant Minister for International Co-operation Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani met PolandвЂ™s ambassador to Qatar Krzysztof Suprowicz and BelgiumвЂ™s ambassador to Qatar Christophe Payot. The meetings dealt with bilateral relations and means to bolster co-operation. They also discussed issues of joint interest. Qatar-Somalia ties discussed President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud met the Charge dвЂ™affaires of QatarвЂ™s embassy in Mogadishu Hassan bin Hamza Assad Mohamed. They discussed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them in addition to matters of common concern. SomaliaвЂ™s Prime Minister Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed also met the Charge dвЂ™affaires of QatarвЂ™s embassy in Mogadishu. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between Qatar and Somalia and ways of enhancing them. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 3 REGION/ARAB WORLD ON THE CATWALK! A model presents a creation by Palestinian designer Khlood al-Khori at the Museum of Modern Art in Kuwait as part of the Palestinian cultural days in Kuwait. SECURITY WOES CONTENTIOUS PROGRAMME CIVILIANS SHELLED CRACKDOWN Lebanese army arrests 50 after weekend clashes Iran foils bid to sabotage heavy-water tanks Amnesty accuses Libya factions of war crimes Kuwait jails Tweeter for insulting judges Lebanese troops detained 50 people in raids on towns and Syrian refugee camps in the north of the country, the army said yesterday, part of a security crackdown after battles with Islamist gunmen over the weekend. Soldiers moved on the towns of al-Minya, Mashta Hassan, Mashta Hammoud and refugee camps in the town of Behneen on Wednesday. In one of the raids, soldiers seized a number of weapons including rocket-propelled grenade launchers as well as communications equipment, the statement said. Yesterday, a military court charged a man it said was an important member of Islamic State, a judicial source said, adding that 17 others were also charged in absentia. Iran has foiled an attempt to sabotage tanks used for transporting heavy water, which is needed to run some nuclear reactors, and blames a вЂњforeign countryвЂќ for the incident, a senior official was quoted by local media as saying. Asghar Zarean, deputy chief in charge of nuclear protection and security at IranвЂ™s Atomic Energy Organisation, was quoted by the Tehran newspaper Arman as saying the bid to damage tanks at the Arak heavy-water production plant occurred two weeks ago. вЂњThere were attempts to cause disruption. these attempts foiled before the tanks were filled with heavy water,вЂќ Zarean was quoted as saying. Human rights group Amnesty International said yesterday it had satellite pictures indicating that rival factions in Libya had committed war crimes by shelling densely populated residential areas. Libya plunged into anarchy when an armed faction from Misrata seized Tripoli in August after fighting with militiamen from Zintan. Amnesty said that fighters from both sides had indiscriminately fired rockets and artillery shells into hospitals and residential districts in parts of Tripoli and the western Warshafena region. вЂњLawless militias and armed groups on all sides of the conflict are carrying out rampant human rights abuses, including war crimes,вЂќ Amnesty said in a statement. KuwaitвЂ™s lower court yesterday sentenced an online activist to four years in prison for insulting judges on Twitter, according to the court ruling and activists. Ahmad Fadhel was charged with writing comments on Twitter deemed offensive to a number of judges, who then sued him. The verdict is not final as it can still be challenged in the court of appeals and supreme court. The Gulf state has sentenced dozens of tweeters to jail terms, mainly for insulting the countryвЂ™s ruler. In September, a court sentenced a Sunni Islamist activist to three years in jail for posting remarks deemed derogatory to the countryвЂ™s Shia minority on his Twitter account. World record! Egypt bans pro-Mursi coalition Former general jailed over false intelligence fed to вЂ�traitorвЂ™ Musri Reuters Cairo E gypt yesterday banned a pressure group that has pushed for the reinstatement of president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was overthrown by the army last year, dealing a new blow to the countryвЂ™s oldest Islamist movement. Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood itself last year and dissolved its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, in August precluding it from running in parliamentary elections expected to take place in the next few months. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb issued a decree yesterday dissolving the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy and Reject the Coup as well as its political arm, the Independence Party, in line with an earlier court ruling. There was no immediate comment from the group. The Coalition, which included Brotherhood supporters and other Islamist groups, was set up after then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew Mursi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. Egyptian authorities have since cracked down on the Brotherhood, declaring it a terrorist group, throwing thousands of its members in jail and killing hundreds on a single day in one of the bloodiest episodes in EgyptвЂ™s modern history. The pro-Mursi Coalition called for mass protests in the aftermath of that deadly crackdown in August last year, but was able to muster little support in the streets. Demonstrations have dwindled as the authorities have pursued their campaign against it. The Coalition was conceived as a vehicle to bring together Egyptians from across the political spectrum who were opposed to the overthrow of a democratically president. In reality, it attracted individuals and groups sympathetic to the BrotherhoodвЂ™s brand of political Islam. Two of the main Islamist parties that initially supported the Coalition have distanced themselves in recent months and its public statements have largely dried up. Once among EgyptвЂ™s best-organised and most successful political movements, the Brotherhood won EgyptвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst parliamentary and presidential elections after the 2011 Tahrir Square revolt that toppled veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak. An Egyptian court has jailed a retired general for claiming the nationвЂ™s spies deliberately fed now-deposed Islamist president Mohamed Musri false intelligence because he was a вЂњtraitor,вЂќ state media reported yesterday. Tharwat Guda, a former officer in general intelligence, was jailed on Wednesday for a year in a military trial sparked by a complaint from his former institution that he had disclosed information вЂњdamaging to national security.вЂќ Unclear is how he could know anything about the matter, as he retired in 2010, the year before long-time president Hosni Mubarak was driven from power and Musri elected to replace him. At issue was an interview he gave to private newspaper Al Watan in September, state news agency Mena reported. When asked whether the intelligence services had вЂњconspiredвЂќ against Musri by feeding him false information, he said: вЂњNo. The intelligence services did not conspire against Musri, it was he who conspired against Egypt. вЂњWe knew he was a traitor even before he became president, so why give him information?вЂќ MusriвЂ™s Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have claimed that state institutions and services worked in a way to ensure that his presidency was a failure. Guda claims Al Watan misquoted him, but the daily says it is ready to release the audio recording of his interview. Mursi ruled for a year, but angered many Egyptians by giving himself sweeping powers and mismanaging the economy. In the wake of his overthrow, Mursi and other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up and hundreds have since been sentenced to death in mass trials that have drawn criticism from Western governments and human rights groups. Sisi, who went on to win a presidential election in May, has vowed that the Brotherhood would cease to exist under his rule. But many of the leading secular activists behind the 2011 uprising have also found themselves on the wrong side of the new political leadership, facing charges for taking part in peaceful demonstrations after Sisi banned unlicensed protests. Employees and management members of hotels near Dead Sea form a floating image at the Dead Sea beach. A group of 261 hotel staff broke the Guinness World record for creating the largest floating image on the Dead Sea in an effort to boost JordanвЂ™s flagging tourism industry that is feeling the effects of the wars raging in neighbouring Iraq and Syria. Organised by Monaco Business Development, the participants were recruited from the Dead SeaвЂ™s eight hotels to create the image of a peace sign. 6 new Mers cases in Saudi Reuters Riyadh S audi Arabia has detected six new cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in 24 hours, the biggest daily jump for months with officials blaming lax hospital procedures. The recent surge in cases, now numbering 32 since the start of October, has been focused in Riyadh and the western city of Taif, but it remains far less extensive than an outbreak in April and May that infected hundreds. Mers causes coughing, fever and sometimes pneumonia, killing around 40% of its victims. The vast majority of conп¬Ѓrmed cases worldwide have been found in Saudi Arabia, where 786 people have been infected, of whom 334 have died. Two of the new cases announced by the health ministry were in medical personnel, adding to concerns about the standard of infection control procedures in medical facilities. Three different Taif hospitals have been affected. Some of the people infected with Mers in Taif this month were being treated in one renal clinic in a hospital in the city, which authorities regard as being responsible for some of the transmissions, a senior Health Ministry official said. вЂњThe secret here of success is not to prevent the cases to be in- troduced to the community... the success is to control the transmission within health facilities,вЂќ Abdulaziz bin Saeed, undersecretary for public health told Reuters. He added that medical personnel may have relaxed their infection control standards after the kingdomвЂ™s last outbreak before the summer ebbed, but that the ministry had intervened to improve procedures in Taif hospitals. The six new cases conп¬Ѓrmed late on Wednesday included three in Taif, where п¬Ѓve others have fallen ill this month, two in Riyadh, where six others have been diagnosed with Mers since the start of October, and one in Hafr al-Batin, near Kuwait. Cases of Mers have been found in other countries since the virus was identiп¬Ѓed in 2012, including in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, but most of them were in people who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia. Scientists are not sure of the origin of the virus, but several studies have linked it to camels and some experts think it is being passed to humans through close physical contact or through the consumption of camel meat or camel milk. The disease can then spread between people, and the largest previous outbreaks, including one in Jeddah in April and May that infected hundreds, have been linked to poor infection control procedures in hospitals. Egypt targets universities as last haven for political expression By Mahmoud Mourad, Reuters Cairo H undreds of police surround its walls, patrolling in armoured vehicles with sirens blaring, while muscle-bound security guards man metal detectors, searching all who enter. But this is not a military barracks or police station, it is Cairo University, where the government has tightened security as it seeks to avert another year of unrest on university campuses, among the last bastions of protest and dissent in Egypt. The government has cracked down on critics since July 2013, when then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew Mohamed Mursi, EgyptвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst freely elected president and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, after mass protests against his rule. The Brotherhood was banned, thousands of its supporters were locked up and hundreds were killed when police broke up two protest camps last year. The net has since widened to include secular activists who played a leading role in the 2011 uprising that toppled long-serving autocrat Hosni Mubarak and ignited hopes for deeper change. As the noose tightened around activists and the government banned unlicensed demonstrations, EgyptвЂ™s state universities emerged as one of the few remaining spaces to express dissent. Scores of students were killed last year in clashes with police and hundreds more were detained, leading the government to delay the start of the new academic year to mid-October while it put security procedures in place. Sisi, now president, has warned that violence at universities would no longer be tolerated. After the long summer hiatus, increased security has come as a relief for many students who had found themselves traversing battlegrounds on their way to class. But opponents accuse the government of trying to stamp out the last п¬‚ickers of political expression. They criticise the moves as an attempt to return campuses to the grip of the security services, which ruled by fear under Mubarak. вЂњ(The government) is elimi- A woman carries a sign that reads вЂ�DonвЂ™t penalise without judicial ruleвЂ™ during a protest by faculty members about the ban on partisan political activity on campus at Cairo University earlier this month. nating politics inside the university and outside it,вЂќ said Khaled Reda, a student leader at Zagazig University in the Nile Delta. вЂњThe situation inside the university will be even more difficult than it is outside.вЂќ Universities have banned partisan activity on campus, limiting extra-curricular pursuits to sports or culture. A decree issued in June means appointments to positions in- cluding principal or faculty head must be approved by the president himself, an apparent effort to keep politically active academics from attaining senior positions. Regulations introduced in September at the thousand-year-old Al Azhar University, among the worldвЂ™s most venerable centres of Islamic learning, give the administration new powers to sack or expel any faculty member or student involved in activities that damage university property, disrupt the learning process or incite violence. The cabinet has approved similar rules for all universities. Sisi has yet to sign the measures into law, but the plans have drawn criticism from students and professors active across the political spectrum who say they are too vague and leave the door open for principals to remove anyone they п¬Ѓnd too outspoken. вЂњIt is clear that there is interference from the security services and the target is to suppress academic freedoms under the pretext of combating terrorism,вЂќ Hassan Nafaa, a political science professor at Cairo University, told Reuters. вЂњWe are against terrorism... but we are also against exploiting the current political situation and the state of polarisation to restore the (old) regime...вЂќ Student activism has played a key role in Egyptian politics for the last century, fomenting unrest against the British occupation and the ensuing succession of Egyptian leaders hailing from the military, eventually helping topple Mubarak. Prominent politicians launched their careers as student leaders, including former presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a moderate Islamist, and leftist Hamdeen Sabahi. Changes introduced in the aftermath of the 2011 revolt, saw academic staff electing faculty chiefs for the п¬Ѓrst time. Under the new law, they must be named or approved by the president, giving top political leaders direct control over what are meant to be independent educational institutions. Gaber Gad Nassar, president of Cairo University, denied the security measures were intended to restrict academic freedoms. вЂњThere is a state of violence which we had to confront for the sake of protecting the students and the university facilities,вЂќ he told Reuters in an interview at his office under the universityвЂ™s iconic dome. вЂњIn what country is storming the university gates with a Molotov (cocktail) accommodated as academic freedom?вЂќ The presence of security forces inside universities has been a contentious issue for years. Before the 2011 uprising, a special police force was dedicated to universities, crushing protest and monitoring dissent. A court ruling in 2010, shortly before the Tahrir Square revolt, banned police from entering campuses. But after the spread of violence during the last academic year, the government allowed police to step on site at the request of principals. Universities have since hired private security п¬Ѓrms to patrol on campus, while police scour the perimeters for any signs of trouble among EgyptвЂ™s 1.5mn university students. вЂњWe will not deal except with those who try to disturb or terrify students,вЂќ police general Medhat el-Menshawi, the head of special operations at interior ministry, told Reuters outside the main gate of Al Azhar on the п¬Ѓrst day of the academic year. Staff worry that the security net is slowly widening, and will eventually stiп¬‚e any free expression. вЂњThis is an assault on the independence of universities,вЂќ Hani al-Husseini, a mathematics professor at Cairo University, said at a silent faculty protest on the second day of the term. 4 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 ARAB WORLD Peshmerga to reinforce besieged Syria town Islamic State slaughters 220 from Sunni tribe in Iraq AFP Ankara H Standing her ground! eavily armed Iraqi peshmerga forces yesterday reached the Turkish border and a п¬Ѓrst group entered the town of Kobane as they prepared to join fellow Kurds battling the Islamic State group. The group of 10 п¬Ѓghters were to co-ordinate with local Kurdish militia who have been holding off an assault by IS jihadists for six weeks, a monitoring group said. A peshmerga convoy reached the town of Suruc on the Turkish side of the border after travelling through southeastern Turkey along roads clogged with п¬‚ag-waving Kurds, an AFP photographer said. There it linked up there with a second group of peshmerga who had п¬‚own in Wednesday, but it was unclear when the main force would cross into Kobane. Officials have said there are about 150 peshmerga п¬Ѓghters in total, armed with machineguns, heavy artillery and rocket launchers. The IS jihadists were pounding northern areas of Kobane along the border with mortars and heavy artillery, a monitoring group said yesterday, in an apparent bid to prevent the peshmerga from crossing. They had also launched an assault on a northern neighbourhood overnight but were pushed back by forces from the Syrian Kurdish PeopleвЂ™s Protection Units (YPG) militia, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. вЂњThe bombardment of the border area will likely delay the entry of the peshmergaвЂќ into Kobane, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria. Kobane has become an important symbol of the battle against IS, an extremist group that has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq, committing atrocities and declaring an Islamic вЂњcaliphateвЂќ. A US-led coalition carrying out air raids against IS has intensiп¬Ѓed attacks near Kobane in recent days, and the Pentagon said its п¬Ѓghter jets and bombers made 10 strikes in the area on Wednesday and yesterday. The coalition carried out two other strikes elsewhere in Syria and two more in Iraq, it said. Under pressure from the US, Turkey agreed last week to allow the peshmerga to cross its territory to Kobane. Turkey also allowed dozens of rebel п¬Ѓghters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to cross into Kobane Wednesday, but they were lightly armed and unlikely to make Islamic State militants executed at least 220 Iraqis in retaliation against a tribeвЂ™s opposition to their takeover of territory west of Baghdad, security sources and witnesses said. Two mass graves were discovered yesterday containing some of the 300 members of the Sunni Muslim Albu Nimr tribe that Islamic State had seized this week. The captives, men aged between 18 and 55, had been shot at close range, witnesses said. The bodies of more than 70 Albu Nimr men were dumped near the town of Hit in the Sunni heartland Anbar province, according to witnesses who said most of the victims were members of the police or an anti-Islamic State militia called Sahwa (Awakening). вЂњEarly this morning we found those corpses and we were told by some Islamic State militants that вЂ�those people are from Sahwa, who fought your brothers the Islamic State, and this is the punishment of anybody fighting Islamic StateвЂ™,вЂќ a witness said. The insurgents had ordered men from the tribe to leave their villages and go to Hit, 130km west of Baghdad, promising them вЂњsafe passageвЂќ, tribal leaders said. They were then seized and shot. A mass grave near the city of Ramadi, also in Anbar province, contained 150 members of the same tribe, security officials said. a crucial difference in the battle. Ankara has been wary of giving support to the YPG Kurdish militia, which has close links with the outlawed Kurdistan WorkersвЂ™ Party (PKK) that has fought a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey. The peshmerga reinforcements were waiting in a storage facility in Suruc, 10km from the border, which was heavily guarded by Turkish security forces who prevented media approaching. The Observatory said the small group of peshmerga that had entered Kobane were there to вЂњco-ordinate the arrival of their comradesвЂќ. Syrian President Bashar al-AssadвЂ™s regime denounced Ankara, which has long supported the war against it, for allowing them across the border. вЂњOnce again, Turkey has shown its conspiratorial role... by allowing foreign forces and terrorist groups to enter Syria,вЂќ said a foreign ministry statement reported by state television. вЂњThis constitutes a п¬‚agrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.вЂќ A Palestinian woman shouts at Israeli policemen in Jerusalem after authorities temporarily closed the Al Aqsa mosque compound yesterday. Libyan Islamist gets to sue London over rendition Reuters London A former Libyan Islamist commander yesterday won the legal right to sue Britain for damages over the years of torture he says he suffered at the hands of Muammar Gaddaп¬ЃвЂ™s henchmen after being illegally handed to Libya by British and US spies. The ruling by the Court of Appeal in London could open the way for litigation against the British government in similar torture or rendition cases. Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a rebel leader who helped topple Gaddaп¬Ѓ in 2011 and is now leader of the Libyan Al Watan Party, says he and his pregnant wife Fatima were abducted by US CIA agents in Thailand in 2004 and then transferred to Tripoli with the help of British security officials. Britain and the US had been keen to build relations with Gaddaп¬Ѓ at the time, following his 2003 pledge to give up sponsoring terrorism and to end LibyaвЂ™s chemical and nuclear weapons programmes. In 2004, then British prime minister Tony Blair met the former Lib- yan leader in what was described as the вЂњdeal in the desertвЂќ, bringing Libya back into the international fold after a series of infamous attacks abroad, including the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. In 2011, Belhadj began legal action against former British foreign secretary Jack Straw, BritainвЂ™s MI5 and MI6 spy agencies, a former intelligence chief, and relevant government departments but last year a High Court judge ruled English courts could not hear the case. That was because the allegations about BelhadjвЂ™s abduction and rendition involved other countries, most notably the US, and state immunity, which protects states from being sued in foreign courts. A bar on claims which call into question the actions of other states also forbade it. Three senior judges at LondonвЂ™s Court of Appeal overturned that decision yesterday, paving the way for Belhadj and his wife to pursue damages, although the government was given permission to take the case to BritainвЂ™s Supreme Court. вЂњThe allegations in this case - although they are only allegations - are of particularly grave violations of hu- man rights,вЂќ the judgesвЂ™ ruling said. вЂњThe stark reality is that unless the English courts are able to exercise jurisdiction in this case, these very grave allegations against the executive will never be subjected to judicial investigation.вЂќ Belhadj says he was originally detained in China, before being transferred to Malaysia and then moved to a CIA вЂњblack siteвЂќ in Thailand. Belhadj was handed over to CIA agents, acting on a tip-off from MI6, and п¬‚own via the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Tripoli. As a long-standing enemy of Gaddaп¬Ѓ, he was imprisoned and tortured until his release in 2010 while his wife was also mistreated during her four-month incarceration. After the fall of Gaddaп¬Ѓ, documents were discovered which indicated British officials had been in contact with former Libyan spy chief Moussa Koussa over Belhadj. вЂњOur part of the вЂ�deal in the desertвЂ™ - the kidnap, the secret CIA jail, the torture chamber in Tripoli - is as fresh and as painful for us as if it happened yesterday,вЂќ Belhadj said in a statement. вЂњWe never dreamed Britain would have conspired in such a thing until we saw the proof with our own eyes, right there in Moussa KoussaвЂ™s dusty binders.вЂќ Members of the British domestic intelligence agency MI5 and its foreign equivalent MI6 have for years faced accusations they colluded in the ill-treatment of suspected militants, often at the hands of US authorities. British ministers have repeatedly denied any knowledge of sending anyone to face torture abroad, and there have also been warnings that exposing secret intelligence material in court cases might damage relations with Washington. A spokesman for BritainвЂ™s Foreign Office said they were studying the detail of yesterdayвЂ™s ruling but declined to say more at this stage. But human rights campaigners said the verdict was signiп¬Ѓcant. вЂњThe government so fears this case going to trial that they have stalled for years by throwing up a parade of scarecrows - claiming, for example, that the US would be angered if Mr and Mrs Belhadj had their day in court in Britain,вЂќ said Cori Crider, Director at Reprieve. вЂњThe court was right: embarrassment is no reason to throw torture victims out of court.вЂќ Secular party beats Islamists in Tunisia election AFP Tunis T he secular Nidaa Tounes party came top in TunisiaвЂ™s landmark legislative polls beating Islamist rivals Ennahda, who had already conceded defeat, provisional results released yesterday showed. Nidaa Tounes won 85 of the 217 parliamentary seats in SundayвЂ™s vote, with Ennahda coming second with 69, the ISIE election body told a press conference. Neither of the two top parties had been expected to win an outright majority, so political horse-trading had already begun ahead of the announcement of the results. Ennahda, dominant in Tunisian politics since the 2011 revolution, has won praise for its grace in conceding defeat in the landmark parliamentary elections in the country, which was the cradle of the Arab Spring revolts that shook the wider region. Just hours after polling stations closed Sunday, Ennahda acknowledged that it had been beaten into second place by Nidaa Tounes. Ennahda, which steered the North African nation through the aftermath of the revolution, congratulated Nidaa Tounes for becoming the largest party in the п¬Ѓrst parliament to be elected since then. The movement called on its supporters to celebrate вЂњdemocracyвЂќ and hundreds of them rallied outside its Tunis headquarters despite the defeat. Chafik Sarsar (fourth left), president of the Tunisian election commission, announces the preliminary results of the legislative elections in Tunis yesterday. вЂњWe consider Tunisia has triumphed and that Ennahda has triumphed by leading the country to this stage,вЂќ said Abdelhamid Jelassi, national co-ordinator for the movement, whose campaign slogan was вЂњconsensusвЂќ. Independent analyst Selim Kharrat, said this has made Ennahda look likeвЂќa very sleek, very democratic party, which congratulates its opponent, which hands over powerвЂќ, also referring to January, when Ennahda gave way to a government of techno- crats to defuse a political crisis. The UPL (Free Patriotic Union), led by entrepreneur Slim Riahi, came third, winning 16 seats. That was just one more than the leftist coalition Popular Front secured. Tunisians hope the election, and the presidential vote on November 23, will provide much-coveted stability, nearly four years after the January 2011 revolution that toppled longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Nidaa Tounes, an eclectic coalition of left and centre-right п¬Ѓgures, opponents and former bigwigs of the ousted Ben Ali regime, mounted a strong campaign against the Ennahda Islamists. Ennahda, which won TunisiaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst free elections three years ago after the toppling of Ben Ali, had previously been accused of working to Islamicise society away from its traditional secularism. TunisiaвЂ™s economy has also been in the doldrums during its tenure, and two prominent п¬Ѓgures were assassinated last year by suspected jihadists, triggering the political crisis that Ennahda resolved by handing over power. Analyst Slaheddine Jourchi said EnnahdaвЂ™s change of tack could be traced back to the Egyptian armyвЂ™s ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and the bloody repression that followed. вЂњWhat happened in Egypt shook them upвЂќ and led to an easing of strains with Nidaa Tounes. Analyst Kharrat said this showed EnnahdaвЂ™s вЂњextraordinary pragmatism and capacity to adaptвЂќ to political developments. Under TunisiaвЂ™s electoral system, a party that gains the largest number of votes but falls short of an outright majority is given a mandate to form a coalition government. Tunisian newspapers on Wednesday predicted a grand coalition. вЂњThe best scenario would be a Nidaa Tounes-Ennahda coalition guaranteeing a stable government for the next п¬Ѓve years,вЂќ said the French-language daily La Presse. Foreign observers praised the вЂњfreeвЂќ election and signs of a peaceful transition in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. In other countries, the hopes of the Arab Spring uprisings have given way to conп¬‚ict or renewed repression. However, poverty and unemployment, which were key factors that sparked the anti-Ben Ali revolt, remain unresolved. Nidaa Tounes leader Beji Caid Essebsi, an 87-year-old veteran of Tunisian politics, vowed to form a coalition with other parties to take the country forward. вЂњWe took the decision in advance that Nidaa Tounes would not govern alone, even if we won an absolute majority,вЂќ Essebsi told Al-Hiwar Al-Tounsi television. вЂњWe will govern with those closest to us, with the democratic family, so to speak,вЂќ he said. Essebsi has also said he will stand in the November 23 presidential election, and is considered to be a front-runner. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 5 AFRICA Burkina parliament set on п¬Ѓre AFP/Reuters Ouagadougou B urkina FasoвЂ™s President Blaise Compaore declared a state of emergency yesterday and pledged to open talks with the opposition, local radio reported, in a bid to defuse protests sparked by his attempt to extend his 27-year rule. вЂњA state of emergency is declared across the national territory. The chief of the armed forces is in charge of implementing this decision which enters into effect today,вЂќ said the statement read by a presenter on Radio Omega FM. вЂњI dissolve the government from today so as to create conditions for change. IвЂ™m calling on the leaders of the political opposition to put an end to the protests. IвЂ™m pledging from today to open talks with all the actors to end the crisis,вЂќ the statement said. Earlier, angry demonstrators went on the rampage, setting parliament ablaze in an uprising against the regime of longstanding President Compaore. The protesters forced the government to scrap a vote on controversial plans to allow Compaore to extend his 27-year rule, Compaore: came to power in a coup in 1987. with tens of thousands of people joining a mass rally in the capital Ouagadougou calling for the strongman to go. Hundreds of people stormed parliament and other public buildings including the national television headquarters, ransacking offices and setting п¬Ѓre to cars, despite a heavy police and army presence across the city. The United States and former colonial power France voiced alarm over the unrest gripping the poor west African nation while the UN chief was sending an envoy to help restore calm. вЂњThe army is united with the people,вЂќ claimed Benewende Sankara, a leading light in the opposition, calling for Compaore to resign to enable peace to be restored. Army chief Nabere Honore Traore was meeting retired general Kouame Lougue, a former defence minister being touted by the opposition as a replacement for Compaore, to discuss the crisis. Tens of thousands of protesters massed on the streets of the capital shouting вЂњLougue in power!вЂќ Hundreds of people had earlier broken through a heavy security cordon and stormed the National Assembly building, before attacking the national television headquarters and moving on the presidential palace. One man was killed in the chaos that erupted just before lawmakers were due to vote on the legislation that would allow Compaore вЂ“ who took power in a 1987 coup вЂ“ to contest next yearвЂ™s election, AFP correspondents said. The government, facing its worst crisis since a wave of mutinies shook the country in 2011, later announced it was calling off the vote. Police and soldiers, out in force after mass demonstrations earlier this week, failed to stop the onslaught despite using tear gas Protesters stand in front of smoke rising from the Burkina FasoвЂ™s parliament, where demonstrators set cars on fire parked in the courtyard. against the protesters. Black smoke billowed out of smashed windows at the parliament building, where several offices were ravaged by п¬‚ames, including the speakerвЂ™s office, although the main chamber so far appeared to be unscathed. Several hundred protesters also broke into the headquarters of the national television station RTB, pillaging equipment and smashing cars, correspondents said. Crowds of people later massed near the presidential palace but were being held back by troops from the presidential guard who п¬Ѓred warning shots into the air. The ruling party headquarters in the second city of Bobo Dioulasso and the city hall was also torched by protesters, witnesses said. The United States said it was вЂњdeeply concernedвЂќ about the crisis and criticised the attempts to alter the constitution, while France appealed for calm and said it вЂњdeploredвЂќ the violence. UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon dispatched a special envoy to Burkina Faso, with a spokesman saying Ban was вЂњfollowing with great concern the deteriorating security situation in Burkina FasoвЂќ. The European Union had urged the government to scrap the legislation, warning it could вЂњjeopardise ... stability, equitable development and democratic progressвЂќ. The legislature had been due to examine a proposed amendment that would allow Compaore to run for re-election in November 2015. Several thousand protesters marched through the capital on Wednesday, the day after street battles erupted during a mass rally by hundreds of thousands against what they branded a constitutional coup by supporters of the 63-year-old strongman. вЂњOctober 30 is Burkina FasoвЂ™s вЂ�Black SpringвЂ™, like the вЂ�Arab SpringвЂ™,вЂќ said Emile Pargui Pare of the opposition Movement of People for Progress (MPP). Government spokesman Alain Edouard Traore had issued a statement Wednesday hailing the вЂњvitalityвЂќ of Burkina FasoвЂ™s democracy despite what he termed anti-government вЂњmisbehaviourвЂќ. CompaoreвЂ™s bid to cling to power has angered many, including young people in a country where 60% of the population of almost 17mn is under 25. Many have spent their entire lives under the leadership of one man and вЂ“ with Burkina Faso stagnating at 183rd out of 186 countries on the UN human de- State media attacks ZimbabweвЂ™s Mujuru Experts urge caution over Ebola hopes AFP Monrovia H ealth authorities called yesterday for renewed vigilance over the Ebola epidemic, urging caution over claims that the outbreak is retreating as the World Bank boosted the global response with $100mn for health workers. The warning follows an announcement by World Health Organisation (WHO) that data from funeral directors and treatment centres indicated lower admission rates and burials in Liberia, the nation hit hardest by the killer virus. But international aid agency Doctors Without Borders said the apparent slowdown could be due to sick people not being picked up because of a lack of ambulances and being omitted from the statistics. The medical charity, known by its French initials MSF, warned that вЂњmandatory cre- mation of dead bodies and a poor ambulance and referral system could also be reasons for this decrease in admissionsвЂќ. вЂњIt is too soon to draw conclusions on the reduction of Ebola cases in Monrovia,вЂќ Fasil Tezera, MSF head of mission in Liberia, said in a statement. WHO assistant directorgeneral Bruce Aylward told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday that labs were also seeing a вЂњplateauing or slight declineвЂќ in the number of conп¬Ѓrmed cases вЂ“ but warned that the crisis was far from over. Liberia welcomed the possibility of a turning-point in the outbreak but echoed the call for caution issued by the WHO and MSF. Deputy health minister Tolbert Nyensuah said that even if it managed to achieve no new cases, Liberia would not be able to consider itself Ebola-free until neighbours Guinea and Sierra Leone had eradicated the virus. The outbreak has claimed 4,922 lives, according to the WHO, the vast majority in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The number of cases registered worldwide has soared to 13,703 вЂ“ up from around 10,000 reported on Saturday вЂ“ but the WHO has attributed the sharp rise to previously unreported cases being added to the statistics. вЂњThe worldвЂ™s response to the Ebola crisis has increased signiп¬Ѓcantly in recent weeks, but we still have a huge gap in getting enough trained health workers to the areas with the highest infection rates,вЂќ said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, announcing the $100mn donation. вЂњWe must urgently п¬Ѓnd ways to break any barriers to the deployment of more health workers.вЂќ The United Nations estimates that the three countries need another 5,000 international medical, training and support personnel in the coming months. The epidemic has taken a huge toll on health workers in the region, with 272 deaths. While the outbreak is inspiring fear across the world, it is also devastating the response to other potentially deadly diseases in its west African epicentre, where healthcare systems are said to have вЂњcollapsedвЂќ. MSF warned that Ebola had made obtaining treatment for malaria, which is endemic in Liberia, almost impossible in Monrovia, with the majority of general wards closed because staff are too afraid to work. In the rare clinics remaining open, patients showing fever are sent straight to Ebola centres, the agency said. вЂњThe п¬Ѓrst symptoms of malaria are the same as those of Ebola. They include fever, headache and overwhelming fatigue,вЂќ said Chibuzo Okonta, MSFвЂ™s deputy director of emergency programmes. The agency said it had begun distributing anti-malarials to around 300,000 people in the cityвЂ™s poorest, most denselyinhabited neighbourhoods. ZimbabweвЂ™s state media accused Vice-President Joice Mujuru of extortion and abuse of office yesterday in what observers say is a stepped-up campaign to discredit her in a battle to succeed ageing President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, 90, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has not indicated a preferred political heir, but his advanced age and rumours of ill health have escalated succession fights in the ruling ZANU-PF party. The race has been shaken up in recent weeks by first lady Grace Mugabe, 49, who has emerged as a potential successor. She has launched withering attacks on Mujuru, accusing her of plotting to oust the president at a party congress in December. Mujuru faced a new round of damaging allegations yesterday from the state-owned Herald newspaper, widely seen as the voice of the government and powerful forces within ZANU-PF. It accused her of illegally receiving money from investment partners and using her political clout to squeeze them out of a business venture. Thousands flee as Boko Haram surge Islamist Boko Haram militants have seized control of the northeast Nigerian town of Mubi, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands to flee, witnesses said. The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in the town ever since, witnesses told Reuters. A security source confirmed yesterday that the town had fallen to the insurgents. Witnesses said the insurgents robbed banks, burned down the main market and sacked the palace. One saw them kill a university lecturer and his entire family вЂ“ Boko Haram, whose name means Western education is sinful, abhors secular learning. Violence in NigeriaвЂ™s northeast has been on the rise since the government announced a ceasefire with the rebels nearly two weeks ago to pursue talks in neighbouring Chad aimed at freeing more than 200 girls kidnapped in April. velopment index вЂ“ many have had enough. The situation is being closely watched across Africa where at least four heads of state are preparing or considering similar changes to stay in power, from Burundi to Benin and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Compaore was only 36 when he seized power in the coup in which his former friend and one of AfricaвЂ™s most loved leaders, Thomas Sankara, was ousted and assassinated. He has remained in power since, re-elected president four times since 1991 вЂ“ to two sevenyear and two п¬Ѓve-year terms. Known in colonial times as Upper Volta, the landlocked country became independent from France in 1960 and its name was changed to Burkina Faso (вЂњthe land of upright menвЂќ) in 1984. Top court orders landmark probe South AfricaвЂ™s highest court has ruled that the countryвЂ™s police have a duty to investigate Zimbabwean officials accused of torturing opposition supporters seven years ago. The landmark judgment by the Constitutional Court is likely to strain ties with neighbouring Zimbabwe, whose President Robert Mugabe responded angrily to a similar order by a lower court, describing it as a вЂњdirect assaultвЂќ on ZimbabweвЂ™s sovereignty. South African police had refused to investigate the allegations of state-sponsored torture ahead of 2008 elections, citing political concerns, and appealed against the earlier judgment. But they have now exhausted all legal appeals and must act on the Constitutional Court order that вЂњthe South African Police Service must investigate the complaintвЂќ. The Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum filed the original case seeking to force police to open an investigation, citing South AfricaвЂ™s obligations to the International Criminal Court. Die at home and cut the health cover-ups, Africans urge leaders By Ed Cropley, Reuters Johannesburg W hen dying Zambian president Michael Sata п¬‚ew to London last week he was following a long line of African leaders who have sought emergency вЂ“ and secret вЂ“ medical treatment in foreign hospitals most of their citizens can only dream of. With Ebola exposing the poor state of the continentвЂ™s healthcare systems, and mobile phones and social media undermining official attempts to control and suppress information, many Africans were unimpressed. After SataвЂ™s death on Tuesday evening, websites lit up with angry comments about another ailing African head of state jumping on a plane rather than risking being patched up in one of his own hospitals. вЂњSadly, his death has added to the long list of rich and inп¬‚uential Africans to die while on medical tourism in Europe and America,вЂќ a commentator called Striker wrote on the website of Nigerian newspaper Punch. For those in Zambia, a vibrant and relatively stable nation of 13mn people that has recently enjoyed annual growth around 7%, the sense of hypocrisy is particularly acute. SataвЂ™s predecessor-but-one, Levy Mwanawasa, died in office in Paris six years ago after suffering a stroke in Egypt, and one of SataвЂ™s many 2011 election promises was to improve public infrastructure, including healthcare. However little changed on the ground, and when SataвЂ™s son, Kazimu, was involved in a car smash in the northern town of Ndola in July he was taken by air ambulance to JohannesburgвЂ™s Milpark hospital, a world-class private facility in South AfricaвЂ™s commercial capital. KazimuвЂ™s fellow passengers had to make do with the Ndola General, according to local media reports. вЂњWhat if we had a situation where the children of our politicians were obliged to receive their care in Zambian hospitals?вЂќ Zambia Reports, an anti-government news website, asked in an editorial at the time. вЂњNo doubt we would begin to see immedi- Michael Sata ate improvements to the training, equipment, funding, and innovation of healthcare facilities throughout the country.вЂќ With the exception of South Africa вЂ“ home to top-notch hospitals and the worldвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst human heart transplant in 1967 вЂ“ few sub-Saharan governments are willing to let their leaders get much more than a cough sweet on home soil. They are also loathe to tell their citizens, frequently playing down the seriousness of medical problems or denying them altogether вЂ“ one reason for the вЂњmysteryвЂќ or вЂњundisclosed illnessвЂќ that claims so many of AfricaвЂ™s вЂњBig MenвЂќ. Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi died aged 57 in a Belgian hospital in 2012 after top government officials insisted for more than a month he had only a minor illness and his condition was not serious. In Nigeria, AfricaвЂ™s most populous nation and its biggest oil producer, president Umara YarвЂ™Adua had months of heart treatment in Saudi Arabia before returning home in 2010 in almost total secrecy and dying after weeks on life support. AfricaвЂ™s oldest leader, 90-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, regularly п¬‚ies to Singapore for what officials say are вЂњroutineвЂќ eye tests, although given his age and persistent cancer rumours, few of his countrymen believe them. Besides the health beneп¬Ѓts, parking an ailing leader abroad far from prying eyes lets п¬Ѓrst families and the inner circle control the п¬‚ow of vital information, an important weapon in the succession battles that inevitably follow in a continent of fragile democracies. Few cases beat that of Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika, who was dead on arrival at a Lilongwe hospital in 2012 after a massive heart attack, only to be п¬‚own in secret on a chartered jet to South Africa for вЂњmedical treatmentвЂќ. In the meantime, there were fears of a seizure of power as cabinet members вЂ“ including MutharikaвЂ™s brother вЂ“ met without vice-president Joyce Banda, who was only named as the constitutionally approved successor after the intervention of the head of the army. In case of Sata, who had no clear successor, the government also went to great lengths to prevent media coverage of his health and absence from the public eye since June. However the strategy failed as dissident news websites such as Zambia Reports and Zambian Watchdog, run by an exile in London, emerged as the main sources of information on the only topic in town. вЂњThe Zambian case has been fascinating because there has been such a crackdown on the formal media reporting on the health of the president,вЂќ said Grant Masterson of the Johannesburg-based Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. вЂњIt had been an open secret for a while. Zambians were all talking about the health of their president even though they werenвЂ™t allowed to read about it in their papers.вЂќ Melesse Zenawi Umara YarвЂ™Adua 6 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 AMERICAS Advocates worry Obama may cut immigration action Reuters Washington I mmigration activists close to the White House worry that President Barack Obama could delay or scale back executive actions on immigration that he has promised to take before the year ends. Advocates have pressed the Obama administration to provide relief from the threat of deportation to more than 5mn undocumented immigrants but fear, after some were briefed by administration officials, that the plan could be reduced to 3mn or fewer, a signiп¬Ѓcant drop. вЂњThereвЂ™s growing nervousness that instead of going big and bold that the administration might play it cautiously,вЂќ said Frank Sharry, executive director of advocacy group AmericaвЂ™s Voice. The fears are rooted in politics and a history of perceived broken promises. Advocates worry the president might be less aggressive if Republicans take over the Senate in TuesdayвЂ™s congressional elections. Republicans have vowed to pass legislation to prevent Obama from implementing the planned actions. The president could remove the deportation threat for about 3mn undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for 10 years and have children who are US citizens. But activists want the parents of so-called Dreamers, children who have already been granted deportation relief, to be covered too. вЂњUltimately it is about political will,вЂќ said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Centre. She said that Department of Homeland Security officials had briefed her and other advocates about a scenario in which 2-3mn people were covered and one in which closer to 5mn were covered. вЂњThey are more likely to take a more cautious approach that they think will be palatable to both Republicans and Democrats, but also probably to the American public,вЂќ Hincapie said. The White House said Obama had not made a decision yet and that п¬Ѓnal recommendations from Attorney-General Eric Holder and Nurse deп¬Ѓes Ebola order to go cycling Reuters Fort Kent A Obama: put off his reform plan last month because of concern that it would hurt Democrats running in the November elections. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson were pending. вЂњWe expect to make an announcement about these decisions before the end of the year,вЂќ said White House spokeswoman Katherine Vargas, seeking to tamp down concern about a delay. вЂњIt is premature to speculate about the speciп¬Ѓc details including the scope or number of immigrants who will beneп¬Ѓt since п¬Ѓnal recommendations from Secretary Johnson and Attorney-General Holder, and п¬Ѓnal decisions by the president, have not been made,вЂќ she said. Obama put off his reform plan last month because of concern that it would hurt Democrats running in the November elections. It may not be clear on Tuesday which party will control the Senate because tight races in Louisiana and Georgia could trigger run-off elections. Advocates fear that the White House might postpone action if that is still unclear by the end of the year. вЂњIt depends on the outcome of the election,вЂќ said Angela Kelly, an immigration specialist at the Centre for American Progress, which has close ties to the White House. вЂњItвЂ™s more likely to be a December holiday surprise or holiday gift.вЂќ About 11mn undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. Obama has promised to implement broad reform of the US system but has been unable to get Republican support in the House of Representatives for a new law. Another delay could hurt his legacy and spur criticism from potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates such as Hillary Clinton. nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but has tested negative for the virus ventured out of her home in Maine and took a bike ride yesterday, defying a quarantine order and setting up a legal collision with state authorities. Attorneys for Kaci Hickox, 33, said they had not yet been served with a court order to enforce a 21day quarantine вЂ“ matching the virusвЂ™s maximum incubation period вЂ“ but remained prepared to п¬Ѓght such an order if necessary. Hickox left her home in the small Maine town of Fort Kent, along the Canadian border, and television news images showed her taking a morning bicycle ride with her boyfriend. Hickox has said that she plans to take the issue to court in Maine, giving the state a deadline yesterday to lift its order that she remain isolated at her home until November 10. Norman Siegel, one of the lawyers, defended HickoxвЂ™s decision to go for a bike ride as a public statement but noted that she avoided the centre of town so as not to вЂњfreak people outвЂќ. вЂњSince thereвЂ™s no court order, she can be out in public,вЂќ Siegel said. вЂњEven if people disagree with her position, I would hope they respect the fact that sheвЂ™s taking into account the fear, which is based on misinformation about the way the disease is transmitted.вЂќ Medical professionals say Ebola is difficult to catch and is spread through direct contact with bodily п¬‚uids from an infected person and is not transmitted by asymptomatic people. Ebola is not airborne. Siegel also criticised Maine Governor Paul LePage for stoking fear of Ebola rather than using his bully pulpit to educate the public about the disease. вЂњPeople tell me politics isnвЂ™t involved in this?вЂќ the attorney said. вЂњGive me a break.вЂќ LePage, a Republican who is in a tough re-election battle, said that he is seeking legal authority to keep Hickox isolated at home. The nurseвЂ™s confrontation with state officials in Maine, as well as in New Jersey, highlights how US states have been struggling to protect their citizens from Ebola without resorting to overzealous, useless precautions or violating civil rights. Hickox says she is completely healthy and has been monitoring her condition and taking her temperature twice a day. She tested negative for Ebola after returning from treating patients in West Africa. Hickox previously blasted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after she was taken from NewarkвЂ™s airport and put in quarantine in a tent before being driven to Maine to spend the rest of her 21-day quarantine at home. Her town is in MaineвЂ™s sparsely populated far north, more than 300 miles (480km) from the stateвЂ™s largest city, Portland, and further north than Quebec City in neighbouring Canada. Hickox worked with the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone, Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend Ted Wilbur go for a bike ride in Fort Kent, Maine yesterday. Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but has tested negative for the virus, ventured out of her home yesterday, defying a Maine quarantine order and setting up a legal collision with state authorities. one of the three impoverished countries at the heart of an outbreak that has killed about 5,000 people, all but a handful in West Africa. The disease causes fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. Some US states have imposed automatic 21-day quarantines on doctors and nurses returning from treating Ebola patients in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of doing too little to protect Americans from the disease. President Barack ObamaвЂ™s вЂњEbola czarвЂќ, Ron Klain, was due to visit the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Reuters Pahoa, Hawaii A The lava flow from Mt Kilauea inches closer to the village of Pahoa, Hawaii. A slow-moving river of molten lava from an erupting volcano crept over residential and farm property on HawaiiвЂ™s Big Island on Wednesday after incinerating an outbuilding as it threatened dozens of homes at the edge of a former plantation town. The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano has been slogging toward the village of Pahoa for weeks, moving at speeds of 10-15m an hour as it bubbled over a cemetery and reached the communityвЂ™s outskirts. CanadaвЂ™s spy agency must improve information sharing, says watchdog Reuters Ottawa C anadaвЂ™s spy agency must have national standards to improve how its regional surveillance teams share information, the chairwoman of the agencyвЂ™s civilian watchdog said in the wake of the killings of two Canadian soldiers last week. The comments by Deborah Grey, chairwoman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), come after a report from her committee last week said the Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceвЂ™s (CSIS) regional teams вЂњoperate in total isolation from one another and communicate only sporadically with their HQ counterpartsвЂќ. вЂњWe need to make sure that each region knows exactly what the other regions are doing, un- der the umbrella of the headquarters, of course,вЂќ Grey told Reuters yesterday. вЂњYou need national standards right across the country because (criminals) are pretty mobile.вЂќ The performance of Canadian police and security services is under scrutiny after a gunman last week killed a soldier in Ottawa, then stormed the countryвЂ™s Parliament building. Two days earlier another man, described by police as having been radicalised, rammed two soldiers in Quebec with his car, killing one. Both assailants were subsequently shot dead by security officers. The Canadian government introduced legislation on Monday that would give the CSIS more powers to investigate potential threats. Grey, a former federal Conservative politician, said that terdayвЂ™s edition of the Washington Post. US Representative Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, said the п¬Ѓght over Hickox and the larger battle over isolation policies have deteriorated into political posturing just days ahead of next weekвЂ™s midterm elections. вЂњThis is just fear. ItвЂ™s kind of understandable, but unfortunately itвЂ™s just stirred up and caused by fear-mongering politicians who see poll-driven numbers in anticipation of TuesdayвЂ™s election,вЂќ Cohen told CNN after HickoxвЂ™ outing. вЂњThis is strictly driven by politics and fear-mongering.вЂќ Hawaii lava crosses residential property Bin Laden shooter to reveal identity The US Navy Seal commando who fired the shots which killed Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden is to reveal his identity in a Fox News television documentary next month, the network announced on Wednesday. The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden will air in two segments November 11-12, with the commando recounting his role in the raid that killed Bin Laden at his Pakistani compound in 2011. The Navy SEAL вЂњwill share his story of training to be a member of AmericaвЂ™s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin LadenвЂќ, the network said in a press release. вЂњOffering never before shared details, the presentation will include вЂ�The ShooterвЂ™sвЂ™ experience in confronting Bin Laden, his description of the terrorist leaderвЂ™s final moments as well as what happened when he took his last breath,вЂќ it said. headquarters in Atlanta yesterday. Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware said Obama should issue a guarantee to medical volunteers to assure them of help when they return to the United States. вЂњThe president should guarantee that all US citizens who travel to West Africa to help п¬Ѓght Ebola will be allowed to return to the United States, that any medical care they need as a result of their trip will be provided free of charge and that wages lost to any government-imposed quarantine will be reimbursed,вЂќ Coons wrote in an opinion piece in yes- her committee, the SIRC, was still examining the new legislation. She said the SIRC felt that the intelligence agency was doing a good job of protecting Canadians in general, but that it must improve in a number of areas, including keeping the government informed of its secret operations. The SIRCвЂ™s report last week warned that the federal minister for the CSIS had not been informed systematically by the agency about sensitive operations that could be considered controversial. вЂњWhatever the reason for it was вЂ“ of not letting a minister know вЂ“ we donвЂ™t want to see it again,вЂќ she said. The SIRCвЂ™s report also criticised the CSIS for misleading it during an investigation into a complaint from a federal employee who had his or her secu- rity clearance revoked following a review by the spy agency. вЂњAre they doing a perfect job? No, weвЂ™ve highlighted some pretty serious concerns,вЂќ Grey said. вЂњThis isnвЂ™t just a rubberstamping (committee) that we sit on. We have very serious concerns and we want to make sure that next year, they just keep getting better and better.вЂќ The SIRC said the revocation of the security clearance was ultimately justiп¬Ѓed, based on all the evidence, but it also found that the CSIS had used false information in the case. вЂњA witness had to be recalled by the SIRC to speak to the matter and the SIRC found the CSISвЂ™s lack of candor most disturbing,вЂќ the report said. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney has said he has conп¬Ѓdence in the CSIS and expects the agency to address the issues raised by the watchdog. Gun owner held as security threat Police arrested and charged a Pakistani gun collector living in Ontario this week, alleging he is a terrorist threat to Canada, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported yesterday, quoting his attorney. Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, a 30-year-old software designer, was arrested on Monday, according to his attorney, Anser Farooq, the Globe reported. Federal officials allege Ansari has ties to militants in Pakistan, that he had amassed an arsenal of firearms, and that he has expressed extreme views on Twitter, according to the Globe. He is being charged under CanadaвЂ™s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with being a danger to the security of Canada, the newspaper said. Court records obtained by the Globe show that Ansari last year surrendered 10 firearms to authorities, including rifles and several handguns. It said this was part of a plea bargain to obtain a conditional discharge on charges of illegally storing lawfully acquired firearms. slow-moving river of molten lava from an erupting volcano crept over residential and farm property on HawaiiвЂ™s Big Island on Wednesday after incinerating an outbuilding as it threatened dozens of homes at the edge of a former plantation town. The lava п¬‚ow from the Kilauea volcano has been slogging toward the village of Pahoa for weeks, moving at speeds of 10-15 yards an hour as it bubbled over a cemetery and reached the communityвЂ™s outskirts. As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities reported the lava had advanced to within 205 yards of Pahoa Village Road, the main street through the town of about 800 people built on the site of an old sugar plantation. PahoaвЂ™s commercial district lies mostly to the south of the area in greatest danger, and most homes and businesses are believed to be out of harmвЂ™s way, based on the lavaвЂ™s current trajectory, civil defence chief Darryl Oliveira said. But residents of about 50 dwellings in what civil defence officials called a вЂњcorridor of riskвЂќ have been urged to be prepared to leave, and many have been slowly emptying their homes of furniture and belongings. Oliveira told a news conference that officials had met about a dozen residents and business owners closest to the leading edge. He said all were prepared to leave, but added they intended to wait until the last minute before evacuating. No mandatory evacuations have been ordered. Oliveira added that 83 national guard troops were undergoing training and would be deployed to the community. Besides anxiety, some residents, like Aaron Milewski, voiced resignation about the forces of nature they faced. вЂњThis energy is coming from the centre of the Earth, so you have to respect it,вЂќ he said. Molten rock topping temperatures of 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit (900 degrees Celsius) engulfed a storage shed on Tuesday but bypassed a rental house that was already evacuated, Oliveira said. A slower-moving, narrower п¬Ѓnger of lava then branched out off the main п¬‚ow and oozed back toward the abandoned home, crawling to within 100 feet (30m) of it on Wednesday, Oliveira said. It remained to be seen whether the house would be spared. The main lava front continued to creep over adjacent farm property, taking aim at a warehouse and home. Another property owner built a tall berm of soil and rock hoping to divert the approaching lava around his house. The п¬‚ow is expected eventually to reach the ocean, still six miles (10km) away, authorities said. Four die in small plane crash in Kansas At least four people were killed and five seriously injured yesterday when a small plane crashed into a building at an airport in the US state of Kansas, officials said. The twin-engine aircraft lost engine power shortly after take-off and crashed into a building while attempting to return to the runway at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Five people were taken to the hospital with вЂњseriousвЂќ injuries and rescue crews are still searching for four people who were inside the building, city officials said in a statement. There were about 100 people in the building, which houses the local base of training company FlightSafety International, when it was struck in the morning hours, police said. One person was aboard the Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft, the airport said in a Twitter update. The airport remains open and some flights were delayed. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 7 ASEAN Yangon calls meet of politicians, generals Reuters Yangon M yanmarвЂ™s president and powerful military chief will hold an unprecedented high-level meeting today with major political parties and ethnic minority groups as cracks widen in the п¬‚edgling democracy ahead of an election next year. The talks are the п¬Ѓrst of their kind in Myanmar and will see opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meet for the п¬Ѓrst time with the powerful armed forces chief, senior general Min Aung Hlaing - talks that the Nobel laureate has sought since she became a lawmaker in 2012. TodayвЂ™s hastily arranged get-together in the capital Naypyitaw comes as a complex peace process with armed ethnic rebels teeters on the brink of collapse and tensions linger over moves by Suu KyiвЂ™s party - backed by 5mn petitioners - to amend the constitution and reduce the political clout of a military that ruled Myanmar brutally for 49 years. It takes place as US president Barack Obama prepares to visit Myanmar next month for a regional summit amid growing US concerns about human rights abuses in Myanmar, including jailing of journalists and alleged oppression of stateless Rohingya Muslims and ethnic minorities caught in conп¬‚ict with government troops. President Thein Sein, a former junta Aung San Suu Kyi general, has been lauded for widespread reforms since taking power in 2011 and convincing the West to suspend most sanctions, but critics say those changes are now starting to unravel. News of the meeting so close to ObamaвЂ™s arrival has been met with scepticism in Myanmar, with some calling it theatre. вЂњThe government seems to intend to use this meeting in creating a good impression before President ObamaвЂ™s visit,вЂќ said political analyst Yan Myo Thein. вЂњThereвЂ™s little chance of seeing tangible results.вЂќ The government should instead focus on bringing some unity and openness to a nascent political system that was facing headwinds, he said, adding details of what transpires at the meeting should be revealed вЂњwith complete transparency and accountabilityвЂќ. Despite winning massive popularity at home and abroad, since becoming a lawmaker Suu Kyi has been criticised for her reluctance to comment on contentious political issues, or speak out against the military. Asked about the talks during an interview on Thursday with Radio Free Asia, Suu Kyi bluntly replied: вЂњWhere did you get this information? You should ask those who were invited.вЂќ Next yearвЂ™s parliamentary election will be the п¬Ѓrst since 2010, which ushered in a quasi-civilian system that dismantled the absolute control of a military that had ruled since a 1962 coup, 14 years after independence from Britain. It will also be the п¬Ѓrst general election that Suu KyiвЂ™s National League for Democracy (NLD) has contested since it won a 1990 vote that the military ignored. The party boycotted the 2010 poll and Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time. Also attending the talks will be Shwe Mann, the inп¬‚uential lower house speaker and chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party. A former heavyweight under army rule, he is seen widely as a reformer, but also an astute political tactician with presidential ambitions. The official purpose for the talks has not been disclosed. NLD spokesman Nyan Win suggested the meeting had been called because of вЂњmounting pressureвЂќ and вЂњthe current impasseвЂќ. Suu Kyi has previously asked for a вЂњfour-party summitвЂќ between herself, Thein Sein, Shwe Mann and Min Aung Hlaing, the most inп¬‚uential people in Myanmar politics. The military holds several cabinet posts and 25% of legislative seats, essentially a veto on any attempt to change a constitution it drafted, which needs more than 75% support for amendments. The NLD is leading the push to change that, but is expected to face strong resistance. The meeting risks more turbulence, however, with only six of the 70 political parties and a few ethnic groups invited. вЂњThe president will have to explain,вЂќ said Aye Maung, leader of the Arakan National Party, the second biggest ethnic party in parliament, which was not invited. Christopher Roberts, a Myanmar expert at the Australian Defence Forces Academy, said ObamaвЂ™s visit was likely a key factor but holding political talks at such a critical juncture would not do any harm. вЂњTheyвЂ™re past the point of no return. ThereвЂ™s a hybrid system in place, a halfway house, and thereвЂ™s no easy way to get rid of the military,вЂќ he said. вЂњThey know they have to work with each other and that theyвЂ™re in it for the long haul.вЂќ Thai youth fear juntaвЂ™s school reforms will dim job prospects S ixteen years old and studying 13 hours a day, high school pupil Worapot doesnвЂ™t have time to waste matching up to a military-led governmentвЂ™s idea of what makes a good Thai. The generals who led a coup in May have prioritised school reforms to inculcate a strong sense of national identity - or Thainess - in a country whose traditional values hinge on unquestioning respect for the monarchy, religion and elders. For Worapot, the son of junior civil servants who together earn $1,800 a month, a more practical goal would be creating an education system that commands respect in the job market. вЂњNow the system might get even worse,вЂќ said Worapot, as he sat on the steps of a language school in a bustling Bangkok shopping district where he is taking extra lessons in English. Still to lift martial law, the junta has given education the biggest slice of the 2015 budget, raising teachersвЂ™ pay and redrawing the national curriculum with the aim to introduce it at the start of the next school year in May. Aside from giving Thai history and culture more emphasis, classes in вЂњmoral soundness and virtuesвЂќ will be introduced. WorapotвЂ™s frustration with the new policies is magniп¬Ѓed by the prospect that the job market will become tougher once a trade pact, due to start next year, brings together 600mn people in Southeast Asia. He wants to be able to compete with better-off Singaporeans and Malaysians rather than be patronised for quaint moral codes or nationalist sentiments. вЂњI want to be their equal or better. Not to be ridiculed,вЂќ he said, while using a Thai-to-English application on his iPad. For years, education in Thailand has been handicapped by a reliance on rote-learning and stress on skills that support basic jobs but just do not cut it for a booming middle class that aspires to better jobs and better pay. Technocrats have long called for changes to put more stress on developing critical thinking skills rather than conformity, whereas Thais often shy away from showing individuality for fear of вЂњlosing faceвЂќ, or causing embarrassment. The reforms envisaged by the junta - including civic duty and morality classes to promote вЂњa sense of pride in being a ThaiвЂќ do not appear to be the answer. вЂњThe way the government promotes certain values may not п¬Ѓt well with the development of 21st century skills,вЂќ said May Sripatananskul, education initiative project manager at the Thailand Development and Research Institute (TDRI), a Bangkok-based independent think-tank. Multinationals based in the kingdom already complain of a shortage of skilled and professional labour. вЂњMost graduates may not have basic skills adequate to the needs of the company - for example, practical command of the English language, communication, time management and behavioural skills,вЂќ Krisda Utamote, director of corporate communications at BMW Group Thailand, told Reuters. ThailandвЂ™s education system is routinely ranked as one of the worst in Southeast Asia. Attempts by previous governments to bring students up to speed with their Asian peers from free, вЂњMade in ChinaвЂќ computer tablets for primary school children to foreign exchange programmes - have proved ineffective or disastrous. In the UN Development Pro- Anwar is hopeful of winning his appeal Reuters Kuala Lumpur M Students exercise after singing ThailandвЂ™s national anthem at a school in Bangkok yesterday. Reuters Bangkok Anwar Ibrahim with his defence team as he leaves the court during his final appeal against conviction grammeвЂ™s 2014 human development index, Thailand ranks 89th out of 187 countries for education. Taking over an economy laid low by months of political unrest and martial law, prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former army chief, has said he will do вЂњeverythingвЂќ to ensure Thailand remains a hub for foreign investors. The policymakers chosen to oversee the school reforms have raised some eyebrows, however. PrayuthвЂ™s education minister, Narong Pipathanasai, was chief of ThailandвЂ™s navy until September. And Art-ong Jumsai Na Ayudhya, the aristocrat tasked by the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) with re-drafting the curriculum, believes in UFOs and the paranormal powers of ancient Egyptian pyramids. A petition calling for his removal has gathered over 3,000 signatures. Art-ong did not reply to a Reuters request for an interview, while OBEC said it was вЂњunder orders from the highest level not to comment on education policy.вЂќ As a percentage of gross domestic product, Thailand already spends more on education than Germany, but that has not brought success. TDRIвЂ™s May bemoaned the amount wasted through inefficiency, and the failure of higher pay to translate to better quality teachers. The largest chunk of the budget is spent on the primary and pre-primary segments. Yet, Thailand ranked 90th out of 144 countries for the quality of primary education, the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report showed. Neighbouring Malaysia, whose per capita GDP is double ThailandвЂ™s $5,779, ranked 17th. Past studies by UN agencies have noted that while access to primary education is fairly equal across Thai society, more should be invested in secondary and tertiary levels, where both access and quality need improvement. Better-off families avoid public schools if they can. The well-heeled, living in Bangkok, have the choice of sending their children to international schools where annual fees average 400,000 baht ($12,300), according to a 2013 survey. вЂњI can do without patriotism and morality classes,вЂќ said businessman Krissada Pornweroj, while waiting for his son outside a British school in the capital. вЂњWe want him to get in to a good English boarding school.вЂќ alaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he was a victim of a conspiracy but was hopeful of winning an appeal against a sodomy conviction and п¬Ѓve-year prison term that could stymie his political ambitions for good. Anwar was the ruling partyвЂ™s rising star in the mid-1990s before he fell out with then Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Since then, Anwar has been beset by legal problems and spent several years in prison after being convicted of corruption and an earlier sodomy charge. But the charismatic Anwar, who heads a three-party opposition alliance, remains the greatest threat to MalaysiaвЂ™s political establishment. вЂњBased on the facts and the law, I see no other possibilities, no other options, except to acquit me of all these frivolous charges,вЂќ Anwar told supporters outside the court after his legal team wound up their arguments. вЂњClear people can see now, with the evidence of fabrication, of conspiracy, of the powers that be,вЂќ he said. Yesterday, his lawyers questioned DNA evidence. They said a DNA sample taken from a male former political aide who in 2008 accused Anwar of sodomising him had taken 96 hours to reach a chemist and was contaminated and possibly tampered with. The government has rejected the notion of political interference in AnwarвЂ™s conviction saying Malaysia had an independent judiciary and the case was a matter for the courts. A court convicted Anwar in March and sentenced him to п¬Ѓve years in prison. MalaysiaвЂ™s highest court began considering his appeal on Tuesday and is expected to complete the hearing early next week. If Anwar, 67, loses the appeal he faces a return to jail and would be barred from contesting the next general election that must be held by 2018. A ruling against him could also inп¬‚ame tension after opposition gains in a general election last year when prime minister Najib RazakвЂ™s ruling alliance recorded its worstever performance, raising the possibility of a genuine challenge for the ruling party that has held power in multi-ethnic Malaysia since 1957. Lead prosecutor Muhamad Shafee Abdullah told reporters he would be setting out the full facts today. вЂњThere are always two sides to a case, thatвЂ™s the beauty about the law. We can answer all the issues raised,вЂќ he said. Scores of AnwarвЂ™s supporters have thronged at security barriers manned by police outside the court in Kuala Lumpur this week, but there has been no trouble. Anwar has urged them not to resort to violence and not to be provoked. Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister and п¬Ѓnance minister in 1998 and then campaigned against corruption and nepotism and led a nationwide вЂњreformasiвЂќ (reform) protest movement before he was jailed in 1999 for corruption. In 2000, he was convicted of sodomy for the п¬Ѓrst time. The conviction was overturned in 2004 and Anwar was released from prison and returned to head a revitalised opposition School staff to face assault charges Two teachers at Jakarta International School (JIS) are to stand trial on charges of sexually assaulting a six-yearold pupil, local media reported. The head of Jakarta prosecutorвЂ™s office, Adi Toegarisman, said the case dossiers of Canadian Neil Bantleman and Indonesian Ferdinand Tjiong had been completed on Wednesday. The men, who were the schoolвЂ™s vice principal and a teaching assistant respectively, have denied any wrongdoing. вЂњWe are now waiting for the next phase, the handover of evidence from the investigators before we proceed to trial,вЂќ Toegarisman was quoted as saying by news website Liputan6.com. The two teachers have been in police custody since July while the police were investigating allegations against them by the pupilвЂ™s parents. They are charged with violations against the child protection law and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Five former janitors at the school are on trial in the child sexual assault scandal. Wild boar kills woman A woman died after being trampled and bitten by a wild boar in a mountainous area of central Vietnam, a local official said yesterday. The 39-year-old woman was working in a rice field in Pho Hoa commune in Quang Ngai province when the animal attacked her, said Nguyen Van Nho, chairman of the communeвЂ™s PeopleвЂ™s Committee. The woman died several hours later. The boar was being pursued by hunters when it attacked the woman, and the animal was later shot, Nho said, adding that it was the first such incident reported in the commune. вЂњIf it was not being chased, the animal would not have attacked her,вЂќ he said. Boars used to be a common sight in the area, but they have become much scarcer in recent years because of hunting. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 8 AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA REGIONAL ROW PRECAUTION CLEAN-UP CAUSE UNKNOWN вЂ�DID WRONGвЂ™ Japan aircraft scrambles endangering safety: China North Korea orders Ebola quarantine on all foreigners 5-year delay in removing melted Fukishima fuel German tourist found dead in Australian national park Anti-groping cop held for molesting student JapanвЂ™s increased scrambling of military aircraft in response to Chinese flights is endangering safety between the Asian powers in the air and at sea, BeijingвЂ™s defence ministry said yesterday. The defence ministry in Tokyo announced earlier this month that the countryвЂ™s military had scrambled aircraft a total of 207 times to respond to incursions by Chinese aircraft between April and September, up from 149 cases during the same six-month period last year. Asked about the Japanese statistics at a monthly press conference, Chinese PeopleвЂ™s Liberation Army spokesman Yang Yujun said the numbers showed that Japan was endangering safety. North Korea intends to quarantine all foreigners entering the country for 21 days, no matter what their country of origin, as a measure against the spread of the Ebola virus. According to the advisory, travellers to North Korea from regions or countries that Pyongyang considers affected by the Ebola virus, will be quarantined for 21 days вЂњin a government-appointed hotel under medical supervisionвЂќ. Travellers from any other country or region will also be quarantined in hotels appointed by the organisation hosting their visit. It was unclear if the quarantine requirement applied to foreigners already inside North Korea when the order was issued. The Japanese government and the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said yesterday they plan to postpone the start of removing melted fuel from a reactor by five years, amid delays in the decommissioning process. The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co had initially planned to start the removal at reactor 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2020. They will also remove spent fuel rods from a cooling pool above the reactor in 2019 - a delay of two years. The delays are not expected to affect the whole process of decommissioning the plant. It is projected to take up to 40 years to complete the process. The body of a German tourist was found at a campsite in AustraliaвЂ™s Northern Territory, media reports citing police said yesterday. The 31-yearold man was found near a rented campervan in the Kakadu National Park late Wednesday, broadcaster ABC reported. Police said they were treating his death as non-suspicious. The unidentified man had reportedly walked up the Jim Jim Falls trail prior to his death. There was no obvious cause of death, police were quoted as saying. An emergency signal was sent to police shortly before he was found, ABC said. The report said Wednesday marked the hottest day in the park in a decade. A Japanese police officer in charge of crackdown on groping was arrested for allegedly molesting a teenager. The 30-year-old officer was arrested on suspicion of having groped a 19-year-old female university student in a bicycle parking area in Hiratsuka city, near Tokyo, Kanagawa Shimbun reported yesterday, citing local police. The officer said he вЂњdid wrong to the victim,вЂќ the paper reported. The Kanagawa prefectural police said it was вЂњinappropriate behaviour by a police officer. We will look into the matter and respond harshly.вЂќ Groping is a serious social problem in Japan, and those found guilty are given prison sentences or face a penalty charge. Australia bans all travel to terror hotspots AFP Canberra A ustralia yesterday passed a law criminalising travel to terror hotspots, a tough counter-terrorism measure aimed at stopping jihadists from going to Iraq and Syria to п¬Ѓght. The Australian government has been increasingly concerned about the п¬‚ow of foreign п¬Ѓghters to the Middle East to join militant groups such as Islamic State, with 70 Australians believed to have already made the journey. The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) includes measures that make it an offence to enter a вЂњdeclared areaвЂќ where a terrorist organisation is engaging in hostile activity, without a valid reason. The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. вЂњThe foreign п¬Ѓghters bill that has passed the parliament today will mean, п¬Ѓrst of all, that it is easier to secure convictions against Australians who have been п¬Ѓghting with terrorist groups overseas,вЂќ Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament. вЂњIt will mean that it is easier to monitor potential terrorists here, and it will also mean... that it is easier to prosecute the preachers of hate who create the potential terrorists.вЂќ Abbott said about 100 Australians were supporting jihadists who had travelled to the Middle East to п¬Ѓght with recruitment and funding from home. Some 20 jihadists who fought with terrorist groups in the region had also returned to Australia, Abbott added. вЂњThe best way to deal with returning foreign п¬Ѓghters is to stop them leaving in the п¬Ѓrst place... and IвЂ™m able to inform the House that some 70 Australian passports have been cancelled to stop terrorists or potential terrorists from travelling.вЂќ The new law came into force as the government introduced a bill yesterday that requires Australian telecommunication п¬Ѓrms to retain customersвЂ™ digital data for two years. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the laws were вЂњabsolutely criticalвЂќ for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, while stressing that the metadata collected вЂњdoes not include the content of communicationsвЂќ. вЂњWhat it is seeking to do simply is to ensure that the ability of our law enforcement agencies, security agencies and police are not diminished because changing technologies and changing business practices no longer require telcom companies to retain that type of data,вЂќ he said. But the Australian Lawyers Alliance said the data retention bill was a вЂњrecipe for privacy abuseвЂќ and would leave Australians with вЂњno protection against security agencies misusing their personal or private informationвЂќ. вЂњUnder the legislation, every single phone call, every single text message, e-mail or online communication will available to be accessed by security agencies such as ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) or the Australian Federal Police,вЂќ alliance spokesman Greg Barns said in a statement. Concerns about another national security measure passed in September as part of an anti-terror crackdown were also raised by the Labor opposition amid fears that journalists could be jailed for up to 10 years if they reported on certain intelligence operations. Attorney-General George Brandis refuted the concerns, saying that the legislation was instead вЂњintended to deal with a Snowdentype situationвЂќ. Documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden included reports in November that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle, damaging relations between the two countries. A pro-democracy protester draws on his tent at their camp site in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. Hong Kong democracy protests national security issue for China Reuters Hong Kong H ong KongвЂ™s pro-democracy protests have escalated into a national security issue threatening Chinese sovereignty over the Asian п¬Ѓnancial centre, a delegate to ChinaвЂ™s rubber-stamp parliament said yesterday. Businessman and lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said support for Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying was crucial to the cityвЂ™s future stability and there was no longer any room to remain neutral. The protesters have blocked key intersections for a month in their demand for fully-democratic elections for the cityвЂ™s next chief executive in 2017. Beijing has said it will only allow a vote among prescreened candidates. While the protests have remained largely peaceful, п¬‚ashes of violence and dramatic images of students dressed in Wooden wonder! Carpenter Liu Fulong drives a wooden car that he made on a street in Shenyang, northeast ChinaвЂ™s Liaoning province. Liu Fulong spent more than three months on the wooden electric car that can travel at a top speed of 30kph when fully charged, local media reported. raincoats and safety goggles using umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas and pepper spray have reared a new political consciousness in the city of 7mn. вЂњBecause China has declared there are foreign forces and political inп¬‚uence behind Occupy Central, it has been elevated to a national security issue,вЂќ Tien said, referring to one of the protest groups. вЂњThey are not п¬Ѓghting for democracy. They are п¬Ѓghting for independence. We are dealing with a sovereignty issue... Occupy Central is asking for complete democracy, something that only an independent state can provide.вЂќ Tien was speaking a day after his brother, James Tien Pei-chun, was expelled from ChinaвЂ™s top parliamentary advisory body and resigned as leader of Hong KongвЂ™s pro-Beijing Liberal Party after urging the Leung to step down. Beijing has said it fully supports Leung. James TienвЂ™s swift removal from the Chinese PeopleвЂ™s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is a sign of how concerned Beijing is about the protests which, at their peak, drew more than 100,000 people into the streets. Hong KongвЂ™s increasingly charged political climate is also putting Chinese government officials on tenterhooks. ChinaвЂ™s liaison office in Hong Kong called an urgent meeting with Liberal Party leaders on Tuesday, calling them in the morning and asking them to attend a dinner meeting that night, said Liberal Party lawmaker Felix Chung. ChinaвЂ™s most senior official in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming, explained the CPPCCвЂ™s decision was speciп¬Ѓc to James Tien, Chung said. Zhang also said Beijing would continue to support the Liberal Party, according to Chung. The party in Hong Kong is pro-establishment and comprised largely of businessmen. Michael Tien said that the CPPCC was forced to act given the backdrop of the protests. CPPCC members are expected to fully support and promote its resolu- tions - or at least keep quiet once they are made, he said, adding that if the CPPCC had failed to respond to his brotherвЂ™s comments, its bylaws and code of conduct risked becoming вЂњa bunch of hot airвЂќ. вЂњMembership comes with a certain price tag,вЂќ Tien said. вЂњI think my brother made the mistake of not recognising that.вЂќ While CPPCC officials have said they still consider James Tien loyal, his brother says there is still debate over how to categorize him. вЂњOne camp calls him the вЂ�conscience of Hong KongвЂ™ because he is willing to sacriп¬Ѓce his own political career to speak his mind. The other camp says he is not loyal and has betrayed his status as a pro-establishment member,вЂќ Michael Tien said. вЂњI think both camps are correct. ThatвЂ™s why itвЂ™s best for him not to be a CPPCC member. When you accept that appointment, it comes with certain obligations.вЂќ James Tien declined to comment. South Korea soldiers jailed in hazing case Reuters Yongin, South Korea A South Korean court-martial yesterday convicted four soldiers of homicide for the beating death of a fellow conscript and sentenced them to long prison terms in a case that sparked an outcry about how enlisted are treated. Private First Class Yoon Seung-joo, 20, died in April after more than a month of almost daily beating and other abuse. The case shocked South Korea, which maintains a military of about 630,000, many of them conscripts who serve about two years, and led to the resignation of the army chief of staff. A panel of three military judges sentenced the four defendants to prison terms ranging from 25 to 45 years. The military prosecutor had sought the death penalty for one of them, a sergeant accused of being the main offender. The four did not speak in court and their lawyers were not available for comment after the verdict. The defendants said earlier they had not intended to kill Yoon. Members of YoonвЂ™s family, angered by what they regarded as a lesser charge of homicide, tried to rush the defendants after the sentences were handed down and had to be held back by military police. вЂњHow is this not murder?вЂќ YoonвЂ™s crying mother, Ahn Mi-ja, told reporters after the sentencing. вЂњIвЂ™m going to leave this country. I canвЂ™t live here any more.вЂќ Military prosecutors said they would appeal to seek tougher sentences. During the trial, witnesses testiп¬Ѓed that Yoon was beaten and denied food and sleep. The defendants had beaten and tormented him in the moments before he collapsed and died, one witness said. Military leaders have pledged to reform the armed forces and the treatment of conscripts. Under changes introduced by military leaders, conscripts are allowed more visits at their bases and days off and barracks have been upgraded. But some critics say the military has to change a culture of abuse, mostly among enlisted soldiers, and do something about commandersвЂ™ inability to stop it. вЂњI have doubts about whether people will trust the reform of military culture,вЂќ said Lim Tae-hoon, head of the Center for Military Human Rights who exposed the beating death case and who now sits on a military panel charged with studying reforms. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 9 BRITAIN/IRELAND ENTERTAINMENT British actor Sir Michael Caine and his wife Shakira Caine arrive for the European premiere of вЂ�InterstellarвЂ™ in Leicester Square in London. The movie opens in British cinemas on November 4. INVESTIGATION POLITICS MUSIC SECURITY N Ireland police arrest man over McConville murder Murphy launches bid to lead Labour in Scotland Hip-hop trio Young Fathers win Mercury Prize Fighter jets scrambled to intercept cargo plane Police in Northern Ireland yesterday said they had arrested a man for questioning over the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville, months after Irish nationalist leader Gerry Adams was questioned about the same crime. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement yesterday that it had arrested a 73-year-old man in Dunmurry, a town just south of Belfast, for questioning about the murder. It did not name him. Northern Ireland police detained 66-year-old Adams for four days in May in relation to the murder of McConville, who was abducted by the Irish Republican Army in front of her children from a nationalist area. Former Labour Party minister Jim Murphy stepped forward yesterday to join members of the Scottish parliament Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack in a bid to become the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party. The vacancy was created this month with the shock resignation of Johann Lamont, who complained the Scottish Labour Party was being treated like a вЂњbranch officeвЂќ of the Labour Party in London. вЂњI want to unite the Labour party, but more importantly, I want to bring the country back together after the referendum,вЂќ Murphy said. Interim Scottish leader Anas Sarwar, shadow health secretary Jackie Baillie and former prime minister Gordon Brown have said they will not stand. Young Fathers, an underground hip-hop trio from Scotland, won the prestigious Mercury Prize, beating out far better-selling British artistes. Young FathersвЂ™ first studio album Dead topped a field that included Blur frontman Damon Albarn as well as poet-turned-rapper Kate Tempest and R&B-influenced trip-hopper FKA twigs. Young Fathers took home the ВЈ20,000 award, given each year for the best British or Irish album, even though вЂњDeadвЂќ had sold fewer than 2,400 copies by this week. вЂњYoung Fathers have a unique take on urban British music, brimming with ideas forceful, unexpected and moving,вЂќ said Simon Frith, the chair of the judging panel. Fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Lithuanian cargo plane near London after air traffic controllers had raised concerns about its flight path. The pair of Royal Air Force Typhoons were on to the Russian-built aircraft so fast that their sonic booms were described by worried homeowners as akin to an explosion. The freighter was escorted to Stansted Airport without incident. The Lithuanian-operated Antonov Av-26 was cleared to continue on to Birmingham. An air force spokesman said: вЂњTo fulfil their quick reaction role the Typhoons were cleared to travel at supersonic speed. Any noise disturbance as a result of this is regretted.вЂќ 1,500 crime suspects extradited by EU warrant London Evening Standard London N early 1,500 criminal suspects, including murderers and rapists, who п¬‚ed to London to avoid facing justice overseas have been extradited over the past п¬Ѓve years under the controversial European Arrest Warrant, new п¬Ѓgures revealed yesterday. The Met statistics show that 45 alleged killers and 35 men wanted for rape were among 1,423 suspects detained in London since April 2009 and sent to other European countries in response to EAW requests. Other offenders hiding in the capital who have been extradited to face prosecution abroad using the fast-track system вЂ” which David Cameron is battling to preserve in the face of a major Tory rebellion вЂ” include 25 accused of child sex offences and 30 suspected armed robbers. Two alleged terrorists, 130 people wanted for drug trafficking and 252 accused of fraud have also been sent back to European countries using the EAW after being found by the Met on the run in London. More than half of the alleged offenders were Poles. There were also 113 Romanians, 138 Lithuanians and 37 Hungarians. Only 67 Britons - less than п¬Ѓve percent of the total - were among those handed over. The new statistics, obtained by the Evening Standard, follow a pledge by the prime minister to hold a Commons vote on retaining the EAW before the crunch Rochester and Strood by-election next month. The warrants allow criminal suspects to be extradited from one EU country to another without the need for the evidence in the case to be tested in court before the person is sent back. Cameron wants to renew Brit- ainвЂ™s participation in the system before a December 1 deadline set under the terms of an вЂњopt-outвЂќ agreed п¬Ѓve years ago by the Labour government. But as many as 100 Conservative backbenchers, who believe that the system is exposing British citizens to injustice, are planning to vote вЂњnoвЂќ in what could become the most damaging rebellion of his premiership. Home Secretary Theresa May has already sought to quell the revolt by warning that any decision to abandon the arrest warrant will undermine the п¬Ѓght against crime by making it harder for police to secure the return of suspects who have п¬‚ed overseas. She has also expressed concern that it would turn Britain into a haven for foreign criminals and yesterday cited the new п¬Ѓgures as evidence of the potentially disastrous consequences of pulling out of the system. вЂњThe arrest warrant is a vital tool to help us bring serious international criminals like paedophiles, human traffickers and terrorists to justice,вЂќ May told the Evening Standard. вЂњWithout it, London and the UKвЂ™s other great cities would be safe havens for European criminals on the run because of our diminished powers to send them back. вЂњWe have reformed the arrest warrant to ensure that it is a fair and effective tool to tackle crime вЂ” with those extra safeguards in place, it is not a tool that we should give up.вЂќ May added that withdrawal from the arrest warrant would also leave British law enforcement agencies with вЂњweakenedвЂќ powers to capture criminals вЂњwho have п¬‚ed overseasвЂќ, while вЂњvictims of crime would п¬Ѓnd it harder to get justiceвЂќ. People of 56 different nationalities, including 803 Poles, have been returned to 25 EU states after being held in London. Poppy Day event Prime Minister David Cameron meets supporters of the Royal British Legion in front of a 1960вЂ™s Routemaster Bus, during a Royal British Legion Poppy Day event at Downing Street in London yesterday. House prices in London вЂ�to dip,вЂ™ predict experts Guardian News and Media London L ondon house prices could вЂњdipвЂќ in coming months after the number of new buyer inquiries fell to a six-year low, property experts said yesterday in their strongest warning yet. Latest Nationwide Building Society п¬Ѓgures showed annual house price rises across the UK slowing to nine percent in October, down from 9.4% the previous month. The month-on-month change was a 0.5% increase nationwide to an all-time high of ВЈ189,333 on average, reversing a 0.1% month-on-month fall seen in September. But NationwideвЂ™s chief economist Robert Gardner said: вЂњA Budget secrets leaked to Sun for ВЈ750, court hears Agencies London A government press officer leaked budget secrets to a Sun reporter in exchange for ВЈ750, a court heard. Clodagh Hartley is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of paying Her MajestyвЂ™s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) press officer Jonathan Hall around ВЈ17,000 for story tips over a period of three years. In March 2010, Hall gave the Whitehall editor information for an exclusive double page spread about Alistair DarlingвЂ™s budget before he stood up to deliver it to MPs, jurors were told. Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC said: вЂњOn March 24, 2010, there was a big news story on pages eight and nine of the Sun exclaiming вЂ�DonвЂ™t Fudge ItвЂ™ with a cartoon and photograph of the then chancellor of the exchequer, Alistair Darling. вЂњThis story was published on budget day and leaked an announcement that there was going to be a rise in fuel duty. вЂњAs you would expect, the details of the budget are a closely guarded secret. You would expect the details would be announced to Parliament and not broadcast in advance in the newspapers and certainly not for money, for personal gain.вЂќ Johnson said a п¬Ѓnancial trail revealed that Hall was paid ВЈ750 for the exclusive story at the request of Hartley. вЂњMany of you will have sympathy for journalists who expose mismanagement and inefficiency in government departments but that is not what this case is aboutвЂќ He was also paid ВЈ500 for a story in December 2009 headlined вЂ�ВЈ1mn celeb AdsвЂ™, the court heard. It revealed that celebrities including Kelly Brook were being paid as part of a ВЈ1.3mn tax payer funded TV campaign publicising the government website Directgov. Hall, who joined HMRC in 2009, received more than ВЈ4,000 directly from News International between April 2008 and May 2010. Then, at HartleyвЂ™s suggestion, he used his girlfriend Marta BukarewiczвЂ™s account to channel more than ВЈ13,000 between June 2010 and July 2011 in order to вЂњcover his tracksвЂќ, the court heard. Bukarewicz transferred most of the money to Hall but kept ВЈ845 for her role in the вЂњunlawful agreementвЂќ, Johnson said. The prosecutor told jurors: вЂњThis is not a trial involving whistle blowing in a noble cause. It is a case in which Hall, the HMRC press officer, was motivated by greed and Hartley, the journalist, was motivated by acquiring the next big scoop or exclusive. вЂњMany of you will have sympathy for journalists who expose mismanagement and inefficiency in government departments but that is not what this case is about.вЂќ The jury was told that Hall has accepted that he supplied stories to Hartley for which he was paid but was not in the dock. variety of indicators suggest that the market has lost momentum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase in September was almost 20% below the level prevailing at the start of the year. вЂњSome forward-looking indicators, such as new buyer inquiries, suggest that activity may soften further in the near term, especially in London.вЂќ He highlighted п¬Ѓgures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which showed the net balance for new buyer inquiries plunging in London to its lowest level in six years. RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: вЂњBuyers have been put off by the sharp rise in prices in the capital and by the lack of fresh stock coming to the market. вЂњFears over the rise in the cost of borrowing, coupled with banks tightening up on high loan to income mortgages have also contributed to the drop in buyer demand. We suspect that this picture will stabilise and it is possible prices will dip in the near term вЂ” but the chronic shortage of homes in the capital indicates that the falls will not be signiп¬Ѓcant or long-term.вЂќ This month the RICS reported more of its members saying house prices had fallen in the capital than had increased during September вЂ” the п¬Ѓrst occasion there had been such a monthly drop for nearly four years. Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: вЂњThere is now clear evidence of at least a temporary housing market slowdown.вЂќ The Nationwide п¬Ѓgures yesterday Royal visit did not include data by region. However, Gardner stressed that broader economic indicators remained positive, with unemployment continuing to drop and mortgage rates falling back towards all-time lows. вЂњIf the economy and the labour market remain in good shape, activity is likely to pick up in the quarters ahead вЂ” providing mortgage rates do not rise sharply,вЂќ he added. In a sign of what is to come, the Bank of England on Wednesday reported that the number of mortgage approvals made to home buyers fell to a 14-month low in September. Some experts have said this is evidence of the market becoming steadier after a strong burst of house-buying activity seen earlier this year. But other commentators have Miliband warned on Ukip approach Agencies London T Queen Elizabeth arrives at the new Jaguar Land Rover factory in Wolverhampton, west Midlands, Britain, yesterday. The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh toured Jaguar Land RoverвЂ™s new engine manufacturing centre which will start manufacturing engines in 2015. predicted that with the wider national economy still picking up, the weaker patch of mortgage approvals will not last for long. Stricter mortgage lending rules came into force earlier this year and these have caused some disruption to the market. But in recent weeks there have been signs of lenders gaining a stronger appetite to do business and slashing the mortgage rates on offer in attempts to meet end-of-year lending targets. Expectations about the prospect of a rise in the Bank of England base rate from its historic 0.5% low, pushing up borrowing costs, also appear to have been pushed back. The Bank of EnglandвЂ™s chief economist Andy Haldane recently suggested that there will be no hike until well into next year. ony Blair has warned Ed Miliband not to chase Ukip to win over voters and insisted curbing immigration would be a вЂњdisasterвЂќ for Britain. The former prime minister said Labour must be вЂњreally carefulвЂќ of saying things that suggested Nigel FarageвЂ™s party are justiп¬Ѓed in their policies. Miliband last week announced that a Labour government would immediately bring in an immigration Bill and said the EU вЂњneeds to change if we are to deal with the problems of immigrationвЂќ. Blair said the way to tackle the threat from Ukip was to вЂњdeal with it by what you believeвЂќ. He told Progress magazine: вЂњLetвЂ™s be clear: We donвЂ™t think that UkipвЂ™s right, not on immigration and not on Europe - so the п¬Ѓrst thing youвЂ™ve got to be really careful of doing is ... saying things that suggest that theyвЂ™re kind of justiп¬Ѓed in their policy because what youвЂ™re actually going to do is validate their argument when in fact you donвЂ™t believe in it.вЂќ Stopping immigration would be вЂњa disaster for this countryвЂќ and Labour must not вЂњend up chasing after the policies of a party like Ukip, who you donвЂ™t agree with, whose policies would take this country backwards economically, politically, in every conceivable way, and who, ultimately, at the heart of what they do, have a rather nasty core of prejudice that none of us believe in, which youвЂ™ve actually got to take on and п¬Ѓght. So the way to deal with this is to deal with it by what you believeвЂќ. Blair claimed the way David Cameron is dealing with the threat from Ukip вЂњdoesnвЂ™t do them any electoral favours at allвЂќ. He claimed the Tories would be better off at the ballot box вЂњif they actually stood up against these people and said вЂ�you donвЂ™t understand the way the world works today, your policies will take us backwards and weвЂ™re not going thereвЂ™.вЂќ Blair added: вЂњThereвЂ™s a huge desire in a large part of the media in this country to return British politics to a traditional Tory party п¬Ѓghting a traditional Labour party.вЂќ That would lead to a вЂњa traditional resultвЂќ, he warned. 10 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 EUROPE Drones seen п¬‚ying over FranceвЂ™s nuclear plants DPA/Reuters Paris A nti-nuclear groups expressed alarm yesterday at revelations that drones п¬‚ew over seven French nuclear power plants in October in a development that has sparked fresh debate about nuclear safety. State electricity company EDF, which operates the plants, conп¬Ѓrmed that вЂњaircraft resembling dronesвЂќ had been spotted over seven of them since October 5. One of the plants is currently being decommissioned. Environmental group Greenpeace claimed that вЂњat least 10вЂќ nuclear sites nationwide had been targeted by the drones, including the countryвЂ™s oldest nuclear plant at Fessenheim, on the border with Germany, and the administrative headquarters of the Atomic Energy Commission near Paris. The EDF denied any drone sightings over Fessenheim. вЂњFessenheim was not overп¬‚own,вЂќ a spokesperson told DPA yesterday. Sistine Chapel shines brighter DPA Vatican City T he Vatican unveiled yesterday a minor make-over of the Sistine Chapel, which has been п¬Ѓtted with new lighting and ventilation systems to better showcase and preserve its masterpieces. The renovation, costing about в‚¬3mn ($3.8mn), took three years and was carried out pro bono by US ventilation specialist Carrier and German lighting giant Osram, with some funding from the European Union. вЂњWe take pride in having honoured Michelangelo, on the 450th anniversary of his death, in the way that we think is best,вЂќ the director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, said, opening a two-day conference on the chapel. For years, experts had been warning that the chapelвЂ™s worldfamous frescoes, whose last restoration took 20 years and was completed in 1994, were under threat from smog, dust and changes in temperature brought in by growing numbers of tourists. Currently, there are up to 20,000 visitors every day to the chapel, which is also the place where cardinals are secluded when they have to elect a new pope. The old ventilation system, п¬Ѓtted some 20 years ago, could cope with only about onethird of those tourist numbers, Paolucci said. вЂњNew lighting was also needed,вЂќ he added, hailing the 7,000 LED lamps п¬Ѓtted by Osram as вЂњnon-invasive, respectfulвЂќ and вЂњcapable of illustrating every detailвЂќ of the chapel, not just its most iconic images. вЂњWe spent entire nightsвЂќ with Paolucci and other experts testing the right mix of lamps to bring out the colours of the artworks, Marco Frascarolo, an Italian consultant who worked with Osram, said. He said that LED technology cut energy consumption by 90%. Speaking to DPA, Paolucci dismissed Italian press reports suggesting that he was planning to introduce visiting quotas. вЂњNo, with this new (ventilation) system we donвЂ™t need to. But we need to keep to this number of visitors, not to let it grow. The Vatican Museums are advocating zero-growthвЂќ in tourist numbers, the Vatican Museum director said. It is not known who was behind the п¬‚ights. However, suspicion immediately fell on the anti-nuclear lobby, which has staged several stunts to highlight nuclear security. Greenpeace, which has carried out several break-ins at nuclear plants in recent years to raise awareness of nuclear safety, denied any hand in the incidents, which it called вЂњvery worrisomeвЂќ. вЂњIn all its actions, Greenpeace operates openly and takes responsibility for its actions,вЂќ the group said, calling for an investigation into the security of the airspace around nuclear plants. The EDF said that it had notiп¬Ѓed the authorities and п¬Ѓled a criminal complaint against persons unknown for the illegal entry of airspace above a nuclear facility after each incident. Aircraft are banned from п¬‚ying within a 5km radius and 1,000m altitude over a nuclear plant. Questioned about the incidents on France Info, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve vowed the authorities had вЂњways of neutralising these dronesвЂќ. This photo taken on March 30, 2013, shows the BugeyвЂ™s nuclear plant in Saint Vulbas, central-eastern France. Cazeneuve would not be drawn into saying who might be behind the п¬‚ights, saying that the investigation was continuing. The EDF downplayed the sig- niп¬Ѓcance of the airspace breaches, saying they had вЂњno impact on the safe functioning of the plantsвЂќ. The company did not speak to the broader issue of security, including the threat of terrorist attacks. The Observatoire du Nucleaire, a French anti-nuclear group, said that the вЂњcampaign proves that, with modern tech- nologies like drones, people with bad intentions can easily obtain crucial information on the exact conп¬Ѓguration of nuclear plants, in order to possibly carry out real attacksвЂќ. While the EDF did report each drone sighting in brief on the websites of the affected power plants, the utility did not issue any general statement on the overп¬‚ights, meaning the incidents went largely unnoticed by the media and public until Wednesday. The EDF named the plants over which drones had been spotted as Creys-Malville and Bugey in the southeast, Blayais in the southwest, Cattenom and Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north and Nogentsur-Seine, the closest plant to Paris. The unmanned aircraft were spotted late in the evening, at night or very early in the morning, the EDF said. France has 58 reactors providing three-quarters of the countryвЂ™s power. President Francois Hollande has vowed to try reduce the atomic share in the energy mix to 50% by 2025. GermanyвЂ™s new road toll to cost foreign car drivers up to в‚¬130 Reuters/DPA Berlin T he German government introduced a controversial road toll yesterday which will force foreign car drivers to pay up to в‚¬130 a year for using GermanyвЂ™s Autobahn motorways. The plan, intended to help Germany fund the upkeep of its transport infrastructure which is used by millions of foreign vehicles, may yet face a legal challenge in Brussels for discriminating against foreign motorists. After months of heated debate between Chancellor Angela MerkelвЂ™s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU), Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt dropped an original idea to raise the fee on all roads. However, the minister stuck to the plan that the toll will not lead to extra costs for German drivers by allowing them to offset the levy against an already existing motor vehicle tax. Dobrindt, a leading member of the CSU, said he was convinced that his draft law does not discriminate against foreign motorists and therefore would stand if challenged in court. вЂњThe infrastructure fee is sensible, fair and just,вЂќ the minister said, adding that the Nearly 1,000 picked up in Mediterranean DPA Rome N early 1,000 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean over the past 24 hours, and 20 were feared missing, Italian authorities and media said yesterday. The news came amid uncertainty over ItalyвЂ™s plans to close its Mare Nostrum migrant rescue mission once the European Union border agency Frontex launches Triton, a new sea patrol operation due to debut tomorrow. вЂњThe Mare Nostrum operation will close and will do it according to a [...] phasing out [schedule] that the government will deп¬Ѓne shortly, deciding how long it will take,вЂќ Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said in a Senate hearing. The Italian navy, which coordinates sea rescue operations, said that three of its vessels rescued 567 migrants over the course of several operations on Wednesday. It said 250 of them would be disembarked in Reggio Calabria today. The ANSA news agency said the coast guard picked up another 93 migrants off the coast of Libya, and were searching for more after being told by survivors that their sunken rubber dinghy had 113 people on board. Another coast guard patrol intercepted 78 migrants whose dinghy was at risk of sinking, ANSA said. Meanwhile, 228 migrants landed in the Sicilian port of Messina, after being taken on board by a passing cargo ship 40km south of Malta. Italy is facing a record inп¬‚ux of migrants, fuelled by unrest in Syria, the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. On October 16, Frontex boss Gil Arias Fernadez said that about 143,000 had landed on the countryвЂ™s shores since the start of the year, compared to less than 43,000 during 2013. Italy launched the Mare Nostrum mission 12 months ago, following two shipwrecks in which at 500 people died. It said it was an emergency response, costing в‚¬9mn ($11.3mn), which could not be kept on indeп¬Ѓnitely. Human rights organisations have criticised ItalyвЂ™s plans to wind down the operation, noting that Triton will operate in a far smaller area of the Mediterranean, limiting its capacity to rescue migrants in distress. A spokeswoman for the EU agency told DPA that Triton would cost в‚¬2.9mn a month and deployments would include two ocean patrol vessels, two coastal patrol vessels, two aircraft and a helicopter. They were expected to operate in the territorial waters of Italy and вЂњpartlyвЂќ in the search-and-rescue waters of Italy and Malta, the spokeswoman said. revenues of the road toll would only be used to modernise GermanyвЂ™s motorways and main roads. The toll is expected to be introduced in 2016. Motorists have to pay it by registering their licence plates via the Internet. Foreigners can also pay the levy at gas stations. The fee will take into account the cylinder capacity and environmental compatibility of the car with a maximum toll of в‚¬130 a year. Foreign drivers can pay a 10-day levy for в‚¬10 or a twomonth levy for в‚¬22 euros. The minister expects revenues of в‚¬3.7bn of which around в‚¬3bn euros will come from domestic drivers. With estimated introduction costs of nearly в‚¬200mn, the net revenue might shrink to just в‚¬500mn a year. DobrindtвЂ™s CSU wants foreign motorists to pay tolls on motorways because they think it is unfair that foreigners travel for free in Germany while German drivers have to pay tolls in neighbouring countries like Austria, Switzerland and France. The CSU pressed the motorway toll issue in coalition talks after last yearвЂ™s German federal elections. But MerkelвЂ™s CDU and its other coalition ally, the centreleft Social Democrats (SPD), said they would only back the toll if it did not lead to extra costs for German motorists and if it complied with European Union rules that prohibit discrimination against foreign motorists. Germany has already introduced a satellite-based toll system for lorries that obliges truck drivers to pay on motorways. This toll depends on the number of kilometres actually driven. Merkel has vowed that no German car owner would pay more to drive than at present, so domestic road taxes will be reduced at the same time as the fee is ushered in as an integral part of car registration. вЂњThat was my main condition,вЂќ she said. Strike hits Portuguese airline AFP Lisbon P ortuguese state-owned airline TAP cancelled nearly half of its 320 scheduled п¬‚ights yesterday as its cabin crew held a 24-hour strike over deteriorating working conditions. Only п¬‚ights by its regional subsidiary carrier Portugalia were maintained as well as minimum services to the Azores and Madeira, two Portuguese archipelagos in the Atlantic, and Sao Paulo, the п¬Ѓnancial capital of Brazil, an airline spokeswoman said. Of the 25,000 passengers who were scheduled to п¬‚y on TAP п¬‚ights yesterday, nearly 15,000 had either cancelled their trip or changed the п¬‚ights ahead of the strike, she added. Cabin crew union SNPVAC complained that contracts are being violated, leading to вЂњa continuous and systematic degradation of work conditionsвЂќ at the airline which the government plans to sell. A crew member of TAP airline waits under the companyвЂ™s logo in Lisbon during a strike yesterday. Ukraine rebels threaten to retake strategic port city DPA Moscow/Kiev P ro-Russian separatists in Ukraine threatened yesterday to retake the city of Mariupol from government forces, three days before an election in areas controlled by the rebels. Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-declared вЂњDonetsk PeopleвЂ™s RepublicвЂќ, said that the separatists would take the port city by force if government troops did not withdraw. вЂњWe are in talks over Mariupol вЂ“ but they wonвЂ™t give it up. If we cannot take it peacefully, we will take it by force,вЂќ he told a rally in Novoazovsk, a rebel-held town, according to Russian news agencies. Zakharchenko was campaigning for SundayвЂ™s elections in both the Donetsk and Luhansk вЂњpeopleвЂ™s republicsвЂќ. Ukraine and western governments have denounced the elections as illegal and as a threat to the ceaseп¬Ѓre accord signed last month. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced the vote as running counter to the Minsk Protocol, PoroshenkoвЂ™s office said after a phone conversation of the two leaders. EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton warned earlier that the vote would contradict the protocolвЂ™s вЂњletter and the spiritвЂќ and disrupt progress to п¬Ѓnding a political solution. But Andrei Purgin, ZakharchenkoвЂ™s deputy, said that the government in Kiev had practically aborted the accords. вЂњUkraine does not observe a single of its points,вЂќ he told Interfax. The ceaseп¬Ѓre has been shaky since it was announced on September 5, and both sides have accused each other of violating it. The Ukrainian military said that seven soldiers were killed and 11 injured during the past 24 hours. Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that the number and intensity of separatist attacks was on the rise. Russia has said it would accept the result of the elections in rebel-held areas, angering western capitals who want the Kremlin to curtail its backing of the separatists. Tensions over Ukraine have sparked concerns of a new Cold War. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that the number of Russian aircraft intercepted along the allianceвЂ™s borders had increased. There have been more than 100 cases this year so far, more than three times as much as during 2013. вЂњNato remains vigilant and ready to respond,вЂќ Stoltenberg said during a visit to Athens. Stoltenberg also called on Moscow to end its destabilising actions in Ukraine. вЂњRussiaвЂ™s actions in Ukraine are in breach of international law. They have severely damaged trust and they pose a major challenge to Euro-Atlantic security,вЂќ he said after talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Also yesterday, Russia said that it had tested a new intercontinental missile. The Bulava-type missile hit its target on the Paciп¬Ѓc peninsula of Kamchatka after being launched from a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea, some 5,000km to the west, Russian news agencies reported. Turkish foreign ministry, Norway embassy targeted by вЂ�suspect packagesвЂ™ The Turkish foreign ministry and Norwegian embassy in Ankara received suspicious packages yesterday, officials said, the latest in a string of such incidents reported in the country. TurkeyвЂ™s emergencies management agency AFAD said in a statement that both reported receiving the suspect packages in the morning. It did not say what was in the packages but the Dogan news agency said they contained the same yellow powder that had been sent to half a dozen consulates in Istanbul last week. Twenty-five staff from the consulates were hospitalised after coming into contact with the powder but all were eventually released without showing ill health. The health ministry had said there was no evidence of dangerous substances in the powder, which turned out to be nothing more than yellow chalk. But the scare in Istanbul came amid mounting concerns about the growing national security threat to Turkey and Western states posed by the jihadists, who are trying to seize the town of Kobane close to TurkeyвЂ™s border with Syria. The consulates of Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, Hungary and the United States вЂ“ all countries involved in the international coalition against Islamic State (IS) jihadists вЂ“ had reported receiving the yellow powder. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 11 INDIA UK minister raises п¬Ѓghter plane deal with India Healthcare rollout to cost $26bn, says official AFP New Delhi B ritish defence minister Michael Fallon said yesterday he had raised a $12bn п¬Ѓghter jet deal being negotiated by French company Dassault during talks with his Indian counterpart. Fallon said he had spoken to Defence Minister Arun Jaitley about the contract in the hope of still landing the giant deal currently being considered by the new government. British-backed Euroп¬Ѓghter lost out to the French-made Rafale plane for exclusive negotiations in 2012 to supply 126 п¬Ѓghters. The French lodged a lower bid than its rival Euroп¬Ѓghter for a tender with an estimated value of $12bn. But the negotiations have since been delayed, and have only now been taken up by Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s government which stormed to power in May. вЂњSo far as Typhoon Euroп¬Ѓghters are concerned we respect the position the Indian government has adopted,вЂќ Fallon said at an event in New Delhi. вЂњEuroп¬Ѓghter has made it very clear that should the negotiations not progress with the French then we are ready to get into negotiations with the Indian government,вЂќ he said. Fallon added that Britain was вЂњideally placed to contribute signiп¬ЃcantlyвЂќ to IndiaвЂ™s defence sector. India, the worldвЂ™s biggest arms importer, is in the midst of a $100bn defence upgrade programme and last week cleared projects worth $13.1bn. Modi has said India must build up its military might to the point that no other country вЂњdare cast an evil eyeвЂќ on the nation. A series of corruption scandals under the previous government had brought defence procurement to a near standstill. Fallon is in Delhi to meet top government ministers as well as commemorate IndiaвЂ™s fallen soldiers in World War I, as countries mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the conп¬‚ict. вЂњI thought it was important for me to be here to mark the memory of all those who served and many of those who died in that great cause a hundred years ago,вЂќ he said, after laying a wreath at DelhiвЂ™s India Gate memorial. The proposed plan will be rolled out in phases from April 2015 and will cover the entire population by March 2019 Reuters New Delhi I British Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon poses for a photograph with a battlefield guide publication during a World War I commemoration event in New Delhi yesterday. British dignitaries and descendants of soldiers yesterday commemorated IndiaвЂ™s largely forgotten World War I heroes at a ceremony marking the centenary of the battles fought for their British colonial ruler. ndiaвЂ™s universal health plan that aims to offer guaranteed beneп¬Ѓts to a sixth of the worldвЂ™s population will cost an estimated Rs1.6tn ($26bn) over the next four years, a senior health ministry official said. Under the National Health Assurance Mission, Prime Minister Narendra ModiвЂ™s government would provide all citizens with free drugs and diagnostic treatment, as well as insurance cover to treat serious ailments. The proposed plan would be rolled out in phases from April 2015 and will cover the entire population by March 2019, C K Mishra, an additional secretary at the health ministry, said. When the entire population is covered, it would cost an estimated $11.4bn annually. вЂњIf you want to deliver the service, that is what it will take,вЂќ Mishra said, disclosing for the п¬Ѓrst time an expert groupвЂ™s cost estimates that will be considered by the п¬Ѓnance ministry for inclusion in the governmentвЂ™s spending plans. Healthcare experts caution that it could take decades before IndiaвЂ™s 1.2bn people are adequately covered and that the costs of provision could face signiп¬Ѓcant upward pressure. If approved, India would need to drastically raise its healthcare spending. In the current п¬Ѓnancial year, the federal budget allocated about $5bn to healthcare. вЂњWe are not in a position to implement it across the regions, states (right now). ItвЂ™s impossible. So we are choosing number of districts each year,вЂќ said Mishra. Despite rapid economic growth in the last 20 years, the Indian government spends only about 1% of gross domestic product on healthcare. That compares to 3% in China and 8.3% in the US. вЂњThe new plan will focus on improving preventive healthcare services by ensuring adequate availability of medical practitioners in rural areasвЂќ More newborns die in India than in poorer neighbours such as Bangladesh, and preventable illnesses such as diarrhoea kill more than a million children every year. Government hospitals are overcrowded and lack resources to meet the growing demand, while access to basic health services in rural areas and smaller towns remains poor. вЂњI can say that you are covered, but your closest facilities are 100km away. You are limited by that fact,вЂќ said Rana Mehta, leader of healthcare at consultants PwC India. вЂњTo build infrastructure and then provide care over a period of time would obviously take decades.вЂќ A 2012 study by Indian business lobby Ficci and consultants EY estimated that universal health cover in India was feasible in a decade and would require government health spending to rise to 3.7-4.5% of GDP. The new plan will focus on improving preventive healthcare services by ensuring adequate availability of medical practitioners in rural areas, while new infrastructure will be created under existing welfare programmes, Mishra said. Tertiary care services would be provided through an insurance-based model and the government will offer more than 50 drugs free to all its citizens. Along with the drugs, about 12-15 diagnostic treatments will be offered in the package. Mishra said states will be encouraged to enter into outsourcing agreements for the provision of treatment. In recent years, thousands of small private hospitals and test centres have п¬‚ourished, betting on high demand created by lack of adequate public facilities. Such providers opened 80% of IndiaвЂ™s new hospital beds during 2002-2012, according to a PwC-NatHealth report. While private players will be involved in the ambitious programme, the government will need to ensure speedy payments for the partnership to work, said Harish Pillai, chief operating officer at private healthcare group Indus Health. Cipla asks govt to revoke Novartis patents on respiratory drug Reuters Mumbai G eneric drugmaker Cipla Ltd said yesterday it has asked the Indian government to revoke п¬Ѓve patents held by Swiss п¬Ѓrm Novartis AG on respiratory drug Onbrez and has launched a cheaper copy to boost access in the local market. Cipla alleged that Novartis has had patents on the medicine since 2008 but instead of producing it in India has imported a вЂњnegligible quantityвЂќ from Switzerland, leading to a shortage of supplies in the Indian market. Big international pharma companies have been hit by wideranging government-imposed price cuts and legal battles over patent protection in recent years in India, a vital growth market. Cipla, IndiaвЂ™s fourth-largest drugmaker by revenue, said because there was an urgent but unmet need for the respiratory treatment in India it has started to sell a copy of the drug in Delhi priced at a п¬Ѓfth of the cost of NovartisвЂ™s product. вЂњCipla believes that it has the potential to manufacture adequate quantities of the drug and make the same available in the country,вЂќ the company said in a statement, conп¬Ѓrming its re- quest to the government for the patents to be revoked. A spokeswoman for Novartis in Zurich said the company had not received any notice from regulatory or other authorities about the issue. CiplaвЂ™s action is likely to result in a prolonged legal battle between the two companies, analysts said. A senior official at the Indian governmentвЂ™s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion said CiplaвЂ™s п¬Ѓling about NovartisвЂ™s patents was made under Section 66 of the Indian Patents Act. The section grants the Indian government the power to revoke a patent in the public interest, after giving the patent holder an opportunity to explain why it should not be revoked, said the official, who declined to be named. Onbrez, chemically called indicaterol, is used to treat breath- Govt bars п¬Ѓrst-class air travel for officials Agencies New Delhi P rime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered bureaucrats to forgo the luxury of flying first class and start paying for their spousesвЂ™ air tickets as he tries to deliver on a promise to cut the fiscal deficit to a seven-year low. The ban on first-class travel, which could save $3,000 on a long-haul flight, is part of an austerity drive launched by Modi yesterday to cut discretionary spending by 10% in the fiscal year to March 2015. вЂњThere is a need to continue to rationalise expenditure and optimise available resources,вЂќ the finance ministry said in its directive. The ministry has also barred meetings at five-star hotels, the purchase of cars for government officials and the crea- tion of new posts in federal departments. вЂњThere will be a ban on holding of meetings and conferences at five-star hotels except in case of bilateral/multilateral official engagements to be held at the level of minister-incharge or administrative secretary, with foreign governments or international bodies of which India is a member,вЂќ the ministry said. вЂњWhile officers are entitled to various classes of air travel depending on seniority, utmost economy would need to be observed while exercising the choice keeping the limitations of budget in mind. However, there would be no bookings in first class,вЂќ it added. It recommended, instead, more use of the facility of video conferencing, saying it вЂњmay be used effectively.вЂќ However, interest and debt payments, the defence budget, salaries and pensions will not be affected. вЂњSuch measures are intended at promoting fiscal discipline, without restricting the operational efficiency of the government,вЂќ the finance ministry said. IndiaвЂ™s longest economic slump since the 1980s has slashed tax receipts, forcing New Delhi scale back public spending by nearly $33bn in the past two years to deliver on its deficit goal and retain its investment-grade credit rating. In its maiden budget in July, ModiвЂ™s government pledged to narrow the fiscal deficit to a seven-year low of 4.1% of gross domestic product in the fiscal year to next March. A slide of 25% in global oil prices since June has made government officials more confident of meeting a tough target without deeper spending cuts. ing problems associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cipla estimates more than 15mn Indians are afп¬‚icted with the disease. Novartis has been particularly vocal in its criticism of IndiaвЂ™s patent laws after the Supreme Court last year denied the company a patent on its cancer drug Glivec, allowing Indian п¬Ѓrms to launch cheaper copies. The US Trade Representa- tive (USTR) said this year IndiaвЂ™s limits on the approval of pharmaceutical patents and its plan to open patented drugs to generic makers created вЂњserious challengesвЂќ for some innovators. New Delhi is working on a new intellectual property policy, and the government will also set up a think-tank to advise it on global intellectual property issues, Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said last month. Bukhari invites Sharif, not Modi, for dinner IANS New Delhi T Bukhari and his son speak to reporters in New Delhi yesterday. he Shahi Imam of DelhiвЂ™s Jama Masjid yesterday said he was inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but not Narendra Modi to mark his sonвЂ™s anointment as the Naib Imam, saying the Indian prime minister was yet to win the conп¬Ѓdence of the countryвЂ™s Muslims. Syed Ahmed Bukhari, however, said he had invited four Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, for the November 29 dinner to mark the occasion. вЂњWe have invited the prime minister of Pakistan as we have had relations with him since my (late) fatherвЂ™s time, unlike with Modi, whom we have not invited,вЂќ Bukhari said. BukhariвЂ™s son, 19-year-old Shaban, will be anointed the Naib Imam of Jama Masjid, re- putedly IndiaвЂ™s biggest mosque on November 22. вЂњModi has not done anything for Indian Muslims even after coming to power. Indian Muslims have not forgiven him for the 2002 Gujarat riots,вЂќ the senior Bukhari said. вЂњModi has not even apologised (for the riots) and reached out to Muslims. He is yet to win the conп¬Ѓdence of Muslims.вЂќ He accused Modi of representing вЂњonly a section of the societyвЂќ - an apparent reference to Hindus. Shaban Bukhari echoed his fatherвЂ™s views. вЂњIt would have been better had he represented the 125 crore people of India,вЂќ Shaban said. Bukhari said invitations for the dinner had also been extended to Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. The Bukharis, originally from Central Asia, have been the traditional custodians of the Jama Masjid since it was built. 12 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 INDIA APPOINTMENT CRIME PROTEST INVESTIGATION CRACKDOWN Mayaram moved again, now to minority affairs Shopkeeper, aide Shot dead in Lucknow Students participate in referendum Sana, Ismail released on bail in assault case Yasin Malik held over protest call Within days of being moved from the finance ministry to tourism, Arvind Mayaram was yesterday transferred to the minority affairs ministry as secretary. The appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC) cancelled the order of appointment of Mayaram, a 1978 batch IAS officer, as secretary in the tourism ministry, a statement said. Mayaram was replaced by Rajiv Mehrishi as the finance secretary on October 15, and had not yet taken charge in the tourism ministry. The ACC said Ratan P Watal, secretary in the department of expenditure in the finance ministry will hold additional charge as finance secretary for one month, or until the assumption of charge by Mehrishi. A shopkeeper and his assistant were shot dead yesterday in the Uttar Pradesh capital, police said. Two unidentified men stopped their motorbike at the crockery shop owned by Amit Dulani, barged inside and pumped bullets into him and his aide Dashrath, Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Mishra said. Dulani, his mother Usha and aides Anand and Dashrath were present in the shop at the time of the attack. The assailants first dashed into DulaniвЂ™s cabin and tried to snatch his gold chain. When he resisted, they shot him. As they were fleeing, his mother tried to stop them and the assailants hit her with a pistol butt. They then shot the aide and fled. Jadavpur University students yesterday took part in a referendum in their bid to prove that they were unanimously demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti. The students have been clamouring for the removal of Chakrabarti since September 17 when the university authorities allegedly ordered a police crackdown to break up a sit-in demanding an independent investigation into the alleged molestation of a female student inside a hostel. A student leader said referendum will end today and that the results will be declared soon after. Students across all disciplines took part. Thousands of students and several faculty members led a massive rally on September 19 in Kolkata, demanding ChakrabartiвЂ™s removal. Bollywood actress Sana Khan and her boyfriend Ismail Khan, who were arrested over an assault case in Mumbai, have been granted bail, a police official said. They were arrested on Wednesday by officials of the Amboli police station, and were granted bail the same day. вЂњNow, we are collecting some more evidence on this case,вЂќ an official from the police station said. Sana and Ismail were arrested after a woman filed a complaint of threat and sexual harassment against them, the police said. Co-incidentally, Style actor Sahil Khan had also alleged that he was assaulted by Ismail at a gym in Mumbai. The incident took place on October 22 and Sahil registered a complaint with the Amboli police station on the same day. Separatist leader Mohamed Yasin Malik, who has called for a boycott of the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir elections, was yesterday taken into preventive custody. This was done to maintain law and order in the city, a police officer said. Malik, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), said police reached his uptown Abi Guzar office in the morning and seized him. He said some other JKLF leaders were also arrested. Separatist leaders including hardliner Syed Ali Geelani and moderates like Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Malik, have called for a boycott of the November-December election. Earlier, police chief K Rajendra Kumar said that security forces will not allow anyone to interfere with polls. Court upholds Kerala govtвЂ™s ban on liquor Agencies Thiruvananthapuram T he Kerala High Court yesterday upheld a ban on alcohol served in most bars in the southern state, in a major blow to hoteliers. The court backed the state governmentвЂ™s plans to introduce almost complete prohibition in a bid to tackle the areaвЂ™s drinking problem. Justice K Surendra Mohan said вЂњthe challenge made against the policyвЂќ by hoteliers вЂњfails,вЂќ rejecting arguments that the move would drive away tourists seeking some booze with their beach holiday. However the court made some concessions, ruling that hotels with a four-star and heritage ranking could stay open. вЂњNow we will see what we can do to bring the four-star hotel bars also out of the present list and for that we will seek legal recourseвЂќ Hotel owners warned that hotels would close as a result of the ruling - although not as many as originally feared. вЂњIt is a very unfortunate order as it will shut around 200 of the 312 bars in the state,вЂќ G Sudhiesh Kumar, a hotelier and president of the local Bars Association said. вЂњWe will deп¬Ѓnitely go in for an appeal,вЂќ he told the NDTV network. Owners had been hopeful of overturning the ban after the Supreme Court ordered a stay in September on introducing the policy until the Kerala High Court had ruled on the petitions. The Kerala government had planned for all hotels to close, although shops selling liquor would be phased out over 10 years and п¬Ѓve-star places exempt from the ban except on Sundays. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who announced the policy on August 21, said the Congress Party-led government would go ahead with its longterm plans which included a massive awareness campaign. He said the court had endorsed his prohibition policy with minor exemptions. The long-term ban plan will stay and the state will be free of alcohol in ten years. Chandy said the governmentвЂ™s policy has been accepted and it cannot be said itвЂ™s only a partial victory, if one looks at the huge number of bars that have been ordered to close down. But leader of opposition V S Achuthanandan said it was a setback because the government had earlier only allowed п¬Ѓve-star hotel bars, but with this verdict, now four-star hotel bars can also be kept open. However, state Excise Minister K Babu said the verdict was not a setback. вЂњNow we will study the verdict and decide the next course of action,вЂќ said Babu. State Congress president V M Sudheeran welcomed the verdict and said it has upheld the liquor policy of the state government. вЂњNow we will see what we can do to bring the four-star hotel bars also out of the present list and for that we will seek legal recourse,вЂќ said Sudheeran. Employees working in a threestar hotel in the state capital said it was a sad day for them. вЂњ...we are so sad as we are left with no job. I have been in this industry for the past quarter of a century as a waiter in a bar restaurant,вЂќ said a waiter. Meanwhile, the state government has already begun talks with trade union leaders for devising a rehabilitation package for registered employees working in the bars that will now be closed. вЂњOne round of talks is over and very soon we will have a second round. We have asked the stakeholders to come out with their suggestions,вЂќ said Babu. Another bar employee who has lost his job due to the closure of the bars said KeralaвЂ™s loss would be Tamil NaduвЂ™s gain as tipplers will now cross the border to have a drink. A man stands near a boat with a huge cutout of the Bharatiya Janata PartyвЂ™s symbol in the Arabian Sea, on the eve of the swearing-in ceremony of Maharashtra chief minister-elect Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, yesterday. Shiv Sena may not join Maharashtra govt: Rudy The Shiv Sena remains undecided on the issue amid speculation of differences over the number of ministries it will be given by the BJP IANS Mumbai T he Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday said it was unlikely that former ally Shiv Sena will join the partyвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst government in Maharashtra. вЂњTalks with Shiv Sena going on very amicably. No outcome yet. Seems unlikely Shiv Sena will be part of government as of now,вЂќ BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in a tweet. Despite sending positive feelers, the Shiv Sena, on its part, remains undecided on the issue amid speculation of differences over the number of ministries it would be given by the BJP. The party will make its п¬Ѓnal Govt to mark PatelвЂ™s birth anniversary, ignores Indira IANS New Delhi A вЂ�Run for UnityвЂ™ and pledge-taking will mark IndiaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai PatelвЂ™s birth anniversary today, being observed as вЂ�Rashtriya Ekta DivasвЂ™ (national unity day). Nothing was, however, announced by the government to observe the 30th death anniversary of prime minister Indira Gandhi, inviting criticism from the Congress. The celebrations to mark PatelвЂ™s birth anniversary will start with a function at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay п¬‚oral tributes at his statue at Patel Chowk near Parliament House at 7.30am. The prime minister will then address participants of вЂ�Run for UnityвЂ™ at Vijay Chowk at 7.40am and administer the Unity Pledge at 8am. The Run for Unity will be п¬‚agged off from Vijay Chowk to India Gate on Rajpath at 8.15am. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will attend a Run for Unity programme in Nampally, Hyderabad at 7.45am. The home minister will also attend the passing out parade of Indian Police Service officers at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad. Schools and universities in the national capital will organise several cultural events to celebrate the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. All the universities were sent notiп¬Ѓcation by the ministry of human resource development suggesting several events that could be organised to mark the day. At Delhi University (DU), programmes are being held at the north campus and in all the afп¬Ѓliated colleges which have been asked to вЂњsubmit a brief report of the same along with the photographs latest by November 3.вЂќ Vijay K Sharma, principal of Ram Lal Anand College said: вЂњWe have sent e-mail notiп¬Ѓcation to all our staff. Though we have not made it compulsory we have organised interesting events to ensure maximum participation.вЂќ Similarly Jamia Milla Islamia has organised events both at their school and the university. In schools, poster competitions on unity, integrity and security have been planned, while at the university level, essay competition and plays are being held along with oath administering and run for unity. Meanwhile Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who was recently sacked as party spokesman for joining ModiвЂ™s Clean India Campaign, slammed the government for forgetting Indira Gandhi. вЂњDisgraceful that government is ignoring the martyrdom of our only prime minister who was killed in office in the line of duty. Oct 31 forgotten?вЂќ Tharoor tweeted. stand clear after a high-level meeting to be presided over by party chief Uddhav Thackeray. The Shiv Sena meanwhile said it вЂњwholeheartedly welcomesвЂќ Devendra Fadnavis as the new chief minister-designate, two days after the BJP anointed him. вЂњWe wholeheartedly welcome the new CM of Maharashtra... We are conп¬Ѓdent that with Narendra (Modi) in Delhi and Devendra (Fadnavis) in Maharashtra, nobody can prevent вЂ�achhe dinвЂ™ (good days) from coming to Maharashtra,вЂќ the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana yesterday. The Sena recalled how the party was closely acquainted with the 44-year-old Fadnavis for many years and that вЂњthere are no doubts that his feet would remain п¬Ѓrmly planted on the ground.вЂќ The editorial also said that although Fadnavis is from Vidarbha region of eastern Ma- harashtra, he must work for the entire state as a whole. вЂњA Vidarbha leader will be heading the state once again and the entire state is proud of him.вЂќ вЂњIt will be FadnavisвЂ™ responsibility to remove prejudices that вЂ�Vidarbha is a backward regionвЂ™... Vidarbha is blessed with black gold (Kaala Sona) - coal. The coal kings are very inп¬‚uential in Maharashtra... A lobby of businessmen-traders wants to carve out Vidarbha from Maharashtra, but this would not be in the interest of the people,вЂќ it advised Fadnavis. Hinting that the Shiv Sena is keen to join the BJPвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst government in the state, the editorial wondered whether the BJP would like to sully its image by taking the help of the corrupt Nationalist Congress Party. вЂњThe mandate of the people is for change...by permanently burying the (former) CongressNCP government. However, if the BJP wants to accept the NCPвЂ™s help in running the gov- Camel fair ernment, then this topic can end right now...,вЂќ the editorial said. The welcome for Fadnavis was the п¬Ѓrst official comment by the Shiv Sena since his election as the chief minister-designate. In a related development, the NCP lashed out at the BJP for the mega swearing-in ceremony planned for today. вЂњBJP a party with a difference, hence the most lavish oath-taking ceremony in the history of Maharashtra,вЂќ NCP state spokesman Nawab Malik said in a tweet. The NCP has already announced it would abstain during a vote of conп¬Ѓdence of the new government. Meanwhile, hectic lastminute details were being worked out for the swearing-in of Fadnavis and a small team of ministers by Governor C V Rao at the Wankhede Stadium today afternoon. The ceremony will be attend- Two arrested over bank locker heist IANS Chandigarh P Camel traders rest at the Pushkar Fair in the desert state of Rajasthan yesterday. Thousands of animals, mainly camels, are brought to the annual fair to be traded. ed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, central ministers, party leaders, chief ministers, п¬Ѓlm personalities, businessmen, sportspersons and other celebrities. z The BJPвЂ™s ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha was accused of cheating by the management of MumbaiвЂ™s famous Shanmukhananda Hall. According to a spokesperson, the RSP booked the Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Auditorium in central Mumbai for a party function on August 11, for four hours. The RSP, which is led by Mahadeo Jankar, issued a cheque of Rs936,000 towards deposit, rent and other services. However, the cheque bounced, the spokesperson said. On the RSPвЂ™s instructions, the management again presented it for payment, but it bounced again, this time with the remark вЂњAccount ClosedвЂќ. olice have arrested two suspects in the daring bank locker heist in Gohana town in Haryana and recovered over 10kg of ornaments, an official said yesterday. He also said the man who owned the building from which the burglars dug a tunnel to the bank was found dead. The body of Mahipal, owner of the building from where a125ft-long tunnel was dug to the bankвЂ™s locker room, was found in a car on the Panipat highway, in a shocking twist to the case. Police said it appeared Mahipal committed suicide. Burglars had dug the tunnel from the building adjoining the bank and broken into the locker room of the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB). They broke open 89 of the over 350 lockers in the room. The heist came to light on Monday. Sonipat district police chief Arun Nehra said the two suspects, Balraj and Surinder, were arrested in Gohana, 210km from here. вЂњWe have recovered over 10kg ornaments from a bag hidden in a brick kiln in a nearby village. We are trying to catch two other suspects, Satish and Rajesh,вЂќ the police official said. Another official said the building ownerвЂ™s body was found in a car on the Panipat highway. вЂњIt appears that he consumed some poisonous substance and committed suicide,вЂќ he said. Police have booked bank ofп¬Ѓcers for negligence. Angry customers have been protesting outside the bank branch since Monday. They claim they have lost millions in the form of jewellery and cash. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 13 LATIN AMERICA PROJECT Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes visits a tunnel that is part of the urban development project Porto Maravilha around the old industrial and port areas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 1.48km tunnel is called Tunnel Rio 450. ECONOMY DISASTER ACCIDENT POLITICS New law aims to woo investors to energy sector Storm forces evacuation of 1,000 in Argentina 70 children suffer food poisoning in Peru Morales gets absolute majority in legislature Argentine lawmakers approved a hydrocarbon law yesterday to attract further investment in its energy sector by offering longer concessions and limiting revenues for its oil rich provinces. The law grants 25-year concessions for conventional gas exploration, 30 years for offshore resources and 35 years for shale oil and gas, all of which can be extended for up to 10 years. Argentina is seeking to boost investments in its energy sector, including in its Vaca Muerta shale formation, to reduce reliance on costly energy imports and increase foreign currency reserves. Oil giants Chevron, Shell and Total have already signed deals with state firm YPF. The Argentine government activated an emergency plan to help those affected by the powerful storm that struck 17 municipalities in Buenos Aires province and evacuated about 1,000 people. Argentine Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich held a press conference at which he provided details of the damage caused by the storm in different parts of the country, mainly in Buenos Aires province, as well as in Entre Rios, southern Cordoba and Santa Fe. Capitanich said that authorities are carrying out вЂњco-ordinated work on the ground with the provincial municipal authoritiesвЂќ to help those in need. About 70 Peruvian schoolchildren, aged between 10 and 15, began showing symptoms of poisoning after having food provided under a state-run social programme in northern Lambayeque province, local media reported. The children were admitted to several hospitals in the area after they began vomiting after eating bread with tuna and milk with boiled oats provided by the Qali Warma programme, RPP Noticias reported. The La Republica Web site said that the children are students at state-run schools in the Mochumi and Illimo districts, to which the regional co-ordinators of the food programme were dispatched to assess the situation. In addition to his own re-election, BoliviaвЂ™s President Evo Morales kept his absolute majority in congress in the October 12 general elections, authorities said. The Supreme Electoral Council said Morales, a socialist in power since 2006 and BoliviaвЂ™s first indigenous president, won 61.36% of the vote against 24.23% for his closest rival, wealthy cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina. The results mean Morales, a staunch critic of the US, will keep his control over the legislature, which makes it easy for him to pass legislation with little opposition. His allies in congress secured 89 seats of the 130 in the lower house; and 25 of 36 senate seats, the council said. Brazil shocks with interest rate hike in wake of polls Reuters Brasilia B razilвЂ™s central bank has raised interest rates, surprising investors with a bold move that signals President Dilma Rousseff could make more market-friendly policy changes after her narrow re-election victory on Sunday. In a divided vote, the central bankвЂ™s board decided to raise its benchmark Selic rate by 25 basis points to 11.25%. All 43 economists surveyed in a Reuters poll this week expected the bank to keep the Selic at 11%. With the hotly contested presidential race over, the central bank moved swiftly to anchor inп¬‚ation expectations at a time when markets are wondering if Rousseff is willing to overhaul her policies to regain the trust of investors. The bank said inп¬‚ation risks had become less favourable since its last rate-setting meeting in early September due to more intense price increases. вЂњIn light of that, the committee considered it appropriate to adjust monetary conditions in order to guarantee, at a lower cost, the prevalence of a more benign inп¬‚ation outlook in 2015 and 2016,вЂќ the bank said in its statement. Five of the eight members of the bankвЂ™s monetary policy committee voted to raise the Selic, and the other three wanted to keep it unchanged. вЂњThis deп¬Ѓnitely is a great step forward to rebuild the credibility of the inп¬‚ation-targeting regime. Very well done,вЂќ said Alberto Ramos, senior economist with Goldman Sachs in New York. вЂњThis is market friendly. Whether this means other (market-friendly) steps will come, only time will tell.вЂќ Inп¬‚ation hovering above the official target ceiling of 6.5% has increased pressure on the central bank to raise borrowing costs. The central bank aims to keep inп¬‚ation at the centre of the target, between 2.5% and 6.5%. Still, most economists had expected the bank to refrain from action until Rousseff announces changes to her economic team. After narrowly defeating Aecio Neves, who was favoured by many investors and business executives, on Sunday, Rousseff pledged policy changes to reverse economic weakness that cost her support among BrazilвЂ™s middle class. The leftist leader is considering a close aide or a business executive to replace Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who will step down at the start of her second four-year term on New YearвЂ™s day. Some of the central bank board members could also be replaced in a second term, according to local media. Brazilian exchange and stock markets have been volatile since Rousseff вЂ™s re-election victory on Sunday, with some investors hopeful that the threat of a credit downgrade next year could force her to adopt more policies that are favourable toward business. вЂњThis change in monetary policy may be interpreted as a possible change in economic policy in general,вЂќ said Jankiel Santos, chief economist for Espirito Santos Investment Bank in Sao Paulo. вЂњThe bank will not stop here, this should be the start of a new tightening cycle.вЂќ The surprise hike could also pave the way for the government to raise fuel prices, helping state-run oil company Petrobras recover from policies that have forced it to sell imported fuel at a loss to cap inп¬‚ation, analysts say. The most urgent task facing Rousseff вЂ™s new economic team will be tightening the federal budget to ward off the threat of a credit downgrade next year. Chief of the Colombian government delegation Humberto de la Calle (centre) arrives at the Conventions Palace in Havana, Cuba, yesterday to continue the peace talks with a delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Farc admits actions harmed civilians Reuters Havana C olombian guerrilla leaders yesterday said they took responsibility for civilian casualties caused by rebel attacks during 50 years of war, a show of contrition aimed at buttressing peace talks with the government. вЂњWe explicitly recognise that our actions have affected civilians at different times and under different circumstances throughout the conп¬‚ict,вЂќ Pablo Atrato, a member of the guerrilla negotiating team, said at peace talks being held in Cuba. Missing studentsвЂ™ kin slam Mexico president Guardian News and Media London P arents of 43 student teachers who went missing more than a month ago in southern Mexico emerged from a marathon meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto frustrated and angry at what they see as a lack of commitment to п¬Ѓnd their children. вЂњWe told the president that we donвЂ™t trust his government,вЂќ Felipe de la Cruz told a press conference after the meeting, which lasted п¬Ѓve hours. вЂњItвЂ™s been more than 30 days and they still havenвЂ™t found our boys.вЂќ The students, all young men, disappeared on September 26 after being attacked and arrested by police in the city of Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, soon after they had commandeered some buses to use in a protest. Government investigators say police handed the students over to a local drug gang called Guerreros Unidos but, despite arresting 56 people who were allegedly involved, say they have yet to establish what happened next. The most visible efforts to п¬Ѓnd the missing 43 students have focused on the retrieval of dozens of bodies from mass graves in the Iguala area. Investigators say information given by detainees led them to the graves. None of the bodies have yet been identiп¬Ѓed as belonging to the students. Authorities mounted a major operation this week to look for human remains in a municipal rubbish dump, though there has been little indication as yet of any signiп¬Ѓcant п¬Ѓnds. вЂњWe are demanding that they donвЂ™t just look in graves and in dumps, because we are sure they are still alive,вЂќ De la Cruz said, echoing the prevailing hope and conviction among parents. De la Cruz was one of п¬Ѓve parents who spoke at the press conference while dozens more stood behind them, looking drained and stoney faced, only breaking their silence to chant: вЂњThey took them alive, we want them alive.вЂќ Some held banners with photo- graphs of their missing children, who were all enrolled in the Ayotzinapa rural teachersвЂ™ college one of the few routes out of poverty for the children of subsistence farmers, and known as a hotbed of radical leftwing activism. The disappearance of the students has sparked outrage across Mexico and concern abroad, challenging President Pena NietoвЂ™s carefully crafted image as a modernising reformist leading the country to a brighter future. After an initial week of near silence, the president makes statements almost daily promising that his government will stop at nothing to п¬Ѓnd the students and bring those responsible to justice. Wednesday nightвЂ™s meeting was the п¬Ѓrst time he came face to face with the parents. вЂњDuring nearly п¬Ѓve hours, I had the opportunity to listen to their concerns, worries, as well as their pain,вЂќ the president said in an address to the nation. He said the government also felt вЂњthe same indignationвЂќ that the disappearances had caused the families and Mexican society. He said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group never targeted civilians but recognised it has harmed civilians through use of excessive force, mistakes or unforeseen circumstances of war. The statement read by Atrato made no mention about whether the FarcвЂ™s Marxist-inspired rebels would face justice in Colombian courts. Some Farc leaders have been sentenced in absentia to long prison terms or face criminal charges, while others have been captured and are serving jail time. Latin AmericaвЂ™s longest running war has killed some 200,000 people since 1964. The Farc and the government of centre-right President Juan Manuel Santos have held peace talks in Cuba for the past two years, reaching tentative agreements on three of п¬Ѓve major issues. The FarcвЂ™s statement yesterday came in direct response to a government request for the rebels to assume responsibility for victimising civilians, and it also appeared to be directed at the families of those killed in the war. Family members and other victims of the violence have been given a formal role in the peace talks and have been п¬‚own Bachelet in Spain in to address the negotiators, who are working toward an agreement on reparations. The Farc said it had punished guerrillas who intentionally attacked civilians, although it gave no details and did not explain how its internal system of justice works. вЂњWe take responsibility for each and every one of the acts of war committed by our ranks under the orders and instructions given by our command and we assume their repercussions,вЂќ the Farc said. The Farc is expected to attempt to negotiate an amnesty as part of the peace deal but it would face п¬Ѓerce opposition Cartel boss prefers death to surrender Guardian News and Media Mexico City T ChileвЂ™s President Michelle Bachelet and SpainвЂ™s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrive for a joint news conference at Moncloa palace in Madrid yesterday. Bachelet is on an official two-day visit to Spain. from conservative politicians in Colombia. Santos was re-elected for a second term in June, defeating a right-wing challenger who had threatened to end the talks had he been elected. Negotiators have already agreed that the Farc could become a legal political party should a п¬Ѓnal peace deal be reached, but the two sides have yet to address amnesty. Some additional high-ranking guerrilla commanders joined the talks last week, injecting a sense of urgency to the talks. Still, the war has continued with Farc and government forces clashing periodically. The rebel forces are estimated at 8,000 strong. he fugitive leader of one of MexicoвЂ™s most violent and bizarre drug cartels has said that he regrets choosing a life of crime, but vowed that he would never let himself be taken alive. вЂњI have committed many crimes like an idiot, and I will have to pay for them when the time comes, but I donвЂ™t plan to do that on this earth,вЂќ said a man who identiп¬Ѓes himself as Servando Gumez, alias La Tuta, in a 24-minute recording, posted on social media. вЂњI am not going to give myself up. I am going to п¬Ѓght until the end.вЂќ The Knights Templar cartel, or Caballeros Templarios, gained notoriety for its signature blend of extreme violence with faux medieval rituals and a rhetoric of social justice. The cartel once trafficked large quantities of drugs and iron ore, while imposing a reign of terror throughout its main bastion in the Tierra Caliente, or Hot Lands, in the western state of MichoacГЎn. The group was severely weakened after the rise of an armed vigilante movement in the region prompted federal forces to step up efforts against the Knights Templar. With all the other major cartel leaders now dead or in prison, the recording, п¬Ѓrst posted on the Internet late on Tuesday, appears to conп¬Ѓrm reports that the circle is now closing in on La Tuta. вЂњJust like they say I am alone, hiding in the sierra, riding a donkey and I havenвЂ™t seen any of my family for a year,вЂќ says Gumez, who in the course of the rambling message complained that authorities had detained members of his family who had nothing to do with the drugs trade. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong appeared to accept the authenticity of the recording when he told reporters that it showed вЂњa cornered criminal who recognises that the state has been effective.вЂќ 14 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN Civilians п¬‚ee as army steps up offensive In the latest offensive by PakistanвЂ™s military, 21 suspecrted militants and eight soldiers were killed on Wednesday Reuters Peshawar T wenty-nine people were killed and thousands of civilians forced to п¬‚ee PakistanвЂ™s northwestern region of Khyber, the military said yesterday, as it stepped up a twoweek-old offensive against Taliban militants in the area. Twenty-one suspected militants and eight soldiers were killed on Wednesday, the military said in a statement, but gave no п¬Ѓgure for civilian casualties. National disaster officials say the п¬Ѓghting has forced more than 18,000 people to abandon their homes. Residents of the area say many people are caught between the two opposing forces, as the military orders them to leave and the A girl travels atop a vehicle laden with her familyвЂ™s belongings, as they flee the military offensive against militants in the Khyber Agency, on the outskirts of Peshawar yesterday. militants urge them to stay. вЂњSecurity forces were asking us to leave their area as there would be heavy bombing against the militants,вЂќ said one villager, Muddasir Shah. But the militants had set up bunkers and were patrolling vil- lages to prevent residents from leaving, he added. вЂњThe militants were saying we shouldnвЂ™t п¬‚ee the villages. We donвЂ™t know whom we should trust.вЂќ The military said it had killed dozens of militants in airstrikes and п¬Ѓghting since the п¬Ѓghting began in Khyber. вЂњThe militants wanted people not to leave their houses so that the military donвЂ™t use п¬Ѓghter jets and artillery against them,вЂќ said Khair Zaman, 47, who had spent nine hours wandering on unfrequented back roads moving his family to safety. On Sunday, the military said it had killed 18 militants in airstrikes. The Khyber offensive began two weeks ago in the area around the Tirah Valley, a key smuggling route into neighbouring Afghanistan. At the same time, the military is pressing on with a campaign against the Taliban it launched in nearby North Waziristan in June. Pakistan has been convulsed by Islamist violence since it threw its support behind the USled campaign against militancy launched after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Insecurity and opium blight Afghan province AFP Kabul D espite praise from politicians, British troops are leaving behind a province still blighted by insurgency and a huge opium harvest as they end their combat mission in AfghanistanвЂ™s Helmand. The Union Jack was lowered at HelmandвЂ™s Camp Bastion on Sunday, ending a British deployment that lasted longer than World War II and cost 453 lives. British troops moved into Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion which ousted the Taliban government in Kabul. When they took over command in the southern province of Helmand in 2006, there were hopes they could employ a softer approach than their American counterparts to win hearts and minds in the stronghold of Taliban insurgents battling to regain power. The mission was hailed on Sunday by British Prime Minister David Cameron and senior local Afghan officials as a suc- cess that lays solid foundations for NatoвЂ™s post-2014 training and support mission. But while the Afghan National Army has been strengthened by billions of dollars of aid and Western training, some analysts warn that a lack of strategic foresight means the British have left with their mission uncompleted. Chief among the concerns is the growing menace of opium production, which helps sustain the Taliban insurgency. Afghan poppy production hit an all-time high last year as farmers sought to вЂњinsureвЂќ themselves before the withdrawal of Nato combat forces by the end of this year. Cultivation amounted to 207,000 hectares in 2013 вЂ“ far outstripping the previous record of 193,000 hectares in 2007 and with Helmand accounting for 48%, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). вЂњFarmers may have driven up cultivation... trying to shore up their assets as insurance against an uncertain future,вЂќ a UNODC report said. Helmand, which shares a border to the east with the TalibanвЂ™s spiritual home of Kandahar, and with PakistanвЂ™s restive Baluchistan province to the south, has seen some of the п¬Ѓercest п¬Ѓghting of the war. Despite a mixture of peace deals and major pushes undertaken with US allies, coalition forces failed signiп¬Ѓcantly to dent the insurgents, who this year have redoubled their effortsвЂ” killing 7,000-9,000 Afghan security forces nationwide. A report by the respected Afghan Analysts Network in July detailed how a series of missteps allowed one district of Helmand to sink further into the hands of the insurgents. It said the districtвЂ™s вЂњshadow governorвЂќ, Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Qayum, was on the verge of switching sides in 2010 because he was incensed by the insurgentsвЂ™ brutality. But after months of secret communication with Afghan and British officials, Qayum and his entourage were bombed by US forces who hailed it as a triumph. The report also criticised the British-led Provincial Reconstruction Team for failing to deliver development projects that would have signalled good faith to Taliban commanders who had reined in violence, and subsequently allowing the п¬Ѓghting to return. вЂњIt was unfortunate that, although the coalition subscribed in public to the idea that the war in Afghanistan could only be resolved politically, military expediency usually trumped political necessity in practice,вЂќ it said. Brigadier-General Robert Thomson, the highest-ranking officer with the British forces, said he felt the time was right to hand over. вЂњWe look back with pride because the Afghans are ready to pick up the baton. TheyвЂ™ve been in the lead already since May 2013 and theyвЂ™ve done well. But there remain some challenges in security and government,вЂќ he said. His Afghan counterpart, Major-General Sayed Malok, said the large, sophisticated Camp Bastion base would be a huge help to local forces, but admitted they faced a tough п¬Ѓght. вЂњIt is true that the insecurities continue in Helmand. The Taliban and other terrorists... put most of their weight in Helmand. Some districts were under the Taliban control before, and some are still under their control,вЂќ he said. But on the ground, some locals are п¬Ѓercely critical about the British record in Helmand, drawing parallels with their illfated 19th-century colonial adventures. вЂњThe British troops have been defeated the second time in Helmand, the п¬Ѓrst time they were beaten almost a hundred years ago,вЂќ said Mohamed Ismail, a farmer from HelmandвЂ™s Musa Qala district. вЂњNow they are п¬‚eeing Helmand province. The Taliban are making progress and gaining ground, hundreds of their soldiers were killed and thousands were left wounded, but they are hiding the reality. It was a failed mission for them in Helmand.вЂќ Top Haqqani commander among dead in drone strike AFP Islamabad A US drone strike killed at least seven militants in PakistanвЂ™s restive tribal belt yesterday, including an important commander of the feared Haqqani network, security officials said. The attack happened early yesterday in Nargas village of Birmil area, some 30km west of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border which is considered a stronghold of Taliban militants. Officials and a militant source said four foreigners and an important commander from the ruthless Haqqani network, which is blamed for numerous bloody attacks in Afghanistan, were among those killed. вЂњAt least seven militants were killed in the drone strike,вЂќ an intelligence official based in Wana told AFP, adding that the dead included four foreigners and a top Haqqani commander. вЂњAbdullah Haqqani (the commander) was responsible for sending suicide bombers to Afghanistan,вЂќ the official said. Another official in the neighbouring garrison town of Bannu conп¬Ѓrmed the death toll and killing of the commander. A source in a militant group said that a vehicle loaded with arms and ammunition was also destroyed in the attack. South Waziristan is one of the seven lawless tribal dis- tricts of Pakistan that border Afghanistan. Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the sanctuaries in the North Waziristan tribal area, which militants have used to launch attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan. The Pakistani military launched a major offensive in North Waziristan in June and say they have killed more than 1,100 militants so far, with 100 soldiers losing their lives in the operation. The area is off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to independently verify the number and identity of the dead. The army assault was launched after a dramatic attack by militants on Karachi airport, which killed dozens of people and marked the end of faltering peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan routinely protests against US drone strikes, which have been targeting militants in the tribal areas since 2004, saying they violate its sovereignty and are counterproductive in the п¬Ѓght against terror. But most analysts believe the resumption of the drone programme after it was suspended at the start of t he year вЂ” reportedly to give Pakistan space for negotiations with the Taliban вЂ” is evidence of collusion between the two countries. The Islamabad government and military officials strongly deny this. Pakistan summons Indian diplomat PakistanвЂ™s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Indian Acting High Commissioner and lodged protest over the killing of a civilian in the firing by Indian Border Security Force deployed at Tashpura Post. PakistanвЂ™s Foreign Office spokesperson said that three Pakistani nationals were cutting grass in Shakargarh, Narowal, when they inadvertently crossed the international border. Indian BSF troops fired without any warning, injuring one Tauqir, while the other two managed to return, according to Radio Pakistan. A Company Commander level contact was established by Pakistan Rangers to take over the injured Pakistani, but the Indian forces refused and took the injured across the fence. Later, he passed away in the custody of BSF troops. The Indian high commissioner was informed that this act was in violation of the Border ground rules. вЂ�DisastrousвЂ™ campaign feeds PakistanвЂ™s polio spike Reuters Karachi, Pakistan T aliban militants have long been the scourge of PakistanвЂ™s polio vaccination campaign, attacking aid workers and the police who protect them as they distribute doses to children. But experts say there is another reason for the sharp spike in cases of the crippling disease in Pakistan this year - government mismanagement. вЂњPakistanвЂ™s polio programme is a disaster. It continues to п¬‚ounder hopelessly, as its virus п¬‚ourishes,вЂќ the Independent Monitoring Board, which advises agencies п¬Ѓghting polio, will say in a report to be released this week. The prime ministerвЂ™s polio cell was disbanded during 2013 elections, the new government delayed reconstituting it, and in recent months the prime minister has been consumed with protests in the capital that have only just ended. вЂњItвЂ™s frustrating. Eradicating polio is not rocket science,вЂќ said Elias Durry, head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) polio campaign in Pakistan. вЂњIf we could have three to п¬Ѓve months to have really good campaigns, then we could get rid of this disease,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe have been doing half-baked campaigns in high risk areas.вЂќ Polio was meant be a thing of the past. A global campaign came tantalisingly close to wiping out the disease altogether. Now polio, which can kill or paralyse a child in hours, is endemic only in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. So far this year, Pakistan has had 217 polio cases, a 14-year high accounting for 85% of instances around the world. The disease spreads easily from person to person, and Pakistan has already exported the virus to Syria, China, Israel and Egypt. Experts say complacency is not an option and the government has called the situation an вЂњemergencyвЂќ. Yet as the latest vaccination campaign kicked off this week in the broiling, garbage-strewn alleys of PakistanвЂ™s biggest city, Karachi, vaccination workers said they had not received stipends from the provincial government for months. Some have dropped out of the campaign in Karachi, a teeming city of 18mn people where the disease is entrenched. As teams prepared to venture out on vaccination missions into some of KarachiвЂ™s most dangerous streets, police deployed to protect them showed up late. Vaccinators must wait, meaning they miss children. Sometimes only a third of children in an area are vaccinated, the WHO said, and low coverage fuels new outbreaks. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took six months to appoint an official responsible for polio, and the government A polio worker (right) helps his colleague to arrange bottles of vaccine drops in a cooler before leaving the team support centre in Karachi. approved a funding plan only last month. That meant provinces did not pay workers their stipends of $2.50 a day on time, said Shahnaz Wazir Ali, a polio adviser to Sindh province in the south where Karachi is located. вЂњWe had a loss of about nine to 10 months, which is a very big setback,вЂќ Ali said. Ayesha Farooq, the prime ministerвЂ™s appointee on polio, admitted there were problems, but said that payment arrears were down to provincial, not central government. Most new cases were in areas where security was poor so children had not been vaccinated, she said, and denied that Sharif was not taking the issue seriously. вЂњWe have got to take responsibility for our weaknesses,вЂќ Farooq said. вЂњThe quality of campaigns is something we will be paying close attention to.вЂќ Emergency Operations Centres, which were meant to be op- erational by July, will not be ready until the end of November, she said. The IMB report said the delay вЂњspeaks volumes about the inertia of the programme in PakistanвЂќ. For frontline polio workers, late pay is less worrying than lack of protection. Sixty-four people have been killed in attacks on polio teams and their security escorts since 2012, when the Taliban banned vaccinations in areas they controlled. Their targets are women like 19-year-old medical student Asma Nizam, who received a death threat for taking part in the programme. вЂњA man came on a motorbike and said, вЂ�if you want to save your life, you should go from hereвЂ™,вЂќ she said. The next day, militants killed п¬Ѓve of her colleagues. As she prepared to visit Karachi slums on a vaccination mission last Monday, police sent to protect Nizam were three hours late. PakistanвЂ™s police are thinly spread, especially in crime-ridden Karachi where only 26,000 police watch over the huge city. Some are seconded as bodyguards for politicians. вЂњI have seen six police taking a VIPвЂ™s teenager to the salon but they cannot spare any officers to protect the poor children of Pakistan,вЂќ one health official burst out in exasperation. Karachi police spokesman Atiq Shaikh said the force was severely understaffed. вЂњPolio campaigns take 2,000 officers. But we always provide them with security even though we have some time constraints,вЂќ he said. A further hurdle is caution among families offered the treatment. Some believe Taliban propaganda that says vaccinations are a Western plot to sterilise children. Aiding polioвЂ™s spread has been this yearвЂ™s military offensive in the tribal region of North Waziristan, which drove nearly a million people out of the conп¬‚ict zone. The mass movement allowed workers to vaccinate children previously unreachable. But families also moved to areas where vaccination coverage was patchy, allowing polio to reestablish itself in cities where it had been eradicated, experts say. Children may need the oral vaccine up to 10 times for it to be effective. Many Pakistani children are malnourished or have diarrhoea so the vaccine is not absorbed. The unlucky ones may end up like Raп¬Ѓa, a chubby two-yearold with kohl-rimmed eyes. Her legs were partially paralysed after contracting polio this summer. вЂњShe was vaccinated whenever they came,вЂќ said her father Ghulam Isaq, a shopkeeper. He massaged her tiny toes as a group of black-robed polio vaccinators looked on, only their eyes visible above black niqabs covering their faces. вЂњWe need help even if we are poor,вЂќ Isaq said. вЂњWe are Pakistanis too.вЂќ Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 15 PHILIPPINES China is absorbing disputed areas: geopolitics expert Manila Times Makati C hina can slowly acquire more territory through its expansionist stance in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and later вЂњabsorb the regionвЂќ, a geopolitics experts said. Rodger Baker, vice president for East Asia and the Paciп¬Ѓc of Stratfor, said BeijingвЂ™s expansionism is вЂњpolitical, not militaryвЂќ, since none of the countries claiming ownership of small islands in the region will risk military action. вЂњSo China can slowly absorb the region,вЂќ Baker said during the Business Forum organised by The Manila Times. вЂњCertainly, building structure on the islands prevents others from doing the same, and in time of relative peace may give China slightly easier and more robust capabilities for maritime surveillance,вЂќ the Stratfor analyst explained. вЂњBut the main purpose of occupying the islands is not military. It is political,вЂќ he said. BeijingвЂ™s вЂњownershipвЂќ of the islands is further bolstered by the fact that it faces no concrete challenge. вЂњThis strengthens the reality of Chinese possession,вЂќ Baker pointed out. ChinaвЂ™s highly dynamic movements in the disputed territories, he further explained, changes the political reality there by easily redirecting attention when tensions arise. вЂњWhen tensions rise too high with a particular country, China can ease off, shift attention to a different country, or just use the perception of heightened tensions to drive a desire for an easing of stress,вЂќ Baker said. While the United States and other вЂњextraregional alliesвЂќ have expressed the desire for a legal settlement of the maritime disputes, these countries вЂњare not going to intervene on behalf of Southeast Asian nationsвЂќ, he added. вЂњIn ChinaвЂ™s perspective, [it] will lead to a realignment of political relations where the South- A view of a reef held by the Chinese in the Spratlys east Asian nations will п¬Ѓnd accommodation with China more beneп¬Ѓcial than attempts to oppose Chinese expansion,вЂќ Baker said. He observed that while ChinaвЂ™s unprecedented growth has pushed it to become a world economic superpower, it lags behind in terms of вЂњsoft power expansionвЂќ. вЂњThe disconnect between ChinaвЂ™s economic strength and the security role assumed by othersвЂ”namely the United StatesвЂ”highlights the imbalance of power in the region. In some ways, it has beneп¬Ѓted Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries, giving Asean states the ability to play off the big power competition for their own beneп¬Ѓt,вЂќ the Stratfor official said. Baker asserted that China will not вЂњdomi- nateвЂќ its smaller neighbours as colonial powers did in the past. вЂњChina is hoping to simply draw in their cooperation and concessions, a recreation of the ages-old Chinese system of regional political management,вЂќ he said. Also, according to Baker, Beijing cannot afford to have a confrontation with the Philippines because it would run counter to its maritime interests in the region. вЂњThe Philippines is a US treaty ally, and thus seen as part of a US containment strategy to hold China in. There is plenty of room for expanded economic cooperation with China, despite the political speed bumps.вЂќ The Philippine governmentвЂ™s п¬Ѓling of an ar- bitration case against China and openly seeking international support for ManilaвЂ™s claim to disputed shoals and islets in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) may only be fanning nationalism among the Chinese who believe that the contested parts of the sea are theirs. According to former ambassador Roberto Romulo, BeijingвЂ™s assertion of the nine-dash line principle in proving its ownership of the disputed territories are among the вЂњlong-held beliefsвЂќ of the Chinese people that the area was theirs dating back to the Chin Dynasty. Speaking during a business forum organised by The Manila Times, the former envoy also criticised the government for вЂњnot being good at restraintвЂќ. He said the Aquino administrationвЂ™s moves to prove sovereignty over these islands naturally come as вЂњprovocativeвЂќ to the Chinese. вЂњAligning ourselves with the US and Japan and seeking world opinion should not be done in a public and provocative manner. It will fuel nationalism from the Chinese,вЂќ Romulo explained. Earlier this year, the government through the department of foreign affairs (DFA) п¬Ѓled a вЂњmemorialвЂќ with the International Tribunal on the Laws of the Sea contesting ChinaвЂ™s claims to the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea based on its nine-dash line rule. In September, Aquino sought the backing of the European Union in ManilaвЂ™s move against Beijing, invoking the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea where China is a signatory. But these tactics, Romulo noted, do not sit well with China. He said it is impossible for the Chinese government to strike a compromise because it will be perceived as an act of treason. вЂњIf you look at the interior of China, aside from these substantive issues, [we have to know] ChinaвЂ™s current political dynamics. Realising this help to calibrate [PH] response,вЂќ Romulo noted, adding that thereвЂ™s вЂњuniversal public supportвЂќ in the mainland for its govern- Zombie run ment toward its policies in the contested seas. вЂњPublic support has devolvedвЂ¦ Chinese [ownership] extends back to the Chin Dynasty. It is impossible for any Chinese government to compromise [because] compromise will be perceived as betrayal of the nationвЂ™s sovereignty,вЂќ he pointed out. The former Foreign Affairs official maintained that it will be вЂњdifficult to imagine a major shift in ChinaвЂ™s position until [there is a] new eldership bold enough to run counter along that long-held belief [of ownership over the territories].вЂќ He said while there is no quick п¬Ѓx or вЂњmagic solutionвЂќ to the problem, вЂњsubtletyвЂќ and вЂњrestraintвЂќ on the part of the Philippine government may do the trick in the long haul. вЂњThere is no magic solution here other than the virtues of patience, perseverance and it is important to have that level of restraint, where we are not very good at, and subtlety,вЂќ Romulo added. He said China and the Philippines should seriously consider joint use and exploration of the disputed areas and set aside the issue of sovereignty since none of the claimants are inclined to give up such. вЂњ[Many] Chinese have all proposed shelving sovereignty and [resort to] joint use. Claimants should work together for maritime cooperation and joint development, maintain peace and stability, reduce tensions,вЂќ Romulo added. Earlier, the former ambassador claimed that ChinaвЂ™s rise as an economic superpower is inevitable, making it imperative for the Philippines to rekindle and even strengthen its ties with Beijing. The chairman of AIG Philippine Insurance Inc., he said Philippine leaders must face the future and accept ChinaвЂ™s вЂњpreeminence.вЂќ вЂњWhy should we care to bring our relations to normalcy? Because [ChinaвЂ™s rise] is a reality that we have to accept. [Thus it follows that] engagement and mutual accommodation [are] unavoidable,вЂќ Romulo added. Rebuilding plan cleared a year after typhoon Reuters Manila A A man wearing a zombie costume chases participants during a Zombie Run held as part of Halloween celebrations in Marikina city, east of Manila yesterday. Abu Sayyaf releases captive Agencies Zamboanga City T he Abu Sayyaf Group has released an eight-year-girl after three months in captivity in the southern province of Sulu, police said yesterday. Police senior superintendent Abraham Orbita said the victim, who was seized from a store in her hometown Olutanga in Zam-boanga Sibugay on July 25, was freed in the town of Jolo on Wednesday afternoon. Citing a police intelligence report, Orbita said the girl was handed over to her brother and father, who paid a still unde- termined amount of ransom to a woman wearing niqab at the port of Jolo. The negotiation was conducted by the victimвЂ™s family. Orbita said the trio then went to the house of a relative who is a policeman where they brieп¬‚y stayed before heading to Zamboanga City on a ferry. No other details were made available by the police. The girl, whose family operates a small restaurant in Olutanga town, was reunited with her parents. She was seized by п¬Ѓve armed men and brought to Sulu where she had been kept since then. The release of the girl came two weeks after Abu Sayyaf members released German Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Hen- rike Diesen, 55, in exchange for a P250mn ransom. The Germans were heading to Sabah in Malaysia on a private yacht after a vacation in Palawan province when they were spotted and seized by Abu Sayyaf members who were returning to Mindanao from a failed kidnapping in Sabah on April 25. Another Abu Sayyaf faction is holding Malaysian п¬Ѓsh breeder Chan Sai Chuin, 32, and a Filipino worker who were seized from a п¬Ѓsh farm in the town of Kunak in Tawau District in Sabah on June this year. The militants are demanding 3mn ringgits for the safe release of the п¬Ѓsh breeder. The rebels also seized Malaysian policeman Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, on June 12 following a clash in Sabah that killed another policeman. The militants are demanding 5mn ringgits (P68.3mn). The Abu SayyafвЂ™s other hostages are 64-year-old Japanese treasure hunter Katayama Mamaito, who was kidnapped from Pangutaran Island in July 2010; European wildlife photographers Ewold Horn, 52, from The Netherlands and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, from Switzerland, who were snatched in the coastal village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi province in 2012; and several Filipinos kidnapped in other provinces and brought to Sulu. The military said the rebels are hiding in civilian communities and have moved their hostages from one hideout to another making it extremely difficult for security forces to track them down. lmost a year after a super typhoon devastated wide areas of the central Philippines killing thousands, President Benigno Aquino only this week approved a $3.74bn master plan to rebuild housing, social services and public infrastructure. Typhoon Haiyan wiped out or damaged practically everything in its path as it swept ashore on November 8, 2013, with 7m storm surges destroying around 90% of the city of Tacloban in Leyte province. Haiyan killed or left missing close to 8,000 people and displaced as many as four million. It was not immediately clear why AquinoвЂ™s approval took so long but the mayor of Tacloban said on Tuesday fewer than 100 of 14,500 promised permanent homes had been built there and that thousands were still living in danger zones, including in tents. The government has blamed the delays on bureaucracy, availability of land for resettlement and scarce resources. вЂњThe national governmentвЂ™s commitment (is) to implement over 25,000 rehabilitation and recovery speciп¬Ѓc plans, programmes and activities,вЂќ communications secretary Herminio Coloma told reporters in Malacanang presidential palace yesterday. вЂњThe recovery plans are based on the principle of вЂ�build back betterвЂ™ by focusing on long-term, sustainable efforts to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen capacities of communities to cope with future hazard events.вЂќ Apart from housing con- cerns, data from the office of presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery showed the government had rebuilt only 6km of 116km of damaged major roads. The data, as of September this year, shows the government has completed only six of 43 damaged ports, 213 of 19,600 classrooms, 21 of 161 civic centres and three of 34 bridges. The government plan foresees more than 205,000 permanent houses being built for about 4mn people. The six-year plan was prepared in August but only signed on Wednesday. The government has released about 51.9bn pesos ($1.15bn) for the initial recovery work but only 450 homes would be completed and ready for turn over to displaced families on November 8, the п¬Ѓrst year anniversary of the typhoon. About 75.6bn pesos would be spent on new townships where homes, once built, would be able to withstand winds of 250kph. Alison Kent, Oxfam humanitarian policy adviser, said some administrative processes and land governance issues were to blame for delays in moving thousands of people from tents to permanent homes. вЂњWe feel local authorities, right now, are struggling to п¬Ѓnd and acquire appropriate and safe land for resettlement sites,вЂќ she said. Politics and corruption could also be reasons, said Rosario Bella Guzman, head of research of Ibon Foundation, an independent development agency. вЂњSome government agencies are saying that the fund releases from the government did not end up for what they were intended,вЂќ Guzman said. 16 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL Jamaat activists on rampage, attack home of HasinaвЂ™s kin By Mizan Rahman Dhaka M ost shops downed their shutters in Dhaka yesterday as Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chattra Shibir started a three-day general strike called in protest against death sentence awarded to its party chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for his 1971 war crimes. Activists of the Islamist party went on rampage in most of the district towns while in the Bangladesh capital, ringed by the troops of Border Guard Bangladesh and elite security outп¬Ѓt Rapid Action Battalion, they adopted just hit-and-run tactics. A bus was set on п¬Ѓre in Dhaka city while the RAB seized eight abandoned handmade bombs in the capital. The п¬Ѓre service said a parked bus at the cityвЂ™s Shyampur was set aп¬Ѓre at around 2.30pm. вЂњIt was an empty bus and parked. So no one was injured. Two п¬Ѓre-п¬Ѓghting units rushed to spot and put out the п¬Ѓre,вЂќ Fire Service Control Room incharge Ataur Rahman told newsmen. In the cityвЂ™s Hazaribagh area, eight handmade bombs were found in front of a house, said RAB-2 Operations Ofп¬Ѓcer Maruf Ahmad. The Khulna city home of Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaвЂ™s paternal cousins, MP Sheikh Helal Uddin and Sheikh Soheil, were attacked on the eve of Jamaat-e-IslamiвЂ™s strike. Police said assailants on two motorcycles п¬Ѓred several rounds at the house in Khulna cityвЂ™s Sher-e-Bangla Road. Sheikh Soheil, a director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), was not at home. Four bullet marks were seen on the front gate and a wall. Sonadanga Model Police Officer-inCharge (OC) Maruf Ahammed said four policemen in charge of the buildingвЂ™s security have been suspended. вЂњFive rounds were shot from an alley opposite to the houseвЂ™s main entrance,вЂќ he said. According to the local ruling Awami League, п¬Ѓve masked men on two motorcycles п¬Ѓred at the house on Wednesday night. вЂњOne bullet hit the office on the ground п¬‚oor, another hit a wall inside, two struck at the gate, and police recovered a stray bullet,вЂќ Khulna Metropolitan Jubo League unitвЂ™s Joint Secretary Hafez Md Shamim said. No one was hurt in the п¬Ѓring, and neither Sheikh Sohel nor his other brother Sheikh Rubel was at home during the shooting, he said. Senior officials of the Khulna Metropolitan Police, including Commissioner Nibash Chandra Majhi, visited the spot. The house at the cityвЂ™s Sher-e-Bangla Road was originally built by Sheikh Abu Naser, younger brother of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His sons, Sheikh Sohel and Sheikh Rubel, currently live in the house. Their other two brothers, MP Sheikh Helal Uddin and Sheikh Jewel live in Dhaka. вЂњWe have been always a target of the anti-liberation forces. The п¬Ѓring is a consequence of that,вЂќ said Sohel. His father Sheikh Naser was killed on August 15, 1975, when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated with most members of his family. In Bogra district town, hand-made bombs were hurled at a police car from a procession by Jamaat-e-Islami supporters. Jamaat supporters threw two bombs at a police patrol car from a procession at the townвЂ™s PTI intersection Thursday morning, said Sadar Police Officer-inCharge Faizur Rahman. вЂњPolice dispersed the group by п¬Ѓring tear-gas shells,вЂќ he said. Activists of the Jamaat and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir brought out sporadic processions from various parts of the town. Labourers take a nap at the Karwan bazar wholesale market in Dhaka, during the countrywide strike. They poured petrol on the roads and set it alight, said police and witnesses. Earlier, 87 people, including 15 Shibir activists were detained during latenight raids on Wednesday. Three local weapons were recovered, said OC Faizur. Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) along with the police were working to secure the town during the strike. Meanwhile, the police, in a drive, detained Jamaat-e-IslamiвЂ™s Rajshahi district unit chief Ataur Rahman, from Tekhadia area of the district. The law enforcers detained Ataur in special drive early yesterday. Motihar police station Officer-inCharge (OC) Alamgir Hossain said: вЂњActing on a tip-off, police raided the house of Masum and arrested Ataur at around 2am.вЂќ Police also detained four activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir from Rajshahi town while picketing the area. The OC said: вЂњThe other Shibir activists were arrested from Hadirmor area.вЂќ He said additional police forces were deployed in different important points of the district to avert further untoward situation. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami activists clashed with police at Rajshahi city. The activists took out sudden processions and blocked roads by setting п¬Ѓre. Police arrested the head of JamaatвЂ™s metropolitan unit Ataur Rahman and six other activists of the party and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir from a pro-shutdown procession at Baghmara. The activists were demonstrating by setting п¬Ѓre on the streets using petrol in three points of Rajshahi city. They clashed with police at Dingadoba. вЂњJamaat-Shibir activists blocked the Hadir Mor setting п¬Ѓre pouring patrol on the street around 7am. They ran away after RAB members went there,вЂќ said Boalia Model Police OC Khandaker Noor Hossain. At Shalbagan, they put tree trunks on the road to block it and demonstrated there around 8am. They also п¬‚ed after a police team reached the site. At Tultuliparha of Dingadoba at the city bypass, they set п¬Ѓre using patrol to block the road at 7:30am. When police reached the site, the demonstrator started pelting brickbats at them, resulting in a clash with the police. Police п¬Ѓred several rounds of blank shots to disband the group. Motihar Police OC Alamgir Hossain said Rajshahi city unit chief of Jamaat, Ataur Rahman, was arrested from his home in the early hours yesterday. вЂњHe was arrested on charges of planning and directing party workers to commit violence.вЂќ Meanwhile, the six arrested at Bagmara were yet to be identiп¬Ѓed, said OC Abu Obaida Khan. вЂњTheyвЂ™re all Jamaat-Shibir activists. They were nabbed while planning to stage vandalism from a procession they took out at Bagmara SadarвЂ™s Bhabaniganj.вЂќ Reports of clashes between the Jamaat activists and police from other districts have started reaching Dhaka. The JamaatвЂ™s second round of shutdown begins early Sunday to dawn on Tuesday. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she is not worried about the suspected plan by banned militant group JamaвЂ™atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to assassinate her. вЂњI have nothing to be worried much. Because, I have been living an extended life,вЂќ she said adding: вЂњI have come under attacks again and again.вЂќ The premier said while commenting on media reports that IndiaвЂ™s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has uncovered a suspected plot by JMB to assassinate Hasina and carry out a coup. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina once again rejected any possibility of early parliamentary elections as demanded by BNP and some other opposition parties. вЂњAn election has been held and the next election will take place on time,вЂќ she said while replying to a question made referring to her pre-election speech where she described the January 5 polls as constitutional necessity. The premier was addressing a press conference on her recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The conference was held at her official Gono Bhaban residence. Criticising the European Union (EU) for its concern over awarding of capital punishment to Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, Sheikh Hasina said the trial and punishment of human rights violators will be held as per the law of the land. вЂњThey always express concern over the rights of those who have violated human rights. . . How will terrorism and militancy be stopped?вЂќ she asked. Sheikh Hasina categorically said terrorism and militancy will have to be uprooted from Bangladesh and human rights will have to be protected. вЂњTo do this, the human rights violators will have to be brought to justice as per the provisions existing in the country,вЂќ she said. She said the trial of war criminals is nothing new. вЂњThe trial of war criminals after the World War-II is still ongoing. Whether they are 90 years old or 100 years....why they did not stop the trial?вЂќ вЂњAre the people of the country not human beings?вЂќ she asked. вЂњThey raped, looted, torched and killed intellectuals... everybody knows who was Nizami,вЂќ she said. 5 Indian smugglers sentenced to death AFP Colombo A Sri Lankan security personnel recovering some books and documents from a landslide destroyed home at Meeriyabedda. Heavy rains hit mudslide search effort in Sri Lanka AFP Colombo H eavy rains disrupted a massive search yesterday for scores of people feared buried in a landslide on a Sri Lankan tea estate, further dimming prospects of п¬Ѓnding anyone alive. Hundreds of troops suspended their work as rains threatened more mudslides at the plantation in central Sri Lanka, a day after scores of tin-roofed homes were buried under tonnes of mud. вЂњWe are suspending the search operation because it is not safe to work in this rain,вЂќ the regionвЂ™s top military officer, major general Mano Perera, told reporters. вЂњWe hope to start work tomorrow morning if the weather improves.вЂќ Perera said they failed to п¬Ѓnd any survivors or bodies from the disaster site yesterday. He did not hold out much hope of п¬Ѓnding survivors as the site was covered in tonnes of mud. вЂњThere were no concrete structures which could have acted as air traps for victims to survive,вЂќ he added. Shop keeper Vevaratnam Marathamuttu said he ran when tonnes of earth came crashing down the hill on Wednesday morning, fearing there had been an explosion. вЂњI thought it was some sort of a bomb blast and п¬‚ed from my shop,вЂќ Marathamuttu said. вЂњI saved my life because I ran away.вЂќ Truck driver Sinniah Yogarajan, 48, said there was вЂњno point in my livingвЂќ after п¬Ѓve members of his family along with his friends were buried in the disaster. вЂњThe entire neighbourhood has vanished. Now there is a river of mud where our houses once stood,вЂќ Yogarajan told AFP at a nearby school where survivors were sheltering. вЂњThe soldiers are trying their best but every time they scoop out some of the mud the hole then just gets п¬Ѓlled up again with more mud.вЂќ Although only a handful of bodies have been recovered so far, the governmentвЂ™s disaster management minister voiced fears on Wednesday night that 100 people may have been buried after he visited the site. There had been fears of an even higher toll when officials initially said that up to 300 people were unaccounted for, but the minister said most of those who were classiп¬Ѓed as missing were later found at work. Some 75 children were already at their school nearby when their homes were buried, officials said, adding that they were checking on reports that at least two children had lost both parents. President Mahinda Rajapakse visited the disaster area in Koslanda yesterday, speaking with survivors now sheltering at two schools. He later inspected the Meeriyabedda tea plantation which bore the full brunt of the mudslide. During the day, soldiers were seen clearing debris from the mud, as curious onlookers as well as survivors whose relatives were missing gathered at the site despite appeals to stay away. Labourer Arumugam Thyagarajah, 28, said his six-year-old daughter was washed away in the mudslide as she walked with her older brother to school. At least 1,200 people from nearby tea plantations have also been evacuated from their homes amid fears that ongoing rains could lead to more mudslides, ofп¬Ѓcials said adding that more people were expected at relief centres. Sri LankaвЂ™s picturesque hill region is famed for producing Ceylon tea and has become a major tourist attraction with visitors able to stay on the plantations. The number of homes destroyed was revised down to 63 from 150 given earlier by the national Disaster Management Centre (DMC). Sri Lankan court sentenced five Indians and three locals to death yesterday after finding them guilty of smuggling drugs onto the island while claiming to be fishermen. Colombo High Court judge Preethi Surasena convicted all eight men who were arrested in November 2011 off the islandвЂ™s northern coast carrying heroin, a court official said. Drug convictions carry a mandatory death sentence which is almost always commuted to life in prison. Sri Lanka has not carried out an execution since 1976. вЂњThey claimed they were genuine п¬Ѓshermen, but the court upheld evidence that they transported nearly a kilo of heroin from India to Sri Lanka,вЂќ the unnamed official said. The official said the men claimed they were in Indian waters at the time of their arrest, but recordings from their onboard navigational equipment showed they were in fact in Sri Lankan waters. The п¬Ѓve Indians from the southern Indian state Climber dies in Nepal DPA Kathmandu A US woman has died on the 8,163m Mount Manaslu in Nepal, authorities said yesterday. Police said the 49-year-old woman died on the way up the mountain, at a height of 6,300m. She collapsed on her way up on Wednesday and died immediately, according to police. Her body was airlifted to KathmanduвЂ™s Teaching Hospital for autopsy yesterday. She was in an expedition with six other foreign climbers. of Tamil Nadu were expected to appeal to Sri LankaвЂ™s Supreme Court. вЂњNow that the lower court has given its judgement, we intend through our High Commission to appeal to a higher court,вЂќ Indian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told the NDTV network in New Delhi. Fishermen from the two countries straying into each othersвЂ™ waters is a thorny issue for Colombo and Delhi. Tamil Nadu has repeatedly accused Sri LankaвЂ™s navy of harassing their п¬Ѓshermen and urged Delhi to take п¬Ѓrm action against Colombo. Sri Lanka denies the charges, and says Indian п¬Ѓshermen are regularly straying into Sri Lankan waters and depriving local п¬Ѓshermen of their livelihood. The two countries are separated by a narrow strip of sea known as the Palk Strait which is also a rich п¬Ѓshing ground. During the height of Sri LankaвЂ™s separatist war in the islandвЂ™s northeast, close to southern India, п¬Ѓshing provided a cover for lucrative smuggling of arms and fuel to the rebels. Sri Lankan authorities say smugglers are now bringing narcotics into the island for shipping to other destinations. Former mayor indicted for graft By Mizan Rahman Dhaka A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against former mayor of Dhaka city and Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka in a case п¬Ѓled against him by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) for amassing wealth illegally. Dhaka senior special judge Md Jahurul Haq framed charges against Khoka after rejecting a time petition п¬Ѓled by his lawyer and п¬Ѓxed November 16 for staring the trial. BNP vice-chairman Khoka was not present at the court yesterday as he is now in the USA for medical treatment. ACC assistant director Md Shamsul Alam п¬Ѓled the case against Khoka, his wife Ismat Ara, daughter Sarika Sadeq and son Ishraq Hossain with Ramna Police Station on December 6, 2007. Md Shamsul Alam, also the investigation officer of the case, submitted a chargesheet against Khoka and his wife on April 2, 2008. According to the case statement, Khoka submitted his wealth statement to the ACC concealing information about his wealth worth 99.7mn taka in 2007. Khoka earlier held the strategic post of convener of Dhaka city unit of the BNP and was replaced by Mirza Abbas. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 17 THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH Muharram: The month of Allah M uslims must fear Allah and take lessons from what Allah has told us in the QurвЂ™an regarding the Prophets and Messengers of Allah and the previous nations. Allah said (which means): вЂњIndeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the QurвЂ™an) is not a forged statement, but a conп¬Ѓrmation of AllahвЂ™s existing books (the Torah, the Injeel, and other Scriptures of Allah), a detailed explanation of everything, and a guide and a mercy for the people who believe.вЂќ (Yusuf 12: 111) And among the stories that Allah has narrated to us in His Book is what happened in AllahвЂ™s month,(1) the sacred month of Muharram,(2) and that is the story of Prophet Moosa, and Pharaoh the tyrant of Egypt, in the QurвЂ™an, Allah tells us this story, which means, вЂњWe recite to you some of the news of Moosa and Pharaoh in truth, for a people who believe (i.e. those who believe (ie those who believe in this QurвЂ™an and in the Oneness of Allah). Verily, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (Bani IsraaвЂ™eel) among them, killing their sons and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the mufsidoon (those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors and tyrants). And We wished to do a favour for those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors, and rulers and to make them the inheritors, and to establish them in the land, and We let Pharaoh and Haamaan (a minister of Pharaoh) and their hosts receive from them that which they feared.вЂќ (Al-Qasas 28:3-6) Pharaoh dominated the nation of IsraaвЂ™eel and enslaved them, killing their newborn sons but letting their females live. The reason he committed this criminal act was the fear of the truth coming out from one of those newborn males. The nation of IsraaвЂ™eel used to know, according to what came to them from Prophet Ibraheem, that someone from his lineage would destroy the king of Egypt. These glad tidings were famous among the nation of IsraaвЂ™eel; and the news of it was made known to Pharaoh. Pharaoh ordered his soldiers to kill all newborn boys of the nation of IsraaвЂ™eel; on order to secure himself from destruction. However, all of the precautions that he made were not enough to protect him from what Allah wanted, which was for this newborn boy to be raised in the house of Pharaoh. The will of Allah cannot be stopped by any precautions and His ability conquers anything. So Allah chose for the Prophet Moosa to be born safely, to be saved from being killed, and also to be raised in PharaohвЂ™s own home under the protection of Allah until he was an adult. Later Moosa accidentally killed a person from PharaohвЂ™s people. Moosa was afraid that he would be captured and be killed for this, so he п¬‚ed to the land of Madyan and abided there for some time. He married there and then returned to Egypt. On the way back Allah talked to him (by wahy)(3) revelation and told him he was a prophet and the Messenger to Pharaoh. Allah told him many signs by which he will be known as the prophet of Allah and they would show that he was a true prophet. Moosa went to Pharaoh and showed him the signs of Allah but Pharaoh was arrogant and stubborn. Allah says (which means): вЂњHas there come to you the story of Moosa? When his Lord called him in the Valley of Tuwaa. вЂ�Go to Pharaoh, verily he has transgressed all bounds (in crimes, sins, polytheism and disbelief). And say to hi, вЂ�Would you purify yourself (from the sin of disbelief and by becoming a believer). And that I guide you to your Lord, so you should fear him?вЂ™ Then (Moosa) An aerial view of the walk way leading to the pillars where pilgrims throw stone (centre tents) during вЂњJamaratвЂќ ritual, the stoning of Satan, in Mina near the holy city of Makkah. showed him the great signs (miracles). But (Pharaoh) belied and disobeyed; then he turned his back, striving hard against (Allah). Then he gathered his people and cried aloud, saying, вЂ�I am you lord, most high.вЂ™вЂ™вЂ™(An-NaaziвЂ™aat 79: 15-24) Pharaoh claimed that the signs Moosa brought were only magic and that he had magic that would overtake the magic of Moosa. So Pharaoh gathered magicians from his kingdom and they presented their magic, and Moosa presented what he had from the signs, which Allah had given him. Allah said (which means): вЂњThus truth was conп¬Ѓrmed, and all that they did was made of no effect. So they were defeated there and then, and were returned disgraced. And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. They said, вЂ�We believe in the Lord of the вЂ�Aalameen (i.e. all that exists), the Lord of Moosa and Haaroon (Aaron).вЂ™вЂќ (Al-AвЂ™araf 7: 118-122) At that time Pharaoh decided to try a different plan - fear, force and retaliation. Allah told Moosa to get every believer out of Egypt and direct them to where Allah would tell him. Pharaoh gathered his army and forces, which were around one million soldiers according to the seerah, and he chased Moosa and his people, hoping to destroy them completely. Moosa ended up at the sea with Pharaoh and his army behind him. The believers were afraid because the sea was in front of them and the enemy was behind them. Allah says (which means): вЂњAnd when the two hosts saw each other, the people of Moosa, said, вЂ�We are sure to be overtaken. (Moosa) said, вЂ�Nay, verily! With me is my Lord and He will guide me!вЂ™вЂќ (Ash-ShuвЂ™araa 26: 61-62) Whoever is close to Allah, Allah will never let him down or leave him on his own. Allah ordered Moosa to strike the sea with his staff. Moosa did so and the sea opened up for them to cross: Allah says (which means): вЂњAnd indeed We inspired Moosa (saying): вЂ�Travel by night with вЂ�Ibaadi (My slaves) and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken (by Pharaoh) nor being afraid (of drowning).вЂќ (Taaha 20: 77) Moosa walked across the path that opened in the sea and the last of his people left the sea and every soldier of PharaohвЂ™s army was inside the path. At this time Allah ordered the sea to collapse upon them, drowning Pharaoh and his army. That was the victory of the truth over falsehood. The promise of Allah was true - He made the people of Moosa victorious over Pharaoh and his army. From this story we see how the truth is victorious, regardless of the size or seeming power of falsehood. Falsehood has its own limited time, but the truth is always victorious. This story should enrich the hearts of the believers and make them steadfast in the face of their enemies, regardless of size or seeming power of their enemies. The believer should also beneп¬Ѓt from this story by understanding that the people of falsehood claim that they are on the right path and are calling people to the truth. In fact, the opposite is true-they rely on lies and deception. Pharaoh said to his people, вЂњI guide you only to the path of right policy!вЂќ (Ghaaп¬Ѓr 40:29) But he was a liar. From this story we also see that whoever knows the truth and truly believes in it will not lose, regardless of what he or she endures of torment, torture or even death. An example is of the magicians. When they knew the truth, they believed in Allah and in the message of Moosa. Allah says (which means): вЂњSo the magicians fell down prostrate. They said, вЂ�We believe in the Lord of Haaroon and Moosa.вЂ™вЂќ (Taaha 20:70). Pharaoh threatened to crucify them, but they were strong in their belief and refused to return to disbelief after believing. Allah said (which means): вЂњPharaoh said, вЂ�Believe you in him (Moosa) before I give you permission? Verily! He is your chief who taught you magic. So surely I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of palm-trees, and you shall; know which of us, (I, Pharaoh) or the Lord of Moosa (Allah) can give the severe and more lasting torment.вЂ™ They said, вЂ�We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world.вЂ™ вЂ�Verily! We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better (as regards in comparison to your punishment).вЂ™ Verily! Whoever comes to his Lord as a mujrim (criminal, sinner, polytheist, disbeliever in the oneness of Allah and in His messengers) then surely, for him is Hell, therein he will neither die nor live. But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer (in the oneness of Allah) and has done righteous deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter).вЂќ (Taaha 20:71-75) We also derived from this story the lesson that falsehood, regardless of how big or the number of its adherents, will be defeated by the truth and the people of the truth are patient with whatever they are facing. This is an example of an arrogant tyrant with power, an army and a kingdom which he ruled, who pursued a few who had no munitions or other means (of defence), but Allah was with them and they had the force of Imaan in their hearts. Allah gave them His victory, His guidance, His help; and in a single moment the forces of falsehood were destroyed. PharaohвЂ™s forces were destroyed in the sea and as Allah said (which means): вЂњWe п¬‚ing (send down ) the truth against the falsehood, so it (truth) destroys it, and behold, it (falsehood) is vanished.вЂќ (Al-Anbiyaa 21: 18) We also learn that Allah tests the prophets and the believers, and the tests are sometimes very difficult, but in the end, victory is for the prophets and the believers. Allah is with the prophets and the believers in victory and guidance. Allah says (which means): вЂњTruly, Allah is with those who fear him, keep their duty unto Him, and those who are Muhsinoon (doers of good, those who perform good deeds solely for the sake of Allah and in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet).вЂќ (An-Nahl 16: 128) As Muslims, we should always fear Allah and consider these lessons and not follow the ways of those who were disobedient to Allah; but rather to obey the Prophet and follow his guidance as Allah told us, which means, вЂњIndeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.вЂќ (Al-Ahzaab 33: 21) This great event - the victory Allah gave Moosa and the believers over Pharaoh and his army - occurred on the 10th of the sacred month of Muharram and the day is called Yaumul Aashoorah (the day of вЂ�Aashoorah). It is a day that has great merit. Prophet Moosa fasted on that day, and ordered the people to fast that day. Ibn вЂ�Abbass reported that when the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu вЂ�alaihi wa sallam) arrived in Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on the day of Aashoorah. The Messenger of Allah asked them, вЂњWhat is the signiп¬Ѓcance of this day that you fast on?вЂќ They said, вЂњIt is the day of great signiп¬Ѓcance when Allah delivered Moosa and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Moosa observed fast out of gratitude, and we also observe it.вЂќ Upon this, the Messenger of Allah said, вЂњWe have more right and we have a closer connection (awlaa) to Moosa than you have. So AllahвЂ™s Messenger fasted (on the day of вЂ�Aashoorah ) and gave orders that it should be observed. (4) According to Muslim, the Prophet said of fasting on вЂ�Aashoorah that вЂњIt is an expiation (of sins) for the previous year.вЂќ(5) According to many authentic ahaadith, fasting on вЂ�Aashoorah was obligatory, but later made voluntary when the obligation of fasting the month of Ramadan was revealed in the QurвЂ™an.(6) The Prophet fasted on the day of вЂ�Aashoora and commanded that people should fast on that day. The sahaabah (his companions) said, вЂњMessenger of Allah, it is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in high esteem.вЂќ Thereupon the Messenger of Allah said, вЂ�вЂњWhen the next year comes, inshaa вЂ�Allah, we would fast on the 9th (i.e. the ninth as well as the 10th in order to differ from the disbelievers).вЂќ But the Messenger of Allah died before the advent of the next year.(7) Therefore we should fast that day and one day before it (the 9th), following the ProphetвЂ™s Sunnah and looking for the reward from Allah.(8) We also beneп¬Ѓt from the story of Moosa by learning that the Sunnah of the Prophets is to thank and praise Allah in times of peace and when they gain victory over their enemies. Moosa fasted on the 10th, the day on which Allah made his followers victorious over Pharaoh; and this is another sign that the truth will always defeat falsehood. The Prophet fasted on this day thanking Allah for the victory of the people of the truth over the people of falsehood. The victory in that time was for Moosa, but the Sunnah of the prophets is one. This is the jihaad against the disbelievers - to make the word of Allah the highest on earth. Victory always comes from Allah and victory is a niвЂ™mah (bounty) from Allah for which we must thank Allah by being obedient to Him. Some people nowadays create bidвЂ™ah (innovation in the deen), and deviant slogans and hold demonstrations, or invent a state of mourning for themselves on this day. NOTES: 1 The Prophet said, вЂњThe most excellent fast after Ramadan is AllahвЂ™s month, Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is praying during the night.вЂќ (Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2 page 569 no.2611 ) 2 The sacred months are four: Dhul-QaвЂ™dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. See QurвЂ™an, At-Tawbah 9: 36-37. Waging war, killing and plunder are prohibited during these months. It is prohibited to intentionally violate the sanctity of one of the months and then make up for it, as the pre-Islamic Arabs used to do in order to give themselves a military edge. However, if you are attacked during one of these months, it is permitted, as mentioned in the ayah 2:194 to attack them as you were attacked. 3. by revelation 4 Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2 page 551 no. 2520 5 Saheeh Muslim 6 Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2 page 548 no. 2499 7 Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2 page 552 no. 2528 8 We may only single out this day as a day of fasting and not a day of celebration. Abu Moosa reported that the people of Khaybar (most of them were Jews) observed fast on the day of вЂ�Aashoorah and they treated it as вЂњEid and gave their women ornaments and beautiful dresses to wear. The Messenger of Allah said, вЂњYou (only) fast on this day.вЂќ (Saheeh Muslim) Tussle with Satan There are many among us who do not take Satan seriously. There are still others who simply laugh to scorn at the idea. For those who wish to know the truth about Satan and his clan and their technique, we quote from the QurвЂ™an вЂ“ the book of вЂњassured certainty.вЂќ вЂњAnd surely We created you and then gave you shape, then We told the Angels вЂ�Prostrate to AdamвЂ™, and they prostrated, except Iblees, he refused to be one of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: вЂ�What prevented you (O Iblees) that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?вЂ™ Iblees said: вЂ�I am better than he (Adam). You created me from fire and him You created from clay.вЂ™ (Allah) said: вЂ�Get you (O Iblees) down from this, it is not for you to be arrogant here, get out, for you are of the meanest ones.вЂ™ (Iblees) said: вЂ�Respite me till the Day they are raised up (ie the Day of Resurrection).вЂ™ (Allah) said: вЂ�You are of the respited.вЂ™ (Iblees) said: вЂ�Because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path.вЂ™ (7:11-16) After going through the above verses there could be no reason to be sceptical about Satan. He is one who defied his Lord out of sheer arrogance. He thought too highly of himself and too contemptuously of Adam who he took to be a murky creature made of clay. He overlooked the fact that the Lord had made Adam with His own hands and had breathed into him His Word. Satan was humbled for his haughtiness, declared an outlaw and avowed enemy of Adam and Eve. FIRST VICTIMS: Adam and Eve were thus his first victims and unfortunately for all of us, they fell in SatanвЂ™s lap like a ripe apple. Their error of judgment cost them their peaceful abode in Heaven вЂ“ they were thrown out: Adam to execute GodвЂ™s plan and to establish His kingdom on earth and Satan to try his worst to undo it. THE TUSSLE: The tussle which started with the first man goes on with ever-increasing fury. SatanвЂ™s first step is to put man off his guard and then to lead him to the wrong direction to pursue the path of divine disobedience. His second step is to demoralise him through open and concealed threats as the Holy QurвЂ™an says: вЂњ(Satan) commands you only what is evil and sinful and that you should say against Allah what you know not.вЂќ (2:169) вЂњSatan threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit sins; whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creaturesвЂ™ needs, All-Knower.вЂќ (2:268) Ordinarily one would not fall in SatanвЂ™s trap but there are ever so many who are not so careful. Satan is in our blood; he races with it in our veins as observed by the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu вЂ�alaihi wa sallam вЂ“ peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) has also said that Satan sits stooping over the heart and injects venom through his fang. Why Satan has a way with us is that he knows fully well our principal weakness and he exploits it to the utmost, namely manвЂ™s craving for supremacy. He entices us away as he cunningly prevailed upon Adam and brought about his fall. He bore enmity to Adam because he felt humbled before him. He continues to harbour enormous enmity to all of us; the fury of his wrath, the tempo of his hatred is ever on the increase. ManвЂ™s ignorance is only aiding and abetting SatanвЂ™s passion. Satan is out to harm man out of desperation because of the fatal blunder that he committed in disobeying AllahвЂ™s command to honour Adam. Hence the repeated warning of the Holy QurвЂ™an to us that we should beware of Satan who is our worst enemy. ONLY ONE ENEMY: As explained above, man has only one enemy вЂ“ Satan. If he surrenders himself to him, he will find himself surrounded by a host of hostile herds each one as sharp and shrewd as a doublefaced crook ready to hamstring him the moment he steps out. Once in their clutches, he can only sink deeper and deeper. But Allah Almighty is Omnipotent. If the man, the sinner calls Him, He does come to the rescue. The QurвЂ™an tells us many stories of this kind of divine help and succour to those who lost their way through ignorance and earned their freedom once again through Divine Mercy. Satan is in hot pursuit of us as long as we are alive. The sooner it is realised the better for all of us. Man is not an eternal sinner nor is he вЂњborn in sin.вЂќ He is a sublime being born out of a noble parentage and possesses a proud heritage. We come to know all of this from the QurвЂ™an. The Prophet (peace be upon him) in his last Pilgrimage, exhorted his Companions gathered there and through them to all of his followers to the last day, to hold fast to the Holy QurвЂ™an and the Sunnah вЂ“ the two sources of certain success. Let us therefore take them in right earnest to keep away the Satan from our midst. 18 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 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 Doha 2019: a unique opportunity to connect the world of athletics GULF TIMES Senate control could be mixed blessing for Republican hopefuls For Republican lawmakers with White House aspirations, control of the US Senate could be a blessing and a curse. If Republicans win a Senate majority in the November 4 elections, the partyвЂ™s new governing responsibilities may force potential 2016 presidential candidates such as Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas to take uncomfortable votes that open them to criticism from rivals outside of Congress. While they would have the opportunity to pass legislation on projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline that are important to conservative voters, a thin Senate majority could hamper their ability to deliver on big promises to shrink government and cut federal debt. That would open the door for rivals who are current or former state governors to campaign against Washington and its unpopular lawmakers, including the Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives and the Senate. вЂњAnybody whoвЂ™s a senator whoвЂ™s running for president is obviously always in jeopardy for votes they have to cast. It is an advantage that governors have over them,вЂќ said Republican strategist Charlie Black, an adviser to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain during their presidential campaigns. Some governors with an eye on 2016 are already looking to exploit their edge over senators. вЂњI am convinced that the next president of the US is going to be a governor,вЂќ New Jersey Governor Christie, a likely 2016 contender, said last week. вЂњWe have had the experiment of a legislator whoвЂ™d never run anything getting on-the-job training,вЂќ he said, knocking President Barack Obama, a former senator from Illinois. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, another likely 2016 contender, is quick to highlight his stateвЂ™s economic successes and his role as the stateвЂ™s chief executive in delivering them. If they start their own campaigns, others like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would no doubt do the same. But Black and other Republicans said Senate control also could help potential 2016 candidates Cruz, Rubio, Rob Portman of Ohio and Rand Paul of Kentucky by giving them frequent opportunities to shine. вЂњI think itвЂ™s all positive,вЂќ Paul said recently. вЂњI think if we take over the Senate ... weвЂ™ll actually start passing legislation,вЂќ Paul said. вЂњThere were 400 bills passed in the House last year and not one of them was taken up in the Senate.вЂќ That could lead to potentially tough votes on contentious issues such as raising the debt ceiling, keeping the federal government open, reforming the tax code and conп¬Ѓrming potential presidential Cabinet or Supreme Court appointments. It also could give the partyвЂ™s senators a chance to show they can govern responsibly and compromise when needed, Portman said. вЂњIf Republicans are seen as taking the lead on that, in passing legislation, I think it helps,вЂќ he said in an interview. вЂњIf we get a majority Senate, thereвЂ™s a chance that you could get the president to the table, though Republicans would have to do their part in doing that.вЂќ By Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Secretary-General, Qatar Olympic Committee T he next two days have the potential to be of great importance to the sporting future of Doha, the sporting landscape of the Middle East and the future of athletics worldwide. Yesterday evening, the IAAFвЂ™s Evaluation Commission, Chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe, Vice President of the IAAF, were welcomed to Doha to analyse our capabilities of hosting the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Doha is competing against bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain. Following their visit to each city, the Evaluation Commission will submit a report to be shared with all IAAF Council members ahead of their vote to decide the winning bid on November 18, 2014. During the IAAF delegationвЂ™s visit, we will be showcasing DohaвЂ™s state-of-the-art facilities, our proven experience of hosting world-class events, our use of sporting innovation to provide new solutions for sport and our commitment to developing athletics at all levels вЂ“ in order to demonstrate that Doha would host an exceptional World Championships in 2019. However, our ambitions are much higher than simply hosting an exceptional World Championships - we want to work in partnership with the IAAF to use the power of hosting one of the biggest and most prestigious Championships in the world to help athletics grow in Qatar, across the whole of the Middle East вЂ“ for the mutual beneп¬Ѓt of athletics in our region and for the beneп¬Ѓt of the world of athletics. The Middle East has never hosted the IAAF World Championships before. This brings a fantastic opportunity to showcase athletics to a new region and a new generation, not just during the week of live sporting action but in the years leading up to 2019 and for many years after the Championships, ensuring a true athletics legacy for our nation and for our region. Sixty per cent of the Middle East are under the age of 30 вЂ“ this huge young and dynamic population would be inspired to participate in athletics, connecting more young people to athletics at a grassroots level, empowering more young females to realise their potential and creating more sporting heroes for generations to come. Furthermore, hosting major sporting events is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030. There is no better way to develop our people, provide new skills, educate through the values of sport and promote active and healthy lifestyles. Sport challenges, it inspires, it creates sporting heroes and provides role models. The IAAF World Championships are the third largest sporting event in the world and hosting them in Doha would have a profound impact on our nation. We know as a nation we would unite behind a common cause, shoulder the responsibility that comes with hosting such an occasion and relish the opportunity to show the world our deep passion for sport, our warm hospitality and love of life. We have been working hard to develop sport at all levels and Doha 2019 would be a catalyst for even further success at every level, instilling sporting values across the nation and wider region. At a grassroots level, the Schools Olympic Programme and National Sports Day have introduced schoolchildren and people of all ages to athletics and a wide variety of sports, and encourage increased participation. They have increased in success year by year and 2014 saw 26,000 students from 461 schools participating in the Schools Olympic Programme. At an elite level, the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence has this year, once again, proven the success of QatarвЂ™s system of identifying and nurturing talent through the success of Mutaz Barshim and Ashraf Elseify. Our programmes are already a beacon for sports development across the Middle East but Doha 2019 would provide a springboard for the further expansion of these programmes and improved development at every level of the sporting pathway. With pride I can say that Doha has become a true global sporting hub in recent years. Not for one single reason or even an event but a multitude, all showing our relentless ambition to compete, share and support the advancement of sport world-wide. Qatar is making a difference to the world of sport and sport is making a difference to Qatar. we can see a more active, more ambitious nation emerge. As we look to 2019 we know success does not come easy. Years of planning and hard work is required to achieve the goals we set. Dedication, commitment and belief needs to come from within and be shared by all involved. But you simply need to look at our own sporting talent for inspiration. Qatar is showing to be more than a sporting hub, but serious competitor on the п¬Ѓeld of play. Over recent months team Qatar has our most successful Asian Games, we are the World 3x3 Basketball Champions and even last week we secured the U-19 Asian Football Cup for the very п¬Ѓrst time with all players coming through the Aspire Academy. Qatar sporting heroes are taking their chance on the world stage. When it comes to athletics we have a proven track record to point to thanks to our hosting of world-class international sports events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the annual IAAF Diamond League meeting, formerly the IAAF Super Grand Prix, hosted every year since 1997. We have the support of some of the best athletes in the world who have competed in Doha because they recognise our abilities to understand what is important to an athlete and care for them to the highest possible levels. These supporters include 2010 World Indoor Champion, Chris Brown, World and Olympic Champion, Valerie Adams, and European 110m Hurdle Champion, Sergey Shubenkov, who is in Doha this week to support our bid. Just as important, if not more so for Qatar is the deep support of our own athletes especially the next generation. Those who will lead Qatar in track and п¬Ѓeld events, п¬Ѓlling stadiums and winning medals in years to come. This week 16-year-old Mariam Farid and 15-year-old Dalal al-Ajmi will support QatarвЂ™s bid. Both are concrete examples of QatarвЂ™s focus on developing female athletics talent. We are delighted two of QatarвЂ™s brightest hopes for future athletics success will be able to tell their story. It is a story of hope, ambition and commitment to make a difference, to succeed and to connect to other young females like them. At this time of dramatic sporting growth in Qatar, hosting the IAAF World Championships would be the pinnacle of our achievements and our proudest moment. It would be an honour to work in partnership with the IAAF to deliver the greatest ever World Championships, to help realise the potential of global athletics and to cement a true legacy for the sport. If successful we will be honoured to bring our nation together through our shared passion for sport in this global celebration of athletics. We believe that Doha 2019 is the right time to embrace this unique opportunity to connect the world of athletics. вЂњI am convinced that the next president of the US is going to be a governorвЂќ To Advertise [email protected] Display Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811 Classified Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811 Subscription [email protected] 2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved In this photograph taken on May 16, 2014, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi is watched by her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi as she prepares to address a press conference following CongressвЂ™ defeat in the general elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi. India dynasty п¬‚ounders 30 years after Gandhi killing AFP New Delhi W hen Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984, the instant elevation of her son Rajiv to the post of prime minister appeared to conп¬Ѓrm her familyвЂ™s status as IndiaвЂ™s naturalborn rulers. But three decades on from the assassination of IndiaвЂ™s вЂ�Iron LadyвЂ™, even members of her Congress party are beginning to question whether they may now have to look beyond the Nehru-Gandhi clan for survival. After a crushing defeat in MayвЂ™s general election, things hit a new low this month when Congress trailed in third place in two state polls with Rahul Gandhi - the dynastyвЂ™s latest scion - having all but disappeared from view. вЂњIndira Gandhi was the real architect of the Congress partyвЂ™s expansion. She had the ability to directly speak to the masses across India and get votes,вЂќ said Rasheed Kidwai, who has written several books on Congress. вЂњFor the п¬Ѓrst time, instead of the party depending on the family, the family depends on it for its survival,вЂќ he told AFP. The centre-left Congress has ruled India for more than 50 of the 67 years since independence, while a member of the family has been at the helm of the party for all but a handful of those years. IndiraвЂ™s father Jawaharlal Nehru was IndiaвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst prime minister from 1947 This file picture dated November 1971 shows Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. When Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984, the instant elevation of her son Rajiv to the post of prime minister appeared to confirm her familyвЂ™s status as IndiaвЂ™s natural-born rulers. to 1964. Two years after his death, Indira became the premier from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 before a grieving Rajiv then took up the mantle. Such was the sympathy towards Rajiv that Congress recorded its bestever showing in elections soon after he took office, reinforcing the notion that the family was destined to rule the worldвЂ™s largest democracy. After Rajiv was assassinated in a Tamil suicide attack in 1991, Congress turned to his Italian-born widow Sonia who led the party back to power in a shock 2004 election victory. She declined to become premier, installing the mild-mannered Manmohan Singh instead, but was seen as the power behind the throne until MayвЂ™s defeat after a lacklustre campaign led by her son Rahul. While few within Congress speak out against the family, analysts say there can be no illusions about the scale of its troubles. вЂњIt is defeated and directionless with a serious leadership crisis,вЂќ Zoya Hasan, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told AFP. While Rajiv and Sonia were reluctant leaders, both showed an aptitude for politics that their daughter Priyanka seems to have inherited. Although Priyanka is seen as an alternative leader, she says she is dedicated to raising her children and is hampered by controversy over her husbandвЂ™s property business dealings. Rahul - once described in a US diplomatic cable as вЂњan empty suitвЂќ - has shown no such appetite and likened power to вЂњpoisonвЂќ before being persuaded to become CongressвЂ™s election frontman. His mother remains party president. Since May, Rahul has been barely seen in public and has left Sonia to rally the party. Hasan said it had been a mistake to think the Gandhi magic could be handed down endlessly, adding: вЂњI think the whole transition from Sonia Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi went horribly wrong.вЂќ For years, it seemed almost unthinkable that anyone but a Gandhi could lead Congress. But asked recently if someone from outside the family could lead the party, former п¬Ѓnance minister P. Chidambaram told NDTV: вЂњI think so... some day, yes.вЂќ The partyвЂ™s plight has added to the nostalgia for Indira even though she was a massively divisive п¬Ѓgure, especially after she imposed a 21-month state of emergency. Critics say her authoritarian streak was again illustrated by her order to storm the Golden Temple, the SikhsвЂ™ most revered shrine, in June 1984 when part of the complex in Amritsar were taken over by militants. After at least 400 people were killed in the assault, two of her Sikh bodyguards took revenge by shooting her dead in her garden. вЂњShe was a very great leader, a world leader, who I saw was respected wherever she went,вЂќ K. Natwar Singh, a former foreign minister who accompanied her on numerous trips, told AFP. Singh, who fell out with Sonia after being sacked in 2005, sees little chance of any immediate Congress revival. вЂњIts fortunes are very, very low and have nowhere to go but up, but at this time I donвЂ™t see it happening,вЂќ he added. Digvijaya Singh, another Congress veteran who worked with both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, said it would be a mistake to write off the party but added it was struggling to get its message across. вЂњI am sure we will make a comeback... but one thing that I have been suggesting to Rahul Gandhi and to others in the party is the need to communicate more, and directly, in this age of 24/7 communication,вЂќ he told AFP. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 19 COMMENT WhatвЂ™s causing sea level to rise? Sea level rise is half due to melting ice and half due to ocean warming, including 13% from the deepest oceans, a new paper has found By John Abraham Guardian News and Media T here have been a number of studies recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists unite around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a study by scientists Sarah Purkey, Gregory Johnson, and Don Chambers was published. This team was responsible for a 2010 paper that was groundbreaking in that it quantiп¬Ѓed very deep (abyssal) sea warming. This latest paper is, in some respects, a continuation of that work. The researchers recognised that changes to sea levels are mainly caused by thermal expansion of ocean waters as they heat, changes to the saltiness of water, and an increase in ocean waters as ice melts and п¬‚ows into the sea. The total annual sea level rise is about 3mm per year вЂ“ the question is, how much of that is from expansion and how much is from melting? The researchers used a few tools to answer this question. One tool was ocean bottom pressure measurements. If you can measure changes to ocean pressure, you can deduce how much water is in the ocean. Another tool is through an inventory approach. This inventory method quantiп¬Ѓes how much glaciers retreat, polar ice melts, and changes to water storage on land. The paper reports that both methods agree with each other. They conclude that increased water in the oceans is Water levels near Greenland and Antarctica may actually fall as those ice sheets melt. causing between 1.5вЂ“1.8mm per year of sea level rise, depending, in part, on which years are under consideration. The authors donвЂ™t just consider the ocean as a whole. They break the ocean regions into seven different sections because the change to ocean levels is not uniform. In some regions, waters are rising quickly, in others, the rise is much slower or zero. One reason for regional variability is that the EarthвЂ™s gravity is changing. For instance, there is so much ice in Greenland and Antarctica that is melting and п¬‚owing into the ocean, the mass of these two regions is being reduced; therefore, the pull of gravity toward Greenland and Antarctica is changing. As a result, we expect water levels near Greenland and Antarctica may actually fall as those ice sheets melt. But, ocean levels elsewhere, particularly US coastlines, will rise more than average because of this same effect. I have a paper in press with Ted Scambos on this very topic that should be published in a few weeks. Another reason sea level rise isnвЂ™t uniform is that there are local changes to heat and salt which can increase or decrease water density in certain regions, causing local changes to sea level. A third reason is that changes to wind patterns can slosh water around, causing it to build up in one area, fall in another. In each of the seven ocean regions, the researchers collected temperature and salt measurements at carefully distributed sections. These measurements allowed them to calculate how much of the ocean rise is due to heat/salt effects. They compared the expected sea level rise to actual satellite measurements. The difference between expansion sea level rise and actual sea level rise is the contribution by melt water which п¬‚owed into the ocean. This method they call the residual measurement. Then, they collected measurements from special satellites (GRACE) which measure local п¬‚uctuations in ocean mass. They compared the GRACE results with the residual measurement. It turns out they were in near perfect agreement; 1.5mm per year of sea level rise is from EU bill could decide British by-election added mass to the oceans. The rest is from expansion. Not only did the two methods agree, but they agreed region by region. They showed, for instance, that the South Atlantic and the South Indian/Atlantic Oceans are rising very rapidly. The North Paciп¬Ѓc, South Paciп¬Ѓc, and Indian Oceans are rising modestly. The southern Paciп¬Ѓc is falling modestly and the North Atlantic is basically constant. Next, they calculated the relative sea level rise for waters from the surface down to different depths (300, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, and 6,000m) to determine which layers make the largest contributions to sea level rise. The authors report that the deeper we go into the ocean, the less heating has occurred (this is expected and well known). Interestingly, they п¬Ѓnd that every water layer, even the deepest waters, have contributed some to sea level rise. They also report that the sea level rise contribution from the layers 300-2,000m is much more than previously reported. Dr Johnson summarised their results: вЂњWe п¬Ѓnd a small but measurable contribution from deep-sea warming to the global sea level budget (and hence global energy budget) from 1996вЂ“2006. The ocean warming is estimated directly from highly accurate, full-depth, oceanographic temperature data. The magnitude of the deep warming contribution to sea level below 2,000m is about 13% of the total contribution of the mass trend below 2,000m for that same time period.вЂќ I asked how this paper agrees or disagrees with a recent paper that reportedly showed the deepest ocean waters are not heating. He replied that the two studies actually agree with each other. They both show that the deepest ocean waters are likely contributing only a small fraction to the overall ocean energy/water rise. On the other hand, the uncertainty is largely because the deepest waters just donвЂ™t have a history of sufficient measurements to close the uncertainty range. He also stressed the importance of a proposed п¬‚eet of deep-water measuring devices (Deep Argo). It is sometimes said that вЂњglobal warmingвЂќ is really вЂњocean warmingвЂќ. Given the importance the oceans have on our past and future climate, you can be sure scientists around the world are working to better understand how much heat is going into the oceans, where the heat is going, and what will happen in the future. The recent publications are helping us close the uncertainty range and improve our knowledge. This is what progress looks like. Weather report Three-day forecast TODAY By Sid Astbury/DPA London N igel Farage and his fellow eurosceptics in the UK Independence Party (Ukip) are delighted at Britain receiving a demand for extra cash from the European Commission. They present the 2.1bn-euro ($2.7bn) surcharge, levied because the economy is growing faster than expected, as further proof that Britain should leave the European Union. The timing is perfect for Ukip, which won its п¬Ѓrst seat in the Westminster parliament through a by-election last month and is favoured to win a second when another deserter from Prime Minister David CameronвЂ™s ruling Conservatives tries to regain his old seat, Rochester and Strood in EnglandвЂ™s south, for his new party. Farage chuckles at the conga-line of EU luminaries insisting London has no option but to pay up. вЂњEveryone in Brussels has been very clear with Britain: no renegotiation,вЂќ Farage tweeted. Cameron is on the spot. Promising to pay in full and on time would be a propaganda coup for Ukip ahead of the Nigel Farage: вЂњEveryone in Brussels has been very clear with Britain: no renegotiation.вЂќ November 20 by-election. Farage could batter the Tories, already fractured on Europe, as weakwilled on both staying in and getting out. But trying for a deferral or a discount, could gift Farage a marvellous montage of Cameron and his government grovelling to Brussels. Cameron is neither paying up nor ripping up the bill. His is a graduated climb down, said Steve Hughes, director of international strategy at Newcastle University. вЂњFrom strident rejection we now have a promise to вЂ�crawl throughвЂ™ the detail,вЂќ Hughes said. вЂњThis will be a negotiated settlement with the language carefully crafted to echo in the streets in Rochester and Strood.вЂќ Cameron is out to make the most of this tiff with Brussels, showing a willingness to stand up for Britain but also compromise when necessary. Ukip in May came top of the British parties in European Parliament elections, winning 24 seats, up from 10 of the assemblyвЂ™s more than 750 seats. It is hoping the twin voter concerns of BritainвЂ™s place in Europe and the rate of immigration will power it to 100 Westminster seats at the general election in May. Eurosceptics within CameronвЂ™s party are goading him to say which side he will campaign for in the in/out referendum on membership he has promised if triumphant in May. Party colleagues who favour staying in complain that CameronвЂ™s constant carping about Brussels gives voters the impression he wants out. They worry this mixed message will end badly in May. Thomas Raines, a researcher at Chatham House, sees it differently. вЂњThe Conservatives will go into the next election with a clear message: we intend to negotiate a looser relationship with a reformed EU, and once this is achieved, we will give the British people a choice in the simplest possible terms,вЂќ he predicted in a paper given at the London think tank. A poll by market research п¬Ѓrm Ipsos Mori indicated support for Britain staying in Europe had risen to a 23-year high. Greater comfort for Cameron comes from a YouGov poll that found Cameron most-trusted to get the best deal in negotiations in Brussels with 26 per cent of respondent, coming in ahead of Farage on 15% and the opposition Labour PartyвЂ™s Ed Miliband on 12%. Cameron is under huge pressure to take a stand on the EU bill. But he has not said categorically that Britain will not pay. And even those most keen to berate Brussels have fallen short of digging themselves a ditch. вЂњWeвЂ™re going to look at how this sum got calculated,вЂќ Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said. Cameron, some are suggesting, will вЂњcrawl throughвЂќ the detail to get to a face-saving compromise on the payment. High: 34 C Low: 27 C Strong wind and high seas to the north SATURDAY High: 35 C Low : 26 C Clear SUNDAY High: 33 C C Low : 25 C Clear FishermenвЂ™s forecast OFFSHORE DOHA Wind: SE-E 08-18/22 KT Waves: 3-5/7 Feet INSHORE DOHA Wind: SE 05-15/18 KT Waves: 1-2/3 Feet Around the region Abu Dhabi Baghdad Dubai Kuwait City Manama Muscat Riyadh Tehran Weather today Clear T Storms Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear M Cloudy Max/min 35/25 26/14 34/23 34/19 32/27 33/24 34/21 15/08 Weather tomorrow Clear C Storm Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear C Showers Max/min 36/26 25/14 36/23 29/17 32/26 34/26 34/18 15/07 Weather tomorrow P Cloudy C Rain T Storms Clear M Cloudy P Cloudy C Storms Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy T Storms C Rain P Cloudy P Cloudy S Showers M Cloudy Rain Clear T Storms P Cloudy T Storms C Storms Cloudy Max/min 17/13 21/17 32/26 17/08 26/21 25/16 33/24 31/21 28/23 13/10 33/27 32/22 18/12 32/24 03/-2 29/19 11/06 20/13 31/21 20/09 33/27 34/13 21/15 Live issues The time of the п¬‚ying car has come Creators say AeroMobilвЂ™s Flying Roadster 3.0 could become regular mode of transport for commuters By Philip Oltermann in Vienna Guardian News and Media W ith its sportscar cockpit and dragonп¬‚y wings that fold in neatly behind the cabin, it looks like something straight out of the Batcave or QвЂ™s secret laboratory. But the creators of AeroMobilвЂ™s Flying Roadster insist their innovation is more than just a boyвЂ™s toy dreamt up by science п¬Ѓction fans. The time of the п¬‚ying car, they announced at WednesdayвЂ™s unveiling of their most advanced prototype, has come. Speaking at Pioneers festival, a two-day entrepreneurship and digital technology conference in Vienna, AeroMobilвЂ™s chief designer, Stefan Klein, and CEO, Juraj Vaculik, said their innovation could вЂњchange personal transport on a global scaleвЂќ. Their п¬‚ying car, Vaculik said, could eventually become a regular mode of transport for commuters and middle-distance travellers, especially in countries with underdeveloped road infrastructure. The Flying Roadster 3.0 prototype has a top groundspeed of 124mph and a п¬‚ight travel range of 430 miles or up to four hours вЂ“ enough to reach Aberdeen from London. The length of a luxury saloon car, the vehicle can be parked in regular parking slots and fuelled at normal petrol stations вЂ“ though once in gliding п¬‚ight mode it is more energyefficient than road cars. AeroMobil admitted the vehicle was unlikely to live up to the п¬‚ying carвЂ™s ultimate sci-п¬Ѓ promise. With at least a 50m strip of land required for landing and 200m for take-off, even п¬‚ying cars can get stuck in traffic. A vertical takeoff, even if physically possible, would instantly use up half the fuel. But Klein insisted that his invention did not require an airport or even a concrete runway. In spite of the carвЂ™s low centre of gravity, he said, the Flying Roadster could land on stretches of lawn or even farmland. If scepticism about AeroMobilвЂ™s vision persists, it is partly because the п¬‚ying car has been part of visions of the future for so long that it almost feels retro. A п¬Ѓrst patent was registered in 1903, and Waldo WatermanвЂ™s вЂњaerobileвЂќ went on its maiden п¬‚ight in 1937. In 1940, Henry Ford prophesied that вЂњa combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will comeвЂќ. Rapid advances in modern technology and relaxation of regulations in the sport aeroplane aviation industry have recently given the idea a new lease of life. US company Terrafugia has had a п¬‚ying prototype of a вЂњroadable planeвЂќ for п¬Ѓve years, yet the wait has continued. Terrafugia CEO, Carl Dietrich, told the Guardian that it would be вЂњprobably another two to three yearsвЂќ until there was a controlled launch, with a ballpark price tag of $279,000 (ВЈ172,000). AeroMobil, likewise, remain vague on when the car will be production-ready. The European version of the п¬‚ying car does have an added emotional value. Former sculptor Klein started experimenting with his father on a prototype in their garage in communist Czechoslovakia more than 25 years ago вЂ“ an undertaking which, as he later found out, had been monitored by the state intelligence service. In 2010, he teamed up with entrepreneur Vaculik, a former theatre director and student leader in CzecheslovakiaвЂ™s Velvet Revolution, in order to п¬Ѓnd ways to commercialise the concept. The current prototype was built over ten months, with a team of 12 people, including KleinвЂ™s 20-year-old son. The dream of overcoming borders, said Klein, had always motivated his work on the vehicle: вЂњIn the Czechoslovakia, we got very good training as pilots, but we didnвЂ™t have the freedom to go anywhere. Nowadays I can use an app to check in my п¬‚ight on the way to the airп¬Ѓeld and IвЂ™m in Croatia in ten minutes. For me the freedom to move is really in the DNA of this project.вЂќ The dream of door-to-door travel by п¬‚ying car, he said, also hinged on Europe sticking to the principle of free movement. The reintroduction of border checks in the Schengen area would route all inter-state п¬‚ights via airports. In the long term, EuropeвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst п¬‚ying car may have a better chance of success outside Europe. While building roads remains expensive and air is still free, countries with less developed infrastructure but less tightly regulated airspace, such as Africa, China or Russia, are more likely to take a punt. Around the world Athens Beirut Bangkok Berlin Cairo Cape Town Colombo Dhaka Hong Kong Istanbul Jakarta Karachi London Manila Moscow New Delhi New York Paris Sao Paulo Seoul Singapore Sydney Tokyo Weather today Clear C Rain C Storms Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy M Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Rain T Storms Rain P Cloudy C Rain P Cloudy M Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy T Storms Cloudy T Storms Clear Cloudy Max/min 21/13 21/17 33/25 14/08 25/18 24/14 30/24 30/21 27/23 13/11 34/26 28/22 21/14 32/25 06/02 31/19 13/10 21/12 32/22 19/09 30/26 31/21 20/14 20 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 QATAR Weekend events to draw big crowds By Joey Aguilar Staff Reporter A variety of activities, sports competitions, tourism events, art exhibitions and family entertainment are expected to attract a large number of spectators as well as participants at different venues in Doha over the weekend. Qatar Tourism AuthorityвЂ™s OnQatar online portal has provided details of most of the events, such as the venue, time, contacts and their duration. Some 1,000 runners and enthusiasts will gather at Aspire Zone at 7am today for the вЂњDoha College Fun RunвЂќ. Its Facebook account says it will provide some useful tips about warming up properly at the event to guide participants, especially when running in the heat. Various sports competitions follow from 11am to 10pm today at The Pearl-Qatar. These include football and tennis (11am) and basketball (4pm). Basketball features three players (and one substitute) per team while football should have at least six players (and two substitutes). The Indian and Filipino expatriate communities will have the chance to watch some of their popular artistes and musicians in two separate concerts in Doha today. Five of the PhilippinesвЂ™ renowned male actors and screen idols - Enchong Dee, Gerald Anderson, Rayver Cruz, Xian Lim and Enrique Gil - with the special participation of вЂњThe Legal PerformerвЂќ Maja Salvador are expected to enthral thousands of spectators at the Al Gharafa Sports Club stadium. Special guests include The Viva Hotbabes, Gwen Garci and Jennifer Lee together with вЂњThe Celebrity Bluff ComedianвЂќ Boobay. Besides assisting its community partners, the concert also aims to raise funds for two Filipino paediatric cancer patients. Thousands of Indian nationals are also expected to gather at West End Park at 7pm to watch live one of the most renowned and sought-after musical trio of the south Asian country Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Described as вЂњextremely talented and lovedвЂќ, organisers said the artistes would enthral the crowd with their rhythm and music. For wholesome family entertainment, residents will have their last chance to visit the Angry Birds Universe exhibition at Katara вЂ“ the Cultural Village, which provides exciting and educational activities for all ages. Museum officials speaking to reporters at a press conference yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed Part of OnQatarвЂ™s list is the Porto Arabia esplanade family weekend entertainment, which runs from 6pm until 10pm. It will continue until December 27. Besides street musicians and clown acts, the weekly activity also features inп¬‚atable games for children, cartoon characters, face painting, colouring, tattoo and balloon twisting. For music lovers, it will be an enchanting evening at the Katara European Jazz Festival, a п¬Ѓrst in the country. Trio Alphtraum (Swit- zerland) starts at 7pm while вЂњPlayвЂќ by Bertraund Renaudin starts at 9pm. The event is presented by Katara - the Cultural Village in cooperation with the French, German, Swiss, Italian and Austrian embassies. Katara also hosts the fourth exhibition of вЂњThe Gulf, Civilisation and HistoryвЂќ Series вЂњThe Architecture in the GulfвЂќ until November 8. вЂњThe Colours of Desert Art and Painting ExhibitionвЂќ at the Katara amphitheatre ends today. Ali Hassan Noon, Arabic letter, 1996. Mathaf exhibition presents 100 artists from over 8,000 works A new exhibition of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha presents 100 artists from its permanent collection of over 8,000 works starting tomorrow. Titled вЂњMathaf Collection, Summary, Part 1вЂќ, the exhibition includes works from Qatar and the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula. It reп¬‚ects a large number of artistic directions and contexts. вЂњQatar has a long tradition of collecting works that reп¬‚ect the inherent art, creativity and heritage in the region,вЂќ said Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali alThani, patron of Mathaf and the Permanent Collection. вЂњIt is my belief this important collection honours the traditions of the past in Qatar and throughout the Arab world, while embracing our future.вЂќ The new exhibition also contributes to developing research into the collection and its interconnections with contemporary cultures that is also present online in the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, developed by Mathaf. Artists represented in вЂњSummary, Part 1вЂќ include Farid Belkahia (1934-2014), Faraj Daham (b 1956), Wafa al-Hamad (1964- Jassim Zaini, The Bicycle Passenger, C 1960. Manal al-Dowayan, Suspended Together, 2011. Courtesy of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha. 2012), Baya Mahieddine (19311998), Salman al-Malik (b 1958), Mahmoud Mouktar (1891-1934), Waп¬Ѓka Sultan (b 1956), Ibrahim el-Salahi (b 1930), Hassan Sharif (b 1951), Jewad Selim (1919-1961), Seif Wanly (1906-1979) and Jassim Zaini (1943-2012). African and Arabic representations meet in the paintings of el-Salahi and the work of Mahieddine exempliп¬Ѓes her unique style of free п¬Ѓguration developed under the limitations of colonial rule in Algeria. Wanly depicts modern Egyp- Some of the works that will be part of MathafвЂ™s new exhibition. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed tian symbols of social and industrial progress while Sharif and Belkahia use natural materials, found objects and local languages to express strong statements on the making of art in their contemporary contexts. The exhibition also presents the work of Zaini, Selim and Mouktar, who were the п¬Ѓrst to establish the art scene in their countries. вЂњWe are seeking to position modern and contemporary art from MathafвЂ™s collection within the local and global context,вЂќ said Mathaf director Abdellah Karroum. Mathaf also wants to give multiple entry points into the collection through artistic research, historical moments and aesthetic experimentations on the idea of an Arab modernity. The exhibition is collectively curated by Karroum; Laura Barlow and Leonore-Namkha Beschi, assistant curators; and Dr Yasser Mongy, researcher. As part of MathafвЂ™s wider programme of research and documentation, in collaboration with Qatar Museums and Qatar Foundation, the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World is now being developed. It will be launched in 2015. The bilingual (English and Arabic) encyclopedia is a free online вЂњscholarly, peer-reviewed and comprehensive resourceвЂќ that will provide in-depth information on modern and contemporary art from the Arab world. вЂњThe curatorial concept of вЂ�Summary, Part 1вЂ™ looks beyond traditional linear histories of art to highlight diverse attitudes and contextualise intellectual production within multiple modernities,вЂќ Mathaf pointed out. It noted that the methodology of display adopted in the exhibition is informative rather than spectacular, proposing new relationships between works and key moments in history. PROFIT SLIDE | Page 5 3.5% RATE | Page 10 Samsung eyes revamp of smartphones Trade, defence spending buoy US growth in Q3 Friday, October 31, 2014 Moharram 7, 1436 AH GULF TIMES FAVOURABLE DEMOGRAPHICS: Page 12 вЂ�QatarвЂ™s long-term growth prospects compelling amid $182bn spend planвЂ™ BUSINESS Banking, realty lead 9-month proп¬Ѓt gain of QSE-listed п¬Ѓrms By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter E arnings boost, especially in the real estate and banks and п¬Ѓnancial services sectors, improved the overall net proп¬Ѓtability of the listed companies in Qatar during the п¬Ѓrst nine months of this year. The listed companiesвЂ™ cumulative net proп¬Ѓts grew 8.74% in JanuarySeptember this year against 6.67% in the comparable period of 2013, according to Qatar Stock Exchange data. The QSEвЂ™s 20-stock main index jumped 19.49% quarter-do-date in September 2014; indicating a positive correlation between the proп¬Ѓtability and the corporate sectorвЂ™s increased optimism. The cumulative net proп¬Ѓts of the 42 listed companies stood at QR32.42bn compared to QR29.81bn in the 2013 period. Vodafone Qatar follows a JanuaryDecember format compared with the other companies that have the AprilMarch format. Indicating the recovery in the sector, the real estate segment witnessed the maximum rise in net proп¬Ѓtability, followed by banks and п¬Ѓnancial services, industrials and transport. But insurance witnessed erosion in its net earnings despite local companies having bagged a huge risk cover order from Qatar Rail. The real estate sector, which has four listed constituents, witnessed a 37.49% surge in cumulative net profit to QR2.34bn compared to 16.19% in the previous-year period. The sector outperformed the main stock index by rising 21.28%. The segment contributed 7% to overall net profits. The real estate sector has shown signs of revival because of the large scale infrastructure development with many projects being awarded or in the pipeline; which has cast a вЂњpos- Qatar budget spending falls 6.6% in fiscal Q1; revenue hits record QatarвЂ™s government spending fell 6.6% from a year ago to QR38.8bn ($10.7bn) in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, while revenue soared to a record high, Qatar Central Bank data showed yesterday. The QCB did not give a reason for the drop in spending, but work on some large infrastructure projects in the country has been slowed or divided into phases to reduce the risk of waste or overcapacity. The budget surplus in April-June was QR79.0bn, compared with a deficit of QR24.4bn a year earlier, the data showed. The surplus was equivalent to 41.7% of gross domestic product. Revenue surged to QR117.8bn in the first quarter, nearly the same amount as the country collected in the whole first half of last year, from QR17.1bn a year ago. The revenue increase seemed at least partly due to the fact that Qatar Petroleum started transferring its entire financial surplus to the government in 2013. Previously, a part went to the government as investment income, part was retained on the companyвЂ™s balance sheet, and part was used to provide fresh capital to the Qatar Investment Authority. -Reuters Qatar banksвЂ™ asset base sees QR78bn gain in 9 months: KPMG By Pratap John Chief Business Reporter The asset base of local banks has seen a QR78bn increase (9%) in nine months up to September on the back of higher lending, a KPMG report has shown. In the first three quarters of this year, the banksвЂ™ lending portfolio saw a QR59.1bn increase in December 2013, KPMG said. Furthermore, Islamic banks continue to experience higher asset growth rates than their conventional counterparts. This is predominantly a result of increased public spending on the back of a gradual acceleration of infrastructure projects. Islamic lenders also continue to experience higher asset growth rates than their conventional counterparts. According to KPMG, there had been a вЂњpositive storyвЂќ for listed banks in Qatar for the first nine months of 2014 with robust asset growth, lower impairment charges, stronger asset quality, higher profitability; all coupled with capital adequacy ratios that remain above the QCB minimum requirements. Omar Mahmood, partner, KPMG Qatar and head (financial services) said, вЂњCombined net profitability for all banks increased by 12.2% from the nine month period that ended on September 30, 2013, predominantly driven by higher net interest income. Strong economic growth and increased market activity have been the main drivers behind these positive set of results. вЂњFor the first time in recent periods, market sentiment appears to be more correlated with entity-specific fundamentals with bank share prices, for all but one bank, exhibiting a positive trend from the prior period,вЂќ Mahmood said. Islamic banksвЂ™ share prices have on average jumped by 69%, whereas their conventional peers on average increased by 12%. Deposits are up, with a healthy growth of 7.7%, up by QR46.4bn from endDecember 2013. Mahmood said the increase mainly came from population growth, increased marketing and attractive pricing to absorb liquidity in the market. вЂњThis will certainly be an area of continued focus for banks in Qatar given the recently issued Qatar Central Bank regulations on the вЂ�loan to depositвЂ™ ratio which will force banks to actively look to increase their customer deposit base, and if not, be faced with restricting lending activities.вЂќ Despite concerns over recent oil price declines and increasing regulatory driven capital requirements (mainly for вЂ�domestic systemically important banksвЂ™), the overall banking sector outlook remains positive, the report said. вЂњBank lending and investment activity, both domestic and international, are expected to rise on the back of further acceleration of infrastructure projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and increased public spending underpinned by high fiscal surpluses,вЂќ KPMG said. The cumulative nine-month net profits of the banks and financial services sector, which has 12 listed entities, registered a 12.41% jump to QR14.82bn. The segment was the largest contributor of the overall net profit at 46%. PICTURE: Nasar TK itiveвЂќ spin-off effect for the related sectors. The cumulative net proп¬Ѓts of the banks and п¬Ѓnancial services sector, which has 12 listed entities, registered a 12.41% jump to QR14.82bn compared to 5.01% in the previous-year period. The sector outperformed the main index by gaining 21.52%. The segment was the largest contributor of net proп¬Ѓt at 46%. The consumer goods and services sector, which has eight listed companies, saw its net proп¬Ѓt grow 10.07% to QR1.36bn against 10.03% in the yearago period. Underperforming the index, the consumer goods index rose 16.39%. Its share in overall net proп¬Ѓt was 4%. The industrials sector, which has nine listed constituents, saw its net proп¬Ѓts rise 3.18% to QR9.07bn compared to 0.65% in the previous-year period. The sector underperformed the market with its index rising 13.21%. The industrials contributed 28% to overall net proп¬Ѓt of the listed п¬Ѓrms. The industrial sectorвЂ™s earnings have rather been dented by shutdowns in market heavyweight Industries Qatar, but the net proп¬Ѓtability of the sector ought to improve in the full-year. The cumulative net proп¬Ѓt of the transport sector, which has three listed entities, reported a 14.94% growth to QR1.62bn compared to 11.56% in the previous-year period. The sector underperformed the main index by registering 15.57% gain in its index. The transport segment constituted 5% of overall net proп¬Ѓt. The telecom sector saw its net proп¬Ѓt rise 0.5% to QR2.08bn against a 4.04% decline in the comparable period of 2013. The segment underperformed the main index with a 16.58% rise. Its share in overall net proп¬Ѓt was 6%. The insurance segment, which has п¬Ѓve listed companies, saw its net proп¬Ѓt plummet 20.61% to QR1.13bn against a stupendous 122% growth in the year-ago period. The sector saw its index gain 19.85% its share in total net proп¬Ѓt was 3%. Biggest oil price forecast cut since crisis Reuters New York C onsumers can expect at least another two years of low oil prices, a Reuters poll showed yesterday, recording its biggest downgrade to forecasts since the global economic crisis. Oil prices have dropped by a quarter since June, taking benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil down to around $87 a barrel as overproduction and lacklustre demand have п¬Ѓlled stockpiles around the world. A massive increase in high quality oil production from North American shale has swamped demand at a time of sluggish economic growth and analysts say the glut could last for years. Reuters monthly poll of 31 economists and analysts said Brent was likely to stay below $100 a barrel for the next two years, averaging $93.70 in 2015 and $96in 2016. That is $9.60 a barrel below the average forecast in the last Reuters poll in September and the biggest monthly cut in forecasts for year-ahead oil prices since November 2008, when the world was in the depths of the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis. Twenty-four of the 26 analysts who contributed to data for both the September and October Reuters polls slashed their forecasts, some substantially. Goldman Sachs, which said before the crash of 2008 that oil could hit $200 a barrel, cut $15 a Gas prices are shown at a Shell station in Encinitas, California. Oil prices have dropped by a quarter since June, taking the benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil down to around $87 as overproduction and lacklustre demand have filled stockpiles around the world. barrel off its forecast for the п¬Ѓrst quarter of next year, expecting Brent to drop to $85. The US bank now has one of the lowest forecasts for next year, projecting Brent at an average of just $83.80 as new US shale oil production keeps the market over-supplied. Goldman Sachs and other analysts say the ability of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps around a third of the worldвЂ™s crude oil, to inп¬‚uence prices has been eroded by the new shale oil production. But what is bad for oil producers, is good for consumers. Oil has a huge impact on transport and manufacturing costs and falling oil prices reduce inп¬‚ationary pressure worldwide. вЂњCheaper oil is very good news for the world economy and consumers in the US,вЂќ said Torbjorn Kjus, senior oil analyst at NorwayвЂ™s DNB Markets. вЂњAlthough it is bad for oil producers such as Norway, the rest of the world will beneп¬Ѓt.вЂќ DNB Markets in Oslo had the lowest Brent forecast, looking for an average of $80 a barrel next year and said oil could fall much further: вЂњPrices could drop even lower than this average as there will be delays to the curbing of production,вЂќ Kjus said. Thomas Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics, one of the most consistently bearish of all forecasters this year, said a $10 a barrel fall in the world oil prices could boost global GDP growth by 0.2-0.3 percentage points. вЂњThat is good news for most of us and a huge bonus for motorists,вЂќ said Pugh, who has forecast since January that Brent will average $85 in 2015. The Reuters poll forecast US light, sweet crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, would average $88 a barrel next year. The previous monthвЂ™s consensus was $96.10. WTI has averaged $98.19 so far this year. Brent, buoyed by much higher prices in the п¬Ѓrst half of this year, has averaged $105.15 so far in 2014. Analysts gave a wide range of forecasts, between $50 and $110 a barrel, when asked about the break-even price for US shale oil, a key factor in the oversupply in the market. BrentвЂ™s premium to WTI will narrow to $5.70 a barrel in 2015 from $10.58 last year, the poll showed. ANZ and Standard Chartered had the highest 2015 Brent forecast, both predicting it would average $105 per barrel next year. Pages 3, 9 2 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 BUSINESS Algeria planning oil & gas auction soon, says official Reuters Algiers A lgeria is preparing a new auction of oil and gas blocks, an official said on Wednesday, after the North African country awarded just four of 31 п¬Ѓelds last month in the п¬Ѓrst attempt to lure foreign investors since 2011. Algerian officials described last monthвЂ™s result as acceptable but analysts said the Opec member needed to do more to improve conditions and attract more foreign oil operators. вЂњWe are preparing a new bidding round. It will be launched within weeks,вЂќ Sid Ali Beta, head of hydrocarbons agency ALNAFT which oversaw the bidding, told reporters at the signing of contracts with the winners of the September 30 auction. He gave no details. One of the winners, ItalyвЂ™s Enel, plans to invest $700mn at its four oil and gas blocks in Algeria in the next п¬Ѓve to six years, Marco Arcelli, the companyвЂ™s executive vice president for upstream gas, said at the signing ceremony. The Italian utilityвЂ™s consortium with Dragon Oil won two new blocks, adding to two existing ones. Beta said the п¬Ѓrst phase of operations at the four blocks will include drilling around 11 wells at an estimated cost of $150mn. He said around $270mn will be invested in the second phase to drill 15 wells. Said Sahnoun, interim chief of stateowned energy п¬Ѓrm Sonatrach, said he is looking forward to вЂњproп¬Ѓtable resultsвЂќ from the contracts. вЂњThis is the beginning of a new adventure that I hope will be fruitful. This partnership is based on sharing of know-how and risks,вЂќ he said. SpainвЂ™s Repsol in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell won the Boughezoul area in the north of the country, while Shell and NorwayвЂ™s Statoil won the Timissit area in the east. вЂњItвЂ™s a challenge to start this project. We will begin a new phase. We will start working tomorrow,вЂќ Gabino Lalinde, Rep- solвЂ™s head of affairs unit for Algeria, said at the same event. In a disappointing 2011 auction, Algeria secured bids for just two п¬Ѓelds out of 10 - one from SpainвЂ™s Cepsa and the other from Sonatrach. But a new hydrocarbons law passed in 2013 offers tax and contractual incentives and beneп¬Ѓts for unconventional energy investments. Algeria supplies a п¬Ѓfth of EuropeвЂ™s gas needs, but it relies on mature п¬Ѓelds for most of its energy output and looks to foreign explorers to help develop new reserves and increase п¬‚agging production. Foreign oil executives have in the past complained about AlgeriaвЂ™s tough contract terms, often difficult business environment and security worries, especially after a 2013 attack on the Amenas gas plant killed 39 foreign contractors. Officials were optimistic before last monthвЂ™s bids, having delayed the auction twice after foreign players asked for more time to study the п¬Ѓelds. They reported initial interest from 50 companies and cited incentives under a new oil law, improvements in security and the potential of the п¬Ѓelds on offer. An increase in output is vital for a government that relies heavily on energy exports for state income and to pay for social programmes, including food and fuel subsidies that have helped keep it stable amid turbulent times in North Africa. Analysts say rising domestic energy consumption will also be a concern should Algeria fail to draw the kind of investment required to bolster its production. Oil output last year was 1.2mn barrels per day, about the same as in 2012. Security has been a concern since the 2013 Amenas attack, which prompted BP and NorwayвЂ™s Statoil to pull workers out. The kidnapping and beheading of a French tourist last month was a reminder of risks in the North African country, which fought a war against Islamist extremists in the 1990s. Still, Statoil this month said the Amenas plant, which produced 11.5% of AlgeriaвЂ™s gas output before the attack, was due to return to full production soon after improvements in security. Bahrain funds acquire US tech company PRO Reuters Dubai Bahrain-based alternative investment fund Investcorp and sovereign fund Mumtalakat have acquired US software and services firm PRO Unlimited for around $300mn. PRO, based in Florida, operates in 52 countries and provides services to companies that use independent contractors, consultants and freelancers, a statement from Investcorp said. Investcorp did not reveal the deal value. But an Investcorp spokesman confirmed that its president of Gulf business, Mohammed al-Shroogi, said at a press conference in Bahrain that the price was around $300mn. Mahmood al-Kooheji, chief executive of Mumtalakat, told Reuters that both entities had invested equally in the business and they hoped to tap into the growth PRO was expecting from changing labour patterns. вЂњTalented people donвЂ™t stay in one company for long,вЂќ Kooheji said in a telephone interview. вЂњPeople moving from place to place have its challenges and thatвЂ™s what PRO Unlimited helps with. ItвЂ™s a major player in this growing field.вЂќ Andrew Schultz, co-founder and chief executive of PRO Unlimited, was quoted in InvestcorpвЂ™s statement as saying the investment would allow it to expand its business. Kooheji said this growth would be in countries where PRO is already present, because many other countries have labour laws which limit the fields in which the firm operates. InvestcorpвЂ™s Shroogi had told Reuters in an interview last week that the fund was hoping to complete three transactions, with one each in the United States, Europe and Turkey. Mumtalakat, fully owned by the Bahraini state, held a portfolio of assets worth approximately $7.2bn as of the end of 2013. Funds bullish on Gulf markets despite oil slide Reuters Dubai F unds are positive on many Gulf stock markets despite the recent slide in oil prices, after sharp pull-backs in the markets improved valuations, the latest monthly Reuters survey of regional asset managers found. The oil price drop to four-year lows, if sustained for a long period, will cut Gulf economiesвЂ™ current account surpluses and may push Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s state budget into deп¬Ѓcit. It may also hurt earnings at the regionвЂ™s petrochemical producers. But economists think Gulf governments have plenty of reserves to maintain spending at high levels, and history suggests there is only a low correlation between Gulf stock marketsвЂ™ overall performance and the oil price. Based on monthly changes, the Saudi petrochemical index, tracked since 2007, has a fairly strong correlation to Brent crude oil of 0.65 out of a maximum 1. But over the last 10 years, the main Saudi stock market index has a correlation of just 0.36. Also, sharp drops in emerging stock markets around the world during October dragged down equities prices in the Gulf, cutting the high valuations which, rather than economic fundamentals, are currently the main concern of fund managers in the region. The latest survey of 15 leading regional investment managers found 47% of them intending to raise their overall equity allocation to the Middle East in the next three months, while 20% expected to decrease allocations. That was a shift from the previous monthвЂ™s survey, in which 13% intended to raise equity allocations and the same ratio to reduce them. вЂњCurrent market levels in Saudi, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are attractive for an accumulation phase before the end-of-the-year earnings and dividends season,вЂќ said Tamer Mostafa, vice president and fund manager at Union National Bank in the UAE. Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director at NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi, said: вЂњThe markets were very volatile and the UAE markets saw sharp drops without any internal factors to justify the drop.вЂќ He added that the third quarter earnings season in the Gulf, now drawing to a close, had been strong overall but there had been few surprises so it had only a minor effect on the markets. The survey was conducted over the past 10 days by Trading Middle East, a Reuters forum for market professionals. Among the Gulf stock markets, fund managers are most bullish on Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Fifty-three per cent expect to increase their allocations to Saudi equities and 27% to decrease them. In the UAE, the ratios are 47% and 27%. Large initial public offers of shares now underway in those two countries вЂ“ the $6bn IPO of Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s National Commercial Bank, and the 1.375bn dirham ($374mn) offer of UAE-based healthcare and education start-up Amanat Holdings вЂ“ have temporarily dampened the markets by sucking liquidity from them, said Vijay Harpalani, assistant fund manager at Al Mal Capital. In the long run, however, signs of a pick-up in IPO activity throughout the Gulf, after a drought of п¬Ѓve years, are likely to be positive for the region, by deepening the markets and attracting fresh investor interest. The survey also found that 40% of fund managers expected to increase their equity allocations to Egypt and only 7% to decrease them. This reп¬‚ected signs of accelerating economic growth and a sense that the government is п¬Ѓnally putting together a comprehensive plan to tackle the countryвЂ™s economic problems. Mobily delays earnings to review п¬Ѓnancial statements Reuters Dubai S audi ArabiaвЂ™s Mobily asked for its shares to be suspended and postponed publication of its quarterly earnings yesterday, seeking more time to review unspeciп¬Ѓed вЂњsigniп¬Ѓcant mattersвЂќ in its п¬Ѓnancial statements. Mobily, 28% owned by United Arab EmiratesвЂ™ Etisalat and formally called Etihad Etisalat, had been expected to report its third-quarter results last Sunday or Monday. It now plans to publish the results this coming Sunday, a spokesman for the п¬Ѓrm said. He declined to comment further. Mobily, Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s secondlargest telecoms п¬Ѓrm, has long been a market darling, its proп¬Ѓts climbing in the decade since it п¬Ѓrst challenged Saudi TelecomвЂ™s monopoly cumulating with record proп¬Ѓts last year. But delayed results and growing uncertainty over its management sent its shares more than 8% lower over three days this week to a 16-month low. Earlier this month, parent EtisalatвЂ™s chief п¬Ѓnancial ofп¬Ѓcer Serkan Okandan was appointed MobilyвЂ™s deputy CEO. Mobily said via Twitter yesterday that long-standing chief executive Khalid al-Kaf had not resigned and had not failed to follow accounting standards. Asked about a potential departure, Kaf told Reuters on Wednesday there was вЂњnothing like that for the time beingвЂќ. He declined to comment further and could not be reached yesterday. Mobily asked for its shares to be suspended yesterday morning, citing a meeting of its audit committee to consider вЂњsigniп¬Ѓcant matters relating to its п¬Ѓnancial statementsвЂќ. It later delayed results, explaining it had been unable to complete вЂњrequired amendmentsвЂќ to the п¬Ѓnancial statements. Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Mobily will report a third quarter net proп¬Ѓt of 1.67bn riyals ($445mn), a slight drop from a year earlier. Mobily began operations in 2005 and it turned proп¬Ѓtable the following year. Its annual proп¬Ѓts more than quadrupled from 2006 to 2009 to reach 3bn riyals ($799.68mn) that year, according to Reuters data. In 2013, Mobily made a record annual proп¬Ѓt of 6.68bn riyals, up 11% from a year earlier. But this also represented its smallest year-on-year proп¬Ѓt rise as market saturation and stiffer competition from STC and third entrant Zain Saudi crimped growth. Etisalat received 973.3mn UAE dirham ($265mn) in dividends from Mobily in 2013, according to the UAE companyвЂ™s annual report. NCB set to defy global slowdown with $6bn flotation Reuters Dubai Saudi Arabia is still expected to chalk up the regionвЂ™s biggest ever listing when National Commercial BankвЂ™s 22.5bn riyal ($6bn) offering closes on Sunday, bucking a broader market slowdown. The initial public offering, the secondbiggest globally this year after the $25bn flotation of Alibaba Group, is happening at a time when listings in other parts of the world have been halted due to market volatility caused by concerns over the strength of global economic growth. After Wednesday, the 11th day of the offer period which began on October 19, the retail part of the IPO was 50.3% covered by around 757,000 investors, arranging banks said. But subscriptions should pick up in the final days of the offer, due to close on Sunday, as Saudis are usually reluctant to commit their capital early in the period, analysts said. NCB is offering 300mn shares to Saudi individuals and 200mn shares to the state-run Public Pension Agency, equivalent to a 15% and 10% stake respectively. The price of shares, 45 riyals each, is also a considerable discount to their true value, analysts said, with a price to book value of 2.0 times, below the sector average of 2.2 times. This is in line with other privatisations, such as the 9.25bn riyal offering of Saudi Arabian Mining Co (MaвЂ™aden) in 2008, which offer cheap shares to help the authorities spread the kingdomвЂ™s vast wealth to citizens. The pace of IPOs in the kingdom contrasts with the situation in Europe. Last week, Italian paper group Fedrigoni and British used car company BCA Marketplace both postponed listings. Saudi ArabiaвЂ™s wider index has shown signs of the uncertainty gripping global markets, falling 12% in the month to Oct. 16, before recovering somewhat last week. NCBвЂ™s listing also attracted the ire of prominent clerics in the conservative kingdom, who argued investing in the bank was forbidden for Muslims as not all NCBвЂ™s dealings were conducted according to sharia principles, forcing NCB to pledge it would convert to an Islamic bank in around five years. However, the Saudi IPO market is often seen as insulated from global sentiment, with significant local cash looking for domestic assets. This has allowed flotations to happen regularly, even at the height of the global financial crisis. The fact only half the NCB offering has been taken up so far is more because Saudi investors, who have to hand over funds when ordering shares, donвЂ™t like having their cash locked up for more time than is necessary, analysts said. вЂњSaudi investors took advantage of the rally earlier in the period, hence there was less appetite than expected,вЂќ said John Sfakianakis, regional director for the Gulf at Ashmore Group. вЂњHowever, investors always submit their orders at the end of an IPO so while a 50% covered rate now might not look that rosy, there should be no concern about the offering not being fully covered by the close on Sunday.вЂќ NCB is the only unlisted lender of the kingdomвЂ™s 12 banks, with assets worth 438bn riyals at the end of September. NCB is the only unlisted lender of the kingdomвЂ™s 12 banks, with assets worth 438bn riyals at the end of September. At the offer price, NCB will be the fourth largest stock on the Saudi exchange, and the second-biggest bank by market value. Al Rajhi is the current largest listed bank, with a market capitalisation of $28.59bn. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 3 BUSINESS Emaar Malls Group Q3 net profit up 55% on revenue rise Reuters Dubai An Iranian man walks along of the phase 15-16 of the South Pars gas field facilities in the southern Iranian port of Assaluyeh. IranвЂ™s $400bn economy shrank more than 7% over the past two years, according to the International Monetary Fund, as sanctions depressed oil output to the lowest since 1990 and deterred investment. Iran oil revenue plunges 30% because of global price decline Bloomberg Dubai/Tehran I ranвЂ™s revenue from crude sales, the Opec memberвЂ™s biggest export, plunged 30% because of the recent decline in global oil prices, according to President Hassan Rohani. вЂњInternational conditions are such that the countryвЂ™s main source of income, i.e. oil revenues, has been cut by some 30%,вЂќ Rohani said in remarks to parliament published on Wednesday on Shana, the oil ministryвЂ™s news website. вЂњWe have to deal with the new conditions and the global economic conditions.вЂќ Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the worldвЂ™s oil, has plunged more than 20% since peaking in June at about $115 a barrel as supply, boosted by US shale production, outpaced demand. Iran needs to achieve a break-even sales price of $143 a barrel this year to maintain its п¬Ѓscal bal- ance, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. вЂњThe government probably will face a budget deп¬Ѓcit; thatвЂ™s why growth will be the victim,вЂќ Kevan Harris, associate director at Princeton UniversityвЂ™s Center for Iran and Gulf Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, said by phone on Wednesday. Iranian oil exports fell to the lowest level on record in August, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative. Economic growth and energy demand is slowing in China, IranвЂ™s biggest buyer, while the Gulf stateвЂ™s sales are restricted by US and European Union sanctions. Iran dropped in 2012 to п¬Ѓfth from second in production among the 12 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It pumped 2.78mn bpd in September, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. The nation holds oil reserves of 157bn barrels and the worldвЂ™s biggest deposits of natural gas, estimated at 1,192tn cu ft, according to BP. The US and allied countries imposed sanctions on Iran over concerns that its nuclear programme could mask efforts to produce an atomic bomb. Iran says its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes. The sanctions have almost closed IranвЂ™s oil and gas п¬Ѓelds to investment over the last decade, limiting the countryвЂ™s access to technology to boost output and build plants for exporting liqueп¬Ѓed natural gas. The decline in crude prices and a looming November 24 deadline for a nuclear accord with the US and other world powers are raising pressure on Rohani, elected last year on a platform to end IranвЂ™s isolation and revive the economy. вЂњIn the issue of oil, the economy has not been the sole important factor,вЂќ Rohani said. вЂњInternational politics and plotsвЂќ have also affected prices, he said, without elaborating. The inп¬‚ation rate has slowed to 15% from a peak of 32% two years ago, ac- Qatar shares drop on severe profit-booking By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter Severe profit-booking вЂ“ especially in the telecom and industrials вЂ“ yesterday dragged the Qatar Stock Exchange to a huge 277 points to settle below the 13,500 mark, after two days of a bullish spell. Foreign institutions hurriedly squared off their position, leading the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) to knock off 2.01% to 13,498.86 points. Large, small and mid caps largely came under selling pressure in the market, which is, however, up 30.05% year-to-date. The index that tracks Shariah-principled stock was seen melting slower than the other indices in the bourse, where trading volume was largely skewed towards realty, banking and transport stocks. The Total Return Index shed 2.01% to 20,133.42 points, the All Share Index by 1.77% to 3,414.04 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.58% to 4,523.15 points. Market capitalisation eroded 1.82%, or about QR14bn, to QR728.27bn with large, small, mid and micro cap equities melting 2.23%, 1.52%, 1.28% and 0.77% respectively. Telecom stocks deflated 3.03%, followed by industrials (2.39%), bank and financial services (1.89%), insurance (1.16%), transport (1.08%), realty (0.81%), and consumer goods (0.48%). About 79% of the stocks were in the red with major losers being Industries Qatar, QNB, Ooredoo, Qatar Islamic Bank, Alijarah Holding, Dlala, Qatari Investors Group, Qatar Insurance, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat. However, Barwa, Doha Insurance, Widam Food, Al Khaleej Takaful and Islamic Holding Group were seen bucking the trend. Ezdan continued to be the most active in terms of volume and value. Foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR101.8mn against net buyers of QR70.04mn on Wednesday. However, domestic institutions turned net buyers to the extent of QR137.44mn compared with net sellers of QR6.41mn the previous day. Qatari retail investorsвЂ™ net profit-booking fell to QR31.15mn against QR48.8mn on Wednesday. Non-Qatari individual investorsвЂ™ net selling sunk to QR4.6mn compared to QR15.02mn the previous day. Total trade volume shrank 28% to 18.76mn shares, while value was up 9% to QR1.05bn and transactions by 8% to 9,699. The consumer goods sector saw its trade volume plummet 59% to 0.99mn equities, value by 31% to QR47.07mn and deals by 34% to 443. The market witnessed a 49% plunge in the real estate sectorвЂ™s trade volume to 7.85mn stocks, 36% in value to QR225.44mn and 26% in transactions to 2,301. The transport sectorвЂ™s trade volume tanked 19% to 1.62mn shares, value by 23% to QR85.23mn and deals by 1% to 608. However, the banks and financial services sectorвЂ™s trade volume surged 45% to 5.1mn equities, value by 54% to QR386.57mn and transactions by 49% to 3,280. There was a 36% expansion in the industrials sectorвЂ™s trade volume to 1.7mn stocks; 83% in value to QR229.12mn and 33% in deals to 2,320. The telecom sector saw its trade volume rise 16% to 1.18mn shares; value by 75% to QR51.09mn and transactions by 31% to 555. The insurance sectorвЂ™s trade volume was up 7% to 0.32mn equities but value was down 7% to QR20.67mn. Deals shrank 24% to 192. In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds. cording to the Central Bank of Iran. IranвЂ™s $400bn economy shrank more than 7% over the past two years, according to the International Monetary Fund, as sanctions depressed oil output to the lowest since 1990 and deterred investment. Growth will probably resume this year, the IMF says. Iran is moderating its reputation for taking a hard line on crude prices by shunning calls for Opec to hold an emergency meeting. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh consulted with Rouhani about political and economic reasons for the recent price slide, Shana reported on October 20. No emergency Opec session is necessary, Shana said. Opec is unlikely to lower its production ceiling when it meets November 27 in Vienna, said Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs at state-run National Iranian Oil Co, according to a Shana report on Monday. Iran foresees an economic boost from a possible end to sanctions and is raising its reп¬Ѓning capacity to produce gasoline and diesel to meet an anticipated growth in domestic demand, Mehdi Shariп¬Ѓ, NIOCвЂ™s marketing manager for fuel oil, said on Wednesday at a conference in Dubai. Construction of the countryвЂ™s newest reп¬Ѓnery has been delayed since 2007 because of sanctions. The plant is now scheduled to start operating next year, he said. Once the 360,000bpd facility reaches full capacity in 2016, it will raise IranвЂ™s total reп¬Ѓning capacity to about 2.2mn bpd from 1.8mn bpd, Shariп¬Ѓ said. Iran plans to increase reп¬Ѓning capacity to 3mn bpd over the next four years, he said. The government must import three to four cargoes of gasoline a month, Shariп¬Ѓ said, declining to specify origins of the fuel. Other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are building and expanding reп¬Ѓneries to meet domestic demand as their populations and economies grow. DubaiвЂ™s Emaar Malls Group (EMG), a unit of Emaar Properties that listed on the emirateвЂ™s main stock market in October, reported a 55.2% jump in thirdquarter net profit yesterday as revenues rose. The retail and malls unit of DubaiвЂ™s largest developer made a quarterly profit of 321.18mn dirhams ($87.5mn), up from 206.97mn dirhams in the corresponding period of 2013. Quarterly revenue was 649.88mn dirhams versus 542.74mn dirhams a year ago. EMG priced the largest stock flotation in the Gulf region since 2008 at the end of September, raising 5.8bn dirhams from the sale of 15.4% of the company. Emaar Properties said in August it would pay a special dividend of 9bn dirhams to its shareholders after EMG went public, using cash raised from the offering and other dividends paid by EMG to the parent firm prior to listing. In a separate Emaar Properties statement yesterday, the developer said it will hold a shareholder meeting on November 24 in which a proposal to distribute the cash dividend, equivalent to 1.27 dirhams per share, would be discussed. The statement added shareholders registered as of December 4 would be entitled to this dividend, which is significantly above the 0.14 dirhams a share Emaar paid as a dividend for 2013. According to analysts, the cutoff date implies Emaar could pay the dividend that month, which would be ahead of its annual dividend payout in early 2015. Many traders had assumed the malls-related dividend would be paid at the same time as the annual dividend, so yesterdayвЂ™s statement could boost EmaarвЂ™s shares when trading resumes on Sunday. Both statements came after market hours. Shares in EMG had finished the day flat, while Emaar Properties slumped 3.4%, against a wider market decline of 1.7%. Frontier fund selling weighs on UAE; Saudi stocks down MSCI continues phasing UAE, Qatar out of frontier index; some local retail investors also book profits; Etisalat slips as Saudi affiliate looks into financial reports; Saudi slides further, but some stocks gain on strong Q3; Egypt extends rebound, most stocks rise Reuters Dubai S elling by foreign frontier funds sparked heavy profit-taking in the UAE and Qatar yesterday. Saudi Arabia also declined, but Egypt rose for a third day. A number of companies from the UAE and Qatar remain part of MSCIвЂ™s Frontier 100 benchmark even though the index compiler upgraded both countries to emerging market status in May. MSCIвЂ™s opted to gradually phase those stocks out of the frontier index through monthly weighting reductions and one of these takes effect on November 1. This prompted a wave of selling by passive funds tracking the index on the final trading day before this milestone. Foreigners were net sellers in Dubai as its index fell 1.7%. An investor looks up at screens displaying stock information at the Dubai Financial Market. Foreigners were net sellers in the Dubai market yesterday as its index fell 1.7%. MSCI index constituents Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank, which dropped 3.4 and 1.2% respectively, were the main drags. Abu DhabiвЂ™s bourse fell 1.8%, also due to MSCI benchmark members. National Bank of Abu Dhabi lost 5.3% and First Gulf Bank fell 2.4%. Telecommunications п¬Ѓrm Etisalat edged down 0.4% after its Saudi Arabian affiliate Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) yesterday requested that its shares be temporarily suspended pending an audit committee meeting to consider вЂњsigniп¬Ѓcant matters relating to its п¬Ѓnancial statementsвЂќ. In past months, declines linked to frontier market fund sell-offs were usually followed by quick rebounds. Saudi Arabia also extended declines, with the main index falling 0.5%. Shares in petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries dropped 1.2% and Al Rajhi Bank lost 0.6%. The insurance sector was hit particularly hard after rising to a six-year intraday high in the previous session. It fell 1.3% despite insurers posting strong third-quarter earnings. However, Mediterranean And Gulf Insurance And Reinsurance Co added 1.4% after its thirdquarter proп¬Ѓt surged more than tenfold. EgyptвЂ™s bourse maintained its recovery from a sharp drop earlier this month, rising 1.8% to take its gains to 5.4% since Monday. Blue-chip Commercial International Bank was the main support, jumping 3.5%. Elsewhere in the Gulf, KuwaitвЂ™s index slipped 0.1% to 7,362 points; OmanвЂ™s index slipped 0.07% to 6,975 points, while BahrainвЂ™s measure edged up 0.3% to 1,444 points. 4 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 BUSINESS Visa and Mastercard welcome BeijingвЂ™s plans to free bank cards market Reuters Beijing V isa Inc and Mastercard Inc welcome ChinaвЂ™s plans to open up its market for clearing domestic bank card transactions, as they stand to gain access to a growing market worth more than $1tn a year. While China lags behind countries such as the United States in spending on credit, habits are changing fast and the Chinese are increasingly swiping plastic to satisfy their growing appetite for consumer goods. The State Council, ChinaвЂ™s cabinet, said on Wednesday after a weekly meeting that foreign п¬Ѓrms that meet its criteria could set up their own clearing companies. It did not provide details. Visa, the worldвЂ™s largest credit and debit card company, welcomed the move. вЂњWe look forward to seeing the speciп¬Ѓc details and working with people within China to п¬Ѓgure out what we need to do to participate in that marketplace, where we believe we can add a lot of value,вЂќ Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf said on a conference call, following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings. Household debt in China amounted to just 37% of GDP at the end of July, compared with 81% in the United States. But the Chinese, renowned for being thrifty, are changing fast. ChinaвЂ™s total outstanding credit card balances, while less than 10% of household debt, were a third higher at the end of June than a year ago, according to the PeopleвЂ™s Bank of China. The amount outstanding per card has increased by more than twothirds in two years. Mastercard, the second-largest payments company globally, also welcomes the opportunity to expand in the worldвЂ™s second-largest economy. вЂњWe will continue to monitor closely and look forward to the day when we can compete for domestic business in China,вЂќ MasterCard said in a statement emailed to Reuters yesterday. The explosion in online retailers, fuelled by increasingly wellheeled youth, is adding to the allure of plastic. Access for foreign п¬Ѓrms to ChinaвЂ™s fast-growing electronic payments market is a controversial issue. China promised to reform and free its electronic payments market after the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in 2012 that its behaviour discriminated against US п¬Ѓrms. It was not immediately clear if the move would allow foreign п¬Ѓrms to process credit and debit card payments made in yuan in China. In July 2012, the world trade body held that China had discriminated against US bank card suppliers in its electronic payments market by favouring state behemoth China UnionPay, following a complaint to the WTO by the United States. Next stop for yuanвЂ™s global journey: Canada, Mideast Reuters Hong Kong E ven as China quickly expands the use of its currency to п¬Ѓnancial hubs in Asia and Europe this year, bankers are already looking to Canada and Middle East as the next growing regions for their offshore yuan business. The moves are in line with BeijingвЂ™s ambition to promote its currency to more international investors and eventually turn the вЂњredbackвЂќ into a global reserve currency, while at the same time expanding its already considerable political and economic clout. вЂњThere is big potential in the Middle East and Canada in terms of whereвЂ™s next for offshore yuan development, and the needs there are quite balanced between trade and investment,вЂќ Candy Ho, global head of RMB business development at HSBC told Reuters. вЂњIn the Americas, Canada is a bit ahead of the United States. CanadaвЂ™s pension funds, especially from the West Coast, are looking to access China,вЂќ Ho said. Indeed, Canada is making efforts to beef up its offshore yuan business. Chinese media reported earlier the government is studying how to set up a yuan clearing centre with the private sector, and hopes to see some progress later this year. The Canadian province of British Columbia completed its second offshore yuan debt issuance worth 3bn yuan ($490.94mn) on Wednesday, which saw strong demand from central banks. Issuance from sovereign and supranational issuers is rare in dim sum market and usually draws lots of orders from central banks, which in turn pushes the Chinese currency a step ahead on the road to becoming a global reserve currency. Some banks are strengthening their presence in China in anticipation that offshore yuan business will take off in the Americas. вЂњIn North America there is an increased focus on transactional banking involving RMB payments. We have hired a head of FX in China which will help us п¬Ѓnd global RMB FX solutions for our clients,вЂќ said Gerrard Katz, head of Asia foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank, CanadaвЂ™s third largest lender. And the business interest goes both ways. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has won approval to be the yuan clearing bank in Singapore and Luxembourg. вЂњFor the next step, we will try to make breakthroughs in the Americas,вЂќ said Wu Bin, general manager at ICBCвЂ™s International Banking Department. By establishing new clearing hubs in more cities, Beijing hopes to persuade more foreign companies settle trade deals in yuan and to switch their invoicing to the yuan, also known as the renminbi. Having clearing banks reduces the cost of making payments, makes trades more efficient and reduces currency risk. Use of the yuan is also percolating into the Middle East at a quicker pace, with ChinaвЂ™s Agricultural Bank selling the п¬Ѓrst offshore yuan bond in Dubai in September, offering investors there access to yuan assets. The PeopleвЂ™s Bank of China and the Central Bank of UAE signed a 35bn yuan currency swap agreement in 2012 and some Middle East countries have announced or indicated plans to diversify their currency reserves into the yuan. вЂњThe Middle East is looking quite closely at the development of China and access to China. There is evidence of increasing demand for Chinese assets, whether itвЂ™s for offshore or onshore bonds given a lot of money there is looking for diversiп¬Ѓcations,вЂќ said HSBCвЂ™s Ho. In June, the yuan reinforced its position as the seventh most active currency for global payments and accounted for 1.55% of payments worldwide. HSBC expects the yuan to be fully convertible within 2-3 years. It had predicted last year that the currency would become fully convertible within п¬Ѓve years. Meanwhile, China п¬Ѓnancial institutions are rushing to expand their business beyond Hong Kong, aiming to broaden their investor base to Europe and the United States with yuan products. Chinese asset managers and banks have long been keen to go abroad, but their overseas business did not really pick up until the past few years when products denominated in yuan began to bestow them competitiveness against strong foreign players. Asset manager GF International Investment Management told Reuters on Monday in an inter- An employee counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Beijing. Even as China quickly expands the use of its currency to financial hubs in Asia and Europe this year, bankers are already looking to Canada and Middle East as the next growing regions for their offshore yuan business. view that it was looking to set up offices in New York and London next year to strengthen its distribution ability. вЂњOur initial plan is to hire п¬Ѓve to six people for each office and local hire is preferred especially for sales people,вЂќ said Nathan Lin, chief executive ofп¬Ѓcer at GF International Investment. The п¬Ѓrm will cooperate with exchange-traded funds (ETF) provider Global X, which had $3.5bn of assets under management by April, to launch a China bond ETF in New York within a month. Other money managers including China CSOP Asset Management and E Fund Management have already sold yuan products in Europe or the United States to meet growing demand there. Despite their smaller size and lack of international investment experience compared with fa- Sensex soars over 248 points IANS Mumbai A benchmark index of Indian equities markets yesterday touched a record high of 27,390.60 points surpassing its previous high of 27,354.99 hit on September 8. All the sectors were trading in green and the rally was led by IT, oil and gas, consumer durables, capital goods, banking and technology, media and entertainment (TECK) sectors. The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 27,098.94 points, closed trade at 27,346.33 points, up 248.16 points or 0.92% from the previous dayвЂ™s close at 27,098.17 points. The Sensex touched a high of 27,390.60 points and a low of 27,088.65 points in the trade so far. The S&P IT index gained by 210.22 points, oil and gas index increased by 177.25 points, consumer durables index moved up by 159.71 points, capital goods index got augmented by 144.78 points, Bankex inched up by 136.55 points and TECK index went up by 101.83 points. The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed trade up 78.75 points or 0.97% at 8,169.20 points after touching record high of 8,181.55, surpassing its previous high hit on September 8. вЂњFed ReserveвЂ™s growing optimism towards an economic recovery is encouraging. IndiaвЂ™s external sector should beneп¬Ѓt from an expanding ag- Traders at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The Sensex yesterday touched a record high of 27,390.60 points surpassing its previous high of 27,354.99 hit on September 8. gregate demand in the US, where consumer conп¬Ѓdence and employment are on an uptrend already. вЂњWithdrawing quantitative easing should not have any major implications on India especially due to the added protection of Fed refraining from raising rates and Dr RajanвЂ™s strict vigil on the Indian interest rate regime,вЂќ said Debopam Chaudhuri, chief economist, ZyFin Research. mous foreign names, the Chinese managers are believed to have a better understanding of ChinaвЂ™s policies and thus better investment strategies. вЂњPeopleвЂ™s interest in China has increased so much as there are a lot of programs that are telling people that China is deп¬Ѓnitely opening up,вЂќ said Jack Wang, chief marketing officer at CSOP Asset Management. вЂњWe see a lot of new clients coming to us this year, some of whom are very big and reputable foreign investors.вЂќ Not only asset managers, but Chinese banks have begun to see beneп¬Ѓts from quicker yuan internationalisation as investors and corporatesвЂ™ appetite to use and hold the вЂњredbackвЂќ is whetted by a slew of policies that enable greater access to the worldвЂ™s second-largest economy. Rupee hits 2-week low Reuters Mumbai The Indian rupee hit a two-week low yesterday, falling for a third consecutive session as the dollar got a boost after the US Federal Reserve struck a more hawkish tone than expected at its policy meeting. The dollar climbed to its highest in more than three weeks against a basket of currencies, after the Fed underscored the improving US labour market, raising concerns it may raise interest rates earlier than expected. However, broader losses in the rupee were capped as domestic shares rose to record highs, raising hopes of continued foreign inflows. Custodian banks were also seen selling dollars through the session. Analysts also cited government measures on Wednesday relaxing rules for foreign investment in the construction sector as another positive for the rupee. вЂњOverall sentiment on rupee is still positive because flows continue towards India, and I think India will be the favourite destination among EMs (emerging markets),вЂќ said Hari Chandramgethen, head of foreign exchange trading at South Indian Bank. вЂњI expect a trading range of 60 to 62 (per dollar) for the rupee in the near term.вЂќ The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.45/46 per dollar, weaker from WednesdayвЂ™s 61.35/36. Intra-day, it fell to as low as 61.55 per dollar, a level last seen on October 17. Asia shares mixed after Fed winds up bond-buying scheme AFP Tokyo A A businessman passes before a share prices board in Tokyo. JapanвЂ™s share prices rose 0.67%, or 104.29 points, to 15,658.20 yesterday. sian markets were mixed yesterday while the dollar resumed its upward march against the yen after the Federal Reserve wound up its vast bond-buying scheme and reiterated its plan to keep interest rates at record lows. Tokyo rose 0.67%, or 104.29 points, to 15,658.20 and Sydney added 0.52%, or 28.52 points, to 5,476.2, while Shanghai п¬Ѓnished 0.76%, or 18.07 points, higher at 2,391.08. But Seoul eased 0.11%, or 2.24 points, lower at 1,958.93 and Hong Kong gave up 0.49%, or 117.83 points, to 23,702.04. After a two-day meeting the US central bankвЂ™s policy committee said it would bring an end to six years of monetary easing as the economy gets back on track. And to reassure investors worried about the global economy, it also said it would keep near-zero interest rates for вЂњa considerable timeвЂќ after the end of the quantitative easing programme, sticking to its timetable of an increase well into 2015. However, while the decision was widely expected, its optimistic comments on the state of the jobs market were considered by analysts to be more hawkish than in the past, fuelling speculation of a possible earlier rate hike. вЂњThe Fed is positioning itself, but it hasnвЂ™t taken the decisionвЂќ to raise rates, said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets. вЂњIts action still depends on how the economy performs.вЂќ Traders will be keeping a close eye on the FedвЂ™s moves over the next few months, with fears that a hike too early could hurt overseas economies. World markets took a beating earlier this month on fears about the global outlook, with China, Japan and the eurozone still struggling, despite the pickup in the United States. WednesdayвЂ™s announcement sent the dollar surging on expectations for higher interest rates down the line, while the end of Fed bond-buying means there will be less cash swirling around the economy. It was at 109.26 yen yesterday in Japan, against 108.90 yen in New York and sharply up from 108.12 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday. The euro bought $1.2568, compared with $1.2634 in US trade and well down from WednesdayвЂ™s $1.2737 in Asia. The single currency was at 137.32 yen compared with 137.60 yen. The greenback also surged against the Australian dollar. In afternoon trade the Aussie bought 87.65 US cents, compared with 88.66 cents on Wednesday. In other markets, Bangkok closed up 0.17% or 2.68 points to 1,565.35; Taipei fell 0.18%, or 15.61 points, to 8,888.07; Wellington rose 0.27%, or 14.31 points, to 5,370.18 and Manila ended up 1.10%, or 77.68 points, at 7,170.99. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 5 BUSINESS Asian buyers line up for Mozambican LNG with new deals Reuters Milan/Singapore Countries across Asia are quietly reaching deals to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Mozambique, which could transform its economy and give it a front-row seat in tapping rising global gas demand. The unannounced agreements, five in total, show how war-scarred Mozambique is elbowing past rivals from the United States to Australia by offering flexible contract terms on 20-year deals. US oil major Anadarko Petroleum is building the first two of up to 10 plants in Mozambique to liquefy gas for export. Its gas finds in Area 1 of the countryвЂ™s Rovuma Basin will feed the initial 10mn tonne per annum (mtpa), $23bn export project, which is due to start by 2021. Preliminary deals have been reached to sell its LNG to China National Offshore Oil Corp, Japan, IndonesiaвЂ™s state-run Pertamina, the United Arab Emirates, ThailandвЂ™s PTT and companies in India, according to company and industry sources close to the talks. Firming these deals is critical to secure bank financing for Anadarko and its Area 1 project partners to build the project. If all goes as planned, Africa-focused Standard Bank expects an LNG windfall to swell the state purse of the former Portuguese colony, one of the worldвЂ™s least-developed nations. It sees AnadarkoвЂ™s initial project adding $67bn to government revenue over its 30-year life, rising to $212bn once the two initial plants are expanded to six. вЂњThe LNG cost base and pricing from our Mozambique project is competitive in todayвЂ™s LNG market, which is supported by the willingness of our partners to invest more than $3bn to date in this world-class development,вЂќ Steve Hoyle, AnadarkoвЂ™s vice president for LNG who is leading the project, told Reuters. He declined to comment on commercial details. AnadarkoвЂ™s partners include Mitsui, Oil India, Bharat PetroResources, PTT and MozambiqueвЂ™s state-run ENH. Global LNG demand is expected to double by around 2035. But prices that LNG projects can charge for long-term supply are falling from historic highs as new producers crowd the market and oil prices plunge, weeding out weaker contenders. Delays pose one of the biggest risks to AnadarkoвЂ™s plans, given the project has an extremely narrow window to lock in premium buyers before a surge of new supply post-2021 leaves only lower tier importers. In private talks, the supply deals have mostly been set via Heads of Agreement accords covering twothirds of the gas from AnadarkoвЂ™s flagship development, and negotiators are now trying to convert those into binding agreements by year-end, the sources said. They are likely to be announced as the project gets closer to a final investment decision. In an industry dominated by oillinked pricing of LNG, Anadarko is attracting clients by offering to price the fuel based on a mix of benchmarks including crude oil and US gas prices, the lowest in the world due to the shale boom, according to industry sources. Banking sources say Anadarko had been offering to partly tie forward sales of LNG to US gas prices plus a premium of $5-$7 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), with crude oil forming around 70% of the price. Chinese energy companies, already emerging as one of the biggest beneficiaries of new LNG exports from the United States, may also steal the show in Mozambique. Last year CNPC paid $4.2bn for a 20% stake in EniвЂ™s Area 4 LNG export venture in Mozambique to feed the worldвЂ™s fastest growing gas consuming country. Now ChinaвЂ™s National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, is set to lift a comparable volume of 2mn-2.5mn tonnes a year from AnadarkoвЂ™s neighbouring site in Area 1, three sources with knowledge of the matter said. вЂњThe terms of the CNOOC deal were ironed out some time ago, and it has just been parked waiting for the project to take a final investment decision,вЂќ an Area 1 project source said. ThailandвЂ™s PTT, a partner in the Area 1 venture, has agreed to take comparable volumes to ChinaвЂ™s CNOOC, a source with knowledge of the matter said. IndonesiaвЂ™s Pertamina, facing falling domestic gas output and rising demand, has agreed to take 1 mtpa of LNG, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. Last month it asked for double that volume and to buy a stake in the export plant, a Pertamina company source said. Rules on farm-ins set by the government require companies to take 10% or more, raising doubts among project sources if Pertamina has that much of an appetite for a stake. The project is trying to market some supply to a consortium of small-scale Japanese buyers, which may want to take a stake, and is in advanced talks with an Indian company, the sources said. Apart from Asia, Anadarko is also pursuing a supply deal with the United Arab Emirates, which is keen to switch to gas from burning oil to generate electricity and looking for supply to help fill a big LNG import terminal it is building, the sources said. While Mozambique finds buyers, regional rival Tanzania is lagging as political paralysis bogs down energy legislation and delays investment decisions by project developers BG Group and Statoil, a recent Eurasia Group note said. For the Mozambique LNG project to be developed, the government must set up a fiscal and legal framework to smooth the inflow of investments, for which parliament has set a year-end deadline. Recent election results make that process easier as the ruling Frelimo party and its candidate, Filipe Nyusi, were returned to power. Maybank launches п¬Ѓrst dollar sukuk MF Samsung plans smartphone revamp to arrest proп¬Ѓt slide Reuters Dubai Reuters Seoul T amsung Electronics yesterday said it would revamp its smartphone line-up to take on competitors in the rapidly growing mid-to-low range segment, after third-quarter earnings set it on course for its worst year since 2011. The global smartphone leaderвЂ™s market share declined in annual terms for the third straight quarter in July-September, lagging Apple Inc in the premium market and overtaken by rivals like Lenovo Group and Xiaomi Inc at the bottom end, research п¬Ѓrm Strategy Analytics said. Executives said the South Korean giant would overhaul its lower-tier line-up to boost price competitiveness and use higher-quality components to set its devices apart, after it announced its worst third-quarter proп¬Ѓt in more than three years. вЂњThe mid-to-low end market is growing rapidly, and we plan to respond actively in order to capitalise on that growth,вЂќ Samsung senior vice president Kim Hyun-joon said during a conference call with analysts. Samsung said its third-quarter operating proп¬Ѓt fell by an annual 60.1% to 4.1tn won ($3.9bn), matching its guidance issued earlier he asset management arm of MalaysiaвЂ™s Malayan Banking Bhd, the countryвЂ™s largest lender, has launched its п¬Ѓrst US dollar-denominated mutual fund that invests in Islamic bonds. The new fund will invest partly in sukuk issued from Gulf countries. This is rare for Malaysian funds, because there is an abundant supply of local ringgit-denominated sukuk, but demand for dollar-denominated paper has been growing. The fund will initially be available to Malaysian investors only, although the п¬Ѓrm plans to distribute the fund overseas as well, NorвЂ™ Azamin Salleh, chief executive of Maybank Asset Management Group Bhd, said in a statement on Wednesday. Sukuk funds remain tiny compared to their conventional п¬Ѓxed income counterparts, but competition is heating up as the market widens and п¬Ѓrms vie for a chunk of privately managed accounts. There are 36 sukuk funds in Malaysia which hold a combined $1.9bn in assets, according to data from Zawya, a Thomson Reuters company. S this month. While the company expects proп¬Ѓts to pick up in the fourth quarter on strong demand for televisions and memory chips, analysts still expect Samsung to record its worst annual operating proп¬Ѓt in three years. Proп¬Ѓt for the mobile division fell 73.9% to 1.75tn won in the third quarter, its worst performance since the second quarter of 2011. Samsung spent most of the quarter without launching a new п¬‚agship device, and continued to struggle in the mid-to-low tier markets against cheaper and value-packed offerings like XiaomiвЂ™s Redmi 1S. Robert Yi, SamsungвЂ™s head of investor relations, said the п¬Ѓrm would launch new mid-tier models in the fourth quarter, although he didnвЂ™t specify what features they would have. Samsung expects average selling prices for handsets will rise in the fourth quarter due to an increase in premium smartphone sales, namely of the Galaxy Note 4, and as demand picks up in the holiday shopping season. Analysts say Samsung will likely have to sacriп¬Ѓce margins to protect its market share. Cheaper phones are expected to drive global smartphone market growth in coming years, meaning a general trend of lower average selling prices. Wal-Mart to close 30 Japan stores Bloomberg Tokyo Wal-Mart Stores will close about 30 outlets in Japan as it focuses on its fresh food offerings and expands its e-commerce business in the worldвЂ™s third-largest economy. Wal-MartвЂ™s Seiyu unit also will accelerate upgrades to its existing stores as it broadens fresh food and deli offerings, the worldвЂ™s largest retailer said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. About 50 stores are expected to be remodelled by next year, it said. The store closures come after rival foreign retailers have pulled out of the Japanese market, which is fragmented and faced with severe price competition. Carrefour SA of France sold its Japanese stores to Aeon Co. in 2005, and that was A man tries out a Samsung ElectronicsвЂ™ Galaxy Note Edge during the 2014 Korea Electronics Show in Goyang. The company yesterday said it would revamp its smartphone line-up to take on competitors in the rapidly growing mid-to-low range segment, after third quarter earnings set it on course for its worst year since 2011. Lenovo closes $2.9bn deal to buy Motorola followed by Tesco PlcвЂ™s decision to sell its local business to the same company in 2012. Wal-MartвЂ™s Seiyu chain has 373 outlets nationwide and employed 17,916 employees including temporary workers as of December last year, according to SeiyuвЂ™s website. Apart from Seiyu, the US retailer also runs Wakana deli outlets and Livin hypermarkets. The company will introduce more versatile food processing equipment to provide greater flexibility to change menus at the Wakana unit, according to yesterdayвЂ™s statement. Same-store sales in Japanese supermarkets fell for a 22nd straight year in 2013, according to the trade ministry. Aeon faces a вЂњtough challengeвЂќ to meet forecasts as its discounting strategy hasnвЂ™t stimulated sales as much as expected, Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Taketo Yamate wrote in an October 6 note. AFP Beijing L enovo announced yesterday it has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google, a move strengthening the Chinese giantвЂ™s position in the smartphone market. The $2.9bn deal, announced in January, ends GoogleвЂ™s brief ownership of the onetime mobile phone star. By adding Motorola, Lenovo positions itself among the top global smartphone makers behind Samsung and Apple. Lenovo will operate Motorola as a wholly-owned subsidiary, keeping the Chicago-based head- quarters and adding some 3,500 employees, including 2,800 in the United States. вЂњToday, we achieved a historic milestone for Lenovo and for Motorola вЂ“ and together we are ready to compete, grow and win in the global smartphone market,вЂќ Lenovo chairman and chief executive Yang Yuanqing said in a statement. He hailed the partnership as a вЂњperfect п¬Ѓt,вЂќ adding that вЂњMotorola brings a strong presence in the US and other mature markets, great carrier relationships, an iconic brand, a strong IP portfolio and an incredibly talented team.вЂќ In the same statement, Google CEO Larry Page said that вЂњMotorola is in great hands with Lenovo, a company thatвЂ™s all-in on making great devices.вЂќ Lenovo announced yesterday it has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google. вЂ�Indonesia п¬Ѓscal deп¬Ѓcit wonвЂ™t exceed legal limitвЂ™ Reuters Jakarta I Brodjonegoro: Allaying fears. ndonesiaвЂ™s fiscal deficit is not expected to exceed a legal limit this year as government spending has been lower than expected, the new finance minister said yesterday, a step that would allow President Joko Widodo to avert a political crisis. A shortfall in tax revenue estimated at $6.15bn threatened to push the 2014 budget deficit to breach a legally binding limit of 3% of gross domestic product. But IndonesiaвЂ™s new Finance Minister, Bambang Brodjonegoro, told Reuters the deficit would be below that, as lower-thanexpected government spending, which included a cut in fuel subsidy costs, is set off against smaller tax collections. вЂњFor sure, we are not expecting it will be close to 3% (of GDP). It will be around our targeted deficit of 2.4%,вЂќ said Brod- jonegoro, who was promoted from vice minister on Monday. He expected government spending to be 7% to 8% less than the 1,877tn rupiah ($154.87bn) budgeted for this year. Parliament passed a law in 2003 limiting the budget deficit to below 3% of GDP in a bid to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis of 1998 that ended the 32-year rule of autocratic leader Suharto. Breaking the budget law could feasibly embolden parliament to launch an impeachment bid, even though the budget mess is the responsibility of WidodoвЂ™s predecessor, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The main driver behind the budget deficit was ballooning fuel subsidies, which could be cut as early as this week, an adviser to the president told Reuters. Brodjonegoro declined to specify when a fuel subsidy cut would happen, saying it would take place вЂњas early as possible.вЂќ Indonesian fuel prices are among the cheapest in the region, with gasoline costing 6,500 rupiah a litre, and diesel costing 5,500 rupiah. A sharp drop in global oil prices has helped limit the governmentвЂ™s subsidy costs. The market price of subsidised fuel is at around 8,750 rupiah, said Dian Ayu Yustina, an economist with Bank Danamon. Brodjonegoro said the government would not scrap the fuel subsidy, indicating the hike would probably be less than 3,000 rupiah. The government plans to cap the fuel subsidy next year. The fuel price hike is expected to ease domestic demand and allow state oil firm Pertamina to keep to its quota of 46mn kilolitres this year, Brodjonegoro said. Pertamina, which is the main distributor of subsidized fuel, had expected to exceed the quota in early December and need 1.9mn kilolitres more, said Hanung Budya, the companyвЂ™s director of marketing and trading. 6 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 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 87.60 61.00 20.70 26.65 17.70 17.00 97.80 132.00 214.30 88.00 45.80 87.00 49.35 112.00 23.75 45.00 12.10 215.20 182.20 43.20 97.10 123.50 25.85 24.10 31.75 185.80 126.40 111.90 51.00 21.80 188.40 151.40 58.00 119.00 19.70 33.50 58.00 58.20 73.90 42.95 46.00 14.83 % Chg 0.11 0.49 -1.90 -0.74 -1.28 -2.52 -0.10 -0.75 -1.24 -0.79 -0.43 -1.81 -2.85 -3.36 -1.74 -3.02 -0.74 -0.46 -2.31 0.00 -1.22 -3.44 -3.36 -0.82 0.16 -1.17 0.00 -0.18 -2.86 -0.68 -3.38 3.42 -1.53 -2.46 -1.99 1.67 -3.01 -3.00 -1.20 2.63 0.33 -1.13 Volume 869 236,182 923,070 761,535 594,204 202,343 315,026 14,959 482,599 27,083 7,921 214,436 79,575 342,909 648,099 8,500 31,751 40,575 287,677 125,138 257,435 514,993 1,787,874 233,273 37,169 47,726 45,404 2,204,631 61,377 642,061 279,847 659,989 286,793 2,844,533 119,157 367,375 58,703 366,353 2,457,508 37,759 103,508 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 48.98 16.79 13.50 68.77 25.30 22.44 22.78 22.93 40.63 19.15 113.98 12.90 43.14 54.22 24.59 54.04 116.87 23.86 58.61 67.05 73.09 56.24 80.01 24.30 21.39 136.42 27.24 34.15 108.78 24.58 53.86 50.53 80.22 31.58 100.02 43.34 43.50 59.78 29.40 48.78 40.70 69.75 31.26 36.74 74.02 153.50 50.77 188.31 15.81 28.06 60.00 9.83 79.95 17.54 37.40 108.98 34.70 58.92 49.40 33.50 41.84 18.30 24.76 78.75 26.23 104.67 50.97 189.16 51.42 22.05 14.49 21.03 22.38 38.44 24.51 81.76 72.12 18.76 12.55 128.47 39.49 33.09 14.18 32.69 33.30 30.63 47.27 33.41 33.23 28.10 15.00 95.74 52.36 18.95 19.70 65.40 16.27 % Chg 1.20 -0.59 0.00 -1.97 -2.84 -0.75 -2.15 -5.40 -2.17 -3.14 -0.88 -0.77 -0.92 1.46 -1.17 -0.79 0.65 0.25 -2.01 -1.02 7.77 0.70 0.08 0.00 -1.16 0.68 -3.44 -1.75 -1.01 -1.95 -1.05 -2.28 1.49 0.25 2.60 -0.60 -1.98 -0.47 -2.00 -2.83 0.12 0.00 -0.10 0.05 -1.63 -1.75 0.55 -2.41 -2.77 1.67 -0.41 1.34 0.00 -0.11 -1.40 -1.38 -1.70 -1.41 -1.22 0.00 -0.45 0.66 -2.21 -1.18 -1.28 0.41 0.45 -2.52 -1.12 0.73 -1.09 -1.22 -1.84 0.89 -2.62 0.32 2.23 -4.96 0.00 -1.56 -1.05 -1.72 -0.84 -1.92 -0.30 -1.26 -1.66 -0.27 -0.63 -0.85 -0.79 -0.27 -1.13 -1.81 -0.61 -0.74 -1.03 Volume 50,843 1,587,978 138,017 570,861 405,459 400,810 3,037,224 428,992 1,178,963 53,755 15,186,479 970,148 5,490,112 655,044 220,819 178,097 19,272,070 247,739 42,899 5,371,776 602,190 383,927 338,411 165,432 796,768 393,316 92,728 1,000,414 336,902 536,262 293,668 323,631 1,926,099 82,580 224,639 326,047 981,565 2,113,281 671,402 1,362,962 131,667 240,523 178,274 506,480 88,075 2,543,029 1,375,014 134,483 14,673,818 3,229,684 517,337 88,772 1,825 360,291 708,116 128 464,838 1,316,687 724,383 21,051 429,033 47,775 72,502 68,944 493,024 1,554,355 7,556,680 2,212,294 900,319 3,398,140 3,218,899 21,259 3,130,809 1,654,703 59,356 306,003 161,875 1,685,772 769,764 48,699 2,384,876 1,452,845 1,517,520 557,063 1,560,325 1,020,765 50,187 68,120 134,425 735,901 1,833,167 991,779 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 57.75 43.31 110.90 110.82 28.85 122.00 160.20 41.41 24.50 52.10 35.74 45.80 15.23 33.06 71.15 34.00 11.51 85.41 11.68 66.11 138.55 16.95 33.51 87.27 35.46 47.12 28.86 19.88 57.94 % Chg -1.06 -3.71 -1.11 -0.84 -0.83 -2.44 -0.50 -2.84 0.37 -3.18 -1.24 0.79 0.00 -0.60 -0.84 0.00 0.35 -1.39 -0.60 -1.15 1.27 -0.88 -2.87 3.98 -1.75 -3.42 -1.40 -1.73 -1.04 Volume 159,082 1,302,535 3,330,141 170,903 484,522 40,183 104,954 451,868 1,104,217 808,723 252,208 1,397,159 393,628 229,607 2,284,169 509,155 1,031,627 159,784 77,857 1,874,457 789,519 420,077 220,436 374,424 259,976 1,207,034 534,281 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/The Boubyan Petrochemicals Co Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) National Bank Of Kuwait Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Kuwait International Bank Gulf Bank Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co Al Arabiya Real Estate Co Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co Alkout Industrial Projects C AвЂ™ayan Real Estate Co Investors Holding Group Co.K Markaz Real Estate Fund Al-Mazaya Holding Co Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co Gulf Petroleum Investment Mabanee Co Sakc City Group Inovest Co Bsc Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing Al-Deera Holding Co Alshamel International Hold 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 Ksc Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Kuwait Portland Cement Co Educational Holding Group Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Kuwait China Investment Co Kuwait Investment Co Burgan Bank Kuwait Projects Co Holdings Al Madina For Finance And In Kuwait Insurance Co Al Masaken Intl Real Estate Intl Financial Advisors First Investment Co Kscc Al Mal Investment Company Bayan Investment Co Kscc Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae Coast Investment Development Privatization Holding Compan Kuwait Medical Services Co Injazzat Real State Company Kuwait Cable Vision Sak Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc Ithmaar Bank Bsc Aviation Lease And Finance C Arzan Financial Group For Fi Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co Manafae Investment Co Kuwait Business Town Real Es Future Kid Entertainment And Specialities Group Holding C Abyaar Real Eastate Developm Lt Price 106.00 104.00 350.00 146.00 234.00 690.00 71.00 214.00 35.00 89.00 720.00 435.00 650.00 970.00 670.00 315.00 340.00 70.00 52.00 82.00 0.00 100.00 0.00 1.52 132.00 46.50 92.00 1,020.00 415.00 76.00 0.00 21.50 100.00 110.00 44.00 160.00 63.00 780.00 81.00 45.00 70.00 128.00 90.00 405.00 120.00 31.50 92.00 0.00 260.00 0.00 45.00 0.00 95.00 470.00 62.00 86.00 83.00 88.00 630.00 150.00 176.00 0.00 106.00 156.00 124.00 180.00 85.00 0.00 246.00 0.00 44.50 0.00 29.00 99.00 305.00 100.00 880.00 51.00 86.00 190.00 54.00 220.00 134.00 15.00 130.00 190.00 93.00 168.00 110.00 630.00 32.50 405.00 94.00 430.00 96.00 1,380.00 168.00 0.00 61.00 156.00 550.00 700.00 38.00 310.00 70.00 58.00 108.00 52.00 86.00 260.00 78.00 62.00 0.00 75.00 48.00 61.00 52.00 250.00 62.00 70.00 0.00 47.50 106.00 150.00 42.50 % Chg -5.36 1.96 0.00 0.00 2.63 0.00 -2.74 0.00 0.00 -1.11 -1.37 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.90 1.61 0.00 0.00 -1.89 1.23 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.33 -2.13 -1.92 -5.68 0.00 0.00 2.38 0.00 1.85 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -4.11 -4.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.08 -5.15 0.00 -1.89 0.00 -1.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.15 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.92 1.30 0.00 0.00 -2.30 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.20 0.00 -1.69 -2.94 0.00 -3.85 1.15 -1.92 2.38 0.00 0.00 0.92 0.00 3.45 -1.52 3.26 -5.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.99 0.00 -2.08 1.18 1.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.17 -1.27 1.85 1.45 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 -1.82 1.96 -1.15 0.00 -2.50 -1.59 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.61 4.00 0.81 -1.59 1.45 0.00 1.06 0.00 -2.60 -2.30 Volume 1,292 2,000 89,059 750,001 500 1 32,112 653 3,400 2,732,050 70,658 2,923 32,667 1,734,278 329 829,671 508,854 76,600 328,618 870,030 80,800 389,174 146,658 1,370,200 756,796 4 911,000 1,216,743 5,000 8,160 500 5,000 100 5,000 580 150,200 300 252,500 12,500 1 141,257 27,568,789 1,396,879 35,000 2,885,306 8,146,219 98,634 70,000 1,500 666 19,600 910 45,838 15,000 113,925 208,231 600 3,221 740,499 100 710,690 4,607,709 235,900 5,000 102,600 971,429 5,000 2,508,700 815 177,900 1,776,366 58,600 5,419 845 100 269,010 20,000 1,162 962,251 3,818,003 10,000 2,701,150 98,933 20,100 22,108 20 83,463 3,217,984 2,296,632 505,028 389,349 8,330 170,000 705,095 694,831 7,639,299 2,289,498 86 5,128,260 1,345,139 40,500 500 200,000 3,571,642 832,916 640,250 100 1,590,807 15,100 9,220 655,100 Company Name Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C Al-Dar National Real Estate Kgl Logistics Company Kscc Combined Group Contracting Zima Holding Co Ksc Qurain Holding Co Boubyan Intl Industries Hold Gulf Investment House Boubyan Bank K.S.C Ahli United Bank B.S.C Al-Safat Tec Holding Co Al-Eid Food Co Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co Advanced Technology Co Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C Kout Food Group Real Estate Trade Centers Co Acico Industries Co Kscc Kipco Asset Management Co National Petroleum Services Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc Ras Al Khaimah Co Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Human Soft Holding Co Automated Systems Co Metal & Recycling Co Gulf Franchising Holding Co Al-EnmaвЂ™a Real Estate Co National Mobile Telecommuni Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc Union Real Estate Co Housing Finance Co Sak Al Salam Group Holding Co United Foodstuff Industries Al Aman Investment Company Mashaer Holdings 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 146.00 30.00 122.00 810.00 168.00 35.50 85.00 73.00 510.00 238.00 66.00 0.00 224.00 0.00 48.00 880.00 47.50 325.00 112.00 590.00 70.00 128.00 188.00 76.00 405.00 400.00 100.00 75.00 82.00 1,540.00 0.00 160.00 22.50 89.00 0.00 86.00 158.00 59.00 85.00 68.00 445.00 435.00 99.00 128.00 66.00 43.00 110.00 150.00 340.00 166.00 29.00 1,040.00 88.00 470.00 80.00 380.00 770.00 148.00 780.00 % Chg 0.00 -1.64 3.39 -2.41 0.00 1.43 0.00 0.00 2.00 2.59 0.00 0.00 1.82 0.00 -1.03 0.00 0.00 1.56 1.82 3.51 -1.41 -3.03 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.17 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.47 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.13 0.00 -1.49 -2.27 0.00 -1.32 -2.86 2.47 -1.69 4.00 0.00 5.62 2.56 2.70 -1.28 -1.33 -1.27 Volume 10 2,553,719 593,281 15,252 2 1,500 900 1,230,613 386,522 2,640,660 51,000 642,622 339,000 10,000 8,420 6,000 80,000 1 161,650 128,760 310 356,100 1,250 7 10,000 60,000 569,000 5,760 10,001 1,240,505 211,621 3,000,440 41,852 3,559,461 602,116 554,200 200 246,115 1,808,433 70,205 51,250 12,200 318,680 25,000 48,627 1,207,839 6,775,697 1 1,003,921 985 2,099,128 95,250 35,104 100 2,163,322 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 0.42 0.14 1.61 1.00 0.00 0.15 0.65 0.91 0.21 2.03 1.05 0.66 1.04 0.18 0.37 1.38 1.45 2.45 0.61 2.10 0.39 0.48 0.41 0.29 1.67 1.30 0.15 2.45 0.26 2.25 0.25 0.38 0.31 0.00 0.43 0.00 0.45 0.52 0.22 0.00 0.23 0.00 5.01 0.63 0.02 0.07 0.13 0.18 0.00 1.00 0.72 0.56 3.64 2.39 1.45 0.66 0.16 0.52 0.00 0.10 0.00 0.07 2.05 0.62 0.15 0.70 0.00 0.36 3.75 0.00 0.28 0.16 0.00 0.00 1.65 0.00 2.45 0.85 0.29 0.15 0.31 0.00 1.25 0.13 0.08 0.42 0.18 0.20 0.21 10.50 0.12 0.17 0.43 0.16 0.06 % Chg 0.96 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.39 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.65 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.98 0.00 0.30 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.53 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.84 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 -0.21 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.65 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.84 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.41 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.56 0.00 0.00 -29.92 0.00 1.49 0.00 -0.81 -0.60 0.00 0.00 0.00 Volume 25,831 31,326 63,000 1,186,255 730 543,646 411,120 28,000 466,461 183,900 200 386,500 1,463 6,260,267 109,000 2,736,990 31,000 62,000 165,237 167,040 62,050 30,168 12,875 401,949 185,000 587,256 9,000 3,216,000 17,570 - 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 0.53 0.20 1.47 0.00 0.00 1.28 0.19 0.17 0.26 0.25 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.22 0.70 0.36 1.13 0.50 5.50 0.46 0.00 0.74 0.33 0.00 0.39 0.37 0.55 0.75 0.22 0.05 0.00 % Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.38 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.00 0.00 1.92 0.00 0.00 -1.83 1.15 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 Volume 20,950 940,485 14,800 37,000 406,875 2,007,891 1,118 5,650 500 5,000 250,000 - 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 1.07 2.75 1.08 6.88 2.00 1.35 7.00 5.85 0.99 0.93 0.00 4.30 1.21 1.40 1.84 0.83 3.80 3.33 1.02 8.80 135.00 1.20 1.28 7.65 6.99 1.85 3.35 4.25 13.50 0.98 0.00 3.10 2.76 1.20 2.54 3.00 0.96 1.41 3.60 4.05 18.15 1.50 1.45 11.50 1.07 7.10 4.50 7.70 0.60 1.75 1.77 0.99 5.35 6.55 1.52 3.20 44.55 0.65 6.58 300.00 2.32 6.90 3.50 6.55 7.90 3.38 % Chg 12.63 -1.43 0.00 -0.29 0.00 0.00 0.00 -10.00 3.13 2.20 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 15.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.92 2.33 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.07 0.00 0.00 -5.26 -2.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -4.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.42 0.00 0.00 -0.43 -4.46 0.00 11.11 0.00 -3.23 0.00 0.00 -1.00 0.00 -9.66 -5.00 -4.48 0.00 0.00 2.65 0.00 2.65 0.00 0.00 0.46 -2.47 0.00 Volume 80,000 651,322 2,248,221 5,000 1,030,000 43,225 68,200 11,191,995 37,777 10,449 455,869 2,113,629 187,300 31,500 5,503,517 2,181,229 100,732,431 10,000 4,286,971 1,000 2,691 36,375 16,222,350 127,000 1,000 136,829 3,572,420 - 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 0.32 0.30 0.85 0.18 0.05 0.18 501.75 0.26 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.23 0.85 ` 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.82 0.00 0.66 0.16 0.88 0.00 0.68 0.46 0.34 2.20 0.83 0.06 0.82 % Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.94 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.88 0.58 0.00 -0.60 0.00 1.23 Volume 14,345 25,000 13,700 12,600 5,000 2,000 79,900 210,141 26,700 500 62,970 45,090 42,500 15,000 43,000 23,226 22,009 4,500 5,000 29,213 14,000 1,965 24,825,837 201,223 125,000 LATEST MARKET CLOSING FIGURES Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 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 Pfizer Inc Coca-Cola Co/The At&T Inc Intel Corp Merck & Co. Inc. Intl Business Machines Corp Walt Disney Co/The Visa Inc-Class A Shares Home Depot Inc Cisco Systems Inc 3M Co United Technologies Corp American Express Co McdonaldвЂ™s Corp Unitedhealth Group Inc Boeing Co/The Goldman Sachs Group Inc Nike Inc -Cl B Caterpillar Inc Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours Travelers Cos Inc/The Lt Price 93.95 46.00 105.92 25.52 76.40 86.84 59.28 116.18 50.00 29.80 41.52 34.38 32.81 56.81 163.95 89.81 233.99 96.98 24.00 151.61 105.65 88.64 92.96 93.31 123.45 186.49 92.61 99.80 67.30 100.36 % Chg -0.68 -1.33 0.34 -0.55 0.01 0.35 -0.02 -0.82 0.34 1.05 1.37 -0.06 -3.27 1.09 0.30 0.31 9.00 0.58 -0.44 0.40 -0.19 0.34 0.24 0.38 0.30 0.22 0.72 -0.39 0.75 0.94 3,591,116 10,200,449 4,045,748 10,980,960 1,552,318 1,959,526 5,871,408 1,940,219 2,978,465 6,806,250 7,267,101 8,631,342 21,767,046 5,273,096 1,308,623 1,577,293 7,432,172 1,545,131 15,772,056 678,306 1,017,408 2,241,976 1,035,703 827,555 901,653 1,195,839 779,694 980,544 1,411,494 764,011 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 1,209.00 3,264.00 155.60 4,320.00 2,262.00 206.45 849.50 2,477.00 483.40 398.00 1,626.00 173.15 388.20 946.00 714.00 1,577.00 639.00 1,150.00 1,061.00 4,150.00 1,993.00 2,332.00 246.50 374.20 3,488.00 478.80 434.60 2,303.50 2,226.00 365.30 813.50 2,951.00 1,013.00 5,180.00 3,777.00 1,430.00 1,040.00 1,442.00 1,160.00 191.10 6,435.00 915.00 1,035.00 445.30 404.30 1,970.00 75.35 228.00 1,090.00 294.00 2,884.00 201.00 335.40 389.10 2,721.00 2,340.00 2,677.00 1,209.00 629.00 961.00 603.00 317.05 1,399.50 315.00 250.60 310.40 716.50 935.00 1,458.00 392.20 281.10 1,808.50 1,380.00 1,001.00 1,348.00 299.70 2,467.00 1,095.00 1,501.00 1,678.00 367.40 883.00 715.00 3,465.00 442.55 1,614.50 1,026.00 224.00 450.40 1,076.00 517.50 4,491.00 2,759.00 1,021.00 835.50 689.00 1,318.00 1,504.00 1,327.00 421.30 387.50 0.00 % Chg -0.17 0.37 -0.58 0.79 0.35 0.56 0.30 0.04 -2.15 0.66 0.12 -0.12 1.07 -4.65 3.78 1.02 1.11 1.59 4.22 1.84 -0.05 0.43 -1.64 0.86 0.52 1.12 -0.71 -0.43 -0.42 1.53 1.43 -1.19 1.10 0.29 -6.07 0.99 -0.48 1.55 0.43 0.58 0.31 1.33 2.17 0.68 0.07 1.55 1.17 1.47 0.18 -0.44 0.03 -1.57 -0.12 1.01 0.44 1.92 1.21 0.42 0.16 -0.72 0.33 -2.05 0.07 0.77 0.20 1.50 -4.34 -1.22 0.14 0.46 0.79 -0.03 1.32 1.47 0.22 0.23 1.82 1.20 0.07 0.48 -2.16 1.26 -0.14 0.43 -0.62 -0.95 -1.77 1.59 0.96 -0.55 0.10 1.06 0.69 1.79 0.97 -2.13 -2.55 -0.79 1.22 -0.05 -0.08 0.00 Volume 2,372,195 859,045 4,771,150 330,159 537,464 33,760,519 770,015 2,639,524 4,202,859 3,643,824 327,583 20,822,872 2,381,703 14,448,772 2,116,842 1,872,815 2,371,992 896,949 3,056,845 2,132,137 610,576 124,221 7,804,159 1,196,261 1,223,024 1,944,152 2,016,443 3,310,974 3,460,252 8,310,234 6,147,221 4,514,321 1,772,232 685,702 829,790 2,804,548 1,772,628 896,117 996,434 9,148,989 799,573 3,308,829 982,898 1,282,663 2,570,755 1,254,265 108,820,534 7,718,305 1,857,402 3,173,587 381,270 13,456,567 1,128,537 12,533,327 332,255 420,693 896,558 635,390 20,994,139 1,051,162 1,672,407 32,158,735 5,921,819 4,944,451 1,556,388 2,273,215 1,489,004 1,160,000 1,207,890 2,001,644 3,419,719 3,027,947 1,398,856 1,737,715 173,088 5,366,932 648,773 2,003,069 775,280 267,377 18,856,583 1,653,078 1,730,236 1,340,300 22,340,133 8,826,597 4,325,840 62,591,438 3,589,155 778,381 5,040,945 1,696,887 560,352 1,628,820 3,707,201 1,802,555 3,688,242 738,729 381,138 3,141,994 1,029,782 - 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 1,359.00 1,980.50 1,309.50 1,400.00 3,619.00 4,134.00 717.90 874.40 368.00 6,682.00 530.90 4,152.50 4,657.50 1,637.50 4,228.00 1,613.50 3,635.00 1,733.00 459.00 % Chg 0.67 1.54 0.61 -0.18 -0.07 0.22 0.77 1.15 0.55 -0.36 0.59 1.37 0.64 -0.43 -1.17 -0.34 -0.34 -3.56 0.81 Indices Volume Volume 8,111,400 3,214,400 8,277,400 3,535,700 4,794,600 2,355,400 7,897,000 5,412,000 11,888,000 1,802,400 5,474,900 2,649,200 2,228,000 8,410,000 2,280,800 6,375,000 7,323,500 5,073,800 11,856,900 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 17,118.90 1,986.84 4,544.47 14,456.98 44,342.67 52,238.17 6,460.97 4,139.95 9,102.77 10,257.50 +144.59 +4.54 -4.76 -70.59 +103.73 +1,188.85 +7.10 +29.31 +19.96 +9.70 Nikkei 225 Japan Topix Hang Seng Index All Ordinaries Indx Nzx All Index Bse Sensex 30 Index Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index Straits Times Index Karachi All Share Index Jakarta Composite Index 15,658.20 1,278.90 23,702.04 5,457.08 1,084.58 27,346.33 8,169.20 3,234.31 22,158.86 5,058.85 +104.29 +8.26 -117.83 +25.95 +3.34 +248.16 +78.75 +10.28 +62.04 -15.21 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 3,525.00 556.50 275.50 0.00 172.00 2,118.50 1,457.00 1,433.50 29,280.00 2,540.50 1,651.00 6,597.00 820.60 462.90 1,345.50 6,959.00 372.00 690.10 1,209.00 267.00 2,055.00 5,900.00 50,360.00 4,985.50 17,790.00 6,490.00 4,655.50 11,885.00 5,786.00 652.10 950.10 6,260.00 3,323.00 3,435.00 1,427.50 3,603.50 3,240.00 1,115.50 1,036.50 11,235.00 1,310.50 686.20 1,613.00 6,698.00 1,146.50 2,085.50 1,055.00 608.00 610.50 417.90 4,105.50 598.40 195.00 1,346.50 796.00 632.20 2,610.00 2,229.00 1,552.50 3,323.50 1,329.50 3,221.50 2,418.50 3,647.00 8,252.00 5,095.00 15,415.00 256.80 6,425.00 6,900.00 1,776.50 390.00 1,294.50 1,073.50 1,284.00 1,168.00 615.10 6,351.00 347.00 37,680.00 7,740.00 % Chg -0.30 1.61 1.18 0.00 1.18 -0.02 -1.39 1.13 2.00 1.30 -0.33 2.55 2.00 1.83 0.07 0.22 -0.80 -0.42 -2.42 0.75 2.67 -0.84 5.76 0.91 -1.44 1.41 -0.48 0.93 0.71 -0.08 -0.18 -0.03 0.59 2.91 0.53 2.53 0.86 0.86 0.39 1.03 1.20 0.03 -0.03 1.10 -1.04 0.07 0.81 1.50 1.08 2.10 0.58 1.94 1.67 0.97 0.11 -0.66 1.06 1.09 1.01 0.09 1.80 2.92 1.79 1.72 -0.36 -0.02 1.48 0.94 -0.43 0.01 -0.17 -1.76 1.25 3.77 2.64 1.13 0.70 1.39 0.00 2.00 3.08 Volume 3,662,000 8,054,000 67,253,000 30,142,000 4,311,100 4,633,000 4,204,100 365,600 5,979,100 9,727,000 2,319,400 28,952,000 24,487,000 12,445,000 1,319,800 25,642,000 9,406,000 13,497,600 27,221,000 16,419,200 1,782,300 473,800 2,009,200 2,846,100 1,018,100 2,997,600 1,149,100 1,610,000 28,260,000 10,482,200 8,740,700 7,390,300 3,114,200 1,932,800 2,233,600 6,024,500 4,647,200 1,748,000 2,334,400 8,644,200 7,910,300 16,022,600 2,029,300 6,158,200 5,248,600 3,201,100 75,231,500 35,530,700 59,223,000 6,693,000 7,642,000 180,683,400 21,684,500 14,877,000 21,936,200 1,104,900 2,728,900 8,151,100 4,528,600 4,130,300 7,382,000 9,142,000 2,381,000 1,940,500 1,685,300 645,200 21,937,000 2,799,300 7,141,700 5,750,000 41,454,300 5,934,900 5,479,400 3,265,200 2,979,000 12,610,000 1,579,600 8,388,500 603,000 17,374,900 SENSEX Company Name Zee Entertainment Enterprise Wipro Ltd Ultratech Cement Ltd Tech Mahindra Ltd Tata Steel Ltd Tata Power Co Ltd Tata Motors Ltd Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd Sun Pharmaceutical Indus State Bank Of India Sesa Sterlite Ltd Reliance Industries Ltd Punjab National Bank Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd Ntpc Ltd Nmdc Ltd Maruti Suzuki India Ltd Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd Lupin Ltd Larsen & Toubro Ltd Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd Jindal Steel & Power Ltd Itc Ltd Infosys Ltd Indusind Bank Ltd Idfc Ltd Icici Bank Ltd Housing Development Finance Hindustan Unilever Ltd Hindalco Industries Ltd Hero Motocorp Ltd Hdfc Bank Limited Hcl Technologies Ltd Grasim Industries Ltd Gail India Ltd Dr. ReddyвЂ™s Laboratories Dlf Ltd Coal India Ltd Cipla Ltd Cairn India Ltd Bharti Airtel Ltd Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd Bharat Heavy Electricals Bank Of Baroda Bajaj Auto Ltd Axis Bank Ltd Asian Paints Ltd Ambuja Cements Ltd Acc Ltd Lt Price 347.35 560.25 2,512.15 2,479.55 474.50 90.65 526.95 2,558.20 828.65 2,638.00 253.05 979.25 915.80 144.45 395.90 147.10 168.30 3,240.25 1,287.75 1,345.30 1,597.70 1,094.00 158.90 354.90 3,946.55 710.25 148.25 1,614.05 1,064.70 731.60 160.35 3,031.65 896.65 1,576.75 3,441.60 510.65 3,094.90 124.15 359.90 650.60 282.35 407.50 702.05 255.10 911.80 2,577.50 430.20 644.70 223.70 1,496.95 % Chg 2.31 0.62 1.32 3.45 0.59 -0.28 0.14 2.08 -0.21 -0.22 -0.90 2.91 1.22 1.33 0.79 0.58 1.78 1.09 -0.82 -0.82 1.30 1.30 1.31 0.13 1.68 2.59 2.17 0.51 1.54 1.06 2.20 -0.20 0.57 4.28 -0.20 1.75 1.62 5.08 0.31 -0.96 -1.29 0.59 -0.37 0.18 0.61 1.03 1.09 -0.26 -1.08 0.88 Volume 3,071,396 3,169,927 299,236 2,632,889 5,266,807 5,271,487 6,457,196 2,178,167 2,664,005 1,787,849 7,193,682 8,001,933 1,107,409 9,062,813 5,437,585 6,221,645 6,001,954 1,432,118 1,200,366 770,098 1,991,591 872,180 8,119,095 10,112,532 1,977,553 1,865,203 9,652,591 5,089,884 2,920,322 1,316,632 11,897,926 732,527 3,053,279 1,966,385 164,508 2,536,286 502,366 42,856,336 2,716,657 2,365,069 2,873,180 5,948,312 1,717,612 8,142,572 914,786 249,361 4,519,795 2,068,708 3,192,387 677,897 The euro logo is pictured in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt/Main. The ECB gave most eurozone banks a clean bill of health on Sunday, but said 25 out of a total 130 banks had a combined shortfall of в‚¬25bn at the end of 2013. European stocks close up as ECB moves to kick-start lending AFP London E uropeвЂ™s main stock markets closed up yesterday, lifted by the European Central BankвЂ™s announcement that it would begin buying asset-backed securities in a multipronged action to get lending п¬‚owing again. LondonвЂ™s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day 0.15% higher at 6,463.55 points, after a day of choppy trading as investors fretted initially over the health of the eurozone banking industry. In Paris, the CAC rose 0.74% to 4.141.24 points and FrankfurtвЂ™s Dax was up 0.35% at 9,114.84 points. The Federal ReserveвЂ™s withdrawal of its vast bond-buying scheme known as quantitative easing (QE) had earlier also hit sentiment across global markets. Stocks in the eurozoneвЂ™s periphery of Athens, Lisbon and Madrid also slumped initially on renewed doubts over recent stress tests on the eurozone bank sector. But losses were later capped by the ECBвЂ™s asset purchase announcement. The Lisbon market closed down 1.47% while Athens lost 2.8%. Madrid meanwhile п¬Ѓnished with a slight gain of 0.16%. The euro was trading at $1.2624. The ECB gave most eurozone banks a clean bill of health on Sunday, but said 25 out of a total 130 banks had a combined shortfall of в‚¬25bn ($31bn) at the end of 2013. вЂњI think (there are) still some concerns over ECB stress testsвЂ”and that ECB might be under-estimating capital required,вЂќ VTB Capital economist Neil MacKinnon told AFP. After a two-day meeting, the US central bankвЂ™s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said on Wednesday it would bring an end to six years of monetary easing as the worldвЂ™s biggest economy gets back on track. The Fed added it would keep nearzero interest rates for вЂњa considerable timeвЂќ after the end of the QE programme, sticking to its timetable of an increase well into 2015. However, while the decision was widely expected, optimistic comments on the jobs market were considered by analysts to be more hawkish than in the past, fuelling speculation of a possible earlier-than-expected rate hike. While that hurt sentiments earlier in the day, markets recovered as the ECB said it would begin its purchases of asset-backed securities or ABS in November. Asset-backed securities (ABS) are 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 bundles of individual loans such as mortgages, car credit and credit-card debt which are sold on to investors, allowing banks to share the risk of default and freeing up funds to offer more lending. The ECB believes that the market for such securitiesвЂ”an important source of п¬Ѓnancing for banks to keep lending to small and medium-sized enterprisesвЂ”has effectively dried up since the п¬Ѓnancial crisis. The bank hopes that by buying them on a large scale, it can help revive the market and free up some of the credit channels which have seized up during the long years of crisis. There has also been speculation that the ECB could embark on the purchase of corporate bonds, and a largescale sovereign bond purchase scheme known as quantitative easing is also believed to be under consideration. In foreign exchange deals, the euro later stood at $1.2624, down from $1.2634 in New York late on Wednesday. The euro fell to 78.72 British pence from 78.90 pence. The British pound gained to $1.6037 from $1.6011 on Wednesday. On the London Bullion Market, gold prices declined to $1,202an ounce, from $1,223.50 an ounce on Wednesday. Lt Price 3.41 32.00 3.68 5.69 9.78 25.45 14.38 136.70 4.68 5.72 22.65 24.35 94.05 22.05 6.71 18.54 18.10 22.25 21.60 11.48 13.60 66.45 12.00 10.18 10.08 4.05 23.50 130.90 51.85 % Chg 2.71 -0.31 -0.81 -1.90 1.03 -0.59 -0.28 0.59 -0.21 -0.52 -0.88 0.21 0.11 -0.68 -1.18 -0.64 0.89 2.77 -0.46 -0.35 0.00 0.08 -4.46 0.20 -0.20 1.25 0.21 0.15 -0.67 Volume 18,982,110 1,578,040 308,574,220 28,077,249 26,962,728 8,096,476 1,849,353 2,615,950 7,815,414 229,457,756 23,034,744 2,646,796 17,224,213 14,463,713 118,550,809 1,954,982 10,458,460 11,378,777 14,681,505 11,895,096 10,306,000 2,030,653 171,519,326 5,911,485 1,395,157 12,435,523 6,400,000 891,215 2,911,332 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 17.98 168.50 78.45 98.10 5.07 9.34 31.20 9.67 9.65 62.00 74.40 12.60 115.20 101.70 121.90 56.40 % Chg 0.11 -0.53 -0.76 -0.15 -0.78 0.11 -0.48 -0.10 -1.93 -1.12 0.68 -0.32 -0.17 -0.39 0.16 -0.44 Volume 7,322,450 4,995,276 11,818,399 3,896,147 267,860,872 7,372,585 2,595,587 14,147,111 103,599,146 15,645,221 1,980,180 4,501,552 4,077,035 723,025 15,111,051 3,569,942 GCC INDICES Indices Doha Securities Market Saudi Tadawul Kuwait Stocks Exchange Bahrain Stock Exchage Oman Stock Market Abudhabi Stock Market Dubai Financial Market Lt Price 13,498.86 10,034.92 7,361.61 1,444.13 6,974.62 4,861.45 4,545.39 Change -277.03 -47.04 -9.92 +4.71 -4.61 -88.90 -76.72 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 31, 2014 9 BUSINESS Oil stocks lure most bearish bets since 2007 after slump Bloomberg London T raders are speculating the slump in oil companies will get worse. Even after valuations for an index tracking the shares slumped 40%, investors are loading up on bearish options. The cost of puts on the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF jumped to the highest level in seven years versus calls. The exchange-traded fund tracks companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips, which are down more than 9% from their highs this year. Oil companies were among those losing the most during the stock selloff, with the commodity entering a bear market as global demand growth slowed and threats to supply in Iraq and Libya receded. While oil rebounded from this monthвЂ™s low, investors are hedging against further declines, according to Serge Berger of Blue Oak Advisors. вЂњLonger term, IвЂ™m deп¬Ѓnitely bearish on oil,вЂќ said Berger, a Zurich-based trader, who also runs the research website The Steady Trader. вЂњThe issue here isnвЂ™t so much вЂ�Is it cheap or not?вЂ™ Given the amount of volatility we have in the market, cheap can become cheaper. Oil will become less and less of a precious commodity.вЂќ Companies in the index that the oil ETF tracks trade at 26.6 times reported earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Multiples fell as much as 39% from June to a one-year low on October 14. The benchmark Standard & PoorвЂ™s 500 Index has a valuation of 17.6 times. The ETF lost 1.9% to $58.92 a share at 10.06am in New York yesterday. Both volume and the number of options outstanding on the oil ETF Traders work in the energy options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange (file). Analysts are slashing projections for both oil prices and oil companiesвЂ™ profits. Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips are down more than 9% from their highs this year. surged this month, and nine out of the 10 most-owned contracts are bearish. Those hedging against a 10% decline in the fund cost 10.7 points more than calls betting on a 10% gain on Tuesday, according to three-month impliedvolatility data compiled by Bloomberg. ThatвЂ™s the widest spread since September 2007. Analysts are slashing projections for both oil prices and oil companiesвЂ™ proп¬Ѓts. While they estimate earnings at companies tracked by the ETF will jump 32% in 2014, those projections have dropped by 9.7% this month. ThatвЂ™s not enough to account for the decline in oil, and crude could fall even further, according to Blue Oak AdvisorsвЂ™ Berger. Goldman Sachs Group cut its oil- price estimate this week, and Barclays lowered it for the second time this month. To Wells Fargo & Co strategist Gina Martin Adams, the plunge in energy companies has вЂњgone too far too fast,вЂќ she wrote in an October 21 report. The stocks have declined more than oil prices would signal and should perform better than the broader market in the near term, Morgan StanleyвЂ™s Adam Parker said in an October 20 note. Investors have sold oil and gas shares indiscriminately and the decline has left some companies at attractive valuations, according to Ted Harper of Frost Investment Advisors. вЂњIt was certainly the baby getting thrown out with the bathwater,вЂќ said Harper, who helps manage more than $10bn from Houston. вЂњWhen you have higher quality, consistent growers getting marked down to the extent that theyвЂ™ve been, that creates opportunities.вЂќ Traders are betting on more price swings. The Chicago Board Options Exchange/NYMEX WTI Volatility Index has jumped 35% this month, the most since May 2012. The gauge measuring expected price swings is near a one-year high relative to the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, of S&P 500 companies. After falling 25% from June to $80.52 a barrel on October 22, West Texas Intermediate closed at $82.20 on Wednesday. вЂњThe sector is widely held by hedge funds who got hurt with the move lower in oil prices,вЂќ said Adam Perlaky, chief strategist at New York-based broker New Albion Partners LLC. вЂњThe concern at this point is a break below $80 a barrel in oil. If the levels hold, the sector should rally, but people are protecting against another leg lower.вЂќ 10 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 BUSINESS TransCanada seeks to build North AmericaвЂ™s biggest oil pipe Bloomberg Toronto TransCanada Corp, the Calgarybased company that has been trying to build the Keystone XL pipeline since 2008, applied for a C$12bn ($10.7bn) link between AlbertaвЂ™s oil sands and CanadaвЂ™s Atlantic Coast. The 4,600km (2,859-mile) Energy East line, the largest proposed oil conduit in North America, would stay within Canada, carrying as much as 1.1mn barrels a day to eastern refineries and marine terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick, according to a statement yesterday. CanadaвЂ™s National Energy Board has 15 months to review the project and make a recommendation to the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Keystone XL, which requires approval by the US, has emerged as a lightening rod for environmental groups. President Barack Obama rejected TransCanadaвЂ™s initial application in 2012. Other possible routes such as the Northern Gateway project and the expansion of the Trans Mountain line face delays as oil-sands opponents and landowners fearful of spills have stalled regulatory reviews. вЂњWe have been out in the field for more than 18 months gathering data, performing environmental studies and engaging with Aborigi- nal and stakeholder groups in the initial design and planning of the project,вЂќ TransCanada chief executive officer Russ Girling said in the statement. Energy East is one of four major pipeline projects proposed to ship rising oil-sands output largely landlocked in Alberta to the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts as producers seek new markets and higher prices for Canadian crude. TransCanada, the second-largest Canadian pipeline company, is planning to convert portions of its existing natural gas mainline to carry crude and lay new pipe to build Energy East, which is expected to begin taking oil in 2018. While Energy East has faced op- position from advocacy groups like Equiterre in Quebec, TransCanada has won support from communities along the route by negotiating with landowners and politicians and making changes to plans ahead of its regulatory filing, Girling said in a May interview. Fearing supply shortfalls to heat homes and fuel power plants in Quebec and Ontario, gas distributors have spoken out against Energy East because of TransCanadaвЂ™s plan to switch part of its pipeline to oil and charge tolls for a replacement pipeline. QuebecвЂ™s Gaz Metro, Enbridge IncвЂ™s Toronto-based Enbridge Gas Distribution and Spectra Energy CorpвЂ™s Union Gas in Chatham, Ontario, are among distributors opposing the project, saying it could raise prices for consumers. The Eastern Mainline proposed by TransCanada to replace the portion that will be converted to oil in Ontario would include a new segment as long as 250 kilometers. The application comes six years after TransCanada first sought US approval to build Keystone XL to link the oil sands to the Gulf Coast, the largest refining center in the world. Unlike Keystone XL, Energy East doesnвЂ™t enter US territory. The US State Department, which has jurisdiction over pipelines that cross the countryвЂ™s borders, is awaiting the outcome of a court case in Nebraska to rule on the Keystone XL project, which Girling said may cost as much as $10bn. TransCanada split the project in two to build the southern portion first and re-applied for the northern leg in 2012 after Obama rejected the project. Canadian heavy oil prices have come under pressure because of transportation bottlenecks, plummeting to $42.50 a barrel less than the US benchmark in December 2012. The discount has narrowed to $14 a barrel yesterday as new US pipeline capacity to the Gulf Coast eases some congestion and producers increasingly turn to trains to move their crude. Canadian exports of oil by rail surged 10-fold to about 163,000 Trade, defence spending buoy US growth in Q3 Economy grows at 3.5% pace in third quarter; consumer spending, business investment slow; trade adds to growth; inventories a drag Reuters Washington A smaller trade deп¬Ѓcit and a surge in defence spending buoyed US economic growth in the third quarter, but other details of yesterdayвЂ™s report hinted at some loss of momentum in activity. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.5% annual rate, the Commerce Department said yesterday, beating economistsвЂ™ expectations for a 3.0% pace. While the pace of growth in business investment, housing and consumer spending slowed from the second quarter, all those categories contributed to growth. вЂњThe report was broadly constructive, with the gains broadly based and pointing to positive underlying momentum in the US economy,вЂќ said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York. вЂњHowever, with some indications of weakness emerging in housing and consumption spending, we expect the pace of growth to slip further in the fourth quarter.вЂќ Despite decelerating from the second quarterвЂ™s brisk 4.6% pace, it was the fourth quarter out of п¬Ѓve that the economy has expanded at or above a 3.5% clip. A separate report from the Labour Department showed п¬Ѓrst-time applications for unemployment beneп¬Ѓts A Washington State Ferry traverses past the city skyline through Puget Sound as seen from the Vigor Shipyard in Seattle. The US GDP grew at a 3.5% annual rate, the Commerce Department said yesterday, beating economistsвЂ™ expectations for a 3.0% pace. rose modestly last week, but remained at levels consistent with п¬Ѓrming labor market conditions. The data came one day after the Federal Reserve ended its asset purchasing program. Fed officials said there was sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy. The dollar extended gains against the euro and the yen, while prices for US Treasury debt trimmed gains. The narrower trade deп¬Ѓcit reп¬‚ected a plunge in imports, which fell at their fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012. That was largely attributed to a drop in oil imports. Trade added 1.32 percentage points to growth. Although there are con- cerns a strengthening dollar and slowing eurozone and Chinese economies will crimp US export growth, economists believe the impact will be marginal. Government spending was also a boost, with defence spending rising at a 16% rate, its fastest pace since the second quarter of 2009. One of the few areas that was a drag on growth was inventories, which subtracted 0.57 percentage point from GDP after adding 1.42 percentage points in the second quarter. Growth in business investment slowed in the third quarter, with spending on equipment rising at only a 7.2% rate. Economists had expected a second straight quarter of double-digit growth. Business spending on structures and intellectual property products also slowed. Data on Tuesday suggested further moderation in the pace of equipment investment in the fourth quarter, but it is still expected to remain strong enough to keep the economy on a higher growth pace. While growth in consumer spending decelerated to a 1.8% pace from the second-quarterвЂ™s 2.5% pace, it still contributed 1.22 percentage points to GDP growth. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity. The moderate pace of consumer spending helped keep inп¬‚ation pressures under wraps during the quarter. A price index in the GDP report rose at a 1.2% rate in the third quarter after advancing at a 2.3% pace in the prior period. A core price measure that strips out food and energy costs increased at only a 1.4% pace, slowing sharply from the second quarterвЂ™s 2.0% rate. Declining gasoline prices and accelerating job growth, which is expected to lift wages, will provide tailwinds for consumer spending in the fourth quarter. Businesses urge action on fast-track trade authority Reuters Washington US businesses urged President Barack Obama yesterday to make a case for fast-track authority on trade agreements before his upcoming trip to Asia, which is seen as an opportunity to push a Pacific trade deal. Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce, said Obama should send a signal about trade in the time between mid-term US elections on November 4 and an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in China on November 10-11. A bipartisan bill on so-called trade promotion authority (TPA), which allows lawmakers to set priorities for trade deals in return for a yes-or-no vote, was introduced in Congress in January but has not progressed to a vote. вЂњWe think the time is ripe to move on trade and we are looking to signals from the president following the election that he will move on TPA,вЂќ Brilliant told reporters. The Apec summit, ObamaвЂ™s first stop on a week-long trip to Asia, will be attended by the leaders of the other 11 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP would cover 40% of the world economy and is the economic arm of the administrationвЂ™s move to engage more with Asia, seeking to set common standards in areas such as labour and intellectual property as well as break down trade barriers. Trade experts say the lack of a trade promotion authority is one of the hurdles in finalising the TPP, since trade partners may fear Congress would later seek to amend the deal. In an article in Foreign Policy Magazine earlier this month, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said TPA would give вЂњUS trading partners the necessary confidence to put their best and final offers on the table.вЂќ Virginia Democrat Jim Moran, a senior member of the pro-trade New Democrat coalition, said passing the TPA should be a priority in the вЂњlame duckвЂќ session of Congress after the election - something many Republicans are also pressing. His view stands in contrast to other Democrats who want to see the substance of the TPP before giving the White House fast-track authority, and to opponents who do not want fasttrack at all. Trade unions, which are an important Democrat support base and worry about the impact of trade deals on jobs, this week launched a campaign of advertisements in a Capitol Hill metro station, calling on lawmakers to вЂњsay noвЂќ to fast-track. Miriam Sapiro, who was deputy US Trade Representative until early this year, said there was a narrow window of opportunity to get Obama, Congress and Asian trading partners on the same page before the presidential election in 2016. If TPA did not pass this year, the most likely window is in the northern spring of 2015, which would push back agreement on the TPP until this time next year, she said. вЂњI think there is a clear path forward if people want to take it,вЂќ she told a TPA forum at law firm Arent Fox. barrels a day in the three months ending June 30 from the first three months of 2012, according to National Energy Board data. Shipments by rail from Western Canada are forecast by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to reach about 700,000 barrels a day by 2016. Energy East is the largest of about C$39bn in projects backed by contracts that TransCanada is planning. Enbridge Inc is CanadaвЂ™s biggest pipeline company by market value. The announcement was made before the start of regular trading on North American markets. TransCanada gained 0.3% to C$55.30 at 8:16 am in Toronto. NZ cenbank signals extended rate pause Reuters Wellington N ew ZealandвЂ™s central bank held rates steady yesterday and signalled it will keep monetary policy on hold closer to the end of next year, diluting its tightening bias just as the US Federal Reserve moved a step closer to raising rates. The New Zealand dollar tumbled more than half a US cent as markets reacted to the contrasting tones in the policy statements of the Fed and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which also took aim at an unjustiп¬Ѓably high вЂ�kiwiвЂ™ currency. вЂњA period of assessment remains appropriate before considering further policy adjustment,вЂќ RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement, after holding its official cash rate (OCR) at 3.50%, citing low inп¬‚ation and slowing global growth. Wheeler added that global monetary policies looked set to remain soft for longer, and noted that New ZealandвЂ™s economy was adjusting to past rate hikes. Signiп¬Ѓcantly, in a nod to soft inп¬‚ation data and dovish market pricing the RBNZ dropped its explicit tightening bias contained in the September monetary statement, when it spoke of further rate rises being needed to return the cash rate to a more neutral level. вЂњThe RBNZ has indicated that it will not hike the OCR again until it sees the whites of the eyes of inп¬‚ation,вЂќ Stephens said, reaffirming his forecast of September next year for the next hike. Markets have reduced expectations of rate rises in the next 12 months to 12 basis points from 17 basis points before the latest statement. A Reuters poll after the statement has a majority view that the RBNZ will pause at least until September or even December next year before resuming rate rises. The RBNZ raised rates by 100 basis points between March and July, but the latest brief statement did not specify how long it expects to be on hold. Its interest rate forecasts in September suggested it would pause at least until March next year, but that is now seen as likely to be September or later. Ukraine says EU to be guarantor in any Russia gas deal Reuters Brussels/Kiev U kraine and the European Union have agreed that the EUвЂ™s executive arm will serve as guarantor in any agreement for Russia to supply Ukraine with gas, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said yesterday. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, meanwhile, said Moscow and Kiev could sign a gas deal later in the day if all necessary documents were п¬Ѓnalised. EU-hosted talks to unblock deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine was to resume later yesterday, the European Commission said, as Moscow reiterated its demand for advance payment for future supplies. Russian gas exporter Gazprom cut off supplies to Ukraine in June, citing unpaid bills. The latest discussions, which ended in the early hours of yesterday, made no progress. вЂњWe and the European Commission have reached an agreement that the Commission will be a virtual guarantor of Russia fulп¬Ѓlling its obligations regarding a fair price,вЂќ Yatseniuk told a government meeting in Kiev. Jointly prepared documents laying down a common understanding have been prepared and are now with the governments in Moscow and Kiev for approval, a spokeswoman for the Brussels-based Commission said in a statement. вЂњTrilateral consultations will continue throughout the course of today (yesterday),вЂќ the spokeswoman said. RussiaвЂ™s Novak said Moscow was sticking to its demand on prepayment. вЂњAll future deliveries during winter should be prepaid before deliveries start,вЂќ Novak told a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Yatseniuk said UkraineвЂ™s position in Brussels was that the price of Russian natural gas should be $378 per 1,000 cubic metres by the end of 2014 and fall to $365 in the п¬Ѓrst quarter of 2015. An official at RussiaвЂ™s Energy Ministry conп¬Ѓrmed the п¬Ѓgures announced by the Ukrainian prime minister, RIA news agency reported. Yatseniuk said Kiev was ready to pay off debts for previously supplied gas immediately after any deal was signed. A total of $1.45bn would be paid immediately and a further $1.65bn paid by the end of the year, he said. EU officials say Kiev, like Moscow, is negotiating hard and that the Ukrainian government is keen to win public support for any deal. Despite agreement on price, the amount to be supplied and the re- payment of unpaid bills, Moscow wants more legal assurances that Kiev can pay some $1.6bn for new gas up front. Some critics of Russia question whether its motivation is п¬Ѓnancial or whether prolonging the wrangling with ex-Soviet Ukraine and its Western allies suits MoscowвЂ™s diplomatic agenda. Ukraine is in discussions with existing creditors the EU and the IMF. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, concerned about Russian gas supplies to the rest of Europe which come via Ukraine has spoken of bridging п¬Ѓnance for Kiev. But Russian negotiators said they wanted to see a signed agreement on EU п¬Ѓnancing for Ukraine. Novak was quoted by RIA as saying he had been told in the talks that Ukraine was discussing funding for 4bn cubic metres of gas with the European Commission and the Interna- tional Monetary Fund but he had seen no guarantee of it. вЂњThis isnвЂ™t about guarantees, but only statements from the Ukrainians,вЂќ he said. вЂњWe were shown no written guarantees.вЂќ He noted that Russia was only offering to open the taps once prepayments were made by Ukraine, whose economy is in crisis and which has a record of payment difficulties. вЂњIf thereвЂ™s money, there will be gas,вЂќ Novak said. The gas cut-off has had little impact for months. But pressure is mounting for a deal as temperatures start to drop below freezing. European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who has been mediating, leaves office today, making way for a new European Commission. If he cannot broker a solution, it will be down to his Slovak successor, Maros Sefcovic, who takes office tomorrow. The two sides came close to an agreement in September, but last week differences were wide over KievвЂ™s ability to pay. Weekend elections returned a proWestern parliament in Kiev, potentially stoking tensions with Moscow, although RussiaвЂ™s EU envoy, Vladimir Chizhov, said yesterday the mood could be more relaxed now the vote had taken place. UkraineвЂ™s Naftogaz company has set aside $3.1bn in a special escrow account to pay the debt. Kiev says it is working to raise more money from all possible sources of п¬Ѓnancing, including the EU. The Commission is considering UkraineвЂ™s request, made last week, for a further loan of в‚¬2bn. Russia provides around a third of the European UnionвЂ™s gas, roughly half of which is pumped via Ukraine. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 11 BUSINESS CORPORATE RESULTS Shell outpaces peers with profit growth, keeps spending results beat expectations, shrugging off falling oil prices. Oil majors have seen their stock market values fall since mid-June, in step with a 25% drop in crude oil prices to four-year lows on slowing global demand and ample supplies. State-controlled Eni said adjusted net profit reached в‚¬1.17bn ($1.5bn) in the three months to September 30, above a consensus forecast of 861mn in a Reuters poll of six banks and brokerages. Operating cashflow was в‚¬3.98bn, which the company said was its best in a third quarter for five years. EniвЂ™s mature field declines and maintenance prompted a 4.7% fall in oil and gas production in the quarter to 1.58mn barrels of oil equivalent per day, but the company still sees output for the year in line with 2013. The decline in oil prices is piling pressure on oil companies to protect earnings by cutting investments and selling assets. Eni said it expected to spend less this year on capital expenditure than the в‚¬12.8bn it invested in 2013. BT Royal Dutch Shell has outpaced peers with a forecast-beating rise in quarterly profit and said it would spend heavily next year on key projects, even as oil majors prepare to weather the full impact of a sharp drop in oil prices. Its adjusted net profit climbed 31%, thanks to more profitable new production and improved refining. Shell has so far this year sold $12bn of assets, including the sale of its downstream Australian business in the quarter, putting it on track to hit a target of $15bn. вЂњIt is quite likely we will take a very close look at levels of investment where we have flexibility if we see the oil price weakness persisting,вЂќ chief financial officer Simon Henry said. Shell, EuropeвЂ™s biggest oil company by market value, is вЂњless likelyвЂќ, however, to go ahead with some unconventional shale oil developments in the US Permean Basin and in West Canada, if oil hits $80 a barrel, he said. But cuts will not slow its bigger projects and organic capital expenditure will likely remain flat in 2015 at this yearвЂ™s $35bn level. ShellвЂ™s adjusted net profit in the third quarter hit $5.8bn, with the company maintaining its dividend quarter-on-quarter and increasing it 4% year-onyear, as both upstream and downstream divisions delivered strong results. Earnings nevertheless declined from the second quarter of the year, mostly due to weaker oil prices. Shell has one of the most robust balance sheets in the sector, with stronger debt ratios than its peers. Analysts expect it to maintain its dividend payout and continue to buy back shares, even in the face of weaker prices. But analysts also said Shell would not be immune from the strain on the broader sector, and some questioned whether it was doing enough. Apollo Apollo Global Management reported a bigger-thanexpected 91% drop in third-quarter profit yesterday, as its private equity funds depreciated, in stark contrast to its peers, and the firm generated less cash from selling assets. A halt to the stock market rally weighed on the earnings of all of ApolloвЂ™s publicly listed peers, with KKR & Co LP and Carlyle Group LP also posting lower profits. But ApolloвЂ™s profit decline вЂ” it reported its lowest quarterly profit in two years вЂ” dwarfed those of its peers. ApolloвЂ™s private equity funds depreciated by 2% in the quarter, versus a 3% appreciation at CarlyleвЂ™s private equity funds, a 2.2% appreciation at KKR and a 3.7% appreciation at Blackstone Group LP. Apollo is particularly exposed to stock market jitters because it likes to take many of its companies public, and historically more than half of its private equity portfolio has included publicly-traded securities. Prior to this quarter, ApolloвЂ™s recent earnings had been stronger. It manages some of the bestperforming funds in its industry вЂ” its $14.7bn Fund VII, for example, reported a 29% net internal rate of return (IRR) as of the end of September. Economic net income after taxes was $48mn versus $550.9mn a year earlier. That translated into ENI per share of 12 cents, compared to the analystsвЂ™ average estimate of 38 cents in a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S and the lowest since the 5 cents reported in the second quarter of 2012. Apollo shares fell 3.5% to $22.58. Distributable earnings, which show actual cash available to pay dividends, fell to $342.7mn from $455.6mn. Assets under management were $163.9bn at the end of September, down from $167.5bn at the end of June. MasterCard MasterCard reported a better-than-expected 15.5% jump in quarterly profit as a rise in global consumer confidence encouraged its customers to use cards to make purchases, sending its shares up 7%. Consumer confidence in the third quarter improved globally as concerns about the economy and job prospects eased, according to a survey by global information company Nielsen. US consumer confidence also rose in August to its highest level since October 2007. MasterCardвЂ™s cross-border volume fees rose 14% to $835mn in the quarter. Worldwide purchase volume, or the total amount of purchases made with MasterCard-branded cards, increased 11% to $843bn in local currency terms. The company said US purchase volume rose 8.2% to $288bn. MasterCard and Visa are also turning their attention to mobile payments and have partnered with Apple in the launch of Apple Pay, which allows iPhone users to pay using their phones. Chief executive Ajay Banga said on a conference call that the company plans to use mobile-based payments as a key tool of its cash displacement efforts. MasterCardвЂ™s net income rose to $1.02bn, or 87Вў per share, in the third quarter ended September 30 from $879mn, or 73Вў per share, a year earlier. Net revenue rose 12.8% to $2.5bn. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 78Вў per share on revenue of $2.45bn, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Thomson Reuters Financial information and media group Thomson Reuters said yesterday that its profits fell 15% from a year ago following a major restructuring. Profits in the third quarter fell to $231mn from $271mn the same period a year ago. Revenues meanwhile edged higher by 0.7% to $3.1bn. Last year, the company announced 5,500 job cuts, mostly in the financial information unit that provides terminals for stock market professionals. The company also includes the Reuters news agency, whose revenues for the quarter were down 3.7% from last year at $79mn in the quarter. BritainвЂ™s BT said it would not be drawn into a price war with rivals such as BSkyB, as it offset slower broadband growth in its second quarter with customers paying more for superfast Internet connections and sports TV. BT said yesterday that it had added 88,000 new retail broadband customers in the quarter, 48% of the net new additions to the market in Britain. That was down from previous levels of growth, and BT blamed competitive offers from rivals. However, the groupвЂ™s consumer business revenues grew by 7%, with customers paying more on average as one in three broadband customers now took the faster fibre product. An ongoing programme of cost cuts and an easing of investment levels in the sports service helped the group to report core earnings up 1% and pretax profit up 13% on an adjusted basis, both slightly ahead of forecasts. That was off revenue of 4.4bn pounds, down 2% on a reported level but in line with forecasts. The strong trading performance enabled the group to reiterate its outlook and lift its interim dividend by 15%, at the top end of its guidance range. Novo Nordisk The worldвЂ™s top insulin maker, DenmarkвЂ™s Novo Nordisk, reported yesterday a slight profit increase in the third quarter as sales rose. Novo Nordisk accounts for almost half of the global insulin market, which has grown rapidly in recent years following a rise in the number of people suffering from diabetes. The World Health Organisation estimates that the number of people with diabetes totals nearly 350mn. Net profit grew by 1.3% to 6.5bn kroner (в‚¬873mn, $1.1bn) while revenue rose by 8.5% to 22.249bn kroner. In local currencies, sales increased by 8.0% from January to September, thanks to strong sales of modern insulin and non-insulin compound Victoza. вЂњWe are satisfied with the financial results for the first nine months of 2014,вЂќ chief executive Lars Rebien Soerensen said in a statement. He added that the approval of insulin drug combination treatment Xultophy in Europe meant the company expected to launch the product in the first half of 2015. Diabetes treatments represent 88% of Novo NordiskвЂ™s revenue, but the company also provides haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Technip French oil services group Technip yesterday reported soaring sales even though weak petrol prices have forced energy giants to be cautious about future investments. The engineering group, which provides engineering services to oil and gas giants such as Total, BP or Shell, said sales rose 17.8% to в‚¬2.82bn. Net profit slid to 12.3% to в‚¬131.6mn, but Technip said it would maintain its full-year targets, citing its в‚¬19.3bn backlog. The group is expecting 2014 sales of its underwater activity to reach between в‚¬4.6 and в‚¬4.9bn, and its onshore and offshore business revenues to reach between в‚¬5.55 and в‚¬5.80bn. In recent months the group has announced several big contracts linked to underwater pipelines, and also to the shale energy boom in North America. Lufthansa GermanyвЂ™s Lufthansa has lowered its profit guidance for 2015 for the second time this year due to a stuttering global economy and increased competition, hitting its shares and sending shivers through other airline stocks. The airlineвЂ™s chief executive also said he would stand firm in a row with pilots over early retirement benefits and low-cost expansion, even after eight walkouts by staff this year wiped в‚¬160mn off operating profit. EuropeвЂ™s largest airline by revenue reported higher than expected third-quarter results but said it expected its 2015 operating profit to be only вЂњsignificantly aboveвЂќ the в‚¬1bn ($1.3bn) seen for 2014, compared with a previous forecast for в‚¬2bn. Yields fell a currency-adjusted 3.9% in the latest quarter, after a drop of 2.6% in the previous quarter, and were especially under pressure in North America and Asia. Strikes by pilots and other staff this year have cost Lufthansa around в‚¬170mn. Chief financial officer Simone Menne said any further pilot strikes in November and December could affect its 2014 guidance. LufthansaвЂ™s third-quarter operating profit of в‚¬735mn on sales of в‚¬8.46bn beat average analyst forecasts of 709mn and в‚¬8.26bn in a Reuters poll. Eni Italian oil and gas group Eni kept to its full-year production outlook yesterday after third-quarter its overseas results. Operating profit in the second quarter fell 39.2% to ВҐ24.9bn and net profit was down 27.7% at ВҐ17.2bn, Fujitsu said, adding that the higher results last year were partly due to one-time gains. Fujitsu left its full-year outlook unchanged at a net profit of ВҐ125bn on sales of ВҐ4.8tn. Samsung Samsung reported its smallest quarterly profit in nearly three years yesterday as its key smartphone business faltered under competition from AppleвЂ™s iPhone6 and Chinese handset makers in an increasingly saturated market. Net profit for the South Korean electronics giant amounted to 4.22tn won ($4bn) for July to September, marking a dramatic fall of 48.8% from a year ago, and the lowest figure since the fourth quarter of 2011. Operating profit also dropped 60% from a year ago to 4.06tn won, while sales tumbled about 20% to 47.4tn won, Samsung said in a statement. The firmвЂ™s mobile phone unit reported operating profit of 1.75tn won in the third quarter, a dramatic decline from 6.7tn won a year ago. Nippon Steel Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, one of the worldвЂ™s biggest steelmakers, said yesterday that its halfyear profit slipped 2.9%, as it pointed to still-high production by Chinese mills. The firmвЂ™s net profit in the April-September period fell to ВҐ112.2bn ($1.0bn), saying its net profit a year earlier was lifted by a one-time investment gain. Sales rose 3.9% to ВҐ2.78tn, while its operating profit fell 2.7% to ВҐ135.5bn, it added. The company said it was on track for a net profit of ВҐ250bn on sales of ВҐ5.65tn for the full year through March. It also kept unchanged an earlier pre-tax profit forecast of ВҐ400bn, despite the impact of recent explosions at a domestic plant. Visa Visa reported a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit and said the mobile payment industry would be вЂњa great driverвЂќ for business, sending its shares up nearly 4% in extended trading. On a constant dollar basis, Visa forecast 2015 revenue growth in the low double digits in percentage terms. The company also announced a new $5bn stock buyback program. Cross-border transactions grew 10% on a constant dollar basis in the fourth quarter. Payment volume growth rose 11% to $1.2tn on the same basis. On an adjusted basis, VisaвЂ™s net income rose 14% to $1.4bn, or $2.18 per Class A share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Total operating revenue rose 8.6% to $3.23bn. NEC Barclays Scandal-hit British bank Barclays revealed a huge charge for probes into allegations it rigged foreignexchange market prices, cutting into quarterly profits reported yesterday. The bank has set aside ВЈ500mn, equivalent to $800mn or в‚¬634mn, and this hit profits hard. The announcement from Barclays вЂ” which was also at the heart of the 2012 Libor interest-rate rigging scandal вЂ” comes as global regulators investigate the alleged rigging of foreign exchange markets around the world. Barclays added in its results statement that net profit or earnings after taxation plunged 25% to ВЈ379mn in the three months to September. That compared with ВЈ511mn the same period of last year. The performance was also weighed down by a ВЈ364mn loss from the sale of its Spanish retail business. Barclays, which has been plagued by scandals in recent years, also set another ВЈ170mn aside for compensation costs arising from the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). That took its total PPI mis-selling bill to more than ВЈ5.0bn. At the same time, Barclays also took a ВЈ461mn gain related to its 2008 purchase of the US business of failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers. The bank added yesterday that adjusted pre-tax profit вЂ” after stripping out charges and other exceptional items вЂ” rose 15% to ВЈ1.59bn in the third quarter. That beat expectations of about ВЈ1.21bn, owing to lower-than-anticipated restructuring costs. Hyundai Heavy Industries South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries yesterday reported a record net loss in the third quarter, reflecting delayed construction projects and competition from Chinese rivals. The company said its consolidated net loss for July to September stood at 1.46tn won ($1.4bn) from 12.5bn won a year ago. It also posted a record operating loss of 1.93tn won in the third quarter, compared to a profit of 222.4bn won a year earlier. Sales fell 5.6% to 12.4tn won. The company attributed the loss mainly to large provisions made against delayed projects. It promised to restructure its business or sell unprofitable businesses to cut costs and improve profitability. Fujitsu Fujitsu said yesterday its half-year net profit jumped by nearly a third on rising IT investment among Japanese firms, but a recent economic downturn took a toll on results in July-September. The sprawling IT conglomerate logged an AprilSeptember net profit of ВҐ24.1bn ($221mn), up 31.5% year on year, while sales rose 1.9% to ВҐ2.19tn. But more recent economic data have been lacklustre as AprilвЂ™s sales tax rise вЂ” JapanвЂ™s first in 17 years вЂ” dampens consumption. That impacted FujitsuвЂ™s results in the second quarter from July to September as revenue fell 2.4% to ВҐ1.12tn, although the weak yen supported Japan IT firm NEC said yesterday it had swung back to profitability in the six months to September, after it exited from the smartphone market as part of a broader restructuring. The firm posted a net profit of ВҐ12.5bn ($114mn) in the April-September period, reversing a ВҐ26.2bn loss a year earlier. Operating profit ballooned to ВҐ21.5bn from a year-earlier profit of ВҐ379mn, as the firm cut away its money-losing smartphone unit and focused on conventional handsets. Sales were down 4.2% at ВҐ1.32tn, it added. NEC left its earnings forecast unchanged for the full year to March, expecting a net profit of ВҐ35bn on sales of ВҐ3.0tn. Alcatel-Lucent Alcatel-Lucent squeezed out more costs to improve its gross profit margin to a better than expected 34%, its third quarter results showed yesterday, lifting its shares by more than 11% in early trade. The company is still in the red with a net loss of в‚¬18mn ($22.67mn), down from 200mn a year earlier, while sales declined 5.9% to в‚¬3.254bn, but the margin improvement from 31.9% a year earlier was better than the 32.2% analysts had expected. The group said it had added в‚¬73mn of fixed cost savings in the third quarter to bring total savings to-date to 645mn вЂ” two thirds of its target under a plan aimed at returning the business to positive cash flow. Cash flow in the period improved to minus в‚¬81mn from minus 227mn a year earlier. ConocoPhillips ConocoPhillips, the largest US independent oil and gas company, yesterday reported higher thirdquarter profit from the sale of its Nigerian unit but lowered its fourth-quarter production outlook, sending shares down 1.4%. Over the last several years, Conoco has shed lowermargin assets, directing more capital to projects like shale drilling in the US that offer higher returns and higher production growth. Analysts at energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co said it was important for Conoco, which shed its refining operations in 2012, to meet its targets. Profit rose to $2.7bn, or $2.17 per share, from $2.5bn, or $2per share, in the 2013 third quarter. Excluding items such as the proceeds from the sale of its Nigerian business in July and a tax benefit, Conoco had a profit of $1.29 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.20, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The proceeds from the Nigerian sale were $1.4bn. Even as crude prices have fallen more than 20% in recent weeks on increased supply and waning demand, ConocoвЂ™s chief executive officer expressed optimism about next year. Surmont is an oil sands project in Canada and APLNG is a liquefied natural gas project in Australia. Unconventional drilling refers to shale drilling. ConocoPhillips had third-quarter oil and gas production from continuing operations, excluding Libya, of 1.473mn barrels oil equivalent per day (boed), up 25,000 boed from a year ago. For the fourth quarter, Conoco forecast production from continuing operations rising to 1.545mn boed to 1.575mn boed, excluding Libya. Previously, it said it would produce as much as 1.590mn boed to 1.640mn boed. The production cut is due in part to third-party infrastructure constraints in Malaysia and a depressed market for the natural gas liquid (NGL) ethane in the US, according to analysts at Wells Fargo. Bombardier Bombardier, a Canadian plane and train maker, yesterday reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings as aircraft deliveries shot up nearly 60%. The company said it delivered 71 aircraft in the quarter, compared with 45 planes a year earlier. Aerospace earnings before interest and taxes rose to $137mn from $86mn, excluding special items. Test flights continued for BombardierвЂ™s closely watched CSeries program, which takes a company best known for business jets and turboprop planes into the competitive commercial jet market. The program has been plagued by delays and rising costs, worrying investors. Bombardier said it had cash and equivalents of $1.9bn at September 30, down from $3.4bn a year earlier. RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin said the companyвЂ™s liquidity position was вЂњhealthy.вЂќ The order came after Bombardier resumed CSeries test flights in September, alleviating some uncertainty about the program. Flights had been halted in May after an engine failed during a stationary test. The CSeries is set to go into service in the second half of 2015. Revenue at BombardierвЂ™s transportation business rose 13% to $2.33bn. That helped total revenue jump nearly 21% to $4.91bn, beating the average analyst estimate of $4.81bn, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Quarterly profit dropped nearly 50% as the company took a $120mn charge related to job cuts announced in July. Net income fell to $74mn, or 3 cents per share, from $147mn, or 8Вў per share, a year earlier. Volkswagen VolkswagenвЂ™s third-quarter earnings jumped as profit margins at its main passenger-car brand rose for the first time in almost two years, adding to record sales of luxury Audis and Porsches. While sales at Audi and Porsche вЂ” which account for two-thirds of group profit вЂ” have been rising all year, they have been slowing at the carmakerвЂ™s VW brand. Profit margins have languished at the division, which has high fixed costs and production issues related to a new MQB modular platform. To boost efficiency, VW in July announced a goal to cut costs by в‚¬5bn per year. However, in the third quarter the brandвЂ™s profitability increased for the first time since the final three months of 2012, buoyed by a weakening euro which boosted exports and a recovering European car market. Together with robust demand for Audis and Porsches in Europe and China, this helped VWвЂ™s third-quarter operating profit rise 16% to в‚¬3.23bn ($4.07bn). That beat the top-end forecast of в‚¬3.09bn in a Reuters poll of analysts. Third-quarter vehicle sales at Audi and Porsche, which account for two thirds of VW group earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), were up 7.2% and 25% respectively to 429,250 and 47,800 cars. VWвЂ™s third-quarter group deliveries were up 4.1%, at a record 2.43mn autos, with growth in China and Europe offsetting declines in the Americas, keeping VW on course to hit a 10mn car-sales target four years early in 2014. But the rapid expansion has led to a costly proliferation of models, especially at the core passenger-car brand where profit margins have languished as the top-selling Golf hatchback has expanded to 15 different models. Friday, October 31, 2014 BUSINESS GULF TIMES Over 350 participate in QFCвЂ™s 12th networking event Qatar Financial Center (QFC), in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Qatar, has hosted the 12th networking event for business and financial professionals in Doha. Over 350 distinguished guests from across the business and financial services communities in Qatar gathered to network and discuss business opportunities. Guests also had the opportunity to see the QFCвЂ™s refreshed logo and branding which projects the spirit of the QFC brand, вЂњFacilitating Success.вЂќ вЂњQatarвЂ™s success has gone hand-in-hand with rapid change and for almost a decade the QFC has also evolved, fulfilling its mandate to support business and the private sector. The business community has worked together very effectively to help turn Qatar into an extraordinary success story and networking events like this are an important part of how we facilitate business success in Qatar,вЂќ QFC CEO Shashank Srivastava said. ICC Qatar represents the Qatar-based business community in bilateral, regional and multilateral meetings for promoting trade expansion and business networking. вЂњThe networking events which the QFC has hosted over the years have been of immense value in the development of QatarвЂ™s business environment and we are delighted to be partnering with them,вЂќ according to Ali Abudulatif al-Misnad, ICC Qatar vice-chair. Picture shows al-Misnad speaking at the QFC-ICC Qatar networking event. Right: Srivastava addressing the crowd. QIF: Qatar economyвЂ™s long-term prospects вЂ�remain compellingвЂ™ By Pratap John Chief Business Reporter T he long term prospects for the Qatari economy вЂњremain compellingвЂќ because of вЂњmassiveвЂќ infrastructure spending totalling $182bn up to 2018 and вЂњfavourableвЂќ demographics, a new report has shown. вЂњGDP growth from an expanding nonhydrocarbon sector and rising population should drive consumption spending, creating opportunities in п¬Ѓnancial services, transport, communications, and real estate,вЂќ Qatar Investment Fund said in a quarterly report. The banking sector should beneп¬Ѓt from demand for project п¬Ѓnancing and consumer lending, it said. вЂњHence, the investment adviser favours selected domestic banks, real estate and consumer driven companies,вЂќ QIF said. In the near term, growth prospects for the Qatari economy and the Qatari market are expected to remain good because of the near term infrastructure project pipeline, expansionary budget announcements, moderate corporate earnings growth and an attractive dividend yield, the report said. In its macroeconomic update, QIF said QatarвЂ™s economy continues to grow, with GDP increasing 5.7% in Q2, 2014 compared to Q2, 2013, quoting data from the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA). In Q2, 2014, GDP accelerated from a downwardly revised 5.4% in the previous quarter. Q2 growth was mainly driven by double-digit expansion in the non-hydrocarbon sector. Non-hydrocarbon sector GDP grew 11.3% in Q2, 2014 over Q2, 2013 due to de- In the near term, growth prospects for the Qatari economy and the Qatari market are expected to remain good because of the near-term infrastructure project pipeline, expansionary budget announcements, moderate corporate earnings growth and an attractive dividend yield, the Qatar Investment Fund report said. mand in electricity, construction, trading, hospitality and п¬Ѓnancial sectors, and the growing population. The hydrocarbon sector GDP contracted 2.2% during the same period, because of lower oil production, some major maintenance shutdowns in natural gas liquids (NGL) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and the lower oil price. Looking ahead QatarвЂ™s GDP will be driven by expansion of the non-hydrocarbon sector as demand for domestic goods and services is expected to remain strong. Aamal 9-mth profit up 25% to QR296.6mn Aamal Company has reported 25% rise in net profit to QR296.6mn in the first nine months of this year. вЂњThis is the result of our success over many years in managing and diversifying the company to support and take full advantage of QatarвЂ™s rapid economic growth and diversification,вЂќ Aamal Company chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani said. Revenues were up 5% to QR1.61bn. вЂњIn 2014 Aamal has continued to achieve organic growth and develop new business, a good example being the recent announcement about the formation of Aamal Optical Supplies. And as QatarвЂ™s infrastructure investment programme gathers momentum, we expect to see further growth in the industrial manufacturing division,вЂќ Aamal vice-chairman Sheikh Mohamed bin Faisal al-Thani said. Financial gearing (net debt to net debt plus equity) stood at 7% at the end of nine-month ended September 30, 2014. The companyвЂ™s fair value gains on investment properties stood at QR33.3mn against QR50.8mn in the same period of previous year. According to the QNB Group, QatarвЂ™s GDP growth in 2014 is expected to be 6.8% accelerating to 7.5% in 2015 and 7.8% in 2016. The non-hydrocarbon sector is estimated to grow by over 11% each year, while the hydrocarbon sector growth is expected to be around 1% between 2014 and 2016. Population growth in Qatar remained healthy, rising 6.9% at the end of September 2014 compared to December 2013. The population is estimated to rise by more than 10% in 2014 and by 7% in 2015, encouraging for the domestic consumer and services sectors. Qatar Investment Fund plcвЂ™s net asset value (NAV) per share increased 16 in the quarter that ended in September, with the Qatar Exchange Index rising 19.5% over the quarter. According to QIF, its investment adviser remains positive on the Qatari banking sector, and is marginally overweight compared to the QE Index, with a sector weighting (including п¬Ѓnancial services) of 41% (down from 43.5% at the end of June 2014) in the portfolio compared with 40.1% for the QE Index. Qatar National Bank is QIFвЂ™s largest banking sector holding (13.4% of NAV), followed by Commercial Bank (9.1%). According to Qatar Central Bank data published at the end of August, overall banking sector assets in Qatar grew 4.2% so far in 2014, mainly driven by loan growth of 5.9%. The Investment Adviser believes that the Qatari banking sector outlook remains robust, driven by the infrastructure spending and population growth. QIFвЂ™s second largest allocation, at 22% (Q2, 2014: 16.7%), is to the industrial sector, notably Industries Qatar (13.7% of NAV). During the quarter, the Investment Adviser increased the industrials weighting by adding Gulf International Services (4.2% of NAV) to the portfolio. Real estate increased to 14.6% (Q2, 2014: 12.1%) of the fund, with telecoms decreasing to 6.4% from 6.7%. The allocation to the insurance sector stood at 6.5%, (Q2, 2014: 6.3%) while the transportation sector eased to 4.5% (Q2, 2014: 4.7%). The services and consumer goods sector increased to a weighting of 2.6% from 2.3%, Qatar Investment Fund said. QatarвЂ™s trade surplus shrinks 20% y-o-y to QR26.27bn in Sept By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter A double-digit plunge in exports and a similar proportional increase in the imports led QatarвЂ™s foreign trade surplus shrink 20% year-on-year to QR26.27bn in September, according to official п¬Ѓgures. The Gulf countryвЂ™s total exports (valued free-on-board) plunged 13% to QR36.11bn with shipments to QatarвЂ™s major export destinations, especially Asian countries, showing decline, the preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MD&PS) revealed. Total exports (valued free-on-board) plunged 13% to QR36.11bn with shipments to QatarвЂ™s major export destinations, especially Asian countries, showing decline, the preliminary estimates reveal Japan continued to be the top destination of QatarвЂ™s exports, followed by South Korea, India, the UAE and China. The countryвЂ™s total exports of domestic products fell 13% to QR35.53bn in September, dragged by lower shipments of crude, non-crude and natural gas; reп¬‚ecting the pessimism in the world energy markets and oil touching a 15-month low. The export of non-crude tanked 26% to QR2.16bn, crude by 20% to QR6.22bn and petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons by 12% to QR21.86bn. Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons constituted 61.58% of total exports of domestic products in September, 2014 against 60.62% a year-ago period; crude petroleum oils 17.51% (18.98%), noncrude petroleum oils and bituminous minerals 6.08% (7.12%) and other commodities 14.88% (13.27%). On exports destinations, Japan accounted for 22% of total exports in September, South Korea 18%, India 15%, the UAE 7% and China 6%. QatarвЂ™s exports to Japan shrank 32% to QR8.03bn; South Korea by 15% to QR6.33bn, China by 11% to QR2.24bn and the UAE by 3% to QR2.5bn; even as those to India surged 39% to QR5.24bn. QatarвЂ™s re-exports fell 15% to QR0.58bn during the review period. Total imports (valued at cost insurance and freight), on the other hand, swelled 10.5% year-on-year to QR9.84bn in September as shipments, especially from the US and Germany were on the rise. The US, China, Germany, the UAE and Japan were among the top п¬Ѓve destinations from where Qatar imported merchandise goods. The US accounted for 14.5% of QatarвЂ™s imports in July, 2014, China (10.2%), Germany (7.7%), the UAE (6.9%) and Japan (6.2%). QatarвЂ™s imports from the US expanded 69% to QR1.42bn; China by 17% to QR1.01bn; Germany by 31% to QR0.76bn; the UAE by 19% to QR0.68bn and Japan by 15% to QR0.61bn. Motor cars and vehicles (passenger and freight), electrical apparatus for telephone were mainly imported by Qatar in July 2014. The imports of motor cars and other motor vehicles for the transport of persons soared 8% to QR0.79bn; motor vehicles for the transport of goods by 59% to QR0.22bn; electrical apparatus by 12% to QR0.21bn and other commodities by 10% to QR8.62bn. Turkey to challenge Thailand as medical tourism destination for Arabs By Arno Maierbrugger Gulf Times Correspondent Bangkok T he buoyant tourism industry in Turkey has made health officials think about beneп¬Ѓtting from the surging international medical tourism business, especially for wealthy health travellers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). While Thailand remains the worldвЂ™s leading destination for health tourists including those from Arab countries, Turkey seems ambitious enough to disrupt global medical tourism streams for its own advantage. According to the Turkish health ministry, Turkey in the recent years has emerged as a popular health tourism destination for visitors from the Middle East and Europe due to вЂњsigniп¬Ѓcant improvementsвЂќ in health services and technologies as well as due to its convenient geographical location for both target groups. For example, the п¬‚ight time from Doha to Istanbul is just above three hours, while it takes seven hours to reach Bangkok. Turkey seems ambitious enough to disrupt global medical tourism streams for its own advantage Latest numbers from the World Tourism Organisation show that out of roughly 35mn tourists who visited Turkey in 2013, a new record of 188,095 visitors came for surgical procedures such as hair transplants, liposuction, as well as cancer and orthopedic treatment. In the п¬Ѓrst six months of 2014, the number already stood at 162,445 and half-year revenues in the sector added up to $328mn. More promotion is to be expected when the next Istanbul Medical Tourism Fair will be held in May 2015, and by the end of the next year the number of health visitors should reach 500,000, the ministry believes. The number of tourists that visited Turkey in 2013 from 15 Arab countries including the six GCC nations increased by 9% compared to the previous year and reached 3,265,190 people, according to statistics from TurkeyвЂ™s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. A growing percentage of those visitors came to Turkey for health purposes, says Cem Polatoglu, spokesman of the platform of Turkish tour operators. вЂњI have heard that 7,000 Arab tourists came to only one clinic in Istanbul to have hair implantation last year,вЂќ he notes. TurkeyвЂ™s health ministry hopes to reach the $20bn mark in medical tourism revenue by 2023, and expects 15-20% annual growth in the sector. It says that Turkey is now sixth in the global ranking of medical tourism destinations as per visitor numbers behind Thailand, Mexico, the US, Singapore, India and Malaysia. However, to reach ThailandвЂ™s numbers Turkey will still have to make a great leap forward. The Southeast Asian country welcomed 2.5mn health tourists in 2013, around one third from the Middle East. Cleared by those who were just coming for spa or wellness treatment, the number was still around 1.3mn travellers seeking surgery and other medical procedures. But unrest in Thailand and the subsequent military coup earlier this year has taken its toll. Private hospitals popular with foreigners such as Bangkok Hospital or Bumrungrad Hospital saw a drop in medical tourist numbers in the double-digit percentage range so far in 2014. Local competition has been heating up from Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, and for Arab travellers, well, from Turkey, which can easily compete with Thai prices for health services that used to rise signiп¬Ѓcantly over the past years. Two recent and widely reported cases of malpractice by unlicensed beauty surgeons in Bangkok that led to the demise of two foreign patients arenвЂ™t helping the Thai health tourism sector either. FOOTBALL | Page 2 BASEBALL | Page 8 Newcastle stun holders Man City 2-0 in League Cup Bumgarner shines in GiantsвЂ™ World Series win Friday, October 31, 2014 Moharram 7, 1436 AH CRICKET GULF TIMES Record-setting Younis punishes Australia again SPORT Page 5 DOHA 2019 BID Doha has edge in race to host World Championships: Dahlan Qatari capital is competing with SpainвЂ™s Barcelona and Eugene of USA to host the prestigious event in 2019 QOC secretary-general HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, QAF president Dahlan al-Hamad, British running great Sebastian Coe, who is part of the visiting IAAF delegation, along with other officials and athletes at the Aspire Zone yesterday. By Satya Rath Doha T he 2017 IAAF World Championships bid, which Doha lost out to London three years back, was a lesson well learnt for Qatar. At least thatвЂ™s what Dahlan al-Hamad, the president of Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF), believes. вЂњWe gave our best, but LondonвЂ™s bid was better. We realized there were a few grey areas in our presentation. Three years is a big time. We are fully prepared this time, we are conп¬Ѓdent we have the best bid among all three candidate cities,вЂќ the QAF president said in an informal chat yesterday. Doha is competing with two other cities вЂ“ Barcelona (Spain) and Eugene (USA) вЂ“ to bag the hosting rights of the 2019 World Championships. An IAAF Evaluation Commission, headed by IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, is already in Doha to have a п¬Ѓrst-hand feel of the facilities. The commission has completed the evaluation of the other two candidate cities, with Doha being its last stop. It will submit a report to the IAAF executive council, which will take a deciding call in Monaco on November 18. Dahlan says heвЂ™s not underestimating the bids of the other two cities. вЂњBoth Barcelona and Eugene are competent candidates, and we are sure they must have carefully thought about their presentations. But we think we have the edge, as the IAAF believes in expanding the reach of world athletics and spreading it to newer horizons, and the Middle East has never hosted the World Championships,вЂќ he explains. вЂњFurthermore,вЂќ the QAF chief adds, вЂњwe already have a successful track record of hosting big events. We have been hosting the opening meeting of the IAAFвЂ™s Diamond League since its inception. We hosted the Asian Games, we have already hosted the World Indoor Championships (in 2010), and we would be hosting the football World Cup in 2022. We strongly believe we have the best facilities and infrastructure to host an event of this magnitude. We are certain we will make the IAAF, and ourselves, feel proud by the class and grandeur that we have planned for the event.вЂќ Dahlan believes DohaвЂ™s bid would be unique in many ways than the other bids. вЂњWe have proposed to build an Athletics City, where the athletes can freely mingle with the public. We plan to host a night marathon, which has Qatari 400m sprinter Mariam Farid (left) with high-jumer Mutaz Essa Barshim. never happened before at the World Championships. We would have a 100 metre long giant LCD screen for spectators for the 100m sprint. These are just some of the unique things in our bid document. We can conп¬Ѓdently state that given a chance, we shall make Doha 2019 the best World Champion- ships ever,вЂќ he asserted. High jump icon Mutaz Essa Barshim, who is one of the ambassadors for QatarвЂ™s bid, too believes itвЂ™s high time his gets a chance to host world athleticsвЂ™ biggest event. вЂњA World Championships medal is always special, but very few get a chance to win it at home, before your home crowd,вЂќ said the 23-year-old. вЂњI strongly feel Doha is a deserving candidate to host this event. Winning a medal at Doha 2019 would be the highlight of my career вЂ“ standing on the podium, watching the Qatari п¬‚ag being raised and hearing the national anthem would be a memory to treasure for life. We need to connect athletics to this part of the world and to inspire young people across the region by live athletics, so I am very hopeful that Doha would win the bid this time. It would be a proud moment not just for Qatar, but for the entire Middle East region.вЂќ WomenвЂ™s 400m runner and hurdler Mariam Farid harbours a similar dream too. She has already set her sight on winning glory for Qatar at the 2019 Championships, and feels it would be the best possible inspiration for female athletes. вЂњIt is very important for us to host the World Championships. It would a big boost for female athletes, not just in Qatar but for the entire Middle East region. Not many girls choose athletics as a career in this part of the world, and I am sure hosting the event would prove to a big inspiration and impetus for more and more girls to take to sports. вЂњFor me specially, it would mean a lot much to win a World Championships medal in front of my home crowd. I would be 21 by then, and am conп¬Ѓdent that if I keep training hard, I can make my country proud,вЂќ Mariam said. Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, who is one among numerous top athletes supporting DohaвЂ™s bid, says his impression about Qatar changed after he competed at the Diamond League in Doha. вЂњI have never been to Barcelona, but I have been to Eugene. And I can honestly say that the facilities at Doha are superior. The Diamond League meeting here is one of the best organized events I have ever attended. The Aspire Zone, I strongly feel, is a one of its kind facility in the world. The venues, for whatever little I have seen so far, are world class. So yes, I do believe Doha has what is required to host the World Championships,вЂќ Shubenkov -who won the 110m hurdles bronze at the Moscow Worlds last year, his countryвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst ever World Championship medal in hurdles вЂ“ said. The IAAF Evaluation Commission is scheduled to tour some more venues and facilities today and watch a presentation by the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and the QAF before concluding their two-day visit. SPOTLIGHT IAAF delegation concludes first day of Doha visit By Sports Reporter Doha T he IAAF Evaluation Commission for the 2019 World Championships of Athletics, chaired by IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, was welcomed to Doha yesterday by secretary general of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, and president of Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF), Dahlan al-Hamad, on the п¬Ѓrst day of their two-day visit. The п¬Ѓrst day of the CommissionвЂ™s visit saw extensive presentations by the Doha 2019 Bid Committee and by the BidвЂ™s partners, including the Aspire Zone at Khalifa International Stadium and by Msheireb Properties at their Enrichment Center on DohaвЂ™s pristine Corniche. There the Commission learnt more about DohaвЂ™s plans to revolutionise the traditional concept of an AthletesвЂ™ Village by offering the п¬Ѓrst ever вЂ�Athletics CityвЂ™. Speaking on the arrival of the Evaluation Commission, the QAF president said: вЂњIt is an honour to welcome the IAAF Evaluation Commission on their inspection tour of Doha and we hope to demonstrate DohaвЂ™s true character as a sporting hub for the region and the world. We are committed to continuing our work with the IAAF to develop athletics and ensure a lasting legacy from the World Championships for generations to come.вЂќ The Evaluation Commission was hosted by Ali Saeid al-Fhaida, acting director of Aspire Logistics, a member organization of the Aspire Zone Foundation, during which the Commission went on an extensive tour of the Aspire ZoneвЂ™s facilities that would be utilized for the World Championships. These facilities have played host to several international sports events, including the Asian Games in 2006, the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2011 Arab Games, showing DohaвЂ™s experience of hosting world-class events. The highlight of the tour was a visit to the Aspire ZoneвЂ™s centre piece, the Khalifa International Stadium вЂ“ which is currently under renovation to make it the most state-ofthe-art purpose-built athletics stadium in the world. At the warm-up area, the Evaluation Commission were greeted by members of the Qatar National athletics team, including Qatari star high-jumper and Olympic medalist Mutaz Barshim, and rising stars Mariam Farid and Dalal al-Ajmi, who were taking part in an athletics master class with Russian hurdler and Doha 2019 ambassador, Sergey Shubenkov вЂ“ who is one of a host of the worldвЂ™s greatest international athletes who are supporting Doha 2019, including shot put legend Valerie Adams, Canadian Commonwealth high jump champion Derek Drouin, and Bahamian sprinting hero Chris Brown. Hosting the World Championships in Doha will be a п¬Ѓrst for the Middle East and will present an unparalleled opportunity to connect the world of athletics to a new generation of future athletes and fans. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 2 FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP FOCUS Newcastle fell holders Man City Newcastle UnitedвЂ™s Moussa Sissoko (third right) celebrates his goal against Manchester City with teammates during their English League Cup match in Manchester. (Reuters) N ewcastle United visited fresh misery upon faltering Manchester City with an impressive 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday that dumped the holders out of the League Cup. Teenage forward Rolando Aarons put Alan PardewвЂ™s side ahead in the sixth minute and substitute Moussa Sissoko added a superb solo goal 14 minutes from time to send Newcastle into the quarterп¬Ѓnals. вЂњItвЂ™s a marvellous performance from Newcastle tonight. Everything we wanted and tried to get from the game came off,вЂќ said Pardew, whose side will visit Tottenham Hotspur in the last eight. Premier League champions City, who saw midп¬Ѓelder David Silva forced off by injury, have now gone three games without victory in all competitions ahead of SundayвЂ™s derby with Manchester United. вЂњWe didnвЂ™t play well enough,вЂќ City manager Manuel Pellegrini told Sky Sports. вЂњWe conceded two easy goals and didnвЂ™t take our chances to score.вЂќ Ryan Taylor was making his п¬Ѓrst Newcastle appearance since August 2012 after a long-term knee problem and he quickly made an impact. Taylor robbed Fernandinho in midп¬Ѓeld, which freed 18-year-old Aarons to run through and slot the ball between Willy CaballeroвЂ™s legs from a narrow angle on the right. City received a further blow three minutes later when Silva was forced off after injuring his left knee in an early tangle with Taylor. Pellegrini said that SilvaвЂ™s knee injury would be assessed, but played down the extent of a groin problem that saw Yaya Toure leave the fray during the second half, saying it was вЂњnothing importantвЂќ. SilvaвЂ™s replacement, the п¬Ѓt-again Samir Nasri, teed up Stevan Jovetic for a volley that Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot had to parry and visiting captain Fabricio Coloccini then sliced the ball against his own post. But Newcastle п¬Ѓnished the п¬Ѓrst half strongly, with Paul Dummett testing Caballero from a corner and Adam Armstrong sliding the ball narrowly wide from Daryl JanmaatвЂ™s right-wing cross. RESULTS Manchester City Newcastle United (Aarons 6, Sissoko 76) Stoke City (Nzonzi 49, Diouf 82) Southampton (Pelle 6, 88, Long 30) Tottenham Hotspur (Lamela 54, Kane 74) Brighton and Hove Albion 0 2 2 3 2 0 As Newcastle continued to press, with City left-back Aleksandar Kolarov fortunate not to concede a penalty for felling Gabriel Obertan, Pellegrini sent on Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero. But it was a Newcastle substitute who delivered the killer blow, with Sissoko skilfully dragging the ball away from Fernandinho and then bursting past Bacary Sagna before coolly stabbing home. Taylor completed a memorable return by blocking on the line from Edin Dzeko in the 85th minute, as Newcastle secured a п¬Ѓrst ever win at the Etihad and sent the AFP Manchester M вЂ�Everything we wanted and tried to get from the game came off вЂ™ AFP Manchester Coach Pellegrini вЂ�worriedвЂ™ by Man City form holders crashing out. вЂњIt was a fairytale,вЂќ said Taylor. вЂњIt was a dream which all came true.вЂќ Elsewhere, Graziano Pelle took his tally for the season to nine goals as in-form Southampton survived a late Stoke City rally to win 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium and set up a trip to third-tier Sheffield United. The Italian curled Southampton ahead from 25 yards in the sixth minute and Shane Long made it 2-0, only for Steven Nzonzi to bring Stoke back into the game before Mame Biram Diouf headed in an 82nd-minute equaliser. But after former Southampton player Peter Crouch had been sent off for a second bookable offence, Pelle swept home from the ensuing free-kick in the 88th minute to put Ronald KoemanвЂ™s side in the last eight. In the eveningвЂ™s other game, second-half goals from Erik Lamela and Harry Kane gave Tottenham a 2-0 victory at home to secondtier Brighton and Hove Albion. Liverpool, who edged Swansea City 2-1 on Tuesday, will visit second-tier Bournemouth in the quarter-п¬Ѓnals, while Chelsea were handed a trip to another Championship side, Derby County. anchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted he is вЂњworriedвЂќ about his sideвЂ™s form after they were knocked out of the League Cup by Newcastle United. The holders fell to a 2-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday and have now gone three games without a win ahead of SundayвЂ™s derby at home to Manchester United in the Premier League. To compound matters, inп¬‚uential midп¬Ѓelder David Silva was forced off by an early knee injury, and Pellegrini conceded after the game that he has problems on his hands. вЂњOf course we must be worriedвЂ”we didnвЂ™t win the three games we played this week,вЂќ said the Chilean, whose team have also made a slow start in the Champions League. вЂњWe must be worried about that, but we must п¬Ѓnd a solution and we must address it. We will see with the players which is the way to try and recover that conп¬Ѓdence because itвЂ™s not normal to see this team playing the way we are now.вЂќ He added: вЂњMy feeling is that we are not playing well. We are in a difficult moment with a lack of trust. вЂњWe are conceding too (many) easy goals and we are not scoring the chances we have to score. ThatвЂ™s the feeling at this moment. вЂњItвЂ™s a lack of conп¬Ѓdence that we must address as soon as possible because we need to continue to be involved in the other competitions.вЂќ SilvaвЂ™s injury was due to be Bayern cruise past Hamburg into third round RESULTS Magdeburg 2 Bayer Leverkusen 2 Leverkusen won 5-4 on penalties Wurzburger Kickers 0 Braunschweig 1 1860 Munich 2 SC Freiburg 5 Leipzig 3 Erzgebirge Aue 1 Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 3 Hoffenheim 5 FSV Frankfurt 1 Wolfsburg 4 Heidenheim 1 Eintracht Frankfurt 1 Borussia Moenchengladbach 2 H olders Bayern Munich eased into the German Cup third round with a comfortable 3-1 win at Hamburg SV on Wednesday to continue their unbeaten domestic run as they prepare for tomorrowвЂ™s league clash against Borussia Dortmund. The league leaders, who also take on Roma in the Champions League next week, got off to a dream start with forward Robert Lewandowski п¬Ѓring in on the rebound after a Heiko Westermann mistake had set up the hostsвЂ™ lead in the seventh minute. Bayern, undefeated in the league as well as the Champions League so far, then struck just before the break after an earlier effort had been ruled off side. Austria international David Alaba found space outside the box and riп¬‚ed in a long range effort that took keeper Jaroslav Drobny by surprise on the stroke of halftime. Franck Ribery, back in the starting lineup after a lengthy injury break, killed off any lingering comeback hopes from Hamburg, seeing his deп¬‚ected Bayern MunichвЂ™s David Alaba (left) celebrates after scoring against Hamburg SV on Wednesday. (EPA) shot beat Drobny in the 55th. Ribery also had a close encounter with a Hamburg fan who stormed the pitch in stoppage time, slapping the Frenchman with a Hamburg scarf and making an obscene gesture. вЂњI did not see him coming but itвЂ™s ok,вЂќ said a smiling Ribery. вЂњIt was important for me to play again after being injured. But it was more important for us to win and advance.вЂќ Hamburg managed a late consolation goal through Pierre-Michel Lasogga with a header at the far post after a deft chip from Raffael Van der Vaart. Fellow Champions League club Bayer Leverkusen had a far more adventurous evening after needing penalties to edge past fourth division club Magdeburg 5-4. What had looked like an easy task with in-form Hakan Calhanoglu putting Leverkusen ahead after only three minutes, turned out to be a thriller with the hosts levelling and taking the lead in extra time. Leverkusen, who had South assessed on Thursday, but Pellegrini played down the extent of a groin problem that saw Yaya Toure substituted as a precaution during the second half. вЂњWe will see with the doctor,вЂќ Pellegrini said of Silva. вЂњI canвЂ™t tell you now exactly at this moment. David has a problem in his knee. I donвЂ™t know how serious it is. вЂњYaya was a little bit tired with his groin so I didnвЂ™t want to risk him.вЂќ Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, whose side will visit Tottenham Hotspur in the last eight, paid tribute to Ryan Taylor, who made an impressive return to action after over two years on the sidelines. The 30-year-old utility player had not played since August 2012 due to serious knee problems, but he set up Rolando AaronsвЂ™s sixthminute opener and foiled City striker Edin Dzeko with a late goal-line block. вЂњOur staff have been very impressed with his conduct. He is a beacon of light in professional football,вЂќ Pardew said. вЂњWe are delighted we have been able to give him a platform, but he had 10 good players around him and we couldnвЂ™t have asked for more.вЂќ Manuel Pellegrini. (AFP) GERMAN CUP Reuters Berlin вЂњOf course we must be worriedвЂ”we didnвЂ™t win the three games we played this week. We must be worried about that, but we must find a solution and we must address it. We will see with the players which is the way to try and recover that confidence because itвЂ™s not normal to see this team playing the way we are nowвЂќ Korean Son Heung-min sent off with a straight red card for a foul, needed a 116th minute equaliser through Kyriakos Papadopoulos to take the game to penalties where they kept their cool with keeper Bernd Leno saving three penalties. In an all-Bundesliga clash, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 while Hoffenheim crushed second tier FSV Frankfurt 5-1 with two goals from Brazilian Roberto Firmino. Dortmund, last seasonвЂ™s finalists, have already booked their spot in the next round after beating St Pauli 3-0 on Tuesday. Ribery brushes off Hamburg fanвЂ™s insult Munich: Bayern MunichвЂ™s France winger Franck Ribery has accepted HamburgвЂ™s apology after one of their fans hit him in the face with a scarf during the BavariansвЂ™ German Cup win. Ribery scored for title-holders Bayern in WednesdayвЂ™s 3-1 win at Hamburg in the second round of the German Cup. But Ribery was insulted in added time when a fan stormed on to the Imtech Arena pitch, hit the France star in the face with his Hamburg scarf and showed him the middle finger of both hands before security guards intervened. вЂњThat shouldnвЂ™t have happened, but itвЂ™s not so bad,вЂќ the Frenchman told Sky Sports, having started the match after recovering from a knee injury which hampered the start of his season. вЂњItвЂ™s always forgotten after the game. I donвЂ™t know what that was all about. It wasnвЂ™t an easy game for me, I got kicked a lot.вЂќ Hamburg apologised to Ribery on Twitter. вЂњDear FC Bayern, dear Franck Ribery, we apologise for the scenes just before the end of the game, that is not Hamburg!вЂќ Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 3 FOOTBALL EPL Record scorer Rooney set for derby return United captain Rooney, who missed last three matches, hopes to recover from a minor foot injury Wayne Rooney (second left) tops the all-time goalscoring list for Manchester derbies having netted 11 in 22 games for United. Reuters London M anchester United are likely to welcome back captain Wayne Rooney from suspension for their visit to Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday, hoping the striker can add to his record scoring tally in the derby. Rooney, who missed three matches because of a red card last month and hopes to recover from a minor foot injury picked up in training, tops the all-time goalscoring list for Manchester derbies having netted 11 in 22 games for United. The return of the England striker will add a further spring to manager Louis van GaalвЂ™s step, after United snatched a 1-1 home draw with league leaders Chelsea last week thanks to Robin van PersieвЂ™s stoppage-time goal. вЂњItвЂ™s a massive boost for us to have him back,вЂќ United defender Luke Shaw told British media this week. вЂњItвЂ™s something I think heвЂ™s looking forward to. Wayne hates sitting on the sidelines watching.вЂќ The 20-times English champions, after a dreadful campaign last term under David Moyes, have endured a torrid time away from home so far this season and are six games without a win on the road in the league, their worst run for 18 years. Van Gaal and some of his new-look team will be experiencing a Manchester derby for the п¬Ѓrst time but Shaw, a close-season signing from Southampton, is sure the recent arrivals understand the п¬Ѓerce rivalry. вЂњItвЂ™s pretty obvious what this match means to the fans and the club,вЂќ the 19-year-old said. вЂњI donвЂ™t think I need to be told about it and the others (new signings) will be aware too. вЂњItвЂ™s a massive occasion for everyone involved in it. We need to come out п¬Ѓring on Sunday.вЂќ Joyous memorial for slain South African captain Johannesburg: Thousands of South Africans jammed into a Johannesburg sports stadium yesterday to celebrate the life of South African football captain Senzo Meyiwa, whose murder during a robbery has stunned the nation. Decked in the colours of the national team, of MeyiwaвЂ™s club the Orlando Pirates and rival clubs, fans rubbed shoulders with government ministers and sporting luminaries to mark the loss of their 27-year-old talismanic captain. In the stands they chanted, danced and sang; вЂњSenzo Meyiwa, akekho ofana nayeвЂќвЂ” there is no-one like himвЂ”reprising anti-apartheid struggle songs in MeyiwaвЂ™s name. вЂњLove is stronger than deathвЂќ a pastor told the crowd, before a rousing version of the national anthem. Meyiwa was shot dead last Sunday when burglars broke into his pop-star girlfriendвЂ™s home some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Johannesburg, before making off with a cell phone. More than 17,000 people were killed in South Africa last year, but the slaying of a popular sporting hero has stunned even this crime-weary nation. вЂњIt is just very sad today,вЂќ said Springbok rugby captain Jean De Villiers, who was present at the memorial, which also remembered the lives of two other recently fallen sporting heros. Phindile Mwelase, a female boxer, died after spending two weeks in a coma following a bout and world 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi died in a car crash a week ago. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of late president Nelson Mandela, also attended the memorial. Yesterday, police denied that they had arrested two people in connection with MeyiwaвЂ™s killing, but a manhunt continues. According to public broadcaster SABC on Wednesday, two men were being held for questioning after they were arrested in Nongoma, in the eastern KwaZulu Natal province. But police spokesman brigadier Neville Melila told AFP: вЂњThere is no arrest, (the) investigation continues, we have spoken to witnesses, so we are investigating. We are working through evidence.вЂќ SABC said the suspects had been picked up following a tipoff by members of the public. UnitedвЂ™s indifferent away form has been costly, with the team eighth in the table on 13 points, 10 adrift of Jose MourinhoвЂ™s Chelsea at the summit. City have suffered their own stuttering start to their title defence and a 2-1 defeat at in-form West Ham United last weekend left them third on 17 points. Boss Manuel Pellegrini is not concerned by the championsвЂ™ form and pointed out they are in a better position than they were this time last season. He was also unmoved by RooneyвЂ™s United return. вЂњI think Rooney is a very important player for Manchester United but I think that big teams never depend on one player,вЂќ he said. Following their draw at Old Trafford, Chelsea will be looking to steal a march on their Manchester rivals when they host their own local adversaries Queens Park Rangers tomorrow. In scintillating form since the start of the season, MourinhoвЂ™s men have dropped only four points in their open- ing nine games, conceding late goals to draw at both City and United, and have a four-point lead at the top of the table. They are likely to have Diego Costa available again after he missed the trip to Old Trafford due to a hamstring problem and the Spain striker will be looking to add to the nine league goals he has scored in seven appearances this season. QPR climbed off the foot of the table with a 2-0 home win against beleaguered Aston Villa on Monday but with all of their seven points this season coming at Loftus Road, their hopes of a surprise result at Chelsea will be slim. With the loss to Harry RedknappвЂ™s side, Villa extended their run of п¬Ѓve straight league defeats without scoring a goal. Paul Lambert will hope his side can score their first in over eight hours of football to reignite the early season form that saw them reach second in the league when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, who are enduring their own slump. Second-placed Southampton look to continue to dumbfound their preseason critics when they travel on tomorrow to Hull City, who proved a stern test for Liverpool in a goalless draw at Anп¬Ѓeld last weekend. Another team exceeding all expectations, fourth-placed West Ham, follow their victory at home to the champions with a very different test at mid-table Stoke City. A late Mario Balotelli-inspired comeback helped Liverpool book their place in the League Cup quarter-п¬Ѓnal with a 2-1 home win against Swansea City on Tuesday, and the Italy striker will target a п¬Ѓrst league goal for the Reds when they visit Newcastle United early tomorrow. England winger Theo Walcott could make his п¬Ѓrst appearance for Arsenal after 10 months out with injury to heap more misery on bottom club Burnley, who visit the Emirates Stadium having garnered only four points this season. Rodgers backs forgotten man Borini London: One manвЂ™s loss is anotherвЂ™s gain, according to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who could throw outcast forward Fabio Borini into the fray against Newcastle United tomorrow in the continued absence of leading striker Daniel Sturridge. Italian forward Borini has found first-team chances few and far between at Anfield since signing from AS Roma in 2012 and was sent out on loan to Sunderland last season. He was deemed surplus to requirements on his return to Liverpool, who accepted bids for the player from both Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers. The Italian, however, shunned the opportunity of a fresh start at a new club, where his chances of first-team football would have been greatly improved. After making only one Premier League start in nine games this season, the 23-year-oldвЂ™s chance to shine in a Liverpool shirt came in their 2-1 League Cup victory over Swansea City on Tuesday and Rodgers hailed his impact ahead of his sideвЂ™s trip to 14thplaced Newcastle. вЂњDaniel Sturridge being out has been a big miss for us, but sometimes it can give opportunities to others,вЂќ Rodgers told a news conference. вЂњThe other night, Fabio Borini was outstanding. He made a perfect cross at the end and worked hard and was lively all night.вЂќ With the misfiring Mario Balotelli finally breaking his sixweek scoring drought against Swansea, Rodgers was forced to defend LiverpoolвЂ™s other faltering forwards. Serbia winger Lazar Markovic has struggled at Anfield since signing from Benfica for 20 million pounds ($32.02 million), while Rickie Lambert has looked lost in front of goal after joining from Southampton. вЂњWe brought young Markovic in for the longer term,вЂќ Rodgers said. вЂњWe have confidence he will become a big player for us. вЂњRickie Lambert hasnвЂ™t had many opportunities. Goals will come. He has worked tirelessly every day.вЂќ Seventh-placed Liverpool, who have 14 points from nine matches, travel to a Newcastle side buoyed by their League Cup victory over Manchester City on Wednesday and Rodgers praised the club for sticking by underfire boss Alan Pardew. Fabio Borini. FOCUS Real begin KingвЂ™s Cup defence with win Reuters Barcelona R aphael Varane converted two corners as a second-string Real Madrid began the defence of their KingвЂ™s Cup crown with a 4-1 victory against third-tier part-timers Cornella on Wednesday. The last-32, п¬Ѓrst leg pitted the worldвЂ™s richest club by income, with annual revenues of more than 600 million euros ($758 million), against a club with a budget of around 1 million euros a season, who were promoted to SpainвЂ™s regional Segunda B for the п¬Ѓrst time at the end of last term. Despite the glaring mismatch, Barcelona-based Cornella, whose players include a dentist and a school teacher, were not overawed by the occasion and after Varane nodded Real in front from a James Rodriguez corner in the 10th minute, burly striker Oscar Munoz levelled in the 20th with a п¬Ѓerce strike. France centre back Varane made it 2-1 from IscoвЂ™s corner in the 36th minute and Javier Hernandez struck eight minutes into the second half before substitute Marcelo rifled home the rebound from an Isco effort 15 minutes from time. вЂњIt was important to get a good win in this п¬Ѓrst leg,вЂќ Hernandez said in an inter- Real MadridвЂ™s French defender Raphael Varane (right) scores a goal against Cornella during the Spanish KingвЂ™s Cup match in Cornella-El Prat near Barcelona. (AFP) view with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus. вЂњWith all our opponents the coach asks us to be professional and we treated this game in exactly the same way as we would a вЂ�ClasicoвЂ™ (against Barcelona),вЂќ added the Mexican, who is on loan at Real from Manchester United. Cornella play their home games at the clubвЂ™s modest 1,500-capacity stadium but WednesdayвЂ™s match was relocated to EspanyolвЂ™s 41,000-seater arena next door. The stadium was at least half full, with plenty of Barcelona-based Real fans turning out to see their team despite the absence of regulars like Cristiano Ronaldo, the injured Gareth Bale and Iker Casillas. Spanish media reported the Cornella players had been promised a bonus of around 1,400 euros if they achieve the feat of eliminating Real, less than Ronaldo earns in a single hour. вЂњWe had to make the most of the fact that we were playing in front of so many people for the п¬Ѓrst time,вЂќ Munoz told Canal Plus. вЂњI was very pleased with the goal but in the end their quality counted and we let in four,вЂќ he added. Real are on course to meet city rivals Atletico Madrid in the last 16, with Barca the probable opponents in the quarterп¬Ѓnals. All but two of the last-32, п¬Ѓrst legs take place at the beginning of December, but RealвЂ™s has been brought forward because of the European championsвЂ™ participation in the Club World Cup in mid-December. Due to the disruption to the La Liga calendar caused by the tournament in Morocco, Sevilla also had their п¬Ѓrst leg brought forward and they thrashed second-division Sabadell 6-1. Iago Aspas, who is on loan at the Andalusian club from Liverpool, netted a hat-trick and former Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes scored a long-range stunner as Sevilla all-but assured themselves of a place in the last 16. The return legs are at the beginning of December, when the Cornella players will fulп¬Ѓl their dream of playing in one of the worldвЂ™s great soccer venues, RealвЂ™s Bernabeu stadium. 4 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT SERIE A Roma level at top as Juventus beaten вЂ�You canвЂ™t concede in the last 30 seconds like thisвЂ™ A n injury-time goal from Genoa midп¬Ѓelder Luca Antonini handed Juventus their п¬Ѓrst defeat of the season Wednesday while a 2-0 win for Roma allowed the title challengers to pull level at the top of ItalyвЂ™s Serie A. UdineseвЂ™s 3-0 defeat at Fiorentina allowed AC Milan, held 1-1 at Cagliari, to move three places up to third with Sampdoria still in fourth despite suffering a last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Inter Milan. Both AC Milan and Sampdoria are six points off the leadersвЂ™ pace, with Udinese dropping to п¬Ѓfth, also on 16 points and one ahead of Lazio, who face Verona. Gonzalo Higuain should have handed Napoli all three points in the dying minutes away to Atalanta but the Argentinian striker saw his spot-kick saved by Marco Sportiello. Napoli remain seventh and are now seven points adrift of Juventus and Roma. Juventus had moved clear of Roma last weekend after Rudi GarciaвЂ™s men were held to a scoreless draw away to Sampdoria but were frustrated at the Luigi Ferraris stadium where goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was making his 500th appearance in a Bianconeri jersey. Juve spurned several chances, notably when Angelo OgbonnaвЂ™s toe-poke hit the crossbar, and then home goalkeeper Matia Perin pulled off a superb one-handed save from Alvaro Morata at the death after he had replaced fellow Spaniard Fernando Llorente on 65 minutes. The match looked to be heading for a draw until Antonini stunned Massimiliano AllegriвЂ™s men by bundling a cross from the left past Buffon after being left unmarked in front of goal. вЂњYou canвЂ™t concede in the last 30 seconds like this,вЂќ Allegri told Sky Sport. вЂњWe should have come away with the minimum of a draw. But we will take stock of this result and learn from it.вЂќ It was JuveвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst league defeat in injury time since a reverse to Roma in 2010, and gave GarciaвЂ™s men a huge boost as they dominated Cesena at the Stadio Olimpico. Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini admitted: вЂњItвЂ™s one of the most beautiful days of my career. Juventus have lost very rarely in the past few seasons so big compliments to the lads.вЂќ Lukasz Skorupski replaced Morgan De Sanctis in goal for Roma and Seydou Keita returned to the midп¬Ѓeld while Ashley Cole was brought in at left-back following a spell on the sidelines due to a dismal display in the 7-1 drubbing by Bayern Munich. Mattia Destro replaced captain Francesco Totti and gave Roma the lead with an easy tap-in from GervinhoвЂ™s inch-perfect pass inside 10 minutes. Destro had the ball in the net on 28 minutes when he п¬Ѓred a powerful header past Federico Agliardi, but was a fraction offside when he started his run to meet Miralem PjanicвЂ™s free-kick from the left. Agliardi had to react quickly to keep Alessandro FlorenziвЂ™s corner from swerving into the net in the п¬Ѓnal 10 minutes, but from the resultant corner the вЂ�keeper was п¬Ѓnally beaten a second time. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had replaced Davide Astori on 54 minutes and did well to keep the ball in play at the byline for Daniele De Rossi to bundle a volley home from close range. In Bergamo, Napoli were stunned 13 minutes into the second half when German Denis ran in unhindered between ROUND-UP Christian Maggio and Raul Albiol to nod Cristian RaimondiвЂ™s cross past Rafael. Napoli should have levelled two minutes later but Jose Callejon somehow skied Faouzi GhoulamвЂ™s cross despite being less than a metre from goal. Atalanta suffered a blow late on when Luca Cigarini saw red for a second bookable offence, and Napoli capitalised soon after when Higuain spun on Lorenzo InsigneвЂ™s pass into the area to beat Sportiello down low. Napoli won a penalty in the dying minutes after Guglielmo StendardoвЂ™s foul on Cristian Zapata, but Sportiello did well to keep out HiguainвЂ™s effort from 12 yards. igeria look like avoiding a FIFA suspension after a court case involving a battle for the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) was withdrawn from the High Court yesterday. Dropping the case paves the way for FIFA-backed NFF president Amaju Pinnick and his executive to resume their duties after they had been ousted from office by an interim ruling last Thursday by Justice Ambrose Allagoa, who placed Chris Giwa in charge. Judge Allagoa ruled that the elective congress that brought Pinnick to power on Sept. 30 was invalid but that ruling is no longer being supported by Giwa and is being dropped. There was also some conjecture that Stephen Keshi, who left his job as national team coach earlier this month could return. Keshi, who led Nigeria to the African Nations Cup title in 2013, has left his job but the countryвЂ™s president Goodluck Jonathan is a big fan of Keshi and Nigeria media say he would be delighted if the charismatic вЂњBig BossвЂќ returned. FIFA wrote to the NFF on Tuesday and placed a deadline of mid-day on Friday (Oct 31) for the court to strike the matter off the roll and for Giwa to relinquish control. Giwa asked for the matter to be withdrawn yesterday fol- third in ItalyвЂ™s top п¬‚ight. Colombian Victor Ibarbo gave the Sardinians a 24th minute lead on Wednesday when he bravely headed a cross past onrushing goalkeeper Christian Abbiati on the edge of the Milan box. The Rossoneri levelled barely 10 minutes later when BonaventuraвЂ™s looping drive from outside the area on the right п¬‚ank beat Alessio Cragno in the hostsвЂ™ net. It was to prove a bittersweet night for the former Atalanta player, who spent the night in hospital under observation after being kicked in the head later in the match. But he admitted: вЂњI tried to play a ball into the box for the forwards and it п¬‚ew in. вЂњThese kinds of things happen in games. The вЂ�keeper was off his line but I really crossed it in for the strikers.вЂќ AFP New York S Spanish striker Raul played for Qatari side Al Sadd for two years. (AFP) Champions League semi-п¬Ѓnals before departing for Qatari side Al Sadd in 2012. Raul, whose 71 Champions League goals came in 144 appearances, also scored 44 goals in 102 games over a decade with the Spanish national squad. MILAN WONDER STRIKE WAS A FLUKE, SAYS BONAVENTURA AC Milan midп¬Ѓelder Giacomo Bonaventura admitted his wonder-strike that earned a share of the points away to Cagliari was a п¬‚uke as the Serie A giants crawled up to CELTICвЂ™S TONEV GIVEN 7-MATCH BAN FOR RACIST ABUSE Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev was hit with a seven-match suspension yesterda after the Scottish Football Association found him guilty of racial abuse. Tonev, on loan from Aston Villa, had been charged by the SFA following an incident involving Aberdeen defender Shay Logan during a Scottish Premiership match last month. The Bulgarian was ordered to appear before the SFAвЂ™s judicial panel, which ruled he had committed вЂњexcessive misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist natureвЂќ. However, Scottish champions Celtic insist they are backing their playerвЂ™s claims of innocence and plan to appeal. A club spokesperson said: вЂњRacism has no place in football and as a club for all people, Celtic absolutely abhors racism of any kind. вЂњWe conп¬Ѓrm that Aleksandar will be appealing this decision.вЂќ Dropping the case paves the way for FIFA-backed NFF president Amaju Pinnick and his executive to resume their duties after they had been ousted from office by an interim ruling last Thursday by Justice Ambrose Allagoa, who placed Chris Giwa in charge lowing an intervention from President Jonathan, who met with the warring factions on Tuesday. He instructed them to п¬Ѓnd a solution to the crisis that threatened to rule the Super Eagles out of attempting to reach next yearвЂ™s п¬Ѓnals in Morocco to defend the title they won under Keshi in 2013. Nigerian media suggested that Keshi had been recalled to his position at the personal request of President Jonathan. Although there was no conп¬Ѓrmation from the NFF, current coach Shaibu Amidu backed KeshiвЂ™s return on the Nigeria national teamвЂ™s official Twitter account (@NGSuperEagles). вЂњI believe Keshi should be allowed to complete the qualifying race he started. I think the mission to qualify is not an impossible task,вЂќ Amidu was quoted as saying. Nigeria will most likely have to win both of their remaining Nations Cup qualiп¬Ѓers next month away in Congo and at home to South Africa to stand a chance of reaching the п¬Ѓnals in Morocco in January. RESULTS Atalanta 1 (Denis 57) Napoli 1 (Higuain 86); Cagliari 1 (Ibarbo 24) Milan 1 (Bonaventura 34); Fiorentina 3 (Babacar 44, 70, Valero 80) Udinese 0; Genoa 1 (Antonini 90+4) Juventus 0; Inter 1 (Icardi 90-pen) Sampdoria 0; Palermo 1 (Rigoni 81) Chievo 0; Roma 2 (Destro 9, De Rossi 81) Cesena 0; Torino 1 (Darmian 10) Parma 0 Stephen Keshi, who left his job as national team coach earlier this month could return. FOCUS Raul joins New York Cosmos panish striker Raul, Real MadridвЂ™s all-time leading goalscorer, has signed for the New York Cosmos, the club announced yesterday. Raul, 37, who remains the top Champions League scorer with 71, will join the Cosmos for next yearвЂ™s North American Soccer League campaign, one level below Major League Soccer, and serve as technical advisor for the teamвЂ™s youth academy. Cosmos, whose former stars include Pele and Franz Beckenbauer in the clubвЂ™s all-star heyday in the 1970s, had gone out of business but the club was revived in the hopes of a return to glory. вЂњEveryone throughout the soccer world knows the Cosmos name and the legacy of the players that played for this team previously,вЂќ Raul said. вЂњThey helped establish soccer in America and IвЂ™m honored to follow in their footsteps. I believe in this clubвЂ™s vision and IвЂ™m excited to be a part of that.вЂќ Signing Raul will help Cosmos compete with the MLS New York Red Bulls and FC New York City, a new MLS rival owned by English Premier League side Manchester City and baseballвЂ™s New York Yankees. The new club will boast Spanish World Cup striker David Villa and former Chelsea star Frank Lampard when it debuts in March at iconic Yankee Stadium. Raul joined Real Madrid in 1994 at the age of 17 and spent 16 seasons with Los Blancos, scoring 323 goals and collecting six La Liga titles, four Spanish Super Cups and three Champions League crowns. He left Real in 2010 for GermanyвЂ™s Schalke 04, where he netted 40 goals in 98 matches and spurred them on to the 2011 Reuters Cape Town N GenoaвЂ™s Luca Antonini scores past JuventusвЂ™ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (right) during the Italian Serie A match at Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa. (EPA) AFP Rome Nigeria set to avoid FIFA suspension QPR considering Ferdinand appeal, says Redknapp AFP London Q ueens Park Rangers are considering whether to appeal against defender Rio FerdinandвЂ™s ban and п¬Ѓne for a comment he made on Twitter, manager Harry Redknapp said yesterday in London. Ferdinand, 35, was suspended for three games and п¬Ѓned ВЈ25,000 ($40,000, 31,800 euros) by the Football Association on Wednesday for referring to the mother of another Twitter user as a вЂ�sketвЂ™, a derogatory slang term for a promiscuous woman. вЂњIвЂ™ll have to sit down with chief executive Philip Beard and chairman Tony Fernandes and talk about the possibility of an appeal when we have the report (from the FA),вЂќ Redknapp told a press conference. вЂњWeвЂ™ve not seen the report from the FA so we canвЂ™t really comment on it, to understand what he has done. вЂњRio does know how to behave off the pitch. There are not many professionals better than Rio. But I am not in position to talk about it, because I have not seen any details.вЂќ Ferdinand, whose ban takes immediate effect, was also вЂњseverely warnedвЂќ about his future conduct by the FA and ordered to attend an education programme. A Twitter user provoked the tweet that landed Ferdinand in hot water by sending him a teasing message on transfer deadline day that said: вЂњMaybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre-back) they need one.вЂќ Ferdinand replied: вЂњget ya mum in, plays the п¬Ѓeld well son! #sket.вЂќ The former Manchester United defender, who won 81 caps for England, is a member of a commission set up by FA chairman Greg Dyke to investigate how to improve English football. Ferdinand, who said last week that he would probably retire from playing at the end of the season, has over 5.9 million followers on Twitter and is a proliп¬Ѓc user of the social networking website. He has also been a tv pundit for BBC during the World Cup in Brazil. Redknapp added: вЂњI donвЂ™t know what Twitter is. I donвЂ™t want to know, to be honest. It doesnвЂ™t interest me one little bit. If I understood it, I might be able to talk about it.вЂќ MLS unveils new LA-based team, aims for 2017 start Los Angeles: Major League SoccerвЂ™s new Los Angeles franchise was unveiled yesterday led by a 22-person ownership group being headed by Vietnamese-American venture capitalist Henry Nguyen. Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Peter Guber, who are both part of the ownership of Major League BaseballвЂ™s Los Angeles Dodgers, are among the leaders of the consortium listed on the clubвЂ™s website. The surprisingly large group also includes Malaysian Vincent Tan, owner of English league club Cardiff City, former U.S. womenвЂ™s soccer great Mia Hamm and celebrity life-coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins. The new team, which has a working name of Los Angeles Football Club, is expected to start play in the 2017 MLS season and will compete with the existing LA Galaxy club for support. On Monday MLS announced that struggling Chivas USA, which had groundshared with the Galaxy at the StubHub Center in the L.A. suburb of Carson, had ceased operations. The new club intends to build their own stadium but have yet to finalise any plans for such a venue. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 5 CRICKET ABU DHABI TEST SPOTLIGHT Century-man Younis punishes Australia Azhar Ali also hits ton as Pakistan post 304-2 on opening day AFP Abu Dhabi Y ounis Khan became the п¬Ѓrst batsman in 90 years to hit three hundreds in consecutive innings against Australia as Pakistan took an early advantage in the second Test in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The 36-year-old, who smashed twin hundreds in the п¬Ѓrst Test, notched 111 not out for his 27th century to help Pakistan close the opening day on a solid footing of 304-2 after they won the toss and elected to bat on a п¬‚at Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch. In the last over before stumps, Azhar Ali also completed his sixth Test hundred and was un- Azhar Ali beaten on 101 on a day Australia used as many as eight bowlers and unusual п¬Ѓelding placings but failed to break the Ali-Younis third wicket stand which has so far yielded 208 runs. Younis lofted spinner Glenn Maxwell to long-on boundary for his tenth four to complete his hundred before raising his bat to his team-mates and a few dozen people who gave him a standing ovation. EnglandвЂ™s Herbert Sutcliffe was the last man to score three hundreds in three consecutive Test innings against Australia way back in 1924-25. Before Younis three Pakistani batsmen, Zaheer Abbas (v India in 1982) Mudassar Nazar (v India in 1982) and Mohammad Yousuf (v West Indies in 2006) AFP London E had achieved three consecutive centuries. So ruthless was Younis that even the second new ball, taken soon after it was due, couldnвЂ™t disturb him. He has so far hit ten fours and a six during his 155ball knock. Things went wrong for Michael Clarke right from the toss when he wrongly called tails. He did everything, from using two short mid-wickets, a short mid-on and a man almost behind the umpire at the bowlerвЂ™s end, but even that failed to get him any wickets, leaving him frustrated in his bids to avoid a п¬Ѓrst series defeat against Pakistan since 1994. Pakistan won the п¬Ѓrst Test of the two-match series by 221 runs in Dubai. вЂњIt was a tough day,вЂќ said Clarke. вЂњI tried everything, some unorthodox п¬Ѓelds but we couldnвЂ™t take as many wickets as we would have wanted and thatвЂ™s disappointing.вЂќ Ali expressed admiration for YounisвЂ™s form. вЂњI donвЂ™t have words to describe the way he batted,вЂќ said Ali. вЂњWe are in a good position but itвЂ™s a long way to go and we have to apply ourselves in every session in this match.вЂќ Younis survived two leg-before reviews, off Maxwell when on 35 and off Steven Smith when on 68. Ali, who hit six fours off 223 balls, also survived two sharp chances, on 34 and 46, epitomising an unrewarding day for Australia. Openers Ahmed Shehzad (35) and Mohammad Hafeez (45) were out either side of lunch. Hafeez fell to an edge behind the wicket off paceman Mitchell Johnson who toiled hard for his п¬Ѓgures of one for 50. Shehzad was shaping up well during his 64-ball knock, hitting three fours before he missed a delivery from spinner Lyon and was trapped leg-before. Clarke juggled his pace bowlers before bringing Lyon on in the 14th over to get the needed breakthrough. Pakistan kept the same XI while Australia brought in paceman Mitchell Starc and spinning all-rounder Maxwell for batsman Alex Doolan and left-arm spinner Steve OвЂ™Keefe, preferring a three-prong pace attack with one spinner in Lyon. ngland bowler Stuart Broad has dismissed claims by former teammate Kevin Pietersen that there was a bullying culture in the changing room during their time as international colleagues. In PietersenвЂ™s recently-published autobiography, he alleges that Broad was a member of a group of senior players who abused less-experienced squad members if they made п¬Ѓelding errors. But Broad told BBC Sport in an interview published late on Wednesday: вЂњThe вЂ�bullyingвЂ™ word has not crossed my mind in eight or nine years of playing international cricket.вЂќ He added: вЂњYou would expect guys to be excited and passionate about playing for their country. I look at my heroes growing up, the likes of (former England rugby union captain) Martin Johnson. SCORECARD Pakistan Ist innings Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Lyon 35 Mohammad Hafeez c Haddin b Johnson 45 Azhar Ali not out 101 Younis Khan not out 111 Extras: (b3, lb6, nb3) 12 Total: (for two wkts; 88 overs) 304 Fall of wicket: 1-57 (Shehzad), 2-96 (Hafeez) Bowling: Johnson 18-4-50-1 (2nb), Starc 11-0-37-0, Siddle 17-539-0 (1nb), Lyon 23-1-86-1, Marsh Broad denies Pietersen вЂ�bullyingвЂ™ claims 6-0-23-0, Maxwell 8-1-36-0, Clarke 2-0-7-0, Smith 3-0-17-0 Australia: D. Warner, C. Rogers, S. Smith, M. Clarke, B. Haddin, G. Maxwell, M. Marsh, M. Johnson, M. Starc, P. Siddle, N. Lyon. Toss: Pakistan Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG) and Nigel Llong (ENG) Tv umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA) Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI) Younis Khan acknowledges the crowd after scoring his third consecutive century against Australia in Abu Dhabi yesterday. BOTTOMLINE вЂњLook at (former Manchester United goalkeeper) Peter SchmeichelвЂ”when he conceded a goal, he certainly gave Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister an earful. вЂњI donвЂ™t know if that would be classed as bullying, or just the passion of being disappointed.вЂќ BroadвЂ™s fellow-bowler James Anderson, another player accused of bullying by Pietersen, said the South Africa-born batsmanвЂ™s claims threatened to overshadow the teamвЂ™s achievements. вЂњIt puts a bitter taste in your mouth about a really fruitful time for an England team who were one of the best England teams IвЂ™ve been around in recent times,вЂќ Anderson said. вЂњWe try to challenge each other, try to push each other to improve and get the best out of each other. The culture we built is the reason we got to number one in the world (in August 2011).вЂќ Meanwhile, Broad expressed support for batsman Jonathan Trott, who has been selected for the England LionsвЂ™ January tour of South Africa after withdrawing from EnglandвЂ™s Ashes squad last year due to a stress-related illness. вЂњI think if I could choose anyone to bat for my life, it would be Jonathan Trott,вЂќ Broad said. вЂњIt was really sad to see what happened to him in Australia, but credit has to go to him, his family and the people around him to get him back up to playing cricket and scoring runs.вЂќ FOCUS Pakistan nominates Sethi for ICC presidency AFP Lahore P akistan yesterday nominated Najam Sethi as its candidate for the presidency of cricketвЂ™s world governing body next year, three months after he resigned as the head of the national board. SethiвЂ™s nomination for the presidency of the International Cricket Council (ICC) was conп¬Ѓrmed after approval from Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). вЂњThe PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and the Board of Governors have unanimously recommended Sethi as PakistanвЂ™s nominee for president of the ICC for the 2015-16 term commencing on July 1, 2015,вЂќ said a PCB release. PakistanвЂ™s Ehsan Mani held the ICC presidentвЂ™s post between 2003 and 2006 but in 2012 the ICC changed the structure of its top-level administration effective from 2014, making the role a ceremonial one with a one-year term, handing over power to the new post of chairman. IndiaвЂ™s Narayanaswami Srinivasan took over as ICCвЂ™s chairman for the next two years in June. BangladeshвЂ™s Mustafa Kamal is the current ICC president whose tenure will end in June 2015. вЂњSethi is a renowned international award winning journalist. Last year he served as chairman PCB and helped fashion a new democratic constitution for the PCB, later voluntarily stepping aside to make way for the election of Khan,вЂќ the PCB said. Sethi endured a tumultuous spell at the head of the PCB, being appointed and removed from the post repeatedly as a legal tussle with a rival raged. Australia flush with funds ahead of ICC World Cup AFP Sydney C ricket Australia yesterday reported a strong п¬Ѓnancial position ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year. Revenue of almost Aus$300 million (US$262 million) is expected to grow to Aus$360 million (US$315 million) by the end of this southern summer season, CA said. Over CAвЂ™s four-year reporting cycle that spans from 201314 to 2016-17, revenue will climb to a projected Aus$1.22 billion ($1.07 billion), up from Aus$736 million in the previous four-year period. Revenue of almost Aus$300 million (US$262 million) is expected to grow to Aus$360 million (US$315 million) by the end of this southern summer season, CA said CA explained that cricket revenue is recorded over fouryear periods due to the sometimes signiп¬Ѓcant annual п¬‚uctuations in income depending on the teams touring Australia. The organisation said it has вЂњnever been in better healthвЂќ and will invest Aus$30 million into key strategic projects, including several grassroots programmes around the country. And CA CEO James Sutherland said cricket has never been more popular in Australia. вЂњFrom a fanвЂ™s point of view, last summerвЂ™s 5-0 Ashes whitewash (of England), a world record crowd of 91,112 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day, 1.7 million people through the turnstiles to watch cricket over the summer and huge average national TV audiences, are measures which all show the Australian public loves cricket,вЂќ Sutherland said. He voiced conп¬Ѓdence the ICC World Cup from February to March next year will further lift the proп¬Ѓle of cricket in Australia. вЂњI am conп¬Ѓdent the World Cup, culminating in the March 29 п¬Ѓnal at the MCG, will be a far bigger event than most Australians expect,вЂќ he said. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 6 SPORT GOLF SPOTLIGHT China specialist Levy leads at wet Shanghai Masters вЂ�I ENJOY BEING IN CHINA AND I AM GOING TO TRY MY BESTвЂ™ Alexander Levy of France plays a shot on the third hole during the first round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai yesterday. Poulter tries to put Bishop row behind him in Shanghai AFP Shanghai I an Poulter is just glad to be back playingвЂ”despite struggling to a two-over 74 in the п¬Ѓrst round of the BMW Masters yesterdayвЂ”as he tries to put the Ted Bishop row and an injury-hit season behind him. Former PGA of America president Bishop apologised this week for his вЂњliвЂ™l girlвЂќ tweet about Poulter which got him п¬Ѓred a month before his term in office was due to end. The English Ryder Cup star clearly considers the matter closed and wouldnвЂ™t comment on the spat when approached by AFP. вЂњIвЂ™m here to play golf and thatвЂ™s what IвЂ™m focused on this week,вЂќ he said before his opening round yesterday. Poulter last week launched his autobiography вЂњNo LimitsвЂќ in which his frank comments about Nick Faldo and Tom WatsonвЂ™s Ryder Cup captaincies prompted the offending tweet from Bishop. вЂњThe bookвЂ™s been great,вЂќ is all Poulter would say on the matter. вЂњIt was a fun project. From the п¬Ѓrst days of talking about it two-and-a-bit years ago to coming round to it launching has been quite exciting. вЂњBut now itвЂ™s all about playing good golf for four weeks, turning the season around which has been a disappointment.вЂќ Poulter has suffered a succession of injuries which he put down to вЂњgym, gym and more gym,вЂќ and has plunged to 43rd in the world rankings from 12th at the end of 2013. He damaged his shoulder working out at the start of the year, in May his back played up and he injured his wrist just before the British Open. As if that was not enough, he bizarrely suffered a horseп¬‚y bite before the Bridgestone Invitational in August that put him in hospital. But he believes that the European TourвЂ™s вЂњFinal FourвЂќ series of big money tournaments gives him a chance to salvage something from a season in which his only real highlight was once again being an integral part of a winning European Ryder Cup team. вЂњIвЂ™m п¬Ѓt and healthy. I feel good and IвЂ™m looking forward obviously to four good weeks,вЂќ Poulter told AFP. вЂњThe niggles have cleared up.вЂќ Poulter has an outstanding record at this time of year in China having won the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shenzhen and the 2010 Hong Kong Open. He п¬Ѓnished fourth in the 2012 BMW Masters and was runner-up to Dustin Johnson in the WGC-HSBC Champions across the city at Sheshan a year ago. вЂњItвЂ™s been good in China the last few years so IвЂ™m hoping thereвЂ™s more of that to come,вЂќ he said, adding that he has plenty of gas left in the tank. вЂњTo be honest I donвЂ™t feel like IвЂ™ve played an awful lot,вЂќ he said. вЂњPlaying golf is the easy part itвЂ™s the practising away from the golf course that tires you out. And I havenвЂ™t done a lot of that because IвЂ™ve had the injuries.вЂќ FOCUS Reuters Shanghai F renchman Alexander Levy continued his love affair with ChinaвЂ™s golf courses by kicking off the European TourвЂ™s Final Series with a seven-under-par 65 to lead after the п¬Ѓrst round of the BMW Masters. Levy, who won the TourвЂ™s China Open in April, п¬Ѓred seven birdies in a bogey-free round to lead by one at Lake Malaran from Argentine Emiliano Grillo, Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and another Frenchman, Romain Wattel. Northern IrelandвЂ™s Graeme McDowell also went bogey free, п¬Ѓring a п¬Ѓve-under 67 to sit in п¬Ѓfth at the п¬Ѓrst event of the European TourвЂ™s lucrative п¬Ѓnal four of the season which offer more than $30 million in combined prize money. But they were all short of the 24-year-old Levy, who showed some hot form on a cool, damp morning in China. Starting on the 10th, Levy opened with four birdies before getting to п¬Ѓve-under by sending a pinpoint iron at the 200 yard par three 17th to six feet to make the turn in 31. Another shot was gained at the second before he completed his round by rolling in a 12-foot putt at his last for a birdie three and a 65. It was the FrenchmanвЂ™s п¬Ѓfth straight sub par round in China after his four shot win at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen. вЂњFor me, this golf course is pretty much the same as Shenzhen. I like this type of golf course with water and the target golf,вЂќ he told reporters. вЂњI enjoy being in China and IвЂ™m going to try my best the last few days and try to do the same things I thought of in April. I like China, thatвЂ™s for sure.вЂќ Levy has been in strong form of late, claiming his last strokeplay event at the curtailed Por- tugal Masters earlier this month to become the п¬Ѓrst Frenchman to win at least twice in a single European Tour season. Levy is 19th in the TourвЂ™s Race to Dubai standings but a strong showing at the $7 million event in Shanghai can help rocket him up the money list. World number one Rory McIlroy is well clear at the top of the standings but he is skipping this weekвЂ™s event and the following World Golf Championship HSBC Champions tournament, also in China, next week. Second-placed Sergio Garcia is also absent this week, opting to compete at the PGA TourвЂ™s event in Malaysia, while Henrik Sten- son, third on the list, is also missing from the 78-man п¬Ѓeld. Welshman Jamie Donaldson, fourth in the Race to Dubai, made a good start in Shanghai with a four-under 68 to sit in a group of six players, including victorious Ryder Cup-winning team mate Thomas Bjorn, who is п¬Ѓfth in the money race. Li Hao-tong and Hu Mu led the local charge with the Chinese pair п¬Ѓring 69s to sit tied 12th alongside multiple major winner Ernie Els and Italian Francesco Molinari. The ItalianвЂ™s brother Eduardo, one back at two-under, produced the shot of the day with a holein-one at the 212 yard fourth. ROUND-UP Karlberg takes early lead AFP Kuala Lumpur S wedenвЂ™s Rikard Karlberg sunk seven birdies for a seven-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead in the п¬Ѓrst-round of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, while Spanish star Sergio Garcia lurked four shots back. American defending champion Ryan Moore turned in six birdies of his own to lead a pack of golfers just three strokes off KarlbergвЂ™s pace on 68. The Swede, who has struggled this year to overcome a stubborn viral infection and said he вЂњalmost stopped enjoying the gameвЂќ, credited his strong start to a decision to just shake off the negative feelings and relax. вЂњI just went out there and tried to be as relaxed as possible and just have fun,вЂќ he said. Karlberg had п¬Ѓve birdies on the front nine at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and cemented his lead with two more on the п¬Ѓnal two holes. World number four Sergio Garcia, the highest-ranked golfer in the п¬Ѓeld, was in striking distance after entering the clubhouse with a three-under 69. Garcia, 34, started brightly, notching four birdies over his opening nine, but could manage no more the rest of the way and suffered a bogey down the homestretch. Rikard Karlberg of Sweden hits a shot during the Round One of the CIMB Classic golf tournament in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. But the Spaniard, who has seen a revival in his play this year including a January Qatar Masters win and runner-up showing to world number one Rory McIlroy in the Open Championship, was pleased. вЂњI felt like I played quite well. Obviously I didnвЂ™t hole a lot of putts. I hit some really good putts that I had quite a lot of lipouts, but other than that, it felt good,вЂќ he said. Patrick Reed, a bright spot for the USA in its latest recent Ryder Cup loss to Europe, was among several entrants who п¬Ѓnished the day at two-under after shooting a 70. EnglandвЂ™s Lee Westwood, who won on the same course in the Malaysian Open in April, had an up-and-down day to п¬Ѓnish at even par, tied with a group of golfers including this past seasonвЂ™s FedExCup champion Billy Horschel. Westwood, a former world number one, turned in a card featuring two birdies and an eagle three on the par-п¬Ѓve п¬Ѓfth, but also two bogeys, and a double bogey on the par-four 16th. вЂњI struggled with the speed of the greens more than anything, but made a nice eagle at п¬Ѓve, which got me back to level par. So not too much damage done,вЂќ he said. Co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour, the CIMB Classic offers the winner $1.26 million and 500 FedExCup points. Last yearвЂ™s winner, Ryan Moore of the United States, is back to defend, as compatriot Jason Dufner continues his comeback. Jason Dufner, the American 2013 PGA Champion, who returned to competitive play last week in Australia after nearly three months off due to a neck injury, could muster only a two-over 74. Taipei: ChinaвЂ™s Feng Shanshan and South Korean Park In-bee each п¬Ѓred an eight-under-par 64 to share the lead after the opening round of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taipei yesterday. Park, who took over the top spot in the Rolex Rankings earlier this week, hit all 14 fairways and needed only 26 putts to complete her round with eight birdies for the $2 million tournament at the par-72 Miramar Golf Country Club. вЂњI hit the ball really solid all day, and on the back nine, everything seemed to drop,вЂќ Park said. вЂњI canвЂ™t remember the last time I putted like this. ItвЂ™s been a really good putting day, so IвЂ™m really happy about that.вЂќ вЂњRumble in the JungleвЂќ ring stolen as fans mark anniversary AFP Kinshasa O fficials in Kinshasa have revealed the ring used for вЂњThe Rumble in the JungleвЂќ has been stolen as boxing fans yesterday marked 40 years since one of the most famous and brutal bouts in the sportвЂ™s history. As the sporting world remembers Mohamed AliвЂ™s epic showdown with George Foreman the search is on for the ring which the two boxers climbed into at dawn on October 30, 1974. The ring вЂњwas stolen a few years ago,вЂќ Barthelemy Bosongo, manager of the Tata Raphael stadium which staged the п¬Ѓght, told AFP. вЂњWe donвЂ™t know where itвЂ™s gone, but itвЂ™s no longer in Kinshasa,вЂќ he added. вЂњWeвЂ™re in the process of setting up a judicial investigation.вЂќ A leading sports official in the Democratic Republic of Congo who wished to remain anonymous believes the bulky piece of sporting memorabilia вЂњis in South AfricaвЂќ. According to Bosongo, вЂњthere are no signs left now of the п¬Ѓght, apart from the two dressing roomsвЂќ which Ali and Foreman used to change before stepping out for the п¬Ѓght, and into boxing folklore. He added: вЂњI would have liked for the stadium to become a place of history, where youвЂ™d п¬Ѓnd the dressing rooms, photos, gloves...but thereвЂ™s nothing to remind you of the п¬Ѓght.вЂќ It may be making headlines around the world but ThursdayвЂ™s 40th anniversary was passing off virtually unobserved in Kinshasa itself. At the Tata Raphael stadium it was just like any other day. Youngsters were knocking a ball around outside while inside Yvonne, 47, when asked about the importance of the day, replied: вЂњWhat happened 40 years ago? вЂњ1974........was it the п¬Ѓght between Ali and Foreman?вЂќ вЂњI know the year of the bout, but not the day itself,вЂќ she admitted. Pierre, 64, remembers as a student having to watch the bout on television as he couldnвЂ™t afford a ringside seat. вЂњWeвЂ™ve forgotten about the п¬Ѓght, the government should have mande an announcement about it,вЂќ he said. вЂњIt was after all the п¬Ѓght of the century, which we staged here...вЂќ вЂњThe Rumble in the JungleвЂќ anniversary barely got a mention in the local press. And AliвЂ™s famous eighth round KO was similarly being ignored out on the streets of the capital, aside from a handful of posters advertising a low-key national competition to mark the occasion today. The stadium itself looks as though it has lost a few rounds against Ali in the intervening years. The terraces, which were packed with 100,000 people on the night, are falling apart. Water leaks into the gyms where Ali and Foreman trained. Bosongo revealed that a long awaited makeover was on the cards. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 7 SPORT NBA TENNIS With Rose blooming, Bulls open season with emphatic win вЂ�I wouldnвЂ™t say my rust is knocked off, but itвЂ™s getting thereвЂ™ AFP New York T he Chicago Bulls welcomed former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose back from injury Wednesday with a convincing 104-80 win over the New York Knicks. The return of Rose and the addition of Spanish veteran Pau Gasol have branded the Bulls as Eastern Conference contenders in 2014-15, and they looked the part at Madison Square Garden. вЂњI wouldnвЂ™t say my rust is knocked off, but itвЂ™s getting there,вЂќ said Rose, who missed the п¬Ѓnal 71 games of last season with a torn meniscus after missing all of the previous campaign recovering from a torn knee ligament. вЂњI canвЂ™t be content with how IвЂ™m performing,вЂќ he added. вЂњI have to put it behind me whether itвЂ™s good or bad and make sure I stay consistent with my workouts. Physically, I feel good.вЂќ Both Rose and Gasol made key contributions. RoseвЂ”the 2011 NBA MVPвЂ”scored 13 points with п¬Ѓve assists in his long awaited regular-season return and off-season acquisition Gasol putting up 21 points with 11 rebounds. Taj Gibson scored 22 points in 28 minutes off the bench for the Bulls, who connected on better than 50 percent of their shots from the п¬Ѓeld and effectively smothered the Knicks offence. In all the Bulls received 55 points from their reserves, with Aaron Brooks netting 13 and 2014 п¬Ѓrst-round draft pick Doug McDermott scoring 12 in his NBA debut. For New York, it was a disappointing start to the head coaching tenure of Derek Fisher, the former player drafted to implement the Phil Jackson triangle offence. Carmelo Anthony was held to 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting and the Knicks п¬Ѓnished a lackluster 3-for-17 from three-point range. Amare Stoudemire was New YorkвЂ™s only other player to score in double п¬Ѓgures, with 12 points to go with his eight rebounds. Rose acknowledged he was eager to get back on an NBA court for the п¬Ѓrst time since surgery last November, but said he wasnвЂ™t harbouring any unrealistic expectations for himself. вЂњItвЂ™s still going to take some time,вЂќ he said. вЂњIвЂ™m not worried about that. I might have some bad games here and there. But thatвЂ™s not going to stop me from trying to be aggressive.вЂќ Heat sizzle without James The second night of the sea- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (R) looks to put up a shot past New York Knicks center Samuel Dalembert (C) and Shane Larkin (L) in the first half of their NBA game at Madison Square Garden in New York on Wednesday. (EPA) son saw Miami open their postLeBron James era with a bang as Chris Bosh scored 26 points and 15 rebounds in the HeatвЂ™s 107-95 victory over Washington. Bosh, who saw his numbers dwindle in each of the four seasons that superstar James played for the Heat, inked a п¬Ѓve-year $118 million deal in the offseason to stay in Miami, while James opted to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio. Turns out the Heat, who won two titles in four trips to the NBA п¬Ѓnals in JamesвЂ™ four years in Miami, didnвЂ™t need вЂњKing JamesвЂќ to put on a show. Dwyane Wade scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter while Norris Cole added 23 and off-season acquisition Luol Deng of Britain scored 12 in his Miami debut. In other games: the shorthanded Indiana Pacers overcame the loss of three injured starters to stop the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, 103-91; the Toronto Rap- tors clipped the visiting Atlanta Hawks, 109-102; the Denver Nuggets dropped the visiting Detroit Pistons, 89-79; and the visiting Golden State Warriors made Steve KerrвЂ™s coaching debut a success after crowning the Sacramento Kings, 95-77. Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points in his Phoenix debut, Marcus Morris had 21, including п¬Ѓve triples, and Suns ran past the injury-decimated visiting Lakers in their season-opener despite Kobe BryantвЂ™s 31 points. Murray books ticket to London AFP Paris A ndy Murray guaranteed his place at the World Tour Finals in London with a 6-3, 6-3 third round victory over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters yesterday. The 27-year-old Scot, who also stays on course for a fourth tournament victory in just six weeks, will now play either world number one Novak Djokovic or French showman Gael Monп¬Ѓls in the quarter-п¬Ѓnals today. Murray joins Djokovic, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic in reaching the season-ending showpiece with David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori in possession of the other three spots but not yet assured places. CanadaвЂ™s Milos Raonic is now the only player who can gatecrash the top eight but needs to win the Paris tournament to guarantee his place. Murray aimed a jibe at his critics after the match who have said he has had a poor season by writing вЂ�Bad YearвЂ™ on the courtside camera lens. It is the seventh straight year he has qualiп¬Ѓed for the Finals although he didnвЂ™t play last year due to his back injury. вЂњI served really well and I donвЂ™t think I had any break points against me so if you do that and pick up a break or two thatвЂ™s what I did,вЂќ said Murray. вЂњItвЂ™s going to be tough against either Novak (Djokovic) or Gael (Monп¬Ѓls). I think Gael is one of my favourite players and heвЂ™s very popular with the fans here. If thereвЂ™s one player IвЂ™d pay to watch it would be him. вЂњAs for Novak, well heвЂ™s still п¬Ѓghting for the number one spot and very tough so theyвЂ™re both difficult opponents.вЂќ Berdych is one win from sealing his place in London after easing into the last eight with a comfortable win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Following a п¬Ѓrst round de- feat at the Valencia Open last week, the 29-year-old Czech evened his record against Lopez at six wins apiece with a 7-5, 6-3 victory. Chasing an 11th ATP title, and third of the year, the Australian Open semi-п¬Ѓnalist now plays South African 14th seed Kevin Anderson for a place in the semi-п¬Ѓnals. Anderson won a three-hour thriller over Swiss third seed Wawrinka 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3). Anderson, who had never been past the third round in Paris, converted a third match point to set up the meeting with Berdych. вЂњIt was a great match and some of my best matches have been against Stan,вЂќ said a delighted Anderson. вЂњI fought well out there and was in trouble at 5-4 down but suddenly I was back in front again so IвЂ™m very, very happy. вЂњItвЂ™s going to be a big challenge (against Berdych) but IвЂ™m not going to worry about that just yet. IвЂ™m going to enjoy this win and later tonight IвЂ™ll start thinking about tomorrow (Friday).вЂќ Earlier, former champion Ferrer kept his quest on track to reach a second straight Paris п¬Ѓnal as he swept aside Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-2. He needs to reach the semiп¬Ѓnals to guarantee his spot in London and will now face either French number one JoWilfried Tsonga or Japanese star Nishikori. Nishikori is trying to become the п¬Ѓrst Japanese player to qualify for the World Finals. Raonic kept his slender chances alive of reaching the Finals with a hard fought 7-5, 7-6 (9/7) victory over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. In other third round matches, world number two Federer chases a 14th straight victory, including tournament wins at Basel and Shanghai, takes on world number 176 Frenchman Lucas Pouille who came through qualifying. The winner of that match will face Raonic in the last eight. RESULTS Charlotte .......108 Indiana ...........103 Boston ............ 121 Miami .............. 107 Toronto ..........109 Memphis ....... 105 Chicago .........104 Denver .............89 Houston .........104 Phoenix .......... 119 Golden State .95 Portland .........106 Milwaukee ...106 Philadelphia .. 91 Brooklyn ...... 105 Washington . 95 Atlanta ........... 102 Minnesota ... 101 NY Knicks ......80 Detroit ............. 79 Utah .................. 93 LA Lakers .......99 Sacramento ...77 Oklahoma ......89 BritainвЂ™s Andy Murray celebrates winning the third round match against BulgariaвЂ™s Grigor Dimitrov at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tennis tournament in Paris yesterday. (AFP) SPOTLIGHT Wozniacki looks forward to marathon debut AFP New York F ormer world number one Caroline Wozniacki knows just what to expect when she steps on a tennis court, but tackling the New York City Marathon is another matter. вЂњIвЂ™m a little nervous,вЂќ the Dane admitted Wednesday as she looked ahead to her п¬Ѓrst crack at the 26.2mile distance on Sunday. вЂњThis is the farthest IвЂ™m going to run so far. I think itвЂ™s going to be an unbelievable experience. The New York City Marathon has always been on my bucket list.вЂќ Wozniacki decided to make the fantasy a reality back in JuneвЂ”not long after the break-up of her engagement to golf star Rory McIlroy. Since then she has squeezed her training runs in when she can during a busy tennis season that included a runner-up п¬Ѓnish at the US Open. She arrived in New York on Tuesday night via Denmark from Singapore, where she played in the WTAвЂ™s season-ending championships. Since falling to Serena Williams in the US Open п¬Ѓnal in September, Wozniacki has played four tournaments in Japan, China and Singapore. In the early stages of that Asian swing, her match schedule precluded serious marathon training and she was вЂњstarting to panic.вЂќ вЂњI had a few dreams were I didnвЂ™t п¬Ѓnish and had to be carried through with a wheelchair,вЂќ she said. But she was able to step up her mileage in a break between a tournament in Beijing and the championships in Singapore, which left her conп¬Ѓdent she can п¬Ѓnish even though her longest run to date is 13 miles. Contrary to fears that combining marathon training with tennis would lead to injury or debilitating fatigue, Wozniacki says sheвЂ™s never felt better. She credited her running with helping her in a three-hour slug-fest with Maria Sharapova in Singapore last week. Crazy in a good way Even so, none of her elite tennis rivals have voiced an interest in emulating her marathon attempt. вЂњNone of the others have said that they want to try,вЂќ Wozniacki said. вЂњI think you need to be a little crazyвЂ”but in a good way, I hope.вЂќ She did get some advice from Kimiko Date-Krumm, the Japanese WTA veteran who has run marathons. вЂњShe told me that she had a really tough time, but she had a great time as well,вЂќ Wozniacki said. вЂњObviously, you have to watch out for your body, but I think, as an athlete, you know your body so well. You know when you can push it. You know when you need to hold back.вЂќ Wozniacki said she has a time goal in mind, but sheвЂ™s not ready to share it. SheвЂ™s also running for a childrenвЂ™s charity, and has already raised $50,689 for Team For Kids, which funds youth п¬Ѓtness programmes. Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is among the top tennis players who have pledged donations. WozniackiвЂ™s friend and rival Williams has yet to sign on as a donor. вЂњNow I put her on the spot, so now she doesnвЂ™t have a choice,вЂќ Wozniacki laughed. Caroline Wozniacki holds her race bib as she poses with children from Public School P.S. 35 in Queens, New York at a news conference to promote running in the New York City Marathon as an ambassador for the Team For Kids charity on Wednesday. (Reuters) Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 8 SPORT WORLD SERIES BASEBALL SPOTLIGHT Giants ride brilliant Bumgarner to triumph Bumgarner joins World Series legends вЂ�I was just thinking about getting outs until I couldnвЂ™t get them anymore. Fortunately I was able to stay in thereвЂ™ M San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (left) watches as teammate Madison Bumgarner hoists the Commissioners Trophy after game seven of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports Reuters Kansas City (Missouri) T he San Francisco Giants rode workhorse lefthander Madison Bumgarner all the way to their third World Series crown in п¬Ѓve years with a Game Seven victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Ace starter Bumgarner worked his magic as a reliever this time, coming out of the bullpen to throw п¬Ѓve shutout innings and earn the save in a 3-2 win that clinched the bestof-seven Fall Classic. It was the eighth World Series title for the Giants and third in п¬Ѓve seasons after victories in 2010 and 2012. Michael Morse drove in a pair of runs and Bumgarner, named Most Valuable Player of the World Series, dazzled the Royals once again despite returning to the mound on two days rest after throwing a 117-pitch shutout against them on Sunday. вЂњI was just thinking about getting outs until I couldnвЂ™t get them anymore,вЂќ said the 25-year-old. вЂњFortunately I was able to get some quick innings and I was able to stay in there.вЂќ San FranciscoвЂ™s starting pitcher, Tim Hudson, said there was no way Bumgarner was leaving until he got the job done. вЂњYou couldnвЂ™t have pried the ball out of his hands,вЂќ said Hudson. A raucous Kauffman Stadium and history were on the RoyalsвЂ™ side ahead of the game, as home teams had won the last nine World Series that went to a Game Seven, including the 1985 Royals. But the visiting Giants, who were hammered 10-0 TuesdayвЂ™s Game Six, bounced back to become the п¬Ѓrst road team to win a World Series Game Seven since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. San Francisco drew п¬Ѓrst blood, loading the bases in the top of the second and pushing across a pair of runs on sacriп¬Ѓce п¬‚ies from Morse and Brandon Crawford. The Royals answered back in the bottom of the same inning, Billy Butler hammering a leadoff single and racing home on Alex GordonвЂ™s line drive double to the wall in right-center. LAST 10 WORLD SERIES WINNERS 2014: San Francisco Giants 2013: Boston Red Sox 2012: San Francisco Giants 2011: St. Louis Cardinals 2010: San Francisco Giants 2009: New York Yankees 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 2007: Boston Red Sox 2006: St. Louis Cardinals 2005: Chicago White Sox With the capacity crowd on their feet Omar Infante kept the celebrations going with a sacriп¬Ѓce п¬‚y to cash in Gordon and tie the contest at 2-2. A single by Alcides Escobar marked the end of a short nightвЂ™s work for starter Hudson. Hudson, at 39 the oldest pitcher to start a World Series Game Seven, surrendered two runs on three hits in his 1-2/3 innings of work before manager Bruce Bochy made the call to the bullpen for Jeremy Affeldt. The San Francisco bats were buzzing again in the fourth with Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence leading off with singles before Morse drove in his second run of the night on a broken bat п¬‚y that fell safely in right п¬Ѓeld for a single. With Bumgarner on the hill, the one-run cushion was all the Giants would need. The Royals threatened in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Gordon lined a shot into center that fell in front of Gregor Blanco and skipped past him to the fence for a two-base error that allowed Gordon to reach third base. But Bumgarner would not be denied, getting Salvador Perez to pop out to third baseman Sandoval, who collapsed onto his back in foul territory after gloving the ball for the п¬Ѓnal out. Bumgarner, who won two games in the series before his save in the п¬Ѓnale, was agitating to pitch in Game Seven. вЂњHe kept telling me вЂ�IвЂ™m ready to go,вЂ™ he said just put me in anytime and it couldnвЂ™t have worked out better,вЂќ Giants manager Bochy said about Bumgarner. вЂњWe just got on this horse and rode it.вЂќ CELEBRATION Giants fans take to streets after victory Reuters San Francisco F ans of the San Francisco Giants took to the streets to celebrate on Wednesday night after their team won the baseball World Series, topping the Kansas City Royals, but the festivities were marred by raucous fans and п¬Ѓres. Hundreds, many clad in the teamвЂ™s orange and black, п¬‚ooded Valencia Street in San FranciscoвЂ™s Mission District after the п¬Ѓnal out in the seventh game of the baseball championship. Some perched themselves on bus stops, while others set off п¬Ѓreworks, hugged, high-п¬Ѓved and cheered with beer and champagne in the middle of the street. вЂњ(Pitcher Madison) Bumgarner blew my mind tonight!вЂќ said Beau Adams, a San Francisco native sporting a Giants tattoo. вЂњThe balance of superstition and belief and pride and conп¬Ѓdence makes it all come together,вЂќ he added. As the celebrations dragged on late into the night, fans set п¬Ѓres in the streets while others gawked as people took turns jumping over each other. Police, many in riot gear, were out in force and broke up the more unruly demonstrations. KTVU, a local television station, reported police made numerous arrests during the night after some threw bottles at officers, but did not provide an exact tally. The TV station also said two people were shot in the city during the late-night festivities, though it was unclear whether the shooters or the victims were revellers themselves. Police department officials could not be immediately reached for comment. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency late Wednesday suspended all bus service in the city due to safety concerns. It was the eighth World Series title for the Giants, and the third in п¬Ѓve seasons after victories in 2010 and 2012. Bumgarner was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series after sealing the GiantsвЂ™ 3-2 game seven victory over the Royals, with п¬Ѓve shutout innings of relief. вЂњI think (Bumgarner) should be president,вЂќ said lifelong Giants fan, Nacho Ramone, after the win. Revellers celebrate from a moving vehicle in San Francisco on Wednesday after San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2 to win their third World Series title in five seasons. (Reuters) AFP Kansas City (Missouri) adison Bumgarner unleashed a pitching performance for the ages Wednesday that cemented his place among World Series legends and established the San Francisco Giants as a Major League Baseball dynasty. The 25-year-old left-hander, returning to the mound on a career-low two days rest after a complete-game triumph, п¬Ѓred п¬Ѓve scoreless innings to give the Giants a 3-2 victory over Kansas City in decisive game seven of the 110th World Series. вЂњThis is as good as it gets. World Series. Game seven,вЂќ Bumgarner said. вЂњIt was deп¬Ѓnitely emotional. It has been an unbelievable year for us.вЂќ Bumgarner baffled Royals batters to win the second and п¬Ѓfth games of the best-ofseven championship п¬Ѓnal, but San Francisco needed more of his magic when he entered in the п¬Ѓfth inning with the Giants nursing a lead that he would turn into their victory margin. вЂњHe just went after them,вЂќ Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. вЂњHe just said, вЂ�If youвЂ™re going to beat me, youвЂ™re going to beat me with my best pitch.вЂќ After surrendering a single to Omar Infante, Bumgarner retired the next 14 Royals batters he faced until, one strike from victory, Alex Gordon hit a single that outп¬Ѓelder Gregor Blanco misplayed, allowing Gordon to reach third base. Bumgarner, keeping his composure, induced a pop up that Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval gloved for the п¬Ѓnal out, touching off a huge celebration. вЂњYou see Pablo under it. A little bit of relief, a little bit of excitement combined,вЂќ Bumgarner said. вЂњYou are just sitting there trying to п¬Ѓgure out if it just really happened or not. San Francisco Giants pitcher and series MVP Madison Bumgarner holds his MVP trophy. вЂњBut it was an awesome experience getting to be out there for the last out of game seven of the World Series. IвЂ™m thankful for my team believing in me and letting me stay out there.вЂќ Credit Bochy, who shared an emotional hug with Bumgarner after their third crown together following titles in 2010 and 2012. Bumgarner a warrior вЂњI canвЂ™t remember too much about what I said except I love him and what a warrior he is,вЂќ Bochy said. вЂњI canвЂ™t believe what he has accomplished. HeвЂ™s such a humble guy and we rode him pretty good. HeвЂ™s a guy I think so much of. I had that kid when he was 20 and to watch him develop, that has been pretty special.вЂќ For the World Series, вЂњMad BumвЂќ went 2-0 and added a п¬Ѓve-inning save in game seven, allowing only one run over 21 innings while striking out 17 batters and walking just one. His 0.43 World Series earnedrun average was the lowest of any hurler with at least 15 innings since Sandy Koufax of the 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers compiled a 0.38 ERA. Bumgarner has allowed only one run in 36 career World Series innings, giving up 14 hits with п¬Ѓve walks while striking out 31. His 0.25 World Series career ERA is the lowest of any player with at least 25 innings, beating the old mark of 0.36 by Jack Billingham from 1972-1976. Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 9 SPORT SPOTLIGHT Fine Prince pips Lupie to victory in Al Naksh Cup вЂ�It is great to start the season on a winning note. I must thank Sheikh Faisal for giving me an opportunity to return to Doha. Though I have a small string, I will do my very best and give good results to my ownerвЂ™ By Chris Hoover Doha F ine Prince (Strategic PrinceTheebah) saddled by Jassim alGhazali posted a thrilling victory in the Al Naksh Cup, a race for two year old Thoroughbreds, which featured the fourth dayвЂ™s races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. Sporting the colours of Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari, Fine Prince made a winning debut in Qatar with a ground devouring run in the п¬Ѓnal stages of the race. Fine Prince galloped on resolutely in the stretch to come from the third position and win while warding off the spirited effort of stable mate Lupie. Jockey JP Guillambert rode a well judged race on the winner. Trainer Ghazali dominated the dayвЂ™s proceeding with four winners in a small card of seven events framed for the day. Ghazali trained Al Hareth plundered his rivals with a tremendous turn of foot and completely outclassed them all with a super display of speed to win the Al Kharrarah Cup, a local ThoroughbredвЂ™s race for three year olds. Jockey Stephane Ladjadj took the Ghazali trainee to the front and made every post a winning one. Though Footprintinthesand came with a spirited challenge in the п¬Ѓnal 50 metres, Al Hareth strode out gallantly to stave off the bid and win by a head. Mohammed Hamad al-Attiya schooled Al Zobara Al Sakab earned her maiden win in a striking manner in the Muraikh Cup, a Local Bred Pure Arabian Maiden race, run over seven furlongs. After racing a handy second until the homestretch, Al Zobara Al Sakab quickened well in the п¬Ѓnal furlong and went past Moddhish to win quite comfortably. Jockey Alberto Sanna was astride the winner. Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani owned Suhail Al Uraiq made a winning debut in the Sumaysimah Cup, a mile race for three year old local bred Pure Arabians. It also gave former Al Shahania Stud and Injaaz Stud trainer Mohammed Riyaz, his maiden victory in his п¬Ѓrst attempt after returning from India to train for Sheikh Faisal. Jockey Marvin Suerland rode the Riyaz trainee to a start to п¬Ѓnish victory. Sendeed Al Galayel was a neck behind in second while AJS Hayem and Saab completed the frame. Trainer Riyaz was delighted to have started the season on a winning note. вЂњIt is great to start the season on a winning note. I must thank Sheikh Faisal for giving me an opportunity to return to Doha. Though I have a small string, I will do my very best and give good results to my owner. Though it was his п¬Ѓrst run, Suhail Al Uraiq gave a good performance and I am looking forward to another improved performance in his next start,вЂќ trainer Riyaz told the Gulf Times. Julian Smart saddled Radwah came up with a brilliant stretch run to win the Ghasham Cup, a race for three year old Pure Arabian Fillies, run over seven furlongs. Radwah with Richard Mullen in the saddle, produced a resounding gallop in the п¬Ѓnal furlong to skip away from the pack and win in п¬Ѓne fashion. Bahia Du Barthas, who tried runaway tactics held on to take the runner-up berth from AJS Intifadah. Sheikh Mohammed bin Mishal bin Hamad al-Thani owned Momalorka took her seventh win in 19 starts when the progeny of Dutch Art came good under the able riding of Ladjadj in the Thoroughbred Conditions race for Fillies and Mares. Abeer also came with a п¬Ѓne performance to take the second place ahead of My Sharona to give trainer Ghazali the top three п¬Ѓnish in the 1,400 metres contest. Trainer Ghazali went on to complete a treble for the day when Bambino Du Pouy (Declan Cannon up) was successful in a start to п¬Ѓnish mission in the Umm Sawayyah Cup, a race for three year old Pure Arabians. Stable mates Bahess Des Vialettes and Tarek Al Mels п¬Ѓnished second and third respectively. QREC deputy general manager Tariq Abdulhameed al-Sidiqie presents the Al Naksh Cup to Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari after Fine Prince had won the event at the QREC yesterday QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain is seen with the winners of the Sumaysimah Cup at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. Results 1st race: Al Zobara Al Sakab (Alberto Sanna) 1, Moddhish 2, Desar Al Naif 3, Nazala Al Naif 4. Won by: 2 ВЅ, 3 ВЅ, Shd. Time: 1:32.85. Trained by: Mohammed Hamad al-Attiya. Owned by: Hamad bin Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Attiya 2nd race: Al Hareth (Stephane Ladjadj) 1, Footprintinthesand 2, Al Saba 3, My Way 4. Won by: Hd, 5, 3. Time: 1:25.34. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Mishal bin Ali al-Attiya 3rd race: Suhail Al Uraiq (Marvin Suerland) 1, Sendeed Al Galayel 2, AJS Hayem 3, Saab 4. Won by: Nk, Вѕ, Distance. Time: 1:48.85. Trained by: Mohammed Riyaz. Owned by: Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani 4th race: Radwah (Richard Mullen) 1, Bahia Al Barthas 2, AJS Intifadah 3, Bayalina 4. Won by: 1 Вѕ, Shd, Distance. Time: 1:32.59. Trained by: Julian Smart. Owned by: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani 5th race: Momalorka (Stephane Ladjadj) 1, Abeer 2, My Sharona 3, Rasheeda 4. Won by: 1 ВЅ, ВЅ, ВЅ. Time: 1:22.01. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Sheikh Mohammed bin Mishal bin Hamad al-Thani 6th race: Bambino Du Pouy (Declan Cannon) 1, Bahess Des Vialettes 2, Tarek Al Mels 3, Rasheeda 4. Won by: Time: Trained by: Jassim Al Ghazali, Owned by: Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari 7th race: Fine Prince (JP Guillambert) 1, Lupie 2, Ko Cache 3, Dig Deep Baby 4. Won by: Shd, 5, 4. Time: 1:23.86. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari Jockey JP Guillambert rides Fine Prince to an exciting victory in the Al Naksh Cup at the QREC yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim WINNER Al ShaqabвЂ™s Al Mourtazez wins French Arabian BreedersвЂ™ Challenge Classic Agencies Toulouse, France DOMINATION Al ShaqabвЂ™s Mister Ginoux wins French Arabian BreedersвЂ™ Challenge for Colts T he Al Shaqab Racing representative Al Mourtazez was head and shoulders above his rivals in the French Arabian BreedersвЂ™ Challenge Classic (Gr3 PA) at Toulouse, France, on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. Al Mourtazez was ridden by Julien Auge to win the 2,200 metre contest and clinch the title of the в‚¬ 4,500 race that was reserved for 4-year-old and older horses. Al Mourtazez gave a good performance, giving Al Shaqab and jockey Julien Auge their second win of the day. While he was the easy winner of the Doha Cup (Gr1 PA) this summer in Deauville, the colt did not run in the Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1 PA) at Longchamp, earlier this month, due to a slight problem. His trainer Thomas Fourcy: вЂњI really regret Longchamp but he hurt his back in his stable and I could not take the risk.вЂќ вЂњHe is really very good and will make a top п¬Ѓve-year-old.вЂќ Mister Ginoux ridden by Julien Auge dominated his rivals. Agencies Toulouse, France M ister Ginoux, who won on his debut at Bordeaux, remained unbeaten when taking the French Arabian BreedersвЂ™ Challenge for Colts (Gr3 PA) at Toulouse, France, on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. The Al Shaqab Racing representative, who is trained by Thomas Fourcy and was ridden by Julien Auge, easily dominated his rivals, in the 1,600 metre contest, including Namrood, who was п¬Ѓfth in the Qatar Total Arabian Trophy for Colts (Gr1 PA), in his wake. Speaking after winning the в‚¬ 45,000 race, Thomas Fourcy explained: вЂњHe came to me late. I hesitated about letting him have his п¬Ѓrst start in the big race at Saint Cloud but I preferred to be patient and run him in Bordeaux. I thought he would win easier that day but he saved something for today! He is a very good horse that we will keep for the European season next year.вЂќ 10 Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 SPORT RUNNING Aspire to host 50 KM World Championships until 2017 By Sports Reporter Doha A spire Zone and the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), yesterday announced that Aspire Zone to host the newly formatted 50km World Championships from 2015-2017. The announcement came during a press conference held at The Torch Hotel with VIP representatives from Aspire Zone;. Abdulla al-Khater, Aspire Events Manager, Phillip Templar, Aspire Venues and Events Director, Dirk Strumane, IAU President and Nadeem Khan, IAU Director of Communications. Dirk Strumane, IAU President opened the press conference and said: вЂњOn behalf of the IAU, I am happy to be here and to be partnering with Aspire Zone. We look forward to a successful partnership and the long term co-operation of Aspire Zone as they continue to embrace Ultrarunning in the region and spearhead this sport in the Gulf Area. Aspire Zone has responded to the challenge of hosting the п¬Ѓnal leg of the 50km World Trophy Final which features a top notch п¬Ѓeld, elite athletes and promises to be an exciting competition.вЂќ Phillip Templar, Aspire Venues and Events Director said: вЂњUltrarunning is a growing sport and one that has increasing interest in the region. I would like to thank the IAU Team for their assistance in helping Aspire Zone continue to grow long distance running locally and regionally which is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Qatar.вЂќ Aspire Zone has established itself as QatarвЂ™s premier organisation for hosting major sports events, training camps and managing the precinctвЂ™s world class sporting venues. In addition, Aspire Zone continues to focus on long distance marathons, as it enhances the sport throughout the State of Qatar. Abdulla alKhater, Aspire Events Manager said: вЂњAspire Zone is proud to be witnessing two major Ultrarunning international sporting events this year with the World Trophy Final and the 100km World Championships in November. This is the п¬Ѓrst time that a 50km Trophy race has been hosted in the Mena region and demonstrates the exceptional leadership of Aspire Zone in advancing this sport in the region.вЂќ Speaking on the occasion Nadeem Khan, IAU Communications Director, said: вЂњAspire Zone has many great facilities which are qualiп¬Ѓed to support todayвЂ™s races and all future ones. It is very exciting to witness this world event come to the region and we have had the pleasure of selecting a total of 38 athletes who represent 17 countries. Once again I would like to congratulate Aspire Zone and Qatar for hosting the п¬Ѓrst ever ultrarunning event in the Middle East.вЂќ This was followed by an introduction to the world class athletes who included: Phil Anthony, Paul Martelleti, Michael Wardian, Emily Harrisson, Tina Major and Marina Zhalybina. All of the participants of the Aspire International 6:50 Race will have to complete 10 laps of a speciп¬Ѓcally designed 5km track at the Aspire Zone grounds. Abdulla al-Khater concluded the press conference by stating that: вЂњThe State of Qatar and Aspire Zone have a long term vision which includes a renewed interest in ultrarunning and reviving this sport. The world has begun to recognize Qatar as a sporting nation and we look forward to hosting many other sporting championships in the future.вЂќ The winners across a number of categories including The 10th International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 50km World Trophy Final Male/Female, Open Race Male/Female Overall, Open Race Male/Female under 40, Open Race Male/Female 40+, Open Race Male/Female 50+, Relay Team Male/Female/Mix and GCC Champion Male/ Female, will be honored at a special ceremony on Saturday, November 1 at 11am at The Torch Hotel. Medals will be awarded to п¬Ѓrst, second and third place winners. Aspire Zone and IAU officials with the Ultra Marathon Runners. RUGBY SPOTLIGHT Bill, Cruden to start for All Blacks against US вЂ�ItвЂ™s another chance for those selected to pull on the jersey and play wellвЂ™ Reuters Wellington SONNY BILL WILLIAMS C ode-hopper Sonny Bill Williams and humbled п¬‚yhalf Aaron Cruden have been named in an experimental-looking New Zealand side to face the United States in their rugby test at ChicagoвЂ™s Soldier Field tomorrow. Williams, who was playing in AustraliaвЂ™s National Rugby League last month before crossing codes again to try to make the All BlacksвЂ™ World Cup squad, was named at his preferred inside centre position in the side to face the Eagles. He had been expected to start in order for coach Steve Hansen to get him back up to speed in the 15-man game after he played a part in two games in New ZealandвЂ™s provincial championship before being selected in the squad. Cruden had also been expected to come back into the side after being disciplined for missing the teamвЂ™s п¬‚ight to Argentina in September following a boozy night out. The 25-year-old was supplanted by Beauden Barrett as the starter for the latter part of the southern hemisphereвЂ™s Rugby Championship though he was brought back into the squad for the third Bledisloe Cup match in Brisbane two weeks ago but not named in the matchday team. His inclusion in the pivotal role means Daniel Carter will make his return to international rugby off the bench after he proved his п¬Ѓtness following a broken leg sustained in the Super Rugby п¬Ѓnal in early August. Carter, the worldвЂ™s leading points scorer, has barely played at all this year following a sixmonth sabbatical and slow recovery from the broken leg. Rookie hooker Nathan Harris will also make his п¬Ѓrst start after he came off the bench against Argentina last month, while scrumhalf TJ Perenara also makes his п¬Ѓrst start in his eighth test as Hansen gives less experienced squad players some valuable game time. Number eight Kieran Read will captain the side with openside п¬‚anker Richie McCaw rested and his understudy Sam Cane given the chance to start for the п¬Ѓrst time this season after seven appearances off the bench. вЂњItвЂ™s another chance for those selected to pull on the jersey and play well,вЂќ Hansen said in a statement. вЂњOn this ... Northern tour, we want to give all the players in the squad the opportunity to grow their game - and we also want Hodgson to lead Wallabies in opener AFP Sydney N ew Australia coach Michael Cheika named back-rower Matt Hodgson as his п¬Ѓrst captain yesterday in the WallabiesвЂ™ opening tour match against the Barbarians in London. Cheika also reunited the halves pairing of Quade Cooper and Will Genia and picked uncapped winger Henry Speight in his п¬Ѓrst match in charge after Ewen McKenzieвЂ™s abrupt resignation. Cheika said he recognised open-side п¬‚anker Hodgson for his season with the Western Force by selecting him as captain. вЂњMatt has demonstrated exceptional leadership attributes at the Western Force for a long time now, and he deserves this opportunity being given to him,вЂќ he said. вЂњTo captain your country is a huge honour and IвЂ™ve got no doubt heвЂ™ll step up and provide the team with the right direction and leadership needed against the Barbarians on Saturday.вЂќ It will be the п¬Ѓrst match of a п¬Ѓve-game tour in November, which also includes Tests against Wales, France, Ireland and England. Cheika, installed after McKenzie quit following speculation over player discontent and his private life, said the team was looking forward to facing the Baa-Baas. вЂњWeвЂ™ve worked really hard this week on ensuring our team has a clear understanding of how we want to play, next is to transfer this into the game on Saturday,вЂќ Cheika said in a statement. вЂњYou sense theyвЂ™re all looking forward to the opportunity against the Barbarians, and so far IвЂ™ve been impressed with the level of consistency theyвЂ™ve brought to their work. вЂњThis team contains a mix of players from our last game and also experienced players eager to push their way into the Test team. WeвЂ™re all looking forward to playing our п¬Ѓrst game for Australia on this tour.вЂќ Hodgson will lead a back row which includes fellow Force teammate Ben McCalman at No.8 and Scott Higginbotham at blindside п¬‚anker. The starting tight п¬Ѓve consists of hooker Saia FaingaвЂ™a and props Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander, while Sam Carter and James Horwill will pack down as the two locks. Genia and Cooper will be responsible for sparking a backline which includes ACT BrumbiesвЂ™ pair Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani in the centres, Rob Horne and Speight on the wings and Israel Folau at fullback. Australia (15-1) - Israel Folau; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (capt), Scott Higginbotham; James Horwill, Sam Carter; Ben Alexander, Saia FaingaвЂ™a, Benn Robinson Reserves: James Hanson, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Will Skelton, Sean McMahon, Nic White, Bernard Foley, Christian LealiвЂ™ifano, Joe Tomane (one to be omitted) International Safeguards for Children in Sport receives ICSS support to develop our game as a team and it starts on Saturday.вЂќ вЂњWhile we are giving a number of players another opportunity this weekend, our expectation is that they will play to the highest level and we get a quality performance.вЂќ New Zealand: 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Ryan Crotty, 12-Sonny Bill Williams, 11-Charles Piutau, 10-Aaron Cruden, 9-TJ Perenara, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Sam Cane, 6-Victor Vito, 5-Patrick Tuipulotu, 4-Jeremy Thrush, 3-Charlie Faumuina, 2-Nathan Harris, 1-Joe Moody. Replacements: 16-Keven Mealamu, 17-Wyatt Crockett, 18-Ben Franks, 19-Brodie Retallick, 20-Liam Messam, 21-Augustine Pulu, 22-Daniel Carter, 23-Julian Savea International Safeguards for Children in Sport, which has been launched yesterday, has received full support from the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS). While announcing their support President of the ICSS Mohammed Hanzab said: вЂњFor many young people around the world, sport means many different things. For some, it is purely for fun. For others, it is way out of poverty. Regardless of why they play, the safety and well-being of children must be safeguarded. вЂњAt the ICSS, children and young people are at the centre of our work and these safeguards are an essential stepping stone to protecting young children who play sport around the world. We wholeheartedly endorse these safeguards and would urge other organisations to urgently adopt and implement the measures outlined in them.вЂќ Executive Director вЂ“ Sport Integrity, ICSS Chris Eaton, said: вЂњWith global threats like child trafficking on the increase, preserving the integrity of sport should begin with protecting those most vulnerable and most at risk вЂ“ young people. вЂњAs an international organisation that is committed itself to protecting sport, the ICSS and its Sport Integrity unit fully support these pioneering new safeguards, which are in line with our belief that education and prevention should sit at the very heart of the fight against sport corruption. вЂњI would strongly urge any organisation working in sport to adopt these standards to ensure the safety and well-being of young athletes and create an environment where a new generation of sport stars can flourish.вЂќ Gulf Times Friday, October 31, 2014 11 FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT QSL Tabata shines as Sadd thrash Khor Qatar SC held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Al Kharaitiyat Tabata, who transferred to Sadd from Rayyan after they were relegated last season, scored his teamвЂ™s first and third goals to give Sadd their eighth win in 10 matches Action from the QSL match between Qatar SC (in yellow and black) and Al Kharaitiyat held yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed By Joe Koraith Doha I Al SaddвЂ™s Rodrigo Tabata (second left) celebrates after scoring a goal yesterday against Al Khor. ((Below) Teammates congratulate Tabata. Pictures: Noushad Thekkayil By Sports Reporter Doha R odrigo Tabata scored a brace as Al Sadd consolidated their position in the Qatar Stars League with an emphatic 4-1 win over Al Khor yesterday. Tabata, who transferred to Al Sadd from Al Rayyan after the Lions were relegated last season, scored his teamвЂ™s п¬Ѓrst and third goals to give Al Sadd their eighth win in 10 matches. Abdulkarim Hassan and Ali Asadulla completed the misery for Al Khor, although they managed to pull one back through William. YesterdayвЂ™s win took the WolvesвЂ™ tally to 26 points, putting pressure on defending champions Lekhwiya who face a crucial match against Al Arabi today. Lekhwiya surrendered their lead to Al Sadd earlier this week and are in second spot with 22 points. They need a win today to keep the heat on Al Sadd or risk falling behind in the title race. Al SaddвЂ™s supremacy was never in doubt, especially with Brazilian Tabata п¬Ѓnally п¬Ѓnding his scoring touch after having had a lacklustre season so far. The Al Khor defence had a tough time keeping him at bay as Tabata time and again threatened to score. The diminutive attacking midп¬Ѓelder, however, could not be denied for long as he struck off a solo effort in the 27th minute, wrong-footing the Al Khor goalkeeper Baba Djibril with a low shot. Al Sadd continued to squander chances thereafter, Tabata himself going close a couple of times and goalkeeper Djibril also came up with a п¬Ѓne save. However, in their keenness to attack, Al Sadd conceded the equalizer in the 42nd. William met a long pass from Djibril just outside the penalty area, and after outwitting the late-reacting defence drove the ball powerfully into the right corner of the net past Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb. Al KhorвЂ™s joy was short-lived as they conceded their second goal in similar fashion, Abdulkarim Hassan chesting down a long pass from goalkeeper alSheeb and driving home comfortably at the stroke of half-time. Al Sadd upped their game a few notches in the second session and struck their third goal with Asadulla doing most of the spadework and passing to Tabata, who scored from close range in the 69th minute. Asadulla himself beneп¬Ѓted from a Tabata pass in the 75th minute to help Al Sadd complete the rout. Al Sadd could have had another goal but Abdulkarim Hassan missed a penalty, Djibril making a п¬Ѓne save. CONGRATULATIONS Ooredoo felicitates Qatar U-19 team HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Saud al-Thani, Ooredoo Chairman (fourth right), HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, QatarвЂ™s Minister of Youth and Sports (third right), Waleed al-Sayed, Ooredoo Chief Operating Officer (second right), Qatar U-19 captain Ahmed Moein (fifth right), Qatar U19 coach Felix Sanchez Bas (second left) and other guests during the felicitation ceremony yesterday. PICTURES: Nasar TK t was a frustrating evening for Qatar SC in the Qatar Stars League yesterday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Kharaitiyat. Qatar SC endured a horrible start to their QSL campaign this season. They lost their п¬Ѓrst two matches 5-0 and 3-1 which lead to the sacking of their then high proп¬Ѓle coach Ivan Hasek. Iraqi Radhi Shenaishil was brought in to arrest the decline and he produced one of those magical turnarounds which made everyone sit up and notice the team. They went on a four-match unbeaten streak which included a 5-1 thrashing on Al Gharafa but that momentum was broken with the loss to El Jaish. They got back to winning ways against Shamal but then lost to Al Sadd who are on a roll this season. It was in this stop start mode that Qatar SC came into yesterdayвЂ™s match looking to get back to climbing up the table but they met a resilient Kharaitiyat who have won just two games but also managed to draw three. Qatar SC got an early goal through Ali Awad in the п¬Ѓrst minute of the game and looked set for another dominating performance but while they had major share of the possession, they couldnвЂ™t break down the Kharaitiyat defence. It was a game which saw a set pattern with Qatar SC building an attack but failing to п¬Ѓnd the back of the net and then Kharaitiyat attacking on the counter. Qatar SC looked the more threatening of the two but their opponents were getting bolder on the counter and that is how the equaliser was scored. In the 40th minute Kharaitiyat attacked on the counter which saw Issiar Dia being brought down inside the box by Qatar SCвЂ™s Medhat Mostafa and though it looked like the ball had hit the striker on the hand, the referee awarded the penalty. Waleed Jassimy stepped up to take the penalty and he slotted the ball into the left corner and put the match level in the 43rd minute. The celebration was a unique one with Jassimy taking out his shin pad and taking a selп¬Ѓe of the team. Wonder how many megapixels it has! Just п¬Ѓve minutes after Kharaitiyat got a great chance to take the lead when M Sadd took advantage of a sloppy pass from the Qatar SC defence and he passed the ball to Hasan Mahmoud who was in a good position inside the box to score but shot wide. The second half saw Qatar SC show more intent and dominate possession but couldnвЂ™t score due to their own inability to convert the moves into goals and also due to the Kharaitiyat goalkeeper Khalifa Ndiaye who kept coming out to pluck the ball out of the many corners that Qatar SC generated. The closes Qatar SC came to taking the lead was in the 87th minute when Cho Youngcheol supplied a great pass to Hamdi Harbaoui but the goal machine, who has notched up nine goals so far, scuffed his shot wide. Qatar SC coach Shenaishil would have been hoping for a better performance from his team considering the form that they had been showing recently against weaker teams but they came up short against a determined Kharaitiyat side and will have to be content sharing the spoils. Al Sailiya hold on for a thrilling 4-3 win over Al Wakrah In the other match of the day, Al Sailiya (playing in blue and black stripes) held on for a thrilling 4-3 win over Al Wakrah. Sailiya who finished fourth last season are having a bad start to this season with yesterdayвЂ™s triumph being their only second win in nine matches so far. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil Friday, October 31, 2014 MOTORSPORT GULF TIMES WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP Sykes, Guintoli heading for showdown at Losail вЂ�I think I have really good chances. In my mind, I donвЂ™t see myself losingвЂ™ By Mikhil Bhat Doha A nd then there were two. One, a defending champion and the championship leader; the other, who has nothing to lose. The round at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, their only chance. Kawasaki Racing TeamвЂ™s Tom Sykes leads the championship by 12 points over Aprilia Racing TeamвЂ™s Sylvain Guintoli. And the two are the only one with any chance of winning the title. вЂњItвЂ™s come down to that after a long season of hard racing and on Sunday evening we will do the best we can,вЂќ Sykes told Gulf Times yesterday. The British rider has not won since the second race in Laguna Seca back in July. In the four races since then, two each at Jerez and Magny-Cours, his best has been third place podium п¬Ѓnish at the Spanish track. During this time, Guintoli closed the gap from 44 to 12, with a string of second place п¬Ѓnishes and a win in the last race at Magny-Cours. вЂњIt feels good to be so close, especially because we were a long way behind a couple of races ago. So I would say that we deп¬Ѓnitely have a chance here,вЂќ the Frenchman said. вЂњWe are in the hunt, and this track, I think will be good for us. I canвЂ™t wait actually. It is going to be exciting. вЂњNight race in Qatar makes it a special event, being away from Europe and п¬Ѓnishing the championship like this. I think we can do really well.вЂќ Guintoli is more experienced of the two when it comes to racing in Qatar. He has also raced under lights, with his last visit being in 2010 for the FIM World Endurance Championship and in MotoGP before that. вЂњI have raced here many times at night. The last time I came here was in 2010. It is a track I really like and know very well obviously,вЂќ the 32-year-old, who п¬Ѓnished third last year, said. вЂњWhile I donвЂ™t think that will play a big part, I think Aprilia is going to be very good here and I like this track.вЂќ Sykes, while has raced around Losail a couple of times in the past, is counting on a different kind of experience. вЂњThis is my third year in a row that I am п¬Ѓghting for the championship,вЂќ the 29-year-old said. He п¬Ѓnished second in 2012 before winning the title last year. вЂњI will just try and use best of that experience for an advantage on Sunday.вЂќ In terms of the bike, Sykes plans to make a couple of changes to his Kawasaki ZX-10R for the п¬Ѓnal weekend of the season, while Guintoli said he is conп¬Ѓdent he can win without making any changes to his Aprilia RSV4. About his strategy for the weekend, Sykes said: вЂњWinning is always the idea. Of course, if I follow Sylvain closely in both the races, I will still win. So yeah, we will just look at the situation on Sunday.вЂќ Guintoli, on the other hand, said: вЂњI think I have really good chances. In my mind, I donвЂ™t see myself losing. No pressure. I am the one in the hunt. I canвЂ™t lose my second place in the championship, so I have nothing to lose.вЂќ The Aprilia rider was also looking forward to a duel with the championship leader in the п¬Ѓnal race for the title. вЂњWe have not had much of a п¬Ѓght on the track. We have done some overtaking but we never had the same pace at the same time. Either I was in front or he. Maybe it will be a great showdown in the last race for the championship,вЂќ he said. And then there were two. WSBK standings (top 10) 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 6. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 7. Leon Haslam (Honda) 8. Davide Giudliano (Ducati) 9. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 10. Toni Elias (Aprilia) 378 366 312 301 282 195 176 162 154 151 Kawasaki Racing Team rider and defending champion Tom Sykes (right) looks at Aprilia Racing Team rider Sylvain Guintoli during a television interview on a dhow cruise in Doha yesterday. Sykes leads the championship standings by 12 points over Guintoli. (Below) World Superbike Championship riders enjoy a dhow cruise. SPOTLIGHT Making World Superbike debut in Qatar is special, says Cudlin By Mikhil Bhat Doha A lex Cudlin will be making his World Superbike Championship (WSBK) debut this weekend in Qatar. And he will also race in the Qatar Superbike Championship (QSBK), which will run as a support race during WSBK 2014вЂ™s п¬Ѓnal weekend. Cudlin will run for Team Pedercini with an EVO spec Kawasaki. вЂњI am looking forward to it. Making my world superbike debut in Qatar is something very special. I have spent a lot of my career racing here,вЂќ said the four-time QSBK champion. вЂњBut it will be difficult because I have to concentrate on two different championships. I am leading in the Qatar Superbike Championship, and I have to try and continue winning. And I have to now also race in WSBK. But I am looking forward to it. I hope I have a good result,вЂќ the Australian added. Cudlin will not have to deal with racing in two different championships with two different competition levels, he will also have to deal with two different bikes. вЂњOnly thing same is the name of the bike вЂ“ Kawasaki. The setting, the tyres, the mechanics, everything will be different. This will make it hard for sure. But we have to do what we have to do,вЂќ he said. And then there is the physical aspect of getting on the track a number of times for racing, qualifying and racing. вЂњThatвЂ™s going to be hard, because it is hot. But I do come from the endurance background, so I am used to riding a bike for 24 hours and all, but physically yeah it will be hard. I feel п¬Ѓt and ready,вЂќ the 28-year-old said. What does he intend to achieve on his WSBK debut? вЂњIf I can be with the other EVO guys, this would be a good result. Obviously it would be nice to п¬Ѓght in the EVO category for the win, and if I am able to do that, that would be nice,вЂќ he said. Talking about QSBK, he said: вЂњI am still motivated to win in QSBK [despite four titles]. QMMF have me to try and win the championship and each year it is getting harder. I still enjoy every single win. I still have to push the maximum to do it. If I can make number п¬Ѓve this year, it will be nicer.вЂќ Alex Cudlin, who rides for the QMMF Racing Team in the Qatar Superbike Championship, will also race for Team Pedercini in WSBK this weekend. Safety most important for FIA: al-Attiyah FIA vice president Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah (pictured) has said that the return of Oman Rally to the Middle East Rally Championship will increase the competition in the series. Talking at a press conference ahead of the Oman Rally, he said, вЂњThe return of Oman rally to the Middle East Championship will increase the competition. It is one of the oldest rallies in the region, and enjoys a good history and reputation.вЂќ The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) president was at Grand Herms Hotel for the Oman Trial Rally opening ceremony in Muscat along with Oman Automobile Club chairman Salem al-Askari, rally manager Hani Shaaban, Anwar Alzedgali, Omani assembly board member Gamal al-Zaire, UAE driver Khaled al-Qassimi, OmanвЂ™s Khaled al-Mangi and QatarвЂ™s Khalifa al-Attiyah. Al-Attiyah said that FIA considers safety as very important, and that he hoped that the Oman rally would meet the instructions of FIA to ensure its return to the Middle East calendar. The Qatari motorsport administrator said he has been trying hard to accommodate as many events as possible on the calendar. He added that among the FIA regional divisions, Europe is considered as the strongest in motorsport and that he hopes that competitors from the Middle East are able to give strong competition and produce champions who are able to compete internationally. Rally manager Hani Shaaban said that 24 participants will compete in the Oman rally, which will consist of 12 stages with different geographical conditions. Oman has a history of organising rallies since 1978. After a seven-year absence from the rally calendar, the country is trying to restore its reputation in motorsport.