Log in using OpenID

Daily newspaper - Gulf Times

QATAR | Page 20
SPORT | Page 7
Charity event to support
education projects
Time for
says IOC
boss, ahead
of revamp
2, 20
4, 5
6 – 17
18, 19
1 – 12
1 – 12
Latest Figures
Qatar’s offer to buy the company
behind the landmark Canary
Wharf office quarter was rejected
yesterday. Songbird, the property
firm which controls 69% of Canary
Wharf Group, said in a statement
that its management had rejected
a joint takeover approach from
sovereign wealth fund Qatar
Investment Authority (QIA) and
US company Brookfield Property
Partners. The cash bid, pitched at
295 pence per share and valuing
Songbird at almost ВЈ2.2bn ($3.5bn),
had been revealed on Thursday.
Business Page 1
WORLD | Crime
Crackdown on
�dark markets’
A global crackdown has shut down
dozens of online “dark markets”
selling illegal goods and services
and masking their identities using
the Tor encryption network, officials
said yesterday. The joint operation by
US and European law enforcement
arrested 17 people in a massive
international operation against the
underground bazaars. “It is a plain
fact that criminals use advanced
technology to commit their crimes
and conceal evidence,” said Assistant
US Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.
ASIA | Summit
Japan and China
leaders to meet
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe and Chinese President Xi
Jinping are to hold their first
summit next week, reports said
yesterday, after presiding over
two years of animosity between
Asia’s two biggest economies. The
countries have “agreed to arrange
a summit next week” in Beijing on
the sidelines of the APEC forum,
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK
said. Page 9
Blatter praises
Qatar’s efforts
Company rejects
QIA proposal
SPORT | World Cup
BUSINESS | Property
Vol. XXXV No. 9535
November 8, 2014
Moharram 15, 1436 AH
www. 2 Riyals
Many new
roads to be
ready in
three years
In brief
Joseph Blatter, president of world
soccer’s governing body FIFA, has
affirmed that “the State of Qatar
won the honour of organising
the 2022 with transparency and
maturity and is now working hard
to build and equip facilities for the
World Cup”. Blatter described in
remarks to the Qatar’s Al Sharq
newspaper that the accusations
and criticisms against Qatar as
“nothing more than being just
a smoke in the air and that the
charges could not be confirmed as
there was no evidence to support
these allegations so far on the
ground”. The FIFA president said
the “ timing of the tournament has
not yet been resolved”.
Blatter praised the great efforts
being made by Qatar in the field of
sports facilities, noting that “Qatar
is seeking to build modern and
advanced facilities”. Sport Page 1
he R
bl TA 978
A 1
Q since
The new roads are expected to
improve the traffic flow in the city
and surroundings
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani holding talks with Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah in
Doha yesterday.
Sheikh Tamim holds
talks with Kuwait’s Emir
H the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin
Hamad al-Thani yesterday
discussed with visiting Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed
al-Jaber al-Sabah the close and cordial relations and ways to further
support and develop them in different
During the meeting, which was
held at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, the two leaders reviewed the prospects of supporting
joint GCC work towards more integration, especially all that would
achieve the common interests in
addition to the regional and international developments of common
The meeting was attended by HE
the Prime Minister and Interior Min-
ister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin
Khalifa al-Thani and a number of
sheikhs and ministers.
From the Kuwaiti side, the meeting was attended by Kuwait’s First
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah and senior
Kuwaiti officials.
Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)
Rashid al-Zayani also attended the
The Kuwaiti Emir, accompanied
by a delegation, was on a short fraternal visit to Doha.
The Kuwait Emir also visited the
United Arab Emirates yesterday.
In Abu Dhabi, he was received by
Vice President and Prime Minister
and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohamed
bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and General
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
Yemeni president brings
Houthis into new govt
emen’s president has announced a new cabinet including members of the Shia Houthi
group, state media said yesterday, in a
move that could help end a crippling
standoff in the Arab nation.
Under a power-sharing agreement
signed last month, the Houthis are
meant to withdraw their forces from
Sanaa once a new administration is
formed. Tensions rose last week when
they set an ultimatum for President
Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to form
a government within 10 days or face
“other options”.
The new government will be headed
by prime minister-designate Khalid Bahah, a former oil minister and ambassador to the UN. The 34 ministers named
on state television and news agency Saba
include half a dozen Houthi loyalists,
whose portfolios will include the civil
service and social affairs.
Once a religious movement seeking greater autonomy in the north,
the Houthis have in recent months
become Yemen’s power-brokers and
sent their militiamen into the west and
centre of the country, far beyond their
traditional redoubts. Page 3
and Deputy Supreme Commander of
the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Sabah discussed “the
progress of the GCC” during yesterday’s meetings, UAE official Wam
news agency said.
Gulf foreign ministers will meet in
Doha on Monday to prepare ground
for the annual GCC summit, set for
December 9.
Sheikh Sabah also paid a brief visit
to Manama yesterday during which he
met with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa
The official Bahrain News Agency
said that the meeting reviewed bilateral relations and the march of the
GCC as well as ways of enhancing
common Gulf action.
The two leaders discussed the
latest regional and international
developments and exchanged views
on a number of issues of mutual interest.
Clashes hit
refugee camp
number of new roads, which are
in the ambitious Expressway
Programme of the Public Works
Authority (Ashghal), are expected to
be completed in the next three years,
according to the 2013-2014 annual report.
The new roads are expected to improve the traffic flow in the city and
surroundings. Prominent among the
projects undertaken by the country’s
road planners are the West and East
Corridors which provide vital connectivity for the western areas with Hamad International Airport (HIA). The
two massive highways together cost the
exchequer close to QR4bn. Their works
are expected to be complete in the middle of 2017.
Ashghal is to take up a total of 14 new
road projects, worth about QR20.31bn
next year as part of its Expressway programme, Gulf Times reported recently.
A total of 12 projects worth QR18.21bn
have been taken up so far.
This year also saw the completion of
four major roads. A total of 11 Expressway projects are under different phases
of construction across Qatar.
While the authority awarded works
worth approximately QR12.9bn in
2012-13, the п¬Ѓgure tripled to QR38.4bn
in this п¬Ѓnancial year, Ashghal president and senior engineer Nasser Ali
al-Mawlawi said in a message in the
annual report.
The Western corridor has four twolevel interchanges on the New Industrial Area Road, the West Industrial
Area, the East Industrial Street and the
Al Aziziya Extension; the East Corridor
has a four-level interchange on the Al
Wakrah bypass and two-level interchanges at the Barwa Access, Najma
Street Extension and Al Matar Street.
Works on both the corridors are currently on. The corridors, it is pointed
out, would give strategic links with the
southern side of the city as well. They
also connect the areas lying on with the
Orbital Highway and Truck routes to
The new interchanges being built
will provide access to residential areas on the Al Matar Street, the Najma
Street Extension, the Barwa Access
Road and a new Al Wakrah bypass.
It is also pointed out that nearly 600
trees have been uprooted from the construction areas and replanted on other
locations in their neighbourhood as
part of the country’s commitment to
protect the environment. The new areas will have approximately 500sq km
of landscaping.
The 15-km-long QR1.046bn Dukhan
Central Highway, starting on the western side of the Wajba Interchange and
ending on the eastern side of Al Shahaniya town, is among the major ongoing works. The eight-lane road (with
four lanes on either side) is expected to
be completed by the last quarter of 2016.
The ongoing QR2.33bn Al Muntazah
Street extension, comprising an 8-km
dual carriageway between the Eastern
Industrial Road interchange and Woqod Interchange will be operational in
the last quarter of 2016, according to
the report. Besides the six graded interchanges, some of which are under construction, the project will also feature a
tunnel to Barwa City.
The QR837mn F-Ring Project between Al Muntazah and Al Matar
streets is intended to provide straight
access to HIA. A direct link to the city’s
southern areas is another major ongoing work. The main highlight is the
construction of a 7.2km road of international standards, with either three or
four lanes on either side. As part of the
project, dedicated cycle paths and pedestrian ways are also planned.
When completed the project is expected to streamline the mobility and
reduce traffic congestion with greater
access to HIA.
battled Israeli police in a refugee camp in East Jerusalem
yesterday as the top EU diplomat
warned of a new wave of violence if
peace efforts remain deadlocked.
Clashes shook the Shuafat camp for
a third straight day, with security forces п¬Ѓring tear gas at crowds of youths
who set alight tyres and rubbish bins.
Community officials say the wave
of unrest is fuelled by a sense of
hopelessness resulting from Israel’s
policies in East Jerusalem, which
have left many youths with a sense
they have nothing to lose. Page 5
An image from a billboard put up by Ashghal at a location near Barwa Village to
inform commuters of the ongoing works of the East Corridor.
Obama approves sending 1,500 more troops to Iraq
resident Barack Obama has approved sending up to 1,500 additional troops to Iraq to aid Baghdad government and Kurdish forces
п¬Ѓghting the Islamic State (IS) group,
roughly doubling the number of US
troops in the country, the White House
said yesterday.
The 1,500 troops will include a
group of advisers to help Iraqi forces
plan operations and a group of trainers who will be deployed across the
country, officials said, as Washington
steps up the pressure on the IS militants.
Some of the advisers will be deployed
to western Anbar province, where the
Iraqi army has been forced to retreat
from advancing IS militants, a defence
official who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP.
Some of the additional troops will
begin to arrive in Iraq in the next several
weeks, the official said.
“As a part of our strategy for
strengthening partners on the ground,
President Obama today authorised the
deployment of up to 1,500 additional
US military personnel in a non-combat
role to train, advise, and assist Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish forces,”
a statement said.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended the move to Obama based
on a request from the Iraqi government and the assessment of US Central
Command, which is overseeing the air
war against the IS militants, the Pentagon said.
The deployment coincides “with the
development of a coalition campaign
plan to defend key areas and go on the
offensive against the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant”, it said, referring to
IS п¬Ѓghters who have grabbed large areas
of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
The training will focus on 12 Iraqi
brigades - nine Iraqi army and three
Peshmerga brigades, the Pentagon
The training sites will be located in
northern, western, and southern Iraq
and “coalition partners will join US
personnel at these locations to help
build Iraqi capacity and capability”, it
added. Page 4
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
he Public Prosecution has
released 17 students, who
were arrested by the police
after a п¬Ѓght broke out at a local
independent school earlier this
week, local Arabic daily Arrayah
reported yesterday.
The students, of Al Mana Independent Secondary School, who
were involved in the п¬Ѓght, were
released after they renounced
their personal claims in the issue.
Quoting the parents concerned,
Arrayah had reported on Thursday that while three students
were referred to the juvenile section, the others had to spend a
night at Al Rayyan police station.
However, the parents of the students told the daily that the school
could have contained the situation
within its campus and should not
have got the police into it. They
have also submitted a compliant
to the Supreme Education Council
(SEC) against the school’s action.
The parents concerned, argue
that the school should have called
them п¬Ѓrst and tried to contain the
situation and settle the issue in a
friendly manner.
“That they were arrested by
the police is a difficult situation for the young students. The
school should try to discipline
students with proper pedagogical means, especially when the
case was just a simple fight,” one
parent said.
However, Saad Ahmed alDirham, deputy school director
for administration and students
affairs, said that the decision
to call the police after the п¬Ѓght
broke out was completely
compliant with the law.
“Calling the police in such
situations is not a new procedure. SEC instructions indicate
that security should be called in
case of a big trouble, and the discipline strategy gives us the right
to do so,” pointed out al-Dirham.
Outlets closed for
selling food unfit
for human use
The director of Doha Municipality
has issued an administrative
decision to close a bakery, a
restaurant and sweet shop for 15
days, local Arabic daily Arrayah
reported yesterday.
The outlets were closed for
selling food unfit for human
consumption and also made in
unhealthy conditions in breach
of law No.8 of 1990 regarding the
regulations of control over food
for human consumption and its
Similarly, a supermarket was
closed for 14 days within the limits
of Al-Daayen Municipality for
violating the standards of keeping
and handling foods. Another
supermarket was closed at AlRayyan Municipality for 15 days
for keeping expired foods.
A shop was closed for 10 days at
Umm Slalal Municipality for not
abiding by the proper hygienic
regulations for handling food
materials, Arrayah added.
More than 42% of
school students
obese: study
A new study conducted by Qatar
University’s (QU) College of Arts
and Sciences (CAS) has shown
that 42.6% of school students are
obese or overweight, local Arabic
daily Arrayah has reported.
This marks a 3.6% increase
over the rate – 39% - revealed
by a study conducted by the
Childhood Cultural Centre in
2009, the report adds.
Dr Mohamed Ahmedna, associate
dean for research at QU, said
random samples were taken from
a number of schools. Out of 1,108
pupils aged between nine and 12
years, 472 were found obese or
overweight. Such students were
also found to be not eating fruits
and vegetables as well as not
engaging in physical activity in
their leisure time, according to
the report.
Dr Ahmedna said to improve
the situation, the university
is executing a project named
“Aqdar” (I can) to bring about
positive changes in children’s
lifestyles. The project includes
holding a 15-day health camp
during the mid-year vacation
for weight loss and delivering
lectures at the end of a study day.
These are followed by monitoring
the weight loss through the
Internet, the report further says.
60% of region’s
waste water flows
into sea: report
The Middle East has huge
prospects in the water
space, especially when it
comes to optimising TSE
pproximately 40% to
60% of the region’s
waste water is discharged into the sea when it
could be stored and reused
for other purposes, according
to Arcadis’ 2014 Middle East
Aquifer Recharge report.
“The region should use
treated sewage effluent (TSE)
as the precious resource it is
and stop thinking of it as waste
or a useless by-product,” said
Titia De Mes, Water for Industry Leader, Middle East,
“TSE can and should be
recycled, but this requires a
change in thinking from be-
ing a choice and a cost to a necessity and investment – the
optimal choice for the Middle
East is aquifer recharge and
Arcadis is a leading global
natural and built asset design
and consultancy п¬Ѓrm working
in partnership with clients to
deliver sustainable outcomes
through the application of design, consultancy, engineering, project and management
The report reveals that
merely 60% of TSE could be
stored in the aquifer and used
at a later time through various approaches, highlighting
three different methods of aquifer recharge – aquifer storage & recovery, aquifer storage transfer and recovery and
aquifer recharge and recovery.
The different techniques
involve water that is re-injected back into the aquifer
for later recovery, whether it
is used by a single well, stored
for a prolonged period and
pumped through another well,
enabling natural treatment or
built with infrastructure or an
existing landscape, such as a
wadi, to enhance groundwater infiltration, also enabling
natural treatment.
Further, the report highlights the key discrepancy of
TSE planning and implementation across the GCC countries. Doha and Abu Dhabi are
currently pumping excess desalinated water in the aquifer
to act as emergency storage
whereas other key cities are
still in the middle of research
for the use of TSE, it is observed.
“The outcomes of aquifer
QRC doctors treat
Mauritanian children
with defective hearts
medical team from
Qatar Red Crescent
(QRC) has performed a
number of cardiac catheterisation procedures for free in
Mauritania, benefiting dozens of poor children who were
born with congenital heart
The doctors have used latest
catheterisation technologies
to treat defective heart valves
and ventricular septal defects
(VSDs). Of the 97 children, at
least 30 were catheterised after they were found medically
and physiologically п¬Ѓt.
The project was co-ordinated with the National Centre of Cardiology, Nouakchott,
and the Mauritanian Red
Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi
said the three doctors have
voluntarily contributed their
efforts for the programme.
“Sometimes, thousands of
poor children with congenital heart diseases (often the
cause death before turning
16) rely on such missions,” he
The mission also distributed
gifts and toys to the children in
a bid to provide psychological
support. It also intends to help
young patients to respond well
to treatment.
The cardiac catheterisation programme of QRC
was launched in 2004 and
countries including Sudan, Morocco, Mauritania,
recharge are good for countries
economically and environmentally – saving costs, reducing the carbon footprint and
improving the environment.
While the region is progressing, there is still an essential requirement for overcoming constraints – the next
step involves engaging the regional water community, government bureaus and ministries and associated industries
in a conversation that can lead
to implementing rules and
regulations,” said De Mes.
The Middle East has huge
prospects in the water space,
especially when it comes to
optimising TSE utilisation.
Industry experts need to drive
environmental change, local
development and ultimately
create sustainable solutions, it
is further noted.
FM meets UN envoy
The Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed
al-Attiyah meeting with the UN special envoy for Syria crisis
Staffan de Mistura in Doha yesterday. They exchanged views
on the developments of the Syrian crisis.
MoI selects staff for Umrah pilgrimage
The Ministry of Interior (MoI)
will send a group of selected
staff members from different
departments on Umrah as it has
done in previous years.
As part of preparations for the
journey, the organising committee
held an introductory meeting for
the participants at the MoI’s Al
Bidda Auditorium last week.
The programme was attended
by Umrah pilgrimage superviser
Maj Hussain Aman al-Ali,
administrative and financial
in-charge Capt Nasser Abdullah
Mohamed and Islamic preacher
Sheikh Ahmad Ziyad from the
Ministry of Awqaf.
A total of 50 employees have been
selected for the trip this year.
Maj al-Ali welcomed participants
of the Umrah pilgrimage, who
were selected in view of their
outstanding performance
and service, and stressed that
the objective of the mission
is to spread the spirit of love
and brotherhood among the
ministry’s staff and give them the
opportunity to visit the Holy Land
and identify the most important
and prominent Islamic legacies.
Capt Mohamed said organising
the Umrah trip for individuals
with distinguished performance,
from among the male and female
staff members of the MoI, has
become an annual tradition as the
ministry considers it as a kind of
recognition for those employees.
He explained that the candidates
for Umrah are nominated on the
basis of certain criteria stipulated
by a committee.
WISH partners with WISE
to conduct health study
he World Innovation
(WISH) has held a special
debate on education and wellbeing in partnership with the
World Innovation Summit for
Education (WISE) at the Qatar
National Convention Centre.
The event marked the п¬Ѓrst
collaboration between the
two global initiatives of Qatar
Foundation aiming to ensure
impactful outcomes in healthcare innovation and education
in Qatar, the region and across
the globe.
The joint panel between
WISH and WISE was formed
as a reflection of HH Sheikha
Moza bint Nasser’s global work,
aiming to explore and highlight
the link between healthy children and happy children.
Moderated by Dr Harry Anthony Patrinos, manager, Educational Global Practice at the
World Bank Group, the panel
investigated integrated approaches to understanding the
relationship between education attainment and wellbe-
ing, and explored some of the
projects and initiatives that are
leading the way in this п¬Ѓeld.
The panelists included Dr
Mandana Arabi, executive director of Sackler Institute for
Nutrition Science at the New
York Academy of Sciences; Prof
Sir Harry Burns, professor of
Global Public Health at Strathclyde University; and Prof Marwan Awartani, president of Palestine Technical University and
secretary general of the Universal Education Foundation:
Learning for Well Being.
WISH has also established
the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children and Young
People Forum, chaired by
Prof the Lord Richard Layard,
wellbeing programme director at the Centre for Economic
Performance at the London
School of Economics. The forum will further explore the
role of education in wellbeing
as part of its remit to produce
evidence-based reports and
provide recommendations for
policymakers at the second
WISH Summit taking place in
February 2015 in Qatar.
Prof the Lord Darzi of Denham, executive chair, WISH,
said: “WISH and WISE share
a passionately held belief that
emerging global challenges
can only be overcome with innovation and increased collaboration. The link between
education and wellness is increasingly well documented,
and I am confident that our
experts can identify the best
way forward. Together, we are
working for a healthier, bettereducated world for all.”
Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali alThani, chairman, WISE, said:
“The Education and Wellbeing panel is an important
contribution to the emerging
consensus on the need for a
multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to the great challenges of our global age. Combining the expertise of WISH
with the reach and experience
of WISE provides an unrivaled
platform from which to tackle
this issue.”
A QRC mission doctor comforts a child before the operation.
Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon.
Covering 160 operations
pegged at QR2,240,000, the
programme is focusing on children with birth heart anomalies
living in poor countries. The
average cost of treatment is
Four-year-old Mahfouz was
examined in 2011 by the п¬Ѓrst
QRC mission to Mauritania.
Back then, the doctors rejected him because his weight
was not enough for cardiac
However, he qualified for the
treatment after three years and
doctors had successfully closed
the hole in his heart.
Ahmed Ould Sid’Ahmed Agg,
secretary-general, Mauritanian
ministry of health, thanked the
medical team saying the Qatari
mission is an example of brotherly co-operation between the
two countries.
“We at the Ministry of Health
are willing to sustain and
deepen this relationship,” he
WISH-WISE panel at WISE 2014 in Doha.
Sales of sport equipment rise as temperature drops
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
s the drop in temperature makes conditions
favourable for outdoor
activities, sales of outdoor sport
equipment and accessories have
started increasing, a supervisor
at a leading sport shop in Qatar
told Gulf Times.
He said their weekly bicycle sales have increased to 21%
since the second week of October. Sales of bicycles for children have also risen significantly since last month.
With races being organised
regularly, he said that many
cyclists have started upgrading
their bicycles, including spare
parts and accessories. Groups
such as Qatar Chain Reac-
An increasing number of cycling races and other events in Qatar have helped push sales of bicycles
and outdoor sport equipment and accessories.
tion hold cycling competitions
The sports shop has been receiving an average of 35 racer
bikes per week for repair and
maintenance, according to the
“Many residents, especially
Qataris, have become health-
conscious and are very active in
cycling,” he said.
One of his regular male Qatari
customers told him that he had
to be physically п¬Ѓt before joining training in the armed forces
as a reservist.
Part of their preparation includes biking a minimum of
20km a day and 100km every
weekend. Some have enrolled
in mixed martial arts (MMA)
training centres in Doha while
others prefer hiring personal
The supervisor said these
were some of the reasons behind
the surge in sales of their MMA
equipment, apparel and training accessories such as punching bags, boxing gloves, hand
wraps, shin guards, helmets,
shorts and shirts.
The shop has also recorded a
significant increase in sales of
“gi” or uniform used in taekwondo and karate.
Besides bicycles, he said sales
of shoes, sports apparel and
accessories for running and
triathlon (for both males and
females) was also up due to the
increasing number of fun runs
and running activities organised
during this time of the year.
The demand for indoor
sports goods (table tennis and
badminton, among others) has
apparently started slowing except for gym equipment such
as bars and plates. The shop
has received several quotations
from existing and newly opened
gyms in the country, including
those in the Wakrah area.
“Demand for treadmills and
cross trainers have slowed down
a little probably because many
people want to do their workouts outdoors,” he pointed out.
“But many gyms have opened
recently and some people prefer
staying indoors to exercise.”
With the regular hosting of
various international and national sports competitions,
the supervisor said new sports
shops and bigger bike centres
will open in the coming months.
“Our sales will surely be affected because some shops will
sell brands that we don’t have,
such as high-end bikes,” he said.
Sales at their branches may
vary due to factors such as
location and size of the shop.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Tehran stalls probe into �bomb research’: IAEA
ran is failing to address suspicions it may have worked
on designing an atomic
bomb, according to the latest
report by a UN watchdog, potentially complicating efforts
by world powers to reach a deal
with Tehran on its nuclear programme.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency
said Tehran had still not provided information it was due to
produce more than two months
ago to help advance a long-running IAEA inquiry into suspected nuclear weapons research.
The confidential document
was issued to IAEA member
states less than three weeks before the November 24 deadline
by which Iran and six global
powers are seeking to end a decade-old standoff over its atomic
“Iran has not provided any
explanations that enable the
agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures,” it said.
The IAEA was referring to two
steps that Iran had agreed to
carry out by late August, by pro-
viding information concerning
allegations of explosives tests
and other activity that could be
used to develop nuclear bombs.
Iran denies any intention of
seeking atomic weapons, saying
its nuclear programme is aimed
at generating electricity.
The UN agency said the two
sides last met on November 2
in the Iranian capital and had
agreed to meet again as soon as
possible, but not before November 24. “There is no progress,
basically,” one diplomat familiar
with the Iran п¬Ѓle said.
The continuing deadlock in
the IAEA’s investigation sug-
gests that any renewed headway
will probably have to wait until
after the negotiations between
Iran and the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany
and Russia are concluded.
Iran wants the talks to lead
to a removal of international
sanctions on its oil-dependent
economy, but Western officials
say it must step up co-operation
with the IAEA to help clarify
long-standing concerns about
Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
While the six powers want
Iran to scale back its uranium
enrichment programme - and
thereby lengthen the timeline
for any covert bid to assemble
nuclear arms - the IAEA is investigating allegations of past
Iranian research on designing an
actual bomb.
Even though it has long been
clear that the IAEA’s inquiry
into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s programme
will not be completed before
the target date for a deal with
the powers, Western diplomats
had hoped for more progress by
Iran and the powers will meet
in Vienna from November 18 to
try to seal a long-term agreement resolving a standoff that
over the last decade has raised
fears of a new Middle East war.
Experts differ on the need
for Iran to come clean about all
its alleged bomb-related work:
some say that full disclosure is
necessary to make sure that any
such research has since ceased,
while others argue this objective
can be achieved without a full
Israel and hawkish US lawmakers may pounce on any accord if they feel it does not sufficiently resolve the issue.
“Concrete progress is needed
on the central issue of whether Iran has worked on nuclear
Iran draft
bill seeks
lashes and
п¬Ѓnes for
dog lovers
Supporters of
Saleh protest
over threat of
UN sanctions
Saleh’s General People’s
Congress (GPC) party
warns that any sanctions
will exacerbate the crisis in
housands of supporters
of Yemen’s ex-president
Ali Abdullah Saleh and
Shia rebels took to the streets
yesterday to protest threatened
UN sanctions against the ousted
strongman and insurgent chiefs.
Saleh, who stepped down in
early 2012 after a year of Arab
Spring-inspired protests, is seen
as the main backer of Houthi
rebels who have overrun the capital and several other areas since
Protesters, many brandishing
machineguns, gathered in Tahrir Square in the capital Sanaa,
chanting slogans hailing Saleh
and condemning Washington for
proposing the sanctions.
“The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh,” they chanted, warning President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi: “We shall not listen to
Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) party called the protests, warning that any sanctions
would exacerbate the crisis in
Yemen, which has been gripped
by years of instability.
The UN Security Council was
set to endorse the US-drafted
proposal to slap a visa ban and
assets freeze on Saleh and two
of his allies, Shia Houthi rebel
commanders Abd al-Khaliq al-
Houthi and Abdullah Yahya alHakim, diplomats in New York
said on Tuesday.
The GPC has accused the US
embassy in Sanaa of giving an ultimatum to Saleh to leave by yesterday or face sanctions—a claim
that Washington has denied.
Saleh served as Yemen’s first
president after unification in
1990 but quit under a regional
peace plan.
The Houthi rebels fought
Saleh while he was in power but
the former foes now appear to be
Protesters carried portraits of
Saleh along with pictures of rebel
leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi.
Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi is the
younger brother of the rebel chief
and was among the commanders who oversaw the storming of
Sanaa in September.
Hakim is Abdulmalik alHouthi’s military second-incommand.
The 15 members of the Security Council had until yesterday
evening to raise objections before
the proposal returns to the sanctions committee for action.
The top UN body in August
called on the Houthi rebels to
end their armed uprising against
President Hadi and warned of
sanctions against those who
threaten the stability of Yemen,
which is a key US ally in the п¬Ѓght
against Al Qaeda.
The turmoil has raised fears
that the impoverished country,
which neighbours Saudi Arabia
and lies on the key shipping route
from the Suez Canal to the Gulf,
may become a failed state.
The Houthis, also known as
Ansarullah, have been able to
expand their territory largely unchallenged by government forces, taking control of the capital,
the key port of Hudeida, and the
provinces of Ibb and Dhamar.
The only real resistance they
have faced has come from Sunni
tribes and Al Qaeda militants.
Fifteen rebels were killed
when armed tribesmen attacked a Houthi assembly point
near the central town of Rada
with guns and rocket-propelled
grenades late Thursday, tribal
sources said.
Al Qaeda’s leader in Yemen
accused the Shia rebels of collaborating with the United States
and Iran to try to “destroy” Sunni
An audio message purported
to be from Nasser al-Wuhayshi,
posted online yesterday, says the
aim of the “crusaders and the
Iranians is to destroy effective
Sunni forces and the faithful mujahideen, and to empower their
Al Qaeda uses the term crusaders to refer to Western powers, especially those countries
which have intervened militarily
in Muslim countries.
US drones conduct frequent
raids against militants of Al
Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,
which is considered by Washington as the most dangerous arm of
the jihadist organisation.
“Houthis have joined in, taking their role alongside the Iranians and the crusaders in the
war: the Americans from the air,
and the Houthis on the ground,”
Wuhayshi said in the recording
posted on YouTube.
weapons and is maintaining a
capability to revive such efforts,”
said US expert David Albright
and former IAEA chief inspector Olli Heinonen said in a commentary this week.
The US-based Arms Control
Association said it would be
naive to think that Iran’s leaders would admit to any bomb
The main goal should be for
an agreement to ensure that the
IAEA obtains sufficient information to determine that Iran
has halted any such activity, the
research and advocacy group
Supporters of Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh demonstrate in Sanaa yesterday.
Top Qaeda leader killed by Yemen forces: report
Yemeni security forces have
killed a senior Al Qaeda
operative in the southern
province of Lahij, where he
was known as the group’s
local chief, state media said
Saba news agency, quoting an
unnamed security official, said
that Turki al-Assiri, a Saudi also
known as Marwan al-Mekki,
was shot dead on Thursday in
the Tuban region.
He was killed as he resisted
arrest and one of his
companions was wounded and
detained, the official said.
Assiri “was an Al Qaeda leader
and its emir in Lahij”, the official
Al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula, which operates
in Yemen, is classified by the
United States as the network’s
deadliest franchise.
Last month Washington
slapped $45mn in rewards on
the heads of AQAP leaders in
AQAP was born out of a 2009
merger of its franchises in
Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The group has exploited
instability in the impoverished
country since a 2011 uprising
overthrew president Ali
Abdullah Saleh.
Yemen has joined forces with
the United States to target the
militant network, and the group
has come under repeated
deadly strikes by drones.
On Wednesday, AQAP
announced the death of two
top commanders, Shawki alBaadani and Nabil al-Dahab, in
drone raids on Monday.
Tribal sources had said at least
20 militants were killed in those
The United States is the only
country operating drones over
Yemen, but US officials rarely
confirm individual strikes.
og lovers in Iran could
face up to 74 lashes under
plans by lawmakers that
would ban keeping the pets at
home or walking them in public.
A draft bill, signed by 32 members of the parliament, would
also authorise heavy п¬Ѓnes for
offenders, the reformist Shargh
newspaper reported.
Dogs are not common in Iran,
although some families do keep
them behind closed doors and,
especially in more affluent areas,
walk them outside.
Iran’s morality police, who deploy in public places, have previously stopped dog walkers and
either cautioned them or confiscated the animals.
But if the new bill is passed
by parliament then those guilty
of dog-related offences could
face lashes or п¬Ѓnes ranging from
10mn rials to 100mn rials ($370
to $3,700 at official rates).
Patting dogs or coming into
contact with their saliva is seen
as “najis”—direct contact and
behaviour that leaves the body
unclean—in the Islamic Republic.
“Anyone who walks or plays
with animals such as dogs or
monkeys in public places will
damage Islamic culture, as well
as the hygiene and peace of others, especially women and children,” the draft law states.
Confiscated animals would be
sent to zoos, forests or the wilderness, it said.
The law, however, would exempt police, farmers and hunters from the penalties, which are
mostly aimed at dog owners living in apartment buildings in big
cities such as Tehran, according
to the Shargh report on Thursday.
Senior officials have warned
against dog ownership, including Iran’s police chief General
Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam
who two years ago said his officers would “deal with those who
carry dogs in public”.
Thousands mourn
Saudi attack victims
Mourners attend yesterday the funeral of eight people killed by masked gunmen in the town of Al Dalwa in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.
housands of mourners joined yesterday the
funeral of eight people
killed during an unprecedented
rampage against minority Shias
in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.
Seven of the dead were killed
when masked gunmen opened
п¬Ѓre on Monday night at a crowd
in Al Dalwa town, as Shias commemorated Ashura.
An eighth from a neighbouring
village was killed by the assailants as they robbed his car to use
in the attack, residents and local
press said.
Mourners poured into Al
Dalwa from across the kingdom,
a witness told AFP, saying that
some also came from neighbouring Bahrain.
“Sunnis and Shias, we are
brothers! We shall not abandon
our homeland,” chanted mourn-
ers, according to footage aired
online, amid calls to reject sectarianism.
Senior officials in the kingdom have denounced the “terrorist” attack, which also led to
the deaths of two policemen in a
shootout with alleged suspects.
Posters of the deceased Sunni
policemen were carried in the
Interior Minister Prince Mohamed bin Nayef on Wednesday evening visited families of
the murdered civilians, as well
as the wounded in hospital,
the official Saudi Press Agency
The kingdom’s Grand Mufti,
Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh,
said such crimes “are against
the teachings of Islam and create chaos among the ummah”,
or community of believers, SPA
Since 2011 protests and sporadic attacks on security forces
have occurred in Shia areas of
Eastern Province.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Two dead as Mursi supporters clash with police
wo people were killed yesterday when supporters of
Egypt’s ousted president
Mohamed Mursi clashed with
police and residents outside
Cairo, security officials said.
In the province of Fayoum,
south of the capital, violence
erupted after Mursi supporters
staged a protest following Friday
prayers, leading to the death of a
19-year-old student.
Security officials said police
used teargas after protesters
п¬Ѓred birdshot at them.
The exact cause of the student’s death was not immediately clear, said health ministry
official Medhat Shukri. He added that three policemen were
also wounded in the clashes.
Another person was killed
when pro-Mursi protesters
clashed in the Ain Shams district northeast of Cairo with
residents opposed to the Islamist president, who was toppled
by the army last year.
Two other people were
wounded in the clashes which
erupted after the protesters п¬Ѓred
birdshot and live rounds at Ain
Shams residents, a Cairo police
official said.
Security officials said that 13
people who took part in protests
yesterday in support of Mursi
were arrested, including п¬Ѓve in
Fayoum who were found in possession of petrol bombs.
Supporters of Mursi still attempt to stage protests demanding his reinstatement, but their
rallies have dwindled amid a
deadly government crackdown
since the army ousted the Islamist last year.
At least 1,400 people have
been killed in the crackdown,
while more than 15,000 have
been jailed and hundreds sentenced to death.
The authorities have tightened security around universities after more than a dozen
students were killed in violence
sparked by pro-Mursi protests
during the last academic year.
In other violence yesterday, a
soldier and a civilian were killed
and one person was wounded
when gunmen opened п¬Ѓre on an
army checkpoint near the Suez
Canal city of Ismailia, security
sources said.
The Brotherhood maintains it
is a peaceful movement and denies involvement in anti-state
violence that the government
says has killed more than 500
people, mostly police and soldiers, since Mursi’s ouster.
Attacks are often claimed by
Islamist militants based mainly
in the Sinai Peninsula, where
the Egyptian army began clearing residents last week to create
a buffer zone along the border
with the Gaza Strip following attacks that killed 33 soldiers.
Iraq army
helped IS:
top cleric
A picture taken yesterday from the Turkish southeastern border city of Mursitpinar shows peshmerga fighters running in front of destroyed buildings in the Syrian city of Kobane.
Peshmerga blunt, don’t
break, siege of Kobane
Some villages have been
taken back but the frontlines
in the town itself are little
Mursitpinar, , Turkey/Beirut
raqi Kurdish forces have
blunted but not broken the
siege of the Syrian border
town of Kobane, a week after arriving to great fanfare with heavy
weapons and п¬Ѓghters in a bid to
save it from Islamic State.
Kobane has become a test of
the US-led coalition’s ability to
halt the advance of the insurgents. The town is one of the
few areas in Syria where it can
co-ordinate air strikes with operations by an effective ground
The arrival of the Iraqi Kurd
peshmerga, or “those who face
death”, with armoured vehicles
and artillery, has enabled them
to shell Islamic State positions
around Kobane and take back
some villages.
But the frontlines in the town
itself are little changed, its eastern part still controlled by the
insurgents, and the west still
largely held by the main Syrian
Kurdish armed group, the YPG,
and allied п¬Ѓghters.
“There is no change at all in
Kobane as a result of the peshmerga. Maybe one or two streets
are gained then lost, back and
forth,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights,
which monitors the war.
“ISIS (Islamic State) posts
are well entrenched in Kobane
city, and the Kurds say they need
more heavy weaponry to make
a dent ... There also needs to be
better co-ordination between
the Kurdish units and coalition
air forces,” he said, adding that
Islamic State suicide attacks
were also proving effective.
Kobane in more than a dozen
trucks and jeeps last Friday from
Turkey, cheering and making
victory signs.
They were given a heroes’
welcome by Turkish Kurds and
Syrian Kurdish refugees, angry
at Turkey’s refusal to send in its
own troops and optimistic, as
they lined the streets cloaked in
Kurdish flags, that the peshmerga would turn the tide.
The Kurdistan Regional Government, which runs a semiautonomous region in northern
Iraq, has made clear from the
outset that its peshmerga п¬Ѓghters, numbering around 150,
would not engage in direct combat in Kobane but rather provide artillery support to Syrian
“Of course the presence of the
peshmerga has been helpful because they’re shelling ISIS positions, destroying their fighters
and weapons,” Idris Nassan, a
local official in Kobane, said by
“Because of the peshmerga
shelling we’ve stopped ISIS advances in the western rural areas
as well as the east and southeastern frontline of the city,” he
There was intense п¬Ѓghting in
the days after their arrival, with
heavy shelling and almost continuous gunfire as peshmerga
forces and fighters from Syria’s
moderate rebel ranks helped the
YPG push the Islamists out of
some surrounding villages.
Yesterday, a coalition jet
bombed a site southwest of the
town. No gunfire or shelling
could be heard across the border.
Nassan said that “constant
shelling” by peshmerga forces
had taken away some of Islamic
State’s ability to attack and that
there had been good co-ordination between the Kurdish units
and the Free Syrian Army, the
moderate rebel п¬Ѓghters.
A Reuters correspondent on
the border said the intensity of
the shelling had died down since
then, and there had been no obvious change in the frontlines in
the town itself.
“ISIS brings new fighters and
supplies all the time, so we need
new fighters and supplies too,”
Nassan said, adding Islamic
State п¬Ѓghters had seized nine
tanks in an attack on the Sha’ar
gas п¬Ѓeld in central Syria which
they were bringing to Kobane.
The Sha’ar gas field, to the east
of the city of Homs, has changed
hands four times since July when
Islamic State п¬Ѓghters п¬Ѓrst seized
it. The Observatory said Syrian
government forces retook it on
Hevi Mustefa, the Kurdish
leader of the Syrian province of
Afrin, said Islamic п¬Ѓghters were
massing for an attack there,
200km to the west of Kobane.
Afrin, which declared autonomy like Kobane and a third
Jazeera, now risks becoming
“another Kobane”, Mustefa said
during a visit to Ankara.
raq’s most influential Shia
cleric said yesterday corruption in the armed forces had
enabled Islamic State to seize
much of northern Iraq, criticism
that will add to pressure for reforms in the face of an insurgency.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
has become increasingly critical
of Iraqi leaders following Islamic
State’s lightning advance created
Iraq’s worst crisis since a US-led
invasion toppled Saddam Hussain in 2003.
Iraq’s army, recipient of $25bn
in US training and funding, collapsed in the face of the onslaught. Further Islamic State
gains and the beheading of
Western hostages triggered USled air strikes.
Speaking on live television
through an aide in the holy southern city of Karbala, Sistani asked
rhetorically what would happen if
the military were corrupt.
“We think that the security
deterioration that happened
some months ago can answer
that,” Sistani said. “Objectivity demands that the different
military positions should be occupied by those who are professional, patriotic, faithful, courageous and not affected in doing
their duties by personal and financial influences.”
Sistani, whose word is law for
millions of followers, went on to
say that “even the smallest corruption is big”.
The 84-year-old cleric is a reclusive п¬Ѓgure and always delivers
his public messages via a proxy.
In the past few months, he
has openly criticised Iraqi leaders and politicians, saying their
bickering and sectarian differences were undermining Iraq.
The comments about the
army mark a deeper level of concern over the stability of Iraq.
US air strikes have prevented
Islamic State making further
Police general
killed as Iraq
forces advance
Militants shut down
eastern Syria schools
slamic State has shut all
schools in areas it controls
in eastern Syria pending a
religious revision of the curriculum, residents and a monitoring
group said yesterday.
Islamic State is tightening its
rules on civilian life in Deir alZor province, which fell under
near-complete control of the Islamist militant group this summer. The government still controls a military air base and other
small pockets.
The announcement came on
Wednesday, after Islamic State
held a meeting with school administrators at a local mosque on
the outskirts of Deir al-Zor city,
according to the British-based
Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, which monitors all sides
of the conflict.
“Islamic State informed them
that teachers shall undergo a
religious instructional course
for one month, and that Islamic
State officials were currently
developing a new curriculum
instead of the current �infidel’
education,” the Observatory
statement said.
At the start of the academic
year in September, Islamic State
revised the school curriculum
in areas it controls, eliminating physics and chemistry while
promoting Islamic teachings.
Their latest move aims to further reduce the school day into
several hours of religious learning at the expense of academic
subjects, according to local activists.
“They’ve announced that they
will only teach religion and a little bit of mathematics. Their rationale is that all knowledge belongs to the creator, so even the
multiplication table shouldn’t
be taught,” said an activist called
Abu Hussein al-Deiri.
Some locals protested the
school shutdown, according to
footage posted online by activists. It showed two dozen girls
and boys appearing to be under
12 years of age marching with a
few female teachers clad in black
veils as required by Islamic State
since the beginning of the academic year.
The children chanted: “We
want school”.
large-scale advances since August, when the Al Qaeda offshoot beat back Kurdish peshmerga forces in the north and
triggered a massive exodus of
minority communities.
Lacking a strong army, Iraq’s
government turned to Iranianbacked Shia militias. But their
alleged violations of human
rights have exacerbated sectarian tensions, with the Sunni minority complaining of kidnappings, torture and executions.
Militia leaders deny those accusations. Britain has said it will
send more army trainers to Iraq
in coming weeks to support the
Iraqi armed forces’ battle against
Islamic State.
But even if more Western
countries step up support for
Iraq’s military, the overriding
question will be whether the
Shia-led government can revive
an alliance with Sunni tribesmen
who helped defeat Al Qaeda during the US occupation.
Leaders of the Albu Nimr tribe
in Anbar province, which has
seen hundreds of its members
massacred over the past two
weeks, say the Baghdad government and military ignored repeated pleas for help as Islamic
State closed in on them.
Islamic State has pressed its
advances in Anbar, coming ever
closer to Baghdad. It is now encircling the province’s largest air
base, Ain al-Asad, and the vital
Haditha dam on the Euphrates.
Some tribal leaders acknowledge that the government may be
reluctant to support Sunni п¬Ѓghters because weapons ended up in
the hands of Islamic State before
due to corruption. Nevertheless
Sunni tribes are demanding help.
“If the central government
will not be able to give us military support soon, we will resort
to other options, including requesting ground troops from the
international coalition,” Sabah
Karhoot, chief of the Anbar Provincial Council, told a news conference in Baghdad.
Members of the Iraqi security forces and Shia fighters take part in a security deployment on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province,
north of Baghdad, on Thursday.
A suicide bomber killed a
senior Iraqi police officer in Baiji
yesterday as security forces
regained ground from militants
in the strategic northern town,
officials said.
The bomber detonated an
explosives-rigged tanker truck
at a checkpoint in the Al Sinai
area which officers had said
was retaken more than a week
before, killing Major General
Faisal Ahmed and three other
policeman, and wounding six.
Three other suicide bombers
driving military trucks failed to
find targets in the same area.
The bombing came after a
senior officer told AFP that
government forces now hold
“more than 70%” of the town—
including neighbourhoods in
the south, east and north—and
were battling to capture the
An army brigadier general also
said that “major progress” has
been made in Baiji, and that
the Iraqi flag has been raised
over important buildings
including the police headquarters.
Iraqi forces entered the town,
which had been under the control of IS for months, on October
31 after fighting their way up
from the south.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Clashes rock
E Jerusalem
refugee camp
for third day
Masked Palestinian youths prepare to throw stones during clashes with Israeli security forces in the refugee camp of Shuafat in East Jerusalem
The European Union’s new
foreign affairs chief says
there is a real “urgency”
to pick up and advance the
moribund peace process
tone-throwing Palestinians battled Israeli police
in a refugee camp in East
Jerusalem yesterday as the top
EU diplomat warned of a new
wave of violence if peace efforts
remain deadlocked.
Clashes shook the Shuafat
camp for a third straight day with
security forces п¬Ѓring teargas at
crowds of youths who set light to
tyres and rubbish bins.
The camp descended into chaos on Wednesday after one of its
residents deliberately ran down
two groups of pedestrians in Jerusalem, killing a border policeman
and injuring another nine people
before being shot dead.
Yesterday, a young Israeli also
died of injuries sustained in the
attack—the second of its kind in a
Police barred men of 35 and under from attending Friday prayers
at the Al Aqsa mosque compound
in the Old City, for fear of a repeti-
tion of heavy clashes there earlier
this week that prompted Jordan to
recall its ambassador.
Police said that in the event the
Old City was calm and 15,000 worshippers prayed at Al Aqsa without
incident, with more than 1,300 police deployed to maintain order.
Annexed East Jerusalem has
been engulfed by violence over
the past four months, with clashes
occurring on an almost daily basis
in several flashpoint Palestinian
Community officials say the
wave of unrest is fuelled by a sense
of hopelessness resulting from
Israel’s policies in East Jerusalem,
which have left many youths with
a sense they have nothing to lose.
The anger has been further
fuelled by Israel’s ongoing settlement activities in the eastern sector of the city as well as efforts by
far-right Jewish fringe groups to
secure prayer rights at the Al Aqsa
compound, which is holy to Jews
as well as Muslims.
Speaking on her п¬Ѓrst official
visit to Jerusalem, the European
Union’s new foreign affairs chief
Federica Mogherini said there
was a real “urgency” to pick up
and advance the moribund peace
“The risk is that if we do not
move forward on the political
track, we will go back... again to
violence,” she told reporters.
“That’s why I see the urgency in
moving forward.”
But she also flagged up Israel’s
settlement building on lands the
Palestinians want for a future
state as an “obstacle” to a negotiated peace.
Shortly afterwards, Mogherini
met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who gave a terse
statement dismissing all criticism
of his settlement policy.
“I reject the fictitious claim that
the root of the continuous conflict
is this or that settlement,” he said.
“Jerusalem is our capital and as
such is not a settlement.”
Netanyahu ordered the security
forces to either seal up or demolish the homes of any Palestinian
involved in anti-Israeli attacks, an
official said yesterday.
He said the decision was “approved” at a security meeting late
on Thursday as part of a package of
measures to restore calm in the city.
Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli
lawyer who tracks developments
in East Jerusalem, said the last
time such a punitive demolition
was carried out was in April 2009
when the security forces razed the
home of an East Jerusalem Palestinian who had killed three Israelis
a year earlier.
Gaza bombings spark new
row between Fatah, Hamas
Gaza City
series of bombs in Gaza
yesterday targeting the
Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
triggered a bitter new spat with rivals Hamas in a blow to reconciliation efforts.
At least 10 blasts hit the homes
and cars of several Fatah officials,
triggering a furious response from
the party which placed the blame
squarely on Hamas, the de facto
rulers in Gaza.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the early
morning bombs.
Palestinian Prime Minister
Rami Hamdallah, who had been
due to visit Gaza today with new
EU foreign affairs chief Federica
Women shout slogans during the demonstration in Amman yesterday.
Protesters in Jordan call
for scrapping peace deal
everal thousand protesters
took to the streets of Jordanian cities yesterday, calling on
the government to scrap its peace
deal with Israel following escalating violence at the Al Aqsa mosque
in Jerusalem.
“Death to Israel,” crowds chanted
in several cities, with activists demanding that Israel’s embassy in
Amman be closed.
“Why are you keeping the embassy of the Jews? It should be demolished with everyone in it,” Sheikh
Hamam, head of the opposition
Muslim Brotherhood party, said in
central Amman.
“Recalling the ambassador is a futile measure. It does not change anything. We demand on behalf of the
people the scrapping of the shameful
treaty,” he told the crowd.
“Our fight is over Al Aqsa, it is not
in Iraq or in Syria,” he said, referring
to Jordan’s participation in a USled coalition conducting air strikes
against militants in those countries.
Jordan recalled its ambassador
from Israel on Wednesday—the first
time it has taken such action since
the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1994, denouncing
what they called “violations” at the
Al Aqsa mosque.
Tensions over the compound have
fuelled repeated clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in recent
weeks, culminating in a one-day closure of the mosque last month.
Violence flared again in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank
Jordan blames Israel for the crisis,
saying the rapid expansion of Jewish
settlements on occupied Palestinian
land coupled with vocal demands by
Jewish nationalists for greater access to the Jerusalem holy site have
inflamed passions.
“Al Aqsa needs liberation and all
of the people of Jordan are ready
to wage jihad to liberate our sacred
sites,” demonstrators chanted in
Others sang a song that calls on Palestinians to “run down settlers in the
streets, chase them everywhere and
assault them with sticks and stones”.
Hamam told supporters that
Netanyahu was “a criminal” who
“needs to understand that we are all
ready to die for Al Aqsa”.
The crowd echoed him, chanting
back: “We are coming to Jerusalem,
martyrs by the millions” and “Israel
must be wiped out.”
Banners were held up calling for
“the liberation of Al Aqsa”. Other
placards said the shrine was “a red
Jordanian officials fear wider unrest in the West Bank could spill over
into their own country, where a majority of the population are descendants of Palestinians who fled across
the river Jordan following the creation of Israel in 1948.
Some clashes broke out yesterday when dozens of youths from the
sprawling Baqaa Palestinian refugee
camp on the outskirts of Amman
tried to reach a main highway, with
security forces pushing them back,
witnesses said.
Jordan, which is a staunch US ally,
has suggested the crisis over Jerusalem could imperil the 1994 peace
treaty—a prospect that Amman
never raised during much bloodier
Israeli-Palestinian flare-ups, such
as the July-August Gaza war.
Israel has given repeated assurances it understands Jordan’s concerns and does not seek to alter
the status quo in the Muslim holy
sites of Jerusalem. King Abdullah’s
Hashemite monarchy has been custodian of the sites since 1924.
Mogherini, promptly cancelled
his trip.
One of the explosions targeted a
stage in western Gaza City set up
for a ceremony marking the 10th
anniversary on Tuesday of the
death of veteran Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat, who founded Fatah.
This year is the п¬Ѓrst time in
years a public commemoration of
Arafat’s death is to be held in Gaza,
which has been ruled by Hamas since 2007 when the movement ousted forces loyal to Fatah,
sparking a bitter and sometimes
bloody feud.
For seven years, Gaza and the
West Bank were ruled by separate
administrations until the two factions inked a deal in April which
led to the formation of a national
unity government that took office
in June.
Based in the West Bank city of
Ramallah, the unity government—
which is formed of technocrats—
has yet to fully take up its functions in Gaza where Hamas has
remained the de facto authority.
“Fatah condemns and deplores the explosions targeting the
homes and property of its leaders
and the stage,” said a statement
from the party.
“Bombing the stage is evidence
that those behind the attacks
are looking to derail the national
unity agreement and the festival,”
it said, demanding that the unity
government investigate who was
behind the attacks.
Hamas also condemned the violence, describing it as a “heinous
crime aimed at damaging (Gaza’s)
internal stability”.
“Hamas strongly condemns
this criminal incident in which
some Fatah houses were targeted.
We call on the security forces to
investigate and to bring the involved to justice,” spokesman
Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
Several top Fatah officials
lashed out, placing full responsibility for the attacks on Hamas.
“The Fatah central committee condemns the crimes which
took place this morning against
its leaders and lays the responsibility for these crimes upon Hamas,” senior Fatah official Nasser
al-Qidwa told reporters in Ramallah.
Azzam al-Ahmed, a top Fatah
official who is responsible for all
issues affecting the reconciliation efforts, said the fact that
the Islamist movement had condemned the attacks “does not
absolve Hamas from bearing full
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Tanzania rejects report that ivory was smuggled during Xi’s visit
Dar es Salaam
anzania has denied allegations by a campaign group
that Chinese officials
smuggled out large amounts of
illegal ivory during a state visit by
President Xi Jinping last year.
Foreign Minister Bernard
Membe rejected as “lies” a report
by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which said
members of Xi’s large delegation
of businessmen and officials had
sent the ivory home in diplomatic
bags on the presidential plane.
China has called the allega-
tions “baseless”.
“Claims that the Tanzanian
government neither cares nor
takes any action against ivory
smugglers are false,” Membe told
parliament. “The EIA report is
fabricated... to tarnish the image
of our country and our friend, the
Chinese nation.”
Poaching has risen in recent
years across sub-Saharan Africa, where well-armed criminal
gangs have killed elephants for
tusks and rhinos for horns that
are often shipped to Asia for use
in ornaments and medicines.
The situation has been most
dramatic in Tanzania, where the
EIA said elephants “are again be-
ing slaughtered en masse to feed
a resurgent ivory trade”, with
10,000 killed last year alone.
International trade in ivory has
been banned since 1989.
Membe acknowledged that
Tanzania was among the world’s
major sources of smuggled ivory,
but denied that the Tanzanian
and Chinese governments were
involved in the illegal trade.
He questioned the timing of
the allegations, a week after Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
made a reciprocal state visit to
“Those who are spreading this
cooked up report are jealous of
China’s success. They want to be
the only ones doing trade with
China, getting loans from China
and attracting investors from
China,” said Membe. “Tanzania
is a sovereign country, we will not
be forced to choose our friends.”
Tanzania and China signed investment deals worth more than
$1.7bn during Kikwete’s visit to
Beijing last month.
The president said this week
that China was his country’s “all
weather friend”.
In recent years, Chinese companies have signed deals to build
a $1.2bn gas pipeline and a $3bn
coal and iron ore mine project in
Opposition leaders in the east
African country called for an investigation into the allegations to
be conducted by an international
“If the reports are established
to be false, action should be taken
against those who made the allegations. But if the allegations
are proven true, stern diplomatic
measures should be taken against
our Chinese friends,” said opposition politician Zitto Kabwe.
The EIA report said that the
ivory buying spree sent prices
When Xi visited in March last
year, members of his government
and business delegation bought
so much ivory that local prices
doubled to $700 per kilogramme,
the UK-based EIA said in a report, citing ivory traders in the
city of Dar es Salaam.
“When the guest come, the
whole delegation, that’s then
time when the business goes up,”
the EIA quoted a vendor named
Suleiman as saying.
The traders alleged that the
buyers took advantage of a lack
of security checks for diplomatic visitors to smuggle their
purchases back to China on Xi’s
Similar sales were made on a
previous trip by China’s former
president Hu Jintao, the report
said, adding that Chinese embas-
sy staff have been “major buyers”,
since at least 2006.
A Chinese navy visit to Tanzania last year by vessels returning
from anti-piracy patrols in the
Gulf of Aden “prompted a surge
in business for Dar es Salaambased ivory traders”, it said.
A Chinese national named Yu
Bo was arrested during the naval
visit as he attempted to enter the
city’s port in a lorry containing 81
elephant tusks which he planned
to deliver to two mid-ranking
Chinese naval officers, the EIA
Yu was convicted by a local
court in March and sentenced to
20 years in jail, it added.
Ebola death toll nears 5,000
he death toll from the Ebola epidemic has risen to
4,950 out of 13,241 cases
in the three worst-hit countries
of West Africa, the World Health
Organisation (WHO) said yesterday, calling for widespread rigorous control measures to halt the
“Case incidence is declining in
some districts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, while steep
rises persist in other districts,”
the United Nations agency said in
a statement.
The latest п¬Ѓgures to November
4 reflect 132 new deaths since the
last update issued on Wednesday,
which was as of November 2.
A slowdown in Liberia’s Ebola
outbreak and the continued rampant rate of infection in Sierra
Leone may reflect contrasting
ways the two countries are dealing with burials, WHO experts
said earlier (see accompanying
Shoring up defences in states
neighbouring the three countries
remains critical, the WHO said.
Nigeria and Senegal have
stamped out outbreaks, while
Mali has recorded one case.
“The best protective measures
for non-affected countries are
adequate levels of preparedness
including heightened surveillance to detect and diagnose cases early and well-prepared staff
and operational planning to ensure that suspect cases of Ebola
are managed safely and in ways
to minimise further spread,” the
Travel and Transport Task Force
on Ebola Virus Disease said in a
separate statement issued yesterday.
Members include the WHO,
the International Civil Aviation
Organisation, the World Tourism
Organisation, the International
Air Transport Association, and
International Maritime Organisation.
The group said that measures
such as quarantine of travellers
arriving from Ebola-affected
countries could create a false impression of control. It could also
reduce the number of healthcare
workers volunteering to help
п¬Ѓght the outbreak.
“Such measures may also adversely reduce essential trade
including supplies of food, fuel
and medical equipment to the affected countries,” it added.
The task force voiced concern
at reports that medical care had
been denied to sick seafarers on
board ships that had previously
called at ports in the Ebola-affected region.
West African leaders have
meanwhile appointed Togolese
President Faure Gnassingbe to
supervise the region’s efforts to
contain the deadly Ebola epidemic.
The leaders who gathered on
Thursday in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, called for accelerated
People walk past a billboard with a message about Ebola in Freetown.
efforts to make vaccines available
against the disease.
Organisations should prioritise the provision of vaccines at
subsidised prices to the affected
countries, as well as others, they
said in a communique after reviewing the impact of the disease
in the region.
The Accra meeting is the third
called by the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) this year to discuss
how to tackle Ebola.
The meeting also saw additional pledges of п¬Ѓnancial assist-
ance from member countries and
partners in support of measures
to п¬Ѓght the disease.
Ghana’s President John Mahama, who currently chairs the
regional grouping, said that
although some countries had
made progress in stabilising the
epidemic, a lot more needed to be
done to eradicate it.
“Ebola is still a serious matter and we still have a lot of urgent work to do to defeat the
virus and also seize the moment
to strengthen our public health
systems for the future,” Mahama
said in closing remarks at the
meeting, attended by a dozen regional leaders and international
aid agencies.
He said members were committed to going the full length to
defeat the disease.
“I wish to acknowledge that
our political will is high and our
commitment is strong in this
battle against Ebola,” he added.
The ECOWAS also called for
international help to go beyond
immediate medical care for Ebola-hit nations.
The grouping warned that
lives had been blighted by the
epidemic, and that among issues
that needed to be addressed were
the needs of children orphaned
by the disease and the economic
impact of the crisis.
Regional and international responses to Ebola should “extend
beyond the obvious and tangible
needs”, said ECOWAS chairman
More than 2,000 orphans had
been registered in Liberia alone,
according to a statement released
after the meeting of ECOWAS
heads of state and government on
At the same time, about half of
those who recovered from Ebola
were unable to return home or to
“With such large numbers of
the labour force unable to work
as a result of infection or quarantine measures, the economies of
Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone
have all but crumbled,” said Mahama.
As a result, aid to the three
countries worst hit by the outbreak should include a plan for
their “future sustainability”, he
“We cannot and must not leave
them as the disease found them.
To do so would make all our efforts and all our assistance virtually meaningless,” he said.
A number of foreign governments, notably the United States
and Britain, have set up medical facilities in Liberia and Sierra
Leone but there have been re-
quests for more to be done.
The World Bank has mustered
some $500mn to help battle the
disease as well as strengthen social services in Liberia, Guinea
and Sierra Leone.
The European Union announced it was committing
€280mn immediately and an additional €1bn for the control of
the epidemic in the region.
And Japan will provide up to
$100mn in fresh aid to Ebola-hit
West Africa, the government said
yesterday, after the United States
called for further global efforts to
combat the deadly virus.
Yoshihide Suga said the aid would
come on top of $40mn assistance
announced by Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe in September.
“We will go ahead with our assistance in an appropriate manner for the purpose of helping
treat Ebola patients and preventing infections from spreading
further,” Suga told a news conference.
Suga said Abe was expected to
give further details on the latest
package during upcoming international gatherings, which kick
off with an APEC summit in Beijing next week.
The announcement came after a White House official said
US President Barack Obama was
seeking more than $6bn in emergency funding to п¬Ѓght the Ebola
epidemic in West Africa and
respond to cases in the United
Fewer infections attributed to safe burial rites
Saaristo: (the safe burial teams)
are doing a really hard job and
they are often stigmatised and
even ostracised from their own
ar fewer people are being
infected with the deadly
Ebola virus through unsafe
burials thanks to vigorous efforts
to make them safer, the World
Health Organisation (WHO) said
While nearly 60% of all Ebola
infections in August happened in
connection with handling highly
contagious dead bodies and customs and practices linked to burials, that number has now fallen
to around 20% in some places,
said Pierre Formenty, a top WHO
Ebola expert.
“The tendency is really that in
many places we have decreased
the transmission through funer-
als,” Formenty told reporters in
The drop, he explained, is
linked to strict procedures put
in place to ensure not only safe
but also dignified burials in the
three west African countries at
the heart of the outbreak that has
claimed nearly 5,000 lives.
The WHO has set a target of
ensuring that 70% of Ebola burials in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone are safe by December 1.
While the numbers vary between districts in the different
countries – ranging from around
50% in western Sierra Leone to
as high as 80% in the east of the
country – Formenty said the target “will probably be reached”.
The UN health agency and the
International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies
(IFRC) presented a new manual
yesterday on how to ensure not
only safe and dignified burials in
the areas hit by the outbreak.
The manual, based on dialogues with a range of Christian
and Muslim organisations, emphasises the importance of protective gear but also of including
family members in burial rituals
by for instance allowing them to
dig the grave or view and pray
over the body.
West African burial customs and traditions like washing and touching the deceased
and spending several days sitting watching over the body have
been blamed for a majority of
Ebola infections.
Ebola is at its most contagious
stage in a person dying or who
has just died of the virus, so safe-
ty procedures must be stringent,
Formenty said.
He stressed though that it was
equally important to try to accommodate the traditions of the
families and communities as far
as possible and to explain the
procedures to them.
Otherwise they would reject
assistance in the burials and
transmission, which appears
to be flattening in many places,
would pick up again.
“It’s not because this is Ebola
that these people do not have the
right to be buried in a dignified
way,” he said.
Panu Saaristo, head of Emergency Health at the IFRC agreed,
stressing that providing respectful and dignified burials was
“important for the entire social
cohesion in the communities”.
The WHO has said that around
500 safe burial teams, each made
up of six people, including body
handlers, disinfectant sprayers
and a community communicator, are needed in the three mostaffected countries.
Local Red Cross volunteers
constitute the vast majority of
safe burial teams in the hard-hit
countries, and the organisation is
rapidly ramping up the numbers
of teams.
Saaristo stressed the need to
ensure the teams have enough
protective equipment, but also
to provide them with moral support.
“They are doing a really hard
job and they are often stigmatised and even ostracised from
their own communities,” he
pointed out.
Formenty: that it is equally
important to try to
accommodate the traditions of
the families and communities
as far as possible and to explain
the procedures to them.
Burkinabe leader dismisses AU deadline for power handover
Suicide bomber kills seven at Nigeria bank
Damaturu, Nigeria
suicide bomber killed at
least seven people outside a commercial bank
in a northeast Nigerian town
yesterat, the latest suspected
attack by Islamist Boko Haram
insurgents, police and local residents said.
The blast occurred at an
ATM point of a branch of the
First Bank of Nigeria in Azare
in Bauchi state, an area that has
suffered previous attacks by the
Islamist militants who appear to
be ignoring a ceasefire deal announced by the government last
“We can confirm that one of
our branches in Azare was attacked by suspected insurgents,
specifically the ATM point,”
Babatunde Lasaki, First Bank’s
head of media and external re-
lations, told Reuters by phone
from the bank’s headquarters in
Local police said they believed a female suicide bomber
carried out the attack, and four
other suspects were arrested.
Police confirmed seven dead
at the scene, with 10 people
taken to hospital. An employee
of another nearby bank in Azare
said at least 13 people died as a
result of the blast.
Lasaki said none of First
Bank’s staff at the Azare branch,
which is on the main road to
Kano, were among the victims.
Banks have been among the
locations attacked by Boko Haram, which has killed thousands,
mostly in the northeast, in its
campaign to establish an Islamic
enclave in northern Nigeria.
The group, whose name
means “Western education is
sinful” in the local Hausa language and whose targets include
schools, is described by the government as the biggest threat
to security in Nigeria, Africa’s
biggest economy and leading oil
On October 22, a bomb exploded at a bus station in Azare,
killing at least п¬Ѓve people and
wounding 12.
On Monday, a suicide bomber
killed at least 30 people in a procession of Shia Muslims marking the ritual of Ashura at Potiskum in neighbouring Yobe state.
Nigeria’s government announced last month that a
ceasefire had been agreed with
Boko Haram and that talks
were under way in neighbouring Chad for the release of more
than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls
abducted in April by the Islamist rebels.
But although mediator Chad
has said the negotiations are
still on, a series of recent attacks
across Nigeria’s northeast by
suspected Boko Haram п¬Ѓghters
has raised serious doubts about
whether a lasting peace pact can
be achieved.
Prospects for this took another hit at the end of last month
when a man claiming to be Boko
Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
said in a video recording the
kidnapped girls were “married
off ” to his fighters, contradicting Nigerian government statements that they would soon be
Nigeria’s military says it killed
Shekau a year ago, and authorities said in September that they
had killed an impostor posing as
him in videos.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking a second term
in elections in February, has
faced rising criticism at home
and abroad for failing to halt
the Boko Haram insurgency or
obtain the release of the schoolgirls.
The military leader of Burkina Faso, Isaac Zida, has
dismissed a demand by the African Union (AU) that
the country return to civilian rule within two weeks.
“It is really not a worry for us. The African Union
can say three days, it is an engagement only for the
African Union,” Zida said late on Thursday.
“But for us, what is important for Burkina Faso is to
reach a consensus” to create “an organ of transition”
following the resignation of president Blaise
Compaore last week, Zida said.
The presidents of Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana on
Wednesday brokered an agreement that a civilian
would lead a one-year transition in the run up to
elections in November 2015.
Zida is currently holding talks with the opposition
and other groups, which has not excluded a role for
the military during the transition.
The AU has threatened Burkina Faso with sanctions
unless power is handed to a civilian within two
weeks, but Zida said he was not “afraid of sanctions”.
“We are more concerned at the moment about
stability and peace in Burkina Faso,” he added.
The crisis was discussed on Thursday in Accra by
the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS), which decided to create a contact group
for Burkina Faso headed by Senegal, Radio France
Internationale reported.
The ECOWAS called on the international community
not to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso “given the
efforts that are being made on the regional level”.
Pistorius lawyers to oppose appeal of �light’ ruling
Lawyers for South Africa’s disgraced athlete Oscar
Pistorius said yesterday that they will oppose the
state’s bid to appeal his five-year manslaughter
sentence for killing his girlfriend in February 2013.
Brian Webber said they have filed papers at the High
Court in the capital Pretoria stating their “intention
to oppose the leave for appeal”.
He refused to divulge the reasons for the appeal
saying they would be released “in due course”.
On Tuesday, prosecutors lodged court papers
pressing for a murder conviction and a harsher
sentence for the Olympic and Paralympic star,
calling his punishment “shockingly light” and
The defence’s action signals the beginning of a
second round of a legal battle with the state.
The 27-year-old double amputee was two weeks ago
handed the five-year sentence by Judge Thokozile
Masipa, after a sensational trial which lasted over
seven months.
The judge found there was not enough evidence to
convict him of premeditated murder, jailing him for
five years, but the athlete could serve just one-sixth
of that sentence in prison.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Former Navy SEAL
comes forward as
bin Laden shooter
former United States
Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land
teams) who took part in
the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound broke cover on
Thursday, claiming to be the man
who п¬Ѓred the fatal shot which
killed the Al Qaeda leader.
Robert O’Neill, 38, told the
Washington Post that he shot bin
Laden in the forehead at his hideout in the Pakistani garrison city
of Abbottabad three years ago.
Jihadists were reported to have
swiftly issued a death threat
against him following the revelations.
The former commando told
the Post that he decided to come
forward ahead of planned media appearances next week when
his identity was disclosed by
SOFREP, a website operated by
former SEALs.
SOFREP’s revelation was in
protest at O’Neill’s decision to
reveal his role in the mission.
The highly decorated Montana
native told the Post that he was
near the head of the column of US
soldiers that raided bin Laden’s
compound, adding that at least
two other SEALs п¬Ѓred shots.
The newspaper said two SEAL
team members had corroborated
his identity.
SITE, which monitors jihadists
websites and media, said calls
have now been issued for the killing of O’Neill.
In postings on Twitter and the
al-Minbar Jihadi Media forum,
jihadists distributed pictures of
O’Neill and messages in Arabic and English addressing lone
wolves to take revenge for the
former Al Qaeda leader, SITE
“One jihadist wrote in Arabic, for example, �We will send
the picture to the lone wolves
in America, this Robert O’Neill,
who killed Sheikh Usama bin
Laden...’” SITE said.
Another posted in both languages said, “To our loved ones
among the Muslims in the United
States of America, this is your
chance for Paradise, the width
of which is the heavens and the
earth,” SITE added.
O’Neill is set to appear in a
documentary on the Fox network
next week.
At bin Laden’s compound,
O’Neill was located in the number
two position for the attack on the
Al Qaeda leader’s bedroom.
Bin Laden briefly appeared at
the door but the SEAL in front
of O’Neill apparently missed his
“I rolled past him into the
room, just inside the doorway,”
O’Neill said. “There was bin
Laden, standing there. He had his
hands on a woman’s shoulders,
pushing her ahead.”
O’Neill said he could clearly
identify bin Laden through his
night-vision scope, despite the
darkness of the room – and he
The on-etime SEAL said it was
clear that bin Laden was dead as
his skull was split.
O’Neill is the second member of the elite unit involved in
the bin Laden raid to go public,
in a move which has dismayed
military brass and serving SEALS
who maintain a п¬Ѓerce, Omertalike code of silence.
Matt Bissonnette published his
account of the raid, No Easy Day
in 2012 under the pseudonym
Mark Owen.
Bissonnette appeared to take
issue with O’Neill’s version of
events in an interview with NBC
“Two different people telling
two different stories for two different reasons,” Bissonnette said.
“Whatever he says, he says. I
don’t want to touch that.”
This undated photo obtained yesterday, courtesy of the Montana
Standard and photographer Walter Hinick, shows former US Navy
SEAL Robert O’Neill.
The Post said O’Neill had long
agonised over whether to go public but п¬Ѓnally decided to do so
after concerns that others would
leak his identity, which was already known in military circles,
by members of Congress and at
least two news organisations.
He п¬Ѓnally decided to come forward after meeting with relatives
of victims of the September 11,
2011 attacks on the World Trade
Centre in New York.
O’Neill said he decided on the
spot to speak about how bin Laden died.
“The families told me it helped
bring them some closure,”
O’Neill told the Post.
But his decision has been met
with anger from some of his
SEAL colleagues.
In an October 31 letter to the
Naval Special Warfare Command ranks, Force Master Chief
Michael Magaraci and Rear Admiral Brian Losey stressed that a
“critical tenet” of the force was
to “not advertise the nature of
my work nor seek recognition for
my action”.
O’Neill had already served
almost 15 years as a US Navy
SEAL by the time of the raid on
bin Laden’s compound, and was
serving in the elite SEAL Team
Six unit.
In 2009, he served on a mission to rescue a ship captain held
hostage by pirates off the coast of
The story was turned into a
п¬Ѓlm starring Tom Hanks as the
captain, Richard Phillips.
A �mere’ 2mn rats in New York City
There may be 8mn stories in the Big Apple, but one of them – that
New York City is home to 8mn rats, or one for every human resident
– is probably a tall tale, according to research by a Columbia
University statistician.
In truth, the city’s rat population is probably closer to 2mn, said
Jonathan Auerbach, a Columbia doctoral student who wrote an
essay on the subject published in Significance magazine.
The urban lore that there are as many rats as citizens dates back at
least a century, Auerbach says.
It may have endured in part because reliably estimating the city’s
rat population is difficult even though the creatures are hardly
invisible, as most New Yorkers who see them skittering about the
subway tracks or hear them rustling through trash piles will attest.
“Animals are terrible survey respondents,” he wrote in the article,
which was the winning entry in a young statisticians writing
competition organised by London’s Royal Statistical Society.
Auerbach did not let the difficulties deter him, arguing that more
precise estimates would be useful given that the rodents spread
disease, start fires by chewing on electric cables and occasionally
bite people.
His initial plan was to use a method that involves capturing a
random sample of rats, marking them, releasing them, and then
capturing another random sample of rats.
But the city’s health department, which is responsible for dealing
with rats, was not enthralled with the idea, Auerbach wrote.
Instead, he used complaints from the public about rat sightings,
which the city tracks and publishes online.
Combining the data with a number of assumptions, he was able to
extrapolate the number of rat-occupied lots to about 40,500 across
the city, or less than 5% of the total.
If each inhabited lot is home to a typical colony of 50 rats, that
would mean there are about 2mn rats in the city.
Activist held for feeding homeless
A 90-year-old activist arrested for serving meals to the homeless in
Florida vowed on Thursday to continue his charitable work, even if
it means going to jail.
Arnold Abbott was detained on two separate occasions this week
along with two pastors from local churches in Fort Lauderdale for
handing out food to the city’s homeless.
The activists were arrested after violating a city ordinance passed
last month that places new restrictions on distribution of food to
the homeless in public places.
However, Abbott said on Thursday that he would continue his
practice, telling NBC in an interview: “I’m awfully hard to intimidate.”
“I certainly will follow this through until we beat them,” he said. “You
can’t sweep the homeless under the rug.”
Abbott could be jailed for up to two months and fined $500 if he is
found in breach of the law.
Fort Lauderdale police have defended the arrests of Abbott and the
two pastors, saying they are only enforcing the law.
Free trip offer ... if the name is right
Wanted: woman, preferably single, likes travelling ... and must have
the name Elizabeth Gallagher.
A Canadian who recently split with his girlfriend is seeking a fill-in
who shares her name to take a free trip around the world with him.
The unusual offer was made on social networking website Reddit
on Monday, and has since gone viral.
In the post, Jordan Axani, 28, of Toronto says he booked the trip
back in March when he and a woman named Elizabeth Gallagher
were dating.
“While our relationship has come to a close, I am still planning on
going on the trip and she is not (naturally),” he said.
Axani explains that having the name on the tickets changed after
their breakup would be “near impossible”.
And because the trip – with stops in New York, Milan, Prague, Paris,
Bangkok, New Delhi and Toronto – involves several airlines, he says
it is “not worth the headache or money to cancel”.
And so he came up with the scheme to swap in another Canadian
named Elizabeth Gallagher as his travel partner, insisting there are
no strings attached.
The first leg of the trip leaves on December 21 from New York.
Rough plane landing in Edmonton
Four people were sent to hospital after a rough landing at
Edmonton International Airport in Western Canada late on
Thursday, but there were no severe injuries, the operator of the Air
Canada Express flight said yesterday.
The operator, Jazz Aviation, said three of the injured passengers
had been released from hospital but one was still under
Jazz said the accident occurred about 8.30pm local time (0330
GMT yesterday).
The flight, AC8481, was en route to Grande Prairie, in northwest
Alberta, from Calgary, Alberta, and was carrying 71 passengers and
four crew members.
Obama hosts lunch with Congress
epublican victors of Tuesday’s US congressional
elections broke bread with
Democratic President Barack
Obama yesterday.
On the menu besides sea bass:
whether the two sides can put
aside bitter battles over healthcare and immigration and enact
some legislation in the two years
to come.
In a small private dining room,
Obama was sandwiched between
Republican Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Senator Harry
Reid, who will lose his title as
Senate majority leader in the new
Congress after a wave of Republican support swept Democrats
out of power.
Beside Reid: Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, whose
party takes control of the Senate
in January.
“Republicans had a good
night,” Obama acknowledged to
But the president said that he
had promised Boehner and McConnell to be open to good ideas
for legislation, whether from Republicans or Democrats.
“The American people just
want to see work done,” Obama
said before the leaders tucked
into a lunch of herb-crusted sea
bass, a salad of Bibb lettuce and
pumpkin tart.
“They’re frustrated by the
gridlock. They’d like to see more
Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi listen as Obama speaks to the media during the lunch
meeting with congressional leaders at the White House yesterday.
co-operation. I think all of us
have the responsibility ... to try to
make that happen,” said Obama,
whose second and last four-year
term ends in January 2017.
Remarks in the run-up to the
meeting suggested Obama and
the Republicans would keep going at each other no less than
they did before Republicans
seized control of both houses
of Congress in the November 4
Boehner and McConnell have
said Republicans intend to send
Obama legislation repealing all
or parts of the president’s landmark 2010 healthcare law.
Obama has pledged to ignore
Republican warnings and use his
executive powers to ease some
restrictions on undocumented
residents, since House Republicans have steadfastly refused to
advance immigration legislation.
The president said he wanted
to focus on building momentum
in the economy where there is
Amanda Knox: freelance reporter
Los Angeles
nce the subject of a thousand headlines, convicted murderer Amanda
Knox is now writing them, a local
newspaper editor in Washington
state said on Wednesday.
Ken Robinson, managing editor of the West Seattle Herald,
told DPA that Knox was working as a freelance reporter for the
neighbourhood newspaper.
Knox has been writing theatre reviews and human-interest
stories for the paper for a few
months, initially under a pen
name and more recently with her
own byline, local media reported.
“Amanda is a very bright, very
Knox: convicted of murder in
capable, highly qualified writer,”
web editor Patrick Robinson told
the Daily Beast. “It’s really about
giving a young, talented writer an
opportunity at a normal life.”
An Italian court in 2009 convicted Knox and then-boyfriend
Raffaele Sollecito of murdering Knox’s roommate Meredith
Kercher, and she spent four years
in prison in Italy before the conviction was reversed on appeal.
Courts reversed that decision
in January, upholding the conviction.
The case is awaiting further
Recent articles by Knox for
the West Seattle Herald include
a review of the Vietnam war play
Dogfight and a story about a local
cashew-milk company under the
headline “Letting her inner nut
Her bio line reads, “Amanda
Knox is a freelance writer and a
West Seattle resident”.
CDC boosts national stockpile of Ebola protective gear
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) is increasing its national stockpile of protective
gear for US hospitals handling Ebola patients after a
“sudden increase” in demand, the agency said.
The CDC has ordered $2.7mn in personal protective
equipment that is being configured into 50 kits for
rapid deployment to hospitals, it said in a statement.
Some US orders of protective equipment have been
backlogged amid growing domestic demand, as
manufacturers prioritise a flood of requests from aid
agencies trying to curb the outbreak in West Africa.
The CDC tightened its guidelines for people handling
Ebola patients on October 20, requiring a fluidresistant gown, gloves, a hood, shoe coverings and a
face mask.
“We are making certain to not disrupt the orders
submitted by states and hospitals, but we are
building our stocks so that we can assist when
needed,” Greg Burel, director of CDC’s Division of
Strategic National Stockpile, said in the release.
support from both parties.
This could include boosting
manufacturing and exports and
investing in early childhood education.
Republicans want to concentrate on jobs and the economy
too, a House Republican leadership aide said.
“Republican leaders will remind the president that the list of
House-passed jobs bills is a great
place to start for immediate, bipartisan action to help create
more private-sector American
jobs,” the aide said.
The meeting was expected
to focus on some major bills
that must be passed promptly,
once Congress begins its postelection “lame duck” session on
It will be the “old” Congress,
the one that ends its legislative
session in mid-December and
has a Democratic Senate pitted
against a Republican House, that
must produce these bills.
At the top of the list is a $1tn
spending bill to keep the government running beyond December
11, when current funding runs
Obama said he wanted to update leaders on the п¬Ѓght against
Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq
and Syria, and the administration’s work to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Other bills likely to see action
in the month-long session include one to extend some temporary tax provisions, a bill renewing Pentagon programs and
an expiring terrorism risk insurance bill that is important to developers of major construction
projects in big cities.
Congress is expected this year
to debate Obama’s plans for arming and training Syrian rebels.
Authorisation for these activities expires on December 11. It is
expected also to begin debating
whether to formally authorise
military force against the Islamic
State, but a vote might not come
until next year.
Manet painting sells
for $65mn at auction
New York
stunning 1881 masterpiece by Edouard Manet
sold for $65mn at auction in New York on Wednesday, a record for a work by the
French impressionist artist.
Le Printemps, which the
auction house Christie’s had
valued at $25-30mn, depicts a
famous actress of the day and
was exhibited in 1882 to critical acclaim while Manet was
one of the most famous living
The canvas has been owned
by the same family for more
than a century and for the
last 20 years been on loan to
the National Gallery of Art in
It was snapped up by a buyer
in the front row who calmly
fended off furious bidding on
the telephone to clinch the picture for $65.13mn.
The previous auction record
for a work of art by Manet was
$33mn – a self-portrait sold in
2010 at Sotheby’s in London.
This October 31 file photo
shows Edouard Manet’s Le
Printemps displayed during a
media preview at Christie’s in
New York.
But Christie’s failed to sell
its second most expensive lot,
Les constructeurs avec arbre by
French cubist painter Fernand
Leger, which had been valued
at $16-22mn, after paltry bidding interest.
A spokeswoman initially
told AFP that the painting had
fetched $17.53mn but later
apologised for any misunderstanding, saying it had failed
to sell.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Style parade
Transgenders win
landmark court
case in Malaysia
Models present creations by Indonesian designer Shafira Encyclo during the Jakarta Fashion Week 2015 yesterday.
Slain Myanmar journalist’s
supporters seek probe
funeral was held yesterday for a Myanmar journalist, two days after his
body was exhumed from a shallow grave where soldiers buried
him when he died in military
custody a month earlier.
Some 400 family, friends and
supporters of the journalist, Par
Gyi, gathered early in evening
at the Yeway Cemetery, on the
outskirts of Yangon. The crowd
chanted slogans and sang protest songs during the ceremony.
Some of them held signs protesting the death of the journalist, who died under mysterious
circumstances on Oct. 4.
“Does the military have a license to kill?” asked one sign.
“All the people are Par Gyi,””
said another.
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of
the opposition National League
for Democracy, and Nobel laureate, sent flowers to the funeral. Tin Oo, a senior member of
the NLD, attended the funeral
and spoke to Than Dar, the wife
of Par Gyi, calling for justice for
the late journalist.
Nyan Zaw, a member of Myanmar National Human Rights
Commission, which is investigating the death, told Reuters that the examination team
Business class ban
planned for
top executives
An Indonesian ministry is to ban
top executives at state-owned
companies from flying in business class on official trips, news
reports said yesterday.
“I will issue a letter requiring
everybody to fly economy,”
State Enterprise Minister Rini Soemarno was quoted as saying by
the news portal.
“Flying in economy class feels
the same,” she said. “We don’t
want to waste money.”
The ministry’s secretary, Imam
Putro, said he did not mind flying
in economy class even though
he was entitled to business class.
“This policy comes from the highest leadership in this country,”
he was quoted as saying by news portal, referring
to calls by new President Joko
Widodo for government agencies to tighten their belts.
The ministry was drafting the
regulations, he said. Several
ministries have banned officials
from holding meetings in hotels
instead of their own offices.
Supporters and relatives surround the coffin of slain journalist Par Gyi during his funeral ceremony at Yaway
cemetery in Yangon yesterday.
would send an autopsy report
to the Ministry of Health today.
The investigation continued, he
After the body was exhumed
on Wednesday, witnesses began to express concern that Par
Gyi was tortured before he was
Robert San Aung, a lawyer for
the family who was allowed to
examine the body, said it bore
several bullet wounds.
“I saw gun shot wounds to the
chest, jaw and head,” he said. “I
saw bruise marks on both legs
that looked like something had
rolled over his legs and thighs.
This was not a normal death.
This was murder.”
Par Gyi was arrested on Sept
30 after completing a photo assignment on clashes between
the military and the rebel Democratic Karen Benevolent Army
(DKBA) in the east, the Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
(AAPP) has said.
The AAPP has disputed statement by the military that said
Par Gyi was shot when he tried
to steal a gun from a soldier and
escape after being detained because he was an information
officer for an obscure insurgent
group called the Klohtoobaw
Karen Organisation.
Than Dar, a prominent women’s activist, has denied her
husband was a part of any military organisation. She says she
suspects he died while being
tortured, leading the military to
bury his body in secret. She also
says the DKBA has denied Par
Gyi was connected to any rebel
military organization.
Than Dar searched for her
missing husband for several
weeks after he disappeared
in late September and made
enquiries with the Myanmar
Army, which failed to give a
response. The Army didn’t announce his death until 19 days
after he died.
The incident comes as Myanmar’s government is preparing to host US President Barack
Obama at a summit next week.
The US State Department has
called for a transparent investigation into Par Gyi’s death.
Two independent reports regarding alleged military abuses
also came out this week, putting
more pressure on the Myanmar
An investigation by the Harvard Law School released a
report yesterday saying that
troops commanded by Myanmar’s interior minister and
two other senior officials tortured and killed civilians over
six years ago while п¬Ѓghting an
ethnic rebellion. The report did
not accuse the officers of ordering troops to commit abuses,
but said they took place because
of long-standing policies that
sanctioned “the direct targeting
of civilians and were designed
to effect large-scale displacement.”
On Thursday, Fortify Rights,
an organisation that documents human rights violations
in Southeast Asia, said the Myanmar army has targeted, attacked, and killed civilians in
Kachin State and northern Shan
hree Malaysian transgender women yesterday
won their landmark bid
to overturn a anti cross-dressing
law in the conservative Muslimmajority nation.
A three-judge appeals court
panel ruled that a state provision barring Muslim men from
dressing as women was unconstitutional, saying it “deprives
the appellants of the right to live
with dignity”.
“It has the effect of denying
the appellants and other sufferers of GID (gender identify
disorder) to move freely in public places... This is degrading,
oppressive and inhuman,” judge
Hishamudin Yunus said.
The verdict overturns a 2012
lower court ruling, which had
dismissed the challenge by the
three appellants over their arrest
four years ago under the law in
southern Negri Sembilan state.
Malaysia has a double track
court system with state Islamic
laws governing civil matters for
Muslims, who account for 60%
of the country’s 30mn people.
Some Malaysian states also outlaw cross-dressing by women.
Aston Paiva, the plaintiffs’
lawyer, said the ruling could be
used to challenge any arrest of
transgender people throughout
“It’s quite historic... This
will be a precedent... This court
binds all other high courts,” Paiva said.
A Negri Sembilan state legal advisor declined comment
on whether his side would
seek to appeal the verdict at a
higher court.
“I am happy we won the case.
I feel more relaxed now,” one of
the plaintiffs said by phone. “I
have waited for this.”
She and the other two plaintiffs have shied away from any
public appearances and were not
in court.
The case is the п¬Ѓrst attempt
to overturn the prohibition on
cross-dressing in the Southeast
Asian nation, where homosexuality and transgender lifestyles
remain taboo, and questioning
laws is sensitive.
“This is a significant victory
for transgender people in Malaysia. They now have the right to
cross-dress and express themselves as the persons they want
to be,” Boris Dittrich of Human
Rights Watch said after the verdict.
Human Rights Watch in September called on the government
to repeal all laws that criminalise
transgender lifestyles after the
US-based group found that they
face systematic and constant repression, mistreatment, social
ostracism and “risk arrest every
The group had said in a report that the abuses faced by
transgender Malaysians include
physical and sexual assault and
extortion by authorities and
Authorities face no accountability, the report added.
Nisha Ayub, a transgender activist, said Friday’s ruling would
encourage her community “to
come out rather than being oppressed”.
“The fight will still be there,”
she said.
Activists and transgender
people say that in the past attitudes were fairly tolerant in the
historically moderate country.
Malaysians accused of
hacking US news website
Kuala Lumpur
he US-based Environment News Service yesterday accused Malaysian
government hackers of shutting
down its website after it ran a
story on a new book implicating a senior politician in alleged
“The attack on our site came
from a Malaysian government
entity as identified by their IP
address,” Sunny Lewis, editorin-chief of Environment News
Service (ENS), said in an email
statement, adding the attack
shut down its servers for two
The hacking came after the
news service ran a story about
plans to publish Lukas Straumann’s book, Money Logging:
On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia despite demands by
a law firm representing Abdul
Taib Mahmud, a stalwart of the
ruling coalition, to withhold
Taib, 78, governor of Sarawak
state and a powerful member
of the ruling Barisan Nasional
coalition, has faced mounting
accusations of enriching himself and his cronies through
a stranglehold on the state’s
economy, charges which he denies.
The book Money Logging investigates the massive destruction of the Borneo rainforest by
Malaysian loggers, described
by former UK Prime Minister
Gordon Brown as “probably the
biggest environmental crime of
our times.”
Malaysian officials were
not immediately available for
comment. Sarawak is among
Malaysia’s poorest states, but
Swiss-based forest protection group Bruno Manser Fund
(BMF) says Taib could be worth
as much as $15bn, which would
make him one of the world’s
richest people.
Authorities in Sarawak have
previously threatened to jam
Radio Free Sarawak broadcasts
that focus on alleged graft by the
state government.
The service was founded by
Brown’s sister-in-law Clare Rewcastle Brown.
Top court reserves judgement in sodomy trial
Kuala Lumpur
he п¬Ѓnal appeal hearing
over Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction ended yesterday after eight days of
legal arguments, with judges
saying they will make a ruling
at a later date.
Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria, who led a п¬Ѓve-men bench
at the country’s highest court,
said they needed time to digest
the points raised by the defence
and prosecution.
Anwar, 67, is seeking to
overturn an appeals court decision in March that sentenced
him to п¬Ѓve years in prison for
sodomising his former male
aide in 2008.
Anwar and his supporters,
as well as human rights groups,
say the trials are politically
Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim leaves court with his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and
supporters after his final appeal against a conviction for sodomy concluded at the Palace of Justice in
Putrajaya yesterday.
His lawyers attacked the
former aide’s credibility and
said DNA evidence could have
been tampered with.
“We hope justice will prevail,” Anwar lawyer Ram Kar-
pal told reporters outside the
“This is a case involving a
politician. When they are in
trouble, they always scream
conspiracy,” lead prosecutor
Mohamed Shafee Abdullah
“Anwar has been given a
fair trial,” he added.
Shafee said judges could
give their verdict in the next
week. This is the second time
Anwar has been on trial for
sodomy. He was sentenced to
nine years in prison for sodomising his ex-driver in 2000.
If the court rules against
Anwar, the 67-year-old opposition legislator will go to
prison and lose his seat in
He will also be barred
from running for any political position for five years
after finishing his prison
term, possibly putting an
end to his turbulent attempts to become the leader
of the predominantly Muslim
South-East Asian country.
Singapore PM wins
defamation case
against blogger
Singapore Prime Minister Lee
Hsien Loong won a High Court
defamation case against a blogger
yesterday, the first time the citystate’s leader has sued an online
critic. Roy Ngerng, 33, was sued for
his blog post in May when he was
alleged to have implicated Lee in
impropriety in connection with
how funds in Singapore’s mandatory retirement savings scheme,
the Central Provident Fund(CPF),
are managed. Singapore’s leaders
have in the past sued or settled
out of court with several foreign
media publications including
The New York Times, Wall Street
Journal, Bloomberg and The
Economist for alleged defamatory
remarks but this is the first time a
blogger has faced such action.
High Court judge Lee Seiu Kin
ordered Ngerng was not allowed
to publish or disseminate such
claims in the future, or any words
and images to the same effect.
Damages will be assessed at a
later date.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Parliament endorses
inquiry into ferry disaster
Police rescue 11 babies
from trafficking ring
Abducted woman �died of
drug overdose’ in N Korea
Local government nod
for first reactor restart
6.4-magnitude quake hits
off Papua New Guinea
South Korea’s parliament yesterday passed a
bill on setting up a full, independent inquiry
into April’s ferry disaster, ending months of
bickering which has interrupted almost all legislative work. The bill calls for the appointment
of an independent counsel and a 17-member
panel to conduct a 18-month inquiry and bring
charges against those responsible for the
disaster. The panel includes three members
drawn from the families of victims. The Sewol
ferry sank off the southern coast in April with
the loss of more than 300 lives, most of them
teenagers on a high-school trip.
Police in China have rescued 11 babies from a
trafficking ring and are seeking to track down
the parents, an officer said yesterday. Thirty-two
suspects have been arrested in connection with
the case, which is centred around the Yunnan
province in China’s southwest and has made
national headlines. China has a flourishing
underground child trafficking industry, for which
tens of thousands of children are believed to be
stolen or sold each year, with demand fuelled by
a traditional preference for sons and a one-child
limit. Police in Yunnan began an investigation into
the suspected trafficking in February.
Megumi Yokota, a Japanese national abducted by
North Korean agents decades ago as a schoolgirl,
died from an overdose of medication in 1994 and
was buried in a pit with other corpses, a South Korean newspaper said yesterday. Yokota, who has been
an iconic symbol of Japanese nationals abducted
by the North and Tokyo’s efforts to ascertain their
fate, died of an overdose of sedatives and sleeping
pills in a psychiatric ward. Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s administration eased some sanctions
on North Korea in July in return for Pyongyang’s
reopening of a probe into the fate of Japanese
citizens abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.
The final obstacle to restarting two nuclear reactors
in Japan was removed yesterday when local politicians granted approval for a plant to go back online,
more than three years after the Fukushima disaster.
The green light from the assembly and governor
of Kagoshima prefecture, marks a victory for the
government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe which
has faced significant public opposition to its drive to
re-start nuclear power generation. “I want to inform
the economy, trade and industry minister about
my understanding of the government’s policy to
push for restarting nuclear power plants,” Governor
Yuichiro Ito told a news conference.
A 6.4-magnitude quake struck yesterday off the coast
of Papua New Guinea, the US Geological Survey
said, but no destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was expected. The quake, which was initially reported at 6.9
magnitude before being revised lower, hit at a depth
of 65 kilometres in the New Britain region. “It would
have been very widely felt,” said seismologist Emma
Mathews from Geoscience Australia, which put the
quake’s reading at 6.6 magnitude.. Mathews said
while the threshold for a local tsunami was any quake
within a depth of 100 kilometres, the Pacific Tsunami
Warning Centre said that based on all the available
data there was no threat of a destructive wave.
Lantern festival
China, Japan
set aside
isle row for
leaders’ meet
South Koreans look at lantern figures during the Seoul lantern festival yesterday. The lantern festival under the theme �Seoul’s
gleaming world heritage’ is being held from Nov 7-23.
Apec restrictions �worse
than prison’: dissident
hinese authorities have
“worse than prison” on
activists ahead of an international diplomatic meeting in
Beijing, a leading dissident said
yesterday after Washington
voiced “deep concern” over human rights in the country.
The measures imposed on
dissidents ahead of the AsiaPacific Economic Co-operation
(Apec) summit from Monday
are the worst since a smothering security clampdown for the
2008 Beijing Olympics, said activist Hu Jia.
Hu has campaigned on environmental and HIV-related
causes, among others, and was
Giant condom raises
eyebrows in Sydney
An 18-metre (60-foot) bright
pink condom raised eyebrows
in Sydney yesterday after it was
erected over a Sydney landmark
as part of a new awareness
campaign about HIV.
The giant sheath was placed
over a heritage-listed obelisk at
Hyde Park in the centre of the
city. “This installation is sure to
create lots of interest as we’ve
selected a very visible icon in a
high traffic area,” said Nicholas
Parkhill from the Aids Council of
New South Wales (ACON) behind
the campaign. Parkhill said while
new drugs were able to help in
the fight against HIV, the virus
which causes Aids, condoms
were still crucial in stopping the
spread of the disease, particularly
among gay men. “We need to
constantly find new ways to
promote this message, especially
in the lead up to World Aids Day
on December 1,” he added.
But Wendy Francis from the
Australian Christian Lobby said
the stunt was disappointing and
“inappropriate for open spaces
where children can see it”, she
told Australian Associated Press.
The number of new HIV cases
in Australia is at its highest level
in 20 years with 1,235 new cases
diagnosed in 2013. The giant
condom will be on the obelisk
until Wednesday.
previously jailed for three years
on subversion charges.
He has since intermittently
been under house arrest, with
his latest confinement coming after he voiced support for
pro-democracy protests in the
southern Chinese city of Hong
“The restrictions I’ve faced
under house arrest during Apec
are worse than when I was in
prison,” he said. “At least then
I had the right to see my family
and loved ones.”
Police had planned to escort
him to Shenzhen to visit his
daughter for her seventh birthday -- she lives with his ex-wife
-- and ensure he was not in
Beijing during the high-profile
meeting, he said, a process of
forced holidays known among
activists as “being travelled”.
But the trip was cancelled
at the last minute after he had
already bought presents and a
“This is her first birthday
since entering primary school,”
Hu said, п¬Ѓghting back tears.
“I just wanted to be with her,
light some candles and sing
�Happy Birthday’.”
Hu’s comments came just
hours after the White House released a statement by National
Security Advisor Susan Rice
expressing “the administration’s deep concern regarding
the treatment of human rights
defenders” in China.
Rice made the comments
while discussing “the deterioration of China’s human rights
situation” with American and
Chinese advocates in Washington, the White House said.
Protest leaders seek
meeting with Beijing
Hong Kong
ong Kong protest leaders made a formal
request yesterday to
speak with China over political reform, calling on a proBeijing politician to act as their
Protest numbers have dwindled since mass rallies mobilised tens of thousands demanding fully free elections
for the city’s next leader.
But demonstrators are still
entrenched at key intersections with a “tent city” spread
across the main Admiralty site.
Fruitless talks with the Hong
Kong government two weeks
ago have led to an impasse and
protest leaders now want to
bypass the unpopular local administration altogether.
Leading protest group the
Hong Kong Federation of
Students (HKFS) presented
an open letter yesterday to
the city’s former leader Tung
Chee-hwa requesting his help
to arrange a meeting with Bei-
jing officials. “We hope Tung
can show political generosity...
and help arrange a meeting between students and Chinese
officials either in Hong Kong
or in Beijing so that we can directly express the situation in
the city,” the federation said in
the letter published Friday.
The Hong Kong government
“did not have the ability to respond” to student demands,
HKFS said, adding that they
hoped to hear back from Tung
by tomorrow. “Tung Chee-hwa
is well-respected from the perspective of Beijing and was the
former chief executive of Hong
Kong so I think he is in a good
position to mediate,” political
analyst Sonny Lo said. “There
is a window of opportunity
here,” he said. Tung’s office had
no immediate comment.
HKFS had considered trying to gatecrash the upcoming
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) global financial summit of global leaders
in Beijing, but abandoned the
plans saying the possibility of
actually meeting Chinese officials was too remote.
Kerry, who is in Beijing for
a foreign ministers’ meeting ahead of the summit, said
earlier this week that the USChina relationship was the
“most consequential” in the
But he warned it needed to
be “carefully managed”.
President Barack Obama is
due in Beijing on Monday for
the gathering of leaders from
the 21 Apec member economies, after which he will have
meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The two major powers have
clashed repeatedly over a
range of issues, with Beijing
last month warning Washington to keep out of events
in Hong Kong, which has
seen weeks of pro-democracy
hina and Japan agreed
yesterday to work on improving ties and signalled
willingness to put a bitter row
over disputed islands on the back
burner, paving the way for their
leaders to meet at an Asian-Pacific summit next week.
The agreement, ahead of an
expected ice-breaking chat between Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gathering
in Beijing, signals a thaw in ties
between the world’s secondand third-biggest economies.
Relations have been soured
over the past two years by the
territorial row, regional rivalry
and the bitter legacy of Japan’s
wartime occupation of China.
Abe said the two sides were
making п¬Ѓnal arrangements for
one-on-one talks, although neither he nor China’s foreign ministry confirmed that the talks
were set.
“Both Japan and China are
coming to the view that it would
benefit not just the two countries
but regional stability if a summit
is held,” he told a TV programme.
But in signs that fundamental problems would not easily be
resolved, Abe also said there had
been no change in Japan’s stance
on the isles at the heart of the
territorial dispute, while China’s
top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, urged
Japan to properly handle sensitive issues like history and the
“The two sides have agreed to
gradually resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue
through various multilateral and
bilateral channels and to make
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Chinese Foreign Minister
Wang Yi meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Co-operation (Apec) meeting in Beijing yesterday.
efforts to build political mutual
trust,” the two countries said in
statements released simultaneously.
The communiques followed a
meeting between Yang and Abe’s
national security adviser, Shotaro Yachi. The statements said
China and Japan also “acknowledged that different positions
exist between them” regarding
tensions over the islands in the
East China Sea and agreed to set
up a crisis management mechanism to prevent “contingencies”.
Abe, who has not met Xi except to shake hands since taking office in December 2012, has
been calling for a one-on-one
meeting at the Nov 10-11 AsiaPacific Economic Co-operation
(Apec) summit, while insisting
no conditions be set for talks.
China has sought assurances
that Abe would not repeat his
December 2013 visit to Tokyo’s
Yasukuni Shrine for the war
dead, seen in Beijing as a symbol
of Japan’s past militarism.
Such a promise would be
hard for the conservative Abe to
make, however, and the Japanese
leader told the TV show that the
agreement did not cover specific
issues such as his shrine visits.
Beijing has also demanded
that Japan acknowledge the
existence of a formal territorial dispute over the tiny islands,
which are controlled by Japan
but also claimed by Beijing.
The uninhabited isles are
known as the Diaoyu in China
and the Senkaku in Japan.
In an English-language commentary, China’s official Xinhua
news agency called the agreement “an encouraging icebreaker that has been painfully
“It has brought the relationship between the world’s second
and third largest economies back
to temperatures above the freezing point. Should it be properly implemented, it will mark a
turning point in the trajectory of
China-Japan relations.” Page 18
Murder plot charge against
AC/DC drummer dropped
murder-for-hire case against AC/
DC drummer Phil Rudd collapsed
yesterday when New Zealand prosecutors found there was insufficient evidence to proceed, just 24 hours after police
п¬Ѓled the sensational charges.
In a major embarrassment for the police, authorities said a charge of “attempt
to procure murder” against Rudd had been
However, the 60-year-old rocker is still
accused of drug possession and threatening to kill, which carries a jail term of up to
seven years.
Even with the primary charge dropped,
the case still represents the second blow
to AC/DC this year, after dementia forced
founding member Malcolm Young to retire
in September and move into a Sydney care
But the heavy rock pioneers are vowing to
play on, with a new album and tour coming
Rudd’s barrister Paul Mabey said police
failed to consult before taking the murder
plot allegation to court on Thursday and
This still frame grab shows the drummer
with legendary rock band AC/DC, Phil Rudd,
attending a hearing in court in Tauranga,
New Zealand.
prosecution lawyers ordered its withdrawal
after a review found there was insufficient
“The charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid,”
Mabey said in a statement. “The Crown
Solicitor’s (prosecutor’s) opinion was not
sought. The charge is now withdrawn.”
He noted the case had attracted world-
wide publicity and said Rudd had suffered
“incalculable damage” and would consider
“any possible remedies he may have”.
“Questions arise as to the degree of care
taken by those responsible for arresting and
charging him,” the lawyer said, pointing out
the case had fallen apart less than a day after
Rudd п¬Ѓrst appeared in court following a raid
on his North island mansion.
The Crown Solicitor’s office confirmed
the charge had been withdrawn but refused
to comment further.
Police in New Zealand have the power
to lay charges in preliminary hearings and
the case is then taken over by prosecutors
working for the Crown Solicitor’s office.
“The Crown reviewed the charges and
made the decision to withdraw the charge
of attempting to procure murder. Other
charges remain before the court,” police
said, without commenting further.
Mabey said Rudd would defend the
charge of threatening to kill, and described
the cannabis and methamphetamine possession charges against his client as “minor”.
In the court documents tendered on
Thursday, police had accused Rudd of trying to organise a hitman to kill two men in
late September.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Four men held in
terror plot probe
Max Clifford loses
appeal to cut sentence
�Cannibal’ death victim
named by police
Lost dog becomes
social media sensation
Coma’ fraudster
jailed for con
Four men have been arrested in connection
with an alleged terror plot. Counter-terror police
detained the men, aged 19 to 27, overnight
at locations across west London and High
Wycombe in the Thames Valley area, Scotland
Yard said. Armed officers assisted at two
premises and during an on-the-street arrest, the
force said, although no shots were fired. All the
men have been taken to police stations in central
London and remain in custody, while a number
of residential addresses and vehicles are being
searched. The arrests and searches are part of
an “ongoing investigation into terrorism”, the
Metropolitan Police said.
PR king Max Clifford has failed in his attempt to
have his eight-year sentence for sex offences cut.
The Appeal Court accepted that the trial judge
had made errors but yesterday decided that the
sentence was “justified and correct”. Clifford, 71,
was jailed in May for a string of indecent assaults
carried out between 1977 and 1984 using his
celebrity connections to lure girls and young
women. The former celebrity agent had branded
his accusers “fantasists” but he was convicted
at Southwark crown court. Clifford’s lawyer had
argued the length of the jail term imposed was
unfair and insisted his client was not a danger to
The woman who was murdered in an act of
cannibalism has been named as Cerys Marie
Yemm. Officers found Matthew Williams, 34,
attacking the 22-year-old in the Sirhowy Arms
Hotel, a halfway house for ex-offenders in Argoed,
a village near Yemm’s hometown of Blackwood.
He was stunned with a Taser and arrested at the
scene during the early hours of Thursday but later
died. Williams had only recently been released
from prison. The Independent Police Complaints
Commission (IPCC) is probing his death. Gwent
Police said Williams was local to the area while the
woman was from Blackwood, and the pair were
known to each other.
A sheepdog called Jasper was back with his owner
yesterday after a four-day search in the rugged
Lake District that captivated more than 250,000
followers on social media. Messages of joy poured
in from around the world after the Wasdale
Mountain Rescue Team brought Jasper down
Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, and
keen walker Adam Nolan was reunited with his
border collie. “I’m over the moon to announce the
safe return of my best friend Jasper,” Nolan said.
“This is just the best news. We’re so grateful to you
all.” Dog lovers drummed up global support for a
search that drew in people with private helicopters,
soldiers on leave and 6,000 actual searchers.
A fraudster who allegedly tried to evade justice
by claiming to be a comatose quadriplegic
has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after
conning his frail neighbour out of more than
ВЈ40,000. Alan Knight cleaned out the bank
accounts of dementia sufferer Ivor Richards
after the pensioner was taken into a care
home, Swansea Crown Court heard. It was later
discovered that the 47-year-old had also forged
Richards’ will - even using the names of two dead
women from a newspaper’s obituary section as
counter-signatories. After he was arrested, he
even tried to blame his estranged son, claiming
he was trying to set up him up.
Top Labour
pair deny
plotting against
London Evening Standard
abour yesterday descended
into more in-п¬Ѓghting as
two shadow cabinet ministers were forced to deny plotting
against Ed Miliband and an MP
attacked the embattled leader’s
critics as “politically braindead”.
Potential successors Yvette
Cooper and Andy Burnham responded angrily to a report that
they had privately struck a “nonaggression pact” in case Miliband had to fall on his sword.
Both front-benchers are suspected by Miliband allies of preparing to run for leader if he loses
the 2015 election.
Burnham caused anxiety by
making a crowd-pleasing speech
at conference, while Cooper is
said to have been spending suspicions amounts of time “in the
Tea Room” with MPs.
Cooper’s spokesman said the
idea of a pact was “lies”, while
Burnham’s spokesman insisted
there were “no discussions of
this kind”.
Barry Gardiner, Labour MP
for Brent North, said the antiMiliband critics were damaging
the party.
He went on: “These guys are
wrong, they have miscalculated
and they are politically braindead because we need to be
п¬Ѓghting this government on behalf of the electorate, not п¬Ѓghting personal battles within our
own party.”
Former cabinet minister David
Blunkett tried to calm the atmosphere, calling for an end to
“this bout of political insanity”.
But Lord Soley, who as an MP
chaired the parliamentary party,
said Miliband was not seen by
voters as a “charismatic potential prime minister”.
It was also revealed that shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith
told activists the movement was
“dying” and that unless it became “much, much more vigorous then we are lost”.
A poll by YouGov for LBC radio
found that 49% of people surveyed believed Labour’s chances
of returning to power would be
improved if Miliband were replaced.
His leadership was also savaged by the New Statesman, the
Left-wing magazine that backed
him for the top job in 2010,
which branded him an “old-style
Hampstead socialist” who does
not understand the “lower middle class or material aspiration”.
Some Labour lawmakers in
seats in northern England have
become nervous about a threat
posed by the anti-EU UK Independence Party (Ukip) after it
came close to beating Labour in a
by-election last month.
The disgruntled lawmakers
believe Miliband is too Londoncentric and too focused on academic policy debates rather than
engaging with voters’ concerns
on “doorstep issues” such as immigration.
“He needs to be doing the right
thing,” John Mann, a Labour lawmaker who has criticised Miliband in the past, told BBC radio.
“We do not need more policies
... We need him out and about,
literally on the doorstep, listening to people and reflecting on
what they are saying.”
Labour’s former Cabinet minister Peter Hain said he was “angry” about the “mutterers” in
Labour ranks who were fuelling
reports about plot.
Meanwhile Douglas Alexander,
the party’s general election coordinator, called for unity. “He
(Miliband) has got challenges
but all of us have got challenges
in every political party and every
one of us in the Labour party has
to reflect the reality that divided
parties lose elections,” Alexander
told BBC TV.
Moving tribute
Military personnel and veterans line the platform as a specially-designed locomotive dedicated to mark the centenary of World War I pulls into the station at King’s
Cross in London yesterday. The train’s first carriage carried a livery filled with tributes and images to the regiments and people who served along the railway between
London and Edinburgh.
Govt claims victory as
EU defers budget bill
U п¬Ѓnance ministers yesterday agreed to extend a
deadline for Britain to pay
a huge 2.1bn-euro bill until September 2015, with Finance Minister George Osborne hailing it
as a victory in his country’s latest showdown with Brussels.
Prime Minister David Cameron had refused to meet the
“unacceptable” demand by the
original December 1 cut-off,
and the new deadline means he
Savile abuse inquiry
extends to 41 hospitals
Guardian News and Media
he number of hospitals
investigating allegations
of sexual abuse by Jimmy
Savile has been extended to 41,
the Health Secretary, Jeremy
Hunt, has said.
A further nine hospitals or ambulance services – including the
former psychiatric hospital Bethlem Royal hospital in London –
have launched investigations into
abuse claims against the late DJ
since June.
The fresh allegations came to
light after the publication of inquiries at 28 NHS trusts , which
found widespread abuse by Savile
against victims aged from п¬Ѓve to
The п¬Ѓndings prompted the
department of health to apologise for the “wholly inadequate
procedures” that allowed the
former BBC DJ to carry out the
abuse while holding positions of
authority at NHS institutions,
including the high-security hospital Broadmoor.
Since June, allegations have
come to light involving nine hospitals or ambulance services:
Birch Hill and Scott House hospitals in Rochdale, Bethlem Royal
and Shenley hospitals in London,
West Yorkshire Ambulance Service, St Martin’s hospital in Canterbury, Queen Elizabeth hospital
in Gateshead, Meanwood Park
hospital near Leeds and Calderdale Royal hospital.
In a written ministerial statement, Hunt said Leeds General
Infirmary, Stoke Mandeville and
the Royal Victoria Infirmary in
Newcastle, which were already
investigating alleged abuse by
Savile, were also looking at allegations that had emerged since
The publication of the reports
had been delayed until January
2015, Hunt said: “At the request
of the Crown Prosecution Service, the publication of the NHS
investigations into Jimmy Savile
is being delayed until the conclusion of ongoing legal proceedings.
“Therefore, I wish to advise
the House (of Commons) that
there will be a delay in the pub-
lication of the outstanding NHS
investigation reports. We now
hope trusts will publish their reports in January 2015, alongside
Kate Lampard’s lessons learnt
Tracey Storey, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing some of Savile’s victims,
said: “It is incredibly worrying
to see more concerns related to
Savile emerge, and it is vital that
authorities work quickly to fully
investigate these new allegations.
“The extent of the abuse highlighted by previous and ongoing
investigations has been truly horrifying, and the revelation of further allegations raises even more
concerns regarding his activities
and how he was able to offend
over a number of years.”
Findings in the п¬Ѓrst round of
NHS investigation reports said
Savile committed “truly awful”
abuse against patients at hospitals across the country.
Branded as an “opportunistic
sexual predator” by investigators, Savile used the NHS and his
celebrity status to “exploit and
abuse” patients and staff.
will not have to pay before tense
general elections in Britain in
Osborne said Britain would
only pay back half the amount in
two instalments next year, because of arrangements involving London’s cherished rebate
from the EU, but other European sources insisted the amount
was the same.
“This is far beyond what anyone expected us to achieve, and
it’s a result for Britain,” Osborne
told reporters after a meeting
his counterparts in Brussels.
The original bill was based on
a recalculation of member states’
budgets over several years, but
only emerged at a summit in late
October, giving Britain only a
few weeks to pay up.
France and Germany were
set for large payouts under the
new rules, while the Netherlands and Italy faced payment
demands that were smaller than
that of Britain.
A furious Cameron had
warned that the budget bill,
which emerged suddenly at
a summit in October, could
cause his increasingly eurosceptic country’s exit from the
Lights on
EU in a 2017 referendum.
His Conservative party is
under intense pressure from
the eurosceptic UK Independence Party ahead of next year’s
elections, leading him to make
a series of increasingly strident
demands from Brussels.
Osborne said that Britain
would only pay ВЈ850mn in two
instalments in July and September next year, adding that
the rest would be offset against
a full upfront payment of the
ВЈ3bn annual rebate negotiated
by premier Margaret Thatcher
in the 1980s. But European
Ex-news editor jailed
for phone-hacking
Oxford Street is illuminated after singer Cheryl
Fernandez-Versini switched on the Oxford Street
Christmas Lights in London.
sources said the amount of
2.1bn euros - arrived at after recalculation - would remain the
same for now but that it could
be renegotiated after the British elections. “The amount isn’t
changed,” one source said.
“The British claim is mixing
the amount with the rebate.”
“The two elements that I said
were absolutely clear were that
we wouldn’t pay two billion euros on December 1 and we didn’t
believe in paying anything like
that amount,” Cameron said at
the Northern Future Forum in
former newspaper executive whose e-mails led to
the exposure of widespread phone-hacking at Rupert
Murdoch’s now-defunct British
tabloid, the News of the World,
was jailed for eight months yesterday.
Ian Edmondson, 45, worked as
news editor on the paper, which
was closed three years ago when
revelations about the extent of
criminal activity became public, sending shockwaves through
Murdoch’s News Corp and the
British establishment.
Edmondson admitted last
month conspiring with colleagues
to illegally access voicemails, and
has been linked to 334 hacking
cases, with the victims including
actors Jude Law and Sienna Miller
and musician Paul McCartney.
“I accept ... there was considerable pressure on journalists at
the News of the World to obtain
stories to sell newspapers,” said
the judge, John Saunders. “That
may have led to a belief that the
ends justified the means.”
Edmondson is the eighth per-
son from what was once Britain’s
biggest-selling paper to have been
convicted of involvement in the
widespread hacking of phones to
п¬Ѓnd exclusive stories about politicians, celebrities, members of
the royal family and others.
The scam was п¬Ѓrst uncovered
at the paper in 2006, but Murdoch’s British newspaper arm News
International said then it was
limited to its former royal editor
Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire, who were
both later jailed after admitting
However the discovery of three
e-mails sent from Mulcaire to
Edmondson, then the paper’s associate editor, at the end of 2010
led to a major new police investigation.
The e-mails, dating from 2006,
provided instructions on how to
hack the phones of the then deputy prime minister, a government
minister and Frederick Windsor, the son of Queen Elizabeth’s
Edmondson was sacked in
early 2011 and the e-mails were
handed over to police who slowly
uncovered a huge scandal that ultimately led Murdoch to close the
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
rail strike
to end
erman train drivers said
they would end a nationwide rail strike early,
today at 1700 GMT, following
days of travel chaos that sparked
п¬Ѓerce criticism.
GDL trade union chief Claus
Weselsky announced yesterday the early end to the industrial action, which started with
freight services on Wednesday,
added passenger trains the next
day and had been due to continue until early Monday.
The large-scale strike, which
has largely paralysed rail travel in
Europe’s biggest economy, will
now end on the eve of celebrations tomorrow in the capital to
mark a quarter-century since
the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
Weselsky called the move a
“gesture of reconciliation” when
he made the surprise announcement in Frankfurt.
Rail operator Deutsche Bahn
had earlier legally challenged
the unprecedented strike action,
but two labour court rulings had
found the union was within its
rights to stop work.
The personnel chief of Deutsche Bahn, Ulrich Weber, called
the latest development “good for
our customers and our staff ”.
The company is now urgently
working to resume its normal
schedules on local and intercity
trains as soon as possible after
the strike ends, it said in a statement.
The work stoppage – the sixth
bout of industrial action since
September – hit long-distance
and regional rail services as well
as commuter S-Bahn train networks.
GDL has charged that Deutsche Bahn is stonewalling in
talks over workers’ demands for
a 5% wage hike and a shorter
working week of 37 hours.
Some 500 members of the
union staged a rally yesterday
outside Deutsche Bahn headquarters in central Berlin, where
they had travelled on buses from
various parts of Germany.
Some waved banners demanding shorter work hours,
complaining of frequent overtime and claiming that “our batteries are empty”.
Union leaders also want to
represent other groups of employees, not just drivers, within
Deutsche Bahn such as conductors, catering staff and dispatchers.
According to a poll released on
Thursday, 51% of Germans say
they do not support the strike,
while 46% voiced understanding.
The winners have been rental
car companies and long distance
coach operators.
The bus company MeinFernbus said it had scheduled 500
additional services for the weekend, as bookings were four times
higher than normal.
Kiev: Russian tanks and
troops enter rebel areas
kraine said yesterday
that dozens of tanks and
truckloads of soldiers
had crossed from Russia into
Kremlin-backed rebel territory,
as п¬Ѓve servicemen were killed in
the latest п¬Ѓghting to tear apart a
nominal ceasefire.
The allegations that Moscow
is stepping up reinforcements
for the insurgents stoked fears
that both sides could slide into a
return to all-out п¬Ѓghting.
A column of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks
carrying troops and equipment
crossed the border into the
separatist-held Luhansk region
on Thursday, Ukrainian military
spokesman Andriy Lysenko said,
adding that another convoy including three mobile radar stations had also entered the same
Nato said it had not verified
the claims of the latest incursion
but stated it had observed “a recent increase in Russian troops
and equipment along the eastern
border of Ukraine”.
“If this crossing into Ukraine
is confirmed it would be further
evidence of Russia’s aggression
and direct involvement in destabilising Ukraine,” a Nato military
officer said.
However, the Russian defence
ministry said yesterday that a
string of Western accusations
concerning troop movements
around the Ukraine border were
Lysenko said п¬Ѓve Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 16
injured in the past 24 hours in
clashes between government
forces and pro-Moscow rebels,
underscoring the emptiness of
a two-month truce that both
sides continue to insist they are
Fifteen civilians were wounded by shrapnel in the separatist
bastion of Donetsk, the mayor’s
office said, in a night of shelling
in two neighbourhoods near the
ruins of the airport, where government troops are holding out.
An AFP journalist reported
heavy artillery bombardments
had resumed in the area around
the strategic transport hub late
While the September truce
agreement has seen full-scale
confrontations halt along most
of the frontline, shelling has
continued at flashpoints around
the industrial east.
Ukrainian President Petro
A picture taken yesterday a bunch of flowers at the crash site of
the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in the village of Hrabove, some
80km east of Donetsk. Dutch investigators have found more human
remains at the crash site, an official with the separatist authorities in
the region said yesterday. However, it was too early to say whether
the remains were those of people killed in the downing of flight
MH17 or combatants in the fighting that has taken place in the same
area between rebels and Ukrainian government forces.
Poroshenko warned German
Chancellor Angela Merkel in a
phone call of an escalation in the
conflict following “significant
departures” from the agreed
peace plan, his office said.
The rebels held leadership
elections on Sunday, defying
Kiev with a move that sought to
formalise their control over the
separatist-held territory.
dropped a money-laundering case against the
king’s sister Cristina but upheld tax fraud charges, leaving
her still at risk of standing trial
in a scandal unprecedented for
Spain’s royals.
In a written ruling the court
on the island of Mallorca answered the latest appeals in a
case that contributed to the
abdication this year of King
Felipe’s father, Juan Carlos.
The judges decided to “partially uphold the appeals ... dismissing the proceedings with
regard to money-laundering
and maintaining the charges
of co-operating in tax fraud”
against Cristina, 49, they wrote
in a ruling seen by AFP.
Judicial sources said the lesser tax fraud charges may yet be
overturned by a separate investigating judge, who has the п¬Ѓnal say on whether the princess
goes on trial.
It would be the п¬Ѓrst time a direct relative of a Spanish monarch ended up in the dock and
a big headache for Felipe who
record low of over 60 to the euro
before recovering to around 57.
As concerns mounted over the
volatile currency, Russia’s central bank went back on a pledge
on Wednesday to limit interventions by saying that it was now
willing to prop up the ruble.
In a rare chance for dialogue,
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov will meet his US counterpart John Kerry today ahead
of the APEC summit in Beijing
next week, Russian news agencies reported.
But in a sign of how far relations have slumped, the Kremlin
ruled out an official sit-down
between President Vladimir Putin and US leader Barack Obama.
The Kremlin strongman has
agreed to an uncomfortable
meeting with Australian Prime
Minister Tony Abbott, who has
promised to confront Putin over
the deaths of Australians onboard the Malaysia Airlines jet
shot down over rebel territory
in July.
Dutch investigators have recovered more human remains
from the crash site, a rebel official said yesterday, although
it is too early to tell if they are
some of the 298 victims from
the downed plane or combatants
killed in п¬Ѓghting.
Celebrations begin
for Berlin Wall’s fall
A Deutsche Bahn office building is pictured through the installation Lichtgrenze (Border of Light) along a former Berlin Wall location in Berlin.
A part of the inner city of Berlin is being temporarily divided from November 7 to 9, with a light installation featuring 8,000 luminous white
balloons to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The celebrations is taking place this weekend.
Key charge dropped against Spain princess
In response, Ukraine’s border
guards announced obligatory
passport controls around the
rebel-held areas on Thursday,
effectively setting up a de facto
border despite Kiev’s insistence
that it has not given up on reclaiming sovereignty.
That move dovetailed with
a government decision to sever state subsidies worth some
$2.4bn (€1.8bn) each year to the
guerrilla regions.
In the wake of Sunday’s rebel
polls, Poroshenko also said separatists had “torpedoed” a government proposal to give them
autonomy and he ordered troops
to reinforce frontline cities.
The United States and European Union have already slapped
tough sanctions on Moscow and
Poland’s foreign minister has
warned of a new Iron Curtain
falling across Europe.
Top EU diplomat Federica
Mogherini said on Thursday
that the 28-nation bloc would
review sanctions on Russia in 10
days, with pressure mounting
to add to the punitive measures
after Moscow endorsed the rebel
Moscow’s foreign ministry
appeared keen yesterday to pull
back slightly by specifying it
“respected” – but had not officially recognised – the results
of the vote, although it was not
clear whether this semantic nicety would be enough to ease
Western criticism.
The п¬Ѓnancial isolation over
the Ukraine crisis – along with
falling oil prices – has hammered
Russia’s flagging economy.
The ruble plunged early yesterday by over 3% to a new
took the throne in June promising an “honest and transparent
Investigating judge Jose Castro accused Cristina of knowingly benefiting from suspect
business dealings by her husband, former Olympic handball
player Inaki Urdangarin, 46,
who took the title of Duke of
Palma when he married.
Urdangarin is himself accused of embezzlement. The
judges upheld yesterday a further charge of money-laundering against him.
Cristina’s lawyers have insisted she is innocent and vowed
to continue п¬Ѓghting the remaining charges.
Her lawyer Miquel Roca told
reporters that the defence found
the decision to uphold the tax
charge “surprising”.
“We are going to continue
with the defence because we believe that there are not sufficient
grounds to bring any kind of accusation,” he said.
The investigating judge is at
odds not only with Cristina’s
defence team but also public
prosecutor Pedro Horrach, who
has branded the charges “sly”
and “inquisitorial”.
Horrach had earlier called
Princess Cristina with Inaki Urdangarin.
for Cristina to be just a witness
in the case. Media quoted him
as saying yesterday that he did
not know whether she was now
likely to go on trial.
Urdangarin is accused along
with a former business partner
of creaming off €6mn ($8mn)
in public funds from contracts
awarded to Noos, a charitable
Cristina sat on the board of
Noos and Urdangarin was its
Investigators suspect that a
separate company jointly owned
by the couple, Aizoon, served as
a front for laundering the embezzled money.
Summoned by Castro in February, Cristina turned up smil-
ing at the court and told the
judge she had simply trusted her
husband and had no knowledge
of his business affairs.
Castro grilled Cristina in a
six-hour hearing over accounts
that indicated Aizoon money
was used for personal expenses,
including work on the couple’s
Barcelona mansion, dance lessons and Harry Potter books.
A mother of four with a master’s degree from New York
University, Cristina was once
considered untouchable as a
member of the royal family.
But the so-called Noos affair
fanned public anger against the
monarchy and the ruling class
during the recent years of economic hardship in Spain.
Detained drone
suspects released
The mystery over a spate of
unidentified drones spotted
flying over French nuclear
facilities deepened yesterday
after two men detained near a
plant were released when police
found they were harmless model
French authorities have been
left scratching their heads after
detecting at least 18 flyovers
throughout the country over
the past month, and police are
clueless as to who is piloting
these unmanned aircraft at a time
of heightened vigilance in the
face of Islamic extremism.
In the latest incidents this week,
a drone flew over the Saint-Alban
atomic plant in the southeast on
Wednesday night, and the next
evening, an unmanned aircraft
zipped over the Marcoule nuclear
site just under 200km away.
On Wednesday, police detained
two men aged 24 and 31 and a
woman after they were found
with two drones near the
Belleville-sur-Loire nuclear plant
in central France.
But prosecutor Vincent Bonnefoy
later told reporters that their two
drone flights “had no connection
with the other nuclear sites
overflown since October”.
The 21-year-old woman was
released on Thursday, and the
two men walked free yesterday.
ermany kicked off celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the epochal
fall of the Berlin Wall yesterday,
set to culminate in rock stars
and freedom icons joining millions at an open-air party.
Chancellor Angela Merkel,
who grew up in communist
East Germany, was leading
three days of commemorations for those killed trying to
flee the repressive state, ahead
of a giant festival tomorrow
marking the joyous breach of
Europe’s Cold War division on
November 9, 1989.
“I think you never forget
how you felt that day – at least
I will never forget it,” Merkel,
60, said in a recent podcast.
“I had to wait 35 years for that
feeling of liberty. It changed
my life.”
The festivities under the
banner “Courage for Freedom”
are remembering the peaceful
revolution that led communist
authorities to п¬Ѓnally open the
border after 28 years in which
Easterners were prisoners of
their own country.
Germany would reunite
within the year, on October 3,
The city set up an ambitious
installation featuring nearly
7,000 white balloons pegged
to the ground along a 15km
stretch of the Wall’s former
155km path and dramatically
illuminated them at dusk.
The glowing orbs, which
from above look like a long
string of pearls, are to be released tomorrow from their
ropes and set free into the night
sky, to the stirring strains of
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Mayor Klaus Wowereit said
the world’s eyes would once
again be trained on the now
reunified German capital this
weekend “with joy, goodwill
and the knowledge that Berlin
today is an open, tolerant and
globally recognised metropolis
in the heart of Europe”.
Earlier yesterday dissident
singer Wolf Biermann, who
was kicked out of East Germany in 1976, performed his
protest song Ermutigung (Encouragement) in the Bundestag
lower house of parliament, in
a tribute to those who resisted
the regime.
He used the opportunity
to take a swipe at the far-left
Linke, which has roots in East
Germany’s ruling party and
had criticised Biermann’s invitation to appear at the session.
“Your punishment is to have
to listen to me here – enjoy,”
he called out to heckling Linke
deputies, calling them “the
wretched remains of what has
fortunately been surmounted”.
The last Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev, whose
“perestroika” and “glasnost”
reforms helped pave the way
for the Wall’s fall, was to greet
crowds at the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing.
Gorbachev, 83, who is revered here for having refrained
from a bloody crackdown on
protesters in 1989, will then
join former German foreign
minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher for a debate about the
legacy of those heady days, and
the resurgence of tensions between Russia and the West.
That evening, Merkel will
attend a memorial concert at
Bertolt Brecht’s historic Berliner Ensemble theatre opposite the former “Palace of
Tears”, where Easterners said
goodbye to visitors returning
to West Germany.
And tomorrow she will open
a major exhibition on Bernauer
Strasse, a street divided by
the Wall that saw harrowing
scenes of families and neighbours ripped apart overnight
when the Wall went up in 1961.
Following a ceremony at
the elegant Gendarmenmarkt
square, at least 2mn people are
expected to gather for an outdoor “citizens’ festival” at the
Brandenburg Gate, the symbol
of German unity.
former Polish president and
freedom icon Lech Walesa, 71,
will join German head of state
Joachim Gauck, 74, a former
pastor and rights activist in the
East, and Hungarian ex-premier Miklos Nemeth, 66.
Entertainment will range
from the Berlin State Orchestra under the baton of Daniel
Barenboim to a п¬Ѓreworks display and performances by East
German rock band Silly and
techno musician Paul Kalkbrenner.
Peter Gabriel will perform the
Wall anthem Heroes, which
David Bowie recorded when he
lived in then West Berlin.
The East German authorities built the Wall, which they
called an “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart”, in August 1961
to halt an exodus to the West.
On November 9, 1989, East
German border guards, overwhelmed by large crowds,
threw open the gates to West
Berlin, allowing free passage
for the п¬Ѓrst time since it was
At least 389 people lost their
lives trying to escape communist East Germany.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Kashmir ex-minister
jailed for graft
Teacher held for
abusing 32 students
Body of Australia-born
child found in Punjab
Gujarat to get
seaplane services
�Depressed’ woman jumps
to death from hospital
Former Jammu and Kashmir minister Mohamed
Dilawar Mir was sentenced to three years
in jail and a fine of Rs32.1mn in a 20-yearold corruption case. The Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) special judge, L K Gaur,
sentenced 67-year-old Mir after convicting him
under various provisions of the Prevention
of Corruption Act. The court held that the
prosecution has been successful in proving that
Dilbagh Singh Kanwar, the then general manager
of National Fertilizers (NFL), in conspiracy with
Mir, had abused his position as a public servant by
awarding a contract to the company Good Friends
Agencies without having the power to do so.
A government school teacher was arrested
in Mizoram on charges of raping and sexually
abusing 32 students, police said in Aizawl
yesterday. “Saichal village primary school teacher
Lalhmingmawia, 30, was arrested yesterday after
first information reports were lodged with the
police by parents of two victims,” a police official
said. Subsequent inquiry and interrogation of
the teacher revealed that he had either molested
or raped 30 more girl students in the past three
years in the same school. The victims are aged
between eight and 12 years and they did not
report the abuse out of fear as the teacher had
threatened them with dire consequences.
A five-year-old boy born in Australia, who
had gone missing last month, was yesterday
found dead in Punjab’s Mohali town, police
said. The boy, Mehram, went missing on
October 28 from outside his mother’s
house in Mohali’s Phase 9 area, 10km from
Chandigarh. The boy was playing outside the
house when he went missing. Police said the
body was found from a garbage dump. Angry
relatives and residents of the area blocked a
road in Mohali after news of the boy’s body
being found. Police had earlier booked four
members of his paternal family, including his
father, after the boy went missing.
Mumbai’s Maritime Energy Heli Air Services
(MEHAIR) Pvt Ltd, which operates India’s first
onshore seaplane services in Maharashtra, will
soon launch regional amphibian aircraft services
within Gujarat, an official said yesterday. The
department of civil aviation and the Gujarat
government yesterday issued a letter of intent
(LoI) to MEHAIR after it was selected through
a competitive tendering process. This will
make Gujarat the second state to have its own
regional intra-state aviation services. The LoI was
handed over to MEHAIR co-founder and director
Siddharth Verma by Chief Minister Anandiben
Patel and Gujarat Aviation Minister Saurabh Patel.
A 59-year-old woman patient, who was
being treated for depression at a hospital in
Ghaziabad, committed suicide yesterday by
jumping from the seventh floor of the hospital
building, police said. Neena Sarvaria, wife of Anil
Sarvaria and a resident of Greater Kailash area
of Delhi, was being treated at the Pushpanjali
Crossley Hospital for depression. She was
admitted on October 30 to the hospital’s private
ward.The woman jumped from the seventh
floor of the hospital at 3pm yesterday, police
said. Inspector Hardayal Singh Yadav from the
Indirapuram police station said the body has
been sent for post-mortem examination.
Tackling forest blaze
Airport review
ordered as jet
hits buffalo on
Surat runway
New Delhi
day after a SpiceJet aircraft carrying 140 passengers had a narrow escape at Surat airport where the
plane hit a stray animal, Civil
Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju directed a high-level
inquiry into the matter and the
incidents of security breaches at
the runways.
“The minister has directed the
Airports Authority of India (AAI)
to send teams to visit all such
airports where there are similar
safety concerns, within the next
one month and to take remedial
measures within three months,”
a civil aviation spokesperson
Budget passenger carrier
SpiceJet suspended its services to
Surat indefinitely after one of its
aircraft had a run-in with a stray
animal late on Thursday night.
“The minister has directed
the AAI to send teams
to visit all such airports
where there are similar
safety concerns and to take
remedial measures within
three months”
“On Thursday night a stray
buffalo hit one of our aircraft on
take-off roll at Surat airport. The
buffalo was essentially invisible
against a dark background,” a
spokesperson for the airline said.
According to the spokesperson, services from Surat will be
suspended indefinitely due to
aircraft being grounded and to
await results of investigation
along with corrective measures
that will be taken by the airport
The Boeing 737-800 flight
No.SG 622 from Surat to New
Delhi was carrying 140 passengers and six crew. All are reported to be safe.
“All passengers and crew were
safe, however the aircraft was
impacted quite severely and
hence was grounded. An alternate aircraft was arranged by
SpiceJet for the passengers who
departed for New Delhi,” the
spokesperson added.
Earlier, aviation regulator directorate general of civil aviation
(DGCA) ordered an inquiry into
the incident and a team from
DGCA’s regional headquarters in
Mumbai also visited the accident
Safety experts feel that the
incident might have had dire
consequences for the on-board
passengers as trying to avoid
the animal at such high speed
could have resulted in the aircraft overturning or going off the
“This is a serious incident in
which there could have been
many fatalities. The airports authority needs to secure the runway parameters by erecting walls
or other methods,” H S Khola,
former chief of the DGCA, said.
“Such incidents are more
prevalent around those airports
which are surrounded by villages. In such cases it is very important to have necessary robust
and effective ways to keep out
the stray animals.” These type of
breaches by stray animals from
surrounding villages have been
reported earlier as well from Surat.
The airport there also has a
п¬Ѓsh ponds just adjacent to its
boundary which attracts birds,
causing safety hazards.
Not just Surat but the runways
of national capital Indira Gandhi
International Airport were infamous for stray animal breaches
before. However, with the airport operators’ efforts and new
parameter fencing with intruder
alert system in place-- no such
incidents have been reported in
the recent past.
However, a senior AAI official
said that stray animals like dogs,
antelope, cows, jackals, snakes,
and even monkeys were found
around runway areas.
An Indian Air Force helicopter works to douse a forest fire near Visakhapatnam yesterday.
D’Souza threatens to
quit if not made Goa CM
n a development which
could embarrass the BJP
(Bharatiya Janata Party)
on the eve of Chief Minister
Manohar Parrikar’s impending
elevation to the union cabinet,
Deputy Chief Minister Francis
D’Souza threatened to quit the
government if he was not made
the chief minister.
The tantrum by D’Souza
comes a day before the BJP
swears in a new chief minister
following the elevation of Parrikar to the union cabinet, possibly as defence minister.
“If I am not made chief
Modi’s offer fails to
enthuse Shiv Sena
he Shiv Sena has expressed its indifference
to the offer of two central
berths in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed expansion
of his ministry in the next couple
of days.
Confirming the developments, a senior Sena leader
said the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) was merely implementing
its promise to induct two more
(Sena) nominees in the cabinet
The assurance was given to the
party a few months ago and the
whole issue would be discussed
by the party before taking a decision on the matter, he said.
“It will be thoroughly discussed and a decision shall be
taken by Shiv Sena president
Uddhav Thackeray... It would
depend on whether the offer is
for cabinet, minister of state or
independent charge,” the leader
said, requesting anonymity.
The PMO (Prime Minister’s
Office) on Thursday sought two
Shiv Sena nominees to be included in the union cabinet, to
join Industry Minister Anant
The development came even
as the Sena is undecided over extending support to the minority
BJP government in Maharashtra
headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The Sena has been bargaining hard for securing the plum
post of deputy chief minister
and other important ministries
in exchange for its support to the
BJP in the vote-of-confidence
scheduled here on November 12.
The BJP has made it clear
that it would consider Sena’s
demands only if it helps it clear
the trust vote without pre-conditions.
But, the Sena is wary, after it
was snubbed last May during the
formation of Modi’s first ministry when it got only one berth,
and later as the BJP snapped its
25-year old alliance (with Shiv
Sena) on September 25.
The Sena leaders claim that
the offer of two berths in the
union cabinet would in no way
affect the party’s strategy in Maharashtra.
The BJP, with 121 MLAs, plus
one pre-poll ally, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, needs the support
of 145 in the 288-member house.
The Sena has 63 legislators,
but the NCP with 41 has decided
to abstain from voting ensuring
smooth sailing for Fadnavis.
Meanwhile Maharashtra Chief
Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ plan
to appoint a chief executive officer (CEO) for Mumbai has sparked
a row, with the Shiv Sena alleging
it was a move to separate the city
from Maharashtra.
“This smacks of a plan to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra
and we shall oppose it,” party
MP Rahul Shewale from south
Mumbai said.
Shewale added that this
proved that Fadnavis lacks the
confidence to manage the city
since the urban development
department is usually handled
by the chief minister.
minister, I do not wish to continue in the government,” said
D’Souza, who has the backing
of six BJP legislators, including
at least three Catholic legislators and two independents.
Two of the top contenders for
the Goa chief minister’s post
are Health Minister Laxmikant
Parsekar and Speaker of the assembly Rajendra Arlekar.
Since yesterday morning, a
section of BJP’s Catholic legislators have been demanding
that a Catholic be made the
chief minister.
“It will send a great message
to the rest of the country that
the BJP has a minority chief
minister, especially with another round of state elections
around the corner,” BJP legislator from Calangute, Michael
Lobo, told the media.
The BJP “will be able to erase
the communal tag once and for
all”, Lobo said. Lobo is rooting
for D’Souza for the chief ministerial position.
Lobo was one of the 20 BJP
legislators who met formally at
the state assembly where Parrikar told them about his impending departure.
The meeting where legislators of the ruling party will officially choose their chief ministerial candidate and forward it
to the party’s highest decisionmaking body - the parliamentary board - will be held today.
Glen Ticlo, the BJP legislator
Film premiere
from Aldona in North Goa, also
supported the candidature of
the deputy chief minister, calling it an excellent idea to promote someone from a minority
“It will be excellent if the
deputy chief minister is made
the chief minister. But if
someone else is selected, we
will be supportive too,” Ticlo
Ticlo, a п¬Ѓrst time legislator,
made a further pitch for widening the scope of cabinet opportunities to п¬Ѓrst-time legislators
too. Parrikar had made it a norm
not to allow п¬Ѓrst-time party
legislators as ministers in his
“We are capable. The rule
Army admits killing
two Kashmir youths
Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala attends the premiere of
Hindi film Rang Rasiya directed by Ketan Mehta in Mumbai.
should be re-looked,” he said.
Another Catholic legislator,
Carlos Almeida, from Vasco,
Panaji, said it would be natural
progression if the deputy chief
minister was promoted to chief
“A son usually takes over
from the father, it is as natural
as that,” Almeida pointed out.
Environment Minister Alina
Saldanha, a Catholic herself,
is against making religion a
yardstick for political appointments.
“Performance and capability
alone should matter,” she said,
when asked about demands by
several Catholic legislators to
promote D’Souza as chief ministerial candidate.
he army yesterday took
responsibility for the
killing of two youths
and injuries to two others in
the November 3 п¬Ѓring at a car
in Jammu and Kashmir, and
said it will co-operate in any
Addressing a media conference at the 15 Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh cantonment here, the army’s Northern
Command chief, Lieutenant
General D H Hooda said: “We
sincerely wish that the killing
of civilians wouldn’t have happened. We share the sorrow of
the families. An inquiry has already been ordered.”
Two youths - Faisal Yusuf
Bhat and Mehrajuddin Dar
- were killed in Chattergam
village of Badgam district on
November 3 after soldiers of
the 53 Rashtriya Rifles fired
on a speeding car. Two other
youths travelling in the car
were injured.
Lt. Gen. Hooda said 15 civilian witnesses have recorded
their statements, apart from
those from the army.
He said the army’s inquiry
will be completed in around 10
days, and added that the army
would co-operate with any
other inquiry being conducted
into the incident.
“We will co-operate in any
other inquiry. Circumstances
of the firing are being investigated. We take responsibility of what has happened,” the
Northern Command GOC-inC said.
“A compensation for the
victims of the п¬Ѓring has been
approved by the defence ministry.” Lt. Gen. Hooda said rehabilitation of the injured would
be taken care of by the army.
“I admit that mistake has
happened, otherwise why
would two civilian boys have
been killed like this.” The army
had earlier said the driver of
the car jumped the vehicle
check posts set up in Chattergam following information
that guerrillas were moving in
the area in a car. Police later
confirmed that none of the
four youths travelling in the
car had any militant record.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Politician faces flak
over staged photo
13 babies die at
West Bengal hospital
Kamal Haasan club to
clean 25 Tamil Nadu lakes
Sushma Swaraj to
visit UAE on Monday
Burdwan blast accused’s
wife nabbed in Assam
Ever since new Prime Minister Narendra Modi
wielded a broom to launch his �Clean India’ campaign
last month, high-profile figures have been falling over
themselves to be photographed sweeping the streets.
But for one hapless politician, the move backfired after
a worker was photographed scattering leaves just so
he could pose sweeping them up. The images exposing Satish Upadhyay, a New Delhi leader of Modi’s BJP,
went viral after they were published by the Mail Today
newspaper. Upadhyay, defended himself, saying he
had been invited to a clean-up event and blamed the
organisers. “Whoever has done it, it hasn’t been done
right,” he told CNN-IBN.
Crib deaths are again haunting West Bengal with at
least 13 infants dying since Wednesday at the Malda
Medical College and Hospital, an official said yesterday. Medical superintendent and vice principal M A
Rashid said: “Since Wednesday, 13 babies have died.
All of them were underweight and brought in very
critical condition.” Rashid said the hospital, which
frequently witnesses crib deaths, is well equipped
to face any kind of exigencies but the deaths were
happening mostly because the babies are often
brought in critical condition. The hospital accounted
for at least 20 crib deaths in October while casualties were also reported in June and July.
Volunteers of actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan’s
�Narpani Iyakkam’ (Welfare Club), who are cleaning Madhambakkam lake in Chennai yesterday
announced that they will adopt and clean 25
lakes in Tamil Nadu. “Cleaning India’s fresh water
bodies is critical and needs to be done on a war
footing. All our water bodies are being converted
into sewer drains and dumpyards,” read a statement. “Thus, All India Kamal Haasan Narpani
Iyakkam’s volunteers will join hands with the
Environmentalists Foundation of India’s team of
research volunteers to adopt and clean 25 lakes
across Tamil Nadu,” added the statement.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is paying
her first official visit to the United Arab Emirates
from November 10-12, during which she will hold
discussions on bilateral, regional and other issues
of mutual interest. Sushma Swaraj will also interact
with the Indian community during her visit, which is
taking place at the invitation of her UAE counterpart,
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. India enjoys
close and multifaceted comprehensive partnership with UAE. The well-balanced bilateral trade
amounted to $59bn in 2013-14. The 2.6mn strong
and vibrant Indian community forms the largest
expatriate group in the UAE.
A joint team of the special operation unit of Assam Police and the CRPF has arrested Sujina Begum, wife of Shahnur Alom, one of the 12 suspects
involved in the recent bomb blast at Burdwan in
West Bengal. Both Shahnur Alom and Sujina were
on the wanted list of the National Investigation
Agency (NIA), which is probing the blast case. The
NIA recently released photographs of the 12 suspects and announced a cash award of Rs5mn on
Shahnur Alom. “We arrested Sujina from the Inter
State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Guwahati’s Boragaon
area Thursday night,” said Guwahati superintendent of police (in-charge) Pranab Goswami.
Bar owner
graft claim
Rains lash Srinagar
Fund shortage
hampers NIA
war against
histleblower bar owner Biju Ramesh yesterday said he has briefed
the vigilance team probing his
allegation of money being paid
to the state п¬Ѓnance minister to
ensure 418 bars in Kerala are allowed to open.
Emerging after a four-hour
meeting with the vigilance team,
Ramesh yesterday said that he
stood by what he said earlier in
the bar graft case.
“I have disclosed everything in detail and this was no
questioning at all. They took
down everything and it’s just
the same that I have disclosed
to the media,” Ramesh told reporters here.
Participating in a live TV news
programme last Friday, Ramesh
said that State Finance Minister
K M Mani was given Rs10mn to
ensure that 418 bars in the state
are allowed to reopen.
Soon after the revelation, the
Left opposition was up in arms
demanding the resignation of
Mani. Leader of the opposition,
V S Achuthanandan, sought a
vigilance probe.
The Oommen Chandy government formed a п¬Ѓve-member
vigilance probe team and it was
they who took the statement
from Ramesh.
“He (Mani) asked for
Rs50mn and Rs10mn was given. Everything that I revealed
before was told to the vigilance. My association (Kerala
Bar Owners Association) has
appointed a five-member
team and they have handed
over all the evidence to vigilance,” added Ramesh.
The executive meeting of the
association held on Thursday at
Kochi decided to back Ramesh
and a п¬Ѓve-member committee
was appointed to п¬Ѓnd out more
details of the alleged bribery and
if any other minister was given
Refuting the allegations,
State Excise Minister K Babu
yesterday challenged the bar
association to come out with
New Delhi
Rains lash Srinagar yesterday bringing more misery to residents. The Leh-Srinagar highway
has been shut after the region received heavy snowfall.
hen a bomb went off
last month in West
Bengal, police at India’s leading counterterrorism
organisation had to hail taxis to
get to the scene because they did
not have enough cars.
The admission by two officers
from the National Investigation
Agency underlines how poorly
equipped it is to fulfil its role
of investigating the most serious terrorism cases, cutting off
funding to militants and putting
suspects on trial.
The NIA’s woes are symptomatic of an overstretched intelligence network at a time when
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
must counter the growing threat
of militants from Al Qaeda, and
possibly also Islamic State, gaining a foothold in the world’s largest democracy.
The NIA has no officers specialising in cyber surveillance,
explosives or tracing chemicals
and has been forced to ask companies to decrypt computers recovered at crime scenes, officers
“The government has its
budget constraints; we have done
quite well in cracking cases with
the resources at our disposal,”
NIA head Sharad Kumar said.
When NIA officers eventually
arrived at the scene of the blast
in West Bengal, bordering Bangladesh, what they discovered
was important. Two members of
a banned Bangladeshi militant
group had blown themselves up
building bombs, and the NIA believes they were part of a series of
plots to destabilise Bangladesh.
The NIA, which had only
opened its West Bengal branch
or the second time in п¬Ѓve
months, Bhutan hosted an
important visitor from India, as the kingdom pulled out
all stops to demonstrate its special ties with the country and
warm feelings towards President
Pranab Mukherjee. The visit reinforces the “high importance”
New Delhi attaches to this relationship, the president said.
The president’s visit came
within п¬Ѓve months of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s June
15-16, less than three weeks after assuming office in what was
his maiden foreign visit as prime
minister. It was, however, the
п¬Ѓrst presidential visit from India
to this country in over a quarter
of a century.
Although the president, in an
interview to the national newspaper Kuensel, emphasised in
response to a question that his
visit “has no connection with
Bhutan-China talks”, that Beijing
was an elephant in the room and
its persistent attempts to leverage
the talks to its strategic advantage that would be detrimental to
India has been a point of concern
for Indian policy makers.
Bhutan has no diplomatic ties
with China but Beijing has been
trying to put pressure on Thimphu for the last few years to allow
it to open its mission in Thimphu, which the latter has been
That Bhutan considers its historic ties with India “special”
needed no better affirmation than
the surprise presence of King
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk
and Queen Jetsun Pema at the airport to receive President Mukherjee, bypassing protocol. Earlier,
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay
was scheduled to receive the head
of Indian state.
Mukherjee came yesterday
morning by a special Indian Air
Force plane to Paro, from where
he drove to Thimphu, a 56km
route that was lined by flag-wav-
ing schoolchildren, villagers.
At places along the route villagers brought out ceremonial
offerings of fruits, flowers and
incense in honour of the visiting
dignitary. Mukherjee, said aides,
had a 40-year relationship with
Bhutan and has been held “in
high esteem by its leadership and
common people”.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha
Singh described the people’s
turnout for President Mukherjee
as “unprecedented”.
Later, Mukherjee was formally
welcomed by the king and the
queen at the Tashichhodzong,
the magnificent seat of Bhutan’s
government which also serves as
the king’s office besides housing
a famous monastery.
The president is accompanied by several members of parliament, including BJP leader
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is
expected to be sworn in as a minister on Sunday, Minister of State
for Railways Manoj Sinha, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and
senior officials.
“The government has its
budget constraints; we
have done quite well in
cracking cases with the
resources at our disposal”
Before the Mumbai attack,
India’s security agencies were
so riven by conflict and miscommunication that they failed
to process warnings about the
threat of a sea-borne assault, the
government said later, vowing to
revamp the state machinery.
Six years later and Modi has
yet to lay out plans to overhaul
the structure of the security
services or improve the information flow between agencies,
according to police and intelligence officers.
Since winning power in May,
his domestic security focus has
been to boost surveillance of
suspects in the Muslim community following the rise of Islamic State and to improve intelligence ties with the US and
Israel, government officials said.
So far his government has not
responded to the NIA’s request
made months ago to double the
staff, recruit more specialists and
create a national centre of excellence to train officers.
A home ministry spokesman
declined to comment on those
requests, part of a blueprint to
overhaul the NIA.
Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict
Management in New Delhi, said
there had been “aggression from
the new government in its statements and its posturing on terrorism.
“There is no sign of a dramatic transformation in its approach, and until we get that,
then the best you can hope for
is for the same people to do a
little better.” INFIGHTING Like
many countries, India has several intelligence and investigation agencies. The Intelligence
Bureau is the domestic unit and
the Research and Analysis Wing
is an external spy agency. The
military runs its own intelligence wing and so do paramilitary organisations like the Border Security Force.
Infighting continues to hinder
India’s ability to prevent attacks
and agencies are often reluctant
to share information, according
to intelligence officials at these
organisations as well as experts.
“The Indian intelligence services have long been plagued by
stove piping and failure to share
information,” said Bruce Riedel,
a former senior CIA expert on
South Asia who has advised
President Barack Obama on
policy in the region. “Modi’s new
national security adviser, Ajit
Doval, a long-time intelligence
professional, will have the job of
making the services perform at a
higher level.”
Search on for sailors
as navy vessel sinks
President denies Bhutan
visit linked to China talks
п¬Ѓve days earlier, was caught by
surprise by the blast, as were
other Indian intelligence agencies. It is now investigating the
case and says it is struggling to
find a dozen senior militant leaders who it said had fled the area
after the explosion.
The NIA was created in response to the siege of Mumbai
when Pakistani gunmen killed
166 people in a commando-style
assault on two luxury hotels, a
train station and a Jewish centre
in 2008.
The agency is seen as India’s
answer to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation’s counterterrorism
wing, although, despite a population four times that of the US, it
has about 0.5% of the funding of
its American counterpart.
New Delhi
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Queen Jetsun Pema
receive President Mukherjee at the Bhutan airport yesterday.
our navy personnel, including an officer, remained missing yesterday
while the navy launched fullscale search and rescue (SAR)
operation after its torpedo recovery vessel (TRV) sank off the
Visakhapatnam coast on Thursday night.
A board of inquiry headed by
a captain has been constituted
to investigate into the circumstances leading to the mishap.
Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan, who is on an official visit to
Seychelles, has cut short his visit
to reach Visakhapatnam.
A defence ministry release said
that nine ships of the Eastern
Fleet and a few aircraft, including Boeing P8I, Dorniers, Sea
King 42C, and Chetak helicopters have been deployed through
the night to search for the missing personnel.
“At the time of the incident,
there were 29 personnel on
board. One sailor has lost his life
during the rescue operation and
four personnel (one officer and
three sailors) are still reported
missing,” the release said.
It said that as per the initial reports, the probable reason for the
sinking of the vessel seems to be
ingress of sea water (flooding) in
the engine room and aft steering
compartment of the vessel.
Sources said the likely cause
was “material failure”.
The ship was built by Goa
Shipyard Ltd in 1983.
TRV is an auxiliary vessel used
to recover practice torpedoes
fired by fleet ships and submarines.
The navy has witnessed a series
of accidents over the past year.
Earlier this year, the then navy
chief Admiral D K Joshi resigned
taking moral responsibility for
“the accidents and incidents”.
In August last year, 18 crew
members on board — three officers and 15 sailors — were killed
when blasts ripped through the
torpedo compartment of the INS
Sindhurakshak while the submarine was berthed at the Mumbai
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
A Palestinian student is welcomed at the Simon
Bolivar airport outside Caracas. Some 100
Palestinian students arrived in Caracas to begin
their studies in medicine at a medical school in
train deal
Mujica offered $1mn
for 27-year-old car
Venezuela �collectives’
defy disarmament bid
Rousseff vows to trim
budget, curb inflation
Ecuador, Venezuela to press
Opec to cut oil output
The car that Uruguayan President Jose Mujica
has driven for 27 years is no luxury vehicle
but apparently is worth a lot of money. The
79-year-old, whose presidential term expires
early next year, has been offered $1mn dollars
for the blue Volkswagen by a Sheikh whom
he met in June at the G77 summit in Bolivia.
According to the magazine Busqueda, Mujica is
seriously weighing the offer and would donate
the proceeds to a government programme for
the construction of housing for the poor. The
left-leaning head of state says he has received
many offers for the car, but none that compare
to the Sheikh’s bid.
Armed groups of supporters of Venezuela’s
late president Hugo Chavez have refused
to take part in a government-sponsored
disarmament effort aimed at combating
rampant crime, posing a delicate problem for
his successor. “We are not criminal bands, we
are revolutionary bands,” said a statement
by representatives of 260 groups known as
“collectives” that flourished under Chavez,
who died last year of cancer after 14 years
in power. “It seems totally absurd to ask
collectives involved in revolutionary work to
give up their arms just as if they were any old
criminal organisation,” the statement said.
President Dilma Rousseff vowed to redouble her
efforts to jolt Brazil’s sluggish economy out of
its doldrums, including new measures to curb
inflation and reduce spending. In an interview
published in yesterday’s editions of several of the
nation’s leading newspapers, the newly re-elected
leader promised to take measures to reinvigorate
Brazil’s economy, the seventh-largest in the world.
“We will reinforce inflation controls and will keep
our spending within budget restrictions,” she said
in her first major interview since her October 26
re-election. Rousseff vowed that all government
spending would be put “under a magnifying glass”
as her administration searches for places to cut.
Ecuador and Venezuela will urge Opec to
lower oil production to protect prices, which
have fallen sharply since June, Ecuadoran
President Rafael Correa said. “We are going to
take a joint position to protect prices, which
would imply cutting production somewhat.
It’s complicated, but that is going to be
the position of Ecuador and Venezuela,”
Correa said at news conference with foreign
journalists. The Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries’ two Latin American
members will jointly make their case during
the group’s next meeting in Vienna on
November 27, he said.
Protest over missing students
Mexico City
exico abruptly withdrew a multi-billion-dollar deal with
a Chinese-led consortium to
build the country’s first bullet train after concerns were
raised about the bidding
The government had awarded the $3.75bn contract to the
China Railway Construction
Corporation and four Mexican
partners on Monday after the
group had been the only one
to submit a bid.
But President Enrique Pena
Nieto scrapped the deal to
avoid “any doubts about the
legitimacy and transparency”
of the bidding process, said
Transport Minister Gerardo
Ruiz Esparza.
Ruiz Esparza told the Televisa network that the bidding
would start over.
The transport ministry said
in a statement that the president made the decision “due
to the doubts and concerns
that have emerged in public
More time will be allotted to
encourage more train-makers
to make proposals, the ministry said.
The Chinese-Mexican consortium faced no opposition
when it was picked Monday to
build the 210km high-speed
rail between the capital Mexico City and the central manufacturing hub of Queretaro.
Pena Nieto surprisingly
revoked the deal three days
before flying to China for an
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit and a
two-day state visit in his latest effort to forge closer ties
with the Asian powerhouse.
The high-speed rail project
is part of Pena Nieto’s plan to
bring back passenger trains to
Latin America’s second-biggest economy. But only one
group submitted a proposal by
the October 15 deadline.
Top judge’s sentence
for extortion charges
associated with illicit drugs
trade taints late Venezuelan
president and party
Guardian News and Media
Students and civil society groups shout slogans in front of the attorney general headquarters in
Mexico City during a protest demanding that the authorities find the 43 missing students. The 43
students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in the southern town of Iguala went missing
on September 26 after police opened fire on them, killing six people, including three of the
student, and wounding 25 others.
Plaque unveiled by
Prince Charles smashed
69-year-old Colombian engineer smashed a
plaque commemorating the death in 1741 of thousands of English soldiers in
the coastal city of Cartagena
just days after it was inaugurated by Prince Charles, said
the mayor of the city who has
now ordered its removal.
During an official visit,
Charles unveiled the black
marble plaque last week with a
text in Spanish that pays tribute to the bravery of soldiers
led by Admiral Edward Vernon,
who tried to wrest the city from
Spanish colonists.
Although it was the idea of
Cartagena’s Corporacion Centro Historico historical society,
the plaque quickly caused a stir
in the city proud of the victory
by the far-outnumbered Spanish over the English invaders.
Cartagena Mayor Dionisio Velez Trujillo, who hosted
Charles and Camilla Parker
Chavez ally
jailed for links
to Colombian
drugs cartels
Bowles at the plaque’s inauguration, said he was ordering its
removal though it could be restored to the same spot with a
modified inscription.
“It was never my intention to
stir up this controversy or tread
on sensitivities but I won’t dig
my heels in. A government has
to avoid mistakes but when
it’s clear they’ve happened, it
is obliged to rectify them,” he
Trujillo said he would request that Cartagena’s Academy of History come up with a
replacement text for the plaque
which local news websites
showed bearing large cracks
across its surface.
The plaque had been placed
at the foot of the Spanishbuilt, 17th century San Felipe
castle perched high on a rock
overlooking the coast to defend
against naval invaders. It is
now a famous Cartagena landmark and tourist attraction.
The man who smashed the
monument, Jaime Rendon, an
engineer who describes himself as an environmentalist,
told local radio he was “proud”
of his act and that he destroyed
the plaque in case the city hall
failed to carry out its promise
to remove it.
“It’s an insult to the memory
of the true heroes of Cartagena,” Rendon said. He could face
charges over the incident.
Sabas Pretelt de la Vega
from the Corporacion Centro Historico said the plaque
was intended to offer the English a tribute to their soldiers’
lost lives in the battle won by
the forces of Spanish commander Blas de Lezo despite
the 190-strong English armada
overwhelmingly outnumbering his troops. “A barbarian
smashed it to pieces,” said de
la Vega. “If there are historians and technicians who consider it’s worth correcting and
changing it and putting a better
text, we’ll do so with pleasure.
“The important thing is to ...
show the world that here, Hispanic America did not fall into
the hands of the English empire
because of what Cartagena did
in 1741,” he said.
t was meant to be a relaxing
holiday at Disney World for
Benny Palmeri-Bacchi, a
senior Venezuelan judge, and
his family. A chance to unwind
at the Florida fantasy land from
the stresses of the job.
But the fairytale vacation
quickly became a nightmare
when his plane from Caracas
was greeted by federal agents
at Miami airport and he found
himself carted off to jail.
Now, after a secretive and
far-reaching inquiry by US investigators into links between
Venezuelan government officials
and Colombian drugs cartels,
Palmeri, 46, will be spending at
least 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors had accused
Palmeri of taking bribes to ease
shipments of cocaine through
Venezuela to Mexico and the
Caribbean for distribution in the
US, and his admission of guilt
in a federal court in Miami this
week – on money laundering,
conspiracy and extortion charges – marks the first time an ally
of the late Venezuelan president
Hugo Chavez has been tied to
the Colombian drugs trade.
The prosecutors dropped a
charge claiming Palmeri was
involved in the distribution of
cocaine in return for his pleading
guilty on the three other counts,
each of which carries a 20-year
jail term.
Harry Landen, a Venezuela
expert and professor of politi-
Humala meets Putin
cal science at the University of
South Florida, said of the case:
“Whether the Venezuelan government is embarrassed by this
depends on how senior this
judge was, how close he was to
the previous party of Chavez or
the new party of Maduro, and
who he knew. If they’re smart
they’ll write him off as a rogue
agent, someone acting on his
own and whose activities they
condemn completely.”
Palmeri’s plea deal recommends that his terms be served
concurrently, although the US
district court judge Ursula Ungaro has the discretion at the
sentencing hearing in February
to make them run consecutively.
The case against Palmeri was
based largely on assistance from
informants and built by a team
of Miami narcotics investigators
led by the veteran justice department prosecutor Richard Gregorie – who had brought down the
Panamanian dictator Manuel
Noriega in 1992.
According to Gregorie, Palmeri frequently took bribes to help
Venezuelan-based cartel members continue their activities, and
used “force, violence and fear” to
extract money or ensure silence.
In one instance, the indictment alleged, Palmeri threatened an estate agent by e-mailing photographs of a man being
murdered and videos of prisoners being sodomised in Venezuelan prisons.
Authorities saw an opportunity to get Palmer when he
applied for a visa at the US embassy in Caracas for his family holiday to Florida. Palmeri’s
Miami-based lawyer, Edward
Abramson, told the court at his
initial appearance after his arrest in July, that his client had
walked into “a bear trap” of the
Chile inflation surges
well above forecast
Peru’s President Ollanta Humala (left) shakes hands with his
Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the
Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow yesterday.
US government’s creation.
At п¬Ѓrst Palmeri had pleaded
not guilty to all charges but
changed his mind apparently in return for co-operating
with investigators. Prosecutors
dropped the distribution charge,
which carried a sentence of life.
Gregorie’s office did not respond to a request from the
Guardian for comment.
Palmeri was one of three men
indicted in December 2013 by
department of justice investigators looking into the Cartel of the
Suns, a loose alliance of government and military officials in the
government of long-time Venezuelan president Chavez, before
his death last year . All were believed to be conspiring with the
The biggest п¬Ѓsh slipped the
net in the summer.
Hugo Carvajal Barrios, a general and the country’s former
military intelligence chief, was
arrested in Aruba in July at the
request of the US, when he arrived to take up his new role as
Venezuela’s consul-general on
Caribbean island.
Carvajal, named by the US
Treasury department in 2008 as
a “drugs kingpin”, assisted the
narcotics trafficking activities of
the Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia (Farc) according to
his indictment. But instead of
sending him to Miami to face trial, the Dutch government bowed
to pressure from a delegation of
Venezuelan officials sent to the
island, and released him.
Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Chavez as president,
complained that Carvajal had
been kidnapped despite his diplomatic immunity, and threatened economic reprisals against
nflation in Chile surged
in October at its highest
monthly jump in over п¬Ѓve
years, over twice the estimated pace, taking the annual rate
to what one analyst called an
“alarming” 5.7%.
The consumer price index
rose 1% in October, the government said yesterday, well
above a forecast of 0.4% in a
Reuters poll of economists.
Annual inflation clocked
in at 5.7%, the highest since
January 2009 and the seventh
month in a row that inflation
has been above the central
bank’s tolerance range of 2%
to 4%.
The latest data will worry
the central bank, which has
said it was likely inflation
could touch 5% in the short
term but that the effect of an
economic slowdown will cool
prices next year.
“The increase in overall
prices is quite alarming and
I think the market may start
getting suspicious about the
central bank’s discourse that
the uptrend in inflation is just
temporary,” said 4cast analyst
Diego Colman.
Weighing the desire to
dampen persistent inflation
with the need to stimulate
the economy, the bank has
chosen to go with the latter,
cutting the benchmark interest rate 200 basis points
in the last year. But the bank
may now have to rethink its
Inflation “seems to be
getting out of control after
eight rate cuts in the past 13
months,” said Colman.
Prices were up in most
categories, according to the
INE statistics agency, with
an emphasis on food, drinks,
new cars, and tobacco. The
main drivers were a continued weakening of the peso
against the US dollar, which
has led to higher import
costs, and the impact of recent tax reform.
The centre-left government
of President Michelle Bachelet
has increased taxes to fund an
overhaul of education in Chile,
the top copper exporter.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Cop among 10 killed by
Taliban in Afghanistan
Roadside bombs kill six in
northwest Pakistan
Three more lawmakers of
PTI refuse to resign
Fishermen free endangered
whale sharks from nets
Youth loan scheme further
softens conditions
At least nine civilians and a policeman were
shot dead by the Taliban in the eastern Afghan
province of Paktia, an official said, adding their
bodies were found on Thursday. The victims
were kidnapped and later executed late on
Wednesday in the district of Zurmar, provincial
governor’s spokesperson Rohula Samoon said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack
in a statement in which it said the dead were
eight policemen and an intelligence service
agent, according to the Khaama daily. In the first
six months of this year, 1,564 civilians lost their
lives, 17% more than in the first half of 2013, while
the number of wounded rose by 28% to 3,289.
At least six people were killed and three
others injured when two roadside bomb
blasts hit a passenger van and motorbike in
the restive northwest yesterday, officials said.
“The incident occurred in Chinori village of
the Orakzai tribal district (around 75 miles
northwest of Peshawar), the target was the
son of a peace committee chief”, said a local
administration official. Khushal Khan, a senior
administration official, confirmed the incident.
“The first blast hit the motorbike, killing
the son of the anti-Taliban peace militia and
injuring his friend, while the second blast hit a
passenger van killing five people”, Khan said.
Three more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
lawmakers have refused to quit the National
Assembly, as PTI chairman Imran Khan faces a
rebellion-like situation within the party. Qaisar
Jamal, Siraj Muhammad Khan and Saleemur
Rehman are the three lawmakers who did not
appear before the Speaker National Assembly,
Ayaz Sadiq, to confirm their resignations
which were submitted en masse with other
PTI lawmakers on the direction of the PTI
chairman on August 22. Siraj Muhammad Khan
has now informed the NA Speaker in writing
not to accept his resignation. Speaker Ayaz
Sadiq has accepted his written application.
Pakistani fishermen have recently released
three endangered whale sharks into the
offshore waters in the last week of October,
it was learnt yesterday. One of the specimen,
an 18ft whale shark, had become entangled
in the fishermen’s tuna gillnet, near Gora
Bari, around 73km south of Karachi on
October 26. The fishermen immediately
launched a rescue mission and freed
the shark from the net on the same day.
Separately, two specimens, one of which was
10ft-long and the other 14ft-long, became
entangled in fishing nets near Shumal
Bunder, off Pasni on October 23.
Rules have further been softened for seeking
loans under prime minister’s youth business
scheme, and now balloting will be held for
all applications sanctioned during a month
based on respective share in the NFC Award.
The State Bank of Pakistan issued a circular to
all banks yesterday explaining the additional
parameters for the scheme. Under the
amended rules, the guarantor must have
individual or collective net worth of 1.5 times of
the requested amount. “The applicant can also
provide guarantee of more than one guarantor
with aggregate net worth of 1.5 times of the
requested loan amount,” said the bank.
Sharif to sign
pacts worth
$46bn during
China visit
akistani Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif’s whirlwind visit to China
would help in ushering a new
era of development, prosperity and generating employment
opportunities in Pakistan.
The prime minister who will
spend 72 hours in Chinese capital, is awaited by hectic schedule along-with back-to-back
meetings including one with
Chinese President Xi Jinping
while the other with his counterpart from China Li Kegiang
during the stay.
Highly-placed diplomatic
sources told The News yesterday that a number of memorandums of understanding
(MOUs) would be inked between the two countries during
the stay of the premier in Chinese capital, including one historic trade corridor that would
connect Pakistan with Central
Asian States.
The visit would help enhancing bilateral trade, developing infrastructure, enhancing people to people contacts
and addressing the issue of
load-shedding in the country,
the sources maintained.
Nawaz Sharif
The ties between Pakistan
and China have always been
exemplary. Energy is vitally
important for the economy and
this has remained on the top of
the prime minister’s agenda,
ever since he assumed power in
June last year.
The signing of several MoUs
reflects depth of bilateral relations between the two countries. Over 21 projects of generating 16,520MW with an
estimated cost of around $33bn
would bring substantial improvement in diverse sectors of
country after completion.
The prime minister would
sign agreement to construct
440km KKH II (Raiot-Islamabad section), Karachi-Lahore
motorway, Havelian dry port,
Orange line project of Lahore,
Cross border optical п¬Ѓber cable
and Hari-Ruba economic zone,
Sino-hydro Resource and Al
Mirqab Capital among others.
The visit having special
significance and an effort to
control the damage done to
country’s economy by twin
so-called destructive sit-ins,
would attract investment of
over $46bn in the country.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had to cancel his visit to
Pakistan due to sit-ins - consequently the country had to
endure losses of billions of
In last three months Pakistan
has endured multiple economic losses. The visit would surely
help controlling the damage
done to country’s economy
due to irresponsible politics.
The visit is a sincere effort to
attract much needed foreign
investment for the country.
Both the countries are set to
sign agreements to construct
various roads, railway and other infrastructure development
projects with the estimated
cost of around $4bn.
With Chinese investment,
the country’s economy is set
to take off and flourish generating numerous employment
opportunities for the people of
Pakistan, especially the youth.
Ghulam Sakhi, right, the father of Sahar Batool, who was found dead at a garbage dump, holding up a portrait of his late daughter in
Quetta yesterday.
Probe after girl’s body found
olice in southwest Pakistan are investigating after a six-year-old
girl was strangled and dumped
near a garbage heap after apparently being subjected to rape
Sahar Batool, who was from
the minority Hazara ethnic
group, was found on Wednesday last week in Quetta, the
capital of the southwestern
province of Baluchistan.
“It is a heinous crime and police are making all out efforts to
solve it,” Inspector General of
Police for Baluchistan, Amlash
Khan, said.
Khan said some potential
suspects were being questioned.
Quetta city police chief Abdur
Razzak Cheema said Sahar, the
daughter of a gardener working
at an army facility, was found
near a dump close to her home.
She had been strangled with a
rope, he said.
“There were a lot of bruises on
the girl’s body that shows that
attempts were made to rape her,”
he said.
Sahar’s distraught parents
were at a loss to understand the
“We have no enmity with any
one,” the girl’s mother Bakhtawar Bibi said.
“On the day it happened Sahar went to throw out the rubbish close to the house but did
not come back, I went out in
search of her, but could not find
Uniform relief
package for IDPs
under study
census plan
shelved the plan to carry
out a population census
due to the opposition from some
political groups and the poor law
and order situation in the country, sources said yesterday.
A Karachi-based political party
has recently caused a major blow
to the efforts of the government
because it is strongly opposed to
holding of census that may increase the political strength of its
rival parties and groups.
They said the federal government has recently received a letter
from the Election Commission of
Pakistan (ECP) in which it insisted
to hold a population census that
would help delimit constituencies.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
immediately directed the concerned authorities to work on the
issue of population census.
“But now the ground situation
shows that even the security institution could not be able to provide foolproof security cover to
some 200,000 people to be hired
for the census as it is already engaged in two military operations
in Fata areas,” the sources said.
A government official said that
the fresh census is a constitutional requirement for delimiting
the constituencies, be it for national or provincial assemblies’
seats or for the local bodies.
A neighbour told Bibi her
daughter was at the dump.
“She was already dead, with
blood from her mouth and nose
while her all body bore bruises,”
Bibi said, tears rolling down her
Father Ghulam Sakhi demanded the “beast” who killed
his daughter be brought to justice.
“Tiny Sahar insisted I give her
a ride on my motorbike in the
morning before work — I didn’t
realise this would be the last time
I ever saw her,” he said.
Civil activists participating in a protest vigil in Karachi yesterday.
Financial aid for murdered couple’s family
inancial aid has been
announced for the family of a Christian couple
burnt alive by a mob for allegedly desecrating the Qur’an in
Pakistan, a media report said
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday visited
the family and announced Pakistani Rs5mn ($48,781) as compensation as well as 10 acres of
land, Dawn online reported.
The incident occurred in Kot
Rasha Kishan town of Punjab
province on Tuesday.
The chief minister also announced that the Punjab gov-
ernment will take care of the
couple’s three children and
provide for their education and
On Wednesday, police arrested 50 villagers who were believed to be part of the mob that
beat the couple to death.
Among those arrested was
the owner of the brick kiln
where 25-year-old Shama,
who was pregnant at the time
of the incident, and her husband Shahzad Masih worked as
bonded labourers.
According to reports, people
from three nearby villages tortured the couple before putting
them into the kiln’s furnace on
Police alleged a local religious
leader had fanned the issue.
ederal authorities in Pakistan are considering
a uniform relief package for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) instead
of repatriating them to their
The Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) recently asked the federal government to make the relief
package to IDPs of other tribal
agencies consistent with what
was paid to those from North
Waziristan Agency.
Official sources said that
additional chief secretary,
Fata, Mohammad Azam Khan
had suggested to the federal
ministry of states and frontier
regions (Safron) to sanction
cash assistance of Rs12,000
each for IDPs of other tribal
agencies verified by the National Database Registration
Authority (Nadra) in addition to the North Waziristan
Nadra has verified total
160,805 dislocated families
from Kurram, South Waziristan, Khyber and Orakzai
agencies and Frontier Region, Tank, who have been
residing in and off camps in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and
Fata. Nadra’s verified number
of dislocated families from
North Waziristan Agency is
69,021 families.
“The monthly financial implication of 160,805 families
will come to Rs1.92bn,” said an
official letter addressed to the
Safron ministry. Monthly bill
of IDPs will cross Rs2bn п¬Ѓgure if the federal government
entertains the FDMA request.
FDMA had registered total
102,047 dislocated families
from North Waziristan Agency after launch of operation
Zarb-e-Azb in June this year.
After scrutiny process Nadra
verified 69,021 families who
have been declared eligible for
receiving relief assistance.
The federal government is
paying cash assistance per
month to all verified IDPs
(Rs12, 000 each household)
of North Waziristan. Besides
the monthly cash assistance
the government had paid
one-time cash assistance of
Rs5,000 for non-food items
and one-time Ramazan package of Rs20,000.
have been increasing due to
delay in the return process
of the IDPs to their homes.
Apart from this, the World
Food Programme is also distributing tons of food items
among IDPs.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Singer Viray set to win hearts for disaster aid
Manila Times
Viray: singing for a cause
oul Princess Jonalyn Viray
is set to conquer the concert the stage once again
with Fearless: The Repeat.
Besides showcasing her stage
prowess, the talented belter’s second major concert also aims to
raise funds for the rehabilitation
of super typhoon Haiyan-stricken
areas.In February, Viray success-
fully staged Fearless at the Music
Museum as she marked her ninth
anniversary in the music industry.
This November, she promises a
bolder and more stellar performance for her fans.
In the thick of preparations for
the concert, Viray is keen on polishing every song number in her
repertoire. She is also very excited
to sing with Tom Rodriguez, Thor
and Queen of Soul Jaya who will
be her special guests.Viray rose
to fame after being hailed as the
п¬Ѓrst Grand Champion of the GMA
Network talent search Pinoy Pop
Superstar. Since then, she has
showcased her wide vocal range in
a series of tours, variety shows and
teleserye theme songs.
Viray lent her voice to the re-
cording of My Husband’s Lover
ending theme, Help Me Get Over,
which was chosen as Song of the
Year at the 6th PMPC Star Awards
for Music. Fearless: The Repeat
will be held on November 14 at the
Music Museum.
Climate envoy to
end epic walk at
ground zero
hilippine climate change
envoy Naderev Sano will
today reach ground zero
of the strongest typhoon ever
to hit land, completing an epic
march he believes will help
spur global warming action.
1,000-kilometre trek in Tacloban, a major city in the
central Philippines that was
among the worst hit when super typhoon Haiyan crashed
in off the Pacific Ocean exactly one year ago.
“It’s been a wonderful
journey. Physically, the walk
is starting to take a toll on my
leg... but everyone is in high
spirits and so am I,” Sano said
as he reached the final reststop in the typhoon-damaged town of Basey.
Sano and 12 other walkers have travelled an average
of 25 kilometres a day since
leaving the nation’s capital,
Manila, more than a month
Sano, the Philippine representative to the UN climate
change negotiations, made
world headlines last year
when he fasted during the
annual summit in Poland to
protest the lack of meaningful progress on global warming.
The trek to Tacloban is another call to action, and he
has garnered the support of
global environment activist heavyweights, such as
Greenpeace, Oxfam and Climate Action Network, as well
as strong social media support.
The walk is also a show of
solidarity for the millions of
survivors of Haiyan, many
of whom are enduring brutal poverty and living in areas that leave them dangerously exposed to the next big
Haiyan left more than
7,350 people dead or missing
as winds of 315 kilometres an
hour and tsunami-like storm
surges devastated poor farming and fishing communities.
The typhoon was an extreme weather event consistent with man-made climate
change, the UN’s weather
agency said in March.
“We are under no illusions
that the walk will change
anything (in the climate
change fight) overnight, but
it is raising awareness,” Sano
A more tangible outcome
of the journey was the overwhelming support of the local communities that the
walkers have passed through,
according to Sano.
“At the least, every person
who we have encountered
we can safely say we have
converted them on climate
change action and they will
become local environmental
heroes in their own communities,” he said.
“Many of them promised
to us they would continue the
fight by organising with their
own communities to protect
their natural resources.”
Sano said every local government in the 40 towns they
stopped in along the way had
also signed commitments to
take their own action on climate change, including developing strategies to cope
with stronger storms.
Sano said the band of walkers had swelled to as many
as 3,000 people at different
stages of the trek, as school
children and supporters in
towns joined for a few hours
or a day.
The original group that
started in Manila stayed each
night in tents or in local community centres such as gymnasiums or schools, and they
would approach each town
banging drums or playing
other musical instruments.
Sano, 40, said he had lost
a lot of weight and had a shin
splint that left him in severe
pain during the final stages of
the walk, but he was otherwise in good health.
Sano described the best
part of the journey as the
walk into Basey, which was
the first town in his journey
that had been badly damaged
during Haiyan.
“I was personally anticipating a solemn atmosphere
but what we got was a rousing welcome... I got teary
eyed, many walkers got teary
eyed,” he said.
Protesters covered with mud shout anti-government slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace in Manila yesterday, a day before the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan that hit
Tacloban city, central Philippines.
Typhoon rebuilding pace
defended by president
hilippine President Benigno Aquino yesterday
defended the pace of rebuilding in communities ravaged a year ago by super typhoon
Haiyan, insisting that thorough
reconstruction takes time.
Haiyan, the strongest storm
ever to make landfall, killed or
left missing more than 7,350
people as it flattened mostly
poor areas in large swathes of
the central Philippines.
Tens of thousands of survivors are still dangerously exposed to future storms, living
in tents, shanty huts or other
flimsy shelters, as a prolonged
rebuilding phase has only just
In a speech at the hard-hit
town of Guiuan a day ahead of
Haiyan’s one-year anniversary,
Aquino said he was determined
to ensure the reconstruction
A handout photo released yesterday shows Philippine President
Benigno Aquino visit pupils as he inspects the newly-repaired
classrooms of Guiuan East Central School during his visit to Guiuan,
eastern Samar province yesterday.
programme was carried out
correctly, rather than rushing.
“Curse me, criticise me but
I believe I must do the right
thing,” Aquino said.
“I am impatient like every-
one else but I have to stress
that we can’t rebuild haphazardly. We have to build back
better... let’s get it right the
first time and the benefits
should be permanent.”
Aquino has come under
criticism for approving the
($3.6bn) reconstruction master plan only last week.
He previously defended the
time taken to finalise it, saying programmes from affected municipalities had to be
throughly scrutinised.
The government’s plan calls
for 205,000 new homes for
roughly 1mn people to be built
in areas away from coastal
danger zones, but this has
only just started with a few
thousand constructed so far.
Important reconstruction
work has taken place ahead
of the formal adoption of the
master plan, including rebuilding roads, bridges, hospitals and other vital infra-
structure. In partnership with
major international aid agencies, the government has also
helped to roll out vaccination
programmes for millions of
children and given rice seeds
to desperate farmers.
Aquino cited international
aid agencies as saying postHaiyan recovery efforts were
moving faster compared with
programmes in Indonesia’s
Bandeh Aceh after it was hit
by mega-tsunami waves in
The president also defended his decision not to visit Tacloban, the biggest city in the
typhoon-hit areas but where
the mayor is a bitter political
rival, for one-year anniversary commemorations.
“I have a hunch my critics
will say I am taking Tacloban
for granted.... but I am not after brownie points,” he said,
insisting recovery efforts were
strong there and he did not
have to visit personally.
A year after deadly storm, women weave their magic
year after one of the
world’s most powerful
storms smashed into the
Philippines, a group of women
are stitching their lives back
together by weaving colourful
reeds used in handicrafts sold by
the world’s top retailers.
Their workshop is a far cry
from the high-end shops selling
their products such as handbags
and homewares on 5th Avenue in
New York.
Sitting in one of the caves dotting the seaside highway of Basey town in central Philippines,
about a dozen women weave
the reed plant, known as tikog,
which is sold to sustain their
families still struggling to make
ends meet after Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,000 dead or
missing last Nov 8.
“Weaving helps feed our
families. But we haven’t really
recovered, we still don’t earn
enough,” said Marilyn Corpus,
46, from inside the cave whose
cool temperature helps preserve
the grass.
Amongst the despair and
devastation wrought by Haiyan
-- the strongest storm ever recorded to hit land -- hundreds of
Typhoon Haiyan survivors weave mats in a cave in Basey, eastern Samar, in central Philippines.
women weavers have emerged as
the main breadwinners in their
Most of the weavers say they
received relief and building materials for their homes from foreign and local NGOs and private
groups, but none from the gov-
ernment, possibly because of
their remote location.
But theirs is a rare story of
hope in the region’s rural economy, which was mainly dependent on the coconut groves destroyed by the storm.
In a country where about one
in four people lived below the
poverty line at the beginning of
last year, Haiyan drove another
1.5mn Filipinos into the extreme
hardship of living on less than
$1 a day. The UN’s International
Labour Organisation (ILO) says
nearly 6mn lost their jobs im-
mediately after the typhoon -mostly retailers, service crew,
coconut farmers, п¬Ѓshermen.
Most of those from the 44
worst-hit provinces in the centre of the country decry the government’s relief effort.
Data from the UN humanitar-
ian team working in the disaster
areas shows that more than half
of the 1.05mn houses damaged
by Haiyan remained totally destroyed or unsafe as of July. The
government estimates it needs
almost 170bn pesos ($3.8bn)
to rebuild all Haiyan-affected
Some of the coconut farmers
are now growing vegetables and
have livestock, while some п¬Ѓshermen have returned to the seas,
albeit only to shallow waters
reachable by their unmotorised
boats. But for most of the typhoon victims, a more sustainable livelihood is still far from
“We’re seeing very good signs
of recovery, but we’re not there
yet,” said Michel Rooijackers,
deputy director for Philippine
operations of Save the Children,
adding that recent studies show
many of the poor survivors “are
just meeting their survival level,
so they are getting by, just getting by”.
Almost 25,000 people still
live in tents, shelters and bunkhouses in the hardest hit regions
in central Philippines, including
Tacloban City, considered Haiyan’s ground zero as it accounted
for almost half of the death toll.
A year later, Samar’s women weavers stand out as being
among the most resilient and industrious workers.
Weeks after the typhoon, aid
organisations identified the
weavers as being critical in holding families together -- both
socially and as primary income
earners. They were given training and funding to optimise their
household standing.
Philippine fashion company
Banago, whose bags and home
accessories are made from mats
produced by Basey weavers, has
doubled its workforce since the
storm to about 1,000 weavers.
The Banago range is a top seller
at high-end retail stores such
J Crew, Anthropologie, Nordstrom and Macy’s.
Haiyan washed away Banago’s
entire production facilities in
Basey, but the company’s founder Renee Patron and her partners
decided to restart their business
a few months after the disaster
“The typhoon made the business more focused, and it also
gave me the opportunity to learn
much more about the women ...
and how we can make their lives
better,” said Patron.
“We had the women rebuild
their homes and after that we
just tried to get them back to
work,” said the US-based merchandiser and fashion designer.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
UN rights chief accuses
Lanka of sabotaging
war crimes probe
Colombo blamed for
subjecting civil society
groups and rights activists
to surveillance, harassment
and other forms of
he UN High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday accused Sri Lanka
of trying to “sabotage” a war
crimes inquiry, creating a “wall
of fear” to prevent witnesses
from giving evidence.
The UN Human Rights Council set up the inquiry in March
to investigate crimes allegedly
committed by both government
forces and Tamil rebels dur-
ing the п¬Ѓnal stages of a 26-year
conflict that ended in 2009.
“The Government of Sri
Lanka has refused point blank
to co-operate with the investigation despite being explicitly
requested by the Human Rights
Council to do so,” Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in
his statement.
“A wall of fear has been created that has undoubtedly served
to deter people from submitting
“Such a refusal does not,
however, undermine the integrity of an investigation set
up by the Council - instead it
raises concerns about the integrity of the government in question. Why would governments
with nothing to hide go to such
extraordinary lengths to sabo-
tage an impartial international
A Sri Lankan foreign ministry
official rejected Zeid’s remarks.
“The government categorically rejects any insinuation of
sabotaging the so-called �independent investigation’ by the
panel of the UNHRC,” the official, who declined to be named,
Sri Lanka had opposed the
decision to set up the UN investigation, which was backed by
23 states, including the United
States and Britain, and opposed by 12, including China and
It has set up its own Presidential Commission into missing
people and says the UN should
accept that instead.
“Our inquiry is open, inde-
information against reprisals.
He also said the ministry had
made an “absurd” accusation
by saying the UN investigation had been compromised
by the arrest of a man with
blank signed forms that could
be п¬Ѓlled in and submitted to
Police in Kilinochchi, the
former stronghold of the
Tamil Tiger rebels, said the
arrested 57-year-old, Sinnathamby Krishnaraja, had
collected personal details and
signatures from local Tamils
and then п¬Ѓlled in the forms as
he wished.
They said he was a former
Tamil Tiger member, but his son
K Sudhakar said his father had
never been involved in any rebel
pendent, and transparent. We
need the backing of the UN
for this credible local process, unlike its own flawed foreign inquiry held in unknown
countries,” the foreign ministry
official said.
Zeid said Sri Lanka had
mounted a campaign of distortion and disinformation, despite
“compelling and widespread
allegations that possible serious international crimes were
Earlier this week Sri Lanka’s
foreign ministry said the investigators were unprofessional,
selective and biased, since they
had refused to divulge details of
witness interviews.
Zeid rejected the accusation
and said it was standard procedure to protect sources of
Police musical band
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein: “Compelling and widespread allegations that
possible serious international crimes were committed.”
Zeid said the UN investigators
would not be taken in by such
alleged frauds and had never issued any such forms for people
to п¬Ѓll in.
Nepal and
India п¬Ѓnalise
draft to build
power project
Members of musical band of Nepal police performing during a musical show to mark Police Day and Nepal Sambat New Year 1135 at Bangemudha in Kathmandu yesterday.
Jamaat leader may hang next week, says minister
angladesh may hang a
senior Islamist leader as
early as next week after
the Supreme Court upheld his
death sentence for war crimes,
the law minister has said.
Mohammad Kamaruzzaman,
of the Jamaat-e-Islami party,
would be the second senior Islamist to hang for crimes committed during the 1971 war of
independence that resulted in
secession of the former East
Law Minister Anisul Huq
said he could be hanged as early
as next week unless he sought a
presidential pardon.
The 62-year-old assistant
secretary general of Jamaat —
Bangladesh’s largest Islamist
party — has seven days to petition the president for clemency,
Huq said on Thursday.
“On the expiry of seven days,
if he does not apply for clem-
“It is a false equation to suggest that because someone may
have been trying to submit false
submissions, the inquiry is
discredited,” he said.
ency... the sentence passed by
the highest court of the country
can be executed,” he said.
Kamaruzzaman was found
guilty in May 2013 of mass murder, torture and abductions.
The Supreme Court on Monday
rejected his appeal, triggering violent clashes between police and
Islamist protesters, who set off
improvised bombs, torched cars
and pelted police with rocks.
In the last week Bangladesh’s
International Crimes Tribunal,
a domestic court, has sentenced
Jamaat’s supreme leader and
key п¬Ѓnancier to death.
HuJI leader nabbed: A top
leader of the banned militant
outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI),
who was sentenced to death in
absentia for the 2001 blast in
Dhaka, has been arrested.
The Rapid Action Battalion
(RAB) media wing director Mufti
Mahmud Khan said that Abu
Bakar was on the run and arrested from Dhaka’s Kernaiganj area
on Wednesday night.
Abu Bakar is said to be one of
the closest associates of HuJI’s
top leader Mufti Hannan.
The 2001 explosions at Dhaka’s Ramna Park left 10 people
Bakar was also charged with
carrying out a grenade attack at
an Awami League rally in Dhaka
in 2004.In June this year, the
court sentenced eight to death,
including Mufti Hannan and
Abu Bakar, and life in prison for
six others for executing blasts
during the Bangla New Year
he Investment Board
Nepal (IBN) and India’s
Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam
(SJVN) have concluded negotiations for the project development agreement (PDA) on the
900MW Arun III hydroelectric
IBN, the Nepal government’s
unit that looks after execution
of mega projects, and SJVN, a
joint venture of India’s power
ministry and the Himachal
Pradesh government, signed the
agreement late Wednesday.
IBN chief executive Radhesh
Pant and SJVN executive director
R K Agrawal negotiated the PDA.
Earlier, IBN and India’s GMR
reached a PDA for the 900MW Upper Karnali hydroelectric project.
Officials involved in negotiations said that IBN will prepare
the PDA draft in a week and
will dispatch it to SJVN for its
SJVN will forward its comments and further negotiation will take place before the
document is signed.
As per the understanding, each
household in six village development committees that will be affected by the project will receive 20
units of energy a month for free.
As well as rural electrification
in the affected areas, the Indian
company will construct schools
and a hospital for the villages.
Nepal will receive 21.9% free
energy - equivalent to 197MW from the project.
The Indian side will study
within six months of the signing of the PDA whether the
project would affect any development projects upstream and
The two parties have agreed
on prioritising raw materials manufactured in Nepal for
constructing the project.
The project will be handed
over to Nepal after 25 years of
The Nepal government and
SJVN signed a memorandum of
understanding in March 2008.
The PDA template for Arun
III will basically be similar to
that of Upper Karnali Hydro
Power Project. GMR India has
agreed to conduct a study on
downstream impact within six
months from the PDA signing,
and construct a re-regulating
dam, if needed.
The two sides are making
arrangements for signing the
PDA during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the sidelines
of the 18th SAARC summit
in Kathmandu, officials said.
Bangladesh’s besieged Islamist party fights for life
angladesh’s largest Islamist party faces an existential crisis after a series of
body blows, including the sentencing to death of its leaders
and abandonment by its main
secular ally, say analysts.
While support for Islamists has surged in many Muslim majority countries of late,
Jamaat-e-Islami has bucked
the trend after failing to banish
the taint of siding with Pakistan in Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war.
And with its spiritual leader
having recently died in prison,
top officials languishing on
death row and a muted response
to protest calls, observers say
Jamaat itself could be on its
last legs.
“Jamaat has no future unless
it transforms itself into a new
party and п¬Ѓnds a new leadership that can effectively mobilise people and shake off its
war-time legacy,” Dhaka-based
analyst Ataur Rahman said.
“The sooner it comes to realise this, the better for the party,”
added Rahman, a former professor at the State University of
New York.
Although Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League
and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
have dominated politics since
independence, Jamaat has been
a kingmaker and served as a junior coalition partner as recently
as 2006.
But its growing marginalisation was sealed last year when it
was banned from a general election after judges ruled its charter
conflicted with the country’s
secular constitution.
That ruling further inflamed
supporters already fuming over
the trials of around a dozen leaders accused of war crimes in the
1971 conflict.
Around 500 people were killed
in political violence last year,
both in the aftermath of war
crimes verdicts and the build-up
to January’s election which the
BNP boycotted.
But although Jamaat’s mobilisations last year were a show
of strength, the subsequent
violence alienated the public.
The п¬Ѓrst verdicts last year saw
hundreds of thousands take to
the streets. But there was a tepid
response to calls for protests and
a strike last week issued after
Jamaat assistant secretary general Mohammad Kamaruzzaman’s appeal against his death
sentence was rejected.
The International Crimes
Tribunal, a domestic court, also
sentenced Jamaat’s supreme
leader Motiur Rahman Nizami
and a key п¬Ѓnancier to death in
While the verdicts triggered
sporadic violence, it was nothing
on the scale of last year.
“Jamaat has no future
unless it transforms itself
into a new party and finds
a new leadership that can
effectively mobilise people
and shake off its war-time
To compound Jamaat’s woes,
there are now signs the BNP - led
by Hasina’s arch rival and former
premier Khaleda Zia - is turning
its back on its one-time partner
in government.
The BNP refrained from condemning the recent verdicts,
even though one of its own leading lights has been sentenced to
Its failure to offer condolences
after the death of Ghulam Azam,
Jamaat’s 92-year-old spiritual
leader who died last month
after being convicted of war
crimes, underlined the cooling in
The BNP has “realised that
it will alienate a big part of the
electorate if it continues to support tainted Jamaat leaders,”
Rahman said.
Headed by Azam during the
war, Jamaat opposed the secession of the then East Pakistan
from Islamabad and branded the
struggle for independence as a
conspiracy by India.
During the nine-month war,
Jamaat provided the foot soldiers of the pro-Pakistani militias behind the mass killing of
Hasina’s government says
3mn people died in the war and
has defended the trials as the
only way to come to terms with
the past.
After the war Azam fled to Pa-
kistan and faith-based parties
were banned.
But despite Jamaat’s refusal
to apologise, Azam was allowed
to return in 1978 and revive the
party. Its moderate electoral
successes allowed it to become
a king-maker throughout the
Jamaat’s hierarchy has been
in disarray since the election
ban, with much of it in hiding
to escape prosecutions over the
The new leader Shafiqur Rahman has not been seen in public
for months.
“Jamaat is paying the price for
its total failure since 1971 to have
acknowledged its role in the war
and specifically to have allowed
its 1971 student leadership to become the party’s contemporary
leaders,” said British journalist
David Bergman who has written
extensively on the trials.
Imtiaz Ahmed, a professor at
Dhaka University, said Jamaat’s
new leadership must address the
party’s role in the war if it is to
stand any chance of “reviving its
“These latest verdicts have
shown once again that it is extremely difficult to do politics in
Bangladesh without coming to
terms with the war,” he said.
Speaking from a hideout in
Dhaka, spokesman Syed Abdullah Taher said it was too early to
write Jamaat’s obituary although
he acknowledged the death sentences and electoral ban had hit
the party hard.
“These trials are a sham but
we can’t stage protests because
police are given orders to shoot
on sight the moment we try to
march,” he said.
Taher, however, was confident
Jamaat would “bounce back”,
saying many followers had performed well in recent municipal
polls as independents.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: C P Ravindran
P.O.Box 2888
Doha, Qatar
[email protected]
Telephone 44350478 (news),
44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery)
Fax 44350474
Germany marks
25 years without
the Berlin Wall
Since the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989,
Germany has slowly reunified and settled into a new
role as an important political and economic power in
Tomorrow, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew
up in communist East Germany, is to preside over
the 25-year anniversary celebrations, at a moment
when the country’s newfound clout is more clear
than ever.
Observers feel that Germany is still not too keen to
wield its influence in Europe and in the world more
generally. But at least in the economic realm, the
country has met the expectations that many people
had 25 years ago.
It was on August 13, 1961, that the East German
government began erecting a wall to stem the flight
of its citizens toward the west. The barrier solidified
the division of a country into the east, administered
by the Soviet Union, and the west, administered
by Britain, France and the US according to an
agreement ratified in the wake of World War II.
The boundary
separated families
In the economic
and stifled the
realm, Germany
flow of goods and
services across the
has met the
expectations that former
and two parallel
many people had economies grew
alongside each
25 years ago
At least 389 people lost their lives trying to escape
communist East Germany, according to an official toll,
although victims groups put the п¬Ѓgure much higher.
When, in 1989, a miscommunication led one East
German official to mistakenly announce that the
blockade was over, thousands of people poured
into the streets and the barrier was unexpectedly
Less than a year later, on October 3, 1990,
Germany officially reunified for the first time since
the end of the war.
After reunification, many analysts expected
Germany to assert itself immediately, but it took the
country years to adjust and mend its economic and
social п¬Ѓssures.
Political scientists say it wasn’t until the 2008
euro crisis forced Germany to take a leading role in
stabilising the economy and quelling market fears
that a new European order became apparent.
Beyond Europe, Germany with its immense
exports of cars and machine tools is seen as a trade
power and guarantor of the euro currency.
Merkel’s cautious style, which Richard Whitman
of Britain’s University of Kent summarises as “not
grandstanding”, has also helped to win Germany
credit. “Germany has become normal,” said
Whitman. “What it has been doing over the past
decade is doing what a state of its size does.”
The main celebrations tomorrow take place at the
Berlin Wall Memorial and at an iconic triumphal
arch, the Brandenburg Gate. At dusk, 8,000 sky
lanterns - tiny balloons - will be released from
places along a 15km stretch where the Wall used to
divide Berlin.
To Advertise
[email protected]
Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811
Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811
[email protected]
2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved
Apec summit could provide
insight into East Asia’s future
The supposed “Asian
century” is being thwarted
by a paradox: deep
economic interdependence
has done nothing to
alleviate strategic mistrust
By Yoon Young-kwan
iven that the 21 members
of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum
account for some 54% of
global GDP and about 44% of world
trade, the agenda for the Apec summit, to be held in Beijing on Monday
and Tuesday, should be drawing much
global attention. Yet the only issue
in which anyone seems interested is
whether or not Chinese President Xi
Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe will meet on the sidelines,
and, if they do, whether a substantive
discussion to ease bilateral tensions
will take place.
Of course, this is not altogether
unreasonable, given the two countries’
importance in shaping East Asia’s
future. Indeed, the uncertainty about
whether two of Apec’s key leaders will
even speak to each other highlights
the grim reality of Asian international relations today. Japan’s national
broadcaster NHK claimed yesterday
that Abe and Xi would meet during
the summit though there was no official confirmation yet.
The supposed “Asian century” is
being thwarted by a paradox: deep
economic interdependence has done
nothing to alleviate strategic mistrust.
Given the recent deterioration of
Sino-Japanese relations – a decline
that accelerated in 2012, when Japan
purchased the disputed Senkaku
Islands (Diaoyu Islands in Chinese)
from their private owner to prevent
Japanese nationalists from taking control of them – the mere fact that Abe
will attend the summit is a major step.
A meeting between Abe and Xi would
offer concrete grounds for hope.
The Japanese government has
made significant diplomatic efforts
to orchestrate a meeting, with former
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda visiting
Beijing in July to try to ease tensions.
According to some media reports,
in order to secure China’s agreement
to participate in a meeting during
the Apec summit, Abe even agreed to
acknowledge that Japan’s claim to the
Senkaku Islands is disputed.
A meeting between
Abe and Xi would
offer concrete
grounds for hope
Given that such a move would imply
that China’s claim to the islands may
have some legitimacy, Abe’s possible
concession on this point is no trivial
matter; it could even mean that he will
agree with China to restore the status
quo ante. In that case, one hopes that
Xi will follow Deng Xiaoping’s counsel
and allow the issue to be “shelved for
some time” so that the “wiser” next
generation can “find a solution acceptable to all.”
That now seems to be a realistic
possibility. Indeed, lately Xi seems to
have softened his tone, if not necessarily his diplomatic line. For example,
he allowed Li Xiaolin, the daughter of
a former Chinese president, to meet
with Abe, with whom she watched
a performance by a visiting Chinese
dance troupe in Tokyo. And Chinese
Prime Minister Li Keqiang shook
hands with Abe at the recent AsiaEurope Meeting in Milan.
One reason for Abe and Xi’s newfound flexibility may be domestic
political shifts in both countries,
which have created a more equal balance between conservative, nationalist groups and more internationallyoriented business interests. With both
leaders having spent the last two years
overcoming domestic opponents and
consolidating their power, they may
have gained confidence in their ability
to compromise.
In Japan, Abe has satisfied his
conservative supporters with cabinet
resolutions to allow for expanded selfdefense. Despite domestic opposition
to Japan’s new security doctrine, no
politically influential group was able
to organise an effective challenge to
Abe’s approach.
Now, as Japan’s economic recovery
stalls, the country’s business sector
seems to be pressuring Abe’s government to work harder to mitigate the
impact of its deteriorating relationship
with China.
According to a Chinese government report, in the п¬Ѓrst half of 2014,
Japanese direct investment in China
was almost 50% lower than during the
same period last year – a clear sign
that Japanese business leaders fear for
the future in Japan’s second largest
Meanwhile, in China, Xi has
gained considerable confidence
through his massive anti-corruption campaign, with the punishment of top military officers
indicating that he has solidified his
control over the People’s Liberation
Army (PLA). As a result, Xi may
believe that he now has more space
to address the country’s economic
slowdown, including by lessening
the damage wrought by weakening
ties with Japan.
If this assessment is accurate, the
obvious next question is how much
further Abe and Xi can move toward
detente, thereby appeasing their
business sectors, without losing the
backing of nationalists, who tend to
view the bilateral relationship as a
zero-sum game.
For Abe, the choice is whether to
tone down his nationalist rhetoric and moderate his position on
contentious historical issues. This
would include halting visits to
the controversial Yasukuni shrine
(which honors, among others, 14
Class A war criminals who were
executed after World War II) and
abandoning revisionism regarding the Korean “comfort women”
who were forced to provide sexual
services to the Japanese Imperial
Army. How Abe decides is likely
to depend on his confidence in his
political position.
Similarly, if Xi remains confident
enough in his control of the PLA and
truly follows China’s official policy
of “peaceful development”, he will
be able to take the kind of prudent
approach that Deng advocated. This
would entail recognising and trying
to assuage the fears that China’s rise
is causing among its neighbours, as
Otto von Bismarck did after German
unification in 1871.
Observers might then read his
recent efforts to improve relations
with Japan, not to mention Vietnam,
as a genuine strategic shift, rather
than a temporary tactical adjustment.
In this uncertain context, the Apec
summit could shed much-needed
light on the intentions of Abe and
Xi, thereby providing crucial insight
into the trajectory of Sino-Japanese
relations – and thus the future of East
Asia.- Project Syndicate
zYoon Young-kwan, former minister of foreign affairs of South Korea, is
professor of international relations at
Seoul National University.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers patrolling the area surrounding the media office for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) Economic Leaders’
Week at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing yesterday. The Apec 2014 Summit and related meetings are being held in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday.
�Smart’ living gets real as connectivity rates rise
“The Internet of things
places the citizen at the
heart of all technologies”
By Conor Barrins
rom robots that chop up your
vegetables to detectors that
measure how long you sleep,
such “smart” appliances are
becoming more and more a part of daily
life, according to industry players.
Developers at the Dublin Web Summit, one of Europe’s biggest technology conferences, said interlinkage
between people, their homes and
their devices were opening up new
The developers of Everycook, a
cooking device that takes in raw material and independently processes it to
a п¬Ѓnished meal, hope their product
will transform healthy-eating.
“You go to our app, pick a recipe, get
the ingredients, follow the instructions and Everycook does the rest,”
founder Maximilian Tornow told AFP.
Boston-based Chris Cicchitelli,
founder and CEO of CastleOS, said his
system would revolutionise geriatric
care, allowing older people to remain
out of nursing homes for longer.
“Using motion detectors and sensors connected to a smartphone, you’ll
know how active a person is, even how
long they have spent in bed.
“You will know if they have fallen
and if they do fall, the system can take
action based on that, call 911 automatically, even say where in the house
the fall took place.”
With 22,000 attendees, the Web
Summit brings together some of the
world’s top companies with start-up
ideas for a series of lectures and networking events.
One of the focus areas at the Web
Summit was on how people, objects
and devices can become connected in
what the tech industry is calling the
“Internet of Things”.
“We’re trying to connect 99% of
things, not only physical things such
as street lights but people and even
animals to transform lives and improve
businesses,” Wei Zou, technical marketing engineer with Cisco, told AFP.
Cisco estimates there will be 50bn
Internet-connect “things” in the
world by 2020.
The US company’s chief technology
officer Padmasree Warrior said one
benefit could be the end of traffic congestion when driverless cars become
available on demand.
“These cars will also be connected
to each other and to traffic lights,
meaning the flow of traffic will be
far more organised and less chaotic.
That’s the dream for the cities at
least,” she said.
On a larger scale, Cisco hopes the
growth in connectivity will improve
medical care by developing systems for
hospitals, such as allowing paramedics to feed patient information back
automatically while an ambulance is in
transit, so hospitals can be prepared.
It also hopes to reduce the demand
for resources by allowing patients to
connect with doctors remotely.
“Some people with medical conditions do not need to go to the hospital,
they can use digital media to provide
the doctors with diagnostics remotely
and automatically,” Zou said.
One project demonstrated at the
summit was “CitySense” in Dublin
which monitors pollution through
sensors п¬Ѓtted on courier bikes.
“The Internet of things places the
citizen at the heart of all technologies,” said Willie Donnelly, director
of the Telecommunication Software
and Systems Group (TSSG), a research
centre taking part in the initiative.
While tech is big business mainly
based in the developed world, a
number of tech companies taking part
outlined ambitions to revolutionise
daily life in the developing world.
A US start-up said it hoped its
kinetic energy-generating shoe insole
could transform and increase the use
of smartphones in areas of the world
where there is no access to electricity.
“In the developing world, 1.2bn
people don’t have access to electricity
but have mobile technology—that’s a
huge problem,” Matt Stanton of Solepower told AFP.
“They use it increasingly for daily
critical tasks, healthcare, banking,
education. It’s truly integrated into
their lives but the power is not widely
available to power the devices,” he
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Welcome to the urban village
Cities can fundamentally
change people’s lives – and
even the people themselves
By Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel
want to be a part of it – New
York, New York, Frank Sinatra
sang of the city that has attracted
so many of the world’s most
ambitious people, from artists and
performers to businesspeople and
In a sense, this is not a
difficult phenomenon to explain;
metropolises like New York City,
with their multicultural populations,
multinational corporations and
multitude of talented individuals, are
rife with opportunities.
But the impact of large cities runs
deeper than economic or even cultural
power; cities can fundamentally
change people’s lives – and even the
people themselves.
In 2010, Geoffrey West, together
with a team of researchers, discovered
that several socioeconomic measures
– both positive and negative –
increase with the size of the local
population. In other words, the larger
the city, the higher the average wage,
productivity level, number of patents
per person, crime rate, prevalence of
anxiety and incidence of HIV.
In fact, when a city doubles in size,
every measure of economic activity
increases by about 15% per capita.
That is why people move to the big
city; indeed, it is why cities thrive.
This law remains constant across
city sizes. And it is not unique. A
growing body of evidence suggests
that similar functions govern even
more aspects of urban life than the
research by West’s team indicated.
How can cities as ostensibly
different as New York, with
its towering profile, and Paris,
characterised by wide boulevards,
function so similarly? If, as
Shakespeare suggested, a city is
nothing but its people, the answer may
lie in the characteristic patterns of
connection, interaction and exchange
among residents.
HIV – indeed, any sexually
transmitted disease – provides a
particularly vivid example of the way
that social networks shape urban life,
as it spreads through linkages of sexual
partners. Ideas – and the innovations
that result from them – spread in a
similar manner.
Just a few years ago, a broad
investigation of these complex
social networks would have been
virtually impossible. After all,
the available tools – isolated
laboratory experiments and written
questionnaires – were both imprecise
and difficult to apply on a large scale.
The Internet has changed that.
By enmeshing billions of people
in seamless connectivity, online
platforms have transformed the scope
of social networks and provided new
tools for researchers to investigate
human interaction.
In fact, an entirely new п¬Ѓeld of
study is emerging at the intersection
of data analytics and sociology:
computational social science. Using
data collected online or through
telecommunications networks
– the wireless providers Orange
and Ericsson, for example, have
recently made some data available
to researchers – it is now possible
to address, in a scientific way,
fundamental questions about human
A recent paper (of which one
of us, Carlo Ratti, is a co-author)
uses anonymised data from
telecommunications networks
across Europe to explore how human
networks change with city size.
themselves. This behaviour is quantified
as the networks’ “clustering coefficient”
– that is, the probability that a person’s
friends will also be friends with one
another – and remains extraordinarily
stable across metropolitan areas. Simply
put, humans everywhere are naturally
inclined to live within tight-knit
Of course, this idea has been
suggested before. The urbanist Jane
Jacobs, for example, described the
rich interactions occurring in New
York City neighbourhoods – what she
called an “intricate ballet, in which
the individual dancers and ensembles
all have distinctive parts which
miraculously reinforce each other”.
What computational social science
offers is the prospect of quantifying
such observations and gaining insights
that could shape the design of urban
environments in the future.
The question is whether these
insights could also unlock the power
of human interactions in small towns,
enabling them to access some of the
social and economic advantages of a
large city. In this sense, it is critical to
recognise the fundamental difference
between “urban villages” and their
rural counterparts.
In the latter, social networks are
largely predetermined by family,
proximity or history. City dwellers, by
contrast, can explore a wide variety
of options to create custom-made
villages according to their social,
intellectual or creative affinities.
Perhaps that is why Sinatra left his
hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Only in a city like New York could he
п¬Ѓnd the Rat Pack. - Project Syndicate
The results are striking: in large
cities, people not only walk faster (a
tendency recorded since the 1960s),
but they also make – and change –
friends faster.
This phenomenon is likely rooted
in the fact that, in accordance with
West’s findings, the total number of
human connections increases with
city size.
London’s 8mn inhabitants regularly
connect with almost twice the number
of people as Cambridge’s 100,000
residents. This increasing exposure to
people – and hence to ideas, activities,
and even diseases – could explain the
impact of city size on socioeconomic
But another tendency is also
consistent across cities of all sizes:
people tend to build “villages” around
z Carlo Ratti directs the Senseable
City Laboratory at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and heads
the World Economic Forum’s Global
Agenda Council on Future Cities.
Matthew Claudel is a research fellow at
the Senseable City Laboratory.
Weather report
Three-day forecast
Assignment of debts
According to Article 338,
the assignor requires
to obtain the creditor’s
consent to the assignment
By Nizar Kochery
QUESTION: Does Qatar Law recognise assignment of debt? I run a company which was doing well before but
has incurred debts now. My children
are working in Doha and they want
to take the responsibility for clearing
the debts. Can I pass on my liability to
them under Qatar Law? Could creditors disagree with that? I have sent
some mails to them but there has been
no response.
TM, Doha
ANSWER: The Qatar Civil Code recognises two types of assignments, assignment of rights and assignment of debts.
Assignment of right means the transfer of
the benefit of a contract from one party
to another and the assignment of debts
means burden of a contract from a debtor
to an assignee.
With regard to assignment of debts,
subject to any contractual non-assignment provisions, Article 338 of the Qatar
Civil Code provides an entitlement to
assign obligations and in such case, the
assignee replaces the debtor and assumes
liability for performance of the debtor’s
obligations to the creditor.
Articles 337 to 353 of the Qatar Civil
Code provide the related provisions. According to Article 338, the assignor
requires to obtain the creditor’s consent
to the assignment. Without consent, the
relevant obligations are not effectively assigned under law.
If the creditor receives a notification of
assignment of obligations and does not
respond within the time frame prescribed
by the notice, the creditor is deemed to
have rejected the assignment.
Assignment of rights and obligations
under the contract, subject to any nonassignment provisions contained therein,
is permitted by the Qatar Civil Code.
Fatal accident
Q: How is compensation disbursed
in case of death due to an accident
at the job-site? In the employment
contract, it is agreed that the employer will pay compensation in case
of death resulting from site accidents. Is it obligatory that employer
must pay this?
RM, Doha
A: As per law, in 15 days’ time from
the date of death the employer should
deposit the compensation in the court.
The court shall distribute the compensation amongst the heirs of the deceased
in accordance with the provisions of
the Islamic Sharia or the personal law
applied in the country of the deceased.
The compensation shall be vested in
the public treasury of the state if three
years lapse without specifying persons
entitled thereto.
not mandatory
Q: I am negotiating on service conditions to be stipulated in my employment contract. Being an experienced
professional quitting a reasonably
good position, I don’t want the risk of
probation. I also want my п¬Ѓnal settlement to be increased to п¬Ѓve weeks of
pay per year of service. Please advice.
TU, Doha
A: Probation is not mandatory. The
parties to the contract may agree to commence employment without probation
as probation is not compulsory under the
Law. Article 54 provides that an employer
and employee can agree on the amount
of gratuity provided the amount equals
to or is higher than three weeks’ of the
employee’s termination basic salary for
every full year that he has worked for the
employer. Accordingly parties may set
higher rate.
of bribery
Q: My friend, working with a government department, has received
payment for some assistance. Is this
a crime? It has been given to him
by the beneficiary on his own and it
has not been demanded at all. Please
PL, Doha
A: According to Article 140 of the Qatar
Penal Laws, whoever asks for or accepts,
for himself or another party, money,
benefit or a simple promise of something
against undertaking any act or abstaining
from any act included in his office shall be
considered as receiver of bribery.
The penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years and a п¬Ѓne not
exceeding what he was given or promised
to be given shall apply to him, provided
that it shall not be less than QR5,000.
A letter of
Q: Please advice on guarantee letters issued by a bank. Is it true that
the applicant is required to deposit
an equivalent amount in his account?
Can the bank refuse to pay the beneficiary on any influence? Can the beneficiary transfer the guarantee? What
High: 27 C
Low: 20 C
Slight dust and partly cloudy with
chance of scattered rain at pieces
at times
happens if the beneficiary delays in
claiming it?
GK, Doha
A: Article 409 of the Commercial Laws
stipulates that the bank may not refuse
payment to the beneficiary on grounds
relating to the bank’s relationship with the
applicant or to the relationship between
with the beneficiary.
A letter of guarantee is an undertaking
issued by a bank stating the purpose for
which it has been issued to pay a certain
amount or an ascertainable amount of
money to the beneficiary on demand
within the п¬Ѓxed period of the letter.
The bank may require the provision of
a counter security against the issue of a
letter of guarantee.
The bank shall be discharged of liability
towards the beneficiary if no demand of payment is received from the beneficiary during
the validity period of the letter of guarantee
is received from the beneficiary, unless it is
expressly agreed to renew the term thereof.
The beneficiary my not assign his right
under the letter of guarantee to a third
party without the consent of the bank.
The bank shall upon expiry of the term of
the letter of guarantee, return the deposit
provided by the applicant for obtaining of
the letter of guarantee.
High: 27 C
Low : 21 C
High: 27 C
Low : 22 C
Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: NW-NE 8-18/22 KT
Waves: 3-5/7 Feet
Wind: NW-NE 05-15/ KT
Waves: 1-2/3 Feet
Around the region
Abu Dhabi
Kuwait City
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
C Showers
C Storms
M Cloudy
M Cloudy
P Cloudy
C Showers
C Storms
P Cloudy
C Showers
C Showers
C Storms
C Storms
P Cloudy
z Please send your questions by e-mail
to: [email protected]
A mortgagee may, upon maturity of
the debt, take proceedings for the expropriation of the mortgaged property
against a third party holder, unless this
third party holder chooses to pay the
debt, redeem the mortgage or abandon
the property.
Any person is deemed to be a third
party holder who acquires the property
or any other real right over the property by any way other than inheritance
capable of being mortgaged, without
being personally responsible for the
debt secured by the mortgage.
The third party holder who has
transcribed his title deed and who
was not a party to the proceedings in
which judgement was given against
the debtor to pay the debt may, if the
judgement was subsequent to the transcription of his title, raise the defences
which could have been raised by the
debtor. He may, in any case, raise the
defences which the debtor still has the
right to raise after the judgment.
A third party holder may, upon
maturity of the debt secured by the
mortgage, pay the debt and its accessories including the costs of proceedings from the date of the formal
summons, and will retain this right
up to the date of the sale by public
auction. In such a case, he has a claim
for all he has paid against the debtor
and against the former owner of the
mortgaged property.
He may also be subrogated into the
rights of the creditor who has been
paid in full, with the exception of those
rights relative to guarantees furnished
by a person other than the debtor.
Article 1094 stipulates that a third
party holder must maintain the inscription of the mortgage which he is
subrogated to the creditor until striking
off the inscriptions that existed at the
time of the transcription of his title to
the property in the Land Registry.
If, by reason of his acquisition of the
mortgaged property, the third party
holder is a debtor of a sum due immediately for payment and sufficient
to satisfy all the creditors whose rights
are inscribed on the property, each one
of the creditors may compel him to pay
his claim.
When the debt owed by the third
party holder is not yet due for payment, or is less than the debts due to
the creditors, or different from them,
the creditors may, if they are all agreed,
claim from the third party holder payment of what he owes up to the amount
due to them, and payment will be
effected in accordance with the conditions on which he has agreed to pay
in his original undertaking, and at the
time agreed upon for payment.
In neither case can the third party
holder avoid payment to the creditors
by abandoning the property, but when
payment has been made to the creditors the property is deemed to be free
of all mortgages and the third party
holder has the right to call for striking
off the inscriptions existing on the
Around the world
Cape Town
Hong Kong
New Delhi
New York
Sao Paulo
P Cloudy
M Cloudy
P Cloudy
T Storms
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
M Cloudy
C Rain
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
C Storms
C Rain
T Storms
P Cloudy
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Rota’s charity
event to support
education projects
roceeds from the upcoming п¬Ѓfth Gala Dinner and
charity event of Reach
Out to Asia (Rota), a member
of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), will
go towards education projects
helping thousands of people
and hundreds of communities
across Asia and the Middle East.
Details of the event, which
takes place at the castle of
Sheikh Ali bin Abdulla al-Thani
in Al Rayyan on November 15
under the theme “Plant a Book
- Harvest a Future”, have been
Under the patronage of HH
the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin
Hamad al-Thani, the event
supports QF’s mission to provide world-class education and
foster a progressive society by
addressing immediate social
Sponsored by Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) and
supported strategically by Qatar
Petroleum, the bi-annual event
gathers dignitaries and celebrities from Qatar and the region.
It includes a charity auction by
Funds from items donated
by Angelina Jolie, Alfardan Automobiles, Nasser bin Khaled
Holding and Al Shaqab will help
support access to education for
The п¬Ѓfth Rota Gala Dinner will support young people
in Nepal and the West Bank,
schools in Tunisia and Syrian
refugees in Lebanon. For the
first time in the gala’s history,
bidders will have the opportunity to support specific flagship
Rota projects directly in the
auction. Rota’s previous Gala
Dinner raised $13mn.
Regional celebrities attending this month’s event include
Parween Habib, Latifa from Tunisia, Hussain al-Jassimi, Lojain Omran, Ahmad Fathi, Saber
al-Rebai and Ahlam.
Auction items include a black
spinel necklace worn by Jolie, a
Njoud Al Shaqab Arabian horse
and custom Hermes saddle, a
Mini Paceman decorated and
signed by Damien Hirst, luxu-
rious getaways at Singita and
the One & Only Resort in South
Africa, and a rare MV Agusta F3
800 Ago motorbike.
“No single evening has a
greater impact on education
access and development in
the Middle East and Asia than
Rota’s bi-annual Gala Dinner,”
said Dr Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh
bin Nasser al-Thani, Rota board
“The gala continues to be a
high-profile, high-impact opportunity for our generous
sponsors and supporters to renew the promise we have made
to our neighbours in Middle
Eastern and Asian communities
to invest in human potential and
break down barriers to a decent
Dr Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani with Essa al-Mannai, executive director of Rota, Hamad
al-Baker, PR manager at Qatar Petroleum, and Sarah al-Dorani, acting global communication manager at
Qatar Petroleum International, at a press conference.
education in the face of crises
and political turmoil.”
“Proceeds from the auction
will support Rota’s educational
development projects, ensuring that they continue to make
a positive impact and moving them forward towards Rota’s vision for the future,” she
Dr Sheikha Aisha said this
year’s ceremony would feature, for the first time, a charity auction, directly supporting a number of Rota education
projects in Palestine, Tunisia,
Nepal, Pakistan and one help-
ing Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The winning bidder’s name will
be listed as the sponsor of each
There is also a silent auction,
which will feature a unique collection of artwork and gold ornaments from Doha’s Museum
of Islamic Art. The results of the
silent action will be announced
at the ceremony.
The Gala Dinner had been
widely received, she said, adding that all special front-row
seats – which cost $60,000
each - had been sold.
Referring to the venue of the
event, Dr Sheikha Aisha said it
was a “unique and architectural
masterpiece” known for an impressive library that has been
hailed as one of Qatar’s first
great knowledge oases. “We are
pleased that the Rota Gala Dinner and charity event will be the
п¬Ѓrst event of its kind hosted at
this unique venue.”
QPI CEO Nasser al-Jaidah
said: “We are pleased to be
sponsoring the Reach Out to
Asia Gala Dinner in support of
its global education projects,
which serve thousands of underprivileged children.”
Fest features Samba music
and Capoeira workshops
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
uthentic Samba music
and Capoeira workshops
have been the highlights
of the second day of the Brazil
Festival yesterday. The 10-piece
Samba Chula de Sao Braz, with
their lively show on stage at the
Museum of Islamic Art park,
drew a large number of people.
The two oldest styles of samba, samba chula and samba de
roda, started with the original
African slaves who were brought
to Salvador in the Brazilian state
of Bahia.
Many children were given the
opportunity to learn both Samba
dance and Capoeira in an entertaining way during the performance held also on stage. Separate
sessions for the Brazilian martial arts were conducted at the
Movies such as Rio, shown on
a widescreen set up by the Doha
Film Institute, have also attracted hundreds of children at the
For those who want to buy
authentic handmade Brazilian
handcrafts, organisers have set
up stalls at the MIA park.
Visitors can also enjoy Brazilian foods served by some of the
popular hotels in Doha.
Many children participated
in two reading sessions (both in
Arabic and English). The programme was developed in collaboration with resident Brazilian artist and п¬Ѓlmmaker Luciana
Ceccatto Farah. The Brazil Festival concludes today.
Families watching some of the movies on a widescreen shown by DFI.
The festival features art workshops for children.
A Brazilian martial artist teaches children the basic Capoeira techniques. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Authentic Brazilian products are showcased at the festival.
Rumailah Park still draws visitors despite �closure’
Peter Alagos
Business Reporter
ne week after the Ministry of Municipality
and Urban Planning announced the official closure of
the Rumailah Park to the public, visitors continue to flock to
the site.
A makeshift barrier made
out of red and white ribbon tied
to a long nylon cord stretches
across the entire circumference
of the park but it doesn’t seem
to affected the festive mood
of children playing and families enjoying picnics in the area
One of the park’s security
guards and supervisor said
visitors were still allowed in the
park from 5pm to midnight. He
noted that the weekends were
the busiest for the park.
The security guard, however,
was not able to provide a direct
answer when Gulf Times asked
him until when would the ministry allow visitors in the park.
But the ongoing operations
of Yes Cafeteria, the only eatery that remains open in the
area, seems to be an indication
that the park would continue to
A group of visitors in the Rumailah Park yesterday. PICTURE: Peter Alagos.
enjoy the public’s presence in
succeeding weekends.
In an earlier interview, Yes
Kurumberi said throngs of
customers preferred to buy
food and refreshments from
them because of “reasonablypriced” items like bottled water, tea and sandwiches.
He lamented that brisk business expected at the onset
of the winter season would
come to a halt as the ministry
nnounced that the park would
be closed indefinitely.
“There is a slight feeling of
distress now that we are closing the shop because we have
been expecting an increase in
sales since the weather is cooler and more visitors come to
the park this time of the year,”
he had said.
Kurumberi, however, was
not available for comment
when Gulf Times visited Yes
Cafeteria yesterday to inquire
about the eatery’s seemingly
extended operations. But while
the staff was busy serving tea to
customers, it was noticed that
there were fewer food stocks
displayed in the store.
As Qatar continues to enjoy cooler temperatures, more
people are frequenting the
Also, many families flock to
the Museum of Islamic Art Park
where children enjoy amenities
such as the two medium-sized
playgrounds complete with
slides, swings and obstacle
The Old Airport Park has also
seen an increase in the number
of visitors.
Thai consumer
up in October
Jet Airways
posts 1st profit
in two years
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Moharram 15, 1436 AH
US unemployment
rate falls to 5.8%;
payrolls rise
IMF, US encourage Japan,
ECB monetary stimulus
Global central bank governors meet in
Paris; Noyer outlines scenarios for ECB
bond-buying; BoE’s Carney warns of
volatility risk as markets normalise
he International Monetary Fund and
the US encouraged the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan towards greater monetary stimulus yesterday
and urged governments around the world to
do their share to encourage growth in their
Calling the world economy “fragile, brittle and fragmented”, IMF managing director
Christian Lagarde told a conference of central
bankers in Paris it was “perfectly legitimate
and appropriate” for the ECB and the BoJ to
take unconventional steps to combat low inflation and economic stagnation.
US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said
central banks “need to be prepared to employ
all available tools, including unconventional
policies, to support economic growth and
reach their inflation targets”, especially where
governments have withdrawn п¬Ѓscal stimulus
policies to help recovery.
The comments came a day after the European Central Bank ordered its staff to start
preparing for bolder measures if needed to
fight falling inflation, on top of a range of rate
cuts, asset purchases and lending operations
already agreed.
Lagarde said governments with healthy
budget positions should do more to support
growth, belittling as insufficient a German announcement of an extra €10bn in spending on
public infrastructure over the next three years.
“In this part of the world, we have to repeat
over and over that monetary policy cannot be
the only game in town, and that there has to
be a combination of sound п¬Ѓscal policies, use
of п¬Ѓscal space for those countries that have
п¬Ѓscal space in order to support growth and
rejuvenate that growth,” she said.
“Clearly the announcement that was made
yesterday was in the very small ballpark of
what will be needed in order to do that.”
ECB Governing Council member Chris-
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde (left) with US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen
prior to the start of a session during an international symposium organised by the Bank
de France in Paris yesterday. Lagarde said it was “perfectly legitimate and appropriate” for
the ECB and the BoJ to take unconventional steps to combat low inflation and economic
tian Noyer said central banks, including his
own, should be prepared to buy public debt if
needed to avert deflation or a run on sovereign bonds.
“In extreme circumstances a central bank
should mitigate the effects of confidence
shocks on sovereign yields by purchasing
government bonds,” Noyer told the conference.
“Such an action may be vindicated if there
are risks to macroeconomic or financial stability or even if self-fulfilling runs on public debt may be a threat to market access, or
lastly to avoid the deflationary consequences
of a public debt event.”
Other speakers warned that the impact of
the world’s major central banks taking divergent policy directions after a long phase
of easy money could cause turmoil among
currencies and increase volatility across the
п¬Ѓnancial markets.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney
spoke of a probable “bumpy transition” between a period when markets have been
awash with cheap central bank liquidity and a
return to more normal monetary conditions.
“We’re in this — with some exceptions —
low volatility, compressed-spread environment, particularly around liquidity premia.
That’s going to change as things normalise,”
said Carney, who also chairs the global Financial Stability Board.
“But that reality, or that likelihood,
shouldn’t, in my view, impact the timing of
the start of normalisation.”
The US Federal Reserve Bank ended a multi-year bond-buying programme last week
although its policymakers differ about the
timing and pace of future interest rate rises.
New York Fed chief William Dudley told
the conference the Fed will likely raise US
interest rates “sometime next year” and investors seemed to be getting the message of
patience in this policy-tightening cycle.
Djibouti plans LNG, oil terminals
Djibouti will start work on liquefied-naturalgas and crude-oil terminals by March as part
of a $5bn plan to develop regional trade ties,
Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority chairman
Aboubaker Omar Hadi said.
Construction of the two facilities will add to four
new ports already being built that will quadruple
cargo handling in the Horn of Africa nation to
almost 80mn metric tons annually, Omar Hadi
said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa to
be broadcast yesterday.
Durban, South Africa, one of the continent’s
busiest ports, handles more than 80mn tonnes of
cargo a year, according to Transnet National Ports
“What the Djibouti Ports and Freezones Authority
wants to achieve is to unleash East Africa’s
economic potential,” Omar Hadi said. “We are
trying to build the economy of the country to
serve the neighbouring countries in foreign
Djibouti’s $1.5bn economy relies on services
related to the country’s location on the Red
Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Transport and logistics account for more than
two-thirds of gross domestic product in the
nation of about 873,000 people, according to
Omar Hadi.
The two ports under construction at Tadjourah
and Goubet are expected to be completed and
operational by December 2015, Omar Hadi said.
Work on a multipurpose facility at Doraleh and a
livestock terminal at Damerjog began last month
and both are expected to be finished in December
2016, he said.
Chinese, Indian, Brazilian and Turkish investors
are contributing investments to each port, Omar
Hadi said, without providing details.
Djibouti is developing rail links, oil pipelines
and other infrastructure as it seeks to become a
middle-income country by 2035. The economy is
forecast to grow 6% this year and 6.5% in 2015.
The three existing ports in the capital, Djibouti
City, currently handle about 17mn tonnes of
containers, oil and general cargo a year, Omar
Hadi said. That amount is expected to grow about
10% next year, he said. Traffic at the four new
ports under construction is estimated at 40mn
tonnes, while the LNG and crude terminals will
handle 20mn tonnes, he said.
“The six new ports will mainly handle export
commodities,” Omar Hadi said.
Underutilisation of existing capacity at Djibouti’s
Doraleh port suggests that there’s currently
no need for the country to expand its facilities,
said Bert Hofhuis, founder of Fleetlink, a Cape
Town-based transport consultancy. Doraleh last
year handled less than half its estimated design
capacity of 1.5mn twenty-foot equivalent units,
he said.
Djibouti also has logistical constraints that may
make some of the expansion plans unfeasible,
Hofhuis said. For instance, the country currently
has no pipeline that would feed LNG and oil to
Ethiopia or other countries in the region, he said.
A port planned for the town of Goubet would be
difficult to access because of dangerous currents
that would require the use of a number of tugs to
guide vessels, he said.
A railway linking Djibouti’s ports to the capital of
neighboring Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, is expected to
be completed by October 2015, Omar Hadi said.
The link is being built at a cost of about $4.2bn
and will help Djibouti extend its trade links into
South Sudan and other East African nations,
Omar Hadi said.
“Djibouti’s ports are serving Ethiopia and
South Sudan, and with the railways and roads
development will reach the Great Lakes
countries,” he said.
Mohamed El-Erian, an economic adviser
to German insurer Allianz and former cochief of bond giant Pimco, said central bankers should not underestimate the risk of currency market swings as their monetary policy
take divergent paths.
“As much as these currency moves may
contribute to global rebalancing on paper, I
would just caution from a market perspective
not to underestimate ... the speed and size of
currency moves,” he said.
The euro fell to its lowest level since 2012
on Thursday, below $1.24, after ECB President Mario Draghi announced the unanimous
determination of the bank’s policy-setting
council to take further unconventional measures if necessary to combat falling inflation.
The ECB has begun a new wave of unlimited four-year cheap loans to banks in an effort to revive lending to businesses, and has
started buying covered bonds and is set purchase bundled loans known as asset-backed
Draghi effectively committed the bank
to boost its balance sheet by about €1tn
($1.24tn) towards the levels it had at the peak
of the eurozone crisis in 2012 through those
measures, and through others if they fell
But while the euro has lost some 11% of its
value against the dollar this year, it has not
provoked undue alarm from Europe’s trading
partners so far.
Central bankers said the issue arose on
the sidelines of the annual IMF meetings
in Washington last month, but other major
economies understood that a weaker euro
was preferable to seeing deflation in the euro
BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, chairing
one of the sessions, hinted that the Japanese
government should move faster to open up
the economy to more competition to boost
growth. His comments come after the Bank
of Japan decided to expand its monetary
stimulus policy to try to lift an economy still
struggling to emerge from a decade of deflation and economic stagnation.
Lagarde said the Tokyo government should
move ahead with its commitments to raise
consumption tax and make more space for
women in the Japanese economy.
Canary Wharf
owner rejects
approach from
QIA, Brookfield
Songbird Estates, the owner of London’s Canary
Wharf financial district, rejected an approach from
Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property
Partners because the proposed bid is �too low’.
The Qatar fund and Brookfield may offer 295
pence a share, Songbird said in a statement yesterday. The owner of about 69% of Canary Wharf Group
climbed 22% to 320 pence in London trading on
Thursday after announcing the approach.
Songbird’s suitors may have to raise their bid to
more than 350 pence to succeed with a purchase
that would be the biggest UK property deal of this
decade, Peel Hunt analysts including Keith Crawford
said in a note on Thursday. Rents have begun to rise
in the Docklands office district where Canary Wharf
is located and residential construction in the area is
A purchase would offer “exposure to arguably
the best large-scale developer in London as well as
a unique part of London which is just starting to see
rental growth,” Oriel Securities analysts including
Miranda Cockburn said in a note yesterday. Any bid
should reflect that the sellers would be asked to give
up net asset value growth that’s averaging at least
14% a year, the analysts said.
Songbird’s real estate was valued at £6.28bn
($10bn) at the end of June. The Qatar fund, which
already owns 28.6% of the UK company, and Brookfield have until December 4 to make an offer. Other
Songbird shareholders include investor Simon Glick
of New York, a unit of China Investment Corp and
funds managed by Morgan Stanley.
“This proposal significantly undervalues Songbird
and does not reflect the inherent value of the business and its underlying assets,” Songbird chairman
David Pritchard said in the statement.
Songbird was down 3.1% to 310 pence at the close
of trading in London, giving the company a market
value of £2.3bn. Thursday’s closing price was the
highest since October 2008.
Canary Wharf Group plans to develop 11mn square
feet (1.02mn square meters) of offices and homes in
London, more than any other company, according to
Songbird’s statement.
Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Real Estate
Investment in June won approval to develop almost
900 homes and about 75,000 square meters of office
space at Royal Dutch Shell’s London headquarters.
Canary Wharf Group plans to develop more than
3,600 homes at Wood Wharf, adjacent to Canary
Wharf, after it gained approval for the project in July.
Abu Dhabi looks to Asian
п¬Ѓrms for oil concession
Abu Dhabi
AE emirate Abu Dhabi seems likely
to choose Asian п¬Ѓrms when it renews
a decades-old major oil concession,
sources and analysts told AFP, in a historic
shift for the global energy market.
Powerful Western companies have dominated the Middle East oil industry for nearly
a century but are facing increasing competition from energy-hungry Asia.
Now Asia appears set to win its п¬Ѓrst major concession in the Middle East after the
expiry of a World War II-era contract to exploit Abu Dhabi’s main onshore oil fields.
“The Far East is �the’ market for Gulf oil
and energy-based products like chemicals,”
Jean-Francois Seznec, a Georgetown University professor and oil expert, told AFP.
Experts believe it is inevitable that, after
seeing huge boosts in oil exports to Asia,
Middle East producers like the UAE will seek
to attract Asian companies as production
partners as well. This will “help the UAE
secure a market share in the Far East at this
time of ample supplies and relatively weak
demand,” Seznec said.
Industry sources tell AFP that global giant
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is the
top contender for the Abu Dhabi bid, along
with п¬Ѓrms from South Korea and Japan.
The 75-year-old concession ran out in
January and state-owned Abu Dhabi Nation-
al Oil Company (ADNOC) is reviewing bids
from nine international majors to award new
long-term production-sharing agreements.
The ultimate decision will be taken by the
Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council, the
emirate’s highest decision-making body on
energy issues.
An industry source said a decision is expected by the end of the year or early 2015,
barring any last-minute hurdles.
The previous concession, granted in January 1939, was operated by Western companies ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and
Total, with 9.5% each, in addition to Partex
Oil and Gas with 2%.
The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil
Operations (ADCO), which currently operates production, had the remaining 60%.
The new concession will be for 40 years,
local media reported and the goal is to raise
output from the current 1.5mn barrels per
day to 1.8mn by 2017.
As well as China’s CNPC, the Korean National Oil Corp (KNOC) and Japan’s Inpex
Corp are among the nine companies bidding
for the concession.
The former partners — US giant ExxonMobil, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Britain’s BP and
Total of France - are also bidding, along with
newcomers Statoil of Norway and Russia’s
Rosneft. “There is certainly a natural fit
for Asian oil companies interested in these
concessions,” Victor Shum, vice president
at IHS Energy Insight, told AFP.
The Middle East is the primary supplier
of crude oil to Asian nations and Asia’s importance in the energy market has risen in
recent years amid fundamental changes in
production, exports and prices, he said.
Last year China replaced the US as the
world’s top crude oil importer, after US
producers increased domestic output of oil
and natural gas from conventional and shale
China imports more than six million barrels per day, mostly from the Gulf, as opposed to about п¬Ѓve million by the US.
Chinese and Korean companies have already struck smaller concession deals in
undeveloped areas of Abu Dhabi. China also
signed a strategic deal to import 200,000
barrels per day from the UAE until 2020.
“With the growing supply from the US,
we expect that Middle Eastern countries
would likely have to focus more on the Asian
region,” said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
“We already saw Saudi Arabia, Iraq and
Iran cut prices and believe that this is already a step towards maintaining their market share in the Asian market,” Ang told AFP.
While demand from the US and Europe is
declining or stagnant at best, thirst for oil
is increasing rapidly in Asia and emerging
markets. IHS forecasts that the Asia-Pacific share of world consumption will rise from
26.4% in 2014 to 34.4% by 2024.
Given their track record on the concession, some of the Western п¬Ѓrms are likely to
win parts of the rights.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Weak yen hits S Korea’s
export competitiveness
Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol at a press conference in Seoul. Lee said yesterday that while there are limitations to South Korea’s ability to counter the
weakening yen, the government will not stand pat.
communiques. The won has also weathered volatility well, as authorities repeatedly stepped in to
prevent excessive one-sidedness in the market.
They have also engaged in dollar-buying intervention to weaken the won indirectly against the yen.
In a note dated Thursday, Goldman Sachs predicted the won will strengthen against the yen and
weaken against the dollar.
“This combination is not necessarily negative
for overall Korean exports in our view,” it said, noting that sectors that compete directly with Japan
– autos, auto parts, steel and chemicals – account
for less than a third of Korean exports.
The presidential Blue House has told South Korean companies to tough it out, urging them to use
the weakening yen as an opportunity to expand
investment in Japanese equipment and improve
their business structure. Despite concerns over
household debt, another rate cut may be necessary, some analysts said.
Indeed, the weakening yen was a key point during the Bank of Korea’s October 15 monetary policy
meeting, when it lowered rates by 25 basis points to
2%, matching a record low.
“Our price competitiveness in sectors where
competition is high against Japanese companies
is falling,” one unidentified central bank board
member said, according to minutes released on
Tuesday. Another board member expressed concern that the negative effects from a weakened yen
could be bigger than in the past, as diminished demand from the eurozone and soft growth in some
emerging market countries pose additional risks
to exports. Nomura economist Kwon Young Sun
wrote in a note this week that he sees an increasing
likelihood that the Bank of Korea will cut rates in
coming months. Economists at ANZ and ING also
expect a rate cut in coming months.
“We expect JPY (yen) weakness to have a greater
negative effect on the Korean economy this time,”
Kwon wrote. “First, we believe firms will delay their investments due to uncertainty over the
KRW (won) market, and second, underperforming
Korean equity markets are likely to have a negative
wealth effect on private consumption.”
Japan bank offers customers �curtain call’ loans
Ogaki, Japan
hile rival banks sit on their deposits,
frustrating government efforts to reflate Japan’s stagnant economy, regional
banker Takashi Tsuchiya will write you a loan to
close your business or end your marriage.
The portly boss of Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank (OKB) in
the central Gifu prefecture, who deploys an infectious giggle as liberally as he disburses loans, sees
opportunities in borrowers that most of Japan’s
reluctant regional lenders would dismiss as dead
Such “curtain call” loans can lift customers
from the wreckage of their private lives, but for
Tsuchiya, it’s a creative way of supporting Japan’s
sluggish regional economies, where low birth
rates and internal migration are hollowing out
small towns and villages and squeezing his bank’s
“In Japan closing a business only has a negative
image. It means you failed,” Tsuchiya said. “But it
outh Korean authorities won’t sit on their
hands while a tumbling yen undercuts the
country’s export competitiveness, the central bank chief said yesterday, but policymakers
could be reluctant to reduce interest rates, and
currency intervention offers limited relief.
The relative strength of the Japanese and South
Korean currencies is a sensitive topic in Seoul, given the rivalry between the two countries, and the
yen has dropped 30% against the won in the past
two years.
Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said yesterday that while there are limitations to South Korea’s ability to counter the weakening yen, “we will
not stand pat.”
A South Korean п¬Ѓnance ministry official told Reuters that the government will work towards keeping the won from moving out of sync with global
exchange rates, an indication it will not target the
yen specifically.
The won fell about 1% on Thursday after Vice
Finance Minister Joo Hyung-hwan was quoted
as saying the government would manage the dollar-won rate to align it with the weakening yen,
although the п¬Ѓnance ministry later said the comment was misunderstood and the currency regained most of its losses.
The current weakening of the yen follows a
decision last month by the Bank of Japan to dramatically expand its debt-buying stimulus drive,
pushing down bond yields and sending the yen to
115.52 against the dollar on Thursday, its weakest
in seven years. The Bank of Japan move increased
the chances that the Bank of Korea will cut its
policy rate to a record low, some economists said,
although the central bank may prefer not take that
plunge under mounting criticism by opposition
politicians of policies that encourage more borrowing by debt-strapped households.
“It’s difficult to make monetary policy decisions
just based on currency rates,” South Korean Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan told lawmakers
on Thursday.
Past bouts of yen weakness have not proven that
painful for Korean exports, but Japanese manufacturers have yet to cut their export prices, an option
they could choose to exercise.
South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has
managed to ride out waves of monetary stimulus by the United States and Japan in recent years
relatively unscathed, bolstered by strong fundamentals, plentiful foreign exchange reserves, and a
hefty current account surplus.
Meanwhile, another п¬Ѓnance ministry official has
told Reuters it will probably not complain about
Japan’s monetary policy or single out a specific
country at the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit on
November 15 to 16, and that the atmosphere would
mirror that of previous meetings, where Japan’s
weakening yen was only vaguely mentioned in
fuel scam
hits п¬Ѓrms,
could be a positive event. You can start your life all
over again. It’s like you finish your performance at
a theatre and you get invited back to the stage as
the applause continues,” he said, with a ripple of
The loudest applause would come from Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, who says reviving local
economies is among his top priorities. He wants
annual business closures and new startups to hit
10% of all п¬Ѓrms, on a par with the United States,
up from 4.5% now.
Corporate closures hit a 10-year high last year,
even as the economy recovered, but business starts
have lagged behind, said Masashi Seki, manager
at the information division for Tokyo Shoko Research, a think-tank that focuses on bankruptcies.
Part of the problem is the glacial pace of lending at Japan’s 105 local banks. The loan-to-deposit
ratio at the biggest two thirds of them was down
at about 70% last year, compared with nearly 113%
for banks in the European Union.
Tsuchiya, 68, whose father also ran OKB, Japan’s
41st-biggest bank by assets, wants to be part of the
“Our business is closely tied to local economies,
so we have to help local economies to thrive,” he
The bank has also tried the direct approach
to rejuvenating Ogaki, its home town of about
160,000. Last year it paid to renovate a shuttered
shopping district near its headquarters, one of
the many arcaded rows of once-bustling shops
that now stand testament to the decline of Japan’s
smaller urban centres.
All the shops on “OKB Street” are now open,
but business is slow, struggling with demographic
trends. Gifu prefecture had 2mn people in 2010,
but Japan’s National Institute and Social Security
Research expects that to fall to 1.66mn by 2040,
mirroring a national decline from 128mn to 99mn
by 2048.
Hiroya Masuda, former governor of Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan, says half the nation’s
towns and villages will eventually disappear if the
birthrate continues to fall and people keep moving
to the bigger cities.
OKB has seen some success in drumming up
loan business. Lending rose 4.7% last year, beat-
ing bigger local rival Juroku Bank’s 2.6% and well
above the 1.3% managed by Japan’s 10 biggest
banks, according to central bank data.
Recognising social trends has contributed to
that growth. OKB is not just targeting unhappy
couples with divorce loans, but also with loans
for fertility treatment, or cosmetic surgery. Hardpressed single mothers are another growing segment.
For all that, OKB’s net interest margin has fallen
in each of the last п¬Ѓve years, and for the year ended
in March was a little less than half the average at
regional rivals, which in turn was a sickly 0.24%.
To address weak profitability at the regional
banks, the government is urging them to combine.
After months of inaction by the banks, secondlargest regional lender Bank of Yokohama and
much smaller rival Higashi-Nippon Bank said on
Tuesday they were considering a merger, followed
with a similar announcement from Kagoshima
Bank and Higo Bank.
Tsuchiya said he had been chastened by an earlier arduous merger with a small credit cooperative,
so he did not want to repeat that experience.
companies scrambled to
source fuel and take over
supply contracts yesterday after
Danish marine fuel supplier OW
Bunker said a suspected fraud
at its Singapore subsidiary had
pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.
The alleged fraud at Singapore-based subsidiary Dynamic
Oil Trading is potentially one
of the biggest п¬Ѓnancial market scandals to hit the city state
since 2004, when China Aviation
Oil (Singapore) ran up oil futures
losses of $550mn.
Some institutional and individual investors in Denmark said
they were considering taking legal action against the п¬Ѓrm.
“As an investor who invested in the company ... based on
the prospectus, to lose all your
money seven months later, you
have to think about what you can
do,” said Jan Ostergaard, head of
investment at Industriens Pension, which holds a small stake.
The collapse of Denmark’s
third largest company by revenue
with around 20,000 shareholders came as a shock to the Danish
Shareholders Association, which
hosted special events with management from OW Bunker ahead
of its March initial public offering.
The head of the association
told Reuters that management
was repeatedly asked about what
changes in oil prices might do to
the company and whether they
were able to control credit given
to customers.
“We are shocked by the fact
that these seem to be the two
main reasons for the company’s
fall,” Jens Moller Nielsen said.
Denmark’s Berlingske newspaper cited OW Bunker chairman Niels Henrik Jensen as saying Dynamic’s head, Lars Moller,
and some of his colleagues arrived unexpectedly at OW Bunker headquarters in Norresundby, Denmark, this week and
explained the situation to chief
executive Jim Pedersen.
Moller’s lawyer Arvid Andersen told Reuters that Moller
denies any illegal activities have
been going on. Andersen said
that what had happened was
due to an “untimely lack of care”
and that OW Bunker has been
too quick to jump to conclusions
about the situation.
“The case is not that somebody has stolen money, billed
п¬Ѓctitious trades or given kickbacks. The case is that a big
credit given to one customer was
built up,” Andersen said.
OW Bunker said earlier this
week it had been informed about
a fraud committed by senior employees in Singapore.
According to Andersen, it is
only a question whether internal
guidelines have been broken or
not. He declined to disclose the
name of the customer which had
the big credit line.
Moller, who a person that
knows him said was a popular member of the Danish expat
community, could not be reached
for comment at Dynamic’s office
in Singapore yesterday.
No-one was present at his
home in a luxury condominium
near the city-state’s Botanic Gardens. Singapore Police Force’s
white collar crimes unit declined
to comment on whether they
were investigating Dynamic.
Iron ore rhetoric should shift from China demand to oversupply
By Clyde Russell
Launceston, Australia
One of the recurring themes in iron ore’s
precipitous decline this year has been the
weak state of Chinese demand. The problem
with this is that it simply isn’t true.
It doesn’t take much of a search to find media
and analyst reports that reference softness
in China’s steel market as one of the major
reasons for Asian spot iron ore’s 43% decline
this year to a five-year low of $75.60 a tonne
on Thursday.
“Iron ore falls further as Chinese buying
interest stalls” was a Reuters headline from
October 17.
Just in case anybody thinks I’m picking
on my own colleagues, this one is from
competitor Bloomberg on Thursday: “Iron
drops to lowest since 2009 as Apec curbs
dent demand” – a reference to steel mills
closures ahead of the upcoming meeting of
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group
in Beijing as part of measures to control
It’s not just news reports, analysts have also
pointed to the slowing growth of China’s
“In China, slowing industrial trends and
deteriorating property fundamentals are
having an adverse impact on bulk commodity
demand – prices of iron ore and thermal
coal both hit five-year lows,” said a recent
research report from a major bank.
To be fair to both the media and the analysts,
many have also pointed repeatedly to the
increase in supply as a factor in driving down
iron ore prices.
But the fact remains that because China
buys two-thirds of seaborne iron ore, the
focus has been very much on the outlook
for its economy, and in particular the sectors
that use the most steel, such as housing
construction and infrastructure.
It’s here that many analysts see weakness
as the Chinese authorities try to shift the
economy to a more consumer-led model and
away from the fixed-asset investment and
export-orientated manufacturing that have
driven the past decades of rapid growth.
While all this may well be accurate, the fact
is that China’s economic situation hasn’t
negatively impacted on iron ore imports.
If your sole criteria for judging the iron ore
market was Chinese imports, you’d have to
say it was very strong indeed.
Imports in the first nine months of the year
were 699.1mn tonnes, a gain of 16.5% on the
same period last year. This increase actually
represents an acceleration in the rate of
growth from 2013, when imports expanded
10.2% for the whole year.
If maintained for the rest of the year, the rate
of growth for 2014 would be the strongest
since 2009, hardly the sign of a weak market.
Of course, analysts can point to slower
growth in steel output, which is up 2.3% in the
year to end September, and also to high port
inventories for iron ore as evidence that all
isn’t that rosy with iron ore demand.
While this is true, it still doesn’t explain away
the fact that iron ore import demand is
having a very strong year in China.
Any objective analysis of China and iron ore
can only conclude that it’s the additional
supply to the market from the mine
expansions in the state of Western Australia
and elsewhere that have driven the price.
The iron ore market is no longer a demanddriven story, it’s almost entirely about supply,
and while there is widespread recognition
that this is the case, it seems the rhetoric has
yet to change.
The world’s top five iron ore producers, led by
the big three of Brazil’s Vale and the AngloAustralian pair of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton,
are bringing nearly 400mn tonnes of new
supply to market within the next three years.
Some of this has already hit, taking the
market into supply surplus after several years
of deficits.
The major miners have taken a deliberate
gamble that they will be able to use their
low costs of production to force virtually
every tonne other than their own from the
seaborne market, and shut down about 40%
of Chinese domestic output as well.
This is a huge call, but even if they can
achieve this, it will come at the expense of
ensuring prices remain low for an extended
A more common type of market report for
iron ore should be headlined something
like this: “Iron ore declines as exports from
Australia’s Port Hedland rise 6.5% in October
to near record.”
Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The
views expressed are his own.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Japan’s GDP seen strong
enough for sales tax hike
apan’s economy is forecast to grow
enough in the third quarter to allow
the government to hike the sales
tax next year, but the decision remains
a close call although the Bank of Japan’s expanded stimulus should help
to ease the hit on consumption.
The government has agreed with
opposition parties to raise the sales tax
twice to pay for welfare spending and
contain Japan’s bloated public debt.
The п¬Ѓrst hike in April this year drove
the economy into its biggest slump
since the global п¬Ѓnancial crisis in the
second quarter.
A return to growth is forecast in
the third quarter as consumer spending and capital expenditure pick up,
but the tax hit to the economy has
proven to be much more painful than
most policymakers expected, fuelling
doubts about the second tax hike next
The BoJ shocked global п¬Ѓnancial
markets last week by expanding its
monetary easing programme as it
ramped up efforts to recharge a fragile
economic recovery and stoke inflation,
which remains at the half way mark to
it 2% goal.
“If gross domestic product and consumption are positive, then I think the
prime minister will go ahead with the
tax hike,” said Takuji Aida, chief economist at Societe Generale Securities.
“But now it is more a political issue than
an economic issue. It can be hard to
forecast what the government will do.”
Japan’s economy is expected to have
expanded an annualised 2.1% in JulySeptember, according to the median
estimate of 24 economists in a Reuters poll. That compares with a 7.1%
annualised contraction in April-June,
which was the largest since JanuaryMarch, 2009.
The Cabinet Office will release the
data at 2350 GMT on November 16.
The annualised п¬Ѓgure translates into
a 0.5% expansion from the previous
quarter, according to the poll.
Private consumption, which makes
Cranes load containers on a cargo ship at a pier in Tokyo. Japan’s economy is forecast to grow enough in the third quarter to allow the government to hike sales tax
next year.
up about 60% of the economy, grew
0.8% in the third quarter, the poll
showed, following a 5.1% contraction
in the previous quarter.
Capital expenditure is expected to
rise 0.9%, recovering from a 5.1% decline in the previous quarter.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said
he will decide by year’s end whether to
go through with a sales tax increase to
10% from 8% scheduled for next year
in October. The government had previously said July-September GDP data
would play an important role in making this decision.
However, after the economy contracted so much in the previous quarter when the sales tax rose from 5%,
worries about the plan have grown.
The tax hikes are needed to help offset the burden of rising welfare spending, but some members of Abe’s own
party and his closest advisers want
next year’s tax increase delayed for fear
of a return to deflation.
Data next week on machinery orders
could add to concerns about the outlook.
The leading indicator of capital expenditure is expected to fall 1.9% in
September after a 4.7% rise in the previous month. Companies have issued
very strong capital expenditure plans
for the current п¬Ѓscal year, but they have
been slow to implement this investment, which could mean business sentiment is not as strong as some think.
Japan’s external position is also
expected to worsen as exports have
lacked momentum. The current account due next week is forecast to show
the surplus was ВҐ534.2bn ($4.6bn) in
September, down 10.2% from the same
period a year earlier.
GIC to buy
49% stake in
New Zealand
malls for
Singapore sovereign wealth fund
GIC will acquire a 49% stake
in five shopping malls in New
Zealand for NZ$1.04bn ($798mn),
its joint-venture partner said.
Scentre Group, New Zealand’s
largest shopping centre operator,
said in a statement that it “will
receive proceeds” of about
NZ$1.04bn from the deal.
GIC said in a separate statement
the new partnership will provide
it with a “stable revenue” stream
but did not give the value of its
The firm said: “GIC is acquiring a
high-quality portfolio of regional
shopping centres... They are well
positioned to capture the longterm growth of the New Zealand
Scentre Group chief executive
Peter Allen said entering into
joint ventures in some of
its wholly owned assets is a
“strategic focus” for the company,
with the proceeds from the GIC
deal used “into our development
pipeline and the repayment of
Under the deal, GIC will own 49%
of five shopping malls – Westfield
Albany, Westfield Manukau,
Westfield Newmarket, Westfield
Riccarton and Wesfield St Lukes
– with a combined gross value of
of NZ$2.1bn.
GIC, which manages Singapore’s
foreign exchange reserves of
well over $100bn, owns prime
properties worldwide as part of a
long-term investment strategy.
Media reports say it is leading
a consortium which is in talks
to buy US warehouse operator
IndCor Properties from privateequity firm Blackstone Group for
A GIC spokesperson has declined
to comment on the reports.
Last month, GIC confirmed it will
acquire a €250mn ($314.3mn)
strategic stake in Turkey’s leading
commercial real estate developer
Ronesans Gayrimenkul Yatirim
Billionaire Ma’s pep talk on
mobile drives Alibaba growth
A screen displays a video on airbag safety on a Toyota Motor vehicle in Tokyo. The Japanese auto
parts maker at the centre of a global vehicle recall, ordered its technicians to destroy results of tests
on some of its air bags.
Takata technicians
�ordered to destroy’
air bag test results
akata Corp, the Japanese auto parts maker
at the centre of a global vehicle recall, ordered its technicians to destroy results of
tests on some of its air bags after п¬Ѓnding cracks
in air bag inflators, the New York Times said yesterday.
The tests were carried out on the inflators –
steel canisters that contain an explosive used to
inflate the bags in a collision – after an accident
in 2004 when an inflator in a Honda Accord exploded, ejecting metal fragments and injuring the
driver, it said.
Citing two former Takata employees, the
newspaper said Takata retrieved 50 airbags from
scrap yards for tests not long after the accident.
Instead of alerting US federal safety regulators to
the possible danger, Takata executives ordered
the technicians to destroy the test data, the paper
Takata had no immediate comment on the report, which sent the company’s shares down as
much as 4.7%.
Takata has been beset by chronic problems
with defective inflators in its air bags, which can
explode with excessive force and spray metal
shards. The air bags, used by many leading car
makers, are the focus of a US regulatory probe
and have prompted the recall of some 17mn cars
worldwide in the past six years, and more could
The unnamed ex-employees told the New York
Times that the test result in 2004 was so startling that engineers began designing possible
п¬Ѓxes to prepare for a recall. The tests, supervised
by Takata’s then-vice president for engineering
Al Bernat, were done in the summer of 2004 at
Takata’s US headquarters in Michigan, they said.
After three months, an order came to halt the
testing and destroy the data, including video and
computer backups, the former employees told the
The tests were conducted four years before
Takata said in regulatory п¬Ѓlings that it п¬Ѓrst tested
the problematic air bags, according to the paper.
Takata, which has 22% of the global market for
air bag inflators, on Thursday warned of a bigger
full-year loss, and again apologised for the repeated recalls.
illionaire Jack Ma’s unhappiness with
Alibaba Group Holding’s mobile shopping business may be easing.
Revenue from customers using smartphones and tablet computers surged 11-fold
in the September quarter and helped China’s
largest e-commerce company beat analysts’
estimates in its first profit report since its
market debut. Mobile users accounted for
29% of sales across Alibaba’s retail marketplaces, compared with less than 1% in mid2012.
The boost comes nine months after Ma
said he wasn’t satisfied with progress in
capturing more of the 527mn Chinese who
access the Internet from handheld devices,
and he called on his 20,000 employees to be
“all in” on mobile. That’s showing results as
Asia’s most-valuable Internet company now
has 217mn active mobile users, which is more
than the population of Brazil.
“We’re one of the very few companies in
China that has actually generated substantial revenue from mobile,” Joseph Tsai, vice
chairman of Alibaba, said on the earnings
conference call. “When we look at the user,
the consumer, when they come to use our
mobile app, their commercial intent is extremely strong.”
At eBay Inc., mobile contributed 21% of
transaction and payment volume in the September quarter, it said last month.
Alibaba is enticing customers to download
its mobile applications by adding links on
its website and handing out shopping credits when they click on particular links in the
apps. The increase in traffic and shopping
transactions makes advertisers more willing
to spend money for marketing on the apps,
Tsai said.
Total transactions made through Alibaba’s
mobile apps reached $32bn, more than tripling from $9bn a year ago.
Another important piece of Alibaba’s
strategy has been its mobile operating system, which it started offering in July 2011. Recently renamed YunOS, Alibaba will integrate
the system into its cloud computing offerings,
according to its п¬Ѓling.
Mobile e-commerce in China is expected to
post annual growth of 59% between 2013 and
2017 to reach about 1tn yuan ($164bn), accounting for about 24% of online shopping,
according to iResearch, a Shanghai-based
Ma: Ramping up preparations for a November 11 sales event.
Internet consultant.“Mobile utilisation is
only going to increase – and people expect
that experience to get even better over time,”
Ken Wisnefski, founder of Internet marketer
WebiMax, wrote in a report. “It is so important for businesses that want to be around in
the next decade to start thinking in terms of
Last month, Alibaba announced it was
partnering with Quixey Inc. on mobile search
that would allow users to п¬Ѓnd content located within applications. The companies also
started a global developer programme in China to encourage the integration of its search
Alibaba’s adjusted profit beat analysts’
estimates in the second quarter as advertisers spent more money. Adjusted earnings per
share reached 2.79 yuan, while revenue rose
54% to 16.8bn yuan. It added 29mn mobile
users in the quarter.
It was the п¬Ѓrst earnings result since Alibaba
raised a record $25bn in a September 18 initial
public offering that sold stock at $68 apiece.
The American depositary receipts rose 3.1%
to $109.37 at 11:02 am in New York on November 5, bringing their gain since the IPO to
While revenue surged, profitability was
hurt by the costs to integrate newly acquired
businesses, investments in mobile systems
and marketing.
Alibaba is ramping up preparations for a
November 11 sales event, its busiest shopping
day of the year, as it competes with Tencent
Holdings for China’s online shoppers.
“They are doing well on monetisation
through mobile advertising,” said Cheng
Cheng, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities
who has the equivalent of a buy rating on the
stock. “They will likely do better on mobile
going into the fourth quarter with the November 11 Singles’ Day, a very mobile- driven event.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Stimulus measures lift Thai
consumer confidence in Oct
onsumer confidence in Thailand picked up in
October after a drop in September, a university survey showed, on optimism about government stimulus measures and improved exports
as the junta tries to get the economy back on track.
A sharp decline in global oil prices was also seen
lowering transport costs and giving consumers
more to spend, but domestic demand is likely to be
constrained by high household debt.
The consumer confidence index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce increased
to 80.1 in October from 79.2 in September, when
it slipped for the п¬Ѓrst time since a coup on May 22
ended months of political unrest.
Private consumption, which makes up half of
the economy, is a pivotal growth engine in Thailand, so getting Thais to spend is crucial for reaching official growth forecast targets.
Last month, the junta announced a plan to
spend 364bn baht ($11.2bn), focusing on repairing
schools, hospitals and irrigation systems to add
jobs as well as helping farmers.
“The confidence trend should be positive and
continue improving but that depends on government spending. People now feel the future economy will definitely get better but they don’t know
when,” Thanavath Phonvichai, an economics professor at the university that conducted the confidence survey, told a news conference. He added
tourism should revive at the year-end.
Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krue-ngam
said on Thursday the junta was ready to consider
lifting martial law in some parts of the country to
help the economy and tourism, which accounts
for about 10% of GDP.
Economists said confidence may have bounced
back but domestic consumption could be hurt by
declining farm income and elevated debt levels,
while export momentum was uncertain.
“Overall, the slow recovery in both domestic and
external demand is an immediate headwind growth
risk to Thailand at this juncture,” said Barnabas
Gan, economist of OCBC Bank in Singapore.
Although consumers are still wary about spending, some retailers are making profits or looking
for an improvement.
Big C Supercenter posted a 14 percent rise in
third-quarter net profit, while Advanced Info Service, Thailand’s bigger mobile phone firm, expected
revenue to rise 4%-5% in the fourth quarter from
the third due to improved demand.
Thai Ratchthani Leasing said loans could grow
to sign
cattle deal
Shoppers browse through a bin of clothing at a Giordano store in Bangkok. Consumer confidence in Thailand picked up in October after a drop in
September, a university survey showed yesterday.
5%-10% this year, below its original target of 25%
due to falling truck sales, in line with the weak
auto sector. “Next year, we expect loans to grow
about 20% due to improving economic conditions
and expectations about government measures,
including infrastructure projects, and exports,”
Managing Director Kovit Rongwattansophon told
But Pirachaya Jumpee, an employee at a transport firm, feels there has been little change. “People may be a bit confident after the coup, but they
still don’t spend much.” The confidence index began falling months before Thailand entered a pe-
riod of political turmoil in late 2013, and that crisis
battered activity and tourism.
Through April, the index fell for 13 consecutive
months before rising between May and August,
reflecting rebounding confidence after the junta
seized power to restore stability. But the goodsentiment seems to be fading, with recent economic data largely disappointing and economic
recovery slowing.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy
avoided a technical recession in April-June but
still shrank 0.1% in the п¬Ѓrst half due to political
unrest and poor exports.
On Wednesday, the central bank held its policy
rate steady at 2% but said there was room to ease
further as the economic recovery was slowing
more than it had expected.
The Bank of Thailand said it would cut its economic growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 again
from 1.5% and 4.8%, respectively, when it meets
next month. Despite an unexpected rise in September, exports, which are equal to more than
60% of the economy, have long been weak due to
tepid global demand and lower commodity prices. Consumption, meanwhile, is capped by high
household debt levels.
ustralia will export up to
1mn head of cattle a year
to China, worth around
A$1bn ($856mn), to help meet a
growing appetite for red meat,
Australian officials said yesterday citing a long-awaited deal
set to be signed shortly.
Australia Agriculture Minister
Barnaby Joyce said negotiations
to п¬Ѓnally reach an agreement
after a decade of on-again-offagain discussions were “progressing well” and close to being
announced jointly by the two
The latest talks over shipping
live cattle from Australia to China resumed in February. Australia’s trade minister is currently in
China where the cattle deal is expected to get a п¬Ѓnal sign-off.
“It’s a million cattle, worth
A$1bn. The ink is not dry on
the contract though. It’s a great
breakthrough,” Australian cabinet minister Christopher Pyne
told Australia’s Channel Nine
television network yesterday.
China is Australia’s largest
trading partner, with two-way
trade of around $150bn in 2013.
The two countries are in the п¬Ѓnal stages of reaching a free trade
agreement (FTA) that Prime
Minister Tony Abbott wants
signed by the end of the year.
Agriculture minister Joyce
said talks over live cattle exports
were being conducted outside
those for an FTA and at this late
stage were focused on technical
aspects of breaking into the Chinese market, such as biosecurity
Nevertheless, greater access
for Australian agricultural goods
has been a key sticking point in
Abbott’s push for an FTA.
Why China blurs the global aluminium picture
By Andy Home
Is the world aluminium market in a supplydemand deficit or surplus?
It’s a simple enough question but an
extraordinarily difficult one to answer.
That much was clear at last week’s LME
Seminar. Two respected bank analysts, Citi’s
David Wilson and Natixis’ Nic Brown, offered
diametrically different views.
Deficit, according to Brown, and one that will
steadily increase over the next two years.
Surplus, according to Wilson, with no sign of
deficit until 2017 at the earliest.
Calculating supply-demand balances in any
industrial metal is a tricky business, but the
problems are compounded in aluminium.
There is, for example, no aluminium equivalent
to the International Study Groups that do so
much of the statistical leg-work in the copper,
zinc, lead and nickel markets. The International
Aluminium Institute (IAI) releases monthly
production figures but only for primary metal,
leaving the secondary scrap component of the
supply chain shrouded in statistical darkness.
The thorniest problem of all, however, is
assessing what is going on in China. It’s a
problem that is not unique to aluminium, but it
has acute resonance in this particular market,
given that China is both the world’s largest
producer and consumer of aluminium.
And it is China that lies at the heart of the
difference in analysts’ opinions on the market
Analysts would probably all agree on one thing.
China itself is currently in supply-demand
surplus, while the rest of the world is in deficit.
That inference can be drawn from those
monthly IAI production figures.
Production outside of China has been trending
lower since 2012, when producers first started
curtailing and closing capacity in response to
low prices. Average daily production outside
of China has fallen from 70,000 tonnes in
December 2011 to 66,500 tonnes in September
2014 as the ramp-up of new smelter capacity
in the Gulf region has been more than offset by
closures elsewhere.
Expressed in annualised terms, production
outside of China has declined by almost
1.5mn tonnes. Consumption, by contrast, has
continued growing to the point that the market
is widely believed to have tipped into supply
deficit over the course of this year.
In China, however, production has grown by
an annualised 7.2mn tonnes over the same
timeframe. Daily Chinese output of 68,030
tonnes in September was a fresh record high.
Chinese smelters have suffered from the same
margin compression as their Western peers,
but local government subsidies, particularly in
the form of help with power tariffs, have helped
protect the weak even while a new generation
of plants has sprung up in the northwest of the
Chinese consumption has also been growing,
but the growth rate has slowed this year,
mirroring the broader trend in all industrial
Which is why the Chinese domestic market is
widely believed to be in surplus, a collective
assessment that seems to be borne out by the
significant underperformance of Shanghai
aluminium prices relative to those on the
London Metal Exchange. But by how much is it
Back to those production figures. They
represent hard data collected from producers
by the IAI and the China Nonferrous Metals
Industry Association.
Not all producers, however, report their
production figures. The IAI, for example,
estimates “unreported” production of 90,000
tonnes per month outside of China, equivalent
to just over 1mn tonnes annualised.
The IAI has an extensive reporting system,
meaning that it has a pretty clear idea of what
it is missing. Indeed, it lists the non-reporting
countries on its website.
But what of China?
The IAI’s current assessment of unreported
production in China stands at 250,000 tonnes
per month, equivalent to 3mn tonnes per year.
That’s a big variable, bigger for example
than the combined output of Australia and
New Zealand, a significant albeit declining
aluminium production hub.
And even that may be a serious underestimate,
according to some analysts.
Paul Adkins at China AZ consultancy, speaking
in the Reuters Base Metals Forum a couple
of weeks ago, warned that the IAI’s estimate
“is way too low”. According to Adkins, one
producer missing from the Chinese reporting
system, Weiqiao, will on its own produce more
than 3mn tonnes this year.
And it’s far from being the only Chinese
producer not making it into the official figures.
In other words, even the relatively hard
production figures for China only paint a partial
picture. That inevitably blurs any assessment of
domestic market balance.
At least we can quantify the impact of any
over-supply in the Chinese market on the rest
of the world using another hard data series, the
country’s trade figures for aluminium.
China has historically been a net importer
of primary metal and a net exporter of alloy
and products, although it became a small net
exporter of primary in the last two reported
months. That’s more because imports have
collapsed than because exports have boomed.
Far more significant is the export flow of
semi-fabricated products. It’s not a new
phenomenon. China has been a consistent net
exporter of aluminium in this form since 2005,
although the pace is increasing all the time.
And it is tempting to believe that such exports
have no relevance to any assessment of global
primary market balance. After all, they are
products, not raw metal.
Citi’s Wilson would beg to disagree. His
argument is that they cause a double-count in
the global consumption calculation because of
the differing methodologies used in different
In China they get counted as first-use
consumption. If, however, they are then
exported to a country such as the United States,
where better data allows the construction of
a bottom-up demand calculation, they get
counted again.
No-one doubts the fact that aluminium benefits
from a far more robust consumption growth
story than just about any other metal, thanks
to light-weighting in the automotive sector. It’s
just possible, however, that it may not be quite
as statistically robust as widely perceived.
And what if some of those product exports
aren’t product at all?
There is growing wariness among aluminium
analysts about the nature of some of these
exports. Is it possible that some Chinese players
are performing minimal transformation of
primary metal into basic “products” to skip
through China’s export tax regime?
The incentive is there, given that primary
exports are hit with a 15% tax, while product
exports qualify for a partial VAT refund.
If true, such product would be going only as far
as a remelter to be transformed back into its
original “commodity-grade” form.
It’s understandably a highly sensitive subject,
but Adkins is not alone when he cautions that
“we think the volume of metal leaking from
China is greater than most people think”.
It’s also a statistician’s nightmare.
And one that is going to be get worse because
China’s product exports are steadily rising.
September’s count of 340,000 tonnes matched
the all-time high recorded in May 2011, while
year-to-date export growth is running at 10%
over 2013 levels.
Few expect the trend to reverse any time soon.
Most, in fact, expect product exports to keep
This export flow supports a fundamental
picture of a Western market moving steadily
into deficit with China supplying aluminium, in
whatever form, to fill the resulting gap.
But while both sides of the debate agree on
that, it blurs the calculation to the point that
Citi’s Wilson and Natixis’ Brown can be at such
odds in their assessment of the global market
The opinions expressed here are those of
the author, a columnist for Reuters.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
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
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intel Corp
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
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Mcdonald’s Corp
Boeing Co/The
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Caterpillar Inc
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Lt Price
% Chg
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 James’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
% Chg
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
% Chg
Lt Price
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
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
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
% Chg
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. Reddy’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
% Chg
An information panel shows fluctuation of the Spanish IBEX35 at the stock exchange in Madrid yesterday. Madrid stocks
slumped 1.32% in yesterday’s trading.
European stocks diverge
on mixed US jobs report
uropean stock markets diverged
yesterday after a mixed report on
US jobs while the euro recovered
ground against the dollar after a strong
week for the greenback.
The Paris CAC 40 dropped 0.89%
to 4,189.89 points, while in Frankfurt
the DAX 30 fell 0.91% to 9,291.83, but
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index
added 0.25% to 6,567.24 points thanks
to gains by mining stocks.
Madrid slumped 1.32% and Milan
shed 0.99%.
The markets focused on the mixed
US jobs data which showed the jobs
count came in below the 235,000 expected by analysts while the unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.8%, its lowest level
since July 2008.
“European markets were meandering around opening levels for the
best part of the day in anticipation of
volatility from across the pond coming
from the US non-farm payrolls employment report,” said CMC Markets
UK analyst Jasper Lawler.
Wall Street was more stable after the
Department of Labour’s report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
edged down 0.02% to 17,550.90 points
in midday trading.
The broad-based S&P 500 added
0.06% to stand at 2,032.47 points,
while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite
Index slid 0.26% to 4,626.86. analyst Patrick O’Hare
called the report “more good than bad,
but not indisputably great.”
Europe’s markets had rallied on
Thursday as European Central Bank
chief Mario Draghi signalled that the
ECB was readying further stimulus
measures if needed to combat deflation and stagnation within the eurozone.
The euro had slumped on the news,
but recovered some ground yesterday.
The single European currency
climbed to $1.2423 from $1.2371 late in
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
New York on Thursday. The euro had at
one point on Thursday struck $1.2365
— the lowest level for more than two
On Friday, the euro rose to 78.41
British pence from 78.15 pence, while
the British pound climbed to $1.5845
from $1.5829 on Thursday.
On the London Bullion Market,
the price of gold reached $1,154.50
an ounce, up from a 4.5-year low
of $1,131.24 on Thursday — a level
matched also on Friday.
On the corporate front, mining companies shot higher after some recent
heavy losses caused by falling metals
Silver producer Fresnillo shot up
4.9% to 734 pence, BHP Billiton
climbed 3.0% to 1,676 pence, and Anglo American gained 2.7% to 1,364.5
Fallers were led by the banks, with Societe Generale shedding 2.4% to 36.18
euros, Deutsche Bank giving up 1.62%
at 24.66 euros, and Standard Chartered
losing 1.45% to 946.10 pence.
Lt Price
% Chg
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
% Chg
Doha Securities Market
Saudi Tadawul
Kuwait Stocks Exchange
Bahrain Stock Exchage
Oman Stock Market
Abudhabi Stock Market
Dubai Financial Market
Lt Price
“Information 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.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Ford EMEA chief
and global marketing
head to switch jobs
Pooch Cafe
ord Motor Co’s regional chief
for Europe, the Middle East
and Africa (EMEA) will switch
roles with the car maker’s global
head of sales and marketing on January 1, a senior company source said
The source confirmed an earlier
report by trade publication Automotive News that Stephen Odell,
59, will move from his EMEA position to company headquarters in
Dearborn, Michigan, switching jobs
with global marketing chief Jim
Farley, 52.
The changes, which will be announced officially at 1400 GMT, give
Farley his п¬Ѓrst senior operating role
in the company and put a seasoned
operating executive, Odell, in charge
of marketing, sales and service
“The idea here is to give a �fresh
eyes’ approach both to EMEA and
global marketing, without tearing
up everything,” a senior Ford official
told Reuters.
The move comes at the behest
of Mark Fields, who took over from
Alan Mulally as Ford’s president and
chief executive last year.
Farley and Odell have headed
up two businesses where Ford has
struggled to turn things around: the
Lincoln luxury brand and its operations in Europe.
Lincoln at one time along with
General Motors Co’s Cadillac brand,
dominated luxury auto sales in
the US, which at the time was the
world’s biggest market.
Bound And Gagged
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (1)
: Bullet (2D 2pm; Big Hero 6 (2D)
3.45 & 5.45 pm; Al Jazeera 2 (2D)
7.45 pm; Interstellar (2D) 10.45
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (2)
: Horns (2D) 2pm; Beauty & The
Beast (2D) 4pm; Vellimoonga
(Malayalam) 5.45 pm; Interstellar
(2D) 8pm; Varsham (Malayalam)
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (3)
: 10 Years (2D) 2pm; Horns (2D)
3.45 pm; Interstellar (2D) 6pm;
The Shaukeens (Hindi) 9pm; The
Berlin File (2D) 11.30 pm.
Cinema Land Mark (1): 10 Years
(2D) 2pm; Bullet (2D) 3.45 pm;
Cryptic Clues
Sudoku is a puzzle
based on a 9x9 grid.
The grid is also
divided into nine
(3x3) boxes. You are
given a selection of
values and to complete the puzzle,
you must fill the
grid so that every
column, every row
and every 3x3 box
contains the digits
1 to 9 and none is
Weekly’s Solutions
1. Recognised a sound novel (4)
8. Paste diamond sent on hire,
maybe (10)
9. Sweetmeat I will put in dough
mixture (8)
10. From the helicopter I’m
surveying the borders (4)
12. Test paper with its own
solution (6)
14. It’s not played by present
schoolchildren (6)
15. Suitably equipped for those
who are boring (6)
17. Show significance of French
memorandum (6)
18. It surrounds a revolver and
gets blown up (4)
19. Science equipment to
examine underground system
21. Could it be the cry of the
triumphant chess-player? (6,4)
22. A mere pigment (4)
Odell (left) and Farley: �Fresh eyes’ approach.
In the past two decades, German
luxury brands BMW, MercedesBenz and Audi have taken the lead
in American sales, along with Lexus.
Ford now links Lincoln’s success to China, where the company
opened its п¬Ѓrst dealerships this week
and plans to have 60 stores in 50
Chinese cities by 2016. Ford plans
to overhaul Lincoln with an investment of $5bn over the next п¬Ѓve years,
sources told Reuters last month.
Ford has said it wants to triple Lincoln’s worldwide sales to
300,000 vehicles by 2020.
Interstellar (2D) 5.30 pm; Jai Hind
2 (Tamil) 8.30 pm; The Berlin File
(2D) 11.15 pm.
Cinema Land Mark (2): Beauty
& The Beast (2D) 2.30 & 8.30pm;
Big Hero 6 (2D) 4.30 & 6.30pm;
Interstellar (2D) 10.30 pm.
Cinema Land Mark (3): Bullet
(2D) 2pm; Horns (2D) 3.45
pm; Vellimoonga (Malayalam)
5.45 pm; Interstellar (2D) 8pm;
Varsham (Malayalam) 11pm.
Mall Cinema (1): Beauty &
The Beast (2D) 2.30 & 7.30pm;
Interstellar (2D) 4.30 pm; Horns
Last month’s results showed that
Ford continued to lose money in Europe and in South America, while
being profitable in Asia as well as
North America.
The loss in Europe widened to
$439mn from $182mn a year earlier,
mainly due to weakness in Russia.
In a bid to regain traction in a
sluggish European market, Ford is
introducing 25 new models over the
next п¬Ѓve years, launching higherend versions of its mass-market
models, striving to end years of losses in the region.
(2D) 9.30 pm; Bullet (2D) 11.30
Mall Cinema (2): Bullet (2D)
2.30 pm; The Berlin File (2D)
4pm; Vellimoonga (Malayalam)
6.15 pm; John Wick (2D) 8.45 pm;
Interstellar (2D) 10.30 pm.
Mall Cinema (3): 10 Years (2D)
2.30 pm; Big Hero 6 (3D) 4.15 &
6.15 pm; Interstellar (2D) 8.15 pm;
Varsham (Malayalam) 11.15 pm.
Global Cinemas, West End Park
(1): Kaththi (Tamil) 2.30, 5.30, 8.30
& 11.30pm.
Global Cinemas, West End Park
(2): Rajadhi Raja (Malayalam)
2:45 & 8:45; Money Ratnam
(Malayalam) 5:45 & 11.45pm.
Quick Clues
2. Celebrated personage
showing negative potential!
3. Common sense about the
right legal document (4)
4. See 13 Down.
5. About foreign money of
modern times (6)
6. Top of the bill to begin a
run in variety (4-4)
7. They are used for spraying
aircraft (4)
11. Very small volume kept by
the secretary (6-4)
13 and 4Dn. Areas that are
attractive to the student of
physics (8,6)
16. Excessive fondness for
senility? (6)
17. Consternation when Sam
gets upset in tackling his
own household jobs! (6)
18. As far as the doctor
is concerned, it’s a grave
situation (4)
20. Supply information to
William Archer (4)
1. Difficult (4)
8. Exterminate (10)
9. Despairing (8)
10. Happy (4)
12. Unnatural (6)
14. Alter (6)
15. Victor (6)
17. Assemble (6)
18. Equal (4)
19. Intrepid (8)
21. Franchise (10)
22. Retain (4)
2. Car (10)
3. Stupefy (4)
4. Mean (6)
5. Medicine (6)
6. Glaring (8)
7. Remit (4)
11. Pugnacious (10)
13. Agreement (8)
16. Deny (6)
17. Free (6)
18. Select (4)
20. Connection (4)
Weekly’s Solutions
Across: 7 Inure; 8 Eyesore; 9
Hatchet; 10 Idiom; 12 Attraction;
15 Modernised; 18 Natal; 19
Capital; 21 Blossom; 22 Flirt.
Down: 1 Highwayman; 2 Gusto;
3 Mesh; 4 Letter; 5 Mediocre; 6
Solicit; 11 Manipulate; 13 Tireless;
14 Edition; 16 Income; 17 Staid;
20 Puff.
Across: 7 Ahead; 8 Hardest;
9 In train; 10 Pound; 12 Upperclass; 15 Listlessly; 18 Years; 19
Recover; 21 Everest; 22 Bride.
Down: 1 Rationally; 2 Betty;
3 Edna; 4 Change; 5 Tropical;
6 Secular; 11 Discharged; 13
Polished; 14 Ashamed; 16 Sprite;
17 Avoid; 20 Cube.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
US fracking п¬Ѓrms stay in top
gear despite oil price slump
By Edward McAllister, Reuters
New York
nfazed by slumping oil prices
and battering in the stock market, п¬Ѓrms that supply sand and
guar gum for shale oil and gas companies are not ready yet to call an end to
a four-year boom spurred by hydraulic
fracturing technology.
Just putting on a brave face as a
downturn looms? Perhaps, but the optimism could also reflect confidence
that the US shale industry is more resilient to retreating oil prices than investors might think.
Oil prices have fallen 30% since late
June and shares of such п¬Ѓrms as US
Silica Holdings and Hi Crush, which
supply sand to US drillers, followed,
dumped by investors anticipating 2015
output cuts and a drop in demand.
However, the service companies say
business remains as strong as ever.
Furthermore, they point out that most
of their supply has been bought under
long term contracts meaning next year
should be good too.
“We have not seen any data or had
any discussions that indicate lower
demand for our sand,” said Robert Rasmus, co-chief executive officer of sand
producer Hi-Crush after the company
reported record third quarter revenues
this week.
Hi Crush’s share price has fallen
more than 40% since the beginning
of September, but Rasmus said almost
90% of the company’s sand output was
sold for 2015.
His comments echoed those of other
п¬Ѓrms that supply sand and other materials to oil drillers.
US Silica Holdings, whose oil and gas
sector revenues doubled in the third
quarter of this year, remains upbeat
about its outlook.
“We are actively engaged in conversations with our customers about their
future growth, and none has brought
down their estimated requirements,”
chief executive officer Bryan Shinn told
investors last week.
Demand for sand and the powderlike gum made from guar seeds has
soared in recent years. Both are used in
what is known as “completion” of an
oil well, which occurs after drilling and
A conductor couples railcars filled with sand to be transloaded for energy companies drilling natural gas wells in Pennsylvania (file). Firms that supply sand and guar
gum for shale oil and gas companies are not ready yet to call an end to a four-year boom spurred by hydraulic fracturing technology.
during fracking to keep open tiny fractures in shale rock to allow oil to escape.
Analysts say that in contrast to investors who have already priced in a
drop in 2015 output because of sliding
oil prices, service п¬Ѓrms may still hope
for a rebound and hold off with cutting
their outlooks.
Their optimism could also be a sign
that the shale oil boom, which has
transformed US energy industry since
the end of last decade, has enough
momentum to keep output and service firms’ business rising next year and
perhaps beyond even as some drillers
already start cutting their 2015 investment plans.
Industry experts say existing wells
that have been drilled but not yet
fracked will keep output surging for
months and many have hedged next
year’s production well above current
Furthermore, while US oil prices hit
a three-year low below $76 a barrel this
week, several shale oil firms have indicated they would remain profitable if
prices stayed above $70.
That said, a further slide and protracted weakness could force shale oil
companies and their suppliers, many of
which have yet to weather a downturn,
to pull back.
Some clouds are already appearing.
Diamondback Energy, an oil producer in the Permian Basin in Texas, said
this week that it would start 2015 with
п¬Ѓve drilling rigs and wait to see what oil
prices do before adding three more rigs
as earlier planned.
Other п¬Ѓrms have also signalled potential 2015 spending cuts should oil
prices remain low or slide further,
eventually weighing on their suppliers’
Analysts are closely watching the oil
rig count for any early signs of a slowdown. The number of oil rigs in North
America is near all-time high, according to a weekly survey from service п¬Ѓrm
Baker Hughes. “It all depends how low
oil prices go and how long they stay
there — and the jury is still out on that,”
said Judith Dwarkin, director of energy
research at ITG Investment Research in
Calgary. “We will be watching the rig
In the meantime, some п¬Ѓrms still
bet on a continued shale boom. United
Guar, a Houston-based п¬Ѓrm that supplies guar gum to US drillers, plans to
triple its processing capacity over the
next 18 months, the company’s chief
executive Aamer Safraz said in an interview, confident that prices will recover.
“I don’t care if fracking slows in the
US,” Safraz said. “You have to take a
longer term view.”
Jan 2016 trial
date set in GM
ignition cases
AFP, Bloomberg
New York
A US judge has set an early
2016 trial date for suits against
General Motors over the ignition switch defect linked to at
least 30 deaths.
US District Judge Jesse Furman,
who has received more than
100 complaints from GM owners, has announced a trial date
of January 11, 2016, a judicial
source said on Thursday.
Those eligible to sue include
GM customers whose accidents
came after the US auto giant
emerged from bankruptcy in
2009. Some of the claims come
from family members who lost
relatives in accidents allegedly
caused by the defect.
Separately, GM on Thursday
urged a judge to reject the
lawsuits demanding $10bn for
the lost value of millions of cars
recalled this year for ignitionswitch fixes and other flaws.
The automaker told US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber in
Manhattan that he freed it from
responsibility for past errors
when he signed off in 2009 on
a $49.5bn government bailout.
In a court filing, GM challenged
customers’ claim that it forfeited
immunity by hiding a long-known
defect and exposing them to accidents and financial losses.
If Gerber scraps or adjusts earlier rulings, the judge might let
customers fight for billions of
dollars in damages and penalties, or at least the lost value of
their cars. If Gerber sides with
GM, customers suing over the
defect might get nothing or be
sent to old GM, the corporate
remnant the automaker left
behind when it reorganised.
That company has little money
to pay claims after being saddled with the car maker’s worst
assets and liabilities.
“New GM had no involvement”
in what old GM, which was
responsible for switch defects,
told customers about them, the
company said in the filing. “New
GM purchased old GM’s core
assets in good faith.”
GM has responded to a recall
crisis by starting to settle claims
for people who had accidewnts
in older cars with faulty
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Jet Airways reports first quarterly profit in 2 years
markets closed that it was adjusting its third-quarter results to
include an additional $400mn charge related to US investigations
into its forex business.
Bank of America posted a net loss of $70mn, or one cent per
share for the July-September quarter on October 15. Now, it said
in a statement, the net loss is $232mn, or four cents per share.
The bank said that after it posted its results it had been in
“separate advanced discussions with certain US banking regulatory agencies to resolve matters related to its foreign exchange
Deutsche Telekom
German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom said investments
weighed on profits in the third quarter, but it confirmed its profit
targets for the full year.
Deutsche Telekom said in a statement that its net profit fell by
13.9% to €506mn ($633mn) in the period from July to September.
Underlying or operating profit declined by 1.8% to €4.575bn while
revenues grew by 0.8% to €15.648bn.
“All strategy-related trends are clearly on an upward trajectory.
An excellent performance in the German mobile market, record
customer additions in the US, strong financial development
in Europe and improvements in Systems Solutions—these are
Deutsche Telekom’s results for the third quarter,” boasted chief
executive Tim Hoettges.
“For the first time in the history of Deutsche Telekom, more than
60% of revenue was generated abroad.”
“The challenges vary regionally, but we are clearly making
progress everywhere,” Hoettges said.
Struggling Jet Airways, one of India’s biggest carriers, reported
yesterday a quarterly profit for the first time in two years, boosted
by a one-off gain from the sale of a frequent-flyer scheme.
The Indian carrier, in which fast-growing Gulf airline Etihad
Airways has bought a 24% stake, remained in the red when the
sale proceeds were stripped out, but the airline still improved its
operating performance markedly.
Jet announced a Rs698mn ($11.3mn) net profit for the secondfinancial quarter to September in contrast with a Rs8.9bn net loss
in the same year-ago period.
“I am extremely pleased by the progress that is evident across
several areas,” Jet Airways chief executive Cramer Ball, known as
a turnaround specialist, said.
The publicly traded airline, which last reported a quarterly profit
in 2012, has been seeking to pilot its way back to profitability in
India’s congested skies.
While India’s passenger aviation market is one of the fastestgrowing globally, cut-throat fare wars and too many carriers
mean most of the country’s airlines are losing money, analysts
say. Stripping out the Rs3.05bn earnings from the sale of its frequent flyer scheme, Jet lost Rs2.35bn, said the statement released
after financial markets closed. But this was still a vast improvement from the airline’s year-earlier loss.
“This is in keeping with our three-year turnaround plan,” Jet’s
chief executive said.
Jet in July forecast a return to annual profit in the next three years
by 2017 through cost-cuts, route-sharing with new partner Etihad
and restructuring of hefty debt.
It also will phase out budget-flight operations and become a fullservice airline to trim losses.
The Indian government cleared last May the Abu Dhabi airline’s
purchase of the 24% stake in Jet for Rs21bn ($330mn).
Telecom Italia
Telecom Italia must explore the possibility of buying or merging
with Brazilian telecoms operator Oi, CEO Marco Patuano said
yesterday, as the company tries to strengthen the position of its
local subsidiary.
Some investors are betting Telecom Italia could eventually exit
Brazil but a small Telecom Italia shareholder group has voiced its
opposition to a possible sale, favouring instead a merger with Oi.
Patuano also faces changes in Telecom Italia’s shareholder base,
with France’s Vivendi due to take an 8% stake to become the largest investor. Vivendi has not given a view on the Brazil strategy.
Telecom Italia yesterday unveiled a 7.7% fall in nine-month core
earnings blaming weakness in Italy and a slowdown in Brazil but
said it saw concrete signs of a domestic recovery.
Telecom Italia pointed to a slowdown in the pace of revenue
decline at home thanks to the end of a price war and encouraging
trends in broadband subscription.
Europe’s ninth-biggest phone company by market value said
core earnings, or EBITDA, fell to €6.59bn in the first nine months,
broadly in line with analyst expectations.
Revenues fell 9.1% to €15.97bn and net debt stood at €26.6bn at
the end of September.
The decline in Italian revenues slowed to 7.2% in the nine months
from over 8% in the first and second quarters thanks to growth
in fixed broadband and to stabilisation of user revenues from its
traditional mobile phone services.
paying off. Shares in Vestas jumped as much as 17% after the
company raised forecasts for sales, profit margins and cash flow
this year on the back of a far stronger than expected performance in the three months to the end of September.
Vestas posted operating profit before special items of €163mn, up
from €67mn in third quarter last year and 44% above an average
forecast of 113mn euros in Reuters’ poll. Revenues rose to €1.8bn
from €1.4bn, again above a €1.66bn forecast from analysts.
Fredriksson stressed that the 2014 results would depend on
weather conditions for the rest of the year, as the company’s
employees will be busy installing new turbines during the period,
which is typically its strongest.
The company now expects its 2014 operating margin before special items to be 7 to 8%, up from an earlier forecast of at least 6%.
Chief executive Anders Runevad was brought in a year ago after
the firm issued a string of profit warnings, which sent its historically volatile shares on a roller coaster ride.
Swiss Re
A stronger than expected profit rise at Swiss Re boosted hopes
yesterday that the reinsurance group will join the slew of insurers
sharply raising their dividend payouts, sending its shares to a
near eight-month high.
Major European insurers are offering shareholders a bigger share
of their earnings in dividends this year, as a low level of payouts
for damage claims has allowed them to build up large cash piles.
Swiss Re’s rival Munich Re for instance has been returning surplus
capital to shareholders by buying back its own shares and raising
its dividend.
Swiss Re Chief Financial Officer David Cole said it was too early to
comment on a special dividend on its 2014 results and the issue
would be addressed in February, when the reinsurer reports fullyear earnings.
“Our shareholders should expect us to approach this with the
same discipline and the same philosophy that we have demonstrated over the last several years,” Cole said in an interview with
Reuters yesterday, after Swiss Re posted a 14% rise in net profit in
the third quarter to $1.2bn.
Swiss Re and others such as Hannover Re and Munich Re help
insurance companies cover the cost of major damage claims,
such as for hurricanes or earthquakes, in exchange for part of the
premiums their customers pay.
Speciality chemicals maker Croda International posted a 4% rise
in revenue at constant currency, marking its strongest performance in several quarters, as it saw improved sales trends in both
its core markets.
Shares in the company, whose customers include Unilever, L’Oreal
SA and Procter & Gamble Co, rose as much as 6.6% in morning
trade yesterday. The stock featured among the top percentage
gainers on London’s FTSE-250 Midcap Index.
Croda’s Chief Executive Steve Foots told analysts on a conference
call that the company had not seen any approaches yet. He was
responding to speculations that Croda was being eyed by the
likes of Germany’s Evonik Industries and US-listed Dupont.
“We would not be surprised to see Croda ultimately fall victim to a
larger global group but the timing of a takeover remains virtually
impossible to predict,” said James Tetley, an analyst at brokerage
N+1 Singer.
Despite the strong underlying growth, Croda said reported
revenue fell 3.3% to ВЈ259mn ($410mn) in the three months ended
September 30.
Third-quarter adjusted operating profit fell 6.4% to ВЈ58.1mn, hurt
by adverse currency movements and currency transaction costs.
“This is Croda’s strongest performance in seven quarters, and
bucks the recent trends highlight by peers like Givaudan and
customers like L’Oreal,” Morgan Stanley analyst Paul Walsh said,
keeping his “overweight” rating on the stock.
German sportswear firm Puma reported its first increase in
footwear sales in almost two years and strong sales of its Arsenal
jerseys as it increased its sales target for 2014, while paring its
margin forecast.
Puma, which has slipped further behind sportswear giants Nike
and Adidas in recent years, said third-quarter net profit fell 45%
to €29mn ($36mn) due to currency effects and higher marketing
spending, slightly shy of average analyst forecasts for €30mn.
Puma is splashing out to restore its reputation for sports performance after a shift into fashion hurt its sneaker sales. It ousted Nike
as kit supplier to Arsenal this season and launched its biggest
marketing drive yet in August with athletes like sprinter Usain
Bolt and soccer star Mario Balotelli.
Quarterly sales rose 3.7% to €843mn, an increase of 6.4% after
stripping out currency effects. It said footwear sales, which account for 44% of the total, grew a currency-adjusted 2% - the first
rise in seven quarters - helped by the popularity of its evoSPEED
soccer boot, worn by several top players at the World Cup in
Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind turbine maker,
raised its 2014 earnings forecasts yesterday in a sign the appointment of a new chief last year to turn the Danish firm around is
Walt Disney Co posted quarterly profit that fell in line with Wall
Street expectations as the media and theme park giant rode the
blockbuster performance of its movie box office hits Maleficent
and Guardians of the Galaxy.
With the TV landscape rocked by a wave of new online viewing
options, Chief Executive Bob Iger bucked the trend and insisted
Disney would not rush to offer standalone subscriptions to popular content such as its sports behemoth ESPN outside the traditional bundle of channels sold by cable and satellite operators.
“We don’t feel a compelling need to take a product to market
right now that is a direct challenge to that multichannel bundle,”
Iger told analysts during the company’s quarterly conference call
on Thursday. He said he expected the current pay TV model “to
remain dominant for some time.”
Operating income at ESPN declined due to higher contract rates
for high-end National Football League and Major League Baseball
games, which helped drag down the company’s cable networks
unit by 1% to $1.3bn.
The drop at cable networks, the company’s largest unit, likely
drove Disney shares lower, said Gabelli & Company analyst Brett
Harriss, who rates Disney a “hold.”
Operating income at its parks and resorts division rose 20% to
$687mn due to increased attendance and higher ticket prices for
theme park admissions. Revenue rose to $12.39bn, marginally
above the average analyst estimate of $12.37bn.
Bank of America said its third-quarter net loss was more than
three times bigger than reported last month, due to higher legal
costs from probes into foreign exchange manipulation.
The second-largest US bank by assets announced after the
Italian insurer Generali reported a better than expected 12.8% rise
in operating profits for the first nine months of the year, thanks
to a solid performance on all fronts, and said it was on track for a
rise for the year.
Europe’s third-largest insurer by market value said its nine-month
operating profit rose to €3.677bn ($4.6bn), above the consensus
forecast given by analysts in a company survey of €3.618bn.
“As the group works hard to fulfil the strategic plan, we expect the
operating result at year-end to improve with respect to the previous year,” Chief Financial Officer Alberto Minali said.
Italy’s biggest insurer also said its closely-watched Solvency I
capital adequacy ratio stood at 160% at the end of September, up
from 141% at the end of 2013.
The second quarter marked the end of an intense phase of disposals for Generali which helped it boost its capital base, allowing
it to fully focus on its operating performance.
Besides delivering on its disposal programme, Generali has
reduced debt and is in the process of executing a 2bn-euro efficiency programme. Just two weeks ahead of a much awaited investor day on November 19, the insurer said its premium income
in the first nine months stood at €51.3bn, lifted by a 9.6% rise in
life business with a 39% growth in linked products and strong
performances in Italy and France.
Observers explained that the market had feared Richemont
would fare far worse, and had for instance been bracing for Hong
Kong’s “umbrella revolution” would take a heavier toll on luxury
sales there.
Travel review website TripAdvisor reported a quarterly profit that
missed analysts estimates by a wide margin as marketing costs
jumped by nearly two-thirds and referral revenue lagged the
company’s expectations. TripAdvisor shares fell 15% to $71 in postmarket trading as the higher costs ate into a 39% rise in revenue.
Chief Executive Officer Steve Kaufer added that lower-than- expected click-based revenue growth partially offset gains made
from the purchase of travel booking website Viator in July.
The company relies heavily on click-based advertising, which
made up 70% of its total revenue in the latest quarter.
TripAdvisor makes money when a user clicks through to a thirdparty booking site.
The company launched a major advertising campaign in the third
quarter, driving selling and marketing costs up 64% to $159mn.
The company’s net income fell to $54mn, or 37 cents per share,
for the third quarter ended September 30, from $56mn, or 38
cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company reported a profit of 48 cents
per share.
Prudential Financial, the second-largest US life insurer, reported
a quarterly profit that fell short of market estimates by a wide
margin, mainly due to losses tied to its derivatives programme.
Overall charges and losses during the quarter totalled $1.13bn,
with derivatives-linked losses forming the majority.
Nearly half of the losses stemmed from a stronger dollar, particularly against the Japanese yen. Japan accounts for about a third
of the company’s international premiums.
The dollar rose 5.2% against the yen in the third quarter from a
year earlier.
Prudential, like other insurers, is heavily exposed to persistently
low interest rates and wild swings in foreign exchange rates. But
it has long had a substantial derivatives program designed to
smooth out that risk.
The company reported operating earnings on an adjusted basis
of $2.20 per share, well below the average analyst estimate of
$2.41 per share.
Operating income from the individual annuities business halved
to $367mn. Profit in its US life insurance business fell 88% to
$24mn in the quarter ended September 30, hurt by one-time
Net profit in the financial services businesses attributable to the
company was $465mn, or 99 cents per share, for the quarter
ended September 30, from $966mn, or $2.04 per share, a year
The company’s financial services business includes individual
annuities, retirement services and investment management
NN Group
Swiss luxury giant Richemont yesterday posted a sharp drop in
first half net profit amid weaker demand in China, but saw trading
bolstered on a market bracing for worse.
The world’s second largest maker of luxury products after LVMH
saw its net profit plunge 23% during the first half of its 2014/2015
fiscal year to €907mn ($1.12bn).
Analysts polled by the AWP financial news agency had expected
to see a net profit of €1.08bn for the six-month-period.
Despite missing the mark, the company, which counts Cartier and
Piaget among its luxury brands, saw its share price surge more
than 4%, with analysts saying investors had been bracing for far
worse. Richemont also beat expectations on sales, which inched
up two% to €5.43bn, surpassing the €5.3bn anticipated by analysts. But sales shrank two% in Asia, dragged down by dwindling
sales in the company’s two main markets China and Hong Kong.
Richemont said it had lost €239mn on programmes aimed at
reducing the risk of currency fluctuations.
That compares to the €127mn profit the company made on those
programmes during the same period a year earlier.
“The external environment remains difficult ahead of the holiday
trading period,” acknowledged company chairman Johann
Rupert. He stressed though that the results “were fairly resilient
overall, given the volatility of the environment that affected our
clients and retailer partners.”
“We remain confident that demand for high quality products will
continue to grow in the global market,” he said.
Investors appeared to agree. Following the news, the company’s
share price jumped 4.04% to 83.75 Swiss francs a piece in early
afternoon trading on a slightly negative Swiss market.
NN Group NV, the insurance arm of Dutch banking giant ING
Group, posted a 16.6% rise in quarterly operating profit, driven by
heavy cost cutting and lower debt funding costs.
NN Group, whose retirement, insurance and investment services
span 18 countries across four continents, said it expected to meet
its €200mn ($250.82mn) cost cutting target by 2016.
Operating profit from ongoing business rose to €274mn in the
third quarter, compared with €235mn a year earlier.
NN Group’s assets under management increased to €180bn at the
end of the third quarter, up 2.3% on year.
The group reported strong sales across all regions. It has a substantial European presence with a strong position in the Dutch
market, besides operations in Japan and a global investment
management business.
ING, which owns 68.1% of NN Group, spun the unit off in July in
the largest listing continental Europe had seen for three years.
The move was part of a major restructuring in which ING also
shed its investment bank and cut thousands of jobs to comply
with the terms of its state rescue.
Shares in Allianz jumped more than 3% yesterday after the German insurer promised bigger dividend payouts having posted a
forecast-beating jump in third-quarter net profit.
The surprise dividend move helped mollify shareholders worried
about turmoil at asset management arm Pimco, where the defection of investment guru Bill Gross has unsettled clients, triggered
record investor outflows and weighed on the unit’s quarterly
contribution to the group.
“Operating profit in asset management was still on a high level,
but the high net outflows (of client funds) remains a concern,”
said DZ Bank analyst Thorsten Wenzel in a note to clients.
In a statement issued after Thursday’s Frankfurt stock market
close, Europe’s biggest insurer said it would pay out 50% of net
profit in dividends versus 40% up to now.
Allianz had said it would review its dividend policy by the end
of the year after facing calls from investors to bring its dividend
more into line with peers like Zurich Insurance , which pays out
around 70% of net results.
Allianz’s quarterly operating and net profit rose 5% and 11%
respectively, beating the average forecasts in a Reuters poll of
banks and brokerages for 2.4% and 6.7% increases.
Operating profit in property-casualty insurance and asset
management were both ahead of average analyst expectations,
but asset management still posted an 8% decline from the year
earlier quarter.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Hedge funds under threat from pension fund rethink
found them costly and complicated.
A typical cost structure for a hedge
fund is an annual 2% of the value of
assets as a management fee plus 20%
of any profits, although big clients
can negotiate. The cost of �smart beta’
funds, which capture part of an actively managed strategy, says by buying
and selling merger candidates at a set
point in the deal, can be less than 1%.
European mutual funds now also
offer hedge-fund-like strategies – socalled �liquid alternatives’, which allow investors to get money out quicker
than a normal hedge fund – for a management fee as low as 1% and a lower
performance fee. US peers, meanwhile,
charge no performance fee.
Liquid alternatives can also be
sold to retail investors – opening up a
source of capital for both mutual and
hedge funds that launch their own versions. Investments in liquid alterna-
tives are expected to grow about 44%
in 2015 according to a Deutsche Bank
survey of almost 300 hedge fund managers and investors. Traditional hedge
funds have grown about 13% annually
since the п¬Ѓnancial crisis.
The New Zealand Super Fund, a government superannuation savings vehicle which terminated some of its hedge
fund investments this year, is building
a team to manage money in-house, as
is the LPFA.
At the LPFA, roughly a tenth of its
ВЈ5bn in assets are now managed inhouse from zero two years ago, helping
it save ВЈ3.5mn in annual fees. Calpers
paid $135mn in fees for its exposure to
hedge funds last year.
“Building in-house expertise is a
way to get better returns, to manage
our liabilities and ensure that we have
cash available when we need it to pay
our pensioners,” Martin of LPFA said.
Gazprom bond risks shutting
on other Russian borrowers
bond yields
edge higher
ension schemes are starting to
rethink their hedge fund investments in the face of high costs
and poor returns, putting at risk the
heady pace of capital flows into an industry with nearly $3tn of assets.
Investors pulled more than $15bn
from hedge funds in the September
quarter, industry data showed, ending six quarters of net inflows. Investments from large institutions such as
pension funds contribute about 63%
of hedge fund capital, according to industry tracker Preqin.
Pension funds are turning to cheaper, more transparent and liquid products mimicking hedge fund strategies,
as well as so called �smart beta’ funds,
which aim to capture a part of a hedge
fund strategy’s returns at a fraction of
the cost. For some, such as 63-yearold Dutch pensioner Jelle van der
Linde, the switch has come too late.
Van der Linde has seen his benefits
cut by more than six% since last year,
partly because of the high investment
fees his metalworkers and engineers
pension fund, PMT, paid.
“I would have been better off putting
it into an old sock. I would at least have
had more than I do now,” he said.
At less than 2% of PMT’s $70bn assets, its hedge fund bets accounted for
nearly a third of its total expenses, according to a statement by the pension
fund in September, in which PMT said
the slight benefits from spreading its
risks were insufficient.
PMT and others such as the $296bn
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers) and Britain’s
Local Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA)
with assets of ВЈ4.8bn ($7.6bn), are
among those who have already ditched
hedge funds this year. Several others,
including Britain’s £20bn ($32bn) Railway Pension Scheme and San Francisco’s city pension fund are reassessing
their hedge fund allocations.
“In terms of hedge funds, overall, we
are sceptical about the value for money
they provide for us as a pension fund,”
Susan Martin, LPFA’s chief executive,
told Reuters.
“The lack of transparency and high
fee structure is not aligned with the
interest of asset owners such as ourselves,” said Martin, whose firm removed one of Europe’s largest hedge
funds, Brevan Howard, from its portfolios earlier this year.
In a survey of institutional investors
released on Friday, Ernst & Young said
that only 13% of the respondents said
they planned to raise bets on hedge
funds in the next three years, down
from 20% in 2012 and 17% in 2013.
Recent volatility in stock and currency markets could help hedge funds
to attract investment given their expertise in managing downside risk, but
average performance of funds in recent
years has been weak.
Of the 51 negative months recorded
by the MSCI World index over the last
decade, hedge funds – which aim to
make money in both rising and falling
markets – have on average lost money
in 36 months, the Eurekahedge Hedge
Fund Index shows.
Of the 69 positive months recorded
by the index, equity hedge funds have
lagged on 57 occasions.
Calpers, the largest US pension
fund, said in September that it would
pull all $4bn it had invested in hedge
funds such as Och-Ziff Capital Management and Metacapital because it
hile OAO Gazprom sold dollar bonds after offering an
interest rate three times as
big as peers, investors are skeptical
many more Russian companies will
“It’s unlikely we’ll see a flurry of
deals from Russia,” Yerlan Syzdykov,
who helps oversee $5.4bn as head
of emerging-market and high-yield
bonds at Pioneer Investment Management in London, said by e-mail yesterday. “Companies that need to raise
money will struggle to attract capital,
while those companies which don’t
need the cash urgently will balk at the
cost of funding.”
Gazprom, the п¬Ѓrst Russian company
to sell benchmark-sized foreign-currency debt since June, offered a 4.3%
coupon for the $700mn of November
2015 securities, almost 3 percentage
points more than the average rate on 141
issues of similar debt, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg. Unlike OAO
Rosneft and OAO Sberbank, the gas
producer has avoided sanctions stemming from the crisis in Ukraine.
The European Union this week added
to warnings from the US and Germany
that Russia risks more penalties over
the conflict amid reports of escalating
violence between Ukrainian troops and
pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine began
a large-scale offensive in the east, news
agency RIA Novosti reported yesterday,
citing Andrei Purgin, deputy premier of
self- proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The Ukrainian government said
its forces were shelled by separatists
last night.
Gazprom has about $4bn in foreigncurrency debt maturing over the next
12 months, according to data compiled
by Bloomberg. Its notes carry the highest coupon among all similar- maturity
dollar bonds sold by companies with
the same credit rating over the past
year, the data show. The next-highest
coupon is on the 2.75% 2014 notes sold
by Turkey’s Yapi Ve Kredi Bankasi AS in
Russian companies, which have
$44bn of debt coming due in the remainder of this year according to central bank data, are looking for alternative ways to refinance.
Gazprom last month agreed with
Gazprom headquarters in Moscow. Gazprom has about $4bn in foreign-currency debt maturing over the next 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China to consider a bond sale in offshore
yuan. OAO Lukoil, Russia’s secondlargest oil producer behind Rosneft,
was seeking to borrow $1bn through
a pre-export п¬Ѓnance facility this year,
but postponed the plan, according to
people with knowledge of the deal this
week, who asked not to be identified
because they’re not authorized to speak
about it.
Public relations executives at
Gazprom and Lukoil both declined to
comment on future debt plans when
contacted yesterday by phone and email.
The squeeze on overseas credit may
worsen as expanded sanctions could
rid anyone of the desire to buy the risk,
Egor Fedorov, an analyst at ING Groep
NV in Moscow, said by e-mail November 5.
“There was a lot of uncertainty in
the market if this bond transaction is
affected by the sanctions, therefore
we didn’t participate,” Clemens Hansmann, a money manager at Gutmann
Kapitalanlage AG in Vienna, which
oversees €7bn ($9bn) of assets, said by
Such concerns didn’t scare off all
foreign investors. The Gazprom issue
was three times oversubscribed with
77% of investors coming from the US
and the UK, including 10% from a single US investor, two people familiar
with the matter said yesterday.
“It looks as if they have tested the
market and the deal was well received,
so others may issue on the back of
this,” Angelo Rossetto, a bond trader
at GMSA Investments in London, who
bought the Gazprom bonds in the secondary market, said yesterday by email.
Private banks may be interested in
coming to market, ING’s Fedorov said.
The average yield on Russian corporate dollar debt has climbed 141 basis
points since June to 7.21% on November 5, according to JPMorgan Chase &
Co indexes. That compares with an average 5.49% yield for emerging-market
corporate debt, the data show. The
rouble appreciated 0.3% to 46.7220 per
dollar at 4:52 pm in Moscow.
Other Russian companies probably
won’t follow Gazprom’s example at the
moment, Sergey Dergachev, who helps
oversee $10bn at Union Investment
Privatfonds GmbH in Frankfurt and
took part in the sale, said yesterday by
e-mail. “The giants, such as Sberbank,
VEB and Rosneft are sanctioned names
and would face problems, while smaller
names, like MTS or Vimpelcom would
have to pay a much larger premium,
making deals not very attractive to the
The companies he was referring to
were Vnesheconombank, OAO Mobile
Telesystems and VimpelCom.
Ukraine’s currency reserves plummet to 9-year low
Pedestrians pass the Ukraine central bank in Kiev. Ukraine’s currency reserves
are now at their lowest level since 2005 and the central bank will have to dip
into them further as more payments loom.
Ukraine’s foreign currency reserves
plummeted by almost a quarter monthon-month in October to $12.6bn, the
central bank said yesterday, due to
energy payments and support for the
faltering hryvnia currency.
Reserves are now at their lowest level
since 2005 and the central bank,
which drew from its coffers to help
state energy firm Naftogaz service its
multi-billion dollar debt to Russia, will
have to dip into them further as further
payments loom.
“The dynamics (of the October fall)
were influenced by the need to support
Naftogaz (with) almost $2bn ... and also
by making payments for natural gas
supplies from European suppliers,” the
bank said in a statement.
On Monday the bank said it had sold
$1.3bn in the past month and a half
to defend the hryvnia, which has lost
around 40% of its value against the
dollar since the start of 2014 because
of political upheaval, ongoing tension
with Russia and a separatist conflict in
eastern Ukraine.
Despite the interventions, the hryvnia
lost more ground this week, falling 7.8%
to 13.96 to the dollar - its weakest since
September 19.
Continuing hryvnia fragility and
upcoming gas payments mean the
bank will have to dig even deeper into
reserves soon, Standard Bank analyst
Tim Ash said in a note.
“Ukraine still has $1.6bn in gas debts to
pay by year end, and $700mn-plus a
month to pay for any gas deliveries ...
foreign currency reserve levels might
well drop into single digits by year end,
which is very, very low,” he said.
Last week Moscow, Kiev and the
European Union clinched a deal in
Brussels that would restart flows of
Russian gas to Ukraine over the winter
in return for Naftogaz paying part
of its debt and $760mn up front for
November supplies.
Naftogaz transferred the first $1.45bn
tranche of debt repayment to Russia’s
Gazprom on Tuesday and pledged
to pay the rest according to the
schedule, but it has not specified
when it will start paying up front for
fresh supplies.
Yesterday the company received a
bill for fresh flows from Gazprom,
but Naftogaz stressed it would only
announce the timing of any payment
once it had made the decision to buy
more gas.
“The amount and schedule of
prepayment depends on what volume
and when Naftogaz orders gas from
Gazprom,” Naftogaz said in a statement.
The longer Ukraine can put off ordering
more Russian gas, the better for
currency reserves.
On Monday, central bank chief Valeriia
Gontareva said the International
Monetary Fund, which is supporting
Kiev with a multibn-dollar loan package,
had agreed that the central bank can
pay for Russian gas directly from
They are likely already lower than the
$12.6bn figure given for October due
to this week’s $1.45bn Naftogaz debt
urozone bond yields edged
higher yesterday as investors waited for the latest
batch of US employment п¬Ѓgures,
seen as crucial to convincing the
Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
In its statement last week, the
US central bank stressed that a
rise in interest rates would be
data-dependent, putting extra
onus on yesterday’s non-farm
payrolls numbers.
While the European Central
Bank affirmed its accommodative approach on Thursday, expanding its balance sheet and
hinting at additional unconventional measures, strategists remain unconvinced it could fully
cushion bonds from a US hike.
“We do believe that we will
keep having this correlation between US and eurozone yields,
and we should have some kind
of spillover effects,” said Cyril
Regnat, п¬Ѓxed income strategist
at Natixis.
German 10-year yields rose
two basis points to 0.84%, mirroring a similar move in US
Treasuries, which crept up the
same amount to 2.40% in European trading.
Meanwhile, the rally in Spanish and Italian bonds that followed Thursday’s dovish ECB
meeting reversed, with 10-year
yields rising 2 bps to 2.16 and
2.38%, respectively.
Bucking the trend, Greek 10year yields dipped 8 bps to 7.95%
after eurozone п¬Ѓnance ministers
backed a precautionary credit
line to replace the country’s bailout programme, which it is exiting early at the end of the year.
Strategists were split over the
scheme, designed to balance the
need to reassure investors with
the demands of domestic Greek
Some welcomed the fact that
Greece would still have п¬Ѓnancial
support, giving it a backstop if it
struggles to raise money on the
market next year.
RBC analysts said that the
credit line from the European
Stability Mechanism would satisfy one key pre-condition for
direct support from the ECB under its outright monetary transactions scheme.
Others said eurozone demands for the IMF to remain involved in the country’s supervision could backfire.
The Greek public holds the
IMF responsible for the harsh
austerity imposed on it over the
last four years.
“Given the other options this
is probably one of the worst ones
from a political perspective,”
said RBS rates strategist Michael
“The IMF stays there, and in
some ways it’s even worse because you have to raise money
from the markets but you don’t
get any IMF financing.”
Portugal was the only other
eurozone member to see yields
fall yesterday, as some strategists
predicted S&P would lift its outlook on the country’s BB rating
after the markets close. Ten-year
yields were down 1 basis point at
US non-farm payrolls are expected to show a rise of 231,000
jobs last month after a 248,000
increase in September, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The jobless rate is seen
steady at a six-year low of 5.9%.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Pressure mounts on
Russia central bank as
rouble crisis deepens
he rouble edged higher yesterday
amid signs that Russia’s central
bank could take emergency action
to halt a sharp slide that analysts said
amounted to a full-blown currency crisis.
The rouble appeared to be in free-fall in
morning trading, falling over 3% against
both the dollar and the euro, following
similar falls on Thursday.
But the currency recouped some ground
in the early afternoon on market speculation of an emergency central bank meeting. A source told Reuters that the bank’s
Governor Elvira Nabiullina was holding a
meeting, without providing further details.
By 1100 GMT, the rouble was 0.4%
weaker from the previous close, at 47.07
against the dollar.
The Russian currency was 0.4% weaker
at 58.29 against the euro, and 0.4% weaker at 52.10 against a dollar-euro basket.
“This is full-blown panic, with signs of
a self-fulfilling currency crisis,” Dmitry
Polevoy, chief Russia economist at ING
Bank in Moscow, said in a note. “At such
times, the central bank should intervene,
after all if this isn’t a risk to financial stability, then what is?”
On Wednesday, the central bank altered
its interventions policy to limit its support
for the Russian currency by cutting the
size of its interventions to $350mn a day.
Citi economist Ivan Tchakarov said in a
note that “the rouble slide in the last couple of days is starting to turn into a clear
and present risk to macroeconomic and
financial stability in the country”.
The central bank “can ill afford a situation where the rouble weakness turns into
a possible rout,” he added, calling for the
bank to “massively and unpredictably intervene in the FX market”.
Also on Wednesday, the central bank
reserved the option of carrying out ad hoc
currency interventions in order to preserve п¬Ѓnancial stability.
Several analysts said yesterday that this
rubicon has now been crossed, requiring
immediate central bank action in the form
of heavy market interventions to defend
the rouble.
“In our view, if today’s market conditions do not satisfy such criteria, then we
are at something of a loss for the central
An employee counts Russian rouble banknotes at a private company’s office in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. The rouble edged higher
yesterday amid signs that Russia’s central bank could take emergency action to halt a sharp slide that analysts said amounted to a
full-blown currency crisis.
bank’s true reaction function,” Sberbank
CIB analysts said in a note.
“If - and we are far from confident it
will – the CBR does intervene today, we
would suggest several bouts of heavy FX
sales, perhaps each in the region of $5bn.
An alternative is a single $10bn shot.”
Analysts also speculated that the central bank may be forced to carry out an
emergency increase in interest rates, despite raising its key lending rate by 1.5 percentage points to 9.5% last Friday.
“Past form suggests that rates may
need to rise to as much as 11.50-12.00%,”
said Neil Shearing, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said
in a note. Plunging oil prices and Western
sanctions over the Ukraine crisis have
shrivelled Russia’s exports and investment inflows, driving the rouble lower
over several months.
But the rouble has taken a particularly
heavy hit since the beginning of October,
Sensex edges lower;
rupee weakens
India’s benchmark BSE index
edged lower yesterday after
setting records in each of the previous four sessions as investors
took profits in recent outperformers such as State Bank of India,
with caution also prevailing
ahead of monthly US jobs data.
Expectations for earlier-thanexpected interest rate cuts,
hopes for additional government
reforms, and a pick-up in foreign
buying after a recent stall had all
combined to spark the latest rally
in shares.
The BSE index ended flat this
week, marking a third straight
week of gains, having breached
28,000 points for the first time
on Wednesday, although it has
not been able to close above that
Markets are now looking ahead
at US employment data, which
could help set expectations for
when the Federal Reserve will
raise US interest rates.
“There is pressure due to profittaking, but fresh money is coming. FIIs are continuously buying
and we do expect the downside
is capped for the near-term. Any
fall will give investors a better opportunity to enter at better valuation,” said Suresh Parmar, head,
institutional equities at KJMC
Capital Markets, adding that it’s
still a buy-on-dip market.
The benchmark BSE index
closed 0.17% down at 27,868.63
The broader NSE index closed
down 0.02% at 8,337 points, but
gained 0.2% for the week.
Banking stocks led the decline.
Shares in State Bank of India fell
1.42% after gaining 5.2% in the last
four sessions. HDFC Bank ended
1.5% lower. Hero MotoCorp fell
2.6% after Bain Capital sold part
of its stake. Sources told Reuters
the US private equity fund had
sold 8.5mn shares in the company
to raise $400mn.
Pharmaceutical companies
were among the gainers. Dr
Reddy’s gained 4.46% to a record
high after US Food and Drug
Administration said it has granted
final approval to the company to
make cheaper copies of Roche
Holding’s antiviral Valcyte.
Meanwhile the rupee fell to a
three-week low yesterday, continuing to track falls in emerging
market currencies as sentiment
turned cautious ahead of key US
jobs data that could help determine the timing of any US interest
rate hikes.
Unlike domestic bonds and
shares, the rupee fell during the
week tracking global gains in the
dollar due to fears the Federal
Reserve would move earlier than
expected to tighten monetary
The rupee fell 0.45% against
the dollar in the holiday-shortened week, posting its second
consecutive weekly fall.
US employers were expected
to have added 231,000 new jobs
to their payrolls in October, with
the unemployment rate forecast
to hold steady at a six-year low
of 5.9%.
“If the US data turns out to be
as good as market expects it to
be, then the rupee could come
under pressure in the coming
sessions,” said Uday Bhatt, a
currency trader at UCO Bank in
The partially convertible rupee
closed at 61.6425/6525 per dollar,
weaker from Wednesday’s close
of 61.41/42, after earlier falling
to as much as 61.6750, its lowest
since October 17.
with the central bank spending around
$30bn to prop up the ailing currency, its
largest monthly interventions in over п¬Ѓve
Yesterday, talk of renewed п¬Ѓghting in
eastern Ukraine, where both sides have
accused each other of violating a fragile
ceasefire, added further pressure to Russian assets.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that
the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has broken down - and both sides of the conflict
are now quite openly admitting this,”
Danske Bank analysts said in note.
The rouble is also being impacted by
weaker prices for oil, one of Russia’s key
exports, as Brent crude futures dropped
below $83, near a four-year low.
However, analysts said that the slide in
the rouble seen over recent days cannot
be explained by economic fundamentals
alone, arguing that it is now being driven
by ordinary Russians exchanging rouble
savings into dollars. “We think the rouble’s
30% depreciation year-to-date clearly
poses certain risks for п¬Ѓnancial stability,
as not many will have assumed such a dramatic price action when doing their business planning,” said Maxim Korovin, a forex analyst at VTB Capital in Moscow.
“Although some increase in geopolitical
risks yesterday added to FX volatility, the
key pressure on the rouble is most likely
now primarily from households, which is
a self-fulfilling process,” he said.
Russian shares in dollar terms were
also sharply lower yesterday, with the
RTS index reaching a п¬Ѓve-year low below 1,000 points, weighed down by the
weaker rouble.
At 1100 GMT, the RTS had recovered
slightly and was down 0.3% to 1,014
points, while its rouble-based peer
MICEX was up 1.1% at 1,513 points, conversely supported by the slide in the
Falling rouble may
still be overvalued
The rouble may have plunged 25%
against the dollar so far this year,
but some currency traders are
betting on a further 10% drop in
2015 on the grounds that the currency is still expensive once trade
and inflation are factored in.
Russia’s currency is on course
for its biggest weekly loss since
early 2009 after the central bank
decided to cap daily dollar sales
at $350mn – and investors interpreted that to mean it would not
shore up the rouble.
The bank’s stance is unsurprising
given that prices for oil, Russia’s
main export, are at four-year lows
around $82 a barrel and threaten
to blow a big hole in the country’s
trade balance unless its currency
remains weak.
But the decision also looks
prescient given that inflation and
exchange rates of trade partners
suggest the rouble is still overvalued - despite already crashing
past the 41 roubles-per dollar
exchange rate analysts predicted
for the end of the year.
“The central bank is saying clearly
that it does not consider the rouble weak enough to take stronger
action and that is fuelling more
weakness,” UBS strategist Manik
Narain said.
“If you look at the terms of trade
and current account flows, it’s
hard to argue the rouble has
significantly overshot. At this level
of oil price, I’d say it’s getting close
to fair value rather than looking
This real effective exchange rates
(REER) is the weighted average of
a currency against a basket of its
trade partners’ currencies and adjusted for inflation. The measure
is commonly used to determine
whether an exchange rate is overvalued or undervalued. While the
rouble is significantly down from
early-2014 levels, the currencies
of Russia’s major trade partners -
other emerging economies such
as Poland, Hungary, India, Turkey
- are in contrast 3.5 to 11% weaker
than their long-term averages.
Balanced against that is the
relentless capital flight prompted
by Western sanctions - estimated
at over $75bn in the first half of
2014 alone - and a current account
surplus suffering from the fact
that every $10 drop in the oil price
is estimated to cost Russia $28bn
in receipts.
A weaker currency that shores up
the surplus is therefore helpful.
“The question is at what level of
dollar-rouble does the current
account surplus start to rise
sufficiently to offset the capital
outflows,” Narain added.
Non-deliverable forwards (NDF)short-term contracts used by
counterparties to lock in a future
exchange rate - indicate a roubledollar exchange rate of around
47.7, a 3% depreciation from current levels.
In a year’s time, forwards are
pricing the exchange rate at 51.5,
roughly 10% weaker than spot
levels. This year’s rouble move
only partly reverses the sharp
appreciation of the prior decade
and a half, fuelled by oil’s vertiginous rise from $30 per barrel in
early-2004. Crude prices peaked
at $147 in 2008 and held near
$100 until 2014.
JPMorgan calculates the rouble
rose by almost 50% in REER terms
between 2004 and September
2014, its appreciation second only
to the Brazilian real among major
emerging currencies.
Similarly, oil prices, despite the
recent drop, remain above longterm averages, Standard Bank
analyst Tim Ash noted.
“So the rouble might look cheap
nominally over a one-year view,
but over a slightly longer real
time-frame the rouble still does
not look cheap, and neither does
oil,” he added.
On the positive side, however,
the rouble is not far off its 10-year
average REER.
Strong Wall Street lifts Asia markets
sian markets rose yesterday following another record close on
Wall Street, while the Nikkei resumed its surge as a brief rally by the yen
п¬Ѓzzled out.
Traders were also buoyed by comments from the head of the European
Central Bank that it was ready to widen
its stimulus programme to support the
eurozone economy.
Tokyo rose 0.52% a day after easing
for the first time this week on profittaking. The index has soared more than
10% since last Wednesday, helped by the
Bank of Japan’s surprise announcement
that it will widen its own monetary base.
The Nikkei added 87.90 points to п¬Ѓnish at
Seoul added 0.18%, or 3.39 points, to
1,939.87 and Sydney added 0.78%, or
43.0 points, to close at 5,549.1.
Shanghai fell 0.32%, or 7.69 points, to
2,418.17 and Hong Kong slipped 0.42%,
or 99.07 points, to 23,550.24.
In other markets, Kuala Lumpur
lost 7.79 points, or 0.43%, to close at
1,824.19; AMMB Holdings fell 1.06%
to 6.51 ringgit, while Public Bank shed
0.55% to 18.24.
Bangkok shed 0.25% or 2.40 points
to п¬Ѓnish at 1,578.37; Bangkok Bank lost
0.25% or 0.50 baht to 199.50 baht, but
energy giant PTT Plc gained 2.62% or
10baht to 391.00.
Jakarta closed down 0.93%, or 46.81
points, at 4,987.42; Bank Negara Indonesia rose 1.33% to 5,725 rupiah, while state
miner Aneka Tambang fell 1.06% to 935
Singapore slipped 0.14%, or 4.57
points, to 3,286.39; United Overseas
Bank fell 0.85% to Sg$23.30 while agribusiness company WIlmar International
gained 1.27% to Sg$3.19.
Taipei added 0.24%, or 21.60 points,
to 8,912.62; smartphone maker HTC rose
0.37% to Tw$137.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell 0.76%
to Tw$131.0.
Pedestrians look at share prices board in Tokyo. The Nikkei closed up 87.90 points to 16,880.38 yesterday.
Wellington rose 0.28%, or 15.38 points,
to 5,418.99; Genesis Energy added 3.8%
to NZ$2.21 and Meridian Energy gained
3.3% to NZ$1.72, while Trade Me lifted
0.50% to NZ$4.00.
Manila ended down 0.43%, or 30.91
points, at 7,205.72; Bloombery Resorts
plunged 7.74% to 14.30 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone gained
0.75% to 2,942 pesos.
US shares extended their recent advance ahead of the release of closely
watched October jobs data, with expectations for a healthy gain.
The Dow climbed 0.40% and the S&P
500 gained 0.38%, both to new highs,
while the Nasdaq added 0.38%.
Analysts said support was also provided
by comments from ECB president Mario
Draghi signalling it was ready to introduce fresh measures to counter deflation
and boost growth in the ailing eurozone.
“Should it become necessary to further
address risks of too prolonged a period
of low inflation, the governing council is
unanimous in its commitment to using
additional unconventional instruments
within its mandate,” Draghi said after the
bank’s latest policy meeting.
The news put downward pressure on
the euro, which hit a more than two-year
low against the dollar.
The single currency was at $1.2388,
against $1.2371 in New York, where it fell
below $1.2400 for the п¬Ѓrst time since
August 2012.
It was also at ВҐ142.75 compared with
ВҐ142.47, but sharply down from the
ВҐ143.20 earlier on Thursday in Tokyo.
The dollar resumed its upward trend
against the yen after a brief dip Thursday. It bought ВҐ115.26 yesterday, up from
ВҐ115.16 in New York on Thursday afternoon.
The yen’s plunge has sent Japanese
shares, particularly exporters, higher.
Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst
at Mizuho Securities, said: “The Bank
of Japan’s aggressive quantitative easing... is likely to continue to influence the
market via currency level fluctuations—
mostly to the upside.
“It’s likely that the fallout effect will
continue through mid-December, keeping stock prices relatively well-supported,” Miura told Dow Jones Newswires.
On oil markets, US benchmark West
Texas Intermediate for December delivery, dropped 36 cents to $77.55 while
Brent crude for December eased 52 cents
to $82.34 in afternoon trade.
Gold was at $1,144.92 an ounce, compared with $1,144.41 late Thursday.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Pakistan’s new economic corridor brings Mideast closer to China
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
Shortly after Pakistan on October
24 — together with 20 other Asian
countries including Qatar — joined
the China-driven new Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank
(AIIB), plans have been announced
that the bank will fund the multibillion Pakistan-China economic
corridor that will connect both
countries and open a new trade
route across Central Asia. The
corridor is meant to become a link
between Pakistan’s southwestern
Gawadar Port — a deep-sea port
located on the Arabian Sea close to
the Strait of Hormuz — and China’s
northwestern region via highways,
railways and pipelines to transport
oil and gas.
This new link will greatly
benefit oil and gas trade from the
Middle East to China, experts say.
Hydrocarbons would in the future
be transported from the port
through Pakistan’s Baluchistan
province up to northern Pakistan
and then cross over into China. This
connection is able to cut short the
12,000-kilometre route on which
Middle East oil and gas tankers
have to travel to reach sea ports in
China. The Pakistan-China link will
also be a new axis for trading many
other goods and also benefit local
commuters. On the Chinese side,
in the Muslim-majority province of
Xinjiang, there are plans for huge
economic free zones and industrial
The new corridor is an essential
part of the “New Silk Road” project
pursued by China that aims at
unlocking the economic potential
in Central Asia and connect China
with important markets in the Middle East and Europe. The project is
being pushed by Chinese president
Xi Jinping in an aim to revive the
centuries-old Silk Road trading
route and has been dubbed China’s
“Marshall Plan” in order to push the
economy in its border regions and
underdeveloped western neighbour states, and de facto increase
its influence in Central Asia. Cruciall
to the project is, however, boosting
trade with important regions such
as the Gulf. The “New Silk Road” is
funded by China with $16.3bn and
will likely get further cash injections
from the AIIB.
The move to open new crossAsian trade routes comes with
China’s efforts to strengthen the
international position of its former
strictly regulated currency, the
yuan. In the recent past, several
trading hubs have been set up for
the currency in Taiwan, Singapore,
London, Frankfurt, Paris, Luxem-
bourg and Seoul. The latest addition was a clearing house for the
yuan in Qatar, where the Industrial
and Commercial Bank of China’s
Doha branch has been appointed
as to facilitate yuan deals in Qatar
and the broader Middle East as
per an announcement of China’s
central bank on November 4.
In a latest development, even
Canada has agreed to the set-up
of a yuan clearing bank which
will likely be based in Toronto and
serve the North American market,
a development that brings strong
challenges to the US dollar’s formerly undisputed role as a “world
For the Gulf, the new economic
corridor to China via Central Asia
and the establishment of a yuan
clearing hub in Qatar is expected to
strongly boost economic relations
to China, which this year overtook
the US in being the world’s largest
economy in purchasing-power
adjusted GDP terms, according to
the latest ranking issued by the
International Monetary Fund last
Eurozone backs
ESM credit line
for Greece after
bailout exit
A worker unloads grocery goods in Washington, DC. The US unemployment rate fell again in October even if job creation was lower than in September, according to data published by
the Labor Department yesterday.
US jobless rate falls
to 5.8%; payrolls rise
Non-farm payrolls increase
214,000 in October; August,
September revised to
show 31,000 jobs added;
unemployment rate falls
to 5.8% from 5.9%; average
hourly earnings rise 3Вў
S job growth increased at
a fairly brisk clip in October and the unemployment rate fell to a fresh six-year
low of 5.8%, underscoring the
economy’s resilience in the face
of slowing global demand.
Despite the strengthening
labour market picture, wage
growth remained tepid, suggesting the Federal Reserve would be
in no hurry to start lifting interest rates.
Employers added 214,000
new jobs to their payrolls last
month, the Labour Department
said yesterday. The unemployment rate fell from 5.9%, even as
more people entered the labour
force, a sign of strength in the
jobs market.
Data for August and September were revised to show 31,000
more jobs created than previously reported.
“Today’s jobs report confirms
that the US remains the bright
spot in a global economic picture
filling with clouds,” said Michael
Griffin, managing director at
CEB in Arlington, Virginia.
Economists polled by Reuters
had forecast 231,000 new jobs
last month and for the unemployment rate to hold steady.
US stock index futures edged
up on the data. Prices for
US Treasury bond prices fell
slightly and the dollar was little
Monthly job growth has
exceeded 200,000 for nine
straight months, the longest
stretch since 1994, sufficient
strength to keep the economy
on a higher growth path after it
expanded at a 3.5% pace in the
third quarter.
The Fed last month struck a
fairly upbeat tune on the jobs
picture as it ended its bond
buying program, dropping its
characterisation of labour market slack as “significant” and
replacing it with “gradually diminishing.”
Sturdy job gains on their own,
however, will probably not be
enough to convince the US central bank to start raising interest
rates before the second half of
2015 given a still low level of inflation.
Wage growth is the missing
piece of the jobs recovery and
without significant increases,
most economists say the Fed will
be in no rush to lift benchmark
lending rates that it has kept
near zero since December 2008.
showed that average hourly
earnings rose only three cents
last month, leaving the year-onyear change at 2.0%, the range
it’s been in for the last few years.
But other data have begun to
show wage growth picking up.
Details of the October employment report were fairly upbeat.
The labour force participation rate and the ranks of the
long-term unemployed both
improved. These metrics are
on Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s socalled dashboard and are being
watched for clues on the timing
of the п¬Ѓrst rate hike.
The participation rate, or the
share of working-age Americans
who are employed or at least
looking for a job, increased by
one-tenth of percentage point to
62.8%, bouncing back after two
straight months of declines.
The employment-to-population ratio increased to 59.2, the
highest level since July 2009.
The number of long-term un-
employed people was the lowest
since January 2009.
A broad measure of joblessness that includes people who
want to work but have given up
searching and those working
part-time because they cannot
п¬Ѓnd full-time employment fell
to 11.5%, the lowest level since
September 2008.
As for job gains, they were
broad-based in line with the recent trend. Private-sector employment increased by 209,000,
with a second straight month of
gains in manufacturing and an
increase in construction.
Retail hiring advanced by
27,100 as stores gear up for a
busy holiday shopping season.
There was little sign that the
closure of casinos in New Jersey had impacted leisure and
hospitality sector employment,
with payrolls in the sector rising
Government employment increased 5,000 last month.
urozone п¬Ѓnance ministers backed on Thursday
a precautionary credit
line for Greece after the country exits its bailout at the end of
the year, in a bid to balance the
need to reassure investors with
the demands of domestic Greek
The Greek government has
staked its survival on regaining economic policy-making
sovereignty after the end of the
eurozone lending programme
this year and on exiting an IMF
bailout a year earlier than the
originally envisaged 2016.
Such a move would please
voters, hammered by austerity
measures imposed by the EU
and the IMF, ahead of possible
elections next year. But it has
already rattled markets, pushing up Greek bond yields.
Hardouvelis told Reuters on
Wednesday he hoped for an interim period of up to a year after
exiting the bailout during which
Greece will still get a п¬Ѓnancial
safety net but would no longer be
“micro-managed” by lenders.
After two international bailouts totalling €240bn since
2010, when private investors
refused to lend to Athens any
more, Greece wanted to switch
back to market п¬Ѓnancing from
the start of next year.
But markets reacted nervously to the plan, worried that
Athens would no longer have
any п¬Ѓnancial back-up. Greek
benchmark 10-year bond yields
rose to 8.9% in late October
from 5.6% in early September.
Greece and eurozone п¬Ѓnance
ministers discussed ways to
provide Athens with fall-back
п¬Ѓnancing to boost investor
confidence, while addressing
domestic political sensitivities.
“There is strong support for a
precautionary credit line in the
form of an existing ESM tool
called the ECCL — Enhanced
Conditions Credit Line,” the
chairman of eurozone п¬Ѓnance
ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem
told a news conference.
Mechanism (ESM) is the eurozone’s bailout fund created
to rescue governments cut off
from markets but only in exchange for a reform package.
“That is the path we will
now further pursue and work
on the conditions that will go
with that,” Dijsselbloem said.
The credit line will make use
of the €11bn already granted to
Athens by the eurozone to recapitalise Greek banks, eurozone
officials said. The money turned
out not to be needed after the
European Central Bank’s capital
adequacy assessment of main
European banks last month.
The credit line could also be
higher if Greek п¬Ѓnancing needs
next year required that, especially if Athens ends its borrowing programme with the
IMF from next year.
strongly dislikes the IMF,
which it blames for the austerity imposed on the country
for the last four years, but several eurozone countries see the
IMF as an independent guarantor of Greek reforms and
want it to stay.
Greece and eurozone
finance ministers
discussed ways to provide
Athens with fall-back
financing to boost investor
“There is also a broad understanding the IMF needs to continue being involved and a further discussion will have to take
place on the exact form of this
told the news conference.
The recapitalisation money
that could be recycled into a
credit line is now in European
Financial Stability Facility
bonds which would be returned
to the EFSF at the end of the
programme in December.
Greece would instead apply
for and get the ECCL from the
European Stability Mechanism
— the successor to the EFSF.
This would allow the Greek
government to score political
points at home by saying the
country was no longer under a
programme. But it would also
make it possible for eurozone
countries to set clear conditions
for the availability of the money,
even if it is not drawn upon.
The ECCL would also mean
that Greece will have to sign a
new “memorandum of understanding”, which is politically
sensitive because the previous
MoU detailed austerity reforms
demanded by lenders and the
term is resented by Greeks as a
symbol of a loss of sovereignty
by Athens.
Getting the credit line would
take a minimum of п¬Ѓve weeks to
Local retail buying support lands bourse in positive trajectory
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
A precipitous fall intra-week notwithstanding, the Qatar Stock Exchange
landed in the positive trajectory, the only
bourse to do so in the Gulf region, mainly
on local retail investors’ buying support,
during the week.
Strong buying interests in the industrials, transport and insurance largely overcame the selling pressure in the telecom
and banking sectors that the market rose
0.68% during the week that saw Barwa
Real Estate say that its full acquisition of
Lusail Golf Development is expected to be
completed soon.
In comparison, Saudi Arabia plunged
3.84%, Kuwait (3.08%), Dubai (3.06%),
Abu Dhabi (1.46%), Muscat (0.77%) and
Bahrain (0.22%) during the week that saw
Mannai HED and QNB partner to provide
finance solutions to heavy equipment
Qatar’s bourse has gained 30.93% yearto-date against Dubai’s 30.75%, Bahrain
(15.38%), Saudi Arabia (13.05%), Abu Dhabi
(11.65%) and Muscat (1.27%); whereas
Kuwait fell 5.5%.
Small and mid stocks were seen emerging the most favourites in the upward
rally during the week that saw foreign
institutions continuing to be bullish but
with lesser vigour.
Industrials stocks gained 2.31%, transport (1.76%), insurance (1.35%), consumer
goods (0.87%) and realty (0.53%); whereas telecom plunged 3.73% and banks and
financial services (0.06%).
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen gaining much
slower than other indices during the
week that saw realty, banks and telecom
together account for about 70% of the
total trade volume.
The 20-stock Total Return Index rose
0.68%, All Share Index (comprising wider
constituents) by 0.64% and Al Rayan
Islamic Index by 0.16% during the week,
which saw Ezdan, Barwa and Masraf Al
Rayan dominate the trading ring in terms
of both volume and value.
Of the 43 stocks, 23 advanced; while 19
declined and one was unchanged during
the week.
Six of the nine industrials; five each
of the 12 banks and financial services as
well as the five insurers; four of the eight
consumer goods; two of the three trans-
port and one of the four real estate stocks
close higher during the week.
Major gainers included QNB, Industries
Qatar, Islamic Holding, Gulf International
Services, Barwa, Widam Food, Al Meera,
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding and
However, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar,
Qatar Islamic Bank, International Islamic,
Untied Development Company, Mazaya
Qatar, Gulf Warehousing and Zad Holding
bucked the trend.
Market capitalisation was up 0.76% or
about QR6bn to QR733.84bn during the
week. Small, mid, micro and large cap
equities were seen gaining 1.03%, 0.86%,
0.54% and 0.24% respectively.
Micro, small, mid and large cap equities
are up 46.23%, 33.95%, 28% and 25.12%
respectively year-to-date.
Foreign institutions’ net buying sunk
to QR67.31mn against QR164.52mn the
previous week.
Domestic institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR3.82mn compared
with net buyers of QR114.67mn the week
ended October 30.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net
profit booking rose to QR45.56mn against
QR43.59mn the week ended October 30.
Local retail investors’ net selling
plummeted to QR17.64mn compared to
QR235.99mn the previous week.
A total of 60.1mn shares valued at
QR2.94bn changed hands across 30,307
The real estate sector saw a total of
22.65mn equities worth QR625.05mn
trade across 6,304 deals.
As many as 11.19mn banks and financial
services stocks valued at QR960.51mn
changed hands across 9,131 transactions.
A total of 5.21mn consumer goods
stocks valued at QR230.34mn trade
across 2,136 deals.
The telecom sector saw 8.08mn equities worth QR220.27mn change hands
across 2,487 transactions.
The industrials and transport segments
recorded 6.14mn and 4.04mn shares
worth QR577.81mn and QR185.17mn trade
across 6,888 and 2,109 deals respectively.
A total of 2.79mn insurance equities
valued at QR140.25mn changed hands
across 1,252 transactions.
In the debt market, a total of 25,000
treasury bills valued at QR248.96mn
traded across three deals; while there was
no trading of government bonds during
the week.
RUGBY| Page 10
All Blacks’
Hansen wary
of new-look
Messi targets
more history,
Suarez wants his
first goal
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Moharram 15, 1436 AH
Super Shakib leads
Bangladesh to series
win over Zimbabwe
Page 6
Foreman: Qatar
will knockout
World Cup critics
Rogge trusts Blatter to
avoid 2022 clash with
Winter Olympics
�I intend to see them (Qatar) deliver a knockout blow...’
x-Olympics boss Jacques
Rogge said he trusted FIFA
chief Sepp Blatter to “honour his word” yesterday
and avoid a clash between the 2022
World Cup and that year’s Winter
Rogge said Blatter had promised
that the Qatar World Cup, which
may be moved to the winter to avoid
the desert state’s summer, would
not come into conflict with the 2022
Winter Games.
“I’m sure that Sepp Blatter and
Thomas Bach will find a good solution,” said Rogge, referring to his
successor as head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Let’s be clear: Sepp Blatter has
pledged that he will not harm the
Olympic Games, and by the way he’s
also an IOC member. He will honour
his word.” The 72-year-old Belgian
was speaking in Bangkok after winning a lifetime achievement prize
at the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC)
awards show.
Debate is raging over 2022 with
the World Cup timing influx. Beijing, considered favourite to host
the 2022 Olympics, has said it would
Debate is raging over 2022 with
the World Cup timing influx.
Beijing, considered favourite to
host the 2022 Olympics, has said
it would hold the tournament in
hold the tournament in February.
Blatter has not always been true
to his word. In 2011, he promised his
fourth term as FIFA president would
be his last—but he is now standing
for re-election next year.
Rogge also backed Bach’s Agenda
2020, a sweeping revamp aimed at
modernising the Olympics through
measures such as a dedicated TV
channel and more flexibility on what
sports are contested.
“I think it’s needed. From time to
time, every organisation needs to
rebuild itself,” Rogge said.
“Definitely I think it’s a very good
idea that the TV channel is something that is needed now... we need
to have attention for the Olympic
movement in the periods between
the Games,” he added.
“Flexibility for the bidding cities is a good idea, flexibility for the
Olympic programmes is also a good
idea so I think many good ideas
will be approved.” Forty proposed
changes will be made public next
week before being put to the vote at
the IOC’s extraordinary session in
Monaco on December 8.
George Foreman speaking at a session during the Doha GOALS Forum in Doha. At bottom, Foreman (R) during his boxing heyday.
By Sports Reporter
n 1974, boxers George Foreman
and Mohamed Ali faced off in an
emphatic п¬Ѓght in Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)
known as the �Rumble in the Jungle.’
Three years before the п¬Ѓght, Ali visited Doha, and forty-three years later,
his one-time foe Foreman was in Qatar attending the Doha Goals conference.
Both journeying legends have gone
around the world promoting sports
and the great impact it has on its surroundings, both then and now.
Foreman draws parallels between
the famous п¬Ѓght and the 2022 FIFA
World Cup Qatar, saying “After the
World Cup takes place the whole
world will be saying Qatar’s name.
Qatar is going to be the name on everyone’s mouth. I would love to come
back here in eight years’ time.”
“I intend to see them (Qatar) deliver a knockout blow to their critics because they’re going to host the
world for the п¬Ѓrst time, and the whole
world will be shouting the name of
this country. Qatar! Qatar! I think it’s
a wonderful thing,” he added.
Recalling the highly publicised п¬Ѓght
against Ali, Foreman told
“that was 40 years ago and we just
celebrated it now. Can you imagine I
lost a boxing match 40 years ago and
now it’s become an item of celebration? That’s because something good
had come out of Africa. Now I am here
in Qatar and I see how they invest
in sports here, and it is a very smart
move. There are a lot of things for fans
to see here. It is a great idea to bring a
World Cup here. The world is always
frightened to go to new places.”
For Foreman the most important
thing was the friendship with his rival
that has lasted for the past forty years.
He says “it was more than just a boxing match, Mohamed Ali and I became
great friends. Ten years after I left
boxing to become a minister, that’s
when we really became close.”
But the man who beat the then undefeated Joe Frazier and who made
two title-defences against Ali before
losing it in Kinshasa in 1973 understands the sheer importance one great
international sporting event can have
for a country. The world renowned
�Rumble in the Jungle’ made “the
people proud,” Foreman remembers.
“For the first time they were the
audience, and an audience that п¬Ѓlled
a stadium. It was an item of pride that
their leader had brought that country
at that time. I look back, even now,
and celebrate the pride it brought to
Africa,” a reminiscent Foreman added.
Finally, Foreman is also keen on
п¬Ѓnding a favourite club to support in
Qatar, and thinks by 2022 he will have
found one. But for those wondering,
he already supports teams in FIFA
World Cup competitions.
“I have my teams for the World
Cup. I love the World Cup, I just love
those competitions! Right now my favourite countries in world football are
Austria and Germany. Can you believe
that? Then Brazil, and America is always in there — we did well this past
World Cup! But you got to stick with
your favourite, and Germany is my favourite.”
Marussia shut shop,
200 staff redundant
Sao Paulo
he British-based Marussia
Formula One team has folded
with about 200 staff losing
their jobs, administrators
said in a statement yesterday.
FRP Advisory said the heavilyindebted team, who had been struggling for some time to stay afloat, had
“no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the
Group as a going concern.
“The joint administrators have
now ceased trading Marussia F1
Team and unfortunately have had
to make the remaining staff redundant,” it added.
The staff were told in a long and
emotional meeting just after midday
yesterday. Ferrari-powered Marussia
went into administration last month
and missed last weekend’s US Grand
Prix in Texas and this week’s in Brazil. Fellow strugglers Caterham are
also in administration and seeking a
Both teams entered the cash-guzzling sport in 2010, encouraged by
promises of a cost cap that never materialised, and were perennial backmarkers.
However Marussia did manage to
score their first two points in Monaco
in May thanks to Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who is now fighting for his life
in a Japanese hospital after an horrific crash at Suzuka in October when
his car hit a recovery tractor.
Britain’s Max Chilton was their
other driver.
“It goes without saying that it is
deeply regrettable that a business
with such a great following in British and world motorsport has had
to cease trading and close its doors,”
said joint administrator Geoff Rowley.
“Whilst the team made significant
progress during its relatively short
period of operation, operating an F1
team requires significant ongoing investment.
“Sadly no solution could be
achieved to allow for the business to
continue in its current form.”
Rowley said the joint administrators would continue to realise the
assets of the business “in the best interests of all the creditors.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Rodgers expects
the sack if he gets
big calls wrong
�You have to be bold enough to make the decisions as a manager... If you make more
wrong ones than right ones you will be out of work, it’s as simple as that’
Ibrahimovic poised
for �Clasico’ return
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is poised to make
his return in Sunday’s
top-of-the-table Ligue 1 clash
against Marseille after returning to full training yesterday, the
capital club confirmed.
The Sweden captain took part
in training for the п¬Ѓrst time since
injuring his heel on September
21 and his return is a huge boost
for Laurent Blanc’s champions,
who come into the high-security
clash at the Parc des Princes, four
points back of their arch rivals.
The club published several
photos of last season’s Ligue 1
top scorer in training with the
headline - “Encouraging signs
ahead of the clasico”.
Ibrahimovic, who scored 41
goals in all competitions last season, trained with the ball for the
п¬Ѓrst time on Thursday and later
spoke on the club’s TV channel
about his motivation to make his
return against Marseille, arguably the biggest п¬Ѓxture in French
“I saw him yesterday on the
training ground and he was
running very well. He said
he was feeling a bit of pain
but he’s doing really well
and is running normally. I
hope he will be ready Sunday because we’ve missed
him and he’s a great player,”
said Lucas.
football in recent years.
“This type of match, you have
to win. I’ve played in a lot of derbies in my career, in Holland,
Italy, in Spain so I have the experience in these situations,” continued the former Ajax, Juventus,
AC Milan and Barcelona star.
His Brazilian teammate Lucas fuelled the rumours about a
potential return when he spoke
to AFP and revealed the Swede’s
initial form.
“I saw him yesterday on the
training ground and he was running very well. He said he was
feeling a bit of pain but he’s doing really well and is running
normally. I hope he will be ready
Sunday because we’ve missed
him and he’s a great player,” said
Schneiderlin wants
three points for
Saints before break
Liverpool’s head coach Brendan Rodgers gives instructions to his players against Real Madrid during their Champions League match.
By Andy Hunter
The Guardian
rendan Rodgers has said he will
pay with his job for too many
wrong calls as Liverpool manager but maintained his team
selection at Real Madrid did not fall into
that category. He also flatly denied that
seven changes at the BernabГ©u represented an acceptance of defeat against
the reigning European champions.
Liverpool’s manager has been accused
of betraying the club’s heritage and demeaning the Champions League since
making wholesale changes for Tuesday’s
1-0 loss in the Spanish capital.
The fall-out continued on Thursday
during Rodgers’ press conference to preview Chelsea’s impending visit to Anfield
– the game he made a priority over Real,
with Liverpool 12 points behind the Premier League leaders – when he described
the criticism as a “disservice” to players
who were “absolutely magnificent” at the
Tom Werner, the Liverpool chairman, who is over from the United States
for Saturday’s match, met Rodgers at
the club’s Melwood training ground on
Thursday and was fully supportive of the
decisions taken in Spain, according to the
manager. Rodgers insisted he was employed to make “big calls” and accepted
there would be consequences should
they go awry. But he rebutted claims that
the decision to omit Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan
Henderson et al was part of a damagelimitation strategy against Real.
“The only thing I showed the other night
was the trust I have in the team and in this
group of players,” Rodgers said. “I never
feared that if I play this team we are going to
end up losing seven- or eight-nil and what
would be the consequence of that?
“I would never do that, I would never
pick a team that I believe couldn’t get a
result from a game. I never went into a
game in my life and felt that we are not
going to get a result.
“The thinking and the strategy that
goes behind it is deep in terms of analysing the opponent. You have to be bold
enough to make the decisions as a manager and that is why you are paid the
money you are. If you make more wrong
ones than right ones you will be out of
work, it’s as simple as that. It’s a big risk
but for me I’m happy with the decisions I
make. It can be a big call and people might
think �You took a massive risk there’, but
you weigh up the risk and reward.
“The reward for me was you get the
opportunity to trust the squad and hopefully that is the biggest thing that comes
out of it for me with the players, because
that is what I look to do. We didn’t quite
make the result but it bodes well for us in
the future.”
The Liverpool manager believes he
is under no more pressure than usual
against Chelsea on Saturday despite resting players and claiming before the Real
game that the Premier League was the
“I don’t feel it,” he claimed, adding
that Werner backed his judgment at the
Bernabéu. “Tom spoke to me and straight
away they [the owners] see the courage
in playing a different team and younger
players and how I have dealt with my situation here. They have always been supportive, they have been great.”
Rodgers revealed that Gerrard had a
scan on a hamstring problem before Liv-
erpool’s departure for Spain on Monday.
The Liverpool captain was named on the
substitutes’ bench against Real in readiness for Chelsea while other players were
dropped following last Saturday’s defeat
at Newcastle United, the manager explained, but he denies taking the Champions League lightly.
“There is no way that by changing the
team I was undermining the competition
or the size of the task that we had and I
am not sending out a Liverpool team to
lose convincingly or just accepting defeat,” Rodgers added. “People know me
well enough now that, if anything, I am
full of optimism we can get a result in any
arena in the world. It was no different the
other night.
“We had a plan to stay in the game.
We were out of the game at half-time in
some ways at Anfield so we needed to find
a way with a team that hasn’t scored in
four of the last п¬Ѓve games.
“Maybe last year’s team might have
gone and played differently but this is the
present, we are where we are, and I had to
п¬Ѓnd a way to give us an opportunity to get
something from the game. It wasn’t to be
as we didn’t get the result.”
Coach Van Gaal feeling �lousy’
after Man United’s poor start
“I think we will make it happen, that we will win a lot of
matches.” Van Gaal’s waspish mood was not helped by his
lengthy injury list.
dismal start to the season and a seemingly
never-ending defensive injury crisis have
left Manchester United manager
Louis van Gaal feeling “lousy” at
Old Trafford.
After losing 1-0 at п¬Ѓerce rivals
Manchester City last weekend,
United are 10th in the Premier
League following their worst
start to a campaign since 1986.
Speaking at a news conference on the eve of Saturday’s
home match with Crystal Palace, Dutchman Van Gaal said he
was disappointed with United’s
lacklustre start.
“I’m feeling lousy for everyone that we have 13 points from
10 games,” he said. “I have the
experience that people have
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (centre) reacts during
the EPL match against Leicester City.
great belief in what we are doing
now, in the way we are playing
“But we are in a process. The
process shall take more than one
year. It shall take three years—I
hope—though that is dependent
on lots of things.
Argentine defender Marcos
Rojo, who dislocated his shoulder during Sunday’s defeat, will
be out for six weeks, while fellow
defenders Jonny Evans and Phil
Jones are still carrying knocks
and Chris Smalling is suspended.
Colombia striker Radamel
Falcao, who has scored once in
п¬Ѓve games since joining on loan
from AS Monaco, will also miss
the Palace game after failing to
recover from a calf injury.
“Marcos dislocated his shoulder but did it in a positive way,”
Van Gaal said.
“We don’t need to operate on
him, which is a relief, but maybe
with this injury it is very difficult
(to say) it shall not happen again.
Conservatively, it can be less
than six weeks.”
United have conceded 14 goals
in the league this season and,
with Van Gaal forced to reshuffle
his defensive pack on a regular
basis, the former Netherlands
coach said the number of injuries had not helped his side’s
“I have remodelled the structure of my team,” he said. “Now
I have to solve the problems of
the injuries every week. When I
want to select the same lineup, I
cannot. It’s the same every week.
“You cannot create consistency and that’s important in
football. But I don’t want to
complain or cry, because I have
great belief in not only the players but the staff and the players
and also the supporters who are
supporting me.”
Southampton’s French international midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin
or Premier League momentum, and to keep
confidence running sky
high on the south coast,
Southampton’s French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is
demanding a win over Leicester
City so Saints enter the international break in perfect shape.
A loss to Tottenham Hotspur
before the last international
spell had threatened to dent their
confidence, but that has since
proven to be their only defeat in
their last 12 games.
Southampton sit pretty in second spot in the league, and have
no intention of easing off the accelerator. “We are ready to kick
on, we know that after Saturday
we are going to have another
break, the mood is very good
but we know it can change very
quickly,” Schneiderlin said.
“It is important to us before the
international break to have a good
result against Leicester so we are
able to enjoy our national duties.
“Before whatever break it is
important to get a victory, but we
want to keep second place and to
catch Chelsea.
“For a few games now there
is a lot of expectation and we
responded well. Leicester are
a promoted team and we know
how we were when we were promoted, the anger and also pleasure we had each game.”
Southampton will be looking
to make it п¬Ѓve wins out of п¬Ѓve
in all competitions. Leicester,
meanwhile, have not won in п¬Ѓve.
Having won the Champion-
ship last season to gain promotion to the Premier League, the
Foxes have stumbled after a
bright start, and sit third from
bottom with nine points from
their opening 10 matches.
“The players have worked
exceptionally hard and there is
more to come from us,” Leicester
manager Nigel Pearson told his
club’s TV station.
“We’re having a bit of a difficult run but that in itself is
something we have to adapt to. It
was never going to be a very easy
transition, I still think we’ve got
more to come.”
Saints’ Dutch boss Ronald
Koeman knows his players cannot afford to give an inch if they
are to continue their remarkable
progress this season.
“Leicester will... have good
organisation on the pitch, to
close the line and not leave a lot
of space for us to play,” Koeman
told reporters. “When we have
the ball we need good possession
and good positions on the pitch
to play at a high tempo.
“We know that, and in all the
training sessions that is what we
are doing. It’s all about possession and okay, the physical part
is an important part of football,
but I believe in the way of playing and that makes the difference
between teams.”
Everybody at St Mary’s knows,
too, how important it is to pick
up full points against the likes of
Leicester, with some mammoth
clashes looming.
Between the end of this month
and Jan. 10, Southampton will face
champions Manchester City, Arsenal twice, Manchester United
twice, Chelsea and Everton.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Pellegrini has been
given targets at City
and is falling short
�I still believe in my team, and still back everyone at this club 100% to turn it around’
Juventus’ coach Massimiliano Allegri.
uventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is expected to
continue tinkering with
his injury-hit side tomorrow when the Italian giants host
Parma looking to reinforce their
lead over title challengers Roma.
Champions Juve opened up
a three-point gap at the top of
Serie A last week when an unrecognisable Roma succumbed
to a 2-0 defeat away to resurgent
Allegri’s men host Parma, who
moved off bottom spot with a
shock 2-0 win over Inter, on the
back of a morale-boosting 3-2
Champions League win over
Group A rivals Olympiakos in
However injuries among the
defence mean Allegri could again
deploy the 4-3-1-2 formation
By David Conn
The Guardian
n the aftermath of Manchester City’s
Champions League meltdown, the
2-1 home defeat to CSKA Moscow
and two players sent off, it does not
take a genius to work out Manuel Pellegrini’s status as the manager is coming under pressure. Sheikh Mansour bin
Zayed al-Nahyan has spent ВЈ1bn to fuel
City since buying the club six years ago
and the Abu Dhabi executives he employs
are charged with securing untrammelled
success for that investment.
It does not need a seat on the sofa with
the Sheikh in his palace watching City
unravel on TV to understand what he and
the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak,
will make of it. They have a track record
since 2008 which charts their approach
to episodes of failure. It points to a practice of not instantly reacting but recognising problems and expecting them
to be addressed. If they are not, and the
team fall short of the goals the manager
has been targeted to achieve, they do not
hesitate to fire a manager – and they line
a replacement up, if possible.
It is far too early as yet for them to be
considering replacing Pellegrini, given
his success last season, and with City still
able to qualify for the knockout stage if
they achieve the seriously daunting task
of beating Bayern Munich at home and
Roma away.
Vincent Kompany reacted to the CSKA
ignominy with some п¬Ѓghting talk while
cautioning that City have to “put down
milestones every year” and cannot be
expected to win the Champions League
after decades – before the money arrived
– when they did not even qualify.
“I still believe in my team, and still
back everyone at this club 100% to turn
it around,” the City captain said, before
articulating what the executives in Abu
Dhabi will be thinking. “Personality will
have to show in the next games, otherwise we will have to wait another year,
and no one at this club wants that.”
Pellegrini will be expected to respond
with improvement, and this means the
possibility has hoved into view for the
п¬Ѓrst time that if there is none, he could be
gone before too long.
Bayern, embodying the football institution to which Mansour’s City project
aspires, will arrive in Manchester on
25 November already qualified, with
four wins from four games. It has been
achieved by Pep Guardiola, the coach
whom City’s former Barcelona chief executive, Ferran Soriano, and the director
of football, Txiki Begiristain, worked with
when they minted Barça’s glory years.
City coveted and courted Guardiola for
the job when they were п¬Ѓring Roberto
Mancini, and they turned to Pellegrini,
who has a lesser football pedigree, only
when Guardiola opted for Munich.
Pellegrini surpassed expectations last
Injury-hit Juve face
Parma in key clash
that effectively kept Juve in the
race for a place in the last 16 of
Europe’s premier competition.
Ghanaian Kwadwo Asamoah,
usually deployed as a wingback,
played as a left-back on Tuesday
but is still suffering from knee
He has been “sidelined for two
weeks in order to fully recover
from the injury he sustained during last Saturday’s Serie A meeting with Empoli”, according to
the club.
With defenders Martin Caceres and Andrea Barzagli and
French wingback Patrice Evra
still sidelined, Allegri has no
choice but to again ditch his
trusted 3-5-2 formation for Parma’s visit. But the big news from
Juve’s training ground on Thursday was the prospect of striker
Carlos Tevez being moved back a
notch to play in the hole behind
front pair Fernando Llorente and
fellow Spaniard Alvaro Morata.
ISL can rival world’s biggest football
leagues, says Sachin Tendulkar
Manchester City’s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini.
year, winning the Premier League and
League Cup and reaching the knockout
stages of the Champions League, and now
the huge Etihad academy has opened to
try to bolster the first team. This season’s
underlying problems, glaringly revealed
in the CSKA defeat, are that the players
he was sanctioned to spend ВЈ53mn buying in the summer, principally the ВЈ12mn
Fernando and ВЈ32mn Eliaquim Mangala,
have not п¬Ѓtted in as improvements to the
championship-winning squad. There
was also the overall spectacle of a team
performing, in their play and in Yaya
Touré’s and Fernando’s negligent reactions which drew their red cards, well
below the level the players consider to be
rightfully theirs.
The club’s owners will want Pellegrini
to respond by п¬Ѓxing these major issues
and in doing so, mend the details: the porous defence and strangely disconnected
midfield. They will not overreact; they
established they were not knee-jerk hirers and п¬Ѓrers when they stuck with Mark
Hughes, the manager they inherited, and
gave him the enormous п¬Ѓrst wave of cash
to spend before losing patience with him
after 18 months.
When they did so, in December 2009,
much of English football scoffed at City’s
corporate portrayal of the decision to
sack a manager, making an official state-
ment after allowing Hughes to manage
the team to a 4-3 victory over Sunderland, saying his performance was “not
in line with the targets set” at the beginning of that season. They learnt from
that messy experience to avoid sacking
a manager during the course of a season.
When Mancini was let go after the FA
Cup п¬Ѓnal defeat to Wigan Athletic at a
drizzly Wembley in May 2013, despite a
year earlier having won City’s first league
title since 1968, City stated again that the
Italian had failed to meet his targets.
There was not as much mockery then,
as the might of Mansour’s money and Mubarak’s corporate planning had amassed
a squad of world-class power from which
Mancini was failing to get the best.
There was widespread indignation
among City fans at the lack of sentiment for the winning Italian, but when
the clear-eyed Pellegrini led his team to
another Premier League title in May few
were shouting for Mancini, and the Chilean was proclaimed on a famous banner
as the fans’ �charming man’.
Yet if he starts to fall short of what is
expected of him this season, City fans
will be less shocked at a lack of leeway
allowed for what he achieved in his п¬Ѓrst
season, the п¬Ѓrst non-European to manage a team to the English title. He has his
targets too, for this season, to progress
towards where Abu Dhabi has demanded
its money must take City: to more Premier League championships and the serious stages of the Champions League;
to spearhead a football brand and global
empire which now includes sky blue City
clubs in New York and Melbourne, in
which Mansour has invested.
Mubarak and Soriano have made it
clear the progress expected of Pellegrini
this season is to take his team beyond the
round of 16, where they were last year in
Europe, so at least to the quarter-п¬Ѓnal.
Despite the Uefa sanctions for the losses
Mansour bankrolled – losses of €45mn
were allowed under the п¬Ѓnancial fair play
rules but City exceeded those – Pellegrini
was still sanctioned to make his major
signings in the summer. It will be regarded
as a serious issue that Mangala and Fernando have not improved the team.
Mansour has not spent ВЈ1bn of his
family oil fortune to watch the Premier
League club he bought trudge out of European competition, and if it happens it
will be considered a failure.
It may not come to making a change;
there are few credible alternatives, and
anyway Guardiola may not consider
swapping Munich for Manchester. City’s
executives hope Pellegrini will turn it
around, but Guardiola is always there,
the one they would have liked to have.
Cricket-obsessed India will
embrace football like the rest of
the world and the Indian Super
League (ISL) could one day rival
the sport’s biggest competitions for popularity, cricketing
great Sachin Tendulkar said
The ISL launched in India last
month and has so far attracted
a host of notable names from
European football, including
former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires and Italian World Cup
winners Alessandro Del Piero
and Marco Materazzi.
Tendulkar co-owns the Kerala
Blasters team which compete
in the league and are managed
by former England goalkeeper
David James.
The diminutive batsmen believes that the game might one
day emulate the national sport
of cricket in his homeland.
“Football is definitely not as big
as cricket in India but I see football getting really big in time to
come,” Tendulkar told a news
conference yesterday.
“The response for the ISL has
been incredible. People want
to support football and football
players in India and make it a
big sport.
“Internationally the sport is
really, really big. India has all
the potential to make football
as big as anywhere else in the
world. But it’s not going to
happen overnight. It’s going to
require a mega effort.
“That’s what we trying to do—to
give the players a platform to
realise their dream. There’s
nothing better than scoring a
goal or you play good football
and the entire world is appreciating your talent,” he added.
He enthused about the atmosphere at the league game and
so far the ISL’s mix of celebrity
owners and high-profile players
has attracted large crowds, and
the gaze of the world’s media,
during its inaugural season.
ISL is bankrolled by India’s
Reliance Industries, Rupert
Murdoch’s Star India and sports
management group IMG.
Easy wins for Sevilla,
Everton and Napoli
Del Bosque rejuvenates Spain
squad with four newcomers
Napoli’s Jonathan De Guzman scored a hattrick against Young Boys.
ncapped players Jose
Callejon, Ignacio Camacho, Nolito and Alvaro Morata are in the
Spain squad announced yesterday by manager Vicente del
Bosque for upcoming matches
against Belarus and Germany.
Callejon and Morata are
catching the eye in Italy, for Napoli and Juventus respectively,
while Nolito and Camacho are
doing well in La Liga for Celta
Vigo and Malaga.
“We need skilful players who
can open up the п¬Ѓeld and score
These players are all in good
form,” Del Bosque said.
Also included is midfielder
Isco, who is in excellent form for
Real Madrid.
Spain’s head coach Vicente del Bosque.
Missing from the squad are
injury victims Dani Carvajal,
Andres Iniesta, Diego Costa and
David Silva.
Regarding Costa, Del Bosque
said: “We have taken this decision (to omit him) after consult-
ing with the Chelsea doctors
about his groin strain, regardless
of whether he plays for Chelsea
or not in these weeks.”
When asked why he had
picked Pique when the defender
is now a reserve at Barcelona,
Del Bosque replied: “We have a
high regard for him and we are
counting on him. He has shown
time and again he wants to play
for Spain.”
Pique has publicly supported
the campaign in Catalonia for
a referendum about separating
from Spain, which is scheduled
to take place - despite having
being declared illegal by the Madrid government - tomorrow.
Del Bosque has also stood by
winger Pedro, who is almost as
little playing time at Barca as
“There is no reason to marginalise them from the national
team,” he said. “If they are not
playing often for Barca then better for us - they will come to us
fresh and keen.”
Spain, who are second behind
Slovakia in Euro 2016 qualifying Group C, will face Belarus
in Huelva on November 15. Four
days later, they will host world
champions Germany in Vigo.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David de
Gea (Manchester United), Kiko
Casilla (Espanyol)
Defenders: Juanfran (Atletico
Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real
Madrid), Marc Bartra (Barcelona), Juan Bernat (Bayern Munich), Jordi Alba (Barcelona),
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea),
Raul Albiol (Napoli), Gerard
Pique (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Jose Callejon
(Napoli), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid),
Pedro (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Ignacio Camacho (Malaga), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Raul
Garcia (Atletico Madrid)
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Paco Alcacer (Valencia),
Nolito (Celta Vigo).
olders Sevilla, Everton and Napoli moved
closer Thursday to
qualification for the
knockout stage in the Europa
League with valuable home wins.
Sevilla beat Standard Liege 3-1
on goals from Kevin Gameiro, Jose
Antonio Reyes and Carlos Bacca to
remain atop Group G, while Feyenoord moved off the bottom with
a 2-0 defeat of Rijeka.
Everton stayed top of Group
H with a 3-0 trouncing of Lille
thanks to strikes from Leon Osman, Phil Jagielka and Steven
Naismith. Everton are one point
above Wolfsburg, who caned
Krasnodar 5-1 with two goals
apiece for Aaron Hunt and Niklas Bendtner.
Meanwhile in Group I, Napoli hammered Young Boys 3-0,
with a hat-trick from Jonathan de Guzman. Sparta Prague
trounced Slovan Bratislava 4-0
in the group’s other game.
In late matches, Dynamo Kiev
beat Aalborg 2-0, Fiorentina were
held 1-1 by PAOK, and Guingamp
downed Dynamo Minsk 2-0.
Earlier Thursday, Salzburg
and Dynamo Moscow became
the п¬Ѓrst teams to qualify for the
round of 16.
Salzburg won 5-1 at Dynamo
Zagreb, with a hat-trick from
Jonathan Soriano in Group D.
Dynamo Moscow made it four
wins in four matches in Group E
by beating Estoril 1-0.
Tottenham Hotspur moved
closer to qualification with a
2-1 win at Asteras on goals from
youngsters Harry Kane and Andros Townsend.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Messi targets more
history, Suarez
wants his first goal
Germany call-up for
Cologne’s Hector
Cologne defender Jonas Hector.
�In attack we have distinct possibilities. We know that Neymar and Luis can play in
different positions and that their responsibilities change when we have the ball...’
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (left) and Luis Suarez warm up prior to the UEFA Champions League match against Ajax.
ionel Messi continues his quest
to become the all-time leading
goalscorer in La Liga just days after equalling a similar feat in the
Champions League when Barcelona visit
Almeria on Saturday.
Messi drew level with Real Madrid legend Raul on 71 Champions League goals
with a brace as Barca bounced back from
two consecutive defeats to beat Ajax 2-0
in midweek and progress to the last 16.
The Argentine is just one goal short of
the 251 goals Telmo Zarra scored for Athletic Bilbao between 1940 and 1955, but
has been kept scoreless in his last La Liga
outings as Barca slipped to defeat against
Real Madrid and Celta Vigo.
That downturn in form has coincided
with Luis Suarez’s introduction to the
side after serving his four-month ban for
biting at the World Cup.
The Uruguayan has yet to п¬Ѓnd the net
in his three appearances for the Catalans
and endured a frustrating night on his
return to old club Ajax as he squandered
his best chance to break his duck by п¬Ѓring
straight at Jasper Cillessen with only the
Dutch international ’keeper to beat.
However, Barca boss Luis Enrique
played down the importance of Suarez’s
slow start and is confident his star front
three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar will
click in the coming weeks.
“Messi is the best player I have seen in
my life,” said Enrique.
“In attack we have distinct possibilities. We know that Neymar and Luis can
play in different positions and that their
responsibilities change when we have the
ball and when we don’t.
“I like to have those variations. We
have players of a very high level.”
At the back Enrique will still be without the injured Jeremy Mathieu, so Gerard Pique may be recalled after missing
out in the last two games.
League leaders Real Madrid are also in
action on Saturday as they look to extend
their 12-game winning streak against
Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid eased past an under-strength
Liverpool on Tuesday thanks to Karim
Benzema’s winner to secure their passage
into the last 16.
And the in-form Frenchman, who has
10 goals in 16 appearances this season,
believes he is enjoying his best run of
form since joining the European champions п¬Ѓve years ago.
“I always hear that a footballer enters
his prime when he reaches 26. I hope that
is the case for me,” he told Madrid sports
daily AS.
“We are in great form and enjoying
playing together. I would underline the
unity that exists in this group. We play
together with the same attitude.
“We know that any player that comes
on from the bench can make the difference, can swing the match our way, and
that is what counts.”
Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed
in midweek he would recall Gareth Bale
to his starting line-up after the Welsh-
man looked lively in his 30-minute cameo appearance from the bench against
Liverpool following a п¬Ѓve-game absence
due to a pelvic muscle injury.
Isco is the player most likely to make
way for Bale with James Rodriguez
switching to the left side of midfield.
Champions Atletico Madrid will be
hoping to remain just a point adrift of
Real when they travel to face managerless
Real Sociedad tomorrow.
Former Manchester United boss David
Moyes and Alejandro Sabella, who led
Argentina to the World Cup п¬Ѓnal in July,
are among the candidates to replace
Jagoba Arrasate.
But president Jokin Aperribay confirmed coaches Asier Santana and Imanol
Alguaci will temporarily take charge for
the visit of Diego Simeone’s men.
Second-placed Valencia can heap
more misery on Athletic Bilbao after they
were mathematically eliminated from
the Champions League with defeat to
Porto in midweek when they meet at the
ermany coach Joachim
Loew yesterday called
up Cologne defender
Jonas Hector for the
п¬Ѓrst time for matches against Gibraltar and Spain.
Hector, 24, is the one real
surprise in Loew’s squad which
also includes Hoffenheim striker Kevin Volland, who is in the
squad for the п¬Ѓrst time for a
competitive match.
“We want to get to know Jonas
Hector better. He is in good form
at Cologne,” Loew said.
Left-back Hector has only
played 10 Bundesliga games for
promoted Cologne after joining the club as a 20-year-old,
initially playing for the regional
league team before making his
debut for the п¬Ѓrst team last season in the second division.
“I can’t really believe I have
been nominated for the German
team,” he said.
After achieving promotion
with Cologne, Hector had said:
“If someone had told me five
years ago I would be a п¬Ѓrst-team
player in professional football I
would have said he was mad.”
Back in the 23-man squad after injury are defender Benedikt
Hoewedes, and midfielders Marco Reus, Sami Khedira and Lars
Bender, who missed the World
Cup through injury.
Defender Mats Hummels and
Julian Draxler are out injured, but
Loew has picked the remaining
17 players who were in the squad
for the 2-0 defeat at Poland and
the 1-1 home draw wih Ireland.
There is no place for striker
Mario Gomez and midfielder
Kevin Grosskreutz, and Loew has
overlooked the claims of Borus-
sia Moenchengladbach’s Patrick
Herrmann and Andre Hahn.
Germany are playing Gibraltar in a Euro 2016 qualifier in
Nuremberg on Friday before the
world champions meet European
champions Spain in Vigo four
days later.
Volland, who made his debut for Germany in a friendly in
May against Poland but was not
picked for the World Cup, is back
in the squad. Volland has been a
key player for the Under-21 side
“and has deserved to be selected
again after strong performances
for Hoffenheim,” Loew said.
“Having Marco Reus, Sami
Khedira, Benedikt Hoewedes and
Lars Bender returning will do us
good. Despite their young years
they belong to the more experienced players.”
Loew said he wanted to end
the year on a positive note.
“We want a clear victory in
front of our home fans against
Gibraltar in the European Championship qualifier,” he said.
“And playing against the previous world champions Spain is
always something special.”
The players will gather Monday in Berlin when all 23 members of the World Cup-winning
squad will be present to receive
the “silver laurel” honour from
President Joachim Gauck.
They will include Philipp
Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Per
Mertesacker, who have all retired
from international duty, and the
injured Bastian Schweinsteiger
and Mesut Oezil.
Later the squad will be attending the international premier of
the film Die Mannschaft, a documentary on Germany’s World
Cup win, and will be presented
with FIFA World Cup winners’
badges by the governing body’s
president Joseph Blatter.
Striker Berahino
thanks England for
�second chance’
When Everton and Leeds lost
their manners and tempers
For the first time in a league
match a referee walked off
the pitch because of violent
play. Too much money in the
game blamed for worsening
behaviour, said football
By Jason Rodrigues
encounter was how Jack
Archer, a reporter for
The People, describe
Everton’s match against Leeds in
1964 - a game that saw a player
sent off in the fourth minute following a chest-high tackle, two
players felled after a clash of
heads and fans warned for spitting at players.
Such was the hostility the
referee, in a first for an English
league game, marched both
teams off the pitch so the players and fans could cool down.
When the enforced ten-minute
break ended, a tannoy announcement warned that further crowd trouble could see
the game abandoned.
Although the First Division
match was completed — Leeds
winning 1-0 — mounted police
then had to disperse angry fans
from the streets around Goodison.
Even in an era when bloodcurdling tackles and unruly behaviour were common, the level of
violence shocked the public. The
match led to a period of reflection but not before the national
press had its say.
An �unhappy day for English
football’ was how the Observer’s
John Arlott described it.
Brian Crowther, match reporter for the Guardian, went
further, blaming the players for
their �collective irresponsibility’,
the fans for their �disgusting behaviour’ and the referee for �not
being firm enough.’
Mr Joe Richards, president
of the Football League, reacted rather predictably, saying:
�Something must be done and
we must find out the causes.’
His best theory was that players were �getting so much
money for points.’
Richards’ comments were
probably an attack on the decision to lift the ceiling on players’
wages a few years earlier following a campaign by Jimmy Hill,
chairman of the Professional
Footballers’ Association. That
decision still rankled with some
in the game.
In the absence of anything
like solid evidence to prove
better money meant a disregard for the rules, the more
objective voices in the game
pointed to the competitive nature of both teams as one reason for the fiery encounter.
Certainly both teams had form.
Less than a year earlier, an FA
Cup fourth round match between
the two at Elland Road ended in
a fractious 1-1 draw. Writing for
the Guardian, Eric Todd noted :
�Leeds committed the first misdemeanour, and this was followed at
regular intervals by fouls of subtle, fragrant, and sometimes cruel
variation on both sides.’
By the time the two met again
at Goodison in November,
Leeds - managed by Don Revie
and marshalled on the pitch by
dogged competitors like Jack
Charlton , Billy Bremner and
Norman Hunter - had furthered their reputation as an
uncompromising team; this
was largely the same team that
had been promoted the year
before with a terrible disciplinary record. But Leeds could
also play attractive football, as
this match report showed.
Nonetheless, it was their
game against Everton - or the
�Battle of Goodison’ - that the
FA disciplinary committee was
interested in when it met on 9
December 1964.
The committee suspended
Everton’s Sandy Brown for two
weeks for his sending off following a punch on Leeds’ John Giles
in the fourth minute of the game.
The FA also punished Everton
for the behaviour of their fans.
Leeds came out unscathed.
The FA’s judgement came
with a promise that they would
take a п¬Ѓrmer line with player
discipline. They also threatened
to close grounds if clubs didn’t
tackle �rowdy’ behaviour.
West Bromwich Albion’s Burundi-born striker Saido Berahino (right).
est Bromwich Albion’s Burundi-born
striker Saido Berahino wants to thank
his adoptive country England for
giving him a “second chance”
after being called up by national
team manager Roy Hodgson.
Berahino, 21, has been rewarded with his п¬Ѓrst senior call-up for
England’s forthcoming games
against Slovenia and Scotland
after scoring seven goals in his
last 10 Premier League appearances for West Brom.
Aged 10, Berahino fled wartorn Burundi to join his family
in England, where they had been
granted political asylum in Birmingham, and went on to join
West Brom’s youth academy.
Speaking of his gratitude to
the country that he has represented at every age-level from
under-16 to under-21, Berahino
told the West Brom website:
“This country gave me a second
chance in life.
“I came to this country and it
has provided me and my family with a safe place, and a better
place to live in. It has given me a
chance to perform what I want to
achieve in life.
“I feel very lucky that my family and West Bromwich Albion
have looked after me and guided
me. I will be very proud and honoured to represent England.”
Berahino is in line to become the
first West Brom outfield player to
turn out for England since Steve
Hunt in 1984 and he says he is relishing the opportunity.
“I remember coming home
and seeing I had got my п¬Ѓrstever call up for England as a
schoolboy. I was excited then and
I am excited now,” he said.
“It will be a very emotional experience for me. If selected, I will
play with all my heart.”
Hodgson п¬Ѓrst encountered
Berahino during his time as West
Brom manager and he explained
that he felt the time was right for
the youngster to make the step
up from England’s under-21s.
“I am just pleased for him, because I know how much football
means to him,” said Hodgson.
“I was pleased that he, in his
interview the other day, made
it clear how important England
and English football has been to
him and his family.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Why an Ashes win could
end Clarke’s career
The Australian captain has endured a lean spell in recent times and beating England in Ashes
on home turf next year would be an ideal way to bow out
Australian captain Michael Clarke poses with
wife Kyly Clarke at the launch of his book
�Captains Diary’ in Sydney yesterday. (AFP)
By Ronan O’Connell
re we witnessing the end of
Michael Clarke’s international career? Over the past 12
months, the Australia captain
has been a shadow of his former dominant self at the crease.
The most obvious problem has been
his laboured movement, which would
appear to be the result of the degenerative back condition that he has carried
for years.
Clarke has famouslymissed only one
Test through injury despite that debilitating ailment. His courage in п¬Ѓghting
through this is often overlooked.
But his spirit may no longer be
enough to overcome the condition.
During Clarke’s past eight Tests, he has
made just 357 runs at an average of 27.
Almost half of those runs came during a
remarkable 161 not out at Cape Town to
help set up a rousing 2-1 series win over
South Africa. His other scores during
that period, in order, have read: 24, 23,
10, 6no, 10, 6, 23, 17no, 19, 1, 0, 2, 3, 47, 5.
Clarke’s average over those innings has
been just 15. During the disastrous series against Pakistan, Clarke was unrecognisable in his play against spin.
One of the best players of slow bowling in Australian history looked leadenfooted and was clearly hampered by
his back problems. The 33-year-old’s
mastery of spin bowling has been built
on nimble footwork. From his very п¬Ѓrst
Test he has used his quick feet to reach
the pitch of the ball and ceaselessly attack the tweakers.
The lasting memory of Clarke’s sparkling 151 on Test debut in Bangalore is of
him repeatedly skipping down the track
to flay two of India’s greatest spinners
Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Yet
in the UAE, against Pakistan’s accurate
but comparatively modest and inexperienced spinners, he was flummoxed.
Unable to advance comfortably or with
confidence, he became a static target for
Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah.
Three of his four dismissals resulted
from him becoming uncharacteristically glued to the crease against spin.
Clarke in his pomp would have had few
troubles combating Zulfiqar and Shah
on flat pitches that offered only slow
turn. His foot movement was also less
than ideal against Pakistan’s quicks.
This was brutally exposed when he
made a half-hearted forward press to
a full in-swinger from Imran Khan and
had his stumps disturbed at Abu Dhabi.
This laboured movement at the crease
was first exposed on last year’s tour
of England when he displayed a fresh
weakness against the short ball. Clarke
had to that point been a strong player of
short-pitched bowling and a particularly elegant exponent of the pull shot.
During the 2012-13 season time and
time again he had picked up the length
of the ball early and then rocked back
to dispatch South Africa’s aggressive
pacemen through the leg side.
That three-Test series was the high
watermark of Clarke’s wonderful Test
career as he crunched 576 runs at an
average of 144 against the world’s best
attack. But just seven months later in
England he was a different player and he
has been ever since, aside from the odd
throwback innings.
The reality is that Clarke has done
phenomenally well to play 107 Tests and
237 one-day internationals such is the
severity of his condition.
Not only is he one of Australia’s
greatest-ever Test players but he is also
one of the best ODI batsmen in history,
having compiled 7,751 runs at the phenomenal average of 45. Consider this:
Among the top 30 run-scorers in ODI
history, only one player has a better
average than Clarke, and that’s Indian
skipper MS Dhoni.
I had formed a belief that Clarke
was likely to retire from ODIs after the
World Cup being hosted by Australia
and New Zealand in a few months. After
watching him battle through the Tests
against Pakistan, now I am convinced
that will be the case.
Unfortunately, it also appears as
though his retirement from all international cricket may not be far away. At
this stage in his career it’s unlikely that
much can be done to п¬Ѓx his back, and at
33 his movement at the crease could get
worse rather than better.
How much longer should he push
himself through this pain? Clarke has
achieved almost everything an Australian cricketer could desire. He has cap-
tained his country in all formats, won
an ODI World Cup, spent a period as
the best batsman on the planet, and was
part of the great Australian team that
bucked history to п¬Ѓnally defeat India in
their backyard in 2004.
There is, however, one thing that he
has not ticked off his cricketing bucket
list – winning an Ashes series in England. Clarke has known more Ashes
misery than joy, being part of four losing Ashes teams, including three consecutive defeats in England stretching
back to 2005.
Should his body continue to restrict
him in the manner it has recently, the
ODI World Cup and next year’s Ashes should be his farewell gigs. After
the Ashes, Australia have a string of
much lower-profile Test series against
Bangladesh, the West Indies and New
Zealand. If Australia retain the Ashes it would be the ideal time to hand
over the reins to skipper-in-waiting
Steve Smith. Perhaps aptly, Smith’s
twinkled-toed efforts in the UAE were
reminiscent of the sort of beguiling
batsmanship Clarke no longer seems
physically capable of producing.
return of
Sydney: Skipper Michael
Clarke yesterday welcomed
the likelihood of Australia
having a surfeit of fit pacemen ahead of a demanding
season of cricket climaxing
with next year’s World Cup
to be co-hosted by Australia
and New Zealand.
The gruelling schedule
of international matches at
home began on Wednesday,
with the first of three Twenty20 matches against South
Africa. That will be followed
by five one-day internationals against the Proteas, a
four-Test series against India
and a limited overs tri-series
involving England and India
before the one-day World
Cup in February-March.
Pat Cummins, who has
played little in the last three
Australian seasons through
injury, made an encouraging return to international
cricket in Wednesday’s T20
loss to South Africa. Josh
Hazlewood, whose last
international appearance
was over nine months ago,
starred for his New South
Wales state side in the
recent domestic one-day
Test paceman Ryan Harris, meanwhile, returned to
action this week after being
sidelined since his matchwinning efforts in the Cape
Town Test against South
Africa back in March. And
James Pattinson, who hasn’t
played a first-class game
since that Cape Town Test, is
also on the comeback trail.
“I think it’s great for
Australian Test cricket that a
lot of our fast bowlers are on
the mend,” Clarke said at the
launch in Sydney of his latest
book, “Captain’s Diary”.
“Josh Hazlewood has
done really well in the
one-dayers, Ryan Harris is
getting fitter and stronger,
James Pattinson is back as
is Pat Cummins. That’s a real
positive sign for Australian
cricket, moving forward.
Over the next 12 months, I
think we’re obviously going
to need them all.”
Clarke said Australia’s
disastrous two-Test hammering by Pakistan in the
United Arab Emirates this
month would serve to spark
the players in all forms of the
game. “I guess that’s extra
hunger and fire in the belly
for us as the Australian team,
to make sure we’re at the top
of our game, whether it be
T20, one-day cricket or Test
cricket,” he said.
Pakistan inflicted a 356run defeat in the second Test
in Abu Dhabi on Monday—
Australia’s third heaviest loss
in all matches—to take the
two-match series 2-0.
“I think it’s great
for Australian Test
cricket that a lot of
our fast bowlers are
on the mend. That’s a
real positive sign for
Australian cricket,
moving forward. Over
the next 12 months, I
think we’re obviously
going to need them all”
West Indies stand-off not good for cricket, says Tendulkar
achin Tendulkar said
yesterday the West Indies’ shock decision to
cut short their tour of
India was “not good for cricket”.
However, the India great was at a
loss to know what caused them
to take such drastic action.
Tendulkar, in London to promote his autobiography, Playing It My Way, said that since
retiring last year, having played
his 200th Test match and become the only man to score 100
international centuries, he had
not been that heavily involved in
“Since I’ve retired I’ve not
been following cricket as closely,” he said during a press conference at Lord’s.
“I only read a couple of things
- to go into details I really don’t
know what transpired that made
them take that decision. It’s definitely not good for cricket but
if I speak further on this topic it
would be unwise,” the 41-yearold added. “I don’t know what
the respective players have said
to their boards so I don’t want to
make a big statement on that.”
The already cash-strapped
West Indies Cricket Board was
left facing a $42 million (ВЈ26.2
million, 33.5 million euros) claim
by their Indian counterparts for
lost earnings after their side quit
the tour following the fourth
ODI in Dharamsala on October
17, even though the п¬Ѓfth oneday international, a Twenty20
match and three Tests still remained to be played.
That prompted the Board of
Control for Cricket in India to
respond by cancelling a tour
scheduled for February and
March 2016 to play three Tests,
п¬Ѓve one-dayers and a Twenty20
international. The current crisis in Caribbean cricket, and the
“I only read a couple of
things - to go into details
I really don’t know what
transpired that made
them take that decision.
It’s definitely not good for
cricket but if I speak
further on this topic it
would be unwise
reason behind the abandonment
of the India tour lay in the unhappiness of some players at the
pay deal brokered by their own
association and the WICB.
But even if there is an internal resolution of differences
between the West Indies Players’ Association, the unhappy
players such as one-day skipper
Dwayne Bravo and the WICB,
that still leaves open the question of India’s financial threat.
The BCCI is one of world
cricket’s wealthiest national
governing bodies and the WICB,
one of the poorest, and many
observers believe there is no way
India will go through in full with
their claim for compensation
given the inability of West Indies
cricket to meet such a bill.
Indeed the WICB, as is the
case with several other national
governing bodies, is dependent for a large part of its income
on being able to sell lucrative
broadcast coverage rights for an
incoming tour by India, where
the mass enthusiasm for cricket in the world’s second-most
populous nation makes it a huge
commercial attraction.
Last week, West Indies great
Brian Lara, a contemporary of
Tendulkar and also one of the
best batsmen cricket has known,
said he did not expect the BCCI
to pull the plug on Caribbean
“I don’t think the BCCI will be
that severe on us,” Lara told BBC
Sport. “I believe West Indies
cricket will be alive. I don’t think
anybody has the intention to end
our game,” he added.
Sachin Tendulkar says that since
retiring last year he had not been
that heavily involved in cricket.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Aussies crush Proteas
to square T20 series
The hosts, beaten by the same margin on Wednesday, were superior with bat and ball
Pakistan want
against Kiwis
Doug Bollinger of Australia celebrates after dismissing South Africa opener Quinton de Kock during the T20 match at Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. (AFP)
ustralia bounced back
from their opening
heavy loss to hammer South Africa by
seven wickets and square their
Twenty20 series in Melbourne
The Australians, beaten by
the same margin in Adelaide on
Wednesday, were superior with
bat and ball to cruise to victory.
The home side restricted South
Africa to 101 for seven off their
20 overs and had few problems
reaching 102 for three in 12.4
overs to wrap up victory. The series now goes to a decider in Sydney tomorrow.
“That was as good Twenty20
bowling as I’ve seen from our
boys, we bowled to the condi-
tions really well,” Australia skipper Aaron Finch said. “We used
our pace and (leg-spinner) Cameron Boyce was unbelievable on
a wicket that doesn’t traditionally spin a lot and he deserved
his wickets and the man of the
The Proteas, who dominated
the Australians in the Adelaide
opener, were always under pressure after winning the toss. Skipper JP Duminy played a lone hand
topscoring with 49 off 51 balls
with three fours and a towering six over the fence at the vast
MCG arena before he was caught
in the deep by Finch.
In the space of two overs,
openers Quinton de Kock and
Rilee Rossouw were both back
in the changerooms. Two days
earlier the pair formed a matchwinning 129-run partnership
that powered the Proteas to a
comfortable victory in Adelaide.
In the space of 13 overs, Australia had four wickets - more
than what they managed in Adelaide. Leg-spinner Cameron
Boyce flighted the ball well to
snare the stumpings of Reeza
Hendricks (18) and Farhaan Behardien (5) in taking two for 15 off
four overs, while paceman James
Faulkner claimed three for 25 off
his complement of four overs.
“We were outplayed in all
forms of the game and there’s a
lot of learning we can take out
of today’s match,” Duminy said.
“We know we need to come up
with something drastic for us to
come back on Sunday. These kind
of things are good for youngsters,
just to experience winning and
losing, today was a particularly
convincing victory for Australia
so we need to take a lot of learning out of it.”
Q. De Kock c Dunk b Bollinger
R. Hendricks st Dunk b Boyce
R. Rossouw c and b Faulkner
J.P. Duminy c Finch b Faulkner 49
F. Behardien st Dunk b Boyce
D. Miller c Cummins b Faulkner 11
R. McLaren c Faulkner b Cummins 1
W. Parnell not out
K. Abbott not out
Extras (w1)
Total (7 wickets, 20 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (De Kock), 2-14
(Rossouw), 3-46 (Hendricks), 4-60
(Behardien), 5-90 (Miller), 6-92
(McLaren), 7-97 (Duminy)
Bowling: Bollinger 4-0-23-1 (1w),
Faulkner 4-0-25-3, Abbott 2-0-16-0,
The Australians rustled up
the runs with 7.2 overs to spare
with Finch unbeaten on 44 off 30
Maxwell 2-0-11-0, Cummins 4-1-11-1,
Boyce 4-0-15-2
B. Dunk c Abbott b Parnell
A. Finch not out
S. Watson c Abbott b Parnell
G. Maxwell c Rossouw b Rabada 0
C White not out
Extras (w3, nb1)
Total (3 wickets, 12.4 overs) 102
Fall of wickets: 1-43 (Dunk), 2-92
(Watson), 3-99 (Maxwell)
Bowling: Abbott 2-0-17-0 (1w), Rabada 3-0-25-1 (1w), Duminy 1-0-9-0,
Parnell 3.4-1-17-2 (1nb), Imran Tahir
2-0-18-0 (1w), McLaren 1-0-16-0
Three-match series tied at 1-1
balls with eight fours and Shane
Watson hitting 30 off 23 balls
with п¬Ѓve fours.
akistan will look to
keep their winning
gave them a longawaited series victory over
Australia, when they face New
Zealand in the п¬Ѓrst Test in Abu
Dhabi tomorrow
Pakistan achieved a rare 2-0
win with emphatic 221-run
and 356-run victories for their
п¬Ѓrst series win over Australia
in 20 years. The win was more
significant as Pakistan were
without their match-winning
spinner Saeed Ajmal who is
suspended due to an illegal
bowling action while spearheads Junaid Khan and Wahab
Riaz were both injured.
But an inexperienced bowling attack of left-arm spinner
Zulfiqar Babar (14 wickets) and
leggie Yasir Shah (12) forced
spin-shy Australia into submission in both Tests.
Pakistan will continue to
attack a New Zealand team
who also struggle against spin
and have not won a Test series
against Pakistan since a 2-0
triumph at home in 1985. More
impressive is Pakistan’s home
record, having not lost against
the Black Caps since 1969.
Of the 50 Tests between the
two, Pakistan have won 23 and
New Zealand just seven with
20 drawn. The New Zealanders
will be huge underdogs. For Pakistan, Younis Khan mustered
468 runs in two Tests against
Australia while Misbah-ul Haq
and Azhar Ali notched a century in each innings of the second Test. Opener Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfraz Ahmed also
hit hundreds in the п¬Ѓrst Test,
a confidence boost which Misbah is confident will be maintained. “I am confident that we
will play good cricket against
New Zealand, and we should
play that way,” said Misbah.
“There is confidence in the
side and not a weak link that
you can see. The batsmen are
Super Shakib leads Bangladesh to series win
hakib Al Hasan became only the
third player in history to score a
century and take 10 wickets in a
match as Bangladesh whipped
Zimbabwe by 162 runs in the second
Test yesterday to win the series.
The left-arm spinner claimed п¬Ѓve for
44 in Zimbabwe’s second innings as the
tourists, set a victory target of 314, were
bowled out for 151 after tea on the п¬Ѓfth
and п¬Ѓnal day in Khulna.
Bangladesh, who won the п¬Ѓrst Test
in Dhaka by three wickets, took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match
series. Shakib’s 10-wicket haul in the
Test—he took 5-80 in the first innings—followed a crafty 137 on the second day and deservedly won the man of
the match award.
The 27-year-old joined Ian Botham
of England and Imran Khan of Pakistan
as the only cricketers to score a hundred and claim 10 wickets in a match.
“I had my eye on this record ever
since a journalist told me about it a few
weeks ago,” Shakib said.
“I was lucky and fortunate to have
done it. This was not an easy wicket
to bat on and the ball was turning a lot
on the last day. I am glad to contribute
to a series win, but it was a very good
team effort. Hopefully we will continue
to do well in future.” Hamilton Masakadza, who scored a century in the first
innings, was the only Zimbabwean to
defy the spinners in the second innings
with 61.
Shakib began by removing Sikandar
Raza and Brendan Taylor, then dismissed Masakadza after lunch before
grabbing the wickets of Elton Chigumbura and Natsai M’shangwe.
Shakib was supported by left-arm
spinner Taijul Islam, who took 3-44,
and leg-spinner Jubair Hossain (2-42)
as Zimbabwe lost their last п¬Ѓve wickets
for 14 runs.
Earlier, Bangladesh declared their
second innings at 248-9 in the morning
session after Shuvagata Hom completed his maiden half-century. Mohammad Mahmudullah top-scored with 71.
The third and п¬Ѓnal Test starts in
Chittagong on November 12. The Tests
will be followed by п¬Ѓve one-day internationals.
Mahmudullah c M’adza b M’shangwe 71
S Hom c Masakadza b M’shangwe
T Islam c Panyangara b M’shangwe
S Hossain c Masakadza b M’shangwe 3
R Hossain not out
Extras (b4, lb4, w3, nb1)
Total (for 9 wkts decl , 83.5 overs) 248
Fall of wickets: 6-220 (Mahmudullah),
7-222 (Taijul), 8-236 (Shahadat), 9-248
Bowling: Chigumbura 6-2-13-0 (w1
nb1), Panyangara 12-3-45-1 (w1), Chatara
7-3-19-0, Waller 27-4-59-4, Raza 6-0-22-0,
M’shangwe 25.5-2-82-4 (w1)
S. Raza c Mominul b Shakib
B. Chari c and b Taijul
H. Masakadza c Mominul b Shakib
B. Taylor c Shuvagata b Shakib
R. Chakabva c Mahmudullah b Jubair 27
C. Ervine st Rahim b Jubair
B. Chigumbura c M’ullah b Shakib
M. Waller b Taijul
T. Panyangara not out
N. M’shangwe c Rahim b Shakib
T. Chatara lbw b Taijul
Extras (b4)
Total (all out, 51.1 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Chari), 2-13 (Raza),
3-15 (Taylor), 4-85(Chakabva), 5-117 (Ervine), 6-137 (Masakadza), 7-142 (Waller),
8-142 (Chigumbura), 9-142 (M’shangwe)
Bowling: Taijul 15.1-3-44-3, Shakib 18-544-5, Shuvagata 4-2-9-0, Rubel 4-2-8-0,
Jubair 10-0-42-2.
Teams: Pakistan: Misbah-ul Haq
(capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Shan
Masood, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq,
Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad
Talha, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Ehsan
Adil, Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar,
Yasir Shah.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum
(capt), Hamish Rutherford, Tom
Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross
Taylor, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling,
Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Mark
Craig, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell,
Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq will be hoping his team
continues their fine form against New Zealand.
in good form, the bowlers are
delivering. Given that we are
playing in the same conditions,
we are confident that we can
perform well.”
Pakistan have retained the
same 16-man squad for the
п¬Ѓrst Test and will likely make
no changes from the second
Test against Australia which
was played at the same Abu
Dhabi venue.
New Zealand hope leg-spinner Ish Sodhi can come good
after taking п¬Ѓve wickets in the
drawn side game against Pakistan �A’. The Kiwis will also
hope their experienced middle-order batsman Ross Taylor
is fully п¬Ѓt after suffering a calf
injury and having managed just
11 in the tour game in Sharjah.
New Zealand coach Mike
Hesson admitted Pakistan
will be tough in the familiar
conditions of the United Arab
Emirates where they have been
forced to play since terrorist
attacks caused a suspension of
international cricket in their
country in 2009.
“Pakistan are an incredibly
tough team to play in conditions favourable to them. Our
record against them is actually
the worst against any of the
Test playing nations, having
won just two out of 19 series,
both home and away.”
The remaining two Tests will
be played in Dubai (November
17-21) and Sharjah (November
26-30). After the Tests, the
teams will also play two Twenty20s and п¬Ѓve one-day internationals.
Mark Ramprakash.
Bangaldesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s 10-wicket haul in the Test followed a
crafty 137 with the bat. (AFP)
Rookie Shah
encouraged by
legend Warne
Dubai: Pakistani leg-spinner
Yasir Shah yesterday said he
was inspired by legendary
Shane Warne’s tweets during
his spin demolition of Australia which helped Pakistan
win a rare series last week.
Shah, 28, took 12 wickets
in two Tests—his first five-day
matches—during Pakistan’s
2-0 win, their first over
Australia in 20 years. Shah
said Warne’s tweets during
the series encouraged him.
“It’s very encouraging that a
legend like Warne supported
me so much and every day he
tweeted,” Shah told reporters.
“I have never met him but
it’s my desire to meet him,”
said Shah of the Australian
great who took 708 Test
wickets during an illustrious
career which ended in 2007.
Warne is the second highest
Test wicket taker behind Muttiah Muralitharan. Shah said
he started playing cricket
only after watching the great
spinner. “I followed Warne in
the beginning and my action
was similar to his but then
Aaqib Javed (former coach
at Lahore academy) changed
my action but he has always
been my inspiration,” he said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Beijing, Almaty press their cases for 2022 Games
he two cities in the running to
host the Winter Olympics that
Europe didn’t want went on
the charm offensive yesterday,
hoping to convince Olympic delegates
to award them the 2022 Games.
The bidding teams from Beijing
and Almaty provided a sneak preview
of their ambitious plans to host the
Games with separate presentations at
the Association of National Olympic
Committees general assembly (ANOC)
in Bangkok.
With Pyeonchang hosting the 2018
Winter Games and Tokyo the 2020
Summer Games, the odds of Asia getting a third successive Olympics had
initially seemed remote. But when
the four European candidates—Oslo,
Stockholm, Krakow and Lviv—all
pulled out, mostly citing concerns
about the astronomical costs involved,
the 2022 Winter Olympics became a
two-horse race between the two longshots.
The Chinese capital, which hosted
the Summer Olympics in 2008, is
rapidly emerging as the heavy favourite because of its strong economy and
proven record. If Beijing succeeds it
will become the п¬Ѓrst city to host the
Summer and Winter Olympics—both
within 14 years—and Chinese officials
are sparing no expense trying to persuade the IOC to give them the nod.
In a demonstration of Beijing’s commitment, the city’s mayor Wang Anshun flew to Bangkok to head his team’s
bid presentation even though his home
town is preparing to host the Asian
Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit (APEC) summit, which will be attended by world leaders including US
President Barack Obama and Russian
President Vladimir Putin.
Beijing’s bidders have already swung
Kenya’s David Rudisha, 800m Olympic champion, poses with Best Male Athlete
of London 2012 award during the ANOC Awards ceremony in Bangkok. (AFP)
into action, hiring a top American п¬Ѓrm
to handle their public relations and
showing off a slick animation video
that highlighted the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.
Wang said Beijing had the full backing of the Chinese government, a key
requirement for the IOC, and most of
the facilities were already in place from
Wang said the Games would take
place from Feb. 4-20, the traditional
time-slot for the Winter Olympics,
and he highlighted the marketing opportunities of bringing the Games to
China, telling the delegates that Beijing was a “secure, reliable and riskfree choice.”
Earlier in the day, Beijing’s bid team
held a news conference at one of Bangkok’s best hotels, telling reporters the
city had developed plans to improve its
notorious air pollution, which it said
would not present any problems to the
athletes in the outdoor events in the
Rosberg tops
practice ahead
of Hamilton
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 24 points going into the last two races
Time for change, says IOC
boss, ahead of revamp
lympics chief Thomas Bach urged
delegates to seize the chance for change
yesterday and approve a wide-ranging
revamp of the Games likely to include
a shake-up of the sports contested and a new TV
channel. Bach was addressing about 1,000 representatives at the Association of National Olympic
Committees general assembly (ANOC) in Bangkok, ahead of the release of 40 proposals which
will be voted on next month.
“The time for change is now. It is not the time
to start the discussion again and again,” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president
said. “We have been discussing for one year...
now is the time for agreeing on something.”
IOC delegates will learn the full detail of the
proposals in two days time and they will be published next week before being put to a vote at the
IOC’s extraordinary session in Monaco on December 8. “We have to take this opportunity now
to drive these changes. Now we are sitting in the
driver’s seat of the bus,” said Bach.
Measures under discussion include a yearround digital TV channel and an end to the limit
on the number of sports contested, with host cities also able to propose sports.
Hosting bids will have to focus on the event’s
legacy to each city. The revamp is also aimed at
putting the focus on athletes and youth, and improving the IOC’s organisation and structure.
Bach, who has ambitions of placing the Olympics at the heart of modern “society”—a word he
mentioned some 20 times—said the time was ripe
for a makeover after successful Games at London
and Sochi.
“The reason to change is because we are successful, because if you don’t change when you are
successful, the time will come and will come very
fast when you are forced to change,” he said.
“We can already see some challenges on the
horizon... if we miss this opportunity, then the
window of opportunity will be closed.”
The 204-member ANOC is an umbrella grouping of the world’s national Olympic committees
led by the influential Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad alFahad al-Sabah, who also heads the Olympic
Council of Asia. The sheikh was re-elected unopposed for a four-year term along with his senior vice president, former IOC executive board
member Patrick Hickey of Ireland.
Hamilton and
Alonso hope
Button stays
Sao Paulo
German driver Nico Rosberg of Mercedes in action during the practice session at the Jose Carlos Pace race track in Sao Paulo. (EPA)
Sao Paulo
ico Rosberg topped the timesheets
ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis
Hamilton in yesterday’s practice for
the Brazilian Grand Prix where he
hopes to draw closer again in the title race.
Rosberg clocked 1 minute 12.123 seconds in
the afternoon session on the 4.309-kilometres Interlagos circuit, 0.213 seconds faster
than Formula One championship leader
Hamilton. The Mercedes drivers are in a
straight race for the championship.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 24 points going into the last two races, but the title won’t
be decided until the last race, the Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix on November 23, when double points are awarded. A victory in Brazil is
worth 25 points, and 50 in Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg was also faster than Hamilton in
the morning with a leading time of 1:12.764.
But Hamilton has been on a roll lately when
it matters, coming off п¬Ѓve straight wins - for a
season total of 10 - to Brazil where he won the
2008 title in dramatic fashion in the п¬Ѓnal lap.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was third in
the afternoon, more than half a second off the
pace, and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo fourth.
Raikkonen’s team-mate Fernando Alonso
had to jump out of his car late in the session
session and use a п¬Ѓre extinguisher to stop a
fire in his car, one of three red-flag incidents
during the 90 minutes.
Practice was also stopped for a few minutes
to tow away the cars Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro
Rosso and the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez.
mountains of Zhangjiakou and the indoor events, held in Beijing.
Almaty have maintained a relatively
lower profile in the lead-up to next
year’s vote in Kuala Lumpur.
Their presentation was led by bid
committee board member Ilya Urazakov and there was no media conference.
Bid officials said they did not want to
answer any questions from journalists.
The presentation focussed heavily
on the compact nature of Kazakhstan’s
bid. All of the venues are within a
35-kilometre radius and many of the
venues were built when Almaty hosted
the 2011 Asian Winter Games.
Urazakov said eight of the 13 venues
are already in use and three more were
being constructed for the 2017 Winter
Universiade. Just two were dependent
on winning the Games. “This will be
the most compact Winter Olympics in
the last 30 years,” he said. “We are aiming to build a new winter sports hub in
the central Asian region.”
The three interruptions made it difficult
for teams to determine set-ups and tactics for
Sunday’s race through long runs.
McLaren’s Jenson Button could not set a
time in the morning after experiencing an
electrical problem, and Sergio perez had no
racing in the afternoon as Force India test
driver Daniel Juncadella damaged it in a
morning crash.
Also testing again, and п¬Ѓnishing an impres-
sive sixth, in the first session was Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in Vergne’s car ahead of
his proper race debut next year.
Qualifying is today to determine grid positions. Not present as last week in the US
are Caterham and Marussia who went into
administration in October. Marussia folded
yesterday while caterham said they plan to
return in Abu Dhabi by raising funds in a
crowdfunding project.
Caterham seeks funds from fans
London: Administrators of the Caterham
Formula One team announced a crowd
funding initiative yesterday to try to raise
2.35 million pounds ($3.72 million) by the
end of next week so they can race in Abu
“If we don’t hit the target by next Friday,
obviously the pledged funds will be returned,” Finbarr O’Connell, the administrator representing Smith & Williamson, said in
a statement.
“But right now we are hopeful for the
future of the team and we are confident
that the team showing the world that it can
race again will lead to a bright future under
a new owner on a proper financial footing,”
added the �interim team principal’.
Caterham went into administration last
month and have missed the US Grand Prix
and are absent from this weekend’s Brazilian round in Sao Paulo.
The crowd funding initiative came on the
day administrators for rivals Marussia announced that team was closing with some
200 staff made redundant.
Caterham said companies and fans could
pledge money through a website (www., starting from a
pound with anyone who pays 1,000 getting
their name on the cars that would race in
the Nov. 23 season-ender.
In what looked like a way of selling kit
and parts that would otherwise have to be
auctioned off, the website offered drivers’
boots, pit team overalls, gloves, front and
rear wings and nosecones.
Four bargeboards from 2012 cars were
offered at 400 pounds, with 45,000
pounds buying a corporate hospitality
package to the Abu Dhabi race.
By 1600 GMT yesterday, the website was
already showing contributions amounting
to 105,210 pounds. But it remains to be
seen if the team can reach their target.
ewis Hamilton says
McLaren would be
making a mistake
to ditch his former
teammate Jenson Button at
the end of the Formula One
season and should focus instead on building a better car.
“He’s still got plenty of
time in his capability as a
driver to keep racing and
winning,” the Mercedes
driver told reporters at the
Brazilian Grand Prix.
“He just needs to be given
a better car. It’s not the team
need a better driver. There
are not many out there. They
need a better car,” added the
championship leader.
McLaren have not won a
race since Button’s last victory in Brazil two years ago
and are believed to be close
to signing Fernando Alonso
from Ferrari for 2015, when
they start a new partnership
with Honda. The Spaniard’s
arrival is likely to signal the
end of 2009 champion Button’s Formula One career, although Alonso was also supportive of the Briton.
“He’s a very talented driver, we’ve seen that throughout his career, and also he’s
a very nice person,” the Ferrari driver told reporters at
Interlagos. “We need people
like him in F1. I hope he will
be here next year,” added the
Spaniard, who also replaced
Button at Renault in 2003.
McLaren for Mercedes at the
end of 2012 after three years
with Button as a team mate,
agreed it would be strange
to be left as Britain’s sole
representative on the starting grid. “It is (odd) when
Jenson is better than most
of the drivers. He’s a great
driver. He’s had an amazing
career, and he’s still one of
the strongest drivers here, so
it doesn’t correlate,” said the
“If I had a team, I would
want him in it. He’s a great
asset for any team. He’s also
just a decent guy. I hope it’s
not the case.”
Hamilton and double
world champion Alonso
were fractious team-mates
at McLaren in 2007, the
Briton’s debut season, with
the Spaniard leaving after
just one year following a falling out with team boss Ron
Dennis. The two drivers get
on well now with mutual respect for each other’s talents.
Hamilton’s relationship
with Button was much better, however, with the older
Briton pushing him hard
throughout their time together and п¬Ѓnishing ahead of
him in the 2011 championship. “I loved the three years
I spent with Lewis,” Button said. “He was extremely
quick and better than me in
qualifying over the three seasons but I could really challenge him in the race.”
fastest in
Valencia: Marc Marquez, seeking to create MotoGP history
in Valencia tomorrow with a
record 13th win of the season,
topped the times in practice
The Spaniard, who wrapped
up back-to-back world titles
in Japan in October, won in
Malaysia last time out to equal
Australian rider Mick Doohan’s
mark of 12 victories in 17 races
in a season from 1997.
As well as a record victory
tomorrow, the 21-year-old
Marquez and teammate Dani
Pedrosa can also deliver
Honda back-to-back team
and constructors titles in the
season’s 18th and final race.
Marquez posted a best time
for the combined sessions of
1min 31.296sec, with his compatriot, Jorge Lorenzo, next
best on a Yamaha almost two
tenths of a second adrift.
“The best thing was how
I felt on the bike. Finishing
fastest is a reference, but the
most important thing is that
the pace was good, and we
have been improving and
testing things out,” said the
champion. “This afternoon the
track was a little slower, but
we hope to continue improving tomorrow. I’m sure that
there will be a nice fight for
pole between myself, Jorge,
Dani and Valentino.”
In third came the Ducati
of Italian Andrea Dovizioso
followed by Aleix Espargaro
on a Ducati and Pedrosa, the
teammate of Marquez.
Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who has
a 12-point lead in the battle for
second spot in the championship, was down in seventh
spot. “Today, having a very
good pace came easy from
the beginning,” said Lorenzo.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
among 8
to manage
New York
ench coach Dave Martinez and long-time
major league player Raul
Ibanez are among eight
candidates the Tampa Bay Rays
are considering for their next
President of baseball operations Matt Silverman released
what he described Thursday
as a preliminary list of possibilities. Others include former
Washington and Cleveland
manager Manny Acta, Milwaukee special assistant Craig
Counsell, minor league manager Charlie Montoyo, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus,
former Seattle manager Don
Wakamatsu and Indians coach
Kevin Cash.
Tampa Bay has been searching
for a replacement for Joe Maddon
since Oct. 24, when he opted out
of the п¬Ѓnal year of his contract
after leading the Rays to playoff
berths four of the past seven seasons. Maddon was hired to manage the Chicago Cubs.
Martinez played 16 years in
the majors for eight teams and
was Tampa Bay’s bench coach
under Maddon for the past seven
seasons. Ibanez’s playing career
spans 19 years, including stints
with the Angels and Royals in
Silverman said the list of
candidates likely �’will grow as
we continue through this process.’’
�’With a talented core of
players and a strong clubhouse
culture, our next manager will
step into an enviable position,’’ Silverman said. �’We
will look for him to build upon
that and take us to the next
Meanwhile, San Diego Padres
shortstop Everth Cabrera faces a
criminal complaint for resisting
arrest after a traffic stop in September.
San Diego’s District Attorney’s
office entered the complaint,
which states that Cabrera resisted an officer’s order by force, on
Thursday morning. Cabrera was
arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.
Howard overpowers
short-handed Spurs
�It’s tough with the best big man in the league rolling down the paint’
Los Angeles
he highly-anticipated
Texas-size showdown
between Western Conference powerhouses
Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs was a no-show.
Instead, it was a showcase for
Dwight Howard.
Howard powered for 32
points with 16 rebounds, and
the undefeated Rockets blasted
the short-handed defending
NBA Champion Spurs 98-81 on
Thursday night.
The Rockets moved to 6-0 for
the п¬Ѓrst time since the 1996-97
season after taking advantage of
the absence of Tim Duncan and
Argentine Manu Ginobili, who
were give the night off while
Tiago Splitter (calf strain) and
Marco Belinelli (groin) nursed
Without big men Duncan and
Splitter, Howard dominated the
inside. The All-Star centre connected on 12-of-18 floor shots
and 8-of-13 free throws, as
Houston matched the 1985-86
Denver Nuggets with six consecutive double digit victories
to open the season.
“They were short-handed,
but defensively we did some
good stuff out there,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.
“Dwight got us off on the right
James Harden had 20 points
and Jason Terry added 16 off
the bench for the Rockets, who
led by as many as 31 in the wireto-wire beat-down, courtesy of
“It’s tough with the best big
man in the league rolling down
the paint,” Harden said. “He’s a
lob target, and you have shooters around him. It’s tough to
guard it.”
Howard had 20 points on an
assortment of pick-and-roll
plays, along with 12 rebounds,
staking the Rockets to a comfortable 45-29 halftime cushion.
“We ran some pick-and-rolls
and we found a little success,”
McHale explained. “He rolled
hard and got some touches
late at the rim, where he is re-
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (centre) drives to the basket during the third quarter as San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green and forward Boris Diaw defend at Toyota
Center on Thursday. The Rockets defeated the Spurs 98-81.
ally devastating on those high
Howard said: “Early in the
game, we did it a lot and all the
guys were able to throw it over
the top and we were able to get
some easy buckets. A little later
in the game, guys like James and
everybody were getting to the
basket and making plays.”
Houston continued its assault, as Harden converted a
rare four-point play, a layup
and a thunderous dunk, opening up a 64-41 cushion midway
through the third quarter
The Rockets carried an 81-55
advantage into the п¬Ѓnal 12 minutes
and completed the romp for their
sixth straight win in the series.
Cory Joseph netted a teamhigh 18 points for the Spurs (22), who shot just 34% from the
п¬Ѓeld, and a frosty 2-of-20 from
behind the arc.
Aldridge scored 20 points,
Damien Lillard added 18, and
Trail Blazers used a decisive
35-17 third-quarter to snap the
Nowitzki netted 17 points, but
just two in the second half,
when the Mavs were outscored
HOUSTON ......98 San Antonio .............81
PORTLAND 108 Dallas .............................87
Hoyer’s Browns roll over Bengals
Cincinnati, Ohio
uarterback Brian Hoyer helped direct traffic
for Cleveland’s potent
running game as the
Browns routed the Cincinnati
Bengals 24-3 on Thursday, snapping a long road losing streak
against AFC North opponents.
Running backs Terrance West,
Ben Tate and Isaiah Crowell each
scored rushing touchdowns to
help the Browns beat the Bengals, halting a 17-game road
division losing skid that dated
back to 2008.
“We are playing as a team. Tonight on offence we were able to
get the running game going and
our defence was lights out,” said
Hoyer was 15-of-23 for 198
yards for Cleveland who improved to 6-3 as they enter this
weekend tied with Pittsburgh
atop the division.
The Browns rushed for 170
yards, with West leading the
charge at 94 yards on a careerhigh 26 carries.
Quarterback Andy Dalton was
a disappointing 10-of-33 and 86
yards for the Bengals who fell to
5-3-1. Dalton also threw three
interceptions for Cincinnati who
had their 14-game home unbeaten streak ended.
Cleveland’s defence held Bengals star AJ Green to just three
receptions for 23 yards.
The Browns-Bengals game
kicked off a slate of 12 games in
week 10.
Mavericks’ three-game winning
streak with a 108-87 verdict.
Behind by four at halftime,
the Blazers buried 13-of-20
floor shots in the decisive frame
while limiting their guests to
6-of-20, to take an 81-68 into
the п¬Ѓnal 12 minutes and coasted
home with the win.
German juggernaut Dirk
Blues hold off
Devils 4-3 for 7th
straight win
Cleveland Browns’ Buster Skrine fights to break free from Cincinnati Bengals Mohamed Sanu after intercepting the football during the second
half of play in their NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday.
The п¬Ѓrst-place New Orleans Saints hope a key stretch of
home games can help them improve on their season. The home
span begins with this Sunday’s
visit by the San Francisco 49ers
to the Superdome.
New Orleans has followed up
a 1-3 start with a victory in three
of its past four to get to .500 on
the season.
So the Saints are in top spot, just
ahead of Carolina after beating the
Panthers 28-10 last Thursday.
The Saints’ second win in a
row came just four days after
they routed the Green Bay Packers, so New Orleans has a little bit of extra rest going into a
three-game homestand.
“There’s plusses and minuses
with playing a Thursday game,”
said New Orleans head coach
Sean Payton.
“The challenge overall is the
quick turnaround. The benefit is
receiving a little bit of additional
time to get people rested up.
There were a number of things
that we pointed out when they
came back in that we have to
work on.”
The season is on the line this
week for the Chicago Bears who
square off against the Packers.
Chicago has eight games remaining and at 3-5 would have
to win seven of the last eight
to reach 10 wins and a possible
playoff game.
The Packers are also coming
off the bye and easily beat the
Bears 38-17 in week four.
If the embattled Bears quarterback Jay Cutler plans on turning things around he will have to
do it against the one team that
seems to bewilder him the most.
Cutler is a dismal 1-9 as a starter against the Packers in the regular season, throwing for 13 touchdowns and a mind-boggling 19
interceptions in those games.
The Carolina Panthers visit
the Philadelphia Eagles in an intriguing Monday night contest.
ight winger Vladimir
Tarasenko remained
red-hot with another
goal as the St Louis
Blues held on to win their seventh game in a row on Thursday.
The Blues (9-3-1) led comfortably 3-0 in the third, and
then 4-1, but New Jersey
scored three goals in the п¬Ѓnal
four minutes of the game to
make it interesting.
Michael Ryder netted twice
for the Devils (6-5-2).
St Louis goaltender Jake Allen was looking for his third
consecutive shutout.
The seven-game winning
streak by the Blues equals
their longest since they won
nine consecutive games in the
2002-03 season.
Elsewhere, Tampa Bay
closed out a perfect four-forfour homestand, winning their
fourth straight with a 5-2 win
against the Calgary Flames.
Leading 3-2 entering the
third period, Tyler Johnson
and Valtteri Flippula scored to
put the contest away for the
Tampa Bay (9-3-1) won its
fourth straight and improves
to 6-1-1 at home. Entering the
contest, only Los Angeles had
six home wins on the season.
Calgary (8-5-2) had won
three in a row and had picked up
points in four straight games.
The Pittsburgh Penguins
ended the Winnipeg Jets modest three-game winning streak
with a 4-3 shootout victory,
getting the decisive goal from
Sidney Crosby in the tiebreaking skills competition.
Pittsburgh (9-2-1) had taken
a 3-1 lead in the second period but Winnipeg tied it on
goals from Jacob Trouba and
Evander Kane.
The Jets (7-5-2), who had won
three in a row despite their lack
of offence, outshot the Penguins
15-8 in the п¬Ѓrst period.
The Ottawa Senators blanked
the Minnesota Wild behind
a 35-save performance from
goaltender Craig Anderson.
Rookie winger Mike Hoffman led the Senators with two
goals, his second and third
of the season. Winger Clarke
MacArthur added his teamleading seventh goal.
BOSTON ................5
Tampa Bay .........5
St. Louis .................4
Colorado ...............4
NY Islanders ......2
Vancouver ..........3
Edmonton ............ 2
Calgary .................... 2
New Jersey...........3
Winnipeg ................3
Dallas ......................... 2
Toronto .....................3
Los Angeles ..........1
San Jose ................. 2
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
McDowell hits another 67
to extend WGC lead to three
McDowell praises putting; Poulter rolls in four birdies in last five; Scott eight back after trio of hazards
Sick Ninyette
after woeful
round of 90
continued to revel on
a tough course set-up
as he extended his lead to three
strokes over Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter after the second round of the $8.5mn WGCHSBC Champions tournament
McDowell did not quite replicate his great ball-striking of
the п¬Ѓrst day, but he did enough
to gather п¬Ѓve birdies for a п¬Ѓveunder-par 67 at Sheshan Golf
“I got lucky a couple of times
today,” he said after posting
a 10-under 134 halfway total,
while Englishman Poulter also
shot 67, storming home with
four birdies in the п¬Ѓnal п¬Ѓve holes
to vault into second place on
American Bubba Watson also
carded 67, while Japan’s Hiroshi
Iwata (65) had the best round of
the day to join the American on
six-under in tied third.
McDowell and Poulter, third
and second here last year, both
have an affinity for Sheshan.
McDowell said his short game
and putting allowed him to avoid
any bogeys and increase his lead.
“My putter is in good form
and the greens are fantastic and
when I did have opportunities, I
managed to make some,” he said.
“It was not my best
ball striking round but I hung in
and I’m right where I want to be
going into the weekend.
Poulter, last year’s runner-up,
was in a jovial mood after his fast
“It was probably the best I’ve
played all year, which was very
exciting,” he said.
“It was a little frustrating the
п¬Ѓrst 13 holes that I was missing
chances, but the chances started
going in at the end and I’m very
World number two Adam
Scott was not so happy after two
flies high
in Tour
urprise package Sebastian Cappelen looked
right at home in his п¬Ѓrst
ever PGA Tour event as
he charged into a two-shot lead
in Thursday’s opening round
of the $4mn Sanderson Farms
Championship in Jackson, Mississippi.
Playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption, the 24-year-old
from Denmark took advantage
of ideal scoring conditions with
п¬Ѓve birdies in his last nine holes
to shoot a sizzling seven-underpar 65 at the Country Club of
Robert Streb, who clinched his
maiden PGA Tour victory 11 days
ago in a three-way playoff for the
McGladrey Classic, opened with
a 67 to п¬Ѓnish level with fellow
American Scott Pinckney and
Canadian Nick Taylor.
Fifteen players were still out
on the course when play was
suspended for the day due to
fading light, the best of those being American Tom Hoge, after
17 holes, and compatriot Garrett
Osborn, after 16, who were both
at three under.
Cappelen sank a 31-foot birdie
putt at the par-three seventh, his
16th hole of the round, to get to
seven under, then did well to get
up and down from 70 feet off the
green at the ninth for a scrambling par to maintain his twostroke advantage.
Graeme Mc Dowell of Northern Ireland tees off at the fourth hole during the WGC-HSBC Champions Golf tournament in Shanghai yesterday.
consecutive disastrous holes in
his second round of 72.
He reeled off four early birdies to move into second place,
only to run up a quadruple bogey
at the par-п¬Ѓve eighth where he
found two separate hazards, one
with his tee shot and another adjacent to the green.
Things went from bad to
worse when he found another
hazard with his approach shot at
the ninth.
“I hit it in water three times
in two holes and had to try
and move on and did the best
I could,” the Australian said
after fighting back to end the
day eight strokes behind McDowell.
“I’m playing good enough to
be leading the tournament. I’m
playing great. I’ve just got to
have a couple of good days and
I’ll be right there on Sunday.”
Wawrinka to lead rest of
the world in London
deal with it.”
Kvitova, Petkovic to clash in
Fed Cup final opener
Wimbledon champion Petra
Kvitova will take on Andrea
Petkovic in the opening rubber
of the Fed Cup п¬Ѓnal between
the Czech Republic and Germany starting in Prague today.
After yesterday’s draw,
world number four Kvitova will
face 14th-ranked Petkovic on
the hardcourt of Prague’s O2
Arena at 1200 GMT today.
Then 17th-ranked Lucie Safarova will take on Germany’s
world number ten Angelique
“It really doesn’t matter who
is going to play first,” said the
24-year-old Kvitova, who has
lost four of seven encounters
with Petkovic so far.
“It’s been a long time since
we last played each other
in 2011, a lot of things have
changed since that time. I
know I really need to be focused on myself.”
“I hope the home crowd
will be an advantage for us,”
said Kvitova, who led the
Czechs to Fed Cup wins in
2011 and in 2012 when they
beat Serbia 3-1 at a packed
Prague arena.
Petkovic, who is 27, said
she was happy to play the п¬Ѓrst
“Petra’s such a great player,
she has a little more experience, she’s already won two
Wimbledon п¬Ѓnals and she won
the Fed Cup before,” Petkovic
hile Roger Federer
and Novak Djokovic jockey for the
top ranking position and title honours when
the World Tour Finals begin
tomorrow, Stanislas Wawrinka
will be leading the charge from
the back of the elite ATP pack.
The 29-year-old Swiss, Davis
Cup teammate of Federer in the
upcoming п¬Ѓnal in France, has
certainly lifted his profile after
winning the Australian Open in
January over Rafael Nadal.
But even with a title win over
Federer in the п¬Ѓnal of Monte
Carlo in April, Wawrinka’s
form has been unacceptably
patchy, with too many highs
and lows.
That is something the Swiss
aims to try and change when
year-end group play starts at
the O2 Arena.
“I’m not happy with the
past few months,” said the
world number four whose last
truly decent result was a US
Open quarter-final in September.
The autumn disappointments have included п¬Ѓrstround losses in Tokyo, Shanghai and in Basel, with the Swiss
winning just one round last
week in Paris.
“I need to understand what
were the problems and how to
fix them. I don’t just concentrate on the big events, every
tournament is important,” said
SHANGHAI: Australian Brody Ninyette was
disqualified from the
WGC-HSBC Champions
yesterday for a scorecard
error while racking up a
tournament record high
score of 18-over-par in the
second round.
Ninyette, who has been
battling a gastric complaint
all week, signed an incorrect scorecard after getting
his totals mixed up on two
But his disqualification
did not matter much
because he was already 12
strokes behind secondlast place at 32-over 176 at
Sheshan after yesterday’s
The man ranked 949th in
the world will have few
complaints, because he
still receives last place
money of nearly $40,000,
which is the main reason
he decided to play in the
п¬Ѓrst place.
“I’ve been sick but I can’t
really afford not to play,”
the affable 27-year-old told
a small group of reporters
before his disqualification
came to light.
“The gastro (I contracted) the day before
I landed. It wasn’t the
best flight either. It was
coming out of both ends
“I’ll battle through it and
then go to Spain (for the
п¬Ѓnal stage of the European
Tour qualifying school).”
Ninyette’s 90 was the
highest round by six
strokes since the tournament became a WGC event
in 2009.
Stanislas Wawrinka will be leading the charge from the back of the elite ATP pack.
Wawrinka, who is playing the
year-ender for the second consecutive year.
“I hope next year can be a
year without all these ups and
downs. I need to be able to
adapt to play well in all situations. I want better results not so many ups and downs.”
A new name in the п¬Ѓeld is
US Open winner Marin Cilic,
another п¬Ѓrst-time grand slam
champion like Wawrinka who
has suffered a lesser version of
the post-title problems expe-
rienced by the Swiss.
Cilic lost in the Shanghai
п¬Ѓrst round and skipped Paris
with a shoulder injury which is
still not at 100%.
But the quiet Croatian also
reached the Beijing quarter-п¬Ѓnals and won the Moscow title
little more than a month after
his New York success.
Cilic, Milos Raonic and New
York п¬Ѓnalist Kei Nishikori of
Japan are the three new players
in the п¬Ѓeld at this edition.
“It’s a great honour to be
here the first time,” said Cilic.
“This has been the best year of
my career. I hope my success in
New York opens the door for
guys from the �second line.’
“Tennis is expanding a bit,
we’re seeing more new faces on
the tour. It’s making the game
interesting, there will be a bigger intensity for next season.
“It’s a huge motivation for
me to be pushed forward. I
hope to be able to play the tennis I played at the US Open, it
will be interesting to see how I
deal as
oris Becker has struck
a new deal to remain
coach of world number
one tennis player Novak Djokovic, the German icon
revealed in an interview with
sports daily Bild on Friday.
“We have a written agreement, even if for sportsmen like
us, a handshake is enough,” said
the 43-year-old who has been
Djokovic’s main coach since December 2013.
“Our partnership has been
crowned with success these past
12 months and I’m delighted
to continue our work with the
whole team,” added the triple
Wimbledon champion, who
when asked how long the deal
was for replied; “As long as the
results are there.”
Under Becker’s guidance, the
27-year-old Djokovic has won
six titles in 2014, including a
second Wimbledon success, after 2011, and now stands on the
brink of п¬Ѓnishing the year as
world number one heading into
next week’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.
According to Becker, retaining the number one spot has
been their main priority while
the French Open title is the only
Grand Slam still eluding the Serbian.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Kenya’s Jeptoo accused of long-term EPO doping
enyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo has
been implicated in illegal doping dating back
more than three years, according
to her estranged husband and legal documents seen by AFP yesterday.
The allegations of possible
long-term EPO use come a week
after it emerged that Jeptoo,
aged 33 and seen as currently the
world’s best female marathoner, had failed an out-of-competition drugs test carried out
in September, weeks before her
most recent victory in the Chicago marathon.
Jeptoo has denied being a
says Afghanistan
has prepared
him for England
By Robert Kitson
The Guardian
England’s new wing Semesa
Rokoduguni believes his days
spent patrolling with the British
army in Afghanistan will equip
him perfectly for the job of
tackling New Zealand on Saturday. The Fiji-born soldier, a
lance corporal and reconnaissance tank soldier in the Royal
Scots Dragoon Guards, will win
his first cap as England seek to
avoid a fifth successive loss to
the All Blacks.
Rokoduguni, 27, has been
picked in recognition of his
outstanding form for Bath
this season, having served his
adopted country as a foot soldier in Afghanistan in 2007.
He says he will feel much the
same before kick-off as he did
on active service. “To be honest it is similar to the pressure
I felt out there in Afghanistan,
especially in the field,” he
“Out there in Afghanistan
you have to be on top of
your drills every single time
because if you mess up that
can cost someone their life.
You had to be alert every
single moment. That sort of
mentality fits in well on the
rugby pitch. If you’re not
there on time you miss the
opportunity to score a try
and it can cost the team. The
only difference is that here
there is always a next time.”
He has already scored a hattrick of tries at Twickenham
for the Army against the Navy
but never dreamed he would
play rugby for England when
he left Fiji as a 19-year-old,
following in the military footsteps of his father, a staff sergeant currently engaged on a
UN peacekeeping mission.
“The plan was to join the
army, send money home
to support the family and
then go back home but then
things changed. I was doing
well in army rugby and then
all of a sudden Bath phoned
up.” With his unit due to be
posted to Leuchars in Scotland next year, some military
colleagues have been asking
whether he has chosen to
represent the wrong country.
“My unit is a Scots unit so
they are saying: �Why are you
playing for them? You should
be playing for Scotland.”
England’s head coach, Stuart
Lancaster, who has named
two further uncapped players, Saracens’ George Kruis
and Bath’s Anthony Watson,
on the replacements’ bench,
believes Rokoduguni will rise
to his latest challenge. “He’s
27 years old and he’s probably one of the least nervous
players in the squad. I think
the life experience he has
means he is very composed,
calm and mature. You never
really find out until you put
them in the frontline but he’s
got the necessary experience.”
Lancaster, who describes the
game as “a real barometer”
of England’s development,
has also kept faith with
Rokoduguni’s Bath teammate
Kyle Eastmond, who was substituted after 40 minutes of
England’s last game against
the All Blacks in June. The
management insist they have
total confidence in the centre’s ability to defend against
the significantly bigger Sonny
Bill Williams.
cheat and has requested that her
B sample now be tested according to procedure—although if it
too is positive she faces a lengthy
suspension and being stripped
of her most recent titles.
Jeptoo, a three-time winner of
the Boston marathon and a twotime champion in Chicago, is the
biggest name in Kenyan athletics
ever to have been tested positive
and the news has stunned Kenya,
whose naturally-gifted distance
runners are an immense source
of national pride.
But Jeptoo’s estranged husband, Noah Busienei, has produced written allegations of
Jeptoo’s doping dating back to
early last year, when the two
were going through acrimonious
legal proceedings following their
According to an April 2013
letter from his lawyer to Jeptoo,
Busienei had “knowledge that...
you resorted to use unrecommended or banned drug hormone which increases the red
blood counts.”
The letter also told Jeptoo
that unless she offered a financial settlement to Busienei, “he
is willing to take the necessary
step by revealing/disclosing/
unleashing the doping dossier” to Athletics Kenya and
the World Anti-Doping Agency
Contacted by AFP, Busienei’s
lawyer Rioba Omboto, who is
based in the Rift Valley town of
Eldoret in western Kenya, confirmed the authenticity and date
of the letter—written before
Jeptoo’s consecutive Boston and
Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo
Chicago marathon victories.
Jeptoo could not be reached
for comment, and has refused to
speak to the media since news of
the positive test was made public.
“I feel very bad for what has
happened to Rita but I saw it
coming,” Busienei told AFP.
He said he believed Jeptoo began doping in September 2011,
allegedly following advice from a
foreign agent who had promised
to make the couple “very rich”.
Athletics Kenya revealed last
week that it had been informed
by the International Association
of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
that a sample of Jeptoo’s urine
had tested positive for EPO, and
promised “very drastic action”
if Jeptoo is confirmed as a cheat.
The organisers of the World
Marathon Majors (WMM) - the
series of marathons in Berlin,
Boston, Chicago, London, New
York and Tokyo—also postponed the awarding of this year’s
$500,000 prize to Jeptoo. She
had been due to attend the New
York marathon last weekend
to collect the prize, the biggest
payout in distance running.
Kenya has been under pressure from WADA to take action
over doping after a string of positive tests in recent years.
But a report from an independent task-force released this
year did not uncover any evidence of the use of drugs among
top athletes, and insisted that
“the few reported cases were
aided and abetted by professional doctors, managers and
All Blacks’ Hansen wary
of new-look England
�New Zealand are strong across the board, very experienced and with world-class players in a lot of positions’
ew Zealand coach Steve Hansen is adamant
the world champions
remain wary of an injury-hit England ahead of their
clash at Twickenham today.
After seeing off the US 74-6
in Chicago last week, the All
Blacks begin the crunch part of
their end of season tour against
the 2015 World Cup hosts.
While Hansen has no qualms
about leaving out all-time
record points scorer Dan Carter,
still in his view not fully п¬Ѓt after a succession of injuries and
starting with Aaron Cruden at
fly-half, that is the kind of selection luxury England counterpart Stuart Lancaster can
only dream of this weekend.
Injuries have deprived him
of п¬Ѓrst-choice centres Manu
Tuilagi—a try-scorer and maker
in England’s stunning 38-21 win
over the All Blacks at Twickenham in 2012 - and Luther Burrell, as well as locks Geoff Parling and Joe Launchbury and
British and Irish Lions star prop
Alex Corbisiero.
England’s back division includes a debutant wing in Fijiborn British Army soldier Semesa
Rokoduguni, whose likely direct
opponent, Julian Savea, has an
outstanding record of 29 tries in
30 Tests, including eight in four
matches against England.
“I don’t think it’s that inexperienced,” said Hansen of
an England back division that
includes a previously untried
centre pairing of Kyle Eastmond
and Brad Barritt.
England skipper Chris Robshaw prepares to face the All Blacks at Twickenham, yesterday.
“Most of them have played
Test rugby apart from the Fijian
lad (Rokoduguni) who has just
come into the side.”
Since their 2012 success,
England have lost four successive Tests against the All Blacks,
including a 3-0 series defeat in
New Zealand in June.
They have received praise for
their positive approach but, less
than a year out from the World
Cup, a victory on Saturday
would be timely for England.
This weekend’s match marks
England’s first international
since June whereas Four Nations
kings New Zealand are well into
an international programme.
�Second-guess’ “The big advantage we’ve got
is that we’ve played a lot of Tests
since June and the disadvantage
is England have played none,”
said Hansen.
“I guess there is an advantage
for them in that too. They’ve
seen what we are doing—we can
only second-guess.
“Do they stick with the adventurous game they want to
play or do they think to themselves �we’ll take them on up
front’ or do they do a bit of both,
which is probably more likely?”
Although a New Zealand visit
to Twickenham is now almost
an annual event, Hansen said
playing at the venue for next
year’s World Cup final was always a memorable experience
for the All Blacks.
“Twickenham is one of the
great rugby grounds, isn’t it?”,
said Hansen. “It holds 83,000,
that’s what you want when you
play rugby, you want to play in
the big stadiums and be challenged. Twickenham is always
one of those places that does
The head-to-head contest between England’s Danny
Care and New Zealand’s Aaron Smith, two of the sharper
scrum-halves in world rugby,
will be intriguing as will the display of leadership skills of the
two flanker-captains in Chris
Robshaw and All Blacks great
Richie McCaw.
“New Zealand are strong
across the board, very experienced and with world-class
players in a lot of positions,”
said Lancaster.
“But it’s not dissimilar to the
side we played in the summer,
the side we played this time last
year or two years ago and, on
each occasion, we either won or
pushed them close.”
Lancaster’s side might do
well to demonstrate similar
obstinacy to a capacity crowd
who are likely to react to New
Zealand’s haka with a rousing chorus of Twickenham
anthem �Swing Low, Sweet
Chariot’—a response that’s almost becoming as traditional
at �headquarters’ as the Maori
war dance is to any All Blacks’
Inevitably, the match will be
viewed through the prism of
the upcoming World Cup and
Hansen said: “It’s not far away.
is it? You can just about reach
out and touch it.
“But we’ve got a job to do on
Saturday that’s got nothing to
do with the World Cup.”
Australia aim to continue Wales winning streak
Australia’s Sean McMahon carries the ball at training ahead of his
Test debut in Cardiff on Thursday.
ustralia will seek to
stretch their winning
streak over Wales to 10
matches when the two
teams clash in a World Cup pool
rehearsal at Cardiff ’s Millennium Stadium today.
Wales’ last victory over the
Wallabies came in 2008 when
they eked out a 21-18 win. Since
then it has been nine straight
defeats, albeit the last eight by
single-п¬Ѓgure margins.
And in total Wales have endured a 20-match losing streak
against Australia and SANZAR
rivals New Zealand and South
Africa since that win six years
Today’s match also takes extra significance as the two teams
have been drawn in the same
tough pool of the 2015 World
Cup, along with hosts England
and unpredictable Fiji.
“Our whole focus in the next
12 months has to be getting out
of our group in the World Cup.
That has to be our primary focus,” was Wales coach Warren
Gatland’s blunt assessment of
a testing line-up of November
internationals that also include
outings against Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa.
Gatland named George North
at centre after injuries deprived
him of regular midfield backs
Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams.
At scrum-half, Rhys Webb
is preferred ahead of 87-times
capped Mike Phillips and will
partner Dan Biggar, while Toulon
full-back Leigh Halfpenny, man
of the series in the Lions’ 2-1 series win in Australia last year, returns after missing Wales’s last
three Tests due to injury.
Today’s match will be Gatland’s counterpart Michael
Cheika’s first Test in charge of
the Wallabies since Ewen McKenzie resigned last month following their fall-out from the
Kurtley Beale text pic scandal.
Irish seek to punch above
their weight against ’Boks
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is
looking to his Six Nations champions to land a significant blow
on one of what he terms rugby’s
heavyweights South Africa in
their one-off Test on Saturday.
Schmidt, who guided Ireland
to a thrilling victory over France
to clinch the northern hemisphere title in March, though
admits expectations of a repeat
of their performance last November when they were seconds
away from their п¬Ѓrst ever win
over world champions New Zealand may not be met.
Aside from being deprived of
15 internationals through injury, while iconic centre Brian
O’Driscoll has retired, they face
the same Springbok side, a mix
of youth and experience, that
ended the All Blacks 22 match
unbeaten run with a thrilling 2725 win four weeks ago.
Schmidt, who has turned the
national team’s fortunes round
since replacing Declan Kidney
after the 2013 Six Nations, has
at least got first choice fly-half
Jonathan Sexton back п¬Ѓt although outside him will be an all
new centre pairing.
Robbie Henshaw, only 21 and
with three caps to his name, and
New Zealand-born Jared Payne,
winning his п¬Ѓrst cap, have not
only been handed the unenviable role of replacing the legendary partnership of O’Driscoll
and Gordon D’Arcy but have also
been pitched in at the deep end
against the ’Boks.
Facing that duo will be the
battle-hardened duo of skipper Jean de Villiers, capped 102
times, and Jan Serfontein, the
same age as Henshaw but in
contrast to his inexperience he
has already pulled on the Sprinbgok jersey 16 times.
Schmidt, like Payne a New
Zealander, is unabashed at
throwing them into such a cauldron, even though the durable
D’Arcy had recovered from a
heavy knock he took last month.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Retired Netherlands, Ajax and AC Milan striker
FIFA Player of the Year in 1992
European Footballer of the year in ’88, ’89, ’92
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Age just a
for USA's
Atlantic City
Teams battle it out at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Qatar Open in Gharafa yesterday
Germans continue
solid run in Doha
'Our plan didn't go as far as the semi-final'
By Yash Mudgal
ermany’s Tim Holler and Jonas Schroder kept up their
impressive run at the FIVB
Beach Volleyball Qatar Open
run as they entered the semi-п¬Ѓnals
The German pair first defeated Poland’s Maciej Kosiak and Michal Bryl
2-0 (23-21, 21-17) and then followed up
with another 2-0 (22-20, 21-14) win,
this time against Yannick Salvetti and
Jean-Baptiste Daguerre of France at
the Qatar Beach Volleyball Academy
(QBVA) courts in Al Gharafa.
“The first set was bit difficult, but we
had our chance and the second set was
much better. We are not used to playing
under floodlights but we adjusted well.
The windy conditions made it tough
but in the end everything was perfect
for us,” Holler said.
It is our п¬Ѓrst main draw on the World
Tour and we are so happy with the results because we know the French guys
play pretty well in the wind,” he said.
“We played them in Antalya in Turkey and it was pretty windy and they
knew how to play the ball. We knew it
would be a tough game, but we managed it well and won.”
“Our plan didn’t go as far as the
semifinal,” Schroder said.
“We just thought about one match
after the other. We had a really good
day today and very, very happy to be in
the semi-finals.”
The pair won their World Universities Beach Volleyball World Championships earlier in the year and have
now made their mark on the World
Tour in only their second Tour event.
Canadian pair of Josh Binstock-Sam
Schachter also kept their hope alive for
their back to back title victory as they
also entered the semi-п¬Ѓnals defeating
the Italian team of twins Paolo Ingros-
so-Matteo Ingrosso 2-0 (21-19, 21-19).
The Canadinas maintained the form
that earned them a maiden Parna Open
title last week to outplay the Italians in
38 minutes.
Binstock and Schachter teamed up
midway through 2013 and after getting
to know each other’s game they began
to serve notice of their potential with
a fourth place п¬Ѓnish at the FIVB Sao
Paolo Grand Slam and gold, silver and
bronze medals on the NORCECA Continental Tour. Binstock-Schachter will
take on Russian pair of Ruslan Bykanov
and Serguei Prokopiev in the semifinals today. Bykanov-Prokopiev made
it through to the semi-п¬Ѓnals with a 2-0
(21-13, 21-14) win against Peter Eglseer
and Daniel Mullner, their best FIVB
Beach Volleyball World Tour п¬Ѓnish so
In the last quarter-п¬Ѓnal Frenchmen
Youssef Krou-Edouard Rowlandson
defeated Germans Bennet PoniewazDavid Poniewaz 2-0 (21-17, 21-16).
Both the semi-п¬Ѓnals will be played
today morning, while the third place
match and п¬Ѓnal will be held in the
Youssef Krou-Edouard Rowlandson
FRA [5] B Poniewaz-D Poniewaz GER
[9] 2-0 (21-17, 21-16)
Holler-Schröder GER [14] Salvetti-Daguerre FRA [27] 2-0 (22-20, 21-14)
Bykanov-Prokopiev RUS [16] EglseerMГјllner AUT [22] 2-0 (21-13, 21-14)
Binstock-Schachter CAN [2] P Ingrosso-M Ingrosso. ITA [6] 2-0 (21-19, 21-19)
Poniewaz-Poniewaz GER [9] bt DumekKufa R. CZE [17] 2-0 (21-19, 21-13)
Krou-Rowlandson FRA [5] bt GarcГ­aMarco ESP [10] 2-0 (21-10, 21-17)
Salvetti-Daguerre FRA [27] bt OlesenKildegaard DEN [18 ] 2-0 (21-17, 21-15)
Holler-Schröder GER [14] bt KosiakBryl POL [21] 2-0 (23-21, 21-17)
Bykanov-Prokopiev RUS [16] OlsonSlick USA [13] 2-0 (21-12, 21-13)
Eglseer-MГјllner AUT [22] bt Wu JiaxinC Yang CHN [24] 2-1 (21-23, 21-17, 15-11)
P Ingrosso-M Ingrosso ITA [6] bt
Kotsilianos-Zoupanis GRE [7] 2-0
(21-15, 21-14) Binstock-Schachter CAN
[2] bt Gögtepe-Giginoglu TUR [4] 2-0
(24-22, 21-16)
nlike other boxers who
seem to age a little with
each punch they absorb, Bernard Hopkins
is still a marvel to watch at 49
years of age.
The Philadelphia native is
gearing up for his 66th professional bout as he tries to increase
his record as the oldest world
champion in boxing history.
He will be two months shy of
his 50th birthday when he seeks
to defy Father Time once more
by squaring off against Russian
Sergey Kovalev in a light heavyweight unification fight today at
Boardwalk Hall arena.
“This isn’t about being an
athlete, a boxer or whatever it is.
This is something separate. Me
as a man. I’ve been here since
1965. I have been special ever
since. I still have the hunger to
prove myself,” said Hopkins who
hopes to add Kovalev’s WBO title
to his WBA and IBF 170-pound
George Foreman was the oldest title holder until Hopkins
showed up on the scene. Foreman last fought at 48 and won
his last title at 45.
Hopkins turned pro in October
1988 when Ronald Reagan was
president, п¬Ѓghting for a quarter
“I don’t mind putting my wits
up against anyone’s wits today,” said Hopkins on Thursday.
“When I step into the ring I am at
war with everybody.”
Hopkins, who grew up on the
crime-plagued streets of north
Philadelphia, is the second of
eight children and the son of a
city rubbish collector.
Hopkins was arrested more
than two dozen times and
stabbed three times. Boxing
was his way out of the projects.
But not before he served time in
prison for armed robbery. He was
paroled at age 23.
Hopkins hopes to dispose of
Kovalev, who is 21 years his junior, and then defend his title at
age 50.
But the Russian slugger is
Hopkins’ most dangerous challenger in more than a decade.
“All roads lead to this fight.
This is a huge п¬Ѓght in my career
and in my life,” Kovalev said on
Thursday. “Bernard Hopkins is a
legend. He is a professor of professional boxing. This п¬Ѓght is
dangerous for me but this п¬Ѓght is
also dangerous for him.”
Kovalev has only one minor
blemish on his career, a technical draw. In his 25 wins, only four
opponents have lasted more than
four rounds.
“In the beginning of my career,
I was ready to п¬Ѓght anywhere at
anytime. No one knew me in
America and I built my career
from zero. I fought any place, any
opponent,” Kovalev said.
Kovalev, who goes by the nickname “Krusher” has earned a
reputation as a hard puncher. In
2011, Kovalev fought and beat
Roman Simakov who suffered
brain injuries and died three days
SC donates $500,000 to Kakuma project
By Sports Reporter
he Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) underlined
its commitment to use sport as
a vehicle for social change this
week when it announced its commitment to help improve the lives of refugees in Kenya.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint
Nasser unveiled the Kakuma project, a
pilot project by her charity Education
Above All (EAA) which is aimed at providing a holistic approach to empowering refugees in the country who have
been displaced by conflict, disease and
natural disaster.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary
General of the SC said: “We got involved
with partners like Educate A Child because of our belief that sport can be used
as a catalyst for change. We were made
aware of the project and it seemed like a
right fit. We believe that sport and education are a platform to improve people’s lives.
Following a trip to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya earlier this year, the
SC has pledged $500,000 to help with
sports equipment, infrastructure and
training to help improve the lives of the
170,000 people currently served by the
community. The donation is part of
wider $2mn pledge to Educate A Child,
the central component of Education
Above All.
Al-Thawadi added: “We had the
chance to visit Kakuma as part of this
delegation and saw the extreme difficulties and wanted to help with that.
The SC is committed to using sport as a
positive means for change so this project
made sense for us.”
Following the SC’s own work on the
Generation Amazing programme – an
initiative aimed at using young leaders
from countries such as Nepal, Pakistan,
Jordan and Qatar to drive change in their
own communities – the SC saw strong
similarities in the Kakuma pilot project.
“There are actually a lot of synergies
between this and another one of our
major CSR programmes, Generation
Amazing. I think both complement each
other and feed into the overall goals we
Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan
al-Thawadi speaking at the Doha GOALS Forum.
have set ourselves,” concluded al-Thawadi. “Our agreement is to provide the
equipment, infrastructure and train the
coaches. We’ll also help with the sporting facilities to allow fundamental skills
to be transferred to make a difference.”
EAA, which is funding the project,
will co-ordinate the efforts of a wide
range of industry partners, including
experts in construction, project management, solar technology, sports, and
water and sanitation, to create an environment suitable to the provision of
sustainable, quality education.
The project, which is centred on the
concept of lifelong learning, will offer educational interventions – from
early childhood education to vocational
training and literacy classes – that are
designed to meet the learning needs of
each individual regardless of age, background or special need.
The project will also feature peace
education programmes, as well as sports
and extra-curricular activities to benefit
both refugees and Kenyan nationals in
the surrounding community, thereby
further solidifying peaceful coexistence
and enhancing protection in the region.
Economy and Finance
3 470
File Size
20 921 KB
Report inappropriate content