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SPORT | Page 1
Qatar-backed fund
close to $1bn bid for
mining company
Ramy Ashour
wins thrilling
World Open
squash title
Latest Figures
is A R 8
AT 19
Q since
Vol. XXXV No. 9549
November 22, 2014
Moharram 29, 1436 AH
www. 2 Riyals
Qatar sets record with largest off-road SUV convoy
In brief
QATAR | Weather
Rains likely on
Monday, Tuesday
Qatar is likely to receive scattered
rain, mainly on Monday and Tuesday,
the Meteorology Department at the
Civil Aviation Authority has forecast.
“Unstable weather is expected to
affect the country in irregular days
starting tomorrow (Sunday) until
the end of the week,” the forecast
said. The amount of low and
medium clouds will increase and
may cause scattered rain, mostly
on Monday and Tuesday, when the
maximum temperature is likely to
hover between 25C and 27C and the
minimum between 21C and 23C. The
wind will be mostly northeasterly,
light to moderate in speed, gathering
strength in the offshore areas by
Monday evening causing high seas.
QATAR | Hygiene
Municipality closes
three restaurants
Al Rayyan Municipality has ordered
the closure of three eateries which
sold food unfit for consumption,
local Arabic daily Arrayah reported
yesterday. While one restaurant
each in Muaither South and
Mamoura were closed for 10 days
each, an eatery in the Umm Salal
area was closed for 15 days. Arrayah
also reported that four members
of a family were affected by food
poisoning after having a meal
bought from a popular restaurant in
the Airport Commercial Street.
Qatar yesterday registered yet another entry in the Guinness World Records with the largest off-road SUV convoy in the world. The new record is 154 Toyota 4x4 SUVs, breaking the previous one of 153 SUVs in Dubai.
The event was organised by Abdulla Abdulghani and Bros (AAB) Company, the exclusive dealer of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Qatar. Participating vehicles were driven in a single file sand track of around 43km at the
Endurance Village, Mesaieed. Though motorists turned up in over 400 Toyota SUVs, only 154 qualified for the count by the Guinness World Records team. The successful attempt was held under the motto “One nation
one record” and the participants were all owners of Toyota SUVs. Takayuki Yoshitsugu, chief representative of Toyota at the Middle East and North Africa Representative office, who was present, stressed the Qatari
market’s importance for the Toyota SUVs. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Dhow’s India trip to relive history
Fateh Al Khair 2 will reportedly
be the first dhow cruise to India in
around 60 years
dhow will sail off soon from Qatar’s shores to India’s coasts, the
organising committee of the
fourth Traditional Dhow Festival announced yesterday. It will be the second trip undertaken by Qatar’s Fateh Al
Khair dhow.
“Preparations have started for the
upcoming trip, as “Fateh Al Khair 2” is
a long trip that will be carried out in the
old, traditional way. That is the whole
point of the journey, to allow the crew
on board to relive our founding fathers’
experience with all of its details and
nuances,” said Katara general manager
Dr Khaled Ibrahim al-Sulaiti.
Ahmed al-Hitmi, director of the organising committee, said that boats
used to sail to and fro between the Arabian coast, including Qatar, and India in
the past. “Today, from Katara’s beach,
we announce the launch of the second
Fateh Al Khair dhow trip in the near
future, after the п¬Ѓrst voyage cruised
around the Gulf ports. The festival’s
guests bear witness to the beginning
Visiting Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz (second right) at the inauguration of the new POLO building at West Bay
yesterday. She was joined by (from left) ambassador Relacion, De Jesus, Calzado and Cleofas. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Philippine labour secretary
to meet minister today
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
isiting Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz will meet
Qatar’s Minister of Labour and
Social Welfare HE Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi today to discuss issues affecting overseas Filipino workers
Some of the topics that may be
brought up include employer’s compliance with the Philippine government’s
reform package for household service
workers (HSWs) and cases of passportwithholding, Baldoz told reporters in
Doha yesterday.
The official explained that she had
been receiving reports that there were
also documented cases in which some
OFWs ended up in trouble on their own
and not because of their employers.
However, she stressed that HSWs in
Qatar were not within the jurisdiction
of the Labour Ministry. “I will try to find
out whether there will be an opportunity
to talk about it.”
The labour secretary reiterated that
the reform package for HSWs was
non-negotiable, vowing to impose
necessary penalties against erring
employers and recruitment agencies.
Gulf Times reported recently, quoting
ambassador Crescente Relacion, that
this issue would be thoroughly discussed
at the Qatar-Philippines Joint Labour
Committee meeting, hoping it would
convene before he left the country in
March 2015.
Baldoz was speaking at the inauguration of the new Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) building yesterday.
She was joined by Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Rebecca Calzado.
Ambassador Relacion, labour attache Leopoldo De Jesus, OWWA officer
Lenny Cleofas, embassy officials and
heads of attached Philippine government agencies also attended the event.
“This is a milestone in the history of
our POLO office in Qatar,” said Baldoz.
“This expresses our desire to really give
the best service to our overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs).”
POLO’s new home, near the embassy in the Jelaiah area, West Bay,
started operating since January and
serves as a “one-stop-shop” for
thousands of OFWs in Qatar.
Baldoz is set to visit different POLOs
in the GCC countries before heading to
Kuwait for handing over the Abu Dhabi
Dialogue chairmanship. Part of conference agenda is to deliberate two projects:
the comprehensive labour education and
mutual recognition of skills.
The labour secretary will hold a meeting with members of the Filipino community in Qatar today.
“Many of them are professionals and
I am more interested to know how the
licence in the Philippines issued by the
Philippine Regulation Commission such
as for engineers can be recognised here,”
she pointed out.
As a preparation for the Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations)
integration in 2015, the Department of
Labour and Employment is reviewing
all process and training regulations to
conform with international standards as
basis for mutual recognition agreement.
Baldoz wants to review the local requirements in Qatar to identify the deficiencies and then “compare it with
what we will be having under the Asean
integration 2015, then we can pursue bilateral negotiation with them”.
She will also meet officials and representatives of various recruitment and
manpower agencies (with Philippine
counterparts), to discuss different issues, concerns and challenges in the industry tomorrow (Sunday).
of our preparations for the trip, which
will return to our shores, this time not
with goods and gifts, but with tales and
memories,” he added.
Fateh Al Khair 2 will reportedly be
the п¬Ѓrst dhow cruise to India in around
60 years.
The п¬Ѓrst Fateh Al Khair trip was
considered a historic voyage of the
Arabian Gulf. The dhow cruised along
the region’s ports, including the Abu
Dhabi port in the UAE as well as the
Musandam and Khasab ports in Oman,
where it received an official welcome
with popular songs and traditional
features, before returning to Qatar, to
participate in the country’s National
Day celebrations.
Meanwhile, the festival’s fine arts
competition, held in association with
the Qatar Fine Arts Society, continued
to receive entries from participants.
More than 30 people are participating from different countries and backgrounds.
For the best photograph and painting
competitions, November 30 is the last
day to receive the artwork. The photographs delivered must not exceed six
high-quality images in JPEG or TIFF
format (300 DPI). Radical changes
to photographs are not allowed while
simple retouches are acceptable. Winners will be selected by an expert committee.
The fourth Traditional Dhow Festival comes to an end today. The closing
ceremony will feature the “Al Qafal”
heritage festival, which embodies the
return of the divers to their homeland.
Al Qafal will celebrate the return of the
10 teams participating in the pearldiving competition to Katara’s seashore after three days of sailing off on
Thursday. Page 3
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
HMC joins campaign on
preterm birth prevention
he Hamad Medical Corporation
joined the worldwide observation of World Prematurity
Day in light of reports that preterm birth causes more than 1mn
deaths each year.
Held on November 17 every
year, World Prematurity Day
raises awareness of preterm
birth and addresses concerns
about preterm babies from
families worldwide. For its part,
HMC aims to raise awareness
of deaths and disabilities due
to prematurity and the simple,
proven, cost-effective measures
for prevention.
According to the World Health
Organisation (WHO), preterm
birth is the world’s largest killer
of newborns, 75% of which could
be saved without expensive, high
technology care.
Babies born between 32 and
less than 37 weeks of pregnancy make up 85% of the 15mn
preterm babies born annually,
totaling 12.6mn, the WHO said.
“Prematurity occurs when
babies are born before the normal term of 37 – 42 gestational
weeks. So those babies born
before 37 weeks are premature.
There are grades of prematurity
including: mild prematurity (3537 weeks gestation); moderate
prematurity (28-34 weeks); and
extreme prematurity (before 28
weeks),” said Dr Ahmed Farouk
Eldakrouri, consultant at HMC’s
Women’s Hospital.
He said in many cases, the reasons why babies arrive early can-
Dr Ahmed Farouk Eldakrouri:
“Many premature babies require
special care...”
Dr Huda Saleh:“Premature labour
is a very serious complication of
not be found but in some other
cases the cause could be due to
one of the following reasons:
z When a mother is pregnant with more than one baby
such as twins, triplets or quadruplets. This is increasing the
prematurity rate in Qatar;
z When some abnormalities
exist in the mother’s uterus, especially in the cervix (the neck of
the womb);
z If the mother has diabetes,
hypertension, and other chronic
z If the mother is aged below
18 years or above 35 years of age;
z If the mother has a history
of prematurity;
the urinary tract and/or affecting
the amniotic membrane;
z Excessive amniotic fluid;
z Abnormalities related to the
placenta’s position in the womb;
z Some congenital malformations of the baby while in the
womb; and
z Some cases of a mismatch
between the baby and mother’s
blood groups.
“The earlier a baby is born,
the more severe his or her health
problems are likely to be. Many
premature babies require special
care and spend weeks or months
hospitalised in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Some
of those who survive may face
lifelong problems such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy,
breathing and respiratory problems, visual problems, including
retinopathy of prematurity, hearing loss, and feeding and digestive
problems,” Eldakrouri said.
He added that the expertise
and service available to premature babies at Women’s Hospital’s NICU follows international
“To ensure adequate care for
the babies, we are working as a
multi-disciplinary team comprising of physicians, nurses,
therapists, and other pediatric
sub-specialties such as cardi-
ology, nephrology, endocrinology, and surgery as well as social
work. We are adopting patient
and family-centred care to ensure all affected by the baby’s
early birth are included in their
care,” he added.
Dr Huda Saleh, gynecologist at Women’s Hospital, said:
“Premature labour is a very serious complication of pregnancy
as it strikes quickly and silently
in many pregnant women. Unfortunately, many women do not
recognise the signs of premature
She noted that the early detection of premature labour can
help prevent premature birth
and possibly enable the affected
woman to carry her pregnancy
to term, giving her baby a better
chance of survival.
“It’s important to seek care if
a woman thinks she might be in
preterm labuor because her doctor may be able to help both her
and the baby,” Saleh stressed.
According to Dr Saleh, warning signs of preterm labour could
z Contractions (the abdomen tightens like a п¬Ѓst) every 10
minutes or more;
z Changes in vaginal discharge
(leaking fluid or bleeding);
z Pelvic pressure - the feeling
that the baby is pushing down;
z Menstrual-like cramps in
the lower abdomen that can
come and go or remain constant;
z Low, dull backache;
z Cramps that feel like a
menstrual period; and
z Abdominal cramps with or
without diarrhea.
Saleh explained that there are
precautions a woman can take to
improve her health as well as lower the risk of having a premature
baby. These include:
z Stopping smoking and
avoiding alcohol or drugs;
• Seeing a healthcare provider
for a medical checkup before
getting pregnant;
z Going for prenatal care as
soon as pregnancy is suspected
and throughout pregnancy; and
z Talking to a healthcare
provider about:
• How to best control diseases
such as high blood pressure or
z A healthy diet and prenatal
vitamins. It is important to take
400 micrograms of folic acid
daily before and during early
z Concerns about pregnancy
and any warning signs or symptoms of preterm labour that will
need medical attention; and
z Breastfeeding as breast milk
is the best food for babies, whether they are born early or at term.
Excellent maternity care
services are available on referral at HMC’s Women’s Hospital, Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra
Hospital, and Cuban Hospital.
All the hospitals also provide
emergency maternity and gynecological services. Any woman
who suspects they might have a
gynecological problem should
seek immediate medical attention
or dial 999 for the ambulance.
Bedaya workshop
focuses on use
of social media
he Bedaya Centre for
Entrepreneurship and
(Bedaya Centre) organised its
monthly meeting with entrepreneurs at Katara - the
Cultural Village through a
workshop on Instagram, featuring trainer and social media
expert Ammar Mohamed.
Bedaya Centre is a joint initiative of Qatar Development
Bank and Silatech.
The meeting, held regularly
on the second Sunday every
month, seeks to offer Qatari
youth access to training, guidance and support, enabling
them to meet highly qualified
experts to learn about their
practical experiences and
share valuable insights.
This month, the get-together tackled the topic of how
to promote a business through
social media giant Instagram.
“I’m delighted to be an active partner at Bedaya Centre’s monthly meetings. This
month, we focused on business marketing through Instagram, which is currently one
of the most important social
media websites,” said Mohamed, who pointed out during
the meeting that many people
promote their businesses and
products on Instagram, now
boasting of 150mn monthly
active users who upload 40mn
pictures and videos every day.
However, Mohamed added
that what matters most is not
quantity, but quality, and offered a deeper, more comprehensive insight into es-
The workshop featured trainer
and social media expert
Ammar Mohamed.
tablishing an online footprint
and a unique brand. He also
revealed to the audience how
to define goals and plan to
optimally leverage social media websites, suggesting ideas
and steps that could be taken
by the attentive audience
when marketing their businesses and how they could
spread ideas to increase their
efficiency and influence.
Yasmeen Hassan, entrepreneurship manager at Bedaya
Centre, said: “We go all out in
the centre to attract entrepreneurs to our monthly meetings. This month, the meeting
has lifted the lid on how important Instagram is for businesses and how entrepreneurs
can use it to promote their
ideas, products and п¬Ѓrms.
Small and medium enterprises
have consistently used Instagram to great effect and it has
gained wide popularity across
the Arab world.”
Call for steps to check CMUQ holds п¬Ѓrst outreach
water-related accidents programme for school pupils
child can drown in as
little as 5cm of water
in less than two minutes, a senior official has said,
highlighting the need to spread
awareness about water-related
accidents and precautionary
Informative sessions on water safety around homes, pools
and beaches drew huge crowds
to the Kulluna for Health and
Safety stand at the second Qatar International Boat Show
(QIBS). The event was held at
Mourjan Marinas in Lusail City
from November 11 to 15.
In the last two years, Kulluna has launched several campaigns that have addressed essential health and safety issues
within the community. Tens of
thousands of people living and
working in Qatar have been
positively impacted through
these campaigns. Kulluna is
a national, health and safety
public awareness campaign
founded by Hamad Medical
Corporation’s Hamad International Training Centre (HITC)
with ConocoPhillips Qatar as
the founding sponsor.
Last year, Kulluna launched
a water safety campaign to
tackle the issue of drowning in
Qatar, especially among children. The campaign highlights
the importance of maintaining adult supervision around
children in order to curb such
preventable deaths.
Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifel-
A visitor to Kulluna’s stand during a checkup.
deen, director of HITC, said:
“Water-related accidents are
unfortunate as they can be easily avoided. In less than two
minutes, a child can drown in as
little as 5cm of water. Spreading
awareness about such facts and
precautionary measures is the
п¬Ѓrst step towards bringing the
community together to create
an accident-free environment.”
Gary Sykes, president of
ConocoPhillips Qatar, said: “As
founding sponsor of Kulluna,
we are pleased to be taking part
in the Qatar International Boat
Show for the second consecutive year and increase community awareness about water
“This campaign falls within
our strategic pillars of health
and safety and we are proud to
be a part of all community and
major events spreading awareness and equipping people with
the right information and tools
to keep Qatar’s children and
families safe and healthy.”
Kulluna’s stand at the QIBS
also provided information on
how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation in case of
drowning, as the п¬Ѓrst few moments after the accident are
the most crucial and chances
of survival increase with quick
In addition, Kulluna provided free health checkups for
all visitors as part of its healthy
heart campaign. The checkup
included tests for blood cholesterol, blood sugar, height,
weight, blood pressure and
body mass index.
arnegie Mellon University
in Qatar (CMUQ) recently
held the п¬Ѓrst outreach
programme of the 2014-2015
academic year: Ibtikar.
The Ibtikar workshop, which
focused on human-centred design and the impact of design
and technology on the world,
was the п¬Ѓrst in a series of three
workshops designed to highlight
the п¬Ѓeld of information systems
to high school students in Qatar.
Over the coming months,
CMUQ will offer a variety of
additional outreach workshops
related to its programmes in
biological sciences, business
administration and computer
science. The events will lead
up to the university’s March 1
admissions deadline.
Admissions п¬Ѓgures show that
outreach programmes have a
significant impact on prospective student applications, with
44% of this year’s incoming
students having participated in
outreach programmes.
Carnegie Mellon outreach
programmes are tailor-made for
Qatar and the region and aim to
help students prepare for admission into selective universities
like the ones in Education City.
The outreach programmes at
CMUQ introduce students to
the programmes offered and offer insight into life at university
through interactive activities and
opportunities for prospective
students to interact with CMUQ
Students and faculty at the first Ibtikar programme.
faculty and current students.
The Biotechnology Explorer
Programme took place on November 15 and invited secondary
school students to experience
a laboratory experiment and
learn more about the biological
sciences programme at CMUQ.
CS4Qatar is a series of workshops designed to inspire Qatar’s
youth to join the п¬Ѓeld of computer science and become creators
of innovations that will make a
real impact.
To address the challenge of attracting women into science and
technology, CMUQ launched
CS4Qatar for Women, a programme that aims to broaden
young women’s understanding
of computer science. It will be
held today, while CS4Qatar for
Students - aimed at all prospective students - will take place on
February 7, 2015.
The Botball Education Robotics Programme is one of CMUQ’s
most successful outreach events.
The programme begins on January 30-31, 2015, with the п¬Ѓnal
competition taking place on
March 27.
Botball is an internationally
renowned hands-on learning
experience in robotics designed
to engage secondary school students in learning the practical
applications of science, technol-
ogy, engineering and math. The
programme introduces students
to the п¬Ѓeld of computer science
and robotics.
Tajer - Investment for Qatar
is the latest edition to the outreach programmes offered by
Carnegie Mellon. Tajer takes
place on February 14, 2015, and
targets students interested in
pursuing business administration. Through this outreach programme, secondary school students are able to become traders
for the day and learn about how
п¬Ѓnancial markets work.
The application deadline for
Fall 2015 admission to Carnegie
Mellon is March 1, 2015.
Efforts under way to п¬Ѓnd viable outdoor cooling solution: official
Salah Nezar speaking at the
District Cooling Summit in Doha.
t the recently held Annual Middle East District
Cooling Summit in Doha,
QPM corporate sustainability
director Salah Nezar addressed
the fact that the HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) industry in Qatar was
searching for a scalable and affordable cooling solution to provide comfortable outdoor environments during the summer
months (from April to October).
Nezar highlighted the approach
used by a team of researchers in
mitigating engineering challenges related to a proposed solution
co-authored by him in partnership with Dirk KrГјger and JГјrgen
Dersch from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
Nezar said: “The need for a
comfortable outdoor environment is led by local community
lifestyles and the business segment of the hospitality sector,
where priorities include public
areas such as walkways, playgrounds, seating/dining areas
associated with coffee shops,
restaurants and souqs, as well as
the general outdoor sporting and
leisure venues.
“In a region where sedentary lifestyles are at the heart of
acute public health issues such
as obesity, diabetes, decline in
fertility rates, vitamin-D deficiency and respiratory ailments
such as asthma, a viable outdoor
cooling solution will promote
overall health, п¬Ѓtness and
strength of the local community.”
The components of the proposed solution include air and
chilled water systems. A solar
п¬Ѓeld and its ancillary components will power the thermally
driven cooling machine and associated thermal storage tank to
optimise the performance of the
chilling system.
The engineering efforts related
to this part of the proposal were
led by the team from the DLR with
a focus on optimisation of the solar п¬Ѓeld, including the suitability
of each type of the proposed solar collectors and level of energy
performance expected.
The second segment of this
research effort was oriented towards integrating various com-
ponents pertaining to the solar
and cooling system into a single
system capable of operating at
the highest efficiency level and
by upholding cutting-edge clean
The air system part of the solution was handled by a local team in
collaboration with an HVAC expert from California. The design
approach is built on the “Sunken
Garden” concept traditionally
used in the Middle East to contain
colder air. The accompanying air
handling system is a two-stage
evaporative cooling machine.
Nezar said: “The economic
and п¬Ѓnancial analysis of the proposed solution was performed
by the DLR team in close collaboration with a local team. The
cost of a conventional cooling
system equals €0.12/kWh.”
The п¬Ѓndings showed that the
initial design has a number of
limitations from an engineering
standpoint and also has low economic performance as the cost
of cooling energy was found to
be around €0.35/kWh.
As part of the evolution of
the project, a number of design
modifications were introduced
into the simulation process to
improve the cost-effectiveness
of the solution, including the decrease of the solar share ratio to
90%. Refined economic analysis
showed that the cost of cooling
energy could reach €0.2/kWh
if the surplus heat energy produced by the solar п¬Ѓeld could be
utilised or absorbed adequately
by another system or facility at
periods when it is not required
by the cooling machine.
Nezar and the team submitted
a full paper for international peer
review and it will be presented to
an international panel of experts
by the end of the November in
Paris for proof of concept and
economic viability.
The team will soon embark on
proving their п¬Ѓndings through
a reduced scale modular prototype. The realisation of the
prototype was undertaken by a
Saudi investor who pledged to
invest in the development and
commercialisation of the solution for various applications, including in the п¬Ѓeld of oil and gas.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Some of the participating teams in the competition. PICTURES: Nasar T K
Craftsmen making a dhow at the venue.
Team Al Khor tops in rowing contest
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
eam Al Khor won the third
Annual Rowing Championship, �Shwalif’ organised yesterday by Qatar Olympic
Committee as part of the fourth
Traditional Dhow Festival, being
held at Katara, the Cultural Village.
The Traditional Dhow Festival is an effort to revive the Qatari marine heritage and folklore.
Considered the most exceptional
maritime heritage festival in the
region and the world, it is characterised by participation from
various GCC countries. The festival comes to a close today.
A total of eight teams took part
in the rowing competition. Team
Al Khor won the championship
by completing the race in 14.42
minutes. Team Al Wakrah came
second in 15.32 minutes and
Team Laffan came third with a
timing of 16.18 minutes.
All the winners were honoured at a special ceremony immediately after the competition.
HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, secretary general
and CEO of the Qatar Olympic
Committee, and Dr Khalid bin
Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, general man-
ager of Katara, presented the
trophies to the winners.
Each team had 11 participants.
Many were seen rowing the boats
singing traditional folk songs.
The competition was so close,
that there was barely a minute’s
gap each among the three teams
that won the п¬Ѓrst three positions.
One of the spectators at the
competition said the dhows used
for the competition were called
Shahoof in Arabic, and were
traditionally part of the daily
life of the people in the region.
Each dhow is about 16 to 40ft in
length and six to 12ft in width,
with their height ranging from
three to п¬Ѓve feet.
These dhows were traditionally used for п¬Ѓshing and transportation of small goods. Each
dhow can accommodate about
10 people.
Another spectator said the
festival and the accompanying competitions bring back a
lot of memories about the past.
“When we were children, these
boats were an integral part of
our life. Many of the people
used to go to the sea using the
dhows for п¬Ѓshing. They were
also used for carrying several
goods from one place to another or even to the neighbouring
Members of the winning teams pose with officials.
�Cycle in Aspire’ scheme
grows in popularity
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
The Netherlands ambassador Yvette Burghgraef Van Eechoud has said her country has several technologies
that can be helpful and suitable for Qatar in the field of horticulture.
Netherlands �can offer Qatar
expertise in horticulture’
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he Netherlands has several technologies that can
be helpful and suitable for
Qatar in the п¬Ѓeld of horticulture,
ambassador Yvette Burghgraef
Van Eechoud has said.
“The Netherlands has the
highest share of the flower market in Qatar,” the Dutch envoy
told Gulf Times on the sidelines
of the opening of the п¬Ѓrst edition
of the Doha International Flowers and Garden Exhibition.
“For example, Al Maktab Al
Qatari Al Hollandi, an integrated
distributor of imported floral
products, is the biggest seller of
flowers in Qatar with about 18
shops. They have more than 25
years of experience in Qatar.”
The ambassador said that
flowers are a part of diplomacy
and international relations.
“The tulip is closely related to
the Dutch. A fascinating history of international relations,
diplomacy and science explains
how tulip became a symbol of
the Netherlands even though it
is not a Dutch flower by origin.”
The Dutch envoy said the
Netherlands has co-operation
with Qatar in different research
activities. “ We have some partnership in technology and research. These are mainly in en-
ergy and water efficiency. We are
hopeful of more partnership in
other areas.”
“A Dutch university is working
out the details of a joint venture
in agricultural production in a
sustainable way. We have a lot of
technologies to produce food in a
more sustainable way. In the next
10 years, there will be a lot more
co-operation between both the
countries in this field.”
Suleman Mohamed, executive
manager, sales and purchase, Al
Maktab Al Qatari Al Hollandi said
the company sells different types
of flowers and most of them are
from Holland. “We sell more than
200,000 roses a week through our
18 outlets across Qatar,” he added.
he �Cycle in Aspire’ rent-a-bike
scheme at Aspire Zone is becoming popular with both children and
adults, with a significant increase seen in
the number of users since its launch in October.
A supervisor told Gulf Times that from an
average of 200, they now receive more than
300 bikers during the weekend, from 12pm
to 9pm.
While the number drops to an average
of 50 during the weekdays, he said it is
expected to rise in the coming days as the
weather becomes cooler.
“Cycling is safe and it’s a good exercise,”
he said, adding that they always urge users
to use helmets and other safety gear. Staff
also teach and accompany beginners, especially children.
“The only problem is that some children
do not want to use helmets and when we
insist, their parents get mad at us,” he explained.
Besides wearing helmets, some of the
safety reminders include checking the
brakes and tyres п¬Ѓrst, giving way to pedestrians, sticking to designated areas open to
cycling and avoiding areas used by vehicles,
among others.
The initiative has also attracted adults
who often ride around the newly-opened
5km cycling lane at Aspire.
The Cycle in Aspire area is located at the
end of the road between Villaggio and Hyatt
Plaza, near the children’s playground and
outdoor football pitches.
Although they intend to bring more
bikes, the supervisor said the initial 120
units can service the existing number of users at the moment. “We also try to maintain
the bicycles well to keep everyone safe and
The �Cycle in Aspire’ rent-a-bike scheme is growing in popularity. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
away from injury,” he added. The operator
of the rent-a-bike scheme charges QR20
per hour and an additional QR5 for every
additional hour.
A Filipino couple who regularly use the
bikes at Aspire told Gulf Times that cy-
cling is “an enjoyable way to prevent diabetes”.
“People like us find this kind of hobby
appealing because you can go to places while reaping the benefit of doing
exercise,” said one of them.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Kerry, Zarif
extend talks in
push for deal
ran nuclear talks moved up
a gear late yesterday as US
Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister
stayed on in Vienna to try and
break a deadlock days before a
Kerry had been set to leave Vienna and sources had said Mohamed Javad Zarif was considering returning to Tehran, but both
remained in the Austrian capital.
“Kerry has delayed his departure (for Paris)... in order to continue consultations” with Zarif,
Kerry’s spokesperson Jen Psaki
said before the two men went
into a meeting lasting over two
“We have not yet determined
when we will depart, but will
stay in Vienna overnight.”
Zarif, whose possible trip back
to Iran for “consultations” had
suggested possible progress, said
that world powers made “no significant propositions worth returning to Tehran with”.
Iran and the six powers - the
US, China, Russia, Britain,
France plus Germany (P5+1) have been negotiating intensively since February to turn an
interim accord reached with Iran
a year ago into a lasting agreement by November 24.
Such a deal, after 12 years of
rising tensions, is aimed at easing fears that Tehran will develop
nuclear weapons under the guise
of its civilian activities—an ambition the Islamic Republic hotly
British Foreign Secretary
Philip Hammond left Vienna in
the afternoon—saying there was
still a “very significant gap”—
but France’s Laurent Fabius was
still in the Austrian capital after
meeting Zarif for an hour and a
“The prize for Iran is huge,”
Hammond said. He called for
more flexibility from the Iranians and said that “in return
we’re prepared to show some
flexibility on our side”.
Fabius, seen as one of the most
hardline among the P5+1, called
on Iran to “seize this opportunity”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a crucial player, said
from Moscow that “all the elements are already on the table”
for a deal and that all that was
missing was “political will”.
Kerry later “updated Foreign
Minister Lavrov on the state of
negotiations” by phone, the US
official said.
Most analysts expect Iran and
the six powers to decide to put
more time on the clock - as they
did with an earlier deadline of
July 20 - possibly by agreeing a
new interim deal.
Hammond had said on
Wednesday that he was “not
optimistic” the deadline could
be met, suggesting that the best
hope was for another exten-
sion—and only provided there
was “significant movement”.
But Kerry on Thursday insisted this was not on the table.
“We are not discussing an extension. We are negotiating to
have an agreement. It’s that simple,” Kerry said in Paris before he
went to Vienna.
Iran believes that the onus is
on the world powers to compromise. Zarif and President Hassan
Rohani both warned the P5+1
not to sink the talks with “excessive demands”.
“We hope that the other side
will behave in a rational manner... and won’t take the wrong
path,” Iran’s speaker of parliament Ali Larijani said this
Some areas under discussion
appear provisionally settled in
what would be a highly complex
deal that would run for many
years, even decades.
But two key issues remain:
enrichment—a process that
renders uranium suitable for
peaceful uses but also, at high
purities, for a weapon; and the
pace of the lifting of sanctions.
Kelsey Davenport, an expert
at the Arms Control Association,
said there was “still a lot of time
until Monday at midnight”.
Comments indicating flexibility on both sides show that
“both parties are coming into
these п¬Ѓnal days willing to look at
their positions and make some
decisions about the remaining
tough issues”, she said.
Protesters raise signs rejecting the elections during a rally in Diraz village, north of Manama, yesterday.
Bahrain ready for dialogue
with opposition: minister
ahrain’s government said
yesterday it was ready for
dialogue with the opposition, which is boycotting today’s legislative and municipal
polls, the п¬Ѓrst since a Shia-led
uprising nearly four years ago.
“The door to dialogue will
never be shut, including with Al
Wefaq,” Information Minister
Samira Rajab said in an interview
with AFP, referring to the main
Shia opposition movement.
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of the
Shia village of Diraz yesterday
pledging to boycott the polls,
with police п¬Ѓring teargas to disperse them, witnesses said.
“Boycott! Boycott!” the
demonstrators chanted.
Shia demonstrators frequently clash with security
forces in villages outside the
capital Manama and hundreds
have been arrested and faced
trial since the uprising.
The political rivals have
struggled to bury their differences through a so-called “national dialogue” that fell apart
despite several rounds of negotiations.
Al Wefaq chief Sheikh Ali
Salman told AFP yesterday
that the opposition could only
resume talks with the government if it agreed to implement
reforms in line with a strict
The boycott stems from “the
people’s demand for democratic reforms”, he said, predicting a
maximum 30% turnout at the
polls. The electorate of almost
350,000 will be called to choose
40 deputies.
Al Wefaq was in October
banned by a Bahraini court
from carrying out any activities
for three months for violating a
law on associations.
The movement engaged in
several rounds of talks with
the authorities but refused to
resume discussions in September despite a new proposal announced by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifah.
The proposal had п¬Ѓve core
elements, including the redefinition of electoral districts and
permission for parliament to
question the premier and his
The security forces would
also be bound by new codes of
At the time, Al Wefaq chief
Salman said the proposal “ignores the legitimate demands
of the people”.
He said yesterday he did not
expect the opposition to reach
an agreement with the government, following protests which
he said had cost “at least 100
lives” over the past three years.
The information minister, for
her part, insisted that Bahrain
would not tolerate “chaos”.
“Violence is not allowed. It is
tantamount to terrorism,” Rajab said.
She also denounced “foreign
interference”, saying it fanned
tensions and stood in the way
of an agreement with the opposition.
Bahrain has repeatedly accused Iran of backing the Shia
Qatari minister visits US
;17ЕЏ4' +08+6'&
Be a part of the new
zing at
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel escorts HE Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, Qatar’s Minister of State
for Defence Affairs, during arrival ceremonies at the Pentagon in Washington yesterday.
Al Qaeda warns Houthis will �pay dearly’
l Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, reacting to the loss of its
strongholds to Shia Houthi
п¬Ѓghters, has accused its opponents of
acting as a proxy for the United States
and threatened renewed violence
against them.
In an audio message on militant
websites, AQAP’s military commander
Qassim al-Raymi called the Houthis
“the new rented gun for the enemies
of Islam”.
“You have to know that the mosques
of Muslims that you blew up along
with their homes and schools, will not
just pass unnoticed and you will pay
the price dearly,” he said.
The Houthis’ Ansarullah movement
has become the main political force
in Yemen since it captured the capital
Sanaa in September and then pushed
into the Sunni Muslim heartland of Al
Bayda province, where Ansar al-Shariah, the local AQAP affiliate, has allied
itself with tribes.
Houthi п¬Ѓghters backed by government forces drove Ansar al-Shariah
from one of its last strongholds in central Yemen last week.
Raymi’s message signalled more
violence between the militants and the
Houthi п¬Ѓghters, whom AQAP view as
“The account is long and it has not
yet been opened. So be prepared to
pay for it with your souls and selves.
Do you think that your crimes will
pass by without judgment or punishment?”
He said that Al Bayda and Sanaa had
been handed over to the Houthis under
orders from the United States.
Yemen has been in turmoil since
2011, to the dismay of neighbouring
Saudi Arabia and Western powers.
AQAP militants have launched attacks from there against the West.
Washington regards Yemen as an
important ally in its fight against Islamist militants and has used drones
Separately, an AQAP official criticised the leader of the Islamic State
group and rejected his self-declared
caliphate, the SITE monitoring service
Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari,
AQAP’s top Shariah official, in a speech
circulated on militant websites, also
reaffirmed the group’s allegiance to Al
Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and
Taliban chief Mullah Omar.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Prepare to leave, Sudan tells UN Darfur mission
udan has asked a joint
in its western Darfur region to
prepare plans to leave, a senior
official said yesterday, amid a
dispute between the United Nations and Khartoum over an alleged mass rape in the area.
Sudan initially refused to
let the UNAMID peacekeepers visit a village to investigate the rape allegations.
They were later allowed in
and found no evidence that
Sudanese troops had raped
about 200 women and girls
there, but the UN complained
of a heavy military presence
during interviews.
“Sudan formally requested
- I formally requested - that
UNAMID make an exit strategy.
That does not mean it will pack
up its things and say goodbye,”
foreign minister under-secretary Abdallah al-Azraq told
reporters, suggesting the mission’s departure would take a
long time.
Azraq gave no reason for the
request but said it had first
been submitted a few weeks
ago, before the media reports
of mass rape. Sudan has de-
nied any wrongdoing by its
soldiers in Darfur and says the
rape allegations are part of an
international plot to mar its
A UNAMID spokesman contacted by Reuters could not say
whether it had received the request to draw up an exit strategy.
The UN peacekeeping office
in New York said a Security
Council resolution passed in
August had mentioned an exit
strategy as an option. It also
said an assessment would be
ready by the end of February
for the UN Security Council,
which will decide the mission’s
eventual fate.
UNAMID has been deployed
in Sudan’s western Darfur region since 2007. Law and order
had collapsed in many places
after mainly African tribes
took up arms in 2003 against
the Arab-led government in
Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination.
Azraq said Sudan had rejected a fresh UN request to
visit the village of Tabit, saying: “We look at this statement as an attempt to create
an atmosphere for further escalation and decisions against
Last month, an internal UN
review said UNAMID had failed
to provide UN headquarters in
New York with full reports on
attacks against civilians and
The review was ordered after media reports alleged that
UNAMID had deliberately
covered up details of deadly
The conflict in Darfur has
killed as many as 300,000
people and displaced 2mn, the
United Nations says.
suffer in
Egypt �war
on terror’
El Arish
warning shots to herald
the nightly curfew and
militants beheading informants,
Sinai’s residents find themselves
caught in the middle of Egypt’s
“war on terror”.
The Sinai Peninsula has become a hotbed of Islamist militancy after decades of neglect
under former president Hosni
Mubarak, and amid a security
vacuum triggered by the army’s
ouster last year of his successor
Mohamed Mursi.
Militant attacks remain commonplace almost two years since
the military launched its “war on
terrorism” in northern Sinai bordering Israel and the Palestinian
Gaza Strip.
A brazen suicide bombing on
October 24 killed 30 soldiers near
the North Sinai capital El Arish,
sparking a state of emergency and
a curfew being slapped on several
areas of the province.
The attack was claimed by
Egypt’s deadliest jihadist organisation Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem), which has
since pledged allegiance to the
Islamic State group that has captured swathes of territory in Syria
and Iraq.
Extra security including an
overnight curfew, increased police and army patrols and additional checkpoints have left El
Arish’s nearly 170,000 residents
angry and questioning Cairo’s
counter-terrorism strategy.
“Why did the security forces
take all this time? Why did they
did not defuse the bomb or move it
away before detonating it?” asked
Wael, inspecting a large crater
caused by police detonating a car
bomb in a busy district last week.
Residents said security forces
took four hours to respond after
locals alerted them about a suspicious vehicle.
Police then set off a “controlled” blast of the booby-trapped
car, wounding 10 people and
damaging several houses.
“If they can’t protect us, why
did they come? They should leave
and let the people deal with the
terrorists themselves,” Wael said.
Police stations and other security installations in El Arish
are heavily guarded, with barbed
wire and sandbags blocking access roads. At one police station
on the city’s outskirts, a sign proclaims: “Do not approach or we
will open fire.”
A 5pm to 7am curfew has had a
major impact on daily life.
As the clock approaches 5pm,
El Arish residents rush to their
homes as soldiers п¬Ѓre warning
Mobile phone networks and
Internet services are cut for most
of the day, affecting business, and
there is also an acute fuel shortage, with regular queues up to
4km long.
El Arish residents are clearly
“I’m not sure how the army
operates, but I doubt it has
enough intelligence information,”
said one merchant who lived under the Israeli occupation of the
city between 1967 and 1979.
“The Israelis used surgical
strikes to eliminate their targets without touching those sitting next to them. Why does the
Egyptian army not use similar
tactics?” he asked, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
Despite the heightened security presence, residents are clearly afraid to co-operate with the
army after several men were killed
for being informants, the businessman said, referring to gruesome video footage of beheadings
released by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.
The group has killed scores of
security personnel since Mursi’s
July 2013 ouster in retaliation for
a bloody government crackdown
on his Islamist supporters which
has killed at least 1,400 people.
But it is not only the residents
of El Arish who are living in fear.
The city’s security chiefs have
restricted their movements and
“set up beds in their offices”, indicated one local official, again
speaking on condition of anonymity.
Near the main highway, the
scene of several militant attacks,
hundreds of hectares of olive
groves have been razed.
Schoolgirls walk near a sign in Arabic reading “no passing, will open fire’’ in El Arish. With soldiers firing warning shots to herald the nightly curfew and militants beheading
informants, Sinai’s residents find themselves caught in the middle of Egypt’s “war on terror”.
Schools shut as army
set to step up Sinai п¬Ѓght
Security sources say the army
is planning major operations
in the coming days and does
not want children caught in
the crossfire
Ismailia, Egypt
gypt has indefinitely shut
schools in two border towns
in northern Sinai as the
army prepares to intensify a battle with Islamist militants that
turned the daily trip to lessons
into a “journey of death”.
Local people say children’s education has fallen victim while the
military stages air strikes against
militants, who are targeting soldiers and police, and have started
beheading army informers.
“We are putting our lives at risk
on a daily basis,” said Mohamed,
a teacher who lives in the town
of Sheikh Zuweid. “Sometimes
there is п¬Ѓre between gunmen and
the armed forces and sometimes
stray bullets hit some of us.”
Militancy has surged in the
Sinai Peninsula, which borders
Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal,
since the army ousted an elected
Islamist president last summer.
At least 33 security personnel
were killed last month and one
Sinai-based group has pledged its
loyalty to Islamic State, which has
overrun large areas of Syria and
Army checkpoints dot the main
roads in northern Sinai which
residents fear is turning into an
all-out war zone. This made the
daily school run arduous, and
dangerous if militants targeted
the troops manning them. “We’ve
started calling the trip to and from
school the journey of death,” said
another teacher, declining to be
Since the militant attacks on
October 24, Egypt has imposed
emergency rule in parts of Sinai,
evicted hundreds of families and
demolished their homes to create a
buffer zone along the Gaza border
about 350km northeast of Cairo.
The government hopes that
by clearing the 1km-deep area of
residents, buildings and trees, it
can stem the flow of arms via tunnels from Gaza to the Sinai-based
“The buffer zone is a principal
part of the solution,” President
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in an interview with France 24 television
on Thursday. “This should have
been done years ago ... There was
an understanding with the residents about the need for Egypt’s
Not everyone agrees with him,
and the heavy-handed approach
is breeding resentment among local residents who have long complained of neglect by Cairo.
A night-time curfew has
brought life to a near standstill while extended Internet
and phone disruptions aimed at
breaking the militants’ communications also cause problems.
Local people say they cannot
even call an ambulance to pick up
casualties or inform police if they
spot militants nearby.
Ten civilians were killed in their
home this week during clashes
between the army and militants.
Security sources said insurgent
mortars hit the house but had
earlier raised the possibility of an
army air strike gone wrong.
Egyptian officials say extraordinary measures such as the
school shutdown are necessary
for both national security and
residents’ safety.
Schools in Sheikh Zuweid and
Rafah, both on the border with
Gaza, would remain closed while
the army secured the surrounding areas, North Sinai governor,
General Abdel Fattah Harhour,
told state news agency Mena on
An army spokesman declined
to comment on the military’s
plans or whether they were related to the school closures. However, security sources said the army
was planning major operations in
the coming days and did not want
children caught in the crossfire.
With neighbouring Libya in
chaos and Islamic State trying to establish a cross-border
“caliphate” in Iraq and Syria,
Egypt is determined to regain full
control of Sinai. But its battle is
growing more complicated.
Last week, п¬Ѓve navy seamen
were wounded and eight declared
missing after what the army
called a “terrorist incident” at sea.
This was about 50km from Port
Said, the Mediterranean entrance
to the Suez Canal which is a major
international shipping route and
revenue earner for Egypt.
A bomb in a Cairo suburb
wounded six people around a police checkpoint on Thursday, security sources said. This was the
latest in a string of attacks in the
capital whose targets included the
supreme court, foreign ministry
and Cairo University.
Militants from Ansar Beit
al-Maqdis, Egypt’s most active jihadist group, have claimed
responsibility for beheading a
number of Egyptians in recent
months they accused of being informants for Israeli intelligence.
The group now may be able to
boost its funding, recruiting and
п¬Ѓghting abilities by vowing loyalty to Islamic State.
Ansar released a slickly-produced video resembling those of
Islamic State, appearing to claim
responsibility for the October 24
suicide attacks that provoked the
Sinai crackdown. This has left
rubble where some homes in Rafah once stood.
“Rafah has become a ghost
town by night and military garrison by day,” said Salem al-Araishi,
a resident. “All our memories are
gone with our houses.”
Tunisia artists, media fear curbs after election
unisian rappers, comedians and journalists, fearful that next week’s presidential election could cement
a return to power by partisans
of the former dictatorship, are
bracing themselves to defend the
freedoms won since it was ousted
in 2011.
Under former president Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali, tough censorship sharply circumscribed
freedom of expression in the
media and performing arts.
Journalists critical of the regime were harassed and sometimes arrested and jailed, but always on the pretext of an offence
other than offending the powers
that be.
The government also demanded a pro-regime line from
the media. A flattering piece on
Ben Ali could always be found
on the front page, and another
at the top of the line-up on the
television news.
Performing artists, particularly comedians and actors, had
to tip-toe around issues and
personalities, although some
braver souls deliberately overstepped the boundaries and
were sometimes punished.
Rappers, a particular bane
of the old regime, are leading the way in warning against
what they fear could be the effective return to power of Ben
Ali’s RCD party in the shape of
Nidaa Tounes, which already
won parliamentary elections in
Nidaa Tounes leader Beji Caid
Essebsi is the hot favourite to
win tomorrow’s election.
Essebsi, 87, a pillar of the old
guard, served as interior minister during the authoritarian regime of Tunisia’s “father of independence”, Habib Bourguiba,
and as parliament speaker in the
Presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi speaks during a campaign
event in Sfax on Thursday.
early 1990s under Ben Ali.
“O RCDists... we thought
we’d got rid of you but you’ve
had the nerve to return,” rapper El General hammers home
in a video clip featuring Nidaa
Tounes politicians who were
Weld El 15, another rapper and
a п¬Ѓerce critic of the moderate Islamist movement Ennahda that
formed the country’s first postrevolution government, sees no
cause to celebrate the rise of its
Nidaa Tounes rivals.
It “leaves the door wide open
to Ben Ali cronies, experts in the
art of censorship and repression”, he said.
“Freedom of expression was
the main achievement of the
revolution, and we will never let
anyone, whoever it is, take that
away from us. We’re not scared
of anyone!” he said.
Comedian Lotfi Abdelli says
that changing the target of his
jibes from Ennahda to the secular Nidaa Tounes has also raised
“For three years they used
to tell me: �Go on, you’re good,
you’re witty.’ Now that I’ve been
attacking Nidaa Tounes a bit, I’ve
become the guy who has no humour, no respect,” he says.
Abdelli can’t resist coming up
with an example: “Old Essebsi...
can go to two meetings at the
same time: he goes to one and he
sends his dentures to the other.”
Essebsi’s critics question his
advanced age and argue that
he does not represent Tunisia’s
youth, who spearheaded the
2011 revolt.
Formed only two years ago,
Nidaa Tounes rapidly emerged
as the principal opposition to
Ennahda, which it accused of
taking the country backwards.
But while Nidaa Tounes does
incorporate п¬Ѓgures aligned with
the old regime, it also includes
businesspeople, intellectuals,
trade unionists and even leftwing activists.
Its defenders point out that
while it won the most seats
in parliament it did not gain
enough to rule on its own. It
needs to form a coalition and
faces an Islamist opposition that
made a strong showing.
“Talk of a Nidaa Tounes domination of the political scene...
is aimed at scaring the electorate,” said Faouzi Elloumi, a cofounder of the party.
“I can understand people’s
fears but they are unfounded.
There are people out there trying
to mislead them. Tunisia knows
there is no risk of sliding back.”
But the journalists’ union is
on guard, pointing out that Ennahda and other parties with
influence have also advocated
putting caps on certain democratic principles.
“The fight for freedom of expression is not over. We’ve learnt
from experience that every new
government tries to restrict this
freedom,” said the union’s president, Neji Bghouri.
“We are forever wary because
we’re convinced the political
class at large is only democratic
in its speech.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
for youths
11 lives lost in Zimbabwe
church stampede: police
Kwekwe, Zimbabwe
t least 11 people died and
many more were injured
in a stampede in Zimbabwe as thousands packed a
stadium for a service by a celebrity preacher and self-styled
miracle-worker, police said yesterday.
Police said that around 15,000
people were crammed into the
stadium in Kwekwe southwest
of Harare on Thursday evening
for an event held by Walter Magaya, a Pentecostal preacher
who models himself on Nigeria’s
controversial Pastor TB Joshua.
When the service ended worshippers rushed to the only exit,
with four dying in the crush,
said Shadreck Mubaiwa, police
spokesman for the area 280km
from the capital.
ritrea has said that the reason thousands of its youth
are fleeing the hardline
regime is because the UN refugee agency UNHCR and countries with “sinister” motives are
tempting them to leave.
Tens of thousands have now
run away from the autocratic
Horn of Africa country, escaping
open-ended conscription and
the iron-grip rule of President
Issaias Afeworki, with many
continuing northwards to brave
the often harrowing journey towards Europe.
Asmara’s ministry of foreign
affairs said that the youth were
fleeing the county because of
“deliberate policies of certain
governments and agencies” who
have chosen to “encourage for
sinister political purpose the
youth to defect from the national
military service through various
Eritreans are second only to
Syria as the largest number of
asylum seekers in Europe this
year, totalling some 37,000 so far
in 2014, according to the UNHCR, a three-fold rise from 2013.
The vast majority are aged between 18 and 24.
But Eritrea said that the UNHCR was “part of the problem” for
automatically granting asylum
to those who survived the escape
out the country, and dismissed
its warnings of rising numbers as
“crocodile tears”.
It said the reports that over
6,200 had arrived in Ethiopia in
the past six weeks were part of a
“smear campaign”.
Hundreds cross the heavily
fortified and dangerous border
into arch-foe Ethiopia daily,
with reports by rights groups
saying people are struggling under Asmara’s repressive government. The entire national football team has defected twice.
Asmara said that the labelling
of its conscription that stretches
for years as “slave or forced labour” was “slanderous”. It said
the officially 18-month long
service is “prolonged only because of Ethiopia’s occupation
of sovereign Eritrea territories
and its continued belligerence in
breach of international law”.
Eritrea won independence
from Ethiopia in 1991 after three
decades of war, but returned to
battle in 1998-2000. They remain bitter enemies.
Seven others were declared
dead on arrival in hospital.
“Because of the pressure,
some people fell resulting in the
deaths and injuries,” Mubaiwa
said. “Police tried to rescue people but they were overwhelmed
by the crowds. It is unfortunate
that people wanted to rush out,
which made it difficult to contain the situation.”
A witness who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP:
“Common sense did not prevail,
especially on the security side.”
Church authorities could not
be reached for comment but
state television quoted spokeswoman Catherine Nyangoni
confirming the deaths and saying that the Pentecostal church
was working with the police to
establish the cause of the tragedy.
Magaya was quoted by the online version of the state-owned
Herald newspaper as saying that
although the incident occurred
after he left, he would take responsibility.
“This was our event and as a
church we have to take the blame
for the tragedy,” he was quoted
as saying.
Speaking on local radio on
Thursday night, Magaya – who
counts current and former government ministers among his
flock – said that he was “gutted”
by the incident.
“I rushed back to the venue
and it was very sad, the saddest
moment of my life,” he said.
“It is still too early to say what
caused the stampede but the fact
that the stampede took place at
the venue means that part of our
system failed to function.”
The government had yet to
Magaya’s is among a number
of emerging Pentecostal church-
Shining symbol of hope
300km south of Abuja to celebrate All Souls Day.
Pentecostal churches preaching prosperity are on the rise in
Africa, with impoverished and
desperate people travelling long
distances to attend sermons,
some seek healing from terminal
Zimbabwe, hit by economic
turmoil in recent years, has seen
a rise in the number of “prosperity gospel” pastors, who preach
that faith in Jesus Christ can lift
people out of poverty.
In a country where 80% of the
working population are unemployed, thousands flock to Pentecostal churches to contribute a
chunk of what little they have in
return for the promise of miracles to enrich them.
Walter Magaya started his
church in the working class
Harare suburb of Chitungwiza
in 2011 with less than 40 people.
A photo made available yesterday shows the art installation Sunstar by artist Christopher Swift on display on Signal Hill, above the city
of Cape Town. The 24m eight-pointed star was constructed using steel from the original fence that once surrounded Robben Island
where late former president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. As part of the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014, the
project sponsored by Sun International celebrates 20 years of democracy and commemorates on the first anniversary of Nelson
Mandela’s death. South African artist Swift hopes the work will act as a reminder of South Africa’s greatest story and a shining symbol of
hope for the future.
Scott is shown listening as US
President Barack Obama spoke
at the first Leaders’ Session of
the US-Africa Leaders Summit in
Washington in this August 6 file
“The central committee of the
PF has decided to suspend Dr
Guy Scott as acting president of
the party for unconstitutional
conduct and for abrogating the
party constitution,” PF central
committee member Malozo Si-
chone told a media briefing.
State-owned ZNBC radio later
quoted newly-promoted PF secretary general Bridget Atanga as
saying that the suspension was
invalid and illegal because only
the acting president of the party
has the power to convene a meeting of the central committee.
The PF is split over the contest
to replace Scott, with supporters of frontrunner and former
secretary general Edgar Lungu
saying that the 53-member central committee should pick the
party’s candidate.
Other aspirants, and Scott too,
want a vote by a general conference, made up of thousands of
Scott had been due to meet the
central committee this week to
decide on the selection process.
Questions about political stability in Africa’s second-largest
copper producer grew when
Scott п¬Ѓred Lungu as PF secretary
general on November 3 without
explaining why.
Scott reinstated him a day later
after Lungu’s dismissal triggered
street protests.
Lungu has insisted that he
remained party secretary general but has taken a “leave of absence” pending the election of
the PF president.
Sata, who was nicknamed
“King Cobra” because of his
sharp tongue, died in a London
hospital from an undisclosed illness last month at the age of 77.
He had been president of Zambia
since 2011.
Sata’s son Mulenga Sata, who
is mayor of Lusaka, and his widow Christine Kaseba are among
10 candidates who have said they
will run for the PF presidential
Pistorius spends his 28th birthday behind bars
Oscar Pistorius (pictured), serving a five-year
jail sentence for killing his girlfriend, turns 28
today – his first birthday behind bars, and a
world away from his former life.
Like the other convicted criminals in South
African jails, the double-amputee track star
is unlikely to get any special treatment at
Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison.
“I think his privileges at the moment are still
very limited because he just started,” said
Piet du Plessis, a Johannesburg-based lawyer
representing Radovan Krejcir, a notorious
Czech fugitive being held in the same prison
as Pistorius.
Due to his physical disability, Pistorius
is being held in the hospital ward of the
prison, shielding him from the often brutal
overcrowded cells, known for gang violence.
According to the department of correctional
services, he is allowed five one-hour-long visits
per month, and may receive cards for special
There is currently uncertainty over his prison
term, as the state is appealing his conviction
and “shockingly light” sentence.
The fallen Paralympian gold medallist, who
shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
at his upmarket home in Pretoria on the
early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, had
been accustomed to a life of luxury, beautiful
women and fast cars.
His athletic achievements made him a poster
boy for disability sport, attracting lucrative
endorsement deals.
By 2013 the congregation
had grown to 5,000 prompting
him to move his church from a
board room at a sports club to a
more spacious shed that previously served as a warehouse in
Harare’s industrial district.
Prominent п¬Ѓgures who attend
his services include Tourism
Minister Walter Mzembi, former
information deputy minister Bright Matonga and former
football association chief Henrietta Rushwaya.
Magaya refuses to give his exact age save to say that he is in
his early 30s.
He was voted in a survey
among the most influential Zimbabweans under 40.
He courted controversy when
a local businessman sued him for
The businessman later withdrew charges and apologised to
Magaya at a church service.
Ebola death toll rises
to 5,459, says WHO
Zambia’s president suspended as party leader
ambia’s ruling Patriotic
Front (PF) said yesterday that it had suspended
President Guy Scott as acting
head of the party for “unconstitutional conduct”, in the latest
twist of a bitter power struggle
ahead of a January election.
Underlining divisions within
the PF, its new secretary general
swiftly branded as null and void
the party’s decision to suspend
Scott, who became Africa’s first
white head of state in 20 years
when Michael Sata died last
Scott remains a member of the
PF and Zambia’s interim president. He is not eligible to stand in
the January 20 presidential vote
because his parents were British.
es whose followers are drawn by
promises of miracles.
An event organised by his
Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries in the capital
two weeks ago was attended by
around 200,000 people, according to local media.
Magaya says he is a protГ©gГ© of
Nigeria’s TB Joshua, who made
headlines worldwide in September following a fatal collapse at
his Lagos megachurch in which
116 people died.
In May 2013, four people were
killed in a stampede at a church
run by the Nigerian preacher.
The incident occurred when the
church began distributing free
holy water, purported to cure illnesses and protect against evil
Just six months later, 28 died
in another stampede in Nigeria
when about 100,000 worshippers gathered at a church about
He said he shot the 29-year-old model four
times through a locked bathroom door
because he thought she was an intruder.
He was found guilty of culpable homicide,
escaping a harsher murder conviction.
Prosecutors are challenging Judge Thokozile
Masipa’s interpretation of murder.
The application for appeal is set for December
he World Health Organisation (WHO) declared
yesterday that an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo was over
after no people showed symptoms for two incubation periods
since the last case.
The outbreak, the seventh in
the former Zaire since the virus was first identified there in
1976, was separate from the one
spreading in West Africa, where
more than 5,400 people have
There were 49 deaths out of
66 people infected in the remote
northwestern Equateur province during the three-month
outbreak, Congolese authorities
said last week.
A WHO spokesman confirmed
the п¬Ѓgures.
Two maximum incubation
periods of 21 days each must
pass with no new cases being
detected before the United Nations health agency can declare
that an outbreak is п¬Ѓnished.
“Having reached that 42-day
mark, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo is now considered
free of Ebola transmission,” the
WHO said in a statement.
he World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday that 5,459 people
had so far died of Ebola out of a
total 15,351 cases of infection in
eight countries since late December 2013.
The earlier WHO toll on
Wednesday gave a death toll of
5,420 and spoke of 15,145 cases.
The WHO believes that the
number of deaths is likely far
higher, given that the fatality
rate in the current outbreak is
known to be around 70%.
The deadliest Ebola outbreak ever continues to affect Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone the most.
But it appears to be slowing
in Liberia, allowing the hardest-hit country to lift its state
of emergency.
In its latest toll, the WHO
said that through to November 18, a total 2,963 people had
died in Liberia, out of 7,082
In Sierra Leone, 1,267 people
had died out of 6,190 cases, the
WHO said.
Guinea, where the outbreak
began late last year, counted
1,214 deaths and 2,047 cases.
Data from Mali, the latest country to be hit by Ebola,
showed six cases of the virus
which have all proved fatal.
Data from Nigeria and Senegal remained unchanged, and
both countries have been declared Ebola-free.
Nigeria had eight deaths and
20 cases, while Senegal had
one case and no deaths.
There has been one case of
infection in Spain, where an
infected nurse has recovered.
In the United States, four
Ebola cases have been recorded
and one person – a Liberian –
had died from the virus.
Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, is
spread only through direct
contact with the bodily fluids
of an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or
People caring for the sick or
handling the bodies of people
infected Ebola are especially
The WHO said a total of
588 healthcare workers were
known to have contracted the
virus, and 337 of them had
Ebola a wake-up call
for Africa: Machel
elson Mandela’s widow
Graca Machel said yesterday that the Ebola
epidemic should be a wake-up
call for African leaders, saying
it had exposed the “extreme
weakness” of African institutions.
In an address on the impact
on business of an epidemic
which has claimed more than
5,400 lives in west Africa,
Machel said the heavy toll was
“Ebola has exposed the extreme weaknesses of our institutions as governments, countries which are affected were
found totally unprepared,”
added the South African icon’s
“It’s time Africa began to
give real value to human life,
in other words African human
lives,” she told health sector
and business representatives.
“Let’s take lessons from this
outbreak,” she said of the epidemic ravaging Guinea, Liberia
and Sierra Leone. “Yesterday it
was HIV/Aids, today it’s Ebola,
tomorrow it can be something
“We can’t continue to be
unprepared as we are,” she
said. “We don’t seem to have
learned from the HIV epidemic.”
She insisted Ebola could
be defeated with “proper and
Machel: Let’s take lessons from
this outbreak.
strong health systems”.
The African Union (AU), African Development Bank and
regional business leaders earlier this month set up an Ebola
crisis fund, almost a year after
it was п¬Ѓrst detected in December last year.
Although Machel called the
AU’s reaction “too late and too
little”, she commended it for
eventually rallying the business community to help curb
the spread of the virus.
The fund saw African business leaders offer more than
$28mn to help the response to
the epidemic.
Southern Africa has so far
seen no cases of the virus.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
п¬Ѓled over
S House Republicans п¬Ѓled
a lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration over his signature
healthcare law and unilateral
actions they say amount to an
abuse of executive authority.
The suit, which Republicans
have threatened for months,
was п¬Ѓled in US District Court in
Washington against the secretaries of the Treasury and the Health
and Human Services Department
and focuses on the administration’s “unconstitutional and unlawful” rewriting of segments of
the law commonly referred to as
The legal action addresses
president’s unilateral move last
year to defer the Affordable Care
Act’s employer mandate, which
requires that employers with
50 or more workers offer health
coverage to their full-time staff
or pay п¬Ѓnes, until 2015.
It also challenges what Republicans described as illegally transferring about $175bn
to insurance companies under
Obamacare over the next 10
Congress has not appropriated
funds for the programme.
While the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the administration will
repay the cost-sharing subsidies,
the lawsuit charges that the administration is unconstitutionally using funds from a separate
Treasury account to pay the insurance companies.
“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the
will of the American people and
re-write federal law on his own
without a vote of Congress,”
House Speaker John Boehner
said in announcing the lawsuit.
“The House has an obligation to
stand up for the Constitution,
and that is exactly why we are
pursuing this course of action.”
Republicans framed the lawsuit as a broader challenge to
what they see is systematic executive overreach by the president.
“What we’re dealing with here
Obama gestures to reporters as he walks back to the White House in
Washington, DC. Obama forgot to take his Blackberry and returned to
pick it up before his departure to Las Vegas.
is bigger than Obamacare, bigger than an executive action,”
House Republican Mario DiazBalart told CNN. “It’s whether
the president of the United States
has the power to do whatever he
or she wants to do regardless of
whether the law allows him or
her to do that.”
Top House Democrat Nancy
Pelosi dismissed the “meritless
lawsuit” and said that it marks
Republican leadership bowing to
“impeachment-hungry extremists”.
The suit is the latest attempt
by the Republican-controlled
House to undermine the Affordable Care Act.
The House has voted dozens
of times to repeal the law, but the
Democratic-controlled Senate
has blocked the repeal efforts.
The lawyer representing the
case, Jonathan Turley, said in a
blog that the complaint focuses
on the administration’s “usurpation” of the House’s legislative
and budget authority
Following elections earlier this
month, Republicans will also
hold a majority in the US Senate
beginning in January, opening a
new path to legislative repudiation of Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
The New York Times reported
that Speaker of the House John
Boehner had trouble п¬Ѓnding a
lawyer to represent the case after
two lawyers withdrew.
Turley is a George Washington
University professor and a wellknown legal commentator in the
“After scouring Washington
for months, Republicans have
п¬Ѓnally found a TV lawyer to п¬Ѓle
their meritless lawsuit,” Pelosi
said in a statement yesterday.
“The legislative branch cannot
sue simply because they disagree
with the way a law passed by a
different Congress has been implemented,” she said.
Boehner has charged that
Obama tries to “make his own
laws” and is violating the constitutional separation of powers.
He also cites Obama’s use of
executive action to accomplish
things that they have blocked
– the immigration relief programme Obama announced late
on Thursday, for example, as well
as actions to cut carbon emissions from coal plants.
Democrats have charged that
Republicans are choosing lawsuits over legislating such issues.
The conservative party has
refused to bring an immigration
reform measure – already approved by the Senate – to a vote.
Informed of House efforts to
п¬Ѓle a lawsuit against him before
the July vote, Obama quipped:
“So sue me.”
Obama immigration plan
riles Republicans, states
New York
he morning after President Barack Obama announced his sweeping
action to overhaul the US immigration system, conservative
groups and states were already
pulling together legal strategies
to dismantle the plan.
Opponents said there will likely be a three-pronged legal approach to stymie Obama’s moves:
Congress could sue the president
for constitutional overreach,
states could п¬Ѓle lawsuits arguing
the action strains local п¬Ѓnances,
or individuals could try to prove
they’ve been harmed by the order.
Just hours after the speech, an
Arizona sheriff п¬Ѓled suit arguing
the reform is unconstitutional.
“There is going to be massive
litigation all over the place because there is tremendous legal
confusion about what the administration is doing and what
the states’ obligations will be,”
said Dan Stein from the Federation for American Immigration
Reform (FAIR), which calls for
restrictions on immigration.
While law scholars say the
president is on strong legal footing, a flurry of lawsuits will cause
headaches for the Obama administration in its п¬Ѓnal two years and
may stir public opinion against a
policy meant to be one of his signature triumphs.
Obama’s healthcare plan, another major political victory
for the President, has also been
mired in legal challenges with
opponents taking suits all the
way to the Supreme Court.
Just yesterday, Republicans in
the US House of Representatives
п¬Ѓled a long-anticipated lawsuit
challenging Obamacare (see lead
States are already lining up to
sue over Obama’s immigration
action, under which he plans to
grant temporary legal status to
some 4.4mn undocumented immigrants who are parents of US
citizens and legal permanent
“With this action the president has chosen to deliberately
sabotage any chance of enacting
bipartisan reforms he claims to
seek,” House Speaker John Boehner declared yesterday. “We are
working with our members and
looking at the options that are
available to us. But I will say to
you: the House will in fact act.”
In a prime-time address,
Obama said nearly a dozen commanders-in-chief before him
have acted unilaterally over the
past half century on some facet
Flooding ahead for snowy New York
Evans, New York
Right: Demonstrators protest
against Obama over
immigration reform outside Del
Sol High School in Las Vegas.
of immigration reform.
“There are actions I have the
legal authority to take as president – the same kinds of actions
taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me – that
will help make our immigration
system more fair and more just,”
Obama said in his speech.
Republicans were not buying
“The constitution does not
grant the president the power to
act as a one-man legislature by
appealing to �tradition’,” Republican National Committee (RNC)
chairman Reince Priebus fumed
on Twitter.
The RNC also urged opponents of the reform to contribute
money to the party to help п¬Ѓght
the order.
Obama was quick to stress that
the sweeping order “does not
grant citizenship, or the right to
stay here permanently, or offer
the same benefits that citizens
“Only Congress can do that,”
he added. “All we’re saying is
we’re not going to deport you.”
Republicans are not buying it.
Lawmakers should push back
against Obama’s “illegal powergrab”, said Senator John McCain,
a Republican who helped craft
immigration legislation that
passed the Senate but died in the
Republican House.
But he has warned against provoking another shutdown like
the one in 2013 that was blamed
on Republicans.
“Congress must be creative
in using all the tools in our toolbox – including mounting a legal
challenge – to oppose the president’s action,” he said.
Conservative Senator Ted Cruz
urged fellow senators to block
Obama’s choices for ambassadorial and administration posts, as
well as judgeships.
Republican governors Scott
Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks with the media after meeting with soldiers of the New
York Army National Guard’s 152nd Engineer Company as they assist in snow removal efforts in Buffalo,
New York, in this handout photo provided by the US Army National Guard.
to six feet (152-183cm) of water,
Erie County Executive Mark
Poloncarz said.
To prepare, area residents said
they were moving valuables out
of their basements.
Sections of the New York
State Thruway will reopen to
move vehicles and help remove
snow, Cuomo said.
Some 225 km of the thruway
had been closed.
So far, at least 13 deaths have
been blamed on the weather.
The most recent reported
death was a person found buried
in snow in a car in Cheektowaga,
while two nursing home residents died in an evacuation of
a Cheektowaga facility, officials
Two people on Thursday died
of exposure. Erie County officials said they had suffered
mental illness and were found
Eight deaths were reported
earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, a Buffalo Bills
home game scheduled for tomorrow against the New York
Jets was moved to Monday in
Detroit due to public safety
concerns, the National Football
League said.
The National Hockey League
postponed the Buffalo Sabres’
home game against the New
York Rangers yesterday.
of Texas and Pat McCrory of
North Carolina have all voiced
support for taking legal action
without giving further details.
Oklahoma Attorney-General
Scott Pruitt also announced his
intention to sue.
Still, making a legal case will
be an uphill battle.
Presidents historically have
had wide discretion to act alone
on immigration and under a
concept known as “prosecutorial discretion”, can decide to not
enforce every violation of federal
law when resources are limited.
In a 33-page legal memo, the
Department of Justice said the
action falls within the bounds of
the constitution and that Congress has supported favourable
treatment of law-abiding immigrants with deep US ties.
Tributes stream in for Graduate
director Nichols, dead at 83
Los Angeles
and rain were forecast
for the weekend in
the city of Buffalo and western
New York, bringing the threat
of widespread flooding to the
region bound for days by deep
Areas where several feet of
snow fell this week should brace
for significant, widespread
flooding, the National Weather
Service (NWS) warned yesterday.
Swept by lake effect storms,
parts of western New York including Buffalo, received as
much as 2m of snow, an amount
equal to a year’s worth of accumulation for the region.
Such storms occur when
cold air moves across warmer
Great Lake waters and can dump
heavy snowfall when they hit
Temperatures in western New
York will stay above freezing
through Tuesday night, with
highs of nearly 10В° Celsius (50В°
Fahrenheit) tomorrow and nearly 16В° C on Monday, the NWS
“The warming will bring
melting. The melting will bring
water. Water will bring floods,”
New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo said at a news conference. “We are preparing now
for more flooding than we have
seen in a long, long time. We’ve
never had this much snow and
this much melting of this much
snow in a short period of time.”
Some areas should expect п¬Ѓve
US-born Edith Valdez attends
an immigration reform rally
with her undocumented mother
Margarita Valdez, at the Atlanta
City Detention Centre. The rally
was part of a national �Chant
Down the Walls’ day of protest,
according to organisers.
ributes poured in yesterday for Oscar-winning
director Mike Nichols, the
creative force behind countless
classic American п¬Ѓlms and plays
including The Graduate, after his
death aged 83.
The legendary п¬Ѓlmmaker directed nearly two dozen movies
in all, among them the timeless
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
and lighter fare with a contemporary edge like Working Girl.
Nichols is one of the rare п¬Ѓgures in American entertainment
to have earned an “EGOT”, having been honoured with at least
one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and
Tony award.
“This is a seismic loss,” said
fellow director Steven Spielberg.
“Mike was a friend, a muse, a
mentor, one of America’s alltime greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known.”
Nichols was a member of
American entertainment royalty,
being married for many years to
celebrated ABC television news
Nichols and his wife, ABC news
anchor Diane Sawyer, at the
world premiere of Charlie
Wilson’s War in Los Angeles in
this 2007 file photo.
presenter Diane Sawyer.
ABC, which announced his
death, said Nichols died of cardiac arrest late on Wednesday.
Nichols – an immigrant whose
work featured incisive takes on
American society over several
decades – won a best director
Oscar in 1968 for The Graduate.
He also was awarded seven
Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards,
and a Grammy in 1961 for Best
Comedic Performance with his
long-time artistic partner, Elaine
Meryl Streep, who worked
several times with Nichols, called
him “an inspiration and joy to
know ... a friend without whom,
well, we can’t imagine our world,
an indelible irreplaceable man”.
Paul Simon, who wrote the
song Mrs Robinson for The
Graduate, said simply: “My dear
friend of 47 years. I love and admire Mike Nichols”, while Art
Garfunkel told Billboard: “To act
for him on camera was to glide on
a liquid film of intelligence.”
Tom Hanks, who played the
title role in the 2007 film Charlie Wilson’s War, cited one of the
director’s own sayings in paying
tribute to him.
“Forward. We must always
move forward. Otherwise what
will become of us?” Hanks said,
cited by industry journal Variety.
ABC News said the Nichols
family will hold a small, private
service for him later this week,
and a memorial service at a later
Woman with gun arrested at White House: Secret Service
A 23-year-old woman armed with a handgun was
arrested outside the White House late on Thursday,
US Secret Service officials said.
The Secret Service identified her as April Lenhart of
Mount Morris, Michigan.
“Lenhart was participating in a demonstration along
the north fence line of the White House complex
when Secret Service personnel monitoring the
demonstration observed a holstered handgun on
Lenhart’s front hip,” said the agency.
Lenhart was arrested and charged with possession
of an unregistered firearm, possession of
unregistered ammunition and carrying a pistol
without a licence, the Secret Service said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Uighur scholar’s appeal
against life sentence rejected
Martial law to stay
in Thailand: minister
6.5-quake hits eastern
Indonesia, no tsunami alert
Malaysian diplomat denies
sexual assault in NZ
Sea Shepherd to fight for
Patagonian toothfish
A Chinese court yesterday rejected an appeal
against a life sentence handed to a prominent
scholar from the mostly-Muslim Uighur minority, as a 70-year-old journalist stood trial in a
deepening crackdown on dissent. Rights groups
have decried both cases as an effort to silence
critics of the ruling Communist Party, which in
recent years has stepped-up a campaign against
activists, lawyers, academics and journalists who
fail to toe the party line. Ilham Tohti, 45, had been
an outspoken critic of China’s policies towards
the Uighur minority in their homeland of Xinjiang,
which has been hit by a wave of violence.
Thailand’s martial law will not be lifted for the
foreseeable future, the justice minister said yesterday, despite an earlier pledge to lift the law
in some provinces to help the tourism industry
which has struggled since a military coup in
May. The announcement comes as Thailand
prepares to enter its peak tourism season,
over the Christmas and New Year period. The
tourism sector accounts for nearly 10% of GDP.
Thailand expects around 25mn tourists this
year, down amn from 2013, the government
said this month, thanks in part to protests in
Bangkok that kept many visitors away.
A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesian islands yesterday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), but no tsunami alert was issued.
The undersea quake, at a depth of 38 kilometres (24
miles), struck the Molucca Sea between Sulawesi
and the Maluku chain of islands. “The quake was
felt strongly for five seconds, causing people
to run from their homes,” the National Disaster
Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo
Nugroho said. The quake was initially measured at
6.9-magnitude and 48 kilometres in depth but was
later revised by the USGS to 6.5 in strength and 10
kilometres shallower than earlier reported.
A former Malaysian diplomat in New Zealand
accused of sexual assault denied the charge and
elected a trial by jury when he appeared in court
yesterday. Mohamed Rizalman Ismail, 38, was
extradited to New Zealand last month after leaving the country under diplomatic immunity when
first charged in May. In his latest court hearing he
denied charges of burglary and assault with intent to commit sexual violation and will reappear
in court next February. Following an earlier court
appearance, Rizalman is on bail at an undisclosed
address but has had to surrender his passport
and is under a nighttime curfew.
The Sea Shepherd organisation is setting out to save
the Patagonian toothfish from illegal fishers after
years of fighting to save whales in remote southern
oceans, a media report said yesterday. Japan is not
hunting for whales in the Southern Ocean this year
following years of protests and legal action, but up
to six illegal fishing boats are catching the prized
deep water toothfish which can sell for up to $100
a kilogram. Captain of the ship Bob Barker of the
Sea Shepherd group, Peter Hammarstedt, told the
Australian broadcaster ABC in Hobart yesterday they
will leave on December 1 for a very remote part of
the Southern Ocean to disrupt the illegal fishers.
Japan PM seeks verdict on
�Abenomics’ in snap poll
Proud moment
Doubts grow about
“Abenomics” after data
showed recession;
Abe voter support
at lowest since took office,
39 pct; Vote set for Dec 14
rime Minister Shinzo Abe
lower house yesterday
for a snap election on Dec 14,
seeking a fresh mandate for his
struggling “Abenomics” revival
strategy just two years after he
returned to power promising
that “Japan is Back”.
Abe had vowed to revive the
economy with a mix of hypereasy monetary policy, government spending and reforms,
while moving ahead with plans
to rein in Japan’s massive public debt. But doubts have grown
about his strategy, especially
after data showed this week that
the economy had surprisingly
slipped into recession in the
third quarter after an initial rise
in the sales tax to 8% from April.
“This is an �Abenomics’ snap
election. Will �Abenomics’ go
forward, or stop in its tracks?
That is the question in this election,” Abe told a news conference.
“Are our economic policies a
mistake, or are they correct? Is
there really any other way? This
is what we want to ask all the
Abe has said he would delay
for 18 months a second tax hike
to 10% that had been slated for
October 2015.
He pledged that the second
increase, which advocates say is
needed to fund the bulging so-
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo yesterday.
cial security costs of a fast-ageing population, would go ahead
in April 2017.
No general election needed to
be held until late 2016, and surveys show around two-thirds of
voters are wondering why Abe is
taking the plunge now.
“The whole reason is a bit
unclear, or a bit trivial,” said Yutaka Watanabe, a middle-aged
tourist snapping a photo of the
parliament building yesterday
But the prime minister hopes
to cement his grip on power before his support ratings slip too
far. Next year, he plans to tackle
unpopular policies such as restarting reactors that went offline after the 2011 Fukushima
nuclear crisis.
An Asahi newspaper poll
published yesterday showed
Abe’s support fell to 39% — the
lowest since he took office in
December 2012 — and just a bit
more than the 40% who do not
back him.
Still, 37% said they would
vote for Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in proportional
districts, compared with 13% who
planned to vote for the main
opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ). About 30% were
“Unfortunately, the DPJ has
not recovered to a point where
we can say to voters, �Entrust
the government to us’,” DPJ Secretary General Yukio Edano told
a news conference.
The Democrats were trounced
in 2012 after three years in power. Edano said the DPJ wanted
to give voters a choice between
Abe’s “trickle down” policies
that critics say favour the rich
and big firms, and the Democrats’ “bottom up” strategy that
focuses on the middle class.
Faced with a weak and di-
vided opposition, the LDP and
its junior partner, the Komeito
party, are not expected to lose
their majority in the lower
house, where they held twothirds of the 480 seats.
There will be 475 seats up for
grabs this time after reforms
to rebalance between sparsely
populated rural districts and
dense urban areas.
Abe said he would resign if
his coalition failed to win a majority, an outcome experts dismissed as almost impossible,
though he could end up weakened if the LDP loses too many
one to ten. Song Siling, who is trying for a baby with his
girlfriend, shut his eyes and grimaced as the needle on
the electrode monitor inched forward with a beep.
“It felt like my heart and lungs were being ripped apart,”
said Song, who made it to level seven before frantically
waving to the nurse to turn off the system.
Others dropped out within minutes when they couldn’t
take the pain.
Despite their obvious discomfort, the on-duty nurse said
the simulations could never match the torment of actual
childbirth. “Still, if men can experience this pain, then
they’ll be more loving and caring to their wives,” said Lou
Dezhu. Wu Jianlong, who braved the pain right up to
Aussie minister writes
to Obama over
concerns for reef
ustralia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop said yesterday she had written to
US President Barack Obama to
stress efforts being made by the
government to protect the Great
Barrier Reef.
“I thought it important that
he actually had the facts and
details of what we’re doing
to support the preservation
and conservation of the
Great Barrier Reef...”
The move comes after Obama
said in a speech focusing on climate change in Brisbane during
the G20 summit that he wanted
his grandchildren to be able to
see the Great Barrier Reef in 50
years time.
Bishop told the Austral-
ian broadcaster ABC Radio
there was “an issue” regarding
Obama’s statement and that he
might have overlooked the Australian government’s commitment to conserving the reef.
She said she sent a briefing
note to the White House after
Obama’s comments.
“I thought it important that he
actually had the facts and details
of what we’re doing to support
the preservation and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef,
and we are committed to it.”
Scientists have said warmer
oceans will have a drastic effect
on the coral, and there have been
protests at government plans to
expand coal shipping through
the reef.
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the
University of Queensland Global
Change Institute told the Sydney
Morning Herald the reef had already shrunk by half in the past
30 years.
HK activists protest
outside British consulate
Hong Kong
Hospital gives men chance to experience pain of childbirth
A hospital in eastern China is offering fathers-to-be a
chance to experience the pain of childbirth after several
new moms complained they got little sympathy from
their partners.
Free sessions are held twice a week at Aima maternity
hospital in Shandong province and about 100 men have
signed up to be tortured.
Most are expectant dads but there are thrill seekers too
among the volunteers for “taster sessions”.
For the simulations, pads attached to a device are placed
above the abdomen, giving electric shocks that induce
pain. The test subjects writhe in agony for up to five minutes as a nurse gradually raises the intensity on a scale of
Winner of the 2014 World Muslimah Awards Fatma Ben
Guefrache of Tunis holds her trophy in Yogyakarta yesterday.
An eclectic mix of women from around the world competed
in the final of a pageant exclusively for Muslims in Indonesia,
seen as a riposte to Western beauty contests.
level 10, says the experience radically altered his views on
“Because all women have children and it usually takes
quite a long time, I had thought of it as being something
really natural, something really normal that they can get
through,” he said.
Wu, whose wife is three months pregnant, yelled in pain
and clenched his fists before giving in and begging the
nurse to stop -- he had reached the maximum limit by
then. Unlike in the West, Chinese men are often not in
the room when their partners or wives give birth. Some
state-run hospitals do not allow expectant dads to enter,
even if they want to.
ozens of protesters gathered outside Hong Kong’s
British consulate yesterday, accusing the former colonial power of failing to pressure
China to grant free elections in
the city and protect freedoms
guaranteed in a joint treaty.
The demonstration comes
after the last UK governor of
the territory Chris Patten urged
Britain to emulate the US in offering more strident support to
democracy protests that erupted
nearly two months ago.
Up to 100 people assembled
outside the embassy, some waving the yellow umbrellas that
have become the symbol of prodemocracy occupations that
have paralysed parts of the city.
“The UK is obligated to solve
the problem... Britain bears half
of the responsibility as it signed
the joint declaration,” 21-yearold student organiser Daniel Ma
told reporters.
Britain and China are signatories of the 1984 Sino-British
Joint Declaration, an agreement that enshrines rights and
freedoms unavailable on the
mainland. It also asserts that
“the current social and economic systems in Hong Kong will
remain unchanged” for the 50
years following the 1997 handover. Pro-democracy groups
say Beijing has breached the
China president targets strategic ties in Pacific
hinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Fiji yesterday on a whirlwind
visit aimed at strengthening
economic and strategic ties
with Pacific island nations.
Xi’s visit comes after Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
head of the world’s largest democracy, stopped over in Fiji to
also court regional leaders who
form one of the largest voting
blocs at the UN.
Both leaders have targeted
the Pacific as a vital stop on
their way home from the recent
Group of 20 summit in Australia.
Xi, who has already established a rapport with Fiji after
visiting four years ago as vice
president of China, will hold
talks with Fiji’s 2006 coup leader and recently elected prime
minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Today, he will then meet a
delegation of up to eight Pacific
island leaders.
“An important agenda of my
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (third right) and Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy (centre)
introduce a cow called Goldwinshine to Chinese President Xi Jinping, an exhibit at the Karaka Agitech
Event in Auckland yesterday. Xi later headed to Fiji to meet leaders from Pacific island nations.
visit is to invite leaders of all
Pacific island countries that
have diplomatic ties with China
to Fiji for discussions on ways to
further grow China’s relations
with these countries and jointly
draw a blueprint for the bright
future of our friendly exchanges
and mutually beneficial co-operation,” Xi said in a statement
released ahead of his arrival.
“The friendly exchanges be-
tween the people of China and
Pacific Island countries date
back to a long time ago. We
feel a natural kinship with each
Countries involved in the
talks along with Fiji include
Samoa, Vanuatu, Niue, Tonga,
Federated States of Micronesia,
Cook Islands and Papua New
Guinea. Papua New Guinea
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill,
who missed Modi’s meeting,
described China as a friend of
the Pacific island states.
“China believes that all
countries are equal members
of the international community
irrespective of their size, wealth
and strength,” he said.
Sydney-based foreign policy
think tank The Lowy Institute
has estimated that from 200511 China handed out $600mn in
so-called “soft loans” to Pacific
countries such as Tonga, Samoa
and Fiji. Fiji television showed
live coverage of Xi’s plane landing at Nadi airport, having made
the journey from New Zealand,
a country with which China
agreed to expand its burgeoning
trade relationship.
Among 17 new partnerships
signed in New Zealand was one
between Air New Zealand and
Air China which paves the way
for a strategic alliance on services between the countries.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Phone-hacking editor
Coulson freed from prison
Labour MP forced to quit
over �snobbish’ tweet
Rare tapeworm removed
from man’s brain
Another student
suffering from meningitis
Russia urged to shut
down webcam spying site
Andy Coulson, the former newspaper editor, was
released from prison yesterday after serving his
sentence for phone-hacking, the justice ministry
said. Coulson served less than five months of the
18-month sentence handed down at the Old Bailey
in July after he was found guilty of conspiring to
intercept voice-mails at the now-defunct Sunday
News of the World tabloid. Inmates in Britain can
be released under home detention arrangements
before they have served half of their term, the
justice ministry said ahead of his release. Coulson
left Hollesley Bay, an open prison in Suffolk,
yesterday morning and said nothing to waiting
reporters, the BBC reported.
Labour MP Emily Thornberry complained she
was a victim of “prejudices about Islington” before
being forced to resign in a snobbery row. The
Islington South and Finsbury MP denied “sneering”
when she tweeted a picture of a Rochester house
draped with England flags and with a white van
parked outside the door. Appearing surprised that
her tweet caused a furore, she said: “This was a
house covered in the flag so you couldn’t see out of
the windows and it was a striking image.” The MP’s
suggestion that some critics were biased against a
London borough synonymous with the chattering
classes failed to convince other MPs. Labour MP
John Mann said the tweet was “horrendous”.
Scientists in Britain have removed a rare tapeworm
that lived in a man’s brain for four years. The
parasite travelled five centimetres from the right
side of the brain to the left. The tapeworm causes
sparganosis, an inflammation of body tissues that
can cause seizures, memory loss and headaches.
The patient is now “systemically well”, the
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said. It was the first
time the tapeworm, Spirometra erinaceieuropaei,
was reported in Britain. Only 300 cases have been
reported since 1953. The tapeworm is thought to
be caught by accidentally eating small infected
crustaceans from lakes, eating raw amphibian or
reptile meat.
A second student has been confirmed as suffering
from meningitis following the death of an 18-yearold woman earlier this month. The 18-year-old
man lives in the same halls of residence as fellow
student Alisha Bartolini, who collapsed and
died from the infection after she returned to her
accommodation following a Halloween night
out. The Liverpool Hope University male student
is said to be recovering well in hospital from
the meningococcal infection, said Public Health
England. Students who have lived in Austin Hall
on the Hope Park Campus in Childwall since the
start of term have been offered antibiotics as a
precautionary measure.
A Russian website offering thousands of live
feeds peering into bedrooms and offices around
the world by accessing poorly secured webcams
should be taken down immediately, British
officials said. The Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO) said the site was taking advantage
of devices like CCTV cameras and remote-access
baby monitors that lack security protection or
have weak passwords. “I want the Russians to take
this down straight away,” Christopher Graham,
the information commissioner, told BBC radio. In
Britain, the ICO said around 500 feeds had been
targeted, including a gym in Manchester, a house
in Birmingham, and an office in Leicester.
Blow for PM
as Ukip takes
second seat
in parliament
of truckers
likely to hit
shortage of truckers on
Britain’s roads could leave
Christmas shoppers out
in the cold as tough new rules for
drivers kick in.
Hauliers are getting creative training warehouse staff to drive,
hiring truckers from abroad, even
turning to the army - to minimise
disruption from a Europe-wide licensing scheme that requires drivers to undergo extra training.
The logistics industry in Britain,
where more than 60% of goods
move by road, is 60,000 drivers
short as peak season begins, according to the UK Commission for
Employment and Skills.
The seasonal advice from
McLoughlin to Britons last week:
Get your shopping done soon.
New legislation demands that,
from September 10, most commercial truck, bus and coach drivers hold a driver certificate of professional competence (CPC).
At about £3,000 per HGV driver, the qualification doesn’t come
That cost estimate, according to
two trade bodies, includes 35 hours
of mandatory government-approved training every п¬Ѓve years - a
cause of much grumbling among
experienced hands in a country
where most HGV drivers are in
their mid-50s.
“Some of the older drivers
don’t really understand why they
need to do this,” said Jamie Boyd,
managing director of haulage п¬Ѓrm
Today Team and himself a former
truck driver.
The cost is also prohibitive for
many drivers who work on shortterm contracts and those who
come out of retirement in peak
Peter Shakespeare, head of publications at the Road Haulage Association, a trade body, said some
companies “can’t get the additional drivers they need”.
Wincanton, whose customers include Tesco and J Sainsbury,
employs more than 4,000 fulltime drivers. Contract workers
typically boost this number by
nearly a third around Christmas.
Mark Reckless, Ukip’s second member of parliament, is followed out of St Stephen’s entrance of the
Houses of Parliament by Ukip’s first MP Douglas Carswell in Westminster, London, yesterday.
Cable & Wireless �helped
Britain spy on the world’
elecommunications п¬Ѓrm
Cable & Wireless helped
Britain eavesdrop on millions of Internet users worldwide,
Channel 4 reported, citing previously secret documents leaked by
a fugitive former US National Security Agency contractor.
Cable & Wireless, which was
bought by Vodafone in 2012, provided British spies with traffic
from rival foreign communications companies, the Channel 4
television said, citing documents
stolen by Edward Snowden.
Channel 4 said Cable & Wireless gave the GCHQ eavesdropping agency access by renting
space on one of the arteries of
global communications, a cable
that runs to the southern English
region of Cornwall.
The Channel 4 report, which
was impossible to immediately
verify given the secrecy of the
surveillance programmes, said
Cable & Wireless carried out
surveillance on Internet traffic
through its networks on behalf of
British spies.
The documents cited in the report were not shown on Channel
4’s website. But previous disclosures by Snowden have illustrated
the scale of US and British eavesdropping on everything from
phone calls and e-mails to Internet and social media.
Some telecommunications and
Internet companies in Britain and
the US were asked or forced to cooperate with the eavesdropping
programmes, according to previous media reports.
When asked for comment on
the Channel 4 report, Vodafone
said in a statement that it had
examined the history of Cable &
Wireless compliance and found
no evidence that would substantiate the allegations. “We have
found no indication whatsoever
of unlawful activity within Vodafone or Cable & Wireless and
we do not recognise any of the UK
intelligence agency programmes
identified,” it said in a statement.
“Furthermore, Vodafone does not
own or operate the cables referred
It added that national laws require it to disclose some information about its customers to law
enforcement agencies or other
government authorities when
asked to do so.
In the wake of the Snowden
revelations, GCHQ was accused
by privacy groups and some lawmakers of illegally monitoring
electronic communications.
Ministers denied any illegality and top spies dismissed suspicions of sinister intent, saying
they sought only to defend the
liberties of Western democracies.
GCHQ declined to comment
on the Channel 4 report. Andrew
Parker, director general of MI5,
Britain’s domestic security service, warned last year that the revelations from Snowden, who now
lives in Moscow, were a gift to terrorists because they had exposed
GCHQ’s ability to track, listen and
watch plotters.
“We have found no indication
whatsoever of unlawful activity within Vodafone or Cable &
Wireless and we do not recognise
any of the UK intelligence agency
programmes identified”
K Independence Party
(Ukip) celebrated winning
its second parliament seat
in a blow for the government that
further fragments the political
landscape ahead of next year’s
general election.
Mark Reckless was re-elected in Rochester and Strood in
southeast England, after defecting from Prime Minister David
Cameron’s Conservative Party
to Ukip, which wants Britain to
leave the European Union and put
strict quotas on immigration.
Furious campaigning by the
Conservatives failed to stem the
Ukip advance and their candidate
lagged behind on 35% with Reckless at 42%.
Cameron promised to “throw
everything” at Thursday’s byelection battle and visited the
constituency himself п¬Ѓve times
to campaign.
Reacting to the defeat, the
prime minister vowed he was
“absolutely determined to win”
the seat back in next year’s national vote, but Ukip leader Nigel
Farage insisted he was “absolutely confident” his camp would
hold it. In his acceptance speech,
Reckless made an appeal to all
voters to make Ukip the kingmaker at the general election in
May 2015 in the increasingly likely outcome of a hung parliament
in which no party has an overall
“Whatever constituency you
live in, whatever your former
party allegiance, think about
what it would mean to have a
bloc of Ukip MPs at Westminster
Two killed in accident
large enough to hold the balance
of power,” Reckless said. “If you
believe that the world is bigger
than Europe, if you believe in an
independent Britain, then come
with us and we will give you back
your country.”
Farage hailed a “huge, huge
victory”. “They (the Conservatives) threw the kitchen sink at it,
but despite their boasts, we have
beaten the ruling party of the day
in this life and death struggle,” he
told Sky News.
It is the second seat snatched
by Ukip after another Conservative defector, Douglas Carswell,
won Ukip its п¬Ѓrst elected seat in
the national parliament in a September by-election in Clacton.
“If you believe that the
world is bigger than
Europe, if you believe in
an independent Britain,
then come with us and we
will give you back your
Speculation over further defections to Ukip swirled after
Reckless suggested two more
Conservative lawmakers could
switch - an idea quickly dismissed by senior Conservative
Cameron has already promised a referendum on Britain’s
EU membership if his party wins
next year’s general election and
has taken a harder stance on immigration in a bid to reassure wavering voters.
The opposition Labour Party
has been forced to do the same as
polls show rising pro-Ukip sentiment among disgruntled former
supporters. Experts said the latest vote result could prove a key
Give English MPs veto
on English laws: govt
Guardian News and Media
A forensic officer photographs a cordoned off area at
Cadogan Square in Chelsea, west London, yesterday.
Two people died and several others were injured when a
balcony collapsed, local media reported.
moment in the history of British
politics, proving Ukip can attract
a broad range of voters.
“Ukip was not supposed to win
this by-election,” said Matthew
Goodwin, politics professor at
Nottingham University.
The growing support for Ukip
is likely to make it harder for either the centre-right Conservative Party or the centre-left Labour Party to win an outright
majority in what is set to be
closely-fought election in May.
“All bets are off for the general
election next year, literally anything could happen,” said Farage.
questioned whether Thursday’s
by-election might be a protest
vote that could wane as the general election approaches. “I think
what you’re broadly seeing is the
voters using by-elections as a
means of expressing their discontent at all the mainstream
parties,” said political commentator and columnist for the Daily
Telegraph Dan Hodges.
National opinion polls show
Labour slightly ahead of the Conservatives, each with roughly a
third of the vote, and Ukip’s support steadily rising.
A YouGov poll for The Sun
showed Ukip at 14%, the Liberal
Democrats at seven percent and
the Green party at six percent.
showed the two main parties that
have dominated post-war politics are losing support to insurgent parties on the left and right,
mirroring trends across Europe
and leaving pollsters puzzled
about the possible make-up of
the next parliament, and who will
form the government.
nglish MPs should as a matter of principle be given a
veto over legislation affecting only England, David Cameron
has said.
The prime minister also revealed he expected Northern Ireland to be given powers to set its
own corporation tax - probably
through an announcement in the
autumn statement next month.
He ruled out changes to the
Barnett formula that distributes
cash to Scotland, but said the
mechanism’s importance will diminish as Holyrood is given more
tax raising and borrowing powers.
For the п¬Ѓrst time Cameron suggested he would be willing to see
universal credit transferred to the
Scottish parliament as part of a
transfer of powers over welfare to
Scotland, but said the basic state
pension should remain the preserve of the UK.
Cameron was facing the Commons liaison committee of senior
select committee chairs, where he
was cross-examined on devolution and the future of legislation
affecting only England, or only
England and Wales.
He said the two issues of Scottish devolution and English votes
for English laws were not linked.
But if the Conservatives were
re-elected voters would get both
further devolution to Scotland
and the principle of only English
MPs voting on legislation affecting England, he added.
Cameron also said it was mystifying and unsatisfactory that
the Labour party would not engage with the issue of English
votes for English laws. The issue is being studied in a cabinet
committee chaired by the leader
of the house, William Hague, but
Labour has said it will not participate, arguing it should be part of
a wider constitutional convention that would meet after the
Cameron said: “Decision time
is coming pretty soon because if
we are going to have something
available on a similar timetable
to Scottish devolution then you
need to set our proposals before
the election in the early part of
next year so each party can put in
its manifesto about what they are
going to do.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Dutch teen remanded after mum rescues her from IS
blonde, blue-eyed Dutch
19-year-old who was rescued by her mother after
marrying an Islamic State п¬Ѓghter
in Syria, was ordered yesterday to
be detained pending possible terror charges.
A convert to Islam who travelled to Syria in February to marry an IS п¬Ѓghter she saw as a Robin
Hood п¬Ѓgure, Aicha was arrested
after landing back in the Netherlands with her mother Monique
on Wednesday.
The court in her southern
hometown of Maastricht has ordered her continued detention on
suspicion of “crimes threatening
state security”.
“Today the examining judge
has reviewed the custody order
of Aicha and concluded that it
was lawful,” court spokesman
Marc Bax told journalists after
the hearing.
Another hearing on Tuesday
will decide if the young woman,
known as Sterlina before she
adopted an Arab name, should be
held for another 14 days and possibly charged.
Public prosecutor Martina Bijker said that if Aicha were found
to have fought alongside IS she
could face up to 30 years in prison.
“Aicha is accused of joining
a criminal organisation in Syria
with the intent of joining criminals with terrorist activities,” Bijker said.
“We are still not sure what
happened and what the charge
will ultimately be or if there will
be a charge,” he added.
As is routine in the preliminary
stage of Dutch prosecutions, Aicha’s family name was not made
European nations are increasingly concerned about returning
jihadist п¬Ѓghters, but the question
of what to do with women who
travel to Iraq and Syria but do not
п¬Ѓght is a thorny one.
The authorities have barred
Monique and Aicha’s lawyers
from talking to the press because
of the sensitivity of the case.
However, Monique, 49, has
previously spoken at length to
Dutch media about her daughter,
who “liked going out, playing the
piano and listening to music”.
She told Dutch television that
her daughter п¬Ѓrst came home
with the Bible, and then with the
Qur’an. She converted to Islam
and began wearing a face-covering niqab.
The turning point came when
Aicha saw an interview on Dutch
television with a Dutch-Turkish
jihadist п¬Ѓghter, Omar Yilmaz.
Yilmaz, a former soldier in the
Dutch army who also did national service in Turkey, is one
of a group of Dutch jihadists who
have travelled to Syria where he is
training п¬Ѓghters for the IS group.
“Look at that man, it’s so good
what he’s doing,” Aicha allegedly
told her mother, who said she saw
him as a Robin Hood п¬Ѓgure.
Dutch authorities confiscated Aicha’s passport to prevent
her travelling to Syria following
warnings from a friend. But she
managed to travel with a simple
identity card – which is obligatory in the Netherlands.
New Ukrainian govt
declares Nato plans
ABove: Poroshenko listens as Biden makes a
statement after their meeting yesterday.
Left: A woman walks past a photo exhibition that
marks the first anniversary of the Euromaidan
Revolution in Kiev.
Below: Tymoshenko with Prime Minister Yatseniuk
(right), and Oleh Lyashko, head of Radical Party, at
the coalition agreement signing in Kiev yesterday.
ever-higher price over its policies in its western neighbour.
Biden described as “unacceptable” the Kremlin’s role in
the crisis in eastern Ukraine, but
stopped short of offering lethal
military supplies to Kiev forces
battling rebels in a seven-month
conflict which has killed 4,300
Hinting at possible new sanctions, he warned that Russia had
failed to fulfil its commitments
under a September peace plan,
adding: “So long as that continues, Russia will face rising costs,
greater isolation.”
As Biden met Poroshenko and
Yatseniuk, Kiev claimed that
shelling was taking place from
across the Russian border for the
first time since a tattered ceasefire was signed in September.
Ukrainian military spokesman
Andriy Lysenko said that in the
past day, artillery had been п¬Ѓred
at a border post in the Luhansk
area from the direction of Manotsky in Russia’s Rostov region.
Ukraine’s government has
for months urged the US to give
it weapons and ammunition to
п¬Ѓght pro-Moscow forces in the
Ministers had hoped Biden
would use his visit to announce
further US assistance for its
forces but his office announced
only $23mn (€18mn) to support
justice reforms and food rations.
Before Biden’s visit, Russia
warned the US against arming
Ukrainian forces.
The secretary of its national
security council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the conflict in eastern
Ukraine “will grow” if that happened.
Square, Poroshenko was heckled
by relatives of the dead shouting
“Shame!” over the authorities’
failure to convict anyone over
the deaths as he laid a candle at
the shrines which surround the
Some protesters spoke of their
cynicism at the current political system and warned that they
could be forced to launch fresh
protests over the widespread
corruption and lack of political
reforms in Ukraine.
“I have a sense of deja vu,” said
Yulia Demchuk, a 36-year-old
lawyer. “I have the feeling that
I am still continuing the protest
on Maidan but there is no inspi-
ration now. There is disappointment as I can see that the authorities are not taking any steps
to change anything.”
Petro Runkiv, a 58-year-old
civil engineer who took part in
the protests, added: “Of course
we are disappointed. Nothing
changed. We need reforms and
we are here to let our government
know that we are ready for one
more Maidan.”
Meanwhile, the toll of dead
and injured continued to rise in
eastern Ukraine despite a ceasefire which has been repeatedly
Almost 1,000 people have died
in п¬Ѓghting since September, according to the United Nations.
Two Ukrainian soldiers and
two civilians were killed in the
region since Thursday, Ukrainian
security officials said.
French minister resigns over favouritism probe
Spanish prosecutors take legal
action against Catalan president
launched a legal case yesterday against Catalan
President Artur Mas for going
ahead with a symbolic independence referendum in defiance of a court injunction.
Mas, along with his deputy
Joana Ortega and the Catalan
government’s education minister, Irene Rigau, will be prosecuted for civil disobedience,
abuse of power, usurpation of
duties and embezzlement of
public funds, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they would take legal
action against the three but did
not specify for what crimes.
If Mas is found guilty of civil
disobedience or abuse of power
it could mean that he would be
banned from standing for public office for several years.
Mas: disappointed.
A sentence for embezzlement
of public funds could lead to a
jail term of between three and
six years.
Mas has said it is “very disappointing” that prosecutors will
take legal action against him
over the referendum which was
run by grassroots pro-independence organisations.
“It is sad to see that when the
Catalan people want to express
their opinion...the reaction of
the state comes from the courts
and prosecutors,” he said during
a news conference on Thursday.
The Catalan government says
2.3mn people took part in the
vote on November 9 which Mas
held after a legal block from the
central government on his plans
to hold an official, non-binding
referendum on the issue that
Roughly 80% of those who
took part in the vote, or 1.86mn,
favoured independence.
A total of 5.4mn voters aged
over 16 were authorised to cast
Mas hailed the ballot as a
“total success”, but Spanish
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
dismissed it as a “deep failure”
since “two out of three Catalans
paid no attention”.
Demands for independence
in Catalonia have grown over
recent years, fanned by the economic crisis.
Catalans complain that their
region does not receive investments in proportion to the taxes
it pays and that the central government meddles in its linguistic and education policy.
A junior French minister resigned yesterday as a scandal implicating him
in the awarding of lucrative public contracts to members of his family hit
President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government with another bruising.
Kader Arif, a junior minister for veteran affairs, became the latest member
of Hollande’s government to step down under a cloud of suspicion in
what has been a year of political and personal calamities for the most
unpopular French president in modern history.
An investigation was launched in September in the southwestern city of
Toulouse into whether two event management companies run by Arif’s
brother and nephew benefited from favouritism in the awarding of public
contracts worth millions of euros.
Arif “handed in his resignation in order to provide all the details necessary
to establish the truth in the preliminary investigation by financial prosecutors in which he is implicated”, the presidency said in a statement.
His resignation comes just over two months after trade minister Thomas
Thevenoud was sacked for tax irregularities only two weeks after being
appointed in a shock cabinet reshuffle following a party rebellion.
niqab-wearing Monique crossed
the border into Syria and travelled to the IS stronghold city of
Raqa, but the Dutch prosecutor’s
office said they had met at the
Turkish-Syrian border.
Roger Bos of the public prosecutor’s office in southern city
Maastricht, told local television
channel L1 that Aicha needed
“Is she a victim or a suspect?
Maybe she’s both,” he said.
Around 130 Dutch jihadists
have left to п¬Ѓght in Syria, with
30 already having returned and
14 others killed in the п¬Ѓghting,
according to the country’s latest
intelligence statistics.
France grapples
with reality of
radicalised youth
kraine’s new coalition
government has made
joining Nato a priority in a
move likely to provoke fresh Russian anger as thousands gathered
in Kiev to mark the п¬Ѓrst anniversary of protests which unleashed
a year of turmoil.
A crowd of several thousand
gathered in Kiev’s Independence
Square, known as Maidan, late
yesterday to remember the more
than 100 protesters who died in
demonstrations that started on
November 21 last year.
Many mourners were draped in
Ukrainian flags, while some cried
and laid flowers in memory of the
On a hectic day of politicking,
Ukraine’s leaders announced a
new coalition following October
elections which affirmed that
joining the Nato military alliance
would be a priority.
It agreed to pass a law by the
end of the year confirming this
Such a move threatens to further provoke Russia, which denies Western accusations that it
is providing military support to
pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine as part of a strategy to thwart the country’s proWestern course.
The п¬Ѓve-party parliamentary
coalition – which will have a big
enough majority to make constitutional changes – features
the groupings of President Petro
Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk and former premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
Poroshenko confirmed that
pro-Western Yatseniuk will
keep his post to head the coalition government, which faces a
mammoth task dealing with the
gravest crisis in Ukraine’s postSoviet history.
During a visit to Kiev yesterday, US Vice-President Joe Biden
told Russia that it faced paying an
In the interview with Dutch
television, Yilmaz, a handsome,
wiry man with shaved head and
a beard, explained how he had
come to train Islamic State recruits to shoot.
“If Dutch forces would send
a unit or п¬Ѓghters to Syria to help
the people, I would be the п¬Ѓrst to
sign up for the Dutch army. But
nobody is doing anything,” he
Aicha turned to her mother for
help after her marriage to Yilmaz
failed and she ended up with a
Tunisian п¬Ѓghter, the Dutch tabloid daily Algemeen Dagblad reported.
The paper reported that a
horrified France was
grappling this week
with a new reality in
which hundreds of its citizens
are openly joining jihadist
groups and directly calling for
attacks on their homeland.
A new video from the Islamic State group released on
jihadist forums and Twitter
on Wednesday showed three
Kalashnikov-wielding Frenchmen burning their passports
and calling on Muslims to
join them or stage attacks in
The new video explicitly
calls for retaliation against
France for launching air strikes
against the Islamic State (IS)
group, which has seized large
parts of Syria and Iraq.
It follows the appearance of a
grisly IS execution video at the
weekend that featured at least
one French citizen – 22-yearold Maxime Hauchard.
Defence Minister JeanYves Le Drian announced on
Wednesday that France would
step up its campaign against
the jihadists, sending six Mirage п¬Ѓghter jets to Jordan in
France currently has nine
Rafale jets based in the more
distant United Arab Emirates
as part of a United States-led
international campaign to provide air support to Iraqi and
Kurdish forces п¬Ѓghting the
Its most recent strikes, Le
Drian said, targeted trenches
used by IS п¬Ѓghters around the
northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk
on Tuesday.
But France is increasingly
looking inwards as it reels from
the news that over 1,000 people from a wide range of backgrounds have left to join the
jihadists in Iraq and Syria, with
375 currently there.
French prosecutors opened
an investigation into the latest
video on Thursday and intelligence sources told AFP they
were working to identify the
three Frenchmen.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
said on Wednesday that “close
to 50” French citizens or residents have been killed in the
conflict zone.
“Sadly, we are not surprised
to learn that French citizens or
residents of France are found
at the heart of these cells and
taking part in this barbarity,”
said Valls.
Figures published in Le
Monde newspaper this week
found almost a quarter of those
who left to join the jihadists are
converts to Islam, with many
coming from jarringly everyday French backgrounds.
One study from the Centre
for Prevention Against Islamic
Sectarianism recently found
that 80% of parents reporting
concerns about their child’s
radicalisation described themselves as atheist.
Hauchard, for instance,
came from a small village in
Normandy where he is remembered as a polite and amiable
neighbour prior to adopting
radical Islam in his teens.
Prosecutors also identified a
second suspected French citizen in the video – Mickael Dos
Santos from the riverside town
who is known to have joined
the Islamic State group.
But experts have since suggested the prosecutors may
have been mistaken, and a
Twitter account claiming to
belong to Dos Santos denied on
Thursday that he had appeared
in the video.
United Nations chief Ban
Ki-moon said on Wednesday
that violent extremism had to
be tackled “at the grassroots
“We must continue to think
more deeply into the fundamental conditions that allow
extremism to thrive. Looking at these challenges solely
through a military lens has
shown its limits,” he told a special Security Council meeting
on counter-terrorism.
France is far from alone in
dealing with the problem.
As a proportion of their
populations, Belgium and
Denmark are the biggest contributors to the jihad in Iraq
and Syria, although France
– which has Europe’s largest
Muslim population – has sent
the largest overall contingent.
“France is particularly affected by this phenomenon in
part because networks still exist that sent volunteers to п¬Ѓght
against the Americans in Iraq
after 2003,” said Louis Caprioli, a former head of counterterrorism for the French intelligence service.
He also pointed towards the
“Tabligh” movement of Islamic preachers that has been
“very active in French towns
and suburbs since the mid1990s” – providing a base
from which some members of
the community moved on to
more radical off-shoots.
“Its efforts to re-Islamise
young people of second and
third-generation immigrant
communities is now bearing
fruit,” said Caprioli.
He said even the converts
to Islam were often in close
proximity to these immigrant
communities, although he emphasised there were multiple
explanations for the burgeoning numbers of radicalised
youth, not least “the extraordinary quality of Islamic State
communications, which perfectly exploit all the tools of
the Internet”.
Bird flu found on three more Netherlands farms
The Hague
utch officials have detected bird flu on three more
farms, but cannot yet say
if the strains are a contagious variety discovered earlier this week,
officials said yesterday.
The Dutch economic affairs
ministry confirmed that a second bird flu outbreak detected
on Thursday on a farm at Ter Aar,
close to the п¬Ѓrst case east of The
Hague, was the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain, previously
detected only in Asia.
Some strains of avian influenza
are fatal for chickens, and pose a
threat to humans.
Dutch authorities have said
human infection can only occur
following “intense and direct
contact” with infected birds.
The latest outbreak was п¬Ѓrst
reported on a small farm in Kamperveen, around 100km north of
the п¬Ѓrst outbreaks, the economic
affairs ministry said in a statement.
“The bird flu virus has been
detected on a farm with around
10,000 chickens,” it said.
Later yesterday the ministry
added that bird flu symptoms
had also been detected on two
other farms within a vicinity of
1km of the farm in Kamperveen.
The birds on all three farms
will be destroyed and the farms
disinfected, the ministry said,
with tests being carried out to
establish if the strain is H5N8.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Strong defence imperative
for peace, says president
Civic polls in
Rajasthan today
�Tainted’ Kerala bureaucrat
likely to be suspended
Mullaperiyar dam water
level touches 142 feet
INS Vikrant being
broken up
Highlighting the importance of a strong
defence to preserve harmony, President Pranab
Mukherjee yesterday said though India is
committed to peace, “we must be prepared to
use our might to safeguard the sovereignty of
our nation, if the need ever arise”. “To preserve
peace, harmony and promote all round
development, it is imperative for us to have an
effective deterrence and a strong defence,” he
said while awarding the President’s Standard
to 26 Squadron and 115 Helicopter Unit of the
Indian Air Force in Tezpur, Assam. Mukherjee
also said that these flying units have a glorious
past and a rich tradition of professional
All arrangements are in place across
Rajasthan where voting for 46 civic
bodies, including the Jaipur Municipal
Corporation, will be held today, officials
said. “The counting of votes will take place
on November 25,” a senior official of the
state election commission said. Over 6.6mn
voters, including over 2.9mn female voters,
will exercise their franchise in these locallevel elections. The voting, through EVMs,
will be held from 7am to 6pm at 6,135 polling
booths. Besides Jaipur, the other municipal
corporations where elections will be held
include Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Kota and
The vigilance raid conducted at the home of
top Kerala bureaucrat T O Sooraj was based
on a complaint and there is strong evidence
against him, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh
Chennithala said yesterday. The Vigilance and
Anti-Corruption Bureau earlier in the week
conducted simultaneous raids on the home and
offices of Sooraj, who is currently the secretary
of the public works department, and seized
documents and cash. Late yesterday Sooraj
appeared before the vigilance probe team at
Kochi and his statement was taken. Sources
in the government indicate that there is every
likelihood that the top bureaucrat would be
suspended in the coming days.
Water level at the Mullaperiyar dam touched 142
feet yesterday, following which the Tamil Nadu
government alerted Kerala authorities that the
dam shutters might be opened. Tamil Nadu has
started drawing water towards the Vaigai dam
to ensure the water level stays below 142 feet.
According to the latest reports the water level
has dropped to 141.9 feet. The Supreme Court
in May had allowed Tamil Nadu to increase
the water level from 136 feet to 142 feet. Theni
district collector Palani Swamy yesterday called
up his counterpart in Idukki, Ajith Patil, to alert
him that the shutters of the dam might be
opened and hence all arrangements must be
made downstream.
India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which
saw action during the 1971 India-Pakistan war
but has now been decommissioned, is finally
being broken up. The process, which started
on Thursday with the first blow hammered on
its front portion, is expected to be completed
within seven-eight months, its owner said
in Mumbai yesterday. The once-majestic
aircraft carrier was bought in an e-auction by
Mumbai-based IB Commercials, its director
and now the ship’s owner Abdul Karim Jaka
said. “A team of around 200 people has been
deployed to dismantle and break down the
ship after we completed all legal and technical
formalities,” Jaka said.
Fears grow
about Hindu
of education
New Delhi
ndians were flying aeroplanes,
carrying out stem cell research
and may even have been using
cosmic weapons 5,000 years ago,
according to the chairman of India’s leading historical organisation.
Professor Y Sudershan Rao,
the head of the Indian Council
of Historical Research, has been
criticised by fellow historians for
comments that Hindu epics are
adequate to understand the ancient world, rather than relying
on evidence or research.
The Hindu nationalist government appointed Rao to the prestigious academic post soon after
winning the biggest landslide in
three decades, fuelling concerns
of a push to teach the superiority
of Hindu values and mythology at
the cost of academic rigour, and
cutting against the grain of secularism that runs through multifaith modern India.
“We have so many proofs that
these events happened,” Rao, 69,
said in an interview, describing
events in the Mahabharata and
the Ramayana, the ancient Hindu
epics about love and war, truth
and deceit, that feature characters using inextinguishable п¬Ѓre
and weapons with the destructive
power of a nuclear arsenal.
Similar views have won support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in part reflect a belief that India’s history books are
beholden to colonial powers, foreign invaders and Marxists.
While there is debate over the
exact age of the Hindu epics, historians say they were probably
written at least two millennia ago.
Rao says this in itself is proof
the texts are factual because humans did not develop the art of
п¬Ѓction writing until a few centuries back. Many academics are
horrified by such views, and describe his appointment as a blow
for the history organisation set up
four decades ago to guide research
and hand out grants.
They point to signs of a broader
plan to bring more Hinduism to
the classroom through changes to
the curriculum.
Two states run by the ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party have recruited controversial Hindu nationalist Dinanath Batra to advise
on writing textbooks. In June,
thousands of schools in Gujarat
were given textbooks by Batra
that claimed cars were invented
in ancient India and told children
to draw an enlarged nation to include countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Teachers at Batra’s organisation say they want the books to be
in every school.
“The lessons from today’s history books are that Indians are
nothing and good for nothing,”
said Atul Kothari, secretary of
Batra’s Shiksha Bachao Andolan
Samiti, or Save the Education
Movement. “The truth is that
historically we have been a far superior race.”
The last time the ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party was in
power a decade ago it began to
rewrite school books in line with
Hindu-nationalist orthodoxy.
When the rival Congress party
came back to power it rewrote the
books again.
Academics say the loser in all
this are confused, and sometimes
ill-informed, school children.
Modi is the п¬Ѓrst prime minister to publicly back the view that
texts show many discoveries of
modern science were made by
ancient Indians.
He told an audience of doctors
last month that a warrior the Mahabharata describes as born outside his mother’s womb was a testtube baby. “These claims ca n be
interpreted as signs of an inferiority complex,” said Romila Thapar,
a leading scholar on ancient India.
“The most disturbing thing
is that many people accept this
without questioning it,” said
Thapar, whose books one BJP
leader has said should be burned.
Yadav’s big fat birthday party
Samajwadi Party workers in a festive mood on the eve of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birthday. A mammoth special fresh fruit cake flown in from London and flowers
from the Netherlands will mark the 75th birth anniversary of Yadav. Hitherto known for his simple ways, this birthday marks a departure for its opulence for one who swears
by socialism.
Obama to be chief
guest at Republic Day
Obama will travel to India in January for Republic Day celebrations, a sign of
steadily expanding ties between
the two countries that share
concerns about China’s growing
power in Asia.
Obama was invited by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and will
be the п¬Ѓrst US president to attend a Republic Day celebration,
the White House said yesterday.
No court stay on Bukhari
plan to name son deputy
New Delhi
he Delhi High Court yesterday refused to stay the
anointment ceremony of
Jama Masjid Shahi Imam’s son
as the Naib Imam (deputy Imam)
saying the ceremony had no legal sanctity.
A division bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice R S
Endlaw said the ceremony has
no legal position, as informed by
the Centre and the Delhi Waqf
Board, and so the court could
not stay the ceremony.
The central government and
the Waqf Board told the court
that the anointment of Naib
Imam was “illegal” and had no
legal sanctity.
“We are of the opinion that
in the face of the contentions
of the petitioners that Maulana
Syed Ahmed Bukhari (Shahi
Iman) has no right in law or
otherwise to anoint his son as
the Naib Imam and which is
supported by the Delhi Waqf
Board, the anointment ceremo-
ny scheduled for November 22,
2014, even if not stayed, would
not amount to anointment of
the son of Bukhari as the Naib
Imam of the Jama Masjid. We,
therefore, do not feel any need
to pass any interim order restraining the same,” the court
said in its order.
It also questioned as to why
the Waqf Board has left the entire management of the Jama
Masjid to Bukhari and why it has
not supervised the mosque. It
also asked the board why it had
allowed Bukhari to appropriate
all earnings from the masjid.
The court also issued notice
to the Centre, the Delhi Waqf
Board and the Shahi Imam, the
Archaeological Survey of India
(ASI), the Delhi Development
Authority (DDA), Municipal
Corporation of Delhi (MCD),
Delhi police and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and
sought their response by January 28.
The court made it clear that
the anointment ceremony of the
youngest son of Bukhari as the
Naib Imam of the Jama Masjid
shall be subject to further orders
in this case.
The court was hearing three
public interest litigations (PILs)
that said the Jama Masjid is
the property of the Delhi Waqf
Board and Bukhari as its employee cannot appoint his son as
Naib imam.
The ASI and central government have told the court that the
Jama Masjid is a historical monument and it has to be decided
how rule of primogeniture will
apply on succession of imam or
chief cleric.
The PILs said Bukhari’s decision to anoint his 19-year-old
son Shaban Bukhari as the Naib
Imam was wrong as there was
no provision under the Waqf Act
for hereditary appointment of
the imam.
“Despite knowing that the
imam is an employee of the
Waqf Board and it is the board
which has the right to appoint
an imam, he (Bukhari) has declared his 19-year-old son to
be a Naib Imam and is holding a
ceremony for the purpose” the
pleas said.
It said Obama will meet with
Modi and other Indian officials.
Diplomats said Obama would
be п¬Ѓrst US president to visit India twice while in office. He also
went in 2010.
In a Twitter message, Modi
said Obama would be the chief
guest at the celebrations and
military parade on Republic Day,
which marks the enactment of
India’s constitution on January
26, 1950.
“This Republic Day, we hope
to have a friend over...invited
President Obama to be the 1st US
President to grace the occasion
as chief guest,” Modi tweeted.
India’s relations with Washington have flourished in the
past decade. The two countries
are developing a strategic partnership prompted by shared
concerns about China’s increasingly assertive behaviour in the
Asia Pacific region, although
they have also had tussles over
trade and other issues.
Modi met Obama on a visit to
the US in September and they
have spoken on the telephone
since. Modi and Obama also met
on the sidelines of G20 summit in Brisbane on November
Promo event
14. Their relationship is thought
to have helped resolve a major
trade spat in the World Trade
Organisation. Obama had called
Modi a “man of action.”
Modi was denied entry
into the US from 2005
until he was elected
prime minister in May,
after allegations he did
too little to stop religious
riots that killed at least
1,000 people, mostly
Muslims, in Gujarat.
Modi denies any
wrongdoing and a Supreme Court inves-
Arms seized from
guru’s ashram
Tennis player Sania Mirza attends a promotional event for
the Pix School of Bonding in Mumbai.
tigation did not п¬Ѓnd sufficient
evidence to prosecute him.
India traditionally invites a
head of state to participate as chief
guest for Republic Day celebrations, which culminates in a military parade including its nuclear
capable missiles. Much of the
hardware dates back to the Soviet era, when India had close
ties with Moscow and relations with the US were
marked by mistrust.
More recent defence
purchases include billions of dollars of USmade equipment.
he Special Investigation
Team (SIT) of Haryana
Police, which conducted a
search operation at controversial
guru Rampal’s Satlok Ashram
near Barwala town in Haryana, has seized a huge cache of
arms and ammunition, a police
spokesman said here yesterday.
The search operation was carried
out throughout yesterday.
“A pregnancy test strip, petrol
bombs, acid syringes and a chilly
grenade were also found,” the
spokesman said.
Three people hiding in the
premises were also taken into
Rampal remained in police
custody and was questioned by
police yesterday in Hisar. He is
facing charges of murder, attempt to murder, sedition, rioting, illegal detention and others.
He was arrested on Wednesday.
“The search operation continues,” the police spokesman said.
Among the arms recovered so
far included three .32 bore re-
volvers, 19 air guns, two doublebarrel .12 bore guns, two .315 bore
rifles, and ammunition for these
“The team also found acid syringes, helmets and sticks along
with 20 pairs of black dresses and
two tanks containing 800 litres
of diesel,” the spokesman said.
The pregnancy test strip was
found in the room adjacent to
Rampal’s room in the ashram, he
added. Police also found petrol
bombs, packets of chilly powder
and other things used by Rampal’s private commandos and
followers to prevent security
forces from entering the ashram
on Tuesday.
“Police also found a woman lying unconscious and locked in a
bathroom. She was admitted to
the general hospital. She has been
identified as Bijlesh, a resident of
Ashok Nagar village in Madhya
Pradesh,” the spokesman said.
“A huge amount of eatables
recovered during the search operation were being disposed off
by the Food and Supplies Department in compliance with
the orders of high court,” the
spokesman said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Pakistani Maritime Security Agency yesterday
arrested 61 Indian fishermen. The fishermen
were arrested after allegedly straying into
Pakistan territorial waters.
Cop used
stolen gun
to extort
say police
Maoists fire at IAF
chopper in Chhattisgarh
Four men arrested for
gang-rape in Bihar
Move to drop German
language challenged
Ex-Aam Aadmi Party
legislator joins BJP
Leftist militants yesterday fired shots at a
rescue chopper of the Indian Air Force (IAF)
in a densely forested area in Sukma district in
Chhattisgarh when it attempted to airlift five
injured paramilitary troopers, officials said.
“Rebels fired a few shots at IAF chopper Mi-17
in the violence-hit Chintagufa stretch when
it tried to take off with five injured troopers,”
Sukma superintendent of police D Shrawan
said. He said flight gunner Mukesh Tiwari, who
was wearing a bullet-proof vest, was hit in his
leg. Shrawan said the chopper was called for
evacuation as Maoists had injured five CRPF
troopers in a fierce gun battle in Chintagufa.
Four of the six men who gang-raped a young
student in Bihta near the Bihar capital
were arrested yesterday, police said. The
higher secondary student and resident of
Bhojpur district was gang-raped by the
six in Bihta, about 30km from Patna, Patna
senior superintendent of police Jitendra
Rana said. Four of the six were arrested
yesterday, and police teams were conducting
raids to nab the other two, he said. According
to local police officials, the incident took
place when the girl met a friend near a
bridge. The six men overpowered them and
gang-raped her.
The Supreme Court yesterday issued notices
to the centre and Kendriya Vidyalaya
Sangathan on replacing German with Sanskrit
as a third language in the centrally run
Kendriya Vidyalayas in the mid-session of the
current academic year. The apex court
bench issued notice on a plea by V S
Ramanathan who had challenged the
government decision to replace German with
Sanskrit in the mid-session. The matter will
be heard November 28. The government’s
decision to drop German as a third language
has created an uproar including queries from
the German authorities.
Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator M S
Dhir, who was denied a ticket by the party for
the upcoming Delhi assembly polls, yesterday
joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New
Delhi. He was the speaker of the dissolved
Delhi assembly. “I was unhappy with the AAP
as they were given an opportunity by the
people of Delhi to clean the system but they
failed at their job. There is no democracy in
the party,” Dhir told reporters. “I had joined the
AAP because at that time I thought that they
would do some good but over time the party
has started to revolve around one man and he
does whatever he wishes,” he added.
Election campaign rally
Mamata ouster
sought as MP
arrested over
Saradha scam
he policeman, who opened
п¬Ѓre from a stolen AK-47 at
a top executive of a pharma company here on Wednesday, had abducted “a person with
luxury car” from the same area
and extorted Rs1mn in February,
police said. Police, however, has
not named the victim.
Constable P Obulesu, who stole
the п¬Ѓrearm in December last year
from the armoury of anti-Maoist
force Greyhounds at Gandipet
here, took the victim to Kotthur,
Mahaboobnagar district, and left
him there along with the car.
Hyderabad police commissioner Mahender Reddy yesterday said as there was no complaint in this case, police didn’t
take any action. The extortion
by the policeman came to light
during questioning after his arrest in Kurnool town of Andhra
Pradesh, following Wednesday’s
sensational incident.
The 37-year-old constable,
a native of Kadapa district of
Andhra Pradesh, tried to kidnap K Nityananda Reddy, vice
chairman of Aurobindo Pharma,
when the latter returned to his
car after a walk at KBR Park.
The constable sat in his car,
pointed the AK-47 at him, and
ordered him to start the vehicle.
The man caught the barrel of
the gun and, in the scuffle, the
constable pressed the trigger.
Three rounds pierced through
the car’s front screen.
The victim escaped from the
car and shouted for help.
His brother Prasad Reddy, who
rushed to the spot, caught the
constable. In the process, the
constable opened п¬Ѓre from the
AK-47 and shot nearly 10 rounds.
He bit Prasad Reddy’s hand
and ran away, leaving behind the
AK-47 and a bag. Police gathered
clues and identified the suspect.
Investigation revealed that the
constable had got into an autorickshaw and later boarded a bus
to Kurnool, where he was п¬Ѓnally
Indian National Congress (INC) party president, Sonia Gandhi waves to supporters during
an election campaign rally in Bandipoora, north of Srinagar yesterday. The five-phase
elections for the 87 seats of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly begin on
November 25 and concluded on December 20.
Row over naming of
Hyderabad airport
he move by the civil aviation ministry to name
the domestic terminal at
the Rajiv Gandhi international
airport here after former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N T
Rama Rao has sparked a row,
with the Telangana assembly
yesterday passing a resolution
to urge the centre to maintain
status quo.
by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called upon the
ministry to reconsider the decision as it was taken without
consulting the state government.
Terming the issue “sensitive”, KCR, as the chief minister
is popularly known, said the
centre’s unilateral action was
an insult to Telangana.
“The Telangana legislative
assembly expresses its displeasure over the naming of the
domestic terminal after NTR
by dividing the existing Rajiv
Gandhi International Airport
at Hyderabad.
“The assembly objects to the
manner in which the central
government took the decision
without even consulting the
Telangana government,” the
resolution said.
“The assembly requests the
central government to reconsider its decision and continue
status quo,” said the resolution,
which was passed with a voice
vote amid a protest by the opposition Telugu Desam Party
(TDP) and its ally, the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP).
Civil Aviation Minister P
Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who belongs to the TDP, on Thursday
said N T Rama Rao’s name has
been restored for the domestic terminal while the airport
will continue to be called Rajiv
Gandhi international airport.
NTR, as the TDP founder
was popularly known, was the
chief minister of united Andhra
Pradesh between 1983 and 1989
and also during 1994-95.
KCR moved the resolution
after a meeting of floor leaders
called by Speaker Madhusudana Chari on his suggestion.
There was a heated debate
when the main opposition
Congress raised the issue and
said the Centre’s move symbolised continuing dominance
of Seemandhra people over Telangana.
KCR said discussion in the
house was not about naming the terminal after NTR but
about naming it after a leader
from a neighbouring state.
“We have all the respect
for NTR,” he said but felt that
if at all the Centre wanted to
name the domestic terminal,
it should have named after a
leader from Telangana like late
former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.
The TDP and the BJP defended the move of the civil
aviation ministry. TDP leader
E Dayakar Rao said the central
government has only restored
the name of the domestic terminal.
n a blow to West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) yesterday arrested its
Rajya Sabha member Srinjoy
Bose - the second party parliamentarian to be nabbed - in
connection with the multi-crore
rupee Saradha scam.
Bose, editor of Trinamool
mouthpiece Jago Bangla, was
accused of �blackmail’ by purported scam kingpin and Saradha promoter Sudipta Sen and
grilled by CBI officials for nearly
six hours before his eventual arrest.
“Bose has been arrested for
his prima facie involvement in
the Saradha scam on allegations
of criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of funds and deriving undue financial benefits. He
will be presented before a court
today,” a CBI officer said.
The opposition lost no time
in pointing п¬Ѓngers at the Trinamool and demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee who had earlier promised to step down if her party’s
links with Saradha were proved.
Bose - also the editor of Bengali
daily Sambad Pratidin and assistant general secretary of city soccer giants Mohun Bagan - is the
second Trinamool leader to be
arrested by the CBI in the scam.
The agency had earlier arrested party leader and former
director general of armed police
Rajat Majumdar.
Another Trinamool Rajya
Sabha member Kunal Ghosh,
who headed Saradha’s media
arm, was arrested by police be-
Brand ambassador
fore the Supreme Court directed
the CBI to take up the probe.
Besides the CBI, Bose has earlier been grilled by the enforcement directorate (ED) and the
Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) which too are probing
the scam.
Bose’s arrest came on a day
when CBI sleuths grilled Textile
Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee and Congress leader Somen
Transport Minister Madan
Mitra was also summoned by
the CBI but he skipped the questioning, citing ill health. He is
undergoing treatment at the
state-run SSKM Hospital.
“Those people duped by
the Saradha and other
chit funds are not getting
back their money. And the
cases are being registered
to find who all have duped
Bose was named by Sen in a
letter he purportedly wrote to
the CBI in April last year. In the
letter, Sen claimed he entered the
media business after the Bengali
daily started attacking him.
Sen, now under arrest along
with his top aides, said that after
he purchased a television channel, Bose along with Kunal Ghosh
came to him and he had to make
arrangements for paying Rs60
lakh per month to the newspaper
for running the channel.
Sen had also claimed that
the duo promised to ensure a
“smooth passage” for him and
protect his business from the
state and central governments
and assured him “they have very
close connection” with the chief
Cleric accused of bid
to hush up rape case
By Ashraf Padanna
Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan attends a signing event as
the new brand ambassador for the DHFL housing finance
company in Mumbai yesterday.
Sen in his letter also alleged
that over two years, the paper
had taken Rs200mn from him
for running the channel.
Hours before the arrest, Banerjee lashed out at the course of
the probe.
“Those people duped by the
Saradha and other chit funds are
not getting back their money.
And the cases are being registered to п¬Ѓnd who all have duped
Saradha. This amounts to taking
the side of thieves. Is this your
jurisdiction?” she asked.
State Congress president
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said
Banerjee “should step down in
the interest of the scam probe”,
while BJP leader Siddharth
Nath Singh asserted that Banerjee “should answer the 17 lakh
people who were robbed by the
Political analyst Biswanath
Chakraborty said Bose’s arrest
was a big blow for Banerjee and
her Trinamool.
“It may pave the way for more
of its leaders getting arrested.
Besides providing fodder to the
opposition, it has weakened
Banerjee’s position,” the Rabindra Bharati University professor said.
The Saradha scandal came to
light in April last year. The company closed shop across Bengal
after being unable to pay back
the depositors - mainly poor
people who, lured by the promise of huge returns, parked their
life’s savings with the firm.
As the company went bust,
there was a spate of suicides by
agents and investors and protests across the state.
Sen, many of his key aides and
company officials are behind
bars now.
olice have begun investigation against a prominent
Kerala cleric accused of
trying to suppress reports of the
rape of a four-year-old victim in
a school under his management.
An officer at Valayam police
station in Kozhikode said Abdurahman Saqafi, manager of
the Darul Guda English Medium
School, was booked under provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act
and Criminal Procedure Code.
Police last week arrested two
teenage inmates of the nearby
orphanage under his management on charges of raping a kindergarten student of the English-medium school affiliated to
the Central Board of Secondary
Education (CBSE).
The girl was allegedly raped
by the seniors on October 30
and her parents had registered
a complaint with Saqafi after a
week when doctors found she
was molested. Four days later,
they registered a police complaint alleging cover-up by the
school authorities.
Police arrested Shamsudeen
and Mubasheer, aged 18 and 19,
whom the girl had identified
during a parade. They allegedly took the girl to a room near
the orphanage kitchen after
offering her sweets. Both fled
the scene when the girl started
Meanwhile, a lengthy video
clip of the cleric’s public speech
abusing the child and their parents and claiming that the police
had arrested two innocent orphans from his institution went
viral on social media.
The cleric, popularly known
as “Perod Usthad”, also tried
to divert the case by accusing a
driver’s assistant whom the police arrested and released after
Saqafi founded the Sirajul
Huda Educational Complex in
1989 and it now runs 20 institutions, including eight Englishmedium schools affiliated to the
CBSE and a women’s college, in
the region with the backing of
“We have just begun the investigation. He has also been
booked for destroying evidence,”
the officer.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
�Bleak’ outlook for
ex-dictator Noriega
Colombian drug kingpin
admits cocaine charges
US not to ease
Cuba sanctions
Two jailed for torturing
Bachelet’s father
Destruction of Chile
rock glaciers flayed
The health of Panama’s imprisoned former dictator
Manuel Noriega is deteriorating and his outlook
is “bleak,” his physician said. Noriega, 80, who has
suffered several strokes and has prostate cancer
and heart disease, was briefly transferred from his
prison to hospital for testing. Hospital screenings
“reveal further deterioration of respiratory function
and when respiratory function is impaired, this can
affect other major organs like the heart,” doctor
Eduardo Reyes said. “With his age, the illness
and confinement, his prognosis is bleak and his
health is on a razor’s edge.” After testing, Noriega
returned to El Renacer prison, on the banks of the
Panama Canal.
For the second time in two months, a Colombian
accused of being a drug kingpin and pursued
for years by US authorities pleaded guilty to
federal charges in a New York courtroom. Daniel
Barrera, 47, faces life in prison after pleading guilty
in Manhattan federal court to a charge that he
conspired to manufacture and import cocaine
knowing it would be imported into the US. He had
pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to illegally
launder tens of millions of dollars in cocaine
trafficking profits in a separate related case in
Brooklyn federal court. Barrera, also known as
“Loco” (Crazy), was extradited in July 2013 to face
those two indictments as well as a third in Miami.
US President Barack Obama will not take
measures to ease the embargo on Cuba unless the
government in Havana makes significant progress
in democratic and economic reforms, his deputy
national security adviser Antony Blinken said.
Blinken made the comment when senator Marco
Rubio asked him about rumours that Obama was
going to relax part of the economic embargo on
Cuba. “Unless Cuba is able to demonstrate that it
is taking meaningful steps to move forward, I don’t
see how we can move forward,” Blinken said. He
added the president had ideas to help move Cuba
in a democratic direction, but it all depended on
Cuba and its actions.
A Chilean judge jailed two retired colonels
yesterday for torturing President Michelle
Bachelet’s father, who was arrested for
opposing the country’s 1973 coup and died
after repeated beatings and electrocutions.
Ramon Caceres Jorqueda, 80, was sentenced
to three years in prison for his role in General
Alberto Bachelet’s death, while Edgar Cevallos
Jones, 83, was sentenced to two years. General
Bachelet, who opposed his army colleague
Augusto Pinochet’s overthrow of socialist
president Salvador Allende, was jailed at
Chile’s War Academy in the aftermath of the
Mining operations are destroying rock glaciers in
Chile’s central valley, already one of the world’s
most battered glacier areas, Greenpeace said in
a statement. “We need a glaciers law to prevent
a repetition of this sad record,” the organisations
representative in Chile, Matias Asun said. University
of Chile glaciologist Francisco Ferrando, who led
the survey expedition organised by Greenpeace,
blamed the damage on the activity at Codelco’s
Andina mine and Anglo-American’s Los Bronces
facility. Not only white glaciers are important,” he
said. “In this region there is an enormous presence
of rock glaciers that make a significant contribution
to water basins.”
of general
by Farc
Bonus demand
canal project
work to begin
he highly anticipated
handover of a general
and four other hostages
captured by Farc guerrillas
has got underway, Colombian
President Juan Manuel Santos
said, paving the way for the resumption of peace talks.
“The procedure is underway,” said the president, referring to the release of General
Ruben Alzate and four other
army captives being held by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia had suspended
peace talks with the rebels
over Alzate’s capture. Officials provided few immediate details on the handover,
saying only that a deal was
reached to free the hostages
“as soon as possible.”
If the handover goes smoothly, Santos should be able to
resume the two-year-old negotiations in Cuba on which he
has staked his presidency. “I’m
going to give instructions for
negotiators to return to Havana
and continue talks, hopefully at
a good pace, so they can finish
this process as quickly as possible,” Santos said.
The Red Cross, which the
government asked to intervene
in the standoff, has a “green
light” to oversee the hostages’
release, local spokeswoman
Patricia Rey said.
The Farc for its part called its
decision to release the hostages
“a great gesture” that would
save the talks. “What we’re doing is a great gesture of peace,
reconciliation, good will and
commitment to the peace process,” said the guerrillas’ third in
command, Jorge Torres Victoria, alias Pablo Catatumbo.
He repeated the Farc’s demand for a bilateral ceasefire to
stop further “incidents of war”
from derailing the negotiations. The government has so
far rejected calls for a ceasefire,
which Santos argues would
strengthen the rebels’ hand.
Construction of
infrastructure to build 173mile canal will start on 24
December, despite concerns
over environmental impact
Guardian News and Media
Members of Argentina’s Central Workers’ Union (CTA) march towards Plaza de Mayo square in
Buenos Aires during a demonstration demanding an year-end bonus.
Top banker �not to be’
Brazil’s finance minister
Brasilia/Sao Paulo
he chief executive of Brazilian bank Bradesco SA
will not be the country’s
next п¬Ѓnance minister, a government official said, after two local
newspapers reported he turned
down the job in a major setback
for recently re-elected President
Dilma Rousseff.
Luiz Carlos Trabuco is out
of the running for the post,
the official said on condition of
The official declined to confirm or deny that Trabuco had
been offered the job.
Since Rousseff won a runoff
vote on October 26, she has yet
to name a new п¬Ѓnance minister
for her second term.
Brazil’s economy is struggling with slow growth, high
inflation and fallout from a
growing corruption scandal at
state-run oil company Petroleo
Brasileiro SA.
Trabuco, the CEO of the
country’s second-largest pri-
vate bank, was seen as a relatively market-friendly name
who could have rebuilt ties
with the private sector after
years of frustration with Rousseff ’s leftist, interventionist
“I never confirmed
anything. You guys always
get it wrong”
Two Brazilian newspapers
reported that Trabuco was
likely to turn down the invitation made by Rousseff due
to his commitments with the
Rousseff dismissed reports
that she had offered the job to
Trabuco, but did not deny that
she had made an offer. “I never
confirmed anything. You guys
always get it wrong,” Rousseff
told local news agency Broadcast.
Rousseff is again considering
central bank chief Alexandre
Tombini and former deputy п¬Ѓnance minister Nelson Barbosa
to the job, Folha de Sao Paulo
reported citing a source close to
the president. Both economists
are close Rousseff aides and
would represent a continuation
of the leftist policies blamed
for pushing Brazil into recession this year, analysts say.
Joaquim Levy, the head of
Bradesco’s investment arm, Bradesco Asset Management, has
joined the race for the ministry, a
government official said.
Levy is a former Treasury
chief who is respected by the
A spokesman for the president said earlier that there
would be no announcement
of a new п¬Ѓnance minister on
Thursday because Rousseff
would attend the funeral of a
former justice minister.
Brazil share prices rose this
week on speculation that Rousseff would appoint Trabuco,
63, one of the few bankers who
gets along with the president.
During her re-election campaign, Rousseff lambasted rivals for having links to what
she called greedy bankers who
wanted to manage the economy
for their benefit.
ore than a century
after it was п¬Ѓrst proposed,
work on an interoceanic canal
through Nicaragua will begin
on December 24, according to a
senior government official.
Despite concerns among
the scientific community that
the canal could cause widespread environmental damage,
Paul Oquist, a close adviser to
the president, Daniel Ortega,
said construction of roads and
a wharf for the Chinese-run
ВЈ32bn project would soon get
under way.
“The Nicaraguan people will
get a big Christmas present,”
he said in an interview with the
Guardian. “It has always been
pending and now it can happen.”
Oquist predicted the canal
would double the GDP of Latin
America’s second poorest country and allow the Sandinista
government to achieve a longheld goal of eradicating extreme
poverty. “There is nothing else
in Nicaragua that could achieve
that within our lifetimes - and it
is within grasp. It has never been
closer than it is now.”
The planned 173-mile route
across the isthmus between the
Atlantic and Pacific dwarfs the
48-mile Panama canal, which
celebrated its 100th anniversary
this year. In the п¬Ѓrst stage of the
project, engineers will start con-
Mexico protest
struction in Brito of a wharf that
can land giant trucks and excavators.
Bill Wild, the chief project
adviser for HKND, the Chinese
company that has put up the
core п¬Ѓnancing and will manage
the construction and running of
the canal, said: “In the first year
we’ll build the infrastructure to
build the project - the roads and
other means of access. The biggest challenge is not the technical engineering. This has all been
done before. It is the logistics.”
There are serious concerns
that the project lacks transparency and is being rushed
through without sufficient regard for its impact on society and
the environment. The canal goes
through an indigenous reserve
and several environmentally
sensitive areas including Lake
Nicaragua, the largest source of
fresh water in Central America.
The Academy of Sciences of
Nicaragua recently expressed
concerns and condemned the
government and HKND for
moving ahead without fully debating the implications with the
scientific community. It called
on the government to set up an
independent committee to perform an impact assessment.
Under the canal concession
law passed in 2012, the Nicaraguan state handed responsibility
for environmental assessment to
HKND. It in turn contracted the
London-based consultancy Environmental Resource Management to conduct studies of the
canal’s likely impact on the lake,
wetlands and other ecosystems.
Wild said preliminary results
would be announced this week.
Critics say the report will serve
only as a rubber stamp.
Pena Nieto discloses
$3mn in assets
Mexico City
Demonstrators clash with police as a nationwide protest
was held over the disappearance of 43 Mexican students, in
Mexico City, Mexico. Three demonstrations took place in the
Mexican capital, led by students and parents of the victims. 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.
Once the company has gained
rights to build a canal, they’ll
п¬Ѓnd a way to show that it is feasible. ERM is unfortunately just
playing along with this game. I
think they aren’t going to come
out of this well,” said Jorge
Huerte, head of the Academy of
Sciences of Nicaragua.
Oquist said extensive investigations had been carried out
by ERM, McKinsey and others,
citing a п¬Ѓgure of $900mn for
the feasibility studies. He said
the start of preparatory building
work was just a form of hedging
so that the project could move
forward rapidly once the green
light is given.
“I think there is a lot of confidence. One reason is that the
very same firms did a lot of prefeasibility work,” he said. “No
one makes a $900mn bet without information, so you think
they must have pretty good
information from the pre-feasibility studies that this is going
to work out. The type of bet we
are talking about to get things in
place to be able to rock and roll
as soon as you are in business is
a much smaller bet, but it is a bet
that hedges time.”
He said time was a crucial consideration because the
project funding relied heavily on
billion-dollar loans.
Any delay would mean extra interest repayments. HKND
aims to complete the canal within п¬Ѓve years, though this could
prove ambitious.
There has also been opposition from farmers and other
landowners who fear they will
lose out in expropriation arrangements because the canal
concession law gives them no
scope to negotiate.
acing conflict of interest accusations over
the Mexican first lady’s
mansion, President Enrique
Pena Nieto disclosed he
owned nine separate real estate properties among his total
personal assets worth at least
45.2mn pesos ($3.3mn).
His assets also included п¬Ѓnancial investments, jewellery
and works of art, a document
posted on the president’s website showed.
The president said his real
estate holdings included four
houses, one apartment, and
four plots of land. Those assets were separate from a
nearly $4mn Mexico City
luxury home, occupied by the
First Lady Angelica Rivera, and
which she was acquiring from a
government contractor bidding
for a lucrative high-speed rail
Rivera, a former popular soap
opera star, said she was paying
for the property with her own
earnings, but on Tuesday said
she would give it up.
The contractor, Mexican
company Grupo Higa, was part
of a Chinese-led consortium
that won the $3.75bn highspeed rail contract. That deal
was abruptly cancelled earlier
this month.
Rivera married Pena Nieto
in 2010. Also on Tuesday, she
said that in that year she was
paid severance of 102.8mn
pesos ($7.5mn) by broadcaster Televisa. That payout
dwarfed other compensation
packages paid out by Televisa
that year.
Televisa reported to the US
Securities and Exchange commission that it paid 98.4mn pesos in 2010 for “retirement and
termination benefits” across
the entire company.
Televisa said in an e-mailed
statement that Rivera’s payout was filed in 2010 as an expense and was not included in
the п¬Ѓgure given to the SEC on
termination benefits for other
Rivera’s explanation and
details of the payout spurred
ridicule across social media on
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Court orders former PM
charged in Musharraf case
Pakistani court trying former military
ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason yesterday ordered the government to add
a former prime minister, law
minister and chief justice to the
The move will further prolong
proceedings against Musharraf over his decision to suspend
the constitution and impose
emergency rule in 2007.
The charges, п¬Ѓrst announced
by the government a year ago,
have raised hackles in the powerful military establishment,
which is seen as reluctant to
have one of its former chiefs
tried by civilians.
Musharraf, 71, returned to
Pakistan last April vowing to
run in the general election to
“save” the country from Taliban
militancy and economic ruin.
But he was barred from
standing in the May 2013 poll
and hit with a series of criminal
charges dating back to his 19992008 rule, including treason
and murder.
His lawyers had applied to
have the charge sheet expanded
to include around 600 other
But the court ordered only
three people to be added to the
charges: Shaukat Aziz, who was
prime minister at the time of
the emergency order, then-law
minister Zahid Hamid and judge
Abdul Hameed Dogar, who was
elevated to chief justice after the
“Based on the material on
record, the probability of their
Pervez Musharraf
Former PM Shaukat Aziz
involvement as aiders and abettors cannot be ruled out,” the
court said in its order signed by
two of the three-judge bench
hearing the case.
“We are therefore of the view
that joinder of the then prime
minister and the then federal
law minister is necessary to
secure the ends of justice.”
The third judge on the panel
gave a dissenting view, dismissing the application to extend the
charges. The hearing was ad-
journed to December 9.
The ruling forced Hamid to
resign as minister for science
and technology in the current
government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The case suffered repeated
delays earlier this year due to
Musharraf’s health problems
and security threats against him
— the Taliban have threatened
to kill him.
Legal experts said the latest
ruling means proceedings are
unlikely to advance any time
“The government or any
other co-accused who are to be
included in the case can go to
the Supreme Court and if this
happens there will be long and
there,” former deputy attorney
general Raja Abdul Rehman
The case against Musharraf
relates to his decision to impose
emergency rule shortly before
the Supreme Court was due to
decide on the legality of his reelection as president a month
earlier, while he was still army
He had seized power in a
bloodless coup in 1999, deposing Sharif — who was elected
PM for a third time in May last
year in a landslide victory.
Some observers have suggested the government’s pursuit
of Musharraf is partly motivated by Sharif’s personal grudge
against the former general.
Since the Musharraf was indicted in March there have been
regular rumours of a backroom
deal to allow him to leave Pakistan to avoid a destabilising confrontation between the
government and the army.
bomb kills
two soldiers
bomb planted on a motorbike killed two soldiers in
Pakistan’s restive northwest yesterday, officials said, in
an attack claimed by a breakaway
faction of the Taliban.
The incident happened in
Mithra area on the outskirts of
Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
“A remote controlled bomb
planted on a motorbike went off
as an army vehicle passed by it,
killing one soldier and wounding another who later succumbed to his injuries,” a senior
security official said.
A local police official also
confirmed the incident and
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(Jamat ul Ahrar), which split
from the main Pakistani Taliban
in September, claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a telephone call to AFP, Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, spokesman of the
group said the attack was revenge
of one of their members who was
killed in an operation by the army.
“We will continue to target
the Pakistani military in the future,” Ehsan said.
Protest lodged with
India over soldier’s
death in firing
Pakistan yesterday said it
has lodged a protest through
diplomatic channels with India
over the killing of a soldier in
the disputed Kashmir region.
The military on Thursday said
the soldier had died in fresh
firing from Indian troops along
the area’s de facto border in
the evening.
“Condemning the incident,
Pakistan called upon India
to restrain its security forces
from unprovoked firing and
shelling across the LoC (Line
of Control) and the working
boundary,” Pakistan’s foreign
office said in a statement.
Recent exchanges of fire
across the de facto border
between India and Pakistan in
Kashmir, which both countries
administer in part but claim
in full, have killed at least 20
civilians and forced thousands
to flee their homes.
The nuclear-armed neighbours
have traded blame for the
upsurge in firing and shelling
which started on October 6.
India called off peace talks
in August after Pakistan
first consulted Kashmiri
separatists, a move some saw
as a sign of a tougher stance
by Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s new right-wing
Meanwhile, the Pakistani
military said it had killed 22
militants in strikes in Khyber
tribal district.
“Twenty-two terrorists were
killed today in Khyber agency (a
tribal district) in precise aerial
strikes,” it said in a statement.
Peshawar is the gateway to
Pakistani tribal badlands that
are strongholds of Taliban and
Al Qaeda linked militants.
Pakistan has been battling
Islamist groups in the northwest and its semi-autonomous
tribal belt since 2004, after its
army entered the tribal region
to search for Al Qaeda п¬Ѓghters
who had fled across the border
following the US-led invasion
of Afghanistan.
In June the army began a major offensive against militant
hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal agency, a stronghold for the Tehreek-e-Taliban
On Thursday, a bomb hit a
passenger train in the restive
Baluchistan, derailing it and
wounding three passengers.
The bomb in the Dasht region
hit the moving Bugti Express
about 30km before its п¬Ѓnal destination of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. The
train was coming from the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.
Soldiers secure the site of a bomb blast in Peshawar yesterday.
US drone strike kills six suspected militants
US drone strike killed six
suspected militants in
northwestern Pakistan,
security officials said yesterday,
as Al Qaeda said two members
of the group had been killed in a
previous strike.
Two missiles struck a house
in Mada Khel village of the
North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border on
Thursday night, said a security
official based in the area.
Six people were killed and three
wounded, he said, citing intercepts of Taliban conversations.
Local and foreign militants
were among the casualties, he
added. Another government official based in nearby Datta Khel
town confirmed the death toll.
The military says it has killed
around 1,200 militants since beginning the operation in North
Waziristan. Most of the civilian
population - around 1mn people were ordered to leave their homes
before the offensive began. Access
to the area is tightly controlled.
Also on Thursday, Al Qaeda in
the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)
spokesman Usama Mahmoud
said two Al Qaeda men were
killed in a drone strike last week.
Mahmoud identified the two
on Twitter on Thursday as Dr
Sarbaland, also called Abu Khalid, and Sheikh Adil Abdul Qadus,
a former Pakistani army major
who owned the home where top
Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed was arrested.
Sarbaland’s two young sons
were also killed, Mahmoud said,
according to a translation of the
message provided by the SITE
Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi communications.
Both men were Pakistani nationals who belonged to AQIS,
a new franchise of the militant
group announced in September.
Sarbaland used to treat
wounded Taliban militants.
He was in a house near the Afghan border when it was hit by
a drone on November 11, they
The men inside tried to flee,
along with Sarbaland’s two
sons, aged 12 and 13, but a second missile hit the truck they
were travelling in, the militants
Rights activist hopeful on blasphemy change
ondemnations by Pakistan’s top clerics and
Islamist parties against
the misuse of blasphemy laws
could help reverse a rising tide
of mob killings, according to
one of the country’s leading
rights activists.
A Christian couple accused
of desecrating a Qur’an were
beaten to death by a mob of
1,500 and their bodies thrown
in a furnace this month in the
latest in a spate of lynchings in
A day later, a policeman
hacked a man who had been
accused of blasphemy to death
with an axe while he was in
blasphemy laws can include the
death penalty for insulting the
Prophet Muhammad, but critics say they are often used to
settle personal disputes.
While there have been no civilian executions for any crime
since 2008, anyone convicted,
or even accused, of insulting
Islam risks a bloody death at
the hands of vigilantes.
Such incidents have been
met with general condemnation in the past, but little action
has been taken against either
the perpetrators or instigators
— a factor, say activists, driving a rise in such crimes.
But for lawyer Asma Jahangir, recently given France’s
highest civilian award and
Sweden’s alternative to the
Nobel Prize for her decades of
rights work, the response to
the Christian couple’s killing
offers hope for change.
“There is a positive development, that religious scholars and
parties including Jamat-e-Islami went there and came forward
against the incident, which is a
good omen,” she said at her offices in the eastern city of Lahore.
“I think it is a very big
change and we should appreciate and welcome it.”
Pakistan’s religious right
has for decades used supposed
threats to Islam to stoke up support in a country where 97% of
the population are Muslims.
But Jahangir said the
mounting number of gruesome
vigilante cases was now forcing
even those who had traditionally been the law’s most vocal
supporters to pause.
The All Pakistan Ulema
Council, a leading clerical
Asma Jahangir gestures as she gives an interview to AFP in Lahore.
body, has chastised the government for failing to act and
pledged that in the case of the
Christian couple, justice for
the victims must be served.
It may sound like wishful
thinking, but few Pakistani
rights activists have achieved
the credibility of Jahangir, a
lawyer and daughter of a leftwing politician.
The former UN special rapporteur on religion has braved
death threats, beatings and
prison time to win landmark
human rights cases and stand
up to dictatorship.
Pakistan still suffers terrible
violence against women, discrimination against minorities
and near-slavery for bonded
labourers, but Jahangir in-
sists human rights causes have
made greater strides than it
may appear.
“There was a time that human rights were not even an issue in this country. Then prisoners’ rights became an issue,”
she said.
thought of as a Western concept. Now people do talk about
women’s rights — political
parties talk about it, even religious parties talk about it.”
Jahangir can count a number
of victories, from winning
freedom for bonded labourers
from their “owners” through
pioneering litigation to a landmark court case that allowed
women to marry of their own
She has also been an outspoken critic of the country’s powerful military establishment,
including during her stint as
the п¬Ѓrst ever female leader of
Pakistan’s bar association.
The 62-year-old was arrested in 2007 by the government
of then military ruler Pervez
Musharraf, and two years ago
claimed her life was in danger
from the country’s feared ISI
spy agency.
She recently engaged in a
war of words with cricketer-turned-politician
Khan, whose anti-government
protest movement she says
is backed by the military — a
claim his party has denied.
Khan’s push to unseat Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif has
lost momentum since peaking in late August, but he plans
a mass rally in Islamabad on
November 30.
Jahangir said it was clear
that Khan and populist cleric
Tahirul Qadri, who led a parallel protest, were being aided by
the military.
“I have lived in politics, I
was born in a political house, it
runs in my blood — so I know
when certain faces are coming out, where they are coming
from,” she said.
Attacks on Afghan
vice president
Afghan intelligence forces have
arrested five people accused
of plotting against the first vice
president, General Abdul Rashid
“The terrorists were arrested in
the cities of Kabul and Mazar-eSharif two days ago,” the National
Directorate of Security (NDS) said
One of the suspects was believed
to have been planning a suicide
attack on the first vice president
during his visit to the north
provinces. The other four were
arrested in Kabul.
Dostum, who fought the Taliban
in northern Afghanistan between
1996 and 2001, recently said
his aim was to remove “the
insurgents” from the country.
“The arrested people have
confessed they were trained
outside the Afghan borders,” the
NDS said.
Incubator toll in
Punjab hospital
rises to 15
Three more babies died
yesterday due to lack of oxygen
in incubators in a hospital in
eastern Pakistan, bringing the
number of infant deaths to 15,
an official source told Efe news
The deaths of the premature
babies occurred over the last
two days at the university
hospital of Sargodha district, in
Punjab province, where 10 other
infants are under observation in
critical condition, a doctor who
requested anonymity said.
He added that the hospital lacks
the resources needed for the
60 to 70 admitted babies, many
of whom are in need of special
care due to their preterm birth.
“The hospital admits any
child in a critical state, but
the children’s ward only has
26 incubators and 50 beds,”
hospital administrator Ejaz
Akram told Efe Wednesday,
when eight infants died.
According to the Express
Tribune daily, four babies
died on Thursday and three
yesterday, including twins and a
This is the second such tragedy
in two months in the province,
where seven newborns died in
September at the Vihari District
Afghan civil
servants to
be trained
in India
New Delhi
fghan civil servants will
now be trained at the Jindal University at Sonepat
in Haryana state, near the capital
New Delhi.
The university will welcome
the first batch of senior Afghan civil servants in the next
few months, it said in a statement.
These civil servants hold the
ranks of director general to deputy directors in various Afghan
government ministries.
“These civil servants will be
trained ... in topics like leadership, human resource management, law and justice, organisational change, good governance
and post-conflict institution
building,” it said.
Ashraf Haidari, deputy chief
of mission of the Afghan embassy in New Delhi, was quoted as
saying that the current focus in
Kabul was to strengthen civilian
He said: “Although the international community has invested in reconstruction of Afghanistan, it has concentrated mostly
on the military and security
“Not enough has been done
to build the civilian state
structures, which are essential for a sustainable transition towards self-reliance and
Haidari added: “With India,
there is a cultural affinity. In
India too there are problems,
but there are also institutions
that have succeeded. India is a
democracy that learns from its
mistakes and we want to learn
from that.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Theme song for
Pope visit to
express hope for
typhoon survivors
By Robertzon F Ramirez
Manila Times
he official local theme
song for the visit of
Pope Francis to Palo in
Leyte will express the hope
nurtured by survivors of super
typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
Fr Kim Margallo, director
of the Archdiocese of Palo’s
Commission on Youth, composed the song, Shepherd’s
Love, and described it as “an
unveiling of the sentiments
of the Typhoon Yolanda survivors who long for God’s
embrace with a hope of better
days ahead.”
Francis will be in Palo on
January 17 to have an audience with families that lost
their homes, livelihood and
relatives when the super typhoon tore across Central
Visayas on November 8, 2013.
“The song should be an image of a child waiting for his
father to arrive, a child who
longs to tell his father everything that had happened to
him. He is full of confidence
that his father will come so
soon to rescue and protect
him, for he believes that his
father is rich in mercy and
full compassion,” Margallo
The song was recorded by
Elaine May Emping, Juliana
Rose Estrera, seminarian Elfie Mercado and Paul de Pio.
Running for 4.34 minutes, it
is a combination of English,
Waray and Cebuano languages. Margallo said they also
came up with a music video
featuring the animation of
the song performed by members of the youth ministry of
the Vicariate of Ormoc.
He added that the music video also represents the
survivors’ bright outlook despite the death and devastation from Yolanda.“Yolanda
was not a curse, but it is also
a blessing to all and did not
only bring destruction but
also inspiration,” Margallo
“Shepherd’s Love is festive
at the start, has sadness because of the tragedy, excitement in expectation of somebody important, horror so
that those who will listen to
it will have the experience of
what I call the wailing of the
wind, the monstrous surge
and the lamentation of the
victims, and lastly, the feeling of hope amidst hopelessness,” he added.
Fr Chris Militante, information officer of the
Palo archdiocese, said they
will carry three theme
songs for the Papal visit including singer Jamie
Rivera’s We Are All God’s
Children, the official theme
song of Pope Francis’ visit to
the Philippines on January
15-19 next year.
The third is Mercy by British band Ooberfuse, which
also performed the official
theme song of World Youth
Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
last year.Militante said the
song was composed by the
band’s vocalist Cherrie Anderson, whose mother is from
Tacloban City (Leyte’s capital), specifically for Yolanda
Shepherd’s Love will be
launched during the closing of the Year of the Laity
and opening of the Year of the
Poor at the Palo Cathedral on
November 29.
Japanese plane makes
emergency landing
at Manila airport
Japan-bound All Nippon
Airways jet returned to
Manila airport and made
an emergency landing yesterday
after pilots reported smoke in
the cockpit, Philippine authorities said.
There were no reported injuries and all 175 passengers and
10 crew safely disembarked
from the Boeing 767, said Manila International Airport Au-
thority public affairs officer
Ariel Arcilla.
“The plane safely landed and
there was no panic. It appears
the pilot just followed safety
protocols,” Arcilla said.
Investigators are looking into
the cause of the cockpit smoke,
which the pilots noticed shortly
after take-off from Manila, he
The jet, bound for Tokyo’s
Narita airport, was airborne for
35 minutes before making a successful emergency landing, Arcilla said.
Wealth of the sea
Fisherman Estelito Marijuan, 58, arranges dried fish at Manila Bay yesterday. World Fisheries Day is commemorated every November 21 and was established to draw
attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of marine and freshwater resources.
Five years after massacre,
anger over pace of justice
ive years after 58 people
were killed in the Philippines’ worst political
massacre, anger among victims’ relatives is building, with
no one yet convicted and the alleged masterminds still enjoying power.
Nine leaders of a clan accused
of orchestrating the slaughter
are among dozens on trial, but
there are deep concerns the
proceedings could take many
more years and that witnesses
are being killed or intimidated.
“Sometimes we feel hopeless,
that this is all going nowhere,”
Noemi Parcon, whose husband
was among 32 journalists killed
in the massacre, said as she attended the trial in Manila this
“We’d be happy even if only
the principals are convicted.”
The leaders of the Ampatuan
family, who ruled the impoverished southern province of
Maguindanao, are accused of
organising the killings on November 23, 2009, in a bid to
quash an election challenge
from a rival clan.
Thirty-two media workers
were among those killed, making the attack one of the dead-
Students and members of the press participate in a torch parade
condemning the slow paced trial of the Maguindanao Massacre in
Manila yesterday, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the worst political
massacre of the country.
liest ever recorded globally
against journalists.
Andal Ampatuan Sr had ruled
Maguindanao as governor for
about a decade under the patronage of then-president Gloria Arroyo, who had funded a
private army for the clan as a
buffer against separatist rebels.
Ampatuan’s son and namesake is accused of leading the
militia in stopping a convoy that
was carrying his political foe’s
wife, relatives, lawyers and the
journalists, then gunning them
down on a grassy hill.
The victims’ bodies were
found almost immediately afterwards in roadside pits that
were dug using a governmentowned excavator.
Father and son, plus seven
other Ampatuans, are among
111 people detained in Manila
while on trial. They deny carrying out the murders.
However the government
said 79 suspects, including nine
Ampatuans, remain at large.
In the Philippines, even a
simple trial involving one accused person typically takes
many years to complete.
Amid fears the Maguindanao
massacre trial could take decades, the Supreme Court last
year took steps to speed up proceedings, including the scheduling of twice-weekly hearings
instead of once a week.
President Benigno Aquino
has also said he wants verdicts
against the Ampatuan leaders announced by the time he
stands down in mid-2016.
Harry Roque, a private prosecutor representing the families
of 13 victims, said he expected
verdicts against the main defendants next year.
But the chief prosecutor Archie Manabat said he could not
give any timeframe.
“We want to finish this as
soon as possible, but there are
many constraints,” Manabat
said this week on the sidelines
of the trial.
The court is currently focused on petitions for bail by
the Ampatuan leaders and Human Rights Watch said in a
statement to mark the п¬Ѓve-year
anniversary that the case was in
“effective judicial limbo”.
“Bail petitions and testimony
challenges by the defence lawyers... have overwhelmed the
court,” Human Rights Watch’s
deputy director for Asia Phelim
Kine said in the statement.
Meanwhile, human rights
groups and victims’ relatives
say witnesses are being killed or
intimidated in a bid to sabotage
the case. Four people who had
already given testimony or were
scheduled to, as well as three
relatives of potential witnesses,
have been murdered over the
past few years.
A Maguindanao man who
police said had agreed to testify at the trial was on Tuesday
the latest to be killed. A second
would-be witness was wounded in the attack, a roadside ambush by a group of gunmen.
“The attack clearly aims to
cow the other witnesses into
submission,” the Philippines’
National Press Club said in a
Adding to the fears, the Ampatuan family continues to wield
huge influence over Maguindanao province, despite the clan’s
leaders being detained 900
kilometres away in Manila. The
wives of three detained Ampatuan defendants were elected
as town mayors in Maguindanao
last year.Sixteen other Ampatuans were elected to local government posts.
Local rights groups and election monitors said at the time the
Ampatuans’ election wins were
not a surprise, citing the clan
power structure in Maguindanao
and other Muslim-dominated
southern provinces.
Transgender murder highlights struggle for rights
File photo shows students displaying placards during a protest inside the state university campus in Manila,
against the killing of a Filipino transgender allegedly by a US marine.
he murder of a Filipino transgender,
allegedly by a US Marine, has stoked
nationalist outrage in the Philippines
but activists say the spotlight should also be
shone on “hate crimes” by locals targeting
minority groups.
The case of 26-year-old Jennifer Laude,
also known as Jeffrey, found dead in a hotel bathroom in the red-light district of the
northern port city of Olongapo in October
risks harming Philippine-US defence relations.
A US serviceman on a port call is the main
suspect in a crime that has been used by leftist and nationalist groups to assail the American military’s role in the former US colony.
But while the Laude case made headlines,
the murders of four gay people at around the
same time, in suspected Filipino-on-Filipino
“hate crimes”, garnered far less media attention, according to Clara Padilla, executive director of EnGendeRights.
“It is clear we have a strong prevalence of
homophobia and transphobia in the Philippines,” said Padilla, whose organisation supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) people.
Most of the victims were attacked while
they were alone and stabbed repeatedly, in
one case as many as 33 times, Padilla said,
adding that the ferocity suggested they
were hate crimes and the victims targetted
because of their sexual orientation.
Although the Philippines is considered
more tolerant than other developing nations,
the LGBT community says it still faces heavy
discrimination in the largely conservative
Catholic country.
Bills barring discrimination against homosexual and transgender people have stalled
for years in Congress and some institutions
like schools and workplaces are open in their
lack of tolerance, Padilla said.
An online survey of almost 500 LGBT Filipinos taken this year by advocacy group TLF
Share found that one in 10 had been attacked
or threatened with violence due to their sexuality in the last п¬Ѓve years.
Almost 76% of those people said the aggressors had been their own parents or siblings.
“My mother attacked me inside our house
when (she) found out I had a girlfriend,”
one respondent was quoted as saying. “She
slapped, punched and even kicked me.”
Bemz Benedito, a transgender woman who
manages a prominent charity, said she and
many like her face discrimination or harassment when looking for regular jobs.
Many end up in the sex industry as a result.
“Why are they driven to this kind of work?
Because they are discriminated against and
opportunities are not really open to them in
this country,” she said.
“A lot of people have said we are a gayfriendly country but we are actually a �gayamused’ country,” said Eric Manalastas, a
psychology professor specialising in LGBT
issues at the University of the Philippines.
“When you scratch the surface you see
people’s true feelings,” he said, citing the
many harsh remarks posted about Laude in
social media that blamed her for her own
While many have expressed outrage over
the killing, Manalastas said this is largely because the suspect is a US serviceman.
“If a fellow Filipino was the prime suspect,
I suspect we would not be reading about it or
talking about it,” he said.
Street protests over the killing have been
dominated by leftist groups who are mainly
concerned with cutting defence ties with the
US rather than supporting LGBT issues.
“We feel we don’t have the mike. We don’t
have a platform,” said Nicky Castillo, managing director of Rainbow Rights Philippines.
However Danton Remoto, chairman of
Ladlad, a political party representing LGBT
communities, said that some progress is being made.
He cited the huge success last year of a serious TV drama, My Husband’s Lover, that
dealt with a married man and his boyfriend.
Ladlad was barred from taking part in the
2010 elections on grounds of “immorality”
before the Supreme Court later reversed this
However the party still failed to get enough
votes to win a single seat in Congress.
“Only in the recent past have the Philippine National Police been more co-operative.
Before, if someone gay is beaten, they would
just laugh at them,” Remoto said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Lanka minister defects to
challenge president at polls
Top ruling party leader
crosses over to the
opposition to run for
president in election set for
January 8
senior minister quit Sri
Lanka’s ruling party yesterday to stand as the
main opposition’s candidate
in January elections, accusing
President Mahinda Rajapakse of
being a corrupt dictator.
As organisers confirmed the
election would be on January
8, Health Minister Maithripala
Sirisena said he was confident
of toppling his boss in an announcement that earned him the
sack from his other post as general secretary of the president’s
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
Underlining the scale of the
threat facing Rajapakse, Sirisena was joined at his defection
announcement by former president Chandrika Kumaratunga
who also said she was leaving
the SLFP.
The defection by Sirisena
to the main opposition United
National Party (UNP) appears
to have taken Rajapakse by surprise and represents a major
challenge to the authority of the
region’s longest-serving ruler.
“I thank the UNP for choosing me as the common opposition candidate,” Sirisena told
reporters in Colombo. “We will
definitely win.”
Rajapakse declared on Thursday that he will seek an unprecedented third term as president
— a move that was only made
possible after he pushed through
changes to the constitution.
While Rajapakse remains
generally popular with major-
Elections on Jan 8
Sri Lanka’s election commission
yesterday scheduled the presidential election for January 8,
a day after President Mahinda
Rajapakse declared his intention to seek an unprecedented
third term.
Rajapaksa, 69, came to power in
2005 and won a second six-year
term in 2010 on a wave of popularity after the military defeated
Tamil Tiger separatists, ending a
26-year civil war.
His poll ratings have fallen
sharply since.
ity Sinhalese voters after overseeing the end of a 37-year war
against Tamil separatists in
2009, critics say he has become
increasingly authoritarian.
“The country is heading
towards a dictatorship,” said
63-year-old Sirisena, who also
accused the president of nepotism and corruption.
“The entire economy and
every aspect of society is controlled by one family.”
The president’s brothers include the speaker of parliament
Chamal Rajapakse, the economic development minister
Basil Rajapakse and the powerful defence secretary Gotabhaya
His eldest son Namal is a
lawmaker and heads the SLFP’s
youth wing.
“Corruption is rampant,
there is no rule of law,” added Sirisena who promised
to reverse the constitutional
amendments brought in under
Rajapakse which have increased
the powers of the president.
“I urge you to support me to
scrap the executive presidency.
I will scrap this executive within
100 days.”
Maithripala Sirisena, right, addressing journalists while former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga gestures during a press
conference in Colombo yesterday, shortly after Sirisena defected from the ruling party and declared himself as the common opposition
candidate to challenge President Mahinda Rajapakse in the upcoming January election.
His endorsement by the
former president Kumaratunga, who is the daughter of two
former prime ministers, is seen
as a major boost to Sirisena’s
electoral fortunes.
“After nine years I am ending my silence. I have decided to
re-enter active politics to help
bring down a corrupt regime,”
said Kumaratunga who has kept
a low profile since handing over
the leadership of the SLFP to
Rajapakse in 2005.
“The question is whether we
allow one family to destroy the
country or restore decency in
politics.” Kumaratunga, who
served as president from 19942005, told reporters.
“It will be a betrayal of the nation if I do not help this group.”
Three other ministers appeared alongside Sirisena to
declare that they were also
Officials close to Rajapakse
said that the president only realised that Sirisena was about to
jump ship a couple of days ago.
Rajapakse had believed the
UNP would п¬Ѓeld its own leader
and former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe in the contest.
Soon after Sirisena’s announcement, chief commissioner of elections Mahinda
Deshapriya confirmed that the
elections would be on January 8, exactly one month after
the close of nominations for
It means that the elections
will be held only days before a
scheduled visit by Pope Fran-
cis from January 13 to 15, with
the Church warning that parties should not use the trip for
political advantage.
The contest is taking place
against a backdrop of growing international pressure over
the Rajapakse administration’s
human rights record.
The 69-year-old also faces
accusations that his administration has silenced dissenting
voices, including the media and
judiciary after he sacked the
chief justice last year.
50 Bangladeshis
on death row
Fifty Bangladeshi workers are
currently awaiting execution of
their death penalties while serving
in prisons across the globe.
Among them, the verdict for 29
death row inmates have been
put on halt through negotiations
held between the Bangladeshi
embassies and the governments
of the respective countries.
Such negotiations mainly focus
on compensating the victim’s
The numbers were revealed
through a written statement
by Expatriates’ Welfare and
Overseas Employment Minister
Khandker Mosharraf Hossain in
the parliament.
All of the death row inmates
were convicted for committing
Among the death sentence
awardees, 12 Bangladeshi
migrants are in Saudi Arabia,
23 in Dubai, 12 in Kuwait, one in
Bahrain, one in Singapore and
one in Abu Dhabi.
The wage earners’ welfare board
under the ministry of expatriates’
welfare and overseas employment,
is now active enough in order to
free the convicts from the trial in
the respective countries, said the
He informed the parliament that
an �understanding’ has been
reached through negotiations
with the concerned countries to
cancel the death penalty for 29
Bangladeshi expatriate workers.
Letters seeking mercy have
already been sent to the
Bangladeshi missions in those
countries, according to the
statement by the minister.
Besides, 35 more are facing trials
in different countries on murder
charges – 15 in Dubai, 10 in Saudi
Arabia, three in Oman, three in
Qatar, one each in Kuwait, Egypt
and Bahrain.
Khandker also highlighted that
2,759,541 people from Bangladesh
got jobs in different countries
across the world between
January 2009 and September
“The number was 137,088 during
the BNP-Jamaat regime from
2001 to 2006,” he said.
The ministry had undertaken
construction work of nearly 400
centres for providing technical
trainings at the sub-district levels,
said the minister.
Bangladesh, Nepal town shuts down over
India plan
cancellation of Modi’s visit
raids against
ndian and Bangladeshi security forces are planning
to carry out simultaneous
raids against Islamist militants along the porous border
and the two countries have
exchanged lists of terror operatives active on both sides of
the frontier, officials have said.
“It’s important to conduct
simultaneous drives so that
the militants don’t find hideouts to escape arrest,” said a
senior Bangladeshi police official preferring anonymity
as a four-member delegation
of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) wrapped
up a four-day visit to Dhaka as
part of probe into last month’s
Burdwan blast in West Bengal
state, allegedly carried out by
Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants, India’s
PTI reported.
The official added that the
militants have found safe havens in Bangladesh-India
border areas due to intensified
security operations in both
NIA and Bangladesh’s elite
anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) exchanged lists of
JMB operatives and Islamist
militants believed to be hiding in the two countries as the
visiting NIA delegation held
meetings with senior home
ministry officials and security
agencies in Dhaka.
Officials said NIA team, led
by its director general Sharad
Kumar, handed over a list of 11
suspects of the Burdwan blast,
11 being “top wanted Indian
nationals” in connection to
the Burdwan blast.
RAB, on the other hand,
gave a list of 51 fugitive Bangladeshis, 10 of them said to be
JMB activists and several others being members of Harkatul
Jihad al Islami (HuJI) alongside some gangsters as the two
sides exchanged intelligence
on cross-border militancy and
other crimes.
“It’s important to
conduct simultaneous
drives so that the
militants don’t find
hideouts to escape
Bangladesh recently constituted a six-member team
to work on militancy and extend support to NIA in its
A police spokesman earlier
said there were some common
names of JMB operatives in the
two lists but they needed to
verify the lists as the militants
often use different names to
evade detection.
Police, however, suspect the
number of fugitive militants
is 260 who are hiding in the
border areas and are active.
According to newspaper
reports, India’s “wanted” list
contains names of Kausar,
Yusuf Sheikh, Borhan Sheikh,
Rezaul Karim, Talha Sheikh,
Amjad Ali Sheikh, Abul Kalam, Shahnur Alam, Habibur
Sheikh and �Nasirullah’.
Bangladesh had said it
would share its intelligence
on JMB, which is allegedly
responsible for the October 2
blast in Burdwan.
shutdown affected normal life in Janakpur in
Nepal yesterday after
22 political parties announced
a strike protesting against the
cancellation of Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s visit
to the town.
Life was thrown out of gear
due to the strike called by the
parties demanding that Modi
visit Lumbini, the birthplace of
Lord Buddha, as well as Janakpur as he had announced in
On Thursday, the Nepal government announced the cancellation of Modi’s visit to Lumbini, Janakpur and Muktinath,
saying he would only attend the
November 26-27 Saarc Summit
in Kathmandu.
The protesters said they
also wanted Modi to attend a
civic reception at Barha Bigha
and address a mass gathering as originally scheduled
for November 25.
According to information
reaching in Kathmandu, the
protesters burnt the effigy of
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Home Minister Bamdve Gautam, holding them
responsible for the axing of
the visit.
Foreign Minister Mahendra
Bahadur Pandey told the media that India had conveyed
that Modi would show up only
at the Saarc Summit due to his
involvement in various political
India’s ambassador to Nepal,
Ranjit Rae, however, said yesterday that “no official communication has been made regarding the cancellation of the visit”
to the three places.
On Thursday, cabinet minister Bimalendra Nidhi, who
was to have received Modi at
Janakpur, announced the cancellation after being told to do
PHOTOJOURNALISTS PROTEST: Nepalese photojournalists put down their accreditation as they stage a symbolic protest in Kathmandu
yesterday. They staged a protest against the government decision to bar photojournalists from private media houses and wire agencies at the
venue of a regional summit. The 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit is scheduled from November 22 to 27 in
Kathmandu. Heads of state from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Maldives will attend the main summit.
so by the Nepal government.
Amid the ambiguity, preparations continued yesterday
at Janakpur to host the Indian
Home secretary Surya Prasad
Silwal, who is in Janakpur to
oversee security and other logistic factors, told the local media
that he had not got any official
communication from Kathman-
du cancelling Modi’s trip.
He claimed that Modi’s civic
reception, welcome programme
and public address would take
place as scheduled at Janakpur.
“Since Thursday we have
working on a war footing,” Silwal
said. “I am here with the chiefs of
security agencies to prepare for
the Modi visit.”
However, the Nepal foreign
ministry yesterday said Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
visits to religious sites in Nepal
were still in place, a day after
they were announced cancelled
for security reasons.
Foreign Minister Mahendra
Bahadur Pandey retracted the
earlier cancellation announcement during a press conference
in Kathmandu, and said that
Modi’s itinerary would proceed
as scheduled.
Modi is scheduled to visit Janakpur district on November 25, on
the sidelines of a meeting of the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc). He
is also set to visit the birthplace
of Lord Buddha in Lumbini and
the Muktinath temple in Jomsom
after the summit.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 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
Japan PM seeks
to secure support
as troubles mount
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday
dissolved the powerful lower house of parliament
halfway through his four-year term for snap elections
in December to seek public support for his economic
policies dubbed “Abenomics”.
This week, official data showed Japan’s economy,
the world’s third-largest, unexpectedly fell into
recession amid sluggish consumer demand following a
controversial hike in the sales tax on April 1 to 8% from
Abe says he has decided to call early elections
because he wants to see how Japanese people will
respond to his economic policies A survey conducted
by the Kyodo News agency shows 63.1% those polled
do not support Abe’s decision to hold fresh polls, while
30.5% favour the move.
Analysts believe Abe seeks to head the government
longer term, and wants to solidify the power base
before he is expected to face a series of difficulties next
The premier’s
economic policies rest
on п¬Ѓscal stimulus,
monetary easing and
structural reforms.
Japanese exporters
have been taken
advantage of a falling
yen, but the depreciation of the currency has driven up
import costs, which hurts consumers along with the
sales tax hike.
A government report shows household income has
declined 6% from a year earlier in September for the
12th consecutive month of fall, while the benchmark
Nikkei 225 Stock Average has gained about 72% since
Abe took office.
The premier will also face some unpopular events in 2015.
One of them is the restart of nuclear reactors near an active
volcano in southern Japan amid strong public opposition.
As Japan marks the 70th anniversary of its surrender
in World War II next year, historical tensions with
neighbouring countries such as China and South Korea
may reignite.
Seoul has already urged Tokyo to resolve the issue
of the Japanese military’s wartime sexual slavery in
connection with the occasion. Many of the victims
were Korean women.
Abe has not held a one-on-one meeting with South
Korean President Park Geun Hye since both took office
amid tensions over a territorial spat and differing views
of wartime history, including the sexual slavery issue.
Abe, however, was able to hold his п¬Ѓrst official talks
with Chinese President Xi Jinping for 25 minutes
on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing earlier this month.
“I don’t think Abe would be able to take a tough
stance any longer against China especially after seeing
warmer ties between China and the US,” Japan’s
important ally, though he has gained power by harshly
criticising Beijing, Seoul and Pyongyang, according to
Minoru Morita, a Tokyo-based analyst.
Little progress has been seen in the issue of North
Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens though
Pyongyang promised six months ago to reinvestigate
the fate of more than a dozen Japanese nationals
abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.
The premier “has come to realise there has been
a fall in Japan’s international status, so he wants a
fresh mandate to gain respect from the international
community”, Morita believes.
Economic growth bolsters
China’s geopolitical clout
Like the US after World
War II, China is putting
real money on the table to
build strong economic and
infrastructure links with
countries around the world
By Jeffrey D Sachs
New York
he biggest economic news of
the year came almost without
notice: China has overtaken
the US as the world’s largest
economy, according to the scorekeepers at the International Monetary Fund
And, while China’s geopolitical
status is rising rapidly, alongside its
economic might, the US continues to
squander its global leadership, owing
to the unchecked greed of its political
and economic elites and the self-made
trap of perpetual war in the Middle
According to the IMF, China’s GDP
will be $17.6tn in 2014, outstripping
US output of $17.4tn. Of course, because China’s population is more than
four times larger, its per capita GDP, at
$12,900, is still less than a quarter of
the $54,700 recorded in the US, which
highlights America’s much higher living standards.
China’s rise is momentous but it also
signifies a return. After all, China has
been the world’s most populous country
since it became a unified state more
than 2,000 years ago, so it makes sense
that it would also be the world’s largest
economy. And, indeed, the evidence
suggests that China was larger (in terms
of purchasing power parity) than any
other economy in the world until around
1889, when the US eclipsed it.
Now, 125 years later, the rankings
have reversed again, following decades
of rapid economic development in
With rising economic power has
come growing geopolitical clout.
Chinese leaders are feted around the
world. Many European countries are
looking to China as the key to stronger
domestic growth. African leaders view
China as their countries’ new indispensable growth partner, particularly
in infrastructure and business development.
Similarly, economic strategists and
business leaders in Latin America now
look to China at least as much as they
look to the US. China and Japan seem
to be taking steps toward better relations, after a period of high tensions.
Even Russia has recently “tilted”
toward China, establishing stronger
connections on many fronts, including
energy and transport.
Like the US after World War II,
China is putting real money on the
table – a lot of it – to build strong economic and infrastructure links with
countries around the world. This will
enable other countries to boost their
own growth, while cementing China’s
global economic and geopolitical
The number of Chinese initiatives is
staggering. In just the past year, China
has launched four major projects that
promise to give it a greatly expanded
role in global trade and п¬Ѓnance. China
joined Russia, Brazil, India and South
Africa in establishing the New Development Bank, to be based in Shanghai.
A new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to be based in Beijing, will
help to fund infrastructure projects
(roads, power, and rail, among others)
throughout the region.
The New Silk Road land belt seeks
to connect China with the economies
of East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia
and Europe through an expanded grid
of rail, highways, power, п¬Ѓbre and
other networks.
And the new 21st Century Maritime
Silk Road is aimed at boosting oceanbased trade in East Asia and the Indian
All told, these various initiatives
are likely to leverage hundreds of
billions of dollars in investment
over the coming decade, speeding
growth in the counterpart countries while deepening their production, trade, and financial linkages
with China.
The number of
Chinese initiatives is
There is no guarantee that all of this
will succeed or proceed smoothly.
China faces huge internal challenges,
including high and rising income
inequality, massive air and water
pollution, the need to move to a lowcarbon economy and the same risks
of п¬Ѓnancial-market instabilities that
bedevil the US and Europe.
And if China becomes too aggressive toward its neighbours – for
example, by demanding rights to
offshore oil or territory in disputed
waters – it will generate a serious
diplomatic backlash. No one should
assume smooth sailing for China (or
for any other part of the world, for
that matter) in the years ahead.
Still, it is striking that just as
China is rising economically and
geopolitically, the US seems to be
doing everything possible to waste
its own economic, technological
and geopolitical advantages.
The US political system has been
captured by the greed of its wealthy
elites, whose narrow goals are to cut
corporate and personal tax rates,
maximise their vast personal fortunes,
and curtail constructive US leadership in global economic development.
They so scorn US foreign assistance
that they have thrown open the doors
to China’s new global leadership in
development п¬Ѓnancing.
Even worse, as China flexes its
geopolitical muscles, the only foreign
policy that the US systematically
pursues is unceasing and fruitless war
in the Middle East. The US endlessly
drains its resources and energy in Syria
and Iraq in the same way that it once
did in Vietnam.
China, meanwhile, has avoided
becoming enmeshed in overseas military debacles, emphasising win-win
economic initiatives instead.
China’s economic rise can contribute to global wellbeing if its leaders
emphasise investment in infrastructure, clean energy, public health and
other international priorities. Still,
the world would be better off if the US
also continued to lead constructively,
alongside China.
The recent announcement by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping
of bilateral agreements on climate
change and clean energy show the best
of what’s possible. America’s perpetual war-making in the Middle East
shows the worst. - Project Syndicate
zJeffrey D Sachs is professor of
sustainable development, professor
of health policy and management,
and director of the Earth Institute at
Columbia University. He is also special
adviser to the UN secretary-general on
the Millennium Development Goals.
Analysts believe
Abe wants to
solidify the power
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2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved
Meet Mr Suffering from Congo!
By Habibou Bangre
igeria holds the prize for an
eccentric presidential name
but move over Goodluck
Jonathan, you can also meet
Suffering or chat with Chinese in the
heart of Africa.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
abounds in quirky names coined by
mixing common nouns, adjectives and
religious fervour into a fresh shortened
Christian п¬Ѓrst names have long been
used in this francophone country and
continued after independence from
Belgium in 1960.
In the 1970s, the custom carried on
undercover even after former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko (1965 to 1997)
launched a drive to restore African
As elsewhere in Africa, the Congolese sometimes name their offspring
after presidents or their employers often hoping to gain favour - or even
their profession.
Nouns like Budget, Verdict, Jeunesse (Youth) and Plante (Plant) as
well as adjectives, often of the superlative kind, are also big.
Therese, a 34-year-old housewife, had
no doubt about what to name her twin
boys when they were born three years ago.
“They’re called Precious and Sublime. They are precious for me and
Chinois (Chinese) Mbelechi Msoshi, a freelance journalist, looking at a magazine
in the Congalese capital, Kinshasa. The Democratic Republic of Congo abounds
in quirky names coined by mixing common nouns, adjectives and religious
fervour into a fresh shortened moniker.
I hope they will also be precious to
society,” she said.
Regional variations have also been
noticed, including one specific to the
east of the country where for the last
20 years conflict has erupted among
armed groups from local areas or nearby countries over ethnic, economic or
border disputes.
“Your name can cause you problems
or save your life,” said Justin Paluku,
a doctor at the Heal Africa hospital in
Goma, capital of the strife-torn Nord
Kivu province.
“People have gotten used to no
longer using tribal names to hide the
real identity of their child,” he said.
According to the law, names have
to bear a “link to Congolese cultural
heritage, cannot be contrary to good
morals or be in any way insulting,
humiliating or provocative”.
Many are named in the local language after powerful animals, such as
Lion or Leopard, but other variants
include the tamer Pigeon and Poodle.
Some names, people believe, mark
the fate of individuals for life.
Ferdinand, a resident of the eastern city of Goma, cites the case of a
man named Mateso or Suffering in
“According to those close to him, his
name has been the root of all the misfortunes that have befallen his family,”
the 29-year-old Ferdinand said.
These include his unwed daughters’
pregnancies, his good-for-nothing
sons, his rocky employment history
and the fact that his house was burnt
to the ground.
If it proves unduly troublesome,
people can change their registered
names “but often reverence for one’s
parents prevents them from doing
so”, said Richard Bondo, a lawyer in
For 28-year-old Chinois, or Chinese
in French, an unusual name has become a source of pride.
Named thus because his family found he bore a resemblance to
Chinese workers building a bridge
near his native village, the journalist now based in Kinshasa - was renamed
Bienvenu or “Welcome” in French by a
local radio station on the grounds that
his real name would sound bizarre on
the airwaves.
But he is unfazed by the jokes and
the snide remarks that often follow
whenever he is introduced to people.
“I show them my voter’s card and
say - I am the sole Chinese in the
Democratic Republic of Congo!” he
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Signs of Ukraine vanish in rebel east
One year after the
п¬Ѓrst demonstrations
began on Kiev’s iconic
Independence Square,
there are few signs that
Donetsk was ever a part of
he symbols of Ukraine have
been hidden somewhere in
the school in the country’s
war-torn east - but the headmistress will not say exactly where.
One year after the start of protests
in Kiev that toppled a pro-Russian
government and set in motion a chain
of events that set off a bloody proRussian rebellion, at school Number
33 in insurgent-held Donetsk, all signs
of Ukraine have been assiduously
“They have not been removed
because we don’t respect Ukraine but
because of what this government has
done to the people here,” said Tatyana
Denisenko, the veteran school director.
In late August, the school
was partially destroyed by п¬Ѓerce
shelling between government
forces and п¬Ѓghters from the rebel,
self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s
Republic, one of two breakaway
statelets in the east that have declared
“Since then, Ukraine has done
nothing for us,” Denisenko said
The separatist authorities, on the
other hand, have pledged to rebuild
the school using materials brought in
from Russia.
Dressed immaculately in a leopardprint blouse, the former high school
Pro-Russian rebels standing guard at a checkpoint near the destroyed airport in the Kievskiy district of the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk.
teacher insists that the children at the
school will not be taught to hate Kiev.
“But our main direction now is
Russia,” she said, adding that she is
waiting for recommendations from
the rebel authorities on a new history
One year after the п¬Ѓrst
demonstrations began on Kiev’s iconic
Independence Square - dividing the
country between those who wanted
closer ties with the West and those who
looked to Russia - there are few signs
that Donetsk was ever a part of Ukraine.
From every official building flutters
the black, blue and red flag of the
self-declared republic, which began
to emerge in April when pro-Russian
crowds stormed government buildings
around the region.
Inside are propaganda posters
hostile to Kiev and the European
Portraits of Russian President
Vladimir Putin - the man Ukraine
accuses of masterminding the brutal
insurgency in the Russian-speaking
east after he sent in troops to seize the
Crimea peninsula in March - can also
be seen.
The Ukrainian language, however, is
nowhere to be heard.
“It is difficult for me to speak of
Ukraine as an enemy but the Ukrainian
flag has become a fascist flag,” said
Valery Skorokhodov, who was elected
a rebel lawmaker at a vote rejected by
Kiev earlier this month.
The burly 30-year-old, who carried
his Makarov pistol with him wherever
he goes, says he too went to the
protests in Kiev to begin with.
“But outside forces then
appropriated the movement,” he said.
Now, as seven months of bloody
п¬Ѓghting that has killed over 4,300
people rumbles on, the industrial
Donbass region in the east will never
return to Ukraine, he claimed.
“That train has left,” he added.
Market stalls in Donetsk over the
past few weeks have started doing a
good trade in a new line of products:
miniature flags, key chains and
passport covers all in the colours of
the Donetsk People’s Republic.
One of the salesmen, ruddycheeked Andrei, said he makes
everything at home and can charge a
bit more for the sought-after items.
“It’s very popular,” said the 21-yearold entrepreneur.
Following popular demand, his latest
line of products is now being stamped
with the word “Russia”, he said.
At checkpoints, on the uniforms of
rebels and on civilian cars, the colours
of Russia are never far away.
Even as shelling continue to rumble
on the edge of the city, Donetsk earlier
this month opened its п¬Ѓrst Russian п¬Ѓlm
festival, showing three п¬Ѓlms in two days.
“We have to show something to
the people of Donbass,” said Anatoly
Teslya, the festival’s head.
He swore that he does not get
involved in politics but it has been
over a year since he last showed a
Ukrainian п¬Ѓlm in his cinema.
At the checkpoint of Uspenka, on
a stretch of the Russian border under
rebel control, the Ukrainian colours can
still be seen painted on the guard posts.
Some 15 insurgent officials check
passports quickly before sending cars
on their way across the open frontier
with their vast eastern neighbour.
“Everything is about to change here,
at least the colours,” said Alexei, who
has swapped his Ukrainian customs
official uniform for rebel fatigues.
Weather report
Three-day forecast
Employees covered by special laws
High: 29 C
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Hazy and moderate temperature
during day with some clouds
Article 3 of the Labour
Law excludes various
government entities
from its provisions and
By Nizar Kochery
QUESTION: I am working with
an affiliated company of Qatar
Petroleum. Does Qatar Labour
Law applicable to employees
of such companies? We have
employment contracts but no
law is referred to in the contract.
If there is conflict, will Qatar
Labour Law prevail over the
AR, Doha
ANSWER: Article 3 of the Qatar
Labour Law excludes various
individuals and entities, including, but not limited to, individuals
employed by ministries and other
governmental organisations, public
institutions and companies which
have been established by Qatar
Petroleum and domestic and casual
employees from its provisions and
The employment affairs of workers
of the ministries and other governmental organs, public institutions,
Corps and companies which are
established by Qatar Petroleum by
itself or with others, are regulated by
special laws. The provision of Labour
Law has been further expanded by an
amendment early this year by Law No
3 of 2014.
As per the amendment, Qatar
Labour Law – Law No 14 of 2004
shall not apply to companies which
have been incorporated by the
government, companies in which
the government has participated
in the inCorp; and which work in
the petroleum sector in relation to
marketing and selling of petroleum
products, chemicals and petrochemicals; companies which have been
incorporated by Qatar Petroleum in
whole or in part; companies in which
Qatar Petroleum owns a stake; companies involved in exploration and
production sharing agreements, field
development agreements and production sharing; and joint venture
agreements in the petroleum sector
and petrochemical industries; and
those whose employment affairs are
regulated by special laws.
The employment agreement
executed with the employer will be
sufficient enough to establish employment rights.
Internet law
ties, or involvement in identity theft
or stealing movable property using
the Internet are also offences under
the law.
Q: How strong is the Internet Law
in Qatar?
UT, Doha
A: Qatar issued Cybercrime Prevention Law No 14 of 2014, imposing
many sanctions and several penalties
for offences committed through the
cyberspace such as the Internet, IT
networks, computers, etc. The law
stipulates a 10-year imprisonment and
a п¬Ѓne of up to QR200,000 for forging
any official e-document. In case if the
document forged is unofficial, a threeyear term or a п¬Ѓne of a maximum of
QR100,000 shall be imposed. A jail
term of up to three years and a п¬Ѓne of
up to QR200,000 are the punishment
for unauthorised possession or use of
e-card, whether it is an ATM or credit
card, or stealing numbers or forging
Laws impose a jail term of up
to three years and a п¬Ѓne of up to
QR500,000 for the breach of intellectual property rights by using the
Internet. Publication of false news,
impersonation of individuals or enti-
Court sessions
usually in public
Q: I would like to know more
about the legal system in Qatar.
There was a case against one of
our staff, who is alleged to have
committed forgery. He says that
if we go to the court, the judge
will call us to his office and decide the matter privately. Is this
JT, Doha
A: According to Article 59 of Law No
13 of the year 1990, court sessions
shall be in public, unless the court
perceives of its own initiative, or upon
request of one of the adversaries,
making it in-camera with a view to
maintain the public order, or in deference to manners or the inviolability of
the family. However, pronouncement
of the judgment shall, in all circumstances, be public.
Transfer of
High: 29 C
Low : 21 C
P Cloudy
Q: I have been working with a
company for seven years. I would
like to change the company now.
How can I do that? I don’t have
any job offer yet. Can I get a noobjection certificate (NOC) from
my employer without a job offer
from another establishment? If I
resign, how much gratuity will I
OK, Doha
A: Transfer of sponsorship and grant
of the NOC are at the discretion of the
current employer and subject to the
approval of the immigration authorities. According to Article 4 of Entry
and Exit Laws, except with the written
consent of the previous sponsor, grant
of entry visa for work prior to the
completion of two years is prohibited.
Under Article 54, a worker having a
minimum service of one continuous
year will be entitled for gratuity payment minimum at the rate of days/year.
High: 28 C
Low : 22 C
Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: NW-NE 03-12/15 KT
Waves: 1-3/4 Feet
Wind: SW-SE 03-12/ KT
Waves: 1-2/ Feet
Around the region
Abu Dhabi
Kuwait City
M Cloudy
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zPlease send your questions by
e-mail to: [email protected]
Article 1100 stipulates that when
an application is made for the sale of
a property, the formalities laid down
for compulsory expropriation must
be followed. The sale shall take place
at the request of either the applicant
or of the third party holder, whoever
shall have more interest in expediting
the sale. The applicant must mention in the notices of sale the price at
which he has valued the property.
If the sale of the property is not
applied for within the period and in
accordance with the procedure laid
down, the ownership, or if the sale is
applied for but no higher price than
that offered by the third party holder,
the ownership of the property shall be
vested п¬Ѓnally in the third party holder
if he deposits the sum at which he
has valued the property in the court’s
The abandonment of the mortgaged property is made by a declaration submitted to the execution judge
by the third party holder. He must,
within п¬Ѓve days from the date of the
declaration, notify the abandonment
to the creditor who is conducting the
proceedings of expropriation by a
registered letter accompanied by an
acknowledgement slip.
The party who has most interest to expedite the sale may apply to
the judge of the summary court for
the nomination of a receiver against
whom the proceedings of expropriation may be taken. The third party
holder, if he applies, will be appointed
If the third party holder does not
opt for payment of the inscribed
debts, the purge of the property or
the abandonment of the property, the
mortgagee can only take expropriation proceedings against him after he
has summoned him to pay the debt
accrued due or to abandon the prop-
erty. The third party holder may take
part in the auction on condition that
he does not offer a price lower than
the sum that he still owes on the price
of the property which is being sold.
If the mortgaged property is
expropriated, even after proceedings
for purge or abandonment have been
taken and the third party holder acquires the property at the auction, he
will be deemed to be the owner of the
property by virtue of his original title
deed and the property will be purged
of all inscriptions if he pays the price
for which he acquired the property at
the auction.
If, in the preceding cases, a person
other than the third party holder
acquires the property at the auction,
he will hold his right by virtue of the
judgement of adjudication from the
third party holder.
Under Article 1108, if the price at
which the property is sold by auction
exceeds the total of the sums due to
the inscribed creditors, the difference
in excess belongs to the third party
holder, and the mortgagee creditors
of the third party holder may be paid
out of this excess. Servitudes and
other real rights that the third party
holder had on the property before he
acquired the property are re-vested
in him.
Around the world
Cape Town
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China cuts
interest rate
to spur growth
Indian shares
soar to new
record high
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Moharram 29, 1436 AH
Foreign firms challenge
Poland over access to
mine concessions
Qatar-backed QKR close
to $1bn bid for Nevsun
Nevsun owns 60% of the Bisha gold,
copper and zinc mine in Eritrea;
QKR is funded by Qatar’s sovereign
wealth fund and Poland’s richest
man Jan Kulczyk; it purchased
AngloGold Ashanti’s Navachab
mine in Namibia for $110mn in July
KR Corp, a mining fund headed
by former JPMorgan Chase & Co
banker Lloyd Pengilly, is close to
making a bid of about $1bn for Canada’s
Nevsun Resources Ltd, according to
people with knowledge of the situation.
Negotiations are ongoing between
QKR and Vancouver-based Nevsun,
which owns 60% of the Bisha gold,
copper and zinc mine in Eritrea in East
Africa. There’s no guarantee an agreement will be reached, said the people,
who asked not to be identified because
the talks are private.
“Nevsun has recently received from
various parties expressions of interest
on a potential corporate transaction,”
the company said in a statement yesterday. “Any discussions are at a preliminary stage and there is no certainty
that any transaction will be completed.
Management is not aware of a bid for
the company.”
Bisha would be the second acquisition by QKR, funded by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Poland’s richest
man Jan Kulczyk, after its $110mn purchase of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd’s Navachab mine in Namibia in July. It’s seeking assets close to production or from
companies struggling to fund them.
Nevsun jumped as much as 25% before the company issued its statement
and traded 11% higher at C$4.72 at 4pm
in Toronto.
“Nevsun has one of the highestgrade, highest-margin open pit mines
in the world with abundant exploration potential,” Adam Low, an analyst at
Raymond James Financial, said over the
phone yesterday. “Given that they’ve
got a significant amount of their market
value in cash on the balance sheet without any debt, to a degree the company
is almost a partially self-funded takeo-
The Nevsun-owned Bisha plans to produce 80,000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes of copper this year and seeks zinc production at the beginning of 2016 at the mine, located
150km west of Eritrea’s capital, Asmara.
ver target while the rest of the assets
are very attractive.” A representative of
QKR declined to comment. Nevsun said
in a statement it doesn’t comment on
market speculation.
Private equity funds, including those
led by former Xstrata chief executive
officer Mick Davis and ex-Barrick Gold
Corp CEO Aaron Regent, are hunting
for assets as the world’s largest mining companies from BHP Billiton to Rio
Opec panel reviews oil
outlook ahead of talks
A panel of national
representatives reviewed
Opec’s oil market outlook for
2015 this week, Opec sources
said, preparing the ground for
a policy-setting meeting next
week that will decide how to
address a looming oversupply
of crude.
The Economic Commission
Board concluded a two-day
meeting in Vienna yesterday
ahead of the gathering of
the group’s oil ministers on
November 27. It does not
recommend policy to the
The panel reviewed the
supply and demand forecasts
published in the oil exporter
group’s monthly market report,
which predicted lower demand
for Opec crude in 2015 and
oversupply in the market if Opec
maintains its current output. “It
was a general discussion on the
2015 outlook,” one of the Opec
sources said.
Oil prices have fallen by 30%
since June to around $80 a
barrel, alarming some Opec
members. But an agreement on
a cut in the group’s output at next
week’s meeting is by no means
certain, not least because top
exporter Saudi Arabia has yet to
say whether it supports one.
Delegates expect a difficult
meeting, and analysts are split
over the outcome.
“This meeting will be probably
one of the toughest ever,” one
delegate said.
Opec’s latest oil market report,
published on November 12,
forecast that demand for Opec
crude next year would fall
far below its current output
because of the US shale boom.
It pointed to a supply surplus
of 1.8mn barrels per day
(bpd) in the first half of 2015
if Opec keeps output at the
October rate of 30.25mn bpd.
It estimated demand for Opec
crude averaging 28.45mn bpd.
Two Opec officials, Libya’s Opec
governor and another delegate
who declined to be named,
earlier told Reuters the 2015
outlook indicates Opec needs
to cut output, giving figures
between 500,000 bpd and 1mn
Tinto Group divest operations to cut
costs and smaller producers struggle to
fund expansion.
Nevsun’s stock closed on Thursday at C$4.24, valuing the company at
C$846.5mn ($749mn), about 35% below its February 2012 valuation, when
it cut its gold production forecast by
almost half for that year to a range of
190,000 ounces to 210,000 ounces.
$416.3mn of sales and $71.5mn of profit
for the п¬Ѓrst nine months of the year.
It produced 65,100 tonnes of copper
in concentrate in the period and had
working capital of $519mn, including
$380mn of cash and $113mn in current
receivables, it said on October 30. It
stopped gold output last year.
The company seeks to generate a free
cash flow of $120mn this year after tax
and capital expenditure, chief executive
officer Cliff Davis said on a conference
call October 31. The Bisha deposit consists of a layer of gold oxide above layers
of copper and zinc. The mine produced
only gold until last year, after which it
began to expand into copper and zinc.
It plans to produce 80,000 tonnes to
90,000 tonnes of copper this year and
seeks zinc production at the beginning
of 2016 at the mine, located 150km west
of Eritrea’s capital, Asmara.
Bank Asya
cuts staff
as feud hits
Asya Katilim Bankasi, the lender
embroiled in a feud between
Turkey’s president and a Muslim
cleric accused of trying to bring
down the government, is cutting staff and shutting branches
after deposits slumped.
The closure of 80 branches and
cuts to as much as a third of
staff are related to a contraction
in the bank’s balance sheet,
Cengiz Onder, its head of investor relations, said by phone
from Istanbul yesterday. Deposits fell by almost half to 10.1bn
liras ($4.54bn) in the 12 months
ended September 30 after a
series of high-profile withdrawals by state-owned companies.
“We are adjusting to the new
situation,” Onder said. The bank
has about 3,300 employees,
down from 5,182 a year ago and
the figure may drop further to
3,000 he said.
Bank Asya’s expansion plans
have been disrupted by political turmoil stemming from
conflict between President
Recep Erdogan and the cleric,
Fethullah Gulen. A series of
dawn raids and detentions
on December 17 dragged the
bank into the centre of a bitter
quarrel, as Erdogan accused
Gulen, whose allies founded
Bank Asya, of being behind the
The raids stemmed from corruption charges levelled at
ministers, state bankers and
pro-government businessmen. Erdogan, who was prime
minister at the time of the raids
and who became president in
August, blamed the investigations on followers of Gulen, who
has been in self-imposed exile in
the US for more than a decade.
Erdogan called the arrests a
coup attempt, while Gulen has
denied any involvement.
Bank Asya executives have
highlighted that the bank has
the largest proportion of public
ownership of any lender traded
on the Istanbul stock exchange,
with a free float exceeding 50%.
Airlines eye tech partners to tap customer data
Antwerp, Belgium
irlines are seeking to work more
closely with travel technology
companies to mine customer data
for ways to generate more revenue beyond
ticket sales, emulating other industries
already using such methods.
While retailers have implemented ever
more ingenious ways to make better use
of customer data, both online and offline, many airlines have been slower off
the mark, only recently looking to harvest
more profitably the wealth of information provided by their frequent-flyer loyalty schemes. “Revenue from the ticket
is barely covering costs these days,” Uwe
Klenovsky, Commercial Director of Thomas Cook Airlines, said at the CAPA
World Aviation Summit in Antwerp.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts that global
airlines will achieve a net profit margin of
only 2.4% this year, higher than 2013 but
a long way from the 10% margins in the
A historically tense relationship with
global distribution service (GDS) companies could take a back seat as airlines recognise the potential goldmine of information that the tech know-how of such
businesses can provide.
Sabre Corp, the travel software and data company can store customer
transactions for three years, equating to about 1,000 pieces of data per
customer, but says airlines have also been requesting information on
customers’ social media profiles and activity
Airlines have been reluctant to publish all fares on all distribution channels,
often keeping the lowest prices on their
own websites, rather than eroding margins further by paying their GDS partners
such as Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre
Corp to market them.
Ryanair chief executive Michael
O’Leary once vowed never to work with
them but has signed GDS deals this year
to target higher-spending corporate customers as part of a wider strategy to increase customer numbers to 114mn passengers by 2019, from 82mn last year.
Like others in the industry, he wants
to be able to send out targeted offers de-
pending on a passenger’s travel habits,
such as discounts on particular routes
and days, rather than the blanket advertising e-mails sent out in the past.
While traditional retailers are able to
glean information from consumers who
shop weekly, or even daily, airlines need
help to gain a fuller picture of the habits
and spending of customers for whom air
travel is a relatively infrequent activity.
Sabre can store customer transactions
for three years, equating to about 1,000
pieces of data per customer, but says that
airlines have also been requesting information on customers’ social media profiles and activity. “We have to help them
extract that and use it,” said Stan Boyer, of
Sabre Airline Solutions.
Amadeus, which powers flight search
systems for many airlines and comparison sites, sees an opportunity to expand
into hotel bookings and intelligence on
travel shopping, which can help airlines
to maximise customer spending.
For Ethiopian Airlines, better use of
customer data will allow the company to
track higher-spending customers more
closely and encourage them to spend
more. “We want to identify the high-value customers, not only on the ground but
in the air,” chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam told Reuters on the sidelines
of the Antwerp summit.
Data show that airline customers are
often concerned only with price when
booking tickets but are more inclined to
spend freely once they reach the airport
and board their flights, said Amadeus’s
Head of Distribution Marketing, Decius
Valmorbida, offering the chance of targeted marketing of anything from food
and drink to consumer products.
Part of the problem is that they have
too long thought in terms of cost and revenue per seat, rather than per customer.
“To manage on a per customer basis
will be a huge challenge,” Air China executive Zhihang Chi said. “Anyone who can
help me provide a good experience for the
customer is welcome.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
China commits $45.6bn fund for economic corridor with Pakistan
The Chinese government and banks
will finance Chinese companies to
build $45.6bn worth of energy and
infrastructure projects in Pakistan over
the next six years, according to new
details of the deal seen by Reuters
The Chinese companies will be able to
operate the projects as profit-making
entities, according to the deal signed
by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during
a visit to China earlier this month.
At the time, officials provided few
details of the projects or the financing
for the deal, dubbed the China-Pak
Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The deal further cements ties between
Pakistan and China at a time when
Pakistan is nervous about waning
US support as troops pull out of
Pakistan and China, both nucleararmed nations, consider each
other close friends. Their ties are
underpinned by common wariness of
India and a desire to hedge against US
influence in South Asia.
Documents seen by Reuters show that
China has promised to invest around
$33.8bn in various energy projects and
$11.8bn in infrastructure projects.
Two members of Pakistan’s planning
commission, the focal ministry for
the CPEC, and a senior official at the
ministry of water and power shared the
details of the projects.
The deal says the Chinese government
and banks, including China
Development Bank, and the Industrial
and Commercial Bank of China Ltd
(ICBC), one of China’s �Big Four’ stateowned commercial banks, will loan
funds to Chinese companies, who will
invest in the projects as commercial
“Pakistan will not be taking on any
more debt through these projects,”
said Pakistan’s minister for water and
power Khawaja Asif.
Major Chinese companies investing in
Pakistan’s energy sector will include
China’s Three Gorges Corp, which
built the world’s biggest hydro power
scheme, and China Power International
Development Ltd.
Sharif signed more than 20
agreements during his trip to China
earlier this month, including $622mn
for projects related to the deepwater,
strategically important Gwadar port,
which China is developing.
The port is close to the Strait of
Hormuz, a key oil shipping lane. It
could open up an energy and trade
corridor from the Gulf across Pakistan
to western China that could be used
by the Chinese Navy – potentially
upsetting rival India.
Pakistan sees the latest round of
Chinese investments as key to its
efforts to solve power shortages that
have crippled its economy.
Blackouts lasting more than half a day
in some areas have sparked violent
protests and undermined an economy
already beset by high unemployment,
widespread poverty, crime and
sectarian and insurgent violence.
Under the CPEC agreement, $15.5bn
worth of coal, wind, solar and hydro
energy projects will come online by
Long �to do’ list for Indian PM
Modi as clock ticks on reform
New Delhi
ndian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi has a long list of pro-growth
measures to implement over the
next four months, but time may have
already run out to breathe enough life
into the economy to meet the tough
2014/15 fiscal deficit target without
Modi’s election victory in May unleashed a rush of money from foreign
portfolios betting the reformist prime
minister would drive a quick recovery.
That has yet to materialise, with both
factory utilisation and capital spending low.
Parliament convenes on Monday
for a month-long session in which the
government is confident of passing legislation to allow more foreign investment in the insurance industry, despite
hostile opposition parties. Other bills,
including labour and land reform, will
face stiff opposition.
After the session ends on December
23, focus will turn to Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley’s second budget, due in
February and seen as a chance for the
government to address criticism it has
not moved quickly or boldly enough on
the economy.
“They are quite aware of the urgency,
that this cannot just be an incremental
budget,” said author and commentator
Gurcharan Das, a former CEO of Proctor and Gamble India. “They think of
this as a transformative budget.”
Jaitley set a tough fiscal deficit target
of 4.1% of GDP in his maiden budget.
Slack tax revenues and the challenge of
Modi: Committed to meeting the tough 2014-15 fiscal deficit target without cuts.
raising a record $9.5bn target from asset
sales could force him to cut spending,
risking a fragile economic recovery.
Jaitley acknowledged yesterday that
it will be hard to hit tax revenue targets
this п¬Ѓnancial year, saying the lack of
pick-up in manufacturing was affect-
ing indirect tax receipts. “India looks
set to miss its п¬Ѓscal target this year,
even in the optimistic case that the
government fully delivers on its plans to
sell stakes in state-owned companies,”
Capital Economics’ Shilan Shah said in
a research note.
Shah said missing the target would
not be such a bad thing, given that
looser п¬Ѓscal policy could help the economic revival. After moving slowly on
economic policy, including the asset
sales, in his п¬Ѓrst six months in office,
Modi has now picked up the pace.
Last week the government announced it would auction dozens of
coalfields by February as well as allow
foreign п¬Ѓrms to mine coal for the п¬Ѓrst
time. Asset sales should begin with the
sale of a stake in oil п¬Ѓrm ONGC in early
Even if such moves were implemented straight away, one senior government source said, their impact would
take months to be felt. GDP data due on
November 28 will give a clearer picture
of how the economy fared in the quarter
to September, but with factories running nearly 30% below capacity, few
expect a big rebound from the worst
slowdown since the 1980s.
One п¬Ѓnance ministry source said
yesterday that 2014/15 economic
growth was likely to be at the lower end
of the 5.4-5.9% forecast factored into
the current budget, while tax receipts
may fall short by Rs700bn ($11bn).
Opposition parties have not so far not
agreed to support even the relatively uncontroversial insurance bill, or a constitutional amendment needed for a goods
and services tax, raising concerns of a
log jam in the upper house of parliament, where Modi’s party is in minority.
Recognising that the investment and
economic recovery has “yet to materialise”, and that tax receipts are well below budget estimates, the government
has turned to excise measures such as a
fuel tax to claw back revenue.
One proposal under discussion was
to place a duty on imports of crude oil,
three government sources said. The
proposal is opposed by India’s oil refiners. Other revenues could come from
planned auctions of mobile telephone
and FM radio spectrum early next year.
Jaitley vows to make progress on reforms
New Delhi
India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
promised yesterday to make progress
during the upcoming parliamentary
session on a string of economic
reforms, including a national tax to
create a single internal market.
The right-wing government led by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was
elected in May with the biggest
parliamentary mandate in three
decades on a pledge to take tough
action to revive India’s stumbling
Jaitley has declared the government
wants to pass the goods-and-services
tax (GST) by next April, one of the
reforms cited by economists as key to
cutting the cost of doing business and
boosting India’s sluggish growth.
Jaitley said he was “almost ready”
with the GST proposal to end India’s
Jaitley: Ready for action.
patchwork of state taxes and confident
a constitutional amendment bill to
change the tax law will be introduced in
the next session starting on Monday.
The tax change is one of the most
complicated reforms to achieve,
requiring a constitutional amendment
involving consent of a majority of
India’s states – some of which object to
ceding their right to levy taxes – as well
as approval by both houses.
While the government holds a majority
in the lower house, it is still in a
minority in the upper house.
But Jaitley said he did not expect
legislators to hold back the GST once
he wins state approval for the tax
“I am quite sure once the state
governments across political parties
agree, we should be able to push this
(GST),” he said.
Jaitley also said the government is
aiming for passage of a long-pending
insurance bill that involves hiking the
foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in
the insurance sector to 49% from 26%.
The higher ceiling is seen as paving the
way for billions of dollars to flow into
the insurance sector that is starved for
funds in the country of 1.2bn people
who are badly under-insured.
“We are on the verge of opening the
sector a little more,” Jaitley said in a
speech at a conference in New Delhi.
The minister also said he would seek
to target India’s massive food and fuel
subsidies better to ensure only those in
financial need benefited.
India’s subsidy bill increased fivefold
under the previous left-leaning
Congress government which
implemented policies to buy agricultural
produce at guaranteed prices and
distribute cheap grains to the poor.
Modi’s government has held back from
dismantling many populist schemes.
But the government last month lifted
diesel price controls in a move to
reduce India’s energy bill.
2017 and add 10,400 megawatts of
energy to the national grid, officials
said. An additional 6,120 megawatts
will be added to the national grid at a
cost of $18.2bn by 2021.
“In total we will add 16,000 MW of
electricity through coal, wind, solar and
hydel plants in the next seven years and
reduce power shortage by 4,000 to
7,000 megawatts,” said Asif.
“This will take care of a growing demand
for power by a growing economy.” The
CPEC deal also includes $5.9bn for road
projects and $3.7bn for railway projects,
all to be developed by 2017. A $44mn
optical fibre cable between China and
Pakistan is due to be built.
to put
brakes on
yen’s slide
Dow Jones
apan’s Finance Minister
moved yesterday for the п¬Ѓrst
time to get the yen’s rapid fall
under control, the clearest sign
yet that a weak currency is beginning to complicate the country’s aggressive experiment to
restore growth.
In a break from his practice
of not commenting on exchange rates, Taro Aso told a
news conference the speed of
the yen’s recent decline was
“too fast.” He added, “There is
no doubt about that.”
The yen quickly jumped on
his comments. But later in the
day it lost much of its gains,
suggesting verbal intervention may have difficult overcoming the fundamental reason the Japanese currency has
gotten so weak.
That reason is the divergence between US and Japanese monetary policy. The
Federal Reserve is looking to
tighten next year, while the
Bank of Japan on October 31
announced new steps to flood
the п¬Ѓnancial system with
yen, sending the currency
on a downward slide. At one
point Thursday, a dollar was
changing hands at around
Yen119, the weakest level for
the yen in more than seven
years and a 9% fall in just
three weeks.
After yesterday’s gyrations,
the dollar stood at around
Yen117.80 in late Asia trading.
The yen’s weakness has
become a major topic of global debate, raising tensions
between Japan and its major trading partners. Asian
companies and government
officials fear that Japanese
exporters could grab market
share through the falling currency, which allows them to
lower prices and inflates their
earnings because the dollars
they bring in are worth more
in yen terms.
Fed staffers have cut their
medium-term US growth
projections partly on a rising
dollar, according to minutes
of the Fed’s October 28-29
In Japan too, the weak yen
is divisive. Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s policy of reviving inflation-largely carried
out through the central bank’s
monetary easing-has played
a key role in driving down the
country’s currency.
Indian billionaires fret on debt as coal auctions loom
New Delhi
ndian billionaires seeking to regain
lost coal mining permits face rising
debt at their companies when they
take part in auctions the government
plans to hold early next year.
Aggressive bidding may increase acquisition costs, while staying away isn’t
an option as that would wreck projects,
according to Hindalco Industries, Jindal Steel & Power and Monnet Ispat &
Energy. India’s top court in September cancelled almost all of the 218 coal
mining permits given since 1993, terming the allocations arbitrary and illegal.
“We are keen on participating,” Ku-
mar Mangalam Birla, the billionaire
chairman of Hindalco, the world’s largest maker of rolled aluminium, said in
an interview. “The cost of acquiring
will go up. The cost of aluminium production has gone up, and debt reduction will get delayed.”
Indian metal makers, utilities and cement producers are among those hurt
most by the Supreme Court decision
that came amid cooling demand and the
slowest pace of economic growth in a
decade. The companies are looking to get
the assets back to protect earnings as the
government, according to the coal ministry, plans to auction 74 coal mines by
March 31, including 40 operational ones.
The nation’s top court rescinded the
licenses tainted by graft allegations
after the state’s auditor in 2012 found
that giving away the mines without an
auction may have cost the exchequer
Rs1.86tn ($30bn). India changed its law
in 2010 to adopt a policy of auctions for
granting coal mining permits to companies for their own use. No mine has
so far been awarded through bids.
The court’s decision threatened to
deal a blow to the $1.9tn economy already contending with coal shortages
caused by inadequate output growth
at monopoly producer Coal India Ltd
Supply bottlenecks led to idling of some
power plants, while severely hampering
supplies to some others.
The cancellation also put at risk
at least $47bn in investments ranging from power plants to aluminium
smelters, according to Ashok Khurana,
director general of the Association of
Power Producers.
“The impact of the auctions will be
two-pronged,” said K. Rajagopal, chief
п¬Ѓnancial officer at New Delhi-based
Jindal Steel, which is controlled by billionaire Savitri Jindal’s family. “One is
on our debt levels and the other is on
our capex plans.”
Jindal Steel has reduced its investment plans to Rs50bn for the year to
March 31 from Rs60bn, Rajagopal said
in a phone interview. Further plans for
next year will depend on the “resource
scenario,” he said. The company’s debt
may rise 14% to Rs400bn by March 2015
from earlier estimates, he said. It more
than doubled in two years to Rs363.7bn
as of March 2014, while Hindalco’s rose
58% to Rs647bn in the same period.
“Whatever price we pay, we will need
to go to the banks,” said Ajay Bhat, group
chief п¬Ѓnancial officer at Monnet Ispat,
a New Delhi-based steel and electricity
producer. “We don’t have much cash.
While the coal mines will be a long-term
positive, in the immediate term, our balance sheet will be stretched.”
Birla’s Hindalco lost two blocks that
were originally allocated to feed its smelters in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, while
Jindal Steel lost 10. They will have to ward
off competition from rivals such as Sesa
Sterlite and JSW Steel, which didn’t have
any operating mines, said Alex Mathews,
head of research at brokerage Geojit BNP
Paribas Financial Services. “There will
be stiff competition,” Mumbai-based
Mathews said. “These are capital intensive sectors and big players would be interested in large coal mines while smaller
companies may bid for blocks with lower
reserve price.”
Although the court order has come as
a shock, the new competitive bidding
process may provide policy certainty,
Birla said in the November 10 interview
in his office in Mumbai.
“These are bids on mines that have
been the backbone on the basis of which
we have put up certain projects,” Birla
said. “It seems to me that the government has thought through this process
of auctioning thoroughly, and we might
land up in a situation that is actually
better than what we had envisaged.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
China lowers interest rate
to spur econo mic growth
hina cut interest rates unexpectedly yesterday, stepping up
efforts to support the world’s
second-biggest economy as it heads
towards its slowest expansion in nearly
a quarter of a century.
The cut, the п¬Ѓrst in over two years,
came as factory growth has stalled and
the property market, long a pillar of
growth, has remained weak, dragging
on broader activity and curbing demand for everything from furniture to
cement and steel.
“It comes right after China’s disappointing PMI figures showing that
manufacturing activity is getting dangerously close to contraction,” said Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst
at IG in Paris, referring to a private factory survey this week which added to
worries about slowing global growth.
“China’s central bank is now following the path of the Fed, the ECB and the
BoJ. Central banks are really driving
markets,” he said.
Just a few weeks ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping had assured global
business leaders that the risks faced by
China’s economy were “not so scary”
and the government was confident it
could head off the dangers.
In a speech to chief executives at the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
(Apec) CEO Summit, Xi said even if
China’s economy were to grow 7%, that
would still rank it at the forefront of the
world’s economies.
The People’s Bank of China said it
was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6%. It
A pedestrian walks past the People’s Bank Of China headquarters in the financial district of Beijing. China’s central bank
yesterday said it was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6% and lowered one-year
benchmark deposit rates by 25 basis points.
lowered one-year benchmark deposit
rates by less – just 25 basis points. The
changes take effect from today.
“The problem of difficult financing,
costly п¬Ѓnancing remains glaring in the
real economy,” the PBoC said.
The central bank also took a step to
free up deposit rates, allowing banks to
pay depositors 1.2 times the benchmark
level, up from 1.1 times previously.
“They are cutting rates and liberalising rates at the same time so that the
stimulus won’t be so damaging,” said Li
Huiyong, an economist at Shenyin and
Wanguo Securities.
Recent data showed bank lending
tumbled in October and money supply
growth cooled, raising fears of a sharper economic slowdown and prompting
calls for more stimulus measures, including cutting interest rates.
But many analysts had expected the
central bank to hold off on cutting interest rates for now, as authorities have
opted instead for measures like more
п¬Ѓscal spending, as they also try to balance the need to reform the economy.
Chinese leaders have also repeatedly
stressed they would tolerate somewhat
slower growth as long as the jobs market remained resilient.
More recently, the central bank injected cash into the system in the form
of short-term loans to banks in an attempt to keep down borrowing costs
and encourage more lending even
as bad loans increase. But a growing number of economists said those
moves were not translating into either
lower п¬Ѓnancing costs or more credit for
cash-starved Chinese companies.
Analysts expressed doubts over
whether the impact of the rate cut
would п¬Ѓnd its way into the real economy, either, as the cooling economy
makes lenders more risk-averse. Some
predicted multiple cuts would be needed well into next year.
Hurt by the cooling property sector,
erratic export demand and slackening
domestic investment growth, China’s
economy is seen posting its weakest
annual growth in 24 years this year at
7.4%. China’s rate move comes after
the Bank of Japan sprang a surprise on
October 31 by dramatically increasing the pace of its money creation,
while European Central Bank President
Mario Draghi shifted gear yesterday
and threw the door wide open to quantitative easing in the eurozone.
“There is definitely more concern
around about the state of the global
economy than there was a few months
ago, you see that not just when you talk
about Europe,” British finance minister George Osborne told an audience of
business leaders in London yesterday.
Malaysia to cut fuel subsidies to shore up п¬Ѓnances
Kuala Lumpur
A Petronas gas station in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia will abolish subsidies for petrol and diesel from December 1, the
government said yesterday.
Aberdeen to avoid
riskier bets: official
berdeen Asset Management will avoid riskier bets
and stay conservative in its Asia picks despite a
drop in earnings growth at its portfolios and fund
outflows, the money manager’s Asia chief said yesterday.
“Typically, a characteristic of our portfolios is that
they are pretty conservative. We tend not to play at the
Alibaba end of the spectrum,” Hugh Young, Aberdeen’s
global head of equities and managing director of its
Asian business, told the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit. E-commerce giant Alibaba, which made
a record-breaking $25bn listing in New York earlier this
year, has attracted a whole host of top global institutional investors to its shares.
“There aren’t many changes in our portfolio today
compared to where it was 2-3 years ago. Many of our
top stocks are ones we have held for 10 or more years,”
Young said. Young said Aberdeen’s Asian funds had in
2014 recouped some of the heavy losses they suffered
last year, after former US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke’s talk of policy tightening triggered a selloff in
emerging markets.
alaysia will abolish subsidies for
petrol and diesel from December
1, the government said yesterday,
taking a bold step that could potentially
save the government some 20bn ringgit
($5.97bn) annually.
Malaysia joins Indonesia and India in
cutting fuel subsidies amid a sharp decline
in oil prices, ending decades-long policies
of cheap fuel that have contributed to п¬Ѓscal
Prime Minister Najib Razak has pledged
to beef up Malaysia’s public finances by
cutting expenditure and subsidies, as well
as expanding the tax base by implementing
a 6% goods and services tax from April next
The price of the widely used RON95
grade of petrol and diesel will be fixed according to an automatic managed float – a
system that adjusts prices according to the
market rate, the same mechanism as for the
price of premium petrol RON97, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek said yesterday.
Economists have said a window has
opened up for Southeast Asia to consider
dismantling generous subsidies as global
crude prices sink to multi-year lows.
“It’s very positive for the (Malaysian)
budget,” Edward Lee, Standard Chartered’s
Regional Head of Research for Southeast
Asia, told Reuters. “Then the fiscal deficit
will fall to 1% of gross domestic product
in 2015, from 3%. And that’s quite impressive.”
In recent years, Malaysia has shielded its
citizens from the full brunt of surging crude
oil prices with fuel subsidies of around
24bn ringgit ($7.34bn) annually. That had
exacerbated the government’s budget deficit, one of the region’s biggest as a proportion of gross domestic product.
The Malaysian currency climbed 0.37%
against the US dollar yesterday, the highest
among Asian currencies. The benchmark
stock index ended 0.72% lower.
Economists said the government’s decision could drive up inflation next month
but this would likely be capped due to the
slump in global oil prices.
“Inflation might pick up in December but
gains are likely to be transient,” ANZ said in
a note.
“The collapse in crude oil prices to
around levels of domestic fuel prices means
that the upside impact will be mitigated to a
huge extent,” ANZ said, adding that RON95
and diesel prices account for slightly less
than 8% weight in the consumer price index (CPI) basket.
Malaysia narrowed the fiscal deficit to
3.9% of gross domestic product in 2013,
and Najib wants to further trim the gap to
3.5% this year and 3% in 2015, heading toward a balanced budget by 2020.
“Overall, it is undeniably a positive move
from the government that will put the п¬Ѓscal
position on a more even keel,” said OCBC
Bank economist Wellian Wiranto.
“It is a window of opportunity that no
one really knows whether will remain in the
coming months, depending on your view of
global oil price.”
Neighbour and Southeast Asia’s biggest economy Indonesia cut subsidies and
raised fuel prices by more than 30% this
week, a move that is expected to save the
government of Southeast Asia’s biggest
economy more than $8bn next year.
may keep
Iran crude
ome Japanese buyers of
Iranian crude are set to
keep volumes bought under term contracts steady next
year even if Tehran reaches an
agreement with world powers
over its nuclear programme,
industry sources familiar with
the matter said.
An interim agreement between Iran and world powers
last year allowed Iran to keep
exports at the level of about
1mn barrels per day, but Japan
has been cutting its purchases
sharply since 2012 under pressure from US and EU sanctions.
The deadline for resolving
the nuclear dispute looms on
Monday but it may be extended
until March because of sharp
disagreements. The West says
Iran’s programme is a cover to
develop weapons; Tehran denies this.
Japanese buyers have been
rebuffing Iranian requests
to buy more because
their purchases are being
capped by the government,
sources said
Even if an agreement is finally struck, JX Nippon Oil and
Cosmo Oil are set to keep Iranian volumes steady next year,
industry sources with direct
knowledge of the matter told
“Next year we will not increase or decrease term volumes. We will keep the volumes,” a source from one of
those companies said, declining to be identified. “We would
buy spot depending on the
market, on top of contracted
amounts, if the agreement was
If there was an agreement
and sanctions ended, Iran
would double its oil exports
within two months, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted
as saying on Thursday.
Japanese buyers have been
rebuffing Iranian requests to
buy more because their purchases are being capped by the
government, sources said.
JX Nippon Oil has been buying 53,000 barrels per day of
Iranian crude this year, while
Cosmo was lifting a little below
15,000 bpd, sources say.
Still, if a final agreement was
reached, one or more Japanese
buyers might opt to increase
term volumes despite shrinking domestic demand in Japan,
sources said.
“If there was an agreement in
November, Idemitsu and Showa
Shell would likely increase volumes,” said one industry source
familiar with the matter.
The head of Japan’s oil refining industry, Yasushi Kimura,
who is also chairman of JX
Holdings, said yesterday the
industry was prepared to follow the Japanese government’s
guidance on crude purchases
from Iran. For the year through
September, Japan’s imports of
Iranian crude fell 10.5% from a
year before to 174,395 bpd.
China rate cut: market euphoria now, but will it work?
Dow Jones
China’s stepped up to the plate. Yesterday,
the country’s central bank cut lending rates
for the first time in more than two years,
acknowledging that its piecemeal efforts to
bolster its flagging growth have failed.
The market reaction was sharp, with oil,
gold, copper, stocks and commodity
currencies surging the world over. But will
this be enough?
Here’s a first roundup of reaction from
across the street:
Philip Shaw, economist at Investec in
London: “We were very surprised by the
people’s bank move. Of course we have seen
a slowdown in the pace of activity, but we
still thought that growth would remain in an
acceptable range and that the bank wouldn’t
have to act in the way it did. Markets have
reacted sharply, firstly because it was so
unexpected, but also because investors
are taking confidence from China stepping
up to the plate so boldly. The first market
move is certainly one of euphoria but going
forward we’ll need robust data to support
those moves and prove that the action has
Luis Costa, strategist at Citigroup: “This is
particularly positive for currency risk, and
may help the likes of South African rand,
Brazilian real and Chilean peso. In essence
the PBOC reaction suggests there are
ongoing concerns with growth dynamics
positive for fixed income, but the PBOC
remains reluctant to act aggressively, in
our view. Our overweight position in SAGBs
looks very timely right now.”
Daniel Briesemann, a commodities analyst
at Commerzbank: China’s “completely
unexpected interest rate cut” was likely
prompted by the recent swathe of negative
economic data out of the country, said
Commerzbank. “This might have prompted
them to act right now. In general, this
is a step in their gradual shift to normal
monetary policy - or at least that’s the
interpretation of our economists. In the
longer term, it’s clearly a good thing,
but timing-wise (it was) completely
Benoit Anne, strategist at Societe Generale
: “The PBoC signal [will] boost appetite
for risky assets. To the extent that it will
fuel anticipation of more action. In other
words, today is important in terms of policy
expectations, but not in terms of actual
policy move.”
Marc Ostwald, strategist at ADM Investor
Services: “The timing of this move looks to
be as much about the sharp appreciation
of the renminbi against the yen as the fact
China’s economy experiencing “period of
pain’, as per the vice finance minister last
weekend. One can certainly also expect a
response from South Korea and others in
SE Asia and a rate cut from India’s RBI (with
WPI falling sharply on the back of the falling
crude prices) also seems likely.”
Thierry Wizman, strategist and trader at
Macquarie Bank: “Coming after various
signals that policymakers would not resort
to new sweeping easing measures and be
rather judicious in their application of new
liquidity measures, today’s cut in interest
rates is a significant signal, which is taking
take many market participants by surprise.
The greatest beneficiaries will be the
commodity currencies.”
Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer
at Rathbones, which manages GBP26.3bn
($41.2bn) in assets: “The Chinese rate cut
demonstrates the PBoC’s willingness to
use the tools at their disposal to stimulate
the economy.” Along with the ECB’s easing
plans, “this underlines that as an investors
you need to make sure you have a big
enough allocation to risk assets, because
they’re being buoyed up by central banks’
actions,” Chillingworth said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Japan inflation seen easing in
Oct; boding ill for BoJ target
Core CPI slowing below 1%,
keeping BoJ under pressure to
act; factory output slipping again,
weighed by pile of inventory;
household spending down for 7
months, reeling from April tax hike;
weak data may sow doubts over
Abenomics as Abe calls December
14 poll
apan’s annual core consumer inflation probably eased for a third
straight month in October reflecting falling oil prices, a Reuters poll
showed, likely keeping the Bank of Japan under pressure to act again in order to achieve its inflation target.
Highlighting the pain from April’s
sales tax hike that helped tipped the
economy into recession, factory output probably slipped in October and
household spending continued to
slide, the poll showed.
A run of soft indicators due on November 28 could raise doubts about
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflationary policy mix dubbed “Abenomics”, ahead of a December 14 general
election Abe called to cement his grip
on power after delaying a planned tax
The internal affairs ministry will release CPI and household spending data
on November 28.
Industrial output data will be released by the trade ministry on November 28.
A Reuters poll of about 20 economists showed the core consumer price
index (CPI), which excludes volatile
fresh food but includes oil products,
likely rose 2.9% year-on-year in October, slowing for a third consecutive
Stripping out the effects of April’s
tax hike, consumer inflation was estimated at 0.9%, less than half of the
central bank’s 2% target, a level which
investors see as virtually impossible to
Analysts remain sceptical about the
BoJ’s view that a tighter labour market
and improving output gap will accelerate inflation to 2% around the fiscal
year from April 2015. BoJ Governor
Haruhiko Kuroda said on November
19 inflation could slow below 1% due
to falling oil and commodity prices,
Shoppers at a supermarket in Tokyo. Japan’s inflation probably eased for a third straight month in October reflecting falling oil prices, a Reuters poll showed yesterday.
altering his earlier view that it would
stay above 1%.
“The core consumer inflation is expected to slow further to around 0.5%
in March 2015,” said Junichi Makino,
chief economist at SMBC Nikko Secu-
Korea’s chaebols feel
the heat as shareholders
scrap Samsung merger
Investors are challenging the
unilateral decisions made by
South Korea’s biggest familyrun firms, putting pressure
on the chaebols that form the
backbone of Asia’s fourthlargest economy to take their
interests into consideration.
This week, investor backlash led
Samsung Heavy Industries and
Samsung Engineering, affiliates
of Samsung Group, to abandon
a $2.5bn merger. Investor anger
at a $10bn property purchase
by a consortium led by
Hyundai Motor also triggered
a rare share buyback by the
automaker and its affiliate Kia
Motors this month.
Investors have long complained
that chaebols often put the
interests of their founding
families, who only hold small
stakes in affiliates, before
their own. Now these majority
shareholders are fighting back.
“Korean chaebols haven’t been
very sensitive to shareholders
but they are learning the hard
way,” said Kim Sang-jo, head
of activist group Solidarity for
Economic Reform that uses its
minority stakes in major firms
to buy GE’s
assets in
Japan for
over $1.6bn
to push for better governance.
“They were confident they
could do things their way but
now they have to be more
cautious,” he told Reuters.
The chaebols’ apparent
disregard for shareholder value
is among the reasons Seoullisted stocks trade at a discount
to peers abroad, and investors
are fed up, analysts say.
In the case of the Samsung
units, shareholders said they
saw little value in the deal.
Analysts said the merger was
aimed at streamlining Samsung
Group to make it easier for
the heirs of ailing and elderly
chief Lee Kun-hee to split the
“Korean chaebols should
put themselves in the shoes
of shareholders,” said Park
Yoo-kyung, a director for
Netherlands-based APG Asset
Management which owns
shares in Samsung units. “They
can’t sacrifice investors for the
sake of the deal.”
Hyundai Motor Group recently
faced similar investor backlash
after affiliates bid three times
the appraised price for a
Seoul property to house its
headquarters. After their stocks
plunged, Hyundai and Kia
announced buybacks.
Samsung headquarters in Seoul. Investors are challenging the
unilateral decisions made by South Korea’s biggest family-run
firms to scrap the merger of Samsung Group units.
rities. “As such we expect that the BoJ
will be forced into additional easing by
April next year.” The yen’s weakening,
triggered by the BOJ’s shock expansion
of its quantitative easing on October
31, will push up prices but with a lag of
six to eight months, he added.
Boding ill for the BoJ’s scenario of a
positive cycle between income gains
and expenditure at п¬Ѓrms and households, factory output likely fell 0.6%
month-on-month in October. Manu-
facturers are saddled with a pile of inventories of unsold goods as demand
weakened after April’s tax rise. Household spending likely fell 5.1% year-onyear in October, down for seven months
in a row, the poll showed.
Blackstone Group LP, the
world’s largest private equity
investor in real estate, said it
will buy residential assets in
Japan from General Electric
Co (GE)’s property unit in a
deal worth more than ВҐ190bn
($1.6bn), Japan’s largest
property deal this year.
Blackstone will buy more
than 10,000 apartment units
in 200 properties in Japan’s
largest cities including
Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya,
the buyout fund said in a
The deal comes as GE Capital
Real Estate is retreating from
its property investments
globally as it shifts its focus to
property lend
“This transaction supports
our global strategy to reduce
our equity book as we
continue to build our global
debt operations,” Francois
Trausch, Chief Executive,
Asia-Pacific at GE Capital Real
Estate, said in a statement.
Blackstone earlier this year
bought warehouses and
development land in the US
from GE Real Estate. Last year
Blackstone bought apartment
buildings containing about
30,000 units located in the
US in a deal worth more than
Blackstone’s latest transaction
is the largest property
acquisition this year in Japan,
topping Singapore’s sovereign
wealth fund GIC Pte’s
purchase of an office tower
in the prime business district
in Tokyo for about ВҐ170bn.
The number of large property
transactions has increased
this year as Japan’s market is
accelerating its recovery. In
August, Japanese property
developer Mori Trust bought
Meguro Gajoen, a complex of
office, retail and hotel facilities
for ВҐ130bn from US buyout
firm Lone Star Funds.
Thailand to up infrastructure spending
hailand’s military-run government will accelerate spending on
mass transit, railways and roads
to counter falling exports and boost economic growth, the deputy transport minister said.
The ministry will speed up bidding
for the construction of mass transit systems in the capital and upgrading railway
networks nationwide, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said in an interview in Bangkok yesterday. The projects are part of a
planned 3tn baht ($91.5bn) investment in
the nation’s transport infrastructure between 2015 and 2022, he said.
economy expanded 0.6% in the three
months through September from a year
earlier, data showed this week, slower
than analysts’ estimates. The government has unveiled a stimulus package of
about $11bn and has pledged to quicken budget spending to boost domestic
“The government’s investments will be
the only hope to kick-start growth again,
as private consumption and investments
remain very weak,” said Arkhom, who is
also head of the National Economic and
Social Development Board. “Exports will
take some time to return to strong growth
because of the slowdown in Europe, China and Japan.”
The SET Construction Services Index,
a gauge of construction companies, rose
2.5%, the most since Sept. 3 and the biggest gainer among 28 industry groups on
the benchmark. Italian-Thai Development Pcl, the biggest construction п¬Ѓrm,
jumped 8% to the highest close since June
Thailand’s economy is forecast to grow
this year at the slowest pace since 2011,
when thousands of factories were inundated by the worst floods in 70 years. The
NESDB, which also studies the feasibility
of large infrastructure projects, has said
export value this year will probably be
flat, and that it expects GDP growth of 1%
in 2014.
The monetary authority kept its policy
interest rate unchanged at 2% earlier this
month. Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul
said that while the current rate is accommodative for growth, it can be eased further if the economy fails to recover.
Foreign direct investment applications
approved from January to October fell
38% from a year earlier, according to government data. Finance Minister Sommai
Phasee said this week that an increase in
value added tax, or VAT, is being considered, and that a crackdown on tax evasion
will also help boost revenue and fund infrastructure spending.
The government will move quickly
on a proposed high-speed railway linking Thailand with Laos, said Arkhom.
Prayuth will discuss co-operation on
the project with China during his visit to
the North Asian nation later this year, he
said, without giving more details.
India says timeline to end coal mining
monopoly to be clearer by March ’15
New Delhi
ndia’s time-frame for ending a fourdecade-old state monopoly on mining and selling coal will be clearer by
March, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.
That’s when a forthcoming auction
of coal blocks is due to be completed,
Swarup said in an interview in New Delhi
on November 19. The auction is being
held after the Supreme Court in September cancelled coal mine permits awarded
since 1993 for captive use. The government also made a provision for commercial mining by private companies in an
ordinance last month.
“The timing of opening up the sector for
commercial mining will depend on how
this auction goes,” Swarup said. “Once we
have successfully completed these auctions by March 31, we will then see how we
can extend it to commercial mining.”
Allowing private companies into commercial mining may help raise output of
coal to achieve Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s goal of ending blackouts. The state
monopoly Coal India Ltd, which produces
about 80% of the nation’s coal, has missed
all its output targets since at least its initial
public offering in 2010. That’s prompted
record imports to meet demand.
“Private competition can nudge Coal
India to perform to its potential,” said
Deven Choksey, managing director at
Mumbai-based KR Choksey Shares &
Securities Pvt. “It’s a change that India
needs and if communicated well, there
shouldn’t be a problem in achieving it.”
All companies registered in India, including global companies, can apply for
commercial mining permits when the law
is enacted, Swarup said.
Coal India’s trade unions are planning
a day’s strike on November 24 to protest
the government’s plans to sell a 10% stake
in the company.
“It’s the beginning of a long battle,”
said Jibon Roy, secretary general at the
All India Coal Workers Federation, which
consists of the п¬Ѓve leading trade unions in
the company. “The government it seems
has decided to liquidate Coal India. They
India plans to award 74 coal blocks through a mix of auctions and
government allocations by March 16, 2015
are planning to surround the company
with competition.”
Spurring competition is at the heart of
the government’s plans to open up the sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the
NDTV 24x7 television channel last month.
“Coal India is playing and will continue to play a dominant role in the supply
of coal in India, but we also believe that
it’s not sufficient,” Swarup said. “Because
there will be a demand for coal, it has
to be met both through Coal India and
through other segments.”
India plans to award 74 coal blocks
through a mix of auctions and government allocations by March 16, he said.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Company Name
Exxon Mobil Corp
Microsoft Corp
Johnson & Johnson
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
General Electric Co
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Chevron Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
Pfizer Inc
At&T Inc
Intel Corp
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intl Business Machines Corp
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Walt Disney Co/The
Cisco Systems Inc
Home Depot Inc
3M Co
United Technologies Corp
Mcdonald’s Corp
Boeing Co/The
American Express Co
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Caterpillar Inc
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Lt Price
% 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
Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index DAX board at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange yesterday.
The DAX 30 rose 2.62% to 9.732.55 in yesterday’s trading.
ECB, China light stimulus
п¬Ѓre under European stocks
uropean shares shot up yesterday
after the ECB signalled it is ready
to act quickly to deter deflation
and China cut interest rates for the п¬Ѓrst
time in more than two years.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 1.08% to close at 6,750.76
points, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt
rose 2.62% to 9.732.55 and Paris’s CAC
40 gained 2.67% to 4,347.23.
Madrid shot up 3.05%, Milan 3.88%
and Athens 3.67%.
However, the euro slumped on the
prospect of more easy money being
injected into the eurozone, falling to
$1.2405 from $1.2540 late on Thursday.
“Markets in Europe took a double
dose of stimulus in early trading on
Friday which set the tone for the entire day,” said analyst Jasper Lawler at
CMC Markets UK.
“Mario Draghi again implied the
ECB is moving towards full quantita-
tive easing and shortly afterwards China cut interest rates for the п¬Ѓrst time
in two years sending commodities and
risky assets flying,” he said.
The euro retreated “sharply on
the back of Draghi’s comments as he
once again sets the stage for a potential” announcement on stimulus, said
Kathleen Brooks, analyst at
trading group. It also fell against the
pound, dropping to 79.12 pence from
79.90 late on Thursday.
The pound slid to $1.576 from
Meanwhile, the yen pulled off multi-year lows, clawing back some of its
losses over the past week.
The dollar bought ВҐ117.63 compared to 118.22 late on Thursday, while
the euro bought ВҐ145.91, down from
In Beijing, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) cut its one-year deposit rate
by 0.25 of a percentage point to 2.75%
and reduced the one-year lending rate
by 0.40 of a percentage point to 5.6%.
Shares in mining companies that
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
supply Chinese factories with raw materials surged on the news.
In London, Anglo American soared
6.7% 1,380 pence, Rio Tinto jumped
6.2% to 3,042 pence and BHP Billiton
gained 5.0% to 1,662 pence.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 0.64% to 17,832.03 points in
midday trading.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained
0.57% to 2,064.46, while the tech-rich
Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.46%
to 4,723.54.
Elsewhere on Friday, shares in
French firm Bouygues rallied 3.9% to
€29.97 after Altice, the parent company of cable operator Numericable,
showed interest in its telecoms subsidiary, signalling another possible
tie-up in France’s mobile phone market.
Shares in French supermarket group
Carrefour climbed 3.1% to €25.30 after
it got regulatory approval to acquire
the 800 stores in the troubled French
unit of Spanish discount supermarket
group Dia.
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 22, 2014
Pooch Cafe
Shoppers on Oxford Street in London. A survey commissioned by Barclays found that 65% of Britain’s multi-channel
retailers plan Black Friday promotions this year on November 28.
UK retailers look to Black
Friday for Christmas lift-off
ext week’s “Black Friday”, a
traditional discount day for
US retailers, looks set to be
the biggest ever for British shops as
more join in the promotional event
to kickstart Christmas sales.
The Friday following the Thanksgiving Day holiday was named Black
Friday because spending would
surge and it would indicate the point
at which American retailers began to
turn a profit for the year, or go “into
the black”.
A survey commissioned by Barclays found that 65% of Britain’s
multi-channel retailers plan Black
Friday promotions this year on November 28.
Amazon introduced Black Friday
discounts to Britain in 2010 and last
year major UK store groups such as
John Lewis, Dixons and Asda joined
Sales updates published in Janu-
Bound And Gagged
Mall Cinema (1): Happy Ending
(Hindi) 2.30 & 9pm; �71 (2D) 5 & 11.30pm;
The Signal (2D) 7pm.
Mall Cinema (2): Big Hero 6 (3D)
3pm; Catch Hell (2D) 5pm; The Hunger
Games: MockingjayPart 1 (2D) 7 &
9.15pm; The Signal (2D) 11.30pm.
Mall Cinema (3): The Hunger Games:
MockingjayPart 1 (2D) 2.30pm; Hassalna Al Roab (Arabic) 4.45pm; The
Babadook (2D) 6.45 & 11.30pm; Al
Jazeera 2 (Arabic) 8.30pm.
Cinema Land Mark (1): �71 (2D) 2.30
& 11.30pm; Catch Hell (2D) 4.30pm;
Vanmam (Tamil) 6.15 & 8.45pm.
Cinema Land Mark (2): Big Hero 6
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. Supports the defenders (5)
4. Perceive that Cinders is
going out (7)
8. Possibly reddens the china
9. Reg carries six back for the
donor (5)
10. Press club (4)
11. They’re used by those that
dry up - there’s a lot in train (8)
13. Got back small clothes (4)
14. A man from a hot island (4)
16. Not sure about coatings (8)
17. Sage going out for a long
time (4)
20. Courage never changes (5)
21. Scene of gold being put on
the furniture item (7)
22. Walker who isn’t a good
story-teller (7)
23. A number going to church
for fish (5)
ary showed it had a significant impact on Christmas trading. John
Lewis reported an early peak in sales
last year, which it said was driven by
Black Friday, followed by a surge in
the last 10 days.
Visa Europe forecasts that
ВЈ518mn ($810mn) will be spent online on Visa cards on November 28,
making it the biggest day ever for
e-commerce in the UK. It expects a
further 500mn pounds will be spent
on the following Monday, December
1 — dubbed Mega Monday as prior
to the rise of Black Friday it was the
busiest online shopping day of the
year as people spent their November
pay packets.
“Following a jump last year, retailers are making a bigger Friday
push this time round,” said Visa Europe’s UK MD Kevin Jenkins.
Last year Tesco, Britain’s biggest
retailer, had Black Friday promotions online. This year it will extend
the event to selected stores.
Asda’s Black Friday event last year
proved popular but was marred by
п¬Ѓghts breaking out among shoppers chasing limited stock in some
crowded stores.
Sainsbury’s, Britain’s No 3 supermarket, plans to take part this
year for the first time, with discounted prices on 13 product lines,
including TVs, tablets, audio products and kitchen electricals in 485
“It’s a competitive market, so it
felt right to be part of the mix this
year,” said Sainsbury’s retail director
Roger Burnley.
Official data published on Thursday showed spending by British
consumers is growing less strongly
than earlier this year.
Whether embracing Black Friday
makes commercial sense for UK retailers remains open to debate. Analysts say it can delay autumn sales,
pull forward Christmas sales that
store groups would otherwise have
made at full price, can blunt sales
in subsequent weeks and also leaves
consumers expecting more preChristmas promotions.
4.45pm; Vanmam (Tamil) 6.45pm; �71
(2D) 9.30pm.
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (2):
(3D) 2.30pm; The Signal (2D) 4.30 &
Happy Ending (Hindi) 2.30 & 9pm; �71
11.30pm; The Hunger Games: Mock(2D) 5pm; The Signal (2D) 7 & 11.30pm.
ingjay Part 1 (2D) 6.15pm; Al Jazeera 2 Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (3): Has(Arabic) 8.30pm.
salna Al Roab (2D) 2pm; Pocket Listing
Cinema Land Mark (3): The Hunger (2D) 4 & 8pm; The Hunger Games:
Games: MockingjayPart 1 (2D) 2.45pm; Mockingjay Part 1 (2D) 5.45pm; The
Hassalna Al Roab (Arabic) 5pm;
Babadook (2D) 9.45 & 11.30pm.
The Babadook (2D) 7 & 11.15pm; The
Global Cinemas, West End Park (1):
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2D) Vellimoonga (Malayalam) 2.30, 5.30,
8.30 & 11.30pm.
Royal Plaza Cinema Palace (1):
Global Cinemas, West End Park (2):
The Hunger Games: MockingjayPart
Varsham (Malayalam) 2.45, 5.45, 8.45 &
1 (2D) 2.30 & 11.30pm; Catch Hell (2D)
Quick Clues
1. Special skill Reds in BMA
need, perhaps (7,6)
2. Prayer of communist in
the company (5)
3. A team dies out (4)
4. Peril in digging up the
garden (6)
5. Story London, for
example, has written with
wisdom (8)
6. Jealous of endless
souvenir exchange (7)
7. Points to the Cockney’s
mouth (5,3,5)
12. Paint where the bird
came from (8)
13. Turn Tam out in a fit of
rage (7)
15. Somehow merits a title
18. Gather there’s a different
angle (5)
19. Encourage in crime for a
wager (4)
1. Creek (5)
4. Momentum (7)
8. Winding (7)
9. About (5)
10. Lose colour (4)
11. Deep (8)
13. Scoff (4)
14. Island (4)
16. Kind (8)
17. Cute (4)
20. Make (5)
21. Scaffold (7)
22. Chose (7)
23. Inexperienced (5)
1. Tireless (13)
2. Irate (5)
3. Jog (4)
4. Put in (6)
5. Peace-lover (8)
6. Agony (7)
7. Be obvious (5,2,6)
12. Assign (8)
13. Worldly (7)
15. Bombastic (6)
18. Complete (5)
19. Whip (4)
Weekly’s Solutions
Across: 3 Cheerless; 8 Even; 9
Composite; 10 Result; 11 Plied; 14
Split; 15 Near; 16 Harsh; 18 Mass;
20 Aloud; 21 Stray; 24 Detail; 25
Desertion; 26 Beat; 27 Frustrate.
Down: 1 Wearisome; 2
Ceaseless; 4 Hoot; 5 Expel; 6
Lessen; 7 Site; 9 Cloth; 11 Party;
12 Desolated; 13 Credulity; 17
Haven; 19 Stress; 22 Alter; 23
Dear; 24 Dolt.
Across: 3 Prescribe; 8 Rare; 9
Assailant; 10 Single; 11 Sever;
14 Waive; 15 Rent; 16 Norma;
18 Road; 20 Clear; 21 Least; 24
Stalin; 25 Denigrate; 26 Lots; 27
Down: 1 Crossword; 2 Principal;
4 Rose; 5 State; 6 Roller; 7 Bunk;
9 Alien; 11 Sprat; 12 Rebellion; 13
Sternness; 17 Acute; 19 Defile; 22
Sorts; 23 Lean; 24 Stun.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Europe telecom п¬Ѓrms
see brighter 2015
after years of pain
op executives at Europe’s
telecoms п¬Ѓrms dared to
suggest this week that they
might at last be turning a corner
after years of declining revenues,
as demand rises for 4G mobile
broadband, regulatory pressures
ease and the industry consolidates.
For the network operators a
comparative recovery on revenue
next year will come in part simply
because the price cuts imposed by
regulators on roaming charges and
the termination fees operators
charge for carrying each other’s
traffic is now behind them.
But they are also starting to see
the benefit of the billions they
spent on the 4G networks that enable people on the move to watch
TV and surf the web.
“The music seems good, but
let’s see how it plays out. The
question remains on if we can
monetise 4G as more people get
the phones in their hands,” Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio
Colao told investors and industry
executives at the annual Morgan
Stanley Technology, Media, and
Colao: Focus on 4G shift.
Telecoms conference in Barcelona.
Colao said he was confident
that operating trends would improve as the group got more of
its customers to use 4G, which
tended to increase data traffic and
hopefully monthly charges.
The world’s second-largest
wireless carrier would not just
shift customers to 4G for free, in-
stead moving them to higher tariffs for the faster service, he said.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Telefonica,
which saw a 15% drop in revenue
in its home market last year, is
seeing its strategy of selling bundled п¬Ѓxed and mobile broadband
and TV services is beginning to
bear fruit.
“The third quarter was significantly better than the second,” chief
operating officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete told the conference. “In
2015, we should go into positive
revenue territory,” he added.
At the same time merger deals
such as those already seen in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Spain
are reducing the number of operators in national markets, meshing
п¬Ѓxed line and mobile networks
together as services converge and
cutting costs.
Some mergers have also simply
taken the immediate heat out of
the competition to lifted the pressure on prices.
In Austria prices have increased
by about 20% since the number of
mobile network operators was cut
from four to three last year with
the takeover of Orange Austria by
Hutchison Whampoa’s local rival
Drei, according to the local regulator.
The newfound optimism has
already buoyed the Stoxx Europe
600 European telecoms sector
index, which is up 8.2% this year
against a 5.6% rise in the overall
market index, and led to several
analysts upgrading the sector.
In third-quarter results 21 out
of 24 west European telecoms
companies beat expectations, according to Kepler Cheveureux Se-
curities analyst Javier Borrachero,
a trend which he says in a research
note is “totally unprecedented in
the last four years.”
Deutsche Telekom, Telenor,
Swisscom and Telefonica all actually increased revenues in the
quarter while declines at Orange,
Vodafone and KPN were shallower
than previously.
Morgan Stanley analyst Emmet
Kelly now predicts that European
mobile service revenues could be
flat or even up by a couple of percents next year. They fell by 9%
in 2013, with declines tapering to
4-5% in the third quarter.
Kelly said it was an open question how quickly the top-line
would return to actual growth. “A
lot will depend on whether there
are benefits from in-market consolidation deals,” he said.
And the markets in France, Spain,
Italy, and Denmark are all now ripe
for deal making, said executives at
the Barcelona conference.
On Friday shares in Bouygues
jumped 4% after a Numericable
director told the conference it
would be interested in acquiring
Bouygues Telecom, which would
reduce the number of mobile network operators in France to three
from four.
Telecom Italia
close to $1bn
masts deal
Telecom Italia is set to sell mobile phone masts owned by
its Brazilian unit for almost €900mn ($1.1bn), sources said
yesterday, as it considers possible acquisitions in the Latin
American country.
Brazil’s telecom market is in the process of consolidating as
growth in mobile telephony slows and operators bulk up to
fund hefty investment in broadband networks.
Telecom Italia, which owns 66.5% of TIM Participacoes,
was holding a board meeting later yesterday to review
its options in Brazil, which could include acquisitions and
network investments.
Two sources familiar with the matter said Telecom Italia was
likely to sell its Brazilian mobile phone masts, also known as
towers, to wireless infrastructure firm American Tower Corp
for almost the full targeted amount of €900mn.
According to one of the sources, a deal had already been
worked out and could be announced at the board meeting.
Any agreement would have to be approved by the local
competition watchdog which could take several months.
Telecom Italia declined to comment while American Tower
executive vice-president Hal Hess, speaking on the sidelines
of a conference in Barcelona, said the company had no
Telecom Italia chief executive Marco Patuano put the
Brazilian masts up for sale a year ago when he unveiled a
€4bn business plan to cut debt and help fund much-needed
After failing to complete a sale of its Telecom Argentina unit
and delaying the disposal of its mobile masts in Italy, the
Brazilian deal would be a step forward.
Sources said Patuano would tell the board on Friday the best
option for the company’s Brazilian mobile business would be
to pursue an acquisition of rival Oi.
Any tie-up with Oi would not involve a capital increase at
Telecom Italia but TIM could raise as much as €2bn to fund
the deal, one of the sources said.
Asati, a group of small Telecom Italia investors, said
yesterday it wanted to see management given a mandate
to strike an agreement with Oi. “A mandate without the
understanding a small capital increase would be required
would be merely words in the wind,” it said in a letter to the
Telecom Italia board.
Telecom Italia was expected to release a statement after the
board meeting.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Dollar rally sparks record
hedge demand in ETF boon
New York
s strategists forecast the dollar’s
world-beating rally to extend
through 2015, US investors are
pouring record amounts of cash into
funds that protect them against the
losing side of the trade.
Assets invested in US exchangetraded funds that hedge currency risk
grew 18% since September to $21.2bn,
data compiled by Bloomberg show.
That’s the biggest quarterly increase
since mid-2013.
The funds are proving their worth.
While the $4bn WisdomTree Europe
Hedged Equity Fund returned 3.1% this
year, the $7.4bn iShares MSCI EMU
ETF – an unhedged fund that also invests in European stocks – lost 7.7%.
“The dollar is in the beginning of
a multi-year strengthening pattern,”
Dodd Kittsley, the New York-based
head of ETF national accounts and
strategy at Deutsche Bank AG’s Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management unit,
said in a November 17 phone interview.
“Investors are seeing that if you pick
the right market but ignore the currency implications, you can still lose.”
The greenback has benefited from
a US economy that’s strengthened
enough for the Federal Reserve to end
its dollar- debasing bond-purchase
program and consider the timing of its
п¬Ѓrst interest-rate increase since 2006.
That contrasts with Japan and the euro
region, where officials are battling deflation with further stimulus policies
amid record-low borrowing costs.
The dollar has strengthened at least
3% against its 16 major peers since the
end of June. It climbed more than 9%
to trade at $1.2436 per euro as of 7:42
am in New York, and jumped 14% to
ВҐ117.90, after touching a seven-year
high of ВҐ118.98 on Thursday.
Deutsche Bank’s Kittsley predicts
the dollar will advance to $1.15 per euro
in 2015, $1.05 in 2016 and 95 cents by
2017, a level not seen since 2002. Median forecasts of strategists surveyed
by Bloomberg anticipate the dollar appreciating to $1.20 per euro and ВҐ120
by the end of next year.
“With rates so low, the cost of hedging in the developed world is very low,
and the benefits have been very positive,” said Jeremy Schwartz, the New
York-based director of research at WisdomTree Investments, which manages
Russia retail
sales growth
stalls as rouble
plunge chokes
A money changer counts US dollar bills at a currency exchange in Manila. Assets invested in the US exchange-traded funds that hedge currency risk grew 18% since
September to $21.2bn, according to data.
12 currency-hedged ETFs with $16.7bn
in assets. “As the risk from currency
swings increase, it will trip up even
the most sophisticated investors. And
these offer reprieve.”
The number of US-based exchangetraded funds that guard against currency swings when investing abroad
has grown to 36 in 2014 from 13 at the
start of last year, while assets rose by
42%, or $8.9bn.
Hedged funds buy stocks, bonds or
other assets in another country and
then, using forward contracts, take a
short position in the local currency
when it’s forecast to weaken versus the
dollar. Positions are reset monthly to
match up with the assets under management within the respective funds.
In Japan, where the benchmark
Nikkei 225 Stock Average has risen to
a seven-year high even as the yen has
tumbled to a seven-year low, the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund
– the largest currency hedged fund
at $12.6bn – has returned 8.6% in
2014. That compares with the $15.4bn
iShares MSCI Japan unhedged ETF’s
loss of 4.2%.
“It used to be that, if you were betting on a country’s stocks, it meant you
also thought the currency was going to
gain,” said Michael Jones, chief investment officer in Richmond, Virginia, at
RiverFront Investment Group, which
manages $4.9bn. “But now, monetary
policy – the thing that is catalysing the
stocks in these markets to go higher – is
also putting pressure on the currencies,
making hedging essential.”
RiverFront started buying Japanese
hedged ETFs early in 2012, in anticipation
of a stronger stock market and weaker yen,
Jones said. Since the start of 2012, the yen
has fallen 35% versus the dollar, while the
WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund
has returned more than 80%.
Just as ignoring rate swings has proven perilous, hedging strategies may
backfire when exchange rates don’t
move as forecast.
To David Woo, head of global rates
and currencies at Bank of America
Merrill Lynch in New York, the market’s assuming too fast a pace of dollar
appreciation, and the shortage of skeptical bets on the currency leaves investors “very vulnerable to any bad news.”
“The market is too optimistic about
the US, when there are still hurdles that
have to be climbed,” Woo said. “The US
has been stronger than the rest of the
world, but the data hasn’t been that
great. A lot of the good news has already been priced in.”
That hasn’t stopped hedge funds and
other large speculators from boosting futures bets on dollar strength versus eight
major peers to a record. The difference in
the number of wagers on a gain compared
with those on a drop – net longs – was
372,558 on November 11, up from 366,737
a week earlier, according to data from the
Washington-based Commodity Futures
Trading Commission.
“The path of least resistance is up for
the dollar,” said Jennifer Vail, the head
of п¬Ѓxed-income research at Minneapolis- based US Bank Wealth Management, which oversees $112bn.
Tired of risk, investors turn again to steady stocks
The big story of recent stock market investment
has been volatility, and the opportunities that
sharp price swings can bring for those with strong
But good news is emerging now for those who
prefer safer strategies: some of the best returns
this year have come from stable stocks like
billionaire Warren Buffett’s holding company
Berkshire Hathaway or Swiss toilet maker Geberit .
A basket of the two least volatile stocks in each
STOXX Europe 600 sector index, as compiled by
Thomson Reuters, up 8% year to date, or almost
twice as much as the STOXX Europe 600 overall.
(Here volatility is defined by the size of price
moves in either direction.)
Though that high performance might seem
odd – particularly looking at double-digit returns
yielded by other European stocks that see-sawed
at the prospect of a US interest rate hike recently
– in fact it demonstrates that low-volatility stocks
are often stronger companies with healthier
earnings power.
That distinction really matters when European
companies’ earnings recovery is still vulnerable and it’s one that more people are waking up to.
“Investors are ready to invest on the equity
market but under the condition that they are not
too exposed to risk and that’s one argument for
investing in the least volatile stocks,” said Laurent
Lagarde, head of quant equity management at
investment firm THEAM, a unit of BNP Paribas.
The Reuters basket included traditionally defensive
stocks like drugmaker Novartis, up 29%, but also
benefited from similar gains by cyclical companies
– those whose profits and share prices track the
pace of the economy.
Among those were Givaudan, the world’s biggest
maker of flavours and fragrances, or media group
Reed Elsevier.
Stocks from Switzerland – home to reliable earners
such as Geberit – accounted for 13 out of 38
The strategy also worked globally: BNP Paribas’
World Low volatility strategy returned 15% in the
first 10 months of the year, helped by a rally of
nearly 20% in the shares of Berkshire Hathaway,
among others.
A Lipper basket of 53 exchange traded funds which
tracked stocks with low volatility returned 8% year
to date.
That compares to a 6% return for the MSCI World
Index, Datastream data showed.
And the trend continues to pick up steam. As last
month’s volatility gripped financial markets, assets
under management at low volatility stock funds
attracted net inflows of over $1bn even as other
stock funds lost money, Markit data shows.
This reflects investors’ weariness with jumpy
After a rollercoaster October more jitters are
expected as the US shuts off the flow of cheap
money that has been buoying its banks and
businesses, and economies from the euro zone to
China struggle to grow.
Fund manager Ossiam’s head of business
development Isabelle Bourcier said interest in its
low volatility ETFs had grown.
“Expectations from clients that there will be
volatility is helping us,” she said.
Assets in low volatility ETFs have grown to $16bn
currently from $15mn when the financial crisis hit
in 2008, Markit data showed.
ussian retail sales growth
stagnated after the rouble had its worst month
in more than two years and joblessness rose to the highest since
Retail sales advanced 1.7%
from a year earlier in October,
the same rate as in September,
the Federal Statistics Service
in Moscow said yesterday in a
statement. Unemployment rose
to 5.1% from 4.9%, matching the
median estimate in a Bloomberg
survey of 16 economists.
The rouble’s plunge to record
lows and inflation at the fastest since July 2011 are eating
into consumers’ finances. That’s
plaguing domestic demand already burdened by higher interest rates, capital flight and
the conflict in neighbouring
“We are about to slip into recession,” Vladimir Osakovskiy,
chief economist for Russia at
Bank of America Corp in Moscow, said by phone before the
data release. “The underlying
growth drivers like investment
and consumer spending are
There’s a 70% chance of a recession in the next 12 months,
according to the median estimate of 27 economists in a
Bloomberg Survey, published
October 30. The gauge is at the
highest since Bloomberg started
tracking the measure two years
shrank 2.9% after a 2.8% decline
in September and wages adjusted
for inflation increased 0.3%. The
median estimates of economists
surveyed by Bloomberg were for
investment to contract 3.5% and
real wages to drop 0.9%.
The central bank cut its forecast for Russia’s economic
growth forecast last week after
the price of oil, Russia’s main
export earner, dropped to a fouryear low.
The US and the European Union imposed sanctions against
Russia after President Vladimir
Putin annexed Crimea from
Ukraine in March and a separatist insurrection flared in two
regions. That’s stoked capital
outflow and undercut the rouble.
The rouble has lost more than
20% against the dollar in the
past three months, the worst
performer among more than
170 world currencies tracked by
Bloomberg, while Russians still
put faith in their currency.
The economy is set to expand
0.3% this year and stagnate
in 2015, according to the central bank’s base-case scenario,
which assumes oil prices averaging at $95 next year and sanctions remaining in place until the
end of 2017.
“One of the most striking aspects of the recent slowdown in
the Russian economy is that the
previously resilient consumer
sector has weakened sharply,”
Liza Ermolenko, an economist at
London-based Capital Economics, said in a note.
Goldman Sachs rejects commodity manipulation
The headquarters of Goldman Sachs in lower Manhattan. Goldman on Thursday
took the lead in rejecting allegations by a US Senate subcommittee that Wall
Street banks were exploiting physical commodity markets to manipulate prices
and gain unfair trading advantages.
oldman Sachs Group on Thursday took the lead in rejecting allegations by a US Senate
subcommittee that Wall Street banks
were exploiting physical commodity
markets to manipulate prices and gain
unfair trading advantages.
In an often heated hearing before
the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator
Carl Levin pressed bankers and executives on whether the company
had inflated physical prices and
curbed supplies of aluminum, adding billions of dollars in costs for
consumers such as the US Navy and
beverage can makers.
Chris Wibbelman, president and
chief executive of Metro International
Trade Services, the metals warehousing firm Goldman bought in 2010, defended his company’s actions, saying it
plays by the rules and contributes jobs
to the Detroit area.
Levin, who chairs the subcommittee, directed many of his questions to
Wibbelman and appeared frustrated
at his testimony. “Let me refresh your
recollection,” Levin said to Wibbelman
in reference to a question about a business contract.
After the Michigan Democrat read
the document, he turned to the Metro
CEO, raising his voice and said: “Does
that help your recollection?”
The п¬Ѓve-hour hearing followed the
release on Wednesday of a detailed
403-page report that criticised how
banks purchased and exploited huge
commodity stockpiles.
The public airing of concerns about
bank ownership of physical commodities and assets from pipelines to warehouses has renewed scrutiny of Wall
Street’s role in the market.
“This is clearly another case of
putting banks on the defensive ...,” said
Michael Philipp, attorney and partner
at Morgan Lewis’s Investment Management and Securities Industry Practice in Chicago.
“I think this potentially puts pressure on the Federal Reserve, who has
the power to permit banks to engage in
physical commodities.”
The session continues with officials
from the Federal Reserve and US power
market regulators. Experts agreed that
the sessions may not have much impact in the long term.
The Federal Reserve has already signalled its intent to pursue regulation
of banks and commodities. JPMorgan
Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley, which
also testified on Thursday, have both
made major moves to get out of physical commodities.
Goldman was under particular scrutiny because it has maintained that
commodity trading is core to its business, though it is in the process of selling Metro.
The hearing room was packed with
bankers, lawyers and journalists. Star
lawyer Abbe Lowell was there as well,
retained by Goldman to assist with the
two days of testimony, a spokesman for
the bank said.
The hearing and report stem from
a two-year investigation by the subcommittee into banks and their influence on commodities that shed light
on two areas: the Fed’s concerns about
weakness of banks’ ability to withstand
a major catastrophe and Metro’s multimillion-dollar payments to maintain
long wait times and bolster income.
“If you like what Wall Street did for
the housing market, you’ll love what
Wall Street is doing for commodities,”
Levin said in his opening remarks.
Republican Senator John McCain of
Arizona, a member of the subcommittee, said Wall Street banks have taken
“excessive risk, raised suspicions of
market manipulation and gained unfair trading advantages” through their
expansion into physical commodities
Aluminum warehousing was in the
spotlight after the report, based on
90,000 pages of bank and regulatory
documents as well as 78 interviews and
briefings, detailed six so-called “merry-go-round” deals that Levin said
caused bottlenecks at Metro’s Detroit
Levin said longer queues led to rising
physical premiums: “There’s no doubt
these six deals that you welcomed as
a warehouse and Goldman approved
had a direct influence on the length of
queue,” he said.
In questioning, Wibbelman said he
was offering deals to customers according to the business climate.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Corporate bond record in sight as global sales near $4tn
New York
Global corporate bond issuance has surpassed all of 2013, with the annual record
now in sight as investors reap the biggest
gains since 2002. Led by Apple and
Verizon Communications, companies have
fuelled debt sales worldwide of $3.8tn this
year, which is about $174bn away from
the peak in 2012 and on pace to exceed
$4tn for the first time, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.
Alibaba Group Holding, Asia’s largest
Internet company to sell as much as $8bn
in bonds. Corporate bonds are defying
predictions made at the beginning of the
year that higher borrowing costs would
curb debt offerings as the Federal Reserve
pulled back from its unprecedented
Yields instead tumbled to a record
last month as the central bank maintains
its policy of keeping benchmark inter-
est rates near zero. “The surprise was
100% the decline in interest rates,” Hans
Mikkelsen, head of US investment-grade
credit strategy at Bank of America Corp in
New York, said in a telephone interview.
“It was such a perfect combination
of a window of opportunity to issue
and responsive investor demand,” said
Mikkelsen, whose firm is the largest underwriter of the debt after No 1 JPMorgan
Chase & Co.
Yields on 10-year US Treasuries, a
benchmark for corporate borrowing, fell
below 2% on October 17, from about 3% at
the start of the year. Back then, the median
estimate of more than 60 economists and
strategists was for the measure to rise to
3.44% by the end of 2014. Average gains
of 6.4% this year on debt from the most
creditworthy governments to the riskiest
corporate borrowers worldwide are the
best since an advance of 8.9% in 2002,
according to the Bank of America Merrill
Lynch Global Broad Market Index.
Yields on corporate and high-yield
bonds globally have risen 21 basis points
to 3.41% from a one-year low of 3.2%
on August 29, according to the Bank of
America Merrill Lynch Global Corporate
and High Yield Bond Index. A basis point is
0.01 percentage point.
Globally, bonds yielded 193 basis points
more than similar- maturity Treasuries yesterday, index data shows. That’s a 37- basis
point increase from 156 basis points on June
24, the lowest level since the end of 2007.
In the US, home to the largest corporate
bond market, investment-grade borrowers
have sold $1.1tn of the securities, up from
$1.08tn in the same period in 2013. Sales
of junk bonds, those rated below BBB- by
Standard & Poor’s and Baa3 at Moody’s
Investors Service, have risen to $336.2bn
from $314.5bn.
Dollar-denominated debt makes up
38.2% of global issuance. Apple sold
$12bn of notes in April as the iPhone
maker sought to reward shareholders by
locking in borrowings that are a cheaper
alternative than using overseas cash
that’s subject to repatriation taxes. In a
sign of high demand, the deal included
$2.5bn of 3.45%, 10-year notes that paid
77 basis points more than similar-maturity
Treasuries, 13 basis points less than what
was originally proposed, Bloomberg data
Alibaba’s Deal Verizon borrowed
$14.8bn this year to help refinance some of
its $23bn of debt coming due in the next
four years. In its latest offering, the largest
US wireless carrier, sold $6.5bn in bonds
last month, Bloomberg data show.
More deals are on the way. Alibaba is
making its debut in the bond markets, planning to sell debt, according to a person with
knowledge of the matter. The HangzhouChina based e-commerce company may
offer the notes in seven parts, said the person, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly
and asked not to be identified.
“The calendar still looks deep and
heavy for the end of the year,” said Steven
Kellner, Newark, New Jersey-based head
of credit portfolios for Prudential Fixed In-
come. Issuance of company bonds is also
booming in Europe, with sales of €816.5bn
($1tn) this year on track to be the most
since 2010, Bloomberg data show. That
compares with €761.7bn for all of 2013.
Revising Forecasts Rising bond sales have
banks revising their predictions.
Bank of America, which forecasted
investment-grade issuance in the US to
fall 16%, has raised its estimate. Barclays
boosted its forecasts to $1.12tn, while
JPMorgan in August lifted its estimate of
high-grade bond sales to $975bn from
Along with the boom in borrowing is
concern that investor protections are
deteriorating, with one such measure for
junk bonds falling to a new low, according
to a November 12 Moody’s report.
The average covenant score, in which 1
is the highest and 5 the weakest, climbed
to a record 4.36 in October from 4.25 in
September. The riskiest corporate debtors
in the US aren’t growing fast enough to
pay down their borrowings, increasing
the risk for bond investors, according to
November 7 report from Deutsche Bank
strategists Oleg Melentyev and Daniel
“We passed on a lot of transactions,”
Mark Vaselkiv, a high-yield money manager at T Rowe Price, said in an interview at
a media event in New York. “Our analysts
were completely fried” by the amount of
new issuance this year. Stimulus measures
taken by the European Central Bank and
Japan are boosting demand for higheryielding assets on signs that the central
banks will continue to support global
economies even as the Fed announced
plans to ends its quantitative easing and
moves toward raising interest rates.
“The consensus is that we’ll see a rate
rise in mid-2015,” Rob Smalley, head of
the credit desk analyst group at UBS in
New York, said in a telephone interview.
“If that is conventional wisdom, then it
makes sense that companies that need to
do financing might do it at the end of 2014
and early 2015.”
Pemex’s $15bn debt plan
proves drag on bonds
Mexico City
ith oil prices plunging to
a four-year low, Petroleos
Mexicanos’s (Pemex) plan
to take on a record amount of debt to
bolster production is fuelling concern
among its bondholders.
The state-owned company, whose
debt load reached an all-time high of
$74bn at the end of September, said this
week it will boost net borrowings next
year by $15bn. Pemex’s $2.1bn of bonds
due in 2023 have fallen since the announcement, pushing up yields by 0.33
percentage point this week and reached
an almost two-month high of 4.05%.
The slump in crude prices comes as
Pemex tries to reverse a decade-long
decline in output and prepares to face
overseas competition after the government ended its seven-decade monopoly this year. The company also said this
week that it will increase bond sales
next year to as much as $15bn, the most
since at least 1999, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.
“Any time that a major issuer announces that there’s going to be a lot
of paper flooding the market, people
dump it,” Luis Maizel, who helps manage $5.5bn of fixed-income securities
including Pemex debt at LM Capital
Group in San Diego, said in a telephone
interview. “As more competition comes
in and as more opportunity happens, in
Mexico, they’ll need more liquidity.”
Pemex’s press office declined to
comment on the company’s bond performance and financing plans.
The oil producer may sell as much as
$8bn of bonds locally and $7bn overseas in 2015, according to an investor
presentation posted on the company’s
website. It said the debt will help п¬Ѓnance an investment plan of $27.3bn
next year. Pemex has the fourth-largest
net debt load among major global oil
and gas companies at $66.8bn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Pemex is trying to “sustain current
output levels, while holding on to stra-
A support vessel sails away from the Petroleos Mexicanos Pol-A platform complex, located on the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. Pemex’s plan to take on a record
amount of debt to bolster production is fuelling concern among its bondholders.
tegic exploratory prospects to facilitate
organic growth in the future,” the company said in the presentation.
The company has lost about 150bn
pesos ($11bn) this year as output fell
and as about half its revenue went to
the government in taxes. Oil production averaged 2.4mn bpd in the third
quarter, 4.3% less than a year ago.
Pemex, which has posted losses for
eight straight quarters, funds about a
third of the federal budget.
Mexico’s mix of crude oil has plummeted 31% from its 2014 high on June
20 through November 19, dropping to a
four-year low of $70.20 a barrel.“Their
revenue is falling due to low oil prices,
and they need to make investments,
especially with the reforms, so they’re
using debt as a complement for financing,” Carlos Legaspy, a money
manager at InSight Securities, which
holds Pemex debt among its $350mn
in emerging-market securities, said
in a telephone interview from Miami.
“These investments should lead to
greater production in future years, but
if we don’t see oil prices turn around,
you could see more of a negative impact
on the bonds.”
President Enrique Pena Nieto says
the legal changes to let foreign companies pump crude in Mexico for the п¬Ѓrst
time since the 1930s will help reduce
Pemex’s tax burden and attract $250bn
in foreign direct investment by 2018.
The peso climbed 0.4% to 13.6024
per dollar at 9:33am in New York.
Alberto Bernal, head of research at
Bulltick Capital Markets, said Pemex’s
growing indebtedness won’t hurt demand for the company’s bonds since
the funds are aimed at п¬Ѓnancing investments to stem output declines.
“The bet investors are making is the
Dong Energy banks on larger offshore turbines
ong Energy, Europe’s largest offshore
wind farm developer, plans to make
the switch to giant wind turbines in a
move that could signal a breakthrough for a
new generation of products.
The mega-machines, double the size of
the current standard, had not been a commercial success, but that could be changing
after Danish utility Dong signed an order in
August for 32 of them developed by Denmark’s Vestas and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy
Dong’s decision to favour the new 8 megawatt (MW) offshore turbines is the consequence of a relentless drive to cut costs which
it says is essential to the survival of an industry that relies on subsidies.
Dong is putting pressure on suppliers to
cut offshore wind costs to 100 euros per
megawatt/hour for investments from 2020,
from about 125 euros now.
The August deal was for the relatively
small British 256 MW Burbo Bank farm,
which Dong hopes to start building in 2016.
However, its choice of turbine for three
larger British farms could set the tone for
the industry - the 580 MW Race Bank, 660
MW Walney Extension and 1200 MW Horn-
Dong Energy’s decision to favour the
new 8 megawatt offshore turbines is
the consequence of a relentless drive
to cut costs
sea farm, which will be world’s largest. “We
prefer bigger turbines, 5 megawatts or more,
going forward as they are a big lever in reducing costs,” Samuel Leupold, CEO of Dong Energy’s wind division, told Reuters.
Dong has not yet chosen the turbines for
the three projects, but it is unlikely to go back
to the 3.6 MW Siemens turbines it operates in
most of its wind farms.
On two farms under construction, Westermost Rough and Gode Wind in Germany,
Dong is installing 6 MW Siemens turbines,
but with several manufacturers now developing even bigger machines, Dong is ready
to diversify. “Siemens was first with a good
offshore product, but, in the future we do not
want to rely on one supplier,” Leupold said.
The jumbo turbines - the 8 MW Vestas has
a 164-metre rotor diameter - are cheaper as
they need only one foundation and one subsea cable for the same power as two mediumsize turbines. Siemens, Vestas, Suzlon and
others offer 5 MW-plus turbines, but few
have been installed, as many utilities chose
models with proven reliability.
The average offshore turbine built in 2013
was 4 MW, similar to 2012, European Wind
Energy Association (EWEA) data show.
“Investors don’t necessarily want to be
first to put their money on a new technology,”
EWEA’s Oliver Joy said.
German E.ON for instance has not decided
on turbine size for its 400 MW Arkona and
Rampion projects. “We’ll see whether we will
do those with the 3 MW generation or move
to the 5 MW class,” said E.ON board member
Mike Winkel. France’s drive to develop offshore wind will bring two more mega-turbines into play, Alstom’s 6 MW Haliade and
the 8 MW Areva-Gamesa model .
EWEA expects that as installed offshore
capacity triples to 25,000 megawatt by 2020,
Siemens may lose some of its 60% market
share, but not volumes.
country will be able to reverse the decline in oil production,” Bernal, who
recommends buying Pemex bonds, said
in a telephone interview from Bogota.
“If you have an increase in output, nobody cares about the debt load.”
Pemex has sold about $14.4bn in debt
this year, accounting for more than onethird of all Mexican offerings, according
to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Debt issuance is increasing because
capital expenditures are increasing,”
Cathy Hepworth, a money manager at
Prudential Financial in Newark, New
Jersey, said in an e-mail.
Statoil takes
$350mn hit
on Angola
exploration halt
orway’s Statoil said yesterday it was halting exploration in Angola after
poor drilling results, retreating
from an offshore area it had high
hopes for and capping a poor
year for exploration.
Statoil said it was cancelling a
three-year contract with Stena
Drilling, handing back a drilling
ship two years early and taking
a $350mn charge in the fourth
quarter related to the contract,
the drilling and the value of the
Angolan blocks.
Statoil had high hopes for Angola’s offshore pre-salt blocks
38 and 39 because the geology is
similar to Brazil’s, where major
oil discoveries have been made
in similar rocks.
“Statoil’s first well results
from the area have been disappointing and although the
company still sees remaining
prospects in the basin and on
the Statoil acreage, more time is
needed to evaluate the well results and mature new prospects
before deciding on future activities,” it said in a statement.
The п¬Ѓrm still has commitments to participate in several
more wells in Angola, but only as
a partner and not an operator.
“This will add to an already bad
quarter for them as oil prices have
dropped from the third quarter,”
said Christian Yggeseth, an analysts at Arctic Securities.
“We might be facing another
negative quarter, at least in the
upstream international division.” Statoil is cutting capital
expenditure and delaying or
cancelling projects to save cash
after a 10-year spending spree
and a nearly 30% fall in crude
prices since June.
It has cancelled or suspended
several rig contracts in 2014
– just a year after paying near
record rates to secure drilling capacity – because costs have become too high and as it company
ran out of prospects to drill.
Ophir Energy offers to buy
Salamander in SE Asia push
British oil and gas explorer Ophir Energy offered
to buy Salamander Energy for ВЈ267mn ($419mn)
to expand in southeast Asia.
Ophir could be getting a bargain, analysts said,
after a possible rival in the bidding process
walked away.
But shareholders might be less happy about
taking on Salamander’s $250mn debt, as well as
the all-stock nature of the deal.
“We expect arbitrage between the two to weigh
heavily on Ophir’s share price,” Societe Generale
analysts said in a note.
Salamander’s shares rose as much as 5.8% to
96.0 pence. Ophir’s stock fell as much as 7.1% to
167.4 pence, also hit by disappointing drill results
in Tanzania.
The recent drop in oil prices has renewed
appetite for deals, posing a dilemma for oil
companies keen to pick up bargains but under
pressure to cut costs.
A consortium led by Spain’s Compania Espanola
de Petroleos (CEPSA) had been considering
making an offer of 121 pence in cash and one
contingent value right of up to 24 pence per
share for Salamander.
CEPSA said on Monday the consortium had
decided not to proceed - leaving the way clear
for Ophir.
BMO Capital Markets analyst David Round said
the offer was “slightly disappointing”. While
making strategic sense for both companies,
he said it fell “a long way short of previous
expressions of interest”.
Ophir’s offer of 0.5719 shares for every
Salamander share values Salamander at
266.9mn pounds, based on Ophir’s closing
price of 180.1 pence on Thursday. Salamander
has 259.13mn shares outstanding, according to
Thomson Reuters data. The acquisition would
give Ophir an oilfield already in production
off Thailand’s coast and a gas development in
The offer is conditional on Salamander cancelling
its deal with Malaysia’s Sona Petroleum Bhd to
sell 40% of two oil and gas blocks in the Gulf of
Thailand. Though almost all of Ophir’s assets
are scattered throughout African waters, the
company has recently acquired acreage in
Myanmar and Indonesia.
“They have to inject some sort of fresh
momentum into what is a lacklustre story,”
FirstEnergy Capital analyst Gerry Donnelly
said. “Africa itself, for Ophir, is getting just too
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Asian markets
end higher on
People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai. The Sensex closed 0.95% higher yesterday, coming off a life high of 28,360.66 hit earlier in the session.
Sensex soars to record
high; rupee recovers
from nine-month low
ndian shares soared to record highs
yesterday as lenders surged after
Kotak Mahindra Bank’s acquisition
of ING Vysya sparked hopes for further
consolidation in the sector, while expectations of more reforms ahead of the
winter session of parliament also helped.
NSE’s bank index surged 2.4% to hit
a record high of its own, helping the
benchmark indexes mark their п¬Ѓfth consecutive weekly gains.
Investors were also hopeful Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s government
would push for reforms such as the goods
and services tax, disinvestment, and
changes in land acquisition laws in the
winter session of parliament scheduled
to begin next week.
Markets are also waiting for the Reserve
Bank of India’s policy review on December 2 amid hopes that easing consumer
inflation will lead the central bank to ease
monetary policy earlier than expected.
“Markets and even RBI’s decision will
depend on the government’s actions on
the п¬Ѓscal front in the winter session and
on rupee’s behaviour,” said Deven Chok-
sey, managing director at KR Choksey
The benchmark BSE index closed
0.95% higher, coming off a life high of
28,360.66 hit earlier in the session.
The broader NSE index ended up
0.9% after surging to an all-time high of
8,489.80. Both the indexes also gained 1%
each to mark their biggest weekly gain in
Banks were the top gainers in all broad
indexes after Kotak Mahindra Bank
agreed to buy ING Vysya in an all-share
deal, valuing its smaller rival at $2.4bn.
The deal raised hopes for more mergers in the sector amid rate-cut hopes that
will boost the earnings and valuation
outlook for the sector.
Kotak Mahindra Bank rose 3.7% after earlier marking a record high of
Rs1,264.70 for the second straight day,
while State Bank of India gained 2.8%.
Banks that markets see as potential acquisition candidates surged. Karnataka
Bank rose 5.2%, Karur Vysya Bank gained
1%, while City Union Bank rose 3.3%.
Potential suitors also rose. ICICI Bank
rose 2.9% and Axis Bank ended up 2%.
Yes Bank shares also gained 4.1% after
the central bank said on Thursday that
restrictions placed on the purchase of its
Bill Gross of Janus
to manage $500mn
for Soros fund
New York
ill Gross just got a huge
vote of confidence from
George Soros.
Soros Fund Management,
which Soros chairs, has invested $500mn in an account run by
Gross at Janus Capital Group,
the Denver-based п¬Ѓrm said on
its website on Thursday.
The money will be managed
through a private investment
vehicle named Quantum Partners and invested in a separate
account, Janus said. The portfolio will follow the strategy
that Gross is employing in his
Janus Global Unconstrained
Bond fund, which has $443mn
in assets under management.
Soros Fund Management
approached Gross after he resigned from Pimco in late September, a person familiar with
the situation said.
Gross co-founded Pimco in
1971 and built it into one of the
largest investment п¬Ѓrms in the
world, managing $2tn of pension, endowment and retirement money.
“We are honored to be man-
aging a new unconstrained
strategic account for Soros
Fund Management,” Gross
tweeted. “I & my team will
manage your new unconstrained strategic acct. 24h/
day. An honor to be chosen &
an honor to be earned as well.”
Soros Fund Management’s
chief investment officer Scott
Bessent met with Gross, the
source said, adding that the
fund considers Gross a legend.
Soros Fund Management,
founded in 1969 by George Soros, was reported to be one of
the most profitable firms in the
hedge fund industry in 2010,
averaging a 20% annual rate of
return over four decades.
Janus Capital Group posted
$1.1bn in net inflows in October, the largest net deposits
this year, after hiring Gross,
one of the bond market’s most
renowned investors.
The Janus Global Unconstrained portfolio, which
Gross started managing in
October, has attracted an estimated $364mn in client deposits in the п¬Ѓrst full month
since Gross’ arrival, bringing
assets to $442.9mn through
October 31, according to
Morningstar data on Monday.
shares by foreign investors were withdrawn.
Spicejet shares surged 15%, marking
their biggest daily gain since April 2014,
after news channel CNBC TV18 reported
its parent group may have п¬Ѓnalised an investor for the airline, citing sources.
“While the company is exploring various options to further capitalise, we are
unable to comment on specifics at this
stage,” a spokesperson for SpiceJet said.
Among losers, exporters fell after the
rupee strengthened from a nine-month
low on Thursday.
Software exporter Infosys fell 1.9%,
while Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
lost 1.2%.
Meanwhile the rupee gained yesterday,
recovering from its nine-month low hit
in the previous session as sentiment improved after China cut interest rates and
as domestic shares soared to record highs
ahead of the start of the winter session of
Still, the rupee fell 0.1% against the
dollar this week, its fourth consecutive
fall, on the back of a global rally in the
Sentiment improved somewhat yesterday after China unexpectedly cut benchmark interest rates, stepping up a cam-
paign to prop up economic growth in the
world’s second-largest economy. Traders
also cited hopes the government would
push through reforms in the winter session of parliament due to start on Monday, which helped push domestic indexes
to record highs.
But, analysts do not expect wide
moves in the rupee next week.
“I expect the rupee to be in rangebound trade,” said Vikas Babu Chittiprolu, a senior foreign exchange dealer with
Andhra Bank, who expects the local currency to trade in a range of 61.60/62.20
next week.
The partially convertible rupee closed
at 61.7625/7725 per dollar versus its previous close of 61.94/95. On Thursday, it
had touched a low of 62.22, its weakest
level since February 20.
Intraday, there was some dollar demand from state-owned banks as India is soon due to pay a third tranche of
$400mn to Iran ahead of a November 24
deadline to an interim deal with six world
powers that allows Tehran to recover part
of its overseas frozen oil revenues.
In the offshore non-deliverable forwards, the one-month contract was at
61.98/62.08, while the three-month was
at 62.52/62.
sian markets mostly rose
on bargain-buying yesterday, at the end of a
disappointing week that saw Japan plunge into recession and a
trumpeted Hong Kong Shanghai
exchange link-up fall flat.
The yen made some inroads
against the dollar and euro after hitting multi-year lows, but
with eyes on the general election
expected next month in Japan,
analysts expect it to resume its
Tokyo reversed early losses to
end 0.33% higher, adding 56.65
points to 17,357.51, while Seoul
rose 0.35%, or 6.80 points, to
Hong Kong ended a four-day
losing streak to rise 0.37%, or
87.48 points, to 23,437.12 and
Shanghai climbed 1.39%, or
34.13 points, to 2,486.79.
But Sydney fell 0.22%, or 11.9
points, to close at 5,304.3.
In other markets, Taipei edged
up 0.14%, or 12.66 points, to
9,091.53; Acer rose 3.32% to
Tw$20.25 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell
0.36% to Tw$138.5.
Wellington slipped 0.56%,
or 31.14 points, to 5,495.81;
Spark fell 1.24% to NZ$3.19 and
Fletcher Building was down
0.47% at NZ$8.40.
Manila ended up 0.10% up,
adding 7.23 points to 7,276.18;
Philippine Long Distance Telephone closed 0.40% lower at
2,982 pesos, Bloombery Resorts
was unchanged at 13.58 pesos
and Southeast Asia Cement
gained 0.42% to 2.40 pesos.
Bangkok closed up 0.67%, or
10.52 points, to 1,579.20; Airports of Thailand gained 3.53%
to 264baht, while Krung Thai
Bank rose 3.90% to 24baht.
Kuala Lumpur fell 0.72%, or
13.16 points, to 1,809.13; Telekom Malaysia fell 0.97% to 7.18
ringgit while UMW Holdings
gained 0.18% to 11.26 ringgit.
Jakarta ended up 0.36%, or
18.48 points, at 5,112.05; tin
miner Timah gained 3.35% to
1,235 rupiah, while paper manufacturer Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper
slipped 2.18% to 1,120 rupiah.
Singapore closed 0.90%, or
29.72 points, higher at 3,345.32;
Singapore Telecom rose 0.51% to
п¬Ѓnish at Sg$3.92 and casino operator Genting Singapore ended
1.81% higher at Sg$1.13.
US shares provided another
record-breaking lead Thursday
on the back of more positive
economic indicators.
A regional manufacturing index from the Federal Reserve
Bank of Philadelphia surged
unexpectedly, while the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, an amalgamation
of several key economic indicators, also improved. Also, US
existing-home sales gained in
October for the second straight
The п¬Ѓgures are the latest
showing the US is well on a
strong recovery track, despite
weaknesses in the Chinese, Japanese and eurozone economies.
The Dow climbed 0.19% and
the S&P 500 gained 0.20%—
both hitting new peaks—while
the Nasdaq added 0.56%.
Regional investors started the
week on the back foot with the
release of data showing Japan
had slipped back into recession
after a sales tax hike in April put
the clamps on consumer spending.
The news led Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe to put off another
hike planned for next year and
call a snap election for December.
The news also fuelled speculation the Bank of Japan will unveil
fresh monetary easing measures
– just weeks after it ramped up
its already vast bond-buying
scheme on October 31 – sending
the yen diving.
However, in Tokyo trade yesterday the Japanese unit picked
up after hitting a more than
seven-year low against the dollar and six-year low against the
The greenback bought ВҐ117.64
against ВҐ118.22 in New York
Thursday, while the euro bought
ВҐ147.58 compared with ВҐ148.25.
The Japanese unit got some
support after п¬Ѓnance minister Taro Aso told a regular news
briefing that the pace of the decline in the past week has been
“too fast”.
However, Yuji Saito, foreign
exchange director at Credit Agricole in Tokyo, cautioned: “He
is only saying that the yen’s rapid
fall is not a welcome thing. But it
does not mean that he wants to
cap the move at this level.
“The (downward) trend will
remain the same.”
The euro was also at $1.2544
from $1.2540.
Traders in Hong Kong and
Shanghai largely brushed off
the start this week of the Connect dealing tie-up that for the
first time opened the mainland’s
markets to the international
community, albeit on a limited
On the launch day Hong
Kong investors had exhausted
their daily allowance of Shanghai shares two hours before the
close, but mainlanders were less
keen—using up less than a fifth
of their quota by the end of trade.
Metal warehousing games in spotlight on LME
New York
Complex deals employed by
Goldman Sachs’ metals storage
unit to build vast stockpiles
and then maintain queues test
the spirit of the London Metal
Exchange operating code,
shocking many traders and
confirming others’ suspicions.
But the intricate transactions that
saw Metro International Trade
Services shell out millions of
dollars to customers to join exit
queues to bolster rental income
was within the rules, according
to two senior warehousing
executives and two veteran
An explosive US Senate report
released on Wednesday revealed
the “imaginative” methods used
to lure millions of tonnes of
aluminum into Detroit, Metro’s
headquarters, and then keep it
there over the past four years.
A fiery hearing of the Senate’s
Permanent Subcommittee on
Investigations on Thursday
offered the clearest insight yet
into the deals that metal users
say created bottlenecks, leading
to two-year long queues and
pushing physical prices to record
highs even as oversupply grew.
For Nick Madden, Senior Vice
President and Supply Chain
Officer of Novelis, the world’s
biggest aluminum user, the
report confirmed his “worst
fears”, he told the subcommittee
Traders stand outside the open outcry pit following a trading session at the London Metal Exchange.
Complex deals employed by Goldman Sachs’ metals storage unit to build vast stockpiles and then
maintain queues test the spirit of the LME operating code, shocking many traders and confirming
others’ suspicions.
hearing led by Democrat Senator
Carl Levin.
It also explained the “strange”
things going on in the opaque
market over the past four years,
he said.
Madden has been one of the
most fiercest critics of the LME
and the warehouses, which
he has blamed for years-long
queues and inflated premiums,
costing consumers billions of
dollars in added costs.
While the detailed report was
critical of how the bank has
exploited huge commodity
stockpiles, it did not contain any
smoking guns.
One warehousing source, who is
familiar with these transactions,
said what he read in the report
was “immoral, but not illegal”.
Chris Wibbelman, Metro
president and chief executive,
rejected the report’s findings
in testimony to lawmakers on
Thursday, saying the business
has played by the rules.
Still, the details reignited a
years-long debate on how the
ownership of warehouses has
transformed the metals market.
Madden has repeatedly called on
regulators to ban trading houses,
like Glencore and Trafigura, and
banks from owning storage
Massive 100,000-tonne
cancellations of warrants in
Detroit and Vlissingen in the
Netherlands, where Pacorini
Metals, Glencore’s storage
business, has the majority of its
sheds, have roiled the market
since 2010.
The first alarms were sounded
within Metro as early as
December 2010 when Mark
Askew, then vice president
of marketing, said he was
worried about rumours that
a big cancellation of warrants
was aimed at blocking other
customers in the queues, the
report showed.
That was just months after the
first of six such merry-go-round
deals that saw the wait time
balloon to as long as two years,
with millions of tonnes stuck in
“I remain concerned, as I have
expressed from start, regarding
�Q management’ etc” he wrote in
an e-mail to Wibbelman.
He quit in April 2013.
Wibbelman told the
subcommittee in closed-door
meetings that Askew “had
never liked the idea” of offering
financial incentives to existing
Metro customers, the report said.
He denied that it was designed
to help put a queue in place to
block other clients from leaving.
What’s not clear is whether the
report and the public airing of
concerns about the deals by the
Senate subcommittee may exert
pressure on the Commodity
Futures Trading Commission and
other regulators.
Under new owners, the LME
has tried to introduce sweeping
new warehousing rules, but
has faced legal challenges from
Rusal. Aluminum producers
benefit from the high premiums,
particularly when LME prices
were below the cost of
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Thailand’s medical tourism rebounds; hospital stocks skyrocket
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
Political unrest and the subsequent
military coup in Thailand this year
have certainly put pressure on
the country’s economy, but one
sector — despite a few temporary
setbacks — has shown remarkable
resilience so far: Medical tourism to
the kingdom, and with it the private
healthcare industry.
While in May shortly after the
coup d’etat — in the wake of sliding
tourism arrivals — the hospital
sector was also hit and reported
temporarily dropping foreign
patient inflow, it has since shown a
remarkable recovery. Numbers of
international patients, among them
a large part from the Middle East,
have picked up again, and the main
private hospitals catering to foreign
patients have announced plans to
expand their services and open
another bunch of referral offices
abroad. Bangkok Dusit Medical
Services, owner of the Bangkok
Hospital chain popular with foreigners, said it will spend $130mn over
the coming three years to build
four more hospitals of which one
will mainly be catering to Middle
East patients. Bumrungrad Hospital
in Bangkok, Southeast Asia’s largest
private medical centre, said it aims
to raise revenue by more than 10%
in 2015 due to increasing numbers
of patients, among them many
from “core markets” in the Middle
Overall, Thailand welcomed
some 1.8mn medical tourists
(together with those who just came
for spa and wellness services the
number sums up to 2.5mn) from
overseas in 2013, earning around
$4.7bn in the period, a continuation of the average growth of 15%
a year over the past decade. The
forecast for this year is a bit more
conservative, but in 2015 the sector
is expected to return to the usual
growth rate after “a small hiccup in
the short term”, as Chatree Duangnet, CEO of Bangkok Dusit Medical
Services, puts it, referring to the
military coup.
Indeed, while the country is
still under martial law, everyday
hospital life is not affected. The
flashy lounges of both Bangkok
Hospital and Bumrungrad are
teeming with patients, as an on-site
inspection last week showed, and
an estimated 40% are seemingly
Middle Easterners judged by their
clothing and Arabic language they
The obviously regained
buoyancy of the medical business
makes a look at the stock price development of private Thai hospital
groups worthwhile, of which 15
are listed at the Stock Exchange of
Thailand. Bloomberg data shows
that they made an average jump
of a whopping 54% year-to-date,
probably enough for many patients
to recover their medical expenses
would they have added some of the
best performing companies to their
stock portfolio.
Bangkok Dusit Medical Services,
the company with the highest
trading volume among its peers,
showed a one-year return of
42.46% as of November 21 and
even pays a dividend that currently
yields 1.11%. Bumrungrad Hospital’s
shares climbed 51.67% in the same
period, and the current dividend
yield stands at 1.4%. Samitivej,
another big healthcare group, saw
its shares advance 66.18% over
the past 12 months and pays out
dividends that currently yield a respectable 3.4%. The latest addition
to Bangkok’s listed hospital groups,
Srivichai Vejvivat, which operates
three hospitals in the country
and went public in 2012, shows a
skyrocketing 141.69% advance over
the past year.
Local analysts say that hospital
stocks remain their top picks even
after this rally, adding positive sentiment to further growth expectations of the entire Thai healthcare
VW unveils
next 5 years
olkswagen is to invest €85.6bn ($106bn)
in its automotive operations over the
next п¬Ѓve years to push foreign expansion, new models and technology to back its
quest for global leadership.
Volkswagen said the bulk of the cash will
flow into developing more efficient vehicles
and production methods, taking its capital expenditure to between 6 and 7% of revenue in
the period from 2015 to 2019, which analysts
said amounts to a slight hike in investment
Analysts at investment banking advisory
firm Evercore ISI said, “As expected, VW’s
five-year capex planning has not become a victim of the company’s efficiency program which
is, among other things, aiming at €5bn of efficiency gains at the VW brand by 2018.”
Volkswagen shares rose 1%, to €176.10 at
1140 GMT, while the DAX blue chip index was
trading up 2%.
A worker counts copper cathode sheets at the KGHM copper smelting factory in Glogow, Poland. Two foreign-owned mining firms have challenged the Polish government over what they see as the
unfair allocation of copper and potash extraction permits to state-controlled miner KGHM.
Foreign п¬Ѓrms challenge Poland
over access to mine concessions
Canadian, British firms lost
bids for permits to KGHM;
state-controlled KGHM is one
of Poland’s biggest companies;
it denies trying to push aside
wo foreign-owned mining п¬Ѓrms have challenged
the Polish government over
what they see as the unfair allocation of copper and potash extraction
permits to state-controlled miner
Poland’s environment ministry,
which allocates concessions, denied it gave preferential treatment
to KGHM over Canadian Miedzi
Copper, which has п¬Ѓled a lawsuit,
or British п¬Ѓrm Darley Energy, which
has submitted an appeal.
KGHM, Europe’s second-largest
copper producer and an industrial champion for Poland, is 31.8%
owned by the state. It said it did not
limit competition.
Whatever the outcome, the row
could rattle foreign investors at a
time when Poland’s resource sector,
struggling with low prices on the
world market, badly needs investment.
The government is also anxious
to bring investors into shale gas,
which it hopes will reduce its reliance on imported Russian gas. But
a number of п¬Ѓrms have pulled out,
citing difficult geology and unclear
The founders of Darley also control 3Legs Resources, which earlier this year sold its Polish shale gas
business in which it was partnered
with ConocoPhilips.
Miedzi Copper told Reuters it
had п¬Ѓled a case with a local court
after two copper concessions were
awarded to it and then withdrawn
following a challenge from KGHM.
The ministry said the bidding
would be rerun as bidders had insufficient information. KGHM said the
permit granted to Miedzi Copper
was part of a deposit it had previously invested in.
“The only other place where I
had such a negative experience was
Russia,” Ross Beaty, the main shareholder in Miedzi Copper, told Reuters. “I’ll never go back to Russia and
I’m afraid that I’m starting to feel the
same with Poland right now.”
Darley Energy told Reuters separately that it had submitted an appeal to the ministry over the decision
to deny it a permit to mine for fertiliser ingredient potash, in favour of
KGHM. It said it had also instructed
lawyers to prepare to lodge a complaint with the European Commission.
In the Darley case, the ministry
said KGHM won because its bid was
stronger, and denied manipulation.
It is expected to reply to Darley’s
appeal by December 12. KGHM declined to comment on Darley’s allegations of irregularities.
Darley bid for a potash mining
concession in the Baltic coast town
of Puck in 2012 and says it should
have been granted access by May last
year. It was initially the only bidder.
But it said the process was delayed
beyond the timetable set out under
Polish rules, which allowed KGHM
to enter the race later and win.
spokesman said an offer from KGHM
was picked because it envisaged a
wider scope as KGHM planned to
mine copper, silver and salt in Puck,
in addition to potash. It declined to
comment on Darley’s allegations of
irregularities about the timing of the
bidding process.
On Miedzi Copper, KGHM said
it was down to the environment
ministry to explain why Miedzi was
given access to a concession where
KGHM had already done work.
“It came to be accepted in this
sector that grown-up mining organisations do not cross each other’s paths,” Artur Tarnowski, head
of KGHM’s investor relations, said.
“Competition is welcome in our
opinion. But let it work on a healthy
Environment ministry spokesman Pawel Mikusek said the bidding
process was invalidated because
companies taking part were not given necessary details about what the
state required.
He said KGHM often loses out to
rivals in bidding for concessions,
proving it was not being given preferential treatment. “When we award
each concession, we treat all entities
equally,” said Mikusek.
KGHM bought Canadian miner
Quadra almost three years ago, hoping to boost production with projects
like Sierra Gorda in Chile — but it has
also sought to lift output at home.
The bulk of the cash will flow into
developing more efficient vehicles and
production methods, taking its capital
expenditure to between 6 and 7% of
revenue in the period from 2015 to 2019
Around €41.3bn of the investment plan will
go toward developing a range of sports utility
vehicles, modernising part of the light commercial vehicle portfolio and toward developing hybrid and electric drives.
At the same time, investments are also
planned in new vehicles and successor models in almost all vehicle classes, which will
be based on modular toolkit technology and
related components, the company said in a
Volkswagen Group chief executive Martin
Winterkorn said the investment plan will help
it become “the leading automotive group in
both ecological and economic terms with the
best and most sustainable products.”
Around €23bn will be spent on expanding
capacity at its plant in Poland where it builds
Crafter vans, and the new Audi plant in Mexico, as well as on paint shops and a production
facility to make vehicle parts.
Poised to meet its annual sales target of
10mn vehicles four years early in 2014, Europe’s largest carmaker has also sought to embark on an efficiency drive to save €5bn across
its multi-brand group which includes luxury
division Audi and Czech car maker Skoda.
But squeezing budgets appears to be tough
as VW faces costly commitments to develop
fuel-efficient power trains to meet carbon dioxide emission targets, and to beef up its troubled operations in the US while expanding in
China, its biggest market.
Volkswagen’s Chinese joint ventures will
invest €22bn in new production facilities and
products by 2019, the company said.
Bourse surpasses 13,800 psychological mark despite slippery crude
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
The Qatar Stock Exchange kept up its upward path, gaining more than 116 points
to surpass the 13,800 psychological mark,
despite slippery crude that touched a
28-month low during the week.
Stronger buying interests — especially
in banks and consumer goods — led the
market gain 0.85% during the week that
saw a Deloitte report which said Qatar
plans direct intervention in the construction sector as part of efforts to stem the
rising inflationary expectations build up
in the wake of fast paced infrastructure
development in the country.
In comparison, Kuwait (2.99%), Saudi
Arabia plunged 2.82% and Dubai (2.02%);
even as Muscat, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi
fell 0.93%, 0.76% and 0.09% respectively
during the week that saw Prime Minister
HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa
al-Thani assert that Qatar’s economy will
grow by 6% this year.
Qatar’s bourse has gained 33.4% yearto-date against Dubai’s 35.42%, Abu Dhabi
(15.56%), Bahrain (15.4%), Saudi Arabia
(10.23%) and Muscat (3.57%); whereas
Kuwait fell 2.47%.
Micro, large and mid stocks emerged
buying favourites during the week that
saw foreign institutions to be bullish but
with lesser vigour.
Consumer goods stocks appreciated
4.09%, banks and financial services
(2.18%), insurance (0.96%) and telecom
(0.24%); whereas transport, industrials
and real estate shrank 0.75%, 0.2% and
0.09% respectively during the week that
saw Mannai Corporation aim at making
further inroads in facility management
services in Qatar.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen gaining faster than
the other indices during the week that
saw realty, banks and consumer goods
together account for about 70% of the
total trade volume.
The 20-stock Total Return Index rose
0.85%, All Share Index (comprising wider
constituents) by 1.01% and Al Rayan
Islamic Index by 1.29% during the week,
which saw Barwa and Gulf Warehousing
dominate the trading ring in terms of
both volume and value.
Of the 43 stocks, 24 advanced; while 19
declined during the week that saw Brent
crude fall on greater North American
production as well as lower demand from
China and Europe.
Seven of the 12 banks and financial
services; five each of the eight consumer
Market capitalisation swelled 1.11% or
goods and the nine industrials; three of
more than QR8bn to QR750.67bn during
the five insurers; two of the four realty;
the week. Micro, large and mid cap equiand one each of the two telecom and the
ties were seen gaining 1.91%, 1.76% and
three transport stocks closed higher dur1.6% respectively; while small caps were
ing the week.
down 0.26%. Micro, small, mid and large
About 56% of the stock extended gains
cap equities are up 53.46%, 35.96%, 32.41%
with major movers being QNB, Comand 28.79% respectively year-to-date.
mercial Bank, Doha Bank, International
Foreign institutions’ net buying fell
Islamic, al khaliji, Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa,
to QR131.35mn against QR153.75mn the
Al Khaleej Takaful, Gulf Warehousing and
previous week.
United DevelopThe transport segment recorded Local retail investors’ net
ment Company.
6.15mn shares valued at QR348.6mnbuying sunk to QR5.36mn
However, Machange hands across 2,520 transac- compared to QR21.51mn the
zaya Qatar, Ezdan, tions.
week ended November 13.
Vodafone Qatar,
A total of 2.52mn insurance equi- Domestic institutions’
Ooredoo and Nanet profit booking eased
ties valued at QR149.19mn trade
kilat were among across 1,527 transactions.
to QR121.97mn against
those bucked the
In the debt market, there was no QR169.68mn the previous
trend during the
trading of treasury bills and govern- week.
Non-Qatari individual
ment bonds during the week.
investors’ net selling rose to QR14.74mn
compared to QR5.18mn the week ended
November 13.
A total of 67.74mn shares valued at
QR4.47bn changed hands across 40,173
The real estate sector saw a total of
24.95mn equities worth QR875.04mn
trade across 8,215 deals.
As many as 15mn banks and financial
services stocks valued at QR1.35bn
changed hands across 11,162 transactions.
A total of 7.21mn consumer goods
stocks valued at QR891.75mn trade across
5,366 deals.
The industrial sector saw as many
as 6.92mn shares worth QR724.46mn
change hands across 9,633 transactions.
The telecom sector saw 4.98mn equities worth QR128.95mn trade in 1,750
CRICKET | Page 3
salvage draw
after Taylor’s
Arsenal, United
in duel looking
to avoid further
slip ups
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Moharram 29, 1436 AH
Pacquiao, a street
kid who conquered
the world
Page 10
A fairy tale comeback, a
thrilling final… And Ramy
Ashour is your champion
�Even a month back I was not sure whether I would be able
to make it in time for Worlds. I have been through a lot the
last six months, so I was desperate to fight, fight for each
point, I was determined never to give up’
By Satya Rath
Egypt’s Ramy Ashour celebrates after defeating compatriot and world no. 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy to win the PSA World
Squash Championship yesterday at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. PICTURES: Jayan Orma
wo years ago, at the same
venue, on the old glass court,
cheered on wildly by the fervent crowd in the packed-tothe-brim stands, two Egyptians enacted a squash epic.
The grand finale lived up to its billing — five tense sets, 90 minutes of
edge-of-the-seat action, between a
seasoned professional - Ramy Ashour
- just returning from injury and Mohamed Elshorbagy – a 21-year old just
graduating into the senior ranks. Experience had the last say in the end and
Ashour won the 2012 world title, his
second after 2008.
It was a repeat show yesterday in the
п¬Ѓnal of the PSA World Squash Championship. Barring the brand new glass
court and Doha’s fast-changing skyline,
the scenario was uncannily similar.
This time too, Ashour was just returning from a career-threatening injury, the Worlds being his п¬Ѓrst tournament in six months.
The only modification in the script, if
one could call it that, was that Ashour’s
opponent, Elshorbagy, was no longer
the �junior’. He was now the world
number one, and was coming into the
п¬Ѓnal with a 23-match unbeaten streak.
The duo enacted another epic п¬Ѓnal,
this one perhaps even better than the
earlier one. Another п¬Ѓve-setter, and
yes, it lasted exactly 90 minutes, again!
The Friday crowd won’t be able to forget this thriller in a hurry, so intense
was the edge-of-the-seat performance
by the lead actors. Someone had to
win in the end, and the best man won.
Ramy Ashour, take a bow!
The п¬Ѓnal score read 13-11, 7-11, 5-11,
11-5, 14-12, and that tells the tale of the
intense level of competition between
the two warriors. Tempers flared, there
were errors galore, eyebrows raised at
some of the calls from the referee but it
was top-class stuff from two of the п¬Ѓnest players in the game today.
The п¬Ѓrst game set the tone. Elshorbagy seized the early initiative, racing
to a 8-3 lead, as Ashour took his own
sweet time to settle down. But once
the senior pro was in his groove, there
was no looking back. From 3-8 it soon
became 8-8, then 10-10. With neither
willing to cede an inch, it was down to
who will blink п¬Ѓrst, and Elshorbagy
obliged, banging the tin twice to end
the 16-minute set (13-11).
He made amends for those errors immediately, taking the next two games
11-7, 11-5, but should thank Ashour for
making it too easy for him by targeting
the tin all too frequently.
The fourth game too looked going Elshorbagy’s way when he led
5-2, again courtesy some inexplicable
unforced errors from Ashour’s racquet. The script had undergone a swift
change. Were we going to see a new
world champion in Doha?
But then, the Qatari capital always
seems to get the best out of Ashour,
“All credit to Mohamed, he
played great, but it was my day
perhaps. It was such an intense
match, back and forth, back and
forth… Both of us were desperate
to win, this would have been his
first world title so I feel sorry…”
and with the crowd egging him on, he
fought back - volleying brutally, diving at anything and everything, drawing out all his experience to take nine
points on the trot and force a decider.
Ashour was the one calling the shots
in the п¬Ѓnal game, leading 9-5, then on
match ball on 10-6, when Elshorbagy
showed why he’s at the peak of world
squash in such a short time. He staged
a last-ditch п¬Ѓghtback, taking the next
four points to force a tie-break. The
slugfest continued, 11-11, then match
ball for Elshorbagy at 12-11.
An infringement at that point
prompted the referee to award a stroke
to Ashour, and it was 12-12 now. Luck
favours the brave, they say, and Ashour
perhaps needed a stroke of luck at that
crucial stage.
He wrong-footed Elshorbagy - п¬Ѓrst
with a delectable drop and then with
a brutal volley - to take the next two
points for his third world title after
2012 and 2008 and the winner’s cheque
of $45,600.
It was Elshorbagy’s second final appearance at the Worlds, after Doha
2012. He will take home $28,500.
“All credit to Mohamed, he played
great, but it was my day perhaps. It was
such an intense match, back and forth,
back and forth… Both of us were desperate to win, this would have been his
first world title so I feel sorry… I think
yesterday’s (semifinal) win over Greg
(Gaultier) set me up perfectly for the
final, it gave me such a boost in confidence,” a visibly drained Ashour said.
“I feel so happy to have won. Even
a month back I was not sure whether
I would be able to make it in time for
Worlds. I have been through a lot the
last six months, so I was desperate to
п¬Ѓght, п¬Ѓght for each point, I was determined never to give up.
“It’s all in the head, you know. In
such matches, you lose your head, you
lose everything.
“I kept myself to stay calm, even
when he (Elshorbagy) was on match
ball in the п¬Ѓfth game (12-11). I want to
thank the crowd for their support. The
Doha crowd has always been amazing,
and they really carried me through,”
added Ashour.
Final Score: Ramy Ashour bt Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-2 (13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 14-12)
Ashour (right) consoles Elshorbagy after the final.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Advantage Lewis
after first practice
in Abu Dhabi
�I’ve just got to drive the way I usually do and what will be will be. I feel good in the
car. Undoubtedly, there is more time to find so I’ve got to chip away at it tonight’
Mercedes reject
Vettel’s �boring’ quip
Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany.
Abu Dhabi
ercedes hit back at
Red Bull’s Sebastian
Vettel yesterday after
the most dominant
driver of recent years quipped
that the team had made the Formula One season boring with
their success.
“Is there anybody out there
who believes that it was a boring season? Not one single soul,”
motorsport head Toto Wolff told
the official Formula One website
ahead of Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“It was an incredibly exciting
season, despite our record. Our
drivers were battling each other
to the limit and I am sure that the
fans appreciate that.”
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have between them won a record-equalling 15 of the 18 races so far, with
a record 11 one-two п¬Ѓnishes, but
the title outcome is far from decided.
Hamilton, the 2008 champi-
on, leads his German teammate
by 17 points but with double
points and 50 for the winner on
Vettel wrapped up last year’s
title, his fourth in a row, with
three races to spare and ended
the year with nine successive
wins. But this season he has been
little more than an onlooker.
The German has not won a
race and has been overshadowed
even within his own team by
Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
“I think Mercedes made it very
boring this year,” the 27-year-old
told reporters with some irony on
Thursday, while admitting that
the season-long duel between
the two team mates had been
good to watch.
“They had great races, battling
for the lead, which is obviously
the most interesting position in
the race for the people to watch,”
said Vettel.
“Remembering races like Bahrain, I think they put on a great
show for the fans and took it to
the last race, so I think both of
them deserve to win after such a
great season.”
Grosjean handed
20-place penalty
Abu Dhabi
Mercedes-AMG’s British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the second practice session at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
Abu Dhabi
ewis Hamilton claimed an early
advantage over Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg
yesterday with the fastest lap in
practice for Formula One’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Briton, chasing his second title,
was quickest in the afternoon and afterdark floodlit sessions at the glittering Yas
Marina circuit that hosts Sunday’s decisive �duel in the desert’.
The bragging rights were limited, however, by the slender margin between the
two with Hamilton 0.133 faster in the п¬Ѓrst
session and a mere 0.083 in the cooler
evening conditions.
He produced his best lap of one minute
42.113 after nightfall.
“I’ve just got to drive the way I usually
do and what will be will be,” said Hamilton. “I feel good in the car. Undoubtedly,
there is more time to find so I’ve got to go
and chip away at it tonight.”
The other drivers waged a familiar battle to be best of the also-rans, but with an
even greater gap than usual.
Spaniard Fernando Alonso, preparing
for his last race with Ferrari, was third
quickest in the opening session but a
massive 1.7 seconds off Hamilton’s pace.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 17 points
but, with double on offer for the п¬Ѓrst
time, the spectre of mechanical failure
hangs over Sunday’s race.
The 2008 champion need only п¬Ѓnish
second, however, to be champion even
if Rosberg wins. Mercedes are also on
course for a record 16 wins in a season,
having already notched up an unprecedented 11 one-twos.
McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen filled
third spot in the second session, when
Alonso stopped on track without setting
a time, but was still 0.782 off the pace
Quadruple world champion Sebastian
Vettel, last year’s race winner, was fourth
fastest in both sessions as he geared up
for a farewell to Red Bull before replacing
I won’t take stupid risks, Hamilton says ahead of showdown
Formula One championship leader
Lewis Hamilton said yesterday that he
will not take unnecessary risks at the decisive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tomorrow.
“Going into the race, people should just
know I am an out-and-out racer and
I am going to be going into it to win,”
Hamilton wrote in his column for the
BBC. “I will not give up until I am past
the chequered flag.
“But I am certainly not going to take any
stupid risks, because I don’t need to.”
The 29-year-old Hamilton has a 17-point
advantage over Mercedes teammate
Alonso at Ferrari.
Britain’s Jenson Button, maybe facing
his last race in Formula One, improved to
eighth for McLaren after a troubled п¬Ѓrst
Mercedes-powered Williams, who
stopped their cars in the п¬Ѓrst session after they shed bodywork on track, had a
Nico Rosberg going into the final race of
the season and second place tomorrow
will secure him the championship.
Though Hamilton already has one world
title, won with McLaren in 2008, he says
performance this season has eclipsed
that, regardless of what happens tomorrow.
“But out of all my years in F1 so far, this
is the one I am most proud of, in terms
of my efforts, focus, precision and drive,
the way I have performed, the small
number of mistakes I’ve made,” Hamilton wrote.
normal second stint with Finland’s Valtteri Botttas fifth.
The first session also saw some less familiar names in action, with Britain’s Will
Stevens slowest as he prepared for a race
debut with administrator-run Caterham.
Hong Kong Chinese racer Adderley
Fong gained some experience at Sauber.
otus Formula One driver
Romain Grosjean could
consider himself lucky
that only the points will
be doubled in this weekend’s
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after collecting a 20-place grid penalty
The Frenchman was handed
the sanction for exceeding his
allocation of power unit components for the season.
With only 20 cars taking part
in today’s qualifying for the
season-ending race, Grosjean is
sure to start at the back of the
п¬Ѓeld at Yas Marina but that will
not be the end of the matter.
Race stewards said in a
statement that any remaining positions beyond that will
be replaced with time, drivethrough or stop and go penalties applied depending on
where he qualified.
So if Grosjean were to qualify
15th, he would drop п¬Ѓve places
and also have to serve a drivethrough penalty.
Caterham running
to be investigated
Rosberg warns Hamilton to keep
it clean in championship decider
Caterham F1 Team team chief Finbarr O’Connell.
The Guardian
he tension between
Lewis Hamilton and
Nico Rosberg was obvious when they exchanged an uneasy handshake
on Thursday. The Mercedes
teammates and Formula One
world championship rivals appeared alongside each other at
a press conference but the body
language between once close
friends was cold enough to chill
the warm desert air.
The pair have clashed a
number of times in a season
in which Hamilton has built a
17-point advantage going into
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where,
controversially, double points
will be awarded. The winner
of Sunday’s race will collect 50
File picture of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (right) on the podium after
winning the Japan GP with teammate Nico Rosberg looking on.
When asked if they would
speak to each other before the
race to ensure there would be
no argy-bargy, Hamilton said:
“We don’t need to, its been discussed at the beginning of the
season and several times during the season and particularly
after Spa, so there’s no need to
revisit it. We are not children
we should know what is wrong
and what is right.”
When the question moved to
Rosberg he had a dig at Hamilton. “Lewis can do something
to keep it clean, which is drive
cleanly himself. So it’s not like
he can’t do anything,” the German said
He added: “It’s an intense
weekend. I wouldn’t use the
word pressure. Lewis is a great
competitor and it will hopefully
be a great end to the season. I’m
here to try to win the race and
I need a bit of help from Lewis
that he doesn’t finish second.
There are many scenarios and
I’m optimistic. In Brazil he made
a mistake and I need to do what I
can to keep the pressure on.”
Hamilton needs to п¬Ѓnish in the
top two to make sure of a second
world title six years after winning
his п¬Ѓrst. He has won 10 grands
prix this season to Rosberg’s five,
though the British driver has been
outscored 10-7 in pole positions.
Without double points, Hamilton
would have had to п¬Ѓnish sixth to
take the title.
He said: “I come into the
weekend trying to win the race,
like always. So nothing changes. In terms of the pressure,
I don’t really feel anything. I
have been racing for 20 years to
prepare for it.”
The two major flashpoints
between the pair came at Monaco and Spa. At Monaco in May
Rosberg went up the escape road
on his п¬Ѓnal run and prevented
Hamilton from potentially setting pole. The view of most experts was that what Rosberg did
was intentional. Rosberg was at
fault at the Belgian Grand Prix
when he collided with Hamilton,
forcing him to retire.
Abu Dhabi
aterham’s former management will be investigated by administrators
once the stricken Formula One team’s fate is decided in
the next few weeks, administrator
and acting team principal Finbarr
O’Connell said yesterday.
O’Connell, speaking at the
season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand
Prix, told reporters he had a duty
to probe how Caterham was
run before he was called in last
month. “I’m clearly trying to sell
the business, but another thing I
have to do is investigate how the
business was run, and anybody
who has run it improperly or who
owes it money, I have a duty to
investigate them,” he said.
“If I think they’ve been guilty
of an offence ... then I am supposed to pursue them and get
money back for the creditors.
“I’m just getting all the papers
and documents together and my
lawyers and accounting team are
going through those.
“So that is a different phase,
but a number of people have said
to me they really believe things
have gone on here that need to be
Replacing his usual business
suit with team uniform for the
first grand prix he has ever attended, O’Connell said 50 approaches had been whittled
down to four serious ones.
“(For) some of them it makes
complete sense, if it ever makes
sense for anybody to buy a
Formula One team,” said the
54-year-old from County Leitrim, who is more a fan of rugby
and cycling than motorsport.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
court for
India board
Pakistan salvage draw
after Taylor’s century
World cricket chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan filed a
petition yesterday before
India’s Supreme Court to
allow him to be reinstated
as president of the country’s
board since he had been
cleared of corruption.
The petition by Srinivasan
and the Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI) will be
taken up on Monday when
the apex court is due to
resume hearings over a corruption scandal around the
Indian Premier League.
The court-appointed panel
probing the scandal had in its
report released last Monday exonerated Srinivasan
of match-fixing and also
absolved him of trying to
scuttle investigations into
However the court has said
it wants Srinivasan to reply
to the panel’s charges that
he did not act against an
unnamed player despite
knowing that he had violated
the players’ code of conduct
during the 2013 edition of the
annual Twenty20 tournament.
The BCCI petition denied the
charge against Srinivasan,
saying the player, identified
only as �individual 3’ in the
panel’s report, had been
“orally reprimanded” by
concerned officials.
The court has not disclosed
the nature of the code violation nor when it took place.
The court had barred Srinivasan from carrying out his
duties as BCCI president in
March until it had delivered
its final verdict, although it
did not stop him from heading the International Cricket
The Chennai-based cement
tycoon took over as the ICC
chairman in June but he is
keen to return to the helm of
the BCCI and he is expected to
seek a second three-year term
as board president in elections
due on December 17.
The panel has accused Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath
Meiyappan of being involved
in betting activities during
the IPL while he was the team
principal of one of the tournament’s teams, the Chennai
Super Kings.
The franchise is owned by
India Cements, whose managing director is Srinivasan
while the team is captained
by India skipper Mahendra
�I’m a little bit disappointed because had we taken our chances we could have had a better result’
Masood was shaping well
during his 95-ball knock, hitting two sixes and a boundary.
Earlier, Taylor anchored the
New Zealand innings.
Taylor, who had just 31 runs
in three previous innings this
series, batted with authority
during a 200-minute stay at the
crease studded with 12 boundaries.
New Zealand, resuming on
167 for six, looked for quick
runs which came once Taylor reached his hundred with a
single off seamer Ehsan Adil. It
took him 129 balls to reach the
three-п¬Ѓgure mark.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah,
who п¬Ѓnished with his п¬Ѓrst п¬Ѓvewicket haul for п¬Ѓgures of п¬Ѓve for
79, removed Taylor and Craig
(34) in the same over.
Craig holed out in the deep,
while Taylor was beaten by a
sharp turning delivery and was
smartly stumped by Sarfraz.
Southee hit Zulfiqar Babar
(four for 96) for three towering
sixes before he was caught in
the covers ahead of McCullum’s
The third and п¬Ѓnal Test starts
in Sharjah on November 26.
akistan salvaged a draw
in the second Test
against New Zealand in
Dubai yesterday after
being set a challenging target
of 261 off 72 overs on the back
of a brilliant hundred by Ross
The early loss of four Pakistani wickets meant all results were
possible come tea but in the end
Pakistan п¬Ѓnished 65 runs short
of victory when bad light ended
play п¬Ѓve overs before the scheduled close.
Asad Shafiq scored 41 not out
and Sarfraz Ahmed an unbeaten
24 as Pakistan п¬Ѓnished on 196
for п¬Ѓve, with the draw preserving their 1-0 lead in the threematch series following last
week’s 248-run win Abu Dhabi.
It was an exciting п¬Ѓnish before an 8,000 holiday crowd
who anticipated a Pakistan
win after New Zealand captain
Brendon McCullum had sportingly declared his side’s second
innings on 250 for nine.
That was made possible after
Taylor notched a brilliant 104
for his 12th Test century.
“Credit to New Zealand,” said
Pakistan captain Misbah-ulHaq. “They showed a lot of improvement after the first game.
“I’m a little bit disappointed because had we taken our
chances we could have had a
better result.
“We had planned the chase,
to bat normally in the п¬Ѓrst 40
overs and then step up, but we
lost three quick wickets and
then Younis (Khan) got out so it
became tough.”
McCullum praised New Zealand’s resolve, saying: “Obviously it was a very very good
Test match. t was a great effort
and I think the toss was really
important and we managed to
put on a good total (403 after
he elected to bat) and that really lifted us. I am proud of the
Precarious position
Younis (44) and Shafiq lifted
Pakistan from a precarious 75
Pakistani cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq (left) shakes hands with his New Zealand counterpart Brendon McCullum at the end of the fifth and
final day of the second Test match at Dubai International Stadium in Dubai yesterday.
for four after Trent Boult had
dismissed Shan Masood (40)
and skipper Misbah-ul Haq
(nought) in his successive overs.
Pakistan, needing 130 in the
last 20 overs, picked up the
tempo with Shafiq hitting two
boundaries off Mark Craig but
the off-spinner derailed the
chase when he dismissed Younis
with a turning, rising delivery
that took the edge and was well
held at slip by Taylor.
Younis hit three sixes and
two boundaries in his 84-ball
Boult п¬Ѓnished with miserly
п¬Ѓgures п¬Ѓgures of two for 12 in 10
overs while Craig took two for
66 in 17.
Pakistan had lost opener
Taufeeq Umar for four in the
second over to Tim Southee before Masood and Azhar Ali (24)
Smith stars with ton as Australia
down South Africa to take series
teve Smith hit a thrilling
century to propel Australia to a three-wicket
victory over South Africa to clinch the п¬Ѓve-game
one-day international series in
Melbourne yesterday.
Man-of-the-match Smith
cracked 104 off 112 balls as Australia stormed home to overhaul
South Africa Innings
Q. de Kock c and b Maxwell .......................................17
H. Amla c Cummins b Coulter-Nile ....................18
F. du Plessis c Wade b Cummins........................28
A.B. de Villiers c Smith b Cummins ..................91
D. Miller c Smith b Faulkner ...................................... 45
F. Behardien run out (Warner) ................................22
R. McLaren c Wade b Starc .........................................13
R. Peterson b Faulkner........................................................11
W. Parnell not out ......................................................................3
D. Steyn not out .........................................................................0
Extras: (b5, lb5, w9) ............................................................19
Total: (8 wickets; 50 overs) ..................................267
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-70, 3-77, 4-199, 5-230,
6-246, 7-261, 8-262
Bowling: Starc 10-0-40-1 (3w), CoulterNile 3-0-16-1 (1w), Cummins 10-0-61-2 (5w),
Maxwell 9-0-43-1, Watson 5-0-25-0, Faulkner
10-0-45-2, Smith 3-0-27-0.
Australia Innings
A. Finch a du Plessis b Parnell.................................22
D. Warner lbw b Abbott .....................................................4
S. Watson c de Kock b McLaren ...........................19
S. Smith b Peterson ........................................................ 104
G. Bailey c de Kock b Steyn ........................................16
G. Maxwell c Amla b Steyn...........................................2
M. Wade c McLaren b Parnell..................................52
J. Faulkner not out.............................................................. 34
P. Cummins not out..................................................................1
Extras: (b5, lb2, w6, nb1)................................................14
Total: (7 wickets; 49 overs) .................................. 268
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-43, 3-48, 4-86, 5-98,
6-219, 7-267
Bowling: Steyn 9-0-47-2, Abbott 10-0-43-1,
McLaren 10-0-62-1 (1w), Parnell 9-0-52-2
(1nb, 3w), Peterson 8-0-44-1 (1w), Behardien
3-0-13-0 (1w)
South Africa’s 267 for eight to
win with an over to spare.
The victory wrapped up the
ODI series 3-1 over the Proteas
ahead of Sunday’s final game in
The Proteas looked in control
for most of Australia’s innings,
reducing the home side to 98
for п¬Ѓve in the 25th over, before
Smith turned the tide with a
ground record 121-run sixthwicket stand with wicketkeeper
Matt Wade.
As Smith and Wade accelerated the scoring rate the South
African bowling and п¬Ѓelding
became ragged under pressure
and in the end the Australians
were an irresistible force surging to victory.
When Wade was brilliantly
caught in the outfield by a diving Ryan McLaren for 52 off 94
balls, James Faulkner came in
and took up where Wade left off
slamming an unbeaten 34 off 31
balls with six fours.
Smith has proved the thorn
for the Proteas in this series,
hitting an unbeaten 73 to help
the Australians win in the third
ODI in Canberra on Wednesday.
He was annoyed to be bowled
by Robin Peterson as he attempted to go after the winning
run, but the damage had been
done for South Africa.
“I was lucky enough to have
some good partners out there,”
Smith said, in praising the contributions of Wade and Faulkner.
put on a solid 62 for the second
Ali then hit a Craig full toss
straight into the hands of covers
before Boult trapped Masood
leg-before and had Misbah
caught behind off a beautiful
New Zealand 1st innings 403
Pakistan 1st innings 393
New Zealand 2nd innings (overnight
T. Latham c Shafiq b Shah ............................................9
B. McCullum lbw b Babar .......................................... 45
K. Williamson c Umar b Babar .................................11
R. Taylor st Ahmed b Shah .................................... 104
C. Anderson b Shah ............................................................0
J. Neesham b Babar .............................................................11
BJ Watling c Shafiq b Shah ..........................................11
M. Craig c Rahat b Shah .............................................. 34
T. Southee c Ali b Babar ...............................................20
I. Sodhi not out ........................................................................... 2
Extras: (lb3) 3
Total: (for nine wkts dec; 64.5 overs) .....250
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-63, 3-78, 4-79, 5-125,
6-166, 7-226, 8-228, 9-250
Bowling: Rahat 8-0-39-0, Adil 8-1-33-0,
Babar 27.5-5-96-4, Shah 21-1-79-5
Pakistan 2nd innings
Shan Masood lbw b Boult ........................................ 40
Taufeeq Umar c Watling b Southee ..................4
Azhar Ali c Neesham b Craig .................................24
Younis Khan c Watling b Craig ............................44
Misbah-ul Haq c Watling b Boult ..........................0
Asad Shafiq not out ............................................................41
Sarfraz Ahmed not out ..................................................24
Extras: (b15, lb2, nb1, w1) ..............................................19
Total: (for five wkts; 67 overs) ...........................196
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-70, 3-73, 4-75, 5-149
Bowling: Boult 10-6-12-2, Southee 11-3-21-1,
Craig 17-3-66-2, Sodhi 21-5-63-0, Anderson
3-1-4-0 (1w), Neesham 2-1-1-0, McCullum
Steve Smith of Australia raises his bat after scoring a century
during the fourth one-day international against South Africa at
the MCG in Melbourne yesterday.
“It made it a lot easier. I feel
like I’m hitting the ball really
well ... I’m playing each ball on
its merits.
“It’s another series win for
us, which is great.”
The match finished on a video umpire’s adjudication after
Pat Cummins appeared to be
caught by a diving David Miller,
only for the decision to be reversed when replays showed the
ball had bounced before Miller’s
That proved to be the winning run as Cummins and
Faulkner crossed for the Australians to celebrate a psychological series victory ahead of
next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“We didn’t finish well,” South
Africa coach Russell Domingo
said, reflecting on a lamentable
п¬Ѓnal 10 overs of each innings.
“We fell short at the back end
with both bat and ball.”
Compounding South Africa’s
woes was an apparent rib injury
for skipper AB de Villiers, who
suffered the injury while п¬Ѓelding and looked in discomfort.
De Villiers hit a masterful 91
before South Africa’s innings
stalled and п¬Ѓnished at 267 for
eight batting п¬Ѓrst after winning
the toss.
cricket’s leading batsman was
in typical free-flowing form,
hitting six fours in his 88-ball
But after de Villiers departed
in the 43rd over with the score
at 230 for п¬Ѓve, the South Africans only mustered another
37 runs in the remaining seven
De Villiers looked set for his
19th ODI century before paceman Cummins lured him into a
hurried shot with a slower, wider delivery which he top-edged
and was caught by Smith.
With him went the South Africans’ momentum as bowlers
Cummins, Mitchell Starc and
Faulkner strangled their scoring
and restricted the Proteas’ total.
All-round Shakib
leads Bangladesh
to crushing win
hakib Al Hasan starred
with bat and ball to lead
Bangladesh to a crushing 87-run victory in
their п¬Ѓrst one-day international
against Zimbabwe in Chittagong
Shakib scored 101 off 99 balls
to lead the team to 281-7 and
then grabbed 4-41 as the home
side dismissed Zimbabwe for
194 in 42.1 overs to take 1-0 lead
in the п¬Ѓve-match series.
Shakib shared 148-runs in a
record п¬Ѓfth-wicket partnership
with Mushfiqur Rahim to help
Bangladesh recover from 4-70
to a competitive score after they
were put in to bat п¬Ѓrst.
Shakib, who also had a hand
in Bangladesh’s previous highest
п¬Ѓfth-wicket stand of 119 runs,
against South Africa in Dhaka in
2008, struck 10 fours.
Rahim made 65 off 72 balls
with the help of two fours and as
many sixes.
Debutant Sabbir Rahman provided a late sparkle hitting an
unbeaten 44 off 25 balls, which included three fours and three sixes.
Tinashe Panyangara claimed
highest three wickets for Zimbabwe at the expense of 66 runs.
Zimbabwe started their chase
positively, reaching 46 runs in the
п¬Ѓrst seven overs, before Shakib
put a brake on their innings with
two wickets in his second over.
Fellow spinners Arafat Sunny
(2-22) and Mahmudullah (2-40)
and paceman Mashrafe Mortaza
(2-33) gave him ample support
making regular breakthroughs.
Brendan Taylor made highest
54 runs for Zimbabwe before he
became the victim of a spectacular catch by Rahim off Mortaza.
Bangladesh Innings
Tamim Iqbal b Panyangara .................................................... 5
Anamul Haque c Chigumbura b Chatara ............. 12
Mominul Haque b Nyumbu ...................................................31
Mahmudullah c Kamungozi b Chatara .......................1
S Al Hasan c Panyangara b Kamungozi .............. 101
Mushfiqur Rahim c Mire b Panyangara .................65
Sabbir Rahman not out ............................................................ 44
Mashrafe Mortaza b Panyangara .......................................1
Arafat Sunny not out..........................................................................1
Extras: (lb1, w17, nb2) ..................................................................20
Total: (for seven wickets, 50 overs) .........................281
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Tamim), 2-26( Anamul), 3-31
(Mahmudullah), 4-70 (Mominul), 5-218 (Shakib),
6-246( Rahim), 7-264 (Mashrafe)
Bowling: Panyangara 10-1-66-3 (w2), Chatara 101-48-2 (w3), Chigumbura 8-0-37-0 (w4, nb1), Mire
4-0-22-0 (w3), Nyumbu 7-0-40-1(w3), Masakadza
1-0-8-0, Kamungozi 8-0-40-1(nb1), Raza 2-0-19-0
Zimbabwe Innings
H Masakadza lbw b Mahmudullah ..............................42
S. Raza c Rahim b Shakib ......................................................... 15
V. Sibanda c Rubel b Shakib ....................................................0
B. Taylor c Rahim b Mortaza................................................54
R. Chakabva b Mahmudullah ................................................9
E. Chigumbura c Sabbir b Mortaza .............................. 15
S. Mire b Shakib ......................................................................................11
T. Panyangara b Sunny ..................................................................7
J. Nyumbu c Mahmudullah b Shakib ...........................4
T. Chatara b Sunny ...........................................................................10
T. Kamungozi not out.................................................................... 12
Extras: (lb 6, w-9) 15
Total: (all out ; 42.1 overs) 194
Fall of wickets: 1-47 (Raza), 2-47 (Sibanda),
3-92 (Masakadza), 4-124 ( Chakabva), 5-146
( Taylor), 6-153 (Chigumbura), 7-168 ( Mire),
8-170 ( Panyangara), 9-180 (Nyumbu), 10-194
( Chatara)
Bowling: Mortaza 6-1-33-2 (w1), Al-Amin 2-0-210(w2), Sunny 9.1-2-22-2, Shakib 10-0-41-4, Mominul
1-0-11-0, Rubel 3-0-14-0 (w2), Mahmudullah 10-040-2, Sabbir 1-0-6-0
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Messi may leave Spain
over tax jail threat
Barcelona star last year was accused of concealing €4.1mn earned from image rights
By Stephen Burgen
The Guardian
ionel Messi, hailed by many as the
greatest footballer of all time, may
leave Spain after continuing to fall
foul of the tax authorities, sources
have said.
The player, who earlier this year agreed a
new €50mn (£40mn) salary with Barcelona, has complained that he is being singled
out for special treatment compared with
other elite sports players in Spain with
disputed tax affairs.
Messi had his п¬Ѓrst run-in over tax last
year when he was accused of concealing
€4.1mn earned from image rights in shell
companies in Belize and Uruguay.
Under Spanish law, anyone who has
more than €120,000 in undeclared income
automatically faces a jail sentence, but this
is generally waived if the offender agrees
to pay. Messi paid an agreed €5mn in settlement but the authorities have decided
to force the Argentinian-born player to
stand trial, with the possibility of going to
Sources close to Messi told the newspaper El Confidencial: “… there are other
elite sportspeople who have tax problems
and they’ve all been settled administratively, as was the case with Real Madrid
players Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas and
tennis star Rafa Nadal. Messi is the only
one who faces legal proceedings that could
end with him going to jail. He’s fed up with
Spain and that’s why he wants to leave.”
The sources said that in a single year
Messi had paid €52mn in income tax and
fines “and that should be that”. They said
Messi appeared to be a victim of double
standards. “They started with his image
rights, then his signing fee – who knows
where it will end.”
In the current atmosphere of hostility
between Catalonia and the Spanish government, the fact that the Real Madrid
players settled out of court while Barcelona’s star faces criminal proceedings is seen
as further evidence of an anti-Catalan
The four-times winner of football’s top
award, the FIFA World Player (renamed
the Ballon d’Or in 2010), hinted in an interview with an Argentinian sports paper
earlier this week that he may consider
leaving Barcelona, the club that has nurtured his talent since he moved there at
the age of 13.
Now 27, Messi said he would like to end
his career at Barcelona but the situation
was difficult and “sometimes things don’t
work out as you planned”.
A comment by his teammate Xavi
Hernández that “Messi would be an even
better player in the English premier league
because it’s not so defensive” did nothing
to dispel rumours that he might be leaving.
Messi has won six Spanish league titles
and three champions leagues with Barcelona and led Argentina to the п¬Ѓnals of the
World Cup this year.
Madrid enter
land of Eibar’s
little people
eal Madrid’s superstars, flying high at
the top of La Liga, enter the land of Spanish football’s little people today when they take on humble
Eibar in the Basque country.
cavernous, fabled Bernabeu with its
85,000-capacity, Eibar’s Ipurua stadium has room for just
5,000 fans—they have had to
build temporary seating to
accommodate fans wanting
to see Cristiano Ronaldo and
Gareth Bale. The contrast between the two adversaries is
also highlighted by their respective budgets — 10-time
European champions Real are
worth 500 million euros.
Eibar, promoted last season, survive on 30 times less.
Despite the gulf in class and
п¬Ѓnance, Eibar have not been intimidated in La Liga where they
sit comfortably in mid-table.
“At the Ipurua, we can cause
trouble for anybody,” said Eibar
midfielder Saul Berjon.
However, Real are expected
to keep rolling on as they start
the weekend with a two-point
lead over Barcelona. They are
undefeated in 13 matches in all
competitions, scoring 52 goals
and conceding just eight, although their planning for the
trip to Eibar hasn’t been helped
by a thigh injury to influential
midfielder Luka Modric.
He will be out for around
three months after picking up
the injury while on international duty with Croatia.
Barcelona host Sevilla, who
are just two points behind
Today:Atletico Madrid v
Malaga, Eibar v Real Madrid,
Barcelona v Sevilla, Deportivo
La Coruna v Real Sociedad
Tomorrow: Rayo Vallecano v
Celta Vigo, Levante v Valencia,
Elche v Cordoba, Villarreal v
Monday: Granada v Almeria
them, facing a potential crisis
of confidence having seen a
six-point lead over Real disappear over the autumn.
Luis Enrique’s team face a
testing stretch of games—after
Sevilla, they travel to Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League,
go to Valencia, face a derby
against Espanyol before completing their European duties
against Paris Saint Germain.
That game is likely to decide
top spot in Group F and a seeded spot in the knockout round
in the new year. “We must get
back to rediscovering beautiful
football which characterises
the team,” said Enrique, whose
gamble on signing Luis Suarez
has yet to pay dividends with
the controversial Uruguayan striker still seeking a п¬Ѓrst
league goal.
Superstar Lionel Messi is
without a goal in three matches in La Liga but on Saturday
he once again gets a chance to
go past Telmo Zarra’s record of
251 goals to become the leading
all-time scorer in the history
of the league. Meanwhile, seven months after being sacked
by Manchester United, David
Moyes returns to the dugout as
coach of Real Sociedad with a
trip to Deoprtivo La Coruna in
store for the Scot.
Tax authorities have decided to force
Lionel Messi to stand trial, with the
possibility of going to prison. (EPA)
Coach Enrique convinced Messi is happy at Barca
Barcelona: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique
is convinced Lionel Messi is happy at the
club despite the Argentine hinting this
week that he could be open to a move
away from the Nou Camp.
The comments sparked speculation
over whether Barca would be prepared
to cash in on their most prized asset and
who would be able to pay the transfer fee
and his salary which is over 20 million
euros a season.
“I’ve only heard Leo saying that he is
delighted at Barca and that there is no
problem at all,” Luis Enrique told a news
conference ahead of Barca’s la Liga clash
with Sevilla today. “I am not interested in
the speculation and the opinions. I just
hear the message from him that he is
happy and proud to play for Barca.”
Messi, now 27, has not been playing
football with the same look of enjoyment
which characterised his play in his early
years at the Catalan club. Barca have
made a stuttering start to the season in
Luis Enrique’s first campaign in charge
and are two points adrift of leaders Real
They responded to back-to-back defeats in the La Liga with a win at Almeria
before the international break but Messi
again failed to score and equal the league
record of 251 goals netted by Athletic
Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra.
He has not found the back of the net
since Barca played Eibar over a month
ago. The return of Luis Suarez following
his biting ban has also caused Messi to be
played on the right of attack rather than
through the centre which he prefers.
“What we are looking for is equilibrium
with the three forwards and depending
on the space it determines where they
play,” Luis Enrique said. “The idea is to
have Leo involved as much as possible in
the play so that he can do most damage.”
Real Madrid's (from left) Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim
Benzema and James Rodriguez during training. (EPA)
Ox: say the name of Little Woodlouse Legs quietly
By Barney Ronay
The Guardian
here was a slightly weird moment during England’s friendly victory against
Scotland in Glasgow this week. Clive
Tyldesley – who doesn’t make a habit
of this kind of thing – got the name of England’s
opening goalscorer wrong during his ITV commentary. “ROONEY!!” Tyldesley shouted as
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain headed home a lovely pass yawned in between the Scottish centrebacks by Jack Wilshere.
There were a few odd things about this. For a
start Rooney was standing close by, very obviously not in the process of scoring a goal.
More than this, while there are similarities
between the two men – both have the kind of
physique that might have led football magazines of the 1970s to employ phrases like “the
chunky schemer” or “the bulky ace” or “the
power-packed England raider” – there are obvious differences too. Not least skin tone, hair,
shirt numbers and, crucially, not really looking
like each other very much at all.
In spite of this the same mistake – GOAL!
ROONEY! – appeared simultaneously on the
official England Twitter feed.
Even odder, Oxlade-Chamberlain was also
involved in the most notable case of mistaken
identity of recent times when his handball at
Stamford Bridge in March led to Kieran Gibbs
being sent off in his place.
Which makes in total three separate incidents
of mistaken identity in the past eight months.
All involving the same player. And all in a sport
where mix-ups among these lavishly marketed
household-name athletes (“Nicknamed The
“OX” because of his surname, physique and
power!” – not my words; the words of Lucozade
Sport) are pretty much unheard of.
It does perhaps make some kind of sense,
though. In its own way this is all very OxladeChamberlain, a fitting case of high-profile
semi-visibility for a young English player who
is right now that rarest of things, neither particularly underrated nor overrated.
Who is very talented, but not so talented as
to induce the familiar shrieks and blurts of misplaced hope and strangled desire.
And who may just end up doing something
unusual. I don’t want to build him up too much.
But perhaps English football might even have
found a young, talented player with the freedom to be simply OK. Useful. Up to it. Decent.
Par. Welcome to the age of the Ox, of the unbellowed name. Welcome to the age of quite good.
Maybe. It is a point worth making, though,
if only because being young, English and talented has so often been such an upsetting business for everyone concerned. Rooney was very
good very young. Wilshere was quite good quite
young. Both have been forced since to п¬Ѓght a
kind of rearguard against debilitating expectation, stalked by the parallel Wayne, the ghost
Jack, the player who never grew old but remained forever all fearless potential energy.
In less angst-ridden football nations, players
are often allowed to be young and high profile
and no more than just quite good. A good Italy
team will always have its share of redoubtable
soldier ants: hard-working, quite-fast, quiteskilful players with nicknames like “The Little Woodlouse” or “Tiny Marching Legs”, who
scurry and link and score the odd important
goal and end up celebrating tearfully in their
underpants when, bolstered by a core of genuinely dreamy talent – and Italy has its own
long-standing issues with those operatically
beaten and battered No10s – they end up winning a trophy.
England and Arsenal stiker Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain (left). (Reuters)
Perhaps the Ox could end up in time being
England’s own tiny marching woodlouse legs,
a high-end component part who, by exploring
the limits of his quite good abilities – Look! He
dribbles! Sometimes!
He can do slightly awkward glancing headers! – might become the kind of quality filler
all promising teams feed on. He does at least
present an entirely sensible model.
Not so much the Young Rooney-style magic
bullet player, portrayed even by some very
experienced coaches as a kind of foundlinggenius, discovered ready-made crawling out
of some urban dustbin. But a type the system
might reasonably hope to reproduce on a wider
scale: athletic, technically good enough, tactically versatile.
If he has an extreme quality it is simply that
concussive, rugby league-ish dribbling style, an
updated note of English physicality.
Indeed the junior pitches down below academy level already seem to be fairly well-stocked
with skilful, scrawny (as the Ox was once) young
players being taught to play on small pitches in
small-sided goals, to value the ball but also to
play with energy and speed.
So much so it seems reasonable to assume
the Oxlade model may just be the default young
English footballer of the future: well-drilled
athletes with a shared technical competence
and an eminently sensible base from which to
There has already been some hand-wringing
over the perceived lack of ragged edges, the absence of something more untamed in the modern academy-schooled player. But there is even
here an element of that old personality obsession, the over-celebration of individuals and
“leaders”, the urge to shout “ROOOONEYY!!”
or “SHEAR-AAARGH!!!” where once a terse
“one-nil!” seemed fair enough.
Martin Keown, an excellent player whose
words now carry some extra weight as a consequence of being delivered with the haunted,
sandpapery intensity of a disillusioned military
hostage negotiator called out, wearily, for one
last job, has suggested Oxlade-Chamberlain
doesn’t defend enough or cover his flank effectively, a flaw that in fairness to Little Scurrying Woodlouse Legs is exposed more by Arsenal’s papier mache central midfield. There are
also some who say Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t
made a real statement yes, or had his “breakout
But perhaps he’s simply not going to break
out. Perhaps such complaints are still part of
the tyranny of overheated expectation, of spikes
of doomed individualism.
Plus Oxlade-Chamberlain is above all a team
player, and a very likeable one. At the end of
England’s victory in Glasgow there was a nice
moment. Walking back from applauding the
travelling fans, Oxlade-Chamberlain – semivisible as ever – bumped into Gary Neville, who
proceeded to pat and cosset him, mussing his
hair, squeezing his shoulders, petting him like
you would an eager, friendly cartoon horse.
This seems to be the correct response. Don’t
shout his name. Burden him with no unreasonable expectations. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain:
he’s quite good, you know.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Arsenal, Man United
in duel to stay in touch
Arsenal host United for a match that will see both teams attempt to avoid conceding further ground
rsenal striker Danny Welbeck’s reunion with former
club Manchester United supplies one of the sub-plots as
the Premier League resumes this weekend following the international break.
Arsenal welcome United to the Emirates Stadium today evening for a match
that will see both teams attempt to
avoid conceding further ground to early-season pace-setters Chelsea. Beaten
2-1 at Swansea City on their last outing,
Arsenal approach the weekend in sixth
place, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea
and a point above United, who edged
Crystal Palace 1-0 in their most recent
Welbeck has excelled at centreforward for both Arsenal and England
since leaving United on transfer deadline day in a ВЈ16 million ($25.1 million)
transfer. The Manchester-born striker,
23, came through the youth ranks at Old
Trafford and his departure prompted
former assistant coach Mike Phelan to
declare that United’s identity had been
Welbeck was withdrawn as a precaution during England’s 3-1 friendly
win over Scotland in Glasgow on Tuesday after complaining of tightness in
his hamstring, but he is expected to
face United. Arsenal manager Arsene
Wenger has also been boosted by the
news that France striker Olivier Giroud
is ready to return to action after making
a speedy recovery from a broken leg.
United received a blow during the international break when Dutch midfielder Daley Blind sustained a knee ligament
injury likely to sideline him for several
weeks. But although they face ongoing
injury problems in defence, goalkeeper
David de Gea and midfielders Michael
(1500 GMT unless otherwise stated):
Today: Arsenal v Manchester United
(1730 GMT), Chelsea v West Bromwich
Albion, Everton v West Ham United,
Leicester City v Sunderland, Manchester
City v Swansea City, Newcastle United
v Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City v
Tomorrow: Crystal Palace v Liverpool
(1330 GMT), Hull City v Tottenham
Hotspur (1600 GMT)
Monday: Aston Villa v Southampton
(2000 GMT)
Danny Welbeck (left) has excelled at
centre-forward for both Arsenal and
England since leaving United on transfer
deadline day in a ВЈ16 million transfer.
Carrick and Angel di Maria should all
be п¬Ѓt to face Arsenal despite sustaining
knocks on international duty.
“Di Maria has trained today normally,
so I don’t think that is a question mark,
but (Luke) Shaw is,” United manager
Louis van Gaal revealed on Thursday.
“De Gea is good, no problem. I think I
have to wait for the reaction in training with Carrick, but I also expect he’s
ready to play.”
The season may be only 11 games old,
but complacency and rank misfortune
already seem the only factors capable
of preventing Chelsea from romping to
a п¬Ѓrst league title since 2010. A 2-1 win
at Liverpool enabled Jose Mourinho’s
side to open up an eight-point lead over
reigning champions Manchester City
prior to the international window, and
Arsenal, United and Liverpool are even
further back.
“The win at Anfield was really important because it was a really difficult
game and we knew it was important
for the future,” said Chelsea left-back
Filipe Luis during a fan event at Stamford Bridge this week.
Chelsea host West Bromwich Albion
today and will hope to see top scorer
Diego Costa п¬Ѓring on all cylinders after
he was left out of the Spain squad to rest
his troublesome hamstrings.
The only team who have threatened
to keep pace with Chelsea are Southampton, who trail the leaders by four
points ahead of their trip to Aston Villa
in the Monday night game.
Champions City will look to drag
themselves out of a damaging rut when
they host Swansea today, having won
only one of their last six matches in all
competitions. Manuel Pellegrini’s side
are on the brink of elimination in the
Champions League ahead of Tuesday’s
home game with Bayern Munich, but
have at least been able to rely on the
form of Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine sharp-shooter scored
his 11th and 12th league goals of the season in City’s 2-2 draw at Queens Park
Rangers a fortnight ago and appears
to have overcome the injury problems
that bedevilled him last term. Another
team in desperate need of an upturn in
fortunes are Liverpool, who lie in 11th
place, 15 points behind Chelsea, after
three games without a victory.
Tomorrow, Brendan Rodgers’s side
play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park,
scene of their crushing late-season
capitulation last May, when they effectively gifted City the title by letting
a 3-0 lead slip to draw 3-3. Liverpool’s
woes have been compounded by the
news that striker Daniel Sturridge could
be out until the new year after aggravating a thigh injury.
London: Manchester United
manager Louis van Gaal
has no regrets about selling
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal,
he said as the England
striker prepares to face his
former club today.
Welbeck, 23, has scored 10
goals in 20 appearances for
club and country since being
allowed to leave Old Trafford
for ВЈ16 million ($25.1 million,
20 million euros) on transfer
deadline day in September. The Manchester-born
forward will come up against
his old team-mates for the
first time when United visit
the Emirates Stadium for the
stand-out Premier League
clash of the weekend.
Dutchman Van Gaal attributes Welbeck’s success
at Arsenal to being a regular
in their first team, after he
was made to wait for opportunities during his time at
United. “I think that a player
who is playing mostly fixed
in the team, he develops and
always will,” Van Gaal said.
“He takes all the benefit
from playing every week.
That was a question mark
with Manchester United. It’s
good to see he’s doing what
I thought.”
Van Gaal accepted that
Welbeck would enjoy scoring against his old club,
much like United’s ex-Arsenal forward Robin van Persie
has when he has found the
net against the team he left
in 2012. “This is the football
world,” Van Gaal said. “Van
Persie has scored already
three goals against Arsenal
as a United player. That’s life,
believe me.”
United will have goalkeeper David de Gea available
at the Emirates, despite
suffering a dislocated finger
while on international duty
with Spain.
Angel di Maria and
Michael Carrick have also
recovered from minor injuries, but left-back Luke Shaw
is a doubt after being hurt
during England’s 3-1 friendly
win over Scotland. Van Gaal
last faced Arsene Wenger’s
Arsenal in 1999, when he
was manager of Barcelona.
The teams drew 1-1 at
Camp Nou before the Catalan club won 4-2 at Wembley
Stadium—Arsenal’s adopted
home in Europe that
season—in the Champions
League group stage.
Van Gaal, 63, says he is
aware of the rivalry between
his current club and Arsenal.
“I have faced them when I
was with Barcelona, then
Wenger was on the bench.”
Inter derby test awaits Mancini
he п¬Ѓrst Milan derby of the season
provides Roberto Mancini with
his п¬Ѓrst test on his return to Inter
while Lazio host leaders Juventus
looking for the win that could boost the
title chances of city rivals Roma.
The black and blue half of Milan is
abuzz following Mancini’s return to the
club he led to a record three consecutive
league titles, two Cups and two Super
Cups in his previous spell in charge from
Despite leading Inter into an enticing
San Siro clash barely a week after succeeding sacked Walter Mazzarri, some
believe the former Manchester City and
Galatasaray handler has the edge over
Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi. “Mancini
has the edge on Inzaghi,” wily veteran
Zdenek Zeman, whose mercurial Cagliari
are away to a Napoli side who sit third,
only seven points adrift of Juventus and
four behind Roma, told Mediaset.
“Inzaghi used to coach Milan’s youth
side, but that doesn’t necessarily tell us
whether or not he’s ready for Serie A.”
Milan have failed to win their last four
games, taking a total of only four points
to drop to seventh at 11 points behind
Juve and four behind Napoli in the third
and last Champions League spot.
With Inter sitting in ninth a point further adrift, Mancini is expected to deploy
a 4-3-1-2 formation designed to plug
holes in the defence as well as optimise
an attacking line that failed to spark in
Mazzarri’s 3-5-2.
Former Manchester United defender
Nemanja Vidic knows Mancini only too
well, having п¬Ѓnished second best to City
in 2012 when the Italian led them to their
п¬Ѓrst league title in 44 years.
Van Gaal
relaxed ahead
of Welbeck
Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini (left) puts striker Mauro Icardi through his paces
during a training session on Thursday.
Now the Inter defender is ready to embrace switching to a back four and has
hailed Mancini’s pragmatic approach to
training in his п¬Ѓrst week back at the club.
“It’s the formation I played in before so
I’m used to it,” said the former Serbia international. “A new coach always comes
in with his own ideas. Mancini has shown
us what he wants and what he expects,
which is great and also good fun.”
Milan will be without Nigel De Jong
after the Dutchman picked up an injury
while on international duty last week.
But while Milan wait on their own
former Premier League player, Fernando
Torres, to spark amid an underwhelming
start to the campaign for the Spaniard,
Stephan El Shaarawy has shown plenty
of promise on his recent return to the
fray. Rossoneri midfielder Sulley Muntari, meanwhile, played down the effect
of Mancini’s return.
“Mancini is a great coach who has had
success everywhere he has gone. He’ll be
influential, but he won’t be playing on
the pitch. It will be down to the players,”
said the Ghanaian.
Ahead of tomorrow night’s clash,
Roma have the chance to close their
three-point gap to leaders Juve away
to an Atalanta side sitting two points
above the drop zone. However Juventus
coach Massimiliano Allegri has heaped
the pressure on Rudi Garcia’s men following repeated Giallorossi claims that
this season’s title will be theirs. “Roma
are strong and have come off the back
of a great season in which they п¬Ѓnished
runners-up,” Allegri said.
“But the fact is, they can’t hide now.
The pressure will be on them as well
because another second place won’t be
enough. It would be a big disappointment, a kind of small failure.”
Juventus, however, face a tough trip to
a Lazio side that has taken 16 from a possible 21 points in their past seven games.
In an interview with Rome’s Il Messaggero newspaper, Juventus midfielder
Claudio Marchisio warned against taking
Lazio too lightly following an international break. “It can be tricky when you
come back from international duty,” said
Marchisio. “Lazio will give us problems.
It will be a testing environment against a
team who are tough, competitive, welltrained and are currently in a rich vein of
Today: Atalanta v Roma (1700), Lazio v
Tomorrow: Torino v Sassuolo (1130),
Cesena v Sampdoria, Verona v Fiorentina,
Napoli v Cagliari, Parma v Empoli, Udinese
v Chievo (all 1400), Milan v Inter (1945)
Monday: Genoa v Palermo (1945)
FA investigating
Wigan owner
Whelan’s remarks
he English FA is looking
into remarks made by
Wigan Athletic owner
Dave Whelan despite
his apology for apparently insulting Jewish and Chinese people in a newspaper interview.
The FA has also confirmed its
inquiry into offensive remarks
made by Malky Mackay, who
Whelan has just appointed as
Wigan manager, is ongoing. The
FA has not yet opened a п¬Ѓle on
Whelan and is looking to establish exactly what the 77-year-old
millionaire boss of the Championship (second tier) club said.
“We are writing to Dave Whelan today and asking him for his
observations and he has three
days in which to reply before we
decide, what action, if any, to
take,” an FA spokesman said yesterday. The FA also confirmed in
a statement on its website that
the case against former Cardiff
City manager Mackay and Iain
Moody, the Welsh club’s former
head of recruitment, was continuing.
Texts between Mackay and
Moody, some of which were
sexist, racist and homophobic
in nature, were made public in
August. Whelan gave a newspaper interview after hiring
Mackay and was accused of antiSemitism and condoning racism
for referring to Chinese people as
“chinks” and saying Jewish people “chase money”.
Whelan later apologised during an interview with Sky Sports
but his comments have been
widely condemned. Chinese
community leader Jenny Wong
told the Guardian that the Wigan
owner was condoning racism
while Anti-discrimination group
Kick It Out questioned whether
he was “a fit and proper person
who should be running a professional football club”.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the apology was not
good enough. “Whelan’s bigoted
and racist comments about Jews
are outrageous and offensive,
and bring the club and the game
in to disrepute,” the Board’s vice
president Jonathan Arkush said
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Qatar players share a light moment with tournament’s mascot during a training session ahead of their Gulf Cup semi-final against Oman. Qatar qualified for the semis in second spot from Group A after finishing on three points from as many
matches. In another semis, UAE will play hosts and Group A winners Saudi Arabia. The semi-finals will be played tomorrow, while the final is slated for November 26.
Leaders Bayern adjust
to life without Lahm
Bayern are unbeaten in their last 15 league matches and are four points clear at the top
Nimes president
resigns over
fixing probe
resident of French
second division club
Conrad resigned yesterday saying he would п¬Ѓght
corruption accusations.
Conrad was one of six people
charged with match-п¬Ѓxing on
Thursday, along with Nimes’s
Kasparian and Caen president Jean-Francois Fortin. The
charges relate to second division matches from last season
that are suspected to have been
п¬Ѓxed to ensure that Nimes
avoided relegation and Caen
would be promoted.
“I have taken the decision
to resign from my functions
as president of Nimes Olympique. This decision, which I
wasn’t forced to take, is only
intended to protect the interests of my club,” said Conrad in
a statement sent by his lawyer.
“From now on, I will dedicate
all my strength and energy on
defending myself against these
accusations that are as unfair
as they are unfounded.”
The other three charged
were named by sources as
businessman Michel Moulin,
Franck Toutoundjian, the president of amateur side AS Ararat Issy-les-Moulineaux and
Caen’s security chief Kaddour
Mokkedel. All six men were released on bail on condition that
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm (centre) has been ruled out for the next three months after fracturing his ankle in training
unaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich need to adjust to life
without captain Philipp Lahm
when they host Hoffenheim today ahead of next week’s Champions
League match at Manchester City.
The 31-year-old Lahm has been ruled
out for the next three months after fracturing his ankle in training, depriving
coach Pep Guardiola of one of his key assets, either at right-back or in the defensive midfield.
Bayern are unbeaten in their last 15
league matches and are four points clear
at the top of the table, and Hoffenheim will
serve as a dress rehearsal for Tuesday’s
European clash in Manchester. The Bavarians are already through to the Champions
League knock-out stage and are confirmed
group winners with two matches to spare.
(all times 1430 GMT unless stated)
Today: Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim,
Schalke v Wolfsburg, Borussia Moenchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz v
Freiburg, Hanover 96 v Bayer Leverkusen,
Paderborn v Borussia Dortmund, Cologne v
Hertha Berlin (1730)
Tomorrow: Hamburg v Werder Bremen,
VfB Stuttgart v Augsburg (1630)
Guardiola will need to reshuffle his defensive midfield alongside Xabi Alonso,
but there are rumours Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger could make his return
from the knee injury which has kept him
out since the World Cup п¬Ѓnal. Bayern will
have goalkeeper Manuel Neuer available
after he missed Germany’s 1-0 friendly
win over Spain on Tuesday with a knee
strain. Hoffenheim forced a 3-3 draw on
their last league visit to the Allianz Arena
in March and are п¬Ѓfth in the table.
But coach Markus Gisdol reads little
into Bayern’s injury list with Javi Martinez,
Thiago Alcantara, Holger Badstuber, plus
both wing backs Lahm and David Alaba
all injured. “Bayern have the sort of squad
where it doesn’t matter who plays,” said
Gisdol. “If you lose 4-0, 5-0 or even 6-0
in Munich, that is completely normal.”
Hoffenheim are looking to bounce back
after losing their last two games, but have
Brazil’s latest star in their ranks, forward
Roberto Firmino, who scored the winner
in a 2-1 friendly win over Austria on Tuesday. Bayern’s nearest rivals, second-placed
Wolfsburg, are chasing a sixth consecutive victory at Schalke 04 today. Belgium
winger Kevin de Bruyne is in outstanding
form, creating four goals in their last two
Schalke are down to 11th in the table
after some erratic form this season, but
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking, who
has seen all of their last three games live,
is taking nothing for granted. “I measure
Schalke not on their 14 points and 11th
ranking in the table, but on what they can
achieve,” he said. At the other end of the
table, 15th-placed Borussia Dortmund
are set to welcome back Germany winger
Marco Reus after an ankle injury as they
attempt to pull clear of the relegation
places against Paderborn.
Reus missed Germany’s recent internationals, but should return as Dortmund look to prove their 1-0 win over
third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, which broke their five-match losing streak, was no fluke. “We know about
the difficulty of the game, but we also see
the chances that it possesses for us,” said
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.
He is without injured midfielders Nuri
Sahin, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Oliver
Kirch in Paderborn, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suspended and fellow
centre-back Mats Hummels is also on the
injury list.
Zidane wins appeal against coaching ban
Spanish sports court
yesterday backed Zinedine Zidane’s appeal
against a three month
ban from coaching Real Madrid’s
reserve team over his disputed
Spain’s football federation imposed the ban at the end of Oc-
tober, arguing the former France
midfielder did not have the right
licence to coach in Spain. Real
appealed and the three-time
World Footballer of the Year was
allowed to continue coaching
while the Court of Arbitration for
Sport considered the case.
Zidane’s assistant Santiago
Sanchez, who was also sanctioned by the Spanish federation, the RFEF, was also cleared
to continue his duties while the
case was considered. Real Madrid
initially went to the RFEF appeal
committee but when that was
rejected, the 10-time European
champions turned to the Court of
Real insist that Zidane has the
proper qualifications to coach
their reserve team, although he
needs a UEFA �A’ licence level
three badge to do so and he only
holds a level two. Spanish coaching school Cenafe complained to
the Spanish federation, alleging
that Real were using Sanchez’s
name on teamsheets as coach to
get around regulations preventing Zidane from running the reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla.
But Real said Zidane “has been
authorised by the French Football Federation to work as a head
coach” for Real Madrid Castilla
and its league. Although Zidane
has not completed the full quota
of practice hours with the French
Football Federation (FFF) to gain
promotion to level three, the FFF
supported Real’s case, arguing
UEFA regulations allow a coach
who is being trained to work.
Zidane spent п¬Ѓve seasons with
Real as a player after joining from
Italian side Juventus in 2001. He
scored the winner in the 2002
Champions League п¬Ѓnal. He
handed his eldest son Enzo, 19, a
debut for the Real Madrid reserve
team tomorrow.
they do not contact one another. Several matches, including
a 1-1 draw between Caen and
Nimes on May 13, are being
looked into by investigators.
Recordings of telephone
conversations between leading п¬Ѓgures of several clubs
form a key part of the evidence.
Magistrates have been trying
to establish if pressure was exerted by Nimes on other Ligue
2 teams as the club battled
against relegation.
The Canard Enchaine weekly on Wednesday released a
transcript of a telephone conversation between Fortin and
Conrad which it said was made
by police. In the recording,
Fortin says: “You need a point
as well?” Conrad replied “Yes,
we need a point too, there it is.”
The Caen president then says:
“Well, if we are not too stupid?”
The weekly said that 24 boxes of wine, 288 bottles, were
left outside the Caen dressing
room after the game. In a separate investigation, a number of
club officials at French Ligue
1 leaders Marseille, including
president Vincent Labrune,
were released without charge
on Thursday having been detained earlier in the week.
That investigation relates to
transfer fraud and several deals
involving the French giants,
including that which brought
Gignac to the club in 2010, are
being analysed.
Crisis-hit Italian football
set for reforms in 2016
Milan: Serie A chiefs have
welcomed a new package of
reforms by the Italian football
federation (FIGC) that will see
squads limited to 25 players
in a move designed to boost
the flagging Italian game.
The crisis-hit Italian top
flight has become a target
for top players, coaches and
critics in recent months, while
Italy suffered their second
consecutive first-round exit
from a World Cup in Brazil.
National team coach Antonio Conte complained the
archetypal Italian player who
could once strike fear into opponents is now “dying out”.
At a FIGC meeting on
Thursday new laws were
voted that will see squads
limited to 25 players. Four of
those players must have been
born in Italy while another
four must come through the
club’s own youth system.
The reforms are set to be
introduced in 2016 and have
been welcomed by Serie A
president Maurizio Beretta,
who said: “These reforms are
very important because they
will enhance Italian football,
our youth players and our
grass roots system.
“They have been in the air
for many years. But we need
time to put them in place and
make them work. You can’t
expect results from one day
to the next.”
Last month former Juventus striker Fabio Quagliarella
complained Serie A had too
many “useless” foreign players that were taking the place
of Italian second and third division players who were just
as good. The FIGC reforms,
which formed part of Carlo
Tavecchio’s platform during
his successful campaign for
the body’s presidency last
summer, will also see new
limits on the number of nonEU players in Serie A.
Although no sweeping
changes will be made, new
limits have been set.
Upon a first registration
with a professional club, a
young player must already
be a resident in Italy, to have
come to the country with
his parents for non-sporting
reasons and completed four
years of schooling. A limit on
the number of non-EU players allowed in each squad
already exists but from 2016
a new non-EU player can
only be brought in to replace
another if he has already held
a professional contract for at
least three years.
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
returns in
Dubai birdie
Stenson surges into
lead as McIlroy falters
DUBAI: Luke Donald said
successive early birdies
helped him recapture some
of his long-lost confidence
as the former world number
one went on to shoot a
six-under 66 in the second
round of the DP World Tour
Championship yesterday.
The Englishman, 36, is adrift
of the leaders following a
first round 76 that gives him
a two-under aggregate of
142, but he was upbeat with
36 holes to play at Dubai’s
Earth Course.
“I felt a lot better today,” Donald told Reuters.
“Yesterday, I made a couple
early bogeys and had that
kind of �here we go again’ attitude. Today, I was determined
to let every shot be what it
was and try my best on the
next one. I was a bit better
mentally. That related into my
physical game and I was able
to hole a few more putts.”
Donald birdied the first two
holes, bogeyed three and four
and then sunk six more birdies
including five on the back nine.
“My game can’t be too far
away. It’s nice to see some
numbers in the 60s, it’s been
a bit of a run for me shooting
loads of 70s,” said Donald.
In 2011, he became the first
golfer to top the US and
European Tour money lists in
the same season.
Donald, however, has struggled to recapture anything
like that form of late.
He had cut back on his work
with long-term coach Pat
Goss in favour of renowned
swing guru Chuck Cook.
Goss had helped put
Donald among golf’s best
short-game players, but the
slightly-built Briton felt he
needed to add more distance
to challenge at the majors
and so recruited Cook.
That switch failed to arrest
Donald’s slide down the rankings. He is currently at 39, a
five-year low, and has now
reunited with Goss.
“He’s always been a mentor
to me,” said Donald. “I was
still with him last season, it
wasn’t a complete breakaway. It was more difficult
having two coaches, but
Goss has always been really
good at understanding how
to get the most out of me
physically and mentally.”
Donald has a solitary top-10 finish in Europe in 2014 - joint-third
at May’s BMW PGA Championship—although he fared better
in the US, with three top-10
places on the PGA circuit.
�I just came in knowing that I have got a good game plan to play this golf course’
enrik Stenson continued his amazing dominance at the Earth
course of Jumeirah
Golf Estates as his 11th consecutive round in the 60s gave
him a two-shot lead halfway
through the $8mn DP World
Tour Championship yesterday.
The Swede, who is also a
brand ambassador for the golf
course, shot a six-under par 66
round in the second round and
is now 10-under par after 36
Overnight joint leader and
world number one Rory McIlroy was among three players at
eight-under par 136.
The Northern Irishman
struggled a bit and then hit his
tee shot into the water hazard
on the 18th hole in his round of
two-under par 70.
Also at 136 were Scotland’s
Rishi Ramsay (69) and England’s Danny Willett (67).
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot the lowest round of the
day - an eight-under par 64
- to join Ireland’s Shane Lowry (71), the overnight leader
alongside McIlroy, England’s
Justin Rose (66), Sweden’s
Kristoffer Broberg (67) and
Denmark’s Olesen (70) at tied
fifth place at 137.
Defending champion Stenson, who won the tournament
last year with a record tally of
25-under par, made just one
mistake early in his round,
when he dropped a shot on
the long par-3 fourth hole,
but putted beautifully to make
amends with seven birdies,
including a brilliant two-putt
birdie from 80-feet on the п¬Ѓnal
The 38-year-old has played
18 rounds in the tournament so
far (he did not qualify in 2011)
and has 17 sub-par rounds. His
worst score is a 73 in the п¬Ѓnal
round of the 2010 edition.
And Stenson said: “I just
came in knowing that I have got
a good game plan to play this
golf course and I’m trying to
stick to that one. So far, so good.
Henrik Stenson of Sweden tees off during the second round of the World Tour Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates yesterday.
I am not making any changes
really and hopefully I keep on
producing birdies.
“I was hitting it all right, but
I was good on the greens today.
Made some nice putts all day
long and that really helps. The
one I made on 16 and the one
on 18, were nine. It was a pretty
solid round of golf, but more
than anything, it was made up
on the greens.”
McIlroy started with a birdie,
but then did not make another
until the 14th hole. In between,
on the par-5 seventh hole, he hit
an embarrassing second shot
with a п¬Ѓve-wood - a fat, ugly
“I guess I wasn’t really hitting
it close enough and then when I
did give myself some opportunities, I didn’t make them. I just
found it hard to sort of get any
momentum going out there,”
said McIlroy.
“The birdies on 14 and 15
were really nice, and then to
give them away easily with a
three?putt on 16 was frustrating. To bounce back on 17 was
good, and it would have been
nice to birdie the last, but after
where I hit my tee shot, I’ll settle for a par.”
Willett also hit his tee shot
into the water on the 18th, but
then made an up-and-down
from 250 yards for a birdie and
a round of 67.
And the Englishman, who
п¬Ѓnished tied fourth last week
in Turkey said: “Obviously,
Saturdays and Sundays always
feel that little bit more difficult
when you’re up there. I have just
got to keep playing good golf
and staying patient, that’s the
main thing, really.”
Ramsay was pleased with his
effort, which included an eagle
on the 14th hole.
“Really pleasing...69 is a
good score. Nice little eagle
on 14 kept me going,” said the
“But the most important
thing, second day in a row, the
attitude was really good. I am
really pleased with that.”
Surprise leader Wright Fast finishing Mamat
keeps pace in Manila
steals the spotlight
ingaporean Mardan Mamat birdied п¬Ѓve of his
closing six holes to remain in a share of the
lead at the halfway stage of the
Asian Tour’s $1mn Manila Masters yesterday.
The 47-year-old, seeking a
strong week to boost his chances
of retaining his playing privileges on Tour next season, followed
up his opening round seven-under-par 65 with a 68 to sit level
with South Korean Wang Jeunghun (65) at 11-under 133.
Last year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Kiradech
Aphibarnrat was two shots back
in third after the Thai hit a 69,
with England’s Steve Lewton
(66) and Malaysian Danny Chia
(71) in a share for fourth at seven-under.
Mamat, a three times winner
on the Asian Tour, began his second round with 10 straight pars
after starting on the 10th at the
Jack Nicklaus designed Manila
Southwoods Golf and Country
He made a bogey at the par
four second before picking up his
п¬Ѓrst shot of the day at the fourth
and then п¬Ѓnishing in style with
four straight birdies.
“I couldn’t get my momentum right on my front nine. I
told myself to stay patient and I
nheralded Queenslander
Wright broke clear
of a logjam atop the
Australian Masters leaderboard
to take a two-shot lead after the
second round yesterday, while
double defending champion
Adam Scott battled hard to
keep in touch.
Scott shot a four-under 68
on a glorious afternoon at Melbourne’s Metropolitan Golf
Club, but the world number
two remained six strokes off the
pace and behind a lengthy list
of local tour grafters.
At the top was 771st-ranked
Wright, one of a quartet of
overnight leaders, who showed
impressive poise in a 68 of his
own to snatch the lead.
Wright, whose biggest triumphs have been three statelevel PGA titles Down Under,
was candid about his long battle to control nerves after his
opening 67 on Thursday.
“I felt very comfortable out
there today. I’m looking forward to trying to feel comfortable over the next couple of
days,” said Wright, who bogeyed his first hole in the tournament but has not dropped a
shot since.
“There were a few (thoughts)
but I managed to really keep-
Michael Wright in action during the second round of the Australian Masters at Melbourne’s
Metropolitan yesterday.
them under wraps today. I felt a
lot more relaxed in my body.
“It’s when I get busy in the
mind and start tightening
things up I get into trouble.”
Wright said he would try not
to look over his shoulder over
the weekend, with Scott expected to push hard.
Scott roared up the leaderboard early and was п¬Ѓve-under
for the day after 10 holes, but
the magic deserted his putter
thereafter and a bogey on the
par-four 16th further applied
the brakes.
“The course was really there
to be had and I got off to a nice
start through 10 holes and I was
feeling really good, but unfortunately it slowed up on the
back nine and a couple of random wedge shots cost me dearly,” Scott, bidding for a record
third straight Australian Masters title, told reporters.
“I’m within shouting distance, at least. Thirty-six holes,
there’s a lot of golf to be played,
and if I play a good 36 I think I
can be in with a chance.”
Wright held a two-shot lead
over South Australian Paul
Spargo (67), with local amateur Todd Sinnott and Richard
Green a further shot back.
Former US Open champion
Geoff Ogilvy remains in striking distance, п¬Ѓve off the pace
after carding a 71, with American Boo Weekley nine adrift after a second round of even par.
managed to п¬Ѓnish well. I knew I
had to keep to my pace to stay in
contention and I managed to do
it,” said Mamat, who is 74th position on the Order of Merit and
needs to п¬Ѓnish in the top 60 to
save his Tour card.
“I hit good iron shots and my
putting got better on the back
nine. My longest putt was on the
seventh hole from about 20 feet.
“The birdie on sixth actually
got my momentum going. I hit
a four iron to about two feet and
I regained my confidence from
there,” he said.
Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka, who
shared the overnight lead with
the Singaporean, fell down the
п¬Ѓeld to tied for sixth at six-under
after a one-over second round of
Granada grabs early lead at
Tour Championship
Paraguay golfer Julieta Granada п¬Ѓred a п¬Ѓrst-round, six-under
66 on Thursday for a two-shot
lead at the season-ending LPGA
Tour Championship.
The 28-year-old Granada,
who has not won on the LPGA
Tour since capturing the 2006
ADT Championship, posted her
lowest opening-round score of
the year.
“It was a fun day today,” said
Granada, who п¬Ѓnished tied for
fifth at this year’s Women’s British Open. “I hit a lot of greens
and I had plenty of birdie chanc-
es. My stroke was on and I was
making lots of putts, so that’s
Sandra Gal is alone in second
place at four-under 68 at Tiburon Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
World number two Stacy
Lewis, who narrowly leads world
number one Park In-Bee in both
the player of the year standings,
used a late eagle to jump up the
leaderboard and she is tied for
third at three-under 69 with Belen Mozo and Caroline Hedwall.
Ryu So-Yeon, Marina Alex,
Carlota Ciganda, Sarah Jane
Smith, Angela Stanford, Haeji
Kang and Park Hee-Young are all
tied for sixth at two-under 70.
South Korea’s Park and
17-year-old Lydia Ko, of New
Zealand, shot one-under 71s and
they are tied for 13th with seven
others. Lewis, Park and Ko can
take home the season-ending
$1mn Tour bonus with an outright win this week.
Granada drained back-toback birdies yet again on the parfour 13th and the par-п¬Ѓve 14th to
jump up to п¬Ѓve under. Granada
п¬Ѓnished strong with three birdies on 15, 16 and 18 to go along
with a gain on the par-п¬Ѓve 17th.
“I actually love playing in the
wind,” said Granada. “I do really well at the British Open so I
love to control my ball flight in
the wind. I take pride in that so
every time it’s windy I’m looking
forward to it.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Hot Clippers ice
Heat behind Paul
and Griffin
�We’re starting to find our way. It’s a pretty complete game’
Los Angeles
he Los Angeles Clippers are beginning to п¬Ѓnd their form after a
mediocre start.
Chris Paul had 26 points with
12 assists, Blake Griffin also scored 26 and
the Clippers cruised to a 110-93 victory
over the Miami Heat on Thursday.
“We’re doing what we’re supposed to
do,” Paul said.
The Clippers blew out the Heat much
the same way they did their Florida
neighbours Orlando Magic, 114-90, just
24 hours earlier to kick off a seven-game
road trip.
“We’re starting to find our way,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
“It’s a pretty complete game.”
JJ Redick hit four triples en route to
14 points, DeAndre Jordan had 12 points
with 11 rebounds for the Clippers (7-4),
who shot a sizzling 56 per cent from the
п¬Ѓeld and had 31 assists on 35 baskets en
route to the wire-to-wire beat-down.
“We carried it over from last game with
our defence and ball movement,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said. “When we
move the ball and don’t play one-on-one,
we’re a hard team to stop.”
Added Barnes: “This road trip is going to bring us together. It’s what we need
right now.”
The Clippers put the game away early
with crisp passing that led to easy layups,
dunks and wide-open three-pointers to
take a 39-15 lead after the opening quarter.
“The ball movement in the first quarter
was beautiful,” Rivers said.
But Rivers pointed out it was the defence that triggered the offensive explosion.
“We kept getting defensive stops and it
allowed us to play the way we like to play,”
said Rivers referring to the up-tempo
Comfortably ahead, 58-40 at the
break, the Clippers opened up a 26-point
cushion after intermission and coasted
home with their п¬Ѓrst win in the last six
visits to Miami since March 10, 2008.
“We caught a team without (Dwyane)
Wade and did what we should have done,”
Rivers said. “Now we have five more
(games) on this trip. We know what we
need to do. We just have to play consistent.”
Chris Bosh scored 28 points and rookie
guard Shabazz Napier added a seasonbest 17 for struggling Miami (6-6), losers
in four of its last п¬Ѓve contests. Wade sat
out his fourth straight game with a left
hamstring strain.
“Not a whole lot to say,” Heat coach
Erik Spoelstra said afterward. “That was
a blitz in that п¬Ѓrst quarter. They abso-
Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (left) shoots over LA Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan during their NBA game on Thursday. (USA TODAY Sports)
lutely knocked us on our heels and we just
could never gain our footing after that.
“They got into an incredible rhythm
where they were able to get everything. I
think we just ran into a buzz-saw.”
Sacramento Kings 103, Chicago
Bulls 88: DeMarcus Cousins collected
22 points with 14 rebounds and the Kings
sent the short-handed Bulls to their п¬Ѓrst
road loss of the season after opening with
six straight wins.
Rudy Gay netted 20 points while Darren Collison had 17 with 12 assists for
Sacramento (7-5), which won for just the
second time in the last six outings.
Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 23
points for Chicago (8-4), playing again
without injured stars Derrick Rose (left
hamstring strain) and Spaniard Pau Gasol
(left calf strain).
Raiders stun Chiefs, earn first win in a year
he Oakland Raiders earned
their п¬Ѓrst win in more than
a year on Thursday as rookie quarterback Derek Carr
rallied the team with a late scoring
drive to stun division rivals Kansas
City 24-20.
With the Raiders (1-10) trailing
20-17 in the fourth quarter, Carr
marched the team 80 yards downfield in a drive that took seven minutes off the clock and culminated
with a nine-yard touchdown pass
to James Jones.
Kansas City had little time to
recover and could only make it to
their own 48 yard line with their
last possession, which ended with
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith
throwing an incompletion on
fourth down.
It was Oakland’s first win since
beating Houston on Nov. 17 2013
and snapped a 16-game losing
“I don’t even know how to explain the feeling,” Oakland linebacker Sio Moore told reporters.
“I’m just happy to see that on both
sides of the ball, we finished it.”
The defeat halted the Chiefs’ (74) five-game win streak and saw
them drop out of a tie for п¬Ѓrst place
New York
ames van Riemsdyk scored
two goals as the Toronto
Maple Leafs snapped a
three-game losing streak
with a victory over the Tampa
Bay Lightning.
The Maple Leafs left winger
scored twice in a span of 2:44
as Toronto scored three unanswered goals in the second period
after the п¬Ѓrst ended 1-1.
Center Alex Killorn and center
Steven Stamkos scored for the
В„ Max Pacioretty scored twice
to lead the Montreal Canadiens
to a win over the St. Louis Blues.
Goalie Carey Price made 31
saves for the Canadiens, who
beat St. Louis for the п¬Ѓrst time
since Nov. 16, 2008.
В„ Defenseman Adam Clendening scored just four minutes into
his debut and the Blackhawks
scratched out a victory over Calgary.
Patrick Kane scored the gamewinner at the 9:12 mark of the
third period for the Blackhawks.
В„ A second-period goal by Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen
stood as the winner in the Senators’ victory over the Nashville
Senators goalie Robin Lehner
made 33 saves to pick up his п¬Ѓrst
victory since Oct. 28.
Detroit center Tomas Tatar
scored two goals, including the
game-winner late in the third
period, and the Red Wings pulled
off a scrappy, come-from-behind victory over the Winnipeg
Jets. Tatar broke a 3-3 tie with his
eighth goal of the season at 15:10
in the third where the Red Wings
scored two unanswered goals to
Jason Zucker scored a tie-
Riemsdyk stars
as Leafs snap
losing streak
in the AFC West.
The only sour note for the Raiders
was the loss of running back Latavius Murray, who had dominated
the п¬Ѓrst half with 112 yards and two
touchdowns but exited with a concussion in the second quarter.
Murray had just recently begun seeing more playing time for
Oakland, and he needed only four
carries to leave his mark in a performance that included a 90-yard
touchdown scamper.
“He did a great job and gave us a
spark taking the ball 90 yards,” said
Raiders running back Darren McFadden. “We finally came out and
put the game together and п¬Ѓnished
the way we’re supposed to.”
The Raiders led 14-3 at halftime
and moved ahead 17-3 in the third
The Chiefs began to seize the
momentum when Smith threw a
19-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano late in the third.
Jamaal Charles tied the score at
17-17 on a sparkling 30-yard touchdown reception with 12:20 remaining, and Cairo Santos kicked a 25yard п¬Ѓeld goal a few minutes later to
put the Chiefs up 20-17.
Charles п¬Ѓnished with 80 yards
rushing and 42 yards receiving for
the Chiefs, who have a big divisional matchup with the п¬Ѓrst-place
Denver Broncos on Nov. 30.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ James van Riemsdyk (right) pounces on a
rebound before scoring a goal past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben
Bishop during their NHL game on Thursday. (USA TODAY Sports)
Australia opposed
to late-night
finals at Rio 2016
Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray celebrates with fans after scoring in the first quarter
against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday. (USA TODAY Sports)
breaking goal with 45.4 seconds
left in the game to lift the Minnesota Wild to a win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Nino Niederreiter and defenseman Marco Scandella also
scored goals and goaltender
Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves
to help the Wild win their fourth
successive game.
Claude Giroux scored the tying goal with 3:30 left and defenseman Mark Streit also had a
goal for the Flyers, who lost their
fourth consecutive game.
Alex Ovechkin scored at
14:04 of the third period as the
Washington Capitals beat the
Colorado Avalanche.
Nicklas Backstrom had a goal
and an assist and left winger also
scored for the Capitals. Goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 27
shots for Washington.
Dallas center Cody Eakin
scored one of two goals in the
third period as they defeated the
Arizona Coyotes.
В„ Jakob Silfverberg and Corey
Perry scored in the shootout as
the Anaheim Ducks defeated the
Vancouver Canucks.
Anaheim’s Matt Beleskey tied
the game at 3-3 to force overtime
when he scored at 11:52 of the
third. Anaheim improved their
record to 12-4-5 for 30 points,
while the Canucks dropped to
13-6-1 for 27 points.
Tanner Pearson scored the
go-ahead goal in the second period, and the Los Angeles Kings
held off the Carolina Hurricanes
for a 3-2 victory.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick
stopped 25 of the 27 shots he
faced, allowing Los Angeles (115-4) to capture their third consecutive win.
Hurricanes goaltender Cam
Ward saved 36 of 39 shots as
Carolina (6-10-3) lost for the
fourth time in п¬Ѓve games.
ustralian Olympic officials say they will
oppose plans to stage
the 2016 Rio Olympics
swimming п¬Ѓnals late at night.
Although the п¬Ѓnal schedule for
the Rio Games has not been completed, reports that the swimming п¬Ѓnals could start at 10pm
local time to п¬Ѓt in with American
television have been criticised in
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates
told reporters yesterday that it
was unreasonable to start the п¬Ѓnals so late because some events
would not be п¬Ѓnished until
around midnight.
He said talks were already
underway to change the draft
schedule, parts of which were
released this week, and Australia
would be pushing hard to have
the п¬Ѓnals brought forward.
“It’s a matter that the AOC will
now take up with the international swimming body FINA and
with the IOC (International Olympic Committee),” said Coates,
who is also vice president of the
IOC and a member of the co-ordination commission for Rio.
“It’s just an unreasonable demand on the athletes to be com-
peting at that time of night.”
This is not the п¬Ѓrst time that
the timing of the swimming п¬Ѓnals at the Olympics has been
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics,
the п¬Ѓnals were switched to the
morning to coincide with primetime viewing in the United States
despite complaints from some
Meanwhile, the International Association of Athletics
Federation (IAAF) has already
announced that it would be
changing its schedule for Rio, introducing morning п¬Ѓnals for the
п¬Ѓrst time since 1988.
While the bulk of the track and
п¬Ѓeld п¬Ѓnals will still be held in the
usual night slot, the IAAF said it
would conduct 13 finals—both
marathons, the three race walks
and eight events in the main athletics stadium—during the day.
“Staging finals in the morning was done at the request of
the Rio LOC (Local Organising
Committee) and the Olympic
Broadcasting Service, supported
by the International Olympic
Committee,” IAAF Competitions Director Paul Hardy said in
a statement.
“Having finals in the morning will also ensure that we
receive maximum visibility for
athletics at the Olympics across
all time zones.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Lee hopes for �good results’ from BWF panel
adminton world number
one Lee Chong Wei is
confident his name will
be cleared following his
provisional suspension by the
sport’s governing body (BWF)
for an anti-doping violation.
Speaking to reporters in Bangkok yesterday, Lee said he was
not at fault and would wait for a
BWF panel decision next month.
“I am very confident that this
case is not my fault,” Lee told reporters at a news conference for
an upcoming exhibition match
in Thailand. “I must stay strong.
Everybody has been messaging
me to stay strong.
“I’m waiting to hear good results next month.”
Super boost
could make
Japan a
says Jones
Japan coach Eddie Jones
yesterday said the inclusion
of a Tokyo-based team in Super Rugby will give the Asian
champions a massive boost
before the country hosts the
2019 World Cup.
Jones told AFP that the erstwhile World Cup pushovers,
with just one win in the tournament so far, would improve
by “60 to 100%” with Super
Rugby experience.
“It’s fantastic,” said the
former Australia coach, after
Tokyo and Buenos Aires were
formally granted franchises in
the world’s premier international club competition.
“It gives Japan the chance
to become a leading rugby
nation in the world.
“Having a new tier of rugby
come in which is essentially
for the development of Test
rugby players is just ideal for
Japanese rugby.”
His sentiments were echoed
by Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) chairman Tatsuzo
Yabe. “We believe that such
a positive development will
be a driving force for Japan
rugby to move forward on the
world stage,” said Yabe.
“We will continue to make
every endeavour to be successful at this level as we look
toward Super Rugby in 2016,
the 2019 Rugby World Cup
and beyond.”
Jones promised Japan’s
“Brave Blossoms” would make
dramatic progress following
the decision by Super Rugby
organisers SANZAR to include
a Tokyo team from 2016. “Definitely now you can have players going into that 2019 World
Cup with 40 or 50 Super caps
on top of 40 or 50 Test caps,”
he said. “Then you’ve got
really experienced players and
that’s key going forward.
“You’re looking at doubling
the experience of players
having played top-level rugby
so the difference is anywhere
from 60 to 100%.
“We’ve got guys now coming
out of university or (Japan’s)
Top League and playing Test
match rugby. The jump for
those guys is unbelievably big.”
“To have Super Rugby in
between will mean they’ll come
in much more prepared to
play Test rugby,” added Jones,
whose Japanese side broke into
the world’s top 10 for the first
time earlier this year and won
their 11th successive Test match
against Romania last week.
“It gives Japan’s top players
the opportunity to play consistent top-level rugby, which
will hone their skills far greater
than playing 10 Test matches
a year and Top League. It’s just
a wonderful opportunity for
players to develop.”
“At the moment we’ve got a
group of players who have
accumulated Test caps but
don’t have the base of Super
Rugby—and that just adds
to their playing experience,
knowledge and hardiness
to play rugby at a top level
consistently,” he said.
“It is a real opportunity to
change Japanese rugby.”
Jones has targeted a place
in the quarter-finals at next
year’s World Cup, even
though Japan have won just
once at rugby’s showcase
event, beating minnows
Zimbabwe in 1991.
Lee, who won silver medals
at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics,
faces a two-year ban should he
fail with his appeal.
The Malaysian would also be
stripped of the silver medal he
won at the world championships
in August in Copenhagen, the
location of the failed test.
Earlier this month the BWF
said in a statement: “The world
governing body has imposed this
suspension due to an Adverse
Analytical Finding of a sample
taken at the BWF World Championships in August”.
Lee, whose 55 global titles and
Olympic silver medals have made
him Malaysia’s leading sportsman, was found to have traces of
the banned anti-inflammatory
drug dexamethasone in his system during the world championships in Denmark.
Hidayat fires warning over Lee dope case
Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei speaks to the media during a news
conference in Bangkok yesterday.
BANGKOK: Former Olympic champion Taufik
Hidayat warned other badminton players to
take extra care over their diet and supplements
after a positive drugs test rocked world number
one Lee Chong Wei.
The retired Indonesian said Malaysia’s Lee
probably took the banned anti-inflammatory
dexamethasone by mistake, but that he should
still have been aware of what was going into his
“I just can’t believe it until now. I’m not sure
that he did it in purpose. Maybe there was a
mistake when he was still receiving medication for his injury,” Taufik said, according to the
Jakarta Globe.
“A world-class player like Chong Wei should
have known what he consumed, what went
into his body. And BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) is a professional body
that carefully looks after its players.”
Lee, 32, is temporarily barred from competition
after testing positive during the world championships. He could face an eventual suspension
of up to two years.
“Athletes must be aware of many things,
not only their daily training. They should
know what they eat, what they drink,”
said Hidayat, who quit the sport last
“They should know everything going into their
bodies. Because athletes have only two real
enemies: themselves and doping.
“Once athletes take doping, there goes their
name and achievements. Their years of hard
work will vanish. Just look at what happened to
Lance Armstrong.”
He added: “This case is a disgrace to world
badminton. It’s just too bad if it’s true.”
All Blacks in quest to
continue domination
�We know and expect Wales to come out and chuck everything at us’
Defence key against
Springboks - Italy coach
ew Zealand will seek to
stretch an impressive
winning streak when
they face Wales at
Cardiff ’s Millennium Stadium
The All Blacks, who will be
captained for a record 100th
time by iconic flanker Richie
McCaw in his 137th Test, last
lost to the Welsh in 1953.
Of the 29 matches between
the two sides, New Zealand have
won 26, their two other losses to
Wales coming in 1935 and 1905,
racking up 882 points against
291 for the Welsh.
“There’s a lot of history between the two teams,” said All
Blacks coach Steve Hansen, a
former coach of Wales between
The game against Wales,
Hansen added, was “the most
important game of the year because it’s the next one”, expecting
“our team to play very well and
the Welsh to come and be very
passionate and very physical”.
“Just reading the newspaper
clippings, they seem to think
we’re there for the taking.
“They obviously have a lot of
self-belief and when a team’s
like that you expect them to
play well. Saturday will tell us if
we’re there for the taking.”
However, Hansen added:
“Probably they feel like they
have to say that. Sometimes we
п¬Ѓnd our inner belief by talking.
“Every time we go out to play,
we know we have to be at our
best because the teams we’re
New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett kicks on in training in Cardiff, Wales, yesterday.
playing are getting up to play us,
regardless of who they are and
what their previous form is.
“We know and expect Wales
to come out and chuck everything at us.
“We know we’re a good side
and we know that if we prepare
well, genuinely and honestly,
we’ve got a good chance of getting the job done. If not, �c’est la
vie’, that’s sport.”
Hansen has named Beau-
den Barrett at fly-half in place
of “rusty” Dan Carter after an
experimental young side struggled to a 24-16 win over Scotland last weekend after seeing
off England 24-21 seven days
Only three starters from the
Scotland match were retained as
the likes of Sonny Bill Williams,
Julian Savea, Jerome Kaino and
Brodie Retallick returned.
For Wales, Warren Gat-
land has brought back centre
Jonathan Davies after a shoulder injury in a side showing
nine changes from the team
that struggled to see off Fiji 1713 last weekend.
Davies, who has been out of
action for three weeks, resumes
his centre partnership with
Jamie Roberts, in the only personnel change to the team beaten 33-28 by Australia in Cardiff
a fortnight ago.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel is
calling on the Azzurri defence
to limit the expected damage
against an “extremely efficient”
South Africa when the sides
meet in the hosts’ final November Test in Padua today.
South Africa ended New Zealand’s 22-game unbeaten run
last month and are on the rise
having made amends for a 29-15
defeat to Ireland in their opening Test with a 31-28 victory
over England last week.
Although Springboks coach
Heyneke Meyer has made four
changes to the side that stunned
England in front of more than
80,000 fans at Twickenham,
Brunel expects South Africa to
be at their formidable best.
“The Springboks are without
doubt the form team of this November series. They had a great
summer and also brought the
All Blacks’ long winning streak
to an end,” said Brunel.
“They’re a great squad,
equipped with the tools to play an
extremely efficient brand of rugby.
“We need the same tight defence we’ve adopted since the
start of the season, and to try and
impose some of our own game.
“It’s the tail end of South Africa’s season, while we’re only
starting ours, and that could be
a relevant factor. They showed
their mettle after the defeat to
Ireland by going to Twickenham
and beating England.”
On paper, Italy look to have
little chance of ending their 11game losing streak to Meyer’s
п¬Ѓnely-tuned side, who at Twick-
enham claimed their 11th win
from their past 12 games against
next year’s World Cup hosts.
Ahead of meeting Italy for the
12th time, Meyer will, for the
first time, test the full-back potential of Metro Racing fly-half
Johan Goosen, who replaces
Willie Le Roux.
Meyer’s decision was in part
inspired by the desire to limit
the influence of New Zealandborn Kelly Haimona, whose skill
with the boot also saw him kick
29 points for the Azzurri in their
previous two Tests against Samoa and Argentina.
“I believe Johan can become a
world-class full-back, and that
he will still offer a good option
at (number) 10,” said Meyer.
“This will be a big test for Johan. The Italy fly-half kicks tactically well, and so his positional
play will need to be good.”
In the pack, Teboho Mohoje
replaces Schalk Burger, Coenie
Ooosthuizen comes in for the
injured Jannie du Plessis while
Trevor Nykane will start his
п¬Ѓrst Test for the Springboks at
loosehead prop when he replaces Tendai Mtawarira.
Meyer also made п¬Ѓve changes on
the bench, with Nizaam Carr and
Julian Redelinghuys included in a
Test match 23 for the п¬Ѓrst time.
“I’m excited to see what these
guys can do on Saturday in what
will be a stern test against a
fired-up Italy,” said Meyer.
“They are a passionate nation
with a very experienced coach
in Jacques Brunel and a worldclass captain in Sergio Parisse.
The Italian pack is always formidable and their backs are not
scared of taking chances.”
Lancaster tells England to
prepare for Samoa struggle
George Ford dodges past Owen Farrell in England training at
Pennyhill Park, on Tuesday.
ngland coach Stuart
Lancaster has warned
the 2015 World Cup
hosts to expect a firedup Samoa side playing their “cup
final” at Twickenham today.
The third of England’s four
November internationals, the
clash with the Pacific Islanders
always looked the most �winnable’ of a Twickenham series that
has already featured contests
against world champions New
Zealand and South Africa and
culminates with next weekend’s
clash against World Cup pool rivals Australia.
But successive defeats by
the All Blacks (24-21) and the
Springboks (31-28) have turned
today’s match into a �must-win’
п¬Ѓxture for an England side bidding to end a run of п¬Ѓve straight
defeats, albeit four have been at
the hands of New Zealand.
What will be England’s seventh international against Samoa—the Red Rose brigade have
won all six previous encounters—was imperilled when the
visitors considered boycotting the match in protest at their
treatment by the Samoa Rugby
Although the strike threat has
been withdrawn, the underlying
tensions that caused the Samoa
team to contemplate such drastic
action remain.
Not that Lancaster is expecting the controversy to in any way
lessen the on-п¬Ѓeld impact of the
traditionally tough-tackling Samoans.
“We’re expecting physicality,
pride and passion from Samoa,”
said Lancaster.
“This game is their cup final. It’s a great opportunity for
them and they’ll be hugely motivated.”
And for all England’s success
against Samoa in the past, Lancaster insisted this weekend’s
clash had the potential to trip
up his side if they were not completely on their game.
“I watched them beat Wales in
Cardiff a couple of years ago (2916 in November 2012) in a similar
п¬Ѓxture. They are very difficult
opposition, so we need to be at
our best.
“Just look at the Wales v Fiji
game last weekend...Fiji al-
most won it (losing 17-13).
“We know it’s not a game we
can take lightly whatsoever because they’ll be putting us under
Lancaster has made п¬Ѓve
changes and a positional switch
to his side.
Owen Farrell has been moved
to inside centre, with Lancaster
giving a п¬Ѓrst Test to Bath standoff George Ford, all of whose four
previous caps have come off the
Lancaster has also dropped
scrum-half Danny Care and recalled Ben Youngs.
Ford and Farrell have been
friends since their schooldays
and have previously enjoyed
success with England youth
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Pacquiao , the
street kid who has
the world at his feet
doubtful, Garcia
next for Pacman,
says trainer Roach
The Filipino icon is paying for two Airbus A320s emblazoned with his face to fly
his 300-plus entourage from the Philippines to Macau for the fight
n 1992, a 14-year-old boy dropped
out of school in General Santos City
in the southern Philippines because
of extreme poverty.
With his single mother was unable to
support him and his п¬Ѓve siblings, he made
his way to Manila and ended up living on
the streets.
When someone suggested to the young
Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao that he divert his energies to a local boxing gym, it
turned out to be a shrewd piece of advice.
“I kept winning and almost became a
boxer without knowing,” said the man
who would go on to make history as the
only winner of world titles in eight weight
He soon caught the attention of national amateur selectors and made the
Philippines team.
With lodging and subsistence provided, it proved the beginning of one of the
most glittering careers the п¬Ѓght game has
ever known.
�Manny’ (as he became known) Pacquiao’s natural talent and speed, coupled
with a fearsome work ethic, saw him work
his way up to being lauded as “the best
pound-for-pound fighter in the world”.
rainer Freddie Roach
played down hopes of a
Manny Pacquiao showdown with Floyd Mayweather and said unbeaten twobelt world champion Danny
Garcia could be next for “Pacman” after he fights Chris Algieri
The drop to light welterweight
(140lb) would be a further blow to
prospects of a $1 billion megafight
with the unbeaten Mayweather, whose last three contests
have been at light middleweight
Roach instead is targeting the
impressive Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs)
who holds both the World Boxing Council and World Boxing
Association belts at light welterweight.
“I’ve been waiting three-anda-half years for this (Mayweather) fight. I don’t think it’s going
to happen,” Roach told reporters
yesterday at the Venetian Macau.
“(Promoter Bob) Arum says it
might happen but can they deliver Mayweather? I don’t think so,”
added the Hall of Fame trainer,
who has guided “Pacman” since
2002. “You know, if it was going
to happen I think it would have
happened by now. I want it to
happen as badly as you guys.”
Pacquiao defends his World
Boxing Organization welterweight (147lb) crown on tomorrow morning (Saturday night US
time) against American Algieri
Manny Pacquiao now
and (bottom) as a teen
working out in a
ramshackle Manila gym
When someone suggested to the
young Emmanuel Dapidran
Pacquiao that he divert his
energies to a local boxing gym, it
turned out to be a shrewd piece of
Pacquiao (56-5-2) will command a
payday in excess of $20mn dollars when
he п¬Ѓghts Chris Algieri at the Venetian
Macau, one of the world’s largest and
grandest casino resorts, tomorrow morning—a far cry from his desperate beginnings.
It is perhaps memories of his younger
impoverished days that prompt Pacquiao
never to refuse requests from family and
His philanthropy and generosity are
well known, and resulted in the Filipino
icon paying for two Airbus A320s emblazoned with his face to fly his 300-plus
entourage the two hours from General
Santos to Macau for the п¬Ѓght.
His fame and fortune in the ring also
enabled him to study and п¬Ѓnally pass his
high school exams in 2007 at the age of
A college degree followed in 2009 and
a further qualification in legislation and
governance paved the way for him to be
elected with 66 percent of the vote in
May 2013 as a congressman in his wife
Jinkee’s home province of Sarangani. He
was re-elected unopposed in 2013.
Now just two weeks away from his 36th
birthday he shows no little sign of slowing down his hectic life.
Boxing and politics aside, he is also a
singer, actor, church minister, army reservist and player-coach for Kia Motors
in the Philippine Basketball Association
(PBA), playing seven minutes of their
season opener last month to the dismay
of his long-time Hall of Fame trainer
at an agreed catchweight limit of
“If Manny feels good in this
п¬Ѓght at 144 then I think his next
п¬Ѓght will be at 140 because he
makes 140 very easily,” said
“First fight back? Danny Garcia. That’s my personal opinion.”
The fear is that tomorrow’s
clash with the largely unknown
WBO light welterweight champion Algieri will not attract the
lucrative pay-per-view п¬Ѓgures in
the United States of previous Pacquiao contests.
There is a dearth of truly
world-class opponents in the
147lb division, making the explosive Garcia—who has recorded
fourth-round knockouts against
both Britain’s former world
champion Amir Khan and Mexican great Erik Morales—the most
attractive alternative to the elusive Mayweather.
“Danny Garcia at 140, we’ll go
there,” added Roach. “There are
options out there. Mayweather’s
not everything.
“I think Manny’s a better fighter at 140. He’s faster and more
explosive—I think the knockouts
will come back.”
Roach hinted that Pacquiao
could drop further, maybe back to
lightweight (135lb) if the right opportunity came up.
“Yes he could make 135. He’s
been in the 130s a couple of times
during training camp already,”
Roach revealed.
“When he gets a little too low
in weight I send him home and tell
him to have a good steak.”
Mickey Rourke to return to
boxing ring at 62 in Moscow
Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao won his п¬Ѓrst world title at
flyweight in 1998 and added a super bantamweight title a year later, but it wasn’t
until he teamed up with Roach in 2001
that his career really took off as they
forged one of the most successful partnerships in boxing history.
Pacquiao went on to win multiple
world titles, sweeping aside the world’s
Marc Antonio Barrera, Oscar de la
Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto
were all demolished by the Filipino.
Two defeats in 2012 — a devastating
knockout against Marquez and a controversial points decision against Timothy
Bradley—led some to think Pacquiao’s
star was fading.
But a year ago in Macau he regained his
pomp with a comprehensive win against
Brandon Rios, and then took Bradley
apart in their rematch.
There remains just one thing missing on
his considerable CV—a megafight with the
unbeaten American great Floyd Mayweather.
The signs are that if Pacquiao beats
Algieri as expected Sunday, the pair will
finally touch gloves next year in the richest event in the history of sport—it will
generate an estimated $1 billion.
Whoever suggested that a scrawny
Manila street kid should go to the gym
could never have imagined where it
would lead.
Mickey Rourke will revive his
boxing career at the age of 62
and take to the ring with a US
professional boxer in Moscow
this month, Sovetsky Sport
sports website reported, citing
the promoters.
The American actor was
quoted as saying by promoters:
“Boxing is a serious part of my
life. It taught me respect and
determination, patience and
concentration. I always dreamed
of fighting a match in Russia.”
Rourke is set to fight 29-year-old
Elliot Seymour on November 28.
They will take to the ring ahead
of a match between Russia’s
Ruslan Provodnikov and Jose
Luis Castillo of Mexico, Sovetsky
Sport reported.
The actor was an amateur boxer
before his Hollywood career
took off and he became a sex
symbol star in films such as 9 ВЅ
He returned to boxing as a
professional for eight matches
in the 1990s, causing damage
to his face that necessitated
surgery and changed his appearance.
In 2008 he starred in The Wrestler about a washed-up fighter
making a comeback, winning a
Golden Globe for best actor.
Rourke is a frequent visitor to
Russia and has been romantically linked to a Russian-born
model, Anastassija Makarenko.
Rapid rise of Chris Algieri, the �real-life Rocky’
merican Chris Algieri will
complete a rags to riches “real-life Rocky” story against
Filipino star Manny Pacquiao
tomorrow—just a year after he almost
quit the sport.
The date was November 2, 2013 and
the would-be doctor from Long Island,
New York, had just watched heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov almost
die in the Madison Square Garden ring
against Mike Perez.
Russian Abdusalamov went a gruelling 10 rounds against slugger Perez,
suffering fractures to his cheekbones
and hands. The next day he would be
in a coma after emergency surgery to
remove a blood clot on the brain.
He п¬Ѓnally left hospital just two
months ago in a wheelchair, unable to
“A year ago, I was ready to quit,”
Algieri said at the Venetian Macau,
venue for his multi-million dollar billtopping battle against the legendary
eight-weight world champion Pacquiao. Algieri felt his career was flatlining —his small town fights were not
even being televised—and what he had
witnessed in New York City that night
shook him to the core.
“The Russian kid who almost died,
we had the same record. He was 17-0.
The guy was undefeated and one п¬Ѓght
and he was in a coma,” said Algieri,
who at the time was heavily in poststudent debt after completing a degree
in health science and a master’s in clinical nutrition.
“I went to my promoter Joe DeGuar-
dia and said, �Listen, that guy (almost)
died. I’m done’.”
DeGuardia convinced him to take
another п¬Ѓght and suddenly Algieri,
whose biggest purse to that point had
been less than $10,000, made a breakthrough.
In February he outpointed Emmanuel Taylor, at the time ranked
number four light welterweight by the
International Boxing Federation. A
world ranking and a title shot followed.
Few gave the little-known Algieri
any hope in June against the fearsome Russian WBO light welterweight
champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
That feeling intensified when Algieri
was knocked down twice in the п¬Ѓrst
But Algieri hadn’t read the script.
Just like Rocky in the movie, he bravely
got up and, despite his right eye being
swollen shut for the rest of the п¬Ѓght, he
boxed clever and won a split decision.
Against Taylor he had picked up
the biggest purse of his career to date,
$15,000. That increased to $115,000
for beating Provodnikov, which Algieri
wisely used to clear his student loans.
And just nine months on from the
Taylor п¬Ѓght his reward, win or lose
come tomrorow, will be in seven figures, albeit dwarfed by Pacquiao’s reported $20 million pay day.
His remarkable, rapid rise from
complete unknown to an undefeated
(20-0) world champion, taking on one
of the greatest п¬Ѓghters of his generation in Pacquiao, prompted promoter
Bob Arum to dub Algieri the “real-life
Rocky” in Macau this week.
It is clear that the 82-year-old Arum
is impressed by the clean-cut Algieri,
who is a promoter’s dream: intelligent,
good-looking, smartly dressed and
“This kid is wonderful,” Top Rank’s
Arum told AFP. “I mean, this story is
incredible. He really is like a real-life
Algieri’s first million-dollar-plus
payday this weekend will comfortably
fund him when he chooses to go back to
his medical studies, but the 30-yearold of Italian/Argentine descent says
becoming a doctor can wait.
“We’ll see how long this career lasts,
or how long I want to do it for,” Algieri
said.“I want to do it now as much as I
can, and as much as I want to. It’s all
about passion for me. If I ever lose my
passion, I’m out.”
Unlike a year ago, he doesn’t intend
that to be any time soon. If the result
against Pacquiao is a heavy defeat, it
may just change his mind.”
Gulf Times
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Monfils downs
Federer to level
Davis Cup final
Wawrinka had given the Swiss a winning start against the French
2022 — a strong
message to the
world, says Saha
ormer France striker
Louis Saha (pictured)
has said that taking FIFA
World Cup to new regions will benefit the development of the game around the
Part of the France squad that
reached the п¬Ѓnal of the 2006
FIFA World Cup Germany, Saha
was a player at what was widely
regarded as one of the most successful tournaments in history.
The former Manchester United, Fulham, and Everton striker
told “Every country
should be allowed to host a big
competition because it brings in
value, economic benefits, and
simply because every continent
should be given the chance. I think
it will be a politically strong message to bring the World Cup to Qatar because it’s a universal sport.
I’m very pleased to see that Qatar
will host the World Cup because
it’s a massive event.”
The striker, who after retiring
opened his own sports consultancy group, added that a compact
tournament would only add to
Qatar’s appeal as a host. “It’s one
of the advantages. The World Cup
is a beautiful moment for every
country. Everyone will be watching, and the host country needs
it to remain a beautiful event. I’m
pretty sure the country (Qatar)
will be able to do that. There’s so
much support from all over the
world and I’m sure that come 2022
others will want to help make it a
beautiful World Cup,” he said.
Although not a п¬Ѓrst time visitor to Qatar, it was the п¬Ѓrst time
the quick-footed forward had
been to Aspire Academy.
“When you see pictures you
think this could be an interesting
place, but once you’re here and
see it with your own eyes I can
say it’s one of the best centres
I’ve ever seen. ASPETAR sports
hospital was also very impressive,” said Saha.
The Frenchman’s new initiative,
AXIS 10, is a sports consultancy
group which he founded together
with former 1.FC Köln defender
Dieter Prestin earlier this year.
“Sometimes it can be very
competitive in the football
world. You must be really aware
that you’re getting the best advice at that stage and that’s
what AXIS is doing. It includes
all the right people,” he added,
mentioning the likes of other
footballing greats such as Didier
Drogba, Phil Neville and Robert
Pires who are all supporting Saha’s new project.
San Francisco to submit bid
for 2024 Olympics
France’s Gael Monfils celebrates his win over Switzerland’s Roger Federer in the second rubber of the Davis Cup final in Villeneuve d’Ascq, near Lille, yesterday. (Reuters)
Lille, France
ael Monfils stunned Roger Federer in straight sets to leave
France and Switzerland level 1-1
after the п¬Ѓrst day of the Davis
Cup п¬Ѓnal in Lille yesterday.
The flamboyant Frenchman clobbered
a below-far Federer 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in just
1 hour 46 minutes.
It was just the second time that Federer had lost a Davis Cup singles rubber in straight sets—the other coming in
his 1999 debut against Gianluca Pozzi of
Earlier, Stan Wawrinka had given the
Swiss favourites a 1-0 lead by outplaying
French number one Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Federer took a 8-2 winning head-to head
record against Monfils into the rubber.
But his preparations for his п¬Ѓrst ever
Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal took a hit last Saturday
when he injured his back playing, ironically against Wawrinka, in the last four of
the ATP World Tour п¬Ѓnals in London.
He subsequently pulled out of the п¬Ѓnal against Novak Djokovic and was unable to practice on the indoor claycourt
at Lille football stadium until Wednesday
The French, who had no players qualified for London, had two weeks training on clay in Bordeaux and it showed as
Monfils opened with an ace and had Federer on the back foot from the start.
A superb backhand passing shot
brought up break point for Monfils in the
fourth game and he then forced a backhand return into the next to move 3-1 up.
Federer looked slow and uncomfortable, especially on the backhand flank,
and he surrendered his serve again two
games later as the п¬Ѓrst set slipped away
from him in just 32 minutes.
The rubber was unwinding at breakneck
speed and it was a poor Federer forehand
into the bottom of the net that gave Monfils
the п¬Ѓrst break of the second set.
The way the Parisian was serving, with
nine aces up to that point, made it a steep
hill to climb for Federer and he made no
further inroads as he dropped the second
set 6-4.
The Swiss star, 37-7 in Davis Cup singles, desperately needed to get his nose in
front to try and put some pressure on the
Monfils serve.
He did manage to hold his п¬Ѓrst two
serves in the third set, but Monfils held
п¬Ѓrm and then the Frenchman struck what
proved to be a fatal blow in the п¬Ѓfth game.
A typically sliding backhand passing shot set up break point, which was
promptly secured when a dispirited looking Federer slapped a forehand well wide.
There was no way back for the 17-time
Grand Slam title winner, who is playing
in his п¬Ѓrst Davis Cup п¬Ѓnal at he age of 33.
Monfils clinched a famous and surprisingly easy win with a typically flashy
backhand drive down the line from well
behind the baseline.
It was the first time that Monfils had
beaten Federer on clay and it could not
have come at a more opportune moment.
Today’s doubles sees the French pair
of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet go up against Marco Chiudinelli and
Michael Lammer, with the reverse singles
Given the low-key showing he produced yesterday, the doubts will persist
that Federer may not be able to complete
the tie which would leave the Swiss in all
sorts of trouble.
San Francisco: A group of San
Francisco Bay Area business,
sports and civic leaders will
bid to host the 2024 Olympics
and is putting together a
proposal for the United States
Olympic Committee, officials
said on Thursday.
Should the USOC decide to bid
for the Games and the Paralympics, the cities challenging
San Francisco are Boston, Los
Angeles and Washington.
San Francisco Giants president
and chief executive Larry Baer
is leading the bid committee,
along with venture capitalist
Steve Strandberg and 1960 Olympian Anne Warner Cribbs.
“We believe a San Francisco
Bay Area Olympic and Paralympic Games would be an
enormous success, and would
benefit the region, the nation
and the Games themselves,
well beyond 2024,” Baer said
in a statement. “Our region is
renowned for connecting the
world in new ways every day
and we are ready to put that
spirit and ingenuity to work
for the Games.”
The group is proposing to
build a $350 million temporary stadium for the opening
and closing ceremonies, as
well as for track and field
events. After the Games, the
stadium parts would be recycled and the area turned into a
park, officials said.
“We have the opportunity
to put our unique stamp on
the Games and inspire a new
generation of American youth
to pursue sports and fitness,”
said Cribbs, a swimmer in the
1960 Olympics.
The proposal calls for the beach
volleyball court to be set up
in front of San Francisco City
Hall, while table tennis would
be located in Chinatown. The
USOC said it will wait to make a
decision on a US bid until after
the International Olympic Committee meets in December. The
IOC will select the host of the
2024 Olympic and Paralympic
Games in 2017.
Jaffar wins Losail MX round two
WRC2 champion Nasser al-Attiyah arrives in Doha
Kuwaiti rider Mohamed Jaffar (second from left) won both the MX1 races in the second round of the Losail MX
Championship at the Losail MX Track yesterday. Kuwait’s Meshari About Shaibah (left) and Emirati rider Mohamed
al-Balooshi were second and third respectively in both the races. In MX2, Barak al-Jasmi won the race 1 while
Moaath al-Ansari won the second race.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (centre) arrives in Doha after being crowned the WRC2 champion with a sixth place finish in
Wales Rally. Al-Attiyah also recently announced that he will be driving with a X-Raid Mini at the 2015 Dakar Rally in January.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Shane, Kelly leave National
High Points battle for final day
Stunning return to race action for Theoret in 96 Spirit of Qatar, wins Heat 1B
in the draw for the second heats and
lined up alongside Zimmerman and
Warren. Robertson failed to make the
start and Thompson also missed the
heat, as an oil п¬Ѓre on the 11 boat forced
a delay as it was removed from the
Warren was not able to fire up the
100 Sahara Pizza boat for the restart
and Kelly was never troubled in a
two-boat face-off with Zimmerman
and duly collected his second haul of
400 points.
The final heat of the day again
pitched Shane against Theoret, with
Phipps, Villwock and Webster adding spice to the cocktail. Each of the
boats made a clean start and Shane
used the inside line to his advantage
to pull clear of Theoret and Phipps,
with Villwock slowing and eventually retiring after his engine appeared
to ingest water. This handed fourth
place to Webster.
Today, teams will compete in the
third and fourth pairs of race heats from
11:00hrs and the six that amass the
most points from the heats and qualifying will go through to the 2014 Oryx
Cup UIM World Championship п¬Ѓnal
from 15:00hrs on Doha Bay.
By Sports Reporter
immy Shane and J. Michael Kelly
ensured that the battle for the
National High Points title in the
2014 H1 Unlimited series will go
down to the п¬Ѓnal day of the season after the п¬Ѓrst set of race heats at the Oryx
Cup in Doha Bay yesterday.
Shane made up for the disappointment of starting his opening heat prematurely and led from the start of 2B to
maintain his push for the National High
Points title. Theoret was an impressive
second and Cal Phipps п¬Ѓnished third.
Heat 2A was rescheduled to run after
2B following a п¬Ѓre onboard the 11 Peters
& May boat of Tom Thompson. Kelly
was never troubled by Zimmerman and
recorded his second set of 400 maximum points to take the title challenge
into the п¬Ѓnal two pairs of heats and the
Oryx Cup today.
The performance of the day came
from Qatar’s Theoret, however. The 96
Spirit of Qatar driver belied his п¬Ѓveyear absence from the sport by winning one race heat and п¬Ѓnishing second
in the other. “I had a good feeling from
the start and couldn’t really of asked for
a better day, a п¬Ѓrst and a second, 700
points and a good foundation to build
on for tomorrow,” said Theoret.
The 12 Miss DiJulio crew received
their turbine engine from Qatari customs yesterday morning and faced a
race against time to prepare the boat for
Jesse Robertson to use in the afternoon
heats. He scored points for third in heat
In heat 1A, J. Michael Kelly lined up
alongside Dave Villwock, David Warren, Tom Thompson and Mike Webster
in searing heat and a slight breeze for
the п¬Ѓrst of the 2014 Oryx Cup heats.
Predictably, after the form he has
shown this season, Kelly stormed into
the lead after a legal start and began to
pull away from the chasing quartet.
There was no stopping the 1 Graham
Trucking driver and he sailed through
the chequered flag to win the opening
heat. Villwock was a distant second
and Webster, Thompson and Warren
filled the minor placings in a processional and clean heat, although Webster stayed on Villwock’s rooster tail for
a short time and then suffered the ignominy of being disqualified after the heat
for a fuel violation.
On paper, heat 2B looked set to be a
cracker with Shane, Jon Zimmerman,
1. J. Michael Kelly (Graham Trucking)
400 pts
2. Dave Villwock (Miss Seattle)
3. Tom Thompson (Peters & May)
4. David Warren (Sahara Pizza)
5. Mike Webster (Webster Racing) DSQ
1. Jean Theoret (Spirit of Qatar) 400 pts
2. Cal Phipps (Graham Trucking II) 300
3. Jesse Robertson (Miss DiJulio)
4. Jon Zimmerman (Team Red Dot/Les
Schwab Tires)
5. Jimmy Shane (Oberto Beef Jerky) 127
1. J. Michael Kelly (Graham Trucking) 400
2. Jon Zimmerman (Team Red Dot/Les
Schwab Tires)
1. Jimmy Shane (Oberto Beef Jerky) 400
2. Jean Theoret (Spirit of Qatar)
3. Cal Phipps (Graham Trucking II) 225
4. Mike Webster (Webster Racing) 169
96 Spirit of Qatar’s Jean Theoret celebrates winning heat 1B on his return to H1 racing.
Cal Phipps and Jesse Robertson lining up on the inside of Theoret for the
three-lap heat.
Shane crawled round the start straight
on the inside line but he and Zimmerman
were deemed to have jumped the start,
despite the fact they held off a charging
Theoret down the back straight. Shane
began to edge away from the pair, but it
didn’t matter because both he and the 9
Team Red Dot boat were going to have to
run a penalty lap.
Theoret, therefore, cruised across
the п¬Ѓnish line to take a superb heat win
for the Spirit of Qatar Team – his first
since 2009 - and Phipps crossed in second place. Shane almost caught and
lapped a struggling Robertson down the
straight but missed out on third place
by metres and Zimmerman was п¬Ѓfth. It
meant that Kelly had already gained 231
points in the battle with Shane for the
National High Points title.
Kelly managed to avoid Shane again
08.00-09.00: Unlimited testing
11.00: Heat 3A
11.20: Heat 3B
12.45: Heat 4A
13.05: Heat 4B
15.00: Oryx Cup UIM World C’ship
Torrente finishes second, Carella fifth in Abu Dhabi
Qatari drivers on the podium.
Rigby now trails Mike Szymura by just 25
points with 40 at stake at the п¬Ѓnal race meeting
in Sharjah.
“I am very happy for them. This is a superb
result with the new boats and the new propellers,” added al-Kuwari. “They have been getting
faster at each race and they deserve this result
today. I am sure the п¬Ѓrst win is only a matter of
GP of Abu Dhabi results (top five)
1. Philippe Chiappe (China CTIC)
2. Shaun Torrente (Qatar Team)
3. Ahmed al-Hameli (Abu Dhabi)
4. Sami Selio (Mad-Croc Baba)
5. Alex Carella (Qatar Team)
Overall standings (top five)
1. Philippe Chiappe (China CTIC)
2. Alex Carella (Qatar Team)
3. Shaun Torrente (Qatar Team)
4. Sami Selio (Mad-Croc Baba)
5. Erik Stark (Nautica)
50 pts
World champion Alex Carella of Qatar Team in action at UIM F1 H20 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi yesterday. (Top right) Khalid bin Arhama al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation.
Abu Dhabi
atar Team’s Shaun Torrente and Alex
Carella п¬Ѓnished second and п¬Ѓfth in
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, the penultimate round of the 2014 UIM F1 H2O
World Championship, at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater yesterday afternoon.
Frenchman Philippe Chiappe produced a
stunning performance from his п¬Ѓrst ever career
pole position to stay marginally ahead of Torrente from the start and seal a second career
win and the outright championship lead - on his
birthday of all days.
Torrente closed to within a second of the
Frenchman on a couple of occasions, but Chiappe had the measure of the Qatar boat on the
day by an eventual 6.57 seconds and the result
means that the CTIC China team driver takes
a three-point advantage to what promises to a
thrilling three-way showdown for the title in
Sharjah on December 19.
Carella was wedged in п¬Ѓfth place throughout
the race and slips to second in the title race, a
mere three points in front of his teammate Torrente and three behind Chiappe.
“That is racing,” reflected Khalid bin Arhama
al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar
Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “It was not
our day today. The course was tough. I told the
guys that. We could see that from free practice.
We tried our best. Now we have to go away, regroup and come back and п¬Ѓnish п¬Ѓrst and second
in Sharjah. If Alex wins in Sharjah, he is World
Champion again. It will be an exciting race, for
Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari and Mohamed alObaidly qualified second and third respectively
behind Australian rookie Briney Rigby in the
second UIM F-4S Trophy race.
Rigby led from start-to-п¬Ѓnish to record her
second win of the weekend, but it was a superb
race for the Qatar Team with al-Kuwari reaching the chequered flag 6.30 seconds behind the
youngster to claim second place and al-Obaidly
shadowing him to the п¬Ѓnish to put two ecstatic
F-4S Trophy Race 2 result (top five)
1. Briney Rigby (Sweden)
2. Khalid A al-Kuwari (Qatar Team)
3. Mohamed al-Obaidly (Qatar Team)
4. Mike Szymura (F1 GC Atlantic)
5. Jan A Landsnes (Motorglass)
Overall standings (top five)
1. Mike Szymura (F1 GC Atlantic)
2. Briney Rigby (Sweden)
3. Jan A Landsnes (Motorglass)
4. Mohamed Al-Obaidly (Qatar Team)
4. Khalid A Al-Kuwari (Qatar Team)
119 pts
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