Log in using OpenID

Daily newspaper - Gulf Times

6 – 10, 30 – 32
12, 13
28, 29
BUSINESS 1 – 10, 17 – 20
11 – 16
1 – 12
BUSINESS | Page 20
Doha confident
of winning 2019
world athletics bid
Call for
strategies to
create more
Latest Figures
is A R 8
AT 19
Q since
SPORT | Page 1
Vol. XXXV No. 9545
November 18, 2014
Moharram 25, 1436 AH
www. 2 Riyals
Palestinian PM in Doha talks
In brief
QATAR | Crime
Two held for stealing
QR251,000 from car
The Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) has arrested
two men on charges of stealing
QR251,000 from a car belonging
to a national after smashing
its window in a public parking
lot in Al Rayyan. After the CID
received a complaint from the
Qatari citizen in this regard, an
investigation team was formed to
probe the case and it traced the
suspects. During interrogation,
the two suspects, identified as
Arab nationals, confessed to the
crime. Page 8
REGION | Attacks
Three get death for
Qaeda-linked crimes
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani meeting with visiting
Palestinian Premier Rami al-Hamdallah in Doha yesterday. The meeting was attended by a number of ministers and
members of the delegation accompanying the Palestinian prime minister. The two sides reviewed bilateral co-operation and
ways to develop it in various fields. The latest Palestinian developments and issues of mutual concern were reviewed. Sheikh
Abdullah hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of the Palestinian prime minister and his accompanying delegation. AlHamdallah left Doha later yesterday. He was seen off at Hamad International Airport by HE the Minister of Labour and Social
Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh al-Khulaifi and Palestinian ambassador Moneer Abdulla Ghanam.
Three people were sentenced to
death and several others jailed
in Saudi Arabia yesterday for Al
Qaeda-linked crimes including the
deadly bombing of a foreigners’
housing compound, official media
said. The attack on the Al-Mahya
compound 11 years ago killed
17 people, mostly from Arab
countries. A special court in the
capital Riyadh convicted a total of
eight accused, the official Saudi
Press Agency said. Page 11
Qatar hails outcome
of Riyadh meeting
ARAB WORLD | Statement
EU ‘deplores’
settlement plans
The European Union said
yesterday it deplored Israeli
plans to build new settlements
on occupied Palestinian territory.
A statement issued after the
foreign ministers meeting in
Brussels said the 28-member bloc
“deeply deplores and strongly
opposes the recent expropriation
of land near Bethlehem, recent
announcements of plans for
new settlement construction...”.
Page 12
AMERICA | Internet
State Dept probes
computer hacking
The US State Department has
shut down its outside unclassified
e-mail while it investigates
the hacking of the system, a
spokesman said yesterday.
The department took its e-mail
systems offline in order to
upgrade security over the
weekend, and the press office
was forced to communicate
with reporters through a Gmail
address. Page 15
atar’s yesterday hailed the
outcome of Sunday’s GCC
leaders’ meeting in Riyadh,
including the decision to return Saudi, UAE and Bahrain ambassadors to
their posts in Doha.
Qatar welcomed the initiative of the
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz alSaud of Saudi Arabia, in calling the
meeting in Riyadh “which resulted
in strengthening of the march of the
GCC co-operation and integration
and approval of a decision to return
the ambassadors to Doha”.
In a statement released, Qatar’s
Foreign Ministry praised the “keenness of the Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques to reach the desired success
that will meet the aspirations and
hopes of GCC people”.
The statement expressed “Qatar’s
thanks and appreciation of the significant role played by the Emir of
Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed alJaber al-Sabah, to bring viewpoints
closer and enhance the march of the
GCC integration”.
The statement stressed Qatar’s
“full keenness on GCC solidarity as well as successes and progress
that have been achieved for the
benefit of all GCC people”.
The Kuwaiti Cabinet also lauded
the “positive results of Sunday’s historic meeting in Riyadh, held in response to an invitation by King Abdullah”.
The Kuwait Cabinet, in a statement, expressed “deep appreciation
for the Saudi monarch’s invitation to
the leaders of the other GCC states,
praising King Abdullah’s keenness on
backing the GCC march and realising
integration among the council states
for sake of serving the interests of
GCC citizens”.
It noted the “positive and constructive atmosphere that distinguished”
the GCC leaders’ discussions, expressing “pride in the goodwill and
continuous efforts, exerted by Emir
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber alSabah, for cementing unification of
this leading Gulf entity”.
Message from Kuwaiti Emir
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
al-Thani yesterday received a written
message from Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh
Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah,
related to bilateral relations. HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed
al-Attiyah received the message when
he met with Kuwait’s ambassador,
Meteb bin Saleh al-Mutotah.
In Cairo, Arab League secretary
general Dr Nabil al-Arabi welcomed
the outcome of Sunday’s meeting in
In a statement, he asserted that the
Riyadh meeting results would “contribute greatly to creating a suitable atmosphere and push forward joint Arab
action under critical conditions and
serious challenges facing the region”.
He expressed appreciation for the
sincere efforts made by Kuwit’s Emir,
who co-chaired the current Arab
summit, in collaboration with the
GCC leaders in order to reach this
agreement “which will have a significant positive impact on the promotion
of the co-operation between the GCC
countries, the entire Arab relations,
the interests of the peoples of the region and its security and stability”.
After the mini-summit in Riyadh
late Sunday, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and
Bahrain agreed to return their ambassadors to Doha, eight months after
withdrawing them.
The reconciliation comes ahead of
the annual GCC summit scheduled to
be held in Doha next month.
A GCC statement issued after
the meeting on Sunday said the accord “promises the opening of a new
page... especially in light of the sensitive circumstances the region is undergoing”.
in solar
Elaborate studies and extensive
research have been done by Qatar
during the last few years on the
possibilities of tapping renewable
energy sources, says a senior
Kahramaa official
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
atar’s first solar power station
is expected to become operational at Duhail, a suburb of
Doha, in the first quarter of 2016, a
senior official of the Qatar General
Electricity and Water Corporation
(Kahramaa) said yesterday.
“The work of the station will be
tendered at the beginning of next
year and the project is expected to be
functional within a year,” explained
Saleh Hamad al-Marri, head of the
renewable energy technologies section in Kahramaa.
The solar power station, announced at the beginning of this year,
will have a capacity between 10mw
and 15mw, according to the official,
who was talking on the sidelines
of the Solar Qatar Summit which
opened yesterday.
The project is expected kick-start
Qatar’s plans to develop solar energy
in the coming years. It is understood
that four to five hectares of land will
Al-Marri speaking at the Solar Qatar
Summit yesterday.
be required to generate one megawatt
of solar power.
The Kahramaa official said elaborate studies and extensive research
had been done during the last few
years on the possibilities of tapping
renewable energy sources and about
60 locations across the state had
been identified for setting up stations
in future.
“Of those places, a number of them
would be shortlisted before solar stations are developed at many of those
locations” said al-Marri.
Though the initial overheads for
setting up solar stations would be
enormous compared to the other
sources of energy, notably natural
gas, in the long run solar power would
not only be economical for the country but would also go a long way in
keeping the environment clean and
green in line with the goals and objectives of the Qatar National Vision
The country’s aim is to generate at
least 200mw of solar energy, latest by
2020, maintained al-Marri while disclosing that Qatar had set an initial
target of 2 to 3% of solar energy in its
total annual power generation.
Speaking at the summit earlier, alMarri said the country had approximately 242,550 customers for electricity and its annual power peak load
demand was about 6,000mw as per
the 2013 figures.
Qatar Solar Energy CEO Salim Abbasi explained that the country was
exploring possibilities of tapping its
renewable energy sources for more
than eight years and works were underway to put Qatar among the global leaders in the area of solar power
in line with the vision of HH the Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The country, he said, was committed to not only generate adequate
power through cost-effective means
but also to provide it to the residents
at affordable costs.
The QSE is aiming to produce high
quality solar panels through its association with some of the best known
agencies working in the field for several years, he added. Page 30
Thousands to benefit from diabetes awareness campaign
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
he Hamad Medical Corporation
(HMC) has set up a tent for diabetic screening and awareness
in front of the Outpatient Department
of the Hamad General Hospital. The
tent will be operational for three days.
Manal Musallem, special educator,
Diabetes Centre, said that about 1,000
people were expected to get screened
at the tent daily.
“We expect that we will be able
to screen more than 3,000 people in
three days. All those newly-diagnosed
people will be given referrals to different health centres under the Primary
Health Care Corporation or our ambulatory service. We also give referrals
to the diabetic patients to ophthalmo-
People getting screened at the tent. PICTURE: Thajudheen.
logic department or other related departments.”
Dr Mahmoud Ali Zirie, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Diabetes
and Endocrinology, said that it was
part of an initiative to find out more
diabetes-affected people and educate them. “There are representatives
from different departments at the tent.
There are educators, dieticians, food
specialists, eye specialists and people
from pharmacy. Nurses will screen
visitors for diabetes and according
to the results they will be directed to
representatives from different departments.”
He said: “After the screening, a diabetic is given full information about
the disease as well as what steps to be
taken to control the disease. This is
an effort to raise awareness about the
disease and make the newly-screened
diabetics to control the disease.
“We are suggesting simple and
easy-to-follow measures to control
the disease. We are asking for lifestyle
modifications, walking and other exercises, healthy diet and keeping the
weight according to the BMI. All in all,
it is lifestyle adjustments that will help
a person lead a diabetes-free life.”
Several people were seen queuing up
at the tent to get screened right from
morning yesterday. Many of them said
that they had not undergone screening
for diabetes for a long time.
One of the visitors to the tent said:
“I have just underwent the test and
screened positive for diabetes. I never
suspected that I had diabetes. I had
come to the hospital to take one of my
friends for treatment. Now I will be
taking more precautions and will have
to change my lifestyle.”
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
PM receives Pakistan’s air force chief
Gambian president arrives
Emir holds phone
talks with Saudi,
Kuwaiti leaders
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin
Hamad al-Thani yesterday held
a telephone conversation with
the Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul
Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.
They reviewed bilateral relations
and discussed a number of
regional and international issues.
The Emir also held telephone
conversation with the Emir of
Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed
al-Jaber al-Sabah and Oman’s
Deputy Prime Minister for the
Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd
bin Mahmoud al-Said. Bilateral
relations and issues of joint
interest were discussed.
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani
holding talks with the Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique
Butt in Doha yesterday. Talks focused on bilateral relations and ways to promote them, in addition
to issues of mutual interest.
President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh arrived in Doha yesterday on an official visit. The Gambian
President and the accompanying delegation were welcomed at Hamad International Airport by HE
the Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti, Qatar’s Ambassador to Gambia Mohamed
Nasser Issa al-Kaabi and Gambia’s ambassador to Qatar Ansumana Jammeh.
Advisory Council committees formed
he Advisory Council held
its weekly regular session
under the chairmanship
of the Council’s Speaker HE Mohamed bin Mubarak al-Khulaifi
At the outset of the meeting Secretary-General of the
Council HE Fahd bin Mubarak
al-Khayareen read out the
agenda which was approved.
The Council also endorsed the
minutes of the previous session.
Later the Advisory Council’s
five permanent committees were
set up as follows:
First: The Legal and Legislative Committee which comprises the following members:
1- Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Obeidan
2- Mohamed Abdullah alSulaiti
3- Rashid Hamad al-Maadhadi
4- Nasser Rashid Seraei alKaabi
5- Youssuf Rashid al-Khater
6- Nasser Suleiman Haider
7- Ali Hussein Zainal
8- Nasser Khalil al-Jaidah
9- Said Butti al-Sahouti
10- Saqr Fahd al-Meraiki
Second: The Financial and
Economic Affairs Committee
which comprises the following
1- Abdurrahman Muftah alMuftah
2- Mohamed Ajaj al-Kubaisi
3- Muqbil Ali al-Hitmi
4- Nasser Rashid Sereia alKaabi
5- Mohamed Hammam alAbdullah
6- Youssuf Rashid al-Khater
7- Nasser Suleiman Haider
8- Khalaf Ahmed al-Mannai
9- Ali Hussein Zainal
10- Nasser Khalil al-Jaidah
11- Said Butti al-Sahouti
Third: The Services and Public
Utilities Committee which comprises the following members: 1-
Mohamed Ajaj al-Kubaisi
2- Zabin Abdul Hadi alDoassari
3- Ibrahim Khalifa al-Nasr
4- Khalaf Ahmed al-Mannai
5- Hadi Said al-Khyareen
6- Abdullah Khalid al-Mana
7- Mubarak Ghanim al-Ali
8- Saqr Fahd al-Meraikhi
9- Nasser Ahmed al-Malki
10- Ahmed Khalifa al-Rumaihi
Fourth: The Internal and External Affairs Committee which
comprises the following members
1- Issa bin Rabia al-Kuwari
2- Mohamed Abdullah alSulaiti
3- Mohamed Abdullah alAttiyah
4- Hamid Ali al-Ahababi
5- Abdullah Mohamed alSada
6- Abdurrahman Muftah alMuftah
7- Ibrahim Mohamed al-Assiri
8- Mohamed Teraiheeb bin
9- Ibrahim Mohamed al-Misnad al-Muhannadi
10- Mohamed Hammam alAbdullah
11- Khalaf Ahmed al-Mannai
12- Ibrahim Khalifa al-Nasr
13- Mubarak Ghanim al-Ali
14- Nasser Ahmed al-Malki
Fifth: The Cultural Affairs
and Information Committee
1- Dr Ahmed Mohamed
2- Mohamed Abdullah al-Attiyah
3- Hamid Ali al-Ahbabi
4- Abdullah Mohamed alSada
5- Ibrahim Mohamed al-Assiri
6- Zabin Abdul Hadi alDoassari
7- Muqbil Ali al-Hitmi
8- Rashid Mohamed alMaadhadi
9- Mohamed Teraiheeb bin
10- Ibrahim Mohamed al-Misnad al-Muhannadi
11- Hadi Said al-Khayareen
12- Abdullah Khalid al-Mana
13- Ahmed Khalifa al-Rumaihi.
Deputy PM meets
Syria ambassador
HE the Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of State for Cabinet
Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin
Zaid al-Mahmoud yesterday met
the Syrian Ambassador to Qatar
Nizar Hassan al-Haraki. They
discussed aspects of co-operation
on issues of common interest.
Al-Attiyah meets
Italian envoy
HE the Chairman of
Administrative Control and
Transparency Authority Abdullah
bin Hamad al-Attiyah yesterday
met Italy’s Ambassador to Qatar
Guido De Sanctis yesterday. They
discussed issues of joint interest.
HE al-Attiyah also met the
founder and chairman of
Science and Technology in the
Japanese Society Forum (STS)
Koji Omi, who is also former
finance minister and member
of parliament of Japan. They
discussed important issues of
common interest.
The meeting was attended by
Japan’s Ambassador to Qatar
Shingo Tsuda.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Katara launches book on pearl diving
The Cultural Village Foundation, Katara, launched yesterday its newest heritage publication, a book titled, The
dictionary of pearl diving terminology and the marine life in the Gulf Region. The launch ceremony was attended by
HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Businessmen Association; Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, Katara
general manager and the author of the book, researcher Dr Rabiah bin Sabah al-Kuwari.
Poor supply pushes up
ginger prices in Qatar
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
inger has unexpectedly become
a rare commodity in hypermarkets and neighbourhood supermarkets in the country, with its price
reaching its highest level in recent
One kilogram ginger was trading at
QR18 or more at many of the hypermarkets and supermarkets yesterday. It
was previously sold at QR10-12. Some
of the shops have also enforced a limit
on the quantity of each purchase.
Safari Mall was selling ginger for
QR18 yesterday with each person allowed to buy a maximum of half kilo.
One of the officials of the Mall said this
has been going on for a few days, as the
supply of ginger was very limited in the
Mustafa, the vegetables section supervisor at Safari Mall, said: “We have
The price display in the vegetable
section at Safari Mall shows the purchase
limit for customers.
regulated the sale of ginger to half a kilo
per person to make sure that everyone
gets this spice for their daily needs.
The prices have been going up for
a few weeks as the import from In-
dia has almost stopped. Now we are
fully dependent on the import from
He said: “It seems that there has
been low yield in countries such as
India due to excess rain and other
adverse climatic conditions. This has
affected the export of ginger from
these countries, resulting in shortage
of supply in the local market. As soon
as the product is available in more
quantities, the prices are bound to go
back to earlier levels.”
One of the customers at the Mall
said it is really surprising to see such
a high price for ginger.
“Ginger is an integral ingredient
of many of the food items for our
daily meals and one of the prominent
taste makers in many of our delicacies. Though they have regulated the
sale by half a kilo, I will not be able to
buy the same at this price. I will buy a
smaller amount and will wait for the
price to come down.”
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Ooredoo, Al Jazeera
sign major agreement
oredoo and Al Jazeera
Media Network yesterday signed an agreement
to build an exclusive global media solution. This marks one
of the largest and most significant implementations ever announced by a broadcaster, according to a statement.
Ooredoo will build and develop a global broadcast and communication infrastructure that
will connect Al Jazeera’s main
hubs in Europe, the Middle East,
the Americas, Asia and Africa, as
well as linking various bureaus
around the world.
The agreement was unveiled
at a ceremony attended by Al
Jazeera Media Network chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer
al-Thani and Ooredoo chairman
HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, and
signed by Al Jazeera Media Network director-general Mostefa
Souag and Ooredoo Qatar CEO
Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani.
On this occasion, HE Sheikh
Abdullah said: “Al Jazeera is a
globally-recognised brand, and
Ooredoo is proud to be building the infrastructure that will
enable the company to take its
coverage to the next level. In
winning this competitive bid
against some of the world’s largest technology companies, we
are showing that Ooredoo is a
world-class provider of cuttingedge business solutions.”
On his part, Sheikh Hamad
said: “One of Al Jazeera Media
Network’s objectives is to become a world-class network operation. This global media cloud
project and initiative will help
the network achieve this goal by
bringing the journalists and editorial workforce on a common
communication platform. The
partnership with Ooredoo will
leverage the news capabilities
of the channel and enhance user
experience. It is the right step in
securing the assets of Al Jazeera,
which is media, and delivering
it to the audience interferencefree.”
The proposed solution will be
built using capacity on international fibre optic cables, incorporating geographical diversity
and resilience.
With world-class connectivity, the solution will enable Al
Jazeera to share video, reports
and breaking news instantly
with colleagues around the
world, to prepare for high-definition broadcast on Al Jazeera
news channels, the statement
The solution will be based on
a mix of SDH and MPLS technologies. While the SDH network will provide high-capacity
synchronised circuits for critical
video services, the MPLS network will provide cost-effective
circuits for medium-priority
Ooredoo will provide support
as an end-to-end service provider for the implementation
of the media solution and for
its operation. Using Ooredoo’s
global network, it will provide
unprecedented connectivity and
security. The company is striving to be “better for business”
with a host of dedicated solutions for leading companies in
Qatar’s most important strategic
Qatar, Argentina ties reviewed
Qatar’s Ambassador to Argentina Fahad bin Ibrahim al-Hamad al-Mana meeting the Minister of
Production, Science and Technology of Buenos Aires, Cristian Breitenstein, yesterday. The meeting
took place at the headquarters of the embassy of Qatar. They discussed bilateral relations and ways
to develop them, and exchanged views on issues of common interest.
QU College of Medicine gets new
associate dean for clinical affairs
he Office of the President
of Qatar University (QU)
yesterday announced the
appointment of Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, director of Medical
Education at Hamad Medical
Corporation (HMC), as the associate dean for clinical affairs at
the newly-established College of
Dr al-Khal will report to the
College of Medicine’s recentlyappointed dean, Dr Egon Toft
and represent the College on
matters relating to clinical activities of faculty and students.
He will also continue to serve in
his current roles at HMC.
Clinical training at HMC constitutes a key element of the
curriculum at the QU College of
Medicine, and a close collaboration in medical care, education
and research areas between the
two organisations is key to the
success of the new College.
Dr al-Khal graduated from
the Royal College of Surgeons,
Ireland, in 1989 after which he
joined HMC, completing a oneyear internship at Hamad Gen-
Ooredoo and Al Jazeera officials at the agreement-signing ceremony.
Dr Abdullatif al-Khal
eral Hospital in 1990.
In 1991, he joined a 3-year Internal Medicine Residency training programme at the University
of Connecticut Medical Centre,
US, following which he completed a 2-year fellowship training in
Infectious Diseases at Hartford
He was awarded the Diploma
of the American Board in Internal Medicine in 1994 and Diploma of the American Board of
Infectious Diseases in 1996. Dr
al-Khal is overseeing a number
of strategic projects at HMC, in-
cluding the ACGME-I accreditation for Residency Training Programmes which aims at creating
safer and higher quality training
environment for doctors and improving patient care.
As well as being the deputy
chief of Medical Education at
HMC, Dr al-Khal served as chair
of Family Medicine from 19992001 and chair of the Department of Medicine from 2001 to
Dr al-Khal has been the head
of Infectious Diseases Division since 1998 and the head of
Communicable Diseases Clinic
since 1997. He is also manager
of the National TB Programme
and director of the Clinical Aids
Programme. Dr al-Khal holds an
appointment as associate professor of Clinical Medicine at
Weill Cornell Medical College in
In addition, he has an advisory
role with several public health
programs under the umbrella of
the Supreme Council of Health,
and continues to publish and
conduct research.
MoI launches business visa Two held for stealing QR251,000 from car
service through Metrash2 T
he General Directorate
of Nationality, Borders
and Expatriate Affairs in
the Ministry of Interior (MoI)
has launched a service through
which business visas and truck
drivers’ visas will be issued
through Metrash2 and the MoI
This move is aimed at
putting an end to paper-based
transactions to obtain such
Metrash2 is the smartphone
application provided by the
Ministry of Interior.
The new electronic service has
been introduced in the context
of simplifying the procedures
for the services provided by the
MoI, through relying on modern
Brig Abdullah Salim al-Ali,
director-general of the General Directorate of Nationality,
Borders and Expatriate Affairs,
said the business visa service
through Metrash2 and the MoI
website will be available on the
condition that the company is
operating in Qatar and should
be recognised by the department concerned.
The fees will be the same as
those levied so far.
Further, he said a tourist visa service would be
launched through Metrash2
and the MoI website soon,
by which recognised Qatari
companies can get such visa
in accordance with the abovementioned terms and conditions.
Brig Abdullah Salim al-Ali
Five people
injured in
freak accident
ive people, including two women,
who were waiting
at a bus stop were injured
when a taxi ran into them
after being hit by a mini
van from behind near the
Qatar Olympic Committee Tower on the Majlis Al
Tawoun Street in Doha’s
Financial District yesterday.
Times that one of the two
women who sustained
grievous injuries to a foot
was operated upon later
in the day.
Three others injured in
the accident were reportedly travelling in the taxi.
he Criminal Investigation Department
(CID) has arrested two Arab nationals
on charges of stealing QR251,000 from a
car belonging to a Qatari citizen after smashing
its window in a public parking lot in Al Rayyan.
After the CID received a complaint from the
Qatari citizen in this regard, an investigation
team was formed to probe the case and it was
able to zero in on and the suspects.
During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they followed the victim after
he withdrew cash from a bank. They got the
chance to steal the cash after he parked the car
in a public parking lot and went for some work,
leaving the money inside the vehicle.
The CID team raided their house and found
the stolen amount in addition to some other
currencies. The suspects were referred to the
Public Prosecution for further legal procedures.
The CID has urged citizens and residents
not to leave cash or any valuables in their cars
to avoid theft and to be more vigilant while
withdrawing large amounts from a bank, and
should not leave them in a visible manner
while parking.
The arrested men along with the seized currency notes.
PHCC extends deadline for
drawing contest entries
rimary Health Care
Corporation (PHCC)
has extended the
deadline for receiving entries
of the Rashid’s Family Drawing Competition from school
students until November 23.
All school students aged
between eight and 18 can
take part in this competition, which reflects the
commitment of PHCC to
the promotion of family
health and consolidation of
the traditions and values of
the Qatari culture.
Students can participate
by submitting an A4 drawing featuring Rashid’s family characters while carrying out healthy activities.
In addition, participants
are required to write down
the following details on the
back of your drawing: Full
name, age, grade, school
contact phone number.
All entries should be
submitted in a hardcopy
format in person, to the
following address: Suhaim
Bin Hamad Street, C-Ring
Road, Barwa Building
2-Floor 7, Corporate Communications and PR department, Primary Health
Care Corporation.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
works under way
in 172 locations,
says Ashghal
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
The graduates with officials and dignitaries.
UCQ graduation celebrates
partnerships, student success
nder the patronage
of HE Sheikha Hind
bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, vice-chair of the
Supreme Education Council
board of directors, the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ)
has held the institution’s fifth
convocation where 44 graduating nursing students were
honoured. A quarter of these
and all UCQ graduates are Qatari nationals.
The event was presided over
by University of Calgary chancellor Dr Robert Thirsk. University of Calgary president
Dr Elizabeth Cannon and UCQ
dean and CEO Dr Kim Critchley
were key speakers, adding their
congratulations to the graduating students.
Also present at the ceremony were dignitaries representing UCQ’s partners in nursing
education in Qatar, officials of
University of Calgary in Canada, the College of Nursing
Project, the Joint Oversight
Board of UCQ and families and
friends of the Class of 2014
Held at the Qatar National
Convention Centre on Sunday, the event honoured the
who have earned a Bachelor of
Nursing degree that is the gold
standard in nursing degrees.
Dr Yousuf al-Maslamani,
medical director of Hamad
General Hospital, chairman of
Qatar Centre for Organ Transplantation, assistant professor
in clinical surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar,
and member of the Joint Oversight Board of UCQ, inspired
the graduates in a speech that
focused on the bright futures
of these 44 new nurses and
the importance of their chosen
profession to Qatar National
Vision 2030. “Each of you
has embarked on an incredible journey that will not only
change you, but change Qatar. Putting into practice the
world-class knowledge and
skills you have acquired dur-
ing your studies at UCQ, you
will take your position at the
frontline of our health service.”
“Each of you has embarked
on an incredible journey
that will not only change
you, but change Qatar.
Putting into practice the
world-class knowledge
and skills you have
acquired during your
studies at UCQ, you
will take your position
at the frontline of our
health service”
Dr al-Maslamani’s presence
brought significant attention
to the strength of the partnership between Hamad Medical
Corporation (HMC) and UCQ,
as did the graduates themselves.
Of the 44 new UCQ graduates,
more than half (28) are sponsored in their studies by HMC.
Both the distinguished medal
winners - Amina Aden (gold)
and Nabilla Chaabna (silver)
- are high-achieving Hamadsponsored
maintained perfect marks in
their studies while embracing
leadership roles in the university and the community.
In addition to accepting
graduates took key roles in the
graduation ceremonies.
Nursing leader Sheikha alQahtani, director of Wound
Care at HMC, one of the graduating class of 2014 and now a
Master of Nursing student at
UCQ, introduced the keynote
UCQ graduate of the Class
of 2010, Afrah Ali, inspired the
new nurses with her experiences as a Master of Nursing
student in Calgary and led the
Graduate’s Pledge.
UCQ partners with leading organisations in Qatar and
Sunday night was an occasion
to celebrate UCQ graduates and
all partners who support Qatar’s
future nursing leaders, including Sidra Medical and Research
Hisham Saleh al-Mana and Mansour bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud shake hands after signing the partnership agreement
yesterday at the MIA park, as Nasser al-Dossari and Declan McCluskey look on. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
Qatar Museum, SHM sign
long-term partnership deal
atar Museums, the body responsible for developing, promoting and sustaining Qatar’s
cultural sector under the guidance of
its chairperson HE Sheikha Mayassa
bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and
Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Company
(SHM), one of the leading automotive
distributors in the region, yesterday
announced a long-term partnership
The agreement, signed at a ceremony at the Museum of Islamic Art park,
runs until July 30, 2017 and establishes
SHM as Qatar Museums’ first-ever exclusive automotive partner.
Mansour bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud,
special adviser to the chairperson and
acting CEO of Qatar Museums, and
SHM chairman Hisham Saleh al-Mana were the signatories.
SHM will provide Qatar Museums
with 59 vehicles for activities including the transportation of VIP delegates
and important dignitaries during Qatar Museums’ events and conferences.
Cars will range from the latest Infinity
QX80 and the vehicles will be regularly serviced.
In addition, all 3,000 Qatar Museums staff will receive a special treatment. Benefits for SHM staff include
passes for entry to all Qatar Museums
temporary exhibitions as well as discounts at Qatar Museums’ food and
retail outlets.
Nasser al-Dossari, director of Management Service at Qatar Museums
said: “We are delighted to work with
Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Company
as our first-ever exclusive automotive
partner. Qatar as a country is growing rapidly as a cultural and artistic
destination and this deal is crucial
to enabling our organisation to meet
this demand. We are looking forward
to a fruitful partnership which will
strengthen our operating capabilities
and underpin the development and
success of our organisation.”
Declan McCluskey, general manager, Automotive at SHM observed that
Qatar Museums is a rapidly expanding
institution that is doing important and
vital work in showcasing Qatar’s cultural, artistic and creative history.
“Supporting them in achieving this
goal is a very proud moment for us. We
hope to leverage each other’s strengths
and offer the highest level of quality and service to Qatar Museums now
and in the future.”
Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Company
is one of the leading automotive distributors in the region and the exclusive agent of Nissan, Infiniti and
Renault brands in Qatar. The founder,
the late Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana,
who established the company over
50 years ago, was among the first to
import and sell both cars and heavy
equipment in Qatar.
Darzi appointed member of Sidra board
Professor the Lord Darzi
of Denham (pictured), a
globally recognised and
influential innovator in
the healthcare industry,
has been appointed by
HH Sheikha Moza bint
Nasser, chairperson of
Sidra Board of Governors, as a member
of the Board of Sidra Medical and
Research Center (Sidra).
“It is an honour to welcome Lord Darzi
to the Sidra Board of Governors,” Dr
Fathy Saoud, vice chairman of the
Board of Governors and chairman of
the Executive Committee of Sidra, said.
“As a trailblazer in healthcare reform
and policy in the United Kingdom, Lord
Darzi has also been instrumental in
developing and guiding key national
healthcare strategies in Qatar,” he said.
“We are pleased to have his
considerable skills and insights focused
on achieving Sidra’s vision to become
a beacon of learning, discovery and
exceptional care,” he added.
Darzi, who has been involved with
healthcare institutions in Qatar since
2010, is a Board Member of the
Supreme Council for Health. He played
a key role in developing and supporting
Qatar’s National Health Strategy,
National Primary Healthcare Strategy
as well as the National Cancer Strategy;
helping transform the healthcare sector
in Qatar to support the needs of a
growing and evolving population.
“Sidra Medical and Research Center will
undoubtedly become an international
beacon of best practice and high-quality,
academically-driven patient care. It was
a privilege to be invited onto Sidra’s
Board of Governors and I look forward to
supporting this deeply important project
for the health of Qatar,” Darzi said.
He is executive chair for the World
Innovation Summit for Health, a global
summit promoting health innovation,
which he helped launch last year in
Qatar. He is also the director of the
Institute of Global Health Innovation at
the Imperial College London. In January
2014, he was awarded the Qatari Sash
of Independence by HH the Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in
recognition of his contribution to the
development of Qatar’s health sector.
Center, Primary Health Care
Corporation and RasGas Company. These agencies also sponsored students graduating with
the Class of 2014.
A significant milestone was
achieved with the graduation
of UCQ’s first Sidra-sponsored
graduate from the Bachelor of
Nursing programme, Nouf alKuwari.
“The Qatar healthcare system is now richer with the addition of this group of nurses
who are equipped with the
skills and knowledge to deliver
world-class healthcare to the
people of Qatar. We are grateful to the State for its support
of our programme,” Dr Critchley said.
Addressing UCQ students
and their families in a videotaped greeting, Naheed Nenshi, Calgary’s mayor and also
a graduate of the University of
Calgary, said: “This is a day to
celebrate, to reflect on where
you’ve been, and dream about
where you’re going.”
nfrastructure development
works related to roads, water supply, sewage networks
and surface water drainage, under the local roads and drainage
programme of the Public Works
Authority (Ashghal), are under
way in 172 locations spread over
751sqkm, the authority has said
in its annual report.
Works have been completed
in 61 locations in the same area
over the last three years, the report points out, adding that the
entire works aim to serve more
than 132,000 plots.
When the programme was
launched in 2011, the authorities divided the country into five
work zones - Qatar North, Qatar
South, Doha North, Doha South
and Doha West - to assess the
requirements of each area.
The report says 74 companies
are engaged in implementing the
The authority has also said
that 80 integrated infrastructure
projects are included for work in
the 2014-15 period. Of these, five
projects are in new greenfield areas
and the remaining in other areas
where buildings are already there.
Until the second quarter of
this year, three of the projects
had been completed and 16 were
under construction.
According to the report, roads
and infrastructure development
works are currently under way
on Commercial Street in Al Khor,
Doha Industrial Area (Package
1), Bani Hajer (Phases 1 and 2),
North and East of Al Kheesa,
Rawdat Abal Heeran, West Bay
(Block 2,500) and Qatar national
museum peripheral roads. All
these projects are expected to be
completed by the second quarter
of 2015, it adds.
Together in Wukair North and
Wukair South, works will also
cover nearly 5,000 plots spread
over 1,600 hectares.
The report says integrated infrastructure works will be taken
up this financial year in 48 more
areas, many of which are outside
Besides the local roads and
drainage programme, a number
of works classified as utility
enhancement projects are also
under way in several locations.
Notable among them are works
involving Kharaitiyat groundwater lowering, sewage networks in Al Nasriya, Al Gharafa
and Doha, drainage for the fish
market in Abu Hamour, flow diversion schemes at Al Wajba and
Barzan camp and extension of
sewage networks in Al Khor.
Most of these works are
scheduled for completion by the
last quarter of 2015, Ashghal has
said in the report.
Among the notable works
completed in the last financial
year include the installation of
advanced signals along the Corniche and conversion of roundabouts to signalled intersections.
One of the other prominent
works executed last year was the
development of infrastructure in
Bani Hajer. The QR882mn work,
which covered 162 hectares, served
residents and owners of establishments of approximately 1,560
plots. More localities in the neighbourhood are being taken up.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
BMW shows
off muscle
By Roshan P Cherian
Staff Reporter
MW unleashed its stable of
track-inspired cars from
the M series at a recent
media event at the Losail international race track. Journalists
also got to drive X series vehicles
through a course set up by BMW
instructors to get a handle on the
dynamic aspects of the SUVs.
The ‘BMW M Meets X drive
event’ was organised by Alfardan
Automobiles, the importer of
BMW in Qatar together with
BMW Group Middle East over
two-days. BMW Professional instructors supervised and advised
on course safety.
Media also got an early look at
the latest X6 which was unveiled
at a press conference at the venue.
Acording to a BMW press release: “The all-new BMW X6
is the second generation of this
Sports Activity Coupé and has a
host of new features that include
a new exterior design that gives
the car a sportier and stronger
road presence and a more so-
A BMW X5 negotiates the slalom.
phisticated and spacious interior
with added comfort.
“The BMW X6 previewed at
Losail has standard equipment
that includes, 19-inch lightalloy wheels, two-zone climate
control and the Driving Assistant package from BMW ConnectedDrive. In addition to the
comprehensive standard equipment for the new BMW X6, customers also have a choice of two
high-quality packages: M Sport
package and Design Pure Extrav-
agance that give the car a more
personal and extrovert look. The
car will be available with two engine - xDrive35i (306hp) and the
xDrive50i (450hp) with BMW
TwinPower Turbo. Both model
variants come as standard with
the BMW xDrive intelligent allwheel-drive system.”
The X series may have an element of practicality to go with the
performance but not so the M series - these cars are wired directly
to your genetic material that
makes you want to do wild things.
The M4 and M5 once switched
to M2 mode have the feel of a rodeo ride on wheels.
The M6, though tuned for the
track, has a far more restrained
character than that of its smaller
siblings which give you the feeling that you’re a fugitive on the
run. You can’t get away from the
need to live up to the demands of
those blue, black and red stripes.
With the heart of a hooligan
and the feel of a runaway locomotive, the ventilated pedals also
unleash a soundtrack from the
engine that will make every drive
Acceleration is extremely impressive and you end up at the
top of the curve very rapidly but
the car will handle braking at incredibly high speeds without any
trouble and will slingshot through
curves with incredible ease.
The X series vehicles displayed
excellent handling at a series
Official laments roads not
being pedestrian-friendly
ore than 91% of the
101 pedestrians who
died in 93 road traffic
accidents in Qatar during 20122013, were males, a senior official of the Traffic Department
has said. The majority of the deceased were Nepalese, followed
by Indians.
Captain Riyad Ahmed Saleh,
head of Traffic Awareness Section at the Traffic Department,
explained that pedestrian casualties constitute 23.8% of the
overall number of deaths during
2012-2013, considered too high
by global standards.
He was addressing a seminar
on traffic safety awareness, for
the representatives of various
expatriate communities, under
the topic “Pedestrian Safety is
Everybody’s Responsibility’ to
mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Captain Saleh said that there
is a serious and pressing need for
the Traffic Department to address this issue with the members of expatriate communities
as the largest number of the victims are expatriate workers.
The age category of 11-30
years represent almost 30%
of the pedestrians who died
during the said period, with a
considerable percentage in the
Captain Saleh ... cause for concern.
age category of 20-40 years.
The majority of pedestrian
accidents took place at the
evening times when visibility
decreases from 6pm-midnight,
representing 60.4% of the total
number of such accidents in
2012-2013. Almost 19% of such
accidents occurred in the Doha
Industrial Area.
“The roads there are not pedestrian friendly with inadequate crossing points. Also,
when it gets dark and the street
lighting is not enough, motorists are not able to see pedestrians crossing the road. Some
of the motorists often get perplexed when they suddenly see
a pedestrian crossing the road
and cannot produce the adequate response,” pointed out
Captain Saleh.
Yet, he also stressed that
motorists have a big role in
avoiding such pedestrian casualties by being constantly
alert while driving and giving priority to the pedestrians
crossing a road.
He explained the reasons behind such casualties in expatriate pedestrians indicting that
the traffic and road system in
Qatar is usually different from
those in their country of origin.
“Their communities and companies should give them introductory briefing on how to walk
and cross the roads in Qatar
and we are ready to co-operate
with all communities in their
own languages to enhance traffic awareness and decrease the
chances of any such mishap,”
stressed Captain Saleh.
Accordingly, he called on
the representatives of expatriate communities present at the
seminar to form a team of volunteers from among themselves
to work closely with the Traffic Department and deliver the
message to their community
members, in particular the category of labourers, who are more
vulnerable to such accidents.
of timed runs through a course
designed to display the vehicles
Journalists pushed the cars
through wide and narrow slaloms
and cornering exercises slamming on the brakes right at the
end attempting to stop precisely
inside a marked box.
Mohamed Kandeel, chief operating officer, Alfardan Group
– Automotive Operations said:
“Many of our customers never
get to experience the true power
of their BMW M vehicles, and our
newest models have new technology features so we wanted to
provide an opportunity for them
to gain a greater appreciation of
the technology and innovations
of these powerful cars. During
the event, our guests will be able
to put the vehicles through their
paces in a safe and controlled
environment, under the careful
guidance of experienced driving
An M series car on the track at Losail.
Vodafone joins hands with QNB
to roll out self-service machines
odafone has partnered
with QNB to rollout selfservice machines across
its stores across the country.
The total roll-out activity will
include 25 machines installed in
19 locations in Qatar. The first
phase saw 19 machines set up
in 14 locations, including City
Center Mall, Industrial Area,
Ezdan Mall, Al Meera West Bay,
Msheireb, Landmark Mall, Al
Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Furousiyah,
Al Nasr, Al Shafi Street, Al Gharrafah, Old Airport, and Lulu Hypermarket on D-Ring Road.
The second phase will see the
machines being rolled out in Villaggio Mall, Lulu Al Gharrafah, Hyatt
Plaza, and Lulu Al Khor Mall.
Vodafone’s self-service machines will allow post-paid customers to settle their monthly
bills through cash or credit card
and prepaid customers to recharge.
Vodafone Qatar chief commercial officer Marc Norris said:
“We’re happy and honoured to
have QNB as our partner in this
initiative, which falls strongly in
line with our plans to continuously enhance our customer experience and services across all
our touch points.”
“Our new self-service machines will help reduce queues in
stores and add more convenience
and ease to our customer’s billing
and recharging transactions.”
QNB GM of Group Retail Heba
al-Tamimi said: “Our partnership with Vodafone highlights
Vodafone Qatar chief commercial officer Marc Norris and QNB GM of
Group Retail Heba al-Tamimi shake hands after forging a partnership
for the roll out of self-service machines across Qatar.
the legacy of QNB as the market
leader in POS (point of sale), eAcquiring, and Internet banking
solutions backed by the largest
integrated payment network in
“A number of years ago, we
introduced the first self-service
payment kiosk solution in Qatar. We also introduced the first
full e-branch in 2001 and will
continue to provide our customers the cutting edge solutions to
keep them near to their funds
no matter how far or where they
Vodafone COO Marc Norris
said: “In our aim to become one
of the most admired brands in
Qatar, we have built ‘embraCE,’
our customer experience pro-
gramme, by listening closely to
what our customers are saying;
recruiting and retaining best
customer care people and loving
our brand.”
“In five years, we have achieved
a single, unmatched customer experience management platform
with feedback captured through
the most effective ways for our
customers. Our customers demanded to have services provided
through self-service machines
and we have listened by investing
further in these platforms, be it at
our stores or online.”
Vodafone also has plans to install more self-service machines
throughout the year to ensure the
service is available to all customers in Qatar.
QU gets faculty for Japan-related studies
Bank offers first-ever furniture loan
atar University (QU)’s
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has welcomed new faculty members
who have joined the college this
academic year to teach courses
related to Japan, its history, culture and language.
A reception introduced Prof
Isam Hamza, Marubeni Chair
in Humanities; Prof Curtis Andressen, Marubeni Chair in
Social Sciences; and Salwa El
Shorbagy, lecturer in Japanese
language, to the college in the
presence of QU vice-president
and chief academic officer Dr
Mazen Hasna, Japanese ambassador to Qatar Shingo Tsuda,
Marubeni Qatar managing director Masataka Inou, CAS dean
Dr Eiman Mustafawi and CAS
associate dean Dr Steven Wright.
The positions, which are
funded by Marubeni Corporation, are the product of an
agreement signed in April 2012
Dr Mustafawi, ambassador Tsuda, Inou and the new faculty members at the reception.
between the two partners in
which CAS will receive $6m
over a five-year period from
Marubeni, one of Japan’s largest
and most respected trading and
investment companies.
Dr Mustafawi said: “As a result of the MoU, these critical
positions have been filled this
year. Judging by the number of
students enrolled in the courses we offer in Japanese studies,
we can see the strong interest
our students have shown in
the language, culture and society of Japan. My expectation is
that this interest will continue
to grow. I extend sincere thanks
to Marubeni Corporation for
its generous support and wish
the new faculty all the best.”
Ambassador Tsuda said:
“While bilateral ties between
Qatar and Japan have been
growing steadily based on trade
and energy, these ties have been
expanded recently in other
fields such as culture and education. I hope this initiative will
further grow and last long.”
nternational Bank of Qatar
(ibq) has launched the first
furniture loan product in Qatar to both existing and new ibq
customers with terms that include 0% interest rate, 0% fees,
and zero down payment.
The ibq furniture loan is open
to anyone in Qatar. Customers
will be able use their ibq furniture
loan to shop at some of Qatar’s
interior design-conscious stores.
The product caters to the varying tastes of Qatari nationals and
expatriates, including those who
are moving to new houses, in addition to facilitating payment for
newcomers who have just arrived
in the country.
Partner furniture stores were
selected to provide all household
furnishing needs. ibq customers
can select a living room from one
store, a bedroom from another,
Ball ... innovative offer.
and accessories from a third, all
of which will fall under the same
payment terms. Customers will
have the choice of picking items
to match their needs.
The high-end participating furniture shops that ibq has
partnered with for the new furniture loan are Home Centre,
Nabco, BoConcept, The One,
The One Junior, Roche Bobois,
Natuzzi, Tivoli, American Home
Furniture, and Singways.
Given the variety of choices,
the bank has provided simple
ways to obtain the loan with flexible payment terms of up to two
years and the possibility of buying furniture and accessories
from any or all of the stores at the
same time.
“At ibq, we recognise that
buying new furniture is a big
ticket item to all those setting up
home or moving home and even
to those who don’t want to move
but want to give their homes a
fresh new look,” said Andrew
Ball, head of Retail Banking.
“Our new furniture loan underlines ibq’s innovative approach
to making banking simple and
accessible to all with no hidden
charges and no exclusivity, and
at the same time, the bank’s unstinting support for its customers
anticipating their every need.”
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
with Iran over
IAEA probe
he United States is disappointed with Iran’s
failure to engage with
a UN nuclear agency investigation into suspected atomic
bomb research, a US envoy said
Western officials say Iran
must improve co-operation with
the long-running International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
inquiry as part of a broader diplomatic settlement which Tehran and six world powers aim to
reach by a self-imposed November 24 deadline.
Negotiators from Iran, the
United States, France, China,
Russia, Britain, Germany and
the European Union meet in
Vienna from today to try to end
a long impasse over Tehran’s
atomic programme that has
stoked fears of a new war in the
Middle East.
those efforts, an IAEA report on
November 7 said Iran was failing to address suspicions it may
have worked on designing an
atomic bomb. Iran says it has
no such aim and that its nuclear
programme is entirely peaceful.
“We’ve been disappointed
in their failure thus far to constructively engage on this issue,”
ambassador Laura Kennedy, the
US envoy to the Vienna-based
IAEA, told reporters.
Kennedy said she would convey “our concerns with Iran’s
failure to engage substantively
with the agency on the possible
military dimensions issue” in a
statement to the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, which
convenes on Thursday.
While the powers want Iran
to curb its uranium enrichment
programme, and thereby lengthen the timeline for any covert attempt to assemble nuclear arms,
the IAEA is investigating allegations of past research on how to
make a bomb itself.
Even though it has long been
clear that the IAEA’s inquiry
will not be completed before the
target date for a deal with the
powers, Western diplomats had
hoped for more progress by now.
US Secretary of State John
Kerry yesterday acknowledged
the vital nature of the upcoming
talks with Tehran.
“We are obviously entering a
key period with the negotiations
regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, and I will go to Vienna
at the appropriate moment,”
Kerry said at a Washington forum, referring to the negotia-
tions due later this week.
Republicans, who will soon
control both chambers of the US
Congress after elections earlier
this month, have been infuriated
by the tentative rapprochement
of President Barack Obama, a
Democrat, toward Iran.
They warn Obama is being
fooled by the new, more moderate face of the Islamic Republic,
which they say aims to win billions of dollars in sanctions relief
and will still covertly seek to develop a nuclear weapon.
A nuclear deal with Iran would
be a rare coup for Obama, but
analysts caution that renewing
full ties will take longer.
Iran and the United States
have had no direct diplomatic
relations since the 1979 storming of the US embassy in Tehran,
when radical students held a
group of American diplomats
hostage for 444 days.
The two nations have been
driven to the negotiating table
by their own agendas.
“If there is an agreement that
prevents Iran from developing
a nuclear weapons capability
through diplomatic and peaceful
means that’s a major achievement for US diplomacy, and
internationalism,” said Alireza
Nader, a senior policy analyst
with the RAND Corporation.
Bahrain set for polls
A volunteer prepares to place a candidate’s poster on a street next to posters of other candidates in Isa Town, south of Manama, yesterday.
Bahrain is to hold parliamentary and municipal elections on November 22. A total of 266 candidates are running for the 40 parliament
seats while 153 are standing in the municipal elections.
Saudi to seek increased US
support to National Guard
top Saudi Arabian official
who begins a visit to the
United States today will
seek to strengthen support for
the kingdom’s National Guard
forces, official media said.
The Guard consists of around
200,000 men whose duties include combating “terrorism”.
Prince Miteb bin Abdullah,
the National Guard minister, will
hold talks with President Barack
Obama and Defence Secretary
Chuck Hagel during the visit
which will last several days, the
Saudi Press Agency reported.
Prince Miteb, the son of King
Abdullah, will also meet the
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
British court jails UAE
sisters’ attacker for life
British judge yesterday handed
out a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years in prison for a
thief who brutally attacked three sisters
from the United Arab Emirates in a London hotel room with a claw hammer.
Drug addict Philip Spence, 33, attacked the tourists as they slept with
their children at the four-star Cumberland Hotel on April 6, in an incident that
raised concern about the safety of visitors from the Gulf.
Afterwards he made off with iPads,
gold jewellery and mobile phones, before dumping the claw hammer near the
crime scene.
“You used deliberate and gratuitous
violence over what was needed to carry
out the robbery,” judge Anthony Leonard said as he passed sentence on Spence, who was found guilty of attempted
murder last month.
The Emirati sisters—Ohoud,
Khulood and Fatima al-Najja—were
sharing adjoining rooms in the hotel and had left their doors open to
Spence: “gratuitous violence”
allow a fourth sister to return later.
Spence crept in and was seen by
Khulood shortly before 1.30am, rifling
through handbags. His subsequent sustained and ferocious attack left all three
women unconscious.
He hit Ohoud, 34, so hard that
her skull split open. She now has
only 5% brain function, has lost
one eye and cannot speak.
“It is nothing short of a miracle combined with the finest medical attention
that led to Ohoud surviving the attack,”
the judge said.
Khulood, 37, and Fatima, 31, still require medical treatment for their injuries.
Neofitos “Thomas” Efremi, 57, was
also found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and providing
Spence with the claw hammer.
He was sentenced to 14 years in jail
and was told he would serve half his sentence before being released on licence.
A third conspirator, 34-year-old
James Moss, pleaded guilty to handling
stolen goods and was given a 21-month
suspended sentence.
The police have sought to reassure
Gulf visitors since the incident, one of
a series of attacks on wealthy Emiratis
earlier this year.
The UAE foreign ministry earlier
warned visitors that Oxford Street, the
main shopping thoroughfare, plus the
neighbouring areas of Soho and Piccadilly, and Edgware Road—often considered the heartland of Arab London—
were the “most dangerous areas”.
Group rejects UAE terrorism designation
he International Union of Muslim Scholars expressed “astonishment” yesterday that it had
been designated a terrorist group by
the United Arab Emirates.
The group urged the UAE to remove it
from a list of 85 banned groups that the
country had named on Saturday.
The inclusion of the group was “not
based on any analysis or investigation,
whether legal, logical or rational”, the
scholars said in a statement, which was
co-signed by the union’s chairman, Qatar-based scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
“The Union expresses its complete
and extreme astonishment of its inclusion by the UAE among the terrorists groups and rejects this description
completely,” said the group, which says
it seeks to promote scholarship and
awareness of Islam.
Other organisations on the list included Nusra Front and Islamic State,
whose fighters are battling in Syria
and Iraq, several Shia Muslim militant
groups such as the Houthi movement
in Yemen, and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
In Sanaa, Mohamed al-Bokhayti,
a member of the Houthi political council, said the UAE decision
“will have a negative effect on co-
existence in the Arabian Peninsula,
especially at this time when the
(Muslim) community is suffering
The Houthi movement has become
the main political force in Yemen since
capturing the capital Sanaa in September. It has since clashed repeatedly with
Al Qaeda.
Three get death in Saudi for plots to ‘wreak havoc’
Three people were sentenced to death
and several others jailed in Saudi
Arabia yesterday for Al Qaeda linked
crimes including the deadly bombing
of a foreigners’ housing compound,
official media said.
The attack on the Al Mahya
compound 11 years ago killed 17
people, mostly from Arab countries.
A special court in Riyadh convicted
a total of eight accused, the official
Saudi Press Agency said.
In addition to those who received
the death penalty, five others in the
same “cell” were jailed for between
25 and 30 years for crimes including
weapons possession and money
laundering, SPA said.
It described as “heinous” the acts of
those sentenced to death but did not
detail their exact roles.
The group was convicted of
offences that included “pledging
allegiance to Al Qaeda”, and
planning to storm companies and
a residential compound in the Gulf
coast community of Khobar, SPA
Staff, General Martin Dempsey.
The visit comes with Saudi
Arabia participating in US-led
coalition air strikes targeting extremists of the Islamic State group
in Syria, which has raised concerns about possible retaliation in
the kingdom.
Prince Miteb will discuss
“joint co-operation between
the two countries, especially the
development of Saudi National
Guard forces systems in the field
of armament and training”, SPA
The Saudi National Guard is a
trained army of infantry, mechanised and special units, as well as
military police.
The Guard operates in parallel
to the Saudi ground forces.
King Abdullah upgraded the
National Guard to a ministry in
2013 and assigned his Sandhursteducated son to lead it.
A US defence contractor, Vin-
nell Arabia, has a long-standing
training programme for the National Guard.
Prince Andrew visits kingdom to reinforce ties
Britain’s Prince Andrew, the
second son of Queen Elizabeth
II, was in Saudi Arabia yesterday
to reinforce long-standing ties
between the kingdoms, the
British embassy said.
The visit came at the request
of the British government
and would focus on “cooperation and partnership in
a number of fields”, including
provision of healthcare,
vocational education and
entrepreneurship, the embassy
official told AFP.
Prince Andrew also visited the
Saudi stock exchange, the Arab
world’s biggest bourse, the
embassy said.
He “exchanged cordial talks and
discussed issues of common
interest” with Saudi Arabia’s
Deputy Crown Prince Moqren
bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Press
Agency said.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York,
is fifth in line to the British throne.
He saw active service as a
helicopter pilot during the
Falklands war between Britain
and Argentina in 1982, and later
commanded a warship.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
EU ‘deplores’ Israeli plans for new settlements
he European Union said
yesterday it deplored Israeli plans to build new settlements on occupied Palestinian
territory but denied outright that
it planned sanctions against Israel
as a result.
There was “no plan of this
type”, new EU foreign affairs head
Federica Mogherini said when
asked about an Israeli press report on the issue. “I saw an article in Haaretz which apparently
referred to an internal working
document requested by some
member states some time ago,”
Mogherini told a press conference
after chairing her first regular EU
foreign ministers meeting.
“They were only a working hypothesis, did not go to ministers
and today they were absolutely
not part of our discussion,” she
She added: “Our discussions
today were all about getting a
positive engagement with Israel
and the Palestinians so as to restart the peace process; they were
not about isolating or sanctioning
A statement issued after the
foreign ministers meeting said
the 28-member bloc “deeply deplores and strongly opposes the
recent expropriation of land near
Bethlehem, recent announcements of plans for new settlement
construction... as well as plans
to displace Bedouins in the West
Bank and the continued demolitions, including of EU and member states funded projects”.
Israel should reverse these decisions which “run counter to
international law and directly
threaten the two state (peace) solution”, it said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has regularly
dismissed such EU statements
and on Sunday, his foreign minis-
ter was even blunter.
“One thing should be clear: we
will never accept the definition
of building in Jewish neighbourhoods of Jerusalem as settlement
activity,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.
“We won’t accept any limitation on building in Jewish areas of
(East) Jerusalem,” he said.
The status of Jerusalem is a
flashpoint issue, with Palestinians wanting the eastern half as
their future capital and Israel
claiming it as their undivided and
eternal capital city.
The EU foreign ministers said
they were “gravely concerned” at
growing tensions on the ground
and called on both sides to avoid
provocative actions, especially
over holy sites.
They also voiced concerned at
the “dire humanitarian situation
in the Gaza Strip” after the latest
conflict earlier this year left a trail
of destruction.
“The EU calls for a fundamen-
Israel bars
doctor, but
denies ban
is life-long
Clashes erupt
as Palestinian
bus driver is
found hanged
Hamas calls on Palestinians to
“express their anger against
this horrible, racist crime”
Palestinian bus driver was
found hanged in his vehicle in Jerusalem, sparking
clashes yesterday, after what Israel said was an apparent suicide
but a colleague said looked like
The incident happened late on
Sunday, with a supervisor finding his body at a bus depot in
Har Hotzvim, an industrial zone
in Jewish West Jerusalem, police
said in a statement.
Family members identified the
victim as Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni
from Al Tur on the Mount of Olives in annexed East Jerusalem.
They ruled out suicide by the
32-year-old father of two.
But results from an autopsy
carried out on the body yesterday
with the family’s consent found
no evidence of foul play in his
death, police said.
“No suspicion of criminal activity was found,” said police
spokeswoman Luba Samri in a
statement after a port-mortem
was carried out at Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv.
Earlier, clashes erupted in the
East Jerusalem neighbourhood of
Abu Dis, where his family lives,
as scores of protesters burned
tyres and threw stones at police,
who responded with teargas and
sponge rounds.
Demonstrators could also be
seen trying to break down part of
Israel’s towering concrete separation barrier which cuts through
the neighbourhood, police and
the correspondent said.
The funeral in Abu Dis later
yesterday was attended by thousands of people, some of whom
chanted “revenge”.
Ramuni’s death comes after
months of tension in Arab East
Jerusalem following the kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian
teenager, with police in the city
on high alert for violence on either side.
“According to an initial investigation, it appears there is no
suspicion of criminal activity, in
other words a suicide,” Samri said
in her statement, reporting “no
signs of violence on the body”.
But fellow bus driver Muatasem
Fakeh said he had seen evidence to
the contrary.
“We saw signs of violence on
his body,” he said.
“He was hanged over the steps
at the back of the bus in a place
where it would be impossible to
hang yourself alone,” he added.
The victim’s brother, Osama
al-Ramuni, said the family did
not accept the verdict of suicide,
saying his body “had bruises on
it”, suggesting he had been “tortured” before his death.
“My brother had children and
was a happy man. It is impossible
that he killed himself,” he said.
“He had no problems that
would make him do it,” he said,
adding—before it was carried
out—that a post-mortem would
“reveal everything”.
“We reject the suicide theory.
We all know it was settlers who
killed him,” he said, using a common Palestinian euphemism for
Jewish extremists.
Hamas, which controls the
Gaza Strip, called on Palestinians
to “express their anger against
this horrible, racist crime”.
In a separate statement, senior
Palestine Liberation Organisation
figure Hanan Ashrawi condemned
“Jewish extremist terrorism” and
the Israeli government’s “official
incitement to violence”.
A senior UN official warned
the Security Council yesterday
that violence was likely to worsen
without a quick return to peace
“Returning to negotiations
has never been more important,”
UN Assistant Secretary General Jens Toyberg-Frandzen told
the 15-member council during a
meeting on the Middle East.
“Without a genuine commitment from the parties and an
overall improvement in the lives of
Palestinians, we should anticipate
further deterioration of the security situation and an expansion of
the current violence,” he said.
“The continued reality of the
close to 50-year long occupation
and the lack of progress towards
the two-state solution ensure
that the next round of violence is
never too far below the surface,”
warned Toyberg-Frandzen.
The 15-member council went
into closed-door consultations
following the report by the assistant secretary general.
A Palestinian protester kicks a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli troops yesterday.
Sinai border evictees branded ‘traitors’
El Arish, Egypt
bu Mahmoud was given
just eight hours to leave
his home on the Egyptian
side of the divided Gaza border
town of Rafah before authorities
began demolishing it to create a
buffer zone.
Not only are he and others
displaced like him angry, they
also say they are often abused
and branded traitors and “terrorists” because they come from
the lawless frontier in north Sinai.
Militants have stepped up attacks against troops inside Egypt
since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in
July 2013.
The buffer zone with the Palestinian
enclave is Cairo’s latest security
measure to stem militants reportedly infiltrating from across
the border.
More than 800 homes are being demolished and 1,100 families displaced to build the 500m
wide and 13.5km long buffer zone
in North Sinai province.
“Civilians accuse us of being
traitors when they learn we are
from northern Sinai,” said Abu
Mahmoud, who declined to give
Residents gather next to the remains of buildings destroyed by the Egyptian military in the divided
border town of Rafah.
his real name for fear of reprisals.
“Officers treat us badly at security checkpoints on the road
between Cairo and Ismailiya.
And we have to submit to body
searches when they see that our
cars are registered in North Sinai,” he said.
He has now moved with his
family to North Sinai’s capital
of El Arish, and said people had
broken the windows of North Si-
nai-registered cars in Ismailiya
and in the Nile Delta province of
The military began demolishing houses along the border with
Gaza in late October after militants killed at least 30 soldiers
in a checkpoint attack in North
Sinai, a region rocked by insurgency since Mursi’s ouster.
Egypt’s deadliest militant
group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis,
tal change of the political, security and economic situation in the
Gaza Strip, including the end of
the closure,” the statement said.
“A return to the status quo
prior to the latest conflict is not
an option,” it said, adding that the
28-member bloc, a key aid donor,
was ready to do all it could.
Ministers agreed that future
relations with both Israel and the
Palestinians would depend on their
“engagement towards a lasting
peace”, the statement concluded.
claimed the attack and has
pledged allegiance to the Islamic
State group in Iraq and Syria.
This week it released a video
of the October attack which began with a suicide bomber driving a bomb-laden truck into the
Ansar gunmen then storm the
checkpoint to kill survivors and
make off with their weapons.
The government hopes the
buffer zone will isolate the militants who say they attack the security forces in retaliation for the
government crackdown on Mursi supporters in which at least
1,400 people have been killed in
street clashes.
The authorities also hope that
the buffer zone will neutralise
hundreds of illegal underground
tunnels connecting the Egyptian
side of Rafah with Gaza.
Such tunnels are often used
for smuggling weapons and
militants, and the army says it
has already destroyed more than
1,600 of them.
The authorities charge that
Palestinian militants from Hamas and other groups are helping jihadists to fight Egypt’s
security forces, which the Palestinian groups deny.
The buffer zone should deal a
major blow to the militants, interior ministry spokesman Hany
Abdel Latif said.
“After the creation of the buffer zone, they are now isolated,”
he said.
Abu Mahmoud’s brother, Mohamed, accused Egyptian media of portraying the people of
North Sinai negatively by publishing “hate speeches” against
them, “as if all the residents of
this region are terrorists”.
Although President Abdel Fat-
tah al-Sisi himself has apologised
to the people displaced by the new
buffer zone, and has even promised them compensation, few El
Arish residents have any empathy
towards those from Rafah.
They believe people from Rafah and other border towns have
amassed fortunes by smuggling
goods and weapons through the
tunnels, especially since Israel
imposed a blockade on the Palestinian enclave in 2006.
The government said that
those who owned houses where
the entrances to such tunnels
were discovered will not receive
Those displaced “have taken
precautions and have long since
bought land in the province of
Sharqiya, and in Ismailiya” or in
upscale areas of El Arish, charged
a retired civil servant in the town
who gave his name as Mohamed.
Even some residents of Rafah
agree this has happened.
Among them are “millionaires
who don’t need any compensation from the state”, said Ahmed,
who moved to El Arish from Rafah last year.
transporting goods through the tunnels
earned between 1,000 and 1,500
Egyptian pounds ($140 to $210) a
day. Imagine how much a tunnel
owner made,” he added.
srael has blocked Norwegian
doctor Mads Gilbert from entering the country and thereby
accessing the Gaza Strip, but denied yesterday it had imposed a
life-long ban on the outspoken
“He has been banned from entering Israel,” foreign ministry
spokesman Paul Hirschson said,
denying reports Gilbert had been
blocked from entering Gaza.
News of the ban was first reported last week by Norwegian
media which said Israel had barred
Gilbert from Gaza for life.
The outspoken trauma specialist—who has worked in the Palestinian territories for three decades—accused Israeli authorities
of backtracking yesterday, following calls from Norway to reconsider the ban.
“They have a little trouble explaining if I’m banned from Gaza
or Israel,” he said, adding that he
was allowed into Israel in October
but denied entry to Gaza by Israeli
soldiers and later informed that
the ban was “infinite”.
“They keep changing explanations all the time, so I think they
are fairly pressurised by the reaction from the Norwegian government and from the international
outcry over denying entry to a
medical doctor just because he’s
criticising Israel.”
Gilbert was one of two dozen
European doctors who signed a
letter published in leading medical
journal The Lancet in July, several
weeks into a deadly 50-day confrontation between Israel and Hamas in the tiny coastal strip.
The letter in The Lancet described Israel’s Gaza campaign as
a “crime against humanity”.
Last week an Israeli foreign
ministry spokesman said Gilbert
was a “Jekyll and Hyde” character
who uses his medical status to attack the Jewish state.
Gilbert replied that Israel was
trying to cover up the effects of its
ongoing blockade of Gaza and to
stifle criticism.
“I am a medical doctor who
speaks up about the conditions of
the Palestinian people which is my
duty as a doctor,” he said.
“This is not about me, they
don’t want the world to see what’s
going on. If they feel threatened
or attacked by the facts on the
ground—the numbers of killed and
injured civilians, the lack of water
and supplies due to the siege, the
bombing of hospitals and ambulances—then change that, don’t
kill the messenger,” he said.
Sweden: no plan
to open embassy
Sweden said yesterday it will not
open an embassy in Ramallah
even though it has officially
recognised the state of Palestine,
the first major EU nation to do so.
“Nobody has opened an embassy
in Ramallah, and we think that
this can be managed by the
consulate in Jerusalem, which
is a satisfactory solution for
us,” Foreign Minister Margot
Wallstroem told public radio.
Sweden last month officially
recognised the state of Palestine,
a move that infuriated Israel
which responded by recalling its
ambassador to Stockholm.
“The ambassador is currently in
Jerusalem for consultations. We
don’t know when he will return,”
said Uri Rothman, the charge
d’affaires at the Israeli embassy in
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Suspected role
of Westerners
in beheadings
by IS probed
uthorities were yesterday
investigating the suspected involvement of
Western militants in the brutal
video by the Islamic State group
claiming the beheading of US aid
worker Peter Kassig.
The killing of Kassig and the
simultaneous beheadings of at
least 18 Syrian military personnel in the video sparked global
horror, with US President Barack
Obama calling it “an act of pure
It was the latest in a series of
atrocities by IS, an extremist
group that has seized control of
large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The video showed the Syrian
men kneeling on the ground each
before a separate executioner,
whose faces were uncovered.
Among the militants shown
beheading the Syrian servicemen were some known foreign
fighters, including at least one
Frenchman and possibly a Briton,
an Australian and a Dane.
French authorities identified
one of the executioners as Maxime Hauchard, a 22-year-old
from a small village in northern
France who left for Syria in August last year.
The Paris prosecutor’s office
said “circumstantial evidence
confirms the involvement of a
Frenchman in the decapitation of
Syrian prisoners shown in an IS
video released on Sunday.”
It added it was “possible” a
second Frenchmen appeared in
the video but said it was yet to
confirm the individual’s identity.
In July, Hauchard said in an
interview with French television
he had decided to join IS after
watching videos online.
“The personal objective of
everyone here is (to become
a) shahid (martyr). That is the
greatest reward,” he said.
Thousands of foreign fighters have flocked to join IS in Iraq
and Syria, and experts say they
are often among the most violent
and brutal of the militants.
A British-accented militant
has been at the centre of previous IS beheading videos and appeared again in Sunday’s recording claiming Kassig’s killing.
The father of another British
militant fighting with IS initially
told the media he had also seen
his son in the video, but later said
he was mistaken.
Britain’s Foreign Office refused
to comment on speculation about
the identity of the fighters in the
video, but a spokesman said: “We
are analysing its contents.”
Kassig, who took the name Abdul-Rahman after converting to
Islam, was captured last year and
became the fifth Western hostage
beheaded by IS after two US reporters and two British aid workers.
“Abdul-Rahman was taken
from us in an act of pure evil by
a terrorist group that the world
rightly associates with inhumanity,” Obama said.
In the undated video released
on Sunday, the militant stands
above a severed head he claims is
Kassig’s and challenges Obama
to send more troops to the region
to confront IS.
“Here we are burying the first
American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly
waiting for the remainder of your
armies to arrive,” the militant says,
referring to a northern Syrian town.
Washington is preparing to
double its military personnel in
Iraq to up to 3,100 as part of the
international campaign it is leading against the militants.
Kassig, an Iraq war veteran,
had risked his life to provide
medical treatment and relief
supplies to those suffering from
Syria’s civil war.
Police protect the parents of French militant Maxime Hauchard as they return to their home in the northern French town of Le Bosc-Roger-enRoumois yesterday.
Islamic State has executed
1,429 in Syria: watchdog
he Islamic State group (IS)
has executed nearly 1,500
people in Syria in the five
months since it declared the establishment of a “caliphate”, a
monitoring group said yesterday.
“The Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights has documented
the execution of 1,429 people since the IS announced its
‘caliphate’ in June,” the group’s
director, Rami Abdel Rahman,
The majority of IS’s victims
Sunni tribesmen take part in military training, as they prepare to fight Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Ramadi on Sunday.
Iraqis show no sign of
uniting after massacre
slamic State’s systematic massacre
of hundreds of Iraq’s Albu Nimr
tribe should have been an unmistakable wake up call for a country that
may not be able to stabilise without
long-term support from Sunni tribesmen.
But nearly a month after members of
the tribe were hunted down in groups
and executed, the Baghdad government appears to be doing little to assimilate Sunnis in any much-needed
move towards unity.
The Albu Nimr were one of the Sunni tribes that helped the US Marines
defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq’s vast Western
Anbar province during the 2006-2007
“surge” offensive, a strategy Washington hopes Iraq can now repeat against
Islamic State.
Iraq’s robust official spin machine
has certainly suggested the Shia-led
government and even its militia allies
who have few friends among the Sunni
tribesmen, are swinging into action.
But there are few real signs of momentum needed to bury sectarian differences and create a united force to
counter IS in Anbar, which it has engulfed steadily throughout 2014 to the
point where senior US military officials
last month described the situation
there as fraught.
Sabah Karhoot, provincial council
chief of Anbar, home to the Albu Nimr,
said there were still enough fighters to
take on Islamic State but they needed
effective weapons and ammunition
from Baghdad.
“If the government can’t give us the
military support soon, we will resort to
other options including the demand of
the ground help from the international
coalition,” he said.
Government officials were not immediately available for comment.
Some tribal leaders have acknowledged that weapons from the government had previously fallen into the
hands of Islamic State sympathisers or
through corruption.
Over the weekend, Washington sent
its top military officer to Iraq, where
American forces have begun advising
Iraqi troops in Anbar in a faster-thanexpected expansion.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was visiting for the first time since President
Barack Obama responded to Islamic
State advances this summer by ordering troops back into a country they left
in 2011.
He told US troops the tide “was
starting to turn” but predicted a long
campaign against militants who hold
large swathes of Iraq and neighbouring
The strategic Iraqi airbase Ain alAsad is currently encircled by Islamic
An Albu Nimr leader said that about
3,000 fighters were primed and ready
to join up with Iraqi forces at the Ain
al-Asad base, but security forces
would only allow about 100 Albu Nimr
members of them to gather there.
“I suggested to the Iraqi forces that
they should arm 500 at the minimum
and after mutual trust is formed we
can advance to higher numbers,”
said Sheikh Naeem al-Ga’aud - adding his attempt to compromise was
to no avail and those few tribesmen
allowed onto the base were given no
That mistrust goes both ways: About
two weeks before Dempsey arrived,
word spread that Iranian-backed Shia
militia fighters were gearing up to help
the Albu Nimr. But Anbar council chief
Karhoot likened the Shia militia fighters to Islamic State militants and said
he would not work with them.
“We absolutely refuse the militias
in Anbar ... we need people from the
south, centre and north as forces within the army and police,” Karhoot said.
Later he said he would welcome them.
A planned event at Asad base last
week was initially hyped up by an Iraqi
official who said there would be US involvement. He then contradicted himself.
Reporters who attended said it
amounted to the parliament speaker
making more promises to about 150
tribesmen. He expressed confidence
that they would help rid the world of
“this evil”, Islamic State.
in Syria have been civilians, he
“Of the total number of people
beheaded or shot dead in mass
killings by IS, 879 have been civilians, some 700 of them members of the Shaitat tribe.”
The Sunni Muslim Shaitat
tribe, from the eastern province
of Deir al-Zor, rose up against the
militant group in mid-2014.
Another 63 of the dead were
members of other rebel groups or
the rival militant Al Nusra Front,
which has fought IS in the north
and east, Abdel Rahman said.
“Another 483 were regime soldiers, while four others were IS
members” accused of corruption
or other alleged offences, Abdel
Rahman said.
IS has executed large numbers of troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in recent
months, after capturing government positions in central and
northern Syria.
Many have been beheaded and
their bodies put on display in
public squares, “in order to strike
terror into civilians and into any
group that might decide to fight
it”, Abdel Rahman said.
“Another aim of the IS executions is to terrorise the international community, while attract-
ing new jihadists into its ranks,”
he said.
IS controls large swathes of
Syria and neighbouring Iraq
where it is widely feared for its
brutal abuses.
Syrian activists believe the
group is holding hundreds of
people hostage.
In some towns and villages the
group has set up courts to administer what it describes as Islamic law before carrying out the
IS emerged from Al Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq (ISI),
and announced its presence in
Syria in April 2013.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Kenyans march to protest
attacks against women
early 1,000 people took to
the streets of Nairobi yesterday to protest against a
series of vicious public attacks on
women who were stripped naked
and assaulted for wearing miniskirts or other clothing perceived
to be immodest.
Grainy videos of two attacks in
Mombasa and Nairobi, taken on
cellphones and circulated widely via Twitter and other social
media, show mobs of men surrounding the women, wresting
off their clothes and appearing to
kick them in their genital area.
One of the march’s organisers said that she was aware of 10
separate attacks across Kenya.
The Nairobi attack, which happened in broad daylight on a busy
street last week, sparked outrage
in the cosmopolitan capital.
Deputy President William
Ruto called the incident barbaric
and Inspector-General of Police
David Kimaiyo has appealed to
the victim to come forward.
The march yesterday, which
was made up mostly of women,
was an unusual public display
of support for women’s rights
in Kenya, where sex crimes are
rarely prosecuted.
“I think the reason this sparked
such outrage is it was so graphic
and everyone who watched it felt
violated,” male artist and activist
Boniface Mwangi, who donned
a short dress for the march, told
Reuters. “It could have been my
wife, my daughter, my mother.”
“Violence affects women,
men, boys and girls, and if left to
continue gaining currency, will
deny us healthy relationships,”
organiser Ruth Knaust told Capital FM radio.
The crowd waved banners and
chanted “My Dress, My Choice”,
then marched across central Nairobi to a bus stop that was the site
of the attack.
“Dignity, respect and justice
for all,” read another sign.
With supporters singing and
chanting, the crowd called for an
end to violence against women.
“Women are being assaulted,”
protester Diana Okello said. “We
want to know what the women
we chose as leaders are doing.”
“African women are given a
long list of things they need to do
to earn respect, whereas men are
respected just because they are
men,” said Ciru Muriuki, a radio
producer in Nairobi. “This is our
way of saying, it’s my body and I
can dress it any way I see fit.”
Some have taken to Twitter to
defend the men using the hash-
Women hold up placards and shout slogans during a rally against violence to women yesterday in Nairobi.
“An African woman should be
decent,” said James Macharia, a
26-year-old student who stood
watching the rally with a group of
other men. “They are provoking
us. And I think we should put in
place laws to curb that.”
The attacks recalled similar in-
Career diplomat named
Burkina interim leader
areer diplomat Michel
Kafando was named yesterday as Burkina Faso’s
interim president to steer the
west African nation during a
one-year transition back to civilian rule following the toppling
of its veteran leader.
The appointment of the
former foreign minister and UN
ambassador is set to end weeks
of uncertainty after violent protests brought down the 27-year
regime of president Blaise Compaore and the military seized
“It is an awesome responsibility that falls to me, I already foresee the pitfalls and
the immensity of the task,” the
72-year-old Kafando told reporters, describing his appointment as “more than an honour”.
His appointment came ahead
of a deadline imposed by the
African Union (AU), which had
warned the impoverished country would face sanctions.
AU chief Nkosazana DlaminiZuma welcomed Kafando’s appointment and praised the people of Burkina Faso “for their
political maturity and sense of
responsibility”, and called for “a
smooth transition under the direction of civil authorities”.
Kafando, who will have to be
confirmed by the Constitutional
Council, served as ambassador
to the United Nations from 1998
to 2011. He was also Burkina
Faso’s foreign minister in 19823.
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, chairman of the
Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS), said
that the appointment and the
resolve to return to democracy
“demonstrate once again the
will of the people of Burkina
Faso, its national stakeholders and its defence and security
forces to focus on the best inter-
ests of the nation”.
Yet the decision to hand power to a man closely associated
with the former regime raised
suspicions for many.
“Compaore said for 27 years
that he was not thirsty for power, yet he remained firmly in his
job,” said Amadou Sawadogo, a
37-year-old street seller.
Kafando was chosen by a panel of 23 officials, mainly civilians,
over other candidates who included journalist Cherif Sy and
sociologist and former minister
Josephine Ouedraogo.
Initially Paul Ouedraogo,
the Catholic archbishop of the
southern Bobo-Dioulasso diocese, appeared to be a frontrunner despite his reluctance,
but the church later announced
“categorically” that he was not
in the race.
Kafando’s appointment came
after the military on Saturday
reinstated the constitution that
it suspended when it took over
following Compaore’s ousting.
Kafando: chosen by a panel of
23 officials.
On Sunday the military officially signed a “transition charter” – a sort of interim constitution hammered out between the
military and civilian, opposition
and religious figures last week.
Applause erupted after Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Isaac Zida, the
army-installed leader, initialled
the document which marked his
acceptance of a return to civilian leadership in the country of
almost 17mn people.
Under the deal, the president
will appoint a prime minister,
either a civilian or a military figure, who will head a 25-member
transitional government.
A civilian will also head a 90seat parliament, known as the
National Transitional Council.
According to a draft of the
transition blueprint, no members of the interim regime will be
allowed to stand in the November 2015 election.
Mass unrest erupted in late
October over Compaore’s bid to
change the constitution, which
would have allowed him to extend his 27-year rule of the landlocked former French colony.
Protesters set the parliament building ablaze and attacked other official premises
in the capital and other cities in
violence not seen since a wave of
army munities in 2011.
Compaore was only 36 when
he seized power in a 1987 coup in
which his former friend and one
of Africa’s most loved leaders,
Thomas Sankara, was ousted
and assassinated.
He held on to power in the following decades, being re-elected president four times since
His foiled attempt to extend his rule had been closely
watched across Africa, where at
least four heads of state are considering similar changes to stay
in power, from Burundi to Benin
and the Democratic Republic of
the Congo.
Compaore has taken refuge in
neighbouring Ivory Coast where
he is living in a luxury villa.
Known in colonial times as
Upper Volta, the country won
independence from France in
1960 and its name was changed
to Burkina Faso – “the land of
upright men” – in 1984.
Mali widens Ebola virus watch to 442
earful of a surge of Ebola
cases, Mali placed more
than 440 people under
surveillance, as a US hospital
said yesterday that it had been
unable to save the life of a doctor
airlifted from Sierra Leone.
Officials in Mali met to consider increasing security at its
border following two confirmed
cases of Ebola due to infection in
neighbouring Guinea.
US airports also announced
plans to begin enhanced screening of travellers from the west
African nation.
Mali has been scrambling to
prevent a minor outbreak from
turning into a major crisis after
the deaths of a Guinean imam
and the Malian nurse who treated him in the capital Bamako.
A friend who had visited the
imam in the Pasteur clinic also
died of probable Ebola and a
two-year-old child died last
from the disease last month
in an unconnected case in the
western town of Kayes.
“The number of contacts
followed by health services
amounts to 442. They have all
been placed under observation
for health control,” Samba Sow,
of the Ebola emergency operations centre, said in a statement
late on Sunday.
Teams of investigators have
been tracking health workers
and scouring Bamako and the
imam’s village of Kouremale,
which straddles the Mali-Guinea border, for people who could
have been exposed.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Friday that the outbreak – almost
entirely confined to west Africa
– has killed 5,177 people and infected around 14,500 since Ebola
emerged in Guinea in December.
The virus is estimated to have
killed around 70% of its victims across west Africa, often
Tombstones are seen at a cemetery at Sierra Leone’s Kenama Ebola
treatment centre run by the Red Cross Society.
shutting down their organs and
causing massive bleeding.
Yesterday US authorities began enhanced Ebola screenings
of travellers from Mali, adding it
to a list of three other west Af-
rican countries – Liberia, Sierra
Leone and Guinea – where the
measures were already in place.
The US Centres of Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC),
in a joint statement with the De-
partment of Homeland Security,
said that Mali was added to the
list “because there have been a
number of confirmed cases of
Ebola” there in recent days.
“A large number of individuals
may have been exposed to those
cases,” the statement said. “The
action is warranted as a precaution due to the possibility that
other cases of Ebola may emerge
in Mali in the coming days.”
The United States said about
15-20 travellers depart Mali each
day en route to the US. Those arriving will be checked for fever
and subject to the 21-day protocols already in effect for travelers
from Liberia, Sierra Leone and
The monitoring includes
mandatory twice daily temperature and symptom checks in coordination with state and local
public health authorities.
The enhanced Ebola screenings are carried out at five US
airports: New York’s JFK, New
Jersey’s Newark airport, Wash-
ington Dulles, Atlanta and Chicago.
Meanwhile, a cargo ship on
its way from Guinea to Ukraine
reported it had a crewmember
with possible symptoms of Ebola, and prepared to drop off Athens to have him examined.
If confirmed, it would be the
first case in Greece of the haemorrhagic virus.
In Nebraska, medical staff
mourned the death of a surgeon
infected in Sierra Leone who
died about a day after being airlifted to a specialised US hospital.
Martin Salia, 44, was a US
resident who had been working
at a hospital near Freetown. The
married father of two was suffering multiple organ failure by
the time he arrived in the United
States on Saturday.
Salia and his wife, Isatu, lived
in New Carrollton, Maryland, a
suburb of the US capital Washington. They have two children,
age 12 and 20.
cidents in neighbouring Uganda,
which passed an anti-pornography law last December that was
widely seen as banning short
‘13 times’
likely to
fricans – and young children especially – are up
to 13 times more likely
than Western Europeans to become one of the 372,000 people
who drown each year, a study by
the World Health Organisation
(WHO) said yesterday.
“Efforts to reduce child mortality have brought remarkable
gains in recent decades, but they
have also revealed otherwise
hidden childhood killers,” said
WHO director Margaret Chan.
“Drowning is one”.
The UN agency’s Global Report on Drowning said that
most of the children who drown
worldwide fall into water during
a lapse in supervision.
And young children, aged under five, have the highest rates
of drowning of any group in the
People under the age of 25 accounted for more than half the
overall deaths.
Drowning death rates are
highest in Africa, and are 10 to
13 times those reported in the
United Kingdom and Germany.
People of lower economic status, those who belong to an ethnic minority, lack higher education and live in rural areas all run
a higher risk, though there was
some variation of results across
The heftiest drowning rates
were recorded by low or middle income countries in Africa,
Southeast Asia and the Western
Pacific, with the last two zones
accounting for half the world’s
drowning deaths.
Children who live near open
water are particularly at risk.
Ditches, ponds, irrigation canals
and swimming pools all provide
opportunities for deadly encounters.
People who have to make frequent journeys over water for
work or while trying to immigrate using overcrowded, unsafe
vessels faced serious risks as
well, the report said.
The WHO said local communities could make a dent in the
annual drowning toll by providing safe places for children to
play and teaching them basic
swimming skills.
Zimbabwe’s vice-president hits back at ‘demonic’ attacks
Mugabe: eligible for a final term
in 2018 but constant rumours
about his failing health have
fanned an often vicious battle to
succeed him.
imbabwe’s Vice-President
Joice Mujuru has hit back
at charges of plotting to
challenge President Robert Mugabe and said that calls for her to
resign were unconstitutional, her
first public response to weeks of
attacks by state-owned media.
Mujuru, vice-president in
government and of Mugabe’s
ZANU-PF party since 2004, was
until last month seen as a leading contender to succeed the
90-year-old leader, but Mugabe’s wife Grace and state media
have accused her of treason, graft
and plotting to oust him.
State-owned newspapers are
often used by ZANU-PF and government to attack foes, but targeting a sitting vice-president is
Her decision to respond came
after the government-owned
Sunday Mail reported that she
was linked to a plot to overthrow
In a statement dated November 16 and published in two
NewsDay and the Daily News,
Mujuru denied the allegation.
“The Sunday Mail newspaper,
in its banner headline accused me
of treason. I am being involved
in an attempt to overthrow the
legitimate Zimbabwean government led by His Excellency, the
President and First Secretary of
ZANU-PF ... R G Mugabe. This
allegation is wholly untrue and
cannot go unchallenged, in the
national interest,” Mujuru said.
A former guerrilla known as
“Spill Blood”, Mujuru said that
the charges against her in state
media were “malicious, defamatory and irresponsible” and said
her lawyers would take steps to
restore her reputation.
“While I believe that ‘silence
is golden’, in the face of such
unprecedented, systematic and
co-ordinated attacks on a serving vice-president ... I have been
obliged to make this statement,”
the 59-year-old said.
Mujuru’s political problems
have coincided with Grace Mugabe’s rise to the top ranks of
ZANU-PF, which has raised suspicion Mugabe could be grooming his wife to eventually take
over from him.
Mujuru’s position has also
been weakened in the last week
when ZANU-PF suspended several officials aligned to Mujuru,
claiming that they were plotting
against the president.
The feuding escalated following the surprise nomination of
Grace Mugabe to lead the powerful women’s wing.
After her nomination she began a campaign disparaging her
opponents, singling out Mujuru
for the harshest attacks calling
her “demonic” and “divisive”.
Following the first lady’s tirades, the party launched a purge
suspending perceived Mujuru allies including party veteran and
spokesman Rugare Gumbo.
Mujuru and powerful Justice
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa
– who in the past controlled the
secret police and military – are
seen as the leading contenders to
replace Mugabe.
Grace Mugabe has also claimed
that Mujuru was incompetent
and that Mugabe was doing the
bulk of her work.
She urged Mujuru to apologise
to Mugabe for alleged disloyalty,
threatening street protests if
Mugabe refused to “dump” her.
Mugabe has ruled the southern
African country since independence from Britain in 1980. He
won another five-year term last
year in a vote condemned by the
opposition as a fraud and questioned by Western governments.
The ageing leader is eligible for
a final term in 2018 but rumours
about failing health have fanned
an often vicious battle to succeed
him within ZANU-PF.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
St. Louis protesters
stage peaceful ‘die-in’
French tourist held for
scaling Brooklyn Bridge
US to sell 50,000 bitcoins
seized in Silk Road case
U2’s Bono needs surgery
after cycling accident
Jackman’s triumphant
return to Broadway
A crowd of demonstrators, angry about the
fatal August shooting of an unarmed black
teenager by a white police officer, took to the
streets of St. Louis on Sunday, briefly blocking a
major intersection in protest. Dozens of people
lay down in the street outside of a theatre in
University City, a suburb of St. Louis, hosting
a film festival, pretending to have been shot
by other protests playing the role of police
officers in an action intended to evoke the
memory of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Marchers
went on to briefly block a major intersection
near Washington University and the event
ended without any of the violence that seen in
Ferguson following Brown’s shooting death by
police officer Darren Wilson.
A French tourist was arrested on Sunday for
scaling the Brooklyn Bridge, apparently to
take photos, police said, in the latest such
incident at the iconic New York landmark. The
man, identified as Yonathan Souid, 23, faces
charges of reckless endangerment and criminal
trespassing. He was arrested after jumping a
fence and climbing up a beam on the famous
bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn,
a police spokesman said. The incident occurred
around 12:30pm (1730 GMT). Souid climbed back
down at the request of a patrol officer. He was
due to be formally charged yesterday. This is the
third similar incident at the Brooklyn Bridge in
the last four months, in a city highly sensitive to
security risks.
The US Marshals Service said yesterday it will
auction 50,000 bitcoins seized during the
prosecution of the alleged owner of Silk Road, an
Internet black-market bazaar where authorities
say illegal drugs and other goods could be
bought. An online auction is scheduled for Dec
4 for the bitcoins, valued at nearly $19.8mn. It
would be the Marshals Service’s second such
auction following an earlier one in June for
almost 30,000 bitcoins seized during the 2013
raid on Silk Road. The latest batch of bitcoins
was found on computer hardware authorities
said belonged to Ross Ulbricht, who prosecutors
accuse of creating the underground website.
Authorities say in pursuing the case, the
government has recovered 173,991 bitcoins.
U2 frontman Bono will be getting surgery
after injuring his arm in a fall from his
bicycle in New York’s Central Park, the band
said on Sunday. The statement from band
members Edge, Adam and Larry did not
give details on the injury or the upcoming
surgery. However, they said they were
cancelling a planned weeklong “residency”
on late night’s “Tonight Show” on US
network NBC. “It looks like we will have to
do our Tonight Show residency another
time - we’re one man down,” the musicians
wrote. “Bono has injured his arm in a cycling
spill in Central Park and requires some
surgery to repair it. We’re sure he’ll make a
full recovery soon, so we’ll be back!”
Hugh Jackman made a stunning return to
Broadway with a mesmerising performance in
award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth’s
new drama The River. Set in a remote cabin, the
three-person play that opened at the Circle in
the Square Theatre on Sunday for a limited run
won praise for the Wolverine actor’s portrayal
of an outdoorsy man on a romantic night
fishing trip. “Jackman is catch of the day in The
River,” said the New York Daily News, adding
that his performance is “manly, measured
and speckled with melancholy.” The New
York Times lauded the actor for conveying an
impression of self-contained silence and said
he “ascends with assurance to a new level as a
stage actor.”
Tree-planting ceremony
State Dept’s
e-mail systems
are hacked
US Attorney General Eric Holder (centre), along with author of the play Anne and Emmett, Janet Langhart Cohen (left), attends a
tree-planting ceremony to honour Emmett Till, an African American boy who was tortured and murdered by white men in Mississippi in
1955, outside the US Capitol in Washington DC, yesterday. Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins sponsored the planting, saying
Till’s brutal killing “led to important civil rights reforms in our nation.”
Doctor with Ebola dies
at Nebraska hospital
surgeon who was infected
with Ebola while working
in his native Sierra Leone
died yesterday, becoming the second patient in the US to succumb
to the haemorrhagic virus.
Martin Salia, 44, a legal US
resident, was infected with Ebola while treating patients in his
home country. The virus has
killed thousands in West Africa
since the start of the year.
Salia was flown to Nebraska for
treatment on Saturday, but doctors said he was unresponsive by
the time he arrived, struggling to
breathe and his organs were failing.
“Dr Salia was suffering from
advanced symptoms of Ebola
when he arrived at the hospital
Saturday, which included kidney
and respiratory failure,” the Nebraska Medical Center said in a
“He was placed on dialysis, a
ventilator and multiple medications to support his organ systems
in an effort to help his body fight
the disease.”
Salia, who had been ill with
Ebola for 13 days by Saturday,
was also given donated plasma from a survivor of Ebola
and the experimental drug
treatment ZMapp.
Twelve hours after
arriving in Nebraska,
he went into complete
respiratory failure and
his blood pressure dropped. He
died around 4am (1000 GMT)
yesterday, his medical team said.
“It is with an extremely heavy
heart that we share this news,”
said Phil Smith, medical director
of the hospital’s Biocontainment
“Dr Salia was extremely critical
when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts,
we weren’t able to save him.”
Salia was the 10th person
with Ebola to be treated in
the US, and the second to
have died from the infection
that causes vomiting,
diarrhea and often
fatal bleeding.
In October, a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan,
US oral history project
wins $1mn TED Prize
San Francisco
he founder of a project devoted to capturing stories
of people’s lives spoken in
their own words has won a million-dollar TED Prize that comes
with an unfettered wish.
StoryCorps has recorded conversation-style chats with nearly
100,000 people in the US.
Copies are archived in the Library of Congress to serve as an
oral history told through the stories of people’s lives.
Dave Isay, who founded StoryCorps in 2003, will reveal his
prize wish at the annual TED
Conference in Vancouver in
March, organisers said while
revealing the winner late Sunday.
“On the tenth anniversary
of the TED Prize, it seems fitting that TED - an organisation whose central mission is to
spread ideas and empower storytellers - is honouring a story-
telling pioneer,” said TED curator
Chris Anderson.
“I am thrilled about this winner, excited to see how TED and
StoryCorps will collaborate, and
eager to see how we can pair
an incredible idea with a global
Those interested in recording
interviews with friends, loved
ones or family members can do
so for free at one of the group’s
StoryBooths in Atlanta, Chicago
or San Francisco, but donations
are sought.
Those involved in interviews,
which are limited to 40 minutes,
get copies of recordings on compact discs.
StoryCorps also has a mobile
recording team.
“Someday your great-greatgreat-grandchildren will be
able to meet your grandfather,
your mother, your best friend,
or whomever it is you chose to
honor with a StoryCorps interview,” the nonprofit group said in
a release.
Excerpts of stories have made
their way onto National Public
Radio as well as into books. Edited versions of some recordings
can be listened to online, according to StoryCorps.
Inspirations for the project
reportedly include oral histories
recorded as part of a US Works
Progress Administration effort
in the aftermath of the Great Depression and the Pulitzer Prize
winning author Studs Terkel.
“We are thrilled and honoredand, frankly, floored-to receive
this prize,” Isay said.
“We look forward to working
with TED in the years to come to
bring StoryCorps to more people, and to remind everyone of
the power of listening and the
simple truth that every life and
every story matters.”
The TED community called
onto to help fulfil prize wishes
include scientists, celebrities,
politicians, artists, and entrepreneurs such as founders of Amazon, Google and Netflix.
The TED Conference was born
in California in 1984 and has
grown into a global forum for
heady “ideas worth spreading.”
died at a Texas hospital of the virus.
The Nebraska Medical Center
had previously treated a US missionary doctor, Rick Sacra, and a
freelance photojournalist, Ashoka
Mukpo, who were both infected in
Liberia and survived.
When Salia first began to show
symptoms of Ebola in Sierra Leone, a test for the virus came back
negative, according to the Washington Post.
A second test, on November
10, was positive. Smith said it is
not uncommon for an early test
to come back negative, when the
virus is less present in the blood.
Salia and his wife lived in New
Carrollton, Maryland, a suburb of
the US capital Washington. They
have two children, aged 12 and 20.
he US State Department’s
unclassified e-mail systems were the victim of
a cyberattack in recent weeks,
around the same time as White
House systems were breached, a
senior US official said yesterday.
The official, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said no
classified systems were compromised. Portions of State’s unclassified systems have been shut
down to improve security but
should be back online shortly.
“The department recently detected activity of concern in portions of its unclassified e-mail
system,” said the senior US official.
“The department is implementing improvements to the
security of its main unclassified
network during a scheduled outage of some Internet-linked systems,” the official added.
The maintenance has affected
unclassified e-mail traffic and
employee access to public websites from the unclassified system, the official said, adding the
systems should be back up soon.
The US official said the State
Department breach was part of
the same incident recently reported by the White House’s Executive Office of the President
The State Department’s network was infiltrated last month,
but the department did not disconnect the affected systems until
the weekend, according to federal
technology information website It said there was
abnormal activity in the e-mail
system as recently as late October.
The State Department breach
follows similar intrusions disclosed in recent months at the
White House, the Office of Personnel Management and, just last
week, the US Postal Service and
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
USPS said the personal information of more than 800,000
employees may have been compromised, as well as data on
customers who contacted its
call centre during the first eight
months of the year.
At NOAA, four of the agency’s
websites were affected.
The State Department cyberattack was first reported Sunday by
The Associated Press.
The State Department has
agreed to brief lawmakers on
the cyberattack, according to US
Representative Elijah Cummings.
In a letter yesterday to Secretary of State John Kerry, Cummings, the senior Democrat on
the House government reform
committee, also asked State to
provide more information by Jan
5 to help Congress as it considers cybersecurity laws and other
ways to protect consumer and
government information.
A Pentagon spokesman said
yesterday none of the military’s
systems have been affected.
In this July 6, 2011 file photo a sign is seen at the US State Department in Washington, DC. The State
Department said yesterday it shut down its unclassified computer network over the weekend after evidence
emerged that it could have been hacked.
Explosives trace detector
Man pushed to death
under subway in NY
New York
A QS-H150 handheld explosives trace detector made by
Implant Sciences is pictured during a press event in New
York yesterday. The detectors are in use by the
Transportation Security Administration at airports around
the US.
61-year-old man was
killed on Sunday in
New York when he was
pushed onto subway tracks by
an unknown assailant, said police, who released a video of the
The incident took place in the
Bronx, where the victim, identified as Wai Kuen Kwok, was
waiting for the D train, at the
167th street stop, with his wife.
The couple were headed to Chinatown, in lower Manhattan.
The suspect pushed the man
from the platform just as a train
arrived in the station, shortly
before 9am (1400 GMT), as his
horrified wife watched helplessly.
The victim and his attacker
did not appear to know each
other and had not argued, witnesses said.
Police released a video of the
suspected killer, who left the
scene by bus. On the video, a
man wearing a black jacket over
a dark t-shirt gets off the bus,
goes into a store, and emerges to
smoke a cigarette as he ambles
A reward of $2,000 was offered for any information that
could help the investigation.
Every year, dozens of people
are killed by the subway in New
York though accident or suicide.
However, this is first known
incident of a person being pushed
to his or her death on the tracks
since December 2012, when two
were killed in separate attacks.
On December 28, a woman
pushed an Indian immigrant to
his death in Queens.
Weeks earlier on December 3,
a man was pushed from a stop in
Manhattan during a fight with a
deranged man.
A New York Post front page
picture of the man on the tracks
a split-second before he was
killed by the oncoming train
provoked public fury as to why
no one helped him - and why the
tabloid newspaper published
the photo.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
World Muslimah awards
Finalists of the 2014 World Muslimah Awards (from left) Masturah binte Jamil of Singapore, Siti Fathimah Junyanti, Primadhita Rahma and Elis Sholihah of Indonesia, Tarannum Tasmine of Bangladesh, Miss
Muslimah 2013 Obabiyi Aishah Ajobola of Nigeria, Nazreen of India and Lulu Susanti of Indonesia pose for a photograph during a tour at the Borobudur temple complex, Indonesia’s ancient Buddhist temple
built between the 8th and 9th century in Magelang, Central Java yesterday. Indonesia is hosting the 4th Muslim Beauty Pageant called World Muslimah Awards. About 25 finalists from around the world are
competing in the final round of the event, exclusively for Muslim women in Yogyakarta from November 13-21.
Americans suspected of trying
to ship body parts ‘flee Thailand’
hai police said yesterday
two Americans suspected of trying to send infant
and adult body parts in parcels
to the US had fled the country.
A baby’s head, a baby’s foot
sliced into three parts, a heart
and a “sheet of skin” with tattoo
markings were found in parcels
on Saturday after staff at a shipping office in Bangkok scanned
the packages, police said.
The parts were stored in plastic containers filled with formaldehyde and the packages
were destined for an address in
Las Vegas.
“X-rays showed there were
contents similar to human body
parts. From our investigation of
three parcels we found human
body parts in five plastic containers,” Police Lieutenant General Ruangsak Jaritake, assistant
to the National Police Commissioner, told reporters.
“The packages were marked
‘children’s toys’ but X-rays
showed they were not children’s
toys.” Police named the two
suspects, aged 31 and 33, and
said they were being “monitored”, but did not say how.
Both men fled Thailand on
Sunday through a checkpoint in
the east of the country, Ruangsak said.
He said the heart had stab
marks and belonged to an adult
while the sheet of skin with tattoo markings also belonged to
an adult.
“As soon as we have results,
we will contact the FBI,” he said.
Doctors at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital said that the body
parts were taken from the hospital’s Medical Museum, nicknamed the Museum of Death,
which exhibits preserved human remains, many of them
from murder victims.
“We can confirm that they
were stolen from Siriraj,” Udom
Kachintorn, Dean of the Faculty
of Medicine Siriraj Hospital,
told reporters.
He added that the two Americans visited the museum last
In 2012, Thai police arrested
a British citizen of Taiwanese
origin after discovering six human foetuses which had been
roasted and covered in gold leaf
stuffed into travel bags at a hotel
room in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
Thai detectives said they believed the corpses were due to
be sent to Taiwan to be used as
part of a black magic ritual.
cores of Myanmar students
rallied illegally in Yangon
yesterday against a new
education bill they describe as undemocratic, the latest in a series of
protests that began during a visit
by US President Barack Obama.
Young activists, some holding
banners reading “We need Academic Freedom” and “Fight for
Democratic Education”, staged
a peaceful march across the city
centre to call for the education
system to be reformed.
The protest was held without
official permission — an arrestable offence in the former juntarun nation.
“Education is very important
to our country’s future. Schools
need to be democratic if we are to
become a democratic country,”
said Phyo Phyo Aung, secretary
of the All Burma Federation of
Student Unions. She said the
group had not applied for official
permission to protest.
“We may be arrested and sent
to jail, or our protest may be broken up by force, but whatever
happens we have decided to face
it,” added the 26-year-old technology student, whose own studies were delayed by a previous
stint in prison for her activism.
Yesterday’s rally was the latest
in a series of bold demonstrations that began with a small
rally last Friday, coinciding a
speech by Obama to young people at Yangon University.
Nine dead
in copter
A tattoo expert and a policeman (left) point at one of the pictures of body parts found in parcels as they
address reporters in Bangkok yesterday.
Thai military helicopter carrying nine army
personnel has crashed in
northern Thailand killing all on
board, an army spokesman said
The two-blade, twin-engine
Bell 212 helicopter crashed 10
minutes after it took off from an
army camp in Phayao province,
590 km from the capital Bangkok, deputy Royal Thai Army
spokeswoman, Colonel Sirijan
Ngathong, said.
The helicopter was carrying
nine officers including Major
General Songphol Thongjeen,
deputy Third Area Army commander overseeing Thailand’s
north. The cause of the crash was
not immediately clear, a Royal
Thai Army spokesman said.
Elephant kills
trainer and
runs off with
stranded tourists
An elephant killed his trainer in
Thailand and ran into the jungle
with two tourists still on its back,
reports said yesterday.
Local television said the bull
elephant was on a routine tour
in the resort province of Phang
Nga, 500 kilometres south of
Bangkok, when the accident
happened Sunday. The elephant
was in heat and went wild, trampling its mahout to death before
running into the jungle with two
Russian tourists still on its back.
Officials later found the elephant
three kilometres away with the
two stranded tourists clinging on.
Eventually the tourists were able
to climb down after the elephant
had been shot with tranquiliser
darts. “Bull elephants in musth
are very dangerous and they
shouldn’t be part of these attractions,” said Edwin Wieks, founder
of the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand.
Wieks said tourists get on
elephants at their own risk as lax
enforcement meant that resorts
are rarely ever punished for
Widodo seeks to fix economy with fuel price hike
ndonesian President Joko
Widodo unveiled a hefty
increase in the price of subsidised fuel yesterday, taking
a risky, unpopular first step
towards fixing the tattered finances of Southeast Asia’s top
He announced the price of
petrol and diesel would go up
more than 30% from midnight,
a deep cut to government subsidies that will be welcomed by
economists but risks denting
the new president’s popularity.
“From time to time, a nation
faces difficult choices — nevertheless, we must take a decision,” the president, known as
Jokowi, said in a televised address to the nation.
Government fuel subsidies
are a thorny issue in Indonesia. Economists have long been
calling for the payouts that
gobble up a huge chunk of the
state budget to be reduced but
large sections of the public are
staunchly against any increase.
Drivers line up for fuel at a state-owned Pertamina petrol station in
Jakarta yesterday.
Previous cuts — including
a large one last year — have
sparked violent protests and
before yesterday’s announcement, stone-throwing youths
briefly clashed with security
forces in one traditional protest hotspot.
However most parts of the
county were calm before the
announcement, which had
been expected for weeks, and
TV news channels focused
their attention on queues of
cars and motorcyclists waiting
to fill up on cheap fuel before
Analysts hailed the move by
Widodo, who took office last
month, as it fulfilled a campaign pledge to cut the payouts in order to divert money
to reforms, such as overhauling
infrastructure and helping the
country’s poorest.
It is seen as an urgently
needed boost to an economy
that is expanding at its slowest
pace for five years, with growth
slipping to 5.01% on-year in
the third quarter.
“The move is encouraging
since it suggests that Jokowi
is serious about economic reform in Indonesia, and is even
prepared to take steps that may
prove unpopular in the shortrun,” said Gareth Leather, Asia
economist from Capital Economics.
The price of petrol is rising
2,000 rupiah (16 US cents) to
8,500 a litre, a increase of just
over 30%, while diesel will go
up 2,000 rupiah to 7,500 a litre, a 35% increase, Widodo
said late yesterday.
“The state needs a budget
for infrastructure, education,
and health. The budget has not
been available as it has been
wasted on fuel subsidies,” he
Widodo, Indonesia’s first
leader from outside the political and military elites, also said
there would be “social protection” for the poorest, a reference to a government scheme
aimed at providing cash handouts to cushion the impact of
the fuel price increase.
The cut in subsidies was
smaller than some had been
expected after recent steep
falls in global oil prices granted
the government some breathing space as it’s fuel import bill
Before the announcement,
several hundred protesters
demonstrated in the city of
Makassar, a traditional protest
hotspot, on central Sulawesi
island, hurling stones at security forces, and there was a
small protest in Surabaya city,
on Java island, AFP reporters
However, the demonstrations were small compared to
the mass protests that have
accompanied past fuel price
While some of the anger
has come from the growing
army of car and motorbike
owners in Indonesia, much
is among the wider public as
a fuel price increase dramatically pushes up inflation in
the short term.
Cambodia judge
presses Rouge
accused to end
court boycott
A Cambodian court overseeing
the genocide trial of two former
Khmer Rouge leaders threatened yesterday to assign one of
them lawyers, after his defence
team continued to boycott the
UN-backed tribunal. In August
Nuon Chea, 88, known as “Brother
Number Two”, and former head
of state Khieu Samphan, 83, were
given life sentences for crimes
against humanity. The pair were
the first top figures to be jailed
from a regime responsible for the
death of up to 2mn Cambodians
from 1975-1979.
A second trial, in which they face
charges of genocide and fresh
counts of crimes against humanity
and war crimes, began in July.
But it has been delayed since
mid-October due to a boycott by
lawyers for the defendants, who
want judges to be disqualified.
The motion to disqualify the
judges was dismissed on Friday
and Nuon Chea’s defence team
returned to the court yesterday.
But Kheiu Samphan again instructed his lawyers not to take part in
proceedings, saying it would affect
his “right to a fair trial”.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
18 killed as fire ravages
factory in eastern China
Powerful 6.7 quake rattles
eastern New Zealand
‘Fox Hunt’ nets 288 in China
anti-corruption initiative
Japan CO2 emissions hit
record yearly high
North Korea again lashes
out against South drill
Eighteen people have died in a fire at a food
packaging plant in China, the latest accident
in a country blighted by poor industrial safety
standards. The blaze happened Sunday evening
at a carrot packaging workshop in the eastern
Shandong province, Xinhua news agency said,
citing local officials. “The fire engulfed 100m of
workshop in less than a minute,” Liu Fangping
told the news agency. “Some workmates and
I responded quickly and escaped through the
windows, but many who did not move fast
enough were overcome by the heavy smoke,”
the migrant worker from northwest China’s
Gansu Province added.
A powerful 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook
the east coast of New Zealand yesterday, but
authorities ruled out an immediate tsunami
threat. The quake, which struck at 10.33am (2233
GMT Sunday) was centred at sea nearly 200km
from the eastern North Island city of Gisborne
and 35km deep, the US Geological Survey said.
New Zealand’s civil defence organisation said it
was “unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will
pose a threat to New Zealand”. GeoNet, the New
Zealand earthquake monitoring service, rated
the tremor as “severe” and said it was widely felt
throughout the lower North Island and top of the
South Island.
China has arrested 288 fugitives suspected
of committing economic crimes as part of
an aggressive anti-corruption effort aimed at
individuals who have fled abroad. The campaign,
dubbed Operation Fox Hunt, included the
surrender of 126 suspects, Xinhua said, citing
China’s Ministry of Public Security. China has
conducted activities in 56 countries, including
the US, Canada, Spain, South Korea, and South
Africa, it said, citing Vice Minister of Public
Security Liu Jinguo. The Chinese government
has given overseas graft suspects a deadline of
December 1 to surrender. Those who surrender
sooner may receive mitigated punishment.
Japan’s carbon dioxide emissions hit a record
high in the year to March due to the nation’s
reliance on fossil fuels following the 2011
Fukushima nuclear disaster. CO2 emissions
related to the use of non-renewables reached
1.224bn metric tonnes, up from 1.208bn metric
tonnes for the previous fiscal year, said an official
of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
They were also up more than 15% from 1990, the
base year for emission cuts previously targeted
under the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change. According to the official, the use of
natural gas and coal account for some 90% of
the nation’s entire greenhouse gas release.
North Korea yesterday again urged South Korea
to suspend its ongoing large-scale military drill,
claiming that the exercise has sent inter-Korean
ties plunging into the worst crisis. The Hoguk
defense exercise involving some 330,000
troops has been under way since last Monday
with the aim of bolstering its defence posture
against growing North Korean threats. Calling
the exercise “the intensive maneuver to destroy
the inter-Korean relations,” the Rodong Sinmun,
an organ of the North’s Workers’ Party of Korea,
said that it is the latest in a series of “the South’s
atrocious military provocations” that has “brought
the worst crisis to the inter-Korean relations.”
Hong Kong
set to evict
Xi reiterates China is
‘committed to peace’
Hong Kong
ong Kong police will move today to evict some of the
pro-democracy protesters who have been blocking
main roads for more than seven weeks, a statement
said. Police said they would give “fullest support” to civilian bailiffs carrying out a court order to clear access to a skyscraper in the Admiralty district.
In a statement yesterday, they pledged
Support wanes
“resolute action” against
anyone obstructing the
More than two-thirds of Hong
bailiffs, saying they could
Kong people think proface charges of criminal
democracy demonstrators
contempt of court.
who have occupied key parts
Protesters since Sepof the Chinese-controlled city
tember 28 have been
for seven weeks should end
staging sit-ins on three
their street protests, a Chinese
major thoroughfares, deUniversity of Hong Kong survey
manding a free leadership
election for the semiOf those surveyed, 67.4% said
autonomous Chinese city
the protesters should vacate
in 2017.
the streets. Public support for
The court order to be
the movement was also waverenforced today, granted at
ing, with 43.5% of people saying
the request of the buildthey were against it, compared
ing owners, relates only
with 33.9% who gave their
to the area around CITIC
Tower in the Admiralty
The protests, which drew
business and government
well over 100,000 at their peak,
have dwindled to hundreds
It does not cover the
camped out in colourful tents at
entire area of the sit-in at
key intersections on both sides
Admiralty, where demonof the harbour.
strators have pitched a sea
Even as the university survey
of colourful tents across
showed a lack of support for
an eight-lane highway.
the protesters’ occupation
But similar court orof the streets, it also showed
ders have been issued or
displeasure with the Hong Kong
are being sought for other
government’s handling of the
blocked roads in the city,
as China refuses to budge
About 40% of those suron protesters’ demands
veyed felt the government’s
and public opinion starts
response had been inadequate
turning against the camand nearly half - 48.5% - said the
government needed to make
A police source quoted
by the paper said roads
The survey involved 1,030
in the Mongkok district
Cantonese-speaking residents
in Kowloon would also be
from November 5 to November 11.
cleared this week.
hinese President Xi Jinping
yesterday vowed always
to use peaceful means in
pursuit of Beijing’s goals, including in maritime disputes, just days
after US President Barack Obama
warned of the dangers of outright
conflict in Asia.
Addressing the Australian parliament in an honour bestowed
only on one other Chinese leader,
Hu Jintao in 2003, Xi said: “China
remains unshakeable in its resolve
to pursue peaceful development.”
“Neither turbulence nor war
serves the fundamental interests
of the Chinese people.”
“There’s only one trend in today’s world, that is, the trend of
peace and development and win/
win cooperation,” he added in a
candid address in which he also
reminisced about kangaroos and
koala encounters during previous
visits to Australia.
The Chinese president evoked
history to make the point that no
one ever benefited from conflict,
after Obama at the weekend G20
summit in Brisbane again stressed
that Beijing must be a responsible
actor on the world stage.
China is locked in disputes with
four Southeast Asian countries
over lonely outcrops in the South
China Sea, and with Japan over
another set of islets.
“A review of history shows that
countries that attempted to pursue development with force invariably failed,” Xi said through a
translator. “This is what history
teaches us. China is dedicated to
upholding peace. Peace is precious and needs to be protected.”
But he added: “We must always
be on high alert against the factors
that may deprive us of peace.”
The leaders of the US, Australia
and Japan on Sunday called for the
peaceful settlement of the maritime disputes. The day before,
Obama had warned of “disputes
over territory - remote islands
and rocky shoals - that threaten to
spiral into confrontation”.
Xi said he was open to dialogue.
“It is China’s longstanding
position to address peacefully
its disputes with countries concerned and territorial sovereignty
and maritime interests through
dialogue and consultation,” he
“China has settled land boundary issues with 12 out of its 14
neighbours through friendly con-
China’s President Xi Jinping speaks in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra.
sultation. And we will continue to
work in this direction,” added Xi.
“The Chinese government is
ready to enhance dialogue and cooperation with relevant countries
to maintain freedom of navigation
and the safety of maritime routes,
and ensure a maritime border of
peace, tranquillity and cooperation.”
Xi made the comments as he
sealed a long-awaited free trade
agreement with Australia - a
country that has long profited
from China’s voracious demand
for its natural resources - after
nearly a decade of talks.
In his speech, the Chinese
leader pointed to the opportunities his country’s giant economy
offered the world, and pledged to
continue the “win/win strategy”
of opening up and developing a
modern economy.
“With over 1.3bn people, China
is a market of immense potential,”
he said.
“The enormous progress China
has made in reform and opening
up in the last 30 years and more is
possible both because of its own
hard work and also an inclusive
and open Asia-Pacific region.”
But he also acknowledged Aus-
tralian concerns about engagement with his country.
Xi said that while many applauded China’s achievements,
others “find fault with everything
China does” - something he said
was to be expected given the nation’s huge population.
“It is like the big man in the
crowd,” he said, adding others
were concerned about which way
it would move.
Making a state visit following the
G20 summit, Xi also reminisced
about previous trips Down Under
before he assumed his role as one of
the world’s most powerful figures.
“I have visited five states and
two territories of Australia, except Tasmania. These visits have
left a great impression on me,” he
“And I still cherish vivid memories of a strange-looking kangaroo, the cute koala, flocks of white
sheep, the ingenious Sydney Opera House, and the boundless expanses of the outback.”
Ahead of his parliamentary address, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan
were introduced to a 10-monthold baby wombat named Walnut
before viewing kangaroos from a
golf buggy near Canberra.
A woman walks past tents set up by pro-democracy
protesters in the Occupy Camp in the Admiralty district of
Hong Kong.
Okinawa vote deals a heavy blow to Japan-US relations
Newly-elected Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga reads a morning
paper at his residence in Naha yesterday.
oters in Okinawa have
thrown a spanner into Japan’s relations with the
US after electing a governor who
wants the American military to
downsize its presence at a time
of alarm over China’s territorial
Takeshi Onaga rode a wave of
anti-US resentment to pummel
two-term incumbent Hirokazu
Nakaima in a weekend poll widely seen as a referendum on the
deal he struck to move an American airbase from a crowded city
centre to a pristine bit of coast.
While most Japanese value the
protection the US military alliance
gives them, especially in the context
of Beijing’s growing assertiveness
in its numerous regional disputes,
a sizable proportion of Okinawans
want them to leave the island.
“I will firmly implement my
campaign pledge of seeking to
remove the Futenma airbase outside Okinawa and never allow a
new base in Henoko,” Onaga said,
referring to the agreed site of the
proposed relocation.
Around half of the 47,000 US
servicemen stationed in Japan as
part of a security treaty are based
in Okinawa, a once-independent
kingdom that was annexed in the
19th century and fell under US
control from 1945 to 1972.
The island chain is strategically vital for the US, giving it a
hefty foothold in the western Pacific, which has become increasingly important as China’s military ambitions have burgeoned.
Neither Washington nor Tokyo, which depends heavily on
the US for protection, can afford
to dramatically reduce the American military presence there.
But, says Yoshinobu Yamamoto, professor emeritus of Tokyo
University, the voters’ rejection
of a December 2013 breakthrough
that looked set to finalise the
Futenma move posed “significant
challenges” for the government
of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“It could delay the implementation of the plan for years
ahead,” Yamamoto said. “As protest activities may intensify... we
may see bloodshed if the government chooses to build the new
base forcibly, which is legally
The shuttering of Futenma and
the opening of a replacement facility at Nago, 50km away, was
first agreed in 1996 as the US
sought to calm local anger after
the gang rape by servicemen of a
But it has been bogged down
ever since with local politicians
blocking the move in a bid to reduce the American footprint.
At the end of last year, Nakaima agreed to drop his opposition
in exchange for a hefty annual
cash injection to the local economy.
Many islanders saw this as a
betrayal, and on Sunday voted
around 3:2 in favour of challenger
Tetsuo Kotani, senior research
fellow at the Japan Institute of
International Affairs, warned the
result “could influence Japan-US
relations in a broader sense”.
The vote would not result in
an immediate change in the current relocation plan, “but if it requires any amendments, then the
governor’s administrative power
could be an obstacle”, he said.
“Already voices of concern
over the feasibility of the plan are
rising from among intellectuals
in the US, although people inside
the US government are sticking
to the current plan,” Kotani said.
Washington has said a broader
realignment of US forces in Japan is to ensure their presence
remains “politically sustainable”.
Hideki Uemura, professor of
international politics at Ryutsu
Keizai University in Tokyo, said
“Onaga’s victory is a significant
blow to the central government”
because the governor holds an
important card - power of veto
over necessary landfill permits.
If Onaga exercises that power,
it leaves Abe with two equally
unpalatable options: overruling
a locally-elected official or going
back to the drawing board on the
relocation plan.
Abe is clearly hoping that it
will not come to that.
The current plan is “the only
solution considering the need (to
maintain) the deterrence capacity of the US forces and eliminate
danger at Futenma,” chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said
yesterday. “We will solidly implement the plan in accordance
with laws.”
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Minister receives bomb
threat over water levy
Suspicious package leads
to parliament evacuation
Paddington Bear
trail in London
Businessman’s private
toll road forced to close
Band Aid single sales
‘manic’, says Geldof
The constituency office of the Irish minister
overseeing unpopular new water charges
received a bomb threat yesterday, the latest
escalation in Ireland’s most serious anti-austerity
protests to date. Tens of thousands of people
have taken to the streets to protest against the
government’s plans to levy direct charges on
households to use water for the first time next
year. The water charges are the final piece of a
30bn euro austerity drive. Government ministers
have been heckled at protests in recent days and
Environment Minister Alan Kelly said a worker
at his constituency office had received the
telephone threat yesterday .
The part of the parliament housing the offices of
many lawmakers was briefly evacuated yesterday
due to a suspicious package before staff were
allowed to re-enter the building. A spokeswoman
for the Metropolitan Police said Portcullis House, an
office building opposite the Houses of Parliament
and above Westminster underground station, was
evacuated while police investigated. Police on the
scene said the station had also been closed, and
police motorbikes could be seen blocking cars and
members of the public from entering the road.
Security threat level was raised to its secondhighest level in August due to risks posed by
Islamic State fighters returning from Iraq, Syria.
Tourists in London can now follow the trail
of Paddington Bear, the children’s-book
and live-cartoon character. Fifty bears have
been dispersed around the city and will be
on display until December 30. The bears are
modelled on famous personalities such as
Nicole Kidman, David Beckham and Kate Moss.
They are located near tourist sites such as the
Museum of London, the Royal Opera House and
Paddington Station, the railway terminus the
supposedly Peruvian bear is named after. The
character will be the star of a new feature film,
Paddington, which releases in British cinemas
on November 28.
Britain’s first private toll road in over a century
closed yesterday with its owner accusing a
local council of making sure it made a loss.
Businessman Mike Watts spent £325,000 in
February building a 365-metre shortcut across a
farmer’s field after the council said it would take
up to a year to repair the main road after a land
slip. The pop-up Kelston Toll Road saved locals a
22km detour for an expenditure of just £2s. The
Bath and North East Somerset Council, which
did not invite Watts to yesterday’s reopening of
the main road, six weeks ahead of schedule, said
“emergency” funding had allowed speedier-thanexpected completion of the work.
Bob Geldof yesterday said that sales of the new
Band Aid single have been “manic” since its
release. The reworked version of Do They Know
It’s Christmas? was heading towards the top of the
iTunes chart within two hours of being available
for download at 8am. Geldof yesterday revealed
the song raised “a million quid” to help combat the
Ebola crisis in pre-orders alone after it was debuted
on the X Factor. “It’s gone manic,” he told BBC
Radio 4’s Today programme. “That’s the digital age.
We promoted the single on X Factor, Simon Cowell
gave us five minutes of the show on Sunday night.
Within four or five minutes of leaving the show we
had a million quid. That’s extraordinary.”
to patient
Church nod to women bishops
London Evening Standard
paramedic was grabbed
round the throat and
feared he would be thrown
in front of traffic on the North
Circular Road as he answered an
emergency call in one of an alarming number of attacks on ambulance staff.
The medic, who was responding
to a patient with chest pains, was
attacked by a passer-by complaining about the way he had parked
his fast-response car on a verge at
Neasden. It was one of five “completely unacceptable” assaults on
paramedics in four days. The London Ambulance Service has now
warned it will seek prosecutions
for all attacks on its staff.
The incident on Sunday afternoon saw the “single responder”
paramedic — dispatched to serious cases ahead of an ambulance
— verbally attacked before being grabbed round the throat and
shoved towards the busy A406
A second crew attending the
same emergency called the police
when they arrived and the attacker was arrested. The patient was
taken to hospital. The paramedic
was back on duty yesterday.
A second incident at 7pm on
Sunday night saw a paramedic and
an emergency medical technician
kicked by a patient in Battersea.
She also tried to bite and scratch
the crew but they were able to restrain her until police arrived.
Six police cars rushed to help
the medics, who had been called
to Northcote Road to treat the
woman. The woman paramedic
was left with bite and scratch
marks in the attack while her male
colleague suffered minor injuries.
The attacker was later sectioned
under the Mental Health Act.
Other recent incidents include a
medic having hot tea thrown over
her while she was trying to care
for a patient in West Wickham
last Thursday, a female paramedic
in Lewisham being punched in the
stomach by a patient on Friday
and a patient trying to kick, punch
and bite an ambulance crew in
Fulham on Saturday.
At close of G20 summit, PM
says ‘red warning lights
are flashing’ against a
backdrop of instability and
Guardian News and Media
The Church of England’s governing body yesterday rubber-stamped an historic measure
allowing women to become bishops, paving the way for the first ordinations next year. The
General Synod agreed with a show of hands to implement a decision made in a landmark vote in
July, following the formal approval of parliament. “Today we can begin to embrace a new way of
being the church and moving forward together,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Buyers snap up £1.8bn
worth of Battersea homes
London Evening Standard
ore than £1.8bn worth
of homes have been
sold at Battersea Power
Station since they went on the
market in January last year, the
Standard has learned.
The total - equivalent to almost a quarter of the cost of the
entire scheme - was boosted by
a fresh wave of buying during a
glitzy “world tour” of the plans
for the development.
Sting and his wife Trudie
Styler are among those who
snapped up apartments in or
close to the Grade II* listed riverside building that famously
featured on the cover of the Pink
Floyd album Animals.
Flats in the Lord Foster and
Frank Gehry-designed third
phase of the Malaysian-backed
scheme were put up for sale
during the roadshow in early
November. The tour included
exhibitions and receptions in
Paris, New York, Shanghai,
Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala
Lumpur, Tokyo, Beijing, Doha
and Milan and was also aimed at
UK economic
facing risks,
says Cameron
persuading office tenants, restaurateurs and retailers to take
space. As well as the former Police front man, the events were
attended by Hollywood actress
Kate Beckinsale, Mad Men
star Jared Harris and DJ Leslie
The first wave of sales
last year saw more than
800 apartments in the
first phase sold within
days, although three
large penthouses remain
on the market
Rob Tincknell, chief executive of Battersea Power Station
Development Company, said
the global reaction had been
“absolutely extraordinary” with
apartments sold in every city
Tincknell said he was also in
talks with two major US companies interested in taking about
200,000 sq ft each for new European headquarters. In addition there have been expressions
of interest from 68 overseas
retail brands, 30 restaurateurs
— mainly from New York — and
a major North American leisure
operator that plans to occupy an
entire floor of the power station.
The first wave of sales last
year saw more than 800 apartments in the first phase sold
within days, although three
large penthouses remain on the
market. The second phase of
apartments, in the vast brick
former generator itself, is about
90% sold following its launch in
April with only about 24 apartments still on the market. Of the
539 apartments put up for sale
in phase three, launched last
month, about half have been
Prices range from £350,000
for a studio in phase one to as
much as an estimated £30mn
for the most prestigious penthouses in the power station itself.
Tincknell said that about
60% of the homes sold so far
have gone to London-based
The developers have only actually received a fraction of the
£1.8bn worth of deals agreed as
buyers pay for their homes in
stages, starting with a reservation fee followed by 10% of the
price on exchange.
avid Cameron has issued a stark message
that “red warning lights
are flashing on the dashboard
of the global economy” in the
same way as when the financial
crash brought the world to its
knees six years ago.
Writing in the Guardian at
the close of the G20 summit in
Brisbane, Cameron said there
is now “a dangerous backdrop
of instability and uncertainty”
that presents a real risk to the
UK recovery, adding that the
eurozone slowdown is already
having an impact on British exports and manufacturing.
His warning comes days after the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, claimed
a spectre of stagnation was
haunting Europe.
The International Monetary Fund managing director,
Christine Lagarde, expressed
fears in Brisbane that a diet of
high debt, low growth and unemployment may yet become
“the new normal in Europe”.
Cameron has adopted the
more sombre tone in the runup to the chancellor’s autumn
statement on December 3,
when the Office of Budget Responsibility will produce new
growth forecasts and spell out
the impact on public finances.
“The eurozone is teetering
on the brink of a possible third
Sound of music
recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and
the real risk of falling prices
too,” Cameron writes. “Emerging market economies which
were the driver of growth in the
early stages of the recovery are
now slowing down. Despite the
progress in Bali (trade talks in
2013), global trade talks have
stalled while the epidemic of
Ebola, conflict in the Middle
East and Russia’s illegal actions
in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability
and uncertainty.”
The emphasis on potential
dangers, balancing some more
hubristic ministerial accounts
of the state of the UK economy,
reflects Cameron’s concern underlined by conversations at the G20 - about
the extent to which
Britain can detach itself
from gathering economic storms.
P o l i t i c a l l y,
Conservatives believe an
e m pha-
PM’s warnings are excuse for failure, says Miliband
Ed Miliband accused Cameron
of making “excuses” for another
economic downturn. Hours
after Cameron issued his alert,
Miliband claimed the premier
was trying to massage public
opinion to accept another
downturn. “This is known as
getting your excuses in early,”
the Labour leader told the
Evening Standard. “The red lights
have been flashing on the British
economy for years. Cameron
did not need a trip to Brisbane
to discover the economy is not
working for most people in this
country.” Under Gordon Brown,
Labour blamed the 2007 crash
on a global meltdown — which
Cameron’s Tories branded as
making excuses. A Labour
source said: “When economic
problems happen on his watch,
it is the world’s fault. When they
happen on other people’s watch,
it is their fault.”
Special probe into VIP
party murder sought
London Evening Standard
Drummers sample the drums, cymbals sticks and hardware on
show at the London Drum Show at the Olympia centre in west
London. Now in its fifth year, the annual event allows drummers
to try the latest gear and watch masterclasses by world famous
sis on the risks still facing the
UK will make anxious voters
recoil from handing stewardship of a fragile economy to a
relatively untried Labour team.
Some recent polling has seen
the economy decline as a priority issue for voters, partly because there is a belief that the
recovery is secured, leading to
issues such as the health service and living standards, which
have been seized upon by Labour, to rise in importance.
Growth of the British economy slowed in the third quarter
of this year, with gross domestic product (GDP) rising 0.7%
between July and September
from output in the previous
three months. The economy
had expanded by 0.9%
during the second
quarter, and by 0.7%
in the first quarter.
But despite the slowdown, the British
economy still looks
more dynamic than the
eurozone, where growth
is sluggish and deflation
avid Cameron was yesterday urged to create a
special national police
squad to investigate claims
that senior politicians took
part in child abuse and even
MP Tom Watson said the
inquiry had become so big that
several police forces were in
charge of different elements,
creating the risk that links
between cases could be overlooked.
His plea follows a claim that
a boy was strangled to death
by a Member of Parliament at
a sex party in a house in central
London. A witness in his forties, known only as Nick, says
he and other children were
abused at parties attended by
VIPs in Dolphin Square, the
luxury apartment block near
to the House of Commons,
and other locations.
Scotland Yard on Friday
revealed it is investigating allegations of homicide in relation to the paedophile ring
Watson said: “I’m writing to
the prime minister to ask that
he works with the Home Office
and the police to construct a
national investigation team
made up of specialists from
around the country.
“It’s not fair on the police
force in London to investigate
allegations outside London or
take the difficult decisions to
refer cases back to the regional
forces that are potentially significant to their own investigations.
“There is a potential for intelligence to be missed.”
In his testimony, made via
the Exaro news investigation team, Nick said that in
about 1980 he and a terrified
12-year-old were driven by
chauffeur to a luxury house
where a sex party took place.
He said he saw a Tory MP
kill the other boy, adding: “I
watched while that happened.
I am not sure how I got out of
He says another child was
deliberately run over and
killed. A third boy was murdered at a party at which another Tory MP was a guest, he
has claimed.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Seven suspected dissident
rebels charged in N Ireland
Student found guilty of
having bomb manual
Ebola training for
NHS volunteers
Jim’ll Fix It ‘faked request’
to let paedophile on show
University gets
dementia scanner
Seven men in Northern Ireland have been charged
with terrorist related offences after intelligence
service MI5 secretly recorded suspected Irish
militants plotting attacks on police officers and
judges. The men, who were arrested a week ago
in a house in the border town of Newry, were
remanded in custody following a court hearing
yesterday. A police witness told the court that
some of the evidence against the seven came from
70 hours of conversations recorded in the house
in Newry. The investigation targeted dissident
militants who maintain a sporadic campaign of
violence despite a 1998 political deal which largely
ended over three decades of violence.
Law student Erol Incedal was found guilty in a
secret terror trial of possessing a bomb-making
document on a memory card. The Old Bailey jury
was discharged after it failed to reach a verdict
on November 11 on another charge of preparing
an act of te rrorism. A provisional retrial date of
February 23 next year was set at a hearing before
Justice Nicol yesterday. Details of the guilty
verdict can only now be reported after the judge
lifted restrictions. The court had heard that the
26- year-old was arrested on October 13 last year
in his car near London Bridge. Police had bugged
his black Mercedes for a fortnight after he was
stopped for speeding on September 30, 2013.
The first group of NHS volunteers being sent
to Sierra Leone to help combat Ebola have
undergone training at a specialist ministry of
defence unit. More than 50 volunteers have been
put through the comprehensive nine-day training
scheme which aims to fully prepare them for
conditions in the field. Taking the NHS employees
through a replicated medical camp, members
of the armed services train them in the different
stages of assessment, suspected and confirmed
cases of the disease. With the temperature even
raised to the heat of West Africa, it is expected
many hundreds of volunteers will pass through the
doors with 1,000 people having come forward.
Jimmy Savile’s Jim’ll Fix It TV show faked a child’s
request to give a paedophile a guest appearance,
the BBC reported. Antiques expert Keith Harding
appeared on the 1980 Christmas edition repairing
a music box for a 13-year-old girl who had asked
for it to be fixed. But her brother, named only as
Dean, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “She was
asked to write that letter. My uncle was asked by
his then girlfriend, who was a researcher at the
BBC, if anybody in the family had a musical box.
Obviously, the letter must have been done after
the facts.” Harding, who died in June, was filmed
at his workshop and the girl and her brother
appeared in the studio with him and Savile.
A high-tech scanner which could enable
scientists to develop better treatments for
dementia and other brain conditions is to
be installed at a Scottish university. The new
equipment - said to be the first of its kind in
Scotland - will give scientists the clearest picture
yet of what goes wrong in the brain when
dementia occurs, the University of Edinburgh
said. Researchers will be able to use the device
to look in detail at what is going on inside
patients’ brains. It will also help doctors to
identify patients who are most likely to benefit
from new therapies, and to monitor the effects of
their treatment.
More than 200
gangs ‘operate
in London’
London Evening Standard
cotland Yard is battling
more than 200 global organised crime groups engaged in cyber fraud in London,
police revealed yesterday.
A new Met cyber taskforce is
investigating plots ranging from
online dating fraud to mortgage
scams involving million-pound
Police say they are facing an
overwhelming caseload of about
54,000 reports of cyber fraud in
the capital each year — but admit
the crime is still hugely underreported.
Detective chief superintendent Jayne Snelgrove, the head of
the Met’s new cybercrime and
fraud unit — codenamed Falcon
— said officers were in the early
stages of about 18 investigations.
These ranged from online retail
and auction site frauds to courier
scams and investment frauds.
So far, the squad — which was
launched in October — has made
more than 100 arrests.
Detectives are focused on
organised crime groups from
around the world which are targeting London using the Internet.
Snelgrove says many gangs are
operating in different countries
and a number of Falcon’s inquiries span the US, parts of Europe
and Russia.
However, many of the cyber
frauds are committed by homegrown gangs or individuals. One
inquiry involves a woman living
in London who was allegedly behind a series of frauds on auction
sites based in Europe.
Snelgrove said one of the
squad’s main priorities was to
improve investigations into
business fraud in London. She
said there was concern that some
crime reports submitted through
Action Fraud — the Home Office
fraud recording body — had not
been properly investigated in the
past. She revealed plans to set up
“volume crime hubs” in London
so individuals and businesses
could report fraud directly to the
She said: “We will have volume crime hubs because one
weakness was that we were not
responding to the volume of
crimes being reported through
Action Fraud and into the Met.”
About 54,000 reports of fraud
were recorded by Action Fraud in
London last year.
Snelgrove said: “Many people
tell us it is the tip of the iceberg
in terms of the amount of crime.
I think it is significantly underreported and we want to give
people in London, businesses
and individual victims, the confidence to report and assure them
there will be a policing response
at the end of it.
“There has been a lot of concern that if people have reported
fraud, it has gone into a ‘black
The Met is launching crime
hubs in Edmonton and Peckham,
with plans for at least one more
in west London.
Snelgrove said police were
seeing a large number of online
auction crime offences where
victims are first contacted on
sites such as eBay or Gumtree
and then lured away to part with
money on non-secure payment
Courier fraud, in which people are called by conmen claiming to be from the victim’s bank,
is another common fraud. She
said: “One of our key pieces of
work is to establish how these
crimes are committed and to
strengthen areas which are vulnerable.
“Often people feel it is not going to happen to them and that
cyber fraud only happens to people who are stupid or greedy, or
both, but that is not the case. The
fraudsters are very sophisticated
and very manipulative and for
some larger amounts of money
they will spend weeks, or months,
socially engineering someone,
often giving assurances and giving evidence of who they are to
corroborate their story.”
A police officer stands guard at the entrance to the duck breeding farm where a case of bird flu has been identified in Nafferton, Yorkshire.
Duck farm closed off
after bird flu outbreak
duck breeding farm in
northern England was
closed off yesterday after
an outbreak of bird flu, although
officials said the risk to public
health was “very low”.
The department for environment, food and rural affairs
(Defra) said it might be linked to
outbreaks in the Netherlands and
Germany, but said it had yet to
identify the strain, although the
deadly H5N1 had been ruled out.
An estimated 6,000 ducks
on the farm will be culled and a
10km restriction zone has been
put around the site near Driffield
in Yorkshire.
“We have confirmed a case
of avian flu on a duck breeding
farm in Yorkshire. The public
health risk is very low and there
is no risk to the food chain,”
a Defra statement said. Any
movement of poultry or products in or out of the protection
zone is prohibited.
“Obviously we are asking
farmers to be doubly vigilant in
their biosecurity and look for any
potential signs of disease in their
flock,” a spokesman added.
The government’s chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens, said
officials were looking at any possible links to outbreaks of bird flu
in the Netherlands and Germany.
“That will include looking at the
risk from wild bird spread to our
national flock,” he told the BBC.
Dutch authorities on Sunday
banned the transport of poultry
nationwide after the discovery at
a farm of the “highly pathogenic”
form of avian influenza that is
very dangerous to birds and can
contaminate humans.
“The link to the disease that
they found in Germany and the
Netherlands is our most likely
source and, on that basis, Public
Health England has said with this
strain there is not a risk to pub-
ormer government chief
whip Andrew Mitchell has
told the High Court that
he would never call a policeman
a pleb.
The 58-year-old MP for Sutton Coldfield, who resigned as
whip a month after the “Plebgate” incident, was giving evidence in his libel action against
He says that a September 2012
story in The Sun, which NGN
say is substantially true, meant
he was guilty of launching a
grossly offensive and arrogant
attack at Downing Street police
officers two days earlier, branding them “morons”.
Mitchell told Justice Mitting,
who is hearing the case without
a jury, that he was in a hurry that
evening and was expecting to be
let through the vehicle gate as he
had been without difficulty that
morning and after lunch.
“I asked to be let out and the
officer refused. I pointed out
that I had been in and out on
several occasions that day and
they still refused. I pointed up
at my office and said ‘I work in
number nine’. They still refused.
Then I said I was the government chief whip and they still
“As I turned my bike round,
I muttered an abuse under my
breath but audibly ‘I thought
you lot were supposed to help
Mitchell said that immediately, constable Toby Rowland - the
officer whose account the newspaper’s story was based on - told
the MP that if he swore at him,
he would arrest him.
“I was thinking that it was
extremely odd that a member
of the Diplomatic Protection
Group would threaten to arrest
one of the three ministers who
work in Downing Street. I was
also surprised that he said I had
sworn at him when I had not.
Mitchell was asked if he had
said what Rowland attributed to
him. He answered: “My Lord, I
did not say those words. I would
never call a policeman a pleb.
“I apologised to the police
officer the following day and
I apologise to the court. One
should not use bad language
when dealing with police officers and I apologise unreservedly
for doing so.”
Cross-examined by Desmond Browne QC, for Rowland, who is suing Mitchell over
statements he made from December 2012 onwards which he
says accused him of fabricating
his allegations, Mitchell agreed
that the chief whip’s role required a mixture of charm and
menace and that he could occasionally be abrasive. But, he did
not believe that any colleague
who knew him well would believe he had called a police officer a “pleb”.
more than 170 lives since emerging in 2013. “We have been able to
rule out H5N1,” the Defra spokesman said.
Gary Lavis, chairman of the
parish council, said a problem
was first noticed around a week
ago when egg production began
dropping and the number of birds
dying increased.
“They noticed symptoms
themselves about one week ago:
a drop-off in egg production and
slightly higher mortality rates.
That alerted them to do some
testing,” he said.
Lavis said he did not think the
culling of the ducks would be
carried out until today.
Child killer’s
home demolished
Ex-chief whip denies
abusing police officer
lic health,” Gibbens said. “The
people dealing with the birds
directly, that’s the highest risk,
and we’ll be working to make sure
that they’re protected with proper hygiene precautions as they’re
handling the birds.
“The main focus is to protect
our bird flock rather than any risk
to public health.”
Avian influenza can be fatal for
birds and poses a health threat to
humans, who can become sickened by handling infected poultry.
The H5N1 strain has killed
more than 400 people, mainly in
southeast Asia, since 2003. Another strain, H7N9, has claimed
Andrew Mitchell leaves the Royal Courts of Justice with his wife
Sharon Bennett after the first day of his libel case against the Sun
newspaper in London yesterday.
he devastated parents of
five-year-old girl April Jones
say they are glad the “house
of evil” where their daughter was
murdered has been demolished.
Coral and Paul Jones said the
secluded country cottage where
paedophile Mark Bridger murdered their daughter had served
as a constant reminder to them
over the past two years.
The couple, joined by April’s
elder siblings Harley and Jazmin,
choked back the tears as a giant
digger smashed Bridger’s rented
cottage to pieces.
Mother Coral said: “It’s just a
constant reminder. And I’m glad
it’s gone. Even driving on the
main road near the village is difficult. You go past and your head
ultimately turns to that house. It
brings back the horrible memories of what happened.
“It was a dreadful thing that
happened here. It will not be a final closure.” Father Paul added:
“Having this house demolished is
symbolic. It’s a sort of closure, the
end of a chapter. All the time it has
been here, its existence plays in the
back of your mind. Even when you
are not thinking about it, it’s there
in the back of your mind.
“It’s hard to describe. There’s a
lot of emotions.”
Bridger’s rented home - called
Mount Pleasant - was bought by
the Welsh Government earlier
this year. The house is where the
former lifeguard is believed to have
killed and dismembered April after
snatching her outside her parents’
home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales.
During his trial Bridger, who is
now serving a whole life sentence
for the abduction and killing of
April, claimed he knocked over the
youngster over in his Land Rover
and then in a drunken panic “forgot” what he had done with her.
April’s body was never found,
although forensics experts later
found fragments of a child’s skull
in a fireplace at Mount Pleasant.
Although time has passed and
April’s family - as well as the community in Machynlleth - have
tried to move on from the horrific
events of October 1, 2012, Mount
Pleasant’s very existence has made
that process all the more difficult.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Turkish media linked to exiled cleric being shut out by government
urkish media close to a
US-based Islamic preacher accused by President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan of seeking to usurp power say they have
been shut out of government
press events in a move they see as
evidence of Turkey’s deteriorating press freedoms.
Correspondents from the Zaman and Bugun newspapers, the
Samanyolu TV station and Cihan
news agency say they have been
banned from the presidential
palace since Erdogan’s inauguration in August and no longer receive official press releases.
Erdogan, whose ruling AK
Party has roots in political Islam,
accuses preacher Fethullah Gulen of building a “parallel state”
of followers in institutions including the police and judiciary
in a bid to seize the levers of state
Erdogan says Gulen orchestrated a corruption scandal
against his inner circle last year
in an attempted “judicial coup”, a
charge Gulen denies, and has described the preacher’s “Hizmet”
(Service) network as a threat to
national security.
The media ban was extended
to key ministries including the
prime minister’s office and the
ministry of foreign affairs a few
days after a National Security
Council meeting last month, according to journalists from Gulen-linked media outlets.
“This is a war, a fight, an effort to wipe out Hizmet,” said
Tercan Ali Basturk of the Gulenaffiliated Journalists and Writers
Foundation, seeing the ban as
“punishment” for their news organisations’ coverage of the corruption probe.
The foreign ministry has declined to comment but government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, defended
the move.
“The priority of some press
institutions is not journalism but
serving their political agenda ...
there are journalists who criticise the government and are still
covering it, but the Gulenists had
a particular agenda,” one official
Erdogan’s domination of the
media, much of it owned by conglomerates with business ties to
the AK Party, has pushed Turkey,
which is a candidate for membership of the European Union, towards the bottom of global press
freedom rankings.
In its October report on Turkey’s progress towards accession,
the European Commission raised
concerns about press freedom
in Turkey and called on the government to “promote dialogue
across the political spectrum”.
It also chastised Turkey for interfering in the judiciary following the corruption probe.
Gulen’s network helped cement Erdogan’s rise, aiding him
to curb the power of a military
that saw itself as the guardian of
the secular state and toppled four
governments in the second half
of the 20th century.
Its influence in the judiciary
was seen as key to the jailing of
generals and politicians as the
ruling party clamped down on its
secularist opponents.
Prominent journalists, including Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik,
were also detained for their work
critical of Gulen’s life and influence, prompting an outcry over
freedom of the press.
The marriage of convenience
between Erdogan and Gulen has
since fallen apart as the former
allies turned on each other in a
power struggle that burst into
the open with last December’s
corruption scandal.
“The government is using the
same methods the military used
in the past ... the only thing that
has changed are the oppressors and the oppressed. Power
has changed hands, but the old
limitations on freedom have not,”
Basturk said.
Erdogan has sought to purge
the judiciary and police of Gulen’s influence in the wake of
the corruption scandal and has
repeatedly called for the cleric’s
extradition to Turkey.
The rift has extended to businesses linked to the cleric, most
notably Islamic lender Bank
Ponta calls for stability
after shock poll defeat
n ethnic German mayor
of a mediaeval Transylvanian city pulled off
a shock victory in Romania’s
presidential elections, defeating the premier after vowing
to stamp out corruption in the
graft-riddled country, early results showed yesterday.
Klaus Iohannis, a soft-spoken
former physics teacher known
for avoiding conflict, secured an
overwhelming 54% of the votes
cast in Sunday’s poll, according
to partial results, soundly beating Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
The election was seen as pivotal for one of the poorest countries in Europe that has struggled to overcome an entrenched
culture of corruption.
Exit polls had put the two
candidates neck-in-neck after
Sunday’s election, but did not
take into account the votes cast
by the large Romanian diaspora,
which was seen as more likely to
vote to Iohannis.
“We’ve won!” Iohannis wrote
on his Facebook page.
Ponta conceded defeat, saying: “I congratulated Mr Iohannis on his victory. The people are
always right.”
Partial results showed that a
record 64% of voters cast ballots
in the poll in a country where
previous ballots have been
marked by voter apathy. Official
results are expected to be announced later.
Ponta, 42, had hoped to become Romania’s youngest ever
president and cement his Social
Democrat party’s hold on power
in the former communist state.
In the first round on November 2, he took 40% of the vote
against 30% for Iohannis.
But 46% of the ballots cast
Iohannis: turned a 10-point poll deficit to win the run-off.
abroad were for Iohannis compared to just 16% for Ponta, who
was so confident of victory he
said he planned to watch the results at home eating popcorn in
the front of the television.
Experts had earlier said that
a high turnout in the second
round could well tilt the balance
in Iohannis’s favour.
“The vote has been phenomenal. The turnout was huge,”
said Iohannis, the centre-right
mayor of the Transylvanian city
of Sibiu, who comes from the
country’s ethnic German community that was persecuted
under the country’s communist
dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu.
Iohannis, who faced accusations of not being a “real Romanian”, campaigned on an anticorruption platform, vowing to
turn Romania into a “normal”
Observers say he appealed to
voters with his reliability and
honesty in a country sick of
government corruption, with
several senior figures in Ponta’s
formerly communist Social
Democrats accused of graft.
Rodica Avram, a 56-year-old
teacher, said after casting her
ballot in Bucharest that she had
voted for change.
“For the past 25 years we
have heard nothing but lies and
promises that weren’t kept,” she
said. “I hope we’ll finally have a
president who respects people
and does what he promises.”
Ponta’s main support base
came from the hugely influential
Romanian Orthodox Church,
as well as his party’s traditional
electorate of the rural population, small business employees
and the elderly.
Ahead of the vote, experts
said Romania’s diaspora, which
numbers about 3mn, could play
a key role in swinging the result.
Only 160,000 were able to cast
their ballots in the first round
due to an insufficient number
of polling stations in countries
including France, Germany and
On Sunday, long queues of
people snaked outside polling
stations in Paris, London and
several other cities including the
southern English town of Portsmouth, according to pictures
shown on Romanian television.
In the evening, thousands
were still waiting to vote in some
European cities, sparking renewed anger at the way the vote
has been organised.
Yesterday Ponta looked to allay fears of political tensions,
saying that he was committed to
dialogue and stability.
At a subdued press conference, Ponta agreed to a demand
by the president-elect to scrap a
corruption amnesty bill pending
in parliament, helping his opponent make good on a campaign
promise and allay EU concerns
over graft in the country.
“I express our desire for dialogue with the new legitimate
president of Romania,” Ponta
said. “I am absolutely confident
that he will want to cooperate
and do good for the Romanian
people and the country.”
“Secondly, Romania more
than ever needs stability and
predictability,” he said.
Analysts had said a victory for
Ponta might have bolstered Romania, with the main levers of
power held by one bloc.
By contrast, although he distances himself from the outgoing president’s combative style,
Iohannis’s win may trigger renewed political tensions in one
of Europe’s poorest states.
“The relationship between
Social Democrat PM Ponta and
Klaus Iohannis will likely be
strained,” said Otilia Dhand at
Teneo Intelligence.
However, the leu currency
took the surprise result in its
stride, and was flat against the
euro at 1410 GMT.
“In the near term, the political situation could be volatile,
but in the longer term, a president from a different part of
the political spectrum than the
government ... could foster the
fragile independence of the judicial system,” bank UniCredit
said in a note yesterday.
The election result was part of
a pattern emerging in ex-Communist eastern Europe for voters to use the ballot box to stop
any one group or individual from
gaining too much power.
In Slovakia’s presidential
election in March, prime minister and frontrunner Robert Fico
was trounced amid fears Fico
and his centre-left party would
amass too much power.
The former Communist state
of 20mn is emerging from painful budget cuts imposed during
the global slowdown.
Growth rebounded to more
than 3% in the third quarter of
2014, but corruption and tax
evasion are rife, and progress to
implement reforms and overhaul
a bloated state sector is mixed.
Prime minister since 2012, the
42-year-old Ponta often feuded
with his rival, outgoing President Traian Basescu, which stymied policymaking and caused a
constitutional crisis.
Iohannis promised during the
campaign to safeguard both the
independence of Romania’s ju-
dicial system and progress made
in tackling corruption.
The EU has raised concerns
about a failure to tackle rampant
high-level graft in both Romania
and neighbouring Bulgaria.
Both have been kept outside
the passport-free Schengen
Zone since entering the EU in
Iohannis also pledged economic, health and education
reforms, and to create an attractive business climate for foreign
But as president he will face
a hostile parliamentary majority that could cause more policy
An early flashpoint could be
the 2015 budget, in which Ponta
will have to balance spending
promises such as pension hikes
made during the election campaign with an EU commitment
to fiscal discipline.
His government might also
cut loose an ongoing International Monetary Fund aid agreement that is due to expire next
ussia President Vladimir
Putin said in a German
television interview yesterday that he is convinced it
should be possible to find a way
to resolve the crisis in Ukraine
but added he was concerned
about the threat of ethnic
In the 30-minute landmark
interview broadcast to a prime
time audience, Putin defended
Russia’s annexation of the Crimea but also appealed to the
hearts and minds of German
viewers by saying that relations
between the two nations had
never been better and saying it
would be a shame to throw that
“Can one find a way out of this
situation? Yes, I’m convinced
there is a way,” Putin said after
criticising the Ukraine government for using force, rather than
dialogue, against its adversaries
in the east to trigger the crisis.
“I’ll say this bluntly: we’re
very concerned that the desire
could arise to use ethnic cleansing. We’re afraid about a drift
towards neo-Nazism. There are
people with swastikas on their
sleeves running around and
armed forces with SS symbols
on the helmets ... that’s why we
fear there’s a drift in that direction. It would be a disaster for
the people in Ukraine.”
Putin, who was once a KGB
spy in Communist East Germany and speaks German fluently,
was wearing a chequered dress
shirt, dark jacket and grey trousers. German network ARD said
the interview was conducted in
Vladivostok on Thursday.
Putin, who spoke almost entirely in Russian and said he had
made mistakes, believes Ukraine
has a bright future, although it
needs a framework so that all its
minorities feel at home.
“It’s a great nation with great
people,” he said. “But, you know,
there’s just one thing missing: an understanding that to
be successful, stable and grow,
everyone needs to have a feeling
that this is their home no matter what language they speak
– whether it’s Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian or Polish.”
Putin said that the annexation
of Crimea was legitimate under
international law and democratic because both the regional
parliament and the people voted
Putin: Can one find a way out of this situation? Yes, I’m convinced
there is a way.
for it in a referendum.
He said Russian troops were
deployed to prevent bloodshed
and added he was surprised by
the reaction in the West.
“We consider the reaction
to be completely inappropriate
to what happened,” said Putin,
who appeared to be perspiring
at times – as was the German
interviewer – under the glare of
the TV lights. “I’m firmly con-
vinced Russia did not violate international law in any way.”
“The Ukrainian central authorities have sent the armed
forces there (eastern Ukraine)
and they even use ballistic missiles. Does anybody speak about
it? Not a single word. And what
does it mean?”
“This points to the fact that
you want the Ukrainian central
authorities to annihilate every-
Journalism school
director accused
of plagiarism
The director of the journalism
school at Sciences Po, one
of the leading universities in
Paris, is being investigated over
accusations of plagiarism made
by a French media website.
Agnes Chauveau, also a
contributor to the Huffington
Post and a producer at French
public radio channel France
Culture, was accused on Sunday
by the “Arrets sur Images”
website of copying full passages
from other publications into her
columns without citing sources.
The dean of the journalism
school, Bruno Patino, said in an
e-mail to students and professors
yesterday that Chauveau is on
leave while an independent
investigation takes place.
“Plagiarism is a serious affair in
journalism,” Patino said, adding
that the school, which requires
all students to take a course on
journalism ethics, “cannot take
such things lightly”.
The article accusing Chauveau
included screenshots of the
plagiarised content, highlighting
the parts that were allegedly
It quoted Chauveau as saying
that she occasionally “forgot
to mention certain papers, but
never voluntarily”.
Chauveau has been director
of the journalism master’s
programme for a little over one
year. She previously worked at
the French national library and
has also written several books on
the state of the media.
Tonne of cocaine
seized from yacht
A subdued Ponta is seen at a news conference in Bucharest. At the
press conference Ponta agreed to a demand by the president-elect
to scrap a corruption amnesty bill pending in parliament, helping his
opponent make good on a campaign promise and allay EU concerns
over graft in the country.
Putin ‘convinced’ solution to Ukraine crisis is possible
Asya, whose shares slumped after state-owned firms and institutions withdrew deposits earlier
this year amid what its chief executive has called a “smear campaign”.
Erdogan has denied trying to
sink the bank.
Cihan’s general director Abdulhamit Bilici said the media
ban was damaging the news
agency’s business and threatened
legal action.
“It’s financial discrimination,”
he told Reuters, comparing the
situation to restrictions imposed
after a 1997 military coup. “We
were on the blacklist then when
it was a military coup. Now we’re
having the same from a civilian
one there, all of their political
foes and opponents. Is that what
you want? We certainly don’t.
And we won’t let it happen.”
Putin, whose position has
many supporters in the formerly communist eastern region
of Germany, said that he and
Chancellor Angela Merkel are
both working to calm the situation in Ukraine.
“It’s in our interests ... and
we’ll look for a common solution
and a common political framework,” he said. “We’re ready for
that but it will only work jointly.”
He was asked if he had made
any mistakes.
“Listen, mistakes are always
made – in business and private
life,” he said. “Everyone makes
mistakes. But what’s important is to react in a timely way,
analyse and understand it was
a mistake and then change the
behaviour – and not get stuck on
a dead-end street but work towards finding a solution.”
Putin was full of praise for
German-Russian relations. Industry leaders in Germany have
been the strongest opponents of
the European Union’s economic
sanctions against Russia.
“If you look at the atmosphere
between Russia and Germany
over the last 10 or 15 years, I
don’t know if there’s ever been
such a good period before. I
don’t think so. I think it’s a very
good foundation for developing
not only bilateral relations but
between Russia and the European Union and beyond that for
global relationships. It’d be a
shame to lose all that.”
Putin stuck to his guns as he
refused to say where Moscowbacked Ukrainian separatists receive heavy arms from and said
that people fighting a just cause
“will always get weapons”.
“Where did they get the armoured vehicles and the artillery systems?” Putin said in
reply to a question. “Nowadays
people who wage a fight and
consider it righteous will always
get weapons.”
“But I would like to stress that
this is not the issue,” he added.
“The issue is that we can’t have a
one-sided view of the problem.”
Kiev and the West accuse
Russia of sending regular troops
into Ukraine to help buttress a
pro-Moscow separatist insurgency in which over 4,100 people have been killed over the past
seven months.
Putin has repeatedly denied
the claim.
Spanish authorities seized nearly
one tonne of cocaine from an
unregistered yacht off the Canary
Islands in the Atlantic, officials
said yesterday in the second
large seizure of drugs near the
archipelago this month.
A Spanish customs ship
intercepted the yacht on Sunday
some 200 nautical miles south of
the Spanish holiday island of Gran
Canaria, the interior ministry said
in a statement.
Customs agents and police seized
nearly 950kg of cocaine found
aboard the boat and detained
the ship’s three crewmembers
– two Ukrainians and a Serb, the
statement added.
The arrests “confirm the
involvement of criminal groups
in the transportation of cocaine
from South America to Europe”,
it said.
Britain’s National Crime Agency
and an EU anti-narcotics unit, the
Maritime Analysis and Operations
Centre-Narcotics based in Lisbon,
took part in the operation, the
statement added.
Woman lived with
‘mummy’ mummy
A German woman lived for more
than five years with the corpse of
her mother, whose mummified
remains were discovered
last week, a news report said
The daughter, 55, was admitted
to a psychiatric hospital after
police made the grisly find in
the southern city of Munich,
the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily
A social worker had attempted
to visit the mother last Thursday
after authorities had been
rebuffed several times but was
denied entry by the daughter.
The worker then alerted police
who asked the fire brigade to
open the door to the flat.
Officers who questioned the
daughter and ordered a postmortem examination concluded
that the mother died of natural
causes in March 2009 at the age
of 77.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Town turns neo-Nazi march into a fundraiser for tolerance project
through a German town
unwittingly raised thousands of euros for a tolerance
project, organisers of the anti-
extremist protest action said
Local businesses and residents
agreed to donate €10 ($12.50) for
every metre walked in the farright rally on Saturday through
the town of Wunsiedel in Bavaria.
The €10,000 collected will
go to EXIT-Germany, a char-
ity helping neo-Nazis turn their
backs on the scene.
Organisers hung humorous
posters along the route and even
painted a finish line at the end of
the march with a sign “thanking”
the 250 participants for their
A video posted by EXIT on
YouTube indicated that the neoNazis only learned of the fundraiser when they crossed the finish line.
Far-right extremists have
marched through Wunsiedel
every year for more than two
decades on Germany’s National
Day of Mourning, which is dedi-
cated to all victims of “war and
The neo-Nazis chose the town
because Hitler’s deputy Rudolf
Hess, who was found hanged in
a West Berlin prison in 1987, was
buried in Wunsiedel before his
remains were exhumed in July
2011 and the grave destroyed.
But even the destruction of the
site has not stopped the far-right
from congregating, although
authorities say their rallies have
grown smaller.
Shopkeepers had long chosen
silent forms of protest and legal
action to fight the marches but
the fundraiser’s co-organiser
Fabian Wichmann said this year
the town decided to take a more
creative approach.
“We want to show what else
you can do, what other courses of
action you have,” he told German
news agency DPA. “You can do
more than just block the street or
close the shutters.”
who should not have been treated
as political prisoners.
Zeman sparked more ire last
week when he insisted the 1989
student protest crushed by communist police did not cause any
“bloodshed” and was just one of
“any number of rallies.”
Zeman, 70, a former leftist prime minister, won a direct
election last year and still retains
support of about half the voters.
As part of the celebrations,
Prime Minister Bohuslav So-
botka was due to unveil a bust
of Havel in the US Congress in
The former president died in
The November 1989 Velvet
Revolution saw Havel, a dissident playwright, installed as the
country’s first post-war noncommunist president a month
Czechoslovakia split peacefully into the Czech Republic and
Slovakia in 1993.
Czechs mark
1989 revolution
with red cards
zechs marked the 25th
anniversary of the fall of
communism in Prague
yesterday by again marching in
protest, this time waving red
cards rather than jangling their
keys to serve notice to unpopular
More than 5,000 people rallied
in the capital to raise the soccerstyle penalty warning against
President Milos Zeman, accus-
ing him of drifting too close to
Moscow – the power centre that
dominated their country from
1948 to 1989.
Others gathered in Prague and
other cities to light candles and
remember the day 25 years ago
when police violently broke up
a student march, sparking the
“Velvet Revolution” that topped
the communists and brought
dissident Vaclav Havel to power.
Growing numbers of Czechs
feel that ideals of their peaceful
revolution such as the defence of
human rights, once a trademark
of post-1989 Czech foreign policy, have been sidelined by economic interests.
“I’ve come to show Zeman
the red card because I’m against
almost everything he does – his
foreign policy, for instance,” said
protester Jarmila Rydlova from
“This date is crucial in my life,
I was 15 then and thanks to gaining freedom at such a young age
I grew up as a free man,” protest
organiser Martin Prikryl said on
state television. “I can tell my
president today that I disagree
Protesters hold red cards during a protest against Zeman in Prague.
with him. Twenty-five years ago,
I would have got hit by a (police)
People around him carried
banners saying “Down with Zeman” and “We don’t want to be a
Russian colony”.
During an unveiling of a plaque
commemorating November 1989
at Prague’s Charles University, German President Joachim
Gauck was hit by an egg meant
for Zeman.
Protesters angry over Zeman’s
pro-Russia stance and a vulgar
diatribe targeted him with apples
and eggs, but one egg hit visiting
German President Gauck in the
head, Zeman’s office said.
“As one would expect, Mr
Gauck was shaken but he is continuing his programme,” Zeman’s
office said, while the German
embassy in Prague played down
the incident.
“It was only a very little piece”
of egg, spokeswoman Maike
Freytag-Pitrocha told AFP.
Zeman has defended Russia
while Prague’s European Union
partners impose economic sanctions on Moscow for its involvement in Ukraine.
The country’s foreign policy is
handled by the centre-left cabinet, which backed EU sanctions
but only after negotiating their
The foreign ministry has also
said it was looking for a less confrontational approach to pro-
Migrants launch
hunger strike
Hundreds of illegal immigrants
being held at a Greek detention
centre launched a hunger strike
yesterday to protest the death of
a Pakistani inmate and conditions
at the overcrowded camp.
The strike at the centre in
Amygdaleza, which is 10km from
Athens, comes after the death of
Mohamed Asfak on November
6, who had been held there after
making his way to Europe from
his native Pakistan.
Asfak had suffered serious
respiratory problems for months,
though he was only hospitalised
as his condition became life
threatening, according to Greek
anti-racism group Keerfa.
A humanitarian group that works
in the camp confirmed Asfak’s
death to AFP, though there was
no word from officials on how he
According to Keerfa, police beat
Asfak during a protest at another
Greek detention centre in Corinth
several months ago and he
repeatedly asked for treatment
for his injuries, but didn’t receive
help until recently.
Asylum seeker
killed in fire
A young Eritrean man died and
more than 40 other asylum
seekers were injured early
yesterday when a fire broke out
in a refugee home in the Swiss
town of Vernier, the head of the
local rescue service said.
Two of the injured were in critical
The fire broke out shortly after
midnight in one room, and smoke
quickly spread through the
building in the town near Geneva,
authorities said.
Many of the injured suffered gas
poisoning, while others were
injured when they jumped out of
windows in panic.
A child lights a candle at a
memorial of the student
demonstrations of November 17,
1989 in Prague.
Right: Security personnel try to
protect Zeman from eggs and
tomatoes thrown by protesters
as he was speaking during the
unveiling of a memorial plaque
for the 25th anniversary of the
Velvet Revolution, in Prague.
moting human rights, suggesting
a departure from the country’s
tradition in backing opposition in
countries like Cuba or Myanmar.
While the West believes Russia
is pulling the strings in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Zeman
has repeatedly described it as “a
civil war between two groups of
Ukrainian citizens”.
He also said during a trip to
Beijing last month that he wanted to learn how China “stabilises” society.
This month, Zeman angered
some voters when he said in a
radio interview that the centreleft government had “f----d up”
a bill and called members of the
Russian punk rock group Pussy
Riot “bitches”, and used a sexual
term to describe the band’s name.
He has also described the
punk group, jailed for denouncing President Vladimir Putin in a
Moscow cathedral, as hooligans
Hungarians hold anti-PM
Orban ‘indignation’ rallies
Protesters show placards reading ‘Delete Viktor’ during a rally on what organisers call a ‘Day of
Indignation’ in front of the parliament building in Budapest.
ens of thousands of protesters rallied in Budapest and other Hungarian cities yesterday in a show of
“indignation” over the policies
of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government.
The “Day of Indignation”
was the latest in a series of
large street protests begun last
month after Orban’s right-wing
Fidesz party proposed a tax on
Internet usage.
A crowd estimated by an AFP
photographer at around 25,000
held placards reading “We can’t
pay as much taxes as you steal!”
at the largest rally, outside the
Hungarian parliament in Budapest.
Protesters also shouted “Orban, get out!”
“We don’t want Orban to take
us towards Putin and Russia. We
are an EU country, and we want
to stay in Europe, where we belong,” Balint Farkas, a 26-yearold IT student told AFP.
The Budapest demonstration
was the largest of more than 20
protests held across Hungary
Smaller protests were also
held abroad, including in London, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Massive protests in October
against the proposed Internet
tax forced Orban to quickly
scrap the idea, his first major
policy retreat since he returned
to power in 2010.
Then last week some 10,000
people marched to demand the
removal of tax authority chief
Ildiko Vida after the US denied
her a visa over alleged corruption, an accusation she fiercely
denies while refusing to resign.
Orban and his right-wing
Fidesz party, re-elected with
a second supermajority in a
row last April, and after wins
at European and municipality elections, remain dominant
at home, but have had to deal
lately with sharpened criticism
from Washington.
In September, US President
Barack Obama criticised Hungary for harassing civic organisations, while Washington’s top
diplomat in Budapest, Andre
Goodfriend, after announcing
the entry bans of six public officials including Vida, said that
“negative trends (have) rapidly
taken hold”.
Italy registers surge in asylum applications
taly received nearly as many
asylum applications in the
first half of this year as it
did in the whole of 2013, figures
published yesterday revealed.
In a reflection of the dramatic
surge in the numbers of migrants
reaching Italy’s shores from
North Africa, there were 25,401
applications for refugee status between January and June,
compared with 26,520 in the
previous 12 months, according
to a report produced by NGOs
including Caritas in collaboration with the UN refugee agency
More than 150,000 migrants
have landed in Italy this year.
Many of them were rescued from
the Mediterranean by the Italian
navy after their own overcrowded barely seaworthy vessels got
into difficulty.
And there is no sign of a letup in an influx which is becoming an increasingly controversial
issue in Italian politics. The navy
reported over 2,500 new arrivals
in ports in Sicily and the southern mainland over the weekend.
Aid organisations say the bulk
of those arriving in Italy have a
genuine claim to refuge having
fled conflict or persecution in
places like Iraq, the Palestinian
territories, Syria, Eritrea or unbearable poverty and bonded labour in parts of Africa and South
Experts in the field say a relatively small proportion of new
arrivals in Italy apply for asylum
because many prefer to continue
their journeys, clandestinely, to
northern Europe.
More than half of this year’s
arrivals in Italy have come from
war-wracked Syria or Eritrea,
a former Italian colony. But the
biggest number of asylum applications came from nationals
of Mali, which has been destabilised by a three-way conflict involving Islamists, Tuareg groups
and government forces backed
by former colonial power France.
Some 93% of asylum applicants are still men, despite the
latest boats arriving often in-
cluding higher proportions of
women and children than ever
seen before.
Italy ends up allowing just
over 60% of applicants to stay in
the country.
Of 24,000 cases processed
in 2013, only 13% resulted in
the applicant getting full refugee status. However, 24% were
given temporary protection
and another 24% were granted
leave to remain on humanitarian
Although nearly all migrants
land in southern Italy, they are
quickly redistributed around the
country and municipal authorities in a number of towns and
cities are beginning to say that
their ability to cope has reached
breaking point.
Rome, which receives about
one-fifth of the asylum seekers,
has demanded a review of the
system following violent clashes
last week in which residents of
a city neighbourhood housing
three centres for migrants laid
siege to one of them in a bid to
force the removal of the inhabitants.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Govt committed to Posco
project, says official
Laptop scheme cost us
LS polls: Mulayam
Submit proposal to stop
rhino poaching: Vardhan
Officials with autistic
children won’t be shifted
Govt to reimburse
student loan interest
Steel Secretary Rakesh Singh yesterday said the
government was committed to the $12bn steel
project of Posco India and said the project would
come up in the near future. “The Posco project is
going on. Both the government of India and the
state government are committed to the Posco
project. The land acquisition and other activities
are going on though there may be some delay.
There have been delays in the past. But we are
very keen and confident that the Posco project
will come up in the near future,” Singh said in
Bhubaneswar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has assured South Korea that work on the Posco
project would be expedited.
In an embarrassment to Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief
Mulayam Singh Yadav blamed the government’s
free laptop scheme for the party’s debacle in
the Lok Sabha polls. Addressing the national
convention of the party’s women’s wing, Singh
said he had always opposed the distribution of
laptops to Class XII students. “We distributed
the laptops and people of the state heard the
campaign speeches of Narendra Modi on these
very laptops. They were impressed, and we lost
the polls,” he said. In the 2012 assembly elections,
Akhilesh, Mulayam’s son, had promised free
laptops to the students. Akhilesh,.
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan
yesterday asked the Assam forest department to
submit a scientific proposal to stop poaching of
one-horned rhinos and protect the species in the
state. The minister on Sunday visited the famous
Kaziranga National Park. “We should use science
and the acumen of the youth to make things
better as far as the issue of protection of wildlife
is concerned and stop poaching of rhinos,” he
said. Over 25 rhinos have been killed in Assam
this year - 23 in the high-security Kaziranga park
alone. While the state government has taken
many steps, the killings continue in various
protected areas of Assam.
Government officials who have autistic children will
now be exempt from routine transfers. According
to an office memorandum of the department
of personnel and training, autism would also be
included in the disability spectrum as far as the
children of government officials are concerned. An
earlier office memorandum of June 6 exempted a
government employee, who is also a “care giver of a
disabled child,” from the routine exercise of transfer
or rotational transfer subject to administrative
constraints. The current memorandum includes
autism in the disability spectrum which already
has blindness or low vision, hearing impairment,
and locomotors disability.
The central government has asked banks to
submit their claims for interest subsidy on
education loans taken by students belonging
to scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes,
a circular from the Indian Banks’ Association
(IBA) said. Banks can submit their claims for
the period from April 1, 2009, until 2014 to the
nodal agency Canara Bank by December 31.
The central government will reimburse the
banks the interest due on the loan until the
end of one year from the date of completion
of the course, or six months from the date on
which the student lands a job after his course,
whichever is earlier.
India urges
Gulf states to
hike wages
of workers
Raj come
together to
n a rare sight, warring cousins Uddhav Thackeray and
Raj Thackeray came together
publicly yesterday to remember
Shiv Sena founder-patriarch
late Bal Thackeray on his second
death anniversary here.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray with his family
members reached the Thackeray
Memorial at Shivaji Park in the
morning to pay homage to his
father and sat there receiving
Around 1.20pm, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj
Thackeray arrived along with
some party officials and paid
Thereafter, he went to a
small marquee where Uddhav
his younger son Tejas, other
family members and senior
leaders were sitting. Raj greeted and shook hands with everybody before reaching cousin
The two cousins smiled and
shook hands warmly even as
senior Shiv Sena leader and
former leader of opposition
Ramdas Kadam urged Raj to sit
next to Uddhav.
Raj sat on Uddhav’s left side,
putting his right arm behind
his cousin’s chair. The two were
seen smiling, chatting like good
old relatives separated only by
political agendas.
Also yesterday, Chief Minister
Devendra Fadnavis met Uddhav
for the first time in nearly three
months at Bal Thackeray’s memorial.
Fadnavis with over half a
dozen of his cabinet ministers
and several Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) leaders arrived at the
memorial and paid homage to
Thackeray senior.
As Uddhav stood up, Fadnavis greeted him, warmly shook
hands and sat beside him. The
duo - belonging to parties which
were allies for 25 years before
they split on September 25 spoke for a few minutes before
Fadnavis left.
The government cannot
dictate the pay of its citizens
in the Gulf - decisions to hire
workers are made by labour
recruiters in individual
New Delhi/ Riyadh
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray share a light
moment as they attend a programme to pay tributes to Bal Thackeray in Mumbai yesterday.
RJD, JD-U may merge
ahead of assembly polls
ormer Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)
and the state’s ruling Janata
Dal-United (JD-U) are likely to
merge ahead of assembly elections next year.
Chief Minister Jitan Ram
Manjhi yesterday said that if
the two parties became one,
it would emerge as a powerful
political force.
“The merger of the RJD and
JD-U will benefit both in the
next assembly polls,” Manjhi
said here.
The idea was first suggested
by Bihar Transport Minister
Ramai Ram, who said a united
party would defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the next
assembly polls.
“Instead of a grand alliance,
both parties should merge.”
Ram has the support of some
RJD leaders including legislator
Bhai Virendra.
An RJD leader close to Lalu
Yadav added that the party
chief and JD-U leaders Sharad
Yadav and Nitish Kumar had
agreed in principle to merge the
parties to take on the BJP.
The development comes
nearly four months after Lalu
Prasad and Nitish Kumar joined
hands in Bihar and 10 days after
leaders of the Samajwadi Party,
the JD-U, the RJD and the Janata Dal-Secular announced a
united front to counter Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
The JD-U ended a 17-year alliance with the BJP last year after
Modi was declared the party’s
prime ministerial candidate.
A JD-U leader said: “The
merger of the RJD and the JD-U
is on cards to strengthen secular forces...”
He said none other than Nitish Kumar himself said that
“we resolved to work together
and in the near future there is
a strong possibility we might
merge and form one party.”
According to the JD-U and
the RJD leaders here, if the two
parties contest the next state
assembly polls under an alliance, there would be serious
problems of seat sharing.
The JD-U, which has 118 legislators in the assembly, will
bargain for more seats and the
RJD, which has 23 members,
will put its claim for more seats
on the basis of its performance
in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Nitish Kumar, who quit as
Bihar’s chief minister in May
after his party was routed in the
general elections, has been repeatedly targeting Modi.
He said Modi has failed to
bring back black money as
“Modi had promised to bring
back black money after being
elected to power. But he has
failed to do that even after 150
days,” he said.
In New Delhi, West Bengal
Chief Minister and Trinamool
Congress leader Mamata Banerjee said the BJP would lose
future elections if regional parties came together.
ndia is pressing countries in
the Gulf to raise the wages of
millions of Indians working
there, in a drive that could secure it billions of dollars in fresh
income but risks pricing some of
its citizens out of the market.
Over 5mn Indian nationals are
believed to be employed in the
Gulf, the single largest group in
a migrant worker population of
more than 20mn.
Migrants do many of the dirty
and dangerous jobs in the region,
from construction to the oil industry, transport and services.
They account for nearly half of
the roughly 50mn population of
the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council.
So India’s campaign for much
higher pay could have an impact
on economies around the region,
especially if it leads to a general
increase in wages for workers
from other big labour-supplying
countries such as Pakistan and
Over the past seven months,
Indian diplomats in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates
have sharply increased the minimum salaries that they recommend for Indian workers at private and public firms in those
“We want the Indian workforce to be paid higher salaries.
Groundnuts festival
Inflation, the value of the Indian
currency and a rise in the cost of
living in the Gulf were the factors
that led to the decision,” Y S Kataria, a spokesman for the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
(MOIA) in New Delhi, said.
The success of India’s strategy is not yet clear, however.
Officials in at least some GCC
nations have expressed displeasure, and the strategy could
backfire if those countries end
up hiring more workers from
elsewhere in the world.
“Of course it will encourage
companies to look at Bangladesh
and Pakistan as more viable options to get migrant workers,”
said Mohamed Jindran, managing director of UAE-based recruitment agency Overseas Labour Supply.
The Indian government cannot dictate the pay of its citizens
in the Gulf - decisions to hire
workers are made by labour recruiters in individual countries,
which have not set minimum
wages for migrants and usually
prohibit union activity by them.
However, the recruiters must
rely on the co-operation of local
authorities to operate in India. An
internal memorandum prepared
by the MOIA, sent last month,
says that if workers are offered
wages below specified minimums, ministry officials “would
deny emigration clearance.”
In Saudi Arabia, the Indian
embassy lifted the recommended
minimum salary posted on its
website to 1,200 riyals ($320) a
month earlier this year from 670
riyals. In the UAE, the minimum
wage for Indian blue-collar workers rose to 1,500 dirhams ($409) in
recent weeks from 1,200 dirhams
last year, Jindran said.
LDF wants court to
monitor Mani probe
By Ashraf Padanna
Visitors buy groundnuts at the famous ‘Bengaluru Kadalekai
Parishe’ (Bengaluru Peanut Fair) in the Basavanagudi area of
the southern Indian city yesterday. The historic, two-day fair
is celebrated on the last Monday in the month of Karthika
of the Hindu calendar. The event is celebrated by a large
number of groundnut vendors showcasing different varieties
from villages and districts around Bengaluru.
Even when Gulf recruiters
agree to certain wage levels,
the numbers do not necessarily
stick. Some workers are promised one salary when they sign
up in their home country, then
forced to renegotiate lower wages when they arrive in the Gulf.
India’s role as a top labour
supplier means its drive cannot
be totally ignored by recruiters,
and it could have a big impact in
some countries and industries.
But there may be a backlash.
Another MOIA official said
India’s pay demands had met
initial resistance in all six GCC
countries, while two of the
countries had threatened to reduce their Indian workforces
and hire more, lower-paid workers from Bangladesh and Nepal
Ahmed al-Fahaid, Saudi deputy labour minister for international affairs, told Sky News Arabia last month:
“If this is a decision that is
applied throughout India as a
whole, meaning no one gets out
of India for work unless with that
limit, then this is a sovereign decision for the country and we will
not interfere,” Fahaid said.
“But if it is a special decision
to raise wages for whoever comes
to work in the kingdom, then we
oppose it and do not accept it, as
it would be an act of discrimination and we don’t accept that in
international agreements.” He
did not elaborate.
If India’s efforts to secure
higher pay succeed, they could
boost its economy, because migrants send much of their pay
home. India received $69bn as
remittances in 2012; a 2010 central bank study found Gulf nations accounted for 31%.
erala’s opposition Left
Democratic Front (LDF)
has decided to move the
high court seeking a “courtmonitored” probe into bribery
charges against Finance and Law
Minister K M Mani.
It also decided to launch an
agitation demanding the resignation of the octogenarian minister who allegedly took Rs10mn
from hoteliers to renew their bar
LDF activists will take out
marches on the State Secretariat
housing the offices of the ministers on November 25. Demonstrations will also be held at all the 14
district administration offices.
“We also demand the role of
the chief minister (Oommen
Chandy) and excise minister (K
Babu) be probed,” Vaikom Vishwan, convener of the seven-party combine led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said
after a meeting here yesterday.
Biju Ramesh, who heads the
bar owners in the state as its
“working president”, came on
televisions last month accusing
Mani of taking the money and
later ditching them after they
failed to pay more bribe.
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) of the
police has since started a preliminary investigation and took a
statement from Ramesh.
“This is the first time that a
minister is facing such an allegation in the history of Kerala but
the government has not registered a case against him,” Vishwan said, adding the LDF will
meet again on December 1 to decide on further action.
The meeting was held after
the Communist Party of India
(CPI) publicly accused the leading partner of going soft on Mani
with whom it kept the option of
having an alliance open to dislodge the Congress-led government.
Pannyan Raveendran, the
CPI’s secretary in the state, held
a press conference ahead of the
meeting to launch a “tit-for-tat”
attack on CPM and its secretary
Pinarayi Vijayan accusing them
of changing positions.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
PM pledges a resurgent India
Screaming fans dub Modi a
‘rock star’ in Australia
n a replay of the crowd and
euphoria at New York’s
Madison Square Garden,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
was yesterday cheered lustily
by thousands of people at Sydney’s Allphones Arena, where he
promised to fulfil their expectations of a resurgent India.
Modi, who arrived from Brisbane earlier in the day after attending the G20 summit meeting, spoke for 90 minutes at the
Allphones Arena where people
wore T-shirts with Modi photos
emblazoned on them.
Hundreds of fans had arrived
by the “Modi Express” train
from Melbourne in the morning.
To deafening chants of “Modi,
Modi” interrupting his speech,
the prime minister, attired in a
white kurta pyjama with a blue
sleeveless jacket to match, also
promised the diaspora visa on
arrival and merging of the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and
Overseas Citizenship of India
(OCI) cards by January.
Speaking in Hindi, Modi said
there was no reason for India to
lag behind any longer.
“Do you believe that the
country can rise again, become
powerful and capable of helping
other countries again,” he asked
to loud cheers from the crowd.
“I don’t see any reason for
the country to remain behind;
fate has decided that it must
Organisers of the event had
said Modi’s address at the Allphones Arena would rival the
Madison Square Garden address
on September 27 where too he
had received an ecstatic welcome
from an over 16,000-strong
gathering of Indian diaspora.
“Overwhelmed, honoured and
Prime Minster Modi acknowledges thousands of supporters at the Allphones Arena Olympic Park in Sydney yesterday. RIGHT: A section of the thousands of Indian community members at the arena.
humbled. Will never forget this
day,” is how Modi tweeted later.
Modi also spoke of the schemes
launched by his government, including the Clean India and Make
in India programmes, and invited
the diaspora to join in the Swachh
Bharat campaign and contribute
towards building toilets in their
villages back home in India.
He said today, people, including industrialists, are participating in the Clean India mission. “I
salute them.”
The prime minister said on the
150th anniversary of Mahatma
Gandhi’s return to India in 2019
“the least we can do for Mahatma
Gandhi is have a clean India.”
He said it would give a fillip to
tourism in the country, besides
improving the lives of the poor.
It was the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Australia
in 28 years.
“Modi’s a rock star!” screamed
one supporter as the prime minister took the stage to a wildly enthusiastic reception.
“This love, this welcome... I
give this to the feet of the children of mother India,” Modi said,
observing that many people were
still outside, unable to gain access to the packed venue.
Modi drew cheers from the
crowd when he referenced the
two nations’ shared passion,
saying neither “Australia nor India can live without cricket.” His
speech also covered topics such
as Hindu nationalism and Indian
“He is our most charismatic
leader and he is going to take our
country to the next generation,”
Sushil Chaddha, an IT consultant
who has lived in Australia for three
decades, said in stifling heat outside Sydney’s Olympic Park.
“We all love him.”
Some 20,000 people, mostly
from the Indian diaspora in Australia, jammed the Allphones
Arena, although some had travelled from as far as the US, Singapore and New Zealand. Reports
said there were 25 television
crews from India at the event.
Scores of supporters arrived on
a train decked out in the country’s national colours.
The so-called “Modi Express”
saw more than 200 supporters
Sonia recalls Nehru, says there can
be no India without secularism
New Delhi
ongress president Sonia
Gandhi yesterday said the
values promoted by India’s
first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru continue to remain relevant, and
secularism was a compelling need
without which there could be no
Speaking at an international conference organised by the Congress to
commemorate Nehru’s 125th birth
anniversary, Gandhi made veiled attacks on the ruling Bharatiya Janata
Party, saying his life and work had
been “drowned out by misinterpretation and distortion in recent years.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was
not invited to the two-day event, raising some eyebrows in the BJP.
The event held by Congress to
resurrect Nehru’s legacy at a trying
time for the party saw the presence
of leaders from many parties.
West Bengal Chief Minister and
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata
Banerjee, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders Prakash Karat
and Sitaram Yechury and Janata Dal
(United) chief Sharad Yadav were
among those present.
Many leaders of parties of undivided Janata Dal were there, but no
senior Samajwadi Party leader was
Foreign leaders present included
former Afghan president Hamid
Karzai, former Ghana president
John Kufuor, Queen Mother of
Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, former Nepal prime minister Madhav Nepal and former
Congress president Sonia Gandhi speaks at the international conference to
commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Nehru in New Delhi yesterday.
Egyptian foreign minister Amr
The event was also attended by
leaders from the Communist Party
of China.
Gandhi said although Nehru was
a socialist by conviction, he valued
individual liberty above all else.
She said secularism was an article
of faith with Nehru.
“If any person raises his hand
to strike down another on ground
of religion, I shall fight him to the
last breath of my life as head of the
government and from outside,” she
quoted Nehru as saying.
The Congress president said there
could be no ‘Indianness’ and no India without secularism.
“Secularism was and remains
more than an ideal. It is a compelling necessity in a country as diverse
as India.”
In his speech, Karzai, who once
lived in Shimla as a student, said
“Nehru, for us, was a name of
household conversation.”
Kufuor said Nehru was an inspiration in his country’s aspiration for
Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck said Nehru had invited the
king of Bhutan as the chief guest
at a Republic Day parade in the
mid-1950s and helped end the
country’s policy of self-imposed
Madhav K Nepal recalled Nehru’s
role in founding the Non-Aligned
Movement (NAM).
Moussa said Nehru was an avid
supporter of the ideals of the United
Nations to sort out problems.
CPM leaders later said they went
to the event to remember Nehru’s
contribution to India’s development and nothing should be read
into their sharing a platform with
Mamata Banerjee.
They said the event was not linked
to the formation of any anti-BJP
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy,
a trenchant critic of the Congress,
took potshots at Nehru at a book release function here.
“There is no record whatsoever
in our parliamentary history that
Nehru consulted his cabinet before
going to the United Nations with the
(Kashmir) issue,” he said.
Court issues fresh warrants against sect leader
he Punjab and Haryana High
Court yesterday issued fresh
arrest warrants against controversial religious leader Rampal
and asked the Haryana government
and police to present him in court on
The high court asked the Haryana
government to give a written explanation why Rampal, a self-styled
godman, had not been arrested earlier despite its orders.
Defying the arrest warrants,
Rampal again failed to appear before
the court yesterday. He cited medical reasons through his lawyer for
his non-appearance.
Authorities in Hisar yesterday
afternoon asked the sect followers
to vacate the ashram complex and
warned them against creating any
disturbance. Security forces could be
seen closing in on the ashram complex. A number of buses, in which sect
followers had come to the ashram,
were towed away by police cranes.
“All the followers and devotees
of Baba Rampal have been asked to
vacate the ashram as soon as possible as the Punjab and Haryana
High court has issued non-bailable
warrant against him,” Hisar Deputy
Commissioner M L Kaushik said.
He said the “high court has ordered police to arrest Baba Rampal
and produce in the court at the earliest.”
The court yesterday rapped the
Haryana government and the police
for failing to arrest Rampal. It questioned the state government’s move
to withdraw security forces and police from near the ashram on Sunday
board a train from Melbourne for
the 12-hour journey to Sydney,
singing and dancing in the carriages ahead of the event.
“After a long, long time, such
a phenomenon, such an excitement, such a wave has come,
which is unparallelled,” one of
Modi’s supporters on the train,
Rakesh Raizada, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“This is a new revolution, you
can call it.”
There are around 450,000 people of Indian origin in Australia,
including many from the student
community, and Australian Prime
Minister Tony Abbott will be rolling out the red carpet for Modi in
Canberra today.
While Modi was largely feted,
not everyone at the Allphones
Arena was there to welcome him,
with about 100 Sikh protesters lining a street beside the entrance.
“The main message is unity,”
Karandeep Singh Chadha said.
“PM Modi and his associates
are involved in pro-Hindu movements that are trying to squash
Tame Sidhu, Akalis tell BJP
unjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal
yesterday lodged a protest with
the Bharatiya Janata Party over the
statements of former BJP MP and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu
against the state government.
Akali Dal secretary and Punjab Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema spoke
to state BJP president Kamal Sharma and
complained over the “derogatory remarks”
by Sidhu at a religious function in Ludhiana
on Sunday. The Akali leader also asked the
BJP to “tame Sidhu.”
Sidhu, while addressing the gathering,
had openly called upon the people to throw
out the “corrupt and evil” forces from Punjab in the next assembly elections. Though
he did not name any leader or party, the ob-
vious reference was to the Akali Dal leaders.
“Sidhu’s utterances were itself a violation
of the advice of senior BJP national leadership which has recently publicly endorsed
the continuation of alliance in Punjab,”
Cheema said while urging Sharma to take
up the matter with the BJP high command
“so as to tame Sidhu.”
Cheema said Sidhu’s action was “intolerable and is against the spirit of coalition
dharma.” The Akali Dal and the BJP have an
alliance government in Punjab since 2007.
The Akali Dal is part of the BJP-led National
Democratic Alliance (NDA) federal government.
Expressing surprise at Sidhu’s outburst,
Cheema said as the BJP high command in
Delhi and in Punjab had openly clarified
that there were no differences between the
Akali Dal and the BJP, there was no reason
for Sidhu to speak out against the Akali Dal
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Argentina court summons
Bieber over assault claims
Petrobras vows overhaul
after graft allegations
Argentina tightens
controls on forex flows
Peru activist killings flayed
ahead of climate talks
Mayor of Mexico City fires
police chief after shooting
Pop music star Justin Bieber has been ordered to
appear before a court in Argentina for the alleged
assault last year of photographer outside a Buenos
Aires nightclub. A justice ministry official said
Argentine Judge Facundo Cubas gave the singer
and one of his bodyguards 60 days appear in
court or face arrest. “A subpoena is underway,” the
official said yesterday. The incident allegedly took
place in November 2013, while the Canadian heart
throb was on a music tour in Argentina. According
to the complaint, the bodyguard, following Bieber’s
orders, forcefully seized the photographer’s
camera and cellphone outside the nightclub in the
exclusive Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Palermo.
The chief executive of Brazil’s state-owned oil giant
Petrobras yesterday vowed the company would
overhaul its procedures in the wake of corruption
allegations. “We must respect our internal
governance as we do our technical operations,”
Graca Foster said as the company faces fallout
from a huge kickback scandal. At the weekend,
federal police interviewed 23 people arrested
on suspicion of money-laundering, including
senior executives from some of Brazil’s biggest
construction firms. Former director Paulo Roberto
Costa claimed Petrobras paid millions of dollars
to politicians and members of the ruling Workers
Party between 2004 and 2012 to buy influence.
Argentina yesterday unveiled a new agency
to track currency flows in foreign commercial
transactions as it struggles to shore up foreign
reserves in the face of capital flight. Importers
already complain of recurring difficulties in
bringing into the country goods like auto parts,
industrial machinery and medical and electronic
supplies, which are then heavily taxed. The
government said the new agency, which also
seeks to stem tax evasion, will “verify the prices
and quantities of goods and services exported
and imported along with the inflow and outflow
of foreign currency.” It will report to President
Cristina Kirchner’s chief of staff, Jorge Capitanich.
At least 57 environmental activists have been
murdered in Peru since 2002, a rights group
said yesterday, criticising the killings as the
country prepares to host major UN climate talks.
In a report released less than a month before
Peru hosts the annual UN climate meeting,
Global Witness condemned the country’s record
on the environment and human rights, calling it
one of the most dangerous places in the world
to be an environmental activist. “At least 57
environmental and land defenders were killed in
Peru between 2002 and the present day, more
than 60% of them in the last four years,” said the
London-based group.
The mayor of Mexico City fired a head of
the police force and launched a criminal
investigation into another police officer after
a shooting at the city’s main university left
one student injured. In a press conference,
city official Hector Serrano offered “sincere
apologies” to the university community and
its authorities. The shooting occurred on
Saturday at the campus of the Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), after
police officers appeared in an unmarked car in
response to a report of a robbery. According
to students, police began shooting after being
questioned about their presence.
Rousseff tries
to boost US ties
but state visit
up in the air
razil’s President Dilma
Rousseff, who cancelled a
White House trip last year
in anger over US spying revelations, now wants to improve ties
and reschedule the state visit
- but some US officials warn it
might not be that easy.
A debate in Washington over
whether and when to re-extend
the invitation to Rousseff reflects
persistent diplomatic strains between the Americas’ two largest economies, which have long
struggled with different philosophies on trade and how to
handle regional flashpoints such
as Venezuela and Cuba.
Shortly after being re-elected
to a second term on October 26,
Rousseff told US Vice President
Joe Biden by phone that she
wanted to restart discussions
“right away” for a formal state
visit, according to a statement
from her office.
Such an event includes a banquet at the White House, and
there are typically only one or
two a year. Some US officials
said they are eager to go ahead
with Rousseff ’s trip, which was
originally conceived as a way to
celebrate Brazil’s robust democracy and help pry open its $2.1tn
economy, one of the world’s
most closed to trade.
Yet others argue that the leftist Rousseff must first show she is
willing to advance on trade and investment treaties, since state visits are almost always accompanied
by a robust flurry of bilateral deals.
“There’s just so little substance
to hang this on,” one US official
said on condition of anonymity.
“Until we advance on that, I don’t
think you’ll see us set a date.”
Rousseff became one of the
only leaders ever to cancel a state
visit to Washington in October
2013, following revelations that
the US National Security Agency
spied on her and millions of other Brazilians.
The scandal also led Rousseff
to abandon plans to buy F-18 jets
from Boeing Co.
Brazil purchased $5.4bn in
planes from Sweden instead.
Since then, diplomats on both
sides have worked to ease tensions. Brazil’s stagnant economy, which has suffered from
falling investor confidence and
a rising trade deficit, has also
given Rousseff greater incentive
to try to improve ties with the
country’s second-biggest trade
partner behind China.
Biden is expected to interrupt
his vacation to attend Rousseff ’s
inauguration on January 1.
“Relations have gone from cold
to tepid, and are warming now,” a
Brazilian government official said.
Foreign policy is not a top
priority for Rousseff. Since taking office in 2011, she has spent
less energy than her predecessor
on building ties with Africa and
other Latin American countries.
In fact, before last year’s clash,
her efforts to improve ties with
Washington were arguably her
main accomplishment abroad.
She often told US officials that
their country had the kind of
middle-class society she wanted Brazil to emulate, and that
US technology and investment
could help.
Yet Rousseff has made decisions that antagonised the US.
She ordered Brazilian diplomats
in March to abstain on a United
Nations resolution that criticised
Russian annexation of Crimea.
In September, she criticised
US air strikes against the Islamic
State because they were not authorised by the UN.
Those positions have fed a
belief that Brazil is more aligned
with leftist, anti-US countries in
Latin America such as Venezuela
and Argentina.
Many in Brasilia, meanwhile,
grumble that the US will never
treat Brazil as an equal partner or
negotiate deals accordingly. The
biggest sticking point, as well
as the area that holds the most
promise, is trade.
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos speaks at a news conference in Bogota yesterday. The president called off peace talks with Farc rebels after the kidnapping of
an army general.
Govt-Farc talks in crisis
as general taken hostage
olombia’s peace talks
with Marxist Farc rebels
were in crisis yesterday
as troops scoured a Pacific coast
region for an army general kidnapped over the weekend in a
brash move by guerrillas that
endangers efforts to end 50
years of war.
President Juan Manuel
Santos suspended the negotiations in Havana after General Ruben Dario Alzate, who
heads the Titan task force
in the western department
of Choco, was captured by
the Revolutionary Armed
Four held as Honduras
beauty queen missing
London Evening Standard
Santa Barbara
olice are hunting a missing
beauty queen due to fly to
London later this week for
Miss World 2014.
Reigning Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado vanished with
her sister Sofia Trinidad after a
party last Thursday.
The pair had been celebrating a friend’s birthday near their
home town of Santa Barbara,
where student Maria Jose, 19,
was spending time with her parents before flying to the UK to
represent her country.
The women were last
seen getting into a vehicle as they left the party. Police chief Jose
Coello had originally said they were
not treating the
pair’s disappearance as a crime.
But it emerged
four people, including Sofia’s
boyfriend, had been arrested
and were being questioned as
the last-known people to see
them alive.
Coello confirmed: “Four people are under arrest. They include the owner of the party
venue and Sofia Trinidad’s boyfriend. They are being investigated.”
The case has caused consternation in the notoriously violent Central American country,
home to the most dangerous
city on the planet. San Pedro
Sula, just over 30 miles from
Santa Barbara, is the murder
capital of the world with more
than 1,200 killings a year
among its nearly one
million inhabitants.
Its murder rate of
169 per 100,000
people far surpasses
anything in north
America or larger
cities such as Lagos or Sao Paulo.
herself on
World website profile as an aspiring diplomat who enjoys
playing volleyball and football.
She beat 18 contestants to
win the Miss Honduras crown in
She missed an appointment
on Sunday to try on the dress she
hopes to win Miss World in. The
women’s mother Teresa de Jesus
pleaded: “Open your hearts and
understand my pain. There is an
all-powerful God that sees everything and I hope you set them
Miss World is due to begin on
Thursday, with 120 contestants
competing for the crown. The
grand finale is on December 14 at
ExCel London in the heart of the
Royal Docks area.
Swiss-born medical student
Carina Tyrrell, 24, a qualified ski
instructor and competition level
gymnast, is representing England.
Scotland is represented by
media and marketing student Ellie McKeating, 20. Ireland’s representative is business studies student Jessica
Hayes, 20.
Forces of Colombia (Farc).
The rebels also took another
military official and a civilian
when they were disembarking
from a boat on a river near the
city of Quibdo during a visit to
an energy project.
“Negotiators were to travel
to another round of talks in
Havana,” Santos, who has
staked his presidency on ending Latin America’s longestrunning insurgency, said early
“I will tell them not to go
and that the talks are suspended until these people are
The military dispatched
troops by air, river and land to
search the poor and violence-
stricken jungle region that has
three major rivers and large
tracts of untamed coastline.
Lawmakers urged Alzate’s
return and the re-start of negotiations, though supporters of
former president Alvaro Uribe a bitter right-wing critic of the
talks - also expressed satisfaction that dealings with the Farc
were suspended.
The rebels did not immediately comment on the kidnapping of Alzate, the first general
to have been seized since the
war began in 1964. Local press
described him as a 55-year-old
father-of-two with a threedecade military career.
“It is very difficult to speak
from here, and to know what
Protest continues
really happened,” a Farc source
said in Cuba.
Rebel leaders at the talks have
occasionally dissociated themselves from violent attacks by
lower ranks in Colombia, raising the possibility they could
defuse tension by securing the
general’s release.
The government will work
with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
to seek the hostages’ release.
“We hope to do everything possible to return these three people to their loved ones,” an ICRC
spokeswoman said.
Santos had publicly warned
the Farc it risked jeopardising the peace process after the
abduction of two soldiers last
Two top chefs plan
restaurant in Cuba
Mexico City
People hold posters and placards during a march for the
43 missing trainee teachers in Mexico City. Criticism of
the government has intensified in Mexico since Attorney
General Jesus Murillo said last week that evidence suggests
43 missing trainee teachers were murdered by gunmen
and drug gangs in collaboration with corrupt police and
local politicians.
week and continued attacks on
The Farc has stopped kidnapping for ransom but maintains that military personnel
are fair targets in the absence
of a ceasefire. Alzate entered
the area in a civilian capacity, breaking security protocol,
Santos said.
This is not the first suspension of the two-year-old talks.
The Farc stopped them in
August 2013 to review the government’s plan to put any peace
deal to a referendum. The halt in
talks would not affect the country’s economy, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas told
journalists at a banking conference in the city of Medellin.
hey have already earned
a place in the firmament of the world’s best
chefs. Now Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz and Mexico’s
Enrique Olvera have set their
sights on one of the world’s
toughest markets: communist-run Cuba.
The island has seen a restaurant boom in recent years,
fed by market-style reforms
enacted under President Raul
Castro, though ingredients can
be scarce.
The pair are eager to take on
the challenge.
Aduriz’s restaurant Mugaritz, in Spain’s northern Basque
region, was named the sixth
best restaurant in the world
this year by Restaurant Magazine, while Olvera’s Pujol in
Mexico City ranked at No 20.
“We’re at a stage where we
don’t just want to cook good,
creative, avant-garde food,”
Aduriz said as he prepared dinner with Olvera at Pujol. “Why
not do a project that aspires
to be on a hypothetical list of
the most fun restaurants in the
Since 2011, restaurateurs
in Cuba, who previously were
limited to 12-seat establishments in their homes, can
seat up to 50 people in rented
While state restaurants and
joint ventures with the state
can import luxury items, Cuba’s private restaurants, known
as paladares, often struggle to
find ingredients from supermarkets and other retailers.
In keeping with Cuba’s
communist ideals, Aduriz and
Olvera aim to create a restaurant that levels the social playing field.
“Gastronomy is not a privilege of people with money, but
rather of intelligent people.
Why not dream of a restaurant
in which we manage to mix all
social classes of people and no
one asks who anyone else is?”
Adruriz said.
It is not clear how economically viable the planned restaurant would be. The pair are
still at the early stages, with no
planned start-up date.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Pakistan tests intermediate
range ballistic missile
Sharif rejects Indian
offer of bulletproof car
Pakistan army chief in
United States for a week
Taliban militants attack
check post in Afghanistan
Turkish envoy named top
Nato official in Afghanistan
Pakistan yesterday conducted a test launch of
an intermediate range ballistic missile which is
capable of carrying nuclear and conventional
warheads to a range of 900km, the military said.
The successful launch of “Shaheen 1A (Hatf IV)”
was aimed at re-validating various design and
technical parameters of the weapon system, an
army statement said.
Shaheen-1A with its highly accurate and
indigenously developed guidance system is
amongst the most accurate Missile System, it
It was the second test of a nuclear-capable
missile in less than a week.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has
rejected the use of a bulletproof car provided
by India for next week’s summit of South Asian
leaders in Kathmandu, a Nepalese official said
yesterday. Sharif “will be bringing his own
car... all other vehicles for (visiting) heads of
countries have come from India”, said foreign
ministry spokesman Khaga Nath Adhikari.
Adhikari denied the move was a snub specifically
targeted at India. “It’s not that they have refused
to use an Indian car... when the US president
travels, he also brings his own car, it’s not an
issue,” he said. The Saarc summit will be held in
Kathmandu on November 26 and 27.
Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif has
arrived in the US on a week-long visit for talks
on security and defence issues. Yesterday, he
is scheduled to visit the US Central Command
(Centcom) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, for
talks with US military leadership, Radio Pakistan
reported. During his stay, security in Afghanistan
is likely to be a major subject of discussion in
his meetings with senior US military leaders,
including chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and leaders
of the Central Command at a time of growing
convergences of views between Pakistan and
the US.
A group of Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on a police check post in
northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said yesterday that
the attack took place late on Sunday in Khwajah
Ghar district. A statement released by MoI said
at least six Taliban militants were killed and
12 others were injured after the Afghan police
forces responded to the attack, according to the
Afghan Khaama Press. The statement further
added that the attack was launched on a check
post belonging to Afghan Local Police (ALP)
forces. The MoI said Afghan security forces did
not suffer any casualties during the clash.
Turkey’s ambassador to Afghanistan has been
appointed as Nato’s next top civilian official
in the country, the military alliance and the
Turkish Foreign Ministry said yesterday. Nato
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appointed
Ismail Aramaz as Senior Civilian Representative
(SCR) to Afghanistan, with Aramaz expected to
take up the position early next year, according
to a statement released by Nato yesterday.
With the end of Nato-led military operations in
Afghanistan due in December, Aramaz will play
an “integral role” in the alliance’s new mission of
training, advising and assisting Afghan security
forces, the statement said.
Pak Taliban
group backs
Islamic State
A spokesman for Jundullah, a
breakaway group of Pakistan
Taliban has vowed its
allegiance to Islamic State
Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan
splinter group of Pakistan’s Taliban has pledged
support to Islamic State
(IS), a spokesman said yesterday,
in another indication of the appeal of the Iraq- and Syria-based
jihadist group in a region traditionally dominated by Al Qaeda
and local insurgencies.
Jundullah announced its
backing after meeting a threeman delegation representing IS
led by al-Zubair al-Kuwaiti, the
group’s spokesman Fahad Marwat told Reuters.
Jundullah is one of several
Pakistani groups exploring relations with IS, whose fighters
have captured swathes of Iraq
and Syria in a drive to set up a
self-declared caliphate. They
share an aim to kill or drive out
religious minorities and establish a hardline Sunni theocracy.
Analysts say that so far IS has
mainly attracted sectarian groups
rather than anti-state militants
like the Taliban. Pakistan has a
ready supply of hardened fighters
and a population often receptive
to sectarian hatred.
Pakistan’s Sunni sectarian
groups killed a record number of
minority Shias last year. Jundullah carried out a church bombing
that killed around 80 Christians.
“They (Islamic State) are our
brothers, whatever plan they
have we will support them,” said
Jundullah spokesman Marwat.
His comments follow the
release of a video last month
by five Pakistani Taliban commanders pledging support to IS.
Islamic State also has contacts
with the banned Pakistani group
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), militants and security officials said.
“The top leadership of LeJ visited Saudi Arabia and met Islamic State leaders at an undisclosed
location at Saudi-Syria border,”
one militant said.
He said the meeting took place
more than a year ago.
Many Pakistani militants
said they felt torn by loyalty to
Afghan Taliban leader Mullah
Omar, who has strong historical
ties to Al Qaeda. IS itself broke
away from Al Qaeda.
“All anti-Shia groups in Pakistan will welcome and support
IS in Pakistan, though most of
them will not announce it openly
due to their allegiance to Mullah
Omar,” one said.
Last week, a leaked government memo warned the group
had recruited 10,000-12,000
fighters inside Pakistan, but a
government minister insisted it
had no presence there. Militants
and security officials also dismissed the memo as not credible.
Several militants said that hundreds of Pakistanis had gone to fight
in Syria, but had done so through
the Taliban or on their own. Five
who returned took part in an August suicide attack on two Pakistani
air bases, a policeman said.
Tribal rivalries split the Taliban, Pakistan’s biggest militant
group, this summer, leading to
two main factions and several
splinter groups.
Some analysts say Pakistanis declaring allegiance to IS is
a ploy to grab headlines rather
than a sign of operational links.
“They are the new poster boys
of Islamic jihad and they have lots
of money,” said Saifullah Mahsud
of Islamabad-based think tank
the Fata Research Centre. “There
is no doubt they (IS) are trying
but these are more probing missions than anything else.”
Vintage cars on display
Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Abdul Basit, visits the historic Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad.
Envoy moots sister-city ties
between two Hyderabads
akistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has suggested the idea
of sister city relations between
the two Hyderabad cities - one
in India’s Deccan region and the
other in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
On his first visit to this Indian
city after taking over as high
commissioner in March, Basit
discussed the proposal with political leaders of Telangana, including Deputy Chief Minister
Mahmood Ali.
He is likely to have more discussions with Chief Minister K
Chandrasekhar Rao, the last day
of his three-day visit.
During an interaction with
mediapersons at the Hyderabad Press Club, the Pakistani
envoy also mooted the idea of a
relationship between the press
clubs of the two Hyderabads.
He asked the press club to
send its delegation to Hyderabad city of Pakistan.
Basit, who visited the historic
Makkah Masjid, Charminar and
Falaknuma, said he was overwhelmed by the warm hospitality here.
biryani, haleem and other lipsmacking dishes.
“This is a beautiful and historic city. It is a cultural hub.
I am looking for opportunities here that can bring the two
countries together,” said the envoy, who also met the business
“Let us think of sister-city
relations between the two
Stating that the world has
changed beyond imagination,
he said the time has come to
think of some kind of interstate relations.
“Let us think of sister-city
relations between the two Hyderabads. This is the practice of
a globalised world. It is a useful
framework through which two
cities can come together and
co-operate in many respects.
“This co-operation can expand to state level. Small things
add up to big things and can work
as catalyst in future to bringing
our two countries together,” said
Basit, who will also be meeting
leaders of Andhra Pradesh.
The envoy called for increasing people-to-people contacts
and exchanges, saying this will
inject positivity in bilateral relations.
“I have been trying to see
how our youth can interact with
each other because the future
belongs to the youth. The youth
should think in broader perspective in order to overcome
the difficulties the two countries are facing,” he said.
Regulators merging 3 Islamic investment firms
A man sits inside a MG P-type Midget oldtimer on display during a show organised by the Vintage
& Classic Car Club of Pakistan in Lahore, Pakistan. More than 60 vintage and classic cars were on
display from all across Pakistan, some coming all the way from Karachi and heading on to Khyber.
akistan regulators are
merging three small Islamic investment firms
after the central bank took control of Karachi-based KASB
Bank Limited, accelerating efforts to strengthen financing by
investment partnerships.
Last week, the government
directed the central bank to reorganise or amalgamate KASB
Bank in the next six months,
after the lender failed to meet
minimum capital requirements.
On Friday, KASB Modaraba
said it had taken management
control of First Pak Modaraba
and First Prudential Modaraba,
three of a total 26 modarabas
active in the country.
Modarabas are a form of Islamic investment partnership
where assets are managed on
behalf of clients, with income
and expenses shared under a
pre-agreed ratio.
The sector remains a tiny part
of the country’s Islamic finance
industry, with several firms
lacking scale to compete.
Last week, First Habib Bank
Modaraba, a unit of Pakistan’s
largest lender HBL Bank, liquidated its business.
As of March, the three modarabas held a combined
Rs1.9bn ($18.7mn) worth of assets, dwarfed by larger peers
such as Standard Chartered
Modaraba with Rs5.3bn in assets.
The Securities and Exchange
Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
has also developed risk management guidelines for modarabas,
last year introducing Shariah
compliance and Shariah audit
mechanisms to strengthen the
The equity-like nature of
modarabas has left them vulnerable to market price swings,
so the SECP issued rules in 2012
to allow smoothing of profits
using a profit-equalisation reserve.
Pakistan’s modaraba concept
dates back to the 1980’s as the
first Islamic business model
set up with a statutory framework and dedicated regulations,
regarded as one of the purest
forms of Islamic finance.
Bilawal Bhutto struggles to shake off father’s legacy
Naudero, Pakistan
e was a 19-year-old
Oxford undergraduate
when his family named
him chairman of Pakistan’s oldest dynastic party.
In the years that followed, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, now 26,
has been groomed to take over
the dynasty and bring his family’s political party back to power.
The young Bhutto officially
launched his political career
last month, telling hundreds of
thousands of supporters at a rally in the city of Karachi he would
fight for the revival of the Pakistan People’s Party.
Even though he has emerged
as the idealistic new face of the
party, one of the country’s most
notorious politicians remains
firmly in charge: Bilawal’s father,
Asif Ali Zardari.
Zardari’s five years as president
were marked by allegations of
corruption and misgovernment
and the PPP was voted out in a
2013 election when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power.
While the PPP relies on the
Bhutto name and legacy to bind
its supporters, party insiders say
Bilawal has little future without
the political expertise of his father.
“The son realises he does not
have his father’s experience. The
father knows his son’s enthusi-
asm and energy is greater,” said
a family friend, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media on the
“The day-to-day running of
the PPP, all the decision-making, policy-setting, is still Asif’s
domain. Bilawal has no authority
or experience. ... The boss is Asif
Ali Zardari.”
But being the face of Pakistan’s greatest political dynasty
is a highly dangerous job.
Bilawal’s grandfather, Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto, died at the gallows,
hanged in 1979 after being deposed in a military coup.
His mother, Benazir Bhutto,
was killed in a bomb and bullet
attack in 2007, months after she
returned to Pakistan from eight
years in self-exile.
Placing the burden of blood
and history on the son reveals
an enduring strain in politics in
South Asia. In India, four generations of the Nehru-Gandhi
family have dominated politics.
Dynasties also prevail in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Speaking in his mother’s study
at the family house in the village
of Naudero, Bilawal told Reuters
he was being tutored by his father to play a role in politics.
“I have learnt politics from
both my father and mother,” he
said. “But I engage in progressive
politics, learning from the past
but looking forward and asking
where do I go from here.”
Bilawal Bhutto
Bilawal’s grandfather was
known for having mobilised
the country’s first mass-based
party, using the slogan of “food,
shelter and clothing” to shift the
focus from religion to economic
Under him, government services and educational opportunities were opened to women for
the first time and all Pakistanis
had the right to a passport.
“(Zulfikar Ali) Bhutto’s charisma was not just emotional.
He had an economic plan,” Haji
Mumtaz Ali, a government official said at Ghari Khuda Bakhsh, a village set among paddy
fields where seven generations
of the Bhutto family are buried.
“Bhutto brought investment.
He gave us the nuclear programme.”
But analysts and many voters
believe the memories of Zulfikar
Ali and Benazir Bhutto have begun to fade and the moment has
been seized by politicians like
former cricket star Imran Khan
whose anti-corruption message has attracted young people
wanting to break free of dynastic
“Bilawal is not tainted with
any of the rumours that afflicted
the PPP in the past,” said Husain
Haqqani, a family friend and a
former ambassador to the United States.
Political analyst Jami Chandio
said: “This is a very competitive
political environment and Bilawal needs a new team and a new
message. He needs to fire daddy’s friends if he wants to change
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Iconic romantic pair to reunite on screen
Manila Times
inally, one of the ’90s
iconic teen love teams will
reunite on screen via an
original TV production titled
Flordeliza on ABS-CBN.
Jolina Magdangal and Marvin
Agustin, who became household
favourites for comedic love stories, have returned to the network where their careers began,
and are both eager to show more
mature and dramatic roles.
“Jolina and Marvin are known
for their romantic comedy
projects. But over the years, we
saw them grow as individual
actors and both of them earned
awards of their own. And here
in Flordeliza, they will take their
love team to the next level. Both
of them will take on serious roles
and perform heavy dramatic
scenes,” said series director
Wenn Deramas at a news conference last Wednesday.
“Our series is a touching tale
about two families. It focuses on
two mothers and their respective
daughters, who will be drawn
closer by love but torn apart by
one sad truth,” Direk Wenn explained about the series that
will remind TV viewers about
the important role of the family,
in moulding hearts and minds
of children. The title Flordeliza
is based on the names of the
lead characters, Florida (Jolina)
and her daughter Flor (Ashley
Sarmiento), and Elizabeth (Desiree del Valle) and her child Liza
(Rhed Bustamante).
“Flordeliza is one project that
you cannot turn down because
of its beautiful story, great director and talented cast,” said
“The viewers will see a new
Marvin and Jolina tandem, who
like our characters in the series,
are also parents who always put
their children’s welfare first
above all else.”
“Unlike before, our romantic
moments now have depth. Because in Flordeliza, the stars are
not just me, Marvin, Desiree and
the kids, but also, more importantly, our story itself and the
concept of family,” said Jolina.
Completing the Flordeliza
cast are Carlo Aquino, Elizabeth
Oropesa, Tetchie Agbayani and
Juan Rodrigo. It is also under
the direction of Tots SanchezMariscal.
“For this kind of story, we
really needed a pair of actors
who have that certain magic on
screen. And there’s no doubt, as
the audience are bound to see,
that Jolina and Marvin still have
it, to this very day,” concluded
Direk Wenn.
Flordeliza’s airing date will be
announced later.
A whole generation grew up watching the on-screen magic of Jolina
Magdangal and Marvin Agustin.
Govt investigates
children’s centre
President Benigno Aquino greets Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu upon his arrival at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila.
Turkey premier supports
Manila stance in sea row
By Catherine S Valente
Manila Times
he Philippines won the
support of Turkey in its
call for international arbitration to resolve the territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In a joint press statement
with Turkey Prime Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu, President
Benigno Aquino said the Turkish leader had agreed that the
territorial disputes should be
settled through mechanisms
provided for under international law.
“The prime minister agreed
that maritime disputes should
be settled in a peaceful manner and in accordance with international law,” the president
“The prime minister noted
that the Philippines’ decision
to pursue arbitration is one
that advances a durable and
peaceful resolution to the issue,” he added.
Davutoglu also supported
the Philippines’ efforts to
have a legally binding code of
Criticism over slow justice
for massacre victims
By Jing Villamente
Manila Times
arious media groups
have launched activities to commemorate
the fifth anniversary of the
Maguindanao massacre where
58 people, including 32 journalists, were killed by armed
men associated with the Ampatuan clan.
Yesterday morning, the National Press Club (NPC) building was draped in black cloth.
“After five years, justice remains elusive for the victims
of the Ampatuan massacre in
Maguindanao,” NPC President
Joel Sy Egco said.
Egco added that the club is
again joining hands with the
Burgos Media Centre and other progressive groups in marking the incident and in calling
on the government to give justice to the victims as promised
by President Benigno Aquino.
“Almost half a decade has
passed, but impunity reigns
as masterminds and perpe-
trators of this worst case of
media killings in history are
still unpunished.
The promise of President
Aquino for swift delivery of
justice for the massacre victims remains unfulfilled,” the
NPC president said.
As part of the NPC’s weeklong activity, according to
Egco, there will be a torch
parade, musical concert and
poetry reading on November
21, at the NPC compound in
Intramuros, Manila.
A simple wreath-laying
activity will also be done on
November 23, the date of the
“We have decided to forego
the usual protest march to
Mendiola Bridge this year to
air our call for justice. Four
years of street protests under this administration has
gained us nothing,” Egco
The fifth anniversary of
the massacre will also be the
focus of an international media group’s anti-impunity
month activities.
conduct in the WPS. “Turkey
stands with the Philippines
in calling for the full and effective implementation of the
2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South
China Sea, as well as an expeditious conclusion of a legally-binding code,” he said.
The Turkish leader cited
the importance of “stability,
peace of neighbouring countries,” which according to him
are essential to the developments around Turkey and in
the neighbouring regions.
“We see Philippines as our
partner and strategic friend in
this part of the world,” he said.
The Philippines has conflicting territorial claims with
China over resource-rich
parts of the West Philippine
In March, the Philippines
brought its territorial dispute
with China before the Netherlands-based Permanent Court
of Arbitration.
Beijing, however, has rejected the arbitration proceedings, repeatedly insisting
on bilateral talks to settle the
op Philippines officials
said yesterday they had
launched investigations
into a Manila children’s centre
overseen by a former president,
after months of complaints
about the “prison”-like conditions.
There has been a growing
outcry over conditions at the
government-run facility where
vagrant children and some
homeless adults are held, amid
allegations of abuse.
Charity groups allege a litany
of maltreatment including violence, sexual abuse, malnutrition and torture and newspapers
have in recent days carried photographs of an emaciated child
Former Philippine president
Joseph Estrada, now the mayor
of Manila, who is in charge of the
government-run Manila Reception and Action Centre, said he
had ordered an investigation into
the facility, which is located near
the city hall.
“I have already ordered an investigation of that,” he said, reacting to the newspaper images.
But Estrada, deposed as president amid a corruption scandal in 2001, also took a defiant
stance, saying “they are just
trying to blow it (the issue) up,”
although he declined to be specific.
The charity group Bahay Tuluyan (House of Refuge) which
first raised the problems at the
centre in 2009, said authorities
had consistently failed to act.
“They only responded now
that (the controversy) is in the
open,” said Lily Flordelis, executive director of the charity.
“The centre has many abuses
going on: violence, sexual abuse,
malnutrition, torture of children,” she said.
She said those running the facility had admitted it could only
accommodate 50 people, but
was often holding about 250.
Children were locked in at
night with only a pail to urinate
in, she said.
Manila officials blamed the
harsh conditions on lack of
money, she said.
But many of the children also
complained of beatings and
abuse by other children or staff
of the centre, problems which
could not be blamed on funding.
“If they cannot commit (to
improve conditions), we are asking them to close shop. It is so
inhuman what they are doing
there,” she said.
Social Welfare Secretary
Corazon Soliman said her
agency was also carrying out
its own investigation and she
expected to receive a full report
by November 30.
She said she had previously read reports of the alleged
abuse at the Manila centre but
since it was run by the city of
Manila, she could not easily
take action.
“This is a local governmentrun facility and therefore, accountability will be with the
city social welfare and development office as well as the
elected officials who are the
authority,” she said.
She said criminal charges
might be filed, if warranted but
added, “I don’t want to prejudge the case publicly”.
One dead, 17 injured in bomb blast
ne person was killed and 17 were wounded
when a bomb exploded near the gates of an
elementary school in the southern Philippines, the military said yesterday.
The blast occurred late Sunday in Kabacan
town in North Cotabato province, 960 kilometres
south of Manila, where two other explosive devices
were found near the elementary school, said army
spokeswoman Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay.
The other homemade bombs were found at a pedestrian overpass near the school, she said.
Authorities suspect the bombing was the handiwork of militants opposed to a peace deal forged
between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest rebel group, in the
southern region of Mindanao.
“All fingers point to the BIFF,” said Colonel Dickson Hermoso, an army spokesman, referring to
the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which
broke away from the MILF in 2008.
Under the peace deal signed in March, a new
Muslim autonomous entity in the southern region
of Mindanao would be established by 2016 through
a basic law to be passed by Congress and ratified in
a plebiscite.
It would share political power with the central
government and have substantial control over natural resources and revenues generated in Mindanao, where the conflict has killed more than 100,000
and displaced millions.
100,000 families taken off cash grant list over misuse
By Llanesca T Panti
Manila Times
t least 100,000 households have been taken out
of the list of beneficiaries.
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman yesterday said these families were purged because instead
of using the monthly stipend to
buy food or medicines, parents
use the money for their vices.
“The misuse of the grant (on
the part of the beneficiaries) is
due to spending for vices,” Soliman said during presentation of
the 2014 Impact Evaluation of
the CCT, also called Pantawid
Pamilyang Pilipino Programme,
the government’s primary poverty alleviation programme.
Under the programme, beneficiaries receive cash on condition that parents send their children to school, the family has
regular medical check-up and
attend family development sessions, among others.
Each month, a family gets
P500 for health and nutrition
expenses and P300 for each
child in elementary school and
Street children share food donated by a restaurant in downtown Cebu City.
P500 for those in high school.
As of October this year, there
were 4mn households covered
by the CCT, which was first implemented in 2007.
The second assessment of
beneficiaries called Listahanan
or the National Household Targeting System due next year
could either lead to increase or
reduction in the number of beneficiaries.
“We need to have the assessment by next year, to see if there
is a need to add more families or
to lessen their number, depend-
ing on their situation. We want
to continue to improve our system and make adjustments with
an updated data,” Soliman explained.
Based on the Social Welfare
department’s assessment, seven
out of 10 CCT beneficiaries who
are mothers deliver their child in
health facilities, higher than the
national average of 5.5 out of 10.
On the other hand, 98% of the
children aged 12 to 15 covered by
the programme are enrolled and
attend classes 85% of the time,
five percentage points higher
than the 95% among non-CCT
“The criteria wherein children 12 to 15 years old need to be
in school 85% of the time have
posted good results. This is the
age when most of the children
drop out of school, and we can
see that the CCT is addressing
the outflow of children,” Soliman said.
World Bank’s Aleksandra
Posarac, the programme leader
for Health, Education, Social
Protection and Labour, Poverty
and Social Development, backed
Soliman’s claims by citing the
bank’s separate impact evaluation results covering CCT implementation until 2013.
World Bank data showed that
CCT beneficiaries spend 49% of
their cash grant for food, 25% for
education and 7% for healthcare.
“This is how the spending of
the CCT household should be.
The goal is not to lift them out
of poverty in an instant. No government in the world would have
enough resources. The goal is
poverty alleviation, and this has
been happening in the targeted
households. We have to remember that this is a long-term pro-
gramme that would have an impact after a generation finishes
school,” Posarac said.
Soliman said politicians and
some government officials also
“misuse” the CCT programme
by promising voters that they
will be included as beneficiaries
in exchange for their support.
To curb this practice, the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) has embarked on a campaign against
credit grabbers in co-operation
with the Commission on Elections.
The campaign features massive media offensive prior to
elections wherein the public is
reminded that the CCT programme is being implemented
by the national government and
that the DSWD alone, not the
politicians, can enlist or delist
“We tell them not to believe
politicians who claim they can
enlist them, provided that they
give their vote to such candidate or those who claim that the
voters’ decision not to vote for
a certain politician would mean
delisting from the CCT list,”
Soliman said.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Bangladesh navy seizes ship
with hundreds of migrants
angladesh’s navy yesterday intercepted a ship in
the Bay of Bengal carrying hundreds of migrants being
taken to Malaysia by peoplesmugglers, officers said.
Most of the would-be migrants were from Bangladesh,
but some were thought to be
from Myanmar, an officer said
on condition of anonymity.
“There are 500-600 people
in the boat,” the officer said.
“Some 90% of those aboard
the boat are Bangladeshis and
the rest are from Myanmar. The
crew are all from Myanmar.”
The passenger boat was intercepted about 75km away
from Bangladesh’s southernmost point, Saint Martin’s Island, in the Bay of Bengal, Lieutenant Commander Mostafa
Kamal said.
“The passenger ship was being brought to shore,” Kamal
Thousands of poor Bangladeshi and ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar try to mi-
grate to Malaysia every year on
a perilous and sometimes fatal
3,200km (2,000-mile) journey.
“Some 90% of those
aboard the boat
are Bangladeshis
and the rest are
from Myanmar. The
crew are all from
Rights groups say thousands
have perished along the way,
while thousands more have
fallen into the hands of peopletraffickers.
Bangladesh’s coastguard and
border forces have launched
crackdowns on economic migrants, confiscating their ships
and arresting a number of
human traffickers.
Police said the boat was
“heading to Malaysia illegally”
and would be taken into shore.
Thousands of Rohingya — a
Muslim minority group not recognised as citizens in Myanmar
— have fled deadly communal
unrest in Myanmar’s Rakhine
state since 2012.
Myanmar views its population of roughly 800,000 Ro-
hingya — described by the United Nations as one of the world’s
most persecuted minorities
— as illegal immigrants from
Bangladesh and denies them
Around 300,000 Rohingya
have over the years gone to live
in Bangladesh, which recognises only a small portion as refugees and regularly turns back
those trying to cross the border.
Bangladesh has a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia to regulate recruitment
processes and procedures for
workers. The country has inter-
cepted risky outbound voyages
in the past.
Last month, Thai security
forces reportedly rescued 130
Bangladeshi nationals who
travelled along the sea route to
the Southeast Asian country for
better jobs.
Rights groups say the stateless migrants often fall into the
hands of people-traffickers.
They have also criticised
Thailand in the past for pushing boatloads of Rohingya entering Thai waters back out to
sea and holding migrants in
overcrowded facilities.
Tarique Rahman
for Zia’s
son over
with UN
on war
ri Lanka yesterday raised
objections with the UN office in Colombo regarding
the manner in which an investigation is being conducted on
the war against Tamil rebels in
Sri Lanka.
Minister of External Affairs G
L Peiris met resident co-ordinator of the UN in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy and conveyed to him
the government’s discontent
concerning the manner in which
the investigation was being conducted by the UN’s Office of the
High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR).
The external affairs ministry said the minister’s protest
to the UN resident coordinator focused on the unacceptable
way in which the deadline for
evidence submission which had
originally been set October 30 by
the OHCHR had been changed
unofficially and reset once again,
Xinhua reported.
According to the OHCHR’s
call for submissions on its website, the deadline was definite
and mandatory.
However, an OHCHR spokesperson, in response to a question
from a local newspaper, stated
that although officially the deadline was October 30 and will not
be extended, it was understood
that some materials might take
time to arrive and submissions
arriving late, therefore, would
not necessarily be refused.
Corresponding to this comment, the OHCHR website did
not announce the closure of the
e-mail address for the receipt of
submissions even after the official deadline had passed. It was
only pursuant to the matter having been taken up very strongly
by the government that the OHCHR later issued a news release
announcing that submissions
ended on October 30 and the email address had ceased to exist.
President Rajapakse knew
of payments to rebels: envoy
peace broker accused
of helping to fund Sri
Lanka’s separatist war
acknowledged yesterday that
Tamil rebels had been induced
to engage in the peace process but said payments were
made with the government’s
Erik Solheim, a Norwegian diplomat who for nearly
a decade headed international
efforts to broker a peace deal,
was accused by President Mahinda Rajapakse at the weekend of “giving money” to the
Tamil Tigers who waged a
37-year insurgency for a separate homeland before being
crushed in 2009.
The comments came in an
address by the nationalist
president in front of support-
Erik Solheim: “All payments had been conducted with the Colombo
government’s full knowledge.”
all payments had been conducted with the Colombo
government’s full knowledge.
“Norway made economic
resources available to the LTTE
(Tamil Tigers) peace secretariat in order to assist them in
ers in the countdown to an
election expected in January.
But Solheim, who initially
accused Rajapakse of “telling
lies”, said yesterday that while
the Tigers had indeed been
given “economic resources”,
engaging more fully with the
ongoing peace process,” he said
in a statement.
“This, moreover, was done
with the full knowledge of the
government of Sri Lanka under different leaders, including during the period when
Mahinda Rajapakse was prime
“As with all our peace efforts
in Sri Lanka, transparency with
respect to the government in
Colombo was total.”
While Solheim did not go
into detail on how the money
funnelled to the Tigers was
spent, he did say that the
rebels acquired a radio transmitter with the government’s
Solheim said Rajapakse — who
comes from the island’s majority Sinhalese community — had
expressed his gratitude “both
to Norway and myself” after inviting them to continue peace
Saarc Summit preparation
Pedestrians cross an overhead bridge built near the venue of upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc)
Summit in Kathmandu. The Saarc Summit will be held in Kathmandu from November 22 to 27.
AntiCorruption Commission
(ACC) said yesterday that
it will soon seek information from
Malaysia and the United Kingdom about the money siphoned
off by former judge Motahar
Hossain who acquitted Khaleda
Zia’s Tarique Rahman in a money
laundering case a year ago.
“The ACC has already approved a proposal for sending
requests to Malaysia and the UK.
We’ve prepared the request appeals and will send them to the
attorney general’s office soon
for forwarding to the relevant
offices of the two countries,”
National Risk Assessment Cell
(NRA) co-ordinator M Fanafillah
said in Dhaka yesterday.
On November 17, 2013, Motahar Hossain, former special
judge of Dhaka Metropolitan
Session Judge Court, dropped
the charges against Tarique of
laundering 204.1mn taka to
Singapore. In the same case, he
sentenced Tarique’s friend and
business partner Giasuddin Al
Mamun to seven years in prison
and fined him 400mn taka.
While serving as the judge
of Speedy Trial Tribunal-4,
Hossain also dropped charges
against five accused, including
Bashundhara Group’s chairman
Ahmed Sobhan Shah Alam’s
son in Sabbir murder case in
2011. Sabbir was murdered in
July 2006.
There were allegations that
before going on retirement on
December 30, 2013, Hossain acquitted a number of accused in
sensational cases taking a huge
amount of money in bribe and
later he siphoned off the money
In the light of graft allegations
that surfaced against the former
judge, the national anti-graft
body initiated a probe into the
allegations on January 20. And
the ACC immediately sent letters
to the special branch of the additional inspector general of police and immigration authorities
asking them to take steps so that
Hossain cannot leave Bangladesh.
After scrutinising his travel
documents, the ACC made sure
that Hossain left Bangladesh for
Malaysia on January 8, prior to
court in Bangladesh capital Dhaka has summoned
former prime minister
Khaleda Zia’s elder son Tarique
Rahman to appear before it on
December 10 in connection with
a case filed against him on charge
of calling the country’s founder
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a “Pakbandhu” (Friend of Pakistan).
Metropolitan Magistrate Judge
Rezaul Karim came up with the
order hours after Monir Khan, a
ruling Bangladesh Awami League
party leader, filed the case
against Rahman, who is also senior vice chairman of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP),
with the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
The complainant said that
Rahman at the discussion in East
London in September made the
derogatory comments about
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman under
whose leadership Bangladesh
fought a nine-month liberation
war against Pakistan in 1971.
“These remarks are defamatory not only to the Father of
the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman, but also to his
daughter Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina and his party Bangladesh
Awami League,” the complainant
Tarique Rahman is now living
in London along with his wife
and daughter.
Hundreds of
in Nepal’s
Chitwan to
build homes
Former speedy trial court judge in
the dock over money laundering
By Mizan Rahman
efforts soon after he won the
presidential election in 2005.
“Thereafter, President Rajapakse made a number of
political requests that he
asked me to convey on his behalf to LTTE leader Velupillai
“All these messages were
duly communicated on to
the LTTE leadership, and the
killings ceased for a period,”
Solheim said.
The envoy did not give the
nature of the political requests
of the president, but added
that details would be revealed
in a book next year.
While Solheim did manage
to broker a truce between the
government and rebels in April
2006, it later unravelled.
The war was finally ended by a brutal onslaught on
the rebels’ last remaining
stronghold, during which
Prabhakaran was killed.
the ACC’s letters to the authorities concerned asking them to
impose a restriction on travel of
the judge, official sources said.
ACC deputy director and inquiry officer Harun-ur-Rashid
said the watchdog is also trying
to collect information about the
alleged money laundering by the
former judge through the United
Nations Convention against
Corruption (UNCAC) and the
Bangladesh Bank.
As a signatory to UNCAC,
Bangladesh can get information
related to siphoning off money
from Malaysia.
ore than 500 Habitat for Humanity volunteers start
building homes, alongside
36 low-incomes families
in Chitwan district of Nepal yesterday. The volunteers have come together for
‘Everest Build III’.
Among the families is Bishnu Tamang, 33, who said: “I’m
very happy to have so many
volunteers here. The house
we will build together is totally different from my current house, which is old, small
and full of suffering. This new
house is new, with sufficient
space and will be a healthy
Rick Hathaway, Habitat
for Humanity‘s Asia-Pacific vice president, said:
“A decent home opens
the doors to improved
health, better performance in school for children,
greater economic opportunities
community spirit. These
volunteers will play a part in
transforming lives.”
Everest Build III follows the
success of similar occasions
in 2012 and 2010. The event
is also a celebration of the
50,000 families already supported by Habitat for Humanity Nepal, and is a major marker in their target of assisting
100,000 families by 2016.
Aruna Paul Simittararachchi, Habitat for Humanity
Nepal’s country representative, said: “The work carried
out at the build site this week
will not only have a direct
impact on the lives of these
partner families, but have a
ripple effect – encouraging
other families to build homes,
to generate more funds, and
change policies. Our aim
is a Nepal with no poverty
Next year Nepal will host
the Habitat for Humanity’s
32nd annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
Scheduled to take place from
November 1 to 6, 2015, former
US president Jimmy Carter
and his wife, Rosalynn, will
lead around 2,000 volunteers
to build homes.
Often referred to as Habitat
for Humanity’s ‘most famous
volunteers’, the Carters give a
week of their time each year to
help Habitat build, renovate or
repair homes in order to shed
light on the critical role decent
housing plays in providing a
path out of poverty.
Everest Build III runs from
November 17 to 21.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 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
Unity within
the GCC is the
need of the hour
The decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and Bahrain to return their ambassadors
to Qatar needs to be applauded whole-heartedly
because unity within the Gulf Co-operation Council
(GCC) is of utmost importance to the progress and
stability of the region and cannot be compromised
for individual political gains.
An eight-month spat between the neighbours has
been resolved after a surprise summit in Saudi Arabia
on Sunday where leaders agreed to move forward
and tackle the challenges facing them together. The
decision is borne out of pragmatism because political
unity within region is the need of the hour for reasons
that are not difficult to comprehend.
It’s no secret that the GCC is an oasis of peace and
tranquility while several other countries in the Arab
world are struggling for their very survival. With
violence and bloodshed stalking countries like Syria,
Libya, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen for over four years
now, it is inevitable that the dark forces that threaten
them are not allowed any leeway on GCC soil.
It’s no secret that reconciliation means
the annual GCC
the GCC is an
summit will now
oasis of peace and proceed as planned
tranquility while in Doha next
month. It will be
several other
safe to assume that
important decisions
countries in the
will be taken then
Arab world are
which will further
struggling for their consolidate GCC’s
unity and insulate
very survival
it from the ill winds
that are blowing across the Arab world.
“What is important now is that the worst crisis
to hit the GCC in its 33 years of existence is over,”
Emirati political science professor Abdulkhaleq
Abdulla said.
“2014 was the worst year for the GCC. The return
of the ambassadors means that GCC states have
turned a page on this major dispute,” he added.
Resolving the GCC crisis was given added impetus
by the rise of Islamic State group (IS) extremists in
Syria and Iraq, which borders Saudi Arabia.
The US is also likely to have urged GCC leaders to
bury the hatchet, because it is engaged in a battle
against the IS and other forces that have established
pockets of influence in Syria and Iraq.
Sunday’s GCC statement said the accord “promises
the opening of a new page... especially in light of the
sensitive circumstances the region is undergoing”.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani
played a proactive role in defusing the crisis and
bringing everybody together once again. The last few
months have been testing for Qatar to say the least,
but the latest development has come as a welcome
relief that will go a long way in healing any rifts that
may have arisen because of certain misconceptions.
To Advertise
[email protected]
Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811
Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811
circula[email protected]
2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved
The US helping achieve
Qatar’s education goals
Studies show international
experience is increasingly
valued by employers in the
global economy
By Dana Shell
his week
marks the
15th annual
International Education
Week, an event celebrated in over 100
countries around the world. It is an
opportunity to recognise the critical
importance of international educational exchange in developing mutual
understanding and respect between
countries and their people around the
world and to celebrate education as a
means of empowering and enhancing
not only the individual but society as
a whole.
Over the past 15 years, thousands
of events have been held around
the world showcasing the benefits
of international education and
International education is for everyone. It is integral to building a more
sustainable, secure, and prosperous
world. International students enrich
classrooms, campuses, and communities in ways that endure long after
students return home. This exchange
is essential to solving global challenges like climate change, violent
extremism, as well as health and food
People with an international education bridge socio-economic, cultural,
political, religious, and geographic
barriers and achieve greater understanding of one another’s values and
Indeed, international education
empowers the next generation with
the knowledge and skills to lead our
interconnected world. Studies show
international experience is increasingly valued by employers in the
global economy. We welcome an
ever-increasing number of foreign
students studying in the US and encourage American students to study
According to the Institute of International Education’s 2014 Open Doors
Report, there are nearly 900,000
international students in the US and
almost 300,000 Americans studying
Every single Qatari
who studies in the
US and American
who studies in Qatar
benefits both our
Today, nearly 45% of international
students are women, representing a
60% increase over 20 years. Educating
girls is particularly important as girls’
attendance in formal schooling drives
gender equality, decreases infant and
maternal mortality, and advances
economic development.
We seek greater diversity in
international study – more diverse
students, more diverse locations of
study and more diverse types of degrees and academic institutions. The
State Department directly supports
exchange programmes that expand
academic opportunities for students
from disadvantaged backgrounds and
historically underserved populations
in both the US and abroad.
Likewise, Qatar’s commitment to
investing in education is outlined in
the Qatar National Vision 2030. Qatar’s dedicated educators have worked
hard to make Qatar a regional leader in
education; from the Supreme Education Council’s sweeping K-12 reforms,
to Qatar University’s forward-looking
outreach and partnerships, to Education City and the other educationfocused institutions at the Qatar
As Her Highness Sheikha Mozah
bint Nasser has stated: “A proper
education promotes understanding between people, enhances civic
responsibility and political participation and can ultimately contribute to
peaceful outcomes.”
I am proud and gratified that the
US is a major partner in helping
achieve Qatar’s ambitious education goals, with six US universities
at Education City and countless
research and educational exchanges
and collaborations between US and
Qatari institutions.
The number of Qatari students in
the US has more than doubled over the
last five years, and last year increased
by nearly 20% to reach 1,191 Qataris
studying in the US.
As the US ambassador to Qatar, I
will work to increase opportunities
for Qataris to study in the US, and
to augment the already substantial
number of educational exchanges and
partnerships between US and Qatari
institutions. The US offers nearly
4,000 accredited colleges and univer-
sities and over $55bn per year invested
in research.
America’s educational institutions
produce over a third of the world’s publications and host 70% of the world’s
Nobel Prize winners. Our education
system thrives because of the diversity of our students, who are cultural
ambassadors, enriching our classrooms
with new perspectives and experiences.
Every single Qatari who studies in the
US and American who studies in Qatar
benefits both our nations.
To support students who want to
study in the US, our embassy has made
facilitation of visas for students a top
priority. Also, the embassy’s Student
Advising Office guides applicants to
US universities with individual appointments, group presentations and
test material preparation.
Education is a key pillar of our
mission at the embassy and we are
100% committed to helping students
succeed in their journey to and from
the US.
Whenever I meet Qatari graduates
of US institutions, they always have
fond memories of their friendships
with the American people and are
proud of how far they grew as people
during their time in the US.
In observing International Education Week, we join our Qatari friends
in encouraging and fostering the
healthy growth of our youth, our
educational systems and our deep
I hope this week will give us a
chance to thank those who taught us,
reflect upon everyday opportunities
to learn and aspire to greater heights
through educational exchange.
zDana Shell Smith is US ambassador
to the State of Qatar
Europe’s Franco-German dream team
By Kemal Dervis
hen the International
Monetary Fund lowered
its global growth forecast for 2014 and 2015
from 3.7% and 3.9%, respectively, to
3.3% and 3.8%, it cited the eurozone’s
increasingly gloomy prospects, including significantly slower growth in
Germany, as a leading cause.
After all, the eurozone still accounts
for about 13% of world output at market prices – about the same as China.
Europe’s economic struggles are
reflected in its political situation,
with many European electorates now
mired in a sense of hopelessness and
sliding toward ideological extremes.
But a forthcoming report by two
highly-respected economists – Jean
Pisani-Ferry, the French government’s
commissioner-general for policy
planning, and Henrik Enderlein, a
leader of a reformist group of German economists – will propose a way
The task facing Pisani-Ferry and
Enderlein is to create a new strategy
for Europe’s two largest economies,
focusing on structural reforms in
France and increased investment in
Germany. The hope is that the report,
which will be made public on December 1, will provide a breakthrough that
can revive, at long last, the eurozone’s
growth engine.
The paper was commissioned a few
days after the IMF’s Annual Meetings
last month, at a gathering of the French
finance and economy ministers, Michel
Sapin and Emmanuel Macron, and their
German counterparts, Wolfgang Schäuble and Sigmar Gabriel.
Though the meeting produced
no concrete policy action, it could
signal the beginning of more effective Franco-German co-operation,
guided by the Pisani-Ferry/Enderlein report.
Such co-operation could not come
at a better time. A couple of weeks
after the project was initiated, France
and Italy submitted revised annual
budgets to the European Commission,
in which they demanded more fiscal
room for manoeuvre.
The Commission now has until
the end of this month to determine
whether France has pursued reform
diligently enough to avoid penalties
for breaking its pledge to cut its budget
deficit to less than 3% of GDP by next
An effective reform strategy
would have to balance the need for
budget restraint and macroeconomic stability with growth-enhancing policies.
When it comes to the latter, European Central Bank (ECB) president
Mario Draghi’s proposals in August –
expanded monetary easing, structural
reforms (particularly in France and
Italy), and some fiscal expansion by
countries like Germany – provide a
useful framework to be supplemented
with concrete measures.
The ECB governing council has
already agreed, in principle, to use
the first of these policy tools. But
monetary expansion alone will be
inadequate to lift the eurozone out of
Moreover, many of the structural reforms that are currently being
considered or implemented, despite
boosting growth in the long term,
can have short-term contractionary
This is particularly true of greater
labour-market flexibility, a key asset
for long-term growth that can lead to
a short-term increase in unemployment.
That is why a more expansionary fiscal stance is also vital, with
Germany leading the way in deploying
increased public investment to “crowd
in” private investment and boost com-
petitiveness. The IMF’s recent World
Economic Outlook describes the success of this approach in recessionary
Given that Germany and even
France can borrow at record-low
interest rates, any reasonably welldesigned investment programme will
strengthen the public sector’s balance
sheet. And, with the eurozone running
a current-account surplus of nearly
$350bn – which the euro’s recent
decline will bolster further – there is
no risk of a eurozone-wide balanceof-payments crisis.
The key is confidence.
Germany must trust that its agreement to loosen the eurozone’s fiscal
belt will not lead to a slowdown of
structural reforms, and countries like
France need to know that excessive
austerity will not exacerbate the impact of politically difficult structural
reforms in the short run.
In this sense, top-level political
support, voiced in a way that elicits
the approval of Europe’s citizens, will
be crucial.
Gabriel and Macron must lead the
charge, backed by Sapin and Schäuble.
Crucially, German Chancellor Angela
Merkel and French Prime Minister
Manuel Valls – not to mention the new
Commission – must also step in to offer genuine support for the project.
Waning confidence is a eurozonewide problem but the Franco-German
relationship lies at its core. And, as
experience has shown, Germany and
France can have a major impact when
they work together. The power of that
relationship is what the Pisani-Ferry/
Enderlein initiative represents – and
what could, with sufficient political
support, revitalise Europe. - Project
zKemal Dervis, former minister of
economic affairs of Turkey and former
administrator for the UN Development
Programme (UNDP), is a vice president
of the Brookings Institution.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Welcome to the planet’s first oil well
Though Lukasiewicz
pioneered the oil industry,
few outside Poland know
about him, due in part to
his own humility
By Stanislaw Waszak
Bobrka, Poland
he smell of money hangs
thick in the air as black
crude oil bubbles up from
what is billed as the world’s
oldest oil well, but this is not Texas
or Saudi Arabia.
The sleepy village of Bobrka in
southern Poland lays claim to the
planet’s first oil well and rig, one
that is still pumping up enough black
gold to be profitable.
It was dug and built by hand in
1860 under the watchful gaze of
Polish pharmacist and inventor
Ignacy Lukasiewicz, a humble man
who pioneered the now ubiquitous
use of petroleum by creating the
kerosene lamp.
Thanks to him, “Bobrka became
the birthplace of the world’s oil
industry”, says Barbara Olejarz, who
runs a local museum devoted to
the origins of the sector and whose
last name by coincidence means
“oilman” in Polish.
“It all began there,” she tells AFP
while pointing a finger at an obelisk
built by Lukasiewicz and his circle
to mark the launch of the oil field in
1854 and the founding of the world’s
first oil company.
Despite giving birth to the sector,
it turned out that Poland did not
have much oil.
It now produces around 20,000
barrels a day, or 7.3mn per year,
worth some $584mn (466mn
euros) at current prices - a trickle
by global standards. Refined
locally, Polish crude covers just 4 to
5%of domestic demand, according
to oil and gas expert Andrzej
The five remaining wells at
the Bobkra museum pump out a
combined 423 barrels of crude per
year, which is also locally refined and
And though he pioneered the oil
industry, few outside the country
know about Lukasiewicz, due in part
to his own humility.
“His modesty worked against
him. He remained less known than
other Polish scientists: Copernicus
or Marie Sklodowska-Curie,” says
“He didn’t want to be the talk of
the town, he didn’t like to stand out,
he did everything during his lifetime
so that he’d be forgotten and his wish
has been fulfilled.”
Born in 1822 in the southern
village of Zaduszniki - then part
of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Lukasiewicz acquired a pharmacist’s
diploma and an interest in the
petroleum found in the eastern
Carpathian Mountains.
He ran experiment after
experiment, sometimes triggering
an accidental fire or explosion,
before succeeding at refining crude
oil and inventing the first kerosene
In 1853, he used it to light up the
hospital in nearby Lviv, now part of
Ukraine, and the following year he lit
the world’s first kerosene lamp on a
street in Gorlice.
Next up came the need to learn
how to extract fuel from the ground
in high volumes.
“In Bobrka, the first drillers
were actually well-diggers who
dug holes with pickaxes, shovels
and hammers. The work was hard
A reconstruction of the hand-operated drilling rig from 1862 in the Ignacy Lukasiewicz Museum of Petroleum Industry in Bobrka.
and dangerous,” says Olejarz,
citing hazards including cave-ins,
flooding and gas leaks.
She spoke in front of the wooden
tripod that surrounds the Franek
well, which is equipped with a
Weather report
A win-win
Dear Sir,
The news item “Labour law changes
by early next year” (Gulf Times,
November 17) gives great hope to
Qatar’s entire expatriate workforce,
especially those who are qualified,
competent and experienced.
Measures like removal or relaxation
of re-entry ban and permission for
skilled expat workers to switch jobs,
subject to reasonable restrictions,
on completion of contract, will
contribute to Qatar’s progress and
development as there will be healthy
competition amongst employers to
retain their best talents.
In fact, there will be greater
recognition and reward for those who
are competent. Employers need to vie
with each other to recruit and keep
talents with their establishments.
It will be a win-win situation for
employers, employees and the country
at large.
Yet another welcome development
being considered is the replacement of
exit permit with a system that grants
expatriates automatic permission after
a three-day grace period.
We, expatriates, are indeed loyal and
grateful to Qatar since the country’s
leaders “believe that the people
cable pulley for pulling up buckets
of oil.
By 1874, the Austro-Hungarian
Empire had identified 111 wells and
drilling sites in Bobrka. The deepest
well went down 150m.
The wells would be extended later
thanks to new drilling technology,
much of which was developed in the
United States.
“Some say that one of the
Rockefellers either came here
himself or sent his associates to seek
advice on how to obtain kerosene
from crude oil,” says Olejarz,
referring to the wealthy US family
behind the company that became
energy giant ExxonMobil.
“And Lukasiewicz told them
When the Rockefellers asked how
much they owed him for the advice,
he was said to have replied that it
was free because he was working
for the good of humanity - not for
“He was particularly modest,
the archetypal nice guy, someone
with passion,” says Joanna Kubit,
principal of the petrochemical
technical high school in the nearby
town of Krosno.
“His idea was that the oil industry
should above all serve to improve life
in this poor province of Galicia,” the
name of the region when it was an
impoverished part of the AustroHungarian empire.
Sure enough, she says, the life of
the region’s residents changed with
the income generated by the sector
and the considerable sums their
wealthiest resident spent on public
utility projects.
Lukasiewicz set up vocational
schools, social insurance and
municipal credit bureaus across the
region. He also financed university
scholarships, churches, convents
and monasteries.
“It was said at the time that every
road in Galicia was paved with
Lukasiewicz’s money.”
Three-day forecast
helping us build our country deserve
to be fairly paid, humanely treated and
protected against exploitation”.
We reiterate our commitment and
pledge to work for the welfare and
betterment of this great and growing
country. We are all proud to be part of
this winning exercise.
V Kalyanaraman
(e-mail address supplied)
A step in
right direction
Dear Sir,
In reference to your editorial “USChina climate deal rekindles hopes
of a ‘cleaner’ world” (Gulf Times,
November 16), I would like to say that
the agreement is a step in the right
direction, especially as it comes after
the acrimonious blame game between
the two countries.
China has started to tread the path
of clean energy after years of extreme
dependence on fossil fuels, especially
coal, to push rapid economic growth
as well as support the growing
population. But growing pollution,
smog and concern for environment
have brought the Chinese to the
negotiating table now. Eventually, this
will bode well.
This has a lesson for India as well.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
push towards “Make in India”
campaign will definitely be energyintensive and with huge reserves of
coal, it’s but natural that India will
be heavily dependent on coal for its
manufacturing push. But this will be
at the cost of clean environment.
How India positions itself for
business amongst two of its most
important partners, China and the
US, will form the blueprint of the
country’s future.
Arun Kumar
(e-mail address supplied)
Dear Sir,
We should appreciate Ashghal for
constantly improving Qatar’s road
infrastructure to ease traffic flow. But
there are still some issues that Ashghal
should look into.
For instance, some interior streets
connecting to the main road are
very close to the traffic signals now.
Because of this, vehicles coming from
interior roads in many areas cannot
easily merge into the traffic and go
to the far left lane before the signals
because of the long queue of vehicles.
This could cause accidents and traffic
blocks in the interior roads. A side
street near the Parachute signals and
the another one near the so-called
“Crazy” signals are typical examples.
Entry points to main roads from
side streets must ideally be far from
the signals in order to have smooth
[email protected]
High: 30 C
Low: 22 C
Hazy to misty to the south at first
becoming moderate temperature
daytime with some clouds
High: 30 C
Low : 23 C
High: 28 C
Low : 22 C
P Cloudy
Please send us
your letters
By e-mail
[email protected]
Fax 44350474
Or Post
Letters to the Editor
Gulf Times
P O Box 2888
Doha, Qatar
Fishermen’s forecast
Wind: NE-SE 03-12 KT
Waves: 1-3 Feet
Wind: SE 03-12 KT
Waves: 1-2 Feet
Around the region
Abu Dhabi
All letters, which are subject to
editing, should have the name
of the writer, address and phone
number. The writer’s name and
address may be withheld by
Kuwait City
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
M Cloudy
P Cloudy
C Storms
P Cloudy
C Storms
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
T Storms
P Cloudy
Live issues
How to create a winning team - at home or work
By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H
Hopson and Ted Hagen
Tribune News Service
ave you ever felt your family
is more disconnected than
united? And does your
workplace family feel more
like a group of competitors - even
Oftentimes, members of any group
start to play against each other. The
tension rises as time goes by. Before
long, the team starts to crumble.
But incorporating new strategies
can help save the day. New behaviours,
goals and thoughtful communication
can help.
It’s always productive if someone
in every group takes a leadership role
- even if it’s more like a low-key supportive role, working on the sidelines
to help bring out the best in everyone.
This helps to lower tension.
Every adult can help to stabilise teams
of people by developing relationship skills
to help pull people in the same direction.
And it doesn’t hurt to teach these skills to
children in your life as well.
This magic can happen in the midst
of ordinary groups in which everyone
is not a saint or close to winning the
Mr or Ms Congeniality award.
“I was the lowest person on the totem pole in my office for years,” says
a law firm secretary we’ll call Tracey.
“But I think I was the firm’s glue in
a lot of ways. Some of our young attorneys enjoyed jockeying for power.
Being 15 years older than most of the
attorneys, I often steered them to do
more for the team.”
Be aware of
behaviours in
For instance, she often noticed
that some attorneys volunteered very
little information in meetings. Tracey
would speak up to ask questions that
others in the room were probably eager
to ask, but for some reason did not.
“I knew that withholding a lot of
information from each other would
not benefit the particular cases these
young lawyers were in charge of,”
Tracey points out.
Here are some tips for building a
great team:
Ask if others need more information. Don’t just assume they do or do
not. Always tell your team members:
“Let me know if you need anything
from me.” This makes it safe for others
to approach you without worrying
about feeling judged.
Learn to speak in clear, visual
pictures. For instance, if you must
describe some help you need from coworkers, say, for example: “I need all
of you to write one or two paragraphs
for the company brochure telling
about your job role. Be sure to put in
any good problem-solving skills you
enjoy using.” Don’t say: “Write a little something about yourself for the
Be aware of non-verbal behaviours
in others. This way, you can detect
when someone feels isolated or angry.
For instance, if one of your family
members is quiet and pulls away from
the family, you can make it a point to
ask if you can help in any way.
Whether it’s your family or your
work group you’re dealing with, your
team can function better if all players
work as a unified force. This means
everyone should feel respected and
deeply appreciated by the others.
A friendly pow-pow, which can be
an office meeting or a family meeting,
can help everybody on your team feel
his or her feelings do matter.
We all feel loyalty to others according
to how they make us feel. It’s easier to
pull for a team if you know the others
care about your emotions and outcomes.
“Our world needs more shepherds,”
says a banker we’ll call Aaron. “At
my bank, we take time to take care of
others’ feelings, and this enhances
our teamwork. I know our mortgage
loan department is a lot stronger
than most. We make fewer mistakes,
because we all spend a lot of time
listening to each other.”
zJudi Light Hopson is the executive
director of the stress management
website USA Wellness Cafe at www. Emma Hopson
is an author and a nurse educator. Ted
Hagen is a family psychologist.
Around the world
Cape Town
Hong Kong
New Delhi
New York
Sao Paulo
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
T Storms
P Cloudy
T Storms
C Showers
M Cloudy
P Cloudy
P Cloudy
T Storms
P Cloudy
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Vodafone’s team at the MOQP Challenge.
Participants taking part in one item of the competition.
MOQP Challenge raises
funds for diabetic kids
he third annual Maersk Oil and Qatar Petroleum (MOQP) Challenge
came to a close this weekend,
raising $110,000 for Action on
Diabetes (AoD).
The corporate adventure race
of the year saw more than 200
people, split into 30 teams from
some of Qatar’s largest organisations compete over two days at
the coastal location of Fuwerit.
Schlumberger’s The Blue Expendables team was crowned
the overall winners of the desert
challenge with the highest
number health points, beating
off competition from Maersk
Oil Qatar’s The Navigators, who
won the Best Male Team and
Texas A&M University Qatar
team, The TAMUQ who won the
Best Team Spirit category.
The MOQP Challenge is held
annually to coincide with World
Diabetes Day, which is marked
every year on November 14. Each
participating team made a donation of $5,000 to take part in the
event, raising a total of $110,000
for AoD. The money raised this
year will again be used to fund
the Al Bawasil Camp, which
hosts diabetic children from
Qatar and the region to educate them about managing the
The two-day challenge saw
teams complete five stages with
an overnight stay in the desert.
For the first time, challenges
included both mountain biking
and kayaking, as well as orienteering by GPS, completing construction projects, navigating in
the desert at night and solving
challenging team problems to
promote problem solving and
develop team skills.
All activities in this year’s
MOQP challenge were themed
around diabetes and promoted
healthy lifestyles, demonstrating the benefits of adopting
a healthy lifestyle, including
maintaining a balanced diet and
stopping smoking. Each team
started the competition with a
health check-up score of zero,
and were challenged to raise
health points throughout all five
stages of the competition.
Lewis Affleck, managing director, Maersk Oil Qatar, said:
“This year’s MOQP Challenge
looked as tough as ever and everybody who participated should
be proud of what they have
achieved while learning about
diabetes. This condition is one of
the most prevalent health challenges in Qatar and it is important to support fun and engaging
events like this to raise awareness about the risks associated
with diabetes and the best way
to prevent its development.”
Abdulla al-Hamaq, executive
director, Qatar Diabetes Association, said: “Diabetes is on the
rise all over the world and countries are struggling to keep pace.
IDF’s most recent estimates indicate that 382mn people have
diabetes. If current demographic
patterns continue, the number
of people with the disease is set
to rise beyond 592mn in less than
25 years. With this in mind, the
MOQP Challenge importantly
helps raise awareness of diabetes and its complications, presenting a unique opportunity to
reach people in our community
in a new, engaging way.”
Vodafone takes
part in corporate
adventure race
a team consisting of
five Vodafone employees, has competed against 28
teams in the Maersk Oil and QP
(MOQP) Challenge 2014 to raise
awareness about diabetes.
proven concepts, this corporate adventure race also aims
to develop leadership and
teamwork skills.
Over two days (Saturday and
yesterday) in Zekreet, each participating team had to overcome
physical challenges, develop
strategies and complete construction tests. The Vodafone
Vipers found themselves facing a
series of tasks, including orienteering by GPS, navigating in the
desert at night, mountain biking
and kayaking.
$110,000, which will be donated to Action on Diabetes,
thereby generating vital funds
to support diabetes research,
“Conducting our business responsibly and ethically entails
the strong emphasis we place
on the health and safety of our
employees and our community.
Additionally, it involves our focus on continually giving back
to the community. So, we are
proud to have participated in the
Maersk Oil and QP Challenge
to raise awareness about the
alarming rise of diabetes in Qatar,” said Kyle Whitehill, CEO of
Vodafone Qatar.
Vodafone Qatar’s Employee
Wellness Programme’s annual calendar features smoking
cessation sessions and family
events to which employees invite
their families to attend health
and wellness awareness workshops, including healthy diets,
kids’ safety and others.
The programme also encompasses staff immunisation and
blood screening to check cholesterol and diabetes levels and
helps employees identify any
alarming health issue in its early
Efforts on to tap solar energy, Total launches
says Kahramaa president
defensive driving
course for women
By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter
s part of its commitments to provide better
and high standards of
living to its 2.2mn residents,
Qatar is sparing no efforts to
tap full use of its renewable energy sources, said Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) president
Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari while
opening the Solar Qatar Summit yesterday.
While deliberating on the
country’s plan to make headway in the solar power sector,
the Kahramaa president said
the country’s power sector is
making remarkable efforts to
transform towards the smart
grids and complete deployment of solar energy potential
within the state boundaries.
“By 2030, Qatar aims to be
an advanced society, capable of
sustaining its development and
providing a high standard of
living for its people and largescale activities directed to
achieving targets are currently
under way,” said al-Kuwari.
He said the world is facing major challenges in the
power sector owing to the governments’ determination to
make the universe greener and
cleaner and solar energy has
emerged as one of the best pos-
Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari inaugurating the Solar Qatar Summit and Exhibition at Ritz-Carlton Doha
Hotel yesterday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
sible solutions to the issue.
In 2030, there will be more
than 8bn inhabitants in the
world and the electricity generation is expected to grow by
70% from the present levels, he
Al-Kuwari said rapid technological changes and such factors
as falling costs, better understanding of financial risks and
a growing appreciation of wider
benefits of solar will make renewable energy as an effective answer for the world’s ever
growing power requirements.
The Kahramaa president also
welcomed the entry of private
financing in the sector for realising some of the major power
“Funding initiatives can also
be used to attract capital, especially in developing countries
where cost of capital is traditionally high,” he said, adding
that renewable energy cannot
only meet the world’s rising demand but can also do so more
Al-Kuwari also inaugurated the exhibition held at the
otal recently launched a
full-day defensive driving
course for its women employees and contractors as part
of its mandatory safety culture
The training takes place every
two months in co-ordination
with Karwa Transport and
Training Development Centre.
More than 10 employees have
attended this session, which focused on implementing driving
safety best practices.
The participants took part in
both theory and practical sessions
and were coached on how to reduce driving risks by anticipating
situations and making safe, wellinformed decisions. The practical
course consisted of slaloming, obstacle avoidance, emergency braking steering and practice driving.
Road accidents have been a
major cause of fatalities in Qatar
and defensive driving aims to reduce that by training attendees
to use caution and judgment.
The course covers the different
causes of crashes and how to
avoid them. It also focuses on
the ways to overcome psychological factors such as road rage
and emotional distress that can
affect driving, as well as human
factors such as driving under the
Hend Hassan: “It was a very
informative and interactive
Mohamed Basser: “The
defensive driving course is
very important.”
influence of banned substances.
Along with the practical session, the course touched on the
dynamics of a crash and different
types of collisions. The importance of wearing the safety belt
was continuously stressed as it is
the most effective safety equipment in the event of a crash.
The training was well-received,
with Hend Hassan, an employee
at Total, saying: “It was a very informative and interactive session,
with all driving rules and regulations explained to us, in addition
to using real-life situations that
can lead to dire consequences. We
were also informed about crash
prevention techniques and how
to avoid the different psychologi-
cal factors that can negatively impact one’s driving such as stress,
fatigue and emotional distress.
Overall, we will develop a positive
attitude while driving to increase
our focus.”
“At Total, safety always comes
first and we provide all our employees and contractors with the
necessary tools and training to
keep themselves safe at home and
work and on the road,” said Mohamed Basser, health, safety and
environment manager at Total
E&P Qatar. “The defensive driving
course is very important as it gives
participants the skills to identify
hazards on the road and stay alert
and focused behind the wheels in
all driving conditions.”
40 teachers to attend skills training programme
ore than 40 primary
school teachers from
over 40 of Qatar’s independent schools have been selected to participate in the 2014
Qatar University ExxonMobil
Teachers Academy, an innovative professional development
programme, to enhance math
and science teaching skills.
In its third year, the academy
- which is a joint collaboration
between the National Centre for
Educator Development, Qatar
University (QU) and ExxonMobil
Qatar - will run from November
22 to 27 in Doha.
As was the case with last year’s
successful academy, QU and the
Supreme Education Council
have selected this year’s educators based on their qualifications
and commitment to teaching.
These teachers will take part
in a week-long, intensive professional development programme
designed to help fourth, fifth and
sixth grade educators develop
innovative math and science
teaching skills, which will help
them inspire their students to
develop an interest in math and
They will engage in fun and
meaningful activities in a classroom-style setting, conducted
by education experts, to guide
them on how to adopt a more
creative and ultimately engaging
pedagogy with active learners.
This year, five teachers from
Teach for Qatar will join the
academy, following a strategic
partnership between ExxonMobil Qatar and Teach for Qatar,
which was formalised in September.
“Our educators are committed to ensuring that they teach
our children to the best of their
ability, and the academy provides them with a great platform through which to enhance
their skills to do so. I would like
to thank our partners for bringing yet another chapter of this
academy to our teachers in Qatar,” said Prof Sheikha Abdulla
al-Misnad, president of QU.
“We are extremely proud of
our joint collaboration with Qatar University and the National
Centre for Educator Development to bring forth what has
proven to be an exceptional programme for teacher training in
Qatar,” said Bart Cahir, president
and general manager of ExxonMobil Qatar.
The Qatar University Exxon-
Mobil Teachers Academy is part of
a long-term commitment to education by ExxonMobil. As it continues to support initiatives that
incite an active interest in science,
technology, engineering and math
education, the company is also
committed to supporting the professional development of highly
qualified teachers and promoting
the involvement of women, according to a statement.
These initiatives support the
objectives outlined in Qatar Na-
tional Vision 2030, particularly
regarding its human development pillar, which seeks to empower the people of Qatar so
that they can sustain a prosperous society, the statement adds.
QU and ExxonMobil Qatar
share a history of partnership
across a variety of projects and
programmes, including Life is
Engineering, the Environmental
Studies Centre, the Gas Processing Centre and ongoing guest
lectures and recruiting activities.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Qatari designers showcase
unique abayas at exhibition
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
ricey abayas are being
showcased at the Sixth
Heya Women Fashion Exhibition.
Residents can find a variety
of well-designed and expensive
abayas, prices range from QR500
to QR15,000 per piece.
Muna of M Designs, a Qatari
designer, prefers light colours for
her abayas, which she said has
attracted many customers from
various GCC countries.
This year at Heya, she displayed her unique winter collection made of thick clothing with
drawings of Arabic letters and
“Many people like dark colours
but I’d like to use the light ones to
make it more attractive and appealing,” she said.
Apart from the regular items
from her collection, she also
made ‘National Day’ designs for
the country’s December celebration.
Muna noted they had a good
sales last year, a reason to be back
in this year’s exhibition.
Like other Qatari designers,
the designer admitted she does
not have a shop but works at
home. She uses social media such
as Instagram to market and promote her abayas.
While Khaleeji women’s clothing may have similarities in terms
of colours, designs and materials
used, Tahani al-Otaibi’s original
and hand-made collection includes an abaya which was exhibited in London.
Pegged at QR15,000, it is made
of unique materials and one of
her most expensive abayas, according to one of her staff.
Al-Otaibi also has a number of
collections which catches the attention of many visitors because
Al-Abdan, together with Dana Ali Alfardan, Najla al-Shafei and Haya
al-Naiemi, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the opening of
the ‘Sixth Heya Women Fashion Exhibition’ at DEC yesterday.
Tahani al-Otaibi’s abaya which costs QR15,000. Right: An abaya designed by Muna, one of the 92 Qatari exhibitors at the Sixth Heya Women
Fashion Exhibition. PICTURES: Joey Aguilar
of their simple yet appealing
designs. Some abayas cost more
than QR6,000 while the cheapest items, her staff said, sold for
She said the Kuwaiti designer
is a regular exhibitor in Doha and
had been travelling to different
parts of the world.
A designer-entrepreneur from
Saudi Arabia lauded the Qatar
Tourism Authority (QTA) for
organising an exhibition which
provides a platform to showcase
their new and latest designs.
Her advice to aspiring designers: “I always recommend to
people to bring their new ideas,
their creativity without copying
others and that is something important in designing.”
She said the success of two designers from Bahrain and Qatar
had made them proud - they had
showcased their designs in Paris.
Many of the exhibitors said
they would be returning next year.
“You will see that everyone
is very happy to be here again,”
noted Hamad al-Abdan, director of Exhibition at QTA.
The “Sixth Heya Women Fashion Exhibition” has attracted 220
participants from various GCC
countries who are showcasing
unique and originally-designed
abayas at the Doha Exhibition
Centre (DEC) until November 22.
Hamad al-Abdan, director of
exhibition at Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), told reporters that
92 of the total number of exhibitors this year are Qatari designers.
“Most of these Qataris do not
have shops, they usually work
from home,” he said.
Al-Abdan was speaking at the
formal opening of the exhibition
yesterday at the DEC. It was attended by Dana Ali Alfardan,
Najla al-Shafei, Haya al-Naie-
mi, businesswomen and other
The QTA official described
Heya exhibition as the “hottest platform in the GCC” where
many designers try their best to
get a slot.
From 65,000 visitors last year,
he expects between 70,000 and
75,000 will come to the exhibition this year.
Al-Abdan noted that they
want to help Qatari designers to
promote their products in the
international arena. The Heya
exhibition, he said, is where the
finest designs of Khaleeji women’s clothing and the latest fashion trends in Qatar and the Gulf
are displayed.
“Such events create an opportunity to grow our experience in
exhibition management, which
we hope will allow us to attract
new audiences and to better promote exhibitions,” he pointed
out. “We hope it will assist us in
our efforts to further develop the
tourism sector in the country.”
QTA is also planning to host a
world abaya show next year that
will showcase different designs
of abayas from various parts of
the globe including those from
Asian and Middle East and North
African countries.
“We are targeting bringing
them to Qatar because these
countries also have abayas but
have different styles,” said alAbdan. But for this year, only designs from all the GCC countries
are being exhibited.
The exhibition is open to visitors 12 years old and above between 10am and 10pm. It is
housed on a 5,000sqm area at
DEC featuring 220 pavilions from
Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia
and Oman.
QTA has been trying to help
Qatari entrepreneurs promote
and market their products
through a number of initiatives
such as the Instagram Summer
The outdoor exhibition which
was conducted from August 28 to
September 28 provided a venue
for young and aspiring Qatari
entrepreneurs (even students)
to sell their products beyond the
online platform.
Display of art made
from recycled
materials opens
A movie screening during the Ajyal festival.
Ticket sales for Ajyal Youth Film
Festival’s second edition open
ovie fans and festival-goers in
Qatar can buy tickets for the second edition of the Ajyal Youth
Film Festival from today.
Tickets can be purchased online at
or in person at box offices located at the
Ajyal Festival Booth in City Center Doha
and Katara – the Cultural Village.
The 90 films from 43 countries that
make up the festival programme were announced last week and details are available
Tickets are priced at QR25 for regular
screenings and QR40 for premium screenings. Returning this year is the Ajyal Film
Circle Card priced at QR15. This discount
card entitles all cardholders to a QR5 discount on all Ajyal single tickets.
Each cardholder may purchase up to
six discounted tickets per screening, per
individual transaction. Those presenting their Ajyal Film Circle Card from the
2013 edition will receive a complimentary 2014 card.
The Ajyal Festival Booth, located
within the main activity area on the
ground floor of City Center, will be open
from 1pm to 10pm today and, beginning November 19, from 2pm to 10pm
on Thursday and Friday and 2pm to 9pm
from Saturday to Wednesday.
The Doha Film Institute Katara Drama
Theatre ticket outlet at Katara will oper-
ate daily from today until November 27,
from 1pm to 8pm. From November 28,
tickets may be purchased at the Ajyal
Katara main box office located in Katara
building 12.
Ajyal will also offer many free events
during the festival. Free screenings and
events presented in festival venues other
than the Sony Pop-Up Cinema require a
ticket for admission. Free tickets may be
reserved online or requested for at any
ticket outlet location. All screenings at
the Sony Pop-Up Cinema are free and do
not require tickets.
The Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds
on the Doha Film Institute’s history of
community-based programming. Ajyal,
meaning “generations” in Arabic, invites people of all ages to come together
to discuss cinema through events that
inspire creative interaction, opening up
a fun, collaborative environment where
young people can express themselves.
The second annual Ajyal Youth Film
Festival will take place from December 1
to 6 at Katara. The programme consists
of daily public screenings of local and
international films, family days, special events and exhibitions, the Sandbox
interactive digital playground, school
screenings and the Doha Film Experience.
For more details, visit
n innovative new art exhibition featuring work
made from recycled
materials by Qatari artist Essa
al-Mulla has opened at Qatar
Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF).
Titled ‘Found Objects &
Creativity’, the display was inaugurated by Jassim Telefat,
group executive director of Qatar Foundation capital projects
and facilities management,
and Mohamed al-Naimi, director, community affairs, QF
support services.
The exhibition demonstrates
QF’s ongoing commitment to
promoting local arts, culture
and community development,
in alignment with Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030)
to increase awareness of the
country’s national heritage.
Further, by drawing inspiration from and including recycled materials such as iron,
wood, and cloth in his work,
the innovative artist successfully highlights the importance
of environmental sustainability, which is another integral
principle behind QNV 2030.
Commenting on his par-
ticular style, al-Mulla said: “I
started to convert used materials into art about 10 years ago
and since then have gradually
evolved to this stage. I believe
that this concept is worth the
additional effort.
“I hope the idea of converting used materials into art will
eventually be taught in schools
and universities. There are a
lot of items that can be transformed, and we should take
advantage of these instead of
throwing them away.”
Faisal al-Dosari, acting community services manager for
QF Support Services, who also
attended the event, observed:
“Staging an art exhibition that
features recycled pieces is a
first for Qatar Foundation. It
supports QF’s goal of promoting environmental preservation, while inspiring a spirit of
creativity and innovation.”
The launch was open to the
community and attracted large
numbers of the public.
The ‘Found Objects & Creativity’ exhibition by al-Mulla is
open to the public and entrance
is free of charge. It runs until
November 23 at the Recreation
Centre in Education City.
Essa al-Mulla discussing his latest pieces with QF representatives
(from left) Ameera Mohamed al-Aji, community services
superviser at Qatar Foundation support services, Faisal
al-Dosari, Jassim Telefat and Mohamed al-Naimi.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The renovated Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel. PICTURES: Najeer Feroke
Sandra Leibrock
The main lobby
Renovated Sheraton Doha:
everything as it was in 1982
One of the wedding halls
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
atar’s iconic landmark,
Sheraton Doha Resort
& Convention Hotel, a
prime property of Katara Hospitality, has been partially open
after renovation and is all set for
the official opening by mid-December.
“Sheraton Doha, which has
undergone extensive renovations
within the past nine months, will
be opened for the GCC conference at the beginning of December and most probably have the
opening before the Qatar National Day,” Sandra Leibrock, ex-
ecutive assistant manager, sales
and marketing, told Gulf Times
“Though the hotel has undergone a complete renovation, we
have maintained everything as it
was in 1982 when the hotel was
first opened. We have maintained
the same colours, furniture and
design. It is 1982 in 2014 and is
rediscovering a unique place at a
unique location,” she explained.
“The lobby has even the same
marble that was used in 1982. It
has been newly adorned with the
world’s biggest stand-up light.
Everything is new but the same
material has been used for the
renovation. It is a hotel with lots
of history and memories for the
local people with a lot of emotional attachment.”
“Though the hotel has
undergone a complete
renovation, we have
maintained everything
as it was in 1982 when the
hotel was first opened.
We have maintained the
same colours, furniture
and design”
The official highlighted that
the renovated Sheraton Doha
looks the same old one or even
more. “ It remains the same and
continues with the emotional attachment that all the nationals
and the long-time residents have
got for the hotel. It is part of the
history of the country. We have
customers who were children and
got married at the hotel and they
come back with their children.
They are coming back and back
to us.”
“There is no change in the hotel. Everything remains the same
but all the elements are revamped
and renovated according to the
original design without a single
The assistant manager stated
that the hotel is partially open.
“We are not running the hotel but
we are open to visitors. Al Hubara
restaurant is open for the public
for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
The hotel will have nine res-
taurants and 371 guest rooms.
There will also be a new seafood
restaurant. The recreation area
has been revamped a lot with a
brand new pool providing a lot
of greenery with more trees and
grass emphasising the concept of
integrating with nature.
An added attraction is that
conference rooms have an outside area. They have been added
with a terrace which gives the
participants a chance to get
into the open area. The wedding halls have been renovated
with the original design, carpets
and chandeliers. On the technical part, all the rooms have been
equipped with state of the art facilities.
One of the conference rooms
Japan recession
to delay sales
tax hike plan
Halliburton buys
Baker Hughes
for about $35bn
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Moharram 25, 1436 AH
Qatar Diar celebrates
sales launch of mixed
use Dushanbe project
Qatar Airways, StanChart in sale,
leaseback deal for 8 Boeing aircraft
atar Airways, Qatar Aviation Lease Company and Standard Chartered, through
its aviation finance team, Pembroke, have
successfully closed a ‘sale and operating leaseback’
transaction for three B777-300ER and five B787-8
The deal was officially concluded at a ceremony
held in Singapore and attended by Qatar Airways
Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker and Standard Chartered Group chief executive Peter Sands.
However, the value of the deal was not given.
This is the first sale and leaseback transaction
entered into by Qatar Airways and was structured
and arranged exclusively by Standard Chartered.
This transaction highlights the bank’s commitment to Qatar and its strategy of leveraging its
global team and world class innovative financial
products to support the international expansion of
Qatari corporates and institutions, Sands said.
“Qatar Airways is a long-standing client of
Standard Chartered and we are delighted to have
structured and arranged this landmark transaction
for the airline. It demonstrates Standard Chartered’s capabilities and commitment to partnering with core clients in the region – something
we have been actively doing for over 90 years. We
are proud to be supporting Qatar Airways as they
expand their fleet to meet increasing air traffic demand across one of the world’s fastest growing regions,” Sands said.
At the Farnborough Air Show, the airline placed
an order for 100 Boeing 777X aircraft, taking Qatar
Airways’ orders to more than 340 aircraft with a
value of $70bn.
Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join
a global airline alliance, enabling its passengers to
benefit from almost 1,000 airports in more than
150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in 17 years
of its operation, to the point where today it is flying
a modern fleet of 141 aircraft to 145 key business
and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and
South America. Page 20
File photo of a Qatar Airways B777 - 300ER. This is the first sale and leaseback transaction entered into by Qatar Airways and was structured
and arranged exclusively by Standard Chartered.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Vietnam’s ‘Starbucks’
enters the Middle East
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
iddle Eastern coffee lovers
who are curious about the
taste of weasel coffee, the
most expensive coffee brew in the
world, will no longer have to venture
to Vietnam where the delicacy is highly popular and broadly sold in coffee
shops. Instead, a Vietnam company
now brings weasel coffee and other
unique Vietnamese gourmet coffee
brands to the Middle East.
Trung Nguyen Group, Vietnam’s
largest coffee chain and the “Vietnamese answer to Starbucks”, last
week entered a franchise agreement
with Dubai-based Global Hotels Management to open two coffee shops in
the emirate by next year with the option of opening more. The company
also plans to expand to Saudi Arabia,
Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Pakistan,
in addition to entering distribution
agreements with airlines, supermarkets and hotels. Over the next five
years, Trung Nguyen expects to open
around 100 coffee shops in the region.
According to George Economou,
head of Trung Nguyen’s international
division, the UAE, especially Dubai,
as well as the wider Middle East “are
a strategic market and an important
target for Trung Nguyen” to market
the company’s brand name and high
quality of Vietnamese coffee on a global scale.
The unique sales proposition of
Trung Nguyen is its highly regarded
natural weasel or civet coffee (also
called kopi luwak throughout Asia
and ca phe chon in Vietnam), which is
made from the beans of coffee berries
which have been eaten – ideally – by
the Asian Palm Civet or other related
civets, then pass through the animal’s
digestive tract and are collected thereafter, thoroughly washed, dried in the
sun, lightly roasted and brewed. The
result is a highly aromatic coffee without the usual bitterness of ordinarily
roasted beans.
A Trung Nguyen coffee shop in Hanoi. Over the next five years, Trung Nguyen
expects to open around 100 coffee shops in the Middle East region.
Due to this elaborate production
process, 1kg of weasel coffee beans
goes for around $3,000, by far the
highest price for coffee worldwide.
However, Trung Nguyen states that
although the coffee is expensive, a cup
of brewed civet coffee actually costs
less at its outlets than an average cup
of brewed coffee bought at a coffee
shop like Starbucks because the company is able to buy the weasel-digested beans in bulk from several Asian
producers at “exceptional value”.
There is also a synthetic variant of
weasel coffee offered by Trung Nguyen called Legendee, in addition to a
number of other original Vietnamese
coffees and blends.
Trung Nguyen started in 1996 and
has become one of only a few Vietnamese brands that have gained international recognition. It is also at the
forefront of boosting Vietnam’s coffee
Vietnam is a major coffee producing country and currently the second
largest global exporter of coffee behind Brazil. The country’s coffee exports last year reached a record value
of $3.6bn while industry experts say
there is still high growth potential.
Trung Nguyen has grown to over
1,000 coffee shops in its home land
Vietnam. Over the past years, rapid
global expansion has brought the
chain to Japan, Thailand, Cambodia,
Malaysia and China. First outlets outside of Asia were opened in Germany
and New York City. Last year, Trung
Nguyen revealed plans to open shops
in Seattle, US, the home turf of its
main rival Starbucks, just after Starbucks debuted in Ho Chi Minh City in
January 2013.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
QNB Group wins
2 awards from
Global Investor/ISF
NB has secured two recognitions at The Global
Investor/ISF Middle East
Summit Awards 2014 ceremony
held recently in Dubai.
QNB Asset Management was
the recipient of “Regional Asset
Manager of the Year” award while
QNB Financial Services (QNBFS),
a subsidiary of the group specialising in brokerage services, won
“The Best Broker in Qatar” award.
The achievements continue
QNB’s winning streak in particular award categories in recent
years and “the success was greatly valued by all concerned within
the respective business lines,”
QNB said in a statement.
Global Investor/ISF editor
Alastair O’Dell said, “QNB Asset
Management impressed the judging committee with its consistent
outperformance and creation of
new products. QNB Financial
Services was once again determined to be the strongest performing broker in Qatar.”
The judging criteria underpinning the awards was competitive.
Profitability, growth, and client
services performance of asset
management servicing companies was assessed by an editorial
panel drawn from Global Investor/ISF magazine in partnership
with experts from around the region.
Winners were then announced
at its Annual Middle East Summit
“QNB Asset Management impressed the judging committee with its consistent outperformance and creation
of new products. QNB Financial Services was once again determined to be the strongest performing broker
in Qatar,” said Global Investor/ISF editor Alastair O’Dell.
and Awards ceremony, an important event in the region’s financial
services industry calendar.
Global Investor/ISF magazine
is published by Euromoney Institutional Investor and connects
the worlds of asset management,
asset servicing, and securities fi-
nance. It focuses on custody and
fund administration and is highly-regarded by the global asset
management community.
‘Retailer of the
Year’ honour for
Fifty One East
Fifty One East has won the
“Retailer of the Year” honour
at the 2014 Arabian Business
Achievement Awards held
recently at JW Marriott Marquis
Hotel, Dubai.
The award was collected by
Darwish Holding Retail Business
Unit manager Daniel Lattouf
on behalf of Fifty One East
in a ceremony attended by
dignitaries and VIPs alongside
businessmen from the region.
Fifty One East was the first
Qatari company to win the
award, regarded as one of the
top in the Arab World, and was
honoured for its commitment in
offering unprecedented levels
of service and a diverse range
of international brands across
a variety of products for more
than 65 years to its clientele in
Qatar and the region.
Darwish Holding chairman
and managing director Bader
Abdullah al-Darwish said, “This
award is a great addition to Fifty
One East’s successful record of
awards and accolades. We are
proud of winning this award
at one of the most prestigious
award ceremonies in the region.”
He added, “Our recognition as ‘Retailer of the Year’ confirms our strong position and
leadership within the market, thanks to our continued efforts, relevant choices and strategic
planning. We will continue to tirelessly work towards maintaining our position as one of
the best retail companies within the Arab World and fulfil our objectives to be the first and
most preferred destination for our valued clients who want an unprecedented shopping
experience that meets their expectations and demands.”
The annual awards ceremony was established by ITP Publishing to honour top performers in
the business sector, both on a corporate and individual level.
The 2014 award ceremony attracted participation from many well-known and established
organisations from the Arab World and were judged by a panel of judges from across
business industries.
The retail business at Fifty One East has a proven history of experience and excellence. It has
introduced some of the most prominent international brands to Qatar and the Gulf region
and is a leading company that offers the highest levels of luxury and services.
The company continues to expand its product portfolio of international brands, including
fashion, cosmetics and perfumes, watches and jewellery, electronics, and home.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
‘No direct impact on Saudi budget from oil decline’
Saudi stocks sink
as oil extends slide
audi Arabia’s stock market fell
sharply yesterday as oil prices
extended their decline on
news that Japan, one of the world’s
largest crude importers, had slipped
into recession.
The main Saudi index dropped
2.8% to 9,290 points, its lowest level
since March 6, in a broad sell-off. It
slid below technical support on the
October low of 9,303 points, leaving
no further support in the vicinity.
“There is one main concern
which is the ongoing decrease in
the oil price, which clearly is causing some market jitters,” said Julian
Bruce, director of Western institutional equity sales at EFG Hermes
in Dubai.
Brent crude fell more than $1 towards $78 a barrel yesterday after
Japan, the world’s fourth-biggest
crude importer, slipped into recession and Saudi Arabia reiterated
that oil prices should be left to supply and demand.
Although historically there has
been no strong correlation between
oil prices and the performance of
Saudi Arabia’s overall stock market, in the short term their decline is
likely to hurt petrochemical companies by devaluing their inventories;
there were already signs of this happening in the third quarter.
In the longer run, some analysts
Investors talk as they monitor screens displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange in Riyadh. The
main Saudi index yesterday dropped 2.8% to 9,290 points, its lowest level since March 6, in a broad sell-off.
said there could be concern about
state spending, which is one of the
main factors underpinning corporate earnings in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf was quoted as
saying yesterday that the plunge in
oil prices would not have a direct
impact on Saudi Arabia’s budget,
and economists believe its huge reserves mean it will be able to sustain
spending next year if it decides that
is necessary.
One item of spending that could
be cut, some market players say, is
financial aid to Egypt, which might
be bad news for the Cairo government as it tries to rebuild the econ-
omy while managing growing state
debt. However, lower oil prices will
also provide a big boost to Egypt’s
external position and reduce the
pressure on state finances from energy subsidies.
Egypt’s main stock index fell 1.2%
yesterday as all but a handful of
stocks declined.
Markets in the UAE also fell. Dubai’s bourse lost 1.6% as contractor
Arabtec, which dominated trading volume, fell a further 2.7%. The
stock tumbled 5.9% on Sunday after Arabtec’s third-quarter profit
missed analysts’ estimates.
The $689mn initial public offer
of shares in Dubai Parks and Resorts
began on Monday, and some stock
investors are likely to divert funds to
the IPO.
Abu Dhabi’s index fell 1.1% with
most blue chips in the red. National
Bank of Abu Dhabi slid 2.1% and
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was
down 2.0%.
Qatar was the only major market
in the region that rose yesterday,
after Saudi Arabia, the UAE and
Bahrain agreed on Sunday night to
return their ambassadors to Doha.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s
index declined 0.8% to 7,054 points;
Oman’s index edged down 0.2% to
7,030 points, while Bahrain’s index
rose 0.2% to 1,451 points.
Qatar shares
gain for
2nd day at
lower levels
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
atar stocks yesterday extended gains for the second
day, albeit at lower levels, led by insurance, consumer
goods and transport sectors. uying interests from local and foreign retail investors lifted the 20-stock Qatar Index
(based on price data) 0.13% to 13,762.76 points.
Micro and mid cap equities witnessed stronger buying interests in the market, which is up 32.59% year-to-date.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stock was seen
gaining faster than the other indices in the bourse, where realty, banks and consumer goods together accounted for about
71% of the total trading volume.
The Total Return Index was up 0.13% to 20,527.03 points, the
All Share Index by 0.2% to 3,489.62 points and the Al Rayan
Islamic Index by 0.67% to 4,692.86 points.
Market capitalisation rose 0.23%, or about QR2bn, to
QR745.61bn with micro, mid and large cap equities gaining
1.12%, 0.78% and 0.14% respectively; while small caps were
down 0.2%.
Insurance stocks appreciated 1.26%, followed by consumer
goods (1.16%), transport (0.72%), real estate (0.32%) and banks
and financial services (0.25%); whereas industrials and telecom shrank 0.36% and 0.06% respectively.
Major movers were Industries Qatar, Barwa, International
Islamic, Al Khaliji, Islamic Holding, Widam Food, Al Meera, Al
Khaleej Takaful and Gulf Warehousing.
However, Qatar Islamic Bank, Alijarah Holding, Qatari Investors Group, Gulf International Services, Mazaya Qatar and
Ezdan bucked the trend.
Qatari retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of
QR44.42mn against net sellers of QR21.98mn the previous day.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net buying rose to
QR11.91mn compared to QR3.96mn on Sunday.
However, foreign institutions turned net profit-takers to the
extent of QR32.06mn against net buyers of QR31.65mn on November 16.
Domestic institutions’ net selling rose to QR24.38mn compared to QR13.69mn the previous day.
Total trade volume expanded 70% to 17.16mn shares, value
by 77% to QR1.11bn and transactions by 34% to 8,489.
The insurance sector’s trade volume almost tripled to
0.94mn equities and value more than doubled to QR50.72mn
on more-than-doubled deals to 409.
The consumer goods sector saw its trade volume surge 95%
to 1.97mn stocks, value more than doubled to QR258.1mn as
deals jumped 55% to 1,169.
The banks and financial services sector reported a 79%
expansion in trade volume to 2.95mn shares, 43% in value to
QR244.9mn and 72% in transactions to 2,243.
The telecom sector’s trade volume soared 74% to 1.43mn
equities, value more than doubled to QR35.37mn and deals
gained 52% to 463.
The market witnessed a 71% rise in the real estate sector’s
trade volume to 7.24mn stocks, 90% in value to QR294.09mn
and 47% in transactions to 1,964.
The transport sector’s trade volume grew 68% to 1.14mn
shares, value by 93% to QR64.72mn and deals by 10% to 423.
The industrials sector’s trade volume was up 11% to 1.5mn
equities and value by 50% to QR165.39mn on a 5% fall in transactions to 1,809.
The recent plunge in oil prices will not have
a direct impact on Saudi Arabia’s budget as
the kingdom takes precautions to handle
all possibilities when planning its finances,
Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf (pictured)
was quoted as saying.
Asked by Saudi newspaper Okaz if cheaper
oil could have a direct impact on next year’s
budget or government spending, Alassaf
replied, according to the newspaper’s
Monday edition: “The global oil situation
usually in one way or another affects
countries’ revenues and debts, but the
kingdom has always been keen on building
its budgets on estimates that take all
possibilities into consideration.” He did not
With the price of Brent crude oil now below
$80 a barrel, down from around $115 in
June, the Saudi government may post
a budget deficit next year. The oil price
which the government needs to balance
its budget rose to $89 a barrel in 2013, the
International Monetary Fund has estimated.
However, economists believe the country’s
huge fiscal and foreign reserves - the
central bank’s net foreign assets exceed
$700bn - mean financing that deficit will be
easy, and the kingdom will be able to avoid
any sharp cutback in spending if it chooses
to do so.
The country’s 2015 budget plan is expected
to be announced in late December. Its
original 2014 budget projected spending
would rise a modest 4.3% from the 2013
plan to 855bn riyals ($228bn), the slowest
rate in a decade, suggesting the kingdom
was already starting to curb expenditure
after years of huge increases.
The 2014 budget conservatively projected
state finances would exactly break even
this year. The ministry did not specify the
average oil price on which that calculation
was based, but since the average price so
far this year is above $100, Saudi Arabia
still looks likely to post a budget surplus for
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s Alhokair follows Emaar with $2bn public issue
Saudi Arabia’s Fawaz Alhokair Group
plans to raise $2bn from the initial
public offering of its Arabian Centres
malls unit, surpassing a similar
sale by rival Dubai operator Emaar
Properties earlier this year.
A financial adviser for the sale of
the 30% stake will be hired before
the end of the year, Muhanad Awad,
chief executive officer of FAS Capital,
the financial and investment arm
of Fawaz Alhokair Group, said on
Sunday by phone. The IPO will
probably take place on the Saudi
Stock Exchange in 2016, he said.
Arabian Centres owns 15 malls in
Saudi Arabia with nine more under
construction. It also has one outlet in
“We’re still in the early stages of
working on this and discussing with
potential financial advisers,” Awad
said. “The offering will be similar
to what Emaar Malls did, maybe a
bit bigger. We’ll raise about $2bn
or a little more.” At $2bn, the IPO
would surpass the $1.6bn raised
in September by Dubai’s Emaar
Malls Group, operator of the world’s
largest shopping centre by area.
Emaar, which sold 15% of its unit,
attracted 104mn visitors to its malls
in 2013, compared with more than
140mn shoppers at Arabian Centres
developments such as Jeddah’s Mall
of Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is preparing to open up
its $548bn stock exchange to foreign
investors in the first half of next
year, spurring investor interest in the
largest Arab economy. The Capital
Market Authority in August proposed
rules that would allow foreign
investors to hold as much as 10% of
the value of the stock exchange.
The exchange has gained 12%
this year, encouraging companies
to consider share sales. National
Commercial Bank raised $6bn from
retail investors earlier this month in
the second biggest IPO of the year,
behind Chinese e-commerce business
Alibaba’s $25bn IPO in September.
ACWA Power International is also
considering a $1.1bn IPO, people with
knowledge of the matter said earlier
Aviation to contribute over
$53bn to Dubai’s economy
Aviation and tourism-related
activities in Dubai will rise to 37.5%
of the country’s GDP, supporting
over 754,500 jobs, Oxford
Economics said in a report
Saudi Arabia
to open stock
market to
before April
Foreign institutional investors
are expected to begin direct
trading of Saudi Arabian stocks
before April next year, the
Asharq al-Awsat newspaper
reported yesterday, quoting
unnamed sources.
In August, the Capital Market
Authority proposed rules for
opening the market to direct
investment sometime in the
first half of 2015, including a
10% cap on combined foreign
ownership of the market’s
value. At present, foreigners
are limited to investing
indirectly through swaps and
exchange-traded funds.
Under the draft rules, foreign
institutions would have to
qualify for permission to
invest. For example, they
would usually need to have
at least $5bn of assets under
management, and investment
experience of five years.
The CMA said at the time that
a three-month consultation
period on the draft rules would
end on November 20. The
final rules are expected to be
announced before the end of
this year, the Asharq al-Awsat
reported yesterday. “According
to private information obtained
by Asharq al-Awsat, the Capital
Market Authority is preparing
to announce the final list of
foreign direct investment
(rules) before the end of this
Oil slide
Iran oil
minister to
visit UAE
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
he overall economic impact of
both aviation and tourism-related activities in Dubai will rise to
a robust $53.1bn in 2020, a new report
has shown.
This will be equivalent to 37.5%
of Dubai’s GDP, supporting over
754,500 Dubai-based jobs, Oxford
Economics said in a recent report.
The estimate has been based on industry growth forecasts and modelling projections on current expansion
plans for Dubai International (DXB)
and Al Maktoum International at
Dubai World Central (DWC), the research firm said in its report entitled
“Quantifying the economic impact of
aviation in Dubai”.
Emirates Airline, Dubai Airports and
the aviation sector as a whole contributed $26.7bn to the Dubai economy in
2013, which was almost 27% of Dubai’s
GDP and supported a total of 416,500
jobs accounting for 21% of the emirates’
total employment.
It is estimated that the aviation sector, including the Emirates Group,
Dubai Airports, and other aviation
businesses such as airlines flying into
Dubai, regulatory authorities and Dubai
Duty Free, had a core impact of $16.5bn
gross value added (GVA) in 2013. This
includes direct, indirect and induced
contributions and is equal to 16.5% of
Dubai’s GDP, supporting in excess of
259,000 Dubai-based jobs.
Moreover, for every $100 of activity in the aviation sector, a further $72
is added to other sectors of the local
economy from supply chain connections and expenditures. For every 100
jobs created in aviation, an additional
116 jobs are created elsewhere in Dubai.
this year. Fawaz Alhokair Group listed
its Alhokair Fashion Retail unit on
the Saudi Stock Exchange in 2006.
It’s also known as Fawaz Abdulaziz
Alhokair & Co.
Companies in Saudi Arabia have
raised $7.1bn from the equity markets
this year, according to data compiled
by Bloomberg, with the $6bn National
Commercial Bank offering accounting
for the bulk of that activity. Last year,
they raised $216mn.
Sheikh Ahmed: Committed to taking a
consensus-based approach to
infrastructure investment.
In 2013, Dubai International Airport had direct passenger flight connections to some 149 cities with
populations of over 1mn people, creating potential export markets of over 916mn people, or 13% of the
world’s population
Aviation, the report said has proved
to be an indispensable catalyst for the
growth of Dubai’s tourism industry.
Tourism and travel activities in 2013
had an economic impact of $10.2bn
GVA supporting a further 157,100 jobs.
In 2013, Dubai welcomed nearly 10mn
non-UAE visitors who spent $13bn, accounting for around 1% of foreign visitor spend globally that year. The success of Dubai as a destination has been
a public and private effort to invest in
world-class aviation and tourism infrastructure to support the influx of visitors. The results have paid dividends and
Dubai currently captures a 0.4% share of
the world’s business and tourism traffic,
double the share it had in 2000.One of
Dubai’s greatest assets is its enhanced
connectivity. In 2013, Oxford estimated
that passengers could connect from
Dubai to 25 cities (or 81% of world cities) with populations of over 10mn people. Overall, Dubai had direct passenger
flight connections to 149 cities with
populations of over 1mn people, creating potential export markets of over
916mn people, or 13% of the world’s
population. Cargo tonnage between
1990 and 2013 handled in Dubai has
grown on average of 13.5% a year, compared to global average trade volumes of
5.6% per year.
The passenger and cargo connectiv-
ity provided from Dubai has positively
impacted Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) and trade. It also has provided
greater access to foreign markets,
encouraging exports, and increasing competition in the local economy,
benefiting consumers.
Between 2014 and 2020, the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai’s
economy is expected to grow at a faster
rate than the economy as a whole, on
the back of strong growth in international passenger traffic and cargo. The
sector’s airline and airport capacity
continues to expand to accommodate
for growing demand.
By 2020, it is estimated that Emirates
will fly 70mn passengers, and the airline
and its partners are already progressing plans for the right infrastructure to
be in place to support and capitalise on
passenger growth
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive
of Emirates Airline and Group, Chairman of Dubai Airports and President of
the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said,
“Dubai’s success stems from a clear vision, careful planning, and collaborative execution. It is no accident that we
are a global aviation hub today. It has
taken us years to build up the critical
competencies and infrastructure that
we have today, and we now have a solid
base on which to further develop.
“We will continue to take a consensus-based approach to infrastructure
investment, embrace open competition,
and focus on opening up and connecting markets through efficient operations. At the end, we want Dubai to be
the top choice for international travellers
and traders – as a destination, and as a
transport hub.”
Kuwait to let banks trade derivatives
uwait’s dinar rose sharply against
the US dollar in the forwards market yesterday in response to news
that the Kuwaiti central bank would allow
local banks to deal in derivatives with foreign banks.
Al Rai newspaper in Kuwait quoted
an unnamed source as saying the central
bank had “informed treasury managers at
banks that it no longer objects to Kuwaiti
banks dealing in derivatives with foreign
banks, as long as they deal in products approved by central bank regulations.”
A trader at a Kuwait-based bank, contacted by Reuters, confirmed the report,
saying the central bank had communicated its new policy at a meeting with banks
on Sunday.
A senior trader at another Kuwaiti bank
said his institution had not yet received
any formal communication from the central bank, but was making preparations
for such trade. Contacted by Reuters, the
central bank made no immediate comment.
dropped to 130 points, their lowest level
since November last year, from 265 points
on Friday.
“Forwards are dropping on news that
Kuwaiti local banks can start doing swaps
and forwards in KWD with foreign banks,”
another foreign exchange trader in Kuwait
said. “This will increase KWD liquidity
in the swap market, so the interest cost
should come down.”
The central bank clamped down on derivatives trading in 2008 as Kuwaiti banks
were hit hard by the debt problems of local
investment firms during the global financial crisis.
That year the government guaranteed
all deposits at banks to avert a panic and
Investors watch financial data on screens at the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Kuwait’s dinar rose sharply against the US dollar in
the forwards market yesterday in response to news that the Kuwaiti central bank would allow local banks to deal in
derivatives with foreign banks.
the central bank ordered Gulf Bank to raise
$1.3bn in an emergency rights issue, with
the sovereign wealth fund taking a 16%
stake in the bank.
In the last couple of years, however,
many banks have made considerable
progress cleaning up their balance sheets,
and the central bank has begun relaxing some restrictions. In May this year,
Kuwait allowed foreign banks to open
multiple branches in the country to spur
The curbs on derivatives trading shrank
dinar liquidity in the forex market, increasing the interest rate gap between the
dollar and the dinar to some 100-125 basis
points, traders said.
“With this policy change, we can flush
the market with more KWD via FX swaps,
which will push down the interest rate
differential, shrinking the arbitrage opportunity,” the senior trader said.
The first trader said, “Onshore will
now be able to deal with offshore without
commercial business behind it...It will allow onshore to feed KWD into the offshore
ranian Oil Minister Bijan
Namdar Zanganeh is preparing to visit the UAE this
week, underscoring the deepening concern among Opec
members over the slump in oil
After trips to Kuwait and Qatar last week to discuss strategies to buoy prices, Zanganeh
will meet with officials in the
UAE today, Shana, the Tehran-based oil ministry’s news
service, said on its website on
Sunday. The discussions come
before the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’
next scheduled meeting on November 27.
Opec producers have stepped
up their diplomatic visits before
the group’s meeting in Vienna,
potentially seeking a consensus
on how to react to oil prices at
a four-year low. Brent crude, a
benchmark for more than half
of the world’s oil, has plunged
30% since the end of June, sapping revenue for producers from
Venezuela to Saudi Arabia.
“They want to stabilise the
price,” Tom James, managing
director of consultancy Navitas
Resources, said by phone from
Dubai on Sunday. “They do
have some coordination before
meetings.” Iran’s Opec Governor
Hossein Kazempour, national
representative Mehdi Asali and
the country’s head of the oil contracts committee Mehdi Hosseini will accompany Zanganeh to
the UAE, Iran’s oil ministry said.
Iraqi President Fouad Masoum and Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni flew to
Riyadh last week for separate
talks with Saudi officials. Rafael
Ramirez, Venezuela’s foreign
minister and representative to
Opec, held talks in Algeria and
Qatar, while Saudi Arabia’s AlNaimi toured Latin America.
Brent fell 1.3% to $78.11 a barrel on the London- based ICE
Futures Europe exchange yesterday. West Texas Intermediate
oil declined l.1% to $75 a barrel.
Iran’s revenue from crude
sales, its biggest export,
dropped 30% because of the decline in oil prices, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said October 29. Iran needs to achieve a
break-even sales price of $143
a barrel this year to maintain its
fiscal balance, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.
Falling oil prices are straining state budgets of members of
the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries, including
Iraq, which is leading a costly
war against Islamist militants,
and Libya, which is struggling to
keep crude output steady amid
political divisions and violence.
Libya and fellow Opec states
Venezuela and Ecuador have
called for action to stabilise
crude prices. Kuwait’s Cabinet
wants Opec consultations to
stabilise oil, official Kuna news
agency reported on Sunday. The
Cabinet and Supreme Petroleum Council held an extra-ordinary meeting to discuss the impact of lower oil prices on state
revenue and investment, it said.
Libya’s Opec Governor Samir
Kamal said on October 22 that
the group must cut daily output
by 500,000 barrels as the market is oversupplied by about 1mn
barrels a day. This reflected his
personal view, he said at the time.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest
oil exporter and the biggest producer in Opec, hasn’t answered
calls by other members for action
to stem the price collapse and
said that prices should be regulated by supply and demand.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
India’s Iran
oil imports
surge 60%
Japan’s slip into recession
to delay sales tax hike plan
New Delhi
GDP shrinks annualised 1.6% in
July-Sept; Abe to look at data ahead
of final decisions on tax hike; PM
expected to announce election on
December 14; economic package
in the works; Abe says ‘cannot miss
chance’ to exit deflation
apan’s economy unexpectedly
slipped into recession in the third
quarter, setting the stage for Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe to delay an unpopular sales tax hike and call a snap
election two years before he has to go to
the polls.
The recession comes nearly two years
after Abe returned to power promising
to revive the economy with his “Abenomics” mix of massive monetary
stimulus, spending and reforms, and is
unwelcome news for an already shaky
global economy.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
shrank by an annualised 1.6% in JulySeptember, after plunging 7.3% in the
second quarter following a rise in the
national sales tax, which clobbered
consumer spending.
The world’s third-largest economy
had been forecast to rebound by 2.1%,
but consumption and exports remained
weak, saddling companies with huge
inventories to work off.
Abe had said he would look at the
data when deciding whether to press
ahead with a second increase in the
sales tax to 10% in October next year,
as part of a plan to curb Japan’s huge
public debt, the worst among advanced nations.
“GDP figures for July-September
turned out not so encouraging,” Abe
said at a reception after returning from
a weeklong overseas tour. “We are seizing a chance to exit long-lasting deflation and we cannot miss that chance,”
adding he wanted to analyse the situation and make a decision on the tax.
Media had already said Abe could
announce his decision to delay the hike
for 18 months as early as today and
state his intention to call an election
for parliament’s lower house. Ruling
party lawmakers expect the poll to be
held on December 14.
An adviser to Abe termed the economic slide “shocking,” and urged the
government to take steps to support the
“This is absolutely not a situation
in which we should be debating an increase in the consumption tax,” Etsuro
Honda, one of the architects of Abe’s
reflationary policies, told Reuters.
Economy Minister Akira Amari said
some economic stimulus was likely, but
added it would be hard to craft an exceptionally big package because of the
need for fiscal discipline.
No election for the lower house need
be held until late 2016, but political insiders say Abe wants to lock in his mandate
while his ratings are relatively robust.
Next year he is expected to push ahead
with unpopular policies such as restarting reactors that went off-line after the
Fukushima nuclear crisis and a shift away
from Japan’s post-war pacifism. Facing a
Beijing aims to sign free trade
deal with Seoul next year
China aims to sign a free trade
agreement (FTA) with South
Korea next year, a senior official
said yesterday, after most of the
negotiations were completed.
The two countries announced
on the sidelines of an AsiaPacific summit in Beijing last
week that they had effectively
secured a pact that will remove
tariffs on more than 90% of
But some details have yet to be
finalised, they said.
“The two sides next will hold
working-level talks on a few
technical issues and complete
all negotiations within this
year,” Wang Shouwen, a
Chinese assistant commerce
minister, told reporters at a
briefing yesterday.
“(We) will strive to sign an
agreement as soon as possible
next year,” he said, adding the
deal was expected to take effect
from the second half of 2015.
The FTA would remove tariffs
on 92% of Chinese goods
exported to South Korea and
91% of South Korean goods
imported by China within 20
years, according to a previous
announcement by Seoul.
China is currently South Korea’s
biggest trading partner and
export market, and two-way
trade stood at around $228.8bn
last year according to Seoul’s
Wang said South Korea is
China’s third largest individual
country export destination.
The two neighbours started
trade negotiations in 2012 but
progress has been delayed by
differences on the extent of
market opening.
New Zealand, S Korea
strike trade agreement
ew Zealand and South Korea have struck a free trade deal allowing more students from the Asian country to live and work
in the South Pacific Island nation, in return for improved access for farm exports.
The agreement announced at the weekend between the two countries, which trade around $3.2bn in goods each year, will enable New
Zealand to better compete with other countries in its sixth-largest
export market.
“The FTA will put New Zealand exporters back on a level playing
field with competitors from Korea’s other FTA partners, such as the
US, Chile and the European Union,” Prime Minister John Key said in
a statement.
South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a
statement the deal would improve access for South Koreans, mostly
students, to service-sector jobs and learning opportunities in New
The deal provides for eventual elimination of limited remaining
tariffs on South Korea’s top exports to New Zealand, including fuel,
vehicles and machinery, as well as iron and steel products and home
divided and weak opposition, Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected
to keep its majority in the lower house,
but it could lose some seats.
A senior LDP lawmaker said he expected the premier to delay the tax hike
and call a snap poll, arguing that his
“Abenomics” strategy to re-energise
the economy was working but needed
more time.
“The prime minister feels strongly
that he wants to make certain of the
economic trend so I think he will put
off the sales tax rise from next October,”
the lawmaker told Reuters.
But he added it was vital to recommit
to a firm date for the rise in the levy, or
risk upsetting investors worried about
Japan’s debt, already more than twice
the size of its economy.
The yen slipped on the poor GDP
reading, with the dollar briefly pushing
to a seven-year high above 117 yen. The
Nikkei stock average fell 3%.
Sluggish growth and easing price
pressures due to sliding global oil prices
prompted the Bank of Japan to unexpectedly expand its massive monetary
stimulus last month.
Abe inherited the sales tax plan when
he took power in December 2012. The
LDP, its smaller ally and the then-ruling
Democratic Party enacted the legislation requiring the tax to be raised unless
economic conditions were judged too
weak. The GDP data showed the April
hike to 8% from 5% had made it harder
than anticipated for the public to shake
off their deflationary mindset, Amari
said, although he noted one bright spot
in strong corporate profits.
On a quarterly basis, the economy
shrank 0.4% in the third quarter after
a revised 1.9% decrease in April-June.
Economists had expected growth of
0.5%. Private consumption, accounting
for about 60% of the economy, rose 0.4%
from the previous quarter, half as much as
expected. Wage growth has not kept pace
with price rises, so a key mechanism of
Abenomics is not working yet.
Some economists, however, said
growth could improve in the OctoberDecember quarter.
India bought 60% more
Iranian oil in October than
a year ago as refiners held
to higher volumes despite
signs that world powers
and Iran might not reach a
final agreement on Tehran’s
disputed nuclear programme
before a November 24
Six world powers – Britain,
China, France, Germany,
Russia and the US – are
negotiating with Iran to clinch
a deal that, in exchange for
lifting economic sanctions,
would ensure Tehran’s
nuclear activity is not aimed
at making bombs. Iran says its
nuclear work is for civil power
needs only.
A year of negotiations has not
resolved deep disagreements
between Iran and the major
powers, and a final deal is
unlikely by the November
date, sources told Reuters.
Any agreement would
likely be followed by a rapid
increase in Iran’s oil exports at
a time when global markets
are already under pressure
from a supply glut.
India, Iran’s top oil client
after China, imported about
309,900 barrels per day
(bpd) of crude in October
from Tehran, tanker arrival
data obtained from trade
sources shows, the highest
since March and up 28% from
India’s oil imports from
Iran rose about 40% over
January-October, partly due
to a surge in the first quarter
as an interim agreement
easing Western sanctions
went into effect.
Growth in Iranian oil
imports this year was also
due to a bounce off the
low base of last year, when
shipments were hit hard
due to insurance problems
triggered by the sanctions,
particularly over the AprilAugust period.
Private refiner Essar Oil was
the biggest buyer of Iranian
oil in October followed by
state-run Mangalore Refinery
and Petrochemical Ltd. The
two are India’s only regular
monthly importers of Iranian
Australia, China sign historic FTA
hina and Australia yesterday sealed
a landmark free trade agreement
more than a decade in the making,
significantly expanding ties between the
world’s second largest economy and one
of Washington’s closest allies in Asia.
The deal, which Australia called the
best ever between Beijing and a Western
country, will open up Chinese markets to
Australian farm exporters and the services
sector while easing curbs on Chinese investment in resource-rich Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a
memorandum of understanding clinching
the agreement during a ceremony in parliament in Canberra.
“This has been a 10-year journey, but
we have finally made it,” Abbott said.
Xi praised the deal in an address to parliament, pledging to deepen cooperation
with Australia while reaffirming China’s
willingness to resolve territorial disputes
with its neighbours through diplomatic
“As long as we have our long-term and
the larger interests in mind, increase positive factors and remove obstacles we will
certainly forge a closer and more comprehensive strategic partnership between us,”
he said.
China is already Australia’s top trading
partner, with two-way trade of around
A$150bn ($130bn) in 2013. Yesterday they
witnessed 14 commercial agreements between companies worth potentially more
than A$20bn ($17.56bn).
The leaders also pledged to work jointly to combat climate change by sharing
technology aimed at improving the efficiency of coal usage.
Australia needs China’s help to transition from a reliance on exports of minerals
such as coal and iron ore to expanding its
food and agricultural exports to a growing
Asian middle class, moving from a “mining boom” to a “dining boom”.
“(The agreement) should help to support Australia’s great rebalancing act,
from mining investment led growth towards the non-mining sectors of the
economy,” HSBC economist Paul Bloxham
said in a note.
Once the agreement is fully implemented, 95% of all its exports will enjoy
duty free entry into China, Australia said.
The agreement comes a day after US
President Barack Obama wrapped up
a week-long tour through Asia, during
which he sought to reassure Asia-Pacific
allies wary over Washington’s commitment towards its strategic realignment to
the region.
Washington and Beijing have competing visions for free trade in the AsiaPacific region, with the US pushing its
12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) deal, which excludes China, and
China mooting a Free Trade Area of the
Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) framework.
Washington was unable to secure a
breakthrough on TPP during the trip.
The agreement gives Australian dairy
farmers tariff-free access within four
years to China’s lucrative infant formula
market, minus any of the “safeguard”
caps that currently restrict competitors
from New Zealand.
“Australia has been marginalised from
being a major exporter to China in the last
few years, one of the reasons being that
milk production (there) has been going
down over the last decade,” said Sandy
Chen, dairy analyst at Rabobank in China.
Wine makers, currently selling more
than A$200mn worth of goods to China
each year, will see tariffs eliminated over
four years, while a 3% coking coal tariff
will be removed immediately and a 6%
tariff on thermal coal within two years.
Dairy companies, including Canada’s
Saputo Inc, which owns Warrnambool
Cheese and Butter Factory Company
Holdings, and Bega Cheese are among
likely leading beneficiaries of the deal.
Health and aged care providers, such
as Japara Healthcare and private hospital
operator Healthscope will get a jump on
providers from Japan, the US and Europe,
while financial services companies ANZ
Bank and IAG will get a boost from preferential access.
Fortescue Metals Chairman Andrew
Forrest said the agreement would become
the most significant trade deal Australia
has ever done. “We can offer Chinese consumers the highest quality produce and
Chinese consumers can be confident in
the reliability of supply and food safety,”
he said.
The agreement caps a string of breakthrough deals for Xi. Last week he jointly
announced with Obama a groundbreaking
plan to cap and eventually roll back carbon emissions, as well as reaching a “substantial conclusion” of a free trade deal
with South Korea.
The deal also caps a year of trade
achievements for Abbott, following free
trade agreements with Japan and South
Meanhwile, China is giving Australia
more access to its capital markets and allowing it to clear yuan trades, measures
that would boost Beijing’s efforts to free
Chinese financial markets and promote
global usage of its renminbi currency.
The agreements, which were announced by the Chinese central bank, coincided with China and Australia signing
a landmark free trade deal yesterday as
President Xi Jinping began his state visit
to Australia.
Under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign
Institutional Investor, or RQFII scheme,
Australian investors have been given the
right to invest up to 50bn yuan ($8.2bn) in
the capital market in mainland China.
Created to allow foreign investors a
channel through which to use yuan to buy
Chinese stocks, bonds and other money
market instruments, the RQFII scheme
was meant to be a way of slowly freeing
China’s capital markets.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Norway wealth fund outsmarts Flash Boys as algorithms abandoned
Oeyvind Schanke, head of asset
strategies at Norway’s $860bn
sovereign wealth fund, has worked out
how to dodge traders in the US trying to
profit on his orders by leaving no pattern
for them to track.
Investors who want to pre-empt
trades by the world’s biggest
sovereign-wealth fund and act on
that information to make a profit – a
practice known as front running –
won’t have much success, he said.
“We’ve done a lot to try and avoid
leaving those patterns,” Schanke said
in a November 14 interview at the Oslo
headquarters of the fund. “We’re trading
less using algorithmic trading now than
we did some years ago and are doing
much more trading in large block sizes
to avoid pattern-reading.”
Norges Bank Investment Management,
which runs the wealth fund as part of
the central bank, held about $150bn
in US stocks at the end of September,
according to its latest quarterly report.
It holds $500bn in stocks globally and
biggest challenge in the US is the
fragmented market structure, which has
driven up costs across as many as 52
trading venues, introducing a “latency
overcharge,” Schanke said.
The market as he sees it “isn’t good
enough for raising investor confidence,”
which has been an issue in the US since
the financial crisis and was deepened
by the flash crash of May 2010. While
the solution isn’t necessarily public
ownership of exchanges, he said a closer
look at the existing regulation could help
make markets less complicated.
“Some of the things that an exchange
is Europe’s biggest investor. Schanke,
who started at the fund as a trader in
2001, oversees which companies and
instruments it invests in from NBIM’s
London office.
The fund gets its guidelines from the
government in Oslo and is mandated to
hold 60% in stocks, 35% in bonds and
the rest in real estate. Norway projects
the fund will top $1tn over the next few
years as the nation of 5mn safeguards its
petroleum wealth for future generations.
Its stock holdings returned 5% in the
first nine months of the year, while the
total portfolio rose 5.1%. The investor’s
does are in a way a utility function,”
Schanke said.
The fund in June said it supported
Brad Katsuyama’s IEX Group exchange
because it allows “all players to
participate on the same terms.”
IEX, which the wealth fund uses
for both direct and indirect trades,
doesn’t pay firms to buy or sell
shares, shunning a practice that
many markets use to lure business
from high-speed traders. It mandates
a 350-microsecond delay between
requests to trade and executions to
prevent traders from pre- empting
their moves through high-frequency
IEX, made famous in Michael Lewis’s
best-selling book Flash Boys could shield
investors from the predatory habits of
high-frequency traders, the fund said
then. What the fund needs is a way to
make large trades without impacting the
markets, something that Schanke said is
easier to do in Europe, where rules are
more relaxed.
“Trying to find liquidity without having
an impact when you’re doing it is an
over-arching challenge we will always
have,” he said.
Money flows to Shanghai as
landmark stocks link opens
Shanghai/Hong Kong
nternational buyers snapped up
Chinese stocks yesterday at the debut of an exchange link that allows
Hong Kong and Shanghai investors to
trade shares on each other’s bourses,
a major step towards opening China’s
tightly controlled capital markets.
The so-called Stock Connect scheme
gives foreign and Chinese retail investors unprecedented access to the two
exchanges, which some analysts said
could eventually lead to the creation of
the world’s third largest stock exchange.
Northbound trade – investors with
Hong Kong accounts buying mainland
shares – far outstripped trade from
mainland investors in the opposite direction, with the daily limit for buying
Shanghai stocks under the scheme exhausted by mid-afternoon.
But there was no sustained first-day
bounce in prices - benchmark mainland
and Hong Kong indexes opened more
than 1% higher but soon sagged to close
lower on the day.
The run-up to the launch saw a
strong market rally, partly on expectations of an increase in fund flows from
the scheme, leaving investors cautious
of chasing stocks any higher, said Zheng
Weigang, senior trader at Shanghai Securities.
“In the longer run, however, the connect will surely benefit both markets
as China increasingly opens up to the
outside world,” Zheng added. “Particularly, the connect will help push the
mainland’s rampant speculative stock
culture towards a more investmentoriented market.”
The CSI300 index of top Chinese
shares closed down 0.5% while the
Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2%.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong
Rupee falls on
global worries
The Indian rupee fell
for a third consecutive
session yesterday,
trading near its lowest
in a month, after data
showing Japan slipping
into recession sparked
worries about global
growth even though
recent foreign inflows to
India have been strong.
Concerns about global
growth were reinforced
after data yesterday
showed India’s exports
in October fell 5% from a
year earlier, even as the
trade deficit narrowed
from September.
The dollar’s recent
strength has pushed
the rupee down 0.6% so
far this month at a time
when the benchmark
10-year bond yields have
hit 15-month lows and
domestic stock indexes
have hit record highs.
Traders say the rupee
could remain under
pressure given that
analysts expect the dollar
to continue to gain, even
as foreign investors have
bought a net $2.54bn in
shares and debt so far
this month.
“The weakening trend
should continue for
some time. The pair may
touch 61.90/95 before
it stages a comeback,”
said Navin Raghuvanshi,
a forex dealer at DCB
The partially convertible
rupee closed at 61.73/74
per dollar versus its
previous close of
61.72/73. The rupee
had hit its lowest level
in nearly a month on
A poster of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect is displayed during morning trading inside the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
yesterday. The trading link that will let Hong Kong and Shanghai investors buy and sell shares on each other’s bourse debuted
yesterday, in a major step towards opening China’s tightly-controlled capital markets.
ended down 1.2%. Analysts had expected much of the initial cash flow to
be northbound, with foreign investors
on the Hong Kong Exchange able to collectively buy up to a daily quota of 13bn
yuan ($2.12bn) of mainland stocks.
The expected fund inflow had helped
push the SSE180 Index and the SSE380
Index – the two main Chinese destinations for foreign investment through
the scheme – up more than 10% and
6.5% since late last month. Southbound
investment, capped by a daily quota of
10.5bn yuan, is likely to be less active.
All the daily northbound quota was
used by mid-afternoon, but just 17% of
the southbound quota had been taken
by the market close.
The launch of the stock link scheme,
also dubbed the “Through Train”,
comes as Beijing steps up its financial
market liberalisation efforts this year.
It has established offshore yuan centres from Sydney to London, signed
swap lines with countries in the Middle
East and has allowed foreign companies in China to move renminbi across
borders with greater freedom than ever
But it also comes as a time when concerns over the world’s second biggest
economy are mounting. Underscoring
such worries, Chinese banks’ bad loan
ratio rose to 1.16% at the end of September, up 0.09% points from June, the
banking regulator said on Saturday.
“It took a longer-than-expected period of time for such a small daily quota
to be used, indicating overall sentiment
in Shanghai remains cautious,” said
Zhang Gang, senior analyst at Central
Securities in Shanghai.
Turnover in both markets were
roughly in line with daily numbers. Over
the longer term, however, the stock
connect could boost the average daily
value of stock trading in Hong Kong by
about 38% by 2015, French bank BNP
Paribas estimates.
“Chinese investors will take Hong
Kong as a place to put their long-term
bets. So that’s why I think in the longrun Hong Kong will benefit from this,”
said Alex Wong, asset management director at Ample Finance Group in Hong
For Shanghai, it is significant because
it will allow foreign investors to get
more actively involved in China’s capital market, he added.
China already operates several crossborder investment schemes, but these
are restricted to specific firms that must
apply for a licence to participate.
The Stock Connect programme was
originally expected to launch on October 27, but that unofficial deadline
passed, leading to speculation that the
programme might be held up by technical or political hurdles.
The differing tax rules applying in
Hong Kong and the mainland were
also a major stumbling block, but
China’s Finance Ministry said on Friday that it would temporarily exempt
taxes on profits made from the Connect scheme.
Hong Kong’s leader CY Leung has
hinted that the ongoing pro-democracy
protests in the city had also played a role
in the delay.
Indian bourse hits new record
ndian stocks rose to a record, erasing
an intraday loss, after data showed
the trade deficit narrowed last month,
adding to signs the economy is improving.
State Bank of India surged to a four-year
high as concerns on the asset quality of the
nation’s biggest lender eased. Tata Motors
surged to an all-time high after saying
Jaguar Land Rover plans to start a plant in
China by the year-end. Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s largest refining complex, advance for the first time in
four days.
The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.5 to a record
28,177.88 at the close. The gauge erased a
loss of as much as 0.5% after the government reported the trade gap in October
narrowed to $13.4bn from $14.25bn in September. Data last week showed consumerprice gains last month were the least since
early 2012, while factory output rose at the
fastest pace in three months. The economy may grow at 7 to 8% in two years, Jayant Sinha, the junior finance minister, said
on November 10.
“India is going back into the highgrowth, low inflation environment,”
Adrian Mowat, the chief Asia and emerging market equity strategist at JPMorgan
Chase & Co, said in a Bloomberg Television TV India interview yesterday. “We
remain confident with the fundamental
State Bank soared 5.5%, the best performance on the Sensex. The stock’s price
target has been raised by at least 12 brokerages including Goldman Sachs Group
after the bank’s second-quarter results on
November 14. Gross bad-loan ratio was
at 4.9% on September 30, little changed
from previous quarter.
Tata Motors jumped 4.1%, the most
since September 22. Two-wheeler maker
Hero MotoCorp added 2.2% to its highest
level since October 31. Reliance rose 1.7%,
A view of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The BSE Sensex rose 0.5% to a record 28,177.88 at the close yesterday.
ending a three-day drop. NTPC, India’s
biggest power producer, advanced 2%.
Logistics company Gati Corp surged
18.5%, taking its six-day gains to 57%.
Allcargo Logistics jumped 13%. Gateway Distriparks Ltd increased 7.7% to a
record. Snowman Logistics rallied 15% to
Rs123.70. The company, 40% owned by
Gateway Distriparks, sold shares at Rs47
apiece in September.
Investors are buying logistics stocks
amid expectations that sales will be
boosted on “pick up” in trade and recovery in the economy, Viral Shah, an ana-
lyst at SBICap Securities, said by phone
yesterday. Profits at 67% of the 30 Sensex
companies exceeded or matched analyst
estimates in the September quarter, versus
46% in the three months ended June and
60% in March, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
sian markets mostly fell
yesterday, with Tokyo
tumbling almost 3% after
data showed Japan’s economy
had slipped into recession.
Hong Kong was lower and
Shanghai higher in afternoon
trading on the first day of a landmark link-up between the two
A day after G20 leaders
pledged to boost the global
economy by $2tn in four years,
Tokyo authorities said Japan’s
GDP had contracted for a second
straight quarter, fuelling expectations of a snap election and the
delay of a planned sales tax rise.
Tokyo stocks – which had
surged more than 10% this
month – tumbled 2.96%, or
517.03 points, to 16,973.80.
Sydney lost 0.77%, or 41.8
points, to end at 5,412.5 and
Seoul was flat, dipping 1.51
points to 1,943.63.
Shanghai closed down 0.19%,
or 4.81 points, at 2,474.01 and
Hong Kong sank 1.21%, or
290.30 points, to 23,797.08.
Official figures showed the
Japanese economy shrank 0.4%
quarter-on-quarter – an annualised rate of 1.6% - in July-September, confounding forecasts
of 0.5% growth.
It followed a revised 1.9%
contraction in April-June – or
7.3% at an annualised rate.
Two consecutive quarters of
contraction is considered a technical recession.
The figure makes it almost
inevitable that Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe will delay a sales tax
rise due next October and call
snap elections for next month.
Last month the Bank of Japan
moved to kickstart growth again
by expanding its already vast
monetary easing programme –
sending the Nikkei stock index
surging and yen plunging – but
the latest data will lead to speculation of further measures.
“In light of the sharp fall in
today’s preliminary estimate, it
now looks likely that PM Abe will
call off the hike and announce
snap elections,” Marcel Thieliant
from Capital Economics said in a
report following the data release.
The announcement briefly
sent the dollar above 117 yen
before retreating to 115.92 yen,
against 116.26 yen in New York
Friday. The euro fetched $1.2531
and 145.27 yen compared with
$1.2523 and 145.66 yen.
Shares in Hong Kong reversed
initial gains despite the start of
the exchange link with Shanghai, which is expected to see billions of dollars in cross-border
transactions each day.
But while Hong Kong investors
bought their daily allowance of
Shanghai shares before the end of
trade, mainlanders used up just a
tenth of their quota, suggesting
they are holding back.
Oil prices were lower. US
benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery
fell 82 cents to $75.00, while
Brent crude for January was
down $1.11 to $78.30. Gold was
at $1,186.55 an ounce, compared
with $1,152.81 late Friday.
In other markets, Singapore
closed down 0.81%, or 27points,
to 3,288.67; Jakarta closed
0.09% higher or 4.45 points, to
5,053.94; Bangkok closed down
0.43% or 6.81 points to 1,569.07;
Kuala Lumpur fell 7.31 points, or
0.40%, to close at 1,806.48; Taipei fell 1.10%, or 98.49 points,
to 8,884.39; Wellington added
0.11% or 6.23 points to 5,490.23
and Manila rose 0.17%, or 12.38
points, to 7,229.72.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Company Name
Company Name
Zad Holding Co
Widam Food Co
Vodafone Qatar
United Development Co
Salam International Investme
Qatar & Oman Investment Co
Qatar Navigation
Qatar National Cement Co
Qatar National Bank
Qatar Islamic Insurance
Qatar Industrial Manufactur
Qatar International Islamic
Qatari Investors Group
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)
Qatar General Insurance & Re
Qatar German Co For Medical
Qatar Fuel Co
Qatar Electricity & Water Co
Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib
Qatar Insurance Co
Ooredoo Qsc
National Leasing
Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi
Al Meera Consumer Goods Co
Medicare Group
Mannai Corporation Qsc
Masraf Al Rayan
Al Khalij Commercial Bank
Industries Qatar
Islamic Holding Group
Gulf Warehousing Company
Gulf International Services
Ezdan Holding Group
Doha Insurance Co
Doha Bank Qsc
Dlala Holding
Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc
Barwa Real Estate Co
Al Khaleej Takaful Group
Aamal Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Saudi Hollandi Bank
Al-Ahsa Development Co.
Al-Baha Development & Invest
Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur
Allied Cooperative Insurance
Arriyadh Development Company
Fitaihi Holding Group
Arabia Insurance Cooperative
Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv
Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran
Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur
Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev
Al Babtain Power & Telecommu
Bank Albilad
Alujain Corporation (Alco)
Aldrees Petroleum And Transp
Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C
Alinma Bank
Alinma Tokio Marine
Al Khaleej Training And Educ
Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son
Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera
Almarai Co
Saudi Integrated Telecom Co
Alsorayai Group
Al Tayyar
Amana Cooperative Insurance
Anaam International Holding
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Arabian Pipes Co
Advanced Petrochemicals Co
Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative
Arabian Cement
Arab National Bank
Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co
United Wire Factories Compan
Astra Industrial Group
Alahli Takaful Co
Axa Cooperative Insurance
Basic Chemical Industries
Bishah Agriculture
Bank Al-Jazira
Banque Saudi Fransi
United International Transpo
Bupa Arabia For Cooperative
Buruj Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Airlines Catering Co
Methanol Chemicals Co
City Cement Co
Eastern Cement
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat
Etihad Etisalat Co
Emaar Economic City
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu
United Electronics Co
Falcom Saudi Equity Etf
Filing & Packing Materials M
Wafrah For Industry And Deve
Falcom Petrochemical Etf
Gulf General Cooperative Ins
Jazan Development Co
Gulf Union Cooperative Insur
Halwani Bros Co
Hail Cement
Herfy Food Services Co
Al Jouf Agriculture Developm
Jarir Marketing Co
Jabal Omar Development Co
Al Jouf Cement
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
Knowledge Economic City
Kingdom Holding Co
Saudi Arabian Mining Co
Malath Cooperative & Reinsur
Makkah Construction & Devepl
Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran
Middle East Specialized Cabl
Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co
Al Mouwasat Medical Services
The National Agriculture Dev
Najran Cement Co
Nama Chemicals Co
National Gypsum
National Gas & Industrializa
National Industrialization C
National Shipping Co Of/The
National Petrochemical Co
Rabigh Refining And Petroche
Al Qassim Agricultural Co
Qassim Cement/The
Red Sea Housing Services Co
Saudi Research And Marketing
Riyad Bank
Al Rajhi Bank
Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Saudi British Bank
Sabb Takaful
Saudi Basic Industries Corp
Saudi Cement
Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co
Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran
Saudi Advanced Industries
Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co
Salama Cooperative Insurance
Samba Financial Group
Sanad Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Public Transport Co
Saudi Arabia Refineries Co
Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf
Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei
Saudi Cable Co
Saudi Chemical Company
Saudi Ceramic
Saudi Electricity Co
Saudi Fisheries
Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co
Dur Hospitality Co
Arabian Shield Cooperative
Saudi Investment Bank/The
Saudi Industrial Development
Saudi Industrial Export Co
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Securities Group Co
Sultan Center Food Products
Kuwait Foundry Co Sak
Kuwait Financial Centre
Ajial Real Estate Entmt
Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc
Kuwait Finance & Investment
National Industries Co
Kuwait Real Estate Holding C
Securities House/The
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co
Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)
National Bank Of Kuwait
Commercial Bank Of Kuwait
Kuwait International Bank
Gulf Bank
Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co
Al Arabiya Real Estate Co
Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co
Alkout Industrial Projects C
A’ayan Real Estate Co
Investors Holding Group Co.K
Markaz Real Estate Fund
Al-Mazaya Holding Co
Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co
Gulf Petroleum Investment
Mabanee Co Sakc
City Group
Inovest Co Bsc
Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing
Al-Deera Holding Co
Alshamel International Hold
United Industries Co
Mena Real Estate Co
National Slaughter House
Amar Finance & Leasing Co
United Projects Group Kscc
National Consumer Holding Co
Amwal International Investme
Jeeran Holdings
Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C
Nafais Holding
Safwan Trading & Contracting
Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate
Gulf Finance House Ec
Energy House Holding Co Kscc
Kuwait Slaughter House Co
Kuwait Co For Process Plant
Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K
National Ranges Company
Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser
Al-Themar Real International
Al-Ahleia Insurance Co
Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co
Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C
Aqar Real Estate Investments
Hayat Communications
Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg
Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc
Alargan International Real
Burgan Co For Well Drilling
Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc
Oula Fuel Marketing Co
Palms Agro Production Co
Ikarus Petroleum Industries
Mubarrad Transport Co
Al Mowasat Health Care Co
Shuaiba Industrial Co
Kuwait Invest Co Holding
Hits Telecom Holding
First Takaful Insurance Co
Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co
National Cleaning Company
Eyas For High & Technical Ed
United Real Estate Company
Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv
Fujairah Cement Industries
Livestock Transport & Tradng
International Resorts Co
National Industries Grp Hold
Marine Services Co
Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate
Warba Insurance Co
Kuwait United Poultry Co
First Dubai Real Estate Deve
Al Arabi Group Holding Co
Kuwait Hotels Co
Mobile Telecommunications Co
Al Safat Real Estate Co
Tamdeen Real Estate Co Kscc
Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co
Kuwait Cement Co Ksc
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Kuwait Portland Cement Co
Educational Holding Group
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Kuwait China Investment Co
Kuwait Investment Co
Burgan Bank
Kuwait Projects Co Holdings
Al Madina For Finance And In
Kuwait Insurance Co
Al Masaken Intl Real Estate
Intl Financial Advisors
First Investment Co Kscc
Al Mal Investment Company
Bayan Investment Co Kscc
Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae
Coast Investment Development
Privatization Holding Compan
Kuwait Medical Services Co
Injazzat Real State Company
Kuwait Cable Vision Sak
Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Aviation Lease And Finance C
Arzan Financial Group For Fi
Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co
Manafae Investment Co
Kuwait Business Town Real Es
Future Kid Entertainment And
Specialities Group Holding C
Abyaar Real Eastate Developm
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C
Al-Dar National Real Estate
Kgl Logistics Company Kscc
Combined Group Contracting
Zima Holding Co Ksc
Qurain Holding Co
Boubyan Intl Industries Hold
Gulf Investment House
Boubyan Bank K.S.C
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Al-Safat Tec Holding Co
Al-Eid Food Co
Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co
Advanced Technology Co
Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C
Kout Food Group
Real Estate Trade Centers Co
Acico Industries Co Kscc
Kipco Asset Management Co
National Petroleum Services
Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc
Ras Al Khaimah White Cement
Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc
Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport
Human Soft Holding Co
Automated Systems Co
Metal & Recycling Co
Gulf Franchising Holding Co
Al-Enma’a Real Estate Co
National Mobile Telecommuni
Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc
Union Real Estate Co
Housing Finance Co Sak
Al Salam Group Holding Co
United Foodstuff Industries
Al Aman Investment Company
Mashaer Holdings
Manazel Holding
Mushrif Trading & Contractin
Tijara And Real Estate Inves
Kuwait Building Materials
Jazeera Airways
Commercial Real Estate Co
Future Communications Co
National International Co
Taameer Real Estate Invest C
Gulf Cement Co
Heavy Engineering And Ship B
Refrigeration Industries & S
National Real Estate Co
Al Safat Energy Holding Comp
Kuwait National Cinema Co
Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co
Independent Petroleum Group
Kuwait Real Estate Co
Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc
Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind
Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C
Kuwait Finance House
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Voltamp Energy Saog
United Finance Co
United Power Co
United Power/Energy Co- Pref
Al Madina Investment Co
Taageer Finance
Salalah Port Services
A’saffa Foods Saog
Sohar Poultry
Shell Oman Marketing
Shell Oman Marketing - Pref
Smn Power Holding Saog
Al Shurooq Inv Ser
Al Sharqiya Invest Holding
Sohar Power Co
Salalah Beach Resort Saog
Salalah Mills Co
Sahara Hospitality
Renaissance Services Saog
Raysut Cement Co
Port Service Corporation
Packaging Co Ltd
Oman United Insurance Co
Oman Textile Holding Co Saog
Oman Telecommunications Co
Sweets Of Oman
Oman Orix Leasing Co.
Oman Refreshment Co
Oman Packaging
Oman Oil Marketing Company
0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref
Oman National Investment Co
Oman National Engineering An
Oman National Dairy Products
Oman Medical Projects
Oman Ceramic Com
Oman Intl Marketing
Oman Investment & Finance
Hsbc Bank Oman
Oman Hotels & Tourism Co
Oman Holding International
Oman Fiber Optics
Oman Flour Mills
Oman Filters Industry
Oman Fisheries Co
Oman Education & Training In
Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
Oman Europe Foods Industries
Oman Cement Co
Oman Chlorine
Oman Chromite
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Agricultural Dev
Omani Qatari Telecommunicati
National Securities
Oman Foods International Soa
National Pharmaceutical-Rts
National Pharmaceutical
National Packaging Fac
National Mineral Water
National Hospitality Institu
National Gas Co
National Finance Co
National Detergents/The
National Carpet Factory
National Bank Of Oman Saog
National Biscuit Industries
National Real Estate Develop
Natl Aluminium Products
Muscat Thread Mills Co
Muscat Insurance Company
Modern Poultry Farms
Muscat National Holding
Musandam Marketing & Invest
Al Maha Petroleum Products M
Muscat Gases Company Saog
Majan Glass Company
Muscat Finance
Al Kamil Power Co
Interior Hotels
Hotels Management Co Interna
Al-Hassan Engineering Co
Gulf Stone
Gulf Mushroom Company
Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar
Gulf Investments Services
Gulf International Chemicals
Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd
Global Fin Investment
Galfar Engineering&Contract
Galfar Engineering -Prefer
Financial Services Co.
Flexible Ind Packages
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Financial Corp/The
Dhofar Tourism
Dhofar Poultry
Aloula Co
Dhofar Intl Development
Dhofar Insurance
Dhofar University
Dhofar Power Co
Dhofar Power Co-Pfd
Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu
Dhofar Cattlefeed
Al Batinah Dev & Inv
Dhofar Beverages Co
Computer Stationery Inds
Construction Materials Ind
Cement & Gypsum Pro
Marine Bander Al-Rowdha
Bank Sohar
Bankmuscat Saog
Bank Dhofar Saog
Al Batinah Hotels
Majan College
Areej Vegetable Oils
Al Jazeera Steel Products Co
Al Sallan Food Industry
Acwa Power Barka Saog
Al-Omaniya Financial Service
Taghleef Industries Saog
Gulf Plastic Industries Co
Al Jazeera Services
Al Jazerah Services -Pfd
Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co
Ahli Bank
Abrasives Manufacturing Co S
Al-Batinah Intl Saog
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
National Takaful Company
Waha Capital Pjsc
Union Insurance Co
Union National Bank/Abu Dhab
United Insurance Company
Union Cement Co
United Arab Bank
Abu Dhabi National Takaful C
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Sorouh Real Estate Company
Sharjah Insurance Company
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Ras Al Khaima Poultry
Ras Al Khaimah White Cement
Rak Properties
Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics
Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co
National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai
Ooredoo Qsc
Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
National Marine Dredging Co
National Corp Tourism & Hote
Sharjah Islamic Bank
National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw
National Bank Of Fujairah
National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Methaq Takaful Insurance
#N/A Invalid Security
Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp
Invest Bank
Insurance House
Gulf Medical Projects
Gulf Livestock Co
Green Crescent Insurance Co
Gulf Cement Co
Foodco Holding
Finance House
First Gulf Bank
Fujairah Cement Industries
Fujairah Building Industries
Emirates Telecom Corporation
Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc
Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)
Emirates Driving Company
Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S.
Dana Gas
Commercial Bank Internationa
Bank Of Sharjah
Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi
Al Wathba National Insurance
Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak
Arkan Building Materials Co
Aldar Properties Pjsc
Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co.
Al Khazna Insurance Co
Agthia Group Pjsc
Al Fujairah National Insuran
Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co
Abu Dhabi National Insurance
Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Aviation
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
United Paper Industries Bsc
United Gulf Investment Corp
United Gulf Bank
United Finance Co
Trafco Group Bsc
Takaful International Co
Taib Bank -$Us
Securities & Investment Co
Seef Properties
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Al-Salam Bank
Delmon Poultry Co
National Hotels Co
National Bank Of Bahrain
Nass Corp Bsc
Khaleeji Commercial Bank
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Investcorp Bank -$Us
Inovest Co Bsc
Intl Investment Group-Kuwait
Gulf Monetary Group
Global Investment House Kscc
Gulf Finance House Ec
Bahrain Family Leisure Co
Esterad Investment Co B.S.C.
Bahrain Duty Free Complex
Bahrain Car Park Co
Bahrain Cinema Co
Bahrain Tourism Co
Bahraini Saudi Bank/The
Bahrain National Holding
Bankmuscat Saog
Bmmi Bsc
Bmb Investment Bank
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Bahrain Islamic Bank
Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C
Bahrain Flour Mills Co
Bahrain Commercial Facilitie
Bbk Bsc
Bahrain Telecom Co
Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin
Albaraka Banking Group
Banader Hotels Co
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Lt Price
% Chg
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Company Name
Microsoft Corp
Exxon Mobil Corp
Johnson & Johnson
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
General Electric Co
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Chevron Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Pfizer Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
At&T Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intel Corp
Intl Business Machines Corp
Walt Disney Co/The
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Cisco Systems Inc
Home Depot Inc
3M Co
United Technologies Corp
American Express Co
Mcdonald’s Corp
Boeing Co/The
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Caterpillar Inc
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Lt Price
% 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
The euro logo is pictured in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt/Main. Additional ECB easing would erode the
value of the euro, which sent it down on the foreign exchange market to $1.2458 from $1.2523 late in New York on Friday.
Draghi boost to Europe
markets; euro sinks
CB chief Mario Draghi saying the
bank is ready to step up stimulus
lifted European stocks but sank
the euro in a topsy-turvy session yesterday, highlighted by mega mergers
and Japan falling into recession.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index showed a gain of 0.26% at the closing bell, coming in at 6,671.97 points.
Meanwhile in Paris the CAC 40 rose
0.56% to 4,226.10 points, while in
Frankfurt the DAX 30 climbed 0.58%
to 9,306.35.
Madrid jumped 1.59% and Milan
added 1.33%.
European stocks had slid in early
trade after official data surprised the
markets, showing Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.4% in
the third quarter and entered a recession.
Later mega mergers in the US helped
pull European stocks out of losses.
“Markets in Europe traded between gains and losses for most of
the session on Monday as investors
weighed up slightly better growth at
home, renewed M&A activity in the
pharmaceutical sector against sharp
growth contraction in Japan,” said
analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets UK.
“It was only after a speech from
Mario Draghi that markets found their
footing thanks to the prospects of sovereign bond purchases from the ECB,”
he added.
In comments to the European parliament Draghi reiterated that the European Central Bank is ready to step
up its asset purchases to counter ultra
low inflation that could erode already
fragile growth, Dow Jones Newswires
“The markets accelerated thanks
to a speech by Draghi who adopted a
tone perceived as very accommodating,” said IG France analyst Alexandre
Additional easing would erode the
value of the euro, which sent it down
on the foreign exchange market to
$1.2458 from $1.2523 late in New York
on Friday.
The British pound retreated to
$1.5650, down from $1.5665 on Friday.
The euro eased to 79.60 British pence
from 79.94.
On the London Bullion Market,
the price of gold rose to $1,182.50 an
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
ounce from $1,169 late on Friday.
The recession news sent the Japanese yen spiralling to fresh multi-year
lows. The dollar rallied to ¥117.05, a
level last seen in mid-October 2007,
while the euro touched an August 2008
peak at ¥146.53.
Analysts at Capital Economics forecast that the yen will continue weakening, sliding to 140 against the dollar
next year as US interest rates rise while
Japan steps up stimulus.
Wall Street retreated yesterday despite the announcement of two mega
Halliburton, the world’s second biggest oil services company, announced
it will acquire rival Baker Hughes for
$34.6bn in cash and equity.
Then Actavis announced its plans
to acquire Botox-maker Allergan for
$66bn to create one of the top 10 global
pharmaceutical companies by sales.
In midday trading the Dow Jones
Industrial Average slipped 0.08% to
17,620.98 points after five minutes of
After touching a new record on Friday, the broad-market S&P 500 lost
0.14% to 2,036.94.
Meanwhile, the tech-rich Nasdaq
Composite shed 0.51% to 4,664.57.
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
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Mounting pressure on Opec
spurs more wagers on oil rally
New York
peculators got more bullish on
oil for the first time in three
weeks, judging that a slump in
prices to a four-year low will force
Opec to act.
The net-long position in West Texas Intermediate rose 8.7% in the week
ended November 11, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data
show. Long holdings rebounded from
the lowest level in 17 months while
short bets contracted.
WTI tumbled 30% since June as
US output climbed to three-decade
high, adding to a global supply glut at
a time when the International Energy
Agency says demand growth is slowing. Ministers from the Organisation
of Petroleum Exporting Countries accelerated diplomatic visits last week,
potentially seeking a consensus before
the group’s November 27 meeting in
“The market is under incredible
pressure and it will stay that way until
Opec takes decisive action,” Rob Haworth, a senior investment strategist
in Seattle at US Bank Wealth Management which oversees about $120bn,
said by phone November 13. “There
has to be something that changes the
story, which is that there’s too much
WTI advanced 1% to $77.94 a barrel
on the New York Mercantile Exchange
in the period covered by the CFTC report. The contract lost 63¢, or 0.8%,
to $75.19 at 12:13pm London time.
Brent fell 88¢ to $78.53 a barrel.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah alThani flew to Saudi Arabia on November 13 just as Iraqi President Fouad
Masoum left after a two-day visit, the
Saudi Press Agency reported. Rafael
Ramirez, Venezuela’s foreign minister and representative to Opec, held
talks in Algeria and Qatar while Saudi
Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi toured Latin
Opec last cut quotas in December
2008, trimming its target by 2.46mn
barrels a day in response to the financial crash that sent WTI tumbling
from a record $147.27 in July 2008
to $32.40 in December of the same
year. Opec produced 30.97mn barrels
daily last month, data compiled by
Bloomberg show.
“The lower the price falls, the greater the pressure on Opec to announce
an output reduction,” Tim Evans, an
energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York, said by phone
November 14.
Prices may slide further in coming months as demand slips by about
1% to 92.6mn barrels a day in the first
quarter from this quarter, the IEA
said November 14. The IEA estimates
that consumption grew in 2014 at the
slowest pace in five years.
Opec last cut quotas in December 2008, trimming its target by 2.46mn bpd in response to the financial crash that sent WTI tumbling from a record $147.27 in July
2008 to $32.40 in December of the same year.
US daily crude output climbed to
9.06mn barrels in the week ended November 7, the most in weekly Energy
Information Administration data that
began in 1983.
“It’s possible that even with an
Opec production cut there won’t be an
immediate increase in prices,” Evans
said. “It sometimes takes time for the
supertanker that is the oil market to
switch direction.”
ETF investors also boosted bets
on rising prices. The four biggest US
exchange-traded funds tied to oil had
70.5mn shares outstanding as of November 12, the most since May 2013,
according to exchange data compiled
by Bloomberg. The net-long position
in WTI rose by 14,584 to 182,490 futures and options in the week ended
November 11, still down 49% from the
peak in June. Long positions climbed
1% and short positions fell 15%.
For Brent crude, hedge funds and
other money managers raised bullish
bets for a third week to 66,636 contracts in the week ended November
11, according to data from the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
In other markets, bullish bets on
gasoline increased 5.8% to 32,362
contracts, the most since August. Futures advanced 1.2% to $2.1036 a gallon on Nymex in the reporting period.
Retail gasoline, averaged nationwide, slid to $2.893 a gallon November 15, the lowest since Dec. 1, 2010,
according to Heathrow, Floridabased AAA, the largest US motoring
Bearish wagers on US ultra-low
sulfur diesel decreased 5.2% to 29,128
contracts. The fuel climbed 1.1% to
$2.4687 a gallon in the report week.
Net-long wagers on US natural
gas advanced 53% to 88,238 lots, the
highest since the week ended September 30. The measure includes an
index of four contracts adjusted to
futures equivalents: Nymex natural
gas futures, Nymex Henry Hub Swap
Futures, Nymex ClearPort Henry Hub
Penultimate Swaps and the ICE Futures US Henry Hub contract.
Nymex natural gas rose 11.8¢ to
$4.247 per million British thermal
units during the report week.
An extended drop in crude prices
will reduce investment in shale fields
and eventually curb supply, said
Stephen Schork, president of Schork
Group Inc, a consulting group in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
“We’re at a precipice,” Schork said
by phone on November 14. “If prices
stay at this level you’ll see an impact
on investment in the prolific US and
Canadian plays.”
Nigeria plans
budget cuts
as oil price
drop erodes
its revenue
Nigeria is planning spending cutbacks
next year as falling oil prices eat into
the government’s revenue, Finance
Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.
The minister will propose to lower
expenditure by 6% to 4.66tn naira
($27bn) in the 2015 budget by tightening rules on foreign travel and raising
taxes on private jets and luxury cars,
Okonjo-Iweala told reporters on Sunday in the capital, Abuja. Those plans
are based on a benchmark oil price of
$73 a barrel, down from $77.5 in this
year’s budget, she said.
The government of Africa’s biggest
oil producer, which is preparing to
hold elections on February 14, earns
about 70% of its income from crude
oil, the price of which has slumped to
a four-year low this month. The naira
weakened to a record low last week,
prompting the central bank to run
down reserves in a bid to defend the
“We can control and will control the
way the country responds” to a global
price drop, she said, adding that
Nigeria has contingency plans if the oil
price falls further.
Nigeria, a member of the Organisation
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries,
expects to produce 2.27mn barrels
of oil per day next year, generating
revenue of 6.8tn naira, Okonjo-Iweala
said. This year’s budget was based on
output of 2.39mn bpd. The naira fell
0.4% to 172.25 against the dollar on
the interbank market as of 12.14pm in
Lagos, the commercial capital, taking
its decline this year to 6.9%.
The Excess Crude Account, which was
set up to save the difference between
the selling price of oil and the budgeted benchmark, may be drawn down
to about half of its current balance
of $4.11bn by the end of the year, the
minister said. Foreign currency reserves stood at $37.6bn on November
13, down from $39.5bn at the end of
September and $44.9bn a year ago.
The proposals don’t go far enough to
address the weakness in government
revenue, Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Financial
Derivatives Co, said by phone. OkonjoIweala has proposed a 5.9% cut in the
benchmark oil price while the cost of
crude has plunged by almost a third
since July, he said.
“The cut alone will not address the
problem of fiscal imbalance,” he said.
“As a nation, you have to reduce your
leakages and increase your injections.”
The Finance Ministry’s proposals will
be submitted to lawmakers in the
National Assembly where they are
debated before a final document can
be signed into law by the president.
The ministry’s proposals for the 2014
budget were given to lawmakers in
late December last year, and Jonathan
signed the budget in May.
Crude below $80? No problem for these stocks
n a world where slumping oil
prices and weak economic
growth are triggering fears of
a deflationary spiral, especially
in Europe, investors are picking
out firms that stand to benefit
from that testing environment.
Companies such as UK transport operator National Express, airlines Lufthansa and
Air France-KLM and even some
large consumer-goods groups
like Nestle have all been singled
out as beneficiaries of so-called
“good deflation”, as fuel and
other commodities get cheaper
and perk up profits.
Deflation is not a zero-sum
game: a widespread trend of
falling prices would cast a pall
across all sectors and push consumers to delay spending. US
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew
this week warned that European
policymakers needed to do more
to avoid a Japan-style “lost decade” of low growth.
But for now, with consumer spending in relatively good
shape and the prospect of an interest-rate hike in the US buoying recovery hopes, some believe
“good” deflation has the edge.
“The consumer is in good
shape, the oil price is expected
to be a bit lower and the dollar
is going to remain strong. There
are stocks that will benefit,” said
Chris White, head of UK equities
at Premier Asset Management.
National Express, which op-
erates coach and bus routes
everywhere from Coventry to
Marrakesh, reported a 15% rise
in profits before tax in the third
quarter and stands to benefit
from being able to cut the cost
of fuel-price contracts, White
National Express also has exposure to North America: it operates student buses in 32 states
in the US and four Canadian
provinces. The stock currently
trades at a price-to-earnings
ratio of 11.20, versus rival Stagecoach Group’s 13.49 multiple
and 12.32 for FirstGroup.
Oil is not the only commodity
to fall this year, with the price of
key soft commodities including wheat also down in the year
to date. That is seen benefiting
companies such as food producers Danone and Nestle, as lower
production costs can help boost
Lower oil prices mean potentially hefty economic savings
in Europe. Reuters research last
month showed that the European Union could save up to $80bn
in energy imports if oil prices remain low.
So while a falling oil price is
playing havoc with the currencies and economies of oil-exporting countries such as Russia
or Nigeria, it also represents “a
tax cut for the rest of the world”,
said JPMorgan Cazenove strategist Emmanuel Cau.
A basket of twelve stocks
tipped by the bank to benefit
strongly from a falling oil price,
including airlines as well as carmakers BMW and Daimler, has
rebounded in the last month as
oil dropped through 80 US dollars per barrel.
“Deflation is a problem for
central bankers and indebted
governments, but for consum-
ers it is not always the evil is it
is made out to be,” said Andrew
Parry, head of equities at Hermes
Global Investors, who counts
French carmaker Renault among
his high-conviction holdings.
Others said the low inflation backdrop would favour the
telecom and healthcare sectors, since their typically strong
dividend yields would beat the
deflationary pressures hitting
many savers’ returns.
Tim Gregory, head of global
equities at Psigma Investment
Management, backed telecom
stocks such as Vodafone and
Deutsche Telekom and healthcare stocks such as AstraZeneca,
Roche and Novartis.
“We would favour sectors that
have the capacity to demonstrate
sustainable medium to long term
growth and have good underlying cash-flows and pay good
dividends,” he said.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Russia seen as greatest market threat as oil erodes Putin power
Russia poses the biggest security
risk to world markets and will be
the biggest loser from the drop in
oil prices, according to a Bloomberg Global Poll of international
Asked which of five possibilities
posed the greatest risk to global
financial markets, 52% of participants chose the Russia-Ukraine
conflict. Twenty-six percent cited
Islamic State, while Ebola barely
registered with 5%. The US was
seen as the most likely beneficiary
from lower crude prices.
Russia is being buffeted by the
twin blows of sanctions and an
oil-market selloff that threatens to
hollow out its economy. While Russia is menacing Ukraine with tanks
and sending its jets into foreign
airspace, President Vladimir Putin
said November 14 that the drop in
crude is potentially “catastrophic”
for the world’s largest energy
“The Russia-Ukraine situation
is more dangerous as we have a
sovereign state, which is trying
to increase its power by creating
chaos both through threatening
actions of war,” Mikael Simonsen,
chief sales manager for cross asset
sales at Nordea Bank in Helsinki
and a poll respondent, said by email. “This might impact the common thinking of how developed
we are today, and impact the risk
The poll of 510 investors,
analysts and traders who are
Bloomberg subscribers was conducted November 11-12 by Selzer &
Co, a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm,
and has a margin of error of plus or
minus 4.3 percentage points.
Investors have been confronted
by a series of geopolitical crises
this year ranging from war in
Eastern Europe to Ebola in Africa
and persistent territorial tensions
between China and its neighbours.
In the past week alone, Russia
moved warships toward Australia
on the eve of a Group of 20 summit
and announced plans to extend its
long-range bomber patrols as far as
the Gulf of Mexico.
The degree of risk to financial
markets from political and military
violence was seen rising by 46%
of respondents, while 41% saw it
steady and 13% said it’s declining.
Falling oil prices also have the
potential to alter the political
landscape. Russia was seen by 51%
as the biggest loser from the lower
price of oil, ahead of Venezuela at
21%, Saudi Arabia at 12% and Iran
at 6%.
“Russia and some other smaller
producers might be the biggest
losers as they depend on a high
oil price to finance the government budget and external trade,”
said Fabian Fritzsche of Collineo
Asset Management GmbH in
Dortmund, Germany. “For the
Middle East oil exporters a higher
price is nice, but they can afford a
lower price.”
Opinions on which countries
benefit most from cheaper oil were
more divided. Thirty-one percent
pointed to the US, 18% to China and
15% to Japan. Eleven percent cited
Europe and India.
Many European investors saw
themselves and industrialised Asian
countries as the bigger winners
because US shale production will
be hit by falling prices.
“The US also benefits from low
prices, but to a less extent than
the EU because the US is a big oil
producer too,” said Gala Prada Sevilla, head of pension funds at Fiatc
Seguros in Barcelona.
Investors are also trying to manoeuvre ongoing disputes between
Japan and China over territory in
the East China Sea. Asians were
more likely to see rising risk than
respondents in the US or Europe.
For some respondents, Islamic
State represents the biggest threat
of all because the protagonists are
the most unpredictable.
“It cannot be controlled, you never know what they are up to, they
will do anything to achieve their
goals and they are expanding,”
Fiatc’s Prada said. “Ukraine is more
a local conflict and I don’t think the
EU will let it get out of hand.”
Putin readies
aid as Rosneft’s
$21bn looms
The company logo of Halliburton oilfield services is seen in Houston. The merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes is widely expected to raise anti-trust concerns.
Halliburton to buy Baker
Hughes for about $35bn
Offer worth $80.69 per
share based on Friday’s
close; Baker Hughes shares
at $68.80 premarket;
Halliburton ready to sell
assets worth $7.5bn; to pay
$3.5bn if deal is rejected on
anti-trust concerns
New York
alliburton Co will buy
Baker Hughes Inc for
about $35bn in cash and
stock, creating an oilfield services behemoth to take on market
leader Schlumberger as falling
oil prices threaten to erode demand.
The merger is widely expected to raise anti-trust concerns
and Baker Hughes shares, at
$68.80 yesterday, were trading
well short of the offer of $80.69
per share, based on Friday’s
Halliburton said it was ready
to pay $3.5bn in termination fees
if the transaction did not get antitrust approvals.
Halliburton shares were down
6% at $51.80 premarket.
The company said if required,
it was ready to divest businesses
worth $7.5bn in revenue to get
anti-trust approvals, although it
believed regulators would ask for
“significantly less”.
There are at least seven major product lines where there is
overlap between the two companies, who offer scores of services
and technology, from drill bits,
to cementing and casing work,
to artificial lift systems that improve output from wells.
“With $2bn of synergies identified, we expect a key driver to the
timing of this combination is the
urgency to further reduce costs in
order to be competitive if exploration and production companies
push to retrench spending going
forward,” Global Hunter Securities analysts wrote in a note.
The talks between the two
companies started over a month
ago and came to a head on Friday when Halliburton threatened to replace Baker Hughes’s
board after its initial offer was
Halliburton said yesterday
it withdrew its slate of board
nominees and that the combined
company’s 15-member board
will have three Baker Hughes
members. The company will be
led by Halliburton’s chief executive Dave Lesar. Baker Hughes
shareholders will get 1.12 Halliburton shares plus $19 in cash
for every share held, and own
36% of the combined company.
The combined company’s
2013 revenue was $51.8bn on
a pro-forma basis, more than
Schlumberger’s $45.3bn.
Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill
Lynch are Halliburton’s financial
advisers, while Goldman, Sachs
& Co is advising Baker Hughes.
Baker Botts and Wachtell,
Lipton, Rosen & Katz are Halliburton’s legal counsel, while
Davis Polk & Wardwell and
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale
and Dorr are Baker Hughes’s.
ussia’s financial crisis
has become so severe
that President Vladimir
Putin found himself reassuring
investors late last week that the
government would provide the
support needed to the world’s
largest oil company.
With OAO Rosneft facing
$21bn of mostly foreign-currency debt maturities before
April, Putin said the government will “definitely” help
the company if necessary, according to an interview on the
Kremlin’s website November
14. After yields on Rosneft’s
benchmark dollar bonds due in
2022 surged to a record 7.34%
that day as oil sank to a fouryear low, the statements may
help restore investor confidence in the company, according to Commerzbank.
“Putin’s comments tried to
reassure investors about Rosneft’s strategic importance,”
Apostolos Bantis, a credit analyst at the German lender, said
in a telephone interview from
Dubai. “This should alleviate
investor concerns of a defaultrisk scenario.”
Rosneft, which has more
short-term debt than any other
corporate borrower in Russia, is
among companies locked out of
global capital markets because
of international sanctions tied
to the conflict in Ukraine. With
the sliding rouble feeding a
shortage of foreign currency at
home, the state-controlled oil
producer’s credit rating envisages a “very high likelihood of
extraordinary state support,”
Elena Anankina, a Standard &
Poor’s analyst, said in a November 12 interview.
A Rosneft press official declined to comment when contacted by phone on November 15.
Putin’s statement came three
days after Alexei Kudrin, the
former finance minister who
designed Russia’s Wellbeing
Fund, said Rosneft shouldn’t
be allowed anywhere near it.
Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on October 29 that
the company’s bid for more
than $43bn in state aid didn’t
meet the fund’s requirements.
Rosneft may get state aid af-
ter an assessment, Putin said
in the interview with Russian
state news service Tass, which
was distributed by the Kremlin’s press service. There’s “no
hurry” as the company is in a
good financial condition, he
While there is little risk that
Rosneft won’t pay back its debt
because it’s “too important for
Russia,” its reliance on state
hand-outs can turn off investors, according to Sergey Dergachev at Union Investment
Privatfonds GmbH in Frankfurt.
“I am not a big fan of being invested in credits which
are fundamentally poorly positioned and where you have
to be relying on state funds,”
Dergachev, who helps oversee
$10bn as a money manager at
Union, said by e-mail on November 14. “Standalone, Rosneft will have much more difficulty in a stressed- market
scenario than its peers, and
this is what I, as an investor in
emerging-market debt, want to
Rosneft, headed by longtime Putin ally Igor Sechin, has
$10.2bn in debt due this year
and $19.5bn in 2015, according to a company presentation
on Oct. 29. Russia’s foreigncurrency reserves dropped to
a five-year low of $428.6bn in
October, with the Wellbeing
Fund at $81.7bn.
The company has more than
$20bn of available cash as well
as backup credit lines of about
$6bn to help roll-over its debt
pile, Moody’s Investors Service analyst Julia Pribytkova
said by e-mail on November
12. Rosneft, which racked up
debt for its $55bn purchase of
BP Plc’s TNK-BP joint venture
in 2013, may also tap domestic lenders for $3bn to $5bn in
bridge loans early next year,
she said.
S&P, which rates the Russian
company at BBB — with a negative outlook, its lowest investment grade and at par with the
sovereign, said this grade already factors in potential state
support because of “Rosneft’s
importance for Russia as a large
oil producer, a large taxpayer
and employer, with very strong
links to the government,”
Anankina said.
HSBC Swiss arm charged for helping rich Belgians dodge taxes
SBC Holdings’ Swiss private banking
unit was charged by Belgian prosecutors
for illegally helping wealthy clients in
the country dodge hundreds of millions of euros in taxes.
The Brussels prosecutors’ office said the bank
was suspected of “serious and organised” fraud,
money laundering, criminal organisation and
acting as an illegal financial intermediary, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday.
“More than 1,000 Belgian taxpayers could be
affected over amounts involving several billions
of dollars that were invested, managed and/
or transferred between 2003 up to the present
day,” prosecutors said.
Belgium is clamping down as regulators
across the world seek to rein in banks helping rich citizens escape the taxman. Marcel
Bruehwiler, the chief executive officer of UBS’
Belgium unit, was charged with fraud in June
over a multibillion-euro tax fraud that helped
customers open undeclared accounts in Switzerland.
HSBC is also embroiled in a similar probe con-
cerning French clients of its Swiss private bank.
CEO Stuart Gulliver said earlier this month that
HSBC hasn’t yet been charged in that case. Additionally, the lender is being investigated in the
US and said in its half-year report that it sent
documents to authorities related to tax reporting
requirements of American clients.
Patrick Humphris, a spokesman for HSBC’s
private bank in Geneva, declined to comment
on the Belgian probe.
HSBC’s Swiss unit may have knowingly encouraged fraud by selling offshore companies in
Panama and the Virgin Islands to certain clients
to avoid European Union savings taxation rules,
the Belgian prosecutors said. London-based
HSBC is Europe’s largest bank by market value.
Several managers and employers will be summoned to hearings held by the investigating
judge, the prosecutors said.
Tax avoidance leaped to the top of the EU’s
agenda this month after a group of investigative
journalists published almost 28,000 documents
cataloging how global companies lowered their
tax bill via deals with Luxembourg.
The revelations triggered a backlash against
Jean-Claude Juncker, the new European Commission president and former prime minister of
A sign of HSBC private bank is seen in Geneva. Belgian prosecutors have charged a subsidiary of HSBC with fraud and money-laundering worth hundreds
of millions of euros.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Forex transfer firms give pricey UK banks a run for their money
Working out of a shared office near
London’s Euston station, Michael Kent is
part of a revolution that may be driven on
by this year’s row over alleged currency
market manipulation by major banks.
Kent’s online business, Azimo, and
more than 30 others in the United
Kingdom are building on the success of
firms like Western Union and MoneyGram
International in carving out a chunk of the
market in international money transfers,
travel money and card payments.
Their pitch is simple: in the era of electronic money, the 4-12% fees banks charge
consumers for any transaction involving
foreign currency is ludicrously expensive.
Today, to transfer £100 to Germany,
British high street bank Halifax would
charge £9.5 and use a rate 3.06 eurocents
per pound worse than those the financial
world’s biggest players charge each other,
totalling around 12%.
Halifax points to the costs of running
secure, wide-ranging operations and says
the percentage falls for larger amounts.
Currency market majors HSBC and
Barclays charge less and costs on foreign
currency transactions on credit cards
often go below 5%, but the fee at Azimo
is £1, the spread less than 1 cent, and the
overall cost less than 2%.
“This is money that the banks do not
need to charge people and we just set
out to change that,” says Kent. “We are in
the middle of a worldwide downturn and
these people are making supernormal
profits. It is money people do not need
to pay.”
Azimo’s original raison d’etre was to
reduce the cost for migrant workers of
sending money home by streamlining the
sort of service Western Union or Money-
gram International were already providing
at cheaper rates than western banks.
Across London, in trendy e-business
hub Shoreditch, market veterans Brian
Jamieson and Daniel Butcher are seeking
to take the game one stage further with
another start-up, Centtrip.
As financial markets went electronic
in the 1990s, they were among entrepreneurs making the most of the large
spreads banks charged companies for
day-to-day currency purchases.
Such firms helped drive corporate costs
over interbank rates down from several
cents to a few pips, or hundredths of a
cent. Centtrip is now seeking to do the
same for ordinary consumers.
Customers sign up online, get sent a
Mastercard and pay into it at a cost of
0.5%. They can then use the card for 14
currencies, with a spread of just 4 hundredths of a eurocent to interbank rates,
compared to Halifax’s 3 whole eurocents.
Centtrip’s initial target is business travellers, but Jamieson says it could take just
five years for a mass audience of smartphone users to clock on to the model.
One key ingredient, he says, is convincing households their money is as safe with
small web-based firms as with their bank.
“After what happened in 2008, we’ve
got to the point where we have lost trust
and faith in the banks,” he says. “That has
opened up the door for people like us to
disrupt the market.”
Since the global financial crisis laid
bare excessive risk-taking at banks, their
reputation has suffered further from
allegations traders fleeced their biggest
clients by manipulating foreign exchange
rates, though there is no suggestion of
any manipulation of retail rates.
Banks do not break out their retail forex
business in their results and there are no
overall figures for the sector, but official
data shows Britons spent $23.6bn while
on business and holiday trips abroad last
Numbers from the Bank of International Settlements show global flows
worth $78bn a day through retail foreign
exchange brokers, and $188bn a day
in flows from companies outside the
financial sector, although much of that
is from big multinationals going through
their banks.
“If travel money is billions then the
market in these ordinary bank transfers
will be at least 100 times that,” says Ian
Strafford-Taylor, chief executive of one
of the earliest players in the consumer
space, FairFX.
FairFX is worth just under £40mn according to its listing on London’s AIM market, and made almost £3mn on revenues
of more than £300mn last year.
The relative size of the newcomers
shows there is some way to go. Eesha
Mohindra, analyst at consumer finance
website, said
more transparency was needed. “Without
knowing it, most people waste big money
when spending cash abroad by using the
wrong card,” she said.
A handful of senior bank managers
who spoke to Reuters on condition of
anonymity said the challenge to them
in the retail segment was under serious
consideration for the first time, but it was
not yet considered big enough to force
widespread change in a market seen as
more lucrative even than the US.
“Clearly some of the banks still see this
as a captive client base and it is coming
closer to that point where these sort of
nimble startups will force us to change,”
said the head of electronic trading with
one large European bank.
“Banks are already investing in some
of these companies. Then when they see
that they are really succeeding, they will
buy some of them out.”
BoE’s Carney says may need
to regulate bankers’ salaries
Carney comments seen as a
warning shot, dig at EU bonus
curbs; regulators under more
pressure after FX scandal; UK
lawmakers say more banker pay
should be in bonuses; global
regulators warm to “performance
bonds” for bankers; EU legal
adviser to issue opinion on UK
bonus challenge
he Bank of England said yesterday that senior bankers’ salaries
may in future be at risk if they or
their staff break rules, firing a warning
shot to the City after the latest dealing
room scandal cost six banks $4.3bn in
Transcripts of currency traders from
banks such as UBS boasting in online
chatrooms about their bonuses while
they tried to manipulate benchmark
rates have put regulators under renewed pressure.
Europe has already agreed to curb
bankers’ bonuses, but the Bank of England has said that policy will not tackle
the problem as lenders can dodge it by
paying allowances and hiking fixed pay.
The Bank, which regulates Europe’s
financial hub in London, is bringing in
its own regime which will see bonuses
deferred for years and allow them to
be clawed back if wrongdoing emerges
— even if the money has already been
Yet with Europe’s bonus cap cutting the pool of money that the Bank
of England can target, Mark Carney,
its governor, said salaries, or fixed pay,
could also be in its sights.
“Standards may need to be developed to put non-bonus, or fixed, pay at
risk,” Carney said in a speech in Singapore.
“European rules create a situation
that makes the case for additional reforms to ensure that the burden of excessive risk taking and misconduct by
staff can still be borne by those staff.”
Given that the Bank of England’s new
regime is not yet in place, remuneration
experts said Carney’s speech was a tap
on the shoulder rather than a plan for
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, delivers a speech during a lecture organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore yesterday.
Authorities may need powers to regulate the fixed pay of bankers as well as their bonuses, Carney said amid concern the current pay regime does not deter
immediate action and underlined the
political pressures at play.
A group of UK lawmakers brought
together to look at ways of improving
behaviour in the wake of banking scandals has said pay is at the heart of the
“Mark Carney is firing a warning
shot. He is putting the industry on
notice that if they just increase fixed
pay and take employees out of bonus
schemes that is not going to work for
him,” said Tom Gosling, head of reward
practice at PwC.
International regulators may yet
introduce reforms that would require
banks to pay part of their senior staff
bonuses in bonds connected to the performance of the bank.
Carney, who is also chairman of reg-
ulatory watchdog The Financial Stability Board, said a proposal by New York
Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley to bring in “performance
bonds” for senior bankers was “worthy
of consideration”.
Dudley said last month that deferred
pay for senior bankers should be in the
form of debt, rather than shares, and
that these “performance bonds” would
be forfeited to pay some of the fines imposed on a lender for wrongdoing, easing the burden on shareholders.
“I think introducing bonds into variable pay could happen sooner rather
than later,” said Gosling. “There is a lot
of common ground between the EU,
the Bank of England and the Fed on the
use of bond-type instruments in remuneration.”
Rocket Internet
to launch
another 10
start-ups in ’15
ocket Internet, the global e-commerce investor,
expects to launch at least
another 10 start-ups in 2015 and
said it would work more closely
with Facebook on advertising.
Rocket Internet, whose shares
have had a bumpy ride since listing last month, said its 12 most
successful companies saw average growth in gross merchandise volume — a measure of
sales made through online marketplaces — of 104% in the six
months to June 30.
It also announced a global agreement with Facebook,
which will involve the US company helping Rocket with advertising strategy and automation of ads and giving it access to
tests of new advertising features.
Rocket Internet shares, which
have rebounded to above the offer price of €42.50 after positive
broker notes in recent days, were
up 0.2% at €47.92 at 0940 GMT.
Investors who bought shares
in Europe’s largest tech listing
since 2000 were hoping to ride
a wave of euphoria which culminated in Alibaba’s bumper
New York flotation. However,
the shares came under pressure
over concerns about how long it
might take the Rocket start-ups
to turn a profit.
Among Rocket’s top performers were Russian fashion site
Lamoda and Indian online store
Jabong, which saw first-half
revenue grow 112% and 187% respectively.
Founded in 2007 by brothers Oliver, Alexander and Marc
Samwer, Rocket has set up dozens of e-commerce and online
marketplaces for everything
from taxis to meal deliveries,
aiming to replicate the success
of Amazon and Alibaba in new
markets like Africa, Latin America and Russia.
Chief Executive Oliver Samwer said the new businesses were
on track towards profitability,
reiterating his view that e-commerce start-ups take six to nine
years to break even.
Draghi seen bypassing QE qualms to hit ECB’s asset goal
ario Draghi will succeed in
boosting the European Central Bank’s balance sheet
back towards €3tn ($3.75tn), though
he’ll have to override some policy
makers’ qualms on quantitative easing to do so.
That’s the majority view of economists in Bloomberg’s monthly survey,
who have become more optimistic that
the ECB president will meet his goal.
Most predicted he’ll have to buy more
than covered bonds and asset-backed
securities though, and 72% said any
stimulus expansion will be against the
wishes of some national central-bank
Draghi said yesterday eurozone
growth momentum had weakened, but
the ECB’s policy steps and eurozone
countries’ reforms should still lead to
a moderate recovery next year and in
“We see early indications that our
credit easing package is delivering tangible benefits,” Draghi told lawmakers
in the European Parliament, adding
that more time was needed for the latest measures to unfold.
“If private-sector asset purchases
are insufficient then sovereign bonds
will then likely be included,” said Alan
McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion
Capital Group Ltd in Dublin. “This will
be a hard sell internally.”
Resistance to Draghi’s recent loosening of policy has come primarily from
Germany. Bundesbank President Jens
Weidmann has repeatedly warned of
the risks of large-scale asset purchases,
known as quantitative easing, and Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger has said the balance between
cost and benefit for some non-standard
tools is currently negative. Austria’s
Ewald Nowotny joined Weidmann in
opposing the ABS plan.
That didn’t stop a fresh reference by
Draghi on November 6 to driving the
balance sheet back toward its March
2012 level via asset purchases and targeted loans to banks. Sixty percent of
the economists surveyed said he’ll succeed, which implies that close to €1tn
of assets will be added. In last month’s
survey just 39% said he’ll achieve his
The ECB will expand its balance
Eurozone growth momentum has weakened, but the ECB’s policy steps and
eurozone countries’ reforms should still lead to a moderate recovery next year
and in 2016, Draghi said yesterday.
sheet by about €550bn by the end of
next year, and about €850bn by the
end of 2016, according to the median of
economists’ estimates.
Officials started buying covered
bonds last month, and Executive Board
member Benoit Coeure said last week
that purchases so far have been about
€11bn. Board member Yves Mersch said
today that the ECB will start buying asset- backed securities this week.
In order to reach its goal, the ECB will
need to extend its programme, the survey shows. About 21% of respondents
said it’ll announce a larger programme
after its December monetary policy
meeting, and almost three-quarters
said stimulus will be expanded in 2015.
More than three-quarters of economists said that if the ECB does enlarge
the programme, it will buy corporate
bonds; 43% said it will buy the debt of
government agencies; and 57% predicted it will buy sovereign bonds. More
than a fifth said it will add stimulus by
making the targeted bank loans more
French central bank governor Christian Noyer said on November 14 that the
ECB could buy state or company debt if
it decided that its policies weren’t having enough impact. Mersch said today
that a QE programme could “theoretically” include sovereign debt, gold,
exchange-traded funds and real estate.
Even so, he warned against rushing in
too fast.
“Unconventional monetary-policy
measures can have also unintended
side effects in the medium and long
term if we use them too aggressively
or too extensively,” he said at a conference in Frankfurt. “Every possible new
measure must therefore be thoroughly
screened for effectiveness, efficiency
and conformity with our mandate.”
The euro-area economy hasn’t
fallen off a cliff yet. Output in the region grew faster than analysts forecast in the third quarter as Germany
and France rebounded, according to
data released on November 14. Greece
ended its worst recession in more than
half a century.
The presentation of fresh ECB economic projections next month could
be the trigger for further action. More
than 90% of economists in the survey
said growth and inflation forecasts will
be revised lower. Annual consumerprice gains in the euro area were 0.4%
in October, well below the ECB’s goal of
just under 2%.
Alternatively, the forecasts may provide a reason for the ECB to hold off increased stimulus for now as the longerterm outlook has the characteristic of
a policy target, according to Kristian
Toedtmann, an economist at DekaBank
in Frankfurt.
“The more the ECB revises down its
projections for 2016, the more it signals that there is a need for more policy
easing,” he said. Small revisions would
“enable the ECB to communicate that
the economic recovery and the acceleration of inflation are only delayed, not
called off,” he said.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Qatar policymakers urged to support entrepreneurship
By Peter Alagos
Business Reporter
Qatar’s policymakers should
provide strategies that would help
“lower the barriers” to encourage
entrepreneurship and create more
business opportunities, especially
among small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), a Qatar-based
university professor said.
Dr Thomas Emerson, distinguished career professor of
Entrepreneurship at Carnegie
Mellon University Qatar, provided
several pointers that were the focal
point of his presentation during
the opening ceremony of ‘Global
Entrepreneurship Week Qatar’ held
at the Marriott Marquis in Doha
Emerson suggested the stream-
lining of processes for business applications in the country, which he
described as among the “barriers to
business creation.”
He also suggested that increasing and formalising seed funding
would help encourage the growth
of the country’s SME sector as
well as the creation and funding of
technology-based ventures.
Additionally, promoting a private
sector angel and venture capital investment industry and creating an
Education City free zone were also
among the suggestions Emerson
raised in his presentation.
Silatech CEO Tarik M Yousef
pointed out that policymakers must
tackle the barriers that Emerson
had identified, which he described
as the “key bottleneck” to create
and encourage entrepreneurs to
“step-in and start-up companies.”
HE Sheikh Ahmed, Dr Emerson and Yousef addressing the ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week Qatar’ in Doha
yesterday. PICTURES: Nasser TK
When asked how Silatech could
help lower the barriers, Yousef said
Silatech can assist in refining policy
“As an organisation, we have
a lot of experience working with
policymakers. It is easy to say that
policymakers should do something
but it’s much more difficult to
implement that because a policy
should be contextualised, it has
to have a timeline, it has to be targeted; and that is where we could
come in and help create a dialogue
between the policy community and
entrepreneurs,” Yousef explained.
According to Emerson, “There’s
a lot that say that Qatar can be
globally competitive outside the
hydrocarbon sector. And that needs
to happen because hydrocarbon
won’t be here forever.”
“The good news is a lot of infrastructure to support diversification
has been already built. There have
been some wonderful investments
that the leadership in this country
has made in order to facilitate
that transition,” Emerson told Gulf
Times when asked about the role of
SMEs in diversification.
Yousef added, “Almost any business in Qatar is viable in the sense
that this is an economy that is still
growing, diversifying, will be spending tens of billions, if not, hundreds,
on massive development projects
in the next 10 years.”
“There are a host of industries in
the non-hydrocarbon sector associated with these massive projects
whether its media, project management, PR, services, human resource
management, and who’s going to
provide all of these? So, a lot of
these are viable,” Yousef said.
In his speech, HE the Minister of
Economy and Commerce Sheikh
Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed alThani stressed that the government
“cannot imagine a more competitive economy and a fast developing
world without SMEs and innovators.”
He cited GEW Qatar 2014 as
among the activities that create the
environment and opportunity for
entrepreneurs and innovators to
source out financing and support.
“This constitutes an integral
part of developing and diversifying the economy so we do not rely
solely on petrol and gas revenues
in order to fulfil the development
plans of the country and move to
a knowledge-based economy,” the
minister added.
2014 ‘exceptional’ year for
Qatar Airways: al-Baker
HE Sheikh Abdullah speaking at the Qatar Chamber yesterday.
Ooredoo chief urges
Qatar businesses
to take lead in
corporate governance
oredoo chairman HE
Sheikh Abdullah bin
Mohamed bin Saud alThani has urged businesses in
Qatar to take the lead in corporate governance, in a keynote
speech to the Qatar Chamber.
Sheikh Abdullah, who represented Ooredoo as both a
global communications leader
and a trail-blazer in corporate
best practice, spoke about the
impact of corporations on the
economy, as well as on governments, investors and markets.
Sheikh Abdullah said, “Ooredoo strongly believe in compliance with governance policies,
as this plays an important role
in the company’s performance
locally and globally, enhancing investors’ trust. With our
continuous development and
growth, Ooredoo governance
becomes more important than
ever for Ooredoo, as we strive
to meet and exceed the exacting
standards of every market that
we operate in.”
The Qatar Chamber invited
Ooredoo chairman to advocate
the importance of governance
on behalf of the country’s business community.
During the session, the
chairman outlined a number of
policies and directives Ooredoo’s board has in place to protect the interests of all stakeholders. Policies highlighted
included a thorough governance guide, internal audit policies, HR policies guide and financial authorities.
“The Ooredoo board review
and improve our governance
policies regularly, and adapt
them thoroughly for every
country across our footprints
local regulations. We also believe good conduct is not limited to the board members and
directors of the company — it is
a responsibility of all employees,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
Ooredoo has made a series of
significant investments in 2014
to enhance the range of services
and solutions available to businesses in Qatar, and supported
this with a thorough regulatory
Highlights include the OASIS lab, an open house for the
growing number of SME’s in
Qatar to test Ooredoo’s IT and
communication solutions, as
well as the launch of enhanced
Machine to Machine (M2M)
services that enable businesses
to connect all of their different
systems and devices.
atar Airways Group chief
executive Akbar al-Baker has said the year so far
has been “exceptional” for the
airline with rapid fleet and route
expansion and moving its hub to
Hamad International Airport.
Delivering opening address
at the airline’s biennial Commercial Conference in Doha,
al-Baker said, “The airline has
launched some 11 new destinations around the globe this year
and has inducted some 14 new
aircraft into our fleet. Qatar Airways moved its entire operations
to the world’s latest state-ofthe-art hub, Hamad International airport, and in June this
year hosted the largest and most
important meeting for the aviation industry — the 70th Iata
He said, “Qatar Airways took
delivery of our first Airbus A380
in September this year and just
last month we signed an MoU
to add 20 new Gulfstream air-
Al-Baker delivers the keynote address at the Qatar Airways
Commercial Conference at Doha’s Intercontinental City Hotel.
craft to our private jet division
— Qatar Executive. Next month,
as the global launch customer
we are gearing up to receive our
first Airbus A350 — a brand new
aircraft type, which the entire
world will see for the first time
in commercial service in Qatar
Airways’ livery”.
With all these significant developments, al-Baker encouraged the airline staff to be innovative and entrepreneurial in
their approach to business and
sales. “Just as Qatar Airways
is renowned in the industry as
a leader in the way it innovates
and redefines the art of travel
with its products on board and
on ground, our commercial staff
should also be innovative and
inspiring in their approach to
Qatar Airways chief commercial officer Marwan Koleilat
and other senior commercial
staff addressed the attendees
to provide them with strategic
insights into the Group’s development plans for the next three
years, along with an overview
of how the key goals would be
More than 300 delegates
comprising of senior airline staff
from across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East,
and Asia Pacific joined Dohabased colleagues for the event
held at the Intercontinental City
Themed ‘Innovate today,
inspire tomorrow’, the conference featured an overview of
Qatar Airways’ commercial
strategy for the remainder of
this year and beyond, as well
as discussions on a number of
new and exciting commercial
The event proved to be a great
opportunity for Qatar Airways’
staff to network with colleagues
from around the world, share
ideas and discuss best business
practices. The day featured several presentations and panel discussions by the airline’s senior
executives and ended with an
entertainment filled gala dinner
highlighting Qatar Airways’ signature hospitality.
Qatar, Morocco explore ways to boost economic, business ties
Qatar and Morocco yesterday explored
ways to enhance their bilateral economic
and business co-operation, which also
includes forging joint ventures in the private
These were discussed by the officials of
Qatar Chamber and Qatari Businessmen
Association in their meeting with the Moroccan Deputy Minister in Charge of Foreign
Trade Mohammed Abbou.
A trade mission from Morocco is currently on a visit to Qatar to drive forward
private sector collaboration and strengthen
economic co-operation in specific sectors
such as pharmaceuticals, consulting and
financial advisory, agro-business, IT and
cyber security, contracting, audio-visual
production, furniture and interior design
Both Qatar Chamber and QBA have actively been engaged in cementing ties with
many countries around the world as part of
their efforts to strengthen Qatar’s position in
the global trade arena.
Qatar Chamber vice-chairman Mohamed
Abbou and al-Kuwari addressing the media.
bin Ahmed bin Towar al-Kuwari said there
was a strong potential for developing
economic co-operation between the two
“In light of the remarkable growth rates
of both Morocco and Qatar these past few
years, advancing economic ties between
our two countries holds enormous potential
and could translate in an array of mutually
beneficial opportunities,” Maroc Export
managing director Zahra Maafiri had said.
Maroc Export, the Moroccan Centre for
Export Promotion, is a non-profit public organisation under the auspices of the Moroc-
can Ministry in charge of Foreign Trade and
serves as the focal point for trade promotion
and export development.
The three-day trade mission would see
several B2B meetings through which the
private sector of both the countries expects
to make mutually beneficial deals.
Qatar had in 2011 signed an agreement
with the Moroccan state to fund infrastructure projects in the North African nation. The
agreement established a 50-50 investment
joint venture worth $2bn for major development projects.
Recently, alliances have been forged
between Qatar and Morocco with regards
to sustainable development and in the
agricultural sector. From a retail perspective, banking, real estate, and telecoms
are attractive sectors for Qatari investors,
due to Morocco’s young and fast growing
Maafiri said Maroc Export believes there
are several promising opportunities to boost
collaboration between Moroccan and Qatari
private sector businesses.
Qatar Diar celebrates sales launch of mixed use Diar Dushanbe project
atari Diar Real Estate Investment Company celebrated the
sales launch of its Diar Dushanbe project, a mixed-use development
in Tajikistan, yesterday.
The event held at Qatari Diar’s headquarters in Doha and was attended by
Ardasher S Qadiri, Tajikistan ambassador and Khaled Mohammed al-Sayed,
Qatari Diar Group chief executive officer
among others.
Diar Dushanbe is the first development in the Central Asian country to
grant foreigners the right of ownership
where residential units are ready for immediate delivery.
Al-Sayed said, “As Qatari Diar’s foremost project in Central Asia, we are extremely proud to launch the first phase
of Diar Dushanbe, since it truly embodies the strong ties between Qatar and
Tajikistan. This unique development
clearly reflects our vision and mandate
of Qatari Diar, which is to build projects
that are at the heart of the community and that contribute to sustainable
growth and prosperity for the countries
in which we invest.”
Al-Sayed was also pleased to highlight the numerous advantages of Diar
Qadiri and al-Sayed among others at the sales launch of Diar Dushanbe project in Doha yesterday.
Dushanbe, which includes being the
first development to grant foreigners the
right of ownership.
“We are currently working to meet the
other necessary requirements and needs
of investors. Diar Dushanbe is not just
a residential and commercial project; it
is also an integral plan that aims to contribute to the Tajik economy by generating job opportunities and revitalising
the investment sector. The project will
see the creation of a new shopping lifestyle through the establishment of highend commercial stores that conform to
the highest international standards,” he
The project is being constructed in
one of the most prestigious areas of
Tajikistan’s capital and its largest city,
Dushanbe. It covers an approximate
area of 68,000sq m, overlooking Lake
Kuli Javanon and facing the Presidential
Palace, which makes it an ideal location
for diplomats and foreigners who work
in Tajikistan.
Qatari Diar provides a host of exceptional after-sales services for investors
and potential buyers of the Diar Dushanbe project.
The first phase of Diar Dushanbe includes a residential building that consists of some 67 units, an administrative
building, central courtyard, as well as
several retail stores. Diar Dushanbe was
named the ‘Best Decorative Architectural Project’ in Tajikistan by the Agency
for Construction and Architecture and
the Association of Builders.
Additionally, in 2013 Diar Dushanbe
received a five-star accolade at the Asia
Pacific Property Awards for being selected as the top mixed-use development project. Over the last several years,
Tajikistan has experienced impressive
growth in its business sector with the recent implementation of commercial laws
and codes that encourage foreign investments, including the right of ownership.
Diar Dushanbe is fully owned by
Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment
Company. It is expected to redefine the
concept of luxury living in Tajikistan by
offering an integrated community on
the picturesque and idyllic waterfront
of the Gissar Canal.
‘Abu Double’
is last roll of
dice for some
in final race
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Moharram 25, 1436 AH
ICC chief
cleared by
probe panel
England, Scotland
renew 142-year-old
rivalry in Glasgow
Page 4
Doha confident of winning
2019 world athletics bid
Having lost out to London in the race to host the
2017 event, the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF)
has learnt its lessons well and has come out with
an improved bid this time, having removed certain
‘grey areas’ that scuttled its chances last time
Monte Carlo
QOC Secretary-General Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (4th from left), QAF President Dahlan al-Hamad (right), IAAF
evaluation commission head Sebastian Coe (3rd left) and others pictured during the comission’s visit to Qatar last month.
oha will find out if it’s second
time lucky when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) meets
in Monaco today to decide the fate of
its bid to host the World Championships in 2019.
Having lost out to London in the
race to host the 2017 event, the Qatar
Athletics Federation (QAF) has learnt
its lessons well and has come out with
an improved bid this time, having removed certain “grey areas” that scuttled its chances last time.
Doha will be competing with the
US city of Eugene in Oregon and Barcelona, Spain, but the QAF is quietly
confident that its bid meets all the
IAAF requirements to stage athletics’
biggest event.
Barcelona hosted the Olympics in
1992, while Oregon is the hotbed of
athletics in the US, the world’s leading
nation in track and field. The 2010 and
2012 junior world athletics championships were also held in Barcelona.
Doha, of course, has hosted the
Asian Games in 2006 and the IAAF
Indoor World Championships in 2010.
Heat is a major factor in the furore
surrounding Qatar being awarded the
2022 World Cup and capital city Doha
propose staging the world championships in September or October rather
than August.
Doha’s bid makes the pitch that
athletics needs to expand into
new frontiers for its own good, a
logic with which the IAAF
cannot find fault with
The fact that athletics superpower
the United States has never hosted the
event would have to favour Eugene’s
But QAF chief Dahlan believes Doha
is the favourite this time.
“We gave our best last time but
London’s bid was better,” he told Gulf
Times last month.
“We realized there were a few grey
areas in our presentation. We are fully
prepared this time, we are confident
we have the best bid among all three
candidate cities.”
An IAAF Evaluation Commission,
headed by IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, visited Doha in October to
have a first-hand feel of the facilities.
The commission’s report on the evaluation will be discussed in Monaco today before the final call on the host city
is made.
Doha’s bid makes the pitch that athletics needs to expand into newer frontiers for its own good, a logic which the
IAAF cannot find fault with.
“Both Barcelona and Eugene are
competent candidates, and we are
sure they must have carefully thought
about their presentations. But we think
we have the edge, as the IAAF believes
in expanding the reach of world athletics and spreading it to newer horizons,
and the Middle East has never hosted
the World Championships,” Dahlan
Dahlan said Doha’s track record of
Mutaz Barshim says it would be an honour for him to win the gold medal at the
2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha.
hosting several big events will boost its
“We have been hosting the opening meeting of the IAAF’s Diamond
League since its inception. We hosted
the Asian Games, we have already
hosted the World Indoor Championships (in 2010), and we would be hosting the football World Cup in 2022.
We strongly believe we have the best
facilities and infrastructure to host an
event of this magnitude.”
Doha’s bid is unique in many ways.
The gruelling marathons have been
planned for the night and a 100m long
LCD screen for spectators during the
100m races has been also proposed.
A host of Qatari and international
track and field stars have also endorsed
Qatar’s bid.
High jump ace Mutaz Essa Barshim
believes it’s high time his gets a chance
to host world athletics’ biggest event.
“A World Championships medal
is always special, but very few get a
chance to win it at home, before your
home crowd,” said the 23-year-old. “I
strongly feel Doha is a deserving candidate to host this event. Winning a
medal at Doha 2019 would be the highlight of my career – standing on the
podium, watching the Qatari flag being
raised and hearing the national anthem
would be a memory to treasure for life.
Women’s 400m runner and hurdler
Mariam Farid says Doha hosting the
event would be a boost for women in
the region.
“It is very important for us to host
the World Championships. It would a
big boost for female athletes, not just
in Qatar but for the entire Middle East
region. Not many girls choose athletics as a career in this part of the world,
and I am sure hosting the event would
prove to a big inspiration and impetus for more and more girls to take to
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Di María’s form has
dipped for United:
Argentina coach
‘The form that he is showing now is more typical of a player going to a new club
than the very first few games when he burst onto the scene and did so well’
Ex-Brazil skipper
Silva makes peace
with Neymar, Dunga
Brazil’s Thiago Silva takes part in a training session in Vienna.
Vienna, Austria
x-Brazil captain Thiago
Silva on Monday revealed
he has made peace with
current skipper Neymar
and national coach Dunga, a day
after expressing his dismay at
being stripped of the armband.
Silva lost the captaincy after
hosts Brazil’s World Cup campaign, which included a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the
semi-finals before falling 3-0 in
the third-place playoff against
the Netherlands.
Paris Saint-German defender
Silva had reportedly said that he
had been “upset” to lose the captain’s armband to Neymar without any explanation.
“It wasn’t up to me to approach the matter first,” said
Silva, who missed the first two
call-ups to Dunga’s squad since
the World Cup because of injury.
“He (Neymar) didn’t come to
talk to me. Nobody talked to me
about it. It happened without
explanation. That’s what upset
However, Silva, 30, insisted
that his comments had been taken out of context and that he has
since made peace with Neymar
and Dunga ahead of Tuesday’s
friendly against Austria.
“I consider Neymar like a
brother and that’s not going to
change because of an armband,”
Silva told reporters.
Neymar had expressed his
“surprise by the comments” of
his teammate.
“I told him along with all the
players that we have to be careful
what we say,” said the Barcelona
“He (Silva) phoned me to discuss things and its not going to
call our friendship into question.”
Neymar continued: “I told him
that I didn’t have to comment on
that while I’m now the captain.
“I don’t have to talk about it.
It’s a question of hierarchy like
in a club. Everything is resolved
now. For me to be captain is not a
goal in itself. I don’t want to be it
(captain) at any price.
“But now that I’ve been chosen,
I’ll try to carry out this responsibility in the best possible way.”
Russian sports minister promises
drastic changes after loss to Austria
File picture of Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria (right) walking along the pitch at Old Trafford with Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.
The Guardian
erardo Martino, the Argentina
head coach, has agreed with
Louis van Gaal that Ángel Di
María is suffering a dip in form
for Manchester United.
Di María is expected to feature in Argentina’s friendly with Portugal at Old
Trafford on Tuesday evening. The forward has failed to score since 5 October
and was replaced in United’s previous
outing, the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Asked about this disappointing form
of United’s £59.7m summer British
record transfer signing, Martino said:
“I have to say that Ángel is one of the
very top players in world football. His
start was exceptional and the fact that
generally when players go to a new club
and have to get used to a new league, a
new team, a different style of football
and different team-mates, I think the
form that he is showing now is possibly
more typical of a player going to a new
club than the very first few games when
he burst onto the scene and did so well.”
Di María has largely been deployed by
Van Gaal on the left-side of midfield in
his starting XI though Martino does not
believe this is a factor.
“With regards to his position, I would
say that Ángel is the type of player who
can play a number of different roles expertly,” he said.
“You only have to look a few seasons
back when he played on the right side
for Real Madrid and in the season just
gone, he featured more on the insideleft in a slighter freer role. Obviously, in
the World Cup, he did very well when
he played wide left so really, in terms of
positioning, he can adapt to anywhere
where the manager asks him to play.”
After the victory over Palace, Van Gaal
said: “He has played in a very small space
and he is a dribbler. But sometimes you
cannot dribble, you have to make it a pass
game and Di María is not a player who
wants to give a pass every time he gets
the ball. Therefore he lost the ball a lot of
times and that was not good for the balance of the team.”
Lionel Messi should feature at Old
Argentina’s coach Gerardo Martino.
Trafford when Cristiano Ronaldo is also
due to play for Portugal. Despite the latter being the reigning Fifa Ballon d’Or
winner, Martino believes Messi should
again be voted the world’s best player for
the fifth time in his career.
Martino, who was also Messi’s club
coach at Barcelona last season, said:
“You can’t take out of the deciding process I am Argentinian, my heart lies with
Messi. I cannot separate sentiment from
my objective decision. Whatever season Messi had on footballing grounds, I
would still vote for him.”
Martino believes the forward is still at
the peak of his powers. “I don’t see any
change with Messi. He is still the marvellous player he always has been,” said the
coach before outlining where Messi will
operate against Portugal.
“I tried him in one game for Barça on
the right and it didn’t work out but in the
two games he played for us against Brazil and Croatia he played on the right for
the 25 minutes which was the best spell
in our game and against Croatia he was
the best player for 90 minutes. He fits in
the role very naturally, it allows him to get
a lot of time on the ball. That position is
a starting point, it allows him to cope in,
find space and make runs.”
ussian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has
promised widespread
changes after Fabio
Capello’s team went down 1-0
to Austria in Saturday’s Euro
2016 Group qualifier. “No one
could have been happy with the
result against Austria or the way
our team played,” Mutko, who
watched the game in Vienna, told
Sport Express.
“The level of football we are
playing has seen us drop into the
‘middle’ tier of European nations
and perhaps we are even falling
below this. We have fallen below
30 in the FIFA world rankings.
Maybe by the end of the year, we
will be below 40,” he said.
“Now we need to deeply analyse and weigh up the complexity
of the situation. I think this will
happen within the next few days
and we will announce the decisions we have come to. I am positive that these should be drastic
in their character.”
Under-fire Capello, who has
reportedly not been paid for five
months, insisted his team played
well and blamed the loss on their
poor finishing.
Russia have picked up five
points from four matches and are
currently third in Group G.
In seven competitive matches
in 2014, Russia have only won
one against Liechtenstein 4-0 in
“Today we have been cast back
to 2005, when we had to start
everything again practically from
zero,” said Mutko.
“This is happening on the
background of a number of worrying tendencies within the development of Russian football.
The youth teams are weak and
are putting in poor performances. It’s completely obvious that
we have been going backwards
recently. We are regressing.”
Russia play a friendly against
Hungary on Tuesday, which
some believe, could well be
Capello’s final match in charge of
the national team.
coached England at the 2010
World Cup, took over as Russia
manager in July 2012.
Flares deflect glare from outplayed Azzurri
gly flare-throwing incidents
at Milan’s storied San Siro
stadium deflected the glare
from under-par Italy on Sunday as they scraped a precious Euro
2016 qualifying point at home to impressive Group H leaders Croatia.
Croatia crossed the Adriatic hoping to protect an impressive unbeaten record against the Italians that
stretched back to 1942 when the Azzurri beat the then Yugoslavia 4-0 in
Instead, Croatia coach Niko Kovac
spent most of the post-match period
making apologies for the disruptive
behaviour of his country’s notoriously
difficult fans.
“I want to say sorry for what happened with our fans,” said Kovac, a
former captain of Croatia. “This is not
football and it’s not a fair image of our
country or our people.
Kovac, a former captain of the national team, ultimately saw his side underline their superiority against an Italy
side which, after a second consecutive
The game is interrupted as Croatia’s supporters throw flares on the pitch during
the Euro 2016 qualifier between Italy vs Croatia at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
first-round exit from the World Cup
last summer, is now in construction
With an impressive crowd of 66,222
fans inside a packed San Siro, Lazio midfielder Antonio Candreva got the hosts
off to a great start in the 11th minute with
his debut goal for the Azzurri.
But four minutes later, Croatia were
back on level terms.
Three Italy players backed off while
Ivan Perisic was in possession on the
left flank and the Wolfsburg midfielder
drilled a low shot under the body of
‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Croatia suffered a blow when Luka
Modric hobbled off before the halfhour to be replaced by Inter Milan playmaker Mateo Kovacic.
But the visitors made light of the Real
Madrid midfielder’s absence for the
remainder of a match that they should
have wrapped up in the final 10 minutes
only for Perisic, left in acres of space on
the left flank, to fire a great chance wide
of Buffon’s far post.
Croatia remain top of Group H with
Italy still in second spot having now
failed to beat their rivals in their past
seven games.
However the UEFA spotlight will
again shine on the Baltic nation, who
have been issued with sanctions in the
past for fans’ behaviour.
The first signs of any kind of unrest
within the stadium appeared shortly
after kick-off.
Several rocket flares were thrown in
the early stages of the game and loud
bangs echoed around the stadium after
being set off in the Croatia fans’ end.
Around the hour mark, the incidents
reached boiling point. With most of
the players camped in Croatia’s end,
Italy and Juventus goalkeeper Buffon
became a target as fans launched flare
after flare in his direction.
The match was halted momentarily,
but officially postponed minutes later
by referee Bjorn Kuipers as flares continued to hit the pitch.
The players returned to the pitch approximately 10 minutes later and the
match resumed with Italy and Croatia
both spurning chances to snatch a
late lead that would have pulled either
team clear of the other at the top of the
Croatia’s fans have a reputation for
troublesome behaviour at matches and
flares are regularly fired at Croatian
league matches.
“I want to say sorry for what
happened with our fans. This
is not football and it’s not a fair
image of our country or our
people,” said Kovac, former
captain of Croatia
But Kovac said such behaviour had
no place in the sport.
“There are kids in the stadium. This
is not football and it’s not a fair image
of our country or our people,” he said.
Conte commented: “I hope the people
who carried this out and the people who
seen it have no intention of doing it again.”
The Azzurri coach’s biggest worry,
however, is Italy’s apparent inferiority
to a Croatia side whose biggest achievement in international terms was a thirdplace finish at the 1998 World Cup, a
competition Italy have won four times.
“Croatia are strong, they’re wellprepared and have great individual
players who play at the top level. They
gave us a tough match,” said Conte.
However, he added: “In the circumstances and in terms of our objectives,
I’m happy with our performance.
“I don’t want the media to criticise
our squad. We still have progress to
make,” said Conte.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Ronaldo aims to
outshine Messi in
the big face off
Spain boss promises
fireworks against
champions Germany
‘It’s special going back to Old Trafford and I hope the stadium will be with me’
Spain’s national coach Vicente del Bosque (second left) heads a ball
during a training session in Huelva, Spain.
Vigo, Spain
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal attends a training session at the Luz stadium in Lisbon. Portugal will face Argentina in an international friendly at Old Trafford today.
ristiano Ronaldo will try to outshine Lionel Messi on his return
to Old Trafford when the two
best players in the world clash in
a friendly between Portugal and Argentina today.
Real Madrid forward Ronaldo and Barcelona striker Messi are locked in a battle
to prove themselves the top player on the
planet and their latest showdown comes on
the former home turf of the Portugal icon.
Adding spice to their rivalry with
Spain’s two superpowers is the speculation that they aren’t on good terms off
the pitch either.
Whatever the status of their personal
relationship, the duo have deservedly become serial trophy collectors over the last
decade, with team and individual prizes
hoovered up on a regular basis.
Messi has won the Champions League
three times and Ronaldo twice, while
Messi has six league titles in Spain and
Ronaldo three with Manchester United
and one with Real.
Between them they have won the past
six coveted Ballon D’Or contests, awarded to the player voted the world’s best by
managers, players and journalists.
Argentina star Messi has been voted
the winner four times in that period and
has come second to Ronaldo the other
two years.
Ronaldo hopes to add a third gong this
year, and few would disagree if he pipped
Messi and several contenders from the
German World Cup winning team.
Ronaldo has 18 league goals already
this season, while Messi has—by his
standards—a modest total of seven, although he was voted player of the tournament at this year’s World Cup
Also in Ronaldo’s favour, he became
the record goalscorer in European Championship qualifying and tournament history with his strike in a 1-0 victory over
Armenia at the weekend.
That was his 23rd goal in the competition, surpassing the previous high mark
set by Jan Dahl Tomasson of Denmark,
and his 57th in 117 caps for Portugal.
“I have done what I have to do. I have
won major titles, I have beaten other
records, and I now have to wait calmly for
the votes,” he said.
Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford will
be his second since he left United for Madrid in 2009. In March 2013, he scored
the goal that knocked his old club out of
the Champions League in front of stilladoring United fans.
Argentinian striker Lionel Messi trains
with the national squad at Manchester
City Football Club’s Carrington Training
Centre in Manchester.
But poor ticket sales for this week’s
friendly suggest United supporters
aren’t quite so keen to pay tribute to their
former idol on this occasion.
Ronaldo is still looking forward to the
chance to return to Manchester however
and he said: “It’s special going back to
Old Trafford and I hope the stadium will
be with me.”
There will also be a return to Manchester for former City and United striker
Carlos Tevez.
Tevez, now with Juventus, came back
into the Argentina squad last week after three years in exile and played in last
week’s 2-1 friendly win over Croatia at
West Ham’s Upton Park.
Kuwait comes from two goals down to earn draw against UAE
pain boss Vicente del
Bosque has demanded
his players put on a show
as his rejuvenated side
prepare to welcome Germany,
the team that succeeded them as
world champions, in Vigo today.
“When you get this kind of
match there’s almost no difference whether the game is an official one or like in this case a
friendly,” said Del Bosque, whose
side go into the game on a high
having rediscovered their form.
“We want to play well, to put
on a show,” he said.
“They (Germany) want to remain at the highest level, and
we want to keep up our post
World Cup momentum,” said
Del Bosque, after Saturday’s 3-0
European qualifier win against
Germany coach Joachim Loew
looked to be taking the game less
seriously than Del Bosque.
“We’re delighted to be taking
on a team of such a high technical level. It’s the perfect test for
us,” Loew said in Vigo, where the
teams are due to play.
“But if we lose I won’t consider it a defeat that would compromise our chances for next year
(of winning Euro 2016). It’s not
so important,” said Loew.
The World Cup winning coach
also suggested he would give a
run out to fringe strikers Kevin
Volland of Hoffenheim and
Stuttgart’s Antonio Ruediger.
Loew has recently complained
that Germany is suffering a post
World Cup hangover, and that a
fresh start is needed in the New
“After this match, we need a
good break and a long holiday so
everyone can recharge our batteries,” he said.
Spain captain ‘keeper Iker
Casillas said the teams needed to
live up to their reputations.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) the
last two World Cup winners
go head-to-head so you really
can’t get a more attractive game
than that,” explained the Real
Madrid stopper.
Spain romped to the 2010
World title in South Africa but
fell to a dramatic first-round
elimination at the 2014 edition
in Brazil, won so impressively by
Del Bosque has rejuvenated
his side, the reigning European
champions, with players such as
Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Juventus striker Alvaro Moratta or
winger Jose Callejon.
“Against the Germans, we’ll be
giving a run out to everyone we
can,” said Del Bosque.
The Spain coach denies he is
threatening injured duo Diego
Costa and Cesc Fabregas by saying it will be tough for them to
get back into his team.
sparked tension last week when
comments he made about players’ commitment to the national
team were taken by some as direct criticism of Costa and Fabregas.
The Chelsea pair are absent
from the Spain squad that played
Belarus in a Euro 2016 qualifier
on Saturday and faces a friendly
with Germany today.
Following their 3-0 win over
Belarus, Del Bosque said there
may not be an automatic return
for Costa and Fabregas when
they are fit.
But he clarified his statement
yesterday, saying he wanted
to explain that there is strong
competition for places in a new,
youthful Spain side.
“I said that when someone
comes in and does well then another who wants a place will find
it more difficult,” Del Bosque told
a news conference.
“If I say that Diego Costa and
Cesc may struggle to play, I am
not threatening them, nor is it
a type of revenge or a reprisal
against anyone. Simply it reflects
a fact of football that everyone
knows - if someone doesn’t play
and his substitute does well, the
other will have to do better in order to play.
“It is not a case that someone
has been ruled out or won’t have
a chance.”
PSG to play Inter Milan friendly in Morocco
Paris Saint-Germain will play
Inter Milan in a friendly in the
southern Moroccan city of Marrakesh on December 30, it was
announced yesterday.
According to the Moroccan
football federation, the two
teams will hold training camps
in the city during their respective leagues’ winter breaks.
The match will be played in the
40,000-seater Grand Stade,
which will have hosted the final
of the FIFA Club World Cup 10
days previously.
Marrakesh was also to have
been host to the opening
match of the 2015 Africa Cup of
Nations, but Morocco refused
to host the tournament in
January-February over fears of
the spread of the deadly Ebola
The north African state had
called for the Cup to be postponed, but organisers CAF
rejected their request, stripping
them of their position as hosts
and barring them from playing
in the continental showcase.
Oil-rich Equatorial Guinea,
which co-hosted the 2012 edition with Gabon, were named
as Morocco’s replacement.
Turkey keeper walks out over ‘fan abuse’
UAE (playing in white) took an early two-goal lead thanks to goals in the 18th and 35th minute. But Kuwait then came back strongly after UAE’s second goal and first
reduced the deficit in the 37th minute and then drew level just two minutes later. In the second half neither team could break the deadlock. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed
Turkey’s struggling national
football team yesterday
engulfed in fresh turmoil after
top goalkeeper Volkan Demirel
walked out of a crucial Euro
2016 qualifier due to abuse by
Turkish fans.
The bearded Demirel was
warming up on the pitch Sunday
before the qualifier against Kazakhstan when he heard insults
directed at him from the stands.
He initially told the fans to be
quiet but the abuse continued
and Demirel waved then sarcastically, symbolically removed
his gloves and marched off the
pitch apparently on the verge
of tears.
The game was played at the
Turk Telekom Arena, the home
of Istanbul giants Galatasaray.
Demirel plays for their Istanbul
arch-rivals Fenerbahce and
has long been a hate figure for
Galatasaray fans. Footage of the
incident appears to show that
the abuse came from supporters dressed in Galatasaray kit.
Turkish media said Demirel
then went to national coach
Fatih Terim and said he would
rather not play in the game.
“Neither my wife nor my
children, my family can escape
these curses and insults. I’m
not in the mood to play in front
of those who swear at me so
badly. I’d do more harm than
good,” he was quoted as saying.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
England, Scotland to
renew 142-year-old
rivalry in Glasgow
‘You don’t realise until you actually play there what the atmosphere is like’
Glasgow, Scotland
ach heartened by positive results in Euro 2016
qualifying, England and
Scotland will renew
their 142-year-old rivalry in a
hotly anticipated end-of-year
friendly at Glasgow’s Celtic
Park today.
Roy Hodgson’s England are
riding high after opening up
a six-point advantage at the
top of their qualifying group
by coming from behind to beat
Slovenia 3-1 on Saturday.
Having won all four of their
Group E games to date, qualification is already beginning to
appear a formality, and in ageold rivals Scotland they face a
team who have not beaten them
in 15 years.
But Scottish confidence is
also on the up and with England’s dispiriting World Cup
group-stage exit still fresh in
the memory, Hodgson will know
that a poor result could disturb
his side’s fragile momentum.
England won 3-2 when the
teams last met at Wembley Stadium in August last year, with
Rickie Lambert scoring the
winning goal with his first touch
of the ball as an international
Today’s resumption of hostilities comes with new political
undertones, after the people of
Scotland voted against breaking
away from the rest of Britain in
a fiercely fought independence
referendum in September.
England have not ventured
north of the border since November 1999, when they won
the first leg of a Euro 2000 qualifying play-off 2-0 at Hampden
Park, and they can expect a fiery
reception. Scotland enjoyed a
rousing 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland at a fervent
Celtic Park on Friday and England captain Wayne Rooney has
warned his team-mates to expect a caustic atmosphere at the
60,000-seater ground.
“You don’t realise until you
actually play there what the
atmosphere is like,” said the
Manchester United striker, who
marked his 100th England appearance with the equaliser
against Slovenia.
“I remember my first time
with United against Celtic and
I’d actually been up to watch
a couple of Celtic games when
Alan Stubbs was there and Roy
Socceroos must
overhaul Japan to
reach goal, says
ustralia coach Ange
Postecoglou is hoping his team can match
Asian champions Japan
in “footballing terms” as well as
come away with a result in today’s international friendly in
In Australia’s final match before hosting the Asian Cup in
January, the Socceroos renew
a fierce rivalry with the Blue
Samurai that goes back to 1956.
Postecoglou was handed the
goal of making Australia Asia’s
top soccer team when he was appointed to his job last October
and sees topping Japan as key to
“Our first, biggest mountain
to climb is to become the biggest
country in Asia,” Postecoglou
said in Osaka.
“To do that you’ve got to
measure yourself against the
best and I think Japan are
number one. We want to become
number one so to do that, you’ve
got to play against them under
difficult conditions.
“And it’s not just the result,
it’s how we perform against
them. Hopefully tomorrow night
people will see a real intent from
us to match them in footballing
terms and ultimately get the result we need.”
Postecoglou had requested
only one match in this international window so he had plenty
of time for the players to rest after jetting around the world and
for him to impress upon them his
game plan.
That said, Postecoglou said
taking on a Japan side fresh from
a 6-0 win over Honduras on Friday would be a real test of a team
which has won just one of 10
matches this year.
“That’s the reason we chose
this fixture, particularly away
from home,” he said.
“Japan had some pretty
scratchy performances prior
but that result will mean they’re
full of confidence. To be honest,
you want to play them at their
best here in Japan, that’s what
we want to measure ourselves
“It’ll be a tough game but it’s
exactly what we need.”
Australia have won seven,
drawn seven and lost eight of
their matches against Japan, including a 1-0 defeat in the final
of the Asian Cup in Qatar in 2011.
Keane. I was in the crowd and
the atmosphere was great, but
when you’re actually down
there it’s different. You don’t
realise until you’re on that pitch
what it’s like.
“So maybe a few of them
(younger England players), you
might need to speak to them and
say, ‘Listen, this is going to be
hostile. Make sure you blank it
out, relax, and play your normal
game. Don’t get involved in it.’”
Gordon eyes comeback
Scotland’s win over Ireland,
secured by a sumptuous Shaun
Maloney curler, left Gordon
Strachan’s team level on points
with Germany and Ireland in
Group D and three points below
leaders Poland.
Hopes of a first major tournament appearance since the 1998
World Cup therefore remain
fully intact ahead of the winter break, and Charlie Mulgrew
says there will be no slackening
off ahead of England’s visit.
“It will be a huge game,” said
the Celtic midfielder.
“Even though it is named a
friendly there is never a friendly
between Scotland and England,
so we are looking forward to it.”
England have allowed goalkeeper Joe Hart to return to
Manchester City to rest, which
means that Southampton’s
Fraser Forster could start at the
stadium where he previously
spent four years with Celtic.
Hodgson could hand a debut to West Bromwich Albion’s
Saido Berahino and will also
want to test the sharpness of
Ross Barkley and Theo Walcott,
but wholesale changes are unlikely.
“I will change the team, but
we are not looking to play a to-
tally different team up in Scotland because we know that it
is going to be a tough game,”
Hodgson said.
“And a game like that in Scotland will probably tell me a little
bit more about this team.”
Strachan is expected to rejig his starting XI, with Celtic
goalkeeper Craig Gordon in
line to win his first cap for four
years after serious injury problems forced him into a two-year
career hiatus. Striker Steven
Fletcher is likely to miss out
after injuring his ankle against
World Cup whistleblowers slam FIFA: report
histleblowers who played a
key role in World Cup corruption allegations have
made a formal complaint
to FIFA that promises to maintain their
confidentiality have been broken, Britain’s national Press Association news
agency reported yesterday.
Phaedra al-Majid, who worked for
the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing
her job in 2010, said promises her identity would be protected had been central to her decision to co-operate with
the ethics investigation into World Cup
bidding. She and Bonita Mersiades,
who worked for Australia’s unsuccessful 2022 World Cup bid, have separately registered formal complaints against
FIFA ethics committee judge HansJoachim Eckert.
They have asserted his findings,
allied to previously publicly-reported statements, made it easy for both
of them to be identified. Al-Majid,
has written a letter to FIFA ethics
investigator Michael Garcia, seen
by the Press Association, about the
UEFA members set to discuss FIFA report in Frankfurt
A number of UEFA members are meeting in Germany in
two weeks but a German football federation spokesman
denied yesterday it was “a crisis summit” in the controversy over FIFA’s corruption investigation report.
The members of football’s union in Europe are set to discuss developments surrounding football’s world governing
body, although the issue is not specifically on the agenda
at the two-day talks in Frankfurt on December 1 and 2.
A UEFA spokesperson said the meeting would discuss
national team competitions and “general football-political
No decisions are expected from what are “long planned”
informal talks as part of the seventh so-called top executive programme meeting.
The heads and secretary generals of the federations from
Austria, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland and Switzerland are taking part in the meeting being
hosted by the German Football Federation (DFB), UEFA
Germany’s Kicker sports magazine said in its Monday
edition that according to its information the meeting in
content of Eckert’s report. “Not only
was Herr Eckert’s summary a crude,
cynical and fundamentally erroneous
description of me and the information and materials I provided your
Frankfurt would be a “crisis summit of European football”
at which all UEFA members would be represented.
However DFB media director Ralk Koettker said: “It is not a
crisis summit but a regular meeting.”
German Football League (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball
and German FIFA executive committee member Theo
Zwanziger, the former DFB president, are calling for the full
publication by FIFA of a report from investigator Michael
Garcia on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World
Cups, to be staged in Russia and Qatar respectively.
Rauball has suggested in an interview with Kicker that
UEFA could consider breaking away from world governing
body FIFA over its corruption investigation.
Rauball called for the FIFA ethics committee report following the corruption probe into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup
bid process to be published in full.
“If that doesn’t happen and this crisis is not credibly
resolved the question of whether one is in good hands in
FIFA will have to be discussed,” he said.
“An option which will have to be seriously considered is
certainly that of UEFA parting from FIFA.”
investigation, it directly breached
FIFA’s assurances of my confidentiality,” she was quoted by the PA as
“Although Herr Eckert did not name
me in his report, he directly identified
me and my information by connecting
it to my publicly-reported statements
three years ago. “Within hours of publication of Herr Eckert’s summary, I
had already been widely identified as
one of the ‘whistleblowers’ in German
and British media.”
Al-Majid added: “Confidentiality
was crucial to my co-operation with
your investigation, considering my
personal circumstances, particularly
the safety of my two sons and me. “I
have taken great personal risks to stand
up for the truth in a highly politicised
“However I have found myself betrayed and denigrated for being courageous enough to come forward with
critical information,” Al-Majid said. In
a joint statement issued with Mersiades, the pair said they were not obliged
to co-operate with Garcia.
“As we are no longer employed in
football in a professional capacity, we
were under no obligation to co-operate with Mr Garcia’s inquiry, but did
so through a sense of natural justice
and a desire to bring closure to a longrunning chapter in our lives,” the statement said.
“To compound this situation Judge
Eckert used his summary report to
question our credibility.”
FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of
corruption on Thursday and ruled out
a re-vote for the tournaments despite
widespread allegations of wrongdoing.
But within hours of Eckert’s committee publishing a summary of Garcia’s report, the corruption probe was
thrown into turmoil when US-based
lawyer Garcia said he would appeal
against the findings as they contained
“numerous materially incomplete and
erroneous representations of the facts
and conclusions” detailed in his report—which has not been made public.
Meanwhile the former chairman of
England’s Football Association said
Monday that European governing body
UEFA should boycott the next World
Cup, in Russia in 2018, unless there
was radical reform of FIFA.
“If I was at the FA now, I would do
everything I could to encourage other
nations within UEFA—and there are
some who would definitely be on side,
others may be not—to take this line,”
David Bernstein told the BBC.
His comments came after German
Football League (DFL) president Dr
Reinhard Rauball called on UEFA to
leave FIFA if Garcia’s report was not
published in full.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
ICC chief Srinivasan
cleared of corruption
Report states Srinivasan, along with four others, knew about a player violating the code of conduct
n investigation into corruption and betting scandals has
exonerated world cricket chief
Narayanaswami Srinivasan,
clearing the way for his comeback as
head of the sport in India, a court heard
Srinivasan, considered the most
powerful man in world cricket, was
among top officials probed by a Supreme Court-appointed panel looking
into scandals last year in the lucrative
Indian Premier League (IPL). “This
individual was not involved in matchfixing activities. This individual was not
involved in scuttling investigations into
match-fixing,” the panel’s report said.
The report did mention that Srinivasan and a few other officials overlooked a Code of Conduct violation by
an unnamed player, but that no action
was taken against the player. However,
the report was mum on what the alleged
code violation was. “This individual
(Srinivasan) along with four other BCCI
officials was aware of the violation of
the Players Code of Conduct by Individual 3 (unnamed) but no action was
taken against Individual 3 by any of the
aforesaid officials who were aware of
this infraction,” it said.
The panel, headed by former judge
Mukul Mudgal, submitted its findings
in a sealed envelope to the top court
earlier this month but they were only
released yesterday.
The report was expected to pave the
way for Srinivasan to resume his position as head of the Board of Control
for Cricket in India (BCCI), which was
scheduled to hold elections later this
The court had barred Srinivasan from
carrying out his duties as BCCI president until it delivered its final verdict,
although it did not stop him from heading the International Cricket Council. He was appointed chairman of the
world body in June.
The panel honed in on Srinivasan
and three others including his son-inlaw Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the
team principal of the Chennai Super
Kings franchise. After the November 14
hearing, Srinivasan claimed that he was
clean and should not be punished for
Gurunath’s misdeeds.
Meiyappan was cleared of match-fixing but the panel was “unanimous” that
he had been involved in betting activities during the glitzy, scandal-tainted
Twenty20 tournament.
Gambling is mostly illegal in India,
but betting on cricket matches thrives
through networks of underground
bookies. The Super Kings are owned
by India Cements, whose managing di-
The panel also found that
IPL chief executive Sundar
Raman knew a bookmaker’s
associate and “contacted him
eight times in one season”,
according to its report
released yesterday. “Sundar
Raman admitted knowing the
contact of the bookie, however
(he) claimed to be unaware of
his connection with betting
activities,” the report said
rector is Srinivasan, while the team is
captained by India skipper Mahendra
The sixth IPL season last year was
mired in controversy after police
launched legal proceedings against several IPL officials and cricketers, including former Test fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, for illegal betting and
The panel also found that IPL chief
executive Sundar Raman knew a bookmaker’s associate and “contacted him
eight times in one season”, according to
its report released yesterday. “Sundar
Raman admitted knowing the contact
of the bookie, however (he) claimed to
be unaware of his connection with betting activities,” the report said.
There was also “material on record to
indicate” that Raj Kundra, owner of the
Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise, placed
bets. “This individual (Kundra) was in
touch with the bookies about betting
and thus by not reporting contact with
the bookie has violated BCCI/IPL AntiCorruption Code. The committee also
found that the investigation against this
individual was abruptly and without
reason stopped by the Rajasthan Police
upon receiving the case papers from the
Delhi Police.”
Responding to a question on Srinivasan, Rajiv Shukla, the former IPL
chairman, told reporters, “Whether
Gurunath was placing bets or Sundar Raman or Raj Kundra was betting,
all these should be left to the Supreme
Court to decide. What is the question of
a clean chit for Mr Srinivasan? There are
no allegations against Mr Srinivasan.”
Aditya Verma of the Cricket Association of Bihar, which had petitioned the
court for Srinivasan’s removal, maintained despite yesterday’s report that
Srinivasan should be sacked and said
the affair had tarnished the organisation.
The IPL, which began in 2008, features the world’s top players signed up
for huge fees by companies and highprofile individuals in a mix of sport and
entertainment. With its massive TV
audiences, cricket is widely followed
in India and generates almost 70 percent of the game’s revenues and several
Test nations are heavily dependent on
its largesse.
Aggressive attitude won us the
series against Sri Lanka: Kohli
tand-in India captain Virat Kohli
was overjoyed with his side’s fivenil whitewash over Sri Lanka,
saying his emphasis on aggressive
tactics paid off, and that the team played
positive cricket in all the games.
India demolished the visitors with
relative ease, though Kohli’s century was
required in the final match to see off the
Sri Lankans, and he was thrilled that they
did so well in MS Dhoni’s absence, and at
the last minute.
Kohli said: “Guys being positive and
aggressive rather than defensive and
negative. So that’s something we’re really stressing on. Even if a bowler is getting
hit, as long as he’s looking to take wickets and not looking to get away, that’s the
change we need.
“That’s something we have decided as
a group in the series and it has come out
beautifully. It’s not easy to have a whitewash especially against a sub-continent
team in the sub-continent. It’s always a
very difficult thing and I am really glad
the way the guys have responded to
whatever I’ve asked of them. I’m really
satisfied as a captain.
“I meant with ruthless, that we’re
looking to create winning habits more
than anything else and create a culture
Wellington: Troubled
cricketer Jesse Ryder’s
bid to regain a place in the
New Zealand team suffered a setback yesterday
when he pulled out of an A
squad tour to Dubai, citing
personal reasons.
The withdrawal follows his
absence from a provincial
match over the weekend.
The explosive batsman’s career is littered with
alcohol-fuelled incidents and
his selection for the New
Zealand A tour was seen as
a test of his commitment before the World Cup starting
in February.
Ryder has not played for
the New Zealand premier
side since he went on a
late-night drinking session
in Auckland before the start
of a Test series against India
nine months ago.
New Zealand selector
Bruce Edgar announced
Ryder’s decision not to travel
to the UAE but made no
comment on his future.
“NZC (New Zealand
Cricket) respects Jesse’s
decision and is currently
considering options for a
replacement,” Edgar said in
the brief statement.
Edgar had previously said
the United Arab Emirates
tour was a chance to assess Ryder and “his future
prospects will depend on his
performance, on and off the
field in Dubai”.
Ryder, who averages 33.21
runs in his 42 ODI innings
with three centuries, is a
polarising figure for New
Zealand cricket fans. Some
view him as a saviour, but
others fear his antics disrupt
team harmony.
Meanwhile, Ryder’s
domestic team, Otago, could
also be affected, and their
CEO Ross Dykes said: “Otago
is disappointed for Jesse
but a player’s well-being is
paramount and, with that in
mind, our priority is to help
him towards the best possible outcome.”
N Srinivasan (left) was not found to be involved in scuttling the probe into the match-fixing scam but Sundar Raman (right),
IPL CEO, was in contact with a bookie and that he had admitted to receiving information about the betting activities. (AFP)
Ryder pulls
out of Dubai
for the team that needs to continue going
forward as well.”
As for his batting position, Kohli said
he was happy to play at three or four, but
preferred the first drop option: “I can’t
comment on it right now but as long as
we’re strengthened in the middle-order
I don’t see any reason to keep batting at
four. “I’ve scored most of my centuries
and won most of the games for the team
at No 3. As long as I play the same way as
I did today, that serves right for the team.
You never know, I’m comfortable batting
at No 3 and 4 both. I will go with my gut
feel as well as what the team requires of
me. Whatever fits the right balance we’ll
go ahead with that. But I’m learning to
bat at other position also if the team requires.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka skipper Angelo
Mathews was defiant in the face of his
side’s ODI series whitewash against India, saying they may have lost five games
but their World Cup preparations are
still perfectly on track. Sri Lanka were
roped into the series after the West Indies abandoned their India tour, but even
their lack of preparation didn’t allow
anyone to predict the drubbing they were
given, especially the bowlers.
But Mathews, who scored a century,
his first in the format, in the fifth game,
said they’d improved over the series, and
would be good to go against England in
the coming weeks.
England confirm
South Africa tour
Virat Kohli celebrates after his century sealed the final match against Sri Lankans.
Mathews said of the whitewash: “I
don’t think the series will have a negative impact. We have figured out who our
players are going to be.
“We wanted to try them out here because playing in India is always a lot of
pressure. We wanted to know who the
guys are, who will perform under pressure. We now have an idea We just have
to flush the defeats out of the system and
take the England series on, and move on.”
Aside from Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne was a bright light too, scoring 52 in the last game, and the skipper
was pleased to have some support. “I’m
pleased with the way Thirimanne batted
because we wanted someone who is solid
at No. 6, and I thought he did his job.”
ngland’s tour of South
Africa in 2015/16 will
span just over two
months, the England and
Wales Cricket Board confirmed
yesterday as they released the
fixture schedule.
All three formats of the international game will be on show
during a December-February
trip featuring four Tests, five
one-day internationals and two
Twenty20 matches. For what
is likely to be a select group involved from England’s December
11 arrival to the final Twenty20
on February 21, they will have
been on tour for 72 days.
Generally speaking, England
tours no longer span the Christmas holiday period but exceptions are made for Australia and
South Africa because of the tradition of playing a Test match
on Boxing Day (December 26) in
both those countries.
The latest South Africa schedule is no exception, with the First
Test at Durban’s Kingsmead
ground starting on December 26.
England will have two threeday games ahead of the first Test,
with the remainder of the series
taking place at Newlands, Johannesburg’s Wanderers ground and
England’s last tour of South
Africa, in 2009/10, saw the Test
series shared 1-1 while the last
Test campaign between the two
countries saw the Proteas buck
recent modern trends by winning away from home courtesy
of a 2-0 success in a three-match
contest in England in 2012.
Dec 15-17: SA Invitation XI v England,
Dec 20-22: SA Invitation XI v England, Pietermaritzburg
Dec 26-30: First Test, Kingsmead,
Jan 02-06: Second Test, Newlands,
Cape Town
Jan 14-18: Third Test, Wanderers,
Jan 22-26: Fourth Test, Centurion
Jan 30: One-day tour match,
Feb 03: First ODI, Blomefontein
Feb 06: Second ODI, St. George’s
Park, Port Elizabeth
Feb 09: Third ODI, Centurion
Feb 12: Fourth ODI, Wanderers,
Feb 14: Fifth ODI, Newlands, Cape Town
Feb 17: T20 match, SA Invitation XI v
England, Paarl
Feb 19: First T20, , Cape Town
Feb 21: Second T20, Wanderers.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Ton-up Latham anchors
Kiwis in second Test
‘Latham has come through in an excellent manner and backed up his first Test ton’
Australia search
for options
after Clarke
limps home
ith the optimism
for the Test series against India fading fast,
Australia’s selectors will have
to ponder their captaincy options as well as the make-up of
their bowling attack over the
next week.
Chief selector Rod Marsh’s
confidence the 33-year-old
would be fit to face India at
the Gabba on Dec 4 was undermined by Pat Howard yesterday, the team performance
manager saying Clarke had
virtually no chance of playing
in the series. Coach Darren Lehmann has not given up hope,
however. “Until I get confirmation, I’m not going to say he’s
in or he’s out,” he told reporters
in Perth yesterday.
“At the moment, he’s captain of Australia and, if he’s fit
to play and gets through the
next little bit, then hopefully
he’ll front up in the first test.”
Since taking over as captain
in 2011, Clarke has managed a
long-term back injury, which
contributes to his frequent
hamstring problems, to play
all but one of his country’s
39 Tests. But with Australia’s
main priority over the next
couple of months being to keep
him fit for the World Cup, an
understudy might now be required for the four matches
against India.
The most obvious choice to
become Australia’s 45th Test
captain is vice captain Brad
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham
followed his 103 in the first Test with
another confident unbeaten 137
yesterday. (AFP)
pener Tom Latham
scored his second successive hundred to
guide New Zealand to
243-3 on the opening day of the
second Test against Pakistan in
Dubai yesterday.
The 22-year-old followed his
103 in the first Test with another
confident unbeaten 137 to help
his team cash into the early advantage of winning the toss and
opting to bat on a flat and grassless Dubai stadium pitch.
When bad lights forced closure three overs before schedule,
Corey Anderson was seven not
out on a day dominated by lefthanded Latham.
Latham put on a resolute 77-
run stand for the opening wicket
with Brendon McCullum (43) and
another 76 for the second wicket
with Kane Williamson (32).
He then added 73 for the third
wicket with Ross Taylor who was
caught at short cover off legspinner Yasir Shah after a patient
scoring 23.
Latham, playing only his sixth
Test, hit Zulfiqar Babar for a six
to reach 90s and after hitting a
boundary off the same bowler
took a single to complete his century off 192 balls.
New Zealand batting coach
Craig McMillan praised Latham.
“Obviously an exciting day for
us,” said McMillan. “He (Latham)
has come through in an excellent
manner and backed up his first
Test hundred to prove that he is
an exciting talent.”
“If we can continue to bat like
this and put a 450-plus total then
we can put pressure on Pakistan,
like they did on us in Abu Dhabi.”
Pakistan, missing a fifth bowler after Mohammad Hafeez, who
reported for suspect action in the
last match, was left out due to a
hamstring injury, toiled hard and
to add to their woes did not hold
their chances. Azhar Ali let off
Latham in gully when the batsman was 103 and also grassed
Taylor on 11 -- both off Babar.
Latham, who impressed in the
first Test, once again showed
grit and application during
his 375-minute stay, hitting 11
boundaries and a six.
Babar broke the stubborn second wicket stand when he turned
one across Williamson’s bat and
hit the off stump. Williamson hit
only one boundary during his patient 86-ball knock.
In the first session Pakistan
had to toil hard for wickets with
Latham and McCullum batting
confidently. McCullum took the
attack to the bowlers, hitting four
boundaries and two sixes during
his 69-minute stay at the crease.
He was dismissed just before
lunch, pulling straight into the
hands of deep square-leg where
Shan Masood held a regulation
catch. Latham survived a leg-before review off Ehsan Adil when
on 11, but thereafter batted with
New Zealand, trailing the
three-match series 1-0, kept
the same side which lost in Abu
Dhabi last week. Pakistan were
forced to play with a new opening pair after Ahmed Shehzad
was ruled out of the remaining
two Tests with a skull fracture,
and Hafeez suffered a hamstring
T. Latham not out
B. McCullum c Masood b Adil 43
K. Williamson b Babar
R. Taylor c Masood b Shah
C. Anderson not out
Extras: (lb1)
Total: (for 3 wkts; 87 overs) 243
Fall of wickets: 1-77 (McCullum),
2-153 (Williamson), 3-226 (Taylor)
Bowling: Rahat 20-2-46-0, Adil
17-4-47-1, Babar 25-4-92-1, Shah
22-3-51-1, Ali 3-1-6-0
injury. They were replaced by
Masood and Taufeeq Umar while
paceman Imran Khan was rested
and made way for Adil. The third
and final Test will be played in
Sharjah from November 26.
Skipper Michael Clarke is likely to miss Australia’s Test series
against India due to hamstring injury.
Cummins in, Johnson rested for Proteas series
matches, when his fellow all rounder
Mitchell Marsh will head off to get
some red ball practice with Western
ustralia fast bowler Pat Cummins has been called into the
squad for the remainder of the
one-day series against South
Africa to give Mitchell Johnson time to
rest up before next month’s test series
against India.
Injury-prone Cummins returned to
international cricket for the first time
in two years in the Twenty20 matches
against the Proteas that preceded the
one-day series and will now get his
chance to bid for a spot at next year’s
World Cup.
Left arm paceman Mitchell Starc was
also recalled along with spinner Xavier
Doherty, who was deemed surplus to
requirements in the first two matches
on the pace-friendly WACA pitch in
Perth. Australia won the first match by
32 runs on Friday but were beaten by
three wickets in Sunday’s second encounter, leaving the series tied at 1-1
going into the final three matches in
Canberra on tomorrow, Melbourne on
Friday and Sydney on Sunday.
Australia captain Michael Clarke will
play no further part in the series after
aggravating a hamstring injury in the
first match and will be replaced as skipper by George Bailey.
Cummins was still a teenager when
Squad: George Bailey (captain), Nathan
Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Xavier
Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch,
Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn
Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith,
Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David
Warner, Shane Watson.
Pat Cummins
he exploded onto the Test cricket arena
with figures of 6-79 to lead Australia to
a two-wicket victory over South Africa
at Wanderers in November 2011.
It remains his only Test and his
match haul of seven wickets is the same
number he has picked up in the five
one-day internationals he has managed since his debut earlier in 2011.
James Faulkner will miss the third
match to play Sheffield Shield cricket before returning for the final two
Haddin. The wicketkeeper has
the leadership qualities required but has also been ruled
out of the ongoing one-day
series against South Africa because of a shoulder injury.
Shane Watson, who stood in
for the injured Clarke for one
Test on the India tour last year,
is another option but neither
the 33-year-old all rounder nor
Haddin, 37, are long term solutions. George Bailey, 32, stood
in as skipper of the one-day
team after Clarke’s hamstring
failed him again in the opening match of the series against
South Africa last Friday.
The former Twenty20 captain is admired for his calm
leadership but just 183 runs in
the last Ashes series appear to
have curtailed his test career
after only five matches.
Of the younger candidates,
opening batsman David Warner is in the frame by virtue of
being an automatic selection,
but his chequered disciplinary
record might work against him.
The 28-year-old was fined
for a twitter outburst aimed
at two journalists last year
and suspended ahead of the
first Ashes series of 2013 after
punching England’s Joe Root.
Another top order batsman,
Steve Smith, has come from
nowhere to be widely touted as
a future Australia captain.
Smith is one of the few players who returned from Australia’s 2-0 Test defeat at the
hands of Pakistan in October
with his reputation enhanced.
The 25-year-old, though,
might be considered in need of
more time to cement his status
as a Test cricketer.
South African quick Morne Morkel
declared himself ready to take the new
ball at the World Cup if required after
posting career-best figures of five for 21
as the Proteas crushed Australia in the
second one-day international.
The 30-year-old helped account for
two more Australian wickets with fine
catches as South Africa dismissed their
hosts for a paltry 154 before squaring
the series with a three-wicket victory
at the WACA on Sunday.
Morkel bowled brilliantly after being handed the new ball in preference
to Dale Steyn in a strike partnership
with Vernon Philander—an experiment undertaken with one eye firmly
on the Feb. 14-March 29 World Cup in
Australia and New Zealand. “The most
important thing about this tour is that
we are working toward the World Cup,”
Morkel told reporters in Perth.
“We are trying different things, on
the day a guy like Dale or Vernon might
have the flu or some illness and I will
need to be able to step up, it’s a role that
I enjoy doing as well. I got the opportunity to go with the new ball today and
I’m happy that I bowled well.”
After a disappointing display last
Friday in the opening clash of the fivematch series, Morkel felt South Africa’s
bowlers had needed a bit of time to
get back into their usual rhythm. “The
bowling unit had a bit of a break before
this series, and although we had nets,
the lack of time in the middle and finding rhythm probably showed on Friday,” Morkel added.
“The wicket was a little bit quicker
today which helped us when we found
our strides and rhythm. We bowled
well in partnerships and with good intensity ...”
The series continues in Canberra
tomorrow before concluding with
matches in Melbourne and Sydney and
Morkel said the Proteas would need to
continue to strike in the first few overs
against Australia’s powerful and deep
“They are high quality attacking
players and if you aren’t on the money they will make you pay,” he said.
“Luckily for us today we got the ball in
the right areas and got the early wickets, that’s the most important thing in
any one-day game.”
cricket ties
to resume next
year, says envoy
Hyderabad: India and Pakistan will resume their cricket
ties with a series next year,
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said on
He said six series will
be played between two
countries till 2022. “Work has
already been done in this
regard,” he told reporters.
The Pakistani envoy said
the chairman of the Pakistan
Cricket Board (PCB) visited
India two weeks ago.
“The first series will be
played next year,” he said.
The first series is expected to
be played in the United Arab
India suspended all series
with Pakistan after the 2008
Mumbai terror attack, which
New Delhi blamed on militants from across the border.
Pakistan last toured India
in 2007, while India featured
in the Asia Cup held on their
neighbour’s grounds in 2008.
The Pakistani players are
also not allowed to participate in the cash-rich Indian
Premier League T20 bash.
Though they were part of it in
the first edition.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
to race for
Caterham in
Abu Dhabi
Berlin: The struggling
Caterham Formula One team
are retaining Japanese driver
Kamui Kobayashi for the
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Oxfordshire-based
team missed the last two
races after going into administration, but will compete
at the season-ending race
following a successful crowdfunding project.
“I am happy to be racing
with the team in Abu Dhabi. It
hasn’t been an easy last few
weeks, so it will be nice to be
back to in the car and work
together with the Caterham
F1 team members,” Kobayashi said.
Caterham said in a statement late Sunday they would
announce their second driver
“in due course”.
Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson,
who has driven alongside
Kobayashi for most of the
season, terminated his
Caterham contract last week
and has agreed to drive for
Sauber from next season.
Kobayashi, 28, who has
raced 14 times this season,
said: I would like to thank the
fans for supporting the team
like they have.
“This team is working
hard and never gives up. We
deserve to be racing in Abu
Dhabi and I am very glad we
can race again thanks to the
crowdfunding project.
Caterham will race in Abu
Dhabi despite laying off 230
staff over the weekend, with
a skeleton crew of 40 making
the journey to Yas Marina.
Sunday’s race will decide
the drivers’ championship
title between Lewis Hamilton
and Mercedes teammate
Nico Rosberg.
‘Abu Double’ is a last
roll of the dice for some
Williams are looking good for third place, but Ferrari still have a chance of overtaking them
ercedes have won
both Formula One
titles already, and
Red Bull are sure of
second place, but Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand
Prix will be a last roll of the dice
for some of those behind them.
With an unprecedented double points on offer, ‘Abu Double’ has the power to bring joy
and despair in equal measure
and not just for Mercedes rivals
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
For tail-enders Caterham, in
administration and facing closure unless they can find a buyer, the day-to-night race at Yas
Marina could literally be a last
blast before darkness engulfs
their hopes.
They are hoping, even if any
sort of points looks out of reach,
to show they are a team that
deserves being saved from the
scrapheap after the failure last
month of rivals Marussia.
Neither team raced in the last
two Grand Prix, with Caterham
returning only after a crowdfunding exercise to raise sufficient funds to get them back on
the starting grid.
“We knew that the best way
to keep this team alive and attract possible buyers was to
show that it’s still a racing team
and be in Abu Dhabi for the finale,” said administrator Finbarr O’Connell.
“By racing in Abu Dhabi the
team will be showcasing itself as
a live and functioning team that
deserves to continue into 2015
and beyond.”
Swiss-based Sauber, one of the
sport’s oldest teams after multiple champions Ferrari, McLaren
and Williams, need a 10th place
to stave off their first campaign
without a scoring finish.
The team that came second in
the championship as recently as
Mercedes rivals Lewis Hamilton (left) and Nico Rosberg.
2007 when owned by BMW has
fallen on hard times but can still
salvage some pride in a season
of struggle on and off the track.
“It’s going to be extremely
tough,” said principal Monisha
Kaltenborn after Mexican Esteban Gutierrez and Germany’s
Adrian Sutil, both without seats
for next season, drew yet another blank in Brazil.
Ahead of them, Lotus would
need their best result of the season to overhaul Toro Rosso for
eighth place while Force India
would require something pretty spectacular to make up 34
points and get back in front of
fifth placed McLaren.
Williams are looking good for
third place, their highest overall
placing since 2003, but Ferrari still
have a chance of overtaking them
if they can repeat their Hungary
haul of 26 regular points.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Gary
Paffett will leave his role as
McLaren test and reserve driver
at the end of the season when
the Formula One team switches
from Mercedes to Honda power.
The team said yeterday that
the former DTM (German tour-
ing car) champion, who will
continue to race in that series
with a Mercedes team, was
leaving after eight years as a
tester and hundreds of hours in
the simulator.
“I’ve loved working for
McLaren and hope my feedback
and input over the years has
been beneficial,” the 33-yearold said in a team statement.
“The engineers I’ve worked
with have been kind enough
to say that it has. I have many
friends at McLaren, and I wish
all of them the very best of luck
for the future.”
McLaren have yet to confirm
their 2015 driver lineup, with
Spaniard Fernando Alonso expected to return to the team
from Ferrari.
Hoffman triumphs by one shot
Christina Kim (right) holds the trophy after winning the Lorena
Ochoa Invitational accompanied by Mexican former golfer Lorena
Ochoa at Golf Club of Mexico, in Mexico City, Mexico, on Sunday.
Kim ends near
decade long drought
with Mexico win
hristina Kim snapped
one of the longest winless droughts on the
LPGA Tour with a wireto-wire victory at the Lorena
Ochoa Invitational on Sunday.
The 30-year-old American
claimed her first victory in almost a decade as she made a par
on the second playoff hole to
beat China’s Feng Shanshan at
the Club de Mexico Golf course.
“I’m at a loss for words right
now,” said Kim, who earned
$200,000 for the win. “I’ve been
through a lot. That has brought
me some comfort knowing that
with the downs come the highs.”
Entering this week, Kim had
just two top-10 finishes on the
season. She lost the only other
playoff she has ever been in at the
2010 Jamie Farr Owens Corning
Classic. Kim fired a final-round,
one-under 71, while Feng posted
a six-under 66.
Kim entered the final round
with a commanding five shot
lead but let it slip away. She finished regulation tied with Feng
at 15-under-par 273.
Feng used four birdies on the
back nine to catch Kim, who
tripped to a bogey on number 18.
But after both players made
par at the first playoff hole, Feng
stumbled to a bogey on the second playoff hole, giving Kim her
first title since the 2005 Tournament of Champions.
The next closest golfer was
world number one Park In-bee,
who shot a four-under 68 to
finish alone in third at 11-under
277. Brittany Lincicome (69) and
Ryu So-Yeon (71) ended tied for
fourth at nine-under 279.
Thompson shot a one-over 73 to finish tied for 15th at three-under 285.
Hoffman, helped by
some brilliant iron
play down the stretch,
clinched his first PGA Tour title
in four years with a one-shot
victory at the $6.1mn OHL
Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico
on Sunday.
Three strokes off the pace
heading into the final round,
Hoffman surged past faststarting Danny Lee with two
birdies after the turn on the way
to a five-under-par 66 on the El
Camaleon course at the ocean
resort of Playa del Carmen.
Hoffman could afford the
luxury of a bogey at the last as
he finished at 17-under 267, a
stroke better than fellow American Shawn Stefani, who closed
birdie-bogey for a 69 in pursuit
of his first PGA Tour win.
New Zealander Lee, also
hunting a maiden victory on the
circuit, stormed into the lead
with seven consecutive birdies
from the third but lost momentum after the turn to card a 67
for a share of third at 15 under
with American Andres Gonzales (67).
“I was behind a little bit and I
just kept hitting good shots and
gave myself chances,” a beaming
Hoffman, 37, told Golf Channel
after clinching his third win on
the PGA Tour, and his first since
the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship.
“Danny made a couple of bogeys coming down the stretch
and I was able to keep giving
myself opportunities for birdie,
made a couple.
“I’m really happy. It’s been
a while in between (wins) but
I kept calm out there. A pretty
Charley Hoffman of the United States celebrates with the trophy after winning the final round of
the OHL Classic at the Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club on Sunday in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
low-stress round, when all is
said and done.”
Lee, who burst onto the world
stage by winning the 2008 US
amateur title before becoming
the European Tour’s youngest
ever champion aged 18 at the
2009 Johnnie Walker Classic,
launched his sizzling birdie blitz
at the par-four third.
The 24-year-old sank a 10foot putt at the ninth to make it
seven in a row as he reached the
turn in seven-under 29 with a
one-stroke lead.
Stefani reeled off three successive birdies from the fifth for
an outward nine of 33 to stay in
Lee, looking increasingly
tense on the back nine, bogeyed
the 12th, 15th and 18th as his
victory hopes evaporated while
Hoffman took control with
birdies at the 13th and 16th,
where he lasered his approach
to inside two feet and knocked
in the putt.
Organisers have 10-year
plan for Turkish Open
There may be only 12 months
left on their three-year contract
with the European Tour but organisers of the Turkish Airlines
Open say they are committed
to running the November event
until at least 2024.
Ahmet Agaoglu, president
of the national golf federation,
said he and his backers were
delighted to be associated
with the competition and that
staging the penultimate tournament of the Final Series was
instrumental in their bid to host
the 2022 Ryder Cup.
Turkey is one of six countries—along with Germany,
Austria, Italy, Portugal and
Spain—keen to stage the biennial team event in eight years’
“With our two big sponsors
Beko and Turkish Airlines we
are increasing the popularity of
this tournament year by year,”
Agaoglu told Reuters in an interview at the Montgomerie
Maxx Royal course in the southwestern city of Antalya on the
Mediterranean coast.
“My idea is to stay with these
two companies for the next 10
years. Our big target is to bring
the Ryder Cup to Turkey in 2022.
“Also in 2023 it is the 100th
anniversary of the Turkish Republic so that is why we want to
extend our European Tour Final
Series programme until 2024.”
The six bidding Ryder Cup
nations must prepare to host a
series of meetings and inspection visits by officials between
now and April 30, the date that
formal bids need to be made.
US is to host the 2016 and 2020
editions, at Hazeltine and Whistling Straits respectively, while
Paris will be the venue in 2018.
The $7mn Turkish Open,
won on Sunday by 24-year-old
American Brooks Koepka, has
only been going for two seasons
but it is already recognised as
one of the best organised tournaments on the circuit.
World number six Henrik
Stenson summed up the view of
the players when he described
it as one of the most popular
weeks on the calendar.
“The Turkish Open has already become one of the biggest
and best events on the European
Tour,” said the Swede.
Former world number one Tiger Woods featured in the inaugural edition 12 months ago and
Agaoglu said the 14-times major
champion would have returned
this year if he had not been sidelined by a back operation.
The American received global attention in the leadup to
the 2013 Turkish Open when he
arrived in Istanbul by helicopter and became the first golfer
to strike a golf ball from East to
West on the iconic Bosphorus
Bridge that separates Europe
and Asia.
“When he hit from one continent to another over the bridge
last year it was a big sensation,”
said Agaoglu. “The effect was
huge all around the world.”
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
US agents
NFL team
US federal agents conducted surprise inspections of National Football
League team doctors and
trainers on Sunday as part
of an ongoing probe into
painkiller drug abuse, the
US media reported on
The inspections included
questioning and bag
searches of medical staff
by the Drug Enforcement Administration in
co-operation with the
Transportation Security
DEA officials were expected to question a half
dozen teams on Sunday,
including the Washington
Redskins and Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, The Washington Post reported. Some of
the searches were conducted at US airports.
“The DEA has a responsibility under the Controlled
Substances Act to ensure
that registrants who
possess, prescribe and dispense control substances
are following the law,” DEA
spokesman Rusty Payne
told The Post.
No arrests were expected
to come from Sunday’s searches as Payne
described them as being
“administrative.” DEA
officials also did not issue
any search warrants.
The DEA is looking into
abuse of prescription drugs
in NFL locker rooms in the
wake of a federal lawsuit
filed in San Francisco on
May 20 by eight former
players, including Chicago
Bears stars Richard Dent
and Jim McMahon.
Investigators want to know
how NFL trainers and team
physicians obtained and
distributed prescription
drugs such as Vicodin,
Percocet and OxyContin.
Lawyers claim in the
lawsuit the drugs given to
players were illegally obtained and administered to
get them back on the field
faster. Some drugs masked
the pain, creating longterm health issues with no
warning of such risks, they
The Post said the probe is
also looking into the possible dispensing of drugs
by trainers instead of team
doctors and the distribution of drugs without
Federal law also makes it
illegal for team doctors
to distribute prescription
drugs outside of the geographic boundaries of their
Broncos bucked by Rams
while Cardinals soar on
Red hot Packers clip Eagles; Bad afternoon for Mannings
Los Angeles
he St. Louis Rams limited Peyton Manning to
a single touchdown in
a shock 22-7 win over
the Denver Broncos on Sunday
while the Arizona Cardinals
began life without quarterback
Carson Palmer with an impressive 14-6 win over the Detroit
The Cardinals’ dreams of
becoming the first team from
the city hosting the Super Bowl
to play in the NFL championship appeared to take a hit
when Palmer went down with a
season-ending knee injury last
week but backup Drew Stanton
and a punishing defense kept
the team on course, improving
their record to a league best 9-1
with a sixth straight win.
Stanton tossed two touchdowns to Michael Floyd while
the Cardinals defense kept the
Lions vaunted attack out to end
zone, holding Detroit to a pair of
Matt Prater field goals.
At icy Lambeau Field the
red hot Green Bay Packers and
quarterback Aaron Rodgers
scorched the Philadelphia Eagles 53-20.
Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and defensive lineman Julius Peppers returned
an interception for another
score as the Packers rung up
more than 50 points for the second straight game, rocketing
into a share of top spot in the
NFC North with the Lions with
records of 7-3.
Manning, who earlier this
season set the all-time career
record for touchdown passes,
completed 34 of 54 pass attempts for 389 yards inside the
raucous Edward Jones Dome
but could manage only one
touchdown strike to Emmanuel
Sanders against a hard-hitting
St. Louis defense and was intercepted twice.
“I give them a lot of credit,”
Manning told reporters. “I
thought we didn’t execute very
well and just think I didn’t play
very well, so usually you can
kind of wrap it up into that.
“I have to play better and
got to score more points than
Rams quarterback Shaun Hill
Arizona Cardinals defense players swarms Detroit Lions fullback Jed Collins during their NFL game in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday. The Cardinals won 14-6 to give them a 9-1
record on the season.
completed 20 passes for 220
yards and one touchdown while
Greg Zuerlein handled the rest
of the scoring, booting five field
goals including 55 and 53 yarders in the fourth quarter.
The loss left the Broncos at
7-3 and were joined at the top
of the AFC West by the Kansas
City Chiefs who rode the home
crowd to a 24-20 win over the
Seattle Seahawks.
Jamaal Charles rushed for 159
yards and a pair of touchdowns
to spark the Chiefs to their fifth
straight win.
The Super Bowl champion
Seahawks slipped to 6-4 in
the NFC West and look headed
for another showdown with
archrivals the San Francisco
49ers who escaped New York
with a 16-10 win over the Giants
to get to 6-4. Both the 49ers and
Seahawks trail the Cardinals
who sit three wins clear at the
top of the division.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning
had a miserable afternoon firing
five interceptions, including two
picked off by Niners linebacker
Chris Borland, as New York’s losing skid reached five games.
Colin Kaepernick tossed a
48-yard touchdown pass to
Michael Crabtree and Phil Dawson kicked three field goals for
the 49ers.
In a division where no team
has a winning record, the
Atlanta Falcons jumped to a
share of first place in the NFC
South with a 19-17 win over
Panthers while co-leaders
the New Orleans Saints fell
27-10 at home to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass to Roddy White and
Matt Bryant kicked four field
Atlanta ..................... 19 Carolina .....................17
Chicago...................21 Minnesota...............13
Houston ................23 Cleveland ..................7
Cincinnati .............27 New Orleans .......10
Kansas City ....... 24 Seattle ...................... 20
San Francisco .. 16 NY Giants................10
St. Louis .................22 Denver..........................7
Tampa Bay .........27 Washington.............7
San Diego .............13 Oakland......................6
Arizona ....................14 Detroit ..........................6
Green Bay ...........53 Philadelphia ....... 20
New England .. 42 Indianapolis ....... 20
Knicks rock Nuggets to snap
7-game slide behind ‘Melo, Smith
Los Angeles
armelo Anthony and
JR Smith dropped in 28
points apiece against
their former team, and
the struggling New York Knicks
used a dominant secondquarter to put the brakes on a
seven-game slide, 109-93 over
the visiting Denver Nuggets on
The Knicks (3-8) took control of the contest with a gamebreaking 31-8 second-quarter,
holding their guests to an icy
1-of-16 field goal shooting en
route to a comfortable 62-39
halftime cushion.
Denver closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run to pull within
86-74 but could never got closer than nine in the final frame as
New York won for the first time
since November 2.
Arron Afflalo netted 18
points, Ty Lawson added 17
with nine assists for the Nug-
NY Knicks ........109
Milwaukee ........... 91
Houston ...............69
Golden State..136
goals to power the Falcons, who
improved to 4-6 alongside the
Andy Dalton tossed three
touchdowns as the Bengals
clawed their way back to the
AFC North lead with a record of
Ryan Mallett, making his
first career start, threw two
touchdown passes including one to defensive lineman
J.J. Watt as the Houston Texans kept their post-season
hopes alive with a crucial 23-7
away win over the Cleveland
Miami ..........................84
Oklahoma City..65
LA Lakers ...............115
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (centre) is defended by Golden State Warriors forward
Draymond Green (right) and teammate Andre Iguodala in the second half during their NBA game at the
Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Sunday.
gets (2-7), losers in seven of
their last eight contests.
Elsewhere, James Harden
scored 19 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 69-65 victory
over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Rockets improved to 9-1
on the season while the Thunder fell to 3-8 as they continue
to play without the injured
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
It was the second straight
game for the Thunder to lose in
the final seconds at home.
With the score tied at 65 in
the closing two minutes, Harden drained a three-pointer and
added a free throw to seal the
win for Houston.
The Milwaukee Bucks won
for the third time in four games,
dominating the second half and
defeating the slumping Miami
Heat 91-84.
Milwaukee (5-5) outscored
Miami 53-38 in the second half.
Point guard Brandon Knight
hit three huge three-pointers in
the final three minutes to lead
Milwaukee and finished with a
game-high 20 points.
Miami (5-5) played without Dwyane Wade for a second straight game, out with an
injured hamstring, and Mario
Chalmers led the team in scoring with 18 points.
The Golden State Warriors
overcame 44 points from Kobe
Bryant to pound the Los Angeles Lakers 136-115.
Stephen Curry scored 30
points and dished out 15 assists in three quarters as the
Warriors (8-2) captured their
third win in a row and dealt the
Lakers (1-9) a fourth straight
Curry connected on 10 of
19 shots, including five of nine
three-point attempts.
Golden State reserve center
Marreese Speights finished
with a season-high 24 points
and grabbed nine rebounds.
Blackhawks rally in
third period to beat
Dallas Stars 6-2
atrick Kane scored the
go-ahead goal and added two assists to lead the
Chicago Blackhawks to a
6-2 win against the Dallas Stars
on Sunday.
The Blackhawks (10-7-1)
picked up their third win in the
past four games and improved
to 7-3-1 at home. Chicago broke
open a 2-2 tie in the third period with a flurry of goals from
Kane, center Jonathan Toews,
left winger Kris Versteeg and left
winger Brandon Saad.
The Stars (6-8-4) lost their
second consecutive game.
Elsewhere, Troy Grosenick
became the 22nd goalie in
NHL history to record a shutout in his first start, stopping 45 shots as the San Jose
Sharks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0.
Wednesday after backup goalie
Alex Stalock was placed on injured reserve. He got his first
start after Antti Niemi played
Saturday in Columbus.
The Sharks (10-8-2) improved
to 3-3 on their current sevengame road trip, while the Hurricanes (5-9-3) continued to be a
team of streaks, losing their third
Nick Bjugstad and Brad Boyes
scored two goals each, leading
the Florida Panthers to a commanding 6-2 victory over Anaheim.
Bjugstad added two assists, and Boyes had one, while
Jonathan Huberdeau contributed a goal and an assist for Florida
The Ducks fell to 11-4-4 with
the loss.
Arizona, coming off a 5-0 victory in Vancouver, closed out
their Western Canadian road
swing with a 2-1 win in Edmonton.
Brandon Gormley scored in
the first period for Arizona and
Mikkel Boedker put the team
ahead 2-0 in the third before the
Coyotes (8-9-1) survived a furious Edmonton rally to preserve
the victory.
Taylor Hall scored at 14:10 in
the third for the Oilers (6-10-2),
who have now lost three in a row
and have yet to beat a Western
Conference team all season (08-1).
San Jose ...................2
Minnesota ..............4
Chicago.................... 6
Florida ....................... 6
Arizona ......................2
Carolina ......................0
Winnipeg ...................3
Detroit ............................1
Dallas .............................2
Edmonton .................1
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Djokovic targets Grand Slam glory in Paris
ovak Djokovic has set
his sights on finally
ending his long wait
to be crowned French
Open champion next year and
complete a career Grand Slam.
Djokovic brought the curtain
down on his 2014 campaign in
unexpected fashion by playing a hastily-arranged exhibition match against Andy Murray at London’s O2 Arena after
Roger Federer pulled out of their
scheduled ATP Tour Final just
before the match was due to start
on Sunday.
Federer’s shock withdrawal
meant Djokovic was crowned
Tour Finals champion for the
third successive year, ending a
triumphant year that included his
second Wimbledon title and the
year-end world number one ranking for the third time in four years.
Henry suffers
brain injury
Ireland’s Chris Henry missed
the recent win over South
Africa with a brain injury,
rather than a migraine, the
Irish Rugby Football Union
announced yesterday.
Team medical staff initially
diagnosed a virus on the
morning of the November 8
match before suspecting a
severe migraine.
However, specialists have
since determined that “a
temporary blockage of a
small blood vessel in his
brain” forced 30-year-old
Ulster flanker Henry to miss
Ireland’s surprise 29-15 victory over the Springboks.
“Chris Henry suffered some
weakness on the morning of
the South Africa game and a
viral illness was suspected,
he recovered quickly and the
initial diagnosis was of severe
migraine,” read the IRFU
“Further tests however have
shown he suffered a temporary blockage of a small
blood vessel in his brain.
“He is at home now and is
well but needs further investigation and specialist opinion,” the statement added.
Henry helped Ireland win last
season’s Six Nations after
replacing injured Leinster
back-row Sean O’Brien.
With O’Brien still sidelined,
Henry had been in line to
continue to star in a loose forward trio also featuring Jamie
Heaslip and Peter O’Mahony.
Henry’s injury led to a late
call-up for Rhys Ruddock,
who then scored his first Test
try for Ireland against the
Ruddock, son of former
Wales coach Mike Ruddock,
could now be selected again
for Saturday’s match against
Australia after a muchchanged side saw off secondtier Georgia 49-7 in Dublin on
But it was hardly a day to remember for the 27-year-old,
who admitted to feeling awkward when he was presented
with the trophy in front of a
17,500-capacity crowd who had
just seen their hopes of a fascinating duel between the world’s
top two unexpectedly dashed.
Instead of dwelling on one of
the stranger days of his career,
Djokovic was quick to turn his
thoughts to 2015, when he hopes
to at last end nine-time champion Rafael Nadal’s reign as the
king of Paris clay.
The French Open is the only
major title missing from Djokovic’s Grand Slam collection having lost the 2012 and 2014 finals
to Nadal.
“Roland Garros is and was
and still will be one of the biggest goals that I have. I’ll keep on
trying, of course,” said Djokovic,
who has four Australian Open
crowns, two at Wimbledon and a
single US Open triumph.
“Any Grand Slam win is another page in the history books
of this sport.
“Right now I’m at my pinnacle. I feel physically very fit. I’m
very motivated to keep on playing on a very high level.
“So as long as it’s like that, I’m
going to try to use these years
in front of me to fight for No. 1
of the world and to fight for the
biggest titles in the sport.”
Before Djokovic turns his attention to the first major of
2015 - the Australian Open in
January—he will gladly resume
his new role as a father to baby
Stefan, who was born only a few
weeks ago.
Djokovic is relishing the
chance to help wife Jelena with
baby duties for a while, even if
the sleepless nights so familiar
to new parents are less welcome.
“I’m very hands-on. My wife
told me what’s expected of me!”
Djokovic said.
“I’ve seen it before I came
Novak Djokovic
to Paris and London. I’m glad
during the stay in London for
these 10 days I got a lot of sleep.
That will not be the case from
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s
the most beautiful feeling that I
experience and my wife have experience as well holding a baby
in your arms.
“That will be a lot of that
without the racquet in next couple weeks for me.”
Djokovic heads unchanged top 10 in ATP rankings
Novak Djokovic seals the yearend number one ranking for the
third time in four years, the ATP
rankings released yesterday
Djokovic, who won the seasonending World Tour Finals in
London after Roger Federer’s
late withdrawal Sunday, has
11,150 points at the top of the
rankings, ahead of Federer and
Rafael Nadal of Spain.
The Serb managed clinched
the year-end number one ranking Friday when he reached
the last four of the World Tour
The only movement in the rankings is outside the leading 20.
ATP top 10 as of November 17
(previous ranking in parenthesis): 1. (1) Novak Djokovic,
Serbia, 11,510 points 2. (2) Roger
Federer, Switzerland, 9,700 3.
(3) Rafael Nadal, Spain, 6,835 4.
(4) Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, 5,295 5. (5) Kei Nishikori,
Japan, 5,025 6. (6) Andy Murray,
Britain, 4,675 7. (7) Tomas
Berdych, Czech Republic, 4,665
8. (8) Milos Raonic, Canada,
4,440 9. (9) Marin Cilic, Croatia,
4,150 10.(10) David Ferrer, Spain,
Roger Federer in Davis
Cup fitness battle
‘In a final like this and at my age, it would be too risky. I hope you understand’
witzerland’s hopes of
a first ever Davis Cup
win lay in the balance
on Monday as the team
awaited word on just how badly
Roger Federer had injured his
back ahead of this week’s final
against France in Lille.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner shocked thousands of fans
and his opponent Novak Djokovic in London Sunday evening
when he withdrew from the final of the season-ending World
Tour Championship saying he
was not match fit.
Ironically the player who
helped inflict the back injury on
the Swiss great was none other
than Davis Cup teammate and
close friend Stan Wawrinka.
The two played a thrilling,
but punishing semi-final on
Saturday evening which Federer, 33, won in three gruelling
sets, saving four match points
along the way.
Later in an on-court interview he told a hushed crowd
that he had tried everything to
be able to play in the prestigious
“I tried everything I could
last night and today—painkillers, rest—until the very end, but
I can’t compete at this level with
“In a final like this and at my
age, it would be too risky. I hope
you understand.”
What was not clear, however,
was just how badly injured he is.
Federer has a history of back
pain, but until last weekend he
had been injury-free through-
Roger Federer of Switzerland waves after announcing that he is injured and unfit to play Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men’s singles final
at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London, on Sunday.
out a season in which he has
played some superb tennis despite failing to add to his Grand
Slam title haul.
He is hoping that the back
spasms he felt will clear over the
next couple of days, allowing
him to be able to begin adapting to the indoor claycourt that
France as hosts have chosen for
the final.
There was some astonishment in the French press over
how hard Federer and Wawrinka
had gone at it in London, knowing that the Davis Cup final was
only a few days away.
Australian Open winner
Wawrinka admitted that he
could suffer psychologically
and physically from the heartbreaking loss and there were
unconfirmed reports of some
friction between the two after
the match.
Swiss press reports said that
Wawrinka had been irked by
someone sitting in Federer’s box
with suggestions it could have
been his wife Mirka.
Former great and now television commentator John
McEnroe, meanwhile, spoke of
the two Swiss players having a
long and tense discussion in the
locker-room afterwards.
Whatever the truth was there,
a Federer withdrawal from the
Lille contest would be a huge
and potentially lethal body blow
to Swiss hopes.
Wawrinka at fourth is comfortably ranked above all the
French players, but after him
the fall off in the Swiss team is
steep with Marco Chiudinelli
212th and Michael Lammer
In stark contrast it was all
plain sailing for the French who
are seeking a 10th Davis Cup title in all and a first since 2001.
Clement cloistered his team of JoWilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils,
Richard Gasquet and reserve
Gilles Simon in Bordeaux where
they honed their claycourt skills
away from prying eyes.
Doubles specialist Julien
Benneteau, who was playing in
the doubles in London, was to
link up with them in Lille.
Coach Lionel Roux said the
team would not be distracted
by the doubts surrounding Federer’s participation.
“I don’t think Roger’s injury
is too serious,” he said. “If he really can’t play in the Davis Cup
it would be very sad. But in my
view it was just preventative.
“Looking at the TV footage of
his semi-final I saw no signs of
him being badly injured. He was
struggling a bit only because it
had been such a tough match.
“All the players are carrying
injuries by the end of the season
and we know that Roger has had
problems with his back before.
“But he is a real pro and he
simply weighed up the pros and
the cons and decided against
playing the final.”
Samoa promise no England boycott
amoa insisted yesterday
that the threat of a strike
which would have led to
Saturday’s international
against England at Twickenham
being called off had been abandoned and that the match would
proceed as scheduled.
Disgruntled players had indicated they could boycott the
match as a protest against the
way the Samoa Rugby Union was
run, leading to mediation from
both the International Rugby
Board and the International
Rugby Players’ Association.
“The game is proceeding as
agreed upon,” Samoa team manager Sami Leoti Britain’s na-
tional Press Association news
“There is no threat and the
boycott has been cancelled. It’s
all been sorted.”
Last week, the Samoa players’ unhappiness became public
knowledge when, following a report in Britain’s Rugby Paper, the
IRB released a statement saying
they had been made aware of the
Pacific Islanders’ concerns last
However, the IRB also said
they expected the match, the
third of England’s four home internationals in November, to go
ahead as planned.
“The players met with the IRB
and the players’ association and
as a result of those discussions
the boycott was called off,” Leoti
“Now the idea is to keep the
camp tight and focus on the
game,” he added.
Earlier, Samoa’s senior internationals called for their
concerns—some of which date
back to the 2011 World Cup in
New Zealand—to be dealt with
urgently “to ensure positive
change for the benefit of Samoa
The Samoa Observer said in
an editorial that the grievances
included an alleged lack of financial transparency within the
Samoa Rugby Union with players being expected to pay air
fares, coaches being denied a
free-rein on selection and team
line-ups being announced on
social media before players had
been notified.
Samoa, the top performing
Pacific island nation and twice
World Cup quarter-finalists,
have in recent years recorded
wins against top-tier countries
such as Australia, Wales and
Members of the Samoa team
who beat Canada 23-13 in
Vannes, north-west France, last
Saturday met with the IRB and
the IRPA over the weekend but
the SRU chose not to be represented at the talks.
The players “are now asking
the SRU to commit to meaningful communication and discussion on the issues with all
parties”, the IRPA said in a statement yesterday.
Mahonri Schwalger, who
captained Samoa at the 2011
World Cup, was axed from the
side a year later when he wrote
a damning assessment of the
management in a report to
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele
Following the weekend meeting, Samoa forward Daniel Leo
said the players have had to “endure these ongoing issues for far
too long”.
“This is about us, the players deciding enough is enough,
and seeking positive change and
input for the benefit of Samoan
rugby and the welfare of future
Meanwhile Tuilaepa called the
issues “opinions of little kids”
and suggested the cream of Samoan rugby pull out if they are
not happy.
“If they don’t want to play
then don’t come. There are many
players here who are looking for
an opportunity. We’re not forcing you. So submit your resignation and we’ll select new players,” he said last week.
Saturday’s match is Samoa’s
final fixture of a European tour
that started with a 24-13 defeat
by Italy before the win over the
Meanwhile, England centre
Luther Burrell could return from
a hand injury to face Samoa on
Saturday after he was named in
Stuart Lancaster’s 28-man squad
for the test at Twickenham.
Burrell missed England’s autumn international defeats by
New Zealand and South Africa
and Lancaster’s side have now
lost five matches in a row.
Winger Semesa Rokoduguni,
who made his debut against the
All Blacks, was omitted from the
squad as he continues to recover
from a thigh injury. His Bath
team mate Kyle Eastmond hopes
to recover from the concussion
he suffered against South Africa.
“We have narrowed the group
to give us more focus in training,”
England head coach Lancaster
said on the RFU website (www. yesterday.
“It’s good to have Luther back
in camp after recovering from his
hand injury and we’ll see how he
gets on in training this week.”
Burrell was a regular starter in
this year’s Six Nations alongside
Billy Twelvetrees and England
fans will hope his possible return
adds penetration to the midfield
area which was desperately short
of zip in the 31-28 defeat by the
Springboks on Saturday.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Pacquiao gears up for ‘most
impressive performance’
The fight with Algieri is a must win for the boxer-turned-politician in the Philippines
wo years after suffering what could have
been a career-ending loss, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is gearing up
for what he hopes to be his ‘most impressive performance.’
The 35-year-old eight-division champion
faces unbeaten American boxer Chris Algieri on
Saturday, whom he has described as ‘the most
dangerous opponent’ of his 19-year career.
It will be his third fight since the humiliating
upset by Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez
in December 2012, when Pacquiao was knocked
out with one second left in the sixth round by a
right to the jaw.
While Pacquiao briefly broke away from his
training to play professional basketball for the
first time in October, the father of five said he
has been focusing on “being the best (he) can
be physically, mentally and spiritually” for the
“There are no shortcuts to victory,” he told
the Boxing Scene. “I am sacrificing everything
to defeat him, and produce not just a convincing
victory but my most impressive performance.”
Boxing analysts said that while Pacquiao remains the barometer by which many fighters
would have to be measured, the fight with Algieri is a must win for the boxer-turned-politician in the Philippines. “This is his road back
to regain his stature as a big name in boxing,”
said veteran sports editor Ignacio Dee. “He can
dictate again on who he will fight. Right now, he
can’t do that.”
Pacquiao has been pushing for a fight with
Floyd Mayweather Junior, but the undefeated
American boxer has been dismissing the Filipino
champion especially after his loss to Marquez.
In the fight with Algieri, Pacquiao is defending his WBO welterweight title that he wrestled
from Timothy Bradley in a rematch in April.
“Manny will have to go for the kill, although
not frantically,” said Recah Trinidad, a veteran
sports columnist and analyst said. “Everything
will depend here on how much longer he will be
Trinidad said that while Pacquiao announced
that he wants to concentrate on politics and retire in 2016, he doesn’t see him hanging up his
gloves that easily. “That’s a promise made to be
broken,” he said. “He has grown so big. He is
responsible for so many things. He cannot just
close shop. A lot of things, a lot of people are depending on him.”
Since his professional debut at 16 years old in
January 1995, Pacquiao has won 56 fights and
suffered five losses, with 2 draws. He has won
world titles in eight divisions, cementing his
place among the world’s boxing greats.
The southpaw fighter worked as a stevedore
at a pier in his southern Philippine hometown
of General Santos City before he left for Manila
when he was 14 years old, hoping to find better
work to help his mother raise five other siblings.
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (left) faces unbeaten American Chris Algieri on Saturday, whom he has described as ‘the most dangerous opponent’ of his 19-year career.
In Manila, he began boxing and made it to the
Philippines’ amateur boxing team.
Pacquiao soon became a household name
in the Philippines, where his winning exploits
in boxing has made him an idol among aspiring athletes and every Filipino hoping to make
a better life for them. In 1999, Pacquiao, fondly
called the “national fist”, also launched an acting
career playing cameo roles in televisions variety
shows and later on with lead roles in movies. He
also dabbled into music recording.
Pacquiao embarked on a political career in
2007, winning a seat in Congress to represent
a district in South Cotabato province. He later won as the congressional representative of
Sarangani province in 2010 and 2013.
While he has been criticised for his underwhelming performance in Congress, where he
is one of the representatives with most number
of absences, Pacquiao is eyeing higher office
and plans to run for the Senate in 2016. “There
is a big possibility that I will run for senator,” he
told a Manila radio station in July, discussing his
plans to retire.
But Pacquiao said the upcoming fight with
Algieri has boosted his passion for boxing. “I do
not feel old,” he said in an article in the Boxing
Scene. “I feel great and I find I am able to train as
hard as I always have and I enjoy it. More importantly, I still enjoy boxing a lot.”
He stressed he has not set a date or age when
he will retire, adding, “When I retire, I want it
to be on my terms. I do not want to spend my
retirement regretting that I walked away from
boxing before I was ready.”
Pacquiao knows one thing for sure before he
hangs up his gloves - to fight Mayweather “I
do have one specific goal and that is to give the
boxing fans the fight that they have always asked
for,” he said. “I want that fight too.”
Al-Anabi finish season in fourth ‘Rest of the World’
wins QGL Ryder Cup
place and eighth in points
By Sports Reporter
By Correspondent
Pomona, California
eam ‘Rest of the World’
survived some anxious
moments before they
beat ‘Team Canada’ by
a narrow margin at the 6th Ryder Cup, organised by the Qatar
Golf Lovers over the weekend at
Doha Golf Club.
After 15 matches both teams
were tied at 7.5 points each but
‘Rest of the World’ won the
16th & 17th match to regain
the Ryder Cup, which they lost
in 2012. Final score was 9.5
points to Team World and 8.5
he 24-race season has
come to a close for the
Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team, the
three-time and defending World
Championship team owned by
His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin
Hamad al-Thani.
Shawn Langdon reached the
quarter-finals, and Khalid alBalooshi was eliminated in the
first round at the 50th annual
Auto Club NHRA Finals on Sunday, the final of 24 races that
make up America’s 2014 NHRA
Mello Yello Drag Racing season and the last of six races that
comprise the Countdown to the
Championship NHRA Playoffs.
Langdon, who was the No 11
qualifier, has now completed his
first reign as the NHRA Mello
Yello Top Fuel World Champion.
He defeated Spencer Massey in
the first round before losing to
Morgan Lucas, his high school
friend and former teammate, in
the second round of eliminations. Lucas went on to win the
Auto Club NHRA Finals with
a thrilling final round win over
newly-crowned 2014 NHRA
Mello Yello Top Fuel World
Champion Tony Schumacher.
For Langdon, a disappointing
season comes to a close with a
points for Team Canada.
Around 36 Canadian golfers forming 18 teams were pitted against 36 golfers from
USA, UK, South Africa, India,
France, Australia, New Zealand,
Croatia, Pakistan & Egypt. Joe
Coutinho was the captain of
‘Rest of the World’ while Albert Dalton was the Captain of
‘Team Canada’.
Although the Canadians lost
the Ryder Cup, they won the
hearts of all with a display of
patriotism by decorating their
buggies with the Canadian flag
and other items which were
‘very Canadian’. Flags of various countries and the decorated
buggies created a festive atmosphere at the Doha Golf Club
on Friday morning.
Special prizes were won by
Terry Keating, Guz Kenny, Arnav Dutta, Dean Elford, PK
Mathew, Connor MacLeod, CS
Chandrasekhar, Adam Neave &
John Lord. Ammico Contracting Company, which sponsored
the event hosted a prize distribution function for all golfers
later in the evening at the Doha
Golf Club. Pankaj Kohli, Project
Director of Ammico gave away
prizes to all winners. Also
present at the occasion was
Amir Dalvi, General Manager of
Saad Contracting Company.
Shawn Langdon deploys the parachutes to slow the silver Al-Anabi car following his first-round victory at
Sunday’s Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, California. PICTURE: Ron Lewis
fourth-place finish in the final
NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point
“It was a tough weekend for
the Al-Anabi team,” Langdon
said. “We were able to make a
good run in the first round; we
felt like we had a good handle
on it, but it shook the tires in the
second round. We just missed
the setup a little bit. It was an
unfortunate way to end the
year. We really expected better
results from the Al-Anabi team
this year, but we know, as well as
everyone else, that the Al-Anabi
team is a great team. We have so
many great people on this team;
we just had a bad year. That’s really all it was. We’ll be back next
year, and we’ll be better – I can
guarantee you that.”
Al-Balooshi entered the Auto
Club NHRA Finals having won
both races contested in the state
of California earlier this season. The third-year Top Fuel
driver hoped to win this weekend to complete the “California
Sweep” winning all of the races
contested in the Golden State as
his teammate did last year, but it
was not to be. Al-Balooshi was
the No 7 qualifier and appeared
to have a slight competitive advantage over his first-round
opponent, Dom Lagana, but
Lagana eliminated al-Balooshi
in that first round matchup. AlBalooshi finishes his third Top
Fuel season in eighth place in the
final NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel
point standings.
The Al-Anabi Racing team
will be back in action Feb 6-8,
2015 at the 55th annual Circle
K NHRA Winternationals in
Pomona, California.
'Team World' members celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup, organised by the Qatar Golf Lovers.
Gulf Times
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Qatar women continue
impressive display on day 7
‘I just managed to overcome the challenges and win the bronze medal in the end’
By Sports Reporter
atari women put up another
impressive display on the
seventh day of the 11th Arab
winning a gold, silver and bronze medal
Qatar’s men’s team, comprising of
Riaz Khan, Zafer-al-Qahatani and Adel
Kahn, also claimed the 25m Standard
Pistol bronze.
Amna al-Abdulla of Qatar fired 68
points in three rounds in the final to beat
Kuwait’s Sarah al-Hawal by one points
for the women’s Trap gold medal.
Amna, winner of the International
Shotgun Championship gold, maintained the one-point lead in the first
two rounds, though Sarah improved his
performance in the last round as she
outscored Amna with two points, but
not well enough to beat her overall.
“I’m really very pleased with my performance. I’d not been shooting well
for some months and it was putting a
lot of pressure on me. But in the semifinals and gold medal match, I was able
to focus well,” Amna said.
“By God’s grace, I had a strong start
in the final and maintained it for most of
the match, which helped me, emerge the
winner. I’m very happy with my comeback in this championship,” she said.
The bronze went to Qatar’s Kholoud,
who finished with 67 points. Kholoud
al-Khalaf also staged a superb return to
beat Yasmine Marirhi of Morocco and
win the bronze medal in the shoot-off.
Kholoud, a small-sized shooter, was
very tense when the referee strangely
asked her to remove her ear protection
as she was not able to hear the instructions. Then she further became shaky
when she was told not to stand away
from shooting stations.
“It is a very important win for me today. I was under tremendous pressure
due to the referee. But I just managed
to overcome the challenges and win
the bronze medal in the end. I’m happy
with the way I fought back and stayed
focused in my match,” Kholoud said.
In the Trap Team event, the trio of
(Above) Amna al-Abdulla of Qatar
(centre) won the women’s trap event
ahead of Kuwait’s Sarah al-Hawal and
Qatar’s Kholoud al-Khalaf. (Right)
Qatar’s men’s team claimed the 25m
Standard Pistol bronze behind Saudi
Arabia and Oman.
Amna al-Abdulla, Kholoud al-Khalaf
and Nawal Abdulmalek clinched the
silver as they scored combined tally of
197 points. The gold went to Morocco,
while Kuwait won the bronze.
In the men’s section Saudi Arabia’s
Mohamed al-Saeed and Mohamed alAmri won the 25m Standard Pistol gold
and silver, respectively. Oman’s Said alHasani won the bronze medal.
“It is good win for me as the competition was very tough. I think the Arab
championship is good platform for the
young shooters to show their talent,”
al-Saeed said.
Lochte, Hosszu, Gyurta confirm for FINA worlds
By Sports Reporter
fter a record number of athletes registered to compete at
the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships, organisers today confirmed part of the starstudded line-up of swimmers that will
compete in Doha from December 3-7.
Hundreds of millions around the
world are expected to tune in to see
the biggest names in swimming take
to the blocks at Hamad Aquatic Centre including the 11-time Olympic
medallist known for his short-course
dominance, Ryan Lochte. His seven
individual Olympic medals see him
placed second all-time in men’s swimming and he is the current world record
holder in the 100m, 200m and 400m
individual medley (short course). At the
2012 World Championships Lochte was
the man of the hour with eight medals
and has a strong chance to repeat those
achievements as he is expected to race
in six individual events (200m free,
200m back, 50m and 100m fly, 100m
and 200m IM).
With the likes of Olympic champions
Breeja Larson and Conor Dwyer joining Lochte in Team USA, the Americans
will be looking to top the medal table at
the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) for the fourth championships running.
The USA will surely have some stiff
competition for the top spot from Hungary, who have confirmed that their
leading duo, Katinka Hosszu and Daniel
Gyurta will compete in Doha. Hosszu
broke three World Records in Qatar in
August and claimed an astonishing 69
medals, 52 of them gold, throughout
this year’s FINA Mastbank World Cup
series. She finished top of the points table overall with Gyurta finishing second
overall in the men’s competition. With
five-time Olympic medallist László
Cseh also competing for Hungary, they
will be a force to be reckoned with.
Joining the Hungarians in the spotlight in the men’s competition will be
South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh. Le Clos started his
2014 short-course season in Doha with
(Right) Ryan Lochte of USA will be among the swimmers to participate in the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships at
Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha between December 3 and 7.
three golds at the first meet of the FINA
Mastbank Swimming World Cup and
went on to win the series overall. The
reigning short course World and Olympic
Champion in the 200m butterfly, Le Clos
has been chasing his own short course
World Record (1:48:56) all season. Coming within a whisker of breaking it at the
final Swimming World Cup series meet
in Singapore earlier this month when he
posted 1:48:88, the South African will
surely be looking to go one better in Doha.
His countryman Cameron Van De Burgh,
who holds short course World Records
in 50m and 100m breaststroke, will also
be hoping to add to South Africa’s medal
tally in Doha.
Lithuanian sensation, Ruta Meilutyte, who broke onto the scene winning three golds at the London 2012
Olympic Games aged just 15, will also
compete in Doha as will three-time
Olympic medallist and regional hero,
Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, double
World Record holder Mireia Belmonte
Garcia of Spain and Olympian Lotte
Friis of Denmark. The full line-up is set
to be announced shortly.
Doha has marked this year it’s year
of swimming. As well as the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships, the city has already successfully staged the first meet in the FINA
Mastbank Swimming World Cup and is
the first city to host a World Cup and a
World Championships in the same year.
It will also host the 3rd FINA Aquatics
Conference (November 29th- December 01, 2014), which includes the FINA
Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic and
the FINA Extraordinary Congress.
The 12th FINA World Swimming
Championships will be held over five
days with morning heats starting at
9:30am and the fast-action finals takings place at 6pm. Fans can purchase
their tickets at Virgin Megastores or
online at tickets.virginmegastores.
me starting at QR10. Find out more at and follow us
@FINA2014Doha on Twitter.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Lee upsets Gawad while
Shabana, Ghosal advance
‘It’s good to have such matches in the early stages. It sets the pace for you, prepares you for the tougher battles ahead’
By Satya Rath
nother day at the World
Championship, another fivesetter, and another upset to
begin with. Some close battles
followed next, before normalcy was restored in the latter half of the evening.
Unseeded Max Lee started the trend
in the very first match of Day 5, against
Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt, seeded
15th and placed four spots above (17th)
the Hong Kong youngster’s 21st in the
world ranking ladder.
Yesterday’s match was their second
meeting this year – Lee had played the
hard-hitting Egyptian in the Malaysian Open quarter-finals in August and
prevailed in that five-setter – and the
24-year-old looked ready for another
long haul.
Both are fast movers on the court,
and both love to attack. Karim had the
upper hand in the first game, leading
8-4 at one stage, before, perhaps in his
hurry to finish off the game, banged the
tin thrice, thereby gifting Lee a chance
to fight back. Lee seized the opportunity with both hands, and though it took
him four game balls, managed to close
it out 13-11.
Karim was in his groove in the second, taking just eight minutes to breeze
through 11-3, but was back to his error-prone ways in the third. With Lee
sprinting and returning from impossible angles, frustration seemed to get the
better of Karim, and as he kept banging
the tin, Lee squeezed through 11-7.
Karim was back to his imperious best
in the fourth, speeding to a 10-3 lead,
but then got stranded at game ball for
a good five minutes before levelling the
The decider was fast and intense,
both giving everything they had. Till
8-8 it was anybody’s game when a tiring Karim failed to connect a blinding
return to hand the advantage to Lee,
who never gave another chance. The
match lasted 78 minutes, the secondlongest at the World Championship so
far after Sunday’s 85-minute marathon
between Australian Cameron Pilley and
Peter Barker of England.
“I would credit this win to my mental
strength… I think I came out stronger
in the mind at crucial moments. I was a
bit lucky to win the first game, and that
gave me the belief that I could win the
fifth too when the match went into the
decider,” said Lee, who has been playing non-stop for several months now.
“I guess that’s an advantage for
me, the more you play the more you
learn,” the 24-year-old added. “I got
to play many top players in the last few
months, so it has helped in improving my game. Even when I don’t play, I
learn a lot just by watching them – the
way they train, the way they prepare for
a match. It’s paying me dividends, I am
in the last 16 now!”
The games that followed were no less
exciting either, particularly the one between Egyptian legend Amr Shabana,
a four-time world champion, and the
unpredictable Nicolas Mueller from
Egypt’s Amr Shabana (left) in action against Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller during their second round match in the PSA World Squash Championship in Doha yesterday. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
Switzerland. After a sedate first game,
which Shabana disposed off in eight
minutes, the second almost lasted three
times more (23 minutes).
“I would credit this win to
my mental strength… I think
I came out stronger in the
mind at crucial moments.
I was a bit lucky to win the
first game, and that gave me
the belief that I could win
the fifth too when the match
went into the decider,” said
Hong Kong’s Max Lee after
his win over Egypt’s Karim
Abdel Gawad
The fifth-seeded Egyptian was on
game ball, leading 10-4, when Mueller
showed why he’s the only Swiss till date
to have made the world’s top-20 grade.
Hitting the ball at almost 200mph,
and charging and returning from impossible angles, he managed to force a
tie-break. The ‘Prince of Cairo’, as the
Egyptian is called, had as many as eight
game balls, but the 25-year-old Swiss,
who has been winning the national title
in his home country for the last eight
years, kept denying him that one point
and at one stage, even had two game
balls for himself. The 35-year-old prevailed finally, 20-18 on his ninth game
ball, but this could well turn out to be
the ‘game of the championship’.
Another slugfest saw Mueller take
the third game 11-8, but it was Shabana all the way in the next, sealing the
fourth 11-4 in just seven minutes to
make the last sixteen. He may have won
the battle, but Mueller definitely won
the hearts with that lion-hearted display.
“In a way it’s good to have such
matches in the early stages. It sets
the pace for you, prepares you for the
tougher battles ahead. He played great,
he plays at a great pace, and I think this
court more suits his kind of play than
mine. I don’t think I did much wrong
today, but he was on a roll and I am
happy to have come out unscathed,”
said Shabana, who lost to Mueller in the
quarter-finals of the 2011 Qatar Classic.
He could expect an even tougher
workout in his next match, as he will
take on the dangerous Max Lee in today’s pre-quarter-finals.
Tenth seed Tarek Momen of Egypt
too suffered an early scare from England’s Tom Richards, but recovered well
to take the next three and the match in
53 minutes.
India’s Saurav Ghosal was given a
good workout by the young Nasir Iqbal
from Pakistan before winning 11-7, 5-11,
11-9, 11-4. “He came back really well in
the second game, and did surprise me
with his pace. Our games are similar,
we both like to attack and we move really well on court, but as I had played
him at the Asian Games (in Incheon)
two months back, I knew what to expect. My next match is against Nick
Matthew, and that’s a tough one. I will
just have a good night’s rest and focus
on that,” said Ghosal.
In the other games of the evening,
defending champion Nick Matthew of
England was ruthless in his 3-0 decimation of France’s Gregoire Marche,
taking just 40 minutes to get closer to
what will be his fourth world title in five
years, while Indian youngster Mahesh
Mangaonkar was given a masterclass in
power squash by world No. 1 Mohemad
Elshorbagy who breezed through 3-0 in
just 29 minutes.
Max Lee (Hong Kong) bt 15-Karim Abdel
Gawad (Egypt) 3-2 (13-11, 3-11, 11-7, 6-11,
11-8); 10-Tarek Momen (Egypt) bt Tom
Richards (England) 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-6,
11-7); 5-Amr Shabana (Egypt) bt Nicolas
Mueller (Switzerland) 3-1 (11-7, 20-18,
8-11, 11-4); Stephen Coppinger (South
Africa) vs Ong Beng Hee (Malaysia) 3-0
(11-5, 11-6, 11-6); 14-Saurav Ghosal (India)
bt Nasir Iqbal (Pakistan) 3-1 (11-7, 5-11,
11-9, 11-4); 3-Nick Matthew (England) bt
Gregoire Marche (France) 3-0 (11-6, 11-3,
11-4); 2-Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egypt) bt
Mahesh Mangaonkar (India) 3-0 (11-6,
11-4, 11-1)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Alister Walker
(BOT) 12:00
6-Borja Golan (ESP) v Fares Dessouki
(EGY) 13:00
5-Amr Shabana (EGY) v Max Lee (HKG)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v 10-Tarek
Momen (EGY) 15:00
1-Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v 9-Omar
Mosaad (EGY) 17:30
4-Ramy Ashour (EGY) v 12-Miguel Angel
Rodriguez 18:30
3-Nick Matthew (ENG) v 14-Saurav Ghosal (IND) 19:30
Nearly 150 children participate in Qatargas Chess C’ship
By Sports Reporter
he second edition of the
Qatargas Chess Championship, organised by
the Qatar Chess Association (QCA) was held from 13
– 15 November at the Copthorne
Hotel in Doha. Nearly 150 boys
and girls between 6 – 16 years old
participated in the tournament.
A ceremony was held on Saturday after three days of exciting
competition, to award prizes to
the winners. Hamad Ali al-Awi,
head of Public Relations Business Support, attended the ceremony on behalf of Qatargas and
gave away the prizes. He was
joined by Mohammed Ahmed
al-Medaihki, General Secretary,
Amal al-Mannai, Board Member,
and other senior officials of QCA.
The top ten winners received
prizes. The top three prizes were
claimed by Canadian national
Adnan Habib (9 points), Qatari national Abdullatif al-Hor
(7.5 points – came second in tie
breaker) and Indian national
Rahul George Eapen (7.5 points)
respectively. Qatari national
players Salih al-Hor (7 points),
Alla Hussain (7 points) Ghanem
al-Shamari (6.5 points), Hamda
al-Hajri (6 points), and Maryam
al-Hajri (6 points), put on a good
The championship started on
Thursday, 13 November and concluded on Saturday 15 November. A total of nine rounds, were
played with each round lasting
up to 20 minutes. Valuable prizes
were distributed to winners and
Qatargas launched the championship last year in partnership with QCA as part of the
Company’s strategy to promote
sporting activities that are gaining popularity in Qatar. The aim
of this strategy is to help in nurturing young talents in the country by creating opportunities for
them to develop further, thereby
contributing to achieving the
Human Development goals of
Qatar National Vision 2030. The
championship provides an excellent opportunity for young chess
enthusiasts in Qatar to compete
against each other and test their
1 983
File Size
10 533 KB
Report inappropriate content