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UN chief Ban Ki-moon yesterday
cautioned against tackling violent
extremism through military means
alone and urged governments to
avoid counter-terrorism responses
that could lead to rights abuses.
Ban told a special Security Council
meeting on counter-terrorism that
the United Nations was looking at
ways to address violent extremism
by working with communities “at
the grassroots level”.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani receiving Croatian Speaker Josip Leko yesterday. The Speaker handed over
to the Emir a written message from Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, related to bilateral relations and ways to advance them
in different fields. The meeting was attended by Advisory Council Speaker HE Mohamed bin Mubarak al-Khulaifi.
Egypt sees ‘new era’ in Arab ties
gypt yesterday hailed a “new
era” in Arab solidarity after Gulf
states agreed to end an internal dispute and to strengthen unity
among them.
Cairo said it offered its full support
to the reconciliation move, which it
described as a “huge step towards
Arab solidarity”.
“We look forward to a new era that
would end past disputes and spread
hope and optimism to our peoples,”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah alSisi’s office said
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and Bahrain agreed on Sunday to return their ambassadors to
Doha after resolving their differences
with Qatar. They had announced the
withdrawal of their envoys from Qatar
in March.
Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, earlier
yesterday urged “Egypt, the people and leadership, to seek with us
the success of this (reconciliation)
move as part of Arab solidarity,”
according to the official SPA news
He said the kingdom looked forward “to the start of a new phase of
consensus” among Arab nations and
voiced hope for “security and stabil-
Vol. XXXV No. 9547
November 20, 2014
Moharram 27, 1436 AH
www. 2 Riyals
Qatar has improved in the area
of labour rights and laws, says
a senior official
Cairo, Abu Dhabi
is A R 8
AT 19
Q since
sightseeing tours
Ban urges action
to tackle extremism
QATAR | Tourism
WORLD | Conflict
Qatar in
safe World
Cup pledge
In brief
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is
preparing the launch of a helicopter
project named Samana (Our
Skies) which provides tours and
sightseeing in and around Qatar.
The event will take place in the
next few days. QTA has worked in
collaboration with Gulf Helicopters
on the project . The project has
been supported by the Ministry of
Transport and Qatar Armed Forces.
QTA is working with industry
and local stakeholders to expand
tourism products and services.
Latest Figures
Message from Croatian president
Luck puts Qatar
into semi-finals
Boeing sees
surge in
Middle East
demand for
new planes
ity for our people amid these circumstances and challenges” facing the
The agreement offers “a general
framework for unity, consensus, and
an end to differences” among Arab
states, the king said.
Both the UAE and Bahrain also
welcomed the statement made by the
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,
King Abdullah.
The UAE praised the statement
which called for turning a new page
to push the process of joint GCC and
Arab action, the Emirates news agency Wam reported.
Bahrain affirmed total support for
the “significant stances” announced
by the Saudi monarch.
atar will provide a safe football World Cup in 2022 and has
made big strides in the area
of labour rights, a leading official has
“We are taking security very seriously for everyone at the World Cup.
We have no doubts that security in
2022 will be impeccable,” Nasser alKhater, executive director of Communications and Marketing for the
Supreme Committee for Delivery and
Legacy, told Germany’s Sport Bild
Al-Khater said that Qatar had improved in the area of labour rights and
laws in the wake of suggestions and
calls from human rights organisations
and the ruling football body FIFA.
He said that laws were in line with
international standards with “clear
rules to protect workers” and that “living conditions have been improved”.
In general terms, al-Khater pledged
that Qatar would “stage a spectacular
tournament that will exceed all expectations”.
He said: “It will be a historically
compact World Cup which will allow
fans, the media and officials to attend
more than one game per day and to
spend the entire World Cup in one accommodation.”
Qatar authorities have accused foreign media of running a malicious
campaign against the first Gulf nation
to host a FIFA World Cup. Qatar also
says none of the workers employed
for World Cup projects have been exploited.
The country’s World Cup organising
committee said criticism was a normal
part of major sporting events.
“We extend a hand to all of our critics to come to Qatar and see for themselves the progress we are making in
a number of fields, from stadium delivery to cooling technology, workers
welfare to creating a sporting industry
in the region,” it told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an e-mail recently.
Senior officials in the government
have promised to work towards radically overhauling the current system,
giving workers the rights they deserve.
In May, Qatar unveiled plans for labour reforms, including a new system
based on employment contracts, after
a review of its labour legislation by
DLA Piper, a British-based law firm.
The Labour Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that a new law to replace the “kafala” system would be announced next year, it added.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Emir meets sovereign wealth funds forum delegation
In brief
cables sent
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin
Hamad al-Thani, HH Deputy Emir
Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad alThani and HE the Prime Minister
and Interior Minister Sheikh
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa
al-Thani have sent cables of
condolences to the Custodian
of the Two Holy Mosques King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud
on the demise of Princess Muna
bint Saud bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.
NHRC chief meets
top US official
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meeting Bader al-Sa’ad, chairman of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF), and board members of the forum, in Doha yesterday. The IFSWF
delegation is in Qatar to participate in the forum’s sixth annual meeting.
Cabinet hails outcome of GCC leaders’ meeting
he weekly Cabinet meeting, chaired by HE the
Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah
bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani,
has welcomed the outcome of
the recent meeting of GCC leaders in Riyadh.
Praising the initiative of the
Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in calling the
meeting, the Cabinet invited the
GCC leaders to attend the summit in Doha on December 9-10.
The Cabinet also commended
the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber
al-Sabah in strengthening the
bonds of brotherhood among
GCC leaders and praised “all
efforts made to preserve GCC’s
The Cabinet formed a ministerial committee to follow up on
the implementation of HH the
Emir’s directives in his speech
during the opening of the 43rd
ordinary session of the Advisory
Council on November 11.
The Prime Minister asked the
ministers to put the Emir’s directives into effect, including
the setting of plans and realistic
timeframes for solving the issues
in the economy sector, promoting economic and commercial
sectors, activating the financial and stock market, starting
the first agricultural complex
project, drawing a tourism strategy.
The council then discussed
the subjects on the agenda.
It approved amending certain
provisions of criminal law No.
11 of 2004. It agreed to refer the
amendments to the Advisory
Council. The law punishes anyone who disrespects the State’s
flag or the flag of a GCC or
friendly country.
The Cabinet also agreed to
approve an agreement with the
government of Algeria on the
application of the customs law.
It also approved an agreement
of co-operation between Qatar
News Agency and Algeria Press
Service and an executive media
agreement between the government of Qatar and Algeria.
Additionally, the Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Qatar and Sri Lanka in the tourism
sector. The government of Qatar
also signed an agreement in the
sports field with the government
of Seychelles.
The Cabinet then reviewed
a number of outstanding sub-
jects such as the report of HE
the Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs on the report of the permanent committee for legislative
affairs to grant workers in customs powers of judicial execution.
The Cabinet also looked into
two reports from the Ministry of
Information and Communications Technology on the works of
a committee dedicated to e-government, from April-September
2014. The report included details
of the main strategic plan for the
national e-government 2020,
and the progress made towards
achieving the goal.
HE the Prime Minister Sheikh
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa
National Human Rights
Committee (NHRC) Chairman Dr
Ali bin Samikh al-Marri met Linda
Dixon, representative of the US
Department of Defence in Doha
They reviewed aspects of cooperation on issues of mutual
concern and means of activating
mechanisms of communication
between the two countries in
fields related to human rights.
ties reviewed
HE the Advisory Council Speaker
Mohamed bin Mubarak al-Khulaifi
met Croatian parliament Speaker
Josip Leko and the delegation
accompanying him, in Doha
They reviewed existing
parliamentary ties between
Qatar and Croatia and means of
developing them.
HE the Advisory Council Deputy
Speaker Issa bin Rabea al-Kuwari
attended the meeting along
with the Council’s controllers Dr
Ahmed Mohamed Obaidan and
Mohamed Abdullah al-Sulaiti,
and HE the Advisory Council
Secretary General Fahad bin
Mubarak al-Khayareen.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Metrash2 simplifies e-services
he Airport Passports
Department of the
Ministry of Interior
(MoI) has urged companies
and establishments to apply
for business visas through
Metrash2 and the website
providing the ministry’s eservices in order to simplify
the service procedures and
save time and effort.
Mohamed Rashid alMazroui, director of the
Airport Passports Department, said the introduction
of business visa issuance
through Metrash2 reflected
the MoI’s eagerness to provide quality electronic services easily and conveniently
for the public. This service
complemented the technological developments witnessed in service departments of the MoI to make
transactions paperless.
He explained that visa
submission can now be
made anytime, on all days
and from anywhere, unlike
earlier, when it was possible
only during working hours
on five working days a week.
Accordingly, the department
can issue more than 2,500
business visas daily. Business
1,133 cancer
cases in Qatar
There are 1,133 people suffering
from cancer in the country,
reports local Arabic daily Arrayah quoting an official from
the National Centre for Cancer
Care & Research (NCCCR).
Dr Osama al-Homsi, consultant and chief of the Section of
Blood and Tumours Diseases at
the NCCCR, explained that 205
are affected with breast cancer
while the majority of the other
cases are of colon cancer.
He said that the rate of cure
from breast cancer is 90% if detected early. He stressed that
this makes it mandatory for
women to undergo periodical
screening for early detection of
the disease.
work visa submission can be
made online only and cannot
be done manually from now.
Further, he pointed out
that the ministry is working
to build an integrated electronic system for all services
provided to citizens and resi-
dents. Official and tourist visa
services will be launched on
Metrash2 shortly, contributing to the upgrade of services
in order to ensure customer
satisfaction. These services
are currently provided for
companies only.
Mohamed Rashid al-Mazroui
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
New book
looks at food
security in
Arab region
Silatech workshops discuss
interns’ role in businesses
Suzi Mirgani
Zahra Babar
oha-based social initiative Silatech has hosted
workshops during this year’s
Global Entrepreneurship Week
(GEW), which concludes on Saturday.
Founded in 2008 by HH
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Silatech, which means ‘your connection,’ finds innovative solutions to challenging problems,
working with a wide spectrum of
NGOs, governments and the private sector to foster sustainable,
positive change for Arab youth.
Silatech was the official Country
Host for GEW-Qatar, which got off
to a start on Sunday. On Monday,
Silatech associate director of Em-
in the world for obvious reasons, such as water scarcity, but
also for some less obvious reasons, such as land reform that
impacts sufficiency,” said Zahra
Babar, book editor and contributing author.
“In the GCC in particular,
huge migration patterns have
outpaced food sufficiency and
will likely continue to do so, so
this is an issue that is far more
complex than some might imagine.”
CIRS director Dr Mehran
Kamrava also contributed to the
newly published volume.
“We hope this book sets a
base of understanding for the
full breadth of food security
issues to benefit the work of
scholars, researchers, practitioners and policymakers,”
Kamrava said.
Suzi Mirgani, manager and
editor for publications at CIRS
and co-editor of the book, said:
“Current food security issues
are shifting from a largely economics-dominated model to
one where sociopolitical factors
are becoming increasingly active in how food is conceived,
valued and distributed as a human right, rather than a market
force. This book is an attempt
to engage with this new paradigmatic shift.”
“This book is a fresh look at
the challenges and opportunities associated with food security faced by the Middle East,”
said Dr Julian A Lampietti of the
World Bank.
The chapters in this volume, published by Oxford
University Press and C Hurst
& Co, grew out of two working
group meetings held under the
auspices of CIRS, and include
contributions from 25 leading
experts in food security issues
from top universities around
the world.
Qatar’s Ambassador to Belgium
and Nato Sheikh Ali bin Jassim
al-Thani participated in the first
meeting for the consultative
group of Istanbul Co-operation
Initiative (ICI), which was held in
the Turkish city on the sidelines of
celebrating the tenth anniversary
of launching the initiative.
Thrasyvoulos Terry Stamatopoulos, Nato’s assistant secretary
general for political affairs and
security policy, attended the meeting along with Ahmet Muhtar
Gun, deputy undersecretary for
bilateral and political affairs at the
Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Sheikh Ali bin Jassim spoke of the
future co-operation of the group,
points of view on co-operation
between ICI member states and
Nato, in addition to the recent
eorgetown University’s
Centre for International
and Regional Studies
(CIRS) in Education City recently launched a brand-new
publication offering the “most
comprehensive study available
to date” on issues of food security and food sovereignty in the
Arab region.
Titled Food Security in the
Middle East, the book provides
empirical case studies of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt,
Yemen, the Gulf states and Iran,
with special attention to how
these countries have been affected by the events of the Arab
uprisings and rising food prices
following the global economic
crisis of 2007-2008.
Some of the major themes
examined include the ascent
and decline of various food
regimes, urban agriculture,
overseas agricultural land purchases, national food self-sufficiency strategies, distribution
networks and food consumption patterns, and nutrition
transitions and healthcare.
Collectively, the chapters
represent highly original contributions to the disciplines of
political science, economics,
agricultural studies and healthcare policy, and reflect the increasing urgency of policy and
public debate in this subject.
“Unlike certain parts of the
developing world, the Middle
East is not known as a region
that is facing critical famine or
starvation. However, it is one of
the least self-sufficient regions
One of the sessions during the Silatech-led workshops.
Envoy attends
Istanbul meeting
ployability Dr Rachel Awad led a
session entitled “How interns can
help you grow your business.”
“From the employer’s perspective,” Awad stressed, “a
well-designed internship programme can bring new expertise
and energy into an organisation,
as well as fresh perspectives and
brand advocates.”
She added: “And from a student’s perspective, an internship
provides valuable work experience
and on-the-job training. It’s a
win-win situation for all involved.”
Silatech works with employers
to design tailored internship programmes to fit the needs of each
On Tuesday, Silatech con-
vened the third workshop of an
informal entrepreneurship policy working group. Discussions
focused on how to best support
an enabling policy environment
for both aspiring and existing
entrepreneurs in Qatar, as well
as the potential for improved impact from stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Silatech’s Raghda el-Meligy
presented “Eight qualities you
can take away from the entrepreneurs who couldn’t be here,”
which delved about the qualities and habits maintained by
successful micro-entrepreneurs
throughout the region.
Silatech was the largest provider of microenterprise support
services in the Arab world.
This year, GEW-Qatar features
more than 40 workshops, discussions, lectures and interactive
sessions taking place over the
seven-day event.
Other organisations participating in GEW-Qatar included
the Bedaya Centre, Enterprise
Qatar, Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, Qatar Chamber, Qatar
University, Qatar Development
Bank, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar Shell, 7ayak
Hub, Qatar Business Incubation Centre, How Women Work,
Uber, The Edge, I Love Qatar, and
Evently. More information about
GEW-Qatar could be had from
Fifty One East opens new section at Lagoona
Fifty One East, the premium luxury retail chain in Qatar, opened its exclusive lingerie section
in Lagoona Mall. The new section offers a wide selection from the latest designs and trends
from international brands including Oscar de la Renta, L’Agent by Agent Provocateur, Emporio
Armani, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Wolford, SPANX by Sara Blakely, Wacoal, K-Lynn Lingerie, and
Betsey Johnson intimates.
Qatar Airways to start new daily service to Istanbul Sabiha airport from Mar 29
atar Airways will expand
its flights to Istanbul
Sabiha Gökçen Airport
from March 29 next year as it increases its frequency to a doubledaily service.
With the launch of the new daily
service to Sabiha Gökçen Airport,
passengers from the Middle East,
Asia Pacific, the Americas and Africa can now take advantage of an
additional morning connection to
Istanbul via Doha.
The new daily flight, operated
by a two-class, Airbus A320 aircraft, will depart Doha at 9.45am,
arriving in Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 2pm, and return from
Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 3pm,
arriving back in Doha at 6.55pm.
Qatar Airways recently celebrated its 10 years of successful
operations to Turkey. The airline
began services to Istanbul Atat-
urk International Airport in 2004
marking Qatar Airways’ first
destination in Turkey, and due
to popular passenger demand
has been steadily increasing its
number of flights to the country.
Qatar Airways currently operates to three destinations in Turkey
- Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
(daily flights), Istanbul Ataturk
Airport (10-flights-a-week) and
Ankara (four-weekly-flights).
The non-stop four-flights-aweek service from Doha to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport was
launched on May 22 this year,
Audi dealer launches ‘save
the best for last’ campaign
Q-Auto, the official dealer of
Audi in Qatar, has announced
the launch of the “Save the best
for last” campaign. A limited
edition Audi Q7 S-line model is
being offered at an exclusive
starting price of QR219,995.
The luxurious seven-seater
incorporates an S-line exterior body kit, 21” alloy wheels,
panoramic sunroof and
body coloured wheel arch
extensions. The multipurpose
SUV also sports a large boot
space, spacious cabin, quattro
all-wheel drive and a 3.0 TFSI
(272hp) engine.
Integrated features optimising
the car’s high tech dynamics include an electronic access and
authorisation key system as
well as front/rear view cameras.
Additional added value benefits
include a five-year/75,000km
service and maintenance
package as well as a three-year
unlimited mileage warranty.
“Launching the ‘Save the best for
last’ campaign is an example of
Audi’s efforts to fulfil customer
demands with an added appeal,”
said Audi Qatar marketing manager Anthony Kwan.
“The offer incorporates a
premium SUV sport package
with value-added benefits at an
excellent price.”
The dealership also gives
customers a number of bank
options with a rate as low as
1.99%. Buyers can now find the
best deal possible to finance
their purchase with banks
recommended by Audi Qatar,
including QNB, Doha Bank
and QIB.
marking Qatar Airways’ addition
of its third route to Turkey.
Due to an increase in demand,
Qatar Airways added three additional flights from October 26 to
Sabiha Gökçen Airport, marking the
launch of daily flights to the airport.
Qatar Airways Group chief
executive Akbar al-Baker said:
“The start of a double daily service from March next year will
further strengthen our support
for leisure and business travel to
Istanbul and we are certain that
our passengers will welcome this
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Kenyan envoy
meets Q-Post chief
Kenyan ambassador
Ghalma Mogy Boro met
Q-Post chairman
Abdulrahman Ali
al-Aqaily at the Q-Post
headquarters on
Tuesday and discussed the possibility
of improving postal
services between the
two countries.
Sidra to attend healthcare career
events to promote local talent
idra Medical and Research Centre
(Sidra) has announced that it will be
participating in three student career
events in November.
Sidra’s participation is aimed at updating
the student community about its prestigious
scholarship programme, training opportunities and to encourage students to consider
careers in the healthcare sector.
Sidra has invited students to visit its
booths at the following events. The events
are “Medicine Unlimited” event organised
by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
(Nov 22); Open Day at Qatar University (Nov
27) and University of Calgary Qatar Open
Day event (Nov 29).
The three events will offer students a
unique opportunity to learn about careers
in medicine. Participants will be invited to
apply for the Sidra scholarship programme
where the outreach team will be on hand to
help address questions and share information. The Open Day at Qatar University will
also feature a presentation for pharmacy and
biomedical students by Sidra’s acting chief
medical officer Dr Ziyad Hijazi, who will be
discussing his personal journey on discovering his passion for medicine.
Similarly, Sidra’s presence at the WCMCQ’s “Medicine Unlimited” and University of
Calgary Qatar events aims to introduce students to exciting and diverse career paths, to
those interested in joining the organisation.
Sidra’s simulation team will also be on hand
at the “Medicine Unlimited” event where
students will get a unique opportunity to try
some of its world-class simulation equipment for themselves.
Qatar’s UN crime congress team
holds talks with US officials
atar’s UN delegation
to the UN Crime
Congress held a
two-day meeting with senior US officials in the departments of State and Justice in Washington.
The meetings were held
on Monday and Tuesday.
The Qatari delegation was
headed by HE Major General Dr Abdullah Yousuf alMaal, adviser to HE the Interior Minister and head of
Preparatory Committee for
13th UN Crime Congress.
The meeting was attended by Qatar’s ambassador to
the US, Mohamed Jaham alKuwari.
Preparations made by Qatar to host the UN Congress
on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice in Doha
Qatari officials during their meeting with their US counterparts
in Washington.
next year, were explained at
the meeting.
Both sides discussed their
stand on the issues tabled in
the Crime Congress agenda
and agreed on co-operation
between the delegations.
The participants also held
informal consultations on
the Doha Draft Declaration.
“Sidra’s National Career Development
division takes pride in participating in such
initiatives that will help support the advancement of medical knowledge and services in Qatar. We are committed to actively
engaging with the local student community
at events hosted by schools and universities
alike,” said Dr Eiman al- Ansari, director of
National Development at Sidra Medical and
Research Centre.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Qatar, Gambia
look to expand
economic ties
trade delegation from
Qatar Chamber met with
a Gambian delegation
here yesterday to discuss ways
to strengthen economic ties and
trade exchange between the two
Minister for Presidential Affairs and Secretary-General at
the Office of Gambia’s President Kalilou Bayo said that his
country has many investment
opportunities, especially in the
tourism sector, calling Qatari
businessmen to explore those
He said that this meeting represents a good opportunity to
know these investment opportunities and economic possibilities in his country to discuss
the possibility of co-operation
on them as well as to identify
the business community in the
Gambia, stressing that his country enjoys security and social
Gambian Minister of Trade
Abdou Jobe reviewed investment
opportunities in his country,
saying that there are many sectors, such as services, tourism
and agriculture as well as real
estate and lands development,
where Qatar could invest.
Meanwhile, Gambian Minister
of Finance and Economic Affairs
Kebba Touray stressed his country’s commitment to support
the private sector and provide
an attractive investment environment for investment, adding
that the signing of an agreement
on the avoidance of double taxation between Qatar and Gambia
is indicative of this commitment.
He pointed out that the two
countries have in the past signed
a number of agreements that will
support investment and trade
Gambian Minister of Trade
Abdou Jobe reviewed
investment opportunities
in his country, saying that
there are many sectors,
such as services, tourism
and agriculture as sell
as real estate and lands
developemnt , where Qatar
could invest
Meanwhile, Vice-Chairman
of Qatar Chamber of Commerce
and Industry (QCCI) Mohamed
bin Ahmed Tawar al-Kuwari,
who led the Qatari delegation,
said that the private sector in
Qatar seeks to take advantage of
the nature of the good relations
between Qatar and Gambia,
where Qatari businessmen wish
to explore investment opportunities in Gambia in all fields,
noting that such a visit is an
appropriate chance to discuss
ways of co-operation between
the private sectors in both
He also stressed that the Qa-
tar Chamber urges businessmen
from both sides to find genuine
partnerships and collaboration.
Chief Executive Officer of
Qatar Industrial Manufacturing
Company (QIMC) Abdulrahman
al-Ansari, who was among the
members of the Qatari delegation, called on Gambian businessmen to provide economic
studies for projects and investment opportunities available
with them so that it can be studied on the ground.
He also stressed that the most
important concern for businessmen and companies that want to
invest abroad is the efficiency of
a country’s financial and banking system, which should allow
easy transfer of funds.
While Fahad Hamad alMohannadi, General Manager
of Qatar Electricity and Water
Company (QEWC), said that the
company is interested in investing in the African continent,
noting in this regard to the company’s efforts to win a project for
the production of wind energy in
Morocco. He added that it also
had talks with Senegal and Sudan to discuss the possibility of
establishing projects to generate
electricity there.
He also noted that QEWC
entered into an agreement with
French and Moroccan energy
companies to produce wind energy in Morocco. The project includes establishing plants with a
total capacity of approximately
850 MW.
Al Furjan shop distribution
mechanism criticised
he mechanism for
shops in Al Furjan
(neighborhood) Markets
has been criticised by some
citizens, local daily Al Arab
has reported.
They feel the conditions
stipulated by the committee concerned with real
estate investment for government markets exclude
large categories of the
community, who will not
benefit from the project,
such as the youth, elderly,
retired persons, widowers and widows, the daily
They point out that only
those who are wealthy and
owners of establishments
and companies will benefit
from this project, the report adds.
Citizens have told the
daily that the shop distribution mechanism will not
fulfil the social objectives
of setting up these markets as the focus is only on
They have also expressed concern over the
rent (QR6,000) for the
shops, which have an area
of only 30sqm. This may
lead to an increase in rent
in other areas, which can
contribute to a rise in the
prices of goods and services, they add.
Talks held with Gambian FM
Emir to join
rain prayers
HE the Foreign Minister’s Assistant for International Co-operation Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin
Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani holding talks with Gambian Foreign Minister Bala Garba
Jahumpa in Doha yesterday. They discussed means to promote bilateral relations and other
topics of mutual interest.
Minister hails Emir’s
support for sports
inning the right to
host the 2019 World
Athletics Championships will boost Qatar’s international reputation in the field
of sport and will enable Doha
to become the world capital
of sports, HE the Minister of
Youth and Sports Salah bin
Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali has
The International Association of Athletics Federation
(IAAF) in Monte Carlo elected
Doha on Tuesday to host the
2019 World Athletics Championships.
Congratulating HH the
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the
Prime Minister and Minister
HE Salah bin Ghanem bin
Nasser al-Ali
of Interior Sheikh Abdullah
Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani
on Qatar winning the right to
host the championships, Minister Salah bin Ghanem bin
Nasser al-Ali said, by hosting
the athletics meet Qatar will
enjoy the confidence of the
international community.
Hailing the Emir’s “unlimited support to sport”, the
Minister added that the Sports
Ministry is determined to take
advantage of such tournaments
and events to invest in human
resources and the realisation of
Qatar Vision 2030 Qatar.
He praised the efforts made
by the members of the Qatar
bidding Committee, headed by
the Chairman of the Committee, HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdul
Rahman al-Thani, Secretary
General of the Olympic Committee, and Dahlan al-Hamad,
president of Qatar Athletics
Federation, who is also vicepresident of the International
Association of Athletics, and
all the departments, including
public and private institutions,
that supported the bidding
H the Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad al
-Thani will join worshippers to perform Istisqaa
Prayer (Prayer for rain) at AlWajba prayer ground today
The rain prayer comes in pursuit of the Sunnah of Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) when there
is a delay in the rainfall.
Qatar attends
Arab justice
ministers’ meet
atar participated in the
30th session of the Arab
Ministers of Justice
Council and its 55th executive
bureau meeting, which were
held in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
HE the Minister of Justice Dr
Hassan Lahdan Saqr al-Mohannadi headed Qatar’s delegation
to the meeting.
The meeting approved the
technical secretariat report on
the steps taken to implement the
decisions of the Council’s 29th
session, and intensifying cooperation between judicial authorities in Arab countries.
The session also called Arab
countries to refrain from providing any form of active or passive
support to entities or persons
involved in terrorist acts and addressing those acts.
Exhibition of Al Asmakh’s
Pavilion project concludes
l Asmakh Real Estate
Development’s exhibition to promote one
of its new projects, the Pavilion Lusail City, concluded
successfully yesterday.
Pavilion, which is situated within the beautiful
surroundings of Fox Hills,
Lusail City, consists of
170 one and two-bedroom
apartments and features all
the amenities a future resident would seek, including
around-the-clock security,
children’s play area, fitness
gym, in addition to convenient basement parking.
Residents will enjoy the
diversity of lifestyles that
Lusail City offers and will be
within a short distance from
major attractions.
“We see Pavilion as a
beacon of a new era for us in
our quest to achieve greater
excellence in the property
development sector,” said
Fadi Barakeh, general manager of Al Asmakh Real Estate Development.
Lusail City, 15km away
Murder convict
gets seven years’
jail sentence
The Court of First Instance has
sentenced a citizen convicted in
a murder case to seven years’
imprisonment, local Arabic daily
Arrayah has reported.
The court also directed him
to pay QR400,000 as blood
money to the kin of the victim
and ordered that he get 40
lashes for consuming alcohol,
the daily adds.
According to the rationale of
the judgment, the murder was
premeditated and the accused
had brought a drink so that
the victim would consume it
and become unconscious. He
executed this plan and, when
the victim passed out, the
accused hit him on the head
several times with a heavy
tool before suffocating him to
death, according to the report.
The convicted citizen has
filed an appeal to reduce the
from the centre of Doha, will
be connected to the capital
via the Qatar Rail project.
The city is expected to accommodate up to 260,000
people and is a key attraction as part of Qatar’s 2022
FIFA World Cup.
“Lusail City will play a
significant part in forming
the country’s future, and we
are privileged to be part of
it,” he stated.
The launch of Pavilion also coincides with the
complete rebranding of the
company, which reflects
the Al Asmakh Real Estate’s
future ambitions and its
business approach towards
offering luxury, high-end
property and facility management services.
According to Barakeh, the
real estate market in Qatar is
quite stable whether regarding the rental rates or the
prospects for investors, as
the demand is ever growing
due to the economic boom
in the country.
“We strongly believe
Fadi Barakeh
in the potentials of Qatar
economy and that is why we
are undertaking such great
projects. Further, the turnout at the pavilion was considerably high as we used to
receive some 500 visitors a
day with almost 50% of the
units of the project has been
reserved by both Qataris and
expatriates,” said Brakeh.
Barakeh was of the view
that unauthorised brokers in
the real estate market could
harm the interests of both the
owners and tenants as they
manipulate the prices to get
the maximum profit for themselves. He also felt that the
partition of villas to accommodate more tenants should
not be an option as it involves
hazards and unplanned burden on the public services.
“There are more options
for tenants, they can now
go to real estate companies
and get a proper apartment
that suits their budget. May
be there is a need for more
apartment buildings in the
country but the options are
plenty for tenants,” he said.
Al Asmakh offers integrated services such as Al Asmakh’s comprehensive international escrow services that
are aimed at further enhancing the process of real estate
registration in Qatar, as well
as provide transactions in a
safe and secure manner.
Additionally, the company’s property management services cover a wide
spectrum of areas that cover
the needs of landlords, residents and owners for dayto-day dealings.
“As for Al Asmakh’s Facilities Management segment,
it provides solutions for residential, commercial and industrial properties, covering
all aspects of professional
property management services including operations,
maintenance and management procedures and systems,” Barakeh added.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Religious leaders condemn violence by militants
enior Muslim, Christian
and Jewish leaders condemned violence by militants such as Islamic State (IS) at
a Saudi-backed conference yesterday in a rare display of inter-
faith unity aimed at promoting
tolerance and diversity.
“Together we repudiate all exploitation of religion in political
conflict and the usurpation of
religious symbols by extremists
used as a means for segregation
and a cause for injustice and oppression,” the leaders said in a
joint declaration.
“We explicitly and completely
condemn the serious violation of
human rights in Iraq and Syria,”
said the clerics.
“Some organisations that are
affiliated with Islam are perpetrating some actions in the
name of jihad. This is not Islam
at all,” said Abdullah bin Abdulmuhsen al-Turki, secretary
general of the Muslim World
“This is why we wish to deplore and strongly condemn
this behaviour, which we see as
against Islam,” he told an audience including the grand muftis
of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan,
top representatives of several
churches, Rabbi David Rosen of
the American Jewish Committee, and diplomats.
Nizar bin Obaid Madani, Saudi minister of state for foreign
affairs, decried the emergence
of factions in the Middle East
“that use terrorism and violence
in the name of religion. They are
wreaking havoc. They are killing
and destroying everything”.
“Those who have embraced
terrorism unfortunately attribute everything they do, every
oppression they practise, to Islam. Islam has nothing to do
with them,” he said.
The conference called for
countering the messages of
militants on social media used
to lure recruits, and for leader-
ship courses in schools, houses
of worship and the broader community to spread the principles
of diversity and tolerance.
The conference was organised
by the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for
Interreligious and Intercultural
Dialogue (KAICIID), which is
sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
Rohani has
lot at stake
in push to
reach deal
he Iranians conducting nuclear talks with
world powers seem loath
to use the word “compromise”,
but with much to lose President
Hassan Rohani may yet be pushing for a last-minute deal.
Negotiations to reach a final
agreement on Iran’s disputed
atomic programme—culminating this week in Vienna ahead of
a November 24 deadline—have
divided the Islamic Republic.
On one side stand hardline
conservatives opposed to giving almost any ground to hated
Western governments.
On the other is Rohani, who
put his credibility on the line and
raised hopes of an end to isolation—and the possibility of conflict—by officially restarting the
nuclear talks in 2013.
Standing in the middle is
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, who will have the
final word on any agreement, and
whom Rohani must convince of
the merits of doing a deal.
Of all the powerbrokers in
generals, business leaders and
academics all have influence—
Rohani has the most at stake if
Khamenei does not ultimately
back him.
“If these talks turn out to be
a failure, or are seen as such, Mr
Rohani will be in a very difficult
position,” said Davoud Hermidas-Bavand, a Tehran-based
analyst and veteran watcher of
Iran’s political scene.
“The die-hard groups who
threaten the atmosphere of cooperation will say Mr Rohani
failed to do anything and it will
be hard for him to tell the public
that he has kept his promises,” he
Away from the nuclear negotiating table, Rohani’s plans to
introduce more moderate domestic policies are under attack,
as are his ministers—one has already been impeached and dismissed by parliament.
On Tuesday, lawmakers for
the second time refused to approve a replacement.
So it is especially important
Saudi beheads
killer who wore
women’s clothes
Saudi Arabia executed
yesterday a man who
donned women’s clothing
in a bid to escape after
shooting dead a soldier and
police officer, state media
Salih bin Yateem bin Salih
al-Qarni was beheaded in
the southwestern city of
Abha, the official Saudi Press
Agency said.
Qarni was initially arrested
on other charges and was
transported in an official
vehicle by the soldier and
a member of the Muttawa
religious police.
“He shot them with a gun
that he was carrying,” SPA
said, without explaining how
he obtained the weapon.
After stealing the keys
from the security officer
driving the vehicle, Qarni
chewed some narcotic qat
“and disguised himself in
women’s clothing” in an
attempt to flee, but was
recaptured, it said.
The report did not say when
the escape bid occurred.
for Rohani to win a nod from
Khamenei for a deal, or even just
on a framework for an extension.
The leader’s towering influence would silence those critical
of Rohani and Iran’s negotiators,
led by Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif.
Without such an endorsement, both Rohani and Zarif
could begin to look like lame
ducks, said Siavush RandjbarDaemi, a lecturer on Iran and the
Middle East at Britain’s Manchester University.
“A breakdown in the talks will
weaken Rohani and possibly
cause the end of Zarif’s tenure
as foreign minister,” RandjbarDaemi said.
The big question is whether
Rohani can balance his desire for
a deal with Iran’s need to save
face and preserve its nuclear
Talks between Iran and
the P5+1 powers (UN Security Council members Britain,
China, France, Russia and the
United States plus Germany)
have been taking place in a better
atmosphere than in the past but
momentum has stalled lately.
And Tehran’s price for reaching an agreement has been
steadily ticking up.
On July 7 - just 13 days before
an original deadline for a final
deal - Khamenei laid down new
conditions, stating Iran would
eventually require a uranium
enrichment capacity almost 20
times greater than at present.
The West had wanted a reduction and that deadline was
In the past month Iran again
raised the stakes, demanding a
total immediate lifting of sanctions imposed by the United
States, the UN Security Council and the European Union—a
condition seen as inflated and
While this may be a negotiating ploy, Zarif’s team could lose
out if there is no compromise,
said Randjbar-Daemi.
“I believe this is the message
the Iranians will deliver privately
and discreetly in Vienna—that
of a possibly very different team
showing up, if and when talks
resume after the current round
breaks down,” he said.
A cyclist passes Coburg Palace, the venue of talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme in Vienna yesterday.
Britain ‘not optimistic’
on Iran nuclear talks
British Foreign Secretary
Philip Hammond says
he is not optimistic that
world powers and Iran will
clinch a full nuclear deal by
November 24
ritain expressed doubts yesterday that a nuclear deal
could be reached with Iran
by a looming deadline, as Tehran
and six world powers haggled in a
final round of talks in Vienna.
British Foreign Secretary Philip
Hammond, speaking in Latvia,
indicated the most to be hoped
for was enough progress to justify
putting yet more time on the clock
beyond Monday’s cut-off point to
get a deal.
“I am not optimistic that
we can get everything done
by Monday,” he said.
“But I think if we make some
significant movement, we may be
able to find a way of extending the
deadline to allow us to get to the
final deal, if we are making good
progress in the right direction.”
He added: “There will need
to be some considerable further
flexibility shown by the Iranian
negotiators over the next four or
five days if we are going to get to
that deal.”
Iran and the five permanent
members of the UN Security
Council plus Germany been negotiating since February to turn an
interim accord with Iran reached a
year ago into a lasting agreement
before November 24.
Such a deal is aimed at easing
fears that Tehran might develop
nuclear weapons under the guise
of its civilian activities—an ambition it denies.
It could resolve a 12-year stand-
off, silence talk of war, help normalise Iran’s relations with the
West and mark a rare foreign policy success for US President Barack
Some areas appear provisionally settled, such as the future of the
Arak nuclear reactor and tighter
UN inspections to better detect
any attempt to build a bomb.
But two key issues remain:
enrichment—rendering uranium suitable for peaceful
uses but also, at high purities, for
a weapon—and the pace at which
sanctions on Iran would be lifted
under a deal.
Iran wants to massively ramp
up the number of enrichment
centrifuges—in order, it says, to
make fuel for a fleet of future reactors—while the West wants them
dramatically reduced, reportedly
by half.
The six powers say Iran has
no such need in the foreseeable
future. Russia is contracted until 2021 to fuel Iran’s only power
reactor at Bushehr and last week
signed a deal to build—and fuel—
several others.
In exchange for any reduction
in its activities, Iran wants sanctions lifted. Bur the powers want
to stagger any suspension to be
sure that Iran won’t renege on its
“They want everything all at
once and this is not realistic,” one
Western diplomat involved in the
talks said, calling Tehran’s demands “unrealistic”.
US Secretary of State John
Kerry and other foreign ministers
from the six powers were expected
to fly into Vienna later in the week.
But Kerry was still in London
yesterday and was not expected
in the Austrian capital until this
afternoon at the earliest following
a trip to Paris to meet the French
and Saudi foreign ministers.
Bahrain court releases
activist awaiting trial
Britain’s Prince Harry performs with a sword and shield during a visit to the historic city of Nizwa, west of Muscat yesterday.
And Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov, whose country is
a crucial player in the talks, will
only attend if there is sufficient
progress, Moscow’s lead negotiator Sergei Ryabkov told Russian
“Right now a lot depends on
Kerry’s visit. Reaching a deal depends on the willingness and
ability of the United States to lift
sanctions” on Iran, RIA Novosti
quoted a Russian source as saying.
Upping the ante, Iran’s Foreign
Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif,
who has been in Vienna since
Tuesday, said a deal was “possible” but only if the six powers did
not ask for too much.
That view was echoed yesterday by President Hassan Rohani.
“If the other side shows the political will to reach an accord and
doesn’t make excessive demands,
a deal could be done,” he said on
his website.
ahraini authorities released
Zainab al-Khawaja from
detention yesterday, her lawyer
and sister said, as she awaits trial
over a charge of insulting Bahrain’s king by tearing up his picture.
Zainab, daughter of jailed activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, fell
foul of the judge last month during an appeal hearing into two
cases involving her that date back
to 2012, her lawyer Mohamed alWasati said at the time.
On his Twitter account yesterday, Wasati said that Zainab had
been released based on a decision by the court. Zainab’s sister,
Maryam, also said on her Twitter
account that her sister was freed.
Zainab still has to face trial next
Bahraini officials were not im-
mediately available for comment.
Zainab, who is pregnant and
lives in Bahrain, was an activist
during 2011 pro-democracy protests, where she became known
for publishing news of the uprising on social media.
Earlier this year, the king approved a law imposing a jail sentence of up to seven years and a
fine of up to 10,000 dinars for
anyone who publicly insulted
Zainab’s younger sister, Maryam, who is acting head of the
Bahrain Centre for Human
Rights, was briefly detained earlier this year upon returning from
Europe. She has been freed on
bail pending trial on charges of
entering the country illegally,
assaulting a policewoman at the
airport and insulting King Hamad.
Bahrain has been in turmoil
since the 2011 Arab uprisings,
when mass protests led by Shias
erupted in Manama.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
A woman looks at pigeons for sale at a poultry
market in Cairo yesterday.
Egypt reports second
bird flu death in 2 days
10 civilians killed
in Sinai fighting
UN announces 12-hour
ceasefire in Benghazi
Erdogan in Algeria
to boost trade ties
A woman has died of bird flu in southern Egypt, a
health official said yesterday, the country’s second
death from the H5N1 strain of the virus in two days.
H5NI is one of several deadly or potentially deadly
strains of bird flu that are closely monitored by the
World Health Organisation. The woman died late
on Tuesday after she was admitted to hospital
in the southern province of Minya in a critical
condition, health ministry spokesman Hossam
Abdel Ghafar told AFP. Another woman died of
bird flu in nearby Assiut province on Sunday. So
far this year, Egypt has reported a total of seven
cases of H5N1 infection, three of which have
been fatal.
Ten civilians were killed overnight during fighting
between the army and Islamist militants near
Egypt’s border with Gaza, where the military has
launched a crackdown in recent weeks, security
and medical sources said yesterday. At least three
of the casualties were children and three were
women, the medical sources said. The victims
were killed in their home by two mortar shells fired
by militants during a night-time curfew, security
sources said. Egypt is creating a 1km-deep buffer
strip along the border with Gaza by clearing
houses and trees and destroying subterranean
tunnels it says are used to smuggle arms from the
Palestinian enclave to militants in Sinai.
The United Nations said pro-government forces
and Islamist militias fighting for control of
Libya’s second city Benghazi agreed to a 12-hour
humanitarian truce yesterday. The UN-brokered
ceasefire was the first in Benghazi since the launch
of a government-backed offensive to recapture
the eastern city from Islamists a month ago. But
there were signs that the truce was not being fully
respected, according to an AFP reporter who heard
heavy weapons fire in the city, although its origin
was unknown. The move was aimed at enabling
the evacuation of civilians, the retrieval of bodies,
the removal of sewage and the restocking of food
and medical supplies, the UN mission in Libya said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a
delegation of cabinet ministers and business
people arrived in Algeria yesterday for a visit
aimed at improving commercial ties, Algiers
said. The trip is part of Ankara’s efforts to shift its
international focus to the Arab and Islamic world
in light of the delay in its bid to join the European
Union, the Algerian trade ministry said. During
the two-day visit a forum of business people will
take place. Algeria is Turkey’s principal trading
partner in Africa, and the two countries signed a
friendship and co-operation treaty in 2006. They
also have a contract under which Algeria sells
gas to Turkey as its fourth-largest supplier.
Second man
from France
in IS slaying
video named
rance yesterday identified a second national who
appeared unmasked in a
grisly Islamic State execution
video, after French jets in Iraq
pummelled trenches used by the
fighters in a fresh round of air
French Defence Minister JeanYves Le Drian announced that six
Mirage fighter jets would be sent
to Jordan in December to boost air
forces in their campaign against
the militants.
Currently France is using nine
Rafale jets based in the United
Arab Emirates as part of a US-led
international campaign to provide
air support to Iraqi and Kurdish
forces fighting the Islamic State
The regional governor of the
Kurdish capital Arbil, Nozad Hadi,
blamed IS militants for a suicide
car bombing which left four dead
On Tuesday night French jets
targeted IS trenches around the
northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Le
Drian said.
While France planned to step
up its campaign abroad, at home
it reeled from the news that two
of its nationals appeared in an IS
video featuring the execution of 18
Syrian prisoners and US aid worker Peter Kassig.
IS has carried out widespread
atrocities since seizing control of
large parts of Iraq and Syria, executing five Western hostages and
hundreds of locals.
Several of the militants appeared unmasked in the latest execution video and one foreigner,
22-year-old Maxime Hauchard
from Normandy in northern
France, was quickly identified by
French prosecutors.
He is one of several young
French nationals from a middleclass, atheist or Catholic background to have converted to
radical Islam and gone to fight in
Syria, making a profile of potential
militants nearly impossible to pin
down, experts say.
French prosecutors yesterday
said there was “precise and consistent evidence” that a second
national in the video was 22-yearold Mickael Dos Santos from an
eastern Paris suburb, who goes by
the name Abu Othman.
Dos Santos, of Portuguese
origin but born in the French riverside town of Champigny-surMarne, is believed to have left for
Syria in the autumn of 2013.
French intelligence was made
aware of him after he published
an online video in October calling
for “all brothers living in France”
to “kill any civilian” in retaliation
for air strikes carried out by Paris
against IS in Iraq.
“The man concerned is known
for his terrorist involvement in
Syria and his violent behaviour
shown on social networks,” Prime
Minister Manuel Valls said, without confirming his identity.
French authorities estimate
around 1,000 nationals have taken
part in the conflict, with 375 currently in the country.
Valls said “close to 50” French
people had been killed in Iraq and
“So we know the dangers and,
sadly, we are not surprised to learn
that French citizens or residents
of France are found at the heart of
these cells and taking part in this
barbarity,” he added.
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
nicknamed “Jihadi John” has
been at the centre of previous IS
beheading videos and appeared
again in Sunday’s recording.
Other known foreign fighters
are believed to have appeared in
the video, including an Australian
and a Dane.
A Belgian newspaper reported
that one of the men featured in
the video looked like Abdelmajid
Gharmaoui, who is currently on
trial in his absence in Belgium for
membership of a militant group.
French President Francois Hollande, on a visit to Australia, said
the issue of foreign fighters and
how they were being “brainwashed” was a major concern.
Nibras, sister of Abdelrahman Shaludi, a Palestinian who killed two Israelis with his car last month, displays his portrait inside his family home in East Jerusalem’s Silwan
neighbourhood after it was razed by Israeli authorities yesterday.
East Jerusalem home
is razed in crackdown
The demolition comes
after Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu vowed
a harsh response to a deadly
attack on a Jerusalem
srael yesterday demolished
the home of a Palestinian
behind a deadly car attack in
Jerusalem, pushing ahead with
a promised crackdown following a bloody assault on a synagogue.
Four rabbis and a policeman
were killed on Tuesday after
two Palestinians wielding meat
cleavers and a pistol launched a
rare assault on a place of worship.
Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has vowed a harsh response to the synagogue assault,
which was the bloodiest attack in
Jerusalem in years.
“I have ordered the destruction of the homes of the Palestinians who carried out this
massacre and to speed up the
demolitions of those who carried
out previous attacks,” Netanyahu
said late Tuesday.
Hours later Israeli forces razed
the East Jerusalem apartment of
the family of Abdelrahman Shaludi, who rammed his car into a
crowd of pedestrians on October
22, killing a young woman and a
Shaludi was shot by police as
he fled the scene and later died of
his wounds.
Israel is struggling to contain
a wave of unrest in annexed Arab
East Jerusalem that has seen a
growing number of deadly attacks by Palestinians.
Israel has used punitive house
demolitions for years in the West
Bank but the policy was halted in
2005 after the army said it had no
proven deterrent effect and was
likely to encourage violence.
Until now, razing homes has
never been adopted as a matter of
policy in East Jerusalem.
The family home in the densely
populated neighbourhood of Silwan was little more than a shell
after the demolition, its inner and
outer walls blown out and piles of
rubble covering the floor.
The family had moved out
ahead of the demolition and were
staying with relatives.
“Where can we go now? We
have nowhere to live, no home,”
said Shaludi’s sister Nibras, a
young teenager in a bright pink
flowered headscarf.
Israel’s decision to resume
demolitions was taken on November 6 after a second car attack by a Palestinian that killed
two Israelis.
An official said the aim was “to
restore calm in Jerusalem” following a wave of attacks.
Human rights groups have denounced the practice as collective punishment targeting not the
perpetrators but their families.
And the US State Department
warned last week that demolishing homes would be “counterproductive” and would “exacerbate an already tense situation”
in Jerusalem.
Israeli commentators too acknowledged a dispute over the
effectiveness of the measure.
“The Shin Bet (internal security service) contends that it
deters, the army contends that it
does not and that it could even
have the opposite effect—it sows
the seeds for the next terror attack,” wrote Nahum Barnea in
Yediot Aharonot newspaper.
“But all that is irrelevant, because the government... feels
that it must show the public that
it is punishing the other side.”
Aside from the homes of the
two Palestinians behind the
synagogue attack, three more
East Jerusalem apartments are
earmarked for demolition in connection with a spate of attacks in
the past three months.
The latest wave of violence
comes amid heightened tensions
in the Holy City, fanned by Palestinian anger over right-wing Jews
pressing to overturn a long-standing ban on their praying at the
compound that houses the Al Aqsa
mosque and Dome of the Rock.
Israel approves 78 new settler homes
Israel yesterday approved
the construction of 78 new
homes in two settlements on
West Bank land annexed to
Jerusalem, likely to aggravate
Palestinian anger at a time
when violence has flared.
Jerusalem’s municipal
planning committee
authorised 50 new housing
units in Har Homa and
28 in Ramot, a municipal
spokeswoman said. Israel
describes those two urban
settlements as Jerusalem
Nabil Abu Rudeina, a
spokesman for Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said
of the announcement: “These
decisions are a continuation of
the Israeli government’s policy
to cause more tension, push
towards further escalation and
waste any chance to create an
atmosphere for calm.”
A taste of home for war-weary Syrians in Beirut
ot long ago chef Abu Wassim saw himself as king of
the shawarma in Damascus with students, businessmen
and even actors queueing outside
his stand for a bite of his succulent
Today, he is a refugee in Beirut trying to make ends meet and
bringing a taste of home to fellow Syrians who sought safety in
“In Damascus, I used to sell
3,000 beef or chicken shawarma
sandwiches a day,” the 48-yearold said wistfully while serving
customers at his small restaurant
in Beirut’s bustling Hamra district.
“Here, I barely sell 250 but at
least I am eking out a living,” he
While in Syria he made a 50%
profit on each sandwich, in Beirut
he scrapes 15%.
“Every day, I give away 40
wraps to the poor,” he added.
“When a poor Syrian woman with
three kids comes begging for help
I can’t turn away.”
His story is by no means unique
in Lebanon where a number of
Syrian restaurants and eateries
have sprung up.
On the menu are Aleppo’s
famed cherry kebab, hindi kebab
with tomato sauce and pomegranate molasses or a spicy red pepper
dip known as mohammara—all
aimed at winning over Lebanese
taste buds or offering home comforts to Syrian exiles.
With more than 1.1mn Syrian
refugees, Lebanon has the most
refugees per capita in the world,
and the influx has created some
resentment in a country of 4mn
already facing economic and political challenges.
Mindful of the strain on his host
country, Abu Wassim said he buys
all his ingredients in Lebanon and
several of his employees are Lebanese.
“I buy everything locally: the
chicken, the meat, the spices,” he
In the same district of Hamra,
A Syrian musician plays the oud as clients eat Aleppan food at a Syrian restaurant in Beirut.
another restaurant offers famed
delicacies from Aleppo.
Beit Halab, or Aleppo House,
has become a sort of haven for
those forced to flee Syria’s second
city who come here to soak up the
scents and aromas of home.
“It reminds me of Aleppo. I
even meet people from Aleppo
here whom I had not seen for
a very long time,” said Aisha, a
blue-eyed 20-year-old wearing
a white headscarf who fled to
Beirut from Syria’s former economic hub.
Beit Halab manager Mosaab
Hadiri, who fled Aleppo seven
months ago, can barely hold
back the tears while looking
at the pictures of his city that
hang on the restaurant walls.
“In Aleppo, restaurants would
stay open until 4am. It breaks my
heart to watch the news,” he said.
But the mere sight of the dishes
served at Beit Halab makes Hadiri’s eyes light up.
Mouth-watering kebabs are on
display here, including the Aleppo
variant, served with salt and black
pepper, as well as cherries.
There is also the kheshkhash
kebab served with red pepper and pine nuts as well as
several types of kibbeh, a
traditional meat and spice
dumpling made with bulgur.
One variant is cooked in yogurt, another is stuffed with
Here too, chefs have gone out of
their way to adapt.
“In order to penetrate the Leba-
nese market, you have to offer
something special, and the cuisine
of Aleppo is definitely unique,”
said Hadiri.
“But we have also adapted to
local tastes, and we use less fat
here,” he chuckled.
Like fellow restaurateurs, he
has had to juggle with a steep increase in labour cost. In Syria he
paid employees $10 a day, while in
Lebanon it is $30.
In east Beirut, the upscale Bab
Sharqi restaurant attracts Lebanese clients on the lookout for
new flavours.
The popularity of cuisine
from Aleppo and Damascus
means that even Lebanese
restaurants are hiring Syrian
chefs, while local butchers have
started to offer specialities
from the war-torn country.
But in spite of the success, Hadiri has only one wish—to return
to Aleppo.
“We cannot forget our roots,” he
said. “The secret to our cuisine lies
in the flavour, the mix of spices.
“And nothing can replace the
taste of home.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
12 children dead after
hippo attack on boat
Soldiers return to barracks
after protests over pay
Ruling party ‘playing
politics with Boko Haram’
‘Military plane was aircraft
above stricken building’
More than 1.5mn flee
Nigeria violence: UN
Twelve children and a villager have been
confirmed dead after a hippopotamus attacked
a boat near the Niger capital Niamey earlier this
week, officials said yesterday. The students, aged
12 to 13, died when their boat transporting them
across the Niger River was flipped by a hippo
on Monday. A number of students in the West
African nation take such boats to attend school
on the other side of the river. “Ultimately it was
12 students, including seven girls and five boys,
who died after the attack,” Aichatou Oumani,
minister of secondary education, told state
television. A villager on the same boat was also
killed, according to an official.
Ivory Coast soldiers returned to their barracks
yesterday after protests over a pay dispute in
several cities that saw them storm a TV station
and set up barricades, soldiers and residents
said. The west African nation’s defence and
interior ministers promised measures aimed at
meeting the soldiers’ demands, and talks were
set for later between government officials and
military representatives. Tuesday’s protests
sparked deep concern in the world’s largest
cocoa exporter three years after the end of a
long crisis that for a period split the country
in two. “Calm has returned in the barracks and
throughout the country,” a military officer said.
Nigeria’s main opposition party yesterday
accused the government of playing politics with
Boko Haram, as it held its first major election
rally. “The PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) is
sacrificing our brothers, of our sisters, of our
children for very selfish political ends,” said the
All Progressives Congress national chairman,
John Oyegun. Oyegun questioned why the
military—West Africa’s largest—had failed to
stop the Islamist insurgency and claimed it
was because the three worst-affected states
were all APC strongholds. “They (the PDP) have
allowed the insurgents to take over substantially
controlled APC states,” he told the rally.
A mysterious aircraft that a popular Nigerian
preacher linked to the collapse of a guesthouse
at his Lagos megachurch was an air force plane,
a coroner’s inquest was told yesterday. TB
Joshua and officials at his Synagogue Church of
All Nations (SCOAN) have suggested the plane,
which they claimed was “hovering” above the
building, may have caused the tragedy. A total
of 116 people were killed in the September
12 collapse, 81 of them South Africans. Police
investigator Superintendent Olusola Agoi said
enquiries, had shown that the aircraft was a
military plane. “We have found out that the
aircraft belongs to the NAF (Nigerian Air Force).”
Growing violence by Islamist extremists has
forced more than 1.5mn Nigerians to flee
their homes and is deepening an already dire
humanitarian situation in Nigeria, the UN
warned yesterday. “Nigeria is without question
of enormous concern,” said Robert Piper, who
coordinates the UN’s humanitarian work in the
Sahel region. He said the violence wreaked
by the Islamist militants of Boko Haram was
“generating more and more suffering, it is
generating more and more displacement”.
Nigeria has in the past six months alone seen the
number of people displaced inside the country
soar from 600,000 to around 1.5mn, he said,
Close aide
of former
dictator is
Burkina PM
Young learners
Schoolchildren hold black boards at a primary school in Bouake, central Ivory Coast.
Weapons recovered in
Kenya mosque raids
The raids on mosques are extremely
enyan security forces yesterday
carried out fresh raids on mosques
in the port city of Mombasa searching for weapons and supporters of Somalia’s Shebaab militants, police said.
Grenades, ammunition and petrol
bombs were seized in raids on the Swafaa
and Minaa mosques, taking the total to
four mosques searched since Monday in
the tense city, officers said.
Local police chief Richard Ngatia said
110 people were arrested, adding to more
than 250 arrested on Monday.
“There was obviously a lot more than just
prayers and sermons taking place,” he said.
Security forces cordoned off streets
around the mosque and soldiers patrolled
the Kisuani district of the city, east Africa’s main port, an AFP reporter said.
The action comes just two days after police raided and closed the Musa and Sakina
mosques in the same city in a search for
weapons and radical supporters of the Al
Qaeda affiliated Shebaab.
One person was shot dead as they tried
to throw a grenade at police on Monday.
Police seized hand grenades and a pistol, and arrested more than 250 people.
Black Islamist flags, such as those flown by
the Shebaab, were also found.
Four people were stabbed to death in
apparent revenge attacks on Monday, with
gangs taking to the streets beating some
and knifing others.
“I want to make it clear that houses of
worship cannot and shall not be taken over
by criminals or used for criminal activities, including terrorism,” interior minister Joseph Ole Lenku said in a statement
late Tuesday.
The raids have raised tensions in a city
already hit by a string of bombings and
Thirteen of those arrested on Monday
have been charged with possession of explosive materials and pleaded not guilty.
Others held in the mass arrests were still
being questioned.
“I want to assure Kenyans that this
process will separate those with criminal
intent from the innocent Kenyans who will
be released immediately,” Lenku added.
Hussein Khalid, from the Mombasabased civil society group HAKI Africa,
warned yesterday that “forceful and violent strategies only act to heighten tension
in what already is a volatile situation”.
While accepting that grenades had been
found, he also said police had a “reputation” among some Kenyans of planting
evidence - claims the security forces have
repeatedly denied.
Police refusal to take off their shoes
while entering mosques had angered
many, he added.
“It is very disturbing to note that the
police are making it their modus operandi
to raid places of worship and violate the
fundamental rights and freedoms of worshippers,” he said.
Western nations have warned their nationals to avoid all but essential travel to
Mombasa, a key transport hub as well as an
important tourist centre for the country’s
Indian Ocean coastline.
Kenya has suffered a series of attacks
since invading Somalia in 2011 to attack
the Shebaab, later joining an African Union force battling the Islamists.
The Shebaab carried out the September
2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall, killing at least 67 people as a
warning to Kenya to pull its troops out of
southern Somalia.
Several Islamic preachers have been
shot dead in Mombasa in recent years in
alleged extra-judicial killings by security
forces and power struggles between rival
Muslim factions. Churches have also been
“These operations have started and will
go on until all places of worship especially
mosques in Mombasa are set free from
terrorist and criminal elements,” Robert
Kitur, Mombasa county police commander, said.
“We have been gathering intelligence
for a long period, and it was time to act.”
Police have arrested 376 people so far
during the raids, which started on Sunday,
but 91 were subsequently released for lack
of evidence. Prosecutors said 158 would be
charged with being members of Al Shebaab. Police said they were still considering what to do with the other detainees.
urkina Faso’s transitional government named
Isaac Zida as prime minister
yesterday, four days after he
restored the country’s constitution under pressure from the
African Union and the West.
Zida declared himself head
of state on November 1 after
mass protests toppled president Blaise Compaore who
then fled the West African
country. The African Union
gave Zida two weeks to restore
civilian rule or face economic
As prime minister, Zida, a
large, bespectacled man with
a trademark red beret, will
help Burkina Faso’s newly appointed interim president,
Michel Kafando, to appoint a
25-member government that
will steer the country to new
elections in 2015.
Neither Kafando, a former
foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations,
nor Zida will be allowed to take
part in next year’s presidential
Compaore triggered the
protests against his rule last
month when he tried to change
the constitution and extend
his 27-year grip on power.
Compaore was a regional
power broker and a key Western ally against Islamist militants. France has a special
forces unit based in Burkina
Faso as part of a regional counter-terrorism operation. The
country has long been one of
Africa’s cotton producers and
is now also mining gold.
Isaac Zida is a career soldier
who emerged from the shadows following Blaise Compaore’s ouster.
“We’re not here to steal ...
power,” Lieutenant Colonel
Zida said three weeks ago as he
pledged a quick civilian transition after the military power
grab that followed an uprising
against Compaore.
On Tuesday the former
second-in-command of the
presidential guard held his
word, when former diplomat
turned farmer Michel Kafando
was sworn in as Burkina Faso’s
interim president.
But barely 24 hours later, Zida’s appointment as Kafando’s
head of government—agreed
between politicians and army
leaders, according to a senior officer—ensured the army
keeps its hand firmly on the
wheels of power in the months
The last three weeks tend to
point to Zida as a man determined to shape the future of
the poor landlocked nation of
17mn. He notably suspended
local and regional councils and
sacked two heads of state utilities for alleged sabotage.
Neither Kafando nor Zida
will be allowed to take
part in elections
A well-built 49-year-old
Protestant with a moustache and
frameless glasses, Zida up until
now was a career soldier who had
remained in the shadows.
But after Compaore fled, the
popular officer won the backing of the military to beat army
chief Nabere Honore Traore
to the top job, with his former
boss considered too close to
the deposed leader.
“He’s a bon vivant who
wouldn’t hesitate to swap his
fatigues for a suit to go around
the discos of Ouagadougou,” a
source close to him said.
Others describe him as
steady, serious and reliable. He
was one of the few presidential
guards spared by mutineers
who launched a failed coup in
2011 against Compaore, a military source and a rights activist told AFP.
But some view him with
suspicion over his ties with
general Gilbert Diendere,
who was Compaore’s chief of
“He is part of the same
network as Diendere. Some
don’t trust him,” one security
source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
Zida hails from Yako, in the
centre-north province of Passore, and was trained at the
Commando Training Centre
of Po—in the south of the west
African country, according to
one of his aides.
He also received further
military training in Morocco
and Cameroon and has a masters in international management from Jean Moulin university in Lyon, France.
Zida served as a UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a year from
2008, a member of his team
told AFP, before travelling to
the US to undergo anti-terrorist training in Florida.
South Africa’s latest power struggle: unpaid bills
Soweto, South Africa
odwa Madiba has not paid an
electricity bill in 14 years and is
resolute she never will, holding
the ruling African National Congress
(ANC) to vague promises made in the
dying days of apartheid to provide free
electricity to all South Africans.
Such defiance is widespread in the
sprawling township of Soweto, crucible of the anti-apartheid struggle and
home to 1.5mn people who, between
them, owe state power utility Eskom
3.6bn rand ($327mn) in unpaid bills.
Although the sum is dwarfed by the
225bn rand revenue shortfall Eskom
says it faces over the next 4-5 years, it
is important symbolically as the utility
battles to raise money for new power
stations needed to keep the lights on in
Africa’s most advanced economy.
Eskom generates almost all the electricity in South Africa, and nearly half
that produced in the whole the sub-Saharan region. Prices are set by the energy regulator, but Eskom says it costs
more to produce than what South Africans pay for it.
Given Soweto’s history since the
1960s of militant activism—such as
burning barricades, school boycotts
and a systemic refusal to pay utility
bills—locals are unlikely ever to pay up,
setting a disturbing example for the
rest of the country.
Soweto owes more for electricity
than the rest of the country put togeth-
er, where arrears total just 2.6bn rand.
“If you remember, when this government entered they said ‘Free electricity
for all’. Tell me: what does that mean?”
asks Madiba, a 57-year-old community activist and member of the Soweto
Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC).
Founded to counter the government’s refusal to deliver free or affordable electricity, the group says Sowetans
continue to suffer from poverty and
joblessness that linger 20 years after
white rule ended.
“At that time people were fighting
apartheid, so they didn’t pay. Now,
they just don’t have money. Young, old
and middle aged, there are no jobs. People are depending on grants from their
granny,” Madiba says.
Under the ANC, millions of South
Africans have escaped poverty through
social welfare but the grants are weighing on government finances, especially
as the economy stalls and one in four
people remain without work.
“At that time people were fighting
apartheid, so they didn’t pay. Now,
they just don’t have money. Young,
old and middle aged, there are
no jobs. People are depending on
grants from their granny”
Eskom is in something of a vicious
cycle: without economic growth,
powered by electricity, there will not
be enough tax money for sustained
social spending and to invest in infrastructure, including power generation.
With Eskom in financial trouble, the
government says all South Africans
should do their bit, a message widely
rejected in Soweto, where the SECC
regularly reconnects—illegally—those
whose power has been cut off.
The utility says it has a plan to improve debt collection and get customers paying but declined to comment
on Soweto’s history of institutionalised delinquency.
Ten years ago it was forced to
write off 1.4bn rand in debts owed by
Sowetans, creating the impression for
residents that they can get away with
“That’s the bed Eskom made and they
are starting to sleep in it. I don’t know
what else you can actually do,” said
economist Chris Hart at Johannesburg
consultancy Investment Solutions.
“People need to be paying for those
services. It’s really as simple as that.”
Eskom’s bad debts rose to 1.1% of
revenue in 2013/14 from 0.82% the
previous year, suggesting its billing
plans have some way to go and emphasising the need for alternative
The government is injecting an extra 20bn rand into the utility, and may
convert a 60bn rand loan into equity,
but other funding options are narrowing fast. Moody’s cut Eskom’s credit
rating to junk two weeks ago.
“Eskom is not in a comfortable
space because the credit rating agencies are looking at this and seeing
there are multiple challenges at all
levels,” Hart said.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Podcast murder mystery ‘Serial’ hooks fans on Net
or 15 years, nobody outside Maryland cared much
about the murder of a
South Korean-born high school
teen, supposedly at the hands of
her ex-boyfriend, the son of Pakistani immigrants.
Now, it seems, everyone does.
The perplexing tale of Hae
Min Lee and Adnan Syed is at the
heart of “Serial,” an hour-long
weekly podcast that’s become an
unlikely global Internet phenomenon.
Fans speak of being “addicted”
and “obsessed” with the pro-
gramme. Those who caught the
bug early can’t wait for Thursdays, when fresh instalments
drop. Latecomers binge on past
It’s been downloaded more
than 5mn times from Apple’s
iTunes store, where it’s a Top 10
hit in the US, Canada, Britain,
Australia, India, South Africa and
It can also be heard on the
Between episodes, online
chatter rages on social media.
Reddit hosts an exhaustive “Serial” discussion board. Bloggers
speculate who’s telling the truth
- and who might not be.
“Serial” is a spin-off from
“This American Life,” a longrunning and hip US public radio
series that’s famous for quirky
topics and laid-back story-telling style.
Its runaway success - as a podcast, no less - has taken its creators by surprise.
“We kind of expected to be in
the sleepier realms of the podcast world,” senior producer Julie
Snyder told AFP on Tuesday in a
telephone interview from New
“We were hoping for good
numbers. But we were not at all
expecting so many people listening and writing about the show
and having a lot of interest about
the show,” she said.
“And it’s international. We
didn’t plan for that at all.”
“Serial” comes across as part
investigative journalism, part
police procedural, part soap opera, with a nod to the 19th century serialised novels of Charles
Dickens and Emile Zola.
Hae and Adnan - everyone in
“Serial” is called by their first
name by narrator and journalist
Sarah Koenig - are high school
sweethearts who keep their love
a secret from their conservative
immigrant families.
In the opening episodes, both
come across as bright all-American teenagers - popular, getting good grades, holding down
part-time jobs, looking forward
to prom night.
But when romance turns to
break-up, Adnan, overcome by
anger, strangles Hae and, with a
pal, buries her in a shallow grave,
where a passerby finds her three
weeks later.
At least, that’s the version that
prosecutors gave jurors at a sixweek trial that ended with Adnan getting a life sentence in a
Maryland penitentiary, where he
remains at the age of 32.
Koenig revisits the case in
forensic detail - interviewing
witnesses who sometimes contradict themselves, pursuing neglected leads, chatting regularly
by phone with the imprisoned
Adnan, who maintains he is innocent.
One “Serial” fan is Emily Best,
an indie film crowdfunding consultant, who binged-listened to
the first seven episodes while
driving non-stop across the entire state of Kansas.
When Thursday came around
with episode eight, she told AFP
by e-mail, “we were up early in
the morning like junkies looking
for a fix.”
In California, teacher Michael
Godsey revealed this week that
he is using “Serial” in lieu of
Shakespeare in his high school
English class this semester.
“In fact, it’s been more fun,
more engaging, and more condu-
cive to learning ... than anything
written by Shakespeare, Joyce,
or anybody else,” he wrote on his
blog. “By far.”
Unclear is whether “Serial”
might turn up fresh material that
would compel judicial authorities to reopen the case - and Snyder said that’s not the point of the
show, either.
“We’ve said from the beginning that we don’t know where
it’s going to end,” she added,
ahead of today’s release of episode nine.
“Serial” is likely to run for
about 12 episodes overall, but the
producer cautioned: “We don’t
know for sure, because we are
still doing the reporting.”
At least eight
dead after
massive US
The deadly storm may see
as much as another 3ft of
snowfall today, which could
prompt a federal disaster
New York
stranded motorists, cancelled flights and left at
least eight people dead in the
northeastern US, officials said
Areas east and southeast of
Buffalo, in northern New York
state, could receive a year’s accumulation of snow or even more
in just two days, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told reporters.
The deadly storm may see
as much as another 3ft (90cm)
of snowfall today, which could
prompt a federal disaster declaration, Poloncarz said.
US media reported two other deaths in the states of New
Hampshire and Michigan.
Temperatures will remain below normal from the Midwest to
the East Coast until the weekend, with all 50 states recording
below freezing temperatures on
Tuesday, the National Weather
Service said.
A state of emergency and travel
bans are in effect across Buffalo’s
Erie County and authorities ordered people to stay at home to
allow crews to clear roads, repair
power lines and provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable.
The National Guard was called
in to assist military Humvee vehicles after New York’s transportation department worked
through the night to rescue
stranded motorists and take people to shelters.
“Still trapped yo! Haven’t
really moved in 30
hours and we’ve been
on the bus for nearly 40
hours. Nutso. Never seen
anything like it”
“Many communities are still in
a very difficult, sometimes paralysed situation,” Poloncarz said.
Three of those who died
suffered heart attacks while
shoveling snow and another
person died while using a snowplough.
“We’ve had six deaths in the
area, five of which have been preventable,” said Erie county health
commissioner Gale Burstein,
urging residents to stay at home.
County spokesman Peter
Anderson said runways at Buf-
falo Niagara International Airport were open, but that “a lot
of flights” were being cancelled
because people cannot get to the
Dave Zaff, a meteorologist
from the National Weather Service, said areas east and southeast
of Buffalo city received upwards
of 5ft (1.5m) of snow.
“That is somewhat of an extreme event,” he said. “From a
forecast standpoint, it will be
“The impact alone when you
have hundreds of thousands of
people stranded, roads closed
everywhere, you start to get fatalities,” he said. “It becomes a
very memorable event that people will never forget.”
A women’s university basketball team was eventually rescued
after spending more than 24
hours trapped in a bus on a highway.
And New York-based rock
band Interpol was among those
trapped in the snowstorm outside Buffalo overnight, forcing
them to cancel a concert across
the Canadian border in Toronto.
“Still trapped yo! Haven’t really moved in 30 hours and we’ve
been on the bus for nearly 40
hours. Nutso. Never seen anything like it,” the band said on
A home and pick-up truck are covered in snow in a neighbourhood just south of Buffalo, following an overnight winter storm that dumped a
reported 5ft (1.5m) of lake-effect snow on the area yesterday.
A man shovels his way through nearly 5ft of snow in the Lakeview neighbourhood of Buffalo, New York yesterday.
Man charged over
NY subway death
New York
34-year-old man
has been arrested
and charged with
second degree murder for
allegedly pushing a man to
his death under a New York
subway train, police said
The incident took place
in the Bronx, where the
victim, 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.
Every year, dozens
of people are killed
by the subway in
New York through
accident or suicide
Police had released a
video of a suspect pushing
the 61-year-old man from
the platform on Sunday
just as a train arrived in the
station, shortly as his horrified wife watched helplessly.
The victim and his attacker did not appear to
know each other and had
not argued, witnesses said.
US media reported that
the homeless suspect,
Kevin Darden, has been
arrested on more than 30
He was due to appear
before a judge yesterday,
said a spokeswoman for
the Bronx district attorney.
Darden was arrested
on Tuesday outside his
mother’s home in the
Bronx. Police said he is
also suspected of assaulting a 51-year-old man on
a Manhattan subway platform on November 6.
Darden was also arrested on November 9 for allegedly stealing a tourist’s
wallet in Times Square,
The New York Post reported. But he was released after the witness left the US.
Every year, dozens of
people are killed by the subway in New York through
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.
Times Square lit up by
huge digital billboard
New York
ew York’s Times Square
was illuminated by the
world’s highest resolution video display screen of
its size as the monitor - nearly
as big as a football field - was
switched on Tuesday evening.
The first images broadcast
from the enormous screen included a digital film featuring
images of mountains, a bird,
skyscrapers and bursts of colour
accompanying a musical soundtrack.
“We experienced
tremendous pre-sale
interest, and the display is
sold out to one advertiser
through January 2015”
People look up at a giant new billboard that hangs below the Marriott Marquis when it is illuminated for the first
time in Times Square in New York City on Tuesday. The new screen stands eight storeys tall and is nearly as long
as a football field, spanning the entire block from 45th Street to 46th Street on Broadway.
The panel, located on the side
of a hotel, is intended for advertisements similar to those on
dozens of other screens lining the
bustling New York crossroads.
The new screen stands eight
storeys tall and is nearly as long
as a football field, spanning the
entire block from 45th Street to
46th Street on Broadway.
Hundreds of tourists braved
the frigid temperatures to see
the screen come to life, snapping
photos of the digital billboard
that spans the length of a city
But as “the highest resolution
LED video display in the world of
this size,” it will produce “deep,
rich black levels and unsurpassed
vertical viewing angles,” said
Clear Channel Spectacolor, which
sells advertising for the space.
The 24mn-pixel display measuring more than 25,000 sq
ft (2,320 sq m) - will feature digital art by Universal Everything
studio until Google takes over
with ads on Monday until the
new year.
“We experienced tremendous
pre-sale interest, and the display is sold out to one advertiser
through January 2015,” said Harry Coghlan, president of Clear
Channel Outdoor New York.
The giant screen is also connected to high-definition crowd
cameras to film spectators and
possibly broadcast them live.
The company did not disclose
the price of leasing the screen,
but the New York Times placed
the figure at more than $2.5mn
for four weeks.
Hundreds of thousands of
people - New Yorkers and tourists alike - walk through Times
Square each day.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
St. Louis area on edge ahead of grand jury report
Ferguson, Missouri
St. Louis suburb that
faced weeks of sometimes
violent protests following
August’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white
policeman remained on edge yesterday as it waited to learn if the
officer would face charges.
A grand jury has been meeting
for nearly three months, considering whether to indict Ferguson,
Missouri, police officer Darren
Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of
Michael Brown, an incident that
laid bare long-simmering racial
tensions in the mostly black city.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
on Tuesday named a panel of 16
commissioners to develop solutions to the deep-seated socioeconomic disparities in and
around Ferguson.
“This commission is not focused so much on changing
hearts as on changing behaviors
and we plan to do this by push-
ing through very aggressively
legislation to change the way law
enforcement acts,” said Reverend
Traci Blackmon, one of the newly
named members of the Ferguson
Nixon has declared a state of
emergency ahead of the grand
jury’s report, which officials said
would likely come this month and
that many expect to provoke another wave of protests.
Nixon has defended the emergency declaration, which some
called heavy-handed, particu-
larly given that protests in recent
days had been peaceful. The state
of emergency allows the National
Guard to deploy to the St. Louis
area. Officials said Guard members will not play a front-line role
in interacting with protesters.
“For him to put Missouri into
a state of emergency, to me it’s a
declaration of war on the protesters,” a local activist and rapper
who goes by the name T-Dubb-O
said on a media conference call
organised by activists. “We’ll be
treated as third-class citizens
again when this decision is released and they don’t like what
we are doing.”
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay
asked for 400 National Guard
troops to be deployed to his city,
to work in alternating 12-hour
shifts at 45 locations around the
city, St. Louis Public Radio reported.
“We will not try to disrupt,
minimise, or in any way impede
our constituents’ constitutionally protected right to assemble
and speak freely,” Slay wrote in a
letter to the city’s Board of Alderman, a copy of which the broadcaster posted online. “Our primary missions are to keep people
safe, protect property and safeguard constitutional rights.”
Troops have not been visible
on the streets of Ferguson since
Nixon declared a state of emergency.
St. Louis officials did not immediately respond to a request
for comment.
Officials said local police had
been through conflict de-escala-
tion training since August, after
being criticised for using tear gas
and rubber bullets on protesters who at times threw rocks and
gasoline bombs. Activist leaders
have also been training potential protesters in nonviolent civil
disobedience techniques.
There are conflicting accounts
of what preceded the Aug. 9
shooting of Brown, with some
witnesses contending he had
raised his hands in surrender and
others describing a struggled between the teen and Wilson.
Obama set
to announce
plan today
resident Barack Obama
is set today to outline a
controversial plan to relax US immigration policy and
grant relief from deportation to
as many as 5mn undocumented
immigrants in a go-it-alone
move that will deepen a partisan
divide with Republicans.
Sources close to the administration said the rollout would
include a televised speech by
Obama tonight laying out the
plan followed by a trip to Las Vegas tomorrow to build support.
Nevada is home to the highest
proportion of undocumented
immigrants in the country.
The White House declined to
comment on the specific timing
of the announcement but officials have made clear Obama
was planning to take executive
action soon. Some conservative
Republicans have threatened
to try to thwart the immigration move by imposing funding restrictions in a must-pass
spending bill, which could conceivably raise the possibility of a
government shutdown.
Frustrated by years of congressional inaction on what
most in Washington agree is a
broken immigration system,
Obama is planning to issue a
reprieve from deportation that
will cover some parents of US
citizens and legal permanent
That initiative would expand
on a 2012 executive order by the
president that gave relief from
deportation and work permits to
undocumented children brought
to the US by their parents.
There is also expected to be
a border security element and
Obama will act to help companies hire and retain high-skilled
workers from abroad, the sources said.
“We’ve identified a number
of ways that we will (fix the system) which the president will
speak to in the coming days,”
Homeland Security Secretary
Jeh Johnson said at a National
Press Club event yesterday.
Obama’s move, coming little more than two weeks after
elections in which Republicans
seized the Senate, is certain to
provoke a backlash and House
of Representatives Republicans are weighing a range of responses.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John
Boehner, said in a statement:
“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores
the American people and announces an amnesty plan that
he himself has said over and
over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement
his legacy of lawlessness and
ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue and
many others.”
Visas expansion for
foreign graduates in
technology industry
resident Barack Obama
will let more foreign
graduates of US colleges
with scientific and engineering
backgrounds temporarily work
in the country, partially addressing technology industry
leaders’ desire for more skilled
Obama will expand a programme that now allows foreign graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths
fields to work in the US for up
to 29 months, said a person familiar with the White House
The expansion is among executive actions Obama plans
to take as soon as today. Technology executives have focused their lobbying on raising
the number of longer-term visas for skilled workers, a provision that is included in immigration legislation stalled in
the House.
“Speak to anyone in Silicon
Valley, and they will tell you
there’s a talent shortage,” said
Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at the
Rock Center for Corporate
Governance at Stanford University in California. “Silicon
Valley is starved for talent.”
200,000 people are working
in the US under the temporary
Optional Training Programme
that Obama plans to expand,
according to Wadhwa. That
compares to about 750,000 on
the long-term H-1B visa programme that the legislation
stalled in Congress would increase.
The person familiar with
Obama’s plans declined to
provide details on the scale or
terms of the visa expansion in
the president latest plans.
Enlarging the temporary
programme “is not a solution,
it’s just another Band-Aid,”
Wadhwa said. “We’re creating
more of a mess with all of these
people who are in this limbo
Kim Berry, president of the
Programmers Guild, an activist
group that opposes laws that
allow tech companies to employ cheaper foreign workers,
said the expansion would hurt
job prospects of native-born
students receiving technical
Even new graduates from the
best schools have a tough time
finding jobs, since there are
only so many entry-level positions, Berry said.
Unlike the H-1B visa programme, companies aren’t required to pay prevailing industry wages to foreign workers
employed through the temporary training programme.
Democratic Congressman from Illinois Luis Gutierrez delivers remarks during a press conference in front of the White House in Washington, DC, yesterday.
Keystone XL pipeline
bill dies in US Senate
The US Senate has rejected
by a single vote a bill that
would have approved
construction of the
Keystone XL pipeline
bill to force approval of
the Keystone XL pipeline failed in the US
Senate on Tuesday, sparing
President Barack Obama from
an expected veto of legislation
that several fellow Democrats
The measure fell just short
of the 60 votes needed for
passage, despite frantic lastminute lobbying by supporters, especially Democratic
Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who faces a runoff election on Dec. 6. She has staked
her hopes of winning a fourth
Senate term on the Keystone
The tally was 59 to 41 on
TransCanada Corp’s $8bn
project, with all 45 Republicans supporting the bill.
Republican Senator Mitch
McConnell, who will become
Senate Majority Leader in January after his party made big
gains in this month’s midterm
elections, said after the vote
that consideration of a Key-
stone bill would be “very early
up” in the next congress.
Obama opposed the Keystone bill and wants the State
Department to finish its review
of the pipeline. He has said he
would not approve the pipeline
if it significantly raised greenhouse gas emissions.
If the bill had passed, Obama
was widely expected to veto it,
a power he has used only three
times during his six years in office. Obama raised new questions about the project during
a trip to Asia late last week,
saying it would not lower gas
prices for US drivers but would
allow Canada to “pump their
oil, send it through our land,
down to the Gulf, where it will
be sold everywhere else.”
Republican Senator John
Hoeven of North Dakota, who
co-sponsored the Keystone bill
with Landrieu, has pledged to
keep trying to force approval
of the project that the administration has kept under review
for more than six years.
Hoeven may introduce a new
bill in January or February, or
he could attach a Keystone
measure to a broader bill that
Obama would find difficult to
The Senate will have 63
“yes” votes for Keystone next
year and is “starting to coast”
to the 67 that would be needed
US Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) speaks after the vote on the
Keystone XL pipeline failed to pass the Senate on Capitol Hill in
Washington on Tuesday.
to overturn an Obama veto,
Hoeven predicted. “Getting to
that magic number is a possibility,” he said.
Despite the loss, Landrieu
was upbeat. “There’s no blame,
there’s only joy in the fight,”
she told reporters.
Construction workers, unions and energy companies
say the pipeline, which would
transport more than 800,000
barrels of oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska en route to the
Gulf of Mexico, would create
thousands of jobs.
But the project has galvanised environmentalists who
say developing Canada’s oil
sands would spike carbon
emissions linked to climate
change and that much of the
oil would be sold abroad.
Tom Steyer, thebnaire ex
hedge-fund manager who
raised millions of dollars to
environmentallyminded candidates in the midterm elections, said the Senate
“decided to stand on the right
side of history.”
The State Department has
delayed a final decision on
Keystone pending a legal decision in Nebraska over the pipeline’s route that is expected in
coming weeks. The department has said in previous reviews that Keystone would not
significantly boost greenhouse
gas emissions.
Tuesday vote was taken
hard in Canada where development of the oil sands is important to Alberta’s budget.
“We are disappointed that US
politics continue to delay a
decision on Keystone XL,” a
spokesman for Canada’s Natural Resources Minister said
via e-mail.
Russ Girling, the chief executive of TransCanada, said
his company will not give up:
“We will continue to push for
reason over gridlock, common
sense over symbolism and solid science over rhetoric to approve Keystone XL and unlock
its benefits.”
TransCanada, which has already built a pipeline from the
Gulf Coast that would connect
with Keystone XL in Nebraska,
says the new link would take
two years to complete once
approved. As oil prices have
fallen more than 25% since the
summer, the pipeline could
be an increasingly important
piece of the puzzle for development of the oil sands.
TransCanada shares closed
down 57 Canadian cents at
C$56 on the Toronto Stock
Exchange on Tuesday.
Netflix postpones Cosby special amid scandal
Los Angeles
planned Bill Cosby special on Netflix has been
postponed, the video
streaming service said late
Tuesday amid mounting claims
the respected US entertainer assaulted a string of women over
the years.
“At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand-
up comedy special Bill Cosby
77,” Netflix said in a statement.
People magazine said the Netflix special was supposed to be a
birthday celebration for Cosby,
in which he would share stories
from his childhood, first romantic relationships and parenthood.
But allegations of rape and
sexual abuse made against him
by several women in recent
weeks are tarnishing the public image of the urbane actor,
famous for his long TV career,
especially his role in the selftitled Cosby Show in the 1980s
and 1990s. Cosby’s silent shake
of the head on Saturday when
asked if he wanted to address the
allegations during an interview
on US National Public Radio
only intensified the attention
focused on him.
In one of the most recent
charges to be made public, a
woman claimed in an editorial
on Sunday that she was drugged
and raped by him in 1969.
In a statement on the veteran
comedian’s website, lawyer John
Schmitt said Cosby would make
no comment on the wave of
claims against him.
Cosby has been at the center of a storm since comedian
Hannibal Buress branded him a
“rapist” during a stand-up show
in Philadelphia last month.
A scheduled appearance by
Cosby on the Late Show with
David Letterman was cancelled
as the entertainer faced a barrage of accusations.
The Washington Post newspaper last week published a detailed account by actress Barbara Bowman of alleged abuse
she suffered at the hands of
Cosby when she was a starryeyed teenager in 1985.
A total of 13 women who made
similar accusations against
Cosby have also offered to testify against him, according to US
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Rebels say
22 recruits
dead in
army attack
thnic minority Kachin
rebels in the far north of
Myanmar said 22 of their
troops were killed in an army
heavy artillery attack yesterday, amid foundering efforts
to reach a nationwide peace
The barrage also injured
15 when it hit fighters at a
training camp near the rebel
stronghold town of Laiza, a
spokesman for group said, in
the largest attack in recent
months in a conflict that has
uprooted tens of thousands
of people and tempered optimism over political reforms.
“It’s the biggest loss for us in
a single attack, compared with
the fighting in recent years,”
said La Nan, of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Myanmar’s quasi-civilian
government has said negotiating a historic nationwide
ceasefire is a central pillar of
reforms that have seen the
country open to the world
since the end of outright
military rule in 2011.
But talks to end the country’s multiple conflicts in ethnic minority border areas have
so far ended in frustration.
The government has inked
ceasefires with 14 of the 16
major armed ethnic groups,
but deals with the KIA and
Ta’ang National Liberation
Army (TNLA) in eastern Shan
state have proved elusive.
The last round of meetings
in late September ended without resolution, with fighting
ongoing in Kachin and clashes
flaring in a number of eastern
border regions.
According to the UN, some
100,000 people have been
displaced in remote, resourcerich Kachin since a 17-year
ceasefire between the government and the rebels broke
down in June 2011.
Peace negotiator Hla Maung
Shwe, at the Yangon-based
Myanmar Peace Centre, said
he had been informed of the
attack and the group had sent
information to the government.
“We are trying to reduce
this kind of fighting,” he said.
200 Malaysians held
over illegal fishing
ndonesia yesterday detained 200 Malaysians
found fishing illegally in
its waters, as it moves to stem
billions of dollars in economic
losses, a senior government
official told Reuters.
A crackdown on illegal
fishing, which costs the vast
archipelagic nation around
$25bn a year, kicked off this
week, Cabinet Secretary Andi
Widjajanto told Reuters in a
rare interview.
The drive is likely to spark
tension with countries in the
region, as new President Joko
Widodo adopts a more assertive stance on the maritime
sector of Southeast Asia’s
largest economy.
“The president has said our
maritime sector is in a state of we need a new,
bold approach and that’s why
he’s declared a war on illegal
fishing,” said Widjajanto, an
expert on defence and foreign
“We are trying to send a
clear message to our neighbours like Malaysia and China,
which operate illegal ships in
our territory, that this is not a
normal situation for us.”
Widjajanto said he expected
at least 300 more illegal fishermen to be detained in the
next few days.
strong rhetoric from Widodo,
who called this week for foreign ships to be sunk if they
were discovered sailing without permission in Indonesian
Striking a pose
Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 candidates pose during their official announcement in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Seventeen women will be competing to win a spot to represent
Malaysia at the Miss Universe pageant to be held in 2015.
Five Thai students detained
for Hunger Games salute
ive Thai students were
detained yesterday after
flashing the three-finger
salute from The Hunger Games
films during a speech by the
premier, officials said, in the latest crackdown on opposition to
May’s coup.
The students brandished the
gesture, an unofficial symbol
of resistance against the military regime, as Prime Minister
Prayut Chan-O-Cha delivered
a speech on his first official visit
to the northeastern province of
Khon Kaen, a stronghold of the
opposition “Red Shirt” street
Officials removed the students from the venue after they
whipped off sweaters to reveal
T-shirts displaying Thai letters spelling out “No Coup” and
flashed the three-fingered salute, according to public broadcaster Thai PBS.
“We handed over the five students to army officials,” said Jitjaroon Srivanit, commander of
Khon Kaen provincial police.
A military official, who did not
want to be named, confirmed
that the students had been detained.
“They have been taken to a
military camp,” he said.
Political assemblies of more
than five people were banned
under martial law declared by
then-army chief Prayut two
days before he ousted the kingdom’s caretaker government on
May 22.
Prayut, who is head of the ruling junta and prime minister, retired as army chief in September.
Since seizing power the military has suspended democracy
and curtailed freedom of expression in the kingdom, responding
aggressively to any form of protest.
In June, police arrested a lone
student reading George Orwell’s anti-authoritarian novel
Nineteen Eighty-Four and eating a sandwich, while others
have previously been detained
for displaying the three-fingered
Deputy government spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd
said Prayut was “unaffected” by
the incident “because they are
“People can think differently
but should not quarrel with each
other,” Sunsern said.
Sasinan Thamnithinan, a
human rights lawyer, said that
in return for their release the
students had been asked to sign
undertakings not to engage in
political activity — on threat of
expulsion from the law faculty
at Khon Kaen University, where
they study.
It was not immediately clear
if the five were later released.
The military claims it was
forced to seize power in Thailand after nearly seven months
of political street protests
which left nearly 30 people
dead and hundreds of others
wounded. But critics accuse
the junta of using the unrest as
a pretext to curb the political
dominance of fugitive former
premier Thaksin Shinawatra
and his allies, who have won
every election in more than a
political conflict broadly pits
a Bangkok-based middle class
and royalist elite, backed by
parts of the military and judiciary, against rural and workingclass voters — many of whom
are part of the Red Shirt movement — loyal to Thaksin.
Khon Kaen is in the Red Shirt
heartland of northern Thailand
where Thaksin is broadly admired for his pro-poor policies.
Suu Kyi party admits cannot
Indonesian capital
gets Christian leader win fight to change constitution
Christian was inaugurated yesterday as governor
of the Indonesian capital for the first time in 50 years,
despite weeks of protests from
hardliners in the world’s most
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also
the first person from the country’s tiny ethnic Chinese minority to become leader of Jakarta,
was sworn in at a ceremony by
President Joko Widodo.
He replaces Widodo, who
took office as head of state last
month, and like the president
was a political outsider without
deep roots in the era of dictator
The emergence of leaders such
as Widodo and Purnama has
been praised as a sign that democratic reforms introduced after
the end of authoritarian rule in
1998 have taken root.
Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, was Widodo’s deputy and has been acting governor
for several months.
However his appointment has
not been smooth, with hardline
groups staging regular protests
against an “infidel” taking over
as governor and political op-
Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (left) is greeted by Indonesia’s
President Joko Widodo after his swearing-in at the Presidential palace.
ponents in the city council attempting to block his inauguration.
But the hot-headed, straighttalking governor has shrugged
off the challenges to his leadership.
“You can’t make everybody
happy,” he said after his inauguration.
The tall, bespectacled politician promises a starkly different
style to his predecessor. While
Widodo, known by his nickname
Jokowi, took a gentle, persuasive
approach, Purnama is famed for
his angry outbursts at bumbling
Despite the opposition from
groups, many Jakarta residents
support the governor.
They believe it takes a strong
leader to fix the problems of the
capital, which include a threadbare public transport system, inadequate flood defences and an
inefficient bureaucracy.
Scores of people headed to
city hall to show their support
for the new governor yesterday,
with a banner that read: “Congratulations on the inauguration
of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama”.
Having an ethnic Chinese
city governor also represents
progress in Indonesia, as the minority suffered severe discrimination in the Suharto years.
ung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party admitted
yesterday it cannot win
its fight to change a constitutional provision barring her
from Myanmar’s presidency, as
the powerful military signalled
strong opposition to such
In a fresh blow to democracy
campaigners after authorities
in the former junta-run nation
ruled out major constitutional
change before crucial 2015 elections, the party said it did not
have the power to push through
reforms in the face of an effective army veto.
Parliament has been gripped
by a series of fierce debates
over the constitution that have
highlighted the glaring divide
between reformers from civilian parties and their counterparts in army uniform, who
hold a quarter of all seats.
“Calculate the ratio mathematically. We cannot win (the
fight to change key sections of
the constitution),” opposition
National League for Democracy
(NLD) spokesman Nyan Win
said, listing both the clause that
bars Suu Kyi and one that gives
the military the final say on
Spokesman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Nyan Win talks
during an interview at the party headquarters in Yangon yesterday.
Parliamentary representatives of the military have spoken
out in unprecedented numbers
in recent days, voicing staunch
opposition to any change that
would threaten their position in
the legislature.
“So why are we working for
it? Because we believe in democracy,” added Nyan Win, in
some of the party’s most downbeat remarks on a charter which
many believe was specifically
designed to thwart Suu Kyi’s
political rise.
Legislators will choose a new
president after the general election in November 2015, which is
seen as a key test of the country’s emergence from outright
military rule.
Suu Kyi’s NLD is expected to
win if polls are free and fair.
But the veteran democracy
campaigner cannot stand for
the top post because a clause
in the constitution, 59f, bans
those with a foreign spouse or
children. Her two sons are British, as was her late husband.
US President Barack Obama
last week raised concerns about
the clause, saying “the amendment process needs to reflect
inclusion rather than exclusion.”
Parliament speaker Shwe
Mann said Tuesday a referendum would be held next May on
major charter amendments approved by parliament after the
current debates.
But he said it would be impossible to implement changes
until after the election.
The NLD earlier this year
gained 5mn signatures on a petition to remove the army’s veto
on constitutional change.
Nyan Win said the party
would keep campaigning for
change and had a back-up plan,
although he declined to elaborate on it.
Activists at the NLD’s Yangon headquarters appeared unfazed earlier yesterday, selling
Suu Kyi T-shirts and trinkets as
But Myanmar media sounded
the alarm.
“Is Suu Kyi admitting defeat?” asked the news website
Democratic Voice of Burma.
told reporters on the sidelines
of the parliamentary debate in
the capital Naypyidaw that she
accepted Shwe Mann’s amendment timetable as “normal procedure”.
“We just want the military to
be more in line with democratic
standards,” she added.
Myanmar’s parliament is
dominated by the military and
the army-backed ruling party.
Soldiers owe their place in
the legislature to the controversial 2008 constitution, which
was drawn up by the then-junta
as it kept critics and opposition
activists locked up.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
11 kids die in ‘overloaded’
minivan crash in China
Aboriginal remains to be
brought back home
South Korean meteorites
as old as the solar system
Japan defends poll over
‘waste of money’ criticism
Great white shark found
dead at Sydney beach
Eleven Chinese children were killed when an
“overloaded” minivan taking them to nursery
collided with a lorry. Online images showed
young children’s bodies packed into a vehicle,
engulfed by sand and with its roof crushed by
the large tipper truck that had shed its load over
it. The female driver also died in the collision
in the eastern province of Shandong, the local
television station said, adding that three other
children were injured. “This model of vehicle
should only take five passengers,” the Beijing
News said, while Xinhua cited police saying it
was designed for eight passengers “but was
overloaded at the time of the accident”.
France and Australia agreed yesterday to work
together to help repatriate the remains of Aboriginal
people held in French public collections. Australian
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and French President
Francois Hollande said their nations would open a
consultation on how to return the human remains.
The process would “respect the sensitivities and
values of the two countries and consider the
requests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
communities as well as the specific framework
of the French legal system,” they said in a joint
statement. Aboriginal leaders regard the removal
of the remains as an insult to their culture and have
campaigned for years to have them returned.
South Korean scientists said yesterday that four
meteorites discovered in the southern part of
the country earlier this year are estimated to
be as old as the solar system. In early March,
residents in Jinju, a city some 434km south of
Seoul, found the space rocks that weighed 34kg,
a rare discovery in the country. Announcing the
results of its months-long analysis, the Korea
Basic Science Institute said the rocks appear to
be between 4.48bn to 4.59bn years old, or about
the age of our solar system at 4.56bn years. It
suggests that the rocks are most definitely from
space, marking the first meteorites owned by
South Koreans.
Japan’s government yesterday hit back
against charges of profligacy over
the $500mn cost of a general election
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called, more
than two years ahead of schedule. Critics
jumped on the wastefulness of a nationwide
vote less than two years into a four-year term,
with many pointing to Japan’s mountainous
national debt and its still-ruined coastline, more
than three years after a massive tsunami hit. The
government “should launch economic policies...
rather than spending 60bn yen ($512mn) on the
election,” said Keiichiro Asao, head of the minor
opposition Your Party.
Swimmers at Australia’s most famous beach,
Bondi, were given a scare yesterday when a
great white shark was pulled from the nets
that are designed to keep them safe. Fisheries
officials said the 2.5m long shark was dead when
they hauled it onto a boat during thrice-weekly
inspections. “The shark was found during routine
inspections by specialist contractors who
carry out operations as part of the New South
Wales shark meshing programme,” the New
South Wales Department of Primary Industries
said. The great white would be examined “as is
practice for some sharks as part of national and
international research projects”, it added.
HK protesters try to
break into parliament
Hong Kong
A protester falls to the ground after being chased by riot police outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong yesterday.
legislative building in the downtown Admiralty district, after a
court granted an order to remove
The break-in was the clearest sign yet that a small faction of
protesters wants to ramp up rather
than scale down action after the
court-backed bailiffs’ action at
The execution of a second injunction ordering the clearance of a
protest site in the Mongkok district
on Hong Kong’s Kowloon peninsula is expected within days.
Although that area is smaller, it
has been the focal point of violence
between police, protesters and opponents of the demonstrators in
the last few weeks.
“I think we should all move to
occupy inside government headquarters,” a 23-year-old protester
who gave his surname as Wong told
AFP in Mongkok.
“In Taiwan, activists occupied
the parliament on the first day. Now
we have been sleeping out here for
50-odd days before we actually do
it,” he added, referring to a sit-in
by Taiwanese students opposed to
a trade pact with China.
“Nothing has been achieved at
Admiralty,” said 18-year-old Saki
Australia dumps thousands
of refugees in Indonesia
ong Kong police clashed
yesterday with pro-democracy
after a small group tried to break
into the city’s legislature, as splits
emerged within the movement before the expected clearance of protest camps.
The clashes were sparked when
around a dozen masked protesters
smashed their way through a side
entrance of the Legislative Council
(LegCo) building in the early hours,
using metal barricades as battering
Around 100 police then moved to
disperse the front lines of hundreds
of protesters in helmets and waving
umbrellas, a symbol of their movement. Officers used pepper spray
and batons in an angry confrontation.
Police said three officers were
injured during the scuffles and six
arrests made.
The government of the semi-autonomous Chinese city said “severe
damage” was caused, and joined
police in condemning the violence.
The incident was widely reported
on the Chinese mainland.
At least one demonstrator managed to get into the building, according to the Apple Daily newspaper.
A regular session yesterday of
the chamber was cancelled and
visitor tours were suspended.
camped on three major Hong Kong
thoroughfares for more than seven
weeks, demanding free elections
for the city’s next leader. But public support has ebbed as the weeks
pass with little progress.
Beijing insists that candidates
for the 2017 vote for the city’s top
post must be vetted by a loyalist
committee - an arrangement the
protesters say will ensure the election of a pro-Beijing stooge.
Authorities moved on Tuesday
to take down some barricades at
the main protest camp, near the
‘Black widow’
with seven dead
partners arrested
by Japan police
ustralia’s conservative government yesterday defended its decision to stop asylum seekers passing
through Indonesia from settling in Australia, a move that could leave Indonesia
with thousands of refugees from the Middle East.
The government announced late on
Tuesday that asylum seekers who registered with the UN High Commission for
Refugees (UNHCR) in Indonesia after July
1 would no longer be eligible for resettlement in Australia.
Australia will continue to resettle some
refugees who registered earlier, but it has
cut the number of allocations, making for
a much longer waiting period in Indonesia
before being resettled.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison
said the new rules were designed to stop
the flow of asylum seekers from Pakistan,
Iran and Afghanistan into Indonesia.
“We’re taking the sugar off the table,”
Morrison told ABC Radio. “People smugglers are smuggling people into Indonesia
for the purpose of trying to get resettlement in Australia.”
Indonesia’s foreign ministry said the
only way to halt people smuggling was
through a “comprehensive approach” that
included the origin, transit and destination countries.
“What’s clear is that this is Austral-
ia’s policy and it will be implemented by
them alone,” Foreign Ministry spokesman
Michael Tene told reporters in Jakarta.
Indonesia would take “necessary measures” if Australia’s move sparked a rise in
asylum-seekers staying in Indonesia, he
added, but declined to outline the measures.
Australia and Indonesia resumed intelligence and military cooperation just three
months ago after a months-long rift over
Australian spying on former President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and
other top Indonesian officials.
The number of asylum seekers reaching
Australia pales in comparison with other
countries but it is a polarising political issue, on which Prime Minister Tony Abbott
campaigned heavily before last year’s election win.
The UNHCR had recorded 10,623 asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia,
awaiting resettlement as of April, when
about 100 people were registering at its Jakarta office each week.
Morrison declined to say whether Abbott and Indonesian President Joko Widodo discussed the change at the weekend
G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane, but said
Indonesia was “fully appraised” of the decision before it was made public.
“We are happy to work with Indonesia
in any way we can to reduce the number
of people in Indonesia, but not through
the process of encouraging more people to
come to Indonesia because they think they
will get a visa to Australia,” he said.
Tin, who said she supported the
group who attempted the break-in.
“Sitting here is not a solution”.
The protests have largely been
peaceful but have been punctuated
by clashes, and police used tear gas
on large crowds on the first day,
September 28.
Student protest leaders said after the latest confrontation that
their movement was committed to
non-violence, while a pro-democrat legislator said he believed the
group was not representative of the
“It’s not something we like to
see... We call on occupiers to stick
firm to peaceful and non-violent
principles and be a responsible
participant of the umbrella movement,” said 21-year-old Lester
Shum of the Hong Kong Federation
of Students.
Occupy Central, a separate prodemocracy group, said it “strongly
condemns” the use of violence.
Lawmaker Fernando Cheung,
who witnessed the clashes, told
AFP: “I am truly angry about what
happened last night... I believe
those people who are involved
smashing the (entrance) were not
the mainstay of the movement. I
don’t know them myself.”
67-year-old millionaire was arrested yesterday
on suspicion of poisoning her husband with
cyanide as it emerged six former partners had
already died, in Japan’s latest apparent “black widow”
case. Chisako Kakehi has been the beneficiary of a
combined 800mn yen ($6.8mn) over the last two decades, Jiji Press said - insurance money and other assets
she received after the seven men’s deaths.
Husband number four Isao Kakehi fell sick suddenly
at home and was confirmed dead at a hospital in December last year, less than two months after the couple
married. An autopsy found highly toxic cyanide compounds in his blood. That came after the September
death of a 75-year-old boyfriend, who fell suddenly ill
after the couple ate together at a restaurant, Jiji said.
Kakehi’s dalliance with death began in 1994 when
her first husband passed away at the age of 54. In 2006,
her second husband, whom she had met through a dating agency, died of a stroke aged 69, while the third
marriage ended in 2008 with the death of her 75-yearold partner, Jiji said.
A boyfriend, believed to have been suffering from
some form of cancer, died a year later, and in 2012 her
then-fiance met his fate after collapsing while riding a
motorbike. Traces of cyanide were detected in his body,
media reports said.
Kakehi was arrested by police in Kyoto on suspicion
of murdering her latest husband. She has denied any
involvement in his death. “We suspect she did it for
money,” a police investigator on the latest death said
without giving details of the amount involved. Police
are now working on the theory that she could have been
behind the deaths of at least some of the other six.
“We can’t say how many now... Given their advanced
age, we have to proceed carefully to judge whether their
deaths were actually the result of foul play or not,” the
investigator told AFP by phone.
Questioned by reporters earlier this year, former
bank worker Kakehi protested her innocence. “If people suspect murder, I’d find it easier to bite my tongue
off and die,” she told reporters in March.
Jiji Press quoted her as saying in an earlier interview that she was “doomed by fate” to suffer a series
of deaths among those close to her, and protesting that
she had no access to poison.
If she is found to have been involved in the deaths of
numerous partners, Kakehi will become the latest example in Japan of a “black widow”, named for the female spider that devours its mate after coupling.
In 2012, Kanae Kijima was sentenced to hang for the
murders of three men, aged 41, 53 and 80, whom she
met through Internet dating sites. Kijima, who was
at one time a paid-for mistress, poisoned her victims
with carbon monoxide by burning charcoal briquettes
after drugging them with sleeping tablets.
She is in jail awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the
supreme court.
UN pushes N Korea ‘crimes against humanity’ probe
United Nations
he UN on Tuesday adopted a landmark
resolution condemning North Korean
rights abuses and laying the groundwork
for putting the Pyongyang regime in the dock for
crimes against humanity.
A resolution asking the Security Council to refer
North Korea to the International Criminal Court
passed by a resounding vote of 111 to 19 with 55
abstentions in a General Assembly human rights
North Korea reacted angrily to the vote and announced that it was breaking off talks on improving human rights with the European Union, which
drafted the resolution with Japan.
The non-binding measure will go to the full
General Assembly for a vote next month.
But it remains an open question whether the
Security Council will follow up on the resolution
and seek to refer North Korea to the ICC, with
China - Pyongyang’s main ally - and Russia widely expected to oppose such a move.
Both China and Russia voted against the resolution on Tuesday along with Cuba, Iran, Syria,
Belarus, Venezuela, Uzbekistan and Sudan, who
complained that the measure unfairly targeted
North Korea.
However, an amendment presented by Cuba to
scrap the key provisions on asking the Security
Council to consider referring North Korea to the
Hague-based ICC, was defeated.
Co-sponsored by more than 60 countries, the
resolution drew heavily on the work of a UN inquiry which concluded in a 400-page report released in February that North Korea was committing human rights abuses “without parallel in the
contemporary world.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and new North
Korean Ambassador Kim Hyun-joon attend a
ceremony to hand over credentials at the Kremlin
in Moscow yesterday.
The year-long inquiry heard testimony from
North Korean exiles and documented a vast network of harsh prison camps holding up to 120,000
people along with cases of torture, summary executions and rape.
Responsibility for these violations lies at the
highest level of the secretive state, according to
the inquiry led by Australian judge Michael Kirby,
who concluded that the atrocities amounted to
crimes against humanity.
North Korea’s representative warned of farreaching consequences over the vote, and in particular declared that it was now compelled “not to
refrain any further from conducting nuclear tests.”
“The sponsors and supporters of the draft resolution should be held responsible for all the consequences as they are the ones who have destroyed
the opportunity and conditions for human rights
cooperation,” said Sin So Ho.
North Korea had launched a diplomatic offensive in recent months to prevent the resolution
from moving forward, meeting for the first time
with the UN rights rapporteur and extending an
invitation for him to visit.
In the final days of intense diplomacy over the
text, the European Union introduced a minor
amendment welcoming Pyongyang’s offer to allow the fact-finding mission and talks with the
UN rights office.
In an apparent move to prevent the measure
from going any further, North Korea dispatched
a senior official, Choe Ryong-Hae, to Moscow for
talks with President Vladimir Putin, whose country holds veto power in the Security Council.
Human rights groups welcomed the outcome
of the vote. Many said it put pressure on the
15-member council to follow up with action on
accountability from the North Korean regime.
“Today’s General Assembly resolution affirms
the need for a tribunal to address the North Korean government’s unspeakable crimes,” said Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth.
“The Security Council should follow up by referring North Korea to the International Criminal
Court to investigate the long list of crimes against
“Finally, the UN has sent the message today
that North Korean rulers who starve and enslave
their own people must be held accountable,” said
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a
Geneva-based organization.
“This is a powerful boost to millions of victims
suffering in what is arguably the worst situation of
human rights abuse on the planet,” he said.
UN Watch quoted North Korean defector Ahn
Myeong Cheol who said the resolution will have
an impact in his country “as the people there will
learn that their leader is a criminal.”
The resolution makes no mention of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, but notes the
UN inquiry finding that the “highest level of the
state” holds responsibility for the rights abuses.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Hotel under fire for
negative review charge
Political fiction high on
Costa awards shortlist
Paddington film
grading shocks author
More airwaves for
mobile broadband soon
‘Inadequate’ Rotherham
child care attacked
Blackpool’s Broadway Hotel was the talk of
hospitality industry yesterday after charging
a couple for posting a negative review on
Internet ratings site TripAdvisor. Tony Jenkinson
and wife Jan found their credit card had been
docked £100 after describing their accommodation in the seaside resort as a “rotten stinking
hovel.” The couple are trying to get their money
back through a trading watchdog, arguing
that the charge is illegal. They were warned in
advance about penalties for bad reviews. The
Broadway, which was not returning phone calls,
warns prospective guests of a charge “for every
bad review left on any website.”
Two politically charged novels are among four
that have made the shortlist for best novel in this
year’s Costa Book Awards, the organisers announced, adding that a record 182 novels had been
considered for the award. Monique Roffey’s House
of Ashes, Kolkata-born Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives
of Others, Irish author Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster
and Scottish-born Ali Smith’s How to be Both are
on the shortlist. The prize, formerly known as the
Whitbread award, is open only to authors resident in
Britain and Ireland, and will be announced on January 5. The awards are given in five categories - novel,
first novel, biography, poetry and children’s book for works published within the past year.
The film classification board said it has removed a
warning that the new “Paddington” movie contains
“mild sex references” after the creator of the muchloved children’s character expressed shock at the
advice. Michael Bond, the 88-year-old author of the
books charting the adventures of the marmaladeloving bear, said he was “totally amazed” at any
suggestion of sexual content in the film. The British
Board of Film Classification has given the film, which
opens next week, a “PG” or “Parental Guidance” rating, meaning it may not be suitable for very young
children. The “mild sex references” include a comic
sequence where a man flirts with another man
disguised as a woman.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom said it would make
more airwaves available to meet the burgeoning
needs for mobile data by reallocating frequencies
used for digital TV services like Freeview. The frequencies in the 700 MHz bandwidth, which range
over long distances and can penetrate buildings,
will be reallocated by the beginning of 2022,
and possibly up to two years earlier, Ofcom said
yesterday. The changes are needed to meet a
demand for mobile data on smartphones and tablets that could be 45 times higher by 2030 than
it is today, Ofcom said. Last month, Ofcom invited
bidders to comment on the proposed auction of
spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands.
Children’s services in Rotherham — which has
been rocked by widespread child sexual exploitation — are inadequate, according to Ofsted. The
watchdog’s report says: “There are widespread or
serious failures that result in children being harmed
or at risk of harm.” Ofsted inspected services in the
south Yorkshire town a month after the publication
of the Jay Report, which found in August that more
than 1,400 children had been subjected to sexual
exploitation there 1997 and 2013. Ofsted said: “The
judgment is that children’s services are inadequate.
In the delivery of services for looked-after children
these failures result in the welfare of these children
not being safeguarded and promoted.”
Ukip defends
remarks on
for knife
London Evening Standard
he parents of an A-level
pupil stabbed to death in
a row over a bicycle worth
just £90 yesterday called for
tougher sentences after hitting
out at the “lenient” jail term for
their son’s killer.
Danny Drake, 16, was yesterday jailed for life with a minimum of 13 years for murdering
17-year-old Alim Uddin.
He stabbed the talented business and maths pupil, who
wanted to be a policeman, seven
times in a “lethal and vicious”
attack on May 4 after luring
him to the Roupell Park estate
in Brixton under the guise of returning the cash Alim had given
him for a bike he never received.
Drake fled the scene to his home
in Tooting, leaving Alim, the eldest
of five children, to bleed to death.
After the killing Drake returned
home to Mackie Road, Brixton, and
ordered a taxi to take him to a relative’s house in Tooting.
He tried to get his clothes
washed but the laundry was shut
so he soaked his hooded top and
a jeans in the bath. He was arrested in Tooting in the early
hours of the morning. He had a
bag holding the murder weapon,
which was wrapped in a glove.
He denied the murder until the
second day of his trial in October when he changed his plea to
guilty. After Drake was sentenced
on Tuesday, Alim’s mother Parool and father Hakim, who live in
Brixton, said they did not believe
the jail term handed to him for the
murder of their “wonderful” son
would serve as a deterrent.
Restaurant owner Uddin, who
is planning to set up a charitable
foundation in his son’s memory to
help fight knife crime, said: “The
level of knife crime in London is
frightening. The judges need to
send a strong message to people
knife crime is a serious offence.
“I don’t think 13 years does
that. The 16-year-old that killed
the teacher (Ann Maguire) was
given 20 years. Why such a difference in the sentences? They were
both pre-meditated murder”.
Ukip supporter Graham Harper walks his dog Roque as he canvasses for votes in Rochester yesterday.
Anti-abortion activist
guilty of harassment
Guardian News and Media
ne of Ireland’s most
prominent anti-abortion
activists has been found
guilty of harassing the head of
Belfast’s Marie Stopes clinic.
A judge at the city’s magistrates court warned the Precious Life director Bernadette
Smyth that she could face jail
for her protests against the
former Progressive Unionist
party leader Dawn Purvis and
the clinic.
The deputy district judge
Chris Holmes said the campaign
of harassment had been carried
out “in a vicious and malicious
Smyth was told she would have
to pay compensation and would
be barred from the area around
the clinic on Belfast’s Great Victoria Street.
The Marie Stopes clinic in the
city has been picketed frequently
by Precious Life and other anti-
abortion groups since it opened
two years ago.
The 51-year-old anti-abortion
campaigner had denied she was
involved in ongoing harassment
towards Purvis.
In a scathing ruling, the judge
said: “I want to make it absolutely
clear that I do not feel it is appropriate for anyone to be stopped
outside this clinic in any form,
shape or fashion and questioned
either as to their identity or why
they are going in there and being
forced to involve themselves in
conversation at times when they
are almost certainly going to be
stressed and very possibly distressed.”
Turning to how the defence
was run, he said: “Throughout
this case there has been a concerted attack on anyone seen as
getting in the way of Smyth.”
Giving evidence in the case
Purvis said she was left frightened for her safety following two
During an exchange with protesters on January 9 this year, the
clinic director said she had put
her hand up and asked them to
stop harassing her. Smyth was
said to have replied in an exaggerated drawl: “You ain’t seen
harassment yet, darling.”
Smyth originally denied to
police having used the word harassment, but on viewing CCTV
footage of the incident she accepted it had been said as a joke.
The second alleged incident
occurred on February 13 after
Purvis’s son called at her office
with a female friend. Purvis said
that as she walked them out of
the centre one of the protesters
followed the girl up the street.
According to her account
Smyth, of Suffolk Street in Ballymena, then started to cackle
But the defendant claimed
she was set up, having just been
served with a police notice warning of potential action for harassment. She alleged that Purvis
“growled” at her through the
clinic front door in a bid to provoke a reaction.
K Independence Party
(Ukip) was yesterday
desperately trying to
defuse a row over sending home
EU migrants — just 24 hours before the Rochester and Strood
The party’s candidate Mark
Reckless, who defected from
the Tories, was accused of suggesting Polish and other EU citizens could be repatriated even
if they have lived in Britain for
Tory MPs seized on his remarks to launch a last-ditch bid
to damage Reckless’ campaign
as polls showed that he is set to
sweep to victory in the by-election today.
But Nigel Farage’s party denied its policy was to force out
EU citizens here, stressing that
legal migrants would be allowed to stay in the UK under
its plans. “No repatriation of
people here legally,” said a senior Ukip spokeswoman.
Party sources suggested
Reckless was “confused” during the pressure of a televised
hustings when responding to a
question with a “false premise”.
He was asked what would
happen to a Polish plumber living in Rochester who no longer
had the right to work in Britain. He said: “I think in the near
term we’d have to have a transitional period and I think we
should probably allow people
currently here to have a work
permit at least for a fixed period.” He was pressed by the
presenter: “If there is a Polish
plumber who has a house, family, kids at the local school, are
Regiment visit
you going to deport him and his
Facing audience shouts,
Reckless added: “People who’ve
been here a long time and integrated in that way, I think we’d
want to look sympathetically
Ukip sources said his comments about a “transitional
period” referred to illegal immigrants in the UK.
Asked later on BBC Radio
Kent if he was suggesting they
should be deported, Reckless
said: “No I was not suggesting
Reckless said EU citizens in
the UK legally at the time the
country left the EU would be
able to stay in the country and
accused Conservative critics of
“twisting” his words.
“People who’ve been
here a long time and
integrated in that way, I
think we’d want to look
sympathetically at”
Ukip leader Nigel Farage insisted the party respected the
“rule of law and British justice”.
And he downplayed the comments as a “minor cause for
Farage insisted the byelection, in which his party is
seeking to get its second Westminster MP elected, was being fought on Ukip’s terms and
the issue of immigration would
“dominate” next year’s general
election campaign.
Farage told the BBC his colleague had been referring to the
negotiations that would take
place during a “transitional
period” between a hypothetical vote to leave the EU and the
actual moment of withdrawal.
Public get chance to
leave mark on moon
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visits the tank regiment
of the Queen’s Royal Hussars in Paderborn, Germany,
yesterday. The prince awarded soldiers who just returned
back from south Afghanistan for their service.
“When we invoke Article 50
of the Lisbon Treaty which sets
us off on a negotiation to leave
the EU, part of that renegotiations is what happens to retired
people from Britain living on
the Costa del Sol and what happens to people from Warsaw
living in London,” Farage said.
“Let me make this clear,
during our divorce negotiations, even if the EU was to
behave badly and say (British)
people living in Spain were to
be threatened with not being
there, we would maintain the
line that we believe in the rule
of law, we believe in British justice and we believe that anyone
who has come to Britain legally
has the right to remain.”
Asked if Reckless did not
know Ukip policy, Farage said
the campaign had been “long
and hectic” and candidates in
that situation often “got into
a mode” of answering “on the
topic and not the specific wording of the question”.
However, Conservative MP
Damian Green said Reckless had
come “dangerously close” to advocating a repatriation policy
while Labour’s Yvette Cooper said
Reckless had “let the mask slip”.
She said using the “language
of repatriation” was “a policy
that comes straight out of the
last BNP manifesto and does
not reflect British values”.
In a separate row on the last
day of campaigning in the constituency, Reckless accused the
Conservative candidate Kelly
Tolhurst of issuing a leaflet he
described as “BNP-light” in its
comments on immigration.
Tolhurst told the BBC that
Reckless’s claim was a “lie”, and
said she was disappointed at the
misrepresentation of her views.
British space venture is
giving ordinary citizens
the chance to leave their
mark on the moon in a decade’s
time while helping scientists
scout a possible location for a
permanent base there.
Lunar Mission One launched
a crowdfunding drive yesterday
to cover its start-up costs. By
mid-morning organisers had
raised around £74,000, according to the Kickstarter website, towards an initial target
of £600,000 they aim to reach
within a month.
More than 750 people signed
up within hours, with funders
asked to pledge at least £60 for
a digital memory box in which
their messages, pictures, videos and - via a strand of hair DNA will be carried into space
and then buried in a capsule on
earth’s nearest neighbour.
Organisers will need several
orders of magnitude more to recoup the total estimated project
costs of £500mn, the bulk of
which they hope to raise by the
same method.
“Governments are finding it
increasingly difficult to fund
space exploration that is solely
for the advancement of human
knowledge and understanding as opposed to commercial
return,” said mission founder
David Iron, a former Royal Navy
officer who advises on space
and technology projects. “...
Anyone from around the world
can get involved for as little as a
few pounds.”
Established by engineers and
scientists with backing from
University College London and
science broadcaster Brian Cox,
the mission aims to send its unmanned module to the moon’s
unexplored South Pole within
10 years to see if it might be
suitable for a base. Should it
go ahead, the project will drill
deeper into the moon’s surface
than ever before.
Last year a Chinese unmanned
spacecraft touched down on the
moon in the first such “softlanding” since 1976.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Dating guru Blanc barred
from entering Britain
Zookeeper seriously
injured by rhino
Sturgeon voted in as First
Minister of Scotland
PM ‘failing to meet
cancer target’
Sewers full of false
teeth and fat
The government yesterday barred a self-styled US
dating coach from entering the country to conduct
seminars on how to attract women after heavy
criticism from campaigners who said his methods
amounted to physical and emotional abuse. Julien
Blanc had been due to hold events in Britain as
part of a global tour promoting a “bootcamp”
on how to pick up women, but nearly 160,000
people signed an online petition calling for him to
be denied a visa. “Do not associate the UK with a
man who chokes women around the world as part
of his pick-up game,” the petition said, referring to
one of the techniques Blanc appears to promote in
YouTube videos and via his website.
A zookeeper has been taken to hospital in a
serious condition after an incident involving a
rhino. The man, who is in his 50s, suffered chest,
abdomen and pelvis injuries at Whipsnade Zoo in
Bedfordshire yesterday. He was immersed in water
during the incident and was taken by ambulance
to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in a
serious but stable condition. A Whipsnade Zoo
spokeswoman said: “At approximately 8.15am
yesterday one of our keepers was injured at
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Emergency services were
immediately called and the keeper involved was
treated by paramedics at the scene and has now
been taken to hospital.”
Nicola Sturgeon has been voted in as the first
female First Minister of Scotland. The 44-yearold replaces Alex Salmond, who resigned from
the role on Tuesday with a final statement to
the Scottish Parliament. Sturgeon took the helm
as leader of the SNP at the party’s conference
in Perth at the weekend, with her selection as
the head of government completed after MSPs
voted yesterday. Sturgeon will now be officially
sworn in at the Court of Session in Edinburgh
tomorrow. Salmond announced his intention
to quit as SNP leader and First Minister within
hours of defeat in the independence referendum
in September.
NHS England has missed one of its cancer care
targets for the third quarter in a row, leaving
thousands of patients waiting two months or more
for their treatment to begin. Labour’s shadow
health secretary Andy Burnham said the latest
figures showed that cancer care was “getting
worse” under the Tories. Between July and
September, 83.5% of patients who were given an
urgent referral from their GP for suspected cancer
were offered their first treatment within the 62 day
time limit - 1.5% below its target, NHS England said.
Burnham said: “These figures confirm that cancer
care is getting worse under Cameron. This is a
direct consequence of the government policies.”
Prosthetic limbs, a moped and false teeth were
among the stranger items fished out of sewers
over the last year. The Consumer Council for
Water has urged people to think about what
they pour and flush away as they revealed the
grim contents of sewer pipes across England
and Wales. Other items that contributed to the
£70mn job of cleaning more than 300,000
blockages included slippers and tennis balls.
But in other bizarre finds Northumbrian Water
found a dead cow and Southern Water found a
dead snake and a severed finger. But the biggest
cause of obstructions was from fats, oils and
greases being poured down the sink.
Hackers to
probe banks’
n the next few months hackers will try to penetrate the
cyber defences of Britain’s
major banks and steal information about millions of customers.
But for once they’ll be welcome.
Banks are on red alert after
cyber criminals obtained details
of 83mn clients from JPMorgan
Chase this year and Britain’s
leading lenders have signed up
for tests that let teams of certified hackers attack at will.
The cyber war games will mark
a major escalation in how banks
test defences in a high-stakes
battle with criminals.
“It’s the first time that banks
are having their systems tested for security threats in a live
environment as opposed to a
simulated or isolated one,” said
Stephen Bonner, a partner in the
cyber security team at KPMG.
Cybercrime costs the global
economy $445bn a year and the
bill is rising, according to the
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which
said it damages trade, competitiveness and innovation across
Banks are particularly vulnerable, despite spending hundreds
of millions of dollars a year on
cyber defences.
criminals are trying to steal
money or client data, cause havoc in financial markets or score
political points. “A defender has
to block every possible route of
entry and the attacker only has
to find one. That’s the position
the banks are still in, the world
is so connected now they have to
look in every direction to protect
themselves,” said Paul Docherty,
technical director at Portcullis
Computer Security, a consultancy which has been accredited
to run the tests.
The Bank of England is behind
the initiative. In June, it outlined
a new framework called CBEST
for handling the growing cyber
threat. It includes sharing intelligence from government agencies such as Britain’s GCHQ with
companies, and encouraging
more intense testing of financial
In the first such move by a
leading central bank, the Bank of
England will set the guidelines
but leave banks to agree with the
firms carrying out the tests how
far their “attack teams” can infiltrate bank systems.
An “attack team” would typically be four to six people, including a project manager and an
attack specialist at the sharp end
trying to breach systems. Only
a few bank employees will be
aware an attack is coming.
“It’s taking examples of what
we see out in the wilds in the
threat landscape and applying
those to realistic attack scenarios
on financial firms,” said Adrian
Nish, head of cyber threat intelligence at BAE Systems Applied
CREST, which is responsible
for accrediting firms to do cyber
security testing in Britain, has
approved four firms to run these
so-called Simulated Targeted
Attack and Response (STAR)
services, and more are expected
to be accredited soon, industry
sources said. Besides Portcullis,
BT Group, Context Information
Security and Nettitude are the
other three.
Britain’s biggest banks are
among more than 30 financial
firms lining up to go through the
STAR test.
Pilot tests have begun and the
vast majority of institutions are
expected to have completed the
process by the end of 2015, one
of the sources said. The tests
will also involve insurance companies, financial exchanges and
payments systems operators.
Scuffles at students’ protest
A police officer clashes with protesters outside the Conservative Campaign Headquarters after a march against student university fees in central London yesterday.
The demonstration organised by the Student Assembly Against Austerity, alongside the Young Greens and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts demands free
education and an end to tuition fees, education cuts and student debt.
Son was killed by VIP
paedophile ring: father
London Evening Standard
oliticians yesterday demanded a full police investigation into chilling
claims that an eight-year-old
London schoolboy may have
been snatched and murdered by
a VIP paedophile ring that included MPs and ministers.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick
Clegg told LBC radio it was time
for “a kind of reckoning with our
past” after yet more allegations
that a network of Westminster
child abusers was covered up for
He added: “You cannot think
Belfast lottery couple
to help community
Mary and Alexander
Hamilton are quitting their
jobs at a furniture suppliers,
but plan on looking after its
workers and customers
Guardian News and Media
Northern Ireland couple who have become
the latest EuroMillions winners pledged to
spread their fortune across
Belfast’s sectarian divide.
Mary and Alexander Hamilton said they want to help
customers they have worked
with in a furniture business
for nearly a decade. The pair
won nearly £13mn in the EuroMillions draw two Fridays
Speaking at a press conference in the Culloden Hotel
overlooking Belfast Lough,
the Hamiltons said that
while they are now quitting
their jobs with local furniture suppliers Bannons, they
plan to look after customers
and workers they have come
across in the business.
“We started working with
Bannons about seven or
eight years ago and they’ve
been the happiest years of
our working lives,” Mary
Hamilton said. The 65-yearold said: “The owners and
management have treated
us very well, and we’ve also
“I’d like to help both sides
of the community, and
also do my bit to help the
local economy which has
had it tough lately”
made a load of friends from
customers on both sides of
the community on our daily
runs across Falls Road, the
Shankill, New Lodge, North
Queen Street, Rathcoole,
Ballyduff, Monkstown and
“In fact, I always said to
our customers that if I ever
won the lottery, I would see
them right. And I intend to
keep my word and do just
that. You could call it a thank
you for keeping us in a job. I’d
like to help both sides of the
community, and also do my
bit to help the local economy
which has had it tough lately.”
Mary Hamilton revealed
that last Friday she recently
broke a habit of 20 years playing the lottery and opted for
Lucky Dips rather her usual
preferred numbers. She said
she checked her numbers last
Friday evening for the previous week’s EuroMillions lottery at a local filling station
on Belfast’s Shore Road. It
was only then she discovered
she was a multi-millionaire.
She said she had to call
her 67-year-old husband
from the filling station to
come down and collect her.
“My legs were so weak that
I couldn’t walk. Sandy came
to the store, we hugged and
then he drove us home,” Mary
Hamilton said. The couple’s
EuroMillions numbers were
13, 25, 32, 38 and 46 with
lucky stars 01 and 10.
of a more serious and grotesque
allegation than that. Clearly it
needs to be looked into.”
The latest testimony comes
from a retired magistrate whose
son was abducted and killed
three decades ago in mysterious
Vishambar Mehrotra, 69,
was phoned by a male prostitute who said his son may have
been snatched by the alleged
ring and taken to the notorious
Elm Guest House in Barnes.
The father passed a tape recording of the conversation to
the police but says they declined to investigate claims
that involved “judges and politicians”.
Mehotra now believes there
was a “huge cover-up”.
Labour MP Tom Watson,
who first raised allegations of a
Westminster abuse ring in the
Commons, said: “The police
“The police must urgently
find out if this tape
recording and any other
records of this allegation
still exist in their archives”
must urgently find out if this
tape recording and any other
records of this allegation still
exist in their archives.
“After detailed searches the
Met have already discovered intelligence from previous inquir-
Academy launch
ies that have proved useful to
their investigations. This could
be a similar case.”
Simon Danczuk, the MP
whose book exposed former MP
Cyril Smith as a serial abuser of
boys, said he may raise the issue
in the Commons today.
“We need to find out whether
this tape recording still exists,”
he said. “The episode raises
questions about the role and
conduct of the Metropolitan
Mehrotra said he believed
Scotland Yard may have “sheltered” a paedophile ring of top
politicians who killed his son
Vishal, who was abducted from
the street as he walked home
Mansion tax threat
‘putting buyers off ’
Guardian News and Media
Queen Elizabeth II and Robin Niblett, director of Chatham
House, remove the first brick in a new extension, during
a visit to launch The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for
Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House
in London. Chatham House houses the non-profit and
non-governmental organisation ‘Royal Institute of
International Affairs’.
to Putney after watching the
wedding of the Prince of Wales
and Lady Diana Spencer in July
Mehrotra said: “I gave a copy
of the recording of the conversation I had with a young man
on the phone who claimed my
son had been abducted by politicians and judges. As far as I
know they ignored it and classed
it as a crank call.
“From what we know about
Jimmy Savile’s abuse and the
climate at the time it is quite
possible the police were sheltering a group of very powerful
The Met refused to comment
on the latest claims yesterday.
he threat of a mansion tax
after next May’s general
election has put off potential buyers of £2mn-plus homes in
London, Savills has said.
The uncertainty surrounding
the May 7 vote will continue to
hold back the very top end of the
capital’s luxury property market in
the next few months, the upmarket estate agent added.
Would-be buyers are sitting on
their hands, because Labour has
pledged to introduce a new levy on
owners of homes worth more than
£2mn to raise £1.2bn for the NHS
if it wins the election.
Savills said: “The general election and the potential implementation of a ‘mansion tax’ thereafter
has had the expected subduing effect on buyers, albeit that we have
seen registered buyers per listed
property rise since the low point
around the Scottish independence
vote in the summer.”
Experts reckon at least 80%
of homes that would be subject
to the tax are in London and the
south-east. The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, has said there would
be four levels of mansion tax, with
the lowest band for homes worth
between £2mn and £5mn.
At the top end, billionaires
splashing out £100mn or more for
a huge mansion will pay the most.
The middle part of the London
market - homes worth between
£1mn and £2mn - remains robust,
Savills said. Across the rest of the
UK, sales are rising, particularly of
homes worth less than £2mn.
The bottom end of the capital’s
housing market - homes worth
£500,000 or less - has been hit
by tighter mortgage rules. Savills
does not operate in this area but
its rival Foxtons, which does, said
last month that 2014 profits would
fall because of a sharp slowdown in
the capital’s property market.
Savills is still confident it can
meet its forecasts for this year.
Sales in Hong Kong and Singapore
have also been hit by levies on expensive homes, but other Asian
markets such as Japan and Australia are performing well and its
recent US acquisition Studly has
beaten expectations.
Analysts at Numis said: “Savills’
update shows that whilst some of
its core markets remain challenging, it is on target for a strong year
with 20% profit growth forecast.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
French MPs get power to
impeach president
Italy unions move general
strike to December 12
Torrential rains hit Albania;
three dead in flooding
Prosecutors to sue Catalan
president over referendum
Romania’s president-elect
begins anti-graft drive
French lawmakers now have the power to launch
a US-style impeachment of their president under
a new law passed yesterday. The law approved
yesterday sets out a procedure for removing the
president from office in cases where there has been
a “breach of their duties that is clearly incompatible
with the exercise of their mandate”. The
impeachment process first requires 10% of upper
house senators and 10% of lower house deputies
to sign a resolution. A two-thirds majority in both
houses of parliament must then vote to convene a
special session of select lawmakers known as the
High Court. The court would have a month to decide
the issue, with another two-thirds majority required.
Two leading Italian trade unions agreed
yesterday that they would hold a joint general
strike against the budget and labour policies of
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government on
December 12. The protest was going to be led by
CGIL and UIL, Italy’s first and third-largest trade
unions, with just under 8mn members between
them. The second-biggest union, CISL, refused to
take part in the protest. CGIL had previously said
it would hold a general strike on December 5, but
moved the date after agreeing on a joint action
with UIL. They are angry at plans by the Renzi
government to deregulate the labour market, by
making it easier to hire and fire people.
Three people were killed overnight in northern
Albania in severe flooding caused by torrential
rains, police said yesterday. A 63-year-old man
and his 23-year-old daughter died after their car
was carried away by flood waters while they
were driving on a mountain road. Their bodies
were found yesterday in a canal, some 2km from
the site of the accident, a police statement said.
The third victim was a 23-year-old man who died
on Tuesday evening in the same area, some
45km north of capital Tirana, when a bridge
that he was crossing on motorcycle collapsed.
Several houses in the northern Albanian region
were still flooded yesterday.
Spanish prosecutors said yesterday they will
sue Catalan president Artur Mas after he went
ahead with a symbolic independence referendum
in defiance of a court injunction. “The public
prosecutor’s office will take the appropriate legal
actions in the High Court of Justice of Catalonia,”
the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The Catalan government says 2.3mn took part
in the vote on November 9 which Mas held
following a legal block by the central government
against his plans to hold an official, non-binding
referendum on the issue that day. Of the 5.4mn
voters aged over 16 who were authorised to vote,
1.86mn favoured independence, it said.
Romanian president-elect Klaus Iohannis
yesterday began making good on his promise
to fight corruption when the immunity of two
high-profile senators suspected of graft was
lifted. Iohannis urged the parliament to repeal
a draft law that was to increase the immunity
of politicians from prosecution. Iohannis
called on parliament to go even further and
lift the immunity of legislators, senators and
representatives. With their immunity lifted,
former education minister Ecaterina Andronescu
and a fellow senator now face trial for allegedly
taking a bribe from Microsoft in a sale of
software to the government and schools.
Kiev rejects
direct talks
with rebels
President challenged to a duel!
ussia yesterday urged Ukraine’s leaders to
talk directly to separatists to end the conflict in the east, but Kiev rejected the call
and told Moscow to stop “playing games” aimed
at legitimising “terrorists”.
Kiev and the West accuse Russia of destabilising Ukraine by providing the rebels with money,
arms and reinforcements. The West has imposed
sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in which
more than 4,000 people have been killed since
Russia backs the separatists but denies it is directly involved in the conflict in the Donbass region.
“We are calling for the establishment of stable
contacts between Kiev and Donbass representatives with the aim of reaching mutually acceptable agreements,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said in a policy address to the lower house
of parliament in Moscow.
But Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk hit back, accusing Moscow of trying to
push Ukraine into recognising the pro-Russian
rebels who are fighting government troops to split
parts of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions
from Kiev.
Speaking at a government meeting, he declared
Kiev would not speak directly to the separatists
and repeated the phrase slowly in Russian for emphasis, saying: “We will not hold direct talks with
your mercenaries.”
A ceasefire was agreed on September 5 in the
Belarussian capital of Minsk as part of a wider
deal between Moscow, Kiev and the rebels under
the auspices of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) - with a former
president representing Kiev to avoid formal recognition of the rebels.
But the truce is under constant pressure, with
deaths of government troops and civilians reported daily. Kiev and the West accuse Russia of
sending tanks and troops to back the rebels but
Moscow denies the charges.
Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin
held talks with German Foreign Minister FrankWalter Steinmeier in Moscow on Tuesday but
failed to overcome deep rifts over Ukraine.
A rebel leader in east Ukraine yesterday challenged President Petro Poroshenko to a duel,
claiming it could bring peace to the war-torn
Igor Plotnitsky, the 50-year-old leader of the
self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, wrote
an open letter to Poroshenko suggesting the
whole nation could even watch the duel on live TV.
“Each party has the right to ten witnesses and
ten media representatives. I would not be against
the duel being shown live on TV. I will let you
choose the place and the weapons,” Plotnitsky
“What is the point of hatred, killing people,
destroying the economy and towns?... It would
be better to resolve it with an honest duel and
save, at the cost of one’s life, the lives of millions
of people.”
Yevhen Perebyinis, a spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, wrote on Twitter in response
that Plotnitksy was “worthy of only one duel: with
Ukrainian justice”.
Plotnitsky was elected leader of the Lugansk
People’s Republic earlier this month in Russianbacked elections which were described by Kiev as
a “power grab” and condemned by the West.
He is accused by the Ukrainian government of
having overseen the transfer to Russia of Ukrainian military helicopter pilot Nadia Savchenko
earlier this year.
Kiev says Savchenko was abducted from
Ukrainian territory and taken to Russia, while
Moscow insists she was arrested after crossing
the border illegally.
urkish authorities have signalled
they intend to go ahead with the
redevelopment of Istanbul’s Gezi
Park, the project that sparked deadly antigovernment protests last year, reports said
The controversial plans to raze the park
and rebuild an Ottoman-era army barracks
on the site, which is adjacent to the main
Taksim Square, have been included in the
Istanbul municipality’s strategic agenda for
The total budget for the project, named
‘The Urban Reconstruction of Taksim
Square and the Taksim Barracks’, is set at
12mn lira ($5.4mn), private Dogan news
agency said.
It includes the construction of a replica
of the barracks - known as the Topcu Kislasi in Turkish - which was built in the early
19th century during the reign of Ottoman
Sultan Selim III but demolished in 1940.
An initially small-scale campaign to save
Gezi Park in May 2013 eventually drew an
estimated 3mn protesters in a nationwide
outpouring of anger at the perceived authoritarian tendencies of the Islamic-rooted government.
Eight people died and thousands were
injured in the ensuing violence as police
launched a brutal crackdown, frequently
employing tear gas and water cannon.
A child tries to reach a giant soap bubble blown by a street artist in front of the Paris Town Hall.
Mafia judge killers sentenced
Yatseniuk called on Moscow to “stop playing
games aimed at legitimising bandits and terrorists.” “If you (Russia) want peace - fulfil the
Minsk agreement,” he said.
Lavrov said in Moscow that the “party of war”
- supporters of Kiev’s military campaign against
the rebels - had tried to exclude the separatists
from peace moves and to “force the West to seek
the consent of Russia to act as a side in the conflict.”
“This is a completely counter-productive and
provocative line that has no chance of succeeding,” Lavrov said.
New govt plans for Istanbul’s
controversial protest park
Bubble attraction!
In a bid to end the protests, President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then prime
minister, agreed to halt the park’s redevelopment and offered to hold a referendum.
A court later overturned a judgement allowing the redevelopment of the park because of a lack of public consultation.
However it was not clear whether the
municipality’s plans mean work will
resume at the park, which is shut down at
the slightest whiff of public dissent.
Erdogan’s government is frequently criticised for its ambitious construction plans
that include a third airport in Istanbul and
a third bridge across the Bosphorus.
He has also come under fire over a new
1,000-room presidential palace in Ankara
that is costing Turkey more than $600mn.
Activists however have already vowed to
take to the streets should the plans for Taksim Square go forward.
“It is an insult to millions of people living in this city,” said Ali Cerkezoglu, a doctor who is among the 26 alleged leaders of
Taksim Solidarity, the main activist group
behind the protests, who are currently on
trial for their roles.
“It is disgraceful and totally anti-people,” he said, quoted by the Cumhuriyet
daily. “The combative people of this land
will not bow to these fait accomplis. There
will be a retaliation in kind.”
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last
month labelled Taksim “the ugliest square
in the world”, indicating the government
was still hoping to redevelop it.
our members of the Sicilian
Mafia were sentenced yesterday to between 12 years
and life in prison for their role in
the notorious 1992 assassination
of anti-mob judge Giovanni Falcone.
Convicted murderer Gaspare
Spatuzza received the reduced
12-year term after he helped
police secure the other convictions related to the Cosa Nostra
crime syndicate’s blowing up of
Falcone’s car in an attack which
used more than 500kg of explosives.
The huge blast on a motorway
near Palermo in Sicily also killed
the judge’s wife and three police escorts and sparked outrage
around the world.
Giuseppe Barranca and Cristo-
foro Cannella were sentenced to
life in prison for their role. Cosimo D’Amato received 30 years
in jail.
Spatuzza provided crucial evidence about how the mobsters
plotted to take their revenge
on Falcone over his attempts to
break up their syndicate.
He told a Milan court earlier
this year that he had been responsible for around 40 deaths
during his time in Cosa Nostra.
He is currently serving life in
prison for his role in six bomb attacks in 1992 and 1993 but may
well end up being released under
Italy’s system of reducing incarceration terms once individuals
are no longer deemed a threat to
Two months after Falcone
was murdered, another judge,
Paolo Borsellino was killed by
a car bomb. The two men have
posthumously become national
heroes, martyrs to the country’s
largely unsuccessful attempts to
rid itself of the scourge of organised crime.
Both killings were ordered
by Toto Riina, the Cosa Nostra
“boss of bosses” who was captured the year after the slaying of
the judges. Now 84, the gangster
known as “the beast”, is currently
serving multiple life sentences in
a maximum security prison.
In another echo of Italy’s bleak
recent history, a couple convicted for involvement in the 1980
bombing of Bologna railway station, which left 85 people dead,
were ordered yesterday to pay
damages of just over 2bn euros to
the state.
Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro received multiple
life sentences in 1988 that were
confirmed by Italy’s highest
court in 1995.
Despite the heavy sentences,
National Day parade
Members of the Prince’s Company of Carabiniers take part in the official National Day
ceremonies in Monaco
the couple, who married in prison, have been free for most of the
last decade thanks to Italy’s generous parole system.
They have expressed regret
for their involvement in other
terrorist acts but have always
denied any involvement in the
Bologna attack during their time
in far-right group Nuclei Armati
Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei).
The judge who ruled the couple have to pay damages called
the Bologna bombing “an act
whose gravity is without precedent in Italian history.”
Paolo Bolognesi of the victims
group Vittime 2 Agosto added:
“It is wonderful news. It means
the massacre will remain a permanent and indelible stain on
them for ever.”
Lawyers for the couple said
they would be appealing the
damages award.
Muslim, Christian, Jewish leaders
unite to condemn jihadi violence
Senior Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders
yesterday condemned violence by jihadi militants
such as Islamic State (IS) at a Saudi-backed conference in a rare display of inter-faith unity aimed at
promoting tolerance and diversity.
Islamic State has caused international alarm by
capturing large expanses of Iraq and Syria, declaring a Sunni “caliphate” straddling their borders
and massacring those they deem apostates and
infidel, like Shia Muslims and Christians.
“Some organisations that are affiliated with
Islam are perpetrating some actions in the name
of jihad. This is not Islam at all,” said Abdullah bin
Abdulmuhsen al-Turki, secretary-general of the
Muslim World League.
“This is why we wish to deplore and strongly
condemn this behaviour, which we see as against
Islam,” he told an audience including the Muslim
grand muftis of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan; top
representatives of several churches, Rabbi David
Rosen of the American Jewish Committee, and
Nizar bin Obaid Madani, Saudi minister of
state for foreign affairs, decried the emergence
of factions in the Middle East “that use terrorism
and violence in the name of religion. They are
wreaking havoc. They are killing and destroying
“Those who have embraced terrorism unfortunately attribute everything they do, every oppression they practice, to Islam. Islam has nothing to
do with them,” he said.
The conference called for countering the messages of jihadi militants on social media used to
lure recruits, and for leadership courses in schools,
houses of worship and the broader community to
spread the principles of diversity and tolerance.
The conference was organised by the King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for
Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, which is
sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Pope to raffle gifts given to
him to raise money for poor
Croatia to elect next
president on Dec 28
Greenpeace ship defied
Spanish navy ‘orders’
Turkey recovers bodies
of trapped coal miners
Majority of Swiss oppose
strict immigration limits
Want a white Panama hat owned by the Pope?
Now is your chance. Pope Francis is raffling off the
Homero Ortega brand hat, a new four-wheel-drive
Fiat Panda, bicycles, an espresso coffee machine,
watches and other objects he has received as
gifts in order to raise money for the poor. A poster
recently went up around the Vatican announcing
the raffle of 13 objects as well as more than 30
unspecified “consolation prizes”. In the past, most
gifts given to Popes have either been quietly
given away to missions, church institutions, or
have gathered dust in a Vatican warehouse.
Tickets for the raffle cost 10 euros ($12.50) and the
winners will be announced on January 8.
Croatia has called presidential elections for
December 28, the government said yesterday.
Six candidates have already announced they will
run, including incumbent centrist Ivo Josipovic
whose popularity with the country’s some 4.3mn
residents appears to be fading. So far polls
have named Josipovic’s main rival as Kolinda
Grabar-Kitarovic from the leading opposition
conservatives. Grabar-Kitarovic, 46, is a former
foreign and European affairs minister and a former
Nato assistant secretary general who represents
moderates within her HDZ party. A run-off would
be held on January 11 if one candidate fails to
secure more than 50% of the vote.
Spain said yesterday it impounded a Greenpeace
ship because the crew defied orders to leave a
restricted zone where they were protesting against
oil exploration off the Canary Islands. In a protest
near the Canaries on Saturday “the Arctic Sunrise
violated the exclusion zone and ignored instructions
by the (Spanish) navy boat Relampago to abandon
the zone,” Spain’s Defence Minister Pedro Morenes
told parliament. Spain’s public works ministry said
authorities impounded the boat on Tuesday at
the port of Arrecife on the island of Lanzarote and
would hold it until a bond was paid. Greenpeace said
the captain, a US national, was being refused release
until the 50,000-euro ($63,000) bond was paid.
Turkish rescue workers have recovered 10
bodies of miners trapped by a flooding accident
last month, with search efforts continuing for
eight still missing. A total of 18 miners were
trapped in the disaster in the Ermenek coal mine
in the Karaman region of southern Turkey which
raised new fears about the country’s dire mine
safety record. None of the trapped men were
rescued alive and rescuers found the first two
bodies on November 6. Eight more corpses were
recovered over the past two days, the official
Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. Eight
miners recovered over the last two days have
already been identified by DNA testing.
Most Swiss voters oppose proposals to place strict
limits on immigration but support is rising before
this month’s national vote on the issue, a closelywatched survey showed yesterday. The initiative,
launched by environmentalist group Ecopop and
opposed by the government, seeks to cap the
number of new immigrants at just 0.2% of the
resident population, equivalent to about 16,000
people per year. It would also earmark 10% of
Switzerland’s overseas development aid budget for
family planning. About 56% of Swiss voters plan to
oppose the initiative on November 30, according to
Berne-based research institute gfs.bern, down two
percentage points from its October 24 poll.
air: report
The head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva (left) and the director general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan launch the international conference on nutrition at
the Food and Agriculture Organisation headquarters in Rome.
UN urges quick action to fix
‘broken’ world food system
he UN yesterday urged political
leaders from around the world
to up their game in the fight to
wipe out malnutrition, a global scourge
which afflicts poor and rich alike.
“Part of our out-of-balance world
still starves to death. Another part
stuffs itself into a level of obesity,” Margaret Chan, head of the World Health
Organization (WHO), told delegates at
the Second International Conference on
Nutrition (CIN2) in Rome.
Representatives from 190 countries
gathered 22 years after the first malnutrition meeting for a three-day conference
organised by the UN food agency (FAO)
and WHO, and boasting appearances
from leaders including Pope Francis.
“The world food system is broken,
with its reliance of the industrialised
production of ever cheaper highly processed and unhealthy food,” Chan said,
adding that for some parts of Africa and
Asia it was cheaper to import food than
produce it locally.
She called on countries across the
world to “have the creativity to work
with civil society, academics and the
private sector to find the right solutions
for good health”.
A lot of progress has been made already,
‘Phase out net CO2 emissions by 2070 to slow climate change’
Governments are far off track in combating global warming and should phase out
net carbon dioxide emissions by 2070,
well within the expected lifetime of people born today, a UN study said yesterday.
Greenhouse gas emissions have leapt
45% since 1990, making it ever harder
to reach a UN goal of limiting average
temperature rises to two degrees Celsius
above levels before the Industrial Revolution, it said.
“Taking more action now reduces the
need for more extreme action later to stay
within safe emission limits,” said Achim
Steiner, executive director of the UN
Environment Programme (UNEP), which
issued the report in Oslo.
It said “carbon neutrality will need to
be achieved sometime between 2055 and
with the number of undernourished people in the world dropping by over half in
the past two decades, from onebn people
in 1992 when the first conference (CIN1)
was held, to 805mn in 2014.
But malnutrition is not just about
hunger: 2bn people suffer from deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamin
A, iron and zinc - a condition known
as “hidden hunger” by experts - while
42mn children and 500mn adults are
overweight or obese.
2070” to give a likely chance of staying
below 2 degrees, based on findings by a
UN panel of climate scientists.
Carbon neutrality means that any
carbon dioxide emissions from burning
fossil fuels would be offset, for instance
by planting forests that suck carbon from
the air as they grow.
Average world life expectancy at birth
stands today at about 69 years.
The carbon goals are far tougher than
those set by most nations in the run-up to
a UN summit in Paris in 2015 that hopes
to clinch a deal to limit floods, heatwaves,
more powerful storms and rising sea levels.
Top emitters China, the US and the
European Union have all set new goals
beyond 2020 in recent weeks. China,
for instance, set a first cap on its rising
“Our planet, ladies and gentlemen,
is losing its capacity to sustain human
life in good health. No one is predicting
that population growth will outpace the
productivity of the world’s food systems. But this food must be health promoting,” Chan said.
At the opening ceremony, the delegates
adopted a “Rome Declaration on Nutrition” and “Framework for Action”, which
the FAO said were based on a consensus
reached by over 200 national govern-
Suspected of rampant graft,
Zagreb mayor gets out on bail
owerful Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic,
targeted by a major graft probe touching on the management of the capital,
was released from custody yesterday on bail
of 2mn euros ($2.5mn), the highest ever in
Bandic was released from a month behind
bars in a Zagreb prison after paying bail and
pledging not to influence witnesses or act as
mayor, state-run HRT television reported.
Considered one of the most powerful politicians in the former Yugoslav republic, Bandic has run Zagreb almost continuously since
He was arrested on October 19 along with
15 other people, among them his closest
As of yesterday, only one suspect remained
in custody.
Among the suspects are the head of the
holding firm managing the city’s companies,
Slobodan Ljubicic, as well as heads of the Zagreb public transport firm ZET, and the city
gas services.
Bandic is the prime suspect in a probe on
“abuse of power, tax and customs fees evasion and trading in influence,” the anti-graft
prosecutors said. The inquiry covers 20062014, with losses to both the state and city
budgets estimated at some 3mn euros.
Among allegations are the contracting of
waste management services without a public
procurement procedure, illegal financing of
Bandic’s presidential campaign, and handing city jobs to unqualified people close to
the mayor.
Bandic, 59, won his last mandate in 2013
A former top official of the ruling Social
Democrats, he was booted out of the party
after deciding to run for president as an independent in 2009, a contest he lost.
emissions - by around 2030 - but did not
specify the level. “Unfortunately, the
world is not currently headed in the right
direction,” said Andrew Steer, head of the
World Resources Institute think-tank.
This year is on track so far to be among
the warmest on record. In stark contrast,
the US suffered its coldest November
morning since 1976 on Tuesday, with temperatures below freezing in all 50 states.
To get on track for 2C, global emissions
should be no higher than 44bn tonnes of
carbon dioxide equivalents in 2020, a gap
of 8 to 10bn below projected emissions on
current trends, UNEP said.
The report also highlighted ways to
cut emissions, such as better insulation
of buildings or cuts in global fossil fuel
subsidies of $600bn a year.
ments after consultations with civil society organisations and the private sector.
The declaration focuses not only
on access to healthy food but also the
growing problem of inactive over-eaters, finding that “dietary risk factors,
together with inadequate physical activity, account for almost 10% of the
global burden of disease and disability”.
But FAO director general Jose
Graziano da Silva told participants that
“we’re not at the finishing line yet.
“Our responsibility is to transform
these commitments into concrete results. I hope that during this conference, you ministers will announce targets that even go beyond what we have
already agreed,” he said.
He said poor diet habits and access to
food had “overwhelming human, social,
environment and economic costs”.
Star guests at the conference include
Queen Letizia of Spain, King of Lesotho
Letsie III, philanthropist Melinda Gates
and economist Jeffrey Sachs, as well
as Pope Francis, a fervent campaigner
against hunger who is expected to give
a speech today.
The action framework which accompanies the Rome Declaration presents
60 recommendations, including developing and implementing national plans
and policies to better nutrition, as well
as boosting related investments.
It stresses the need for universal
health coverage and urges governments
to ensure universal access to safe drinking water and protect children from infections, such as diarrhoea, malaria and
intestinal worms.
The framework aims to meet WHO
targets of reducing deaths from NCDs
- diet-related non-communicable diseases - by 25% by 2025, as well as reducing salt intake by 30% and halting the
increase in obesity prevalence in adolescents and adults.
Time machine!
A golden Marchand and Sandoz perpetual calendar pocket watch from 1900 being displayed at the
Auktionshaus Ineichen AG auctioneers in Zurich. The watch will be auctioned on November 22.
s many as nine in 10 European city dwellers breathe
air high in pollutants,
blamed for 400,000 premature
deaths every year, the European
Environment Agency (EEA) said
Air pollution remains the top
environmental cause of premature death in urban Europe, according to an analysis of data
from almost 400 cities.
“European citizens often
breathe air that does not meet
European standards,” said the
agency’s annual report.
“Almost all city dwellers are
exposed to pollutants at levels
deemed unsafe by the World
Health Organisation (WHO),”
added a statement - more than
95% are exposed to unsafe levels
of some types.
Heart disease and stroke are
the most common causes (80%)
of death due to air pollution, followed by lung diseases and cancer.
“The effect of air pollution on health has considerable economic impacts, cutting
lives short, increasing medical
costs and reducing productivity
through working days lost across
the economy,” said the report.
It cited WHO and European
Commission statistics attributing more than 400,000 premature deaths to ambient air pollution every year.
Based on 2011 concentrations
and population data, this translated to an estimated 458,000
deaths in 40 countries in Europe,
or 430,000 in the 28 EU member
Last year, the EC estimated
the damage costs of air pollution’s health impacts in 2010
at 330-940bn euros ($413bn to
$1.2tn), it added. “Direct economic damage includes 15bn euros from workdays lost, and 4bn
euros in healthcare costs.
The most dangerous pollutant
was fine particulate matter (PM)
- microscopic specks of dust and
soot caused mainly by burning
fossil fuels. PM10, particulate
matter measuring less than 10
microns can lodge in the airways,
causing respiratory problems.
More perilous still are smaller
PM2.5 particles which can enter
the lungs and even the bloodstream. The report said 10-14%
of city dwellers in the EU were
exposed to PM2.5 levels above
the EU target.
This increases to 91-93% if
stricter, but non-binding, WHO
guidelines are used.
The report said particulate
matter and ozone had declined
slightly over the last decade,
though levels of nitrogen dioxide, mainly from car emissions,
did not fall as fast as expected.
A hydrocarbon called benzo(a)
pyrene (BaP) was the fastest
growing pollutant - increasing
by more than a fifth between
2003 and 2012 as use of woodstoves and biomass heating in
cities increased.
“In 2012, almost nine out of
ten city dwellers were exposed to
BaP above WHO reference levels,” said the EEA.
Last year, the WHO said outdoor air pollution was a leading cause of cancer. Globally, it
causes some 1.3mn deaths in cities every year. Nearly a quarter
of a million of these deaths are
caused by lung cancer.
According to the WHO, Iran,
India, Indonesia and China are
among the countries hardest
hit by air pollution. In one alert
in Beijing last year, PM2.5 levels reached as high as 40 times
WHO recommended limits.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Freezing cold, dense fog
affects life in Srinagar
Pranab to visit Assam,
Arunachal Pradesh
US students attend
lectures at Presidency
Court to hear pleas
against Shahi Imam
Woman attempts suicide
after gang-rape in Agra
Life was affected in Srinagar as night temperatures
dropped to half a degree below the freezing point
yesterday. Dense morning fog also forced locals to
stay indoors. “The night temperature dropped to
minus 0.5 in Srinagar. This is the lowest recorded
here so far this season,” Sonam Lotus, director of the
local weather office, said. Motorists and commuters
yesterday morning experienced difficulty due to
dense fog in and around Srinagar, where visibility
dropped to less than 2m, forcing locals to start the
day late. The mercury is likely to drop further in the
coming days as the weather is expected to remain
dry. “Pahalgam recorded minus 3.2 degrees Celsius
while the night temperature showed improvement
in Gulmarg at 0.5 degrees.”
President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Assam
and Arunachal Pradesh today and tomorrow, it
was announced yesterday. Today, the president
will attend the 12th convocation of Tezpur
University at Tezpur. In the evening, he will
witness a cultural programme and receive a
copy of the book, Agnikanya Chandraprabha
Saikiani, at the Tezpur University auditorium,
an official statement said. The president will
present the (President) Standard (Award) to 26
Squadron and 115 Helicopter Unit of the Indian
Air Force at the air force station at Tezpur
tomorrow. He will deliver the convocation
address at the National Institute of Technology
at Yupia in Arunachal Pradesh.
One of India’s prestigious educational
establishments, the Presidency University in
Kolkata, is hosting a batch of students and
faculty from a top-ranked US university as part
of a student exchange programme, a statement
said. Nine undergraduate and graduate students
and two faculty members from Atlanta’s Georgia
State University (GSU) are attending lectures at
Presidency University’s Department of Political
Science under a deal inked in October 2013.
“After a year of signing the memorandum,
the first batch of students from the university
has now arrived in Kolkata and has started
attending class lectures at the Department of
Political Science,” the statement said.
The Delhi High Court will today hear hear pleas
against the Delhi Shahi Imam’s move to anoint
his son as the Naib Imam (deputy Imam), the
court said. Three public interest litigations filed
in the court said Jama Masjid is a property of
the Delhi Wakf Board and Maulana Syed Ahmed
Bukhari (Shahi Imam) as its employee cannot
appoint his son as Naib Imam. The court said
it would hear in detail all the three pleas today
as the anointment ceremony is scheduled
for November 22. Bukhari recently sparked a
controversy by announcing that he has invited
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the
ceremony but did not feel the need to invite
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A 20-year-old woman tried to commit suicide
after she was allegedly raped by three men
in Agra, police said yesterday. The victim, a
resident of Dahtora village in Jagdishpura
area, had gone to meet a friend, Akash,
who phoned her to come to a desolate
apartment late Tuesday, the police said.
Police said Akash left her and three of his
friends came there and sexually abused her.
She then jumped off the flat which was on
the third floor of a building. Villagers found
her in a pool of blood and rushed her to a
hospital. Senior officials, including Senior
Superintendent of Police Shalabh Mathur,
met her in the hospital.
Kerala CM
calls meet
over dam
Tributes to Indira
Modi visits
Fiji to boost
ties with the
Pacific region
By Ashraf Padanna
erala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has convened an all-party meeting next week as the water-level
in the disputed Mullaperiyar dam
touches an alarming 142ft.
Tamil Nadu, which controls
the British-built dam in Kerala’s
border district of Idukki, last
week rejected the state’s appeal
for drawing more water to limit
its level at a “safer” 136ft.
The level touched 41.6ft yesterday morning. Kerala says the
rising level puts the lives of 3mn
people in four downstream districts at risk if the 118-year-old
dam breaks as it has no capacity
to hold more water, an argument
the Supreme Court rejected in
Last week, Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister O Panneerselvam rejected Chandy’s request to reduce
the height saying he would go by
the court verdict to protect the
interests of tens of thousands of
farmers in his state.
Kerala has set up nearly 100
camps asking people from the
banks of River Periyar to move in,
but the response was lukewarm.
Besides a detailed discussion
in his cabinet, Chandy also held
a meeting of MPs from the state
and urged them to raise it during
the winter session of parliament
beginning next week.
“Kerala’s stand has always
been the same, water for Tamil
Nadu and safety for Kerala,”
Chandy told the MPs.
K C Joseph, Kerala’s information and parliamentary affairs
minister, said the government
would draw the attention of the
parliament to the fears of the
people, the unsafe condition of
the dam and threat to the ecology
of the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The government had asked the
Principal Chief Conservator of
Forests and Chief Conservator of
Forests (Wildlife) to submit a report on the impact of rising water
level in the dam on the forestland
within two days.
Meanwhile, the Idukki district
administration has taken precautionary measures to face any
emergency situation as the water
level touched a record height in 22
Modi is only the second
Indian prime minister to visit
Fiji after Indira Gandhi in 1981
President Pranab Mukherjee paying floral tributes at the memorial of former prime minister
Indira Gandhi on her 97th birth anniversary in New Delhi yesterday. Mukherjee was joined by Vice
President Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi
and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too paid tributes to
Gandhi. Modi tweeted from his official account from Fiji: “I join my fellow countrymen and women
in remembering our former prime minister Indira Gandhi on her birth anniversary. My tributes.”
Gandhi, born on November 19, 1917, was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
ndia sought to “renew an old
relationship” with Fiji and
forge closer ties with small
South Pacific island nations as
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
yesterday announced steps to
boost closer ties with the geostrategically important region.
Modi became the second Indian prime minister in 33 years
- after Indira Gandhi - to visit
the Fijian capital Suva. He later
departed for home, ending a 10day tour that earlier took him to
Myanmar and Australia.
The Fiji visit underlined the
growing geo-strategic importance of the 14 South Pacific islands that lie at the centre of a key
maritime route rich in resources.
The islands dot the ocean east of
Australia, over 11,500km away
from India.
The Fiji government accorded
Modi a ceremonial welcome.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama received him at the airport.
“After this ceremony I don’t
feel like a visitor, I feel that I belong here,” Modi said following
a traditional welcoming service
performed by chanting Melanesian warriors in grass skirts.
Modi’s visit comes ahead of
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s
three-day trip to Fiji from tomorrow.
China has been busy forging
close relations with the island
nations and has set up diplomatic missions in almost all the
The 14 islands, although small,
have a vote each in international
forums. They hold strategic
weight for New Delhi as it seeks
to increasingly play a larger international role.
Modi held talks with Prime
Minister Bainimarama, presided
over the signing of three agreements, addressed the Fijian parliament, becoming the first foreign leader to do so, attended the
first India-South Pacific Island
nation meeting and later spoke at
the Fiji National University.
Modi admitted that IndoFiji relations had “at times been
adrift, and that our co-operation
should be much stronger than
it is” and added that he saw his
visit as an opportunity to renew
an old relationship - and lay the
foundation for a strong future
The three memorandums of
understanding were for the exchange of land for a new chancery building in New Delhi, on
diplomatic exchanges to allow
Fijian diplomats to train in India,
and on project financing for an
electricity co-generation plant
funded through the Exim Bank
of India.
Prime Minister Bainimarama
said some 15 more agreements
were in the works - on agriculture, trade, health, water and
“We are pleased that our relationship with India is growing
and we are proud to have India as
a partner in Fiji’s future,” he said.
In his address to parliament
boycotted by the opposition,
Modi said Fiji could serve as a
hub for stronger Indian engagement with the Pacific islands and
become the centre for India’s regional co-operation in space.
He announced visa on arrival
for Fijians and two lines of credit
totalling $75mn for the sugar
industry and a grant of $5mn to
strengthen and modernise Fiji’s
village, small and medium industries.
Modi offered India’s help to
build a Digital Fiji and thanked
Fiji for hosting Indian scientists
to track the Mars Mission, Mangalyaan.
Remembering the people of
Indian origin who comprise 40%
of Fiji’s nearly 900,000 population, Modi said: “Fiji will always
have a special place (for us).
“Fiji is a leader in the region
and a strong voice in the developing world.”
Addressing the first Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, Modi proposed a slew of steps for closer
co-operation, including visa on
arrival for all and an e-network
to connect the islands to provide
tele-medicine and tele-education.
He announced a Special Adaptation Fund of $1mn to provide
technical assistance and training
for capacity building to the Cook
Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru,
Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon
Islands, Samoa, Niue, Palau,
Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Fiji
and Papua New Guinea.
He announced a hike in
Grant-in-Aid from $125,000 to
$200,000 annually to each island
for community projects selected
by them and a trade office of the
Pacific Island nations in New
Modi proposed the Forum for
India-Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC) be held on a regular
basis and that the next meeting
could be held in 2015 in a coastal
location in India.
Metro project threatens Pink City
s she expertly leads tourists past honking cars and
rickshaws to a majestic
dusty-pink palace, Sunita Sharma voices fears for the Rajasthan
city’s historic landmarks as a new
transport link looms large.
Authorities are building an
underground metro near the
Hawa Mahal or the “Palace of
the Winds” in Jaipur’s old city,
a bustling place that blends historic charm with the allure of
ancient royalty and draws millions of domestic and foreign
But archaeologists as well as
tourist guides like Sharma fear
the multi-million dollar project
will disturb the foundations
of the monuments, built in the
1700s by the all-powerful Maharaja rulers.
“Jaipur is known worldwide
by these monuments, and if any
loss occurs, the grandeur and architectural heritage can never be
revived,” Sharma said.
Tour operator Sanjay Kaushik
agreed, adding he feared visitor numbers would also drop
because of the years of looming
construction work and resulting
traffic chaos.
“Tourist season is beginning
next month and we fear a decline
in the footfall,” Kaushik said from
his office in the old city.
Tunnelling in the old city is
also expected to start next month
for the project, which authorities
hail as a much-needed upgrade
of infrastructure in the “Pink
City”, capital of the desert state
of Rajasthan.
The Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC), which is spearheading the multi-year project
with a loan from the Asian Development Bank and state government funding, denies the
monuments are under threat
from tunnelling or from eventual
vibrations from the trains.
“An environmental impact assessment report was prepared a
year ago which said that the vibrations created during the boring and operation of the metro
would not be of a level which
can harm any structure,” JMRC
chairman and managing director
N C Goel said.
“The vibrations will be low
hence the monuments will be
safe,” he said, adding that prepa-
rations for the tunnelling were at
an advanced stage.
But some are not convinced,
arguing it is almost impossible to
guarantee centuries-old buildings will not be weakened by
modern-day construction underneath.
“Today’s engineers can guarantee strong foundations of a
building they are constructing
today, but not those of a structure
which was built 200 years back,”
archaeologist Rima Hooja said.
“The government should reconsider whether they want to
create a facility at the cost of heritage,” Hooja, a member of the
National Monument Authority,
“Who will be responsible if a
loss to these sites occurs?”
One of the metro stations is set
to be built at a market that lies
just 100m from the palace.
The tunnel will pass near the
neighbouring Unesco heritagelisted Jantar Mantar site, with its
giant astronomical instruments
carved from sandstone.
Even slight damage to the 20odd instruments, designed to
observe astronomical positions
with the naked eye, would be “a
great loss,” said Hooja.
Known as India’s first planned
city, Jaipur was built in 1727 on
a grid system with a fort, palace
and other impressive buildings.
Construction was overseen by
the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II,
who had a keen interest in architecture and astronomy.
Its thick perimeter walls and
imposing entrance gates drew
merchants from around the
country who settled in the new
city to ply their trade in relative
Designed in the form of the
crown of lord Krishna, the fivestorey palace has more than 900
small windows.
Decorated with intricate latticework, they were designed to
allow ladies of the royal court to
sit and observe everyday life in the
street below without being seen.
Another archaeologist, Akshya
Jagdhari, said he was concerned
that damage to some of the monuments may not be immediately
noticed, but could have terrible
consequences if left unattended.
Jagdhari also pointed to the
recent discovery at one of the
proposed railway stations of a
buried structure that he believes
may date back to when the city
was built.
A member of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) presents a Tabua (Whale’s Tooth) to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi during his official welcoming ceremony at Albert Park in Suva yesterday.
Vigilance probe clears Mani in bar scam
Kerala Finance Minister K M
Mani, who is under a cloud over
charges of corruption on the
bar licence issue, yesterday got
relief after a preliminary probe
by the vigilance did not find any
evidence against him.
Advocate General K P Dandapani
submitted a report to the Kerala
High Court. The probe team took
statements from 19 people.
Biju Ramesh, who owns a string
of bars, has alleged that Mani
was given Rs10mn to ensure that
the state’s 418 bars are allowed
to reopen.
Since then, Mani came under
heavy attack from the opposition
who demanded that the 81-yearold legislator who has won every
election he contested since 1965
To cool down tempers, the state
government asked the vigilance
department to conduct a quick
verification on the allegation.
The high court, acting on a
petition filed by Communist
Party of India (CPI) legislator V
S Sunil Kumar, has directed the
probe team to keep the court
posted on the progress of the
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
sect leader
held as police
find 6 bodies
Rampal has repeatedly
refused court orders to
appear to answer charges
including conspiracy to
murder, inciting mobs and
contempt of court
olice yesterday arrested
controversial sect leader
Rampal Maharaj from his
ashram in Haryana, officials
He was whisked away in an
ambulance which was followed
by a number of police vehicles.
Earlier, police discovered five
bodies after storming the ashram
where thousands of followers
have been holed up for days, as a
sixth supporter died in hospital.
Authorities made the discovery after they used tear gas and
batons to force their way into the
heavily-guarded ashram of selfstyled “godman,” who is wanted
on a series of charges including
conspiracy to murder.
They found the bodies of four
women and an 18-month-old
child at the sprawling compound
175km northeast of New Delhi,
said Haryana Director General of
Police S N Vashisht.
The child appeared to have
died of natural causes but it was
unclear how or when the four
women lost their lives, he said,
adding that another woman died
after being taken to hospital apparently suffering from a heart
“All dead bodies have been
sent to the hospital where they
will undergo a postmortem to
ascertain the exact cause of their
deaths,” he said.
Rampal’s key aides, including
his brother Purshottam Dass,
and spokesman Raj Kapoor were
earlier taken into custody, police
said. At least 425 supporters,
including private commandos,
were arrested yesterday.
Thousands of people have
poured out of the ashram since
Tuesday when police stormed
in, but authorities say 5,000 followers are still holding out inside
the 12-acre compound.
Authorities are sending 500
paramilitaries to the town of
Barwala, where the ashram is located, to try to quell the unrest, a
home ministry source said.
Followers armed with stones,
petrol bombs and other weapons
had guarded the ashram for days
after the Haryana High Court
ordered the arrest of their guru,
before police went in with water
cannon and tear gas.
Police were seeking Rampal’s
arrest after he repeatedly refused
court orders to appear to answer
charges including conspiracy to
murder, inciting mobs and contempt of court.
“We have already saved
around 10,000 lives and around
another 5,000 people are inside.
We will save their lives and arrest
the wanted man,” said Vashisht.
Several supporters said they
had to fight their way out of the
ashram, while police claimed
they had been used as human
shields to protect the guru.
“What started as a trickle
hasn’t yet stopped and we have
dropped off around 10,000 people at nearby bus and train stations,” assistant police superintendent Jashandeep Singh said
of the followers.
“The people who left the
ashram mostly said that they
were being held against their
will, as a shield for the guru
against any police action,” Singh
said from outside the ashram.
Police earlier said they were
checking those leaving the
ashram in case Rampal, a former
engineer who considers himself
Followers leave the ashram of self-styled ‘godman’ Rampal Maharaj yesterday.
an incarnation of the 15th-century mystic poet Kabir, was hiding in the crowd.
They accuse him of ordering
his disciples to fire on villagers
during clashes in 2006 in which
one person was killed and scores
injured - charges Rampal’s website says are “false.”
Rampal claims his hundreds
of thousands of followers across
India have had chronic illnesses cured and “ruined families
have again become prosperous”
by devoting themselves to his
Disciples must give up alcohol, smoking, meat, eggs, adultery and gambling, while singing and dancing is banned along
with worship of “any other god
or goddess.”
Born in a village in Haryana to
a family of farmers, Rampal obtained a diploma in engineering
and later worked at the state’s
government’s irrigation department.
Rampal went door to door
proselytising on behalf of a
seer called Ramdevanand and,
with an ever growing flock of
disciples, opened his ashram in
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief
Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who has otherwise avoided
much comment on Rampal issue, yesterday tweeted: “Serious charges of sedition against
Rampal & several followers by
Haryana Police. Operations to
continue till he is arrested from
“Govt. & Police are committed to ensure strict compliance
of High Court orders, priority is
to uphold the law without loss of
innocent lives,” he wrote in another tweet.
India has been rocked by
several scandals involving immensely popular “godmen,”
mostly Hindu ascetics who claim
to possess mystical powers. Last
year one was charged with sexually assaulting a schoolgirl.
For many Indians, gurus play
an integral role in daily life. They
say they offer a pathway to enlightenment in return for spiritual devotion and often give donations to ashrams, temples and
charity projects.
Gunman attacks executive with AK-47
Lanka pardons Indian fishermen
ive Indian fishermen condemned to death for smuggling drugs into Sri Lanka will
walk free after President Mahinda
Rajapakse pardoned them yesterday, his office said.
The Colombo High Court convicted the men last month after
they were arrested off the northwest
coast in 2011 and charged with possessing nearly 1kg of heroin.
“They were given a presidential
pardon and transferred to the custody of immigration authorities to
be sent back home,” presidential
spokesman Mohan Samaranayake
The move followed diplomatic
pressure to free the men and allegations in India that they were framed
because they were poaching in Sri
Lankan waters.
The Indian high commission in
Colombo said the gesture would
further boost bilateral ties.
The mission said the fishermen
would be sent home and won’t have
to serve their sentence in India.
“We are deeply grateful to Mahinda Rajapakse for this humanitarian gesture which will further
strengthen the strong and multifaceted relations between India
and Sri Lanka,” the mission said.
Drug convictions carry a mandatory death sentence, which is almost
always commuted to life in prison.
Sri Lanka has not carried out an execution since 1976.
Emerson, P Augustus, R Wil-
son, K Prasath and J Langlet had
withdrawn their appeal last week,
clearing the way for a presidential
Fishermen from the two countries often stray into each others’
waters, creating a thorny issue for
Colombo and Delhi.
Authorities in Tamil Nadu have
repeatedly accused Sri Lanka’s
navy of harassing their fishermen
and urged Delhi to take firm action
against Colombo.
Sri Lanka denies the charges, and
says Indian fishermen regularly
stray into Sri Lankan waters and deprive local fishermen of their livelihood.
In Chennai, the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) said the release came
about due to the efforts of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and Ex-
ternal Affairs Minister Sushma
BJP’s Tamil Nadu leader Tamilisai
Soundararajan also said that there
would soon be a permanent solution
to the problem of attacks by the Sri
Lankan navy on Indian fishermen in
the sea.
The two countries are separated
by a narrow strip of sea known as
the Palk Strait, which is also a rich
fishing ground.
During the height of Sri Lanka’s separatist war in the island’s
northeast, close to southern India,
fishing provided a cover for lucrative smuggling of arms and fuel to
the rebels.
Sri Lankan authorities say smugglers are now bringing narcotics into
the island for shipping to other destinations.
Court rejects plea
to drop Chavan
from Adarsh case
he Bombay High
Court yesterday rejected a plea by the
Central Bureau of Investigation to remove the name
of former Maharashtra chief
minister Ashok Chavan from
the list of accused in the
Adarsh Society scam case.
Justice M L Tahiliyani gave
the ruling on a revision application of the CBI after the
agency’s earlier plea was rejected by a court in January,
Ashish Mehta, a lawyer who
had earlier represented the
petitioner in the case, said.
The ruling could prove to
be a major setback to Chavan
as he will have to face trial as
an accused, and there are indications that he is likely to
appeal against it in the Supreme Court, Mehta added.
Earlier, former Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan refused sanction to
prosecute Chavan for want
of evidence against him.
The CBI told the court
that since the governor refused to grant sanction, and
as it had no material to prosecute, the agency should be
allowed to discharge Chavan
from the case.
Chavan was charged with
providing additional FSI
(floor space index) to the
Adarsh Society allegedly in
return for flats for his relatives in the posh building in
south Mumbai.
The CBI said that during his tenure as the state
revenue minister, Chavan
granted approval for permitting 40% of the total flats to
civilians though the Adarsh
Society was meant to house
Kargil widows, war heroes
and defence personnel.
Chavan resigned as chief
minister after the scam was
exposed in 2010 and was replaced by Prithviraj Chavan.
The 31-storeyed Adarsh
Society building stands on
a prime piece of land in Colaba, south Mumbai. Top
politicians and bureaucrats
were accused of bypassing
rules to corner the posh flats
at cheap rates.
In a sensational incident, an unidentified
person opened fire from an AK-47 on a top
executive of a pharma company in the highsecurity KBR Park here yesterday morning.
Aurobindo Pharma director and vicechairman K Nityananda Reddy escaped
unhurt, police said.
The attacker fled, leaving behind his gun and a
bag. Reddy also opened fire from his pistol.
The incident took place around 7am when
Reddy returned to his Audi car after a
morning walk in the park. The gunman, who
was sitting in the car, apparently tried to
kidnap him.
Reddy told reporters he held the attacker’s
gun and in the scuffle he fired four rounds.
He shouted for help and meanwhile his
brother Shivananda also reached there. They
tried to catch hold of the assailant, who fired
a few more rounds, damaging the windows
of the car. Faced with stiff resistance, the
assailant fled, leaving behind his weapon and
a bag.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Mahender
Reddy said the rifle was missing since January
this year from a commando of Greyhounds,
the elite anti-Maoist force.
The police are probing the incident from
all angles including the possibility of the
involvement of a Maoist or a former Maoist.
The motive of the attacker is also still not clear.
Investigating officials were gathering
information from Nityananda Reddy and his
brother and also analysing the footage from
CCTV cameras installed at the nearby traffic
signal and at the office of Telugu Desam Party
(TDP) to identify the attacker.
The incident sent panic among VIPs who
throng the famous park for their daily
morning walk. Politicians, bureaucrats,
businessmen, film actors and other celebrities
frequent the park.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Student Cristobal Cabello locks a functional
prototype of the so-called ‘unstealable bike’,
in Santiago, Chile. The bike can be locked with
its own parts, thus making it ‘unstealable’,
according to the project leaders.
search for
general in
11-year-old girl used as
drug mule in Colombia
Pena Nieto sees anti-govt
motive in protests
Venezuela’s international
reserves ‘to rise $4bn’
Brazil tycoon on trial
for insider trading
Police say they have caught Colombia’s youngest
drug mule after an 11-year-old girl underwent
surgery to have more than 100 capsules removed
from her stomach. The unnamed child is in hospital
under guard in Cali, western Colombia, after the
failed attempt to smuggle the drugs - hidden in
the capsules - to Europe. “She is out of surgery
after 104 capsules were removed,” Cali police
commander Hoover Penilla said. The girl’s parents
are separated. Her mother said the girl was with
her father for a weekend and came back feeling
queasy at night, and when she still felt unwell in
the morning was taken to the hospital, Penilla said.
Authorities were hunting for the father, he added.
Grappling with outrage over violence and
impunity after the apparent massacre of 43
trainee teachers, Mexican President Enrique Pena
Nieto accused unspecified groups of seeking to
destabilise his government. Protest marches over
the crime, which the government has blamed on
corrupt police in league with a drug gang and city
officials, have overshadowed Pena Nieto’s efforts
to boost years of sub-par economic growth via a
raft of economic reforms. “We have seen violent
movements which hide behind the grief to stage
protests, the aim of which at times is unclear,” the
president said. “They seem to obey interests to
generate instability, to foment social unrest.”
Venezuela’s international reserves will rise by
$4bn this week, Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco
said, following an extended decline that has
worried foreign investors. “We should increase
the reserves by $4bn this week, and thus
strengthen the reserves,” Marco said without
elaborating on where the funds were coming
from. Following his comments, the central bank’s
website showed reserves had risen $2bn to
$21.5bn. Reserves have dropped from $29.8bn
at the start of last year, and last week reached
their lowest since 2003. Once the full $4bn is
deposited, they would climb to their highest
since August 2013.
Flamboyant multimillionaire Eike Batista, once
Brazil’s richest man and one of the wealthiest in the
world, went on trial in Rio to answer allegations of
insider trading. The 58-year-old businessman, who
made his fortune from mining and oil and married
a model wife as he piled up a fortune of some
$30bn, is accused of stock-market manipulation
by using privileged information last year to sell off
company stock. Once the world’s eighth-richest
person, Batista is now said to be worth less than
$100mn. Batista, who faces up to five years in jail,
is accused of deceiving investors by shelving a
plan to invest $1bn in his oil company OGX, whose
production targets proved wildly over optimistic.
Squatters evicted
Bodies of
beauty queen,
sister found
in Honduras
he Colombian army
has mounted a massive
search for a general captured by Farc guerrillas, a kidnapping that has derailed peace
talks just as they marked their
two-year anniversary yesterday.
Some 1,500 troops, 10 helicopters and planes, as well as
boats and land vehicles have
been deployed in the junglecovered region of Choco to
search for General Ruben Alzate, the highest-ranking military officer to be captured by
the leftist Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia in five decades of conflict.
Alzate, 55, went missing on
Sunday with Corporal Jorge Rodriguez and army adviser Gloria
Urrego as they travelled by boat
to visit a civilian energy project
in Choco, where the general
heads a task force responsible
for fighting the rebels and drug
gangs rife in the region.
The kidnapping caused President Juan Manuel Santos to
suspend peace talks with the
Farc in Havana, the most promising effort yet to end Colombia’s 50-year-old conflict.
Defence Minister Juan Carlos
Pinzon has cancelled a meeting
with UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon in New York to travel
to Quibdo, the capital of Choco
department, to personally coordinate the search for the three
“Operations in Choco will
continue for as long as necessary,” Pinzon said after a flyover
of the remote, densely forested
zone on Tuesday evening.
Santos, who has staked his
presidency on the peace talks,
has said they will not resume
until the captives are released.
The local government and
Catholic Church in Quibdo
have set up three empty chairs
in the city centre in tribute to
the three hostages.
Squatters carry their belongings as they leave the newly built apartments of the “Minha
Casa, Minha Vida” (My House, My Life) housing programme in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.
Authorities have ordered the eviction of about 200 families from nearby slums, who moved
into the apartments on November 9, according to local media. The apartments of the housing
programme, meant for the poor, have already been allocated to families by raffle.
Mexico first lady to sell
controversial mansion
Mexico City
exico’s first lady has
announced she was
putting her multimillion-dollar private mansion
on sale to end a controversy over
her purchase of the property
from a government contractor.
Pushing back at suggestions
of a conflict of interest, Angelica Rivera issued a video on her
website to say she had bought
the house with her earnings
from her days as a popular soap
opera star.
Criticism of the mansion in
a posh Mexico City neighbourhood has been an extra headache for President Enrique Pena
Nieto, already struggling with
protests over the government’s
handling of the presumed massacre of 43 college students.
“In the face of accusations
that have put my honour in
doubt, I want to make it clear
before all Mexicans that I have
nothing to hide, that I have
worked all my life and that
thanks to that I am an inde-
pendent woman,” Rivera said.
“I have always acted with integrity,” she said, adding that she
had declared nearly $10mn in
revenue in 2010, for which she
paid almost $3mn in taxes.
Rivera signed the real estate deal in January 2012, six
months before Pena Nieto was
elected president. Her explanation came hours after a visibly irate Pena Nieto said his
wife would publicly clear up
the “falsehoods” in the report
by prominent journalist Carmen Aristegui. “I will not allow
this issue and finger-pointing
to put in doubt the trust that
the majority of Mexicans have
put in me,” Pena Nieto said in
a speech in his native central
State of Mexico.
Rivera said she was selling
the house - which she said was
bought for $4mn - “because I
don’t want this to continue being a pretext to insult and defame my family.”
But Rivera’s explanation did
not appear to refute the main
facts in the report, including that
the house was built by and was
still in the name of a government
contractor’s subsidiary.
Revelations about the “White
House” were made last week on
Aristegui’s website, which said
the house was built by a subsidiary of Grupo Higa, a company
headed by Mexican mogul Juan
Armando Hinojosa.
Rivera acknowledged that
the house was built by Hinojosa’s real estate company after
she told him she was looking
for a new property. Grupo Higa
had won lucrative public works
contracts when Pena Nieto was
governor of the State of Mexico.
Earlier this month, it was part of
a Chinese-Mexican consortium
that won a $3.7bn bullet train
But three days before the
Aristegui report came out, Pena
Nieto abruptly cancelled the
train deal, putting him in an
awkward position as he travelled
to summits in China. The government said it wanted to avoid
any questions about transparency after the opposition raised
questions about why only one
group, the one led by China
Railway Construction Corporation, had bid for the contract.
olice found the bodies of
the reigning Miss Honduras and her sister dumped
beside a river yesterday, and
said they are holding the sister’s
boyfriend on suspicion of killing
Maria Jose Alvarado, who had
planned to fly to London yesterday to compete in the Miss
World contest, disappeared
with her sister Sofia Trinidad
in northwestern Honduras last
Thursday after a party, sparking
an exhaustive search.
Chief detective Leandro
Osorio said the bodies of the
19-year-old beauty queen and
her sister had been found partially buried along the banks of
the Aguagual River in the town
of Arada.
“We are 100% sure that it’s
them,” he said. Police have detained Trinidad’s boyfriend, arrested Tuesday in connection
with the sisters’ kidnapping, on
suspicion of killing them, Osorio
“We are holding the author
of this horrific act, Plutarco
Ruiz. We have found the murder
weapon and the vehicle used to
transport them,” he said.
Police are investigating additional suspects who they believe
played a role in trying to cover up
the crime, Osorio added.
Organisers of the Miss World
pageant issued a statement yesterday expressing their condolences, and announcing a tribute
this weekend in honour of the
slain sisters.
“We are devastated by this
Lopez supporters
terrible loss of two young women, who were so full of life. Our
thoughts and prayers are with
the family and friends of Maria
Jose Alvarado and Sofia Trinidad
at this time of grief,” the London-based organisers said.
“We are receiving messages of
condolences and support from
our Miss World family across the
world, who all share our sadness
at such a tragedy,” the statement
“We will be holding a
special service with
all of the Miss World
contestants on Sunday”
“We will be holding a special service with all of the Miss
World contestants on Sunday,
where we will be honouring the
lives of Maria Jose Alvarado and
Sofia Trinidad, and say prayers
for them and their family.”
The pageant organisers said
they also planned donate money
to a children’s home in Honduras
in the two women’s memory.
Alvarado and Trinidad disappeared outside the northwestern
city of Santa Barbara after attending a birthday party for Ruiz
at a local resort. Osorio said forensics investigators had not yet
examined the bodies, but that
evidence indicated the women
were killed the same night.
Police arrested Ruiz on Tuesday, seizing a Colt-45 pistol and
two vehicles. “Investigators have
US urged to end
embargo on Cuba
A group of people demonstrate in support of Venezuelan
opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez next to the Palace of Justice
in Caracas, Venezuela. Lopez, who has been held in preventive
prison nine months, appeared before a tribunal for the alleged
violent acts during protests against the government in early 2014.
been working tirelessly to get to
the bottom of these atrocious
acts, which have caused mourning in Santa Barbara and across
Honduras,” Osorio said.
The sisters were last seen
leaving the party in a champagne-coloured car. Their
mother, Teresa Munoz, says the
same vehicle arrived at her home
earlier that day to pick up Maria
Jose, who had just arrived from
the capital Tegucigalpa, about
200kms away.
Sofia was supposedly inside
the car at the time, but Munoz said she did not see her. “It
seemed strange to me that Sofia
didn’t get out of the car. I asked
Maria Jose why and she said they
were in a hurry, and left,” she said.
Alvarado had been set to fly
to London yesterday to compete
in Miss World, which begins
Saturday and wraps up on December 14. She was also known
in Honduras for her work as a
model on a popular TV game
show called “X-0.”
Her family had made a tearful
plea for the sisters’ safe return
after their disappearance. Residents of Santa Barbara held a
demonstration demanding their
release on Tuesday, when hope
still lingered that they were alive.
Honduras, a poor Central
American country of 8mn people, has the world’s highest
homicide rate: 90.4 per 100,000
The United Nations’ special
rapporteur on violence against
women, Rashida Manjoo, warned
in July that violence against
women was on the rise in Honduras, with a 263.4% increase in
the number of women killed violently between 2005 and 2013.
he grandson of Ernest
Hemingway has called
for the normalisation
of diplomatic ties between
the US and Cuba, home to the
American literary giant for
several years during the 1940s
and 1950s.
“I think it is important that
the diplomatic relations are
re-established,” John Hemingway told a press conference
in Washington calling for USCuba ties to be normalised to
help marine conservation.
“I believe these two countries need to finally recognise
each other and do things in a
normal fashion,” Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway maintained a home in Cuba for years
before committing suicide in
Idaho in 1961. The writer set
one of his most famous novels
- The Old Man and the Sea - on
the island, telling the story of
a Cuban fisherman and his
unsuccessful pursuit of a large
The 1952 novel earned
Hemingway a Pulitzer Prize
and contributed to him being
awarded the Nobel Prize for
literature two years later.
To mark the 60th anniversary of their grandfather’s
Nobel prize, John Hemingway and his brother Patrick
recently travelled to Cuba to
push for closer environmental co-operation between the
United States and Cuba.
The United States has
maintained a decades-long
embargo against Communistruled Cuba since 1960. However Hemingway said it was
time for Washington to call a
halt to sanctions on Havana.
“Cuba has been ignored by
the US, which is amazing, because it is the biggest island
in the Caribbean, with 11mn
people, and we aren’t doing
anything, pretending that it is
not there,” Hemingway said.
Environmentalists want an
end to the US embargo in order
to allow scientists and nongovernmental organisations
on both sides of the Florida
Straits to work together to improve marine conservation.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
‘India, Pakistan were very near to agreement on Kashmir’
New Delhi
ndia and Pakistan were very
near to a framework agreement on the Kashmir issue
through back-channel talks during the previous Congress-led
regime and it can be put to use
by the new regimes in the two
countries, former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud
Kasuri said yesterday.
Interacting with a select group
of media persons here about his
forthcoming book titled Neither
hawk, nor dove, Kasuri said the
new governments in India and
Pakistan can take forward the
framework by giving it a new
“Try hard as they may, they
can’t change it. Both states know
each other’s bottomline,” he
Kasuri said the book has a
chapter on the four-point Kashmir framework. “We were very
near (to agreement).”
Kasuri, who was Pakistan’s
foreign minister 2002-07 and
is a senior leader of cricketerturned politician Imran Khan’s
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party,
said he had seen the negotiations
on the framework from close
quarters and witnessed the exchange of drafts.
“It went on for three years,” he
Kasuri said the framework
was such that the leadership on
both sides thought they could
convince the majority of their
people as also vast sections of
people in Kashmir.
Kasuri said former US sec-
retary of state Henry Kissinger
had used the term “balanced
dissatisfaction” in terms of the
Ukraine crisis, but India and Pakistan’s back channel talks were
trying to achieve more.
“We were trying to achieve
more than balanced dissatisfaction,” he said.
Kasuri said only top military
and foreign office authorities
from Pakistan apart from then
president Pervez Musharraf were
in the know of the framework.
“Manmohan Singh was equally secretive. No one wanted a
negative spin,” he said.
He said the book narrates
“what we agreed on, what led to
it, what pressures were there on
us, what were we facing, what
were we being told”.
Kasuri said he had dealt with
three Indian foreign ministers -
Four sentenced
to death for
‘honour killing’
Four relatives of a pregnant
woman who bludgeoned
her to death outside one of
Pakistan’s top courts were
sentenced to death yesterday
for the crime
Pakistan court yesterday sentenced four men
to death for murdering a
pregnant woman bludgeoned to
death in the centre of the country’s second-largest city for
marrying against her family’s
A mob of more than two dozen
attackers, among them numerous relatives including the victim’s father and brother, battered Farzana Parveen to death
with bricks outside the High
Court in the eastern city of Lahore in May.
So-called “honour” killings
are commonplace in Pakistan
but the brutal and brazen nature of the attack on 25-year-old
Parveen meant the case made
headlines around the world.
“The court today awarded
death sentences to four accused
— the father, brother, cousin and
ex-husband of the victim — for
murder and terrorism,” prosecutor Rai Asif Mehmood said.
Mehmood said the sentences
were handed down for three
counts—murder, terrorism and
the killing of an unborn baby—
and the court had also fined
each defendant Rs100,000
The fifth accused in the case,
a cousin of Parveen, was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment, Mehmood said.
Though Pakistan has the
death penalty for several crimes,
there has been a de facto moratorium on civilian executions since
2008. Defence lawyer Mansoor
Rehman Afridi said his clients
would appeal.
“The court today
awarded death sentences
to four accused — the
father, brother, cousin
and ex-husband of the
victim — for murder and
“My clients will appeal against
their sentences as we believe that
the case had been politicised and
the media coverage mounted
pressure on us,” Afridi said.
The killing sparked outrage,
with the United States branding the incident “heinous” and
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanding action to
catch the killers.
Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year on the grounds of
defending family “honour”.
The Aurat Foundation, a
campaign group that works to
improve the lives of women in
Pakistan’s conservative and patriarchal society, says more than
3,000 have been killed in such
attacks since 2008.
But Pakistan’s blood-money
laws allow a victim’s family to
forgive the murderer on receipt
of a payment, which makes
prosecuting so-called “honour”
cases difficult because the killer
is usually a relative.
Parveen’s killing, in broad
daylight in a supposedly relatively liberal city, caused particular outrage as police were
present at the scene but apparently did nothing to stop the attack.
Senior officers defended their
men, saying the mob was too
large to be stopped and trying to
play down the killing as a “routine murder”.
In a grisly twist to the case, a
few days after Parveen’s death
her husband Mohamed Iqbal admitted he had strangled his first
wife out of love for Parveen.
He was spared jail for his first
wife’s murder because his sons
persuaded her family to pardon
him under the blood-money
On the day she was attacked
Parveen had gone to court to
testify in Iqbal’s defence after he
was accused by her relatives of
kidnapping her and forcing her
into marriage.
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri
Yashwant Sinha, Natwar Singh
and Pranab Mukherjee - and had
a continuous view.
He said only a few people can
draw a complete picture of the
Kashmir framework, including
Musharraf, Manmohan Singh
and Satinder Lambah, India’s
special envoy who was part of
the back channel talks.
Kasuri said he wished Manmohan Singh had visited Pakistan in 2006 to sign an agreement on Sir Creek as it would
have also paved the way for the
agreement on Kashmir.
Speaking of the Kashmir
framework, he said Indians
wanted reciprocity on everything and their bottom line was
that there would be no change in
geographic frontiers.
He said Kashmiris did not
want their state to be split.
According to a published account of the framework agreement, the first step was to make
the Line of Control (LoC) just ‘a
line on a map’.
The second step was to
strengthen local self-governments on both sides of the
The third step entailed creation of joint or co-operative institutions under the charge of
Kashmiri leaders to co-ordinate
policies on matters of common
The fourth and final element
was ‘agreed withdrawal’ of
troops on both sides.
Kasuri said he had suggested
his book’s title as “Interrupted
symphony” but his publishers
came up with a new title which
was acceptable to him.
He said the book also talks
about things that have gone
wrong in Pakistan.
He said there were some distortions in history and Pakistan
was the inheritor of the Indus
Valley civilisation and should
take ownership of it.
“I have tried to give a hard
message. I am a politician. I am
a realist,” he said.
He said India had great potential but it can be achieved only
if there was peace. “Meeting of
hearts (is needed). Meeting of
arms will achieve nothing.”
Kasuri said politicians from
either side should refrain from
display of one-upmanship.
“India bashing or Pakistan
bashing, no politician should
play to win votes,” he said.
He also favoured greater people-to-people interaction and
opening both sides to each other’s films and TV serials.
Kasuri is in Delhi to take part
in a track-II dialogue that also
involves Congress leader Mani
Shankar Aiyar and BJP leader
Yashwant Sinha.
Tribal families flee fighting
Pakistani tribal families flee from neighbouring Khyber tribal region due to the fighting between security forces and militants
groups, wait for registration at an office on the outskirts of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan.
Court orders probe into prison polio claim
akistan’s Supreme Court
has ordered an investigation after a female
prisoner serving a sentence for
murder claimed her daughter
had contracted polio in the jail,
officials said yesterday.
Convict Naseeban Katoon
says her daughter, who lives
with her in Karachi central
prison, was not given polio vaccination drops and caught the
crippling virus, Assistant Advocate General of Sindh province Qasim Mir said.
The Supreme Court has ordered an inquiry into the case
and instructed all the country’s
provinces to disclose whether
polio drops were being administered in their prisons, Mir
Pakistan is one of only three
countries around the world
where polio remains endemic,
but years of attempts to stamp
it out have been badly hit by
opposition from militants and
attacks on immunisation teams.
Cases have soared to a 14year high in Pakistan this year,
with 235 confirmed infections
as of this month — more than
double the total for the whole
of 2013.
Katoon first raised the issue
in 2009 when she applied for
permission to take her daughter
out of the prison for treatment,
but the Supreme Court has only
now heard the case.
Shafi Mohammad Chandio,
Additional Advocate General
(senior legal officer) for the
province, said the court sought
a reply from officials in Sindh
within 15 days.
“The Sindh police chief has
told us in writing that he has
already started an investigation
into whether the prison doctor
had administered polio drops to
the girl,” he said.
A senior Sindh official said
on condition of anonymity that
there were very few children in
prison, and vaccination teams
did not visit them since they
lacked data about child inmates.
Won’t allow proxy India-Pakistan war: Karzai PIA cleared for
EU cargo flights
New Delhi
ormer president Hamid
Karzai insisted yesterday
that Afghanistan would
not allow itself to become the
battleground in a proxy war between India and Pakistan after
the imminent departure of USled troops.
Speaking in New Delhi, Karzai angrily rejected warnings by
his one-time counterpart in Islamabad Pervez Musharraf that
India and Pakistan could co-opt
allies among Afghanistan’s main
ethnic groups to effectively wage
war against each other, saying
such claims were “hurtful”.
“Of course Afghanistan will
not allow a proxy war between
Pakistan and India,” Karzai said
in an address to a thinktank, saying he was “sure” India wouldn’t
allow such a scenario either.
In an AFP interview earlier
this week, Musharraf warned
that Pakistan would look to use
ethnic Pashtuns to counter if
India tries to achieve its goal of
creating an “anti-Pakistan Afghanistan”.
Nuclear-armed neighbours
India and Pakistan have long ac-
cused each other of using proxy
forces to try to gain influence in
“Afghanistan has a history
of 5,000 years. Saying
that Pashtuns will be used
as a tool is insulting to
Pashtuns, insulting to the
people of Afghanistan”
“If Indians are using some elements of the ethnic entities in
Afghanistan, then Pakistan will
use its own support for ethnic
elements, and our ethnic elements are certainly Pashtuns,”
the former general said ahead of
the pullout later this year of Nato
combat troops after 13 years.
But Karzai, who has long accused Islamabad of trying to
destabilise the Kabul government,
said any suggestion that Pashtuns
would do Pakistan’s bidding was
“hurtful” and an insult to Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group.
“That was a very unfortunate remark,” said Karzai, who is
himself a Pashtun.
“Afghanistan has a history of
5,000 years. Saying that Pashtuns will be used as a tool is insulting to Pashtuns, insulting to
the people of Afghanistan.”
Pakistan was one of only three
countries that recognised the
mainly Pashtun Taliban regime
that ruled in Kabul before being
toppled in late 2001 after a USled invasion in the wake of the
September 11 attacks.
The Taliban’s downfall led to
Karzai’s installation as Afghan
leader and he remained in power
until standing down as president
earlier this year.
Musharraf, who was a key ally
of the US during the invasion, is
currently confined to his home
in Karachi as he battles a series
of criminal cases dating back to
his near decade-long rule that
ended in 2008.
PPP draws flak over wave of child deaths
early 300 children have
died this year in desert
communities in southern Pakistan, officials said yesterday, as poor monsoon rains
and livestock diseases have combined to worsen malnutrition.
The Thar desert, straddling
the Indian border and one of
Pakistan’s poorest areas, has
seen an alarming number of
children suffering pneumonia
or diarrhoea due to a dangerous mix of drought, poverty
and poor health infrastructure.
The deaths have prompted criticism for the Pakistan
People’s Party (PPP), which
governs in the southern prov-
ince of Sindh where part of the
desert is located.
A total of 496 people, 296 of
them children, have died in Thar
this year, Taj Haider, a senior
PPP official with responsibility
for the Thar situation, said.
Since the start of October 48
children have died in Thar, according to doctor Abdul Jalil,
district health officer for Tharparkar district.
This week around 40 children, some in critical condition, are undergoing treatment
in a hospital in Mithi, the nearest town to the affected area,
according to humanitarian
“The current situation is due
to a combination of factors. Low
rainfall and sheep pox exacerbated malnutrition and (there
was) a lack of healthcare facili-
ties,” a UN official said.
Life in the desert is closely
tied to rain-dependent crops
and animals, with farmers
relying on beans, wheat and
sesame seeds for survival.
They barter any surplus for
There are few healthcare facilities in the area, and families
must travel substantial distances
to seek treatment.
Airlines (PIA) has secured approval for cargo
services to the European Union after being suspended over
security fears, officials said
yesterday, a rare boost for the
beleaguered flag-carrier.
The EU tightened security
controls on air freight in the
wake of a plot to smuggle a
bomb hidden in printer toner
cartridges on a plane from
Yemen in 2010.
New regulations came into
force in July this year and in
September the EU suspended
PIA’s right to fly cargo into the
bloc over non-compliance.
PIA got clearance from the
EU after installing dual view
X-ray machines and explosive
trace detectors to thoroughly
scan goods and parcels booked
on its flights.
“It is a very big achievement
for us now that EU experts
have audited our security installations and validated our
safety and security standards,”
Captain Salman Azhar, PIA’s
director for safety and quality
insurance, said.
PIA acquired the validation
of safety and security standards for Lahore airport in September and now Karachi and
Islamabad airports have also
been granted the EU clearance.
Once a jewel among Asian
airlines, state-owned PIA has
suffered terrible problems in
recent years, with financial
losses running to hundreds of
millions of dollars and constant flight cancellations.
Last year one of its pilots
was jailed in the UK for showing up drunk to fly a plane with
156 people on board, and Pakistani airports suffered two
major security incidents this
In June heavily armed militants stormed Karachi international airport in a commando-style raid that left 38
people dead, including the 10
Two weeks later, gunmen opened fire on a PIA
flight from Saudi Arabia as
it landed at Peshawar airport in the country’s restive
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Ace comedian hails hardworking overseas Filipino workers
Manila Times
Sometimes, it is good to
be lazy!” was ace comedian Vic Sotto’s teasing reminder to hardworking overseas
Filipino workers (OFWs) last
Thursday when he officially announced his latest endorsement
for CitiGlobal properties.
The company’s developments,
according to their new influential brand ambassador, hopes to
empower the country’s modern
day heroes — who have bolstered
the economy with their dollar
remittances — to make use of
their hard-earned money wisely
and enjoy it leisurely.
“Through Eat Bulaga (the
country’s longest running noontime show), I’ve met so many
hardworking Pinoys who are
separated from their families
so they could give them better
lives. And while they do that,
they’ve also managed to save a
good amount of money, which
I personally believe they should
invest for the future. And for me,
the best and safe investment is
real estate,” Bossing Vic, as he is
known to all, explained.
“Besides being affordable, CitiGlobal properties are developed in
leisure locations such as Tagaytay,
which provide OFWs a place for
vacation, and while they’re away,
a place to rent out.”
With the company’s head honchos, Beth and Gary To beside
him, Vic reiterated his support for
OFWs, whom he said are “close to
his heart.”
“Last April, we were at Toronto
and we saw how homesick Filipinos were. Most of them are saving
money to go on vacation, that’s
why they are working hard for
them to later relax and enjoy.” He
said they deserved it and something like this venture could make
it happen for them.
Connecting with community
He further noted that owning a
property provides OFWs a sense of
accomplishment in that they have
not only bettered their families’
lives, but have also saved enough
to afford some of life’s luxuries.
“What I appreciate about CitiGlobal is that their schemes are
very realistic for our OFWs, that
is why I am truly proud to be their
ambassador,” he said.
Former Comelec
official reveals
fraud in 2013 polls
By Robertzon F Ramirez
Manila Times
Counter staff pose with Philippine President Benigno Aquino after he dined at Filipino fast food restaurant Jollibee at Lucky Plaza in Singapore yesterday. Aquino was in
Singapore on a two-day visit.
Would-be witness in
massacre murdered
potential witness in the
trial over the Philippines’
worst political massacre
has been killed, police said yesterday as the government struggled to secure justice for the
2009 murder of 58 people.
Tuesday’s attack brings to
four the number of would-be
witnesses in the ongoing trial to
be killed, with no one yet convicted nearly five years on.
Dennis Sakal died while another potential witness Sukarno Saudagal was wounded
in the attack by unknown gunmen in the southern province of
Maguindanao, where the massacre took place on November
23, 2009, said provincial police
chief Rodelio Jocson.
“I was officially informed that
the two were to take the stand,”
Senior Superintendent Jocson
said by telephone. He said he was
unaware of what they planned to
Apart from the three other
potential witnesses murdered
earlier, three relatives of persons
Relatives of victims of the Maguindanao Massacre arrive at the National Police Commission headquarters, to ask
for the dismissal of police involved in the massacre, in Manila yesterday.
who had planned to testify at the
trial in Manila have also been
killed, prosecutors say.
The 2009 massacre was allegedly orchestrated by the Ampatuan clan of Maguindanao on
Mindanao island in a bid to stop
a local rival from challenging one
of its members for the post of
The clan’s candidate, Andal Ampatuan junior, allegedly
led his family’s private army in
stopping a convoy carrying his
Rizal Park makeover begins
ahead of Pope Francis visit
By Robertzon F Ramirez
Manila Times
makeover of Rizal Park
(Luneta) in Manila is in
full swing as the government prepares for the visit
of Pope Francis in January next
The Department of Public
Works and Highways (DPWH)
yesterday said the renovation
work at the park where the Pope
will say Mass is about 30% to
40% finished.
Region (NCR or Metro Manila)
Director Reynaldo Tagundando
said rehabilitation work is being done 24/7.
The government allotted
P20mn to beautify the 40-hectare park.
Tagundando said aside from
the physical renovation of the
park, part of the budget will
be used for repair of liturgical
requirements and wiring and
cable systems as well as installation of portable toilets and
platforms, among other purposes.
He added that the altar where
the pontiff will say the Mass at
the Luneta Grandstand on Jan-
uary 18, 2015 was designed by
the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Earlier reports quoted government and church authorities as saying the expected
crowd attendance at the event
could top 6mn, thus raising security and mobility concerns.
Tagundando said the crowd
could spill to Anda Circle and
Taft Avenue.
He, however, gave assurances
that those far from the grandstand would still see and hear
the Pope because LED screens
will be installed in and around
the park.
Vic Sotto: praise for OFWs
foe’s wife, relatives, lawyers and
a group of more than 30 journalists, and then gunning them
down. A total of 111 out of 195
suspects are on trial, including the principal suspects Andal
junior, brother Zaldy Ampatuan
and their father and clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan senior.
However, court officials said
the other suspects remain at
large and prosecutors do not
expect the court to hand down
verdicts until next year at the
Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman
for President Benigno Aquino,
and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines both
condemned the latest ambush.
“The government has to step
up and secure people involved
in this trial, which has taken too
long already,” union director Jose
Jaime Espina said. “It does not
help the morale of the other witnesses,” Valte acknowledged.
The Ampatuans, who deny
the murder charges, had ruled
Maguindanao for about a decade
under the patronage of thenpresident Gloria Arroyo, who
had used the clan’s militias as a
buffer against separatist rebels.
Despite the detention of top
clan leaders, wives and other
relatives of the key defendants
were elected to major local posts
across Maguindanao last year,
attesting to the clan’s enduring
former official of the
Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday claimed that the poll body
attempted to cover up widespread electronic manipulation of vote results in the 2013
mid-term elections.
Lawyer Melchor Magdamo,
executive assistant to thenComelec Chairman Jose Melo,
said the electronic “dagdagbawas” (vote padding and
shaving) was discovered during a random manual audit
conducted by experts from the
Department of Science and
Technology (DOST).
He added that Sen. Aquilino Pimentel and evangelist
Eddie Villanueva were among
the “victims” of the “electronic dagdag-bawas” in the
2013 senatorial polls, where
Precinct Count Optical Scan
(PCOS) machines acquired
from Smartmatic were used.
Pimentel was among the 12
winners proclaimed, having
landed in eighth place. Villanueva secured the 19th spot.
The senatorial race last year
was topped by Grace Poe, who
got 20,337,327 votes. “They
(Comelec) tried to cover up the
results,” Magdamo said.
He noted that Pimentel and
Villanueva no longer filed a
protest because of the late discovery of the anomaly.
The former poll official said
current Comelec Chairperson
Sixto Brillantes Jr questioned
the authority of DOST of-
ficials when the technical report on the manual audit was
presented to the senate in December 2013, over reports of
discrepancies in the PCOS and
manual count of votes.
Magdamo added that the
results of the senatorial elections may have been preprogrammed in the PCOS
machines as indicated in the
report of the Technical Evaluation Committee composed of
IT experts from DOST.
The evaluation found lines
in the digital images of the
counted ballots produced by
almost all counting machines
that compromised the vote
count for senators, he said.
“It was discovered to be
widespread in ballots all over
the country, there are mysterious digital lines that affected
the vote count,” the co-convener of election watchdog
group Citizens for Clean and
Credible Election (C3E), said.
C3E is among the groups
pressing for the disqualification
of Smartmatic from participating in the bidding for 23,000 additional voting machines to be
used in 2016. The Comelec has
started the bidding process for
the P2bn supply contract and
the refurbishment of the existing 83,000 PCOS machines.
Magdamo said the presence
of digital lines had the effect of
an “electronic dagdag bawas”
in that they added or subtracted
votes for a particular candidate.
Blank ovals were counted as
votes for particular candidates
once the vertical lines on the
electronic image of the ballot
were detected.
China urged to match
assurance with actions
he Philippines yesterday urged China to
match with actions
President Xi Jinping’s commitment not to use force in
resolving territorial disputes
in the region.
Xi made the assurance in a
speech before the Australian
parliament after the G20 summit.
“This expression of commitment by the Chinese
president, when coupled
with concrete actions on the
ground, will undoubtedly lead
to an improved situation in the
South China Sea,” said Charles
Jose, spokesman for the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.
“We welcome the statement, but it should be matched
with the action,” he added.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, which
straddles key shipping lanes
and is believed to be rich in oil
and minerals. Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam also
have overlapping claims over
the area.
The Philippines and Vietnam have accused China of
alleged incursions, harassment of fishermen, reclamation work and disruption of oil
and gas exploration projects in
territories that are within their
exclusive economic zones.
Campaign to promote sanitation
Filipino residents hold water containers as they participate in an event to mark World Toilet Day at a poor community in Manila
yesterday. The UN General Assembly has designated November 19 as World Toilet Day, urging changes in both behaviour and policy, on
issues ranging from enhancing water management to ending open-air defecation.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Rajapakse cleared to
seek snap elections
ri Lanka’s president cleared
a final hurdle to seeking reelection yesterday when
he completed the mandatory
four years of his second term,
opening the way for snap polls
expected in January.
Mahinda Rajapakse is widely
expected to seek re-election after Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court
last week rejected an opposition challenge to the removal
of a two-term limit on the
“After completing four years
in his current (second) term,
the president now has the constitutional authority to seek a
fresh mandate from the people,” his spokesman Mohan
Samaranayake said.
Samaranayake did not say
when Rajapakse would issue a
proclamation seeking re-election — the next step towards
polls — but official sources
said it could happen within
24 hours.
Although no elections have yet
been called, large posters featuring a smiling Rajapakse already
appear on lamp posts around
the country, as was the case in
previous election campaigns.
Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella recently said
elections could be held around
January 7 or 8, and yesterday the state-run Daily News
brought out a special 92-page
supplement on the president’s
However, celebrations for
Rajapakse’s 69th birthday were
marred on Tuesday when a key
coalition partner, the JHU or the
National Heritage Party of Buddhist monks, quit his government in protest at his failure to
loosen his grip on power.
Official sources said Rajapakse
was keen to secure another mandate before his party’s popularity
falls further.
Rajapakse’s United People’s
Freedom Alliance vote share
plummeted at local elections in
September, suffering its worst
performance since he first came
to power nine years ago.
Rajapakse won the presidency
in 2005 promising to return the
country to a Westminster-style
parliamentary democracy.
But he secured a second term
in 2010 and rewrote the constitution, removing the two-term
limit on the top job and giving
epal’s parties in parliament have rejected
a joint proposal tabled
by the ruling Nepali Congress
and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), which they
believe could further affect
a fragile constitution drafting process, party leaders said
After a meeting of 20 parties led by the main opposition United Communist Party
of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M),
they said the proposal of the
ruling parties was aimed at
destabilising the constitution
drafting process and pushing the country toward further uncertainty, according to
Two weeks ago, the ruling
parties came up with a joint
By Mizan Rahman
Sheikh Hasina: “The development
is possible by that political force
which has liberated the country.”
an intensive negative propaganda at international level
against the government after
10th parliamentary election.
“But the base of Bangladesh’s
friendly relations and mutual
co-operation with outside
world is gradually gaining a
firm footing,” she said, adding
that Bangladesh’s continued
success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals,
democratic advancement and
stride to uphold human rights
are the cornerstone of the
country’s image abroad.
Hasina said Bangladesh
since formation of the government by Awami League
government in 2009, has been
making tremendous economic
success. “About 50mn people
lifted their position to medium
income level from extreme
poverty, lessening overall
poverty by 24.47%.”
The prime minister said
Bangladesh is now a global
brand for its success in agriculture. With around 160mn
people, she said, the country
is now self-sufficient in food
Hasina said the country is
playing an active role in all
multilateral forums. Bangladesh has also been elected as
member and chair in many
global forums including different bodies of the UN with a
high margin.
She said the country is now
installed in a very dignified
position in the global arena.
“Bangladesh is recognised as a
progressive, democratic, secular and effective country aspiring for development, peace
and prosperity.”
She laid importance on sustaining the country’s progress
in all fields particularly in the
areas of good governance,
upholding human rights and
economic development.
proposal on key issues, such
as federalism and formation
of government, which is making the statute drafting more
complicated and dividing the
After the opposition rejected the proposal, there was
growing tussles among the
parties before the January 22
deadline of promulgation of a
new constitution as committed during last year’s election
“We urge all concerned to be
serious on constitution-drafting process as per past agreements,” the parties said in a joint
statement. “The federalism
with identity and proportional and inclusive constitution
is our bottom-line.”
The constitution drafting
has been stalled indefinitely in
Nepal. But the ruling parties
are committed to forwarding
their proposal in parliament or
the constituent assembly.
A man walking past a billboard bearing portraits of President Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo yesterday.
himself more powers over the
entire administration.
The JHU supported Rajapakse’s election in 2005 and
backed his moves to end a dec-
ades-long separatist war by
crushing Tamil Tiger rebels in
With just three seats in the
225-member parliament the JHU
lacks the power to destabilise the
government, but the monks are
considered influential among
the country’s majority Buddhist
Govt enjoys Indian sleuths hand
full trust of dossier to Bangladesh
people: PM on terror plots
angladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government remains in power with
full support of the people and
their confidence to carry out
country’s development.
“We have complete support
and confidence of the people.
That’s why the people are not
responding to the repeated
calls of some political parties
for movement,” she said.
Hasina was replying to
a question from Treasury
bench member M Ali Ashraf of
Comilla-7 constituency during Prime Minister’s question
answer session in parliament.
The Leader of the House
Sheikh Hasina said people
know very well that this government can only take forward
Bangladesh towards development, progress and prosperity.
“The development is possible
by that political force which
has liberated the country.”
She urged the members of
parliament for taking steps
for a proper execution of the
projects and programmes
taken for development of
their area. “The government
doesn’t have the aim of creating any moneyed man in the
country, but fulfill basic needs
of every people and ensure
overall development.”
Hasina, however, did not
explain unopposed election of
153 lawmakers out of total 300
well ahead of January 5 and
voters’ turnout ranging from
ten to 20% in the polls amid
unprecedented violence, according to poll monitors.
The prime minister said
Bangladesh’s victory in two
global parliamentary forums
like Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and
is a rare achievement and
manifestation of Bangladesh’s growing relations with
the international community
as well.
She said Bangladesh is now
considered as a role model
in the world in establishing
democracy and good governance. “With the success of
Bangladesh in the two parliamentary forums it has been
proved again,” she said.
The prime minister said
some quarters have launched
Nepal parties
turn down joint
proposal on
drafting charter
ndia has handed Bangladesh
a list of 11 men suspected of
plotting attacks including
one targeting its prime minister, officials said yesterday, as
the two countries tighten security cooperation against Islamist
Indian security officials uncovered the plot against Sheikh
Hasina last month after two
members of a banned Bangladesh group were killed in
an explosion while building
bombs in India’s West Bengal
state just over the border from
The men were believed to
be members of the outlawed
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh who were using India as a
safe haven to plan the attacks.
The plot deepened concern in
India that jihadist groups were
setting up bases in the east of
the country while security forces
have been focused on the threat
from Pakistan-based militants
on the more heavily guarded
western flank.
A team headed by the chief
of India’s National Investigations Agency, the main counterterrorism arm, held talks with
Bangladeshi officials in Dhaka
and handed over the list of suspects thought to be hiding there,
Mufti Mahmud Khan, an official
of the Rapid Action Battalion
Under Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has been working closely
with India to tackle militant
groups including handing over
people that India suspects of
stirring trouble in the remote
northeast region.
Khan said Bangladesh had
given the Indian team its own list
of wanted men - 51 in all, most
of them suspected of criminal
acts who had slipped across the
porous border into India.
The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen
was thought to have been lying
low since authorities cracked
down on it after it detonated
nearly 500 bombs almost simultaneously on one day in 2005
across Bangladesh, including in
the capital, Dhaka.
Its militants later carried out
suicide attacks on several courthouses, killing 25 people and
wounding hundreds.
Three airline
officials among
five arrested for
gold smuggling
By Mizan Rahman
Dhaka court yesterday
remanded five people,
including three officials
of state-run Biman Bangladesh Airlines, in police custody after they were arrested
for their alleged involvement
in gold smuggling.
The three Biman officials
include deputy general manager Emdad Hossain, manager
(flight civil service) Tozammel
Hossain Khan and captain and
chief of planning and scheduling Abu Md Aslam Shaheed.
The two others are Harunur-Rashid, owner of a money
exchange, and Mahmud Hossain Polash, a contractor for
the airline.
Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Md Erfanullah passed
the order rejecting their bail
petitions when the police
produced them before the
court seeking a 10-day re-
Rumble in the Jungle race
A foreign participant pushing his bike through a river during the Rumble In The Jungle mountain biking race in Kudaoya, in the
southeastern Sri Lankan district of Moneragala, yesterday. Some 40 participants from 17 countries are taking part in the event,
including riders from Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Britain, USA,
Germany, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.
mand for each of them.
In the remand petition,
it was mentioned that a Biman cabin crew member,
Majharul Afsar, was arrested
along with smuggled gold on
November 12.
In his confessional statement, he named the three Biman officials and two other
for their involvement in the
smuggling. The police arrested
the five on Monday night.
Briefing reporters yesterday,
Joint Commissioner of Police
Monirul Islam said the police
during the investigation came
to know that Shafiul Azam
Talukdar Minto, an expatriate living Dubai, sent the gold
bars, which were recovered
from Afsar.
A number of international
smuggling syndicates have
been using international flights
to bring gold consignments
into Bangladesh only to be
smuggled to India, the world’s
country, sources said.
Human traffickers
charged with
illegal entry
Two days after a boat carrying
nearly 600 migrants was
seized in the Bay of Bengal near
Bangladesh’s southeastern
border with Myanmar, two
separate cases have been
lodged against the human
traffickers, police said yesterday.
A police official told Xinhua
from the southeastern
Chittagong port city that a total
of 80 Myanmar nationals were
charged with illegal entry into
Bangladesh while 16 people
from both countries were
accused in another case of
human trafficking.
All the rescued Bangladeshis
have been released.
A total of 592 people, including
dozens of women and children
from Bangladesh and Myanmar,
were rescued on Monday from
the boat some 50 nautical
miles southeast of Saint
Martin’s Island, in Teknaf under
Bangladesh’s southeastern
Cox’s Bazaar district.
Bangladesh Coast Guards
officials say people being
trafficked expect their boats
or ships to sail to Malaysia, but
they are often kidnapped and
taken to jungle hideouts in
Thailand where they are held for
The victims are usually held
until relatives pay money as
ransom to secure their release.
If a ransom is not paid, the
traffickers kill them or sell them
as slaves.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 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
Obama risking
US President Barack Obama has only two years left
in office but he is not ready to slow down. Instead, he
plans to charge into two of the most sensitive issues
in US politics: immigration and climate change.
Now faced with implacable Republican opponents
in both houses of Congress, Obama will force the
pace of reform using the executive power of the
White House, risking a constitutional showdown.
Just back from an Asian tour during which he
announced a deal with China to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, Obama now plans to issue a decree
protecting millions of immigrants from deportation.
On both topics he is moving faster than America’s
Republican-led Congress would stomach, and his
apparent determination to test the limits of his
authority has infuriated his opponents.
Obama believes his promises to Beijing - a
reduction in US carbon emissions by 26 to 28%
from their 2005 levels by 2025 - can be met without
On immigration,
The Republicans having seen many
reform efforts stall on
have expressed Capitol Hill, Obama
thinks the time has
fury at this
come to act alone.
attempt to get
Without a coalition
around them
in Congress, Obama
will not be able to
reach a broad reform defining a path to citizenship
for the millions of undocumented living and working
in the US.
But, some argue, an executive order could protect
certain young people who grew up in the US, were
educated there or served in the US military from
expulsion pending new legislation.
The extent of Obama’s action has yet to be
revealed, but the White House has said the order will
be issued by the end of the year.
The Republicans, whose victory in this month’s
mid-term elections gave them a comfortable margin
of control in the legislature, have expressed fury at
this attempt to get around them.
Some Republicans are working with Obama’s
Democrat supporters on immigration reform
legislation, and his opponents have warned that
executive action could poison this debate.
Another risk that Obama runs, as he himself
admits, if he takes the solo route is that whatever
he decrees with a single swish of his pen can just as
easily be repealed by that of his successor in 2017.
Today’s Obama also has another opponent of note:
yesterday’s Obama. When the president still had
hope of negotiating a compromise on immigration
reform, he opposed using executive decrees.
In February 2013, when a young activist begged
him to intervene to stop families being separated by
the expulsion of undocumented travellers, Obama
said he was powerless to act.
“The problem is, is that I’m the president of the
US. I’m not the emperor of the US. My job is to
execute laws that are passed,” he then declared.
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The right mix of creativity,
corporatism and crowds
Ultimately, we need
economic institutions that
somehow promote the
concerted creative actions
of a wide swath of the
world’s people
By Robert J Shiller
New Haven
conomic growth, as we
learned long ago from the
works of economists like
MIT’s Robert M. Solow, is
largely driven by learning and innovation, not just saving and the accumulation of capital. Ultimately, economic
progress depends on creativity. That
is why fear of “secular stagnation”
in today’s advanced economies has
many wondering how creativity can be
One prominent argument lately
has been that what is needed most is
Keynesian economic stimulus – for
example, deficit spending.
After all, people are most creative
when they are active, not when they
are unemployed.
Others see no connection between
stimulus and renewed economic
dynamism. As German Chancellor
Angela Merkel recently put it, Europe
needs “political courage and creativity
rather than billions of euros”.
In fact, we need both. If we are to
encourage dynamism, we need Keynesian stimulus and other policies that
encourage creativity – particularly
policies that promote solid financial
institutions and social innovation.
In his 2013 book Mass Flourishing,
Edmund Phelps argues that we need
to promote “a culture protecting and
inspiring individuality, imagination,
understanding and self-expression
that drives a nation’s indigenous innovation.”
He believes that creativity has
been stifled by a public philosophy
described as corporatism, and that
only through thorough reform of our
private institutions, financial and others, can individuality and dynamism
be restored.
Phelps stresses that corporatist
thinking has had a long and enduring
As a public-policy credo, corporatism has come to mean that the government must support all members
of society, whether individuals or
organisations, giving support to failing
businesses and protecting existing
jobs alike.
According to Phelps, Pope Leo XIII
advocated a corporatist view in his
1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, and
Pope Pius XI amplified these ideas
in his 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo
Anno. But, in reading these works,
I do not find a clear or persuasive
statement of any economic doctrine,
except for basic notions of fairness
and charity.
In fact, an Ngrams search of books
shows that the term corporatism
began to become popular only after
the mid-1930s, and achieved broad
currency by the 1970s and 1980s. The
term seems to have been used most
often by critics, often to denounce
the defunct Fascist philosophy, or by
those extolling elements of a “new”
Surely, elements of corporatist think-
ing persist today. People who might
not stress that the government should
protect failing businesses or redundant
workers still have sympathies that might
often lead to such outcomes.
Historically, an important spur toward corporatist thinking was Gustave
Le Bon’s 1895 book The Crowd, which
coined the terms “crowd psychology”
and “collective mind”. For Le Bon, “An
individual in a crowd” – not only angry mobs on the street, but also other
psychologically interconnected groups
of people – “is a grain of sand amid
other grains of sand, which the wind
stirs up at will.”
Le Bon believed that crowds need
strong leaders, to distance them from
their natural madness and transform
them into civilisations of splendour,
vigour, and brilliance. Mussolini and
Hitler both took inspiration from his
book, and incorporated his ideas into
Fascist and Nazi ideology; and those
ideas did not die with those regimes.
Still, the word “crowd” has taken
on an entirely different meaning – and
political valence – in our century.
Crowdsourcing and crowd-funding
have created new kinds of crowds, of
the sort that Le Bon never could have
As Le Bon emphasised, people cannot easily do great things as individuals. They need to operate together
within organisations that redirect
crowd psychology, facilitate creativity,
and are led by people of integrity.
Any such organisational technology, however, is subject to error and
requires experimentation. When the
crowd-sourced Wikipedia was started
in 2001, its success was not obvious.
Even one of its founders, Jimmy Wales,
found it a little hard to believe: “It’s
kind of surprising that you could just
open up a site and let people work.”
When the US’ Jumpstart Our
Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which
facilitated true crowd-funding of
enterprises, was signed by President
Barack Obama in 2012, it was an experiment, too. Many critics said that
it would result in the exploitation of
naive investors.
We still do not know whether that
is true, or how well the experiment
will work. But if the JOBS Act does not
succeed, we should not abandon the
idea, but try to modify it.
Ultimately, we need economic institutions that somehow promote the
concerted creative actions of a wide
swath of the world’s people. They
should not be corporatist institutions, dominated by central leaders,
but should derive their power from the
fluid actions of modern crowds.
Some of those actions will have to
be disruptive, because the momentum
of organisations can carry them beyond their usefulness. But there must
also be enough continuity that people
can trust their careers and futures to
such organisations.
Acknowledging the need to experiment and design new forms of
economic organisation must not mean
abandoning fairness and compassion.- Project Syndicate
zRobert J. Shiller, a 2013 Nobel
laureate in economics and Professor of Economics at Yale University,
is co-author, with George Akerlof, of
Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It
Matters for Global Capitalism.
Investing in happy endings
By Lucy P Marcus
ublic and private investment
in the real economy has been
under attack since the 2008
financial crisis.
In difficult economic times, it may
seem logical to cut investments that
yield results only in the long term, and
thereby conserve money and resources
to address short-term problems.
In fact, cutting investment in our
future – be it in people, the planet,
political institutions, or business – is
deeply irrational.
It is only through investment in
visionary ideas, blue-skies thinking,
research and development, and innovation that we can ensure that the future
will be better – freer, more peaceful, and
more prosperous – than the past.
Early-childhood education, preventive medicine, libraries, physical
infrastructure, and basic scientific
research, for example, all cost money
– and studies show that they are
But when policymakers need to cut
spending, investment in these public
goods is often the first thing to go,
because voters do not feel the effects
in the short term. Most of the pain is
deferred, which is precisely why such
cuts are politically attractive.
But this is low-hanging fruit that
societies cannot afford to pick. We must
start investing in people at the earliest
possible moment – right from birth.
Universal access to high-quality
nutrition and preventive health care,
as well as early-childhood learning
programmes, are necessary to provide
strong foundations upon which
countries around the world can ensure
their future social advancement and
economic growth.
Likewise, for children and adults
alike, there is real value in, say, public
libraries – secular and free gathering
spaces that offer universal access to
learning and, increasingly, provide a
gateway to digital services.
The same is true of cultural programs and institutions that stimulate
growth in the arts and sciences; they,
too, are necessary to ensure that
citizens can contribute productively to
their societies and economies.
The temptation to cut long-term
investment in economic hard times
stalks the private sphere as well. And
companies around the world, big
and small, have been succumbing to
it since the beginning of the global
economic downturn.
As companies are forced to look to
their bottom line and become leaner,
they cut investment in research and
development, employee development
and training, infrastructure, and more.
Making matters worse, these budget
lines are the last to be restored when
economic prospects brighten.
For example, in the face of investor
pressure, pharmaceutical companies have
cut their research activities dramatically,
relying instead on acquisition strategies.
The aim is to “de-risk” by buying up
firms that have already carried out all of
the costly blue skies research and have
developed proven drugs.
Obviously, such strategies will not
work in the long term if no one is willing to invest in the earliest stages of
research in critical areas like biotechnology, digital technology, renewable
energy sources, and the like.
Failure to invest
in the future will
affect that future for
With early-stage investors scarce,
governments turning away from bluesky science, and funders of universitybased research increasingly demanding
that grantees’ show the “impact” of
their work, who will fund risk-taking?
If no one does, the well will run dry, and
there will be nothing to acquire.
Likewise, instead of investing in
new infrastructure, companies patch
up the old. But patching broken things
can work for only so long.
By not committing resources to
invest in new, cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly operations, or in
developing the skills and knowledge of
employees, or in innovation, companies will find that their short-term
savings come at the expense of their
long-term success.
The choices that companies are
making not only affect their own
operations, but also have profound
consequences for their customers,
suppliers, and the societies in which
they are embedded. Failure to invest
in the future will affect that future for
Not everything that is worthwhile
has an immediate positive effect on
financial bottom lines, or can be put
neatly in a box.
If public and private investment
decisions are driven only by the easily
measured and easily defined, we will
miss out on the breakthrough moments
that characterise so much of human
achievement and advancement.
In both the public and private sectors, we need to commit ourselves to
long-term investment, whether in
children and education, science and
technology, and health and medicine,
or in building strong institutions that
can serve as the sustainable foundations of peaceful, democratic, and
prosperous societies.
An investment in our future is never
wasted. Investing in beginnings is the
only way we will live to see happy endings. - Project Syndicate
z Lucy P Marcus is CEO of Marcus
Venture Consulting.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Why we don’t need better forecasts
No one has consistently
and successfully predicted
bond yields, stock market
valuations or oil prices with
a track record that cannot
be explained simply by
random chance
By John Kemp
ne of my first assignments
as a newly-minted graduate
in the late 1990s was to
produce a 30-year forecast
for the Bangladesh taka against the US
dollar on behalf of a client contemplating a multibillion dollar investment.
Even then, I realised this was not a
sensible question. I wasn’t even sure
how much of Bangladesh would still
be above sea level in 30 years, let alone
the exchange rate. If the economics of
the project depended on an exchange
rate forecast in three decades time, it
was not a very good project.
But the client is always right, so we
produced a forecast, and everyone was
happy. The client got an independent
third-party forecast to use in their
financial calculations and we got paid.
If the forecast turned out wrong, the
clients could blame their independent
forecaster, and we could blame an
unforeseen change in circumstances.
Like many other analysts, I have
spent most of my working life
producing forecasts of one sort or
another - ranging from interest rates
and exchange rates to metal prices, oil
prices and politics.
For an analyst, the solution to any
problem is always more information,
more data and more sophisticated
models, so decisions can be based on
more accurate predictions about the
But the truth is that we are not very
good at it.
In some areas, our forecasting
has become amazingly accurate. We
understand the laws of physics well
enough to land a spacecraft on a comet
just 4km across and hurtling through
space at 38km per second after a
journey of more than 10 years.
Employing enormous supercomputers, we can make shortterm weather forecasts that are far
more accurate than 30 years ago.
Britain’s four-day weather forecast
is now as accurate as the one-day
forecast was in 1980, according to the
Meteorological Office.
But once we move beyond physical
systems to systems involving human
agents who adapt and learn from their
surroundings, or push the forecasting
horizon further into the future,
forecasting accuracy breaks down
With hundreds of PhDs and lots
of fancy dynamic stochastic general
equilibrium (DSGE) models about how
the economy works, the world’s top
central banks cannot reliably predict
unemployment, inflation and growth
even six months ahead let alone spot
looming recessions and financial
Large-scale weather and climate
models quickly break down once the
forecasting horizon is pushed further
into the future. For much of the first
part of this year, the major models
have been predicting an El Nino in the
Pacific which has still not occurred.
None of the world’s intelligence
agencies and international relations
specialists successfully predicted the
sudden collapse of the Soviet Union,
or the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the
Arab Spring.
And no one has consistently
and successfully predicted bond
yields, stock market valuations or
oil prices with a track record that
cannot be explained simply by
random chance.
These are all examples of complex
adaptive systems (CAS) in which all
the components are tightly linked
to one another, can adapt to past
outcomes, and are sometimes very
sensitive to even a small change in
conditions deep within the system,
which occasionally produces an
enormous change in outcomes
through cascading effects and
reinforcing feedback.
When it comes to complex and
adaptive systems, our forecasting
abilities have not improved much
since classical times.
The common response is to
redouble our efforts, collect more
information and build more
sophisticated models. But perhaps
it makes more sense to focus on
managing uncertainty about the
Dear Sir,
In reference to the report “Official
laments roads not being pedestrianfriendly” (Gulf Times, November 18),
I would like to appreciate the Traffic
Department’s concern while thanking
it for taking an initiative in educating
expatriates in Qatar on road safety
However, my observation on this
issue is a bit different from that of the
report. It’s not just the pedestrians
walking on the roadside or crossing
the roads who are solely responsible
for accidents; there are a few other
factors which need to be taken into
account. Among them are:
z Non-standard footpaths: In
most places in Qatar, the footpaths
are very narrow and it’s difficult to
walk on them. Footpaths should
be wide enough to walk. Also, they
should ideally have railings to prevent
pedestrians straying into roadside.
z Pedestrian crossings: Most roads
lack proper and safe crossings. True,
some major roads do have them but it
is not the general case. For example,
the stretch from the Ramada signal
to the Ooredoo one (through the
Jaidah flyover), there is no designated
Employment, Interest and Money”
(1936) and Frank Knight’s theory about
the role of the entrepreneur in “Risk,
Uncertainty and Profit” (1921).
It is central to the idea of defence
in depth employed by the designers
of nuclear power plants. It has been
taught for decades in business schools
as real options theory.
It is essential to the strategy of
successful traders: no investor should
ever put on a large position without
knowing how they would get out of it
and preferably having several options
for doing so. Traders and executives
look for real options and natural
hedges to protect them against an
uncertain future.
Flexibility, adaptability and options
are central to success. Systems,
organisations and individuals that
adapt and evolve survive. Those which
cannot or do not die.
None of this is meant to disparage
the work that forecasters do or
suggest it is not valuable. Forecasts
can tell us a lot about simple systems
in the short term. Even for longer
time horizons and complex systems,
building forecasts can enforce
intellectual discipline and consistency,
sharpen our thinking about causal
relationships, and help us focus on
risks and opportunities.
But it is a powerful reason to be
humble about our predictive abilities
and realise the best way to face an
uncertain future is to focus on creating
flexible, adaptive and innovative
systems, avoiding rigidity, rather than
simply throwing money and effort
at ever more complex forecasting
I can’t remember what 30-year
currency forecast we provided back
in the late 1990s. At the time, the taka
was trading around 42 to the US dollar.
Almost 20 years later it is trading at
nearly 80. I still have no idea where
it will be in 10 years time. And I’ve
learned not to worry about it.
Weather report
Road safety for
future rather than trying to predict it
out of existence.
In a powerful paper on “Dealing
with femtorisks in international
relations,” published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences, an international group
of researchers argue the best way
to deal with low probability/high
consequence risks which occur
in complex adaptive systems is to
create “new ways of coping with
uncertainties that do not depend on
precise forecasts of the probability and
consequences of future events”.
Rather than employing the
forecasting approach central to
elementary physics and relying on
“improvements in the quality of
predictions about increasingly smallscale actors, low probability events
and the cross-scale implications of
rapidly evolving technologies” they
suggest employing an approach
borrowed from biology.
In evolutionary biology, the most
robust and resilient systems are those
which exhibit diversity, flexibility,
redundancy and adaptability to cope
with unknown threats.
“Rather than seek to design robust
institutions and strategies that may
fare well only against specified futures,
risk measurement and management
professionals would benefit from
imitating how evolution has dealt
with unknowable challenges”, the
researchers urged.
“This approach shifts ... policy
options away from optimal, often
brittle solutions that require accurate
predictions in favour of resilient
solutions that can be adapted in
response to new information and
There is nothing new in the idea
that the best strategies are the ones
which maximise flexibility and
adaptability. The concept is central to
John Maynard Keynes’ theory about
investment in the “General Theory of
Three-day forecast
pedestrian crossing at all. So, in case
people want to cross the road in this
stretch, how could they do it safely?
Factors like rush-hour traffic,
low visibility, speeding, inattentive
drivers, indiscriminate use of mobile
phones while driving, rude behaviour
of motorists and overtaking with
speed are also to be blamed for the
high accident rate on Qatar’s roads.
The factors mentioned above form
part of individual behaviour which
is difficult to control. But two things
can be implemented by authorities
quite easily: safe footpaths and proper
crossings at certain distances on all
All developed countries follow the
“pedestrians first” rule.
At the same time, I would also like
to request all pedestrians to follow all
safety rules strictly while walking on
roads or crossing them.
Bhushan Kubde
[email protected]
of system
Dear Sir,
The deaths of 13 women after
undergoing sterilisation surgery in
India recently have come as a huge
shock. I agree that “all human values
and medical ethics are compromised
in a mad race to complete certain
targets and receive incentives”, as
pointed out by Ramesh G Jethwani
(“Sterilisation camp tragedy”,Gulf
Times, November 16).
I believe a system failure was behind
this tragedy. Many things about
the case look suspicious. A proper
investigation should reveal the truth.
The tragedy must spur the Indian
society to introspect over its health
The cause of deaths, to me, was
medical negligence with vicarious
liability of the doctor who was
conducting the sterilisation camp. But
it is convenient to blame the doctor
solely in cases like these. The real
culprits are hardly touched.
My father, who is a retired doctor,
has done many family planning
operations in India without any
problems. He never received any
“privileges” or incentives for
conducting the surgeries.
The 13 Indian women were
allegedly given tainted antibiotics
after undergoing sterilisation surgery.
Normally, antibiotics are not given
after this surgery at the best centres.
Then why were they given to them?
Investigations and time will tell.
Incidentally, we, who now work
in Qatar, must also recognise and be
thankful that we are in a place with
top-class medical facilities compared
to any other developing country.
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Strong wind and high seas
Rajeeth Shetty Badur
(e-mail address supplied)
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Live issues
Should we be worried about drinking milk?
By Luisa Dillner
ngelina Jolie, David Beckham and Elton John have all
sported milk moustaches to
persuade us to drink enough
to keep our bones strong. Milk contains a range of nutrients, including
calcium, phosphorous, magnesium
and vitamin B12.
Government guidelines say adults
need 700mg of calcium a day (a
200ml glass of semi-skimmed milk
contains 247mg). The Dairy Council
lists the benefits of milk as reducing the risks of osteoporosis, breast
cancer and heart disease. Milk, it
continues, is the only drink other
than water that dentists recommend
between meals.
However, recent research threatens milk’s goody two shoes image. A
Swedish study reported in the British
Medical Journal followed more than
61,000 women and 45,000 men
for between 13 and 22 years. The
researchers found that drinking
more than one glass of milk a day
was associated with an increase in
deaths and fractures in women and a
borderline rise in the risk for men of
dying from heart disease.
Women who drank two glasses
compared with one were 21% more
likely to die during the study period,
and this rose to 93% for three or more
glasses. (Over the 22 years of the
study, a quarter of the women died in
total.) They were 16% more likely to
have a fracture if they drank two or
more glasses a day. There was no extra
risk for men. So is it a myth that milk
makes bones stronger? And can a few
glasses of milk a day do more harm
than good?
This study doesn’t provide proof
of causation. The authors propose
a mechanism for milk’s harmful effects – its high content of D-galactose
(galactose is a sugar), which is shown
to cause oxidative stress, inflammation and ageing in animal studies. An
intake of fermented dairy products
didn’t seem to have any downside, and
women (but not men) who ate lots of
yoghurt and cheese (which contain
less D-galactose than milk) actu-
ally reduced their risk of fractures or
It is advisable to treat this study
with caution for many reasons. The
study was conducted in Sweden,
where the environment is different
from that in the UK, and vitamin A
is added to milk there. The study
also relied on people self-reporting
how much they were drinking, which
isn’t always reliable – especially as
milk is also consumed in cereals and
It can also be hard for researchers to take into account all the other
factors that increase someone’s risk
of dying or breaking their bones.
Nutritional guidelines are unlikely
to change in the short term until
there is more direct evidence on the
long-term effects of liberal milk
drinking. The phrase “more research
is needed” was invented for questions such as this. - Guardian News
and Media
zDr Luisa Dillner heads BMJ Group
Research and Development.
Around the world
Cape Town
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Sao Paulo
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Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Scientists taking part in a panel discussion yesterday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar ‘can become pioneer
in personalised medicine’
By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter
atar has a great opportunity to be the pioneer in the
field of personalised medicine as the country has initiated
several steps in this regard, noted
scientists suggested yesterday at
the Annual Research Conference
2014 (ARC ’14).
Organised by the Qatar Foundation Research and Development
(QF R&D) and held under the
patronage of HH Sheikha Moza
bint Nasser, chairperson, Qatar
Foundation, ARC ‘14 supports QF
R&D’s mission to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity
while addressing immediate social
needs in the community.
At the health debate, “Personalised and Precision Medicine in the
next 10 years: Hype, hope or clinical reality?’ speakers highlighted
the possibilities of realising the
vision of personalised medicine.
Moderated by Dr Hilal Lashuel,
of Qatar Biomedical Research
Institute, the participants at the
discussion included Peter Goodhand, of Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, Canada; Dr
Hiroaki Kitano, of Systems Biology Institute, Japan; Dr Kathryn A
Phillips, of University of California, San Francisco, US; Dr Hsinchun Chen, of National Science
Foundation, US; Dr Hadi Abderrahim, of Qatar Biobank for Medical Research; and Dr Abdul-Badi
Abou-Samra, of Hamad Medical
Dr Phillips said Qatar has
started several initiatives such
as genomic medicine project,
state-of-the-art research facilities and centres as well as setting
up electronic records of patients
among others. “These will give
the country a great advantage as
the population of the country is
very small compared with other
Echoing Dr Phillips’s views, Dr
Chen said Qatar can become the
centre of personalised medicine.
“A forward looking country like
Qatar has taken the right step by
embarking on genomic medicine.
This can be the basis of personalised medicine. It can create the
right momentum as personalised medicine is thinking about
Dr Phillips also highlighted the
examples of Steve Jobs and Angelina Jolie who were treated on
a level of personalised medicine.
“While Steve Jobs’ life could not
be saved as his genome mapping
was not successful, Angelina Jolie could take precaution against
breast cancer using a sort of personalised medicine approach.”
The panelists also pointed out
that the most difficult task in
personalised medicine will be to
collect data and analyse them.
“Enormous amounts of data will
have to be collected. It is going to
be a tsunami of data. This makes
the process so tedious and can
even be complicated. Everyone
has to be extremely careful in the
collection of data and the analysis
of the same,” said Goodhand.
Experts also highlighted that
genome medicine will be the basis of personalised and precision
medicine. Genome mapping will
enable the physicians to identify
several features of the individuals
and develop medicines and treatments accordingly.
Another point of discussion was
the cost related to personalised
medicine and whether it will result in healthcare disparity.
Dr Philips observed that in a
sense, it is not going to be very
expensive as thought by many
but neither is it going to be cheap.
“We have the technology and we
have to make use of it. However
personalised medicine has to keep
pace with the drug companies
and the regulatory issues of each
A panel of experts during the Social Science Debate.
ARC ’14 presents
opportunity to
develop research
atar Foundation’s Annual
Research Conference 2014
(ARC ’14) that concluded
yesterday, offered thousands of
delegates, the opportunity to listen to and engage with leading scientists and research experts from
Qatar and around the world.
ARC’14 is held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza
bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar
Foundation, and supports Qatar
Foundation Research and Development’s (QF R&D) mission to
build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity while addressing immediate social needs in the
The keynote lecture presentations held at the Qatar National
Convention Centre (QNCC) during
the second day’s plenary session
were aligned to ARC’14’s theme
‘Towards World-Class Research
and Innovation,’ and examined research priorities closely aligned to
the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS), including Water Security, Energy Security, Cyber Security and Integrated Healthcare.
Experts presented their conclusions including Dr Steven Chu,
former US Secretary of Energy,
addressing ‘Solar Energy and Water Security: Issues and Opportunities’; Dr Deborah Frincke,
research director, National Security Agency/Central Security
Service (NSA/CSS), USA, on ‘Global Challenges For Unclassified
Cyber Security Research’ and Dr
Hsinchun Chen, lead programme
director, National Science Foun-
dation (NSF) Smart and Connected Health Programme, USA,
on ‘Smart and Connected Health
Programme of NSF/NIH: Health
IT R&D in the USA.’
Faisal Alsuwaidi, president of QF
R&D, said: “The opening plenary
session offered a unique opportunity to listen to international leaders
in solar energy, and water and cyber
security. We have seen extraordinary multidisciplinary knowledge
sharing and collaboration at this
year’s conference. It is a huge opportunity to develop research net-
A section of the audience at ARC ’14.
Faisal Alsuwaidi, president of Qatar Foundation Research and Development and Dr Nabeel al- Salem, executive director,
Outreach and Communications Qatar Foundation Research and Development with Dr Steven Chu during a session.
works with local and international
partners where new ideas are developed and Qatar’s research and development sector can prosper.”
Day two of ARC ’14 witnessed
parallel debates on health and social sciences with expert contributors exploring the latest themes.
The debate on social sciences focused on one of the main economic
pillars underpinning the Qatar
National Vision 2030: ‘Developing a knowledge-based economy:
Which indicators matter? How to
design effective incentives?’
Building on the success of Tues-
day’s opening plenary discussion,
ARC’14 offered delegates thoughtprovoking panel discussions, technical presentations, and highpowered debates where leading
experts shared constructive experiences and innovative approaches
to research and science.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Dhow festival gathers momentum
By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter
raditional sailing and rowing competitions, as well
as various cultural activities in the Katara – the Cultural
Village beach area, were among
the highlights of the second day
of the Fourth Traditional Dhow
Festival yesterday.
Members of the Omani team
sang and danced in jubilation after winning the first four awards
of the rowing competition, defeating two teams from the UAE
and one each from Saudi Arabia
and Qatar.
The teams in the first four
places received cash prizes
QR50,000 and QR30,000, respectively. The rest of the teams
received QR10,000 each.
At least 40 contestants on
board eight boats joined the
competition, which attracted a
large number of spectators. Dhow
crews cheered and performed
traditional songs and dances as
the contestants paddled their
way into the sea and back to the
shore. Nine boats also joined the
dhow sailing event while 14 persons qualified for the pearl diving
In a press statement, Katara
said some 600 students from different schools in the country and
more than 40,000 people have
visited the event so far.
“A nice atmosphere and a good
display of boats,” said Dino Palazzi from Argentina, who was
engrossed in taking photographs
of the festival.
Since its launch four years ago,
he stressed that the event was
evolving and getting nicer and
bigger, with hundreds of dhows
participating each year.
Some 300 contestants are taking part in this year’s five-day
festival, described as a “recordbreaking participation from Qatar and other GCC countries”.
For Palazzi, the traditions and
cultures of different Gulf states
have remained the most interesting part of the festival. “The
dress and the people with different knowledge of the same stuff,
like pearling.”
Many visitors, both tourists
and residents, had similar observations, citing the event’s uniqueness and the hosting of numerous
exhibitions and workshops.
“It is the culture and the tradition that I think it’s getting lost in
the highrise buildings,” said Tess
from the UK. “It is nice to see tradition and where it all started.”
This was Tess’s second visit to
Doha for a holiday but it was her
first time to watch the festival.
She was fascinated by the designs
of the dhows and the “musical
enchantment” on the shore performed by different Arab groups.
Some dhows offer food and
drinks such as coffee and tea
cruising. “Everybody
should come and see it. It is
spectacular and really good,”
said Tess, hoping to experience a
cruise like Mercy Costenaro from
Kenya and her Italian parents-
The rowing competition was one of the highlights of the second day of the Traditional Dhow Festival.
One of the Omani teams celebrates after winning the rowing competition yesterday. PICTURES: Nasar TK
Eight teams joined the rowing competition, with the top four awards won by Omani teams.
Participants prepare a sailing boat at the Katara beach yesterday.
in-law. Costenaro lauded Qataris
for respecting and preserving
their culture well.
Pearl diver Naji Salem alHammadi from Bahrain shared
the same remark about the celebration, saying he likes to be in
Doha every year. Al-Hammadi
told Gulf Times that his boat had
won twice but failed to make
it last year. He said he would
be lucky if he won again in this
year’s contest.
However, he is planning to sell
his dhow for QR200,000 as he
wants to design and build a new
one. The Bahraini said he hoped
to be back next year for the next
edition of the Traditional Dhow
Festival at Katara.
Naji Salem al-Hammadi from Bahrain, who has won twice in the festival, hopes to win again in the boat contest. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Qatar Charity allocates QR7mn
for applied research in Gaza
atar Charity (QC) has
launched its flagship
“Search” project, funded by the GCC countries’ programme for the reconstruction
of Gaza and in collaboration
with Islamic Development Bank.
The funds will be used to support 70 distinct research projects
at a total cost of QR7.3mn.
QC’s “Search” project aims to
provide financial and technical
support for the implementation
of scientific research and applied
projects for researchers, academics and undergraduate and
graduate students, via grants of
between $3,000 and $50,000
depending on the project’s quality and relevance.
The projects will be environment-friendly, creative and
unique, using materials, equipment and capabilities available
in the Gaza Strip or are easily
supplied to the area.
The projects must be viable
and contribute to enhancing
the quality of products or services, or contributing to solving
social and economic problems
in the local or regional community, who will work on the
Officials at an event pertaining to the ‘Search’ project.
project, thereby also helping
create new jobs.
The research will take the
form of applied research projects
and all researchers, whether
they are students, academics or
researchers in universities, the
government or the private sector, may apply for the grants.
Mohamed Abu Halloub, deputy director of QC’s Gaza Strip
office, said the project provides
direct support for scientific research in an effort to support
desired development in this
field, with a focus on areas that
aim to serve global and local
communities, in an attempt to
link the results with the market
needs and create new opportunities for sources of income for
creators of the research in the
fields of computer and information technology and engineering sciences.
The project will also help
meet the needs of the besieged
Gaza Strip by finding scientific
solutions in the areas that have
suffered most in the private sector, health, water, environment
and agriculture.
QC began taking applications
from those wishing to participate in the project (researchers,
academics, professionals and
others) on November 12 and will
continue until January 12, 2015.
All submissions must fall
within the national priorities
for science and participants
must agree to discuss their
policy orientations with QC.
The initiative contributes to the
“Search” project by investing
in the development of Palestinian research and scientific capabilities, including improving the
quality of life of the community
and contributing to overcoming the problems and obstacles
faced by the Palestinian people.
A group of consultants from
different scientific disciplines
and expertise will be assigned
to review and evaluate the initial
applications and final projects
for researchers.
For more information, visit
A winter sunset
A view of the sunset from Doha’s West Bay area yesterday. With
the onset of winter, Doha is seeing cloud-filled blue skies during
the day and colourful sunsets. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
8% GROWTH | Page 12
FUNDS RATE | Page 15
India urged
to speed
up reforms
Yellen inherits
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Moharram 27, 1436 AH
Qatar Airways chief
takes swipe at
European carriers
Qatar Oct bank lending, deposits drop
anks in Qatar have seen a drop in
both their lending and deposit
(MoM) in October, data provided by
QNB Financial Services shows.
While the loan book decreased by
2% MoM, deposits declined by 0.3%
MoM in October, QNBFS said. Public
sector (down 5.7% MoM in October)
was the primary driver of the overall
decline in the loan book, QNBFS said.
The loan book, however, was up
7.9% year-to-date (YTD) while deposits were up 8% YTD in October.
Thus, the loans-to-deposit ratio
(LDR) declined to 105% compared with
107% in September.
“Going forward, we expect increased
activity in the sector. We continue to
expect improvement in the public sector, in addition to large corporate loan
growth followed by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and consumer
lending to be the primary drivers of the
overall loan book in 2014 and 2015. Our
view is based on the expected uptick
in project mobilisation in the coming
months,” QNBFS said. Public sector deposits decreased by 3.3% MoM (+6.3%
YTD 2014) in October.
Delving into segment details, the
government institutions’ segment
(representing about 57% of public sector deposits) improved by 0.5% MoM
(+11.4% YTD 2014). Moreover, the
semi-government institutions segment posted a growth of 10.1% MoM
(up 0.1% YTD 2014). However, the
government segment decreased by
15.4% MoM (+0.3% YTD).
On the other hand, private sector
deposits increased by 1% MoM (+9.1%
YTD 2014). On the private sector front,
the companies and institutions segment increased by 1% MoM (+8.1%
YTD 2014), while the consumer segment posted a growth of 1.1% MoM
(up 10.1% YTD). The overall loan book
declined by 2% MoM compared with a
4% growth MoM in September 2014.
Total domestic public sector loans
decreased by 5.7% MoM (down 5.7%
YTD). The government segment’s loan
book dipped 16.8% MoM (up 1.6%
YTD 2014). The government institutions segment (representing about
59% of public sector loans) declined by
1.5% MoM and is down 11.8% YTD.
The semi-government institutions segment declined by 0.5% MoM
(+11.4% YTD). Hence, all the three
public sector segments pulled the
overall loan book down for October
2014. Private sector loans gained by
0.3% MoM and are up 13.8% YTD.
Consumption and others (contributing
about 30% to private sector loans) increased by 0.9% MoM (+16.9% YTD).
The real estate segment (contributing 27% to private sector loans) grew
by 2.1% MoM (+5.7% YTD). However,
the services segment posted a decline
of 7.2% MoM, but is still up 11.8% in
the first ten months of 2014. Overall,
the segments representing general
trade (+27.1% YTD) and contractors
(+23.0% YTD) are the best performing
segments in the private sector YTD. On
the other hand, the Industry segment
is flat YTD.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
QIB to sponsor Euromoney
Qatar Conference 2014
atar Islamic Bank (QIB) will be co-sponsoring the
Euromoney Qatar Conference 2014 to be held on November 24 and 25 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha.
The conference is being held under the patronage of HE
the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa
al-Thani and will be attended by HE the Minister of Finance
Ali Shareef al-Emadi and HE the Governor of the Qatar central bank Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani.
The 2014 Conference, entitled “Global Finance Relaunched,” will bring together some of the world’s leading
players and thinkers in finance with a cross section of Qatar’s
financiers and policymakers.
The event will look at some of the critical issues facing the
global economy and the key steps that banks will need to take
to stay competitive.
To give a global viewpoint, special sessions will be held
featuring Rodrigo de Rato, former managing director of the
International Monetary Fund; Senator Philip Ozouf, assistant chief minister, State of Jersey; Denis Beau, director
general of operations, Banque de France; and Sarkis Yoghourtdjian, assistant director of Banking Supervision and
Regulation, Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve
QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal said the bank is sponsoring
the conference as part of its vision to contribute to the rising
status of Qatar as a financial hub.
“The first two editions of the conference have already reinforced Doha’s status as a stable, sustainable, and responsible global financial city and we have no doubt that this third
edition will provide yet more stimulating thoughts and innovative development strategies that will benefit not just Qatar
but the entire region as a whole,” he said.
QIB chief financial officer Gourang Hemani will be participating in one of the panel sessions entitled “Financial Sector
Realignment and Response,” which will be looking at the balance between public investment and private financing, debt
capital markets, whether banks have the capital, skills and
risk management structures necessary for their intended
role, and whether Qatar can build and implement Basel III.
QIB’s net profit reached QR1.13bn for nine months ending
September 30, 2014 representing a 16% growth compared to
the same period last year.
Total assets now stand at QR93.3bn having increased 29%
compared to September 2013 .Financing activities, which
remain the key growth driver have reached QR59bn having
grown 35% compared to September 2013.
Customer deposits have moved up to QR64bn registering
a 41% growth compared to September 2013. Total shareholders’ equity of the bank reached QR12bn, an increase of 4%
compared to September 2013.
QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal said the bank is sponsoring the conference as part of its vision to contribute to the rising status of
Qatar as a financial hub.
Mannai Corp
JV eyes facility
boost amid Qatar
upgrade drive
Mannai Corporation is aiming at
making further inroads into facility
management services in Qatar in view
of the rising prospects due to the
infrastructure upgrade drive in the
The Qatar Stock Exchange-listed
company has already created a joint
venture Cofely Besix Mannai Facility
Management (CBMFM) with Cofely
Besix, which has picked a 49% stake in
the joint venture.
“With a significant amount of
infrastructure and construction projects
anticipated in Qatar over the coming
years, Cofely Besix Mannai Facility
Management is rightly positioned to
capitalise on the facility management
services demand arising from the
domestic market,” said Alekh Grewal,
Group CEO and director of Mannai
Corporation in a communiqué to the
local bourse.
The key focus of CBMFM will be to drive
the improvement in performance, while
reducing operational costs and risks
through activities such as maintenance
management, energy conservation,
life-cycle costing and analysis as well
as comprehensive facility and property
portfolio management solutions.
The technical services include the
maintenance of air-conditioning,
HVAC (heating, ventilation and airconditioning), electrical including HV
activities, and integrated building
facilities services as well as managing
and delivering soft services, waste
removal, grounds maintenance and
“Both business entities are leading
FM companies in their own right, and
by combining the strengths of both
companies we will be able to deliver a
wider range of services to our clients,
and gain an even larger presence in
the market, “ said Ian Harfield, general
manager of Cofely Besix facility
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Flexibility key to building
on LNG deals, expanding
markets: RasGas official
asGas will continue to utilise flexibility in its
portfolio to capture both short- and long-term
contracts to further expand and serve its customers as well as the liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, said a senior company official.
This approach is key to meeting short- and longterm markets and customers’ increased demand and
the new trends for flexibility, and most importantly,
reliability, said RasGas chief marketing and shipping
officer, Khalid Sultan R al-Kuwari at the CWC World
LNG Summit, Paris.
This is RasGas’ 10th consecutive participation in
the industry event for which it was a platinum sponsor. In his opening keynote address titled, ‘Perspective of a Major Supplier: Characteristics of New
Long-Term LNG Contracts’, al-Kuwari outlined the
interplay of price indexation, contract term and flexibility; and how these factors are influencing commercial terms for new long term LNG sales and purchase contracts.
He said the definition of the market for ‘long term’
may change as market expectations continue to
evolve. The trend towards short-term and shorter
long-term contracts may continue if new supplies are
developed in a timely fashion to meet overall global
demand. If projects are not developed on time, then
longer term commitments and contracts will return
to lead the market.
“LNG contract flexibility may encompass many
different contract provisions including among others, annual quantity tolerances, diversions, seasonality of supply and alternative destinations. However,
such flexibility comes at a price; flexibility offers value and that value must be priced into the contract in
ways that make commercial sense for both sellers and
buyers. At RasGas, our goal is to maintain a balanced
partnership with our customers based on equitable
terms, which are agreed at the time of initial negotiations; to make the relationship work,” al-Kuwari
The annual CWC World LNG Summit brought together more than 500 industry professionals from all
over the world.
Global meeting
of SWFs in Doha
today to focus on
oil drop, new
invest prospects
Falling oil prices, new world economic
order and the prospects of investments
in various geographies will come up for
in-depth discussions today among the
sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), whose
strategies have bulwarked their respective
economies against the vagaries of
business cycles.
The domestic and international role of
SWFs, adhering to Santiago Principles, will
be the focus of this year’s annual meeting
of the International Forum for SWFs
(IFSWF), which is being hosted by the Qatar
Investment Authority (QIA) in Doha.
More than 200 participants — including
SWFs from 27 countries, international
organisations and officials of the countries
where SWFs invest, academia and private
sector — are expected to partake.
HE the Prime Minster Sheikh Abdullah bin
Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani is expected
to deliver the inaugural address and the
guests will be welcomed by Ahmad M alSayed, QIA chief executive.
“We look forward to meeting with
participants and IFSWF members,
particularly those who have recently joined
IFSWF and are attending the first meeting.
This year our emphasis is on the domestic
and international role of SWFs, and how
the Santiago Principles assist SWFs in
institutionalising disciplined long-term
investment strategies,” said Bader M alSa’ad, IFSWF chair and managing director
of the Kuwait Investment Authority.
The Santiago Principles is a framework
of principles and practices voluntarily
endorsed by IFSWF members. The
emphasis is on appropriate governance
and accountability arrangements and
sound, prudent conduct of investment
The domestic and international
role of SWFs, adhering to Santiago
Principles, will be the focus of
this year’s annual meeting of the
International Forum for SWFs
(IFSWF), which is being hosted by
the Qatar Investment Authority
in Doha
Al-Kuwari speaking at the CWC World LNG Summit in Paris.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
QSE crosses 13,900 with ease
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
he Qatar Stock Exchange yesterday crossed the 13,900 mark
with much ease, gaining for the
fourth consecutive session, in spite of
weakness in the world energy market.
Buying interests – especially in the
telecom, consumer goods, banks and
real estate –lifted the 20-stock Qatar
Index (based on price data) by 0.66%
to 13,901.08 points as volumes also
Institutional buying support was
rather instrumental in sustaining
bullish momentum in the market,
which is up 33.93% year-to-date.
The index that tracks Shariahprincipled stock was seen gaining faster than the other indices in
the bourse, where realty, banks and
transport stocks together accounted
for about 74% of the total trading
The Total Return Index rose 0.66%
to 20,733.32 points, the All Share Index by 0.62% to 3,522.44 points and
the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.02%
to 4,747.11 points.
Market capitalisation rose 0.41%,
or more than QR3bn, to QR751.87bn
with micro, mid, small and large
cap equities gaining 1.05%, 0.96%,
0.94% and 0.59% respectively.
Telecom stocks surged 0.98%, followed by consumer goods (0.97%),
banks and financial services (0.83%),
realty (0.76%), transport (0.42%) and
industrials (0.22%); whereas insurance was down 0.05%.
More than 67% of the stocks extended gains with major movers being Vodafone Qatar, Ooredoo, Commercial Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Al
Khaleej Takaful, Barwa, United Development Company, Mazaya Qatar,
Gulf Warehousing, Nakilat and Qatari
Investors Group.
However, QNB, Industries Qatar, Ezdan, Mesaieed Petrochemical
Holding and Al Meera bucked the
Foreign institutions’ net buying rose to QR66.83mn against
QR45.68mn the previous day.
Domestic institutions’ net selling
plunged to QR34.69mn compared to
QR68.28mn on November 18.
However, Qatari retail investors turned net sellers to the tune
of QR20.35mn against net buyers of
QR21.62mn on Tuesday.
Non-Qatari individual investors
also turned net profit takers to the
extent of QR11.56mn compared with
net buyers of QR0.98mn the previous
Total trade volume rose 36% to
16.47mn shares, value by 36% to
QR1.11bn and transactions by 6% to
The transport sector’s trade volume more than doubled to 2.45mn
equities and value also more than
doubled to QR144.63mn on a 45%
jump in deals to 775.
The banks and financial services
sector reported a 52% surge in trade
volume to 4.14mn stocks, 53% in val-
ue to QR374.47mn and 20% in transactions to 2,691.
The consumer goods sector saw its
trade volume expand 42% to 1.78mn
shares, value by 46% to QR229.44mn
and deals by 20% to 1,364.
The market witnessed a 35% rise in
the real estate sector’s trade volume
to 5.55mn equities and 22% in value
to QR169.18mn but on a 12% fall in
transactions to 1,668.
The insurance sector’s trade volume roe 4% to 0.47mn stocks, value
by 15% to QR30.66mn and deals by
9% to 332.
The industrials sector’s trade volume was up 1% to 1.31mn shares;
whereas value shrank 12% to
QR134.87mn and transactions by 9%
to 1,855.
However, the telecom sector’s trade
volume tanked 32% to 0.78mn equities and value by 4% to QR28.66mn
while deals rose 1% to 348.
In the debt market, there was no
trading of treasury bills and government bonds.
Weak oil
keep Gulf
Egypt up
eak oil prices and global equities kept most Gulf
stock markets jittery yesterday, although a glut
of upbeat news lifted Qatar’s bourse to an eightweek high.
Shares were down in Europe and Asia and crude prices remained near 4-year lows on signs of disagreement between
Opec members before a meeting next week.
Dubai’s index erased early-session gains to end 0.9%
lower as most stocks declined. Low-cost carrier Air Arabia
was one of a few gainers, jumping 2.1% after it announced
a $230mn deal with Dubai Islamic Bank to finance the purchase of six new Airbus A320 aircraft in 2015.
Local and regional investors were net sellers, according to
bourse data.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark, up 0.6% at one stage, closed
0.1% lower as telecom operator Etisalat fell 0.9%.
Saudi Arabia’s bourse eked out a 0.1 gain after flitting between black and red zones throughout the day. The petrochemical sector index slipped 0.4%.
“Unless oil prices find a floor, the Saudi market will remain jittery,” said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain. “It
may continue for some time,” he said, adding that as the
region’s biggest market Saudi Arabia affects other Gulf
Elsewhere in the region, Egypt’s main index rose 0.5% as
the market further recovered from a profit-taking bout and
some stocks displayed a delayed reaction to third-quarter
Carpet maker Oriental Weavers was one of the main supports, surging 6.1% to 52pounds. It reported a 5.8% rise in
third-quarter profit last week.
According to NBK Capital, which rated the stock as a
“buy” with a target price of 56 pounds, excluding the impact
of provisions and foreign exchange losses, net income would
have increased by around 60%.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait’s index fell 0.4% to 7,025
points; Oman’s benchmark rose 0.2% to 7,046 points, while
Bahrain’s measure fell 0.2% at 1,449 points.
Roots said to drop JPMorgan as IPO manager
Saudi Arabia’s Roots Group Arabia is replacing
JPMorgan Chase & Co as financial adviser on its planned
initial public offering, according to three people with
knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported.
The company, which had $930mn of sales in 2013,
expects to list shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange, the
people said, asking not to be identified as the information
is private. Bahrain’s Gulf International Bank may replace
the New York-based bank, one of the people said. The
IPO is expected to raise about 1bn riyals ($267mn), one of
the people said.
Roots Group, which provides materials to the
construction industry, is joining companies across the
Middle East that are planning share sales amid surging
stock markets. The Saudi Stock Exchange has risen 9.8%
this year and will open to direct foreign investment for
the first time by mid-2015.
HSBC Holdings said earlier this month that the market
opening could attract $23bn of new money into the
exchange. Saudi Arabia’s Fawaz Alhokair Group plans
to raise $2bn from the IPO of its Arabian Centers malls
unit in 2016, a company executive said in a November 16
A spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment as
did Roots Group. Gulf International didn’t immediately
return calls and e-mailed requests for comment.
Buying interests – especially in the telecom, consumer goods, banks and real estate
stocks – yesterday lifted the 20-stock Qatar Index by 0.66% to 13,901.08 points.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 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
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Company Name
Microsoft Corp
Exxon Mobil Corp
Johnson & Johnson
General Electric Co
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Chevron Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Pfizer Inc
Coca-Cola Co/The
At&T Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intel Corp
Intl Business Machines Corp
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Walt Disney Co/The
Cisco Systems Inc
Home Depot Inc
3M Co
United Technologies Corp
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Mcdonald’s Corp
American Express Co
Boeing Co/The
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Caterpillar Inc
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Lt Price
% Chg
FTSE 100
Company Name
Wpp Plc
Wolseley Plc
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
Whitbread Plc
Weir Group Plc/The
Vodafone Group Plc
United Utilities Group Plc
Unilever Plc
Tullow Oil Plc
Tui Travel Plc
Travis Perkins Plc
Tesco Plc
Standard Life Plc
Standard Chartered Plc
St James’s Place Plc
Sse Plc
Sports Direct International
Smiths Group Plc
Smith & Nephew Plc
Shire Plc
Severn Trent Plc
Schroders Plc
Sainsbury (J) Plc
Sage Group Plc/The
Sabmiller Plc
Rsa Insurance Group Plc
Royal Mail Plc
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs
Royal Bank Of Scotland Group
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc
Rio Tinto Plc
Reed Elsevier Plc
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc
Randgold Resources Ltd
Prudential Plc
Petrofac Ltd
Persimmon Plc
Pearson Plc
Old Mutual Plc
Next Plc
National Grid Plc
Mondi Plc
Meggitt Plc
Marks & Spencer Group Plc
London Stock Exchange Group
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Legal & General Group Plc
Land Securities Group Plc
Kingfisher Plc
Johnson Matthey Plc
Itv Plc
Intu Properties Plc
Intl Consolidated Airline-Di
Intertek Group Plc
Intercontinental Hotels Grou
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc
Imi Plc
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hargreaves Lansdown Plc
Hammerson Plc
Glencore Plc
Glaxosmithkline Plc
Gkn Plc
G4s Plc
Friends Life Group Ltd
Fresnillo Plc
Experian Plc
Easyjet Plc
Dixons Carphone Plc
Direct Line Insurance Group
Diageo Plc
Crh Plc
Compass Group Plc
Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-Cdi
Centrica Plc
Carnival Plc
Capita Plc
Burberry Group Plc
Bunzl Plc
Bt Group Plc
British Sky Broadcasting Gro
British Land Co Plc
British American Tobacco Plc
Bp Plc
Bhp Billiton Plc
Bg Group Plc
Barclays Plc
Bae Systems Plc
Babcock Intl Group Plc
Aviva Plc
Astrazeneca Plc
Associated British Foods Plc
Ashtead Group Plc
Arm Holdings Plc
Antofagasta Plc
Anglo American Plc
Aggreko Plc
Admiral Group Plc
Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc
3I Group Plc
#N/A Invalid Security
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Inpex Corp
Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd
Sekisui House Ltd
Kirin Holdings Co Ltd
Japan Tobacco Inc
Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd
Toray Industries Inc
Asahi Kasei Corp
Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Kao Corp
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
Astellas Pharma Inc
Eisai Co Ltd
Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd
Fujifilm Holdings Corp
Shiseido Co Ltd
Jx Holdings Inc
Lt Price
% Chg
Lt Price
Dow Jones Indus. Avg
S&P 500 Index
Nasdaq Composite Index
S&P/Tsx Composite Index
Mexico Bolsa Index
Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx
Ftse 100 Index
Cac 40 Index
Dax Index
Ibex 35 Tr
Nikkei 225
Japan Topix
Hang Seng Index
All Ordinaries Indx
Nzx All Index
Bse Sensex 30 Index
Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index
Straits Times Index
Karachi All Share Index
Jakarta Composite Index
Company Name
Bridgestone Corp
Asahi Glass Co Ltd
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Meta
Sumitomo Metal Industries
Kobe Steel Ltd
Jfe Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd
Sumitomo Electric Industries
Smc Corp
Komatsu Ltd
Kubota Corp
Daikin Industries Ltd
Hitachi Ltd
Toshiba Corp
Mitsubishi Electric Corp
Nidec Corp
Nec Corp
Fujitsu Ltd
Panasonic Corp
Sharp Corp
Sony Corp
Tdk Corp
Keyence Corp
Denso Corp
Fanuc Corp
Rohm Co Ltd
Kyocera Corp
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd
Nitto Denko Corp
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Nissan Motor Co Ltd
Toyota Motor Corp
Honda Motor Co Ltd
Suzuki Motor Corp
Nikon Corp
Hoya Corp
Canon Inc
Ricoh Co Ltd
Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd
Nintendo Co Ltd
Itochu Corp
Marubeni Corp
Mitsui & Co Ltd
Tokyo Electron Ltd
Sumitomo Corp
Mitsubishi Corp
Aeon Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro
Resona Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdin
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr
Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/The
Mizuho Financial Group Inc
Orix Corp
Daiwa Securities Group Inc
Nomura Holdings Inc
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdin
Ms&Ad Insurance Group Holdin
Dai-Ichi Life Insurance
Tokio Marine Holdings Inc
T&D Holdings Inc
Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd
Sumitomo Realty & Developmen
East Japan Railway Co
West Japan Railway Co
Central Japan Railway Co
Ana Holdings Inc
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Kddi Corp
Ntt Docomo Inc
Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
Chubu Electric Power Co Inc
Kansai Electric Power Co Inc
Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc
Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc
Tokyo Gas Co Ltd
Secom Co Ltd
Yamada Denki Co Ltd
Fast Retailing Co Ltd
Softbank Corp
Lt Price
% Chg
Company Name
Zee Entertainment Enterprise
Wipro Ltd
Ultratech Cement Ltd
Tech Mahindra Ltd
Tata Steel Ltd
Tata Power Co Ltd
Tata Motors Ltd
Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd
Sun Pharmaceutical Indus
State Bank Of India
Sesa Sterlite Ltd
Reliance Industries Ltd
Punjab National Bank
Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd
Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
Ntpc Ltd
Nmdc Ltd
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
Lupin Ltd
Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
Itc Ltd
Infosys Ltd
Indusind Bank Ltd
Idfc Ltd
Icici Bank Ltd
Housing Development Finance
Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Hindalco Industries Ltd
Hero Motocorp Ltd
Hdfc Bank Limited
Hcl Technologies Ltd
Grasim Industries Ltd
Gail India Ltd
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Dlf Ltd
Coal India Ltd
Cipla Ltd
Cairn India Ltd
Bharti Airtel Ltd
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd
Bharat Heavy Electricals
Bank Of Baroda
Bajaj Auto Ltd
Axis Bank Ltd
Asian Paints Ltd
Ambuja Cements Ltd
Acc Ltd
Lt Price
% Chg
A man walks to the lifts inside the London Stock Exchange. The FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2% yesterday.
European markets decline as
miners fall, Greek shares gain
uropean stocks slipped from a
seven-week high yesterday, with
commodity producers falling and
Greek shares rising, before the release
of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s
last policy meeting.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index
slipped less than 0.1% to 339.15 at
the close of trading, after sliding as
much as 0.3% and gaining 0.3% earlier. Miners fell posted the biggest
declines among 19 industry groups,
while Greece’s ASE Index rallied
4.2%, the most in almost a month,
for the biggest increase among 18
western-European markets.
“So far, markets are still pretty relaxed and convinced that the Fed won’t
do much damage,” said Ralf Zimmermann, an equity strategist at Bankhaus
Lampe KG in Dusseldorf, Germany.
“Whether this conviction will hold
true all the time in upcoming months
remains to be seen. Investors will
screen the minutes for any fresh hints
about the fights between the doves and
the hawks at the Fed and the pace of the
future rate path.”
The Fed will release its minutes at 2
p.m. in Washington. The central bank
ended its bond-buying program last
month amid an improving labor market. The S&P 500 jumped the most
since November 5 to a record on Tuesday.
The Stoxx 600 climbed 1.1% in the
past two days as German investor confidence rose and Mario Draghi said the
European Central Bank’s expanded
purchase program could include government bonds. The gauge has rallied
9.4% since its low last month as most
lenders in Europe passed capitalstrength tests, and Japan’s central bank
added stimulus.
In the UK, where the FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2%, Bank of England policy
makers voted 7-2 to keep interest rates
at a record low, according to minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’s November 5-6 meeting. Some of
the majority began to raise concerns
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
about potential inflation pressures.
Commodity producers in the Stoxx
600 lost 1.6% as a group for their biggest decline in more than a month. Rio
Tinto Group dropped 2.1% to 2,942
pence. Anglo American Plc fell 2.9% to
1,323 pence.
ICAP Plc lost 10% to 386 pence, the
biggest drop since February 2010, after
the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks said pretax profit
fell 10% in the first half of its fiscal year.
Royal Mail declined 8.4% to 430 pence
after the British postal service said
first-half profit dropped and warned
that’s move to develop
its own delivery network will trim the
parcel market for other carriers.
Greek and Spanish stocks had some
of the biggest advances. Piraeus Bank
SA climbed 7.2% to €1.19, and Eurobank Ergasias gained 6.6% to 27.3
euro cents. Abengoa SA rallied for a
third day, up 9.5% to €2.43.
The volume of Stoxx 600 shares
changing hands was 20% lower than
the 30-day average, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.
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
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Trade mission introduces US firms to diversifying Qatar markets
The US Architecture Services Trade Mission to Qatar with Ambassador Smith and Chu Richter among others in Doha.
The US Embassy in Doha and United States
Department of Commerce, with support
from the American Institute of Architects,
organised an executive-led Architecture
Services Trade Mission to Qatar on Tuesday
and Wednesday.
The purpose of this mission was to introduce
US firms to the expanding and diversifying
Qatari market as Qatar continues to develop
new infrastructure projects. During the visit
to Doha, the participants had the opportunity
to meet and develop strong working
relationships with locally-based architects,
developers, and local government officials.
The American firms, which have expertise
in planning and development, port
redevelopment, airport and transportation
infrastructure architecture, healthcare
facility design, and sports, entertainment and
educational facility architecture, visited many
noteworthy Qatari buildings and participated
in networking events to showcase the best in
American architectural services.
“This trade mission represents another
exceptional opportunity to expand the reach
of architectural talent around the globe,”
said 2015 AIA President-elect Elizabeth Chu
“Qatar’s astounding pace of development
and rising international prominence is
presenting new and exciting opportunities.
US design firms are world leaders with
unique capabilities and experience, and we
welcome the opportunity to form these new
relationships with our Qatari partners,” said US
ambassador Dana Shell Smith.
Ambassador Smith and American Institute
of Architects President-elect Chu Richter
welcomed guests to a reception at the
ambassador’s residence in honour of the Trade
Mission on November 18.
The reception featured guests from the
public and private sectors, government,
and arts community and included a special
performance by Dominick Farinacci and the
Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha.
‘Mideast expected to get 2,950
planes worth $640bn by 2033’
By Peter Alagos
Business Reporter
Johnson: Upbeat on aircraft demand growth.
ome 2,950 aircraft worth $640bn
were expected to be delivered in
the Middle East between 2014 and
2033, an aviation expert said yesterday.
Boeing Middle East president Jeffrey
Johnson added that for the same period
the region would see a rise in demand for
both airline pilots and technicians.
Citing current market outlook, Johnson
said Boeing forecasts long-term demand
for 36,770 new airplanes, valued at $5.2tn.
“We project that 15,500 of these airplanes
or 42% of all new deliveries will replace
older, less efficient airplanes,” he said.
Johnson noted that the remaining
21,270 airplanes will be for fleet growth,
which stimulated expansion in emerging
markets and development of innovative
airline business models. Single-aisle airplanes continue to command the largest
share of the market.
He said 25,680 new single-aisle airplanes would be needed over the next 20
years. Fast-growing low-cost carriers
and network carriers pressed to replace
ageing airplanes drive single-aisle demand.
Similarly, widebody fleet will need
8,600 new airplanes. The new generation
of efficient widebody airplanes was helping airlines open new markets that would
not have been economically viable in the
past, he said.
For the Middle East, he stressed that
the total aircraft deliveries over the next
20 years were about 15% of the 33,000
new airplanes for the worldwide market.
“Of the 2,950 deliveries between 2014
and 2033, 74% or 2,180 aircraft were
for growth while 26% or 770 airplanes
were for replacement and 410 retained
fleet. From a global perspective that’s
60% growth and 40% replacement with
much newer aircraft going to the Middle
East,” Johnson said at the ‘Distinguished
speaker series’ organised by the American Chamber of Commerce Qatar here
The aviation official also emphasised
that industry demand for new pilots and
technicians ushers in a challenge and
“huge opportunity” for aviation-related
training and education.
He said the region needs 55,000 new
pilots or 10% of the global demand
(533,000) and 62,000 new technicians or
11% of the 584,000 required worldwide
in the next two decades.
“Our current market outlook is 20
years and what you’ll see within that pe-
riod is a lot of retirement, which is going
to be a cycle,” Johnson told Gulf Times on
the sidelines on the event.
When asked if training facilities in
the region could address the demand for
new pilots and technicians, Johnson said
players in the region’s aviation industry
were beginning to see the extent of personnel requirement.
“I am sure that within the next three
to four years there would be announcements for growth of training facilities,”
Johnson said, referring to the need to
establish more training facilities in the
Middle East.
In 2013, Johnson said Middle East traffic growth was more than 11% compared
to global traffic of 5% recorded in the last
two years. Boeing’s traffic growth forecast in the Middle East in the next 20
years was 6.4%, he added.
Qatar’s aviation industry also saw
“fantastic growth” with the opening of
the Hamad International Airport (HIA),
which handles more than 2mn passengers monthly since April, according to
He said compared to the 12mn passengers accommodated at the old Doha International Airport, Boeing predicts that
HIA would be able to meet its projected
target of 30mn passengers.
Egypt seeing new African Pound volatile on dollar surge,
trade bloc in Dec: minister Qatar repayment concerns
hree African economic
blocs will merge into a new
27-nation free-trade zone
under an agreement to be signed
in Cairo next month, uniting markets worth 58% of the continent’s
economic activity, Egypt’s industry and trade minister said.
The deal will combine the
Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA),
the South African Development
Community (SADC), and the East
African Community (EAC).
Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel
Nour said Cairo is also pursuing
trade agreements with the Eurasian Economic Community and
the South American trade bloc
Mercosur in order to win back foreign investors who left Egypt due
to the political turmoil that began
with a popular uprising in 2011.
The Africa initiative will create
“one huge free-trade union” allowing foreign investors in Egypt
to more easily reach 260mn consumers from South Africa to Ethiopia.
“It is going to happen immediately. We expect to sign, absolutely,”
Abdel Nour told Reuters in an
interview at his office overlooking
Tahrir Square.
“The execution, like any free
trade agreement is done in stages, for some countries quicker
than others depending on their
economic structure, their ability
to compete. But it’s going to be
South Africa’s Department of
Trade and Industry said the deal
had been long in the making. It
is a “tripartate alliance” made up
of the COMESA, SADC, and the
EAC, it said. It had not been led by
Egypt, it said.
Egypt, which relies heavily on
imports of gas, wheat and other
basic goods, posted a trade bal-
ance deficit of about $35bn in the
fiscal year that ended June 30.
Abdel Nour said he expected the
country’s position to improve
slightly by the end of the current
fiscal year to $32bn-£33bn.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
has put infrastructure megaprojects like the new Suez Canal
at the top of his economic agenda,
alongside long-awaited reforms
to subsidies and taxes.
Abdel Nour said he would announce in a few days the result
of a tender for drafting a master
plan to develop a region in southeast Egypt, which the government considers rich in resources
including gold, phosphate and
Cairo has for years touted the
“Golden Triangle” as a potential
mining investment, but little is
known about the quantity of mineral resources in the area between
the southern city of Qena and
the Red Sea towns of Safaga and
Egypt said it would repay a $2.5bn
deposit to Qatar this month, bringing to
$6bn the deposits it has returned to the
gas exporter.
he Egyptian pound was flat at a central bank dollar sale yesterday but was
volatile on the black market as a surge
in commercial demand for dollars added to
concerns over Egypt’s plans to repay a $2.5bn
Qatari deposit, traders said.
The bank offered $40mn yesterday and
said it had sold $37.6mn at a cut-off price of
£7.1401 per dollar, unchanged from its last
sale on Monday.
The rates at which banks are allowed to
trade dollars are determined by the results of
central bank sales, giving the bank effective
control over official exchange rates.
In the unofficial market, traders reported
significant volatility. One trader quoted the
pound at about 7.75 to the dollar at midday,
weaker than Monday’s rate of 7.67 pounds and
a marked decline from around 7.57 pounds on
The trader said a major surge in demand for
dollars from a single large company early this
week had forced exchange brokers to scramble for hard currency, driving up the price in
recent days and creating volatility on the un-
official market. “This commercial demand
created the shortage,” he said. Another trader
said pressure was beginning to ease, having
peaked late on Tuesday. Black market rates
were being quoted at levels as divergent as
7.55 and 7.68 by yesterday afternoon.
Huge demand for dollars to finance imports
of food, fuel and manufactured goods often
creates shortages in Egypt, which can drive up
unofficial rates, particularly ahead of holidays
or at certain points in the financial calendar.
Economic and political uncertainty has
also raised currency pressures since the 2011
revolt, boosting a black market that had
dwindled during years of growth.
“There is pressure because of the Qatari
deposit,” said the head of foreign exchange
at one Egyptian bank. “You are talking about
a country where there is a cashflow deficit.
Imports exceed exports so there is an imbalance.”
Egypt said it would repay a $2.5bn deposit
to Qatar this month, bringing to $6bn the deposits it has returned to the gas exporter.
Libya official
sees Opec at
least cutting
oil output
pec will agree as a minimum step to remove
crude from the market
that it is pumping above the
agreed target, a Libyan oil official said, to support prices that
hit a four-year low.
Oil ministers from Opec meet
on November 27 to consider
adjusting their output target
of 30mn barrels per day (bpd).
More delegates are talking of a
need to lower production, although top exporter Saudi Arabia has yet to say whether it supports a cut.
“I believe that the ministers
will arrive to an agreement, as
a minimum, to ask all members
to abide by the 30mn ceiling for
December,” Samir Kamal, Libya’s Opec governor and head of
planning at the Libyan oil ministry, told Reuters.
Complying with the target
would in theory cut Opec output
by 600,000 bpd based on the
International Energy Agency’s
estimate that Opec pumped
30.60mn bpd in October. Opec’s
own figures put production lower at 30.25mn bpd.
Oil fell to a four-year low below $77 a barrel last week on
ample global supply, slowing
demand and scepticism that the
12-member Organisation of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries
will be able to bolster prices.
The Libyan official added he
also expected Opec ministers
to “keep a watch on the market
response and if needed, to set
a new ceiling of not more than
29.5mn bpd”.
Kamal said he was not speaking on behalf of the Libyan government. Libya is struggling
with two administrations – the
internationally recognised government, located in Tobruk
since August, and a Tripolibased rival administration.
Neither has commented on the
Opec meeting.
Last month, Kamal called for
an Opec cut of at least 500,000
bpd and said Libya should be
exempt from the measure since
it is working to sustain a rise in
production hit by months of
fighting and protests.
Fellow Opec members Venezuela and Ecuador also want
an Opec cut. Kuwait has said a
reduction is unlikely, while traders and analysts are split over the
likelihood of action.
Oldest airline in Asia PAL seeks strategic partner
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
The oldest airline in Asia operating
under the same name for more than
70 years, Philippine Airlines (PAL), is
on the lookout for a strategic partner
after 49% shareholder San Miguel
Corp in September sold its stake to
Filipino businessman Lucio Tan’s LT
Group, which is now restructuring the
According to PAL’s new president
Jaime Bautista, a partner could be a
foreign airline or a foreign aviationrelated company, and the stake
on offer could be as high as 40%,
in line with the Philippine foreign
acquisition law.
Bautista said last Friday in Manila
that talks with potential partners
are yet to be initiated, without
mentioning any names or a price for
the stake. The airline’s current market
capitalisation as per Bloomberg data
is around $2.2bn, thus a 40% stake
would have a value of $880mn. This
also corresponds with the price of
more than $1bn that Tan paid for the
49% share acquired from San Miguel.
PAL has been struggling with losses
due to high fuel prices, labour
disputes and harsh competition
from discount carriers, most of all
Cebu Pacific, in the past. The airline,
however, returned to profitability in
the second quarter of 2014 due to
aggressive cost-cutting measures and
rising travel demand on established
and new routes. The share price
of the carrier’s parent company,
PAL Holding, however, dropped
around 30% in October after Lucio
Tan announced that he is aiming at
buying out minority shareholders
at a steep discount as part of the
The airline industry is now
speculating over what companies
could be a suitable partner for PAL.
The airline in the past has enhanced
its code-share co-operation with Abu
Dhabi’s Etihad after competition with
Cebu Pacific in the Philippine-Middle
East market has been heating up. Abu
Dhabi, which is currently working
on a big upgrade of its international
airport, could emerge as a transfer
point for travellers on PAL connecting
to Europe and thus become a logical
partner in this market, much to the
disgrace of Emirates Airlines that
just recently ended its code share
agreement with PAL on the DubaiManila route.
A partnership between PAL and
Etihad looks even more attractive
given the fact that PAL is now the
top Middle East carrier out of Manila
with 16,744 seats projected for
December 2014, followed by Emirates
with 15,582 and Cebu Pacific with
13,080, serving the large and growing
Filipino worker population in the Gulf
PAL re-entered the Middle East
market after several years of
absence in October 2013 by
launching flights to Abu Dhabi,
followed by Dubai, Doha, Dammam,
Riyadh, Jeddah and Manama (code
share with Gulf Air). Currently, PAL
offers 19 weekly flights to the Middle
East and will introduce a daily service
to Abu Dhabi, up from three flights
week, on December 1, increasing its
offerings to 21 flights a week. As for
Qatar, both PAL and Qatar Airways
now serve the Doha-Manila route,
which forced Qatar Airways to drop
one of its two daily flights but did
not result in a capacity drop as Qatar
Airways launched an additional route
to Clark (north of Manila) in October
Another candidate for a strategic
partnership for PAL is All Nippon
Airways to cover trans-pacific
connections to North America. PAL
has recently introduced a flight
to New York via Vancouver after
an 18-year hiatus in addition to its
reopened flights to Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Toronto and Honolulu, and
also plans to fly to Chicago, Miami
and San Diego in the future.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Samsung units scrap
$2.5bn takeover plan
Setback to Samsung Group’s
restructuring moves; shareholders
doubt short-term synergies of the
merger; shares in both firms slump
amsung Heavy Industries scrapped
yesterday a $2.5bn takeover of Samsung Engineering due to shareholder
opposition, a setback for parent Samsung
Group’s restructuring plans ahead of a
looming succession.
Stocks in both firms have fallen since the
takeover was announced in September as
investors were not convinced of its benefits. The decline triggered shareholder demands for a share buyback worth $1.5bn,
which was more than the firms were willing to pay to go ahead with the deal.
The takeover was one of several deals
that Samsung Group has recently done to
simplify its shareholding structure as the
South Korean conglomerate prepares for a
power transfer from its ailing and elderly
chief Lee Kun-hee to his children.
Its scrapping shows these plans could be
derailed by shareholders. “I expect a handful of decision makers at Samsung Group
to be mindful of shareholders in restructuring going forward,” said Kim Sung-soo,
fund manager at LS Asset Management.
Shipbuilder Samsung Heavy had proposed the takeover of engineering and
construction firm Samsung Engineering
to create a larger, more efficient company. Analysts had said the deal was mainly
aimed at laying a groundwork that would
make it easier for the Lee siblings to divide
inherited assets.
Samsung Engineering office in Seoul. Samsung Heavy Industries scrapped yesterday a $2.5bn takeover of Samsung Engineering due
to shareholder opposition.
The two companies had said they could
cancel the merger if the buyback costs
exceeded 410bn won for Samsung Engineering or 950bn won for Samsung Heavy.
According to joint statement, Samsung
Engineering shareholders wanted to sell
shares worth 706.3bn won while Samsung
Heavy shareholders wanted a buyback
worth 923.5bn won.
Beijing to bolster
aid to small firms
Dow Jones
hina rolled out a series of
measures to help struggling smaller companies amid a slowing economy,
vowing to boost lending, reduce borrowing costs and make
better use of the country’s vast
pool of foreign-exchange reserves.
China’s economy grew at its
slowest pace in over five years in
the third quarter, and growing
numbers of borrowers, many of
them smaller companies, have
struggled to repay bank loans.
The government has already
tried a number of measures
to make it easier for borrowers to get credit – but so far it
has failed to resolve corporate
funding problems, analysts say.
“The problems of high
funding costs and no access
to credit have been relieved
in some regions and sectors,
but they are still prominent,”
said the State Council, the nation’s cabinet, in a statement
published yesterday after a
meeting chaired by Premier Li
The government body said it
would make “innovative use” of
the country’s foreign-exchange
reserves to support the real
economy. It didn’t give details
but China’s foreign-exchange
reserves stood at $3.89tn at
the end of September, according to government data. China
doesn’t disclose details of its
foreign-exchange investments
but much of the total is estimated to be in stable but lowyielding US government bonds.
Economists have long called for
putting some of those funds to
work in the home market.
The government also said it
would give more flexibility to
banks in their loan-to-deposit
ratio, a move that would allow
lenders to extend more credit
to small companies and the agricultural sector. Under current
rules, Chinese banks must keep
their loan-to-deposit ratios
below 75%. For every dollar a
bank collects in deposits, it can
only lend 75 cents.
It also said it wanted to help
write off more of their bad loans
to small firms to encourage
fresh lending. It didn’t provide
further details.
The State Council said it
would ease profit requirements
for initial public offerings and
lower the threshold for the
listing of smaller firms on the
country’s stock markets.
China’s economic growth
slowed to 7.3% year-on-year
in the third quarter, down from
7.5% in the second quarter and
7.7% for the full year of 2013.
Shares in Samsung Engineering closed
more than 9% down, their lowest level
in 5-1/2 years, as investors who had held
onto their stocks in anticipation of a buyback dumped shares. Samsung Heavy also
closed down 6.4%.
In their statement, Samsung Heavy and
Samsung Engineering said they could reconsider the merger after “taking into ac-
count the market situation and shareholder opinions”.
“Today’s move should sound the alarm
on Samsung’s restructuring, which has
been carried out unilaterally,” said Chung
Sun-sup, CEO of research firm Chaebul.
com. “It signals shareholders could put
brakes on restructuring moves if they go
against their interests.”
Risky rewards for
China’s overseas
investment boom
China’s inexorable economic
rise is set to see it become
a net global investor after
decades of Western money
flowing into the country, but
analysts warn the change
offers risks as well as profits.
Chinese oil behemoth
CNOOC’s $15bn acquisition of
Canada’s Nexen, completed
last year, was just a fraction
of the $625bn the country
has invested abroad, much
of it resources driven and
also taking in other sectors
including agriculture,
manufacturing and banking.
But the looming changeover
may be a sign that China is
becoming less attractive as an
investment destination itself,
while some deals have been
less successful than others.
Chinese external acquisitions
were strictly controlled until
2000 when the Communist
Party listed overseas
investment as a new growth
strategy, widely described
as “going out” to secure
technology, resources and
market access.
Overseas direct investment
(ODI) has since ballooned –
along with China’s foreign
exchange stockpile – and
reached $90.2bn in 2013,
more than 30 times what it
was a decade previously.
Incoming foreign direct
investment (FDI) stood at
$117.6bn last year, official data
showed, and the latest figures
on Tuesday showed the gap
between them has narrowed
substantially in 2014. China
invested $4.19bn in nonfinancial sectors in the US
alone in the first 10 months
of this year, the commerce
ministry said, almost twice
as much as the $2.32bn that
flowed in the other direction.
“It is a matter of time before
China’s overseas investment
exceeds the foreign
investment it receives,”
assistant commerce minister
Zhang Xiangchen told
reporters last month.
“Even if it is not realised this
year, it will in the near future.
China is soon to become a
net capital exporter.”
China is now the world’s third
largest investor after the US
and Japan, according to the
UN Conference on Trade and
Development, and Beijing’s
figures show the US and
Australia as its top recipient
nations. But the spending
spree has been largely
driven by big state-owned
enterprises (SOEs), backed by
state banks as they purchase
mineral and energy resources,
sparking concerns over
China’s growing economic
power and possible political
motives. At the same time,
some projects have not
proved as profitable as hoped.
Auto manufacturer SAIC
Motor took a controlling
stake in South Korea’s
SsangYong Motor Company
but lost several billion yuan
when it went bankrupt and
suffered a bitter strike, which
ended only with a police
raid featuring commandos
rappelling from a helicopter
in a hail of missiles.
India must speed up reforms: OECD
New Delhi
ndia is emerging from its worst economic slowdown in a quarter-century,
but needs big structural reforms to
return to the 8%-plus growth needed to
generate jobs for its burgeoning young
population, the OECD said yesterday.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development left unchanged
its 5.4% growth forecast for this financial
year to March 30, 2015 – a figure broadly
in line with government projections and
up from 4.7% expansion posted by India
last year.
But the Paris-based OECD revised upwards its forecast for next year, projecting
Asia’s third-largest economy will expand
by 6.6% – compared to its 5.7% estimate
in May.
“The Indian economy is coming out of
some tough times,” OECD chief economist
Catherine Mann told reporters.
India’s growth has languished below
5% for the last two years, the longest weak
growth spell in 25 years, hit by high interest rates, stubborn inflation and weak investment. The economy should grow by
6.8% in the 2016-17 year, the OECD’s India Economic Survey added, bolstered by
economic reforms already introduced by
the right-wing government of Narendra
Modi which swept to power in May.
Despite the forecast growth, significant
structural reforms are needed to return to
the near double-digit figures of the past.
“Structural reforms would help return
India’s growth to the near double-digit
levels of the previous decade,” the OECD
said, adding it was “critical” to remove ma-
A worker tends to yarn-spinning equipment at a factory in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad yesterday. India is emerging from its
worst economic slowdown in a quarter-century, but needs big structural reforms to return to the 8%-plus growth needed to generate
jobs for its burgeoning young population, the OECD said yesterday.
jor economic bottlenecks. “Structural reforms” is economic shorthand for changes
such as deregulation, better governance
and improvements to public finances.
The report warned that without such
steps, expansion “will remain below the
8% growth achieved during the previous
India needs close to nine-to-10%
growth to generate jobs for millions of
young people who join the workforce each
year, economists say.
“Key reforms in the business environment, to labour markets and to infrastruc-
ture will bring economic growth back
to higher levels seen in the recent past,”
Mann said.
Dilapidated roads, railways and other
infrastructure, inadequate education and
training and rigid hire-and-fire laws “are
increasingly impeding growth and jobcreation”, the report added.
Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party
government is viewed as more pro-business than its left-leaning Congress predecessor, has already started chopping away
at India’s thicket of regulations considered
by companies to be one of their key chal-
lenges. But the government must do more
to simplify India’s infamous red tape to
speed up commissioning of infrastructure
projects and spur growth, the report said.
Uncertainty surrounding complex and
costly land acquisition rules is holding up
projects that could help decrease supplychain bottlenecks and reduce input costs
fuelling inflation, the report added.
It was also imperative the government
press ahead with a long-pending national goods and services tax to eliminate a
patchwork of levies and create a single internal market, the report said.
BoJ on hold despite grim GDP, Kuroda avoids criticising Abe on tax delay
Kuroda: To continue purchases of government bonds and risky assets.
The Bank of Japan kept monetary
settings and its upbeat economic view
unchanged yesterday in the wake of data
showing the economy has slipped into
recession, preferring to spend more time
to gauge the effect of its surprise easing
last month.
BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda avoided
criticising Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s
decision on Tuesday to delay a tax
increase that the central banker had
supported as a needed budget-balancing
As widely expected, the BoJ voted to
continue its purchases of government
bonds and risky assets, maintaining its
pledge of increasing base money, or cash
and deposits at the central bank, at an
annual pace of ¥80tn ($683bn).
“Japan’s economy continues to recover
moderately as a trend, although some
weaknesses remain mainly in output,”
the BoJ said in a statement after its policy
meeting. It raised its view on exports to
“flat” from weakening.
Board member Takahide Kiuchi, a
sceptic of the current quantitative easing
programme, dissented to the policy
decision in a show of his continued
disapproval to last month’s surprise
monetary easing that was made by a
closely split vote.
The meeting came in the wake of data
on Monday which showed the world’s
third-largest economy unexpectedly
slipped into recession in the third quarter,
as the hit to spending from a sales tax
hike in April overwhelmed the impact of
massive pump-priming by the BoJ and
the government.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
said he would call an early election to
seek a fresh mandate for his economic
policies, and postponed a second
increase in the tax slated for October 2015
to April 2017.
The dismal third quarter gross domestic
product (GDP) data complicates the
efforts of the BoJ, which aimed to
preempt risks to the inflation outlook by
expanding monetary stimulus last month.
Kuroda, facing reporters after the BoJ
decision, focused on Abe’s promise to
maintain Japan’s long-term commitment
to curbing the heaviest debt burden in
the industrial world.
“Whether to raise the sales tax is
something the government and
parliament decides, taking into account
economic and other conditions,” Kuroda
said. “In general terms, it’s important for
Japan as a nation to maintain market
trust in its finances.”
“The government has laid out a mediumterm fiscal consolidation plan and has set
a clear target ... We hope the government
steadily implements measures, based on
this plan, to create a sustainable fiscal
The second straight quarter of
contraction will almost certainly force the
BoJ to cut its forecast of a 0.5% economic
expansion for the current fiscal year at a
quarterly review of long-term projections
in January, analysts say. “Both prices
and the economy are undershooting the
BoJ’s forecasts. That will heighten market
expectations of further easing,” said
Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi
Life Research Institute.
Shinke is among a growing number of
analysts who see the economy shrinking
in the current fiscal year ending in
March 2015, and now projects a 0.8%
The postponement of the tax hike
compounds problems for Kuroda,
who already faces an divided board
and markets that are questioning his
The BoJ now gobbles up almost the
same amount of government bonds
that are issued each month, a move
critics describe as tantamount to debt
The delay in raising the tax stokes worries
that the BoJ’s ultra-easy monetary stance
is bank-rolling an alarmingly high public
debt, already the highest among major
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Rouble inches lower
as oil prices decline
he rouble inched lower
yesterday and Russian
bond yields touched new
five-year highs as Moscow prepared for its first debt auction
since October, while a firmer
dollar also took a toll on most
other emerging currencies.
The rouble reversed some of
the previous day’s gains to slip
0.3% as crude prices fell towards
$78 a barrel and the dollar index
Russian 10-year yields were
around 10.4%, the highest since
December 2009 ahead of an auction of 5bn roubles’ ($106.7mn)
worth of two-year treasury
bonds. The last five sales were
“It’s not a massive test (of
investor appetite) it’s a small
amount and very short duration.
The reason they made it short
duration is they want the auction to perform,” said Luis Costa,
head of CEEMEA debt and equity strategy at Citi.
He said the bonds would likely
be snapped up by Russian banks
which are always in need of extra
collateral. Of the rouble, Costa
said: “The dynamics are changing, we are no longer in the environment of 1-2% daily moves.
It’s difficult to be constructive on
the rouble but there seems to be
some sort of stabilisation.”
Russian shares were marginally lower overall, but shares
of potash producer Uralkali
slumped 8%, extending losses
after the company was focrced
to suspend work at the key Solikamsk mine due to water inflow.
Broader emerging equities
were down slightly but there
were some outliers.
Turkish markets were up
0.7%, due to 1.7% gains in Garanti Bank after Spain’s BBVA
said it was in advanced talks
over the possible acquisition of
a stake.
And the Jakarta bourse hit
seven-week highs after an emergency rate rise to curb inflation
after the lifting of fuel subsidies.
Currencies however were on
the backfoot for the most part
versus the dollar as the yen hit a
seven-year low. The Korean won
hit a 14-month low to the dollar.
Russia’s $100bn reserve
fall contrasts with some
other emerging markets
ussia’s hard currency
reserves have fallen by
the equivalent of almost
$100bn in the past year to the
lowest since early-2009, contrasting with a rise in holdings in
many other emerging economies.
Russian reserves stood at
$428.6bn at the end of October,
down from $524.3 a year before
due to multibillion dollar central bank interventions to defend the rouble. They have declined further to $421.4bn since
While the scale of the fall is
not on a par with moves seen
during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, when Russia spent almost $200bn in the
rouble’s defence, it represents a
fall of almost 20% from the levels of one year ago.
The following graphic shows
the state of hard currency reserves in several emerging
central banks at the end of
October. Some of the decline
is down to valuation effects as
the euro, which makes up 40%
of the reserves, has fallen more
than 8% this year versus the
Tatiana Orlova, senior Russia
economist at RBS, saw further
reserve reduction ahead despite
short-term stabilisation due to
Russia’s recent decision to float
the rouble. “The switch to freefloat is good news for stabilisation of reserves. We may expect
some intervention from time to
time but not the steady drain
that we saw in recent months,”
she said.
Orlova noted also that Russia’s headline reserves include
$170bn from two savings funds,
the National Wealth Fund and
the Reserve Fund.
Some of this may be used to
help banks and companies hurt
by Western economic sanctions, weak oil prices and the
slowdown in economic growth.
“The long-term outlook is
for a reduction in reserves, the
question is how much,” Orlova
added. Russian reserves are also
now below those of Taiwan for
the first time since mid-2006.
Taiwan’s reserves have risen
just 1.4% in the past year, but
those in Indonesia, Mexico and
India have gone up by 12-15% in
this period.
The steepest drop in reserves
has been in Ukraine where they
fell to $12.6bn from $20.6bn a
year back.
Nigerian reserves are also
sharply lower after heavy central bank interventions to support the naira, which has fallen
to successive record lows. Nigeria’s reserves are down $7
$7bn, or 16%, from year-ago
AirAsia net profit plunges 85% in Q3 on higher costs
Revenue, however, fell 2.5% to $5.96bn. Analysts on
average had expected a profit of 36 cents per share
and revenue of $5.93bn, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.
Royal Mail
Malaysia-based AirAsia, the region’s biggest lowcost carrier by fleet size, said yesterday its thirdquarter net profit plunged a year-on-year 85% due
mainly to higher financing costs.
Net profit for the quarter ending September 30 was
5.4mn ringgit ($1.61mn), the company said, while
revenue increased 3.1% to 1.32bn ringgit.
It also blamed some of the lower profit on affiliate
Thai AirAsia posting its second consecutive quarterly loss due to the unsettled political situation in
Thailand, whose visitor industry was hit in the wake
of a May coup.
AirAsia said the quarterly results demonstrated
“the company’s strong standalone performance at
a time when most of the other airlines around the
region are facing a challenging period and recording poor performances.”
AirAsia is led by flamboyant boss Tony Fernandes, a
former record industry executive who acquired the
then-failing airline in 2001.
It has seen spectacular success and aggressive
growth under his low-cost, low-overhead model.
AirAsia signed an agreement in July to buy 50 longhaul A330 jets from Europe’s Airbus in a deal worth
$13.75bn at catalogue prices.
Meanwhile, AirAsia X, the budget carrier’s longhaul, low-cost affiliate, announced its fourth
consecutive quarterly loss yesterday.
Target Corp, the fourth-largest US retailer, reported
a better-than-expected quarterly profit as US samestore increased for the first time in four quarters.
US same-store sales rose 1.2%, double the rate that
analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had expected.
Last week Wal-Mart Stores, the largest US retailer,
reported its first rise in US same-store sales in seven
quarters, helped by a drop in gasoline prices.
Target raised the lower end of its full-year adjusted
earnings forecast range, but cut the top end.
The company now expects adjusted earnings of
$3.15-$3.25 per share for the year ending January,
compared with its previous forecast of $3.10-$3.30.
The forecast includes a pre-tax expense of $13mn,
or 1 cent per share, related to the conversion of
Target’s payment cards to MasterCard chip-and-pin
cards following a massive data breach during last
year’s holiday shopping season.
Target has also had to resort to price cuts to attract
cash-strapped consumers and win back customers
unsettled by the breach, which resulted in the theft
of at least 40mn card numbers and 70mn other
pieces of customer data.
The company said yesterday it had incurred net
breach-related expenses of $158mn so far, including
$12mn in the third quarter ended November 1.
The upcoming holiday season will be the first
under new CEO Brian Cornell, who took the helm
in August.
Staples reported higher-than-expected quarterly
sales and profit as demand recovered for core office
supplies such as paper and ink products after six
quarters of decline.
Shares of the largest US office supplies retailer rose
about 4% in premarket trading.
Staples also raised its free cash flow forecast for
the year to “more than $800mn” from “more than
$600mn.” The company said it would shut 170
stores in North America this year, higher than the
140 stores it had planned earlier.
The retailer said it had achieved annual cost savings of more than $200mn, of the $500mn it aimed
to save under a two-year program.
Same-store sales fell 4% in the third quarter ended
November 1, in line with the average analyst estimate, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Staples, which has been focusing on growing its
online business, said sales at rose 9%.
Net income rose to $216.8mn, or 34 cents per share,
from $135.2mn or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 37 cents per
Online retail giant Amazon’s own delivery service
will more than halve the growth potential for Royal
Mail’s parcels business, the former state-owned
British company said yesterday, sending its shares
Parcels make up half of Royal Mail’s turnover and
the development of online shopping has made
them central to the company’s prospects when letter volumes are in decline.
However, competition from the likes of TNT, Yodel,
and a new delivery service from Amazon, which
was Royal Mail’s biggest customer accounting
for six% of sales, has hampered progress and hit
Royal Mail warned yesterday that Amazon’s plans to
deliver more of its own packages would cut growth
in the British parcels market for it and rivals from an
annual rate of 4-5% to 1-2% for at least two years.
The squeeze showed in a 21% decline in Royal Mail
operating profit for the six months to September
28, although the figure of £279mn was not as bad
as many analysts had feared.
Moya Greene, Royal Mail’s chief executive, said
Amazon’s arrival and increased capacity from rivals
were having a dramatic effect on its market.
James Hardie
James Hardie Industries, the world’s biggest fibre
cement products maker, yesterday posted a sharp
increase in second-quarter net operating profit,
despite a slower-than-expected recovery in the US
housing sector.
James Hardie, which generates two-thirds of its revenue in Europe and the US, warned of short-term
US uncertainty with the recent “flattening in housing activity” but forecast a moderate improvement
for the year ending in March.
Its Australian, New Zealand and Philippines businesses are expected to improve, it added.
“Management cautions that although US housing
activity has been improving for some time, market
conditions remain somewhat uncertain and some
input costs remain volatile,” it said in a statement.
The company, which supplies products like cladding for the outside walls of houses, reported net
operating profit of $127.2mn for the quarter ended
September 30, up from $51.9mn a year ago.
Chief Executive Louis Gries said the 66% jump
reflected increased volumes and higher average
net sales prices across its US, European and Asian
fiber cement businesses, which drove net sales up
12% for both the quarter and the half year.
Home Depot
Home Depot has reported slightly higher-than-expected quarterly sales as an improving job market
encouraged home owners to increase spending on
renovations, but earnings came in just below Wall
Street estimates.
Sales increased despite the September disclosure
from the world’s largest home improvement chain
that its data systems were breached, probably affecting about 56mn payment cards.
Home Depot said it might face other breach-related
costs, including legal action, that could have a material impact on results for the current quarter and
beyond. Sales at stores open at least a year rose
5.2% in the third quarter ended November 2, beating the analysts’ average estimate of 5%, according
to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Same-store sales increased 5.8% in the US, where
Home Depot has more than 85% of its stores.
Net sales rose 5.4% to $20.52bn, while analysts
on average had expected $20.47bn, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Third-quarter net income rose to $1.54bn, or $1.15
per share, from $1.35bn, or 95 cents per share, a
year earlier.
JA Solar
Chinese solar company JA Solar Holdings Co reported its fourth straight quarterly profit, helped by
higher demand for solar panels and modules, and
raised its shipment forecast.
The company said it expects to ship 850-900
megawatts (MW) of cells and modules in the fourth
quarter, up from the 785.4 MW it shipped in the
third quarter ended September 30.
JA Solar also raised its 2014 shipment forecast to
3.1-3.2 gigawatt (GW) from 2.9-3.1 GW.
Third-quarter module shipment jumped to 693.5
MW in the third quarter from 445.8 MW in the second quarter, mainly due to robust growth in sales to
Japan and China, the company said.
Revenue jumped 71% to $492.2mn.
JA Solar reported a net profit of $25.3mn, or 42
cents per American Depositary Share, compared
with a year-ago loss of $37mn, or $1.10 per ADS.
Vienna Insurance
Vienna Insurance Group is turning round its
problematic Romanian business but may still post
a small loss in Italy next year as it unwinds a disastrous foray into car insurance there, Chief Executive
Peter Hagen said.
Its Romanian business continued a fragile recovery
with a €2.6mn ($3.3mn) pretax profit in the first
three quarters as cut-throat competition eased.
“It is a bit early to be optimistic but there is sufficient reason to no longer be pessimistic,” Hagen
said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Vienna’s Italian business was still losing money but
not like in 2013, when a flood of claims from a ballooning business triggered a drastic cut-back.
Asked if losses would continue into 2015, Hagen
said: “That may well be, but only at a very low level.”
Baader Bank analysts kept a “buy” rating on
Vienna shares, saying: “We believe that Vienna’s
turnaround is overall well on track, with expected
reported top-line growth next year and stabilisation
in Romania and Italy in the near term.”
Third-quarter group profit before tax rose 27%
to €140mn as premiums climbed 1.7% to 2.06bn.
Vienna’s combined ratio—a measure of profitability
in the property and accident business—improved to
97.2%. Analysts had seen pretax profit up 32%.
EasyJet’s annual profits climbed on the back of
rising passenger numbers and sales, the no-frills
British airline said.
Net profits, or earnings after taxation, rallied 13% to
£450mn ($704mn, €565mn) in the group’s financial
year to the end of September, compared with
2012/13, EasyJet said in a results statement.
Pre-tax profits surged 22% to £581mn, which was
slightly ahead of the group’s own forecast.
Passenger numbers jumped seven% to 64.8mn, as
the airline also picked up business from rival Air
France—which had to cancel flights in September
because of a record two-week-long pilots’ strike.
EasyJet’s total revenues meanwhile swelled by 6.3%
to £4.527bn.
“Our performance demonstrates our continued
focus on cost and progress against every strategic
revenue priority,” said chief executive Carolyn
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Deutsche Bank prices $1.5bn
debut US bond market CoCo
London/New York
Hong Kong
eutsche Bank on Tuesday priced
$1.5bn of bonds that convert
into equity, fortifying its capital
strength and its leverage ratio in particular.
The perpetual non-call 10-year
Contingent Convertible or CoCo
priced at 100.065 to yield 7.5%, in line
with guidance. It was sized at the upper
end of the $1bn to $1.5bn range flagged
to investors.
The self-led deal attracted $3.6bn
of interest from more than 230 investors, half of which were US domestic accounts unable to participate in
Deutsche’s ground-breaking May issue
of sterling, euro and Reg-S only dollar AT1s that raised the equivalent of
Of the rest, around 25% was sold into
Asia and the rest into Europe.
With the $1.5bn deal, Deutsche is just
shy of completing its objective of raising $5bn of CoCos and improving its
leverage ratio to 3.5% by the end of 2015
from 2.4% at the start of 2014.
“It’s the last leg of the capital raising plan,” said analyst Jacques-Henri
Gaulard at Scope Ratings.
Like the bank’s previous CoCos, the
new issue is perpetual but will be temporarily written-down if the bank’s
Common Equity Tier 1 ratio falls below
5.125%, consistent with other continental European banks.
Like many other borrowers that hit
the bond market on Tuesday, however,
Deutsche was unable to pull in pricing
from guidance levels.
Market participants pointed to signs
that investor demand is buckling under
the weight of the $88.475bn in issuance
so far this month.
The Deutsche CoCo was first marketed at a coupon of 7.5% area, nearly
1.5 percentage points higher than
Swedish lender Nordea paid for a bond
with a matching maturity in September, even though Nordea’s bonds have
a much higher 8% write-down trigger.
One market source said Deutsche
could have achieved tighter pricing
but opted to stick with the 7.5% yield
and raise the maximum amount of the
“I think it (DB’s pricing on top of
whispered levels) was a matter of the
market just being overwhelmed with so
much supply, and the fact that investors know there are some huge deals in
The headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. The bank on Tuesday priced $1.5bn of bonds that convert into equity, fortifying its capital strength and its leverage
ratio in particular.
the pipeline,” said one banker not directly involved in the deal.
Alibaba is expected to issue a potential $8bn debut deal in the US market
this week, and medical device maker
Medtronic will begin roadshowing a
jumbo financing on Friday to help raise
the US$16bn of debt it needs for its
$42.9bn acquisition of Covidien.
“It’s hard for (investors) to step up
and buy bonds in front of that,” said the
banker. The new Deutsche AT1 floats
at mid-swaps plus 500.3bp if it is not
called in year 10, and then resets every
five years thereafter over the five-year
mid-swap rate.
At 7.5% the deal offers about a 25bp
concession over its outstanding 6.25%
Reg S only perpetual non-call fives
with a first call date in April 2020.
That deal was part of May’s threecurrency AT1 transaction and was
quoted at a yield-to-call of around
6.5% on Tuesday. Adding 75bp to account for the trading difference between a non-call five and a non-call
10 would suggest fair value at around
7.25% for the new deal.
Some investors compared the trade
with French banks like Societe Generale
and Credit Agricole.
SocGen has a 7.875% CoCo trading at
par with a yield-to-call of 7.72%, while
Credit Agricole’s 7.875% AT1s were
quoted at US$103with a yield-to-call
of 7.2%.
The difference between Deutsche
Bank’s Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of
14.7% and the CoCo’s 5.125% trigger is
nearly 10 percentage points, the widest
distance of any issuer.
But according to Simon Adamson,
an analyst at CreditSights, Deutsche
has less in the way of retained profits,
which raises the risks the coupon might
not be paid.
At Ba3/BB/BB+ with Moody’s, S&P
and Fitch, Deutsche Bank’s CoCo is not
considered investment-grade by credit
ratings agencies, unlike Nordic banks
like Nordea at BBB+/BBB, with S&P
and Fitch.
Asia bourses dip; Tokyo retreats as
BoJ stands pat on monetary policy
sian markets slipped yesterday
despite record closing highs on
Wall Street, with Tokyo stocks retreating after the central bank stood pat
on monetary policy even as Japan tipped
back into recession.
Sydney dropped 0.57%, or 30.9 points,
to 5,368.8, Shanghai lost 0.22%, or 5.38
points, to 2,450.99 and Hong Kong fell
0.66%, or 155.86 points, to 23,373.31.
Seoul ended flat, shedding 0.14 points
to 1,966.87.
In other markets, Bangkok fell 0.24%,
or 3.72 points, to 1,577.55; Kasikorn Bank
added 2.09% to 244baht, while Siam Cement fell 0.88% to 448baht.
Malaysia’s main stock index rose 6.01
points, or 0.33%, to close at 1,824.39;
Public Bank added 0.22% to 18.34 ringgit, Tenaga Nasional gained 0.73% to
13.74 while Airasia X lost 7.86% to 0.65
Jakarta ended up 0.50%, or 25.46
points, at 5,127.93; cigarette maker Gudang Garam gained 2.04% to 63,700
rupiah, while retailer Hero Supermarket
slipped 1.00% to 2,475 rupiah.
Singapore rose 0.63%, or 20.83 points,
to 3,334.56; agribusiness company
Wilmar International gained 0.31% to
Sg$3.24, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp rose 2.34% to Sg$10.50.
Taipei gained 1.18%, or 104.17 points,
to 8,963.24; TSMC rose 3.42% to
Tw$136.0 while HTC was 1.14% higher
at Tw$133.5.
Manila ended flat, edging down 6.17
points to 7,269.49; top-traded Megaworld rose 1.61% to 5.05 pesos while
Philippine Long Distance Telephone
shed 0.07% to 2,992 pesos.
Tokyo shed 0.32%, or 55.31 points, to
end at 17,288.75 after Bank of Japan policymakers trimmed their inflation expectations but held off fresh monetary easing.
On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister
Bank sees
at least 10%
Money dealers call orders at a foreign exchange market in Tokyo. The US dollar gained against the Japanese yen at the Tokyo
market and traded in the ¥117 level yesterday.
Shinzo Abe called for early elections to
seek a mandate for delaying next year’s
sales tax increase, after data showed the
Japanese economy was in recession—
hammered by a sales tax rise in April.
“Abe’s actions were in line with market expectations, which had been building for several days,” said Eiji Kinouchi,
chief technical strategist at Daiwa Securities.
“Historically, the market tends to rise
between the time elections are declared
and when the vote actually occurs, and
foreign investors, importantly, appear
to be embracing the decision,” Kinouchi
told Dow Jones Newswires.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow
Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.23%
and the S&P 500 rose 0.51% to close at
fresh records following solid economic
data from Germany and the US.
Investment sentiment in the eurozone’s biggest economy rebounded in
November, a survey showed Tuesday.
After hitting a 22-month low in October, the widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW
economic institute was back in positive
territory in November, jumping to 11.5
points from minus 3.6 points the previous month.
The European single currency rose on
the upbeat data, trading at $1.2516 and
¥146.94 in Asian afternoon trade from
$1.2482 and ¥145.68 late Tuesday.
And in the US, homebuilder confi-
dence rose by four points to 58, according to the National Association of Home
Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market
The dollar rose to ¥117.40 from ¥116.83
in New York Tuesday afternoon and
¥116.57 in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.
Oil prices were mixed in Asia as dealers predicted that leading producer Saudi
Arabia would resist pressure from other
Opec members to cut output in order to
prop up falling prices.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery fell 44 cents to
$74.17, while Brent crude for January rose
eight cents to $78.55 in afternoon trade.
Gold was at $1,200.30 an ounce, compared with $1,202 late Tuesday.
eutsche Bank’s Asia-Pacific revenue may expand
10% or more over the
next three to five years, said Gunit Chadha, co-chief executive
officer for the region.
Germany’s biggest lender has
made “large hires” for wealth
management in the region and
is adding people in investment
and transaction banking, Chadha, 53, said in an interview with
Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda
Amin in Singapore.
Deutsche Bank reported a
€94mn ($118mn) loss for the
three months through September
after setting aside funds to cover
the costs of settling investigations. Growth in trade financing
in the Asia-Pacific region was a
bright spot in what the lender described as a “challenging” quarter for transaction banking.
“We feel very good about the
Asia Pacific and especially as we
see some markets coming back
into growth,” said Chadha, who
leads the bank’s operations in
the region with Alan Cloete.
The Asia Pacific accounted
for €3.85bn of Deutsche Bank’s
€31.92bn of revenue in 2013,
company filings show. That region and the UK were the only
geographic areas where revenue
grew from the prior year.
Deutsche Bank has about
18,000 Asia-Pacific employees,
according to Chadha. That compares with about 98,000 people
globally at the end of September,
a company presentation shows.
The firm’s hiring for wealth
management has been focused
on Singapore, a private-banking
hub for Deutsche Bank, Chadha
said. The Asia-Pacific wealthmanagement business aims to
increase revenue by 20% next
year by targeting ultra-high net
worth clients, Mark Smallwood,
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s head of franchise
development and strategic initiatives in the region, said last
Sensex falls; rupee
hits 8-1/2 month low
Indian shares fell yesterday,
retreating from record highs hit
earlier in the session as investors
pared positions in blue-chips such
as Tata Motors after overseas
investors marked their first sale of
cash shares in three weeks.
Foreign institutional investors
sold Indian shares worth Rs1.02bn
($16.5mn) on Tuesday, marking
their first sale since October 28.
Overseas investors have been
key drivers of the stock market
rally this year, buying a net
$15.47bn worth of shares so far
in 2014, according to regulatory data. But caution is now
beginning to set in ahead of the
winter session of the parliament
scheduled to begin next week,
when Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s government is expected to
push a slew of reforms including
goods and services tax.
Investors are also looking
forward to the Reserve Bank of
India’s policy review on December 2, while also tracking global
factors, including minutes of the
US Fed’s policy meeting due later
this week.
“FIIs are making good profit on
Indian shares after a long time, so
expect 3-5% correction by December-end due to profit taking,”
said G Chokkalingam, founder of
Equinomics, a research and fund
advisory firm.
The BSE index fell 0.46%
after hitting an all-time high of
28,294.01 earlier in the day.
The NSE index settled down
0.52% after rising to a record high
of 8,455.65.
Blue-chips led falls amid profittaking. The 50-share NSE index
has gained 35.2% so far this year,
making India the best performing equity market in Asia during
the period. Tata Motors fell 2.2%,
while Sun Pharmaceutical Indus-
tries ended lower 1.9%. ITC lost
0.7%, while Tata Steel ended 3.2%
lower. State bank of India lost 1.2%
after rising 8.3% in the previous
three sessions.
Reliance Industries fell 1.1%, Oil
and Natural Gas Corp lost 1.7%,
and Cairn India declined 2.7%.
Among gainers, consumer
goods stocks rose on hopes falling inflation would lift spending,
while lower raw material costs
would aid margins.
Hindustan Unilever rose
1.1% and Britannia Industries
advanced 2.1%.
Meanwhile the rupee hit an
8-1/2 month low yesterday as
global gains in the dollar ahead of
the release of US Federal Reserve
minutes later in the day and
slumping crude prices spurred oil
firms to accelerate their greenback purchases.
Fed minutes come amid rising
expectations the US central bank
is moving towards eventual rate
hikes, in contrast to the European
Central Bank or the Bank of Japan. Any US rate hikes could end
up hitting emerging market currencies such as the rupee, despite
the accommodative stances in
countries outside the US.
But traders say relatively better
economic fundamentals in India
could protect the rupee from
steep falls compared with other
emerging market currencies.
“The dollar demand from oil
companies should continue at
least till the end of the month,”
said Anish Vyas, a currency
analyst at Angel Securities in
“However, hopes of rate cuts
and positive reforms from the
government should limit any
major fall in the rupee.”
The partially convertible rupee
closed at 61.96/97 per dollar versus its previous close of 61.74/75,
after earlier touching a low of
61.9950, its weakest level since
March 4.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Carney’s majority
shows cracks on
inflation concerns
Minutes of the Monetary
Policy Committee’s
November 5-6 meeting
contrast with the downbeat
assessment presented by
Carney at the November 12
press conference
ank of England policy
makers voted 7-2 to keep
the benchmark interest
rate at a record low this month
as some of the majority began to
raise concerns about potential
inflation pressures.
Minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’s November 5-6
meeting showed the majority in
favour of maintaining the key
rate at 0.5% — which includes
Governor Mark Carney — had a
“material spread of views on the
balance of risks.”
While some of those views
were focused on the possibility of weaker UK growth, others
cited the potential for a faster
decline in excess capacity in the
economy, boosting inflation.
“There was a risk that growth
might soften further than anticipated” and premature tightening
“would leave the economy vulnerable to shocks,” the MPC majority said. “Against this, however, there was also a risk that the
degree of spare capacity would
be eliminated more quickly than
assumed,” which would “potentially result in inflation rising to,
and subsequently overshooting,
the 2% target.”
The minutes contrast somewhat with the downbeat assessment presented by Carney at the
November 12 Inflation Report
press conference, when he cited
“moribund” global expansion
and stagnation in Europe. His
comments, along with lower BoE
forecasts, prompted investors
and economists to change their
view on the timing of the first
interest-rate increase.
“There was a much greater sense of this spare capacity question hovering hawkishly
over the MPC than the Inflation
Report and recent speeches have
suggested,” said Philip Rush, an
economist at Nomura International in London. “It would still
leave a blocking majority of internal doves.”
The pound rose against the
dollar after the minutes were
published and was trading at
$1.5679 as of 11:52am London
time, up 0.3% from Monday.
While the minutes yesterday cited threats to the recovery
from the euro area and the UK
housing market, it said business
investment growth was “buoyant” and there were signs that
wage growth was picking up.
“Further increases in earnings
growth would be necessary” if
the BoE’s inflation projections
were to be met, the central bank
said. “But, given the pace at
which spare capacity appeared
to have been eroded over the past
year and the possibility that productivity growth would remain
weak, there was a risk that any
remaining slack might soon be
exhausted, causing inflationary
pressures to build.”
Data Monday showed inflation
unexpectedly accelerated to 1.3%
last month from 1.2%. While the
BoE expects price growth to cool
again in the coming months, Annual pay growth accelerated to
1% in the three months through
David Tinsley, an economist
at UBS in London, said the minutes show that it’s “probably be
wrong to put all the majority
seven members of the MPC in
the same boat.”
“The discussion in the committee on policy rates is a little
more live than recent speeches
might suggest,” he said. “Domestically the key indicator to
watch is clearly pay growth, particularly that in the private sector.”
After the Inflation Report,
economists were focused on the
minority of Ian McCafferty and
Martin Weale favouring higher
interest rates, rather than a move
within the majority. While most
analysts forecast another 7-2
split being revealed yesterday,
some had said at least one of the
minority would change his vote.
For Weale and McCafferty,
economic circumstances continued to justify an immediate
increase in the benchmark rate
from 0.5% to 0.75%, according
to the minutes. They said the
MPC should anticipate labourmarket pressures.
Volvo Cars plots US resurgence with model overhaul
hinese-owned Volvo Car Group said
yesterday a sweeping overhaul of its
model range over the next five years
would propel its long-suffering sales volumes
in the US back above 100,000 cars per year.
Strong growth in China and more modest
gains in Europe have helped Volvo grow sales
for 16 straight months. However, turnover
in the US, once its biggest market but now
eclipsed by China, has been eroding over the
past decade.
Volvo, bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding
Group Co from Ford Motor Co in 2010, said it
expected to reach its sales target “in the medium term” and sought to dispel doubts it had
a future in the vast US market.
The Swedish car brand is up against much
larger luxury rivals at a time when the global
industry is shifting to a smaller number of vehicle platforms to exploit economies of scale
while offering a broader array of models.
Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson
believes Volvo can compete with a more focused offering and just one core engine family. “Volvo is in the US to stay. Not only will
we stay, we will prosper,” Samuelsson said in
a statement. We sold over 100,000 cars a year
in the US in the past. Our initial aim is to get
back to that level and in the longer term surpass it.”
Volvo, which expects to sell only about
60,000 cars in US this year, is seeking to generate enough global sales to support the billions of dollars in investment in new vehicles
needed to remain viable in a cut-throat car
Volvo last sold more than a 100,000 cars in
the US in 2007, its best year globally before
a sharp downturn hit auto sales across the
world as the financial crisis struck. US auto
industry sales rose to more than 15mn vehicles last year.
The Gothenburg-based car maker aims to
nearly double annual sales to 800,000 cars by
2020 and stake out a claim in a premium market dominated by Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz,
BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi.
Fed’s Yellen inherits Greenspan’s
conundrum as long rates sink
New York
Alan Greenspan couldn’t control long-term
interest rates a decade ago, and bond investors
are betting Janet Yellen’s luck will be no better.
When then-Federal Reserve chairman Greenspan
raised the benchmark overnight rate from 2004
to 2006, long-term borrowing costs failed to
increase, thwarting his attempts to tighten credit
and curb excesses that contributed to the worst
financial crisis in 80 years.
“We wanted to control the federal funds rate, but
ran into trouble because long-term rates did not,
as they always had previously, respond to the
rise in short-term rates,” Greenspan said in an
interview last week. He called this a “conundrum”
during congressional testimony in 2005.
The bond market is signalling that past may be
prologue as Yellen’s Fed prepares to raise rates
next year. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury
note has fallen 0.71 percentage point in 2014
even as the Fed wound down its bond-buying
program and mapped out a strategy to raise the
benchmark federal funds rate from near zero,
where it has been since 2008.
Most Fed policy makers expect the central bank
will raise the federal funds rate, which represents
the cost of overnight loans among banks,
sometime next year, according to projections
released in September. The stakes are higher this
time because rates are lower and the yield curve
is flatter. Raising short-term rates in the face of
stable or falling long-term rates could lead to
a situation where the Fed “quickly inverts the
yield curve and turns credit creation on its head,”
said Tim Duy, an economics professor at the
University of Oregon in Eugene and a former US
Treasury Department economist.
An inverted yield curve occurs when short-term
securities yield more than longer-dated bonds.
That discourages banks from extending credit
because they finance long-term loans with
short-term debt. Inverted yield curves typically
precede recessions.
Duy said the Fed has few options if long rates
don’t rise after increases in the federal funds
rate: the Fed would have little scope to raise the
benchmark further, and not much room to cut if
the economy were to slump.
“I’m sort of wondering, what’s the game plan
here,” Duy said.
The Fed does have one tool that Greenspan
didn’t: a $4.49tn portfolio accumulated in three
rounds of asset purchases. Selling some of those
assets might provide a way to lift long-term
rates if necessary, said Michael Gapen, senior US
economist at Barclays in New York.
The challenges Fed policy makers face today are
similar to those of a decade ago.
The “global savings glut” then-Fed Governor
Ben S Bernanke highlighted as a key source of
downward pressure on long-term rates in 2005
has grown even larger over the last 10 years, said
George Saravelos, head of Europe FX and crossmarkets strategy at Deutsche Bank in London.
Saravelos said Europe’s surplus in its current
account, the broadest measure of trade that
includes investment income, is “bigger than
China’s in the 2000s” at around $400bn per year.
“The next few years will mark the beginning
of very large European purchases of foreign
assets,” he wrote in an October 6 report.
Economic stagnation has reduced yields in
places like Germany and Japan, which will help
funnel excess savings into the US and prevent
Treasury yields from rising, according to
Roberto Perli, a partner at Cornerstone Macro in
The 2.32% yield on 10-year Treasuries compares
with 0.80% on 10-year German Bunds and 0.50%
on 10-year Japanese government bonds.
Unlike the 2004-2006 period, when the dollar
was depreciating, a rising greenback in this
tightening cycle will increase foreigners’
incentive to hold US assets, “which just makes
things worse,” Perli said.
“Investors should be mindful of global factors,”
Priya Misra, rates strategist with Bank of
America Merrill Lynch in New York, wrote in a
note yesterday. Weakness in global growth and
inflation “can prevent a significant move higher
in US 10-year rates,” she wrote.
Foreign investors have replaced the Fed’s
purchases, which ended in October, as a major
source of demand for US government debt,
according to Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher.
“I definitely think that has helped suppress the
yield curve,” he told reporters November 3.
Fisher said lack of concern about the potential
Yellen: Higher stakes.
for a surge in inflation is having a similar effect.
A measure of the outlook for annual inflation
over the five-year period that begins five years
from now, derived from yields on Treasury
Inflation-Protected Securities, has fallen to 2.15%
from 2.69% on December 31.
The decline reflects a drop in the price investors are
willing to pay for protection against an unexpected
jump in inflation, New York Fed President William C
Dudley said in a November 13 speech.
“Many investors have a hard time seeing
significant upside inflation risk, even over a
10-year period, and they’re not willing to pay up
for that type of protection in portfolios,” said
Zach Pandl, a Minneapolis-based interest-rate
strategist at Columbia Management Investment
Advisers, which oversees $340bn.
A lack of inflationary pressure, excess savings and
global stagnation have combined to reduce the
compensation investors demand for unexpected
changes in long-term interest rates, measured
by a component of yields known as the term
premium, according to a New York Fed model.
“If you want to know what moves long rates,
in general it’s more term premiums than it is
the path of policy,” Jeremy Stein, a Harvard
economics professor and former Fed governor,
said in an interview.
Forecasters are paying attention. Barclays
strategists said in a November 13 note they cut
their prediction for the 10-year Treasury yield at
the end of 2015 to 2.85%, citing a negative term
For now, policy makers are probably more
worried about unintentionally causing a
destabilising surge in long-term rates, said
Jonathan Wright, an economist who developed
term structure models at the Fed’s Division of
Monetary Affairs in 2004-2008.
That’s what happened in mid-2013, when thenchairman Bernanke triggered the so-called taper
tantrum by suggesting the Fed could begin
reducing asset purchases within months.
As a result, the 10-year US Treasury term
premium derived from the New York Fed’s model
rose 1.63 percentage point over the next seven
months, driving long-term rates higher.
From policy makers’ current point of view, “a
rising term premium is a problem. A falling one
is not,” said Wright, now a professor at Johns
Hopkins University in Baltimore. That’s why “the
Fed is trying to be very, very careful in laying
out as much as they can an expected path of
What’s more, the conundrum could actually work
to the Fed’s advantage as it focuses on raising
the federal funds rate above zero and restoring
its role as the primary policy tool.
To the extent that long-term rates stay low and
therefore don’t add to monetary tightening, “that
allows you to put emphasis on that short-term
rate and getting it off zero,” Donald Kohn, vicechairman of the Fed from 2006 to 2010, said in
an interview.
Still, the Fed may eventually need to take further
action if the economy starts to overheat.
That’s where the central bank’s expanded
balance sheet may be useful, according to
Gapen, a former Fed economist.
Just as the Fed’s purchases are thought to have
depressed term premiums, sales of Treasuries
could reverse the downward pressure, Gapen
The potential to sell Treasuries “gives people
confidence that if there is a serious problem, you
have an additional policy tool,” he said.
Exercise in a bottle is next food frontier for Nestle
ucked away near Lake Geneva, a
handful of Nestle scientists are
quietly working on realising every couch potato’s dream: exercise that
comes in a bottle.
The world’s biggest food company,
known for KitKat candy bars and Nespresso capsules, says it has identified
how an enzyme in charge of regulating metabolism can be stimulated by
a compound called C13, a potential
first step in developing a way to mimic
the fat-burning effect of exercise. The
findings were published in the science
journal Chemistry & Biology in July.
While any slimming smoothies or
snack bars are a long way off, eight scientists at the Nestle Institute of Health
Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland, are
looking for natural substances that can
act as triggers. Nestle’s commitment to
this type of project illustrates how the
company is working to address con-
sumers’ disenchantment with packaged food by formulating products that
can do more than sate hunger.
“The border between food and pharma will narrow in the coming years,”
said Jean-Philippe Bertschy, an analyst
at Bank Vontobel in Zurich. “Companies with a diversified, healthy food
portfolio will emerge as the winners.”
The numbers already point that way.
Consumers’ appetite for food perceived to bring a health benefit, such
as gluten-free pasta and organic juice,
is forecast to outpace growth in traditional packaged food through 2019
after doing so almost every year in the
past decade, according to research firm
Euromonitor International.
On the ground floor of a box-like
building located on the campus of the
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the Nestle scientists
are sorting through natural substances
such as fruit and plant extracts to see
which ones could modulate the enzyme
called AMPK, which acts as a metabolic
master switch to facilitate the body’s
use of sugar and fat. The goal is to develop a nutritional product that mimics
or enhances the effect of exercise for
people with limited mobility due to old
age, diabetes or obesity, Kei Sakamoto,
the scientist who oversees research on
diabetes and circadian rhythms at Nestle, said in a telephone interview. Testing on animals probably won’t start for
several years, he said.
“The enzyme can help people who
can’t tolerate or continue rigorous exercise,” Sakamoto said. “Instead of 20
minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of
cycling, it may help boost metabolism
with moderate exercise like brisk walking. They’d get similar effects with less
AMPK’s role is crucial “as energy
is needed for all the key physiological
processes in the body, from secreting a
hormone to moving a muscle and even
brain function,” Nestle said in a statement yesterday disclosing its research
on the enzyme. Nestle shares gained
0.3% to 71.80 Swiss francs at 1:46pm in
Zurich trading.
The push into science nutrition
means Nestle is going after targets that
pharmaceutical companies have pursued for years.
Rigel Pharmaceuticals of San Francisco started testing its own experimental AMPK activator on humans
earlier this year, to see if it can help
with one of the consequences of a
chronic form of vascular disease. The
German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH is working with the Indian
biotech Connexios Life Sciences to develop AMPK activators for diabetes.
The list of those who have tried to
target AMPK and had no success so
far, directly or through collaborations,
includes Merck & Co of the US and Dr
Reddy’s Laboratories of India. Merck
is still at it after more than a decade of
research, according to spokeswoman
Pamela Eisele. Dr Reddy’s, reached via
e-mail, says it has abandoned research
on the enzyme.
One older diabetes medicine does
work by stimulating AMPK. The drug,
called metformin, inhibits sugar out-
put from the liver and helps some patients slim down. Nestle doesn’t plan
to partner with a drug maker for its own
AMPK project, according to Sakamoto.
The Vevey, Switzerland-based company’s research budget of 1.5bn francs
($1.6bn) last year almost rivaled that of
the Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk.
Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of
Glasgow, points out others have tried to
develop fat-burning products before,
to no avail.
“A successful attempt in producing
metabolic-assisting foods that mimic
exercise would be marvelous — the holy
grail,” Sattar said by telephone. “But
there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
So far no such product has ever passed
clinical trials.”
Nestle’s dabbling in health extends
far back. Founder Henri Nestle was
a pharmacist by training. The company made Nestrovit vitamins as early
as 1936 with the Swiss drug maker
now known as Roche Holding. Fifty
years later it disbursed $2.5bn to buy
the medical-nutrition unit of Roche’s
archrival Novartis. Current products
include Boost shakes, which help diabetics manage their blood-sugar levels,
and Optifast, formulated to assist medically-at-risk patients who need to lose
weight swiftly.
The commitment wasn’t always
sustained: A joint venture with Baxter
International to sell medical foods was
disbanded almost twenty years ago. But
lately, the company points to health
nutrition as the way of the future, especially as it and others in the industry struggle to find the next frontier
of growth, faced with consumers who
increasingly shun packaged branded
goods in favour of healthier or generic
“There’s still a lot about nutrition
we don’t know and haven’t explored,”
Ewa Hudson, head of health and wellness at Euromonitor in London, said in
a phone interview. “You can’t be 100%
certain of the outcome. It’s expensive.
If anyone is to explore it, it would be a
company like Nestle.”
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Seven lady envoys join QBWA as honorary members
QNB sets up interactive
booth at City Center
Lady envoys of seven countries have joined Qatari Businesswomen Association (QBWA) as honorary members, in an effort to expand its global relations network
and strengthen its role in enhancing economic co-operation between their countries and Qatar. Ambassadors of the US, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Georgia,
Sweden and Argentina to Qatar, have joined the organisation as honorary members, a spokesperson of QBWA said. QBWA recently extended its invitation to all lady
ambassadors to Qatar to become honorary members and this membership will be valid for the duration of their term in Qatar. “We are fully aware of the busy schedules
of our honorary members; we will work to make their membership a mutually positive and beneficial partnership without putting additional burdens on them, and
we are sure that this will open new doors and will generate more opportunities for all of us,” said Aisha Alfardan, vice-chairwoman of QBWA. The fourth quarter of this
year is expected to be very active as the QBWA seeks to launch a series of events and workshops, including a monthly business to business meeting that will develop
the exchange between members of the association; annual networking dinner; several training workshops for members and the 5th edition of Qatar International
Businesswomen Forum, which will be held next month. Picture shows the QBWA with new honorary members.
QNB has set up an interactive
display booth at City Center to
inform customers about QNB’s
latest electronic services and
QNB’s e-Services team will
give visitors a detailed
explanation about the bank’s
electronic banking services
offered to help customers
complete their transactions
while on the move and
without having to visit the
branch. The services are
designed to be convenient
and easy to use, highly
secured, and available 24/7.
Using electronic services,
customers can perform
most of their financial needs
easily online such as paying
utility bills and credit cards,
viewing account statements,
money transfers between own
accounts from anywhere in the
world. Also, they can top-up
Hala and Vodafone prepaid
accounts, among others.
Customers visiting the QNB
booth could find out more
about QNB’s cardless services
available for QNB customers
to access cash without using
their cards.
The QNB team will also
inform customers of the
latest campaign launched
in partnership with Western
Union on free Western
Union transfers through
QNB Internet banking. The
promotion is valid until
December 9, 2014.
Also, customers could learn
more about another QNB
campaign that gives them
a chance to win an iPhone
6 when they register for
Internet banking or mobile
banking and conduct at least
two transactions online.
The promotion is valid until
December 8, 2014.
QNB online services are
among the best and most
innovative electronic channels
in the Mena region. For more
information, customers can
visit the QNB booth City Center
from November 20 to 24, 2014.
Arab airlines have increasing
impact on global stage, says
Emirates chief Sheikh Ahmed
Dr Seetharaman delivering the keynote address on ‘Enterprise
Risk Integration’ at the Enterprise Risk Summit 2014 at the Oryx
Rotana in Doha yesterday.
G20 commits to
2.1% increase in
global growth:
he G20 countries have
committed themselves to
achieving a 2.1% increase
in global growth in the next five
years as world economy has
not picked up, said Doha Bank
Group CEO, Dr R Seetharaman.
He was delivering the keynote address on ‘Enterprise
Risk Integration’ at the Enterprise Risk Summit 2014 at the
Oryx Rotana in Doha yesterday.
Seetharaman said, “They
have also agreed to a plan to
reduce the gap between men
and women in the workforce
by 25% over the next 10 years.
This has the potential to bring
100mn women into the global
workforce. G20 supported the
initiatives to prevent, detect,
report early, and rapidly respond to infectious diseases like
Ebola and make sure basic public health system prevails which
allow for early warning when
outbreaks of infectious disease
occur. The G20 Food Security
and Nutrition Framework will
strengthen growth by lifting investment in food systems, raising productivity to expand food
supply, and increasing incomes
and quality jobs. To prevent
cross-border tax evasion, G20
endorsed the global Common
Reporting Standard for the automatic exchange of tax information (AEOI) on a reciprocal
Highlighting global governance, he said, “Ethical and moral governance has failed, which
contributed to the subprime
crisis and global financial crisis.
Global governance has got redefined after the crisis and has
an impact on corporate governance. Gone are the days where
financial institutions used to
gamble. The public private
partnership model prevailed in
financial services industry after
the crisis. Since April 2009 the
global governance has brought
measures to regulate the banking sector.”
Systematic risk is monitored closely by the regulators
after the crisis and regulatory
reforms have been pursued in
relation to this. However, the
easing measures by various
central banks have lifted the
stock markets. Currency volatility has also prevailed. The
dollar index has strengthened
and the oil prices have fallen
recently. Japan has gone into
recession despite the measures
taken as part of ‘Abenomics’.
The climate change challenge
is prevalent and hence every organisation whether it is bank or
an oil company should contribute to sustainable development
as part of moral governance.
On risk integration, he said,
“The global financial crisis is
an opportunity to strengthen
enterprise risk management.
Whether it is lending or investing or the overall balance sheet
management risk management
is critical as part of Governance. Enterprise risk management broadens the scope of
risk management behaviours to
include every significant business risk of the organisation. It
can be credit risk, market risk,
operation risk, human resource
risk or reputation risks. There
should be an objective assessment of every transaction and
we should manage the risks
and contribute to the value
“We can’t see risks in isolation and an integrated approach
towards risk is required. Recently, global banks were subject to fines and litigation on
account of Libor rigging, forex
rigging and AML issues. Going
forward, banks and financial
institutions need to integrate
their risk and compliance efforts to prevent recurrence of
such events. There is also a
need to protect the brand of the
organisation as part of reputation risks. We live in a digital
world and banks have embraced
technology to provide better offerings to its customers. At the
same banks should respond to
challenges arising from digital
“Human resource is critical
for every organisation and back
up plans are necessary for key
staff in the organisation as part
of business continuity plans.
Key management staff should
contribute to the shared vision
of the organisation and towards
the strategy. The enterprise risk
integration will provide value
advantage to various stakeholders. Risk integration is the key
to strengthen governance.”
rab airlines have increasing impact and visibility
on the global stage, with
many Arab countries recognising the economic importance of
aviation and investing in infrastructure, said Sheikh Ahmed
bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of
Emirates Airline & Group, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai
Sheikh Ahmed made his remarks as patron of the 47th Arab
Air Carriers Organisation Annual
General Meeting (AACO AGM),
at the event’s official opening
dinner held last night in Dubai.
Sheikh Ahmed said, “Some
47 years ago, in 1967, the world’s
airlines transported less than
300mn passengers annually. Today, airlines serve an estimated
3.3bn passengers. What’s more,
the 31 airline members of AACO
are playing a bigger role in world
air traffic than ever before. According to figures from Airbus, in
less than 10 years between 2003
and 2013, the number of passengers carried by airlines in Middle
East and North Africa has increased by more than 300%.
“In the past, European airports were the default hubs for
travellers flying East to West,
or North to South. Today, more
and more travellers are choosing to fly via hubs in our region,
Sheikh Ahmed (centre) with Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline (right); and AACO secretary-general
Abdul Wahab Teffaha at the opening ceremony of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) 47th Annual
General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai.
because we can offer better connection times, and a better travel
experience. This huge shift
in global aviation is a success
story for all of us. As individual
airlines, and together with our
home countries, we have made
the world sit up and take notice.”
He also remarked that aviation is recognised as a key economic driver in many Middle
East and North African coun-
tries, citing the UAE and Dubai
as an example.
“The latest study from Oxford
Economics show that the aviation sector contributed 26.7% to
Dubai’s GDP in 2013, and supported over 400,000 jobs. In
2020, aviation’s contribution
to Dubai’s GDP is expected be
$53bn. And by 2030, this will
rise to $88.1bn. This is a powerful story. It proves that aviation
Qatar Airways chief takes
swipe at European carriers
AFP, Reuters
atar Airways chief Akbar
al-Baker yesterday took
a swipe at legacy carriers which complain of competition from Gulf carriers, accusing
them of being “inefficient” and
protected by EU policies.
Legacy carriers “are screaming
about the Gulf Three,” al-Baker
told an aviation forum in Dubai
referring to his airline, Dubai’s
Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad. “There is enough business...
They are inefficient,” he charged.
Al-Baker said workers’ unions
were the cause of problems faced
by legacy carriers, not Gulf carriers which have seized a sizeable
share of transit travel between
the West and Asia and Australasia. “It is the unions that should
be blamed,” he said.
Al-Baker charged that the
European Union intervened far
more than the US when it came
to the protection of home carriers. “EU without doubt,” he said,
naming France and Germany in
particular. “We have problems
in France, Germany, the Nether-
Al-Baker: Defensive.
‘Delay on A380 delivery
cost $200mn’
Qatar Airways’ CEO said yesterday a three-month delay in
the delivery of A380 superjumbo jets had cost the airline
“It cost us nearly three months
... In revenue over $200mn,”
chief executive Akbar al-Baker
said on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Dubai.
lands and elsewhere... Stirred by
two individual countries: Germany and France,” he said.
European airlines, notably Air
France and KLM, have voiced con-
cern at increased activity by Gulfbased companies, complaining of
differences in taxation that they
say cause unfair competition.
closed financing agreements for
a total of 16 Boeing and Airbus
aircraft, according to statements
from the carriers and banks involved. The region’s airlines are
securing funds as they take delivery of what Boeing has forecast to be a need for 2,610 aircraft by 2033, valued at $550bn.
The deals follow Qatar Airways closing a sale and operating leaseback transaction with
Standard Chartered for three
777-300ER and five 787-8 aircraft. It was the first sale and
leaseback transaction entered
into by the Qatari flag carrier, according to local press reports.
Emirates and Qatar are among
the fastest-growing airlines in
the world. In July, Emirates finalised a $56bn to buy 150 777X
jets, while Qatar ordered 50 of
the aircraft.
Dubai’s Emirates airline has
signed a 1.1bn dirham ($299.5mn)
financing deal with a group of
banks for the purchase of two
Boeing planes.
can have a huge positive impact
on economies if there is a clear
strategy, and collaboration.
“Dubai has its own model.
But we are certainly not the only
ones in the Arab world who see
aviation as a key economic driver. Many Arab airlines are investing in new efficient aircraft,
new technologies, better onboard products, and better service. Many of the world’s latest
— and biggest — infrastructure
projects in aviation, are happening right here in the Arab world.”
Citing IATA forecasts, Sheikh
Ahmed noted that the aviation
industry expects to see massive
growth over the next 20 years
with 7bn passengers expected
to take to the skies by 2034.
The Middle East region is also
expected to have the highest
growth rate at 4.9% per annum,
the same rate as Asia Pacific,
while Africa will see a growth
rate of 4.7% per annum.
“Both Airbus and Boeing forecast that airlines in our region
will need more than 2,000 new
aircraft over the next 20 years.
That’s worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Think about
what this might mean for the
global aviation supply chain in
terms of jobs and more. There is
no doubt that our impact on the
global aviation industry is increasing,” he said.
Sheikh Ahmed noted that
airlines would continue to face
external challenges such as aeropolitics, global economics,
health pandemics, armed conflict, amongst others. However,
prospects for Arab carriers remain bright as the airlines continue to compete commercially,
while working together through
platforms such as the AACO to
tackle issues of common interest
Airbus to deliver first A350 to
Qatar Airways by mid-Dec
European plane maker Airbus
aims to deliver the first A350
jetliner to launch customer
Qatar Airways by midDecember, the airline said on
Gulf News quoted its chief
executive Akbar al-Baker
as saying the mid-sized jet
would be delivered between
December 12 and 15 and
appeared to rule out any lastminute hitches that might rattle
investors in plane maker parent
Airbus Group.
“Everything is perfect,” he said,
according to the Dubai-based
In the US, a representative for
the Gulf carrier said the aircraft
would be delivered around
December 12.
The A350, Airbus’s newest
plane and made with a carbonfibre composite fuselage, is a
direct competitor to Boeing’s
composite 787 Dreamliner.
The long-range, twin-aisle
plane received its certification
by the US Federal Aviation
Administration last week,
after winning European safety
approval in September.
The version of the jet certified
by the FAA and European
regulators, the A350-900,
is designed to seat 314
Airbus has booked 750 orders
for the A350, including 549
for the A350-900 and 169 for
the larger A350-1000, which
is due to enter service in 2017.
The smaller A350-800 has
32 orders but is likely to be
phased out to make way for the
revamped A330neo.
Airbus is planning a steep
production increase, aiming to
build three A350s per month
by year-end, up from two a
month currently. By the end of
next year it plans to build five a
month and to hit 10 a month by
Airbus originally targeted entry
to service in 2012 when it relaunched the current design of
the A350 at the Farnborough
Airshow in July 2006.
It later slowed development,
both to ensure its maturity
and iron out problems
including a glitch in wings
production, but the schedule
has been broadly stable for
the past two years.
The plane’s successful test
flight programme, regulatory
certification and impending
first delivery have been well
received by Airbus investors,
helping shares rise more than
7% in the past month.
Only Olympics
missing from
Qatar’s sports
dismayed by
England fan
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Moharram 27, 1436 AH
Finch hits ton as
Aussies win big
against S. Africa
Page 6
Luck puts Qatar into semis
Qatar qualified despite failing to win any of their three group matches
atar heaved a sigh of relief yesterday after qualifying for the semifinals of the Gulf Cup despite failing to win a single match in the
group phase.
In Jeddah yesterday, they played out their
third consecutive draw in the tournament to
squeak into the next stage with three points.
Qatar could have gone out of the prestigious regional event if Yemen had upset Saudi
Arabia in the other match in Group A. But
that didn’t happen as the hosts held out for a
1-0 victory to clinch the top spot.
Saudi Arabia finished their Group A engagements with seven points, having won
two matches and drawn one. Thanks to a
massive dose of luck, Qatar ended in second
position with much to look forward to over
the next few days.
Qatar’s inability to crack defences will
worry coach Djamel Belmadi, but on the positive side, he has a few weeks to address this
issue. Yesterday, however, it was the same old
story of missed chances and lucky escapes.
Bahraini goalkeeper Sayed Jaafar kept Qatar
at bay with some crucial saves, especially one
from point blank range off Hassan Khaled.
Towards the fag end of play, Qatar’s
Boualem Khouky made a desperate save from
the goalline to prevent a certain Bahrain goal.
A few minutes earlier, Bahrain’s Abdulla
Abdo went wide from close.
Bahrain were supposed to be a demoralized lot as they were playing under stop-gap
coach Marjan Eid after after Iraqi Adnan Hamad was fired a day before the match.
But despite that they held their wits about
them to prevent a defeat.
Qatar survive a tense moment during yesterday’s Gulf Cup match against Bahrain.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Portugal win 1-0
after Messi and
Ronaldo fail to fire
The match was decided by a later header from substitute Raphaël Guerreiro
By Jamie Jackson
The Guardian
here was scant sign of the apparent animus between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo before
the start of this friendly encounter. Argentina’s
captain and his Portugal counterpart winked and
embraced in the tunnel in a manner that may or may not
have been a mere show of public affection.
The match was decided in Portugal’s favour by a late
header from the second-half substitute Raphaël Guerreiro though all anyone had really cared about was how Messi
and Ronaldo performed.
By the break the lead actors in a game billed as a showdown between the world’s finest two players had left the
stage which, given the £60 paid for top priced tickets, was
greeted by a smattering of boos from the 41,233 attendance.
Gerardo Martino, the Argentina head coach, was certainly correct when stating during the build-up that there
was no way the match would have any effect on who would
win this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or.
The 45 minutes played by the winners of the past four
awards – Ronaldo is the incumbent – was insipid fare,
with Messi brighter than the former United man.
Ronaldo’s continuing status an adored old boy here
meant he – and Portugal – were granted the far warmer
reception from a crowd that created the kind of jolly atmosphere usually present at pre-season matches.
As Martino left Sergio Agüero on the bench – the Manchester City striker was jeered to his seat – the star attractions for Argentina were Messi and Ángel Di María during
an opening half the “home” team dominated.
These two shone whether in combination or individually and though Di María lined up on the left and Messi on
the opposing flank these proved nominal positions as each
roved across the Old Trafford turf.
Di María has been criticised by Louis van Gaal for dribbling too much in Manchester United colours and an example in the livery of Argentina came when he raced clear
towards Beto’s goal only to over-complicate the footwork
and the threat fizzled out.
Di María did come closer when Messi darted forward
and slipped the ball to him, though the 20-yard shot he
unloaded missed to Beto’s right.
By the end of period it was Messi who went closest to
scoring, hitting the Portugal goalkeeper’s left post after
engineering a one-two with Lucas Biglia. Later, the No10
also took a free-kick that flew just over Beto’s bar.
Van Gaal was present alongside his assistant, Marcel
Bout, and United’s manager must have shuddered when
Nani, who he allowed to be loaned to Sporting Lisbon,
stamped on Di María’s right foot just before the 20-minute
mark. The last thing the Dutchman needs is yet another
injury and though the £59.7m British record signing left
the pitch he was able to rejoin the fray moments later.
As can be the case when he is on international duty Ronaldo had been quiet – becalmed almost – as the break
arrived. There was one flash of magic when he took José
Bosingwa’s cross and executed a couple of soft shoe-shuffles but when taking aim the radar was awry.
In the second half Argentina continued to dominate
yet this is a relative judgment as any “entertainment” remained tame.
This was one of those nights when a Mexican wave feels
inevitable – it came on 70 minutes – and as the end nears
players become ever more careful of avoiding injury. With
this in mind Di María was taken off while Carlos Tevez,
once of Manchester United before moving to City, was
booed on as one of the numerous substitutes, though it
was all rather sub-pantomime stuff.
Throughout, the so-called super-agent, Jorge Mendes,
sat between Radamel Falcao and Anderson, two of his
clients and valued members, in varying degrees, of Van
Gaal’s squad.
As the end neared another of Mendes’s players, Nani,
had a brief altercation with Martín Demichelis that
threatened to spark into something more serious before
normal order was resumed. It summed up the evening.
Portugal player Bruno Alves
(R) vies for the ball with
Argentina’sCarlos Tevez during
their friendly match at
Old Trafford Stadium in
Manchester on Tuesday.
beat Spain
in ‘clash of
the titans’
ermany edged the big
match between the
last two World Cup
winners on Tuesday
as Toni Kroos’s last-gasp goal
handed them a 1-0 friendly
victory over Spain in rainlashed Vigo.
The goal came in the 90th
minute of a game between
two experimental sides when
Spain’s substitute goalkeeper
Kiko Casilla was guilty of a
howler, fumbling Kroos’s innocuous looking shot from the
edge of the area.
Real Madrid keeper Iker
Casillas had started for Spain
in his 160th international appearance, but made way for his
near namesake Casilla with 20
minutes to go.
“It was just what we’d been
hoping for. It’s been a big year
and this was a fine way to close
it,” Kroos said after the game.
Spain’s best chance had
come ten minutes earlier as
Barcelona’s Pedro tried to chip
Germany keeper Ron-Robert
Zieler of Hannover 96, who
produced a fine stop on what
was actually a quiet night for
Germany have been suffering something of a World Cup
hangover with a run of poor
form that saw them lose in Poland in a Euro 2016 qualifier.
While Spain have also been
far from their own rampant
form that saw them win Euro
2008 and 2012 plus the 2010
World Cup in South Africa,
and neither side is leading it’s
Euro 2016 qualifying group.
Spain coach Vicente del
Bosque remained upbeat despite the narrow defeat.
“We had as many chances
as they did and all in all it was
a close game. We’re in a transition period and we can continue to look to the future with
optimism,” said Del Bosque.
Germany coach Joachim
Loew said he was looking forward to seeing both teams in
action in the near future.
“It was a difficult match on
a very wet pitch, but I felt we
controlled it well,” said Loew.
“These two teams have
marked the recent history of
football and I’m convinced
we’ll both play a decisive role
at Euro 2016. Spain and Germany have a host of good players with which to assure the
Only four of the players that
started the 2014 World Cup
final for Germany, Benedikt
Hoewedes, Kroos, Thomas
Mueller and Mario Goetze
started the game and it was a
similar case for Spain.
Bayern Munich striker Mueller, who had scored ten times
during 2014 for the national
team, limped out of the game
on 27 minutes after a clash
with Sergio Ramos, to be replaced by Karim Bellarabi.
The heavy rain dampened
what might have been expected
to be a party atmosphere given
the profile of the teams, but the
biggest cheer of the night came
with the news striker Nolito of
local outfit Celta would start
the game.
Nolito sent a free-kick wide
late in the first-half and was
also in a position to score from
another chance when ruled
off-side on his international
German striker Kevin Volland (L) vies for the ball with Spanish
midfielder Sergio Busquets during their friendly game at Balaidos
stadium in Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Tuesday.
Mackay back in business as Wigan manager
alky Mackay returned to
football yesterday when
he was appointed as manager of English second-tier
strugglers Wigan Athletic.
The 42-year-old Scotsman, who had
been out of work since being sacked by
Cardiff in December, took over with
Wigan, who dismissed Uwe Rosler last
week, languishing in the bottom three
of the Championship.
In August, Mackay found himself having to apologise for allegedly
racist, sexist and homophobic text
messages, which he admitted were
“unacceptable”, but Wigan chairman
Dave Whelan said now was the time
to “move on” from the furore gener-
ated by his new manager’s comments.
“Malky made a mistake, he knows
that, we know that and we have discussed this issue at length face to face,”
said Whelan.
“He apologised publicly for what
happened at the time and has paid for
what he did in terms of the bad publicity he has received since and will no
doubt continue to suffer in the future.”
Whelan added: “But I believe that
it is now time to move on. Contrary to
the way he has been portrayed in recent months, the Malky Mackay I met
this week, and who has been vouched
for by the many different people from
whom we have sought advice before
making this appointment, is an honourable man.
“He is a committed family man with
decent values and is a professional
who has worked and thrived for over
20 years in the multi-cultural world of
modern football.
“There is nothing more to say about
this subject, and as far as I am concerned we draw a line under it from
Mackay guided Cardiff to the League
Cup final in 2012, where they lost on
penalties to Liverpool at Wembley, before overseeing the club’s promotion to
the Premier League the following season as they returned to the English top
flight for the first time in 51 years.
But he was sacked by Cardiff owner
Vincent Tan in December 2013, with
the Malaysian businessman reportedly
referred to as a “chink”, a derogatory
term for a person of Chinese origin, in
one of Mackay’s texts.
Cardiff were subsequently relegated
following MacKay’s exit and are now
also in the Championship.
Mackay’s achievements in charge of
the Welsh capital club weighed heavily with Whelan, desperate for Wigan
to return to the Premier League 18
months on from both their relegation
and FA Cup triumph.
“He is the man to lead us back into
the Premier League, I am convinced
of that having met him and discussed
the demands of the job ahead of him,”
Whelan said.
“He has led a team out of the Championship before and he knows this
league inside out having played and
managed in it.”
England’s governing Football Association announced in August they were
investigating a dossier of messages
between Mackay and Iain Moody, Cardiff ’s former head of recruitment, but
so far no charges have been brought
against either man.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20 2014
England fan chants
dismay Hodgson
Scotland boss
Strachan salutes
‘spooky’ England
‘I don’t condone any chanting, I have to say’
England’s Wayne Rooney
celebrates after scoring
against Scotland at Celtic
Park in Glasgow on
ngland manager Roy Hodgson admitted that his side’s 3-1
friendly victory over Scotland in
Glasgow had been slightly tarnished by antagonistic chanting from the
away supporters.
Wayne Rooney scored twice and Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain also found the
target in Tuesday’s game at Celtic Park
as England recorded a sixth win in six
But England’s fans could be heard
chanting about the IRA (Irish Republican
Army), the paramilitary group responsible for hundreds of deaths during the
Irish Troubles, in an apparent bid to rile
rival supporters at the home of Celtic,
who have a historic association with the
Irish community.
It came after Scotland’s supporters had
booed ‘God Save the Queen’, the British
national anthem, but Hodgson told his
post-match press conference: “I don’t
condone any chanting, I’ve got to say.
“My concentration was on the football match. I was aware the crowd were
tremendously supportive. I didn’t have
a clue what they were chanting. I heard
a few about (Scotland manager) Gordon
“But unfortunately, chanting and people singing songs which no-one in football condones goes on. I don’t condone it.
“If anyone was offended, I’m sure the
FA (Football Association) would apologise to them. All we can do is play our
football and hope our fans behave themselves and enjoy our football.”
Rooney’s brace, either side of a late
strike by Scotland left-back Andy Robertson, took his tally of international
goals to 46, leaving the Manchester
United striker three goals short of Bobby
Charlton’s record.
“His game is improving all the time,
and there was more to his play today
(Tuesday) than the two goals. There were
many positive points to his game,” Hodgson said.
“Records and milestones are important. It must be nice for him to think he’ll
see his name at the top of the list, and a
record number of caps is in his sights, too.
“He must keep his fitness, but he won’t
be the first one to retire from football.”
Hodgson’s evening was not without
disappointment, however, amid news
that Liverpool’s England striker Daniel
Sturridge has suffered a setback in his attempt to recover from a thigh injury.
When informed of the news, Hodgson
responded by saying: “Has he? That’s really bad news.
“The only positive for that is we don’t
play again until March. That’s a massive
blow for Liverpool. I hope, by March, he
will be OK.”
Hodgson also revealed that Jordan
Henderson, Luke Shaw and Danny Welbeck had received minor injury scares.
“Jordan Henderson has a slight hamstring problem. He could have played,
and wanted to play,” said the former Liverpool manager. “Luke Shaw and Danny
Welbeck were taken off the field for the
same reason. They’d felt slight stiffness
in the groin and hamstring.”
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
admitted that his side had been unset-
tled by England’s positive approach to the
game on their first trip north of the border in 15 years.
But having previously seen his team
record an important 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Euro 2016 qualifying
last week, he said that it was important to
keep things in perspective.
“When we met 10 days ago, the point
of the exercise was to get three points
against the Republic, which we did. I’m
proud of the way we went about it,” he
“Then you analyse the game tonight
(Tuesday), because you want to win it.
The intensity, the pace England played at,
without the ball in particular, was fantastic, and spooked our players a bit.
“I think my players were expecting
England to sit back and wait, but they
didn’t. They’re a team full of Champions
League players, and they showed that.
“Maybe we were mentally fatigued
from Friday, too, which we need to look
He added: “We let ourselves down,
to be honest. But we haven’t over the 10
days. Just in this game.”
eaten Scotland were
“spooked” by England
in Tuesday’s friendly,
said manager Gordon
Strachan before describing the
visitors as the best side his squad
had faced since he took charge
last year.
Wayne Rooney (2) and Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as
England maintained their impressive record against the Auld
Enemy, winning 3-1 to chalk up
a seventh victory in nine meetings. Roy Hodgson’s team have
not been beaten on Scottish soil
in four games since a 1-0 defeat
at Hampden Park in 1985.
“I have to say that was probably the best performance against
us tonight for a very long time,”
Strachan told reporters.
“The intensity that England
played at, the way they played
and the pace without the ball
especially was fantastic—and it
kind of spooked my players.
“They are a team full of
Champions League players and
they showed that tonight,” added Strachan. “I thought they
were fantastic.”
The Scotland boss said his
team were probably tired in their
second international in five days,
having played a Euro 2016 qualifier last week.
“We might have been mentally
fatigued after playing on Friday,
and that’s something we need to
look at, but a feature of our game
tonight was giving the ball away
under pressure,” he explained.
“We are disappointed by our
performance but the priority
was getting three points against
Ireland on Friday.”
Hodgson was delighted with
England’s show as they made
it six wins out of six since their
dismal World Cup showing in
“We showed our intentions
from the off, started the game
very well and I can’t think of
many periods in the game when
we were losing control—and
some of the attacking movements in particular were very
good,” he said.
Hodgson praised captain
Rooney as he rose to third on
England’s scoring list with 46
goals in 101 appearances.
Only Bobby Charlton (49) and
Gary Lineker (48) have scored
more than Rooney who started the night level with Jimmy
“I think milestones and
records are important and it
must be nice for him to think
that if he carries on this way he
will soon see his name at the top
of the list,” said Hodgson.
“He also has a record number
of caps in his sights but if he
wants to catch that he will have
to keep his fitness and form and
keep playing for a few more
At Vienna
Austria 1 (Dragovic 75-pen)
Brazil 2 (Luiz 64, Firminio 83)
At Borisov, Belarus
Belarus 3 (Kislyak 50, Signevich 56, Nekhaichik 81) Mexico 2
(Jimenez 48, 53)
At Marseille, France
France 1 (Varane 84) Sweden 0
At Athens
Greece 0 Serbia 2 (Petrovic 60,
Gudelj 90)
At Budapest
Hungary 1 (Nikolic 86) Russia
2 (Ignashevich 49, Kerzhakov
At Genoa, Italy
Italy 1 (Salihi 82-og) Albania 0
At Wroclaw, Poland
Poland 2 (Jedrzejczyk 45+1,
Milik 62) Switzerland 2 (Drmic
4, Frei 87)
At Manchester, England
Portugal 1 (Guerreiro 90+1)
Argentina 0
At Dublin
Republic of Irleand 4 (Pilkington 7, Brady 55, 86, McClean
82) USA 1 (Diskerud 39)
At Bucharest
Romania 2 (Keseru 53, 59)
Denmark 0
At Glasgow
Scotland 1 (Robertson 83) England 3 (Oxlade-Chamberlain
32, Rooney 47, 85)
At Bratislava
Slovakia 2 (Holosko 1, Hamsik
17) Finland 1 (Hubocan 45-og)
At Ljubljana
Slovenia 0 Colombia 1 (Ramos
At Vigo, Spain
Spain 0 Germany 1 (Kroos 89)
Podolski to speak to Wenger about his future
By Sid Lowe
ukas Podolski has admitted
that he wants to speak to Arsène Wenger about his future
at the club. The 29-year-old
said that while he is happy at the
Emirates he is concerned at how little he is playing this season. But he
also insisted that the league title race
is not over for Arsenal, despite them
lying sixth and trailing the leaders,
Chelsea, by twelve points.
“I have to speak to Wenger because the situation at the moment
is not good for me because I have to
play, so we will see what happens,”
Podolski said after Germany’s 1-0
victory over Spain on Tuesday night
. “I am happy at Arsenal and happy in
London but the only thing is I don’t
play. I don’t get the chance to play. I
play always ten to 15 minutes. I cannot be happy with this.”
Podolski is yet to start a game
for Arsenal in the league, where he
has made just four appearances,
all of them as a substitute: 13 min-
utes against Leicester City, 12 minutes against Aston Villa, 11 minutes
against Chelsea and 10 minutes
against Burnley. In the Champions
League, he scored the 91st minute
winner away at Anderlecht after
coming on as a substitute with six
minutes left. In total, he has played
just 26 minutes across three European games.
He did not add to his 121 caps for
Germany against Spain on Tuesday
night, remaining on the bench in
Vigo, and manager Joachim Löw has
warned that it will be harder to select
him if he is not playing for his club.
“I never say that I am unhappy
with the club or with the players
or with the city but I want to play,”
Podolski said. “I think when I am
ready and 100 per cent I could play
in the first XI. It is the decision from
the coach, it is not my decision.
Every player wants to play, every
player wants to play in the middle,
every players wants to score goals.
But it is Arsène Wenger’s decision.
He picks the first XI and he picks the
tactics. When you ask players they
say ‘I want to play up front [or] as a
number 10’, but the decision is his. I
cannot change the style or tactics of
the team.”
He added: “I don’t say that I want
to leave or that I leave in winter. I just
think about my situation and my situation is unhappy. It is like anyone
who is not getting a chance at doing their job. I know that only eleven
can play but when you always play 10
or 15 minutes and it happens every
week then you cannot be happy. I am
happy with the team and the coach
and the club but I don’t play. That is
the only thing.”
Opportunities are fewer still because of the form of Alexis Sánchez
but Podolski was quick to praise
the Chilean striker. “The Premier
League is good for him,” he said. “He
is a physical player. He is fast and
powerful and the Premier League
suits him. He is battling in every
game and running a lot and he is
making the difference at the moment
at Arsenal.”
Podolski also insisted that Arsenal
have not ruled out winning the title
because the Premier League remains
competitive and open – unlike in
Germany or Spain.
“In the Premier League you have a
tough game every week. It’s not like
other leagues where you only have
three top games in a season. You
can always speak about problems
but the season is not finished. The
Premier League is the best league
in the world. It is not like in Spain
where you have two teams or in Germany where you have [only] Bayern
Munich. You see it every week, that
every game is tough. Home and away
every team is hard to play. You can
never say that the three points are
easy to get.”
“There is always pressure when
you are at a big club and you are not
in the top four. So we have to start
winning games and start picking up
points. We lost our last game and
it’s a big match against Manchester
United [this weekend] so we have
to win it and then we have a big
game against Dortmund straight after that. [Mesut] Özil can’t help us
now because he is injured. When he
comes back he can help us because
he is a great player. We have start
winning games now.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Dogmatic Dunga
papers over
Brazil’s cracks
‘ have to put everything you learn into practice’
Setpiece woes add to
Socceroos problems
ahead of Asian Cup
ustralia cannot afford
to give up goals from
set pieces as they did
against Japan on Tuesday if they want to win the Asian
Cup on home soil in January, according to central defender Alex
The 2-1 defeat after a promising first half in Osaka compounded some miserable statistics for the Socceroos—one win
in 11 matches with 22 goals conceded this year.
Substitute Tim Cahill’s 36th international goal left him with eight
of the 12 Australia have scored
since Ange Postecoglou took over
as coach in October last year.
The most concerning part of
the game was that the goals from
Yasuyuki Konno and Shinji Okazaki in a seven-minute period in
the second half came from what
Postecoglou described as “sloppy” defending at set pieces.
“On the positive side of things,
I suppose set pieces are something that can be easily fixed,”
Wilkinson said in Osaka.
“But when it comes to Asian
Cup time, we can’t afford to concede by set pieces. Games can
be decided on those things and
we’ve got to improve.”
Despite the result, the players were encouraged by the per-
formance of the team going forward in the first half before the
Asian champions stepped up a
gear and started pressing them
more in the second.
“It was a definite step forward
from the last camp, and the last
couple of games,” Wilkinson,
who plays his club football with
South Korean champions Jeonbuk Motors, added.
“I think the week in training has done us good and I think
Ange has had a good chance to
get his message across.
“I thought the first half was
very good, we kept the ball well
and put them under a lot of pressure, the only negative was we
didn’t punish them.
“When you’re on top like that
you’ve got to try and take advantage and try and get a goal or a
couple of goals.”
The match in Osaka was Australia’s final friendly before they
open their Asian Cup campaign
against Kuwait in Melbourne on
January 9.
As runners-up to Japan at the
last Asian Cup, with the added
advantage this time of being
hosts, Australia are favourites to
win the trophy at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on Jan 31.
“We’ll go back to our clubs,
get a few games under our belts,
look forward to getting back
into camp and come out all guns
blazing on January 9,” Wilkinson
Germany coach
Loew thrilled to
end year on high
Brazil coach Carlos Dunga gestures prior to a friendly against Austria in Vienna on Tuesday. Brazil won 2-1. (AFP)
unga’s return as Brazil coach has
brought a quick fix after their
traumatic World Cup when
more profound, long-term
changes were needed.
The South Americans made it six wins
out of six under the snarling former midfielder when they beat Austria 2-1 on
But their performance left a sense that
they have merely papered over the cracks
exposed in the embarrassing 7-1 World
Cup semi-final rout by Germany in July.
There was something depressingly familiar about the flailing arms and cynical,
tactical fouls which left Austria midfielder Veli Kavlak with blood streaming for a
cut above his eye and coach Marcel Koller
complaining that the referee had left his
yellow card at home.
There were no flowing moves in attack, either, as Brazil depended on set
pieces or rare moments of individual
inspiration from the likes of Neymar
and newcomer Roberto Firmino.
Defensive midfielders Fernandinho and
Luiz Gustavo were so devoid of creativity
that Brazil struggled to play their way out
of defence and, at one point, the Ernst
Happel crowd jeered as they passed the
ball aimlessly among the back four.
The combination of joyless football
and impressive results is all too familiar following Dunga’s previous spell in
charge between 2006 and 2010.
Dunga turned Brazil into a brutally efficient counter-attacking machine, winning the 2007 Copa America and storming through the World Cup qualifying
He poured scorn on the memorable
1982 World Cup team and even said that
the 1970 World Cup winners were flattered by television because it only showed
their best moments.
But it all went down the drain when
Brazil came up against a feisty, provocative Netherlands side in the 2010 World
Cup quarter-finals, where they were unable to react after falling 2-1 behind. It
was, in Brazilian eyes, the unforgivable
combination of failure and ugly football.
Since then, Dunga has had an only a
brief stint in charge of Internacional, his
hometown club from Porto Alegre. He
said on Monday that he has spent the rest
of the time studying, learning and drinking coffee with Europe’s top coaches.
“I am better than I was yesterday. You
have to perfect yourself, learn from other
people, you have to put everything you
learn into practice and not everyone can
manage it,” he mused.
Yet, there is very little concrete sign of
Dunga’s discourse is still punctuated
by words such as work, order, hierarchy,
organisation and commitment. Talent
features rarely, inspiration almost never.
His team also looks remarkably similar;
very comfortable when sitting back and
playing on the counter-attack, distinctly
ill at ease when forced to take the initiative and pressure the opponents.
“The 7-1 was so catastrophic that there
should have been a period of mourning,”
wrote former Brazil forward Tostao in a
recent newspaper column. “Brazil should
have not played any matches for the next
six months.
“It left a big symbolic message, a cry
of horror, a desperate plea for help which
should not have been responded to with
a Dunga-esque quick fix. It deserved a
period of mourning, a long reflection and
“The opposite happened. They brought
in Dunga to try and wipe out the 7-1.”
Brazil have so far beaten Austria, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Japan and
Turkey in friendlies, scoring four against
each of the last two.
But Tostao was unimpressed, warning
that, just like the 2010 World Cup, it could
all come undone when they face more serious tests and that Dunga’s famously volatile temper could be his undoing.
“Those who are dogmatic, and extremely rigid, such as Dunga, lose themselves when, suddenly, they encounter
unexpected, different situations, because
they only know one solution, one truth,”
he wrote.
“Dunga’s grumpiness is treated by
many as something that is funny, interesting, part of the game’s folklore. As
long as Brazil are winning, everything will
be allowed.”
Ireland boss O’Neill warns of tougher tests ahead
artin O’Neill told his Republic
of Ireland side to prepare for
sterner tests in key European
Championship qualifiers after they rounded off 2014 with a comfortable 4-1 friendly win at home to the
United States.
Goals from Anthony Pilkington, Robbie
Brady (two) and James McClean helped
Ireland see off Jurgen Klinsmann’s side
at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road on Tuesday,
despite the Irish fielding a second-string
None of the 11 that started in last Friday’s 1-0 Group D qualifying defeat by
Scotland at Glasgow’s Celtic Park kickedoff against the United States, but those
who got their chance grabbed it.
Debutants David McGoldrick, with two
assists, and Cyrus Christie, impressed,
while Brady shone in a slightly unfamiliar
left back role, with two goals—a free-kick
moments from time taking the breath away.
“Qualifying games are the most important and everything else is a build up
to it,” said Republic manager O’Neill.
“We scored four goals, which was nice,
but the most important matches will be
those played in 2015.
“We have seven points on the board (in
Group D) and, while it was disappointing not to get something from the game
(against Scotland) on Friday, if we had got
Ireland’s Robbie Brady (centre) celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the friendly
against United States in Dublin on Tuesday. (AFP)
a point we would still be looking to beat
Scotland and Poland here,” the former
Northern Ireland midfielder and Celtic
manager added.
McGoldrick’s guile, Christie’s pace
and the natural ability of Brady, are all
attributes O’Neill could integrate to his
squad for the next qualifier against Poland in March, and he was cautiously optimistic about what he saw from the trio.
“The positive aspect for me is the number
of decent performances and the addition of
some quality to the squad,” he said.
“Some lads who hadn’t played on Friday were desperate to play so I made it so
everyone in the squad was involved and it
worked out nicely for us.
“Cyrus and David gave two excellent
performances and epitomised what we
are trying to do.
“It was nice to win the game and I
thought we scored from our first proper
attack with a great through ball by David
“America came into the game then and
deserved the equaliser but our second
half was excellent and it was terrific to
score the goals that we did.
“Robbie Brady himself will say that
he sees the whole game in front of him
from left-back. He still has to improve
and he will say that himself, but he is an
excellent player and I was delighted for
Despite some Jozy Altidore and Bobby
Wood occasionally going close, Mix Diskerud was the only man on the scoresheet
for the visitors, and Klinsmann admitted
it was tough to see his young players punished so ruthlessly.
“Obviously, from a result point of view,
it is disappointing,” Klinsmann said.
“We were 1-0 down and we equalised
and hoped to get the lead before halftime,” the former Germany striker and
manager explained.
“After half-time we could have scored
a second and then individual mistakes
cost us for the second and third goal.
“They punished us. You want your
younger players coming in and getting
minutes in this atmosphere and there is
always a risk you might concede another
one and they scored a lovely free-kick.
“It finished off a long year, 2014, which
was overall a positive year.”
Klinsmann added: “We are building a
new cycle and introducing new players.
“There will be some growing pains
along the way. That is normal. You don’t
want to lose games, but this is experience
they needed. We’re obviously not happy
about the result, but we’ll accept it.”
Vigo, Spain
ermany coach Joachim
Loew is thrilled to end
the World Cup winning
year of 2014 on a high
after defeating Spain on Tuesday
- but is already looking forward
to the next challenges that face
his team.
The 1-0 victory over Spain in
Vigo, courtesy of a last minute
goal by Toni Kroos, was Loew’s
first win against the World Cup
winners of 2010 and the reigning
European champions.
“For us it was a nice conclusion to the year,” Loew said.
“Germany and Spain are the nations that have dominated world
football with the national teams
in recent years, so it was a prestigious duel.
“We were very well organized.
In the second half we did much
better at building our game from
the back. In this respect I am very
happy, it is a good end to the year
for us.”
Loew and Germany had previously lost out to Spain in the
final of Euro 2008 and the 2010
World Cup semi-final. But while
those matches were contested by
a range of established stars, the
clash in Vigo was an opportunity
to test new players for the future.
The performance of 25-yearold keeper Ron-Robert Zieler
drew praise from Loew, who
highlighted not only the saves he
made but his ability to build the
play and keep possession.
Antonio Ruediger, Shkrodan
Mustafi, Erik Durm and Kevin
Volland were further young players given the opportunity to im-
“The Spaniards have, just like
before, high quality players, the
same as us,” Loew said. “For us
it was a chance for some players, against a strong friendly
opponent, to play over a whole
And along with new players,
there was also the chance to test
a new system as Germany lined
up in a 3-4-3 formation.
“The three-man defensive line
was though of because Spain always try to combine through the
centre,” Loew explained. “We
had to occupy the middle well,
including with an extra man.”
Germany have a four-month
break from international duty
before returning to action with
a friendly against Australia and a
Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia in
March. And though Loew plans
to have a break, his work will
soon resume.
“In January and February we
will already have the task to prepare the national team,” he said.
“We will sit down as a coaching
team. We want to develop new
ideas and new approaches. These
are our important tasks before
FIFA award will go to a German
world champion, Loew says
Vigo, Spain: German national
coach Joachim Loew says he’s
optimistic that one of his World
Cup winning players will be
named FIFA World Player of
the Year 2014.
“I think it’s already becoming
a close contest to see which
player will get this accolade,”
Loew said after Germany’s 1-0
victory over Spain in Vigo on
Tuesday. “But I think it will be
one of the Germans.”
FIFA named six of Loew’s world
champions to its provisional
list of award nominees: retired
captain Philipp Lahm, current
captain Bastian Schweinsteiger,
goalkeeper Manuel Neuer,
Thomas Mueller, Mario Goetze
- all of Bayern Munich - and
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.
Should Neuer win, he would
become the first keeper to
claim the award.
The list named a total of
23 contenders including
Barcelona’s Argentina forward
Lionel Messi and current
holder Cristiano Ronaldo of
Real Madrid and Portugal.
Loew is also on the 10-man
shortlist for FIFA’s coach award.
The winner will be announced
on January 12, 2015, at a gala
in Zurich.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Force India to trial new race display system
ormula One is set to test a new
on-car display system championed by Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony aimed at helping
fans to follow a race without having to
take their eyes off the action.
Hamilton said the ‘Info Wing’, a carbon fibre camera mount with an integrated LED display system, would be
trialled on one of the Force India cars in
testing next Tuesday after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi season-ender.
It may also be trialled on the safety
car at Yas Marina this Thursday or Friday. Sunday’s race could see Hamilton,
with patents pending, was worth trying
“One of the major problems with
watching race cars is knowing who is
where and who is who without having
to take your eyes off the action to find
and locate the information on a hand
held device, or one of the circuit monitors,” said Hamilton.
“By the time you have found the information the car has gone past and
you’re no better off, having missed the
action as well.
“I believe that the Info Wing has the
potential to make a huge impact on
the viewing of races and tests, making it more informative and enjoyable.
Hopefully it could bring new fans to the
sport and old fans back.”
leading the championship for Mercedes, secure his second title.
The wing, mounted on the airbox
behind the driver’s head, would display
real time race positions on the endplates in coloured numbers that should
be visible from the stands.
The data would be provided by race
control, with the wing able to display
a range of information updated during
the course of the race.
Hamilton said the tests would aim
to show whether the unit was practical
for Formula One and single seaters in
general, whether the LED display could
be seen from the grandstands and how
well it might work for TV audiences.
He recognised it might not work in
bright sunlight but felt the concept,
F-1 showdown could
spell double trouble
‘Clearly Lewis breaking down would have a massive impact on his championship attempt’
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
ewis Hamilton could
be only days away from
his second Formula One
world title but the Mercedes driver is wary of double
trouble in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The Briton leads German
teammate Nico Rosberg by
17 points going into Sunday’s
season-ending ‘Duel in the
Desert’, which means he does
not have to win the race to take
the crown even with an unprecedented double points on
Second place at Yas Marina
would do, even if Rosberg were
to triumph, but the scoring
potential and shadow of a mechanical failure or race incident
still cast a heavy shadow.
“There is zero comfort going
into the next race because it’s
50 points to gain,” said Hamilton, who took his 2008 title
with a last gasp overtake when
all seemed lost. In the last race
you never know what is going to
happen, so I’m going to the last
race to win.”
Sunday’s double points could
be a one-off, with even commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone now against continuing
the idea he pushed through, but
in other respects it should be
more of the same.
Mercedes have already secured both titles and finished
one-two a record 11 times this
season, and are now chasing a
record 16th win of the 19 race
The nightmare for the team,
and particularly Hamilton who
has won 10 races to Rosberg’s
five, is mechanical failure.
To many fans, it would turn
the championship into a travesty if he loses out that way.
“Clearly Lewis breaking down
would have a massive impact on
his championship attempt. And
it would, for me personally, be a
nightmare,” said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff.
“We need to provide him
with the most reliable car and
we want the championship to
end in a straight and fair battle
and not by one of them breaking
While the focus is on the title
scrap between the two Mercedes
rivals, whose relationship has
been under the microscope all
year, other battles will be fought
Vettel targets
final podium
with Red Bull
ebastian Vettel races a
final time for Red Bull
on Sunday in Abu Dhabi
and hopes to secure a last
podium finish on an emotional
weekend for the four-time world
Abu Dhabi (dpa) - Four-time
Formula One world champion
Sebastian Vettel will race for Red
Bull for the last time in the Abu
Dhabi Grand Prix Sunday and
the German star is targeting a
final podium before moving to
pastures new.
“Of course it will be an emotional weekend as we have great
memories together, but I’ll enjoy
the weekend with the team and
with a bit of luck maybe we’ll get
a final podium,” Vettel said.
After several years within the
Red Bull organization, including time at the feeder Toro Rosso
team, the now 27-year-old Vettel is preparing to suit up for a
rival from the start of the 2015
season. It is widely expected he
will don the famous prancing
horse emblem of Ferrari though
this is not yet confirmed.
Concluding his time with Red
Bull on the Yas Marina track is
particularly poignant as it was
where he won his first world title
four years ago.
“I personally have very special
memories of the Abu Dhabi circuit and race; it was here in 2010
that I became world champion
for the first time in my favourite
F1 car, the RB6,” he said.
“That was a weekend I will
never forget and this year the
race will mark another big moment in my career; my last race
with Red Bull Racing.”
The Abu Dhabi victory of 2010
signalled the start of an era as
behind them in what amounts
to a last roll of the dice for some.
Red Bull are sure of second
place while Williams look set
to finish ahead of Ferrari for the
first time since they took their
last title in 1997.
For Ferrari, the sport’s most successful and glamorous team, it is
the last chance to stave off their
first winless season since 1993.
Sauber are also staring at
their first season without a
single point while Caterham,
in administration and with a
skeleton crew, are hoping to do
enough to convince a buyer to
rescue them.
The race will be quadruple
champion Sebastian Vettel’s
farewell to Red Bull and could
also be the final appearance in
Formula One of 2009 world
champion Jenson Button, Hamilton’s former McLaren teammate. McLaren, who end a long
relationship with Mercedes and
start a new partnership with
Honda after Abu Dhabi, are expected to sign Fernando Alonso
from Ferrari and have yet to decide whether to keep Button or
Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.
Other drivers possibly preparing for their final curtain
call are Sauber’s German Adrian
Sutil and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, both surplus to requirement at the Swiss team.
Abu Dhabi double ‘artificial’, says Prost
French legend Alain Prost yesterday hit
out at the double points on offer at Abu
Dhabi this week as the unpopular innovation threatened to cast a shadow over the
climax to the Formula One season.
The four-time world champion said he
was never a fan of awarding twice the
normal number of points at the final
race, known as the “Abu Double”—an idea
aimed at maintaining interest throughout
the season. In the event, Mercedes duo
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are
just 17 points apart, meaning the Briton
will have to work hard to make sure his
second world title isn’t cruelly snatched
away. “I was never in favour of double
points because it’s artificial,” Prost told
AFP in Singapore, during an industry
conference run by high-tech composite
manufacturer JEC.
“Maybe sometimes it could be good for
the interest of the championship. But I
don’t like very much the idea of a race
giving more points than another.”
Prost said he was a traditionalist who also
was against the awarding of 25 points to
the winner rather than 10, which began in
2010. “I think for interest in Formula One
you want to keep things very stable, because people are always very interested
about statistics and it’s changing all the
time,” he said. “I would be against (double
points) if I had to vote for it but it’s like
this, so we have to accept it and see how
it is... Let’s wait and see and then we can
judge later on. But I was not in favour
of it.” Prost’s fierce rivalry with the late
Ayrton Senna once dominated F1, and he
said he welcomed Hamilton’s duel with
Rosberg—which comes after Sebastian
Vettel’s march to four straight titles.
“In fact it was positive for the sport, for
the championship. I like the way that Mercedes in the end left the drivers free to
fight,” said the 59-year-old. “Okay, we had
one or two situations but I think it was
good for the sport. It’s not very often that
you can do that because maybe next year
they’re going to have more competition
(from other teams) and then it’s difficult
to give the drivers that freedom.”
Tempers have repeatedly threatened to
boil over between the Mercedes pair but
they have managed to keep their cool
heading into what could be a stormy final
Vettel followed up his maiden
world title with three more. Red
Bull won the constructors’ world
championship each year alongside their star driver.
But 2014, following various sporting and technical rule
changes, has been hard for both
Vettel and Red Bull as Mercedes
have emerged as the new dominant team in the sport. Its drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico
Rosberg, have contested the
world title between themselves.
Vettel has failed to add to his
39 wins this season and has finished on the podium on only
three occasions from 18 races.
Even more strikingly, when
the Mercedes duo have slipped
up, it was his new team-mate
Daniel Ricciardo who was able
to take advantage, winning the
three Grands Prix not snapped
up by the Silver Arrows.
And former Red Bull teammate Mark Webber believes Vettel moving to Ferrari is a positive
thing - even if it will not improve
things overnight.
The classic Italian team are on
the verge of a first winless season since 1993 and even current
drivers Fernando Alonso and
Kimi Raikkonen, both former
world champions, cannot make
up for the failings of the car.
“I have always expected him
(Vettel) to eventually go where
everyone nows expects him to
go,” Webber told Austrian paper
Salzburger Nachrichten. “His
next team will be his last in F1.
“He was frustrated, he wants
results, but he knows better than
anyone else that he needs to be
“Perhaps the decision is really
correct. When Lewis (Hamilton)
left McLaren, everyone called
him crazy and now with Mercedes he is approaching a massive triumph.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
New Zealand take
control of 2nd Test
‘From our point of view it was a successful day’
ew Zealand bowled
with discipline and,
despite Azhar Ali and
Younis Khan’s halfcenturies, looked set for a lead
in the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai yesterday.
Pakistan lost Asad Shafiq in
seamer Tim Southee’s penultimate over for 44 to close the
third day on 281-6, still trailing
by 122 runs on New Zealand’s
first innings total of 403.
Sarfraz Ahmed was unbeaten
on 28 and Yasir Shah on one in a
day when the Pakistani batsmen
failed to score big after getting
good starts.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi led
the New Zealand bowling with
Trent Boult, who got the
prized wicket of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq, termed it a
good day for New Zealand.
“From our point of view it was
a successful day,” said Boult.
“We are in a good position and
the focus tomorrow will be to
get a good lead to force a result
in our favour.”
Pakistan, resuming at 34-2
saw off the first session with-
New Zealand Ist innings 403 (T.
Latham 137, M. Craig 43; Zulfiqar
Babar 4-137)
Pakistan Ist innings (overnight 34-2)
Shan Masood b Sodhi .................................13
T. Umar st Watling b Craig ....................16
Azhar Ali b Sodhi ..............................................75
Y. Khan c Craig b Neesham .................72
Misbah-ul Haq c Taylor b Boult .... 28
Asad Shafiq c Taylor b Southee ...44
Sarfraz Ahmed not out ........................... 28
Yasir Shah not out ................................................1
Extras: (b1, lb2, nb1) ........................................4
Total: (for six wkts; 109 overs) ....281
Fall of wickets: 1-28 (Masood),
2-32 (Taufeeq), 3-145 (Younis), 4-195
(Misbah), 5-220 (Ali), 6-279 (Shafiq)
Bowling: Boult 22-8-46-1 (1nb),
Southee 21-3-41-1, Craig 24-5-94-1,
Sodhi 30-7-65-1, Anderson 7-0-26-0,
Neesham 5-1-6-1
New Zealand bowler Trent Boult (C top)
celebrates with teammates Tom Latham (L)
and Corey Anderson after taking the wicket
of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq during the
third day of the second Test match at the
Dubai International Stadium in Dubai
out losing any wicket as Younis
Khan (72) and Azhar Ali (75)
shared a 113-run stand for the
third wicket.
But New Zealand got four
wickets in the next two sessions
to press home their claims for a
useful lead and in turn improve
their chances for a series-levelling win. Pakistan won the first
Test by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi.
Azhar added another 50 runs
with Misbah, but New Zealand
hit back with the second new
ball taken after 83 overs with the
score at 194-3.
Trent Boult claimed his first
wicket in the series when he
produced a beautiful delivery
which got the edge of Misbah’s
bat and landed in the safe hands
of Ross Taylor at first slip.
Misbah’s 28 had two fours
and a six. Ali drove spinner
Hafeez to undergo testing in UK
Reuters: Pakistan offspinner
Mohammad Hafeez will fly to
England next week to undergo
biomechanic tests after he was
reported for a suspect bowling
action during a match against
New Zealand in Abu Dhabi
earlier this month.
The Pakistan Cricket Board
(PCB) said yesterday that
allrounder Hafeez had been
released from the squad and
would appear for the tests on
his action on Nov. 24 after arriving in Loughborough a day
“If he is match fit he will return
to Dubai to join the team for
the remaining part of the series
against New Zealand,” a PCB
official said.
Hafeez was dropped for the
second test due to a hamstring
problem which he sustained after his bowling action had been
reported in the first match.
Mark Craig through point for
three to complete his 18th halfcentury. But he too fell soon,
trying to cut Sodhi and was
bowled. He hit six boundaries
and a six during his patient fivehour 22-minute vigil. Shafiq
was lucky to survive at 26 when
Boult bowled him with a sharp
incoming delivery but much to
New Zealand’s dismay it turned
out to be a no-ball.
He too failed to bat for long
and was caught off a loose shot
in the end, adding 59 for the
sixth wicket with Sarfraz.
In the morning, Pakistan’s
in-form batsmen were under
pressure after a big New Zealand total and, more so, after
losing both the openers cheaply on Tuesday.
But Younis and Ali showed
no sign of pressure as they
started the day solidly.
Younis reached his halfcentury with a sweetly-timed
boundary off Craig.
Younis hit seven fours and
two sixes—both off Craig—
during his 160-ball knock but
fell to a casual shot, spoiling a
good chance of scoring another
hundred. He also amassed 468
runs with three hundreds in the
2-0 white-wash of Australia in
the preceding series, also played
in United Arab Emirates.
ormer Pakistan captain turned
commentator Ramiz Raja yesterday criticised the lobbying for
the return of paceman Mohamed
Aamer, banned for spot-fixing, saying his
return would expose the team to the “virus”.
Aamer, along with Salman Butt and
Mohammad Asif, was banned in a spotfixing scandal on Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.
The International Cricket Council
(ICC), at the request of Pakistan Cricket
Board (PCB), earlier this month revised its
anti-corruption code, paving the way for
all the banned players to feature in firstclass cricket a few months before their
bans expire.
The PCB said it would launch an appeal
ustralia cruised to a 73run victory over South
Africa in their third
one-day international
yesterday on the back of big-hitting innings by Aaron Finch and
Steve Smith.
Opener Finch cracked 109 off
127 balls and Smith hit a swashbuckling unbeaten 73 off 55 balls
as Australia amassed a formidable 329 for five off their 50 overs
in Canberra.
The Proteas were always up
against it and were dismissed
for 256 in the 45th over, with
last man Imran Tahir unable to
bat because of a knee he injured
while fielding.
The Australians now lead the
five-match series 2-1 ahead of the
final games in Melbourne tomorrow and Sydney on Sunday.
Left-armer Mitchell Starc
troubled the South Africans
with his late swing and finished
with four for 32 off eight overs,
while fellow opening bowler Josh
Hazlewood claimed three for 51.
Hashim Amla hit 102 off 115
balls and skipper AB de Villiers cracked a belligerent 52
off 34 balls to briefly threaten
Australia’s bowlers. Smith was
named man-of-the-match for
his innings which was full of
improvised shots, including one
boundary cheekily hit through
his legs.
“It was a free hit, so I had pretty free rein to do what I wanted.
I was lucky enough it came off
and went to the boundary,” Smith
“Aaron was able to lay the
foundation and I was able to close
it out. You always feel more comfortable when AB (de Villiers) is
back in the sheds, he’s an unbelievable player and it was good to
see the back of him.
“It was a hard wicket to start
on so we thought we were a great
chance when we got him out.
“The boys hit their lengths
well and bowled really well, we
got the ball quite soft and it started reversing.”
Finch was in blistering form as
the Australians made full use of
the slow Manuka Oval pitch after
winning the toss.
Finch hit nine fours and three
sixes to spearhead the Australian
run plunder before he was dismissed by part-time bowler de
Aaron Finch of Australia
celebrates his century during
the third ODI against South
Africa at the Manuka Oval in
Canberra yesterday.
Villiers in the 41st over.
Fellow opener David Warner
pounded 53 off 50 balls, with six
fours and two sixes, in a firstwicket stand of 118 in 20 overs.
Warner looked set for a big
score before he found de Villiers, who took a leaping catch
at mid-wicket. Smith crashed
eight fours in a majestic knock,
while Shane Watson took a more
controlled 40 off 38 balls before
he miscued and was caught in
the deep by David Miller off the
medium pacers of Farhaan Behardien. Watson holds the highest ODI score at Manuka Oval
with 122 against the West Indies
in 2013.
Morne Morkel was the best
of the Proteas bowlers with two
for 84, while Vernon Philander,
de Villiers and Behardien took
a wicket each. South Africa’s
hopes were pinned on the fourthwicket stand of 76 between Amla
and de Villiers, but once the skipper fell leg before wicket to Kane
Richardson in the 38th over, the
tourists were unable to keep pace
with the Australian total.
Amla followed five balls later
when he was bowled as he tried
to slog Hazlewood through the
“It’s disappointing. I thought
we were in the game and I got out
at a bad time,” de Villiers said.
David Miller looked unlucky
to be given out leg before wicket
to Starc on three when replays
showed the ball was sliding down
leg. But the team had no more
reviews left to challenge the decision.
Ramiz questions Pakistan support for tainted Aamer
Finch, Smith
Aussies to big win
over South Africa
for Aamer later this month and a final decision on when he can return to domestic
cricket is expected at the next ICC meeting in January.
Ramiz questioned why Aamer’s return
was fast-tracked.
“Why is the world so keen to see Amer
back? The managers of the game, who for
whatever reason are trying to fast-track him
into the very system that he had wronged,
have obviously not experienced the pangs
of betrayal and cheating that fixing causes,”
wrote Raja in his cricinfo column.
Raja revealed he had experienced how
fixing can damage the game during the
1990s with a scandal which ultimately led
to a life ban on then captain Salim Malik
and fines on six leading players, including
former captains Wasim Akran and current
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis in 2000.
Raja said the current players needed to
be asked would they like to play alongside
“Someone needs to ask the Pakistan
players if they at all want Aamer back. After years of perseverance, Misbah-ul-Haq
and his men have been able to salvage Pakistan cricket and its image,” said Raja of
the current Pakistan captain.
“Should they be exposed to a virus
now? How unjust would it be to the performers who have toiled long and hard to
make way for a man whose integrity is still
suspect,” said Raja.
Raja, who played 57 Tests and 158 oneday internationals, refused to buy the argument that Aamer was naive.
“The argument put across in Aamer’s
favour is that his talent was compromised
at a young age due to poor judgement and
his naivete, and because he comes from a
poor family.
“If that is the case, there are millions
of other Pakistani youth who have had a
tough start in life, and less than ideal upbringings.
“Does that give them a license to use
underhanded means and cheat to make
a living? In fact, to quote an incident, I
was approached to find out why Aamer
had turned down a more-than-decent
offer made to him by an English county
just a day before he was caught,” said
“During my conversation with him regarding the offer, I realised that because
the offer was a few thousand pounds short
of what he expected, he was willing to let
go of an opportunity to play and establish
himself at a renowned and historic county.
“I came to the conclusion that he was
not, after all, so gullible and naive about
money matters.
“It is the most awful and sickening feeling. When a bunch of rogues you share the
dressing room with are fighting tooth and
nail to lose a match, it kills your desire to
play the game, and whips up a desire to kill
Australia innings
D. Warner c de Villiers b Philander ....53
A. Finch b de Villiers ........................................ 109
S. Watson c Miller b Behardien .............40
S. Smith not out ......................................................73
G. Bailey c du Plessis b Morkel ..............12
M. Marsh c de Villiers b Morkel ............22
M. Wade not out .......................................................8
Extras: (lb1, w7, nb4) ........................................12
Total: (5 wickets; 50 overs) .................329
Fall of wickets: 1-118 (Warner), 2-189
(Watson), 3-242 (Finch), 4-264 (Bailey),
5-295 (Marsh)
Did not bat: M. Starc, K. Richardson,
X. Doherty, J. Hazlewood
Bowling: M. Morkel 10-0-84-2 (2nb,
5w), V. Philander 10-0-70-1 (2nb, 1w),
D. Steyn 10-0-53-0 (1w), F. Behardien
8-0-39-1, I. Tahir 6-0-40-0, De Villiers
South Africa Innings
H. Amla b Hazlewood ...................................102
Q. de Kock c Marsh b Hazlewood ....47
F. du Plessis c Warner b Marsh ............. 17
R. Rossouw c Wade b Starc ..........................2
A.B. de Villiers lbw b Richardson ..........52
F. Behardien c Finch b Hazlewood ....12
D. Miller lbw b Starc ................................................ 3
V. Philander c Finch b Starc ............................1
D. Steyn c Marsh b Starc.................................12
M. Morkel not out.....................................................0
I. Tahir absent injured ..........................................0
Extras: (lb5, w2, nb1)............................................8
Total: (all out; 44.3 overs) ......................256
Fall of wickets: 1-108 (de Kock), 2-143
(du Plessis), 3-148 (Rossouw), 4-224
(de Villiers), 5-226 (Amla), 6-231 (Miller),
7-238 (Philander), 8-252 (Steyn), 9-256
Bowling: M. Starc 8-1-32-4 (1nb), J.
Hazlewood 9.3-0-51-3 (1w), S. Watson
6-0-47-0, K. Richardson 8-0-49-1, X.
Doherty 6-0-31-0, M. Marsh 7-0-41-1
Result: Australia won by 73 runs
Series: Australia lead 2-1
Toss: Australia
Umpires: Simon Fry (AUS), Nigel
Llong (ENG)
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)
Stenson hopes birdie blitz bodes well for defence
enrik Stenson hopes his final
round birdie blitz in Turkey
last weekend bodes well for
his defence of Europe’s season-ending $8 million DP World Tour
Championship, which starts today.
Last year, the 38-year-old romped
to a six-stroke victory at Dubai’s Earth
course that also saw him top the European money list, capping a stellar year
in which he also won the US PGA Tour’s
end-of-season FedExCup.
Stenson has yet to win a tournament
this year, but if his final round in Belek
is anything to go by, he may be finding
form at just the right time.
Stenson bagged nine birdies, including four in his last six holes, for a closing
64 and third place at the Turkish Airlines Open.
“I struggled on the greens the first
three days ... (but) it gives the confidence a little boost ,” Stenson told reporters.
“I was putting nicely and I would love
to bring some of that momentum in
here this week.”
A member of Europe’s Ryder Cup
winning team, he was also runner-up
at the Volvo World Match Play Cham-
pionship in October and third at the US
PGA Championship in August.
“I was battling a bit of fatigue and
when you’re in a bad spell, you’re tired,
you don’t have the energy to practise
and get going. Then it becomes a bad
cycle,” said Stenson.
World number one Rory McIlroy is
guaranteed top spot on the 2014 European money list after his nearest rivals
failed to win in Turkey, but the rest of
the top places are up for grabs.
The leading 15 players will split a $5
million bonus pool. Stenson is second,
narrowly ahead of Wales’ Jamie Donaldson, Germany’s Marcel Siem and
Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
Stenson has reduced his schedule
from 31 tournaments last year to 28 in
2014 and plans to play only 26 next year.
“I found a good rhythm ... giving myself breaks for rest and practise and gym
work,” said the world number four. “I
had a great formula from 2012 and into
2013. Then I slipped out of that a little
Stenson said it was vital to be in
perfect shape coming into the peak of
golf’s season from March to August. “If
you’re not feeling reasonably fresh and
practiced, then you’re trying to catch up
throughout that whole period,” said the
Swede, who became a father for a third
time last month.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Lakers beat Hawks
as Bryant hits
career milestone
‘When we really needed him to step up he was able to do that as usual’
New York
obe Bryant scored 28
points and passed the
for his NBA career on
Tuesday to spark the Los Angeles Lakers over the host Atlanta
Hawks 114-109.
The Lakers, who snapped a
four-game losing streak, recorded their first road triumph of the
season and only their second
triumph in 11 starts while the
Hawks fell to 5-5 in the young
campaign with their first loss
in five home games. NBA scoring leader Bryant made 10-of-18
shots and added four rebounds,
three assists and a steal for the
Lakers, finishing on 32,001
points with a 3-point play off
his final jump shot. The total
puts Bryant 291 points behind
Michael Jordan for third on the
all-time NBA scoring list.
“Kobe played great,” Lakers
coach Byron Scott said. “When
we really needed him to step up
he was able to do that as usual.”
The Lakers welcomed back
Nick Young, who had been sidelined so far this season with
a torn right thumb ligament.
Young scored 17 points off the
bench while Carlos Boozer added 20 points and 10 rebounds
and Jeremy Lin contributed 15
points and a game-high 10 assists for the Lakers.
Paul Millsap scored 29 points
to lead the Hawks, who also had
23 points from Jeff Teague and 15
points from Al Horford.
The Lakers led 67-52 at halftime but Atlanta scored the first
13 points of the second half only
to falter and never move ahead of
Los Angeles the rest of the way.
A left-handed running shot
fell for Bryant to put the Lakers
ahead 105-100 with 2:25 to play
and after two Kyle Korver free
throws for Atlanta, Bryant made
the key 3-point play.
The Lakers, who had been the
only Western Conference club
without a road victory, opened
a three-game road swing that
includes visits to Houston and
Dallas. Bryant became just the
fourth player to reach 32,000
points for his career, joining
Hall of Fame icons Michael
Jordan (32,292), Karl Malone
(36,928) and Kareem AbdulJabbar (38,387).
“It means a lot,” said Bryant,
who needs 291 points to pass
Jordan as the NBA’s third alltime leading scorer. I can’t stress
how much work it is to be in this
position over 19 years. That’s
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (R) makes a move against Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha in the fourth quarter of their game
at Philips Arena. The Lakers won 114-109. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta ..............109
Milwaukee .......117
LA Lakers............114
New Orleans 106
Oklahoma City..81
New York.............113
where I really take enjoyment
from it. It’s the process. It feels
good to be able to have that accomplishment.” The Lakers led
111-106 with 17.7 seconds left on
Jordan Hill’s put-back of Bryant’s missed jumper but had to
sweat out the final seconds.
The Hawks drew to within 112109 on Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer,
and had a shot to force overtime after getting the ball back
with 7.7 seconds. Out of a timeout, centre Pero Antic launched
a wide-open 3-point attempt
from the right wing but it
bounced off the back of the iron.
“It’s basically an easy shot,”
Antic said.
“I usually make that shot”
NBA star Howard investigated in
Georgia for child abuse
Authorities in Georgia are investigating child
abuse allegations against National Basketball
Association star Dwight Howard, a centre for
the Houston Rockets who is among the league’s
marquee performers, police said on Tuesday.
The allegation against the basketball star comes
amid heightened attention to domestic violence
incidents involving professional athletes including NFL star Adrian Peterson, who was suspended on Tuesday for “abusive discipline” on
his 4-year-old son.
Police declined to elaborate on the details of
the Howard investigation, which followed a
prior probe of the same accusation in Florida.
Entertainment news website TMZ said Howard
is accused of beating his 6-year-old son with a
belt buckle.
“The Cobb County Police Department’s Crimes
Against Children Unit reopened their investigation into the allegations against Mr. Howard,”
said Dana Pierce, a spokesman for the suburban
Atlanta police department.
Howard’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, said in a
statement that Florida authorities previously investigated the allegations and found them to be
not substantiated. The Florida case was closed in
September, Markus said.
The child’s mother, with whom Howard is involved in an ongoing Florida civil case involving
child custody, “is now shopping her baseless allegations to authorities in Georgia,” Markus said.
In court documents from the Florida civil case,
the NBA star said he disciplined his son “in an appropriate manner when necessary,” but “never
caused marks, bruises, welts or injuries requiring
medical treatment.”
Jane Carey, attorney for the child’s mother,
declined to comment. The 28-year-old 6-foot, 11inch (2.11-meter) Howard, a 10-year NBA veteran,
played for the Orlando Magic from 2004 to 2012.
He has led the league in rebounding during five
seasons and is an eight-time All-Star.
Before entering the NBA, Howard played high
school basketball in suburban Atlanta.
Flames rally to 4-3
shootout win over
Anaheim Ducks
hings didn’t look too
good for Jonas Hiller
playing against his old
team for the first time.
Down 2-0 at the second intermission, the Calgary Flames
mounted a furious comeback in
the third period on their way to
a wild 4-3 shootout victory over
the Anaheim Ducks.
“It feels great to get the win,”
said Hiller, who made 24 saves
in regulation and overtime before allowing just one goal in
the shootout, while the Flames
scored twice. “Especially after
being down after two periods
and not playing our best game
and finding a way to step it up. I
think it shows a lot of character
on this team.”
After Sean Monahan scored in
the third-round of the shootout,
Hiller stood his ground to force
Corey Perry to shoot wide of the
net to preserve the victory for
Calgary (12-6-2). “I think everyone in here is believing that
we can turn games around,” said
Hiller, who signed as a free agent
with the Flames on July 1 after
seven seasons with the Ducks. “A
lot of times, third periods have
been our best periods.”
That was the case on Tuesday
as the Ducks (11-4-5) led 2-0 after two periods, while holding
the Flames to just seven shots on
net.“I don’t know how you can
be so great and so bad all in the
same game,” lamented Anaheim
coach Bruce Boudreau after the
loss. “We beat ourselves. There’s
no doubt in my mind. I think it
was evident that after two periods, we had total control of the
game and then we do stupid stuff
in the third period and get lazy.
It doesn’t take much to get the
crowd back into it and the next
thing you know it’s 3-2.”
Dennis Wideman had a pair of
goals for the Flames, who have
come back to win four games
when trailing after two periods
this season. They accomplished
that same feat just four times all
last season. “We’ve done a good
job this year so far of sticking to
our game and when we haven’t
had the first and second period
that we’d like … we’ve found a
way to find our legs in the third,”
Los Angeles ...5
Dallas .................... 4
Buffalo.................. 4
Toronto ................2
Calgary ............... 4
Arizona .................1
Winnipeg ...........3
Boston ..................2
NY Islanders...5
San Jose ..................1
Anaheim .3 (SO)
Washington2 (OT)
New Jersey ..........1
St. Louis.................0
Tampa Bay .........2
Detroit ......................5
said Wideman, who’s now tied
for the NHL lead in goals by a
defenceman at seven with Brent
Burns of the San Jose Sharks.
“It’s early in the year for a statement game, but it’s a big win for
us because it gives the young
guys the confidence to know
they can go up against the best
and we can win games.”
Jiri Hudler also scored for
Calgary, while Markus Granlund had two assists. Sami Vatanen had a goal and two assists
for the Ducks, who also lost 6-2
at home to the Florida Panthers
two nights earlier. “We made
some mental mistakes that cost
us the game tonight,” said Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf. “We
should have been out of that
game and on our way.”
Matt Beleskey and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks,
while goalie Frederik Andersen
made 16 saves in a losing cause.
Anaheim opened the scoring
at 15:54 of the first when Vatanen
snapped a shot from the point
that deflected off Calgary defenceman Raphael Diaz’s stick
and through Hiller’s legs.
During an early man advantage for the Ducks in the second,
Hiller made a nice glove save on
a shot from the slot by Getzlaf
before also making a pad save
to deny Palmieri. Beleskey put
the Ducks up 2-0 at 12:29 of the
second with a power-play goal
when he tipped a point shot by
Hampus Lindholm past Hiller.
Hudler pulled the Flames
within a goal at 3:25 of the third
when he deposited a shot from
the slot into the net behind Andersen, who was out of position.
Wideman then blasted a pair
of slap shots — at 9:03 of the
third and again at 13:43 — past
Andersen to put the Flames up
Calgary Flames goalie Jonas Hiller guards his net as Anaheim Ducks
right wing Jakob Silfverberg tries to score during the second period
at Scotiabank Saddledome. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports
Otani cutting his teeth in Japan but MLB beckons
hohei Otani has made
waves in Japan by throwing strikes and smashing
home runs for the Nippon Ham Fighters, but the ‘Double Sworded Samurai’ may have
to give up one of his weapons if
he is to realise his dream of making it big in Major League Baseball.
In his second season with the
Fighters, the lanky right hander
won a team-best 11 games with
two shutouts, throwing 160 kph
(100mph) fastballs and recording a 2.61 earned run average.
The 20-year-old’s prowess
with the bat has also been a boon
for the Fighters.
Japanese professional baseball’s only “nitoryu,” which refers to someone who wields two
swords, recorded a .274 batting
average with 10 home runs.
However, if he hopes to follow
in the footsteps of Yu Darvish
(Texas Rangers) and Masahiro
Tanaka (New York Yankees)
by making it big in the United
States, he may have to stick
to the mound instead of home
“Otani is the most wanted
Japanese player by Major League
Baseball teams,” Yoshi Hasegawa, director for Japan baseball
at the Chicago-based global
sports agency Octagon, told Reuters in Tokyo.
“(But) He is not playing to 100
percent of his ability as a pitcher
because he also bats.
“His pitching potential is
Otani showed glimpses of that
huge potential on Tuesday.
Starting for Samurai Japan
against a team of Major League
Baseball All Stars, the 20-yearold had an impressive seven
strikeouts in front of his home
fans at the Sapporo Dome.
It was a far from perfect outing from Otani, however, as he
also gave up two runs on six hits
with a pair of walks as the All
Stars beat Japan 3-1 in the fivegame series finale.
Japan won the series 3-2.
Like Darvish and Tanaka before him, Otani signalled his
potential in the country’s national high school baseball tournaments, where he was throwing
160kph fastballs for Hanamaki
Higashi High School in Iwate
prefecture, northern Japan.
Japanese clubs were drooling
at the prospect of grabbing Otani
at the 2012 draft but he dashed
their hopes by announcing his
intention to go straight to Major
League Baseball.
While virtually all of Nippon
Professional Baseball’s clubs
ceded to Otani’s wish not to be
drafted, only the Fighters refused to let him slip through
their fingers, knowing full well
he could simply refuse to sign
and go to MLB anyway.
At first, Otani refused even to
meet Fighters officials when they
visited him in Iwate.
But they did not give up.
Eventually their persistence
paid off, and they were able to
present a 40-page document
entitled, “The path to realising
Shohei Otani’s dream” to the
pitcher and his father, a former
amateur player who taught Otani
the game.
The document outlined the
benefits of gaining experience
at home before having a crack
at the big leagues, but it was the
Fighters’ willingness to let Otani
bat as well as pitch that seemed
to tip the balance in their favour.
“I never imagined I would be
able to pitch and hit. The Fighters were the only team who gave
me that option and it meant a
lot to me,” Otani told Reuters in
Kamagaya, on the outskirts of
Tokyo, where the Fighters’ minor
league team are based.
“The Fighters took a chance
on both of my abilities.”
In a sign of how much the
Fighters believed in him, they
gave him the number 11 uniform to wear, the same number
Darvish wore for the team until
“The Fighters are not afraid
of taking risks when they hire
talent,” Masato Yoshii, a former
pitcher for the New York Mets
who also was a pitching coach
for the Fighters, told Reuters.
“And they are good at developing potential.”
Fighters manager Hideki
Kuriyama says the team are focused on unearthing gems rather
than shelling out huge sums on
contracts for top-level talent.
“Our team is not rich so we
can’t spend a lot of money on
players,” Kuriyama told Reuters.
“Instead we focus on spotting
potential and developing it.”
Better known as a commentator than a former player until he
took over the team in 2011, Kuriyama says the biggest risk for
Otani is injury.
Throwing right and batting
left, usually as a designated hitter, Otani wears special protection on his arms when he is hitting. He has not been struck by a
pitch in an official game yet.
While Otani has burnished his
reputation in the NPB, it is only
a matter of time before he again
sets his sights on playing in the
United States.
“I wish he would stay with
the team. And I wish Darvish
was here, too. But that would be
wrong of me,” Kuriyama said.
“We should be happy seeing
players grow and getting to the
next level. That’s how this team
will grow.
“If Shohei leaves, we will produce another Shohei.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
FedEx injury, spat
hit Switzerland’s
Davis Cup bid
‘I’m making some progress. But I know I don’t have a month ahead of me to get better’
witzerland’s preparations for the Davis Cup
Final against France in
Lille on Sunday have
been disrupted by a back injury to Roger Federer and a spat
within the Swiss camp.
The 17-times grand slam
champion, chasing the only
major title to elude him, withdrew from Sunday’s ATP World
Tour final against Novak Djokovic citing back problems and
skipped training at Lille’s Pierre
Mauroy stadium on Tuesday.
World number two Federer
said his back was “not good
enough” to practice on Tuesday, doing little to dispel doubts
surrounding his participation in
the final, which will be played
indoors on clay from Friday to
He was not seen at the first of
two training sessions scheduled
If Federer fails to recover and
the Swiss claim a maiden Davis
Cup title he would still receive
a replica trophy and be considered part of the winning team
but only the four players nominated for the final will have their
names on the trophy.
“I’m making some progress.
But I know I don’t have a month
ahead of me to get better. I need
to get better quickly. I’m trying whatever I can,” he said on
Federer is due to spearhead
the Swiss challenge just days after being dragged into a row between his wife Mirka and Davis
Cup team mate Stan Wawrinka
during their World Tour semifinal clash in London.
World number four Wawrinka, who seems back to his best
after going through a rough
patch, was heckled by Mirka
during the match, which Federer won in three sets after saving several match points, but
the Swiss camp played down the
“I believe this makes us even
closer to each other. As the two
players said, we talked about
it,” said captain Severin Luthi
who can also call on Marco
Chiudinelli, the world number
212, and Michael Lammer,
ranked 508th.
France’s advantage may lie
in their strength in depth as all
of their players feature in the
top 30. Captain Arnaud Clement, looking to steer the team
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland
(R) speaks with Swiss coach Ivo
Werner during a training session in
Villeneuve d’Ascq, France.
Four changes
to Springbok
side for Italy
outh Africa coach Heyneke Meyer made four
changes from the side
that beat England 31-28
at Twickenham last week when
he named his side for the Test
against Italy in Padua on Saturday.
comes in for Willie le Roux,
while in the pack Teboho Mohoje
replaces Schalk Burger, Coenie
Ooosthuizen comes in for Jannie
du Plessis and Trevor Nykane replaces Tendai Mtawarira.
Italy have never beaten South
Africa and Meyer also made five
changes on the bench, with Nizaam Carr and Julian Redelinghuys included in a Test match 23
for the first time.
Nyakane will start his first
Test for the Springboks at loosehead prop, while Oosthuizen
comes off the bench to replace
Du Plessis, who was ruled out
with injury earlier this week.
“We planned to make a few
shifts for this Test as I’d like to
see if these players can make the
step up,” said Meyer.
“The guys coming in deserve
their opportunities and seeing
that we won’t have our overseas-based players available
next week against Wales, it made
sense to bring a few of them in
this week.
“I’m excited to see what these
guys can do on Saturday in what
will be a stern test against a
fired-up Italy,” said Meyer.
Italy, who will name their
starting team on Thursday, lost
20-18 to Argentina a week after a
24-13 win over Samoa.
Despite Italy never having
beaten the Springboks in their
previous 11 meetings, Meyer
added: “They are a passionate
nation with a very experienced
coach in Jacques Brunel and a
world-class captain in Sergio
“The Italian pack is always
formidable and their backs are
not scared of taking chances.
Our focus is to show improvements from our performance at
Twickenham and we know it will
be a big challenge on Saturday.”
South Africa team (15-1)
Johan Goosen; JP Pietersen,
Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers,
Bryan Habana; Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach; Duane Vermeulen, Teboho Mohoje, Marcell
Coetzee; Victor Matfield, Eben
Etzebeth; Coenie Oosthuizen,
Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane
Bismarck du Plessis, Gurthrö
Steenkamp, Julian Redelinghuys,
Lood de Jager, Nizaam Carr,
Francois Hougaard, Handré Pollard, Willie Le Roux
IOC suggests more venues outside
Tokyo for 2020 Games
French captain Arnaud Clment (R) speaks with
French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during a training
session of the French team at the ‘Pierre Mauroy’
Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France. (AFP)
to their 10th Davis Cup title although the first since 2001 must choose his second singles
player alongside French number
one Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Richard Gasquet was instrumental in Les Bleus’ defeat of
holders the Czech Republic in
the semi-final on the Roland
Garros clay although the en-
tertaining Gael Monfils has
not been at his best since the
US Open. All members of the
French team except for Gasquet
have already played in a Davis
Cup final. “Of course it is good
for us. In a final there is always
more emotion, more pressure.
Experience is important,” said
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates
has urged Tokyo to consider moving more events to venues outside
the capital, including one hundreds of kilometres away, in a bid to
rein in spending for the 2020 Summer Games.
Rising labour and construction costs have forced Tokyo to rethink
its plans for 10 venues it intended to build for the Games, contravening its promise that virtually all events would take place within
8km (5 miles) of the Olympic village - one of the key points in its
successful hosting bid. In addition, the IOC on Tuesday made some
of the biggest changes in decades in the way the Games are organised and run, issuing 40 recommendations and putting more of an
emphasis on sustainability in an effort to ease the burden on host
cities. “(The IOC) has come out and specifically said that we should
make the maximum use of existing facilities, and that, so far as I am
concerned, overrides the 8km philosophy which we had as part of
the bid,” Coates told a news conference in Tokyo yesterday after a
two-day IOC review of Tokyo’s preparations.
“We have suggested to the organising committee that for the preliminaries for basketball, just as for football, they may care to look at
cities like Osaka that might have large venues.”
Tokyo has said from the start that some preliminary events for
soccer would be held in parts of northeastern Japan affected by
the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in an effort to broaden the
economic impact, but this is the first time holding events in other
regions has been mentioned. Osaka is some 400km (255 miles)
west of Tokyo.
Planners allotted $1.5 billion for venues in Tokyo’s Olympics bid but
that estimate more than doubled late last year after recalculation.
Such budget worries mean plans for a new basketball arena may be
dropped in favour of an existing venue about 25km (17 miles) out of
Tokyo, with badminton moving a similar distance outside the city.
Coates said he had visited both prospective sites and felt “very positive” about them. No decision has yet been made but Tokyo hopes
to have a fairly complete final plan pulled together by February
2015, officials said yesterday.
“What we’re trying to avoid above all is swelling expenses that
become a huge burden for the people of Japan,” said Yoshiro Mori,
president of the Tokyo organising committee.
Returning Rafa ready to roll once again
s years go 2014 has not been a good one
for Rafa Nadal but with his injury troubles seemingly behind him, the Spaniard is confident he will be back to his
best next season.
Nadal, blighted by back and wrist injuries this
year, underwent surgery to remove his appendix
on Nov 3, an operation that forced him out of this
month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Now on the mend, the 28-year-old Spaniard
hopes his injury troubles will be nothing more
than a memory when he returns to training in
December before he begins the defence of his
Qatar Open title in January.
“It was not an easy year, especially in the second half it was hard, but that’s part of my life,
that’s part of my career, and I accept that,” Nadal
said in an interview with Reuters.
“What happened with my wrist and then
appendix—it was problem and then problems
“I am not practicing yet, but I am happy with
how the operation went and I have no problems.”
Nadal’s frustrating season began in January
when his back failed him during his Australian
Open final defeat by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
He managed to recover to claim a ninth French
Open crown after beating Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros in June.
However, that proved to be the only shining
light in a testing season for the world number
three as he was beaten in the fourth round at
Wimbledon by Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios before a wrist injury ruled him out of the US
“This year was unlucky because it was accidents, it was not injuries that I had really felt
before,” the 14-time grand slam winner said at a
Poker Stars event in London.
“I am doing all the right things but I have
worked my body pretty hard for a lot of years so
these kind of things can happen.
“But I am confident I will have the chance to
be back and be competitive with all the things I
want to compete in.
Djokovic, who won the season-finale in London on Sunday after Roger Federer withdrew
with a back injury, finished the year as world
number one for the third time in four years and
the Mallorcan praised the Serb’s consistency
over the last 12 months.
“He is a fantastic player,” Nadal said.
“He deserves to be where he is because he
hasn’t had an injury for a long time and that’s
very important for a tennis player.
“He is an amazing player so he deserves it.”
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Only Olympics now
missing in Qatar’s
sports portfolio
Pacquiao ‘back to
his best’ and ready
to stop Algieri
The rich and ambitious nation lands the 2019 athletics worlds on top of the 2022
football World Cup and other global events - and a 2024 bid is expected
File picture of Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrating his
victory over WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of the US
during their title fight in Las Vegas.
Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Chairman of Doha’s Bid, HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (second left), Qatar Athletics Federation and CEO of
Doha’s Bid, Dahlan al-Hamad ( third left) and other officials rejoice after Doha won the bid to host the 2019 World Athletic Championships.
two months, and further worlds in sports
like road cycling and gymnastics, plus the
ultimate event so far - the 2022 football
World Cup.
he election of Doha to host the
2019 world athletics championships could be the last stepping
stone in Qatar’s bid to land the
biggest prize in sports: the Olympics.
Athletics is the blue riband sport at
the Games, and its ruling body IAAF dismissed human rights and climate concerns when they chose the capital of the
super-rich and ambitious Gulf state over
Spain’s Barcelona and American bidder
Eugene on Tuesday.
The athletics worlds are the latest coup
for Qatar which hosted the indoor worlds
in 2010, the Asian Games in 2006, has
swimming short course worlds and the
global handball championship in the next
It was second time lucky for Doha after
losing against London for 2017, and local officials could be hoping for a similar
turnaround on the Olympic front after
not even being shortlisted for the 2016
and 2020 Games - with influential Asian
Olympic Council chief Sheikh Ahmad alFahad al-Sabah was quoted as saying at
the Asian Games in September that Doha
and Dubai are both ready to stage future
With the IOC now opening the door
for one Games to be staged in more than
one city or country, this could work to
their advantage.
“I want to inspire a new generation.
We need everybody to help. We
need to make an impact, to take
athletics to new places,” Barshim
said at Doha’s final presentation
before the IAAF Tuesday
What remains, though, are climate
concerns, with the football World Cup
set to be moved from its traditional JuneJuly slot to winter and the athletics to
start after the normal end of the season
in what would be the latest global gathering in the year since the 1968 Olympics in
Mexico, with proposed dates September
28-October 6.
“2019 will be a long season! No meeting in may and june?!? Interesting problem!” French pole vault star Renaud
Lavillenie tweeted.
American decathlete Trey Hardee
agreed: “Gonna be interesting for guys/
gals trying to do Multi’s in October.”
IAAF vice-president Sergei Bubka
tweeted the worlds “promises great sport
future to Qatar and Middle East. Region has huge potential” - and the hosts
themselves insist they are ready to stage
for a top event at Khalifa Stadium.
And, after getting their only previous
two worlds golds from a born Kenyan,
steeplechaser Saif Saaeed Shaheen,
Qatar now have their first home-bred
global star in high-jumper Mutaz Essa
Barshim who has vowed to compete at
his home event.
“I want to inspire a new generation. We
need everybody to help. We need to make
an impact, to take athletics to new places,” Barshim said at Doha’s final presentation before the IAAF Tuesday.
Over to 2019 now.
anny Pacquiao said
yesterday he will
show the world he
is back to his very
best by stopping pretender to
his throne Chris Algieri in their
world welterwight title contest
in Macau.
It has been five years since
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) last
stopped a fighter and the Filipino
eight-weight world champion
said he would blow away any lingering suggestion that his powers are on the wane two weeks
before his 36th birthday.
“I’m very happy with my
training camp because it was a
new birth. It was like back to the
old days—my speed and power
and determination are back,”
said a confident Pacquiao at a
pre-fight news conference at the
Venetian Macau last night.
“I’m very excited by this fight
and I know my opponent is excited
to win this fight, but I won’t let
that happen,” Pacquiao added.
Pacquiao will be aided in his
quest at the weekend by defending his WBO welterweight (147lb)
title against American Algieri,
the WBO junior welterweight
(140lb) champion, at a catchweight limit of 144lb.
“He wants to prove to everyone that he can still punch,”
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach
told reporters earlier yesterday.
“That’s why we went to
catchweight at 144. He’s never
been a puncher at 147. He’s only
knocked out two welterweights.
That’s why the drop in weight.”
Welterweight Miguel Angel
Cotto was the last man ‘Pacman’
stopped, on November 14, 2009,
and Roach has pushed Pacquiao
through a punishing camp with
increased the heavy bag work
to bring back the congressman
from Sarangani province’s legendary punching power.
“When Manny hits the bag,
the whole gym stops. I mean,
everyone looks at the pop he has,
the power and the speed,” said
Roach as Pacquiao went through
his paces in the gym.
“The heavy bag is for strength.
The heavy bag was a vital part of
our training camp for this fight.”
Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) is former
kickboxer from Long Island
dubbed the ‘real-life Rocky’ and
he will have ‘silver screen Rocky’
Sylvester Stallone rooting for him
at the Cotai Arena ringside come
Sunday morning’s fight time (Saturday evening in the US).
But Roach declared it will be
no fairytale ending for the 30
year-old. “He’s in way over his
head,” said Roach. “Once that
bell rings, this is not a Rocky
movie. Trust me. Rocky’s going
to get knocked out.”
There are two other world title
fights on an explosive support
card which begins at 8am local
time Sunday (0000GMT) to cater for Saturday night TV audiences in the US.
WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1
KO) and WBA super lightweight
champion Jessie Vargas (25-0, 9
KOs) will each defend their titles
against Thailand’s Chonlatarn
Piriyapinyo (52-1, 33 KOs) and
Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco (313-1, 23 KOs) respectively.
Champ Klitschko out
to make history by
holding top four belts
Gyurta keen on a good race in
Doha, doesn’t mind a record too
By Sports Reporter
he fastest man to ever
swim 200m Breaststroke, Daniel Gyurta,
will arrive in Doha in
December for the 12th FINA
World Swimming Championships (25m) in a dominant but
unassuming fashion. The Hungarian has cemented his place
as one of the world’s best and is
becoming a red hot favourite to
topple world records at Hamad
Aquatic Centre from December
3-7 – but he remains humble
about his achievements.
Fresh from victory at the FINA
Mastbank Swimming World Cup
series where Gyurta finished
second in the overall points table, he is showing that he is ready
to take on the world and has not
lost the winning form which saw
him win gold at the London 2012
Olympic Games. When asking the star about his intentions
come the World Championships, the Hungarian is keeping
Daniel Gyurta, the fastest man to ever swim 200m breaststroke.
his cards close to his chest but he
cannot help but hint at his desire
to set a new world record.
“I never reveal my aims – they
remain my secret. Of course I always try to improve my results
and get better, and to have a
good race where I feel comfortable in the water. World records
are set to be broken and everything can happen as a result of a
good race.”
The Hungarian has been winning fans in the Middle East for
many years following numerous
appearances in Doha and Dubai
respectively. He made waves in
Qatar earlier this year when he
set a World Cup record in his
signature 200m breaststroke
at the first meet of the FINA
Mastbank Swimming World Cup
which also took place at Hamad
Aquatic Centre.
The London 2012 Olympic
Champion’s his rivals have come
and gone over the years but he
has remained at the top of his
“We have not changed anything in our preparations based
on how others are swimming
at that time, because what we
have been doing in the past has
shown we are right on track. My
coaches are continuously refining my training and preparation,
but before a major competition,
we already know how we want
to swim the race and only small
things will be altered. I do not
follow what the other swimmers
are doing to prepare, I focus on
my technique and try to do the
best that I can.”
Daniel Gyurta is just one of
more than 1,300 of the world’s
best athletes that will compete
at the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships in Doha,
3-7 December 2014. Previous
victors include US Olympic Gold
medallist Ryan Lochte, who took
home six gold medals at the last
Championships in 2012. Olympic champion, Chad Le Clos
(RSA), and multiple World Record
holder, Katinka Hosszu (HUN),
are among the top those athletes
already looking forward to a return to Doha. In addition, Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA), Ryan
Lochte (USA), Mireia Belmonte
(ESP), Inge Dekker (NED) and
other key athletes from Germany,
Italy, Russia, China, Japan and the
Netherlands are expected to bring
their best to the competition.
File picture of Ukrainian heavyweight boxing world champion
Wladimir Klitschko attending a training session in Oberhausen.
ndisputed heavyweight
Klitschko says he plans
to become the first boxer in history to hold all four major
world titles.
The 38-year-old produced
an impressive display in the
17th defence of his world titles
on Saturday with a fifth round
knock-out of IBF mandatory
challenger Kubrat Pulev in Hamburg for his 63rd victory and his
last defeat is now a decade ago.
Of the world’s top four—the
belts—only the WBC crown,
currently held by Canada’s Bermane Stiverne, is missing from
Klitschko’s collection.
Stiverne is due to defend
his WBC belt for the first time
against Deontay Wilder of the
United States in Las Vegas on
January 17 and Klitschko is likely
to face the winner.
Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Evander
Holyfield, Buster Douglas and
Mike Tyson have all held a
maximum of three of the titles
simultaneously, just like Klitschko does now.
Elder brother Vitali, who last
fought in 2012, twice held the
WBC title before retiring as
champion to go into politics and
is now the mayor of Kiev, and
Klitschko wants to bring the belt
back into the family.
“My big wish is to bring the
WBC belt back into the family,”
Hamburg-based Klitschko told
German magazine Sport Bild.
Previously, Klitschko would
have had to relinquish all of his
belts to fight for the WBC title,
but that has changed and a unifying bout could now happen.
“Wladimir is a true icon of
boxing and the WBC would
completely support a unification
fight,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Harran takes Lemail Cup,
Aseer wins Dukhan Cup
‘He has beaten some of the best sprinters in the country and I’m glad to see him back in form. He has one more big race in him’
By Chris Hoover
1st race: TM Tasha Tiki (Salim
Golam) 1, Saif Brooq 2, Rassan 3,
Hemma 4. Won by: Hd, ½, 6. Time:
1:19.62. Trained by: Ahmed Kobeissi.
Owned by: Mohammed KazaimAl
Ansari and Sons
H Sheikh Mohammed bin
Khalifa al-Thani owned Harran (Burning Sand-Aziza
D’Arocco) plunged into an all
out offensive in the final furlong and
launched a fiery gallop to outrun AJS
Qahir and score a comfortable victory
in the Lemail Cup, the feature event
of the races at the Qatar Racing and
Equestrian Club yesterday. The Julian
Smart trained Harran was brilliantly
ridden by jockey Richard Mullen.
AJS Qahir led them all the way into
the straight and Harran was improving position all along the turn. After
entering the straight, AJS Qahir continued to call the shots. Meanwhile,
Mullen showed the daylight to Harran,
who came charging at the front runner.
Once put into top gear, Harran skipped
away and won in fine style. In an unfortunate incident during the race,
Hassan al-Matwi’s La Hoor collapsed
but soon recovered much to the relief
of his supporters. Jockey Balush also
escaped unhurt in the incident.
“It was a little bit unfortunate with
the accident in the race. But to be honest it would not have mattered because
I was confident that Harran would have
a big say in the race. Harran has been
in good form this year who has got
stronger. I am happy with him right
now and looking for the future with
Harran. He will be most probably be
targeted in the Qatar International
race. He has beaten some of the best
sprinters in the country and I am glad
to see him back in form. He has one
more big race in him and we are looking ahead to it,” a delighted Smart told
the Gulf Times.
Jockey Tadgh O’Shea rode a marvellous race to guide Mohanad al-Yaqout
trained Aseer Singspiet-Like Blazes) to
a splendid victory in the Dukhan Cup,
a local Thoroughbred Conditions race,
which was the other added attraction
of the day. The perseverance of O’Shea
enabled Aseer to thwart the all out effort of Sraab.
Aseer settled quickly in midfield as
One Cool Bex set the pace. Entering
the home stretch, One Cool Bex was
out of steam soon and jockey o’Shea
was quick to get Aseer alongside. Approaching the distance post the Mohanad trainee gained the initiative even
as Sraab came along to dispute for the
lead. The duo were engaged in a fierce
battle for supremacy in the final 200
metres. Though Golam did his best
with Sraab, he was unable to get past
the eventual winner.
“This was the second time that Aseer
was running this season. Though he
was unfit in his previous start, Aseer
went down narrowly to Sraab, he was
up to the task today. I had worked hard
with him and was confident of a good
show. He did not disappoint us today.
Jockey O’Shea also rode him well to win
this race,” trainer Yaqout explained.
Jockey O’Shea was thrilled with the
victory of Aseer. “He is a very tough
2nd race: Absher (Gary Carter) 1,
Al Wasmiya 2, Okay 3, Al Zubara
4. Won by: 5, 3 ½, 1. Time: 1:12.76.
Trained by: Mohammed Hussain.
Owned by: Dhafi al-Ardhi al-Marri
3rd race: Rock Up (JP Guillambert)
1, Bern Me Baby 2, The Smart One 3,
Lions Park 4. Won by: 1 12. ½, 1. Time:
1:11.56. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali.
Owned by: Abullah Mohammed Al
Kuwari Sons
4th race: Maazouz (Alberto Senna)
1, Nomaas 2, Ladys Sandman 3, Hassiba 4. Won by: 6, 7, Nk. Time: 1:18.77.
Trained by: Majid Safedeen. Owned
by: Mubarak Saeed Aljafal al-Naimi
5th race: Nile Knight (Marco
Monteriso) 1, Statesmanship 2,
Protect 3, Sunley Pride 4. Won by:
1 ¼, 5, 1 ¾. Time: 1:55.16. Trained by:
Abduljabar Ali. Owned by: Rashid
Mohammed Alathiba
6th race: Late Debate (Harry Bentley) 1, Elkhart 2, Mefraas 3, Glossy
Posse 4. Won by: Hd, 7, 1 ½. Time:
2:01.31. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Shaheen bin Khalid
Shaheen al-Ghanim
QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain (centre) and QREC deputy general manager Tariq Abdulhameed al-Sidiqie (second from right) are seen with the
winners of the Lemail Cup, which featured the races at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
7th race: Aseer (Tadgh O’Shea) 1,
Sraab 2, Qadir 3, Moaddie 4. Won by:
Nk, 2 ½, 6. Time: 2:04.40. Trained by:
Mohanad al-Yaqout. Owned by: Al
Jeryan Stud
8th race: Harran (Richard Mullen) 1,
AJS Qahir 2, TM Thunder Struck 3,
Tuyoorna 4. Won by: 1, 2 ½, ½. Time:
1:17.99. Trained by: Julian Smart.
Owned by: HH Sheikh Mohammed
bin Khalifa al-Thani
Trainer Mohanad al-Yaqout leads in Aseer (Tadgh O’Shea astride) after a thrilling
victory in the Dukhan Cup yesterday.
horse who enjoys a battle. He stuck his
head out when it was needed and I am
very thrilled with this win. I have had
four winners with Aseer and I am glad
that I had the opportunity to ride such
a fantastic horse.”
Ahmed Kobeissi schooled TM Tasha
Tiki (Burning Sand-Lanatiki) lived up
to the promise of her previous run and
scored her maiden victory in the Pure
Arabian Maiden Plate, run over six furlongs. The Burning Sand progeny got
straight down to business as she led
the field from the word ‘go’ and made
every post a winning one to record her
first win in 14 starts. Though Saif Brooq
came up with a spirited bid in the dying
stages of the race, jockey Salim Golam
rode out Tasha Tiki vigorously to win
by a head. Rassan also impressed while
finishing with a late dash to take the
third place.
Mohammed Hussain trained Absher was a runaway winner of the Local Thoroughbred Handicap for horses
rated 0 to 60. The Dhafi al-Ardhi alMarri owned Absher was quickly off
the blocks and set his own pace before skipping away from his nine rivals
to win by a widening margin of five
lengths. Al Wasmiya chased the winner
all the way to finish second ahead of
QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain (centre) is seen with the winners
of the Dukhan Cup at the QREC yesterday.
Okay. Tha manner of this victory suggests that Absher is capable of a similar
performance when saddled next.
Jassim al-Ghazali saddled Rock Up
scored a resounding victory in the Thoroughbred Graduation Plate in a start to
finish mission. Jockey Guillambert had
no trouble getting Rock Up going at the
start and they shot into the lead and
never looked back. It was Rock Up all
the way and once he turned for home he
galloped straight as an arrow, bounding
forward showing fine acceleration and
eventually outclassing his opponents altogether, clocking one minute 11.56 seconds for the 1,200 metres trip
Maazouz (Alberto Senna astride)
trained by Majid Safedeen rose to the
occasion in a splendid manner to clinch
the Pure Arabian Graduation Plate with
a pillar to post victory. Taking over the
running soon after the start, Maazouz
found a good rhythm going and looked
completely in command. The Safedeen
trainee quickly amassed a winning lead
and looked the winner long way from
home and galloped on majestically to
win by a six lengths. Nomaas was a faraway second ahead of Ladys Sandman.
Abduljabar Ali trained Nile Knight
recorded a facile win in the Thoroughbred Handicap for horses rated 50 to
50. Under the able riding of Marco
Monteriso, Nile Knight moved strongly from the third position at the bend to
gather speed with minimum of fuss to
win by over a length from Statesmanship and Protect.
Jockey Harry Bentley had to use
all the resources at his command
to contain the challenge of Elkhart
while steering Late Debate to a
thrilling victory in the Thoroughbred Handicap for horses rated 85
to 105. It was a fascinating duel between Late Debate and Elkhart in
the final stages of the race. After
Bentley and Late Debate had established an useful lead, Monteriso
brought the Elkhart into contention
with a brilliant run, while Bentley was unrelenting on the eventual winner. With the duo fighting
each inch of the ground, it was Late
Debate that got stronger at the finish to win by a head. Mefraas seven
lenghths behind in third.
Shane and Kelly in the fight for National High
Points title at Qatar’s Oryx Cup UIM race
helm of the town of Madison’s very
own 6 Oberto/Beef Jerky hydroplane,
Shane has been the fastest racer of the
season, but he knows that anything
can happen in one of the most exciting marine sport disciplines in the
world. “Our goal is to win the Oryx
Cup and everything else will take care
of itself,” said Shane confidently.
The Oberto team assessed the best
set-up for the Doha heats and Oryx
Cup after the Seattle Seafair, including
working on the filters and additional
equipment needed to see the boat
through a saltwater race. Shane has
three motors at his disposal in Qatar.
By Sports Reporter
he outcome of both the Oryx
Cup UIM World Championship
and the H1 Unlimited National
High Points championship will
be decided at this weekend’s Oryx Cup
on Doha Bay.
The final round of the H1 Unlimited
series has attracted 10 entrants from the
United States for their annual pilgrimage out of North America to sample
Qatari hospitality and one of the most
demanding race courses in a calendar
of events that has already taken them
to esteemed races in Madison, Detroit,
Tri-Cities, Seattle and San Diego.
Defending Oryx Cup champion
Jimmy Shane arrives in Doha with a
commanding 832-point lead in the
race for the prestigious National High
Points title.
After replacing Steve David – the
new H1 Unlimited chairman — at the
New 96 Spirit of Qatar driver Jean Theoret all set to represent the State of Qatar
in the Oryx Cup this weekend.
The Qatar Marine Sports Federation
(QMSF), which is hosting the Oryx
Cup, has joined forces with Ellstrom
Racing and will be represented by Canadian racer Jean Theoret in 96 Spirit
of Qatar. According to team manager
Erick Ellstrom, Theoret – a six-time
H1 race winner - will have two of the
strongest motors available at his disposal for the Oryx Cup.
“We saw the best numbers we have
ever seen on the dyno, so we know the
motors will be strong,” enthused Ellstrom. “We also shipped spare fuel
controls and four new propellers engineered especially for the course in
J. Michael Kelly was the winner of the
inaugural Oryx Cup in Qatar in 2009
and is back in the Ted Porter-owned
boat that Shane used to seek out Oryx
Cup glory in 2012 and 2013. “We are
definitely here in Doha to make a run at
the Oryx Cup and the Championship,”
said Porter.
“We have sent all our best equipment, turbines, gearboxes and propellers. We need to pick up points quickly
and narrow the gap right from qualifying on Thursday. J. Michael will need to
win all his heats and we will also probably need to win the final to give us a
Porter’s Graham Trucking boats have
won four of the five Oryx Cups and he
has the added advantage of running a
second hydroplane for the ever-improving Cal Phipps, who holds third
in the National High Points standings.
Phipps is well clear of Jon Zimmerman,
who performed so impressively at the
last Oryx Cup in Doha.
Former 96 Spirit of Qatar driver Dave
Villwock returns to racing action in Qatar at the helm of 21 Miss Seattle, run
by Schumacher Racing. The most successful racer in H1 history notched up
one of his 67 H1 victories at the Oryx
Cup in 2010 in front of a delighted
Qatar crowd. Villwock could be a dark
horse to spring a surprise this weekend.
Today, teams will be permitted to
carry out testing on the Doha Bay
course before the all-important qualifying sessions take place during the
afternoon. The draw for the first of
tomorrow’s heats is scheduled for
16.15hrs. Spectators are welcome and
there is plenty of viewing access along
Doha Corniche.
Gulf Times
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Top seeds live up to their
billing, set up exciting semis
‘I think I am adding something extra to my game with each passing day. I was not happy with the way I begun, but things
seem to be shaping up just fine. I am happy to be still there, and I hope this continues for two more days’
Top seed Gregory Gaultier (left) plays a shot during his World Squash Championship quarter-final against Australia’s Cameron Pilley at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex yesterday. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil
By Satya Rath
fter all the jolts, scares, disappointments, shockers and
upsets, the top four seeds
managed to live up to their
billing at the World Squash Championship, being played at the Khalifa
International Tennis and Squash Complex here.
French top seed Gregory Gaultier,
second seed Mohamed Elshorbagy of
Egypt, third seed and defending champion Nick Matthew of England and
fourth seed Ramy Ashour were the last
men standing at the end of the quarterfinal round yesterday.
The semi-finals today will be a
keenly contested affair with Gaultier
taking on Ashour and Matthew facing
off against Elshorbagy for a spot in the
It was the best of days for top seed
Gaultier. After three error-prone,
scrappy, ill-tempered wins preceding
yesterday’s quarter-final clash, Gaultier managed to rediscover that missing touch, those trademark delectable
drops and ferocious volleys that helped
the Frenchman scale the world’s peak a
year back.
It was, however, the worst of days
for Cameron Pilley, one of two unseeded players in the last-eight round,
the other being South African Stephen
Coppinger. Till yesterday, Australian
Pilley had been having a dream run -dumping three higher-rated players
including the seventh seed en route to
his first Worlds quarters, but his free-
flowing game deserted him just when
he needed it most.
Gaultier was in his elements today,
whatever he tried clicked for him. He
hit the right length, volleyed tight, and
had just one error to may be a dozen
by Pilley. But importantly, he got his
drops dead right. He scored seven
points on the trot to take the first game
in 14 minutes, nine straight points in
the 10-minute second game, and seven
on the trot in the deciding third.
Forty-one minutes was all it took
him to get past Pilley 11-3, 11-4, 11-5,
his ninth win in 10 meetings between
the two. It’s his fifth semi-final appearance in his 13th straight Worlds,
where he has lost in the finals an agonizing four times.
“As I said before, I am taking it
match by match. Each day, each match
is like a new mission for me. I feel for
Cameron, it was his first quarter-final
at a World Championship, and both of
us have been seeing each other for 13
years now. He played really well in the
earlier rounds, but today, I think, was
my day,” said Gaultier.
“I think I am adding something extra to my game with each passing day.
I was not happy with the way I begun,
but things seem to be shaping up just
fine. I am happy to be still there, and I
hope this continues for two more days.
Some of my friends have flown down
all the way just to cheer for me, and I
would not like to disappoint them,”
added the Frenchman.
Gaultier, though, may have to unveil all his ‘extras’ in today’s semi-
final as a gentleman called Ramy
Ashour will be standing in his way
to a fifth final. Gaultier trails 7-19 in
their head-to-head meetings, and if
one witnessed yesterday’s match between Ashour and Borja Golan, one
can well understand why.
Spain’s Golan, seeded sixth here and
considered one of the fastest movers
among the current lot, blitzed through
the first two games 11-9, 11-7, catching
even the seasoned Egyptian off-guard
with his blistering pace and athleticism. But once the two-time world
champion settled down, he was in a
class of his own.
The crafty Ashour just had too much
guile and far too many tricks in his
game. The more Golan ran, the more he
made him run. The more he dived, the
more he made him plunge.
A fall looked inevitable, and soon
enough, down went Golan, in the
process hurting the little finger of his
serving right hand. The medical timeout broke his momentum and Ashour
never looked back after that.
He raced through the next three
games 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 to make the
semi-finals of the Worlds for the
third straight year. “It’s very difficult
to describe my feelings after such an
intense match. All credit to Golan, he
played great, he definitely deserves to
among the top 10.
“I enjoyed playing, it sorts of
prepares you mentally for what to
expect next. Gaultier is a tough
competitor, he has won our last two
meetings, so it would be interesting,” Ashour said after the exciting
75-minute encounter.
Legend Hunt to watch
attempt on his record
Hunt’s record as the oldest
male winner of the world
title has lasted a remarkable 34 years, but modern
sports science has now
helped give two men, Nick
Matthew of England and
Amr Shabana of Egypt, a
chance of superseding it
Fourth seed Ramy Ashour of Egypt (left) plays a shot during his World Squash Championship quarterfinal against Spain’s Borja Golan at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex yesterday.
Quarter-final results and today’s order of play
1-Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Cameron Pilley
(AUS) 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-5)
2-Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 11-8 11-9 11-7
4-Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt 6-Borja Golan (ESP)
3-2 (9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6)
1-Gregory Gaultier (FRA) vs 4-Ramy Ashour
3-Nick Matthew (ENG) bt 5-Amr Shabana (EGY)
3-0 (11-3, 12-10, 11-7)
3-Nick Matthew (ENG) vs 2-Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
(Seedings in prefix)
eoff Hunt, who was at
the forefront of world
squash longer than any
other man, has praised
the sport’s progress which has
given two players a chance to
better one of his most famous
achievements at the World Open
this week.
Australian’s record as the oldest male
winner of the world title has
lasted a remarkable 34 years,
but modern sports science has
now helped give two men, Nick
Matthew of England and Amr
Shabana of Egypt, a chance of
superseding it.
Hunt, a leading player for a
decade and a half, was 33 years
and six months old when he won
the last of his four World Open
titles in 1980.
Matthew is 34 and Shabana 35,
and their enduring excellence is
an important attribute at a time
when squash still has hopes of
getting into the Olympics.
a consultant coach during the
World Open.
“The ability to be able to film
people playing and watch them in
slow motion to use as a coaching
tool, and the progress in sports
medicine and injury treatment
have all developed,” he said.
“The strength and conditioning staff can all create better programmes now so you get players
that are stronger, fitter and faster
and that avoid injuries better.”
Geoff Hunt
“The sports science behind
squash has developed enormously,” said Hunt, who retired
as a coach in Qatar a year ago
but has returned this week as
It is these advances which have
helped give modern squash
speedier rallies, a greater emphasis on stroke-play, and more
tactical variety, making it a better
spectacle than it has ever been.
It has also helped players like
Shabana and Matthew.
Hunt might well have remained at the top for a year or
two longer had not a hip injury
ended his career, and he suggests
he inadvertently contributed to
his own unwanted retirement.
“When I was young I didn’t really know what I was doing,” he
admitted. “As a consequence I
had a few physical problems but
players now have a much better
chance of avoiding that.”
He added: “At one point I
played every single day for three
years, even on Christmas day
when my father got the courts
opened up for me - and I couldn’t
get enough,” he said. I was fanatical about the game and I realised
later that it was about more than
just hitting the ball.”
No player today would deny
his body the need to recover and
rehabilitate, which is partly why
Shabana has survived so long at
a very high standard, and why
Matthew has played his best
squash after the age of 30.
And Hunt will be there right
till the end to see whether his
record survives.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Al-Attiyah to drive Mini
in quest for Dakar glory
Fresh off winning the 2014 WRC2 title, Qatari champion talks about getting back into a X-Raid Mini for Dakar, his
pursuit of 10th Middle East Rally Championship win and dreams of having a WRC rally in Qatar
By Mikhil Bhat
n January this year, Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah
was on the podium of the Dakar Rally, having finished third in a X-Raid Mini.
Something, however, must have still rankled given that he had not had any practice in
the Mini ahead of the rally, and that by the end
of it all he also had to obey team orders to ensure
that Mini swept the podium.
At a celebration event later, when asked about
having to wait 25 minutes so that the other driver
could pass for lead, he only said, “I understand.”
He was going to have none of it when Dakar
kicked off again in January 2015. The 2011 Dakar
champion wanted to win what is one of the
toughest tests of endurance again… on his own
After six months of tough negotiations, the
Qatari champion yesterday announced that he
will be driving a X-Raid Mini yet again but this
time a few things are different.
“Now the team wanted me to drive in Dakar,”
al-Attiyah told Gulf Times yesterday. Earlier
this year, al-Attiyah’s decision to drive in Dakar
was pretty last moment, which meant that he
was a newbie in the team.
“Actually, the talks had been going on for the
last six months until we approved last month.
We had kept it a secret because there were a few
agreements to be taken care off. The team had
an agreement with Monster Energy, while I am
supported by Red Bull, Qatar and Ooredoo. So
this wasn’t easy, but the deals have got through.”
Meanwhile, he had also announced that he
was going to drive a Toyota Hilux. “Mini had
asked me to drive with different brands but I
wasn’t going to miss the chance of carrying the
names that have supported me. Qatar, Red Bull
and Ooredoo have supported me all this while,”
he said.
Asked about his chances in Dakar 2015, he
said, “I am confident about the race. In 2010, I
finished second; in 2011, I won. In 2014, I was
leading but finished third with a one-hour penalty. With Qatar behind me, and Ooredoo and
everyone supporting me, I will try and bring the
title to Qatar. I am sure my team and Nasser alAttiyah are the favourites for Dakar.”
Giving him company in the four-wheel drive
3.0 litre turbocharged diesel Mini will be French
co-driver Mathieu Baumel. Al-Attiyah and
Baumel have raced six rallies together so far, and
have won three, finishing second twice.
The nine-time Middle East Rally champion’s
confidence stems from what has been a great
year in a rally car.
On Sunday, al-Attiyah was crowned the
WRC2 champion by a nail-biting three-point
advantage over Finland’s Jari Ketomaa in the final standings.
Going into the final rally, the Qatari 43-yearold only needed a seventh-place finish to win
the title. But early gearbox problems coupled
with a very cautious strategy even as Ketomaa
built a healthy lead saw al-Attiyah in eighth
place before he pulled things back together to
finish sixth.
“You know sometimes you think you only
need seventh position to win the world championship. Everyone thinks that it is very easy and
I can finish seventh, but then the race started.
We had a little bit of a problem and we dropped
from top three to eighth. That was difficult,” alAttiyah said.
“But we fixed the problem and we came back
very strong. We managed to be in top six. And
then we found ourselves not far away from the
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah will have the company of French co-driver Mathieu Baumel (inset) at the 2015 Dakar Rally, which will run from January 4-17, 2015.
“The real problem is that I am racing a
lot. We do seven to eight Middle East
rallies. If I move to WRC, that means 13
rallies right there, and it will be difficult
to participate in the Middle East. WRC2
does not clash with the Middle East rallies, so I can handle that,” al-Attiyah on
why he might not step a level up to WRC.
other driver. But eventually it was all happy.
This year has been a great year for us. We won
four races and this was the plan — to be world
champion in WRC 2. This is a great moment for
me, motorsport, Qatar and for the Middle East
to have an Arab driver win the championship.”
For most rally drivers the obvious next step
would be WRC. “The real problem is that I am
racing a lot. We do seven to eight Middle East rallies. If I move to WRC, that means 13 rallies right
there, and it will be difficult to participate in the
Middle East. WRC2 does not clash with the Middle East rallies, so I can handle that,” he said.
Given that too much racing seems to be the
problem, has the thought of only focusing on
WRC ever crossed the mind? “For me, as a Middle East driver, it is very important to participate
in our region. It will help motorsport here. It is
not good to move outside and leave your region,
and supporting them,” he said.
He then talks of bringing WRC to the Middle
East. “That’s what we dream of. It will be fantastic if we manage to get a rally to Qatar. The
WRC does not have a desert race. A long time
ago there was Safari Kenya. It will be good to
have a desert leg like that… Safari in Qatar,” he
Talking about the Middle East Rally Championship, with nine points separating the top
three, including al-Attiyah (75), United Arab
Emirates’ Khalid al-Qassimi (69) and Qatar’s
Abdulaziz al-Kuwari (66), al-Attiyah needs to
win next week’s Dubai International Rally to
win the championship comfortably for the 10th
“We are in good position and we know Du-
bai really well. I am afraid of one thing. In 2007,
some spectator, who was friends with a driver
had put rocks and other things in my way,” he
Sabotage, you mean? “Yes. I hope everything
is clear this time.”
The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist
had a forgettable Asian Games earlier this year
not being able to qualify for Skeet finals. “I was
not prepared then. But I was asked by the Olympic Committee and by the Federation and my
coach, to be there and help the team. My plan
that I had charted out with my federation and
my coach was that 2015 will be the step for Rio
Olympic Games,” he said.
School kids voice their thoughts on Qatar 2022
he first ever FIFA World Cup
in the Middle East is already
inspiring a whole generation
of youngsters who are looking
forward to seeing their idols play from
close quarters in stadiums in Qatar.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) went to different
schools across Qatar to find out what
school kids thought about the tournament in 2022.
“When I learned that Qatar will host
the World Cup, I thought they will
never, ever win it. But now since they
won the Asian Cup (U-19), I thought of
course, why not, they will win at least a
few matches,” 11-year-old Rashid from
Qatar said.
Fahad, a sixth-grader from Palestine
added: “If you see it on TV it wouldn’t
be as exciting as if you were with the
crowd, with everybody cheering and
watching the match at the stadium.”
Never before has a FIFA World Cup
had the potential to make such an impact on youngsters across an entire region. Thirty percent of the Middle East
and North Africa’s population is aged
between 15 and 29. That is a total of
around 100 million people.
For the Supreme Education Council
(SEC) in Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World
Cup Qatar forms part of the Social Sciences curriculum being taught across
the country to make students aware of
the importance of hosting the world’s
greatest football tournament.
“The teaching of topics related to the
2022 FIFA World Cup in the curriculum
of various educational levels — fourth,
seventh grades and second secondary — comes within the framework of
the efforts made by the SEC to explain
the importance of this exciting global
event. In Arabic language, students analyse texts related to hosting. In physics, they are asked to conduct research
related to cooling technology. They also
learn about National Sport Day,” said
Afrah Ahmed al-Rayashi, team leader
of Social Sciences in the office of Curriculum Standards at the SEC.
Students also learn about major
sporting events that Qatar has hosted
in the past such as the Doha 2006 Asian
Games, as well as looking forward to
the legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
in terms of preserving the environment, using clean energy in cooling
stadiums and creating an overall sustainable event.
The SC has been placing an emphasis on education initiatives as part of
creating a lasting legacy for the tournament in Qatar and the region. Talking
in a panel discussion at the WISE Summit on education in Doha earlier this
month, SC secretary general Hassan
al-Thawadi highlighted the importance
of overcoming obstacles and creating
opportunities in the Middle East.
The SC is already supporting important initiatives in education like
the recently-announced donation of
$500,000 to the Education Above All
Kakuma refugee project in Kenya. It has
also founded and developed the Josoor
Institute, a centre of excellence designed to deliver world-class education
and training to the people of Qatar, the
Middle East and North Africa (Mena) to
continue developing a sporting industry in the region.
In addition, the SC has embarked on
an education initiative called the Qatar Environmental Sustainability Case
Study Challenge, which reached out to
every high school and university in Qatar and invited students to do research
and find workable solutions to promote
environmental sustainability in the
country. Over 500 students registered,
with 37 university teams and 54 high
school teams with an age range of 13-22
years taking part as they came up with
ways of changing behaviour, creating
ideas and developing solutions for a
more sustainable future.
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